THE GREEK OIL BILLIONAIRE, Giorgios Letsos was throwing the party of the year at his London town house. Yet, instead of socialising, he was answering his emails, escaping the predatory females who had dogged his every footstep since the news of his divorce became public.
‘I heard,’ a female voice murmured outside the library door, which stood ajar after a maid had served her employer with a drink and failed to close it, ‘that he got rid of her because she did drugs.’
‘I heard,’ another voice piped up, ‘that he dumped her back on her father’s doorstep in the middle of the night with all her things.’
‘I heard,’ a third voice interposed,.‘that the pre-nup was so tight she didn’t get a cent.’
Gio was sardonically amused that speculation was keeping his neglected guests entertained. His cell phone pulsed and he answered it.
‘Mr Letsos? It’s Joe Henley from Henley Investigations...’
‘Yes?’ Gio asked absently, assuming it was the usual quarterly callback to report a negative result, his attention still on his laptop as he mulled over the purchase of another company with the kind of concentration and enjoyment he would never find at any party.
‘We’ve found her...er, at least I’m ninety per cent certain this time,’ the older man carefully framed because neither
of them would ever forget the mistake he had once made when Gio had gone racing across the city in his limo only to find himself looking at a complete stranger. ‘I took a photo and emailed it to you. Perhaps you’d like to check it out before we go any further.’
We’ve found her... Suddenly, Gio was galvanised into action, springing out of his chair to his full imposing height of six feet four inches, squaring his wide shoulders while he flicked back to the emails. Fierce intensity had fired his dark golden eyes while he identified the right email before clicking on the attachment.
It wasn’t a great photo but the small curvaceous figure in the floral raincoat was instantly recognisable to his hard, searching gaze. Excitement and satisfaction roared in an intoxicating wave through Gio’s lean, powerful length.
‘You will be generously paid for this piece of detection,’ Gio breathed with rare warmth as he stared at the picture as though it might disappear at any moment. As she had done. She had contrived to lose herself so completely he had honestly begun to believe that even with all the resources he had at his disposal he would never track her down.
‘Where is she?’ he pressed.
‘I have the address, Mr Letsos, but I haven’t yet acquired sufficient info to make up a proper background report,’ Joe Henley explained. ‘If you give me a couple of days, I’ll
proceed the usual way—’
‘All I need, all I want,’ Gio stressed with rippling impatience at the thought of waiting even an hour, ‘is her address.’
And suddenly, Gio was smiling for the first time in a very long time. He had finally found her. Of course that didn’t automatically mean he intended to forgive her, he swiftly qualified, straightening his muscular shoulders. His wide, sensual mouth compressed in a manner that would have made his chief executives quail, for he was a tough man, an inflexible, stubborn man, very much feared in the business world. After all, Billie had walked out on him, was, in fact, the only woman ever to pull that stunt on Gio Letsos. But there she was on screen, his Billie, still wearing flowery clothes like a nature explosion, a shock of caramel-coloured blonde curls flowing round her heart-shaped elfin face, her wide green eyes unusually serious.
‘You’re not a very active host,’ a voice remarked from the doorway. The speaker was as short as Gio was tall and as fair as Gio was dark but Gio and Leandros Conistis had been friends since their schooldays, both of them born into wealthy, privileged and pedigreed, if dysfunctional, Greek families and sent to England to board at exclusive fee-paying schools.