It’s Wednesday? Awesome! Because I have a little teaser for you from something written by my friend JT Handler. We’ve known each other all my life, and JT writes fun-filled M/M erotica that I’m pleased to feature this week. Pharaoh’s Pleasure will be available on Amazon next week and kicks off a new series titled Pleasures in Time that should prove very entertaining for M/M readers.
Some set up — in order to avoid his overbearing (and very handsy) advisor Gordon Pattinson, grad student Kellen Fox spends the night working on an Ancient Egyptian exhibit display. When he polishes a hematite scarab, however, something very unexpected occurs.
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Kel noticed the hematite scarab had slid off its clear plastic stand. Unlatching the case, he carefully picked up the scarab and examined it. There weren’t any new cracks or chips, thank God, just greasy fingerprints that were definitely not his. Goddamn it, Pattinson, do you jack off with this thing or what?
Wrapping a corner of his t-shirt around two fingers, he buffed out the fingerprints, spending a little of his frustration in the action. Something clicked under his rubbing, and the detailed wing section of the scarab slid back a bit.
He froze. That’s not supposed to happen. Oh, fuck, tell me I didn’t break it. Dry-mouthed, he peered at the carving and saw the gleam of gold.
Whoa. That is not supposed to be there. Very gently, he pushed the wing section again. It slid further on what he could now see were carved tracks, exposing a flat slice of gold embedded in the bottom half of the scarab. Inscribed in the metal were three rows of hieroglyphs.
His fear flashed into a full body thrill. Middle Egyptian. Sweet mother of Horus, it’s fucking Middle Egyptian! And Pattinson never found it!
He had a sudden daydream about writing a paper on the hidden hieroglyphs, receiving academic accolades for his discovery, maybe even basing his doctoral thesis on them. He quickly came back down to earth when he realized that he’d still have to report it to Pattinson as the head researcher on Pharaoh Senekenre. And knowing that conceited jerk, he’ll take all the credit and I won’t see shit.
Beside, you don’t even know what they say. They might be the 17th Dynasty equivalent of a fortune cookie. Frowning, he slowly sounded out the symbols. “Amhemnet, first advisor to Pharaoh Senekenre, calls on you, O Ra, to hear my prayer,” he said out loud. His voice echoed in the empty hall, taking on an odd, hollow quality. “Help me build a bridge for Pharaoh, to continue his line. I beg you, Great Ra, hear my prayer.”
Okay, definitely not a fortune cookie. Amhemnet was the pharaoh’s vizir and architect, and supposedly one of the greatest magicians of ancient Egypt. It sounded like he had inscribed some sort of personalized prayer of protection for the royal family. Sliding the shell section closed again, Kel went to put the scarab back in the display case, and stopped when he saw a reddish glow reflected in the glass. Fire?
Turning around, his jaw dropped open. Hanging in mid-air not five feet from him was a shimmering orange ball of light. The thing suddenly flared brightly, and Kel threw up his hand to shield his eyes.
And then the light was suddenly gone. Eyes still shut, he heard a deep, rumbling voice say, “What is this place?”
Cautiously, he lowered his hand and opened one eye, then the other. Then blinked. Then drooled just the tiniest bit. Because in front of him stood a tall, muscular, absolutely freaking gorgeous man with caramel skin, wearing a linen kirtle and one of the most spectacular scapulars Kel had ever seen. Bold black eyes outlined with kohl stared back at him curiously. “And who are you?” the man said. “Is this a dream? Or are you some sort of god?”
Kel realized the man’s lip movements didn’t sync up with his words. In fact, there was a soft rumble of a foreign language under the English, like an overdubbed movie. Okay, I am either officially hallucinating from six weeks of exhaustion combined with a sugar rush, or someone who looks like a 17th Dynasty underwear model just stepped out of a JJ Abrams special effect.
Hallucinating seemed more likely, all things considered. Which was a freaking shame, because just looking at Tall, Dark, and Imaginary ignited a deep sense of longing and need in Kel’s balls.
“Yeah, definitely not a god,” he said, tugging his t-shirt down. “Those are the tenured professors. I’m just a graduate student.”
“A graduate student.” The man seemed to roll the words over his lips, as if tasting them. “You are a scholar, then?”
“Not according to my advisor.” Ken winced when the man frowned at the quip. “Sorry. Yes, I’m a scholar.”
Over his shoulder he could see the artist’s rendering of Senekenre. The long-dead man’s face matched the stranger’s perfectly.
Oh, this is getting better and better. “I know this is going to be a weird question,” he said, “but has anyone ever told you that you look exactly like Pharaoh Senekenre?”
The man smiled. “Well, yes, seeing as I am Pharaoh Senekenre.” His smile widened, becoming a thing of sexy delight. “Who did you think I was, young scholar?”
Kel found himself grinning back at the handsome man. “Well, a hallucination, to be honest. So you’re telling me you’re Senekenre. Fourteenth king of the 17th Dynasty. You’re a genuine Egyptian Pharaoh, and you’re standing in front of me. Alive.”
Something flickered in Sekenenre’s eyes, sharpening them. He gazed around the chamber, finally spotting the deconstructed bed, and went pale under the bronze tan. “Gods above and below,” he whispered. “It worked?”
The pharaoh spun back, fear and excitement warring in his expression. “Amhemmet’s plan,” he said. “Have I traveled to the future as he promised?”
Kel blinked. “Uh…”
“He said he would use his magic to send me to another time for a single night.” Senekenre stepped to the display case holding the hematite scarab, pressing his palm against the glass. “It was the only way to secure a future for my queen and myself. He said that when the right man found the spell and invoked it, the bridge would be formed, and I would be transported.”
The words hidden inside the scarab blazed through Kel’s mind. Amhemnet, first advisor to Pharaoh Senekenre, calls on you, O Ra. Help me build a bridge for Pharaoh.
His mouth went dry. “Wait. You’re telling me this Amhemnet guy used magic to send you to another time? To this time?”
Senekenre nodded. “Yes, thanks to you. I take it you invoked the spell?”
“If you mean I read it out loud, yeah. I didn’t know it was a spell.” Swallowing hard, Kel forced himself to reach out and touch Senekenre’s arm. It was warm under his fingertips. “Oh, shit,” he whispered. “I’m not hallucinating. You’re real. You’re really here!”
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