Seeing the beer bottles Noah had left out there made her angry all over again. Picking them up, she took them inside to the sink, poured out the beer that remained in the third bottle, then ran the water so the smell wouldn’t linger and took the bottles out to the recycle bin. After which, she returned to the garden.
Except she couldn’t find peace here, not today. All she kept seeing was Noah. All she kept feeling was him, his lips pressed against hers and his eyes so bitterly cold. “No more, Kit,” she whispered. “You can’t help a man who doesn’t want to be helped.” She loved him, would probably always love him, but it was time she accepted that being with him would slowly destroy her.
She was done.
Noah ripped up the stupid little cherry blossom tree he’d planted in an effort to recreate Kit’s garden inside his home and slammed it against the opposing wall. He missed, hit the wall of glass. The dirt slid down in smudged streaks, but he didn’t stop to watch; he was already ripping up the other plants. He’d put down smooth stones like she had in certain places in her garden, and now he picked those up and threw them at the glass. It smashed.
The sound was right, was an echo of what was happening inside him.
He picked up another stone. Then another. And another.
By the time he ran out of stones, he’d broken every single pane of glass that had previously provided a view from the house into the garden. Shards glittered under the small lights that had come on automatically when he stepped outside. He’d put in those lights because he knew Kit often sat in her garden at night. He’d liked to imagine her here, a cup of green tea in hand as she relaxed after dinner.
Jerking around, he saw Fox leaning in the doorway that led into the garden from near the living area, his arms folded and his expression unreadable.
“How the fuck did you get in?”
“You gave me a key,” Fox reminded him. “I wouldn’t have come inside on my own except you weren’t answering the door.”
Chest heaving and hair falling over his eyes, Noah stared at his friend. “It’s eleven at night. You didn’t just decide to leave Molly and Sarah alone and drive over here.”
“Sarah’s asleep and Molly’s talking to her best friend on the phone.” Fox’s eyes watched him without blinking. “I’m going to make you some coffee.”
Noah didn’t go inside. He destroyed what little remained of the garden. When he was done, no one would’ve guessed that there’d once been a pathetic little garden here. No one could see his fucking heart, all stunted and hopeful and overgrown with weeds.
“Here.” Walking out, Fox thrust a mug of coffee into his hand.
Holding his own cup, the lead singer looked around. “Feel better?”
“Go to hell.” Noah threw the damn coffee against a wall. It made a satisfying crash of sound, the coffee dripping like blood down the white stucco.
Fox didn’t look at the new damage. “Kit called me.”
Skin going tight all over his body, Noah stared at the coffee-stained wall. “Why?”
“She thought you might do something stupid.” Fox took a sip of his coffee. “I don’t think she was thinking about garden destruction.”
Noah fisted his hands. He wasn’t going to talk about Kit to anyone.
“What did you do?”
“None of your fucking business.”
“Fair enough.” Fox drank more of his coffee. “Do I need to punch you in the face?”
Glancing at the other man, Noah shrugged. “It’s done. Over.”
Fox’s eyes looked black in the light as he held Noah’s gaze. “Bullshit.”
“Now that we’re past that, we’re going to talk.”
Snorting, Noah swiveled on his heel and went to walk inside. Fox blocked him. Noah shoved at his shoulder, Fox shoved back, and then they were throwing punches, Fox’s mug falling unheeded to the rucked up dirt and dying plants. If it had been Abe, Noah would’ve been in trouble—the keyboard player was big enough that his size was a distinct advantage in a fight.
Fox and Noah, however, were evenly matched. He landed a punch for every one of Fox’s. His fist smashed into Fox’s cheek, the other man’s slammed into his jaw, making his teeth crash down on the side of his tongue and the hot taste of blood fill his mouth. He retaliated with a punch to Fox’s ribs that made the lead singer double over.
Reacting to the hit, Fox headbutted him in the gut, taking him to the dirt.