‘And now I’ve destroyed it,’ Lydia said, looking at all the shattered glass.
‘No.’ He picked it up from the floor and showed her that the beautiful couple were somehow intact, just minus the sheet.
‘I hated that sheet,’ Raul said. ‘I didn’t like to say so to Silvio. It’s his art and all that, but I think he made a mistake.’
‘He’s a master of his craft!’
‘Well, I think it looks better now.’ Raul shrugged. ‘Though the valuers might disagree.’ He smiled at her. ‘But you don’t need them now, and we don’t need lawyers.’
Lydia wasn’t so sure.
She could not deal with Raul with her head.
One tryst and she craved more—one more night in his bed and she would be putty.
And she was scared to try to forgive him.
Lydia was scared of his lies—in that he was the master.
‘Come to bed.’
She knew he meant his.
And it scared her, not that she would take his crumbs...
But that she did.
WRAPPED IN A sheet on Lydia’s command, so as not to scare Loretta, they headed down the mirrored hall.
‘She won’t be here,’ Raul said as they shuffled along with him holding the statue.
‘Well, I’m not walking naked through your house.’
Lydia ignored that. Instead she asked about Loretta.
‘How come she works for you?’
‘Because she was always good to me, and when my father died I knew she would be without work.’
‘So you do have friends?’
They were at his bedroom—back to where she had promised never to be.
It was even more beautiful the second time around.
‘It’s so gorgeous.’
‘It’s your room now.’
He saw her shoulders stiffen.
‘I mean it.’
‘Raul, can we talk about this tomorrow? There’s still a lot to sort out.’
‘Raul, I’m here because you found out I was pregnant. I don’t think that’s an awful lot to base a relationship on.’
‘Nor do I,’ Raul agreed. ‘I lived with my parents, after all. It’s not just the baby.’
‘Please don’t just say the right thing. You’re a liar, Raul.’ She thought back to the plane, the first time they had flown here. ‘I can’t bear the thought of you pretending to care. That’s what you’ve been doing all along...’
‘You stand there and tell me you’re speaking the truth and then straight away you lie.’
‘When I held your hand I wasn’t lying. When we took a taxi rather than my car I was caring for you then. And when we didn’t have sex that first time...’
He thought back.
‘For a second I considered how good it would feel to get back at him.’
And she let out a sob and a laugh, because he was being too painfully honest now.
‘But then I stopped,’ Raul reminded her. ‘And by morning I could not let you leave.’
‘You should have told me you knew Bastiano.’
‘I know that,’ Raul admitted. ‘But I knew that if I did you’d leave. And you did.’
‘Had you told me...’ Lydia said, and then halted. He was right. Whichever way she might have found out, she’d have gone.
‘I missed you so much.’ Raul said.
Now she knew he was lying.
‘So much that you did nothing to try to contact me until I called and told you I was pregnant?’
‘Lydia, I didn’t even know your surname. I’ve had Allegra scouring all the castles in England.
She didn’t believe him and he knew it.
‘She’ll say what you tell her to.’
‘I think,’ Raul said, ‘that I’ve finally found someone as mistrusting as me.’
‘You had three months to find me, and yet on the same day I call you to say I’m pregnant suddenly you appear.’
‘I was already on my way when I heard your message,’ Raul told her. ‘Here...’
He placed the now naked statue on the bedside table and then went to his drawer and took out a piece of paper with her name and address written on it.
‘That’s Bastiano’s handwriting. I went to Casta to ask him.’
He handed it to her and Lydia looked at the paper. And she thought she would keep it for ever, because it told her that she had been missed.
‘You went to Bastiano just for this?’
‘Well, it wasn’t for his company.’
‘Did the two of you fight?’
‘No,’ Raul said. ‘Nearly. He said he wanted a ring that had been left to me by my mother.’