Logan’s hand jerked away, like it’d been burned. He lifted me off his lap to the couch and stood up. “It’s not what you think.”
Mason was there. The timing struck me, and I started laughing. He was there now, and that was all he had to say. Neither of them said another word. Both were silent and I couldn’t stop laughing. No. I was crying now. The booze wasn’t helping. I was still feeling everything, even the pain from my ribs were hurting me again. I tried to stop laughing, but I couldn’t. The couch had imprisoned me. I curled to my side and stopped laughing enough so I could draw in a deep breath.
Shit. My ribs were really hurting.
“Is she drunk?” Mason asked now.
That struck me as even more hilarious. High-pitched laughter peeled from me. Then I begin giggling in between, alternating between the two with a sniffle every now and then. Nope. I sobbed now. More laughter, giggle, sobbing. I couldn’t stop.
Logan’s voice lowered. He was cautious. “She saw you and Kate.”
“I know,” Mason whipped at him.
The rage was there. He was barely holding it back. I recognized it, but I couldn’t say anything. I was able to stop the laughs so only giggles came from me, but then I realized I didn’t want to stop. It would hurt again once I did. He’d been touching her.
I held a hand out to stop him and buried my head into the couch. It muffled some of my hysteria.
“What the hell did you do to her?” he growled.
Logan snapped back, “What do you think? She saw you with Kate.”
“I told her—”
“She saw you, Mason! You’re ready to beat me up because I was comforting her. You were making out with another girl. Put two and two together.”
“You’re not. She’s hurting, like a lot, and not just from seeing you and Kate. She’s drunk as hell, but her ribs have gotta be killing her.”
My laughter had subsided to soft chuckles now, but I still couldn’t stop them. So much damn pain was slicing through me. I couldn’t move so I stayed there, curled into the couch, my head pressed against the cushion. It hid the tears that I couldn’t stop either.
I was a mess.
But they were there. Both of them. This was what I wanted. I needed to know they would come back. Someone sat beside me and the couch shifted underneath me. Another burst of fresh pain went through me. This time it was like a knife had been stuck deep into me. It was pulled back out and back in, over and over.
“I’m sorry, Sam.” Mason touched my arm now. It was so gentle, so tender. It brought a new wave of tears. He tugged on me.
“Be gentle with her.”
“Can you leave us alone?”
He wanted to talk to me, but I couldn’t talk to him now. What had I done? No. What had I been about to do? Another image of Kate straddling him flared again and I stopped crying.
“Sam,” he murmured again as a door shut somewhere in the house. His arms slid underneath me on the couch, and I was lifted in the air a moment later.
I froze. He was going to jar everything again, but he didn’t. He moved me in the exact position I was in. No new pain went through me. Then I was lifted to his lap instead. It felt wrong. All of this was wrong. Gritting my teeth, I pushed past the pain and stood from him.
“Sam.” He stood with me.
“NO.” Everything was muddled in my head, but he touched another girl. That wasn’t okay with me. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
“Sam.” He reached for me again.
Slapping his hand down, I seethed, “You shouldn’t have. You f**ked her.”
“You did.” He must have. That was how she was kissing him, as if they had …
“I didn’t. I swear.” The disgust was clear in his voice. “I only touched her when Roussou people were around. I had to, Sam. I had to do it. It saved you, and it hurt her. It will. I didn’t cheat on you.”
“You were kissing her.”
“Because I had to,” he ground out. “I had to. Don’t you see that? He had to know about her. He was looking for you the whole time. It was only a matter of time before your name was slipped. I couldn’t let him hurt you. I couldn’t.”
I stopped to breathe. One moment, that was all I needed. My head was pounding. A stabbing pain kept overwhelming me, over and over again. I held a hand out for him to stop. I needed another moment.
“Sam,” he choked out.
“NO … no.”
“Mason,” it left me in a whimper. He went away for only one night and day. That was all it took for me to become a mess, for my world to crumble. I swung my gaze to the couch. I’d been there before with—I shook my head. Standing there, I was hurting and all I wanted was to be in his arms. I wanted all of it to go away, but it wouldn’t. I shook my head. It wouldn’t. I knew too much. “What’s he going to do to her?”
“I don’t know.”
“Couldn’t you stop him some other way?”
“Not Budd Broudou. He hates me, Sam. He’s going to hurt me the worst way he could, and that’s through you. Do you see what I was doing now? He wanted my girlfriend, so I gave him a girlfriend. I spent an entire week with her touching me, but it wasn’t until last night that I kissed her. I swear. He had to be there, and he needed to see us tonight, too.”