The Greek's Forgotten Wife

By: Elizabeth Lennox

Prologue




London, Six Years Ago…



Sasha Monetti’s eyes widened as she answered the door and discovered an elderly man, stooped over and leaning heavily on a cane. “Can I help you?” she asked. Behind the man, Sasha noticed two larger, scarier looking men.

The elderly man pushed the door wider with his cane as he moved inside; the two larger men took up sentry positions outside the door. “The correct greeting should be ‘May I help you?’ but I don’t expect you to know that,” the old man sneered. He walked in and surveyed the small cottage, dismissing the dwelling with a disparaging sweep of his rheumy eyes.

Furious, Sasha slammed the door on the two sentries. She moved around the old man, trying to block him from coming further into her house. “Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” Sasha demanded.

The elderly man turned and looked her up and down. “You don’t know who I am?” he demanded, grunting as he shook his head. He snorted as he sat down in a nearby wingback chair. “Don’t bother offering coffee or tea. The coffee in this painfully cold and wet country is pathetic and I can’t stand the idea of tea. Just sit down.”

Sasha couldn’t believe her ears. This man dared to enter her home and treat her like this? Was he some sort of police officer? He didn’t look like any of the officers she’d met, but then again, how many officers had she run into? She was a college student with very little money, so she couldn’t afford to hang out at bars and get drunk, the only place she might run into officers of the law.

She pulled her shoulders back, angry and more than a little offended. She suspected she should also be nervous about this stranger in her house, but she didn’t get that “danger” sense from him. The men standing out on her front porch? Definitely getting a danger vibe from them but not this man. He was just insulting. “I’m sorry, but if you don’t get out of this house right now, I will call the authorities.”

The man cackled at her words. “Go ahead. Call the police and have your grandfather kicked out. See if I help you then.”

Sasha couldn’t believe her ears. Her grandfather? She looked at him carefully, not sure if she believed him or not. “You’re my grandfather?” she whispered. “You’re actually here?” she breathed, excitement beginning to replace anger – conflicting feelings rushing through her with the possibility. And then the resemblance to that small picture of her father hit her and she recognized the truth of his words. Sitting down in the only other chair in the room, she placed her hands over her mouth, excitement welling up inside of her. “Oh, goodness, I’m so sorry. I should have recognized you.”

The man smoothed his perfectly straight tie down over his rotund stomach. “No reason you should, girl. I can’t imagine your mother would have done anything to help you recognize me, or perhaps even to know anything about me.”

Sasha inched forward on the chair, her mind scattering with all of the questions she anxiously wanted to ask this man. “You don’t know what a thrill is it to finally meet someone from my father’s family.” Her slender fingers moved up, covering her mouth to try and control some of the excitement surging through her. “Oh goodness, this is such a delightful surprise.”

The man rolled his eyes and sighed impatiently, dismissing her enthusiasm, then looked up at her. “Forget the stupid familial bonding, girl. I haven’t the time. You wanted help. I’m here to help.”

Sasha’s mouth fell open with those scornful words. “Stupid familial bonding” she repeated in her mind, unable to understand why the phrase was so harsh. This was her grandfather! Why was he acting like this? She’d never had a grandparent in her life, having lived most of her teenage years with only her mother, but this wasn’t anything like she’d always hoped for from her father’s father. Sasha was confused. “You’re here to help but…”

The man sniffed as if he smelled something offensive. “I don’t want to dwell on the details. Suffice it to say, you want something from me and I want something from you.”