Demetriou Demands His Child(10)

By: Kate Hewitt



‘When I didn’t see you at the ball, I thought you’d tired of me.’ She nibbled her lip, appalled realisation swamping her eyes. ‘That is, you haven’t, have you...?’

‘No. I haven’t.’ Although God knew he should have. She was inexperienced, innocent, dull. For both their sakes she had to be. The alternative was breaking her heart and shattering her naïve hopes as he took what he so desperately craved from her and then walked away as he knew he would. As he had to. He took a deep breath. ‘I was just about to go upstairs.’

‘Upstairs?’

‘I have a suite at the hotel.’ For the last four years he’d been living in Corinth, close to his factory and warehouses, making sure security was tight and all technical information highly classified. He would not have an invention stolen from him a second time. Taking a suite for the evening of the ball had been expedient.

‘You do?’ Her eyes widened and Alekos saw the suggestion in them as clearly as if she’d verbalised it. And he realised, to his own shame, that he’d mentioned the suite because he wanted her there. Of course he did.

‘You could come up for a drink,’ he said gruffly, well aware he was plunging down a road he had no business to tread for a single step. One drink. A kiss or two. And then he would let her go. For ever.

‘All right,’ she agreed shyly, and Alekos wondered if she even knew what she was getting into...or if he did.

* * *

Iolanthe spared no more than a fleeting thought for Lukas and her father before stepping into the lift with Alekos. Maybe she was being foolish, even stupid. And if not that, then reckless and wanton. Right then she didn’t care. This felt like her only chance at happiness. She and Alekos had a connection; even he acknowledged it.

If she didn’t go with him now, the prison doors would close for ever.

Tonight was for magic.

Alekos ushered her out of the lift and down a long, plushly carpeted hall, before he swiped his key card at the door at the end, and then swung the door open to reveal a luxurious suite with floor-to-ceiling views of the Acropolis.

Iolanthe’s breath came out in a rush as she stepped into the open-plan living area of the elegant space, barely noticing the leather sofas and ebony and teak coffee tables as awareness rippled over her skin and alarm twisted in her stomach.

What was she doing here?

‘A drink,’ Alekos said, and went to the minibar tucked in a corner of the room. Iolanthe dropped her bag and mask on a nearby sofa, unease and excitement warring within her. This was dangerous, crazy—and also incredibly exciting. Common sense told her she should bolt, and yet she stayed put. She couldn’t bear the thought of the evening ending, the doors slamming shut on her future. And she wanted Alekos to kiss her again.

Alekos took a bottle of champagne from the little fridge and held it out to her. ‘Seems appropriate, don’t you think?’

‘I suppose.’ She’d only tasted champagne a few times in her life.

Alekos popped the cork, the sound a mini explosion in the stillness of the room, and then poured them each a flute. He handed one to Iolanthe and she took it with numb fingers. ‘Gia sou.’

‘Gia sou,’ she whispered, and drank. The bubbles fizzed up her nose, making her cough. Alekos arched an eyebrow and Iolanthe tried for a laugh. ‘Sorry. I never seem to get the hang of champagne.’

‘Innocent in this as in everything else.’

Something about his tone made her prickle defensively. ‘I can’t help being innocent.’

‘Well I know it.’

She cocked her head, noting the way his eyes had narrowed and his mouth had firmed. Did he not want her here? Did he regret asking her up? She couldn’t bear the thought. ‘What is it?’ she asked unsteadily. ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’

‘Because you shouldn’t be here,’ Alekos said, the words harsh and unrelenting, confirming her fears. ‘I shouldn’t have asked you up here. You don’t know what you’re getting into, Iolanthe.’

A thrill ran through her, and to her surprise Iolanthe recognised it as excitement rather than fear. ‘What if I do know?’ she dared to ask.

Alekos took a step closer to her. ‘Do you?’ he returned, his voice low; Iolanthe couldn’t tell if his words were a threat or an invitation. Maybe both.

And the truth was, she didn’t know. At least she recognised that much. She knew what happened between men and women, she understood the basics of sex, but this...desire was utterly new to her. And completely intoxicating. She couldn’t leave. Not now, not when Alekos was offering such a tantalising glimpse of a new world, a world she’d only dreamed of and read about in books. She’d wanted a kiss, but even she in her innocence recognised the look of blatant intent in Alekos’s eyes, and knew he was thinking of far more than a kiss.

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