Rated Four Stars. “…the absolutely fantastic showdown near the end, spectacular.” –
– MM Good Book Reviews
“Why me? What makes you think I’m your consort?”
Bythos’s grey eyes flashed. “You dreamed about us, repeatedly,” he said, his voice soft. “And then you saw us in the ocean and wanted us, didn’t you?”
The question made Ian clench his fists in his lap, willing down another imminent erection. “Well, yeah,” he said. “But that can’t be a surprise. You could both give a dead man a hard on, if he liked guys.” His eyes narrowed. “And how the hell do you know about the dreams?”
“Because we dreamed them as well,” Aphros said. “Holding you in our arms. Kissing you, touching you. Making love to you, our agapetos.” For the first time that evening, the blue-eyed twin looked solemn, almost wistful.
“Agapetos—beloved. Ours, long sought after and much desired.”
The tenderness in his voice made Ian’s heart ache. Only Diana had ever talked to him like that. “Don’t call me that,” he said, voice rough. “I’m not yours. You don’t even know me.”
A warmth on his right side. He realized Bythos was sitting closer now, a naked thigh brushing against his own. “No, but we want to, Ian,” he said quietly. “The first time we saw you, you were only a boy, playing in the water with your sister. We immediately knew who you were, though. You were our agapetos. We could feel it in our bones. You were fated to love us, just as we were fated to love you.”
Ian struggled to push back his growing desire, trying to focus on Bythos’s words. The first time he’d come to the cottage, he was eight years old, which meant—
“You were watching me when I was a kid?” he said. “Christ, do you have any idea how creepy that sounds?”
Aphros huffed. “Trust me, it wasn’t particularly pleasant for us, either,” he said. “Despite what some historians might think, not every male in the ancient world indulged in pedophilia, and to find out that you were still a child, and would be for years—”
“We knew we couldn’t approach you until you were grown,” Bythos said. “So we waited, and watched you celebrate your birthdays with your family on the beach.” He paused, smiling. “Your sixteenth was particularly memorable, what with your father’s little mishap with the fireworks.”
Ian remembered his father accidentally dropping a hot cigarette ash into the box of Roman candles, and everyone running from the sudden explosion of light and color on the dock. It was hilarious afterwards. Oh, God, and thatwas the summer he finally accepted the fact that he liked guys as well as girls, and kept dreaming about gorgeous men who came out of the sea and did wonderful, mind-blowing things that left him with sticky sheets in the morning…
Bythos’s smile disappeared. “But then you didn’t come back the next summer. Strange people were in your home, and we didn’t know what happened, or how to find you.”
Ian felt a tug of irrational guilt. “It was Angie,” he said. “She started getting sick that fall. Mom took her to the doctor, and they found out she had leukemia. Dad had insurance, but he still wound up with a huge stack of hospital bills. He had to rent out the cottage to help pay them off.” He remembered his father, a Chicago cop, sitting with his head in his hands over a pile of medical bills, and the announcement that a rental agency was taking over the cottage. It had hurt, finding out that they wouldn’t be able to go back to Florida any time soon.
But even at sixteen, he understood the realities of life. His sister was more important than a vacation cottage. At least it was still there, and someday he’d go back. In the meantime, life went on. Angie went through chemo successfully, and the leukemia went into remission. He graduated from high school, went to college, got a job. Met Diana.
The familiar grief pulsed. “Wait,” he said. “I was married for almost ten years. I loved my wife more than anything else in the world. How can I be your aga … whatever, if I loved her, too?”
The twins shared an odd look. “Had your wife lived, we would have loved her as a sister and treated her with every honor,” Bythos said carefully. “But that wouldn’t have changed the fact that you were fated to be ours. It simply would have made things … interesting.”
Ian closed his eyes at that, not sure whether to laugh or cry. Diana had always been open-minded and generous. Meeting these bright, beautiful demigods would have tickled her pink. After some discussion about parameters, she might even have gone along with the arrangement. Especially if she could watch. “So … you just waited for me? All this time?”
“Yes,” Bythos said. “And you finally returned to us, and dreamed of us as we dreamed of you.” With care, he slid an arm around Ian. “I meant what I said earlier. We will never harm you, and we will never force you into anything you don’t want to do. But we need you, Ian, just as you need us.”
“We do need you,” Aphros said, moving in to lay the softest of kisses on Ian’s shoulder. “You’re the sun and the moon to us. We’ve dreamed about you for so long. Please, Ian, let us love you.”
Ian shivered at the softness of the demigod’s lips as they feathered along his shoulder, tracing the curve to his neck. His desire bloomed again, a warm heaviness settling in his groin. “You dreamed about me?” he whispered.
“Every night,” Aphros said. “You have no idea how you tormented us with your skin, the sounds you made.”
“And your taste,” Bythos murmured, leaning in now and brushing the tip of his tongue over Ian’s skin. “I can’t describe how delicious you are. You taste like everything good in the world. Like home.”
“Like ours,” Aphros said.
Ian moaned at the sensation of their mouths on his neck, their hands wandering across his chest, plucking gently at his nipples. “Oh, God,” he breathed.
“Gods, actually,” Aphros said, lifting his mouth from Ian’s neck for a moment. “Well, demigods, but still.”
“Aph, shut up,” Bythos said, sliding a broad, warm palm around Ian’s jaw and pulling him closer. “We have better things to do.”