Kit had gone from worry to panic to fury in the space of the past few hours. When Noah didn’t make it home by the time he should have, she’d figured he and David must’ve ended up hanging out. She hadn’t started to really worry until he was an hour late. That’s when she’d sent the first text message, to no response.
Feeling fear walk cold fingers up her spine, the memory of the incident with Becca yet fresh in her mind, she’d called David, discovered that Noah had left the gym long ago. She’d tried to be logical, to not panic as she called and messaged him, but had just started thinking she needed to check the hospitals when she received his response.
I’m fine. Don’t wait up.
The cold arrogance of the message stunned her. Not about to take it lying down, she called back at once—to be told Noah’s phone was either switched off or out of range. Kit had a very good idea which was true.
So angry she could barely think straight, she put on her running shoes and pounded out her anger on the pavement. Noah still wasn’t back by the time she returned, and all the food had gone cold. Showering, she changed into shorts and a tank top, and making herself a plate, took it out into the garden.
The peace of it soothed her, and made every part of her hurt with stabbing pains. Because if Noah had hit a wall at some point today, then things could well be far worse than him just acting like an asshole to her. She might wake to tabloid reports of him getting drunk or breaking up a place... or fucking some random woman.
Anger burned her throat.
Putting down her fork, she dropped her face in her hands and breathed deep.
Her shoulders grew stiff at that familiar male voice, her emotions caustic. Too furious to look at him, too afraid of what she might see, she forced herself to pick up her fork and eat a bite.
Noah slid onto the bench beside her, moving until his thigh and arm pressed against her own. She smelled sweat, as if he hadn’t showered after the gym, but the rest of it was just Noah. No alcohol, no clinging tobacco smoke, no perfume.
“How mad are you?”
“Depends.” She stared out into the garden. “What did you do?”
“I went to a seedy strip club and sat in the parking lot telling myself that was what I deserved. Not a home, not with you. Just a dirty place I couldn’t ruin with my ugliness, with people who couldn’t give two fucks about me.”
His words made her hurt for him, but she was braced for a blow herself, waiting for him to tell her the rest. Because she’d hit her limit. She’d told him her line in the sand. If he’d crossed it, she wouldn’t be able to forgive him. Not this time.
“I opened the car door to get out,” Noah said, breaking her heart, “and then it hit me what a fucking idiot I was being. I was about to let what that bastard did destroy the best thing in my life. I was about to permanently damage my relationship with a woman who loves me even when I’m a surly, bad-tempered and moody son of a bitch. So I pulled the door shut and hauled ass home.”
He put his hand on the back of her neck, and the touch was oddly tentative for Noah. “So, how long are you going to be mad?”
Relief was a roar of blood through her veins. Not pulling away from his touch because, even with anger lingering inside her, she knew he’d take that as a rejection, she said, “I’ll let you know when I’m not mad anymore.”
He groaned. “Open-ended? That’s cold, Katie.”
Dropping the fork onto her plate, she turned to face him, and then she did what she’d wanted to do since the instant he’d told her he’d shut the car door and come home. She wrapped her arms tight around him. “That’s for coming home,” she said as his own arms wrapped around her so hard she could barely breathe. “The mad is for making me worry and for thinking you couldn’t come back to me just because the demons were awake.”
He shuddered out a breath and then, without prompting, told her what had set him off. “Dumb, huh?”
“No. It just caught you by surprise.” She glared at him. “What’re you going to do the next time something hits you sideways?”
The answer was immediate and so sure she believed it. “Find you.”
“Good.” Pulling back, she looked up into his face. “We need a pool.” She didn’t want to wait six months, wanted Noah to know his place was right here. With her.
His eyes filled with that luminous, astonishing light, his smile delighted as he held her face in his hands and pressed his forehead to hers. “Infinity?”
Melted by that smile no one else in the world ever saw, she fisted her hand in his T-shirt. “I saw one with waterfalls that I like.”
“We can get waterfalls.” A tender kiss followed by a wicked one. “As long as you promise to wear string bikinis and stand under the water.”
“It could be arranged.”
Still smiling, he said, “I need to shower.” He ran his hands down her arms. “I’ve made you sticky too.”
“Want to shower together?”
His eyes widened, and she realized this too would be a brand-new experience for her debauched rock star.
“Yeah,” he said with a slow smile. “Will you soap my back?”
“If you ask nicely.”
Noah hadn’t ever showered with a woman before. Watching Kit pin up her barely dry hair, her sleek body naked, he started to think he might just like this. Then she turned on the water and stepped in, shooting him a playful look over her shoulder, and he knew he liked this.
Stripping off his own clothes, he got in behind her and bent to kiss her neck, his hands on her hips. He knew she was still technically mad at him, and he deserved it, but she loved him too. Even when he fucked up, she still loved him.
He could always come home.
She wouldn’t kick him out just because he was imperfect. The only thing he had to do was take care of her heart, a heart she’d entrusted to him. He could do that—crossing her line in the sand held absolutely no appeal when on this side stood his Kit who wanted to build a home with him.
“Hey,” she said in mock reproof when he ran his hands up to cup her breasts. “I thought you wanted to shower?”
“I am showering,” he said, feeling young for the first time in an eternity. “With a gorgeous woman I intend to lather up.” He took her fluffy loofah from her, on which she’d squeezed some girly-smelling body wash, and began to run it over her body.
Leaning back into him, Kit let him do what he wanted, and what he wanted was to worship her. She smiled up at him, and for the first time in his life, a sexual situation was playful. He held the eye contact, kept returning to it, and he had fun. When she stole the loofah from him and tried to cover him in her perfumed body wash, he threatened her with all kinds of revenge.
Laughing, she swapped the loofah for the bar of plain soap he preferred and began to soap him up. He wasn’t sure he’d like that part, but he did, because… well, because it was Kit. It was as simple as that.
Sinking into her, he pressed her to the wall and kissed her. She was still smiling and he tasted it as they kissed, as he ran his hand down her stomach to slide two fingers through the liquid-soft flesh between her thighs. He hadn’t lied—he wasn’t very good at the foreplay stuff, hadn’t really ever done it before her, but he wanted to touch Kit, wanted to explore with her.
“Tell me what you like,” he said, bracing his other arm above her head.
She shivered as his fingers brushed a particular spot. “Oh, that’s good. Do that.” There were more whispers after that, more smiles, more kisses.
At one point she gripped his wrist and said, “Noah, oh please don’t move.”
He didn’t move. He just upped the pressure.
Back bowing, her breasts lifted up as if for his delectation, Kit came on a little scream. Noah’s cock was pulsing, but he was kind of addicted to seeing Kit orgasm, so he decided to continue his education in foreplay by pressing one hand to her lower back and bending his head to her breasts.
He licked, he sucked, and after a while, Kit’s gasped breathing turned even more ragged. “Can I touch you here again?” he asked, cupping her between her thighs. She’d pushed him away earlier, saying it was too sensitive.
A moan as he rubbed his stubbled jaw over her breasts. “After that orgasm, you can do whatever you like, Noah St. John.”
Feeling like a damn god, he stroked his fingers deep into her, listened to her answers to his carnal questions, and had the reward of feeling her clench convulsively on his driving fingers as she came again with shocked suddenness.
Yeah, that was hot.
Drawing out his fingers from her possessive grasp, he lifted her up against the wall and entered her with his cock. He was hard as stone, and with Kit so honey slick and sated around him, he could’ve pounded her balls-deep and it would’ve been fine. But Noah found he had an unexpected patience today.
His balls might be turning blue, but damn, his cock liked being inside Kit.
It was a long, slow session full of romantic bullshit, and afterward, when they were drying off, Noah realized he’d made love to Kit. Not fucked her, not had sex. Made love. He’d always thought that was a dumb phrase, but not today. Today it felt exactly right.
Towel wrapped around her body and tucked over her breasts, Kit came over to him and, linking her hands with his, said, “We’re going to be okay.”
“Yeah,” Noah said. “We are.” He was still going to fuck up, but since he wasn’t about to hurt Kit, wasn’t about to give her up, the fuckups would be manageable. And if she kept smiling at him that way, as if he delighted her… Yeah, well, maybe he wouldn’t fuck up that much after all. “I love you, Kit. I will always love you, and I will never mess this up.”
It was a vow.