“Was it as good as you thought it would be?” Levi asked.
Nicholas found himself alone with his twin brother for the first time since marrying Becky. He knew exactly what Levi was asking. He glanced over his shoulder to see if anyone was close enough to overhear.
After Levi had explained the translations in very basic detail, to his captive audience, the team members gradually fell back to begin preparation for the mid-day meal.
Becky excused herself when she was called away by her boss, Timothy, and left Nicholas with a quick kiss that held the promise of more later.
“Way better. Anyone who has ever used the phrase ‘better than sex’ to describe anything other than sex, has never had sex.”
Levi tossed his head back in laughter. “I will never use that phrase again, I promise.”
“No, I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to understand what I mean by that statement,” Nicholas said. “This is the opposite of the phrase ‘I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.’ I do wish this on my best and closest friend.”
“Can’t get any closer or best than your twin.”
“Until you marry the woman you were meant to be with for eternity. Then you realize there is someone even closer than your twin.”
“I’m not sure if I should feel jealous or happy for you.”
“I hope someday you have the chance to be happy for me.”
“I am happy for you, man.” Levi glanced to his right and Nicholas followed his gaze over to where the young graduate student, Matt was speaking animatedly to Tiani and she politely gave him half of her attention while glancing frequently in their direction. “And I do look forward to that someday.”
“You better go rescue her or she’ll spook and fly through that tunnel and never come back.”
“Speaking of… where is your stuff? Are you staying in the village?”
“Do you really want us over here?” Nicholas raised his eyebrows.
“Probably not.” Levi shook his head. “Still, I want to be where you are, and I want to see that tunnel.”
“And spend the evening with Tiani?”
“That too, I suppose.”
“Fine, pack up when you get a chance and come spend the evening with your future wife while I spend the night in the arms of my forever wife.” They began walking in Tiani’s direction. The relief on her face was almost comical.
“Forever, huh?” Levi spoke from the corner of his mouth. “I take it that means you’re not planning to get an annulment upon returning to the States?”
“Just the opposite,” Nicholas said. “We’re planning a wedding.”
As they approached Matt and Tiani, Nicholas bowed regally to the princess then turned to Matt, continuing in the language he was likely speaking with Tiani to ask him where Timothy and Becky had run off to.
“¿Dónde están el Dr. Cathcart y mi esposa?”
“Over by his tent, I think,” Matt said. His frustration evident in his creased brows and hard glare.
“¿Me mostraras el camino?” Nicholas asked, still speaking Spanish for Tiani’s sake to request that Matt show him where he could find their excavation director.
“Si.” He continued his glare and even glanced longingly at Tiani. “Discúlpame, por favor.”
As Matt began to walk away, Tiani whispered to Nicholas, “Gracias.”
“De nada,” Nicholas whispered back before following Matt.
As they walked away, Nicholas heard his brother switch to Yucatec as he spoke to Tiani, essentially shutting out anyone else who might want to eavesdrop. Effective tactic. He wished he had a similar language to communicate with his wife.
Then Nicholas realized he did have his own personal language with Becky but that involved the privacy of their tent and the removal of their clothes. Later, he thought. Hopefully not too much later.