Nebet had risen early and dressed quickly. She had asked Nailah for permission the night before to go and draw the Nile and maybe see some of the military. Nailah had told her that if she did not get in the way, then she could go. Nebet had gleefully hugged her sister, and then finally gone to bed. Now she was up and getting dressed. She slipped into a light blue dress, and grabbed her sandals. After she grabbed her sketchpad, she headed out. Two guards flanked her, one on each side, as she passed through the city. Nebet really did not much like coming out during the day, but she wanted to do this. She had been drawing alot lately, and the chance to draw a ship of Egypt got her really excited. She also hoped she might be able to draw a soldier or two as she walked. Her anklet bumped along on her ankle, rattling as she walked. She loved the anklet, and she smiled softly as she looked down at it. Then she looked up again and stopped. She was here at the Nile. She held her sketchpad tighter and kept walking.
Alcaeus always felt at home on land, but one of his passions was sailing. So it was no surprise that when one of the military ships was going to sail up the river, along the coast, towards the ocean, he instantly volunteered.
He was walking towards the docks, no guards at his back today. Most people saw the crimson cloak, and assumed he was an officer of the army, and stepped aside. His ship was flat and low to the water, and was new. It had lines of oars along the side, jutting out of the second, lower deck. There were men who rowed the oars there. The sails were rolled up at the moment, and as he got to the ship he waved to a few crewmembers to unfurl them. They nimbly climbed up the mast, on small rope ladders, and started untying the twine that had held the red-and-white billowing sail up. The rudder in the back was manned, and he was currently waiting for orders to sail.
Alcaeus was about the tell them to unhook the ropes tying them to the dock, when he spotted Princess Nebet walking around, eyes filled with wonder as she stared up at the various merchant and war vessels, punctuated by the muscular egyptian bodyguards at her flanks.
He waved her over, and jumped onto the dock.
"Greeting, Princess Nebet, " He said, bowing. Everyone knew she loved to draw and sketch things, and he supposed that's what the notebook and writing utensil were for.
"I take it you'd like to, oh, perhaps, " He said, pausing, "sail with us up the river?" He said, hiding a smile.
Nebet smiled softly at Alcaeus. He was a good guy and a general of the army. She respected him and considered him a friend of hers as well. He was a good soldier and protected their land, and Nebet liked him for it. She bit her lower lip as he waved her over and then held the sketchpad up as he approached with a soft smile on her lips. The two guards behind her remained there, their eyes watchful of passerby should anyone try anything. Nebet smiled softly some more when the man bowed and said quietly,"oh really? I would love to go. May I?" Her grin got bigger as she looked at him, letting it reach her eyes. Nebet was usually a quiet girl, a soft spoken girl who loved to draw. She knew he must have figured she would want to sketch something, so she held her pad up and added,"I would like to draw some of the things aboard the ship, maybe a few of the officers. Would it be too much to ask you to let me draw you if your not too busy?" She smiled softly at Alcaeus, letting her eyes meet his as she waited for a reply. Hope filled the 13 year old girl as she waited and then finally looked at the ship. It was quite beautiful, and she was excited at the prospect of being able to draw a friend and sail up the river with him.
"Of course you can!" He said, chuckling. She was a pretty girl, who would grow up to the sounds of suitors lining up. It was good she was able to get out without someone pestering her for her hand in marriage.
"And yes, you can draw some of the officers, including me." He said, taking her hand and leading her onto the boat. The crewmembers knew how to react to royal prescence, and they were all soon at tip-tip performance. He led her to the front of the ship, as they just started to sail. The sails made a ruffling sound as they started to fill with the light breeze. The rows were starting to splash in unison, and they were speedily working there way out into the middle of the river, and up towards the great sea. Alcaeus was rattling off orders to the rudderman, and left her alone for a bit to draw what she liked.
She smiled brightly when Alcaeus said she could come. Excitement filled her as she walked with him to the ship. Her eyes filled with happiness and excitement as she saw the ship. She couldn't wait to get on and set sail. She smiled softly at Alcaeus as he helped her aboard the ship, and she bit her lower lip as she felt the ship sway underneath her. She realized she would get used to this again as she was lead to the front of the ship. The breeze ruffled her hair as they set sail, and soon enough a smile lit her face up as she looked out and on the passing Nile. She got to work drawing the horizon first, working on the beautiful landscape. Her blue eyes intent as she worked. Soon enough she had finished it, and she turned to put it away. Her blue eyes scanned the boat as she smiled softly and then went to work drawing an officer. Her blue eyes were intent as she enjoyed what she was doing. Working quickly, she smiled again to herself when she had finished that one and then looked for Alcaeus. When she spotted him barking orders, she giggled softly and started to sketch his picture next, wantint to get two instead of one so she could give him one.
As he was ordering some of the men about, he saw her glancing at him out of the corner of his eye. He smiled a bit, but hid it well, as he gestured to the rudderman to turn hard left.
She was drawing him, he noticed, as she would look at the book, doodling, and then look at him. He was flattered, truly, and hoped that he would make a striking figure. As if. He realized that she probably wanted to see the bottom deck, as it was filled with lots of men rowing, who would make good models for her sketches. That didn't mean they could stop rowing, of course.
He walked back over to her, and bended down a bit, "Would you like to see the rowing deck?" He said, softly grabbing her hand and leading her to the stairs which led downwards.
Nebet smiled softly as she drew him. She liked the general, and felt like he understood her need to get out and enjoy herself. She bit her lower lip as she worked, and every so often she would look at him again. He was a striking man, she had to admit to herself as she worked over the papyrus. She liked him as a good friend and felt as if he cared. She kept working as she doon enough smiled and was almost finished when he walked over to her. When he suggested seeing the lower decks, she grinned. Her blue eyes full of wonder as she took his hand. She wondered for a brief moment how he was doing, and gave voice to it as he led her down. "How are you doing, Alcaeus. How is work doing for you?" Her quiet voice made her wonder if he had heard her, but she smiled as she looked at him, then looked around when they got to the lower decks. She watched the men rowing, and she giggled softly as she said,"oh wow, this is perfect." She immediatly went to work, her head bowed as she worked and thanked the Gods for Alcaeus letting her come aboard where there was so much inspiration. When she looked at him again, she had to move her hair out of the way. She asked him brightly,"are they always like this? Dressed I mean?" She looked thoughtful as she went back to work. She had never really seen this deck of the ship, but now she had, her curiousity got the better of her.
Nebet smiled softly as she looked at him and let him lead her down. She listened to him talk about his work and said,"well it's good your happy your back." She offered him a soft smile as she let him lead her down to the rowing deck. She bit her lower lip in 13 year old curiousity as she wondered what the deck would look like. She did not have to wonder for long as he led her in and let her gape at the men. A pink blush crossed her cheeks as she said,"I do not. I'll have you know that I do not imagine men with no clothes on." The blush deepened as she giggled with him and kept working, her hair falling over an eye as she bit her lower lip and worked quickly. Yeah her 13 year old hormones were raging as she worked and she kept nibbling her lower lip as she suddenly thought about the many suitors her sister had wanted her to meet. She had yet to choose, but she wondered what it was like to care about who you married. She looked at Alcaeus and said,"what is love like," quietly. She blushed again softly as she wondered if she was being too blunt and brash there for a second. Then she said,"nevermind, I don't want to be too brash," as she worked quickly and quietly.
"Oh, I'm sure." He said, responding to her denial.
She was a very inquisitive girl, and seemed to look at everything quickly, soaking it all in. Well, except for the men. Those she gaped at. She was becoming a young woman, and of course, these things would happen. Embarrasing her was definetly fun, though.
"No, no, not brash at all." He said, his brow furrowing in question, "Why would you wonder that? Have you been thinking about Suitors already?" He said.
Nebet bit her lip out of habit of his teasing. She blushed and whispered,"now your putting images in my head." And she could not help it then as she looked at the men rowing, letting their bodies enter her minds vision. She shook her head violently and blushed a crimson red as she tried to was the image out naked rowing men out of her head. She bit her lower lip as she said,"tease," in a quiet voice. She kept biting her lower lip until she got rid of the image and sighed in relief when it finally disappeared. She relaxed a bit as she looked at him and then gasped and had to start the whole process over again, her long black wig almost slipping off as she shook her head. When she finally was able to see the man again, she offered him a soft smile and said,"your teasing me," in a quiet but mock offended voice. Her 13 year old curious mind got back to her drawing finally as she tried not to look at the men again. Last thing she needed was to be reprimanded for drawing naked rowers. When he asked her about the suitors, she nodded. "I don't want more stress for my sister, so I have not told her. I hear rumors of girls my age who have been set up for marriage and it scares me. I love my arts, but I have never loved a man before. Sure I have a crush or two, but I meet men who could turn out to be suitors, and I can't help thinking about if I could ever love one of them like I love my arts. I am scared for me and my sister. I want her to marry because she loves him as well." She bit her lip at the informality, and looked away. She tried not to think of how her father had set up an unknown suitor for her sister and she was scared for her.
"A tease?" He said, also in a mock offended tone, "Me? I think not." He laughed again.
She seemed to be very worried about the suitors she would get, and that she would have to be married, fairly soon. She was fairly naive, as love was nice, but only when you had the convenience of it. If your kingdom's survival, or thousands of soldiers lives, were at stake, then no, you do your duty. For instance, there was a rumor going about that she was to be married of to a Canaanite prince. Another that she was to be married off to a Nubian prince. All for the good of the realm.
"Well, sometimes you have to marry someone because it's in the kingdoms best interest. It may make you feel like a commodity, but that seems to just be how life is. Your sister, though, seems to be sure that she's going to get an arranged marriage. She is at peace with that, i think. Though I doubt she'll have to wait long, pretty girl like that." He said, quiet for a moment.
She smiled softly and shook her head at his mock offense. "you are teasing me, and I know it," she said, a moack anger replacing the mock offense as she giggled softly with him. She felt relaxed and at peace here as she went back to drawing the many rowers. Her blue eyes intent as she went into the minute details of the textures and shadows. When he brought up marriage being good for the kingdom, she gave a thoughtful nod. Her blue eyes held a deepened sadness as she thought of her sister marrying a man who would treat her like a trophy. She didn't want that for her sister, but she said,"I will do what is best for the realm, don't get me wrong. If my marrying a suitor would be best, then I would do it. But would it not be amazing for my sister to love the man she was to marry?" She looked at him after she said this, offering him a soft smile after and then looking away as she chewed her lower lip. She worried, but she knew marriage was important to strengthen the line. She hoped and prayed to the gods every night for her sister. She had told her as much, wanting her sister to have strength to run the country after thier fathers death. Remembering her father made her bite her lip harder as she went back ther drawing. She would not ruin the fun she was having by bringing the painful suject up.
"I suppose it would be nice if she could marry someone she loved. It would be nice for everyone."He said, silent at the end.
"Well, anyways, do you have anyone in mind your going to marry? I'm sure there are suitors lining up for a pretty girl like you." He said, laughing playfully.
She was very interested in making her own way, and, keeping her innocence. It was too bad things didn't always turn out that way. She repeatedly bit her lip, Alcaeus noticed, and seemed to blush at every little thing. She would make a fine wife to some high noble, unfortunately, he would also probably treat her like she said, as a trophy wife.
Nebet smiled softly when he agreed with her. Nailah was not a tool to be used, but a human being. She felt respect for her sister as she looked at the men rowing and felt the soft smile fade an inch. She closed her eyes as she thought of her sisters pretty face. she did not want her sister to hurt. She opened them again as he spoke and she smiled softly, nodding her head as she listened. Nebet blushed pink and said,"there have been few suitors who look like they would be good for the kingdom. They also look like they would treat me as a human rather than an object. She looked at him as she smiled softly, her blue eyes looking at him as she wondered if he liked Nailah.