Grabbing the drink, she headed to the garage entrance instead—to find he’d opened it for her.
He leaned against the entrance as she got into the black sports car she’d bought before the stalker forced her to pour all her money into this property and hiring security. She put the drink in the cup holder and pushed the garage-door opener.
“Still not a morning person, I see.”
“Shut up,” she muttered. “It’s not morning. It’s the middle of the night.” With that, she closed her door and backed out of the garage. The last thing she saw as she left was Noah standing in the doorway haloed in light, and she thought about how wonderful it would be to wake up to him every morning.
“Enough, Kit.” Slamming her hand on the steering wheel, she focused on the road, conscious of Casey behind her. When she had to stop at a red light, she sipped from the drink Noah had made her, all the while asking herself why she didn’t just run the light. It wasn’t as if anyone else was on the road.
The answer, of course, was that she was too much of a goody-two shoes. Kit didn’t need a shrink to tell her that she’d overcompensated for her crazy upbringing. When your parents partied till five in the morning every weeknight, you either joined them, or you put on noise-canceling headphones and locked your bedroom door so drunk party guests looking for the bathroom wouldn’t wake you.
Kit had chosen the second option.
Pulling into the studio lot, she picked up the travel mug and made her way to Makeup. Casey fell in with her, but neither one of them spoke, the bodyguard concerned with keeping an eye out for threats. Nothing had happened on the studio lot as yet, but no one was taking any chances.
“Only one more torturous morning wake-up to go!” she said to Becca when she entered the brightly lit glare of the Makeup trailer. “Only two more days of being an avocado-green superhero!”
Her currently pink-haired friend held up a pot of body paint, her nails black with tiny pink hearts. “Aw, shucks, and I thought you liked being slathered in this goo.” Becca fluttered her eyelashes, her mascara dark against the cream of her skin. “Green is such a flattering shade on your skin, and those tiny horns. Oh, baby.”
As Kit laughed and went to change into the high-cut Lycra leotard that provided a base for her transformation, she tried not to think about the fact that the house would be empty when she got home.
Noah took Kit’s old sedan, leaving soon after she did.
It didn’t take him long to drive from Kit’s Pacific Palisades home to his place overlooking Venice Beach. Fox and David had places out in the Palisades too, but Noah liked the vibrant energy of Venice, and he didn’t mind driving over when they decided to jam at Fox’s place—as they’d been doing more and more since the lead singer hooked up with Molly. Fox’s girl had a way of making everyone feel welcome.
His place was exactly as he’d left it, including the mess in the bedroom. He’d thrown things at the walls, punched a hole in one, torn off the blinds, and generally had one hell of a pity party. No more, he thought, no more. He’d put Kit’s life at risk with his actions, and that wasn’t going to happen again. Not even if he had to stay awake for the rest of his fucking life to escape the nightmares.
Flicking on every light in the place, he began to clean up. First he picked up everything he could, then he tried to see if he could fix the blinds. It took a while and two of the slats were cracked, but the blinds opened and closed. Not that it mattered. He’d taken Fox’s advice and had the builders put in reflective glass for the windows. No fucking pap was going to be sneaking photos of him with a long lens.
He didn’t care what they did while he was out in public, but this was his space.
Heading into the kitchen afterward, he got himself a glass of orange juice and sat at the counter, the sunshine hitting his back. It poured in through the doors he’d slid open, the pool sparkling under the dawn sunlight. He had trees and other greenery around the pool to cut down the heat, spent a lot of time out there working on his music.
He thought Kit would like his pool, but he didn’t know because he’d never brought her to his house. They’d always ended up at her place; he’d crashed in her guest bedroom any number of times. He’d just never been able to take the next step, invite her here even as part of a group, and that just showed how fucked-up he was.
He probably had no chance in hell of ever winning back her trust.
His phone rang even as the bleak thought passed through his head. He glanced at the caller ID, ready to ignore it. But it was one of the few people he could stand to speak to today. “Hey, Foxie,” he said, ribbing the lead singer with the hated moniker so often used by groupies. “Where are you?”