Pollyanna and the Greek Billionaire

By: Marian Tee

Chapter One

One month after Book 1

“There’s still time to back out.” The words were spoken in a mocking undertone, but Stavros Manolis was half-serious. He, Kyr, and Damen had been friends since childhood, and one of the things that had bonded them – as well as set them apart from other wealthy families’ scions – was their pragmatic view of life.

Which was why he didn’t get this wedding at all, Stavros thought. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in love. He did. But what he didn’t understand was the need for haste.

Sure, Pollyanna Graham was a pretty little thing, and her name did fit her well. She was like a ball of sunshine, making everyone smile wherever she was. But was that enough reason for marriage? And after only knowing Pollyanna for barely two months?

Stavros’ skepticism did not go unnoticed. Adjusting his bowtie in front of the full-length mirror, Kyr caught sight of his best man’s reflection and knew right away what his friend was thinking. Dismissing the attendants fussing around them, he waited until he was alone before saying, “Do your job, will you, Manolis?”

“I am. I’ve got the escape car ready, in case you change your mind,” Stavros deadpanned.

Kyr rolled his eyes. “I won’t change your mind, you bastard.”

And he won’t.

He won’t.

He adjusted his bowtie, the thought that he would be acquiring a wife in less than an hour suddenly creating a strangling pressure around his neck. The past few weeks streamed in his mind, none of them making him feel any better.

He remembered the day he had proposed to her, and yes, now he could see that he had been impulsive and had let his fears gotten the better of him.

But he also knew if he had to do it all over again, he would have.

She already meant too much to him, and to lose her would destroy him.

Stavros said behind him quietly, “I’m not saying you shouldn’t marry her.” His friend met his gaze through the mirror’s reflection. “But don’t you think this is all too fast?”

The words stayed with Kyr even when he was already inside the chapel, waiting with the rest of the wedding guests for the bride. Roses scented the air, the flowers lovingly selected by the Floros from their farm, while the lilting notes of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major streamed down from the balcony, played live by a world-famous string quartet that Kyr had flown in specially for the occasion.

There’s still time to back out.

His jaw clenched. Damn you, Stavros Manolis. Best men weren’t supposed to play devil’s advocate at times like this.

But he couldn’t shake the words out—

Until the chapel doors opened and he saw her.

She stood between her parents, her face covered by a veil, and her body sheathed in a resplendent gown of silk and lace, its mermaid outline emphasizing her voluptuous curves. Even this far, he could sense her nervousness, which went well beyond trepidation. The stiff set of her shoulders, her too straight back, and the way she tightly gripped the arms of her parents as they started down the aisle—

She was frightened out of her wits, Kyr realized grimly, and why the hell shouldn’t she be?

Their wedding had attracted the attention of the paparazzi, turning what should have been an intimate affair into a publicity circus. He had planned to get rid of all reporters and photographers but she had stopped him, telling Kyr that she didn’t mind their presence at all.

But her smile hadn’t reached her eyes, and she had been holding her breath while waiting for his answer. He had realized then that a part of her believed he didn’t want media coverage because he was ashamed of her.

And so against his better judgment, he had forced himself to tolerate their presence.

But right now, he wasn’t sure at all it had been the right thing to do.

If she had been jittery yesterday, she was worse off now, and Kyr was sure it had to do with all the negative things being said about her on social media. Some of his ex-lovers had spoken of less than flattering comments about her, and all of it had been happily gobbled up by the masses. There had even been a poll about whether their marriage would end with a happy-ever-after or a divorce, and an overwhelming majority had voted for the latter.

She had to have known all that and yet she had never uttered a single complaint, never voiced any doubts or accusations about how much her life had changed in the blink of an eye.

And all because he was too selfish to let her go.

Watching her slowly come to him, all his reservations melted away, leaving behind a grim resolve.

I will take care of you, psaraki.

I have sworn to make you the happiest girl in the world, and I will not break my word on our wedding day.

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