The Marakaios Marriage(2)

By: Kate Hewitt

Frustration bubbled through her and emotion burned in her chest. Maybe she hadn’t had so many words when she’d finally left, but that was because she’d used them all up. Antonios hadn’t heard any of it. ‘The reason I’m here,’ he continued, his voice hard and unyielding, ‘is because I need you to return to Greece.’

Her jaw dropped and she shook her head in an instantaneous gut reaction.

‘I can’t—’

‘You’ll find you can, Lindsay. You pack a bag and get on a plane. It’s that easy.’

Mutely she shook her head. Just the thought of returning to Greece made her heart start to thud hard, blood pounding in her ears. She focused on her breathing, trying to keep it even and slow. One of the books she’d read had advised focusing on the little things she could control, rather than the overwhelming ones she couldn’t. Like her husband and his sudden return into her life.

Antonios stared at her, his whisky-brown eyes narrowed, his lips pursed, his gaze ruthlessly assessing. In. Out. In. Out. With effort she slowed her breathing, and her heart stopped thudding quite so hard.

She glanced up at him, conscious of how he was staring at her. And she was staring at him; she couldn’t help herself. Even angry as he so obviously was, and had every right to be, he looked beautiful. She remembered when she’d first seen him in New York, with snowflakes dusting his hair and a whimsical smile on his face as he’d caught sight of her standing on Fifth Avenue, gazing up at the white spirals of the Guggenheim.

I’m lost, he’d said. Or at least I thought I was.

But she’d been the one who had been lost, in so many ways. Devastated by the death of her father. Spinning in a void of grief and fear and loneliness she’d been trying so hard to escape.

And then she’d lost herself in Antonios, in the charming smile he’d given her, in the warmth she’d seen in his eyes, in the way he’d looked at her as if she were the most interesting and important woman in the world. For a week, a mere seven days, they’d revelled in each other. And then reality had hit, and hit hard.

‘Let me clarify,’ he said, his voice both soft and so very cold. ‘You will come to Greece. As your husband, I command you.’

She stiffened. ‘You can’t command me, Antonios. I’m not your property.’

‘Greek marriage law is a little different from American law, Lindsay.’

She shook her head, angry now, although not, she suspected, as angry as he was. ‘Not that different.’

‘Perhaps not,’ he conceded with a shrug. ‘But I am assuming you want a divorce?’

The sudden change in subject jolted her. ‘A divorce...’

‘That is why you left me, is it not? Because you no longer wished to continue in our marriage.’ He bared his teeth in a smile and Lindsay suppressed the sudden urge to shiver. She’d never seen Antonios look this way. So cold and hard and predatory.

‘I...’ A divorce sounded so final, so terrible, and yet of course that had to be what she wanted. She’d left him, after all.

In the six months since she’d left Greece, she’d immersed herself in the comforting cocoon of number theory, trying to finish her doctorate in Pure Mathematics. Trying to blunt that awful ache of missing Antonios, or at least the Antonios she’d known for one week, before everything had changed. She’d tried to take steps to put her life back together, to control her anxiety and reach out to the people around her. She’d made progress, and there had been moments, whole days, when she’d felt normal and even happy.

Yet she’d always missed Antonios. She’d missed the person she’d been with him, when they’d been in New York.

And neither of those people had been real. Their marriage, their love, hadn’t been real. She knew that absolutely, and yet...

She still longed for what they’d shared, so very briefly.

‘Yes,’ she said quietly. She lifted her chin and met his gaze. ‘I want to end our marriage.’

‘A divorce,’ Antonios clarified flatly. Lindsay flinched slightly but kept his gaze, hard and unyielding as it was.