Christakis's Rebellious Wife(7)By: Lynne Graham
‘No, please don’t say anything,’ Betsy had urged in harried retreat with her tray.
‘If it worries you that much I won’t. My name’s Nik, by the way,’ he had responded casually.
A tin of incredibly expensive fancy biscuits had been delivered to her at work that afternoon, the gift card signed with a slashed ‘Nik’. Betsy had been more embarrassed than pleased, particularly when her boss, Mark, had noted the delivery, asked her if the gift was from a customer and frowned in disapproval when she had confirmed it. When she had thanked Nik for the gift he had shrugged it off as if it was too unimportant to mention.
Nik had come in every Tuesday after that, settling down to chat in a foreign language to Cristo while constantly fielding calls on his mobile phone. Just seeing him had thrilled her and meeting his eyes had electrified her all over, sending heat laced with weird chills racing through her body in an uncontrollable surge. It had not escaped her notice that he watched her as well and that he left her ridiculously large tips that swelled the staff collection box as never before.
‘Be careful around that guy,’ Mark had warned her one morning. ‘I’ve only just realised who he is. He’s Nik Christakis and he owns the office block opposite—NCI, Nik Christakis Industries. And guess what? In his no-doubt vast portfolio of businesses he already has a large chain of coffee shops and I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of him.’
‘He owns the building over there?’ Betsy had gasped.
‘Haven’t you ever noticed his bodyguards?’ Mark had rolled his eyes at her lack of observation. ‘He has to be an extraordinarily wealthy man to need security and you do have to wonder why he’s slumming here with us.’
Betsy had felt foolish for not appreciating that Nik was as much a fish out of water in the bistro as snow in July. She had looked him up online and learned that he was Greek and that Cristo was his half-brother. She’d also discovered that Nik had grown up in a very different world from her own. Embarrassed by the adolescent daydreams she had been weaving round him until that point, she had become more circumspect in her behaviour when he was around.
‘No smile for me?’ Nik had queried on his next visit, catching her fingers in his to halt her and sharply disconcerting her with that move. ‘Is something wrong?’
Azure eyes wide, she had reddened. ‘No, nothing’s wrong. We’re just very busy and I’m a bit distracted.’
‘Have dinner with me tomorrow night,’ Nik had drawled without warning.
Jolted by the invitation, and scarcely believing that he was serious, Betsy had jerkily retrieved her fingers and clutched at her tray. ‘Sorry, I can’t. I’ve got a class—’
‘The next night you’re free,’ Nik had interposed smoothly.
‘We’ve got nothing in common,’ she had protested.
‘But I want you because you’re different,’ Nik had informed her huskily, making her drop her eyes in shock at that blunt admission and shiver as though her insides were being subjected to a force-ten gale.
‘It wouldn’t work,’ she had argued in a low voice.
‘If I say it will work, it will work. When?’ Nik had pressed mercilessly.
‘Er...Friday,’ she had admitted in the suffocating silence, horrendously aware of his brother’s incredulous scrutiny. ‘I’m free Friday night.’
‘I’ll pick you up at half eight,’ Nik had responded calmly and asked for her address.
As she had moved away to serve another customer she had heard Cristo arguing with his brother and she had just known it was about her and that Nik’s sibling could not credit that his brother had invited a waitress out on a date.
Nik had steamrollered over her objections and she should have seen the writing on the wall then. Nik didn’t quit until he got what he wanted. He was relentless, unstoppable and stubborn as a mule.
NIK WAS ENSCONCED in his limo with a very beautiful blonde. Jenna had seemed the perfect antidote to his difficult morning. She was light-hearted and fun and she wasn’t looking for anything serious. She had invited him back to her apartment and neither of them had any illusion about what was to happen there. Now she snuggled up against him, her hand fastening possessively to a long, powerful thigh. He stiffened, resisting a strong urge to shake her off. He was getting a divorce, he reminded himself obstinately. He was a free man. It was past time he acted on that change of status.