Heather cursed under her breath when the group stopped before us. She leaned against her locker as I waited. Kate said she’d make our lives hell. First day jitters and surviving my mother’s recent attempt at destroying Mason’s future had combined together. I was angry. I was ready to fight back. I was more than ready for whatever Kate had in store.
“Last chance, Jax.” That was Kate’s greeting. “You can back out now and everyone and everything you hold dear will be left alone.”
“Shut up, Kate,” Heather retorted, shoving off from her locker. She took two steps, sticking her face right up in hers. An inch separated them while her followers surrounded us. As a hush fell over the hallway, I knew all eyes were on us.
“I don’t like when people threaten me or my friends.”
“She shouldn’t be your friend. She’s a liability,” Kate hissed back at her, breaking their stare-off to glower at me. She smirked. “What’s with you and having bodyguards? Mason. Logan. Now Jax? Don’t you have balls of your own?”
I smirked back. Balls? She wanted balls? I opened my mouth, ready to show her some balls when an amused voice broke into the group, “Kate, are you serious? You’re still doing the bullying thing?”
Tate stood there, books in hand, as she skimmed the group with a bored expression. She rolled her eyes, flicked some of her hair over her shoulder, and shook her head. “What are you going to do after high school, Kate? You can’t bully everyone to do what you want, and why are you even doing it now?” Tate gestured to me with perfectly manicured nails. “Pushing Strattan around isn’t going to do a bit of good. You know that you won’t get Mason back. He’s gone. He was gone the second her mom moved her into his house.”
Kate sucked in an angry breath. “Back off, Sullivan. This isn’t your business.”
“Maybe not, but Heather used to be a good friend and since I’m all about making amends, I can’t walk by.” She arched an eyebrow. “Wanna hear some advice from someone who has gone against Mason and his girlfriend?”
“Go away, Tate. I mean it.”
She shook her head. “Let it go.”
“Can’t you hear, Tate?” Jasmine stepped right in front of her, much like Heather had done with Kate. The petite black-haired beauty looked even smaller standing in front of Tate, who had model-like long legs and towered over. “Kate said to keep walking.”
Tate grinned down at her, like an adult whose child tried to boss them around. “You’re like a mosquito that won’t die. Back up or I’ll swat you down.”
Jasmine bristled. “Don’t talk to me like that.”
Tate lifted her bored eyes again, skimming me and Heather up and down before landing on the leader again. “I’ve been back a week, been around the last weekend, and I already know you’re losing power. You’re deluding yourself if you think you can push your way around like this. Let it go, Kate. We used to be friends and this is friendly advice. Stop going down this path, lick your wounds, and find a different guy to latch onto.”
Heather shifted back, refusing to meet her ex-best friend’s gaze, bumping into me in the process. I sighed and settled back against her locker.
Kate lifted her top lip and bared her teeth. “We weren’t friends.”
“We were in the beginning.”
“When you ditched Jax.” Kate threw a smug look to Heather. “Remember that, Jax? When your best friend stabbed you in the back?”
“Or didn’t you tell her what you did, Sullivan?”
“Oh.” Kate’s triumphant smirk spread over her face. “You didn’t tell her? That you slept with her boyfriend at the time?”
“What?” Heather’s voice had grown quiet.
“No. You started this. You came over here and interfered. You’re on the list now, Tate. I was giving Jax one last chance to get away, but it’s too late now. For both of you. You’re all going down, right along with Mason’s latest screw.”
A dry chuckle left me. It acted like a beacon and as one, the rest of the girls turned to face me. I stood from the lockers. I caught movement from the corner of my eye and glanced over. I spotted Logan watching from a distance, frowning. Ethan was with him, and they both seemed unsure of what to do. I gave him a nod and sent him an unspoken message: I would handle this.
His frown deepened.
“You got something to say, slut?” Kate mocked. “Finally?”
“Finally?” I threw back, moving closer, replacing the spot that Heather had been in. Kate was my height, so I could stare her right in the eyes. I did so now, no blinking, no turning away, nothing was going to break our stand-off. “Why break this up? I don’t need television. You’re entertaining enough. Please, keep going. Threaten Tate some more. I’m not a fan of hers. Or even better, try going after Heather again. Go for it.” I bared my teeth. “Fair warning. She bites back.”
I rolled my eyes. “Am I supposed to be scared that the four of you ganged up on me? Or that you’re willing to threaten my friend? You’re making a list? Is that supposed to strike terror in me? Anyone can make a list. I’ve got one, too. Does it make your knees shake?”
I heard a wolf whistle from down the hallway, followed by, “That is so hot!”