The Art of Loving a Greek Billionaire (Book 3) (Greek Billionaire Romance), страница 1
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 she’d 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 they’re scouting the place for a corporate event—”
The older man cut him off, “I’ll 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, that’s 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. “He’s a billionaire. There’s surely always a threat to his life—”
“The media’s the only threat to his life. He likes his privacy because he has a bat-crazy mother who doesn’t know how to mind her own business. He doesn’t allow any intrusions in his private life, and in the years I’ve been leading this team I’ve managed to keep his name out of any major scandal,” the older man said proudly. “But unfortunately, what happened in Ms. Diana’s 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. “They’re sniffing in the wrong direction, and that’s exactly how Mr. Leventis wants it.”
Chucky could no longer keep up. “Mr. Artini, I’m 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 night’s 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 world’s first modern Olympics.
That fact appeared uppermost in Stavros’ mind when, upon reaching Damen’s side, he remarked blandly, “Should I have brought my fencing sword, Damen?”
A mirthless smile slashed Damen’s 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 men’s faces were impassive as they considered each other’s 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 one’s heart to another?
“She is still stressed by what happened.” It was a lie, of course. Stress didn’t seem to be a word that existed in Mairi’s 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 friend’s 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 person’s 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 wasn’t 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 wasn’t seen dating any other woman.
Considering the fact that Ioniko was one of Greece’s 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.
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 wasn’t 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 who—
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 company’s stocks. “I’m 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 Damen’s 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 she’d 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, “I’ve always wanted to try it.” What she wouldn’t tell him was why she was asking him of it now, and she knew she wouldn’t 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, I’m more inclined to be rough with you, matakia mou.”
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 life.
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.
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 wasn’t sure if it was because she was terrified or excited.
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 Damen’s 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—
Damen’s 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 couldn’t stop moaning his name, couldn’t 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.