Disclaimer: I own nothing, sadly enough.

Prologue

She is back in Egypt. Certain sources have confirmed it. He can scarcely remember a time when ever she has returned to the Land of Antiquity they both adore and has not been there to watch her grace the ground with her first footsteps. Sethos was not there this time, however. Business in Istanbul delayed him.

The man cannot deny that he keeps unnecessary tabs upon her whereabouts. Ever since Amelia Peabody Emerson escaped through his fingertips with her beloved spouse, his half-brother as it turns out, and the letter in which he painstakingly made a promise that would break his criminal heart to keep, he has not interfered with her business. Perhaps interfere is the wrong word. Let's just say that she has not had the opportunity to catch his "interferences."

Except for that disturbing winter in the Sudan, Sethos has made note of her presence through his network of informers and keenly kept an eye on her. He shudders to remember that winter, only a year ago, in which she had disappeared in a haze of sand. He strove for months not to imagine Amelia in the clutches of a murderous (or amorous) wanderer of the desert. Purposely drove thoughts of fair skin and dark hair stained and matted with hideous blood out of his mind. But when she appeared, husband, son, and beautiful new ward, in tow how could he be anything but relieved and furious and…curious.

Where had she gone?

Her little fiction of missionaries in a remote oasis failed to capture his imagination. Like most people in the trade, he had heard of Willy Forth's lost city of gold, and like most people, Sethos had been fascinated by it. Was that where she disappeared to? Sethos was incredibly curious to find out.

He feared that he would not be the only one sufficiently enamored by the contemplation of treasure.

Maybe, he thought, I should catch the next steamer to Cairo.