From One Night to Wife(64)

By: Rachael Thomas

 She wondered again if the headlines created by his mother to tell her own story, bringing Nikos’s past so harshly into the open, had been her way of trying to make amends. She’d counteracted the attack Christos had launched and put her life under the microscope of the press, admitting that what she’d told Nikos had been an attempt to stop him looking for her, or waiting and pining.

 ‘You should have invited your mother to the christening.’

 She looked at him reproachfully but he shook his head, still not yet able to come to terms with all he’d found out about his parents’ marriage.

 ‘It’s early days, and we both agreed that a big family celebration wouldn’t be the best time for her to meet everyone.’

 ‘I think it would be the best time. If christening a baby isn’t a day for letting go of the past and moving forward, I don’t know what is.’

 She smiled at him as he stroked her face, his love for her shining from the blue depths of his eyes.

 ‘I understand that she wants the past forgotten, especially now it’s come out just how cruel my father was to her.’

 A shadow of regret chased across his face and she knew he was thinking of the revelations about his parents’ short marriage.

 ‘You can’t punish yourself for ever, Nikos. You were a young boy. How were you to know the truth? Besides, your grandmother wants her back in the family.’

 ‘You and my grandmother are conspiring against me, I see.’ A hint of amusement lingered in his voice.

 Serena laughed. ‘Would I do such a thing?’

 ‘Yes, you would.’

 He made a show of annoyance, but Serena was too excited about the arrival of her family for the christening—including her parents, who were, amazingly, travelling together—to let anything spoil it.

 ‘Okay, you get your way. She didn’t see our wedding or the blessing, so I will ask her to come to the christening.’

 ‘You could both fly back from Athens together after your meeting tomorrow.’ She dropped the suggestion lightly as she took a sip of her iced water, pretending not to notice the suspicion narrowing his eyes.

 ‘We could...yes.’

 Nikos looked reproachfully at his wife, but she just laughed, and he fought the urge to silence her with a kiss. He thought of the long, painful talks he’d had with his mother, which had revealed that whilst she hadn’t wanted to remain married to his father she’d never wanted to leave her son. At first he hadn’t been able to understand why she hadn’t tried to mend the marriage, but then all the sorry truth had come out and bit by bit he had learned to forgive her.

 Now he just needed to let go of the past once and for all. He was married to a woman he adored, and loved with all his heart, and he had the most beautiful son. He had everything he’d thought impossible.

 ‘It would make us complete—the family, I mean,’ she said wistfully. ‘Grandparents on each side for Yannis, and even a wonderful great-grandmother.’

 ‘I love you, Serena.’ He kissed her passionately as she looked up at him. ‘And if it makes you happy I will insist she comes.’

 ‘Being with the man I love makes me happy.’

 He held her against him, his life complete, and knew he wouldn’t change a thing.