Alejandro – Katie Dowe

“Is he available?” The tall, Adonis looking man with dense black hair and olive skin asked the superbly dressed assistant who had been with the shipping company for many years and who served Apollo Demetriou with impeccable loyalty. Not even his son was immune from the way she did things and Alejandro had learned that over the years. If his father was in an important meeting or on a conference call, he would not be admitted into his office until he was through. “He sent for you, so naturally he is.” Dorothea Cirillo said mildly, her expressionless dark eyes scanning the man’s face. “He said for you to go right in.” Her English was impeccable, and she could speak several languages, as this had been one of the requirements when she applied for the position. The other had been never to show a personal interest in the CEO of the company. She had no need to and had made sure that she was not included in with the others who had come and fallen for the man’s looks and sultry charms which he had passed onto his only child and heir. Apollo Demetriou was a ruggedly handsome man, but his son had surpassed him in good looks and left a string of broken hearts along his wake. “Papa, you are well?” Alejandro asked politely as he stepped into the spacious office with the elegant furnishings that served as the epicenter for the multi billion-dollar shipping industry. “Have a seat.” Apollo waved a hand to one of the chairs in front of the baronial desk. Alejandro sat on the edge of the chair, trying not to allow the apprehension to show. He had been called – no summoned was more like it and had made posthaste to attend to the meeting.


“How were your travels?” He shifted uncomfortably on the chair, a slight frown on his brow. His ‘travel’s as his father had so delicately put it was three months of touring on one of the sleek yachts that belonged to the shipping company where there had been excessive partying and an inordinate amount of drinking, combined with an extravagant party to celebrate his birthday. The champagne had flowed, and the rich food had cost a fortune. He remembered waking up one night with two strange women in the luxurious cabin, women he had no idea of their names. “It was interesting.” “I can see that.” Apollo opened the folder in front of him. “The accounts from your journey! It will be setting the company back several thousand euros.” “I thought I was spending my own money,” Alejandro said stiffly, refusing to feel guilty. “You don’t work Alejandro, so how would you possibly think that?” His father asked him mildly as he continued to study the accounts. “Several thousand euros in jewelry for a woman you just saw for two weeks? Clothing bill from Romano’s Greece for….” He looked at his son. “The same woman?” Alejandro shifted again, resentful that his actions were being questioned. “Am I not entitled to live my life?” “Not when you insist on living it so extravagantly.” “I will come into the office more if that is what you wish.

” “I wish that you don’t do me any favors. You turned twenty-nine just last week….” “I am sorry that I did not celebrate my birthday with you.” “Do you think this is meeting is about that?” Apollo stared at the handsome olive-skinned man with the superbly cut dark hair and intense dark eyes. He had married an American woman, one that he had met and fallen in love with when he was on a business trip to the states and brought her back to Athens to live with him. Donna-Lyn had given him a son and had died when that son was barely ten years old, leaving both of them adrift. He had ended up spoiling the boy, allowing him to get away with everything. He had been given the best education, going from the UK to the states. Alejandro was fluent in several languages and had earned a degree in finance and shipping, one that he had never put to use. Apollo had spent a long time during his son’s absence coming to a decision and he was going to enforce it no matter the objections. “You leave for America in two days.” Alejandro blinked at him. “May I ask the reason why? Is there some business venture there that needs my attention?” Apollo smiled slightly. “Then I would be sending one of the board members or someone in the management team instead. You have three months to find yourself a wife my son.

” Alejandro went rigid with shock. “Why?” “Because you need to settle down. You are old enough and I want to have a grandchild before I depart this life.” “Are you ill?” “I am as healthy as a horse.” “Then why should we be in such haste for me to settle down?” “Because it is time!” Apollo snapped. “You are one year away from being thirty Alejandro and you are insistent on changing women the way some men change underwear. It is time for you to take responsibilities and the way to start doing so is to marry someone and start a family.” “But in three months? Is that enough time?” “Three months,” Apollo said firmly. “At the end of that time of three months, you should be engaged and a date set for the wedding. Am I clear?” “You are very precise Papa.” Alejandro’s dark eyes smoldered with fury. “I am to march ahead to America at your behest and seek a wife on your say so. Is there anything else? Should I be made aware of ethnicity? Is she to be thin or fleshy? Should I examine her mouth to see if she has all of her teeth? Because surely we are shopping for horseflesh?” Apollo stared at him furiously. “I have spoiled you. I have given you everything money could possibly buy.

I have allowed you to have your own way since you were born because I felt guilty that you lost your Mama so soon. But I have to put my feet down and exercise my authority.” “And how far does this exercising of authority goes?” “If you do not do as I wish, your bank accounts will be frozen.” Alejandro stared at the man in shock. “You would go so far?” “I would go so far. And you will be taking a commercial flight when you leave here.” “I am not to fly on the jet?” “The jet is a company one and you are certainly not going on a company’s business.” Apollo said brusquely. “You are booked on a first-class seat and an apartment is leased in the company’s name. You are to fend for yourself – no maid will be assigned to you and I will not tolerate any scandal attached to your name while you are there. In short, Alejandro – you will walk the straight and narrow while you are there seeking your bride.” Alejandro stared at him dazedly. “I am to fend? How must I do that? I do not know how to run a household.” “You will of course learn.” “Have I been such a disappointment to you Papa that you would just send me to flounder in the wide-open ocean?” There was a bitter look on his handsome face as he stared at his father.

“You are sending me into that sea without a lifeboat or any safety net. Have I wronged you so grievously?” Apollo quelled the guilt at the look on his son’s face. Alejandro had taken his height, his Grecian look and something much more. His mother had been a striking dark-haired beauty and had passed on her patrician looks to her only son as well. The combination was incredible, and the boy possessed looks that most models would kill for. He had graced the covers of dozens of magazines, not only for his looks but his frequent escapades as well. He was friends with royalty and had been all over the world in pursuit of pleasure and Apollo had let him – thinking that he would come to his senses and settle down to start a family. But he should have known that the combination of wealth and looks meant that his son had more than his pick of women and would not think of settling down any time soon. The decision and burden of making him into a man rested with him and it settled heavily on his shoulders. “I am doing this for your own good. In time you will thank me.” “The time is not yet here.” Alejandro rose to his feet, the movement lithe and graceful. “Is that all Papa or do you wish to dictate my movements from this moment?” Apollo gave him a weary look. “I am not the enemy here son.

” “Why does it feel like you are? May I be on my way?” “I would like you to be present for supper tonight.” “Of course sir.” Alejandro gave a formal bow and without another word, left the office and closed the door with a snap. Apollo leaned back against the chair and closed his eyes wearily, the headache brewing. ***** “There is a nipple showing.” “Where?” “Here,” Jacqueline pointed to it. “I don’t see anything,” Barry complained as he peered over her shoulder. “I also passed it by editing and they said nothing about a nipple. You are too finicky honey.” “And finicky gets me what I need.” She told him firmly as she leafed through the glossies. “You know that I run a clean magazine Barry and I refuse to lower my standards. Big, Black & Beautiful stands for quality and I refuse to compromise. Women like us are objectified enough without having to show our charms in order for people to take notice of us.” “You don’t have that problem honey.

You are a size eighteen – five foot eight inches of Amazon beauty with the lustful gazes to prove it. If I was not certifiably gay I would be on you like white on rice.” “Your skinny white ass is not my type.” “Now who is objectifying whom?” He complained as he sat on the edge of her desk. “You want me to take all of them over?” “Not all. We could use a few of them. What happened to the African print I chose for Celia?” He grimaced at that. “I thought this would prove to be more seductive.” “And I am not looking for seductive. I am looking for classy and touching one’s roots.” “You are the boss.” “Damned right I am. If we have to stay here all night, we will get this done.” “I will get to work immediately.” Jackie watched him leave and turned her attention back to the photos in front of her.

She had started the magazine two years ago after quitting her editorial job at the publishing house in sheer frustration. She had started the magazine in the basement of the home she shared with her mother before her death. It had been rough going and she had practically walked the streets to try and get ads to carry the magazine through. The first edition had her posing on the cover, wearing a sarong type red and gold dress that highlighted her flawless cocoa brown complexion and her lush curves. She had been reluctant at first to be on the cover but her best friend, Margo had urged her to and had told her that she was perfect for the cover. Jacqueline Alaine Grooves had had the idea for the magazine since she had started to notice how women of her size were stared down on and bullied in school. Her mother, Jennifer Grooves had brought her up to be fiercely independent and fearless and she had never allowed anyone to make her feel less than she was. Girls – the most vicious of the species against their own kind had tried to make her ashamed but she had stood up for herself, sometimes even using her fists. She had embraced her sex, complexion and size and never allowed anyone to make her feel ashamed of whom she was. Her magazine was based on women like her because she was determined to highlight that beauty comes in different packages. Her models, the women who graced the covers and the inside of the magazine were normal, everyday women. She never used airbrush photos and only allowed a minimum of makeup, preferring to show the women in their natural beauty. The articles, some of which were written by her, talked about black culture and awareness and how the body was a temple and should be regarded as such. People – not only black women had started to buy the magazine and she had gained quite a number of followers over the two years. Jackie was twenty-nine years old and had not been in a relationship in close to a year, but she did not mind.

Her best friend Margo, who was ironically, white and thin had frequently told her that she portrayed this air of superiority that turned men off. But Jackie did not mind in the least. She had her magazine which kept her busy and the frequent dramas surrounding Margo and her life to keep her entertained. Taking up the glossies again, she did a thorough study to satisfy her taste. ***** “Darling, are you leaving?” “I am afraid so,” Alejandro pulled on his trousers and pulled the zipper up. “So soon?” “I have to be home for dinner.” The bitterness was still churning inside his gut at the ultimatum his father had thrown at him. He was to find a wife and in three months! The very thought of it sent the anger churning through his body. “I wish you would stay awhile,” Sara Prendergast was an English exchange student staying with an acquaintance of theirs for a year. He had met her at a party at the home at Ekali in Athens and had decided to accept her blatant invitation to take her to bed. Her slender white curves were flushed from their lovemaking and she had proven to be very adventurous. Alejandro felt a slight regret that this would be their last coupling. “I cannot be late for dinner.” “Are you sure?” He watched as she opened her thighs and used her fingers to stroke the swollen flesh. He hardened when she dipped her fingers into her wet warmth that he had just vacated.

“Maybe I can afford to be a little late.” He murmured. “I thought so.” She purred. Alejandro pulled his trousers down and climbed on top of her, grabbing the protection he had left on the night table. He was always careful in that regard. After all, he was a Demetriou and women would be very eager to trap him with the consequences of lovemaking. He was not taking any chance. ***** Apollo nodded to the maid hovering as soon as his son came striding in. Their home in Ekali was situated in one of the exclusive areas of Athens and was a two-story structure, the interior sumptuous in its luxury. “You are late.” “You could have started without me, Papa.” He said coolly as he took his seat at the other end of the table. “I am here at your command and in a day you will be rid of me.” “I don’t want to be rid of you.

” Apollo quelled his anger with great effort. He had sat behind his desk, battling with guilt at what he had set out to do but realized that it was the right thing. His informant had told him of his son’s visit to a ward of a friend of theirs and he did not imagine Alejandro went there to have tea and conversation with the girl. His son believed that he should accept every invitation that came his way and with no thought of the consequences. “How was the lovely Sara?” Alejandro stopped in the middle of taking his glass of water and stared at the man in dumbfound anger. “You had me followed?” “You are a Demetriou and you refuse to have your guard stay with you. I did what I am forced to do.” “And what pray tell is that Papa?” Alejandro thought that his anger had been spent but he was wrong. “None for me thanks.” He told the maid curtly as she moved to serve the grilled meat. He waited impatiently for the woman to serve his father and hurried from the room before continuing. “Is this how my life will be? Am I never to be thought of as an adult?” “When you start behaving like one. You were just not too long ago on an extended journey on the yacht where you had countless women at your disposal. I told you to start behaving like a responsible member of this family….” “You have made your point Papa.

” His dark eyes flashed as he emptied his glass of water and reached for the wineglass. “I have to curtail my activities on your say so. I will toe the line because in not doing so, I will run the risk of being disinherited.” “Not disinherited and as soon as you prove to me that you are no longer this person who goes around chasing after endless women….” “I do not chase.” Apollo’s mouth tightened at the lofty comment. “And that is the problem right there son, women allow you to think that you have a right to use and discard them at will. That has to stop now. I will no longer put up with it.” “Is that all Papa?” The sarcasm was thinly veiled. “Am I sufficiently chastened? May I go to my suite like a good little boy and pray for my sins?” “I would advise you to watch your tongue.” “Of course sir. I suddenly find that my appetite has disappeared. If you will excuse me?” “I do not want us to part on a bad note.” “Isn’t it a little late for that?” ***** “Girl, I insist that you take a seat and let me feed you.

When was the last time you ate?” Margo fussed as soon as she dropped onto the stool inside the cozy kitchen. “I think I ate a sandwich around two in the afternoon. But you are right, I am dead on my feet and I need alcohol.” “There is brandy in the cabinet and a bottle of wine in the cooler.” “Brandy, I think.” Jackie went to get it and poured a generous amount into a glass. “What did you cook?” “I saw this chicken recipe on Pinterest and decided to try it. Tell me what you think?” Margo was in between relationships now and whenever she had a breakup, she spent her time experimenting. The willowy brunette was a nurse at the local hospital and always seemed to attract the worst type of men. And no matter how much she swore that she would give men a break, it was a promise that was short in keeping. “One of these days you are going to kill both of us,” Jackie said dryly as she sat back down and pulled the dish towards her. “It smells good.” She sniffed. “It called for an ingredient I did not have but I made a substitute. Go on taste.

” Jackie did, and her tapered brows lifted in surprise. “It is very delicious.” “Great! Now tell me what kept you at the magazine until this hour. I worked two shifts and managed to make it home before you.”

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Updated: 8 May 2021 — 18:59

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