Driven By Love

By: Marian Tee

Prologue



“O Theos na ton anapafsi.”

May God rest his soul, and the hundreds of invited guests murmured them over and over to the family of the deceased. Their soft voices echoed throughout the hallowed halls of the church, their tones painfully bleak.

Tyler shifted uncomfortably on his feet and pulled on his collar. He knew he should be thankful, being one of the lucky few who had been selected to cover the first death anniversary of Greece’s most beloved public official. But if Tyler was honest, he would rather be covering the opening of the 10 millionth hotdog stand in Central Park. Memorial services depressed the hell out of him, and this one was fast proving to be one of the most depressing.

Everyone inside the church had grim looks on their faces. If he didn’t know better, he’d have assumed Orion Christopoulos had just died yesterday instead of a year ago. Had Orion Christopoulos really that been great, Tyler wondered. Since his job only required him to follow society gossip, Tyler had no idea at all about politics, much less news that had to do with governments outside America.

A shadow fell over Tyler, briefly covering the light streaming from the stained glass walls of the church’s balcony. When he looked up, Tyler did his very best not to gape.

Leandro Christopoulos.

It really was him!

Tyler nodded to his cameraman, who immediately raised his camera to his shoulder and zoomed in on the Christopoulos heir.

Tyler giddily took in his fill of the billionaire swiftly making his way to the podium. Tall, dark-haired, and olive skinned, Leandro was very much like the Greek god he was often called by his fans worldwide. Dressed entirely in black, he cut an imposing figure, his presence so magnetic and strong it felt like he was omnipotent.

There was a look of deep respect in most of the locals’ eyes as they gazed at Leandro, almost like they wanted to bow down as the new head of the Christopoulos family walked past them.

When Leandro came to stand behind the microphone, Tyler heard the women next to him inhale sharply, the sound akin to someone who, after living in darkness for so long, just had a glimpse of the sun.

In all honesty, that was how the past twelve months had felt like, Tyler thought. He was a proud member of the Leandro Christopoulos fans club and had been one of the millions heartbroken upon learning that Leandro was joining his family as they withdrew from the public while in mourning.

Not a single picture of any of them surfaced in the media, which was why the press had gone crazy when the announcement about Orion Christopoulos’ death anniversary had been released. After one long year of being starved from any semi-naked and sweaty photos of one of the world’s most infamous bikers, the public was willing to pay just about anything to catch a glimpse of him.

As Leandro spoke of his gratitude for those who had come to honor his father’s passing, Tyler was content to just stare at the billionaire. His cameraman could fill him in later about whatever it was that Leandro said. Now, all he wanted to do was daydream and pretend that he was the one girl allowed to be with Leandro during the past year.

According to those close to the family, Leandro, his younger sister, and his mother had worn black every day of their mourning as well as refrained from attending any social gathering.

There were also rumors about how the Christopoulos family had made personal sacrifices as a way of exhibiting their deep sorrows over Orion’s passing. Tyler had heard from the grapevine that Orion’s widow had gone on a year-long fast, the young girl had taken to studying at home, while Leandro…

What had Leandro Christopoulos sacrificed? Tyler pondered with a frown. Maybe he went off womanizing? He still remembered Leandro’s younger days fondly. Every time Leandro had won a race, he would take off his shirt and throw it to the crowd. Catfights always erupted after that because everyone knew whoever could bring his shirt back to Leandro would have the privilege of sleeping with him that night. As for the rest, well, they had the consolation of being able to gawk at Leandro’s half-naked body.

Those days were the best, Tyler thought with another inner sigh. Leandro Christopoulos had been the wildest of wild cards, taking every kind of dare and challenge thrown at him. And, oh, the parties he had thrown and the stories that always emerged after, of his prowess in the bedroom. Once, there had even been a rumor going on about Leandro’s ability to make a woman come in five minutes. Leandro had denied it on camera – and then proceeded to prove to the sexy reporter that he was able to do it in less by making her come in three and a half.

Tyler was abruptly pulled out of his memories when he heard the minister declaring that the service was over. That only meant one thing – the short interview that Leandro Christopoulos had promised to grant after the service would finally start.

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