Not Just the Greek's Wife(5)

By: Lucy Monroe


More American than Greek in many ways, Ariston had insisted on a woman raised in his adopted home country.

Chloe had met both men’s requirements, her Greek heritage and family winning approval from the older Spiridakou and her American citizenship garnering Ariston’s acceptance. The fact that marriage to her would get him significant shares in what had looked like a thriving private concern at the time hadn’t hurt anything either.

“Perhaps you owed it to me, since I was the other side of that bargain and it resulted in our marriage.”

“A marriage you would have cheerfully jettisoned? Give me a break. We didn’t share confidences and you certainly weren’t interested in my heart.” Whatever she was doing here, they weren’t going to rewrite history to his specifications.

“I’m not the one who walked out.”

“You had divorce papers drawn up and ready to serve. No doubt they attempted to do so while you were in Hong Kong, but I’d already left for New York.” At least she’d assumed that had been his plan.

She hadn’t even bothered having her own papers created, knowing his were sufficient to the task. The speed with which she’d been served upon returning to the States had certainly implied she’d been right.

“What are you talking about?” Ariston asked in a tone that could have frozen rolling lava.

“Stop it,” she demanded. “I’m not playing these games with you.”

“Explain yourself.”

“You. Had. Divorce. Papers. Drawn. Up,” she enunciated very slowly and clearly. “Before we ever left New York for our spring trip to Athens.”

Following Ariston’s lifelong practice since reaching adulthood, he and Chloe had lived one month in four in Greece. It made for a lot of travel, but she hadn’t minded.

And multinational tycoon that he was, that sort of thing was simply everyday living for Ariston.

“How did you know that?” he asked with unperturbed curiosity, making no effort to deny it at least.

“My father faxed me a copy.”

“And he got them how?”

“I have no idea. Probably through the same underhanded channels you use.”

“I do not engage in corporate espionage.” Ariston sounded genuinely offended.

She was hard-pressed not to give in to a gallows-style humor. “Call it what you like.”

“Highly developed business acumen and contacts.”

“Fine.”

“So you left because you believed I was going to file for divorce?” he asked with a very odd inflection to his tone.

She wanted to scream, Yes, that’s right, but she simply shrugged. “I left because that was the only course open to me at that point. Our marriage wasn’t working.”

“I thought it was working very well.”

“You would.” And still he’d had the papers drawn up, presumably because in the one important area, to him at least, their marriage had been a bust.

She hadn’t gotten pregnant.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

She shook her head, not about to admit her love for him and how the emotional distance between them had killed her a little more each day. “We wanted different things.”

“On that I would have to agree.” Again the strange tone, but this time it was tinged with an inexplicable anger.

Right. Their marriage hadn’t been what either of them had wanted. She’d known that. Hearing him say it shouldn’t hurt now. It did. But it shouldn’t.

One thing was certain—she needed to move forward with her life. Irrevocably.

She’d thought she’d done that—leaving him, accepting the divorce without contest. Moving across country and opening her shop and gallery had been her way of cementing the break.

But if she couldn’t get a handle on the memories and emotions that had hurt far more than they’d ever helped, she was never going to be free of him, Chloe realized with awful clarity.





CHAPTER TWO


ARISTON sipped from his cup—matching china to hers that probably cost more than most of the paintings she had for sale in her gallery—and made a face. “I never understood your taste for flavored coffee.”

“Surely Jean could have made you the dark Arabic blend you prefer.” Chloe had always thought his beverage of preference tasted like espresso even when it was prepared in the automatic drip.

And to her way of thinking, espresso belonged in gourmet coffees with lots of milk and yummy flavorings. The thought of drinking it straight out of one of those tiny cups always made her shudder.

He dismissed her suggestion with a wave of his hand. “That would have required preparing two pots, not one.”

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