A Different Time, A Better Time
By: ARS Williams
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. <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.
Chapter Two: Ulysses’ Quest
It had been two days since Ulysses left Ithaca and on the day that he couldn’t be found, King Julian had all of the guards and soldiers looking everywhere for him. “Julian you don’t think something has happen to him do you? Maybe he was kidnapped?” Marguerite asked her husband as she held onto his hand and he shook his head as he looked down at the map of Ithaca wondering where his son could be. It was the second day and they were still looking for Ulysses, but what they found the day before in his room suggested that he left on his own. “He’ll be fine my love,” Julian said, though he wished in his heart that he could believe that. “Excuse me my lord,” a voice said from the door and Julian turned around and looked at his head advisor, Lucius. “Yes Lucius,” Julian said and he walked into Julian’s office closing the door behind him. “I thought you may like to know that Virgil is gone also,” he said and Julian looked at him.
“I thought he had spent the night with some woman or just decided not to come home, that’s why I didn’t say anything yesterday, but I had this feeling so I went into his room this morning and some of his clothes are gone as well as some important things to him.” Lucius said and Julian let out a breath as he sat down heavily in his chair, “tell the guards to stop searching Ithaca,” Julian said and Lucius opened the door and relayed the message to the guard outside. “But Julian why?” Marguerite asked in a pained voice and he let out a breath, “because they aren’t on Ithaca. They’ve run away, my son has run away,” he said then placed his elbows on the table and ran his fingers through his hair. “It makes sense; he and Virgil are like brothers, Virgil would follow him any where and I’ve sensed the same restlessness in Virgil that you’ve sensed in Ulysses.” Lucius said and Julian let out a breath as he raised his head, “I want the head of the guard and the head of the army in the war room at noon. Our sons will be found,” Julian said and Lucius nodded, “perhaps Julian, we should give them this time.
I believe they’ve run away because they want to figure things out for themselves and maybe they feel that they need to be on their own to do it. Give them a couple of weeks, a month at best and they’ll probably be back, Virgil is spoiled he’ll want the luxuries of the palace life back.” Lucius said and Julian looked at him, “maybe he’s right Julian, maybe we should give them this time. Who knows, Ulysses could come back with a better attitude and finally ready to take his place at your side,” Marguerite said as she caressed his cheek and Julian looked into her eyes then let out a breath, “are you sure Marguerite?” Julian asked and she nodded, “very well Lucius, I’ll give them a month and after that we’re sending out search parties to find them and drag them back home, kicking and screaming if we have to.” Julian said and Lucius nodded, “I agree,” he said then turned and left the office closing the door behind him.
Julian stood and walked over to the window in his office and Marguerite walked up behind him, “he’ll be back Julian, he wouldn’t just abandon us, he wouldn’t abandon his family,” Marguerite said as she placed her hands on Julian’s back and he just looked out of the window. “I want to believe that Marguerite, but the look in his eyes after I hit him said he had enough.” Julian said then turned and looked at his wife, “I’m afraid I may have pushed him too hard my love,” he said and Marguerite stepped closer to her husband then placed her hand on his cheek as she looked into his eyes. “Ulysses is a strong man Julian, you wouldn’t have pushed so hard if you didn’t believe he could handle it. I think he just needs some time to sort things out,” she said and Julian looked at her. “I hope you’re right my love, I hope you’re right,” he said and she walked up closer to him laying her head on his chest and wrapping her arms around him and he wrapped his arms around her. Marguerite believed her son would come back because she couldn’t stand the thought that she would never see him again, Julian however knew differently, he could now see how he had pushed his son too hard. He pushed him so hard that Ulysses felt that he had to leave that he had to escape his father’s grasp.
Julian ran his hand over Marguerite’s hair as he placed a kiss on her forehead, “you’re right my love he wouldn’t abandon us,” he said and that much Julian did believe, he believed that Ulysses had a strong regard for family and he wouldn’t abandon them when they needed him; that he made sure he instilled in his son.
It was a beautiful day at sea, the sun was shinning brightly, the wind was blowing and the sky was so clear. On the ship that carried Ulysses and Virgil to their new lives everything was well. In fact in Ulysses’ eyes everything was real good, he was feeling great, better than he had in a long time and that was just by being free of Ithaca. They had already been out a week at sea and they were both enjoying themselves. “So have you decided on a name yet?” Virgil asked as he attacked Ulysses who grinned at his friend as he fought off the attack with ease, “yea I think I like Thomas,” Ulysses said and Virgil grinned at his friend then ducked as Ulysses swung at his head. They were on deck where there was some space and they weren’t in anyone’s way as they sparred. They were both shirtless and sweat covered their bodies since they had been at for about an hour. “Not bad,” Virgil said, “and what will your name be?” Ulysses asked and Virgil looked at him as he blocked Ulysses’ attack, “who said I was changing my name, I like it very much, thank you,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned.
“Fine, fine keep your name, Virgil is common enough,” Ulysses said and Virgil stopped and looked at Ulysses, “common? My name is not common,” Virgil said and Ulysses looked at his friend and hunched his shoulders. “If you say so but I know of at least three other Virgil’s that live somewhere in Greece.” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at him, “well I guess changing my name couldn’t hurt,” he said. ‘Gotcha,’ Ulysses thought to himself and he and Virgil continued sparring. “I’ve got it,” Virgil said and they stopped for a minute, “what do you think about Zachary or Andrew?” Virgil asked and Ulysses placed his sword on his shoulder as he thought about it. “Andrew…Andrew, yea I like that,” Ulysses said and Virgil grinned and nodded. “Alright, Andrew it is,” he said then flipped his sword in his hand, “now Andrew is about to kick Thomas’ ass,” he said with a grin and Ulysses grinned as he readied himself.
“Let’s see you do it then Andrew,” Ulysses said and so they began sparring again stopping an hour later. Ulysses walked over to a barrel of water and scooped some up into his hands and splashed it onto his face; he wet the towel that was thrown across his shoulder and wiped his face, neck, shoulders and chest off. He headed back down to the sleeping area where he walked over to his hammock and grabbed his shirt putting it on then sat down. “So have you figured out where we’re going yet?” Virgil asked and Ulysses looked over at his friend who was relaxing, “Macedonia and I figured we just visit village from village until we find something that catches our eye. Permanently catches our eyes,” Ulysses said seeing the grin on Virgil’s face no doubt thinking about the first interesting girl he met and would sleep with. “Spoil sport,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned, “I’m not saying you can’t have fun Virgil, I’m just saying we can’t stay in one spot for too long and don’t get there and start throwing money around.”
Ulysses said and Virgil nodded, “alright, alright I get your point, you want to remain unfound. But let me ask you this, when are you going to stop running?” Virgil asked and Ulysses let out a breath as he laid down, “when I find what I’m looking for.” He said, “and you know what Virgil, I hope you find something special too,” Ulysses said and Virgil nodded, “yea I hope so too but that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy myself to the fullest until I do.” He said and Ulysses chuckled at his friend. The days passed pretty much like this with them enjoying themselves more than they had in a while, two weeks had now passed, there being no wind for a couple of days slowing them down. But in the last day in the second week Ulysses and Virgil set foot on Macedonian soil. “Thanks a lot Danny,” Ulysses said as he grasped arms with the man and Danny smiled at him, “it was no problem I was happy to do it.” Danny said and Ulysses grinned at him, “remember you haven’t seen us,” Ulysses said and Danny nodded.
“Good luck,” Danny said and they waved at him and began on their way heading towards a forest since they weren’t at a dock. So they began their journey and it was night fall when they made it to the village of Carne; it was a quiet village but when they made it to the tavern they found that’s where all the excitement was. Virgil’s eyes lit up and Ulysses grinned and shook his head at his friend. “I need two rooms,” Ulysses said and the tavern owner looked at him, “it’ll be seven dinars,” he said and Ulysses looked at him then pulled seven dinars out of the pouch on his waist and setting them on the bar. The man picked up the dinars and looked at them as if he were trying to see if they were real and where Ulysses and Virgil were from; Ulysses thanked Danny at that moment for suggesting they trade money. “Here,” the man said gruffly as he placed the keys on the bar and Ulysses took them then walked over to the table in the back where Virgil had already made himself comfortable with a drink in his hand and a girl on his lap.
“Couldn’t wait a minute could you?” Ulysses asked his friend and Virgil grinned at him then looked at the girl, “nope,” he said and Ulysses grinned at him then picked up his own drink that was sitting on the table. They ate dinner and listened to the entertainment which was some music, it wasn’t the best but that’s all there was. Virgil enjoyed himself with the woman on his lap and Ulysses sat there a while longer as he looked around the room. ‘Well whatever I’m looking for is definitely not here’ he thought to himself then stood and headed upstairs. “Wait, you’re leaving?” Virgil asked and Ulysses turned and looked at him, “yea,” he said and Virgil looked at him. “Man, Ulysses, you’ve got to learn how to relax, grab yourself one of these beautiful women,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned at his friend. “No thanks, but I’ll tell you what, you have enough fun for the both of us,” he said and Virgil grinned at him. “If you say so,” he said then sat back down, the woman sitting back down on his lap and Ulysses shook his head as he headed upstairs to his room. He sat his bags down on the floor placing the one with the gold in it under his pillow then laid down on the bed, Ulysses thought to himself that he had been in better camps than this tavern looked.
When morning came he went down for breakfast which was a little better than dinner, when he was done he knocked on Virgil’s door, knocked and knocked until finally he decided to pick the lock. When he walked into the room he found clothes scattered all over the place and Ulysses shook his head as he picked up Virgil’s clothes then walked over to the bed where Virgil lay on his back and the woman from last night had her head on his chest. “Virgil, Virgil,” Ulysses called and the man only groaned. Ulysses hit his friend on the face and Virgil jumped up in bed with his dagger in hand and Ulysses looked at him, “I don’t think that would be much help since if I were an assassin you would have been dead long ago. I’ve been in your room for like three minutes,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at him through tired eyes. “Oh…well what do you want?” Virgil asked and Ulysses dropped Virgil’s clothes onto his chest, “get dressed, we’re going to look around then we’re leaving.” Ulysses said and Virgil groaned as he grabbed his clothes pushing them to the side as he sat up on the side of the bed, “Ulysses,” Virgil started to say but Ulysses cut him off. “No, you shouldn’t have had so much too drink and stayed up all night last night.”
Ulysses said then turned and looked at his friend who fell back on the bed, “I’ll see you downstairs in ten minutes,” Ulysses said and Virgil waved his hand at his friend and Ulysses walked out of the door. Ulysses went and got his things out of the room and headed downstairs he sat down there for a while looking around the room at the type of people they came and left and he could tell this was definitely not a place for him to be. He looked up at Virgil who came walking downstairs with his bags in his hands and a tired look on his face; he walked over to the table and flopped down in his chair. “You ready to go?” Ulysses asked his friend and Virgil looked at him with a ‘you can’t be serious’ look on his face and Ulysses grinned at him. “Come on,” he said and Virgil let out a breath as he stood and followed Ulysses out of the tavern. “Come on Virgil, it’s a brand new day, the sun shinning,” Ulysses said as he clapped his friend on the back, “and just think of the next town we get to, where there will be a new conquest for you.”
Ulysses said and Virgil kind of perked up at that and so they continued walking and looked around the village where they didn’t see much so they walked out until they were out of the village and started heading to the next village or town. “So, how was your night last night?” Ulysses asked and Virgil grinned at him, “man Ulysses she was so good, I was seriously going to ask you if you wanted in on the action but I got stingy.” Virgil said and Ulysses chuckled at him and they talked as they continued walking. For the next couple of days they spent the night camping in the forest which actually wasn’t as bad as Virgil thought it was going to be, he actually liked camping under the stars and Ulysses grinned as he looked up at the many stars while the fire in the middle of the camp crackled. He liked camping too, he liked it better then staying in that tavern they had first stayed in and since they weren’t in a rush their pace of walking was unhurried and they basically ate whatever was caught.
A week passed by and they finally made it to the second village which was slightly better than the last, but unfortunately for Virgil there were no women to be had but he and Ulysses did participate in a little gambling. However since they were winning, the guys they were playing with, thought they were cheating and the next thing everyone knew a fight broke out in the Inn and Ulysses and Virgil were kicked out. “Man just because we were winning and just because we kicked their asses did not mean the innkeeper had to kick us out,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned at him. “Look at it this way, at least we can buy some things with the money we have, maybe buy ourselves a ride so we can stop walking.” Ulysses said and Virgil nodded, “yea a horse would be good,” he said, “I didn’t say anything about a horse,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at him. “Then what are you talking about?” Virgil asked and Ulysses just grinned and they continued walking with Virgil letting out a frustrated breath.
“Thomas this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind,” Virgil said as they rode in a wagon that bounced constantly as if they were hitting every bump and hole in the ground. “Well Andrew we can’t afford to get two horses,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at him shaking his head. “Come on Andrew this is better than walking we had been walking for another week and hadn’t reached a village,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at him. “It’s not much better than walking; my feet will be fine but my butt will be killing me. And anyway we can afford two horses,” Virgil said and Ulysses looked at him. “Not without using the money from Ithaca,” Ulysses said in a low breath and Virgil let out a breath as he leaned back. “I promise I’ll make up for this,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at his friend, “yea well, the next time we’ll just keep walking or find a road less bumpy,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned, “or perhaps someone who knows how to drive,” Ulysses said in a low voice and Virgil grinned at his friend and they hit their fists together, a sign of friendship that they had come up with when they were children.
Ulysses grinned then leaned back with his knees bent and his arms resting on his thighs as he looked up at the sky, “just wait my friend, things are going to get better I can feel it.” Ulysses said and Virgil grinned at him and nodded and they just relaxed until finally two hours after lunch they reached the next town. Virgil smiled as he hoped out of the wagon, “now this is what I’m talking about,” he said as he looked around the live town and Ulysses smiled as he looked around as well. He paid the wagon driver who was an old man and then walked up to Virgil, “lets get us some rooms and they we can look around,” Ulysses said and Virgil grinned and nodded, especially as his head followed a young woman who passed by. Ulysses smiled as he wrapped his arm around Virgil’s shoulder as they headed down the busy streets of the town and towards what looked like the Inn. The Inn wasn’t overly crowded when they walked in but then again it was after lunch. “Hi, what can I get for you?” The woman behind the bar asked and Ulysses smiled at her, “we would like two of your rooms,” Ulysses said and she grinned at him.
“That’ll be ten dinars a piece for the rooms and meals are three as are baths,” she said and Ulysses nodded and went into his pouch then handed the woman forty dinars giving her a little extra and she smiled her thanks at him. “Thanks,” she said and Ulysses nodded, “what’s your name?” He asked and she looked at him, “Daphne, this is my father’s establishment,” she said and Ulysses nodded as he looked around the Inn. “This is a nice Inn, definitely better than some I’ve been in,” he said then looked at Daphne, “Daphne huh?” He asked and she nodded, “that’s a pretty name for a beautiful young woman such as yourself,” he said and she grinned then blushed as she looked down and Ulysses grinned at her. “I’ll see you later Daphne,” Ulysses said as he picked up the keys as began walking away, “wait I didn’t catch your name,” she said and Ulysses turned and grinned at her. “Thomas,” he said then winked at her as he turned away and walked over to Virgil who was waiting for him by the stairs with a grin on his face.
“So I see you plan on having fun tonight,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned as he handed Virgil his key, “maybe, maybe not,” he said as they began walking up the stairs. They went up to their rooms which were next to each other; they dropped off their bags and Ulysses made sure his money was secure before he left the room making sure he locked it and then they headed downstairs. They sat down at a table and Daphne brought over their drinks and Ulysses grinned at her, “thanks,” he said and she grinned at him. “Daphne this is my friend Andrew, Andrew the beautiful lady Daphne,” Ulysses said and Virgil held out his hand and she placed her hand in it. “It’s nice to meet you,” he said then brought her hand up to his lips kissing the back of it and she blushed causing Virgil to grin. “I’ll have your food right out,” she said, “take your time,” Ulysses said and she grinned then turned and walked away Ulysses eyeing her body as she did so. “I think you may have a virgin on your hands,” Virgil whispered to Ulysses as they looked at her. “I don’t think so, she’s just shy,” Ulysses said then picked up his drink and sipped on it.
They ate their late lunch and then decided to do a little exploring of the village together and then on their own. Ulysses basically bought some bread, cheese and some fruit, along with a bag to put it all in. He bought some things he would need for a just in case occasion, among the things he bought was some rope, two daggers and a few small pouches of herbs for cooking and herbs for medical uses. Ulysses hung around in the kitchens enough at home to know what herbs would make food taste good and he also hung around the healer’s tent during wars and battles and he picked up on a thing or two. When he was done he headed back to the Inn and put the things in his room then headed back down stairs and sat at the bar. “So Daphne, you enjoy your work?” Ulysses asked and she grinned at him, “yea, I love meeting new people or talking with those I know. Sometimes there’s something new going on here at breakfast, lunch or dinner and other times it’s just the same old thing, but trust me the same old thing isn’t so bad when you’ve had a rough couple of days.”
She said and Ulysses grinned at her and nodded, “I’m sure,” he said and she looked at him. “So Thomas where are you from?” She asked and he grinned at her, “around.” He said and she grinned at him and looked down as she wiped the counter, “I’m asking too many questions aren’t I? My father says sometimes I talk too much,” she said and Ulysses grinned at her as he looked at her. “It’s fine Daphne, really and you weren’t talking too much, in fact I was enjoying the conversation. It’s just that I don’t like to think about where I came from,” Ulysses said and Daphne nodded. “I can understand that I guess, my mom, before she died, didn’t like to talk about where she came from.” Daphne said and Ulysses nodded, “when you’re trying to start a new life it can be hard if you keep thinking about the past, where you came from, what happened. I just find it better to ignore it, you know? For instance my name is Thomas and I just fell from the skies,” Ulysses said causing Daphne to chuckle and he smiled at her.
Ulysses talked to Daphne more and more until it was around dinner time and Daphne became busy and Ulysses decided just to go up to his room for a while and relax. He knew what he was looking for wasn’t here either, he knew it couldn’t possibly be in Daphne, she was a sweet young woman but she was just a distraction to him. He knew he shouldn’t treat her like that, slowly pulling her in until he had her but he needed something, anything to make him feel the least bit alive; he needed a woman’s comfort. He was feeling great with being free but still whatever was calling to him, whatever he was missing was still out there and until he found it he couldn’t be whole. He laid there for a while and thought to himself then decided to go downstairs and get a table before it got too crowded; Ulysses looked around the Inn thinking to himself that he came down at the perfect time. “I saved your table in the back,” Daphne said as she walked passed him with a tray, “thanks,” Ulysses said and she nodded.
He walked over to the table and sat down and relaxed, Virgil walking in twenty minutes later. “So what were you up to?” Ulysses asked and Virgil told him; Daphne brought over their drinks and then a while later their food was brought to them. “So I see you made some progress,” Virgil said as he looked at Daphne and Ulysses nodded, “yea but I’m not sure if I’ll go through with it.” He said and Virgil looked at his friend and shook his head, “we really need to find whatever it is you’re looking for because honestly man you just look so,” Virgil said then shook his head and Ulysses let out a breath and nodded. “You’re telling me,” he said and they spent the rest of their evening eating their dinner and talking; Ulysses grinned at Daphne as she sat their desert on the table, “on the house,” she said and he smiled at her. Towards the end of the evening Virgil found himself a young woman who would entertain him and Ulysses just let out a breath as he headed upstairs to his room. He let out a breath as he prepared to take a bath that had been sent up earlier when he asked for it; when he was finished his bath he put on a clean pair of pants and sent for someone to come and get the tub.
When the tub was gone he was preparing to lay down when there was a knock at his door; he opened it to see Daphne standing there. “Daphne,” Ulysses said and she grinned at him, “hi,” she said her eyes running over his chest and he looked at her. “Is there something I can help you with?” Ulysses asked and she looked at him, “may I come in?” She asked and he looked at her for a moment then nodded and let her into the room against his better judgment. He closed the door behind her then turned and looked at her as she looked around the room, “is everything alright Daphne?” Ulysses asked and she turned and looked at him, “um…I,” she said and Ulysses walked up to her and she started to stumble more so he placed his finger on her lips and she looked up into his eyes. “Take a deep breath then take your time and just tell me what’s on your mind,” he said and she followed his directions then looked into his eyes as she spoke to him. “I want you,” she said and his eyes opened wide in surprise as he nodded, “okay you’re direct.”
He said then gave her a small smile and she grinned at him, “Daphne I…” he started to say but she stopped him. “I’m not a fool Thomas and I’m not as innocent as I may seem. I know you’re just passing through and you have no intentions of staying, I’m going to even take a guess and say Thomas is not even your real name.” She said and he looked at her, “what do you want Daphne?” He asked her and she looked at him as she walked up closer to him, placing her hands on his arms. “What you want. I know you want me I see a need in your eyes for comfort, the comfort only a woman can give you and I don’t know why you chose me out of all the other beautiful girls in this town but I’m glad you did. As I said before I’m not dumb, I know all you want is to sleep with me, find comfort and release and leave in the morning. I know that and to be honest that’s all I want from you,” she said then looked over his body as she stepped closer and Ulysses brought his hand up to the back of her neck. “Are you sure Daphne, you’re a nice woman and I don’t want to hurt you,” he said and she looked into his eyes and nodded.
“I’m sure,” she said then leaned forward and kissed him softly, “and don’t worry I’ve taken the necessary precautions so that I won’t get pregnant.” She said and Ulysses nodded then kissed her deeply and she moaned as she wrapped her arms around him. His hands went to the back of her dress where he undid the knot at the top that was pulled to keep all the eyelets closed. He stepped closer to her and deepened the kiss more as he began to pull the dress down her shoulders; the kiss finally ended and Daphne was breathless and she closed her eyes and moaned as Ulysses began kissing and sucking on her neck as she ran her hands over his back. They stood there for a while, the dress was now on the floor and Ulysses held Daphne tight against him as he explored her body with his hands and lips. He wanted more excess to her body and her legs were beginning to shake so he picked her up into his strong arms and carried her over to the bed, where he gave Daphne the best sex she would most likely ever have in her entire life.
Ulysses kissed Daphne passionately as he thrust at a medium pace in and out of her and he swallowed her moans of pleasure. Ulysses saw that Daphne was right, she wasn’t the innocent she seemed to be and he found that out as they rolled passionately around on the bed getting tangled in the sheets. Daphne finally made it on top and she looked down at Ulysses as they continued to move; they were both breathing hard and he looked at her and she grinned as she leaned down and kissed him passionately getting a moan from him. He let her stay on top for about ten minutes and then he rolled her back onto her back and was thrusting deeply into her, his head buried in her neck and she moaned as she ran her hand over his back and the other gripped his hair. Twenty five minutes later, Ulysses sweaty and breathing hard lay on his back trying to catch his breath and Daphne lay next to him in the same condition. “Wow you were incredible,” she said and Ulysses nodded, “thanks you were great too,” he said and they lay that way for a bit until Daphne moved into Ulysses’ arms and he caressed her hair then placed a kiss on her forehead.
“Thank you Daphne,” he said and she raised her head and looked at him, “for what?” She asked and he looked into her eyes, “for giving me what I needed.” He said and she nodded then brought her hand up to his face and ran her finger close by the corner of his eye. “I see such loneliness in your eyes, such emptiness even when you smile it’s still there,” she said and he looked at her then looked away towards the window. “We can’t all be happy,” he said and she shook her head, “I don’t believe that and neither do you,” she said and he looked at her. “That’s why you left your home, changed your name. You’re looking for a new life, a better life, a happier life.” She said and he looked at her, “very impressive Daphne,” he said and she grinned at him. “So, tell me your real name,” she said and Ulysses looked at her and shook his head. “No, it’s for your protection more than it is for mine. If someone were to find out you knew who I was,” he said and let the rest hang in the air and she looked at him and nodded then laid her head back down on his chest.
They lay there in silence for a while then talked some before they went another round and just fell asleep. When morning came the sun shinned through the window waking Ulysses up and he ran his hand over his face then sat up when he didn’t feel a body in the bed with him. “Well that’s a change,” he said then sat up and made sure important things weren’t missing like his money and when he found that they weren’t, he called for another bath, took it then got dressed and grabbed his bags and headed downstairs. He saw Virgil sitting at the table eating breakfast so he walked over and sat down and Virgil grinned as he continued to eat, “so you decided to go through with it,” Virgil said and Ulysses looked at him then grinned. He was about to say something when Daphne walked over with his breakfast in her hands, “good morning,” she said with a smile and he smiled back at her. “Good morning to you too,” he said and she sat his plate down and turned to leave but he grabbed her hand and pulled her to him and she smiled at him.
“You were very quiet this morning,” he said and she grinned at him as she caressed his cheek, “you were asleep and I didn’t want to wake you. I thought I wore you out last night,” she said with a grin then pulled free from his grasp and walked away. Ulysses chuckled as he shook his head, “so I guess I was wrong about the virgin thing?” Virgil asked and Ulysses smiled and nodded, “oh yea and I was wrong about her being shy,” he said and Virgil grinned as he shook his head. Ulysses looked over at Daphne watching her talk and smile and he grinned to himself. “Hey Virgil, do you mind if we spend a couple of days here?” Ulysses asked and Virgil grinned at him, “can’t get enough can you?” He asked then smiled as he clapped Ulysses on the back, “I knew you were in there somewhere,” he said and Ulysses laughed at him. “Actually I was going to ask you the same thing. You see, I had my own wonderful night last night,” Virgil said and his eyes traveled to the red head waitress who winked at him and he smiled as he turned back and looked at Ulysses who was chuckling at him.
“Daphne,” Ulysses called and she turned and looked at him and he waved her over so she walked over to him, “yea,” she said and Ulysses looked at her then took her hand in his as she looked at her. “We’ll be staying for a couple of more days,” he said and she grinned at him. “Will I be able to enjoy your company?” He asked and she grinned as she sat down on his lap and he wrapped his arm around her as she placed her arm around his shoulder. “I suppose I can make time for you in my busy schedule,” she said and he smiled and nodded then turned her face towards him. “I promise I’ll make it worth your while,” he said and she grinned at him as she brought her fingers up to his lips. “Oh I know you will,” she said with a grin and he grinned then closed his eyes as he kissed her. When the kiss ended she looked at him, “I have to get back to work,” she said and he nodded and watched as she stood and walked away. Ulysses grinned then continued eating his breakfast and clowning with Virgil.
Two weeks had passed since Ulysses left and though Marguerite said Ulysses would be back and felt it, she still worried about him. She, Camilla and Julian were having lunch in the dinning hall when Victoria approached them. “My lord, my lady,” she said as she bowed her head to them both. “Victoria how are you?” Julian asked, “well my lord…” she said then was silent for a minute. “I miss him,” she said lowly and Marguerite placed her hand on Victoria’s arm, “we all do but he will be back.” She said and Victoria looked at her and tears came to her eyes as she shook her head, “no he won’t,” she said in a whisper and they looked at him.
“Victoria is there something you know that we don’t?” Julian asked and she looked at him then wiped her face, “forgive me my lord, my lady,” she said as she turned and looked at Marguerite. “I saw Ulysses the night he left, I went to see about him after what happened here, I was worried about him. When I walked in his bags were sitting on the bed and I knew, I knew he was leaving.” She said then let out a breath as she looked at the letter Ulysses gave her, “he wrote this for you my lady, I wanted to give it to you sooner, especially when I saw how worried you were about him but he made me promise before he left that I wait two weeks after he was gone before I gave you his letter.”
Victoria said and Marguerite looked at the letter then took it from Victoria’s hands, “I’m truly sorry,” she said then walked away before she practically ran out of the hall. Marguerite looked at the letter that was sealed closed and she let out a breath as she broke the seal and began reading her son’s letter to her.
If you’re reading this, I’ve left Ithaca and if you’re reading this, it’s been two weeks or more since I’ve left. I know you and dad don’t understand why I’m doing this but I had to; I had to do it for me. You, father and Camilla could never understand and maybe I wasn’t explaining it clearly but I was dying here momma. I tried, I tried my best to do what you and father asked of me but every day that went by, I was slowly dying inside, I felt like someone was slowly squeezing the life out of me. I want to make sure you understand that my reason for leaving was nothing that you, Camilla or even my father did, it was simply just time for me to leave, to go and find what I’ve been missing in my life, what’s been calling to my heart, my soul, for I fear if I never find it I will remain feeling incomplete, empty and alone. I’m sorry that you have to find things out this way but I knew that if you and father, especially father knew I had plans of leaving, you would find any way to stop me. I’m also sorry to tell you that I don’t mean to come back to Ithaca. Maybe one day if I’ve found what I’m looking for I’ll let you know where I am and that I’m okay but I don’t think my place is in Ithaca and I know I’ve disappointed father. I couldn’t stand to see the shame in his eyes when he looked at me, for saying the things I said, for feeling the way I felt and for leaving you guys like I have. Please let him know that I didn’t mean any of those things, that I was just upset and well…I’m sorry. I love you momma and tell Camilla that I love her and will miss her, especially her nagging and arguing with her. Tell father that I love him too and that my family, Ithaca, will always be in my heart. I know it may seem like I have abandoned you but I haven’t, if ever you need me just send word and don’t worry I’ll get the message. Please don’t worry momma, even though I know that’s what you do, but I promise you I’ll be fine. I will miss you all very much but I beg of you, be happy for me and pray for me, ask the gods to help me find what it is I’m looking for. I wish you and Ithaca all the best. I wish for my family to be happy like I know you’ll wish it for me.
With all my love,
Tears ran down Marguerite’s face as she read the letter and when she was done she shook head, “what did he say Marguerite?” Julian asked and she looked at her husband, “he isn’t coming back,” she said and he looked into her eyes before he took the letter from her and read it for himself and his heart sank like his body did in the chair. Marguerite stood up and rushed out of the hall upset. Julian rushed after his distraught wife leaving the letter on the table and Camilla picked it up and read it tears beginning to fall from her eyes. “Oh Ulysses,” she said then stood with her brother’s letter in her hand and went to her room with it.
On the road to Amphipolis…
It had been three days since Ulysses and Virgil left Daphne’s village and they had gotten another ride to another village which wasn’t very impressive so they stayed the night then headed out. They took their time walking, talking and joking with each other. One day they stopped some road bandits from robbing a family that was passing by; they could have beaten those thugs with one arm tied behind their backs and that was basically what they did. “Thank you, I owe you my life,” the man said and Ulysses grinned at him. “Its fine and you don’t owe us any thing. What’s your name?” Ulysses asked and the man looked at him, “my name is Archie and this is my wife Maggie,” he said waving her over. “And these are our sons Samuel and David.” Archie finished and Ulysses grinned at them all, “it’s nice to meet you. My name is Thomas and this is my friend Andrew,” Ulysses said and Archie shook their hand and Virgil looked at them. “So where are you guys headed?” Virgil asked, “Amphipolis. We come from the city of Boeotia but there’s so much violence there and I didn’t want my sons to grow up around that so we’re moving to Amphipolis which is a pretty peaceful town. My oldest son Brendan and his wife live there and we’re going to stay with him until we can build ourselves a house, well first we have to get the money but it’ll all be worked out.”
Archie said and Virgil nodded then looked at Ulysses, “can I speak with you for a moment?” He asked and Ulysses nodded then looked at Archie, “excuse us,” he said then walked over a few feet. “What’s up?” Ulysses asked and Virgil looked at him, “I think we should take them the rest of the way to Amphipolis, these roads can be pretty dangerous.” Virgil said and Ulysses hunched his shoulders and nodded. “That’s fine with me, it’s not like we have any real destination in mind,” Ulysses said and then he and Virgil walked back over to Archie and his family. “If it’s alright with you and your family Archie, we would like to take you the rest of the way to Amphipolis, these roads can be pretty dangerous.” Ulysses said and Archie’s eyes opened wide as he looked at them then at his wife who was nodding her head. “That would be great but we wouldn’t be taking you from anything that you have to do?” Archie asked and Ulysses and Virgil both shook their heads, “no, we weren’t doing much believe me.” Virgil said and Archie grinned at them. “Thank you very much,” he said and Ulysses and Virgil nodded.
“If you don’t mind Archie, I’ll pull the wagon, give you a little break,” Ulysses said and Archie grinned at him, “that’s okay you don’t have to do that, I’m kind of used to it now.” Archie said and Ulysses shook his head as he placed his bags in the wagon where he could keep a close eye on them. “Don’t worry about it, I need the exercise,” Ulysses said as he walked over to the two beams and picked them up. “Okay is everybody ready?” Ulysses asked and they nodded so they began moving with Ulysses pulling the wagon and Archie staying to talk with him, while Virgil kept an eye on things to make sure no one popped out at them. “Archie how far is Amphipolis?” Ulysses asked, “I’d say about a week from here, would be faster if we had a horse.” He said and Ulysses nodded and continued to talk to the man who he found was very intelligent and was good company. Just before night fell they found a place to camp that wasn’t really that secluded but they weren’t out in the open. Virgil had caught them some fish to eat out of a nearby stream where they all washed up at, especially Ulysses since he was covered in sweat from pulling the wagon.
Maggie prepared and cooked the fish while Archie entertained his sons with a story and Ulysses grinned as he listened while sharpening his sword and Virgil just leaned back against a rock and relaxed. Five minutes passed and then Ulysses looked to the side of him where one of Archie’s sons was watching him. “Why you do that?” The boy asked and he must have been about six years old and Ulysses grinned at him. “So that my blade stays sharp,” he said and the boy looked at Ulysses as if he were deciding if it were safe to walk over and he must have decided it was because he walked closer to Ulysses who looked at him. “I’m David,” he said and Ulysses grinned at him, “is that a sling shot David?” Ulysses asked and David grinned and nodded as he raised his hand with the sling shot in it. “Yea my daddy made it for me but I don’t know how to use it.” He said and Ulysses looked at him, “well we’re just gonna have to do something about that,” Ulysses said as he sheathed his sword.
“Now let’s see,” Ulysses said as he stooped down behind the boy and pulled David’s arms up showing him how to hold the sling shot. “Keep your arms just like this,” Ulysses said and David nodded enthusiastically as he learned how to use his most prized possession. “We’re gonna try to hit that tree over there,” Ulysses said and David nodded, “now pull this back like this,” Ulysses said then maneuvered David’s arm some. “You don’t want to pull it back in front of your face, you know why?” Ulysses asked and David shook his head and looked at Ulysses, “well for one you’re learning and it may pop back in into your face and we don’t want that.” Ulysses said with a grin and David grinned and shook his head, “and second, if you hold it in front your face you can’t see,” Ulysses said. “Okay so you’re holding it like this and then you pull back,” Ulysses said, his hand on David’s helping him guide his aim. “And then if you’re nervous like me you let out a breath,” Ulysses said and David looked at him.
“Gets rid of all those butterflies moving around in your stomach,” Ulysses said as he tickled David’s stomach causing him to giggle and laugh and Ulysses smiled. “Now look at your target, the tree,” Ulysses said and David followed Ulysses’ instructions. “Now, let it go!” Ulysses said and they let the band go and watched the rock fly into the tree and David smiled with surprise and happiness in his face. “Papa, Papa did you see?” David asked as he jumped up and down with a huge smile on his face as he pointed to the tree and Archie smiled at his son. “I did indeed, good job David,” Archie said and David smiled as he turned and looked at Ulysses. “Do it again?” David asked and Ulysses grinned as he showed him how to do it again and again until the fish was ready to eat. “Time for dinner I’ll show you more tomorrow,” Ulysses said and David nodded then hugged Ulysses, “thank you,” he said and Ulysses grinned as he hugged him back. “You’re welcome, now go eat,” he said and David nodded and ran over to his mother and Ulysses grinned as her heard David, “momma did you see me?”
Ulysses was happy that he could make someone happy even if it was a six year old. They ate dinner and they all went to bed but Ulysses lay awake and looked up at the stars and just laid there wondering. They days went by pretty good and day by day they were getting closer and closer to Amphipolis. Yes things were going pretty smoothly until they ran into more bandits and these were more in number and knew a couple of things. Ulysses and Virgil fought them off while telling the others to hide; David thought he could help with his sling shot and he actually wound up hitting one of the guys in the butt but of course that turned the bandit’s attention to David and he started running. “David! David!” Maggie cried and Ulysses turned his head and saw David running so he finished off the guy that was in front of him then went after David. David decided to hide in an old log that lay half on the river bank and half in the water and the bandit looked for him but couldn’t find him. Ulysses came and then the bandit had other things to worry about and in the end he wound up running away like the other’s had decided.
Virgil, Archie, Maggie and their other son Samuel who was about three came running over. “Where is he?” Maggie asked and Ulysses shook his head as he looked around. “David,” Ulysses yelled, “I’m here momma,” David said as he began crawling his way out of the log and Maggie let out a breath when she saw her son was safe. “My leg’s stuck,” David said as he tried to get the rest of the way out and with all the moving he was doing with trying to get his leg free, he shook the trunk from its steady spot and it fell into the water, pulling David with it. “Oh gods,” Maggie cried and everyone ran over to the river, “in the bag with the food there’s rope,” Ulysses told Virgil and before Virgil could say anything Ulysses dove into the water after David and Archie walked into the water to see if he could help as well. “Help, papa help,” David cried as his head surfaced, “I’m coming son,” Archie said. “No you stay here the water’s getting to rough ahead,” Ulysses yelled as he swam as fast as he could towards David whose head went back under the water.
Virgil ran back for the robe then ran back to the river where he saw Ulysses down stream so that’s where he ran. “Hang on David,” Ulysses yelled as he saw the boy resurface and he was spitting water out and was trying to keep himself afloat. “Ulysses,” David cried, “hold on buddy I’m coming,” Ulysses said as he fought the water and then David went under water again. Ulysses dove in under the water after him and he saw David with his foot still stuck in the log. When he got to him he held David then kicked at the log breaking it enough that when he hit it a couple of times with his hand, it freed David’s foot. Ulysses kicked his way up and when his head hit the surface he took in air fulls then looked down at David who was unconscious; Ulysses hit David’s chest twice and then he began spitting up water and breathing. “Catch,” Virgil yelled as he threw the rope and Ulysses caught it he was putting it around David when something swept by him and knocked him down which wasn’t that hard giving that the water was rough.
Ulysses went under water but he managed to tighten the rope around David and tug at it telling Virgil to pull, which he did. Virgil pulled David as fast as he could to the bank and they pulled him out. “He should be fine,” Virgil said as David coughed up a little more water and they wrapped him in a blanket. Virgil looked up for Ulysses but didn’t see him. “Thomas,” he yelled and he stood and ran over to the bank, “Thomas,” he yelled again then shook his head as he continued to look. “Ulysses,” Virgil yelled and he looked frantically until he saw Ulysses pop his head up while trying to fight the water. “Ulysses,” Virgil yelled as he ran down to where his friend was, “hang on,” he said and Archie ran over with the rope and Ulysses tried to keep himself up by holding on to a branch. Virgil hurried as he tried to get the rope together and just as he was preparing to throw it the branch broke and Ulysses began moving down stream where the water was getting rougher and rougher, making it harder and harder for Ulysses to stay up top.
Virgil ran, following Ulysses and his heart jumped into his chest when he saw there was a waterfall ahead, “Ulysses,” Virgil called but Ulysses went under the water and Virgil frantically called for him and he didn’t see Ulysses again until he was inches from going over the waterfall. “No!” Virgil yelled as he watched his friend go over the edge and he shook his head then ran back towards the others. “We have to go,” Virgil said and Archie looked at him, “but…but he went over,” Archie said and Virgil looked at him. “So, that doesn’t mean he isn’t alive,” Virgil said and Archie looked at him. “But…” Archie started saying and Virgil looked at him, “look he is my best friend and he’s not dead until I see a dead body. He saved your life, the life of your family, the life of your son,” Virgil said as he nodded over to David who was wrapped up in a blanket while being held in his mother’s arms. “Now will you help me save his life?” Virgil asked and Archie looked into his eyes and nodded, “alright let’s go,” Virgil said as he grabbed the wagon and began pulling.
Virgil was walking fast even as he pulled the heavy wagon and when they were a good ways from where they were attacked he found a safe spot for Maggie to wait with her sons while they went to look for Ulysses. Ulysses twist and turned in the water and no matter how hard he fought, he couldn’t make his way up, the water had to much control; it felt almost as if it were about to literally crush him. Then suddenly he felt a warm glow surround him and he felt the strength in him renew a hundred fold so he began fighting the water more and more, until his head was above the water and he was pulling in great big lung fulls of air. As soon as he was away from the danger of the waterfall, that warm feeling left him, that golden glow that surrounded him dissipated and he began to make his way towards the river bank. When they left Maggie, Virgil and Archie ran trying to find a way to the waterfall. They made it to a cliff where you could see the river from the waterfall and Virgil looked frantically for his friend and he let out a great breath of relief when he saw Ulysses walking out of the water. “Ulysses,” Virgil called and Ulysses looked up and grinned at his friend, “hey Virgil, you want to come give me a hand,” Ulysses yelled and Virgil grinned.
“I’ll be down in a couple of minutes,” he yelled and Ulysses nodded, “I’ll be waiting,” he said as he continued to walk out of the water then sat down on the ground. “Amazing,” Archie said as he and Virgil found a way down the cliff they were on, though it wasn’t that easy. When they finally made their way down, Virgil ran over to where Ulysses had been and Ulysses turned his head as he heard the foot steps. He grinned as he stood and when Virgil was close to him he hugged his friend tightly and Ulysses hugged him back. “You should be dead,” Virgil said as he pulled back and looked at Ulysses seeing only the marks on his hand from when he hit the log that was holding David’s leg. “You’re telling me,” Ulysses said as he looked from the height from which he fell. “How’s David?” Ulysses asked as he looked at Archie who grinned at him, “he will be alright, thank you for saving him,” Archie said and he and Ulysses shook hand. “It was no problem,” Ulysses said then let out a breath, “I need to get out of these wet clothes,” he said and Virgil nodded.
“Yea we made camp a ways back,” Virgil said and Ulysses let out a breath and nodded and they made the trek back up the mountain and walked to site where they left Maggie. When they got to there, Ulysses was grateful to see that she had a fire going; he grabbed his bag with his clothes in it and changed his clothes letting the others hang to dry on a tree branch. When he was done, he sat close to the fire with a blanket around his shoulders trying to keep himself warm so that he wouldn’t get sick. He sat there staring into the fire as he thought about what happened to him when he went over the waterfall. “Ulysses,” a voice called, pulling him out of his thoughts and Maggie looked at him, “that is your name isn’t it?” She asked and he nodded, “I brought you some broth,” she said and he took the bowl of steaming broth from her. “Thank you,” he said, “no thank you,” she said then got down on her knees in front of him. “The gods must have sent you and your friend because they knew we needed you,” she said and he looked into her eyes then down at the bowl.
“I care not what you’re name is, you saved my son, I will forever be in your debt,” she said and he looked into her eyes then let out a breath. “I’m sorry we lied to you; I’m just trying to escape my past and there will be people looking for us so we sort of changed our names.” Ulysses said and Maggie nodded, “we understand, believe me and we promise to keep your secret.” She said and Ulysses nodded then watched her walk away; he let out a breath and began sipping on the broth that tasted wonderful and felt good going down. The next few days were slow since Ulysses was sort of getting his strength back and David needed to rest as well, they took it slow just to make sure they stayed healthy. On the third day, David was back to running around and Ulysses was back to pulling the wagon with his shirt off since the days were getting hotter and hotter which meant more sweating for Ulysses; Virgil and Archie having shared the responsibility the days before. In three more days, they finally reached Amphipolis and all the young women eyed Ulysses as he continued to pull the cart through town. “Looks like you’re fresh meat,” Virgil said as he slapped Ulysses on the shoulder and Ulysses grinned as he shook his head at his friend.
“Well why don’t you take your shirt of and pull the wagon,” Ulysses said and Virgil grinned at him, “thanks but I’m fine as is,” Virgil said and Ulysses rolled his eyes at his friend. “Father,” Ulysses heard someone cry and he turned his head to see Archie hug his eldest son. “Brendan its good to see you,” Archie said. “We were worried, you and mother should have been here days ago,” Brendan said and Archie nodded. “Yea but unfortunately we had some trouble with bandits, luckily Thomas and his friend Andrew were there to save us,” Archie said as he turned and introduced his son to Ulysses who shook his hand. “Thanks I owe you a lot,” Brendan said and Ulysses shook his head, “you guys owe us nothing, we were just happy we could help.” Ulysses said and Brendan nodded, “well I have a horse I can hitch that to father and I’ll take you guys to the farm,” Brendan said and Archie nodded. Ulysses lowered the beams to the wagon then grabbed his shirt and put it on. “We’ll be seeing you Archie,” Virgil said as he walked up to the man and grasped his arm and Archie looked at him.
“You guys are leaving?” Archie asked and Virgil turned and looked at Ulysses, “we’ll probably hang around for a day or two then head out.” Ulysses said and Archie nodded, “well don’t be a stranger,” he said and Ulysses grinned and nodded. “We won’t,” he said then grasped arms with the man before he grabbed his bags out of the wagon and he and Virgil headed to find the Inn. “Hey this isn’t a bad place,” Virgil said as he looked around and Ulysses shook his head as he looked around the town as well. “No it isn’t,” he said then looked ahead. “I think that’s the Inn up there,” Ulysses said and Virgil nodded. They were walking towards the Inn through the somewhat crowded street and Ulysses was making his way through when he ran into someone. “Sorry,” he said as he turned and looked at who he ran into, his eyes met up with the bluest eyes he had ever seen. “I should’ve watched where I was going,” Ulysses said and those blue eyes looked back at him, a smile coming to them. “It’s kind of hard when the streets are crowded like this,” she said and he nodded as he looked at her and she looked at him.
“Hey Xena,” a voice called and she turned her head and looked towards a vendor where her brother was then looked back at the stranger. “Gotta go, it was nice meeting you,” she said with a smile then walked away before Ulysses could say anything. “It was nice meeting you too,” Ulysses said more to himself than to Xena. “Hey Thomas,” Virgil called but Ulysses’ eyes were on the woman who walked away from him. “Hey,” Virgil said as he pushed Ulysses on his shoulder snapping him out of his trance and Ulysses turned and looked at Virgil. “What?” He asked and Virgil looked at him, “I’ve been calling you for the last minute. What’s up with you?” Virgil asked and Ulysses shook his head then looked around for Xena but she was gone, “I think I saw a goddess,” he said and Virgil rolled his eyes as he grabbed his friend’s arm. “I think you need to lay down, this pass week has been too much excitement for you,” Virgil said as he pulled Ulysses while they walked towards the Inn. “I’m telling you man it was a goddess, I think it was Artemis or…or maybe Athena but then again she was so beautiful she could’ve been Aphrodite.”
Ulysses said and Virgil rolled his eyes as he grinned at his friend while they walked into the Inn. “Why don’t you get us a table and I’ll get us some rooms,” Virgil said and Ulysses nodded and headed to find them a table while Virgil got them some rooms. “How much for two rooms?” He asked and Cyrene looked at him, “ten dinars will get you two regular size rooms, including three meals a day and the use of the bathing room. Twenty dinars will get you the same except the rooms will be bigger,” she said and Virgil nodded, “I’ll take two of the bigger rooms,” he said then thought about it and knew Ulysses wouldn’t like it. “On second thought, I’ll just take the regular size rooms,” Virgil said as he placed the money in Cyrene’s hands and Cyrene nodded. “Well my name is Cyrene, this is my Inn and I don’t tolerate the use of weapons or any roughness of any kind.” She said and he nodded, “yes ma’am, we’ll be on our best behavior,” Virgil said and Cyrene looked at him and nodded. “Here are your keys; the rooms are on the second floor, left side the two at the end.”
Cyrene said and Virgil nodded, “thanks,” he said and she nodded. “You’re food will be out as soon as possible,” she said and Virgil nodded then left and headed over to the table where Ulysses was sitting. “Here’s your key,” he said as he handed it to Ulysses who took it but his mind was still obsessing over Xena. “You’re not still thinking about your goddess are you?” Virgil asked and Ulysses looked at him, “I know you don’t believe me,” Ulysses said and Virgil let out a breath as he looked at Ulysses. “Look the last couple of days or better yet month has been stressful, maybe you just need to get some rest and relax some.” Virgil said and Ulysses let out a breath and nodded, “yea maybe you’re…” he started saying but stopped as his eyes went to the door. “What?” Virgil asked and Ulysses just stared so Virgil turned and looked at what Ulysses called his goddess and Virgil grinned as he turned back and looked at Ulysses. “Let me guess, that’s your goddess,” Virgil said and Ulysses nodded as he ran his eyes over Xena’s body.
She wore a black leather skirt that came down to her knees and a blue sleeveless shirt that came down just to the top of the skirt. Starting from her feet, Ulysses ran his eyes over Xena’s body, scrutinizing every inch of her. Her legs were long and slender but not too slender and they looked smooth to the touch. His eyes continued going up to her obviously flat stomach and perfect breasts. His eyes went to her face and it was gorgeous; she had high cheek bones, a smooth, milky complexion and those eyes. She had the most beautiful eyes Ulysses had ever seen, so blue you could fall into them, it was like looking into the depths of the ocean; her hair was as black as a midnight sky and it shined with its silkiness. Oh she was beautiful, she was gorgeous, in his eyes she was the perfect woman. Xena’s eyes connected with Ulysses’ again and they both felt a pull but that pull was interrupted when Cyrene grabbed her daughter’s arm and dragged her into the kitchen. “Where have you been?” Cyrene asked her daughter and Xena was about to answer when Cyrene shook her head, “no matter, I need you to take these drinks over to the men in the corner and see if there’s anything else they need.”
Cyrene said and Xena nodded as she grabbed the tray and walked out of the kitchen, “did you see her? Did you?” Ulysses asked and Virgil grinned and nodded, “yea I saw her and she is undeniably beautiful but I doubt she’s a goddess.” Virgil said as he chuckled at his friend and Ulysses was about to reply when Xena walked up to them. “Here are your drinks,” she said as she placed them on the table and Ulysses looked at her, “is there anything else I can get you?” She asked as she looked at Ulysses, “what’s your name?” He asked and she grinned at him, “you want me to get you my name?” She asked and Ulysses grinned as he shook his head then looked down. “I’m sorry, no we don’t need anything else, but I wanted to know your name,” he said after a second and she looked at him and nodded. “Xena,” she said and Ulysses grinned as he nodded, “Xena. A pretty name for an extremely beautiful woman,” he said and she grinned at him. “I’m sorry am I being to straight forward?” Ulysses asked and she shook her head as she looked at him, “no, but I’ll let you know when you are.” She said and Ulysses nodded, “so, now that you know my name what’s yours?”
Xena asked and Ulysses looked at her, “Ulysses, my name is Ulysses,” he said and Virgil looked at him with surprise in his eyes and Ulysses just looked at Xena who looked back at him. “It’s an alright name for a man such as yourself,” she said and Ulysses grinned at her. “Your food will be out soon,” she said then turned and walked away and Ulysses watched her. “Ulysses,” Virgil called, “what?” He asked as he looked at his friend, “what happened to Thomas?” He asked and Ulysses shook his head, “I don’t know, I just…I couldn’t lie to her.” Ulysses said and Virgil rolled his eyes as he picked up his drink and took a small gulp. ‘Who is this woman and what is she doing to me?’ Ulysses asked himself as he watched Xena walk into the kitchen. “What’s wrong with you?” Cyrene asked her daughter, looking at the grin and dazed expression on her face. “Nothing,” she said and Cyrene shook her head, “I swear Xena, sometimes you have your head in the clouds,” Cyrene said and Xena just hunched her shoulders.
Ten minutes passed and Ulysses’ and Virgil’s food was ready but Xena was busy helping her mother cook for dinner so the other waitress Cynthia took it out to them. Ulysses of course was disappointed but all through his meal he continued to look towards the door Xena went through to see if she could come back out. It looked like to Ulysses that they had came just before the dinner rush, still Ulysses kept his eye on the door. Finally ten minutes later Xena came out from the kitchen to tend the bar and Ulysses watched her; he watched as she talked, smiled and handled things. Ulysses watched as two men walked over to the bar, one with hair as dark as Xena’s and the other had blonde hair. She turned around and grinned at them and Ulysses watched as she reached out to the blond one and seemingly caressed his cheek when in reality all she was doing was wiping some dirt off of his face.
“I swear Lyceus you can never keep your face clean,” Xena said and he hunched his shoulders, “what’d you expect Xena I’ve been playing with dirt all day.” He said and she just rolled her eyes at them, “you two go get cleaned up for dinner,” Cyrene said as she walked out of the kitchen and they nodded as they went into the kitchen and down to their rooms. “I wish you would go over and talk to her and stop staring,” Virgil said and Ulysses looked at him. “I don’t know,” Ulysses said, “Ulysses come on now, you’ve never been hesitant about talking to a woman,” Virgil said and Ulysses nodded. “I know but there’s something about her that just…I don’t know,” Ulysses said and Virgil nodded. “All the more reason for you to go and talk to her,” Virgil said and Ulysses nodded. “Maybe you’re right,” he said then took a deep gulp of his drink before he stood, straightened his clothes and walked over to the bar. He let out a breath as he sat down on the stool and when she turned around she was looking directly at him.
She poured the guy two stools down from Ulysses a drink then looked at him, “so what can I get you?” She asked and he looked at her, “um…um I,” he said and Xena grinned at him. Ulysses realized he wasn’t really making any sense so he closed his eyes and let out a calming breath then opened his eyes and looked at Xena. “I just want to talk to you,” he said and she looked at him. “About?” She asked and he shook his head as he hunched his shoulders, “who you are, what you do, what you like to do, things like that,” Ulysses said and Xena looked at him. “And why would you want to know all of that?” She asked as she placed the pitcher on the counter then leaned forward clasping her hands together. “Well I would like to get to know you,” he said and she looked at him. “And why would you want to do that?” She asked and he just looked into her eyes, “I think you’re a beautiful, intelligent woman and I just want to get to know you, perhaps see if we have anything in common.” He said and she nodded, “and then you would like to sleep with me.”
She stated, “no, no, no, no,” Ulysses said as he shook his head and Xena smiled at him. “I know men like you Ulysses. You go to villages pretending to be this sweet honorable man, sweet talk the simple village girls and before they know what happens, you’ve got them in bed.” Xena said then smile gone from her face and Ulysses shook his head, “no,” he said, “no,” Xena said and Ulysses looked at her. “Look Xena I will admit I’ve done that once or twice before but I swear that’s not what I’m trying to do here.” He said and she nodded, “really? And why should I believe you?” She asked and he swallowed hard as he looked into her eyes, “because I can’t seem to lie to you,” Ulysses said and Xena looked into his eyes and saw no trace of a lie there. “We’ll see,” she said and Ulysses looked at her as she headed back into the kitchen and he let out a breath. ‘Whoa. She is definitely something’ Ulysses thought to himself then turned his head as the door banged open and a group of rough, gang men walked into the Inn.
“Who’s in charge here?” The leader asked, “this is my Inn,” Cyrene said as she walked out of the kitchen and the man looked at her. “Good, then it’s you I should be talking to. We are here to offer you our services,” he said as he walked up to Cyrene and she held her ground as she looked at him without fear in her eyes. “And what services would those be?” Cyrene asked, “protection services, we wouldn’t want this nice Inn to fall prey to some thugs.” He said and she nodded, “well thank you for the offer but I’m not interested,” she said and he grinned as he looked at her. “I don’t think you understand, we’re not giving you a choice,” he said and then one of his men smashed a table and Cyrene just looked at him. “What? I’m supposed to be scared of some common low life thug?” Cyrene asked and the smile fell from his face; he was getting ready to hit her when his hand was stopped and he looked into Xena’s now dark blue eyes that held fury. “Keep your hands to yourself,” she said then began squeezing his fist, “otherwise it might get broken,” she said as she continued to squeeze pain showing up on his face and Ulysses watched the whole thing with amazement.
“Get her,” the man yelled and Xena grinned as she let his fist go then did a roundhouse kick knocking him out on the floor. They all started going for her but Ulysses wasn’t about to let that happen, “now fellas that isn’t fair. All of you against her,” he said then grinned, “half for her half for me,” he said as he waved them over. Xena looked at him and he winked at her before they began fighting, it took them all of about five minutes to dispatch the ten guys and when they were all on the floor moaning and groaning in pain, Virgil came over and helped Ulysses toss the guys outside. “Don’t return here, if you do you’ll get worse,” Ulysses said as he picked the leader up and looked at him then kneed him in the groin before he tossed him out with his crew. Conversation in the Inn slowly began to start again and Ulysses looked around at the mess that was made, “sorry about this,” Ulysses said as he picked up the table but it fell back over.
“It’s quite alright, you saved my Inn from far worse,” Cyrene said and Ulysses nodded, “I can fix this if you like,” Ulysses said referring to all that was broken and Cyrene looked at him. “What would be your price?” She asked and he looked at her then over at Xena who looked at him, “dinner with you beautiful daughter,” he said and Cyrene turned her head and looked at Xena who had turned her head but was grinning and Cyrene grinned as she looked back at Ulysses. “Well my daughter is her own woman so you’ll have to ask her that but I would still pay you for fixing the damage.” Cyrene said and Ulysses nodded then looked at Xena, “how about it Xena, will you have dinner with me? I still want to get to know you and I promise I’ll be the perfect gentleman,” he said and she looked at him, “you’re definitely not from around here.” She said then looked into his eyes as she felt herself being pulled in to them so she turned her head and nodded. “Sure,” she said and he grinned at her, “great then I’ll see you tomorrow evening for dinner.”
He said and she nodded then looked at him before she headed back into the kitchen and he grinned then looked at Cyrene who was behind the bar grinning to herself. “I’ll fix all of this for you in the morning Cyrene but I was wondering,” he said and she looked at him. “Yes?” She asked, “I’m guessing the two men that came in earlier were your sons, one with dark hair like Xena’s and the other with blond hair.” Ulysses said and Cyrene nodded, “yea, in addition to this Inn I also have fields, Toris and Lyceus tend to those fields,” Cyrene said and Ulysses nodded. “Well I was wondering, could you use two strong young men around your Inn? My friend Virgil and I could do a lot of the heavy stuff, I’m good with fixing things and as you’ve also seen, I could protect this place.” He said and she nodded, “true but I don’t have the money to pay you both.” She said and Ulysses nodded, “of course, all I would ask is that you let us keep our rooms and eat, that’s all,” Ulysses said and Cyrene grinned at him as she wiped a glass with a towel. “No, that isn’t all is it?” She asked him and he looked at her trying to hide his intentions but he was failing and Cyrene chuckled at him.
“I’ll take you up on your offer but I know for a fact what you’re trying to do won’t be an easy task,” Cyrene said then picked up a tray with cups and mugs on it then walked through the kitchen door with it. Ulysses smiled then walked back over to his table where he sat down and looked at Virgil who was looking at the big grin on Ulysses’ face. “What did you do?” Virgil asked as he sat his cup down and Ulysses looked at him, “okay, just keep an open mind Virgil,” Ulysses said and Virgil looked at his friend then listened to the deal that Ulysses struck up with Cyrene and Virgil shook his head as he stood. “Ah, ah…no way,” Virgil said as he grabbed his bags and headed towards the stairs where he proceeded to head to his room and Ulysses followed him with his own bags in his hands. “Come on Virgil,” Ulysses said and Virgil spun and looked at his friend, “are you crazy? Have you lost your mind or maybe the fall from the waterfall did damage you but it was damage I couldn’t see on the outside. There is no way we’re staying here for a couple of months, running around fixing things in this Inn and being bodyguards, just so you can get to know this woman only for you to sleep with her and then you’ll be ready to go.”
Virgil said and Ulysses shook his head, “it’s not like that Virgil, not with her,” Ulysses said and Virgil let out a breath. “Ulysses this Xena is a rare beauty I’ll give you that,” Virgil said and Ulysses stopped him. “It’s not just that. I…there’s something about her I can’t explain it but when I look into her eyes I fall into them and there’s this connection I feel.” Ulysses said and Virgil let out a breath as he closed his eyes and leaned his head back. “Virgil please do this for me, I swear in a month if I haven’t made any progress we can leave,” Ulysses said and Virgil let out a breath then looked at Ulysses. “You know it was all ways the pretty ones that got you,” Virgil said and Ulysses grinned, “one month Ulysses, one month and if you haven’t gotten so much as a kiss out of her by then, we’re leaving. No if’s, and’s or but’s,” Virgil said and Ulysses smiled and nodded. “Thanks,” he said then hugged Virgil, “you won’t regret this,” he said when the hug ended and Virgil shook his head at Ulysses then pulled out his key, opened the door and went into his room.
Ulysses grinned to himself as he went into his room placing his bags on the wall by the bed then closed the door and locked it. He took off his shirt and boots then laid down on the bed placing his arms behind his head as he stared up at the ceiling. “Xena, Xena, who are you and what are you doing to me?” He asked with a smile on his face as he thought about her and he continued to lay there thinking about her until he dosed off. “He seems like a nice, honest young man,” Cyrene said as she placed the tray on the counter and looked at Xena who was washing the dishes, “yea, we’ll see” Xena said and Cyrene looked at her daughter. “Xena,” Cyrene said and Xena let out a breath, “are you in that much of a rush to marry me off mother?” Xena asked as she turned and looked at her mother and Cyrene shook her head, “no, I’m in a rush to see you happy. To see you in love,” Cyrene said as she walked over to her daughter and Xena let out a breath as she dried her hands then turned and looked at her mother. “I’d like that too but I’d have to change who I am,” Xena said and Cyrene shook her head, “I don’t sense that with this man. But as you said, we’ll see,” Cyrene said and Xena nodded.
“If you really want to know, I am in a rush to get some grandchildren,” Cyrene said and Xena grinned as she rolled her eyes, “and your brothers are running around here unmarried and where are they anyway?” Cyrene asked and Xena grinned, “sleep,” she said and Cyrene looked at her. “Did they eat anything?” Cyrene asked and Xena shook her head, “no, they didn’t even take a bath, they’re in their beds asleep just as dirty as when they walked in here.” Xena said and Cyrene shook her head as she went down the stairs and Xena grinned when she heard the groans of her brothers and her mother fussing at them. “Messing up clean sheets like that, what’s the matter with you two?” Cyrene said as she ushered her sons up the stairs, “take a bath and put something in your stomachs, then go to bed.” Cyrene said and they only nodded as they headed to the bathing room. Cyrene shook her head at her sons as she walked over to the counter and began cleaning up, “their so exhausted, we need more hands but I just don’t have the money for it.”
Cyrene said and then she thought about it, “maybe I can get Ulysses to help,” Cyrene said, “what?” Xena asked as she spun around and looked at her mother. “Did I forget to tell you dear?” Cyrene asked, “tell me what mom?” Xena asked and her mother looked at her, “Ulysses and his friend are going to be working here for a while; helping me to get some things repaired around here, move heavy stuff, things like that since your brothers are so busy with the fields.” She said and Xena looked at her, “it was his idea, not mine,” Cyrene said and Xena shook her head as she turned back around and continued washing dishes. “Well I guess it couldn’t hurt and maybe he and his friend can take some of the strain off of Lyceus and Toris.” Xena said and Cyrene grinned, “exactly what I was thinking when I hired him,” Cyrene said and Xena just continued washing dishes. “Wait, but you just said you didn’t have the money for extra hands so how are you paying Ulysses and Virgil?” Xena asked, “well, he said he didn’t want to be paid. All he wanted was for he and his friend to be able to stay in their rooms without cost as well as be able to eat and bathe.”
Cyrene said and Xena turned and looked at her, “that’s all? He didn’t ask for any money?” Xena asked and Cyrene shook her head, “nope, that was all.” Cyrene said and Xena turned back around, “though I think he just wants to be around you more. Get to know you,” Cyrene said and that gave Xena something to think about and think about it she did, from the moment she helped her mother clean up the Inn to the point she laid down and went to sleep.
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