Noah grinned. “Yeah.” He glanced reflexively at his phone when it vibrated, but it wasn’t Kit’s face that filled the screen, the shot one he’d taken back before he’d destroyed them. She was laughing in that photo, her eyes crinkled at the corners and her hair coming loose from the careless bun in which she’d knotted it.
“I’ll grab it.” Abe picked up the phone. “David, what do you want?” he asked with the casual rudeness that was only acceptable among men who’d been friends for so long that politeness would be considered a sign of trouble. “When? Yeah, I’ll tell Noah. We’re going to that Italian place.”
“Fuck you, man.” Abe laughed and hung up. “He’s bragging about not needing to date us now he has Thea.”
“If ever a man deserved to win his woman,” Noah said, “it’s David.” The drummer had been crazy in love with the band’s tough-as-nails publicist since forever. One look and boom, he’d been a goner. Noah, Abe, and Fox had all watched that love grow deeper and more indelible day by day and had winced silently when Thea appeared oblivious.
Turned out she wasn’t. The way she looked at David… Noah would’ve never believed Molly’s sister had such tenderness in her. It was obvious she thought David hung the moon. “What did he want?”
“To invite us over on Sunday afternoon for a barbeque. He and Thea are talking wedding stuff and they want to torture us.” Abe folded his arms across his chest, his muscles bulging. “Me, I’m running off to Vegas if I’m ever stupid enough to walk down the aisle again.”
Noah snorted. “Your mom would scalp you, and you’d whimper like a baby.”
Abe was silent for a while. “Actually, I think she’d be fine with it. Sarah and I had the big wedding, and you know what my mom asked me the day of my wedding?” The keyboard player stared through the windshield. “If Sarah was a woman I’d run off with if given the chance.” He shook his head. “I laughed back then, but she was serious. She wanted to know if I loved Sarah enough that I’d do that, just take off with her.”
Noah didn’t know how to react. Abe’s marriage and divorce were treacherous waters. The divorce had led him back into the cocaine habit he’d managed to quit six months earlier, then later into alcohol. The marriage, on the other hand, had seemed happy enough. Sarah had never quite meshed with the band, but they’d all accepted her because she was Abe’s.
“Would you? Have run off with her?” he finally asked, knowing he’d be no kind of friend if he didn’t step through this unexpectedly open door.
Even as he asked the question, Noah knew his own answer when it came to Kit. If he’d been normal, if he hadn’t been so ugly inside, he’d have sweet-talked her to Vegas in a heartbeat. He’d have lied and cheated and charmed just so she’d be his. And he’d have woken every morning feeling like the king of the fucking world.
Abe’s own answer took a long time in coming. “I don’t know,” he said at last. “No secret that I wasn’t in a good headspace when I married Sarah.” Grief thickened his voice. “Not that it matters. She didn’t exactly hang around when I wasn’t the perfect rock-star trophy husband anymore.”
Noah knew Abe was referring to his problems with drug addiction. “You know I have your back, man, but living with a cocaine addict can’t have been easy.” Abe had once punched Noah while in the fog of drugs; Noah had no idea what had gone on behind closed doors between Abe and Sarah, but he did know that she’d changed from a hopeful, somewhat shy twenty-one-year-old to a brittle, angry twenty-four-year-old by the time of their divorce.
“Yeah well, she landed on her feet.” The furious undertone to Abe’s voice made Noah’s instincts prickle. Until right then, he hadn’t believed Abe was hung up on Sarah; they’d parted in too much anger, their divorce a battleground of lawyers and bitter demands.
Sarah had asked for Abe’s keyboard collection even though she didn’t play. Abe¸ in turn, had accused her of cheating when Sarah just wasn’t the cheating kind. In the end, he’d kept his keyboards and Sarah had suddenly caved and accepted a settlement after months of refusing to sign the divorce papers.
At the time, David had wondered if the two were drawing things out because they didn’t actually want to be divorced. Noah had disagreed, especially since Sarah had been pregnant with another man’s baby by then, but now…