Kenzie turned left into a driveway.
She was here. Wherever here was.
Darn it. Fine, she would do this. She would see where Noah was, or where he wasn’t. And then she’d go back to her lonely little life in her lonely little city, and that would be that, okay? She’d move on and try to find a way to be not just tolerant of her fate, but happy with it.
She stopped her car where the road ended in a small dirt lot and checked her text messages to match the address to the one she’d plugged into her navigation app. 5844 Pedrick. This was definitely the address Octavia had texted her, but…this looked like a dump. Literally. There was no house that she could see. The landscape was littered with rusty cars, old refrigerators, and all kinds of battered equipment Kenzie couldn’t recognize or name.
This wasn’t a home, nope. Maybe Octavia had made a mistake. Or maybe Noah worked here. Well, if he did, he wouldn’t be here now, would he? It was after seven in the evening.
Something moved in the pile of junk in front of her. Holy shitsticks—was that a wolf? Wolves didn’t live in California anymore, did they? As soon as her brain registered what her eyeballs told her, the animal was gone.
It was probably just a junkyard dog. Still, panic caused her heart to hammer in her chest, faster than usual. This was dumb. Why was she here, again? Closure? Closure was overrated.
“Maybe the wolf ate Noah,” she murmured. That could be considered closure, right? Even Christy would have to agree with that.
Movement outside her windshield caught her attention and she stopped messing with the gears. She stopped breathing, too. Was it the wolf-dog-thing again?
Her heart caught in her throat. Not a wolf. Noah.
Wearing nothing but a pair of jeans.
He was barefoot. In a dump. Didn’t he worry about tetanus? And why no shirt?
He looked different. Rougher. The beard was new, and his hair was shaggier. But honestly, his hair had always had a slightly mussed look to it, like he just couldn’t be bothered.
His gaze locked on hers, and his eyebrows shot up in surprise. She couldn’t hear his voice, but his mouth moved in the form of her name. Kenzie?
And then he smiled. The bastard smiled.
Of all the reactions for him to have, Kenzie hadn’t imagined that one.
Kenzie was supposed to text Octavia when she arrived. But there was no time for that now. Her jaw ached, and she realized it was from gritting her teeth. Damn Noah and his stupid beautiful smile. Damn him and how great he looked after five years. Damn him and that stupid break-up letter about how sorry he was but it wasn’t going to work.
She revved her car’s engine. Sure would be fun to scare him a bit, make him feel even just a hint of the discomfort she’d felt all these years. Give him a little shock. Not the same kind of shock a bride got when the groom didn’t show up on their wedding day, but a shock nonetheless.
The only thing between him and her was a line of gravel on the ground.
He would have plenty of time to dodge out of the way and get behind one of the nearby broken-down cars or whatever. She’d have plenty of time to stop before hitting something.
She hit the gas.
Noah’s eyes widened in fear and he waved at her to stop. “No! Kenzie, stop!”
She smiled and kept accelerating.