Malinda’s house was a massive log home. Logan was shown to his bedroom, which was a guest bedroom in the basement, and we were shown our room. It was tucked into a back section of the house on the main floor, so it felt like we had our own wing. Mason had packed a few bags for me, and as he dropped them on the bed, Malinda chuckled at us. “You two are like a married couple.”
Uh … I pointed to my head. “Heavy meds here. Say that again?”
She rolled her eyes. “You heard me just fine. So did you,” she threw to Mason. Then she gestured to the door across the hallway. “That’s your bathroom. Your father wanted you upstairs in case you needed something during the night.” Her gaze lingered on Mason. “But I reminded him that you’re not a single package anymore; that you come with a plus-one, whether he likes it or not.”
“Thanks for that,” Mason murmured, leaning against the far wall. He stuffed his hands into his front pockets, which moved his jeans down an inch. As he hunched his shoulders forward, it gave him a longer and leaner look. The tops of his black boxer briefs were visible now, and I could see a hint of his oblique muscles underneath.
I licked my lips. If only … Desire spread through me. When his jeans moved another inch lower, my body felt engulfed in flames. It was like a drop of gasoline had been added to a fire.
Malinda chuckled behind me. “I recognize that look. You got the good meds, for sure.”
I was burning up. “Can we open a window?”
Mason frowned. “What?”
“He says what.” She chuckled some more before stepping into the hallway. “When you get an ice pack on those loins, join us downstairs. We got couches, blankets, movies, pop, whatever you need.”
Mason said it for me, looking equally confused.
“Saturday family night.” Her eyebrows arched high. “Don’t you two know what family night means?”
We were both silent.
She snorted. “It’s a night you spend with family. Forget any plans you two might have had for canoodling. You’re in my home, and you have to endure the torture. Sorry, Sam. They said you have a mild dislocated jaw, but I got lots of liquids and soft foods for you. Yogurt. Applesauce. The good stuff, but the rest are going to be forced to eat popcorn, pizza, chips, and tacos. You name it, they have to shovel it in. Bahahaha.” She left, her laugh eerily close to an evil witch’s.
“What just happened?” Crap. I winced from pain. I’d been talking too much.
“Mark’s mom is nuts.”
I gave him a pointed look. Did he not know who he was talking to?
Mason shrugged. “So’s your mom, but this one … she seems nice and … genuine. I don’t like it.”
That earned a snort from me. A mother who was genuine and nice? It made perfect sense why he wouldn’t like it. I’m not sure I liked it either.
He gestured out the window beside him. “Did you know Mark lived down the block from my dad’s?”
I had forgotten, but now I wished I hadn’t remembered.
“Yo. Mark’s mom is hilarious. She just told me she’s Queen Royale of Bitch.” Logan appeared in the doorway and flashed a grin. Holding onto the doorframe from the top, he leaned forward, laughing at the same time. “You see how close we are to Dad’s?”
“I know.” Mason gestured to me. “I was just telling Sam that.”
“Mom’s going to flip when we tell her where we’re staying.”
“Yeah …” Mason was deep in thought. He leaned forward to look out the window and moved so he could see further up the street. “You know Nate’s old house? The one he lived in before his parents moved?”
“The one at the end of the block?” Logan moved next to him. Both were studying a house through the window. “The couple that bought it from them moved, didn’t they?”
Mason nodded. “They’ve been trying to sell it for six months. Want to bet that Mom’s going to move in there?”
“No way. She won’t buy that.”
“Dad’s is three houses down. We’re in this one, and Nate’s old place is three doors the other way. She’s going to go nuts when she realizes how close we are to Dad’s. She thought she finally got us all to herself.”
Logan shook his head. “Man, most of our stuff is at the hotel. She won’t think we’ll want to drive there to grab anything we forgot … it’d be easier to just leave it at Dad’s and grab it when we need it. Or that’s what she’s going to think.”
Mason cracked a grin. “If she doesn’t buy that house, she’s going to rent it. I bet you money. Somehow, Mom’s going to be living somewhere on this block.”
A curse slipped from Logan. “And we’re not telling her we’re only staying here for a week, are we?”
“You want to?”
“No way.” A smile stretched across his face. “This’ll be way funnier when she learns we’ve moved to Sam’s old neighborhood, the ‘poor’ community. Mom will shit a brick thinking she’ll have to live there. She won’t know what to do.”
Listening to them and watching from the bed, a pang went through me. David lived in a poor community according to them. I knew neither cared, but their mother thought like that. It was a middle class neighborhood. People weren’t poor, but they weren’t wealthy. They were normal. I was normal, but I was different from them. It shouldn’t have bothered me, but I was reminded of how different I was from them.