“I’ll go running right after school. See you in a few hours.”
“See you.” She waved at both of us before she headed to the parking lot.
Growing tired, I went with my gut. “Is there something going on I don’t know about?”
Mason’s eyes got wide. That was his only reaction before he masked it. “What?”
I knew there was, and I was tired of being in the dark. “Just tell me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m getting sick of the looks and the silent vibes. What’s going on? My guess is that it has something to do with Logan. What is it?”
“Sam,” he sighed, stepping closer to me.
I took a breath. Here it was. He was about to say that Logan had fallen in love with Tate again. I prepared myself for the news, but he said instead, “I have no idea what’s going on. I don’t. Honestly.” When I pinned him with an accusing look, he held his hands in the air as if surrendering. “I mean it.”
“Then what the hell is going on?”
He shrugged. One of his hands fell to my hip, and he pulled me against him. “My guess is that Logan’s dealing with something. He does that sometimes. When he decides to come clean, he will.”
“It’s not Tate?”
“I don’t know, but he seemed pretty insistent that he doesn’t have feelings for her again.”
It didn’t feel right. None of it did, but I let my forehead drop against his chest. His hand swept up and brushed some of my hair back. I closed my eyes, savoring that little tender touch from him. The slightest touch from him sent me buzzing. I let myself breathe him in, filling my lungs, as I remained in his arms. Then I moved back. Mason gave me a reassuring smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes.
I spoke before I thought about it. “So that’s what it looks like.”
“Like what?” He grew guarded.
“A lie. That’s what it looks like from you.” And then, even though I loved him so much, I turned and walked away. Mason lied to me. I knew it. He knew it. I had lost count how many there were between us now. We were headed down a bad path, and I had no idea how to stop it.
It’d been two days since Sam called me out. I still felt gutted, but it wasn’t my explanation to give. Logan wanted to screw with Tate, make her fall for him and shatter her to pieces like she’d done to him. I didn’t like it, but it was Logan’s decision. It was his place to share the details with Sam, and I was taking the brunt of it. I was sick of it. After basketball practice, I headed to the parking lot. Sam worked the past two nights and I knew my little brother would be there. We’d been getting food there every time Sam worked and he was telling her what was going on with Tate, whether he wanted to or not.
When I tossed my bag inside my vehicle, I heard from behind me, “Can I have a minute?”
My blood went cold.
Kate was alone, her hands stuffed in her pockets, and her shoulders hunched forward. It was a meek posture, but she wasn’t meek. She was just alone.
“What do you want?” I made a show of looking around. “Your friends going to pop out and jump me?”
She frowned. I knew that look. She was on a fishing expedition. “Why would you say that?”
“That’s what you’re going to do Sam, aren’t you?”
Her arm twitched. She was lying.
“Look,” she cleared her throat and her face twitched. I knew that look, too. She was biting the inside of her cheek. “Seeing you now, I don’t even know why I bothered.”
She turned to leave.
This was bullshit. She showed up so now it was my turn for some fun. “What do you want to know, Kate?”
She paused and then let out a sigh. “Fine. Listen. I need to know that it’s done.”
“You and me.”
I smirked at her. “There was never a you and me.”
“Yes, there was. I was your girl—”
“That I f**ked when I needed someone.” I sneered. “You kept yourself clean and you didn’t use to sleep around. I noticed. That’s all there was to it. Nothing more.”
She visibly swallowed. “There was more—”
“No, Kate.” It was the lack of caring in my tone. She heard the truth and jerked to the side, as if she were going to leave, but stopped. Her hands tore out of her pockets and balled into fists. They raised in the air, but not high enough that they could do damage. I waited. Kate was a bitch. I enjoyed that I was hurting her. “Come on. You went after Marissa because I was friends with her. Now my girlfriend? For what? To get me back? You’re pathetic, Kate.”
“Shut up.” She flinched with every word I said, but she swung her heated eyes back to me. “You shut up, Mason. You have no idea, no f**king idea why I’m doing this.”
“For power? You lost it. That’s long gone.” When there was no reaction, I laughed. “Haven’t you been watching? No one cares. The girls are turning against you.”
“You think they’ll follow her?” she sneered back.
“No, but they’ll like her. No one liked you. They were scared of you, but no one’s scared anymore.”
“They should be.”
“Why?” There it was. She was starting to show her colors. I could see inside of her now. “Are you going to go after every single girl? You don’t have the time, and all you’ll do is piss ‘em all off again. They haven’t turned on you yet, but they will. You go after every person, it’ll happen.”