Lock-nah stalked through the souk, his red robes gathered around him as he peered at the nut stalls and sneered at the various animals and cuts of meat offered up to the crowds by the sellers. Infuriating as Anck-Su Namun was, he was his lady, and he had sworn his life to serve her…and if that meant he had to deal with the street rats of Cairo to fetch food, then so be it.
It didn't mean he had to be happy about it though.
The giant of a man was so caught up in his anger (at being treated like a common slave, of all things!) that at first he failed to recognise the bald head of his Lord and Master in this life and the next…mind you, Imhotep was supposed to be dead after all.
The low voice finally caught his attention, but his approach was hampered by the fact that the ancient priest was apparently in full health…and surrounded by that heathen American and his English family.
Lock-nah's lips drew back in a snarl as he watched the five from the shadows. It was a disgrace for someone of Lord Imhotep's standing to associate with the common muck that had apparently stopped his ascension to ultimate power along with Anck-Su Namun. Even worse, Imhotep appeared to be with the foreigners of his own free will and enjoying it!
His fingers clenched in the material of the stall awning without Lock-nah realising it. Lord Imhotep had gathered the smaller of the other two men to him, and on hand was stroking at the side of the Englishman's face. It was the look of doting affection on the priest's face, though, that turned Lock-nah's stomach. That look was reserved for the Lady Anck-Su Namun only. Some mere commoner should not…
A thought gleamed at the back of Lock-nah's mind as he realised what must be going on. During the destruction of Ahm Shere, Imhotep must have lost his memory, causing him to forget his soulmate and switch his devotion to the little Englishman.
Lock-nah's hand eased away from the hilt of his hidden throwing knife. It wouldn't do to kill the priest when he had only just been discovered alive again. That would really upset Anck-Su Namun.
With his mind made up, Lock-nah turned, heading back to the squalid lodgings they were staying in.
Imhotep looked down at the body of Jon with a smirk that turned into a slight from as the sleeping man snored loudly. If only that exhaustion had been caused by other, more pleasant things. Spending the majority of the night at a party thrown by some of Rick and Jon's seedier friends had been fun…but definitely not the way Imhotep would have chosen to spend his time while her had the intriguing young man with him.
Well, at least it gave Imhotep the opportunity to explore the new city he found himself in – the trip out the day before had been impeded by the fact that he had been with the group he now found himself a part of.
He leaned down and captured Jon's mouth in a kiss, grinning when he felt the other man respond even if Jon showed no other sign of waking. He was tempted to crawl back into bed with Jon, but the call of the yet to be explored city was too strong. Imhotep pulled away, stroking at Jon's hair as he did – yet another thing that was different in this age. In his time, both men and women had used small pillars of perfumed wax to scent their hair. Nowadays people didn't have the same waxy, almost greasy feel to their hair – different, but not altogether unpleasant, Imhotep decided, letting the hair he had been fingering fall gently back into place.
Quickly, and before he could change his mind, Imhotep headed for the bedroom door, closing it quietly behind himself. The balcony door was open behind the shutters in there, so there was no need to leave the door open for air.
"Where are you going?" A young voice called, and Imhotep turned to see Alex sitting on the small sofa in the parlour area of the suite with a book.
"Out." One eyebrow raised. "Should not you be asleep?" He asked in careful English. Despite his earlier trip to England, Imhotep was still slightly unsure of the language.
"Mum won't let me drink half as much as they do. Anyway, I had to go to bed earlier."
Imhotep hid a smile when he saw Alex was pouting. No matter how many years had passed since he had lived in his Egypt, the young still seemed to want to grow up too quickly.
"Can I come with you?" The boy asked hopefully, looking up at the priest. Imhotep sighed, thinking about it for a moment. Maybe it would be useful to have a guide, however young, who knew the city. Taking Alex with him would have the added benefit of letting the other three adults rest longer – Imhotep had come to realise that Alex was the kind of child who always wanted to be doing something.
"Ask your mother." Imhotep decided, smiling openly when Alex whooped and jumped up – but not before putting the book down carefully. "Quietly." He reminded Alex as the boy ran to his parents' room.
Inside the darkened room Alex snuck over to the bedside, reaching out to shake his mother's arm. Evy stirred and one eye opened to focus on her son.
"Mum – can I go into the city…please?" Alex asked quietly.
The other eye opened, and Evy sat up, careful not to disturb her husband.
"What time is it?"
"Nine. Please can I?"
Evy smiled as she reached out to ruffle her son's hair.
"Is Uncle Jon going?"
Alex bit his lip. "Um…yes?"
"That sounded more like a question than an answer." Evy rolled her eyes. "Tell Uncle Jon that he's responsible." Her son just looked at her, and Evy smothered a laugh. "Well, Jon can keep an eye on you, and you can keep an eye on Uncle Jon, okay?"
"Yes, mum." Alex grinned at her and slipped out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
"Wha'?" Rick mumbled, reaching out to pull Evy back down into the bed.
"Alex is going into Cairo with Jon." She answered, already half-asleep again.
Imhotep was waiting patiently by the suite's door, arms folded across his chest.
"What did your mother say?"
Alex hesitated for a split-second. After all, his mum hadn't told him he couldn't go into Cairo – she had just told him to tell Uncle Jon that he was responsible. Well, they would have to be back before the day got too hot, and he would tell Jon then. Mind made up; Alex grinned up at the taller man.
"She said we can go."