The Marakaios Marriage(3)

By: Kate Hewitt


‘Then, Lindsay,’ he told her in that awful silky voice, ‘you need to do as I ask. Command. Because under Greek marriage law, you can’t get a divorce unless both parties agree.’

She stared at him, her eyes widening as she considered the implications of what he was saying. ‘There must be other circumstances in which a divorce is permissible.’

‘Ah, yes, there are. Two, as a matter of fact.’ His mouth twisted unpleasantly. ‘Adultery and abandonment. But as I have committed neither of those, they do not apply, at least in my case.’

She flinched again, and Antonios registered her reaction with a curl of his lip. ‘Why do you want me to return to Greece, Antonios?’

‘Not, as you seem to fear, to resume our marriage.’ His voice hardened as he raked her with a contemptuous gaze. ‘I have no desire to do that.’

Of course he didn’t. And that shouldn’t hurt, because she’d chosen it to be that way, and yet it still did. ‘Then...’

‘My mother, as you might remember, was fond of you. She doesn’t know why you left, and I have not enlightened her as to the state of our marriage.’

Guilt twisted sharply inside her. Daphne Marakaios had been kind to her during her time in Greece, but it still hadn’t been enough to stay. To stay sane.

‘Why haven’t you told her?’ Lindsay asked. ‘It’s been six months already, and you can’t keep it a secret forever.’

‘Why shouldn’t you tell her?’ Antonios countered. ‘Oh, I forgot. Because you’re a coward. You sneak away from my home and my bed and can’t even be bothered to have a single conversation about why you wished to end our marriage.’

Lindsay drew a deep breath, fighting the impulse to tell him just how many conversations she’d tried to have. There was no point now. ‘I understand that you’re angry—’

‘I’m not angry, Lindsay. To be angry I would have to care.’ He stood up, the expression on his face ironing out. ‘And I stopped caring when you sent me that email. When you refused to say anything but that our marriage was a mistake when I called you, wanting to know what had happened. When you showed me how little you thought of me or our marriage.’

‘And you showed me how little you thought of our marriage every day I was in Greece,’ Lindsay returned before she could help herself.

Antonios turned to her slowly, his eyes wide with incredulity. ‘Are you actually going to blame me for the end of our marriage?’ he asked, each syllable iced with disbelief.

‘Oh, no, of course not,’ Lindsay fired back. ‘How could I do that? How could you possibly have any responsibility or blame?’

He stared at her, his eyes narrowing, and Lindsay almost laughed to realize he wasn’t sure if she was being sarcastic or not.

Then he shrugged her words aside and answered in a clipped voice, ‘I don’t care, about you or your reasons. But my mother does. Because she has been ill, I have spared her the further grief of knowing how and why you have gone.’

‘Ill—’

‘Her cancer has returned,’ Antonios informed her with brutal bluntness. ‘She got the results back a month after you left.’

Lindsay stared at him in shock. She’d known Daphne had been in remission from breast cancer, but the outlook had been good. ‘Antonios, I’m so sorry. Is it...is it treatable?’

He lifted one powerful shoulder in a shrug, his expression veiled. ‘Not very.’

Lindsay sank back in her chair, her mind reeling with this new information. She thought of kind Daphne, with her white hair and soft voice, her gentleness apparent in every word and action, and felt a twist of grief for the woman she’d known so briefly. And as for Antonios...he adored his mother. This would have hit him hard and she, his wife, hadn’t been there to comfort and support him through her illness. Yet would she have been able to, if she’d stayed in Greece?

She’d been so desperately unhappy there, and the thought of returning brought the old fears to the fore.

‘Antonios,’ she said quietly, ‘I’m very, very sorry about your mother, but I still can’t go back to Greece.’