“Yes.” Cass looked a little startled. “You read about me?”
Piper blushed, but smiled. “When Zephyr told me Neo was getting married, I was understandably curious about the woman who had managed to lead him to such a human endeavor.”
Cass laughed out loud. “Wow, and you told me once that Zephyr was the only person that really knew you well.”
“I’ve worked for Stamos and Nikos Enterprises a few times.” Piper gave them a look rife with meaning. “I met Neo on a couple of the projects, though he wasn’t coordinating them.”
“And you found me inhuman?” Neo asked, contriving to sound offended.
“You were so intimidating that I sent up a prayer of thanks you were not the lead on the project I’d been hired for.” She winked conspiratorially at Cass. “I thought Zephyr was so much more laid-back and would be a much easier man to work for.”
“But you learned the truth?” Cass asked with a teasing glance to Zephyr.
“It took a bit, but I did.”
Zephyr feigned shock. “So, you don’t think I’m easy to work for?”
“I think anyone excellent at their job, who makes a minimum of mistakes, if none at all, and who understands how very seriously you take the success of each development, will find you a pussycat to work for.”
“That’s a lot of caveats,” Neo said, laughing.
Cass raised her brows at her fiancé. “I thought she did an admirable job of being diplomatic.”
“I’m not sure if that was a character assassination, or an endorsement,” Zephyr admitted.
“See? Diplomatic,” Cass teased.
“Zephyr, you are an amazing man, but just like Neo, you’re just a little superhuman for the rest of us. You just hide your intensity behind your charm.”
“Are you saying I am not charming?” Neo demanded.
Piper made a zipping motion over her sealed lips and they all burst out laughing.
Cass leaned against Neo and rubbed her head against his shoulder. “Don’t worry, Superman, I like you just the way you are.”
Seeing his friends like this usually gave Zephyr a twinge of useless envy, but tonight all he felt was a fleeting hope Piper was seeing it, too. And perhaps realizing a reformed Greek street kid wasn’t such a bad horse to place her wager on.
“Arrogance and all?” Neo prompted Cass.
She smiled and patted his leg. “That’s part of your charm.”
Neo gave Piper a triumphant look. “See, I do have charm.”
“I can attest to the arrogance part of it, anyway,” Piper said with a cheeky grin. “You and Zephyr both have bigger than the average dose.”
“Has he not told you that if it is justified, then we are talking about confidence here?” Neo asked.
“That’s right,” Zephyr agreed.
Both Cass and Piper simply laughed and shook their heads.
“Want to see the pictures?” Piper asked Neo.
“But of course. I would like evidence of Zee playing the tourist.”
“Well, here he is haggling with the jeweler in the Plaka over a necklace.” She clicked to one of the photos he had not known Piper had taken. It showed him in animated conversation with a short, square Greek about twenty years Zephyr’s senior.
“I thought you weren’t supposed to try to bargain inside actual shops,” Cass asked. “I’ve been reading up on it.”
Zephyr waved his hand in dismissal. A Greek boy who made his livelihood on the streets of Athens learned to bargain with the taxman, if that’s what it took. “What could it hurt to try? I was buying an expensive piece. If he wanted to move it that day, he needed to offer me an incentive.”
“And did he?” Cass asked.
Piper laughed out loud at that. “Do you really need to ask? Of course. No one in their right mind says no to billionaire tycoon Zephyr Nikos.”
“Remember that tomorrow,” Zephyr said under his breath.
But they all three heard him and gave him looks of inquiry in varying degrees.
He shrugged. “Show Cass the pictures of the view of Athens from the Acropolis.”
“Never mind that,” Cass said. “Do you know what he’s talking about, Piper?”
Piper frowned at him. “I do and it’s not something I’m comfortable discussing right now.”
“Does it have anything to do with why Zephyr asked me about moving the head offices to the island villa?” Neo asked.
Zephyr winced and bit back a particularly virulent curse.
“You did what?” Piper demanded, shock blatant in every centimeter of her lovely face.
“What?” screeched Cass. She gave Neo a confused look. “You told me we had to wait to talk to him about it until we’d been married at least a year!”