Sed might be a god, but that doesn’t mean he wants to live as one. That’s why he left his family years ago, and why he’s not looking forward to going back. The only reason he agrees is that as the protector of kingship, he’s needed to help the new king go through his coronation ceremony. Once that’s over, Sed has every intention of going home.
Mery never wanted or expected to be king. But he’s a descendant of the old pharaohs, and agreeing to sit on the throne means helping his family, so he doesn’t hesitate. Being king isn’t quite what he expected, though, and he suspects something is happening he doesn’t know about.
Once Sed gets to know Mery, he knows he can’t just leave as soon as the crown is on his head. Someone is plotting and trying to manipulate Mery, and Sed can’t abandon him when he needs him most.
The fact that he’s falling in love with Mery complicates everything.
Mery is the new king, while Sed is a god, albeit a minor one. Will Sed be able to keep him safe, or will they both lose everything they’d never thought they’d have?
When Sed arrived home, Jimmy was already there. Sed smiled as he closed the apartment door and took a deep breath. The air smelled of dinner, and it made his stomach growl.
Jimmy’s head appeared at the kitchen door. “Hey. I didn’t expect you to be this early.”
Sed toed off his shoes and dumped his backpack next to the couch. “I didn’t want to be stuck in traffic, so I left early.”
Jimmy stepped out of the kitchen, drying his hands. “Does that mean you used your godly powers?”
Sed grimaced—that was what he’d done. He tried not to use them often, because he’d rather live like a human, but sometimes, they came in handy.
The look on his face must have given Jimmy the answer, because he smiled. “I won’t ask you what you did exactly,” he said. “But I still don’t understand what you have against using your powers. You’re a god. You shouldn’t have a problem doing what all the other gods do.”
Sed walked deeper into the apartment and entered the kitchen to wash his hands. “You know I’m not like the other gods.”
“I’m not saying you are. I know you’d never do anything to hurt anyone with your powers, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use them.”
But they didn’t fit in Sed’s life. There was a reason he’d left the palace behind. He’d wanted a real life as a human, and he had it. He wasn’t going to ruin everything just because he didn’t like the commute from home to his job.
Loki was in the kitchen, his tail already wagging. He got up from the floor when Sed entered and made a beeline for him. Sed liked to think his dog was smiling at him when he showed him his teeth the way he was now. He gave him a good scratch on top of his head. “When has he last gone out?” he asked.
“Just before I started cooking. Don’t listen to him if he tells you he needs to go out. We just came back.”
Jimmy went back to the stove. He and Sed had a routine, so instead of sticking around watching him, Sed went to his bedroom. Jimmy usually came home earlier than he did, which meant he was in charge of most of the cooking. After they’d eaten, Sed would wash the dishes and clean up the kitchen. It was something that worked for them, and something that made him feel more human.
He wasn’t human, not even a little bit, but living with his best friend and having a dog made him feel like he was. That was one of the reasons he hadn’t gone back home since he’d left, and he wasn’t planning to anytime soon. His family could fight amongst themselves well enough without him. They didn’t need him, and he didn’t need them.
By the time he was done with his shower, the food was ready on the table. He smiled at Jimmy and sat next to him, eager to get some food in his stomach. “I’m starving.”
“You’re always starving. That’s why I try to have dinner almost ready by the time you come home.”
The words made Sed smile. When he’d met Jimmy, he hadn’t expected the two of them would become such good friends. He’d never had a human friend before, and he hadn’t been sure how to behave. He was glad they had this kind of relationship, and he wouldn’t do anything that could hurt it or Jimmy.
The TV was still on—Jimmy always watched old TV shows when he cooked—and the family on the screen was having dinner, too. Sed didn’t care much for this kind of show, but Jimmy loved them. He was staring, and he sighed heavily.
“I wish I had a family,” he whispered.
Sed’s chest squeezed. “Sometimes, having a family isn’t that great.” He knew that from experience.
Jimmy wrinkled his nose. “I don’t know. I don’t think your family is normal, so you wouldn’t know, either.”
“It might not be normal, but they’re still my family, and I’m telling you, I’m way better away from them than with them.” At least this way, he and his siblings weren’t trying to kill each other once a day. It had driven their mother crazy, and Sed was glad to be away from that mess.
He had a good life, even though it was nothing like he’d been used to in the past millennia. Living as a human was strange for a god, but he enjoyed it, and he wasn’t thinking about going back. If he really wanted drama in his life, he would rather have it here in Pittsburgh than back in Egypt.
It was a miracle no one in his family had tried to find him yet, and he knew it wouldn’t last forever. He would have choice words for whoever found him, but in the meantime, he did his best to focus on the future. “How’s the job?” he asked Jimmy.
Jimmy looked down at his plate as his cheeks flushed. “I, well, I got fired.” He didn’t add again, but Sed knew he was thinking it.
Sed reached over the table to quickly squeeze his best friend’s hand. “Don’t worry about it.”
Jimmy sighed. “How can I not worry about it? I need to pay rent.”
He really didn’t. Sed might be trying to live as much as a human as possible, but he wasn’t one. He was a god, and he was thousands of years old. That was more than enough time to accumulate an amount of money he would never be able to spend. He didn’t need Jimmy to pay rent. In the beginning, he’d asked him to because they hadn’t known each other. They’d grown close over the years, and while Sed hadn’t suggested it yet because he didn’t want Jimmy to feel like it was a hand-out, he didn’t want Jimmy’s money.