The dial tone buzzed in her ear.


Kit stared at the receiver, almost sure she’d imagined the whole thing, but then why else would she be holding a phone in her hand while her publicist’s commanding tone reverberated in her head. Her publicist! Heart slamming into her ribs, she dropped the phone on the counter, flicked on the coffeemaker, and ran to the bathroom. If Thea was calling her this early, it either meant very good news or very bad news.


Chapter 16


Water thrown on face and teeth quickly brushed for good measure, Kit pulled on her kimono-style blue silk robe over the thigh-length slip she wore as nightwear, stuffed her feet into her favorite slippers, and made her way to the kitchen. It was already light outside, and despite her late night, she didn’t feel too ragged.


Maybe because the hours with Noah had felt like a dream, as haunting and as insubstantial as mist—you couldn’t capture it, except in your memories, no matter how hard you tried.


Trying not to sink back into the fragile and fleeting perfection of it, she’d just reached the counter when the phone rang again. She picked it up at once. “Thea, what’s wrong?”


“Nothing’s wrong,” the other woman said. “Something could be very right if we manage it correctly.”


Exhaling, Kit took a shaky breath. “Next time, tell me that.”


“Hey, I called you at six. If it was a problem, you’d get a call at three.” Thea sounded chipper as a bird. “So, last night’s gala was good?”


“It was wonderful.” A beautiful, heartbreaking pretense. “We didn’t steal any of Tierney’s artwork, and Noah didn’t punch any reporters, so the gala can’t be the issue.”


“Are you kidding?” Thea laughed. “You got amazing coverage everywhere. Which is what we need to talk about.”


Coffee having finished brewing, Kit poured herself a cup and spooned in a teaspoon of sugar. That was her one indulgence, the single thing she’d never given up, not even for a costume of body paint and Lycra. Life wouldn’t have been worth living without her once-a-day treat of sweet coffee.


Drawing in the aroma and moaning silently, she said, “Did we get some exciting interview requests?” It must be prime time if Thea was so buzzed. Kit’s own adrenaline kicked in at the thought, her cells jumping.


“Something like that—it’ll be easier if I show you. Hold on.” Sounds in the background. “Looks like our favorite channel’s cycling the story after the ad break. Switch on the television.”


Padding into the living room, coffee in hand, Kit brought up the well-known entertainment channel and settled into her sofa to wait as the ads played. “I met a couple of big movers and shakers last night,” she told Thea in the interim. “Noah did me a big favor taking me to this shindig.”


“I’ll say.”


Thea’s words had just cleared the air when the early morning host came on.


And in today’s breaking exclusive, it looks like things are finally getting hot and heavy between bad-boy rocker Noah St. John and Oscar-nominated actress Kathleen Devigny. The two have been friends for years, but last night, they stepped out as a couple for the first time, and boy, did they look good together.


Just between you and me, our sources tell us they’ve been a couple since the band’s sellout tour. We don’t blame these two lovebirds for being so secretive, because talk about chemistry! This may be the Tinseltown romance of the year. Stay tuned for more.


Kit stared at the screen, coffee forgotten. It filled with a shot of her laughing up at Noah while he looked down at her. She swallowed, not able to blame the media for jumping to conclusions… because right then, in that moment caught by the cameras, they looked like they adored one another.


Then came a playful image of her blowing him a kiss. Another of the two of them climbing the steps, Noah’s hand on her lower back, a final shot of Noah grinning as he took photos of her. The montage made them appear a couple so comfortable with one another that neither the cameras nor the lights caused any anxiety.


Chest hurting, she muted the TV. “We’ve been to other things together,” she said to Thea. “Why is everyone jumping on this?”


“Did you see that first photograph?” Thea asked. “It’s like you set it up for maximum impact.”


“I didn’t!”


“I’m not saying you did, but Noah’s wearing an impeccably fitted tuxedo. Noah never wears anything but ripped jeans and T-shirts. Everyone is gushing about how romantic it is that he cleaned himself up for your first big night out together as a couple.”


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