DISCLAIMER: Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, etc. are ©copyright MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. I don't own them, I just play with them for a while and, like the good girl I am, I put them back when I'm done…okay, they get a little worn, but hey…I play hard! Absolutely no Copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fiction. It's intended as flattery toward the creators, writers, and actors of the characters. All other characters that appear are ©copyright Devlin@xenafan.com. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies may be made for private use only and I'd appreciate if you included all copyright notices and this disclaimer.
VIOLENCE WARNING: There is violence (come on it's the Conqueror). The nature of the story is not nearly as dark as some Conqueror fiction, but it's essence is still the slave / master relationship that exists between Xena & Gabrielle.
TIMELINE: My own making. Xena is the Lord, Conqueror of Greece, but she is almost forty-five years old when she meets the slave, Gabrielle. Many of Xena's evil ways have been sedated, but not all. I call this Xena the "thinking woman's" Conqueror. She is a woman who wants to try to do the right thing, but doesn't always know how.
SEX: Yes, I'll have some, thank you. Ooops! I mean, yes there is. It is our favorite two Soulmates, after all. It's not gratuitous, but it is quite explicit when it gets going. This story shows consensual as well as non-consenting love (master/slave), sex and yes, even some light bdsm between two adult females.
HIGH ANGST WARNING: I was threatened within an inch of my life if I didn't start putting this disclaimer on some (all?) of my work. I will henceforth rate the angst content with sad faces, one being the lowest and four being the highest. This story earns: L L (2 sad faces for those without TT Fonts)
UNDERAGE WARNING: Hey, the Supreme Court said in Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union (1997) that laws against making available, online, certain "indecent" materials for those under 18 was unconstitutional…look it up! Besides, this is perfectly "decent." J
I only know how others feel about my stories from feedback. Let me know what you think...homophobes need not apply, however. I'm at: Devlin@xenafan.com
**Special thanks to Jim Kuntz for his permission in using any Lion of Amphipolis references.
The Conqueror Series
Tale One: Journey's End
By LJ Maas
What an odd place to start a tale, at the end, but that is the way she says it is to be told and who am I to argue. I am only the ruler of this land known as Greece and she my slave, but even that will change in three days time. My birth name is Xena, I am from Amphipolis, but most of this land knows me by my title, Lord Conqueror. It has been many seasons since anyone has called me Xena, yet now I hear it everyday, and it thrills my heart. I never would have known how exciting the sound of my own name rolling from a lover's tongue could be, had it not been for her.
She tells me I am getting ahead of myself, talking about her, and I shush her and push her away from my writing table. First, she wants me to start at the end, now she says I go too fast. Gods, she is the paradox of my life. She alone holds the power to cause me to fall on my knees, professing my love for her. She alone can inflame me to moments of kindness and passion, and it is her also who can anger me until my arms go weak with the strain of not striking out at her. She is light and I am dark. I used to think I could survive alone in my darkness, but it was she who told me that dark does not exist without light, that we would not know one, if it were not for the other.
Now she tells me to explain what I mean by starting at the end. I hand her the quill and tell her to write since she obviously thinks I cannot. She smirks at me and turns away and I realize it was not that long ago that she would have been beaten to death for an act of insolence like that, and yes, beaten by me. My life has only held darkness, death, and destruction since my fifteenth summer. Numerous bards have regaled you with tales of my life already so I will not repeat the details here. Suffice to say that all the dark, hateful, lewd things that you have read about Xena, the Conqueror are absolutely true. Oh, there may be a few that have exaggerated, but most paint an accurate portrait of me. At least that was the me of my youth. I was filled with unquenchable appetites, of which sex and bloodlust where only two. I was insatiable whether it was in bed or on the battlefield and my temper and my orgies were both legendary.
I was in my forty-fourth summer when she came into my life. That is what I mean by starting at the end. Not that forty-four is by any means the end of my life, for now it feels like only the beginning, but I came to a point, before she came, where it certainly felt like the end. It is true that once I passed the age of forty, I finally began an attempt to temper my darkness, but only just. I was still a woman prone to violent fits of rage and jealousy, and my libido was still as strong as a warrior half my age, but by the time I was 44, I was slowing, not physically, but mentally. It was mostly because my life seemed very empty, that the only thing that surrounded me everyday was loneliness. The absolute truth is that for the better part of my life I neither cared nor loved anyone, well almost, but I suddenly felt alone because of it. Therefore, instead of becoming bitter in my solitude, I worked at becoming better. I began to temper my judgments with leniency; I tried not to destroy things when I lost my temper, and most of all I tried very hard to treat the people around me, slave or nobleman, with more respect than I had in the past. I suddenly felt my age. I think many of those close to me thought it was madness or senility, although I noticed they never asked for the old Xena back. I'll admit that there were days when my newfound maturity was thrown out with the bathwater and I reverted back to my old ways, but I tried, nonetheless.
The truth is that the story of the Conqueror does not begin until she steps into the tale. For, the tale of the Conqueror cannot be accurately told without telling of Gabrielle.
"Lord Conqueror, it is an honor to fight beside you in battle." The Governor of Thessaly said as he grasped my strong arm with an equally powerful hand.
I had been brooding of late, missing what I didn't have, yet unable to formulate what the missing factor was in my life that caused me to be so out of sorts. The small civil war that broke out on the coast, near Ambracia, gave me a reason to get out of the palace at Corinth. I think I surprised quite a few men on the battlefield today, my own as well as the enemy. The bloodlust no longer ran as strong in me, but it was enough to turn me into a terror on the field of war.
"Tell, me Telamon," I asked the Governor, "Do you expect any more trouble from these coastal pirates?"
Telamon was a short man, yet full of muscle, and the appointed official laughed heartily. "I believe, Lord Conqueror, that all I will have to do in the future is to tell them that the Conqueror of Greece will ride against them and they will scurry like rats from a burning ship."
A number of cries and one or two screams were heard from the great hall and we all seemed to move that way as the female prisoners were brought through. It was customary for the official of the area to take his pick of the female prisoners before they were sold as slaves on the auction block. So, Telamon's Lieutenant, Darius, brought the lot through for inspection.
"Lord Conqueror," Telamon began, "I respectfully offer to you, my customary pick.
I sighed. They always did this, thinking to gain my favor. Some, honorable men like Telamon, did it simply because it was the respectful thing to do. Only problem was that I hated it. Oh, there was a time when I would try to ascertain which among them was a virgin, then that's the one I would break in as my newest body slave, but life was much different for me now. I hadn't shared my bed with anyone beyond the occasional whore for the past two seasons. It worried me at times, as to why my sexual drive deserted me. However, I still had a reputation to keep up, so I usually took a girl and made a great pretense of sitting her on my lap all night while my soldiers and I drank until dawn. I would make sure everyone heard my lewd remarks and saw the way I touched her. Then when the sun came up, I would end up passing out in bed and the next day my captain, Atrius, would find the girl work in the castle kitchen.
I fixed a leer on my face and added a little exaggerated swagger to my stride as I strolled past the women, young and old, that had been taken from the pirates. Most left quite a bit to be desired and I was just to the point of refusing the Governor's first choice when two women stepped apart and behind them a blonde head hung down, staring at her bare feet. Now, I don't know why the girl caught my attention. I couldn't even see her face and she was a tiny thing, Gods, I'd probably break her like a twig if I'd had any inclination to bed her. There was something about this one though.
When I walked toward the girl the people in front of her stepped away. She never looked up, but she must have known I stood before her by the shadow I made across her body. I reached out two fingers and lifted her chin. I'm not sure how long I stood there not breathing, but I know that I had to clear my throat to cover the large gulp of air I finally took in. She had irises the color of an early morning forest, all lush and green. She tried to lower her eyes from mine even though I now held her chin firmly tilted up in my grasp.
"Look at me." I ordered and she hesitantly raised her eyes to meet mine.
She seemed unable to fix her eyes on me and lowered them again, submissively. I moved my hand up to brush away the locks of dirty blonde hair that fell across her face, that's when I saw it. When my hand moved toward her, she flinched. Not physically, but I saw it in her eyes. Her eyes drew back and I realized she must have been a slave for most of her life, for one so young to act this way.
"What is your name?" I asked, but before she could answer, there was a chorus of muffled snorts and laughter from the soldiers.
I turned, glaring toward Darius, Telamon's Lieutenant, for explanation.
"Forgive the outburst, Lord Conqueror, but you may want to choose again."
"And, why is that?" I asked.
"This one's been used so much even the soldiers don't want her." He answered to more snickers from the men.
I turned back to the young girl. "I asked you what your name was."
"Gabrielle, My Lord." She answered and I new I was in trouble. Those eyes were drawing me in and that voice, it sounded as smooth as silk when she spoke. The odd thing is that she called me, My Lord, as if she belonged to me already. No one called me anything but Lord Conqueror.
Then, tears began to fill her eyes, as the men could not stifle their laughter. She didn't try to wipe them away or pull back from me and I felt the wetness splash onto my fingers.
"Why do you cry girl? Is it because Darius here lies?" I prodded, wishing she would stop her tears. I didn't understand why, but they made me feel uneasy.
"No, My Lord." she responded softly. "My tears are because the Lieutenant speaks the truth." and suddenly the whole room went silent.
I'm still not sure why, but I heard my own voice as if someone else were using it. "Atrius," I called to my captain. "See that she is taken to my quarters, fed, bathed and dressed properly. I may have need of her services."
When I turned to leave the great hall I paused momentarily to see if any of the soldiers had enough nerve, or stupidity, to laugh now. No one did. They never do.
I was feeling my wine to be sure, but the satisfying fact was that most of the men who challenged me to the drinking contest passed out long ago. Content in the knowledge that I still had a bit of my youth left, I walked out of the banquet hall on the way to my room. I must have been listing to port slightly because Atrius was suddenly there and I had to rely on him to lead the way to my quarters or I could have been wandering the halls all night.
"Will there be anything else this evening, Lord Conqueror?" he asked as I opened my door.
"No, I'm done in for the night." I called after him once he turned to go. "Atrius…um…thank you."
Atrius never spoke much. He bowed his head slightly and gave me a small grin. We were both warriors and he knew how hard I was trying to become a more gracious ruler, let alone a decent human being. He accepted my hesitant thanks with a civility that was unique for a soldier.
I entered my room and nearly fell over the girl who sat, kneeling at the foot of my bed.
"Who in Hades are you?" I shouted at her. She surprised me and I don't like surprises.
The small face instantly looked up in alarm and I barely recognized this beauty with her golden hair and freshly scrubbed face.
"Oh." I said, unable to think of anything else to say. I recognized the slave that I selected earlier, but just barely.
She bowed her head again and seemed to be waiting for me to command her in some way. It's been quite some time since I owned a body slave and I have grown rather unaccustomed to this behavior. She was breathtaking now that she was cleaned up and I noticed my personal maid dressed her in one of my older silk robes. It was rather large on the small frame and hung off one shoulder, exposing lovely pale skin. If she hadn't planned that maneuver herself, she should have. It was as seductive as it could be.
I admit I wasn't very sober, but I crossed the room to get a glass of wine anyway. After I'd downed about half the glass I turned and the girl was in the same submissive posture, kneeling on the floor at the foot of my bed. I can only assume that's what she'd been taught. Either that, or Sylla, my maid instructed her to do so.
My libido went south on me in the last season or so, but as I stared at the small blonde, her hair falling forward from her bowed head, covering her face, I felt a warm need clench at my belly. I gulped down the rest of the wine to beat back the headache I could feel coming on. My neck was beginning to get stiff, and my back ached, a sure sign that I would have one Tartaurus of a hangover in the morning.
I walked to the bed and sank heavily onto the soft mattress. My fingers were having a hard time working the laces of my shirt and I finally gave up. What was this girl's name?
"What's your name again?" I gave in and asked.
"Gabrielle, My Lord."
"Gabrielle, I need you." I responded and she stood in front of me and let her robe fall to the floor.
All I could do was stare at the gorgeous body in front of me. For being a slave, she had few if any lash marks on her body. Usually there's only one reason for keeping a slave in good condition like this and that is if they're good at what they do. That thought made another white-hot bolt of warmth sear through my belly.
"Put your robe back on, Gabrielle." I said quickly, looking at my own boots.
I had no idea why I was holding back from simply taking the girl, it's what I usually did. If I saw something I wanted, I made it mine. Well, it's what I used to do. I was trying not to terrorize young women so much anymore. It started to get empty somewhere along the way, having women in my bed that were there simply because I commanded it to be so. I felt something beyond physical lust for this small blonde, and that worried me, but I didn't feel like facing that kind of a demon tonight.
Gabrielle reached for her robe and I could see the confusion written across her features. I could also tell why the soldiers downstairs didn't want her.
Those kind of men wanted a woman to fight back a little, so even if it wasn't true, they could think they were bad asses by taking women against their will, as if taking a defenseless woman that way made a man out of anyone. I looked down at the slave that knelt and bowed her head in front of me. Who rode all the fight out of you, little one? It probably wasn't one, but a hundred different masters. She existed in a slave's world by cowering and apologizing, and begging forgiveness. She did as she was told, exactly when she was told, and she stayed alive for it. She was a young girl, but I don't think I've ever seen a person, man, or woman, whose eyes displayed such absolute and utter defeat before. She didn't even appear to know how to think for herself, and why bother. She must have spent most of her life being told what to do and when to do it. I'm sure she learned at a very young age that slaves who think don't live long.
"Forgive me, My Lord, I thought…I didn't mean to presume that you wanted to be pleasured." She apologized.
"I don't…I mean I do, look…just not tonight, okay?" I uncharacteristically stammered. I think I was a little disappointed that her body was covered again.
"Help me undress, Gabrielle." I commanded and immediately she set about the task.
She removed my boots, not even caring that they were still covered in dried blood and mud from the battle.
"You can wash your hands in the bowl over there, there's water in the pitcher." If I hadn't of said anything, I'm sure she would have wiped her hands on herself before removing the rest of my garments.
She untied the laces of my shirt and I pulled the top over my head. She looked up only once, as if seeking permission to continue, when she prepared to remove the breeches I wore under my trousers. It was the last item of clothing I had on and she paused. For some reason I wasn't sure if I wanted her hands that close to my need and I removed the underwear myself.
I rolled into the middle of the bed and lay on my stomach, my arms wrapping around the softness of a pillow. The sheets felt cool against my naturally heated skin and I breathed deeply at the smell of the fresh linen. The smell reminded me of a time very long ago, when I was a small child.
"A backrub, Gabrielle. That's what I need." I finally mumbled to the kneeling girl.
I heard her robe fall to the floor again and I this time I permitted her to disrobe. I figured that I was naked; she might as well be too. I spread my legs apart and she took the silent invitation to kneel there and begin to knead the muscles in the small of my back. Those small hands had an incredible strength to them, while feeling gentle and sensuous at the same time, and I slowly began to feel my muscles become warm and pliant under her touch. When she moved to another spot, it seemed as if she knew exactly where my pains and old injuries were and gravitated toward them first.
She popped some bones in my back and I could feel the ache lessening already. When she moved to my shoulder I think I must have winced, because she apologized profusely. She kept up the massage in the painful area, going slower with each circle of her hand and suddenly paused.
"This might hurt, My Lord. Shall I continue?" she asked.
I grunted my approval, and I could feel the weight of her small frame press in on her hand. There was an audible pop and a sharp pain that begin to recede right away. I realized the shoulder I dislocated on a routine basis, must not have been replaced correctly. I popped it out again during the battle this morning. I made a mental note to remember to visit the Governor's battlefield healer again before I returned to Corinth. He and I needed to have a talk about his abilities.
"Where did you learn how to do this?" I finally asked, trying not to groan in pleasure while I spoke.
"One of my masters had a healer who was from the land of Chin. He was very happy to teach me the ways of his art, My Lord."
I was well acquainted with Chin and with the healing arts from that land. I learned quite a bit in my youth from a lover that I had briefly. I hadn't thought of Lao Ma in quite a long time. She was perhaps the only woman who ever loved me for myself. I had nothing then, I was young and wild and she tamed me for a spell. I was also brash, foolish, and consumed with a lust for power. When I left her and the land she loved, I thought I would never go back there again. I did, some ten seasons later. I slit the throat of the Emperor who called himself the Green Dragon. I never knew who he was, but once I arrived in Chin I was told that he tortured and killed Lao Ma for her peaceful beliefs. Why she allowed him to, I will never understand. She possessed a mighty power and I wonder to this day, why she never used it on the bastard.
I felt Gabrielle lean into me and rub small circles into my lower back with the heel of her hand. I could feel her thighs pressing against the insides of mine and when she leaned her weight in to place more pressure on her hand, I felt the silky curls covering her mound lightly brush against my backside, and that warmth in my lower belly returned with a vengeance. She paused momentarily when she reached my hips, as if she didn't know in which direction to continue. I wasn't quite ready to give up the feeling of her hands on my body and so I commanded her to continue.
"Lower," was the only order I gave.
I held the pillow in my arms tighter as she kneaded the flesh of my backside, wondering if she had any idea how wet she was making me. She eventually moved down each thigh and along the backs of my legs, and the things she did with her thumbs against the arch of my foot caused me to moan in pleasure.
It was the first sound I made and I believe it startled her. By the time she slowly worked her way up to my backside again, the sounds coming from my throat were continuous. It was a little hard to hide my desire at this point since I was sure she could see how drenched my sex was. Partly it was the wine, but the other part was the wonderful things this girl was doing to my body with her massage. I couldn't remember if I'd ever let any man or woman take me in such a submissive position, but I pulled one knee up, spreading myself open and issued one command.
"Touch me." I rasped.
She knew what I wanted and I could tell by her hesitant touch that she wondered at the position herself. She left one hand to continue kneading the flesh of my buttock and her fingers worked their magic in the wet flesh between my legs. It was like throwing cold water on a red-hot piece of steel. I was surprised there wasn't steam and I groaned long and loud at the exquisite touch.
I remembered a time when three women could pleasure me at once and I never made a sound, being in control every step of the way. Even in my release, I was always in command of the pleasure I was receiving. I don't know if it was the alcohol or not, but I think I lost control the minute I let this girl touch me. Now she was between my legs and I was moaning out a plea for her not to stop.
It quickly became apparent why Gabrielle had not a mark on her. She was extremely good at what she did. I ground my hips into the mattress to try to force her hand harder against my clit. It wasn't enough and I growled in frustration.
"Inside…now!" I commanded and I grunted, feeling a warm sensation of gratification wash over me.
She slipped her fingers inside of me and I pushed back hard, impaling myself even further. It's been so long since I felt any of this, a desire to take someone, let alone allow anyone to fuck me. I was lost to how it looked or how it sounded to anyone else. It felt damned incredible and I didn't want the pleasure to end.
She kept perfect pace with her thrusting, to match the speed my hips dictated. Her free hand moved and she splayed her fingers across by backside, moving her thumb along the crack toward my center. She continued that way, back and forth, spreading my own juices up until I felt where she was headed. She paused and began to gently rub the puckered flesh at that dark opening, pressing lightly, but not penetrating. Frankly, the sensation was driving me wild.
In all my years, no one ever touched me there and I've experienced sexual pleasure from some of the best. My refusal to ever allow anyone access to that part of my body was something that I couldn't explain, as if I had one piece of myself I would never give up, but it was all flying out the window now. Gabrielle kept up the thrusting of her fingers inside me and I could feel how close I was. She continued to run her thumb back down to pick up more lubrication, returning and pressing a little harder each time. Finally, she stopped and pushed against the reluctant opening, her thumb covered in my own wetness. I could feel her slide inside me the smallest bit and suddenly I craved the sensation of her entering me there.
"My Lord?" she questioned, knowingly.
It was as if, it was someone else controlling my body, as I heard my answer in my own low voice.
"Gods, yes!" I snarled and in one smooth motion, she penetrated that tight opening with her thumb.
She proceeded to do what she does best, I assume, and fucked me until I thought I couldn't possibly hold back my release any longer. I began pushing back hard against both of her hands moving inside me, and when I heard my own scream rip from my throat, I thought it couldn't possibly be me making those sounds.
She slowly removed her thumb, but I could feel her hand still inside me and before the last tremors of my powerful orgasm eased, she was moving her fingers inside me again. She twisted her fingers up high and deep, rubbing the velvety spot inside and I was groaning aloud again. She brought me to release again, and finally a third time with that technique, until my body slumped forward in an unmistakable posture of defeat.
The battle, the wine, and the explosive sex, all combined to drain even my body. I felt the slave's weight as she got up from the bed and washed her hands. Forty-four seasons in this body were what I attributed my exhaustion to just before I passed out, face down in my pillows.
I woke with a start, feeling someone else in the room. The sky outside was a predawn gray and my head throbbed painfully. I noticed a mug of water was placed on the table beside my bed and I downed it in two gulps, realizing the slave must have left it there. Strangely considerate for a slave, but I let my body relax in the knowledge that it was the girl whose presence I felt. She was not in the bed beside me and I looked around the room in the scarce light and found her.
She knelt beside my bed, much as she had earlier in the evening. Her head bobbed and I wondered in amazement if she was sleeping that way or struggling to stay awake. Either way, it touched something in my sleepy brain. I hadn't dismissed her, and like the obedient slave that she was, she never left her position of servitude. Hades, what was her name again? That's it.
She was alert at once, but looked up with tired emerald eyes.
"My Lord?" she answered in a sleepy voice.
"Come to bed, Gabrielle. When we go to Corinth you will have your own rooms, but until then, you'll have to sleep in my bed." I responded.
She seemed unsure at such an unorthodox request, but she obeyed, as I knew she would. She lay down and left herself uncovered as a good slave would, but I was just too tired to take advantage. I pulled the sheet over her body and rolled over, facing away from her.
"Good night, Gabrielle."
"Good night, My Lord." She answered.
I almost laughed at the sound in her voice. She was confused and was probably thinking the Conqueror was turning into a senile fool, as she grew older. I wondered at my treatment of her myself. I never once cared what any woman thought of me, let alone what a slave thought or felt. Slaves were objects; things you owned and you had every right to treat them how you desired. They weren't considered people, with real emotions and feelings. I treated every piece of horseflesh I owned better than any slave I ever shared my bed with. In twenty seasons as ruler of Greece, I don't think I ever once felt sorry for the life that the fates chose to call down on a slave. I just never thought about them or their circumstances.
This girl was affecting me all right and I heard myself saying things that I couldn't believe were my own thoughts. Why did I tell her where she would sleep when we returned to Corinth? I never kept the women I was offered. Why did I say she would have rooms in the palace? I thought of the pleasure she gave me earlier and the memory caused a tightening between my legs. I thought of her lying completely available next to me, and although my mind was willing, my body craved nothing more than sleep.
I knew, in moments like this, where much of my recent melancholy came from. I spent more than half my life doing evil, despicable things to those who were weaker or less fortunate than myself. It took growing older to realize that the brooding anger and the actions of my youth left me without family, friendship, or love. Somewhere deep inside, I wondered if this small blonde, who was easily half my own age, could ease any of these losses.
I realized, in those hazy few moments before Morpheus seduced me into his realm, that I would indeed keep this slave, and although I didn't fully understand why, I felt drawn to her; drawn to her quiet and submissive obedience. And so, Gabrielle came, not only to my palace, but also into my life. I felt needs around this small blonde that I couldn't always put a name to, but for the first time in my life, I fell asleep wondering what someone else thought of me.