The Andreou Marriage Arrangement(10)

By: Helen Bianchin

‘You wanted to see me?’ The polite smile she summoned didn’t reach her eyes as Loukas rose to his feet and moved forward to close the door behind her.

An action that sent the nerves in her stomach into a tangled knot.

He indicated a leather chair. ‘Take a seat.’ Whereupon he crossed to the desk to lean one hip against its edge.

She continued to stand. ‘I hope this won’t take long.’

‘You’d have preferred a memo relaying I’m due in Melbourne late this afternoon to head an emergency meeting before flying on to Adelaide, then the Gold Coast?’

‘You require my input?’

‘Personally or professionally?’

A trick question? ‘Professionally, of course.’

Of course. His eyes narrowed a little as he took in the red power suit, the killer heels, the upswept hair, and his fingers itched to loosen the pins holding the elegantly contrived knot in place.

Her choice of apparel made a statement, one she’d deliberately sought to portray, he noted silently. And wondered why she’d thought it necessary.

Because she felt threatened by him? Perhaps she had cause, professionally.

‘The current state of Karsouli requires swift action, and formal meetings with each of the men who head the corporation’s three out-of-state offices are imperative. Personally, not via conference call.’

Alesha didn’t give him the satisfaction of verbally agreeing with him. ‘When will you be back?’

‘Late Thursday evening.’

‘I trust you’ll keep me posted. Is that all?’

One eyebrow quirked a little. ‘There’s the matter of our wedding details.’

Her stomach executed a painful somersault, and it took considerable effort to remain calm. ‘Email me the time and venue.’

‘Wolseley Road, Point Piper.’ He offered the number. ‘Friday, four o’clock in the afternoon.’

A slight frown creased her forehead. ‘That’s a private residence.’ Situated amongst Sydney’s most expensive real estate.

‘My home, which is currently in the final stages of redecoration.’

Sufficient money could achieve almost anything…and obviously had. It explained his preference for temporary hotel accommodation.

‘There’s also the legalities attached to the union        ,’ Loukas relayed smoothly. ‘We have an appointment at three-thirty this afternoon to tend to the necessary paperwork.’

Ensuring everything was neatly tied together before he flew out to Melbourne, she perceived, and attempted to quell the feeling she’d boarded a runaway train from which escape would involve irreparable damage to life and limb.


‘There’s nothing you want to add?’

A whole heap in verbal castigation…none of which would do any good! Instead, she managed a stunningly sweet smile. ‘Not at this moment.’

She turned and made for the door, only to discover he was there before her, and she attempted to ignore his close proximity, the musky tang of his cologne, the sheer sensuality he managed to exude without any seeming effort at all.

Assuring herself she was immune didn’t quite cut it. Nor did likening him to all men.

Loukas Andreou stood alone, a male entity that defied categorization.

So where did that leave her?

Right now…out of here!

‘Ten in the conference room,’ Loukas reminded her silkily as she exited the room.

A meeting he chaired with the type of ruthless strategy that left no room for doubt his proposed restructuring of Karsouli would be immediate and far-reaching.

Details were provided in individual folders placed in front of the attending executives, who were each given forty-eight hours in which to submit approval, reservations…or otherwise.

It took considerable effort on Alesha’s part to contain her resentment and present a neutral front when she wanted to silently rage at his high-handedness.

She managed it, just, until Loukas called the meeting to a close, and she bore the carefully polite glances as the executive staff filed past her as they exited the room.

Questions would follow by the long-serving personnel, concern expressed by those whose tenure was more recent…and she’d do her best with damage control.

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