I knew she would’ve reacted like that. I told her Kate’s plans, and she exploded. Natalie and Jasmine had been at their lockers at the time, and she tried to head over to them. I held her back, but the two caught the commotion and scurried away.
They were smart. I’d been touched by Heather’s loyalty. She wouldn’t have pulled away from me. Because of that, my protective side was coming out. Tate had hurt Heather too much in the past. I wasn’t going to let her do it again.
When Tate flicked her hair over her shoulder and ignored my question, I yanked her chair towards me. She was trapped by me now, and I repeated my question. “What are you doing here?”
She rolled her eyes. “Seriously. You’re mama bear now?”
“Violence doesn’t scare me. You should remember that.”
She started to roll her eyes again, but stopped at my words. Her shoulders dropped in surrender. “Fine. I finished all my classes. I’m out of here tonight, and I have no wish to stick around for graduation. This school has been nothing but a pain in my ass.” She gestured inside, but the movement was halfhearted and it fell in her lap. “I came here for two reasons. Heather and Logan. I can see now that both reasons were stupid. I’m an idiot.”
My eyebrows went up, and I moved back as she stood up. “Does Heather even know that you’re out here?”
“No, and it doesn’t matter. I’m wasting my time. I’m going to go.”
That was odd, but I wasn’t going to stop her. I agreed. She should go. Heather wasn’t going to forgive her. Ever.
She went a few steps, but stopped and swung back. “You know what? Fuck it. I don’t give a shit. He can’t hurt me anymore.”
What the hell?
She gave me a bright smile. The renewed zeal behind it had me holding my breath. That wasn’t a good look, not on Tate. Then she said, “My dad lost his job, and when he said I could move back with my sister, I had no problem with it. I was an idiot before and because of it I lost two great people in my life: Logan and Heather. I thought I could come back, grovel for a while, and both would let me back in.” She gestured to Manny’s. “You can see that’s not happening. Heather will never forgive me, and I know it. I just haven’t wanted to accept it, but not with Logan. I got it through my thick skull a month after I moved back.”
She grew serious and a knot formed in my stomach. This wasn’t going to be good.
“Logan was never going to love me again, but dumb me. I still tried. It was useless, and I know why.”
It loosened a little, but I knew she wasn’t done.
Tate took a breath, shook her head at me and a bitter smile flared for a second. “Mason hated me. I thought it was going to be the same as last time. I thought he was going to humiliate me at every chance he could, but he didn’t. That threw me for a loop. For a while.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
She shrugged. “I have no idea. Maybe to piss him off one last time? Maybe because I’m the only one who’ll actually say it to your face? I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m done with high school. I’m off to college, and Mason Kade can no longer f**k with my life.”
That sounded worse than the first part. The knot doubled, and I was starting to struggle with breathing.
“Has he told you that Marissa’s going to Cain University too? That’s where he’s going, right? He and Nate. They’re roommates.”
He hadn’t. A part of me sank inside.
Then she laughed some more, the same bitter sound from earlier. “I started to suspect a while back, but it’s beyond me why no one else has. I was at Fischer’s party earlier, you know. The one where Mason relished ruining Kate’s life. Guess who I ran into there? Miranda Stewart. I heard that she dated Logan for a little bit, but I never thought about it. Who would? He goes through girls like beer. He chugs one down and throws the can away.”
This wasn’t going where I wanted it to go. I knew where it was going, but I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to hear the words and I began to shake my head. Things were good. Things were better than good. The three of us were united again. Mason and I were together. I needed him …
She kept laughing. “Miranda has no idea what happened. From what I heard, she got all judgment on whoever slept with Logan, then he turned the tides on her and seduced her. She dumped her long-time boyfriend for him, only to get dumped by Logan a month later.” She nodded. “She told me about that night at the party. She told me that she had words with Mason and Logan and that was when he seduced her. It was that night. It was because of Mason, wasn’t it?”
Dread began to form in me. It went deep, all the way down, and I couldn’t answer her. I started to turn away.
Tate kept going, as if she was enjoying this. “You see, Logan rarely does something without a reason. Not a lot of people know that about him, but you and I do. So does Mason. I was curious, so I kept asking her more questions. She explained everything, how she was a hypocrite to her friends.” Tate paused and drew in a ragged breath. She bit out, “She has no idea. That’s the beauty of everything. She has no f**king clue.”
“No, no, no.” I shook my head. I knew what was coming, and I didn’t want to hear it.
“And she didn’t even say anything. It was all in her look. She told me how she was so confused. She thought you were dating Logan, but then Mason stepped up and set her straight. She couldn’t believe it, but that was all that was needed. Mason saw it. Didn’t he?”