Playing by the Greek's Rules(9)

By: Sarah Morgan

‘Well I’m not! I had no idea which buttons to press.’

‘So you thought you’d press all of them? If you ever find yourself on the flight deck of a Boeing 747 I suggest you sit on your hands.’

‘It’s not f-f-funny. I’m soaking wet and I didn’t know you were going to come home early.’

‘I apologise.’ Irony gleamed in those dark eyes. ‘I’m not in the habit of notifying people of my movements in advance. Have you finished cleaning or do you want me to show you which buttons to press?’

Lily summoned as much dignity as she could in the circumstances. ‘Your shower is clean. Extra clean, because I wiped myself around it personally.’ Anxious to make her exit as fast as possible, she kept her eyes fixed on the door and away from that tall, powerful frame. ‘Are you sure she isn’t coming back?’


Lily paused, torn between relief and guilt. ‘I’ve ruined another relationship.’

‘Another?’ Dark eyebrows lifted. ‘It’s a common occurrence?’

‘You have no idea. Look—if it would help I could call my employer and ask her to vouch for me.’ Her voice tailed off as she realised that would mean confessing she’d been caught half naked in the shower.

He gave a faint smile. ‘Unless you have a very liberal-minded employer, you might want to rethink that idea.’

‘There must be some way I can fix this. I’ve ruined your date, although for the record I don’t think she’s a very kind person so she might not be good for you in the long term and with a body that bony she won’t be very cuddly for your children.’ She caught his eye. ‘Are you laughing at me?’

‘No, but the ability to cuddle children isn’t high on my list of necessary female attributes.’ He flung his jacket carelessly over the back of a sofa that was bigger than her bed at home.

She stared in fascination, wondering if he cared at all that his date had walked out. ‘As a matter of interest, why didn’t you defend yourself?’

‘Why would I defend myself?’

‘You could have explained yourself and then she would have forgiven you.’

‘I never explain myself. And anyway—’ he shrugged ‘—you had already given her an explanation.’

‘I don’t think she saw me as a credible witness. It might have sounded better coming from you.’

He stood, legs spread, his powerful shoulders blocking the doorway. ‘I assume you told her the truth? You’re the cleaner?’

‘Of course I told her the truth.’

‘Then there was nothing I could have added to your story.’

In his position she would have died of humiliation, but he seemed supremely indifferent to the fact he’d been publicly dumped. ‘You don’t seem upset.’

‘Why would I be upset?’

‘Because most people are upset when a relationships ends.’

He smiled. ‘I’m not one of those.’

Lily felt a flash of envy. ‘You’re not even a teeny tiny bit sad?’

‘I’m not familiar with that unit of measurement but no, I’m not even a “teeny tiny” bit sad. To be sad I’d have to care and I don’t care.’

To be sad I’d have to care and I don’t care.

Brilliant, Lily thought. Why couldn’t she have said that to Professor Ashurst when he’d given her that fake sympathy about having hurt her? She needed to memorise it for next time. ‘Excuse me a moment.’ Leaving a dripping trail behind her, she shot past him, scrabbled in her bag and pulled out a notebook.

‘What are you doing?’

‘I’m writing down what you said. Whenever I’m dumped I never know the right thing to say, but next time it happens I’m going to say exactly those words in exactly that tone instead of producing enough tears to power a water feature at Versailles.’ She scribbled, dripping water onto her notebook and smearing the ink.

‘Being “dumped” is something that happens to you often?’

‘Often enough. I fall in love, I get my heart broken, it’s a cycle I’m working on breaking.’ She wished she hadn’t said anything. Although she was fairly open with people, she drew the line at making public announcements about not being easy to love.

That was her secret.

‘How many times have you fallen in love?’

‘So far?’ She shook the pen with frustration as the ink stalled on the damp page, ‘Three times.’

‘Cristo, that’s unbelievable.’

‘Thanks for not making me feel better. I bet you’ve never been unlucky in love, have you?’