Logan stood by the door and held it open. Mason came in behind him. Both found me immediately. I wondered who had notified them, but then Kate grabbed my arm. She twisted it and got into my face. Her hand tightened on my arm and she lowered her voice, “You have until the end of the day to drop out of school. This is the last warning.”
A taunt rose to my tongue, but I swallowed it. The jokes were gone.
Three thoughts happened at the same time. David’s image flashed again. “Fuck it,” came next. Third, when I knew what I was going to do, I thought, “Let’s see how this goes.”
Kate’s eyes widened as she watched the myriad of expressions before she saw my intent. Her hand let me go, and she started to back away, but it was too late. My hand latched onto hers instead, and I took one second to comment, “Bet you weren’t expecting this,” before my other hand grabbed the back of her head and used all my body weight to slam her head into the table.
Everything went silent for a moment. The only sound I heard was my heart thumping. It was calm and steady. Thump.
“You bitch!” someone shrieked from somewhere, but the voices were so far away. They were a slight buzz to me now.
People screamed. I heard a few guys swear. Footsteps pounded on the floor. I kept track of all that was happening in the back of my mind. I got a better grip on her head and held her arm down while I tried to lift her head for another slam. She was yelling. I saw her mouth open and caught the flash of terror in her eyes, but then I was jerked backwards. Someone punched me on the cheek. It hurt, but it didn’t penetrate the numb sensation that had taken over me.
“You’re going to get your ass beat.” Someone spit on me, but I wiped it off and twisted around. I lunged for whoever was in front of me. She had black hair, maybe Jasmine? I yanked on it and then punched her face.
“Get her off!”
I wound up for another hit when I was lifted off my feet. Two strong arms wrapped around me and carried me away. Kicking at them and trying to squeeze out from their hold, I yelled, “Let me go!”
“It’s me. Stop, Sam.”
Kate was being held up by a couple of guys. I think it was Jasmine that I had hit. Natalie and Parker stood around her and both were glaring at me. One brushed Jasmine’s hair from her forehead and was inspecting her face. I growled. I wanted to get them all. Fuck it. I was out for blood now.
Grabbing onto one of the arms around me, I sunk my nails into it. They protested, so I pushed them deeper. I needed to get free. The need to hurt them back was a frenzy inside of me. So many people had hurt me, I wanted to hurt them all—Analise, David, Garrett, Jeff, Lydia, Jessica, Becky, Adam.
“Let me go,” I yelled. My voice broke, but I didn’t care. I tried again.
A litany of curses came from behind me and I heard, “Sam, it’s Mason. Stop it.”
“SAM,” he yelled in my ear.
“Get her out of here. No one will say anything.”
Mason argued over my head, “Yes they will.”
“Not if everyone says they’re liars. We’ll handle it. Get her gone.”
“Fine.” His arms tightened around me, and he carried me through a side door. We stepped outside before he let me back on my feet. I knew it was cold, but I didn’t feel it. I was heated. Enough logic had filtered back in as they discussed what to do with me, but my blood was still boiling. The need to hurt them was so powerful. My hands shook, and my head went down. I gasped for air, trying to fill my lungs so I could think straight, but it wasn’t working. The need to run back inside was aching. I had to go back, and I started to, but Mason caught me around the waist. He pushed me against the wall and positioned himself in front of me as a barrier.
“Stop,” he murmured. He kept a hand on my stomach, but it was a light touch.
I drew in more breaths and closed my eyes. Get it together.
I shook my head and lifted a hand. I needed a minute. Enough reason had come back, and I was starting to realize what I had done. I still didn’t care. There would be ramifications. There were always ramifications. I was trying to remember why I used to care about them.
Mason’s statement came back to me at that moment, Your dad looks ripped. Not bad for a guy his age. His statement haunted me. So did mine, It doesn’t matter to me anymore.
It did. I thought it hadn’t, but I was a fool. I was beginning to realize how much it did matter to me.
I heard the concern in his voice and everything melted inside of me. Just like that. The fight left me, and I wanted to disappear. “Mason,” I choked out.
He swept me up. My legs wrapped around his waist, and he turned so his back was against the wall. Sliding down to sit on the ground, he started stroking my hair back and rubbing my back at the same time. I clung to him. A minute earlier I’d been ready to tear someone apart, and now I was trying to hold the tears at bay.
“Are you going to tell me what that was all about?”
I murmured against his shoulder, “Besides Kate being a bitch?”
“Yeah,” he laughed. His hand kept rubbing up and down my back in long sweeps. He slowed them down as he continued.
“You mean she didn’t deserve that?”
I still had some fight left in me. Grinning at that thought, I pulled away enough so I could meet his gaze. “I’m kidding.”