She neither replied nor looked at him.
‘I’ve got someone to see you, precious.’ He turned to a young man standing behind him and saidcurtly, ‘Make it quick.’
He was twenty, little more than a boy. His hair was shaggy, he looked as though he hadn’t
shaved for days, and his eyes were wild with pain and anger. He went quickly to the girl anddropped on his knees beside her, speaking in an imploring voice.
it is I, Luca. Look at me, I beg you. Forgive me for everything
they sayour child is dead and that it is my fault
I never meant to hurt you
—can you hear me?’
She turned her head and seemed to look at him, but there was no recognition in her eyes. Theywere lifeless.
‘Listen to me,’ the boy implored. ‘I am sorry,
I am so sorry. Becky, for pity’s sake, say
that you und
She was silent. He reached up a hand to brush her light brown hair aside. She did not move.
‘I did not see our baby,’ he said huskily. ‘Was she pretty like you? Did you hold her? Speak to
me. Tell me that you know me, that you love me still. I shall love you all my life. Only say thatyou forgive me for all the pain I have brought you. I meant only to make you happy.
name, speak to me.
But she said nothing, merely stared out of the window. He dropped his head into her lap, and theonly sound in the room was his sobs.
THE words stood out starkly, black against the white paper.A boy. Born yesterday. 8lbs 6oz.A simple message that might have been the bringer of joy. But to Luca Montese it meant that hiswife had given a son to another man, and none to him. It meant that the world would know of hishumiliation, and that made him curse until there was nobody left to curse, except himself, forbeing a blind fool. His face was not pleasant at that moment. It was cruel and frightening.Fear of that face had made Drusilla leave him as soon as she knew she was pregnant, six monthsago. He had arrived home to find her gone, leaving him a note. It had said that there was anotherman. She was pregnant. It was no use trying to find her. That was all.She had taken everything he had ever given her, down to the last diamond, the last stitch of
couture clothing. He’d pursued her like an avenging fury, not in person but through a battery of