Aria looked everywhere for it, turning over pillows and pulling back rugs. It was gone! The golden combs that Pharaoh had given her for her hair. The were encrusted with tiny rubies and she liked looking at them. Also, Pharaoh expected her to wear them when they went to court.
Where had she been recently? Who had she been with? And then it hit her. She had that slave very discreetly brought into her room. He had been well built and quite handsome.
Picking up a paddle she hit a small gong. Servants rushed in and bowed at her feet. "Bring me the slave, Ebo, at once!" she commanded. In fear for their very lives they rushed off to find him.
Aria moved over to the big window and pulled back the silk curtains. Below the Nile flowed by in the distance and the sun shone down on fields of wheat and flax.
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 11, 2012 21:11:54 GMT -5
**random note: Anything said by Barates in italics is Greek. Otherwise he's speaking in (rather stilted) Egyptian.
“You there-Greek, get up! The Queen is calling!”
The sudden sound of a gong coupled with a sudden shout from his door jolted Barates out of his sleep and with a muffled thud; he rolled out of his straw mat and on to the floor. Lying there stunned for a moment, it took him a second to finally pick himself up and peer blearily through the small window of his room to stare at the sun while biting back a muffled curse in his native tongue. Stumbling to his feet as he righted his kilt and ran his hand through his hair with a swear, Barates peered with confusion at the sudden chaos of the servant’s quarters.
Gong. Mass chaos.
This could only mean one thing.
“Oh Hermes' balls.” Fighting back a groan as he tugged his kilt back up from where it was sliding down his rear, the Greek slave quickly tightened his only garment, cinching it around his waist before moving to follow the rest of the hubbub-albeit at a much slower pace. Covering a yawn just as he rounded the corner to the Pharaoh’s chambers, Barates blinked dazedly, hovering by the door just in time to hear a command sound out.
A quick picture ran through Barates mind-tall man, well built and not too bad looking.
If he recalled the Queen had taken in interest in him. Giving a sleepy look towards where the Queen had turned to stare out of the window while the many servants in her room rushed out to do her bidding, Barates stepped out of the way lest he be trampled by the sudden onslaught.
Watching as the servants chattered towards each other in a daze, Barates bit back another yawn-the wonders of what lack of sleep could do when one had been forced to pull two all nighters in a row, Barates shook his head and then sighed. By Hermes.
It really was a pity that even with a few scant hours of sleep that he remembered Ebo had left the night before.
That mere thought was enough to jerk Barates into at least some semblance of awareness and with a wince, he darted another look towards the Queen. She was still staring out the window. Perhaps, perhaps she was distracted?
Oh well. If he told her the truth without lollygagging, maybe he’d get his chores lifted.
Or, Barates thought with a dismal wince, he’d lose his head.
Still, there was no point in lying.
Stepping tentatively inside the room while he moved to bow, Barates scowled at the floor and quickly hoped the Queen was in a good mood. “Err…highness? Ebo gone. Last night. Err....Should-should send out guards?”
ooc: Not sure if you have this reserved so I’m going to hop in XD Otherwise, just let me know and I’ll delete it~
((OOC: Glad to have you. I corrected the title of the thread. Forgot to the first time))
Behind her she could hear the commotion in the chambers as servants ran everywhere looking for Ebo the slave she had entertained in her bed last night. Several minutes went by before all became quiet and she heard a voice behind her.
Err…highness? Ebo gone. Last night. Err....Should-should send out guards?”
She had been staring out of the window not wanting to see the panic in the servant's faces when she felt a rage rush up through her chest and up into her head. Face red and eyes wild she turned to face whatever insolent fool has addressed her. Turning towards the voice with full intentions of violently chiding him she stopped in her tracks.
There before her bowing and still looking at the ground was a well built male servant wearing nothing but an off white loose wrap around his waist. His shoulders were muscular and tanned.
"Stand up!" she commanded him wanting to see if the rest of him matched the shoulders and she was not disappointed. He had a handsome, chiseled face with sleepy eyes. Why had she not seen him before? "My combs are missing. The golden ones with rubies embedded in the handles that the Pharaoh gave me," she informed him. "Ebo was here last night and today they are gone. I want him and my combs found."
Looking him over a slight grin spread across her face and she approached him. She had no fear. The Queen never feared anyone. Her slightest cry for help would be met with huge guards brandishing spears to defend her.
"You are quite handsome," she circled him as though looking at the qualities of a horse. It was obvious he had a strong back, no scars, and his legs were well built with powerful thighs. She was intrigued. "Why is it I have never seen you before?" Stopping in front of him she crossed her arms in front of her and, with a wistful grin, awaited his answer.
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 12, 2012 12:00:35 GMT -5
Eyes firmly glued to the floor as Aria whirled around, Barates grit his jaw, shoulders tensing despite his best efforts to appear stoic. Whatever sleep was left in the Greek slave’s eyes quickly dispersed and when Aria shouted a command at him, he paused for a moment before he followed her order. Eyes still locked somewhat mutinously to the floor, Barates locked his knees, arms hanging loosely beside his sides before he clasped them behind his back.
The slave’s entire posture screamed tense, and when the Queen continued speaking, it took all of Barates’ effort to loosen his jaw. Still, despite his unease with the situation, the Greek gulped before he picked his eyes up from the floor, though rather than meeting Aria’s eyes he stared fixedly at the point of her chin.
“Ah. Should-should tell guards?” Moving to do just that with hardly a care to the fact that Aria had not dismissed him, Barates jerked as a slight grin came over the queen’s face and she approached him. Doing little to hide the somewhat uneasy expression twisting itself onto his face, Barates tightened his hands into fists.
Royals always put him on edge, and he’d heard of the Queen’s temper.
Flinching minutely as Aria began circling him-really, the action was almost reminiscent of a shark on the prowl, Barates gulped audibly-flushing at the complement to his looks despite his best intentions-before he spoke up, though his tone didn’t exactly convey a large amount of the subservience demanded for one of his current niche in life, the look on his face was at least slightly submissive-if mostly uneasy. “Ehh, thank you?” Speaking as best his rather limited Egyptian could do Barates tried to keep an eye on the Queen at all times, even if that meant angling his body in her direction. “Not-not know why? Been in Egypt-err-palace for…” trailing off uncertainly as he did the mental math, Barates bit his lip adding, if somewhat unsurely, “Th…three months?”
Jerking backwards as Aria stopped in front of him, Barates quickly caught himself and straightened his back once more-cheeks ruddy even over their ever present sunburn. The brand on his back was itching from the constant shifting he had done in an attempt to keep Aria in his sight at all times and it took all of the Greek’s rather meager self control to stop from scratching at it and irritating the wound more than it already was. Attempting to cover up the rather palpable unease running rampant through his body, Barates cleared his throat before he attempted more surely, in a steadier voice, “…usually work in kitchens or clean-so…so that perhaps why?”
Attempting to cover up the rather palpable unease running rampant through his body, Barates cleared his throat before he attempted more surely, in a steadier voice, “…usually work in kitchens or clean-so…so that perhaps why?”[/size]
"I see," she nodded as she continued eying him taking note of his well built arms. His hands did have a clean look to them.
Many slaves, even though they had been washed, still had grime under their fingernails. It was thrilling to be touched by hands that were ungroomed on occasion. It made her feel so dirty and sometimes she liked being dirty. As Queen she wielded great power but despite her power Pharaoh had ultimate power over all, even her.
It was like a game to allow the lowliest servant dominate her. It was thrilling. This slave who, with one word from her could loose his head and be ground into fertilizer, would be allowed to fulfill her every fantasy and whim for as long as she desired it.
"You will work in my personal kitchen," she told him. "I will have you trained by my cook and become his assistant beginning today. I will find someone else to find Ebo and my combs."
Aria called her personal servant and had Barates taken to meet her chief cook. "Take him to my kitchen. Have him trained in all things that are pleasing to me," she ordered her servant. "Soon you will be serving me in all way that please me," she touched the under side of his chin with a seductive grin.
"You are dismissed," she told both of them and turned away to continue looking out the window.
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 13, 2012 18:18:23 GMT -5
Eyes narrowing despite his best attempts to keep his face void of expression, Barates grit his jaw-listening intently with steadily growing tension as the Queen continued eying him. Frowning as she told him that he’d work in her personal kitchen with little room for argument, Barates bit his tongue, fighting the urge to splutter out indignities.
Tch-royals. Trust them to think they could walk all over everyone.
It took all of the Greek man’s common sense to keep quiet, and as Aria called over her personal servant and then took him to meet her head cook, Barates kept silent, the muscles in his jaw twitching with tension.
Don’t say anything.
Not a word.
Oh dear this was a losing battle.
Lips white from the effort it took to keep quiet, Barates inhaled deeply through his nose, eyes narrowed into thin slits as Aria touched the underside of his jaw with a seductive grin.
As she dismissed both him and the servant, Barates shut his eyes, counting to ten only to find himself unable to and with a gritted jaw, he bowed low, eyes glued to the floor even as Aria turned around to look back out the window.
“Queen.” Pausing as his voice came out more snappish then he’d intended, Barates steadied himself then took in another not-so-calming breath before he repeated himself, this time in a more submissive tone. “Err-highness, apologies. Will gladly help in kitchens but in bed…” Trailing off uncertainly in an attempt to keep his temper in check, Barates halted before he shook his head. Might as well say it. Though he appreciated the Queen’s sentiment and his ego was most assuredly stroked, he’d be no one’s bed warmer. Even if…he thought with a wince, it had been a while since he’d actually had time to enjoy in the more carnal acts. “….would appreciate time to think, if would be so kind. Duties are busy and…” breaking off again as he struggled to come up with words, his knowledge of the Egyptian language failing him, Barates gulped before he continued, “….appreciate that you think handsome. And would gladly lay with. But err….” Crap-he he couldn’t think of anything to say. At least not without offending her. Scrambling for words, Barates paused before his finally added, fighting to keep his voice from sounding sharp. It wasn't like he could tell the Queen that he didn't want to sleep with her only because she was ordering around as if he didn't have a say despite the fact that he was a slave-what could he say, he still believed he was a free man in his heart. “…but er….er….need time to think. Be best if could devote self fully, yes?”
Head still bowed and eyes glued to the floor to hide his somewhat mutinous gaze as he struggled to keep his face devoid of expression, Barates bit his lip, ignoring the scandalized look of the Queen’s personal servant drilling into his back.
He could only hope that Aria enjoyed his appearance enough in order to give him that much. Or at the very least, Barates thought grimly, not kill him.
Was he actually turning her down? Did this fool not know that she had power over whether he lived or died, depending on her mood? She knew what she wanted and wanted what she wanted.
Just as was about to turn around to berate him and have him punished for not immediately obey her when there was a shout from the walkway below. Drawing her attention she saw two guards forcing a weak and injured Ebo, his wrists tied behind him, towards the palace. One held up two golden combs in his hands to show her the thief had been caught. She waved for them to bring the slave to her immediately
"GO!" she shooed Barates away with a whisk of her hand as she turned around. "Come back in two days. I will expect an answer then. WAIT!" she held her hand up. "Do you know this Ebo?" she narrowed her eyes at him.
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 13, 2012 22:53:20 GMT -5
Jerking backwards as Aria shooed him away with a whisk of her hand, Barates stared with wide eyes at the slave held between the two guards. Ebo looked weak, and there were notable injuries on his skin. It was…odd to see so strong a man down on his knees. Biting his lip with a worried expression despite his best attempts to keep it neutral, Barates watched uneasily as the Queen turned around.
A soldier and a sailor before his life as a slave, Barates was not unused to seeing a man in chains and the sight was more common now that his current niche in life wasn’t what it used to be. Still, it was off setting, and he’d never been one to enjoy watching another brought down to their knees.
About to follow Aria’s order to go, Barates stopped midstep as she called him back.
“Know him?” he echoed, staring at the man with an uneasy expression before he slowly shook his head as he replied, “Yes and no. Slaves all meet-not many in palace-so bound to come into contact. But not close friends. Only knew he had left because of rumors.” Despite Barates’ uncertain expression, there was no lie in his voice. And why would there be? He could see no point in lying. And even if he had, the truth was bound to come out anyways-best to get it out of the way to begin with. Besides, the way Barates saw it Ebo had erred-the Greek slave held little favor towards thieves and while he himself had nicked an extra pomegranate or bread from the kitchens when he was hungry, a jewel comb was out of the question. Ebo had made his bed-now he had to sleep in it.
Not looking away even as Ebo shot him a panicked look, Barates grit his jaw and then repeated firmly while knowing he was practically signing the man’s death warrant. “Apologies Queen. Not know Ebo well.” That said, the Greek man stepped back and crossed his arms, previous ire at the queen forgotten for the moment in favor of more pressing matters.
Ebo was on his knees before her, his hands tied behind his back, a trickle of blood oozing from the corner of his now swollen lips. One of the guards handed her the golden combs. One of the rubies was missing.
"Did you honestly think you could steal these and get away with it?" her voice sounded shrill and angry. "Where's the ruby that was in the handle? What have you done with it?" she screamed at him.
"Please have mercy, great Queen," Ebo begged her. "My children were sick and needed medicine. Please, gracious Queen, I am all they have. I ask for your forgiveness and plead for your mercy. Spare me and I will give you my children for your personal servants. Do as you wish to me but spare my life, I beg you."
Narrowing her eyes she looked hard at him and then at Barates.
"YOU!" she pointed at Barates. "Come forward. Tell me, if you were in my place what would you do? Spare this thieves' life and make his children your slaves or put him to death and set his children free? Come now! Your answer could save both of your lives. What would you do?"
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 19, 2012 0:15:52 GMT -5
The moment Ebo mentioned giving away his children in return for his life, Barates’ lips thinned. What little worth Ebo had left in his eyes had all but departed at the man’s desperate plea and Barates’ posture clearly showed that. The Greek slave’s shoulders were pressed back, his spine straight and his mouth pressed into little more than a white line. Eyes blazing at the man, Barates didn’t even jump as Aria pointed at him. Moving forward as the queen asked, he kept his eyes pinned on Ebo for a moment longer before he paused, thinking over his reply as he slid into a bow.
It only took him a second to decide-life or not, he’d not change his ideals. He was an honorable man, and it was clear that this Ebo was not. A real man after all, would give himself up before selling his children into slavery.
Taking a deep breath to reign in his fraying temper, Barates paused for a second before he spoke up, voice curt and more than a little merciless. “If he willing to give up his own children, people he stole for in first place, then he not deserve to live.” There was no kindness in Barates’ hazel gaze as he pinned his eyes on the desperate man with a hawk like glare, “…true fathers, no- true men, not sell their children into slavery or servitude. Cowardly. Dishonorable. Temple would have worked to help children-they take care of, yes? To steal and then try to sell children so can live? Tch.” Clicking his tongue against his teeth with an angry glare to show his thoughts on the matter, Barates shook his head, bluntly relentless as best his grasp of the Egyptian language could allow and despite the fact that his life was on the line as well, he could not allow himself to soften his words. Besides, Aria had asked for his opinion. Still fuming visibly, Barates paused before he added, somewhat quietly. “If children still poor, should…should not punish-not for father’s doing …People say you kind Queen. You not want children to suffer, yes? So….so help them at least. Send…send to temple, it keep them safe, yes? That way…” Barates trailed off before he snorted. “That way his death not go to waste. But make example of him. People won’t try again. Hang from post-how do back home—er in Crete. At least…that is what would do. If…if were you.”
“If children still poor, should…should not punish-not for father’s doing …People say you kind Queen. You not want children to suffer, yes? So….so help them at least. Send…send to temple, it keep them safe, yes? That way…” Barates trailed off before he snorted. “That way his death not go to waste. But make example of him. People won’t try again. Hang from post-how do back home—er in Crete. At least…that is what would do. If…if were you.”
Aria was impressed with Barates wisdom and compassion.
"Do as he says," he told the guards. "Cut off his head and display it on a spike so all of Egypt will see what happens to a slave that steals and then tries to bargain for his life with his children's lives. Take his children to the Temple to be nursed to health and then I will determine what to do with them at that time." She said that so Abo would not know what would become of his children.
Abo was dragged away kicking and screaming. What the Queen ordered was done.
"LEAVE US!!" she commanded her servants and guards.
Turning her attention back to Barates she gave him a small grin. "You are an honorable man. You shall be rewarded for your wisdom and mercy. Tomorrow I will announce that I will make you a Vizier. It is a great honor to be a an adviser to the King and Queen. How do you feel about this?"
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 19, 2012 20:35:34 GMT -5
Staring solemn faced as Ebo was dragged out of the room kicking and screaming, Barates grit his jaw as the sound of a blade coming down emanated from where he had been taken. The deed had been done. As cowardly a man as the other slave had been, Barates was aware that he’d left children behind. Those children who would now be alone in the world-a fate the Greek slave wouldn’t have wished on anyone. Still, it was better their father be dead after what he had tried to do. A slave himself, Ebo should have known the hard life his children would have had to lead if the Queen had accepted his plea. Lips thinning further as his thoughts fell into darker territory, Barates all but jumped as Aria turned her attention back towards him, a small grin on her face.
Flushing slightly at the compliment, Barates blinked before his eyes widened. Vizier? What?
Mouth falling open as the blush quickly left his face, the Greek man’s eyes shone and his expression quickly split into a hopeful grin.
A vizier-such a powerful position and that would mean…it would mean freedom!
It was, it was out of his wildest dreams and yet-and yet….Barates’ face fell.
And yet, he had to refuse.
The very honor the queen complimented him for tore at his heart and he bowed his head, features twisting as his mouth opened. “…I…I…I thank you…” speech garbled and more than heavily accented as both his tongue and brain flew away from him, Barates shook his head, at a loss for words. The Queen’s gift was something out of his wildest dreams and for once, Barates cursed himself. Eyes shimmering with both gratitude and an odd mixture of shock and refusal, Barates curled his hands into fists, bowing deep with his palms planted on the floor. “…it is dream-and-and thank you for it. But…but….” voice wavering, he grit his teeth, knowing full well that his statement could ignite the Queen’s ire at him once more. Still, he’d not let himself advance when the means of it were because of the death of man. “….cannot accept. Offer is kind-very kind and….” cutting himself off as he stumbled again, Barates’ shoulders trembled, the muscles in his back quivering with the force it took to kneel. “….but….to take position….because of man’s death? Can…cannot. Is-is not right. Just a solider-er, slave. Cannot…” voice dying away, Barates gulped before he pulled his gaze from the floor, eyes beseeching towards the queen. “…thought of it is enough.”
Ah, but that was a lie. The thought-oh the very thought burned at him as did his honor’s screaming at him to toss away the Queen’s compliment. A real man would have never thought of accepting and he…lips pressing into a line again, Barates shook his head once more. “…appreciate greatly. But cannot accept. Greatest apologies, Queen.” Head dropping low once more, Barates grit his teeth, the muscles in his jaw twitching as his teeth ground down with enough force to make even his molars squeak.
This was the second time he had refused the queen and while the first had been of his own temper, this was because of his own blasted sense of duty. Back still quivering, Barates paused before he took a steadying breath. “….will gladly give advice if need. But position-I am…I am just slave. W-will stay that way.” The very words burned at his throat, as if speaking them aloud cemented his place in society. But he’d rather not have the rumors-and it would look bad on the Queen. Oh no, he just…he just…Fighting back another shiver, Barates' head slipped further down, his forehead nearly touching the floor. "Need to earn. To move ahead for man's death? Is...is not right. Not right at all. Soul would haunt. Apologies, Queen."
Taking in another deep breath and curling his fingers tighter until his nails bit into the calloused skin of his palms, Barates ground his jaw, growing quiet as his thoughts ran rampant through his mind. He had…he had nothing else to say and the mere fact he had to refuse a gift of freedom?
By Hermes, the fields of Elysium had best be worth it.
Need to earn. To move ahead for man's death? Is...is not right. Not right at all. Soul would haunt. Apologies, Queen."
Taking in another deep breath and curling his fingers tighter until his nails bit into the calloused skin of his palms, Barates ground his jaw, growing quiet as his thoughts ran rampant through his mind. He had…he had nothing else to say and the mere fact he had to refuse a gift of freedom?
By Hermes, the fields of Elysium had best be worth it.[/size]
Aria could not believe her ears. In the last hour he had turned her invitation to bed her and now had turned down his invitation to become a free man and becoming a Vizier, an honored adviser to Pharaoh, except in this case an adviser to her.
"I --- I do not know what to think," she looked bugged eyed at him. "Did I hear you say that you are refusing my gift to you?" her tone was one of astonishment. "Perhaps I overstepped myself when I had Abo put to death. I am quite sure he would have jumped at the opportunity to become a free man. Of course, he would have robbed me blind, but, by the Eye of Rah, you turn down the only chance you may ever have to become a free man. I am completely befuddled," she turned her back to him and sat down on a couch. "Come here," she motioned. "Come sit by me and explain to me what it is about me that you find so repulsive that you would refuse to make love to me and then turn down a free gift. Sit on this cushion on the floor and talk to me like I'm your friend. I want to know what you are feeling so I can understand. Come. Sit."
Post by Barates Aster on Jun 20, 2012 23:36:53 GMT -5
The moment Aria mentioned feelings, Barates entire expression dropped and when he looked up, it was the look of a doomed man. Oh by Hermes, any thing but that. He-he was no woman! He didn’t need to prattle about his feelings and how this and that upset him! He couldn’t be the vizier-it was as simple as that! Features twisting comically, Barates slowly stood up, lips pressed into a thin line as he shot a frantic look towards the door.
Perhaps if he made a run for it…
No-no-that wouldn’t do. Such a cowardly action was beneath him-no matter how alluring it was looking at the moment. Shaking his head to dispel himself of the thought, he slowly followed the queen to the couch. Scooting to the very end so there was a great deal of space between them, Barates bit back an awkward cough. Oh dear.
How…how to go about this.
Somehow, he doubted he could state his true feelings without offending the queen to the point where he’d lose his head. And my, Barates thought with a somewhat pale face, wasn’t that a gratifying prospect? Still-he, he had to do it.
She had asked and he wouldn’t lie. Besides-with his fool mouth the truth was bound to come out sometime. Still, Barates grimaced, looking as if he had bitten into something sour, he wished he didn’t have to speak his feelings. No-no, that wasn’t what he was doing! He, he was clearing up a misunderstanding. Yeah.
That…that was it.
Features gaining some color as he reaffirmed his manliness in his mind, Barates chanced a nervous look towards the Queen from the corner of his eye. Well, best to start this quick-like ripping off a bandage glued to your skin because of the blood. The quicker it was, the less you felt it.
Y-yeah. “Err….apologies? Not-not find repulsive! Queen have er-very nice body.” Eyes drawing across the queen’s form as if to enunciate the statement, Barates gaped for a moment before he quickly tore his eyes away , “Very pretty. Would-err…ah…. Just er…don’t like being bossed around.” Taking care to mutter that last part under his breath and in his native tongue, Barates continued on, “Queen beautiful. But…treats…like…ah…just in mind, still think free? Only been slave for three months-so not used. But as for vizier….” regaining his composure slihglty, Barates set his shoulders and glanced at Aria, meeting her eyes for the first time that night, “…refuse to become free because helped sentence man to death. Not right. Would rather rot in Tartarus itself. Would….” trailing off as his voice became somewhat uncertain again, Barates shook his head, unable to form words to show just exactly what he was feeling-err, explaining. Stumbling over a few phrases with a sigh, he finally grimaced and then glanced towards the queen nervously, his face a mixture of beseeching and confused. “Not, not know how to explain. If was other man, would-would gladly take up offer. Both. But not-am me? Can’t…wouldn’t be right. Besides….” voice growing quite again, Barates scowled and looked away. “….would look bad on your honor if bed slave, right? Or if promoted slave? Rumors. You…you can’t afford right now, not with pharaoh dead.” Wincing at his somewhat blunt reminder of the Pharaoh’s death, Barates cleared his voice and attempted to soften his words. “…under different circumstance, would probably take up offer. But can’t. Make-make sense?”
Of course it didn’t. Not at all-by all the gods above and the titans combined, it didn’t even make sense in his own mind.
But Barates knew one thing. He couldn’t accept the Queen’s offer to be a vizier. As for her previous offer…Barates gulped, eyes somewhat wide as they found themselves straying towards the Queen once more.
Well-he couldn’t say he didn’t consider it now that he’d seen this side to the Queen. She was much more attractive when she wasn’t ordering him around like a er…slave.
Turning away just as quickly as he had started, Barates stared out the window, fiercely combating the ruddy hue trying to make its way across his already sunburn cheeks. By Hermes his mind needed to stop.
He-he couldn’t accept either of the Queen’s offers and that was that!
She grinned approvingly as his eyes raked across her body. She saw lust flash across his expression, raw desire, and then, just as quickly, he took literal control of those feelings as his eyes turned downward. She had never met a man, much less a slave, who would treat her this way. But what way was it? What feeling was he trying to convey to her? It wasn't fear. It was quite obvious he was not afraid of her nor of death. What was it? Respect?
"If was other man, would-would gladly take up offer. Both. But not-am me? Can’t…wouldn’t be right. Besides….” voice growing quite again, Barates scowled and looked away. “…would look bad on your honor if bed slave, right? Or if promoted slave? Rumors. You…you can’t afford right now, not with pharaoh dead.”[/size]
When he mentioned Pharaoh's death something seemed to crack inside her and leak out. A pain, mourning, great loss, loneliness. FEAR! She had thought that everyone lived in fear of her. She wielded great power but her strength seemed to have waned and had been replaced with with something she feared. Despite living in a palace with servants fulfilling her every desire and hunger she was alone. So alone. And for the first time in a very long time she felt vulnerable. Her whole life had been frozen because she was afraid to go forward. Instead she had tried to fill that emptiness with fleshly things. Things that were temporary and hallow.
Closing her eyes a tear trickled down her cheek as she covered her face with her hands as she sobbed softly.
"All I want is to be loved," she finally managed after several minutes. "I feel so alone. So empty. My precious Pharaoh left for the after life in the Two Fields. He waits for me there but here is where I remain."