Intrigue Among the Pyramids Ch. 02


When Charis returned, she was carrying a basket of pastries, their warm smell appetising. We sat side by side on one of the couches to eat, quenching our thirst with more of the fruit juice. “There is wine still for tonight,” Charis observed.

“I have my audience with Pharaoh,” I confided. “But afterwards…”

She smiled, leaning over to rest her head against my shoulder, and I slid my arm around her. Moments later she sat bolt upright at the sound of a repeated handclap. “Someone is here.”

“What is the protocol?” I queried.

“I will go to see who it is, then they will enter — I will walk behind, or whatever is appropriate to the rank of the visitor.”

She got up, heading for the steps, and I stood, feet slightly apart, hands behind my back, hoping my stance gave a convincing impression of authority.

The figure that entered was unmistakeably female, but I was distracted at first from scrutinising her by Charis’s posture. She followed on knees and elbows, her head bent almost to the floor. Clearly my new visitor was someone of considerable status, and I thanked Charis’s explanation of the custom which gave me a clue as to what approach to take.

I gave a deep bow, then straightened. “Rome greets you, my lady. By what name or title may I serve you?”

Her face registered obvious approval. “I am Menesamun, High Priestess of the Goddess Isis.”

I bowed again. “A worthy Mistress indeed, whom my people reverence in her aspect as Minerva.”

I indicated one of the couches. “Will my lady sit, to explain what service may be offered to the Goddess?”

Menesamun shook her head, glancing at Charis, who now stood at a distance with her hands folded, her head bowed. “My lady need not be concerned,” I ventured. “The girl is sworn to me, and has given most solemn proofs. You may test her yourself if you wish.”

“Very well,” nodded the priestess. “All here know that you represent your Emperor to Pharaoh. But there is much you will need to understand — conspiracy, secrets within secrets.”

She glanced at Charis again. “More than this — the gods themselves are at work, and those of us who serve them must use our powers accordingly.”

I was beginning to feel out of my depth. Intrigue I understood, and I was confident that I could deal with the complexities of court plotting even here. But real magic, the intervention of the gods?

Menesamun smiled wryly at my inadequately-concealed expression. “Do not worry. You must do what you know, and in the arena of Maat, I will tell you what is necessary.”

She raised one eyebrow, so briefly that I wondered if my eyes were playing tricks on me. “What I ask of you, you will not find difficult.”

I watched, mesmerised, as she loosened the belt of her robe, then let it fall open, revealing creamy skin, heavy breasts with dark-ringed nipples. “Must I make it any more obvious?” she queried.

I glanced towards the bed, wondering if the rumpled coverings still held any trace of the passion Charis and I had shared the gaziantep escortlar previous night, but Menesamun shook her head. “The couch will meet our needs.”

She lay back, one leg outstretched, her other foot resting on the floor, parting her thighs. “Tell me, Roman, does a man from your country know how to worship a woman with his tongue?”

I threw a quick look at Charis, her eyes fixed on us, missing nothing, then sank to my knees before Menesamun. She nodded approvingly as I bent my head to her, then relaxed, leaning her head back on the armrest.

Her aroma was strong but not unpleasant — I assumed she had prepared herself with perfumed oils and incense — and she stirred at my first touch. I began to use my tongue on her slowly, deliberately, feeling her hard nub under its covering fold swell further. She began to speak under her breath — some words I recognised as the names of her gods — and as my tongue moved more insistently, her hips flexed upwards, her invocations becoming louder. I took her protruding nub between my lips, suckling gently then using my tongue again, and she groaned, stretching her arms out as if in supplication. Her mouth uttered only meaningless syllables now, and I sensed a recognisable tension building in her body. “Oh — oh — it comes –” she managed, then her hips surged upwards, and a trickle of wetness spurted from her onto my lips. I eagerly tongued it, swallowed, pushed my mouth into her wetness again as her thighs tightened around my neck. For a moment I was reminded of Charis’s hands mock-strangling me, then the pressure eased, Menesamun opening her thighs wide again. “Enter me,” she whispered, her fingers urging me upwards.

I hesitated. “My lady — I have already in this last few hours known a woman’s body, and have performed no cleansing rite…”

She chuckled softly. “No matter. In this, all women are one, so I am only accepting that which is myself. Come.”

I obeyed, covering her body with my own and pressing my hardness against her wet opening. I slid inside with no resistance, and she breathed out slowly. “The joining takes place.”

I looked into her eyes — were they lapis or sapphire? My head seemed to swim, and my vision blurred a little, seeing her face below me shift into a thousand images, Charis fleetingly among them. Was I really seeing the coinherence of the Feminine? Was this really the magic of the gods?

I forgot even this as Menesamun’s muscles tightened deliciously around me, her hips pushing upwards. “Give me your essence,” she intoned, and I started to move in her. The familiar pressure began to build, but something felt different — as if time itself was somehow slowed, even suspended. A smile slowly spread itself across Menesamun’s face, and her breath now came in soft gasps with each thrust. “The power is very strong, should we reach our peak together,” she whispered. Again her arms stretched out, her head tilted back, and finally I yielded to my long-delayed climax, thrusting urgently once, then again and again. As she felt me begin to release into her, she cried out, and her muscles clenched, her hips shuddering. “Oh — oh — yessss…”

After a few moments I withdrew from her, and she raised herself gracefully to her feet, closing her robe, securing the belt. “You have done well,” she acknowledged. “The power our joining has generated, will be of great use, and I promise that you also will have the benefit of it.”

Menesamun turned to leave, looking over her shoulder. “I will be present at your audience with Pharaoh. But give no sign of this.” And then she was gone.

I took a deep breath, running my fingers through my hair, looking at Charis. I felt a sudden need to cleanse myself, and walked to the bathing pool, submerging myself fully in the warm water. When I surfaced, Charis was sitting on the edge of the pool, dangling her legs in the water. “The ways of the gods are strange,” she observed.

I nodded, and closed my eyes as I felt my head swim. When I looked at Charis again, somehow my eyes could not tear themselves away from her breasts, her dark triangle, and I pushed through the water towards her, hauling my body onto the edge of the pool beside her. “Come with me,” I heard my voice urge, and she complied, taking my hand and letting me lead her toward the bed. My somehow-clumsy fingers pulled at her garment, lifting it far enough that I could press my face against her breasts, then I pushed my knee between her thighs, parting them. Her face showed only surprise, then invitation and satisfaction, as my hardness entered her. I began to move insistently, and blinked as her face blurred, the strange sensation of distance returning. This time the pressure within me came suddenly to a peak, and Charis’s expression was one of delight as I groaned loudly, spurting into her as though my release into the priestess had never happened.

I sank onto her chest, breathing heavily, and she stroked my hair. “Has she bewitched you?” Charis murmured contentedly. “It is an enchantment for which women would pay a high price.”

Magic? Enchantment? My head began to clear, and reason reasserted itself. Perfume, incense, Menesamun’s spurt of wetness as my mouth pressed against her most intimate parts. I shook my head at the audacity, the genius of the thing. “She used her own body to drug me.”

I sat up, wrapping my arms around Charis. “Dearest — I am sorry that her lingering magic overflowed onto you.”

She tilted her face up to kiss me hard on the mouth. “As I said, such magic is not unwelcome, if used sparingly.”

I nodded thoughtfully. “And if the priestess’s promise is kept, we have perhaps gained a powerful ally…”

In the distance there was the regularly-spaced sound of a heavy bell being rung, and Charis started. “Timon — we must prepare you for your audience.”

“But we have all day,” I queried.

Charis looked at me, her lips pressed together in a tight smile. “The priestess’s enchantment must really have been a powerful one. It is the ninth hour — only three remain until you must appear before Pharaoh.”

She got to her feet. “I will bring food — something more substantial than morning pastries.”

When she returned, the basket she bore contained olives, bread, cheese, and I ate hungrily. “Now, to get you ready,” Charis urged when I’d finished.

She led me again to the bathing pool, and I submitted to being cleansed, the strigil coming into use this time. Charis produced a lethal-looking cutthroat razor to shave me, and I reflected to myself that she must have a magic of her own, to gain my trust so completely after less than a cycle of hours in her company.

She tugged and fussed at the line of my best tunic — my luggage had arrived from the ship borne by two slaves — and finally stepped back, satisfied. “It is well.”

I heard a minor commotion at the foot of the steps, and leaned over the balcony to see the two sedan chairs arriving, Amsi heaving his bulk out of one. I gave a nod of farewell to Charis, and made my way down the stairs, obviously to Amsi’s great relief.

“Your Excellency,” he bowed. “I trust your stay so far has been a pleasant one?”

“The hospitality of your country is unsurpassed,” I assured him.

“Please,” he gestured, and I took my place in the sedan. Again the sensation of moving uphill, then muted light. I stepped out of the sedan, forcing myself not to gawp at the magnificence of the buildings making up Pharaoh’s palace complex. Hawk-faced soldiers were everywhere, and only Amsi’s unmistakeable presence caused them to step back, leaving us a clear path through the great bronze gates that stood at the top of the sweeping steps.

As we entered the throne room, lit by torches, a familiar figure caught my eye, and I kept my face from betraying any emotion as I passed close to Menesamun. I felt a flutter of a strange sensation, and fleetingly wondered if there was after all some genuine magic in what she had done…

But no time for that. We reached the foot of the high platform which culminated in the golden throne of Pharaoh, and I saw Amsi sink laboriously to his knees, then bend down with his face to the ground. I merely bowed my head, and a voice, powerful but amused, came from above. “Very correct — the Emperor in the person of his proconsul does not kneel, but shows due respect.”

I lifted my eyes, and despite all my control, couldn’t keep myself from blinking hard. Pharaoh — a boy of perhaps fifteen? None of our spies’ reports had prepared me for this. “Your Majesty.”

He raised an imperious hand. “Come — I will meet you in council. Of course my chief ministers will join us.”

Amsi got to his feet, leading me to a side door, then along a corridor to a smaller chamber, chairs round a table with an obvious but less ornate throne at the head.

Pharaoh entered from the other side of the room, followed by some of those who had attended in the throne room. Menesamun was among them, and I forced myself only to glance at her face as she took her place at the table, her robed body somehow still drawing me…

“So, my Roman friend, how do things stand between your Emperor and the Black Land?”

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