“They call themselves the NoKats.”
Mouth falling open at Thea’s response, Kit shoved her sunglasses to the top of her head. “NoKats? Are you kidding me? We already have a nickname?”
“You always did,” Thea said, sanguine and in control as always, her sleek black hair in an elegant twist at the back of her head and her golden-skinned face expertly made up. “It was low level, nothing worth bothering about. People love shipping fantasy couples, and most of the time it doesn’t go anywhere.”
“All these years while you hung out with Schoolboy Choir,” Thea said, slicing into her blueberry muffin, “you had to know fans were starting to imagine things.”
“Why with Noah?”
“The chemistry, babe,” Thea said after chewing and swallowing a bite of her muffin. “But it wasn’t just Noah. The AbKats are bummed. The KatiDid and DeFox groups already threw in the towel since Molly and I had the bad form to come between you and David and you and Fox.”
Eyes narrowed, Kit glared at a laughing Molly. “Your sister is making this up to screw with me, right?”
But Molly shook her head, her brown eyes teary with laughter and her creamy skin flushed. Pushing her beautiful tumble of black hair behind her ears, she spoke through her amusement. “Thea showed me one of the forums on the way here.” A hiccup as she tried to catch her breath. “I reckon the AbKats are still holding out hope you’ll dump Noah for Abe.”
“Oh for God’s sake.” Kit wished she’d ordered wine rather than iced green tea. “And who the hell came up with NoKats? At least you and Fox got Foxy.”
“Fox hates it, but I tell him at least it’s better than Folly.” Molly’s eyes danced as she reminded Kit of her suggestion. “David and Thea don’t have one though. How come?”
“Because I’m a PR specialist who doesn’t like to be in the media myself,” Thea said. “I quashed that little bug before it sprouted.”
“You couldn’t do the same for the NoKats?”
“Sorry, Kit, but the NoKats and co were good for your brand.” Thea checked an incoming e-mail. “They were just waiting to believe. Now they’re lighting up the Internet.”
Eating a bite of the carrot cake she’d split with Molly, Kit put down her fork. “This is getting out of control.” Panic beat at her—because instead of dying down, the attention only seemed to be gathering steam. “We’re never going to be able to walk away without damage.”
“It’s early days,” Thea said without the least tension in her voice. “You’re new and shiny. My spies tell me another new and shiny couple is forming in the wings as we speak—in a blatant attempt to steal some of your limelight—so you’ll get a breather soon.”
“Who?” Molly leaned forward, then winced. “Damn it, I’m supposed to stop with my celebrity-gossip addiction.”
“It’s not gossip.” Thea patted her sister’s hand. “It’s intel. And this manufactured hookup is going to be between Abigail Rutledge and Garrison Stone.”
Kit sucked in a breath. Abigail was the rumored frontrunner for the lead role in Redemption, and Garrison was said to be a shoo-in for lead male. Lowering her voice, she leaned toward the other women. They instinctively dipped their heads toward her.
“I didn’t want to jinx it by saying anything,” she whispered. “But Harper told me this morning that Esra might be considering me for the female lead rather than the secondary role.” Her heart thumped at even the idea of it.
“Oh my God.” Voice low but excited, Molly squeezed Kit’s hand.
Thea smiled, no hint of startled excitement on her face.
Spies, Kit reminded herself. Thea had spies everywhere. “But if Abigail’s got Garrison on her arm…”
“Pfft,” the publicist said after eating another bite of her muffin. “Garrison’s doing Abigail a favor because she once did him one, but they have no chemistry. Zero. Zilch. If I was their PR manager, I’d have nixed the idea. They’re only going to show the world—and Esra—exactly how bad they’d be as an on-screen couple.”
“Are you sure?” Kit frowned. “Abigail is an excellent actress and Garrison is brilliant.”
“I could be wrong,” Thea allowed. “It has happened once or twice in known history.” A wry smile. “Which is why it’s good you’ll be at Zenith with Noah this weekend.”