Pre Edit Count – 1,761 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Bleeding Out by Imagine Dragons
And with that Rick leaves her, and 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, thinking over everything Rick just told her.
A couple of hours later, in the cold light of a new dawn, Bella is watching the crew on the ground as they work to get the plane ready for the next leg of the trip Her arms are crossed over her chest as she tries to keep warm in the cold air of the morning. She can see the flicker of Imhotep out of the corner of her eye.
Though the time had not been long, Bella has had plenty of it to think over her reactions. The actions of the two males in her life certainly telling her with their silence how much they disapprove of her reactions. She sighs, closing her eyes as she gathers her shredded dignity around her. Her voice is soft as she tells the shadow that she can tell is still upset, “I know you don’t understand. But there is a part of me that feels violated by you. You saw things that I would never show anyone on purpose. I am shy, a virgin, and have been abused by the notion of love. I thought you were a dream, and never suspected you were real. Who would in this time and age?” She fights to find the words to explain.
Finally, she turns her head slightly to look at the container by her, and looks directly at his reflection as she tells him, “I will see you when I sleep. I am not sure I can really keep you away from me.” And hopefully she can find the words to explain more thoroughly what had hurt her.
She watches him gaze at her, then nod his head slightly.
Down by the stairs checking the roster and other documents he had been handed, Rick nods his head. He heard each and every word that she had said since Bella did not know how sensitive his hearing really is. He looks down to the wolf at his side. “Finally.”
Hermes rolls his tongue out in a canine grin.
Rick snorts at the wolf. “Yeah, you may have known, but this is all happening fast isn’t it?” He spends a moment thinking of how this is happening to the woman he sees as being closer to him than any but Evie. He is not sure what she is to him, but he can feel for her. She has not had a lifetime to spend in peace before being dragged into action again.
With this in mind he sighs while watching the men searching his plane as they try to find something to increase the bribe he has already given them. When he sees the looks of disappointment on their faces, he nods and tells Bella, “Time to board.” He enjoys when he can make them suffer for being greedy.
Bella frowns, not seeing whatever he did to tell them to move back on the plane. They had disembarked for an impromptu search of the plane; Rick telling her to “just go with it”.
She follows the two. After they board the plane, Rick sits in front of her with his elbows on his knees. “Ok, so now you are over your fit, did he tell you any information?”
He knew very well that Imhotep probably was the best source for information. He may be sticking close to Bella, but the man commands all of the realm of the dead. He will be a fountain of information since Rick is sure that he would have everyone watching any and all threats to his beloved. Think of how much he knew when he was in this world. He had found everything he looked for, and it was only the love that Rick had for Evie that had him successful against the man.
So he is sure that Imhotep passed any information he has to her as soon as possible. Anything to help him protect the woman that Imhotep loves, and that will allow his own Evie to be with him will be shared. Both men treasure their loved ones.
Giving him a slightly guilty look, Bella finally looks directly at him for the first time since he left her to think over her actions. “I am supposed to read a page a night from the book. Apparently I am the Mistress of the Book of the Dead. He also said I would be safer at night, and once we touch down in Egypt. The land will recognize me and keep me safe.” She watches him to see if any of it makes more sense to him.
Rick sits back, and he thinks on this. The plane has taken off and given them that margin of safety.
Egypt’s terrain is deadly, as he well knows. Imhotep had taught him only to respect it more. So if the land will work to protect them, it will be a powerful ally. But Bella being the Mistress of the Book of the Dead makes him wonder. That thing scares him with the power it can give to another. So he asks to see if he can get more information. “What is supposed to happen with the book?”
Bella thinks back to what Imhotep told her. “I acquire the information contained on the page, and anything related to it. It is also changing me somehow, and that is why I blacked out last time. Too many changes in me at once. I am supposed to be the equal of him.” She shrugs, not being able to explain it any better.
He blinks. While it was only a few short sentences, but with the information that he already knows tells him more than she ever could imagine. So he asks the first clarifying question he can think of. “Do you read the hieroglyphics? I know even Evie had problems doing that.”
She chuckles. “It’s like…” She thinks for a second and then shakes her head. “I don’t know how to explain it; the page lifts out of the book and glows to me. Then in a flash it is gone, and the information is in my head. Everything in reference to it, everything that is needed to fully understand it becomes part of me, like…breathing. It becomes basically a part of me.” Unable to make it any clearer, she shrugs.
He frowns. “And when it does this, it changes you slightly each time?”
She nods and watches him. He turns his head, and cocking it to the side as he sees something he had not expected to see until they had gotten to the City of the Dead. “You do know he is here, right?”
Closing her eyes, Bella answers him. “Yeah. I don’t know why I can see him now, but I didn’t think you could or anyone else. The time he was in the glass in the museum was the first time I saw him, and until I came back he had not been visible to anyone else.”
Rick looks directly at him and raises an eyebrow. He finally tells Imhotep directly, “You know, it is not going to help if someone can see you. I will protect her and we are about a half hour from Egypt. Once we land, I will need to get her out the city and on the road to Hamunaptra. I am not sure anything but a camel will survive out there.” He figures he will tell the man what is going on. Maybe he can arrange things to be easier for him. God only knows he had made it miserable for him before, and since Rick is on his side this time, he is interested in what could happen.
The reflection frowns and then nods to Rick. It turns to the side and Rick watches as it looks like Imhotep is talking to someone. Imhotep then looks back with a look Rick knows. Everything will be ready for them.
Bella watches the two men. When they are done doing that communication thing all males do, Imhotep looks back to her, a look of longing on his face. She stares at him, and gives in completely, telling him, “If we are a half hour out of Egypt, there is not enough time to sleep. I will sleep when we get to somewhere safe, and we can talk then.” She will talk, and hopefully they will settle this. Too much is at stake.
The figure just stares at her with his dark eyes, and Bella realizes that he is not going to go anywhere. She looks up at Rick who is watching the two of them.
He tells her, “Don’t waste time. Take it from someone who has loved deeply, there is never enough time. Even now, if she was alive and by my side, I would not take a moment for granted.”
She takes a deep breath and then nods. Rick nods, and leans back to watch the scenery pass below them, knowing he is returning to a place he had hoped at one time to never visit again.
They land in Egypt at yet another airstrip that had passed from Jonathan to Rick when he passed away. He chuckles as he walks off the plane at his brother-in-law. He misses him. He misses his comments, his complaining and whining. And how the man seemed to find mummies everywhere he went.
He moves down the stairs, Hermes coming down with him. Not thinking about it nor the fact that something is supposed to happen when Bella is here, he looks around trying to see what has changed since he was last here with Evie.
The ground below him shakes, and he turns around quickly, his hand on his gun to see Bella touching the ground with her foot. She freezes, staring at him in shock. She had not expected him to move so fast, nor with such deadly intent.
He raises an eyebrow and wryly reminds her. “Your boyfriend told you it would happen. Just get it over with.” He has no idea of why she looked so surprised.
Pushing it away from her mind, Bella nods and takes the final step.
As soon as both of her feet hit the ground, he feels an even more powerful pulse travel through the ground and the effect of it travels through the air. As it travels farther away, he can see the dust picking up, and expects by the time it ends, there will be a lot of confused humans.
Bella stares in shock, and she just shakes her head. It is becoming to where she is getting to expect these odd things. The land welcoming her had meant to her a feeling of being home. Not that the land itself was physically reacting to her presence.
Reading her confusion easily, Rick chuckles. “Honey, this ain’t nothing. Your man made a dust storm out of a handful of sand that had his face in it and for lack of a better way of explaining it, he ate the plane I was on. The power you have right now is nothing to sneeze at.” He waves his hand at the expanding circle of dust. “He told us that Egypt would welcome you, and it is doing exactly that.” He will never admit that he had been surprised at the reaction her feet touching the ground had made. Nope.
Watching as it spreads out from their location, Bella shakes her head. “I just can’t believe it!” She is also worried about the people and if any damage is happening.
He chuckles, watching as the wolf sits by her side his head cocked to the side as he watches the pulse travel. Rick then turns as he hears the sound of rock moving. He prepares himself for anything.
Behind them, a chariot stops with the stone rams stamping in place. Along with them are stone jackals. Rick just blinks, then repeats as he recognizes the rams as a group of statues that had been by the river Nile the last time he was here if he is correct. He repeats to himself, ‘Not going to admit to anything being surprising. Nope. This is all normal.’ And dismisses the thought that for him, it really is.
The chariot is not one he recognizes, but he doesn’t give it too much thought. He walks over to the carriage, and nods seeing that there are some supplies in it. He turns around, bows to her as he informs her in a polite tone he had heard from his butlers in the past. “My dear, your chariot awaits.”
She is just standing there staring at the rams that are moving as though they are alive. Bella lifts her eyes to Rick. “How?”
He chuckles, understanding her comment and need for information completely. “I told him we needed transportation. He arranged it. I suspect the second you put your second foot on the ground, the world changed. You are bringing magic back to life, and let me tell you, it is needed. Why does this shock you? You, who have met people who are nothing more than moving statues that sparkle. Now, get your butt in gear and let us get out of the city and on our way. I don’t want to take a chance of any those sparkling assholes getting you here, since I would not be surprised if the seven plagues were to take place again.”
She had been moving, but as she steps up in the chariot, she pauses as the words he said register. “The seven plagues?” Then in a higher pitch. “Again?!?!”
Rick rolls his eyes as he grabs her arm. In one move has them in the chariot. He whistles for Hermes, who jumps in beside them, being the Egyptian wolf that would be more common out here. The chariot starts moving. Rick soon is standing behind Bella, and he yells in her ear, “Grab the front of the chariot, I will make sure you don’t fall out, but this will be a wild ride.”
The look she throws behind her at him has him laughing as the chariot is running down the road at a high speed. He has missed this, and he acknowledges that the world sorely needs magic back in it to make lives better.
He watches with a laugh on his face as they quickly make their way out of the city. He notes the disturbance from Bella’s entry in Egypt is all around them; dust in the air, and he blinks as he notices above them stone birds.
Tapping her shoulder, he points up in the air, and Bella looks. Her face shows her awe at the birds obviously covering them from above.
He chuckles as he leans close. “You see a man who is dead, you are being pulled through Cairo in a chariot being pulled by stone rams, and yet, you are most amazed by birds in the air?”
She swallows. “They are STONE!! Stone!! Flying in the air!?!?!?! How?”
He grins. “Magic, Bella. You are bringing back wonder to this tired earth.” He chuckles, his eyes bright as they fly down the boulevard, taking them through the city that he can hear the alarms going off from cars and people yelling. The pulse has done no damage, but he wouldn’t be surprised that there are other things happening around the city, events that are announcing to the people who know that the Mistress of the Book of the Dead, the Queen of the Dead is home.
Time to get serious.
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