by Mercy Loomis
Athens, 480 BC
I held out my hands in the darkness, unable to see. I was groggy, disoriented, but I knew she had to be here.
I had been…somewhere, just a moment before. I was sure of it. But when the darkness descended upon me I knew to wait. To surrender.
Soft, cool hands caressed my hips from behind, the thumbs digging into the muscle. I was naked. I hadn’t been, but it no longer surprised me.
The purr of her voice sounded through my mind, possessive, anticipatory. Her hands claimed me, sliding over my stomach, one traveling up to cup my breast, the other dipping lower, reaching between my legs, pulling me back against the contours of her body.
I moaned and went limp, but she easily supported me. Shaking with need and desire, my heart thundering in my ears, I felt her lips against my throat. The teasing prick of sharp teeth. I closed my useless eyes and gave her exactly what she wanted.
The sound was a shock that seemed to rip me in two. I thrashed my way awake, mourning the lost contact.
“What is it, Anticleia?” I groaned, blinking against the light of the candle she held.
“Mistress, the fleet has just arrived offshore. The great army of Xerxes has broken through the Hot Gates and his navy is sailing unopposed alongside it.” The slave was trembling, rushing through the words in a harsh whisper. “We are to evacuate the city, Mistress.”
“Evacuate? And go where?” I tried to push the dream away, to bottle up the aching need that screamed unfulfilled in my bones.