Heather put on the brakes. She went pale as a group broke away from the hall. “Oh, crap.”
I recognized two of the girls. “Those are your friends, right?”
“Let’s hope.” An apology flashed in her eyes as she started for them. “I gotta go. I’m sorry, Sam. Come to Manny’s tonight if I don’t see you at lunch?”
I nodded as she hurried to catch up with them. When she did, the girl who was dressed all in black refused to look at her. The tiny one gave her a half-grin. It was more like a half-hearted attempt at a grin. It only came out as being sad. As the other one snapped at Heather before stalking away, the tiny one got up and followed. She didn’t say a word to Heather either. There were a few guys in their group, and the one with dark hair and a tattoo circling over his jaw slung his arm around Heather’s shoulders. He looked to be reassuring her, but she pushed him away and hurried after the two girls. He called after her, “Don’t sweat it, Jax.”
“Uh,” Logan tilted his head to the side. “Max Monroe. I don’t know him that well. I think Mason might. He’s friendly with the Roussou peeps here so don’t get close to him.”
“There are Roussou peeps here?”
“A few.” Logan started to lead me further down the hallway towards Mason’s locker. “I think they’re cousins or have relatives over there. No worries, Little Kade. They’re not going to rise up and mutiny. There’s not enough of them here, and they’re not really liked by everyone else. Your throne is safe.”
“Do you try to be annoying, Logan? Or is this post-coital bliss from whoever you went to see this morning?”
He chuckled, throwing his arm around my shoulder again. “I’m not being annoying. I’m being charming and since when do you want to know who my post-coital bliss is from?”
“I don’t. As long as it’s not Tate, I don’t care.”
He squeezed me tight, laughing as we pushed through another crowd. Mason’s locker was in the back corner. It was broken off from the main wall with four others besides his. Spotting Nate and some of their guy friends, the other locker owners weren’t a big leap. When Mason saw us coming, he straightened up from the wall. Nate glanced over, but he wasn’t as welcoming. Shutting his locker, he took off.
“Unlike you, I’m guessing he’s not interested in my post-coital bliss either.”
“What?” He flashed me a grin, rubbing where I’d hit him. Then he said to Mason, “Nate’s still not over our family meeting?”
“Would you if we kicked you out of your own basement?” Mason grimaced as he eyed Logan’s arm that was still around my shoulder. “Do you always have to touch my girlfriend?”
“What?” Logan laughed and pulled me tighter against him. He rubbed his hand up and down my arm. “I thought you’d be happy that it’s not Tate I’m touching. Sam just saved me from her clutches, you know.”
“Your ex is causing more trouble?”
Logan’s grin fell flat “I was joking about Tate.” His arm fell away and he moved back a step. “You both can let up on Tate. She’s not going to be a problem.”
He gave me a little wave as he headed off.
“Let him go.” Mason opened his locker and grabbed one of his books. Then he skimmed me up and down. “You headed to school early this morning.”
“I went running.”
He frowned. “When you run that early in the morning that means something’s up. What’s up?”
I leaned against Nate’s locker. Even standing in the back corner, I could feel everyone’s attention on us. I still wasn’t used to it. “You guys are like gods here.”
He grinned. “That’s a new deflection.”
“No.” I shook my head. “It’s not meant to be. I just …” I gestured to the hallway. There were students everywhere and most of them kept glancing at us. A couple girls in the far corner huddled together. When they noticed my attention, their heads ducked down and they skirted into another hallway. The last one peeked back. Her entire face was flaming red, even to the back of her neck.
But it wasn’t nothing.
“Hey.” His tone softened and it did what it always did. It reached inside of me, loosened the knot that had formed in my throat, and pulled me towards him. I had to grin. Mason Kade would always hold this power over me, and as he tugged me against him, all my anxiety and concerns were pushed away. “What’s going on with you?”
“Nothing.” I corrected, “Nothing that’s important. What do you think about Tate and Logan?”
“You mean,” he raised an eyebrow, “besides what he just said? We’re supposed to let up on her?”
“She draped herself all over him and he seemed to like it.”
Nothing. No reaction. Just an ‘oh.’ Tilting my head to the side, I studied him and narrowed my eyes. “Oh? That’s it?”
He flashed a grin before pressing a kiss to my forehead. “I’m not worried about Tate anymore. Not that much anymore.”
Bombs exploded. The apocalypse had arrived. I could only stare in shock as he leaned back against the wall and pulled me between his legs. Looping his arms around my back, I was firmly enveloped in his arms, but I couldn’t enjoy it. My stomach had started on a loop, rolling over and over again.