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Author’s Note:  Another close friend of mine asked me about how far back these flashbacks are occurring compared to the “real” events of Yami’s life as pharaoh within the manga.  I’m estimating maybe a year or so, as I don’t believe that Yami has been pharaoh for very long.  According to some research that I did, a pharaoh’s tomb did not begin construction until he was officially seated on the throne as the new king.  It was one of the first acts of business due to the importance of their religion and what not.  In the real manga, since Simon mentioned only having the general plans completed, and that they were about the begin construction on his tomb, that leads me to believe, again, that Yami is a newly crowned pharaoh; meaning that perhaps he was still a prince, as he is in my story, only a short time before.
Chapter 4

                As the clarity of the vision that he had seen began to fade, Yami felt as if he were only semi-conscious, his mind slowly absorbing, sifting through the information that it was receiving.  What he was experiencing….  He felt as if he were feverish, disoriented…..  And yet at the same time, he had a sense that he was disconnected, detached from everything; most notably all physical sensations, which he felt grateful for; having been given at least temporary relief from the pain of his wounds!  Drowsily he opened his eyes seeing a blurry vision of Teana who was still hovering over him mouthing something that he was unable to hear.  But, before he could focus on her face again, before he could get a firm grasp of any of the sights and sounds in front of him, he felt himself being taken to yet a another time and place.  A new memory….

                                “Thank you! Come again!”  Teana smiled, handing a bowl of fruit to the man that she had just conducted business with. 

                Resting her head within her hands, she watched him go, walking away from her and her little booth.  As she did so, she could remember another young man, not too long ago, leaving her in the same way....  She sighed.  It had already been a few days since her little run in with the prince.  Afterwards, life had carried on as if it had never happened, as if it had been just a fantasy, an impossible dream….!  She now found herself in the same place she had always been, the same market, with the same passing crowd, along with the same goods to trade….  Though she did her best to serve the villagers that approached her, she often found herself thinking back to that day.  And yet no matter how clearly she could visualize the events that had occurred, no matter how quickly she could remember her heart racing, how it still raced at the mere thought of it all, even now it seemed so unbelievable to her!  Would she ever see him again?  What if it had been a dream?  What if-

                Snapping herself awake, she quickly pushed those thoughts aside, seeing that another villager had come to her table.  “Oh!  I’m sorry!”  She began, her vision traveling upward.  “What can I-”  Her eyes widened as she was greeted with a familiar face.  “Ya-!” Teana had managed to catch herself at the last minute, covering her mouth, before she had finished stating his name.  “Yami, you came back….”  She whispered to him.

                                “Of course I did...  Did you doubt that I would?”  Yami asked her, raising an eye brow.
                                “No!  It’s not that!  I….  Well….  Are you supposed to be out here?  No!  Of course you’re not!  Ha ha!  What am I thinking?  What I mean is, are they going to come after you again?”  She asked him in concern.
                                “Not this time.  My lessons are not the only occasions in which I can take my leave.  Though I must admit that it was a personal preference.” Yami shrugged.
                                “I’m happy to see you….”  Teana said with a smile.
                                “Is that so…?”  Yami teased.
                                “Oh…  I wish I had known that you were coming!  I’ve wouldn’t have set all this-”  She sighed again.  “I would really love to leave and go off somewhere with you.  But…  I have to finish my business here….  You see, things have been a little… scarce in terms of food lately…..  I have to try to trade as much as I can today.”  Teana said quietly. 

                She felt a little foolish telling Yami about her livelihood.... 

                                “Well then, let me help you.”
                                “What?!  I can’t ask you do that!”
                                “You’re not asking me.  I’m asking you.  Will you allow me to?”
                                “No one will recognize me as long as I remain hooded.  However, I admit that I do need to be careful….  But that alone won’t be too difficult.  I can certainly manage that.  It should proceed as I envision….  And….”  Yami paused, a playful stir in his voice, “as I’ve told you before, I’ve abandoned the idea of keeping myself from interacting with the people here, thanks to you.  Aside from that though, the truth is…. it’s something that I’ve always wanted to experience anyhow.  It’ll be….like a game of make-believe.”  Yami said with a grin.

                Though she still had her doubts about the idea, Teana couldn’t help but notice the eagerness in Yami’s eyes.  It felt strange thinking of the calm and collected prince in such a manner, but she had to admit that the expression he was giving her was rather cute.

                                “Um, all right then.  All you have to do is-”

                Before Teana could even finish her sentence; Yami had raced behind the booth, and had rather loudly begun calling the villagers towards them!  She was taken aback by the suddenness of it all, and in embarrassment she attempted to reason with him to lower his voice.  In the end though, her efforts were in vain.  Never would she have been able to guess what happened next!  There was something about the way in which Yami had chosen his words or perhaps it was the tone that he had used, but somehow he had indeed managed to catch the attention of the surrounding onlookers!  She was absolutely baffled by the scene that had begun to occur, right before her very eyes!  It was like magic! Undoubtedly, Yami did have a way with words!  He was so convincing!  So persuasive!  So charismatic!  She simply sat and watched as he managed to talk all the people that he had called forward into trading for each of her goods, one by one.  He had even managed to sway a few customers into exchanging for larger portions than she would have normally asked, as he insisted that her dresses and textiles of fine linen, as well her own crops that she offered were, “of the very highest quality, unable to be acquired anywhere else!” 

                All Teana found herself being responsible for was managing her table, which was being filled with various foods and other household materials as well!  At first glance she could see bushels of barley and wheat, baked bread, milk, vegetables, spices, and even meats such as fish and fowl!  In the meantime she just let Yami carry on as he wished. What she found even more surprising was that he had even managed to acquire rarer commodities; precious metals like copper, silver, and a pot of honey too!  Teana’s favorite!  And always, no matter who had approached them, Yami was courteous, respectful and kind, surely at least some of the qualities that were so appealing to the crowd….  Oh yes, at times a few young women had stopped by them as well, for they were charmed by his velvety voice and flattering words.  Though Teana said nothing, she was surprised to discover that she was actually jealous of these particular negotiations, though she still wasn’t quite sure why…..

                And yet…  Teana didn’t let it trouble her too much.  After all….Yami had come to see her and her alone!  And now….he was even going out of his way to help her, even though she hadn’t asked this of him.  She wanted to pinch herself!  The unlikelihood of this entire scenario absolutely refused to sink into her mind!  The prince was here assisting her….a lowly commoner?!  Yes, it was true….  All of it….  Even when she closed her eyes and opened them again, nothing had changed.  He was still there….standing so close…occasionally smiling down at her as he continued to entertain the crowd.  It was all so amazing….  He was amazing!  And so sweet….  Oh, how she wished she could thank him…..  There was so much that she wanted to say to him….  With each passing minute she longed to speak, to tell him how grateful she was even more so….  But…with the number of people present, she knew that it would be an unwise maneuver.  No, she couldn’t, not now….  She would have to wait to tell him….to tell him that, and about….  Yes….for the time being she simply allowed herself to exchange glances with Yami as the trading resumed.  Teana only hoped that her feelings could be read in her face and eyes; at least until she could express them to him properly….. 

                As the hours past quickly, things continued to occur in much the same way. Before either of them had realized, the sun had begun to set, and the market was slowly being deserted by merchants and traders alike.  Similarly, Teana’s booth, and all that she had brought with her that afternoon were also gone, only to be replaced by three times the amount!

                                “Wow….  I must say that I am impressed!”  Teana said as the two had begun to sort through her new belongings.  “What a performance!”  Teana teased, lightly clapping her hands together.
                                “Thank you.  Thank you.”  Yami responded playing along  “But, what can I say?  It would appear that I have a knack for this.”  He said confidently. 
                                “Hmm….  Is that honestly something the mighty prince of Egypt should be proud of?”  Teana joked again, bringing her hands to her hips.

                They both found themselves laughing at that remark before finding themselves locked in a long and awkward silence.

                                “Thank you…”  Teana said at last.  “It….it means a lot to me that you came….  And you’ve helped me so much!  I’ll be able to support myself for months with all of this!  It’s more than I would have even dared to hope for!”  She continued, sincerity within her voice.
                                “You’re welcome….  I quite enjoyed it actually.  For a brief moment….I felt as if I were like anyone else, like I belonged among the people, that I belonged here in the village…”  Yami said, lowering his eyes a bit. 

                That was all that Teana could say….  She didn’t know what else to say to him....  Though he had made an attempt to hide it, she could hear a touch of sadness, loneliness even, within his words.  She had opened her mouth to speak again, lifting a bag of grain in the process…  However, she was a bit too late to discover that it was much heavier than she had estimated, thus forcing her and the goods she held to come crashing to the ground in a rather….ungraceful manner!  Oh, what was it about her timing and her movements that always allowed her to make a fool of herself in front of Yami?  She just wanted to die of embarrassment!  Again!  Smiling, Yami simply shook his head in amusement as he kneeled down to her.

                                “You are hopeless.”  Yami said with a laugh.  “Here, let me help you with that…”  He said as he reached for the sack.
                                “No it’s ok!  I think I got it!  I-”

                Teana had moved closer to reach for the end of the bag herself, but then…. suddenly…. in an innocent maneuver on both their parts, their eyes widened as they had realized how close they had become, their faces, their lips only inches part!  Though neither of them made a move for a moment, each simply kneeling there with their eyes locked on the others, Teana could see Yami’s expression soften as he slowly raised a hand, first to run his fingers through her hair, repositioning the few strands that had rested near her cheeks behind her ear, her neck, as he then proceeded to tenderly caress her face.  Teana’s first instinct was to shy away, to turn away from him, but she soon found herself completely mesmerized….  Yami’s movements flowed as elegantly and as gracefully as water, and this coming from her!  A dancer!  And his touch….the warmth of his hands, his skin, it was unlike anything she had ever felt before…she even had to remind herself to breathe as she soon found herself tingling with delight!

                Before she could even recover from that sensation, Yami had leaned closer still, kissing her lightly on forehead.  Once more his eyes met hers….  Teana could actually see the affection, the longing within his gaze; an expression simply filled with magnetism and allure.  She felt not only her body, but her own emotions responding, as she too leaned forward, to accept….whatever it was that that look had promised her.  But Yami was in no hurry….  Perhaps it was uncertainty on his part, though none had shown in his face; maybe he just wanted to remain a gentleman in his behavior towards her, or it could be that he was simply drawing her in, tempting her, increasing her anticipation…..  He continued by simply brushing his thumb on her lips, as Teana’s own hand touched his, guiding it, kissing the tips of his fingers, as if to invite him, reassure him, if necessary, that it was all right to give in to his feelings. 

                As she released it, his hand moved down, raising her chin upward.  Closing her eyes now, she at last felt Yami’s lips on hers.  He began with a few short, tantalizing kisses….  And though sweet, they certainly were provocative as they only left her wanting more!  And then finally he responded, fulfilling her desire, her every fantasy with a deep, passionate, powerful kiss, that had rocked them both to the core.  Teana felt her arms traveling upward, feeling his chest, his heartbeat, before continuing on to wrap firmly around Yami’s neck.  In turn, his own arms embraced her delicate frame, his hands gripping the clothing that she wore both tightly, yet gently.  These hungry, needy kisses persisted; only being interrupted by brief moments of air.... 

                It was Teana, who had broken the spell, as she did finally turn away from him and his embrace; and in a rather abrupt manner as well.  She said nothing….  If she had turned to face him, she would have seen Yami’s hurt and questioning stare....  Trying to compose herself from the emotional high that she had just experienced she found herself shaking, her hands trembling.  She had stopped because….before she could even ponder it….no, she couldn’t, not with the mind numbing dizziness that she was undergoing…. Teana then carried through with her instincts forcing herself up, away from him, staggering to regain her balance.  Without a second glance at Yami or even stopping to gather any of her possessions, she found herself fleeing the scene before Yami could even say a word to her….

                                *What…..?  Why…..?* 

                Those were the only two words that were able to penetrate Yami’s mind as shock, confusion, and a strange sense of emptiness had begun to course through him.  Yes…. Even Yami found himself unable to think coherently at that moment....  For all his genius, he simply could not even begin to understand why Teana had left him as she did.  Still kneeling, he could only stare in the direction that she had gone, seemingly waiting for her to return.  After a few moments, seeing that she hadn’t come back, he let out a deep sigh, almost as if he had actually held his breath that entire time.  Running his fingers through his hair, he slowly stood up.

                He…had to do something….anything to keep himself busy…  Though he felt dim-witted for doing so, he simply continued collecting, bagging Teana’s belongings, if nothing else as a feeble attempt to stop himself from over analyzing the situation to the point of insanity!  He wanted to go after her…..  He wanted to know what had happened, why she had reacted in such a way, if she was all right…..  Had he come on too strong perhaps?  Had he done something to upset her?  Hurt her even?  He prayed that that wasn’t the case.....  As he continued what he was doing, he noticed that he too was trembling, as she had been.  This was a new experience for him….  It scared him….baffled him!  Absolutely nothing that he was feeling was logical!

                As he began to reflect, to relive what had just happened, he found that he had actually surprised himself with his actions, his emotions…  He didn’t quite know what was happening to him; why he was so drawn to Teana….  No… nothing could be further from the truth.  Perhaps there was a part of him that understood….  He knew….  Somehow, in some way, he had been attracted to her right from the start, even under such bizarre circumstances as their first meeting..... 

                However, at that same moment, he realized that a part of him felt angry too, which became even more evident to him by the fact that he was gripping the stalks of wheat that he held, hurting his hand.  He hadn’t noticed any of this previously….  Was he angry at her?  No….  That wasn’t it at all….  Was it directed at himself then?  Perhaps angry was too strong a word….  Frustrated was more like it…  Maybe hurt was an even closer interpretation to what he felt.  That was it….  He felt hurt…  He had wanted to be close to her….  He had wanted her to respond to his feelings….  He thought she had, that in that one instant a bond had been formed, a connection.  Yes, he had felt it….  But did she? 

                                *Why not ask her yourself….?*  He wondered.  Why didn’t he?  In fact, why had he hesitated?!  He had to go after her!  He had to find her!   

                Yami had finished securing her belongings, hiding them so he and Teana could claim them at a later time, before beginning his search among the deserted streets.  It wouldn’t be easy, not at that time of night!  It was so dark….  Why?  Why had he let her run off alone?!  Without a second thought, he had set off in a full run on the path that she had taken herself.

                And yet, only moments later, stopping him dead in his tracks, he had suddenly heard a woman scream!  It was her….  Again, somehow he just knew it….  Something had happened to Teana!  At that instant he felt yet another new sensation begin to overtake him.  He now knew real fear…an intense fear for her that had forced him to race towards her even more quickly, as he attempted to stop himself from imagining the dreadful scenarios that were beginning to appear in his mind.  If anything were to happen to her…..  No! Yami knew that he had to help Teana, to save her from whatever it was that was threatening her!  He only hoped…he prayed that he could; that he wasn’t already too late…..

Chapter 5