When Lander Drakos sweeps into Evie’s life again she is unprepared. His wife has died, alongside her brother. As if that is not enough there is a child – Helena – and the dead Sophie has requested that Helena be part of her life.
How can Evie do this when it brings her into close contact with Lander Drakos, the man who had broken her heart all those years ago? The man whom she had no right to love. The past is too dreadful to contemplate, the future could be even worse …
Published by: Whiskey Creek Press
Due for publication: August 2013
Under a Grecian Moon Excerpt
There was only one person besides Evie at her brother’s funeral. Lander Drakos. Seeing him was shocking given the circumstances. Once it was over she started to scurry away, practically stumbling along the gravel path. With majestic strides he caught up with her, putting his strong hand on her shoulder to stop her progress.
“Miss Johnson,” he said—his voice dripped ice.
“Mr. Drakos.” He was formal, she would be formal. She maintained a calm pose but her flesh was quivering. Should she roll back her sleeve there would be goose bumps all over her skin. He must never know that.
“You have a car?” He asked, a dark, perfectly shaped eyebrow cresting.
“I… no…I came in a car from the funeral home…er… I let it go. I need to walk.” She hated the way she was stumbling through her answer.
“I have a car and driver. I will take you where you wish to go.”
“That isn’t necessary.”
“Oh but it is, we have things to discuss.” He towered over her; she knew he was a man who always got what he wanted. Power emanated from him. She could smell it. An aphrodisiac? Perhaps at one time but not now.
“We do?” Thank God her voice was calm. All her training came to the fore. “I don’t think there is anything to discuss. I am sorry about how this all happened but it has nothing to do with me.”“Of course, it has everything to do with you,” he insisted.
“I’m sorry,” she repeated, “that’s all I have to say. I really am sorry about Sophie,” she felt honour bound to utter the words and it was a surprise to realize that she actually meant them. Sophie was too young to die. As was her brother David, but she knew she’d better not mention David’s name.
“There is no need to offer these futile apologies. I don’t believe you are sorry at all and were you not part of this conspiracy?”
“Conspiracy? What conspiracy? I don’t know why they were together in my brother’s car. And my sorrow isn’t futile.” And as he frowned down on her she went on. “Think what you will. I have to go now.”
She shrugged as if she didn’t care when really the opposite was true. She cared too much.
“I insist you come with me.” He was as always arrogance personified. That was how he was when she first met him. He was haughty and too sure of himself. He could melt but only temporarily. Too soon he would be his arrogant self.
“Mr. Drakos, I have just buried my brother.”
“And yesterday I buried my wife.”
Silence hung between them. Moments ticked by. He looked devastated. Pale beneath his tan, his mouth was a tight line. It wasn’t always like that. He had a sensual mouth, a slender upper lip, a full lower. She had to stop thinking like this. The past had long since withered and died. He’d hurt her terribly and it had taken a long time for her to trample on that pain. She certainly wasn’t going to resurrect it.
“This will get us nowhere. If you do not come with me, then I will come and see you. We will talk—put it this way, we have to talk.”
“I have nothing to say to you. How many times have I to tell you that? You are nothing to me, Mr. Drakos.”
“I am aware of that. However, I have something to tell you. You see my wife left a will, there were instructions. These are devastating. That is what we have to talk about.”
A weakness came over her. It wasn’t because he was staring at her, peeling her flesh aside and seeming to look into the very depths of her soul. No, it was because she hadn’t eaten. Drinking a cup of coffee was all she had been able to do before David’s funeral. It was all so tragic. She must have swayed slightly—why else would his hand have come out and circled her wrist? His other hand cupped her elbow.
“Are you all right, Evie?”
Her name whispered—almost like a prayer—barely discernible. Oh, that’s what he could do, turn into someone he wasn’t really, become charming and thoughtful and…the words tore into her, passionately loving.
“I really can’t do this now. Please let me go.”
He stood back, releasing her; she stumbled ever so slightly—perhaps he didn’t notice—he certainly didn’t do anything to help her. “Very well. I will have my secretary call you. This needs to be sorted quickly and I have to be in New York in two days.”
“The day after tomorrow,” she said. “I can come and see you…where?”
“I will come to you.”
That was the last thing she needed. Lander Drakos coming to her home, discovering where she lived, filling her humble house with his overwhelming presence
“I’d rather meet you somewhere neutral.”
“Isn’t Rakes Parade neutral?”
He knows where I live!
How did he know, had he been spying on her? Stalking her? He had money and a position; he could afford to have paid someone to find out. It was despicable but it was hardly surprising. If he wanted to know something then he would find out.
“No it isn’t. I’d rather it was somewhere less personal.”
“Less personal,” he smiled but the smile did not light his golden eyes. “Like my hotel room?”
“Of course not!” Her cheeks flamed.
“I have a suite. We can’t talk in the bar, too many prying eyes. My assistant will be there, not necessarily in the same room, but around.”
What to do?
Indecision, hesitation, these came to her now. She closed her eyes for a second as she debated all the pros and cons. No, the memory of him would linger in her small cottage. It would torture her for days; she would see him filling every corner.
“Very well, I’ll come to your suite.”
They arranged a time, late morning and then she turned on her heel and marched away.
Outside the cemetery the quietness was broken by the traffic of the main parkway. It was a two-mile walk to her home but it was a fine dry crisp day. She quickened her pace and ignoring the bus stop, decided to walk all the way.
A sleek chocolate-colored Mercedes swept by. She guessed it was his car. A quick look had shown a uniformed chauffeur and she had seen the car on the car park before she even saw Lander Drakos.