And thinking about other students, I said, “No one really made a big deal about the game. At Academy, there would’ve been pep rallies. Posters and banners would’ve been everywhere. I don’t remember seeing any this week.”
Heather pulled open the doors as we went inside and answered over her shoulder, “There were flyers, but not that much. Everyone just knows about the game. They go if they want, they don’t if they don’t want to. Besides, the basketball games aren’t like the football games. Those are nuts.”
“Are you kidding?” Brandon piped in from behind his counter. “The basketball games are nuts, too.”
“I know, but she’s asking why it wasn’t really talked about at school.”
“Oh.” He nodded. “It’s because everyone just knows about it. That’s how it was during my days.” A wide grin came over him. “I remember those days fondly. Good days. Good memories.”
Heather rolled her eyes as she tied on her server’s apron. “You mean, good pu**y?”
“Ah.” The wide grin stretched in a full smile. “Easy pu**y is more like it. I didn’t have to search for it. Those girls came to me. I can’t imagine how the Kades have it now. Compared to them, I was nothing. They’re like gods.”
It felt like a knife stabbed me in my chest.
Heather made an exasperated sound. “You’re an idiot.” She jerked her thumb at me.
“Oh.” He sounded sheepish, letting out a weak laugh. “Sorry, Sam. You know what I mean, not that I remember Mason indulging in pu**y like Logan does, but—”
“Just shut it, Brandon. You’ll be doing us all a favor.”
I held a hand up, shaking my head. “No, you guys. Really. I am aware of their near-celebrity status. This is nothing new to me. I live with them, remember? Logan’s got a new girl over almost every day.” But that wasn’t true. He was gone most of the time. During the week we had all settled into a new routine. Logan was usually the first to leave, or he would leave the night before and not come home. He must’ve kept half his closet in his car because he never wore the same clothes twice, and he was always showered for the new day. Nate was the next to leave. He’d dash out a few minutes before Mason and myself. While I’d be nibbling on a piece of toast in the kitchen, waiting for Mason, Nate would dart through, holler a goodbye, and be on the road before Mason would even come down the stairs.
As for Mason and myself, we began a trade-off. We’d ride together in the mornings, unless I went on a run. I took my own car during those days, but when I would ride with Mason, I drove his Escalade home while he got a ride with Logan or Nate. If he forgot to give the keys to me during lunch, they would be waiting for me in my locker. There wasn’t a lot of time for us to talk because he had basketball practice, and I’d usually be itching for a long run, sometimes my second one of the day.
“Game’s over,” Brandon called out. He was looking down at his phone. “We won: thirty-two—nineteen.”
“Here we go.” Heather took her place behind the counter. I went to the backroom. It wasn’t until hours later that I remembered I had left my phone in my car.
I left the gymnasium and pushed through the doors. A lot of the others had already gone. Most were headed to eat and then to Fischer’s party, but I needed to go to Manny’s first. Sam might not want to go and after the way I’d been dodging her question all week, I needed to make it up to her. Whatever she wanted was whatever she was going to get. My jaw clenched as I remembered the hurt in her eyes when she realized I wasn’t going to answer her. Shit. I couldn’t. If I did … no way in hell. I couldn’t. That was the end of it.
My hand tightened on my bag as I crossed the parking lot. Logan’s car was still parked next to mine. What was my brother still doing here? Nate’s car was here too. Things were cold between the two, but they could joke around with each other. Still, I didn’t see them hanging out together, and I hadn’t seen either of them in the locker room. Coach needed to talk to me, and most of the guys were gone when I came out.
“Hey,” Logan spoke up, straightening from his Escalade.
I frowned. My little brother looked tired. “You need to stop with this whole sex marathon you’ve got going on.” Unlocking my car, I tossed my bag inside.
Logan rolled his eyes. “Whatever. I hear you and Sam going at it all the time. Don’t you guys take a f**king break?”
I grunted. Nice choice of words. “I can have all the sex I want with her. Know why? Because she’s my girlfriend, and I love her. I know my dick can be in her, and it’s safe. She’s safe. We’re not going to be having little Kades running around here anytime soon. Can you say the same?”
“You’re such a dick.”
“A dick that cares about you. Stop all the screwing around. You’ll catch something or you’re going to end up with a kid.”
“What’s your problem?” Logan ran a hand through his hair.
“You’re my problem. I mean it, Logan. Stop screwing around. Find a girl, get some feelings for her, and be rabbits.” He was pissed. We both knew it, but I wasn’t going to ask for the motivation of his sudden marathon. “There has to be some girl in this town that you could date who’s not Tate.”
Logan shot me a dark look. “Get over yourself. I don’t love her, and you know it.”