Meretneith Book 1 of the Protectress

Meretneith
by Barbara Ann Cerda

A Book review by N.N. Light’s review Jan 20, 2017

really liked it

bookshelves: erotica, fantasy-romance, reviews-by-mrs-n, romance

The world is older than you might think and humanity is on a path to self-destruction. Prophesy states there is a Chosen One who will join forces with Tribal Warriors Meretneith and her brother, Ptah (Egyptian Goddess and God retrospectively) and defeat their enemies, known as the Old Ones.

Saul Ben Izrael is a financial god in his own right and when the wealthy Neith Foundation asks for his bid on the biggest financial project the world has ever witnessed, he can’t resist. From the moment he walks into the Neith Foundation and lays eyes on beautiful CEO Meret Neith, he’s under her spell. She invites him to meet her brother in London, England and he accepts, not knowing his life will forever be changed. He’s the Chosen One and Meretneith needs her brother’s help converting Saul before the Old Ones seek their revenge.

Seductive, alluring, heady are what spring to mind when reading this book. Meretneith combines Egyptian mythology with contemporary fantasy. From the first page, I was consumed with the intertwining storylines and erotic scenes. Cerda blends history with modern day beautifully so I could suspend belief while reading. While it dragged a bit in the beginning and middle, plot-wise, the vibrant characters more than made up for it. A very well-written first book in the series that piqued my interest in reading more.

This book is an erotic romance/fantasy and I recommend readers 18+ due to adult situations, menage sex scenes and relationships.

I received a copy from the author in the hopes that I’d review it.

Favorite Character: Meretneith. I’m a sucker for a kick-ass female protagonist and Meretneith is that and so much more. Seductive, powerful (she’s a goddess) and passionate, Meretneith is all the female attributes I admire in one. It’s no wonder men worship her.

Favorite Quote: “Today she would prove to her tribe and all who would oppose her, that she would be the supreme tribal leader. Every sinew, every nerve had been prepared since birth for this moment. Countless hours in combat training, herbs and grains all prepared specifically to create her powerful body. She longed for the rising of Re and for the battle stage in the deserts of Kemet to begin.”

My Rating: 4 stars

I am excited to share with you Meretneith the Protectress.

2nd Edition
2nd Edition

This is an ambitious adult fantasy novel, meant to engage the more discerning taste in the fantastical. It relates the evolving relationship between a 500,000-year-old culture and humanity.

This book is genre specific and ranges broad in storyline and characterization within both ancient Khemit and present-day. From the boardrooms of global finance and private jets to the sands and mountains of Northern Africa and the Sahara, the work explores our relationship with the beautiful 6,000-year old warrior Meretneith, The Protectress. She and her brother the god Ptah relate in stunning detail the evolution of wars and surprising undercurrent twists in erotic relationships and LGBTQ romance that makes for enticing read.

The Coming of Seth Book 3 of The Protectress Synopsis

We understood their kindnesses and love over 65,000 years ago, long before man made time. Mimicking their old ways destroyed by great floods and land shifts. They taught us how to live when “Khemit” was lush green even to the time when it turned to vast lands of sand. They became stewards of the man-kind and kept close to their hearts the promise. The promise made thousands of years before the building of the ziggurat with the face of the woman Tefnut; the Greeks called the Sphinx. They planned the blending of our races to make supreme beings to live within the balance of the universe.

So long ago, we forgot the laws of the Ma’at…and the phases of universe. The ancient Hindu named these phases the “yugas”, the ancients of Egypt the Precession of the Ma’at. For tens of thousands of years their teachings have become meaningless dogmas and most of us no longer recognize tribe’s presence among us. They have not forgotten their promise. The blending of the two tribes has begun. The son of the Protectress Meretneith, the Ptah a Tanen, has produced a son possessed of all the strengths and powers of the oldest tribes.

His arrival coincides with the cycles of the “yugas”. This is the time of the coming of Seth. He is the first physical expression of the true blending of the tribes that lights our path to Ma’at. This book continues the stories of the Protectress. It tells of her grandson Seth’s arrival and struggles to overcome the treachery of his sister, and of his deep love for the human brother Joshua.

Coming Spring 2016 – Meretneith’s Four Book 4 of the Protectress

Synopsis

meretneith7 image 19

The tribal Council named the newcomers Meretneith’s Four. The family and tribes called them her beautiful monsters. Turning their backs on eons old tribal tradition, they have come to lead earth into the age of the enlightened, the golden age of the Precession. They are the grandchildren of the Protectress. Over 200,000 years in the making they love whom they wish and lead with one mind.

All things have changed for the leaders of the tribe. The Protectress has come to understand the true values and gifts from her children. The results of the breaking of traditional mating has resulted in the coming of a new powerful daughter and grandchildren with unforeseen powers. The coming of a more formidable time began with her son Merneptah. Book four of the Protectress relates how the grandchildren offspring begin their journey by bridging a connection from ancient past and the god Ba’al to now.

The first to come was Joshua. Born of a human female and son of the Protectress, he was raised tribe and taught gifts of extreme subterfuge. Then there is the beauty Asherah. A daughter born to Meretneith, the Protectress and Saul the Chosen One. The seven foot hour glass frame with fiery red hair is perhaps the greatest warrior the earth has ever known. Seth arrived during the first betrayal and was the first born male to Aisha and the Ptah a’ Tanen, Merneptah. His powers transform the deserts into a weapon of mass destruction. Second male born to the Ptah a Tanen is Obadiah. Before the pyramids the god Ba’al foretold that he would be the strongest of the brood. Obadiah calls up sea storms and command the winds of earth. Taught from birth to be supreme weapons, they are Meretneith’s Four.

A blend of human and tribe they are the strongest expression of the Ma ’at, the laws of balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice, they continue the saga of the Protectress.

The Coming of Seth Book 3 of the Protectress

Book cover 3

Synopsis

We understood their kindnesses and love over 65,000 years ago, long before man made time. Mimicking their old ways destroyed by great floods and land shifts. They taught us how to live when “Khemit” was lush green even to the time when it turned to vast lands of sand. They became stewards of the man-kind and kept close to their hearts the promise. The promise made thousands of years before the building of the ziggurat with the face of the woman Tefnut; the Greeks called the Sphinx. They planned the blending of our races to make supreme beings to live within the balance of the universe.

So long ago, we forgot the laws of the Ma’at…and the phases of universe. The ancient Hindu named these phases the “yugas”, the ancients of Egypt the Precession of the Ma’at. For tens of thousands of years their teachings have become meaningless dogmas and most of us no longer recognize tribe’s presence among us. They have not forgotten their promise. The blending of the two tribes has begun. The son of the Protectress Meretneith, the Ptah a Tanen, has produced a son possessed of all the strengths and powers of the oldest tribes.

His arrival coincides with the cycles of the “yugas”. This is the time of the coming of Seth. He is the first physical expression of the true blending of the tribes that lights our path to Ma’at. This book continues the stories of the Protectress. It tells of her grandson Seth’s arrival and struggles to overcome the treachery of his sister, and of his deep love for the human brother Joshua.

The Coming of Seth Book 3 of the Protectress

Chapter 25

Ba’al

After arrival in the great caves, they slept for a time. Seth would demand a lot from his body in the coming days. Asherah was the first to wake. She stripped her clothes then wrapped her waist in a white linen loincloth. Smooth olive skin covered deep musculature of the warrior. Releasing her hair, she hefted her fighting blades. Adjusting the harness, she slid steel into the leather sheath. Her green eyes focused on her nephew who did the same. He whispered.

“Asherah you are only to guard my rear. I never allow anyone with me when I go dark. You know this. My focus is on Joshua. When I retrieve him, you take him to Arsay and her daughter Athirat. They will be waiting here in the caves.

“Asherah look at me! Listen! Do not follow nor allow my grandmother to follow me. Injure her or grandfather if they attempt to interfere. After I deliver Joshua, I am on the move again. No one will see me until I am ready.

“My dreamings have been strong. Go to Saul for an explanation before the battle against Rachel. You will lead that fight at my grandmother’s side.”

They both caught the scent of an intruder at the same time. Grabbing blades, they ran for the cave entrance. She was dressed in desert robes, her long coils mimicking his. She held her arms out for her son.

“Mother how did you know I was here?”

“Seth your grandmother, the Protectress, raised me in this desert. My male is the Ptah a’ Tanen and your father.”

He held her close to him. The tears began to flow. “Mother I promise…”

She placed her fingers to his lips then replaced them with her lips. Aisha whispered, “I know you will find our baby boy. Seth my fear is that you will lose yourself in this. I love you and I want both my sons in my arms whole. Promise me you won’t disappear into the desert after this battle is done. This would break your father’s heart. His suffers more than you know.”

“Mother I cannot promise that. I need to hunt down my sister. She is making the desert her home. Rachel will remain here until she decides to seek retribution for her evils. Then she will ask for forgiveness for stealing my brother. She will get my retribution. However, I will not allow my Protectors to forgive her. I know Rachel. She will expect our father to exonerate her from retaliation because she is the last in our family line conceived in the old ways.”

Seth roared and they could feel the vibrations shake their bodies. “I will not let that happen!”

Aisha’s voice came small. “I almost lost your father in not understanding. I will not lose my children for the same reasons. I know that the Teacher Ba’al is speaking in your dreamings. Listen to his instructions. There is a reason that his Chosen One Saul has held back in destroying Rachel.”

With tears in her eyes, she filled his face with kisses whispering, “You do what you have to. I only ask…no,…I beg that you and Joshua come back to me alive. I love you.”

She turned to Asherah holding out her arms. Asherah filled them then whispered, “You know that I have their six. Aisha you own my heart. I promise to bring them home.”

Asherah ran ahead to their waiting mares. Kissing his mother, Seth was on Asherah’s heels. Yelling over his shoulders, “Esther take care of my mother” Esther stepped from the shadows to draw Aisha close. Mounting their horses on the run, they disappeared into the desert.

They rode for an hour in the blackness before they caught the scent of Anat and Joshua. Dismounting Seth drew near Asherah, “This is as far as you go. Stay here and wait. You will know when I need you.

“Asherah you are a powerful warrior. I look at you and I see my grandmother. You, like her, are flawless. I have always loved and wanted you more than you know.” Embracing Seth, she whispered in his ear, “Listen to Ba’al’s ways because they are yours. Weigh the balance before making your strike. And Seth we are not afraid of your powers. We all fear that the forces that guide that mighty body will take you from us. Come back to me sweet male. I still need the pleasure of you.”

Seth pulled away from the female that secretly filled his heart. He knew she did not know how much. Asherah watched him melt into the darkness.

He moved through the desert night with ease. The giant knew every footfall. The warrior’s body flowed with the shifting ergs allowing them to guide his steps. This was his home, where his powers belonged. His body moved in tandem with the invisible axial rotations of the universe. The tone of it pulled the strings of his soul like the ancient strings of a sitar. With each day, the force in him grew in new ways. Seth understood the fear his family felt about his powers. It was the energy of the planet strengthening him in every moment.

It was not long before he could feel Anat near. Her breathing was coming fast. She was agitated. Joshua was awake. He sent his thoughts out to his brother and received the sense of him immediately. Joshua knew at once that his brother was near. As Seth moved closer, he began to hear the other heartbeats. The scents were of a varied group of offspring and human. He began to feel their heat signatures. Some were unsuited for desert warfare and were experiencing fear. Their glands were open and vapors of their bodies’ moisture filled his nostrils. Some held the acrid stench of cheap wine. They were sharing it for courage. Seth grew still. He needed to understand the proximity of Joshua to Anat. He sent Joshua the signal to remain quiet.

The sun began to rise and Seth took refuge in a shallow cave. Curling into his sleep position, he slowed his heart rate. Before fully awake at sunset he brought the wind to him. Gently at first, it swished through the shallow cave, playfully tugging at his hair. Outside the cave, the winds lifted the sand forming at first small dust devils that danced across its surface. Seth stepped from the cave and stretched like a great cat. The long lean waist coiled and then uncoiled as the wind lifted the heavy hair. It teased the mass above his head for a moment, before releasing it to settle over the massive shoulders. After taking long sips of cooling water hidden between cave rocks, Seth was on the run. Before blackness covered the rolling hills of sand, he was at camp side. Anat sent fighters ahead in search of Rachel’s camp and sat waiting for their return. Seth knew her wait was futile. Rachel had already disposed of them.

The giant moved through the blackness unseen and unheard. Anat was powerless to detect his scent. As a child at play, he learned to mask his scent with desert air. It would read to others like any desert animal or carrion filled erg.

Moving from one fighter to the next along the camp perimeter, his blade silently found a home in each. Soon most of her soldiers in death’s repose appeared in deep slumber, and then he made his way to Anat’s tent. Outside the tent, he allowed his body to sink into the sand. He stayed silent waiting for her to wander from the enclosure. He would not risk a fight with her yet. It would alert Rachel. He knew that Rachel was aware of Anat’s location. His focus remained on Joshua. The moment came when she left the tent to enter another. Seth’s body burrowed deeper only to emerge inside the tent. He found Joshua curled on his side. His naked body chained to the tent pole marred with scars and oozing cuts. Two caregiver males slept soundly. Seth sliced through each throat to insure a smooth escape. Joshua stared into his brother’s face, he attempted a smile. A tear escaped Seth’s eyes as Joshua’s weak recognition revealed a beautiful face beaten and almost unrecognizable. Seth snapped the chains of bondage. He carried his brother through the night. When Re began to wake, he found a shallow cave. Washing his brother’s body in cooling water he place drops into Joshua’s mouth while lulling him to sleep. During the day and half asleep, he heard Anat’s outcry. He felt her fear. He sent the wind to her camp. It frightened and scattered her animals, destroying their water supply.

By sunset, Joshua began to stir. Seth was on the move again. He called to Asherah. She was closer than he thought. His aunt had followed closer than he instructed. Her beautiful face beamed at the sight of Seth. She ran to him lifting Joshua from his arms. Looking into his eyes, she moaned. “Seth….do you think Arsay is able to heal our Joshua?”

Her mouth filled with water she placed her lips Joshua’s. He eagerly swallowed the liquid from her. Then she placed the opening of the sack-filled water to his lips. Slowly she controlled the flow of the liquid to a trickle. Looking into Seth’s eyes, “You must take your brother to your mother and Arsay, they wait. Your father and grandmother are not far.”

“Asherah I’ve told that you I must return and finish this. I will only remain in the desert stay two more days. It will take me that long to complete what I have to do. Anat’s warriors are many. Tell my mother and father I love them and will return home soon. Go!” He was gone.

With Joshua in one arm, Asherah leaped onto her mare. They galloped off toward the caves where Arsay and Aisha sat waiting.

He traveled again until the sun came to paint the sky a subdued hint of purples and pinks. He took his rest. At sunset, he picked up speed. Anat was moving within striking range of Rachel’s forces. She had gathered additional fighters from neighboring tribes. Approaching her armies Seth called up the wind. This time it took the savannahs with a force that moved to the hills and valleys lifting the microscopic rock filling the air with a fine deadly spray. Seth moved through it unseen. The massive warrior stepped with ease through swirls of blistering sand. He was upon Anat’s horde like a great-enraged cat. They heard his war cry but could not see the owner of it. Only the flashes of the steel arc of death were seen, always too late. Blood spray joined the air blending with sand dust. Soulless bodies buried immediately under new and shifting ergs of sand. Suddenly the wall of sand seemed impenetrable.

He heard Anat’s cries of pain and fear. She called out to her Protectress. Then all stopped. Seth stood starring into an impenetrable veil of sand. Then there was blackness. The giant stood waiting. Then through the blackness, he saw a figure of gold approaching quickly. In the same instant, his body grew tire, almost too tired to stand. Ba’al drew near.

Lifting Seth’s body into his arms, he kissed Aisha’s child. Succumbing to feelings of a half dream, Seth pressed his face to the golden giant’s chest. Ba’al began to speak as he carried Seth in his arms.

The deep voice spoke of the Precession and the balance. He told Seth of the thousand-year love that bound his parents’ souls. The golden god explained that the mending of the breach in faith was Anat and Rachel’s final battle. Resolution of the imbalance between mother and daughter would be resolved through the selfless actions of his brother Joshua. Ba’al told him to cherish always the love between he and Joshua in the coming years.

“He sang the stories of Kemet and Seth’s time in the balance. He sang of the coming together of the universes causing the coalition of suns and planets. They would signal the beginning of the great cosmic awakening that Seth’s children would witness. Then humming a lullaby to him Seth felt Ba’al place him in another’s arms. Warm and loving he looked into the grey eyes of Saul smiling into his. Pressing close within the loving embrace Seth fell into a deep slumber.

Meretneith – Her Journal #2

blog Desert-Mountain

 

I wanted to share with you a few of the events that have touched my soul of late. You know from my brother’s writings that after I was freed from Syrus and his sister over a year ago – that I have vowed to take his life. My son has made this pledge as well. But Merneptah is my life’s soul and I will never allow Syrus to confront my child alone in a fight. The Oldest of the Old Ones will not come alone. Syrus knows that our blade skills match….so he will not enter this fight single-handed. His son Pasha, who haunts my son since his birth, will join us in the desert meeting place of Old Memphis. Even if it means my life, I will destroy both before my son joins this fight. I decided to train my blades in the old ways.

Leaving the Chosen One Saul in my brother’s care…I started out alone from the palace heading fast across the desert for my childhood caves. The things that happened along the way will change the outcomes and I wanted to take these moments to share my thoughts with you. So I sit now listening to my feelings and the beat of my heart.

My spirit becomes strong when in the old great caves. My mind clears in preparation for the coming blows. Normally I train alone but this time an unwanted gift greeted me amongst the dunes. My lifelong friend and fellow warrior took upon herself to present me with a beautiful male caregiver. He is Offspring of the oldest human tribes….but no Protectress has ever suffered a male caregiver. Only the females of the old tribal families have come to me as Caregivers. As you will recall from my brother’s books, my Caregiver and sister Inanna’s life was taken in a battle that ended in my captivity. For almost a year, I languished in the monster Syrus’ palace. But let me tell you of this, riding hard for the caves, I stopped in the desert to visit with Inanna’s families and was greeted with this offering.

Hidden and waiting was a male warrior of uncommon strength. Shortly after being greeted by the families, Hadid presented himself. The next morning I resumed my journey to the caves with this new unknown male fighter at my side. As soon as we arrived in the training caverns, we stripped from our desert robes and prepared to test blades. I wanted to experience for myself the power of this male before accepting him into my life.

I had every intention of wear this young one down. I wanted proof that he would survive the battles I knew lie ahead. Understand dear reader that I have no illusions that I will survive the coming months. I only needed to know that this young warrior would thrive in the fight and guard my children should I fall under Syrus’ blade.

The training fight with the young one Hadid wore on for hours…surprising me. The languid movements of his long limbs attested to a lifetime of training under Arsay. His every motion echoed her battle skills. It allowed me the luxury of anticipating his moves while prompting his frustrations. The strain of controlling the pain and fatigue etched his beautiful face. Sweat streamed from the tightly coiled black mass that plastered the chiseled cheeks. As the fight wore on, I moved in closer knowing that he could no longer follow the rapid flashes of my blade, he was responding through pure instinct. Grunting with each parry, I knew that Hadid’s legs would shortly give way. Each breath escaping his lungs blew across my face. Both bodies coated in a wet sheen soaked the fabric covering our loins. The sweet nectar of his arousal met my nostrils and my body quickened. However, I am his Protectress and from birth, he was prepared for this moment.

If I ignored the ancient tradition of only accepting a female at my side as Caregiver – then he would begin his long journey with me, the lone companion of the tribal Protectress. If I reject him, the journey back to Dubai and Arsay would be painful.

At last, his chest heaved and I saw the rapid pulsing of his heart. Hadid had reached beyond his limits. Covered in blood and sweat he was near dehydration. A full half day had passed since we began the training. I had to stop him and delivered my final blow meant to stun not hurt. He landed hard on the sandy cave floor and I inhaled deeply….satisfied. This young one would be the first male to become caregiver to a Protectress.

Hadid immediately stood to face me. The look in his eyes warmed my heart. The brown eyes staring at me were soft with love, admiration, and brimming with tears. The full lips quivering in an effort to control his emotions…Hadid’s realization came that he is the new Caregiver to his Protectress.

I bellowed, “Arsay has done well. You will be my caregiver. But understand that in battle when I command that you stand down…heed me.” He has second sight and knows that the coming fight with Syrus will cost us. I wanted Hadid to survive.

Drawing closer he said, “Meretneith you are my life. I will always do as you ask. It is time for your bath.”

His voice carried the same arrogance as when I first met him. Yet I heard the emotion hidden just below the surface. Stripping my wet loincloth as I walked away, the superb competition caused a need to grow between my thighs. I knew that the scent of my arousal and the need to be pleasured hung in the air between us. Nevertheless, Hadid understood what all males of my kind know. Although my arousal in battle is known it is a dangerous time to be near me – an unwanted touch or embrace could mean death. In these times, I long for the touch of my males – Ptah and Saul.

Entering my sleeping chambers, I stretched out on the bed awaiting my bath. I could smell the heat of the steamy water carrying the scents of healing herbs. Touching the smoothness of my wet skin, my thoughts dwelled on Saul and Ptah. I touched those spaces where my spirit remembers the angry blows of my enemies. My soul recalls past battles and the love that followed.

Syrus’ fighting skills are my match and in these moments dear reader, I am not sure I will survive this coming blade fight and I can tell you that feel fear. Fear that I will not survive to be with my love ones again.

I wonder, as always before a major battle, if I will endure. Death is an inevitable passage to another lifetime in accordance to the Law of the Ma’at. This existence has been lonely and harsh. Yet I yearn for just a little more time with my love ones before I go to the light. I fear that the price to purchase those precious moments will be dear.

My brother has shared in his book the fact that I have found love in the Chosen One; a love that I have never known. I want to live to enjoy that new found treasure as well. I want to see the arrival of my grandchildren and to see my daughter Asherah grow to maturity.

Dozing…I hear Hadid bring the copper tub to my chambers and begin to fill it with hot fragrant herbal water. I asked him to leave me. He knows he will be pushed to his limits more than once before we journey to Old Memphis and the fight that waits. Impatient…I wanted to be left alone with my thoughts and comforting memories.

The cooled desert air has entered to search the cathedral ceilings before blowing gently over my body. It soothes my feverish yearnings. Stretching my aching body out on the sleeping cushions, I put my device away and recall Saul’s lips before succumbing to sleep.

‘Til the next time….

Chapter 11 Ba’al’s Love

From The Protectress Book 2

When my mother arrived at their cities, the lower cast of our tribe had prepared well. Lavish palaces stood waiting for their goddess. So that we could move amongst human kind in comfort, my mother immediately set the beasts to work restructuring the landscape of their urban blight to fit our needs. As their cities changed, we settled in our new palaces along the banks of the Nile and in the low lands. Our fathers accumulated large herds of sheep in desert oases.

The great desert nomadic tribes held a great fascination for us. They kept to their obstinacy and war like ways. My brothers took a particular pleasure in living among them. I never did. They always smelled of sheep and dust. For me being constantly among the New Ones in Kemet was enough. I left my mother to live in my own palace shortly before I coupled with my brothers. I can still remember that first night vividly. We were not warring with you at the time; rather it was against one of our own. My parents used infighting as opportunity to begin the new brood.

My father and two brothers completed my palace during the hot summer months. The bastion was far larger than this one, created from black marble. There was nothing like it. My private rooms were composed of two huge bedchambers. My bath could bathe twenty and often times did.”

Maha threw her head back in laughter. Meretneith asked, “You killed each other?”

“Yes. When there is a tribal challenge for leadership. You know Meretneith. You almost killed Pidray, daughter of Ba’al.”

“How do you know these things? There were only warriors in the tent and you have no friends among us.”

Meretneith controlled her anger.

“Relax love, do you forget? I have second sight. I’ve had dreamings about you. Pidray was important to Athtar. Her presence in the battle tipped the balance. You were about the business of bringing war to my brother. Anyway, I’m not always able to sense where you are. I find that my second sight about you is strongest in the deserts. Even then, it is only when my senses are more acute or approaching a battle. Lately my sisters and I have come to the realization that should you survive tonight and earn your freedom. You will be the cause of yet another death to a close one.

“When we were young, I watched you from a distance. Once I got so close, you caught my scent. I knew that one day I would have my chance. I’m off the track aren’t I? You wanted to know how and when we first met Ba’al.

“I completed my first trials to inherit the leadership of my tribe. Asherah and Ba’al arrived to the city of Heliopolis. We called it differently then. Your mother Asherah was proud and bold as she walked into the city. She and Ba’al walked through the streets of the city of the human beasts that bright summer morning as if they owned it. Humans lived in Kemet then in dwellings just outside our own.

“Their small cities were inhabited by extended families and slaves taken from weaker kind. They existed where there was still sparse areas of green, yet at a distance far enough that we weren’t constantly aware of the stench. It was close enough that when they rose before dawn to pay homage to Re, they were greeted by the sight of my mother the goddess Satis, and her Consort Khnum. We had constructed a stone overhung walkway leading from the city of Heliopolis to the palace city, made from roughly hewn stone meant to herd visitors and worker slaves into smaller groups.

“Just before the rise of Re every morning the young and beautiful of Heliopolis came to service our needs and worship us. It was on a day shortly before the floods that I stood atop a mound after training with my brother Syrus. It was our custom in those days to pleasure each other after physical exertion. The bright sun found us looking out over the desert. We saw a magnificent male and female riding out of the desert to the edge of the city. The duo on approach caused an uproar that moved through the throng of human beasts.

“They thought that gods had come. Even then lover, the beasts knew how to fictionalize and war amongst themselves. Asherah was beautiful. She and Ba’al were well suited. Some ran through the city yelling and screaming. Others crammed the narrow passageway leading to the palace city. Still there were a few that stood in amazement watching or groveling for attention in the dust as Asherah and Ba’al dismounted.

“The two walked slowly through the narrow alleyways, inspecting the inhabitants. This action intrigued me and I wanted to see Ba’al better. Those beasts that made their way to us came to warn us of impending doom. They perceived Ba’al and Asherah as warring gods. Why else would gods of such beauty come? They were there to take slaves from their goddess Satis.

“I stood transfixed as your mother and Ba’al ignored the begging and entreating of the supplicants. Re Meretneith, your mother and Ba’al were beautiful and I wondered in that moment how such creatures could be my lifelong enemies. I felt Satis at my side. She detected the scent of the newcomers and knew who they were. She ordered my brother to find and bring her consort to the palace. He and my other brother were raiding, I don’t remember where, or perhaps I didn’t care. I paid rare attention to what my father or younger brother. Even then, there was the constant challenge between them and my mother. After he destroyed my mother, little knew except Syrus, that I hated him. When it came time for the killing of him, my heart held little save relief of a passing irritant, much like passing gas.

“I noticed a strange calm take hold of Satis as Asherah drew near. We were all shocked that the Protectress would be so bold as to come to us accompanied by only a Teacher. I saw my mother’s eyes settled on the form of Ba’al and I wanted to challenge her for the right to pleasure this male. My love for her wouldn’t permit this. Though I have to admit Ba’al was the most impressive looking male I had ever seen. I knew when he set eyes on Satis that he would want her.

“My Satis was tall as he. With waist length raven locks, her eyes were deep-sea blue, framed with black sweeping lashes set in a perfect oval face. The perfect skin of her body was the color of pale gold. I loved the touch and scent of her. She loved life. Satis took pleasure where and when of her choosing. Her children held center stage in her life. She was a warrior that few could withstand, until you.

“My mother called her slaves to her then sent them scurrying with instructions on how to prepare for her guess. Satis was preparing to entertain her enemies not destroy them. Still too young to understand the subtleties of combatants, I watched in amazement as she left me to prepare. Turning suddenly as if remembering her daughter stood near, Satis commanded me to prepare to dance for our guess. Without answering and in the grips of anger I knew that the visitors were fast approaching our palace. Running for my rooms, calling for my female beasts, I began to prepare myself for the dance, barking orders to prepare my brothers on their return.

“The entranceway to the great hall, where everyone would first assemble, was of hand polished black marble that came from the lands south of us. Sandstone carvings spiraled in columns for miles into the sky gleaming with the rising and setting rays of Re. The great rooms were big enough to entertain thousands and often did. We discovered the pleasures of gold then and everywhere the presence of it lit our lives. It covered great columns that supported our palaces. The glory of it adorned our furniture and our bodies. It was weaved into the cloth that hung from our bodies.

“My parents’ bedchambers lie off the great room heralded by massive gold columns that soared hundreds of feet. Gold shaped as tree fronds glinted against the sky. A fine spray of water would blow through Satis and Akan’s chambers, cooling and refreshing.

“A small rippling waterfall ended in a great bathing pool with walls lined in gold and deep blue lapis. The water system fed a small stream that ran through the palace great room. It was five feet deep and a source of great pleasure for our guest and family. It was in this great room that Satis decided to receive Asherah and Ba’al.

“It would be some time before me and Syrus would appear before our guess. It takes a full day to prepare our bodies for the dance. During those days, the only beasts allowed near us were those born in our tribe. We never shared our tribal ways with offspring as you do. My mother knew that our arrival would be late to the party. She planned that the dance would be the last in choreography of seduction of Ba’al. Do you understand our custom of the dance?”

Maha’s gaze into Meretneith’s eyes was intent. Her attention waning Meretneith answered.

“You dance with your future consorts covered only in tattoos of love poems written on your skin with dyes from a certain flowers. I can’t remember the name of them. The dance of seduction is for siblings – the male leads. Get to the point Maha.”

Maha smiled sighing deeply. Her fingertips traced Meretneith’s jaw line,

“Exactly, the god Ba’al taught you well before leaving you.”

Turning to face the jungle, Maha inhaled deeply and smiled. Meretneith watched her profile as moist pink lips opened to speak,

“I loved the dance. The arousal in me watching my brothers perform was always so intense. I always required pleasuring afterwards. I knew before the evening began that my hunger for Ba’al would match my mother’s. I was happy to have my well-hung brother Syrus close to me. My younger brother Jahan was well adept at bringing me pleasure also, but he was too close to my father for my liking. My coupling with him after our vows was brief. Jezreel is his daughter. You will perhaps meet Syrus’ sons soon. Only one has offered his allegiance to me. I’ll tell you about my sons another time.”

Maha began to laugh.

“Meretneith I’m falling in love with you. Was this your intent?”

Meretneith pulled a lock of the gold hair to her nose inhaling its fragrance. She searched Maha’s eyes wondering what to say. The words came from Meretneith’s full lips quietly belying the true force behind them,

“Brought here against my will it was not my intent. You almost destroyed my family, killed and separated me from those I love. Your brother has indulged himself and defiled my body. How do I answer your question? There is a need in me to kill you both.

“Yet beyond what I’ve just said, I stand here now enjoying the silk smooth tones of your voice and warm feel of your skin against my own. When I see your consort again, I’ll bring him pain like he has never known. If you stand in my way, I’ll destroy a beauty that I’m growing to enjoy. Your scent is in my skin. Its aromas hang in layers on me arousing me, forcing me to remember our pleasure of each other. Love me at your own peril Maha. I can’t tell you what I feel for you.”

Staring at each other for a time, Meretneith was aware of how close they still were to battle. In an instant, the embrace could be of pleasure or death. Meretneith moved closer pressing her body to Maha. She whispered.

“Feel sister whatever gives you pleasure. If you’ve followed me through my life as you say, then you know my path is always solitary. We could find brief moments of heaven together.”

Maha answered Meretneith by brushing her lips against her cheek, “You are like your mother in this way. Only she took care to take her pleasures more often.”

Maha pulled away from Meretneith, but not before drawing Meretneith’s lower lips softly into her mouth. Taking Meretneith’s hand, they walked back towards the bed. Meretneith spoke again, “Maha, tell me more of that night”.

Maha sighed, “I hurried to prepare myself and didn’t wait for my brothers’ return. I needed desperately to see your mother and Ba’al enter the great room. They took their time coming to us, indicating they held no fear. This left an impression on me. Re was just setting when they walked silently into the entrance of the great room. Everywhere there was fanfare. Yet your mother Asherah seemed not to notice. Her eyes were only on Satis.

“Their eyes met and for a time no one else was in the room. They were both beauties but there was a contrast in color and essence. Your mother Asherah was like a cold flame. Her movements into the chamber were like a dancing blaze. Her hips swayed with each step. Her full bare breast bounced with each footfall. I wanted to attach my lips to her tits, to enjoy the smooth of her skin. To be adored or embraced seemed to hold little appeal for her; she could only tolerate those who recognized her power. Her grandson Merneptah is very much like her.

“She and Ba’al approached the chamber center slowly. It was exciting to see Asherah and Satis so close to personal combat. Ba’al was naked except for his blade and loincloth, his body shining in its magnificence. His hair was like kisses of sunlight. His loincloth of indigo hid little the pleasures he could offer. I wanted him for myself, but I was not the one of his choosing. From the corner of my eye, I saw my fathers and brothers arrive hurriedly. Akan went immediately to my mother’s side, still wearing the dust from his journey. I could tell my mother didn’t like this; judging by the brief looks that they exchanged. Still he stood at her side. Syrus and my younger brother Jahan scurried to our chambers to be prepared for the dance.

From Book 1 of the Protectress

The outline of her body shadowing underneath, the diaphanous caftan dangerously hinted at naked allure. She never wore undergarments and its effect upon Saul would greatly enhance her powers of persuasion. She and Ptah must prepare him for what was to come. Despite the strong attraction between them, she wondered what to say to put him at ease. Nibbling bits of savory meats from the dinner platter, she lost track of the time. Sounds of the elevator doors sliding open startled her. Scurrying down the corridor, she found a smiling Saul striding into the great room. He paused a moment as if waiting for an invitation, his eyes travelled over her body before settling on her eyes.

“Saul, you’re right on time.” Meretneith hoped her face didn’t show her pleasure in wanting to see him again.

His deep raspy voice came like music to her ears.

“I was looking forward to this. This room is magnificent. These old buildings have such grandeur. They are like grand old ladies.”

Hands in his jean pockets, he strode into the middle of the room appraising vaulted ceilings trimmed in elaborate crown mouldings. It was easily as large as the anteroom. Grand French doors allowed impressive views of Chicago cityscapes and horizons of Lake Michigan. Saul watched thick, dense grey clouds gather over the lake heralding the approach of an evening summer storm. He watched lightening playfully dance over the surface of water. Open doors allowed the cooling breezes that preceded it, and Meretneith watched the powerful body saunter out onto the balcony. The flapping white shirt merely draped the exquisite musculature. He stood briefly watching the approaching tempest. She joined him; the long lean curves of her body drawn to his warmth. He wanted to hold her, to touch the smooth deep copper skin. Judging by her returning gaze, Meretneith was aware of his need.

Their return to the great room was greeted by a feast sitting in the center of an enormous low alabaster table. Inanna presented two huge white china trays filled with fruit, cheeses and aromatic breads on one and spiced meats on the other. Sinking into the cushions next to her, his senses were filled to bursting from the aromas of incense and her.

The chatter between them was warm and friendly. Meretneith talked about her son’s newest hobby, the London club. Saul talked about his father, mother, Jesse and the firm while carefully avoiding any conversation about Sarah. He ate his fill and welcomed a tumbler of single malt scotch offered by Inanna.

“Saul this is Inanna. She takes care of me, when I allow it.” Meretneith was suddenly aware that for the first time in a long time she felt alive. The need to touch him was almost overwhelming.

Slowly he sipped his glass then looking up with a broad smile.

“How did you know this is my favorite?”

Meretneith rose from the cushions indicating that he should follow her to the balcony. The force of the rapidly approaching rainstorm was keeping pace with Saul’s rapidly beating heart. The cooling air beckoned from the open balcony doors. Then there was her voice,

“I know a lot about you Saul.”

Saul paused to speak to Inanna, “The dinner was superb, my sincere thanks.” Inanna smiled and bowed in appreciation. Before leaving, she spoke in a low mellow tone,

“Saul I am very happy to meet you. I’m sure we’ll see each other again soon. Good night….”

Saul looked into Meretneith’s eyes as she extended her hand to him. The touch of her skin shook him to the core. Standing close to her on the balcony Saul pulled her closer. He dared to press his lips to her ear to murmur, “I need to touch you.”

She wound an arm around his waist tightening its grip. The pain of it surprised and stimulated him. He felt the need between his thighs grow and felt powerless to control it.

“You are the most incredible woman I have ever done business with.” It was more than the well-formed features of her face or the way her eyes stared into his.

Meretneith was aware of his arousal. The aroma of it was heavy. Moisture was gathering in droplets between her thighs as she pressed closer. “You needed to talk more about the proposal tonight?” he asked simply trying to keep his emotions in check.

“Yes. Actually I wanted to talk to you about introducing your plans for the first phase to our London board and my brother.”

She watched Saul’s expressions carefully, gauging his reactions.

Shifting his position a little, a smile parted his full lips. Meretneith watched with pleasure as his dimples deepen. His scent affirmed a feeling of ease. They were beginning to like each other more. She pushed the subject further,

“I am flying to London tonight and I would like you to join me. Please forgive the rush, but I have no choice. Many generations ago, your family made a promise to my tribe to help in our plans when the moment came. We have protected your family for many years for this moment. This is the stage in our plan when we need your help. There is not enough time tonight for me to explain all. My brother Ptah can explain far better. He and my children are waiting for us in London. Tomorrow morning at eight, we meet with his board members.”

“Then what my parents have told me about your family and mine is true?”

She could tell Saul was struggling to make some sense of her and the emotions rising between them.

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what you mean. I don’t know what they’ve told you.” Meretneith felt the need in him to gain control. His voice came soft.

“Only that your family saved ours in Europe before the war, that we’ve owed some damn debt for generations. Is this what all this is about, that I may be called upon to honor and repay that debt? Was this entire board meeting and open invitations stuff just a ruse to get me here?”

His voice was deep and smooth, but Meretneith could feel and hear the excitement just beneath the calm exterior. He’d been bred well and she was responding to it.

“Yes and no Saul. Board members come from many facets of our businesses. My family chose you for this a very long time ago. We didn’t have to convince our boards to accept your proposals. Don’t sell yourself short Saul. You are an impressive man. We knew that you would be the most likely candidate. Your father and his father unknowingly helped pave the path for you.”

Meretneith lowered her voice,

“There is more to it than the project. The coming days will give us time for the telling of our histories. You were bred for this moment. The need to formulate this plan began many generations ago. In each generation, the Ben Izraels have been reminded not of a debt owed, but the leadership required when the moment came for the plan to be put into action. The legacy is your abilities and the accumulated knowledge that has come down to you from thousands of years.”

She melted into him arms, pressing him close.

“Listen to those feelings between us. There is a need for you inside me in this moment that has nothing to do with the plan. I came to this city to see what and who you are. This is one of my son’s homes. I spend most of my time in the deserts near my family home. I do not have the love of the cities like my family. My brother and son have kept track of your life, insuring that from birth your needs were met. I am far too busy in my roles. As leader of my tribe, the tasks are global. Today I came here for you and the beauty that I see fills me with desire. I have never felt this kind of need before.”

Inwardly struggling, he pulled away. He returned quickly to the great room with Meretneith at his heels. He turned on her.

“Look… I’m falling in love with you and that alone makes no sense to me. I want you in my bed with a need that I’ve never experienced before. The story that you tell leaves me with many unanswered questions. Your narrative sounds crazy but I’m in this thing. I have vested too much work to bail out now. I will come to London with you. Don’t play this like a fool and lie to me. I’ll pull out leaving you to do with me what you will. When we settle our business in London do me a favour and tell me the whole fuckin’ story about you and our families.”

His voice was calm and reassuring not threatening.

She approached him with the summer storm. It sent a strong wind whirling through the rooms, ruffling his shirt and hair. Candles flickered as thunder and lightning played over darkened Chicago skies. The veil thin caftan was tormented by the sudden breeze; her erect nipples became dangerously apparent. Saul held his arms out to her. She welcomed the embrace while allowing his lips on hers. His breath was hot and strong hands searched her body seeking more. Meretneith touched gently the growing need between his thighs before pulling away and murmuring…

“We leave soon. There will be time later to explore our pleasures. I promise. And, I promise to tell you all.”

Then starting for the bedroom,

“Aisha has asked your assistant Sarah to pack a few personal things and has notified your father and Jesse. Jesse and Sarah have been invited as well. Whatever additional clothing you may need my brother will supply.”

Saul watched her disappear as he sank to the sofa. He wanted to respond. He wanted to call Jesse to verify the arrangements, but he knew that was useless. His only desire in the moment was to be alone to think, to allow all that had happened in the last few hours to sink in. To prepare for what lay ahead. His solitude didn’t last very long. Meretneith suddenly reappeared in black trousers and t-shirt, just in time to see the elevator doors slide open. A tall big red haired male dressed in casual black strode into the great room then proceeded to the bedroom,

“Saul this is Guy…my driver. He has arranged for your car to be delivered to your home.”

Saul tossed Guy his keys before the driver disappeared then reappeared with luggage and then continued to pack the elevator. They were in her dark blue Lincoln headed down the Kennedy to O’Hare before Saul began to relax.

The Ceremony from Book 2 of the Protectress

The big male and current head of the tribal Council was at the airport for the arrival of Saul and Jesse. Saul learned recently from Ptah that a ceremony as old as the tribe was being planned. The tribe would assemble from all over the world to witness the traditional passing of the title to the new consort and tribal leader, Ptah and Meretneith’s son Merneptah. It was a ceremony not witness in over 50,000 years. Saul looked forward to being a part of it and had a million questions. However, Athtar was filled with questions about Meretneith and the homecoming to Faiyum. He’d been part of the rescue and needed to know that his only love was happy and safe. When he and Arsay were satisfied with Saul’s rendition of events at home Athtar seem to relax. Saul knew how much this male loved his Protectress. This love began over four thousand years ago. Twin giants gazed at each other gauging the other’s thoughts.

Admiring Athtar Saul remembered Arsay telling him that her brother was image of their father Ba’al. The mass of gold-laced chestnut waist length hair was bound by a jeweled ring. Athtar was as big as Ptah. In spite of the immense musculature, there was an angelic quality to his face. Athtar’s eyes of deep brown were fringed in long sweeping lashes. The mouth often took center stage – so expressive in pink, almost cherubic. He wore simple gray leather pants and shirt that conformed to the body beautifully. Both men were oblivious of Jesse sitting quietly watching. Saul broke the silence,

“I’ve never asked you what our relationship is. Since I am offspring of your father Ba’al what does that make me to you?”

“Simple Saul…. You are my brother. That coupling happened within my lifetime. Meretneith and Ptah knew nothing of your grandmother. She was offspring also. A great deal of me runs through your veins. That’s a good thing considering how much my sister longs to pleasure you.”

Looking into Jesse’s face Athtar paused before speaking.

“Does this line of talk make you uncomfortable young one?”

Jesse stared back at him embarrassed suddenly…coloring. His answer came almost in a whisper.

“No not embarrassed only stunned. Saul speaks little to me of his recent affairs and relationship with his new family.”

Jesse looked at Saul to check his expression before he continued,

“This is he and Aisha’s worlds not mine. I’ve loved him all my life. I’ve only recently come to know and love my wife; therefore anything that affects them affects me also. So all that said…yes I’m stunned. No I’m not embarrassed. Saul taught me long ago to keep quiet and listen.”

“Very well spoken.”

Athtar smiled as he gazed into Jesse’s face.

“And coming from one so young and beautiful Saul has taught you well, but I think what remains between Saul and I to talk about should be kept between us.”

Athtar turned to Saul.

“We’ll speak of my father and your grandmother in our private moments. I’ll make sure to put some time aside for us before you fly back to Faiyum. You can share with Jesse what the two of you are comfortable with. My sister and I have looked forward to moments alone with you for a very long time. For now let’s talk about today’s business and what brings Jesse to us. You know of our difficulty in getting the new currency to hold its value in the common markets. Tell me Jesse what are your ideas on achieving this?”

The conversation dwelled on business matters for the rest of the journey to Athtar’s palace. As Saul knew, Jesse had all the answers to Athtar’s questions. Saul was still amazed and proud of him. Yet there was a warning bell going off in his head for Aisha. Jesse was too consumed with his new role as international monetary consultant. He hoped that their business demands didn’t rob him of time with his new wife and their son. He watched quietly and listened, making a mental note to break his promise to Meretneith and speak to Jesse about this. Merneptah’s love for Aisha would be as strong as Ptah’s love was for him. Saul knew firsthand how consuming that fire could be. Saul knew from his dreaming that Merneptah’s love of Aisha was strong and to Merneptah empowering. Never in his long life had he loved a female in this way. Saul thought sadly of the young man Jesse Isaacsons whom he loved as his own. He would never be able to compete with Merneptah. Saul hoped that Aisha would be able to control the big male’s need of her. Jesse heard Saul’s gentle deep voice.

“Call Aisha tonight before you go to bed. She hasn’t gotten use to you being alone without her on these trips.”

Jesse smiled at Saul, touched by the concern the big guy felt for his welfare,

“I miss her already. It’s a good thing I found a woman who shares my love of the business. The next few years will be busy ones.”

“Yes young one, but one’s family and friends should never be neglected”

Athtar beamed a smile at Saul just before leaving the car. They arrived at his palace and Saul had forgotten how imposing the council head’s home could be. The last time he was in the Dubai palace was to meet the council and Teachers.

Ptah’s palace was luxurious in its simplicity. His lovers enjoyed being surrounded by things that served a function. Athtar’s palace was not as large as Faiyum but over the top extravagant. Its rich detailing to the exterior walls in white marble was stunning at sunset. Deep red stone detail the entranceways. The gulf shores could be heard breaking against the palace walls in the rear. Staff was there immediately to greet the guests.

Ushered immediately to their rooms Saul went to the bath where his water was drawn, he asked to be left to bathe alone. Sinking down into the warm fragrant waters, he giggled to himself. A small thing like bathing his own body had come to be special to him. He was rarely left alone in Faiyum and often had to demand his privacy. He lounged in the bath for almost an hour before reluctantly leaving it. Tying the strings of his linen loungers he strolled slowly back to his bedchamber. He was surprised when he arrived to see Arsay reclining across his bed wearing only a pareo of white linen and a smile.

“You take long baths.”

“And you are too beautiful to be in a man’s room who has not known the comfort of a female in six months.”

“I knew Meretneith would choose to pleasure her brother Ptah first.”

Arsay laughed aloud revealing her white teeth making her big blue eyes sparkle. The slow low voice continued to taunt Saul.

“Saul you have too much the look of control about you. Ptah always seems so in need of love from all of you. It’s natural, I guessed that she should want to please him first. Do you feel left out?”

Arriving at the bed Saul stood for a time looking down at her feeling a need to touch her. During their raid of Maha’s palace to free Meretneith, he didn’t have time to note what had changed in her appearance. Nothing really except her hair was a little longer. The soft brown curls were at her shoulders, with one wave falling over her blues eyes. She wore little make up except for lip-gloss making her broad full lips even more appealing. She was smiling an invitation.

“Why do you wish to tempt me so female? What have I done to deserve your attentions?”

“Your beauty and strength Saul ben Izrael and you’re my brother – so the scent of you maddens me. Athtar has asked me tell you about your grandfather Ba’al. I’m not sure in the telling beloved that you will be happier. You still hold to your old nonsense. I have little patience for these things. It only means that I can’t pleasure you in ways that would bring us both comforts. Especially when I can see and smell your arousal for me. You are truly an innocent Saul. Come to me and at least allow me the joy of tasting your lips and the warmth of you. I am after all my father’s daughter.”