The Marakaios Marriage(5)

By: Kate Hewitt

Tears sparkled on Lindsay’s lashes and she blinked them back, shaking her head in such obvious misery that Antonios almost felt sorry for her again. Almost.

‘No, of course not,’ she said in a low voice. ‘I...I was very grateful to your mother, and her kindness to me.’

‘You have a funny way of showing it.’

Her eyes flashed fire at that, and Antonios wondered what on earth she had to be angry about. She’d left him.

‘Even so,’ she said quietly, one hand still fluttering at her throat, ‘it is very difficult for me to return to Greece.’

‘And why is that? Do you have a lover waiting for you here in New York?’

Her mouth dropped open in shock. ‘A lover—’

Antonios shrugged, as if it were a matter of no consequence, even though the thought of Lindsay with another man, violating their marriage vows, their marriage bed, made him want to punch something. ‘I do not know what else would take you so abruptly from Greece.’ From me, he almost said, but thankfully didn’t.

She shook her head slowly, her eyes wide, although with what emotion Antonios couldn’t tell. ‘No,’ she said in a low voice. ‘I don’t have a lover. There’s only been you, Antonios. Ever.’

And yet he obviously hadn’t been enough. Antonios didn’t even know whether to believe her; he told himself it didn’t matter. ‘Then there is no reason for you not to come to Greece.’

‘My research—’

‘Cannot wait a week?’ Impatience flared inside him, along with the familiar fury. Didn’t she realize how thoughtless, how selfish and cruel she was being?

Even now, after six months of coming to accept and learning to live with her abandonment, he was stunned by how completely she’d deceived him. He had believed in her love for him utterly. But, Antonios reminded himself, they’d only known each other a week when they had married. It had been impulsive, reckless even, but he’d been so sure. Sure of his love for Lindsay, and of her love for him.

What a fool he’d been.

Lindsay was staring at him, her face still pale and miserable. ‘One week,’ Antonios ground out. ‘Seven days. And then I intend never to see you again.’ She flinched, as if his words hurt her, and he let out a hard laugh. ‘Doesn’t that notion please you?’

She glanced away, pressing her lips together to keep them from trembling. ‘No,’ she said after a moment. ‘It doesn’t.’

He shook his head slowly. ‘I don’t understand you.’

‘I know.’ She let out a shuddering breath. ‘You never did.’

‘And that is my fault?’

She shook her head wearily. ‘It’s too late to apportion blame, Antonios. It simply is. Was. Our marriage was a mistake, as I told you in my email and on the telephone.’

‘Yet you never said why.’

‘You never asked,’ Lindsay answered, her voice sharpening, and Antonios frowned at her.

‘I asked you on the phone—’

‘No,’ Lindsay told him quietly, ‘you didn’t. You asked me if I were serious, and I said yes. And then you hung up.’

Antonios stared at her, his jaw bunched so tight it ached. ‘You’re the one who left, Lindsay.’

‘I know—’

‘Yet now you are attempting to imply that our marriage failed because I didn’t ask the right questions when I called you after you’d left me. Theos! It is hard to take.’

‘I’m not implying anything of the sort, Antonios. I was simply reminding you of the facts.’

‘Then let me remind you of a fact. I’m not interested in your explanations. The time for those has passed. What I am interested in, Lindsay—the only thing I am interested in—is your agreement. A plane leaves for Athens tonight. If we are to be on it, we need to leave here in the next hour.’

‘What?’ Her gaze flew back to his, her mouth gaping open. ‘I haven’t even agreed.’

‘Don’t you want a divorce?’

She stared at him for a moment, her chin lifted proudly, her eyes cool and grey. ‘You might think you can blackmail me into agreeing, Antonios,’ she told him, ‘but you can’t. I’ll come to Greece, not because I want a divorce but because I want to pay my respects to your mother. To explain to her—’