AT FIRST YUYE WAS CERTAIN Aye was going to kill her and dispose of her body. He’d forcibly pulled her out of Tut’s bedroom, his grip so tight that she thought her wrist might break.
There was a bedroom two doors down, and he led her inside. Then he threw her down on the bed.
“The queen will find out if you kill me,” she said, sounding bolder than she felt.
“I know,” Aye said simply. Then he completely surprised Yuye. He told her to take off her clothes.
He did the same.
Now the aging vizier was on top of her. Yuye was not a virgin, but she hadn’t had much experience either. She didn’t know what she was expected to do, but she did know that if she cried out for help she would probably die. Maybe not tonight. Maybe not tomorrow. So she submitted.
What choice did she have? Aye was the supreme legal official in Egypt. Only the pharaoh could overrule him. Aye, in other words, was the law. He, and he alone, decided what constituted rape.
At least he didn’t use force, so Yuye simply endured, knowing that this was one secret she could never tell the queen.
Aye seemed close to finishing, when suddenly he stopped himself and became talkative. “Listen to me. You will be my spy. Do you agree to do this?”
“I don’t understand. What kind of spy?”
“You will tell me the queen’s secrets. That kind of spy.”
“She will become suspicious. She is no one’s fool.”
Aye was quiet for a moment. The muscles of his still-raw backside clenched, and he arched his back.
Then he raised his fist and brought it down hard into the girl’s ribs. It was more pain than Yuye had ever felt in her life. She couldn’t breathe to cry out.
Now Aye rolled off her. “There will be more of this—more of us. I’ll let you know when and where. In the meantime, anything and everything that comes from the queen’s lips will be reported to me. Am I understood?”
Yuye nodded. Of course she understood him.
Then Aye rolled back on top of the girl.