To Conquer the Conqueror
Part 2

by Ponyblue

Disclaimers: Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, Artemess, 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/ domination between two women.

It also refers to incest.

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

Xena left with the amazons immediately. She knew there was going to be friction between her mercenaries and her regular army. In any case they knew to fulfill her orders completely.

She was aware of the hostile eyes watching her from the trees as well as the women surrounding her. To anyone else it would have looked like she was being ignored.

Instead of the dragging action of a traditional litter this one had wheels and allowed them to move quickly. It was also wide enough to hold the young Amazon who rode inside tending to Gabrielle.

She forced herself to remain calm. Yet she could not help but to worry about Gabrielle.

'She doesn't look well at all. It seems like she's been through so much since that fight.' Xena found herself regretting what she had done. Guilty feelings start bubbling up. She mentally shook herself and formed an impenetrable wall around her emotions.

'This is not the time and most definitely not the place for those types of feelings.' She would never admit it but she was extremely tired.

She could hear the birdcalls through the trees as they traveled through Amazon land.

'I don't like having to commit to this forced alliance. Though the more I think about it the more advantages I can see.' She smirked as she wondered if Artemess knew what she had gotten herself into.

As she rode atop Argo she began to feel more secure in the fact this would work better for her and her nation then killing the Amazons off.

Just before nightfall they entered the Amazons village. They were met head on by armed amazons who escorted them to the healers hut. There were three women in front of the hut. Ephiny, Solari who had rode in ahead of them, and the healer Teris.

Xena remained on her hoarse as she watched amazons gently lift Gabrielle from the litter and inside the hut. She found herself wondering if they knew the girl was to be their new queen. Up until now she'd paid little attention to the three amazons directly in front of her.

Ephiny stood proud.

'I know what I have to do, but I don't have to like it.'
She found herself remembering Artemess's warning to her as she watched the arrogant women in front of her.

"They call her the destroyer of nations for a reason. Stand proud Ephiny for I stand with you. You have to destroy the destroyer within the conqueror or my nation will be destroyed. Lay your pride down for your nation. Be strong and confident. She rules by fear. If you show fear she'll rule you all." Artemess had told her.

Ephiny's stance was confident. As she took in the destroyer. They'd never crossed path but she had heard the stories. She turned a vigilant eye on Xena.

Teris walked past her throwing a very angry look Xena's way. Xena acknowledged the angry stare with a cool look of her own. Ephiny caught Teris's arm keeping her at her side.

"I am Ephiny Royal Reagent of Amazonia. You've met Solari my acting guard master. This is Teris. She doesn't like you very much as you can see, but before you let your mind dwell on murderous intent there is something you should know." Ephiny nodded to Teris.

Teris stepped forward and glared up at Xena.

"I know of you. I've repaired much of you and your men's handy work. You are the destroyer of life. I am Teris the healer of Amazonia. This is my hut." Teris said motioning to her hut. "I have no problem tending to my sister you've brought in. My Reagent ordered me to tend to you as well--." Xena cut her off.

"I do not--." Teris cut her off as if she had not even spoken. Something Xena wasn't used to.

"You will remain in my hut until I release you.” She said narrowing her eyes. “My hut is my realm Warrior, and while in my realm you will obey me. Understood?" She said placing emphasis on each and every word.

Xena glared down at the fussy women. She was not old, had to be close to her own age, But---. Her eyes were that of an old lady that had seen a lot in her lifetime. Xena smirked as the women waited for her reply.

'Maybe an old spirit took possession of a young maiden.' Her body bellied her self-assurance. Xena found that she liked this woman so far. She could utterly destroy her, but she liked the woman because she was not intimidated in the least.

'---Strange--- Why have I let this Amazon live. No one looks at me this way.' As she thought the Amazon glared at her once more. Realization came to Xena in a rush.

'Because she will care for Gabrielle. It is I who should be humble—for now.' Xena thought as she dismounted her hoarse.

She came to stand in front of Teris. Looking her straight in the eyes. Try as she might the lady may be confrontational, but Xena could not see even a hint of malice in her wise eyes. Her former healer oozed of it.

Xena reached back and pulled her sword from its scabbard. Solari rushed forward. Ephiny caught her arm. Something in the warrior's eye's told her she was not going to harm Teris. Xena dropped her sword at Teris feet.

"Understood." She said simply with a nod of her head.

Ephiny let go of Solari. Solari stepped forward.

"Teris our sister needs your immediate attention." Ephiny excused her.

"Due to past crimes against the Amazon nation we forbid you carry weapons in our village or on our lands. You must relinquish them now. When you cross our borders we will return them to you." Solari stated to the woman who was looking at her with the iciest stare she had ever been set up with.

Xena made no move either way.

"Warrior you have my assurance that you will not need your weapons under our alliance.” Solari turned to Ephiny sharply. “We'll see to your hoarse. We have only the best stables" Ephiny continued on.

"You will want to rest, and first thing tomorrow you, our Village Elders, and I will start negotiations. Please humor us." Ephiny said sarcastically.

Xena stepped very close to Solari her stare even colder. The girl swallowed as Xena reached into her boot and pulled her dagger out. Followed by her whip. As she handed her chakram over she smiled sweetly.

"Watch how you handle that sweetie, it is very sharp. We'd hate for you to loose a finger." She said followed by a wicked wink.

Having gathered Xena's weapons a very aggravated Solari moved back to Ephiny's side.

"I hope you do not plan to alienate everyone in the village." Ephiny stated flatly.

"Everyone in the village is armed to the teeth except me. An armed guard will be following me everywhere I go. Your healer dislikes me by your own admission but never met me until now. Your god has played games with me you would not even start to believe. Now really who should be alienated?" Xena asked coldly.

As if on cue, an armed guard step forward
Xena let out an amused snort.

"Take the destroyer to the healer." Ephiny said ignoring Xena's question.

The guard escorted Xena into the healer's hut and stood just inside watching her.

The healer was just covering Gabrielle's body with a thin fur. Placing a cool towel upon her brow.

The healer then turned to address Xena.

"I had some hot bath water brought in. If you want to bathe use it if not that is your choice.” She said casting a criticizing gaze Xena's way. “She is bedded down for the night. I will be back to check on her every turn of the sand. I'll change her poultice, apply more salve, and see if the fever has broken. All we can do now is wait. You may rest on the cot next to hers. If you don't look any better by the rising of the sun I'll take a look at you as well." Teris said reigning in her dislike for Xena long enough to say what she needed to say. She then glared back at Xena her distrust showing again.

"I'm going to move the guard outside. I'll trust you don't prove me wrong for my actions." Xena nodded.

When they left the hut Xena settled into her bath. The heated water was so relaxing she fell asleep.

Teris came in to apply new herbs to Gabrielle's body. She noticed Xena was still in the tub. She finished up and left. Upon entering again Xena was still in the tub. The healer had put a special herb in the water meant to soothe a person to sleep.

"Warrior." Teris said sharp but loudly.

Xena woke with a start. Try as she might she just could not focus very well. The exhaustion of the past week seemed to be weighing heavily on her and demanded rest.

'No.' Xena thought. Her senses were too dull. She'd been drugged somehow.

"What have you done to me?" She questioned trying her best to shake it off.

"You needed rest. The herbs I put in your bath water will assure you get it." Teris said holding out a towel to her.

"You drugged the bath water! What sort of witchery is that!!" Xena said trying to pull the strength out of herself to get mad.

"Come Warrior, let me put you to bed. I did it so you would not worry all night. Mostly so you would not interfere with me doing my duty." Teris said soft but honestly. She knew Xena might be a step away from panic. Her intention's was not to cause her fear.

Xena looked up at the foggy healer. The exhaustion pushing down on her so hard she could not keep her eyes open.

"Come now Warrior, I do not condone people sleeping in the bath. There is to much chance of a drowning." Teris said trying to rouse her enough to get her out of the tub.

"Many would thank--" X drifted back into the drugged sleep.

Teris stared at Xena aghast at what she just admitted and knew it was true.

"What have you done to her Teris." Ephiny cried her panicked filled voice causing Xena to stir.

"I gave her my Morpheus treatment. She was exhausted anyway so it worked very well" Teris shrugged.

Teris and Ephiny managed to get Xena toweled off, settled, and on a cot. Soft furs covered her body. Teris checked on Gabrielle again then left the two to rest.

Xena woke from a very deep sleep. She had no idea how long she had been out but she was very rested. She opened her eyes. The healer was using a clear strong smelling liquid on Gabrielle's healing cuts and scrapes, cleaned the girl's body thoroughly, changed the bed linen, applied a very foul smelling cream on the girls chest and under her nose, the cream on her chest was covered with a steaming hot linen cloth, she placed a cold rag on the girls brow, finally she covered her with a soft fur.

Xena settled back into the cot. She watched the healer apparently preparing to treat someone else. She closed her eyes.

"Warrior." Xena looked up to see Teris standing over her. Xena raised a questioning brow."
"You are a late riser but it is time for you to wake." She said. "Please sit up."
"Your drug worked very well, and normally I am an early riser. I'd appreciate some kind of warning before you attempt something like that again." Xena snapped.

"I know your type. If I'd told you, you would have refused treatment. Drink." She ordered Xena offering her a cup.

Xena eyed the cup with suspicion.

"I am a healer. I vowed to Artemess to never do harm and to hold every life sacred. Even one with a soul as black as yours. It is simply a Mint tea." She said.

"I do not trust you Amazon. You've drugged me once you'll not get a chance to do it again. You just take care of your Queen I'll tend to my nourishment.”
Teris looked down at Gabrielle wondering if she'd heard right. Then back to Xena.

Xena simply watched her through narrowed eyes.

"She is the warrior harpy. Ares has smiled down on her. She don't need anything from anyone." Ephiny stated. "Least of all mere mortals like us."
"Amazon I agreed to this but, I want take to much more off any of you. Your god--" Ephiny cut her off.

"There--." Ephiny said hoping her voice carried the confidence she hoped to portray. "--are matters that need not be voiced in the open murderer." Ephiny stressed.

Xena rose to her full height from the bed. "If you expect for me to respect you and your Amazons I expect yours as well. You don't want to make me loose my temper." Xena sneered loosing her temper. "I have been more then patient with you Amazon's---."
"Ahem." Teris cut her off politely but loudly.

"What in hades--." She blew up on Teris.

Teris motioned to the cot Gabrielle occupied.

Gabrielle lay there awake and listening as she looked up at Xena. All the anger and rage she directed at the Amazons completely left her body.

"Please, leave us." She said softly.

"Since you did not want the tea. I'll put some herbs in it she desperately needs. It is important you make sure she drinks the whole cup. Otherwise I'll stay to administer it myself." Teris said gruffly mixing herbs in the tea.

"I will. Thank you." She looked up and into Teris's eyes. "I mean it"
"Your welcome" Teris said uncomfortably pulling Ephiny out of the hut with her.

Xena propped Gabrielle up as she drank the tea. When she was finished Xena found she was at a lost as to what to do, what to say. When she finally did look back down at Gabrielle the girl's eyes was closed.

“No.” Xena cried desperately. She shook the girl gently but she had slipped back into unconsciousness.

'I should have just spoken from my heart while she was awake.' Xena thought regret flooding her heart.

Ephiny enter the Elders meeting halls.

There sitting around the meeting table was four women. Of the four women one did not quite fit in. Teris the fourth woman was not old enough to be there at all. She was of Royal Amazon blood and a most sacred healer. Her training started when she was just a babe of three autumns barely out of diapers. She was skilled with the healer's knife before her cycles began. She possessed more knowledge on the way of the Amazon and her traditions, then all three women seated around her. However, Teris was silent when she was in these halls out of respect for her elders. If her input did not agree with them she spoke gently as not to intimidate anyone. She took great pride in the fact that they valued her insight. Some titled her the village shawminess. Teris did not like that title. She was however marked as one of Artemess's most sacred chosen. She sat at the table giving the other three women her utmost attention.

Ephiny slipped back into the shadows and thought back.

Their Queen had been tortured and killed in their last battle. Ephiny was her successor. She stood on the dais preparing to accept the Queens mask. Artemess shimmered into sight and all action around her froze. The god did not speak at first. She stared into Ephiny's eyes and her mind was filled with the knowledge Artemess needed her to know. She then spoke a warning then shimmered out of sight leaving her standing there. No one around her knew what had just happened, and she could not tell just yet. Solari stood in front of her offering her the Queens mask. Teris stepped in front of her waving Solari to the side.

“Amazons.” She spoke compassionately.

“Ephiny would like nothing more then to serve as your Queen.” She said catching Ephiny's attention and squeezing her hand.

“It is not meant to be.” She continued softly.

“Our people are destined to be led to greatness. She can not accept this honor, for it is not she who will lead us to it. Ephiny will serve as your Royal Reagent. Our new queen will depend on her greatly. Now, we need to begin preparation for the arrival of our new queen with the rising of the sun. For now enjoy the festivities.”
Ephiny pulled her and Solari to the side.

“Solari I would have sent Eponin on this mission, but I need her to stay on the centaurs. Take our best Warriors. One of our sisters from the land of the Conqueror has fallen. She's been captured by Trakus our Queens murderer. The Conqueror is her caretaker and has destroyed him. You are to go out and aid her in returning our sister to us. You'll need to take a litter she is injured. Time is of the essence Solari, move quickly.”
Teris waited until Solari was out of earshot.

“I am sorry about cutting you short on the dais. This fallen sister, is she the new Queen?” Teris had asked.

“I'd would have thought you knew all.” Ephiny lashed out. Having just been denied the Queens mask. Her pride was raw like an opened wound.

Teris recoiled. She turned and started to walk away.

“Teris, don't I'm sorry. I am very grateful you stepped in when you did. I dread to think what I would have done had you not been there.”
She said wrapping her arm around her friend's shoulders. “I can not tell you right now. Let's go enjoy the festivities. We are in for some trying times ole wise one.

“Ephiny how long do you intend to stand there?” Teris called from the table pulling her out of her reverie.

Ephiny had been watching her the whole time her mind wandered. So, she knew Teris had not looked her way once. A chill ran down her spine.

'No wonder she can't find a mate. Sometimes she is down right eerie.' Ephiny thought.

“My apologies to the Elders. No disrespect intended.” She said moving out of the shadows. “The Warrior is extremely agitated. I think we should postpone negotiations till after our evening meal.” Ephiny said stepping forward ignoring the embarrassing heat in her face at being caught staring.

Meitos the most talkative of the elders spoke up.

“I've been speaking with Teris and it seems to me as if the two of you are the source of her agitation.” Meitos paused for emphasis.

“She is trying. Have either of you thought how hard this must be on her. She is the Destroyer of Nations. I'm surprised she has not killed us all the moment Teris spoke her first words. Because of her lack of action, I'm optimistic. You may hate to hear it but that woman is archetype of an amazon. Be it the darkest side possible, but we are here right now to try to put an end to that darkness. If we don't do this we'll be facing a fight the likes of which we never faced before. You do what you must to appease her. You two were playing with fire. Now you have to calm the flame.” Meitos said staring them both down.

“We are most disappointed in you Teris. In this case the example you've left is most dishonorable.” The meeting of the elders was adjourned.

Gabrielle felt herself moving. Where? She did not know, To what? She did not know, To what means? She did not know. She didn't know if she should be scared or happy. It seemed like she was in a state of nothingness. Within that state she heard someone. She heard a familiar voice. She wasn't sure she liked that voice, but she felt herself drawn to that voice. Some how the nothingness seemed to fade away.

Xena sat there holding Gabrielle for a long time. She spoke softly to the girl. In a way she hadn't spoken to her in the whole time she'd known her. It wasn't demeaning or demanding. It was more like a desperate plea to come back to her.

“If you die something in me will die too.” She sat there pleading.

“Is this what you want. I'm doing something I never thought I'd do. I'm the conqueror. I don't plead I demand. In the end here I am pleading with you. Come back to me! I don't even know if you can here me.” She buried her face in the girl's hair and spoke softly.

“They want to make you their queen. This is the stuff your stories are made of. Don't that tempt you in the least bit, think of the adventure, think of the excitement.” Xena coaxed trying to find something that would make the girl want to come back.

“I tried to save them. I swear, but I couldn't. I was scared—You here me. I was scared to come back and face you.” Xena rocked the girl tears falling from her eyes.

“I'm scared now of loosing you.” Xena squeezed the girl fiercely.

'She may not want to come back. She may feel she do not have anything to come back for. Isn't that what she told me the last time we faced each other.' Xena looked at the girls pale face. A face so depleted of life. She remembered how animated that face got when the girl was caught up in one of her stories. Xena closed her eyes tears flowing freely now.

“How could this happen to her of all people. She is special--deserve so much more. People will miss her in this world. Not like I whom others would be glad to see gone.” Xena said loudly to no one in particular.

“It would not be right for you to die. If you fight I would change a whole lot of things. I would give you a reason to live.” Xena bent to her ear whispering savagely
“If you die and leave me here alone. I will unleash----.” Xena's shoulders slumped in defeat. She realized this very type of action is what would push the girl away. She stood and got dressed she couldn't take it anymore.

Before she left she pressed a gold coin in Gabrielle's palm. She knelt on one knee besides her cot.

“I can not sit here and watch you die. Artemess gave me her word you'd be spared. I can not sit here to see if she will honor her word. If she does not this assures you passage in Charons boat.” Xena whispered holding the girls hand shut, kissing her knuckles.

With that Xena stood walking, right past Teris who'd came in moments earlier to witness a tearful warrior cradling Gabrielle. Having heard every word she stood there perplexed.

'That's the woman all says has no heart. I see now they were wrong, just maybe the heart is coming back.' Teris said watching the warrior walk out the door.

Xena stormed past the guards. They called out for her to stop but none dared to physically stop her.

Hearing the confusion Ephiny charged out of her hut.

“What in sweet Artemess's name is going on? She questioned.

Xena never even bothered to stop. She did not know where the stables were but she was following her nose.

The guards followed behind Xena as Ephiny caught up with her.

“I figured I'd let you sleep off Teris's remedy. I guess it does not affect---.” Ephiny stopped catching the insult that almost rolled off her tongue.

Xena turned to face Ephiny. Narrowing her eyes. “No insult. I'm honored. Right now I'm not in the mood for your inanities.” Xena said heading for the stables again.

“I could care less what your mood is warrior. I can not let you run unbridled through our village and hunting grounds.” Ephiny followed
“I could understand that if I were a horse.” She said taking in the guards around her. Stepping closely to Ephiny.

“Do you all intend to stop me, fine. I have no problems blowing off steam right here and now.”
Ephiny swallowed hard. She did not feel exactly comfortable with Xena blowing off steam even though she was unarmed. Now was as good of time as any to try to defuse the situation.

“Fine warrior I understand the need to blow off steam, and you are welcomed to do so. It may benefit us as well. I invite you to our training grounds. There are sparring matches going on. I am sure any one of our Amazons will be honored to go a few rounds with you.” Ephiny offered. “Your skill has proceeded you. Unfortunately, our best warrior's are not present here in the village right now. You'll find that the one's present can offer a challenge.”
Xena declined she was not willing to spar with these amazons.

“Look, I need to think. I do my best thinking while I'm fishing, or would that be against one of your laws. Really you people aren't big on warm receptions.” Xena criticized.

“From what I heard about your nation. Our welcomes are up there with the welcomes of the Elysian fields.” Ephiny stated.

“Granted Amazon.” Xena let her slide. What she said was true. “Then again my nation is thriving and you're holding on to yours by the skin of your teeth.” Xena stated mimicking Ephiny.

“Granted Warrior.” Ephiny mimicked as well. 'There are a whole lot worse ways to blow off steam.' She thought.

“Fine Warrior, may I accompany you?” Ephiny question was more of a statement.

'Xena thought there's just no getting past this. They'll probably follow and watch me anyway.

She nodded and started on her way with Reagent Ephiny. They stopped by the stable's to get their horses. Xena had not mounted her horse but walked along side it. Ephiny followed suit.

While they walked Ephiny cast a couple glances at Xena. Xena did not pay attention to her didn't even seem to notice she was there.

She took a look at Xena's horse it was well cared for. She looked kind of pampered but, a very powerful steed.

'I could take better care of my own steed.' Ephiny thought.

With all they had been through it was a wonder she even had a horse. They came to a clearing along side a stream. It was a well known fishing spot.

Ephiny watched Xena suspiciously. Xena still ignoring her found a nice long sturdy stick rigged it with twine baited the line and settled down to fish.

Ephiny followed suit and proceeded to fish as well. The amazon version of fishing involved spears, and getting very wet so Ephiny really enjoyed Xena's new approach.

'The woman is very inventive' Ephiny thought.

They arrived back at the village right before the evening meal.

“Well warrior you have not really ate since you got here.” She said motioning two amazons who were running the stables over. Instructing one to take the fish they'd caught to the cooking hut.

“There are matters we need to negotiate. We will have our dinner with the elders.” Ephiny informed her.

Xena followed Ephiny into a hall. Amazonia markings and Mask of previous Queens adorned one side of the hall. Shelves with hundreds upon hundreds of scrolls adorned the other side. The meeting table was stocked with steaming hot food and drink.

“I'll be sitting at the head of the table. You will sit at the opposite end. Two Elders will sit on either side.” Ephiny said motioning Xena to her seat. She pulled on her Royal Robes.

“Because you are not accustom to meeting with the elders I'll look out for your interest to make sure you are heard.” Ephiny stated.

“Well I can't tell you how much that comforts me.” Xena said sarcastically. “Tell me this. Is that why Gabrielle is still fighting for her life. Your god wants to make sure I will agree to her terms.” Xena asked warily.

Before Ephiny could reply amazon drummers entered the room. Another amazon entered and sat just off from the table. Preparing to record the meeting to scroll.

Ephiny stood just as the Amazons drummers signaled the beginning of negotiations with the ceremonial beating of the drums.

Xena remained seated.

The four Elders entered the room. Their Robes were similar to Ephiny's. The elders wore the large hoods on the back of the robes that covered they're faces completely. Apparently they could see through their side of the dark fabric.

“Please stand Warrior.” The Amazon in charge of recording spoke clear and loudly.

Xena stood tall in all her splendor lacking any kind of enthusiasm.

“Residing over negotiations with the Elders of Amazonia is Royal Reagent Ephiny. On her right stands Elder Rainin. Down from Elder Rainin is Elder Tavik. On her left hand side stands Elder Meitos. Down from Elder Meitos is Elder Teris. To all present this is official negotiations therefore record will be scribed.” Each elder pulled her hood back as the recorder sat having opened the meeting.

'I know I heard wrong.' Xena thought.

'Maybe there are Two Teris's in the village. Maybe the healers mother.' She watched the woman to her left standing next to her remove her hood.

It was the healer. Her eye's was set on the one named Rainin.

“Opening negotiations with---what are you officially called dear.” Meitos asked noticing Xena's full attention on Teris. “Are you okay child. Elder Teris maybe you should---.” Xena cut her off.

“I am fine.” Xena said. Angered she was caught off guard by Teris being an elder.

'I should have seen that one coming.' Xena thought remembering her first impression of Teris.

“Okay.” Meitos said. “You mind answering the question?”
“What was the question?” Xena asked having composed herself, refusing to look at either Ephiny or Teris. She looked to Meitos.

“Scribe.” Teris called. Pressing her hand to Xena's forehead.

“What are you officially called dear?” The recorder repeated uncomfortably.

Xena pushed Teris's hand from her forehead.

'This is going to be a long night. I hope I can get through it without killing someone.' Xena thought crossly.

“Everyone please be seated.” Ephiny stated. She Wondered.

'If this is the way things are going to start out, how will it end?”
“Please, answer the question Warrior?” Ephiny asked after everyone had settled down.

“I have many names pick your choice.” Xena said sarcastically.

“I know what my choice would be. You---.” Ephiny started loosing control. Meitos cut her off.

“Excuse me Reagent. I posed the question. May I handle it.” Meitos cut her off.

Ephiny nodded.

'This woman don't care anything of our ceremonies and traditions.' She began to feel her doubts rise again.

“Everyone dig in the food is getting cold.” While everyone filled their plates and started eating. Meitos attempted to get negotiations on the right path.

“How old do you think I am.” She asked Xena.

Xena looked at the lady. She was not going to play a guessing game.

“I'm bad at guessing games. I would not care to try.” Xena had not took anything to eat or drink.

“Well many have guessed. Some offend me some don't.” She said thoughtfully pausing to chew.

“My true age was determined at birth, So was my name. Why don't you give me the name your mother honored you with? I am to old to sift through all the names you have been dishonored with. Of these names I do not feel Conqueror or Destroyer of Nations are very appealing titles. I will not call you either. What is your name given to you upon your birth?”
“Xena.” She answered. The only answer to the question asked.

“Opening negotiations with Xena of Amphipholis.” Meitos stated firmly.

“Xena back to what I was saying. However old you were dear enough to not tell me you thought I was. Guess what.” Meitos continued.

“What?” Xena asked the women who made her feel like she was a child.

“I am probably twice that age.” She said motioning to Xena's empty plate. “Why aren't you eating dear?”
Xena cast a frigid scowl towards the healer who was clearly enjoying her meal.

“Previous witchery on behalf of Elder healer or whatever she calls herself makes me leery.” Xena turned her eyes back to Meitos.

Teris did not even bother to answer. She knew Meitos would.

“Well let's clear the air shall we. First Xena, I trust you know what respect is. I am told you settle for nothing less in your nation.” Meitos said motioning with a fork.

“Yes.” Xena said simply. She already knew what Meitos was leading to.

“Elder Teris is deserving of your respect under the title she represents in this room at this time, Reagent Ephiny as well. We are a proud people and will not recognize ourselves as anyone's subordinates.” She said pausing for effect.

Xena took that moment to pin Ephiny with an inquiring look.

Ephiny was expecting it.

“Elder Meitos.” Ephiny said.

“If you will allow me to finish Reagent.” Meitos said having noted the exchange between the two with satisfaction.

“I have spoken with Elder Teris. On behalf of the Elders seated here we acknowledge her dishonor towards you under her title as healer. We are not apologizing for her mannerisms. She has a very strong will as do yourself. Yet she has a heart of gold---.” Meitos said getting up from her seat and walking to stand between Xena and Teris. She bent and whispered in Xena's ear.

“---as do yourself but I won't tell anyone.” She stood speaking up again.

“I have proof of that. Maybe I'll share it with you one day.” She picked up Xena's plate and started heaping some of everything on it. She then sat it in front of Xena. Patting her on the head as one would a small child.

Xena looked down the table at Ephiny who'd averted her eyes with a hand over her mouth.

“We have very good cooks. No one here has any murderous intentions towards you. If you'd like I myself will serve as your taster. I should add.” She said pouring Xena a goblet of wine.

“It stands to reason that if the food is poisoned. You'd be the only one in the room alive. Do you need a taster?” She asked squeezing Xena's shoulders. She knew she was making her uncomfortable. She was a hand on type of person and she was not about to change now.

“No.” Xena said quietly.

Meitos went back to her seat.

“Now.” She continued. “Eat.”
Xena did as she was told. It would be just her luck Meitos would come and try to hand feed her if she didn't eat.

“Teris has been instructed in the future to inform you of her intentions. Are there any other worries you have at this time before we go into negotiations.” Meitos asked.

“Yes.” Xena added. “Gabrielle still has only come out of the state I found her in once. Even then it was only for a second. I fail to see the fairness of this with her well being hanging over my head.” Xena said looking to Meitos.

“I can speak to your concern on that matter Xena.” Teris spoke a full sentence for the first time since entering the room.

“Gabrielle woke just after the midday's sun. You'd been gone for two turns of the sand. My mint tea worked wonders. She---.” Teris said noticing Xena had started eating slowly.

“---Had quite an appetite. She noticed the gold coin in her hand and got very worried. She thought you had left her for dead, and was quite relieved to here that you had went fishing with Ephiny.” Teris said continuing to eat.

Xena felt warmth spread through her chest. However she felt Teris's was mistaken that the girl was worried she'd left her. She knew that Gabrielle probably would have liked nothing more then for her to leave.

Meitos spoke from across the table. “You need not feel you are under duress. Our terms are very simple.”
“Scribe.” Ephiny said handing the recorder a scroll “Read off our demands and enter them into negotiations record.

“Terms submitted to Xena of Amphipholis are as follows.” The girl called out the amazon's terms.

These only made Xena laugh. The second scroll submitted only made her mad.

Negotiations went very slowly, but finally both sides came to agreement.

The most important terms being
I. Gabrielle would serve as queen of Amazonia.

II. Amazonia would be under Xena's flag of protection.

III. Gabrielle would remain with Xena under Xena's terms. She would be allowed one week out of every month to rule her nation. The first six months was to be minus Xena. From that time on Xena would accompany her as her advisor. In her absence Reagent Ephiny would serve as Queen.

IV. She would be trained in Amazonian combat techniques to defend herself and her nation.

V. Upon the Queen and Xena arriving in the village Xena must surrender her weapons to the queen on bended knees.

VI. Xena must never disrupt the Queens rule while she was in Amazonia.

VII. Xena must never disrespect the Queen in front of her subjects and fellow Amazons.

VIII. Amazons were not to interfere in what went on between Gabrielle and Xena behind closed doors. Whatever that may be.

IX. Xena was not to injure Gabrielle while on Amazonian land and vice versa. Teris as Amazonian healer was to apply the strictest of healer/healee confidentiality.

X. Terms as related to Xena by the Goddess Artemess on becoming Champion or Queens Consort remained between her and the Goddess.

The other terms were documented as well. Any terms were also subject to change if agreed upon by the Amazons and Xena.

Everyone involved was relieved terms were agreed upon. All the members around the table swore to the agreement the last person being Xena.

Reagent Ephiny stared down the table at Xena. She knew once Xena swore on this Alliance her flag of protection applied as long as Gabrielle lived.

In the past four sand turns they had clashed severely. She just could not resist pushing her one last time.

“I don't know quite how to swear you in on the alliance.” She started. “You honor no Gods.”
Xena's eyes narrowed she knew what Ephiny was up to.

“I Guess I could swear you in on any honor you may have left in you.” She said bitterly.

“Be very careful Ephiny.” Xena warned.

“You're almost there but not quite. Know this there is a loophole you did not catch that leaves me a way out. I swear to this Alliance on my word and In Gabrielle's name. I warn you however do not take advantage of the alliance. If you do I'll take you up on the challenge.” Xena stated calmly.

“We would never dream of it.” Meitos assured Xena. Having caught Ephiny's eye with disapproval.

The meeting was quickly adjourned before any one else could clash.

Teris caught up with Xena as she walked towards the healer's hut. Her hooded robe thrown over her arm.

She didn't say anything right away just walked beside her. Xena had wanted some privacy with Gabrielle.

Xena turned to her.

“Yes.” She said.

“I just felt you needed someone to walk with.” Teris said avoiding her eyes.

Xena continued to watch her.

“I'm not going in.” Teris motioned to the door. “She is doing fine. She ate so much she should be good for a couple days.” Teris said.

“Nope, She'll be famished by the rising of the sun.” Xena stated truthfully.

“Really.” Teris laughed finally looking at Xena.

“Look, I think you are doing a good thing with this Alliance. Whatever your reasons may be. I thank you because I've watched a strong nation of Amazons die out right before my eyes, many my healer's knife just couldn't save. I know you have more then your share of our blood on your hands. It is really big of you to end the blood shed with this alliance. She said sincerely. “I owe you an apology. I prejudged you.”
“Nope.” Xena said. She was beginning to feel again. That was not a good thing to her. She did not want to start making friends or trusting people.

“All those things that you judged me about. That made you dislike me was true.” She looked the healer deep in the eyes.

“You respect life as a healer. Never mistake this, I destroy life, and it is neither here nor there to me. I only entered this alliance because it suited a purpose. I care less for you or your Amazons. You just fill a need.” She said attempting to push Teris away.

“For now.” Teris said seeing right through her.

“That will change, if you ever need a friend to talk to. When you need a shoulder to cry on, I'm here. Don't tell me Conqueror's don't cry.” Teris said shaking her head sadly. “I can see your heart as plain as you standing in front of me. Teris turned and walked a way
leaving Xena standing there.

Gabrielle had her hands pinned over her head. She pumped into Xena without any mercy as she rode her from behind. Xena cried out. Whether from pain or arousal she did not know it did not matter. She released her hands and grabbed her shoulders.

“OOOhhh that is so Goood.” Gabrielle cried.

Xena was wild underneath her, still she pumped harder.

“Gabri---huh, I need.” Xena cried out as Gabrielle grabbed a hand full of her hair.

“Please, Ummm---Make me feellll.” Xena whispered savagely.

Gabrielle yanked her head back for a fierce kiss.

“I don't-- care what you—need. Oohh this is about ssss-- what I need.” The last sentence came out at a rush. She pulled out of Xena savagely. Xena whined in protest.

Gabrielle pulled off the phallus and laid back
“Service me.” She moaned “Now!!”
Xena hurried to please her.

“Now!!” Gabrielle moaned as she woke from her dream.

Xena stared at her a frown knitting her brow. Teris smirked.

'What is that all about. It almost sound like---' Xena thought a little groggy herself. She had not wakened Gabrielle when she came in last night.

Teris sat at the side of Gabrielle's cot having brought in breakfast for both of them. She'd shaken the bard gently.

Xena had refused to wake her. She was hesitant to face Gabrielle the first time since that cursed fight, especially this early, which definitely was not Gabrielle's time of day.

Gabrielle became aware of her surroundings slowly. The dream was still very vivid in her mind. Suddenly she became aware of Teris. Her face turned crimson red. She turned in an attempt to hide her embarrassment.

“Oh Gods.” She cried out aloud as her eyes settled on Xena's the object of her dreams. She turned in the bed and buried her overheated face in her pillows and pulled the furs over her head.

“Well, if you need any more indication that she's doing fine there you have it. I'd say she just woke from a very nice dream.” Teris laughed.

“Gabrielle I'm leaving you breakfast for whenever you decide to come out.” Teris said. Noticing the relief on Xena's face as she watched the girl hiding under the furs.

“That's just a side affect of one of the herbs that helped you the most yesterday. It's perfectly natural. You have nothing to be ashamed of.” Teris said soothingly.

Gabrielle could hear two people laughing over her head. The one she dreaded the most was the Conqueror's.

“You and you herbs. I'm beginning to think you are wicked.” Xena said trying her best to throw the healer a dirty look but just could not do it.

“Come from under their---Gabri--elle.” Xena stumbled over her name because she was not used to addressing her by it.

The way Xena stumbled over her name brought back the memory of how she'd called her name in the dream. Gabrielle shivered from the mere sound of it.

“Eat your breakfast and we have to talk.” Xena reverted back to her Conqueror mode. While her heart sang to see the girl so alive. She just did not know how change.

Teris noticed the domineering tone to Xena's voice when speaking to the girl. She began to wonder what was the girl's role in Xena's domain. If her role was inferior then why the titanic sacrifice for her?
Gabrielle sat up immediately and started eating her breakfast apparently following Xena's orders. Teris was very puzzled.

“Well, I'll leave you now. Gabrielle I want you to get some fresh air. Xena why don't you take her to the lake?” Teris suggested as she left very puzzled. She went in search of Ephiny.

Xena took a long look at Gabrielle. Her mind's eye showed her how much she wanted to take the girl in her arms and declare her undying love. Her dark spirit spoke up.

“What have you to say for yourself?” She demanded after Gabrielle finished eating.

The girl kept her eyes down.

“I've spent much time and manpower to find you. Gave the Amazons protection under my flag under the condition they treat you. Leave my grounds to assure that you are cared for properly. Dwell in the village of the people I was waging war on. I ask you again. What do you have to say?” Brazen words and bravado spoke nothing of the warrior's true feelings.

“My lord---.” Gabrielle started off but Xena cut her off.

“You will address me as Xena until we cross over Amazon borders. This will assure you are cared for to the utmost. You will not act as my slave but my comrade. You will not speak unless spoken to and even then you will allow me to answer for you. Understood?” Xena said watching the girl closely.

“Yes my…Xena.” She said wincing uncomfortably.

Xena's heart skipped. 'My Xena. If only I could be your Xena.' She thought. Xena got up pulling on her leathers.

“MY lord.” Gabrielle said. Her voice sounding very low and humbled pulled at Xena's heartstrings.

“Have you forgotten what I told you already.” Xena asked keeping her back to the girl as she pulled on her leathers.

“I -- I.” Her voice cracked. She wanted to let her know that she appreciated her actions. She got choked up.

Xena turned and looked down at her lowered head. She ran her hand through the girl's hair.

“I know.” She whispered to the girl cupping her cheek. She felt the tears there.

“You need not fear my enemies or anyone else from this point on.” She pulled her hand away noticing what she'd just done and said. “Except me that is. You will remain here until I return.” She left the hut quickly needing to distance her self before she proclaimed her heart to the girl.

“Warrior.” Ephiny's voice rang out loud and strong.

“You said you wanted to send a message to your sovereignty.” Ephiny asked.

“Yes, but I changed my mind.” She said. “Gabrielle will be strong enough to travel in a couple days. We will be leaving at that time.

“You- we were going to have her coronation--. Ephiny stammered
“Do you recognize me as the royal adviser now, or will that start at a later time.” She asked Ephiny cocking her head to the side.

“From the time you swore to uphold the alliance.” Ephiny stated puzzled.

“Then I'll advise.” She said looking Ephiny in the eyes. “For reasons I will not say at this time due to lack of privacy. It would be best if you allowed me to prepare Gabrielle for this unexpected situation. We need to know how she will react to your Amazons. Then we can let her know she is your ---well you know. I will send message when I feel she is ready.” Xena said patiently.

Ephiny started to argue but instead she just agreed. She watched Xena walk away.

'Artemess I hope for the sake of our village you are right about her.' Ephiny thought as she continued on to the dining hut.

Solari, Teris and a trio of armed Amazons accompanied Xena and Gabrielle on their trip back to Xena's lands. It was seven moons after Gabrielle had regained conscienceness. Teris motioned for the amazons to wait for her while she accompanied them to Xena's great gates.

Samuels had been informed to come out and meet her a days ride out. She did not want any of her men to make the mistake of attacking them. It was no secret her men had an utter dislike for the Amazons. As the sentries atop the watchtowers saw them approaching they opened the gate's wide. Urthro rode out.

The royal horns announced the Conquerors return.

“Gabrielle! My lord it is such a relief to see her looking so healthy.” Urthro said.

Xena's normal reaction before might have been unrestrained jealousy, but she found herself thinking back to Urthro's appeal to the traitor that had served as her healer. She remembered the fact that he'd cared for the girl and the last time he'd seen her she been one step from Charons boat.

“We have the Amazon healer Teris to thank for that.” Xena said motioning to Teris.

Samuels eyes narrowed as he looked at Xena. Something about her was just off point.

Teris nodded at Urthro then turned to Xena and Gabrielle.

“At the appointed time we will be back. I trust preparations will be made.” She said looking at Xena knowing the girl would not answer. Xena nodded yes.

“Stay true to your heart Warrior.” She said very sternly to Xena. Then turned to Gabrielle.

“Keep heart little one for you have two nations behind you.” She said looking innocently into Xena's disapproving eyes then rode off.

Xena threw a look over her shoulder at Gabrielle who was clearly trying to figure out what Teris had just said.

As they rode swiftly to Xena's castle she could feel eyes on her. She also caught a few warm smiles towards Gabrielle.

During the time Gabrielle had been with her the girl had favored telling stories to the youths that would gather in the courtyard after their lessons. Many had become very fund of her. Xena would never admit it but she allowed it because she would watch from time to time.

The first time, she'd heard her name as Gabrielle told the children stories of a Xena once they're own age.

Small tales of the trouble she might have gotten into or the hopes she might have had. Xena swore one day she'd put an end to the stories but never did. Even though her reputation was ruthless the children's opinions of her softened.

Gabrielle had a very rough time from the Amazon village to her stables. The girl did not like riding horses. Ephiny had offered her a very powerful steed when they were preparing to leave the village.

Xena had watched the apprehension flood the girl's features. She informed Ephiny that Gabrielle was going to ride with her.

She noticed herself watching the girl for her reactions a lot more. That in some ways she could not treat her the way she had before.

Once in the stable she offered Gabrielle her arm to help her off Argo. She had rode behind Xena. A vivid image of her being pushed off this very horse that horrid night went through both their minds. Xena shook the thought off.

“Urthro, assemble a meeting with my generals for midday on the morrow.” Xena said turning her attention to Samuels.

“Yes My lord.” Urthro bowed out of the stables.

“Gabrielle, I want you to get plenty of rest. I don't want to see you outside of your chambers until I send for you.” Xena dismissed her. Unsaddling Argo.

“Yes My lady.” Gabrielle bowed out of the stables.

“Samuels from the looks of it you have something to say to me. Well then, speak up” She demanded.

“There is talk of you becoming soft. Unfit to lead. Some say the girl has bewitched you. I myself worry.” Samuels finished.

“You should know by now I do not care what the “talk” may be. Anyone that feels I am soft, who wants to question my authority may feel free to challenge me.” She said evenly brushing Argo down.

“Challis worries me. He was really looking forward to the war with the Amazon's. He did not take this alliance well at all. I do not trust him.” Samuels said suspiciously.

“This from the man who's best friend was executed from undeniable betrayal.” Xena said watching his eyes narrow. She liked it when Samuel's was in this kind of mood.

“My liege, Yes my judge of character was weak----.” He stated less assured.

“Your judge of character was dead.” Xena said manipulating him into an argument.

Samuels started to speak but then caught on to what she was doing and pulled back smiling.

“I am glad to have you back my lady.” He said bowing.

“If you feel he is getting ahead of himself deal with it.” She said handing him a scroll from her saddlebag.

“The alliance has already been committed to. You will inform the men. Anyone who disagree is free to deal with me.” She said softly.

“Anyone who disobey my orders. Well, they're life is forfeit.” She said leaving the stable.

“Oh, on the other hand I will deal with Challis when the time comes. He is a special case. He is wild and untamed. I want to keep him that way. Inform him and his men but do no deal out any kind of discipline. I'll handle that.” She said a certain predatory look in her eyes.

The seven moons went by in a flash. Gabrielle spent half of that time in her chambers with nothing to do. One day a servant came for her. She was taken to the conqueror's personal library. A tutor informed her that the Conqueror wanted him to teach her to read and count.

Gabrielle was thrilled. She studied hard for the next seven moons
Another ten moons went by. Xena had not sent for her or released her from her chambers. This worried her greatly.

The third moon of the third week she was sitting in the library. She could stay there as long as she wanted. She'd learned reading fast as if she already knew how but just needed a refresher.

She never even saw the conqueror enter. Xena waved the tutor out and he left quickly. She watched the girl so engrossed in her scroll, her lips moving as she read.

'She's very smart which could be a problem. I think that is why--.' Xena shook the thought out of her head. 'I need her to learn so she can bring important information to me.' Xena told herself.

As she watched the girl her subconscious knew. Gabrielle's very nature was that of a bard. As remarkable as she was without the two basic skills of reading and scribe, she would be incredible with it.

In her hand she held a package, a gift for the bard within the girl.

Gabrielle felt a presence so close behind her she could feel its body heat. She knew it was not the tutor. Everyone knew his favor towards men. Knowing how possessive the conqueror was, she knew that was the main factor he was chosen.

Her senses picked up the scent that could only be that of the conqueror.

The conqueror placed a package on the table. Tracing a finger up her arm then running her hand through Gabrielle's hair.

Gabrielle slowly reached out for it. The conqueror had not uttered a word so she guessed she wanted her to open it. The hand stroking through her hair was very distracting. She opened the package her hands slightly trembling.

It held two quills, two bottles of ink, a bundle of scrolls, and a bag to put it all in.

Gabrielle's breath caught. To anyone else this package of items was not extravagant in any means. As far as the bard was concerned it may as well have been a bag of gold.

“My lord.” she spoke breathlessly. “I--.” She broke up. “My lord will never know how much my lessons have meant to me. These gifts are the most precious any has ever bestowed upon me.” Gabrielle said stroking the quill's soft feathers.

The conqueror withdrew and walked out of the room.

Gabrielle watched her go. She was so puzzled. This was not the person she'd known before. It was very unsettling. This person she did not know at all and that could be very dangerous.

Xena had just called her midday training lessons to an end. When a message was brought to her. The amazons would arrive within the rising of the sun in four days time.

Xena became very uneasy at the thought of Gabrielle's absence
“Call the bard to my chambers. Instruct her to prepare for my bath.” She told the messenger. He hurried off.

A turn of the sand later she entered her chambers. A steaming hot bath was set up. The bard was kneeling in her normal spot. Upon hearing her enter the bard stood and began to undress her.

The smallest of touches sent tremors through her body.

Gabrielle noticed this relieved that the Conqueror had not lost interest in her. The conqueror could be brutal when she took her, but the times she was gentle outweighed those brutal times.

Xena settled herself in the large bath.

The bard's hands knew how to ease the tension from her body. For some reason, she could not ease the tension from Xena's body on this day.

“Undress slave.” Xena instructed Gabrielle.

Gabrielle stood and undressed. She found that since the conqueror had start using her name in the Amazon village she did not like the term slave at all.

Xena caught her hand and pulled her into the bath with her. She enfolded her into a tight embrace wrapping her long legs around the girl's waist she kissed the top of her head and relaxed.

Gabrielle could feels Xena's breast against her back and her sex against her behind. Xena had never pulled her into the bath before she found it awkward, but she forced herself to relax.

Xena helped her. Just as she'd cleaned the warrior's body countless times. Xena did the same, but her hand's was meant to arouse. As Xena ran her soapy hands over erect nipples, luscious curves and soon after that a very erect clit.

The girl's moans was intoxicating. Xena gathered the aroused bard in her arms and rose out of the water. They dried each other's bodies wordlessly.

Gabrielle was truly on edge as Xena backed her onto the bed kissing her deeply. Exploring every sweet crevice of the girl's mouth. Her hands roaming freely over her body. Xena pulled away looking deeply into the girl's eyes, her fingers claiming its prize. She gasped as she felt how wet the girl was.

'Is this the desire you feel for me my little one.' She thought getting lost in the girl's eyes and knowing that soon she would have to leave.

She pressed her thigh into Gabrielle's heated desire, seeking out the girl's lips again, kissing tenderly, something she had not allowed since that first night they were together. Gabrielle tried to press her thigh into Xena's sex. Wanting to give her pleasure too, but Xena pulled away. She moved down the girl's body, over oh so soft skin, until she found her clit. She sucked it between her lips relentlessly. Gabrielle's body trembled, her breath coming in ragged gasps. Xena pressed two fingers into her drenched opening.

Gabrielle's mind was overwhelmed her body overheated. Xena's searing kisses added a whole new dimension to the tender love she was making to the girl. Gabrielle tried to hold her climax off wanting to feel this part of the conqueror forever, but when Xena entered her, wave after precious wave flowed through her body taking her higher and higher. Her passion overloaded as she tipped over the edge falling… falling then darkness.

“Xenaaa-.” She had screamed loud enough to wake the dead.

Urthro and Samuels both had been training hard. They had stopped for a drink from the well directly under the Conqueror's balcony. Samuels had been drinking from the dipper when he heard a heart-numbing scream making the water he drank go down the wrong pipe. He choked as Xena panickly called them from the balcony.

“Have you found a new healer Samuels.” The conqueror had asked.

Urthro answered for Samuels who was still trying to catch his breath.

“Yes my lord we'll get her right now.” Urthro grabbed Samuels pulling the choking man with him. They ran to the healer's chambers within the castle walls.

Lindy the new royal healer had heard of the torture the Conqueror put the Young woman through. She was ready to go at a moment's notice.

She found herself examining a very naked and pleased bard. A very worried conqueror pacing the floor. At least she had on a robe. May have been opened but it was a robe nonetheless. The two men who came and got her stood to the side obviously embarrassed. Anyone could see what happened here. The healer stood.

“She is fine, more then fine, I would say she is very satisfied, and she'll sleep happily through the rest of the night.” The healer said straight-faced. “I was told you are a renown healer yourself. With the girls past illness you probably panicked. It is very hard to diagnose a loved one.” The healer said.

Xena face went a deep red, all three watched as it slowly moved down her neck. The healer stepped forward pulling her robe shut. Xena pushed her hand away and tied it herself.

“You are mistaken.” She said defensively. “I love no one.” As if to prove her point. She motioned to Samuels who's face was just as red as her own.

“Take her to her chambers. I have no tolerance for such weakness.” She tried to sound uncaring. Samuels saw right through it.

“Wrap her in the comforter the halls are chilly.” She said looking away.

“I stand corrected My lord. I see you love no one” The healer spoke sarcastically then bowed her head.

They watched Samuels leave.

“Who are you anyway?” Xena asked her crossly. “What's with you healers? If you aren't all out betrayers, then you have a chip on you're shoulders the size of Mount Olympus.” She sneered.

“I would have thought you'd recognized me. Take a deep look Conqueror.” Xena's mind could not quite get it but a red flag went up in her head.

Urthro left the room quickly in search of Samuels. He had a feeling there was going to be trouble.

“Nothing?” The healer asked. “Well has been a long time. I'll give you a hint. I probably was the first face you saw as you came into this world.” The healer moved towards her. Xena backed up realizing who this person was. Completely and utterly ashamed at what she had just witnessed. Samuels having rushed into the room moved in front of Xena awkwardly in order to protect her from the small Gray haired women.

“Samuels, who brought her here.” Xena asked in a voice that guaranteed death.

“I did My Lord. She is a healer of great skills and many years of experience.” He stated feeling Xena's cold stare.

“I know that she was my mother's midwife, she delivered me.” Xena said quietly pulling her dagger.

Samuels closed his eyes accepting his death.

“Oh, put that away.” The older women snapped. “He had no way of knowing Conqueror. I do not intend on interfering one way or the other. I do demand your respect and decency. I have resided behind your gates for many years now. You appointed me the head healer of the children's hospice yourself. If the blame is to fall on anyone it falls on you for not recognizing me at that time.” She said reaching past Samuels quickly and pulling the dagger from Xena's hand.

“They were in search of someone who could be trusted. For you have many enemies. If nothing else you can trust me. What kind of healer would I be to bring you in the world then later take you out. What would your mother think?” She said sweetly.

“I have business to tend to. Don't you harm that young man. I mean it” The small gray haired lady said not at all worried as she left the room without being dismissed.

Samuels stood there not moving a muscle. Urthro stepped out of the healers way. Then turned to the scene before him.

“What are you scared of Samuels I have been disarmed.” She sneered.

'Not for the first time by yet another women and I am getting tired of it.' Xena thought frustrated.

“I have been forbidden to harm you. So what are you worried about.” She shouted enraged.

Samuels moved to stand beside Urthro who was not all that sure he wanted him there. No one had forbidden her from killing him.

She paced angrily.

“I am a very strong person. I can take things that would make a seasoned soldier empty his belly.” She approached them menacingly.

“Can you imagine fucking someone until they pass out, and the women who delivered you from you own mother's womb treating that person. Telling you that the girl was very satisfied. Thank you Samuels from the bottom of my heart, Thank you.” She stood right in front of him.

“Now you go get my favorite dagger from my Godmother or so help me I will kill you. Get out of my face both of you” She screamed at the top of her lungs.

They all but ran from the room. Samuels first stop to get Xena's favorite dagger.

She paced and paced allowing herself to think. She schemed and planned. Pulling her thoughts into order as best she could until late night when exhaustion made her settled into her bed.

'Maybe having Lindy here was a good thing. At least she would not have to worry about a healer. That is if she could keep the outspoken
woman off her back.' She thought.

She grabbed a fur from one of the chairs. Gabrielle's scent was soaked into the sheets and helped lull her to sleep.

Xena sat in her throne room the very next day. A child of only Nine Seasons stood before her. She'd summoned Gabrielle to proceedings to support and advice the child. Xena was aware Gabrielle knew the child and wanted to see how she'd help her.

The girl had killed her father. He had been well known in her realm and the citizens demanded justice. The girl's mother had died when she was a baby. She had no family left.

“Well, well they do start young do they not. What have you to say for yourself child.” Xena asked.

“Nothing.” The child whispered.

Xena could see right away there was more to this story. The child was clearly grieving and racked with guilt for the very person she'd killed.

“Then you will die.” Xena said hoping that would pull some kind of reaction from the girl. Gabrielle was standing next to her apparently trying to get her to speak.

“So be it.” The child said simply.

“Very well.” Xena said catching Gabrielle's eyes.

“No!!” Gabrielle said looking deep into Xena's eyes.

“She loved her father very much. There is something she is not telling you. It just happened last moon she is still grieving.” She pleaded.

“She has committed a crime that can not be taken back. Her father cannot be brought back The citizens demand retribution.” Xena stated.

A cheer radiated from the crowd filling the throne room.

Gabrielle turned and whispered in the girl's ear. The girl shook her head vehemently to the negative.

“My lord may I speak for this child--. The girl cut her off.

“No—you can't. Please my lady I loved my papa. I killed him-- I should--die.” The girl had thrown herself at Gabrielle in an attempt to stop her from talking.

Gabrielle held her tightly trying to control her.

“Speak for the child.” Xena commanded.

“No!” The girl screamed.

Xena having grown tired of the girl's protest stood. Gabrielle moved in defense of the child.

“My lord, she is in a state of depression. Everyone has turned against her. She wants to die. She is not in her right state of mind please don't--.” Gabrielle said solemnly.

“I know that. I also know that some of these people know what was going on, but they'll never tell. I am not going to hurt her unless she did it out of malice. Come here child.” She said demandingly.

The girl stopped struggling and looked at Xena with fear. She didn't mind paying for her crimes, but Xena was known for torturous deaths and she did not want that.

“Gabrielle.” Xena said wearily.

Gabrielle took the girls hand and led her to Xena. Xena lifted the small girl on her lap and pulled her into a warm embrace rocking her. The small wall the girl had retreated behind crumbled. She tried to pull away, but Xena held on tight. If nothing else Xena knew about walls. This child was too young to be hiding behind them.

The child began to cry her wails of grief echoing through the great halls as she buried her face in Xena's chest.

Xena looked at Gabrielle who's eyes had watered as well. She turned from Xena's stare and looked out at the citizens with disdain. Xena stood cradling the girl in her arms. She moved into the crowd to people that she knew had been a part of the child's life since her birth.

“Something horribly wrong happened here.” She said making eye contact with certain people. With a nod of the head Urthro pulled certain ones to the side.

“What would make a young girl this size kill her father.” She moved to one of her own Generals. He had been the girl's father's best friend. She pulled the girls tearstained face from her chest.

“You've known this child since her birth. Even brought her here for children's socials with your own children.” As soon as the child made eye contact with the general. The tears started fresh and she buried her face deep into the Conqueror's chest, and tightened her grip.

“Him too Urthro.” She moved back to Gabrielle's side.

“You demand this child's death without knowing circumstance. Her innocence has been shattered a long time ago. I think you should know that her own father shattered it. I never interacted with this child until today. Had I known her father would have been put to death by my hand. Certain things I will not tolerate. No one told me, but the way the child reacts tells all. She's my child now. All you people who stood around and watched and knew but did not say anything. You are the one to blame for her father's death. May the gods have pity on your soul if she decides to seek vengeance. For I will raise her to be just like me.” She put the girl down and handed her over to a wide-eyed Gabrielle.

“Take her to Lindy for now maybe she can keep the old woman out of my hair.” She watched Gabrielle leave the room.

“If Urthro did not pull you to the side I suggest you leave, now.” She said too sweetly.

The room emptied quickly.

I'm going to ask a question. I'll only ask once. If I sense in the least bit your lying. I'll turn you over to my mercenaries.” She stopped by her General. “These are your friends. Tell them how pleased they would be to execute anyone right now.” She stated.

He swallowed and nodded yes.

“Is there anyone is this room who did not know what this man was doing to his child.”
Out of the four people she pulled out of the group one said no.

“Get out.” She told him.

Xena was on edge for the rest of the day and Lindy was not making it any easier on her.

Xena stood looking at the sunset as she thought.

'In two days time Gabrielle will be gone to spend a week with all those scantly clad Amazons. They will not treat her like I treated her. She'll probably fall in love with one. I saw the way Ephiny watched her, or Teris with her funny drugs, or Solari who is much closer to her age and---. Xena's thoughts were cut off.

“What is the meaning of this.” Lindy busted into her chambers followed by Gabrielle and the child.

“What do you expect for me to do with those people who need healing of the mind. Just because they did not interfere in how a man raised his child---.” Xena cut her off.

“You mean in how a man raped his child.” Xena said.

Lindy looked at the child who'd dropped her head in shame, then to Gabrielle.

“Are you sure this is the women you said is full of compassion.” Lindy asked her.

“Thank you.” Xena smiled winking at Gabrielle.

'I believe someone kidnapped the conqueror and left this person in her place. I know she did not just wink at me.' Gabrielle thought as she shook her head.

“I do not heal the mind I heal the body. If that is what you need I can refer someone, And another thing I am not a baby sitter. If you do not want to care for the child you should have not taken the responsibility.” Lindy scorned.

“Fine, there are good schools I can send her too. Maybe I can send her to the amazons we are Ally's you know.” Xena thought out loud, suddenly she look into three faces looking at her in horror.

“You know no matter what people said about you in the past I've always said you was a person of honor. I see you lost it somewhere along the way.” Lindy said shaking her head.

“Look, I told Gabrielle to tell you to keep an eye on her until I decided what to do.” She glared at Gabrielle.

“Don't you dare look at her like that she told me. I am a healer; there are dangerous things all through my chambers. I do not have the time to keep an eye on a child, Especially one that has not grown up in the presence of a healer. It's too dangerous.” Lindy declared.

“My lord--.” Gabrielle spoke quietly.

“You can not. You have more pressing matters to tend to.” Xena said cutting her off.

“Like servicing the conqueror.” Lindy said her eyes flashing.

“Your out of line old lady.” Xena warned.

“Please don't argue over me I'll go where ever you want me to go.” The girl said warily.

Xena looked at her with narrowed eyes. Before Gabrielle and Lindy she would have shipped this kid off to a very nice expensive boarding school for orphans of her land. Now Gabrielle was looking away from her apparently angry. Lindy openly glared at her.

“Nope.” Xena said watching Gabrielle closely. “I will honor my word.” She glared at Lindy. “I said I will raise you to be like me and that is exactly what I am going to do. Don't think it will be easy kid. Lindy could you at least set her up in the chambers next to yours. I will not be here all the time. As my Godmother I appoint you as her Godmother. I hope you accept.”
“Times like this you make me proud.” She said leading the kid out of the room.

“You helped Lindy back me into a corner.” Xena said letting her eyes roam over the bard.

“My lady. I just felt the child had been through so much.” She said taking her place on the carpet, bowing her head.

Xena's mind started to wander as she pulled her robe opened.

“Did you think this whole thing through? People say I am the epitome of evil. You throw a child who has already been abused my way.” She said moving in front of the bard.

“My lady, even if she was sent to the orphanage her life would be peaceful. You look out for children, the epitome of evil or not. People do not know the things you do.” She said softly She knew what Xena wanted, and she wanted to give it to her.

“Do it” Xena sneered
Gabrielle dived into her wetness. Flickering her tongue over Xena's engorged clit.

'It's been so long.' Xena thought as she threw her head back enjoying the sensation.

“Uummm.” She moaned softly.

'Please oohh pleeaassseee.' Her mind begged.

“PL------GA--SSSS.” She could barely cut off the things she wanted to say. Gabrielle plunged two fingers inside her.

“AAAhhhhhh” Xena cried as her knees went weak. She slid down into Gabrielle's waiting arms, her body one big wave of pleasure. Gabrielle laid her back amazed at the fact that this was happening. So much like her dreams. She added another finger to the two that was still inside Xena. Her tongue lashed at Xena's clit with lightning fast movements. As she pumped her fingers inside Xena without mercy.

Xena rocked from side to side in ecstatic agony. She pushed at Gabrielle's head in an attempt to push her away. Gabrielle caught the hand pushing her and held it tight.

Xena did not dare release her hold on the carpet with the other hand. For fear she'd loose control.

“Stop---.” She cried desperately, the sensations coming to fast hitting to hard for her to control.

'This can't be happening.' Her mind screamed.

Gabrielle knew she had crossed the line.

'As long as I have this I don't care the punishment.' She thought.

Using Xena's own technique. She continued to pump those three fingers inside her using her thumb on her clit. She straddled Xena's thigh pumping her own engorged clit against Xena's soft smooth thigh. She licked Xena's erect nipples sucking one then the other into her mouth.

All Xena's defenses was crumbling as this small woman lay claim to her very soul.

She kissed Xena's lips tenderly, lovingly then pulled away.

“Please my conqueror open your beautiful eyes.” Gabrielle said, kissing her eyelids tasting her tears that fell freely when she did open her eyes.

“OOOhhhhh.” Gabrielle moan falling into liquid blue. “Whatever happens afterwards know that I love you My conqueror.”
Xena's body arched suddenly.

“Pleassseee.” Xena begged. “Stopp-- I don----AAAAAhhhhhh
Gaabrieeelle Uuhhhh----I Lo--.” She screamed
Gabrielle cut her off with a searing kiss. She couldn't be sure what Xena was going to say. If it was what she thought it was she did not want her to be embarrassed that she had cried it out and others heard.

It was bad enough she screamed out her name. She'd done it so quick she hadn't enough time to stop it.

She watched as Xena went through wave after wave of ecstasy, and tipped over into her own pool of ecstasy.

When she came back to herself she pulled her fingers from inside Xena eliciting another sharp moan.

She lay there on top of the Conqueror and waited for the storm she knew had to come.

Xena did not move. She could hear her breathing so she knew she was okay. Fear crept into Gabrielle's heart had she pushed Xena too far. Gabrielle was fully dressed except her breeches maybe she should get Lindy.

“My lor---.” She was so relieved when she was cut off.

“Don't say a word.” Xena rolled from underneath her.

'Why did I have to go and say something.' She thought
Xena belted her robe and moved to stand on the balcony. She hugged herself. Gabrielle wished she would let her hug her but knew she would not.

“I can't say I'm sorry my lord. I am ready for my punishment.” She moved to her place on the mat and kneeled.

“Report to my throne room tomorrow midday.” She said dismissing her. Gabrielle stood and moved towards her.

“Not another step.” She threatened. “If you know what is best for you leave me. Now!” She sneered more out of embarrassment then anything else. “Go away.” She shouted.

'She's been so good to me lately. Why did I do that! What came over me.' Gabrielle thought as she left her heart aching.

Xena released her breath as she heard the bard leave. She got in her bed letting her mind flow over what just happened. She'd lost control. She'd screamed her name. No one was outside when she looked out over the grounds below her balcony. She did not care too much about them, Gabrielle had heard. Another wave of shame flowed over her. She hugged herself under the new comforter. Maybe it is a good thing she'll be gone for a week I can rebuild the walls she tore down this very night. I can show her this one night will not break me!!!

Continue to Part Three

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