When Hannah woke a few hours later, she knew before opening her eyes that she was alone. She felt bright sunlight on her closed eyelids. The day had dawned long ago.
Eventually she cracked open her eyes and squinted at the bright sun outside. She was naked, and her body ached in secret places.
She already had a slightly sickening sense that Lukas was gone. But for a moment she imagined that he would appear back through the door bringing breakfast pastries and coffee.
She got up and pulled on a robe. She saw a shopping bag by the door containing fresh clothes. Underwear. And then she saw the note, propped up against a vase on a table.
Superstitiously she didn’t want to look, but then she forced herself to pick it up and read it, as her gut churned. It read: Hannah, thank you for last night. I’m sorry that I can’t give you more, be more. I just can’t…do this. I’ve arranged for a car to wait for you to bring you home. L.
Hannah sank to the floor, her insides wrenching apart. In one way she couldn’t exactly blame him for leaving. After they’d made love for a second time, she’d told him she loved him. Because she did. And this was no teenage infatuation, this was full-blown, adult love.
She’d loved Lukas Zárate in some form her whole life and he still had her heart, body and soul. And now she was ruined forever.
She wasn’t sure how long she sat there, in a kind of stupor, before the ringing of her mobile phone broke through the haze. She jumped up. Maybe it was— But the number on the screen was a palace number.
She answered and listened to the person on the other end. Princess Laia and the King would be arriving in Santanger within a few hours. She was needed back at the palace immediately.
Hannah packed her heart in ice, gathered up her things and left the hotel and damned Lukas Zárate to hell.
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