And three expensive suitcases left in his foyer. Suitcases Letty had packed for him when she’d taken his measure, found him completely lacking and tossed him out of their family home.
You think you can buy your way through life. That’s what you do, isn’t it? Buy things.
Slowly, Darius looked around the stark, impersonal penthouse at the sparse, expensive furniture. Everything was black and white. He’d bought this place two years ago, as a trophy to show how far he’d come from the poverty-stricken village boy he’d once been. A trophy to prove to himself that Letitia Spencer had made a fatal error the day she’d decided he wasn’t good enough to marry.
This penthouse was not his home.
His home was Fairholme.
Darius closed his eyes, thinking of the windswept oceanfront manor with its wide windows over the Great South Bay and the Atlantic beyond. The roses, fields and beach. The sun-drenched meadow where he’d taught Letty to dance. Where he’d first learned to love.
He opened his eyes with a slow intake of breath.
Letty was his home.
Even during their brief marriage, he’d experienced happiness he’d never known before. The comfort and love of having a wife who put him first, who waited for him every night, who kissed him with such passion. Who slept warm and willing beside him every night in bed.
More than that. She’d reminded him who he’d once been.
You didn’t realize it was never your money I wanted. It was you, Darius. My dream of you. The amazing boy you were. The man I actually thought you still were, deep down inside.
Numbly, he looked out the two-story-high windows that overlooked the twinkling lights of the city.
Letty was always determine
d to protect those she loved. Now she was trying to protect their child from him. Just as he’d once tried to protect Letty from her father.
You called my dad a monster. You’re the real monster.
He leaned his forehead against the cold window glass.
Howard Spencer had been a good man once. He’d been a good employer to Darius’s father and kind to everyone, including the scared eleven-year-old boy newly arrived from Greece. Then he’d changed after he’d lost his beloved wife.
What was Darius’s excuse?
He took a deep breath, looking out bleakly into the night. Why had he been so determined to wreak vengeance on her father? So determined that he hadn’t even cared how badly it might hurt Letty as collateral damage?
He should have told her the truth from the start.
He should have taken her in his arms. He should have fallen to his knees. He should have told her he was sorry, and that he’d do whatever it took to make it right.
Why hadn’t he?
What the hell was wrong with him?
Darius had convinced himself he was justified for his actions, because he blamed Howard Spencer for his father’s early, unhappy death.
Letty was right. He was a liar. And he’d lied to himself worst of all.
The truth was, deep in his heart, there had always been only one person Darius truly blamed for his father’s death, and it had been too painful for him to face till now.
He closed his eyes as a memory that he’d pushed away for over a decade pummeled him. But today, he could no longer resist the waves of guilt and shame as he remembered.
Eugenios had called Darius in the middle of the day.