“Tell me about Costis,” Irene said. She didn’t move her head from where it was resting on his chest, but Eugenides knew she wasn’t making light conversation. His Queen always waited to strike until she had him at a disadvantage.
“Costis may have been a strategic error.” He smiled ruefully, running his hand through her hair. “He’s more devious than I gave him credit for.”
“I appreciate his deviousness.”
He narrowed his eyes at her, “you would.”
“What are you going to do with him now? He can’t stay.”
Gen grimaced at the reminder of how dangerous his friendship now was. “He’s wasted following me around.”
“I’m sure you have plans for him already.”
Gen didn’t answer. They both knew he did, knew he’d already been scheming in those first Mede lessons, even if Irene didn’t yet know the details.
She was moving now, running a hand across his chest in light, teasing touches. “He’s become quite devoted to his King. I wonder if I should be jealous.”
“He’s become quite exasperated by his King.”
“Not all his looks are exasperated.” Her tone was measured and even, giving nothing away.
“Ah, you’ve noticed.”
“How could I not? It’s like looking in a mirror.” It was always Costis’s face that gave him away.
Neither of them needed to be told how dangerous loving the King of Attolia could be.
“And do you like what you see in that mirror?” he hazarded.
“I do. And I know you do too.”
“I’m always pleased when you’re properly appreciated.” It was the truth, but not the truth she was looking for.
“You know that’s not what I mean.”
He did. They both knew he did.
Her lazy caresses had developed a purpose now, slipping further and further down. She curled her fingers around his cock and started stroking him to full hardness. Her touch was familiar now, but no less thrilling than the first time. “Do you not think that kind of devotion should be rewarded?” she continued, in that same even, conversational tone. “Before we send him away?”
He let out a surprised laugh that turned into a gasp as she tightened her grip. “My Queen, you surprise me still.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“You know it is.” The way the mere idea had him straining beneath her touch was all the answer he needed to give.
“And do you like my answer?”
She lowered herself onto him, hot and wet with her own desire. Her smile was like a knife. “You know I do.”