Author's note: This is my first Imhotep/Anck-su-namun fanfic, so please be kind. I'm a review addict, and I don't mind constructive criticism, just no flames. Or I will use them to burn the people who made the Scorpion King a hero. Also, Nefertiri or Seti fans, run. While I like Evelyn, I hate the other two.
Disclaimer: I do not own Anck-su-namun, Imhotep (drat!!) Nefertiri (like I care), or Seti (thank you Lord!). They belong to Steven Sommers, Universal Studios, and whoever else, I don't know. Please don't sue.
A RIVER IN EGYPT
Sand swirled in the wind and the lotus blooms swayed to and fro as Princess Anck-su-namun walked close to the riverbed. Pharaoh and his court were several yards behind her, the lot of them doting and praising their king. Their god on earth they liked to believe.
Well, if that was what the gods were really like, Anck-su-namun had half a mind to completely ignore them. For her master was a rat and a tyrant, a slave master and rapist. But somehow, she was the only one to see him for what he truly was.
Except for one other, but he was Seti's chief advisor and priest. What did a priest care? He had power and influence, prestige, the pharaoh's ear. And freedom.
The only thing she wanted, he had it.
But what did she care? He was only the Highest Priest of the land, he was important and loved, as much as Seti himself it seemed. He mattered little to her, and she to him. He was powerful, she powerless.
Especially to him.
Turning to look behind her, she caught the man of her thoughts amongst the crowd, and immediately his eyes met hers. She forced herself to look away quickly, ignoring the burning gaze he sent her. She continued her stroll. She would not think of him. She would not remember the longing she held for his touch.
Easier said then done.
It was impossible, it seemed that the high priest had etched his memory upon her heart, that the gods themselves tormented her with the memory of his eyes, of the brief touches he would give her hand when they passed in the halls of the palace. The longing they both felt yet could never sate.
She clenched her fists. How had she let it happen? Why had she let her gaze linger on his every so often, taking in his handsome features? His practically royal bearing, his hazel eyes, his golden skin, the way his rough yet elegant hands barely touched the sacred scrolls he read from. The way his voice wrapped itself around her when he spoke in his loudly whispered tones, like the finest cloth caressing her.
She was a whore, and a fighter. The others thought her stone cold and harsh, Nefertiri hated her with a passion and thought her arrogant, Seti, well Seti only thought of her as pleasure, as a toy and a means to satisfy himself.
But Imhotep, High Priest of Osiris, treated her as though she were more precious than gold, respected her skills and her knowledge. He touched her with reverence, as though worshipping her. It was intoxicating, but she could not give in.
For his sake more than hers.
Seti would punish them both, but Imhotep would suffer the worst. Besides, she did not love. She would not love him.
She gazed down at the Blue Nile, its waves soft and calm as they washed against the wet sand and lotuses. The sunlight reflected on its surface, shimmering and almost too bright to look at. How she longed to simply dive in, wash away the curse body paint, let the crocodiles kill her, feasting on her flesh. It would be more pleasant than another night in Seti's bed.
But not more so than a moment's caress from the priest.
With a sigh, she turned to face her master, her name spoken once again incorrectly. Reluctantly, she began to stride towards the court at Seti's bidding. She noticed a certain priest's stare, boring into her eyes when she met it, watching her body move when she averted.
"You called for me, Pharaoh?" Anck-su-namun spoke softly with her usual coldness lacing her voice.
"You shall begin teaching my daughter, Nefertiri, in your fighting style, learn her all your skills," Seti commanded with a sickening smile, staring at her as if he cared, fooling everyone.
Except for one other.
Anck-su-namun returned the false smile, bowing her head. "Of course, as Pharaoh commands," she stated, and all in the court that were not Med-jai clapped. She felt her stomach turn at the applause and Seti's insidious smile, but bit down the urge to throw up the contents of her last meal.
She noticed Imhotep's sympathetic gaze, but reminded herself of the dangers meeting it could pose.
"With Pharaoh's permission, I would like to walk along the edge of the Nile," she requested with bruised and beaten pride. As Seti waved his hand in acquiescence, she turned and walked off quickly without appearing to be in a rush. In truth, she merely wanted to put as much distance between herself and that vile creature they had the nerve to call god as was possible.
Not to mention she had to escape the high priest and his piercing eyes before she put them in danger. Of course, he was hardly helping the situation, and Anck-su-namun wondered how Seti could be so blind to the glances Imhotep threw her way.
But as she thought of that, she realized Seti probably could not see the respect and true care in Imhotep's gaze, for him assumed all men were as pleasure and lust driven as he himself was. How was he to see that his mistress and his high priest were falling in love with each other right in front of him when he did not even think true love like that could exist?
Anck-su-namun shook her head. They were not falling, she was not falling in love with the priest! She was forbidden, he was forbidden as all men were to her. That was the end of their story.
But weakening walls easily crumbled, starving hunger fed, longing for kindness no longer ignored. She was weak against Imhotep, weak against all that he was, all he would give her in secret. All that she wanted, but never received from the man who pronounced her his favorite and highest of concubines. She could not deny him for long. But she could deny herself almost no more.