Author: Archaeobee PM
When his wife asks an innocent question, Ramses Emerson is forced to think back about his painful first love. Rated for mild sexual situations.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 1,151 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-15-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2014360
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
By Sarah Sparrow
Synopsis: Ramses Emerson is forced to think back about his painful first love when his wife Nefret asks about how long he has loved her.
Author's Note: Yet another Amelia Peabody one-shot. I finally bought and read Guardian of the Horizon. Upon finishing the book, I thought up this.
Ramses had never found it easy to express his emotions. Certainly, his marriage to Nefret had helped him, but he still found it difficult to share what he was feeling. However, tonight he walked with Nefret in the gardens and let everything empty out of his mind. He would hold her close and murmur what he he thought so often but never said, whisper into the darkness where he knew only she could hear him.
She would respond just as warmly, answering each gesture and word with one of her own, and it was at these times when Ramses felt the most happy and content.
"Sometimes," Nefret said bemusedly, her voice soft in the hush of the night, "I wonder what my life would be like now if we had never caught Geoff, if I was still married to him." She rested her golden head on Ramses' shoulder and snuggled into the crook of his arm.
"We did catch him," Ramses replied, squeezing her arm. "And he didn't harm you."
"But what if we hadn't? I don't think I would ever be happy in a marriage where I didn't love the man. I know now that I never really loved anyone before you, darling. In fact, I didn't even think I loved someone. I knew right away with you."
For a moment there was no speaking, the only sounds being of touch and love. Then Nefret asked softly, "When did you know? When you loved me, when did you find out?"
"From the moment I saw you," he whispered truthfully.
"You were only ten, how could you?" She replied with a small smile.
"I was a remarkable ten yearold, you've heard mother's stories."
"And you never gave up? You never realized me for the idiot I was not to love you back?" She frowned slightly. "I was an idiot, you know. I can't believe I didn't see what was right in front of me."
Ramses was about to reply with a sincere 'never', when memory overtook him. He stared wistfully at nothing in particular, then murmured, almost unsure, "there was a time…"
Nefret looked taken aback. "Darling?" She questioned him curiously. "Are you alright?"
"Do you remember the 1907 season?"
Nefret shuddered. "When we went back to the City of the Holy Mountain. I remember only too well. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life." She flexed her taught shoulders, then continued. "Why do you ask?"
"That season," Ramses began slowly, "I almost gave up…I thought you would never love me, that you were a dream, an idle fantasy. I…" He stopped midsentence. I fell in love with another, he thought. Daria…
He stiffened as the name came back to him, along with all that had happened. It was as though a dam had opened in his mind, and the memories flowed like raging water. The beautiful, enigmatic, egyptian woman he had rescued instead of Nefret, all those years ago. The night they made love, the day he proposed…The day they said goodbye. She had cried, and he had held her while his heart broke. She had stayed in the Holy Mountain, and he had not thought of her since.
Nefret, sensing his unease, reached up to carress his cheek. "Darling? You what?" Her cornflower blue eyes searched his dark ones, wondering at the sudden pain and confusion that lurked in their depths. "You can tell me," she whispered, clutching his hand tightly.
He inhaled deeply. "I…I loved…another." He looked down, colour rising to his cheeks.
Nefret stared at him silently, then said, "But, who was-" she started in confusion, then her furrowed brow cleared. "Daria," she whispered breathlessly.
"Yes," Ramses answered simply.
"When you rescued her instead of me-"
"I did not love her then," Ramses interrupted, "but it was impossible to get to you, and I couldn't leave her there. We went and stayed at the old house we used during our first visit to the Mountain. We…" he paused again.
"You made love," Nefret finished sadly, but correctly. "Oh, Ramses, and then she had to stay with Tarek, it would've been almost impossible to marry her." She let out a soft cry of sympathy and embraced him tightly. "You must've been heart-broken…If only I hadn't been such a bloody idiot."
Ramses, surprised at such a warm receival of this information, nodded. "I was a fool to believe I could marry her…I even proposed…and we cried…" He closed his eyes tightly. This was too much. He took in a choked breath, suddenly getting to his feet. God, everything's coming back…
Nefret recoiled her arms and, eyes sparkling with tears, stood as well. "Ramses…"
A shrill cry broke through the night, making both Ramses and Nefret start. "It's Charla," Ramses said quickly. "She must be having another nightmare. I'll go." He rushed off through the garden and inside the house, leaving Nefret standing alone.
Later, after Ramses had set his daughter back off to sleep, he sat on the bed in his bedroom, his head in his hands. If he could change it now, would he be married to Daria instead of Nefret? Why did he have to think of Daria now, after all these years? Why did all the feelings come back, when he loved Nefret so much?
The bedroom door opened silently, but Ramses jerked his head up. Nefret stood in the doorframe, her eyes tearstained and her hands fumbling nervously at her sides.
"I'm sorry-" Ramses began, but she stopped him.
"Don't apologize," she said, quietly but firmly. "It makes no difference, you know. What's done is done. I still love you, I don't know how you could think otherwise."
Ramses crossed the room in three strides and, before she could react, took Nefret up in his arms and kissed her fiercely. Breathlessly pulling away, he looked into her bright eyes and knew all he needed to know. It was Nefret, it had always been Nefret, and it always would be. He had loved Daria, but they had parted for a reason, and things had turned out for the best.
Then they made love, and all that was left of Daria was a fond memory, cherished, but nothing compared to what was here and now.