By Warriorjudge

The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be…Yadayadayada. No copyright infringement is intended. I wrote this story at the urging of my muse; it should never be used for profit.
This story is the third installment to my previous ones " From The Beginning 1&2", so I guess you should read these before you go on to this one, otherwise it'll make no sense.

VIOLENCE Well, bare in mind, this is Xena we're talking about here - of-course there's violence.

LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This story involves both love and sex between two consenting adult women. If your parents thought you were too young to watch "Dynasty" (in other words, if you're under 18) or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something else or GO WATCH ALLY McBEAL.

VIOLENT/NON-CONSENTUAL SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: I'm afraid so. Yet it's less graphic than previous installments.

FOUL LANGUAGE - Not as intensive as in Pulp Fiction, but still…

To my BETA readers, mentors and guides:
1.Patti - Thank you very much for you effort.
2.Noa (I'm proud to be your friend) - For being there for me, putting up with my whining, for all your help.
3.CB - Thank you for your hard work in mending my story. You're the best.
4.LESIAF - the fastest Beta-reader on earth…THANK YOU!


From the Conqueror's log
(Written by Xena)

The morning after Gabrielle and I first made love was a marvelous sunny day. Both Gabrielle and I slept in and the sun was already up in the sky when we finally woke up. Miraculously enough Gabrielle woke up before I did, and when I opened my eyes I saw her staring at me, beaming with a toothy smile.

"What are you smiling at?" I asked playfully and coaxed an eyebrow. She looked so lovely that morning. She was sitting cross-legged on the bed, facing me and staring at me.

"Nothing, really...simply enjoying watching you waking up. Back when we had been lovers, before you lost your memory, I always used to wake up before you. After nights like yesterday, I always watched you sleeping ever so innocently." She leaned down towards me and lightly kissed my lips.

"Mmmm...Careful, I might get used to this." I chuckled, rose up and set opposite her.

"I'm not going anywhere, Xena, so go right ahead..." Gabrielle assured me.

"Well, since you put it that way, do you think I can get another one of those exquisite kisses of yours?" I was so cheerful. I didn't know what came over me...Actually I did - Love. Love came over me. I felt as if I owned the world. I was ecstatic.

"You can get more than one, if you'd like." She teased and swayed her breasts from side to side in seduction. Just as I was about to charge upon her, the door to my bedchamber opened. I turned my head quickly, only to see my maid, Dana, standing at the threshold like a big log, staring in shock at us. I was furious with her. She knew better than to barge into my bedchamber without knocking and asking for permission first. I couldn't understand what she was thinking, storming into my bedchamber like this, disturbing me, as I was about to take Gabrielle. I knew she must pay for her action. I thought I would make an example out of her, teaching all my servants to respect my privacy and me. I jumped off my bed, grabbed my Chakram that rested at the foot of my bed and aimed it towards her neck. Suddenly I felt a small hand grab my arm, preventing me from throwing my Chakram.

"Please, don't kill her, Conqueror. It was an honest mistake. She didn't expect to find you in bed so late in the day." Gabrielle pleaded for my maid's life. It took me a moment to come to my senses and get a grip on myself. Slowly, I lowered my weapon and drew out a long breath.

"Leave us," I ordered Dana. Dana obeyed and left the bedchamber on two visibly shaky legs. Gabrielle sighed deeply in relief. I had decided to let this event slide. I wasn't ready to dwell on it and damage the wonderful morning Gabrielle and I were having. I realized Gabrielle had a high reverence for life. But I have an Empire to rule, and subordination and obedience are vital.

Gabrielle guided me back to bed. I could tell she was still a bit startled by the incident with my maid. I wanted to get her mind off it already. I wanted her full attention.

"So , Gabrielle, what do you wish to do today?" I asked her and placed my arms around her warm naked body. It responded wonderfully to my touch and Gabrielle soon rested her head against my chest.

"I was hoping we'd make love and then go downstairs to the dining-hall for a very late breakfast, followed by a long stroll in the Imperial gardens. How does that sound?" She suggested and looked at me. It seemed she was already over the incident with my maid for she was relaxed and playful.

"Let me see..." I contemplated aloud, thoughtfully placing my index finger on my chin. "Breakfast sounds like a good idea, a stroll in my gardens will be splendid, especially in such amazing weather...As for the love making...I believe that can be easily arranged" I smiled mischievously. She smiled back. I was beyond exhilaration. Here I was, Conqueror of Britannia, Greece and Rome, lying in my bed, with the woman I love in my arms. Life doesn't get any better than this, I thought. I could barely contain the ecstatic happiness I felt. I was only so far from getting up on my feet, bursting out of my bedchamber, naked as I was, and dancing across my palace. I wanted to shout my love for her to the world. Of-course the very notion of such unbridled behavior of a Conqueror of my stature is unthinkable.

No one in my Empire is to know about the true nature of my relationship with Gabrielle. For one, I don't want her to become a target to my enemies. As for the second reason - it's a little more complex than that. I am the notorious Conqueror; I am the intimidating ruler; I am the hideous sovereign - I cannot lose that image by letting my subjects know I was insanely in love with my body slave. Should they have found out I was capable of such emotions like love, they would have lost respect for me. They would no longer fear and dread me. The fact that Gabrielle called me 'Conqueror' at the presence of my maid made it clear to me that Gabrielle understood the situation only too well. Her wisdom and perception impressed me.

I began kissing her neck lightly. Her body responded immediately, telling me how and where to touch it, arching and swaying sensually against me. Her skin was still deliciously warm from slumber. She laid herself on top of my craving body. She passionately claimed my lips with hers. She ravished me gluttonously. Her small hands were everywhere on my body, on my sides, on my face, on my breasts. I could hear her heavy rasping and feel the sweat begin to bead her body. Her famished mouth glided from my lips and through my neck to my breasts. She suckled my nipples greedily and furiously causing loud grunts to escape my mouth. My hands traveled towards her head and pressed her harder onto my body. She straddled my thigh, her wet center grinding against it. I raised my hips to meet her, to thrust my throbbing sex onto her thigh as well. She built a steady, yet wild and erotic rhythm, and I matched that rhythm perfectly. Beneath our cries of pleasure, I could hear the sounds our slapping bodies produced. During her forceful thrusting she sweetly moaned that she loved me. All I moaned was her name, over and over again. When I began to feel the orgasm pending inside my dripping core, I held it back. I wanted her pleasure to come first. I felt I owed her compensation for my ill-treating her in the past. Holding back caused me sweet pain in my rock hard clit that made me writhe in desire beneath her. Upon the arrival of her climax, I let go, and we both shook and convulsed wildly against one another as wecrested together. Each other's mouths smothered our cries. Then, her body went limp and she crashed on top of me, resting her head on my breasts. I smiled in remembrance of her face when she came...definitely the most arousing thing in the world.

Our panting subsided as we lay in each other's arms.

"You are amazing, Gabrielle" I whispered in her ear and tenderly kissed her. She averted her gaze from me, charmingly bashful, as if she was too modest for the compliment. She rested her head back on top of my breast and peacefully gathered her strength back.

After a little while we got out of bed, got dressed and strode vigorously to the dining hall. As usual, the moment I set foot inside my dining hall, a servant came rushing to me in order to pull back my chair for me. Then, other servants approached my lengthy, wooden table and placed dishes loaded with all sorts of delicacies in front of me. Along side those servants, came my little food taster. When I nodded to him that he may taste my food for me, I could feel Gabrielle's gaze piercing me, yet she didn't make a sound. Their exchanging gazes didn't elude me. He smiled a quick and barely noticeable smile at her and she acknowledged it. I reckoned he was happy to see she survived last night's wrath. I knew he had trusted my word, which I had given him, but still seeing her alive and well was more assuring. My food taster did his business with my food and left us.

Four other servants remained with us in the dining hall should a need of mine require catering. I have noticed that they didn't place a plate in front of Gabrielle. I snapped my fingers and one of my servants approached me and awaited my command.

"Why is there no plate in front of Gabrielle?" I asked with an accusing tone.

"You said yourself, Conqueror, that your body servant shouldn't be served by your other servants. You've never brought her to the dining hall for...well...dining... before " He retorted, justifying his actions.

As he finished uttering his last word I reflected to the time I brought her to my dining hall. I remember forcing her to stand on four - 'the bitch position' I used to call it, and orally pleasure me, while my other servants and soldiers watched her. That must have been terrible for humiliating I thought. I was hurting inside for all the wrongs I bestowed upon her in the past. I was clueless as to how could I ever make it up to her. I wondered whether there was a way to win her forgiveness. Nevertheless, I kept my stoic expression.

"Whenever Gabrielle comes here, be that if she is accompanied by me or not, she will be served as if you were serving me. Am I making myself clear?" I roared at my servant. I could sense Gabrielle moving in her seat in somewhat unease.

"As you wish, Conqueror." He said humbly and bowed before me.

"Now leave us!" I demanded and upon hearing my voice they all left. Gabrielle and I remained alone at last. An uncomfortable silence nestled between us. I picked up my fork and knife and began carving the meat on my plate.

"What's troubling you, Xena?" Gabrielle asked softly. I couldn't bear to look at her face and so I kept struggling with the food. I didn't know what to say to her. I raped her, brutalized her, and humiliated her. I demeaned her by making her my personal whore. I made her do unspeakable things. I had her like a savage. And we were...a couple of lovers...with such an ugly past. The reason she held love for me in her heart was beyond me. I felt so ashamed of all the things I had done to her. It's not that I believe that the very concept of body slaves is immoral or evil. That's the way the world works. The weak have to fall before the mighty. The mighty can bend the weak to his own will and do with him whatever he pleases because he has the power. It is not a question of moral, of right or wrong. I simply have the power. As a matter of fact, if it weren't for Gabrielle, I probably would have taken myself twenty women as body slaves. After all, I am the Conqueror. But it wasn't just the fact that I had taken her as my body slave, it's the heinous way I had done it, the violence that accompanied having her, the degradation of it.... I had it in my power to have her without making her suffer so much, but I made the experience for her horrifying, excruciatingly painful and undignified, to say the least.

"I didn't realized you were a mind reader as well, Gabrielle." I mused.

"I'm not, really, your face discloses it." She replayed, reached for the wine basin and poured me a goblet.

"So, what else does my face tell you?" I asked with a small smile stretching the right side of my lips, trying to cover my embarrassment. The feeling of being an open book to her unsettled me.

"Is it our past?" She asked quietly and leaned back into the chair.

"I have no recollection of our past together, remember?" I jest. I didn't delude myself into thinking that I could evade the subject so easily. Gabrielle is no fool, but for some silly reason I thought maybe she would let it be. I just wasn't ready to advert that issue with her. As a matter of fact, I didn't think she was ready for it either.

"That's not what I'm talking about and you know it." She retorted then sighed. I could detect her frustration. She suddenly leaned forward, sanding her torso over the table and grabbed my wrist, preventing me from cutting the meat. I raised my eyes from the plate and finally captured hers.

"Gabrielle...I don't know what I can tell you that would..." She averted her eyes from me. It reminded me of the way she had looked at me when I had raped her. When I lost her eye contact, I lost control of my voice. It was painful for both of us. "If I could take it back..."

"Xena...." She said aloud in order to draw my attention "Please, don't...It makes me relive it...I need to forget." She spoke slowly. She didn't even look at me. She sounded so far away from me. It broke my heart. A strange thought came to my mind that moment. I wondered whether she still feared me.

"As you wish, Gabrielle." I muttered. I lost my appetite and pushed my plate aside. My past sins would always come between us, I acknowledged. "Let's go out for a stroll," I suggested. I needed a change of scenery.

My decision turned out to be a good one. As soon as we got to my vast and colorful gardens, her eyes retrieved their light. I asked her to tell me about our past together as lovers. She told me that I had pretended I was falling in love with a man named Ulysses in order to make her jealous. She said it had been my way of checking whether she had loved me or not. She told me we had both confessed our love to one another. She said I had admitted it first. She told me about the first time we had made love.

Despite the sorrow I felt for not having any recollection of it, I felt in peace.

From Gabrielle's scrolls

It has been a moon since Xena and I had found each other again. Everything seemed like a honeymoon. Xena made the time for us to be together as much as possible. I knew it hadn't been easy for her, because after all, she had Britannia, Greece and Rome to rule. We woke up late every morning because we had gone to sleep late the previous night. We took long strolls in her Imperial gardens. We rode on Argo together. Once she even took me to the sea. At nights, we made love. She was so gentle with me. She treated me as if I was the most fragile thing in the world. She took her time with me. She didn't rush things. It was clear to me that my pleasure and gratification was more important and urgent to her than her own. During our long, passionate love sessions, I'd noticed, she wouldn't let herself come before I did. She would hold back until I came first. Then, and only then, would she allow herself to come. I knew it wasn't easy for her, for she had the sexual potency of a young male in his prime. I realized she was doing it because she felt she had to compensate me for all the sexual abuse she had bestowed upon me. I didn't tell her anything about it. Deep in my heart, I wanted her to pay back for all that she had done to me. These feelings made me feel ashamed of myse, for I didn't feel forgiveness and compassion. I didn't want Xena to suffer, alas, it was beyond my control. I made her pay despite myself. Nevertheless, when I made love to her, I gave her everything I had to give - I denied her nothing.

Too often, duty called and Xena had to go and rule. I asked her to allow me to sit in the meetings she held with her highest-ranking Imperial officers. Surprisingly enough she agreed to it, even though she didn't understand why I would want to bother myself with such boring matters. As I was sitting in those meetings, especially during the first ones, I got piercing, astonished, and confused gazes from her officers. They didn't understand what the Conqueror's body slave was doing in such meetings. She merely ordered them to get over it.

I understood why she preferred to have everybody think I was her body slave and not her lover and consort. But even though I understood it, it didn't make it any less humiliating. I was Queen of the Amazons, I was a human being. When we were in private, she treated me like a queen. She was soft and gentle. She fed me, bathed me and dressed me. It was her way of telling me she loved me. She spoiled me, and I loved it. She was charming this way. When we were at the company of others, she was the Conqueror and I was her body slave. I even addressed her by the title 'Conqueror'. But even in the presence of others, she didn't make any humiliating remarks towards me like she did in the past. Of-course she stopped her habit of taking me in front of others. People could feel that something had changed between us, that she was treating me differently, that she was treating me better. She had no right letting her subjects believe I was no more than a whore, yet I didn't tell her anything about it. I left it to her discretion, for she was the Conqueror after all.

Throughout the past moon, I told her everything there was to know about us. She was very eager to learn as much as she could. She asked me about our lives together as lovers; about the things we used to bicker about; about the things we enjoyed doing together. I filled all the holes I had left when I told her about the ten years that were erased from her memory. I didn't tell her about Solan though. I realized that I had managed to break her, but not to tame her yet. She was still a brutal woman who could viciously kill in the blink of an eye and with neither mercy nor remorse. The love I had for her didn't blind me. I knew with whom I was dealing. Though she hasn't demonstrated violence towards me I was well aware of her brutality towards others. Why, the morning after our reunion, she had almost killed Dana for not knocking on her chamber door before entering. I was glad I had been able to prevent Xena from killing her. The fear on her subject's faces was clear as daylight. And they all feared her for a reason. I wasn't under any delusion regarding who and what she was, just because she was my lover.

Even though, I spent al lot of time with my Xena, I haven't neglected my young students. Xena provided us with a comfortable and well-equipped chamber as a classroom. It had everything in it, small tables, small chairs, a big blackboard, maps and so on. She touched my heart when she showed me the classroom she had built for the children and me. Surely, she wouldn't forget the night I showed her my gratitude. Millus personally thanked her as well. I asked her to relieve young Millus from his duty as her food taster. She obliged. But she kept the rumor that she has a child as her food taster alive so that people won't make an attempt on her life using poison.

I remember one night in particular. It was after Xena and I had made passionate love on the balcony of her bedchamber. I was nestling in her arms, letting my body chill from the heat that engulfed it, in the light breeze of the night.

"What are you thinking about, love?" She asked me gently, stroking my hair.

"Well, in truth, I was thinking about what you told me about your past, before you met Hercules and me. You had been violent back then, but according to what you told me, you hadn't been as ruthless, inhuman, and heartless as you were after the resurrection."

"How do you mean?" She asked and stopped stroking my hair.

"Well, you had boundaries, you had lines that you didn't cross - lines that you did cross after the resurrection." I replied. I moved away from her body and sat crossed legged, facing her. She prompted herself on one elbow, and cocked her head.

"What lines?" She inquired.

"You've never killed women and children before. Even when you killed, your methods of killing hadn't been so heartless, so hideous." I retorted. She was silent for a while. I guess she felt accused. She looked away from me.

"I don't know what to say, Gabrielle...I don't have any explanation to offer you." She seemed confused, almost misplaced.

"I guess it's the result of the memory loss. It left you off balance, and with the sense of no control, and so you used more violence in order to feel even more in control than usual. I also think that because some of your identity has been taken from you, you drove yourself to the extreme, in order to feel the sense of self again." I suggested and cupped her face with my hand.

"Perhaps you're right" She finally said and drew out a long breath. After a long silence she went on. "Gabrielle" She uttered my name with such strain as if it took all the power she had in her body. "I need to ask you're forgiveness for...raping..."

"Shhhh..." I placed a quick finger on her mouth. "Let's not talk about it, Xena, please." My voice barely audible.

"Gabrielle...we would have to talk about it sooner or later."

"I don't want to hear about it!" I almost yelled at her. When she placed her hand on my shoulder, in order to let me know she was there, I suppose, I involuntarily flinched. In response she grabbed me by both of my shoulders and forced me to look at her. "Gabrielle...I can't leave like this when...this whole...mess... is coming between us!"

"I'm sorry, Xena...that's the best I can do."

"How long?! How long do you intend to avoid this thing. It won't just go away, you know! I need your forgiveness, Gabrielle...It tortures me." I could see her torment in her eyes.

"I'm sorry, Xena, I can't offer you my forgiveness..." I said with an unexplained calmness. I saw tears well up in her eyes. "Don't cry, my love, we'll be just fine..."

"It's hurting me...and I know it hurts you too. I've seen you toss and turn in bed in the middle of the night. I feel so can you say we'll be fine? I can feel it stalking us in every corner, threatening us..." She wailed like a little child. I said nothing to her, not one word of reassuring, or comfort. I knew she was craving and needing it, and yet I kept still. It wasn't just that I couldn't bring myself to forgive her - I didn't want to.

From the Conqueror's log
(written by Xena)

Everything between Gabrielle and myself had flourished, until her Amazons arrived at my palace. Up till the point the Amazons showed up, Gabrielle and I had been inseparable, alas all had changed.

It all started that day, after a moon or so since Gabrielle and I had become lovers, when they set foot in my domain. I was sitting on the throne when one of my guards announced their arrival. Gabrielle was standing to my right, all dressed up in her Amazon outfit. I had allowed her to wear it because it contributed to the respect people paid her, also, because the minimalist outfit complimented her arousing body...I liked made her more accessible to me.

There were two of them, two Amazon warriors, standing before me. They didn't bow or show any respect or awe towards me, but merely muttered "Conqueror" upon entering. They behaved so damn proudly that I felt like breaking their kneecaps right there and then, forcing their arrogant asses down on their knees. But since they were Gabrielle's subjects, I didn't carry out my little whim. I dismissed my guards so that they wouldn't witness Gabrielle "queening."

"My Queen, your leadership is required." They briefly informed her.

"Elabo" Gabrielle commanded impressively. Even though I had already seen her ruling her people, it still surprised me. Gabrielle, in contrast to me, didn't maintain her authoritative persona at all times, only when it was called for.

"Our scouts informed us that both Messelina and Chilapa were dead, and that you were the Conqueror's..." The Amazon warrior didn't go on. Gabrielle looked at me with a question in her eyes. I nodded my consent and she turned back to her subjects.

"I am no longer the Conqueror's servant. It is a little known fact and I forbid you and the other Amazons to suggest otherwise. The reason for it is a matter between the Conqueror and myself and is none of your concern." Her voice was confident and firm.

"As you wish, my Queen." They bowed their heads and I was so proud of my little woman.

"Now tell me, why am I needed back in our land?" She asked and kept a straight posture, like a true monarch.

"We don't have leadership. Now that Chilapa and Messelina are dead, there isn't anyone left to guide us. You are the only one. If you won't come back with us, we'll become easy prey. These are dangerous times...our lives depend on you" The warrior Amazon explained.

"Sisters, You came from far far away. I'm sure you're hungry and tired. I trust that the Conqueror will be kind enough to host you in her palace." She looked back at me and I nodded in agreement. My heart overflowed with love for her at that moment. "Her servant will show you to your chambers. Clean up, rest, and meet us at the dinning hall in three candle marks time"

"Yes, my Queen." They said. I summoned my servants and instructed them their duties with my guests. Gabrielle and I were left alone in the main hall.

"What am I going to do, Xena?" She asked with a worried look.

"Let's go to my bedchamber and discuss it." I suggested. I took her hand in mine. We interlaced fingers and slowly strode to my bedchamber. Once we got there, she sat herself on my large bed that was covered by green satin sheets. I stood in front of Gabrielle, my arms entwined on my chest.

"Well?" I asked.

"Xena, they need me." She answered.

"I need you too, Gabrielle. Surely you know that, don't you?" I countered and cocked an eyebrow.

"I do, Xena, but if I won't go with them, at least for a short while, just enough for me to at least train a new queen, then my tribe might perish." She pleaded.
At that point she was still trying to reason with me.

"A short So, how much time are we talking about here? How short is 'a short while', Gabrielle?"

"I was thinking about...approximately...six months." She replied with a contemplating tone.

"Out of the question." I immediately spat.

"Come on, Xena, you can come with me. It'll be fun" She smiled, uselessly trying to soften me.

"There is no way I'm leaving my realm!" I responded harshly and kept a stern expression.

"You can leave your second in command to..." She tried to offer.

"If you want something done, do it yourself" I cut through her speech. I believe my expression frightened her to some extent.

"Xena, please..."

"My mind is made up. We're both staying here." I saw a shiver run through her small body. I didn't want to intimidate her, but I had to stay firm. I wasn't ready for her to leave me, especially now, for she lifted my soul...Thanks to her I knew I had one.

"What about what I want?" She challenged me, looking directly into my eyes. Somewhere in my heart I knew she was right. But I couldn't let go of her. I needed her too much. And so, for lack of anything better to say I stifled myself.

"I'm not your slave anymore." She whispered and lowered her head. I wasn't sure she meant for me to hear her last remark, but my acute hearing picked it up anyway.

"You know, little girl, that can easily be altered." I said with a steel cold voice. I hadn't even stopped to contemplate whether I should say it or not. And after I had said it I wasn't sure whether I was sorry I had said it.

"I know." She muttered, not looking at me. "Question is, Conqueror, is it really what you want?" I was so upset she didn't give me the benefit of a look. Also, here we were, alone in my bedchamber and she called me 'Conqueror' as if she wasn't my lover anymore.

"Have no doubt in your mind, little girl, I will have you one way or another." I purred with a dangerously low voice. My eyes glared at her.

"You will not have my love, Conqueror, but merely my body." She dared defy me. She was scared. I could tell by the tremor in her voice.

"We'll see about that, little girl. I'm sure you're familiar with my nasty habit of always getting what I desire."

"As you wish, Conqueror." I thought I heard her surrender to me.

"As a matter of fact, I feel like having some of your lovin' right now." As if on command, Gabrielle lay back prone on my bed. She removed her leather bra and skirt and assumed a spread eagle position, as if she was servicing me. So she thinks she'll play this little game with me, does she? I thought to myself. How Gabrielleian of her...For she knows that as soon as she feels my touch she'll stop this silly charade and start acting like a lover rather than a pathetic body slave...well...dearie...suit yourself...You might get something you didn't bargain for...

I disarmed myself from my Chakram and sword. I stripped from my battle dress and my boots and laid my nude body onto hers. She turned her face to her right and didn't look at me, just as I had demanded of her during service. I slowly began kissing her soft neck, nibbling at her flesh. She gave me no response, none whatsoever, not even a tiny moan.

"Come on, Gabrielle, I know you want to..." I tried to persuade her, and captured one of her breasts in my hand and molded her nipple to erection. Gabrielle didn't move. Her body felt as if frozen. I took her hand in mine and placed her palm on my breast and rubbed my flesh with hers. She didn't contribute to ministration. They were entirely my movements. I merely used her hand. When I let go of her hand, it landed back on the bed.

"Please, me." I whispered softly to her, and slowly began thrusting my center into her thigh. I thought a little coquetry would do the trick and make her give in to me. But it didn't.

"Gods, love...I want you so much." I went on with the coquetry approach. Gabrielle was stubborn. "Quit lying here like a chattel and writhe under me..." I lifted my body from her and supported my weight on my arms, hovering above her. I moved my weight to one arm and snaked around Gabrielle's hips and pushed her hips towards mine, again and again. She didn't cooperate. She maintained her limp hips and she didn't move them against me like I showed her.

"I know!" I exclaimed. "Your waiting for my tongue treatment...the gods know, you can't resist it." I descended towards her sex. I settled myself between her thighs, and inhaled her womanhood's scent. It was intoxicating as always. She was wet and swollen down there, but not to the full extent I knew she could be. I began licking her folds followed by her clit ...but nothing, not the smallest of convulsions, not the slightest of quivers. My heart went sour. Seeing her remaining indifferent to my touch caused me an indescribable pain. It was hard for me to believe. She just kept lying there like the unwilling participant she was, averting her face from me, staring blank at no particular point on the wall.

"Love me!" I ordered her...Nothing. "LOVE ME!" I shouted my command as my face was still glazed by her sexual musk. "I'm ordering you to love me." It was fruitless.

I could have taken her by force as I had done in the past, but I didn't want to. It wouldn't have been as satisfying as truly making love with her. Besides, I couldn't have put her through that ordeal again. She deserved better. As angry as I was, I couldn't hurt her this way for she had my heart.

"Get up, pack your things and get the fuck out of here. Don't ever come back here. Stay away from me, or else, I'll kill you at sight!" I yelled and pointed to the door. The insult of being physically rejected by her burned my heart. She sat back on my be. She put her clothes on and said nothing. She had a grave expression on her face, her lower lip trembled and I could see tears welling up in her eyes. She was too proud to cry openly under those circumstances.

I averted my gaze from her and went to stand by the window. What are you doing?!....You're going to lose her...Tell her you're sorry...Beg her not to leave you...You love her too want her too much...But I didn't move. I heard her standing up. She lingered a bit. I could feel her eyes piercing my back. I didn't turn around to look at her. Then I heard my chamber door open and then close. I finally gathered enough courage to turn around. My bedchamber was empty, and so was the place inside my ribcage that used to hold my heart. Only after she was gone, did I burst into tears. I didn't understand...If she loved me so much, why did she choose her Amazons over me? What was I going to do without her? And I never even told her I loved her I sobbed.

From Gabrielle's scrolls

I stood in her bedchamber, not believing she actually sent me away from her. I didn't get out right away. I stood there for a while longer, looking at her backside, trying to memorize every inch of her. I guess I was waiting for her to turn around and tell me she didn't really mean it and that she wanted me to be with her for she couldn't live without me.

I really didn't have much choice in the matter. I couldn't act so selfishly and irresponsibly. I had an entire tribe under my wings that was facing the danger of extinction for lack of leadership. Having to leave Xena was unbearable. It's not like I wouldn't have seen her throughout those six months. We could have arranged mutual visits. But that's the totalism of Xena. It is all or nothing. She chose nothing.

I had realized I still feared her. When she said to me that my status as her lover could be easily changed back to a body slave, my heart missed a beat. It gave me the feeling that everything with her was temporary, uncertain, and unpredictable. But what scared me the most was the way she commanded me into being physically intimate with her. I was so frightened I couldn't move. I was afraid she would take something from me she didn't have a right or consent to take. Hearing her utter those repellent words "little girl" made my skin crawl with horror and repulsion. My soul was elsewhere when she touched me. It brought the horrifying, painful sensations from the previous time she had taken me against my will, to the surface. I was afraid she would go through with it. The fact that I didn't put it past Xena taught me I was in touch with reality, that my love for her didn't blind me, that I knew what she was capable of.

I was lucky. For some reason she stopped herself. I wasn't sure what had made her stop, but I wanted to believe it had been her love for me.

Xena sent me away from her palace and out of her life.

After I exited her bedchamber, I went to meet with the messengers from my tribe. I found them in the Conqueror's dining room. I told them we had to move towards Amazon land immediately. They left most of the food on the table and we all headed to the imperial stables. They straddled their horses, and I was riding behind one of them. To my surprise the Imperial Guard at the outer gates didn't try to stop me from leaving the Conqueror's palace. I guessed she probably gave them the order I was free to leave. Somewhere deep in my heart I wished they didn't let me out. I think that that's when it hit me - the Conqueror didn't want to be with me, she really wanted me out of her life forever. As my Amazons and I galloped away from her huge Palace, I began crying. I couldn't bring myself to look back one last time at the Conqueror's domain, since I didn't have a place in it anymore. My Amazons didn't ask me for the reason for my tears. They knew it had something to do with Xena, and out of respect for me they didn't bother me with it. After all we've been through together, after all I had suffered from her, we what in Tartarus was the point to all this?! I was too frustrated to keep thinking about it.

By nightfall we arrived on Amazon land. I was lead to the queen's hut. I was served with some supper, and a warm bath. When I soaked my weary body in the hot water I lost control over my emotions again. The notion of her absence finally sank in. I missed her terribly. The thought of sleeping without her caused me strife.

The next morning I met with the council. I suggested we take a vote on who would be the acting queen, my successor, after I'm gone. I knew I wouldn't stay with them longer than six months, as originally planned, for I wasn't ready to give up on my love so soon, and not just because I loved her so much, but also because I had to teach her mercy, compassion and love. I had to teach her not to seek violence as a solution but only as a last resort. I wanted her to forsake her deadly ways. My desire was to see her rule her realm with justice, freedom, and equality as the principles that guided her. I wasn't naive enough to think that the Conqueror would leave her realm and free it from her regime. It was crystal clear to me she needed the power and control. Nevertheless, I wished for her to be a good, merciful and loved ruler... I'll come back for her.

From the Conqueror's log
(written by Xena)

It has been half a moon since Gabrielle forced me into sending her away and out of my life forever. During those miserable days I rarely came out of my bedchamber. I couldn't stand the sight of people. The food turned fusty in my mouth and the wine I drank turned turbid. It didn't matter, for I didn't care for food and wine anyway. I only came out for important meetings with my officers, military drills and spars and so on. I only came out for things that were absolutely necessary.

I was mourning the loss of Gabrielle during that time. I would fantasize she came back to me, apologized for abandoning me, and I would forgive her and we would make wild and lustful love. Inconceivable pain was gnawing at my heart. It was so agonizing that I felt I wanted to rip my heart out of my chest in order to ease the pain. I would constantly dream of her at night. Most of those dreams I must admit, were erotic. I would dream about having her in a frenzy, like two animals getting it on. In the morning I would wake up, all soaked in sweat and sexual secretions. I longed for her love and for her body. Renting a whore was out of the question, and obtaining a body slave was unthinkable. I only wanted my blond Amazon Queen.

Aside from the unfulfilled desire there was the torment of not knowing how was she doing. I was worried sick about her. I had to force myself to not to go after her. Since I wasn't sure I could cope with finding out she took a new lover in my place, I didn't send scouts either.

After half a moon my second in command came to my chambers and informed me that the scouts I had sent to Chin had returned to my palace and had some interesting information. They spread maps before me. They laid before me all I needed to know for Conquering Chin. When going on a military campaign of this magnitude, one must be well prepared and know his enemy completely.

"Are you going to Chin, Conqueror?" Demeous, my second in command, asked.

"Oh yes, I think Chin is ripe for the taking, commander." I snorted in delight. For the first time since Gabrielle left, I felt alive. The adrenaline was raging like a river in my veins. I was thirsty for blood and power.

"It's good to have you back, Conqueror." Demeous said and I've noticed the faint smile that plastered on his lips.

"I'm going hunting, Commander. I'm the hunter...and I'll bring back the goods...I'm not stopping." I was exhilarated. War, battles, Conquering...that was what I needed in order to get Gabrielle out of my mind. I gained back the desire to live. Since Gabrielle had left, I was on a slow process of dying...not anymore I wasn't. I was filled with exuberance.

It took my forces, including my fleet, about half a moon to prepare for the campaign. By the end of the second moon of Gabrielle's departu, I was at chin's borders with my immense army. I slaughtered hundreds of people, sparing no one. The blood I spilled with my sword and Chakram soaked the land. I inflamed my men like no one on this earth can. I made killer, bloodthirsty animals out of them. I saw their humanity dripping out of them, before my eyes, I was elated.

After the next three moons of battles were over, I massacred Chin's potentate, and settled myself in his palace.

The first night I spent there, I got aquatinted with this beautiful young lass named Ling-Ma. To my delight, she was the courtesan of the late ruler of chin. She had a small figure, just like Gabrielle, only Gabrielle was more muscular than Ling-Ma. She had smooth, long black tresses, and beautiful dark eyes. Her features were delicate, feminine and round, and her complexion was as fair as snow. She was gorgeous. When I met her, she wore an oriental silk robe that hung loosely on her body barely covering her small breasts.

"How old are you, my dear lass?" I asked.

"Fifteen, Conqueror"

"Very good, my lass,....'Conqueror'" I repeated the term of honor she used when she had addressed me "You know, dear, flattery would only get you so far." My tone of voice carried a warning. I knew only too well the games whores played.

"I'm well aware of that, Conqueror." She answered. Strangely enough, it appeared she respected me, yet she didn't seem to fear me, not even after what she had seen me do to her former master's body after I had killed him. Oddly, I found it refreshing.

"Since I've found you in the...dead ruler's bedchamber, am I to assume that you were" I inquired. All of a sudden I was aware that I was standing in front of a young female with blood all over my battle dress. It made me feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

"True, Conqueror, but he is dead now, and so now I'm yours to play with." She spoke with amazing confidence and more than a hint of seduction. "I hope, Conqueror that you would be kind enough so as to give me the privilege of pleasuring you" She offered with a sweet and inviting voice. She closed the gap between us, not waiting for my retort. She didn't sound like a fifteen year old, that's for certain. She sounded way too experienced...but her body and features looked like they belonged to a fifteen year old.

"I don't see why not." I smiled. She took off my armor with skillful little hands. It was very relieving.

"I'll have a warm bath drown for you, Conqueror." She said.

" do that." I muttered.

Within no time my bath was ready. She helped me strip from my bloody clothes, and helped me into the tub. My body was rigid and weary from three moons of battles. I saw her taking off her robe and readying herself to join me in the bathtub. I let my eyes explore her beautiful naked body, to examine it. Indeed she was breathtaking. She had young, supple and a little underdeveloped breasts, and a mysterious black triangle that appeared to have held latent pleasures. It's been five moons since I've last touched a woman, and I was famished, not to mention the battle lust that nested in my loins that desperately needed to be unleashed. I closed my eyes and inhaled a lung full of the clean and magical scent of the jasmine that Ling-Ma generously poured into the water. When I reopened my eyes I saw the sensuous courtesan in front of me, in the bathtub, her breasts lightly grazing mine.

"I have no interest in having you tonight, please don't court me, my dear lass...when I want you, I'll let you know." I said. That blasted Gabrielle I admonished myself She is no longer my lover and yet I cannot bring myself to take another. The very notion of taking another woman makes me feel as if I'm being unfaithful to her, it's absurd...Shit...I need to get laid so badly... "I'm jaded, Ling-Ma, go make my bed." I ordered her, but gently. I couldn't explain the effect this young lass had over me.

"As you wish, Conqueror." She bowed her head, ever so gracefully. She is the mistress of service. She is a servant in the truest sense of the word. She's illuminating herself at the presence of her master. She knew how to create the elusion that she took pleasure in servicing. She was an artist. It was charming. After I finished washing myself, I lay my weary body onto my bed. I saw Ling-Ma lying on a much smaller bed at the foot of mine. The minute my head hit the cushion I fell asleep.

I woke up the next day sometime around noon. When I woke up I saw my young courtesan carrying a salver congested with all sorts of delicacies.

"Good morning, Conqueror." She smiled.

"Morning." I returned the greeting. I prompted myself up to a sitting position. Ling-Ma placed the salver on my thighs.

"I trust you slept well." She said and smiled.

"Yes, thank you, I did." She made me feel indolent around her. I was peaceful, calm and relaxed. She was a gift to me. It was the first time after Gabrielle's abandonment that I didn't feel so lonely. I felt I didn't need to intimidate or control her. I felt like it would be some kind of forfeiture if I did. And so, I was kind and polite to her. I asked her to go fetch my food-taster, Millus, to try my food, and she did. He came as ordered. After entering my quarters, he sized Ling-Ma up. She looked back at it him. It seemed like he didn't approve of her. It was clear in his eyes he didn't like Ling-Ma. Stupid kid...what does he understand...He trusted Gabrielle and she left him too. He tasted my food as usual and then he left.

"You are the most incredible woman I've ever seen in my life, Conqueror."

"Remember what I told you about flattery, Ling-Ma...You did just fine so far, don't ruin it with unnecessary words." I advised her and put a piece of bread in my mouth.

"I really mean it, Conqueror. You've achieved something no man has ever achieved before you, conquering the mighty kingdom of Chin and within three moons, at that. You remind me of a very powerful woman who lived here, till her own son executed her. Her name was Lao-Ma"

"Lao-Ma was once my mentor and lover." I retorted. I was shocked that I didn't see any shred of astonishment on her face.

"It seems this piece of information is not a novelty to you." I pointed out.

"I think I should be honest with you. I have this gift. I can see visions...threads of people's lives." She said. "It is nothing to fear really, for I can't really see a thing if a person doesn't let me enter." She explained. "And you, Xena the Conqueror, don't allow anyone to enter your soul and your heart." My jaw dropped and she smiled.

"May I ask you a question, Conqueror?"

"By all means, do." I said and motioned her with my hand to go right ahead and ask.

"Why didn't you take me last night? I could see your need so evident in your eyes. Am I not to your liking? I assure you I'm highly qualified in pleasures of the body. I had excellent training." She sounded so eager to please me and looked almost offended because I didn't have my way with her.

"You are beautiful, and I'm sure you are an exquisite lay but...I was too tired last night." I responded. I felt almost embarrassed.

"You strike me as an extraordinary woman with unlimited stamina, fire and great sexual potency. Pardon me, but I find it hard to believe you were too tired to take me..." She paused and then said "The one who captured your heart, what's her name?" Once again this young lass left me speechless.

"Gabrielle, her name is Gabrielle"

"Why isn't she here with you, Conqueror?"

"It's a long story and I don't wish to dwell on the subject anymore...It's over anyway..."

"As you wish, Conqueror."

From Gabrielle's Scrolls

It has been five moons since Xena sent me away. My pain was more than I could bear. I felt I died again. I missed her like crazy. I missed her smile, her scent, her touch and her love. I missed her eyes, her voice her bosom. I missed our long strolls together, our conversations, our bathing, eating and sleeping together and our games. I missed watching her transforming from a gentle and loving woman into the big bad Conqueror right in front of my eyes. I missed her passion I missed her sensitand I missed her tears.

During the days I made myself busy with training my successor. I sparred with her, and taught her everything I knew about the battlefield. Most of my wisdom in this area had come from Xena. So was all I knew about the art of war and strategic decisions a leader has to make. I taught her to listen to her people and to her hurt, to be both smart and just. She was a quick study. I had a feeling she would make a great queen.

Making my day tedious and hectic made it easier for me to not agonize over her absence. Nevertheless the pain wouldn't let go of my heart. Life without her was lonely and empty. I would gladly be her body slave just so that I could be with her. I lost my vitality, my joy and my exuberance. Nothing succeeded in stretching a smile on my lips. Life became a burden. One long day succeeded another. As bad as my days were, my nights were even worse. I would lay alone in the dark, and Xena would invade my mind...not just invade, for she really never left my mind, but conquered. I would see her standing naked in front of me. I would hear myself calling her and asking her to enter me. She would approach our bed and pull me into a warm and tight embrace. I would soon feel her warm breath tantalizing my skin, followed by her mouth, suckling my aroused breasts. I would hear words of love enveloping my soul. I would feel her frisky fingers stroking my wet folds and then stroking my erect hard nub that was so close to an earth shuttering orgasm. I often masturbated in remembrance of our lovemaking. These moments of climaxing were my small comfort. As my eyes were shut tight and my lower lip pierced by my upper teeth when orgasms washed over my body I felt as if my Xena was lying on top of me.

After I was caught in Morpheus, at time, nightmares came to haunt me. I would dream about the times I had been in her service. Like the time she had sadistically taught me the game of "Hide and strike".

I was been summoned to her bedchamber. Her guard knocked on her chamber door to announce my arrival. She ordered me to enter. After I had set foot inside her chamber, the heavy door was been closed behind me. Her entire bedchamber had been dark. Not even a single candle was been illuminating the chamber. I raised my palm very close to my eyes and I couldn't see it.

"Come in, little girl, and take your clothes off" She ordered in a low voice.

The Conqueror's bedchamber was huge, and very poorly furnished, out of her own choice. It only contained a huge bed, a large wooden table were she used to write, eat and have me, two chairs next to the table, a chest with some personal belongings, a very high closet that contained some of her clothes, and a stand for her weapons. I knew exactly where were each and every pieces of furniture placed, for I had been spending a lot of time in her bedchamber.

I walked into her bedchamber as she ordered., not bumping into anything on my way, and took off my shift. I couldn't see her anywhere. I could only hear her voice telling me: "I have a special treat for you, little girl, today we'll play 'hide and strike'. See, I hold a whip in my hand. I cannot see you and you cannot see me. I will strike with my whip trying to hit you as many times as I can in a period of about a candlemark or so. I will find you by listening to you breath and scream. For each scar from my whip you'll lick my cunt and for each time my whip will miss you and hit the floor instead of you, I'll lick yours. I would advise you to keep quiet and listen to me, try to locate me by the noises I'll make." She explained. She sounded very far away from me. I felt like a pray, running away from the predator. I was scared out of wits. I hated her twisted games.

"I think a thank you is in order, little girl!" She shouted.

"Thank you, Conqueror" I muttered.

"Do you know what are you thanking me for?" She barked.

"No, Conqueror" I barely managed to control my tears.

"For giving you a chance to come during service, by my expert tongue, stupid girl" She laughed. "Let the game begin" were her last words...then, only silence. I peeled my ears as hard as I could, trying to pick up on her whereabouts. I couldn't tell. where she was. In a blink of an eye I heard the sound that her whip made while cutting through the air and onto my back. It was painful. I cried out. She laughed. She was standing about two feet away from behind me. I swiftly turned around. Then I heard her saying: "Focus, little girl, you need to focus...don't make it so easy for me...challenge me, make the game interesting" She wasn't where I thought she was, and I got yet another accurate lash on my back.

I could barely contain my cries. I knew that by making noises I was giving her my position. Moving in the dark, uncertain as to her whereabouts, unsure from where will the next whippings would come from, hearing my heartbeats so loud as if they were legs were shaking.

After the game was over I was dripping blood, and aching. Yet again she managed to mark me with marks that would stay on my body for at least a week. The chamber was still as dark as night. I heard her throw away her whip.

"You have gotten a little better at it towards the end. It was difficult to find you towards the end. I really had to make an effort. Moving all the time instead of staying in one place is a good idea, but it has a cost you, for it makes you breathe faster and louder. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it eventually, though"

I heard her move behind me. I could feel the heat from her body on my skin. I stood still without moving. She cupped my breasts from behind and fondled my nipples to hardness.

"As I recall, you didn't managed to get away not even from a single lash...hence, you won't win a lick from my tongue on that gorgeous cunt of yours...too bad...I was kinda hoping to taste it..." She spoke next to my ear, pressing her breasts to my back in the utter darkness. "I like your body blooding after a good's hot, wet and tastes of blood" She purred and licked my back with her tongue.

"I have licked your back completely and I counted twenty one lashes. On your knees, little girl" She roared. I went down on my knees. I felt her moving away from me. I stuck out my tongue and with hesitation, I looked for her sex. After a few moments the Conqueror got fed up from not being served, because I couldn't find her.

"Trace me by my sex' smell, little girl" I walked to where her chair was standing, because it sounded as if it came from that direction. She was sitting on it with her legs spread open, her scent was oozing from her center. I finally made contact with her succulent large clit. I licked her. I felt her clit hardening even further under my tongue. The soft smelly flesh of her erection made me so hot, I felt strong throbbing in my core. She counted out loud for every lick I gave her sex. Her hips raised high above the chair ant thrust themselves against my face. She was very aroused. She writhed so wildly against my mouth that I was fighting in order to keep in place on her clit. At one point she scissors my head with her thighs so that my mouth wouldn't loose it's location on her center. She didn't reach number fourteen and she came, screaming her pleasure so loud it pierced my ears, wetting my face with her lubricant.

I would wake up in a startle, my body covered with cold sweat. Manilla told me that it was high time I got over Xena and found a new lover. She said she knew many Amazons who would be glad to become my lovers, including herself, and that all I had to do was pick. I didn't have eyes for other women. I only wanted Xena. Besides, Manilla doesn't understand anything...Xena is my soul mate, and my true love. It only comes once in a lifetime. Nothing compared to that, to her. I often cried for the first time I lost my love, after the resurrection, and the second time when she drove me away. It was such a disappointment.

I sent scouts to the streets that surrounded the Conqueror's palace in Greece. I found out she had set her sights on Chin and had marched her army there. I was told the Warrior had defeated the kingdom of Chin within three moons. I was in grief and mourning. Tens of thousands of men, women and children had died during this terrible war...and for what...Xena's obsession of power, conquering and control. Xena hasn't changed her ways. I hadn't even begun to change her, to reform her. She was the same killer she had always been, only now she also loved me.

The only thing that kept me alive and breathing those five moons was the fact that after the period of six moons passed my successor would take her place as the acting queen of my tribe. Then I can go back to her. I wasn't sure whether she would take me back, after all, she had said she would kill me on sight. I knew she wouldn't, for I knew she loved me.

From the Conqueror's log
(written by Xena)

Another moon had passed. During this moon I announced my laws to be the laws of Chin. I set in motion the mechanism of collecting my taxes. I also went out on nightly escapades and slaughtered some of my new subjects like I did in Britannia, in order to fixate the fear that was Xena the Conqueror. Needless to say it worked effectively. In all the time that passed since I had last seen Gabrielle, instead of forgetting her, I longed even more for her. I have lost my mind in love for her. It was frustrating. I summoned little Millus for dinner. After Gabrielle had left I gave him his old job back as my food taster. He made me feel close to her.

"Hello there, Millus." I smiled to him.

"He...Hello, Conqueror." He stammered a bit.

"I wanted to have a little chat with you. Have a sit and join me for supper." He sat at the table.

"I've noticed your dislike towards Ling-Ma. Care to explain to me why?" I asked. He took his time before answering me so in order to encourage him I said "Don't be afraid, Millus, I only want your honest opinion."

"Your highness seems to like her and I'm afraid she'll punish me for what I have to say." I could see where he was going with this. He strove to wring a promise I wouldn't kill him.

"I won't punish you. You have my word."

"She's not like Gabrielle." He said.

"What makes you say that?"

"I overheard two of the cooks talking. I've learned that she wasn't the late ruler's prime body slave."

"So you know she's a whore, just like Gabrielle?" He didn't respond to my remark. He just lowered his head in bewilderment. Silly boy, he's still loyal to Gabrielle after she left him. I thought.

"Go on!" I demanded.

"Ling-Ma, who was the second courtesan, murdered the prime courtesan, when your highness conquered the palace. That piece of information made me raise an eyebrow. I didn't think the young and fragile courtesan had it in her.

"Gabrielle has killed before too, you know, what makes Ling-Ma any different from her?"

"Their motives. Ling-Ma killed out of selfish reasons, climbing up the ladder, so to speak. Gabrielle, on the other hand, killed in order to protect your highness. Gabrielle is an unselfish woman." I didn't say a thing. I felt like this little boy was patronizing me. He was walking on thin ice.

"Speaking of which, have you heard from Gabrielle?"

"Yes, Conqueror. She sent me several parchments since she left. She didn't forget it was my eleventh birthday today." He seemed very glad.

"So it's your birthday today? I'll tell you what I'll order the cook to make you a big chocolate birthday cake. In exchange you'll tell me what Gabrielle wrote about me." I offered him a sweet deal. I knew kids can never resist a chocolate cake...after all I was a kid myself once.

"She was asking a lot about your highness." He answered eagerly.

"She did, did she?" I sounded skeptical.

"She asked me to take care of you and watch over you since she's not with you. She cares for you, Conqueror." He used the same words he used last time I had had a little chit-chat with him regarding my favorite topic - Gabrielle.

"And just how can a small pathetic creature like you, take care of me?" Once again he disregarded what I said.

"I didn't tell her about Ling-Ma." He admitted eventually.

"Why not?"

"Because it would hurt her, your highness."

"Yeah yeah..."I dismissed him. After he left, Ling-Ma entered my bedchamber. She wore a red silk bra and a matching loincloth that left little to the imagination. I was in heat.

"A small bird whispered in my ear that you murdered your ex-owner's prime courtesan..."

"That is true." She simply said and seductively closed the gap between us.

"And you thought that would make it easier for you to climb into my bed..." I made it sound like a fact.

"Yes, unfortunately, I didn't take under consideration that you would be in love with another woman..." Her voice trailed. It sounded as if she actually held true feelings in her heart, for me. Throughout the time we had spent together I had told her a lot about Gabrielle, about all that had happened between us. Ling-Ma hadn't responded, she merely sat and listened to me as I had been unloading my heart. It hadn't been an easy task for me to open up to her, but my torments over losing Gabrielle had gotten the better of me and I had felt like I had to tell someone. Given the fact that she had been a well-trained courtesan, I had known she wouldn't breathe a word about it to anyone.

After a short silence I asked her: "What drives you? Why do you want to be the perfect slave? Powerful and clever women should set their sights a little higher than being other people's whores, and you are, by all means, a clever woman." I complimented her. She was standing in front of me close enough for me to smell the odor her skin carried.

"A clever woman is a woman who knows both her limitations and her talents. I know my limitations and talents. Whores can be very powerful, you know...Wasn't Gabrielle your whore? She made you fall in love with her, which means she has power over you. Having power over mighty Xena the Conqueror makes Gabrielle a powerful woman. You know, Conqueror, there is an old saying...Even the Emperor's dog is an Emperor...becoming your whore would have granted me power." She was very honest and I liked her for it. I knew she was right. I never thought of Gabrielle in terms of power before, but what Ling-Ma said to me about Gabrielle being a powerful woman was painfully true. As I was a bit caught up in my thoughts, Ling-Ma got even closer to me and cupped my cheek with her small hand.

"It's amazing...she succeeded in making you fall in love with her, given the fact that she is the one responsible for the death of your son." My blood froze in my veins when I heard her last words.

"Run it by me again!" I purred.

"I thought she told you..."

"Told me WHAT?!" I shouted at her.

"Gabrielle was impregnated by Dahak and had an evil daughter by the name of Hope. Since you knew Hope's true nature you demanded that Gabrielle kill her daughter. Gabrielle lied to you. She told you that she killed Hope, but in truth she didn't. And so, Hope later killed your Solan."

So many emotions hit me at once. I felt betrayed, fury, pain, and grief. I could not believe I lost my only son...and because of Gabrielle...

"How do you know all this?" I asked Ling-Ma.

"You've allowed me into your heart in the past few weeks, Conqueror...I could see your past in your soul." She said.

My heart hurt for the loss of my only child. I felt rage like never before in my life towards the woman I loved more than life. I was furious because by lying to me, she forced me to taste the ever so bitter flavor of bereavement, of childlessness. The emotions I felt at that time were indescribable. I was hurting so much I seemed to have moved beyond the pain. Only one clear thought came to my mind at that time 'Revenge'. I couldn't kill Gabrielle, for I loved her. But a new thought arose in my mind. I would kill something that is dear to her.

I had Ling-Ma bring me some ale and a goblet from the kitchen. She did as I ordered. She was sitting on her small bed and looking at me consuming unreal amounts of ale. I needed oblivion. As I was drinking and thinking, I was watching Ling-Ma from above the rim of my goblet. She looked so delicious in her little resilk bra and loincloth.

"Tonight, I will have a taste of you, my dear lass... " I promised her. I saw a smile stretched on her teen-aged face. She spread her legs in front of my eyes, allowing the loincloth to fall between her thighs, not letting me to get a good look at her treasure... She's playing games with me...And to think I'm the one who's a little over twice her age... I thought to myself.

I went down to the kitchen, to have a word with my cook regarding the chocolate cake he was making for Millus. He showed me the stove in which it was baking. I opened up a small bottle of nightspade I had obtained, and poured the lethal poison into the dough. After the cake was ready, I ordered one of my servants to go fetch Millus and also have another servant bring up the cake to my bedchamber. Within moments, both the poisonous cake and poor innocent Millus were present in my bedchamber. Ling-ma was lying in my bed, observing Millus and myself.

"As was agreed, my little food taster. Happy birthday." I said, while slicing a piece of the cake and placing it in his hand. He devoured it in no time, and asked for a second slice.
"Why won't you have another slice, my boy?" I offered yet another one.

"Gabrielle never allowed me to have sweets before supper...She said it would spoil my appetite." He said.

"Well...I don't see Gabrielle in here, do you? I won't tell her if you won't!" I said and placed yet another thick slice of cake in his hand. He ate it as well.

"I wish you many many birthdays in the future, dear boy." I congratulated him and petted his head.

I didn't dismiss him after he was done. I wanted to see him dying from the poison. I strode to my bed, where my loyal whore was lying. My mind was cloudy and addled from all the ale I drank.

"Take off your clothes, Ling-ma." I commanded as I reached my bed. She did as I said.

"Do you wish to keep the boy in here as an audience?" She asked. I took off my armor, and battle dress and remained in my breeches.

"He won't stay with us for long. He'll be dismissed within a short while." I smiled, as I was standing over her and stroked her young body with my eyes.

"May I be excused, Conqueror?" Millus asked embarrassed. He was blushing and I saw a bulge growing in his pants. I laughed hard and loud.

"Stay a little longer, Millus, you might enjoy it...You're about to witness what Gabrielle did for me when she was in my service." I smirked.

As I began my descent towards Ling-Ma's body, Millus began having spasms. He grabbed his throat and made sounds of suffocation. When I saw foam coming out of his mouth I couldn't contain my laughter. I saw fear in his eyes. He had the 'what have you done to me'? look. Within a few moments he collapsed onto the floor. His little body convulsed and twisted for a few more moments and then he ceased to move. His pupils were rolled in the back of his head and foam kept coming out of his mouth. He died.

After he was gone I loweried my body towards Ling-Ma. Making contact with her body, which felt pleasant, but I didn't feel the wild throbbing in my sex like I did with Gabrielle. I didn't feel any desire to kiss her lips. I remembered that when Gabrielle was in my service I didn't kiss her lips for fear I would lose control over my feelings. Nonetheless, the desire to kiss Gabrielle on her lips was immense. Even though Ling-Ma was a beautiful lass I wasn't sexually drawn to her. The only reason I had kept her is that I needed some warm flesh under me while I released myself, nothing more. My pain over losing Solan and Gabrielle were more than I could handle. I was desperate. I tried to thrust myself against her thigh in order to gain gratification, but I couldn't get myself started. I sent a quick finger to my sex and found out I was as dry as the desert down there.

"Would you like me to suck your clitoris, Conqueror?" Ling-Ma asked in a low husky voice. "Please, Conqueror, I'm dying to taste your desire. I want to swallow your royal essence. I need you to come on my face...Please, Conqueror, Don't deny your greatness from a simple whore like me." She seductively moved her body under me.

She didn't arouse me. In fact she disgusted me. It had crossed my mind at that point that she had just witnessed Millus die and she hadn't run to his aid, she hadn't even moved. Poor Millus had been right all along. Ling-Ma is nothing like Gabrielle. It was a strange feeling. For the past moon I thought I wouldn't be able to curb my desire towards her, and now when I thought I was ready to fuck her I found out I was an impotent. That opportunist bitch...She couldn't care less about me, all she wants is to sleep her way into my heart. Gabrielle is so pure, so good, so unselfish and so loving...I miss her so much. These were the thoughts that danced around in my mind. I got up in a swift motion from the young courtesan. I was so frustrated. Not being able to fuck a woman made me feel like I was less of a Conqueror. It depressed me. It made me feel like I was the most pathetic creature that ever lived. After all my sexual stamina had always been my pride and joy. I hated myself for loving Gabrielle so much that I couldn't fuck another woman. I was hungry, but I couldn't be fed by anyone but Gabrielle. I hated Gabrielle for making me love her so much. In my despair I was in need for blood, so I took my sword, stepped to the small body of my late foamy food-taster and chopped his body in two.

"Get up and leave my palace. I have no need for your services. Should you tell another soul of what you've witnessed here tonight, and I don't mean what happened to the little boy, I will kill you." I purred.

She got up and covered her body with a sheet. Just before she left, she turned to me.

"I know you have some feelings in your heart for me, Conqueror. You've opened your heart to me. The fact that you haven't killed me tonight indicates so." She said with a small voice and looked into my eyes.

"You are wrong, dear lass. The only reason I didn't kill you was out of gratitude for telling me the truth about my son. As for opening up to you...I needed to talk. If it wasn't you, then it would have been someone else. Make no mistake, it's nothing personal...Now go, before I change my mind."

She turned her back to me and left.

It's been a long night, and I was drunk. I didn't even have the strength to call my chambermaid so that she could clean up the boy's mess. I collapsed, naked to my bed and fall into deep sleep.

A candle mark or so before sunrise, I woke up. It was still very dark outside, and in my chamber as well. The first moment I opened my eyes, I was a little dizzy. I realized I drank too much. Then, I felt a warm, feminine and naked body curled up against mine.

"Gabrielle?" I questioned, still a little disoriented. I didn't hear a reply merely steady breathing that was consistent with slumber. I unlaced myself from the body that was pressed against me. I lit up a candle that was perched on my dresser next to my bed. I was shocked to find out Ling-Ma lying, sleeping next to me.

"What are you doing here?" I roared. She woke up in a start.

At that very moment, my bedchamber door opened.


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