Pre Edit Count – 2,503 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Never Going Home by Semi Precious Weapons
The dog barks once, his tail wagging, then leads them to the airplane. Rick sighs. “Now I am listening to a wolf. Give me some Yetti’s any day.” He carries her to the plane, telling them to take off. He settles her on one of the couches, and then sits down.
He looks off thinking, wishing his wife was here. “I sure hope you can fulfill your promises to her Imhotep.”
In the world we consider the real one, Bella stirs on the couch before she drops off into the dream world. In seconds, Imhotep is before her, worried. “My love, you need to take it easier.” He smoothes her hair away from her head. He didn’t think there was anything left that he would hate more than watching others trying to woo his love away. But watching her – knowing that only his brother and Hermes was there to protect her – that was a whole new sense of what hell is.
She snorts. “I would love to, but unless you can take care of the others hunting us, I don’t think that will be possible.” She is blinking, trying to understand all that has happened in such a short amount of time. One moment all was normal; the next, it seems the supernatural world awakened and things are happening too fast to comprehend. Maybe there is something to what Rick said about the Book of the Dead attracting trouble.
Bowing his head as he tries to reign in his temper, Imhotep announces to her, giving warning to the universe. “My beloved should not be hunted. When I rise, they are going to regret hunting your every foot step.” He looks up; his dark eyes are full of vengeful wrath. There is an actual flame in the depths, showing he is more than human.
Bella sighs. “Does it always have to be vengeance and such?” She leans back against the comfort of the furnishings behind her, tired already of the theme she has found in the Supernatural world. Death seems to travel behind them, all in the name of vengeance. She shudders as she remembers her own personal terror in the form of a red-headed vampire that keeps trying to hunt her, all in the name of vengeance.
Not able to help it, Imhotep chuckles at her words. “I take it you do not want me to punish those that are making your life so harrowing; causing you black out from trying to gain too much knowledge. You will wake up with the worst headache you have ever suffered!” He lifts an eyebrow at her, waiting on her response. His beloved may have a kind heart, but he has seen what happens when she is pushed to the limits. She can be as ruthless as he is. Bella is really perfect for him in every way.
“Well, if you want to put it that way, then yeah. I guess some retribution is in order. Why the pain though?”
Grinning at her for allowing him his vengeance, he explains. “It is because you are being physically changed to be able to be my consort through the coming ages as well as the Mistress of the Book of the Dead. That book should have never been able for anyone other than you to read it. In fact, it had been a sign of you being the one for it to react the way it did. I was foolish and thought that anyone who could use the book was the one I had waited on. It should have told me something that my brother’s love was able to open and read the book.” He shakes his head ruefully, “Especially when her idiotic brother was the one who banished me the first time! I would think the fact he couldn’t read all the symbols but say the words from his sister’s translation of it would give me a hint!”
Sighing at the mistakes he had made because of his need to be loved, Imhotep informs her, “Since you are the Mistress of the book, as each page of information is given to you, the page disappears from the book forever. For as long as you are here, it has no need to be around. ”
Bella sits straight up. “No! What if I die? Or something happens to me?” Such a valuable resource – that even Imhotep had used the book to bring back the woman he thought was her – should not be lost!
Unable to help the chuckle bubbling up from being in her presence, Imhotep gently pushes her to lie back down. Only then she sees that the bed she is on has flowing linens all around it, moving with the wind, and giving a sense of concealment from what is around her. It is surprisingly comfortable for it being in the Land of the Dead.
Watching her, he gently informs her, “That is what the book is changing, beloved. You need to read a page a night, and the information will remain inside of you. You are to be my equal in every sense of the word. How can you be that if you do not have the same information I have?” He smiles. He can do so much with nature as well as command the dead, but what she will be able to do is the other side. She will be able to raise the dead, to commune with the dead themselves if need be. They will compliment and even overlap in a few areas. But all relationships have to be even to work as well as he wishes his to do. He has long envied his brother in his luck with his woman. Now he gets to experience the same.
Not knowing what is going through the head of the man in front of her, Bella lifts an eyebrow. “But in a way I have different information that you do.” She is referencing the time they are in.
He chuckles, and his thumb rubs her cheek affectionately when he cups her face. “Do you think I do nothing here in the Land of the Dead? I watch, my beloved, as I have always. I have always been able to understand what is going on around me, and have made the effort to do the same now. I have and will retain all the information, all the advancements, I have seen over the years. And wherever, whenever, we end up together when this is all done, it will be with all of us retaining the memories of all these years. My brother already has altered his thinking so that he can blend with the times, and the rest of our group will do the same. However, you need to learn to defend yourself and the Book will allow you to do so.” The last is said seriously. Since he has watched, he has known of the need of his beloved to not be the one in need of being rescued. He thinks she is long overdue it, but can understand the frustration.
When she looks up at him, he smiles at her. “As Rick has mentioned, when the Book of the Dead surfaces, it does seem to draw creatures to it. However, at the same time he is not aware that you do the same thing. The cold dead ones are chasing you; they have done it for a long time in one fashion or the other. The Seer has told them if you achieve your goals, their lives will be changed. It does not matter that all of the world inhabitants will have their lives changed; they are only caring about theirs.” The last is said angrily, and is one of the things that he will enforce. They are to answer to him. All those in their world, especially the Dead, will answer to him. They have run roughshod over humanity for long enough.
Forcing himself to try to explain why she has not noticed until now the hunting of the Cold Ones, Imhotep smiles. “Hermes, as you have named him, has protected you many times. As he did this time. They are frightened of him, and with good reason. As a guardian and a creature of our world, he can damage them easily. In fact, he has torn numerous ones up that have come from one vengeance seeking individual. Because of this, she has gone and taken the knowledge of you to others. With the fact you are protected so much, unfortunately, this makes them more determined to capture you. They have already organized a search for you, and you will have to gain the information in the book as fast as possible to be able to fight them. But no more than a page a night; the pain you will encounter because of it will be overwhelming. Night time is best. It is when you are the most protected until you get to Egypt. You might want to warn Rick that there will be a reaction to you entering your land.” He chuckles, knowing that the immortal man will have much too clear an idea of what the land can do after dealing with him before.
Bella’s brows furrow. “My land?” She is paying attention, but to call Egypt her land? She has never been there!
He nods as his eyes trace her face, committing it to memory as he does each and every time he sees her. “Anubis and his father have decreed it. We will be the rulers of new Egypt as well as the leader of the Supernaturals. Seems your pure heart is enough to keep me on an even keel. In fact, though Anubis is your Lord, seems Ra had quite a bit in the say of your making. You, my beloved, are one of the most crucial people on this earth. You are to bring everything back.” His eyes glow with the knowledge that she is perfect for him, and was made so by the actions of his Gods.
Not understanding what he means, Bella shakes her head, denying his words. “I am a normal girl of 20 years old. The only male to ever think of me more than just the girl next door, the bookworm, left me in a forest alone. I have parents. I have a little sister now! I do not understand what you are talking about!” A god had a say in her making? Did this mean that she is not human? That her parents, the bumbling pair of them, are not hers?
He pulls her to him, calming her. “Your parents were brought together to make you. Though our Lord is very upset at the treatment of you, he could not change much until Ra had allowed him to release a bit of his essence into the world. That essence is Hermes. He was my guardian when I was human, and it is very fitting he is yours. Beloved, I am sorry this information seems distressing to you. How I wish I could make it better, but truly, what would you have me do?” He is confused. Any normal being would be thrilled that she is so special that the very Gods had a hand in her making. Why is she upset? He had thought this would please her!
She stares up at him, and finally crumbles in his arms crying. He holds her closer, comforting the woman who means everything to him. He has watched over her since the second she was born and he knew she was his. He had watched when she received each bump and cut as a child, then visited her to kiss them better. He had seen the signs of her being God touched; the way she seemed to be an old soul, to be able to handle things that would have broken lesser individuals.
Imhotep has been beside her every step of her life, and the impotent rage when the undead started being attracted to her had him trying to protect her. He had failed ultimately, and the rage he had when she gave her first kiss to the mind reader, if he had been corporeal, he would have destroyed the world. His rage has always been something to be feared, and one of the things that she has tempered in him, as long as she is safe.
He had always been in her dreams, watching over them. Then came the time when Anubis was allowed to release his essence, his magic in the world, that he was able to interact her dreams. With this new development, he has taken the opportunity to slowly show her his entire life. He did this to even the exchange of information, to allow her to know of him as he has learned of her. He has deeply treasured the times that they had talked after each instance.
It has been a slow process, but it is what she needed. That she is able to see his past and make her own judgments, which had always been in his favor, he had reveled in it then and even now. For now she is more accepting of him being here. She knows all of him; the mistakes he has made; the deaths he has caused. Everything. He needed her to know, to accept him.
Imhotep knew she thought they were just dreams the entire time, until she met Rick. He had known how important it was to make sure they meet, that he had begged for the chance to show himself that one time. He was the one who made them real to her and she believed enough to allow herself to start to interact with him in her dreams. They have advanced slowly to the point that she is now resting in his palace in the Land of the Dead. He brought her here to heal faster. He could not deal with her being in pain.
With this all in mind, he looks down at her as she asks, “How much of all of this real. Is this really you?”
Thinking of his earlier thoughts, Imhotep cannot help the smile on his face as he looks down at her. “It is all me. I have been by your side since you were a baby. But since Hermes came about, you have gotten to know me. I have tried to show you everything, even the bad parts. I wanted you to know me as I know you.”
She blushes. “You’ve seen everything?” Her mind thinking of Edward and how he watched her.
He nods down at her. “Yes. I have been by your side throughout your life, oftentimes raging silently on events in your life. Hating that I could not comfort you, nor heal you. Bella, my beloved, I am so sorry for what you have gone through.”
She is blushing, and she is looking down. “So you saw everything. Even things I thought were private?” In her mind, she is mortified. She is also ignoring the voice in the back of her mind trying to tell her that this is nothing to get upset about.
He nods, not seeing the danger in sharing with her. “And I shared everything with you.” Imhotep is surprised when the outburst comes.
“It’s not the same thing!”
He stares at her as she is pushing him away. He frowns, “My love, what is the problem?”
The mortification as she thinks of so many times that she did something then calmed herself thinking of how it didn’t matter since she was alone. But now she is learning that she has never been alone, not with what he is telling her! How much has he seen of her mistakes? The stupid things? Oh God, what of her being naked? Or the times when she had those type of dreams, or even pleasured herself? He had seen so much more!! Even what Edward had seen had been embarrassing later on when she had thought of it. But Imhotep has seen more!
She stares at him, her face a deep red. “You saw everything, no matter if I wanted someone seeing it or not. You CHOSE to share with me your life. It is two totally different things!” She is trying to voice her emotions, but to be honest; it isn’t like Bella had many chances to do that in her life. The one time she tried, Edward left her. So right now, she is mortified, ashamed of what he could have seen. And with everything going on, with the earlier thought in the house that she is being pushed to be the woman everyone had to save again, comes out in a need to slap at someone, anyone. And unfortunately, Imhotep had given that outlet with his words.
She scoots to the edge of the bed, and Imhotep reaches out to her. “My love!”
She turns her back on him. “Can’t you understand?” Shaking her head with tears flowing down, ignoring any reason that is trying to break through the panic attack, she lashes out as she holds her head down. “You violated me!”
She looks up, asking of some higher power to take pity on her. “Can I go back please?”
Imhotep gives a wordless sound of despair as she disappears. He is soon over at the last spot she was at, falling to his knees. Lost. And the souls in the Land of the Dead send up a wailing keen as they feel their master’s heartache.
Waking up, Bella gives the gasp that Rick has commented is common with coming back from the Land of the Dead. Hearing it, he is soon by her side, holding her up as she breathes, but then he gets concerned as she begins to sob.
Frowning, Rick asks, “What is wrong? I know you were with him again. What could make you this upset?” He had been thinking it was better that she had the time with him, to help her talk over the changes that are happening. That hopefully he will tell her what it means about the book acting different. Any information really would help at this point. Nothing is worse than not knowing and being lost in the world that had only made complete sense the day before.
She sobs, and this is one of those times he wishes his wife was here, since he is ill-equipped at dealing with crying females. He just made all the soothing noises that he had done for Alex and Evie, hoping that she will return to the woman who had dealt with the horrors earlier with laughter and make sense soon.
It takes a while, but Bella calms. She leaves Rick, going to the bathroom and washing her face. She looks in the mirror at her reflection. Instead of just seeing herself, she sees the shadow of Imhotep in the mirror, looking so lost and in pain. She turns her head on him.
What she does not realize is that he is able to be seen because of him begging for that, for something to allow her to know when he is around by allowing his shadow to be there. He doesn’t fully understand why she is upset, but he is trying. The last thing he understood was that she didn’t like him watching her without her knowing.
She exits the bathroom, some of the fire she is full of showing in her eyes. Rick holds up his hands toward her. “Now, lady, no need to get mad at me. I have no idea what even happened nor am I him.” He is all too aware of that fire and the damage it can do.
She glares at him, upset that he took the chance to let out some of the anger and lost feeling she has. She throws herself in a seat, only aware of how childish it is after she is seated. He watches her, and sighs before going to sit next to her. “Look, I have no idea what happened in your meeting tonight, but is it really that bad?”
Bella lifts an eyebrow as an answer, and Rick decides to enlighten her. “I am male; I admit it. We fuck up a lot. Is what he did so bad?” If nothing else, he can save himself; he doesn’t need a lover’s spat. Not when he suspects it is a reaction to hell being released in such a short amount of time. She had told him how pleasing it had been to be normal for the short amount of time.
She huffs, then bites out. “Watching over me every second since I was born?” Her words are like acid, but what she fails to understand is that Rick is impartial, and he will not give into her.
He looks at her puzzled, “And? What is the big deal?”
She gives him a pointed look, and his eyes widen. “EVERY second?”
She nods then looks away.
Rick mutters to himself. “Oh boy, you really landed yourself in it now, Mummy boy.” Rick runs a hand through his hair as he tries to think of something, anything to say to help fix this. If she is telling the truth, and her reactions are a huge tell that she is, then Imhotep had really fucked up.
She is sitting there mulishly when Rick straightens up, a thought revealing itself from their talk in Seattle. “Hey, didn’t you say sparkle boy watched you sleep? Even when you had dreams that no one should see, and you talked in your sleep?” He then gives her a look as if reminding her that she had told him that she had not thrown a fit on that at the time.
In pure disbelief that he would use that as an argument, especially when she remembers telling him how she hated it later on, Bella turns and glares at him. “There is a difference!”
“How? I can tell you one watched you grow up, with all the mistakes we all make and he loves you. He has been beside you even if you never saw him; I bet he wishes nothing more than to have been able to be there in person. The other one you excused when all he wanted was your blood. Imhotep wants your love. You can’t ever deny he won’t know of all of you. But you forgave sparkle boy. Why can’t you forgive the man who loves you with everything he is? I can’t see how it is different that you would be this angry.”
Wishing there was another woman around to help her explain, Bella huffs. “He saw me naked, which Edward never saw. He saw me doing… stuff to… relieve myself and he saw me sick. There is so much he saw, and… dammit, how would you like it if Evie saw you since you were a baby and never missed a moment?” She is deep red by the end of her tirade. Everything you never wish to have someone see, Imhotep saw it all.
Rick flinches as he thinks of his younger days, then decides to reveal to her honestly what he thinks. “While there are some times she would have some words with me, I wouldn’t mind. Bella, the man loves you. He had only one woman before you, and she failed him in every way a man in love could be betrayed. He only wants you, and he probably was there because he couldn’t bear to be away from you. I couldn’t with Evie, even with knowing about her being so independent. Sometimes, you need to look outside the box and see what it means.”
Being stubborn, Bella shakes her head. “All that means a lot to me, and did until I realized he saw everything. While he showed me all of him, all of what he did, and there is much I’d rather not see, still he chose to show it to me. I had no choice. If I had, I would have probably done it, but it is the fact that my choice was taken from me that hurts.”
Thinking through what she just revealed, Rick crouches before her. “And he didn’t have to show you everything. But he wanted you to see as much about him that he saw about you. Can’t you imagine how bad it would be to see the one you love, and never be able to touch her after waiting so long for her? I was told he is over 3,000 years old. He has been as abused as you have been in love, but the difference is that he had to watch it happen to you. I don’t know about you, but it is one thing to see something in the past, but to see it happening to the one you love as it happens and do nothing? Pure hell.”
She looks up at him through her eyelashes. “But-”
He shakes his head, “But nothing. That man loves you. He is waiting for you. I bet you left him wondering what the hell is going on; wondering why you are so mad.”
She nods sheepishly, as what he is saying is slowly sinking in. “He is showing up as a shadow now.”
Huffing, Rick imparts to her what he thinks, “I bet he is lost. You need to get yourself together. He loves you. He adores you. He has seen your past and still wants you, craves your attention, and you threw it back in his face. In return, he does something so you can see him in this realm, and you still are throwing a fit. Why are we doing this? If you are going to throw fits, then I just don’t think you deserve him. He had enough with one woman throwing his love away.”
And with that Rick leaves her. Bella watches him leave. She looks over at Hermes and lifts an eyebrow. “I take it you agree with him?”
Hermes gives a little woof, and leaves her alone also.
Bella shakes her head, then stares out the window, all while keeping her eyes away from the shadow of the man who is staring at her in pain, and thinking over everything Rick just told her.
Final count: 4,415 Words