Part Two

“Hello,” the young beauty hesitantly greeted their guest.

Stavros' eyes widened in appreciation. The photograph his mother had shown him did not begin to flatter the mocha-skinned beauty standing before him. Perhaps their proposed alliance would hold more appeal for him than he had dared hope.

Without embarrassment his eyes undressed her, taking time to assess all her attributes. Her figure was exquisite, Stavros thought, her breasts firm and taut. She would please him nicely in their marriage bed. The thought brought a smile to his face.

Alexandra DiMera recoiled at the sight of the cold, cruel smile upon the stranger's face. Dark and handsome, he nonetheless radiated a frightening sense of danger. Already uncomfortable from his frankly sexual examination of her body, she took a step back toward the safety of her father's presence.

Stavros stepped forward and took Lexi's hand. Reluctantly she allowed him to bring it to his lips. It was all she could do to prevent the grimace that threatened to appear when the strange man ran his tongue lightly across her knuckles.

“Hello, my Princess,” Stavros murmured, his voice low and intimate.

“Princess?” Lexi tugged her fingers from the stranger's hand, barely resisting the urge to wipe her fingers against the fine linen slacks she wore.

“Yes,” Stavros replied, forestalling her father's attempt to explain. “I am Prince Stavros Nikolai Mikkosovich Cassadine. And you are to be my bride.”

“This is some kind of joke, right?” The beautiful young woman looked from her father to the stranger staring so intensely at her. “Father?”

Stefano DiMera stroked his beard a bit nervously before responding. “Alexandra, my darling, try to understand.” His pronounced European accent gave his voice a pleasant, lilting quality. “It is the way things are done here.”

Lexi's voice rose in disbelief. “This is the twenty-first century! You can't just marry me off to some stranger!”

“Ah, but he can... And he has.” Stavros' quiet remark made Lexi's head whip around.

“I hate to tell you this, Prince Stavros. No one controls my life but me!”

Even as he admired her fire, Stavros made a mental note to correct her outspokenness. Breaking his new bride would bring him pleasure untold. The prospect filled him with anticipation and strengthened his determination to have her.

“You are no longer a citizen of the United States,” Stavros reminded her. The contract we have signed is legally binding. You will marry me and become the Princess Cassadine...Or I will destroy your father and everything he owns.”