Then she added, “My dad’s not stupid. He knows there’s only so much a parent can do against these types of bullies. If they get in trouble, they’ll only do something worse the next time around. That’s why he said I don’t have to worry about getting in trouble with him.”
I didn’t know if that was the right thing to do as a parent. My own weren’t stellar, but she talked to her dad. He was here for her. He would support her if she needed it. Then she distracted me when she asked, “You still going to the game tonight?”
There was no question about what game. It was the game against Roussou.
She suggested, “You could sit by my friends. You remember my friend, Max? Channing’s half-brother? Dark spiky hair? Usually wears ripped shirts and has tattoos all over him? He always goes when they play Roussou. He likes to spend time with Channing, but Cory and Rain should be in our stands.” I grinned at the thought. Cory was like a feral cat. Her ‘warming up to me’ was not snarling at me. Then she added, “But you’ll have all those Academites there, too. You could see some of your old friends.”
Mark would be there. His mother might be there, too and that meant … my father. And hours later when I parked outside of the school, it seemed that everyone had come for the game. There were no spots in the parking lot. There were no spots within a four block radius of the school. I finally found an empty spot near the football field and parked. I jogged over it, heading past the parking lot. When I noticed the line that snaked outside of the gym’s entrance, I slipped in a side door. Some of the hallways were blocked off, but not all the way. I could slip past one of the gates, and join the mass chaos once I found one I could fit through. The volume in the building was deafening. People was lined up at the concessions, there were lines for the bathrooms, and people were packed into the entrance hallway. Instead of two people selling admissions, they should’ve had twenty.
I hadn’t gone far when someone touched my arm.
Thinking it was Kate, I swung around with a fist already formed.
Instead, it was Mark. “Hi,” he shouted in my ear, but is eyes got wide as he stared at my hand. “Uh … never mind?”
“Sorry. Hi.” I gave Mark a grin in response. He was friends with Logan, but since his mother started dating David, things had been awkward between the two of us.
He leaned close again. “You like it here?”
I nodded. I couldn’t help myself. I looked around him, but there was no sign of his mother. Spotting Adam in a corner, he had his arm around a girl’s waist. Mark must’ve noticed my gaze. He yelled in my ear again, “Yeah, Adam has a new girlfriend. She transferred in this semester.” He let out a little laugh. “Or he’s trying to get a new girlfriend. I don’t think they’re official yet.”
She was pretty and petite. Her wavy hair was a wheat-golden blonde color and fell to her shoulders. When Adam saw me, he stiffened. She glanced up, a frown on her face, and followed his gaze. When her eyes caught mine, they were a breathtaking green.
I waved at them. Adam jerked his head in a stiff nod back to me. Her gaze lingered on me, and I could see the confusion there. Lifting a hand to his chest, she tipped her head back, the questions already on her lips. As his jaw clenched, I knew she had asked who I was.
When I turned back to Mark, he lifted a shoulder up. “Her name is Kris. He’s crazy about her.”
I remarked, “That must drive Cass nuts.”
“You have no idea.” Amusement sparked in his eyes now. “We miss you over there.”
My eyebrows went up at that.
“We do. I do. I know Adam does. Not everyone hates you over there.” He skimmed me up and down with a wolf-whistle on his lips. “You look good, Sam. Public school must agree with you.”
I shrugged. “Seven hours earlier and you would’ve really though that. You look good, too.” And he did. Mark had always looked good, but there’d never been an attraction between us. He was six foot two inches, had muscular shoulders, dark hair and the same almond eyes that his mother had. He wasn’t the golden-boy beauty that Adam was, and he didn’t have the classic handsome features like their other friend, Peter, but Mark’s easygoing personality and contagious smile were like a magnet to girls. Always had been. I had no doubt Mark had his pick of the ladies.
He flashed his dimples. “Logan would be proud. I’m doing that workout he was telling me about last weekend …” He trailed off. “He didn’t tell you about that?”
“You saw Logan last weekend?”
“I always see Logan. Same parties, you know? But we haven’t been getting invites to the public parties like we used to. A lot of people think it’s your fault, like you don’t want your old classmates there.”
I was public enemy number one at Fallen Crest Academy. Not much had changed. Fond memories. “What’d you talk about?”
“You and Logan. What’d you two talk about?” That wasn’t what I wanted to ask him, though.
He shrugged. “What we always talk about. Girls and lifting weights. What do you talk about with him?”
My eyelid was beginning to twitch. Screw it. “Is your mom still dating David?”
“Your dad, David?”
I nodded. My heart began pounding.
“You told me a couple months ago that you thought they were going to get married.”