Demetriou Demands His Child(7)

By: Kate Hewitt

She’d enjoyed their conversation, had found her insecurities falling away as Alekos had looked at her with such blatant male admiration, but, more importantly, had listened to what she’d said—and had seemed to understand. His words thrilled her, because they made her wonder and even hope that there might be more to her life than what her father demanded and everyone expected—marriage to a man of his choosing, most likely Lukas Callos.

But she wouldn’t think of that now. Alekos took her hand as he led her towards a set of French windows that had been left open to the evening air, and the slide of his palm across hers made her insides quake like jelly. Was it normal to react to a handsome man like this? She certainly hadn’t reacted to Lukas this way. And she barely knew Alekos. In truth she didn’t know him at all. Yet his smile made her sway, and the touch of his hand set her heart to hammering, giving her a new, buoyant sense of hope. How was it possible?

Alekos pulled aside the window’s gauzy curtain as Iolanthe stepped through onto the terrace. She rested one hand on the stone balustrade, breathing in the warm, dusty air as the sounds of the night settled around her—a distant beeping of a car’s horn, the strains of music from the ballroom. A woman’s laughter, low and throaty, and a man’s answering murmur.

The nape of her neck prickled as Alekos joined her, his shoulder nudging hers as they both looked out at the night. The Acropolis, lit up against a dark sky, was a stunning backdrop to the narrow streets and terraced buildings of the Plaka.

‘So I don’t actually know anything about you,’ Iolanthe said with a little laugh. ‘Besides your desire for justice.’

Alekos slid her a sideways glance. ‘What would you like to know?’

Everything. Anything. They’d shared only one dance, and yet this man captivated and enchanted her. ‘You live in Athens?’


‘What do you do? For work, I mean?’

‘I run my own business, Demetriou Tech.’

‘Oh. That sounds...’ Iolanthe cast for an appropriate word and came up only with ‘...interesting.’

‘It is.’

She thought she heard amusement in his voice, and realised he was probably laughing at her. And she couldn’t even blame him. ‘I don’t know much about IT.’ Even though her father’s company was IT-based. Talos didn’t believe women had any place in the business world; he’d always told her he wanted to shelter her from such concerns.

‘I wonder what you will do with your life,’ Alekos murmured, ‘now that you’re waiting for it to begin?’

For a few dazzling seconds Iolanthe imagined other possibilities than marriage: university, work, even travel. ‘I’d like to see more of the world,’ she said recklessly. ‘Go to Paris, maybe, or New York.’ She pictured herself along the Seine or in Greenwich Village, working on charcoal sketches and soaking up the atmosphere. She might as well imagine being on Mars. ‘I want to see and do things...experience life for myself rather than just watch from afar.’

‘Are you experiencing life now?’ Alekos asked softly. His fingers brushed her cheek, making her shiver at the unexpected caress, its startling yet brief intimacy. She felt as if he’d torched her insides, everything going up in a whoosh.

‘Yes...’ she whispered. She wanted him to touch her again, craved it with a sudden and overwhelming intensity. ‘I think,’ she said with a nervous little laugh, ‘this is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to me.’

Alekos surveyed her with eyes like burning gold; Iolanthe trembled when she saw his gaze drop to her mouth. ‘Then perhaps you need a bit more excitement,’ he murmured, and then he kissed her.


HE WAS INSANE. Clearly crazy to kiss this utter innocent, and yet from the moment Alekos’s lips touched Iolanthe’s he knew he was lost. The sweetness of her response was his undoing; she tensed briefly under his kiss, clearly shocked, one hand fluttering up to clutch at his lapel, and then her mouth opened under his like a flower and he drank of its sweet nectar.

Distantly he heard her gasp in surprise as his tongue swept into her mouth, claiming its softness. Her hand clenched his jacket and the mask dropped from her other hand as her body yielded to his.

Alekos was barely aware of his actions as he backed her up against the balustrade, his hands sliding down the slippery satin of her dress to anchor on her hips and bring her even closer to his arousal.

Another gasp, and far too belatedly he realised what he was doing, practically thrusting his hips against hers. He tore his mouth from hers with a gasp of his own, swearing under his breath as he eased away from her.

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