...I felt through the folds of my kilt until I found the reassuring presence of the stake hidden within them. But I didn’t draw it out, or drive it into him. Not yet.
To reach the last of the robe’s ties, I had to kneel. Aten turned while I was still on my knees at his feet and shrugged the robe from his shoulders. It fell away, revealing all of him.
He wore a loincloth beneath the robes, but it hid little of him. He seemed as tall as an obelisk, as sharply chiseled as one. Every line of his muscles was perfection. Was it any wonder he called himself a god, when he looked so much like one?
My thoughts jolted me back to myself. To cover my awkwardness, I straightened and kissed him. This time, I was the aggressor. I caught fistfuls of hair at his nape and pulled his mouth to mine. He groaned and matched my kiss with his own. When I spread a hand on his chest and pushed him toward the bed, he pulled me with him.
I pushed him down onto the bed and climbed over him. He was too busy kissing me and running his hands over my chest to even protest being put on his back. But when he tugged at my belt, I drew away and caught his hands in mine. I moved them back to my chest and drew him into another kiss before he could ask why I didn’t want him undressing me.
He spread his hands wide on my chest, kneading. I made a sound against his mouth to indicate that I enjoyed the caresses, so he wouldn’t let his hands wander elsewhere.
His thumb made circles around my nipple until it grew hard, and I leaned in against his touch, increasing the pressure. When I finally broke from the kiss, we were both gasping, and I could no longer pretend even to myself that it was anything but a genuine reaction to his touch.
I put my weight onto my elbows and looked down at him, gauging his reaction. He kept his eyes shut, and dragged his lower lip between his teeth.
I kissed his jaw, then his throat, and rose again to glance up at him and see that his eyes were still closed. His shoulder, his collar, the hollow at the center of his throat. Through it all, he kept his eyes shut, his hands kneading over me in encouragement.
I spread my hand above his heart and kissed the skin between my fingers. Slowly, I slid a hand down my side and found the stake in my kilt’s deep pleats. My fingers brushed over the hard wood. I grasped it and pulled it free of the cloth, watching Aten closely.
He still didn’t stir. I kissed his chest once more, then positioned the point of the stake between my fingers.
Aten stiffened and I felt opportunity slipping away from me. I poised the tip of the stake in the space between two ribs, grasped the shaft in both hands, and leaned all my weight against it.
There was a moment’s resistance, then it gave beneath me and I fell forward. He grunted in surprise—only that, nothing more.
I scrambled up, shaking with the knowledge of what I’d done. But the sight before me made me shake even harder. The stake hadn’t driven into him, it had shattered, and Aten’s chest wasn’t even scratched.
No, I thought, dizzy. It’s impossible.
Aten picked a splinter up from his chest. His brow quirked. “That’s what this was all about?”
I could only stare at him, unable to speak.
His lips curved, a wry smile. “All this. I supposed there was some point behind it, but…” He rolled the splinter between his fingers, then flicked it away. “I admit, I didn’t expect that.”
I slid backward to the foot of the bed, watching him, waiting for his retaliation.
He sat up and brushed the splinters from his chest and the bed. “Well? If you are intent upon killing me, the least you could do is tell me why...”