Read Chapter One Part One here
Read Chapter One Part Two here
Eleanna watched him through half-closed eyelashes. She knew exactly what was going through his mind. He was worried about her—worried about something happening to her and even more…worried about losing her. But that’s a joke, she thought, wanting to laugh at the irony of the situation. He never had her, so how could he lose her?
Don’t be so cruel, she reprimanded herself. He has nothing to do with the nightmare that’s torn my family apart and haunted my life ever since.
She took a sip of her wine and let her eyes wander around the cramped pub. A fake blonde in a provocative dress sat across from them, staring avidly at Jonathan. Eleanna almost smiled. He was a good-looking guy, all right—tall, well built, with blond hair, amazing blue eyes, and he was always immaculately dressed. However, Eleanna never felt anything more than friendship for him. And she’d made that crystal clear, right from the start. Besides, her life was all tangled up, and the last thing she needed was to get emotionally involved with someone.
“Eleanna…” His voice drew her from her thoughts.
She stared back at him. He was probably expecting an answer—but an answer to what? She hadn’t even heard the question. Her mind was miles away, on that mystifying island and the answers it had in store for her, or at least she hoped it did.
All of a sudden, her mother’s trembling voice on her deathbed echoed in Eleanna’s head: “Stay away from Greece! You have to promise me that no matter what, you’ll never step foot there, and especially on Corfu.” Eleanna was shaken to the core to find out that she had a twin sister who died at birth and that Marios—the father she had worshiped and cried over all those years—wasn’t her biological father. Her mother had also revealed who her biological father was and his relationship to the ruthless Contessa, who was responsible for all the hardships their family had to endure.
A shiver ran down Eleanna’s spine, and she took a quick sip of her wine to wet her dry mouth. I’m sorry, Mom, but I have to go. I have to find out. I can’t spend the rest of my life hiding. She wondered about Skopelos. Was this beautiful island in the Aegean Sea—so far away from Corfu—a dangerous territory for her, as well?
“Are you okay?”
“Yes,” Eleanna lied. She wasn’t okay at all. She was scared to death but at the same time, determined to do everything in her power to get some answers. And there was something more—something she wouldn’t even admit to herself. But it was there, lingering in the back of her mind…revenge!
“I still don’t think that you need to go there,” Jonathan said. “Things seem pretty simple.”
Simple? That’s a major understatement! She laughed inwardly.
“You can accept the inheritance, and then sell to Ioannou without having to leave London.”
He doesn’t know anything; he thinks it’s just the inheritance. But how could he know? How could he know the terrible truth that her mother had confided to her at her deathbed? How could he know the deadly secrets that had been buried for so many years on Corfu—her parents’ birthplace?
“I can get in touch with the attorney,” Jonathan went on, drawing her from her thoughts.
“There’s also something else,” Eleanna interrupted. “There’s this letter…”
“The letter that my father left for me,” she continued, skeptically. “It was a warm letter, apologizing for the years that we’d spent apart and telling me how much my mother and I meant to him. And that he wished he could make it up somehow. I don’t know…”
“What is it, Eleanna? What’s wrong?” Jonathan held his breath as a warning bell went off inside his head.
“You see, that letter wasn’t from my father. It couldn’t have been. He would never write such a letter; he wasn’t the warm, caring type. Besides, if it were from him, he would have mentioned Mike. But he didn’t. It was someone else who wrote that letter…and I want to find out why,” she added, unable to hold back. The letter had puzzled her right from the moment the attorney had presented it to her.
“What are you talking about?” Jonathan asked, knitting his brows. “It sounds like something a father would write after all those years to his daughter.”
“No. You should have read the birthday card he sent me once. It was as if a business associate had sent the card.” Her voice broke down. “So cold, so impersonal. But what did I expect, anyway? He’d been gone for years and never cared how my mother and I were doing…” her voice trailed off. “I’m telling you that this letter wasn’t from him.” She gave him a sad look. Oh, how she wished it was. But it wasn’t. She was sure about that.
“Eleanna, this is crazy,” Jonathan said. “Who else could have written to you?”
“That’s what I intend to find out,” she replied. “I still have that birthday card. I’ll go home and compare the handwriting, but I’m pretty sure already that it wasn’t him who wrote this letter.”
“I wonder why? Why would someone do something like that?”
“I think I know,” Eleanna replied. “In the letter, my father talks about his partner. He advises me to sell to Ioannou and let him take care of everything so that I don’t have to go through any hassle.”
“You mean that you think it was this man, Ioannou, who wrote the letter?”
“Either he or someone working for him. You see now why I have to find out what’s going on? Furthermore, the attorney wasn’t very specific about how my father died. All he said was that he drowned, and when I asked for details, he said he didn’t know anything else. A lot of things are going through my mind, and I just can’t rest until I find out.”
“But Eleanna, even if there is something wrong, it has nothing to do with you. Why get involved in God knows what? You had no communication with your father for years. How do you know what kind of man he was and what he could have been involved in?”
“You’re right, Jonathan, but he was still my father. I have to find out. I’ve been walking around all day, ever since I left the attorney’s office, and I can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. I won’t be able to rest until I know.”
Jonathan stared at her pale face and beautiful hazel eyes, which had now turned a shade darker. He felt his heart thundering in his chest. He wished he could reach over and take her into his arms. “I’m coming with you.” The words just slipped out of his mouth.
“No, Jonathan! This is something that I have to do alone. Besides, you can’t leave your job for that long. They need you here. You can’t just get up and go.”
Jonathan didn’t insist. He knew she was right, even though he didn’t want to admit it.
“I have to go,” Eleanna said suddenly and sprang to her feet. “I have a million things to do before I leave.”
“When are you planning on leaving?” Jonathan asked, just to say something. He was determined to do everything in his power to prevent her from going.
“I’m leaving this Saturday. The attorney is having someone make the arrangements,” Eleanna replied, leaving Jonathan speechless as Saturday was only four days away.
Read Chapter Two Part One here
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