As Seshat walked away, Mermeshu watched the graceful sway of her hips. He had to possess her. Though Intef had spoken of the advantages of a marriage to the nomarch's daughter by his first wife, Mermeshu had no desire for Nefru. He'd seen the courtesy Seshat had shown her father. Unlike Nefru, Seshat had lingered to make sure of her father's comfort. She was sweet and dutiful, yet there was a banked fire in her eyes. He wanted to be the one to stir the embers into flames.
She had none of Nefru's boldness. The way the older sister ogled made him feel like a slave on the block. He believed he could take Nefru in the garden, then watched while Intef enjoyed her lush body.
"The day has been long." He yawned. "I'll see you both in the morning." He strode back to the house. Let Intef have Nefru. His friend had a liking for short women with rounded hips and melon breasts.
Mermeshu was awakened by Intef. "My friend, you missed an enlightening time. You'll have no trouble claiming Nefru."
Mermeshu eyed his friend's rumpled kilt. "Seems she prefers you."
Intef laughed. "She likes men. All she spoke of was you."
"And you encouraged her."
"What else can I do?"
"Marry her and try for the Double Crown."
Intef shook his head. "I could, but I'm a practical lam. You have the army behind you. I'll be content to be your vizier."
How often had they discussed this plan? Their schemes were nearing completion, but he no longer desired to see them reach fruition. "I...."
Intef nodded. "Desire the beautiful Seshat. Fear not, you can have them both. Once Nefru gives you a son, you need not spend time with her."
Mermeshu nodded. He wasn't certain he wanted any woman but Seshat.
"Let me think about this new direction. We came for Sehetep's support not the daughters. We should see what he offers before I go any further with a courtship of Nefru."
Intef clapped Mermeshu's shoulder. "You must do what is best for the Two Lands."