A Different Time, A Better Time

By: Adrienne

Disclaimer: Xena and all other characters from Xena: Warrior Princess are not mine, they don’t belong to me. They belong to USA Universal Studios and all those other great people. All of the rest of the characters in this story are mine. There are also a few songs in the story, don’t worry this isn’t a musical. Just special times, like dancing, when a song is being played, so the songs aren’t mine either.

Sex Warning: Yes there is some sex between a male and female as well as implications towards sex in this story. It wouldn’t be a story with out a little lovemaking. If you’re not old enough to read it then don’t and if it’s too much for you, then my apologies, I have a very vivid imagination. <lol>

Subtext Warning: There’s a little cursing but nothing to run home and tell mother about. And there is also reference to two women being together. There is no more violence than your regular Xena episode.

Chapter 11: Opening New Doors and Leaving a Crack in Old Ones

When the carriage began to move, Xena looked out of the window and began to see some of the beautiful island that Ulysses talked so much about. “You were right, it is beautiful here,” Xena said and Ulysses grinned as he looked at Xena, watching her as she looked out at the beautiful scenery. “You haven’t seen anything yet, I can’t wait to show you some of the most beautiful places here, my old haunts and things like that.” Ulysses said and Xena grinned as she turned and looked at him, “and I can’t wait to see them,” she said and they both grinned at each other before Xena turned back around and continued to look out of the window. “They’re back,” Victoria said as she walked up to Camilla who was on her way to the Dinning Hall, “I know, that’s why I’m heading to the dinning hall,” she said. “I’m going to sit with you,” Victoria said and Camilla stopped and looked at her best friend. “No you’re not,” she said and Victoria looked at her, “why not?”

She asked, “because if the rumor you heard is true about Ulysses brining Xena back, then she’s going to be sitting with him at the table with me. That won’t be a good situation for you and you know it,” Camilla said and Victoria looked at her and nodded. “True but if the rumor is wrong I still want to sit with you, I have no one to talk to but my little sister when I sit with my family.” She said and Camilla grinned and nodded, “yea we do have fun talking with each other when we eat,” Camilla said as they continued to walking to the dinning hall. It took ten minutes for the carriages to arrive at the palace and of course Julian and Marguerite were the first ones out of their carriage. Virgil got out first, followed by Gemini and then Ulysses got out and turned around and held his hand out to Xena, helping her out of the carriage and she grinned as she placed her hand in his and got out.

Once she was out, she looked around at the beautifully scenery, the beautiful assortment of flowers, bushes, the green grass and the fountain in the front of the court yard but what she really paid attention to was the huge, beautiful palace in front of her. “This is where you live?” Xena asked Ulysses and he grinned as he nodded, “yes, this is my home,” he said and she nodded as she looked at him. “Not bad,” she said and he chuckled. “I see right through you my love, I know that you’re amazed,” he said as he leaned over and whispered to her and Xena grinned as she looked into Ulysses’ eyes, caressing his cheek before she turned her attention back to the palace. “This is beautiful,” she said as they walked up the stairs where Virgil’s parents met them.

“Did you have a safe trip?” Lucius asked his son, as he shook his forearm then clapped him on the back. “As safe as possible,” Virgil said then leaned in and placed a kiss on his mother’s cheek and Lucius nodded then turned and looked at Julian, bowing his head in respect to his King and Queen. “My lord, my lady,” he said, “Lucius its good to see you my friend, Gregory has told me that everything has been well,” Julian said and Lucius nodded. “Indeed, we’ve had a few minor skirmishes and a few confrontations but nothing we couldn’t handle. There are a few things for you to look over though,” Lucius said and Julian nodded, “can it wait until tomorrow? I want all of my attention on the dinner tonight,” Julian said and Lucius nodded. “Of course and may I ask, what is the occasion for this special dinner tonight?”

Lucius asked and Julian grinned as he looked at his long time friend, “I can tell you now because soon everyone else will know. My son has decided to take a wife,” Julian said and Lucius’ face showed surprise as he looked at Julian then turned and looked at Ulysses who grinned as he walked up the stairs until he was standing in front of Lucius. “Allow me to introduce you to the wonderful woman who has stolen my heart,” Ulysses said with a grin as he held out his hand to Xena who took it and walked up to Ulysses so that she was standing next to him. “Lucius this is Xena,” Ulysses introduced him to Xena, “Xena this is Lucius, Virgil’s father and my father’s head advisor,” Ulysses said and Xena smiled as she held out her hand and Lucius smiled as well as he took her hand. “It’s nice to meet you,” Xena said, “it is nice to meet you as well,” he said as he raised her hand and placed a kiss on the back of it.

“For a while I thought Ulysses would never settle down, so it is an honor to meet the woman who has achieved such a great feat,” Lucius said and Xena grinned as her hand and Ulysses’ hand automatically came together. Lucius looked at them then at Julian, “well this is indeed a good cause for a special dinner,” he said, “speaking of which, we need to be on our way,” Marguerite said and they nodded and proceeded to walk into the palace and head to the Dinning Hall. As they walked towards the dinning hall, Xena couldn’t help but look around at the spectacular palace that Ulysses called home. She had to admit it was definitely beautiful, the design was unique but beautiful none the less, she was sure there was not another palace like this one in existence. Ulysses grinned as he watched Xena and the fascination in her eyes, “I’ll show you around tomorrow,” he said as he leaned into her and she looked into his eyes and nodded. Their stroll slowed down when they were but a few doors down from the hall, and once they were outside the door, Virgil and his parents went in first then Ulysses’ parents and after a couple of minutes they would follow.

Xena let out a breath, tried to rid her stomach of the butterflies she had, Ulysses turned to face Xena and he looked into her eyes where he could see that she was really nervous. He brought her hand up and kissed the back of it, “relax, you’re going to be fine,” Ulysses said and Xena nodded as she swallowed hard. “No matter what people say or you may hear, know that I love you and I won’t let you go without a fight,” he said with a grin and Xena smiled at that. “I love you too,” she said and Ulysses grinned then leaned in and kissed her softly. When the kiss ended he nodded to the guards to open the door since they were ready to go inside, “If ever you feel insecure, just take my hand,” Ulysses whispered to Xena who nodded and let out a breath one last time before they walked into the dinning hall. Her hand was holding Ulysses’ hand and when they walked in and she saw all the people there, she held his hand a little bit tighter and he squeezed her hand back in a sign of assurance.

Everyone there was talking before they walked in and when they walked in the hall fell silent, everyone had stopped talking to watch Xena and Ulysses walk in and the talking or more like whispers, began again as they looked at Xena, wondering who she was and more importantly, they wondered who she was to Ulysses since they were holding hands, he never showed a sign of affection to any woman he had been with, not in public, so everyone was really curious. They walked over to the head table where his parents sat, along with his sister, Virgil and his parents. His father was of course at the head of the table and Marguerite sat to his right and to his left the chair was empty because that’s where Ulysses sat. Once they were at the table Ulysses pulled out the chair next to his for Xena and she grinned at him as she sat down, thankful that the walk in was over, never in her life had she been so nervous. She was also thankful that she was sitting next to Virgil, “that wasn’t so bad now was it?” Ulysses whispered to Xena and she grinned at him as she looked into his eyes, “not with you at my side,” she said and he grinned into her eyes.

Once they were seated, musicians began playing some soft music and everyone began talking again. “Xena this is my sister Camilla, Camilla this is Xena,” he introduced Xena to his sister who was sitting across from Xena. “It’s nice to meet you, Ulysses has told you so many wonderful things about you,” Xena said and Camilla grinned at her but the grin didn’t reach her eyes. “You as well and I wish I could say the same but my brother has barely spoken of you,” she said and Ulysses looked at his sister. “Camilla, don’t be an irritating brat tonight please,” he said with a grin on his face and she looked at him then picked up her glass. “I won’t be a brat if you promise not to be an ass,” she said as she leaned back in her chair, crossing her legs as she took a sip of wine. Ulysses raised his hands in a choking manner as he looked at his sister, “ooh, I could just choke you sometimes,” he said and Camilla was getting ready to say something when Marguerite stopped her before she could start.

“Please not tonight you two, especially when we have a guest at the table,” Marguerite said, nodding her head towards Xena and the siblings looked at each other. “Fine, I’ll behave if he will,” Camilla said, “I always behave,” Ulysses said and Camilla rolled her eyes at him and Ulysses shook his head at his sister then looked at Xena and grinned. “This is normal,” he said and Xena grinned as she nodded, “I see,” she said then looked at the servant that walked up next to her. “Wine my lady?” She asked and Xena grinned and nodded, “thanks,” she said and the servant bowed her head in respect then filled Ulysses’ glass next. Everyone talked among themselves while they ate some of the appetizers that were brought out, until twenty minutes later when dinner was brought out. Xena had to admit that so far she was enjoying herself but that was partly because she hadn’t met anyone else, she was just getting to know Virgil’s parents and Camilla who she got the very distinct feeling from, that she didn’t like her.

About an hour later when everyone had finished their dinner and they were beginning to mingle amongst themselves as well as dance on the dance floor, Julian thought it was time to announce the reason they all had been brought here. However, before he did he leaned over and whispered to Ulysses, “are you and Xena ready?” He asked his son and Ulysses looked into his father’s eyes, “as ready as we’re ever going to be,” he said and Julian nodded as he stood and lightly tapped his eating knife against his glass which caused a clanging noise and it got everyone’s attention. Once the room was quiet, Julian began to speak, “everyone seems to be in good spirits tonight so it must be the food,” Julian said and they chuckled at him and he grinned as he held his hand up to silence them. “I’m sure you are all wondering why my wife and I planned such a special dinner,” he said. “We thought it was because you needed help eating all this great food,” one nobleman said and they all chuckled at him, including Julian.

“Still haven’t learned how to cook yet Benton?” Julian asked with a grin, “no my lord, perhaps you could show me a few things,” Benton answered. “He could if he knew how to cook himself,” Marguerite said as she stood next to Julian who grinned at her and the others chuckled as well. “Hey, whose side are you on?” Julian asked and Marguerite grinned at him. “Maybe we can take a cooking class together my lord,” Benton said and Julian looked at him. “Well that’s a good idea Benton,” Marguerite said, “thank you my lady,” he said and everyone chuckled as the atmosphere became even lighter. “What do you say my lord?” Benton asked, “my schedule is kind of cramped,” he said and everyone laughed at their King’s obvious attempt to get out of that situation. Julian grinned as he held his hand up once more for silence, “as I was saying before Benton rudely interrupted me,” Julian said, “I’m so sorry my lord,” Benton said in a fake humble manner and they all chuckled once more.

Julian grinned and pointed at Benton who was actually one of the noblemen he was friends with. “I know all of you are wondering two things,” Marguerite said. “One, why are you here?” She said, “and secondly, who is this incredibly gorgeous woman sitting next to my son,” Julian said and Xena grinned at Julian. “Well those two questions have one answer,” Julian said then paused for a dramatic effect. “Recently after the war with Paxos my wife and I had a talk with our son, we wanted to know how this change in him had occurred because as many of you know my son and I always butted heads and Marguerite has recently reminded me that my son is a lot like his father in many aspects.” Julian said as he looked at Ulysses, “strong in body and mind, stubborn…stubborn as a mule,” he said and some chuckled at that. “Intelligent, inspiring, truthful, honorable, kind,” Julian said, continuing to use adjectives to describe his son that he was so proud of.

“And I think all here would agree with me when I say he has a big heart,” he said and most smiled and nodded because they all knew the kind man Ulysses was. “Ulysses is most like me in the way that when he loves, he loves hard and with all of his heart,” Julian said as he looked at Marguerite and she grinned at him and they looked at their son. “So after the war was over and he had recovered from his wound, we went to him one night and we asked him what had caused this change in him.” He said then looked at Xena, “that’s when he first spoke of you,” he said. “Xena is the woman who sits next to my son,” he said for everyone to hear. “He said her name is Xena and she’s from Amphipolis,” Julian said as he remembered their conversation as if it had happened yesterday. “He spoke nothing of you but great things,” Julian said as he looked at Xena and she grinned at him. “He said dad, her name is Xena, she’s from Amphipolis where her mother owns the Inn there and her brothers work the fields.”

He said, “so I said…” Julian started but Ulysses finished for him, “so she’s a peasant?” Ulysses said with a grin on his face and Julian grinned and nodded. “Yes…yes I did say that,” Julian said, “and you told me she was more than that. You told me she was kind, very intelligent, strong in mind and body, amazing and a whole bunch of other things,” he said. “Well from that point on when he spoke of Xena, Marguerite and I could see that our son was smitten with Xena, but knowing our son we just thought it was another one of his interesting relationships with women that he has,” Julian said and they all grinned at the way he described Ulysses’ past relationships or rather excursions. “I didn’t want to admit it at first but something Ulysses said registered in my mind and I knew, I knew that his relationship with Xena was more than we thought.” Julian said and he paused for a minute, “what did he say?” Someone asked and Julian grinned as he looked out at everyone then at Ulysses.

“What did you say?” He asked his son with a grin on his face and Ulysses smiled as he shook his head, “what did you say?” Xena asked him and he looked at her, he looked into her eyes as he spoke the words he spoke on that night. “I said, she is the Queen of my heart and with all that I am, I love her,” he said then continued to look deep into Xena’s eyes, “I love her,” he said once more and Julian grinned as he looked at them both. “Well when we heard that, Marguerite and I knew we had to go and meet this woman, this great woman, person, who had changed our son for the better,” he said then Ulysses stood and spoke to the crowd. “You know after I said that they still didn’t believe me?” Ulysses asked and they grinned at him, “we went to Amphipolis and my parents met Xena’s mom and brothers and they hit it off while we waited for Xena.

When Xena got there they hit it off with her as well, my parents were happy, Xena’s family was happy, Xena was happy and I was happy; it was a great day,” Ulysses said as he looked down at Xena who grinned up at him. “Yes it was,” Julian said, “until,” Ulysses said to his father, “until I did this,” Ulysses said to the crowd of people watching and listening to him. They watched as he got down on one knee and looked into Xena’s eyes as he took her hand in his, “Xena of Amphipolis, I love you with all that I am and my life wouldn’t be complete if you weren’t in it. Will you marry me?” Ulysses asked and there were murmurs throughout the room and even some gasps. Xena grinned as she looked into Ulysses’ eyes, “Yes…yes I will marry you,” she said and there were more gasps and murmurs.

Ulysses leaned in and kissed her softly before he stood with her hand in his as Xena couldn’t to sit, “my parent’s faces were a lot like some faces I see now. They were outraged that their son, who was a prince and would one day be King, had asked a peasant to marry him.” Ulysses said as he looked at his parents and Julian nodded, “we were indeed. Out of all the women Ulysses could have had, he had his pick of princesses and noblemen’s daughters but he chose a simple village woman, or so we thought. We judged Xena without getting to know her and that was our mistake. We raised Ulysses to be a strong man, strong minded and strong willed and there are some times when we are regretting that,” Julian said with a grin and Ulysses grinned back at him. “I knew the depth of Ulysses’ love for Xena when he told me if I made him choose between Ithaca and Xena, he would choose Xena,” he said and there were more murmurs.

“What could I say to that?” Julian asked with a grin as he looked at his son then out at everyone else. “We were left with the choice to get to know Xena before we made decisions about her. Since then, we have spent many days talking with Xena and getting to know her and now we see what it is that Ulysses sees. She may be a commoner but she is far from being common. She’s a great woman with many talents, she’s great in the kitchen, a great healer, she has a kind heart, she’s very intelligent, brave, very bold,” he said and Xena grinned at him. “And if you all haven’t seen it, she’s gorgeous,” Ulysses said and Xena smiled at him as she shook his hand and Julian chuckled at them as did a few others. “Yes, she’s extremely beautiful but that isn’t what makes her the great woman that she is. First and foremost we have accepted her for who she is and finally, for what she is. My son is happy, he is happier than he has ever been and if I knew nothing else about Xena, if I knew nothing else about this woman, it is enough to know that she makes my son as happy as she does.”

Julian said and by then Ulysses had sat down and Xena grinned at Julian when she said that and all she could do was continue to smile as she ran her fingers through Ulysses’ hair. “Loving your son and making him happy comes as natural to me as breathing air,” she said loud enough for everyone to hear and Ulysses grinned as he leaned his face against Xena’s. “Moments such as these,” Julian said as he held out his hand towards Ulysses and Xena, “wash away any doubt in my mind that they shouldn’t be together. So Marguerite and I have given our blessing and agreed that Ulysses and Xena will be married.” Julian said, and though a lot were stunned they clapped their hands in congratulations none the less and Xena and Ulysses just leaned in and shared a soft but passionate kiss.

“So that’s why you’re all here,” Marguerite said, “you’re here to celebrate our son’s engagement and to meet the next Princess and one day your future Queen and a great Queen I know she’ll make,” Marguerite continued with a smile and everyone clapped once more. After that was done everyone went back to talking amongst themselves again and now the subject of talk was Ulysses marrying a commoner. As time passed by people came up to congratulate Xena and Ulysses and to get a pick at Xena, to see what she was all about. Xena actually found a group of women she was comfortable around, they seemed more down to earth than like the stuck up royalty she imagined most of them to be. “I see a couple of guys I wanna talk to, you okay here by yourself?” Ulysses asked Xena and she grinned at him and nodded, “yea I’m okay,” she said and he looked at her.

“You sure?” He asked and she grinned at him, “I feel comfortable here and it helps that your mother is here too,” she said and Ulysses nodded. “I’ll be right over there if you need me,” he said and Xena nodded then shooed him away. Ulysses was heading over to where Virgil was with a couple of guys they knew when Camilla walked up to her brother. “So I suppose congratulations are in order,” she said and he looked at her. “It would be nice if my sister congratulated her brother on his upcoming marriage,” Ulysses said and Camilla looked into his eyes then shook her head. “You’re happy now and that’s great but what about the women whose hearts you’ve broken? What about Victoria? Have you even for a second thought about how this great announcement, you, mother and father made, made her feel?” Camilla asked and Ulysses let out a breath as he looked at his sister, “What do you want from me Camilla? Hmmm…What do you want? I can’t simply put my life on hold because Victoria refuses to let go of me.

No matter how I try to explain it to her, no matter what I do or say, she won’t let go and I’m at a loss as to what I’m supposed to do.” Ulysses said and Camilla looked at him, “well bringing her here definitely hasn’t helped matters any,” she said, talking about Xena with disgust in her voice and contempt in her eyes and Ulysses let out a breath as he looked at his equally strong minded sister. “I’m not going to do this with you,” Ulysses said, “do what?” Camilla asked, “justify falling in love and deciding to marry Xena. I love her Camilla, I love her,” he said as he pointed towards Xena while looking dead into his sister’s eyes so that she could see how serious he was. “With every fiber of my being I LOVE HER! And what’s more, I plan on marrying her no matter what, NO…MATTER…WHAT!” He said, enunciating every word as he looked at her, “Now I’m sorry that Victoria is hurting the way she is, I know it’s my fault and I have tried everything in my power to fix it but unless she wants her heart to be fixed, I can do nothing more, say anything more than I already have.”

He said and Camilla was about to say something when Ulysses cut her off, “and instead of always harassing me about Victoria and the pain she’s in, you should try and help her put her life back together because Camilla I can’t do it anymore, I won’t.” He said with conviction in his voice and in his eyes, “I feel the regret of the pain I have caused Victoria and in some ways I have let it dictate my life, well no more. I can’t be concerned with how Victoria is doing, what she’s thinking and how she’s feeling. I’ve done that for some months now but now it has to stop because in a couple of months I will have a wife who will depend on me and count on me to be there for her in every way imaginable and I won’t be able to do that if I’m worried about a former lover; don’t dare ask that of me. Now Victoria will always hold a special place in my heart and I thank her…I thank her for all that she’s help me through but I can’t be what she needs and she needs to understand that none of this is done to hurt her more but that I’m moving on with my life and she needs to do the same because I can’t be what she needs, what she wants.”

Ulysses finished and Camilla looked into her brother’s eyes and after a minute she nodded, “you’re right, you’re right about everything but you have to understand it’s hard for me to see my best friend in so much pain, especially when my brother is the cause of that pain.” Camilla said then looked down for a minute as she shook her head, “you’re so gods damn stubborn and you always have to have what you want,” she said as she looked into her brother’s eyes. “If you would have just listened to me, none of us would be in the positions we are in now,” she said then let out a breath. “But the past is just that, we can only look towards the future and try and fix this mess,” Camilla said and Ulysses let out a breath when he saw that his sister understood what he was saying earlier. Camilla walked up to her brother and gave him a hug, “congratulations,” she whispered in his ear before she placed a kiss on his cheek.

“Thank you,” he said as the hug ended, “it’s good to see you happy,” she said and he grinned at her. “Why don’t you get to know Xena,” he suggested. “In time but right now I have to go and see about Victoria, try to get her to see the upside of things,” she said and Ulysses nodded and watched as his sister walked away. He let out a breath and made his way over to Virgil talking to a couple of people he knew in the process. “Is everything alright with Camilla?” Virgil asked his friend and Ulysses let out a breath and nodded, “finally,” he said and Virgil smiled as he slapped Ulysses on the back. “Well perk up, you’re about to be married in a couple of months to a great woman and we’re celebrating that this night,” Virgil said as he handed Ulysses a glass of wine and Ulysses grinned at his friend as he took the glass and took a deep gulp.

Ulysses and Virgil hung out with some of their old friends for a while, Ulysses drinking two full glasses of Ithaca’s red, sweet, potent wine. From those two glasses he got a buzz but through all his laughing and clowning around, he always kept an eye on Xena and she did the same. As it got later, the wine flowed more freely as did the music and many couples began to dance. After a while Ulysses made his way over to Xena, “excuse me ladies,” he said as he wrapped his arms around Xena and she grinned as she leaned back into him. “Excuse me while I steal my future wife for a dance,” he said and Xena grinned as she took Ulysses’ hand and they went to the dance floor. The music was a fast beat playing and they began to dance to it both of them smiling as they enjoyed themselves. They danced dance after dance until finally a slow dance came on and they held each other close, until the point not even air could go through their bodies.

Xena had her arms wrapped around Ulysses’ shoulder while her fingers ran through his hair, their heads leaning against each other while Ulysses had his arms wrapped tightly around Xena. Their eyes were closed as they swayed to the beat and without much effort everything slipped away until it was only them on the dance floor. “This night has been so great,” Xena said, “ummm,” Ulysses hummed in agreement. After a couple of minutes Ulysses pulled back some so that his forehead was resting against Xena’s and they looked into each other’s eyes. “You know what?” He asked, “what?” Xena asked, “this has got to be one of the happiest moments in my life,” he said and Xena couldn’t stop the full fledged smile that broke out on her face. Xena looked into Ulysses’ brown eyes as she placed her hands on his face, “I love you,” she said and Ulysses grinned as he leaned in and stole a passionate kiss from Xena. Xena inhaled sharply as she returned the kiss with as much enthusiasm and passion if not more.

When the kiss ended they continued to look into each other’s eyes as they continued to dance. “I’ve never seen him so happy,” Lucius said to Julian as they watched Xena and Ulysses dance. “Neither have I and seeing him this happy lets me know I’ve made the right choice,” he said and Lucius nodded. “It must have been hard though, to allow your only son to marry a commoner,” Lucius said and Julian looked out at them. “At first it was but as I got to know Xena, Marguerite and I slowly began to see the strong connection she has with Ulysses. A bond as strong as theirs shouldn’t be broken because of something as little as nobility.” Julian said and Lucius thought about that as they continued to watch them as did a couple of others, “so when is the wedding?” He asked, “they haven’t set a date yet,” Julian said, “well you know there are processes and rituals they have to go through before the ceremony can take place,” Lucius said and Julian looked at his head advisor, raising his eyebrow in the process.

“I am married, so I do recall all that they must do,” Julian said and Lucius nodded, “I was just making sure,” he said and Julian let out a breath. “Besides, Xena has to go through most of it any way, it’s nothing really serious so they shouldn’t have a problem,” Julian said at least that’s what he hoped. Before either one of them could say anything else, their wives took their hands and pulled them onto the dance floor where they danced. With everyone on the dance floor, Julian wanted to dance with Xena so he and Ulysses switched and as they danced they talked. Soon Lucius wanted a go as well, then Virgil until finally Xena was back in Ulysses’ arms, “long time no see,” Xena said with a smile on her face and Ulysses smiled back. “Believe me that wasn’t my idea,” he said with a smile and she smiled back. “It was fine, I enjoyed myself,” she said, “well that’s all that matters,” Ulysses said with a smile and Xena smiled back as they continued to dance.

An hour later as the celebration began to die down, Xena and Ulysses bid everyone a good night then left the hall. The moment they walked out of the door, Ares jumped all over them, “were you out here the whole time girl?” Xena asked the wolf who made it clear that she was, “she wanted to go in but we couldn’t let her,” one of the guards said and Xena and Ulysses looked at him. “That was quite alright,” Ulysses said. “She wasn’t trouble was she?” Xena asked and the guard shook his head, “no my lady, she was well behaved, she wouldn’t let anyone touch her but me. She’s a beautiful dog,” the guard said and Xena grinned at him, “what’s your name?” She asked him, “Milo, my lady,” he said. “Well Milo, Gemini here is not a dog, she’s a wolf,” Xena said and Milo looked at her. “Well that would explain why she wouldn’t let anyone touch her,” he said and Xena nodded. “She let you touch her so she must trust you, don’t betray that trust,” Ulysses said.

“Betray the trust of a wolf? Never,” Milo said as he looked at Gemini and Xena grinned.” It was nice meeting you Milo,” Xena said, “it was nice meeting you as well my lady,” he said as he bowed his head in respect and Xena continued to grin as she took Ulysses’ hand and he led the way to his room. They weren’t in a rush to get to Ulysses’ room, so they just strolled, talking about the night as they did. “Well this is it,” Ulysses said as they arrived to his room, he unlocked the door and walked into the room, Xena following him. Lanterns and candles had been lit so they could see and Xena looked around the room while Ulysses closed and locked the door. “How about I give you a quick tour?” Ulysses suggested and Xena looked at him, “your room is that big that you need to give me a tour?” She asked with a grin and Ulysses smiled at her, “well these are my chambers, now your chambers, and there is more than one room,” he said and Xena nodded.

“Lead the way,” she said and Ulysses nodded, “well this is the sitting area, just sit in her and relax, entertain guests,” he said and Xena nodded as she looked around the large room that held furniture, a fireplace as well as a table to eat. “And this is the bedroom,” he said as he walked into the bedroom with Xena behind him and she looked around the room which was a large if not larger than the sitting room. She looked at the huge bed in the middle of the room, against the wall, night stands on both sides and furs around the bed. She looked at the large fireplace, where two comfortable chairs sat across from each other in a sort of slant and there were furs in front of the fireplace as well. There was also a sofa there along with a small, long table in front of it, there was a chest of drawers which held some of Ulysses’ clothes, the closet holding the rest and over to the other side of the room was a medium size table were two people could eat. “Those are the doors to the balcony,” Ulysses pointed to the double doors and Xena walked over to them and moved the curtain back to peek out side and while Xena looked around, Gemini sniffed around, getting the feel of things but making sure to keep up with her mistress.

Xena’s things had been placed against the wall in a neat manner, “I’ll have a dresser put in here for you and I’ll clean out the other side of the closet for you,” he said and Xena nodded as she continued to look around. “Come on,” Ulysses said as he walked over to another door that was closed. “There’s more?” Xena asked and Ulysses grinned as he opened the door, “this is the last room,” he said and they walked into a small hall which was lit by lanterns. “Lastly, this is the bathing chamber,” he said as they turned right and ran straight into the bath chamber. “That’s a big tub,” Xena said as she looked at the huge, round tub, that was in the ground in the middle of the room. Ulysses just grinned at her, “a fireplace heats the water and you can add cold water to the temperature you want. It’s just like the showers in Amphipolis,” he said. “Speaking of which,” he said as he lead her over to where the shower stall was and it was large as well, twice the size of the ones in Amphipolis.

There were shelves built into the walls that held towels, oils, soaps and sponges as well as other minor accessories. There were benches were you could sit down, a full length mirror as well as a place where you could just rinse of your face. “Wow,” Xena said as they walked back into the bedroom and Ulysses grinned at her. “Living in the Inn must have been a torture,” she said and Ulysses shook his head as he sat down on the sofa and began taking off his boots. “Nah, it was a nice change, having all of this gets tiring sometimes,” he said. “I can imagine,” Xena said in a sarcastic tone and Ulysses chuckled at her. “I’m beat,” Xena said as she walked over to her bags and began pulling out her sleeping shift. “I guess this isn’t quite appropriate for the life of a future princess,” Xena said referring to her shift and Ulysses looked up at her and it.

“Who cares? No one but me should see it anyway,” he said as he stood and took off his shirt before he walked over to Xena, taking her hand and pulling her towards him. “No one but me should see you take it off, help you take it off, or rip it off if the feeling hits me,” he told her as he placed his hand against her cheek and Xena grinned at him then closed her eyes and luxuriated in the soft, passionate kiss they shared. “I whole heartedly agree,” Xena said and Ulysses chuckled then leaned back in and they kissed once more. When the kiss ended, Xena looked into Ulysses’ eyes, then looked down for a minute, “what?” He asked, sensing that she wanted to tell him something. “Would you be upset if I said I didn’t want to make love tonight? I’m just really exhausted,” she said and Ulysses grinned at her as he continued to caress her cheek.

“Xena, we don’t have to make love every night,” he said, “I mean its great that we sometimes do make love every night, more than once a night but it’s not required,” Ulysses said and Xena grinned and nodded. “I know but I can tell that you wanna,” she said and he smiled at her as he lowered his hands and took her hands in his. “Xena my love,” he said as he brought her hands up and kissed them, “I love you, you’re a gorgeous, sexy woman, I always want to make love to you. You’re very…” he said then looked over her body as he tried to find a word and Xena smiled at him, “shit I can’t even find a word for what you are. All I know is that with every waking breath, I want you but that doesn’t mean I have to have you or if you tell me you don’t feel like it or feel up to it, I’m going to through a fit,” he said and Xena smiled as she moved closer while she ran her hands over Ulysses’ chest.

“I would, especially when I have such a sexy man in front of me and I know what he has and what he can do,” she said as she looked over his body and Ulysses smiled as he shook his head. “Dangerous is the word for you, you’re dangerous and you’re a tease,” he said as he placed his hands on her face while leaning down. “Is that so?” She asked and Ulysses nodded, “that is so,” he said before he kissed her softly and when the kiss ended, Ulysses softly ran his thumb over Xena’s cheek. “See, I want you now but you said you’re tired, so I can wait until you’re up to it,” he said and Xena grinned at him. “Thank you,” she said as she looked into his eyes, “no problem,” he said then watched as Xena walked away and began getting ready for bed, he let out a breath to calm himself before he too got ready for bed.

Xena didn’t lie to Ulysses though, she was tired, she was emotionally drained rather than physically and sometimes that could be just as exhausting as overexerting your body. The whole thing with meeting everyone and announcing to them that they were getting married, was a lot more stress on Xena than she thought it would be. She really cared about the impression she made on Ulysses’ people so she tried harder than normal to make sure that she was accepted or at the most, liked. “You want something to drink,” Ulysses asked, “no, I just want to lay down,” she said as she walked over to the bed, pulling the covers back then got into the bed, moaning at how soft it was. Ulysses gulped down a cup of water and looked at Xena who was lying on her stomach, hugging the equally soft pillows. With his pajama pants on he turned down all of the lanterns except for one, which was far away. He got into the bed from the other side and Gemini jumped onto the bed, settling at the foot.

Ulysses let out a breath as he laid down on his back, placing his left arm behind his head as he looked up at the canopy of the bed. “It wasn’t as bad as you thought it would be, was it?” Ulysses asked Xena and she shook her head no, “no it wasn’t. I actually like a couple of them, and most of the others I could see right through,” Xena mumbled and Ulysses grinned as he looked at her. “You were great,” he said and she opened her eyes and looked at him. “Thanks but if I was great, it was only because I knew you were by my side no matter what,” she said, “always,” he said as he looked into her eyes. Xena was tired but she used the last of her energy to move into Ulysses’ arms so that her head was on his chest, her leg between his and her arm across his midsection. Ulysses wrapped his free arm around Xena then placed a kiss on her forehead, “I don’t think your sister likes me,” Xena said after a couple of quiet minutes.

“What makes you say that?” Ulysses asked, “the way she acted towards me, the way she looked at me and her not so happy expression when she found out we were getting married,” she said. “Camilla is….Camilla,” Ulysses said as he thought about it for a minute. “Right now, she’s more concerned with how Victoria is doing with all of this and its hard for her to be happy for me when I’m the cause of her best friend’s pain and she believes bringing you here will only make things worse for Victoria.” Ulysses said and everything was quiet for a couple of minutes as Xena thought about that, “are you concerned with how Victoria is doing with all of this?” Xena asked in a soft voice and Ulysses let out a breath, “yes and no. I don’t want to see her in pain but at the same time I can’t and won’t put my life on hold until she’s happy with everything. As I told Camilla, I’ve tried everything in my power to help Victoria, to make her see that we just weren’t meant to be but…” He said then let out a breath, “only time will heal her heart. Nothing you or anyone says or does is going to miraculously fix her heart, only time can heal a wound like that; time and willingness to move on.”

Xena said, “part of the problem is she won’t let me go and I can’t keep being there for her, I won’t. I’ll be there as a friend but nothing more,” he said and Xena let out a breath as she pushed closer into Ulysses. “I’m about to be a husband and I will be there for you Xena, in ever way imaginable, I can’t afford Victoria to deter me from that or to stop me. You are what matters most to me in this world, you’re my main priority,” he said and Xena just laid there and listened to him as she softly caressed his chest. “Its good to hear that,” she said and from that point on nothing else was said and they both eventually dosed off, Xena before Ulysses as he laid there and continued to think about a couple more things before he let Morpheus take him.

When morning came Ulysses woke an hour after sunrise and he looked over at Xena who was peacefully asleep on her side. He eased out of bed as to not wake her and he went to relieve himself and get freshened up. When he walked back into the bedroom and eased the curtains back from the window allowing the sun to shine into the room and onto the bed. He looked at Xena who moaned as she pushed into the soft bed and her pillow, she gripped the sheets where Ulysses was but she continued to sleep. Ulysses smiled and quietly went around the room putting on a pair of pants and a shirt then his boots. He left his room and was headed to the dinning hall when he ran into Lucius, “Good Morning Lucius,” Ulysses said. “Good Morning Ulysses, your mother wanted me to let you know that they’ll be having breakfast in their chambers, they needed some time to recover from your trip,” he said and Ulysses nodded. “I was going to say the same except we’re more exhausted from the dinner last night than anything,” Ulysses said and Lucius nodded.

“Seems as if everyone needs a day off, Virgil’s still asleep as well,” Lucius said and Ulysses grinned. “Well I’ll be showing Xena around today when she wakes up, so I’ll be around if you need me,” Ulysses said and Lucius nodded then patted Ulysses on the shoulder before he went his way and Ulysses went to the dinning hall where he requested that breakfast be sent to his chambers. He checked on a couple of things then went back to the room, where Xena was still peacefully sleeping, Ulysses hoped the smell of breakfast would wake her but until then, he got dressed in some comfortable lounging clothes and just sat there and watched Xena sleep as he thought about her before there was a knock on the door.

Ulysses answered the door and it was the servants delivering breakfast and he told them to quietly set things up in the bedroom at the table. They moved swiftly and quietly and when they were done they bowed before Ulysses and left. Ulysses walked over to the table and picked up a grape. A few minutes later Xena stretched in the bed and at the same time she reached out for Ulysses, when she felt that he wasn’t there she opened her eyes and raised her head some. “Good morning sleepy head,” Ulysses said from his position by the table. “Good morning,” Xena said as she sat up in the bed, “breakfast?” Ulysses asked and Xena grinned as she got out of bed, “just let me freshen up first,” she said and Ulysses nodded and watched as she headed into the bath chamber. He sat down at the table and began eating some of the fruit and a couple of minutes later Xena walked back into the room and over to the table where she sat down in the chair that was next to Ulysses but at the other side of the table.

“This looks great,” she said then picked up a grape smiling when she found that it was sweet as was all the fruit she began to eat. There was an assortment of food there to eat and as they ate they talked. “So how did you sleep?” Ulysses asked and Xena grinned at him as she ate a strawberry, “wonderful, your bed is so soft,” she said and Ulysses chuckled as he took a small gulp of orange juice, “and here I thought you slept so well because you were in my arms,” he said with mischief in his eyes as he picked up another grape and Xena grinned as she picked up a piece of cheese. “Well that helped too,” she said, the same mischief shinning back in her eyes and Ulysses just smiled as he continued to eat his breakfast.

“After we’ve finished breakfast I figured I’d show you around if you’d like,” he said and Xena nodded. “That sounds great, I would love to see more of the place that you’ve talked so much about,” she said and Ulysses grinned then picked up a piece of sausage with his fork. “It’ll take more than one day for me to show you everything,” he said and Xena looked at him, “and still I look forward to it,” Xena said and Ulysses bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement. When they were finished eating, Ulysses sent for servants to come and remove the dishes then they got ready to go. Ulysses had walked into the sitting room for a minute and when he returned to the bedroom, he found Xena preparing to make up the bed. “What are you doing?” He asked as he looked at her with amusement in his eyes, “I’m getting ready to make the bed,” she said as she looked at him.

“No you’re not,” he said and she stopped and looked at him, “I’m not?” She asked and Ulysses shook his head as he walked over to her, taking her hand and leading her away from the bed. “No you’re not, Sarah will make up the bed and straighten up the room,” Ulysses said and Xena stopped walking causing Ulysses to stop walking and he turned and looked at her. “Who is Sarah?” She asked, “Sarah is the head maid in the palace, she’s been here since before I was born. She tends to my parents chambers, my chambers and Camilla’s chambers,” Ulysses said and Xena let out a breath. “Ulysses I don’t like others doing for me, what I can do for myself,” she said and Ulysses let out a breath as he took Xena’s other hand in his and looked into her eyes. “I hate to break it to you but you’re gonna kind have to get use to it,” he said.

“Xena I’m a prince,” Ulysses said and Xena looked at him, “I know that,” she said and Ulysses nodded. “You’re marrying a Prince and one day you and I will be King and Queen, others will do for you what you can do for yourself, that’s just how this life is.” He said and Xena let out a breath, “I can’t get use to that,” Xena said after a moment and Ulysses looked at her. “No, you won’t get use to it because you’re so stubborn,” he said as he looked into her eyes and Xena looked at him as she folded her arms across her chest. “So, as I recall last night, your father said you were stubborn as well,” Xena shot back and Ulysses shook his head as he grinned at Xena. “Must you disagree and contradict everything I say?” He asked and Xena raised her eyebrow at him, “I wouldn’t have to if you would just agree with me on some things,” she said and Ulysses smiled at his future wife.

“Stop smiling at me,” she said and Ulysses continued to smile and Xena couldn’t help herself as she started grinning. “You make me sick sometimes,” she said as she pushed him gently and Ulysses continued to smile as he took Xena’s hands in his once again. “How about we meet half way?” Ulysses suggested and Xena looked at him, “I’m listening,” she said. “Sometimes we’ll let Sarah take care of the room and other times you can do it,” Ulysses said and Xena thought about that and nodded. “Sounds okay,” she said and Ulysses nodded. “Happy?” He asked and she grinned at him as she moved into his arms, “extremely,” she said and Ulysses grinned at her. “Well then that’s all that matters,” he said then leaned down and kissed Xena softly but passionately.

When the kiss ended Ulysses looked at Xena who still had her eyes closed, “shall we get going?” Ulysses asked and Xena opened her eyes and grinned at him, “I guess so,” she said and Ulysses chuckled as they began to leave the room. The moment they walked out side of the door, stepping into the hall, Gemini was there to great them. “Hi girl, have you been exploring?” Xena asked Gemini, “I want to check on Argo,” Xena said to Ulysses as he locked the door, “okay,” he said then placed the key in his pocket. “You’ve already seen the dinning hall so we’ll start from there,” Ulysses said to Xena as he took her hand and they walked down the hall and when they turned the corner they walked a bit more before they went down a flight of stairs. Ulysses showed Xena the kitchen or kitchens since the large room was divided since there was more than one stove.

“My lord,” the cook said, “I’d bow but I’m cooking,” she said and Ulysses grinned at the elderly woman who often enough times acted like a mother figure or rather a grandmother figure. “Xena this is Marina, the head cook, Marina this is Xena,” Ulysses introduced them. “Yes, I heard you were the reason why I was cooking up a storm yesterday,” she said and Xena smiled at the woman. “It’s nice to meet you,” Xena said and Marina sat the spoon down when she was finished stirring. “Come and let me have a look at you,” Marina said and Xena grinned as she looked at Ulysses who grinned back and watched as Xena walked over to Marina. “Come on, turn…turn,” she said as she motioned with her fingers and Xena continued to grin as she turned around in a circle so that Marina could get a look at her.

“Not bad, not bad at all,” Marina said then looked into Xena’s eyes, “much better than those skinny, brainless things he use to run around with,” she told Xena who chuckled at the woman who reminded her a bit of her own mother. Ulysses cleared his throat and they turned and looked at him, “Marina you’ll be happy to know that Xena does well in the kitchen,” he said and Marina looked at Xena. “Is that so?” She asked and Xena grinned, “my mother owns an Inn and she insisted that I learned how to cook, so I did,” Xena said and Marina nodded as she placed her hand on her hip. “Well, you’ll just have to come and show me what you know and I’ll determine if you know how to cook,” she said and Xena grinned as she nodded, “I look forward to it.” Xena said, “so can I take it I’ll be fixing the wedding cake,” Marina said and Xena grinned as she nodded and by then she was back by Ulysses.

“And when is this wedding?” Marina asked and Xena and Ulysses looked at each other, “we were thinking more of along the lines of a spring wedding,” Xena said and Marina nodded. “Well Marina we have to go,” Ulysses said as he opened the door, “always running Ulysses, you never slow down,” she said and Xena chuckled at that then looked at Ulysses who sort of had a pout. “Oh, I like that you never slow down,” Xena said as she caressed his cheek. “You guys stop by to see me again,” Marina said as she went back to tending her pot, “we will,” Ulysses said as they left then continued on their tour. Next he showed her the servant quarters, then the message room, he showed her all around the palace to where some of the noblemen stayed, where Camilla stayed and where his parents and Virgil stayed. “And this is my father’s office,” Ulysses said as he stopped and pointed to the door and they kept on going, “and where is your office?”

Xena asked, “I don’t have an office,” he said and Xena raised an eyebrow at that but stayed quiet as they continued to walk, she figured if he wanted to tell her why he didn’t have an office, he would and he did. “I never really wanted one, I guess in my mind it would make the work my father had me doing more real, more permanent and I just wasn’t ready for that yet,” Ulysses said and Xena nodded. “So where do you work?” She asked, “sometimes in my father’s office when he isn’t there or for that matter, when he is, Virgil’s chambers, my chambers, the counsel room,” he said then paused as they came to a corner, “which is there,” he said as he pointed to his left down the hall. “Fourth door on your right,” Ulysses said and Xena nodded. “I’ll show you some other things in the palace tomorrow, why don’t we move outside of the palace,” he suggested and that’s what they did. Ulysses took Xena to the stables first, so that she could check on Argo and when she made sure the mare was more than fine, that she had been brushed, fed and given water then allowed to run around in a huge grass field with other horses.

“You like it here girl?” Xena asked Argo as she fed her a piece of apple and Argo neighed as she bobbed her head up and down. “It is beautiful here isn’t it and you have company,” Xena said as she stroked Argo’s neck. “I told you she’d be well taken care of,” Ulysses said as he walked up behind Xena, wrapping his arms around her. “I know,” Xena said then grinned when Ulysses placed a kiss on her neck and she relaxed into his arm and let out a breath. “I hope it’s like this forever,” Ulysses said after he let out a breath of content and Xena grinned and was about to say something when they were interrupted by someone clearing their throat. They both opened their eyes and turned their heads to see Camilla and a woman Xena didn’t know but Ulysses knew all too well.

“Camilla, Victoria,” Ulysses said ‘oh so this is Victoria’ Xena thought to herself as she looked her over and Victoria did the same. “What are you guys doing out here?” Ulysses asked, “we were getting ready to go for a ride,” Camilla said, then looked at Xena. “Is she yours?” She asked Xena about Argo and Xena grinned at her, “yea, she is,” Xena said as she rubbed Argo’s neck, who neighed as she pushed into Xena who smiled. “She’s a beautiful horse,” Victoria said and Xena looked at her and nodded, “yes she is, she was a gift,” Xena said as she looked at Ulysses who grinned at her. “I’m forgetting my manners,” he said, “Xena this is Victoria, Victoria this is Xena,” Ulysses introduced them to one another and for a minute all they did was size each other up even more so. “It’s nice to meet you,” Xena said as she looked at Victoria, who she had to admit was a beautiful woman.

“Ummph…Camilla are you ready to go?” Victoria asked, acknowledging Xena’s statement in her own way, or not acknowledging it the way she looked at her then turned her head and Xena understood it all too well as she grinned and she looked down. “Yea,” Camilla answered as she spared a glance at Victoria before she looked back at her brother and Xena. “I’ll see you guys later,” Camilla said and Ulysses nodded then watched his sister and Victoria walk away. “I don’t think she likes me,” Xena said to Ulysses who grinned at her. “Really? What gave you that clue?” He asked with sarcasm in his voice and Xena pushed him as she smiled. “Tell me something Ulysses,” Xena said, “hmmm?” He answered waiting for her to ask her question, “I know you’ve slept with hundreds of women but tell me, will I be running into any more of your past disgruntled lovers?” Xena asked with a grin on her face and mischief in her eyes.

Ulysses stood there with a very shocked look on his face, “cat got your tongue?” Xena asked, her grin had now turned into a smile. “I can’t believe you just said that,” he said with a smile on his face. “I did not sleep with hundreds of women,” he said and Xena raised her eyebrow at that, “I didn’t,” he said and Xena just looked at him. “How many then?” She asked and her hand was on her hip as she looked at Ulysses and he looked around and hunched his shoulders. “I don’t know, not hundreds though,” he said and Xena chuckled at him. “Ulysses my love, I know you’ve had your share of women, you don’t have to hide the number from me,” she said as she ran her hand over his cheek and he just looked down into her eyes.

“I didn’t keep track Xena but I’d say over fifty but under a hundred,” Ulysses said and Xena looked deep into his eyes. “And how many have you really cared for?” Xena asked and Ulysses looked deeply into her eyes as he answered her, “less than a handful but I’ve only truly loved one,” he said as he placed his hand on her cheek and Xena grinned as she looked into his eyes. “And who would this one be?” She asked and Ulysses grinned as he pulled her closer then surprised her as he picked her up in his arms and Xena laughed at him as she wrapped her arm around his neck. “You and only you,” he said before he spun around in a circle and when he stopped they just stared into each other’s eyes before they leaned in for a kiss and this kiss was like all of the others, soft yet passionate.

Down at the next stable, Camilla and Victoria were preparing to get on their horses when they heard Xena’s laughter and they turned their heads to see Ulysses holding Xena in his arms before he spun her around. They then watched as they leaned in for a kiss and after that, all Victoria could do was get onto the horse a ride far enough away, that she couldn’t see or hear them and Camilla let out a breath and looked at her brother before she got onto her horse and rode off next to Victoria and they were silent for awhile as they rode. “Well the guy who painted the picture of her obviously painted what he saw,” Victoria said and Camilla nodded then looked over at her friend. “Victoria I say this because you’re my best friend and I think you need to hear this,” Camilla said then let out a breath before she said what she had to say.

“My brother has moved on, he is about to get married and the best thing for you to do is to let this go, let him go and move on with your life, find some who will love you the way you deserve to be loved.” Camilla said and Victoria let out a breath, “do you think we should ride over that way?” Victoria asked as if Camilla hadn’t said what she just did, “did you hear me Victoria?” Camilla asked, “yes I heard you,” Victoria said as their horses continued moving. “I’ve heard you, I’ve heard Ulysses, my mother and my father, I’ve heard everyone,” she shouted then let out a breath as she shook her head and looked out at all the open land before them. In Victoria’s mind it seemed as if no one really cared about her happiness, just about Ulysses’ happiness, her parents were telling her to move on long before he came back to Ithaca with Xena.

She heard what everyone was telling her but she was listening to what her heart was telling her and what it was telling her was not to let go, not just yet. Through it all, she never felt alone because she had Camilla at her side comforting her but now she wasn’t so sure, after all, her brother’s happiness was more important than her friend’s happiness. “Camilla I understand your position,” Victoria said, “what position?” Camilla asked, confused as to what she was talking about. “Ulysses is your brother and naturally you want to see him happy, his happiness versus mine…well that’s not really a hard choice to make. Is it?” Victoria said and Camilla just looked at her for a minute. “You’re right, that’s not a hard choice to make but you’re more than a friend to me Victoria, you’re like the sister I never had and I care about your happiness just as much as I care about Ulysses’ happiness.”

Camilla said and Victoria looked at her, “why do you think I’m telling you to let go? Because I can see that this isn’t making you happy, if anything it’s causing you a whole lot of pain and I’m tired of seeing you in pain and you should be tired of being in pain.” Camilla said and Victoria nodded and let out a breath. “I am, I really am, no one said that being in love could hurt this much,” she said then looked at Camilla. “Please try and understand Milla, I’m trying to let go, I see how happy Ulysses is and that there is no place for me in his life but for the moment my heart is still telling me to hold on. I don’t know why, it just is and I’ll continue to hold on until my heart can let go,” Victoria said and Camilla let out a breath. “Victoria, sometimes listening to your heart can get you into a lot more trouble than you know what to do with. Sometimes you have to determine which to listen to, either your head or your heart and in this case you should use your head.

Thinking rationally, you have to see that you holding on to Ulysses won’t do you any good, no matter what your heart says. Your head has to be telling you that this is not a good situation for you,” Camilla said and Victoria just sat there on the horse and by then they had stopped moving. “I know that this may not be making any sense to you but I just need you to be by my side and help me,” Victoria said and Camilla looked into her friend’s eyes and wanted to say so much more but she knew Victoria wouldn’t hear any of it. The only thing she was listening to was her heart and until she decided to listen to what her head was telling her, nothing could be done, all Camilla could do was be there by her friend’s side and help her. “Alright Victoria, as I said, you are my best friend, my sister, so I’ll be here to help you,” Camilla said and Victoria grinned at her friend.

“Why don’t we go and take that ride,” Victoria said with a smile and Camilla grinned and they went for their ride. Xena and Ulysses left from the stables and for the rest of the day Ulysses continued to show Xena around and introduced her to people that he considered friends. They had lunch along the way, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company before they continued on their tour until dinner time came and they had dinner with Ulysses’ parents, his sister, Virgil and his parents. “So Xena, have you and Ulysses decided on a date for the wedding?” Virgil’s mother, Clarisse asked and Xena grinned as she picked up her glass of wine. “We have, we’ve decided on a spring wedding, a month after winter,” Xena said and Ulysses grinned as he chewed on some meat. “A great time for a wedding and an even greater time for a honeymoon,” he said and she pushed his arm as she grinned at him, “what?” He asked as he hunched his shoulders and went back to eating.

“A lot like you,” Marguerite whispered to Julian who grinned then cleared his throat. “Well that gives us just enough time,” Julian said as he continued eating as well. “Enough time for what?” Ulysses asked with suspicion in his eyes and voice, “Ulysses there are…procedures that you and Xena, mostly Xena, have to go through before you and she can be married.” Julian said, “what kind of procedures?” Ulysses asked again, “Ulysses must you be so suspicious about things?” Julian asked his son, “well if I am I get it from you,” he said. “You don’t get everything from me, maybe you got that from your mother,” Julian said and Marguerite looked at her husband then shook her head. “Ulysses its nothing to worry about, your father and I had to go through the same things, it’s just for records sake, none of its going to cause any pain or distress.”

Marguerite assured her son and Ulysses and Xena both nodded, “well that’s a relief,” Xena said as she went back to eating. “And for the record, that suspicious thing you have going on, you get from your father. I don’t know what you get from me, you’re just like a younger version of him,” Marguerite said and Xena grinned while Ulysses chuckled and Julian looked at his wife. “Oh…so now I’m old,” Julian said and Marguerite grinned at her husband, “of course dear but I see you’re not denying the suspicion thing,” she said and Julian shook his hand at his wife. “Let’s get back to me being old,” Julian said and everyone at the table just laughed. “Julian, my love, you are older than you used to be, as am I,” Marguerite said and Julian nodded as he picked up his glass.

“I obviously was old this morning when you and I were rolling around…” Julian began but Marguerite quickly placed her hand over his mouth while Ulysses and Camilla turned their faces up at that. “Eewww…dad,” Camilla said, “that was entirely too much information,” Ulysses said and Xena just grinned as she nodded. “Just proving a point,” Julian said, “point proven,” Marguerite, Ulysses and Camilla said at the same time and they laughed at each other. “I don’t know why you guys are grossed out about your mother and I having sex, it is how you got here after all,” Julian said. “Yea, but we don’t need to here about it,” Camilla said and Ulysses nodded. “I’m beginning to loose my appetite, can we please change the subject?” Ulysses asked and Julian just shrugged his shoulders, not caring either way if the subject was changed or not.

When dinner was over, Xena and Ulysses headed back to Ulysses’ chambers, Xena holding onto Ulysses’ arm as they walked. “Did your mom ever talk like that around you?” Ulysses asked Xena who grinned as she shook her head, “no, she and my father didn’t really get along too well and then when she and Corrinna got together, they kept their relationship a secret because it would most likely be unwelcome in Amphipolis.” Xena said and Ulysses nodded, “well be grateful,” he said, “come on Ulysses, its not that bad,” she said then laughed at his expression. “Not that bad? My father was sitting at the dinner table talking about the sex he and my mother had this morning. How bad would you like it to get? Its just gross thinking about it, let alone hearing the things, the sexual things, my parents do…its…uuhhhh,” he said as he shook his head and Xena couldn’t stop herself from bursting with laughter at Ulysses’ expressions, his words and his whole demeanor when he talked about the situation.

Ulysses smiled as he listened to Xena’s laughter and he thought if that was all he heard for the rest of his life than he would be alright, and he knew with laughter like that than she would be alright too. “You know…” Ulysses began as they continued walking towards his room, “we’re about to be married and I still don’t know much about your father,” Ulysses said as he looked at Xena and her smile turned into a small grin. “I don’t like talking about him or what happened,” Xena said and Ulysses nodded. “I understand that, I just want you to know that I’m here when you want to talk about it,” Ulysses said and Xena nodded and they were quiet on their way back to the room and when they were there Gemini greeted them. Once in the room they both got ready for bed and Xena sat on the bed and looked at Ulysses as he stood at his desk.

After a minute Xena stood and walked over to Ulysses, she stood behind him and softly ran her hands over his muscled back. She did that for a minute before she stepped closer to him, then leaned in and placed a kiss on his back then wrapped her arm around his shoulder as she placed her chin on his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, “for what?” Ulysses asked as he stood there and looked over a small map, “for not telling you about my father…it’s just a really touchy subject for me,” Xena said and Ulysses nodded. “I understand,” he said and they were silent for a minute more, “Ulysses look at me,” Xena said and Ulysses turned around in Xena’s arms with the small map still in his hands and he was looking down at it.

“What are you looking at?” She asked, “I was thinking we could sail somewhere around here for our honeymoon,” he said and Xena looked at him then chuckled as she took the map from him, placing it on the desk. “Hey I was looking at that,” he said and Xena just looked into his eyes as she placed her arms on his shoulders while she softly ran her fingers through his hair. “What am I going to do with you?” She asked and he grinned as he looked into her eyes, “anything you want,” he said and Xena grinned as they leaned in for a kiss. The kiss started off soft and then it progressed to a very passionate kiss. “Mmmm,” Xena moaned as she pulled herself closer while the kiss deepened if that was possible.

“Ummm,” Ulysses moaned as the kiss was brought down to a passionate tasting of lips and as they tasted each other’s lips he began to pull the straps to her shift down and Xena pulled her arms out of the shift, letting it fall to the floor. “Mmmm,” they both moaned as Ulysses ran his hands over Xena’s soft, silky skin. When the kiss ended they looked into each other’s eyes as Ulysses continued to caress Xena’s skin and she caressed his cheek. As they looked into each other’s eyes, their eyes said what they didn’t have say with their mouths and Xena turned her head slightly and looked at the bed then back at Ulysses who looked at her. “Gods you are so beautiful,” he said as he shook his head while reaching his hand out to caress her cheek. “I want you tonight,” Xena said and Ulysses just looked into her eyes as he answered her without hesitation, “then you shall have me,” he said.

“I know we discussed this earlier but of those women you had, how many did you have here in your room, in your bed?” Xena asked and Ulysses looked into her eyes, not really having to speak a number and she grinned at him as she caressed his chest. “It’s alright, I kind of figured…” she said then stopped as she let out a breath and looked down. “Your past is your past but I don’t want to start out future off with your past,” Xena said as she looked into his eyes, “you don’t want to make love in my bed,” he said and Xena grinned at him. “I just don’t want to start off our life, our marriage with your past lovers sort of keeping us company,” Xena said with a grin and Ulysses grinned at her and nodded. “Understood,” he said and before Xena could say anything else Ulysses leaned in and kissed her passionately as he wrapped his arm around her.

“Mmmm,” Xena moaned as she ran her finger’s through his hair and she moaned again as he swooped her up into his arms and carried her over to the bed. He softly placed Xena in the bed, rid himself of his clothes then got into the bed, laying slightly on top of Xena and on the side. They laid there for a while just kissing and caressing each other and that eventually led to other things but they took their time as they explored each other’s bodies. An hour later, Ulysses was between Xena’s legs thrusting deeply into her as they shared a passionate kiss. Their bodies were covered in sweat, the sheet clinging to their bodies. “Ha…unnnghh,” Xena moaned as she ran her hand over his neck then down to his chest and Ulysses’ moans were smothered by Xena’s flesh as he kissed, sucked and nibbled on her neck slowly moving his way down.

As he kissed her neck he caressed her thigh pulling her legs tighter around him. Xena ran her hand over Ulysses’ arm and then his chest before she pulled him down for another kiss. “Unnngh…un…unnn…unnnngh,” Ulysses moaned when the kiss ended. Ulysses continued to thrust deeper and harder into Xena as they looked into each other’s eyes, while his hands gripped the sheets. Xena’s moans were now whimpers as she caressed his sweaty back, pulling him closer to him. “Mmmm…unnnnn,” Xena whimpered as she looked into Ulysses’ eyes, “does that feel good?” Ulysses moaned out then leaned down and kissed on Xena’s neck, “yea,” Xena moaned and her eyes and mouth opened wide and she felt so much pleasure run through her body.

“Ulysses…ohh…unnnghhh Ulysses,” Xena moaned as her nails ran over his back leaving four faint scratches while her other hand pulled at the sheet. Twenty minutes later Ulysses thrust deep and hard one last time into Xena as the last of their tremors from their releases ran through their bodies, “uuhhhh,” Ulysses moaned with his head tilted back. They were both breathing hard, Xena moaned from some of the after shocks ran through her body. Ulysses was still breathing hard as he looked down at Xena. He leaned down and inhaled her scent, still able to smell it through the smell of sex and sweat. “Gods I love you,” Ulysses moaned before he placed a kiss on Xena’s check and Xena just closed her eyes and hugged Ulysses, “I love you too,” she said. After a couple of minutes Ulysses rose up and let out a breath, “that was amazing,” he said and Xena grinned as she ran her hands over his chest.

“Yes it was,” she said then rose up and placed a couple of kisses on his chest. Ulysses luxuriated in the feeling of her kisses as if they were touching his soul, he then leaned down and kissed Xena softly but passionately as they tasted each other’s lips, he softly gripped her hair, gently pulling him to her. When the kiss ended they brushed their lips against each other, “I’ll get us something to drink,” he said and Xena grinned and nodded, then leaned in and softly tasted Ulysses’ lips once more before he got off of the bed and she grabbed the sheet, holding it up to her chest. “I’m hungry too,” he said as he put his robe on and Xena grinned at him. “I’ll send for some fruit,” he said and Xena just watched as he moved around the room and to her, his every move was a precious step. Like he said he would do, he sent for some food, then poured he and Xena a glass of wine.

It didn’t take long for the food to be brought to the room and Ulysses brought the tray to the bed where they ate. “I definitely worked up an appetite,” Ulysses said and Xena chuckled as she ate a strawberry. The night passed on fairly quickly but they made love once more that night before they went to bed. The sun wasn’t even up when there was a knock at the door, a knock that turned into a constant knocking. Ulysses groaned as he raised his head and looked at the window where there was no sun shining through the curtains. He searched on his nightstand for something, knocking things down in the process, then let out a breath as he raised his head before he sat up and Xena moaned as she moved away some. The persistent knocking continued as Ulysses got out of bed, looking around the dark room for his pants or his robe and he found neither.

He grabbed one of the sheets from the bed that he and Xena hadn’t been using then headed into the sitting room, “shit,” he cursed as he ran into a small table on his way to the door. “Alright, alright already,” Ulysses said as he unlocked the door and opened it to find his mother, Virgil’s mother and Sarah on the other side. “What in the name of Zeus are you doing knocking on the door so much and at this early hour?” Ulysses asked as he stuck his head out of the door, “its two hours before sunrise, you should be up,” Marguerite said as she pushed her way into the room and Ulysses let out a breath as he closed the door behind them. “I’m not up because its two hours before sunrise,” he said then let out a breath as he tightened the sheet around his waist. “Don’t you have a robe?” Clarisse asked Ulysses who looked at her, “I’m in my room, what does it matter if I have a robe or not?” He asked then let out a frustrated breath, “what do you guys want?”

He asked in a sort of whinny voice and his mother looked at him, “we need to see Xena, is she up?” Marguerite asked and Ulysses looked at her, “haven’t you been listening? It’s too early for anyone to be up,” Ulysses said. “She’s in the bedroom I take it?” Clarisse asked and Ulysses just rolled his eyes and headed into the bedroom, turning up lanterns on his way there so he and the others could see. When they got to the room, Xena was in the bed semi asleep, with the sheet covering all her important part. “Xena,” Ulysses called, “hmmm?” Xena answered, “my mother wants to see you,” he said as he laid down in the bed on his stomach and Xena moaned as she pulled the sheet tighter to her body. “It’s too early, it’s not even light out,” Xena mumbled. “That’s what I said,” Ulysses said as he got comfortable, “you both ought to be use to it,” Marguerite said startling Xena into an upright position and she held the sheet to her chest.

“What in the…” Xena began as she looked at the women in the room. “We need to borrow you,” Clarisse said and Xena looked at her. “For what?” She asked, “it’s a woman thing that involves preparing for your marriage,” Sarah said and Xena looked at them then down at Ulysses who was dosing back off. “Ulysses,” Xena called and he opened his eyes and looked at her. “There’s nothing I can do, she’s my mother,” he said and Xena let out a breath as she fell back on the bed. “Come on, get up and get dressed, we have a lot to do today,” Marguerite said and Xena let out a breath then pushed Ulysses. “You get up too,” Xena said and Ulysses groaned, “Xe…I’m tired,” he moaned, “and I’m not?” She asked and he let out a breath as he sat up in the bed then stood with the sheet still wrapped around his waist.

“Can you guys leave so I can put on my pants?” Ulysses asked, since he spotted his pants near by. “We don’t trust you guys not to fall back to sleep,” Clarisse said and Ulysses looked at them then let out a breath. “Fine,” he said then let the sheet fall and grabbed his pants and put them on. Clarisse and Sarah averted their eyes, while Marguerite shook her head at her son and Xena grinned at Ulysses. “Does decency mean anything to you?” His mother asked and Ulysses looked at her, “does privacy mean anything to you?” He shot back and she looked at him with stern eyes and Xena took that moment to grab her robe and put it on before she headed to the bath chamber to relieve herself then get cleaned up before she headed back to the room and got dressed. “Can I at least have breakfast?” Xena asked Marguerite who looked over her body or more precisely, what she was wearing, which was a pair of leather pants and shirt.

“Is that all you have to wear?” Marguerite asked and Xena hunched her shoulders in a nonchalant way, “it’s either this or a tunic and I feel comfortable in this,” she said and Marguerite nodded. “Put on the list Sarah that we need to have Denise come and see Xena,” Marguerite said and Sarah nodded as she pulled out a parchment and went over to the desk and used ink and quill to right down what Marguerite just said. “Who’s Denise?” Xena asked, “she’s a seamstress,” Ulysses said as he walked into the room and over to Xena, looking at what she was wearing. “What?” Xena asked him, noticing his intent stare, “turn around,” he said and Xena looked at him for a moment then turned around and he looked down at her butt.

“Though I don’t see anything wrong with what you’re wearing,” he said and Xena grinned because she could hear the change in his voice that said he liked what he saw and he wanted what he saw. Xena turned around and looked at Ulysses who was too busy running his eyes over Xena’s body and he didn’t stop until he felt her eyes on him. They looked into each other’s eyes, both grinning and Ulysses’ grin turned into a smile because Xena knew him so well. “Excuse me for a moment ladies,” Xena said and before they could say anything she closed the gap between she and Ulysses and ran her hands over his chest as she looked into his eyes before she leaned in and kissed him. “Mmmmm,” Ulysses moaned as he placed his hands on Xena’s back and pulled her closer as they passionately tasted each other’s lips. Marguerite and the other’s watched the scene before them, Marguerite watched as Xena placed her hand on Ulysses’ cheek and she pushed more into him and tasted more of his lips.

Ulysses couldn’t help his hands as they traveled down to her butt and he moaned as he squeezed the flesh and pulled her closer. “Oh my,” Clarisse said as she saw Ulysses squeeze Xena’s butt again and then the kiss was brought down until it was a soft tasting of lips. When the kiss ended they were both a little breathless, Ulysses more than Xena and she grinned at him as she looked into his eyes while caressing his cheek. “You’re an evil woman,” he said and Xena grinned at him then turned and looked at his mother. “Breakfast?” Xena asked, “there’ll be breakfast where we’re going,” Marguerite said. “And where exactly are you going?” Ulysses asked as he sat down on the bed, “no where that concerns you,” Clarisse said and Ulysses looked at them. “Fine, go do your woman thing but if I have to come and look for you guys, there’s going to be tartarus to pay,” he said and his mother look at him with a tolerant grin.

“Ulysses you know you’re not too old for me to put across me knee,” she said and Xena sniggered at that. “What I do?” He asked, “your father doesn’t come looking for me at times like these, so you’ll do well to follow his example,” she said and Ulysses was about to say something when she held up her hand. “Not another word,” she said, “let’s go,” she said to Xena then looked back at Ulysses who opened his mouth to say something. “I said, not another word,” his mother said before she turned and left the room with the others and Xena looked at Ulysses who was pouting and she grinned at him. “My poor baby,” Xena said as she caressed his cheek. “I didn’t do anything,” he said as he continued to pout and Xena smiled at him. “I know,” she said then leaned down and kissed him softly. “Try not to worry, I’ll be fine,” she said then leaned down and gave him another kiss.

“I’ll see you later,” Xena said and Ulysses nodded and rose up for another kiss and Xena smiled as she leaned in and kissed him softly one last time before she left the room and went with his mother. “Where are we going?” Xena asked her soon to be mother-in-law, “well Xena, from this time until the time you are married, we’re going to show you what this life is all about, the ups and the downs.” Marguerite said, “the good and bad places as well as things to do and not do,” Sarah said and Xena listened to them. “The good men, bad men and men who are just dogs as well as the good women and bitches,” Clarisse said and Xena grinned at that. “So basically you’re going to show me the ins and outs of things,” Xena said and Marguerite nodded. “Think of it as more of an initiation process, to welcome you into the family and to the world of nobility, ruling a kingdom and helping to rule a kingdom,” she said and Xena nodded.

“Well, I’m ready for whatever you guys are going to throw at me,” Xena said and Marguerite grinned as she looked at Clarisse who grinned at that. They didn’t leave the palace but headed to part of the palace Ulysses hadn’t shown Xena yet, “this is the noble’s wing, the nobles who have decided they don’t want to live out side of the palace, live within it. Julian has a good heart, not many Kings would allow those below him to live with him,” Marguerite said and Xena nodded. “They have certain rules and regulations they have to follow, we’ll get to that since there are a lot of rules you have to learn before you get married,” she said and Xena nodded as she listened to them. They walked a while down a long hall until they came to a door at the end, where of course guards stood there. “Now Xena I want to warn you before we go in here, its just women in here and quite a bit of them can be cut throat, nosey,” Marguerite said, “and just plain old bitches,” Clarisse said and Xena grinned as she looked at her.

“You like that word huh?” Xena asked, “I’m just calling it for what it is, these women can be ruthless and they’ll try to make you feel like you don’t belong here,” Clarisse said. “Oh will they try,” Marguerite kicked in, “they’re going to try and put you in your place, don’t let them belittle you. You’re just as good as them if not better, you would have to be for Ulysses to want to marry you,” Clarisse said and Xena grinned at her. “Thanks and I can handle them,” she said, nodding towards the door and they looked at her for a minute before they nodded to the guard to open the door and they walked in. As they walked further into the room it looked like a huge harem, with pillows, furs and blankets lining the floor with a couple of small tables off to the side with chairs, candles were lit around the room as well as a fire place and there were women sitting everywhere.

“Marguerite, we weren’t sure if you and Clarisse would be joining us this morning,” a blond woman said and they walked over to the table this woman was sitting at. “Were you missing us Marissa?” Marguerite asked as she sat down and Xena sat down next to her. “Of course,” Marissa said with a grin then looked at Xena. “So, this is Ulysses’ betrothed,” she said and by then many of the woman were listening in on their conversation. “Xena correct?” Marissa asked and Xena nodded, “I’m Marissa, my husband is Nathan,” she said and Xena nodded. “It’s nice to meet you,” Xena said, “likewise,” Marissa said. From then on they sat there and some fruit and cheese were brought out to them and Xena listened to multiple conversations that was going on around the room, that special gift has been a part of her training, Athena always wanted Xena to be aware of all that was going on around her, especially what was being said and most importantly, what was being done.

When their breakfast was finished, that’s when things really started to kick off. “So Xena, we’re all dying to know, what’s Ulysses like in bed?” One of the younger women asked, “if you don’t mind me asking,” she said and Xena grinned at her. “Stephanie, isn’t it?” Xena asked and the woman nodded. “That’s interesting, I know Ulysses has been with his share of women but the fact that he hasn’t been with many of you or any of you for that matter, poses some questions,” Xena said and they looked at her, not expecting that statement. “No I don’t mind at all, to answer your question, Ulysses is great in bed, he makes me feel things you wouldn’t have thought possible for a man to make a woman feel,” she said and there were whispers around the room after that. Many didn’t ask Xena more questions after that but she quietly sat there and watched and listened to them all, trying to see and come to a decision about what kind of person, people they were.

“Marguerite, a group of us are going out to the market, to browse a couple of stands and stores, would you, Xena and Clarisse like to tag along?” Marissa asked and Marguerite looked at Xena who hunched her shoulders, saying she didn’t care either way, so Marguerite nodded. Forty-five minutes later they were leaving the room and then the palace. When they were outside, carriages waited for them as well as guards to escort them to the market. They got in and were on their way, once they were at the market, the guards set up a perimeter so that they could keep an eye on the women without really hounding their every step. Xena looked around and she was fascinated by the many and different things she saw. A couple of the woman dragged Xena way from Marguerite and Clarisse and they took her over to a stand that held jewelry.

Xena looked over to where they was an outside Inn, where people drinked and ate a little outside. Xena saw a group of women who looked like they were working girls and when she heard Ulysses’ name cross their lips, she gently eased over to them until she was at a stall that was close enough so she could listen. “You’ve heard Ulysses is getting married,” one woman said, “yea and to a commoner,” another said. “Just think, if we would have played our cards right, that could have been one of us,” another said. “Oh get off it Sam, that man doesn’t want any of us and why should he, we’re whores,” another said, she was hard, Xena could tell by looking into her eyes and it was obvious that she held no illusions as to what she was. “Courtesans, we’re courtesans Angel,” a woman said and Angel rolled her eyes at that.

“Courtesans, whores, working girls, it all means the same, we sleep with men and women for money,” she said then picked up her cup and took a sip of its contents. “Still, it probably won’t work out between them, no one is willing to do some of the things we did with Ulysses,” Sam said and from that moment on Xena had to know what they were talking about, so she went over to their table. “Excuse me,” she said and they looked at her, “you looking for a good time sweetheart?” One of the women asked and Xena shook her head, “far from it,” she said then looked at all of them. “My name is Xena,” she said and that was enough to say because it seemed that in the couple of days she was here, her name has spread like wild fire through the kingdom of Ithaca. “Well, well, this is Ulysses’ little woman,” Angel said and Xena raised an eyebrow at that, “little, I think not,” Xena said and Angel looked at her.

“Have a seat,” she said and Xena sat down at the table, “I over heard you speaking, when I was over there,” Xena said and Angel hunched her shoulders as she took a sip of her drink. “So,” she said, “so, I want to know those things you think no other woman would do with Ulysses,” Xena said and Angel grinned at her as she sat forward. “He hasn’t let you in to that part of himself yet,” Angel said with a grin, “don’t take offense to it, men often show sides to us that they’re afraid to show to their wives.” Angel said and Xena looked around for a minute before she looked at Angel with determination in her eyes and Angel chuckled at her. “You don’t have the guts to do some of the things we did,” Angel said, “let me determine that,” Xena said and Angel looked at her. “You’ve got guts, I’ll tell you that,” she said then let out a breath.

“You’re Ulysses’ woman so when you’ve been with him, he’s been gentle with you, making love to you and never really taking you beyond the bedroom, or places where you knew you had privacy.” Angel said and Xena listened to her, “so what?” Xena asked, “so, men like Ulysses like adventure in that department,” Demi said. “Can you go up to Ulysses and have the nerve to start something with him in a place you know you could get caught?” Angel asked, “can you bare yourself to him and let him see into your soul, let him claim it and do what he will?” Angel asked and Xena looked around and Angel grabbed her chin so that they were looking eye to eye. “Can you let him fuck you? There’s a difference you know, between making love and fucking,” Angel said then released Xena’s chin as she continued to look into her eyes.

“Would you let him share you with another? Both there taking you and claiming you, until you actually feel like as slut,” Angel said. “Ulysses would never…” Xena began and Angel grinned as she leaned back in the chair. “Like Sam said, most women aren’t willing to do the things we’ve done with Ulysses,” Angel said and Xena looked at her then at all of them before she stood and left. Angel watched her walk away and looked over her body as she moved, “she’s beautiful,” Angel said then hunched her shoulders and they went back to their previous conversation before the one about Ulysses. Xena made her way back over to Marguerite and she grinned at them so that they wouldn’t see that she had something on her mind, something that was bothering her. An hour later when they left the market and made it back to the palace, Xena excused herself then set out to find Ulysses.

Meanwhile, back at the palace, Ulysses took a shower then dressed in his normal clothes and headed to find his father, not surprised when he found him in his office. “Dad,” Ulysses said as he sat down in the chair in front of his father’s desk, “you’re whining Ulysses, what’s wrong?” Julian asked his son, not looking at him as he continued to look down at a scroll and Ulysses was use to talking to his father while he was working. “Mom, Clarisse and Sarah kidnapped Xena,” Ulysses said and Julian looked up at his son then shook his head. “You can be so dramatic some times and I know you didn’t get that from me, maybe you got it from your grandmother,” Julian said as he looked back down at the scroll. “Dad,” Ulysses whined once more and Julian let out a breath, “Ulysses relax huh, I’m sure your mother is going to bring Xena back safe and unharmed but more enlightened as to what she’s getting into.”

Julian said, “what do you mean by that?” Ulysses asked and Julian let out a breath, “anytime someone around this palace gets married, Marguerite and Clarisse disappear with a bunch of other women, doing only gods know what. But I think they’re preparing them for the life ahead of them, a life of attention, ruling, responsibility, nobility, respect and honor,” Julian said and Ulysses sat there and thought about that as his father went back to work and Ulysses continued to sit there thinking about things. ‘Those women gossip like crazy’ Ulysses thought to himself, ‘what if Xena hears something about me, about me being with another woman?’ Ulysses questioned to himself then let out a breath as he ran his hands over his face. “Dad what were you like when you were my age?” Ulysses asked, “Ulysses can’t you see I’m working here, ask me that later,” Julian said.

“Dad, I’m serious. We’re you anything like I am now? Were you wild and did you like to chase women?” Ulysses asked and Julian looked at his son, “what man doesn’t like to chase women?” Julian asked then let out a breath as he leaned back in his chair and looked at his son. “No Ulysses, I wasn’t like you are now or were,” Julian said. “You seem to have this lust for life and an even greater lust for women,” Julian said and Ulysses hunched his shoulders. “You said it yourself, what man doesn’t lust and chase after women,” Ulysses said and Julian shook his head. “Its different when it comes to you, I’ve seen you night after night, you had a different woman or sometimes you didn’t come home and I knew what you were doing.” Julian said and Ulysses looked down at his hands and his fingers twiddled amongst themselves.

“I’m King Ulysses, I pride myself in knowing what goes on in my kingdom and in others. Do you honestly think I didn’t know what went on with my own son?” Julian asked his son and Ulysses shook his head as he thought about a couple of things. “You and Virgil were always a team,” Julian said and Ulysses looked up at that, surprised at those words. “You shared everything, even women,” Julian said and Ulysses let out a breath as he stood. “Tell me, have you shared…” Julian started to ask but Ulysses cut him off. “No, Xena means too much to me and she is mine, no one else has had her and no one else will have her,” Ulysses said and Julian looked at his son, watching as Ulysses paced for a minute as he rubbed his temple. “That’s only making what you feel, what you’re craving for, stronger,” Julian said and Ulysses let out a breath as he stopped moving.

“Ulysses listen to me,” Julian said and Ulysses turned and looked at his father. “There’s a part of yourself that you’ve hidden from Xena, a part you don’t want her to know yet but you can’t go into a marriage like that.” Julian said and Ulysses let out a breath as he thought about that, “we’re going to have to, I’m not ready for her to know it yet,” Ulysses said then turned and headed for the door. “Whether you’re ready or not, you’ve chosen her to be your partner for life, she has a right to know,” Julian said and Ulysses didn’t turn around as his father spoke to him but when he was finished he didn’t say anything and just left the office.

She was walking the halls when she ran into Virgil and she stopped him, “Virgil are you busy?” Xena asked, “not really,” he said as he looked at her. “Why?” He asked and Xena let out a breath as she pulled Virgil into a nearby corner and he looked at her, wondering what the strange behavior was all about. “You’re my friend right?” She asked, “yea,” he said as he looked at her, “and you’ll tell me the truth when I ask you a question, no matter what the question or the answer?” Xena asked and Virgil looked at her, “Xena what is going on?” He asked and she let out a breath, “I went to the market with your mother, Ulysses’ mother and a bunch of other women,” Xena said. “And I ran into some women who had known Ulysses intimately and they said that there would be no one who would be able to do the things Ulysses did with them,” she said and Virgil cleared his throat as he looked around.

“I think this is something you should be talking to Ulysses about,” Virgil said and he was about to leave when Xena grabbed his arm and she looked into his eyes. “You know what I’m about to ask you,” she said and Virgil looked at her then looked down for a minute. “Xena, Ulysses was a different man then,” Virgil said and Xena shook her head. “That part of him is still there, I know because I’ve caught a glance of it but I don’t understand why he hides it from me. I want to know him, all of him,” Xena said and Virgil shook his head, “no you don’t,” he said. “I do,” Xena said in returned and Virgil looked at her, “Ulysses is…” Virgil said as he searched for a word, “he’s a complicated guy,” Virgil said after a minute. “But you know him inside and out,” Xena said to Virgil, “what do you want to hear Xena? That Ulysses and I shared women, because we did. We took them and took them until they were begging for more,” Virgil said and Xena looked into his eyes knowing that he was telling the truth.

Virgil all of a sudden placed his hands on Xena’s cheeks as he looked into her eyes, “you’re a gentle woman Xena and you may have to face that fact that you can’t handle that part of him, few can.” Virgil said and Xena just looked into his eyes, “you’re wrong, I am his other half, I can handle anything,” she said and Virgil nodded as he removed his hands and placed them on the wall in front of him, pushing Xena against the wall, until their bodies were pressed against each other. She cleared her throat and looked away from him, “look at me,” Virgil said and Xena looked him dead in his eyes. “If Ulysses came to you tonight and said he wanted me to join him and take you, he wanted me to have you, take you and taste you. What would you say?” Virgil asked and Xena looked into his eyes and swallowed hard as she thought about it, “if it was something he really wanted,” Xena said and Virgil nodded as he looked at Xena, still waiting for an answer.

“I could do it,” Xena said with determination in her eyes and Virgil looked into her eyes then surprised her as he leaned forward and claimed her lips in a passionate tasting of lips. Xena froze for a moment, this felt so wrong but then she thought it through, Virgil was probably testing her to see if she really meant what she said. So meaning what she said she returned the kiss and they shared a passionate tasting of lips, Xena running her fingers through Virgil’s hair while he ran his hand up her side. “Mmmm,” he moaned when the kiss ended then looked at Xena who was breathless, “we’ll see,” he said then walked away leaving Xena standing there in stunned silence. “Ulysses is in the private room of the archives, the archives room is down the hall, make a left and the double doors in the middle,” Virgil said as he turned and looked at Xena and she looked at him and nodded. She stood there for a couple of minutes trying to gather herself and her thoughts before she headed to the archives.

She found her way there just fine but finding the private room in the archives was another thing. She looked around what looked like endless rows of scroll cases and shelves of the room. “May I help you my lady?” A voice called and Xena turned around to see a medium height man with blond curly hair standing before her. “Yes, what’s your name?” She asked, “Tannis, my lady,” he said with a grin and Xena grinned back. “Well Tannis, I’m Xena, it’s nice to meet you,” she said as she held out her hand and his grin turned into a smile as he shook her head. “It’s nice to meet you as well my lady,” he said. “Please call me Xena,” she said and Tannis nodded, “I’m looking for Ulysses,” Xena said, “the Prince is in the private archives,” he said then moved to the side. “Just down this aisle and to your right,” he said and Xena grinned at him.

“Thank you,” she said and he nodded and watched Xena walk away before he went back to what he was doing. When Xena reached the room she tried to open the door but it was locked, so she knocked on it. A minute later Ulysses opened the door and he looked at her surprised to see her, “hey,” he said and Xena grinned at him. “Hey, yourself, I heard you where in here,” she said and he nodded as he let into the room and closed the door. “Why did you lock the door?” Xena asked as she looked around, “I didn’t, this is the private archives, only a few are allowed in here and you have to have a key because when the door closes it locks itself,” Ulysses said and Xena nodded then looked at Ulysses who looked at her. Xena walked over to Ulysses and he didn’t even have time to think about anything as she leaned in and kissed him passionately, pushing him against the door. “Mmmm,” he moaned as he ran his fingers through Xena’s hair and returned the kiss.

A couple of minutes later when the kiss ended they were both breathless and Xena looked into Ulysses’ eyes as she quickly began to undo his belt. “What…what are you doing?” He asked as he looked at Xena, “what does it look like I’m doing?” She asked as she dropped his belt to the floor and unbuttoned his pants. “Um…I know what you’re doing…but…but we shouldn’t be doing it here,” Ulysses stammered as Xena pulled his pants down and before he could say anything else she was on her knees and his member was in her mouth. “Shit,” Ulysses said then hissed and looked down at Xena as she sucked him deep into her mouth and it took him less than a second to become fully erect. He looked around the room trying to reign in his passion, his lust and craving that was wriggling its way free. “Xe…awww,” Ulysses moaned then closed his eyes for a minute. “Xena…we…we need to stop,” he stammered and Xena only sucked him deeper and harder. Ulysses bent over a little in pleasure, “ssss…shit…Unnnn,” he moaned as he looked down at Xena who looked so beautiful as she sucked on his big, hard cock.

With that thought, every last bit of restraint he had was gone and he let Xena pleasure him. She could feel the change in him and she looked up at him as he moaned while he ran his fingers through her hair. Whatever fear Xena had was gone when she saw that he did want this even though he was trying to fight it. She stood and quickly rid herself of all her clothes and Ulysses stroked his cock while he watched her and that was after he had gotten totally naked himself. Xena had gotten back on her knees and took Ulysses’ cock in her hand and began to suck on it again, “Uhhhh…yea,” Ulysses moaned as he moved some of Xena’s hair to the side, watching her as she pleasured him. Ten minutes later Ulysses was still leaning against the door and he continued to moan as Xena sucked him deep and hard, while running her tongue over his huge muscle.

After a minute Ulysses held Xena’s head still and he fucked her mouth hard and fast, Xena moaned as she held onto Ulysses’ butt and tightened her mouth. “Unnn…unn…your mouth feels so good,” Ulysses moaned as he looked down at Xena and she looked up at him, she looked into his eyes and could see the lust, passion, pleasure and excitement in his eyes at what she was doing to him. After a couple of minutes he pulled himself out of Xena’s mouth and ran his head across her lips, some of his pre cum sliding out. Xena licked his head and moaned as she tasted his pre cum and she sucked on his head, seeing if she could get more while she stroked him. “You like that huh?” He asked as he grinned and moaned while watching Xena who was trying to get more of what she wanted. She sucked him deep into her mouth, until she was gagging and Ulysses moaned loudly, “mmmm…ssss…easy…easy,” he said as he pulled her head back while stroking himself. Xena looked at his huge cock with hungry eyes and that ignited a huge fire within Ulysses.

“Stand up,” he said and Xena stood and move close to him and they shared a passionate kiss, since they were both naked there was no barrier between her body and his. As they kissed Ulysses turned Xena around so that she was the one against the door. He ended the kiss and ran his hand over her body as he looked into her eyes. His hand went straight down to her center where he ran his fingers between her lips, “Unnnn,” Xena moaned as she looked at him. “Ssss…you’re so silky and…ummm….you’re so wet,” he moaned in her ear as he continued to stroke her while going down to her opening. He looked into her eyes and without warning pushed a finger into her and rubbed her walls, “Unnngh…unnngh,” Xena moaned as she rubbed Ulysses’ chest then they leaned in for another kiss.

When the kiss ended Ulysses pulled his finger out and brought it up to his mouth and sucked once on it before he brought it up to Xena’s lips and looked into her eyes and he didn’t have to say what he wanted because she could see it in his eyes. So Xena took his finger into her mouth and sucked on it, tasting her tangy yet sweet essence. Ulysses grinned as he watched Xena before he removed his finger then leaned in and kissed her, “good isn’t it?” He asked when the kiss ended and Xena nodded as she ran her fingers through Ulysses’ hair. When the kiss ended Xena placed her hands on Ulysses’ shoulders, pushing him down and he grinned at he lowered kissed his way down until he was on his knees, his head leveled with Xena’s stomach. He dipped his head down further between her legs and stuck his tongue out where he tasted the outside of her lips. “I just want to warn you that these walls are kind of thin in here, so I wouldn’t be too loud if I were you,” he whispered to her and Xena nodded and pushed his head back down and Ulysses grinned as he went back to his delightful task.

“Ummm…Unnngh,” Xena moaned as she licked her lips and ran her fingers through Ulysses’ hair. Ulysses used two fingers to hold Xena open then dove in like she was a buffet. “Mmmm,” He moaned as her juices ran down his chin while he sucked on Xena’s clit and she was trying hard to be quiet but it was next to impossible with Ulysses doing the things he was doing with his tongue. He sucked all over and his moans of enjoyment sent vibrations through Xena’s body, “you taste so good,” he said as he pulled back and ran his finger through her vulva before he leaned in and sucked on it. Xena’s mouth opened wide as she grabbed Ulysses’ head tightly, while her legs began to shake and he rubbed them as he continued to eat her out. By the time he was finished Xena was so wet, her essence was running down her thighs.

He stood between her legs and kissed her passionately as he squeezed one of her breasts. As they continued to kiss Ulysses grabbed both of Xena’s thighs and the kiss ended as he without warning, drove his huge, erect member into her. Ulysses quickly placed his hand over Xena’s mouth as she screamed into it while he pumped into her. He leaned in and kissed her cheek and chin and he fucked her hard, fast and good. Ulysses removed his hand and leaned in and kissed and sucked on Xena’s neck. Her feet rested against his thighs and she held onto his butt that was flexing every time he thrust into her. “Unnnn…unnnn,” Xena moaned, Ulysses had never really taken her this way and he was so big, he was stretching her more than he usually did and her cunt was already so sensitive from when he gave her the tongue lashing of her life.

Sweat began to cover Ulysses’ body as he thrust deep and hard into her, “you’re getting loud,” he whispered to her as he looked into her eyes before he leaned in and kissed her passionately. “I…I can’t help it,” she moaned as she looked into his eyes and Ulysses grinned as he leaned in and kissed Xena again, if she thought she was feeling great pleasure he hadn’t shown her anything yet. Ulysses placed his hands against the wall and stooped down some before he came back up hard and fast, pushing further into Xena. Her face turned up as though she were in pain but he knew better, “you want me stop?” He asked her and Xena shook her head then let out a very loud moan she had been holding in. Ulysses placed his hand back over Xena’s mouth to smother her moans and cries of pleasure and he just moaned into her ear, “uunnnngh…unnn…oh yeah,” he moaned then moaned again when he felt Xena’s renewed wetness.

In the back of his mind Ulysses realized what was going on, he realized that he had lost control of what he was trying to keep hidden from Xena until he felt that she was ready for it. She had surprised him when she came in and did what she did and he tried to keep a control on his passions but at that moment it just wasn’t possible but now that he realized what was going on, he knew they couldn’t go any further, any deeper into this part of his life until they were both ready. So he continued to kiss Xena passionately and thrust into her until ten minutes later when he came hard into her and she grasped at his back as she fell behind him. They stayed in their positions as they tried to catch their breaths and when Ulysses had caught his breath some he pulled back and looked at Xena who looked at him for a moment before she looked down, not sure what to make of what just happened.

Ulysses let out a breath and pulled out of Xena and stepped back and looked at her for a moment before he looked around the room for his clothes and began putting them on and Xena did the same. When they were dressed Ulysses opened the door to let some fresh air in then turned and looked at Xena who was silent as she looked out into space. “Xena,” he called and she snapped out of her thoughts and looked at Ulysses who looked back at her with worry in his eyes. “Are you okay?” He asked and Xena grinned and nodded, “yea…yea I’m okay,” she said and Ulysses looked at her and nodded. “I should be meeting back up with your mother,” she said as she walked towards the door. “Wait,” Ulysses called and Xena turned and looked at him, “did you want something or was that all you came to see me for? Not that I’m complaining,” Ulysses said with a grin, trying to bring some humor into the situation and Xena grinned back.

“I came to ask you something but I’ve already gotten my answer,” she said. “I’ll see you later, I think I’m having dinner with your mother and Clarisse,” she said then turned and the room and Ulysses stood there for a minute then ran after Xena. “Xena,” he called and she stopped and looked at him just as she was about to walk out of the door. “What was the question? What did you want to know?” Ulysses asked and Xena looked into his eyes, hesitant about whether or not she should say anything. “Tell me,” he said as he walked up to her and they looked into each other’s eyes. “I wanted to know if I knew all of you,” she said then reached her hand out and caressed his cheek and grinned a sad grin. “And I don’t,” she said, “you do,” he said as he grabbed her hand on his cheek, keeping it there. “No, I don’t and what we just did, proved it,” Xena said then lowered her hand and turned around to walk away but Ulysses grabbed her arms and walked up behind her.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered to her and Xena turned around and looked at him. “We’ll talk about it after dinner, right now I just need some time to think,” Xena said and they looked at each other for a moment longer before she left and he stood there, not sure what he should do because he knew this was a problem he had created and now he had to find a way to fix it.

Continued In

Chapter Twelve: The Road Less Traveled

but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken

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