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— CHAPTER 4: Manhattan —
*– JUNE (PRESENT DAY), ATHENS, GREECE –*
“Jonathan, you were a lot harder to find than I thought.”
I felt my whole world rocked as I recognized the voice. Perhaps it was the yacht. Even tied up at its berth, the boat swayed gently on the harbor waves. But the point is, my entire sense of balance went off-kilter as Cassandra called my real name.
I hadn’t seen her in three months, and as I jerked my head around to her in surprise, I was awestruck by her beauty and reminded of the very first time I’d ever seen her. She was tall, easily my height and even a little taller in her heels. She was devastatingly attractive, with sky blue eyes that now sparkled as she approached me. And I felt my heart fill up with nostalgic love as I remembered just how special she had truly been to me.
Unfortunately, the mere sight of her also reminded me of all my recent tragedy. I remembered getting the news that Sharpley and Matthews had absconded with over four billion dollars of my money. I remembered Crystal Ward pointing a gun at my face. And I remembered Ashlyn wailing in anguish over the phone that Taylor was in the hospital and that my only son was dead.
I didn’t want to remember. JJ’s death had destroyed my family. Taylor survived, but had her breakdown. Ashlyn had needed to get away from the situation, taking Joey with her. And even though Cassandra had done her very best to keep me sane, I’d finally cracked myself and simply run away from it all.
For almost three months, I had escaped the trials and tribulations of being Jonathan Kwong, Billionaire. Tom Eriksen was a billionaire, too. But Tom Eriksen didn’t have any of the attachments or burdens that weighed Jonathan down. Tom could just party, drink, and screw every nubile chick he could get his hands on. And even though just a few hours ago I’d decided I needed to go back to America, to get back my wife, my girlfriend, and my daughter, this fresh reminder of Jonathan’s pain made me want to retreat inside of Tom Eriksen once again.
But it wasn’t up to me anymore. Cassandra had found me. The game was over, wasn’t it? I nodded to her and greeted in resignation, “Hi, Cassandra.”
“That was clever, Jonathan,” she stated in that alluring Aussie accent as she walked up and came to a stop a few feet away from me, her heels clacking on the yacht’s deck. “I spent a month trying to find whatever new shell company you’d created to withdraw from your accounts before finally realizing you were using an existing shell company. A week ago I tracked you down to Mykonos. But it wasn’t until new credit card charges showed up in Athens that I finally caught up to you here.”
I shrugged. “You still found me.”
“You knew I would eventually.”
I sighed and nodded.
Up until this point, Vivienne was still standing in my arms. She’d watched this little exchange in wide-eyed surprise. But as Cassandra and I went silent for a moment, she piped up, “Tohm, why is she calling you Jonathan?”
I took a deep breath and pulled myself away from Vivienne’s grasp, stating, “It’s my real name. I *told* you that you don’t really know me.”
“And… who is this woman?” Vivienne asked warily, her eyes darting back and forth between me and Cassandra. She also took a step back, pulling herself out of my arms. “Is this your wife?” she added fearfully.
Cassandra chuckled, drawing the French girl’s attention. I looked back and forth between the two of them, watching them size each other up. Cassandra, as she was wont to do in a situation like this, drew herself to her full six-foot height and looked down imperiously at the younger girl. Dressed in a formal business suit and perched on heels, she was even more imposing. Cassandra the Amazon had cowed more than one woman around me through simple physical intimidation.
Vivienne, at 5’9″, was not a small woman herself. At first, the dirty-blonde French beauty stiffened her spine and proudly thrust out her chest, demanding her own respect. But she turned to look at me when I started chuckling over the two women having their showdown. And Vivienne further relaxed when I shook my head and answered, “No. This is Cassandra Cooper, my personal assistant.”
Vivienne looked over at the tall blonde again, and I caught Evania standing just a bit further away, also gawking at us in surprise. I needed to make introductions all around, so looking at my assistant, I gestured and said, “Cassandra, allow me to introduce Vivienne Bourgoin, visiting here on holiday. That is Evania Koteas, my valet here in Europe.”
And I finished by gesturing to myself while looking at Vivienne and Evania, “And my name is Jonathan Kwong.”
Vivienne just frowned. Clearly, the name meant nothing to her. Evania paused, looking at me carefully with her eyebrows furrowed. But behind me, the Captain of the yacht swore something in Greek and then promptly fainted away, his slightly overweight body dropping flat on the deck with a meaty thud.
Cassandra smirked at me while glancing back at the illegal bahis Captain, unconscious with two of his crew kneeling down to attend to him. “Guess you’ve had an interesting few months.”
Wanting to get a little privacy, the three women and I settled into the main lounge of the yacht. Vivienne was still visibly wary of me, and before anything else was really said, I offered, “We can still get you to the airport, my dear.”
Immediately, Vivienne’s expression hardened and she glared at me. “Your name does not change anything. I still love you and I want to stay with you.”
I sighed and Cassandra shot me a look. I glanced over at her with my own look that said, ‘I’ll explain’, and she settled down. Evania remained quiet, but was quite focused on me.
Taking a deep breath, I addressed first Vivienne and Evania, saying, “Everything I told you, except for my name, is true. I’m 32. I’m American. My mother is Chinese from Hong Kong. And I am a fairly wealthy man.”
“You are a famous American billionaire,” Evania now put in. “I still don’t recognize the face, but I have heard of the name. Why are you here?”
I exhaled and looked at my hands, which were clasped together on top of the table. “I was running away from my life.”
“You said your wife left you,” Vivienne stated.
I closed my eyes and fought back the urge to cry. Even though JJ had died last October, the wound still felt fresh. Cassandra picked up on my mood and reached over to rub my shoulder with quite the familiar touch. Both Vivienne and Evania noticed and stiffened a bit. “It doesn’t matter,” I said finally.
The girls let it drop.
I took another deep breath and then looked at Cassandra. “Your timing is perfect. I was just making arrangements to go back.”
My gorgeous blonde assistant smiled. “You’re coming home?”
I nodded, looking down. I had no plan, no idea how I would put the pieces of my life back together. But I knew I would have to begin by returning to New York.
Cassandra smiled but then arched her eyebrows at the two younger European girls across the table from us.
I sighed and gestured. “For the past few months, Evania has been doing an admirable job taking your place.” Cassandra’s eyebrows went up and I immediately added, “Similar, but different. No one could ever replace you.”
I then had to look straight at Evania and state, “You’ve been incredible. I always knew Cassandra would be in America, and my offer still stands. I’d like you to come back with me.”
Evania took a deep breath, glanced at Cassandra, and then nodded. “I do not wish to leave you,” she stated sincerely.
“What about me?” Vivienne pouted.
I exhaled. “I still think you belong in France, my dear.”
“Let ME decide where I belong,” she huffed indignantly. “And I want to be with YOU.”
I shook my head. “I’m not what you’re looking for. I’m older, married, and I’ve got emotional problems. I won’t be able to spend any time trying to make you happy or show you America. And I don’t need another girlfriend, Vivienne.”
“Then I will work for you, like Evania,” Vivienne insisted. “I have some skills… _Please_. I will do *anything* for you!”
I held my temples with my fingertips, rubbing slowly. I was getting tired of this runaround and a big part of me just wanted to physically lift Vivienne and dump her in a cab with orders to go to the airport. The other part of me wanted to physically lift her up and plant her face-down on a bed so I could grab her asscheeks, spread them wide, and have my way with her until this tension had boiled out of me.
She seemed to get my mood and pressed her case. “I won’t leave. Even if you send me to the airport, I won’t leave. I will come back here and do everything I can to find you. I will fly to America. And if you are this famous man, people will know how to find you.”
I exhaled. “To what end? I’m going back to my _wife_.”
“Then I will be your mistress,” she shot back. I winced at the term, and Vivienne noticed. Meekly, she added, “Or whatever you choose me to be. Please. I beg you. Do not send me away.”
Vivienne started giving me those big doe eyes, the soft brown irises doing a better job of pleading her case than all of her verbal arguments. And like it or not, practical or not, the young French girl had become very, very special to me over these past few days. I simply didn’t have it in me to abandon her.
So exhaling slowly, I turned and looked to Cassandra, who was eyeing me curiously. And shrugging, I simply asked, “Did you bring the jet?”
It had been interesting to watch the girls jockey for position as we disembarked the boat and started loading Cassandra’s hired Bentley Continental Flying Spur. I simply moved myself to the rear left passenger seat, dropped in, and let the boat crew load us up. Cassandra hopped in on the other side and then after a moment’s thought to count up the number of guests, she smirked and slid herself over to the middle seat. It was a tight illegal bahis siteleri fit for the six-foot Amazon, but it put her in the only spot beside me.
But rather than sit up front with the driver or take the right passenger seat, Vivienne actually came around to my side, opened the door, and whimpered at me like a lost puppy. I took one look at her pretty face and simply melted. Chuckling to myself, I shook my head in disbelief and then gestured for Cassandra to slide over to the right.
So _*I*_ ended up in the middle seat. Vivienne happily hopped in next to me, wrapping herself around my left arm. And Evania supervised the loading before moving up and settling in next to the driver. If my Greek valet seemed put out after spending the last few months as my right arm, she didn’t show it. Indeed, for now she was in her element, doing everything she could to take care of our arrangements and supervise all our attendants to smooth out our transfer.
Surprisingly, Cassandra didn’t assert herself to take over, the way she usually dominated all of my operational affairs. Though my longtime assistant was more than capable of getting us around Europe, Greece was still Evania’s home, and as we moved from parking lot to highway to airport and eventually the private hangar, Cassandra let the native girl handle almost all the liaison work with the various Greek transit officials. Instead, she focused on me. And in fact, if I didn’t know better, Cassandra seemed to actually be _fawning_ over me, like a loving girlfriend instead of an assistant.
Once we boarded the plane and after I took a seat, Cassandra immediately moved beside me, dropping her hand onto my leg. She simply moved as she always had, as if she knew exactly what she was doing and where she was going. The other two girls would not have been able to cut her off if they tried, and indeed, Vivienne bit her lip before quickly moving to the pair of seats across the table from us, with Evania joining her as well.
The two European girls then started looking at each other before looking around the private jet. From both their wide-eyed looks, neither of them had ever been aboard one. And when the jet’s engines roared to life, both girls squeaked and held each other’s hand. Though they’d only met five days ago, they still knew each other better than Cassandra. And the pair of them seemed to be bonding over their own awe and nervousness at what was going on. In a matter of minutes, we would be departing to take the two girls far, far away from home, and already they were leaning on each other for support.
Everyone was quiet through the takeoff. The girls were staring out the windows, watching the world shrink away as we ascended higher and higher into the air. Cassandra seemed lost in her own thoughts, although she slipped her arm around mine, holding onto me possessively in a way that made me think she never wanted to let go. It was an unusual display of emotion for her, especially in front of the others. And although she’d typically been aloof when it came to my flirtations with other women, I thought that Cassandra had been going out of her way to establish a dominant position in front of the two newcomers.
Then again, from the way her eyes focused on me, I got the distinct impression that Cassandra simply missed me these past three months. It was, by far, the longest we’d ever been apart. And the strain of being away from me, unable to find me, had put cracks in her usually calm and collected demeanor.
Once the plane leveled off, our stewardess came by to ask if we wanted any drinks or snacks. We all ordered something, and then the European girls turned their attention across the table to me. Evania looked like she had things she wanted to ask, although her docile nature prevented her from voicing them right now. Vivienne, on the other hand, had no such restraint. “Where are we going, exactly?” she asked.
“To my home. It’s in Montauk, not too far from New York City.”
“Where is your wife?”
I arched a questioning eyebrow at Cassandra.
“Still at _Promises_,” my assistant confirmed to me. “She’s doing better. But her doctors told me she relapsed last week.”
“How did she get the-?” I bit my lip and frowned. “Nevermind. I don’t want to know.”
The girls looked at my quizzically, but I just shook my head as I returned my attention to them. “It’s a long story. But she’s in Malibu, California.”
“And you intend to go to her?” Vivienne asked.
“When I’m ready, yes.”
“Can I come with you?”
I frowned. “Not on that trip, I don’t think.”
Vivienne frowned. She was thoughtful for a moment before asking, “Do you need to hide me from her?”
“No.” I shook my head. “You wouldn’t be the first girlfriend outside of my marriage.”
“Then I *am* your girlfriend?” she asked with a note of hope in her voice.
I sighed and rubbed my forehead. Why did I bring her? Vivienne was an extra complication I really didn’t need right now. But at the same time, I knew I would have been in even more emotional canlı bahis siteleri pain if I’d left her behind. The girl was clearly infatuated with me, and she had been doing much to make me happy. Besides, I really enjoyed her presence, and I also felt I owed her something after quite literally “using” her and her friends for the past week.
But to have her as a full-fledged girlfriend? With all the public scrutiny, dating, and all that? I didn’t know that I had enough time or energy to devote to something like that. Already, I hadn’t had the heart to just abandon her in Athens, so I was stuck with her now. But if she quickly became disillusioned with this little trip and expressed a desire to return to France, while I’d miss her, another part of me would appreciate having one less thing to worry about.
“I don’t know yet,” I finally replied. “You are my guest. We’ll have to wait and see about anything else, okay?”
It wasn’t the answer she was looking for, but Vivienne bit her lip and nodded.
In a quieter voice, Evania spoke up. “And what about me?”
I arched an eyebrow and turned my attention to the exotic-looking brunette.
Evania glanced at Cassandra, her dark-eyes wavering. “I’d thought I could still serve you, Mr. Erik… uh, Mr. Kwong. It has been my life’s pleasure to make arrangements and organize activities and do all these things for you. But… you clearly already have someone to do these things for you.” Evania gestured to the plane around us. “I want to be with you, sir. But honestly, I don’t know how effective I can be for you in America.”
I felt for her. Evania was torn between her desire to serve me and her own feelings of inadequacy. And on impulse, I reached across the table, opening my hand to hers. She reached out and took it, calming visibly when I squeezed her hand. “What we have shared is not love. But there will always be a place for you with me if you want it,” I stated firmly.
The lovely Greek girl gave me a hopeful smile.
After those two short discussions about roles and security for the two younger girls, it was Cassandra’s turn to squeeze my arm again. But rather than talk openly in front of Vivienne and Evania, my assistant just looked at me with those expressive sky blue eyes, asking for privacy.
Nodding, I looked across the table and said, “Vivienne, Evania, I will be expecting the two of you to help each other get adjusted to this new life. I realize you did not know each other a week ago, but you have gotten along well these past few days. Neither of you is a rival to the other; I enjoy the company of you both, for different reasons. And there will be times over the next few days and weeks that it would be good to have someone for support. Can you do that for each other? Can you do that for me?”
The girls were still holding hands, and they squeezed them together firmly. Smiling and nodding to each other, they said, “Yes”. (Well, Vivienne chirped “Oui!”)
I just smiled at them and then gestured for my assistant to get up. “Cassandra and I have many things we need to discuss. We have not seen each other in a long time, and I must put many affairs back in order. Please excuse us.”
The girls just nodded, and then Cassandra led me to the private bedroom at the back of the jet. My mind raced through a million things that needed to be resolved, ranging from the all the business deals I’d missed at JKE, to the household and its staff, to Ashlyn and our daughter, and of course, Taylor in Malibu.
But Cassandra was a little more direct in telling me what she wanted to resolve. The instant the door closed, she grabbed the front of my shirt and physically yanked me on top of her as she fell backwards across the bed. And then holding my cheeks in her hands, my ravishing blonde assistant breathed huskily, “Make love to me, Jonathan. I’ve missed you so much.”
Given that we hadn’t made love in more than three months, I was surprised at how unhurried Cassandra and I felt. More to the point, Cassandra hadn’t had *any* sex since we were last together, not even from another girl. I didn’t know that at the time, but if I had, I would have been even more in awe at her level of self-control.
I suppose it made sense: Cassandra had always valued the intimacy between us more than the physical act itself. She was a part of me, more than just assistant or lover or friend. For as long as we’d been together, these three months notwithstanding, there had been zero secrets between us. Work, Family, Finance, Social: Cassandra was always by my side. Indeed, she knew more about me, and shared more of my life with me, than anyone else on the planet.
So she took her time undressing me, her sterling blue eyes focusing intensely as each layer of clothing was removed from my body. When she was done with my top, she rolled us over and went to work on my bottoms. And after stripping me bare, she sat up and coolly slipped her own clothes off as well.
Cassandra’s industrial-strength bra was the last article to go, freeing her magnificently large round tits. The big reveal had the desired effect on my lower anatomy, and I was hard as a rock before she took me in her hand. And holding onto that throbbing tool of pleasure, the gorgeous bombshell bent over to give me a tender kiss.
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