What the Greek's Money Can't Buy

By: Maya Blake


‘COME ON, PUT your back into it! Why am I not surprised that you’re slacking as usual while I’m doing all the work?’

Sakis Pantelides reefed the oars through the slightly choppy water, loving the exhilaration and adrenaline that burned in his back and shoulders. ‘Stop complaining, old man. It’s not my fault if you’re feeling your age.’ He smiled when he heard his brother’s hiss of annoyance.

In truth, Ari was only two-and-a-half years older, but Sakis knew it annoyed him when he taunted him with their age difference, so of course he never passed up the chance to niggle where he could.

‘Don’t worry, Theo will be around to bail you out next time we row. That way you won’t have to strain yourself so much,’ Sakis said.

‘Theo would be more concerned about showing off his bulging muscles to the female coxes than he would to serious rowing,’ Ari responded dryly. ‘How he ever managed to stop showing off long enough to win five world championships, I’ll never know.’

Sakis heaved his oars and noted with satisfaction that he hadn’t lost the innate rhythm despite several months away from the favourite sport that had at one time been his sole passion. Thinking about his younger brother, he couldn’t help but smile. ‘Yeah, he always was more into his looks and the ladies than anything else.’

He rowed in perfect sync with his brother, their movements barely rippling through the water as they passed the halfway point of the lake used by the exclusive rowing club a few miles outside of London. Sakis’s smile widened as a sense of peace stole over him.

It’d been a while since he’d come here; since he’d found time to connect with his brothers like this. The punishing schedules it took to manage the three branches of Pantelides Inc meant the brothers hadn’t got together in way too long. That they had even been in the same time zone had been a miracle. Of course, it hadn’t stayed that way for long. Theo had cancelled at the last minute and was right this moment winging his way to Rio on a Pantelides jet to deal with a crisis for the global conglomerate.

Or maybe Theo had cancelled for another reason altogether.

His playboy brother wasn’t above flying thousands of miles for a one-hour dinner date with a beautiful woman. ‘If I find out he blew us off for a piece of skirt, I’ll confiscate his plane for a month.’

Ari snorted. ‘You can try. But I think you’re asking for a swift death if you attempt to come between Theo and a woman. Speaking of women, I see yours has finally managed to surgically remove herself from her laptop...’

He didn’t break his rhythm despite the jolt of electricity that zapped through him. His gaze focused past his brother’s shoulder to where Ari’s attention was fixed.

He nearly missed his next stroke. Only the inbuilt discipline that had seen him win one more championship than his brothers’ five apiece stopped him from losing his rhythm.

‘Let’s get one thing straight—she’s not my woman.’

Brianna Moneypenny, his executive assistant, stood next to his car. That in itself was a surprise, since she preferred to stay glued to his in-limo computer, one finger firmly on the pulse of his company any time he had to step away.

But what triggered the bolt of astonishment in him more was the not-quite-masked expression on her face. Brianna’s countenance since the day she’d become his ultra-efficient assistant eighteen months ago had never once wavered from cool, icy professionalism.

Today she looked...

‘Don’t tell me she’s succumbed to the Sakis Pantelides syndrome?’ Ari’s dry tone held equal parts amusement and resignation.

Sakis frowned, unease stirring in his belly and mingling with the emotions he refused to acknowledge when it came to his executive assistant. He’d learned the hard way that exposing emotion, especially for the wrong person, could leave scars that never really healed and took monumental effort to keep buried. As for mixing business with pleasure—that had been a near lethal cocktail he’d sampled once. Never again. ‘Shut up, Ari.’

‘I’m concerned, brother. She’s almost ready to jump into the water. Or jump your bones, more like. Please tell me you haven’t lost your mind and slept with her?’

Sakis’s gaze flitted over to Moneypenny, trying to pinpoint what was wrong from across the distance between them. ‘I’m not sure what’s more disturbing—your unhealthy interest in my sex life or the fact that you can keep rowing straight while practising the Spanish Inquisition,’ he murmured absently.

As for getting physical with Moneypenny, if his libido chose the most inappropriate times—like now—to remind him he was a red-blooded male, it was a situation he intended to keep ignoring, like he had been the last eighteen months. He’d wasted too much valuable time in this lifetime ridding himself of clinging women.

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