Anubis copyright c. 2015 T.A. Chase

Part Twenty-Seven

“Are you ready to call it a night?”

Jamil glanced up when Ahmed spoke. He spied the man standing in the doorway of the room, leaning against the frame with his arms crossed over his broad chest. Jamil rubbed his eyes and sighed.

“Yeah. My brain’s about fried, so I’m not going to learn anything else today.” He shut down his computer then started to put the artifacts he’d been studying away.

Ahmed strolled closer. “Can I help with this?” His hand hovered over one of the gold armbands they’d dug up in the antechamber.

“Sure. Just grab a pair of gloves.” Jamil gestured to a stack of cotton gloves Sandy had gotten out earlier. “Not that I needed to tell you that. You’ve probably handled way more artifacts than I have over the years.”

“Hmm…” Ahmed’s reply was distracted as he put on the gloves before picking put the armband. His startled gasp caused Jamil to turn.

“What’s wrong?”

Ahmed stared at the jewelry in his trembling hands. “This was mine,” he whispered.

Shaking his head, Jamil figured he’d heard wrong. “We’re not sure who that belonged to. It doesn’t seem quite ornamental enough to be one of the royal family’s, but still whoever wore it had to be a high ranking member of the court.”

“The jackals denote that the wearer was a personal bodyguard for the prince,” Ahmed said absently as he ran his fingers lightly over the raised images. “The entwined branches marked him as more than that. He was the prince’s lover.”

“Lover? But the prince had a wife and a son.”

Ahmed snorted. “Having those exclude Okilma from having a lover?”

Jamil’s cheeks warmed. “Well no, but still…How do you know all this? I’m pretty sure your family legends don’t have all this information in them.” Jamil narrowed his eyes as he gazed at Ahmed. “There’s something else going on here.”

“Our records of this particular society are quite extensive,” Ahmed seemed to be dodging the question.

“Anubis, we have to go.”

Jamil jumped as Thomas spoke from behind him. Whirling, he saw the man standing in the middle of the room. “Where the hell did you come from? You weren’t here a minute ago.”

Thomas waved away his inquiry. “Did you hear me, brother? They are back at Petra right now and this time they’re destroying the graves in the caves.”

“Fuck. They must be looking for the book.” Ahmed gathered all the artifact trays and took them to the vault. “Jamil, hurry. Put all of the items from the dig in the vault. Make sure it’s locked. I can’t guarantee they won’t come for them here.”

“Who are they? What are they looking for? What the fuck is going on here?” Jamil wanted answers, but the urgency in both men’s voices convinced him not to balk on what Ahmed wanted. “Why did he call you Anubis?”

“Are the others coming? Or will it just be you and me?” Ahmed met Thomas’s eyes and nodded. “Okay. I haven’t had time to look at the book, but it’s safe, even if they were to break into my suite.”

Jamil shut the vault door then set the lock and alarm before he turned to the men. “What book? Did you take something from the site, Ahmed? You can’t do that.”

Thomas swung to face him. “Stop with the questions. None of it is your concern. Go back to your house and lock yourself inside. They might come for you next if they don’t find what they want and if we can’t stop them tonight.”

He reared back, about to argue with Thomas. Ahmed stepped between them and took his face in his hands. Jamil looked up into Ahmed’s worried gaze.

“Thoth, go. I’ll join you in a minute. Just watch them for now, but don’t let them leave,” Ahmed ordered Thomas without looking away from Jamil.

A loud annoyed exhale told them how Thomas felt about the whole situation, but he disappeared in a blink of Jamil’s eyes. He tensed.

“Did he just vanish? Why did you call him Thoth? What’s going on here, Ahmed?”

“You were never supposed to find out. We’ve existed for millennium outside the boundaries of your world, watching and searching for ways to save all of us from destruction,” Ahmed muttered as he rubbed his thumb over Jamil’s bottom lip. “Our gods and goddesses bound us to this task.”

Jamil frowned, confusion and worry sweeping through him. He’d never have guessed Ahmed was crazy. “Let me help you,” he pleaded. “You should talk to someone about your delusions.”

Ahmed chuckled. “Oh, love. Doctors and therapists won’t fix what’s wrong with me. Please, go to my suite and stay there. Don’t let anyone in. No matter who they say they are. If I send someone for you, they won’t need you to open the door for them. Once I take care of the men at the site, I’ll return and tell you everything.”

“I’ll call the police. They’ll go out and catch whoever it is that’s doing this.”

“No.” Ahmed shook his head. “We can’t allow the police to get involved. This problem goes beyond what they can handle. Thoth and I will deal with the intruders and find out what they are looking for. Also, we need to know who they work for. These aren’t just some grave robbers, Jamil. If they were, they’d have stolen a few artifacts or waited until the dig was over to search in the new rooms for items. They haven’t done that. Plus, they’ve killed two guards, quite viciously. I don’t want you to be the third life taken.”

“Aren’t you worried they’ll kill you? Why do you keep calling Hutchinson Thoth? I thought his name was Thomas.” Jamil stated to pull out of Ahmed’s grip. “None of this makes sense.”

Ahmed inhaled deeply and nodded. “I know it doesn’t make sense, Jamil. And you’ll probably still think I’m insane once I explain it. I can’t help that. But I need to go and you need to get to the hotel. You must stay safe.”

“Kellan and I will make sure he gets there and stays there, brother.” Another voice replied and Jamil grunted.

“What the fuck is up with people appearing and disappearing? Maybe I’m asleep and dreaming all this shit,” Jamil mumbled as another couple joined them.

The smaller man laughed. “I promise you’re not sleeping. I’m Kellan Largent and this is my husband, Bastet.”

2 Responses “Anubis”

  1. keywords says:

    Do you find Australian reporters to be completely incompetent?
    Sky News Australia reporter, Johanna Marie, delivered a cringeworthy summary of what happened
    in Brisbane. Err, amm, umm in almost in every sentence.
    It’s pathetic. She also wasn’t able to get her words out properly, what
    a disgrace.… I don’t voluntarily or knowingly pay
    for anything with a Rupert Murdoch connection so I avoid Fox and Sky.

  2. josexpressions says:

    hot damn!

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