“Is it going to be enough?”
He lifted his hands in a helpless gesture. “I hope. Once Budd sees something for his own eyes, he doesn’t go against it. He won’t trust what other people tell him. Besides, something tells me that there are people close to him who won’t let him know about you.”
I felt the extra kick behind his words. He knew. “Brett.”
“Yeah,” he bit out.
Hopelessness hit me hard then. There was so much distance between us now. Brett had been … what lie? I couldn’t remember now. “I meant to tell you about him.”
“It would’ve been nice to know my girlfriend was on a first-name basis with one of them, or when you first ran into them?”
I flinched from the accusation in his tone. “You lied to me, too.”
“Don’t play that game with me.”
“When? I told you what I was doing with Kate—”
“With Logan,” I cried out. My heart started pounding again. It was racing. “You lied to me about Tate, and why you stopped giving a crap if they hooked up or not. Why, Mason?! Why?”
“Because he wants to screw with her,” he threw back. His green eyes were heated, but he was holding back.
That wasn’t why. I jerked my head in a nod, but began looking for that bottle again. “You just lied to me. Again.”
“What are you talking about?”
It wasn’t in the chair. I rounded to the couch and felt under the cushions.
“What are you looking for?”
“You don’t drink that much.”
A harsh laugh ripped from me. “I do tonight. I’m going to keep drinking a whole shitload tonight.” My insides were churning, and the hysteria was starting to rise again.
I stopped. His voice broke and I heard his defeat in my name. I turned from the couch, my heart paused and my breath held. He had fallen against the wall and was leaning against it now. His green eyes were stricken as he hunched forward.
Whatever tension that was between us was gone.
I didn’t speak. I didn’t dare. I felt something coming. It was the old Mason, before the lies got between us. I felt him coming back, and I wanted it so badly. I wanted him so badly. Please …
He slid down the wall to the floor and sat there. His eyes never left me. They were usually so intense and powerful. They could pierce through all my walls. He had since the beginning, but it was me this time. I pierced through his and he surrendered to me. I took a step towards him. My heart began beating rapidly. I missed him so damn much. “You touched another girl.”
“It was the only way, Sam. I know it hurt you, and I’m sorry for that. It was the only way. She hurt you. I can’t let that go. No one hurts you and Budd wanted to. I’ve stopped that too now.”
What could I say to that? I had no idea, but I took another step. I saw it then. He was sorry. As I closed the distance and stood above him, his head tipped back. There was agony inside of him, but determination too. He would do it again. That knowledge slammed against me, and I stumbled back a step.
“Sam.” He reached for me and caught the back of my leg. His hand cupped me there, and he pulled me back to him. “Please.”
“You lied to me.”
“Because I see that it’s already getting to you. He’s going to hurt her. I didn’t want you to know. I didn’t want that on your conscience.”
“But it is now.”
“Yeah. It is now.”
I drew in a sudden breath. He was right. He was right about everything. He touched her, but it was for me. He lied to me. I lied to him. I was so tired of it all, and I just wanted him again. Mason had been my shelter for so long. The world hurt when I wasn’t with him. Folding my knees, I bent, and he caught me. He pulled me onto his lap like I had never left. I was home again. Cradling my head in his hand, he took a deep breath. I felt his relief because it was mine, too. Our old connection was coming back, but I couldn’t forget what Brett had warned.
“Go back home … The regret won’t eat at you then”
Mason’s arm slid around me, and I was moved so my back rested against his chest. “What’s Budd going to do to her?” I asked.
She had kissed Mason. She ran her hands over him and pushed her br**sts against him. Anger clawed at me. She wanted to take what was mine.
“I don’t know.” His arms tightened around me. His tone was soothing once again. “But it’s not you. That’s all I care about. Better her than you.”
He knew my lies, but he still held that one truth from me. It took root inside of me, and it was going to grow until it would take over us. I was too weak to fight for it now. He evaded, but he was here. He was mine. That would be enough … for now.
“Hey.” Logan came back from the back porch, the bottle in one hand, his phone in the other, wearing a dark frown. “Not to interrupt, but I just checked my phone.”
Mason stiffened underneath me. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” That didn’t sound good. “We have a problem.”
Of course we did.
“Just say it, Logan. Stop beating around the bush.”
“Tate called me. Actually,” he lifted the phone as if we could see her calls, “she called me ten times and texted another seven times.”
Mason stiffened underneath me. He leaned his head back against the wall. “What about?”