I jerked back to reality. Mark was standing there, one of his athletic shirts on and his jeans zipped up. He sat on the opposite couch and bent over to pull on his socks. “You okay?”
He stopped and glanced up.
I wasn’t going to lie about it. “I need your help.”
“I can’t drive and that’s where you come in. I need a driver for the day.”
“Okay.” His shoulders loosened up, and he finished putting his socks on. As he reached for his shoes, he asked, “Where are we going?”
“To find Mason and Logan.”
That made him stop and he sat back up. A blank mask came over him. “Huh?”
“They’re not answering my calls and I’m not going to sit around and wait. So you’re going to help me find them.”
“Sam,” he started as we both stood up.
“Don’t. I don’t want to hear it. You offered to help me before. I’m cashing in on it now. Let’s go.”
I led the way. David and Malinda were at the table, but I veered to the door instead. Mark stopped to talk to them, so I waited at the front entrance. A quiet conversation carried between the two. David didn’t join in. I was listening for him, but when he remained silent I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. Then Mark came around the corner and tossed his keys in the air. He caught them in a swift hand motion and flashed me a smile. “Where’s the first stop?”
Too late. I was already outside. The door swung closed on him, and I heard, “Ouch,” before he followed me out. “We’re going to the jail?”
Going to his car, I got inside before answering him. I was on a mission, and I wasn’t slowing down for it. My ribs were better after a week of rest, but they weren’t a hundred percent better. They were going to be angry with me, and I’d feel their wrath tomorrow, but that was tomorrow. Everything could wait until tomorrow. For today, nothing mattered except finding Mason and Logan. I would not let myself entertain the option that they left me. I couldn’t.
Gritting my teeth, Mark had barely slid behind the wheel before I asked, “Can we get going? Please.”
He clipped his seat belt on and started his car. “Jail, huh?”
“I need to make sure they weren’t arrested last night.”
“Jail it is.” He wheeled around and took off down the street. As we passed the Kade mansion, I wanted to see if their cars were there, but they weren’t. I wasn’t surprised. My mom’s wasn’t either and that did surprise me. She always had her car parked out front. She liked showing off the new car James bought her for an engagement present. What further surprised me? James’ car was gone as well.
“You know Mason and Logan went to a District party last night?”
Distracted from those thoughts, I turned back to my mission. “District party?”
He nodded, taking a left out of the neighborhood. “Yeah, you know those parties.”
“I don’t.” This was Mark. He was easygoing Mark, laidback Mark. Right now he was being too much of that, and I needed him to catch on. The urge to snap at him was too much. “Enlighten me.”
“Oh, sure.” He chuckled to himself. “It’s the three town school. You know.”
“I don’t.” My voice rose on the last word. Anger and more anger was roiling together inside of me. “Please. Explain further.”
Another chuckle came from him as he moved onto the main freeway. “I think last night’s party was at Frisco. Only the public schools can go: Frisco, Roussou, and Fallen Crest. No private schools are allowed. If they catch you there, they trash your car—slash your tires, put scratches in your car, throw eggs on the window. It’s not worth it to us so no one’s gone for a long time.”
My stomach dropped. “Roussou?” The arrested theory was gaining merit.
“Yep, but Frisco’s a good town. We play them in football and basketball. They aren’t at FCP’s standards, which is why we play them, but they’re decent.”
“Did you hear if anything happened at the party?”
He laughed some more. “Like what? Everything happens at those parties. They find some place in the woods, and the cops are told not to go out there. Anything could’ve happened. No one talks about it afterwards. If you’re caught running your mouth, you get the crap beat out of you. So no one talks.”
People talked. The right questions needed to be asked, but people talked. When we got to the police station, I found out that they weren’t there. So we went to the hotel next. That was when I found out that they weren’t there either. My key card didn’t work, and they wouldn’t give me a new one. Mason and Logan had checked out last Sunday.
That was news to me, and it was not welcomed news.
As we went back to his car, Mark asked, “You didn’t know they left?”
“They joked the first day about their mom moving closer to your house, but they haven’t said a word. I assumed it hadn’t happened and I haven’t thought about it since.”
“Their stuff must be somewhere. Both of them didn’t keep that much at my house.”
He was stating the obvious. Thank you, Sherlock Holmes.
Taking a deep breath, I pushed the inner rage away and sighed. “So let’s try out that theory.”