“I say I make better waffles than you.”
“I say you’re right, so get moving.”
Falling back a little on purpose just so she could watch Noah’s ass in the white boxer briefs that were all he wore, Kit smiled. For the first time since the stalking began, there was no weight of fear on her, no edginess. She felt light and free. And the fact Noah was with her, that he trusted her with his secrets? Yeah, that made everything better.
“We’re doing this,” she whispered again. “We’re making it.”
The next three nights were wonderful. The fourth was so bad Noah pushed her away and went inside to grab his guitar. She heard him plucking at the strands as she lay in bed alone—and she decided that would never work.
Getting up, she made them both coffee, then left him to his brooding—though not until after she’d kissed his sullen face. “I love you,” she said with another kiss. “Even when you’re a bad-tempered, surly rock star.”
Scowling, he didn’t say a word, but when she returned home around six that night after a shoot with the cosmetics company, it was to find an iPod waiting on her pillow. When she slotted it into her music system, Noah’s voice singing the haunting words of “Sparrow” filled the air. It made her cry and then smile, because she recognized the gentle beat in the background, the gritty voice that joined Noah’s on the chorus, the expert piano playing.
He’d finally shared the song with the guys. Not just shared it but recorded it.
Listening to it five more times in a row, Kit messaged him: It’s my favorite. I’m crying, it’s so beautiful.
His response came seconds later: Was doing weights with David. I keep forgetting how fucking fit he is and then he wipes the floor with me. Damn smug drummers. And yeah, I figured “Sparrow” deserved to be recorded after it helped us defeat the psycho bitch. I’ll be home soon. Stop crying.
Sliding away her phone, Kit allowed herself to think of Becca. Part of her would always mourn the loss of their friendship, and one day she might even find it in herself to visit Becca in the facility where she was being held, but she’d never be able to forgive the other woman for the terror she’d caused.
However, that was over and done with, and Kit didn’t intend to allow it to further steal her time or emotional energy. She just wanted to treasure her true friends, and most of all, she wanted to be with Noah, to create a life with him. With that thought in mind, she pushed up her sleeves and decided to surprise him with a homemade dinner.
Noah felt good. He’d felt like shit this morning, but then Kit had told him she loved him even when he was a bad-tempered, surly rock star and his mood had started to lift. Part of him couldn’t help but worry that she’d decide he was too much work—her affectionate scowl this morning had been just what the doctor ordered.
Then he’d gone to see the guys and finally fessed up about “Sparrow.” He’d had a serious fucking case of nerves before he started to sing it for them, but all three had loved it. In Fox’s eyes, he’d seen an understanding of the hidden meaning of the song, but there had also been a quiet pride.
Fox understood what it meant for him to release “Sparrow” into the world.
David and Abe, who didn’t know about his childhood, had blown out their breaths almost in sync.
“Goddamn. That’s powerful, man,” Abe had said quietly, then added something Noah would’ve never expected the keyboard player to say. “It made me think of Tessie, like she’s flying free just like that bird in the song.”
Noah’s heart had clenched in visceral pain. “Yeah.” It was all he’d been able to say; he knew how deeply the death of Abe’s baby sister had scarred Abe, and to think his song had given the keyboard player a measure of peace was a priceless gift.
David had just nodded and picked up his sticks to beat out a deep, gentle rhythm that fit the song. Fox had grabbed his guitar, and Abe, in whose house they’d been sitting, had taken the dust covers off the grand piano he hadn’t touched since the day Tessie died.
They’d recorded it raw using Abe’s equipment, and Noah had driven back home to leave the song for Kit before hooking up with David. Feeling pumped and as if he’d released all the toxic stuff that had built up inside him, he dumped his gym gear in the back of his car and thrust a hand through his shower-damp hair. “You and Thea want to swing by for dinner?” he asked David, who was parked right next to him.
“Nah, I have to go play trophy husband at a big dinner meeting Thea has with some too-stylish-for-you magazine people.” David’s grin belied his words.