The Billion-Dollar Marriage Contract

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Chapter 15 - Taken

November 18, 2013
Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
New York City


“Do it gently!” Nikos shouted.

Everyone in the emergency room of the hospital already lost count of how many times Nikos Demakis delivered this outburst. By now, they shouldn’t have flinched at his tone for they should have been used to it. But it was just so loud and came unexpectedly that all the doctors and his attendants still winced.

Cassia sighed and rubbed her temples.

“Please have him sedated. Or sedate me instead. Anything. Please,” Cassia begged.

Her head pulsed with a headache from pain and then also from Nikos’ bellows. Also, his mere presence brought her pain. But she did not discount the fact that she would not have been here if only she heeded his and Hector’s warning earlier.

What the hell was going on?

First Hector told her to take a vacation and then Nikos told her that she was in danger. Cassia shook her head and rolled her eyes. She was too tired and distraught with pain to think clearly right now. She would just have to think about it some other time.

The young doctor smiled at Cassia and Nikos felt his temper flare up more.

He was about to shout but the doctor stepped back from his wife and said, “You’re all done.”

“That’s it? She won’t have to be confined?”

“No, Mr. Demakis. It’s just a flesh wound. The bullet went through her shoulder and did not hit any major blood vessels or any bones. She just needed to get a few stitches and to rest that arm. I’ll be giving her some medications for the pain. But aside from that, she can go home,” the doctor announced.

“Can she travel?”

“Provided that it is not a rough journey and that she takes her medications on time and gets plenty of rest, I see no reason as to why she cannot travel.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

“Wait, Nikos. Travel?”

Ne,” he confirmed. “We will be going to my island in Greece where you will be safe.”

Her eyes widened with rage. “Are you serious? Hell no!”

“We will talk about it later.”

The doctor hurriedly moved away from Nikos and back to his own desk.

“Scared the crap out of that young doctor with all your glaring and shouting,” Alex announced from behind him.

Nikos only glared at him.

“By the way, the additional security I hired for you just arrived.”

“Thank you, Alex. Again, I find myself indebted to you.”

“It’s nothing. Though I really want a Lamborghini for Christmas,” Alex teased with a wide grin. “I trust you have everything handled here? I have to go and search for those men and for any evidence they might have left behind.”

“Yes. I have kept you from your assignment long enough. Thank you for all your help today. Call me when you need anything.”

“And you call me when you find out anything from her,” Alex whispered and with a soft smile he walked out of the emergency room.

“Alex!” Cassia called out. He stopped on his tracks and turned around to look at her.

“Thank you for what you did today. Thank you for saving me.”

He threw her a mock salute and then turned around once and walked out of the hospital.

After a few more seconds, Nikos went to Cassia who was still sitting in bed. He nodded to the bodyguards outside the room and they moved in closer.

“I’d just settle the bills and we’d get going,” Nikos told his wife.

“I’m sorry, I don’t have my purse. I’d just pay you back when I get home.”

His entire body stiffened at her words.

She was his wife! Of course he’d pay for her hospital bills! He was damned rich he wouldn’t go poor from paying damned hospital bills. There was no way he’d let her pay him back.

“No. I’ll pay for it,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Fine, Nikos. Whatever you want,” Cassia lazily drawled with a roll of her eyes.

Quite frankly, she’d had enough of this day.

First there was Hector’s very short and uninformative call. He just told her that he was hiding from something and that she must hide too. But she decided to follow him so she made reservations for her vacation.

Aside from that, she also got shot and was caught in the middle of a gunfight. Then she was brought to the hospital and had to endure Nikos.

At this point, she’d do and say whatever he wanted just so she could go home and rest in her apartment.

Nikos came back a few minutes later, his mouth set in a grim line.

“Can you walk?” he asked her.

“I got shot in the arm, Nikos, not in the legs. I can manage,” she replied. “But thank you for everything you have done for me today. And your friend, too.”

A muscle throbbed in Nikos’ jaw and his hands clenched tightly into fists. By the gods, this woman drove him to insanity!

He counted to ten and forced his breathing to become even so that he could calm down. Cassia had just been through a rough ordeal and she should not be stressed further.

“Let’s go then,” he said as he offered her his hand.

He sighed with relief when she took it. Her touch was like a brand. It sent heat down his arm and electricity down his spine. Unbidden memories of their wedding night rose to his mind. He felt himself responding to her closeness and he cursed himself a fool for the hundredth time.

He must not think about these things right now.

The bodyguards Alex hired for him quickly flanked both of them. When they left the hospital they were immediately on alert. Even when they were inside Nikos’ SUV, they didn’t relax their guard.

The moment Cassia’s back touched the plush leather interior it looked as though tiredness overwhelmed her entire body. She squirmed until she found a comfortable position and closed her eyes.

Nikos looked at her and he stifled the urge to gather her in his arms and hold her close. Then he reeled with shock at his own thoughts.

Now where did that come from?

He stopped himself from reaching across the space between them and placing her head on his shoulder or brushing that stray lock of hair away from her cheek.

He knew she wasn’t ready for that yet.

Neither was he.

They’d just end up having another fight and he’d rather they both reserved their energy for later. He knew she would not like it when he told her that he really intended to bring her to his private island in Greece. There was also the inevitable talk about what happened earlier and what Hector Petrides had to do with all of this.

After a few more seconds, Cassia’s breathing evened. Nikos told his driver to drive slowly. He reached under him and pulled out a small pillow and a thick blanket. He placed the pillow under her head and wrapped the blanket around her.

Then, he contented himself by sitting back and looking at her while she rested.

A few minutes later he looked down and noticed the dried blood in his shirt.

He crinkled his nose in disgust and decided that a bath would be the very first thing on his list to do once they arrive at the on his plane. For now, he just grabbed a hand towel from the back of his car and emptied the remaining contents of his bottled drinking water on it. He rubbed it on his skin until all traces of the blood vanished. He then grabbed a new shirt and changed.

After an hour of being driven through New York City traffic, Cassia opened her eyes and looked wearily at her surroundings. She seemed to be confused but when she looked at the man beside her, the haze in her eyes quickly cleared.

“Nikos? My apartment is at 157 West 57th Street. Where are we going?”

“Somewhere safe,” he replied tersely.

“Where exactly is that?”

“I told you. My home. My island in Greece.”

“I thought that was some sick joke! You can’t seriously consider bringing me to Greece!”

This time her voice was more of a growl. Nikos could definitely hear the threat behind the question.

“We will go to Greece,” he said firmly.

“No way!”

Her voice was loud enough that the driver flinched and swerved to the right. Nikos quickly grabbed Cassia so that her injured shoulder wouldn’t hit the door of the car. He cursed in his native tongue as he held her tightly but she pushed him away and he was forced to let go.

Nikos decided to vent his anger on the driver instead. He barked loud and low and told him to be more careful next time.

“There’s no way in hell that I am going to Greece with you, Nikos Demakis. No fucking way.”

She said his name with such disdain that he winced.

“Yes, you are. I will keep you safe there, Cassia Demakis.” He emphasized her last name and this time it was she who flinched.

He had hoped that she would sleep throughout the ride to the airport but it seemed as if the fight would have to happen early.

Nikos rubbed his temples and faced his spitfire of a wife.

“Cassia, we will go to Greece so that you will be better protected. I live in a private island so it’s much better. It’s safe and it’s built like a fortress.”

“I don’t care! I can protect myself, Nikos! I also have money! I can hire a team of bodyguards!”

“Their loyalty can be bought. When it comes to security, I trust only my own people and Alex’s. My home is in a small island that can only be reached by boat or by plane. It’s a convenient location.”

“Again, there’s no way I am going to Greece with you, Nikos. You hear me? No way!”

“Remember our anniversary dinner at the restaurant? Well, just think of this as the start of us spending time together,” he suggested.

The man truly had some nerve.

“I already told you no! Have you forgotten that I’ll be divorcing you?! Have you heard nothing of what I’ve told you?” Cassia seethed.

“Hearing and understanding are two different things. Yes, I heard you but I chose ignore what you said. I told you that divorce is out of the question. There will be no divorce, ever. Now, the only option left is whether you want to make the rest of our lives hell or if you will try and work with me to attain some sort of peace between us.”

Cassia glared at him and then threw her head back and gave a sarcastic laugh.“ That’s never going to happen. In your eyes, I am a lying, money-grabbing, spoiled bitch.”

“I will reconsider all your past lies and behavior if you, too, would decide to bury the past so we could both move forward,” Nikos declared calmly.

“No.”

“Very well then, choose the hard way. We are still going to Greece. End of story.”

“I can’t just go to Greece! My life and my work are here! I have several social commitments!”

“We can always fly back for those if needed. My private jet is at your disposal. By the way, from your shop, I saw that you were already planning for a vacation. My assistant saw the list and the things you’ve packed. I asked him to bring all of it and to go back to your apartment and get the others so that you’d have everything you need when we land on Greece. I have several free rooms in my house and you can convert one of them into your office or studio.”

“Everyone will look for me!” Cassia shouted.

Nikos just raised an eyebrow.

“Then I’ll tell them you’re with me; that we are in our home in Greece. It’s natural for a husband and wife to get together.”

“But...but—“ Cassia spluttered.

“Ran out of excuses, agape mou?”

Her jaw fell open at the arrogance displayed by the man in front of her. She wanted to say a clever retort but the shock and fury going through her body seemed to also numb her brain. Instead, she looked out of the window and took several deep breaths to calm herself while thinking of another excuse.

“I can’t go to Greece because I have a vacation planned with someone.”

Nikos lifted a brow in query and then leaned forward and placed his chin in his hand.

“By all means, tell me. Is it with Hector Petrides?”

“None of your business.”

“It is my business because you are my wife and you are under my protection. You carry my name and everything you do has an effect on me and the company.”

“I didn’t give a shit what you did all those years, Nikos. I didn’t bat an eye when you dated all the supermodels in the world. I did not lecture you with ‘because you are my husband, every bimbo you dated reflects on me and the company.’ So don’t give me that reason. It’s bullshit.”

“I didn’t know you kept tabs on me all those years, agape mou. Contrary to popular belief, I did not date all the supermodels in the world. That would have been impossible.” Nikos grinned.

Cassia snorted, “Don’t think too highly of yourself.”

Nikos chuckled. She infuriated him unlike any other person and it was a refreshing change.

“We are still going to Greece. My word is final. There are things going on here that you don’t know anything about. Things connected to your attempted kidnapping and to your Hector Petrides,” the last few words came out as a low growl.

Cassia snapped at attention when she heard Hector’s name.

“What is it about Hector? What happened?” she asked in a shrill voice.

Nikos’ lips pursed into a tight line.

“This conversation will be reserved for later until you are well enough for it,” he answered.

“Don’t treat me as an invalid! I can handle anything!”

“I doubt it. Trust me on this one, Cassia. We’ll talk about this. There’s a proper time and place for everything. For now, rest and don’t do anything ridiculous. I’ll have you guarded all the time so there’s no use escaping,” Nikos told her as he crossed his arms over his chest.

Cassia grabbed his arm and squeezed.

“Please, Nikos. I have a right to know. I can handle it,” she swore.

He sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.

For a few minutes, he gazed out the window contemplating as to whether he should tell her or not. She had a right to know but he felt like he didn’t have the proper words to tell her. Then maybe evidence could speak for him at this point.

“Hand me my briefcase in the back, will you?” he asked the bodyguards who sat behind them. They handed it to him and he retrieved an envelope from it and handed it to her.

Fear raced down her spine when she saw several pictures of Hector.

“What is this?”

“Alex believes that Hector Petrides has been involved in several illegal activities. Years ago, his business was failing and in order to save it, he struck a deal with the devil. The devil was in the form of one of the drug lords from the one and only Greek drug cartel.”

Cassia’s hand shook as she flipped through the photographs.

“He’s been the instrument of this drug cartel to ship their drugs to the United States in return for their protection for him and for more and more money for his business.”

“No...”

“Alex is working on this case. He’s been tracking that drug cartel as one of his assignments. He stumbled across Hector’s involvement and further unearthed his involvement with you. Alex came and told me you were at risk.”

“No! This isn’t true! Hector is not involved with drugs!” she cried.

She tried to deny it repeatedly but deep down she knew there was some truth in what Nikos was saying.

About five or six years ago, Hector’s business had been failing. He talked to her about closing everything and he was so beat up about it. She even offered him a loan but he didn’t want to accept. One day, he told her he had the money to reopen his business and it flourished ever since.

But...

Also starting that day, Hector had less time for her. He was always away on what he said were business trips. When he returned, he was more stressed than before. When they went out on dates, he often received a call and then he would just simply disappear.

What baffled Cassia was that Hector was now at the top of his game. He should be able to always take a break and enjoy the money he got from his hard work! He had a highly competent staff to which he could delegate the running of his business for a few days so that he could go on a vacation.

But he always said no.

He always told her that there were things he should handle by himself and could never delegate. She did not understand it back then but she just assumed he was one of those people who were perfectionists and wanted to do everything themselves.

I could never be more wrong.

Tears filled Cassia’s eyes as her shaking fingers took hold of one of the photographs where drugs placed in boxes were being hauled at the docks then placed inside vans painted with the logo of his hotel. There was also a clear photo of him supervising everything.

It was truly damning evidence.

“This isn’t possible...” she whispered.

Her vision was already clouded by tears but she hastily wiped them away so she could gaze more at the photographs and the written report in front of her.

“Cassia...” Nikos’ voice shook. He frowned when he saw the tears in her eyes and reached out towards her but she slapped his hand away.

“What is this?” Cassia gasped.

She lifted a photograph and then showed it to him. It showed the body of a boy, someone who could not be more than twenty, and there was a bullet hole in his forehead.

Nikos pursed his lips and grabbed the photograph from her.

“We believe it’s one of the waiters from Hector’s staff who found out what the shipment contained. He was killed because of the knowledge he bore.”

Cassia’s stomach rolled and nausea overwhelmed her. She covered her mouth and tried to breathe deeply to avoid being sick. At the same time, a heavy feeling of dread settled over her shoulders and her tears turned into huge sobs.

She picked up one photograph of Hector where his face was clear. She gripped it tightly and raised her other hand to trace along the edges of his handsome features.

Uncaring about who was listening, she cried her heart out.

“Cassia...shh...” Nikos gathered her in his arms.

He kissed her temple as he tried to comfort her.

“Now, I hope you understand why I have to protect you. Hector fucked up somehow and now the entire cartel is after him. They would use you to get to him.”

Cassia sobbed harder when she realized the truth in his words. This was why Hector sounded so frantic when he last spoke to her. This was why he wanted her to take a vacation and told her she wasn’t safe.

“I won’t grant you the divorce either. I can’t have you go to someone like him. The life you believe you’ll be having with him is all an illusion. He can’t give you something normal. The drug cartel would always come first. There’s no escaping them.”

Cassia gasped in outrage and pushed Nikos back.

“How dare you speak like that?! You know nothing, Nikos! Hector is a good man! I know that his desperation for his business caused him to do this! But his intentions were pure! He did this because his business was all he had! Desperation drives even the best men to sin and to do what they don’t want to! You should know, right?”

Nikos sucked in a breath after hearing her question.

“You were forced to marry someone you believe is equivalent to a spoiled heiress and a monster when Demakis International was about to be snatched away from your family!”

Nikos opened his mouth to argue but Cassia kept on speaking.

“What makes you any different? Please stop making accusations and stop pointing fingers! You are just like him!” Cassia snapped.

Her words chilled him to his very core. He could not accept that she was comparing him to Hector.

But he also couldn’t help the tightening in his chest as he realized what she told him was true.



Later that Day
La Guardia Airport
New York City


“Before we board the plane, I need to go to the bathroom.”

“There’s one on the plane. You can just go there,” Nikos replied dryly as he looked up from the newspaper he was reading. They were seated in the VIP lounge of the airport while they waited for his private jet to be ready.

“No. I have to go now.”

In truth, she needed to escape his presence so that she could call Hector and ask him about what she just learned.

Nikos sighed, “Very well then.”

He nodded to two of Cassia’s guards and asked them to escort her to the nearest comfort room. The guards thoroughly checked the stalls before they let Cassia inside. After she was done with her business, she began looking for pay phones.

But there were none.

She poked her head outside of the door and called one of her guards.

“Can I borrow your phone?” she whispered.

“Ma’am, I do not think that is wise,” the guard told her firmly.

“I have just been attacked and my store has been ruined. I need to call my assistant to leave instructions about the shop and about what happened earlier. In a few minutes, I’ll be flying to Greece and I’ll be leaving the poor guy alone to handle everything that happened.”

“I advise that you discuss this with your husband.”

“Haven’t you noticed that he’s a busy man? Besides, I have a few instructions for my assistant regarding private matters that he need not bother himself about. I promise I will just be quick.”

Reluctantly, the guard handed her his phone.

“Please be quick, ma’am. I think the jet is almost ready.”

Cassia nodded to her guard and then closed the door and went to the farthest part of the bathroom where she was sure they wouldn’t overhear any conversation.

She quickly dialed Hector’s number. He told her last time that he’d change his number but she prayed that it was still the one he used.

His phone rang but he didn’t pick up. She decided that she would just leave him a message and waited for his voicemail.

“Hector... It’s me Cassia. Something happened and I—“

“Cassia?! I told you not to call. It isn’t safe!” he cried frantically.

“Hector...listen. Something happened. My store was attacked. There were men who came there with the intent of kidnapping me—“

“What?! Are you okay? What happened? Where are you?”

“Calm down, Hector. I’m fine. Just a little bit shaken. I was shot in the arm but it’s only a flesh wound and I already had it tended by doctors. I was just in my shop while packing my things to go on that vacation as you ordered. Before I knew it, the glass shattered and there were men barging inside my store.”

Hector cursed under his breath.

“Cassia...I don’t know what to say. This is all my fault.”

“Hector...I know this is not the time to talk about this...but Nikos told me several things. And I just have to know.”

“What did he say?” Hector’s tone was icy.

She never heard him use that tone before.

“He said that you are part of the Greek drug cartel.”

There was silence from his end for a long time. Finally, he sighed.

“It’s true Cassia. But I don’t want to be with them anymore. I wanted to end it all so I could be free. I did it for you! For us! I talked to them about it and they agreed on one condition. There was a last shipment. It was bigger than anything else. I think it was worth close to a billion dollars,” he confessed.

“What happened?” she asked hesitantly.

Each word from him broke hear heart. But she needed to know the entire truth.

“I failed that shipment. Something happened. I don’t know what. Maybe someone heard about it and stole everything. Maybe someone fucked up from my team. It’s lost and no matter what I do, I can’t retrieve it...I failed them Cassia...” his voice broke on a sob.

“Hector... it’s going to be all right. I promise you.”

“It’s not! That mistake is going to cost me my life! This is why I am hiding! This is why I want you to hide! We’ll never be safe. What happened to you is my fault.”

“Stop it, Hector. It’s not,” she reprimanded.

In fact, it was her fault. If she did not press him so much about wanting more of his time, then he wouldn’t have begged to be released from the drug cartel.

Hector took a few seconds to calm himself down.

“Where are you now?”

“That’s what I was calling you about. Nikos swept in on the scene and decided he’d whisk me away to Greece for my safety. I told him no but the man is immovable on this.”

“What?!” Hector’s tone suddenly changed, “Where in Greece would he be taking you to?” This time his voice sounded menacing.

“He just mentioned something about a private island. That’s all I know.”

“Cassia. I’m afraid about this. I don’t want you with him. I know we can’t be together because of all the danger...call me selfish, but I still want you with me. I can’t let you be with him. ”

“Don’t worry, Hector. It will be all right. You have nothing to worry about with me and Nikos.”

“Promise me you won’t return to him. Promise me this,” Hector begged.

“I promise.”

“You know I love you, right?”

“I know.”



Thirty Minutes Later
Nikos’ private jet
La Guardia Airport, New York City


Nikos held her hand as they climbed up the steep ladder. They entered his private jet and Cassia’s jaw dropped. Drool would’ve fallen from her mouth had she not closed it quickly.

Everything here was truly lavish and extravagant!

It was like those that she saw in movies, only this one was bigger and better. There were only a few seats and they looked like a more expensive version of a La-Z-Boy. On the far side of the wall, there stood a large, flat screen TV. It was a large plane but the interior looked like the living room of a grand mansion.

Cassia went straight to the chairs but Nikos tugged her hand.

“Let me tour you to the bedroom first. We’ll stay there after we take off so you can rest.”

Before she could react to his words, he opened a door and gently guided her inside. Her eyes widened when she saw the large bed there. On the left side was another door.

“If you need to use the bathroom, go first. I want a shower before we take off,” Nikos told her.

She nodded and entered the bathroom. At first, Cassia fumbled around because it was really hard to pull down her pants because one of her hands was placed in a sling. But after much wiggling and awkward tugging, she was able to relieve herself.

Once she exited, she saw that Nikos had a fresh change of clothes in his hands. He instructed her to go outside and strap herself in one of the seats for they would be taking off soon. She did as he asked and found herself dozing off as she waited for them to leave. A few minutes later, Nikos also strapped himself in beside her after having a few words with the pilot.

Strapped in her seat, Cassia drifted off to sleep as the plane left New York City.

When she woke up, she was on the massive bed in the room and Nikos was also sleeping beside her.

She jolted and then quickly sat up. Pain flared in her shoulder. She gasped and flopped back down on the bed in pain.

Nikos felt the bed dip and heard her groan of pain. He stretched his arms and pulled her closer.

She struggled and he opened his bloodshot eyes which stared at her in confusion. When the fog in his brain lifted, he quickly rolled off the bed and shook his head. Damn it, did he just snuggle with his wife?

To cover up his actions, he reached for her medicine on top of the drawer. He also opened the small refrigerator and handed Cassia a bottle of water.

“Here. It’s time you take your pain pills,” he said as he handed her the bottle and her medications.

Cassia took it and greedily drank down water.

“How am I here? And why are you here?” she hissed.

“I carried you here because you were out like a light the minute your back hit the cushion. I am here because I need to rest too. This is the only room here on this plane and it’s been one hell of a day. I am tired.”

Wow. She didn’t even wake up when he carried her?

“It’s a pretty large plane,” Cassia commented.

She hoped Nikos took the hint and left her alone.

“It’s a pretty large bed. Besides, I cannot fit on one of the couches. Don’t worry; injured women are not my type,” Nikos grinned and then rolled over on the other side of the bed.

She glared at his back and stopped herself from throwing one of the pillows at him.

After a few minutes, Nikos’ breathing evened and Cassia knew he was asleep. She relaxed and within a few minutes, also fell deeply asleep.

Nikos opened his eyes when he heard the intercom beside the bed ringing.

He took a deep breath and the tantalizing smell of vanilla made desire bubble in the pit of his stomach. His mind traveled back to the past when he last smelled that on Cassia’s skin during their wedding night. He was hit with an intense need for her as vivid images of that night flashed through his brain.

He lifted his head and sought out that delightful aroma.

Cassia’s hair was fanned out in the pillow and most of it was near his nose. Apart from that, as he came to alertness, he realized that his hand was resting on something soft—Cassia’s hip. His entire body was spooned around her and her legs were tangled in his. Nikos was hit with a larger bolt of lust and he felt himself hardening against her.

The moment was shattered by the shrill and incessant ringing of the intercom. He sat up with a curse and grabbed the receiver.

“Yes?” he answered.

“We will be landing in fifteen minutes, Mr. Demakis,” the pilot informed him.

He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and glanced at his watch. Then, he stilled with shock.

Damn,it’s been ten hours already?

He never slept that long. Usually it was only three or four hours, maximum. But now, he’d slept for more than double his usual time and there wasn’t even a hint of the nightmares that usually plagued him. He couldn’t remember the last time he slept like this.

Was it because of the events that happened this day?

His gut clenched and another voice spoke inside his head.

Maybe it’s because of her...

“Alright, we’ll strap ourselves in,” he replied and then set the receiver down.

He took a few more minutes to get his bearings and willed himself to be calm. He felt really rested and for the first time in a long time, he felt a great sense of well-being.

He sighed and reached across the bed.

“Cassia...wake-up, agape mou. We’re in Greece.”

It took a few more gentle shakes before Cassia roused.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“I think the sun’s just about to rise.”

“Where’s your home? Is it the one in Athens with your grandfather?” Cassia asked as they strapped themselves in. It seems as though sleep also took out her crankiness.

“No. I do not live with my grandfather anymore. I have my own home.”

Nikos clasped her seatbelt for her for she could not use her right hand.

“Where? Santorini? How are we going to go there?” she asked

“No. A private island. Skorpios. We’ll land at Athens first. Take a car towards the docks. And we’ll go there by riding my yacht.

Cassia’s jaw fell again at that revelation.

“Skorpios? Seriously? Wow. I applaud you at the way you showed off all your shiny toys today, Nikos. I loved the way you topped it off with an island worth millions of dollars,” she half-mocked and half-groaned.

Skorpios was one of the most exclusive islands in Greece. It used to belong to an old Greek Tycoon before Nikos managed to get his hands on it. People said it was so beautiful that it was likened to Paradise on Earth. The fact that it was a private island meant that there were no overexcited tourists, no busy establishments, nothing to interrupt a perfect vacation.

“Yes. Our home’s beautiful. By the way, it’s not millions of dollars. It’s millions of euros,” Nikos bragged.

Cassia snorted.

She knew she would love the island.

She knew it was very beautiful.

But what she hated about it was that Nikos called it their home.

She had no intention of sharing any home with him even if he was the King of England and they were to live in the Buckingham Palace itself.

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