Pre Edit Count – 2,021 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: We Owned the Night by Lady Antebellum
Bella nods again, and he kisses her gently, never letting her eyes fall to the ground. “I am glad I didn’t leave you alone my love. Now, let’s talk and be as we were before. Shall we?”
When she nods. He rises up and puts her on the bed, wrapping his body around hers. “Tell me of your day my love.” And they talk… gaining back what they once had, and learning a new lesson.
The two of them are wrapped around each other, Imhotep holding his love, and thrilled that now they are back on track. He had hurt, more than any other time in the past, when she had pushed him away. Though, he understood more after their talk. It made it all more understandable why she was so mad. He knew she was a private person, so he expected some anger, but nothing like what had come forth.
Now, he holds her close, and listens to her. In the back of his head he is seeing everything his minions are relaying to him about threats to his beloved or ways to see to her comfort for the trip to Hamunaptra. Nothing will be too much for his love. And it will only be better when he gets to stand next to her in the flesh instead of now.
He is also tracking the Cold Ones. They are starting their move. All but the Egyptian coven, and he is not sure why they are refusing to help in this. But he is keeping an eye on them, and soon will find out why they are not involved.
No matter what, he is not happy with the group who are about to land in Egypt. They are planning to leave the plane and city as soon as the light is diffuse enough to not give them away. He is waiting for them to step on their land, and to see what the land itself will do.
Imhotep was as surprised as the rest on the effect of Bella stepping foot on the land. The shockwave from it had more effect than anyone knew. The Sphinx is waking and the other creatures are also waking from their long sleep. Magic is in the very air and all because his love has come to her new home.
He is also watching all the ones that hurt his love before, and he snarls at them going on like there is nothing they have ever done wrong. He will rain down hell upon them when he rises. They are a lot of the reason that his Bella is so hesitant to trust her heart, why she is being hunted, and why they found her so fast. Especially the red-haired one who has threatened the peace of his beloved more than once.
He looks down at his little one and sighs as he relays to her, “You will need to go back soon my love. Tonight the magic strengthened your veins, and you will need it for the next upgrades. Plus I am seeing that the Cold Ones are about to start their trek. I rather you be awake when it starts, since I have no idea what will happen.”
Not wanting this time to end, Bella burrows into him, repeating to him, “I’m sorry. I wasted time that we could have been together.”
He smiles and kisses her on top of her head. “It happens. But this is part of the process of us being closer.”
Then he thinks, and hesitantly informs her of his thoughts. “I am…worried. If my calculations are right, you have one, maybe two more nights before you reach Hamunaptra. This is not enough time for you to learn all you need to from the book. But, to delay will be more threatening to you. I am afraid, just as it was back in all those years past, it is another race to the City of the Dead.”
Bella looks up at him, fear in her brown eyes. “So what are we to do?”
He is thinking, trying to find the answer in all the futures that he can think of, and he finally relays to her, “You get to the City of the Dead first. Once there, O’Connell can lead you to the place I will rise from. I am not sure how this will happen, it is just that you and the book need to be there and I will return.”
She is quiet, thinking herself. “How many pages do you think are in the book?”
He turns and looks down at her. He rebukes her sternly, “You are not going to try to stuff all the pages in you! That will kill you, my love!! The point is that we reunite in the world of the living and rule from there. We are in no way, shape, or form supposed to be here. Not after you get me back there. I want to spend the time we were promised together. And we won’t if you dare push yourself. The Gods know what they are doing. They knew the time period that would happen. You will find the world a different place very soon.” He wants to shake her, to shake the very thought out of her. Her life will be hard, but not enough to kill herself! He has no future without her there. And frankly, he wants none.
She sighs. “I hate being the one that is holding everyone back.”
He chuckles, “Soon you will be one of the most powerful people on the face of the earth and beyond. I think my love that you can wait just a little longer.” He kisses her as he holds her close. Knowing she has to leave and wanting to let her go are two different things.
Bella relaxes in his hold and she says to him, “I cannot wait for this to be real.”
When she starts to try to correct what she meant, Imhotep laughs. “I know, my love. I too cannot wait to hold you in the flesh, instead of your spiritual soul.” Then he grins at her, “I too have waited much time to hold you in the flesh, and I promise you, my love, we will not be idle…” His time had no issues with sex, and he has none still. He will be eager to join with her in every way.
She laughs, as he burrows his head in her neck and the vibrations of his voice tickle her. The two of them continue to goof off, and after awhile, they are on the bed, tangled up with each other. Their very souls seem better for the time they have spent playing.
He lays against the pillows, his love stretched out horizontally on the bed, her head rests on his chest. He runs his hands through her hair, watching it fall from his fingers like fine silk. The movement is hypnotic to both of them. He finally sighs, “I love you, Bella.”
She looks up at him and smiles, “I love you too. I am sorr-“
He stops her. “No. We will not do this. We will fight. We will argue. We will hurt each other never meaning to. But as long as we remember to love each other, it will all work out in the end. If we can remember that love, these moments, we can deal with all the negative.”
Bella looks up at him as he stares down at her. “My love. We can accomplish much. I have seen for myself the power of love. The man you travel with is one of the few I would trust with you normally. But right now, I trust him more than any other. He will succeed, because the alternative is not to have his love back with him. And they are truly one of those couples that their tale will transcend time itself. I hope ours will be the same way.”
They stare at each other, then Imhotep sighs. “Come on love. It is time to go back to the land of the living. You will need to leave as soon as possible.”
He chuckles at her look, but he pulls her up and kisses her deeply, his tongue stroking her own in the movement mimicking the time old dance that he wishes to do with her body. He shows her his love and devotion in the only way he can physically at this time. When he lets her up to gasp for the air that she needs from the strength of the kiss, he kisses her forehead. “Go, my love. And I will be waiting for you.”
With that she nods. Bella disappears from his arms. He sends his soul with her. It belongs to her anyways.
Rick is sitting there packing up his weapons. He had fondly smiled earlier when he remembered the first time with Evie on the ship and him spilling his guns out in front of her. But hearing the stone creatures start moving around, he suspects that Bella is on her way back. He pulls himself out of the memories, knowing that soon he may have her back in his arms.
Sure enough he hears the gasp of air, but notices it is not as bad as it has been in the past. He suspects the book is doing as she claims, changing her. As the Mistress of the Book of the Dead, and the Queen of the Dead, it isn’t good for her to come back the way she has been.
He notices that there are scurrying sounds around him, and he makes it a point to himself not to look to see what it is. He has no doubt that Imhotep has multitudes of defenses for his love. It is what Rick would do himself. So he just makes sure they are ready to head out as soon as she is ready.
When he sees her sit up, he informs her, “I suspected that Imhotep wants us to move, even though it is night. The statues are moving, and all the other critters around are doing stuff.”
Bella chuckles as she stretches. “Imhotep said the vampires landed. Seems the sun bothers them too much. There is just no way to hide the sparkles. So they are headed out, and he says it will be a race to Hamunaptra. He said we have some gain on them, since you know where we are going, and they are following us. But while we need to reach there, they just have to stop us.”
Thinking of the speed of the statues yesterday, Rick tells her, “He is right. We need to keep heading out. I expect us to reach there tomorrow night. What is it we will be doing when we get there?”
She shrugs. “Neither of us knows. Just that I and the book need to be in some chamber that you know where it is. Without both of us, neither will work. He seems to believe that the city is safe.”
Rick chuckles. “That city is a death trap. The city itself hunts you, so I can see it being safer for us there. Though the scarabs won’t be able to strip the flesh of the vampires.” He is gathering up the last of his weapons and supplies for them. He reaches out to escort her to the chariot that is ready, Hermes by their side.
Once they board the chariot, it seems like the oasis explodes in activity, and they are gone in a flurry of dust from the jackals. When Bella and Rick look back, they see the dust cloud. “Why did they do that?”
Rick is watching them, then laughs as he sees the birds diving in the water. “Hiding our scent. I bet if we look, there won’t be any marks either. It will be harder to follow us.”
Laughing Bella tells him, “It’s good to be on the side of the Mummy.”
Rick chokes, “Or the Bride of the Mummy.”
Laughing harder, Bella looks out where they are headed. “Those scarabs. They are the ones who ate the skin off the mummies?”
He nods looking back at her.
“I bet they are more than beetles. Scarabs wouldn’t be able to survive that long in the city of the dead. So don’t be surprised if they can take down a vampire. I suspect that the whole damn city is like a trap for them. They are dead.”
Rick snorts as he keeps an eye out around them. “Pretty true, Princess.” He is nervous. He is not too sure of the information of these vampires.
She looks up at him. “That would be Mrs. Princess to you sir.”
He laughs, enjoying having the fun Bella back. As they speed off in the night, stone birds in the sky, stone Egyptian rams pulling them, their stone wolfish counterparts running alongside guarding, as a live one guards their mistress. It’s a great time to be alive.
Final count: 2,192