Vulcan glanced at his painting, then at the others lying against the wall.
"As soon as this one is engraved," he said, "I shall take them all to Paris. Are you coming with me?"
Astara simply stared, feeling that she could not have heard him correctly. But he came over and suddenly, fiercely, drew her to him. For an instant she thought she should resist but when his mouth came down on hers, she knew this was what she wanted; this was why she had been waiting. It was as if they were both enveloped in a blinding light--the same light that was in his painting. A light so wonderful and yet so sacred that she felt completely reborn.
"My sweet! My little Aphrodite!" Vulcan cried.
Astara felt a strange sensation rush through her body, through her breasts and up through her throat. And when Vulcan kissed her again, she felt as if her whole being moved to become part of him.