The Millionaire's True Worth

By: Rebecca Winters

“As long as you’re offering, I wouldn’t say no if you hailed a taxi for me. I’m craving my hotel room so I can elevate my leg.”

“I’ll do better than that.” Akis accompanied her from the ballroom and down the hall to the foyer. The woman at his side managed her crutches with little trouble. En route he phoned his driver and told him to come to the hotel entrance.

As they walked outside, flashes from the cameras of the paparazzi blinded them. Chloe and Theo’s wedding would be the top story making the ten o’clock news on television. Video of prominent guests and the best man attending the reception filmed by TV news crews would be included.

Some of the paparazzi called out questions about the beautiful woman with Akis. He hated the attention though he was used to it, and kept walking her to the smoked-glass limo without answering them. He took her crutches so she could get in, then he followed and shut the door before sitting opposite her. “Are you all right?”

“I am. Are you?”

“I am now. The press is unrelenting. Tell me where you’re staying and I’ll let the driver know.”

“The Diethnes.”

A lot of tourists on a budget frequented two-star hotels like that one. Until he and Vasso had started making money, he could never have afforded to stay at any hotel. Period. Akis gave his driver directions and they pulled away from the Grand Bretagne. “When did you have time to injure your ankle?”

She let out a sound of exasperation. “It happened right after you and I passed on the sidewalk. I had a headache and was on my way to a store for some medicine. While I was inside, I slipped on the wet floor. It was such a stupid accident, totally my fault for not paying attention. The clerk was incredibly kind and called the ambulance for me.”

Akis mulled over her answer. Had she decided it would be easier to attend the reception rather than the wedding because of her injury? If she’d been at the church, he wouldn’t have been able to take his eyes off her during the ceremony.

“Are you in pain?”

“Not really. It’s more a dull ache until I rest it.”

“I’m sorry you had to fall, especially the day before the wedding.”

“Funny about life, isn’t it?” she murmured. “You never know what’s going to happen when you get up in the morning.” The almost haunted tone in her voice intrigued him.

“How true. When I left for the wedding, I didn’t know I was going to meet the lovely stranger who’d passed me on the street yesterday.”

“Or be chased by the maid of honor tonight,” she said in a wry tone. “Am I mistaken, or were you taking flight?”

“You noticed that.”

“It was hard not to.” She chuckled without looking at him. “I would imagine a man with your looks and minus a wedding ring needs rescuing from myriads of females.”

He blinked. “My looks?”

“You know very well you’re the embodiment of a Greek god.”

Akis frowned. “Which terrifying one are you referring to?”

At this point she laughed. “I didn’t have any particular god in mind. It’s something American women say when they’ve met an exceptionally good-looking man.”

“Then they haven’t seen one of our Greek statues up close or they’d run for their lives in the other direction.”

Her laughing continued. He decided she was somewhat of a tease.

“I don’t know. Despite your fearsome expression, the female pursuing you tonight didn’t seem turned off by you. Quite the opposite, in fact.”

That’s exactly what Althea had been doing for weeks. Maybe he’d misjudged her, but it didn’t matter because he hadn’t been attracted. “You saved me from being caught. For that, I’m in your debt.”

“I’m in yours for giving me a lift to the hotel,” she came right back. “We’re even.”

Akis had never met a woman like her. “Are you a friend of Theo’s or Chloe’s? I don’t even know your name.”

“Let’s keep it that way.”

Her remark shouldn’t have bothered him, but it did...

They continued down the busy street. “Oh— Look—” she cried softly. “See that store on the right? Alpha/Omega 24?” He nodded. “That’s the one where I fell. My hotel is in the next block.”

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