A Deal With Demakis
“Pammi’s romance is a losing (but entertaining!) battle of wills, set on a jewel in the Greek Isles. It stars a know-it-all, emotionally damaged Greek tycoon and a down-but-not-out heroine, whose interludes are meteoric.” 4.5 * RT Reviews
When the devil commands…
Nikos Demakis’s plan is set. With his eye firmly on the CEO position of his grandfather’s business he will finally lay his past to rest. And Lexi Nelson holds the key. She might resist, she’ll definitely try to negotiate, but Nikos always gets what he wants.
Lexi has never met anyone like Nikos. The power that he exudes is almost overwhelming. Almost. She’s determined to prove that she’s more than a match for him.
But as the playing field changes from power to passion, it soon becomes a battle of wills that she’s not sure she wants to win!
“Ms. Nelson is here, Nikos.”
Nikos Demakis checked his Rolex and smiled. His little lie had worked, not that he had doubted it. Not an hour had passed since he had had his secretary place the call.
“Instruct security to bring her up,” he said, and turned back to his guests.
Another man might have felt a twinge of regret for having manipulated the situation to serve his purpose so well. Nikos didn’t.
Christos, it was getting more unbearable by the minute to see his sister trail after her boyfriend, trying to make Tyler remember, and playing the role of the tragic lover to the hilt. Only instead of the usual volatility, Nikos was beginning to see something else in her gaze. Obviously he had underestimated how much power Tyler had gained over her. The announcement that they were engaged had stirred even his grandfather’s attention.
Just as Nikos had expected, Savas had laid down the ultimatum. Another excuse for the old tyrant to postpone declaring Nikos the CEO for Demakis International.
Sort out Venetia and the company’s yours, Nikos. Take away her bank account, her expensive car and her clothes.
Lock her up. She will forget that boy soon enough once she starts remembering what it feels like to go hungry again.
Nikos’s gut roiled, just remembering Savas’s words.
It was time to get the charming, manipulative Tyler out of her life. However, he had no intention of starving his sister to achieve that end. Nikos had done, and would do, anything for survival but hurt Venetia in any way. But the fact that Savas had not only considered it but dangled it like an option in front of Nikos, expected Nikos to put it into action, was unsettling in the least.
His expression must have reflected his distaste, because Nina, the leggy brunette he usually got together with when he was in New York, slipped to the other corner of the lounge.
“Ms. Nelson would like to meet you in the café across the street,” his assistant whispered in his ear. Nikos scowled. “No.”
Bad enough that he would have to deal with not one but two emotionally volatile, out-of-control women in the coming days. He wanted to get this meeting done with as soon as possible and get back to Athens. He couldn’t wait to see Savas’s reaction when he told him of his triumph.
He grabbed a drink from a passing waiter and took a sip of the champagne. It slid like liquid gold against his tongue, richer and better tasting for his sweet victory. Against Sa-vas’s dire predictions that Nikos wouldn’t find an investor, Nikos had just signed a billion-dollar contract with Nathan Ramirez, an up-and-coming entrepreneur, by granting exclusive rights to a strip of undeveloped land on one of the two islands owned by the Demakis family for almost three centuries.
It was a much-needed injection of cash for Demakis International without losing anything, and a long-fought chance that Nikos had been waiting for. This was one victory Savas couldn’t overlook anymore. His goal was so close that he was thrumming with the energy of it.
But a month of intense negotiations meant he was at the tail end of the high. And his body was downright starved for sex. Swallowing the last sip of his champagne, he nodded at Nina. Ms. Nelson would wait.
Just as they reached the door to his personal suite, the sound of a laugh from the corridor stalled him.
He ordered Nina back into the lounge and walked into the corridor. The question for his security guard froze on his lips as he took in the scene in front of him.
Clutching her abdomen, the sounds of her harsh breathing filling the silence around her, a woman knelt, bent over, on the thickly carpeted floor. His six-foot-two security guard, Kane, hulked over her, his leathery face wreathed in concern. The overhead ceiling lights picked out the hints of burnished copper in her hair.
Nikos stepped closer, curiosity overpowering everything else. “Kane?”
“Sorry, Mr. Demakis,” Kane replied, patting the woman’s slender back with his huge palm. A strange familiarity with a woman he’d just met. “Lexi took one look at the elevator and refused to use it.”
Nikos stared at the woman’s bowed head. She was still doubled over, slender shoulders falling and rising. “She did what?”
Kane didn’t raise his head. “She said no one was forcing her into the elevator. That’s why she had me call you back asking you to meet her at the cafe.”
Nikos tilted his head and studied the state-of-the-art elevator system on his right side. One sentence from her file popped into his head.
Trapped in an elevator once for seventeen hours.
Of course she could have turned around and left. His irritation only grew, a perverse reaction because her leaving wouldn’t serve his purpose at all. “She walked up nineteen floors?”
Kane nodded, and Nikos noticed that even his breathing was a little irregular. “And you walked up the stairs with her?”
“Yep. I told her she was going to collapse halfway through. I mean, look at her.” His gaze swept over her, a curious warmth in it. “And she challenged me.” He shoved her playfully with a shoulder, and Nikos watched, strangely fascinated. The woman unfolded from her bent-over stance and nudged Kane back with a surprising display of strength for someone so…tiny.
“I almost beat you, too, didn’t I?” she said, still sounding breathless.
Kane laughed and tugged her up, again his touch overtly familiar for a woman he met a mere twenty minutes ago. As she straightened her clothes, Nikos understood the reason for Kane’s surprise at her challenge.
With her head hardly reaching his shoulder, Lexi Nelson was small. Maybe five feet one or two at best, and most of that was legs. The strip of exposed flesh between her pleated short skirt and knee-high leather boots was. distracting, to say the least.
Her shoulders were slim to the point of delicate, her small breasts only visible because of her exertion. Wide-set eyes in her perfectly oval face, a dazzling light blue, were the only feature worth a second look. A mouth too wide for her small face, tilted up at the corners, still smiling at Kane.
Honey-gold hair cut short to her nape, in addition to her slim body, made her look like a teenage boy rather than an adult woman. Except for the fragility of her face.
The image of an Amazonian woman on her crinkled T-shirt—long-legged, big-breasted, clad in a leather outfit with a gun in her hand—invited a second look, and not only because of the exquisite detail of it but also because the woman in the sketch was a direct contrast to the woman wearing it.
“Please escort Ms. Nelson into my office, Kane,” Nikos said. Her blue gaze landed on him and widened. “You are causing too much distraction here.” Her smile slipped, a tiny frown tying her brows. “Wait in my office and I will see you in half an hour.”
He didn’t turn around when he heard her gasp.
Lexi Nelson snapped her mouth shut as Nikos Demakis turned around and left. He was rude, terse and had a spectacular behind—the errant thought flashed through her mind. Surprised by her own observation, she pulled her gaze upward, her breath still not back to normal. Powerfully wide shoulders moved with arrogant confidence.
She hadn’t even got a good look at the man, yet she had the feeling that she had somehow angered him. She trembled as the elevator doors opened with a ping on her side. Ignoring Kane’s call, she marched down the path his rude boss had taken, wondering what she had done to put him out of sorts.
She had walked up nineteen floors and had almost given herself a heart attack in the process. But she couldn’t risk leaving without seeing him, not until she knew how Tyler was. She had planned to dog his New York base the whole week, determined to get answers, until she had received a call from his secretary summoning her here. The moment she had introduced herself at the security desk and asked to see Mr. Demakis, she had been herded to the elevator which she had promptly escaped from.
Lexi came to an abrupt stop after stepping into a dimly lit lounge that screamed understated elegance. High ceilings, pristine white carpets and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offered a fantastic view of Manhattan’s darkening skyline. A glittering open bar stood on one side.
It was as if she had stepped into a different world.
She worked her jaw closed, the eerie silence that befell the room penetrating her awe. While she had been busy gaping at the lush interior of the lounge, about ten men and women stared back at her, varying levels of shock reflected in their gazes. It was as though she were an alien that had beamed down from outer space via transporter right in front of their eyes.
She offered them a wide smile, her hands clutching the leather strap of her bag.
Having realized that she had followed him, Nikos Demakis uncoupled himself from a gorgeous brunette he was leading out of the lounge.
Lexi clutched the strap tighter, fighting the flight response her brain was urging her into.
“I asked you to wait in my office, Ms. Nelson.”
Her mushy brain was a little slow processing his words when presented with such a gorgeous man. Dark brown eyes fringed by the thickest lashes held hers, challenging her to drop her gaze. The Italian suit, she would bet her last dollar that it was handmade, lovingly draped the breadth of his wide shoulders, tapering to a narrow waist. A strange fluttering started in her belly as she raised her gaze back to his arresting face.
Nikos Demakis was, without exaggeration, the most stunning man she had ever laid eyes on.