Noah knew that because he followed every tidbit about her in the media.
“Body paint and Lycra hide zero sins,” she’d said with a grin in a recent television interview. “I’m eating a burger with all the fixings and having two bowls of ice cream the day we finish filming. Oh, and I’m ordering a full-fat creamy latte every morning for a week!”
Noah had downloaded the clip of her laughing onto his phone, watched it so many times that he’d lost count. Eyes dancing in self-deprecating humor, she’d been the Kit who meant everything to him, the one who’d once dropped ice cubes down his back after he refused to stop calling her Katie.
Tonight she shrugged. “It’s only two more days till we wrap. A little spaghetti won’t kill me.” Finishing off the last bite of her small portion, the rest of her plate having been filled with salad, she drank from the glass of chilled water into which she’d squeezed some fresh lemon juice. “And it was delicious, way better than anything I can cook.”
“In that case, I admit I ate the fish salad thing you had in your fridge.”
Kit’s lips didn’t curve at his confession. “I’m seriously jonesing for a burger. With extra pickle and jalapeño relish and a big pile of french fries.”
His memory of her interview collided with the reality of their conversation, of the fact he was here with her and she was talking to him like he was a friend. Hope flickered, bright and anxious as a puppy. “That food truck you like?”
A small nod as she reached for a slice of the orange he’d peeled and cut up for dessert. He knew all about Kit’s sweet tooth, had learned during their friendship that the fruit would give her a sugar hit while not compromising her film diet. During the course of Last Flight, she’d had to become a gaunt shadow of herself; he’d hated seeing her that way, but Kit’s body was part of her art, an instrument she used as necessary.
About to offer to take her out to the food truck soon as the movie wrapped, he took in her face as she rubbed absently at her forehead and frowned at the purplish bruises under the gorgeous amber of her eyes. “You need to get to sleep,” he said, realizing she must’ve only had four or five hours last night what with having to come rescue his useless ass.
“Not with spaghetti sitting in my stomach.” She reached for another piece of fruit, the deep golden bronze of her skin shadowed by the delicate leaves of the tree that rustled above the picnic table. “I’ll stay up for another hour, have a bath, wash off the stress of the day.”
“You’ve already showered.” He’d caught her damp hair when she came in.
“Best way to get rid of the last of the body makeup. Not as relaxing as a bath.” She stood. “Stay the night.”
He looked up, held her gaze. “I won’t go there again.” He’d hit rock bottom last night, but he still hadn’t used that hypodermic. “You don’t have to watch over me.” Even he wasn’t enough of a bastard to keep her on the hook worrying about him.
Kit wrapped her arms around herself. “What would you do if you found me drunk and alone with a needle full of poison? Would you trust me when I said I was fine?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “Stay the night, drive home tomorrow. I’ll sleep better if you stay.”
The last words were so quiet he barely heard them, but they shredded him. He wouldn’t have left now if his life depended on it.
Watching Kit walk away after picking up the plates, he wanted to say something, anything, to make her stay. But Fox and David were the ones who had the words. Noah wrote songs sometimes, but words didn’t come as easily to him as the music, and he didn’t have his guitar tonight.
Getting up, he decided to go for a walk. Kit’s home had extensive grounds, not because she was particularly acquisitive, but because it had been the most secure property on the market when her stalker kicked into high gear. The fucking creep had broken into her previous home and ejaculated on her bed, then left her an “I love you” card and flowers.
She’d thrown out the bed the instant the cops were done processing the scene, but the incident had haunted her, making it impossible for her to remain in her cozy and inexpensive-to-rent town house. Add in the rising media pressure—photographers had started camping out on her damn doorstep and trying to peer through her windows—and it had made sense for her to get a place with enough land that her home was isolated in the center, far from the prying lenses of both paparazzi cameras and that of the stalker.
The cops, studio security, her friends, everyone was taking the threat dead seriously, but the fucker was still out there. According to news Fox had passed on to Noah, the disturbed man had shipped Kit a box containing a wedding gown and a ring two months ago—so they could “renew their vows.” It had been followed a week later by a letter naming her a “slut” and a “whore” because she’d been snapped while out to dinner with one of her costars.