Sam headed inside with her friend. Watching them, I wasn’t sure what to think of Heather Jax. It made more sense after meeting Monroe from Roussou. The girl wasn’t a part of this school’s hierarchy. That was fine, I just wasn’t sure if that would help or hurt Sam. I’d have to wait and see.
“Heads up,” one of the guys warned. “Hoe walking.”
“Screw you, Ethan,” Kate snapped. “You’re showing off to get in Mason’s good graces, but we both know the shoe was on the other foot last night.”
I didn’t want to turn around. I didn’t want to deal with Kate yet. She and her three friends had been the main companions for the guys, but that stopped when I found out about her agenda to destroy Sam. She went after my girlfriend so I went after her. Well, I tried. Sam was adamant about handling this battle on her own so I did what I could. The girls were no longer friends with our group. They were exiled, but I heard the anger from her and I knew she wasn’t going to lay down and take it.
I knew about Parker and Nate, but it sounded like there was more. I wondered what else Kate was up to?
Logan laughed. “So desperate, Kate. The look doesn’t fit you.”
“Keep laughing, Logan. You’re going on the list.”
He grinned now.
I laughed to myself. She stepped wrong, and judging by the quiet intake of breath, Kate knew it as well. The easygoing air surrounding the group was gone. Knowing that look, I turned now and saw my little brother getting ready to go in for the kill. There was a certain look that came over him. His head would straighten. His eyes would narrow and roam up and down the target. No one knew what was he doing, but I did. Logan was searching for weaknesses. If he couldn’t see one, he’d sense for one. It was something we learned over the years after we’d been screwed over by adults too many times. We went with our gut.
I waited for his next move like the rest.
“What list are you talking about, Kate?” Logan’s voice grew soft. He was going in for the kill.
Kate seemed frozen, and the rest of her crew had varying reactions. Parker grimaced, her eyes darting to Nate’s before looking away. Natalie took a deep breath and Jasmine moved back a step. All of them recognized the tone, they just weren’t used to being on the receiving end.
“Come on, Logan,” Kate tried to laugh it off. “I was kidding.”
A smirk came over me, but then it vanished. As I watched the scene unfold, I saw Logan decide to give her a pass.
No. That wasn’t going to happen. “No, you weren’t.”
All heads jerked in my direction. My gaze caught my brother’s in a silent mocking, and a spark flared in Logan’s. The message was received: Kate couldn’t be let off the hook, no matter what. I wasn’t surprised when I heard him add, “What list are you talking about? Come on, Kate. I’d like to know how I rate getting on some list?”
She let out a shaky laugh, glancing between us now. “Seriously, come on, guys. Mason. Logan. I was joking.”
“No, you weren’t.”
She turned to me and her eyes widened. A glimmer of fear showed. “I came over to see if you needed help.”
My eyes narrowed to slits now. “With what?”
“You think we need help with her?”
She peeked at Logan before turning back to me.
Too late. I caught the slight smugness. It mingled with her fear, but I caught it. “What was that?”
“What?” An innocent mask slipped over her.
I shook my head, pointing to her face. “That. That look you gave Logan.”
Logan’s head straightened. His interest was piqued.
“What are you talking about, Mason?” She was growing cockier now. “I’m trying to be a friend. We used to have your backs. Remember?”
One of the guys muttered, “Oh shit.”
Even Nate laughed at that. “Since when? What are you talking about, Kate?”
She turned to the rest of the guys. All of them were looking at her in disbelief. Except Logan, he was grinning widely, leaning back against his Escalade. He shook his head now. “You’re digging yourself a hole. Stop talking. It might help.”
Jasmine hissed behind her, “Don’t you talk to her like that—”
“Like what?” Ethan shot back at her.
That stopped her. All the wind she had ready to let loose fell flat. Her eyes darted to his, and she couldn’t look away.
Ethan leaned back against the car beside Logan, and shoved his hands into his front pockets. His shoulders hunched forward, but his gaze never left hers. They were dead-locked as he added, “You’re going to tell us what to do? You’re going to tell me what to do, Jaz?”
“Stop.” Her throat moved as she visibly swallowed. “Ethan—”
“No, Jaz. You picked your side. We’re not friends with you guys anymore.”
Her shoulders flinched as if he’d punched her.
He nodded in my direction. “And you know why.”
She didn’t turn and look. She only took another deep breath before her head went down, and she shuffled backwards. Natalie touched her arm softly, and then sidled beside Kate. She whispered something to the other girl, quiet enough so no one else could hear, and Kate’s only response was a heavy nod.
All the fight had left her.
I waited, watching the entire thing fold out. I didn’t take pleasure in this, but I wasn’t going to let Kate get a pass, not when I knew she was just starting. The chances were high that she already had a plan in place, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if her next move was to go inside and say something to Sam. She’d pick a public arena, let everyone know that they shouldn’t become friends with Sam, or they’d have to suffer the consequences of dealing with her.