Continuing on with my paranormal romance set in ancient Egypt…Nima and Kamin have been captured by a caravan master who plans to sell them to the pursuing enemy. Nima challenges the man to a game of senet, with her life and Kamin’s as the stakes and a blood oath between herself and the caravan master that they’ll each honor the outcome. Ptahnetamun, the caravan master, brings out a gameboard and they play, with Kamin, all the caravan workers and many of the caravan passengers watching. Nima won, which we saw last week…and Ptahnetamun is a man of his word, so he grudgingly admits her victory. This next scene is at dinner, after a performance by a troupe of dancers traveling with the caravan. Nima joined them for part of the dance. Ptahnetamun is speaking as she rejoins Kamin and him. He’s offered her a contract and is the first speaker in the excerpt:
“I travel in and out of Egypt all the time. You could dance abroad for a few years, save your gold and then retire anywhere you chose, in Egypt, Thebes even.” Ptahnetamun nudged her in the ribs. “See the world. Live as a lady of luxury, build a tomb as grand as the queen’s for a good Afterlife, eh?”
He’s just offered her one of her life’s dreams on a platter. Kamin’s heart sank. Hating himself but reacting with a jealous instinct he didn’t fully understand, angered by the idea of Nima choosing a different road than the one he traveled, he leaned across her to address their host in disparaging tones, “You forget, we’re hunted by the Hyksos.”
VS sez: The ancient Egyptians had quite a system of contracts and law and there are many surviving records of women doing business, entering into contracts, suing to enforce contract terms in court…
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Egypt, 1500 BCE
Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.
As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive. Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart. Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?
Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?
Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?