“You’ve had too much to drink, Serkon,” the Amazon stated generously.
“Yeah? Think you’re right. But I don’t regret it.”
Suddenly, a thought crossed her mind that made her cringe.
“Well, I hope I won’t regret anything after tonight,” she said, still struggling with herself.
Serkon was surprised at first but then received her in his arms so she wouldn’t lose balance rising on her toes.
A strange feeling overcame her being so close to a man who could do anything to her and even get away with it. Because he was free. And a king. Her heart beat faster, half because she wasn’t used to fear and half because she wanted that challenge strongly.
“Let’s go where none can see us,” she whispered in his ear.
“Do you really think anyone’d come over here?” He didn’t let go of her and she was sure he would have agreed with her under different circumstances.
“I don’t care.” Determination laid in her words. It was her only hope to convince a nearly drunk. “We’ll go to mine.”
“If you insist.” Instead of soothing him she gave him a promising smile.
“Yes, I do.” She was sure he wouldn’t regret that he had given in.
With the first sunbeams falling through the windows Penthesilea woke in the early morning. For the very first time in her life, there was another breath near her.
Awhile, she kept staring at the ceiling and thought the last night through. There was no chance she had conceived. Her mother had shown her some herbs that prevented a pregnancy effectively and she still used them regularly.
Becoming restless because of her thoughts, the Amazon went for Haimon to prepare a simple meal and locked him up again after that, leaving him with an own bowl of breakfast.
Serkon woke up by the sounds and even was in his right mind almost immediately.
“I’m sorry I got myself drunk yesterday.”
“Don’t be. If you hadn’t, I doubt this would ever have happened.”
“So you aren’t mad with me?”
“Why should I? After all, you weren’t offensive and I was entirely conscious.”
“Phew! Did I say a lot of silly things?” She laughed.
“Is that actually the confession that you can’t remember anything?”
“Uh… Not much. But I hope I’ll have plenty of opportunities to make up for that.”
It took a while to refresh Serkon’s memory and to get used to the fact that their relationship had changed significantly. So they would continue their liaison. That was what everyone had expected, anyway. All the more reassured Penthesilea was as it gave her time to stop using the herbs.
In the end, they got to the drill ground later than usual and Zeuxippe had already started her training while Simachion of Arythion had temporarily taken over Penthesilea’s role.
But the thing that astonished them the most was that, beside Zeuxippe being there so early after the exhausting feast the night before, a child stood next to the water basin and played with a piece of clay. A youth which Penthesilea remembered of to be named Taunus and member of tribe Borathion explained the child was his brother Leikeus and he had to look after him that day. So they started training but as soon as they had, the Amazon felt as if she was watched.
For it was the only way she could think of, Penthesilea asked the boy why he kept his eyes on her.
“It’s sooo boring here. Taunus forbids me to do anything and the others don’t want me to, either.”
While she was experienced in many domains the queen didn’t know how to handle a bored child. A boy, in particular. But someone came to her rescue and it was the one she had least expected to.
“If you agree I can order Protego to cheer that boy up so he won’t bother us again.”
Though bewildered by the sudden kindness of the other woman Penthesilea accepted the offer. Serkon passed her closely and whispered a warning.
“Be careful. She just wants to lure the Borathions.”