That big lead stone wasn’t moving. I sat up and went to the empty chair.
Nate took the remote from Logan and silenced the game.
Logan snorted. “Why’s it so damn important for us to live with our dad? It’s not fair to put your daddy issues on us.”
Narrowing my eyes, I crossed my arms over my chest. “You can’t say that to me. You have no idea—”
“No idea?” Logan scoffed. “Yes, we do. Our dad’s an ass**le.”
He overrode me, “It’s not going to happen.” Then he stopped, and glanced at Nate.
Logan turned to the stairs.
Nate bit out a curse. “Are you serious? You want me to leave?”
“Not to be an ass, but this is family shit.”
“What am I then?”
“You’re extended family shit. You’re one of those long-distance cousins.”
Nate looked over. “Mason.”
“Just go, Nate.” Logan leveled him with a harsh look. “This is family and you’ve been a douchebag lately.”
Nate gritted his teeth at him, but turned to his best friend. “Mason, come on.”
Mason sighed. “It doesn’t matter what I say. You need to be trusted by all of us and you’re not. That’s what matters.”
He pushed up from the couch and stalked out. No words were shared, and the tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife. I didn’t dare breathe until he had left. As soon as he was upstairs and the door shut, Mason leaned back and sighed. “I hope you guys know what you just did.”
Logan sent him a dark look. “Screw you.”
“I already ripped him a new one this morning—”
“Not good enough,” Logan interrupted him. He shot forward, his eyes stormy and lips pressed tight in a snarl. “Nate’s been so far up your ass, I’m surprised you remember about the rest of us.” As Mason glanced at me, Logan added, “Except for Sam. You do need to get your daily screws in, don’t you?”
Everything happened so fast after that.
I gasped, but then Mason was off the couch. He had Logan pressed against the wall in the next instant, one hand fisted in his shirt and the other had pinned Logan’s arm up. He snarled at him, “Are you f**king with me?”
Logan twisted, jutting his hip out to move Mason aside and then slipped his arm free.
My heart was pounding. It sounded so loud in my eardrums that I struggled to hear the rest. Everything had jumped up in me, and it felt like my pulse was lodged in my throat. It was going nuts.
Mason didn’t move against him, but Logan didn’t move away. They were almost touching, glaring at each other.
“I’m not screwing with you.”
“You sure about that?” Mason lashed back. Every muscle in him was primed. He was ready to fight; his hands had formed into fists and were pressed against his legs. He was holding himself back.
Logan eyed him warily before sending me a furtive look. His shoulders were rigid, but they dropped a fraction of a centimeter. His jaw was still like cement as he clipped out, “I’m not, but I am getting sick of this shit. Nate’s up your ass twenty-four-seven. “
“We are staying in his house.”
“So let’s move.”
“And go where?” A hollow laugh came from Mason’s throat. He turned to me. “Back to Dad’s? Sam, there’s no way I’m living with your mom again. I meant to tell you earlier, but I forgot.”
Rising from the couch, I hugged myself, but spoke up, “It’s not right that you guys are here. Nothing against Nate, but you should be with family during this time.” My heart kept pounding, thumping against my ribcage. “And yes,” I caught the look he sent to Logan, “that means Logan and me, too. I don’t have a family anymore.”
Mason and Logan had been eyeing each other, but they turned as one now. I was front and center once again.
I gulped. Sometimes their attention was a little much, too much at times. This was one of those times. I felt stripped and raw as I added, “My life went to crap five months ago. My mom left my dad. I found out my dad wasn’t my real dad. Then my real dad came into my life, but he’s gone. They’re both gone and then my mom went psycho. I’ve got you two, and on the outside, I am so jealous of you. You have a dad. He’s still here. He loves you guys—”
Mason started forward. His voice soft, “He’s with your mom, Sam.”
I flinched at that. It felt as if he’d slapped me.
“I love you and she hurt you. That’s the math to me. If we go back there, she’s going to keep hurting you.” Mason was in front of me now. His hand lifted to touch the side of my face. “There’s no way I can watch that and not do anything.”
Logan spoke up, “We can’t scare your mom anymore. She’s too crazy for that, so being there and seeing that happen to you,” he gestured to his brother, “I’m with Mason. There’s no way I could watch that and not do anything, except this time, we’d really hurt your mom.”
“It’s best if we just stay away. Our dad knows the deal. As long as he has her in his life, we’re out. That’s the way it is.” Mason’s chest lifted as he took a deep breath. His touch was so tender. “He’s making that decision. Not us.”
A piece of me broke away. It fell to the bottom of my stomach. The sadness that washed over me was overwhelming. “I can’t be responsible for you guys losing your dad.”