Pharaoh-mones - Kendra Moreno

Chapter One

Lady Luck is a flighty bitch, and this was definitely her work, I thought as I watched the customs agent dig through my sensible underwear. There was current three agents that deemed it necessary to dig through my belongings. Apparently, it was a three-man job to check if I had anything Egypt didn’t want in their country. I’d done my research, knew what not to bring, but this asshole was loving getting to dig through my sensible clothing. He glanced up at my red face—the curse of being a redhead—in amusement as he slowly held up a pair of beige granny panties. Thank God, I’d left my toys at home. I couldn’t bring them into the country legally, but I’d been tempted to attempt a discreet one anyways. In the end, I’d decided against it. While I’d be in Egypt for a minimum of six months, I’d be bunking with one of the student interns. There wouldn’t be enough privacy for such things.

The customs agent grinned when he continued to dig and lifted the only lacy pair of underwear I’d managed to bring with me, his lewd expression making me uncomfortable enough to shift on my feet. I’d brought them to have something to wear with the one nice dress I’d brought with me, but I was regretting it now. I should have just left it all at home. My eyes shifted to the other agents helping dig through the bag, hoping for help against this seriously ridiculous search. When I saw their matching grins, I scowled and waited impatiently for them to finish. This was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, all my hard work finally paying off, but so far, I was already annoyed, and I hadn’t even left the damn airport yet.

The agent said something in Arabic to his friend next to him and they both get a good chuckle as he swung the lace around his fingers. If possible, my face reddened even further.

“That’s really unprofessional,” I snapped, snatching the lace off his finger and balling it in my hand.

Their laughter immediately stopped, and for a moment, I thought he might throw me in jail. Tourists were probably easy targets, but I’d done my research. Even now, I had my head covered, just to help getting through the airport. I wouldn’t be required to wear it at the job site, but it was best to fit in for customs agents. Unfortunately, for me, it hadn’t worked.

I really didn’t want to be labeled a criminal my first time in Egypt. I was near certain I’d be forgiven immediately since I was here at the behest of the government, but still. Any time in jail in a foreign country seemed like a bad time to be had. I should have just let it go, let them have their fun, but the embarrassment was too strong.

Just when I thought the customs agent was going to blow, he grinned at me again and closed my now chaotic suitcase.

“You’re free to go,” he said in a heavily accented voice. He kept the grin on his face, though, letting me know I was only leaving because of his “kindness”.

Shoving the other underwear he’d taken from my suitcase into my arms and the case at me, I barely had enough time to catch it all before it fell off and embarrassed me further. The once beautifully organized clothing was now nothing but a mess. I’d have to unpack as soon as I got to the hotel to avoid it all wrinkling right from the beginning. I shoved all my underwear back in the bag and zipped it up with a huff. Yanking it from the table with another glare at the trio still grinning at me, I stormed through the customs archways, feeling their eyes on my backside. Assholes.

I walked out of the airport and into the blazing sunshine, squinting my eyes at the sudden brightness after walking through an airport section with no windows. Back home in New York, we got sunshine, of course, but it was nothing quite this stifling. I was wearing jeans for the long flight—planes were always as cold as ice—but I was already regretting it. I should have changed into shorts the moment we landed, no matter if it would have made me stand out like a sore thumb to show so much skin.

Looking along the long line of taxis, all the drivers rushing toward me and shouting at me in a mixture of Arabic