"A Beautiful Palace to Get Lost In"

PAIRING: Pharaoh/Prince Atem X Mana

POINT OF VIEW (POV): Mana; first person


SUMMARY: ~"Now that you're the Pharaoh, I guess you won't have a lot of time for me anymore. You'll be busy with all that...well you know; Pharaoh stuff!" I laugh even though tears are stinging my eyes. ~ Atem's father has passed away and it is finally time for the young prince to take heir to the throne. Mana, the pretty sorceress fears that their friendship will now perish, and even worse, she may never be kissed by Atem's royal lips.




Chapter 1: A Pot's Importance

"Oww!" A pair of crimson-violet eyes meet mine in the darkness.

"Mana?! How many times are you going to hide in here?" His breath is so warm. Our bodies are touching. I blush and smile.

"So, you're cutting class too? Eh, Princey?"

His eyes roll as he shows his brilliant white teeth in a mischievous grin. "Of course not." he says as he tries to get more comfortable.

"Ouch! Watch it! You're stepping on my hand!" I shriek.

"I'm sorry." He quickly moves his body closer to mine. It is silent for a moment. The pot is growing hot from our breath and combined body heat. The prince's face is close to mine. He smells fresh and clean like lavender and rose petals. His scent relaxes me. I lean in closer to his body and smell him. "Umm, Mana…What are you doing?"

I blink, blush and giggle. "Uh nothing! Just you know…" I look down utterly embarrassed. "You smell so nice."

Now Atem blushes. "Uhh…Thank you." He closes his eyes. "So do you…"

My blush deepens. I had been making my own cologne in the garden using fruits, leaves and figs. I splashed some on my body after my bath this morning. He noticed. I was hoping he would. "Thanks."

We are silent again. "What class are you avoiding?"

"Spells and wands." I play with an unruly piece of hair. "You?"

"The Pharaoh's Duties…"

"Oh." Atem hated that class. He didn't want to be King. He always wanted to be a normal kid in Cairo. He sighs and our eyes lock.

"I do not want the power or responsibility that comes with ruling an Empire."

I nod in agreement. "You're only—"

"Seventeen summers." He looks away and sadness fills his voice. "My Father is not well, Mana. It is only a matter of time before…" He stops and I feel for his knee in the darkness.

"I know Atem, I am truly sorry about your Dad." His hand touches mine. It is much larger than my hand and I can feel the coolness of his rings and arm adornment.

"I am not ready, Mana." I can hear his voice growing shaky.

"Not ready for what?"

"My Father's death, becoming Pharaoh…" Atem shakes his head and clears his throat. I've known him all my life and I am well aware of this trick. He's trying so hard to fight back tears.

"Aww Atemu…" I squeeze his hand tighter. "You're going to be a great Pharaoh!" He pulls his hand away and starts to get up.

"Don't call me that!" He's extremely close to crying now. I frown and grab for his hand.

"I'm sorry! Please…Atem…"

He sits again and inhales sharply. "Don't cry…" I put my free hand to his face. His cheeks are slightly damp and very warm. He is already crying. I stroke his smooth skin with my fingers as I wipe his fresh tears away.

"I—" he stutters and turns his gaze to the bottom of our hiding place. "I must go now."

"But Prince—!"

"Please, Mana." His voice cracks and I let go. I pull my knees to my chest so he can climb out. "Thank you." he wipes at his eyes. "I am sorry." Before I can say anything he exits the huge garden urn. I listen to the slapping of his bare feet on the stone ground outside. I sigh and stretch out my legs.

I wonder where he is going, obviously not to class. Maybe he'll go for a walk by the Nile. He likes it there. Or maybe he'll hide out in the tranquil garden. I look up at the little light that shines down into my secret place. Atem and I would always hide together in here. "I remember it being a lot bigger last year. Haha."

I smile at the memory of his laugh. He doesn't laugh too much lately. He's so serious and tense. Of course, I do not blame him. He has good reason to be sullen. His father is dying, his mother has already passed and now he'll have to carry the burden of being Pharaoh. It's hard to believe he'll be eighteen soon. My blush returns. He's completely a man now.

Atem's voice started to change when he was twelve. I used to tease him about it, but than my breasts started to grow and things got awkward between us. We were changing in both physical and emotional ways. To be honest, it was weird. Ever since my fourteenth birthday, I've thought of Atem in ways other than just my fried. It's hard to tell exactly what he's feeling about me though. I have a strange feeling that he feels the same I do for him. He always spends time with me and his cheeks turn red when our bodies touch. Still, I am unsure. What's the point of getting high hopes if he'll never kiss me?

I thought he was going to kiss me a few minutes ago. Foolish of me, I know, but our faces were only inches apart. It was dark and we were all alone. It would've been perfect! I hang my head and sigh again. What am I thinking? Why would the future King of Egypt want a girl like me? I'm no goddess, and I don't have a body that could even come close to that of a belly dancer. I do not come from a wealthy family of high status, nor am I good at simple spells and magic!

"Mana," I look up and bring my head above the pot's opening. I know its Atem's voice. I look around. "Over here."

"Over where?"


"Uhh…" I frantically move my head back and forth. "Where's here?" I hear a sigh and suddenly Atem appears before me. The sun shines bright upon his skin and causes his beads of sweat to sparkle and glisten. I stare and blink. He's beautiful.

"Classes are over. I covered for you."

I jump out of the giant urn. "Aw! Thanks! I owe ya'!"

"You don't need to thank me." he smiles. "I was just informing you so that maybe you'd be able to forgive me easier."

"Forgive you?" I cock my head and raise an eyebrow. "For what? What'd you do?"

He chuckles. "Well, for being so withdrawn earlier and for…uhh…" he looks away and shuffles his feet. He's wearing white sandals with blue straps now. "For crying." he says finally.

"Oh, it's OK. No problem." I say back quickly. Atem usually doesn't cry in front of people. Ever. He shows little emotion. Except when with me.

"Crying is weak Mana, and I strongly dislike being seen as weak." he raises a hand to his forehead and looks at me. "Do you think that maybe, you'd be able to keep my scene back there confidential?"

I smile and lock my pinky finger with his. "It'll be our little secret! Pinky promise!" He smiles too and we nod our heads in unison.

"I strongly thank you, Mana. You are such a wonderful friend." I stare into his gorgeous ruby eyes as our faces become close again.

"You are my best friend." I say softly. His lips are so very close to mine and his scent fills my sense like before. He leans in further and I close my eyes ready for my first kiss. I wait. Nothing. I blink and see Atem placing a floral orchid in my hair. I blush as I feel his long fingers caressing my locks.

"And you are mine…" He smiles and steps back. His gaze wanders on me. I watch his concentrated and steady eyes look me up and down. "You are beautiful." My heart begins to flutter and beat quickly. My blush darkens and I look at me feet.

"Thank you, Prince Atem." He had called me beautiful…Our eyes meet and there's a sudden spark in the air.

"No thanks are needed." he gently brushes a stray bang away from my face. My whole body heats as he wraps an arm around my waist. Our breaths slow. I feel so hot. We inch closer and closer towards each other. My senses heighten and his lips begin to part. This is it! He's finally going to kiss me! "Mana…" Atem whispers. His breath tickles my skin and smells of spearmint and cinnamon.

"Yes?" I speak softly. His eyes are fixed on mine. I'm being drawn in by his intensity and musky smell. His one hand strokes my cheek tenderly while his other hand tightens its hold on my hip. Closer and Closer we move. There's electricity all around us.

"Young Master!"

RA DAMMIT! An interruption. We quickly pull apart. His arms drop to his sides in a rush. His cheeks are the reddest I have ever seen them. I put my hands on my face, embarrassed and turn away as Priestess Isis runs towards us.

"Yes, Isis? What is the matter?" Atem doesn't look her in the eyes. He shifts uncomfortably, yet smiles at me.

"It is your Father, Atemu…" Tears are in her pretty aquamarine colored eyes. I gasp already knowing what has happened. The King, Atem's father, must have passed away. Atem frowns and looks back at me again. He gulps. "Is he…?"

Isis shakes her head. "No. He wishes to say goodbye to his son…" Her tears fall and Atem clenches his hand into fists. He nods and walks toward the palace's main entrance hall. I begin to follow, but Isis stops me. "He must do this alone young, Mana." She says sadly. "I am sure he will need you afterwards."

A sob catches in my throat, but I hide it and nod slowly. "OK. I understand."

"Thank you, Mana." Isis puts her hand on my shoulder. "It will help Atem grow stronger."

"His Dad…I mean, our King…is really going to leave this world, isn't he?" Isis doesn't answer. I look to the Nile's shining water. I know the answer. Yes, King Auknakhamen is leaving us. And no, he will never return here. The afterlife will claim his spirit as their own and Atem will be crowned Pharaoh. I run to the river as tears blur my vision. Atem's father is dying. Atem's nightmare is coming true. Soon he'll be King of Egypt and that's the last thing he wanted! I fall to my knees and cry. "Oh Atem…" I wipe at my eyes. Kohl begins to run and stain my hands as I frantically try to stop my tears. I quickly find that I can not. He loves his father…but now he'll never see him. His father will never hug him, scold him, or help him ever again! I gather my thoughts and take a deep breath. Atem is going to need me. I have to be strong and in control. If I cry, things will be even harder for him.


A/N: Well? What do you all think? Please let me know!!! Thank you guys so much!!!