The Millionaire's True Worth

By: Rebecca Winters



“The Diethnes Hotel, please,” she told the driver. The man at the travel agency in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, had booked the budget hotel for her. From there she could walk to Syntagma Square and the city center without problem.

Chloe had phoned her from Athens yesterday to exclaim over the gorgeous seventy-eight-degree temperature, perfect for her June wedding that would take place tomorrow. Considering the prominence of the Milonis and Chiotis families, it promised to be one of the country’s major society events of the summer.

Raina, a strawberry blonde with wavy hair cut neck length, looked at the clear blue Greek sky, a good omen for the impending festivities. Chloe was the sweetest girl in the world. Raina hoped she was marrying an honorable man who’d be true to her.

Raina hadn’t been so lucky in that department, but four years had passed since the divorce and she refused to let any remaining clouds dampen the excitement for her friend. Every woman went into marriage praying it would last forever. A woman had that right, didn’t she?

Once she’d been shown to her room and had unpacked, Raina went back downstairs for directions to the nearest pharmacy for headache medicine. The concierge told her there was a convenience store in the next block many of the American tourists frequented.

Raina thanked him and made her way down the street.

* * *

Akis Giannopoulos smiled at his best friend. “Are you ready to take the big plunge?”

Theo grinned. “You already know the answer to that question. If I’d had my way, I would have kidnapped Chloe and married her in private several months ago. But her mother and mine have had an agenda since the engagement. Wouldn’t you know the guest list includes a cast of thousands?”

“You’re a lucky man.” Akis was happy for him. Theo and Chloe seemed to be a perfect match. “Can I do any last-minute service for you before you become a married man?”

“You did more than enough helping me make all the hotel arrangements for our out-of-town guests. I suggest you go back to the penthouse. I need my best man relaxed before the big day tomorrow. Will your brother be there?”

“Vasso phoned me earlier. He’ll make it to the wedding, but then he has to get back to the grand opening so he’ll miss the reception.”

“Understood. So, I’ll see you at the church in the morning?”

Akis hugged him. “Try to keep me away.”

The two men had been friends for a long time. Naturally Akis was thrilled for Theo, but he was surprised to discover just how much he would miss the camaraderie they’d shared as bachelors. Having done so many things together, Akis was feeling a real sense of loss.

Theo’s life would now be swept up with Chloe’s. Falling in love with her had changed his friend. He was excited for this marriage. Akis marveled that Theo wanted it so much.

How could he feel so certain that marrying Chloe was the right thing for him?

Marriage meant a lifelong commitment. The woman would have to be so sensational. Akis couldn’t fathom finding such a woman.

Aware he was in a despondent mood that wasn’t like him, he left the bank Theo’s family had owned for several decades and decided to walk to the penthouse in order to shake it off. After the wedding rehearsal that had taken place this morning, exercise was what he needed.

Tourists had flooded into Athens. He saw every kind and description as he made his way to the Giannopoulos complex. After turning a corner, he almost bumped into a beautiful female in a T-shirt and jeans coming in his direction.

“Me seen xo rees, thespinis,” he apologized, getting out of her way just in time.

She murmured something he didn’t quite hear. For a moment their eyes locked. He felt like he’d suddenly come in contact with an electric current. She must have felt it, too, because he saw little bursts of violet coming from those velvety depths before she walked on. By the way she moved, she had a definite destination in mind. The last thing he saw was her blondish-red hair gleaming in the sun before she rounded the corner behind him.

* * *

Raina slowed down, shocked by what had just happened. Maybe it was her bad headache that had caused her to almost walk into the most gorgeous male she’d ever seen in her life. Not in her wildest dreams could she have conjured such a man.

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