Raider and the Lost Lamp Ch. 05bymythtrav16©
Several frustratingly fruitless days followed. Early in the search Lord Roft had volunteered (insisted, in fact) to assist Clara track the amulet down. His Lordship made inquiries with known collectors of Persian and Mesopotamian artefacts. Meanwhile Clara and Jeff searched through all the relevant internet databases of archaeological finds in that part of the world. Clara also, with the assistance of a couple of old contacts, checked to see if any piece like the amulet had ever been seen in the antiques black market. Clara, being a genie, did not need to sleep and so would continue her research right throughout the night. Her newfound powers, though, could do nothing to guard her from emotional exhaustion. As the tally of dead ends began to mount up, Clara found herself taking extended breaks from the research, often taking a walk around the manor grounds with her mother and/or father, who were always eager to spend the time with their long lost daughter.
One night, in the late hours after Jeff and Clara had decided that they had done enough researching for the day, they moved off into Clara's room to have a friendly conversation over a bottle of savignon blanc from Lady Roft's wine cellar. Jeff was surprised at first to see that Clara's room was about double the size of his own. Part of it was made up almost like a mini-living room, complete with a couch and coffee table, where the two of them sat down. Tired of reading, talking and thinking about nothing but the amulet for the past few days, neither Clara nor Jeff had any desire to talk about it now. Instead they shared their personal histories. Jeff found himself fascinated by Clara's tales of her fantastic (almost unbelievable) adventures, and Clara, ever the historian, enjoyed learning about the past of the man who had released her from the lamp.
"...and then when I dropped out of applied mathematics," Jeff continued as he poured Clara another glass of wine, "I signed up for an IT course, which held my interest for almost the entire first year, while I minored in archaeology, which I quickly became quite interested in. Mind you, by this time the debt from all those other courses was starting to mount up, and short of helping me find Lincoln's gold, there wasn't much chance of an education in archaeology securing my financial future," he said, prompting a chuckle from Clara. "So I went back and finished the engineering course, got my batchelor's, and an old classmate got me a low-level job in the city planning department. I stayed with the archaeology course, part time at least, for a couple of years before work got in the way..." he lamented. "I'd kinda hoped that at some point I'd be able to return to archaeology and even work on some digs..."
"...So what was that all up? Six courses you did?" Clara asked.
"Uh... seven," Jeff said, stalling for a moment as the alcohol had begun to impede his ability to count.
"Seven. My, my, my... You're a jack of all trades, aren't you?" Clara smiled as she sipped her wine.
"...Master of none," Jeff said, returning Clara's smile.
"Don't sell yourself short!" Clara chided. "You deciphered that map carved into the princess's sarcophagus. There must have been hundreds of seasoned archaeologists who have examined that design since we discovered it, myself included, but you were the first person who managed to see more than just a bunch of pictures. I think that's remarkable."
"Thanks," Jeff responded modestly. "I guess I always have been good at puzzles..."
"Well there you go! Jeff Rourke: Master of Puzzles," Clara said with a smile. "It's not your fault that they don't offer university degrees in puzzle-solving." They both had a good chuckle.
"When I was a kid, my mum used to buy me puzzle books all the time, you know those cheap ones they sell at magazine racks in supermarkets? And when I was, like, seven, she'd be buying me the books marked '13 years and older'..."
"Really?" Clara asked, fascinated.
"Yep. I've always loved the things. I always get a real feeling of accomplishment when I solve the things, you know?"
"So what was it that inspired you to apply your extraordinary skills to the design of the princess's sarcophagus?"
"Well... Let's be honest, this was the tomb of Alladin that you guys had discovered. You couldn't help being interested. Hell, the whole world was hanging out for ages just waiting to hear from you guys whether you'd found a lamp in there or not. And of course it was big news when you vanished without a trace. But I guess the thing that really caught my interest were the rumours that Alladin had built a vault for his wife, and that there was supposed to be a map in the tomb, but you guys couldn't find it. So I started gathering all the info I could. Just downloading all the official stuff the project managers had released to the public at first. Then I started getting my hands on inside information, through old archaeology classmates who had friends, who had friends on the expedition and research teams. I still didn't get much, but one of the things I did get was a nice detailed photo of the left side of the princess's sarcophagus. It took me weeks before I came up with the whole constellation idea. But when I did... and when I checked it and realised that it pointed to a set of Persian ruins," Jeff said as he stared out into space, a radiant smile on his face, "there was that feeling of accomplishment again."
"I can imagine," Clara said. "But there's something I still don't understand. Why did you go to all the trouble of travelling to the vault yourself? I mean, if you don't mind me saying so, it was a very expensive venture considering your financial situation," she asked with a masterful balance of frankness and tact.
"I don't know..." Jeff said uncomfortably, as he searched himself for an answer. "I guess... I guess I really thought that I had something, that I'd discovered something really important. I guess I thought that this was my big break, my chance to become a real archaeologist."
"But you could have had all that, anyway, if you had passed your discovery on to the members of the Hal'hadin's tomb expedition," Clara pointed out.
"And then what? Become some reference in the back pages of the official report? 'Professor Drummond would like to extend special thanks to Jeff Rourke'? Clara, I thought I had a shot at doing something important. I thought that I could be the guy who discovered the princess's vault," Jeff explained, as a saddened look crossed his face. "Turns out, though, that I got there second. But I guess I should be thanking you for that, shouldn't I?" Things turned awkwardly silent. Clara's sympathetic expression never changed as she continued to gaze at Jeff, but he would not look at her. Eventually, she spoke, in a calm, deliberate voice.
"Just so that you know, what you did; going out there, finding the lamp, bringing me back here... It was important to me. And it was important to my family," she said.
"I know," Jeff responded, finally looking at her with a smile, which she returned. "Believe me, Clara, I'm not ungrateful. I'm really happy to see you back with your parents again. And I am so glad that I've gotten to meet you. Going to the vault was anything but a disappointment. It's just that... You know, listening to all your stories about the things you've discovered, and thinking about some of the mysteries out there that've been intriguing mankind for centuries... I just wish that I could make a great archaeological discovery of my own, you know?"
Between the alcohol and comfortable mood, Jeff had completely forgotten that he was in the presence of a genie and needed to be careful about saying the word "wish". Clara's lips began to part in warning, but it was too late. Before she could say anything the wish had been made. In a poof of dark red smoke, a tablet of red granite, about an inch thick, appeared in mid air about two feet above Jeff's lap, which it proceeded to land on, with a painful-sounding thud.
"Oh! Jesus!" Jeff exclaimed in agony, spilling most of his wine on the couch.
"I'm sorry Jeff, I had no choice," Clara lamented.
"What did you do that for?" Jeff whined, more confused than upset, as he pushed the heavy tablet onto the space on the couch between them.
"You wished that you could make a great archaeological discovery. I assume that this tablet will give you the means to do so..."
Jeff mumbled quiet curses while rubbing his thighs, when all of a sudden he realised what had happened. "I just used up a wish?" he asked, looking at Clara, who simply nodded in response. "Ah damnit! I didn't mean to do that," he said to himself, as he began to rub his sore thighs again. Taking a good look at the tablet of the first time, Jeff could see that there was a fairly extensive latin inscription carved into it's polished surface. Jeff could tell from the classic style of the script that the tablet was probably from the roman empire, roughly around the time of Christ. All the same, he couldn't really read it. "Would you mind?" he asked, looking sheepishly at Clara. "My latin's what you could call 'crappius maximus'..." Clara manoeuvred around behind Jeff, studying the tablet over his shoulder. Instantly her attention was drawn to the name carved at it's base.
"Marcus Antonius," she read aloud, tapping on the name with two of her fingers. "These are the words of Mark Antony." Both of the young archaeologists instinctively leaned closer to the tablet, their interest piqued by it's famous author. Clara began reading it from the top. "On this day, those of us who remained loyal commission the greatest of all catacombs. It shall be built as the final resting place for... Oh my god!" Clara exclaimed, trembling. "I think these are directions to the tomb of Julius Caesar!"
"Oh my god!" Jeff said, echoing Clara, as he became deeply engrossed in the tablet, despite the fact that he could not read a word of it. They turned to each other with smiles of giddy elation, both lost for words. "This is incredible!" Jeff eventually said, as he stared into Clara's captivating brown eyes.
"Yes... It is." Clara replied, not entirely referring to the tablet. As she returned his gaze, she was instilled with an elusive sense of comfort that she'd recently begun to notice whenever their eyes met.
"So... um... where does it say he is?" Jeff awkwardly inquired, turning his attention back to the slab.
"Well... Now, where was I?" Clara muttered as she searched the tablet for where she'd left off. "...It shall be carved and constructed beneath the city, eastwards and downwards from midway along the third branch from where the great northern and western passages intersect... it goes on..."
"A map! We need a map of the roman catacombs!" Jeff interrupted.
"We have a complete set of catacomb maps in the library," Clara declared. With a graceful wave of her hand, all of the Roft's tablecloth-sized maps of the catacombs beneath Rome were teleported into the room. Together, Jeff and Clara used the tablet to deduce the route to the tomb and plot it out on one of the charts. The course turned out to lead through a previously undiscovered catacomb, walled off from a well-known one, that in turn sported a section of wall that concealed the entrance to Caesar's tomb. Within twenty minutes they had completed a detailed map to the resting place of one history's greatest leaders.
"...And there he is: Gaius Julius Caesar," Jeff announced as he drew a sloppy circle around the position they'd estimated the actual tomb to be. Scarcely able to believe what they now had in their possession, Clara and Jeff stared at each other, beaming. Caught up in the emotion of the moment, they wrapped their arms tightly around each other, laughing in delight. Then, as the hug began to break off, Clara leaned forward and kissed Jeff tenderly on the lips. She had caught him by surprise, but because her eyes were closed, she didn't notice the stunned expression on his face until the kiss ended. As she lost herself in his wide-open grey eyes, a million questions began to onslaught her mind.
Why had she done that? Was it a mistake? Was she about to regret doing it? What did Jeff think about it? Did he enjoy it? What was he thinking now? What did he think about her?
Before she had a chance to even begin to answer them, Jeff pressed his lips firmly against her own. Their embrace tightened once again, eliminating the small amount of empty space between their bodies. When the kiss ended, another began, and when that one ended another followed it, each one more passionate than the last. By now, the doubts Clara had been having mere seconds ago had abandoned her completely. Clara had taught herself to never be indecisive when she was pursuing something she wanted, and right now she really wanted to fuck Jeff's brains out.
Her feet pushed off the ground and she wrapped her legs around Jeff's waist, grinding her hips firmly against his body. The passionate kissing continued, and Clara moved one hand up to begin running her fingers through Jeff's thick black hair. Gentle moans of arousal began to issue from both master and slave. After one very prolonged kiss, Jeff pulled his lips away, and turned his head slightly so that he could look over Clara's shoulder to see a clear path to the bed. Clara's relentless lips continued their foreplay, undeterred by Jeff's diverted attention. She padded gentle kisses along his cheek, until she got to the bottom of his ear, which she then began to suck and nibble.
Jeff, in the meantime, had carried his eager companion across the large bedroom. He had almost tripped over the small step up to the raised area the bed was on, but had managed to maintain his balance. He sat Clara down on the mattress, and she released him from her embrace, but not before stealing a long, open-mouthed kiss. She scootched over towards the far side of the bed as Jeff hurriedly kicked off his shoes, before climbing onto the mattress beside her. They were both sitting up as Jeff leaned over towards Clara to resume kissing her, while running one hand slowly along her hip and up her back.
Clara's imaginative mind had already begun to think about the matter of their clothing, and had called forth her magic to give all of their outer garments the structural integrity of tissue paper, without altering their appearance in any way. Jeff had been firmly caressing Clara's back when he first heard the loud tearing noise. Breaking off an increasingly enjoyable kiss, Jeff leaned back in surprise when he saw the large piece of Clara's torn jacket, and smaller piece of her blouse, that he now held in his hand. Even horny as a rutting stag, he never would've thought he'd have the strength to accidentally do something like that. Clara chuckled at his confused expression.
"Don't worry," she smiled as she began to run her fingers up the top of his chest, "I can always conjure another outfit just the same..." She leaned forward and tenderly pushed her lips against his, picking up the kiss where they'd left off. Now realising that the damage was somehow Clara's doing, Jeff wrapped his arms around Clara and began firmly caressing her back, enjoying every new tearing sound he heard. Clara's fingers had by now carved a trail of ten large parallel tears in his shirt and jacket, which ran over his collarbone on both sides of his neck. After a few more agile caresses, Clara had torn the tops of his shirt and jacket to shreds, baring everything above the shoulders. It wasn't long before the lovers-to-be were playfully tearing the clothes off each other in large sheets, giggling and laughing like two children unwrapping Christmas presents.
When the last bothersome shreds of material had been torn and shaken from their bodies, Clara wrapped her scantily-clad body around Jeff's, like a venus fly trap ensnaring it's prey. All that remained of his clothing were his blue cotton briefs, which were struggling to contain what was obviously a powerful erection. All that remained of hers were a stitchless smooth peach-colored bra, and matching panties. The bra supported her ideal breasts in such a way that it made her cleavage a remarkably inviting sight, while the panties were beginning to show the slightest signs of a damp stain.
Clara and Jeff again pushed their lips passionately together, as their hands found ways of spur the arousal on in their partner's body. Clara resumed caressing Jeff's hair with one hand, while reaching down to fondle his butt with her other. Jeff's hand was similarly delighting in the sensation of holding Clara's curvaceous posterior in it's grasp, while it's partner had slid one of her bra straps over her shoulder and began fumbling around with the clasp at the back. Then without warning, his attentions seemed to lose their momentum, his hands becoming motionless. Clara noticed that her passion was barely being returned in their kisses, too, so she pulled away, realising from Jeff's expression that he was deep in thought.
"What's wrong?" she asked with concern.
"You remember back in the cave, how you couldn't speak when I told you to be quiet? Even though you wanted to?" Jeff said, contemplatively. He had only now noticed that Clara's hair was flowing down her back full and loose. She must've only recently unravelled her braid with her magic.
"Jeff, As much as I enjoy reflecting on the past, I don't think this is really helping the mood," Clara drolly replied, still randy as a teenager, despite the implication that she was otherwise.
"I can control your body," Jeff concluded, with a suspiciously subdued smile. Clara looked at him quizzically, as she began to wonder what he was thinking exactly. She didn't manage to work out Jeff's little scheme, in the few short seconds before he put it into practice. "Come," he said in a calm, but commanding tone.
Clara's entire body shook violently as an intense orgasm suddenly assailed her. It lasted only a split second, but what it lacked in duration in made up for in quality. "Dear god!" Clara moaned, as she struggled to catch her breath. "That was ama..."
"Come," Jeff repeated, with a self-satisfied smirk. Another tremor rocked her body, but this time the orgasm was much more prolonged. Her every muscle tensed and she bit down on her lower lip, muffling a quiet whimper. While inside, hot sexual pleasure consumed her like wildfire.
"Oh...Oh wow!" Clara panted, as her body went limp again. She was still sitting upright under her own power, albeit quite unsteadily, with her eyes still closed and her head leaning over to one side.
"Come," Jeff commanded again, still in the same quiet tone.
Clara cried out in delight as she instinctively pushed her womanhood as hard as she could against Jeff's rigid member. Had their privates not been separated by two sets of underwear she would have buried his rod deep within herself. The orgasm lasted for countless seconds, her sex ablaze with the most powerful level of pleasure yet. But this time, the orgasm was not as satisfying. The sensation of Jeff's mighty bulge pushing against her sheathed opening triggered a new level of lust within her. She craved Jeff's cock, now. She needed it. Needed to feel it inside of her. Needed it to feel it filling a void, a hunger, that was beginning to drive her crazy. Needed to feel it blasting the fluids of it's climax into the very heart of the sex-driven creature she had now become.
As the orgasm waned, Clara softly moaned as her body relaxed. Her hips slid down Jeff's thighs, and her head fell on to her shoulder. Only Jeff's arms were keeping her upright, had he not been holding her, she surely would've collapsed flat onto the mattress. Her breathing was loud and ragged, causing her sizeable breasts to heave to and fro. Jeff could not help but enjoy the appealing spectacle for a moment, before getting back to business.