“Would you like to try an experiment?” Perrin asked, his eyes dropping to my lips. He seemed...worried.
“What kind of experiment?”
“Just a kiss.” He narrowed his gaze, still fastened to my mouth. “Yes, that’s all I ask.”
The sound of striking hammers reverberated from outside, along with the faint shouts of commands from the workmen. I stared at Perrin and tried to imagine what kissing him would be like. I couldn’t stir up any buried sensations, only strange curiosity. But I supposed I ought to know if kissing him was agreeable. If we married, if we had to produce an heir one day, well, I should see what I was getting myself into.
“All right, Perrin. You may kiss me.”
He nodded with furrowed brows and took a deep breath. “I do find you very beautiful,” he said, as if to encourage himself. Then he let go of my hand and straightened his shoulders.
I glanced back at the temple door to see if it was still shut. When I turned around, I bumped noses with him. “Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize you were so—” He kissed me quickly. “Oh,” I said again, reduced to a one-word vocabulary.
He drew back and scratched his clean-shaven chin. “Maybe if I…” He leaned in and kissed me again, or rather smashed his wet lips against mine, as if hoping more pressure might make the sensation more gratifying. He tilted his head a couple of times for good measure. Then he abruptly pulled back and we both gulped in a great breath.
“Thank you, Isidora,” he said, his cheeks colored more from embarrassment, I suspected, than a rush from the moment. “That was most, well…” He shrugged, and then turned and bowed to the frozen eyes of the goddess like he’d just offered her the grandest libation. “I’m sure Aphrodite respects love, or uh, admiration of all kinds.”
I wiped a bit of wetness from the corner of my mouth. “Indeed.”