DISCLAIMER : The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and some others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be. 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 a sequel to the stories “Lord Conqueror of the Realm” and "Queen of the Realm." I strongly recommend you read them first because in this story there are references to events that took place in them. Here is where you can find them:
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER : This story involves both love and sex (at times some rough/raw play with very mild BDSM elements – all consensual - nothing severe) between two adult women. 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.
SPECIAL THANKS : My humble most ardent gratitude to the excellent, most brilliant Beta readers Nancyjean and Alexandriaruth whom I can't thank enough.
Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!
Go To Part 1
The morning after the wedding, two lovers were lying leisurely in bed enjoying the warmth of the sun and the aftermath of a fulfillment long overdue. Athena's cheek rested on Cynna's bare stomach, as she relished the softness of her skin and the idle play of Cynna's fingers through her hair.
“Athena,” Cynna drew her lover out of her musings.
“Yes?” the Heir answered as she thought how strange it was to hear her name being spoken outside her family.
“Did you come to me from her bed?” Cynna asked.
Athena began to laugh, “I can assure you, I left her very much intact…,” she paused. “Which is more than I can say about you,” she then teased and began to tickle Cynna's sides, forcing Cynna to fend her off with little success.
When the playfulness subsided and the lovers resumed lying in each other's arms, Cynna raised another question that had been gnawing at her. “What happens now?”
“You will stay here, of course… With me.”
“And what about her?”
“What about her?!” Athena asked, but she understood what Cynna was really asking. “This palace is huge. Avoiding her is quite possible. The Conqueror seems to manage avoiding my mother easily enough.”
After exploiting the remaining short time they had together to the fullest, Princess Athena went about her day and Cynna slipped into a bath to wash herself.
Two moons had passed since the wedding and absolutely nothing had changed in the Corinthian palace.
As the Conqueror was walking in one of the corridors after she had spent the better part of the morning in the menagerie, Thetis accosted her and informed her that Nobleman Drusus, governor of the province of Rome , was awaiting her in the Great Hall.
"I stink of the animals," the Conqueror remarked as she sniffed the sleeves of her tunic.
"Then by all means wash yourself first, Majesty," answered Thetis with a smile at the sight of the Conqueror smelling herself. "He'll wait."
The Conqueror smirked. "You are learning pretty quickly," she pointed out. "Inform her Majesty the Queen that I will see her after supper in my chambers," she concluded before making her way to the Imperial Chambers.
"Yes, Majesty," Thetis said and curtsied.
A short while later the Conqueror strode into the Great Hall all clean and still smelling of the bathwater. The ceremony master announced her presence.
"Your Majesty," Nobleman Drusus bowed before his Sovereign as she seated herself on the Throne.
"Nobleman Drusus," The Ruler greeted him with a sealed face. "What is the reason for this visit?" She asked him, forgoing pleasantries.
"Well, Majesty, it's the current rate of taxes…" he seemed hesitant.
"What about it?" the Ruler asked.
"Well, it is too steep and is becoming a bit of a hardship on your subjects in the Roman province."
"As I'm sure you know, managing the Realm requires substantial funds. I have many expenses, and I rely on the province of Rome to pay the amount I set for it."
"May I make a suggestion for your Majesty to consider?" he asked.
"You may," the Conqueror muttered with a wave of her hand.
"Thanks to your Majesty's infinite wisdom, we live in a golden age of peace. There is no need to maintain and sustain such large armed forces in the Roman province. Why not disperse the legion in Rome and assemble a smaller militia to keep order at a much cheaper cost, which I'm willing to finance in exchange for a reduction of taxes."
The Conqueror was amazed by the audacity and temerity of Nobleman Drusus' proposal. She couldn't understand what possessed him to submit such a preposterous idea for her consideration.
"Do you know what an army is?" the Conqueror asked him as anger began to brew in her.
The Nobleman wasn't blind to it and he remained mute, thinking it best not to present the Sovereign with a wrong answer and exacerbate it.
"What is an army?" The Conqueror deflected the question to one of the guards.
"An army is first and foremost a political instrument, your Majesty," the guard answered.
"That is correct," the Conqueror confirmed what to her was the obvious as she stepped down the dais and closed the gap between her and the Roman governor. "An army is first and foremost a political instrument," she repeated. "A simple guardsman knows this and the governor to the province of Rome does not," she roared, displeased. "The mightiness of my army coupled with the fact that it is the only one in my Realm is what ensures the peace under my rule. Do you think I would part with my power? That I would just give it away? That I would allow any man other than me to finance my soldiers?!"
Nobleman Drusus lowered his head and shook it.
"Go back to Rome and tell my loyal subjects that peace costs!" she shouted at him in anger and articulated the word 'loyal' with a good amount of sarcasm.
Later on, after retiring to the Imperial chambers, Thetis, carrying the Conqueror's supper, knocked on the doors and entered only after she had been invited inside. She laid down the tray she was carrying and set the table for dining. The Conqueror approached the table and invited Thetis to join her at the table.
"There's enough food for both of us," the Conqueror said as she pulled back the chair next to hers for Thetis to sit.
"Thank you, your Majesty," Thetis said with immense gratitude and took the seat offered.
As they dined together, the Conqueror told Thetis a small anecdote from her childhood, about the time when upon her brother's Lyceus urgings she had tried to ride a sheep and had fallen off it. Thetis freed herself to laugh as she was made to linger at the Imperial chambers.
It was then that the Queen opened the doors to the Imperial chambers. Thetis' cachinnation, which she thought was annoying and frivolous, rang in her ears along with the Conqueror's. It thoroughly nettled her.
"My Lord," the Queen curtsied.
Thetis sobered up immediately and stopped laughing. Quickly, she rose to her feet, twisting her ankle against the table-leg in the process, and curtsied before the Queen.
"Leave us," the Queen's tone of voice lacked its characteristic softness and sounded firm and decisive, almost metallic.
Thetis glanced at the Conqueror, who was still sitting at the table drinking her wine. "Do as you're told," the Conqueror said to her servant.
Thetis curtsied before the Sovereigns and left their presence.
"You wished to see me, my Lord," the Queen stated, hiding her sadness as her eyes rested on the half empty plate and the vacant chair next to the Conqueror.
The Conqueror rose slowly from her seat and covered the distance between herself and the Queen. She stood behind the Queen and wrapped her arms around the Queen's waist, embracing her longingly against her.
The Queen's body reacted even before her mind and heart did. She melded into the warm, long missed touches that dissolved, even for a brief moment, her stance and her defenses. The scorching breath of her beloved Lord prickled the delicate skin of her nape and neck as it streamed down the apex of her breasts.
"How long are you going to continue to deny me?" the Conqueror spoke gently.
"My Lord," the Queen sighed deeply when against her will her rear pressed harder against the Conqueror's lengthy strong body.
Small kisses began to randomly drop over her exposed flesh, and in between them, the Conqueror's seductive words worked to further weaken her wife's resolve. "Do you not miss my attentions?"
The Queen's hands involuntary moved backwards and cupped the Conqueror's muscled backside as the Conqueror's larger hands cupped her heaving breasts against the bustle.
"You will never know how much I miss your attentions… all of them, my Lord," the Queen moaned as she felt a long finger stroking between her legs above her dress.
"Then put a stop to this nonsense and return to our bed, Gabrielle," the Conqueror uttered the Queen's name as if it was a magic word, a spell that would win her, her seduction.
Knowing her answer would deprive her of her Lord's craved touch, the Queen dallied before she asked, "Will you annul the marriage, my Lion?"
And it did. The Conqueror took her hands away and as she stepped backwards the Queen felt the chill trading places with the warmth she had felt a few moments before.
"I will not annul the marriage!" the Conqueror informed her matter-of-factly, trying to control her anger.
"Then I cannot return to our bed even though it pains me and tears up my soul to be apart from you," the Queen's voice trembled. "I cannot rejoice in our union when my daughter doesn't in hers."
The Conqueror waved her arm sideways scornfully and dismissively, "It's because you think you know better!" she accused, the enceinte around her heart firm again . "And what is it exactly that you think you know about the ways of women?"
The Queen absorbed her Lord's belittlement of her. "And what of Princess Sieglinde…," she began to say but was once again met with a disregard.
"She knows her duties, which is more than I can say for my own flesh and blood."
"Forgive me for angering you, my Lord," the Queen said and left for her own bedchamber.
A fortnight came and went and Princess Athena, who hadn't visited Princess Sieglinde's chambers even once since the wedding but instead had spent her nights with Cynna, was summoned to appear before the Conqueror. As she crossed the Great Hall she noticed there was no one there besides the Conqueror, sitting on her Throne with a severity about her. It occurred to her that she had never taken a close look at the Throne and its elaborate design. Its fittings were made out of bronze. Each of its frontal legs and armrests was a statue of a lion with solid gold coating the mane and sapphires as eyes. Its backrest alone was approximately five feet high and concave, circular-like with intricate ebony and ivory designs along with gilded bay leaves at the top and the upholstery was red shiny velvet.
"Majesty," Princess Athena bowed before the Conqueror.
"Your Grace," the Conqueror tipped her head in acknowledgment. "It was brought to my attention that you keep your wife in her maidenhood."
Princess Athena's eyebrows jumped upwards over her eyes in astonishment. She couldn't decide what stunned her the most: the fact that the Conqueror knew her private business or the fact that the Conqueror raised the matter with her, evidently feeling no qualms about meddling. Left speechless, Athena neglected to respond.
"You haven't taken her yet, have you?" The Conqueror pressed on, demandingly.
But her Heir wasn't ready to answer the charge just yet.
"How do you know?" she asked, unable to resist.
"Never mind how I know," the Conqueror glared at her eldest. She would not be sidetracked.
"Did she tell you?!"
"She is a King's daughter!" The Conqueror's voice thundered. She was clearly irked by the fact that she had to explain what she thought her Heir should have known. "She knows better. She'd rather have her tongue cut out than speak ill of her husband."
The Conqueror wasn't lying. Fact was, upon her order, a chambermaid had been keeping a watchful and detective eye for bloodstains on the newlyweds' sheets and had been reporting back to the Conqueror every day since the wedding on its flagrant absence.
To Athena, it sounded like the Conqueror thought Sieglinde perfect, like she could do no wrong.
"Answer my question!" the Conqueror demanded.
"It is a private matter, Majesty," Athena tried to argue.
"You are my Heir. You have no private matters," the Conqueror retorted.
"She seems… slow… Far be it for me to take advantage of her," Athena replied, conscious of her attempt to mislead her Sire.
The Conqueror frowned. "I will hear no such poorly contrived excuses."
"She makes me dead from the waist down, Majesty," Athena finally gave in. "With Cynna it is very different," she added in an adversarial manner, as though she was meaning to win an argument.
The Conqueror leaned forward in her Throne, both hands clutching the armrests, and went on to issue a warning with a visible scowl. "You will not make a mockery of your marriage and you will not publicly shame your wife. You will place your mistress in a discreet lodging in Corinth . Cynna is not welcome here and will not continue to reside under my roof."
Princess Athena was absolutely livid. She had to bite down hard on her tongue in order to prevent herself from pointing out to the Conqueror her hypocrisy, allowing the little redheaded attendant to reside in the servants' quarters in the palace, thus shaming her mother the Queen. She did so more out of honoring her word she had once given to her mother that she'd always be respectful towards her Sire, than out of any actual respect she felt towards the Conqueror at that particular moment.
When she trusted herself not to let her initial thought slip, she asked the Conqueror, "Would there be anything else, Majesty?"
"Yes. You will honor your obligation to your wife… Do you take my meaning?"
For a moment Athena wasn't entirely sure that she understood what the Conqueror meant, and so she asked, "Is your Majesty ordering me to have carnal knowledge of the Norsewoman?"
"I'm glad you understand," the Conqueror concluded.
Princess Athena got another reminder that day that she had very little control or power over her life and her frustration and resentment grew tenfold.
That very night she burst into Princess Sieglinde's chambers as the Nordic Princess' ladies in waiting were preparing her for bed, making them jump in their skin with a startle.
"Your Grace," they mumbled and curtsied.
The Heir signaled with a wave of her hand for Sieglinde's ladies in waiting to leave and they all hastened out.
"Min Herre came to visit with me," Sieglinde, already dressed in her nightgown and with a plain nightcap covering her hair, smiled and beamed with honest joy, for it was the first time that Athena had come to her bedchamber since their wretched wedding night.
But Princess Athena didn't smile back. Instead, and without even looking at her wife, she signaled Sieglinde to climb into bed.
"Do I have your consent?" Athena asked flatly, with all the passion she would have asking about the weather.
Princess Sieglinde did not comprehend.
Impatient, Princess Athena simplified her question, "Are you willing?"
Understanding finally spread over Sieglinde's face. She nodded her head. "Of course," she answered, "I am your wife." She prohibited herself from wondering why of all nights Athena chose to come to her that specific night.
Sieglinde laid herself prone on her back amidst the cold, fragrant linens and waited with a strange and inexplicable excitement brought on by misplaced expectations. Left without her mother's guidance, she had but a vague idea as to what was about to transpire or as to what was required of her. Before her wedding day one of her Greek ladies in waiting had taken it upon herself to offer Sieglinde some of her experience, such as it was, which had added up to a few scarce words about taking the Heir's member between her legs and waiting for it to be over.
Athena went on to unbuckle her belt, not bothering with the rest of her garments. When her trousers were dropped around her knees, she crassly grabbed Sieglinde by her ankle and roughly turned her to lie on her stomach. With her gaze fixated on the bed's headboard, she pushed Sieglinde's nightgown upwards and exposed the crevice she was about to enter. Darkness ate her from the inside and out when, without any graceful gentleness or considerate preparation, she penetrated Sieglinde's sealed womanhood and heartlessly thrust deep into her as though she was skewering a lamb. All the while the act was in play, Princess Athena held her breath so as not to breathe in Sieglinde's scents and tried to block her ears from hearing Sieglinde's whimpers as she wriggled beneath her by drowning her mind with thoughts of trivialities, half successfully only. What little sounds that did reach her, however, Athena wasn't the least bit curious to know whether they were those of pleasure or of pain. All she knew was that they nearly made her laugh. 'The Nordic Mouse' in reference to her wife became the only thought circling in her head.
Princess Athena treated the Nordic Princess, her lawful wife, worse than she had ever treated any other woman she had rented. With whores she was at least courteous. But that was all the Great omniscient Lord Conqueror's fault, she thought, and she was hardly the one to be blamed for it.
When she finished, she got off her wife's back as quickly as her body allowed her, still not gracing her wife with even the briefest of glances, not caring in what state she was in. She took a piece of clean cloth and dipped it into a basin containing fresh water then wiped her phallus clean before discarding the now soiled cloth to the ground.
"Let no one claim that I do not honor my obligations to you, Madame," The Heir spoke at the general direction of the bed as she pulled her trousers back up again.
As she made her way out of Princess Sieglinde's chambers, she was resolute in her mind to neither forgive nor forget what the Conqueror had forced her to do that night.
Princess Sieglinde didn't move, not until the doors to her chambers were closed behind Athena. She then moved her aching and sore body slowly to sit on the bed. She discovered the blood of her virginity when her bare foot touched a wet spot on the sheet. She examined it and wondered whether she would bleed again next time, if there would be a next time. The words of the poets singing about love and desire remained inexplicable to her. Her heart was heavy. She felt it sinking inside her without understanding why. It made her feel worse than the wound to her body did. She felt too gloomy to cry. She slipped under the covers and laid awake in the quiet darkness.
When Princess Athena entered Cynna's chamber, Cynna had already fallen half asleep. With a tender nudge and delicate whisper, Princess Athena woke Cynna up.
Cynna greeted her with a kiss against her jaw.
"You must get dressed and come with me, beloved," Athena urged her.
Cynna got out of the bed, still stupefied from slumber, and began to dress. "Where are we going?"
"You must spend tonight and the following days in an Inn until I find you proper lodging in Corinth ."
"Why? What happened?" Cynna asked while packing her belonging with great haste.
"The Conqueror wishes that you no longer reside here," Athena answered.
"So, I'm banished from Court… discarded like a woman of ill-repute? And you've agreed to it?" Cynna protested. "I shall return back to the Amazon Lands."
"Cynna, please… How can you think that I've agreed to it? One does not agree or disagree with the Conqueror's orders. The Conqueror's orders are to be obeyed."
"Nevertheless, I will not subject myself to live in shame," Cynna argued.
"Please, beloved, don't leave me," Athena pleaded and inwardly she resented the Conqueror for placing her in this position, "I couldn't bear it."
"How do you think it makes me feel when the woman you've married lives with you with all the comfort and grandeur of the palace while I, the woman you claim you love, am to live elsewhere… like a commoner, a dirty secret?"
"I shall buy a magnificent villa in the best part of Corinth for you to reside in and furnish it with all your heart's desire. You will have as many servants as you wish, I promise you… You'll live like a queen."
Cynna took a few moments to consider Athena's promises and eventually nodded her consent to remain in Corinth .
The following morning, Princess Athena rode her horse by the Corinthian palace's wall and through its gates after she had spent the previous night in an obscure Inn with Cynna. On her way to the Imperial stables, she passed by the practicing field where she saw the Conqueror placing a practicing sword in Princess Terreis' hand. She halted her horse, climbed down and handed the reins to the stable boy.
That morning, not far from the practicing field and in sight, as the sun marched into the Imperial gardens, the Queen and Princess Sieglinde strolled on the gravel path amidst the blooming flowers with their ladies in waiting walking respectfully behind them, enjoying the fresh air mixed with the fragrance of blossoms and the salty scent wafting from the sea.
As the Conqueror was giving young Princess Terreis her first lesson in swordfight, one of the Imperial Guard's commanders approached the Conqueror and requested a few words in private.
The Conqueror stepped off the field and with her back turned to her youngest, spoke with the commander.
Princess Athena seized the opportunity and stepped onto the field, underestimating the rage that plagued her on account of the Conqueror. She picked up a practicing sword and faced her little sister, Princess Terreis, who had been waiting for her Sire to continue her instructions.
And then it happened. Princess Athena struck a too powerful a blow for little Terreis to handle and the toddler was knocked down hard against the ground, sustaining bleeding bruises to her elbows and legs. Aching with throbbing pain, Terreis began to cry.
Athena immediately took a step back, a tad rattled by her actions.
As soon as Terreis' cries burst out of her mouth, the Conqueror rushed to her, and when the cries reached the Queen and Princess Sieglinde, they made haste to the practicing field as well.
The Conqueror knelt next to Terreis and gathered her in her embracing arms. She stroked her gold hair, trying to calm her youngest down so that she could examine her injuries.
The Queen and Princess Sieglinde reached the sobbing child. The Conqueror deposited her daughter in her mother's arms.
The Queen asked Princess Sieglinde to hold Terreis so that she could tend to her wounds.
Princess Sieglinde was only too keen to oblige. She cradled Terreis in her arms and gave her, her bracelet so to occupy her while the Queen attended to her wounds.
The Queen was relieved to realize that Terreis wasn't severely injured. There were nothing more than a few flesh wounds that would require no more than ointment and dressing.
"Terreis is just fine, my Lord," the Queen informed her Lord, easing her concern. "Nothing is broken. She was more startled than anything else," she went on to assure.
Immediately, after sufficiently confident that no serious harm had come to her youngest, the Conqueror turned her attention to her eldest.
When the Conqueror's flaming glare was fixed on her, Princess Athena took another step backwards.
The Conqueror lunged at Athena and launched a tight fist into Athena's stomach.
Athena felt as though she was kicked by a wild mule. A painful pressure amassed in her chest, rendering her almost unable to breathe. She dropped to her knees at the Conqueror's feet.
But the Conqueror wouldn't have it. She grabbed Athena by her lapel. Fuming, she hoisted her to stand back up on her feet.
Through clenched teeth she muttered angrily, " She is but a young child. She possess not a tenth of your strength – what is the matter with you? I truly hoped that by now you would possess the judgment of an adult!" The Conqueror then hissed into Athena's ear so that none other could hear, “You did it on purpose and with malice.”
"My Lord," the Queen tried to appease her Lord and tenderly touched the broad shoulder, while Princess Sieglinde, who was privy to the altercation, gently rocked Terreis in her arms. She knew it wasn't her place to intervene and fact was, she bore profound respect and awe towards the Lord Conqueror. However, an urge flickered inside her to stand by Princess Athena.
The Conqueror did not grace her wife with a glance but kept them pinned onto her eldest. "Go inside and tend to Terreis, my Lady, and take her Grace Princess Sieglinde with you."
With a heavy heart, Queen Gabrielle and Princess Sieglinde left the practicing field with Princess Terreis, while the Conqueror was still clutching Princess Athena's lapel.
Once alone, Athena looked into the icy cold eyes of her Sire. "I am you and Terreis is my mother, your Queen."
The Conqueror understood her Heir's assertion only too well, and she could not entirely deny the truth in them. "You are both our children," she replied.
"And yet, throughout my childhood, I don't remember you ever telling me stories, or putting me to bed, Majesty. You were always so stringent and so harsh with me… so… formal and correct… and too stingy with your affections towards me."
"I am giving you my Empire!" stated the Conqueror, finally releasing her eldest from her tight grip.
"You will give me your Empire because that is your will – For your bloodline to preserve your accomplishments – not for my sake. That is why you had me in the first place. You needed an heir and for no other purpose," Athena passionately claimed. "Terreis was conceived out of love. She is your love child."
The Conqueror rejected the accusation. "You were both conceived out of love."
Athena scoffed and wore a disbelieving expression on her features. "When I was conceived my mother wasn't even aware of your love," she spat, and in an attempt to cause the Conqueror grief she went on to say, "I've always wondered… Just how was I conceived, exactly?"
"Same way as your sister," the Conqueror answered.
"I don't believe you."
The Conqueror didn't care one way or the other whether Athena believed her or not. "Never come near your sister again or I swear to you I will break every bone in your body," she warned with a chilling voice. "Believe me when I tell you, you don't want to test me."
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