Josh and Nick went outside later that night, after dinner and after Reece took Zac upstairs to say goodnight. Josh hugged Nick, then stepped back and slugged him right in the jaw. Nick was knocked back a step, and grunted.
“That was for breaking my sister’s heart.” he explained.
Nick nodded. “Okay, I deserved that.” He swung his fist out and slammed it into Josh’s nose, and knocked him onto his back. “That was for not telling me about Zac and Reece, you asshole. I shouldn’t have had to find out this way.”
He held out a hand to him then, and helped Josh back onto his feet. Josh wiped the blood under his nose with his sleeve. “I know.”
“Anything else we need to get even for?” Nick asked, hands in his pockets now as he grinned at his friend.
“Not right off the top of my head. Friends?” Josh asked.
Nick nodded, hugged Josh again. “Yeah man. Always.”
Reece came outside, and grinned when he saw Josh’s bloody nose. “You owe me fifty bucks man. I told you he would slug you for not telling him.”
Nick turned to Reece and punched him in the mouth. Reece was knocked back against the glass door, and laughed then licked the blood from his lips. “I know, I should have told you too. Now you owe me a hundred Josh.”
“Shit.” Josh muttered as he pulled out his wallet and fished out the hundred. “Would have rather you punched me.” he muttered to Reece.
And Reece did, and knocked Josh back a few steps. “We actually did have a bet on when Nick would come back. You said winner gets to punch the loser in the face.”
Josh muttered a curse. “This is just not my day. Are we done with this yet?”
“I think so.” Reece said, still grinning.
“I’m going to get Zac back.” Nick said.
Josh nodded. “Okay. Zac has proven to me that she is mature and can make her own choices. But if you hurt her again-”
“Josh, shut the fuck up.” Nick snapped. “I didn’t try to hurt her and you agreed that it was right for me to leave. And I’m going to hold you to what you said. I want you both to stay out of it. I should have done this six months ago but I’m telling you both to keep your damn noses out of it. If Zac and I want to be together I don’t want to hear any shit from either of you. I’m over being understanding about this and I’m a man not a teenager anymore.
I know when I want a woman and I’m tired of you two fucking intervening. I’ve always minded my own business and it would be nice if you two could return the favor. Quit trying to protect Zac so much. She can take care of her own damn self. And I can make my own decisions too Josh. She’s not the only one you’ve been trying to control.”
Josh opened his mouth, then closed it again.
“And if either of you start to step in I’m going to knock you back into place, friend or not. And if I meet this Match guy, well he’d better hope we don’t have pleasure to meet because he’ll be lucky to live when I get through with him. No one fucks with my girl.”
Nick went into the house, glad to finally get all that off his chest and stand up for himself. He was so sick of other people telling him how to do things. He was just pissed at himself because he hadn’t done it the first time. But better late than never.