Needing to leave to get my hair done, I was glad Mason and I were the only two in the mansion at that moment. It would be overrun that afternoon, but right now, I was trying to hold back from climbing onto his lap instead of sinking into the chair beside him. His hair was tousled and messy since he hadn’t cut it most of the summer. It would be buzzed tomorrow for football season, so until then, I would enjoy running my fingers through it.
A shadow had formed over his jaw, but he was gorgeous. With striking eyes, angular cheekbones, a strong jawline, and an athletic build, which was sculpted to perfection from years of playing football and his extra training over the past summer, I knew why he was coveted by so many at Cain University.
My fingers ached to smooth some of the worry lines from his eyes as I said, “No one.”
His eyebrows lowered. “That didn’t sound like no one.”
I shrugged and leaned close. “Trust me. No one important.”
“Hmm.” But he grinned and met me for a kiss.
With that gentle brush from his lips to mine, a small tingle went through me. We’d been together for three years now, and we had been through a mountain of troubles, but our time apart during the last year was coming to an end, permanently. After this weekend, all the cars would be packed, and Mason, Logan, and I would be moving to Cain University.
Mason would be starting late with his practices, considering his probation time from Cain U. After his last run-in with Sebastian, Sebastian’s crew got suspended, and so did Mason. He was allowed to take all his finals online, and he didn’t lose his football scholarship, but I knew he was antsy about returning to college.
As our kiss deepened, he sighed, and I could feel the tension in him.
Cupping the side of his face, I pulled back. “Everything will be fine.”
The concern was heavy in his eyes. He lifted a hand to tuck some of my hair behind my ears, resting his fingers on my cheek afterward. “If they hurt you…if they hurt Logan…” The ends of his mouth tightened, and a flash of pain filled his eyes for a moment. “I don’t know what will happen, Sam, if they touch you. I don’t.”
“It’s not going to come to that.”
Park Sebastian was the ringleader for the now officially banned fraternity, and he was the real reason behind Mason’s feud with them. Mason hadn’t wanted to play the fake who-are-you-related-to, how-wealthy-are-you-going-to-be-in-the-future, or you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours games that Sebastian initially tried to recruit him for. The rejection wasn’t taken lightly.
I ran my fingers through his hair and pulled back enough to gaze into his eyes. He was scared. I’d felt it during the summer. Each night, as he’d hold me, he’d grow more and more tense, the closer we got to this weekend.
I had no intention of being one of his weaknesses. “Mason, you don’t have to worry about me. No matter what, we’ll fight it. No one will hurt me. No one will hurt Logan.”
His hand rested on the back of my neck. He was searching my face. He wanted to believe me, but he couldn’t. Mason knew better. We’d been through too much bullshit to believe that everything would be okay, but I couldn’t be his Achilles’ heel.
No, it wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t going to be used to hurt him.
I shifted closer to him. “I mean it, Mason. I’m here. I’m at your side. I’ll do whatever you want.”
“Sam—” he started.
I saw the struggle in him and shook my head. “No. Stop. I mean it. I get to have your back this time. And I will. No one is after me—no scorned lover, no obsessed stalker, not even a hateful bitch like Cass. No one like that will get close to me. Been there, done that. I know how to handle them.”