Chapter 4

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By the time we got back to the villa, most of the other party guests had left.

Unfortunately Ryan hadn't.

The villa might have been big enough to avoid him, but that evening Stefano announced he was treating us to a meal at his favourite restaurant. To refuse would have been rude. So I grabbed a seat in the car Ryan wasn't travelling in and, when we arrived at the restaurant, I picked the chair furthest away from him. I'm not sure why I bothered. He didn't look in my direction once.

The restaurant was located in one of the beautiful old Renaissance houses. We were given a table in the garden surrounded by lemon trees. The tables were decorated with lemons too. There were six of us in all. Stefano, Gina, Ryan, Luca and Luca's girlfriend Portia, who never said very much, just gazed at him adoringly.

Hardly anyone spoke to me during the meal, although it wasn't intentional. Gina had found a handsome waiter to flirt with. The way Portia was giggling, she and Luca were talking about something completely unsuited to the dinner table. Ryan had made the mistake of mentioning the lemon trees to Stefano, and now knew far more than he ever wanted to know about Sorrento lemons being superior to Sicilian ones.

"Sixty per cent of the local lemons are made into Limoncello," Stefano was telling him. "And they use only the peel – soaking it in alcohol until the oil is released."

My eyes accidentally met Ryan's and he winked at me. I forgot myself and grinned back, and for a moment it was as though the last three months had never happened.

Stefano beamed at us. "Ryan, why did you not marry this lovely girl?"

I nearly choked on my drink.

"I don't know," Ryan said, and his brown eyes turned all sultry as he stared at me. "Why did we break up, Megan?"

Was he serious? "You went off with someone else!"

"Did I?" he returned blithely. "I don't remember."

"I'm not surprised, it was during the Grammys." If I hadn't been watching him closely, I might have missed seeing him wince. "Ah, so you remember the Grammys?"

"Hell, yeah!" Luca grinned, before Ryan could answer. "We had a great time."

"I know, I could tell from the photos!"

Ryan's sultry look turned frosty. "I do hope the reason you dropped me wasn't because you saw my photo with Destiny in one of those vile gossip magazines?" he said. "Because that would be very sad."

"It wasn't the one magazine," I protested. "It was in every magazine, and the tabloids, and all over the Internet."

"Destiny and I had our photo taken together," Ryan said. "That was all."

"We were all there," agreed Luca. "But they cut our ugly faces out of the shot."

"That's how it works, Megan," Ryan said. "I thought you knew that?"

If he hadn't been so patronising, I wouldn't have become so angry.

"I didn't drop you because of the photo with Destiny," I said. "I dropped you because you had her name tattooed on your arse."

Gina, dragging her attention away from the pretty-boy waiter, was hugely entertained. "Ryan March! You have a tattoo – on your bottom?"

"I do not have Destiny's name tattooed on my arse!" growled Ryan.

"He doesn't," agreed Luca.

"How would you know?" Gina asked him.

Luca grinned. "Sadly, our band doesn't always get the five-star accommodation it deserves. I've seen everyone's arse!"

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