The Millionaire's True Worth

By: Rebecca Winters

“I would have come, but as you know my grandmother wasn’t well and I was afraid to leave her. Then I started college and met the man who became my husband. When our marriage didn’t work out, I divorced him. Then, of course, my grandmother died and I needed to take care of my grandfather, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer. There was never a good time to come to Greece.”

Chloe’s father patted her hand. “You’ve had a great load on your shoulders.”

“My grandparents raised me. I loved them so much and owed them everything. But I have to tell you, the year Chloe spent with me was the happiest of my life. It was like having a sister. My grandparents adored her.”

Nora smiled with tears in her eyes. “She loved the three of you. Why don’t you consider this your temporary home and stay with us for a time? There’s nothing we’d like more. Chloe would be ecstatic.”

“That would be wonderful, but I have a job waiting for me when I get back.”

“You like your work?”

“Very much,” but she was prevented from saying more because a maid appeared beneath the striped patio awning. She said something in Greek and suddenly the best man walked out on the terrace.

“Akis!” Nora cried with warmth in her voice.

Raina’s heart skipped several beats. In a short-sleeved white crew neck and matching cargo pants, he robbed her of breath, with his rock-hard physique and arresting Greek features.

He hadn’t seen Raina yet and said something in Greek to Chloe’s parents with an aura of authority she was sure came naturally to him. He sounded intense, with no accompanying smile. After he stopped talking, they both started to chuckle and turned to Raina.

The man’s dark head jerked around in her direction. His penetrating gaze caused her body to fill with heat. To her dismay she lay helpless on the lounger in another T-shirt and jeans with her leg propped, hardly an exciting sight. The look of shock on his face was priceless.

“You’re here,” he muttered, rubbing his chest absently. “I went to the hotel but the concierge said you’d already checked out. Theo’s parents claimed they didn’t know you, so I decided to come over here to find out if you were a friend of Chloe’s.”

The knowledge that he’d been trying to find her excited her. Again she was struck by his heavily accented English. For want of a better word, she found it endearing. Raina nodded to him, stunned that he’d gone to such lengths to find her. “Friends from a long time ago. Her parents sent a car for me this morning so we could visit.”

“Which has been long overdue,” Nora stated in English.

He still looked thunderstruck. Raina could read his mind. “Did you think I had invited myself to the reception?”

“No, but I got the feeling you didn’t want to be noticed,” he drawled. She had the feeling nothing got past him.

“While you two talk, I’ll tell Ione to serve lunch out here.” Nora got up from the deck chair and Chloe’s father followed her, leaving them alone.

Raina swallowed hard. She never imagined seeing him again and wasn’t prepared for this overwhelming response to the very sight of him.

He pulled up a deck chair and sat down next to her. His black eyes played over her from head to toe, missing nothing in between. Her pulse raced. “How’s the pain this morning?”

“I took an ibuprofen and now it’s hardly noticeable. At this rate I’ll be able to fly home soon.”

“What’s the rush?”

“Work is waiting for me.” I don’t dare spend any more time around you. I didn’t come to Greece to meet a man who has already become too important to me.

He leaned forward with his hands clasped between his hard muscled legs. “What kind?”

Oh, boy. She could tell she was in for a vetting. The less he knew about her, the better. She was afraid to be open with her feelings for fear of being hurt again. After having made a huge mistake in choosing Byron, she feared she didn’t have wise judgment when it came to men.

Byron had been relentless in his pursuit of her. She’d been so naive and so flattered by his attention, she’d fallen into his grasping, narcissistic hands like an apple from a tree. His betrayal of her even before their marriage had scarred her for life, forcing her to grow up overnight.

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