“You’ll be fine.”
“No.” I turned to him, but I could see that all the girls had smoothed their hair back and sucked in their stomachs. If that was their response to Logan and the rest, what would it be when Mason stepped outside of his car? Or when they saw me beside him? “I was nothing before.”
I looked away. I didn’t want to see his green eyes darkened with pity. “Things aren’t the same, Mason. People didn’t know for the longest time that we were together, and that was only last semester. Analise and I moved in with you guys, and now I’ve moved out with you and Logan. Even David looks different, like he’s a freaking bodybuilder or something. This isn’t normal. Is it?”
I’d been a social outcast last semester. I had a feeling I’d be one here too.
I turned now to face him and held my breath. The green was sparkling at me, so clear and warm. One corner of his mouth curved up, and he leaned his head against the headrest. “Everything will be fine. At this school. At home. We’re family, whether you like it or not. I thought you’d be used to it by now.”
Looking through the window at how everyone was riveted by his friends, I knew I’d never get used to it. I shook my head and reached for my bag. “I’m afraid that when I get used to it, you and Logan will go away.”
“We’re not going away. You’re not going away.”
“I can’t go back.”
It was then a red Mazda parked close to the guys and the door was thrown open. A long tanned leg came out, followed by another. It was like in all the high school movies. The beautiful golden-blonde emerging in slow motion like a goddess from her cliché red sports car, wearing a white shirt that flowed over her, hugging all the right curves, and falling an inch over the top of her grey skirt.
Tate had arrived.
The guys stopped talking. When she turned towards Logan, I sat upright in my seat. He narrowed his eyes and leaned back against his car as he stood in the middle of their friends.
“Did you see that?” I asked Mason.
There hadn’t been much of a reaction, but I could sense the power she still had over Logan. I waited for a response, but there was none.
He was gone. His seat was empty, and his door shut just as I glanced over.
Scrambling after him, I headed for the rear of the Escalade. Then I heard the chill in his tone. “I hoped that you would’ve transferred after my warning.”
Wariness came over her, but her eyes sought Logan again. Tate pressed her lips together as her shoulders lifted for a breath. “I’m just walking to class, Mason. I’m not here to cause problems.”
He stepped close. His voice lowered as he said something to her, and her entire body went rigid a second later. The blood drained from her face, and her lips parted as her gaze was glued to him, like she couldn’t turn away for the life of her. The spell was broken as soon as he stepped away, and she fled.
“Was that necessary?” Logan had come to stand beside me.
Mason turned to his brother. “Yes.”
“Come on, Mason. She wasn’t even doing anything.”
“Why are you defending her?”
“Because you’ve made her life hell for two years. She’s here for one semester.”
Mason’s green eyes switched to mine, searching if I agreed with him, but I stepped away from Logan. I didn’t agree. Tate set off alarms in me. Both of them realized where I stood, and Logan snorted in disgust before he headed back to their friends, brushing past his brother who was standing in his way.
“Not to side with him, but Tate doesn’t seem like too much of a threat anymore,” Nate murmured lightly, breaking apart from the guys.
“Now you decide to be on his side?” Mason narrowed his eyes at him.
“You informed me how much of a dick I’ve been lately.”
“You have been.”
Nate grinned. “And I’m trying to make up for it.” Then he swiveled to me. “Right, Sam?”
I lifted my hands in the air. The strap of my bag slipped down to my elbow as I shook my head. “Oh no. I’m not getting involved.”
Heather was waving her hands from the door. She yelled again, “Get your ass in here. You’re going to be late on your first day. Stay away from her, Mason. I get her for the day.”
Grinning, I went up to him and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
His eyes darkened again for a different reason this time. “You alright with what happened this morning?”
“Which thing are you talking about? Your comment? The Broudous at the gas station? Seeing my ex? Or just now, with whatever you said to Logan’s ex-girlfriend?” I shook my head at the morning we had. “We are not normal.”
“I guess all of it, but I was referring to your dad. I know that bothered you, seeing that he changed.”
I shook my head. “Again. Not normal.”
Hearing Heather call my name again, I was held back from answering her. Mason hooked a finger through one of my belt loops and pulled me close. “Are you okay?”
I knew he was asking about David, but I couldn’t answer. I didn’t know myself so I just shrugged. It was all I could do.
He nodded, getting the message and then his lips came down on mine, and I melted. Home. He was home. Logan was home. No matter all the changes, no matter where he was going, I was home for now.