“Aissa?” I asked, glancing at the youth in women’s clothing. “Is that your name?” Not likely.
“It’s what I choose to call myself on Scyros,” Aissa said with an airy wave of his hand. There was the tiniest tremour in the motion of his wrist. “It’s who I am, here and now.”
“Which doesn’t answer the question of who this boy is, here and now,” Deidamia said pointedly. She pulled at Aissa’s arm, trying to drag him closer to her, away from me. “He’s not even giving you the courtesy of a name!”
“True,” Aissa said, but there was a playful amusement to his accusation. His smoky blue eyes moved over me, touching my neck, my chest, my legs, my bum, and yes, my nether regions. “Will you give me a name, fair stranger?”
My true name was on the tip of my tongue, but caution kept me from uttering it. Aissa wasn’t using his true name, either. All he’d asked for was a name. The first name, which popped into my mind was that of my horse.
“Polyxena,” I said, before I realized I’d just given myself a girl’s name.
Deidamia snorted with laughter. Aissa’s eyes, however, gleamed. A tiny smile spread across his lips, acknowledging the jest. After all, he was using a girl’s name.
My cheeks were warm, but I could feel an answering smile tugging at my own lips.
“I’m charmed to meet you, Polyxena,” Aissa said. He lifted my hand to his lips with playful coquettishness. “We ladies must stick together, especially in such troubled times.”