Feeling Becca tense up, Kit smiled at her friend before turning to Basil—she knew how to deal with him, while Becca didn’t usually come face to face with the paparazzi. “Sure, Basil,” she said, pausing just long enough that the photographer all but stopped breathing in anticipation. “I’ll do naked yoga for you while I’m at it.”
All the photographers cracked up, a number needling Basil, who was like a cockroach. He just kept going.
“A flash of your knickers, then. While you’re getting into the car.”
Rolling her eyes, Kit walked over to the car with Becca. Casey was already out, with the door open. “Hop in,” she said to her friend. “Make sure you don’t accidentally flash the cameras. They’ll find a way to use it.”
Yawning and leaning against her, Becca said, “You really don’t mind giving me a ride?”
“You’re my friend—what kind of question is that?” Ushering the shorter woman into the car, Kit told Casey where Becca lived and they drove off.
“Did you break up with him?” Becca asked sotto voce, proving she wasn’t as drunk as she appeared to be—or that even drunk, she knew Kit far too well.
Kit couldn’t bring herself to say it. “It’s complicated,” she replied.
Becca patted her on the arm, her nails beautifully polished in blue with black stripes. “Trust me, honey, you deserve better than some manwhore out to nail as many groupies as he can.”
Kit’s spine went stiff. “Don’t talk about him that way.”
Pulling back, Becca said, “Oh, wow, sorry.” A tight smile. “I was just doing the girlfriend thing. You know, the ‘all men are dicks and the ex is the biggest dick of all’ post-breakup talk?”
Exhaling, Kit dropped her head back against her seat. “I know. I’m sorry for snapping at you.” Becca had commiserated with her in much the same way after the action-star debacle—it was Kit who was behaving oddly, so mixed up that she didn’t know what she was saying or doing. “I just…”
Becca touched her hand. “You can talk to me, you know. Makeup artists are like priests—the seal of the confessional, only it’s of the makeup chair.”
Trying to laugh but failing, Kit dropped her head on the other woman’s shoulder. “I’m not ready yet.” She wasn’t sure she’d ever be ready to talk to anyone about Noah.
“One thing I know,” Becca said, “you’ll be fine. You’re beautiful and talented, and any man would be lucky to have you.”
Too bad the only man she wanted didn’t want anything to do with her.
Kit didn’t voice the painful thought aloud, and when her friend waved good-bye to Kit from the doorstep of her apartment, Kit smiled and waved back. Then Becca was gone, and Kit was once again alone in the car with Casey and Butch.
None of them spoke the entire drive home.
Once there, she let the two guards do a thorough sweep of the house before she locked the door behind her and stripped off. Sweaty from the dancing, she had a shower, then put on a slip in midnight blue. The decadent sleepwear was courtesy of her pre-stalker and pre-debt days.
The sheets into which she slid were a much more prosaic cotton.
But though she was tired, she couldn’t switch off her brain; she kept going over what had happened in the hours before Noah pulled his hurtful stunt. It had started so well. Then Noah’s mood had just turned. Yes, he was moody, but he’d never before been so erratic. Frowning, she tried to figure out if she’d said something that had hit him wrong, but she hadn’t even been speaking when he’d gotten up from the sofa.
The television had been on, Blue Force running as she—Blue Force.
Sitting up, Kit tried to remember the scene that had been on right before he got up and walked away, but her memories were all jumbled up. She could barely remember her own part.
Shoving aside the comforter, she ran into the kitchen where she’d left her laptop. She flipped up the lid, navigated to the website of the television station that featured Blue Force. “Come on, come on,” she said, hoping the site had been updated with the episode they’d played tonight.
When it asked for her password, it took her two tries to get it right, her heart was racing so hard. Then she was in and there it was, the episode of Blue Force she and Noah had been watching. Skipping ahead to what she thought was roughly five minutes before Noah had walked off, she watched carefully. The scene was a flashback to the first time Kit’s character had tasted cocaine. Nothing unexpected, nothing that could’ve triggered Noah’s anger or drinking.