Disclaimers: This is yet another uber tale of my making. Technically the characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal, but since it's not REALLY X&G here... well anyway, these uber characters belong to me, me memememe....so, copyright 1999 Tragedy88 and all that.
Violence/language: Ok new bit here... the violence has escalated to an almost graphic point. There is a scene of attemped rape... so you are warned. If this just sounds too nasty for you, don't read any further.
Subtext: You betcha! Oh, if it's illegal where you live or love between members of the same sex offends you please read elsewhere.
And last but not least: How, you ask, can so many of my characters exist within the same timeline? Easy, I write what I know. In this case I know farms, horses, and the hardships of being alone. In anycase it's a divergence from my usual cops, gangs, lusty/evil uber Callistos' etc., etc. etc... :)
Feedback is very welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
"There is only one way to end this cycle of hatred and it's through love, and forgiveness."- Gabrielle to Xena in 'Callisto'
"Black and white," Alex murmured. She rested against Dusty's chest as they stared up at the remains of the house. The charred, black ruins stood stark against the fresh white snow that had fallen after the harrowing events of last night.
"Everything's gone Alex." Dusty rested her chin against her lover's head.
"No baby, I still got you," Alex turned in Dusty's arms and looked up into her soot stained face.
"Jack... Your stories-" Dusty started but Alex's fingers on her lips silenced her.
"Nothing matters except that we are both alive," her eyes traveled sadly to the harsh red marks on Dusty's neck. They had both come so close...
Dusty's eyes darkened with emotion. "What now?" She asked softly.
Alex was silent a moment. What now indeed. "The trial will be held in the city. Both Randy and Howard are there." She looked over to the Jeep, soot stained as well, but still in running condition. "We'll need to be close." She looked back up into brilliant blue eyes.
Dusty nodded, understanding that they'd have to find a place to stay in the city until the trial was over. Together, she could see that much in Alex's eyes. Dusty leaned down and placed a lingering kiss on Alex's lips. "I love you."
Alex sank into the warm, safe embrace. "I love you too," her words were muffled against Dusty's strong chest.
They didn't go back into the remains of the house, just held on tight to each other as they got into the Jeep and headed out of Bluerock without any good-byes.
Jack snorted as he raced across the snow swept fields. He'd watched his master and the familiar woman drive away with a deep sadness but he knew he had other places to go. Other people to bring comfort to in their time of loneliness...
He pawed the snow packed earth and rose up on his hind legs. He screamed his good-byes across the rolling landscape.
Samuel Jacobson stood watch over the fields where evil had played. He had succeeded, this time, but he wasn't at rest. He never would be. This truth greatly saddened him as he walked away from the charred ruins of Raven's End.
He finally stopped in the mountains beside an old grave. He knelt beside the graves of his wife and children, a slow, sad smile breaking out across his face.
"I have a promise to keep my beloved family, then I shall rest in your arms." He kissed the tips of his fingers and laid them reverently upon the ground.
He whispered the curse that had been laid upon his deathbed in bloody writing all those centuries ago.
"Till evil be wrought asunder, you are cursed to wander.
Till you hear their voices cry, you are forced to die
Over and over again.
The cycle of hate must be broken by one of the circle
till this be done you will not rest
in the arms of love."
Samuel straightened and looked out over the mountain to the setting of the sun. The horizon was splashed in hues of purple and pink, a canvas of deep, rich colors.
Who would break that cycle of hate? Had it been the women who's lives had been tossed upside down he would be free now. Had it been the sheriff he would certainly be free soon. But what if it was one of the others? What if it was Randy or Howard? Then Samuel would never find rest for they would not give up their hatred so easily.
When would it ever end? When his revenge on the ancestors of the stranger who'd destroyed his life was complete? No, he no longer sought revenge. He'd had centuries to see how it destroyed the people of Bluerock with their secrets and lies and anger.
Of course. He could see it so clearly now and wondered why he'd never seen it before. His hatred had blinded him to everything. In fact it was his own hatred that he had to overcome.
Was it really that simple? Could he stop hating after so long?
"Daddy?" A little voice called from behind him.
He froze, breath and heart caught in his throat.
"Daddy?" The little voice called again, and a cool hand touched his.
Samuel looked down into eyes he hadn't seen in so long. His beloved youngest son stood gazing up at him, questions in his eyes.
"What took you so long, daddy?" His little boy asked.
Samuel's rich booming laugh was so sudden that it shook his body to his knees and he fell beside his son, engulfing him in a sudden, overwhelming hug. "I've had some forgiving to do, son. I've missed you," he pushed back to look fondly at his child.
"Come home with us daddy?"
"Yes, yes." He took his son's hand, taking one last look at the vanishing sun. He had broken the cycle. But, he admitted silently, he never would have been able to if not for the brave women who'd held fast to love and shown him the way.
There is only one way to end the cycle of hatred, and it's through love, and forgiveness. He'd have to find whoever said that and shake his hand.
"Daddy?" His little boy tugged on his hand.
"I'm coming," Samuel smiled, "finally, I'm coming home."
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