The God’s Wives — noblewomen sworn to protect and serve Egypt by any means, be it assassination, sorcery, or seduction. Raised from infancy to be the wife of Pharaoh, Hati knows her duty. She will win the Pharaoh’s heart, form a psychic connection with him, produce his children, and rule beside him as the wife of the Living God. She is the power behind the throne. But when Pharaoh dies, pregnant Hati must rule alone as Regent-Queen, protecting the Empire for her unborn child and another child of Pharaoh carried by a concubine.
Senmut has been in love with Hati since he first took her virginity, but he knows their love can never be more than a secret affair. When the disinherited brother of the dead Pharaoh arrives, claiming to be the true heir since no woman has the ability to rule an Empire, Hati must prove her worth and do more than simply be Regent-Queen. She must shave her hair, dress as a man, and become Pharaoh Hatshepsut, the first woman Pharaoh of Egypt.
Senmut becomes part of Pharaoh Hati’s inner circle, and the father of her second child. It will take all the might, muscle, sorcery, and deviousness of the God’s Wives and their allies to keep Hati on the throne long enough for the true heir of Pharaoh to be born. Can their love survive in a court surrounded by enemies on all sides?
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Copyright ©2021 Lena Austin
“Senmut!” shrieked a young girl’s voice. “You came!”
Without warning, Senmut found his arms full of a beautiful dancer in nearly full panoply. Even the perfume cone was already on her head, filling his nostrils with the delightful scent of expensive oils. He prayed for fortitude and unwound the girl’s arms from around his neck so he could see who she was, before his body betrayed him.
The tiny imp in front of him turned a full circle to show off what little there was of her costume before facing him with a grin. Only then did recognition dawn.
“Hati?” he gasped in wonderment. His childhood friend had grown to full womanhood in the space of the few years he’d been away in the army, serving at the southern gates with Nubia. Senmut gulped and tried to think of something intelligent to say. “Um, I like that costume you are almost wearing.”
Hati laughed, the sound a cross between a chuckle and giggle he remembered. “Isn’t it something?” She wiggled and pranced a moment while
Senmut stared. The costume was little more than golden chains and baubles, and not a scrap of linen to hide her charms. And there were plenty of charms to view. Never a tall child, she was still fairly short, but the once-flat chest was now full and lush. Long, streamlined muscles bespoke of the many years of physical training. The face was the only constant, with slashing cheekbones and the slanted, otherworldly eyes of the Egyptian nobility. Those lips he knew well for taunting him were full and tempting. The whole package was an invitation to the kind of impropriety that would get a man killed without mercy.
“I never dreamed I’d get a costume like this when I told you I’d dance before my cousin the Pharaoh to win his heart… or at least his lust,” she added, winking.
Senmut barely remembered that long ago conversation over a game of mehen, the snake game. “Yes, you said you were training to be a God’s Wife in the temple, and that you would dance before the Pharaoh and become his wife. I didn’t believe you then.”
Hati was unoffended by his childhood skepticism. She laughed as she walked over to a pitcher of plain beer and offered him some. “I remember your commoner tastes. See? Here’s your nasty old beer,” she said with a twinkle in her eye.
Now it was Senmut’s turn to laugh. It was an old game between them and distracted him away from her changed physical appearance. He pretended to snatch the cup from her hands with a frown, and then retorted, “Give me beer, bread, and salt and I’ll work a full day. You, royal one, with your rich foods and date wines will be fat and drunk long before that.”
“Hah! Royal family I may be, but do I look fat and drunk to you?” Hati performed the nearly impossible moves of a dancer, seeming to flow effortlessly into positions that made Senmut’s muscles ache nearly as much as his groin. He shifted his scribe’s tablet lower and drank deeply of the bitter brew.
“Enough! Have mercy on an unmarried scribe!” he cried. “You sorceresses of the God’s Wives would make any man ache, as you well know.” He looked at his beer in mock suspicion, as if she might have put any one of the many aphrodisiacs known to the women of the God’s Wives in his goblet. It dawned on him that Hati needed no such aides to make a man look on her with desire.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Someone cursed Lena Austin with “may you have a life so full you’ll have many tales to tell your grandchildren.” Lena’s a “fallen” society wench with a checkered past. She’s been a licensed minister, hairdresser, Realtor, radio DJ, exotic dancer, telephone service tech, live-steel medievalist swordswoman, BDSM Mistress, and investment property manager. Not necessarily in that order. She never finished that degree in marine archaeology, but did learn to scuba — she’s got a lifetime of “Research material!”
Hey, why waste these stories on kids who won’t listen anyway? Writing them down is a nice way to spend her retirement. What? You expected an ex-BDSM Mistress to take up crocheting or something?