We reached his penthouse apartment a few minutes later, and while his place was also a sight to behold, I was still too caught up in my embarrassment to appreciate it.
“I want to go home,” I told him mulishly as soon as his bodyguards left, and we were all alone in his balcony.
But Ioniko only grinned. “So you become childish when you’re embarrassed.”
“I want to go home now, dammit!”
“How adorable, koukla mou—”
“I’m not joking,” I growled. “I don’t want to stay…” The sound of my phone buzzing and playing out its new message alert cut me off.
Ioniko found my phone first, which I had left on the coffee table. “Here—” He suddenly stopped speaking, and when I saw his face harden, all thoughts of embarrassment were forgotten.
He dropped my phone into my hand. “A man named Clay texted you.” His voice was cool and impersonal. “He’s asking if you’re free for dinner this weekend.”
“Obviously, that’s a no since you’re here in Athens with me.”
“But I have back to back meetings on Monday. You can meet him then.”
“My bedroom is the last door to the right. All other rooms are yours to use. Please make yourself at home. I need to make a few calls for work, so if you’d excuse me…” Ioniko didn’t even wait for me to reply as he walked away, and I nearly jumped a foot as the door to the study slammed shut behind him.
A part of me wanted to go after him, but the other half of me was just fine the way things were. Ioniko was pissed, and if he stayed pissed long enough, then he’d eventually give up on me. And that was what I wanted. Right?
Right, I told myself, and I fell asleep trying to convince myself of this. But when the next day came, I woke up feeling not a little pissed myself, and reading Ioniko’s text just pissed me off even more.
Ioniko: Apologies for leaving early. I have a meeting scheduled at eight. If you require anything, I’ve instructed the staff to attend to your needs.
I angrily clicked Delete on his text without bothering to reply.
But the more time passed, I just kept feeling more and more irritated, and the next thing I knew I was on one of the lounge chairs in the balcony, venting and ranting while on a video group chat with my friends. “Did he think I swallowed my pride and came all the way here just to have “the staff” take care of all of my needs? I took care of my needs on the plane just fine, didn’t I?”
Sara’s screen showed her doubling over in laughter while Ioniko’s sister was choking and sputtering so bad that some of her pink-colored detox whatchamacallit juice splattered over her screen and turned her face into a fuzzy image.
“Schuyler Anne Mathers,” Kat gasped out when she was finally coherent. “I never thought you could say something like that!”
“I can,” Sara dryly piped in. “Schuyler’s all shy and cute most of the time, but she goes crazy like this once a month.”
Her meaningful tone at the end wasn’t lost on Kat, and the other girl winced on my behalf. “How bad is it today?” she asked me.
“Since I’ve just told you guys about the last time I masturbated—”
Another round of choking and chortling ensued.
“How bad do you think it is?”
Sara and Katya exchanged a look, and then the two girls said at the same time, “Really bad.”
They burst into laughter right after, and I couldn’t help smiling a little despite the ongoing hell taking place within my belly. I had only introduced the two girls thirty minutes ago, but since they were both charmingly outspoken, they had hit it off right from the start and now acted like they had been best friends for years.
“Ioniko isn’t really the type to be moody,” Kat told me, “but he also isn’t used to having women reject him or – even worse – having women tell him to his face that he’s not going to be the only man in their lives.”
“Does he know what the Clay guy looks like?” Sara interjected.
“He does,” Kat answered before I could. “I sent him all the photos of that Schuy swiped right—”
“I did no such thing,” I protested.
“You might as well have done,” Kat countered with a shrug, “since you thought they were all cute.”
“Send them to me, too,” Sara said eagerly. “I wanna see.”
I sputtered in protest even as Kat said, “Sure thing.” A moment later, Ioniko’s sister flashed me a mischievous smile, and almost on cue, we heard Sara’s phone start beeping.
“Oh, come on,” I groaned out. But the two girls didn’t even hear me, busy as they were comparing notes on my series of swipe-rights. Unbelievable. Tossing my phone on the side table, I pulled my knees up and tucked them under my chin while staring moodily at the gorgeous views afforded by the billionaire’s penthouse apartment. Sunlight had bathed Athens in gold, but I had no energy at all to explore its golden roads, partly because of my stupid period but also because, well…