A Different Blue Page 31

“Nobody knew who I was or where I came from, and I thought Jimmy was my dad. Cheryl didn't tell me that he wasn't for another three years. There was no record of me, so with the help of the courts, they got me a birth certificate, a social security number, and I am officially Blue Echohawk, born on August 2, which is the day Jimmy found me and the day we marked my birthday. Social services thought I was about ten, which was more or less what Jimmy and I thought. So they estimated I was born in 1991. So there you go. Nutshell. I am nineteen . . . maybe even twenty by now, who knows. A little old for a senior in high school, but hey! Maybe that's why I'm so intelligent and mature,” I smirked.

“Quite,” Wilson said softly. He seemed to be processing my improbable tale, turning it over in his head, dissecting it. “My birthday is August 11, which makes me three years older than you, almost to the day.” He glanced over at me. “I guess it is a little silly for me to call you Miss Echohawk.”

“I don't mind all that much, Darcy,” I smiled innocently, sweetly even. He snorted at my jab. The truth was, I didn't mind. When he said 'Miss Echohawk' in that snooty way of his, it made me feel like I had been given an upgrade or a makeover. Miss Echohawk sounded like someone I would like to become. Someone sophisticated and classy, someone I could aspire to. Someone very different than me.

My phone vibrated against my hip, and I coaxed it out of my tight pocket. It was Mason. I considered not answering it but thought about the miles Wilson and I still had to walk.


“Blue. Baby . . . where are you?” Oh, man. He sounded so drunk. “I came looking for you. Are you mad at me? We're at your truck but you're not here. You're not here, right?” He suddenly seemed doubtful, as if I was going to spring out from somewhere.

“My battery is dead. I'm walking home, Mason, along Adams. Who's with you?” Hopefully someone less plastered.

“She's with Adam,” I heard Mason say to someone, and the phone was dropped. Someone cursed and the phone was jostled back and forth.

“Who's Adam, Blue? Is that why you left so early, you skank!” Colby's voice blared at me. He laughed, a high-pitched cackle, and I held the phone away from my ear. I was pretty sure Wilson could hear the conversation, Colby's voice was so loud.

“I'm on Adams . . . the street, Colby,” I said as clearly as I could.

The connection was lost. Awesome.

“Well. We may be rescued,” I said dourly. “But we may not. And it might be better if we're not.”

“So I gathered.” Wilson shook his head. “This day has been one for the record books.”

It wasn't long before lights pinned us in their glare, and we turned to face the oncoming vehicle. I tugged at Wilson's arm. I didn't want to him to be run over by the rescue squad.

It was Mason's truck, and he was driving. Colby hung out the passenger window like a big dog, his tongue flapping and everything.

“Hey, Adam! Did you get a piece of ass too?” Colby chortled, and I felt disgust curl in my belly. Disgust for myself, and disgust for the boy who thought he could talk about me like I was trash.

“Are these your mates?” Wilson said stiffly, hoisting his cello further up on his back.

I nodded once, briefly, too humiliated to look at him.

“Get in, Blue,” Mason yelled across Colby. Colby opened the door and beckoned to me. I remained on the sidewalk.

“Those boys are completely sloshed,” Wilson said wearily. “I don't recognize either of them. They aren't in any of my classes.”

“They've graduated. Mason is the same age as you are. Colby's a year younger.” Both had been out of high school for years. Sadly, neither of them had moved beyond the football field where they had both excelled.

“You need to let me drive, Mason. Okay?” I knew if I got aggressive, he would drive away, which was preferable to driving with him at this point, but they really shouldn't have been driving at all.

“Sure, baby. You can sit on my lap. I'll let you steer. I know you like driving a stick!” Mason yelled, all the time glaring at Wilson like he wanted to beat him up.

I started walking. They could crash and burn. Mason yelled for me to stop and spilled out of the truck, staggering after me. The truck stalled. Apparently, Mason hadn't taken it out of gear before he decided to chase me down.

Wilson was on Mason in a flash, and with one swift pop, Mason's head rolled onto his shoulders and he sank into a heap, Wilson struggling to support his weight.

“Holy shit!” Colby was half-way out of the truck, one leg in, one leg on the ground. “What did you do to him, Adam?”

“My bloody name is not Adam!” Wilson growled. “Now come help me get your stupid mate into the . . . blasted . . . pickup, or whatever you call it.” Wilson had apparently had enough. I had no idea what he had done to subdue Mason. But I was grateful.

I ran to his side, helping him half-drag, half-carry Mason to where Colby was frozen in an inebriated stupor. I put down the tailgate, and we managed to roll Mason into the bed of the truck. Unfortunately, even with Mason unconscious in the back, I had to sit squished between Colby and Wilson, who surprisingly knew how to drive a stick shift. Colby ran his arm along the back of my seat, resting his hand on my shoulder possessively. I elbowed him in the side and moved as close to Wilson as I possibly could, straddling the gear shift. Wilson's right arm pressed up against me and he grimaced every time he shifted gears, as if he hated touching me. Tough. I wasn't sitting by Colby.

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