Pushing You Away (Noah & Katie duet #1) by Kennedy Fox


Prologue





Noah





TEN YEARS EARLIER





“Mmm… yes. You’re a dirty girl.”

“Yes, I am. Spank me harder, Mr. Plumber.”

What the fuck? I groan, then slam my laptop closed. I’ve resorted to watching porn to get the woman I love but can never have out of my head. I don’t know why I try because it never works. Being in love with your best friend, who also happens to be married to your cousin, is the worst kind of torture. I kick myself daily for not telling Katie how I felt before Gabe swooped in and asked her out. That was six years ago, and they’re now expecting a baby boy.

It’s another Friday night spent alone in my room. My sister, Gemma, is out, and my dad’s already asleep. He owns the only garage in town and works long hours. My mother passed away when we were kids, so it’s mostly been just the three of us. When I ask him why he hasn’t dated, he says it’s impossible to replace your soul mate. I know he means well, but I just wish he’d find love again because then I’d have hope of finding someone after I lost my chance with Katie.

Noah: How you feeling tonight?





I text Katie to see if she’s still awake. We haven’t talked much this week because she’s taking it easy since her due date is next month.

Katie: Been having Braxton Hicks on and off, which sucks. It’s too soon for him to come, so hopefully, they quit soon, and I can actually get some sleep.





Noah: What does your doctor say about it?





Katie: That it’s normal and to monitor them in case it turns into actual labor.





Noah: Are you all set to go to the hospital if it is?





Katie: Well, my bag is packed, but Gabe isn’t home tonight. I’ve been texting him, but he’s out with the guys, probably playing poker and drinking.





What the fuck? Is she serious?

Noah: If you need me, call me, okay? I’ll be right over.





Katie: I know you will be. Thanks, Noah. I’m gonna try to get some sleep now.





I’m so angry I don’t think twice about putting on my shoes and going to my truck. I know exactly where Gabe is, and it isn’t at a buddy’s house playing cards. For months, I’ve heard the rumors that he’s cheating on Katie, but without actual proof, I can’t say anything and risk being wrong.

Though Gabe and I are the same age, we don’t have the best relationship. He moved to town the summer before our junior year and merged himself into my circle. Though Katie is a year younger than me, we were inseparable. However, that slowly changed when she and Gabe got serious. He proposed when she was nineteen, and they got hitched the next year. I pretended to be supportive since she seemed so happy. When they announced they were expecting, I drank for a solid week. Gabe was living my dream life with my dream woman, and I had to accept it.

I drive downtown and spot his truck parked in front of the Main Street Pub. He’s bold to show up there with another chick, but Gabe’s been known to be a royal dumbass. Honestly, I don’t understand why Katie puts up with it, but I won’t stand around and watch him make a fool of her in front of half the town.

As soon as I enter, I spot a blonde hanging all over him. They’re seated at a bar top table covered with empty bottles and shot glasses. He holds a pool stick in one hand, and his other arm is wrapped tightly around her waist.

“Gabe.” I step toward him and glare. “It’s time to go home. C’mon, I’ll drive you.”

“What the fuck are you talkin’ about?”

“I’m talkin’ about your pregnant wife who’s at home. She’s having Braxton Hicks, and there’s no reason you should be here.” I direct my eyes to the woman who doesn’t seem fazed in the least that Gabe’s married. Though I have no idea who she is, it’s obvious they’re more than just friends.

“My wife is none of your damn business. She’s fine.”

I cross my arms over my chest, my blood boiling at what a piece of shit he is.

“You don’t deserve her,” I spit.

“What’d you say to me?” He stands, wobbly on his feet, then throws the stick down.

“You heard me.”

“Yeah, and I see the way you look at her. Better back the fuck off, Noah.”