A Greek Affair Cover
Fortress Title

Everyone’s had to make a hard decision at some point in their lives, and usually that decision involves the people we love. We never really know how our decisions will ultimately affect them or us. This story is about a choice made by two people, and how their decisions changed their lives…but never changed their hearts. Set in Athens, Greece, the story takes the hero and heroine out of their comfort zones and makes them face the hard truth about how they really feel. I hope you enjoy this excerpt of A Greek Affair.

Rachel sat at her dressing room table, her body still buzzing with the electricity of a perfect performance. Well, perfect on stage at least, she amended. Thank God the backstage drama hadn’t spilled out into the opera itself. Of course, even if it had, the fiasco would only have managed to make the performance just that much more memorable.

She was wiping off the last of her caked on make-up when a quick knock sounded on her door. Grinning widely, she launched herself from her chair and yanked the knob, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she found herself face to face with a large bouquet of Gerber daisies and irises with long legs.

“They’re beautiful!”

“Well, I couldn’t very well bring a grubby little mum into the hallowed walls of your dressing room.” Guy moved the flowers away from his face, his dark eyes dancing with the same kind of excitement that she felt. “You were wonderful.”

Rachel took the large bouquet in one hand and pulled him into a fierce hug with the other, embracing him with all the exhilaration running through her body. Leaning back, she gave him a friendly kiss on the lips while he stroked her gently waved hair.

“Oh, God, Guy, it was flawless, wasn’t it? I hit every note, caught every cue, nailed every mark...I’m flying!” she exclaimed.

“You were absolutely perfect, love,” Guy acknowledged happily.  “I’m so proud of you. Oh, and I recorded the whole thing for your family.”

“You are the perfect man, aren’t you?” She laughed, releasing his neck so she could grab his hand. “Since you’ve brought a gift, I suppose you can come in.”

Dragging him the rest of the way into her small dressing room, she waited until Guy perched uncomfortably on the edge of her tiny couch. He looked distinctly out of place among the pieces of strewn lingerie and frilly pillows, his masculine lines at odds with the pervasive femininity of the room. Swiftly, she sank back onto her spindle-legged chair, her bottom bouncing on the overstuffed padding as she placed her flowers on the scarred wood tabletop.

“You missed the real action,” she said with a conspirator’s wink.

“The real action, eh? Was it better than the infamous LaRussa lipstick scandal?”

“That was just a three hundred dollar tube tossed into the Thames. This was two women trying to rip each other’s hair out.”

Guy lifted one curious eyebrow and adjusted his weight on the sofa. “Do tell.”

“Well, apparently Therese and Adella were up for the same part, but of course Adella landed the role. We all wondered how that had happened, considering Therese not only has seniority, but twice the talent of Adella. So, half an hour before curtain, there was a huge brouhaha. Seems Therese walked into the director’s booth and caught Adella on her knees, giving Dante the time of his life!”

“You’re kidding! On her knees? She was actually giving him a blowjob in a nearly public place?” He stared at her, his eyes wide.

“My hand to heaven,” she said, then laughed. “So Therese grabbed Adella by the hair and dragged her, I mean really dragged her, down the hall. She was screaming the whole time, yelling about Adella seducing her boyfriend. It was shocking! We had no idea that Dante was even dating Therese!”

“Guess that explains Adella’s sudden luck.”

“And it explains her black eye, missing hair, and stitched arm. Dante didn’t escape her wrath, either. He has claw marks down his face and bite marks on both arms. Needless to say, she called him a son of a bitch and told him to pack his bags.”

“Wow, I knew I should have come backstage. Imagine the money I’d have made selling photos of two vicious divas tearing at each other’s throats. I guess I’ll have to suffer in poverty for a few more years.” He sighed, shaking his head miserably.

Rachel chuckled as she tossed a white hand towel at his head. “Oh, yeah, you’re languishing. All those awards, all those books, the love letters and large checks...how do you survive?”

“Cheeky woman.”

“Unfashionable man.”

“Hey, I resemble that remark,” he teased. Spying the open champagne bottle on the side table, he reached over and poured himself a flute full of bubbly wine. “So, what are we going to do to celebrate?”

“Um...dancing? No discotheques, though--I don’t think I’m up for a crush of people.”

Another knock rapped the door and Rachel turned to give the thin wood a curious look. Standing, she tightened the belt of her silky peach robe and reached for the knob, making sure her ample cleavage wasn’t exposed. When she opened it, she lost the feel of the room around her. Her heart stopped for an endless moment as her lungs froze and her brain seized. It was a nightmare, or maybe it was a fantasy. Or just maybe it was a bit of both.

“Ben,” she whispered.

“Hello, Rachel.”

At the sound of his voice her heart suddenly began again, kicking into a quick cadence as she stared into the face of the man she hadn’t seen in two years. He was standing in the doorway, his black suit impeccable, his burnished hair barely subdued, and a clutch of lilies in his grasp. What was he doing here? Had he actually gone out of his way to find her? But why? What was the reason? Why had he bothered to come after all this time? No, no, it had to be a coincidence. There was no way he would fly across the ocean just to see her.

“I--uh, hello,” she replied feebly, hating the way her words wavered.

She tried not to blanch as he studied her, his haunting green gaze going over every piece of her body. She fought down the immediate heat his perusal brought, trying valiantly to forget her earlier dream of being under his hands. Shock sent cold fingers down her spine in stark contrast to the fire curling around the juncture of her thighs. Ben...Ben... was all she seemed to be able to think.