Seduced into the Greek's WorldBy: Dani Collins
HER LAUGH WAS so pure and spontaneous it caused Demitri Makricosta to look away from the Italian beauty flirting with him and seek out the source of the sound. As a connoisseur of fake laughter, often given to offering imitations himself, he found the naturalness of the woman’s chuckle utterly engaging. It was feminine without being girlish or giggly, warm and sexy without being a put-on.
For a moment he didn’t take in anything else but her. Short blond hair swung and fell as she tipped the precision cut backward. Her skin held a pale, translucent quality that made him think her cheek would feel cool but downy soft against his lips. He wondered how her skin smelled. Like summer fruit, maybe. Her profile was feminine and cute, right up to the tilt of her nose, while the rest of her was a study in mouthwatering curves.
Encased in a Makricosta uniform.
Damn, damn and damn.
The disappointment that flooded through him was surprisingly acute.
He took a more thorough tour of her uniform, wishing he didn’t recognize it. It wasn’t the pencil skirt and wispy red jacket over a bowed white top that the French staff wore here in Paris, which gave him a beat of hope. But if she’d been corporate, she’d have only a scarf or tie in company colors as part of her business ensemble.
Unfortunately, those long pants and the warm blazer belonged to one of the Canadian outfits. The Makricosta Elite in Montreal, if he wasn’t mistaken—and he shouldn’t have any doubt because he had final say on every marketing decision in the family hotel chain right down to the front-line image of the staff.
He didn’t want to recognize it. That was the problem. His male interest was seriously piqued by the woman wearing it.
Which wasn’t like him. Women were fairly interchangeable for him. He never wondered, “Who is she? What’s her story?” Especially when he already had a female hand resting on his cuff and a voice murmuring, “Bello? What is it?”
“I thought I recognized someone,” he prevaricated, sending his companion a placating smile before glancing once more at the laughing woman—his employee—across the lobby.
She was nodding at someone, tucking her hair coquettishly behind her ear, saying something about email that he read on her lips as noise from different sources echoed across the foyer’s marble floor and pillars.
Curious what kind of man was keeping that bright look on her face, Demitri leaned back on the velvet settee, losing the touch of his prospective afternoon delight as he did.
Shock went through him as he recognized his brother-in-law. Not that Gideon looked as though he was encouraging the woman, but Demitri still rose to his feet in brotherly indignation. His sister had been through a lot, especially a few years ago when Gideon’s PA had intimated to Adara that she and Gideon were having an affair. Demitri wasn’t going to sit here while some fresh tart made a play for Adara’s husband.
“I do recognize him,” he stated grimly. “Excuse me.”
But Gideon and the blonde were already parting ways by the time he rounded the colonnade and approached. The woman swung away with a brisk walk toward the front desk while Gideon glanced up in time to catch sight of Demitri. His expression hardened with determination.
That was when Demitri remembered he was avoiding the man.
“Good,” Gideon stated as he approached. “I was going to find you before I left. Adara’s birthday. You’ll be there.”
The eye to eye, man-to-man directive was annoying, but vaguely reassuring. Demitri liked seeing that Gideon was determined to make his wife happy. When that PA had set her sights on Gideon, Demitri had been on the verge of taking her for a tour himself to keep his sister’s marriage intact. In the end, Gideon had salvaged his own marriage. He’d fired the woman before anything more than a few false and snarky claims had been made. Despite Adara’s worries that Gideon was straying, in reality his devotion to her had never wavered and still appeared rock solid.
Which was good, Demitri supposed. He didn’t wish any more strife on his sister than she’d already weathered, but she was so annoyingly happy. So determined to bring him into the fold of happily-ever-after she’d created for herself. The whole situation with his brothers and all their kids, the number of secrets kept from him... It grated in a way Demitri didn’t like to dig into, so he slid his attention back to the blonde threatening his sister’s happiness and latched on to ensuring she didn’t try anything further with Gideon.