When She Fell for the Billionaire

By: Suzette de Borja

Chapter 1

Luca narrowed his eyes and locked in on his target. The bitch was alone.

The shoreline at the western boundary of the resort was rocky. The waves slammed against the bottom edge of the limestone cliffs with recurring ferocity. There was no one else around. The guests on holiday preferred the finer, golden sand fronting the hotel.

Damn Markos and his machinations! Involving him in his personal affairs. He sighed, running his palm over his jaw. There hadn’t been time to shave. Not even time for an espresso.

“Merda!” he swore, tripping on a protruding rock. His sleep deprivation made him unusually clumsy. He had growled at the unfortunate hotel staff that had called his room at 6 am to inform him that the signorina had been spotted heading out towards the beach. The poor man had only been following his orders after all.

He was only several feet away from her when he decided to stop. He could still back out of this crazy plan and tell Markos he hadn’t seen her. She was still oblivious to his presence. He had a lot on his plate right now with the launch and fundraising party a few days away. He didn’t need this.

But he heard Markos’ urgent voice in his head as he “requested” him to take care of something that he couldn’t attend to immediately since his arrival on the island would be delayed by a few days.

Luca had agreed, expecting it to be business. If he had only known what it involved, he wouldn’t have agreed too easily.

A woman.

Not that it had been a surprise in itself. His friend was not known as one of the most eligible bachelor playboys in Europe for nothing. What was surprising was the fact that Markos had chosen to involve him. After that juvenile incident with a village girl in their youth, they had steered clear of getting involved with the same woman.

It wasn’t that difficult. Though they moved in the same circles, their taste in women was different.

“My sources told me she came on the island a few days ago, trying to find out when I would be arriving.” Markos’ voice over the bad mobile connection had sounded troubled. Markos was arrogant, brazen, and extremely self-assured, but he rarely was troubled. And never over a woman.

“I hope to God this is not another paternity claim,” Luca drawled with some amusement.

His friend swore in Greek, calling him an asshole and several other filthy, unflattering names over the bad overseas connection. Luca took no offense. He had called him names just as colorful in Italian back in their boarding school days. As long as Markos was ranting and swearing, things couldn’t be that bad.

“I apologize.” It was indeed bad form to bring up past allegations and jump to conclusions. “What do you want me to do with this girl?”

“Just keep her the hell away from me,” his friend said adamantly. “If I could have her physically removed from the island I would have done it in a heartbeat, but she might attract unwanted media attention.”

Luca chuckled darkly. “She has it that bad, eh?”

Markos’ impatient sigh was audible over the mobile. “I know what you think, but it’s nothing like that. She believes she’s–hold on.”

There were voices in the background, the roar of an engine. A helicopter? “Look, Luca, you’ll have my undying gratitude. I don’t care how you do it. I can deal with her after the launch and Mother is off the island, but in the meantime do whatever it takes, short of murder, of course-”

“Of course,” Luca cut in dryly. “I’m glad you clarified that particular option is not open.”

“-to get her out of the way.”

The line was choppy but Luca managed to make out his friend’s disjointed sentences. “She’s tried to make contact several times. She might make a scene,” Markos warned. “Fuck! I have to go.” He was practically shouting, competing with the background noise. “My mother must be spared from any distress. She’s having one of her episodes again. The woman’s trouble. I’ll call you-” The helicopter’s rotor had drowned out the rest of Markos’ phone call.

The Konstantinos matriarch was famous for her “delicate mental health” and was zealously protected by her children from anything outside her rarefied world that might exacerbate her condition, including apparently a discarded, disgruntled lover of Markos. The Greek billionaire wasn’t known for his finesse in ending his relationships.

She’s trouble.

It was a continuing source of bafflement for Luca how someone as brilliant and sharp as Markos would continually choose lovers with more gloss than substance. Airhead socialites, wannabe models, and starlets were Markos’ go-to women. Luca had dated them before but their appeal had begun to wane after a certain point. He liked to think that his taste in women had evolved, but Markos seemed happy enough in his stagnation.

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