“This has nothing to do with her,” Channing murmured.
He was mistaken and he knew it. I said, “What do you think they’ll do to her if they find out about Sam? Heather knew who she was and she never told them.”
“Oh, whoa.” Frankie shot his hands between us. “You two aren’t friendly? I thought you were. My mind is being blown right now. You guys are enemies? Monroe, I didn’t think you had enemies.”
“We’re not,” he snapped at him, but said to me next, “I’m aware of what will happen. Are you aware that she knows them?”
He wasn’t referring to Heather. Logan and I got the implication. We shared another look.
“Jax?” Frankie asked.
Logan narrowed his eyes. “What are you talking about? She’s never met them.”
“She has, actually. They went to Manny’s one night looking for you. There was a confrontation. Heather had to kick them out.”
Channing glanced at Logan. “Exactly.”
“Wait.” I shook my head. “They don’t know. They were still clueless last week.”
“Budd’s clueless …” Channing waited.
Brett wasn’t. I knew what he was leaving unsaid and I glanced at Frankie. He needed to be gone. With that thought, I nudged Logan and jerked my gaze to Pailor. Logan nodded. He understood and transformed. The cocky smirk came over him. His shoulders rolled back, his head went up, and he threw an arm around Frankie’s shoulders.
“Frankie, my man. My appetite came back and I’m thinking you might have some recommendations? I don’t think I’ve tasted too many Frisco girls.”
“Oh geez.” Frankie shook his head, but he couldn’t hold back his smile. As Logan started to lead him away, I heard him continue, “There’s too many, Logan, too many. You need to share the love. Anyone from Fallen Crest …” His voice faded as they moved to the Frisco side of the party.
I jerked my head backwards. We had parked near the edge of the party. The grass lot was surrounded by woods, which meant privacy for us. Once we were far enough away, I didn’t waste time. “Sam met them?”
Channing nodded. He grimaced, but finished the rest of his beer and tossed the bottle. “At Manny’s like I said. They were there hoping to run into you guys. Heather tossed them out. Brett’s got a soft spot for her, and he promised they wouldn’t come back to start a fight.”
“They don’t know about Sam?”
“No, but they talked to her. Heather admitted that she didn’t make the situation better. She almost let it slip who Sam was, but Sam stopped her. She shoved Budd or something. Brett got him cooled down. It blew over after that. She sent Sam packing and kicked them out, but there’s something else.”
The idea of them being with her, talking to her, scaring her … My hands curled into fists. A litany of curses flashed through my mind. I wanted to find Budd and Brett. I wanted to finish this entire thing, right now, between them and me. Fuck it. Logan could help if he wanted, but I had enough rage pumping through me. I wanted both of them.
They talked to her. They scared her.
I didn’t want to know the rest, but dammit, I had to. Sam had lied to me. “What is it?”
“Brett asked her out.”
“He asked her out.” Channing raised his hands in the air, backing away.
I wasn’t going to attack him. I had enough control. “Spill the rest, Monroe. Stop wasting my time.”
He dropped his hands. “I don’t know how it happened or when, but Brett asked Sam on a date. Budd figured it out. He’s been teasing Brett all week, asking if he’s going to visit her in the hospital or not.”
Everything changed then. Brett Broudou liked Sam and knew she was in the hospital. Budd knew she was in the hospital. They knew about Sam. I was going to have to—
“They were waiting by the door where Sam was loaded into the ambulance. Budd keeps calling her Brett’s weakling.”
I stopped thinking. Everything kicked into slow motion as I heard those words in my head. They were at Manny’s. Brett asked her out. He was with her AGAIN when they saw her by the ambulance.
They saw her at her weakest moment.
It was enough. I had to end them.
I started past Channing, but he darted in front of me. “Whoa. Where are you going?”
“No,” Channing shot back at me. “You need to think, man. I don’t know you, but I know your reputation, and you don’t react like this. You’re cold and calculated.”
“They saw her when she was hurting.” My tone was like ice, but my blood was pumping. I needed to do damage and I needed to do it now. Brett Broudou would be the first. “Move, Monroe or I will move you.”
“We’re not buds.”
“I know.” My tone turned lethal. I didn’t want to hurt Jax’s on-again-off-again whatever, but I would.
Channing’s eyes flashed back at me. “I care about Heather and she cares about Sam. You mess with me, and that comes back to you. You know that, and I’m trying to help you.” Gone was the easygoing voice. Channing straightened and the threat of violence was there. “I understand. I do. I’d feel the same way. We both know the damage Budd can do to someone. He doesn’t give a shit who the person is, but you need to hear me when I say that Brett could be an asset to us.”