For the Love of Sekhet

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Merneptah VII

Merneptah sighed as he slowly climbed out of bed leaving the still sleeping Sekhet lightly snoring as she slept. It had been three months since his father had given his hesitant permission allowing he and Sekhet to continue seeing each other. Shortly following the party Merneptah had approached his father and told him about having seen Ajax break into Sekhet’s home and asked his permission for Sekhet to stay here for the foreseeable future, which he had agreed to allow. His one caveat was that Sekhet was not to move any of her possessions into their home.

Merneptah snorted as he thought back on that. He knew better than to essentially marry her without the proper permissions and that Sekhet would move her things into his home when they did finally wed but he was still be thankful that father had agreed. That just meant that he was able to go to bed each glorious night with Sekhet snuggled in his arms.

Merneptah made his way through the palace before once more finding his way to his father’s study. There were two things that he wanted to discuss with his father and both of them required his permission. Merneptah lightly knocked on his father’s door and waited patiently before being told to enter.

Merneptah walked into the room to see, as he often did, his father was pouring over a pile of papyrus documents which were probably related to court cases or council meetings he would be attending to later today. His father was nothing if not prepared.

“What is it that you need Merneptah?” Amenhotep asked briskly, his eyes briefly flicking up to rest on Merneptah before they once more focused upon his paperwork.

Merneptah sighed, “Father I would like your permission to take out the barge.” Merneptah said firmly. It was a thought that had occurred to him over the last few days that Sekhet would love to spend a day about the royal barge.

Amenhotep continued to study the papyrus in front of while Merneptah waited anxiously for his father’s decision. “Might I inquire as to why you want to take the barge out?” Pharaoh asked.

Merneptah bit his lip lightly as he thought of how to put his request best into words. And more importantly that those words would be the ones that had his father agreeing. “I want to do something special with Sekhet. She had mentioned loving being on a ship when the priest brought her down from Cairo as a child. I thought she might enjoy being on the water again.” Merneptah said.

Amenhotep set his papyrus down on the cedar desk as he gazed firmly at his son, “Meri, you do remember my words from three months ago. Do you not?” Amenhotep asked.

Merneptah nodded, “Yes, you told me that our courtship could continue but to not go behind your back attempting to move beyond courtship without discussing the matter with you first.” Merneptah said.

Amenhotep nodded once, briskly. “I do not care for this girl Meri. I cannot make the matter more plain to you however it also more than apparent to me that you do not care that I dislike her. You are head over heels in love with her absolutely refusing to consider that there are many more suitable women for you to be turning your attentions towards. Your affections for this girl are robbing you of your sense.” Amenhotep said.

Merneptah sighed, “Father, I promise you I will not ask her to marry me without at least informing you of my intentions first.” Merneptah said firmly. He wanted to marry Sekhet. He knew that already and he became more sure of that fact every morning he woke up with her in his arms. However, before he could ask for Sekhets hand there were many things that would need to happen.

First, he would have to find a way...any way really to convince his father that Sekhet was a suitable woman for him. Another task would be Merneptah would have to travel all the way to Cairo in order to get permission from her father for Sekhet to wed. And following both of those tasks then he would be able to ask Sekhet for her hand.

Merneptah truly hoped he would be able to complete both of those before the New Year came around once more but, given his father’s attitude on the matter Merneptah was beginning to doubt his ability to complete the first task before the New Year. Even if that is eight months away.

Amenhotep sighed, “And what precisely do you want with a barge? Just to spend the day with that girl? Or are you intending to take things further still in your relationship?” Amenhotep asked.

Merneptah had the decency to blush, “Father, I-I promise you I do not seek to go beyond your back and marry her.” Merneptah said.

Amenhotep snorted, “Do not take me for a fool Merneptah. You say you will not marry her without at least informing me of your intent. That does not tell me that you do not plan on trying to make her heavy with your child.” Amenhotep said sharply.

Merneptah swallowed thickly, “Father, you have never had any objections to either Amunher nor I partaking in the pleasures of the female body.” Merneptah interjected weakly. It was true, his father had never forbade them from visiting the harems.

Amenhotep rolled his eyes, “You truly do think me an idiot if you intend to liken you lying with Sekhet as no different than you making use of the services of a Harem. I have no doubt that once you have lain with her once you will do so again. And again. And again. And then you will be standing before me pleading for the chance to marry her since she is now carrying your child. Thus attempting to force my hand in the matter.” Amenhotep said sharply.

Merneptah’s eyes widened before he shook his head, “No, that is not my intention at all. I want to be with Sekhet because I love her and I desire to be with her as a man is with a woman. I would never use her in such a way in the hopes of manipulating you.” Merneptah said firmly.

Amenhotep rested his hand on the bridge of his nose as he sighed, “Just as I know you will also say that if it comes down to it you will marry her with or without my consent. You seek to earn my approval yes, but if there comes a time where you have decided you will marry her you intend to do so no matter what I say on the matter.” Amenhotep said.

Merneptah said nothing in response. His father was not wrong and they both knew it. However, a lot could happen between now and the time he makes Sekhet his wife. It was his hope that by then his father would have at least been neutral to the idea of them wedding.

Amenhotep sighed once more before he turned his attention back onto his papyrus. “You may take the barge out tomorrow. I just pray that Thoth gives you wisdom and that you think before you make any particularly rash decisions.” Amenhotep said.

Merneptah nodded, “I won’t. I know what I’m doing father.” Merneptah said.

Amenhotep chuckled, “Yes. The infinite wisdom of youth.”

Merneptah cracked a smile before his father dismissed him with a wave of his hand. Merneptah made his way out of the study before heading back to his own room in the hopes that Sekhet hadn’t left quite yet. He wanted to see her before he started his lessons.

Merneptah smiled brightly as he entered his room to see that Sekhet was still fast asleep. He carefully slipped of his sandals as he slowly climbed atop the bed, bracing his arms on either side of her face. He watched her sleep for several moments before he leaned down and pressed his lips against hers.

Sekhet groaned into the kiss as she slowly opened her eyes, her lips already moving subconsciously against Meri’s own. Merneptah broke the kiss with a grin as he looked into her sleepy eyes. “Good morning beautiful.” Merneptah purred.

Sekhet smiled. “Good morning Meri, are you ready for your lessons?” Sekhet asked.

Merneptah nodded, “I am. Are you planning on going back to the market today?” Merneptah said.

Sekhet nodded, “I am. I haven’t manned my stall is almost a week. I really need to make some sales today.” Sekhet said.

Merneptah sighed, “Would you be alright if you didn’t go to the market tomorrow?” Merneptah asked.

Sekhet quirked a brow, “Perhaps. Why?” She asked slowly, her voice tinged with suspicion.

Merneptah grinned, “I have arranged a surprise for you tomorrow but in order for it to work you need to spend the entire day with me. Which means that you can’t go to the market tomorrow and I won’t be training.” Merneptah said.

Sekhet gave Merneptah a pointed look, “Meri, you can’t be skipping your lessons.” Sekhet scolded.

Merneptah’s grin broadened, “I can if I have my father’s permission to do so. And I do. So, do we have a plan?” Merneptah asked.

Sekhet sighed, “Fine. As long as you have Pharaoh’s permission then we have a plan.” Sekhet conceded.

Merneptah gave Sekhet a bright, mischievous smile as he allowed his body to fall more firmly against hers pinning her body beneath his.

“Meri! We both have to be getting ourselves ready.” Sekhet scolded.

Merneptah chuckled before he leaned forward to capture her lips in a kiss, “And we will but first I want to spend some quality time with you. Something to get me through my lessons and training.” Merneptah whispered.

Sekhet eagerly pressed her lips back against Merneptah’s her arms slipping around his shoulders as the kiss deepened. Merneptah teasingly twirled his tongue around Sekhet’s own feeling the jolt of pleasure that coursed through his body as he did.

He may have wanted to do so much more than to kiss Sekhet but he knew now was not the time. Sekhet was right, they did have lessons and she needed to be getting to the market. But, tomorrow was another story. Tomorrow was the day that he planned on making her his. Although they had not explicitly discussed the matter Merneptah knew that both he and Sekhet were ready to take this next step together.

He could tell by the way she arched against him. The look in her eyes when she was with him. The several times he had heard her moaning his name while she was asleep in his arms.

It took more than a substantial amount of self discipline to pull away from Sekhet but somehow the gods granted him the strength to do exactly that and he rolled off her her, flopping down onto the bed beside her.

“Sadly, it seems the time we had to enjoy each other’s presence this morning has since elapsed.” Merneptah grumbled.

Sekhet smiled as she nodded, her hand lightly stroking the side of Merneptah’s face, “Glad to hear you made the wise decision. The last thing I need is to be blamed for you missing lessons.” Sekhet said before she slowly climbed out of bed.

Merneptah sat up, “I know.” Merneptah said with a sigh. That was a problem if Merneptah made a mistake lately his father and even Amunher would blame Sekhet for it. Saying he was distracted. Or that she was just being a bad influence on him. Neither of which were true.

Sekhet got changed and after one final kiss she made her way back to the market leaving Merneptah to head to his lessons. He was most surprised to see Amunher leaning against the wall outside the classroom, he frowned. “What are you doing here Amunher? You don’t take lessons anymore.” Merneptah said.

Amunher pushed off the wall and rested his hand on his brother’s shoulder. “And today you are excused from lessons. I got father’s permission for us to spend the entire day on the training field instead.” Amunher said.

Merneptah quirked a brow. That was downright strange.

Amunher turned and began to head down the corridor, “Come on Meri. We have a lot to do today and not much time.” Amunher said.

Merneptah turned and quickly caught up with his brother, lightly knocking his shoulder against his, “Do you mind telling me what this is all about Amunher?” Merneptah asked.

Amunher sighed, “Hopefully its about nothing but we’ll find out in the next few days. Hopefully.” Amunher said.

Merneptah frowned, “Find out what?” Merneptah asked.

Amunher sighed once more, “The latest intelligence reports father received say that our enemies are on the move. He sent another reconnaissance team out to confirm. And if its true then you and I are going to be going to war.” Amunher said.

Merneptah nodded. “Then we had better get some serious training done today. I’ll train late since I won’t be on the field at all tomorrow.” Merneptah said.

Amunher shot his brother a look, “No training at all tomorrow? Did you not hear what I told you is going on Meri?” Amunher growled.

Merneptah nodded, “Like I said, I will train double today. For Sekhmet’s sake Amunher, I’ll train until Ra descends into the underworld today if it makes you happy. But tomorrow I can’t. I won’t be in the palace. I already got father’s permission to be gone for the day.” Merneptah said.

“And where are you going to be?” Amunher asked.

Merneptah sighed, “I have father’s permission to take Sekhet out on the barge tomorrow.” Merneptah said.

Amunher snorted, “Fine. Just you had better put everything you have into today and after you return I expect you to be focused on the task at hand. War isn’t a game Meri.” Amunher said.

Merneptah nodded, “I know that Amunher. If father tells us we are heading to war then I promise you I will be ready.” Merneptah vowed.

Amunher nodded as the reached the training field, “Good. You had better be.” Amunher said.

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