Well, of course it was him.
Ioniko looked disconcerted at finding two women instead of one opening the door while Sara didn’t even bother to hide her interest. “You’re exactly what she said,” Sara relayed cheerfully. “You are unbelievably hot—” I let out a gasp even as Ioniko visibly relaxed and a disarming smile went on to curve over his lips.
“I’m Sara, by the way,” Sara went on. “Schuyler’s only friend in the world, awesome business partner, and future maid of—”
I quickly elbowed her away and told Ioniko desperately, “Ignore her. She’s leaving.”
“Yes.” I shot my friend a threatening look. “You are.”
“No buts. Go.” I pushed her out of the door despite her protests. While I wasn’t thrilled at being alone with the billionaire, it was the lesser of two evils compared to what else Sara could blurt out.
“Sheesh. Sex-starved much?”
I slammed the door shut on Sara and her sly smile.
“Your friend’s quite interesting, koukla mou.”
“She’s certifiably insane, too,” I told him, “so just ignore anything she says.” No longer able to find any reason to delay looking at him again, I turned around as I spoke and just in time to see Ioniko’s smirk at my words.
It obviously wasn’t my first time to see him, so why, dammit, why did one look at his sheer gorgeousness still have me catching my breath?
His beautiful black hair. His beautiful green eyes and the chiseled panes of his face that were just as beautiful. I could go on and on, and every part of him was just…beautiful. So darn beautiful that it didn’t make sense for him to be attracted to someone like me, and it made even less sense, knowing what I knew now.
“I had a feeling you’d keep avoiding me,” he commented silkily.
“Can you blame me?” I asked wryly. “I can’t even figure out why you noticed me in the first place.”
“I already told you—”
“I’m different, yada, yada, yada, but it just doesn’t seem enough, and that’s why your liking me will never make sense—”
“But it does.”
He only smiled, saying mildly, “We’re not going to do that.”
“Do what?” I was genuinely confused.
“Argue by saying ‘it does’ and ‘it doesn’t back and forth.”
Oh! A part of me had expected that to happen because I thought they were a funny and cute thing that only couples could get away with. But apparently, men like Ioniko Vlahos thought such exchanges beneath them, and well…didn’t that drive the home perfectly then?
“I’m sorry, Ioniko, but I really don’t think we’re going to suit—”
“Parakalo?” Ioniko sounded incredulous.
“Um, what does that—”
“You think we don’t suit,” he demanded, “simply because I’m unwilling to say ‘it does’ and ‘it doesn’t’?”
I blinked. “All of that…translated to just one word in Greek?” I was hoping the crack would make the situation a little less tense, but instead I suddenly found myself the recipient of Ioniko’s tight-lipped look.
“If I somehow misunderstood…” The billionaire’s tone was stiff, and my confusion grew. It was my first time to hear him sound anything but flirtatious, and I had a feeling something did get lost in translation. “And you are truly not attracted to me…”
My mouth opened and closed. What was he saying? How did we get to this point?
“Then there is no need to make up lame excuses about it.”
It took a few seconds for the meaning behind his words to sink in.
Oh my God.
I looked at him helplessly. “Dude…”
But unlike before, this didn’t make him smile, and it just made me feel worse and better all at the same time. Un-effing-believable. Girls like me should be the one pining for and running after men like him…and not the other way around. How could he not know that?
“I can’t believe you’re making me say this,” I began.
The billionaire’s lip curled. “If it’s going to be another lie—”
“But I’m attracted to you.”
Ioniko’s expression remained hard-jawed and inscrutable, and I didn’t know whether to laugh or start looking around for hidden cameras. Because honestly? This whole situation felt more and more like I was being pranked for some gag show.
“I’m really attracted to you, okay? I mean, of course I would be. Duh. Do you think I’m made of stone? I swear to God, on my grandparents’ graves, on your ancestors’ graves…please say you get it now,” I begged, “because this is getting really embarrassing?”
My last words seemed to have worked because Ioniko’s rigid posture had noticeably relaxed, and I sighed in relief. “So you believe me now?”
“If you’d kiss me…” I shot him a look, and a crooked grin flashed over his lips. “You can’t blame me for trying, koukla mou.”
“I could and would under normal circumstances, but right now I’m just glad you’re back to normal—” Ioniko suddenly started walking towards me, and my voice quickly took on a tone of alarm. “Wait!”
Ioniko stopped moving with visible reluctance.