Lara and Sarah were now all settled in the beautiful and well-supplied cave. Sarah was admiring the beautiful well-carved furniture. She turned toward the tall dark haired woman and smiled sweetly saying, "Xena must have made all this herself. Grandmother told me she's a whiz at anything to do with carving."
Running her fingers over the smooth beautifully carved oak cabinet that she was examining Lara nodded, "Yes she is. She's quite remarkable."
"Just like her Great Granddaughter."
Lara actually blushed and she never did that. "Angel, you are the only one in the world who could make me blush."
Sarah's smile brightened and she replied happily, "Good."
Lara laughed and shook her head as she opened the cabinet. Suddenly her face was full of awe, "Angel come here."
Sara walked over and looked inside her eyes widening in surprise. Inside there were bottles and bottles of 3,000 year old wine and port. All clean and immaculately kept.
"Astonishing, I can't wait to try out that port," Said Lara as she put her arms around the smaller woman's waist and pulled her close to her. She leaned down and kissed the crown of her head and then lay her head on top of Sarah's.
Sarah snuggled into the taller woman sighing in contentment.
"I always dreamed of being naked in a hot tub with Champaign looking deeply into the eyes of the person I loved."
"Mm, really and what did this person look like?"
"You my sweet."
"Ahh, well I dreamt of you too. I really didn't think about till I met you but I saw your pretty face in my dreams and just looking into your eyes filled me with pure joy."
Lara gently brought up the soft lips to meet her own in a deep loving kiss.
*** **** **** ****
There was the joyful sound of giggles coming from the hot tub. Lara had Sarah in her lap and she was kissing her neck and playing with some pretty parts below the water line. Sarah felt like she was slowly climbing up a heavenly spiral and just as she reached it she stiffened. A flash of Apollo's temple flashed in her mind and what her imagination supplied was a picture of their adversary's horrid death.
"Lara?" She squeaked.
Lara had felt the same thing as she saw the destroyed bodies in her minds eye just as she was enjoying the pleasure of giving Sarah her release. She hugged the smaller woman and whispered in her ear, "I know love, I feel it too."
They pulled slightly apart and looked into each other's worried eyes. Sarah with trembling lips asked Lara softly, "What are we going to do?"
Lara reached up and gently put some hair behind the tiny ear and then she cupped her loves face in her hands, "I'm not going to give up making love to you my darling bride, I'll tell you that." She replied with a sweet smile.
"I don't want you to. I can't stop seeing...I can't get that place out of my mind."
"I know...But we have to change our way of thinking about it, Angel. We passed that horrid test not once but twice. Once was proof our love was true but twice had to mean something more. We were never really scarred by the test because we never saw anything. We were caught up in our own love at the time so we really didn't see them actually die, Thank God. I think we should see how lucky we were not how unlucky they were, don't you?"
Lara had captured Sarah's eyes in an intense loving gaze. As she spoke she was softly caressing her back. Sarah simply nodded as she leaned into the parted lips right in front of hers kissing the beautiful woman passionately. They explored each other happily till they ran out of air. Then Lara scooped Sarah up into her arms and carried her out of the hot tub. They gently dried each other off enjoying each caress of the towel and then put on their robes.
"Are you hungry, Angel?"
"Let's eat then we'll try to rid ourselves of that horrid image with a much more pleasant one. I intend for us to be rid of it forever, sound good to you?"
They started to work on dinner as Lara was opening a can she noticed something behind the hot tub. She put down the can and slowly approached what appeared to be a panel. She studied it carefully feeling the wall of the cave trying to figure out where the key was.
Sarah had been setting up the stove when she noticed that her wife had left her side. She walked over and watched Lara carefully examine the wall of the cave.
"Did the cave spring a leak?" She asked with a bright smile.
Lara spun around and met amused green eyes with an equally amused look. "Very cute. Look at this Angel, It looks like a panel come here and see if you can help me find the key."
Sarah came closer and tried to find any kind of clue to open the panel. She then noticed something intriguing at the bottom it was a stylized omega. She felt it and found a groove that she could easily slide her wedding band into. Then she stood up and she looked up at the other side of the panel and on the top corner saw a delta made in the same style of design.
"Sweetie, see if you can feel a groove in that delta all the way up in that high corner. Then see if you could slide the bottom half of your wedding band into it."
Lara's eyes widened as she quietly moved to the other side of the panel and reached up to feel the delta in the corner of the panel. Low and behold she found a groove and easily slid the back of her wedding band into it.
"You're a genius!" She said walking quickly back to Sarah hugging her tightly and kissing her passionately.
Then she pulled back caressing her cheek saying softly, "Your so damn smart. Did you know that?"
Sarah leaned into the caress and replied honestly, "No."
"Why ever not?"
Sarah shrugged. Lara stepped back and shook her head and said very quietly, "Angel I really don't understand. Aunt Mel and Aunt Janice loved you so much. Why do you feel so inadequate?"
Sarah lowered her head, "Um, It wasn't them."
Sarah shook her head and bent it. Lara lifted her chin up gently and asked firmly, "Bloody who is it?"
"My Aunt Anna and my cousins they always made me feel...unwanted."
Lara's face suddenly became very angry, "What do you mean unwanted?" Her voice was quiet but very intense. Sarah had never heard Lara use that tone before.
"Its not important. I don't see them anymore."
"Bloody hell it isn't important. It still is affecting you to this day. Even with me and that is something I want to know about and understand."
Sarah's head lowered even more and she felt tears sting her eyes. She couldn't reply because she was upset with herself for upsetting Lara this much.
Lara took a deep breath and cursed herself within her own mind. She realized that Sarah was misunderstanding her and thinking her anger was directed at her instead of her aunt. She very gently put her finger under the quivering little chin and lifted it up till she could see the teary green eyes. She carefully dried each eye and said softly, "My Angel, I'm angry at your Aunt not you. Never you. Please love, come on and tell me what happened. Don't you trust me?"
"Yes, of course, " Sarah said leaning into the hand that was now caressing her cheek.
"Please tell me about it then you won't have to think about her again. I promise," she took her hand and led her to their bed. It was a beautiful well built bed that Xena made for the cave. It was sturdy, attractive and comfortable just like everything else the Warrior Princess ever made. They sat on the edge of the bed; Lara never let go of her hand or lost eye contact with smaller woman. Her other arm was softly rubbing her back in comfort.
"Come on Angel, talk to me."
Sarah nodded, She stared at their joined hands as if they gave her strength and took a deep breath quietly starting to speak, "I was always different. I wasn't much for dolls or clothes or parties. I wasn't too intrigued by boys either. I never talked about kissing or dating. I didn't drink or do drugs. I liked school and I never played hooky. I got excited by reading and learning about the far off places that Auntie Janice and Auntie Mel were always off to. I adored college. I went early I started my undergraduate classes at 16 years old. I belonged to all the so-called geek clubs. This didn't sit too well with my Uncle's wife and children. I wasn't socially acceptable being a nerd and all. After Auntie Janice and Auntie Mel died I was left with them," she sighed and closed her eyes tight.
"My Uncle was different he loved me and was always kind to me. But he was a busy lawyer and wasn't home much. His wife and daughters treated me like I was the ugly stepsister. They couldn't punish me financially for intruding into their lives because Auntie Janice and Auntie Mel's estates were both left completely to me. I only stayed with them because I hadn't become 18 years old and my Uncle felt I should wait till I was older before I moved into Auntie Mel's house. It was understandable you see how unworldly I am so he was trying to protect me."
"That's not how I see you Angel," Lara whispered into her ear, "go on."
Sarah nodded and went on, "They had to feel superior to me so they constantly criticized me. I lacked social skills. I was plain and boring. That it was a lucky thing for me that I had a fortune since my money was the only way I would attract any man into my life. They said that I was lucky they put up with me since I was such a bore and they only did so because of obligation to family." Sarah now started to sob against Lara's shoulder. Lara pulled her closer still and whispered quietly, "Go on," As she kissed her cheek and continued to caress her back.
"They were always careful not to speak like that within my Uncles hearing. He was totally unaware of it. He was really worried about me he used to talk to the only other person who loved me in that house the housekeeper Mrs. Peterson. Mrs. Peterson used work for Auntie Mel and I had to stop her from going to my Uncle with what his wife was doing to me. He couldn't understand why I spent so much time alone since there was whole household of people for me to talk to. He didn't know I was trying to escape the constant harping on my faults by living in my books. When I was almost 18 years old he died. I went to my lawyer and asked him if I could move into Auntie Mel's now since I wanted to get away from that woman. Auntie Janice and Auntie Mel came to the rescue with their will it was at my discretion I could do what I wanted to do."
Sarah stopped because she was finding it hard to breathe. She felt Lara pull her onto her lap swaying her gently in her arms like she was child. "Angel please go on, I think you need to get this out of you finally. It will bring you peace to say it out loud." Lara said quietly into her ear then she dried her tears and then lovingly rubbed her cheek against the tearstained cheek beside her.
Sarah allowed the gentle swaying to calm her as she rubbed her cheek against the soft cheek of this kind woman who she knew really loved her. She continued quietly, "My Aunt said I was an ungrateful bitch and that she will never step foot in my new home. She said I was uncouth and unworthy of her and her children's attention. She said I would never be acknowledged by society and I was not considered apart of their family anymore. I was treated like a leper from then on. If they saw me in town which was unusual because I didn't go out much and wasn't one for the type of events they went to they would look right through me. I was very lonely for a long time. I did meet some nice people in college and the charities I worked for but there was no one close. I had no one to confide in or have fun with so I began to believe that my Aunt was right..."
Lara had pulled back so she wouldn't yell in her loves ear. "The hell she was!" Then she pulled the smaller woman back into a bear hug kissing her tenderly and caressing her back. She had tears in her eyes as she pulled all the way back again but what astonished Sarah was the anger burning in them. Lara's voice was very gentle as she spoke to Sarah, "That woman wasn't your relative anyway. Your uncle was and your housekeeper but that bitch and her kids were strangers that you lived with. You are way too good for the lot of them. You're too good for that town if they don't see all the wonder that I see in you. Your beautiful, smart, creative, talented, kind, sweet, caring and...and...and utterly adorable."
"Yes, I'm head over heals in love with you. You astound me every day and I'm so very, very proud of you." Lara pulled her close and gave her heartfelt kiss full of love and need. She immediately deepened it and rolled onto her back taking Sarah with her to the center of the large bed. She gently took off Sarah's robe ands started to explore the soft skin. Sarah removed Lara's robe stroking her strong back arching her breasts into Lara's hands. When they pulled apart Lara rolled once again till she was over her love her lips hungrily began to taste every delight they could reach. Sarah's head flew back against the pillows her hands tangling in soft black hair.
Lara kissed her way down to Sarah's apex tasting and delighting in every single inch of the beautiful body beneath her. To her delight she had so much nectar to lap up she felt like a greedy kitten. Sarah moaned and shivered at each lap of Lara's fast moving tongue. "Hurry" Sarah moaned in need.
Happily Lara complied with the sweet request and entered Sarah's apex with an eager tongue tasting exploring each delicious inch till she knew that her love was more then ready she added a finger rubbing Sarah's clit pulling back her face she began to ride Sarah's leg with same rhythm. When she knew she was about to go over she entered a second finger sending her mate spiraling into ecstasy following her a few seconds later.
Lara crawled up the hot sweating body beneath her and curled up around it. She whispered into the panting woman's ear, "I love you my Angel. You mean everything to me."
Sarah kissed the sweaty forehead and rubbed her cheek against the salty neck. She loved the scent and feel of this strong woman nestled in her arms. "I love you too with all my heart and soul. Thank you."
"For seeing me, the real me. No one else ever has."
"Oh Angel that was easy.
*** *** *** ***
Afterwards they jumped into the tub while their food cooked and then ate dinner. They went back to the panel and studied it. "Sweetie, can you reach that Delta easily or would you like a chair?"
Lara smiled, she was really beginning to like being called that by Sarah. She did wonder how she would react if anyone else heard it though, "Yep it's no problem. Shall we?"
Sarah nodded and placed her left hand over the omega and patiently waited for Lara to do the same with the delta. Lara nodded and they both applied pressure at the same time pushing their rings on the back of their fingers into the fitted grove. At first there was no reaction to it then slowly the wall began to shudder and groan slowly gliding to the side like it was on ball bearings.
Lara carefully inspected the floor of the cave and wall and shook her head. "I'll be damned if I know how that was done."
Sarah was looking into the new opening with a non-plussed expression on her face. Lara looked into the opening and gulped. There suspended in air above two pillars were objects seemingly floating in midair.
They both slowly entered as if in a trance. Sarah walked to one pedestal and Lara to the other. Simultaneously they reached out and touched the dancing objects. They're whole bodies seem to be hit by an electrical force but they kept going as if it didn't even phase them. They were still completely in sync with each other though they never looked at each other they're focus was totally absorbed by the pedestals.
Sarah reached out and took the Sais that was dancing together above the pedestal holding them in a fighting stance. She was in awe because she knew them.
At the same time Lara took the elegant sword bringing it in arch over head and down her back and then arched it back up into a battle ready stance as well. A sound was at the bottom of her throat that she knew very well so she allowed it burst out of her. The well-known battle cry echoed through out the ancient cave. Both women moved till they were back to back as if they were expecting trouble.
"Hello Xena," Said a very familiar deep voice that sent chills down both their backs.
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