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The Art of Loving a Greek Billionaire (Book 3)

By Marian Tee

Copyright 2014 by Streak Digital Publishing
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner
whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations
in a book review.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is
purely coincidental.

Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl who grew up listening to bedtime stories where there were
no knights in shining armor or Prince Charming. Instead, it had Greek billionaires and this little girl
dreamt shed one day have Her Own Greek Billionaire to live happily ever after with.
When this little girl grew up, she found what she was looking for. He loved her too, but the whole world
did not approve.
This is my story.
I mean your story.
I mean, Mairi Tanner's story.

The whirring sound of a helicopter landing a short distance away reached the security team stationed
outside the Panathenaic Stadium like the faintest echo, but it was enough to get everyone moving, all of
them assigned to ensure just one thing: that no media outlet would ever know why Athens most famous
and historic stadium was privately rented at this hour.
These men have too much money, one of them muttered in a low voice to his companion as he
peered through his binoculars and saw the door of the helicopter open. It only had one passenger, and to
anyone born in Greece, his face would be instantly recognizable. His name was Stavros Manolis, a
billionaire whose reclusive workaholic ways made every young Greek lady wish that she would be the
one to open his eyes to the charms of marriage.
He continued grumpily, Renting the entire stadium for a secret meeting at three in the morning? No
sane man does that!
His younger companion said hesitantly, Maybe theyre scouting the place for a corporate event
The older man cut him off, Ill give you some advice, Chucky doll. If you want to stay employed by
the boss, you better start following Perez Hilton.
Chucky, whose real name was Christophos but everyone in the team called Chucky as part of his
initiation, was confused. Who is Perez Hilton?
His superior sighed. Google it. If you want to keep your job, thats the first thing you should do
tonight. As one of Mr. Leventis bodyguards, we do not have to worry about dodging bullets.
This came as a surprise to Chucky, who had thought it was his short but excellent stint with the US
Air Force the reason he had been hired by the billionaire. Hes a billionaire. Theres surely always a
threat to his life
The medias the only threat to his life. He likes his privacy because he has a bat-crazy mother who
doesnt know how to mind her own business. He doesnt allow any intrusions in his private life, and in
the years Ive been leading this team Ive managed to keep his name out of any major scandal, the older
man said proudly. But unfortunately, what happened in Ms. Dianas school
What happened then? Since he had only been hired two days ago, Chucky found himself even more
and more confused.
It was hell. He broke his engagement to the Kokinos girl and then he proposed to his mistress right
after. The media went crazy with that and when the footage was aired, the reporters started wondering
what Mr. Manolis was doing there.
What was he doing there?
The idiots think Stavros is Ms. Leventis lover. His loud snort was enough to express his opinion.
Theyre sniffing in the wrong direction, and thats exactly how Mr. Leventis wants it.
Chucky could no longer keep up. Mr. Artini, Im more confused now could you tell it to me
straight? Why are these two billionaires having a secret meeting in the middle of the night?
Mr. Artini looked at him in exasperation. Why else, Chucky doll? Throughout history, why do two
men, friends or foes, have a need to settle their differences? What can two men never compromise on?
He jerked his head towards the stadium, which from where they were standing, appeared like a golden
arena for gladiators, its lights blazing brightly amidst the nights darkness.
They want the same woman and neither of them wants to give up.
Damen Leventis waited wordlessly for Stavros to climb the last few flights of stairs leading to the
topmost row of seats in the stadium. Made entirely of white marble, the stadium was the only one of its
kind. It was also historic for being the place where individuals battled for personal glory and honor in the
worlds first modern Olympics.
That fact appeared uppermost in Stavros mind when, upon reaching Damens side, he remarked
blandly, Should I have brought my fencing sword, Damen?
A mirthless smile slashed Damens lips. If that is your roundabout way of asking if I am giving up
Mairi to you, then yes, you should have. But a fistfight would also do anytime.
Both mens faces were impassive as they considered each others words.
I respect your claim to her, Stavros said finally, but I need to speak to her. Surely that is not
asking much?
An ironic laugh almost escaped Damen. Not much? It was obvious Stavros had never been in love.
Perhaps he thought he had been with Mairi a fact that bothered him immensely but no, it had not been
love. If it had been, then Stavros should know that anything that involved his woman and another man was
too much.
If Stavros had been in love with Mairi, then surely he would know and understand the driving need
inside him to keep Mairi under lock and key and prevent any other man from seeing her. She was the most
beautiful girl to him. In his mind, it was always only a matter of time before a man in her company would
fall in love with her.
Mairi Tanner, with her hopelessly optimistic ways, had made him Damen Leventis, the man who
supposedly did not feel believe in love. What more the men who already knew the joy of giving ones
heart to another?
She is still stressed by what happened. It was a lie, of course. Stress didnt seem to be a word that
existed in Mairis vocabulary. Many times, Damen marveled at how happy she seemed, just because she
was with him. It was a humbling thought, and one that made him even more possessive of her.
Stavros nodded curtly. I understand. But I do intend to speak to her soon. I have searched for her for
a very long time, Damen. I treasure our friendship, but I will not let it stand in my way.
Damen inclined his head in acknowledgment of his friends words. Just know, he said softly, that
I feel the same way. You have been a good friend to me all these years as well, Stavros. But it is Mairi
who is most important to me.
They did not speak after, simply nodding at each other in understanding. To anyone else, they would
have appeared almost like twins, both of them bearing a strong resemblance to the gods their ancestors
worshipped. Whereas most men used fancy clothes and expensive haircuts to emphasize their superiority,
both men were dressed in conservative dark suits, the kind that the expert eye would recognize as hand-
sewn creations that cost more than an average persons annual wages.
Power clung to their hard strong bodies like second skin, and for those who knew the story unfolding
between the two Greek billionaires, the realization that both men out of the millions of women who
would do anything to have their attention wanted the same girl and a rather ordinary one at that, well it
was the stuff that dreams were made of.
It was six in the morning when Damen got back to his home and he went straight to his bedroom, where
Mairi slept peacefully, dressed only in his shirt and panties. It made his heart ache. She had once told him
that she had a hard time sleeping when he wasnt around and to comfort herself, she would wear his shirt
just to have his scent close to her.
Seeing her legs bare was enough to have Damen hard. It used to surprise him, the way his body was
so quickly aroused by almost anything that had to do with Mairi. He had never felt like this with any
woman and he had bedded so many. But then, he had never fallen in love with any of them.
Only Mairi had captured his heart. It was thus no longer so strange that she owned his body, too.
Damen spread thick blankets over her, and Mairi immediately huddled under it like a child. The
unconscious action had Damen smiling. All the women he had dated had been calculating, always wanting
to have their wares on display, even in their sleep.
Kissing her on the forehead, Damen quietly left their bedroom and went to his study, wanting to check
his emails before joining Mairi in bed.
He worked through his emails steadily and only one of them made him pause. It was a report from the
private investigator he had hired, succinctly written and pointing to one clear fact: Ioniko Vlahos still
wasnt seen dating any other woman.
Considering the fact that Ioniko was one of Greeces most notorious playboys, the report was
ultimately displeasing.
First Stavros, and then now Ioniko appeared to still be in the picture.
Sometimes, he could not help but consider how life would be a lot simpler if he had fallen for a gold
digger. At least with gold diggers, he could be sure that his wealth alone, should it surpass Manolis and
Vlahos fortunes, would keep a woman loyal. But with Mairi?
Damen was just not at all sure his love would be enough to prevent her from realizing that she
deserved a far better man than him.
Chapter One

A week later
For a moment, she stood arrested behind the sliding glass doors, her heart hopelessly entranced by the
man who worked behind the desk. Dark-haired and olive skinned, his stunning Mediterranean features
were made more prominent by the whiteness of his shirt, its unbuttoned state revealing the wide muscular
expanse of his chest.
The frown on his face made her own chest twinge. Even without him saying a word, she knew what
was going on behind closed doors. There wasnt one article printed about the struggles that Damen
Leventis now faced but she knew those problems existed, and it hurt that he was suffering for choosing to
love her.
He had turned his back on the Kokinos family, who owned one of the most powerful and largest
shipping empires in the world. And he had made an enemy out of them when he broke his engagement to
the Kokinos heiress the same night he had declared his love for an American schoolteacher, a nobody
The gorgeous Greek billionaire seated behind the impressive looking mahogany desk looked up, his
dark eyes unerringly finding her.
The nobody who loved him with all her heart.
If there was one thing in the world she could ask God for, Mairi thought wistfully, then it would be
that Damen would always know she loved him more than anything else in the world. It was the silliest
wish, but she wished it with all her heart.
He waved for her to come in, a small gesture that was commanding all the same because it came from
a man who was completely used to being in power.
She quickly stepped forward within the range of the motion sensors and the glass doors slid open. By
the time she had crossed the room, Mairi had already slipped into the role that was expected of her or at
least a role that she expected of herself.
This man had sacrificed so much for her.
The least she could do was be everything a woman in love should be.
Damen watched his lover gracefully walk towards him, carrying a tray that bore a cup of his favorite
kind of coffee and a plate of Greek delicacies that he knew she had personally prepared for him as well.
She carefully placed the tray down on the coffee table, asking lightly, Still busy?
Damen closed the folder of the files he had been studying, all of them reflecting the downward trend
of his companys stocks. Im never too busy for you, he said, beckoning for her to come close with one
arm. When she was close enough, he pulled her swiftly towards him and captured her lips with a kiss.
Her arms went around his neck. His tension communicated itself to her, and wanting to relieve
Damen of his stress, she pulled away, tiptoed, and whispered in his ear, I have a request then. She was
already red-faced by the time she finished speaking, the thought of what she was about to ask making her
feel faint.
Sensing her embarrassment, he gazed down at her in puzzlement. Whatever you want, I will give it
to you. As he spoke the words, an insidious thought made its way to his mind, something so vile that he
quickly pushed it away.
Mairi was squirming in his arms, and he welcomed the added distraction. Raising a brow, he asked,
Is it that hard to say?
She wanted to tell him. She was sure he would be shocked, but she was sure he would be pleased,
too. After all, he always loved it when she went wild for him.
Mairi opened her mouth.
Nothing came out.
She swallowed and tried again.
Nothing came out still.
In frustration, she grabbed his mobile phone and, clicking the browser open, typed a URL that had
Damens brow shooting up again. There were porn sites and then there were porn sites. The one Mairi
had typed was something even he was not familiar with, and he was a man.
Naughty, naughty girl, he murmured.
Shut up, she mumbled without looking up, knowing shed lose her nerve if she did. She clicked
Damen choked. You are serious?
Mairi gulped. Yes.
He made her look at him. Why are you asking this of me?
She said honestly, Ive always wanted to try it. What she wouldnt tell him was why she was
asking him of it now, and she knew she wouldnt ever tell him the reason.
He said slowly, You are sure?
If she said no, Mairi knew he would accept it. But the heat in his eyes told her that doing so would
cost Damen. He might not admit it now, but he was definitely enamored by her idea.
Mairi said faintly, Just please be gentle?
Her words made him shudder. When you say that, Im more inclined to be rough with you, matakia
It was her turn to tremble, and she whispered, When you say something like that, I kind of want you
to be rough with me, too.
Damen groaned. Words. They were just fucking words and yet he was instantly hard as a rock, every
cell in his body urging him to sink his cock into her lush heat. Raking a hand through his hair, he gritted
out, One last time, Mairi. Are you sure?
There was no time to speak, Damen taking her lips once more the same time he scooped her up in his
arms like she weighed no more than a feather. She closed her eyes, leaning her head against his chest as
his lips released hers and moved down her neck. His hand was caressing her breast, teasing her nipple to
When she opened her eyes, they were already in their bedroom and Damen was lowering her onto the
bed. He followed her right after, dealing swiftly with both of their clothes. This time, his gaze had
become dangerously hot, making Mairi wonder nervously if she had perhaps bitten off more than she
could chew.
No backing out now, he growled. He flipped her around and then arranged her limbs so that she
found herself on all fours.
Oh, daaaaaamn.
Had she really asked Damen Leventis to take her ass?
She must have been crazy.
Damen. His name came out as a whimper, but she wasnt sure if it was because she was terrified
or excited.
He settled over her, his chest pressing against her back, and the heavy weight of him made Mairi
breathless. Was this it? Was she ready?
She tensed when he started to move, knowing it would hurt but unable to say anything to prevent it.
She whimpered again when she felt Damen palming the cheeks of her ass, lovingly, possessively. One
hand settled on the small of her back and pushed.
Mairi obeyed, lowering herself until she was practically flat on the bed while her ass was up in the
air. He moved away from her and she started to breathe, only to feel his hands back on her ass. Her breath
caught in her throat as Mairi felt Damens fingers slowly prying the cheeks apart.
Relax, he whispered, just before using one finger to caress that tiny sensitive hole.
Mairi shuddered. She felt him moving back towards her and she tensed even more. Anytime now,
anytime now
Damens finger left her sensitive hole and instead found her clitoris from behind. She was already
wet with anticipation, but with his fingers playing with her nub she became even more so. Damen. She
couldnt stop moaning his name, couldnt stop moving in response to the rhythm that his fingers set.
More? he asked in a purring voice.
She nodded, no longer able to stay coherent, not with his fingers sliding inside her, three of them at
the same time. It was heaven and hell, the way those fingers of his could move so beautifully but never
able to be as satisfying as the length and thickness of his cock.
Those tiny little gasps Mairi made had him aching all the way to his balls, but he controlled himself,
knowing that if he did not he would only end up hurting her. He took his fingers out and used her own
wetness to lubricate her other hole.
She moaned at his touch, and this time he knew she was more aroused than scared. Again, he leaned
towards her, his chest against her back, close enough for Damen to reach one breast. Cupping her tender
flesh, he squeezed her breast and teased her nipple the same time he slid one finger inside her other hole.
Damen! It hurt, the pain blazing, enough to have her feel like she was about to lose consciousness.
Pinching her nipple to have her gasp, he used the distraction to move his hand back down once more
and teased her clitoris anew while keeping his finger inside her other hole.
Pain and pleasure battled inside her. It was impossible to forget the rawness of his penetration, but it
was just as impossible to ignore the aching bliss of his fingers on her clit. She whimpered, she moaned,
she cried, not knowing what she was begging Damen for. All she knew was that she couldnt take
Damen! His finger had started moving inside her other hole.
It will be even better soon, darling. He spoke the words between clenched teeth, the sexy sounds
Mairi was making enough to test his control. He fucked her with his fingers from the other side, knowing
that the sensation of being doubly penetrated would soon make her forget the pain.
In, out. In, out. Oh God, would it ever end? Would she want it to end? Please, please
She didnt know when it happened or how. All Mairi knew was that her body craved his possession
in a way it had never before.
And he knew it.
He pulled his finger out, and without giving her time to draw another breath, he pried her cheeks open
and slid the head of his cock in. Her moan blended with his groan, the pleasure taking them both by
She was tight, extremely so, more than he could have ever imagined. He wanted to move, wanted to
sink deeper into her ass but he did his best to control his desires. Mairi was not just any girl. She was the
woman he loved. He would rather slit his throat than have her hurt the tiniest bit once more.
The urge to move became stronger, and he dug his nails into the sides of her hips. He drew a breath

And that was when he felt it.

Mairi, moving slightly back to bump against him, causing the entire head of his cock to slide inside
She moaned, but this time he couldnt detect even the slightest thread of pain in it.
Or at least he didnt think he had. Dio, let it not be his imagination giving him an alibi to move.
Mairi, he said hoarsely. Perspiration covered his body, a result of his extreme efforts. How do you
feel now?
Unable to make her throat work, Mairi could only push herself against him harder.
He did not imagine that.
Damen tried to keep his touch gentle as he pushed her down, silently commanding Mairi to flatten
herself against the bed. She did so with a whimper, her hands clutching a part of the bedsheets between
her fingers.
She was right to be scared.
Damens hands returned to clasp her hips in a chain-like grip. No matter how much shed wriggle or
try to break free, Mairi knew it would be impossible now. No matter how much she begged, she knew
Damen wouldnt let go of her now. And oh dear, but how that thrilled her
Im going to ride you hard now, matakia mou.
Oh, oh, oh did he really have to tell her that? Did he really want her to be even more nervous and
tense as she waited for him toto
He withdrew, creating a popping sound as the immense head of his long and hard cock came out of
her ass.
Mairi gripped the bedsheets harder, her breaths coming in deep fast gulps
Without warning, Damen pushed his cock back in, fast, strong, and hard in a totally unexpected and
absolutely possessive move.
Pain and pleasure ripped through Mairi, making her scream, but there was nowhere to go now.
Damen had her in his possession, and he kept ramming into her, over and over, harder and faster, stronger
than he had ever taken her.
His cock, its every movement and possession, soon became her world. Her eyelids drifted closed
and her fingers tightened on the bedsheets as each thrust caused her breasts to jiggle and squish against the
He was so rough, so dominant, this Greek billionaire of hers, but she wouldnt want him any other
She gasped when he suddenly pressed close, her back against his chest. One hand went down, large
fingers clasping hers on the bed while his other arm went around her waist, moving down to play with her
Her eyes widened and her gasps became strangled, the way his fingers moved deftly over her clit
causing Mairis pleasure to spiral out of control.
Oh, God, I cant
Im taking you every way, matakia mou.
The fierce tone of his voice caused her to twist her head so she could look at him.
And that was it.
He claimed her lips, his touch claimed her pussy, and his cock claimed her ass.
Tongue thrusting, fingers thrusting, and his cock ramming into her.
She screamed and sobbed her release against his mouth, her entire body shuddering against his as
Damen proved true to his words.
She was his, in every way, and he was making sure she would never forget it.
When Mairi resurfaced, she was alone in their bed, Damen watching her idly as he stood next to the open
doors of their bedrooms balcony, a dark silhouette against the bright sunlight.
He was, she noticed drowsily, dressed in a shirt and board shorts, and with sunglasses pushed up on
his head. Too gorgeous to be true, she thought helplessly as butterflies fluttered in her stomach.
Are you going out? she asked.
He nodded. Would you like to come with me? He paused. If youre not too busy trying to find
She forced a laugh. I can put it off, Mairi said airily. She would never ever tell him about the
countless rejection letters she had received via her email, all of it proof that the Kokinos and Esther
Leventis threats about blacklisting her in Greece had not been just words.
Something that felt like distaste soured his tongue, but Damen ignored it, telling himself that there was
nothing wrong about Mairi living the life of an idle billionaires wife. For that was what she could be as
the woman he loved.
Mairi asked awkwardly, What about you? Dont you have work to do today? There were so many
questions she wanted to ask. What did his board have to say about the impact of his broken engagement on
the planned merger between the two shipping empires? What measures had he taken to address the sliding
prices of his companys stocks? Had he met with his publicist already and strategized about reputation
She wanted to ask so many more, but Mairi managed to hold her tongue. Damen Leventis was a proud
man and she did not want him to think she was doubting his ability to solve his problems.
Was that all she was going to ask? Did she really care about him? And why were all these doubts
surfacing now, when he had already made his bed and the whole world expected him to lie on it with his
American schoolteacher?
Damen forced a smile. Youre marrying a billionaire, matakia mou. Have you forgotten that fact?
Was it just her imagination or did his words seemloaded? She shook the thought away. My bad,
she answered lightly. I did forget that the great and mighty Damen Leventis is indeed one of the worlds
richest men.
Her exaggerated tone made him laugh.
Rolling her eyes at him, she asked, But really, where are you going? Can I come with you?
Chapter Two

One moment, Mairi was staring white-faced at their guides as they let her and Damen loose, the strong
winds speeding up their ascent, her feet barely touching the floor of the speedboat. It felt like a giant
invisible hand was pulling the parachute strapped to their backs. The next moment, they were flying
Her Greek billionaire, gorgeous, sexy jerk that he was, simply laughed in the face of her fear.
Ignoring Damen, Mairi slowly opened her eyes, looking down to see how high off the ground they
Too high.
She closed her eyes again. What she had gotten herself into? And why, oh why had she been silly
enough to think she could do parasailing
Matakia mou, a sweetly dark voice murmured. Open your eyes.
Ah, yes, now she remembered.
It was because Damen Leventis had wanted to do this with her, and Mairi could not resist anything he
One strong hand cupped her cheek, stroking the soft skin gently. Come on, Mairi.
Strong winds continued to whip them from behind, making her feel like they were going to be blown
away anytime. Her feet dangled in the air, and after what she had seen, Mairi did not like to think about
how much air there was between them and the ocean.
And yet
That voice.
It was the most beautiful sound on earth.
She opened her eyes and stared straight into his. I. Hate. You.
Damen laughed again.
Ah, dear Lord, would she never tire of hearing that sound?
Damen Leventis was not the man who laughed easily or often. But that he did so with her even if it
was usually Damen laughing at her never failed to make
His eyes moved down briefly before returning to her face. Your toes are curling, he remarked, a
sly smile that was also irritatingly sexy forming on his thin beautiful lips.
Its because I hate you.
His knuckles brushed her cheek once more in response. Do you really?
He was blatantly seducing her.
And she was, darn it, happy to be seduced.
I Her words were cut off by a sudden loud creaking sound from one of the metal chains that kept
them connected to their parachutes.
Damen saw Mairis face turn white.
Knowing she was seriously scared now, he asked tautly, Mairi, look at me.
She raised fear-darkened eyes to him.
Ah, shit. Why had he thought to take her parasailing when she was clearly scared out of her mind?
What an asshole he was. This vacation on Crete was supposed to be an unforgettable memory for them,
not a fucking nightmare for her.
Youre safe with me. He spoke in a quiet and firm voice, an unconscious reminder that he was her
rock and he would do anything to protect her.
She nodded, the movement slight.
Im going to wave to the guides now, he told her. Ill get them to reel us down
Mairi quickly shook her head. No, Im okay. Just She smiled weakly. Talk to me while were
Talkto you?
It could be anything. I feel Color stained her cheeks as she mumbled, I wont be so scared if I
hear you talking.
Ah, fuck.
How quickly she could disarm him, her words something that not even the most professional gold
digger could ever say convincingly. When she said things like that to him, when she looked like that at
him, Damens cynicism disappeared like it had never existed.
When she was this fucking sweet, the past would come back to him but they were not memories that
haunted Damens mind. Instead, they worked like fucking sunlight, making him remember that the person
in front of him was no ordinary girl.
This was Mairi.
The girl who had never stopped loving him, not even when the whole world believed he loved
another woman.
Sometimes, matakia mou, I hate you, too.
Mairis eyes widened, her face paling even more.
I hate that with so few words, you have me twisted in knots. I hate that just by looking at you, I feel
scared like I have never been scared before. Im fucking terrified that one day you will wake up An
ironic smile flitted over his hard, handsome face. and wise up to the fact that youve fallen in love
with a bastard.
As he paused, there was no other sound apart from the gentle whistling tune of the dying winds.
Around them were blue skies, dotted by fluffs of white clouds and emerald peaks of mountains that rose
proudly from the islands powdery white sands and turquoise waters.
Surrounded by such breathtaking beauty, the ugly memories of the past faded. Here, there were no
sleazy reporters hounding them, no contemptuous gazes accusing them of infidelity no one to tell them
that they were not meant for each other.
Damen wiped the single tear that trailed down Mairis cheek. Are you crying because I hate you so
She nodded.
And if I ask you to marry me, he asked unevenly, because I want to keep hating you for the rest of
our lives
Mairis lips parted in shock, disbelief written all over her face.
Uncertainty and fierce need turned his voice rough. Will you marry me, Mairi?
She stared at him.
Her lips tightened.
Mairi? he growled again even as he started to feel sick to his stomach. She would answer yes, of
course. She loved him, didnt she? And if she said no, it might just be because she was acrophobic and
was not thinking too clearly.
Below them, the guides were waving at Damen and Mairi, indicating that their fifteen minutes were
up and they would be reeled back down to the speedboat slowly.
Mairi was still staring at him.
What ifwhat if she was just staring at him because she couldnt find the words to tell him he was
asking too soon? He tensed at the thought. Was it too soon?
He swallowed thickly. Mairi, if you If you say no, I dont think theres any point in living?
Too fucking sappy even if it was true.
Their feet grazed the surface of the water.
Everyone could see them now. If she said no now, everyone would know, too.
He took a deep breath
Whoa! the guide exclaimed as he and his companions pulled on the ropes to make sure Damen and
Mairi didnt crash into the roofed area of the speedboat. They worked fast afterwards, untying and
unlocking to release them from the parachute.
And then they were free.
Mairi threw herself into his arms, surprising Damen so much that he found himself falling and landing
on his back, Mairi on top of him.
In a rush, she told him, I couldnt answer earlier because I was airsick and I was in serious danger
of throwing up on you if I opened my mouth and if that happened, that would be so gross since just earlier
I ate an entire bottle of fresh olives and oh my God what if I threw up all those olives on you
His head reeled, but before he could make sense of her rambling answer she was already kissing him.
Yes, Damen, she whispered, her eyes shining so brightly it made Damen swallow. Yes, yes, yes.
Chapter Three

It was a rainy day when they flew back home, with the many calls coming from Damens headquarters in
Athens forcing them to cut their vacation short. And yet, although their flight had not been planned at all,
the paparazzi was in full force when Damens private jet landed.
Her phone beeped as the crew opened the jets main door and she and Damen stood in front of it,
waiting for the ground staff to roll the mobile staircase towards them. Checking her phone, Mairi saw that
it was from Aunt Norah. You look good on TV.
She automatically forced a smile on her lips, knowing that the message was a subtle reminder from
her aunt to stay strong, or at least look strong in public.
We hope you had a pleasant flight, Mr. Leventis, Ms. Tanner.
Mairi nodded her thanks, her stomach queasy at the thought of once again coming in close contact
with the press. Damen squeezed her hand. Just stick close to me. Do not look at them, do not talk to them,
and it will be fine.
She nodded. It was all she could manage.
They came down, Damen moving steadily and confidently and Mairi doing her best to keep a calm
appearance. Alina Kokinos would have done so much better than Mairi if she was the one in this
position, Mairi thought miserably.
The flash coming from the press huge camera bulbs was so blindingly bright Mairi had to shield her
gaze against them, forgetting the fact that the hand she was using to protect her eyes was
Seeing what his fiance had just done, Damen smirked and pulled Mairi close to him. Youve done
it, he told her.
Done what?
The shit hit the fan.
As Mairi and Damen got off the last step of the jets staircase, everyone started trying to outshout
each other with their questions.
Mairi stumbled at Ionikos name and the reporters tried to press forward like hounds sensing a kill,
wanting to capture any kind of look on Mairis face. But Damen had schooled her well, and she kept her
face down, not looking at any of them.
If only, she thought wistfully, she could be as cool as Damen. How did he do it, walking like it was
normal to wear dark glasses on a rainy day? It didnt make sense but he made it look like it was the
fashionable thing to do.
As they neared the limousine, one of the reporters shouted, Do you think your sister approves of
your wedding?
Mairi paled at the question.
What about your potential brother-in-law, Stavros Manolis
Mairis head snapped towards the press at the last question.
Damen hauled her back to his side. Ignore them, he said harshly as he tried to keep pace with
Mairi, doing his best not to cause her to run towards the limousine waiting for them at the end of the
tarmac. Would he cause another scandal if he simply swept her up in his arms? Probably, Damen thought,
but right now he was close to not caring.
When they were inside the limousine, Damen and Mairi sat apart on the same side. He waited for her
to say something.
She didnt.
Stavros Manolis. Mairi was in a daze. Could it be the same man? She turned to Damen, seeking
answers to the jumbled questions in her mind, her instincts telling her that if there was something she
could not solve, Damen could and would help her with it.
The look of entreaty on Mairis face made Damen want to curse. She was silently asking questions he
did not want her to ask, but when she looked at him like he was her fucking knight even after everything
Damen knew he would do whatever she damn asked, even if it meant having his heart on a platter.
Stavros Manolis was there at the school when I broke my engagement to Alina.
For once, the name of the girl who once had the right to stand next to Damen did not make her wince,
Mairis attention completely focused on the name that she hadnt ever expected to hear again in
connection with her.
Gazing unseeingly down at her lap, she said slowly, I knew of a Stavros Manolis once
He is the same Stavros that you know of.
Her head jerked up. How could you know?
He shrugged, lying, I saw him at the school. There was something on his face that told me he knew
He waited for her to continue from there, to let him know about her past with Manolis, but she didnt.
Finally he asked, What are your plans for today? The guilty look that darted towards him made
Damens fists clench. She had been so lost in her thoughts of another man she had fucking forgotten he,
Damen Leventis, was here with her.
Mairi mumbled, Im going to, umm, work out. Exercise had become therapeutic, the way things that
used to be confusing became suddenly clear by the time she had run herself to the ground. And this time,
she was more confused than ever but Damen probably wouldnt like knowing that.
She was trying to hide her thoughts from him. Damen knew her too well for it to work, but it was a
fact Mairi would not likely believe because of their short and pain-filled past.
He heard himself saying, Ill work out with you.
Her surprised gaze flew to him. Y-you will?
Damen answered with a careless shrug, I dont see why not. I do not have anything scheduled for the
She blurted out, But you hate working out with me.
Color stained his hard high-boned cheeks. I did not exactly say that
You practically did then, she said, still bemused at Damens unexpected announcement. The last
time we jogged, you told me I was slower than a turtle.
I meant it like an endearment
And the last time we went to the gym and I was on the treadmill, you told me that I didnt know how
to run properly
Your breasts shook too much
Mairi threw her hands up. How can I stop them from shaking?
Knowing full well he had been and was still being unreasonable about the topic concerning her
breasts which really shook too much, making the sight exceptionally arousing for any man Damen said
flatly instead, Just tell me if you do not care for my company.
At the words, Mairi snapped her mouth shut with a sigh.
He was so sly.
You know I always want to be with you, Mairi mumbled.
And again, he was disarmed.
She was so sly.
Wordlessly, Damen closed the distance between them and his hand clasped her nape. When she
turned towards him, his lips took hers in a kiss that soothed whatever had to be soothed. For once,
passion didnt flare up, the kiss remaining sweet and tender between them.
Even so, when Damen lifted his head, her eyes were wide with wonder and she said dreamily, Hi.
He laughed.
She really was so sly, the way she got under his skin all the time, but he was not complaining.
Hi, he said huskily. Were okay now, matakia mou?
She nodded, a dreamy expression still on her face.
Good. Well work out as you planned. She nodded in the same obedient manner, making him laugh.
It will not be a problem to appreciate this submissive part of you.
Anything you want, she told him.
His gaze became hooded, Damen being ruthless enough not to let that promise slip by. Anything?
She nodded dutifully.
Good. Then you will tell me about Stavros, wont you?
Chapter Four

So we were in high school Her voice bounced off the walls of the vast basement gym, its dcor and
range of state-of-the-art exercise equipment at par with the worlds most popular fitness centers.
The words caused a rather inelegant snort to come out from Damen Leventis, a Greek billionaire who
used to be famous for his irreproachable manners.
Seated on the floor, knees pulled up, Mairi shook her head in exasperation at the sound, her ponytail
bouncing as she did. I havent even said anything about him!
Damens broad shoulders moved in an arrogant shrug. Crouching down on one knee, he said with a
grunt, Just get on with the story. Positioning himself to assist Mairi with her sit-ups, he placed his hands
on her feet, applying a small amount of pressure.
This close, she couldnt help but gape. He wore nothing but jersey shorts and trainers, making him a
mouthwateringly sexy sight that even now kept Mairis throat dry. All those rippling muscles and golden
Did he really think she would be able to work out properly when he looked like that?
When Mairi didnt respond, Damen glanced up and caught her staring.
She blushed, immediately averting her gaze, but it was too late.
Damen said wickedly, Maybe youre in the mood for another kind of exercise?
She shook her head.
Youre sure? He caressed her knees.
The simple move had her jerking. Damen! I really need to work out! She had gained a few pounds
after vacationing with him for only a week.
With a reluctant sigh, he released her sensitive knees and went back to holding her feet down. Mairi
had a tendency to cheat when doing sit-ups, with her feet lifting off the floor to take away some of the
pressure on her abs.
Start working out then and, he added gruffly, while youre at it, tell me about the man from your
past. Damen knew he needed to fucking hear her story about Manolis like a hole in the head, but he also
knew that he would never be at peace until he heard it straight from Mairi.
She protested, Hes not what you make him sound. Why did he insist on making it sound like she
had this wild teenage affair with her old classmate?
Damen pushed her back on the floor, a hard look on his beautiful face. Get on with it.
With a frustrated sigh, Mairi clenched her abs and started her sit-ups. So, Stavros was a Greek
billionaire like you...
As he watched her move gracefully up and down, her breasts once again shaking like a damn
invitation for fucking, he heard himself say, And so you fell in love with him because of that?
Mairi paused midway, hands clasped behind her head. Damen!
He moved forward and surprised her with a hot open-mouthed kiss, which was over all too soon,
leaving her blinking.
The kiss calmed him somewhat, working like a reminder that no matter what happened in the past, it
was his ring that the beautiful Mairi Tanner wore and she was by his side where she belonged.
I wont interrupt you anymore, he said magnanimously.
She snorted.
Damen raised a brow, a silent remark at how uncouth she was with the sound she was making. It was
as if he hadnt made the same sound himself, the jerk! She shook her head. Too bad she was in love with
him, even with him being a jerk.
With a sigh, she continued, Anyway, Stavros and I became friends because we bonded over, well,
Greek mythology lessons.
She tried not to laugh. Never had she heard the words spoken with such disdain, like sweet was
synonymous to days-old shit.
Sowe were really just friends but unfortunately, there was this girl in my class who didnt believe
it. She got really jealous and spread nasty rumors about me that caused my expulsion.
And Manolis did not keep you from being expelled?
It happened too fast and everything was decided in a day.
But if he was the reason
He was not the reason why I was expelled, Damen. Mairis voice was gentle but firm. It was the
other girl who chose to misinterpret things, her blindness and jealousy that made her see something
between us that didnt exist. She looked at him straight in the eye. I dont blame him for what happened.
Its not his fault.
This time she couldnt help but laugh, the way Damens lip curled at the last word, making it sound
like she had just announced her intention to attend church wearing an outfit Lady Gaga would be proud of.
Biting her lip, she said, So earlier, when those reporters
Deciding that a distraction was called for, Damen crouched down on both knees and whipped her
shirt off after.
She forgot what she was about to say. Damen!
But he wasnt done, quickly whipping her sports bra over her head and tossing it aside as well.
Mairi immediately crossed her arms over her chest. What do you think youre doing?
He looked at her innocently. Its a new way to exercise.
She choked. Exercise with my top off?
Yes. He gently pushed her back on the floor, making sure that her hands were clasped behind her
head once more. This left her breasts completely bared to his appreciative gaze. He took his time studying
it, and soon her pretty rosy nipples hardened in response.
Stop staring, she begged him.
Never. This time he pried her legs apart so he could kneel between them. Bending down, he took
one nipple in, sucking hard and loud, not stopping until he heard her moan.
At the sound, he released her nipple and bent back. Now do your sit-ups, darling.
Her eyes whitened. Like this?
Damen purred, Let my kiss be your incentive.
Oh my God.
It was an incentive she could neverresist.
She forced herself up, Damen obediently sucking her nipple passionately every time her nipple came
close to his mouth.
Up, suck, down. Up, suck, down. Up, suck, down.
She was so wet by the time she had finished one set. Dimly, she heard a rustling sound. Her eyes
fluttered open.
Damen was naked.
Oh my God
In a move that was so fast she was left blinking, he dispensed with the rest of her gym attire, leaving
her as naked as he was.
Oh my God
He said thickly, Again, sweetheart.
When she forced herself up once more, he moved her hips down and his cock slid into her pussy,
which welcomed his thickness wetly, snugly.
The routine became more complicated, more arousing, guaranteed to drive her insane. She moved up,
and he would thrust in the same time his mouth captured her nipple, alternating between both breasts.
Up, thrust, suck, down.
Damen. She couldnt take it anymore, her arms curving around his neck as her legs went around his
waist. Take me. She sounded near tears. She was begging him. And she didnt care.
Chuckling, he whispered into her ear, Done exercising?
She answered with a sob and a nod.
Tightening his hold around her, he thrust up and hard into her. Hands clasping her waist, he bounced
her up and down on his cock. Each thrust had her reeling, pushing her further and further towards that
place of no return.
Taking her mouth in a kiss, he whispered against her lips, Youre mine, arent you, Mairi?
She shuddered at the words, and she completely lost it when his fingers slid between their bodies to
tease her pleasure nub and stimulate her into orgasm. She came as she cried out, Yours. Always, always,
always yours.
Always, always, always yours.
The words played in her mind as she found herself drifting closer to sleep, Damen carrying her to
their bed. As Damen temporarily left her, she fumbled for her phone out of habit, checking her messages.
There was one message that had her heart beating madly and she quickly typed, Yes, I understand.
10AM sharp.
And then she heard footsteps and quickly deleted the message.
Damen asked as he joined her in bed, Someone texted you?
Just my aunt, she lied, her heart beating madly again, but for a different reason this time.
Always, always, always yours.
The words mocked Damen in his mind as he watched his fiance sleep. He reached for her phone and
checked her inbox.
The only message on her inbox was indeed from aunt but it was sent hours ago, and something she
had already replied to.
He looked back at Mairi, his face drawn.
Have you ever been mine, matakia mou?
Chapter Five

Velvet: Stop torturing yourself with these stupid applications.
Mairi winced at her friends words, but before she could answer it, another reply came in.
Mandy: What she means is that youre going to be Damens wife now. You really dont need to work,
and if you do want to work then you can afford to wait for a job you love.
Mairi: You dont understand. I NEED to do this. I dont want anyone to think Im freeloading or
Velvet: If he thinks youre a gold digger
Mairi: He doesnt think Im a gold digger, but others do or could think I am. And thats why I need to
find a job ASAP.
Mandy: I hate to say this, but I dont think thats possible.
Her fingers paused midway while typing as Mandys answer popped up. Mairi hated to think her
practical but tactful friend was right, but Mandy probably was. All fifty-two rejection emails in her inbox
were proof of it.
Esther Leventis and the Kokinos family made a formidable opponent.
No employer had stated outright that they were avoiding hiring her as a consequence of Damens
decision to break off his engagement. But anyone who read between the lines would know it was the
reason no school or company in Greece was willing to touch her with a ten-foot pole.
Velvet: Mairi?
The tiny beep from Skype had Mairi jerking and she looked down at her phones screen blankly.
Mandy: Are you okay? Want us to come wherever you are?
Her friends question had Mairi hastily typing a reply.
Mairi: No, Im good. I was just trying to rehearse my answers for the interview.
She paused, thinking, then started typing again.
Mairi: I have to go now. Im being called for the interview. Catch up with you two later!
She quickly signed out from Skype, knowing that her abruptness might not just confuse her friends but
hurt them, too. Despite knowing that, Mairi knew limiting contact with them was for the best.
The tabloids had taken to calling her Greeces Most Famous Mistress, and the fact that she already
had Damens ring on her finger didnt seem to change their opinions about her. If the rumors were to be
believed, Mairi was a professional con artist from America who had cold-bloodedly used her teaching
job to find a billionaire to target and seduced him with her Mata Hari skills in bed.
Absolutely no way would she ever let her friends be embroiled in her trouble, and they would be if
the paps caught a picture of them together. If it came to that, her friends might also be dismissed
Ms. Tanner?
Realizing belatedly that Dean Frangos had finally arrived in his office, Mairi nervously scrambled to
her feet. In her haste, she wasnt able to prevent her iPhone from sliding off her lap and red-faced, Mairi
bent down once more.
The position caused her pencil-line skirt to ride up, and the sight of her long bare legs made the dean
wet his lips. Cleon Frangos had known that Mairi Tanner had been waiting for him at his office since
eight. It was near lunchtime now, and yet she was still here.
If she truly was a mistress to Damen Leventis, then she would not have cared to wait for so long for
such a low-paying job in his faculty.
But that she had
Lust had his groin aching, his small fat dick swelling into unimpressive proportions at the thought of
being able to make a young and beautiful girl like Mairi Tanner his to command.
When Mairi looked up, pale and even more apprehensive, there was nothing on the deans face to
reveal his thoughts. His secretary Eugenia had a similarly bland look. She, too, suffered from her
employers advances but said nothing about it, knowing that Cleon held a lot of clout. Going against him
would mean losing her job, and that she could not afford.
His tone deliberately brusque, Cleon muttered, Follow me inside, Ms. Tanner. As he turned, he
told his secretary, I do not wish us to be disturbed in any way.
Eugenia nodded even as she suffered a pang of conscience. Those words did not bode well for Ms.
The younger woman glanced her way before following the dean into his office, her lips forming a shy
but friendly smile that said, Old curmudgeons would always be old curmudgeons.
Shit, but this woman was too nice.
Eugenia wanted to speak up, but the thought of her two young kids flashed through her mind. What
would happen to them if she lost her job?
Swallowing, Eugenia gave the other girl a curt nod.
Mairi Tanners smile faded.
Eugenia looked away. When Mairi went inside the office, Eugenia slowly took her seat again. As she
reached for her pen, she realized her hand was shaking.
She was not doing the right thing. But...with her kids futures on the line, who would tell her it was
Mairi pressed her clammy hands on her lap, wishing they werent so wet. Dean Frango was her last hope.
He was the only one who acquiesced to give her an interview. If she did not get this job, then
She mentally shook the depressing thought away. No. She wouldnt think like that. She just had to be
strong, had to have more hope, and things would be better for her.
Ms. Tanner? He was seated next to her on the couch. It was a strange arrangement for an interview,
but she didnt dare say a word about it.
Yes, sir?
I will not beat around the bush. The fact that you have been expelled from GAYL and the
circumstances surrounding your dismissal Cleon clucked his tongue. It doesnt paint a good picture of
I know, sir, she said quietly. But all I can say is that those circumstances were unique and special
it wont happen again.
Because you are engaged to Damen Leventis? The news had made todays headlines but
unfortunately he had not known about it until he came into his office minutes ago and saw Mairis face on
the newspapers front page.
If she was indeed about to marry Damen Leventis, then this was all for nothing, Cleon thought with
bitter disappointment. He had a healthy fear of the Kokinos but even more so of the head of the Leventis
empire. He had no problems believing that Damen was the type of man to have him murdered if he so
much as looked at his woman the wrong way.
The press misunderstood, Mairi lied and chose that exact time to tuck her hair behind her ear, a
way of drawing attention to her ring-less fingers. She did not want this job if it was only being offered
because she was about to marry Damen Leventis. She never wanted him to be in a compromising position
because of her again.
His dick throbbed at her words. Chuckling, Freon could now afford to joke, So that rock you wore
that got photographed by the reporters was more like a parting gift?
She nodded, not wanting to add to her lies.
Thats good.
Mairi suddenly had a bad feeling. Sir
He licked his lips, his eyes moving slowly down towards her breasts and staying there. His gaze
alone was enough to make her feel dirty. We can come to an understanding then
Fear caused a temporary paralysis to take hold of her body. No, Im sorry, this is not what I want

He answered with a cruel laugh, Dont worry. I can make you want it. He unbuttoned his pants.
Just give it a try
Chapter Six

Welcome home! Mairis voice was bright and perky as she greeted Damen the moment he came through
the front door. A second later, she was hurtling herself into his arms, her arms tightening around his neck.
The extremely warm welcome pleased him, but it also bemused him, leaving Damen looking down at
Mairi with a faintly puzzled smile. You make me feel like I have been gone for months, matakia mou.
It did feel like that, Mairi thought painfully. She had showered three times, even used Damens
credit card for the first time to pay for a mind-bogglingly expensive fee for a spa treatment, but she still
felt unclean.
Sensing Damens curious regard but unable to speak, Mairi just hugged him more tightly. She knew
now was the best time to tell Damen about Dean Frangos degrading proposition to her, but she also knew
she would do everything she could to prevent Damen from learning about it.
Damens lips touched her hair. I missed you, too. He gently pulled her away from him. Now, what
have you been up to while I was at work?
Nothing, Mairi managed to quip. Just enjoying life as a billionaires fiance. She turned away
then, thus missing the look of disquiet on Damens face. As she headed to the kitchen, which was a good
distance away considering how palatial his Athens home was, she asked over her shoulder, Would you
like to grab something to eat?
Only if you join me, he said after a beat. He hated how his thoughts were often filled with doubt
and suspicion. Following Mairi to the kitchen, he wondered if his money had indeed changed Mairi and if
it had, was it truly for the worse?
She loved him. That he was completely certain of. Was it wrong that she had so quickly gotten used
to being able to spend his money as well or be used to the comfort and luxury that came with it?
He looked up, realizing that he had been standing at the doorway all this time with a frown on his
face. He moved forward, summoning a penitent smile. I am sorry. I was thinking about work.
She waited for him to speak about it, but he didnt. As he sat on one of the stools surrounding the
breakfast counter, she asked softly, Would you like to talk about it?
A shuttered expression fell over his face. It is nothing. He would never let Mairi know how much
his decision to love her was costing him. The entire business world might be laughing at him behind his
back, but Damen knew whatever he lost was worth having Mairi by his side.
His voice was curt and dismissive, and she took the warning to heart. Did he think she was too stupid
to understand the way his business worked? Biting her lip, she prayed silently that Damen didnt think he
was engaged to a ninny.
The microwave sounded off behind her, and trying not to sound relieved at the chance to change the
subject, she said cheerfully, The pastas ready.
The smell was delightful, and the taste even more so. After enjoying a forkful of the pasta, he was
impressed enough to say, Its very good enough for me to wonder if perhaps youd like to start a
A restaurant?
He said smoothly, It wont mean you have to work every day. Youll simply be in charge of creating
a menu and setting the overall theme.
A restaurant
Only Greek billionaires like Damen Leventis would think that opening a restaurant and putting a
schoolteacher in charge of it was an investment worth risking, Mairi thought dazedly. I dont think Im
ready for that kind of undertaking. If she failed, it would mean causing him to lose thousands of euros
or even hundreds of thousands, and she wasnt ready for that kind of failure just yet.
Well, it was just a thought. He paused. In case you become bored with your life.
Oh, Ill never be bored. Her lips curved into another smile. Youre with me, Damen. Its all I ask
He shook his head. You never fail to surprise me, with how open you are about your feelings.
Her smile almost faltered. She wasnt as open as he thought she was. There were so many things she
had yet to tell him, but her love for Damen made her scared to risk it.
After dinner, they went straight to the bedroom, Mairi waiting in bed while Damen took a shower.
Her iPhone sounded a beep, indicating a new email.
Congratulations! You have successfully passed our test. We will start sending you writing
assignments tomorrow at the rate of $.002 per word or $1 per 500-word article.
Hearing the door of the en-suite bathroom open, Mairi quickly deleted the message before looking up
at Damen. Feel more relaxed now?
Deciding not to comment on how flustered she seemed, he answered casually, Yes. Joining her in
bed, Damen wordlessly pulled her into his arms and took her lips for a kiss.
Her receipt of his kiss was as passionate as before, enough to assuage his doubts. For now.
They did not make love that night, but Mairi did not seem to mind, falling asleep in his arms almost
right away. Even in her slumber, she appeareduneasy, an unhappy frown furrowing her forehead.
Quietly, Damen reached past Mairi for her iPhone.
He scanned her messages, but again there was nothing new from the past few minutes. His face
became grim.
What are you hiding from me, matakia mou?
Chapter Seven

Late afternoon the next day, Mairi was so excited she pumped her fist in the air, feeling beyond ecstatic. It
was a cry that rang throughout the entire National Library of Greece, whose vastness was made even more
impressive by its ornately designed columns, glass ceilings, and shelves that were so high Mairis neck
had gotten a crick when she had first glimpsed it.
The librarian, who was unfortunately stacking books in a nearby shelf, looked at her in disapproval.
Quiet, the woman hissed in Greek.
Oh, drat. She had forgotten she was one) in a public library and two) in disguise.
Mumbling an apology, Mairi slid further down in her seat, hoping she hadnt stupidly blown her
cover with her not-exactly-subtle cry of triumph. After arranging her bangs to make sure they covered half
of her face, she pushed her large aviator glasses back up. It had been surprisingly difficult typing with
dark glasses on, but she had needed to be 100% sure no one would recognize her here.
Mairi glanced back at her screen, and again she couldnt help but grin. Twenty articles for the day.
That meant $20! If she kept this up, she could have $200 in ten days enough to buy something really nice
for Damen when they celebrated their first month together.
The voice was familiar, and she looked up, her jaw dropping when she saw Ioniko Vlahos standing
before her, a slight smile playing on his lips. He looked as gorgeous and sophisticated as ever, stunningly
fashionable in a way her own extremely conservative Greek billionaire couldnt be and preferred not to
H-hi. She stammered the word out even as she wondered in a panic what he was doing here. Oh my
God, what if people started putting one and one together and realize that
Relax, Ioniko said calmly as he seated himself opposite her. I have my security team on watch. No
one will even be able to open their Twitter accounts without my security team knowing.
Mairi blinked. Is that really possible?
He shrugged, saying simply, If you have enough money, yes.
And of course he had enough money, being a Greek billionaire himself.
But still
Her discomfort communicated itself to Ioniko, and never able to stand seeing Mairi less than happy,
he asked gently, Are you worried about what Damen would think?
Its not that She stopped when she saw Ioniko pulling out his phone and dialing a number.
Seeing her confused look, he said, Im calling Leventis.
She gaped. Whatwhyno!
But it was apparently too late as Ioniko spoke. Yes, its me, Ioniko. I am here with your lovely
woman. Im sure you know where she is. Oh, shes safe with me.
He paused.
Mairi could imagine Damen succinctly cursing him and winced at the image.
Ioniko spoke again. And yet, I am the one with her, not you. But by all means, come here and get
your woman. I will keep her company while you are not by her side. He ended the call.
Ioniko! She was badly tempted to laugh and cry at the same time, incredulous at the way he had
baited Damen on the phone. But when he winked at her, she couldnt help giggling.
Youre evil, Mairi told him.
He must be reminded now and then not to take you for granted.
She protested right away, He doesnt take me for granted.
Ioniko simply shrugged.
Looking at him, she had a feeling that this was no chance meeting. Also, she was in a public library.
It was not exactly the kind of venue where Greek billionaires typically hung out.
Mairi, you figured out I am here for a reason, yes?
She nodded. There was a sick feeling in her stomach, and she wondered why that was so. Ioniko
Vlahos would never hurt her. She was as sure of that as she was sure of her own name. But somehow, she
felt nervous and she started playing with her pen, trying to keep herself calm.
Mairi, I heard some troubling news.
Oh? She tried to sound surprised and not terrified, but her voice broke at the end.
A handful of my acquaintances informed me that you have been sending applications to every school
in the city He paused, trying to figure out how to say the rest. But there was no way to get around it
and with a pained expression on his face, Ioniko continued, and that every application has been
She gripped her pen hard, her knuckles turning white. The words were humiliating and she couldnt
meet Ionikos gaze as she asked in a low, shamed whisper, Does Damen know?
You know what they say, Mairi. The people concerned are often the last to know, and in this case
that person is Leventis.
Relief had her trembling. Thank God.
Ioniko was disbelieving. Then he truly does not know?
I dont want him to know, she said fiercely. I read Greek as well as you do, Ioniko. I know what
the papers say. I dont need people laughing at him for another reason. They already think hes crazy for
choosing me over Alina Kokinos, and now theyre going to pity Damen if they find out that no school in
the country wants to hire me. A thought occurred to her, and her horrified gaze flew to Ioniko. If youve
heard about this, does it mean that the media will pick up on it soon?
If you continue doing it
Mairi quickly shook her head, almost giddy as she said, Then Im safe. Giving him a hesitant smile,
she said, Ive already found a job.
The words came as a surprise to Ioniko. He did not think there would be a soul in Greece brave
enough to go against the Kokinos and Esther Leventis combined. Of course, he had planned to do just that
by helping Mairi, but then again, he had more power than most people.
Who hired you?
Its an online job. Not teaching, Im afraid, but copywriting, which is close enough.
As she told him more about her work, Ioniko became enraged, snapping, That is not a job. Its
Its a good and decent job, and right now its all I care about.
He shook his head. For Gods sake, if thats the only job you can get, come work for me instead!
She had expected the offer but was still touched by it. Even so, Mairi said softly, You know I cant
accept your offer.
He countered aggressively, You can secretly work for me online then.
She looked paler and weaker than she should be and yet when she spoke, it was in a quiet voice, not
sounding proud, humble, or self-pitying. Ioniko, thank you for the offer, but you know I cant accept any
kind of help from you. It would be disloyal to Damen. She spoke the words like they were a fact like
her love for Damen Leventis was a fact of life, and in that moment she had never seem so beautiful in
Ionikos eyes.
Is everything worth this, Mairi? His voice became savage. If he truly loves you, shouldnt he
know about how you are suffering now?
When she didnt answer, he wanted to shake her. What the fuck had Damen Leventis done to deserve
her? And what the fuck could he do to make Mairi realize Ioniko would be able to take better care of her?
When Ioniko didnt answer, Mairi couldnt help but look at him, fearing that she had angered him in
some way. But instead of disapproval or anger, there was another emotion on his face. It was something
she didnt want to label, and it was intense enough to have her blinking back unexpected tears.
Ioniko Her voice wavered.
The fragile note in Mairis name caused a wave of helpless rage to wash over him. He was Ioniko
fucking Vlahos, the head of his own billion-dollar empire, and yet fate had rendered him powerless to
help the one woman who had affected him in a way that no other woman had been able to.
He still was not sure if he was truly in love with her, but he was close to it and that was enough.
If you do not want me to fight for you then you must look strong in front of me, Mairi Tanner, Ioniko
said quietly. You must look strong and happy that you have indeed chosen Damen Leventis over me. That
you do not regret loving Damen Leventis. His voice hardened. Because if you continue looking the way
you look now, you tempt me to go back on my word and try to steal you away.
She wanted to look away. Oh God, she felt blessed and cursed at the same time. She was no one
nothing extraordinary about her that could have explained why she had the loyalty of someone like Ioniko.
But she did have it, and she owed it to him to not to make things harder.
Lifting her chin, she met his gaze and said with all the conviction she could muster, Ill always love
Damen, Ioniko. The life we share may not always be perfect, but he will always be the reason I breathe
and I know She had to stop speaking, needing time to keep her tears in check. I know you are one of
the reasons why Im by his side and for that Im eternally grateful. Ill always treasure your friendship,
Ioniko, and Ill always be humbled by it.
Her words had a bittersweet sound. They were not what he wanted to hear from Mairi, and he knew
she knew it too. She would never be his. He knew that and yet, it did not seem to make any difference to
his heart.
It continued to beat, and one of the reasons it beat was because of her.
He started to speak, but stopped.
She, too, had been about to speak but stopped as well.
Both of them became aware almost simultaneously of a presence that shattered the privacy of their
Their heads turned, also in almost-perfect synchrony, towards the librarys entrance.
Mairis breath caught.
He appeared like an avenging angel, dressed in black and white, his stride powerful and fierce, and
an almost battle-like expression on his chiseled face. He did not make a single sound and yet there was
something about his presence now, authority and virility leashed in one dangerously beautiful form,
causing everyone around him to look up.
Chairs were scraped back, heads looked up, and jaws dropped. Even the librarian was so flustered
she had dropped the books she was holding as he came close, apparently too larger-than-life for her to
Damen stopped, and everyone including Mairi held their breath.
He bent down and, in a graceful move, scooped up all the books and placed it on the table nearest to
the librarian. These are too heavy for you. He murmured the words, but the library had become so silent
the air carried his voice throughout the place.
The librarian nodded, a dumbstruck expression on her face. Her gaze as well as everyone elses
followed Damens progress as he walked past her.
Mairis heart beat faster and faster as he came nearer and nearer. She loved him so much, and every
day she found herself loving him even more. In her eyes, he became more beautiful and dearer to her
every day, and with each step he took towards her, she felt fainter and fainter.
By the time he stood in front of her, he had become her whole world and all she could see was him. It
didnt matter how much she suffered for him and for their love. She would gladly suffer a thousand
lifetimes more as long as it meant she would be able to see his face before she slept, his face the first
thing she would see when she woke up.
Damen. She couldnt help whispering his name.
He stiffened, but he did not look at her and was instead gazing at Ioniko. In no uncertain terms, he
said, I am taking my woman now.
Chapter Eight

I need to meet with Alina tomorrow.
Mairi did her best not to look gutted at the first words Damen had spoken since he had whisked her
out of the library. Did he really need to meet with his ex-fiance?
The uncomfortable silence between them persisted. She badly wanted to get rid of the distance
separating her and Damen even though they were seated on the same row inside his limousine. But she
couldnt, his aloofness a physical barrier that kept her away, making Mairi feel like she was a virus he
didnt want to be infected with.
Damen did not say anything else, forcing Mairi to ask haltingly, Why?
A part of him was tempted not to answer, but Damen knew refusing to do so would be an act of a
child. Another part of him still wanted to demand why back. Why had she been with Ioniko Vlahos
He was jealous, so fucking jealous he knew he was being unreasonable. But he could not stop himself
from feeling it. Love was such a strange emotion, and powerful, too, the way it messed with his head. He
had never been the emotional type, which was unsurprising for someone raised by a cold fish like Esther
Leventis. And yet now, he felt like a caged predator whose prey had been stolen from him.
Ever since learning Mairi was indeed at the same place as Vlahos, he had a serious urge to beat the
living hell out of the other man. But honor demanded he not do it without a valid reason, and it was to his
everlasting regret that Vlahos had not provided him with one.
The man had been nothing but respectful towards Mairi as he bid her goodbye, but it didnt fucking
matter. Damen had seen the look in Vlahos eyes.
The other man cared for Mairi, and if Damen made one mistake, he was certain that Vlahos would not
hesitate to swoop in and spirit his Mairi away.
He asked stiffly, Does it matter? I would not meet with her if I do not need to.
The words were unexpected. They hurt, and Mairi swallowed audibly, telling herself that he surely
hadnt meant to snap at her like that.
Hearing the tiny sound Mairi made caused Damen to grit his teeth. He was being unfair to her. He
knew it, but God, he was so fucking tired these days. Never had he been put in a position to defend
himself and his decisions to anyone but because he had chosen to love Mairi, he was now suddenly
answerable to practically every fucking person who invested a single euro in his corporation.
She cut him off, saying brightly, Its fine.
But it was not.
They both knew it, and they both knew it had not been fine for some time now.
They didnt speak for the rest of the ride and when they reached Damens home, Mairi couldnt help
it anymore. As he helped her out, she caught his hand and squeezed. When he looked down at her, she
said, I love you.
Please, please, please say I love you back.
But he didnt. Instead, he bent down and kissed her lips. Were both tired. His voice was gentle
and yet each word felt like a knife stab. Rest now.
Mairi nodded.
Inside his house, he watched her climb the stairs alone without saying a word. Her back was stiff,
and he knew it was because she was doing her best not to break down.
Use your brain and do not be like other rich fools, letting your cock rule you. Leave that American
slut if you do not want your business to collapse.
Everyone thinks she has you wrapped around her gold-digging finger, Leventis. They are laughing
behind your back and they are laughing at us for investing in your company.
The Kokinos are still willing to welcome you with open arms. You only need to publicly dump your
mistress to give them their pride back.
Damen walked towards his office, knowing he had another sleepless night ahead of him. But he did
not regret it. He did not. He would do everything to keep Mairi at his side and if it meant losing and
rebuilding his empire from scratch, then so be it.
He loved her. He did not and would never regret choosing her over everything. He just fucking
wished she was nothe just wished she hadnt changed so much.
Where was the Mairi he knew who had been so happy about teaching? Where was the Mairi who had
been so adamant about not depending on him for money? Where had that Mairi gone?
Morning came and Damen still did not possess any answers to the questions that continued to torment
him. He took a quick shower and when he came out with a small towel wrapped around his body, he saw
Mairi rubbing her eyes.
You didnt sleep.
Her pouty voice had him smiling despite everything. It was a cute sound and arousing, too. It made
him wish he did not have back-to-back meetings scheduled for the entire day.
Walking to the bed, he bent down and took her lips for a kiss. She tasted sweet and hot, and it took a
lot of effort for Damen to pull away. Im sorry I did not get to sleep next to you last night.
Did you stay up all night working? she asked worriedly.
He shrugged.
She said hesitantly, You know Im willing to help you, right? Just point me in the right direction and
Id do it.
The hesitation in her voice made Damen wonder if she did truly mean her offer. He said smoothly, I
can deal with my work. It is nothing for you to consider.
She fell silent, hurt and confused by his constant rebuffs. How had it become like this between them
without her knowing it? She used to be able to speak her mind to him but now, she felt like she had to be
very careful with everything she said.
What are your plans for today?
Pasting a smile on her face, she said airily, Just stuff.
That explains a lot, he said dryly.
She shrugged. Just the usual things a billionaires girlfriend does.
She fluttered her lashes at him. It includes flirting with you during your lunch break.
He smirked. Thats already flirting for you?
She fluttered her lashes harder.
Even Damen was unable to keep himself from laughing after that. It also made him bend down and
kiss her because outrageous and immature it may have been, it did have an effect on his cock, now fully
You are cruel to tempt me, he growled against her lips before his tongue swept in, not allowing her
to talk while he possessed her mouth.
She was sighing when he lifted his head, and the familiar dreamy expression on her face made his
lips curve, and they curved even more when she whispered, Hi.
He said with a soft chuckle, Hi.
Mairi suddenly felt shy but in a good way this time. Cant you spare a few minutes, so we could just
talk? II miss you.
I will do my best to come home early tonight, he compromised.
She brightened. That would be nice. How early?
Th-thats early?
I have calls scheduled after midnight with my general managers in Dubai and New York. I will
move them a few hours earlier, but it will still not allow me to go home like a normal nine-to-five man.
The disappointed look on her face made him shake his head and press a tender kiss on her lips. I
will do my best to come home earlier. That is all I can promise you.
Feeling guilty at being so selfish, she said, Its okay. Dont mind me. Im just being a brat.
But a sexy brat. His hand curved around her breast possessively.
She gasped.
Squeezing her breast, he murmured wickedly, Remember how this feels throughout the day, hmm? It
will get you in the mood for tonight.
She hesitated then slowly, she lifted her hand to grip his cock. When her fingers tightened around him,
Damen gritted his teeth in an effort to control his need to ravage her.
Remember this, too, she said. Remember this when you meet with Alina.
Chapter Nine

I did not expect you to be so graceful about this but I should have, shouldnt I?
Alina Kokinos, the woman whom European tabloids described as the poor little rich girl for being
dumped by Damen Leventis for an American gold digger, did not reply right away. Her every movement
was dainty, precise, and pretty as she cut herself another slice of her steak. She fed herself a morsel and
when she was done, she pressed the napkin lightly to her lips.
Damen was used to this. Alina was like him in many ways, raised in accordance with old customs
and traditions and expected at all times to be a model of courtesy and propriety. But what he was not used
to at all was Alina apparently speaking her mind for the first time with him when she said quietly, I can
afford to be graceful, Damen. I never wanted to marry you.
Before he could say anything, she continued softly, And I have always known that you did not want
to marry me not in the real way.
The restaurant where they dined now had always been where they enjoyed meals together, just as the
people around them were also the same people they saw when they attended functions as a couple. It was
how it should be, but Alina was so very tired of doing what she should do and not what she wanted.
And yet, if she did not do the right thing now, she would once again find herself backed into the same
corner she had been stuck in for years ever since she had been fifteen and too much of a proper daughter
to say no to her parents.
When she raised her gaze to her ex-fianc, the incredulity she saw in Damen Leventis gaze made her
smile wryly. Does my honesty surprise you that much?
Not mincing words, he said, Yes.
For a moment, the old fears assailed her. Damen was a man, and she had been taught all her life to
bow to a mans wishes.
But then her courage reasserted itself, and squaring her shoulders, she told him in a voice that only
quivered the slightest bit, Ive decided to stop pretending Im the usual biddable Greek lass with you,
His voice was bland when he answered, I never asked you to.
Blinking, she said, Isupposenot. But Ive always gotten the feeling that you would have been
displeased if I had ever gotten in your way or went against your wishes.
Perhaps. But it is water under the bridge now, do you not think?
Oh! He was so cold, so unreadable!
And though this side of him had always terrified and frustrated her, now it also made Alina smile.
She said softly, You dont seem to be the same person who dumped an heiress to be with the woman he
Alina was rewarded by the faintest flush coloring Damens cheeks, and she took courage from that.
Maybe this could still work. Maybe she had been wrong about him all along. Oh, she hoped so. She
dearly hoped so.
Ever since she had been engaged to him, she had found the Leventis heir to be arrogant, too much like
her overbearing father for her to like. Although he had been nothing but polite and courteous with her, he
had also been forbiddingly formal. The only time he had been open with her was during the time they had
been guest speakers at GAYL. His attitude had surprised and confused her, but what followed after had
cleared a lot of things up.
He had wanted the other girl the one he loved to be jealous.
And until then, never would she have expected someone like Damen Leventis could care so much for
a woman to want her to be jealous.
Hopefully, he still cared for that girl, enough for him to agree to what she was about to propose.
What is this about, Alina?
His voice made her hand shake as she reached for her glass. She drank it all, needing the wine to give
her Dutch courage.
He waited, patiently.
Damen had always been irritating that way, Alina thought, acting like he was too cool to lose his
temper because everyone and everything paled in significance next to him.
She couldnt help but ask, Are you like this with her, too?
Like what?
You act like youre never wrong. Youve always acted like that. She almost laughed at the puzzled
expression on his face.
I do not pretend to be wrong if I am right even if it is merely to soothe ruffled feathers.
She shook her head. Never mind. She hoped, for Mairi Tanners sake, that the other girl had found
a way to make Damen Leventis less arrogant. He needed a strong dose of humility now and then.
Placing her hands on her lap so Damen wouldnt know how badly they were still shaking, she made
herself look at him straight in the eye as she spoke. My father wants me to get you to reconsider our
engagement. Not waiting for him to answer, she said in a rush, I am not in favor of it.
Alina nervously watched Damen lean back on his seat.
And then all he said was, I see.
She wanted to throw a glass of water on his face for that.
If you really love her, this Mairi Tanner, then can I count on you to lie to my father and tell him that I
did my best, but you will never leave her for anyone else?
Why wasnt he saying anything?
I will tell your father that youve tried your best but I am not to be persuaded.
The words were spoken so formally, it reminded her of the old Damen or at least the Damen she
thought she knew. But he was different his words and actions that day at the school had proven it.
And yet
And yet it felt right now like the new Damen, the one she thought she might consider a friend, was
nowhere to be found.
Alina considered his words. He would help her with her fatherbut he did not want to tell her father
about never leaving Mairi?
She asked awkwardly, Is everything all right between you two?
He answered in a colder voice, We are fine. Thank you for asking.
Alina tried not to wince. She had gotten him mad, and he appeared even more intimidating now.
She wondered if she should tell him about Mairis unsuccessful attempts to find work. Alina was no
idiot, and she had her own eyes and ears spying for her. Everyone in the world including her father
thought of her merely as the Kokinos heiress, a pawn to be married off for mergers, but what nobody knew
was that she had always yearned to be the head of her familys business, always wished she had been
born a man rather than a woman so that she would be taken seriously. Certainly, most people in Greeces
high society would never think that she paid great attention to business rumors, and that from those rumors
she was able to deduce the reason behind the falling stock prices of Leventis Inc. More importantly, her
spies had also told her about Mairi Tanners current plight and how Damen Leventis still did not seem to
know about it.
But he would know about that soon enough, Alina thought uneasily. It was only a matter of time, and
when the truth came out, there would be many people paying dearly for being stupid enough to ally
themselves with Esther Leventis and her own father.
Is there anything else you wish to talk about? Very polite. But with a tinge of impatience this time.
He really was a cold man. If Mairi Tanner was not the gold digger everyone painted her to be and
Alina liked to think the other girl wasnt then whatever did she see in Damen?
Alina said finally, and with great sincerity, Thank you. And I really do wish the two of you well. I
think its great that you made your love for her your first priority. Im sure she loves you just as much.
A self-mocking smile appeared on Damens handsome face, and the sight troubled her, especially
when he said, Im sure it is so.
Damen remained at their table a long time after Alina had already left. When his phone rang, he
answered it almost reluctantly and when he heard who was on the other line, Damen wished he had
indeed rejected the call instead.
Is there any change? Stavros Manolis asked. Is she willing to speak to me now or perhaps more
willing to consider it?
She is still hurt by what you did to her years ago, he heard himself saying. You must give her
Chapter Ten

To prevent herself from missing Damen too much and making herself sick with worry about what he and
Alina Kokinos would talk about when they met for lunch, Mairi decided to accept double her usual
number of article requests.
After her shower, Mairi had already dressed herself for another day at the library, choosing a pretty
but modestly designed off-white dress, before changing her mind about going out.
Yesterdays disguise had been an epic fail thanks to Damens entrance. Her lips quirked at the
memory. He had walked towards them like he was Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Was it a surprise people
had gawked at him and realized he was someone even if they didnt know his actual identity?
It was pure luck that no one had sent a photo of the three of them together him, Ioniko, and her to
the press, but she was not going to take her chances again. She didnt need more of the medias attention,
and Damen certainly needed it less, considering how sensitive negotiations seemed to be between his
company and investment partners.
Mairi had devoured all the news reports she could about Leventis Inc., and all of it painted a grim
picture for Damens business. And it was all because of her. She had turned him into the laughingstock of
Greeces business community, but he never said a word about it.
She would do her best not to add to his problems, Mairi swore to herself. And that meant she was
going to work right here even if it also equated to struggling with writers block more often.
Just the thought of having to get past writers block made Mairi sigh. At the library, she was
surrounded by people, and the constant buzz and movement distracted her from dwelling too long and too
often on her thoughts. But here at home, surrounded by Damens scent, she couldnt help but think,
couldnt help but miss him, and she couldnt help but worry.
Things had never been perfect between them, but something had changed and it wasnt for the better.
With another sigh, Mairi headed for the study. There was no point dwelling on it. She just had to wait
until Damen was ready to talk to her. For now, she was better off concentrating on her work.
And work she did, typing until almost every part of her body ached her body, neck, shoulders, and
oh, her poor fingers! They felt so stiff now it was a wonder she could still move them.
Her eyes felt tired, and she had to re-read her words several times to make sure she got it right.
At one point, she had written The cat became pregnant with coffee when she was supposed to write
about the best way to choose a domain hosting site.
Mairi glanced at the wall clock, which was beautiful in its simplicity but gasp-worthy, too, with its
frame made entirely of 24-karat gold.
It had her stretching in her seat before getting up. Her stomach growled as she did, reminding her that
she had barely eaten throughout the day and night. Mairi ignored it, already too tired to make herself
anything. She climbed up the stairs to their room, telling herself shed only take a fifteen-minute nap.
But the nap turned out to be more than what it should be. She was so tired she succumbed to a heavy
sleep, and she didnt even stir when Damen came inside their room and stopped next to the bed.
She was dressed like she had gone outside. Where had she gone and why did she seem so tired? He
could easily get her bodyguards to answer him, but he resisted the urge. Doing so meant he did not trust
But I trust her.
I trust her.
I trust her.
I trust her. And yet even with Damen repeating the words so many times, he still couldnt make
himself sound like he meant it.
As days passed, his puzzlement turned into unease, which later deepened into resentment. Why did she
have to fucking change? Was she really so enamored with doing whatever the fuck she did when he was
working in his office that she now loved his money more than she loved him?
Whatever it was that Mairi was doing, it must be so tiring, he thought sarcastically, that she had to
blow two thousand dollars on a fucking spa treatment. It had been the first item on his most recent credit
card statement and he had been so disgusted by it he had simply signed the check to pay his dues without
checking the rest of the statement.
He was no cheapskate. His former mistresses had spent ten times more than that when they had gone
to their favorite spas, and he hadnt cared. But somehow, when it was Mairi involved, it did not feel
The memory of it set him on edge, and he moodily stared at his half-empty mug of coffee. Mairi used
to prepare him one every morning, and it would always be ready by the time he came down to the kitchen.
Good morning. Mairis voice was a little wan as she joined him in the kitchen, interrupting his
Looking at her now and noting the air of exhaustion that never seemed to leave her these days, he
remarked casually, You look tired. She did not appear wasted but she did appear weary too much so
for someone who for all intents and purposes did not have a job.
Mairi flinched at Damens words. Did that mean she appeared ugly to him now, only he was too
polite to tell her so? With him seated across her looking like a marble statue come to life, she couldnt
help feeling so.
Not wanting him to know she was hurt by his words, she said flippantly, Too much partying.
His lips tightened, but he chose not to comment, knowing if he did it would not be nice words. Again,
he was tempted to ask for a report from the bodyguards he had tailing Mairi. But nowadays, it had become
a matter of trust and pride.
Esther made constant digs about Mairi in the office and the words inevitably reached him, too. Did
her son really know what that American whore was up to when he was away from home?
No. He did not. But he loved and trusted Mairi. He would not let Esther ruin things for him. And if
she continued pushing him, one day she would push him too far and she would regret it.
Are you going to the office? She wished she could tell Damen that she missed him, but the words
were stuck in her throat. More and more, she felt like Damen was withdrawing from her and she had no
idea how to stop it.
Yes. I dont have any pressing meetings today, but I like to spend a few hours in the office all the
same. He added smoothly, I like making good use of my time. The barb hit home. He could see that it
did with the way Mairis face whitened, but he wasnt pleased it had.
Was being underpaid for hours of copywriting a good use of her time? Someone like Damen Leventis
probably wouldnt think so. He would think she was being an idiot to enslave herself like this. But what
else was there for her to do?
She said hesitantly, When Im here at home I normally She stopped, seeing Damen take a
discreet look at his watch. You should leave now, she said instead. Its not good for the boss to be late
and set a bad example.
His answering smile was brief. Thank you for being understanding. He stood up and went around
the breakfast counter to press a perfunctory kiss on her forehead.
I love you. She just couldnt help saying it.
I love you, too. He smiled again, but this time it didnt reach his eyes.
She quickly looked down and concentrated on her toast as Damen walked out, one teardrop falling
silently on her plate. He didnt want to hear how her days went. Mairi took deep breaths, trying to
convince herself that it was only because he was being subjected to too much pressure at work.
Thousands of people depended on him for their livelihoods, and yet his ability to pay for wages had
been undermined and challenged when he chose to tell the world he loved her. Whatever he did now, she
mustnt forget that. It would excuseeverything. It had to.
I love you.
I love you, too.
Damen was still unable to get the words out of his mind even as he made his way to his office.
His employees scurried away at the sight of him. They knew from experience what the Greek
billionaire looked like when he was in a black mood, and today was one of those days.
If he closed his eyes, his love for Mairi was pure and beautiful, a miracle that he had a thousand
reasons to be thankful for. His chest would tighten up at the mere thought of losing her, and yet when he
opened his eyes and saw reality for what it was, why did he feel such anger at himself and her?
Always he could not help but feel that she was hiding something from him, but what was it? And why
would she have something to hide?
An hour later, Damen had successfully pushed the thoughts out of his mind by concentrating on his
work. There was a knock on his door before his secretary came in. Sir? Someone is here to see you
whos not on your appointment book. Her names Farah Jenkins
Damen looked up impatiently from the proposal documents he was perusing.
and she says she is an old high school acquaintance of Ms. Tanner.
About to tell Bart to get rid of his unexpected visitor, Damens mouth snapped shut. His eyes
narrowing, he said expressionlessly, Let her in. If I buzz you, it means you should come in and make the
necessary excuses to get her out of my office.
Understood, sir. Barts head bobbed several times as he retreated. He came back a moment later,
opening the door for a petite strawberry blonde with hard china-blue eyes. She was dressed beautifully
and expensively, but he knew her type. She was rich but not that rich to rub elbows with his kind, and she
would do anything to make that possible.
He sincerely hoped she was indeed a mere acquaintance, and that Mairi had not been fooled into
being her friend.
But are you sure they are not the same kind, only Mairi is more adept at hiding her true colors?
The tone inside his mind had him stiffening.
Thank you for allowing me a few moments of your time, Damen.
The womans voice had Damen looking up. Her voice was sweet and husky, but it also had a
practiced tone to it, like it was something she had perfected. Her sense of overfamiliarity was repulsive,
but his feelings about it did not show on his face as he inclined his head in acknowledgment of her words.
It is my pleasure to welcome any acquaintance of my fiance. Walking around his desk, he gestured
towards the living area of his office. Shall we?
She walked ahead of him, her hips swaying seductively as her perfume wafted towards him.
He became even more repelled. This woman, whoever the fuck she was Damen had already
forgotten her name was no different from the countless beautiful women who tried to seduce him. Their
type believed that their pretty faces were more than enough to enslave men.
Would you like to drink anything?
She shook her head, surprising him. I dont intend to take too much of your time.
She took a seat on the couch and he took the leather armchair adjacent to it. What may I do for you
Oh, its more a matter of what I have come to do for you. Her smile became brittle. I flew here as
soon as I could upon reading the news about dear little Mairi. Stavros Manolis is your friend, isnt he?
He said evenly, You already know the answer to that. The sound of her laugh was hollow, and his
skin prickled in warning at hearing it. This was not going to end well. He couldnt yet figure out why, but
he was fucking sure of it.
Damen stood up. If you came here to play games
Farah snapped, I came to prevent you from being conned by a gold digger.
You have overstayed your welcome, he bit out. Leave before I have security escort you out.
Turning his back on her, Damen stalked back to his desk, intent on buzzing Barry to get the woman out of
his sight before his temper exploded.
Ive brought proof, the woman half-screeched at him.
Suddenly she was in front of him, pulling out a medium-sized envelope from her purse. Flinging it at
him, she said, She stole the man I loved from me!
There was a demented look in her eyes that almost had him cursing. Not bothering to answer her, he
pressed the buzzer for Barry. When his assistant hurried in, Damen cut off whatever excuse Barry had
planned and said curtly, Get rid of her.
The woman seemed to lose it at his words and began cursing him. Youre a fucking idiot like
Stavros! You dont see her for what she is! You dont know how to appreciate a real woman!
As a tortured-looking Barry grabbed hold of her arms from behind, she went wild, struggling to get
away. She doesnt deserve to have a billionaire when she took mine away from me!
It became clear then. So you are the woman who had caused her to be expelled.
She laughed maniacally. Oh, thats goddamn rich. And its just so like the ever-perfect Mairi Tanner
to put the blame on me. I was suspended. She was expelled. And you know why? Because I may be a flirt,
but I wasnt a gold-digging whore
Apologies for this, sir, Barry mumbled just before he finally dragged the woman out of Damens
office and closed the door.
Damen expelled his breath as a heavy tense silence settled around him. He had not realized he hadnt
been breathing the entire time the woman had been talking.
His gaze was inevitably drawn to the envelope lying discarded on the floor.
Chapter Eleven

Two hundred fifty-six dollars!
Oh my God, had she really been able to write 256 articles in such a short span of time? Mairi
couldnt help making a face at the thought. Considering she had also lost about five pounds in the same
period of time, maybe it wasnt too surprising. She had worked backbreaking hours for those articles, but
it was all worth it.
Tomorrow was their first month anniversary. Did he realize that? Probably not, she thought glumly.
There was noise all around her as she walked further into the citys central market, which had a thriving
and bustling atmosphere. And since it was morning, the busiest time of the day, the area was also
crowded, requiring Mairi to squeeze her way into the alleys that led to the fish section.
Fish vendors were typically the noisiest, and Mairi had to smile at the way the vendors good-
naturedly attempted to out-market each other with their claims. Her boots squished with each step she
took. Wearing boots to the fish market was a lesson she had learned from her first visit. Then, she had
worn flip-flops a decision that ended with Mairi submerging her feet in water mixed with rose oil for a
few hours. It had been that dirty and smelled even worse.
Mairi, over here!
She smiled in greeting as she hurried towards Phil short for Philemon. He was waving at her
exuberantly, his fishermans hat in his hand. He was white-haired and burly, with a smiling weathered
face. He could be anywhere between fifty and a hundred, but he moved about like he was in his thirties.
Eating several kilos of olives sure had its perks, Mairi thought with a secret smile.
Kalimera, she greeted him good morning cheerfully, wiping the sweat from her forehead as she
did. It was an exceptionally hot morning, and with the nonstop flow of people, she was ruefully aware of
how much she was sweating under her knee-length cotton rompers.
He immediately grabbed her hand and gave it a brisk and enthusiastic shake. She shook his back, not
losing her smile even though she knew it meant having her hand smell like a dozen different types of fish
The package arrived as scheduled. Are you ready to see it? he asked with a grin as he released her
Mairi forgot all about her now-greasy and smelly hand. Totally!
He waved for her to walk inside his booth as he walked towards the end and opened one of the
crates. Here they are!
A few hundred of doctor fish were swimming lazily inside the crate, their tiny black bodies making
Mairi almost swoon in delight. Oh my God, Phil had really done it! Theyre really from Turkey? she
They are indeed. Phil crossed his fingers behind his back. The nice little girl meant Turkey the
country while he meant Turkey, the name of the pet shop in a neighboring town, but it was really all the
same. And sure, these were truly not doctor fish or garra rufa, but that should not be a problem either.
These black ones were practically the same.
And the aquarium?
Bought it as well. He was eager to show this one off since he had truly bought this one, having
generously decided that he would not cheat Mairi twice for the same deal something he normally did for
most other customers.
Waving at her to check out another crate, he took off the old tarpaulin cover and presented his
purchase with flourish. It is beautiful, ne?
Mairis jaw dropped.
There was no denying that the aquarium was indeed brand new, with not even the tiniest scratch
marring its glass walls. But the top two inches of the walls were also painted with pinkbreasts and
bluenipples? She rubbed her eyes before taking a closer look at it, hoping she just hadnt seen it right.
Maybe they were like pink cupcakes with blue icing
Her heart sank.
Nope. They were what they were, giving new meaning to aquarium porn. Where in heavens had he
bought this?
It is nice, isnt it? he boasted. Phil was extremely proud of the deal he had made. It was just his
luck to bump into Lazaro, who owned the stripper club a few blocks away from his home. Lazaro had
been telling him about the aquarium he had custom-designed for customers to pay to peek into live boobs
it had been a very strange story, the mechanics of which were lost on Phil. But none of it mattered
anyway. All he had heard was that the aquarium was new and unlikely to be used because none of
Lazaros girls had wanted to be a part of it.
How much are you selling it for? he had asked.
Im throwing it away. I dont want my wife to know that I spent a hundred dollars on it for nothing!
The memory had Phil smiling fondly. All in all, a good days work.
He looked at Mairi expectantly. You like it?
Umm, yes. She didnt have the heart to tell him she hated it. Maybe, maybe she could get rid of it
Good. I knew you would. Maybe you can give me a tip, he added.
Mairi had a silly urge to laugh. Old Phil would probably be shocked if he found out that the $256 in
her pocket was all the money she had in the world. She would never touch her savings account if she
withdrew from it, her aunts would find out and start asking questions. It was better that they kept on
thinking she was having a fabulous time working as an English interpreter.
Ill give you a tip, she promised.
By the time she had loaded the crates in Damens car a top-of-the-line Benz that she had
deliberately chosen because it was the least expensive model and least likely to draw attention she was
down to $63 dollars.
Just enough to buy a bouquet of roses and a greeting card, Mairi thought in satisfaction as she leaned
back against the seat.
Giddy at the thought of what Damen would think of having his own fish spa at home something she
proudly considered a unique gift that no other former girlfriend of his would have thought of giving him
Mairi took her phone out and called Damen at his office.
Leventis. His voice was clipped.
Her smile faltered on her lips. Hey. Did I catch you at a bad time?
Damen slowly leaned back in his seat. No. Of course not.
It was impossible to read his mood when he spoke like that. She said hesitantly, Youre sure?
Her uncertainty got to him and he said in a gentler tone, I will always be free to talk to you.
Ill hold you to that. She let out a nervous giggle. God, she was giggling too much these days, it
was getting humiliating.
What do you want to talk about then?
UmmIm wondering if you could come home early tomorrow like seven-ish in the evening?
Knowing he was likely to ask why, she hurriedly told him, I just want to have dinner with you...if you
have time.
Then I will come home at exactly seven. He paused. And then Damen heard himself lying, I might
not be able to come home tonight though.
Her heart stopped beating at his words. This was his first time not to come home to her. Could it have
something to do with his meeting with Alina Kokinos? She wished she had the courage to ask it, but she
was scared of looking like a jealous, nagging insecure girlfriend.
Swallowing convulsively, she said, Ill miss you.
I will miss you, too.
Unbidden, their early morning conversation returned to her. It had sounded exactly like this, like she
was saying the words with desperation and he was returning the words mechanically.
They spoke for a few more moments, but the earlier intimacy, brief as it was, had been dispelled and
they were both stiff with each other by the time Damen excused himself to talk with another investor.
She wiped the tears from her eyes. She really did love him, really did miss her Greek billionaire, but
she didnt think she could take more of this. Before she knew it, she was sending a chat message to her
Vilma: Good of you to remember you still have aunts.
Mairi: It wont work, Aunt Vilma. I know youre just being cranky because you miss me.
Norah: When can we fly there?
Mairi: Not until Im convinced that you two would behave yourselves around Damen.
Vilma: How dare you? I admit that both Norah and I find Greek billionaires irresistible, but we draw
the line at seducing one who belongs to our niece.
Mairi giggled again, imagining how her two aunts would no doubt have Damen uncomfortable in
seconds. They had told her that she better have Damen prepared when they finally flew in for a visit.
Nothing would stop them from asking the burning questions in their minds, accumulated over the decades
they had spent devouring Mills and Boon paperbacks.
Norah: Have you asked him yet?
She shook her head at the question. Norah had wanted her to ask Damen the percentage of Greek
billionaires with and without chest hair. Like heck shed ask something like that!
Mairi: NEVER. And you mustnt ask him that either!
Vilma: What about mine? Did you ask him?
Aunt Vilmas question was just as bad. She wanted to know the average age with which Greek
billionaires lost their virginity. Seriously!
Mairi: I love you, Aunt Vilma, Aunt Norah.
Norah: We love you even more.
Vilma: We love you ALWAYS.
Half an ocean away, Norah and Vilma exchanged looks with each other. They had been enjoying an early
breakfast in the kitchen. It was five in the morning and the sun was barely out in the sky. All in all, it was
definitely too early for her heart to be broken like this, Norah thought.
Shes hurting.
I know.
We must do something, Vilma insisted.
Not yet. Shes not a little girl anymore. We need to let her learn from her own mistakes.
Vilma knew her sisters words made sense, but it went against everything she believed in to simply
stand aside and allow Mairi to be hurt. And she would be hurt, in a way that terrified Vilma.
Were we so wrong? Vilma whispered. It had seemed so harmless at the beginning, letting her
dream about stupid Greek billionaires.
Norah reminded her gently, You didnt think they were so stupid before.
Yeah, so color me stupid, too.
Glancing down at her phone, Norahs heart became heavier. She said quietly, It cant ever be wrong
to let someone dream. It was just a sad reality of the world that most people found joy in destroying
another persons dream.
Stay strong, Mairi, Norah whispered in her heart. Please God, let her be strong enough to love and
dream even when she was alone.
Chapter Twelve

Youre pronouncing it wrong. He was on his way back to the field, stray baseball in his hand, when he
spotted her sitting under the tree, knees up with an open book balanced on them.
The girl was startled into looking up from her Greek language manual. As always, her loveliness
struck him. She was not beautiful, but then beauty was skin deep and vastly overrated. He had been
surrounded by beauty his whole life, and those people had a tendency to be excessively shallow
But this girl
He had always liked how pretty she was, the kind of pretty that came from within. She was quiet but
vibrant, a combination that told him she would be a very interesting person to know if she allowed him
to get to know her.
Sorry, she mumbled, not looking at him as she shyly tucked her hair behind her ears.
Knowing he would not come by this kind of chance again, he discreetly threw the baseball away from
behind. If his teammates came to get him, hed tell them that he hadnt found it yet. He took a seat next to
her on the grass, which caused her eyes to dart towards him in surprise.
He didnt blame her. They had never talked even though they were in the same grade. He had always
noticed her every time theyd pass each other in the hallway. She tended to have a busy or distracted look
on her face, though, which had caused him to hesitate making small talk with her.
With other girls he was confident and assured of their interest in him. But with her... Well, let it be
said that he considered it a gift of fate their hitter had ended up batting the ball in this direction.
Pretending he didnt notice how skittish she seemed in his presence, he leaned close towards her,
enough for the sides of their heads to almost touch. Pointing to the word she had mispronounced, he told
her gently, Heres how you say it.
Her head cocked to the side as she listened to him, an attentive look on her face.
Liking the feeling of having her look at him, he continued reading the other lines in perfect Greek.
She had a shy smile on her lips when he finished. Th-thank you.
The blush was natural, and so was the stammer. He had always been enchanted by her simplicity, and
now he was even more so.
Why are you studying Greek?
Because Ilike reading about the myths.
He raised a brow. That was an uncommon answer. There are English translations.
Theres something different about them when you read it in their original language, she told him
He did his best not to smile. Like any Greek, he was raised to respect the myths even if they were just
myths. It was refreshing to find someone outside Greece who seemed to feel the same. What are your
Interestingly, she blushed.
He was even more intrigued. He told her with a grin, Now Im even more determined to know what
your favorite myths are. He looked at her thoughtfully. Im going to guess you probably like those with
love stories?
She gave him a small nod.
UmmCupid and Psyche?
She nodded, quickly, as if she was hoping he wouldnt catch her doing so.
He grinned. You girls always do.
She made a face, as if his words had so irritated her that she forgot about being shy with him.
Theres nothing wrong about happy-ever-after love stories.
He was even more amused, and he decided to tease her, drawling, I dont know about that. They can
be cheesy, dont you think? Also, it follows a formula. Boy meets girl, girl likes boy
Its the little things that happen between boy meets girl and girl likes boy that make these stories
special. Her eyes were glowing now. And each story has a unique couple, and that makes it special,
too. A dreamy look settled on her face. You gotta be more imaginative. Like Cupid and Psyche did
they go on dates? Surely they had? But hows that gonna happen if hes invisible? Do they walk hand in
hand? And what if a guy happened to see Psyche and try to hit on her? Cupid would be jealous, but since
hes invisible he cant blame the other guy
She stopped, as if only realizing how much she had said.
He told her honestly, Dont worry, I didnt find any of it boring. Your imaginations unbelievable
Only with love stories, she confessed.
Ah. Maybe you want to be an author someday and write romance novels?
No. A mysterious smile played on her lips. I dont want to write the stories.
The smile was as secretive as Mona Lisas, and it was only months later that he would come to know
the truth behind it. By then of course it was too late. Everyone knew the truth, too, but it had been terribly
twisted, the beauty of it marred by malice.
Mairi Tanner hadnt wanted to write the stories she loved reading so much. She had wanted to live
them instead. In her mind, Greek gods were Greek billionaires in life, and she an ordinary girl played
the role of a mortal woman. Unfortunately, the others called her by a different name. In their minds, the
role she played was that of a gold digger.
Stavros was pulled out of his thoughts by the ringing of his phone.
The detective he had set on Mairis trail said, Shes come home, sir.
And Leventis?
Still in his office.
Keep me informed of his movement.
It was time.
He was done waiting.
Mairi had just finished setting up the aquarium on the carpeted floor next to Damens luxurious recliner
seat when her phone rang, almost causing her to jump.
Did he remember now? Would he apologize?
But when she looked at her phones screen, an unidentified number flashed on it. Since she had caller
ID installed, it only meant that it was a private number, purchased by someone who took his her
privacy very seriously.
She answered the call hesitantly. Hello?
Hello, Mairi.
She gasped, instantly recognizing the voice. Stavros?
Chapter Thirteen

Yo, Mairi. Stavros Manolis voice was grave when he said the words, but his eyes had an amused
gleam that threatened to put Mairis cheeks on fire as his gaze slowly traveled all over her from head to
toe, taking in her outfit. Cap worn inverted, dark glasses, large baseball jersey that she stole from
Damens closet, and an old pair of denim shorts also of Damens which she had tightened with a chain
belt. It was the best disguise she could come up with at such late notice.
The coffee shop Mairi had chosen as their meeting place was crowded and noisy, but his voice
seemed gratingly loud and cheerful, each word coming to her perfectly clear.
Yo. She flashed him a weak smile. Yay, her: she had succeeded in making the normally stoic-
looking Stavros Manolis laugh. Not.
She couldnt believe she was sitting across Stavros Manolis. It felt like she was back in high school
again, and anytime now she would be bullied because she thought it was her fate to marry a Greek
Stavros inhaled, trying to get a better grip of his senses. After all these years, he had finally found
her. He only had a brief time to look at Mairi when he had been at GAYL, but now that she was this close,
he did not hesitate to look his fill.
Her hair was longer, her eyes beautifully dark like before, and her body as shapely as Aphrodites.
She was also paler, thinner, and looked extremely stressed.
Stavros said quietly, Im sorry Ive forced this meeting on you.
The words were unexpected and confusing, forcing Mairi to look at him again. The last time she had
seen him, Stavros had been a teenager like her, a boy who had broken every girls heart when he only
ever smiled at Mairi and ignored the rest.
Now, he was a man, solidly built and extremely attractive. Add the fact that he was also a Greek
billionaire, and the way all the women in the restaurant were ogling at him was entirely understandable.
Maybe if she didnt have her own Greek billionaire to love, she would have been ogling him, too.
Mairi answered just as quietly, I dont consider myself forced to meet you in any way, Stavros.
I know the truth, Mairi. Damen told me you needed more time
She was incredulous. You talked to Damen?
A frown formed on his forehead. Did he not tell you?
The truth dawned on them both.
Stavros said grimly, He lied to me.
Knowing you are with him, it is with the utmost respect for your relationship that I went to him first
and asked permission to talk to you. His jaw hardened.
She knew he wouldnt say anything anymore. Stavros was not the type to backstab anyone, even if
that someone had clearly lied to him. But then he didnt really have to, Mairi thought, still bemused.
Clearly, Damen had lied to him, prevented them from meeting. But why? Surely he didnt think she still
loved Stavros?
He must have his own reasons. Please dont let this ruin your friendship.
Stavros said curtly, If it is fine with you, I do not plan wasting our time talking about Leventis.
Her heart sank. Earlier he had called Damen by his first name. Now he was more formal, and it
didnt bode well.
She heard Stavros sigh, a harsh sound that confused Mairi. It was as if she had hurt him.
And then
Did you know I tried looking for you?
Her head jerked up. You did? Why would you?
He was disbelieving. Why wouldnt I? It was my fault you were expelled!
Oh, these Greek billionaires. They could drive a girl insane. Did Stavros and Damen know how alike
they were, with their tendency to blame themselves for something that was not and could never be their
It was not your fault, Stavros, and I never thought that.
Im not surprised you think so. You have always been too nice.
She shook her head, smiling wryly. I threatened Principal Childress with a lawsuit just to make sure
not a single word about the incident got out. So you know, I can be a bitch if I want to.
Stavros allowed himself a slight smile even as he said firmly, You are not and will never be a
bitch. But I do know about what you did and again I think you were too lenient on her.
I couldnt risk embarrassing my aunts, she admitted.
He nodded. I knew it was probably your reason for letting her get away with her unethical actions.
His lashes fell, partially hiding his gaze as he murmured, I made sure she lost her job when you left. It
was the least I could do for you.
Mairi was stunned. It was her first time to hear that. The moment she had been expelled, she had
decided that part of her life was over and she had taken pains to avoid any kind of news about her old
school and everyone else associated with itand that included Stavros.
She asked tentatively, Why did you want to meet with me?
The way her eyes nervously darted to and away from his face was so reminiscent of how she had
been when she was young, it made Stavros chest tighten. The years might have passed, but what made
Mairi Tanner the girl who had so quickly ensnared his attention without trying was still there.
And she was more beautiful than ever.
And she would never be his because it was obvious that her heart had already been claimed by
another man.
In that instant he knew that whatever he had subconsciously thought to tell her were words he should
never speak out loud.
The gentle smile on Stavros face made Mairi remember how he had been so kind to her all those
times they had talked about Greek myths, with Stavros never telling her she was letting her imagination
get the better of her.
Only now did she realize how much she had missed his friendship when she had left their school.
I am happy that you didnt lose the courage to make your dream come true.
How was it that her mind had conveniently neglected to consider that Stavros would know about that
horrible blog, the one that had exposed her dreams and turned it into a living nightmare?
She choked out, Stavros
I just hope that your Greek billionaire knows how lucky he is to have a woman like you to love him.
Because if I had been the one your heart had chosen, I would do my best not to fail you again.
Chapter Fourteen

On the center of Damens table was the envelope his unexpected visitor had thrown at him, as silently
insidious as the sly gaze of the snake in the Garden of Eden. Inside it was knowledge forbidden and
tempting, and even though hours had already passed he still could not decide what to do about it.
Glancing at his watch, he realized with a little surprise that it was already nine in the evening. He put
a call to Mairis mobile and she answered at the first ring. Damen?
I just called to make sure everything is well with you.
Of course it is, she assured him right away. Im in bed already.
Early night?
I need to try to sleep, otherwise Ill just stay up and keep missing you.
She was so fucking sweet. If only he didnt have so many goddamn doubts about her now.
Mairi tried not to be hurt when it took a while for Damen to answer, I miss you, too.
I miss you.
I miss you, too.
She pressed her hand to her mouth, hard. She mustnt let him know how hearing him say I miss you,
too made her want to cry these days. But Godoh God, why didnt these words sound like how they
used to sound? What had she done wrong?
How was your day?
Clearing her throat, she lied, I just stayed here all day. There was no point telling him about
Stavros over the phone. It was the kind of conversation better done in person, where shed have a chance
to make sure he would see on her face that she was telling the truth.
I see.
An awkward silence followed, and again she had to press her hand to her mouth. In the past, she
would have no problem filling the gap and chatting the night away. In the past, she would eagerly ask him
questions butit wasnt the same between them now.
Her bright tone as false as her words, she said, I gotta go, Damen. My aunts are trying to call me via
Skype I hadnt been able to reach them all day.
She was lying, Damen thought. But could he blame her? She might have changed, but she had not
changed towards him. It was him who had changed towards her, and he didnt know how to find his way
back to what they once were.
Ill let you go then. Have a good nights sleep. I will be back tomorrow as early as I can.
Thanks. She ended the call, feeling like she had ended it as if she had only been talking to her boss
and not the man she was supposed to marry.
When Damen put the phone down, he didnt let himself think. He simply reached for the envelope and
started to read.
By the time he finished reading the entire blog that had exposed Mairis childhood diary, he was sick
to his stomach.
He called Mairis bodyguard, asking for a report for the first time. Did she leave the house today?
Yes, sir.
She had lied.
She had lied.
And where did she go? Who was she with?
The bodyguard answered in an inflectionless voice, She had dinner with Stavros Manolis.
You must wake, Ms. Tanner.
It took a while for the housekeepers voice to rouse her from a deep and heavy sleep, and a few more
moments for Mairi to sit up and realize that something was wrong. The woman could not look at her
straight in the eye. Why?
Ms. Tanner, you are requested to leave the premises immediately.
Mairi stared at her blankly.
The housekeepers voice became more strained. The order came from Mr. Leventis himself.
W-what? I dont understand.
Im sorry about this, Ms. Tanner. But you really have to leave now. I heard him The housekeeper
wringed her hands. I heard him talk to the head of the houses security. If you are not out of here in ten
minutes, he would have you escorted out of the premises even if it means you would be abandoned on the
street in your bedclothes.
She shook her head, feeling like she had woken in a horrible alternate reality. Whats going on?
You must go now, Ms. Tanner. Hes in a very bad mood. Your possessions will be sent to
whichever address you provide us with. But now, Ms. Tannerplease. It is for your own good I tell you
to leave now.
Shocked and disoriented, Mairi found herself following the anxious-looking housekeepers words.
She changed hastily, grabbed her phone, and headed to the front door, bumping into the head of security as
she stepped out of the house.
Mairi wanted to throw up, realizing that what the housekeeper said was true. He had been about to
throw her out. She could see in his face that he wouldnt like doing it but he would do it because
Because Damen Leventis had ordered it.
She shook her head. No. There was a mistake. There had to be. It might be another of Esther
Leventis ploys to get to her, to make her leave Damen.
She stood her ground and lifted her chin. I wont leave.
Her bodyguard rather, her former bodyguard looked at her with a horrified expression on his
face. Its Master Damens order.
Mairi whitened a little at the words, but she said doggedly, I wont believe you until I hear it from

A figure emerged from the shadows.

Get out of this house. His face was hard and cold. Is that clear enough for you?
She whispered, What?
Mairi stumbled back at the fury in his voice. Damen, what are you
What I am is a fucking fool to think you loved me! He laughed bitterly. And now, because you
think I might not remain rich with my business struggling Damen cursed. Problems that you have
caused you think you need to find yourself another Greek billionaire?
The look in his eyes made Mairi want to die.
Damen despised her.
Damen found her vile.
The tears fell fast and furious, leaving her half-blind. She caught sight of movement, Damen stalking
towards her. And then he was right in front of her.
The smell of liquor hit her.
He was drunk.
And then he was snarling at her, I know everything now! I know that youre a fucking psychotic bitch
whos always wanted to marry a Greek billionaire.
She wiped the tears away. Damen Her voice cracked when, behind Damen, she saw that a
crowd had formed inside his house and all of them could hear everything he was saying.
Please, Damen
I cant believe I chose you over a real lady like Alina.
His words didnt slash her heart like a knife stab.
Instead, his hateful words worked like a hammer that crushed her heart into pieces, the pain
spreading to her lungs like wildfire and preventing her from breathing.
She hurt so much she could not breathe through the pain.
Go back to Manolis. He can have my leftovers. I had you in every way
Mairi slapped him. STOP. Please, please, please stop.
The force of Mairis slap somehow made the haze of liquor-induced rage disappear, and Damen
stiffened, feeling like something had possessed him in the past few minutes.
Mairi was sobbing.
The sound tore through him, but Damen steeled himself from being conned by Mairi again. It was an
act. It was just a fucking act. I wont give you another warning. If youre not out of here in five minutes, I
will have you charged for trespassing.
And yet she stayed there, crying. God, she was still crying, like he had broken her heart when he
knew now that she never had a heart.
Four minutes.
He walked away.
She was still crying.
He got into his car, slamming his door shut.
He shouldnt hear her anymore, but why was it that he was still surrounded with the sound of her
Damen called the head of his security. If the five minutes are up and shes still not gone, get the
police to arrest her. Ending the call, he looked at his chauffeur and snapped, Drive.
Where to, sir?
Just fucking drive. It didnt matter where. His heart had found its home in Mairi, and now that the
truth was out, he didnt fucking care where hed end up. Her betrayal had left him lost forever.
Chapter Fifteen

You have one phone call, Ms. Tanner. Even though the police officer was talking to her, his face was
averted. So was everyone elses in the precinct, affording her the chance to pretend that they had not all
been a part of the most painfully humiliating incident in her life.
When she didnt answer, the police officer pressed gently, Surely there is someone you would like
to call to aid you?
It was so hard to think.
She couldnt call her aunts. She didnt want them to think they had been wrong to let her dream.
She couldnt call her friends. She didnt want them to think they had been wrong to believe she was
with a man who loved her.
She couldnt call Ioniko. She didnt want him to think he had been wrong to trust her when she said
that her love would never die.
None of them deserved to be embroiled in her troubles, caused by her own naivet.
Ms. Tanner?
A name slipped past her lips.
An indeterminate amount of time passed before she became dimly aware of a commotion, police
officers hastily getting to their feet as their chorus of greetings filled the spacious station, made humid by
the nights weather.
And then a familiar voice.
Where is she?
At last. Someone who could let herself just forget she existed.
The police officer pointed to where Mairi supposedly was, and upon following the other mans
directions, bitter rage burned inside Stavros Manolis when his gaze found Mairi.
She sat alone on a row of seats, her back straight. She wore a shirt and jeans and mismatched shoes.
Somehow, those mismatched shoes hurt like the fucking devil, telling him wordlessly about what Mairi
had to have gone through in the past hour.
When he reached her side, Stavros crouched down on one knee, placing him at eye level with her.
Mairi? He kept his voice gentle. She looked so damn breakable, like one wrong word would have her
shatter and there would be no way to piece her together again.
Her eyes were dry now, but they were red and swollen, like she had been crying until there were no
tears left to spare. Her voice was wobbly and high-pitched when she looked at him and said, You were
the only one I could ask for help.
Once, this girl had been as bright as the sun, as interesting as lifes most beautiful secret.
But now she was dead inside, and Stavros knew he would not rest until he made the man who broke
her heart pay.
He said tautly, Im here for you, Mairi. Tell me what you need and it will be done.
Her voice was almost inaudible when she spoke.
Consider it done.
He was true to his word, and when his promise to Mairi was fulfilled, Stavros worked on being true
to his other vow, the one he made to himself.
It took him mere minutes to find out where Damen Leventis was, a club lounge in one of Athens most
exclusive hotels.
The moment he was near enough to swing at Damen, Stavros did so, taking the other man by surprise
with a right hook.
One moment Damen was in a discussion with his solicitor, and the next he was on the floor, his jaw
aching. But his reflexes kicked in and Damen lunged, tackling his attacker and managing to land a blow on
the other mans face.
You will pay for what you did to Mairi, Stavros growled before he maneuvered the two of them
around, with him on top of Damen and breaking his ribs with one hard punch.
The blow threw him off momentarily, but Damen recovered right away, punching Stavros on the side
and at the other mans drawn breath, Damen knew that Stavros now had his own cracked rib or two as
They rolled away and got to their feet. But before they could tackle each other again, the hotels
guards were already there, pinning their arms behind their backs as they were escorted into the back of a
police car.
Neither of them spoke during the ride, and after being booked, they were thrown into an empty cell
together, Stavros and Damen standing at opposite sides.
Being in prison caused memories of Mairi to flay his mind, and Stavros demanded hoarsely, Why?
You said you love her so why would you hurt her like that?
Are you still under her spell? Wake up, Stavros! She has fooled us both! Shes nothing but a gold
digger who first targeted you and then me
Damens words worked like the missing piece in a puzzle, and Stavros slowly shook his head. You
are the goddamn fool here. He looked at the other man, rage now mixed with pity. For Damen.
Are you talking about what happened between us in high school?
What else? he said bitterly. I still cant believe everything was based on a fucking catch-a-
billionaire strategy a teenager
Stavros snapped, It isnt like that. Not waiting for Damen to argue with him, Stavros told the man
who was once his close friend everything he knew of Mairi and the childhood she had.
Gnawing dread ate Damen as Stavros words eventually painted the picture of a young girl who had
dared to dream and had not let anyones malicious jealousy stop her from viewing the world with rose-
colored glasses.
It was never about the money, Stavros grated. If she only wanted a Greek billionaire, dont you
think she would have continued to pursue me? Or Vlahos? It was about a dreama fucking dream of true
love and she thought you were the embodiment of that dream.
Damen said rawly, Where is she now?
She took a flight home.
Everything in him demanded that he say no more, but Stavros was a fair man. Damen had been an
idiot, but he had lashed out in his pain. Only a man who was so in love could be that vengeful. He said
reluctantly, It will not be simple finding her if she does not want to be found.
I wont stop
Thats exactly what you have to do if Mairi chooses to disappear. I searched for her for years, and I
am no poor man without resources. Her aunts have connections and theyregood. I only recently learned
that they had studied my every movement and by doing so, they were able to prevent me from uncovering
any lead that would take me to Mairi.
But you found her
Because they let me, Stavros finished. So you must pray to all the gods that they would want you
to find her, even if its only for Mairi to shoot you in the head for what you did to her.
Damen whispered, Even if she did, it would not be enough to undo the harm I have caused her.
Chapter Sixteen

It was late morning the next day when their solicitors succeeded in getting Stavros and Damen released.
The two Greek billionaires shook hands, a mutual understanding having formed between them. Damen
would grovel, and Stavros would be there watching.
Drive me home.
It was a good half hour before they reached his home. As he retraced his steps to the front door, his
heart began to beat faster and faster and it was not doing so in a good way.
With every beat of his heart, he felt like he was suffocating.
By the time he reached the front door, Damen was on his knees.
In his mind, the picture of the last time he had seen Mairi was complete, tortuously vivid and
The remembered sound of her sobs rang in Damens mind, growing in volume until it was all he
could hear.
Mairi was begging.
Please, Damen
A choking gasp came out of Damens throat, the memory tearing him open.
The front door flew open. Sir!
Damen pushed past the surprised-looking housekeeper, his breaths coming out in erratic gasps as he
practically ran to the bedroom he once shared with Mairi.
I love you. A vision of a happy Mairi danced in his mind.
Please, Damen
I miss you. Mairi on the bed, a loving look on her face.
Please, Damen
He threw the door open, his gaze falling dumbly to the sight of mismatched shoes on the floor.
In his mind, he could see Mairi, being woken up in the middle of the night, exactly as he had planned.
He had wanted her flustered, Damen thought with vicious self-hatred, and she had been flustered, so much
so she had ended up wearing mismatched shoes.
Please, Damen
Damen groaned out loud. Im sorry.
Please, Damen
His hand shook as he reached for his phone and called the man he had assigned to tail Mairi
incognito since the day he had declared his love for her at GAYL.
Tell me everything, what she has been doing, who she was with every fucking thing you know.
He still could not explain why Mairi had seemed to act like she had been happy with the role of an idle
woman of luxury, but Damen knew now that whatever the reason was, it would be a good one.
His employers words were an answered prayer.
All the time he had been following Ms. Tanner, Christophe had wrestled with his guilt, wondering
when it was the right time to intrude. Mr. Artini had been clear he was not to let Mairi Tanner know he
was around unless her life was under threat.
But what if shes being disrespected?
Then we pray that she will be able to handle it.
Mr. Leventis orders had also been as ruthless and explicit.
You are not to let me know anything unless it is about her life in danger in any way.
Mairi Tanners life had never been in danger, but her heart had been dying since the very first day.
No school, no business no one in Greece was willing to hire her in fear of retaliation from the
Kokinos clan or your mother. In the end, Ms. Tanner accepted a virtual job.
The amount that Christophe named as Mairis wages made Damen flinch, and the hours that such
work entailed made Damen hate himself even more.
She used the money she earned to buy a fish spa setup. It should be in your bedroom.
His gaze swiftly scanned the room.
Damen slowly crossed the room. A fish spa. In an aquarium that seemed to have been designed by a
man with a fetish for an aliens breasts. On the armchair near it was a card, and he picked it up.

Happy First Month Anniversary, my love!
I wanted to give you a gift that no one else would have thought of giving you did I succeed?
I want you to know that youre my dream come true and youll always be so.
There is nothing I wont do for you, so please, lean on me I am here to share not only in your
success but your troubles, too.
Im stronger than you think, you know.
I love you.
Your precious,

The letter fell from his fingers.
His eyes closed.
He saw himself, no better than the lowliest bastard as he exploited her weakness. I cant believe I
chose you over a real lady like Alina.
He saw Mairi, her heart shredded by his words, her dream ripped apart by his cruel actions.
Go back to Manolis. He can have my leftovers. I had you in every way
Damen spun around, his fist hitting the glass of the closest window, the sound of its explosion no
different from how he imagined the sound of Mairis preciously innocent optimism being raped by his
brutal attack.
STOP. Please, please, please stop.
Damen pounded the wall with his bleeding fist, again and again and again until a large crack formed
on the blood-stained cement. He wanted to whip himself, sleep in a fucking bed of thorns but he knew
no self-punishment would be enough.
Im so fucking sorry, Mairi. Im so fucking sorry.

The Art of Forgiving a Greek Billionaire (Book 4)
February 2014
Once upon a time, there was an ordinary girl who grew up listening to bedtime stories where there were
no knights in shining armor or Prince Charming. Instead, it had Greek billionaires and this little girl
dreamt shed one day have Her Own Greek Billionaire to live happily ever after with.
When this little girl grew up, she discovered a painful lesson. Not all wishes are meant to come true, not
all broken hearts may be repaired, and not all Greek billionaires love forever.
Not even hers.
This is my story.
I mean your story.
I mean, Mairi Tanner's story.

Damen Leventis was closing in on them. It was only a matter of time before the Greek billionaire found
out where she and Norah had sent their niece to recuperate. He was the most persistent man Vilma had
ever met. He was everywhere they went, and his spies was everywhere, too.
During the day, he was engaged in a fierce corporate battle, Damen Leventis against the world with his
own board turning against him and attempting to wrestle control from his hands in light of his
undesirable way of conducting his personal life.
Everyone in the corporate world was of the opinion that Damen was fighting a losing battle, no different
from the way a disgraced actor could never again make his audience believe him. But Damen seemed to
be the only one who did not believe it, working every minute of the day without fail.
And at night
Vilma scowled. Only the TRO she had been forced to file against him kept the Greek billionaire away. It
had been her last resort, and a cowardly move at that, but he had left her no choice. When push came to
shove, Vilma would do everything even sell her soul to make sure her little Mairi was safe.
Making a snap decision, she dialled a number she only called for the most critical emergencies. Get me
Morrison. After, she gave explicit directions to her driver.
The chosen meeting place for Hollywoods most famous divorce lawyer and the man who was, for a time,
one of the governments top snipers was a rather quaint-looking chapel in a small town in Florida.
Between them was a thick file of documents, containing all the necessary information about a young
woman named Mairi Tanner his next assignment.
Vilma Tanners voice was a mix of sugar and steel as she asked, Will you do it?
The man in front of her was strikingly attractive, and his twinkling eyes gave him a boy-next-door charm
that was effective in getting everyone to trust him with their secrets. His voice was mild when he asked,
Are you not taking this a little too far, Attorney Tanner? Shes heartbroken, I get that. But that you want
her to practically disappear
You dont get it, do you? she asked impatiently. My niece fell in love with a billionaire. Worse, hes a
Greek billionaire, and though I love reading about such men in books they are not what Id call my ideal
husband in reality. They are often chauvinistic pigs and they can be very stubborn. My niece needs time
away from him to heal, and I am willing to bet my entire wealth that he will not be willing to give her
So instead you want me to kidnap her and keep her hostage while she gets over being dumped?
It wont be kidnapping. When you tell Mairi that it is my wish for her to stay under the radar, she will not
cause any problems. Vilma paused. Well, except for one thing, which I cannot guarantee.
The odd tone in the older womans voice made Drake raise a brow. What is this problem?
She said gravely, Please do not fall in love with her.
The words caught him unaware and he jerked in his seat. He said tightly, If youre in any way implying
about the last assignment I had Even now, that part of his lifehurt. He had always known Yanna
Everleigh was not for him, but being a fucking idiot, he had fallen for her anyway.
I just want you to be prepared. My niece is the kind of girl that any man can and will fall in love with,
given enough time in her company. Butshes not for you.
Stung at the thought that Vilma perhaps thought him unworthy of her niece, he murmured, With all due
respect, Attorney Tanner, but thats not for you to decide. His eyes flashed, the usual friendliness in them
turning into the cold glittery gaze of a natural-born killer. If I care to seduce her, I will. Perhaps you
should think twice about considering me for this job.
Vilma sighed. Now I have offended you when I did not mean to. I only meant she is not the woman who
will be able to love you the way you deserve. Do not ask me why or how I know it. I only do.
He snapped, You make her sound so irresistible.
To men like you, yes. Someone like my niece is irresistible. She opened the folder and unclipped the
large print of Mairis photo. This is my niece.
Drake took the photo.
And stared.
And knew.
A heart-shaped face of almost old-fashioned beauty, the loveliest smile in the world, and oh, a voluptuous
figure that begged for a dominating mans caress. But what really had him drawing his breath was the
innocent hope in her eyes
This girl...
No matter what life would throw at her, she was the kind who believed in the pot of gold at the end of
every rainbow.
She reminded him so strongly of Yanna it made Drake swallow.
Do you understand now? Vilma asked. The risk isnt to your life. Its to your heart.

Dear Reader,
Thank you for reading the third book in my Greek Billionaire Romance serials. Words are not enough to
express how happy I am that so many of you have enjoyed reading Damen and Mairis story.
Ive said this again and again I know that Damen and Mairi are not your typical hero or heroine. I know
Damen is far from perfect and I know Mairi is too trusting. But in my world, Id like to think that love is
powerful enough not really to change them but to make it work and give them the happily-ever-after they
Were already halfway through just two more books to go. I hope you continue on with me in this
journey. I wont lie more heartbreak awaits, but Im sure you know that it will only make their reunion
all the sweeter.
Thank you again for reading and if youd like to be the first to know about the next book, The Art of
Forgiving a Greek Billionaire, please do consider subscribing to my newsletter and liking my Facebook
Marian Tee
About the Author
Marian Tee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of steamy romantic comedies. She is
Filipino-Chinese, has lived all her life in the Philippines, and is a frustrated mangaka. She is addicted to
horror flicks, misses hip hop dancing, and loves all things Japanese.

Twitter: marian_writes

Other Books in the Greek Billionaire Romance Serials
The Art of Catching a Greek Billionaire (Book 1)
The Art of Trusting a Greek Billionaire (Book 2)
The Art of Loving a Greek Billionaire (Book 3)
The Art of Forgiving a Greek Billionaire (Book 4)

Enjoy spectacular discounts when you buy these multi-author bundles that Marian Tee is a part of!
Rock Gods of Romance Boxed Set (6-Book Rockstar Bundle)
Billionaire Bad Boys of Romance (10-Book Bundle)
Seduction in the Sun (12-Book Exotic Getaway Romance Bundle)
Tangled: New Adult Romance (12-Book Bundle)
Table of Contents
The Art of Loving a Greek Billionaire
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
About the Author