A Fling with the Greek Billionaire

By: Marian Tee

Six years ago

She left him packed lunches.

The first day, he almost trampled all over it, a square plastic container with a BLT inside. He gazed at it for several moments before nudging it to the side and calling his butler’s attention to it when he reached the front door. “One of the staff might have misplaced her lunch. See to it, will you?”

He didn’t wait for an answer. With his mind already on that day’s agenda, he failed to notice the way the butler opened and closed his mouth, intending to say something else.

The second day, his driver was the one to hand him his packed lunch, which he absently accepted while talking to his solicitor in Greece. He placed it next to him in the car and promptly forgot about it.

The third day, it was his secretary who gave him his packed lunch. He took it gratefully, having been at the office for over 24 hours, monitoring a logistical nightmare involving one of his company’s hotels in Asia.

Only after he had demolished the Greek salad and ravioli that came with it did he think to ask his secretary where she had bought his lunch.

His secretary gave him an odd look. “From your cook.”

And that was the start.

Her name was Iolanthe. A nineteen-year-old self-taught cook that his housekeeper had hired to manage his kitchen, she was a dreamy little thing whose smiles brightened her face like the sun every time he came by to pick up his lunch.

The first few times, they didn’t speak to each other, Iolanthe only giving him his neatly compartmentalized lunch, stars in her eyes and heart on her sleeve. After a week, he had been the first to break the ice, dropping by the kitchen for dinner and asking her if he could eat there because the dining room was too big for one person.

It was a lie, of course. It had never been too big, but he felt like he needed an excuse to be with her.

Weeks turned into months. They were some of the best times of his life even though there was nothing between them but polite conservations over coffee. She told him about her parents’ deaths because of a botched robbery attempt, told him about the baby sister she was raising on her own. He learned they had the same taste in music and books, learned she could be quiet when he wanted her to be. He learned a lot of things about her without sharing anything about himself, and she never demanded it to change.

Soon, he found himself wanting to come home early to talk to her more, and it would have continued indefinitely, he was sure, if only Iolanthe hadn’t posted a sticky note on his door, asking him if he was free to celebrate her birthday with her and her baby sister.

That note knocked him sideways. It tore off the blinders and forced him to see the truth. She was in love with him, and he could not let this go on. He could not – would not – allow her to make him weak again.

The next day, Iolanthe was fired from her job and sent off with a severance check equal to one year’s pay.

The day after, she came back to his home, asking to see him, but he had security turn her away. The next day she went to his office, politely asking the receptionist if she could see Mr. Nik Alexandropoulos. Reception told her to wait, and she did. Morning turned into afternoon, but she never left her seat, never lost her smile.

He saw it all in the security cameras, and he despised the way watching her made him feel.

It was six in the evening when he clocked out of work, and reaching the lobby of his office building, he saw everyone turning his way and knew that they were all aware of who Iolanthe was. It was obvious with the way she jumped to her feet, so damn obvious with the way hope dawned in her eyes. One only had to look at Iolanthe’s face to know that she believed he would stop to talk to her.

He didn’t.

Instead, his attorney did, giving Iolanthe a cease-and-desist letter along with a warning about her current course of action being grounds for harassment.

That same night, he booked himself a room in one of his hotels and called for the most expensive whore in town, a former senator’s mistress who was known to be open to assignations with other men…for the right amount.

When she arrived, he had her sign a non-disclosure agreement and afterwards, he told her in no uncertain terms what he needed.

Her first reaction was a surprised laugh. “You’re not kidding me, are you?” She spoke even as she undressed herself, her movements artful and practiced at the same time.

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