Terzakis had come into her life and laid it to waste. An immense bitterness gripped Sarah. The emotion was so intense, it literally frightened her.' Hartwell”. The sound of that voice halted her in her tracks. That dark, accented drawl cut into her like a razor. She shuddered. Slowly sheraised her head. He stood several feel away. A male few would overlook. He had to be at least six feet three. His superbly tailored dark grey suitoutlined broad, muscular shoulders and long, lean legs. The fabric and the cut alone screamed expense. He had the lethal, inborn grace of a wildanimal and the intimidating and instinctive authority of a man born to command.Sarah stared in disbelief as he extended a lean brown hand. The long fingers, she noticed absently, were beautifully shaped. 'Please permitme to offer my most sincere condolences on your sister's tragic death,' he murmured in a taut undertone.Sarah took a quick backward step, repulsed by the threat of any form of bodily contact. 'What are
doing here?' she demanded shakily.'You left an urgent message with my secretary,' he reminded her.'Callie made me phone, but I didn't ask for
to come, Terzakis,' Sarah breathed jerkily. 'I asked for your brother.''Damon is in Greece.' Alexis Terzakis watched her with impassive eyes as dark as a winter's night. 'I have already informed him of your sister's death. He is most deeply distressed,' he asserted. A hysterical laugh escaped Sarah.
she gasped incredulously.'I would like to see my nephew,' Alexis responded, ignoring her response with supreme cool.'No!' Sarah gritted, her slight body stiffening with a sudden rush of raw aggression that came from fathoms deep down inside her. She hatedand detested Alex Terzakis more than any man alive. Her hatred had festered over many months. Now it was like a cancer inside her, eating awayuntil it consumed every other emotion.'Your right is no greater than mine-----'
Sarah echoed half an octave higher. 'You dare to talk about rights after what you did to Callie? You have no rights over Callie's child,no rights whatsoever! You sicken me!''You are distraught,' Alex Terzakis informed her with apparent calm, but she was not fooled. A dark line of blood had risen over his highcheekbones and his mouth had flattened into a pale line.People did not speak to Alex Terzakis in such a tone. He was fabulously rich and terrifyingly powerful. His minions bowed and scraped. Hisfamily walked in awe of him. His word was law. He did not expect opposition. The media had published several bloodcurdling stories about whathappened to those foolish enough to challenge Alex Terzakis in business. But Sarah had no fear of him. Sarah would have given twenty years of her life to have the power to
Alex Terzakis as he had hurt her sister.'You murdered her... you killed her with unkindness. I hope you're satisfied now!' Sarah shot back at him with raw venom.' Hartwell.' A strong hand caught her wrist as she attempted to walk past him."Let go of me, you swine!' Sarah hissed in outrage.'Were it not for the fact that I am capable of making allowances for your understandable grief, I would demand an apology,' Alex slashed downat her from his imposing height, tiger's eyes raking her enraged face. 'But this is not the place for such a confrontation. Compose yourself before Ilose
temper!'Sarah was shivering as though she were caught in a force-ten gale. Outright fury controlled her as he retained that bruising hold on her wrist.She lifted her free hand and hit blindly up at that dark, arrogant face with all her strength. He released her with an incredulous growl, a lean handflying up to one sculpted cheekbone.Sarah staggered back. 'Don't ever come near me again!' she slung wildly, dimly shocked by that raw surge of uncharacteristic violence. She could not remember ever striking another human being before. Even as a child she had been a pacifist.For a split-second, she collided with splintering golden eyes, incandescent with disbelief. And then she tore her gaze from his and forcedherself to walk straight-backed down the corridor and out of the hospital.She was in shock, so deep in shock that she didn't even know where she was going. Callie was dead. She could not yet accept that. Their parents had died in a car crash when Sarah was seventeen. There had been no money. Callie had only been eleven.'Look after Callie,' her mother had moaned repeatedly in Intensive Care. Mary Hartwell had still been fretting about her youngest child whenshe'd breathed her last.Sarah had left school, given up all hope of any further education and concentrated on her sister's needs. She had persuaded her father'scousin Gina to let them live with her. With Gina in the background, the social services had allowed Sarah to keep her sister. Sarah had worked as awaitress. Every day she had come home to cook and clean and tidy up after Gina, who had regarded her as unpaid domestic help and had, in addition, taken almost every penny of her meagre wages. As soon as she was eighteen, Sarah had found other accommodation. She had done her utmost to give Callie a secure and loving home. Shehad made her sister her number one priority. And Callie had thrived. A golden girl with the long-legged lithe good looks of a Californian blonde.Smart into the bargain, Sarah observed with helpless pride. It hadn't been easy to keep her lively extrovert sister's mind on the necessity of studyingto get on in the world.But Sarah had managed it. Callie had passed her A levels and gone on to university to study languages. Sarah had been asproud as any mother could have been. She had taken on another job part-time in the evenings so that Callie wouldn't be short of money. Everythinghad been going so well before Damon Terzakis had entered her sister's life.'I've met this truly fabulous Greek!' Callie had gushed down the phone. 'He's incredibly handsome and rich and crazy about me...''Sounds too good to be true,' Sarah had murmured tautly, disconcerted by Callie's excitement. Callie's boyfriends normally came and wentwithout Callie enthusing about any of them. A beauty from her early teens, Callie had taken young men very much in her stride.'I'll bring him over to meet you some time soon,' Callie had promised.But weeks had passed before Sarah had finally met Damon. He had been twenty-five,- boyishly good-looking and full of careless charm. Hislustrous brown eyes had helplessly followed Callie's every move. He had talked to Sarah as though she were Callie's mother rather than her sister,painstakingly courteous and deferential. By the end of the evening, Sarah had felt like a middle-aged matron of at least fifty.Damon had gone out of his way to stress that his intentions were serious. Reaching for Callie's hand, he had said, 'I love your sister very muchand I want to marry her.'Behind her polite smile, Sarah had ironically been appalled. She had considered Callie far too young to make such a commitment. She hadworried that Callie would abandon her studies outright or, at the very least, allow romance to take over to the detriment of her work. But Sarah hadbeen too sensible to allow her feelings to show. One hint of opposition and Callie was likely to rebel.Her sister was headstrong and opinionated.Only tact and diplomacy were likely to win Sarah a hearing.'Of course marriage,' Damon had stated smoothly, 'it would be in the future.'Sarah had rewarded him with a beaming smile. 'I think that's very sensible,' she had said. 'Both of you have all the time in the world.''Don't talk platitudes,' Callie had snapped, withdrawing her hand from Damon's abruptly.'But we have already discussed this, Callie
Damon had protested and, turning his attention back to Sarah, he had added, 'Our love mustbe seen to have stood the test of time if I am to have any hope of winning my brother's consent to our marriage.'