Dropping his head, he kissed my neck. As his lips caressed me, he asked, “Where did you get this? This was my freshman jersey.”
I spotted a few girls beside us, within hearing distance, and shrugged. “Just something I found in the locker room.”
One girl made a sound of disgust before shoving from her locker. She stormed down the hallway, past Kate, sneering at her as well before she turned into the senior hallway.
“Who was that?”
“Hmmm?” Mason lifted his head from my neck and glanced around. “Who?”
“Hey, nauseating lovebirds.” Heather appeared at my locker. She gave Mason a bright smile and placed her hands on her hips like she was going to do a cheer for him. I caught the twinge of tension in her gaze before it slipped away. “I need to steal your gal, Kade. I need her to walk me to my next class.”
His hands fell away and he stepped back, but he frowned. “You keep interrupting. When’s your boyfriend transferring? I’d like to return all these favors.”
“Ha, ha. We both know you’re proud of your girl for landing a friend like me.” She pointed to her own chest, walking backwards and looping her other elbow through mine. “I’m a hot commodity. There’s only one Heather Jax in this town.”
“That doesn’t make you a hot commodity. That makes you expendable. No one would miss you.”
She pretended to hiss, grinning at the same time. “That hurts, Kade. I thought we had something going between the two of us.”
“The boyfriend and best friend never like each other.”
Her eyes widened and she paused in her footing for a second, but lifted her fingers to her forehead. She saluted him. “You win, Mason Kade. You always do.”
But there was no response. Mason had already turned and was walking the other way. Even now, with their little exchange, so many people had been hanging onto every word. As he passed by groups in the hallway, the girls followed him with hungry gazes. A few didn’t, but the guys were almost as bad. A lot of them stopped what they were doing and puffed out their chests. Their backs straightened and most struck a cocky pose until he walked past them, without acknowledging them. When he disappeared into the senior hallway, the hallway went back to normal. The girls giggled and whispered. The guys, most of them, went back to their drooped shoulders and lounging stances.
I’d never get used to it. I don’t know how he did it.
“I heard what happened,” Heather brought me back from my thoughts. Her hand tightened on my arm and she pulled me closer, lowing her voice. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” Waves of anger and curiosity mixed together now. One thing at a time. “Do you know a girl that used to be friends with Marissa?”
“I don’t know her last name. She was friends with Mason and transferred out of here two years ago.”
“Oh.” Her facial features tightened and her lips pinched together. “Yeah. Red hair? Frizzy? Average weight?”
“Yeah. Who is she?”
“Her name’s Paige.” She grimaced. “I wouldn’t get close to her.”
Stopping at her locker, I leaned against the one beside it and waited as she opened the combination. “Because she will never be your friend. A lot of girls lust after your boys, but there’s a few that hate them. Paige is one of them. She blamed Mason for everything that happened to Marissa.”
“And by everything that happened to Marissa, you mean …” I gestured to my clothes. “Getting her clothes stolen.”
She grabbed her book and shut her locker, but turned to fall against it with her back. “Getting the clothes stolen is the first step. That’s why I found you right away.”
“How’d you know?”
“My friend Cory’s in your gym class.”
“The one …” I frowned, trying to remember and then it clicked. “The angry one? She wears black. She hated me on sight.”
“Yeah, that one.”
“And she’s another one of those girls who hates Mason and Logan?”
“No, she doesn’t hate them, not like Paige. She hates Kate and her friends. She doesn’t like Mason and Logan because they never stopped Kate. She’s been okay this semester so far, but everyone can sense she’s got things in the works. It’s tense around here. Don’t you feel it? You’re not coming into this school at a good time.”
It was because of me. Everyone knew that and it was starting to make sense why the welcome wagon had been missing. It’d been doused in gasoline somewhere, waiting for Kate to strike the match.
I couldn’t do anything about it. That was the hard part. “How’d you escape their wrath?”
Heather chuckled. “I don’t know, but if I were to guess, it’s because of Channing at Roussou. He’s still in my life. Everyone knows that and he holds his own over there. If they did anything to me, he’d get even. That,” her head bobbed forward, “and because I think one of those four always had a thing for him.”
“One of them with someone from Roussou?
“He’s hot. People can still date between the two schools. It’s not really encouraged, but it’s not forbidden or anything.” She laughed again, eyeing me up and down. “But that doesn’t matter anymore. We both know I’m on Kate’s shit list now.”