I said softly, “That’s what this is about, isn’t it? Your dad.”
Logan’s eyes darkened to a dangerous level. He wanted me to shut up, but he couldn’t say those words to me. I read him when almost no one could read Logan Kade.
I shook my head. “Logan, your dad—”
He bit out, “Is a fucking asshole, but he’s not here, is he? And, yes, Sam, your mom took him away. He’s been at her side for a year now. He’s not here, not for his son’s last year, but I shouldn’t be surprised. He’s never been around. Always gone. Always screwing some woman. Of course, he’d fall in love and actually be the good guy to a psychotic evil woman like Analise Strattan.”
“Logan—” Mason started.
“Don’t even start, Mason. You were so pissed at him and for longer than I was. You’re the one who wanted to beat his ass all the time, not me. Give me this one time when I’m just fed up and spewing some anger out. I mean, why shouldn’t I?” He gestured to Mark, who was plastered against the wall now. “We’re celebrating his mom’s marriage to Sam’s dad. His mom, who is awesome and loving and a better mother in one day than Analise will be in her entire lifetime. I mean, this is great news for Sam. She’s getting a family who will love and support her. Finally, right? Finally. While you and I—we’re stuck with our fucking father.” Logan leveled his brother with a hard look. “You and I, Mase—we’re on the outs. That hug just proved it. Mama Malinda is great, but Sam’s real family is them now, not us.”
That wasn’t true. I started to shake my head, but I was reeling inside. I couldn’t believe he was actually thinking this. “No, Logan.”
He snorted and poured more shots. This time, Mason took one, and he handed one to Mark.
When Mark hesitated, Logan gave him a half grin. “Sorry. None of this was meant as a personal attack. I’m just,” he raked Mark up and down, and his half grin fell slightly, “jealous, I guess. Not an emotion I’m used to feeling.”
Logan nudged the last poured shot my way. “Forget my ramblings. I’ll get over it. What do you say, Sam? It’s your time to celebrate. You got the family you wanted. Finally.”
I glanced at Mason and saw he was torn as well. Logan was jealous, like he’d said. They came from money, but that was the only benefit from their family. It was a broken home. Their dad abandoned them on more than one occasion. It was enough that Mason wasn’t saying a word right now, and I knew it was because he understood his brother’s pain. That hurt so much more, that both of them shared in their abandonment. And they felt I was abandoning them, too, even though they rationally knew I wasn’t.
I squared my shoulders back and grew firm inside. I took the shot and held it up, but I said to Logan, “You.” I looked at Mason. “You.” I skirted between both of them. “You two are my family. My mom left me. My dad left me. You two stuck around and held me up. You are the definition of family to me. No one else can even come close, and this stuff you’re talking about, how I finally have a loving family, is bullshit. You two were it for me for years. You two are it for me, no matter what. Drop the pity act, Logan, and enjoy the fact that Mama Malinda will start buying you Christmas gifts now because that’s the only thing changing. You both are in the family with me. They aren’t accepting only me. They’re accepting you two, too.” I leaned closer, making sure they were watching my eyes and could see the promise I held in there. “Deal with it. No one’s fucking replacing the two of you.”