Page 68 of The Keeper

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I smile at my brother because I am genuinely proud of him. He has done well. He’s one of the most recognizable faces in movies today, as evidenced by the ten people who’ve come to our booth looking for selfies or autographs tonight.Will that be me? Our band? Will we never be able to eat out in peace again?Do I wantthat?

* * *

Our meals come,and we dig in, the conversation moving to the plot of the film and the tone Kit hopes we can convey through the songs we’ll write. My mood lightens with the creative process this inspires, and I find myself feeling much better as we finish the night, heading back to the hotel, where Nikki and Sven head off to the bar while Kit and I decide to take a walk around the city.

“I know this is happening really fast,” he says, holding my hand as we walk.

I gesture to where our hands meet and say, “The paparazzi will wonder what woman you’re with now.”

He gives me a half-hearted grin. “I don’t give a shit. Plus, they’re so creepy, they’ll have it figured out pretty quickly that you’re my sister.”

“I know this is a good opportunity,” I say on a sigh. “I know you were trying to help.”

“And I know why it makes you uncomfortable. But you’re so good. Seriously. I knew you’d be good, but you blew me away in there today. All three of you did, but the way you drum, Bill? It’s…” He lets out a breath and shakes his head.

“Thanks,” is all I can seem to come up with. It feels good to have him say it, to say I’m talented.

“Mom always saw that talent, too, you know.”

“I don’t want to talk about Mom.” My tone is sharp.

He puts up his free hand. “Okay. Sorry.” A few steps without talking, then, “How’s your boyfriend? I saw some grainy pictures in the tabloids. The beach looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite make out who he was doinking.”

My brother gets a sharp elbow to the ribs for that. He yelps.

“So mortifying,” I say, throwing a hand over my eyes.

“Whatever,” he says, dismissing me. “It happens to me all the time. It’s the downside of dating famous people. The press is always around the next corner, waiting to catch a flash of your ass or a fuck-up.”

“Well, thankfully, no one’s ass was in that picture.”

Kit laughs. “Though it seemed quite obvious what was happening, even with the poor photo quality.”

“Did Mom and Dad see it?” I dare to ask.

“Probably,” he says with a one-shoulder shrug. “But they know how it goes. You’d have heard about it already if they were upset.”


“So, you didn’t really tell me how Calum is.”

“And you know, I only brought him to keep Mom from trying to fix me up with some producer’s son or whatever.”

“Well, in spite of that, you two clearly have a thing for each other. I mean, I hire fake dates all the time, but I don’t screw them on the beach outside my childhood home.”

“Touché, brother.” I let out an embarrassed laugh. “Well, we’re still figuring things out to tell you the truth. I just know it’s real for both of us.”

“You like him?”

“I do.” It comes out quietly, as images of our last night together play in my head. I think about it often, the sweet way he tried to show me how he feels. Nothing got resolved, we didn’t talk about what we are to each other, but being with him felt incredibly right. More right than I’ve ever felt with anyone, and it scares me. A lot.

“Well, I like you two together, for whatever it’s worth. He’s kind of awkward, but I think he really likes you.”

“Awkward is an understatement. He’s probably on the spectrum but he’s so brilliant. He’s a genius on the ice and he has a really good heart.”

“And you have chemistry,” Kit adds.

“And we have chemistry.”So much. Loads of chemistry. “What about you? Haven’t seen you with a new, young starlet in a bit.”

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