Chapter 13

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      Nefertari observed attentively as the Pharaoh paced from one end of her chambers to the other, his hands behind his back and his mind engrossed in thought. His strides were long and unwavering, yet weighted with an uneasiness that tore at his heart.

       Sighing, the Queen picked up the list of menu items for the union ceremony and continued to scrutinize it. What her husband had done to the princess was of no fault but his own, and his increasing anxiety over her scorn was no more than what he deserved, so Nefertari thought. She would not let it ruin her planning of the great royal celebration.

      It did not take long for him to stop abruptly in the middle of the room to throw up his arms in despair. "She hates me!" He exclaimed.

      Nefertari, her amber gaze still fixated upon the pressed papyrus, simply hummed in response.

      "She did not attend last evening's banquet, nor the morning or afternoon meal... Everyone is talking about her absence... What am I to do?"

Nefertari simply continued to ignore his plight, causing him to feel more restless. "Nefertari?" His tone was pleading as he gazed at her desperately.

      Sighing, the Queen placed the papyrus down and feigned a sympathetic smile. "Have you actually gone to apologise to her yet?"

      "How can I?" He answered in disbelief to her suggestion. "It is blatantly obvious that she is trying to avoid me like I am riddled with some plague."

      "Plague of deceit." Murmured Nefertari. Ramses' emerald orbs narrowed on her, having heard her slight, yet he sighed with guilt and lowered his gaze once more.

      "You do not need to guilt me further with your biting words, Nefertari," his gaze shifted up to her again. "Her absence has been painful enough..."

      "Then stop your moping, my love, and go apologise to her!" She reiterated. "You could shower her with all the riches of Egypt, but all it will be is superficial. You do not want to buy her forgiveness. You want to earn it."

      Ramses pondered her words for a moment. "You are right," he conceded, finally.

      "And what will you do, Ramses?"

      "I will go apologise to her."

      "Exactly."

      Utati bound into the room, her chest heaving with exhaustion, and leaned against her thighs to catch her breath

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      Utati bound into the room, her chest heaving with exhaustion, and leaned against her thighs to catch her breath.

      "What is it, Utati?" Malawashina raised one of the arched brows that Seshen had finished plucking. "It appears that you have just come running from a lion."

      "That is because I did," she puffed.

      Malawashina motioned to Seshen to stop her task and raised herself from the carved cedar couch. "What is it that you mean?"

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