The Kouros Marriage Revenge

By: Abby Green

PROLOGUE




‘KALLIE, you have to tell him you love him tonight. If you don’t, he’ll never know. You’re going home in two days, next year you’ll be at college or working…this is it, your last chance to tell Alexandros how you feel.’

Kallie’s arms were gripped by her older cousin Eleni, her dark face close to Kallie’s, her eyes fervent. In some dim part of herself she did wonder at that moment why Eleni cared so much about this. And stifled the thought, feeling mean. Hadn’t Eleni been her confidante, having had to listen to her wax lyrical about Alexandros for years on every summer holiday? She was only helping her.

Nerves made her voice shaky. ‘But, Eleni, I haven’t seen him in ages, he’s always in Athens now…’ She shivered. And a little remote. Which he’d never been before…

Eleni shook her head emphatically. ‘Doesn’t matter. He’s always had a soft spot for you. He’s exactly the same, the only difference now is that he’s loaded.’

Kallie gulped. And way more grown up…he’s going to laugh at me.

‘Kallie, come on. Don’t chicken out now.’

She looked at her cousin. She had that impatient look that always scared Kallie a little.

Kallie nodded jerkily, her heart thumping like crazy. Over Eleni’s head she could see the object of her affections. Alexandros Kouros. Twenty-five years old and so handsome it hurt. Midnight-black hair that shone almost blue-black in the light, curling softly on his collar, a touch too long. His skin a deep olive. His face had a harsh masculinity that made Kallie’s insides feel weak. An arresting, utterly captivating quality that drew the eye and kept it there with little effort.

He stood at least six feet four, broad across the shoulders and chest. His body was finely muscled, potently masculine. Sometimes it frightened Kallie, the response she felt around him. Like it was something she couldn’t control, didn’t fully understand…

They were in his palatial family villa, which was right beside her grandmother’s in the hills above Athens, where she always spent her summer holidays. Every year, the end-of-summer party in the Kouros villa was the highlight of the social scene. Kouros Shipping was one of the biggest companies in the world. And since his father’s untimely death two years before, Alexandros had taken full control without even breaking sweat.

‘Kallie, he’s never going to see you as anything but a friend unless you go and take things further.’

‘I know.’ Kallie was anguished, her attention brought back into the room, to the events that her cousin seemed to be determined to set in motion. She’d never done anything so bold in all her life, usually preferring to hide behind a book or in the hammock at the end of her grandmother’s garden, dreaming. She didn’t even know if she really wanted to do it. Suddenly she saw Alexandros across the room take a bottle of something off a table and disappear. Eleni had followed her gaze. She turned Kallie to face her.

‘This is it, Kall—now or never. You’ll regret it for ever if you don’t. By the time you see him again he’ll be married with three kids…’

The thought made Kallie feel physically ill…or maybe that was the wine Eleni had been plying her with to get her courage up. Eleni held up the glass again. Kallie shook her head, as it was it was already swimming slightly. The sight of it made her feel nauseous. It was the first time she’d drunk anything alcoholic and she really wasn’t sure she liked it.

‘Go, Kallie. Now.’

Fuelled by something bigger than her—the wine, the sense of finality about everything—Kallie moved forward as if in a dream, through the crowd in the room, out the door that Alexandros had disappeared through and onto the patio. The warm air washed over her, bringing her to her senses somewhat. She almost turned around and went back inside, but saw Eleni at the door. No going back.

She didn’t see Alexandros at first—he was hidden by an overhanging tree that trailed its leaves along the stones of the grand patio. Then she saw him, his tall lean body, jacket off, leaning against the wall, and it made something inside her flutter to life. She moved forward. Thoughts swirled around her head, like a drumbeat…a mantra…as she approached him.

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