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Sergio meets Smeralda and Rachel for breakfast.
For a moment Cory watched Katie as she deliberately turned her gaze back to the view. Then he slowly came to sit by her.
"How are you feeling?" he asked, trying to sound casual.
Katie shrugged with aggravating indifference, as though he was no more than a stranger chatting her up at a bus-stop, as if they hadn't spent the night together.
"Katie, I don't know what to say," he insisted weakly.
When Cory woke to find her gone, he blindly ran down to her suite. Although her handbag and belongings were still there, he wasn't comforted. What if she left because of what he did, and something happened to her? Relieved as he was that she didn't act recklessly a second time by flying into the woods, finding her with Mark hadn't exactly pleased him either.
Katie knew Cory was freaking out, she'd known since the night before, when he'd anxiously buzzed around her like an annoying insect, when all she wanted to do was sleep. It wasn't as though he'd climbed in through her window and attacked her in bed - she'd turned up at his door in the middle of the night, without bothering to come up with a half-decent excuse for it. Deciding she'd tortured him enough, she turned to meet his nervous gaze.
"Yeah," she said, looking at him with exaggerated cynicism in her green eyes, "it was quite an ordeal."
Hearing the humour in her voice, Cory wanted to pump his fist into the air with the elation he felt. As they smiled at each other in a truce, they quickly turned at the sound of Mark clearing this throat.
"Erm," he jerked his head to the indoor area, "Marco is here."
"What?" Cory ejaculated, checking his watch. "But it's not even... when he said early-"
Mark's eyes rested pointedly on Katie, then flicked back to Cory. "He'll want to see her."
They both looked at Katie, taking in the bruise on her forehead and cheek, the cut on her lip. Then all three of them looked at Mark's bandaged hand.
"Shit," Cory and Mark said, at the same time.
There was a tense pause, and Katie broke the silence. "I think it's better if I talk to him," she said firmly.
Cory opened his mouth to protest, but Mark nodded and disappeared indoors. Cory jumped up and followed him, catching him by the arm as he strode across the dining room area.
"Mark," he implored, "it's a bad idea. He's going to draw the wrong conclusions, we should keep her in the suite."
Mark irritably shook his arm free. "He's not going to let up unless he sees her, and if we lie about it he'll hound us like that time we accidentally double-booked a wedding. Besides," he looked at Cory, "don't you think we should respect Katie's wishes for once?"
Registering the heated look on his face, Cory's eyes narrowed. "What's going on here? Is this about last night?"
"No, of course not," Mark shook his head, but there was something different about him.
"Oh my God, is this one of your tactics to get in her good graces?" Cory exclaimed incredulously. An unpleasant feeling he couldn't quite describe burned through his chest when a slow smile spread across Mark's face.
"Not exactly," he conceded, "but I see little harm in keeping her on side."
Taking in Cory's outraged expression, Mark patted him on the shoulder. "Are we really arguing over a girl? I give you my word, this isn't a game to me anymore." Before Cory could answer, he briskly walked ahead and disappeared down the lobby staircase.
Cory stood rooted to the ground, struggling to comprehend what Mark had just told him. If it wasn't a game, then what was it? Something more serious? Shaking off his concerns, he managed to wipe the troubled expression off his face in time to greet Marco.
"I need to work for a couple of hours, I'll leave you to it!" Mark called, stepping backwards and turning with a wave to exit down the stairs.
Cory sighed as Mark disappeared from view. "Marco, what did Mark tell you?" he asked wearily.
"Mr Benedict told me that Katie is now your guest?" Marco confirmed, rather grimly as his eyes rested on Cory's naked torso.
"Yes, she's outside