aSummary: The Conqueror is fighting inner demons after Cleopatra's slave's betrayal. But with security problems, a royal wedding, plans to conquer Rome and a palace full of famous people, the Conqueror finds herself losing the battle with the beast inside of her. Until someone shows up at her palace for the Spring festival. This is the sequel to, To Tame A Wild Heart.
Authors Note: Hey guys, I'm uploading the first chapter of my new story, sequel to To Tame A Wild Heart. It's just a little bit of a taste, until I've finished my other story, and then I'll start updating this for real. If you want to email me about it, my address is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com
Disclaimer: Xena, Gabrielle and all the other characters from Xena, The Warrior Princess don't belong to me. I'm just borrowing them for this story. I will return them once it has been finished, sadly. The lyrics in the prologue are from the song 'Shake it Off' by Florence and the Machine and also do not belong to me. It is my favourite song though <3
Violence: There will be graphic violence in this story, as the Conqueror is a bit angry, alot of the time. Though, she doesn't want to be the monster that she's turning into, so she's trying to be nicer.
Subtext: Subtext is maintext in this fanfiction. There will be graphic scenes of two women making love, and having sex (which will be quite rough considering the Conqueror's sexual appetite)
If you are under the age of eighteen, or this type of story is illegal where you live, then stop reading now. Close the page, have a cup of tea and enjoy the lovely weather outside, depending on where you live.
To Mend A Wild Heart
"And I am done with my graceless heart, so tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
Cause I like to keep my issues drawn and it's always darkest before the dawn."
I have made many mistakes in my life, and I have more regrets than I can count. I regret battling Cortese, only to lose my brother and the only person that meant anything to me. I regret gathering a small army and terrorizing villages, burning and raping everywhere I went. I regret meeting Caesar and falling for his tricks and being unable to save M'lila. I regret turning away from Lao Ma instead of listening to her wise words. I regret ever listening to the seductive words of the shamaness Alti and destroying the Northern Amazons. I regret how badly I hurt my ex-lover Borias, humiliating him instead of accepting his love. I regret being unable to save him, and in the end, our son. I regret continuing to conqueror Greece until I sat upon the throne as Empress. I regret taking the lives of innocents instead of making a difference for the less fortunate. I regret going to Egypt and bedding the Queen of the Nile. I regret the pain I put my second in command through on that trip. I regret falling in love with Gabrielle, and being blind to her betrayal of me.
I regret everything that led me up until this moment in my life.
That pain is constant in my chest, and excruciating at times to the point of being unbearable. If only I had changed one little detail about my past, then maybe none of this would have happened. My empire was once again safe, but what of me? I felt as if I had lost my soul, after having it picked at so many times by people that claimed to love me, only to end up hurting me.
I should have learnt from my mistakes in the past, but I was blinded. Blinded by my feelings for a slave that professed her undying love for me when the truth was she only ever wished for her freedom and maybe my death for dessert.
Gods, Gabrielle. Her name still makes a flood of emotion flow through my veins, though not all good anymore. I can't help but still love her, but I think I hate her even more. The way she had deceived me reminded me so much of Caesar. She had been in Rome long enough to know of his words, divide and conquer. She had conquered me, if only for a short amount of time. But now, the spell she had over me had been broken and I could see the light. Or should I say, I had fallen back into the darkness that had ruled over me after my brother’s demise.
After the betrayal of Caesar and then the death of M'lila, I had sworn to myself that I would never love again. In the end, I had betrayed myself, which pained me even more than anything else. If only I hadn't been such a fool and listened to the voice in my head, rather than my heart, none of this would have happened. I would have taken the slave, sated my lust and then I would have washed my hands of her. I know this is a lie, that my lust for the slave would never have been sated, but I like to think that I could have resisted her. If only I had been a little colder, a little more cruel. But in the end, Gabrielle was on a mission and no matter how I acted, she would have found a way to keep me occupied. The slave was a brilliant actress, cunning and devious.
Just like I had with Caesar, I had opened my heart to the blonde slave, only to have it crushed in her grasp until only a fine dust was left.
I feel as if I no longer have complete control over my body. There have always been two sides of me, Xena of Amphipolis and Xena, the Conqueror. It was Xena of Amphipolis that saved a baby and was forced to endure the gauntlet for it. It was Xena, the Conqueror that returned to her army and slaughtered every single man that laid a hand upon her. With every day that passed, I felt as if I was becoming more and more cold, until there was no warmth left in me. In my first three years of ruling, I had started to mellow out a little bit. And when I met Gabrielle, I truly went soft. I no longer took extreme pleasure from thrusting my sword into another man's belly. I didn't take pride in the blood that covered my hands, unable to ever be washed away. My soul had been returned to me, piece by piece, until I felt guilt over my actions. But that was no more.
When the Captain of my Royal Guard informed me that Gabrielle had escaped, I felt something inside of me snap. That barrier that once held the beast at bay, except for when in battle, had been destroyed. The mercy I had started to show was gone, replaced by a fury that only seemed to grow with every moment. I was no longer the cold but tolerant ruler of Greece; I was unforgiving and merciless.
I had thought to maybe spare the Roman soldiers that attacked Greece, but instead I ordered them to be hung on crosses in the clearing outside my castle where so many Greek lives had been lost. The higher ranking soldiers I had taken to the dungeons and tortured for information until their bodies were so mutilated that they were unrecognizable. I found traitors in my palace, nobles and slaves alike, and I murdered every single one in cold blood, in the middle of my city for everyone to see.
In truth, when Gabrielle left, she took a part of me. Unfortunately for Greece, that part of me was my humanity.
"Looking for heaven, found a devil in me."
The view before me was breathtaking as I leant against the private balcony in my bedroom. The sky was still dark in these early hours, stars still twinkling high above my head, reflecting on the ocean as the waves crashed upon the shore. I could see the barest light of the sun tinged with gray and green, and it seemed as if it was hiding beneath the ocean, waiting to burst out in all its glory. My sensitive ears could hear my castle come to life despite it still being dark outside. I paid none of it any attention, so lost in the depths of my mind.
My eyes were unfocused, my mind far away as I remembered things from several moons beforehand; things that I'd rather not remember. I was lost in memories of the slave that had disappeared from my life, never to be seen or heard from again, but always in my thoughts, though grudgingly.
It was all so easy to see now that it was in the past. I could see the meaning behind her words that I had been blinded to. The only thing that didn't make sense was that she warned me in the first place. The rest of it made sense, the way she pulled me in with her softly spoken words. When she told me she was a bard, she hadn't been lying. She had told me of the fairy tale life we could have together and I had fallen for it, exactly as she had planned.
She had wanted so badly to be free, so why had she been reluctant in the beginning?
I was pulled from my musings with a soft knock on the door to my outer chamber. I bid the person to enter, listening as the door to my chamber opened almost silently. I didn't bother to turn around as I listened to the unmistakable footsteps of my second in command. I had known it was her from the moment she walked up the corridor. I could smell her scent.
"My lord?" I heard Alexandria's soft voice say from behind me. I didn't have to look around to know that her head was bowed, her midnight blue eyes gazing at the floor so she didn't have to look at me. I felt a slight clenching in my chest at this, remembering that it hadn't always been this way between us. We had been friends once, before my rage and hatred had consumed me and I turned into someone that my closest friend couldn't even look in the eye. I pushed those thoughts away; I would deal with them in the darkness of night when I was alone again, with only the beast for company.
"Yes, Alexandria?" I said my voice equally soft.
"You have a visitor," Alexandria replied, and I could practically hear her teeth grinding. I knew immediately that it wasn't someone that I would want to see. "Brutus is waiting for you at the main entrance."
I couldn't stop the feral grin that tugged at the corner of my lips. The Roman had finally come to Greece, a little too late in my opinion. I felt the blood rushing through my veins as my heart started to pound in my chest almost instantly and whirled around to face my second in command, my eyes flashing with danger.
"Brutus finally decided to man up then?" I said with a grin. I watched as a smile pulled at Alexandria's own lips before it disappeared. "I didn't think he would show, to be honest. I expected the coward to be hiding in a dark hole in Rome."
Alexandria said nothing, continuing to stare at the floor in silence. I found myself missing the red headed woman's witty remarks and I frowned as I picked up my black cape. I attached it to my shoulders as I walked to the door, knowing that Alexandria was following me without having to turn around.
At least some things hadn't changed between us, I thought with a bittersweet smile.
To be continued in Chapter Two.
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