By D.virtue


Gabrielle started to come around and Diana had not moved from where she had
sat, while Xena had moved to sit at the fountain in the center of the room,
with Shatara sitting on the floor by her leg and Xena watching and waiting.
Finally with Gabrielle arousing from her shock, Xena brought her hand to her
chin and now really sat back against one of the marble pillars that was apart
of the fountain, she sat and watched and listened.

“ Di....Diana?!” Gabrielle exclaimed as she bolted upright, at seeing Diana
sitting by her.

Diana gave a small smile, but didn’t say anything, she didn’t know what to
say, all the things she had done, on top of the fact of just leaving and not
sending any type of word to Gabrielle about where she was, or if she was alive
or dead, Diana didn’t know what to say, so she sat and just gave Gabrielle a
faint hearted smile.

“ Diana your alive?!! Gabrielle exclaimed and then....


Gabrielle laid a slap to Diana’s cheeks that actually caught her so much off
guard that her head literally snapped to the opposite side. Diana brought her
hand to her face and turning her head slowly back around to look Gabrielle in
the eyes she saw the anger, the pain, and the hurt. But she said nothing. She
just remained sitting and waiting for Gabrielle.

Xena on the other hand was also caught off guard. She suspected that Gabrielle
would be happy to see Diana, but instead she saw the anger in the young girls
eyes. But she only leaned forward but she did not move from the fountain.
Shatara’s mouth had dropped open. But she too sat and stared at the scene.

heard was that Xena was murdered ,and you disappeared, then rumors started
that a caramel tone young woman was found dead at the bottom of one the
cliffs in Xenadia. They described a woman similar to you. I Thought you had
left me to follow Xena to the other side, I hurt for a while at the thought
that you had left me, but then I took SOME comfort in that you two would be
together in the after life. Then, I heard the rumors that Xena The Conqueror
was on the war path again. But I told those people that they were wrong. That
she’s dead, she was killed during a war. But they told me that Ares The God
of war brought her back. My Heart began to rejoice once again, but it’s brief,
because then I realize that if Xena’s alive, and your dead, then you would be
alone on the other side. My heart broke again.....I......” The rest of the
words choked off. But then Gabrielle composed herself once again and
continued. “ I....found myself depressed so much that I stopped telling
stories. I hated Xena for being alive and not being with you. I blamed her for
your death, I blamed her for bringing you back to this time and place only to
cause you to kill yourself. I blamed her for not telling you to stay here
with me. I blamed her for being one of your Chosen, I figured if she hadn’t
been, then you would have never fallen so deeply in love with her, and
although we probably would have never meant, at least, you would have been
alive. I blamed you for having such a need for family, I blamed you for
choosing her rather than me, I blamed you for loving her more than you loved
me, I blamed you for having the connection with her and not me. I blamed your
sister for dying, your other Chosen for being your Chosen, Rah for kidnapping
you and changing you, I blamed the Gods for your life, and I blamed myself for
not being a better sister to you.”


Again Diana’s head snapped to the side, and once again she moved her hair from
her face and turned back to wait again.

“ Where were you?” Gabrielle asked as she waited for Diana to answer her.

Diana had tears in her eyes and she moved her hands trying to say something,
but Diana thought what could she tell her, “ I was out killing innocent
people again.” Diana simply lowered her eyes and Gabrielle once again slapped
her across the face for not giving her an answer, and she jumped to her feet
and ran out the chamber right past Xena.

Xena watched the young woman go and sent Shatara to look after her. Xena then
turned her attention back to the now trembling woman who had now crawled back
onto her bedroll and with her back to Xena and everyone, she curled up on it
and closed her eyes but didn’t make a sound, her body just trembled.

Xena stood up and walked over to where Diana laid curled up. She stood looking
down at the woman and then she said, “ She’s just hurting, I’m sure she will
forgive you. I hope you realize, I did not bring her here to hurt you, I was
concerned about you and I thought she could be a comfort to you, I see I was
wrong. “ Xena waited for Diana to acknowledge her words but Diana didn’t , she
just laid trembling on the bedroll.

Xena then turned and left, the next few weeks were rough, Xena’s temper seem
to show itself more often than not, and everyone walked around on eggshells
around her. Gabrielle stayed at the palace, but she didn’t go and visit Diana
despite Dancea’s and Ludmilla’s pleads.

Diana stayed in the Harem Chamber, despite being told she could go anywhere on
the palace grounds she wanted. She didn’t speak, didn’t laugh, she just washed
up every morning and night, she ate was brought to her, and she didn’t sleep
very well. Her need was painful but she let the discomfort comfort her.

Shatara and Gabrielle were getting to know one another, despite Gabrielle’s
aversions at first, but when Shatara started telling her about herself,
Gabrielle found she was a very nice person, albeit misguided, she did blame
Shatara for what she did, but with Xena assigning her to watch over her, she
couldn’t help start up a conversation.

Meanwhile Xena was punishing almost everyone for almost any reason. Finally,
one of the servants was talking to another servant, not realizing Xena could
hear them despite their distances.

“ Have you seen the new slave lately? “

“ No, why?”

“ Her eyes, their like this fierce blue color, yet I swear I could see storm
clouds in them. When I went to give her her food, I asked her if she wanted
anything else, and I could have died right there.”

“ Why? What happened?”

She looked up at me, and this expression came to her face, it was
like.....well I don’t know like what, probably because I had never seen anyone
or anything like her. Anyway, when she looked up at me with those eyes and
that expression, and with the pallid look to her, anyway, suddenly her
fingernails grew out into these razor sharp blades, she remained curled up,
but she let me know in no uncertain terms that there was absolutely nothing
else she wanted but for me to leave, which of course I did. I was scare to
run, I figured if I did then she would strike me down before I could take the
first step. I don’t believe she’s been outside in.... in weeks, if not a

“ How long has this been going on?” Xena asked, startling the two young girls.

“ My Lord? Forgive us? We didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“ Answer me.”

“ This was the first time I had experienced it with her, but some of the other
servants said they had. The first was a few days ago.”

“ Why wasn’t I told?”

“ My Lord, you have been quite cross of late, and to tell you that one of your
slaves was misbehaving was not something that any of us relished.”

Xena looked at the two girls and both lowered their eyes.

“ Guards!”

“ Yes My Lord?”

“ Go and get my new slave and take her out into the Garden for at least four
candlemarks, she may stay longer but no less, and I want her taken there daily
until I say differently, and if she refuses I want to know about it. Now go.”

“ Yes my Lord.”

The two soldiers went to the Harem and straight to where Diana laid.

“ Get up slave, you are to be taken to the garden daily.”

Diana rolled over and didn’t even acknowledge the two. She just stood up and
headed out of the chamber and then out of the palace, although she had to
blink a few times to get use to the bright sunlight, not that the Harem didn’t
get the light, it was just that she had chosen an area that the sun’s light
did not touch.

Diana walked out to the gardens with the soldiers escorting her, she stopped
only for a moment and then she headed straight for the wildflowers field,
where once there she walked a little ways in and then sat down with her legs
crossed in indian fashion, facing out towards the open field. She sat like
that until the guards told her she could return to her chambers or stay

She didn’t even wait for the guards to finish the options she came to her
feet and walked back to the palace and went back to the Harem where she bath
and then curled up and laid on her bedroll once again, still trembling.

The next week Diana was taken to the garden and everyday she only stay as long
as she had to, sitting in one place not looking around just looking out. One
day when she was taken to the Garden she sat in the same place doing the same
thing. But this time she had a visitor.

“ Well little beauty, how are you feeling?”

Diana didn’t answer she didn’t even look back at the woman.

“ I came to talk to you.”

Diana didn’t say or move or do anything, she just sat looking out.

“ Fine, I’ll talk, you can just listen. Your sister and I have resolved our
differences, she no longer hates me, matter of fact we are close to becoming
friends. I see why you and everyone else loves her, she is just the sweetest
little girl, she’s also very wise, I don’t know if she got that from being
around you and My Lord, or whether it’s just a gift she has, anyway, I know
you miss her, probably as much as you miss Our Lord.”

Shatara paused for a moment to see if Diana would react to anything she was
saying, but seeing nothing she went on.

“ I know she misses you as well, our conversations are about you all of the
time, she doesn’t understand why you didn’t write her to tell her you were
alive, I don’t even understand that myself. You claim to love her and would do
anything for her, yet, you allow her to think you were dead, some sister you
are.” Shatara said with scorn in her voice.

Diana rolled her head to relieve the tightness that was setting in due to her
trying to control her temper.

“ I don’t understand you at all, rather than you trying to talk to her, you
just sit in your chamber being made to eat and come outside for your own good!
You have all of these choices and yet what do you do?! You sit there like a
board not speaking to anyone, just letting your hate and pain eat away your

Finally Diana could take no more of Shatara’s condescending attitude. She spun
around to her feet and came to stand and to Shatara’s shock within inches of

“ You listen to me Shatara! I don’t need you out of all people! Standing here
trying to tell me about MY SOUL! “ It was you and ARES who tore my soul apart!
When you and I first met, I was more than willing to welcome you as a friend
into Xena’s and my life, because you were and ex of Xena’s. I figured it would
be nice to talk to someone who had been with Xena when she was the Warlord,
just to find out more about the woman I was bonded with. BUT NO! You didn’t
want that, you weren’t interested in being friends with me, all you wanted was
Xena, so all you focused on was trying to seduce Xena away from me! When that
didn’t work you conspired with Ares to steal her away! Well Shatara you not
only succeeded in doing just that, but you stole her life , and My life, away
from both of us! Your the one who caused Gabrielle the pain in her heart! You
Were Wrong and yet you can’t admit it. That’s why I hate you so much, because
you hurt Xena and her, and yet claim to love Xena and care about Gabrielle!
Your a Hypocrite! And I don’t want to stand here and pretend that yes you and
I can be friends! WE could never be friends, I don’t want Hypocrites as my
friends. I have lost one of the only two people in my life who meant more to
me than life itself, because of YOU! And now your working to take all that’s
left.” Diana stated with conviction and accusation as she glared at Shatara.

“ Your the one who’s doing it! Your the one who didn’t write to Gabrielle.”

“ Oh Yeah! and What was I suppose to write Shatara, “ Hi Gabrielle, sorry I
can’t be there for you right now but I’m out killing a bunch of innocent
people because they were related to the people who took Xena away from me? Is
that what I was suppose to write Shatara?! I don’t think so, I would rather
let her believe I was dead than face such a good soul as her and tell her what
I had done once again out of grieve and lost of family! I can’t even say I
wouldn’t do it again. You tore My soul apart Shatara, with the help of Ares!
and now you stand here trying to judge me. You have some nerves sorceress! If
anyone deserves to be judged, it’s you!”

Shatara took a few deep breaths at the barrage and while she wanted to deny
the accusation, she knew what Diana had said was true. So all she could do was
admit it.

“ Your right. I was deceitful and conniving in getting Xena back, while I told
her the truth that I didn’t know Ares was going to hurt her the way he did, I
found that he not only erased you out of her memory, but he erased enough of
her memory that when she saw me again, it took me 6 months to get her to take
me as her Consort, and then another 5 or so to make me her primary. Ares
backstabbed me as well as you.”

“ And You think that makes what you did any less wrong?!!”

“ No. I was wrong, I took advantage of her erased memory only to the point of
getting her to look upon me as more than just a pleasure slave. I hated you
little beauty for having her, I hated you for being a beauty, and I hated you
because you were obviously happy with your life with her, which meant that you
weren’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

“ Your breaking my heart.” Diana scorn.

“ Listen Little Beauty! You had a choice in all of this! You could have stayed

“ I came back to kill Terson and the others and YOU. I didn’t know Xena was
alive. But Once I saw she was, there was no way I was leaving, I couldn’t
leave if I had wanted to, even though I didn’t.”

“ That’s ridiculous! You act as if you had no choice! There’s always choices
in life, and we all have to make them! The easy one’s as well as the tough
one’s! So don’t stand there spouting that Centaur dung that you had no
choice!!” Shatara shouted with contempt ringing loudly in her tone.

Diana didn’t even wait to think about her response to Shatara.

didn’t even choose my own life. I didn’t have a choice the day I was kidnapped
as an infant, I had no choice the day I was changed! I had no choice the day I
was Raped! I had no choice when my body, despite my mind responded to that. I
had no choice when certain people on this planet, and who knows what other,
became my Chosen, I didn’t choose that! I didn’t choose to be a LITTLE BEAUTY!
CHOICE....I CHOSE TO SURVIVE! And that’s exactly what I did! I Survived this
sorry hand called life and I made the best out of it, despite not having other
choices. When I fell in love with Xena, it blew me away, I couldn’t believe
it, I was a woman who for one thing had NEVER BEEN WITH ANOTHER WOMAN, and I
didn’t think I would ever desire one, but here I was, head over heels in love
with Xena The Conqueror, and there was nothing I could do about that. I tried,
believe me. I tried to resist the pull of her, I told myself, you can’t be in
love with her, it’s just your body responding to her because she’s a Chosen,
but it wasn’t that, that was just the spark, it was her. The power, the
confidence, the Stunning beauty, her persistent will, and her ability to be
what I Needed and wanted in my life. The day we bonded was the day my life
came full circle. I now had a family that I had never had before, I was happy
and my mate was happy. We were connected by our souls long before we bonded,
but the bonding just made it complete. Xe......” Diana’s words choked off as
tears begun to roll from her eyes. She walked over to a tree that sat near
where the two women stood.

After a few moments to compose herself she turned back around and continued. “
Xena was and is my life and I would do anything for her. Including accepting
you in our lives. But I will NOT allow you or anyone else to tell me Anything
about MY LIFE! And what Choices I had! I Had NONE!!!! Unlike you! You chose to
dislike me, you chose to pursue Xena when you knew she had made her choice,
you chose to conspire with Ares, and you chose to take advantage of her erased
memory. So if anyone had choices it was you, and you made enough for both of
us if you ask me.”

“ I....I didn’t realize...”

“ What A Sorceress didn’t realize the life of her adversary?! Color me
Surprised! Diana said with sarcasm dripping from her lips.

“ So what do you want me to do? Just become a basic slave again, after all I
went through to get her back in my life?!”

“ Yes!”

“ Well it’s not going to happen! I love her as much as you do!”

“ That’s literally impossible.”

“ Just because her and I don’t have the depth of yours and her’s connection I
do have a connection, and just because your able to show that in more ways,
does not mean MY Feelings are any less. Diana I don’t want to be your enemy, I
want us to get along, and I know Our Lord wants us to get along, so we can at
least try? Don’t you think?”

Diana looked at Shatara incredulously, then she said, “ Of course you want to
be F.r.i.e.n.d.s. NOW. You have what you have Xena in your
life!” Diana said with contempt.

“ YES! She is in my life and I plan on keeping it that way! So you can either
CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT OR POISON your relationship with her as a result of your
hate for me.”

“ YOU DON'T GET IT! I... DON’T.....WANT.... TO..... SHARE......XENA’S.....
AFFECTIONS..... WITH .....YOU......OR..... ANYONE .....ELSE! She was Mine! We
made each other complete!” Diana said through her teeth.

“ “ SHE’S OURS NOW!! You can still be complete with her and I.”

“ You are not the other half of my soul or hers, your just an intruder in our
lives.” Diana said as she sat down under the tree and crossed her arms in
front of her.

“ You may see me as an intruder, but Our Lord sees me as more, and it is
because of that reason that I am AT least making an effort to reach out to
you. Listen little beauty....” Shatara said as she sat down in front of Diana
a little closer than she originally had been to her throughout their heated
discussion. “ I’m sorry that I hurt you, I’m sorry for what I did to you and
Xena and everyone else who was affected by my part in all of this, but that
still does not take away my feelings for her, I am in love with her just like
you and I can’t just walk away from that, from her.”

“ ARRGH! GODS I can’t stand it! I Just want Xena’s and my life back the way it
was. “ Diana exclaimed as she covered her face in frustration.

“ Diana....I’m sorry I can’t help with that, but I can offer a hand of

Diana looked at Shatara, and then gave her a sardonic look. Diana then
slapped the outstretched hand away from her and Diana jumped to her feet and
in a deadly voice she spoke once again.

“ Stay away from me Shatara, next time, I will kill you. There is nothing you
can do for me but get out of Xena’s and my life, and leave my sister alone.”

“ Listen little beauty, I’ll tell you this, since you have been away from Our
Lord do you know how many times she has taken me to her bed?”

Diana pinched her lips and turned her head out of disgust at the thought of

“ Twice! Twice she had bedded me since she sent you to the Harem, and even
then she still called for other women, because I did not satisfy her need, I
am a good lover, but I can not please Our Lord the way she needs to be

“ Why are you telling me this, I know you couldn’t please her?”

“ Because the only person who is keeping you from our Lord, is YOU.”

“ And You!” Diana said correcting Shatara.

“ If you would do what your suppose to do, then I would be the one back in the

“ What are you talking about?!”

“ I’m talking about something that we once talked about before. Your so full
of pride, you refuse to allow Our Lord the Control that she will eventually
get from you one way or the other. You refuse to be what Our Lord wants you to

“ That is not True! I told her I would be whatever she needed me to be, I even
proved it to her by going THERE with her. BUT IT WAS BECAUSE OF THAT , THAT
AND ARES TOOK HER MEMORY! I was being what she wanted and needed at that

“ Well That’s Your Problem! Your Living In the past, She doesn’t know all of
that! All she sees is this defiant, Impudent, stubborn little beauty, that she
will either break one way or the other! I suggest you swallow your pride!”

“ Pride?! What Pride?! I’m a damn SLAVE!”

“ Only because you refused to do as she told you to do.”

“ I did it anyway didn’t I? It didn’t change anything, I’m still a slave.”

“ True but that’s only because she had given you orders, you know as well as
anyone that she will see that her orders are carried out despite the

“ What’s your point?!”

“ You have to stop pushing her, she’s not the same Xena, she’s better at what
she use to do, better than anyone else anyway, and with all the information
you have given her about yourself, she can hurt you worst than anything that I
or anyone could even begin to think of.

“ She doesn’t have to use my life to hurt me, she knows that.”

“ That maybe true, but you have to admit that knowing you as well as she does
now only provides her with better leverage?”

“ I don’t believe Xena wants to hurt me.”

“ Your right, she doesn’t, but that’s exactly what is happening because you
refuse to submit to her WILL.”

Diana was breathing very hard, trying to maintain her composure, and Shatara
was trembling now because of her fear of what Diana would do next.

“ Shatara, all I want is the life I had with Xena back, I just want to love
her, and she love me, we can never be friends as long as things are the way
they are. I don’t want or need you or anyone else telling me anything about
what I can and cannot have, especially since I already had her, and it was
ripped from me. So don’t come to me offering friendship or anything else,
because I don’t want it. I will deal with this life as Xena’s slave, I will
suffer with this acute pain of need, I will let it comfort me, as I have been.
I feel like my soul has been hanging precariously over the side of a cliff,
with jagged rocks at the bottom just waiting for the day fatigue takes over
and my soul what’s left of it plunges down into it’s depths and is shredded
the rest of the way. I have survived a life I wouldn’t even wish upon YOU, but
now I find I am about destroyed like I thought I could never be as long as
Xena lived, but to be denied her love and affection, destroys me daily, I die
a thousands deaths every hour that she denies me her company, and I’m not just
talking about physically, I have such a longing for just a smile from her...”
Diana now had tears rolling down her face and she looked back at Shatara who
also had tears running down her face, and all Diana could say was....”
Shatara, I won’t survive without her.” Diana then turned and ran in the
direction of the lake she did not look back even when she heard the sobs
wracking through Shatara, she just kept running.

What the two women did not know was that there was an observer. Xena watched
and listened to both of the women and when Diana finally ran away. Xena
disappeared from the area before Shatara could compose herself and discover
her there.

Xena went back to the palace and waited for a few candlemarks, before she
headed out to the lake to talk with Diana. But she had no intention of telling
Diana that was the reason she was there. When Xena felt it was the right time
to go to the lake she had her servants go and prepare food and drink for her,
enough for more than just one person, but they were not to make it obvious.

Xena was escorted by a few of her Royal Guards, to the lake. They stayed far
behind, but close enough that if she needed anything they would be there. Xena
arrived at the lake and found Diana sitting by the waters edge just playing
with her hair distractly as she looked out at the lake. Tears still rolling
down her face and hitting the ground as sparkles of colors explored from the
diamond tears. But Diana made no move to wipe them away, she just sat looking
without seeing.

Xena walked over to one of the trees and motioning to her soldiers to go away
she sat down under the tree and just watched Diana. A candlemark went by
without Xena making her presence known, both women each in deep thought about
the other.

Finally when the servants brought the food, although they were being as quiet
as possible, Diana heard them and she let go of her hair, but did not move to
acknowledge their presence.

After the servants left, Diana was curious why they had come out to the lake
and left food, she figured Shatara had told someone where she was and they
brought her evening meal out to her. Diana didn’t know whether to just let it
sit there and possibly upset Xena or just go and eat it, she decided to go and

So when she looked back to see where they had set it up her eyes came to lock
on Xena’s steely gaze. Xena had her head slightly cocked at Diana as she
studied her. Diana whipped her head around out of stunned surprise at seeing
Xena sitting under the tree just watching her.

“ Come here.” Xena said as she sat with her long legs crossed at the ankles.

Diana hesitate for a moment and then somewhat diffidently Diana walked over to
where Xena sat watching and waiting for her. Diana came to stand in front of
Xena and Xena motioned for her to sit.

Diana sat down on the ground in the same position she was sitting when she was
sitting by the lake. She kept her eyes lowered, while Xena kept hers on Diana.

“ So, do you hate me little girl?” Xena finally asked to break the silence and
see how Diana felt about her.

Diana gave a slight shake of her head, and Xena let out the breath she was
holding ever so gently.

“ Have you missed me little girl?”

Diana gave a slight nod of her head.

“, are you ready to be obedient?”

Diana gave a slight nod of her head.

“ Give me your word that you will not hurt Shatara and I will allow you my
company once again.”

Diana raised her eyes to look Xena in the eyes and then she lowered them again
for a moment, and then raised them back up when Xena stated, “ I won’t ask

Diana gave a nod of her head that she would not hurt the sorceress and Xena
gave a slight nod of her head. Diana brought her arms up and held herself as
she sat looking no where in particular accept trying to avoid looking at
Xena’s eyes again. Diana continued to tremble, but she ignored it.

“ Good girl. Now come here.”

Diana moved closer to Xena, but Xena was not happy where she stopped so she
pointed where she wanted Diana to sit. Diana went to sit by Xena’s right thigh
and Xena looked over at her, and then she asked, “ Have you eaten today?”

Diana nodded her head, but Xena finally decided she wanted to hear Diana’s

“ I want you to answer me.”

Diana looked up and then she said in a quiet tone of voice, “ yes.”

“ Good girl. Here.” Xena said as she held out a piece of meat she broke off.

Diana went to take the offered meat, but Xena pulled her hand back.

“ If I wanted you to use your hands, I would have told you to eat.” Xena said
with a sharpness to her tone.

Diana lowered her eyes and placed her hands on her lap. Xena once again
offered the piece of meat and Diana waited for her to put it into her mouth,
Diana did not chew it and Xena raised a brow at her and then offered a piece
of bread with gravy on it and after placing it on Diana’s tongue, she then
said in an approving voice, “ go ahead.”

Diana then chewed and swallowed, and Xena gave Diana’s cheek a tender caress,
and a tremble ran through Diana as tears formed in her eyes. Xena saw it, and
taking Diana’s chin in her hand she turned her head to look her in the eyes.
Diana expected to see anger and contempt, but she was stunned to see concerned
eyes looking at her.

Diana lost her composure because of it and tears rained from her eyes as she
sobbed with Xena still holding her chin.

“ I didn’t do any of this to hurt you, but I can’t have you disobeying me, I
won’t tolerate it. Do you understand?”

“ Yes.” Diana said as she covered her mouth with her hand to prevent her from

“ Do you still love me?”

“ Yes.”

“ Would you do anything for me?”

“ Yes.”

“ Ok, I want you to forgive Shatara for what she did, I want you to TRY to get
to know her, and then I want you to go to Gabrielle and apologize for hurting

“ How? Gabrielle hates me, and I hate Shatara.”

“ Gabrielle does not hate you, she’s hurting, and you need to explain to her
what happened to you. Now as far as Shatara is concerned, if I can find it in
my heart to forgive her, then I see NO reason for you not to be able to let it
go. Besides, you said you would do anything for me? Do these things for me and
I ‘ll reward you with something that I have never given anyone else...EVER.”

“ What?”

“ Do it and find out.”

“ If I didn’t do these things, what would happen?”

“ I would keep you as my personal slave.” Xena said matter-of-factly.

Diana chewed her lips and then asked softly, “ How long must I try to get
along with Shatara?”

“ The next four months.”

“ But Xena, I mean, My Lord?”

“ You don’t have to do it slave.” Xena stated. Then said in a smooth sincere
tone. “ Do it for me.”

“ ok.” Diana said softly.

“ Good. “

Xena then pulled Diana towards her and took her mouth with ravished passion,
and then after long breathtaking moments she broke it as quickly as she had
started it. Diana’s eyes now sparkled her need and desire. Xena’s eye showed
the same.

“ I miss you.” Xena said as she looked Diana in the eyes and Diana looked back
and once again she became emotional.

Xena pulled the young woman to her and Diana melted into Xena and sobbed. The
two sat under the protective shade of the tree while Xena held Diana and Diana
cried herself to sleep. After a while, Xena lifted Diana and carried her back
to the Harem and she went to put her on her bed and was told by one of the
other slaves.

“ She doesn’t have a bed My Lord, she didn’t want one, she sleeps on the
bedroll where she has been everytime you’ve come to see her.”

Xena’s eyes flashed rage, but she held her temper, especially when Diana
moaned against her neck. Xena was now in a hurry to put Diana down before she
lost her control. She went and located one of the beds and having it made up
by a few of the other slaves she placed Diana down on it and she started to
undress her, but then she realized she would not be able to maintain her
control, so she ordered one of the slaves to do it .

After she had done what she was told she went and told Xena, Xena went back
into the other room and leaning down she placed a light kiss to Diana’s cheek
and then made sure she was warm and got up and left the chamber, with her head
slave who was suppose to be in charge of making sure everything went smoothly
with her pleasure slaves.

Xena sent her to be punished once again with the threat hanging over her head
that if anything else was found to be amiss, especially with the new slave,
she would regret it, because she would be sold to the most vicious client.

The next few days were hard for Diana, but she did the easiest thing first and
that was go and try to talk to Gabrielle. She found her in the library and
she stood at the door watching her for a few minutes and then she walked over
to where Gabrielle sat reading one of numerous scrolls.

“ Gabrielle?”

Gabrielle lowered the scroll she was reading and without looking back at Diana
she asked, “ Yes?”

“ Can we talk?”

“ Why? You didn’t seem to think I was important enough to contact while you
were gone?”

“ Gabrielle I know your angry with me, and I would even go so far as to say
you hate me for what I did, I wouldn’t blame you, but I need to know if you
know why I was gone? and why I didn’t get in touch with you?”

“ For one thing, I could never hate you. But no I don’t know why you didn’t
get in touch with me, or where you had gone. I thought you were dead.”

“ Gabrielle you know my history almost as well as Xena, but despite that you
know that when I lost my sister you know what happened to me, she was my only
family and she was murdered. All the years I thought I had a family with Rah,
it was all a lie, so when I found my sister I lived for her, she was my light,
when she was killed, I lost my way, I fell into the darkness and I let it
claim me as often as it wanted to, until there was no one left from that line.
Well, Just when I thought that could never happen to me again, the light of
my life, and my very soul was taken from me. I would have followed Xena, but
she told me to stay here for you, Gabrielle, Xena knew you would need me, but
I couldn’t be there for you. My soul was torn apart and all I could see was
the blood of my enemy. The enemy wasn’t just those involved in Xena’s death,
it was all of their families as well.”

“ Diana you didn’t?” Gabrielle cried as she sat listening to her sister and
the pain she suffered through.

“ I did Gabrielle, I turned into myself and I let the darkness claim me once
again. I killed them all, I cried after each and everyone, because I knew for
every innocent I killed I would be farther removed from ever coming back to
you, I couldn’t face you. for such a dark soul as mine to be near such a good
soul as yourself was beyond what I could take, so I stayed away. I had only
came back to kill Terson, and then I was going to go after Shatara. But Xena
captured me....Again. But I didn’t know it was her that first day, her Chakram
knocked me out. I discovered through Dancea that Xena was alive, I felt my
heart almost explode within my chest. But I discovered that this Xena was not
the Xena I had known, this one was cold and calculating, she was meaner and
less sensitive to me, although she and I still share our connection, she now
was using that to her advantage. Gabrielle she made me her slave and I went
along with it. I can’t leave her, and I don’t want to. I need her in my life,
and both of us know that.”

“ She needs you as much as you need her.”

“ True, but she’s able to control herself, whereas I am not.”

“ It’s because your so passionate about her, she was the other half of your

“ Yes she was, and is, but Gabrielle that does not mean you are any less
important to me, it’s just..... I could barely handle this situation, yet
along locating you and trying to explain how I went on another rampage and
killed a bunch of people. How could I come to you with something like that?”

“ Just like you are now. Diana your my sister and I don’t care if you killed
half the planet, as long as you told me you were alive and trying to makeup
for it in some way or another. But even if you weren’t, I would still love
and stick by you until the end of forever. I love you sis. Please don’t ever
leave me like that again?”

“ I won’t, I promise.” Diana said as she opened her arms to Gabrielle and
Gabrielle came out of her chair and the two girls hugged each other and cried
together. After a while the two sat down and talked about everything that had
happened, and what was ahead of Diana.

“ Sis if it helps to know, Xena has not bedded Shatara except twice since
you’ve been sent to the Harem.”

“ I know, Shatara told me.”

“ She told you that? She said she would die rather than let you find that

“ Really?”

“ Yes. Diana, I hope you don’t get angry with me, but I have to tell you

“ You and Shatara have resolved a lot of things and now are on the verge of
becoming friends?”

“ How’d you know that?”

“ It doesn’t matter, what does is, do you trust her?”

“ Trust her? I haven’t really thought about that.”

“ Well think about it, I need to know?”

“ Why?”

“Because my sense of judgment is completely off right now and I need someone
with no bias to tell me if things are as I sense them to be.”

“ Well, let’s see. Yes, I guess I do trust her.”

“ Trust her to do what?”

“ I trust her to keep her word. So far everything she has told me she has
done. She’s actually a very sensitive person, very insecure about her
relationship with Xena. She came back a few days ago and told me about your
conversation. “

“ She told you about our conversation?” Diana said somewhat agitated.

“ She told me what she was feeling about your conversation. She was very
shaken by something you said to her, she didn’t sleep once that night or the
next, She told me she was confused right now, but that she was wrong in what
she did to you and Xena, and Me for that fact. She said she wants to try to
reach out to you despite the fact that all you want is for her to get out of
our lives. Diana I hope this doesn’t come across wrong to you but I will say
it and then I won’t mention it again if that’s what you want.”

“ What’s that?”

“ You know she loves Xena as much as you do? She told me that she is just as
lost without her in her life as you are, but she said she wants to be your
friend and try for Xena’s sake to get along, otherwise she’s afraid that you
both will lose her, and she will only keep you as her slaves and use you
mainly as her source for relieving her stress of the day and at night. But
that will be as far as the two of you will go. She was the one who sent her
out to talk to you by the lake, she overheard your conversation in the garden
and she told Shatara that she better do something to get rid of all of the
tension around here or that’s what would happen.”

“ I don’t mind you telling me this Gabrielle, but I already knew about some
of it, Xena came to me at the lake a few days ago and told me herself what she

“ So what are you going to do?”

“ What can I do? I won’t risk losing Xena because of Shatara, if Xena wants us
to get along, then fine, that’s what will happen. But I have to admit, I
need your help? My hate for her is so great I can’t do this by myself, I

“ I know what your asking sis, and of course I will be the source that helps
bring peace to your soul and peace to this palace. I’m going to do everything
in my power to get YOU and Xena back together, because that is how it’s
suppose to be, I believe that.”

“ Thank you Gabrielle, I love you so very much.” Diana said as she hugged
Gabrielle to her once again and kissed the top of her head.

“ So, when do we start?” Gabrielle asked as she leaned back to look in Diana’s

“ No time like the present.”

“ Ok what do you want to do?”

“ I want you to go to Shatara and tell her that your going into town with
Nebula and a few other people, and see if she wants to go along?”

“ Great! To have lot’s of buffers is a wonderful idea, I know exactly who to
invite. Nebula, Atalanta is also in the area, and Ephiny and Miki’s off duty
today, and more than likely where Ephiny is so are Eponin, and Solari.”

“ Ok, that’s fine.”

“ But what about you?”

“ I’ll ask Xena if I can go into town, I don’t think she will turn me down.”

“ Your not going to go with us?”

“ No, I don’t want it to look like I’m doing this because I have to, by me
showing up later it will look accidental.”

“ What reason are you going to give to get Xena to let you go into town?”

“ The truth, that I want to meet up with you there because you told me you
were going into town and wanted me to come if I could.”

“ Ah...I get it, that way it’s not a lie and therefore you want be caught in
one. But what if she says you can’t go?”

“ Then I won’t show up, and you and I will have to come up with another plan,
which will be to meet at the lake, But only if I don’t show up after a
candlemark or so?”

“ Ok, plan B, ok I’ll have us at The Inn in the town west of here. The big

“ Ok, how long before you can get everyone together?”

“ In four candlemarks. we’ll meet you at the Inn.”

“ Alright. Well I guess this is my first step? I couldn’t do it without you.”

“ That’s what sisters are for. I love you Diana.”

“ And I you sis.”

Gabrielle then left the library and headed off to get everyone and Diana
stayed in the library for a a candlemark and then she headed for Xena’s
Chamber without being called for.

“ What are you doing here?” The guard asked of Diana.

“ I wish to speak to Lord Xena?”

“ You were not called for, and therefore you can not see our Lord, she is
otherwise engaged. The guard smirked.

Diana swallowed hard and then looking at the two soldiers standing and mocking
her she decided she would not allow it. So with a quickness to match that of
Xena’s she had the soldier’s dagger to his own throat.

“ Now open the door, and I would suggest you not cause a problem, as you can
tell I’m already on edge?!” Diana hissed.

The guards eyes went wide and he opened the door to the outer chamber and
Diana stepped in and then turned the dagger and tossed it back at the guard
who simply caught it and then closed the door quietly.

Diana looked around the outer chamber and not seeing Xena she walked to the
bedchamber door. When she was about to open it, she heard Xena’s voice giving
commands to either one or two people.

“ show me what you two have been taught. if it doesn’t please me, I’ll take my
pleasure from watching both of you being whipped. Now go.”

The next sounds Diana heard were of the two women making love to one another,
and Xena observing and every now and then telling them she was not impressed
so far. Diana debated whether to interrupt and help the two women, or wait
until all was said and done.

Diana decided to wait, she did not want to get Xena angry with her not when
she was trying to do what she ordered her to do. So Diana went and sat on the
sofa and folded her hands on her lap for half a candlemark and then she went
and stood by the balcony and let her tears roll down her face when she heard
the two women being punished by some third person.

After another half a candlemark , Xena’s bedchamber door opened and the guards
and one other guard were sent for and they carried the two women out of Xena’s
bedchamber, both unconscious. Then after the Guards and the new head slave of
Xena’s Harem came out and finally left.

Diana heard Xena cursing and then after a few more minutes Xena came out of
the bedchamber and was heading for the table where she had some Proclamations
waiting for her signature. But just as she was about to go over to them she
looked in the opposite direction and there stood Diana.

Xena’s eyes narrowed, as she studied Diana standing with her eyes lowered and
her arms crossed, chewing her lip.

“ What are you doing here slave?” Diana flinched from the term as Xena waited
for an answer.

“ I came to get your permission on something.”

“ Come over here.” Xena said as she went and sat on the sofa, instead of at
the table.

Diana walked over to the area and stood in front of Xena as Xena stretched her
legs out in front of her, as she leaned against the arm rest of the sofa, and
continued to study Diana.

“ Now, what did you want? That you would risk my wrath for, in coming to my
chamber without being called for?”

“I went and talked to Gabrielle, as you wanted me to.”

“ And....??” Xena asked with a more interested gaze.

“ And she said she was going into town and would like it if I could come and
spend the day with her?”

“ I don’t like the idea of any of my Slaves going anywhere without my Guards
or myself. Especially YOU. I would have to hurt somebody if anything happened
to my best pleasure slave, actually the only one who gives me the type of
pleasure that truly satisfies me.”

“ So your saying no?”

“ No, I’m not saying no, but I’m not necessarily saying yes either.”

“ Then I don’t understand. You told me to make it up to Gabrielle and that’s
what I’m trying to do?”

“ And from the sound of it you’ve succeeded, I’m very pleased with that. But
what I want to know is what do I get out of this if I let you go to town, by
yourself, which requires me to trust you to go there and then return?” Xena
said with a raised brow.

“ I would think after everything, you at least trusted me? But of course I am
obviously showing my naivete?”

“ What does that mean?”

“ Nothing.”

Xena’s eyes narrowed and then she motioned for Diana to come closer. Diana
stepped closer and Xena laid a swat to her exposed thigh, and Diana yelped in
pain from it.

“ Now don’t be rude again.”

Diana looked at Xena and while rubbing her thigh, she apologized, and then
bowed her head.

“ like I was saying what will I get out of this if I let you go?”

“ What do you want?”

“ You.”

“ You already have me.”

“ No. I want the young girl whom I had before things happened.

“ So many things have happened since that woman, that light that once use to
shine in my eyes has grown dark a long time ago, all that remains is burning
ambers.” Diana said earnestly.

“ The only reason ambers are all that remains is because of the hate you let
smother your soul, your hate of Shatara, yourself, and Ares, you have to let
it go.”

“ I know your right, and that’s why I’m trying, but Xena that’s not the only
reason why ambers are all that remains, it’s because when I look in your eyes,
the eyes I turned to for guidance, love, strength, and support and a whole lot
of other things, now look back at me dark and empty of love for me, they now
look upon me as just the best pleasure slave there ever was. So even if and
when I am able to GET OVER IT, the ambers will only burn brighter, but still
without the other half of my soul there is no way the light will ever return,
how could it, when only half a soul is accessible?”

“ That’s what I don’t understand? How can I be your light when my own soul is
just as dark, actually more so?”

Because despite your dark soul you once saw a light in me and I saw one in
you, and it was together that we nurtured those lights and Xena, the light
that we nurtured in each other shone brighter than the sun, but because of
what’s happened we’re both back at square one, and I honestly don’t know what
to do to get what we had back, I’m truly lost without you. Diana went to her
knees in front of Xena and placing her hands on Xena’s thighs, She made her

“ Xena I don’t care if you choose to live in darkness or light, all I want is
to be with you again. I need my soul whole, and It can’t be that without you,
and whether you choose to believe it or not, I am the other half of your own
soul. Xena we need each other for more than just the physical, our connection
was and is so much deeper. I can’t do it without you. I told Shatara a few
days ago that although I didn’t have choices in a lot of my life I at least
survived all of it. But I can’t and won’t survive without you. Xena, back
then you were able to touch my soul without really trying, the touch of your
eyes upon me, the touch of your voice ringing through me, the smell of your
hair, your scent as you walk near me, or by me, sends my mind reeling, the
touch of your hands on ANY part of me thrills me to my very core. All I

want to do is just love the woman who completes me. Nothing else. I feel so
weak right now, and your probably disgusted by me for it, but if this is what
I have to do to get through to you. Then so be it. I will be anything for you,
i’ll be your slave, your lover, your friend, your sparring partner, your
warrior, consort or whatever you want me to be, just come back to me?” Diana
then sat back on her heels and covering her face she let her pain claim her.

Xena sat stoic faced the whole time, until Diana buried her face in her hands,
she then let the tears she was holding back roll down her own face. Both women
now sat, each letting the others present give them some comfort, while both
let their tears roll, although Diana did not see or hear Xena’s tears Xena
shred them none the less.

Diana missed her appointment to meet with Gabrielle at the Inn, but there was
still time left to meet her at the lake, now whether or not she would make it
would be entirely up to Xena.

Xena wiped her eyes and then said in a soft tone, “ Come here.”

Diana went and sat on the sofa next to Xena and Xena brought her hand to
Diana’s cheek and lightly caressed it. Diana leaned into the caress and Xena
allowed her too.

“ You know, I realize my touch can either calm you, or work you up, I saw
both when I watched it on the wall in my bedchamber and then again that same
night and also when you fell asleep down at the lake. I carried you back and
you almost purred your contentment at that.” Xena said with a smirk. “ I see
why I call you kitten.”

Xena then slowly let her hand trace a path down Diana’s neck and she watched
the gooseflesh trail after.

“ I won’t you right now ...kitten.”

“ I’m yours.”

“ yes you are, but not the one I want. “

“ Xena I don’t know how to be that person again.”

“ I think if you want me to hold to my word about your efforts being rewarded
in a way I know, you will really like, if not love. Then you will find a way
to be that person again?”

Diana nodded her head and looked at Xena as she stopped her hand from going
any further down Diana’s long neck. She then leaned in close to Diana and
within inches of her lips, Xena lifted her gaze from Diana’s moist lips and
looked her in the eyes and said, “ I want to calm that fire in you, the
Sapphire of your eyes tells me how much you need me, but I will not take you
until that time in which I see the young woman from my past.”

“ Why is she so important to you?” Diana asked with trembling lips.

A curve came to Xena’s mouth and she leaned in a little closer to where now
she was breathing with Diana’s breath and Diana with hers.

“ I’ll tell you when you succeed. Now I think you need to go.”

Xena then leaned away from Diana’s lips without tasting of them. Then she
went back to sitting the way she was before Diana’s confession, with Xena once
again studying Diana.

Diana stood up slightly shaky and then giving a slight bow she turned to

“ Oh, by the way, you have my permission to go to town whenever you like, as
long as you return before the moon is high?”

“ Thank you. But today may be a little late to start out so I will go to the
lake for a while, if that’s ok?”

“ It is.”

“ I’m sorry I disturbed you this evening, it won’t happen again.”

“ It’s ok. I actually enjoyed it, it was very enlightening. But next time have
the guard announce you, rather than scaring him to death.” Xena stated

“ Sorry it won’t happen again.” Diana said as a blush colored her cheeks.

“ That’s a start.” Xena said to herself as she thought about the blush that
now colored Diana’s cheek.

Diana bowed slightly again and then turned and walked out of the chamber,
leaving Xena to her thoughts. Diana headed for the lake and when she got there
she found Gabrielle and more than a few of the Amazons as well as Nebula,
Atalanta, Ephiny, Solari, Eponin, and Shatara, they were all involved in
various things, some were swimming others were playing a game of hunter’s tag,
but Gabrielle, Nebula and the other main one’s were all sitting under a tree
talking, and laughing at times.

Diana hung back for a while just watching Shatara and her interaction with the
others. Diana saw how relaxed Shatara was with everyone and she watched how
Shatara helped one of the other women with a small cut to her arm. Gabrielle
then looked over and saw Diana.

“ Diana!” Gabrielle called and jumped to her feet and ran over to greet Diana.

“ Gabrielle.”

“ I guess Xena wouldn’t allow you to come to town?”

“ Well not at first, but then she said I could go anytime I wanted.”

“ Really? What happened?” Gabrielle asked expecting to hear that Diana and
Xena had slept together.

“ I told her how I felt and I ended up falling apart ....again.” Diana said
with a small smile.

“ Well at least she knows now?”

“ True.”

“ Come on it’s time to go to work?”

“ Ok. “

Gabrielle then held Diana’s hand as she pulled her somewhat, towards the area
where everyone sat looking. When they arrived Shatara came to her feet and
“ I think I should be going, I don’t want to spoil anything.”

“ You don’t have to leave, you were here first.” Diana stated flatly as she
barely spared a glance at Shatara.

“ Well they are your friends and I....”

“ From what I saw I think they have accepted you as theirs as well?”

Ephiny was the first to pick up what was going on from Diana’s point of view.

“ Right...Right, we are Diana’s friend, but we thought we were becoming
friends as well?”

“ Well I....” Shatara started.

“ It’s up to you if you want to leave, but I don’t think they want you too?”

“ that’s right, we would like it if you stayed?” Gabrielle interjected.

“ Well I wouldn’t mind, I was enjoying myself, but if my presence is going to
cause you to be uncomfortable, then I will leave?”

“ Staying or going makes no difference to me.” Diana stated as fact. And then
moved to sit with her back to the tree as she turned to Miki and asked,” Are
you on duty tomorrow?”

“ No, why?”

“ I thought maybe you and I could spar together, if Lord Xena says it’s ok?”

“ That would be wonderful Lady Diana.” Miki said with love.

Diana gave a small smile for the sentiment and then place her hand on Miki’s
and said, “ thank you for that, it means a lot to me.”

“ Well that’s how I will always see you, as Lady Diana, and Queen to Our

Gabrielle saw Shatara flinch at the statement, then compose herself enough to
offer everyone something to drink. She offered Diana a cup, and Diana looked
at her for long moments while everyone else looked at both of them, waiting
with bated breaths to see what would follow.

Diana looked at the cup and after a few moments she reached her hand out and
took it and then brought it back to her. Everyone let out a sigh, including
Shatara. Then Diana lifted the cup to her lips and just before she took a
drink and to Shatara’s as well as everyone else’s surprise she stopped before
she took a sip.

“ Thank you.” And then she took a drink of the drink while she kept her eyes
on the cup.

Shatara looked up at the pleasantry and her mouth dropped open, but then she
found her voice and stumbling over her words she managed, “ yo...your...your
welcome Little beauty.”

Diana lifted her eyes just long enough to catch Shatara’s eyes, and then she
just as quickly changed the focus of everyone’s attention away from her and

“ So, what were you ladies talking about before I so rudely interrupted?”

Gabrielle jumped on it and ran with it. “ We were talking about what Atalanta
had been up to since the last time we saw her.”

“ Oh, Atalanta, I’m sorry, I didn’t even greet you, It’s always a pleasure to
see you.”

“ And you Diana, your friend called it right?”

“ My friend?”

“ Yes, Shatara, she called you a little beauty, and that you are most

Gabrielle bit her cheek, and Ephiny and Eponin and Solari, and Nebula all did
the same. Atalanta saw all of the attempts being made by the others and then
she looked at Shatara and then Diana and asked in an unsure tone of voice.

“ Did....I ...say...something....wrong...?”

Gabrielle lost it, and the rest of them all followed suit, Atalanta blushed a
fierce red, while Diana and Shatara both looked at each other and Shatara’s
mouth starting twitching and Diana watched it and finally Shatara was laughing
along with the rest of them. Atalanta looked over at Diana and with
questioning brows she asked what she said.

“ It was nothing, just how you said it.” Diana assured her and then chuckled
slightly, mainly out of seeing how Gabrielle and the others were almost
hysterical, only Shatara remained with some composure as she laughed. The rest
of the evening was civil enough, Diana had not really did anymore than
chuckle, but just a day ago she wasn’t even doing that, so as far as Gabrielle
and the others were concerned it was a success.

“ All of the ladies said their good nights and Gabrielle went to her chamber
with Diana and she and Diana talked the rest of the night about how they were
going to go about continuing all that they had started.

Finally, Gabrielle was told to go to bed by Diana and Gabrielle made Diana
promise to stay for a while longer and sing her a song.

“ Gabrielle I really have no song in me.”

“ Please?”

“ Gabrielle.”

“ Please.”

“ Ok, what?”

“ What ever you want?”

“ Ok lay down and close your eyes.”

“ Ok.” Gabrielle said as she laid down and closed her eyes and waited.

Diana walked out onto the balcony and taking a seat she begun to sing, she
sung a song by Whitney Houston called: I have Nothing. Diana started quietly
and timidly, then as she went on she thought about Xena and she let her voice
reflect her feelings for and about Xena.

Gabrielle laid in her bed looking up at the ceiling as she listened to Diana’s
song to Xena. Gabrielle was not the only one who was listening, Shatara laid
in her bed listening, and Xena sat on her balcony and listened to the
beautiful voice, and the way it was being song, and who it was being song by.
Xena listened to the words and found she understood them. Diana in the
meantime sung until it’s conclusion, and then she sat out on the balcony and
listened to see if she heard Gabrielle, and when she was sure Gabrielle was
asleep, she turned to look out at the view and she sat for a while just
looking out and thinking. Finally she stood up and walking to the rails of the
balcony, she spoke to the night air.

“ Good night Xena My Love, I miss you.” She then turned and walked back into
the chamber and closing the doors quietly she left Gabrielle’s room and went
back to where she was suppose to be.

Meanwhile Xena heard the wish, and a thoughtful smile came to her face.

“ Good night...kitten.” Xena then went back into her chamber and went to bed.

Over the next few months Diana and Shatara were actually able to sit and talk,
and at times even laugh, well, Shatara would laugh, Diana would simply
chuckle. Gabrielle saw the change in Diana’s demeanor as did the other women
who had now come to be like fixtures at Xena The Conqueror’s Palace.

“ Have you noticed that Diana’s eyes are not as dark as they use to be

“ Yes, I think we’ll eventually have our Diana back, she still has not
laughed, but at least some bits of her humor has returned, her and Shatara are
getting along better than I could have ever believed possible. But at times I
catch Diana looking at Shatara as if she herself can’t believe she could even
be near her without thoughts of wanting to rip her heart out.”

“ I know I see that too. Look at them, they actually take walks alone, well
away from all of us, and neither seem to be tense about it. “

“ Well Your half right, Diana isn’t tense about walking with Shatara, but
Shatara is definitely tense about walking with Diana.” Ludmilla interjected.

“ Ludmilla? What are you doing here?”

“ I was sent out to tell all of you that Our Lord was on her way here. She
wants to see some things for herself.”

“ Oh, really? Ok. By the way what did you meant by what you said?”

“ Oh, I overheard Shatara talking to one of the other slaves about Diana. She
was saying how she can’t believe she has come to not only like the little
beauty, her words, but that she found she was actually not only enjoying their
time together, but she actually desires her.”

“ WHAT?!!” Nebula exclaimed at the news.

“ Are you sure Ludmilla?” Gabrielle asked.

“ Yes, and it’s not the first time she has talked about it, she has talked to
others about her feelings.”

“ Does our Lord know about Shatara’s feeling towards Diana?”

“ I don’t think so, and I would not want to be the one to tell her, I think
she would hurt the messager and Shatara, for even thinking along those lines
about Diana?”

“ How do you figure that? Lord Xena has not called for either one of them in
the last few months, this is why her coming here is such a surprise.”

“ I figure it because Advisor Draco and our Lord were talking and I heard him
mention to Lord Xena that Emissary Gletes from one of the other kingdoms, his
ruler is thinking about allying with Our Lord. And Our Lord would be the
Ruler, but they want to talk about it in his kingdom, He heard about the women
of Our Lord’s Harem and made the suggestion that she bring some of them as a
good faith type thing and Advisor Draco suggested one of the women should be
Lady Diana, seeing that she by herself could win over anyone.”

“ What did Lord Xena say to that?”

“ She hit him so hard he is with the healers having the number of ribs broken,
counted. And while he was down, Lord Xena said, “ If anyone touches her, they
will answer to her, and her response would be the last response they ever
heard.” Then she ordered the guards to take Advisor Draco to the healers.”

“ Well, ok, so we need to tell Diana about Shatara’s newly developed

“ You think that is wise? I mean, what if Diana gets upset about it? I think
we should leave it for now and just watch? I don't think Diana will let
anything happen?”

“ I can assure you nothing will happen between those two. There is absolutely
nothing Shatara can do for Diana. Plus Diana’s mind set is on one person and
one person only.” Gabrielle stated factually.

“ I agree.” Ephiny said.

“ Ok then, we leave it?” Nebula asked.”

“ Yes.”

“ Thank you Ludmilla for the message.” Gabrielle stated.

“ Your welcome Princess.” Ludmilla bowed and then ran off.

After about a candlemark had past Diana and Gabrielle and the others were all
sitting and Gabrielle was regaling everyone with one of her stories, it was
about Xena and Diana’s adventures together, and there were parts that had
everyone laughing hysterically, while Diana simply chuckled or threw some
grass at Gabrielle or Ephiny who happen to throw in her two dinars about some
aspect about the story. After Gabrielle had finished, she received
enthusiastic rounds of applause, and Gabrielle soaked it up.

“ Does Lord Xena have a sense of humor? I mean outside of battle humor?”

“ Does she?! Yes, matter of fact it’s dry humor, but if your able to pick it
up she’s actually very funny. Although most of her humor is physical in

“ Really like what?” Atalanta asked in wonder.

“ Ok, well most of us wouldn’t think Xena was the type to go for things like
tickling someone, I mean this big powerful woman resorting to tickling
someone. “

“ Lord Xena tickling?”

“ I know, and if someone was sitting here telling me this, I would say the
same thing, Not Xena The Conqueror? But the fact of the matter is, if I hadn’t
been witness to it as well as Queen Ephiny then I would not believe it.”

“ When did this happen?” Atalanta asked.

Shatara, Miki, and the other Amazons who were not there when it happened all
sat listening with raptured interest, as Gabrielle and at times Ephiny told
what and how it came about. When they had ended the story the group of women
were howling once again, this time Diana stood up and pretended she was
thirsty, she picked up the large pitcher of water and asked in a dubious

“ You guys must be hot from all of that laughter?”

“ A....little. “ Gabrielle managed and then fell over once again completely
claimed by Diana’s expression from hearing the story and seeing everyone else
all holding their sides as they tried to regain some composure.

Suddenly, Diana pour the pitcher of water over all of them, and then jumped
back when all of them coughed and sputtered and then started stalking her as
Diana started backing towards the lake. Then they looked at each other, all
drenched. And then they looked back at Diana who simply raised a brow of
question, but no look of real concern. Suddenly they charged her with the
intent to push her into the lake.

Diana of course had other plans, so when the women charged, just as they
reached out to push her, Diana leaped up into the air and flipped over all of
them, and everyone of them flew into the water. Diana came to land back where
they had been standing, only now she was facing them and chuckling to herself
as they splashed water towards the shore in their own frustration. Then
Gabrielle laughed once again and it was like a chain reaction, before long all
of the wet women were once again laughing hysterically, this time at
themselves, including Shatara.

What they did not realize was that Xena had arrived in time to see Diana pour
the water over all of them, and then her trick upon them. Xena came to stand
behind Diana, and it was Miki to compose herself first when she saw her behind

Diana however realized it was Xena the minute she walked up behind her. Diana
whirled around and lowered her eyes as Xena looked over at the other women who
were just coming out of the water.

“ So, this is what you have been up to lately?” Xena said quietly for Diana to
hear only.

“ Yes.”

“ Hmmm....Come with me. You too Shatara.” Xena commanded as she turned on her
heels and strided over to another tree and sat down and then pointed for Diana
to sit on her right, and when Shatara made it over she was motioned to sit on
Xena’s left.

Both women sat down, Shatara sat on her heels and Diana sat in indian fashion
once again facing Xena. Xena leaned back against the tree and studied the two
women. Diana kept her eyes lowered while Shatara tried to avoid Xena’s eyes.

“ So, it seems to me that you two are getting along?”

“ Ye...yes My Lord.” Shatara offered.

“ Is that true?” Xena asked directing her question towards Diana.

Diana looked up at Xena and then over at Shatara, who was sitting holding her
breath. Diana looked back at Xena and said, “ Yes. I’m very surprised at how

Shatara let out the breath and then a big smile came to her face, as she
looked at Diana. Diana glanced over at her and let a small smile come to her
face. Xena sat and watched the exchange and then she pulled Shatara to her and
laid a kiss on her that caused Shatara to fall backwards from lightheadedness
when Xena let her go.

Diana tried not to show her distaste of seeing Xena kissing Shatara, so she
turned her head or lowered her eyes.

“ I’m pleased.” Xena said and then stood up and just before she left she said,
“ Both of you are to meet with the other slaves you will be escorting me to
one of the other Kingdoms.” Xena then left the two women under the tree.
Shatara was trying to compose herself, while Diana ran her hands through her
hair to keep from screaming.

Diana finally stood up and looking at Shatara who tried to keep her eyes from
meeting Diana’s, finally did look up expecting to see anger in Diana’s eyes,
but what she found was pain.

“ It’s ok Shatara, I’m not angry. I’m going to go and get changed.”

“ Diana I’m sorry, I didn’t realize Our Lord was going to do that.”

“ I know you didn’t, anyway I think we should get going.”

“ Ok. “

Diana then turned and walked back over to the other women and she gave a small
smile, and then said, “ Our Lord wants us to join her on some trip, so I guess
I have to end our day, I really enjoyed it, you guys have always been able to
make me happy. Thank you. I hope we can get together again another day?”

“ Of Course Diana, anytime.” Ephiny said understanding Diana’s avoidance of
what had happened, and the feelings she was experiencing.

Diana smiled again and then turned and headed towards the palace. Diana and
Shatara both rode with Xena in her Carriage. Xena kept her attentions on
Shatara the whole trip, even going so far as to cause Shatara to release a few
times right in front of Diana.

Diana could do nothing but flinch at all of the sounds Shatara was making and
the cause of them. Diana kept her eyes averted and tried to keep her mind
focused on the scenic view they were passing on their way to Emissary Glete’s
Rulers land.

Xena watched Diana and saw the stress, but she was trying to find out
something and this was the best way to answer the question. Finally they made
it to the Resident of the Ruler and when the carriage door was opened Xena
stepped out first, followed by Shatara and then finally Diana after wiping her
eyes quickly.

“ Lord Xena...welcome, Lord Brenos asked that I take you to the reception

Xena gave a nod of her head and she and Diana and Shatara along with Xena’s
whole entourage, all headed for the hall. When they arrived, Xena was lead
to the head table and Shatara and Diana followed after her. The rest of Xena’s
slaves were seated next to other slaves.

“ Lord Xena welcome, come join me. Xena stepped up onto the elevated area of
the platform where she sat in a large plush chair and Diana and Shatara both
stood on her right and left just behind her.

“ You two! Go and join the rest of your Lords slaves!”

Shatara’s eyes went wide at the thought of sitting with the other slaves, not
that she hadn’t done it many times before, but for some reason it was
different. Diana saw Shatara’s reaction and she gave her a questioning look.
Then she looked at the women sitting at the table along with some men, and
then she looked at the guest and it dawned on her.

Diana looked back at the Ruler and in a casual voice she said, “ I don’t
think so.”

Diana received a slap across her face for the comment from Brenos. And She
went to strike him back but Xena caught her arm just in time. It was mere
inches from Brenos’s face. Xena gave Diana a look and holding her hand she
turned her attention back to Brenos.

“ Brenos, you must forgive my slave, she is newly captured and has not learned
her place, I will make sure she does not speak out of turn again.”

“ Very well Lord Xena, because I know what your discipline is like I shall not
hold offense.”

“ Xena gave a slight nod of her head and then still holding Diana’s hand she
begun to squeeze.

“ Ahhh!! My Lord??” Diana called in pain as she began to sink down to her
knees. While bringing her other hand up to try and loosen Xena’s grip or at
least provide some support to her other hand and arm.

Xena continued to squeeze as Diana’s knees finally touched the floor by Xena’s

“ Please let go?” Diana pleaded as she tried to keep the tears from falling.

“ Not another word from you except to apologize to Lord Brenos, is that clear

“ Yes! Yes..Gods please let go?!”

Xena held Diana’s hand for a few more agonizing minutes and then she looked
down at Diana and with a tilt of her head she let go of Diana’s hand and Diana
yelped again at the release.

Gripping her hand she turned to Brenos and made her apology.

“ I’m sorry that I offended such an incredible schlemiel as yourself, I should
have realized that such a superflous, verbosious, picayune of a man like you
is an invective to all of humanity and therefore you should be abrogated from
such people as myself . Forgive me for being so cogent in explaining how
peripheral you are to me.”

“ Your lucky today little girl that I’m in a great mood. Your forgiven.”
Brenos said as he took hold of Diana’s chin and gave a good squeeze to her
cheek and then gave another light slap across the face and Diana’ s eyes lit
but she did not make a move towards him.

“ Thank you for being the schlemiel I knew you were.”

“ Your welcome.” Brenos said puffing out his chest pleased with the long
apology he thought he had received when in fact he had just been thoroughly

Diana turned back to face Xena with a raised brow and a slight hmphff, back
towards Brenos, and Xena was actively trying to keep from laughing at what
Diana had just called the man.

“ Ok, sitdown.” Xena finally ordered.

Diana turned back around and kneeled and then sat back on her heels and looked
up at Xena who had a brow raised at her.

Shatara kneeled down on Xena’s other side and Xena settled back in her chair.
Brenos and Xena talked about many things during the reception, and when the
food was brought out Xena’s personal taster came forward and was about to test
different parts of it. Xena raised her hand and waived her off.

“ Stand up.” Xena commanded of Diana, who was listening to the different
conversations going on.

Diana stood up and looking at Xena with knitted brows. Xena then pointed to
her tray of food. Diana looked at it and then back at Xena, and when Xena
raised her brow, Diana caught on.

“ You want me to test your food?” Diana asked shocked. But not out of fear,
but out of principle.

Xena didn’t say anything, she just cut her eyes to Diana and with a look of
irritation coming to her eyes she looked back at the food and then back at
Diana. Diana took a deep breath and holding back the tears that threaten, she
turned to the tray and breaking off a piece of meat, Diana brought it under
her nose and taking a whiff of it, she then put it into her mouth and chewed
and swallowed it, then she did the same with all of the other food.

“ It’s fine.” Diana stated tightly.

Xena then held up her goblet to Diana. Diana took in a slow breath and
picking up the container of wine she poured some into Xena’s cup, and taking
the cup from Xena she brought it to her nose once again, but this time she
looked at Xena and put the cup down, and then picked up the container and
taking a whiff of it, she raised a brow and put it down.

Diana then went further she picked up Brenos’s goblet and taking a whiff of it
and putting it down, she turned to Xena and said with narrowed eyes.

“ Your Goblet and his are both poisoned, the wine container is fine, as is the
wine, My Lord.”

Xena nodded her head and motioned for Diana to retake her place. Diana went
back to her knees and waited to see what would happen.

“ Who prepared and brought these Goblets?” Lord Brenos asked of his servants.

“ It was the new assistant cook, My Lord.”

“ Send him to me now.”

The servant turned and went and delivered the message. The assistant cook came
out and stood before the head table, and it was Xena who spoke.

“ Here, drink.”

“ Excuse me My Lord?”

“ Drink the wine.” Xena said with an edge to her tone.



alt fic index <> homepage