Samantha. That was my first thought. I don’t know her, and she called me by my full name. Then the rest of her words hit me.
Logan paused and lowered his pizza slice. He frowned at her, then back at me. “What’s she talking about?”
Someone muttered in the background, “Shit’s about to get reaaal.”
I was pretty sure that was Heather, but when I turned she lifted her hand in a rolling motion. I got the message, let’s get this going.
“Let’s talk outside.”
Logan was up from the table before the words left my mouth. His hand was on my arm, and I was hauled behind him. Instead of going through the entire diner, he shoved through the side door. I started for one of the chairs we used when we took our breaks, but he shook his head. His fingers tightened. “Nope. We’re doing this over here where no one can listen.”
He took me all the way across the alley and towards Heather’s house. We were starting up her porch when the door slammed shut behind us. Heather’s jaw was set and her top lip curved up, flashing us a warning as she headed towards us. “Oh no. I’m staying. She’s my friend too, Kade.”
Her arms were crossed over her chest and then both of them moved as one. I was center stage. Lovely. “Okay …”
“Kate, or one of her lackeys, stole Sam’s clothes after gym class when she was in the shower,” Heather beat me to it. Her eyebrow arched high. “You know what they’re going to do. Stop them, Logan.”
He threw her a scathing look, but turned and pinned me down. “Is that true, Sam?”
My mouth was still hanging open from my ‘okay’, but I shut it now. This was it. This was the moment where he went after them and I’d be at home worrying if he was going to be arrested or worse. At least Mason was at Nate’s. I doubted Logan would need him for this.
He bit out a curse and hopped off the porch. His phone was pulled out a second later and I heard, “Mase? We have a problem.”
That hope exploded.
“Thanks for that,” I said. “Note the sarcasm.”
She rolled her eyes. “You wouldn’t have told them, and you know it. I don’t understand why you didn’t say something after it happened. It’s probably too late now.”
“Because I’m scared for them. I don’t know what Mason and Logan are going to do.”
“Oh please.” Another eye-roll. Another swear word. “They’re not idiots, and this isn’t their first rodeo. This is Mason and Logan Kade. This is what they’re known for, this is who they are. I don’t know what you’re scared about. Stop kidding yourself, Sam.”
My head jerked back. “You just bitch-slapped me.”
The corner of her mouth lifted in a crooked grin and she shrugged. “Well, that’s what real friends do.”
“You really think they’ll be fine?” No matter what she said, the fear of Mason’s future was still in me. My mom had been so close to ruining it.
““Yeah.” She softened and reached over to hug me. She whispered in my ear. “I think they’ll be fine. I’ve never seen those two more protective over someone. It’s why everyone hates you at school.”
I stiffened in her arms. “Quite aware of my popularity.”
“Things will be fine.” She patted my arm again. “They’ll put her back in her place and everyone will relax at school. People will start getting to know you for you. I’m sure of it.”
I hoped so. I really did, but Heather was forgetting one thing. Things wouldn’t go back to normal. Mason and Logan had been quiet, but I knew they were planning their revenge against the Broudou brothers. Thinking of them … I still needed to tell Mason about Brett. He needed to know sooner than later.
It was then when Brandon stuck his head out the side door. When he spotted us, his face scrunched together. I could imagine a few curse words coming from him until he hollered, “Get your ass in here, Heather! We’re swamped.”
“I mean it!”
Her voice rose another octave. “I said ‘yeah, yeah’! I’ll be there in a sec!”
His middle finger rose in response before he disappeared back inside.
“Stupid brothers.” She glanced at me. “Not step-brothers, but you know what I mean.”
She jerked her thumb towards Manny’s. Another crooked-grin appeared. “Don’t suppose you want to work the rest of the night? Lily and Anne both quit last weekend. Lily’s dad got a new job so they moved and Anne won’t work here if Lily doesn’t. That’s the excuse she gave me, but Cory saw her working at the Fallen Crest Country Club. The tips are better over there.”
“You’d be surprised at how cheap rich people can be.”
“You’ve been there?”
She shrugged, musing at the same time, “That place is too fancy for me. I don’t speak hoity-toity.”
“That’s funny. You named it perfectly right there.”
“HEATHER!” Brandon was glaring at us from the door again. “Come on! We’re getting killed.”
“I’m COMING!” We started down the alley, and she muttered under her breath, “Someone’s getting killed tonight. That’s for sure.”
The damn mannequin was where I thought it would be—Kate’s garage. She was smart, but not that smart. Since it only had a dark wig on it, and Sam’s clothing were next to it, I figured they hadn’t done anything to it yet.