aHowdy! I hope you all had a very merry christmas and are enjoying your holidays. I'm also wondering if you guys are starting to get a little lost yet, which is always my plan. Don't worry, in this story, there is a reason for every single line. You've just got to wait until the end until it all comes together and you find out why. Thank you for all the emails and comments, and especially for all the christmas messages I recieved. If you want to email me, my address is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com


P.S. This chapter is set in Gabrielle's POV. In previous posts I've attempted to put something in between Gabrielle's and Xena's POV, but it doesn't show up on all the sites I post my stories on. Sorry guys.

To Mend A Wild Heart

Chapter Ten

This totally wasn't a part of the plan.

I sighed softly to myself, feeling silky hair tickle my neck as warm breath heated my skin, sending shivers running up and down my spine. I looked down at the Conqueror, relieved to hear her breathing deep and even, unlike it had been over the past few days. I had been surprised with how honestly scared I had been when Xena had collapsed, something I never expected to see. Who would have ever expected that the ruler of Greece was allergic to something as common as peanuts?

My body had jerked into action before I even had time to comprehend the fact that I was moving. The room had raced past me in a blur as I made my way to the jerking body on the floor, feeling my insides shake as I watched those beautiful pale eyes roll back into Xena's skull. I had done the first thing I could think of; calling for the guards as I cradled the Conqueror's body in my arms. I told them to get the one person that I knew could be trusted.

Who was now the one person that I didn't really trust at all.

It had been a horrifying few minutes as I sat on the fur covered floor, waiting for Alexandria. It only got worse when the red headed woman ran through the open doorway and paused when she saw the scene laid out before her. I watched as an emotion I couldn't recognize race through those gorgeous dark eyes as Alexandria hesitated. Our eyes had met for the smallest moment and I watched as her hands had reached for the ceremonial sword strapped to her hip.

"Please," I had whispered, my voice breaking as I looked up at her with what I was sure was a completely pathetic expression on my face. "Help her."

I hardly had time to blink as an emotionless mask covered Alexandria's beautiful and usually expressive face. She dropped to the ground beside me; one hand reaching for the waterskin on the desk while the other uncurled fingers that had been clenched around a packet of herbs.

And in moments, it had been over, and Alexandria had left me there after ordering the guards to put Xena in bed. I hadn't left the room since.

Gods, this truly hadn't been a part of the plan at all, I thought to myself as I brushed midnight hair away from the beautiful face before me. It had been moons since I had been able to study Xena's face so closely and without watching eyes. It had been a favorite activity of mine, late at night back in Egypt, before everything went so wrong.

Looking back, I don't know how the sweet, innocent village girl I once was; turned into the woman I had been in Egypt. I wondered what my parent's would think of me now, from their place in the Elysian Fields.

I guess I'll never know, I thought to myself bitterly. Considering I'll never go there.

Gods, I fucked up. I had been given such an easy way out, but I had been unable to take it. My pride hadn't allowed me to ask Xena for help, knowing who she was and the things she had done. Instead, I had done something worse than she ever could have. I betrayed her and all of Greece to the enemy, just so I could keep my pride intact. I hurt her with my betrayal and even more so with the words I spoke so cruelly on the ship back to Greece. It had all been one big lie, I knew, but she didn't.

She hadn't known for sure that I had loved her from the first moment I saw her, standing in the shadows in Cleopatra's dining room. She hadn't known that I had craved for her to touch my body the way she touched the Egyptian's. She didn't know the joy that filled me when she finally did, despite the circumstances in which it happened. She didn't know that I spent most nights awake when I was with her, burning her beauty into my mind so that I wouldn't forget it when I had to live without her, stupidly thinking that I had no other choice. She didn't know how much it hurt me to hurt her and to tell her that I never loved her at all, especially when I had loved her so much that it felt like my heart would burst.

She didn't know that I spent my entire journey back to the Amazon Nation wishing for death just so I could be with her in Tartarus, where I thought she would be waiting to torture me for all eternity. I would have gladly taken the pain from her, if only I got to spend forever in her presence.

I felt the body cuddled up against me stir and I couldn't help but smile slightly as those sky blue eyes fluttered open. Ever since the moment I had met this woman, I realized that it was this woman’s eyes that conquered Greece, not her sword. Who could look into those eyes and not fall to their knees before this Goddess?

"This wasn't a part of my plan," Xena rasped, blowing warm air against again my chest. I couldn't help but smile as I gently rubbed her back. "It wasn't a part of mine either, to be honest."

Blue eyes found mine and searched them intently before Xena grunted. "What was your plan then?"

"To pay a debt that I owe," I replied quietly.

"Oh?" Xena's voice was casual, though I could see the curiosity lurking in her eyes. "To whom?"

"To you," I said, smiling slightly at the look of surprise. "And to Greece."

"Oh really," the Conqueror purred, an expressive eyebrow rising over a wide blue eye. "First, tell me who are you and what you've done to the bitch of a slave I met in Egypt and two, tell me how you plan to repay that debt."

There was a distinctive note of seduction and lust in that voice and I wondered as I stared into the Conqueror's slightly glazed eyes if she was still asleep. My mischievous side couldn't help but take the bait and I let teasing fingers run over the light cloth covered hip of the woman beside me. "Any way you want me to, my Lord."

I watched as that perfectly sculpted eyebrow disappeared beneath dark bangs and I grinned as a twinkle entered the pale blue eyes. Gods, how I had missed that little sparkle on the way back to Greece, having hated the coldness in those eyes, knowing I had put it there.

I watched with a slight frown as that twinkle was suddenly dampened and the blue eyes turned dull as the Conqueror stared at me. I sighed softly, knowing that it wouldn't so easy to get the Conqueror to trust me again. Hopefully my news would help with that though.

"I did actually have something that might help start to pay that debt though," I said, feeling the tense body in my arms relax slightly at my words. "Information that might be useful to you."

"Hm?" The Conqueror gazed at me with guarded eyes.

"Information from Rome."

I watched with a small bit of amusement as Xena's curiosity got the better of her and her eyes became more interested. I had known, of course, of Brutus's visit to Corinth and I had also heard what Xena's answer to his apology had been. I knew everything, considering that Brutus thought that I was still an ally to Rome and that I would help him in his plans.

Of course, he didn't know where my loyalties really lie.

"I'm listening," Xena said, a bit impatiently as she raised herself on one elbow to look down at me.

"Brutus is readying Rome for war," I replied, smirking as a grin tugged at Xena's lips.

"I figured he would be, considering I told him to prepare for one."

"Yes," I drawled, my eyes twinkling as I stared up at the dark haired woman. "But what you don't know is that he is preparing for a war, here."

I watched as several emotions raced through Xena's eyes, her eyebrows rising as she thought about my words. Suddenly, her eyes went sharp and she looked down at me menacingly. "How do you know this?"

I shrugged. "I kept up my connection with Rome, of course. Only this time, I'm playing Brutus, instead of you. Not that it really matters now, since you have spies everywhere in this place and they're bound to have sent word to Rome to inform Brutus that I've been alone with you the past few days and haven't killed you, like I was meant to."

I watched silently as Xena's brow wrinkled before a grin slowly crept onto her face. Before I knew it, her hands were tangling themselves in my hair and her lips were pressed against mine, shooting fire through my veins as I gasped in surprise.

It was everything I ever remembered; gentle and hard, passionate and loving, as her full lips conquered mine. I hardly had time to close my eyes before the feeling disappeared, leaving me dazed as I stared up at the woman with half closed eyes.

"I still don't like you and I really don't trust you," Xena rasped as she stared down at me, a mixture of emotions on her face. "But I'm willing to put up with you until you try and stick a knife into my back again."

"That won't happen," I managed to get out and I watched in slight amusement as Xena's eyes glanced towards my eyebrow, expected a twitch that wasn't going to happen.

She glanced back at me with quietly grateful eyes and I smiled crookedly. I wasn't going to fuck up this time. I didn't want to live without seeing that twinkle in those blue eyes. Plus, I thought it might be nice to be on the winning side for once.

What could go wrong?

To be continued in Chapter Eleven.


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