It came to pass that Sadie and her brother had business to take care of in the underworld again. They were used to it now, considering their dad lived there and all.
Sadie was upset. She had not seen Anubis in months, and she was beginning to get annoyed. That bloody prat better show up and explain his absence, she thought. And, of course, he didn't come. She sighed and kicked a pebble beneath her foot and watched it tumble across the dirt in front of her. She thought she could hear music. It became louder as she walked forward. It was a slow, sad dirge, but there was still a twinge of bittersweet mixed with all the tears. A funeral.
When she was finally immersed in the sound of a church organ reverberating across the walls that surrounded it, she knew that she was temporarily away from the underworld. She had stepped outside.
A black-haired figure sat in the back of the poorly-attended ceremony. Sadie walked cautiously to him, sitting down carefully beside him. He leaned in and whispered lowly into her ear.
"Traditional Catholic funerals are some of my favorites. Heart-wrenching music, solemn ceremony. A very profound way to make your final exit."
Sadie couldn't help but shiver at the warmth she felt from being this close to him, and it made her feel a little guilty. After all, she was sitting amongst people whom had just lost a loved one.
Anubis spoke into her ear once again. "I believe that's enough for now. How about we spend some time to ourselves?"
Sadie very much liked this idea.
So they walked together in the dark, dank place that was the underworld. Sadie's breath hitched when she felt Anubis's hand slip into hers.
"You will be pleased to know that I have read up on modern courtship rituals," Anubis announced with a smirk.
Sadie's cheeks were a shade of bright red. "You did?"
"Yes. And I noticed that throughout all cultures, there is overlap in the ways people express feelings for their lover."
Hearing Anubis say words like feelings and lover was making Sadie all tingly and embarrassed. She silently prayed her hand holding his wouldn't get sweaty.
"For instance, holding hands. In many cultures, it is a way to express friendship or love."
Sadie nodded. "Sometimes girls will hold hands with each other as friends, but boys usually don't," she remarked. "When boys hold hands with girls it's usually… um…"
"Well, actually, boys of the Masai in Africa will hold hands to show friendship."
Sadie nodded, rather glad Anubis had kept her from ending that sentence. She didn't want Anubis to let go of her hand.
"And in some cultures, an arm around the waist shows that the person belongs to you romantically," Anubis continued. His hand pulled free from Sadie's, placing his arm around her, hand resting on her waist. She blushed. Tentatively, she reached over to put her arm around Anubis, her hand placed on his hip. Anubis looked down at her and smiled.
"Looks like I have understanding of modern romantic relationships," Anubis chuckled.
They walked together in this position for what seemed like an endless amount of time, until Anubis spoke again.
"Another modern courtship ritual in many cultures is the embrace," Anubis said as he pulled Sadie into a hug. And then, quietly into her ear, he continued. "But the most universal practice is the kiss."
He pulled away from Sadie's arms, placing his hands on her hips, and leaned in, pressing his lips lightly against hers. Sadie closed her eyes, letting the feeling of euphoria wash over her. Anubis slowly began to deepen the kiss, letting his lips move against Sadie's, and Sadie followed his movements carefully.
Anubis pulled away. "I learned a lot," he smirked.
"And so you did. You're not the clueless idiot I knew," Sadie joked.
Ignoring Sadie's biting remark, Anubis placed a kiss on her neck. "I also read of more… intamite rituals that humans partake in."
Sadie forcefully pushed Anubis away. "We've got a long way to go, sir!"
Anubis laughed as Sadie folded her arms across her chest, pouting in defiance, and they walked together in the underworld, continuing to learn.