At the Stroke of Midnight
FREE: Immortal Blush
A Date Worse Than Death
A Date To Do Or Die
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by Lanette Curington|
With a perpetual blush and eternal warmth in her cheeks, Pyrrhia is the goddess of embarrassment. To her undying chagrin, she is forever and always involved in one mortifying predicament after another. When a passing fisherman, Hydor, rescues her from her latest plight, Pyrrhia believes she's found her hero—the only man capable of quenching the burn of her humiliation while stoking the flames of her desire.
A sensual romance short story, 1,665 words or about 6 pages.
All rights reserved.
Pyrrhia blinked in surprise when the fisherman appeared out of nowhere. She thought the perpetual blush in her cheeks must have turned to crimson because she felt the eternal warmth in them grow as hot as immortal fire.
"I was on my way to the harbor in Lechaion when I heard the sounds." He surveyed her unusual situation with cool sea-blue eyes and scratched his stubbled chin. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before."
"Probably not," Pyrrhia agreed.
Being the goddess of embarrassment was embarrassing enough—and what could an immortal do except accept her fate at the hands of the Fates?—but to be caught by a mortal, no less. And no more, thank the Ladies. More meant being found by an immortal or two—or ten, like what had happened to Aphrodite and her lover, Ares, when her husband trapped them for their transgressions—in the midst of transgressing!—and revealed all to every Olympian within shouting distance.
Not that her present plight compared to Aphrodite's, she thought smugly. If I had a husband, I'd never transgress. Still, this difficulty was bad enough—yet no different than any other day.
"Can you help me?" Pyrrhia asked in her sweetest, most cajoling tone of voice.
"I think so." He took a step closer and frowned. "Is it painful?"
She shook her head. "The only discomfort is having someone see me like this."
Someone, she thought in dismay, who happened to be the most handsome man, mortal or divine, she'd ever encountered. His light eyes stood out starkly from his swarthy visage—thick black lashes, the dark complexion of his long, angular face shadowed by several days' growth of beard, and long black hair, hanging in dense curls well below his shoulders. He wore a sleeveless tunic, girted snugly with a braided hemp belt, loose Phrygian breeches, and sturdy hemp sandals. He had carried a pack and water skin, which he'd set aside as soon as he came upon her.
His hand moved from his chin to cover his mouth, suppressing a smile.
Pyrrhia sighed. "Oh, go ahead and laugh. I don't mind. Really. I'm used to it. This kind of thing happens to me all the time."
What else could one expect of the goddess of embarrassment except to find her in dire straits on a regular basis?
"You must lead an interesting life," he commented, but his stifled mirth vanished to be replaced with intense scrutiny of the task at hand. "Fortunately, we're far enough off the road that no one else will see you if we're quiet."
She smiled. He impressed her mightily by not ridiculing her anyway. He became her hero after expressing his concern over others finding her thus.
"Your face is flushed. Are you sure you're all right?" He retrieved his water skin and a clean cloth from his pack. When he returned to her, he pulled the stopper from the skin. "Here, drink this."
She sipped a few swallows, indicating when she'd had enough. "Thank you."
"My name is Hydor," he said and wetted the square of soft cloth.
"I'm Pyrrhia," she introduced herself—omitting, for now, the part about being a goddess and what her duties entailed.
Hydor moved in close and started bathing her burning cheeks. She closed her eyes and enjoyed the refreshing swipes over her skin. After a few moments, the cloth slipped away, and the cool tips of his fingers gently stroked her face instead. She opened her eyes again to find him even closer, his luscious mouth very near to hers.
"If I were a different kind of man," he said softly, "I'd take advantage of the situation."
She sighed longingly. "A kiss certainly wouldn't hurt."
"No," he agreed and brushed the loose tendrils of dark blonde hair from her face. "It wouldn't."
She wore her chiton gathered and clasped only on her left, and his hand lightly grasped her other, bare shoulder. Their lips touched, tentatively at first, then firmly as their desire carried them away. He tasted of fresh air and seawater, and she shivered when his tongue slipped inside to touch hers. She closed her eyes, longing to run her fingers through his hair, but that was quite impossible under the circumstances.
The burning in her cheeks lessened, though her body grew heated in other, more intimate places. If Hydor's kiss could diminish the warmth in her face, she wondered what his lovemaking might do. Dare she find out?
Although it was embarrassing to admit it—of course! most of her thoughts and actions were—she wanted him to make love to her. He'd said he wasn't the kind to take advantage, but would he accept an offer?
When they parted, his breathing had become as heavy and ragged as hers. She rubbed her cheek against his, nuzzling him tenderly. How could she phrase the suggestion so it seemed most suitable?
"Hydor..." she began, but then threw caution to Zephyrus, deciding to let their passions rule. If he wanted her as much as she wanted him, she wouldn't have to dress it up at all. "Please, Hydor, take me."
"Take you, yes." He placed a kiss at the corner of her mouth. "First, let me see to your problem then—"
"No. Take me now, as I am." She turned her head to crush her lips against his. "I can't wait."
He pulled back and his sea-blue eyes searched hers. "Are you sure? Like this? It won't take long to—"
"Yes, like this. Now." Suddenly, the idea of it didn't seem embarrassing at all. It felt right.
"As you wish," he said huskily and eased his hand under the upper edge of her chiton. He cupped her breast, his callused thumb grazing its taut peak. She gasped and arched toward him, though her awkward position made such movement a trifle difficult.
His tongue followed his thumb, tracing a circle around the nub, and she moaned. His phallus, long and stiff, pressed against her thigh, and she wished she were able to take him in hand, returning to him as much pleasure as he was giving her.
Then his hands moved lower. After rearranging the folds of fabric that stood in his way—her chiton, his breeches—he drove into her, deep and hard, and she shuddered violently. Currents of delight grew faster and stronger throughout her body with each powerful thrust until her back bowed. When her pleasure burst and she undulated with the impact, Hydor crested with her, his body rigid, his phallus pulsing within her.
Afterward, he pressed his forehead to hers, taking in great gulps of air. When his breathing returned to normal, he said, "I should be embarrassed, doing this here and this way, but I'm not. That was—you are—"
He broke off and simply kissed her. Pyrrhia moved her lips with his, relishing the feel of him. Words failed her as well. It was, and he was, too. Wonderful. Magnificent. Splendid. None of them came close to describing the exquisite sensations created between them.
"I want to touch you now," Pyrrhia said.
"I'll take care of it," he promised.
It took longer than they thought, but at last, she was able to put her arms around him and run her fingers through his hair. He held her close, sprinkling kisses over her cheeks—cheeks she suddenly realized weren't burning as if she had a fever.
She pulled back and looked up at him. "Is my face red?"
He shook his head. "Only the places where I kissed you and my beard chafed your skin. I'm sorry about that."
"Oh, never mind." Pyrrhia laughed and threw her arms around him again. For the first time since she could remember, her perpetual blush and eternal warmth were gone! He laughed with her though he was clearly puzzled by her exuberance over not having a red face.
"I'll explain later." Abruptly, she quieted and asked softly, "There will be a later, won't there? I mean—"
"I know what you mean." He ran his hand over her long locks of hair. "And the word I'd rather use where we're concerned is forever."
"Oh, I hoped you felt the same as I." She gave him a quick kiss. "I have so much to ask you. I want to know everything about you."
"Then I'll take you home with me where we can get to know one another much better." He bent to retrieve his pack and water skin then brought her close with his free arm around her as they started toward the road. "I live close by. I was on my way to work on a fishing boat, but I'm sure they've left without me now."
"I'm sorry." Pyrrhia hugged him. "I'll find a way to make it up to you."
"You already have. And more. Besides, it's not every day I rescue a beautiful lady in distress."
"It's not every day I'm rescued by such a handsome man," she murmured.
Pyrrhia detected a slight blush beneath his tan, and if anyone knew a blush when she saw it, the goddess of embarrassment was the one.
"Hmm—" He cleared his throat.
She reached up and patted his flushed cheek. "You may want to reconsider that word, forever. If you do, I'll understand."
"Never," he said without hesitation, endearing him to her even more.
Pyrrhia smiled. "Well, it has to do with rescuing a lady in distress every day. When I said this kind of thing happens to me all the time, I was not exaggerating."
Hydor arched one black eyebrow, as if to question how it could be possible, but he said, "I can live with that...as long as the lady is you."
* * * * *
Remember when you find yourself in your own peculiar predicament, your face on fire in acute mortification, the goddess of embarrassment will never reveal your humiliating experience.
Or her own.
chiton — A type of dress worn by both women and men in Ancient Greece. There were several styles, but typically, the chiton was a tube of material, either linen or light wool, half again as long as the height of the person. The tube slipped over the head and was girted (belted) at the waist. The excess was doubled over to fall over the breast and fastened at one or both shoulders with clasps.
Hydor — (from hudor = water) A fisherman who rescues Pyrrhia.
Lechaion — Western harbor town of the ancient city of Corinth, located on the shore of the Gulf of Corinth.
Phrygian breeches — Apparently, the ancient Phrygians wore breeches or leggings. I appropriated their use for some of my heroes to wear.
Pyrrhia — (from purriao = to be or become red, blush; from pur = fire) Goddess of embarrassment with a perpetual blush and eternal warmth in her cheeks, a fictional character created for this story.
Zephyrus — God of the west wind, a warm and gentle breeze (zephyr). The phrase "throw caution to Zephyrus"...yes, I made it up. *g*