I called Logan. Nothing.
I called Heather. Nothing.
Two hours later. Still nothing. From anyone
I sighed, and changed into real clothes. My face resembled a mix between a panda and raccoon. The little make-up I had on was enough to cover some of the bruising. When I was done, the panda had vanished, but the raccoon remained. I couldn’t perform miracles. It would have to be enough.
I wasn’t going to get sad. I wasn’t going to crumble and ask the ‘why me?’ questions. Last night had been emotional enough for me, so I skipped over all those crappy emotions and went straight to furious. That felt better. It slipped over me like a second coat. It was keeping me warm and sheltered. That’s when I found David.
There was breakfast still on the counter from earlier, but he moved it aside. He was taking out vegetables, dressings, and chicken.
“Let’s go to Malinda’s for lunch.”
His hand jerked and he cursed, whirling around to me. “Samantha!” He pounded on his chest. “You scared five years off my life.”
I didn’t care. “Let’s go to Malinda’s.”
“What?” He heard me this time. “Why? I thought this was father/daughter time, though I have no doubt Mason snuck in your room last night. He left already?”
“Let’s go to Malinda’s.”
He paused and then caught on. “Oh.”
“Is there something you want to tell me?”
“Nope. I want to go to Malinda’s.”
“All right … Are you sure everything’s okay?”
He finished for me, “Malinda’s. Got it. You ready to go?”
I was more than ready. As soon as we got there, I said hello to Malinda and bypassed her for Mark’s room. It was now nearing noon, but as soon as I pushed open his door, he flew off his bed. “Mom!” He stopped, with one leg already in his jeans and frowned. “Sam?”
“Sam?” a feminine voice squeaked from under his covers. Then a blonde head popped out, and she didn’t look too pleased. “What are you doing here?”
“Cassandra?” She’d been obsessed with Adam. I snorted. “Did you give up on Adam finally? Mark told me about the new girl in his life. Must suck. You got booted. Again.”
The puzzled look on her face turned to a glare, and she threw the covers back. Wearing only a thin top, half was moved to the side so one breast was exposed. It didn’t take a genius to figure out Mark had been getting a handful before my interruption. She snapped back now, “Did you and Mason break up? Are you moving onto your next stepbrother? I’m sorry. Logan must’ve turned you down. That must suck, too.”
A growl came from the back of my throat. I looked like shit. I felt like shit. I wasn’t ready to deal with her shit. Turning to Mark, I gestured out the doors. “We need to talk.”
He nodded, casting a wary glance over his shoulder.
“Are you kidding me?” she seethed at him.
As she sat there with the blankets drowning her thin frame, Cassandra straightened her shirt with one jerk and glowered at me. “Why’d you have to come back? Things were perfect with you gone.”
“Cass. Stop it.”
“What?” She rolled her eyes. “They were.”
She wasn’t my problem, but I bared my teeth. “You really want to start a battle with me knowing that I’m probably going to be Mark’s new stepsister?”
She cursed at me.
“Right back at you, Cass,” I threw over my shoulder as I headed out to the media room.
She yelled back, “Miranda still hates you and Logan. Just wait. Karma’s a bitch, Sam. Looks like you got one dose, but you got more comi—” Mark slammed the door shut on her. She paused and then yelled through the wall, “And screw you, too, Mark.”
I closed my eyes. The slam was right there. It was on the tip of my tongue.
Mark opened the door and smirked at her. “You already did. Three times. Now get out.” The door was shut once again, and he glanced down the hall. “We need to hide. She’s going to be a bitch when she comes out of there.”
As soon as we got into the room Logan used and shut the door, his opened. We could hear her cursing under her breath as she walked past us towards the stairs. The upstairs door slammed again before either of us said a word.
“You slept with Cass?”
He grimaced, raking a hand through his dark hair. It stuck up when his hand fell back down. “I was drunk.” He shrugged. “And she’s hot.”
“Are you going to sleep with her again?”
“If I get the chance.” He flashed me a rakish grin. “I’m a guy and she’s good in bed.”
“I thought you were dating Amelia?”
He snorted. “Hell no. She’s crazy and my mom hates her. She’s dating a college guy anyways.”
“A lot’s changed over there.”
“Yeah.” He shivered and touched his bare chest. “You mind if I grab a shirt? Not that I don’t mind showing off the goods, but it’s cold down here and you’re taken taken.”
“Yeah, that’s fine.”
He flashed a grin and hurried off. This time I followed and waited in the media room. Dropping onto one of the couches, I sat where I’d been with Mason a week ago. He held me while we watched movies that night. I’d been in so much pain, but he helped. He pushed the pain away. Being with him always pushed the pain away.