CHAPTER 4: WEDDING RECEPTION

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I gave him an angry look, but before I could say anything, Rose called him to introduce him to a group of Greek professors.

This unexpected information wiped out the smile from my face instantly and I felt my temples burn with anger. Why should Colin come here now? And what was this little plot with Don suggesting we should work out the misunderstanding? To my eyes, there was no misunderstanding.

I realized with surprise that after I had used his thought as a distraction on the first day I had been alone with Christopher, I had completely forgotten about Colin.

I felt Christopher standing behind me before I heard him say

'What did Don tell you? You look very upset.'

'Colin will be at the reception.' I replied coldly.

'Colin?'

'Colin is my ex. We had been together for two years until I found out ... he was cheating on me.' These two sentences summarize our little romance perfectly, I thought. There was nothing else to say. Colin belonged to the past.

Christopher looked worried and tried to read my face.

'So you'd rather we skipped the reception?' he asked.

'No, of course not. I can handle this.' I was determined not to let anything or anyone spoil that night.

'Sure you can. I'll be next to you the whole time.' he smiled reassuringly.

I wondered if he knew that all I cared about was looking into his eyes and being near him. For the last two weeks, I had become so used to his presence that I was counting the minutes until our next meeting. It is true that helping me with my presentation was, for the most part, an excuse to meet him every day, at least as far as it concerned me. I knew he must have had a secret agenda about me, but I could live with this, at least for now. He was probably waiting for the project works to commence to reveal his true intentions about it, or I should say Brantel's intentions, but he had not talked about the project not even once. I had chosen not to mention the project either but wait for his move instead. I liked to think of it as a kind of game, not much different from a game of chess, only I had offered him the advantage of the first move. Besides, I had always been obsessed with mysteries, as they had always been sort of vicarious pleasure for me. Christopher was my personal mystery.

There were certainly many gaps in Dr. Auburn's story, I was aware of that, as I was also certain by now that it had to be a very challenging story, having naively underestimated any possible danger, of course.

Half an hour later, we were walking into the large garden of "Xenios Hotel". A dark haired woman welcomed us and guided us to the large round table where Tina had arranged for Christopher and me to be seated, next to Rose, her Greek friend, Harry and his girlfriend Bessie.

The night was pretty cool and the crystal water of the large swimming pool on the eastern side of the garden was sending off a feeling of freshness. The place was filled up with round tables, covered with white linen tablecloths. I noticed a big rectangular table, decorated with flowers on the other side of the garden, which was probably the one for the newlyweds and their families. When the happy couple arrived, fireworks lit up the dark sky, scaring the birds off the nearby trees and making them fly frantically among the blazes of color.

Tina was absolutely astounding, the epitome of happiness. She stood proudly next to Niko, right in front of the large table where both of them gave a little show for their guests, a part of the traditional ritual of the Greek wedding. A waiter, standing beside them opened up a bottle of champagne, with impressive skill, and filled their glasses. They each took a sip, crossing their elbows without spilling a drop, which I found quite amazing. Another waiter had rolled a small table next to them with the wedding cake on it. According to the marital ritual, the groom, and the bride, holding a teaspoon each, took it in turns to feed each other with a small bite of the cake. A tingling sound of glass suddenly filled the place. It was coming from the guests' spoons, which they enthusiastically clinked against their crystal glasses.

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