Chapter 2

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"Bugger!" I backed into the shadows, but it was far too late. Ryan was already climbing out of the pool and pushing his way through the crowds on the terrace.

There must have been a hundred people downstairs and it would be easy enough to disappear amongst them but I really wasn't in the mood for hide and seek. Besides, vanity or not, I'd just got off a plane and looked like a wreck. I'd have to find someplace better to hide.

It only took moment to step out of my room, leaving it unlocked, and straight into the one opposite, which I knew was Gina's. Thankfully Gina wasn't in it, or I would have had a lot of explaining to do.

I waited, hearing my breathing echo in the deserted, darkened room. Two minutes, five minutes ... I was almost disappointed. Had I made a mistake? Did Ryan even care that I was here at all? And then I heard the soft pad of bare feet coming along the corridor.

I risked a peek through the open door and there was Ryan, soaking wet, his white shirt now transparent and plastered against his skin. I caught a glimpse of his ribcage as he reached out to knock on my door. He was far too thin! What had he been doing to himself? Apart from enjoying the hedonistic life of a rock star, obviously.

"Megan?" he said softly. "Are you there?"

I closed Gina's door until there was only the tiniest crack left open, and prayed he wouldn't hear me breathing.

"Please, Megan? I only want to talk. I think you owe me that!"

Owe him? He was the one who'd had a date with Destiny. I didn't owe him anything!

I watched him lean against the door and sigh, his fingers trailing down the wooden panel until they reached the handle. I held my breath. Would he realise the door was unlocked? Would he go inside?

He gave the door a final slap with the palm of his hand and then strode off down the corridor, leaving only little puddles of pool water to show where he had been.

I closed my eyes and leant back against Gina's door, hearing it click softly as it closed behind me.

At which point the light went on.

"Coward," said Luca.

I opened my eyes.

"Bugger," I said, for the second time that night.

As well I might. Gina's brother was an imposing sight – six foot five in his bare feet. Currently wearing only a pair of jeans, he was covered in tattoos, his long black hair dripping wet and hanging loose around his bare shoulders. And he didn't appear at all pleased to see me.

"Why are you hiding from Ryan?" he asked.

"I thought this was Gina's room," I said, neatly avoiding the question.

"It is," he said. "My shower isn't working so I thought I'd use hers."

At least that meant I would be spared the sight of Portia, his ravishing girlfriend, in a similar state of undress. I found myself leaning slightly to one side, so I could peer into the bathroom behind him, but it was so full of steam he could have had a whole bunch of models in there and I wouldn't have known.

I realised he was also now leaning to one side, trying to maintain eye contact with me. "Megan? Are you OK?"

"Sorry!" I groped for the door handle behind my back. "I didn't mean to intrude. I'm leaving right now."

He reached easily over my head and held the door shut. "Why are you even in Sorrento? Did you know Ryan was going to be here?"

I shook my head. "No, but I'm pretty sure your sister did. And when I catch up with her – "

"Ryan will want to speak with you," Luca said. "He was gutted when you broke it off."

"Gutted he was caught out, you mean?"

"What? No! Look, you guys really need to talk this through. Wait here and I'll find him for you."

"No!" I said, far too quickly. "I mean, tomorrow would be better. It's late. I'm feeling tired." I even managed to feign a yawn.

He regarded me dubiously. "If you're sure?" But he took his hand away from the door all the same.

"Well, it was lovely to see you again, Luca. Say 'hi' to Portia for me." And I shot out through the door before he could stop me.

After that, there was no way I was going downstairs. Instead, I returned to my room, locked the door, shoved cotton wool into my ears and went to bed. Surprisingly, I was asleep within seconds. If anyone knocked on my door again, I didn't hear them.

Tomorrow ... I told myself, just as I nodded off. Tomorrow I would catch the first available flight out of here.


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