Ice formed in her gut again.

Striding across the carpet, she picked it up. “What the hell is this, Noah?”

“Kit?” He looked up, his pupils hugely dilated. “I can smell you. You always smell so good.” Reaching out, he touched her thigh. “I guess I must be really drunk if I’m imagining you here.” With that, he grabbed the bottle she hadn’t seen at his feet and took a swig.

Holding the syringe with one hand, Kit pulled away the bottle with the other and slammed it on the nightstand. “What,” she said again, gripping his jaw to force him to meet her gaze, “is this?”

An unconcerned shrug. “Something to make me high as a kite according to the dealer.”

“Jesus, Noah, you don’t even know what it is and you were going to shoot up with it?”

“Couldn’t do it,” he said on a harsh laugh. “Kept hearing your voice in my head telling me you have no fucking respect for people who fucking space out on drugs. And now I’m hallucinating you.” He swiped out at the bottle, missed when she grabbed it first. “Gimme back my whiskey, Hallucination Kit.”

“I’ll give you your whiskey.” Taking the bottle, she went into the tiny bathroom and poured the liquid into the cracked and stained sink.

Noah got up and followed her. His face fell. “Don’t do that, Hallucination Kit. Now what will we drink?”

Ignoring him, she finished with the bottle and depressed the plunger of the syringe while holding it over the sink. Once it was empty, she put it on the narrow back ledge of the sink so the maid would see it straightaway. Hopefully the cleaning staff had a process for disposing of needles. “Where’s the vial?” she asked Noah after dumping the bottle in the garbage.

Noah just looked at her, his jaw bristly and dark. It had always fascinated her that he could be so blond and yet have such dark stubble, eyebrows, and eyelashes. She’d always had to fight the temptation to bite at his jaw, taste him. Today, however, all she wanted to do was hit him. “Where. Is. The. Vial?” she repeated deliberately. “Noah!”

When he still didn’t answer, she pushed past him, his muscled chest warm under her touch, and began to open the drawers in the nightstand. They proved empty, and there was no other furniture in the room aside from the bed. Going to her knees, she looked under the bed, caught the glint of glass. The vial had rolled underneath, likely after Noah knocked it off the nightstand.

It was empty and unlabeled.

Throwing it in the trash in the bathroom, conscious of Noah watching her with an intensity that felt like a touch, she began to search the bed for his T-shirt, careful to touch things only with the tips of her fingers. She couldn’t think about the fact that he’d been fucking some other woman in this bed not long ago or she’d throw up.

“You want to fuck, Hallucination Kit?”

She’d jerked up her head, intending to flay him for the question, when he said, “I don’t want to. Not with you.”

And the bastard kept kicking her, kept hurting her. “I wouldn’t sleep with you if you were the last man on the planet.” Having found the tee, she threw it at him. “Put that on.”

He did so, oddly compliant.

“Noah,” she said, worried again. “Did you take anything else? Pills?”

“No, because Kit hates drug addicts. I drank. And then I ran out of booze so I went and bought some more and drank again.”

Since she could smell the booze, she had to believe him on that point. “When was the last time you ate something?”

Another shrug.

Kit could’ve left then, but she couldn’t abandon him here. Regardless of how much he’d hurt her, he’d once been her friend. Her best friend. “Come on, let’s go get a burger.” When he didn’t move, she held out a hand despite how deeply she wanted to maintain distance between them for her own sake. “I’m hungry.”

His eyes went to her hand and he moved at last, coming over to close one big hand around her own. His fingertips were callused from playing the guitar, his skin tougher than her own, his temperature hotter. The contact was a shock to her system, anger and pain and hurt entwined.

Swallowing it all down, she tugged him out of the room and to the car. “I’ll go pay the manager,” she said once she’d unlocked the car.

Noah laughed as if she’d told a crazy joke. “I might be drunk and hallucinating, but I know this place is prepay.”

Right, of course it was. “Then get in.”

The smell of alcohol and of Noah filled the car as she drove them out of the seedy area. “What are you doing back in LA? I thought you were in Hawaii?” Fox had mentioned that fact in passing when she’d had dinner with the lead singer and Molly the night before the couple left for their road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Tags: Nalini Singh Rock Kiss Erotic