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Anna-Maria Athanasiou is a wife and mother of two, who

after many years of creating fantasy stories in her head

decided to take the plunge and put one of them onto paper.
She wanted to write a story people could relate to and
consequently feel an empathy with her characters. A story
that would touch the reader and ultimately make them fall
in love. Waiting for Summer Book Two is her second novel.
For the three men in my life. Marios, George and Michael.
was recently told that was the luckiest woman in the
world !ecause have three men that loved me.
am the luckiest woman in the world, !ecause love them;
totally, completely and unconditionally.
Anna - Ma r i a At ha na s i o u
"opyright Anna-Maria Athanasiou
#he right of Anna-Maria Athanasiou to !e identified as author of
this work has !een asserted !y her in accordance with section $$
and $% of the "opyright, &esigns and 'atents Act ()%%.
All rights reserved. *o part of this pu!lication may !e
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or !y any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the
Any person who commits any unauthori+ed act in relation to this
pu!lication may !e lia!le to criminal prosecution and civil claims
for damages.
A "' catalogue record for this title is availa!le from the ,ritish
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any
resem!lance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
S,* )$% ( $%.// 01$ $
First 'u!lished 230(.4
Austin Macauley 'u!lishers -td.
3/ "anada Square
"anary 5harf
6(. /-,
'rinted and !ound in Great ,ritain
love writing, didn7t realise how much did until took the
plunge a couple of years ago. en8oy the challenge of !ringing
my characters and the scene to life. 9owever, !y far the
hardest thing for me to write is the acknowledgements. leave
to the last minute, dreading it, worried that might forget
someone incredi!ly important. ,ut predominantly !ecause
get very emotional as remem!er the many ama+ing people
who have made such an impact on me and my !ook.
Waiting for Summer has not only !een a personal 8ourney for
my !eloved character Sylvie Sapphiris !ut it has also !een an
e:traordinary 8ourney for me too. am astonished and
astounded on a daily !asis, at the incredi!le support and
encouragement have e:perienced from family and friends,
since Waiting for Summer Book One was pu!lished and now
,ook #wo.
#his would not have all !een possi!le had not had the
continuous support of the three men in my life, Marios, George
and Michael. #hey put up with my erratic moods and o!sessive
!ehaviour throughout. know it wasn7t easy and am forever
grateful for their patience and love.
A huge thank you to all at Austin Macauley, especially ;inh
and his production team, <oss, *eil and 5alter for putting up
with my constant changes.
An enormous thank you to Steve Mc"omish, Sarah Samway
and =ames Spencer for their incredi!le work, you guys are
truly ama+ing>
will !e forever grateful to my Aunty Maria who has !een my
constant encourager from the year dot, who listened !ut never
8udged and who has always, always !een there for me> #he
rest of my family around the world who make me feel
incredi!ly lucky especially, "hristina, ?amimi, -ee, Madga
and "hristina, thank you guys.
,ig thanks to rina my sister-in-law whose encouraging words
have moved me time and time again.
#o my dear friends 6mma and =ackie, for their enthusiasm
from day one along with their colourful comments throughout
this process. #hey have made me feel so lucky to have them as
my friends. #hank you.
A !ig thank you to =aine, 7m sure would never have thought
all this possi!le without your un!elieva!le encouragement and
unlimited help in the very early days.
#o the two thirds of #he Milk!ar #rio, Sarah and =ulia, thank
you. @ou have !oth !een incredi!le over the past few cra+y
months with your selfless support and your unique a!ility to
keep me sane when was close to losing it> #hank you for
supplying endless coffee to get me going and whisky to calm
me down. @ou are !oth a!solutely awesome>
can never thank my parents enough. 5hatever say cannot
come close to the overwhelming de!t owe them !oth. 6very
achievement have is totally accredited to them. #o my
!rother Antony who continually pushed and challenged me,
encouraged and guided me into undertaking things wasn7t
comforta!le doing. know would never have got this far
without you. #hank you.
Finally 7d like to thank each and every one of you, the readers.
have !een overwhelmed !y your incredi!le response to
Waiting for Summer. @ou have all em!raced Sylvie and her
story and your comments have !rought me nothing !ut
encouragement and 8oy. #hank you all from the !ottom of my
heart for making me !elieve that the impossi!le is possi!le.
Place me on Suniums marbled steep,
Where nothing, save the waves and ,
!a" hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swanlike, let me sing and die#
A#he sles of GreeceB
!y -ord ,yron
$ % A # T E R &
t was the last week of May. Summer was nearly officially
here and Sylvie felt her whole !eing uplifted. 5as it really
!ecause summer was finally arriving, or was it !ecause she
was a!out to spend four days and four nights with the se:iest
young man she had ever had the good fortune to fall uponC A !it
of one and a lot of the other, she mused.

-ast night *ick had sounded a little strained when sheBd

called. Sylvie was in her room packing the last of her things.
5hat to packC She put in what sheBd need for her !usiness
meeting, !ut then whatC She rifled through her wardro!e.
SundressesC ShortsC She pulled them out and threw them on her
!ed. "ocktail dresses, skirts, vests, !ikini, swimsuitD crap, she
didnBt know. She could never pack light. She envied anyone
who could throw together a few key pieces of clothes and look
fa!ulous. Sylvie looked down at the ever-increasing pile of
clothes and frowned to herself. #o hell with it, she decided to
pack all of them. #hen she opened her underwear drawer. She
had it split into two, !asics and se:y. Most of her !asic
underwear was looking well-worn and sheBd hardly ever worn
the se:y, hell some still had the tags on. She ripped off the tags
and packed them, discarding the !asics section altogether. She
looked over at the twelve pairs of shoes sheBd !agged. May!e
for four days it was too many. She packed her nude stilettos,
two wedges, a pair of gold peep toes and some 8ewelled flip
flops. #hen reluctantly put the rest away. *ot !efore throwing in
her !lack and white peep toes and a pair of cream "onverse.
SheBd discreetly washed and packed *ickBs shirt and placed it in
her suitcase when her phone !eeped a message.
Can u talk? x
Sylvie called him immediately.
E9i.F 9is voice was soft.
E9i, was packing.F 5hy did she feel so nervousC She
closed her eyes and tried to dispel her constant worrying
thoughts. 9eBd realised this was stupid. 9e couldnBt go through
with it. She wasnBt right for him. She was too old for him. #he
list was endless.
EMe too. want to see you. need to see you.F
EGh *ick, DF
E know Markus is still there. 8ust wanted to hear your
voice. #his is so incredi!ly hard.F
E know, for me too.F Sylvie allowed herself to rela:. So he
did still want to go with her. She felt the wave of relief flow
over her.
E&ad came round.F 9e paused to wait for a response, !ut
Sylvie fell silent. E9e 8ust came to say !ye. t made me feel
pretty shitty.F 9er heart sank and her initial worries came
flooding !ack again like a torrent.
E seeD do you want to cancelCF Sylvie whispered. "rap,
she couldnBt cope with these roller-coaster of emotions. Hp so
high, then way down low.
E*o> Gf course not. 8ust wanted to tell you, so you know
that do understand how you feel, !ecause feel it too. #oday in
the shop, you told me that you didnBt want to hurt him. *either
do . know you have a history with him and that you really
donBt want to make it any harder than it needs to !e. ,ut really
canBt !ear this, this not !eing a!le to !e with you. Four months
sat !ack Sylvie. Four months waited to see if anything was
going to happen !etween you two. know weBve only !een
together for a few days, !ut feel itBs !een much more. got to
know you over those months too. ShitD Bm not really making
Sylvie could hear him opening up a packet of gum and it
made her smile. 9is words made her spirit soar, from the depths
of despair !ack up to the height of elation.
E*ick, in less than twelve hours weBll !e together. 5e can
talk it through then.F 9e sighed at the end of the phone. E9ow
much gum have you gone throughCF she asked, trying to lighten
the mood.
E&onBt ask. could have smoked an entire carton tonight>F
Sylvie giggled. ESylvie youBre killing me, you know that donBt
youCF Sylvie laughed allowing herself to rela: again, his words
erasing all her previous dou!ts.
E5hat are you wearingCF 9is voice changed from
e:asperated to sultry.
E5hatCF &id she hear rightC
E5hat are you wearingC want to picture you.F
Sylvie clenched her eyes shut and grinned to herself. She
looked down at her navy sweat pants and vest. Smirking to
herself, she replied.
EA smile,F she whispered. 5ell he couldnBt see, so what did
it matterC
EGh fuck,F *ick groaned. E*ow you really are killing me.
9ow the hell am going to sleep nowCF
ESweet dreams *ick. Bll see you at the airport.F Sylvie sat
on her !ed hugging her knees, feeling thoroughly pleased with
herself as she spoke. #hat was the e:act reaction she was hoping
E@ouBre lucky Markus is home, so help meD ah>F
EGoodnight *ick.F
EGoodnight !a!y.F
S96 'H--6& *#G #96 -arnaca Airport car park and
scanned around for *ickBs =eep. #heyBd arranged to drive up
separately, 8ust as a precaution. Sylvie was !eing paranoid, she
knew, !ut she really didnBt want anything to go wrong. #he sun
was !eating down, causing the air around the airport to make
heat waves rise up from the tarmac. #hankfully she had worn a
cool halterneck dress. t must !e in the thirties, thought Sylvie.
Failing to spot his =eep she turned to open up the !oot of her
car to retrieve her suitcase. SheBd call *ick once she was inside.
As the !oot lid rose she felt a warm kiss on her shoulder and an
arm curl its way around her waist. Sylvie 8umped !efore
E9eaven,F he !reathed into her ear. Sylvie leaned !ack into
him and *ick trailed kisses up her neck. E@ou smell delicious.
-et me get that.F Sylvie moaned and turned to face him.
E9i,F her eyes drinking him in. 9is hair dishevelled and his
eyes hidden !ehind his <ay ,ans. 9e leaned her up against her
car and kissed her fully, taking her face in his hands. Sylvie
wrapped her arms around him, allowing herself to !e swept
away !y him. #hen he reluctantly pulled himself !ack from her
and stroked her face. Sylvie furrowed her !row, showing how
displeased she was.
E"ome on, letBs go check in. f carrying on kissing you,
weBll never leave. =ee+ Bve missed you>F 9e grinned as he
reached into the car and effortlessly pulled out her suitcase, all
the while keeping his arm around her. E#oday couldnBt come
fast enough.F
9e pulled her close and kissed the top of her head. 9e
reached down and swung his large holdall over his shoulder.
Sylvie shook her head as she locked the car. She remem!ered
how "hris would moan a!out the amount of clothes she packed.
*ick leisurely pulled her suitcase as they made their way to the
departure lounge.
E<eadyCF 9e looked down at her. Sylvie nodded wistfully.
9e kissed her forehead and squee+ed her waist.
5ithin fifteen minutes they had checked in and were sat in
the !usiness class lounge in a !ooth. -uckily there were not
many people so they !oth felt as if they could rela: at last. *ick
sat ne:t to Sylvie and had his !ody turned to face her. 9e was
!reathtaking in a light !lue shirt and faded 8eans. 9is hair
untidily framed his face, which glowed, and at last Sylvie could
see his piercing !lue eyes.
E thought this moment might never come, sitting with you,
here. t has !een the worst two days of my life.F 9e reached
over and stroked her face. E havenBt !een a!le to rela: or
concentrate on anything.F
EMe too,F Sylvie murmured.
EMy &ad was qui++ing me last night. think he suspects Bm
seeing someone, or may!e Mum told him.F
EShe grilled me on the day we watched the &;&. She
suspected was seeing someone. So told her that was. She
was worried.F
E know, she told me too.F *ick cocked his head and edged
closer to Sylvie.
E !et that made you feel uneasy.F 9e smirked. E5hat did
you sayCF
E*othing, 8ust sat and listened.F
Sylvie felt herself flush. #his was too heavy a discussion to
have in an airport lounge.
ESheBs worriedD worried that youBll get hurt.F Sylvie cast
her eyes down to her lap where her hands rested and she started
to ru! her finger. *ick lifted her chin and fi:ed her with his
E9ey, donBt do that. 5e knew this was tricky.F 9e leaned
over and slipped his arm around her shoulder so that she could
rest her head on his shoulder, then took the hand she was
ru!!ing and frowned !efore kissing it. E5e need to talk a!out
so much and know youBre finding this overwhelming, !ut
please donBt let all this !aggage spoil our time together. 5eBve
got four days, Sylvie. Four whole days to sort all this out. Four
days of 8ust you and me. Four days of heaven.F 9e lifted her
chin and kissed her gently. #hen he kissed her on the forehead.
E9eaven,F she whispered, and in that moment Sylvie knew
she only wanted to !e held and kissed !y this man. #his
remarka!le young man, who despite personal cost wanted to !e
with her. Something she was struggling to comprehend !ut at
the same time was totally into:icated !y. She was drawn to him
so forcefully that it frightened her. From the moment he had
pulled himself out of the pool at MaggieBs she knew she was
done for. *ow four months later she was in his arms. #heir
flight was called and they !oth reluctantly rose from their seats.
E"ome on !a!y.F 9e held out his hand and Sylvie took it as
they walked in the direction of the gate.
#96 <&6 * #96 ta:i to the Grande ,ritannia 9otel was an
e:perience as ever. Sylvie couldnBt quite get used to the erratic
driving at !reakneck speed that seemed to !e the norm in
Athens. -eaving the quiet island of "yprus and !eing thrust into
the fast pace of the capital was always a shock to the system. t
had !een almost a year since sheBd !een here and even though
she was e:cited that she was here with *ick and that sheBd !e
representing her company for the first time, she was full of
mi:ed emotions.
She associated Athens with "hris, and that fated last 8ourney
and that made this trip !ittersweet. She ga+ed out of the window
and looked at the vaguely familiar roads and tried hard to shake
off her apprehension.
EAre you okayCF *ick squee+ed her hand as he watched her.
Sylvie turned and nodded weakly, scared to speak in case her
voice gave her away. 9e pulled her closer and wrapped his arm
around her shoulder. 9e couldnBt work out what she was
thinking, !ut he knew it wasnBt anything to do with him and
their situation. From her e:pression he knew it was something
he couldnBt ask her a!out. 9er eyes were so melancholy that his
heart !roke. 9e sighed, resigned to the fact that this was a
su!8ect he couldnBt press.
#he Grand ,ritannia was a stately hotel in the heart of
Athens. "hris and Sylvie had always stayed there. t was very
opulent and with its heavy !rocade and gold reminded them
more of a hotel that you would find in 'aris.
Sylvie loved it hereI the views from the rooms faced the
Acropolis hill and at night the 'arthenon was lit up. #he church
of St. George could also !e seen on -yca!ettos 9ill, another
favourite of SylvieBs where she had drunk fresh lemonade with
her family as a child and then as an adult had cocktails with her
hus!and. As they approached the entrance Sylvie !egan to feel
uneasy. May!e she should have !ooked a different hotel.
*ick took her hand after paying the ta:i, as the doorman
took care of their cases and led her through the lu:urious lo!!y
to the reception desk. A pretty receptionist Sylvie vaguely
recognised smiled at them as they approached. Sylvie saw her
face change to shock then quickly recover !ack to her
professional stance, as she hurriedly picked up the phone and
quickly spoke to someone, !efore greeting them.
EGood afternoon Mrs Sapphiris, so nice to see you again.F
9er tone was genuine !ut wary as her eyes darted to *ick who
was more than a little surprised at her greeting.
EGood afternoon. #hank you. tBs nice to !e !ack. !ooked a
suite under Sapphire &evelopers. DF
,efore she could finish she felt a presence ne:t to her, as the
receptionistBs eyes rested on a man who was now !y her side.
Sylvie turned to see who it was and was instantly faced with Mr
Javos, the manager. 9e was a middle-aged man in his early
fifties, short and slim with grey hair and impecca!ly dressed in
his !lack suit. 9is eyes were dark !ut friendly and his smile was
EMrs Sapphiris. 9ow lovely to see you again.F 9e had his
hand outstretched and Sylvie immediately smiled and shook it.
EMr Javos, itBs lovely to see you.F 9is eyes moved to *ick
and he outstretched his hand. EBm sorry this isDF Sylvie
hesitated. 5hat was she going to introduce him asC She decided
that he really didnBt need to know the nature of their
relationship. E*ick Steed. *ick, this is Mr Javos the hotel
*ick smiled and shook his hand.
E'leased to meet you. @our hotel is very impressive.F
E#hank you. s it your first time hereCF
E@es, Bve only ever stopped over in Athens, !efore flying
on, so Bm looking forward to Sylvie showing me around.F *ick
slipped his arm around her waist, making it o!vious as to what
kind of relationship they had. So much for keeping Mr Javos in
the dark>
E noticed that you !ooked a suite Mrs Sapphiris.F
E took the li!erty of upgrading you up to the 'residential
suite. Hnfortunately the <oyal suite was already !ooked.
Gtherwise would have preferred to have given you that. hope
thatBs alrightCF 9e directed the question to Sylvie and his eyes
seemed to !e trying to convey something that *ick couldnBt
quite grasp. EtBs the least we could do in the light ofD well,
you are a very valued customer of ours.F
*ick felt Sylvie stiffen slightly and he could see her start to
ru! her finger. 9e squee+ed her to him in an attempt to reassure
her, though what a!out he wasnBt sure.
E#hatBs very kind of you, it really wasnBt necessary.F
Mr Javos shook his head slightly, indicating it was nothing.
E&r &racos has left you a message. ?iki made sure itBs in
your room.F 9e motioned to the receptionist. Ef there is
anything you need please donBt hesitate to contact me directly.
Bll let you settle in. Mr Steed, it was a pleasure to meet you.F
9e held out his hand again and *ick shook it.
E#hank you, likewise.F
And then Mr Javos turned and shook SylvieBs hand !ut this
time he also clasped it with his left hand, enveloping her hand
!etween !oth of his, and his face showed an emotion *ick
couldnBt quite fathom. Almost as a protective gesture, fatherly,
and his face was tinged with sorrow. *o, more that he wanted to
show he was genuinely caring. *ick found the gesture almost
too familiar. #hen he nodded curtly and left them.
Sylvie quickly signed the register, leaving their passports.
*ick then guided her to the elevators and they rode up to the
fifth floor in silence. *ick pulled her close and kissed her head,
!reathing in deeply. 9e really wished he knew what was going
on. 9e couldnBt work out what Sylvie was feeling and he 8ust
wanted to make her forget. Sylvie turned to him and smiled and
he !ent down and kissed her gently. She closed her eyes and he
could feel her whole !ody rela: as she wrapped her arm around
his neck. #he elevator stopped and they reluctantly pulled away
from each other.
EGkayCF *ick asked tentatively, searching her face for some
clue as to what was !othering her. Sylvie smiled weakly and
nodded. *ick took her hand and she followed him as he headed
towards their room. 9e walked with urgency and once outside
the room he e:pertly slipped in the card key and opened up the
#he room was, of course, magnificent. t comprised an
entrance which led through to a twelve-seated dining room.
#here was a sitting room with ama+ing views of the 'arthenon,
an enormous !edroom and a sumptuous !athroom with a huge
!ath and wet room. t was all classically inspired with
chandeliers and columns all in muted tones of taupe, cream and
gold. #here were fresh flowers in every room and champagne on
ice along with a well-stocked !ar. #heir luggage was already in
the room. As they entered they were greeted !y a man in full
EGood afternoon Mrs Sapphiris, Mr Steed. My name is
Andreas, am your !utler. 5elcome to #he Grand ,ritannia.
5ould you like me to unpack your thingsCF
Sylvie stood wide-eyed as she tried to take everything in.
She turned to *ick who was smiling and shaking his head in
dis!elief, and then shrugged.
E#hank you Andreas. #hat would !e lovely.F
E;ery well.F And with that he curtly nodded to them !oth
and vanished into the !edroom.
E could get used to this. May!e weBll never leave,F *ick
smirked and raised his eye!rows, fi:ing Sylvie with his eyes.
Sylvie giggled and *ick instantly felt relieved as he saw Sylvie
E-et me get my laptop set up.F She went over to the desk and
placed her !riefcase on it then reached in and pulled it out,
discarding the case.
EBll fi: us a drink, what do you fancyCF 9e came up !ehind
her and nu++led her neck. 9is touch sent sparks through her
whole !ody. E"hampagneC think itBs your favourite. -aurent
'errier <osK.F 9ow did he knowC Sylvie turned to him, pu++led.
EtBs what you were drinking at "elle.F Sylvie looked stunned.
9e remem!ered. *ickBs eyes rested on her !riefcase and his
!row furrowed slightly at the monogram ".S. 9e looked !ack
quickly, hoping she hadnBt noticed.
ESounds great.F
E5e should sit out on the !alcony, take in that view.F 9is
eyes flitted to the !edroom, indicating that they werenBt alone so
theyBd have to wait. Sylvie giggled again and nodded, then
kissed him softly on the lips. 5ithin seconds *ick had her
pressed up against him, holding her hard and kissing her harder.
She didnBt know if it was the fact that they hadnBt touched each
other in two days or the tension she was feeling !eing here or
whatever, !ut she wanted this so desperately. She needed him
with every inch of her !eing. She wound her hands into his hair
holding his head tight so that their kiss deepened and she could
feel his heat. 9is hands moved down to her !ehind and pressed
her on to him. Sylvie moaned and his hand slid under her dress
and ran up her leg causing her to gasp.
EGh Sylvie Bve missed you,F he murmured in her ear. E can
hardly wait.F 9e pulled away and took a deep !reath. 9e closed
his eyes in an attempt to calm himself and then said as he
reopened them, E"hampagne then, on the !alcony.F t was as if
he was reconfirming it to himself in an attempt to pull himself
9e walked over to the !ar and started to peel off the foil.
Sylvie steadied herself on the desk trying to calm down her
thumping heart and after a moment set up her laptop. She shook
her head. She hoped Andreas was a fast unpacker> t took a
couple of minutes for her laptop to warm up. She moved over to
the coffee ta!le where she saw an envelope with her name on
propped up on a magnificent !ouquet of white roses. She
opened it up and inside was a card.
Welcome to $thens%
look forward to finall" meeting "ou%
&imitris &racos '()S*Plas+
She then 8oined *ick out on the !alcony. 9e stood up and
handed her a glass. She dropped the card on the ta!le and *ick
glanced at it. 9e raised his eye!rows.
E9eBs the !uyer of our !uilding. 9eBs a plastic surgeon. #he
!uilding will !e his new clinic.F
Empressive. @ouBve never met him thenCF Sylvie shook her
head. She didnBt want to get into the fact that only "hris had
dealt with him.
EGnly spoke on the phone. need to !e at his office on
Monday. Gur lawyers will !e there too. t shouldnBt take more
than an hour. Apart from that, the rest of the time is ours.F She
looked at him shyly.
E"heers, or should say ya masCF Sylvie raised her glass and
was taken a!ack.
E@a mas. So you know a !it of Greek thenCF Sylvie asked, as
they took their first sip and then sat !ack down.
E@ou could say that.F *ick said cryptically. 9e looked out
over the view and struggled to find the right words. E#hatBs why
weBre here isnBt itC #o find out more a!out each other.F 9e
glanced over to her trying to 8udge her mood. EMay!e should
start. &o you want to ask me something or shall 8ust ram!le
onCF Sylvie looked at him and screwed up her nose. #his was
going to !e hard.
ESo youBve never !een to AthensCF
E*o, 8ust the airport. often get connecting flights from here
to the South of France, taly, "ari!!ean. take it youBve !een a
lot. =udging !y Mr JavosBs greeting.F Sylvie took a sip from her
glass in order to delay her response.
EHh uh, as a child we came a lot. tBs how learned my
Greek. #hen with the !usiness we came out may!e twice a year.
5ell, came out twice a year.F Sylvie omitted the fact that
"hris was here every month.
E@our hus!and, "hris, came out more often thenCF Sylvie
nodded !ut avoided his eyes. E#hat e:plains it then.F
E6:plains whatCF
EMr Javos, this suite.F 9e raised his hand in the air and
gestured. Sylvie smiled weakly. EMay!e this wasnBt the right
place for us to get to know each other,F *ick mused. Sylvie shot
her eyes up to his face and she could see he was pained and
EGh no, Bm sorry.F She reached over to his hand. #hat was
the last thing she wanted to do.
ESylvie, donBt know what the hellBs going on.F 9e ran his
fingers through his hair. E@ouBre not giving anything away.
#hereBs something wrong and itBs nothing to do with my father.
#his is something else, something to do with here. sensed it the
moment we got in the ta:i. @ou tensed up, you tried desperately
to cover it up, !ut could tell. <ight now feel like Bm
intruding. #hat e:change !etween the manager and youDDF
#here was a muffled cough and Andreas stood in the threshold
of the !alcony.
E6:cuse me, Mr Steed, Mrs Sapphiris. @our things are
unpacked. f you need me for anything please press num!er one
on your phone. f thatBs all, Bll !id you a pleasant afternoon.F
*ick rose from his chair to face him.
E#hank you Andreas. 5e will.F Andreas curtly nodded and
hastily left the suite. *ick walked round to where Sylvie was
sitting and crouched down to her level, lifting her chin up so that
their eyes met.
E@ouBre going to have to talk to me Sylvie.F 9is voice was
soft as he !rushed !ack her hair. Ef you want this to work,
youBre going to have to !e honest with me and tell me whatBs
upsetting you and !othering you. can take it. know you have
a past. Bd rather know than imagine that itBs something else.F
Sylvie watched his e:pression soften as he spoke and she felt
herself melt. 9e truly cared, she could see it in his eyes as he
searched for answers in her face. SheBd !een so used to keeping
everything inside, hiding her thoughts in order to protect the
people she loved, it was hard for her to open up. 5here to startC
#here was so much to e:plain. She wanted this to work with
*ick, she knew that for sure and if it meant she had to let her
guard down, make herself vulnera!le, then so !e it. After all,
this was what these four days were a!out. She nodded. *ick
kissed her forehead and stood upL taking her hand, he pulled her
up and gra!!ed their glasses in his other
E6nough talking for now. Gra! the !ottle, if donBt get you
into !ed soon Bll take you here and now on the !alcony.F 9is
voice was oh so low and white hot. SylvieBs whole !ody ignited.
She grasped hold of the !ottle as she was practically dragged
through their suite to the vast !edroom.
$ % A # T E R '
h Sylvie>F *ick cried out as he collapsed gasping
against her, his forehead resting on hers, and she
tightened her hold on him. She could feel the
sweat on his naked, toned !ack. 9e opened his eyes and looked
deep into hers. E can never get enough of you. mean it.F 9e
kissed her forcefully and she moaned into his mouth. E@ou
make me feel alive.F
EGh *ick, never thoughtD still donBt.F Sylvie shook her
head, why couldnBt she 8ust say it, say how she feltC #hat he was
the most incredi!le man sheBd ever !een with. #hat her
connection to him scared her. She was full of dou!ts and fears,
dou!ts that someone else had implanted in her and now she was
desperately trying to shake off. 5hat did he see in her, reallyC
She still couldnBt get her head around that.
E know !a!y, know.F 9e stroked her face and !rushed
!ack her hair. 9e slowly pulled himself out of her and she
turned to face him as he propped his head up on his !ent arm.
E@ouBre very hot.F Sylvie ran her finger down his chest,
gathering small !eads of sweat.
EAm CF *ick arched his eye!row, smirking at the dou!le
E@es very.F She mockingly pushed him, !ut he gra!!ed her
hand and yanked her close, then mirrored her action !y running
his finger down !etween her !reasts.
ESo are you.F 9e spoke softly and Sylvie felt herself shudder
at his touch. She looked away shyly. E@ou really have no idea
how hot you really are, do youCF Sylvie felt herself flush.
ESylvie you are so un!elieva!ly se:y, the fact you donBt realise
it only makes you more so. @ou are so confident in other ways
!ut why canBt you see that youBre !eautiful and se:y and all
kinds of wow>F She shook her head in dis!elief. *ick pulled her
close and then rolled !ack on top of her, propping himself on his
el!ows. E5hat is it Sylvie, tell me. canBt see you full of
sorrow. &oes this place make you sadCF 9e gently stroked her
hair and his eyes were soft with concern. Sylvie took a deep
!reath. She didnBt want to spoil the mood, !ut she knew she
would have to tell him.
E#ell me, please,F he pleaded, his eyes !urning into hers,
searching for all the answers. Sylvie closed her eyes, agonising
over how to say the words, then in a split-second she decided to
8ust spit it out.
E"hris died in this hotel.F
*ickBs hand stopped and Sylvie watched as he swallowed.
After a moment he continued to stroke her hair and shift a little.
Sylvie tried to read his e:pression. 9e was o!viously shocked,
though he tried hard to hide it. Wait until he hears the rest,
EBm so sorry, that e:plains the manager and why you were
so tense.F
E need a drink,F Sylvie muttered. need &utch courage, a
lot of &utch courage, she thought. *ick was up in a flash and
within seconds he handed her their glasses, quickly filling them,
then he put the !ottle on the !edside ta!le. Sylvie sat up and
gulped down the contents of her glass. *ick immediately
refilled it and took his. 9e sat cross-legged and naked ne:t to
her, warily o!serving her. E9e wasnBt alone.F Shit, shed
actuall" said that and out loud too,
*ick stopped mid-gulp, fro+en for a couple of seconds. -ol"
fucking shit, *o wonder she was so on edge. 9e scooted over to
her and Sylvie started to shake. She pulled herself up and
wrapped the sheet around her as she took another gulp of her
EtBs okay Sylvie. @ou donBt have to say any more. donBt
want to upset you, really.F Sylvie raised her hand, motioning
him to stop.
E*o. need to tell you. tBs not fair you not knowing. donBt
want to hurt you or make you feel that this is anything to do
with you and me. @ou need to know this.F She closed her eyes
trying hard to calm herself. E"hris was having an affair. 9e
!rought her here and while he was arguing with her he suffered
a fatal heart attack and died.F *ickBs mouth dropped open and
his !eautiful !lue eyes were wide with dis!elief. EAnd you
thought we only had your father to talk a!out.F Sylvie watched
*ickBs shock and tried to lighten the mood after the !om!shell.
9e sighed and nodded his head. EAsk me anything. Bve said it
now.F She drained her glass again and *ick refilled it and then
ESo you found out after heD diedCF
Sylvie shook her head.
E found out a week or so !efore.F Sylvie paused, trying hard
not to relive the whole ordeal. #he confrontation in "elleBs car
park, and "hrisBs forlorn e:pression in her rear view mirror. E
saw some messages on his mo!ile and realised. was hoping it
was 8ust a fling, !ut it had !een going on for at least si: months
and then realised that he was !ringing her here. confronted
him the day he was leaving.F She took a sip of her champagne.
E told him that wouldnBt put up with it and that !y the time
he was !ack Bd have all his things packed and that heBd need to
move out.F She took a deep !reath and closed her eyes all the
while *ickBs eyes never moved from her face. Et was one of the
hardest decisions ever made *ick. 9e !egged me to forgive
him and he promised it was over, that he would end it. ,ut was
hurt and wouldnBt, well couldnBt, forgive him. 9e was trying
to !reak it off with her. #hey were arguing and heDF She took a
sip from her glass and for the first time since she started talking
she looked at him. E#he manager was the one who sorted out all
the arrangements. 9e was very discreet and understanding.F
Sylvie looked down at her glass, while she allowed *ick to
process the information.
ESo no one else knows what happenedCF 9is voice slightly
higher as he a!sor!ed this !om!shell. Sylvie shook her head.
E5ell only me, the woman, Mr Javos and Jach. 9e had to
deal with all the logistics. wasnBt in any fit state.F
E*ot evenD mean the rest of the familyCF *ick was
dum!founded, how had they kept that quietC
E didnBt want the !oys to know. didnBt want them to see
their father in a !ad light. t would have only hurt them and
anyone else if Bd told them. t was !ad enough knew and
Jach. #he woman thankfully didnBt want to tarnish his name
either, or may!e it was hers, !ut she did me the favour and kept
quiet too. Jach took it !ad. ;ery !ad. 9e thought he was to
EShe worked for us. She was "hrisBs secretary. hired her.F
Sylvie snorted. EJach thought that if heBd known, heBd have
stopped it and then may!e "hris wouldnBt have died. 9e felt he
should have realised, especially after the last time.F SylvieBs
eyes focused on *ick as she spoke. #he champagne had made
her rela: so she had opened the floodgates and let everything
come out.
E-ast timeCF *ickBs eyes widened, and Sylvie nodded as he
gulped his champagne and refilled !oth glasses again.
EMay!e should stop. tBs pro!a!ly a !it too much to take
E*o, no. t is, !ut want to know, please.F
E5hen "hris and had Markus, things got a little strained
!etween us. #he !usiness was growing and he was working
hard. had two small children that took up all my time and
wellD you know how it isD well actually you donBt.F She
snorted. E#he children took priority and "hris got neglected. t
was hard for me to do everything. "hris was very high
maintenance. 9e needed me to !e around. 9e loved his children,
!ut he found it hard that they were always put first. 9e wasnBt
used to it. 9eBd always !een num!er one, even as a child. 9e
was an only child you see. 9e needed my constant attention and
was really not in the position to give it, well not to the e:tent
he wanted. nstead of !eing understanding he pulled away. So
the inevita!le happenedI he found someone who was happy to
give him what couldnBt. Hnfortunately she !ecame more of a
pro!lem as their affair continued. She wanted more and it
!ecame o!vious to her that he was !asically using her. #hings
got a little ugly, resulting in herD suicide. Jach was around to
help clean up "hrisBs mess.F
E=esus "hrist, Sylvie.F 9e ran his hand down his face and
ru!!ed his stu!!le.
E*o one knew a!out that affair either. =ust me and Jach.
#hatBs why he really felt guilty a!out &ina.F
E#he secretary. 9e was with them every day and he never
realised. 9e felt he should have.F
ESo the manager, Mr Javos, knew a!out &inaCF Sylvie
nodded. EAnd arranged forD the !odyC see. And &ina, she
doesnBt still work for youCF 9is previous feelings towards the
over-familiar Mr Javos seemed petty in retrospect. 9e was
o!viously a gentleman and his solitious attention to Sylvie was
more than 8ustified.
E*o, she resigned. havenBt seen her since she left, e:cept
the night of "elleBs opening.F
EShe was there>F *ick asked in dis!elief. Sylvie clenched
her teeth as she nodded. Es that why you were so upsetCF Sylvie
nodded again.
*ick sat still for a while, going over everything in his head.
t was all making sense now. 5hy Sylvie clammed up whenever
"hris was mentioned. 9e remem!ered their lunch with Markus
and #hea Miria. #hey had spoken so fondly of him and Sylvie
had !een silent. 9eBd mistaken her reaction for that of sorrow
and mourning, when it was actually a lot more than that.
&isappointment, anger, !etrayal, God only knew. SheBd had a
lot to deal with over the last eight months. 9er hus!andBs affair,
his death and then having to hold the family together pretending
that their marriage was this idyllic love story.
E#oo muchCF Sylvie asked as she looked at him through her
lashes warily. EGot a lot more than you !argained forC Bm
sorry, should have !een a little gentler, Bll understand if itBs a
!it overwhelming.F
E5hat do you meanCF *ick looked pu++led.
E5ell Bve a lot of !aggage and Bd understand if youBd find
that a lot to handle.F She wanted to give him the option to !ack
out. She didnBt want him to feel o!ligated to her.
E5hy are you saying thatC Sylvie donBt give a flying fuck
a!out your e:. #o !e honest, itBs made things a lot clearer.
thought you were still mourning him, that couldnBt compete
with this, this, enigma. 6very time he was !rought up you would
crawl into yourself and thought youBd never get over him. #hat
didnBt stand a chance of getting close to you. #hat night, after
the opening you said you had a secret that you could never tell.
s this what it wasCF Sylvie nodded again. SheBd forgotten a!out
that, or rather *ick had made her forget.
9e took a deep !reath and ran his hands through his hair.
ESylvie, know didnBt know "hris, and !y all accounts he was
a good man. ,ut he fucked up.F 9e took another deep !reath
and took her glass and put it ne:t to his on the !edside ta!le. 9e
reached over and took !oth her hands and pulled her up so that
they were facing each other, only inches apart, kneeling. 9e
stroked !ack her hair and clasped her face. Ef you were my
wife, there wouldnBt !e a woman who could ever come !etween
us. *ot even Aphrodite herself would make me want to !etray
you. love you Sylvie. think loved you from that first time
took you home, on that awkward car 8ourney. remem!er how
you kissed me good!ye and how could hardly contain myself.
did everything could to keep away, !ut then did everything
8ust to get a glimpse of you, !e close to you. want to !e with
you, always. "anBt you feel thatC &onBt show you thatCF
SylvieBs eyes filled with tears as he spoke his tender words,
words that she so wanted to hear.
E 8ust donBt get it *ick. 9ow can youC gave him
everything and he !etrayed me. know he wasnBt fully to !lame
the first time. ,ut this last timeD 5hen your heart is !roken
and you see the man you love fall for someone else, push you
aside, let someone else into what you felt was untoucha!le, not
once !ut twice and !oth times with women who are younger
than you, you !egin to question yourself. t makes you feel
unworthy, that you donBt deserve him. Bm scared that itBll
happen again, that Bll fall in deep and thenDF
EAnd thatBs what you feel, that youBre not worthyC @ou think
that !ecause of how he treated you that canBt really love you,
or that Bll wake up and decide this isnBt for me. s this what this
is all a!outCF *ick whispered in dis!elief. Sylvie closed her
eyes tightly as tears trickled down her face. *ick gently stroked
them away.
E'lease donBt cry Sylvie. wonBt do that. told you donBt
do casual. Bve only ever had two girlfriends in my life and !oth
left me> t should !e me that should !e full of dou!t. love you
Sylvie. @ou mean everything to me.F 9e pulled her face to his
and kissed her, their mouths locked as he gently eased her !ack
down on the !ed and pulled away the sheet. 9e trailed kisses
down her neck down !etween her !reasts, then !ack to her
E love you. donBt know how else can show you. #hat
until you came into my life was 8ust living and now you are
here, Bm alive. want to !e with you and no one else, ever.F
Sylvie grasped his hair and !rought him !ack to her mouth and
he groaned. She held him close as she gently moved him so that
she could position herself over him. 9is eyes were filled with
wonder as she straddled him. 9e gently took hold of her hips
and raised her so that she could lower herself onto him. As she
did she arched her !ack and let her head roll !ackwards, feeling
every inch of him.
EAh.F 9e cried and then pulled himself up so that their faces
were an inch apart. EGh !a!y.F 9e held her close, never taking
his eyes off her, and they were lost, lost in each other.
E love you too, *ick,F Sylvie whispered as they moved in
perfect unison. *ickBs eyes slowly closed as he revelled in her
words, the words heBd longed to hear. 9e drank in her need for
him. EBm 8ust so scared.F She knew she was letting her guard
down, that she was allowing herself to !e vulnera!le. ,ut 8ust
one look at this !eautiful, strong and utterly wonderful man
made her forget everything. 9er dou!ts, her fears everything all
she wanted was him. *ick grasped at her face then down to her
hips as they !oth continued to move perfectly together,
gradually moving faster and faster. 9e stroked her !ack and
kissed her lips, her cheeks, her eyes and !efore he could answer
he opened his eyes as Sylvie arched her !ack and cried out.
Seeing her let herself go was all he needed and he was undone
as he clung to her, finding his own his sweet release.
#hey lay wrapped in each otherBs arms. *ick gently stroking
her arm as she nu++led his chest, half her !ody draped on his.
#he sun was setting and the room glowed orange.
E could stay here forever.F *ick kissed her head as he
spoke. E@ou hungryCF
Es that a yes thenCF he smirked.
E donBt want to move.F She gripped onto him tighter.
E5e could get room service.F
E@es, really canBt !e !othered to get dressed.F
E*aked dining it is then.F 9e let his hand slip down to her
!ehind and he squee+ed it. Sylvie let out a giggle. 9e pulled her
chin up and kissed her. E9ow are you feelingCF 9is eyes
searching hers.
E6:posed. Bve never told anyone, other than Jach. Bve
spent the !est part of this last year trying to hide the truth to
protect everyone.F
E@ouBve sacrificed a lot. @our feelings, mean, no wonder
you suffer from stomach cramps.F 9e started stroking her arm.
EBm glad you told me. t e:plains a lot. "ome on, letBs order
some food then sit on the !alcony and look at this fantastic
E know, itBs really something.F Sylvie turned to look out of
the window. *ickBs pulled her !ack to him, his eyes fi:ing
intently on hers.
E meant this view.F SylvieBs heart soared. 9ow was she ever
going to get used to thisC