The Art of Forgiving a Greek Billionaire (Book 4)

By: Marian Tee

Unlike Damen, who had been dressed in a business suit, Ioniko had been dressed much more casually. He was wearing faded jeans and a gray shirt that had specks of blood on it. It made his stomach churn in fear, but again Damen told himself it did not mean anything had happened to Mairi. He would know if something had gone wrong and Mairi was not in a good place. He would know.

Ioniko said without preamble, “I have taken certain precautions to ensure that the person inside the warehouse would not be thought of as missing by his family and colleagues. However, that excuse will only last until tomorrow.”

Damen only nodded.

The warehouse was just as abandoned as the rest of the shipyard, with only one utilitarian-styled pendant light switched on. Yellow light beamed down from it, centered on a fat middle-aged man, blindfolded and tied to a chair. More of Ioniko’s security surrounded the man, all their faces impassive.

At the sound of footsteps coming towards him, the man started to snivel. “Please let me go—”

“Shut up,” Ioniko said in a cold voice that had the man snapping his mouth closed even as his body trembled. He was covered in his own sweat, his clothes dirty and torn in some places. He also smelled distinctly of piss and fear.

Ioniko said contemptuously, “His name is Cleon Frangos. He works as a dean in one of the schools here. Mairi was unfortunate enough to have tried applying for a post in his school.”

Damen stiffened, finally realizing the connection between this despicable man…and Mairi. He could feel himself shaking, his fists clenching in hapless rage as he waited for Ioniko to speak.

Ioniko looked at Cleon with distaste. “Now Frangos, I want you to repeat exactly what you told me about what happened when Ms. Tanner applied.” When Cleon refused to speak, he calmly moved forward and gave the other man a swift but hard punch to his guts.

Cleon groaned in pain. “I-I’ll speak. Please d-don’t hurt me anymore.”

Ioniko moved back. “I won’t ask nicely again.”

Cleon struggled to speak past the pain. “W-when I learned that Mairi Tanner was a-applying, I t-thought she was fair game…”

The words had Damen whitening. His first thought was of Mairi. He was surely the reason, Damen thought in sickening realization, Mairi had been forced to apply for a post in Cleon Frangos’ school, a situation that had made her so damn vulnerable – and she had not even known it.

“She was supposedly Damen Leventis’ fiancée, but I thought it couldn’t be true if she was looking for a job. Like everyone, I knew that Esther Leventis and the Kokinos clan had it out against her. So I thought sh-she would not protest…” Cleon paused, his body shaking harder. The last time he talked about this part, he had gotten beaten. Badly. Enough to knock out a couple of teeth.

Fear made Cleon stop with his narration. Instead, he whined, “I would never have done anything to her if I had known—”

Ioniko stepped forward. In the next second, his fist connected with Cleon’s face. “Stick with the story,” he said harshly.

Cleon’s face felt like it had been turned into a painful mass of flesh. He had to swallow convulsively and spit out blood before he could speak again. His voice hoarse, he mumbled, “I made h-her wait. I t-thought if she was willing to wait for hours for her interview, it meant she was desperate.”

Damen closed his eyes, knowing what the man’s next words would be.

“And she waited.”

And it meant that Mairi had been desperate.

In his mind, he saw her again. Young, beautiful, so full of love for him that she was willing to do everything to prevent him from worrying about how her life had been ripped apart the moment she chose to stand by his side.

She had loved him so goddamn much, and in return all he had done was hurt her, over and over.

“I locked the door. I knew…my s-secretary would not interfere because she did the same thing for me. She knew I’d f-fire her if she interfered.”

Damen did not want to hear any more. He only wanted to kill Cleon Frangos because this man before him – this pitiful excuse for a human – had dared to hurt what was his. Rage flared inside him, and the urge to snap the man’s neck was intense, but Damen made himself ignore it. Refusing the urge was his own way of inflicting punishment on himself.

He did not deserve to kill Cleon Frangos because he knew he had hurt Mairi even more.

And so now, he continued to listen, another form of self-punishment he welcomed because he deserved it.

“Sh-she was wearing a blouse and a tight skirt. Th-the skirt showed a l-lot of her legs.” Cleon bit his lip hard.

But Ioniko would not allow Cleon to withhold anything. He said coldly, “Don’t stop now.”

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