Archeology 101: Chapter 6

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Abigail gestured at the screen.  “This is the Internet.”

“It looks very much like your television.”  Khait glanced up at her.

“No, not the monitor.  The stuff on the monitor.”  Abigail tapped the screen.  “This, specifically, is Wikipedia.  It’s like a massive collection of human knowledge.  Or a summary of it, anyway.”  She typed in a few letters, then clicked the mouse.  “See, this is San Francisco, which we are very near.  We’d live there, but neither of us can afford it.”

“I can —”

“Khait.”  She exhaled.  It was so, so tempting.  But Bridget would throw a fit.  “Maybe we can find some way to…”

“She is very…”  Khait made a noise that sounded like a low growl.

“What are you banned from now?”  She raised an eyebrow.

“Donuts.”  He let out a long-suffering sigh.

“Why are you…”  She caught herself.  “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”  She pointed at the keyboard.  “Okay, you can type things into this.”  She grabbed his hand and put it on the mouse.  “This moves that little arrow thing, see it?  You click on the blue underlined bits and they’ll take you to other pages.”  She heard the door open.  “Okay, that’s Bridget back with the pizza.”

“I could have —”

“Without stealing someone else’s order?”  She sighed.

“Well…”  He stuck out his lower lip.  “No.”

“Learn about San Francisco.”  She headed out of the room.

#

Bridget set the pizza down on the counter.  “Where is he?”

“In the office space.  I showed him how to work the computer and he’s looking on wikip —”  From the direction of the small office space came the undeniable soundtrack of a porn video, complete with loud moaning.  Abigail put her hand over her face.  “I left him alone for four seconds.”

“Khait.”  Bridget stalked down the hall.

Sure enough, Khait was watching a porn video, his head tilted to the side.  “That does not look comfortable for either party.”

“Khait.”  Her teeth were gritted.

“Seriously, at that angle he is going to chafe and he is not hitting any of her —”

“Khait.”  She took a deep breath.  “Turn it off.”

“Yes.”  He nodded, then shook his head.  “Why do moving pictures of something that is not at all fun?”

“I…”  She caught herself, then shrugged.  “Actually, that’s a damn good…”  She stared at him for a moment, and then started laughing.

“Bridget?”  Abigail came in, giving her a worried look.  “What’s going on?”

“An incubus…”  Bridget pointed at Khait.  “A living embodiment of sexual inhibition who can’t walk down the street without tripping and falling into a vagina…”  She turned toward Abigail.  “Thinks mainstream porn is stupid and unrealistic.”

“I have never tripped and fallen into…”  Khait considered a moment.  “I have only tripped and fallen into a vagina once.”

“I…”  Abigail stared at them both, then just turned around and walked away.

#

He sketched the layout of a courtyard in the pad Abigail had given him.  At first it was the view in front of him, the grounds of the university, but he added elements from a court he’d once visited in Greece.  Then, because it amused him to do so, he added Egyptian obelisks where the fountain stood, detailing in the hieroglyphs with the various orders Bridget had given him.

After a moment, he realized someone was staring at him, and looked up.  The professor from the expedition was watching him with a curious expression.  Abruptly, the man’s eyes widened, and he took a few steps toward where Khait sat.  “Khait?”

“Professor Kravitz.”  Khait smiled up at him.  “Hello.”

“What…”  The professor blinked.  “What are you doing here?  How did you get here?  How long have you been here?”

“Uh…”  Khait shrugged.  “Drawing.  Walked.  Twenty minutes.”

“That’s not —”

“You are a professor, yes?”  Khait tilted his head, then stood.  “A wise and learned man?  A vizier?”

“I…”  Professor Kravitz gave him a strange look.  “Yes, I suppose I—”

“What is wrong with women?”

“I—”

“First she wants the man to leave her alone, so I make him leave her alone, then she is made at me.  She wants the line to move faster so I make it move faster, then she is made at me.”  He waved the notebook.  “She wants you not arrested, so I make it so you are not arrested, and she is mad at me.”

“I—”

“They tell me I can make as much toast as I wanted, then they get mad at me for making as much toast.  Abigail wants to chain me to the bed and use a flogger and I say yes, even get her a flogger of good quality, and she yells for Bridget to save her.”  He threw his hands up in the air.  “I get her a nice car, exactly the one she wants in the right color, and she is angry.”

“You —”

“First, she is mad at me because I changed her grades, then she is cranky and won’t go out because I put the grades back.  I offered her a house on the beach, and she bans me from looking at real estate.”

“A —”

“I am not allowed to look at porn on the Internet and it is very hard to look at the Internet without finding porn because the Internet is 97.382% porn and there is a very hostile part in the rest that blew up my computer when all I said women were much easier to deal with before they started taking part in politics and women’s suffrage may have been a very bad idea.”

“Wome —”

“Is it just American women who don’t like sex, extravagant gifts, and men who will obey their every whim in the bedroom?”  Khait shook his head in frustration.

“Young man, I…”  Professor Kravitz took a couple deep breaths.

“Also, your museum is all wrong and when I fixed it she hit me with her umbrella until I put it back the way it was.”

“I…”  Professor Kravitz frowned.  “Who hit you?”

“Bridget.”

“And she hit you with an umbrella?”

“Yes.”  He gave the professor a frustrated look.  “In the head, like she always does when I try to do what she tells me to do.”

“Khait, that is absolutely unacceptable behavior.”  Professor Kravitz put a hand on his shoulder.  “You should not be subjected to that kind of treatment.”

“It is very unfair.”  Khait nodded.

“I never thought Bridget was the type who would…”  Professor Kravitz narrowed his eyes.  “Khait, do you have somewhere else to stay?”

“I am staying with Abigail.”  He exhaled.  “Bridget too.”

Professor Kravitz dug into his pocket and pulled out a business card.  He wrote on the back of it.  “Do you at least have a passport and ID?”

“I did, but Abigail took it away from me.”

“She…”  He took another deep breath, then handed Khait the card.  “Young man, if you feel unsafe you may call me at any time and I will make arrangements to come get you immediately.  Do you understand.”

Khait looked down at the card.  “Yes?”

“I have a friend at the consulate if you need.  And…”  Professor Kravitz gave another shake of his head.  “Call me if you need anything, Khait.”

“Thank you, Professor.”  He watched the man walk away, then looked down at the card again.  The man was nice, but he really hadn’t helped at all.  Khait sighed, and tucked the card away before sitting back and going back to his sketchbook.

#

“What’s wrong?”  Bridget looked up when Abigail came in, a frown written across her face.

“I’m not sure.  Professor Kravitz was sure pissed off about something though.”  Abigail set her bag down.  “He kept snapping at me and giving me these really disappointed looks.  Like I’d recently kicked his puppy or something.”  She sank down into the chair, then looked around.  “Where is Khait?”

“I…”  Bridget gave her a horrified look.  “I thought he was with you.”

“I thought he was with you.”  Abigail’s look was a mirror of her own.

“Khait!”  They both yelled his name simultaneously.

He appeared out of thin air a moment later.  He was wearing stylish suit, a sombrero, and holding a very large mug of what appeared to be beer.  “What?”  He looked from one to the other.  “Angry staring.  Why are we angry staring?”

“Where the hell have you been?”  Bridget folded her arms.

“Attending a coming of age party.”  He held up the beer.

“I told you not to crash any more Sweet Sixteens!”  Briget glared.  “Or weddings.  Or funerals.”

“This was not a Sweet Sixteen.”

“It…”

“It was a Quinceañera and I was invited.”  He smiled and took a sip of the beer.  Then the smile faded.  “More angry staring.  Why are we more angry staring?”

“How did you get an invitation to a Quinceañera?”  Bridget frowned, then punched him in the arm.  “I told you that you were not allowed to talk to any girls under the legal age of eighteen.”

“Her older sister invited me.  She is twenty.”  Khait smiled.  “She was drawing people in the quad and asked if she could draw me, and I said yes.  Then she got a call and the model did not show up so I offered to help and went with her to her class and —”

“Tell me you stayed clothed the entire time.”  Bridget stared.

“Uh…”  Khait shifted his weight from foot to foot as he looked at Bridget.  “You ordered me not to lie to you but now you are ordering me to tell you I kept my clothes on so which order do you want me to follow?”

“Oh god.”  Bridget ran a hand down her face.

“Bridget.”  Abigail shook her head.  “Khait, was there a teacher for the art class?”

“Yes.  Mrs. Gattrey.  She asked for my business card so she could get me in to model again and I gave it to her.”

“How do you even know what a business card is?”  Abigail blinked.

“Oh.  Professor Kravitz gave me his.”  Khait retrieved it from his pocket and held it up.  “He said I should call him if you hit me with the umbrella again.”

“Oh god.”  Abigail winced.

“Khait…”  Bridget took a deep breath.  “Would it be within your power to make Professor Kravitz forget any conversation he had with you?”

“Well…”  Khait nodded.  “Yes?”

“Khait, make Professor Kravitz forget any conversation he had with you.”  Bridget sighed.

#

“You know, you could just order Khait to —”

“I like…”  Bridget’s voice was barely more than a growl.  “Organizing my notes.”

“Wow.”  Abigail chuckled.  “I feel like I should count my fingers.”  She shrugged.  “Professor Kravitz was back to his old self today.  He even told me about this internship and asked me to pass it on to you.”  She held out folder.

Bridget took it and looked it over, then sat down.  “Oh my god.”

Abigail grinned.  “I mean, I wasn’t sure you’d even been interested, but he thought —”

“Would he write me a letter of recommendation?”

“Turn the page.”

As soon as Bridget turned the page, she let out a squealing sound.  “He wrote me a letter of recommendation.”  Her eyes widened.  “He says I am the best teaching assistant he’s ever had —”

“That kind of hurt my feelings a little.”

“And that I’m extremely organized and punctual.”  She hugged the folder to her.  “He said I’m punctual.”

“You sound like a teacher’s pet.”  Abigail grinned, then the smile faded.  “Bridget, what are you going to do about him if you take the internship?”

“Oh god.”  Bridget’s smile collapsed.  “I can’t take him with me.  I’m going to Rome.  It wouldn’t surprise me if he was the one responsible for the collapse of the Roman Empire.”

“Roman Empire?”  Khait entered.

“Khait, were you responsible for the collapse of the Roman Empire?”  Abigail raised an eyebrow at him.

“No, that was mostly the dwarves.”  Khait shook his head.

“I…”  Abigail blinked.  “What?”

“They lined the drinking pipes with lead.  Very clever.”  Khait shrugged.  “Merlin was furious.  I think that’s why the dwarves are extinct.”

“Is what he is saying making any sense to you?”  Abigail glanced at Bridget.

“I wasn’t even listening.”  Briget held up the folder.  “Khait, you are going to have to stay with Abigail for three months and be on your best behavior.”

“No.”  Abigail shook her head.

“Abigail.”

“No.”  Abigail stared at her.

“Abigail, please…”  Bridget hugged the folder to her.  “I’ll order him not to seduce you.”

“But seduction is my best behavior.”  Khait gave her a confused look.

Abigail just made a slight whimpering sound.

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