Baby Out of the BlueBy: Anne Mather
‘How nice!’ Jane tried not to let her true feelings show. Ariadne’s mother, Sofia Pavlos, was a friend of Demetri’s mother, she remembered. Someone else who hadn’t approved of their marriage. She moistened her lips. ‘Does Ariadne know about Ianthe’s baby, too?’
‘She knows enough,’ said Demetri shortly, realising he was getting into deep water. The past was the past and there was no point in raking it all up now. He shouldn’t have come here. He should have taken his lawyer’s advice and let him handle it. But he hadn’t realised how dangerous it would be for him to get involved with Jane again.
‘Look,’ he said, when the silence had become unbearable, ‘I’ve got to get going.’ He sucked in a breath before adding, ‘I’m sure you hate me now, but I really didn’t intend to—to—’
‘No.’ Demetri was angry. ‘It was hardly a seduction. You met me halfway.’
Jane’s colour deepened. ‘All right. Perhaps that was unjustified. But it wouldn’t be the first time you used—it—against me.’
Demetri swore then. ‘What do you expect me to say, Jane? I came here to warn you about the divorce, that’s all. I didn’t expect to find you half-naked.’
Jane gasped. ‘What?’ she choked. ‘I’m so irresistible I got under your guard?’
‘Something like that,’ muttered Demetri, aware that he wasn’t doing himself any favours. He straightened and moved towards the door. ‘I’ll have my lawyer contact you with all the details. Despite—well, despite your attitude, I won’t contest any settlement your lawyer asks for.’
Jane sprang up from the sofa, almost spilling her coffee in the process. ‘I’ve told you, I don’t want any of your money, Demetri!’ she exclaimed angrily. ‘I’m quite capable of supporting myself, thank you.’
‘Forget it!’ Without giving him any further time to defend himself, she strode towards the outer door and jerked it open. ‘Get out of here, Demetri. Before I say something I’ll regret.’
Demetri flew back to Kalithi that afternoon.
He had planned to stay a couple more days. He’d been invited to attend a meeting of the Association of Oil Producers the following morning, but he’d had his assistant call and offer his apologies instead. His father wouldn’t be pleased. He’d been delighted that the Souvakis Corporation had garnered such respect in the oil-producing countries, and it had also proved he had been judicious in handing control of the organisation to his son.
Demetri wasn’t so sure, however. He’d already realised that being head of an organisation like Souvakis International demanded a considerable amount of his time. It might even be said that the responsibilities he’d taken on eight years ago had played no small part in the breakdown of his marriage. If he and Jane had had more time to talk about what had happened, more time for him to persuade her he was innocent of the charge she’d levelled against him, she might not have walked out as she did. But she’d believed that he was to blame for Ianthe’s pregnancy, and without proof he’d been unable to convince her otherwise.
It was already dark when the powerful little Cessna landed on the island. The airstrip was a private one, owned by the Souvakis family, and although the island attracted tourists, they came by ferry, landing at the small port of Kalithi in the south of the island.
Headlights scanning the runway were an indication that his father had got the message he’d sent earlier, though he guessed the old man would want to know exactly why he had avoided speaking to him personally.
His own personal assistant, Theo Vasilis, had travelled with him, and it was he who was first off the plane, organising the transport that would take them to the Souvakis estate. A sleek four-wheel-drive vehicle stood at the edge of the tarmac, waiting for the preliminaries of landing to be over. Then, when Demetri strode across the apron to get into it, he discovered it wasn’t his father’s chauffeur who was driving. Ariadne Pavlos was seated behind the wheel, her glossy lips parted in a smile that was both welcoming and slightly smug.
‘Eh,’ she said, when Demetri climbed into the vehicle beside her. ‘A nice surprise, no?’
Demetri’s jaw tightened momentarily, the knowledge that he would have preferred not to have to deal with Ariadne tonight giving him pause. But then, realising why he was feeling this way, he forced a smile and leant across the console to kiss her. ‘A very nice surprise,’ he said untruthfully. ‘Have you been waiting long?’