New excerpts from The Throne of Olympus Book One: Blood Bond.
CHAPTER 3—THE MESSY DETAILS
Lena picked over her saganaki. She pondered why Gaby and Sophia wanted Gabriel and her to be together. “Gaby, why are trying to force me on your brother?”
He can be really difficult as I’m sure you’ve noticed…but he wasn’t always like that.”
“What do you mean?”
Gaby wanted to explain Gabriel’s anger to Lena. She wanted to tell her he was angry with their parents because they died. He was angry with a former girlfriend for betraying him with his best friend. However, Gaby refused to betray her brother by telling his personal tragedies.
“Things can happen in our lives to change us. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes for the worse. Let’s just say it’s been years of slow healing for Gabriel and leave it at that.”
“Okay, but why me?”
It was a spark, a gleam in his eyes no matter how hard he tried to hide it. Whenever he came around Lena that spark was there. The tension between them was a dead giveaway. Gaby and Sophia could see that attraction.
“Gabe likes you…and you like him.”
“No I don’t!”
“At night when you’re sleeping he checks on you. Cyprus was outside the door so much because Gabe does like you. He cares about you—even defended you to Chloe. He’s just afraid to get close. We’re hoping you can change that.”
Gabriel always seemed to be disgusted with Lena around. The Gabriel Gaby was speaking about never showed that side of himself, at least not to Lena.
“Even if I did like him, and I’m not saying I do, he’s with Chloe.”
This was a minor detail as far as Gaby was concerned. Gabriel and Chloe didn’t have a real relationship. “She’s not his type at all. He wants to be with someone he could never truly love to protect his heart. What you think the two of them have, don’t let that keep you from having something great. Gaby winked. “Gabe really is a great guy.”
Lena lowered her head. She knew all about protecting her heart. That was probably the one thing Gabriel and she could agree on. “I don’t do things like that, Gaby.”
“Grief, Lena, it’s not like they’re married. We all do things like that sometimes. Haven’t you ever gone after something or someone you wanted before? It’s no big deal.”
For Lena it was a big deal. I can’t be that person. It wouldn’t be worth it and I don’t want to go after Gabriel. We would make each other miserable.”
“No, Lena, miserable would be Chloe marrying into the family or our Uncle Mikos picking a mate for Gabriel. We’d have to get along with her whether we liked her or not. Can you imagine Gabriel married to just anyone? It would be a disaster.”
Lena laughed. “A mate? What is he…an animal? Do you guys really believe Gabriel would marry me or that I would even consider marrying him? I say let you uncle deal with your brother’s love life.”
“You can’t mean that, Lena. We’ve seen the stolen looks between you both. There’s something there for sure.”
“Gaby, your brother would have a better chance of falling in love and marrying a chosen bride.”
“Falling in love? This isn’t about falling in love! It’s about the family, the right wife, timing and things to come. Falling in love would be a bonus and at least Gabriel would be given a chance to be happy with you. He likes you, Lena. Give him a chance to prove it.”
“What things to come? What are you talking about?”
“Well, we’re sort of important in Greece. Certain things are expected of our family, that’s all. Gabriel, has an important duty to fulfill.”
“You mean like royalty, a prince or a king?” Lena snickered. “Sorry, Gaby, my crown is in the shop.”
Gaby wasn’t laughing.
Royalty indeed; Gabriel’s duty was important to the Andros family and generations to come. There was no way she could explain the utter importance to Lena. She had already revealed more than she should have.
“Never mind, you wouldn’t understand. You have us judged as one of those families and maybe we are, but we love our brother and the least we can want for him is a chance at a little happiness. Chloe doesn’t make him happy and I guarantee that whomever our uncle picks isn’t going to make him happy either.”
Lena was beginning to feel pity for the Andros siblings. At the same time an arranged marriage wasn’t worth pondering. She wanted the magic of love; a love grander than in any fairytale. Maybe her expectations were silly and unrealistic, but that’s what she wanted. “I’m just thinking out loud here, Gaby, but why don’t you guys let Gabriel pick his own wife?”
“If it was that easy, we wouldn’t bother getting involved. No, Gabriel will allow Uncle Mikos to make the choice if he can’t. He’s our father’s brother and it is customary in our family for the father’s brother to take over certain duties if the father is no longer around.”
“I’m sorry, Gaby. I wish I could help.”
Gaby shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll find someone suitable for him.” She sounded sincere and Lena believed her. Gaby had already found someone suitable for her brother or rather someone suitable had found them. She would never give up trying to push Gabriel and Lena together.