Her heart was not in the dancing as she swung from one partner to another. How would this night turn out? Would Iairus keep his word and not taunt her with his advances? Would she able to resist his charms? She was quite dizzy with worry when strong arms whirled her out of the dance right out to the outer courtyard.
She looked up into the piercing eyes of the only person she did not want to see.
"I must tell you that you look ravishing."
"Good to know, though I wish you wouldn't use the word ravishing."
He laughed. "I won't, but you can't blame me. I understand what the poets mean when they write of lips as luscious as peaches. I want to taste them." Without warning he bent and kissed her hard. She felt the warmth of his lips and breath.
Her body responded to him like the morning glory opened itself to the caress of the dawn. He was obviously very experienced if his kiss alone could make her this mindless.
Something snapped in her head when she thought of how this experience had been gained. Countless eager hearts had been broken by his thoughtless cruelty to his lovers. Tales of young girls wanting to throw themselves under his chariot in despair filled households.
Women secluded from the exploits of their men shared in happy gossip the details of Iairus' countless exploits. He kept away from men and didn't play Ganymede either.
She bit down mercilessly on his bottom lip. This should teach him to go kissing vulnerable maidens and breaking hearts with his callousness.
"I hope your poets spoke of crimson drops like red rose petals as well," she taunted.
His whole demeanour changed. "You brat," he snarled. Before she guessed his intentions, he wrapped his mantle around her and she was spirited away. Her muffled cries were ignored.
He held her tightly against his strong chest. He climbed a lot of stairs and her heart sank. This must be the way to his private chambers.
He dropped her on a divan. She looked up to see his wrathful countenance.
"Shall we see how brave you are now, my vixen?