In 330 BC, the greatest general the world has ever seen brought the entire known world under his dominion. His name was Alexander and it is said he died without an heir. It is also said he could not be bested by any man. . . .
Scythia is the daughter of an Amazon. Her mother died in the service of Darius the Great. Raised in the Persian court, trained by Darius' wives and concubines to be a lady of the court, Scythia feels trapped and resolves to find her way back to her tribe.
When Persepolis is destroyed by Alexander’s army, Scythia sees her chance. She makes her way to the Macedonian camp and, in Alexander’s mobile tent city, survives... as a warrior.
Alexander, despite having little time for women, finds himself intrigued by this troublemaker, turning his beliefs about men and women on its head.
As his invincible army crosses the Far East, Alexander and Scythia spend more time together on – and off – the battlefield. This is the last thing either one of them needs…
A provocative tale of passion, power, and two people choosing destiny above all else, even themselves.
Taster . . .
He circled her, taking in her in his armour, cradling his helmet, bearing his shield. The shield of Achilles, the hero of legend who had let rage overcome his judgement, his goodness, even his own warrior’s skill. But Achilles was never meant to bring so much of his people to the world. Not like this man, this demi-god whose eyes moistened as he looked at her…desire? She did not know, could not tell. She could not read this man, but she watched him stalk her and began to turn in time with him. He was not the only hunter in the room.
After all, she had not grown up in the greatest harem in the world for nothing. She swallowed, tightened her weapon-bearing thigh, and kept her eyes on his. She wondered if it was true his mother was a sorceress; she certainly felt unlike herself. Perhaps Alexander was magic too - after all, his father they said, was a god. What kind of man might that union create?
“I did not come to steal.” She said aloud, glaring at the king of the world and deliberately ignoring his title. Why did she feel the need to irritate him so? She had never felt the need to ignore Darius’ customary address. She had dutifully called her mother’s seducer ‘Great King’ without hesitation, and he was a barbarian. But then, Darius had never looked at her the way this man did.
Alexander moved towards her. “I did not think you had, my lady.” He gripped his sword, hard. He must not let his desire win. He must resist. He must be in control. Always. He pretended not to notice his arm shaking with the effort of his own restraint.
Her eyes widened as he approached her, moving closer, stepping slowly across the distance between them, his fingers on his sword hilt now, watching her without blinking. He came right up and stood a moment, watching her face.
He noticed she barely breathed, but then a man’s cuirass was not made to protect a woman’s breasts. It was far too tight. He wondered how she had succeeded in putting it on in the first place. Lifting his his hand, he felt below his own breastplate. She flinched, looking boldly back at him. She was caught now and could not move (except to reach the knife at her thigh).
He felt her skin where the metal bit into it. It was marked, almost torn. He touched the ties on his cuirass, hands steady now touching metal, armour, remembering battles he’d conducted with calm deliberation. I am master of myself. He smiled at her and loosed the ties a little. He had never unknotted them himself but as it turned out, she could not get loose any other way. He lifted the metalwork over her head, careful to avoid pulling at her hair.
She tossed her head as soon as it was free and stiffened her stance, wearing nothing now at all, except her knife strapped to her thigh. He had a feeling if he tried to remove that, her goddess Artemis would take his appendage. His eyes on the knife, Alexander sighed again.
“I cannot allow that, lady.” He said gently, and held out his hand.
She shook her head and moved to take it up. She held it before her and seemed to know it was a poor stab.
This time, Alexander shook his head. “I would think again my lady. You are the one who is vulnerable.”
She gazed steadily at him. He was right of course. She was naked, bearing a knife and greaves; he wore a leather cuirass as was his custom, atop his soldier’s tunic, and he had a sword. He could keep his distance from her dagger and still wound her – but she was not out of tricks yet. Flicking out her back leg, she sent him clattering swiftly to the ground, in command of herself again until she felt herself fall as he used the butt of his sword to bring her down beside him.
“You did not think I would know how to wrestle like a Greek?” He panted slightly, seemingly annoyed now.
“I did not think you knew how to wrestle like a woman,” she said without humour, but she smiled when he laughed back at her.
He stood, held out his hand to raise her up and took the dagger from her at the same time. He threw it across the tent, hitting his own board dead centre.
“A treason, you know.” He said, smiling.
“I think you know it was not.” She replied. “I am an enemy, in an enemy’s camp. I only seek to protect myself, king.”
He bowed his head at her deference. Finally! “You think of me as your enemy?” He asked, surprised again. “You are afraid of me then, as a captive or as a woman?”
“Did you not sack my home, the palace at Persepolis? Have you not conquered Persia, the land I call home? Are these the acts of a friend?”
By the gods! Do not tell me she is loyal to the barbarians; seduction or no, I will have to kill her.