Diamond in the Rough
Diamond in the Rough, an erotic adventure set at the beginning of Ancient Egypt's 3rd Dynasty. If the family of now-disgraced Queen Nefetra has their way then the evil Set will rise again to conquer the Two Lands. How can the lowly but clever slave girl Issamun help the brave warrior Horu-temp halt the resurrection of this supernatural threat? As danger after danger befalls those fighting for Egypt, can they possibly triumph against the forces arrayed against them?
In this retelling of the Cinderella story set around 3600 B.C., timid Issamun must cast off her life as a slave if she is to help stop the resurrection of an ancient evil that threatens all of Egypt - and possibly the world. As the family that owns her plans to use the supernatural might of the fallen Set to overthrow the Pharaoh, Issamun must discover who she is, what she seeks in life, and whether she would be wise to aid the brave warrior who has come alone to put down the schemes of her masters. Is it possible to resist the soul-numbing power of Set if he does re-awaken? Is it possible to kill a god? And what horrors will Issamun have to endure to save those whom she cares for? This erotic fantasy-adventure takes the reader back to a time when mankind was just beginning to carve out civilization from the wild and unfathomable chaos that was the world. The world of Diamond in the Rough is one of magic and mythology, of semi-civilized ancients and cruel barbarians. This tale is a sequel to Three Jewels.
A cough in the darkness made her pause. Issamun considered calling out, but was afraid it would attract attention from someone on the street. She felt along the wall until she reached a gap, then she proceeded into the next room and felt along that wall. Beyond that there was another chamber, and her eyes could now see a fourth room waited beyond the next although it was still too dark to pick out any details.
After taking a couple of deep breaths, she stepped away from the wall and cautiously walked to the opening. Once inside that room she deliberately scuffed her foot on the stone floor.
“Is someone there?” came a man's voice from the room beyond. “Hello?”
“Sh!” she cautioned, as she quickly crossed the room. Standing at the entrance to the next room, she peered in but it was just too dark to see anything. “Where are you?” she whispered.
“A girl? I'm across the room from you. I'm bound!”
Issamun inched her away across the floor until her foot touched a bare chest. She knelt and ran her fingers over the man's chest and arms, searching for the ropes. When she did at last find them she struggled with them until her fingers ached.
“I cannot undo them! Can't you free yourself?” she asked. She realized after she'd spoken how stupid her question had been.
“Did you bring a knife?”
“I'm a slave, my Lord. We aren't allowed to carry weapons. Who are you?” Her hands went over his arms, shoulders and neck, as she searched for injuries. Whoever he was, she thought, he's well-muscled and large.
“My name is Horu-temp. I'm Captain of the Palace Guard in Memphis. Did your mistress, Nefarra, send you to me?”
Issamun wrapped her arms around him and pulled him up to a sitting position. “She did,” the slave girl lied. “She sent me to you to encourage you to rescue us. Her father seeks to resurrect a terrible monster that threatens all of Egypt! You must save us!”
“I will do what I can, but there doesn't seem to be much that I can do at the moment. What are you doing?” he asked.
Issamun paused. She had been running her hands over his face and head, and was about to pull him forward so she could check his back for wounds when he'd spoken. “My mistress was concerned about you and asked me to bandage any wounds you might have,” she lied. “She's a very gentle woman, and very noble. She's always concerned about the welfare of others.” She hoped that she was not weighing her own heart down with too many falsehoods, but if it convinced this man to rescue the two women then it was worth it. Ra-net had not been seen for some time, and Nefarra believed he was overdue. Had that possible rescuer fled?
“Ah, then continue.”
Under her hands she could feel his chest rise and fall as he breathed. She felt his face, then ran her fingers through his hair. There was moistness near the crown of his head. “How many times did they strike you, my Lord?” Captain of the Palace Guard! She could easily believe it had taken a dozen men to incapacitate him.
“Only one. I was careless, and more than a little angry. And that fat one seems to have something of a cruel streak.”
“Inkhtaton!” she gasped.
“Oh, you know him? I hope he hasn't lashed that pretty body of yours. What's your name, girl?”
“Issamun, my Lord.” She undid the clasp on her skirt, reversed the cloth and then patted his head to soak up any blood. “And you only think I am pretty because you've seen the great beauty of my mistress, Nefarra. Her skin is smooth as polished marble. Her eyes are like two agates. Her hair is black and shimmers in the sunlight. Her lips are honeyed, and red as blood.”
“Yes, she's a fair one. But I spied you in the doorway, and the sunlight that managed to make its way into this dark hole put a halo about you as you stood there. I'd wager a field full of cattle that your beauty rivals that of your mistress. Young women such as she surround themselves with other pretty girls, and then dress themselves up to shine brighter. 'A jewel in the proper setting catches the eye more so than one lying in the dull sand',” he quoted.
“I have heard of men such as you, my Lord,” admonished Issamun.
“Oh, you have?” he chuckled.
She touched his hair and, satisfied that the bleeding had stopped, reversed her skirt and began to put it back on. “Palace guards have a reputation of flirting with slave girls and bedding them for a night or two, then casting them aside.”