Maya twisted her hands trying to loosen the ropes around her wrists.When she was unsucessful she cursed Rafael. Bastard! Liar! Who does he think he is to hold me captive!
Frustrated and enduring the searing pain in her arm, tears flowed uncontrollably as she rocked back and forth, I don’t believe that heartless monster! I need to find Nico! I survived. I’m sure he escaped from the burning boat too. He just has no idea where to look for me..that’s it!
She wanted to scream but her throat was still injured from the ordeal. Her eyes were red and swollen as she whimpered, “Nico..Nico..please…please… save me.”
Maya’s body was weak and her mental energy exhausted, all her efforts to untie her hands were in vain. The only result was she opened the wound on her arm that was now bleeding profusely and her wrists were rubbed raw.
She couldn’t be considered fragile, she prided herself on being an independant and tenacious woman. But the thought that Nico might be dead was like her heart was crushed by a giant boulder. She felt as though she was suffocating from the thought her beloved Nico might never hold her in his arms again.
Since she graduated from a prestigious University, her star had been on the rise. Well respected as an expert in Art Restoration, with an emphasis on Chinese Art. She recently won an award for her work on a series of calligraphy from the Tang Dynasty.
Until she met Nico Kostros, Maya led a quiet life focused on her work. She had a tendency to be obsessive as she meticulously restored ancient art. Maya didn’t have time for a social life because the work she did was very time intensive and needed her full attention. She was either in her studio downtown or traveling to various countries to work.
Maya met Nico at an art collector’s home in Shanghai a year ago and she immediately felt an attraction to him. She thought she had never seen a more beautiful and perfect man. He was not only handsome but gentle and very knowledgeable about art.
Nico’s face was beautiful as though carved by the gods. He had deep blue eyes, a straight nose and sensuous lips. He had a small teardrop mole at the corner of his right eye which was very sexy. She wanted to run her finger over the alluring teardrop.
But, it was his serious expression as he listened to her explain what would need to be done to restore the ancient painting he wanted to purchase. When he commented his voice was low and magnetic which made Maya’s heart flutter.
He was obviously very wealthy from the custom made Armani suit he was wearing and the Rolex on his wrist. From Maya’s experience these types of buyers didn’t care about the process, only the result. As she pointed out the details he leaned over her shoulder, his tall body exuding an intoxicating masculine scent and she could barely concentrate.
Nico was satisfied the painting of the beautiful ancient woman could be restored and went ahead with the purchase. The art collector was a friend of Maya’s late father and thanked Maya after Nico left. The elderly Chinese man didn’t have the money to restore the painting then sell it so he asked Maya to come to the meeting.
When she got back to the hotel she looked on the internet to get information about Nico. She read he was the CEO of Kostros Group, a philanthropist and art colllector, but there was little personal information.
Maya was resting when Nico called, he invited her to dinner to discuss the restoration. Maya was happy to be able to see him again and readily agreed. During dinner he asked if she would be available to take on the project. Maya was surprised because she was only acting as a consultant to help the old man. Although she was busy she accepted, hoping to be able to see him again.
Nico and Maya grew close as he would often come by her studio to check on the progress. Their relationship progressed naturally and Maya had no reason to believe he was married. She accompanied him on several trips to China and would give him advice before he made a purchase. Just last month they were together in Hangzhou and Nico purchased a silk manuscript that needed to be restored. He was very interested in buying it even after she said it would be difficult to restore to its prior condition.
Nico affectionately hugged her and said he had confidence even if no one else could restore the ancient book she could. They held hands and kissed as they spent the day at West Lake. While admiring the temples and pagodas, Maya felt she was transported back to a distant era. It was romantic and beautiful.
All these memories floated in her mind as she leaned back on the chair. How could such a perfect love end like this? I don’t believe him! Brothers? Hmmph! That brutal man’s aggressive appearance and rugged features can’t compare to Nico! They look and act nothing alike! Although he is handsome he is a far cry from my Nico!
Maya’s highly agitated mental state depleted the last bit of her strength and she fell asleep.
Meanwhile in the Kostros mansion, Rafael was sitting on the edge of Cassandra’s bed coaxing her to fall asleep. He had spent the morning reassuring her that Nico was in Berlin and would call when he was able. He was relieved when Dr. Lawry finally arrived and administered a strong sedative to calm her down..
Rafael wanted to admonish the doctor for taking so long, he should have pushed the surgery back and rushed over when he was called. However, he suppressed his volatile temper because he didn’t want Cassandra to see his dark side; she would be frightened.
Cassandra held Rafael’s hand tightly and gazed at him with her doelike eyes. “Brother, stay at the mansion, don’t go back to the island.”
He wanted to return to the island and further interrogate Maya but can never say no to anything his little love asked.Since they were children when she looked at him with that fragile and dependant expression his cold heart would melt. “Okay.”
She sweetly smiled as she sat up and hugged his waist. She nestled into his embrace and he kissed the top of her head, “Be good and sleep. I will be here when you wake up.”
“Sleep with me like you used to…I don’t want to be alone.”
Rafael’s heart was beating erratically as she pressed her petite body on his chest. He had taken off his suit coat and was wearing a form fitting gray silk shirt. Rafael could feel her soft breasts through the thin fabric of her nightgown and gulped down his saliva.
A thin layer of sweat formed on his forehead as he tried to control his turbulent emotions. Aware this was a dangerous position he wanted to push her away but his hands didn’t move. “We aren’t little kids anymore and Nico wouldn’t like it.”
She immediately let go of him and fluttered her eyelashes deep in thought. Recalling Nico cursing her as a shrew and a lunatic then leaving for days, she gazed at him with a frightened expression. “I don’t want Nico to be angry with me…he will leave me all alone and go…” to that slutty little whore ! Her head was lowered so Rafael couldn’t see the murderous gleam in her eyes. She stopped midsentence then said, “Sleep in the study.”
Rafael knitted his eyebrows and tenderly brushed her hair behind her ears, “Nico probably had work to do.” How could anyone be angry with you. You are so sweet and lovable.
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