“Do you never become bored with our games, sweet Aphrodite?” Adonis plucked a bloom for the grass and inhaled its perfume while watching his lover.
Aphrodite turned her gaze from the taxis and buses depositing a new intake of guests at the low-level hotel, and smiled through narrowed eyes.
“But it is such fun helping these humans to open their hearts and lives to love. And so many need our assistance.” Leaning across the short distance between them, she took the flower and crushed it in her hand.
As Adonis was about to protest, she silenced him with a kiss. When they drew apart, she held out her hand. “That is how easily they bruise. Why not take what is offered while they have a chance? As we do.”
Adonis watched another couple alight from a taxi as he nodded at her words. Nothing focused the heart as much as the threat of being parted.
“I think we may have found our latest project,” he said. “What do you make of them?”
Aphrodite sat close beside him and followed the direction of his glance. She examined the man and woman paying the driver. “There is a distance between them, yet I feel only warmth and affection from them.”
Adonis continued to study the couple before replying. “The woman, she holds great sadness in her heart, as though something is missing from her life.”
“Or someone,” Aphrodite suggested. “I like the way the man takes her arm and pays her great attention. As a pretty woman deserves,” she added to her lover. “But I sense she is hesitant for some reason. Perhaps they are not yet lovers?”
Adonis scrutinised their every mannerism as the couple walked toward the hotel entrance. “I think you are correct, my love. And I like the woman with the sad eyes. How I should like to fill them with joy again.”
“Ah, my Adonis, remember you always tell me to be careful of their sensitive feelings. But I, too, wish to help this couple. Perhaps we could gently encourage them to explore the pleasures of love on our island.”
Standing with one movement, Aphrodite and Adonis reached the man and woman as they manoeuvred their cases, ready to enter the hotel. The woman saw them first, and Adonis noticed she paused as she watched them approach.
“Good day, and welcome to our island,” he said, holding out his hand to the woman.
Glancing at her companion, whose gaze was fixed on Aphrodite, the woman hesitated. Then, smiling, she placed her hand in his. “Thank you.”
She continued to stare at Adonis as he placed his other hand on top of hers for a second, before raising her small hand to his lips. Adonis felt the quiver of delight that flowed between them and he released the hand. It was enough for now.
“We wish you a love-filled holiday,” Aphrodite said, as she handed a perfect little white flower to the man, before stepping back.
“Thank you for the friendly welcome,” the man said, glancing in puzzlement at the woman beside him.
Adonis opened the door of the hotel as though he was used to ushering guests in, and the couple gathered their cases and stepped inside.
As the door closed, Aphrodite and Adonis turned away from the hotel and returned to their vantage point on the hills.
“That was well done, my love,” Aphrodite said, as she sat beside her lover. “Even I felt the physical jolt of desire that emanated from you when you touched the woman’s hand to your lips. And it must now be assuaged at some point.”
Adonis laughed as he caught her hand and brought it to his lips, slowly kissing each finger. “It is good she has strong feelings inside, although something holds them in check. Do you think the man will release them?”
Looping her hands around the back of his neck, Aphrodite guided Adonis toward her. “I think he truly loves the woman and is trying to convince her of that so they might move on together. But she might need a little more encouragement to find fulfilment with him. Talking of which…”
Aphrodite stopped speaking as Adonis claimed her lips, and they lay entwined on the quiet hillside, exploring their own deepest desires.