“You’re not.” Logan frowned, stepping next to his brother. He didn’t reach out, but I felt his concern. “It’s our dad. He turned into a douchebag, too.”
“What?” Logan shrugged, giving his brother a crooked grin. The sudden tension from before was gone. “You know it’s true. Well, I guess our dad’s always been a douchebag. How many mistresses did he have? Had to be twenty, at least.” He whistled in appreciation. “Gotta give it to your mom. She’s the one that landed him. Our dad must be really nuts if that’s who he chooses to settle down with. He’s stuck with her even after all the crap she did to Sam.” The other half of his mouth curved up. “Maybe we should have him committed? He can go through one of those brainwashing programs, brainwash him back to being normal.” He pondered that for a second. “No, he’d just pick another winner again.”
“This isn’t funny.”
Logan shrugged. His crooked grin didn’t lessen. “Has to be. Dad left Mom, cheated on her for years, and Analise is who he ends up with? She’s the one that he decides to stick it out with? That’s the funniest damn thing I’ve heard.” He clapped his brother on the shoulder. “Come on. You think it’s funny too.”
When the corner of Mason’s mouth curved up, teasing at his own grin, I couldn’t believe this. “Stop,” I cried out. Shaking my head, I moved away. “I can’t believe you guys. You’re laughing about this? You can’t—”
“We can,” Mason stopped me. A tender expression came over him. “Logan’s right. It has to be funny. We’ve lived through all the other stuff. The divorce. Dad’s cheating. The only good thing we got from him was you.”
“I second that.”
I rolled my eyes. They were missing the entire point.
“Sam.” Mason reached out and took my hand, pulling me back to him. “We’re not laughing to be dicks, but this is our dad. You can’t judge us because we’re not accepting the crumbs he’s giving to us. He’s not a great dad.”
Logan snorted, “Try he’s never been a great dad?”
“We understand what you’re saying. Trust me. We do.” He tugged me closer to him, but I didn’t look up. I couldn’t. His finger went underneath my chin, and he tipped my head up. Then I couldn’t look away. His green eyes caught mine and the wall he normally had up slid away. He let me see everything—the bitterness, hurt, pain, anger—all of that was there, but it was mixed with love. I saw it. I felt it when he murmured, “I’m grateful to him for you, but because I love you, I can’t accept your mother. There’s no way. Would you? If you saw someone hurting me, over and over again?”
When he put it like that, I drew in a shuddering breath. “I would kill that person.”
Logan started laughing. “We go from scaring to hurting. She jumps right to killing. Hardcore, Sam.” He patted me on the shoulder. “It’s why you’re our Little Kade. On that note, I love you. I’m sorry for my comment before, but I can tell where this is going. Believe it or not, I don’t get off on watching the two of you.” He pressed a quick kiss to my temple and headed to the stairs. As he got to the top, he called out, “Coast is clear. Fornicate away.”
Mason ignored him. “You okay?”
I nodded. My throat was too thick with emotion to speak.
“We can’t move back in. We can’t watch her hurt you, and he’s not going to leave her, so this is how it has to be.” He drew me against him and I rested my head on his chest. If the situation had been reversed, there was no way I could do it either. I hadn’t been joking. If I saw someone hurting Mason and Logan, over and over again, I would do anything to stop them.
Mason bent down and dropped a soft kiss to the top of my head.
“So you haven’t told them yet?” Heather popped her head out from her locker as her mouth fell open. “I can’t believe you. That was a week ago. Don’t you think they should know?”
“Why? They know that Budd and Brett are trying to find out who I am. They said it to their face.”
She slammed her locker shut and handed me her notebook. “Hold this.”
I did. “What do you want me to do?”
Heather stopped looking through her book and glared at me. A strand of her hair slipped down, blocking her face, but I could still feel the heat of her stare. “You’re not a moron, Samantha. Stop trying to make me think of you are. It’s an insult.”
“Pretty much.” Her eyes lit up as she found her page and folded over the corner. Then she grabbed her notebook from me before shaking her head. “Look, granted, Mason and Logan did their ‘run-in’ with Budd and Brett. They know Budd’s looking for Mason’s girlfriend so that’s not news to him, but you yourself saw them at Manny’s. You work there. They could go there any time. It’s something they’d want to know.”
An outburst of giggles and yells came from down the hall, and I glanced over. Logan had arrived. He was at his locker, along with Ethan and Strauss. Both guys had smirks on their faces as they enjoyed the cheerleaders next to their lockers. Boobs galore and if their skirts lifted an inch, pu**y galore. I snorted, falling back against the locker behind me.
Heather paused, mid-reach into her bag. “What?”