Kathryn Adams is a veterinarian with a cause—she risks her financial security to help local cat rescue groups. When a stray cat, black with one green eye and one blue, meows at her door one night, Kathryn’s view of rescues changes quickly. In Ancient Egypt, the throne is passed to the firstborn son, and when the sun rises over his father’s fresh tomb, Seti will claim his crown. He doesn’t want to rule, but the only other option is death, and his half-brother is happy to oblige. Seti and Kathryn each need fulfillment in their lives. Through the help of Madame Eve and an ancient Egyptian goddess, they find peace in each other’s arms for one night. At dawn, Bast will return to ferry them back to their responsibilities unless they can rescue each other.
The king’s sarcophagus lay on a large carved stone in the center of the torch lit chamber. Seti paced across the compacted dirt, the oily smoke from the flames trailing behind him in a whirlwind of memory. Musky incense swirled over mounds of beaded offerings to the gods. He fell onto his knees, trembling. The lone melody of a cane ney flute snaked down into the tomb, the musician somewhere outside, with most of the mourners.
“Father,” he whispered. No tears came. He fingered the painted hieroglyphs lining the edges of the wooden likeness of his sire. The markings told stories of the king’s honored past. The wars. The blood. The lives cut short and the many children. Many brothers.
“And I am firstborn. Why?” He pressed his sandaled toe against the earthen floor and balled his hands into fists. Shaking, he stormed over to the servants who knelt by the vizier at the tomb’s entrance. “Leave!”
The servants, half-bowing, scampered through the low doorway. Seti shook his head. They scurried like startled rats.
“My king, you must calm down,” the vizier said. The old man moved his staff side to side, in deference.
“I am not yet king, Pensekhmet. Not until morning.” Seti rested his head on his father’s image, freshly kohled on the surface of the painted wooden coffin. The pigments smelled of sharp pine and heavy clay, alive and fresh, but his bitter old father lay inside—wrapped in linen and empty of his soul. The tyrant had finally passed into the afterworld. Even now, he walked with the gods.
“When the sun rises, you will be king. It is time to put away your childish notions and accept your destiny.”
Seti beat his fists against the wood in a slow rhythm. “I do not want to rule Egypt.”