Excerpt from AKROTIRI Minoan Romance
Asta’s hips swayed with a promise that I’d make her keep soon enough, but for now, I was happy to hold her close to me and gyrate with an innate sexuality that I hadn’t been privy to before, not even at our most intimate. One of her arms remained high in the air, her fingers moving in an intricate pattern that beckoned me on. The other wrapped around my hips, loose but intent. We shared the drum’s rhythm like a heartbeat, writhing around the bonfire like we were under a spell.
Her shimmying lulled me into a trance, and we went around a few times before I shook my head and let her keep going without me. My feet took flight from the ground, propelling me into wider and wider circles as the crowd screamed with delight. Asta stopped twirling for a moment her lips parted, panting from the exertion. Her hips never stopped their pulsating switches, and I felt my body react to hers. No one doubted she was a goddess, especially not me.
Faster and faster, I whirled around the bonfire, each jump higher off the ground. Around the far side, close to the canopies where we would perform in the Rites, an arm yanked me back to earth with a thud. I looked up from the ground, my heart beating in my throat.
Agenor grinned at me. We were dressed exactly alike, in white and gold silk. “You will live tonight,” he said, before leaping into the crowd in a series of gymnastic feats that stilled my heart.
I will woo Her.
Confused I looked to my grandfather, wondering where the voice came from. His eyes trained on Agenor’s show. They all came to help. I blinked back my emotion.
Had he spoken, or had Poseda? My grandfather looked down and placed his palm on the top of my head. His eyes crackled in the firelight.
“We’ll begin in just a moment.” His wrinkled face broke into a grin.
My heart thumped in my throat as he dragged me back to my feet.
He smacked my ass. “Dance, boy!” And he pushed me back into the sight of the revelers. Agenor flipped around the bonfire in the opposite direction. I let my feet think for me, dancing back to Asta, whose eyes were larger than they’d ever been. She never missed the beat, but she opened and shut her eyes slower than usual. I took her in my arms for a quick second before throwing my body into the air around the fire.
“It begins now,” I shouted to her.
She gave me enough of a nod to know she’d registered my words.
Around the far side of the fire I was stopped by strong hands on my upper arms. Like watching myself in a dream, Agenor took my place, contorting his body into a backward arc. I twisted my neck around to see who had me. My father.
“If it comes down to it, meet me behind the fire and let me take your place,” he said, his jaw resolute. He, too, wore a white silk kilt and looked just as I would in another twenty summers. I swallowed hard. He kissed my cheeks with more love than ever in my life. “Sending me to your mother would be a mercy.”
I was thrust back to the crowd, who screamed with excitement. Asta's head lolled back, and I’d be scared if she weren’t in the middle of a ritual. I grabbed her hand and wrapped her legs around my waist. Her eyes met mine, sharp and focused for a moment.
“I can’t,” she said, her words faint.
“You won’t,” I said, sure something would happen to keep her from killing me.