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The Most Loved of All

By Tinnean


Published by JMS Books LLC at Smashwords

Visit jms-books.com for more information.


Copyright 2018 Tinnean

ISBN 9781634866057

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Cover Design: Written Ink Designs | written-ink.com

All rights reserved.


WARNING: This book is not transferable. It is for your own personal use. If it is sold, shared, or given away, it is an infringement of the copyright of this work and violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

No portion of this book may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher, with the exception of brief excerpts used for the purposes of review.

This book is for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. It may contain sexually explicit scenes and graphic language which might be considered offensive by some readers. Please store your files where they cannot be accessed by minors.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are solely the product of the author’s imagination and/or are used fictitiously, though reference may be made to actual historical events or existing locations. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Published in the United States of America.

* * * *

As always, this is for Bob. Many thanks to Drew Hunt for making sure my British works, and to Gail Morse for her comments and suggestions that helped make this a work I’m proud to present. I can’t thank them enough.

Aspis is an Egyptian cobra. Each Egyptian month had three ten day periods called decans or decades. Lord Carnarvon did die of a mosquito bite infected by a razor cut on 5 April, 1923.

This is set in the Strange, Strange World universe, whose world is not quite like ours. On our Earth, the final chamber of King Tutankhamun’s tomb wasn't opened until 16 February 1923, but on this Earth it was entered 26 November 1922.

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The Most Loved of All

By Tinnean

Chapter 1

Egypt was hot, a hellhole, hotter even than German East Africa, and I’d always said if I never set foot on Egyptian soil again in my life, it would be too soon.

So why was I back in Africa? Because someone asked me.

I sat at the bar in the Hotel Duke of York, a seedy establishment in a seedier side of Nairobi, although it hadn’t always been so. I drew a lungful of smoke from the cigarette that dangled from my mouth, choked—I’d never been much of a smoker—stubbed out the cigarette, and reached for my pint.

The last time I’d been there, ten years before, Charlie Pearson, the man I’d loved with every fibre of my being had been with me. We’d just arrived on Lake Tanganyika from the tiny village of Udjidji—things had happened on that journey, not the least of which was we’d gotten married. And incidentally, once we’d reached the lake, we’d succeeded in sinking the German steamship, Konigin Marie Christine.

From there we’d travelled to Nairobi, and after we’d checked into the Hotel Duke of York, Charlie had taken me up to our rooms and made love to me as if it were the very first time, all in celebration of our marriage and in having thrown a spanner into the Hun’s works.

Yes, we were two men. And we had married each other, in our eyes and God’s, if not in man’s. I looked down at the ring finger of my left hand. On it was a gold wedding ring, etched to look like river grass. It replaced the first ring Charlie had woven from actual grass and placed on my finger—I’d lost the original when a storm blew up and sank our boat, the Nile Goddess.

I slid the ring up and down my finger, finally taking it off and placing it on the bar in front of me. I ordered another pint. Charlie would have laughed, remembering how tipsy I had gotten the first day he had introduced me to bitter.

It had been an unbelievable ten years—so much lost, so much gained.

I remembered our hot, sweaty lovemaking afterward in the dark that night, and I couldn’t help smiling. And then I couldn’t help the tears that burned behind my eyes.

Until I’d sailed the Ruzizi with Charlie Pearson, back when the War to End All Wars had come to German East Africa, I’d never known what love could be like. Oh, I was certain Nanny liked me, and that meant a good deal, but it wasn’t love. Neither Brother nor my parents seemed to care tuppence for a little boy who wanted nothing more than to love and be loved.

It had taken Charlie to show me that I was lovable…was worth loving. And that meant more to me than anything.

* * * *

From Nairobi we had wandered to South Africa, since Charlie wanted to revisit it, and we got by doing a bit of this and a bit of that—as the little brother of a missionary, I didn’t have many skills, although Charlie saw that changed—and spending our nights locked in each other’s arms. Often I woke with his prick buried deep in my arse, or his mouth industriously working to drive me to an overpowering orgasm.

He was older, more experienced—he’d fought in the Boer War, afterward remaining in Africa and becoming the captain of the battered riverboat called the Nile Goddess. Because he’d done so much more than I in his lifetime, he was the one in charge in our partnership. There was no doubt of that, and I never wanted it any other way.

While in South Africa, we came across a patch of hilly land that didn’t look very appealing, but something about it intrigued him, and so we bought it—well, he bought it and put my name on the deed along with his. It didn’t cost much, but we didn’t have much, and we about mortgaged our souls for it. After almost seven years, we were only a little closer to owning it outright.

Charlie returned that night to the little cabin we had built with our own hands, and he was so excited I expected him to dance a jig all over our kitchen.

Little Rev.” This was a pet name he had called me for years, from even before our adventure down the Ruzizi on the Nile Goddess.

I was washing myself on the tiny veranda that fronted our home. After a long afternoon on the Veldt my torso was streaked with sweat. I turned to smile at him. “Yes, Charlie?”

He caught his breath, and his gaze roamed over me. My skin was bronzed now, and my body had toughened from the constant physical labour. Whatever he had been about to say was lost in the heat that appeared to sweep over him. He tossed his slouch hat onto the veranda, and seized me, his mouth ravenous on mine. I could feel the hard length of his prick pressing against my groin.

Something had made my partner unusually randy—possibly the fact it had been quite some time since we’d last made love.

Charlie.” I laughed. “Can’t this wait until after dinner?”

He dropped his hands to my arse and squeezed and kneaded my buttocks, which had become more muscular over the years. “Not tonight, sweetheart,” he muttered. “I have to have you now.”

I leaned forward to run my tongue over the side of his neck, savouring the salty taste of his skin. “All right, then.” I took his hand and tugged him after me into the house, my free hand already working the buttons of the canvas trousers I wore. “How do you want me, love?” Almost eight years, and I still couldn’t get enough of him. I kicked off my boots and stepped out of my trousers.

He licked at my mouth, and then took my lower lip between his teeth, worrying it gently. He reached down, and his long fingers encircled my shaft. The crown was already peeking above my foreskin and was leaking that clear fluid he so effortlessly drew from me. He gathered the moisture on his thumb, pressing hard against the slit at the tip, obtaining the gasps he’d made obvious from the very beginning that he loved to hear.

Charlie walked me backward to a wall, his mouth devouring mine, and dropped his trousers. I was so lost in a fog of lust that I didn’t even notice when he picked up the jar of Vaseline. He turned me around and worked quickly to lubricate my passage. I thought he meant to take me that way, but he spun me back to face him and slid his forearms under my thighs.

Raising me up, he spread my legs wide and held me open, his shaft nudging the crevice between my buttocks. I leaned back against the wall and waited breathlessly to feel my love breach my opening.

We had learned on our wedding night that if I teased him, the results for us both were very well worth it. But it had been too long since the last time he had taken me, and neither of us was in the mood to play. The rough material of his shirt tantalised my prick, and I shuddered. “Charlie.” I groaned, so impatient I could barely hold still. “Fuck me.”

He laughed softly and then moaned as he felt the tight ring of muscle surrender and he slid balls deep into my body. I clenched my muscles, enjoying the hard length that impaled me.

Yes.” He nuzzled the side of my neck. “Sing for me, little Rev.” He wrapped my shaft in his loving grasp and stroked me in time to his thrusts in my arse. Normally he would take his time, but tonight he urged me higher, made me hotter, drove me faster, and then I did sing for him as I exploded over his shirt and my naked chest.

I sagged in his embrace, my inner muscles contracting as he climaxed, and I milked him of his hot essence, relishing the feel as he filled me with his heat. “I love you, Charlie.”

He started to say something, but broke off as a fit of coughing seized him. His prick jerked out of me as he dropped my weight, and I winced from the sharp sting.

Sorry…” He wheeled around, covering his mouth as the coughing almost seemed to overpower him, “S-sorry…little Rev. Did I…hurt you?”

Don’t worry about me, love. What’s wrong?” I had seen the blood that streaked his sleeve as he wiped his mouth.

Ah, hell. It’s nothing, Roddy. I swear. How many times do I have to tell you that?”

I knew better than to press him. For the past six months that cough had been getting progressively worse. The only time he had ever struck me in the face in our years together had been when I’d insisted he see a doctor. Afterward, he’d been appalled and had apologised profusely, but he’d been adamant about not seeing the doctor.

He did up his trousers, barely taking the time to clean himself off, and went to the iron range that took up most of one wall. A pan of beef stew had been simmering on it all afternoon. Charlie poured a scoop of it into a bowl, making sure none of the vegetables joined the chunks of meat.

I reached for the scrap of blue blanket that had followed me from England to Udjidji to South Africa and used it to wipe myself off. Once that was done, I pulled on my trousers and did them up, washed my hands, took Charlie’s bowl and added the vegetables, then filled my own bowl and sat down at the table.

We may not be able to keep the freehold, Roddy,” he said abruptly.

My head shot up. In the same amount of time that things had been off with Charlie, I had noticed the farm not doing well either. The land wasn’t really conducive to growing things, and whatever cattle we had seemed to vanish from one day to the next.

Will we be able to salvage anything from it, love?”

He shook his head. “If things remain the way they are, it will be gone by the end of the year.”

All right,” I said. In my twenty-six years, I’d had four homes—our tiny house in London, where Brother and I had lived with Mama and Papa; the cottage I’d shared with Brother in Udjidji after he’d come to German East Africa to convert the natives; some of the happiest times in my life on the Nile Goddess with Charlie; and finally, here on our little farm. I’d heard somewhere that a body could move up to seven different times in his life. If we needed to move again, I was willing. As long as I had Charlie, I’d always be willing. “In that case, we’ll just move on. We can always hire ourselves out to the other farmers if we must.”

No, Roddy. I’m getting too old for that.”

You’ll never be too old.”

You sweet-talker, you.” He smiled and reached across the table to ruffle my hair. “But that’s what I’ve got to tell you. I have a plan. I got in touch with an old friend of mine, an English archaeologist, name of Howard Carter. He’s going to be doing some excavating in the Valley of the Kings, and he’s hired me on.”

The Valley of the Kings?” I repeated.

It’s in Egypt.”

In Egypt?” All I seemed able to do was repeat him stupidly.

When he looked away, I could tell he was uncomfortable. “I’ll…be there about three months—I’ll be gone six, all told. Carter promised me enough to cover what we owe on the farm.”

All right, Charlie.”

All right? You’re not going to try to change my mind?” He sounded a bit disgruntled, but I brushed that aside.

No. If you want to go to Egypt, who am I to gainsay you? When do we leave?”

Now just you hold on there, little Rev. Who said anything about you coming along?”

Oh?” I cocked an eyebrow at him. “Whither thou goest…?”

You can’t go with me.”

I didn’t say anything.

One of us has to stay and run this farm.”

I looked at him, keeping my gaze flat and steady. I knew it was just a matter of time.

Roddy!” He jumped up and came around the table. “S’welp me, I’ve a mind to tan your hide.” He pulled me up out of my chair and into an embrace, giving a huff of laughter. “We leave at the end of the month.”

Wait a minute. Were you planning on taking me with you all along?”

I’m sorry, little Rev. I shouldn’t have teased you like that. Would I go anywhere without you? I love you, sweetheart.”

I hugged him tight and kissed the spot under his ear. “I love you, too, Charlie.”

But dear God, I was worried.

* * * *

Just before we left, Charlie asked a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on our farm. I could understand why he felt it would be three months before we arrived in Cairo. First we travelled north into the Syrian Desert, where he tracked down a band of Bedouins from his roving, younger years. The sheik embraced him heartily, and Charlie sent a sheepish glance my way. I suspected their relationship went a little deeper than casual friends, and when the swarthy desert-dweller presented us with a pair of his finest horses, a chestnut stallion and a dapple-grey mare, I was certain of it.

Wisely, I refrained from saying anything. I was secure in my marriage to the older man, and I knew that whoever was in his past was just that—in his past. We stayed with the tribe for a few weeks, and I could see the sorrow in the sheik as he realized his old comrade’s health was not what it should have been.

There may come a time you no longer have need of these beauties,” the sheik told me, regarding the horses. “When that time comes, you will return them to me. You will find me in Damascus. Meanwhile…Have a care for him, my young friend.” We watched as Charlie climbed laboriously into his saddle. “Or by Allah, I will hunt you down and slice the flesh from your bones.”

I touched both hands to my forehead to signify my acceptance of his decree. To my surprise, he enveloped me in a hug, and then brusquely stepped away, signalling for me to mount my mare.

And what will you call her, this drinker of the wind?” he asked, stroking her strong, sloping shoulder as I gathered the reins into my left hand.

Hubini—my beloved.” But my gaze was on Charlie as I said this, and the Bedouin gave a grunt of satisfaction.

He has chosen well, the friend of my youth.” Uncomfortable with the show of emotion, he changed the subject. “What does he call his steed?”

George.” I bit my lip to prevent myself from laughing. “For our king.” The other man looked as if he had bitten down on a particularly tart lemon. Then he laughed, and with a light slap to Hubini’s rump to start her on our journey, bid us farewell.

* * * *

We met up with Howard Carter and Edward Cramdon, a young expert in translating hieroglyphics, in Cairo.

Lord Carnarvon isn’t here?” Charlie asked. He’d told me the earl was backing the project.

No. He’s remained behind in the Valley of the Kings.”

Oh?”

Mr Carter shrugged. “Mostly it’s to keep an eye on the men. There have been some rumours…”

Rumours?”

Oh, you wouldn’t believe what those heathens are willing to accept as truth,” Cramdon said with a supercilious smirk. “The earl’s presence keeps them in line.”

That will do, Cramdon. Charlie, I have a list of supplies we need to stock up on. Would you mind getting them? Cramdon and I have some paperwork we need to fill out with the Egyptian authorities.”

Sure.” Charlie took the list from Mr Carter, glanced over it, and handed it to me. “It won’t take us long to fill this order.”

Us? Oh, yes, your young friend. Well, get hopping.” Mr Carter and Cramdon left.

Doesn’t Mr Carter know we’re married?” I ran my thumb over the circle of my wedding ring.

No. Our kind aren’t looked on too kindly.”

I was aware of that, and while I resented it—why should it matter to anyone who I loved?—there wasn’t much I could do about it.

And…” He avoided meeting my gaze. “I think it might be a good idea for us to sleep in separate tents.”

I wheeled to face him at that. “But why?” In our almost eight years together, we’d never slept apart. Not to be beside him, even if we couldn’t have intercourse…that hurt worst of all.

The men we’ll be working with aren’t enlightened. They’d look on us sharing one tent with suspicion, and I’d fear for your safety. It’s better this way, trust me.

But—”

Humour me, Roddy?”

I sighed and agreed, and dropped the subject.

The two of us began to scour the city for mules and camels, ropes and timbers, shovels and pickaxes, and more men to work the dig.

After supper that evening, Mr Carter pointed us in the direction of the hotel we’d stay at. I thought since Charlie’s friend and the young expert were staying with friends of Mr Carter, Charlie and I would have the opportunity to spend the night in the same bed.

I’m wiped out, little Rev.”

We don’t have to do anything,” I hurried to assure him.

You’re too tempting. I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off you.” He touched my cheek, then opened the door to my room, which was adjacent to his, handed me the key, and waited until I entered to say, “Lock your door and put a chair under the doorknob.”

Yes, Charlie.” I didn’t bother protesting he’d taught me to do that years ago.

Sleep well, little Rev.”

You, too.” I offered him a smile, but I didn’t shut the door until he entered his own room.

I closed my door and did as my love had instructed, then stripped off my clothes and climbed into bed.

And sometime during the night I began to dream

* * * *

Chapter 2

It was a warm afternoon, and in the privacy of my rooms in the temple of Anubis, I wore nothing but a linen kilt.

I have a gift for you, Prince.” The high priest strolled into the courtyard off my rooms, where I idly plucked figs from one of the trees that grew there and nibbled on the ripened fruit.

Khentemsemet.” I gave him a regal nod. I was a prince, after all, and while he was high priest of the god I served, he was minor nobility at best. “What do you have for me?”

Khentemsemet came closer, and an intoxicating scent seemed to envelope me. He held out a closed hand, then turned it over and opened it, and I caught my breath at the sight I beheld: a string of lustrous black pearls that dangled from his fingers. I’d never before seen anything as beautiful, and Khentemsemet was giving them to me.

Do you like them?”

Yes!” I reached out to stroke them, and he withdrew them. “Khentemsemet?”

He smiled, took my hand, and dropped the pearls into them. They were cool, in spite of him holding them, but they quickly warmed in my palm.

I tilted my head to observe the high priest. Why had I never realised how handsome he was? “Why this gift, my lord?” I’d always been so cool to him, although at the moment I could not fathom why.

His smile broadened. “I like hearing you address me in that manner.”

I barely paid any heed to his words. The pearls fascinated me. They had such a sheen, I could swear I saw my own reflection in them. Khentemsemet came to stand behind me and rested his hand on my shoulder, and my prick hardened as his reflection in the pearls mingled with mine.

I shivered from the feel of his hand on me, something I’d never encountered before. Although I’d reached the age of seventeen, I was still virgin. I’d been dedicated to the dark god Anubis at a very young age, and while virginity wasn’t a requirement, I’d never met anyone—noble or priest—I was willing to share my body with, had never been curious enough to experiment with slaves or servants. As for boys whose rank was close to mine…there were none. I was the brother of the pharaoh Tutankhamun after all.

I shivered again when the high priest removed his hand from my shoulder. “I have duties I must attend to, but I wanted to give you this small token of my esteem.”

Don’t leave yet, my lord.” I turned and caught his hand, and I blushed and released it when he raised an eyebrow. I’d never been so uncertain in the presence of another man. “The sun will set soon. Watch it with me?”

He bowed slightly. “Of course, highness. I’m at your service.” His heady words made my prick even harder. Although I was a prince and a priest and would one day be high priest myself, I’d never exerted my influence over an older man. Not to say that Khentemsemet was old. Now that I studied him more closely, I could see he must only be a handful of years my senior.

Why had I ever thought otherwise?

I took his hand again and drew him toward a low bench. The bench was wide enough to leave some space between us, but I sat with my hip and thigh brushing up against his.

Does this please you, Prince?”

Indeed it does. But you must call me Teremun.”

As you wish.”

Would you…would you share a meal with me?”

I would like nothing better…Teremun.”

I felt as if he’d handed me the moon, and I beamed up at him and summoned a slave.

Lord Khentemsemet is dining with me here. Fetch the meal.”

He bowed and hurried off. I knew the temple’s cook would send my favourite dishes—quail and pigeon, to be washed down with fine Greek wine. For dessert he would offer date cakes covered with honey and nuts.

My mouth watered, but not at the notion of the food that would soon be arriving. I caressed the rope of pearls, and murmured, “I’ve never had anything so beautiful.”

I’ll show you how to wear them.”

What’s to show? Surely I’ll simply knot them about my waist.” It wasn’t a very long rope of pearls, but my waist was narrow.

He was silent for a moment. “If that is how you wish to wear them…”

There’s another way?”

He smiled, then looked toward the doorway behind us. “Our dinner has arrived.” Two slave boys placed trays on a table and bowed themselves out.

I wanted to question Khentemsemet more about how else one would wear these beautiful pearls, but before I could, he rose and went to the table. “Wine, my prince?”

I loved hearing him refer to me in that manner. “Yes.”

He poured a goblet and brought it to me, swirling the ruby liquid in it. I took it and waited. He smiled and poured a goblet for himself.

To you, Prince.” He raised his goblet to me, and I blushed once more, then took a sip.

The wine was sweet, and after that first sip, I found myself gulping it down.

Gently, Teremun. You don’t wish to become tipsy.”

No, of course not.” I set my goblet down, almost missing the table, and I frowned. I’d never been affected so quickly by wine.

You’ve probably been too long without food. Let me help you to your chamber,” the high priest suggested. He slid an arm around my waist, helped me to my feet, and escorted me out of the courtyard.

The feel of his palm low on my hip aroused me further, and I leaned into him, hoping he would stay with me a while.

Stay with me,” I murmured as he urged me to sit on my bed.

If you wish.”

And you’ll show me how to wear the pearls?”

I will.”

Excellent.” I toppled back onto my bed and giggled.

First I must remove your kilt.”

All right.” I spread out my arms. Staring up at the depictions of the dark god on the ceiling made me dizzy, so I closed my eyes. I startled when fingertips ran from the hollow at the base of my throat and trailed down my torso, past my navel, to my aroused cock. I leaned up on an elbow and was embarrassed to see clear fluid leaking from my organ.

Khentemsemet bent forward and dragged his tongue across the tip.

My lord! Is this done?”

Don’t you like it?”

I didn’t even have to think about it. “I do. But—”

Then let me pleasure you.” He took my cock between his plump lips and suckled it, then swallowed it down inch by slow inch. The feeling of his throat muscles caressing my length sent shivers up my spine. I thrust up, causing him to gag, and he withdrew. “I cannot do this if you don’t control yourself.”

Forgive me. It’s just I’ve never…”

Never? You didn’t even dally with one of the slaves in your father’s palace?”

No.”

Then I will have much to teach you.” There was satisfaction in his words.

Yes, teach me!”

He stuck a finger in his mouth, then removed it and resumed sucking my cock.

Ah. That felt so—I let out a shriek as his moistened finger stroked across my anus, then dipped into it. It felt strange, and then he performed some sort of magic, because his finger came into contact with a spot inside me, and that was all it took for me to explode in his mouth and swoon from the sheer pleasure of it.

Some little while later, I regained my senses to find myself on my belly with my legs splayed wide and my hips raised high. Tentatively, I clenched my inner muscles. I felt…stuffed. “My lord, what have you done?” I asked breathlessly.

I promised to show you the way to wear the pearls, did I not?”

Y-yes?”

I’ve placed them in your delectable rear.”

I glanced at him over my shoulder, shocked but…titillated. “Is this done?” I queried once again I did like the way they made me feel, the way they seemed to roll inside me, caressing me in a most private spot.

Shall I remove them?”

No!”

I thought not. Now, I would like you to return the favour.” He flipped me onto my back and crouched over my torso, facing the foot of my bed.

Favour? I’m sorry, my lord, I don’t understand.”

You will take my member in your sweet mouth and suck me off.” He backed his hips so his cock nudged my chin. His musky scent flooded my nostrils, and I almost became drunk on it.

I opened my “sweet mouth” to tell him no, I didn’t want to do that, meaning to tease him, but he took that as an invitation and slid his massive cock between my lips. And it was massive. He rocked into my mouth, pushing his cock farther and farther in until I gagged and tears fell from my eyes. I couldn’t beg for mercy, indeed had no desire to do so once I learned the way of it, and I sucked avidly on his member, swirled my tongue under the foreskin and around the crown, forgetting completely that he’d inserted the string of pearls into my back passage.

While I sucked him, he pulled back on my buttocks and stroked the crevice, tugged a few pearls out, then pushed them back in, and I wriggled, wanting…something, but not knowing exactly what. Above me, above the heavy orbs that swung with the high priest’s rocking motion, the globes of his buttocks flexed, and I could see the puckered opening between them. Would he permit me to touch him there? I couldn’t ask, so instead I ran my fingernails over the firm muscles, thrilled when he hummed in pleasure.

Are you sure you’ve never done this, Prince? You’re very talented.”

I would have purred with my own pleasure at his praise had I been able to.

I lost track of how much time passed.

You’re doing so well, my pretty little prince. Would you like to taste me?”

Of course I couldn’t say yes, not with my mouth stuffed, but I nodded as best I could. However, since he couldn’t see, I made a noise of assent and then redoubled my efforts to bring him to orgasm.

Excellent.” His cock seemed to swell, and for the first time I feared I wouldn’t be able to breathe. He began to spurt—huge quantities of his essence, and it just poured down my throat, causing me to choke. I didn’t want to pull off, but I had no choice.

He must have sensed my intent, because he sat back, driving his cock deeper into my throat and preventing me from moving. And in that moment, he tore the pearls from my back passage, and once again I exploded, although I’d had no idea I’d again grown hard or was even close to climaxing.

Was I about to die? I realised it didn’t matter. I belonged to him body and soul, and if I died pleasing him, then it was well worth it.

I thought for a second a dark voice growled, “It is not well worth it!” But no, that couldn’t be. All I could hear was a buzzing in my ears and the grunts of my lover above me.

But when Khentemsemet saw I didn’t fight him, didn’t struggle to push him off, he rose up, took his cock from my mouth, and swung around to face me.

M-my lord?” I’d been about to call him master. I was a prince. I should have called no man master. But it was so fitting, especially since he’d given me such pleasure…such satisfaction…I smiled drowsily into his dark eyes. “Thank you.”

You did well, little prince. We’ll do this again, and the next time…”

Yes?”

I’ll bugger you until you can’t walk.”

Is that a promise, my lord?” Perhaps I should have been frightened by the lust in his gaze, but my only reaction was the desire to roll over and offer the high priest my arse. My opening was a trifle sore from the violent removal of the pearls, but I was more than willing. The thought of taking his massive cock into my body…Oh, yes. Much more than willing.

He chuckled. “I must leave now. I have tasks that await me, unlike a certain prince I could name.” He patted my arse.

I smiled and dozed off.

When I awoke some hours later, I ached in a very acceptable manner. Could I place the pearls into me myself? I determined to try.

But oddly enough, no matter how diligently I searched, I couldn’t find the pearls.

They were gone…

* * * *

Chapter 3

The bustle of the hotel roused me the next morning, and I blearily opened my eyes. The hinges of my jaw ached, and my arse felt as if Charlie had been rough with me, something he never was.

Because of how my body felt, I knew I must have had a dream of making love with Charlie. I’d had such dreams before he became my lover, when I’d wake to damp pants and a sense of satisfaction. This one, though…someone had been inside me, someone I wanted, but I couldn’t recall his face. The harder I tried—the harder I attempted to hold onto the memory—the harder it was to recall.

And then it was gone, but not the sense of shame at having found pleasure with someone not my husband.

It made the daylight hours worse because Charlie hadn’t made love to me since we’d left our farm. Even in the desert he’d seemed reluctant to touch me.

You were restless last night, little Rev,” he said when I joined him in the hotel’s dining room. “Are you all right?” His eyes were dark with concern as I sat gingerly beside him to break my fast.

How did you know that?”

I could hear you through the walls. They’re paper-thin.”

I’m sorry I disturbed you,” I said stiffly. I was even sorrier at the sad look my curt words put on his face. “Yes, I’m fine,” I told him. I’d never outright lied to him before, but that dream…it made me uncomfortable…ashamed. I forced myself to smile at him and said again, “I’m fine.”

That’s good. We’ll be heading out today.”

I cringed at the thought of the discomfort a trot would bring my arse, but I didn’t have a logical reason to ask for a delay to our journey. Mr Carter stated everything had been squared away with the officials, and he was ready to leave whenever we were.

We finished breakfast, went to the stables where our horses were being kept, and prepared to gather up our men and supplies and head south for the Valley of the Kings.

Fortunately, Hubini had an easy gait, and I had no discomfort. I decided the ache I’d felt in the morning must have been remnants of the dream. Come the night, surely things would be better.

But they weren’t, because the closer we came to the Valley of the Kings, the more frequently the dreams came. I could never remember their contents, but each morning I woke aroused, and due to the lack of privacy, unable to do anything about it.

* * * *

The Valley of the Kings, across from the ancient city of Luxor, was in an isolated, secluded area, miles from civilization. It was steeped in superstition.

After we got there, Charlie and I set up our tents—separate tents—and I felt my heart crack a little.

Even worse, I continued to be disturbed by erotic dreams. I would wake up sweating and trembling, sticky from having climaxed, and feeling as if my arse had been thoroughly ploughed. But it wasn’t enough, and I went through the day needing to have a lover’s hand on me. However, Charlie wouldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t turn to another man, although I’d received an invitation. I was married, after all, and I took my vows seriously.

Charlie kept me at arm’s length, and I was certain those dreams were to blame.

No, I wasn’t thinking clearly, but what other reason could there be?

* * * *

So we worked and sweated, and every morning when we rose, we would have fewer men than the day before, as the desolation acted upon their wildest fears. The eerie wail of the wind at night, the jackals’ howls, the never-ending susurration of the desert sand, all this contributed to the ever-rising tension.

And I started to dread the approach of twilight. I looked for reasons to stay awake, and I would succeed for a day or so, but of course, sleep would eventually overtake me, and I would again find myself in the court of an Egyptian pharaoh.

Because yes, I remembered that much, but didn’t it make sense, since we were in the land of pyramids and Sphinxes?

* * * *

There was a great deal of excitement when a tomb was discovered, but that excitement fizzled when they realised it was too small to be that of the king they were searching for. Still…it appeared to belong to a royal of the eighteenth dynasty, and it hadn’t been looted.

I was drawn to the tomb, and I couldn’t understand why Charlie wasn’t fascinated as well. That was, until the passage into the burial chamber was cleared, and I entered it.

The stone sarcophagus in the centre of the chamber was plain, although once Cramdon and I opened it, we could see the coffin within was gold and inlaid with jewels—sapphires, rubies, and emeralds—and when the lid was removed, a fine silver chain was seen to rest on the linen-wrapped mummy within it. Surprisingly, the chain gleamed in the torch light. It wasn’t even tarnished.

Edward Cramdon and I were alone in the tomb—I wasn’t pleased when he followed after me, but he was the expert, and I had no say in the matter. Having the width of the tomb separating us was my idea, and if he’d taken a single step toward me, I’d have struck him again. He had tried to interest me early on in whiling away the hot afternoon hours in his bed—since Charlie and I weren’t sharing a tent, he was under the erroneous belief I was unattached. When he refused to take my polite refusal seriously, persisting in trying to touch or kiss me, I knocked him on his arse. He kept his distance after that, but I was still wary of him.

Interesting,” he murmured now, regarding the chain, and he reached out to pick it up. The delicate links caught on the linen, and it was as if it tried to cling to the body it had once belonged to. He gave an impatient tug, and the linen tore. I’d have thought it was most likely due to its age, but he frowned and said, “The wrapping of every mummy I’ve come across has disintegrated or rotted to rags eons ago. This, though…” He shook his head, dropped the belt—somehow I knew it was worn low around the hips—and walked back to the entry to the burial chamber. He scowled at the hieroglyphs etched into the stone above it. “Teremun? I’ve never heard of him. Probably some merchant or craftsman or minor nobility.”

With such an adorned coffin?”

Anyone with a handful of jewels could consider himself a prince,” he scoffed. “Although…” He became pensive.

Although what?”

That image on the rear wall. It’s Anubis, god of the dead.”

I thought you said Osiris was god of the dead.”

Cramdon would often insist on spending the evenings “entertaining” us with tales of the Egyptian gods. I’d have preferred to spend the time in bed with Charlie, but that wasn’t an option.

Cramdon waved aside my observation. “After Osiris became god of the dead, Anubis was relegated to the task of ferrying souls to the afterlife, as well as overseeing the mummification process.”

I walked up to the wall and studied the image, powerfully muscled, with a jackal’s head. I could swear the god’s golden eyes gazed down on me, and I backed away hastily, reluctant to turn my back on the god.

Only when the length of the chamber was between us did I turn to see what Cramdon, who had fallen silent, was doing.

He had withdrawn a knife and was trying to pry off a sapphire the size of my fist from the sarcophagus. The tip of his knife broke, and he swore, then snatched up the silver belt.

Is that a good idea?”

Cramdon gave an affronted huff. “I’m not going to keep this. I plan to show it to Mr Carter.”

That wasn’t what I…”

He strode through the doorway, and I followed him out of the tomb, shaking my head.

Roddy.” Charlie called to me, and I paused.

Cramdon curled a lip at my love, then strode past, hurrying on to the tent where Mr Carter and Lord Carnarvon had their field office.

I used the ends of the bandanna I’d tied around my throat to mop at the sweat that rolled down past my cheekbones. I started to tell Charlie what Cramdon and I had found in the tomb we’d just left. Cramdon wasn’t the only one who dismissed the importance of that particular tomb. For obvious reasons, neither Mr Carter nor Lord Carnarvon had seemed interested in excavating and exploring it rather than continuing the search for the Boy King’s final resting place.

Even the few men remaining seemed reluctant to enter the tomb, but while something about it intrigued me, I hadn’t had the opportunity to take Charlie aside and talk with him about it.

What is it, Charlie?”

I want you to go back to Cairo,” he said abruptly.

What? No!”

You’re looking very tired. I think you need a break from this place.” He cut off my automatic protest. “Howard and I have been discussing this with Lord Carnarvon, and we desperately need men to replace the ones who’ve run away. You’ve always been a good judge of character and would be perfect to select the men. Will you do this for me?”

But it’s so far.” It had taken Charlie and me about three weeks on horseback to reach the Valley of the Kings, where camp had already been set up.

It will take you a couple of months.” He saw how appalled I looked and patted my shoulder. “Three weeks there, two to find the men we’ll need, and three weeks back.”

Will you come with me, Charlie? Our anniversary is in a few weeks.” We’d lost track of time as we boated down the Ruzizi, and I’d selected October 31 at random as the date we’d married each other. “We could have some time alone together. Please come with me.” I couldn’t help how desperate I sounded. He seemed to be drifting further and further from me. I’d expected him to share my tent, but instead he’d refused to come to my bed, even for a cuddle. And he coughed more and more.

No, I can’t come this time, little Rev. Howard needs me here.” He lowered his voice. “But I promise you a second honeymoon as soon as this dig is finished.”

I was uneasy at the thought of leaving him behind, but God help me, I jumped at the opportunity to get away from that place.

So the plan was put into effect. I would have a guide, and we would each take two horses and a donkey when we left for Cairo the next morning.

But there was still that night to be gotten through

* * * *

Chapter 4

I missed Khentemsemet. There had been times, due to the high priest’s duties, that we were apart for long periods. Not to say I didn’t have duties as well, and I worked diligently at them. But my body yearned for his.

Each time Khentemsemet made love to me, I became more enthralled with him, and I waited impatiently for him to come to my bed.

Shortly after the first time he had made love to me, he’d said we had to conceal our love—I was the Pharaoh’s brother, and although Khentemsemet was the high priest, people would sneer at him.

They would see me loving you as an excuse for me to rise up in the world,” he said, his tone mournful.

That’s nonsense,” I declared hotly.

That’s kind of you, Prince, and so like you to see it that way, but my reputation would be in ruins.”

I hated that thought, but I hated the sadness on his face even more, so I agreed to treat him as nothing more than an acquaintance, but it was difficult, and there would be those long stretches when we were apart. After all, as high priest, he had to visit the temples throughout the kingdom to make sure they were being cared for and our god worshipped in the proper manner.

Take me with you,” I begged.

I cannot.” He ran his hand over my hair and offered me a goblet of wine, which I gulped down greedily. “However, I have something for you to play with.”

I don’t need a toy.” I set aside the goblet. “I’m not a child.”

No, you’re not a child. However, this isn’t precisely a toy.”

Then what, my lord?” I blinked and swayed. I had imbibed the wine too quickly.

He presented me a pair of phalli, one ivory and the other onyx, and a fragrant ointment. “Use the ointment to ease the ivory phallus’s way into you, and think of me when you do so.”

I’d rather it was you.”

As do I.”

And what of the onyx one?” It was a good deal larger than the ivory one.

Ah. You must work up to that, impatient one. That one will be for when I return. Trust me. Our time apart will be over before we know it.”

My cock hardened and my sphincter clenched. “Oh, yes.”

We had a final meal together, and I hoped afterward we might dally, but after a last sip of wine—he wasn’t one for sweets and so declined the date cake—he cupped my cheek, ran his thumb over my lips, and left.

That night I used the ivory phallus, which was a good size. I sighed. It just wasn’t as large as Khentemsemet’s member. And while it helped for a time, by the next evening, I was desperate to have his flesh and blood cock in my back passage rather than an artificial one. So I slicked up my passage, lay on my back, worked the phallus in and out of my body, and wondered what the huge onyx phallus would feel like.

However, for that one, I would wait as he suggested.

Two months passed in this fashion, and I’d resigned myself to another less-than-satisfactory evening once again, when Khentemsemet appeared.

My lord!” I was too well trained to throw myself into his arms, but oh, I wanted to. “May I offer you wine?”

He studied me broodingly. “Do you wish to please me, Teremun?”

Of course.”

Splendid. And you’ll do all I ask of you?”

You have but to ask.”

And if I say we shall play a game?”

A game, lord? I’m not a child,” I informed him once again.

I’m well aware of that. I intend to bring another to our bed.”

But—”

And you will agree to it because you belong to me, because you’re curious, and because I ask it of you.”

I did belong to him, body and soul. And truth to tell, I was curious. I smiled at him. “Yes.”

He smiled back, his eyes glinting with approval. “Retire to your bedchamber.”

I hurried to obey him. What would it be like to take another man into my body? I’d only had Khentemsemet. Or perhaps I would get to put my cock into someone. I’d never thought of that before, and I found the idea arousing.

I stripped off my kilt and was about to prepare my back passage for what was to come when the high priest entered.

Not that. I have an ointment I brought you. But first, put on the silver chain I had crafted for you.” He was so kind, gave me so many things.

I took the links from the lapis box I kept in a chest and fastened it low on my hips.

Excellent.” He placed a ring around my cock and secured it to the chain. “Now, kneel up on the bed.”

I did as he bid, folded my arms, and rested my cheek on my forearm.

Excellent,” Khentemsemet murmured again. He reached under me and stroked my cock, chuckling when he found me already oozing the clear fluid that indicated my arousal.

I’ve missed you, lord.”

He didn’t respond to that. Instead, he released my cock. After a moment, I felt his slicked finger trailing from my testicles to my opening, and I shivered. He drove his finger into me, removed it—

Please, my lord—”

Hush. I’m just gathering more ointment.”

Mmm. It feels delightful.”

Your delight pleases me.” He inserted two fingers this time, pressing them all the way in. Then he twisted his fingers as if to coat the walls of my channel, and in doing so crossed the sweet spot within me. I moaned and thrust back against his fingers. He stroked my buttocks, then repeated this two more times.

The ointment had started as a cool pleasure, but by the time he withdrew his teasing fingers, an itch had begun.

Lord?”

You said you would do whatever I asked of you,” he reminded me.

Y-yes.” I couldn’t prevent myself from wriggling my buttocks in a vain attempt to ease the feeling that was starting to drive me wild. “Please, my lord. Ride me.”

You need it, don’t you, my pretty princeling?”

Desperately.”

Then you shall have it.” But he stepped away and snapped his fingers. “Now, we’re going to play.”

* * * *

I wasn’t certain how many men I’d had by the end of the night. Khentemsemet watched and praised, and occasionally teased my mouth with his cock. Finally, the maddening itch was soothed.

He released the cock ring and stroked me to completion.

Thank you, lord.”

Perhaps we’ll do this again.”

I yawned. “If that is your wish.”

You’re coming along very well.”

I don’t understand.”

Nothing, princeling.” Once again he snapped his fingers, and a slave brought a basin of warm water and a cloth, and began to clean me off.

I was sound asleep before he was done

* * * *

Chapter 5

I don’t like the thought of being away from you, Charlie. You know this will be the first time since 1914 that we were apart.” The dream of the night before, although I couldn’t remember it, left me feeling used and ashamed, but I didn’t want him worrying about my state of mind. Restlessly, I stood. “Perhaps Mr Cramdon would be a better choice to make the trip to Cairo.”

Howard needs Edward here in camp. You’ll be back before you know it.” He got to his feet, glanced around, and when he saw we were alone, he kissed my cheek, then ran his hand over my buttocks. I jerked away from his touch, and he looked hurt.

I’m sorry, love. I…had a bad night. Take care of yourself, please. I worry about you.”

I worry about you, too, Roddy. Take this.” He handed me a purse that clinked with the sound of coins. “Howard says you’ll need to buy wagons to get the men back here.”

All right.”

And supplies also.” He held out a sheet of paper listing everything we’d need.

I tucked the paper in my pocket and leaned forward to kiss his mouth, but he turned his head away.

Haven’t brushed my teeth yet this morning,” he offered half-heartedly.

Was he…was he ashamed to be seen kissing me? I tried to give him a cheery smile, but it was all I could do to prevent myself from weeping. How long had it been since he had kissed me?

I was afraid I knew—since long before we’d come to the Valley of the Kings. Was he ashamed of me? Did he regret marrying me?

I walked stiffly to where Hubini, my little Arabian mare was waiting, along with Rashid, the guide who would see me back to Cairo, the spare horses we’d both require, and the donkey that would carry our supplies. I mounted the mare and flinched as my arse came into contact with the saddle. My insides felt as if something had been inserted into me, and while I was certain this sensation might be something my dream self had enjoyed, might possibly have found arousing, I only felt ashamed.

Godspeed, little Rev.” Charlie had come after me. He rested his palm on my knee. “Stay safe, and remember I taught you how to take care of yourself.” He sounded wistful, but was he? He was backlit by the sun, and I couldn’t see the expression on his face or in his eyes.

I will, Charlie. Goodbye. Stay well.”

He nodded and stepped back. Perhaps this separation was what we needed. Perhaps once I returned, things would be back to normal.

Somehow, I wasn’t certain if they ever would be.

I touched my heels to the mare’s sides and followed Rashid as he headed for the road to Cairo.

* * * *

The further we got from that desolate spot, the more the ache that filled my arse eased, until, by the time we had been on the road for a week, it was just a vague, nagging reminder of a vague, nagging dream.

I pushed the horses and Rashid, and we arrived in Cairo in twelve days. The guide knew where to find men who would be willing to return to the desert with us, and he brought them to the hotel where I’d taken a room. They seemed like good men, hard workers, and I hired them.

I recalled what Charlie had said, and I told Rashid, “We’ll need wagons.”

I know where we can get some that won’t fall apart at the first harsh wind.”

And horses?”

Mules, lord.”

I shivered at being referred to in that manner, but nodded. “As you say.”

I’ll obtain those as well.”

Very good. While you’re seeing to that, I’ll purchase supplies. When will we leave?”

If all goes well, in two days’ time.”

That soon? Excellent.” We wouldn’t be able to return as quickly to the Valley of the Kings, but perhaps we’d manage to shave at least four weeks off our travel time. I offered Rashid a good portion of the coins from the purse Charlie had given me.

He grinned at me, accepted the money, and gave a low bow.

I was pleased with how quickly things had fallen into step, and I decided to treat myself. The night before our scheduled departure, I went to a local pub and ordered a pint.

I say, old chap, don’t I know you?”

I turned to find myself addressed by an Englishmen a few years older than myself. About my height, with almost white-blond hair, he wore a black patch over his right eye. A scar marred the handsome symmetry of his face.

I don’t think…” I hesitated, as something in his remaining tourmaline eye reminded me of days long past. “Captain Fortescue-Smythe? Good God, is that you?”

Roddy Sayer!” he exclaimed. “I thought I recognized you. How are you doing?”

Well, thanks,” I lied politely. “And you? How are you?” I was reluctant to bring up his missing eye.

He sighed. “Not too shabby, old sod. Lost the eye back in ‘14. Run in with the Hun, don’t you know, shortly after we parted ways at Lake Tanganyika. I had to sell out. The Mater thought I should come home, had a deb picked out for me and everything, eh what? Of course the little filly took one look at my phiz and ran screaming into the night.”

Really?” I couldn’t help feeling disappointed at his tone of voice. Expatriates Charlie and I had run across in Nairobi had used it toward us, making their disdain obvious. Not that Tommy appeared disdainful. He’d just never struck me as being so…so featherbrained. “What a little fool,” I hurried to say. “You’re the best of good fellows, and I always regretted not having the opportunity to spend more time with you.”

Is that so?” His smile became charmingly lascivious. “We could always remedy that now, old boy.”

I started as I felt a burn as if someone had shoved his prick up my arse. Or an ivory phallus? I laughed uneasily and shook my head. “Sorry, Captain. I’m still with Charlie. Although I thank you for the offer.” The sensation faded, and I dismissed it.

Ah, well. Never hurts to ask. But…”

But?”

You used to call me Tommy.”

I blushed and smiled but didn’t.

He sighed. “Care for another, Mr Sayer?”

I tilted my head. “And you used to call me Roddy.”

Sauce, dear boy.”

Eh?”

What’s sauce for the goose…?”

Oh, very well. Thomas.” Although I’d continue to think of him as Captain Smythe in the privacy of my mind. He was altogether too attractive, and I daren’t let myself become overly familiar.

We carried our drinks to a table away from the bustle at the bar and caught up on the years between our last encounter. Being strangers in a strange land, it was as if we were long lost brothers.

The barman was starting to nod off when I noticed the time. “Good God, is it really four A.M.? I’ve got to leave for the desert in a couple of hours.” We staggered to our feet and wavered a bit. I didn’t realise how much I’d drunk—I was usually more abstemious, since I tended to become amorous after I’d had a few too many—but I must have lost track of the amount I’d imbibed, enthralled by Smythe’s scintillating tales of what he’d been up to in the ensuing years.

Let me give you a hand, dear boy.” He slid an arm around my waist, and we made our way out the door.

Smythe’s digs were in the same direction as my hotel, and as we walked companionably, arm in arm, he began to sing. I turned my head to stare at him. It was a very naughty song.


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