YUYE CHEWED ON a fresh reed before dabbing it in an inkwell and pulling out a fresh sheet of papyrus. She was curious as to the content of the letter and was eager to begin.
“My dearest King Suppiluliuma,” the queen dictated, her voice unsteady.
Ankhesenpaaten appraised the girl before she continued. If she could trust anyone, it had to be Yuye. Still the queen wasn’t sure that sending a letter to the king of the Hittites was a good idea. They were Egypt’s enemy, and centuries of battle had bred significant distrust between the nations.
But Ankhesenpaaten had a plan, a forward-thinking vision that would benefit Egypt now and in the future. The Hittites were powerful, with a fine army and strong leaders. A marriage between the queen and one of the king’s sons could strengthen Egypt for centuries to come.
She continued: “My husband is dead, and I am told that you have grown sons. This is fortuitous for both of us. Send me one of your sons. I will make him my husband, and he will be king of Egypt.”
Ankhesenpaaten paused, searching for the proper words to end the letter. All she could do was blurt out the one thought endlessly racing around her brain: “I am afraid for my life.”
Yuye looked up at Ankhesenpaaten, uncertain why the queen would say such a thing.
And that is when the queen finally caught a glimpse of Yuye’s eyes.
The lady-in-waiting clearly believed that the queen had murdered her husband.