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Fallen Crest High, Page 2


Page 2


  Mason and Logan's friends heard me and stopped. They grabbed Logan first, but all of them dragged Mason away from the guy he was punching. Fury lit up his face, but when Logan said something in his ear, he turned and leapt for his Escalade. As he climbed inside, his eyes met mine for a second.

  I shrugged and shoved Jessica behind Lydia inside mine. Then I hurried into my car and we were out of there in a flash.

  Everything happened so fast.

  Lydia and Jessica were bowled over in the back. "I can't believe that happened!"

  "What did happen?"

  "Logan Kade is so hot. "

  Jessica snorted. "Logan is? Didn't you see Mason? I'd do him in a heartbeat. "

  Lydia moaned. "Let me go to bed with my dreams right now. Why can't they go to our school?"

  Jessica grinned again. "I heard it's because public school is tougher. They didn't want a pansy school. "

  Lydia fanned herself. "Whatever. I don't care. I'm transferring. "

  Then Jessica grew serious. "You think that'll be on the news?"

  Lydia lifted her shoulders. "All I know is how are we supposed to go home now? Sam, please, please, please can we go to another party? I bet I know where they're going. "

  I dropped them off at the party and left for home.


  My weekend was spent packing and moving. The Kade house wasn't a house at all. It was a mansion, one that had pillars on their front patio. A fountain was in the foyer with a spiral staircase behind. Then there was the kitchen. It looked like it could've been built for a restaurant, with a chef that went with it. His name was Mousteff and he had a twitchy mustache and meaty hands. My mom introduced us, but it was with a hand waving in the air as if she was the first lady giving a tour. When we moved beyond the kitchen I glanced back. Moustefff was sharpening a meat cleaver. He winked before I turned the corner.

  As for the actual moving, James Kade paid for a moving company, but he and his sons still helped with some things. Mason and Logan moved past me, grabbed boxes, and took them inside. I didn't look at them. They didn't look at me. And not once did anybody say a thing. The only two who talked were my mother and James. He was a tall slender man with graying white hair. There was a kindness in his blue eyes, but he never met my gaze, not even when he walked behind my mother with a hand at the small of her back.

  "Analise," he murmured in her ear. "I have friends who've invited us out for drinks tonight. "

  She gave him a bright smile and whirled around, her hands raised in a clap. "Oh, that'd be wonderful. I'm excited to meet some of your friends. "

  "Mitchell and Malaya Smith. He owns Smith Telephones, the local company. "

  As they turned a corner, I heard my mother ask in a breathless voice, "Do you think Malaya would be interested in meeting for tea one afternoon? I'd love to meet some of the other ladies. "

  I snorted to myself, like my mother would be welcomed among that club. Then my phone vibrated in my pocket. Lydia wanted to go to a party that night. Jessica sent me another text not long after. Then Jeff sent me one an hour later with an apology for his behavior.

  I ignored them all and slid down the wall in my room. It was covered with boxes, a bed that five people could've slept in, and two couches on the far side. I had my own apartment. Maybe I wouldn't have to see anybody any longer.

  Here's hoping.

  I ventured out once during that night. My stomach had started to cramp so I figured I needed something to calm it down. As I tried to find my way to the kitchen a large television boomed from inside some room. The local news was on and I heard the news anchor report on a local car bombing incident.

  "Two cars were on fire outside a gas station in the town of Fallen Crest. Each of them was owned by two teenage boys who attend Roussou High School. This incident is believed to be one of many in a long list of vandalisms between two schools, Fallen Crest Public School and Roussou High School. Their football teams are arch enemies. An upcoming game is scheduled between the two and officials fear this is only the beginning of what seems to be an ongoing rivalry between the two schools. Sidney?"

  Logan stood up from a couch and turned off the television. As he turned, he saw me in the hallway. I skirted ahead, but not before I noticed another head on the couch beside him. When I found the hallway for the kitchen, I glanced back. Mason and Logan both walked the opposite way, dressed in low riding jeans and tee shirts.

  That was my only human interaction for the rest of the night; even Mousteff was gone. When Sunday dawned bright and early, I rolled over and checked my phone. Lydia and Jessica had called throughout the night. Jeff tried a few times, but he stopped texting at five that morning. My phone rang again and I saw it was nine in the morning. I figured Jessica and Lydia never went home if they were still trying so I turned it off, then yawned as I sat up.

  I headed home that afternoon to make sure we'd gotten everything we'd need, or my mom would need. I knew she'd send me back and forth for any little item and it would've been the end of the world until she'd gotten it. Not that I would've minded, but her timing was never at decent hours.

  When I had checked the upstairs and entered the kitchen, I heard the front door open.


  He paused in the doorway. He wore his coach's jacket for the football team, red and black. "Hey, honey…"

  I gestured around. "I'm just making sure we didn't forget anything. "

  He grimaced. "You mean if Analise forgot anything. "


  He winced again and I bit my lip.

  "Uh, dad…You weren't around this weekend. "

  "Yeah. " He ran a hand over his face. "Your mother thought that would be for the best, if I cleared out. She didn't want any awkward run-ins. "

  "Oh. "

  His smile was painful. "Do you like your new home?"

  "My new home?" I frowned. "This is still my home. "

  He looked away.

  "Isn't it?"

  His jaw clenched. "Your mother feels it's best if you stay with her, permanently. "

  "But…what? You're still my dad. "

  "I'll get to see you at school, honey. "


  "I should get going. We're starting our Sunday practices. FC Public is going to be tough this Friday. We play them, you know, your new…"

  I narrowed my eyes and spat out, "My new what? Roommates? My mom's boyfriend's sons? They aren't anything to me. "

  "Yes, well, it never hurt to make friends, Samantha. "

  I flinched at the sound of my full name. It was only used when I had disappointed him, once in seventeen years.

  "I'll see you at school, honey. " He moved past, and then hesitated for a moment. His hand patted my shoulder before he left. When the door shut, I released a ragged breath and sagged in a chair.

  My life was screwed.

  When I returned to the mausoleum, my mom was in the back patio area. I had to pass by to get to the stairs that were right next to my room. She saw me and called out, "Hi, honey. What'd you do today?"

  James sat with her, but when I stepped outside he stood. "You can have my seat, Samantha. "

  I knew my mouth twisted into a scowl, but he waved a hand to the chair and gave me a polite smile before he disappeared inside.

  Analise beamed at me. "Sit, sit. Let's chat. "

  I sat and glared.

  She pushed a cup to me. "James didn't touch his coffee. You can have it. I know you like those coffee drinks. "

  It went ignored. "I went home today. "

  "Honey, this is your new home. " She frowned and glanced towards the ocean. A divider wall sectioned off their backyard, but a small trail led from behind a door in the divider to the beach. "Isn't it beautiful here?"

  "I saw dad. "

  She picked up her cup. "I just love tea. "

  "Since when?"

  "Oh, Samantha. You
're too funny sometimes. I've always liked tea. "

  "You've been a caffeine addict since I was little. "

  "Yes, well, I'm trying to wean myself from that. Tea is much better for you. "

  "And is James better for you too?"

  She turned and set the cup down.

  "Is he, mom?"

  "So you saw your father?" Her voice hardened. "He wasn't supposed to be there. "

  "At his own house?"

  "I asked him to stay away. I knew you'd go back today to make sure we had remembered everything. "

  "You didn't want me to see him?"

  "It's for the best, Samantha. "

  "For who? You? He's my father. "

  She patted my arm once and leaned back, tea back in hand. "You'll see him at school. Your tuition is still going to be paid. "

  "Why wouldn't it?"

  "We're getting a divorce, honey. You do know that certain things in life change during these times. "

  "Yeah," I bit out. "Like families. "

  The corner of her mouth curved down and she set the tea down. Her hands were gentle as she placed it back on the cup holder. "I am your family, Samantha. It'll always be you and me, but now I have James. You should get to know Mason and Logan. They're very nice boys. "

  "And you've gotten to know them?"

  "I have. " She watched me. "A few times. "

  "When?" My stomach churned inside. My hands clasped onto the back of my seat.

  "Over the last year, I've had dinner with them. "

  "Over the last year?"

  "I did tell you that I left your father. We've been struggling for a long time, Sam. I know you noticed, though you never say anything. You should talk more, honey. It's healthier for you. "

  "You cheated on dad for a year?"

  She sighed. "I didn't cheat—"

  "You said a year. You've been cheating on dad for a year?" I leaned forward in the chair. "Did dad know?"

  She rolled her eyes. "Like your father was a saint. It takes two to keep a marriage. David hasn't been around for years. You might want to ask him why he's been so absent too. Or didn't you notice?"

  "He coaches a football team. He's gone a lot. "

  "Football season doesn't last a year, honey. You might want to wake up if you're going to start casting blame. " Her voice was like whiplash.

  I shoved back the chair. "It takes long hours, sometimes two practices a night. They're already starting their Sunday practices. They have training that lasts all year, mom. It's a private school. Their football program is a big deal there. I know all the hours it takes. Jeff's been on the team for three years. "

  She sighed again. "You and that Jeffrey boy, he isn't good for you either, Sam. His father's a mechanic and his mother works as a cashier at the grocery store. There isn't a future with him. "

  I reared back. "I'm not marrying him. "

  "I know you, Samantha. You've been dating him since before you were freshmen. And even I noticed that he cheats on you. "

  A cruel smile came to me. "You're right, mom. You would notice. Cheaters can always tell when they've met another cheater. Congrats on being in that special club. "

  I sailed inside, but stopped short. Mason and Logan both sat at a table. They watched me. I watched them and then I darted upstairs. It didn't take me long to change clothes and grab my iPod. When I went back downstairs, they were gone. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered.

  I hit the driveway running and kept going. Running had always been an escape for me and it still was. I didn't return until it'd grown dark and my body could barely stay upright. When I walked back inside, the whole place was silent. Eerie. My footsteps echoed in the hallways.