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It's All Greek to Me

Katie MacAlister

  Table of Contents

  Title Page

  Copyright Page

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24


  Teaser chapter


  Praise for the Novels of Katie MacAlister


  The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons

  “Katie MacAlister weaves a wondrous story full of magic and romance.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “Magic, mystery, and humor abound in this novel, making it a must read.”

  —Night Owl Romance

  “An action-packed and sexy paranormal romance . . . a truly entertaining tale that I hated to see end.”

  —Romance Junkies


  In the Company of Vampires

  “This is trademark MacAlister, full of quirky characters and wacky plot twists.”

  —Romantic Times

  “An excellent read . . . hysterical and surprisingly realistic, considering it includes witches, deities, vampires, and Viking ghosts . . . delivers a great story and excellent characterization.”

  —Fresh Fiction

  “Katie MacAlister is an excellent writer and never ceases to amaze us with her quick . . . wicked wit and amazing romantic tales.”

  —Night Owl Romance

  Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang

  “Ms. MacAlister entertains readers with a captivating romance, supernatural politics, and her always present touch of humor.”

  —Darque Reviews

  “A fantastic duo of stories from Katie MacAlister. . . . If you are a fan of MaryJanice Davidson’s Betsy series, then I think you will definitely enjoy Zen and the Art of Vampires and Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang.”

  —Joyfully Reviewed

  “The story line is fast-paced, filled with humor and action as Katie MacAlister balances the two nicely.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  Zen and the Art of Vampires

  “A jocular action-packed tale . . . [a] wonderful zany series.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  “A fast-moving read with sizzling chemistry and a touch of suspense.”

  —Darque Reviews

  “Pia Thomason just might be my favorite heroine ever. . . . An entrancing story and a very good escape.”

  —The Romance Reader

  The Last of the Red-Hot Vampires

  “MacAlister’s fast-paced romp is a delight with all its quirky twists and turns, which even include a murder mystery.”


  “A wild, zany romantic fantasy. . . . Readers will enjoy this madcap tale of the logical physicist who finds love.”

  —The Best Reviews

  “A fascinating paranormal read that will captivate you.”

  —Romance Reviews Today


  Me and My Shadow

  “MacAlister delivers the fun, even in the drama. The characters are engaging, quick, and inhabit a universe that only a genius can imagine.”

  —Romance Reader at Heart

  “Laugh-out-loud funny . . . a whimsical, upbeat, humor-filled paranormal romance . . . delightful.”

  —Romance Junkies


  Holy Smokes

  “[A] comedic, hot paranormal caper.”


  “A wonderfully amusing relationship drama . . . a laugh-out-loud tale.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  Light My Fire

  “Crazy paranormal high jinks, delightful characters, and simmering romance.”


  “A nonstop thrill ride full of sarcastic wit, verve, and action right to the end.”

  —A Romance Review

  Fire Me Up

  “[A] wickedly witty, wildly inventive, and fiendishly fun adventure in the paranormal world.”


  “Who knows where she will take us next? . . . [A] fascinating and fun writer.”

  —The Best Reviews

  You Slay Me

  “Smart, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny!”

  —Christine Feehan

  “Amusing romantic fantasy. . . . Fans will appreciate this warm, humorous tale that slays readers with laughter.”

  —The Best Reviews





  A Novel of the Light Dragons




  A Novel of the Light Dragons

  STEAMED, A Steampunk Romance


  A Dark Ones Novel


  A Dark Ones Novel

  ME AND MY SHADOW, A Novel of the Silver Dragons

  UP IN SMOKE, A Novel of the Silver Dragons

  PLAYING WITH FIRE, A Novel of the Silver Dragons

  HOLY SMOKES, An Aisling Grey, Guardian, Novel

  LIGHT MY FIRE, An Aisling Grey, Guardian, Novel

  FIRE ME UP, An Aisling Grey, Guardian, Novel

  YOU SLAY ME, An Aisling Grey, Guardian, Novel









  UNLEASHED, A Dark Ones Novella


  Published by New American Library, a division of

  Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,

  New York, New York 10014, USA

  Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,

  Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

  Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  Penguin Ireland, 25 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,

  Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)

  Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty. Ltd.)

  Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd., 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India

  Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, Auckland 0632,

  New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.)

  Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty.) Ltd., 24 Sturdee Avenue,

  Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

  Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:

  80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

  First published by Signet, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

  First Printing, December 2011

  ISBN : 978-1-101-55904-8

  Copyright © Katie MacAlister, 2011

  All rights reserved


  Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


  This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.

  The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

  This book is an oddity (in many ways, but we’ll move past most of them), particularly because while writing it over a period of six days, I regularly popped onto the Shoutbox on my message forum and cackled maniacally to all the ladies who were hanging out there.

  Luckily, they are familiar with how deranged I am when the muse has me in her grip, and they not only tolerated my giddiness, they encouraged me to continue on. It is to the ladies of the Shoutbox that this book is dedicated, with special recognition to Janet Avants, Vinette Perez, Shawna Szabo, and Sara Thome for their heroism in the face of a semihysterical author.


  The man in front of her was crazy. That, or he was having some sort of an attack, one that involved dancing up and down and gesturing wildly, all the while talking a mile a minute, his words tumbling out with such speed, they all ran together into one dense, unintelligible stream.

  Not that Harry could have understood the words even if the man had been speaking slower. She stood up from where she’d been seated on a wooden lounge, enjoying the peace of the balmy Mediterranean night. “The temptation to say, ‘I’m sorry, but it’s all Greek to me,’ is almost overwhelming—you do realize that, right?” she asked the man.

  He continued his dancing-gesturing-babbling routine, this time adding a peculiar plucking motion with the hem of her linen tunic.

  She glanced around, wondering if she’d misunderstood. “Am I not supposed to be here? Is this garden off-limits to us? Derek said it was the garden area on the other side of the house that was for guests only. Did I get that wrong?”

  The little man—and he was little, at least a good ten inches shorter than her solid six feet—evidently grew distressed at her inability to understand, for he grabbed her wrist and hauled her toward the massive bulk of the house.

  “Is Timmy in the well?” she asked, a little smile curling her lips before her gaze moved from what she thought must surely be one of the servants to the house itself. “Only ‘house’ doesn’t quite cut it as a description, does it? It’s more like a palace. Houses don’t have wings—palaces do. And I defy you to find a house sitting by its lonesome on its very own Greek island. No sir, this is a palace, pure and simple, and although I’m sure you have a good reason for dragging me to it, I should point out that the only people who are staying in its palatial confines are guests, and I’m with the band. We have the little bungalow on the servant end of the island. Hello? You really don’t speak a word of English, do you?” Harry sighed.

  The man continued to drag her through a very pleasant garden filled with sweet-scented flowering Mediterranean shrubs that were unfamiliar to her, attractive hedges, and pretty, neoclassical statues. The night air was balmy; the heavy scent from some flower mingled with the sharper, and to her mind more pleasing, tang of the sea. It was everything she imagined a rich man’s private island paradise should be. Well, with the exception of the wizened little man who gripped her wrist.

  “I couldn’t just sit quietly somewhere?” she asked the man. “I promise I won’t bother anyone. I don’t think I could—I’m so jet-lagged I can’t even think straight. Look, that’s a nice little bench right over there in the corner next to the statue of the guy with a really big winky. I won’t be in anyone’s way. I’ll just go sit and contemplate his gigantic genitals, and all will be well.”

  “Harry!” A man appeared suddenly at a window, hanging out of it and waving frantically. “There you are! Hurry!”

  “Derek, what are you doing in the house?” Harry thinned her lips at the sight of the young man. “You said we weren’t supposed to go near it while the guests were here.”

  “That doesn’t matter now! Hurry up!”

  “If you think I don’t have anything better to do than to fly halfway around the world to bail your butt out of trouble because you can’t follow a few simple rules—”

  “No, it’s not me.” He pulled back inside the window. “It’s Cyn! She’s been attacked!”

  “What?” Her bellow took the little man still attached to her wrist by surprise, causing him to drop her hand as if it were suddenly made of fire. Adrenaline shot through her with a painful spike, adrenaline and a fury that almost consumed her. She leaped forward, easily hurdling the low stone balustrade of a patio area as she bolted for the nearest entrance to the house, wrenching open a pair of French doors. She didn’t stop to apologize to the small group of people standing around a pool table as she raced past the men and women in elegant evening clothes and made a beeline for a door that was bound to lead to a central area of the house.

  The little servant trailed her as far as a marble-tiled corridor, where he veered off to who-knew-where. Harry didn’t care—her mind was blank except for the horror of the words that kept repeating in her head. It’s Cyn! She’s been attacked!

  “Harry, thank god—” Terry emerged from a side hall, gesturing toward a curving staircase, his face tight with worry. “We didn’t know where you were. She’s up here.”

  Harry ground off a good layer or two of enamel as the pair of them pelted up the seemingly endless stairs, one distracted part of her mind finding it ironic that now, of all times, she should be thankful for both her height and long legs. “What happened?” she managed to get out as they crested the stairs and Terry pointed to the left.

  He cast her a worried look, but said nothing. Derek almost collided with her as he burst out of a room. “In here! Harry, you have to do something! The bastard . . . he . . . he . . . !”

  “I’ll kill whoever it is,” she said, her blood running icy at the thought of whatever atrocity had occurred. She shoved Derek aside and entered the room, her breath ragged, her heart about ready to leap out of her chest. She’d heard the phrase “seeing red” before, but had never thought it could be taken literally. For a few seconds, though, she would have sworn that everything in the room had an ugly red tint to it. It was obviously a bedroom; a quick glance took in the usual occasional chairs, a large bureau with matching wardrobe, and a big bed swathed in some sort of filmy draperies that fluttered in the breeze drifting in through open French doors. Her attention narrowed to the bed as she dashed to it, immediately taking into her arms one of the two huddled, sobbing figures there.

  Dimly, she was aware there was another person in the room, but his identity faded to insignificance. “It’s all right, Cyndi. I’m here now,” she said, her fury rising as the younger woman sobbed onto her shoulder. “You’ll be OK. We’ll make whoever did this pay.”

  “He’s evil! He’s horrible!” Cyndi pulled back, tears spilling over from already red, bloodshot eyes. She was naked, a sheet clutched to her bare breasts, her face unmarked but blotchy from the tears. There were some nasty-looking raw marks on her neck and chest, but it was the petulant purse of her lips that suddenly chimed a warning bell in Harry’s brain.
/>   “What happened? Did someone attack you?”

  Cyndi drew in a long, trembling breath and glanced over Harry’s shoulder. “Yes! Well . . . more or less. He dumped me, Harry. Dumped me!”

  Harry blinked for a few seconds. “He what?”

  “Dumped me, cruelly and . . . and . . . viciously. I came up to his room, and I thought we were going to hook up, and everything was going along very nicely, and before we could get down to, you know, really doing it, he told me to leave. Just like that!”

  Harry passed a shaking hand over her eyes. Slowly, her heart rate dropped back to a reasonable level. “So you weren’t attacked?”

  “Verbally I was. He told me that he didn’t want to have sex with me, and that I should leave because he wanted to sleep.” Cyndi gestured at the bed. “If it’s not verbal abuse to entice someone to your bed, and get them naked, and then kiss them all over before telling them to leave, I don’t know what is!”

  “He enticed you?”

  “Yes! Not so much in words, but he looked at me several times tonight, and a woman knows what that look means,” Cyndi said with a peculiar lofty coyness. “He wanted me. So I came up here, and then everything was really nice until he went totally crazy and told me to leave. That’s just not right, Harry. It’s traumatizing! You have no idea how traumatizing it is to come up to someone’s room intending to have fabulous sex and then be told to leave because that someone wants to sleep. I’m not a slut! I should sleep here, too!”

  Harry took a deep, deep breath to keep from strangling the young, self-centered girl in front of her, reminding herself that her whole purpose in being here was to watch over the kids and see that they came to no harm. Her eyes lit on the red marks on Cyndi’s chest, and a little spurt of anger burned in her stomach.