The Art of Forgiving a Greek Billionaire (Book 4)

By: Marian Tee



She whispered, “Last night…”

“…will not be repeated unless you want it to happen again.”

It was her choice, always her choice, she thought painfully. It was her choice if she wanted to prove to herself that she would no longer be the same stupid girl who would let Damen sweep her into his arms every time he came back to her side and tell her he was sorry.

Because he would always be sorry.

She understood that now.

He would always love her, always want and need her, but somehow he could not find it in himself to trust her, and love without trust –

It was nothing.

“Mairi?”

She blinked, not realizing that so much time had passed. Most of the passengers had already exited the plane. Drake was on his feet and he was offering her his hand.

Slowly, she took it. His hand was large, making her feel small as her hand was engulfed in his hold. His touch was hot, protective, but there was also no denying the intense awareness that blossomed from their entwined fingers. His touch told her he wanted her still, but it was her choice. It would always be her choice.

They didn’t speak as they walked past immigration and she only nodded when he told her to wait while he got their luggage.

The one small part of Drake that had a conscience told him he was being too hard on Mairi. He was almost a hundred percent sure of how today would play out, and yet here he was, leaving her alone. He stopped midstride, slowly turning around to look at Mairi.

She was a solitary figure in the crowd, her sadness making her pretty face become hauntingly beautiful. The whole time he had spent with her, she had not shed a single tear. It should have made her seem strong, but somehow it only made her look frailer in his eyes – like she was now a vessel of tears, and they were all just waiting for what would make that vessel crack and allow the tears to flood out.

As Mairi waited for Drake to come back with their luggage, she kept her mind blank – it was all she could do not to break down. It was only now that she was beginning to realize that she had really gone and left her haven in Rhode Island, and that she had to face the realities of her life.

The whole world thought of her as Damen Leventis’ gold-digging lover, and soon they would know that Damen believed the same thing, so much so that he had thrown her out in the cold of the night.

She inhaled sharply, the rush of tears in her throat making her want to cry out. For a second, everything was completely black. She was no longer at the airport, no longer one person in a crowd of thousands. For that one second, she was drowning in pain—

“You’re really here.”

That voice.

It lassoed Mairi out of her world of pain and she shook her head, wondering if she had mistakenly heard that voice.

She looked up.

No.





Damen

~ Three ~



Three Months Earlier

Athens, Greece



Rage and despair turned Damen Leventis inside out as he stood alone in his home’s office, waiting for a call that he knew in his heart would not yield good news. Outside his window, Athens’ cityscape glowed like a jewel in the night, a mixture of historic sites and impressively modern structures. Its beauty, however, did not just leave him cold. He was also blind to it for memories of this morning were all he could see. It had started with another call, one he had not expected.

His phone had rung, and he had been wary when he saw it was Ioniko Vlahos, someone he never considered a friend and one who had turned into a rival when Ioniko made it plain he also wanted the woman who had captured Damen’s heart.

“Vlahos.” Years of etiquette drummed into Damen forbade him from being discourteous for no reason, although worry over Mairi and sheer jealousy made him want to snarl at the other man.

“I will not make this longer than it should be. I learned that Mairi is missing and that you are unable to find her.” A pause. “I have done my best to search for her as well without any success.”

Damen’s heart had withered a little more at that, but he told himself doggedly that it was nothing to be worried about. Her aunts were just damn good at hiding her, but there was nothing to worry about. Nothing had happened to Mairi Tanner. He would know if something did. He would know, dammit.

“However, in my efforts to look for her, I’ve found out about something that probably everyone indirectly involved had been terrified to tell you.” Vlahos’ voice had turned cold. “I believe that you have the right to decide what to do with…what I have uncovered.”

It had taken Damen only half an hour to meet Ioniko at his meeting place of choice, a newly built shipping yard that belonged to the Vlahos’ business empire. The place was curiously empty, with only a few men around. None of them were yard workers. All of them were part of Ioniko’s own security, and the fact made Damen grim. He did not have a good feeling about this.

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