A/N Hey, listen up!

Thanks for clicking on my story, if hesitantly because of the intimidating M. This is not all M-rated, actually only one or two chapters will be. They are very loosely M-rated and they're mostly just to be safe. Read my AN's. I will always warn when a chapter is about to be M-rated. To start it's K rated, and will mostly actually stay K+ with some cursing. Please cut me some slack, and the M-rated things do not destroy souls. They're half-lemons, limes, if that.

Enjoy!

Shiny


Holly's POV

I WAS DROWNING.

My head submerged in the murky green water for what I knew would be the last time. I gurgled dizzily and my arms flailed hopelessly toward the surface, where light and air were waiting to sustain my failing life. So close, but so far...

I closed my eyes, ready to let the strong and inevitable grasp of death surround my body. As a matter of fact I did feel death's arms close around my chest, trying to take me.

Wait... Death actually had arms? I thought that was a myth.

Air whooshed into my mouth with a suddenness that caused me to choke violently, coughing up water all over the sunlit afternoon's hot, muggy stillness. Wait... the burning sun that shone on my alive body and my working lungs!

I gasped for breath, vowing never to take life for granted again.

Strong hands pounded on my back and I realized I was being carried to the shore of the Nile.

Heaving and panting hopelessly until I could breathe normally, I closed my eyes to relax, and I promptly fainted from exhaustion and delayed shock.

*Two Hours Later*

The rays of baking heat in Egypt were like Hell's eternal furnace, attributed to jealous punishment of the gods toward their people.

The legends were very true, so it seemed. The merciless beat of the sun behind my eyes, throbbing in my head, is what woke me.

I thrust my arm up in front of my face to block Ra's angry glare... But then I immediately sat up, remembering all in a flash what had happened.

My boat had capsized, Death had almost claimed me, I was on the run from my exchange family, my regular family was going to kill me for this, and then something in my memory about were five men standing around in a circle staring curiously at me.

THERE WERE FIVE MEN STANDING AROUND IN A CIRCLE STARING CURIOUSLY AT ME?

I didn't really remember that part, mostly because that was what was happening now.

"So our... captive... is awake," the smallest man said quietly. He was a slim, quick-looking fox-faced brunette, clad in just a customary Egyptian linen tunic and an open, sand-colored robe that was many sizes too big for him.

With that scar on his face he looked rather intimidating, I reflected nervously.

"She isn't our captive."

The speaker was much taller, with sharp features, small ears and dark blond hair down almost to his chin. When he blinked I was startled by his cruel, evergreen eyes. He was also shirtless and dressed in the same type of cloak as the previous man, except his was a dark blue. Scars crisscrossed his muscular abdomen and chest.

Another intimidating one... I shivered involuntarily.

With a buzz of dread in my stomach I looked around, swiveling my head. I winced at the slap of my soaked curtain of long red hair against the bloody cuts on my back.

The rest of the men were harsh-eyed and scarred and tough-looking as well.

Who were they and what were they doing out this far in the desert?

While I contemplated my puzzling situation, the fox-faced man turned to his green-eyed companion.

"Come on. He said to find fish, not little girls drowning."

"Aw, Xarius. When was the last time we had any fun?"

"Well you weren't even the one to jump in and rescue her, so what was fun about that?" the smaller man, Xarius he had been called, said in a somewhat annoyed voice.

An idea sparking in my brain, I glanced at all of the mens' hair. None of their heads looked wet.

So none of them had jumped in to save me.

Then who had? I pondered.

Fear bubbling inside of me, I ventured nervously, "Um, Mr..."

"She speaks Egyptian!" snickered a tall, lanky boy with black hair and the men all roared with laughter. Their coarse and raucous laughs almost scared my question out of me, but Green-eyes smiled a wolf's smile and shushed them, gesturing for me to speak.

"Yes, little Cleopatra, Daughter of the Nile?"

They burst into hilarity again at his nickname. Their inside jokes were infuriating me, and I crossed my arms and frowned at their immaturity. "I wanted to know who saved me!" I outburst, then covered my mouth with my hand, realizing they could overpower me one on one, let alone five on one.

"You'll meet him soon enough," the emerald-eyed one said softly, then put his fingers in his mouth and gave an ear-piercing whistle.

After a single heartbeat, a majestic and muscled horse galloped gracefully up to us. My mouth dropped open in shock- horses were rare here, and these men didn't exactly look like the richest people in Egypt.

"Wh-what..." I managed before Xarius lifted me up as if I were made of feathers and tossed me none too carefully onto the horse. He climbed on in front of me.

"Hold on to my shoulders, girl."

"What? No wa-AAAAHHHH!" I shouted as the horse began galloping at a maniacal speed and I grabbed the man's shoulders. I hung on for dear life as the wind whipped in my face and the sound of horse hooves covered my screaming. I glanced back over my shoulder as the beautiful light and colors of an Egyptian sunset washed over the horizon and turned golden the disappearing river behind me.

-I'll update soon! Reviews are loved. 3 Shiny-