When her phone beeped, Kit gratefully abandoned the script she’d been trying to read since throwing Noah out. It was a message from Becca: Hey, I know it’s late, but I’m out with some girlfriends not far from your place. Want to join us?
Kit didn’t usually go out so late, but that was because she’d been on back-to-back early-morning shooting schedules. She had no reason to be up early tomorrow. And what else was she going to do but stomp angrily around the house?
Sounds fun, she messaged. Where exactly are you?
Becca texted back the name of an upscale bar located a short fifteen-minute drive from Kit’s place. After stripping off her clothes, Kit slipped into a short and shimmery dress in beaten gold, let down her hair, and slid her feet into sky-high heels. Five minutes in front of the mirror and her face was done.
Becca would probably play with it in the bar’s bathroom anyway. The makeup artist couldn’t help herself—she constantly tweaked all her friends’ looks, but since she was so damn good at it, no one minded.
Turning, Kit checked the back of the dress in the mirror—there wasn’t much, the two sides held together by chains of tiny pearls that just asked for a man to break them. Below that, the fabric hugged her hips without being so tight as to look ridiculous. Sweeping her hair down her back again, she made sure the front was sitting well. The shoulders merged into a kind of a cowl-neck that softened the otherwise clean lines of the dress.
It didn’t need jewelry.
Since Casey was back from his delayed break, she asked him to drive her while Butch sat in the passenger seat. Another two guards remained behind to watch the house. Thank God she could now actually afford them—but much as she liked all the men, she wished she didn’t need the entourage of security.
Damn her stalker.
“Thanks, guys,” she said as Casey opened her door in front of the bar. “I’ll be fine inside. It’s pretty busy.”
Neither guard looked happy, but they nodded. The three of them had long ago come to an understanding that while she’d take their advice, she’d call the final shots. Right now, she just wanted to hang out with women who weren’t close enough friends to pick up on her mood. Becca usually would of course, but if she’d been at the bar for a while, she was probably happily buzzed by now.
Walking in, she immediately found Becca’s group. A pretty, bubbly foursome, they were ensconced in a relaxed seating area around which circled several hopeful men. At least one had made some headway, was whispering sweet nothings into the ear of a blonde Kit couldn’t recall meeting before. Becca, meanwhile—dressed in a short black dress paired with black boots striped in blue—was firmly rebuffing all advances.
Seeing Kit, the makeup artist jumped up and hugged her tight. “Congratulations again, babe! I’ve been waiting all day to hug you.” Another squeeze. “Redemption! What a coup!”
It was impossible not to smile. “To say I’m happy about that is an understatement.” She tugged gently on a strand of Becca’s hair—gone was the pink bob, replaced by a vibrant blue one. “I like this. And”—frowning, she leaned in—“are those tiny feathers on your eyelashes?”
Laughing, Becca closed her eyes so Kit could check out the falsies. “I bought them at that place we went to before the superhero movie sucked up our lives.” She hauled Kit down into a seat beside her, her dark eyes sparkling. “Tell me all about your meeting with Esra Dali! I’ve heard he’s a bit of a smoldering dish!”
Partway through Kit’s recap, Becca ordered a celebratory bottle of champagne. Since Kit had already had champagne with Noah, she only drank half a glass, just enough so that Becca wasn’t disappointed.
Then she danced with her friend and the others, steadfastly ignoring the men who tried to put the moves on her. She was happily physically exhausted when she and Becca finally left the bar arm in arm. They were the only two left of the original group. The other women had all hooked up with men from the bar.
Of course a few of the paparazzi had gotten wind of Kit’s location and were camped outside, including her personal English pest.
“Ditched Noah already?” Basil called out.
“You ever hear of a girls’ night out, Basil?” That explanation ought to keep a lid on the breakup for another day or so. Not much breathing room, but enough for her to find her footing and armor herself before she had to face the jackals.
“Don’t suppose you’d give your friend a kiss, love?” Basil asked, ever hopeful. “Secret lesbian love affairs sell, you know.”