Marcus and Caliecus' father had heard of the mutiny. He would be glad to see his sons get rid of this monster. Octavius in his sick mind had other plans. If he was going to be overthrown, others were going to pay a heavy price, one of them being the father of Marcus and Caliecus. He had him and his wife arrested, along with other senators who he felt were against him, and brought before him. He ranted and raved at them, cursing their names. During his ranting, he ordered them burned immediately in front of the Senate building. Wood was piled and poles put in place. Those arrested were tied to the poles and then one of the Pretorian guards set them ablaze. Marcus' father cursed Octavius before the fire consumed him, his wife and the others. Their bodies were left there as reminders to any who opposed him.
A week later, both brothers were outside Rome. Marcus sent in a spy to check the layout of the defense, so had Caliecus. As if on cue, both armies started into Rome. The population stayed indoors, not wanting to be caught in the middle.
What there was of the army of Rome proved to be no problem. Marcus soon was in front of the Senate building. What he saw sickened him. The burned bodies were still there. He happened to see on one of the poles two shapes burned to a crisp. One of those shapes had a ring. He was looking at the bodies of his parents. His men saw the bodies, some became sick at the sight of them. He ordered the bodies taken down and buried. The men saw a look on his face that made them shiver. The stories were true, his eyes could shoot daggers. Caliecus had come up behind him just as he was seeing his parents being taken away. Marcus felt someone behind him. His sword raised, he turned. He saw it was Caliecus. The two brothers embraced.
Marcus told Caliecus what happened; that Maati was alive and she would leave a trail for them to follow. They both agreed to leave immediately for Egypt once this was finished. Both brothers knew the Pretorian guards were the best, but neither were going to stop until they got to him to dispose of him.
Octavius heard the armies outside the palace. It wasn't long before there was a clashing of swords. Marcus and Caliecus were slashing their way through, blood splattered all over them. The guards were slowly dwindling due to the overwhelming number of soldiers. Finally, the head of the guards dropped his sword, others followed his lead. The men cheered, it was finally over. The brothers entered the main area of the palace, looking for the emperor. They found him already dead, having killed himself shortly before they entered. Caliecus informed the men the emperor was dead. Word spread like wildfire through Rome. The whole city began to celebrate.
Those senators who had not been arrested begged Marcus and Caliecus to take over. They told them they wanted nothing more to do with Rome or its empire. Egypt would be their new home. Those soldiers who had been sent from Egypt with them followed the two brothers back to Egypt. Back to rescue their loved ones.
Maati was cleaning the kitchen and happened to drop a particular pot that the cook liked to use. It shattered into a million pieces. The cook was so upset she told the brothel owner, who had Maati tied to a pole and whipped with a leather strap til she lapsed into unconsciousness. Ami untied Maati and took her to her cell. She applied aloe and soothing oils to the cuts. It was a week before Maati was able to move.
Sinuhe stopped by. The owner said to himself that he seemed in a big
hurry. Sinuhe had found out the Emperor had been overthrown by the two men
he had sent away. He asked about Maati. The man thought to himself that
she must be a very valuable slave for him to ask about her. He told Sinuhe
that she was dead, having starved herself to death. Sinuhe did not believe
Sinuhe did not have time, as he wanted to be away from there as fast as possible, not knowing if they were coming after him or not. He had hoped he could take her with him as he then would have a hostage to bargain with. He left on his way south, hoping that the Shiites or one of their allies would offer him refuge. The man, seeing that Sinuhe had asked about her thought she would bring him a good price. There had been some merchants from Mascedonia asking about her. They wanted to buy her. The man figured he could get a good price for her as she was very beautiful.
Marcus and Caliecus got to Memphis a couple of days later. The guards
who had been loyal to the Emperor had been no match for the two brothers.
It wasn't long before the guards were subdued. Those fortunate to still be
alive were questioned by Marcus.
The jailer took him to another part of the prison. Caliecus found her weak but still alive. He tenderly carried her back to the palace to her room.
Imhotep and Ammuhtep, although ill-treated, were in good shape and were glad to see Marcus. When they got back to the palace, Imhotep ordered it scrubbed and purified to rid it of the stench of Sinuhe. He had the Temple of Isis purified also, which would take about two days.
Ammuhtep was ready to go after Sinuhe. He had a personal score to settle with him. Ammuhtep was very loyal to the royal family, the king and queen having showed kindness when his family had been killed by a roving band of thieves. He thought of the Queen as a cousin. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for her.
Marcus told the both of them the Queen was still alive. Imhotep asked
how did he know. Marcus showed them her necklace, which he had worn at all
times. He told them of the smoke coming from it, the eyes, her voice
pleading for him to rescue her, and of the scented trail she would leave.
This did not surprise Imhotep. Marcus was puzzled.
Marcus smiled to himself. A woman that can cast spells. Maati had cast a spell on him, but not with any powder or chant; but with something much more powerful - love.
Caliecus was with Simset in her room, not wanting to leave her. Caliecus
told her that the Queen was alive.
He went on to explain what Marcus had told him. Of the smoke from the necklace, the eyes in the smoke, her voice pleading for him to come and rescue her, and of the scented trail she would leave for him to follow.
Upon hearing this, Simset had to think back to when she was a little girl. Her mother had told her that the queen was not from Egypt but from a strange land to the West. Simset could only conclude that somehow Maati was able to do spells and was able to contact the gods to send her message to Marcus. She always knew there was something different about Maati. Now she knew, her Queen was able to do spells; Maati's mother having taught her.
Caliecus told her they were going after her, but not until the morning. For tonight, he would stay with her.
Early the next morning, the rescue party set out, Marcus leading them, with Caliecus and Ammuhtep behind, and a mixture of Roman and Egyptian soldiers, all going south. Marcus knew they were going in the right direction because the scented trail, which only he could smell, was leading them that way.
The brothel owner was talking to some merchants who were traveling back to Mascedonia. They had shown an interest in Maati, and were now haggling with the owner as to what she was worth. Maati was in her cell pacing back and forth. She was wondering when Marcus was coming for her. "What if he's dead?" she thought. No, she said to herself, he will be here. It's just a matter of when.
Just then, three merchants arrived at the brothel. There was nothing
unusual about that, but these merchants were different. Two of them
towered head and shoulders above their companion. One had long, red hair
and the other had long, dark hair. The women could do nothing but stare at
the giants for these merchants were very handsome. All three went into the
brothel. The owner saw them as they came in, but more importantly, he saw
their fat purses.
The owner, not wanting to lose these men, went to the back. He told
Maati there were customers. She was to go out to the front and let them
see her. Maati said she was not going to. The man slapped her face.
Maati did as she was told. She went out front. Marcus gasped softly when she came out. He also saw the bruises and whip marks on her. His eyes became like daggers. He grabbed the man by the throat and threw him against the wall like a wet rag.
At the noise Maati looked to see what had happened. Marcus was in front
of her now. Tears came to her eyes as she touched his cheek, not believing
he was really there. Marcus had tears in his eyes. Each looking at the
other. Before Maati could say anything, she was pulled into his arms in a
fierce embrace. She clung to him tightly, not wanting to let go. Marcus
kissing her face all over.
Ammuhtep picked the man up by his tunic and put a knife to his throat.
The owner added, "He came by here a couple of days ago, wanting to know
where the slave he had left here was. I lied and told him she had died
from starvation. I figured if she was that valuable, I would be able to get
a good price for her. Never once did I know that she was the Queen."
Maati spoke. "Leave him be. Close this place down. There will be no more women for him to misuse. Let the word go out of what he was. He will not be able to start another brothel anywhere."
The man knew now he would have to find work of some kind in order to live. He felt very fortunate that he was allowed to live.
Ami had seen all that was going on. She was glad this was over, but she
did wonder where was she going to go and what kind of work would she be
able to get. Maati came over to her.
With the rescue of the Queen, a rider was sent ahead to tell everyone at the palace. The rescue party would take at least a couple of days to get back as they were taking their time. As soon as word had reached the palace, everybody was abuzz with excitement. Word reached the population of Memphis. The entire city was in a frenzy and planned a welcome celebration for the party. At the palace, rooms were being readied and a huge banquet was being prepared. Everyone was going all out for the Queen's homecoming.
One at the palace was very excited about Maati's homecoming, Simset. She was getting everything together for her. Simset knew better than anyone what the Queen would want the first thing when she came - her bath. Simset made sure that Maati's special oil was ready. She also wanted to talk with her about their wedding plans. She didn't want to be a pest, but she did want her and Caliecus to be married.
All the way home, Maati rode with Marcus, his arms constantly around her, never letting her go. He still was upset about the whip marks she had on her back and the bruises on her arms and cheek. He felt that she may have been too lenient with the man for what he did to her. He did deserve to die because of it, but he felt that she had seen enough bloodshed and wanted no more. Besides, the man would never be able to run a brothel again, Ammuhtep had seen to that. The soldiers were ever on the alert in case someone wanted to attack the Queen again. Along the way, people had heard about what had happened. At every camp or village they came to people cheered. They were glad to see her back and Sinuhe gone for good.
Maati was anxious to get back to the palace. More than anyone in the
party, it would feel good to be home. She was wanting to get alone in her
room for just a few minutes, she had something she needed to do and
couldn't wait to get back. She knew Simset would be waiting to see to her.
Maati also knew Simset would be want to start planning the wedding. She
smiled to herself. She was anxious herself.
Caliecus was watching the two of them. He did happen to catch a few words of what they were saying. He was a bit taken aback when he found out Maati could cast spells. She definitely was not of the ordinary. He had to agree with Marcus, she had cast a spell upon him. It had been the most natural thing in the world - love. Then he thought about Simset. She too had cast her spell upon him. He could hardly wait to get back to the palace to see her, to put his arms around her. Seems the two of them had met their destiny.
Upon their arrival at the city gates, the entire population of Memphis was out in the street. They were cheering and throwing flower petals at the rescue party as they went through the street. Maati was very touched at this. She never expected this type of welcome. It made her feel good to know that she was well liked. It took them a while to get to the palace.
Once they got to the palace, Marcus carried her up the steps. She had
Marcus put her down.
She walked in, Marcus and the others right behind. Once she was in it
felt so good to be home. The first person she spotted was Imhotep. She put
her arms around him.
He could see she was tired, but in good health despite the marks on her.
Maati was looking for someone. Then they saw each other. Simset had tears
in her eyes. They hugged one another.
Simset saw Caliecus. Maati smiled. Simset ran to Caliecus. He pulled her into his arms. They stood there, each glad the other was okay.
Ami started to go back outside and find the servants' quarters. But
before she took another step, Maati stopped her.
She introduced Ami to Simset, who she said would take her to her quarters
and show her what her duties would be among other things.
Maati told Marcus she wanted to be alone for a minute, but would see him
later (with a wink). Marcus, with a grin, knew what she was talking about.
Maati went to her chamber. By her bed she kept a locked cabinet. After
opening it, she took out a box, opened it, and took out a locket that
belonged to her mother. She held it to her chest.
Simset came in with Ami, telling Maati her bath was ready. Maati was ecstatic. Never had a bath felt so good, now that she could bath in her special oil. Simset saw the marks and bruises on her and the callouses on her hand. She hoped that whoever did this would not be allowed into the afterlife. Fortunately, the oil she bathed in would make her skin soft as a rose petal in no time. Ami was quick to learn. Using just the right stroke to brush Maati's hair after it had been washed.
Marcus was reveling in his own chamber. All the way back, he had kept his arms around her, not wanting to release her even when they were back in the palace. Caliecus came in, having finished his bath. He looked at Marcus, so much having happened in the past few weeks. His brother had changed, but so had he. Now that they had met their true loves, they had given up Roman citizenship to be with them. Maati and Simset both had cast spells on them, but Caliecus figured they wouldn't have it any other way.
Imhotep informed them a banquet had been prepared for them. Maati couldn't wait. She had eaten nothing but broth and bread for the past few weeks. Everything imaginable had been prepared for them. Countless delicacies of fowl of every kind, fruits, breads, fish, dates, nuts, wine and beer. Some of the Roman soldiers had never been treated better. Being soldiers, they had been eying some of the women. They had a feeling Egypt would be a far better place to be than the Roman frontier.
Maati and Marcus sat next to each other, as well as Caliecus and Simset. Ami was told to join them. She had never eaten so well. Ammuhtep sat next to Ami. They seemed to be having a very private conversation. Maati poked Marcus and told him to look at the two of them. Ami was a very pretty girl. It was not hard for Ammuhtep to be interested in her, as he was very handsome himself.
Marcus was looking at Maati very intently. Maati could see it in his eyes. She started to blush because she knew what he was thinking. She got up to excuse herself. Everyone thought she did not feel well, but Marcus knew the real reason.
Maati changed into a very sheer tunic, so sheer, it was almost as if it wasn't there. She went to the fountain in her garden and waited. It wasn't long before Marcus came. She didn't hear him coming but she knew he was there. The moon shown on her as she turned around. Marcus' breathing became heavier, for as she turned he could see she was wearing nothing underneath.
Marcus walked up to her. They looked into each other's eyes for what seemed like eternity. He bent and kissed her fiercely, pulling her into his arms, pressing her against his body. She felt his manhood rising with desire. His hands were reveling in the feel of her skin through the tunic. He picked her up and carried her to her room.
He slowly removed her tunic, his fingers stroking her skin all the way down. Maati watched him remove his clothes, his body filling her with desire. He laid beside her, kissing her, his tongue exploring every cavity of her mouth. Maati kissed him back, doing her own exploring. While he was kissing her, his hands were exploring every inch of her body, especially between her thighs. His exploration bringing moans from her. He kissed her neck, then her breasts, caressing each pink-colored tip with his tongue. Maati arching her back to give him more, all the while twining her fingers in his hair. She then felt his tongue where his fingers had been, sending shivers over her body, making her cry out, bringing her ever closer to release. She felt him working his way up to her again, kissing her, not able to get enough. Her hands tracing every inch of his body, closing around his manhood, moving back and forth. Marcus moaned, wondering how much more he could endure. Her lips replaced her hand, sending him to new heights of ecstacy, his fingers running through her silken hair, moaning her name. He couldn't believe she was doing this. Maati was on top of him now, joining them together. Marcus was with her, stroke for stroke, all the while caressing her breasts, kissing her, each going deeper and deeper, til Maati cried out at her release and Marcus calling her name as he exploded.
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