Author's Note: Yay, MDotN has its own category. Everyone must scribble down plot bunnies and post. This is just a little ficlet I had in mind. Review!


1. A repudiation or denial of responsibility or connection.
2. Law A renunciation of one's right or claim


Mara felt something soft and warm beneath her fingertips as she woke. Pray, she thought, shutting her eyes tightly, let me have a few more moments of sleep! The morning sunlight was too bright and far too harsh and Mara knew it would not be long before Teta or Zasha or someone or other would come and screech in her ear. Of course, it was no use—her body had already adjusted itself to waking up at this hour, much to her annoyance.

But presently she heard soft footsteps draw near and she snuggled deeper into whatever she was sleeping on—Ai, it had been so cold last night! The footsteps came closer and Mara did not feel at all scared. A hand brushed back a lock of hair from her face, and with a sigh, he—for Mara was sure it was a man—reached for something, pulled aside the back of her dress, and massaged scented oil gently into her skin. She could not help cry out in sudden pain. Osris, it hurt!

His voice is as soothing as his hands, she thought, as he whispered softly in her ear, "Shh, my love, be patient," along with soft murmurs of the like.

"Sheftu," she absently mumbled, and she suddenly recalled the events that so drastically changed her life. Her breath caught as a swirl of memories— of the longest night in Egypt, she had thought—invaded her mind. I gained my freedom, she remembered, and suddenly blushed, and Sheftu…

Mara turned her body slightly to see his face. In his eyes was a look of that same love and wonder as before, and Mara, for the first time in her life, found it hard to believe it was all meant for her…

Sheftu chuckled, and said, "You're up, rather early, I think. You must be tired."

She buried her face in the cushion to hide the pain, shaking her head. "I can't help waking at this time."

His fingertips traced invisible patterns across her skin; already the pain was subsiding into mere tingles. By the Feather, his actions were deliberate! How else could she explain the pit of dread in her stomach?

"Sheftu," she more urgently, and she couldn't explain why she was so…worried. He ignored her, bending down to press a kiss on the side of her neck.

"I never did ask you, " he murmured, "to forgive me, did I?"

The innocent question was alarming. She sat up abruptly, turning her face to see his face. There was an odd vulnerability in his eyes and Mara could see what the Prince—Pharoah—had meant when he spoke of Sheftu's hidden ugliness.

Sheftu was looking everywhere except her eyes now and Mara was astonished at the effect she had on him, perhaps even, on the effect he had on her.

"Sheftu, please," she begged, drawing close to bury her face in his chest, "don't. Forget the past, as I have."

They lay there for what seemed like eternity. Presently, Sheftu gave a small chuckle, lifting Mara's chin to place a lingering kiss on her lips.

"I'm sorry for making you cry, beloved. I must make a terrible husband…"

Ah, another minor detail she had forgotten.

"I can't remember anything…I had forgotten about that," she said, feeling quite silly and disoriented.

He gave a curious look, "Nothing?"

She shook her head. "The last thing I remember is riding in the litter."

"Why, that was four days ago! Perhaps it is the physician's work that has left you so bewildered."

"Perhaps, but I everything has been but a dream for me…It is only logical I cannot remember four days."

Sheftu smiled lovingly at her and proceeded to tell her that the barbarian had been overjoyed to hear the news, and how, apparently, she had told the Pharoah that she knew he could speak her language and had thanked him for his hospitality. She had departed a day before the wedding. After the wedding celebration, the two had traveled back to Menfe, where Mara enjoyed her freedom with a relish, going as far as to insult and laugh at her former master to his face; Teta was also quite shocked. Mara did not doubt the legitimacy of the retelling.

She leaned against his chest, listening to the stories, and then to the sound of his voice. She was so drowsy…

The sun was bright and the populace began to go about their routinely lives…And though the rest of Egypt began to stir, Mara was finally allowed to rest.