She looked down at the soft blanket and cotton sheets. Where was she? And—her lips parted in a gasp. She was wearing only her bra and panties! Someone had undressed her while she was asleep! The thought horrified her.
How had she gotten into this bed?
The flight across the Atlantic had been lonely and dark. She remembered crying herself to sleep on the plane. After her sleepless night before their wedding, she’d slept deeply.
She dimly remembered Darius carrying her, the warmth of his chest, the comforting rumble of his voice.
“So you’re awake.”
Looking up with an intake of breath, Letty saw her husband now standing in the open doorway, dressed more casually than she’d ever seen him, in a snug black T-shirt and long cargo shorts. Sunlight lit him from behind, leaving his expression in shadow.
“Where are we?”
“The island of Heraklios. My villa.”
“I barely remember arriving.”
“You were exhausted. Overwhelmed from the happiness of marrying me,” he said sardonically.
“What time is it?”
“Here? Almost two in the afternoon.” He motioned to a nearby door. “There’s an en suite bathroom if you’d like a shower.” He indicated a large walk-in closet. “Your clothes have already been unpacked.”
“Are you the one who took off my clothes?”
“Just so you’d sleep more comfortably.”
She bit her lip as she looked down at the bed. “Um. And did you...did we...uh, share this bed?”
His shoulders tensed. “If you’re asking if I took advantage of you in your sleep, the answer is no.”
She took a deep breath. “I didn’t mean...”
“Get dressed and come out on the terrace when you’re ready. My family is here to meet you.”
Letty stared at the empty doorway in dismay, then slowly rose out of bed. Her body felt stiff from sleeping so long.
Going into the elegant marble bathroom, she took a hot shower, which refreshed her. Wrapping herself in a towel, she wiped the steam off the mirror. Her face looked pale and sad.
A fine thing, she thought. When she was about to meet his family. They’d take one look at Letty’s face and assume, as Santiago Velazquez had, that she and Darius had gotten married only because of her pregnancy. Why else would someone as handsome and powerful as Darius Kyrillos ever choose a penniless, ordinary-looking woman like her?
He was taking a risk even bringing her to meet them. She could embarrass him, treat them disrespectfully. She could even explain how he’d blackmailed her into marriage.
Letty looked at her eyes in the mirror. She didn’t want to hurt Darius. She just wanted him to forgive her dad.
Maybe she could start by treating his family with the same respect she wanted for her father.
Letty dressed quickly and carefully, blow-drying her long dark hair and brushing it till it shone. She put on lipstick, and chose a pretty new sundress and sandals from the closet. Her knees shook as she went down the hallway. A maid directed her toward the terrace.
With a deep breath, she went outside into the sunshine.
Bright pink bougainvillea climbed the whitewashed walls of the Greek villa, above a wide terrace overlooking the mountainous slopes of the island jutting out of the Ionian Sea.
Against the blue horizon, she saw the shaded forest green of a distant island. The whole world seemed bright with color: blue and white buildings, sea and sky, pink flowers, brown earth and green olive, fig and pomegranate trees.
She felt the warm sun against her skin, and pleasure seeped through her body. Then she saw the group of people sitting at a long wooden table.
Darius rose abruptly from the table. Silence fell as the others followed his gaze.