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Enjoy Chapter One of my conteporary romance eBook «Only you». If you like it, there is a button at the end which brings you directly to this free romance eBook on Wattpad. If you want to start reading the whole book right away, follow this link 

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ONLY you

«You don`t need me. You never did.«


First Chapter


«Elora, are you listening?» my dad’s stern voice filters through my thoughts and drags me back to our conversation. It’s the kind of voice he usually reserves for my sisters- Rhea mostly since she gets into the most trouble- when his agitation turns his voice rougher with a thick Greek accent. Never me, though, not in all my 20 years of living. Being at the receiving end of that tone along with the stony look on his face is enough to let my cheeks burn up in a rush of shame.

«Apologies, I didn’t catch the last part,» I say, rolling my shoulders back and correcting my posture. At least at that, my father seems a little pleased. 

When my mother’s soft hand gently comes to rest atop my right wrist, effectively redirecting my attention to her supportive half-smile, the prickle of unease in my stomach solidifies. It’s a gesture far too affectionate for this family. I turn back to my dad.

«He is a good man, Kamari mou,» my dad insists, the term of endearment flooding my heavy heart with more sadness. He’s barely called me that in the last few months. Ever since he’s started working out the terms of my engagement to a man of his choosing, a man twice my age and whom I have yet to meet, he’s been pulling away from me. Emotionally, that is. Not that he’s ever been warm but now his rare smiles are even rarer and our conversations are strained.

I know it’s his way of preparing for the day he needs to give me away. The day he’ll strengthen his business, solidify his position as the biggest merchant of Greek goods in North and Central America, and expand to the south by losing his firstborn. 

I always knew this day would come and I’ve never complained. As weird as that may sound, making a scene hasn’t once crossed my mind. Even though the thought of life as a dutiful wife and nothing more gives me the ick and turns my insides to ice with dread and sorrow. This is simply the way things go and if I protested, the burden would fall onto one of my sisters, making me an outcast and a coward. No, rather be a little unfulfilled than lose my place in my family.

We’re traditional that way, even though we live in San Francisco, California rather than Greece.

The rest of our short meeting in my dad’s office passes in a blur and before I know it, I am back in my room, unseeingly staring at my reflection as I brush my hair if only so my hands are occupied. I’m not sure what I’m feeling right now. My mind seems to be in a kind of daze and my heart has momentarily logged out. Better to stay active than to reflect on it.

There’s a soft knock on my door. A moment later, my mother’s face appears in my reflection behind me as she settles on the edge of my bed. For several long seconds, the room is silent apart from the sound of my hairbrush smoothly running through my long, dark hair. I stare at the waves as they straighten and bounce back, memorized by the simple motion and only distantly waiting for my mother to speak.

«You know your father and I only want the best of you. Leander is a fitting suitor, once you learn to look past the age difference. I see potential in your marriage, truly,» she starts, slightly stiffly since we’ve never done this before. She’s more than likely to feel uncomfortable and a little helpless, by the looks of it. In an attempt to put her at ease, I smile and blink her back into focus, nodding my head softly.

Despite my high hopes that that was the last of it, my mother clears her throat and keeps talking. «Now, I know this kind of arrangement is rather traditional. Still, we don’t live in the 18th century,» she chuckles, the sound trained so smoothly it almost sounds genuine. «What I mean is, the old rules and customs aren’t looked at the same nowadays.»

She clears her throat and rushes on, saying the words in one breath as if the effort to get them out any other way was too great. «You are not expected to be a virgin. In fact, Leander has assured us he prefers a wife that knows what she’s doing, you know. So there’s no problem. I just wanted to clarify that so I don’t put you in an uncomfortable situation.»

A vicious blush creeps up all the way to my ears and I nod vigorously, croaking a silent «Good, thanks.» Luckily, my mother takes the hint and exits the room with a quick «good night», leaving me alone with my racing mind and pounding heart. 

My mother thinks I’ve had sex. That I’m experienced. Even worse, she’s shared her beliefs with my future husband who’s sure to now have expectations that will not be fulfilled. It’s not like I haven’t wanted to… try? Okay, maybe wanted is a bit of a stretch but I’ve certainly thought about it. If only it weren’t for-

On their own accord, my eyes drag over to the small yellow bicycle figurine on my vanity, effectively sucking all the remaining air out of my lungs. A cool sweat breaks out on the base of my neck and my mouth suddenly feels dry as memories flood me. «You look so beautiful in yellow- That’s a lovely dress you’re wearing for me- here, a gift. I know how much you like bicycles and since your real one is no longer here, I got you this.» 

I shudder, tearing my gaze away. Hell, I don’t know why I do this to myself. I could have long since thrown that so-called gift into the trash or smashed it to pieces on the ground of our driveway. I could have done a million things with it and all of them would have made more sense than putting it on display in my room.

Maybe I’m a bit of a masochist, maybe just a coward. All I know is that putting it away or hiding it would feel like acceptance, like acknowledging what had happened, and I am still trying not to do that. Even after all this time. 

My throat closes up and I desperately reach for my glass of water even as shame washes over me at how easily I’m still affected. While I’m gulping down greedy sips and trying to force my memories far away, I realize my past is no longer my only worry. 

I’m getting married in seven months, an amount of time that had felt like forever moments ago but which now feels impossibly short. Certainly not long enough for me to resolve and get over the issues that have been tormenting me for years.

I’m expected to be intimate with a man, if not on my wedding night then most likely not soon after, and I can’t even stand being touched in anything close to that way. 


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