Today, Cassandra Page is giving you an excerpt from her newly drafted fantasy novel, which she describes as “Beauty and the Beast meets Ancient Greece”. There is kissing. Such as, for example, this scene…
Alexandros stared at her, a wondering smile slowly blooming on his lips, in his eyes. But, although the muscles of his back tensed under her hands, he still didn’t move. “Is this real, or just a dream?” he whispered.
Heart in her throat, Rheia slid one hand up his ribs and around to the nape of his neck, pulling his head down so his soft lips met hers. They were parted with surprise or anticipation, and, remembering their last kiss, she slid her tongue between them, darting it in and out to test his reaction.
He moaned softly, pressing their lips together as though he wanted to breathe her in. Or eat her up. His hands were on her back, tangled in the cascade of her hair, and he pulled her to him, closing the distance between them. Her belly fluttered and a fire grew in her at the feel of his hard muscles against her chest, the rasp of his cheek against hers as their tongues tangled. His hands slid down to the curve of her waist, his strong fingers against her hips. “Rheia,” he breathed against her lips.
“Yes?” she said, taking a trembling breath. Her lips felt swollen from his kisses, and she wanted … more. But she didn’t know what. Her mother and Charis had explained what happens between a husband and wife, and that it could hurt or be marvellous. Rheia had found the notion intimidating, but now, wrapped in Alexandros’s arms, she found a new courage within her. She was sure it would be marvellous. He would be marvellous.
“We should stop,” Alexandros said.
“I don’t want to.” She caught his lips with hers and he surrendered to her for several moments before pulling back. She growled, low in her throat, and he laughed softly. “Alexandros…”
“I won’t tumble you in Yalee’s sick room.”
That thought cooled her ardour a little. She pulled back to peer past his shoulder at the still-sleeping girl. An impish smile turned Rheia’s lips upwards as she remembered Yalee silently encouraging her to embrace Alexandros the first time they’d talked, when he was grieving. “I doubt she’d mind.”
“No, but I would.” He bent forward to kiss Rheia’s nose, his hands sliding back up to the safer territory of her back. “You deserve better. A bed covered with flower petals.” He kissed her cheek. “Wine and sweets.” Her ear, the breath tickling her until she squirmed. “A wedding.”
Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — despite being allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?