Where they’d done nothing sexual, nothing physically intimate. But they’d been intimate nonetheless. In those hotel rooms, they’d spoken to each other about far more than movies or books or chess. She’d told him about her parents, about how she’d spent every childhood birthday she could remember with a different nanny, and of her dreams of breaking into movies.
Noah, in turn, had told her that his parents had shipped him off to boarding school when he got to be a handful.
Apparently I was too much stress. They much preferred not having to see my face every day.
At the time, she’d thought that moment a crucial one in their relationship. Kit had never felt as close to a man as she had to Noah—she’d trusted him, relied on him, to the point that she’d ignored her own instincts about his insatiable sexual appetite. Until that horrible night. It had felt like being backhanded across the face.
That hadn’t even been the most awful thing.
When Noah’s eyes had met hers, she’d seen the truth—he’d done it on purpose, orchestrated things so she’d find him fucking another woman. He’d clearly realized what she felt for him, and he’d wanted to make certain she didn’t start to think he felt the same. Humiliating and hurting her had obviously been easier than just telling her to her face.
Her eyes swollen and her throat raw, Kit pressed her head to the steering wheel as the tears finally faded. She felt worn out, beaten. As an intelligent woman, she knew the best thing to do would be to cut Noah out of her life. Only she wasn’t about to give up the other guys and Molly and Thea just to avoid him.
And the worst, the absolute worst thing was that a part of her still wanted to see him, still missed him.
She got out of the car, then trudged her way to the house and to the fridge to get some water. The instant she opened the door, she remembered Noah doing the same yesterday, and that made her mind ricochet to the motel and to the syringe full of God-only-knew-what that Noah had considered pumping into his veins.
Her hand slid off the fridge, the door shutting on its own as she pressed the cold bottle of water to her forehead. It throbbed, both from her tears and from the memory of the breath-stealing fear that had gripped her that night. Regardless of how much she might want to forget Noah, to shove him out of her life, she had to accept that she’d be a wreck if she lost him so completely.
“So what are you going to do, Kit?” she asked herself.
There was no magical answer.
An hour later, she was lying in bed staring up at the ceiling when she realized her mind was going around in circles like a hamster on a wheel. Grabbing the phone, she called Molly. The other woman and Kit hadn’t gotten off to the best start—and the fault, Kit knew, had been hers. She was protective of the guys and untrusting of anyone she didn’t know. But Molly was a rare creature in Hollywood: a warm, loving human being who was fiercely loyal to her man and to her friends.
She’d quietly become a deeply trusted friend of Kit’s, someone without an agenda and honest to the bone. Becca was wonderful too, but the makeup artist was so much on Kit’s side that her advice was often one-sided. She was the kind of friend who’d cheerfully help Kit bury a body.
Molly, in contrast, never sugarcoated her answers, conscious Kit needed a sounding board who saw her flaws as well as her good points. She’d help bury that body too, but not until she’d grilled Kit on the facts and made her own decision as to the merits of the hypothetical murder. And, critically, she was friends with Noah as well, knew he was far more than just a promiscuous rock star.
“Hi, Molly,” she said when the other woman answered. “Did I wake you?”
A laugh. “It’s only eight thirty, Kit.”
“Right.” Kit groaned. “This filming schedule has reset my entire body clock. I’ll be fast asleep in another few minutes.”
“I can’t wait to see the movie.” Molly’s smile was in her voice. “Charlie’s a huge fan of the series, and she got me hooked when we were in high school.”
Kit hadn’t yet met Molly’s best friend, but she had a feeling she’d like the other woman. “Want to come to the premiere as my date?”
“Are you serious?” Molly uttered a wordless sound of excitement on the heels of her question.
“Absolutely.” A smile tugged at Kit’s lips, the other woman’s joy was so infectious. “I was going to go on my own, but it’d be fun to have the company.”
“I’d love to!”
They talked about the future premiere for a while longer before Molly said, “What’s the matter?” Her voice was gentle, caring. “You don’t sound like yourself.”