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Authors: Aliyah Burke

Dimitri's Moon

BOOK: Dimitri's Moon
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Dimitri's Moon

Aliyah Burke

Dimitri’s Moon

Copyright © 2009 by Aliyah Burke

Samara Grossman, Luz Melonakos, and Spyros Melonakos are copyrighted by and used courtesy of Savannah J. Frierson. Excerpt from
AJ’s Serendipity
copyrighted and used courtesy of Savannah J. Frierson.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.

This book is a work of fiction. All characters, places and events are from the author’s imagination and should not be confused with fact. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, events or places is coincidental. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only.

Editor and Formatter: Savannah Frierson

Cover Artist: MMJ Designs

ISBN: 978-0-557-07619-2

To my husband, for putting up with my one-sided conversations as I work
out a scene, for not being mad when dinner isn’t served on time, and for
everything else you do.

And of course, Clarke and Valan, not a day goes by that I don’t wish you
both were with me.

Acknowledgments

Any and all mistakes in this story are mine and not to be blamed on the ones who do this for a living. To my cover artist and editor, thank you!

One

Athens, Greece

“Damn this crazy shit going on in the world!” the petite woman cussed as she was jostled again. This most recent attack was mind-boggling. Someone or
someones
had attacked the American Embassy in Greece. She was heading away from the scene, just trying to make it out in one piece, when another explosion rocked the streets.

This time she was knocked to her knees. Palms scraped against rugged pavement while attempting to break her fall. The screams grew louder as the force of people moving near her turned to almost moving
over
her.

Fighting to regain leverage and her feet in the swarming crowd, she jumped when she felt a hand on her arm. “This isn’t a time to be on the ground, ma’am,” a deep voice said to her as she was lifted completely off the ground and placed back on her feet.

Ilanderae “Landi” Nycks looked over her shoulder at the man who had assisted her. He was dressed in a nice dark suit; his skin had the natural olive complexion that seemed to be common for the men of this area. He had black hair and a very tightly clipped goatee on his face. His eyes were dark green.
Damn!
“Thank you,” she mumbled.

“We should get moving,” he said as his hand secured a place on her arm, leading her through the throng of people to an open area.

Landi didn’t argue, just let him tug her along. Her palms were stinging and her knees were beginning to ache as well. She stumbled along after him, her short, five-two frame no match for the strides his over six-foot body took. “Can we slow down a bit?” she panted.

He glanced down at her sweat-covered face. “Sorry. Right in here. We can get you cleaned up.” The man pulled her into a restaurant, never even noticing its name as he ushered her in. If she had, she would not have entered.

The people inside were looking around full of suspicion and mistrust, as if anyone there could have a bomb strapped on as well. But all their eyes fell to her as she staggered in after the man towing her.

Momentarily stunned, Landi froze, her chest rising and falling with each breath she took.
What the hell is up with the glares I’m getting?

10

Aliyah Burke

Tugging on her wrist, she got the man who had brought her in here to let her go.

“Anatole, get some warm water and soft rags. We need to get her cleaned up.” Turning to look at the woman beside him, he gestured to an empty booth. “Here, sit here and we will clean you up.”

“Thank you,” Landi said with a smile and did as he instructed.

The other people continued to watch her, but their expressions softened incredibly. When the young man approached her with the bowl and the rag, she sat up and reached for it.

Brushing her off, her savior took the cloth and dipped it in the water. Ringing it out, he applied it gently to her bloody knees, wiping them clean. “Better?” he asked in a low voice.

Swallowing, she nodded. “Much. I can do it,” Landi insisted, taking the rag from him and cleaning the other knee before moving onto her hands.

The man allowed her to do just that. He stood back, crossed his arms and watched Landi tend to her injuries. His dark-emerald eyes moved over her body as she finished with the rag. As she placed it back in the bowl of water, he waved forward a woman who was carrying a platter of food.

As the young lady set down the plate, Landi said, “Oh, I really need to get back to my hotel. But thank you for everything.”

“No. It’s not safe for you or any American out there right now.

The streets are too dangerous. You will stay here.”

Shaking her head, Ilanderae protested, “No. No. I can’t do that. I have to get going to my hotel.”

The man stared at her for a moment as if testing her resolve. Finally, he nodded and spoke. “Okay, but only if you allow me to have an escort for you. My cousin will take you back to your place. I would do it, but I can’t be sure I wouldn’t take advantage of you. He is a gentleman.” That statement was delivered with a hearty wink.

Ilanderae shivered as his stare roved her body. This man was nothing short of handsome wrapped in a gorgeous package. “I can do that. Thank you so much for stopping to help me. I don’t know what’s going on here right now. I totally believe I would have just been run over by the hordes of people if you hadn’t stopped to help me out.”

Taking her dark hand in his sun-kissed one, the man bowed low over it, placing his lips tenderly on the back of the smooth, flawless skin. “My dear, it would have been a sin for me to leave a delicate
Dimitri's Moon

11

woman such as yourself lying there.” He rolled his green eyes. “Not to mention very ungentlemanly of me.”

She couldn’t help it, she had to laugh. “Well, I, for one, am very grateful you decided you couldn’t be ungentlemanly.” Reluctantly, she took her hand away from his firm lips.

“If only I were to take you to the hotel, the pleasures I could show you,” he murmured in her ear, sending delightful shivers across her body. The clearing of a throat made him groan in dismay. “That would be my cousin,” he muttered, standing up to his full seventy-four–inch height, “who’s come to take this lovely vixen away from me.”

Landi shook her head at his dramatic antics. It had been a long time since a man had made her laugh this much or feel this special.

“Well, thank you for your kindness and your hospitality. I won’t ever forget it.”

He winked roguishly at her and asked, “Will I be able to see you again, or are you leaving our fair country soon?”

Unable to get out of the booth because of where he was standing, Landi remained seated. “I am here for a few more days. Then I have to get back to the States.”

“Perfect. Then we can go out on a date before you leave.”

She rolled her eyes. “I don’t even know your name.”

Before he could respond, a deep voice interrupted them. “AJ, I don’t want to stand here while you flirt with another woman. I was asked to escort her back to the hotel, and I don’t have time to waste.”

If the feelings her rescuer had caused had rocked and shocked her, the ones that rocketed through her at the sound of the new masculine voice were like the finale at a huge fireworks show. Only one man had the power to deliver that feeling to her body; and the last time she had seen him...was over a year ago.

It can’t be!

The man blocking her view stepped back and allowed their eyes to meet. Standing before her was none other than the one who had shown her an incredible weekend of pleasure and then walked out of her life, leaving her heartbroken. Dimitri Androcles Melonakos.

Golden eyes met rich brown and both people’s breaths hitched.

Dimitri froze. When he had been called down to the restaurant to do an “escorting” job of a tourist, he’d felt a growl of anger. He was 12

Aliyah Burke

supposed to be on vacation and he didn’t want to baby-sit some lost person who couldn’t find her way back to the hotel where she had been staying. Hell, he didn’t even
want
to be on vacation! He was
so
bored.

But the cousin who’d called had said AJ was fighting his attraction for her and didn’t think it would be wise to allow him to escort the cute American.

Cute American.
Well, that was one hell of an understatement. The woman who sat on the blue leather booth seat was way more than just cute. He knew every inch of her body; each curve was committed to memory. The taste of her skin was imprinted in his brain.

Three days, two nights of incredible and exquisite pleasure was what they had shared with one another. The emotions he had begun to feel for this woman had been off the charts, and they had frightened him. Since that weekend, Dimitri had seen her from a distance, but had not ever spoken to her again. Not even at the wedding of their mutual friends.

Now, he was across the world from where he had left her only to find they were, once again, face to face. His every wet dream sat dressed in pink, her wavy hair pulled up off her thin neck into a high ponytail.

Ilanderae Nycks.

Staring at her took him back to the time they had last spent together, the weekend they had rented a cabin along the beach and used their time together to make love and play. Away from anyone who might know them, away from prying eyes. Time for just the two of them. Then, he had left, leaving her with more unanswered questions than answers.

The look in her light-chestnut eyes holding his own was anything but loving. It was stark animosity. But then she blinked and a small smile crossed her face. Sliding out of the booth, Landi stood beside AJ.

“This, my dear,” AJ said as his hand settled on the small of her back, “is my cousin, Dimitri. He will see you safely back to the hotel where you are staying. I will be by this evening to take you to dinner.”

His fingers danced along the smoothness of her pink shirt.

“Thank you, AJ,” she purred softly. “I can’t wait to see you again. My name is Ilanderae Nycks, but everyone calls me Landi. Pick me up at seven.” Light-brown eyes tipped up to meet the sparkling green ones of the man beside her who nodded his agreement.

Dimitri's Moon

13

Dimitri gritted his teeth. Stepping forward, he nodded brusquely. “Are you ready, ma’am?”

“Of course.” Her response had as much warmth in it as a polar ice cap. That fact wasn’t lost on anyone there.

Reaching out his hand, Dimitri waited for her to take it. Instead, she smiled up again at his cousin and walked right past him to the door, where she paused, tossed her ponytail, and looked over her shoulder at him. Impatience was all over her expression.

With a sigh, Dimitri followed and held the door for her. “Where are you staying?” he asked as she waved to his cousin
again
before they finally left the restaurant.

The moment they were out of sight of the establishment, Landi stopped walking and glared at the man beside her. “I don’t need or want you to take me anywhere. I’ll be fine.” Tossing her head once more, she began to walk off without another word.

Two steps were as far as she got. A firm hand jerked her back around to face him. An involuntary groan left both of them as they touched. Licking his firm lips, Dimitri shook his head. “I don’t think so, sweetheart. My cousin wants you to have an escort and I will do just that. It’s too damn dangerous for you to be alone here.”

“I think I am in more danger from you, Dimitri Melonakos. Just tell your cousin you escorted me. I don’t really care what you say. I just want you away from me!” She jerked back from his touch as if it burned.

Golden flames burned in his leonine gaze. “Don’t challenge me, sweetheart. We both know how we react to one another. How much you want to bet you are wet right now?”

BOOK: Dimitri's Moon
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