Breaking Down(The Garage Series Book 2)(7)

By: Holly Renee

Before my knuckles hit the wood to knock, the door flew open and Kat burst through. I was so startled that I almost didn’t catch her as she launched herself into my arms.

“Hey, sweetheart,” I said against her hair that was smashed against my lips.

She leaned back to look at me and a small smile graced her lips. Blake walked out of the door behind her. I placed her on the ground and leaned into Blake to give him a hand shake and hug that we had mastered over the years.

“Hey, man. We’re glad you’re finally here.” Blake stepped back beside Kat and pulled her into his side.

“Me too,” I said awkwardly. Even though I’m sure he had told Kat where I had been, I didn’t want to get into it in front of her. I didn’t like anyone knowing that part of my life.

“What’s with the beard?” Kat cocked her head to the side as if she was picturing me without it.

I scratched the thick beard on my jaw and chuckled. “Don’t worry. I’ll shave before the wedding. I need a haircut too.”

“You shouldn’t. It looks hot.” Kat squealed as Blake smacked her ass. “What? He does.” She giggled.

“Thanks, sweetheart.” I winked at her, and Blake glared at me.

I loved being around Kat. She could always make me feel lighter somehow. She just had that personality.

“Well come on in.” Blake waved his hand toward the door as he scowled down at his still giggling fiancé.

I chuckled as I walked into the front door. What happened next took me by complete surprise and literally almost knocked me on my ass. I didn’t even see him coming until his fist landed on my face.

I was so startled at first that I didn’t react. Then I looked into one of my best friend’s eyes and saw fury staring back at me. I pushed Johnny hard in the chest as I tasted the blood that was pouring from my lip.

“What the fuck is your problem?”

“My problem?” His voice shook with anger. “What the fuck is your problem? Don’t think that you get to come back and fuck with her again. You stay the fuck away from Erica.”

My temper that was already at its breaking point, bubbled over, and I lunged at him. My shoulder hit him in the stomach, and we crashed into some sort of furniture before he slammed against the wall. I raised my fist to pound into him, but Blake’s arms came around me and jerked me away from Johnny before I got the chance.

“You don’t get to talk to me about Erica.” I pointed at him. “You don’t know shit.”

“Don’t I?” He tried to storm toward me but Cash had a firm hand against his chest. “Who do think has been holding her as she cries herself to sleep over you? Who do you think makes her smile when all she does is walk around with nothing but pain in her eyes?”

Pain sliced through my chest as anger raced through my veins.

“You’re with Erica?” My voice was so cold I almost didn’t recognize it.

“Of course I’m not with Erica, you dip shit. I’m one of your best friends. What I’m telling you is that she’s also one of my best friends, and I won’t sit by and watch you destroy her piece by piece.”

It gutted me. His words absolutely destroyed me. This was exactly what I wanted to avoid with Erica. I knew I wasn’t any good for her. I had tried to protect her from myself but failed.

My body sagged against Blake as all the fight left my body. “You don’t have to worry about that. I don’t plan on going anywhere near her.”

Staring at myself in the mirror, I shook out my hands and let out an anxious breath. I shouldn’t have been that nervous. You would think that I was meeting Tom Hardy by the way my heart was thumping in my chest.

There was a knock at the door and the noise caused me to jump slightly. I had no clue how I was going to make it through this weekend.

“Yea?” My voice even sounded shaky.

“Erica, we’re ready to get the rehearsal started. Are you okay?” Kat’s voice called through the bathroom door.

“I’m coming,” I called out as I straightened out my dress and took a final deep breath.

I opened the door and smiled at my best friend.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked with pity written all over her face.