Fallen Crest Alternative Version Page 1

Author: Tijan

Series: Fallen Crest High #2.1

Genres: Romance , New Adult


When I let myself into Garrett’s new house, I dropped my two bags in the foyer and walked to the kitchen. It was a large room with granite countertops and a steel-encased grill in the middle of it all. As I glanced around and skimmed where his office was, I knew I didn’t need to look further. He wasn’t there. I saw a note left on the counter and grabbed it.

‘Heya, Sammy. Had to fly to Boston. Be back in deuces. Mi casa es su casa and I mean that. There’s a tub of condoms in your bathroom. Tell your mom. I live to piss her off. C ya in dos dias, peaches! G’

The note fluttered down as I let go of it and turned to survey the house. When my bio dad had decided to move closer and get to know me, no one had known how literally he meant it. He moved two houses down from James Kade’s house. When he gave me a key, extended his wish that I’d stay with him every now and then, Analise had flipped her lid. Plates had been shattered. Mugs were thrown across the room. She kicked a few vases over. When she had picked up a wine glass, she finally hesitated before setting it back down. Seeing that, Mason and Logan both bent over in laughter.

James stood in the back and waited. It seemed like he was always waiting, but when my mom started to quiet down, he scooped her up in his arms and whisked her from the room. I didn’t hear a word from my mother for three days after that, so whatever James told her must’ve worked. A week later, my mom returned to her tea drinking, dress wearing fake ways she’d taken up when we moved into the Kade mansion.

Analise Summers Strattan was back. Or—well—she was going to be Analise Summers Kade at the start of the summer. There’d been a hurry order placed on the divorce hearings, and she was excited when she exclaimed that the divorce would be final around Valentine’s Day, gleeful when she noted the ironic timing.

My hate returned for her at that moment. She didn’t care. She turned back to the television with her wine, and then her phone started lighting up. I heard enough to know that she was planning some benefit or banquet event.

I didn’t care.

It wasn’t long before Garrett extended his first home welcoming. Everyone had gone, David included, but Analise stayed home. James went in her place. I promised Garrett that Friday night, to stay with him for an entire week the next Monday. Today was Monday, and when I returned home from school to pack, Analise spoke her first genuine words to me in nearly a month.

“Are you sure you have to go? I don’t think it’s safe. He flies back to Boston all the time. His firm is still there. What if he’s not there? I don’t want you to be alone. Sam, it’s not safe. Don’t go. Stay here. You can stay with him another time when we know he’ll be there for sure. I’m not comfortable with this.”

It went on and on like that. It was on the tip of my tongue to remind her that I wouldn’t be alone, but that wasn’t a conversation I wanted to remind her about. She disapproved of my relationship with Mason, and I knew she would always disapprove. James hadn’t liked it either. There’d been a few tense conversations between father and son, but Mason never shared what was said. He always shrugged and commented that James needed to say what he needed to say and then he would forget for a while. That’d been the pattern for the last three months.

When I had finally left the mansion and got into my car, I let out a deep breath of relief. I loved living with Mason and Logan, but I was excited to live in a house all by myself. Garrett would probably be there, but like Analise had said—a part of me was okay if he wasn’t. Peace. That’s what I wanted. My life had been too dramatic for too long now.

But then I got inside, read the note, and a sense of disappointment filled me.

I really was alone and when I glanced at the clock, I knew it’d be hours until Mason would show up.

It was five now. I had four hours to kill.

And then I was doing something before I really knew what I was doing. I had my cellphone out and I had already pushed her number before I realized what was going on. Then I blinked and I held my breath.

When Becky answered, my heart skipped a beat and my fingers got clumsy. The phone fell from my hand and I yelled as I bent to scoop it up, “Don’t hang up! Please. I dropped the phone. Got it—” I panted as I plastered my phone against my ear. “Hey! Hi! How are you?”

There was silence on the other end.

I frowned but rushed out, “You picked up. I’m hoping that’s a good thing. Can you talk to me? I was really hoping you’d talk to me?”

Then I stopped and the silence grew painful. My heart beat in my ear and I gritted my teeth, but then she replied in a quiet voice, “Why are you calling me?”

“Uh, because I miss you. You haven’t talked to me for three months, since…” I clasped my eyes shut. “I’m just happy that you answered! Thank you. Thank you for that.”

There was some more silence again.

Then she murmured, “You don’t ever call me, Sam. You were calling. Is something wrong?”

“No.” I glanced around at the empty house. “Well, I mean, not really. I mean…”

“What’s going on?”

“You see, my bio dad moved here. Did you know that?”

She seemed in pain as she admitted, “I might’ve heard that, yes.”

“Okay, well, and I told him I’d stay with him for a week, and today is the first day, but he’s not here. He had to fly back to Boston so I’m all alone, and this is a really big place with a theatre in the basement. It’s pretty great, actually. I was thinking we could order a pizza, maybe have some wine even? I know he’s got a bunch in one of these rooms, but I don’t feel like exploring on my own and…” My heart was pounding now. “I don’t know who else to call. Do you want to come over?”

“Why don’t you call Mason or Logan?” She sounded so small.

I shrugged. “I don’t know. It wouldn’t be fun with them.” And they had things to do after school, like their first basketball practice.


“So will you come?” I kept my eyes closed and waited.

“It’s the new house close to the Kades, right?”

Why wasn’t I surprised she had known that? I gripped the phone tighter and grinned into it. “Yes, that one. My car’s in the driveway. It has the red gate.”

“I know! I’ll be there quick.” She hung up, sounding in a breathless excitement like I’d known her to be so many other times.