Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Fitful sleep

(Karnak, Egypt, 1458 BC)

Hatty roamed the empty halls of her palace. Everywhere she went, every room she looked in, was bare, stripped clean of anything she remembered. It was as if she had never existed at all! Stepping up on to the window sill, she gazed upon her kingdom. Scanning outside, looking down from her quarters, everything seemed normal as the world went about their business without her, living through another day. Feeling utterly alone, she felt her tummy, caressing it, a sense of emptiness growing as she did.

“Great Pharaoh,” a masculine voice spoke from behind her. Heart pounding, her hands gripped the sides of the precarious opening where she stood, toes hanging over the ledge of the window, a few inches from oblivion. “Hatty,” the kind voice called again as she felt sure hands grip her waist, pulling her back into safety.

With a start, on the verge, she woke up, body arching. Beads of perspiration glistened on her forehead, revealed by moonlight through her window, as Hatty sighed heavily. One of her servants, seeing her stirring, asked, “Are you well, Mistress?”

Struggling to calm herself, she swallowed hard, asking, “A cup of water, please?”

I must walk

Sitting upright, she saw the silver moon hanging outside her window, not yet fully formed, but almost. After sipping from a cup, she said, “I must walk and think…”

“May we dress you, Mistress?”

She did not answer, leaving through the door in her bed attire as their heads bowed.

With the Nile’s inundation, the weather cooled also, which felt good on her hot cheeks, bare feet padding through the stone corridors. Remembering the dream, she looked anxiously around, proving to herself that it was, in fact, a fancy of her imagination. Yet…yet the voice, that strong, reassuring voice, and the arms that caught her, that wasn’t a night fiction, but belonged to someone very, very real.

Coming to his door, she hesitated. Hand about to knock, she didn’t, trying with all her might to turn away. Tingling in her body caused confusion and frustration. I’m Pharaoh! No man refuses my pleasure! Hatty reassured herself…but what if he did? Would she beg? Something inside wanted to beg, longed be weak and vulnerable in his arms; helpless. Yes, she admitted, I would beg.

Feeling like a pig

She felt like a pig, running towards another so soon after her first lover’s death. Would he understand? Or would Senenmut hate and despise her for dishonoring his memory? I do love you, she thought as she stood there, every conflicting emotion crashing around inside her at once. Somewhere down deep, beyond her ability to reason, she felt his permission, even encouragement.

Knocking quietly, she waited. Nothing. Perhaps he’s getting dressed, becoming presentable. Finally, remembering to breathe, she knocked again, louder, this time hearing movement inside. Hatty quivered – hand steadying herself on the wall. Hinges creaking, the door slowly opened, revealing 3 fully clothed as opposed to her sheer night dress.

Looking up into his steel blue eyes, she said, “There’s something I wanted to ask about.”


“Yes, it can’t wait.” Walking into the room, she lit additional candles from the solitary one on the table, then began ruffling through papyrus.

Heavenly love

Turning, steadying herself against the table, Hatty asked breathlessly for a particular papyri, chest heaving. 3, noticing her female form silhouetted against the candlelight, thought, my God, what a beauty, his heart beating faster too. Then the muscular Vizier dutifully came over and began searching through the records. “Ah, here it is,” he said, spying it behind her. Reaching, he found Hatty turned, hand clasping his, gently pulling him near her.

Loins sensing her desire, her touch aroused his manhood, scent pulling his mind from the task at hand. Surprised, he yielded, allowing her fingers to guide his hand to her soft, round breast. Firm and warm, he caressed her hesitantly, brushing her lightly as she moaned and trembled. Wide, beautiful eyes, full of want and desire, looked up at him eagerly.

Hatty’s brown eyes darted again and again to his strong mouth as she noticed the cleft in his chin, whetting herself, biting her lip again, letting it go, sighing as her lips parted, exhaling, “God, yes.” Slowly, deliberately, he bent down and kissed her passionately, as she eagerly kissed him back. Belly jumping, her secret places swelling, Hatty moaned as their kiss penetrated her innermost soul. Merging in a dance of mutual pleasure, 3 felt his natural control dissolve as his spirit reached out to embrace to hers. Love overwhelmed his reason as sparks of her Shekinah melted into his, loins burning with passion.

Oh my God!

Oh my God, Hatty thought as she bit her lip again, take me!, urgently kissing him deeper. 3, however, held her firmly, prolonging their first kiss as if he were tasting a fine wine. His sure fingers ran down her back softly, caressing her skin, making her whimper all the more. Like an artist drawing a fine portrait, he slowly, relentlessly, discovered her shape and form, causing places in her to tingle she never knew existed.

Deciding, he lifted her effortlessly, holding her up to his waist, pressing her secret places against his as she undulated, shapely legs wrapping tightly. Moaning, Hatty felt everything inside her exploding at once, causing her to feel a sensation of floating in liquid love. “Tell me anything…tell me what you want, I’ll do it,” Hatty half moaned, half whispered, lips almost touching his earlobe.

Her eager love felt so right to his spirit, yet his mind reeled, asking himself, Is this holy? The match, such a union between unequals, how could it be? So much power, yet, so fragile. The yearning to mate, to feel her lie beneath him was surely there, 3 thought.

Carrying her over, laying her down in his bed, 3 looked at her eyes as she trembled, opening fully to his love. He said tenderly, “I love you, Hatty.”

More vulnerable than she’d ever felt in her entire life, by faith, Hatshepsut answered, wonder in her eyes, “I… I love you, too.”

Brenzel, on the other side of the royal quarters, stirred slightly as she slept between her two Saras, smiled, then drifted back into sweet sleep.

Judgment will be swift

(Rome, 1693)

The color gone from Matteo’s face, hands shaking violently, he felt like a hunted animal. He remembered, in vivid detail, sitting before the big monk, hearing the words, “If you fail in any point of our agreement, even in a minor detail, judgment will be swift and brutal.”

What a fool I’ve been! Why couldn’t I just play the part and left things well enough alone! he thought. Matteo realized now that time’s passage and his own arrogance had lulled him into a false sense of security – now, his life would be forfeit.

Offering a glass of wine to his master, Pietro thought furiously, it must be the priest! Burning hatred, murderous thoughts, raged within him towards that devil monk. If Matteo would only confide in him, trust him, allow him to help. Surely, after this, he would.

The dangers of Vatican City

Mafalda lay on the couch near Matteo, having fainted when she heard the news. The staff, learning of the attempt on the prince’s life, summoned the doctor and Imperiali guards. Dante lay on his bed, someone placing it by Matteo’s feet, depressed, with his head between his paws.

Pietro, talking with the guards, ordered one to speak to the stablemen to ready his master’s carriage. Eight Imperiali guards would accompany them back to the country estate, far away from the dangers of Vatican City.

Matteo’s Nonna, now sitting up, picked up and held Dante close to her bosom as she collected herself. Someone tried to kill my grandson! Who would be so recklessly bold! Imperialis were a feared family, powerful and well connected through marriage and business to all the great families of Italy. To move against a scion of their house was to invite Vendico (vendetta).

I’m not safe anywhere

Pietro, coming near to Matteo, leaned over, saying, “Master, they are readying your carriage, we will go with haste to the country house, you will be safe there. I can protect you.”

Still dazed from his near brush with death, half hearing what his manservant declared, Matteo looked at him, saying, “What?”

“We must go Sire, you are not safe here.”

Coming out of the fog, Matteo said absently, “I…I’m not safe anywhere.” Then, looking around for Dante, seeing him in his Nonna’s arms, he said, “No, I can’t leave…not yet. I must see Fiammetta,” he said grimly. “She’s my only hope now.”