Fallen Crest High

Page 16



I frowned at that. "I haven't heard anything."

"Oh." She seemed confused. "I thought I told you about that."

"Well, you didn't."

"Anyway, are you coming tonight?"

"No." I didn't hesitate.

Lydia looked away. Her eyes had been glued to me, like I was a television show for her. Now her whole body seemed to retreat away.

I frowned at her, but was distracted when Becky asked in an excited breath, "And tomorrow? You have to come. It's for charity." Her voice turned into a whine.

I sighed, but I already knew I'd go. Logan had been harassing me over the past week with the same question. Mason never asked, but Nate told me once that he wanted me to come. I hadn't a clue why.

"I don't know. Probably, okay?"

Again, Lydia seemed struck by something. She fell back a couple of steps before she caught herself.

I snapped at her, "What's your problem?"

She blinked rapidly a few times before she rasped out, "Uh, nothing. You're, just, you've changed."

"Yeah. Life does that to you." Then I swung my door open and got inside. I couldn't explain it, but both annoyed me. And when I was able to get home and go on my run, my mind finally started to clear after a couple of hours.

It took that long before I calmed myself down. When I returned home, the evening's darkness had started to creep in.

My mother waited for me at the dining room table. She had a large glass of wine before her and every room was lit up around us. Her fingers kept tapping the table in a nervous manner—or, as I got a better look at Analise—in an irritated manner.

I didn't even wait for her to say anything. I dropped to a chair at the table and waited.

My headache had come back.

"I am taking the boys out for dinner on Sunday after church. If you are able to refrain from physical violence, I'd like for you to join us."

Her tone felt like whiplash against me.

I jerked away, but readied myself again. She couldn't hurt me unless I allowed her. "Why do you want me there?"

She gave a dramatic long-drawn out sigh and whirled the wine around inside the glass. "Because you are my daughter. Mason and Logan are going to be my stepsons, your stepbrothers. You don't think I think about this? I'm concerned for you, Samantha. I really am."

"Really?" My tone was dry, I couldn't keep it out.

She winced against it, but swallowed it down. Then she forced out her bright sunshiney fake act. "How are things at school? Have you seen David at all?"

"Once."

"Oh." She seemed to pull away from me, though she didn't move in her chair. Then she threw the rest of her wine down the back of her throat. "That's good that you still have him in your life. Have you ever considered going to public schooling? Mason and Logan seem to do very well there."

I rolled my eyes. They would've been fine anywhere they went.

"So you want me at this dinner thing?"

"You are my daughter."

"And you can refrain from slapping me?"

She winced, but I knew the movement cost her. A slight curse slipped from her lips and she tried to hide it.

"Mother?"

"What?" She lifted glazed eyes to me. "I think the dinner will be great. I could cook something, maybe? No, that didn't end well the last time. You're right. Dinner out is the best idea. I'm so happy you think so."

Yeah. Me too.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Becky called me bright and early the next morning. "Bad news bears, Sam."

I rolled over and sat up with a yawn. "It's seven in the morning. On a Saturday morning."

"I know. I just got home."

"So you decided to call and say good morning? You suck."

"No." Her voice was bright and chirpy. "I'm still drunk so it's probably not sinking in yet, but I can't go to the game tonight."

I groaned. There went my one friend to sit with.

"There was a party on the beach by Lydia's house and I'm getting back. Mom caught me this morning so I'm grounded now."

"You went to Lydia's party?" I should've asked, 'Lydia had a party? And you went to it?'

"Oh no. The party was by her house, I think some other girl threw it, but I dunno. Anyways, we had to wait till Adam was sober enough to drive. I kept drinking all night. Lydia's actually kinda funny."

"You were with Lydia? You two were pissing on each other."

She giggled. "Not literally, but she explained a few things to me and I feel for her…sort of…not really. Oh well. So I'm not going to the game tonight so that means you don't have to go either. I know I was the only reason you were going anyway."

I picked at some lint on my bedcover. "I might've gone to cheer for Adam too…"

"Aw." Her voice melted. "That's so sweet. I'll make sure to tell him. It'll mean a lot to him. He doesn't think you care about him at all."

"Are you kidding me?" I grumbled into the phone. "You're the one that likes him."

"Yeah, but he doesn't like me."

"You're a bit not right in the head, Becky."

"I know!" she chirped again, followed by a giggle. "He held my hand to the car."

"Were you falling down drunk?"

"That and the sand was really tricky to walk through."

"I'm sure it was." I laid back down on the bed and closed my eyes. Something was telling me this phone call wasn't going to let me go back to sleep anytime soon.

"So, what'd you do last night?"

I grinned into the phone. "Well, I didn't get drunk and hold hands with my crush all night long."

She giggled again. "I wish it was all night long. Maybe I could get drunk more? You think he'd do that every time?"

"No."

"Yeah, you're right." She sighed. "It'd be nice, though. I wish I could hold his hand all the time."

"Why don't you just ask him out?"

"Because he doesn't like me. How many times do I have to tell you?"

"Whatever." I gripped the phone tighter. "I think there's something there. Maybe he'd have to man up and make a decision already."

Silence.

I sighed.

There was more silence on the phone.

Then I asked, "Did I say something wrong?"

Her voice was timid. "It's not that easy for some of us."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Sometimes all we have is our imagination."

I frowned and cursed under my breath. "Your imagination? Your fairytale that's holding you back?"

She sucked in her breath.

I bit back another curse. I'd forgotten Becky was one of those girls. "I'm sorry."

"For what?" She sounded like she had started to cry.

I cursed myself and hit my forehead with my hand. "For not being sensitive."

"It's okay," she hiccupped.

"No, I really am sorry."

"I know." She hiccupped again. "It's okay. I know you didn't mean it."

I gritted my teeth, but said nothing. The problem was that I did mean it; I meant every word of it and more.

"So, since we're not going to the game, my mom said you could come over tonight. You want to come over here? I think we'll do dinner and movies."

"Um." How could I lie myself out of this one? "My mom said something about dinner too."

"She did?"

"Yeah." I sat up and scooted to the edge of the bed. "But I don't know. I'm not sure what I should do. I might still go and cheer for Adam tonight."

"You're going to go alone?" She sounded so small.

"Maybe. I don't know."

"I don't want you to be alone."

"Oh no. I'll be fine."

My door opened at that moment and Logan stuck his head inside. When he saw I was on the phone, he lifted a hand in a half-wave and frowned at me. I motioned for him to go away, but he only grinned and pushed the door open to come inside.

"Uh," I said in a hurry. "I have to go, Becky. I'll call you later."

"You're really going to the game still? Alone?"

"Oh yeah. I'll be fine."

Logan stood right behind me. I turned around and he breathed on my neck now. I tried to shove him away.

"Okay…"

"See ya. I'll call you tonight." And I hung up, breathless. Then I whirled around. "What are you doing?"

He smirked at me.

"This is my room. This is my privacy. Get out."

He laughed. "You're just pissed because one of your friends might've heard me."

"Do you blame me?"

"Nah, guess not." And he threw himself backwards on my bed before he scooted back to sit against the wall. "So you're coming tonight? You're going to cheer on your future brothers?"

My lip curled up in disgust. "Don't say that word again."

"Brothers?" Logan's hyena laugh came out and he twisted to chortle into my pillow. "I cnn't beliff ith."

I sighed and rolled my eyes before I took hold of his arm and started to pull him up. "Come on. Get out. I want to go for a run."

He dodged my hand and chuckled when he went to the door. "You should run with Mason sometime."

"What?"

"You should run with Mason sometime."

"What do you mean by that?"

He lifted a shoulder in the air. "He runs too, most of it's at practice, but I bet he'd smoke you."

I quirked an eyebrow up. "You think so?"

He puffed out his chest. "I know so."

"I can run for hours."

"So can he."

Then I shook my head and turned away. "I'm not going to get into this with you."

"What? That Mason's better than you at running?" Logan rushed around and blocked my way to the bathroom. His cocksure smirk was back in place and he folded his arms over his chest. "Why don't the two of you throw down? I'd like to see that."

I shoved him aside. "I'm not going to race, either of you."

He taunted behind me, "Scared?"

I froze. My shoulders went up, my chin hardened, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up. I turned around slowly. "What did you say?"

He looked too sure of himself. "You heard me."

Both of my eyebrows went up.

"I think you're scared."

"Come again?" I laughed out with a pout.

He took a step close. "I think you're scared of losing."

"I wouldn't lose."

He took another step closer and he was against my chest. He peered down, through his thick eyelashes. His breath wafted over my skin. "I think you're scared of everything."

Something snapped and I shoved him back again, this time he slammed against my bedframe.

My arms were stiff against my side and I clipped out, "I'm not afraid of anything."

He laughed as he pushed himself up from the bedframe. "Whatever you say to yourself at night."

"I mean it."

"Yeah, yeah." He dismissed me with a wave. "See ya, sister. Have a good one tonight."

When he left and the door had closed behind him, I let out a shaking breath and realized my fingers were pressed into the palm of my hands. I pulled them out and saw the blood start immediately. They'd been pressed so tight, so hard. I hadn't felt a thing.

My jaw trembled when I went back to the bathroom, but I turned on the shower.

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