To Conquer the Conqueror

by Ponyblue

Disclaimers: Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, Artemis, Ares, Ephiny, Eponin and Solari and any other related characters are the property of MCA, Universal, and their creators. Just borrowing them for a second.

No copyright infringements intended.

This story contains tough love situations/bondage/domination between two women. It also contains violence.

If you are under 18 or would find this subject matter offensive please look elsewhere for your entertainment. Otherwise read at your own risk.

“Out of all the village's that has been taken there is one that remains untouched. Why has this small town that is surrounded by my kingdom, this town that is actually protected from other threats because it is under my flag. Why has this town not been taken Samuels?”

Samuels had been with Xena for a long time. He’d learned that there was not much room for error when it came to the destroyer. He’d erred quite a few times but for some reason she was more tolerant towards him. Samuels was not a fool however and did not take this for granted, he’d seen the destroyer at her worst, but he was extremely loyal to her. For if not for her he would have died a long time ago. Her loyalty was very strong towards her subjects. She was ruthless to her enemies, traitors, and outsiders.

“My lord the people of this village pulled back behind their gates and have not opened them since. They are farmers and have access to underground springs cold and hot. Therefore there is no need for them to come out.” Samuels stood at full attention. “My lord it was your order to leave them. Your exact words were ‘They are easy pickings with no real militia. When all is well we will send a training group in to take the village’ If you like I can send a training party out in the morning.” He stated relieved that he had followed her orders to the letter.

“Well, we have left them to themselves long enough. They’ve reaped the benefits of our protection. Give them a chance to ally with us. If they will not inform them of their position, if they still resist rush their walls and take them as prisoner. Samuels there is no need for a blood bath or burnings. Keep it neat and have the party back for dinner. You are excused.”

Xena closed the meeting with her Generals. For now she was at a standstill. The Amazons, Trakus, and the Centaurs were at each other’s throats. Neither side wanted to take her on at the moment. She was going to wait it out. Let them battle each other and she would take on the victor.

Tara Xena’s personal servant and a barrage of others came in with a fresh bath and a tray of fruits. Xena watched Tara as she fussed and made sure everything was perfect. She had not been intimate with her or anyone else in a long time. She also knew Tara was very much in love with her. Tara sent everyone out. Xena went on studying her maps again making a note to release Tara. She had been a good servant and as far as she was concerned had earned her release.

She did not have on her armor so Tara bound her hair up and stood to the side waiting as Xena stood. Tara’s knowing hands relieved her of her clothing. She stepped into the water the ritual of cleaning went as normal. Tara hands massaged as she cleaned. Xena then stepped out of the tub. Tara immediately toweled her off then prepared her dinner.

She knelt at her side as Xena ate clad only in a robe. Tara cleared the dishes away and knelt on a rug in the middle of the room. Xena watched her. The girl was beautiful, and very attentive. She just did not find her appealing any longer. She could find another lover and keep the girl, she was just a personal servant. That did not mean she had to double as her whore, and that was all she was using her for. She did not pretend to have feeling for her.

Xena stood in her hand she carried a dagger.

“Tara, You have served me well.” She said standing in front of the girl. She ran her hand through her hair catching a handful. She gently tugged until the girl was looking up at her. Xena put the blade of the dagger to her neck. The girl flinched but kept her hazel eyes locked on Xena’s. Xena slipped the dagger under the collar and one swipe of the razor sharp blade cut through the thick leather and the collar fell to the floor. Xena dropped a bag of gold in front of the girl.

She watched the confusion that went over the girl’s face.

“I release you from my services. The gold I’ve given you will be enough to start you fresh on your way---.” She cut Xena off.

“No my lord please…. What will I do …Where will I go…My only desire is to please you…. I love----.”

“STOP! Don’t you say it. You lie! I am giving you your freedom. Are you so stupid you will not take it?” Xena looked at the girl in amazement.

“I only desire to be with you My lord.” She said remaining on the rug.

“Take the gold and leave or I’ll have you thrown out with nothing.” Xena shouted at the girl showing no sympathy for her feelings and love, and disgust for her show of weakness. “Samuels, get in here.” Xena demanded having heard his voice in the hall.

“I will only come back my lord.” Tara said standing and looking her straight in the eyes.

Xena's temper flared just as Samuel’s was coming through the door. She backhanded Tara. The force of the blow sent her flying across the room and into Samuel’s. He caught her but was almost knocked down himself, Tara crying in his arm, her lip split and bleeding.

Xena moved even further away needing distance.

“If you come back I will kill you. I do not need people so weak in my presence. Samuel’s take her away. Let it be known to all she is not allowed on the premises. This gold is hers.” She tossed the bag to him.

“I do not want your gold. You will never find another who cared for you like I. Who will love you like I. You are the stupid one for you do not know what you are throwing away.” Tara spat the words out at her.

“I would kill you for that but I think you want me to. You are scared to be out there on your own now. I was just going to put you out of the castle. The gold would have assured you a good new start. Now I will put you out of my kingdom. The gold could be a blessing-Then again for a women by herself it could be a curse. I wish you well Tara. Get her out of my sight.” With that Samuel’s left to carry out Xena’s wishes.

The next couple of days were a little hectic. Poteidaia had put up more of a fight then to be expected. A party of 100 young men in training was slaughtered. Xena blamed herself for underestimating the village. Xena led the fathers of the young men that perished. They rushed the village and killed all the men within. Women and children were branded as prisoners of war, and servants of her kingdom. The village was relieved of anything of value. 50% to Xena the other half split amongst the fathers. The town was burned to the ground and the land split between the fathers.

Poteidaia was no more.

Samuels was in the middle of a particularly intense sparring match when one of the castle’s servants rushed on to the training platform.

“Master Samuels, Madam is out of control. Please come quick--.” The servant cried apparently distraught.

“Samuels, if you will allow me to stop kicking your ass for a second you may be able to get back to the castle while there is a castle still standing, before my hut is filled with unsuspecting servants.” The healer grunted a staff forcing him down to the mat.

“My friend it looks to me as if the ass kicking is all yours. My lady is in no danger of getting hurt and so I have nothing to worry about.” Samuels sneered down at the healer.

“Hades Samuels I still got people in traction from her rampage of a half moon. You have got to do something. Let me up so I can go and inspect the damage.” The healer scowled up at him.

Samuels let him up and the trio trotted to the castle.

Xena had the cook cornered. Cooking servants were nursing wounds and trying there best to stay out of her way.

“What are you trying to do kill me---?.” Xena was cut off. The healer guessed what happened and decided this was as good of time as any to start cleaning up the mess. Starting with the tyrant who started it.

“My lord, I got here as fast as I could.” Xena whirled on him her hand shooting to his neck cutting off his air, and lifting him off the ground.

“Was I speaking to you?!” Ice cold eyes chilled him to the bone.

“My lady you need the healers eye. We came to see to you.” Samuels said in an attempt to help the healer.

“I can see to myself. I do not need this Quack to do anything for me.” She said releasing the healer who fell to the floor gasping for air.

“Fine My lady - but please, it is not the cook’s fault she does not know of your---. We thought it a safe guard not to let anyone know. Please my lady, I know you are a great healer but won’t you let him tend to you.” Xena's eyes were full of rage. Samuels remained cool. He found this was the best way to deal with her when she was like this.

“Fine.” She motioned to the healer who got to his feet. “To my chambers Quack. You better have me feeling better by the rising of the sun or you will hang.” Xena did not like the healer. She did not trust the healer. She knew the feeling was mutual. However he was the best healer in the land and she felt her people deserved no less. She still did not trust him.

Xena lay in her bed fully sedated.

“You did not have to knock her out like that.” Samuels told the healer.

“She has been a horror when she’s completely healthy. I can only imagine how she’d be broken out in hives like that.” The healer stated. “You have got to convince her to get a personal servant again. Every since Tara left she has been clashing with the household servants, and most of them have been winding up at my hut. You either have to find her a war to fight or something to keep her occupied. A restless destroyer of nations is a very dangerous one indeed. Besides, I want to see her before the rising of the sun so I’ll know whether to go running for the hills or not.” The healer said frowning down at the very peaceful face of the conqueror.

“She did not mean that threat she was very irritated. The hives are disappearing already. When she wakes we will go and find a servant from the new group of poteidaian women.” Samuels said noticing that Xena was looking up at them both sedated but very awake.

“I thank you, the servants will thank you, I can’t say that the women who will have to deal with her will thank you.” Samuels started to let the healer know that she was listening but she raised a weak finger to her lips then closed her eyes. “It is a good decision to get someone who has not dealt with her first handed. All the women in the kingdom would probably run away screaming.” The healer commented ruefully.

Samuels could not stand it anymore. He knew sedated or not too many more of the healers wise cracks and he would be dead.

“Look, we both know that almost all the women in the kingdom would love the chance to be with her, whether they’ll admit it or not.” He said noticing the slight upturning of her lips. “You are just jealous.” With that Samuels led the healer out of the room.
The next morning he sent a nice pleasantly hot bath to the conquerors chambers. He then made sure her breakfast was perfect. He had got first hand knowledge from Tara on what to do to tend for Xena. She also promised to train the new servant. She did this as a thank you to Samuels. He had taken her to his mother’s house just outside of the kingdom. She ran a peaceful little Inn and a Hospice for sick children. Tara was very happy there. She was still heartbroken and had donated the gold to the hospice in Xena's name.

Samuels knocked on the conqueror door then entered her chambers with her breakfast.

“Your breakfast My lord.” He said sitting the tray in front of her.

She was dressed but one could not see what she had on underneath her long hooded cloak.

“And are you to be my new personal servant.” She asked raising her eyebrow. “Or do you call yourself protecting the servants from a tyrant.” Samuels could not tell if she was joking or not.

“My lord, may I speak freely?” Samuels asked noting that Xena was really enjoying the breakfast.

“You may.” Xena said quietly. “Have a seat.” She offered. He remained standing.

“The new prisoners are going to be assigned to duty today. The castle is in need of new servants. One of the older servants is due to her retirement rights. You of coarse need a new personal servant.” He broached the subject.

“You go pick out the new help. I am more then capable of taking care of my personal needs.” Xena said pushing the plate away.

“My lady I do not doubt your ability to care for yourself. You care for a whole kingdom. Keeping them safe and happy. What about when we have to deal with hostile enemies. You deserve to come back to someone who can take care of things. Like make sure Cook has prepared your dinner right. When we come home from battle we need someone there to take care of the basics. Let’s face it sometimes we are pretty banged up. Well I know I be. You want someone there you are familiar with and can trust. Part of my job is to look out for your well being I will pick a personal servant if you refuse to. This will be the person who will tend to you if in any case you can not. You know our taste is as different as night and day. Especially for something like this My lord.” Samuels waited hoping he had drove the point home.

“As far as someone I can trust, I trust No one. Have them brought to the courtyard. You will join me on the dais at 1300 hr and we’ll see. We need to have another meeting at 1500 of the sundial battles between the three armies has started according to our scouts. We need to get our strategies together. You are excused.” With that Samuels left the room. Xena stood on her balcony for a long time. Tara’s words washing over her again and again. “You will never find another who cares for you. Who loves you? You don’t know what you are throwing away.”

‘What of love? A person like me can not afford that emotion. Anyone I love will become a target. Her mind drew back to sacrifices for loved ones. No that is something I do not need. Then why do I feel so empty?

The sun was bright shining down on the prisoners. Gabrielle had watched her father die. She’d been separated from her mother and her sister yesterday. Now here she stood among others she had grown up with wondering what had went wrong. What would their fates be? There was nothing left for her now. She remembered her promise to her mother. ‘Gabrielle from here on whatever happens do not let it crush your spirit. We will see each other again’ She had cried in her mother’s arms until they forced them apart. There was no one to cry to now. They just did not care. ‘I feel so empty’ she thought.

Samuels took the girl to Tara. For the next week she was put through intense training as to her duties as a personal servant, the girl rebelled at first. Tara sent a message to him because she did not know what to do. He finally found it necessary to tell her whom she would be serving. It was either learn the duties expected of her, and not suffer, suffer while the destroyer taught her, or die for refusing to submit to the conqueror. When he came for her she was ready.

Xena sat in her throne room. Samuels on her right. Her generals listening intently. The scouts informed them that Trakus’s army had been defeated, but he and a small battalion escaped. The amazons and the centaurs had called a stalemate. They’d split Trakus’s land between their two villages. They were going to combine forces in case Xena came after them.

“Well fellows lets make this short and sweet. We will hit the Centaurs from the west, hard, surround them, and drive them North. Thereby separating both nations. From there we’ll attack the amazons from the east. When they send for reinforcements from the west we’ll intercept them, and hit them from both directions. We’ll then fall back giving the Centaurs the idea we were defeated, and let them walk into a nice little trap. That men will be history. We’ll take some time to recoup then on to Thesily. Get a good nights rest gentlemen tomorrow we’ll start preperation. That is all.”

Xena felt accelerated as she went over maps and plans. Finally she retired it had been a long day. She stopped one of the servants on her way to her room and ordered a hot bath. The servant looked at her kind of funny but assured her she would. Xena shook her head and continued on to her room. There was a fresh basket of fruits sittings on her bed she eyed them suspiciously. There was a knock on the door.

“Enter.” She said wondering who was at the door. The servants entered with a hot bath. Confusion clouded Xena's mind. She’d just told the servant to send a bath not even a good turn of the sand. The men who had carried the bath in exited. She entered. Xena’s mind drifted back to that moment.

It was a sunny day. Still she kept the cloak hood over her head. She did not want the servants to see her. Samuels called for each one to stand on a block and turn around so they could take a good look at them. Xena’s boredom had grown with each person. Samuels was choosing servants for the castle. She just had to pick one for herself.

“Next.” Samuels called out.

The girl stepped timidly up on the block. She looked directly at Xena. Xena gasped it was like those eyes were looking into her soul. She knew the girl could not see her but she felt like she could.

Samuels heard the gasp.

“What’s your name girl?” He called out to her.

“Gabrielle.” She called back.

“I’ll take her.” Xena spoke only loud enough for Samuels to hear her. Then she turned and left. She’d grabbed five very formidable looking guards as she was leaving. She headed for the sparring grounds. She went through them one by one, the last one was difficult due to the fact that she had tired herself out, but in the end she’d defeated him to. She thought that she could work through why she had reacted that way while sparring but could not.

She pushed it all the way to the back of her mind and tried to forget. But now here she was. Xena felt fear of the new feelings cursing through her even though she would be the last to admit it.

The room was empty except her and Gabrielle. Gabrielle sat a plate of Xena’s favorite foods on the table and knelt on the rug in the middle of the room head down. Xena finally recovered sat down and ate. Not because she was hungry She needed something to do. She ate slowly watching Gabrielle. When she finished she pushed the plate away. Immediately Gabrielle was on her feet clearing the table. She sat the dishes outside of the door. She came around Xena and bound her hair up. She marveled at the silkiness of her hair. Xena stood Gabrielle was nervous and unsure but she undressed Xena the way Tara instructed her was acceptable. Xena stepped into the still hot water and settled back and closed her eyes. Tara had told Gabrielle Xena was not one who liked chitchat if she wanted to know something she would ask. Xena heard the girl lathering up the soap. Then she felt oh so soft hands cleaning her face and whatever other skin was exposed. Gabrielle ran her soapy hands over Xena's breast she knew her hands were shaking slightly. This was the first time she had touched a women like this. Xena could here the girls breathing change and could feel the slight trembling of her hands. She decided to take mercy on the girl just this one time. She sat up pushing her hands away and finished cleaning herself. Gabrielle felt she’d done something wrong and knelt next to the bath with her eyes lowered. Suddenly she felt Xena's breath on her face. She looked up and their Xena was her face a mere few inches from Gabrielle's. She rested her head on her arms. Her stunning blue eyes boring into her.

Gabrielle caught her breath this women was truly beautiful. She herself had unbound her hair and for a long time they stared in each other’s eyes. Looking for what neither one knew. Gabrielle came back to herself and lowered her eyes, remembering that this was not just any women but the Destroyer of Nations.

Xena had gotten caught up in the moment and when Gabrielle dropped her eyes Xena also came back to herself. Needless to say she was angered. The one time in a long time she’d forgotten who she was and she did not appreciate being pulled out of it so quickly

“You think you can handle washing my hair slave.” Xena said coldly. Gabrielle winced.

“Yes My lord.” She settled behind the Conqueror and washed her hair. This part was easy and Gabrielle actually enjoyed it a little. Xena stood and she toweled her dry then placed her robe around her shoulders finally taking her place once more on the rug. X laid across her bed watching Gabrielle again. She could tell she was making the girl uncomfortable, but she remained perfectly still.

“You are new to this whole slave thing aren’t you?” Xena questioned the girl.

“Yes My lady.” Gabrielle had to force herself to keep it short.

“You’ve never been with a woman have you?” Xena felt warmth spread through her center

Gabrielle face went beet red. “No my lady.” Have not been with a man either as far as that goes. Gabrielle thought.

“Well get use to it. You are my slave now. You will do as I say when I say. As long as you remember that we’ll be okay. Forget and you will have a problem. Stand and strip slave.” Xena demanded.

“What--.” Gabrielle was confused Tara had not told her about this.

“Are you simple slave?” Xena could see the deep red of the girl’s face.

“No my lady.” Gabrielle could not believe what was happening. She was not at all sure how she felt about it either.

“I said stand and strip and unless you want your first taste of discipline I would suggest you get moving.” Xena had not been this turned on in a very long time.

The girl stood and stripped slowly. Xena stood and approached the girl. She circled her twice.

“Go lay down, hold your arms out to the side, spread your legs.” She whispered in her ear.

Gabrielle felt humiliated, but at the same time she was turned on more then she’d ever been in her life.

Xena went and took several deep swallows of wine, as she watched Gabrielle self-consciously get into the bed. Xena approached the bed. She looked down at her. The look on the girls face was unsure not fear. She mounted the girl.

Gabrielle turned her face to the side not wanting her to see the shame she was feeling.

Xena noticed the girl turn away. This reaction made her feel a little rejected. She fought off the impulse to make the girl look at her.

‘Fine, I don’t care if she likes it she is my whore’ Xena straddled the girls thigh. Grinding her sex slowly against her, she could feel Gabrielle's wetness.

Gabrielle bit into her lip trying not to make any noise. Her shame was melting away into something else. She was confused by these desires this woman was pulling out of her. She turned her head to the other side. She could feel Xena's wetness. Felt her sex as she ground into her thigh. Gabrielle trembled, as she felt Xena’s hand slide between her folds. Touching her in a way none had ever touched her before.

Gabrielle tensed but before she could resist Xena secured both her hands with only one of her own. Her legs kept open by the fact that Xena’s own thigh was between them. Xena pumped her sex harder and faster into Gabrielle's thigh.

“Listen little girl.” Xena growled into her ear. “You don’t want to try to stop me. I may enjoy a little fight but you’ll come out the worse from it. Xena's soft lips in contrast to those hard words went to her neck as she sucked on her neck ravenously. She felt Xena push one finger lightly into her. She moaned as much from a stab of arousal as the pain from biting into her own lip, A trickle of blood flowed from the wound.

Xena’s whole body stopped as she felt resistance. She looked down at the girl, licking the blood off her lip feeling a primal desire rising within herself.

‘She’s a virgin.’ Xena thought taken aback. Normally any other time she would have taken this little gift. For some reason she decided to hold back.

She removed her finger. While she still had a little control and grasped the girl by the shoulders and rode her thigh. It did not take long this woman excited her beyond belief. Xena came hard, but only a whimper escaped her lips, as she threw her head back. Her body trembling uncontrollably

Gabrielle knew the exact moment Xena came. That small whimper ripped right through her soul. Her fingers digging into Gabrielle’s shoulders were very painful, but to see the destroyer tremble like that was worth it.

Xena collapsed on top of the girl and for a moment she just remained there. She did not want this to end.

‘Wait what am I thinking’ Xena thought rolling off Gabrielle.

“Leave me.” She said harshly. “You may go.” She said more softly turning her back to the girl.

“You want me to leave.” Gabrielle said not able to believe her ears.

“Yes, go.” Xena said her voice hard

The girl got up and dressed. Silent tears rolling down her face. Feeling very used

Xena turned and watched her dress. She watched her lose her battle with the tears she’d been trying to hold back.

“I want you back here 0600 hrs .” Xena ordered her.

“Yes My lady.” Gabrielle said bowing then all but running from the room.

‘I would have loved for you to have stayed here in my arms, Gabrielle.’ Xena thought falling into a very fitful sleep about that young blonde who’s virginity she almost taken on this night.


Chapter 2

Gabrielle entered the Conquerors chambers at exactly 0600 hrs. Xena was up. Gabrielle laid out her breakfast for her. She made her way to the door relieved that Xena had ignored her

“I will be gone all day. I am expecting guest for dinner. I expect your presence in the main dinning area at that time.” Xena stated flatly.

“Yes My lady.” Gabrielle said relieved that she might not be alone with Xena tonight. She bowed out of the room.

Xena went about her daily routine as normal, but her thoughts kept going back to Gabrielle. She decided to go for a ride on Argo before dinner. Maybe that might free her mind.

She walked past the main courtyard when she heard Gabrielle’s voice strong and commanding. She was relating the story of Pandora’s box to a group of young foot soldiers. They were all mesmerized by her. Xena was herself as she stood and watched for a moment. She walked up behind the bard quietly. The girl was so caught up in her tale she didn’t notice. When the young soldiers saw Xena they snapped into attention. The bard stopped for a moment and stared at them. She continued with her story more animated then before. Xena gestured with her hand for the soldiers to leave. They made a hasty departure as Gabrielle stood there in shock.

“Gods, I need to work on my delivery. I don’t want to be known as the bard who could drive mortals away with a single tale.” She thought out loud.

“Your delivery is fine.” Xena said pressing into her body. “Your presentation is the problem.” She said as she ran her tongue along the girl’s ear then lightly blowing.

Gabrielle shivered her only real sexual experience only last night.

“You will perform for my dinner guest this very tale--.” Xena stopped not wanting the bard to see how much she wanted her to perform. She snapped back into her conqueror mode.

“I settle for nothing less then perfection or this will be a performance to die for.” Xena whispered hotly into her ear.

Gabrielle knees went weak. To perform in front of a bunch of bored foot soldiers was one thing, but in front of the conqueror and her guest was quite another.

“My lord I am not- I have no formal training--.” She started.

“I understand that you are a novice in many ways. You understand I make no allowances for that. Just because you’re new I will not go easy on you. You willingly performed for my soldiers. I am the Destroyer of Nations you need to remember whom your talking to little girl.” Xena hissed into her ear. She moved down to her neck lightly nipping.

“My deepest apologies my lord.” Gabrielle tried again trying to calm herself. “I can’t--. I would be too uncomfortable.” Xena moved away. Gabrielle swallowed hard. She felt more then saw Xena move to face her.

“Are you denying my request? You are mine. I ask you for nothing. You will not deny me--.” Xena stepped so close to her she could feel her breath. “-ANYTHING. You do and you face the consequences.” She stared down at the girls bowed head.

‘It may be time for me to teach her a lesson. Since she is new I’ll go easy on her just this once. Xena thought.

“You worry about your comfort.” Xena asked sweetly.

A deep sense of dread fell upon the bard.

“Fine.” Xena grabbed the collar of the girl’s gown and ripped it off her body. The rest of her garments followed until the bard stood there shocked confused and very naked. Xena attached a leash to her slave collar around her neck.

Gabrielle’s first impulse was to try to cover herself. Her pride told her there was no use it was futile. She stood her hands to her side. Her face a nice color of crimson red. She looked just past X’s shoulder. She could not and would not look her in the eyes. She could see people walking past.

“I grant you no comfort this night. You will perform the tale or you’ll perform something of my choosing, but make no mistakes you will perform.” Xena’s voice forced her to make eye contact.

“If I choose you will not like it but you will obey.” Xena said menacingly.

‘Her eyes’ Gabrielle thought and there was no doubt in her mind- she meant what she said.

Xena led Gabrielle into the main dining room.

It was nothing new for her or her guest for that matter to have a naked slave by their side. Gabrielle however did not know that, and she was deeply shamed. Xena noticed that she stood out from the other naked slaves by the constant red tint to her face.

‘She’s just a slave. Why do I care whether or not she’s embarrassed.’ Xena thought feeling a pang of guilt every time she looked at the girl.

The girl held her head down and refused to look anyone in the eyes. Which was the correct behavior for a slave. Xena just did not like seeing her behaves this way. She could also tell the girl was on the verge of tears more then once since the dinner had started.

Gabrielle had never been so humiliated in her life. She wanted to cry but if anything she learned was the conqueror hated shows of weakness.

‘But why do I care’ Gabrielle wondered. ‘This is only the second day I’ve known this monster and both days have been filled with humiliation. I promised my mom I’d survive and if not for anything else I will to keep my promise.’ She thought.

She took a very deep breath and forced her self to stand proud.

Xena had placed the girl behind her right shoulder whispering something about the girl guarding her rear. She found herself wondering if the girl would actually give her a warning if she was in danger. The man at her right watched her back. Xena senses was fine-tuned as well. She did not need Gabrielle back there, but this way she did not have to be riddled with guilty feelings by looking at the girl.

Gabrielle was puzzled by the request from Xena to guard her rear. ‘Could she

really trust me that much?” Gabrielle thought Xena’s actions confusing her.

Xena noticed the change in the girl immediately, even though the girl

was behind her. She found she herself was more relieved. She

wanted to just end the dinner, and make mad love to the bard for

the rest of the night Her pride would not let her let the bard off the

hook. She could not back down now.

“Ladies and Gents if I may have your ear.” Xena said tapping a fork to her champagne goblet. “I would like to close our negotiations with a tale from my virgin bard.” Applause sounded.

Butterflies sprang to life in the pit of Gabrielle’s stomach.

Xena let her hand run down Gabrielle’s naked leg.

Now all eyes were on her. If any of the guest present thought it was not possible for Gabrielle’s blush to deepen it did.

“Step up on the platform.” Xena instructed. Her eyes sent a cold warning. “Make me proud.” She whispered in the bard’s ear.

Gabrielle for her part took a moment to try to compose herself. Then stepped up on the platform. She closed her eyes.

Xena watched the girl waiting. ‘Will she defy me.’ Xena worried not wanting to unleash her temper on the girl, but she felt it rising.

Suddenly the girl exploded into her story. Her voice weaving a web of the tale of Pandora. Xena was just as trapped in the bard’s performance as her guest. She literally forgot the girl’s nudity. In a way it added to the spell of this young talented storyteller. Xena lost herself in this tale and all to soon. It was over.

Again Gabrielle stood eyes closed head bowed. Xena could tell the whole day had taken its toll on her.

“Very good slave, now come here.” Xena ordered.

Gabrielle made her way to the conqueror.

Stupidly one of Xena’s guests grabbed the bard. Pulling her roughly to his body. The next thing he knew he could not breathe. He fell to his knee blood springing form his nose.

“You will die from stupidity and dishonor towards the conqueror and her property.” Samuels said having caught up with Xena who had put the pinch on this unfortunate idiot.

Xena looked at the bard and saw mounting terror in her eyes.

“My lord” An older man stepped up hastily. Speaking to Samuels hoping he could convince the ruthless conqueror to spare his son. “He is the prince of Thrace, and my eldest son. His only crime is that I his father pampered him too much. Please spare his life. If he is killed this way it will mean war between our kingdoms.” Thrace’s King pleaded.

“And this should concern me why?” Xena asked as she looked deep into the eyes of the prince. Who was seconds from dying.

The king was at a lost for words as he watched this predatory woman watching his sons life slowly drain from his body.

Xena turned to Gabrielle.

“What will it be slave someone has to be punished. I demand it. Will you take responsibility?” Xena asked.

Gabrielle noticed her eyes glittered wickedly. At the same time she knew that whatever punishment the conqueror chose for her would not be death, but if she said “No.” the prince would die.

“Yes, please let him go.” The girl pleaded not for the son. She was not able to stand and watch the father suffer any longer,

“Very well,” Xena said releasing the pinch. The young prince falling to the floor. The father thanking Gabrielle profusely but keeping his distance.

Samuels looked from Xena to Gabrielle with a puzzled look on his face. Xena dismissed the whole panicky scene as if nothing happened.

“Slave your filthy.” Xena said grabbing the girl by her leash. On her way out she ordered a bath. She turned and wished the dinner guest a good night ignoring the dirty looks from the Thrace party.

In her chambers she led Gabrielle to her designated spot. Gabrielle dropped to her knees.

Xena walked away purposely keeping her back to the bard.

“So am I right?” She asked Gabrielle.

“My lord?” Gabrielle asked not knowing what game Xena was playing now.

“Are you a virgin?” Xena asked.

Gabrielle considered what her answer should be after all hadn’t she lain with the conqueror just last night.

“Why do you take so long to answer?” Xena questioned gently.

“My lord--.” Gabrielle started.

“Could it be you don’t know? How is that? Or are you a tease with many experiences but you’ve never done the deed?” Xena stated waving the servants with the bath in.

“Are you a virgin whore?” Xena asked specifically because the servants were still in the room.

This new embarrassment was too much. Gabrielle knew that she’d have to interact with the servants that was just now leaving. This time tears did fall. She bowed her head even more trying to hide her tears from the conqueror.

Xena came and stood in front of Gabrielle. This small woman drew her passions straight from the core of her heart. She needed relief.

“Service Me.” She ordered.

Gabrielle looked up into blue eyes that were very full of desire. Xena robes now hung open.

Gabrielle felt a wave of desire shoot straight through to her center. She had a good Idea what Xena wanted to happen but she was afraid she would hurt the conqueror or do something wrong.

“My lord I..” Gabrielle started.

Xena withdrew with a scowl. She grabbed the girl by the collar. Gabrielle braced herself.

There was a knock on the door.

“What the hell is it?” Xena roared.

“My lord you are needed in the dining area.” Samuels called.

Xena cursed under her breath and let go. Gabrielle thanked whatever gods would listen.

“I want you bathed, naked, and ready when I get back. This virginity stuff has to go. You will learn tonight.” Xena left the room she did not even bother to fasten her robe.

When Xena returned to her chambers Gabrielle was sleep on the far side of the bed. She’d been gone an hour. Gabrielle’s bath water had been replaced with fresh hot water. She took a long bath as she watched the girl sleep. When she finally did get into the bed with the girl she just pulled her into her arms. She meant to wake her and finish what she’d started, but she fell asleep.

Gabrielle woke with a start it was dark. She tried to shake the sleep fog off to find out what woke her up. When she noticed she was being held tightly by none other then the conqueror herself. G could not believe her eyes. Xena was crying in her sleep. She kept repeating “Not my fault.”

Gabrielle was torn on what her next action should be. When had Xena even gotten back? Her first thought was to pull away after the way she’d been treated.

‘She had me watching her back at that dinner party. She’s sharing her bed with me tonight. She could have woke me and continued her torment but she didn’t. She trusts me. Maybe I can help her.’ Gabrielle thought.

She pulled the conqueror to her whispering soothing words. After a while the conqueror was sleeping soundly again.

‘Something happened to change her into this uncaring brutal monster. Maybe I can change her back. If not to stop her pain then the people she hurts.’ Gabrielle then fell asleep.

A shimmering light flooded the room but did not disturb the sleeping mortals. Artemess looked down on the sleeping warrior and the young bard who'd just soothed her back into a sound slumber.

Xena had attacked her Amazons before with the shawmaness Alti. Now she planned to attack yet another tribe. Ares had sworn that he had nothing to do with Xena's choice of targets. At the same time he would not interfere or make her stop. Artemess had a feeling he could not stop her if he wanted to. Ares had lost control over this tyrant a long time ago.

Artemess looked at the bard. ‘Maybe she is the key. Maybe the conqueror needs love. Zeus said do not get involved in the mortal war between my amazons and Ares chosen. He said nothing about getting involved in love lives.’

'I hope she loves you my little bard. You will be my chosen in due time. The chosen that will help my Amazons to rise again.' A smile spread over the goddesses face as she shimmered out of sight.

Xena woke with a start.

"Ares." She said as she felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. There was no answer.

It was that moment just before the rising of the sun. She blinked the sleep out of her eyes then noticed with a start that she was in Gabrielle's arms.

"How?" She said aloud. Then for just a moment she enjoyed the feeling of being held. She moved out of Gabrielle's arms. Her desires were rising. Her mind set on the prize exhaustion denied her. She looked down at the girl letting her eyes flow over her naked body. Her nipples seemed to be calling and Xena answered.

Gabrielle felt warm lips moving all over her body. She gave in to it as she let herself react to this beautiful dream.

Xena could tell the girl was slowly waking and she knew the girl would resist from disorientation of waking. Xena moved on top of her kissing savagely. Gabrielle woke with a start panicking she struck out. Xena caught her hand as she smiled down at the girl. Her eyes narrowed into cold blue slits.

"You have fire in you my little slave. Resist if you will." Xena said as she fell upon the girl she felt her relax. She pulled away from her puzzlement showing in her eyes.

"I will not resist my lord. I am sorry. I was just waking and I panicked." She said diverting her eyes.

Xena watched her a second longer. She then kissed the girl tenderly. Gabrielle returned the kiss. Xena pulled away looking into the girls eyes.

Gabrielle moved to kiss Xena again not wanting to end the sweet feel of those luscious lips.

Xena pulled away her eyes still searching Gabrielle's. The kiss pulled her in to close making her feel too much. She wasn't ready for that. She moved down to the girl’s neck sucking and nipping the soft sweet skin. Kissing her way down to the girl’s breast. Xena marveled at the girl’s softness, the lack of scars from battle. There was something about her different from the others Xena had possessed. Xena thought as she closed her eyes and let her lips and tongue slowly massage their way down the girl’s body. She skipped the girl’s center completely and let her tongue move down the girl’s leg slowly. She could hear the girl breathing hard with desire. She was intoxicated by the smell of the girl’s desire. She almost missed Gabrielle’s first moan of desire that was all but ripped from her lips.

'She plans to deny me the sounds of her desire.' Xena thought smiling against the girl’s body. Without warning Xena licked the full length of the girls sex. Gabrielle was so very wet and ready Xena almost took her right then and there. The girls body jerked and spasmed and she clenched the sheets tightly.

'You will call my name slave.' Xena Thought as she caught Gabrielle's clit between her lips sucking the hard little morsel hungrily. Feeling the girl become even more wet.

Gabrielle clenched her jaws so tightly together they ached. Feeling wave after wave of desire flow over her. Gabrielle was determined not to make a noise, trying to mimic the conquerors action the night before. Xena was teasing her body in ways she'd never been teased before. As she felt the conquerors tongue flicker over her clit with lightning quick motions. Her overheated body could have sworn it had liquefied into a heated pool of desire.

Xena climbed up the girl’s body pressing one finger just inside caressing her clit with her thumb.

"Open your eyes." Xena ordered.

The bard took a couple deep breaths then opened her eyes. She was caught up in the desire filled eyes of Xena. Just as the other night she straddled her thigh. Her lips parted and eyes closed halfway as she pressed into Gabrielle's thigh. She fell forward moaning deep into Gabrielle's ear. An uncontrollable shudder went through Gabrielle hearing Xena moan like this and forced a moan from Gabrielle's lips.

'So the more I react the more you will.' Xena thought. At the same time nodding 'No my little sorcerer I will not bare my soul to you.' She pushed her two fingers past the girl’s virginal barrier. The girl cried out and caught Xena's arms. Xena stilled her fingers.

"Relax." She instructed the girl softly as she slowly start pumping her fingers gently inside the girl. The moans were flowing freely . Xena watched the girl’s lips her head was thrown back. Her back arched Xena sucked in the tight nipples that was being offered her the girls cry's grew louder. Xena pumped her own body harder into the girl’s thigh. Suddenly Xena became aware of the girl soft pleading whispers.

"My lord please--I can't oooohhhhhh huhhh please, umm." The girl whimpered. Pumping her body to the rhythm of the conqueror’s fingers.

"What is it you want from me slave." Xena asked very close to loosing control.

"I don't---Huhhh." Gabrielle cried as Xena curled her fingers up inside the girl hitting that special spot.

"Call my name. Tell me what you want." Xena whispered in the girl’s ear savagely.

Gabrielle was shocked did she dare call the conqueror by her name even though she'd asked.

" Xenaaa-- ." The girl started.

"Umm say it again." Xena moaned she was at the edge.

"Xena ooohh. Make love to me." Gabrielle cried out, but she felt Xena freeze all movement.

Xena felt as if she had just been doused with a bucket of cold water. The effect of Gabrielle's words was just as cold to her heart that was not ready for the word love.

She start moving again now solely to bring the bard off as quickly as possible.

Gabrielle was close but she did not want to come alone.

Xena could tell the girl was trying to reign in her desires. Xena was feeling wretched in the face of this woman's request for love. She wondered why did it matter it hadn’t mattered with any of her other lovers.

The girl whimpered. She brought her knee up and felt Xena tense.

Xena kissed the girls neck softly feeling desires warmth start to chase away the cold of a few moments ago. Her fingers pumping fiercely into Gabrielle.

"Xena--aahhh--ohh gods Xena." The girl cried out. The girl grabbed on to Xena's shoulders throwing her head back. The force of her orgasm overwhelming her.

Xena's muscles flexed under her fingertips as she was transfixed at the beauty before her. Her first impulse was to pull away the girls nails dug into her skin causing her pain, but it burned into a delicious kind of pain. Xena pumped furiously into the girl’s thigh feeling herself tip over the edge. Her last thought as she fell into an exhausted sleep. Did I call out her name?



Gabrielle settled into her new role. She was confused on one hand she was treated horribly made to feel like her only purpose was to serve a tyrant. On the other hand the tyrant made sure she got the best healers, and the finest gowns and robes. Although the garments was to please the tyrant. The healer for the treatment the tyrant dealt her. Many ways she counted herself very fortunate, but in many other ways she was made to feel like nothing. It took its toll on the bard. Her form of escape was all the stories she formed in her head and kept going over them again and again until they were branded into her memory.

Gabrielle was being hand fed all her favorite foods. She knelt at the conqueror’s side. The conqueror was having a meeting with her generals. Every so often she’d run her hand through Gabrielle’s hair. Gabrielle kept her head down.

“Here I am being stroked and fed like a pet.” Xena’s hand drifted past her hair to the back of her neck. Gabrielle stiffened a jolt of excitement shooting through her.

Gabrielle listened to Xena She exuded control.

“The amazons are getting a little cocky. They are a capable force but they’ve been having a lot of trouble from their alliance with the centaurs. We need to put our plan into effect, hit them hard. Take advantage of there quarreling and-.” She flashed a bright smile. “Kill them all. You all have your men in place. I will let you handle it. I hope my trust is not misplaced. I do not have to tell you how much profit we stand to gain on this. Her hands remained gentle caressing Gabrielle.

“Dismissed.” She said quietly. They all could see the look of desire on Xena’s face.

‘I’d give my left leg to be in her shoes’ The last general thought, throwing one last glance at Gabrielle before shutting the door behind him.

“Slave bring fill my goblet with wine.” Xena said.

‘She never calls me by my name. She probably doesn’t even know it.’ Gabrielle thought as she poured the wine. She brought it to Xena. Holding the cup out to her and bowing her head.

“Drink it” Xena said studying the girl carefully.

Gabrielle had limited experience with wine so she hesitated.

“Look at me slave.” Xena’s tone was soft.

Gabrielle looked into her eyes her breath catching.

“Drink the wine. Don’t make me repeat myself.” Xena’s expression was unreadable

Gabrielle took a sip as she lowered the glass she looked back at Xena.

“Empty it one swallow slave.” Her eyes flashed a warning Gabrielle knew oh to well.

Without hesitation Gabrielle drained the goblet as best she could. She had not seen this side of the destroyer and that could prove to be deadly.

“I said look at me.” She warned

Gabrielle looked into her eyes. Xena raised the large mug of port she’d been drinking to her own lips. She took a swallow then offered it to the bard.

“My lord I’ve never drank port before. I do not want to dishonor my lady with my intoxication.”

Xena lashed out and slapped the girl. Blood trickled for her lips.

“I do not recall asking you if you wanted to drink. I just said drink.” She said to the girl. Gabrielle raised the cup to her lips. The brew was strong. It served to clean the cut on her lip but also burned horribly but she drank the whole cup down.

“Look at me love.” Xena said softly.

‘Love’ Gabrielle thought as her eyes met Xena’s in shock ‘I know I heard wrong.’

Xena just watched her.

“We heard that slavers had captured refugees from Poteidaia I figured if anyone had a right to them it was me.” Xena got up out of her seat. “Sit Gabrielle you look a little tipsy.”

Gabrielle started to get a horrible sense of dread. She knew first hand how ruthless The Conqueror could be. She also knew she was capable of being very compassionate to a person when something horrible happened for example to their family. Her mind reeled ‘What had she just said about Poteidaia. The destroyer stood there motioning her to her chair she had just vacated. ‘She’s got her guard up. I can’t read her expressions.’ Gabrielle thought as she kept her eyes set on Xena.

“I’d rather---.”

Xena cut her off.

“I didn’t ask you that. I said sit.” Xena said dangerously quiet.

Gabrielle sat as she was told.

“As I was saying I was going to send Urthro to handle it then I got word that your mother and sister was among them. Were you close to them.” Xena said leaning forward and placing her hands on both the armrest of the chair Gabrielle was seated in. She looked deeply into the girls worried eyes.

“I loved my family very much. We were separated. My father was killed.” Gabrielle felt bitter about this last piece of information. She dropped her eyes. She then decided to ask a question that would answer all. She looked Xena straight in the eyes. “I hope to see them again one day.”

Xena winced and walked away. Gabrielle’s heart shattered. She sat there feeling a coldness creep into her body.

“I took a couple battalions and surrounded the slavers. They fought back.” Xena suddenly turned grabbing the armrest to the girl’s chair again. “Would you like for me to continue.” Gabrielle looked into Xena’s eyes. The drink was clouding her mind. Suddenly she threw her arms around The Destroyer’s shoulders holding on for dear life in a tight embrace.

“Please my lord, Conqueror, Destroyer of Nation, Xena The Warrior Princess, You whom have no fear of the Gods or mortals. My lady, Please tell me you saved them.” Gabrielle cried even though she knew the truth. It was all in Xena eyes.

Xena pulled away feeling as if she had failed the girl and not for the first time since this whole thing started.

“I am all those things you said as well as Ares chosen.” She hesitated hating what she had to say next. “I could not save th-.”

“Nooooo!!” Gabrielle’s scream cut her off. “I don’t believe you. You lie. You’ll do anything to hurt me. What have I ever done to you.” Gabrielle accused. She grabbed her chest it felt as if a hand was squeezing her heart painfully.

‘Nothing’ X thought as she grabbed a very worn rag doll off one of the table. She dropped it in Gabrielle’s lap. Grabbing the armrest in attempt to keep the girl sitting.

“Your sister was holding this doll as I was trying my best to save her life. She said you gave it to her as a reward when you were lost as children. She kept it with her all that time. She held on to it until she died.” Xena said. “I felt you should know. This was something I could not have on my conscience.” Xena watched the girl bring the rag doll to her chest and hug it.

“May I be excused My lady.” She said quietly.

“ I don’t think you should be alone at a time like this. Stay with me.” Xena offered. Gabrielle ducked from under Xena arm needing to get some space between them. Xena straightened. The girl backed up and turned away looking out past the balcony. The rain was pouring it seemed to reach in and fill Gabrielle with bleak sadness.

“Since my lady feels I need to know. How did they die.” Gabrielle said as she paced back and forward keeping her back to the conqueror.

“In the time it took for us to capture the slavers they’d set a flame to the structure that held your Poteidaians. In the end they all died. There was no survivors.”

Suddenly Gabrielle flung the rag doll into the fireplace. Xena watched carefully. After she watched the doll burn she started to pace again.

Maybe it was the drink or watching the doll burn but something in Gabrielle snapped, her back still to Xena.

“I guess I am supposed to thank my lord for telling me.” Gabrielle said sarcastically. Xena not catching it nodded yes.

“When I can’t help but wonder if it was My lords order to torch them.” Xena looked as she’d been physically slapped

‘Calm down. 1-2-3- oh fuck this. This servant has lit into me to many times tonight. I’m---.’ Xena’s thoughts was cut off.

“That I should be grateful to be my lords slave or I too would have perished.”

Xena had thought Gabrielle’s soft-spoken ways would have if anything needed comfort. Not that she’d lash out. Xena’s temper started to flare up.

‘Just what kind of monster do she think I am.’ Xena brooded.

“I should be honored My lord is even taking the time to tell me that I have No one left in this world--.” Gabrielle accused. “--but my lord and when my lord tires of me I’ll have nothing.” Gabrielle’s tears were flowing freely.

While saying these things she did not turn around. She was amazed she was still alive. Had she turned she might have seen a tear roll down the conqueror cheek.

‘Would it be so bad if we just had each other.’ Xena thought. Already she had toned her temper. All due to Gabrielle. She made sure she had the best. Xena was trying to change what else do she expect. Xena felt deep shame at failing her mission, but the fact Gabrielle thought she’d have her family killed hurt horribly.

Still Gabrielle continued on.

“That not only am I imprisoned here against my will but even if I were allowed to leave there is nowhere for me to go.”

Xena had tried to exercise control, but the guilt from what the bard was saying compounded by her own was unbearable.

The conqueror could not take it anymore.

“You want to go then go. Take nothing with you but what you are wearing.” Xena screamed. She had not meant to but it felt good to vent some of the anger.

Gabrielle turned sharply facing Xena who went into her stoic defense.

“You think I won’t.” Gabrielle cried.

“I don’t care no more then the fact I’ll have to find another slave. Go.” Xena bellowed. Despite herself she felt fear of the girl leaving her and decided it was a weapon in the form of Gabrielle. Surely she must be a witch or sent by one to destroy her.

Xena allowed herself rage at the girl her temper flashed. She grabbed her exploding out of the room oblivious to the stares of the royal servants and guards she passed as she made her way to the stables.

Both her and Gabrielle were muddy. She mounted Argo pulling the girl up onto the horse in front of her roughly, She charged out of the stables pressing hard into Gabrielle. Gabrielle was in a state of shock confusion and a whole lot of emotions she was trying to organize in her clouded mind. Where was Xena taking her. Would she be hurt for her disrespect?

Xena rode hard trying to keep a reign on her own emotions. She knew she was creating a void in herself by letting the bard go. She was already missing the stories Gabrielle had taken to telling her while washing her hair and body. She used to wander how the girl knew and told all these stories even though she could not read. Xena pressed her face into the girls back needing to smell her scent one last time as she barreled through the gates of her kingdom. The gate watchers had opened them when they saw her coming. She slowed to a stop and unsheathed her dagger. Gabrielle’s breath caught when she saw the Destroyer raise the dagger to her neck. She closed her eyes accepting her death she felt the cold metal but instead of cutting into flesh. It cut effortlessly through the thick leather slave collar that served as an ID for the Conqueror’s property.

Gabrielle’s drunken mind was bewildered. Xena then harshly shoved her off the horse, turned and rode away. In the wind Gabrielle could hear Xena’s strong voice ordering the gates closed.

Gabrielle just could not believe it she was free. Then reality hit her. She had nothing, no family, no money, no clothing, and no Conqueror. It was raining and cold. She could not even start to know what she needed to survive. On top of that her mind was foggy. The slashed collar lay by her chilled hand. She stood slowly looking towards the vast wall of the Conquerors domain. No doubt she was by a warm fire by now Gabrielle thought shivering from the cold. The silk robes and gown underneath offering no warmth.

Grief, betrayal, hate, and love all hit her at once.

“I hate you.” She screamed at the top of her lungs.

She waited for an arrow a sword something to pierce her skin for her infraction towards the Conqueror.

Somehow she knew the Conqueror was watching, laughing. Suddenly she did not want her to see her vulnerable. She turned and ran blindly away. She ran for a long time She did not know where. At this point she did not care. The cold, conflicting emotions, the pain finally it was all she could take; She collapsed in the mud and just lay there until darkness enveloped her.

Xena rode back into the gates leaving Gabrielle outside.

“Seal the gates.” Xena ordered. She dismounted. As the gates were being closed she was climbing the stairs to the lookout tower. She could see people trying to see what was going on. She took the crossbow from the gatekeeper and emptied it into the crowd.

“I suggest you all go about your business before I hurt someone. I am not in a good mood.” The crowd dispersed instantaneous.

She looked down at the girl as she was standing.

‘She looks lost, I can’t do this to her.’ Xena moved to open the gates. Feelings she did not want to feel coursing through her.

“Urthro.” she said noticing one of her most trusted Generals standing just behind her.

“I hate you.” The scream tore Xena apart as she whirled around to glare down at the girl. Her hand tightened on the bow, but even if it were armed she would not have used it. She could tell Gabrielle expected it though. Suddenly the girl turned and ran into the forest.

“Urthro, the direction she’s going is dangerous take a battalion and make sure no harm comes to her.” Xena stated flatly.

“My Leigh, she has disrespected the nation and you are sending a battalion to watch over her.” Urthro said shocked.

“Are you questioning my authority.” Xena said her eyes narrowing, her anger barely checked.

“No My Leigh, I just don’t understand.” He said boldly.

“I do not need to answer to my generals-.” Xena growled.

“My Leigh, all due respect. I think the girl is a threat--.”

“I am the threat you need to worry about at the moment. She is in danger because of me. I suggest you do as I say Urthro. I am in a state. Right now is not the time to challenge me.” She caught his eyes to stress her point. “It could be dangerous.” She said eyes slightly widening. “Now follow out my orders If you don’t bring her back don’t bother coming back.” She said turning away “Dismissed.”

Urthro bowed out of the room. He knew Xena very well he could tell she was hurt and worried about the very person she had threw out of her own lands. She trusted him and he knew this or she would have gone herself.

Gabrielle came to she was moving. She was not in the mud anymore, but she was on a hard dusty surface. She had a horrible chill and her head ached. She opened her eyes slowly the sun was bright and she saw bars all around. Her mind told her this is a dream just go back to sleep and you’ll wake in your chambers feeling great. With that she surrendered her feverish mind to sleep. When she woke again it was dark Her head was still aching but not as bad. She sat up slowly. She was caked with dried mud some parts of her was still wet. She pulled her knees up and hugged them to her body. She looked around. This was definitely a war camp and not the destroyer’s. She was to the side blocked off from the camp and guarded.

For the next three days no one spoke to her which was just as well to Gabrielle. She had no one and she felt nothing so she gave up. The fact that she was feverish from the first nights rain did not help. She knew she couldn’t last. They never let her out not even to relieve herself.

‘I thought the conqueror was bad, I guess she showed me.’ Gabrielle thought between feverish hallucinations.

Urthro tracked the girl easily. She was not hard to find. He could not help but feel sorry for her. Her family died then the conqueror exiled her, then to be caught by Trakus. There was no doubt in Urthro’s mind he meant to use her against the conqueror. The girl had a serious string of bad omens against her. Trouble seemed to stalk her.

Urthro found her in two days but had sent for reinforcement. Xena sent her special battalion of mercenaries. Urthro shook his head as he saw them approach. He did not even pretend he like these butchers.

“Urthro, The destroyer sent word for your men to get the girl and leave the rest to us. She wants us to leave a very clear message for others. I will take it from here.” Challis did not pretend to like Urthro either. For the life of him he could not understand why the destroyer of nations would even let this soft cream puff lead any of her men. Samuels he could understand but not this softee.

“I will not relinquish command to you unless I here it from the conqueror’s mouth itself. You take orders from me.” Urthro said confident in his position. Challis feigned shock.

“Oh yes sir.” He said overdoing it “Forgive me sir.” Even more sarcastic.

“I don’t have time for your games Challis. My men and I will get the girl. You and your assassins can attack from the north. Wait for the second burning arrow to be fired in the air. I want nothing to do with your carnage.” With that he turned preparing to motion his man to fire. “His men knew to retreat immediately when they saw the second arrow fired into the air.

He and three guards positioned themselves in the foliage closer Gabrielle’s cage. He could see his men picking off Trakus’s soldiers and donning their uniforms. Urthro hoped his men in the enemy’s uniforms would retreat swiftly when the time came. He did not want Challis’s butchers to kill them.

All was ready and waiting for the signal just as Urthro was about to give it Xena’s own personal healer walked out of the war camp’s main tent with Trakus.

Urthro halted the assault. He felt sick as he watched the girl look up into the familiar face of the traitor. A person that she had grown to trust. A person that had patched her up when the conqueror herself had wreaked havoc on the poor bard’s body. Now he stood over her with a cold uncaring expression on his face. Urthro’s own heart shattered as he watched the girl drop her head and pass out. Even from where he was sitting he knew the girl was very sick. The healer did not even check to see if she was dead. Just walked off with the enemy. He motioned his first in command over and instructed him to send a messenger pigeon to the conqueror. She needed to be made aware of the new complication. Maybe the healer was some kind of spy. He was a member of the conqueror’s personal staff. Urthro sent a quick message to his men and the mercenaries. He needed them to capture the healer and restrain him, but not to harm him in any way until he got the conqueror’s message.

The battle was fought in two onslaughts. His men charged in. They quickly freed the girl from the cage, threw her over a hoarse, and on her way to safety. The other army was still trying to figure out who were their men and who were impostors. In the meantime the healer was captured. Urthro called a retreat in the form of the second burning arrow. From there the mercenaries attacked with no mercy. Urthro stayed at the rear making sure all his men were accounted for. He was extremely relieved they came out of this with not one single life lost. He and his rear guard galloped into their camp the rescue job a complete success, except for the healer. He was tied to a pole with a length of rope that allowed him to lie down if he chose. He had a guard outside to tend to his needs.

“Slime! You should be in a cage like you and your dead friends had that girl. I will present you to the conqueror myself. If you’re a traitor-May the gods have mercy on your soul for she will not! Urthro did not even allow the healer to speak he turned on his heels and left the room.

Gabrielle was in a sorry state and she smelled as bad as she looked. Urthro picked up her fragile broken body and took her down to the river. He cut the rags that had been a truly beautiful gown and robe from her body. He then stripped down to his loincloth picked the girl up and carried her out into the middle of the river.

Her body was hot a fevered. The water was cold and loosened the dirt and gods know what else that was caked onto her body and hair. He then used soapy water and a towel to clean her thoroughly. All he had to put on her was his extra cotton shift that fit her small body like a gown. He wrapped her up and took her back to his tent. He knew he would worry too much if he left her in her tent. Besides her tent smelled like that cage. He went to clean it thoroughly. The water had brought the girls fever down for the moment. He wasn’t as worried anymore.

The conqueror turned back into the tyrant of old only worse. She drilled her soldiers mercilessly. She had not slept since she threw Gabrielle out. When she found out she was captured she sent her most ruthless mercenaries to annihilate the army responsible.

She sat in her chambers she had not touched her dinner. She had not let the servant assist her bathe. At the moment she was watching the very attractive women straighten up. She could feel the women’s apprehension and even arousal. There was a time she would have loved to ravish such a women. She found herself cursing the day she had ever laid eyes on the bard. There was a knock on the door. Xena felt a jolt of anticipation the last message she’d got from Urthro was a request for reinforcement.

“Enter.” She said masking her feelings.

“My liege.” Samuels hesitated. He then approached where she was sitting. Bowed his head and handed her the small scroll. “Very disappointing news from Urthro.”

“She…she’s dead.” For the first time in a long time Xena could not stop the emotions that washed over her from showing - the pain.

“No M-My liege. There is no news on her well being. I would have to assume she is OK. There was a traitor in our midst. Please My lady read the scroll.” He watched as the Conquerors expression went from its, normal indifference, to utter pain. To heartfelt relief, to anger directed towards him, to curiosity of the scroll.

“Our trusted healer is a traitor.” She cocked her head to the side raising a brow. “Samuel’s is he not your good friend.” Xena stood face to face with Samuels.

Samuels dropped his eyes. He felt Xena’s fingertips guide him to look up at her again. Those Icy blues bored into his soul.

“Are you a traitor Samuels. Do you know anything about the healers plans.” Xena studied him for any sign of deception.

“No, My lady has been to good to me. I may not agree with a lot of your tactics, but I learn from your expertise. I serve under you proudly.” He said from the heart.

“Well, maybe I’ll appoint you my new tactical advisor if you show me your deserving of the position.” She watched relief wash over his face. In a blur of movement she had knocked him to the floor and had her dagger to his neck. He was in shock. “If I’d saw the smallest sign of deception in you I’d have cut your heart out and ate it whole. You serve under a very dangerous person I do not like having to watch the people I put in a leadership role in my kingdom. No mistakes Samuels! None. I’m leaving. You will rule as I would in my absence. No deviations. I will not be understanding if you do not carry out my orders. I’m going to kill your friend the good healer. He will die thousands upon thousands of deaths by the time I finally allow him to release his spirit. Learn from example.” With that she was gone. He watched out of the balcony as she charged through the gates.

‘May the gods help me.’ he thought.

She charged on pushing Argo, Argo pushing back until finally she was there at the camp. Just as her Mercenaries was entering the war camp bearing her crest.

“My liege, We carried out you orders successfully. There was a few minor casualties but that army is no more.” Challis informed a little surprised to see her.

“It is good to know that my trust in you carrying out your missions is not ill advised. We have a traitor to deal with. Go get everything ready and report back to me. Oh where is the traitor ” She asked as indifferent as if she was asking about the weather.

“Urthro.” Challis nodded towards him. He was making his way to them. “Decided to hold him until we found out if he was acting on your orders.

“Urthro, Have you been successful.” She questioned anxious to see Gabrielle, but she needed to see the healer too. Urthro hesitated and she tensed up.

“The healer is tied in a tent waiting for your judgment. Gabrielle has been cleaned up. I submerged her in the cold river nearby in the hopes of reviving her. It did not. She is very ill and needs a skilled healer.

“I am a skilled healer or have you forgot that. Where is our most trusted healer.” Xena stated obviously holding her temper with a fragile string of restraint.

"My lady since you our a skilled healer maybe you can oversee her treatment with the traitor. I am not doubting your skills but she is very ill.” Uthro said knowing that Xena healing skills was mostly specialized with war related injuries.

“Urthro, You are right but this healer is very-He will not help her because he feels it is something I will want. Where is he.” Xena demanded.

Urthro pointed to the tent he was in. Xena dragged the healer out of the tent by his rope into Urthro’s tent.

She looked at Urthro and raised an eyebrow.

“Look traitor we’re going to give you a chance to redeem yourself --.”Urthro told him but the healer cut him off.

“You want me to heal her then you are going to kill me.” He spat on the ground. “That’s what I say to that.” He told her confident that if he played his cards right he could bargain his way out of it. My liege everything is ready.” Challis said grabbing the rope from Urthro.

Xena grabbed the healer by the collar. She smiled at him and licked her lips. From a woman as beautiful as she the effect should have been highly seductive, but the eyes were cold with a dark glint to them.

“You should have took Urthro’s offer. It was a humane one.” Her eyes narrowed with her threat. “Urthro is a good man. He will tend to her while I tend to you. I however will never state to be good as he. Did you forget I too am a healer? You are a fool. You of all people should have known not to ever cross me. Take him I’ll be there in a moment. Oh and don’t start without me.” She said glaring into the healers eyes and seeing stark fear.

“Keep her cooled off Urthro. You’ve done well,” She said as she left the tent.

Urthro felt a deep sense of pride. He was preparing to take Gabrielle to the cold river to cool her body again when he heard the first screams of the healer.

The camp was completely empty the soldiers were to watch what was being done to the healer. The conqueror led by example and she was giving them a warning.

The screams went on all night. Right before dawn the conqueror came into Urthro’s tent. She wore a clean shift. She dropped her leathers and her armor in a bloody heap in the corner of the tent

Urthro watched from his bedroll as The Conqueror crossed over to Gabrielle and lay besides her. She did not care that he was there or even that she was in his tent. She cuddled up close to the girl and immediately fell asleep.

He came and stood over them. In her sleep Xena looked so innocent. No one would have imagined she’d just tortured someone to death. He pulled a blanket over both of them.

‘Well.’ Urthro thought. ‘I know I won’t be able to fall asleep now.’ He picked up her leathers and armor and went to river to clean them.

He sat by the river cleaning her armor. Suddenly he was attacked. No sooner had the attack started it was halted. Xena walked pass her men who held the women who attacked Urthro.

“Challis barges into your tent telling me that Amazons are attacking various points within the camp. I look for my armor and leathers. They’re missing, and Urthro, you’re missing too. I have a servant on the verge of death and here you are with two sets of armor but no weapons. Not even able to defend yourself against little amazons with bows and arrows.” She said teasingly.

“My, My, what would your men think.” Challis said joining in on the teasing. Xena gave him a hard look. He straightened up.

“My lord I was not given a chance--.” Xena cut him off.

“Uh huh.” Xena walked over to one of the Amazons and pulled off her mask

“Are you on a suicide mission Amazon.” Xena asked sweetly. “Don’t you know who we are.” She asked.

The young amazon glared at her but did not say a word. Xena heard a warning signal that sounded like a bird.

“Duck” She shouted to her army at the same time as the amazons hit the ground. The attack was so quick and deadly that all the amazons escaped as Xena and her surviving soldiers fought.

The amazons disappeared into the treetops. Xena was the only one who could follow them among the treetops. She managed to capture the girl who’s mask she’d pulled off. She slit the girl’s throat and sent her crashing to the ground. She started to pursue the others, but they were long gone. Xena doubled back to check the damage.

Challis saw her approaching.

“My liege five of the ten soldiers we brought are dead as well as Urthro." Challis found himself on his back wondering how he got there.

Xena towered over him. The disapproval on her face evident.

“And I know you just mourn his lost. Challis these men are your brothers in arm.” Xena glared down at him.

“He was a fool who let his guard down and no better then any other fool who does the same.” Xena cocked her head to the side.

“Maybe so, but I can recount many times you let your guard down fool and I saved your ass. That is what I expect, for you to watch your brother’s back. If you can not do that then don’t expect your brother to watch yours. Understand. Prepare these men for a funeral pyre. We need to be on our way, before we have to light a fire for the person we came to rescue.” Xena growled.

The funeral pyre’s was lit by the conqueror herself, Her sweet voice escorting the soldiers to the other side. Xena had turned away from ceremony when she felt an eerie chill creep through her body and up the back of her neck. She turned swiftly. Everything was still, no movement.

The flames of the fires were still. All at once a shimmering light.

“Ares --.” Xena Whispered.

“No murderer!” It is I Artemess. You are very close to my lands.” The form that shimmered into being was of the girl Xena had killed in the trees. Right before her eyes she watched the wound on the gods neck disappear.

“You think the best way to deal with issues is violence, but you can’t use violence to solve this problem can you.” Artemess smiled sweetly.

Xena just glared at her.

“Look Destroyer, warrior, oh whatever you call yourself. The girl is going to die without the proper herbs, she also in need of a healer to monitor her progress. By the time you find the proper herbs she’ll be gone. Even if you do you are exhausted you need rest.” Artemess stated.

“I’ll take my chances.” Xena said angrily. Deep down she knew Artemess was right.

“Take your chances with her life hmmmm, very noble of you. You could care less if she lives or dies anyway right?”

Xena leaned against a tree.

“What do you want? You could care less for her or my exhaustion for that matter.” Xena asked suspiciously.

“I care for my Amazons. I was leading them as their queen, but a much better Idea hit me. I’ll save her life. I’ll even spare your soldiers--.” Artemess was cut off.

“I honor no gods not even Ares. I care nothing for your amazons. They will die and the centaurs soon after that.” Xena said betraying nothing of the wave of emotions coursing through her body.

“Where is the gain in that? Where’s the profit? You like the bard more than you’ve cared for anyone in a long time.” Xena started to protest. “No amount of denial can change the fact of what I see. The very fact your out here for her tells of you love.” Artemess accused.

“Listen deity!! I ---.” Xena started to rip into the God.

“You You You--. Think of someone else for a change. And you may call me Artemess. I will save her life if you allow her to be my chosen and Queen of the Amazons. My nation of Amazons will Ally with yours.” Artemess said ignoring Xena. Then she looked right into Xena’s eyes. “My girls tore into your men then disappeared into the trees. Even if your men had the knowledge of how-- they can’t. Their body type is too big. My girls can help you immensely in forest battle. You could train them on how to be more efficient. You can give my ladies the protection they need to rebuild and grow.” Artemess said finally allowing Xena a word.

“They can surrender and become one with my nation--.” Xena was cut off again

“No, I said ally. My nation will not forfeit to yours. I do not want you to rule my people. It must be Gabrielle you will be an advisor and that is all.” Artemess argued.

“You can take your alliance and--.” Xena voice stop functioning. She clawed at her neck.

“No mortal.” Artemess said, “You will listen to me.”

‘Damned Gods.’ Xena thought.

“I know you have no respect for any man or deity. So you do as you please. I don’t ask for your respect but you will listen to me or so help me you’ll never hear that beautiful voice of your again.” Artemess waited.

Xena stopped struggling and stood unblinking. Staring coldly at the God.

“Wow I wish I had witnesses. I have bent the destroyer to my will.” Artemess laughed.

Xena turned her back to the god. Her pride hurting terribly.

“Okay Xena.” Artemess said gently. “There is no honor in killing a nation that is already dying. My subjects have too much to offer. You by the way are responsible for killing off an entire village already. My amazons can not take your army and the centaurs. Which brings me to your friend. If you allow her to be queen the whole nation will protect her. Allow her to rule and you’ll never be at war with us. Become her champion no one will challenge her. The only way you will be allowed control over my amazons is if you give yourself over to her as her consort. This is something you will not be able to do lightly. You’ll have to open your heart to me. You’ll have to pledge to protect my Amazons and Gabrielle as your Queen and ruler for all time. I’ll be able to see if you are sincere. We both know that won’t ever happen. What will be hers will be yours and what will be yours will be hers. The only way I'll let you rule my nation. Your heart will have to be pure. If you care to know she can do that for you if you let her.” Artemess watched Xena shake her head furiously. “Didn’t think so. Your friend is wise beyond her years. With you to help her, and I do mean help not rule for her. With my amazons training she is just what my nation needs. The strength of a Amazon nation protecting her is just what you need.” Artemess waved her hand at Xena’s back and gave Xena back her voice. She then walked up close behind her.

“If you agree you will come to the village with her. Send your army back to your lands. You will come alone. I assure you safe passage. If you allow my amazons to rebuild and thrive we’ll never be a threat to your nation. My word. Kill them off and your bard will die along with them. Let them live and thrive and your bard will too.” With that Artemess disappeared.

They were back at the clearing where Urthro was attacked. The difference was the amazons were free. They were minus the one Xena had unmasked the first time. Urthro and Challis were flanking her Urthro very much alive.

The other ten soldiers were off to the side.

“I am Solari.” An amazon was addressing Xena. “Ephiny the regent of our nation sent us to escort the fallen Amazon to the village. If your soldiers will allow us we have a litter waiting. Our healer has been made aware of the critical nature of the situation and is ready and waiting.” Xena shook her head to clear her mind.

Challis and Urthro glance at each other both puzzled.

“Are you feeling ill too.” Solari asked Xena.

“No, and yes.” She motioned one of the soldiers standing to the side over. “He will show you where your Amazon is. I will get my hoarse, and send my people on their way.” She said to Solari.

“Our regent stressed to thank you for rescuing our sister. We just could not get to her. Thank you. We’ll be waiting at the edge of the trees.” Xena motioned two more soldiers to escort them with her orders that they were left unharmed.

Urthro and Challis followed her closely bombarding her with questions as she was heading for Argo when she got there she turned on them both.

“A new development has come up that is why I came here.” She lied. “What If I told you that Gabrielle is a Amazon Queen.” Both men’s mouths dropped open. “A birthright that had been suppressed until now.” She continued on. “This is top secret information men pull our armies off of the amazons now. Send pigeons to Samuels to pull our armies out. Break camp and get back behind gates. Train the men hard I can feel something brewing. Challis I need your men on standby ready to move out at a moment’s notice. I know you were looking forward to fighting the Amazons but get over it. I want this alliance, you’re excused.” After Challis left. “Urthro watch him. Keep me in touch with messenger pigeons. I’ll stay with them until she is well enough to travel. Help Samuels keep everything in line. Be quick about it the faster my forces are behind my gates the better I’ll feel.” She said.

“What about you and Gabrielle My lady. You’ll be by yourself in a village full of people we were about to attack. You should take at least a couple men with you.” He said skeptically.

“Men are not allowed on Amazon land. You’re talking to the Destroyer of Nations. I will be fine. Go home and rest.” She told him and rode off to where the amazons were waiting.

Artemess watched. This tyrant could not be controlled she knew from Ares futile attempts. Maybe she could be tamed. The young bard had a certain something over her. Artemess hoped that certain something would protect her Amazons!!


Continue to Part Two


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