Love in Egypt

Chapter One: The Teacher and the Dragoman

DISCLAIMER: I do not own "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie". Not making money from this work, either.

A/N: Inspired by an episode in the book, but following the movie-verse.

Jean Brodie sat in the lounge of Mena House in Cairo, looking out the large windows which showed the Pyramids, sipping a glass of hibiscus juice as she waited to meet the dragoman who would escort her through Egypt. She had arrived in Cairo earlier that day, and she would spend the next month in company of the dragoman she was waiting for. As the sun dropped behind the Great Pyramid, a bouquet of gardenias was presented to her. She buried her nose in the fragrant blossoms. Looking up, she met the blue eyes of her guide.

He was surprisingly tall and well-built, his traditional flowing white robes showing his figure to his great advantage. He also wore the red-and-white checked headdress and camel-hide sandals typical of Egyptian men. His twinkling blue eyes were set in a tanned, weather-worn face, and he had a strong nose and easily smiling mouth.

"Salaam aleikum, Miss Brodie," her guide said, taking her proffered hand in his and placing a gentle kiss on its back. She looked up into his equally startled eyes when they felt a spark shoot through their joined hands. Upon releasing her hand, he bowed slightly to her.

"I am James Azhar," he told her, pulling out a chair and seating himself across from her. His English was excellent; it had a slightly British flavour to it in the clipped syllables and slight accent.

As soon as he sat down, a waiter rushed over with a tea set, pouring James a steaming cup of tea, waiting patiently as he added sugar and cream, then whisking away when he was sure that James was satisfied.

"Tea, Miss Brodie?" James asked her politely, teapot hovering over the empty cup.

"Yes, please," she replied, "But please call me Jean. Referring to me as 'Miss Brodie' is not necessary." He nodded, adding two lumps of sugar into her cup before handing it across the table to her. She stared at him for a moment, more than slightly disconcerted that he knew how she took her tea.

"You seem to be someone who likes the world with a bit of sweetener," he told her cryptically. She nodded, barely able to remain composed. There was something about this man that made her believe that his unusual blue eyes could see into her soul. She had been in his presence a mere half hour, but already she was strongly attracted to him – attracted to him in an intellectual sense, because of the mysteries he presented; and in a romantic sense as well.

She was startled out of her thought when James cleared his throat.

"Tomorrow we will go see the Pyramids at Giza," he said, indicating their position behind them with a careless wave of his hand. "We will spend the morning there and at the Sphinx, returning to the hotel for lunch and a rest. It will take you some time to get used to the heat, so we will remain in the hotel for the evening. We will be riding to the Pyramids tomorrow, so please be sure to dress appropriately. I will meet you here for breakfast at 6:30 tomorrow morning."

Jean nodded, and took his hand so that she could rise from her seat gracefully. Once more a spark shot through their joined hands, causing them to pause.

"Have you seen the gardens yet, Jean?" he asked her out of the blue. She shook her head. "Permit me to show them to you, then, before you retire for the night." She nodded, slipping her hand into the crook of his elbow as he led her out towards the gardens.

They made an odd pair – a tall man in traditional Arab robes escorting a slender woman wearing a Western-style dress through the gardens. Despite their anomalous appearance, their body language indicated that they were lovers – or would be soon, at any rate.

As he escorted her back to her rooms, they walked in silence, stealing glances at each other. He left her at her door with what should have been a chaste kiss on the hand, but the intimacy of the gesture was made evident as his lips wandered to the pulse point on the inside of her wrist, hovering there as he felt the wild beat of her heart against his lips. One final, lingering kiss to the back of her hand and he was gone, leaving a flustered Jean to enter her rooms alone.

James Azhar's father was an Egyptian noble and the Prime Minister of Egypt; his mother was descended from Mary, Queen of Scots. They had met in London, married six months later, and were blessed with seven sons, of whom James was the youngest. As the seventh son with very little expectation or responsibility, he joined the Army, where he served in the Great War.

James Azhar served in the same battalion with Hugh Carruthers – in fact, they were bunkmates and best friends. James, however, had always secretly envied Hugh, for he had found the woman with whom he wished to spend the rest of his life.

Jean Brodie was a beautiful girl from Edinburgh who planned to become a teacher. She and Hugh were in love – it was obvious from the way she looked at him in a picture taken of them, which Hugh carried in his jacket pocket; obvious from the way Hugh spoke of her; obvious from the frequency and the contents of the letters that she sent him – not that Hugh allowed James to read them. But when he died in the battle of Flanders Field, a week before Armistice was declared, James took the letters and photographs sent by Jean and read them all. He had fallen in love with her from reading the love letters she had written to his best friend.

Dear Hugh,

I miss you so much, my darling. Even though I am finally in the process of getting my teaching degree, I'd give it all up in a moment for you to return to my arms...

My darling Hugh,

This past week-end made me realise just how much I need you. Waking up in your arms was utter bliss, and knowing that after the war I will be Mrs. Hugh Carruthers fills my heart with joy during these lonely nights without you...

Dearest Hugh,

Please keep safe, my love. I don't want you to go to Flanders... I am afraid for you. Hurry home soon, my dearest one – I am waiting for you and praying fervently for your safety and your quick return.

All my love,
Your Jean

After the war, James found that he longed to return to Egypt, where he had spent some of the happiest times of his life. He had always been an avid scholar of ancient Egyptian history, and spoke both English and Arabic fluently, so becoming a dragoman seemed to be the most obvious option. And when the Ministry of Tourism contacted him about being a guide for a Jean Brodie, a schoolteacher from Edinburgh, it felt as though his entire life had finally fallen into place.

Now that he had finally met the woman for whom he had pined for almost two decades, he had fallen even deeper in love with her than he had been before. The faded black-and-white photographs that had belonged to Hugh captured only the smallest fraction of her presence, her smile. They had not revealed the sunny blue of her eyes, or the golden colour of her hair.

And no amount of letters or photographs could have prepared him for her unique fragrance, the soft texture of her skin, the beat of her pulse against his lips when he kissed the inside of her wrist.

She was finally here with him – a flesh-and-blood woman whose presence outshone his fantasies from the past two decades. And he had one month to spend with her – he would cherish every moment.

The next morning, Jean sat in the lounge of Mena House, dressed in a white sleeveless shirt and slim jodhpurs. The sun was reflecting off the mirrored ceiling, casting a golden halo of light around her. When James entered the lobby, he stopped dead as he saw her lit up like an angel. 

Before she noticed his odd behaviour, he pulled himself out of his trance and approached her, taking the empty chair next to her.

"Good morning, Jean," he said, composing himself as she smiled at him.

"Good morning, James," she replied.

This morning he was once more dressed in flowing white robes and his headdress, though he wore boots instead of the sandals he chose last night.

Last night after their walk around the garden, Jean went over everything that had happened between them during their first meeting. She had a surprisingly strong attraction to him already, and it was clear that he was equally attracted to her. She was tired of not being able to have Teddy; tired of making do with Gordon; tired of living alone; and here, in front of her, was a man who wanted her, who did not have any preconceptions of her. She had the chance to be happy on this trip, if only for a month.

Soon enough, breakfast was finished and they crossed the pathway to the Mena House stables. A stable hand brought over two Arabian horses as soon as they entered the stables, and they led them out to the courtyard. James helped Jean into the saddle, then swung himself up effortlessly. He clucked to the horses, and led them out onto Pyramid Road.

It was a ride of ten minutes, and when they arrived at the base of the Great Pyramid, Jean looked up in awe.

"Would you like to see the inside?" James asked her.

"Oh, yes!" she exclaimed. He smiled at her obvious enthusiasm, and led her and the horses over to the beginning of the queue. James gestured to a young boy, and he ran over. James and the boy exchanged a few rapid words in Arabic, and the boy took the coins and the reins of the horses, leading them over to a water trough. James and Jean then joined the queue to enter the Great Pyramid.

Falling in line behind the people ascending the wooden plank ways to the burial chamber, they ducked to avoid hitting their heads on the low stone ceilings. When they finally reached the burial chamber, Jean looked around the small room, examining the granite sarcophagus that had once held the builder of this pyramid.

Once more at the entrance to the Pyramid, James placed a hand lightly on Jean's arm, stopping her from exiting the Pyramid as he conferred with a guard. James showed the guard a ring, and the guard bowed low, taking a bundle of keys from his belt and opening a locked gate that blocked a downward passage.

"Would you like to see the false burial chamber?" he asked Jean. She nodded excitedly, and he took a torch from his pocket and turned it on.

"Keep your hands on my shoulders," he told her as they descended the steep passageway.

"What did you show to that guard?" Jean asked him as they neared the heart of the Pyramid.

"My signet ring," he replied. "Though my mother is Scots, my father is the Prime Minister of Egypt. As the youngest of seven sons, I am able to do what I please."

"Oh," she replied, not able to say anything more as they reached the false burial chamber.

"We are in the centre of the Pyramid, Jean," he told her.

"This is incredible," she breathed as she walked the small room. She turned back to him and impulsively took his hand, squeezing it gently. "Thank you." She leaned forward and kissed him.

He responded immediately, dropping the torch on the floor, where it spun and pointed its beam against a wall. She brought her hands up to his headdress and pulled it off, throwing it on the ground behind them. He lowered her to the floor and knelt at her feet, pulling off her boots and kicking off his own. Soon their clothes were thrown about the room and she was sitting on his lap, her lips meeting his, his large cock pressed against her.

And then he was inside her, unable to slow down the speed of his thrusts as almost twenty years of desire broke through. She didn't seem to mind his lack of control, urging him on with every call of his name.

She came first, as he used the remnants of his restraint to keep himself from climaxing first. But he couldn't hold back any longer when she cried out his name in her ecstasy.

A half-hour later, they emerged from the Pyramids and re-mounted their horses. He looked at his watch.

"It's nine thirty. Are you ready to see the Sphinx?" he asked her.

"Yes, I am," she replied. He smiled at her, provoking a slight blush to rise in her face, before they started off towards the Sphinx.

They walked through the temple at the base of the Sphinx before they reached the Sphinx itself, and James pointed out the niches where statues once stood.

"We'll see the statues in the Egyptian Museum," James told her.

They walked up and incline and were suddenly at the paws of the Sphinx. Jean's jaw dropped.

"It's beautiful!" she exclaimed, taking in the remarkable sight of the Sphinx stretched out in front of the Pyramids.

"Beautiful," James echoed, looking not at the Sphinx, but at the woman standing next to him.

They took their time returning to Mena House, letting their horses walk at a leisurely pace, and finally reaching the hotel at twelve twenty in the afternoon.

"Where would you like to go for lunch?" James asked her.

"Perhaps we could order room service," Jean suggested. Her words shot straight to his cock, and she smiled devilishly as she saw the effect of her suggestion. She took the arm he offered her and they walked up the stairs, not stopping at the second floor, as Jean expected, as her rooms were located there, but they took a private elevator from the third to the fifth floor.

The elevator deposited them in an opulent corridor, and James took a key from his pocket to unlock the door. Holding it open, he allowed Jean to step into his rooms.

After the lavishness of the corridor, Jean was pleasantly surprised by the lack of over-decoration in James's rooms. The parlour had deep red walls and a marble floor, which was strewn about with Persian carpets. Simple carved wooden furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl designs accented the room.

"Would you like to see the rest?" James asked Jean.

"I would," she said, stepping closer to him and running her hands down his chest. "But," she continued, "I think that we should eat first, so that we do not have hunger as a distraction."

"That sounds like an eminently practical idea," he said, placing his hands on her slim waist. He held her close to him for a moment before stepping back and walking to a sofa, gesturing for her to sit down. He picked up a menu from the coffee table and handed it to her, gesturing towards the telephone.

"Order whatever you would like," he said, walking deeper into his suite. "I won't be but a moment." He disappeared from her view and she turned to the menu. Picking up the telephone, she ordered pita bread, hummus, grilled pigeon, and a bottle of champagne. Just as she finished placing the order, James re-appeared in the parlour, now dressed as a European. For the first time, she could see the dark brown colour of his hair, the shape of his body – though they had already made love, there had been very little light, and so his appearance was still somewhat of a mystery to her. He joined her on the sofa and wrapped an arm around her.

"Why do you dress as an Egyptian?" she asked him.

"It gives me credibility as a dragoman," he replied. "It also feels much cooler outside when wearing robes, though I prefer trousers."

She smiled against his chest as they sat curled up together, the call to prayer breaking their comfortable silence.

"Are you Muslim?" she asked him curiously.

"No, I am Christian," he replied, "Though I most likely would have been Muslim like my father had I been raised in Egypt. But it is the same God for Christians and Muslims, after all, so it doesn't really matter how you worship Him."

A knock sounded at the door, and James walked across the room to allow the waiter entry. As soon as the waiter left, James popped the cork from the bottle of champagne and poured them both a glass.

"To us," Jean declared, raising her champagne flute in a toast.

"To us," James echoed, and clinked his flute against hers.

As Jean sipped her champagne, James uncovered their lunch, raising his eyebrows when he saw the grilled pigeon.

"Is the main course indicative of your desire?" James asked her. She tilted her head to the side, confused. He laughed.

"Pigeon is an aphrodisiac," he explained. She blushed slightly.

"If I said that it was, would you approve?" she asked, picking up a wing and biting into it. His eyes darkened at her words, and he placed a hand on her upper thigh.

"Yes, I would approve," he said. Their meal was soon gone and they stood up from the sofa.

"Is there someplace where I could freshen up?" Jean asked. He nodded and led her into a large bathroom.

"I'll be through here," he said, opening a door that led to his bedroom.

"I'll join you in a moment," she said, closing the door behind him. She quickly washed her hands before stripping off her clothes and laying them on the counter. Taking the cotton dressing gown that hung on the back of the door, she slipped into it and tied the sash loosely around her narrow waist. She took a deep breath before opening the door and stepping into the bedroom, where James was waiting for her.

He had removed his shoes and belt and lay stretched out on the bed as he waited for her. When she entered, he rose to meet her, his hands untying the sash of his dressing gown (which looked, in his opinion, much better on Jean than on him), as her nimble fingers unbuttoned his shirt and trousers. Once more their clothes were strewn about the room, though during this encounter, James took his time learning her body. He kissed every inch of her lissom form, fondled and caressed her breasts, memorised her body. She climaxed twice before he finally guided himself into her.

He slid slowly into her wet heat, moaning as she wrapped her legs above his hips and pulled him deeper inside of her. He withdrew completely and then entered her again several times before they both exploded with fire.