Come Home With Me

by Taylor Mitchell
Alberta, Canada
genre: Romance

    “Helen,” he said, his voice low, and husky.

    All she could do was nod in response. Her knees weakened at the sound of her name dripping from his lips, his dark brown eyes staring into hers. 

    Gently taking her hand, he brushed his lips across the back, and planted two kisses up her wrist. “My name is Paris.”

    “Hi,” she said quietly, unable to say anything else. Her breath became jagged as he took another step closer, so close now that she could feel the heat radiating off his body. She wanted that heat to cover her, wanted to strip herself bare, and be enveloped by the heat of him.

    “Hello.” Mischief danced in his eyes, the fires lining the walls bathed the room in golden light, and lightened the deep brown of his eyes. 

When he smiled her heart flipped, her chest rising rapidly under his unwavering gaze. With their bodies so intimately close she could hardly think, hardly breathe.

“You have beautiful eyes, Helen.”

    She wished he would not say her name. It sounded so beautiful on his tongue, but only reminded her of who she was, and who she was not married to. 

    “I know,” she said. Paris’ eyes widened, and she quickly added, “I just mean that I hear it a lot. Some people even think Aphrodite is my mother.” She rolled her eyes.

    “I see,” he murmured, his eyes leaving hers to glance over her shoulder toward the door, presumably ensuring they were still alone in the room. “Is there anything people do not compliment you on?”

    “Why?” Helen asked, drawing her brows together. 

    “That. That was beautiful.”

    “What was beautiful?” She smiled, and glanced down at their hands, his scarred fingers still wrapped around hers. Their complexions contrasted perfectly, her blindingly white, unmarred skin against his own, tanned and littered with the raised, iridescent marks of healed injuries.

    “You.” His fingers came under her chin, gently bringing her head back up to face him. “You are the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen.”

    Her cheeks grew hot, and she knew they were bright red with blush. Her chest tightened, and her body burned at his words, and at his touch. Leaning into him, Helen placed a hand on his chest for support; he was strong and sturdy under her palm, easily taking on her weight as she pressed against him. She stretched her head back so their lips were nearly touching. 

At the same time, his hand fell from her chin to wrap around her waist, the other dropping her hand in favour of her neck. The heat of his breath lightly danced across her lips, and down her neck as he leaned her back farther, dipping her so her dark hair swept along the stones at their feet.

“Helen,” he whispered against her skin, the tip of his nose gliding across her collarbones, and up to her ear. “Come home with me,” he whispered in her ear, his breath was hot, and sensual. “Come home with me, and you will no longer merely be the most beautiful woman in the world, but the happiest, as well.”

She almost said yes without thinking, and she would have said yes, her lips silently whispering her agreement, if she had not opened her eyes. 

Instead of being faced with the golden-faced Paris, an intoxicatingly handsome and youthful man who had come to steal her away, she saw the wall of her home. 

All she could think about was the white marble covering the long wall behind Paris. It was a wedding gift. From her husband.

She should say no. Voice the right thing, step away from him, and kindly, but firmly, order him to leave.

“Helen?” He pulled back, just enough to look at her face and register the sorrow that must be colouring her features. “Darling,” he whispered, drawing them both back up and holding her face in his hands. His eyes were full of worry and despair, all for her. “My beautiful, darling Helen, do not cry.” 

She had not realized she was crying. 

Gently, he rubbed his thumbs under her eyes, wiping the tears that fell down her cheeks. He kissed her above both brows, and finally her hairline, where his lips lingered, murmuring softly against her forehead.

“I -” she started, her voice so thick the word was barely a sound through her lips.

Then his lips found hers, and the room melted away.

There was nothing but him. Nothing but his lips caressing her own, his tongue dancing with hers, and his hands holding her face so gently, so lovingly.

Her knees had gone slack, the strength of her legs evaporating under the heat of his kiss, and his arms snaked around her body to catch her before she fell to the ground. Grunting into her mouth, he lifted her into his arms, wrapping her legs around his middle as he grasped her bottom.

“I love you,” she gasped, pulling away from him. “I love you, Paris.”

The corners of his mouth drew up into a smile, and he glanced over her shoulder briefly, seeming to make eye contact with someone. He kissed the tip of her nose, and slowly put her feet back on the ground.

“Let us go then,” he said, grabbing her hands in his, and kissing each knuckle. “I cannot wait for you to come home with me, we must go now.”

Helen nodded. “What about my husband? What about Menelaus?”

“What about him?”

“He will come after me,” she said, “and he will kill you, Paris.” She grabbed onto his hand, holding it tightly in both of hers, her eyes burning, as she said, “I cannot live without you.”

“You will not have to,” he said, his voice soothing and low. “Aphrodite will ensure our safety.”

Helen flinched back. “Aphrodite?”

“Hello, Helen,” a voice said behind her, the scent of roses and narcissus quickly flooding the room. 

    Helen spun around to face the owner of the voice, her eyes spotting the goddess instantly. She bowed her head slightly at the goddess, and murmured a soft greeting, suddenly apprehensive of her presence.

    Aphrodite laughed in her lilting voice. “If anyone should bow, it is I,” a hand covered in gold rings shot up to touch her chest, their colourful stones glinting with the movement. “You are the Queen of Sparta.” 

    “That I am,” Helen said, “but I will not be for much longer.”

    “No, I suppose you will not.” Aphrodite cocked her head at Helen, studying her, one perfectly shaped eyebrow raised. “Shall we?” She asked, gesturing to the open doorway, and gliding over to where Helen stood with Paris, his hand braced on her lower back.

    “We shall,” Paris answered, dragging his fingers across her back before reaching for her hand, and pulling her after him.

    Aphrodite had already walked out of the room when Helen halted, Paris jolting back with her sudden stop.

    “I should leave a message,” she said. “So that he will not follow, and kill us.” She dropped his hand, looking around the room for her handmaiden, who she had, embarrassingly, forgotten about the moment Paris strode into the room. 

    Helen locked eyes with her, cowering in the corner by the window. As she stepped forward the girl cried out, dropping to her knees, and sobbing loud enough that Helen froze mid-stride.

    “Pl - please,” the girl stuttered through her sobs, her mouth elongated and twisted in pain. “Please, please - take me with you.” She latched onto Helen’s arm, the tips of her nails digging into her skin. “You cannot leave me here to tell the King. You cannot - he will kill me, lady,” she said, breaking into gut wrenching sobs again. 

    Helen straightened her back, and held the girl's wrist, her hand clutching unrelentingly onto her, and said, “You will join me, then. My husband does not need a message left with you. I believe that my leaving will be message enough.” She turned back to Paris, and smiled at him, her heart warm, and full for the first time, and added, “After all, beloved women do not leave their husbands.”

    Something flashed across Paris’ face at her words, his brows scrunching for the briefest moment, and then he was smiling warmly at her again. He reached a hand toward her, and said, “Let’s go home.”

    As Helen’s fingers grazed Paris’ hand the room went dark, the floral scent of Aphrodite shrouding them as she transported them to the city of Troy.

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