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From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThe Things We Do For Lust” is a story from Infinite Waters, a collection of ten speculative fiction short stories and flash fiction.

You can read it below for free. Enjoy!

The Things We Do For Lust

“Alcmene?”

The spool slipped through my fingers and rolled onto the floor. I skipped over the thread and hurried down the stairs to rush into his arms. “You’re home,” I cried out as I barreled into the room. “I was so worried about you.”

His tall frame stood against the open door, the sun showing off his muscular body. He glanced down at me, his soft brown eyes sparkling. He opened his arms and I jumped into his bear hug. I squeezed against him and kissed him, our lips melting together.

“I told you that I’d be safe, didn’t I?” He pushed me gently away to unclasp his woolen cloak. Holding it on one arm, he held it high.

A slave hurried to accept the crimson garment. Underneath, Amphitryon still wore his leather armor.

I ran a trembling finger against it, checking for stains. Finding none, I let out a relieved sigh. A shudder ran along my back. “I was so worried.”

Amphitryon sat on a bench and untied the leather straps on his leggings. No blood on them, either. He let out a sigh and rubbed the striped marks left on his calves. “Worried enough to show your husband some love?”

I raised a hand to my mouth to stifle my chuckle. He’s insatiable. Then again, that’s why I love him so much. Despite myself, excitement crept up my body. I had missed him more than I cared to admit. Men and their stupid wars! I leaned in and sniffed him. He smelled divine, but I played hard-to-get. I scrunched my nose. “Don’t you need a bath first? You smell of the road.”

He grabbed my hand and drew me into his lap. “What I need is my wife.”

I yelped and then laughed. My cackle turned to soft moans as our tongues entwined in a fiery kiss. Shivers ran along my entire body. I slapped my palm against his chest and pushed him away for a moment, to catch my breath. My fingers caught on a chain around his neck. It held a strange stone. It seemed to shimmer and glow with an eerie light from within, misty shapes and colors shifting and twirling inside. “What’s this?” I whispered. My voice betrayed my awe.

He waved his hand dismissively. “Spoils of war.”

Before I could question him further, he rose to his feet, lifting me with him. I squealed and leaned against his chest, listening to the thudding of his heart as he hauled me into our room. His heel pushed against the door, slamming it shut behind us.

###

Hours later, a soft bump woke me up. “Amphitryon?”

“Sorry, love,” his soft voice whispered. “Didn’t mean to wake you.”

I rubbed the sleep from my eyes. I had drifted asleep after our lovemaking. Heat crept up my cheeks as I remembered the details. Best sex ever!

He sat down on the bed, and I scooted towards the wall to give him more space. I yawned and stretched my arms. A cold gust of wind blew into the room, making my hairs stand on end. I draped my body with the sheet and peered outside the open window. There was little light coming from the night sky. Clouds had swallowed the moon, and the soft patter of rain echoed on the roof tiles. A lone lantern sent a warm orange light to chase shadows away from Amphitryon’s handsome face. I traced his cheek with adoring fingers. “You’re so handsome.”

“Thank you,” he said with a chuckle. “You’re not so bad yourself.”

I leaned towards him and planted a soft kiss on his mouth. He pushed his lips against mine with a surprising urgency. Again? My eyes widened, then I closed them and moaned as I let his tongue invade my mouth. Well, if he’s up for it, why not? I threw him on the bed and straddled him, tearing off his gown with shaky hands.

###

He let out a deep, contented sigh. “That was amazing.”

“Whatever possessed you, I like it,” I murmured, a smile playing at my lips.

He stroked my naked arm, sending goosebumps on my skin. “Just my love for you.”

“Aw, you always know what to say,” I cooed. I pushed his arm upwards, to crawl underneath it. Snuggling like that always made me feel safe, secure. It was one of the things I loved most about him. I couldn’t have married a better man, I thought, not for the first time. If I were a cat, I would start purring.

Instead, it was my stomach that growled, reminding me that we had spent the entire day in bed. “You must be starving. After all, I’m not the only one who skipped lunch.”

He laughed. “True.” He cocked his head to look down at me, a frown between his eyes. “Wait, how did you know I had no lunch?” He raised his hand to his mouth and blew into his palm. “My breath doesn’t smell, does it?”

I chuckled. “No, silly! How could you have had lunch? Neither of us did.”

He pushed his fingers through my hair in long strokes, releasing the scent of lavender.  “You skipped lunch, too? Why?”

Huh? It was my turn to stare at him in confusion. “What do… Because we were here? Doing… you know…” I could feel my cheeks blush once again.

His hand stopped, caught in my hair. “Alcmene, I’ve only just arrived. I missed lunch to return as soon as I could, but it’s been raining, and the roads were all muddy. The slaves told me you were sleeping, so I took a bath, then came upstairs.”

The raindrops falling on the clay roof tiles suddenly filled the room like the beating of a drum. My mouth twitched. “But I saw your sandals. There was no mud on them. How…”

He touched my brow with the back his hand. “Are you all right? You seem flustered.”

I pulled away, annoyed. What’s going on here? “I… You…” My voice trailed off. I shook my head, as if to clear it from cobwebs inside. “You’re saying you just got here?”

“Yes.” His eyes were filled with worry, then his taut face relaxed. “You must have had a dream. The slaves said you haven’t left the room all day. Were you sleeping?”

A dream? I nodded, forcing a smile on my lips. “Yes, that must be it. A dream.”

###

“You did what?” the science officer shouted, barely hiding her irritation. She lifted up a hand. “Europa. Io. Semele. Callisto. Dione.” With each name, she pointed at a finger. Realizing she had run out of them, she started from the thumb again. “Persephone. Nemesis. Thaleia. Danae. And now Alcmene?” She threw the captain an exasperated look. “Seriously, you need help. We didn’t spend centuries developing time travel just so you can get your kicks.”

“Aw, come on—what’s the worst that can happen?” The captain swiveled himself on the couch in order to plant his feet up the armrest.

“Damn it, Captain. I’m a doctor, not a pimp.”

The captain fixed her with sparkling blue eyes. “You’re not a doctor, you’re a science officer.”

“With a doctorate,” she barked.

The captain smirked. “Doesn’t matter, really, does it? The timeline fixes itself. It always does.”

She grabbed a tablet from the messy desk sitting at the corner of the captain’s quarters. “We’ll see about that.” She stabbed the screen with an angry finger. It came to life, spewing data. She lifted her gaze to the ceiling. “Great. Now there’s another one.”

His eyes widened. He swiveled his feet back on the shining floor. “I have another kid?”

“Sure.” She showed him the tablet. “A son. Alcides.”

He snatched the tablet from her outstretched arm and read. His face lit up. “Alcides. Nice.”

“No, not nice!” The officer pinched the bridge of her nose and squeezed. “You’re sick. As soon as we’re back, I have to report this. You know that, don’t you?”

“No one cares,” he said with a shrug. “As long as the timeline’s intact, what difference does it make? Just leave out the details.”

“Oh, believe me, no one wants to know any details after Danaes’ golden shower—”

“Golden rain.”

“Whatever.” She paced the room in furious steps. “As for no one caring, what about your wife?”

“Let me worry about her.” The captain threw the tablet across the room. It landed on the desk and slid on it until it bumped against a monitor.

She walked over and picked it up again. “Honestly, I don’t see what she sees in you. I suppose you used that ridiculous moniker again?”

“Actually, I never introduced myself. She thought I was her husband.”

“Her…” She spun around to face the captain. “You used a cloaking amulet on the poor woman? Glamour is for emergencies only!”

“This was an emergency,” the captain said with a sigh. “You should have seen her. Largest—”

The officer raised a hand to stop him. “Don’t want to know.”

Eyes I’ve ever seen. Anyway. All that matters is that I gave her something her husband never could.”

She stared at the screen. “Is that right? Because it says right here that she’s expecting twins. Apparently, hubby came home right after you.” She pointed at the tablet. “See? Right here. ‘Heteropaternal superfecundation’.”

The captain arched an eyebrow. “I saw that. Thought it was a typo.”

“A t…” The officer glared at the captain. “That’s when a woman carries twins sired by different fathers. You both had sex with her on the same night. She’s carrying two sons. One by you. One by her husband.”

“Oh, right,” the captain said with a shrug. “My bad.”

Her eyes almost popped out of their sockets. “You’re the most irresponsible, reckless, immature—”

The captain stifled a yawn. “You start sounding like my wife, and I’m exhausted. Alcmene really was something else.”

She closed her eyes and counted to ten, drawing deep breaths. Then, she whirled around and stomped towards the door. It swished open. Before stepping through, she turned around once again. “What do you want to do with the boy? Any special gifts?”

“Oh, right.” The captain rubbed his chin. “What did we do last time?”

“Prophecy. A simple enough gift to bestow, if you’re a time-traveler.”

“Hmm…” The captain stared blankly for a few moments, then snapped his fingers. “I know. Let’s go for brawns this time. How strong can you make him?”

“With the latest advances in bionics? Very strong. But what about your wife?”

“Tell you what. Let’s have them rename Alcides. We’ll call him Heracles, after her. Maybe that will placate her.”

“I’m sure it will make all the difference in the world,” she said drily, as she stepped through the door and into the spotless, narrow corridor. “Father of the gods, my cockadoodle,” she murmured under her breath.


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