Legends of Lust: Erotic Myths from around the World
“Diplomatic Necessities” excerpt from Legends of Lust
We are two powerful, wealthy rulers and yet we act like shy servants. An odd sensation quivers between us like an archer’s bow. Or rather it feels like a sling—the kind shepherds use to launch rocks at their prey—spinning faster and faster, the rock in the leather pouch awaiting its explosive release. I look at Solomon and see the man, not the king. He looks at me in the same way. Imperial obligations and artifices dissipate like the first drop of rain in the desert. We are man and woman with desires that smolder beneath our opulent clothes and jeweled crowns.
I am not prepared for this, had not expected he would exude such raw masculinity. The man practically smoldered.
“Once again,” I incline my head. “I am honored by your hospitality.”
Solomon smiles, not the practiced, formal smile of a ruler but a genuine smile that crinkles the corner of his eyes. It’s a wide, endearing grin that warms my heart and heats my loins.
“This way,” Solomon says escorting me through the chambers. “After the meal, you will be shown to your quarters.”
Following a good distance behind, our retinue of dignitaries and attendants are unusually silent. They prefer eavesdropping to idle chatter.
“Your palace is beyond compare,” I whisper, mindful of a hundred curious ears.
“As is your beauty.” Solomon steps so close our mantles brush together. “I must confess, I am already smitten.”
I arch an eyebrow. “So soon? Such swift emotion explains the thousand wives and concubines you keep.”
Solomon winces as though he had stepped on a sharp rock. “Diplomatic necessities. Nothing more.”
“You must have a broader definition of diplomacy than we.”
Solomon laughs, its deep tones like a caress at the back of my neck.
“How does the Queen of Sheba define it?” His side- ways glance contains the perfect blend of humor and respect.
“The art of making people feel respected and valued.” I struggle to stay serious. His charm quite sweeps me away. “Of finding satisfying ways to mend relationships, and establishing amity and partnerships.”
“I achieved all this by acquiring wives and concubines. How do you? Are you married?”
“You know I am not.”
“Does the high priestess of Almaqah foreswear men?”