By D.virtue

Xena tensed a moment from the tinge of pain Diana put into her playful pat to
her backside. Xena then smirked and turned on her heels to go after Diana,
just as she got into the room she heard Diana tell Tracy to send in Lydia.

Xena gauged her distance from Diana and decided she could get to her before
Lydia came through the door, but Xena knew Diana would not just stand there
knowing what her intent was, so...Xena let it go for the time being.

“ Your behind is mine Consort.”

Diana bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing, as she knew Xena
would increase the payback if she did laugh.

“ I...I have to open the shades, ok?”

Diana said with some strain in her voice from trying not to burst out
Xena heard it and turning to locate a higher Chair she saw the barstool height
chairs and she walked over to the bar and sat in one of the chairs,

“ pour me a drink Consort and then open the shades.”

Diana smiled and then walked over and poured Xena some wine, and herself some
water. Diana then turned, pointed the remote and the shades glided open. Just
as they did Lydia appeared from around the corner striding towards the

Xena watched the woman whom she thought was a bit more prettier than she
figured, She was about Xena’s height a little shorter, and a little smaller,
but with good bone structure and a look of confidence, she was very good
looking, but no where near Diana’s or Gabrielle's class but very nice

Lydia knocked on the door and Diana came around the bar at Xena’s surprise,
and using the same remote she unlocked the door. Lydia almost burst through
the door, once in she stopped just inside the door to look at Diana.

“ Look at you....Diana! Just as beautiful if not more so. Girl I have missed
you like no one’s business.”

Lydia said as she went to give Diana a hug. Xena’s brow furrowed at the
woman’s familiarity with Diana and because of it she sat watching every move
of the woman who was touching, yet alone hugging her Consort and who called
her by her name rather than addressed her by the title that it seemed was the
protocol. After a few minutes of this Xena finally cleared her throat.

“ Ahem?”

Diana broke the embrace at hearing Xena’s voice and then she turned around to
face where Xena sat watching, tapping her fingers on the table as if she were
ready to pounce on someone.

“ Oh, forgive my rudeness T.C.”

Diana said to reassure Xena that she had not forgotten she was there.

“ T.C this is Lydia Tate, my good friend and excellent business associate.
Lydia Tate, this is T.C. she’s a new associate who’s helping me on some other

Xena raised a brow at Diana, causing her to swallow hard at the look Xena had
casted at her.

“ Is that right?”

Diana gave a small smile, but didn’t answer she just nodded her head at Xena’s

“ Oh, Hello T.C., it’s a pleasure to meet you. I didn’t see you.”

“ Obviously.”

Xena said with a sneer. Lydia walked towards Xena with her hand extended.
Xena watched her approach as if she were a panther and the woman was her prey
getting Dangerously close. Diana saw Xena’s eyes narrow and became nervous at
the thought of what Xena had planned for the unsuspecting woman once she
reached her.

Diana looked at Xena and Xena stood up and extended her hand to accept the
hand that was about to connect to Xena’s. Diana saw the sly smile come to
Xena’s lips and she immediately knew Xena was up to something.

Just as Lydia’s and Xena’s hands were about to connect Diana flew Between them
and grasping both Lydia’s and Xena’s hand in her own she prevented the

“ You know Lydia, T.C. here has such a grip I’m afraid she might accidentally
hurt your hand, she works out ALL OF THE TIME and some of the peoples hands
she has shaken, they have ended up favoring the hand for a while, it’s such a
firm grip.”

Diana said trying to explain her interference in such an otherwise benign
Lydia looked at Diana with a half smile of confusion on her face, while Xena
was glaring at Diana.

“ Diana your so funny, but ok, I’m not looking to have my hand broken, but
T.C. it is a pleasure to meet you.”

“ Hmm... “

Xena said giving a tight smile. Lydia then turned around and said,

“Diana I need to go over some things with you, but I wasn’t sure if you were
up to it or not, if you are, I will go and get the documents?”

“ Oh, Lydia that’s fine, please go and get them.”

“ Ok, I’ll be right back in a few minutes.”

Lydia then once again pulled Diana into a hug and to Diana’s agony and Xena’s
rising temper, Lydia kissed Diana on the top of her head much the same way
Xena did.

“ It is so wonderful to see you again Diana, I’ll be back in a moment.”

“ ok.”

Diana said with a strain in her voice, but luckily Lydia was to excited about
seeing Diana once again to notice it. Lydia strided towards the door and just
as she opened it she turned and said,

“ So good to have you back.”

Diana was now tearing but she hid it with her hair,.

“ Oh yes, good to be back Lydia, see you in a few minutes, what 5?”

“ No about 15 ?”

“ O...Ok, that’s fine.”

“ Ok be right back.”

Lydia ended and then turned and walked out the door and Xena hit the remote,
closing the shades once again.


Diana yelled as she went to her knees, with Xena still holding her hand and
squeezing it harder and harder.

“ Why did she kiss you?”

Xena asked simply, as if there was nothing going on with Diana and her hand.

“ Xena she is only a dear friend. GODS!!!! XENA PLEASE?!”

Diana exclaimed as Xena squeezed her hand more.

“ That’s not what I asked you Consort.”

Xena said lording over the kneeling Diana. Diana now had tears constantly
rolling down her cheek at the fear that Xena would continue to squeeze her

“ XENA Please, Let go, i’ll tell you if you will please let go?!”

“ I’ll let go when I feel like letting go Consort, and you’ll tell me anyway.”

Diana was now sobbing at the pain her hand was going through.

“ Sh...she’s always greeted me like that since the first time we were
introduced by the guys.”

“ She knows them personally?”

“ Gods Xena let go please?!”

“ Answer me!”

“ Yes, they met somewhere, and they thought she would make a good associate.”

“ You mean an EXCELLENT one, don’t you.”

Xena said Giving Diana’s hand another squeeze.


“ Please what consort?”

“ Please let go?”

“ Please let go what Consort?”

“My Lord Xena Please let go of my hand?”

“ No.”

“ OH XENA Why?!”

“ Because I think this will show you how I feel about ANYONE TOUCHING YOU ,
yet alone KISSING!”

“ Xena She’s just a friend!”

“ What did I just say?”

“ Ok, Ok, you win, what do you want me to do?!”

“ Put her in her place.”

“ But Xena she’ll get suspicious about our relationship if I tell her to
change now!”

“ Do I look like I care about that?”

“ Xena, I’ll tell her not to kiss me anymore, even though it was as a friend.
Xena there is no one else for me, especially a woman, why don’t you believe

“ I believe that, but that does not mean I have to like certain things, one of
which is someone kissing what is mine.”

“ Fine Xena, please let go?”

“ I will...”

“ When?”

“ Soon Consort , soon.”

Diana dropped her head as Xena continued to squeeze her hand for as long as it
took Lydia to be announced once again. Then Xena pulled Diana to her feet and
she abruptly let go of Diana’s hand and Diana immediately brought her hand to
her other hand and tried to massage it, to no avail, the pain was acute and
she knew it had to easy on it’s own.

Xena handed Diana the remote in her other hand and then she turned on her
heels and went to sit back on the chair she had vacated only a few minutes
before. Diana stared after her and then wiping her eyes and straightening her
hair out of her face she then turned and walked to the other side of her
large desk.

Xena watched her with a raised brow.

“ Don’t let me see anything like that again Consort.”

Xena warned.

“ I won’t.”

“ Good girl, open them.”

Xena said never breaking eye contact with Diana. Diana chewed her lip and
blinking a few times she turned her eyes to the shades and door and swiping
at a stray tear she then hit the remote to open the shades and unlock the

“ I look ok?”

Diana asked quietly.

“ You look beautiful Consort.”

Xena answered matter-of-factly. still glaring at Diana. Diana gave a small
smile, but when Xena arched her brow at her she was once again near tears.

“ Take a few deep breaths kitten.”

Xena said to help Diana regain her composure. Diana did as she was told and
found herself more composed, just then Lydia knocked on the door.

“ Come on in Lydia.”

Diana said with a slight catch in her voice.

“ Ok, I’m back?”

“ So we see.”

Xena said flatly. Lydia looked over at Xena and said once again.

“ Oh, I didn’t realize you would still be here.”

Xena arched her brow at the statement and then tamping down her temper, she
let Diana answer the question.

“ Oh, Lydia, I asked T.C. to stay, I want her to know everything about the
company as well as my other companies and investments.”

“ Oh, I see, Diana is there something your trying not to tell me?”

“ I don’t know what you mean?”

Diana said in confusion and still with the catch in her throat.

“ Are you sure? I mean it sounds like your throat is tight, from trying to
clear it , possibly of something your holding back from me.”

Xena was now angry that this woman was so familiar with Diana’s emotions,so
much so she cut her eyes to Diana who was trying to keep from looking over at
Xena, especially since she could feel what Xena was experiencing. Diana
swallowed hard while holding her fingers in a steeple form in front of her

“ Well Diana?”

“ ahem... Lydia I am not trying to hold back from telling you anything, I
really don’t know where this is coming from.”

“ Well Diana it’s not everyday that you announce that your grooming someone
to take over things?”

“ Lydia I’m not grooming T.C. to take over anything here, I just want her to
know the ins and outs of my holdings, she is not only a new associate, but an
advisor in finances.”

“ Oh, where did she get her training?”

“ What difference does that make Lydia?”

“ Well when I applied for this position as your associate with your Chosen,
they told me that before I could even step foot into the door I had to have a
specialized degree in Business. So I was just wondering what degrees she
has,or even more than that why she will be your advisor and not me?”

Diana looked up over her brow, and she remembered one of the things she didn’t
much like about Lydia, despite their friendship. That was her aggressiveness
and habit of discreetly running things by her Chosen, since they were the
one’s who hired her.

“Lydia, T.C. has life experience that has produced amazing results with
everything she touches. It’s like a Midas thing she has going on.”

“ Yeah? Well you know Diana, Midas was a skinflint.”

“ Lydia! Your being quite rude and I won’t put up with it, I don’t understand
where these insecurities are coming from, but I will tell you this.”

Diana said as she stood up and walked around the desk to come and lean against
the front of the table facing Lydia.

“ If I were going to replace you or anyone else, I don’t have to explain
myself to you or anyone else, lest you or anyone else forget This Is My
Company, and so is a lot of this countries, landmark buildings, I have worked
to hard to let you or anyone question ANY decision I make, now just because I
allow your input, it does not mean I need you or anyone else, There are too
many people out there just waiting for the first opportunity to get in to one
of My Companies, as well as get in good with me, so I will only say this once,
Don’t ever question me about who I choose to hire, I think I have proven that
I have and am capable of making the necessary decisions to build a thriving
prosperous, empire. Do I Make Myself Clear MS. Tate?”

Lydia recoiled at Diana’s harsh but forthright words.

“ Yes Diana, very clear, I didn’t mean to upset you, especially on your first
day back, I’m sorry.”

“ Good, forgiven, just don’t let it happen again.”

“ It won’t. Your right, I have no reason to feel insecure, you have never done
anything to warrant such a concern, in fact you have been the most caring
person I have ever known, I’m sorry for doubting that and for questioning your
integrity, it will surely not happen again.”

“ Fine,Lydia, Shall we get on with our business?”

“ Yes of course. Here are the papers and my notes on the Harrison account, I
know this was one of those that you took a personal interest in.”

Diana took the papers and rising up off the table she walked back around to
sit in her chair.

“ T. C. do you mind joining us over here please?”

“ Glad to .”

Xena said as she stood and strided over to where Diana was seated. she sat on
the same side of the desk with Diana on the arm of the chair. Lydia just
looked and then blinking a few times she waited for Diana to read over her
notes and refamiliarize herself with the account.

Diana handed the papers to Xena and Xena quickly read them and placed them on
the table.

“ So, Lydia it seems like Harrison wants to get stock in my company before he
sells his to me?”

“ Yes, he says that he doesn’t see why he shouldn’t get anything out of it,
and the fact to be someone other than your Chosen and sisters, and intimate
friends, to have any stock in any of your companies, would afford him to write
his own ticket pretty much anywhere, especially seeing how those who do have
stock in one of your companies, all seem to get the Royal treatment.”

“ So if he knows that it is particular people who hold these stocks then why
is he even asking for concessions?”

Xena interjected.

“ I don’t know really, I think he believes that if Diana doesn’t agree, he
will not sell to her but instead hold on to his company.”

“ under the belief that you need him.”

Xena said directing her statement to Diana, who was amazed at Xena’s many
skills and once again seeing those skills in action by how quickly she
understood the game.

“ Yes, so it would seem. Lydia find out who his suppliers are, all of them
from those who supply his materials to build, to the paper clips and toilet
paper used by the employees, to the janitors equipment also, and any
contracted accounts that work with him.”

“ Ok, but why?”

“ Because Miss Tate, if you take away any and all support from anyone,
whether it’s an individual or a Company, they tend to fold and yield to your

Xena answered as if her’s and Diana’s minds were one, which being bonded by
their very souls seem to provide that ability.

Lydia looked at Diana to see if that was indeed what she had meant and found
that it was.

“ Exactly, you see Lydia if he won’t sell to me on mutually agreed upon terms
then I’ll make him sell to me on My terms alone, without any concessions, and
for a lot less. “

“ Less?”

“ Yes , less, I mean think about it Lydia, why would I pay 1 billion dollars
for a company that has no suppliers or contractors. I mean just because he has
his employees within his company already set, that in and of itself does not
warrant me putting out a billion dollars, I can hire my own staff, the
building itself is only worth a couple of millions, maybe about 3, but
whatever it’s worth, which will be another thing I want you to find out, the
exact price he paid for labor and materials, and the salaries of each of the
people who work in the building . I plan on taking it from him, and then I’ll
donate it to charity just because of his incorrect assumptions.”

“ I like that Diana.”

Xena said with the same glint that was in Diana’s eyes. Diana smiled and said
through her teeth,

“ This is going to be fun.”

Xena felt her adrenalin racing through her veins as she witnessed Diana’s own
leadership skills. Xena and Diana both smirked at what was happening and Lydia
smiled slightly confused about the two’s rapport with each other, but also at
the new ruthlessness of Diana to get what she wanted, Lydia had always
thought Diana was to nice, but to see this side of her she was truly amazed.

“ This is wonderful.”

“ Yes it is Lydia. “

Diana said simply and then after a few moments more of ironing out those
details, Diana moved on to the next account. Again she read over everything
and as she finished she passed it on to Xena to read, and once Xena had read
it, Diana went into discussing it.

“ Ok so the Jackson house wants to sell some of my things to foreign
investors, who want to do what with them?”

“ They said they were going to open a museum for them.”

“ Isn’t that funny, I’m an antique in some peoples eyes while I’m a child in
others, ha... trip what people see.”

Diana said subtly directing the statement to Xena, who only moved her foot to
step on Diana’s toes.

“ Ok! “

Diana said to both her own statement and the pain she was feeling on her
toes.Xena finally lifted her foot and Diana slid her foot under the table as
if straightening so as to talk directly with Lydia.

“ So Lydia what does the Jackson house plan to do with the money it raises off
the sell of my things?”

“ they were going to donate it to one of the political parties.”

“ I ....Don’t..... Think.... So. “

Diana said emphasizing her words.

“ What did you tell them?”

“I told them that you had no interest in funding any of their campaign

“ How did they come to think that I would even consider doing this?”

“ I think a certain Political person figured that since you were not as
actively involved as you once were before you left, that maybe he could slide
it past you without you flinching?”

“ Is that right? Well let’s see if we can make him flinch a bit, huh? shall
we? good. You know where I’m going with this T.C.?”

“ Yes.”

Xena said looking over her brows and then at Lydia.

“ Lydia?”

Lydia’s eyes locked onto Xena’s when she heard her call her by her first name.

“ Y...Yes T.C?”

“ Find out who the backers are of this particular political person, and tell
them that one of Diana’s sisters is running for a certain office, and she
would rather not have her sister invest her money, but instead use her money
to reward those who back her sister in her campaign, solely, and for as long
as she wants to stay in office.

This means they would be legally bound to only throw their support into her
sister’s corner. Also find out what type of things the Jackson house was asked
to sell and give them the permission to sell those items, but only under the
agreement that they will donate the money to some Charity Diana chooses, such

“ The Veterans Research fund.”

Diana interjected.

“ Good, the Veterans Research fund. If they have any questions about how to
explain their position about selling the things, but not donating the money
to the parties, tell them to tell that person, just because Lady Diana is not
always visible she is still in control of how her business affairs are
handled, and she does not appreciate the fact that anyone would dare try to
circumvent her to try and get what belongs to her.”

Lydia once again looked back at Diana and this time Diana said,

“ While I hadn’t quite thought about the idea of my sister running for office,
I do however think it is a stroke of genius. I like it. Let’s do it.”

“ Which sister will you ask to run?”

“ Welll... I think out of all of them, it should be Lena, she is the most
assertive, and very much like myself .”

“ Strong willed, stubborn, adversarial sometimes, argumentative?”

“ Lydia!, I am not those things.”

Diana said defensively, and with a smile on her face to take the edge off the
statement .

“ Hah! “

Xena said not able to hold back her disagreement with Diana.

“ What’s the Hah! for? I’m not like that.....anymore...exactly.”

“ Uh huh.Whatever you say Lady Diana.”

“ Xe.... See T.C? You just don’t understand me.”

Diana said catching herself,and covering the syllable that had slipped out.
Xena smirked and Lydia just sat and listened to the commentary T.C. was
bestowing upon Diana, to her statements.

“ Is that what you think?”

“ but anyway, we have other things to discuss. T.C. do you mind
getting me some water please?”

Xena raised a questioning brow at Diana, as if to say “ have you forgotten WHO
I Am?” Diana slightly blushed and then said ,

“ Maybe I’ll...”

“ No I’ll get it for you Lady Diana.....this time.”

Xena said quietly to Diana. Diana smiled a small smile and then Xena stood
up, she went to go and get the requested drink, Diana followed Xena with her
eyes discreetly as she made idle conversation with Lydia about her activities
and what she has been up to. Lydia decided to voice her request also,

“ I’ll take whatever you have.”

Xena narrowed her eyes and looked back at Lydia, who suddenly realized her
error and decided it would be better if she got her own,

“Actually, I think i’ll come over there, I’m not really sure what I want.”

“ You do that.”

Xena said with some sarcasm. Xena then cut her eyes to Diana and after pouring
the water she strided back over to Diana and as she was handing the drink to
Diana she whispered,

“ Be careful Consort.”

Diana caught the warning and said,

“ Sorry, it won’t happen again. Thank you for the water.”

“ Good, your welcome.”

Xena then sat back on the arm of the chair and watched Lydia as she pour her
drink and then returned to her chair. They discussed other accounts and things
and Xena went over to one of the windows and looked out while listening to the
discussion Diana and Lydia were having about some last detail of the three’s
earlier discussion.

Xena for some reason had a feeling about Lydia that really bothered her, her
instincts were telling her Lydia was not as trustworthy as Diana may think or
believe, she has been noticing when ever Diana speaks to Lydia, Lydia seems
to light up as if the sun has just came to rest on her.

Thinking these things Xena turned sideways and leaned against the window and
just watched Lydia’s interactions with Diana. Lydia had moved her chair up
closer to the desk so that she was able to touch Diana’s hands if she chose.

“ What color nail polish is that?”

Lydia asked after her and Diana had finished discussing their business.
Lydia reached for Diana’s hand and Diana handed it to her as she looked at the

Diana told Lydia the color and Lydia ran her finger over the polished nail
and then casually over Diana’s fingers as she let go of Diana’s hand. Xena saw
the whole thing and wondered how Diana would handle it.

“ I really like this color, I don’t really wear polish much, but I saw this
and thought it would be nice to see how it looked on me.”

“ Anything and everything you put on looks beautiful on you.”

“Thank you Lydia that’s very nice of you to say.”

“ well it’s true, do you remember the time we were invited to that
entertainer’s mansion and his wife said that it was going to be more of a pool
type gathering, and that everyone was expected to wear their swimming suits?”

“ yes, I remember it.”

“ well do you remember what you wore and what happened when you removed your
silk robe?”

“ not really.”

Lydia then moved to sit on the edge of the table in front of Diana, Xena
watched with fasination at this woman who was flirting with her Consort, but
what really amazed Xena was Diana, she seem to not even realize it, or she was
just pretending to not realize it for one of two reasons, she didn’t want to
hurt the woman’s feelings or she was seeing if Xena would get jealous.

Xena thought about these things and figured she would talk to Diana later
about it. in the meantime she continued to discreetly listen to the story
Lydia was now telling Diana.

“ You don’t remember what happened?! Diana it was incredible. the minute you
removed your robe you were standing by the edge of the pool and you were
talking to a few men who had made thier way over to you. I remember their
wives and significant others were pissed at you, and one of them even had the
nerve to walk over and make a remark about the bikini you were wearing and how
you might as well not have anything on, her boyfriend told her she was out of
line and she told him that you might as well take it off since it was hardly
nothing there in the first place, ha, ha, ha, I then remember you telling her
if she wasn’t careful you would not only take it off but take her man in the

“ Oh yes I remember, she then said my Chosen needed to keep me on a tight
lease until they got me fixed.”

“ Yeah, and do you remember what you did?”

“Now that I don’t.”

“ you gave her this look that if it were possible she would have died. you
then unfastened your top and took it off almost magically. and then you turned
to look at the guest who had all stopped to hear and watch the commotion she
was causing, and you asked “ Does anything look like it needs to be fixed on
this body?” The men and some women all just dropped what they were holding,
glass was everywhere. and the woman, who’s boyfriend was wide eyed and gawking
at your delicious looking breast, she tried to push you into the water, but
you moved at the last moment and she went splashing into the water. it was
sooo...funny, that story is still talked about today, and that happened a few
years ago.”

“ Yes, I remember no one helped her out of the water either, instead we all
left to go inside and play some games in the billiard room.”

Xena was listening and watching Lydia’s face and behavior the whole time, and
when she heard the word Delicious come out of her mouth, and Diana not say
anything, her temper begun to rise, so she strided back to the desk just as
Lydia was finishing the story.

“ Well I think we’ve had a productive meeting , don’t you Lady Diana?”

“ well actually T.C. I thought....”

“ Don’t you lady Diana?”

Xena repeated calmly but with a hint of something in her voice that only Diana
understood the meaning of.

“ Oh, yes, I think we will call it quits for today.”

“ But it’s just now lunchtime? I know...... since we haven’t seen each other
in such a long time I think it would be wonderful if we went to lunch
together, my treat.”

“ I...I...”

“ Oh come on,it’ll be fun, I haven’t seen you in such a long time Diana, I’d
like to just talk.”

Diana smiled at Lydia and then not looking up into Xena’s eyes, but at her
hip which was at her eye level she bit her lip and just when she was about to
say something, Lydia said,

“ unless something is going on with you and T.C.?”

“ that’s not it, it’s just that....well never mind yes i’ll join you
for lunch it has been a while....”

Diana saw Xena’s knuckles blanch at her acceptance.

“ Oh, Lydia do you mind if T.C. joins us for lunch?”

“ um....well I was hoping we could go by ourselves so that we could talk about
other things outside of work.”

“ Well, we can still do that, but seeing how it is T.C’s first day and all I
thought I would be her guide.”

“ Why? you have never done that for any other associate?”

“ yes..., well T.C. is special...I mean she is brilliant and I want to make
sure that she learns everything about the functioning of my businesses, you
see how quickly and smoothly she picks things up, when has any of my other
associates been able to do that even after months of practice?”

“ Oh, well you do have a point, ok I don’t mind.”

“ Good, and I’ll pick up the tab.”

“ Ok .”

“ Lydia do you mind going ahead to the dining hall, and getting us a table,
we’ll be along in a few minutes, I want to make a few phone calls and then
we’ll join you?”

“ Ok, but don’t be long?”

“We want.”

Lydia then got up and taking one last casual look at Diana she smiled and then
she looked at Xena and said,

“ See you soon.”

“ You can count on it.”

Xena said with a hint of danger in her voice, that once again Diana picked up.
Diana looked up at Xena casually and saw the look in her eyes, she knew
something had been bothering Xena most of the meeting, she could feel her
tension, but she didn’t know what was causing it, but she figured she would
ask Xena about it after Lydia was gone.

“ Oh Lydia?”

“ Yes?”

“ tell Tracy I’ll be closing my shades so that I won’t be disturbed before we
join you for lunch.”

“ Ok, I’ll tell her.”

“ Thanks, see you in a few minutes.”

Lydia smiled and then left out the door. Xena immediately hit the remote
closing the shades and leaving her and Diana in privacy.

continue to part 10

Love to hear what you think of the story.

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