Helios Crowns His Mistress

By: Michelle Smart

CHAPTER ONE

‘DO YOU REALLY have to shave it off?’ Amy Green, busy admiring Helios’s rear view, slipped a cajoling tone into her plea.

Helios met her eye in the reflection of the bathroom mirror and winked. ‘It will grow back.’

She pouted. Carefully. The clay mask she’d applied to her face had dried, making it hard for her to move her features without cracking it. Another ten minutes and she would be able to rinse it off. ‘But you’re so sexy with a beard.’

‘Are you saying I’m not sexy without it?’

She made a harrumphing sound. ‘You’re always sexy.’

Too sexy for his own good. Even without a beard. Even his voice was sexy: a rich, low-pitched tone that sang to her ears, with the Agon accent which made it dance.

Impossibly tall and rangy, and incredibly strong, with dark olive colouring and ebony hair, currently tousled after a snatched hour in bed with her, Helios had a piratical appearance. The dangerous look was exaggerated by the slight curve of his strong nose and the faint scar running over its bridge: the mark of a fight with his brother Theseus when they were teenagers. Utterly without vanity, Helios wore the scar with pride. He was the sexiest man she’d ever met.

Soon the hair would be tamed and as smooth as his face would be, yet his innate masculinity would still vibrate through him. His rugged body would be hidden by a formal black evening suit, but his strength and vitality would permeate the expensive fabric. The playful expression emanating from his liquid dark brown eyes would still offer sin.

He would turn into Prince Helios Kalliakis, heir to the throne of Agon. But he would still be a flesh and blood man.

He lifted the cut-throat blade. ‘Are you sure you don’t want to do it?’

Amy shook her head. ‘Can you imagine if I were to cut you? I would be arrested for treason.’

He grinned, then gave the mirror a quick wipe to clear away the condensation produced from the steam of her bath.

Smothering a snigger, she stretched out her right leg until her foot reached the taps, and used her toes to pour a little more hot water in.

‘I’m sure deliberately steaming up the bathroom so I can’t see properly is also treasonous,’ he said with a playful shake of his head, striding lithely to the extractor fan and switching it on.

As with everything in his fabulous palace apartment it worked instantly, clearing the enormous bathroom of steam.

He crouched beside the bath and placed his gorgeous face close to hers. ‘Any more treasonous behaviour, matakia mou, and I will be forced to punish you.’

His breath, hot and laced with a faint trace of their earlier shared pot of coffee, danced against her skin.

‘And what form of punishment will you be forced to give me?’ she asked, the desire she’d thought spent bubbling back up inside her, her breaths shortening.

Those liquid eyes flashed and a smirk played on the bowed lips that had kissed her everywhere. It was a mouth a woman could happily kiss for ever.

‘A punishment you will never forget.’ He snapped his teeth together for effect and growled, before throwing her a look full of promise and striding back to the mirror. Half watching her in the reflection, Helios dipped his shaving brush into the pot and began covering his black beard with a rich, foamy lather.

Amy had to admit watching him shave as if he were the leading man in a medieval film fascinated her. It also scared her. The blade he used was sharp enough to slice through flesh. One twitch of the hand...

All the same, she couldn’t drag her eyes away as he scraped the cut-throat razor down his cheek. In its own way it had an eroticism to it, transporting her to a bygone time when men had been men. And Helios was all man.

If he wanted he could snap his fingers and an army of courtiers would be there to do the job for him. But that wasn’t his style. The Kalliakis family were direct descendants of Ares Patakis, the warrior whose uprising had freed Agon from its Venetian invaders over eight hundred years ago. Agon princes were taught how to wield weapons with the same dedication with which they were taught the art of royal protocol. To her lover, a cut-throat razor was but one of many weapons he’d mastered.

She waited until he’d wiped the blade on a towel to clean it before speaking again. ‘Do I take it that despite all my little hints you haven’t put a space aside for me tonight?’

Her ‘little hints’ had taken the form of mentioning at every available opportunity how much she would love to attend the Royal Ball that was the talk of the entire island, but she hadn’t seriously expected to get an invitation. She was but a mere employee of the palace museum, and a temporary employee at that.

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