Home > Fallen Crest Home (Fallen Crest High #6)(5)

Fallen Crest Home (Fallen Crest High #6)(5)
Author: Tijan

“I’ll see if I can find some friends, but be ready when I come. We’re not sticking around long.”

“I know. I’ll be ready.” I dropped my voice, “Be safe, okay?”

“Same to you.”

“Love you.”

“Love you.”

We always said our goodbyes that way. Disconnecting the call, I put my phone in my back pocket and headed to where Heather and Brandon were waiting a few cars down, on the outskirts of a large crowd.

Heather read my face and lifted an eyebrow. “He was pissed?”

I nodded. “I didn’t think.”

She grunted. “I didn’t tell you. Blame me. I didn’t think either.” Her eyes narrowed on me. “Do you want to go back?”

I shook my head, sliding my hands into my pockets. “He’s coming here.”

I didn’t tell her we were leaving right away.

A part of me was glad I came. I was hoping to change his mind. This was something I did on my own, and in a very weird way, I was enjoying being here only as Samantha Strattan and not as Mason’s girlfriend or Logan’s sort-of-sister. I hadn’t done something on my own in a long while.

It felt nice.

Once we’d gotten here, an excited buzz had begun low in my gut. It had gotten steadily stronger since. I was here with friends, and what I’d said was true. Nothing would happen. I was sure of it. Channing and his friends didn’t mess around.

Heather threw her arm around my shoulder. “Got to admit that I’m being selfish right now because it’s nice to have you here.”

I put a reciprocating arm around her shoulder and laughed at how ridiculous we must have looked. Then two shirtless guys wearing white shorts with green dots on them walked past us, each carrying a stuffed flamingo. They had blue paint on their faces.

Maybe we didn’t look that ridiculous.

 

 

MASON

 

Sam was going to give me a damned migraine by the end of the day.

I cursed and texted Channing. Sam’s there. Can you have someone watch over her? I’m sorry to ask, but I’m worried some fuckheads will do something to her to hurt me.

He responded right away: Already on it. Heather gave me the heads-up she was coming. Sorry, man. If she’s still here after my fight, we’ll get everyone out asap.

 

Hoping to be there long before then, I replied.

 

You watch out too then. Jared Caldron was Budd’s #2, and with Brett gone, he’s stepped up. We’ve gone head to head more than I want to admit. He’s a fucking snake.

 

I remembered Caldron. Thanks. I’ll be ready for him.

 

“Mason.”

I put my phone away as I saw James crossing the lounge with another man. This fucking guy…he looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him. He was dressed like my dad: custom-tailored suit and brightly colored tie.

I shook my head. Why the ties? All the businessmen I’d met today had solid looking ties, but the colors bugged me. Pink. Hot pink. Soft pink. Purple. Green. Blue. It was like all of them thought they were making a fashion statement. Or were they just rich? No… As James approached with this guy next to him, it struck me—it was their arrogance. They were broadcasting their special place in life: at the top with a secretary sucking their dicks and a miserable, alcoholic wife at home, where she’d never leave.

That was how it used to be for my dad. Not anymore, but I saw it again now.

I hated that arrogant, elitist attitude. I’d just forgotten how much after being away at Cain for three years.

“Mason,” my dad said again. He clapped the guy on the back. “This is Stephen Quinn. I don’t know if you remember, but you know his son.”

It all clicked then.

Adam Quinn. The dick who’d tried to take Sam from me when we first began dating.

I scowled. “I know his name. You don’t have to say it.”

“Mason.”

That was my dad’s way of reprimanding me. Be good, Mason, or you’ll be kicked off this internship. I tried to mask the scowl; I really did. Maybe it was knowing that Sam was where I should be, or worrying something was wrong with her and I couldn’t find out right now, or maybe it was just the reminder that I truly hated this guy’s sniveling son, but whatever it was—I knew the scowl wasn’t leaving.

My dad would have to deal with it.

His eyes skirting from my dad to me, the guy cleared his throat. He held out his hand. “Uh, no offense taken. James. If I’m remembering correctly, my son had a thing for your son’s girlfriend.” He leaned toward me, offering his hand. “That was then. Adam has a wonderful girlfriend now.”

Like that was supposed to appease me.

I shook his hand anyway, flicking my eyes to my dad. See? I can play nice. Sometimes.

James’ mouth was a flat line of disapproval, but he said, “Yes, well, I’m glad I introduced the two of you. Stephen, I’m assigning my son to the hotel project.” He looked at me like he was trying to convey a message.

I frowned.

“And your son is working with you as well, isn’t he?” he continued, gauging my reaction.

Fuck that.

Stephen laughed. “Oh, yes. Adam’s been with the company since high school, and I’ve been giving him more and more responsibility. He’ll be in charge of handling promotions for the hotel.”

“You’re opening a hotel in Fallen Crest?”

My dad turned to me, purposely keeping his features neutral, but I saw the warning lurking under the surface. He was putting me on this, and he didn’t want me to mess it up. I had a few choice words for him, but I held them back. They could wait till we were behind closed doors.

“Yes, out on the golf course, and it’ll be connected to the country club,” James explained. “There’ll be a lot of cross-promotion going on. I was hoping to have that be your sole project this summer.”

The subtext was: You’re working with Adam Quinn. Deal with it.

I narrowed my eyes, but there was nothing I could say. He’d talked about a big project he wanted me to help with, but he never said anything about working with other people in the community.

My dad and Stephen turned to go, but not before my dad said, “My office in ten minutes, Mason? We can go over the details there.”

I went to wait for him. I needed to tell him I’d have to cut work early, but once we were inside with the door shut, he sat at his desk and started with, “Are we going to have a problem here?”

“I hate that guy’s kid.”

“I gathered that.” Acid dripped from his voice. He folded his hands on his desk. “What I asked is if we’re going to have a problem.”

I held his gaze; I sensed other shit going on. “Why are you putting me on this project? What are my responsibilities going to be?” There was a reason. There had to be. I wasn’t known for getting along with people, especially when they went after those I loved. It didn’t matter how long ago it happened. Adam showed his colors then. I doubted they’d changed.

James sighed and leaned back in his leather chair. “Adam Quinn is dating Becky Sullivan. I believe she was friends with Samantha as well.”

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