From One Night to Wife(3)

By: Rachael Thomas

 How could he have deceived her? She despised liars, having lived in the shadow of lies all her life.

 She scoured her memory for that last night on the island. The gentle, loving fisherman she’d fallen in love with had changed drastically, showing a new and unfamiliar side, when he’d realised what might come of their spontaneous lovemaking.

 It should have been just a goodbye kiss—one she could keep in her memory when she’d returned to her life in England. She’d known he didn’t want more, and had accepted it, wanting to experience love for the first time in the arms of a man who demanded nothing—the man she loved. But they’d both lost control as passion had claimed them, neither caring about anything other than the desire that had raged between them like wildfire, engulfing everything in its path.

 A flurry of panic rose up again. She hadn’t told anyone yet—not even her family. She couldn’t bear to see their reactions, knowing she’d let them down. Her sister knew of her brief romance with Nikos, but she hadn’t found the courage to tell her about the baby—not now, with all of Sally’s IVF problems.


 She closed her eyes as she heard his voice behind her, deep and heavily accented. She couldn’t turn yet. The wretchedness she felt would surely be in her eyes. Either that or her love for him might still shine through, and that was something she just couldn’t let him see. Not after the way he’d cut her out of his life because of a mistake in the making, made by both of them.

 A mistake. She hated that word. She’d lived with it hanging over her all her life. She was one of those—a mistake that had taken her parents by surprise. Forcing them to reconcile their differences and remain married.

 ‘Serena,’ he said again, and touched her arm.

 She couldn’t avoid the moment any longer. Her breath caught in her throat and somersaulting butterflies took flight in her stomach.

 She was more nervous than she’d ever been in her life as she turned to face him, desperate to keep her voice calm. ‘I had almost given up on you.’

 Was that wobbly whisper really her voice? She must stay strong. Her unbalanced emotions couldn’t get the better of her—not now. But as she moved back from his touch she questioned if she could go through with this. Was she doing the right thing? Should she even have come here?

 Nikos moved closer to her, forcing her to look up at him, and when she did she could hardly suppress a gasp of surprise. His blue eyes, so uncharacteristic for a Greek man, weren’t the colour of a summer sky, as she remembered them, but icy cold. He’d changed. This was a very different man from the one she’d fallen in love with. And it wasn’t only the smart clothes he now wore instead of the tatty work jeans she’d always seen him in.

 He was still tall, dark haired, with angled features, but each angle looked harsher, and his lips were set in a don’t-mess-with-me line of rigidness.

 ‘Sorry I had business to attend to.’

 ‘You look...’ She paused as she struggled to find the right word, completely taken aback by his unyielding aura. His deceit, and the enormity of what she was about to announce made small talk almost impossible. The next few minutes would affect the rest of her life and she almost faltered, but bravely pushed on. ‘You look very smart—very much the businessman.’

 His brows lifted in surprise and she thought she saw a hint of anger in the blue depths of his eyes. There was hardly a trace of the man she’d laughed and loved with for the duration of her holiday three months ago—the man she had given much more than just her heart to. This was the real Nikos.

 ‘I may have been brought up a simple fisherman, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay that way.’

 The sharpness of his words made her blink, and again she took a step backwards, the sand shifting beneath her feet. She glanced around the now deserted beach in a desperate attempt to avoid that stern glare.

 He wasn’t making it easy for her. It was obvious from his irritation that he knew why she was here—why she’d sought him out after he’d so cruelly ended their two weeks of romance. He was toying with her, forcing her to tell him.

 ‘Do you know why I’m here?’

 She hated the way her words trembled, and resisted the urge to hug her arms about herself in an attempt to protect herself from his anger. Whatever else she did, she had to remain strong.

 He didn’t take his gaze from her face. She stood firm, refusing to be intimidated as his cold words rose above the rush of the waves.

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