SHE STOOD ON the balcony looking at the full moon mirroring on the still lake. Aisha waited for Merneptah. In the distance, the familiar voices of anglers shouted evening greetings on their way to shore. Lights from passing vacationers’ yachts moved smoothly by as sounds of music and laughter traveled along the deserted beach. The air was still. She heard Khalid’s chopper overhead, the muted putter slowly fading into the distance. Aisha felt rather than heard Merneptah enter their room.
The giant went to the fireplace, removing his white shirt as he went. Throwing it on the nearby sofa, he bent to ignite the logs. He stood staring down into the fire until he was satisfied that the flame was well on its way. She did not move. His love was silent until she felt his arms around her pulling her close.
Leaning into his embrace Aisha whispered, “I never knew anyone could love me the way you do. I’ve never felt such pain and joy all at once before.”
Then looking up into his face, “I can’t be without you ever. If this is something that will end, let me know. I want the pain to offset the joy I feel now. I want some reality to this.”
“Little One this is the reality and it isn’t all joy. Tonight, you were angry because you felt your space intruded and that I was hiding something from you. That is the way it is with us. There will come a time when you won’t hear from me for long periods. I can’t share everything with you. You are no warrior Aisha, and you do not know the ways of battle. Our fight is every day of our lives.”
Aisha pressed her lips to his chest feeling the smooth warmth of it. He said, “My family may appear relaxed at times, but we are always on guard, now more than ever. No beloved, it’s not joy all the time, only when I’m with you. Khalid makes sure, at the risk of his life, that I can have these moments with you in relative comfort. If it weren’t for him and many like him, I would have little or no life of joy.”
“You love him?”
“I do. He has been at my side since I took him from his mother’s tit.”
She stared at him, looking at the big beautiful face, its features painted silver by the light of the moon.
Merneptah chuckled pulling her close again, “No Little One. I have not been pleasured by this male.”
“That wasn’t what I was thinking. Not all of us are homophobic, Merneptah.” There was an edge to her voice.
“I’m sorry…. I’ve grown accustomed in this age of such things. Phobias are fashionable in your brood.”
“No baby, I was thinking how painful it must be for your tribe when those you love die.”
“It’s more than many can bear. Someday you will meet those of us who have ceased to love. The pain of separation is for some too much.”
“I wish now that I could have given you a child to be with you when I am gone.”
Merneptah swept her into his arms carrying her to the bed. He rumbled as he walked,
“This is not the time for such talk Little One. I want to take my pleasure with you.”
Lowering her to the bed, he removed the fine silk organza she still wore from the ceremonies. She lay nude in the moonlight streaming through the open balcony doors. Merneptah took the moment to stare at her. He wanted to commit to memory this night. Even in the dark room, she could see the smile on his face, remembering how just hours ago he proclaimed so beautifully his love for her. She held her arms out to him. Merneptah moaned as he covered her body with his. He felt her exhale under his massive weight. Lifting up, he gazed down at her. Raising her lips to be caressed Aisha whispered, “Merneptah”.
“I can’t wait.” He breathed into her ear.