Greek Passions

By: Holly Rayner





“That’s one hell of an introduction to your industry,” remarked Kally, impressed despite herself. It’s no wonder you want to write a memoir, with stories like that.”



“Those are not the only stories I want to tell,” returned Alexandros. “I’ve made mistakes and…unfortunate decisions in my time, and I want to make a record of all of them. I want to lay everything I have done before the world. My plan for this project is to have you conduct a series of interviews and compile the material you receive with additional records which I will provide. Then my people will conduct a review and address any legal bother that might arise. But for now, the entire thing is in your hands, Ms. Jones. Will you accept the project?”



Kally fought to keep up her poker face. Hearing the closure of her former employer being described as an “unfortunate decision”, what she really wanted to do was tell him where he could shove his project. On the other hand, though, his story intrigued her, and in his own way, he had been very charming. Though she fought it with all her might, she couldn’t help sympathizing with him just a little.



He had been forced into one career just as she was now being forced into another, and if the rest of his story was anything like those first few weeks on the oil platform, the book was sure to become a bestseller. Kally knew she should have felt eager to turn her fortunes around, to finally make a name for herself as she had planned to. But she just couldn’t forgive what Alexandros had done.



At the same time, she was thinking of everything she had suffered through since her job was taken from her; being rejected over and over again; her home, her identity, the place she had poured her soul into having been snatched away. She’d been uprooted from her hometown, from her friends, and everything she knew. God only knew who was helping Beth and her family while she struggled to pay the rent. Kally was suddenly overcome with a desire to slap the Greek as hard as she could, and march right out of the restaurant’s doors.



“I’d be happy to,” she lied through gritted teeth. “When would you be available for the first interview?”



“I have an opening tomorrow at noon,” Alexandros replied, sounding boisterous once more. “But we have been here all this time; I've asked the management to close to the public and yet we haven't ordered anything to eat. I’ll call in the waiter and we can celebrate the beginning of our new project before I return to…”



“Thank you, but no,” Kally interjected quickly, realizing that The Three Rivers must be yet another of Alexandros' myriad assets. “I’m afraid I must get back right away. I have several matters I must attend to.”



“Well, that is unfortunate, Ms. Jones, but I must thank you for taking on this task. I will see you tomorrow then, at my offices.” He handed her a business card, which bore the address, along with his phone number and email, and Kally left the table.



“You fit into me like a hook into an eye,” she mumbled. “A fish hook. An open eye.” Kally hadn’t heard that Margaret Atwood poem since her literature classes, but it perfectly articulated how she felt about the man she had just abandoned. Fighting to master herself, she quietly slipped down the stairs, and emerged into the open once more. The moon shone valiantly around the skyscrapers, but she felt slightly unclean, as if a thin, slimy, film had settled invisibly on her shoulders.



I do not sip tea with the enemy! she thought bitterly. She might have to work for the man, but there was no way she was socializing with him. Between his looks and his story, she could already feel an attraction building, and she was determined to strangle it as thoroughly as if it had been a venomous snake.





THREE





Kally headed towards the subway, resolving to keep her focus, and marshaling her thoughts away from the Greek billionaire. She weaved through several pockets of subway riders, keeping alert. The suit she was wearing had cost close to six hundred dollars and she didn’t want to attract any attention to herself. She still didn’t feel comfortable navigating New York’s subway system, but in her city, a car was about as useful as a canoe in the Gobi desert. Kally hopped on a train, tried to ignore her apprehension, and leaped off twenty minutes later, relieved to be home.



She placed her hand on the handle to her building’s front door, already imagining a shower, dinner, and bed. The second her fingers made contact, however, her phone began to ring.



“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” she groaned. Kally gave her pocketbook an evil look. Only one person would call her at this hour. She ignored the ringing until it finally stopped, but just a few seconds later, it started up again. She’s not gonna stop till I answer her, Kally thought.

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