Take a cruise around Mykonos with the hero and heroine, Stephano and Ashley.
Ted led her to a sidewalk café where a sign greeted the tourists in Greek and English: Welcome to Kaffe Paradizio. Proper attire required. NO bikinis or half bikinis on premises.
Ashley snorted inwardly. At least here, she wouldn’t feel out of place...
How had that Greek woman, Elena, managed to inflame Grandpa George with a love that endured a fifty-year separation?
Irritation pinched Ashley’s insides. Her own romances had never lasted more than a year, earning Grandpa’s reproachful looks and his never-wavering advice. Look for a Greek man who can love you unconditionally. Did Greek men belong to a special brand of lovers whose passion could survive the test of time and distance?
“Nothing beats the view of Mykonos from the sea.” Pride underlined Stefano’s casual assessment.
"I’ll get the boat closer to Chora.” Stefano turned to Ashley. “It’s the downtown area of Mykonos."
The Athena glided through the water and gained speed. The island shrank to a wide ribbon, and she could hardly detect its landmark, the famous three mills of Mykonos that heralded the tourists as they approached the island.
Stefano opened the side windshield and let the breeze invade the pilot station. “What’s your pleasure?”
With a toss of her head, Ashley flung her hair back and took a deep breath. “Can we stay close enough to the shore to discover the beaches?”
“Absolutely. This little cruise is all yours.”
Exhilaration filled her heart. She steered a superb ship and the captain was determined to please her. “Thank you, Stefano. I really appreciate you taking the time to show me your beautiful island.”
“We’re passing Korfos. Keep straight. The main island is looping into a cape. Now you can see Agios Ioannis—St. Jeanne Beach there. It’s small but picturesque.” He handed her a pair of binoculars and she scanned the beach.
Blood rushed to her cheeks at the sight of the topless bathers lying on towels or relaxing on lounge chairs. A couple hours ago, she’d been soaking up the sun on a similar chair—in a similar pose. Good thing Stefano had been lazing in a café. Besides, he didn’t know her at the time and wouldn’t have noticed her in the crowd.
Lowering the binoculars, she glanced at him. His face expressionless, he stared at the horizon and hadn’t noticed her embarrassment. “We are crossing a strait between Mykonos and the ancient island of Delos. I’ll handle the helm while you enjoy the view. The rocky islet offers an impressive exhibit of columns, temple remains, and statues of lions.”
Ashley shifted to the other side of the pilot station and adjusted the binoculars to her eyes while Stefano took back the control of his boat.
“Delos is the birthplace of Apollo. His mother, the nymph Leto, was seduced by the god of gods, Zeus,” Stefano explained while Ashley admired the sculptural ruins of sanctuaries. “When his wife, the goddess Hera, learned of his treachery she banished the pregnant young nymph from earth.”
“What happened to Leto?” she asked, genuinely interested in the sad love story. Had all the Greek maids been destined to suffer because of love? She had Greek blood in her veins and wanted to hear of a happy ending.
GREEK ENCOUNTER, available at amazon.com for $2.99