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.

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 story “Lord Conqueror of the Realm”. I strongly recommend you read it first because in this story there are references to events that took place in “Lord Conqueror of the Realm.” Here is where you can find it:


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 reader Nancyjean whom I can't thank enough.

Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!



Part 1


Queen of the Realm

Written by WarriorJudge


Part 5

Before dusk, the Queen found the Conqueror and Athena sparring with each other on the otherwise deserted training field and conversing over the clashing sounds of their swords.

Athena asked the Conqueror, "Yesterday, a moment before we were attacked, how could you tell about the arrows, Majesty? I wasn't aware of them till the first one hit the ground."

Whilst blocking her daughter's forceful strikes the Conqueror replied, "At first it was the birds I saw coming out from the treetop flying. The rising of birds in flight is the sign of an ambuscade. Then I heard the arrows flying through the air. If you first become aware of arrows when the first one hits, then it is already too late. You must always be aware of your surroundings. For example, startled beasts indicate that a sudden attack is coming. When there is dust rising in a high column, it is the sign of chariots advancing; when the dust is low, but spread over a wide area, it betokens the approach of infantry."

It was now Athena's turn to fend the Conqueror's attack. “Amazons are known to use trees in their battle tactics, do they not?” she asked, panting from the vigorous effort.

“The thought has crossed my mind,” the Conqueror replied. “A battalion of Archers in combat do not necessarily require an elevated position because they do not take aim at any particular target, just at the general direction of the enemy's forces. Taking good aim requires time and the enemy's forces attack in clusters of warriors, so the chances of hitting a target are greater. To hit a specific target from such a substantial distance, any archer, any true marksman, would have to choose a high spot from which to take aim. At the area where we were attacked, there is no other way other than climbing up trees, and those specific trees are easy enough to climb without any special skills or instruments.”

“Nevertheless, perhaps some Amazons wish to overthrow Queen Melsoa and her line from power,” Athena suggested.

“In that case, why kill the other Amazons and why do it at the borders and not in the village? In the village, Queen Melosa isn't guarded, for she perceives the village safe. Besides, if Queen Melosa and her line were out of the way, the Shamaness and the Amazon council would have chosen someone else to lead them. No specific Amazon would be assured to take reign.”

“Perhaps some Amazons don't agree with the treaty between the Amazon nation and the Realm and this is their way to elicit war.”

“I'm hard pressed to think there's anyone foolish enough to believe they could withstand the awesome power of the Realm. They know well enough that they would be wiped out of existence in less than a single morning, and to kill their own for that purpose goes against their ways…”” the Conqueror replied. “Still, we must keep an open mind and not rule anything out.”

As soon as the Conqueror spotted her wife drawing nigh, she halted her arm and stepped back from her daughter, signaling that the session was over.

“There you are, my Lord,” the Queen smiled with bright eyes at the sight of those who were most precious to her in the entire world.

“How was the communal bathing?” the Conqueror asked and sheathed her sword, whilst perusing her wife with inquisitive eyes. Her Queen seemed abundantly happy, light and rejuvenated.

“They seem to make a genuine effort to include me,” the Queen replied, still smiling and in high spirit. “I see that my Lord is still undefeated even with one hand.”

“I'm sure you would be pleased to learn that Athena is the best opponent I have come across in years,” the Conqueror responded in a manner which suggested she had no desire what so ever to talk about her battle skills or her daughter's for that matter. She seemed peeved and intolerant.

"I am pleased," the Queen said proudly.

“We are going back to Corinth ," the Conqueror announced decisively, as she watched her wife's expression turn from cheerfulness into gloom. "I have seen all there is to see around here. Once in Corinth , I shall summon the governors of all three provinces around Amazon lands to appear before me for inquiry.

Queen Gabrielle's heart soured in her chest for she sensed that something that was exceptionally important to her, something she craved with every fiber of her being, was about to be taken away from her. “But we are already here, near all three provinces. Perhaps my Lord could pay a visit to the governors…?” she reasoned, hoping her Lord would reconsider.

“Out of the question,” the Conqueror rejected and before the Queen could utter a reply, the Conqueror turned to Princess Athena and said: “When you inherit my throne, remember – You do not appear before your subjects, they appear before you. If they fail to do so then you take your army to them. It is as simple as that.”

"Of course, Majesty," Athena mumbled. However, her mind was too cluttered with concerns about her parents to pay any real heed to the Conqueror's guidance in regard to ruling an empire.

“Then why not summon them here?” the Queen asked and apprehension crept deeper into her heart.

“When people are summoned to appear before me in Corinth for a catechization, it makes them fearful and nervous, and it is that state of mind, so I have come to learn, that makes the entire process more efficient and more fruitful.”

“I have something to tell you, my Lord.” the Queen spoke as though she was testing her Lord's reaction and slightly touched her fingertips to the Conqueror's forearm, as if to mollify her somehow.

“What is it?” the Conqueror asked though she already knew what was in her Queen's heart.

“I wish to remain here and accept the right of cast,” the Queen stated simply.

"I see,” the Conqueror muttered dryly.

Athena just about cringed where she stood, inwardly wishing she could be anywhere else but with her parents at that moment. Watching the way the Conqueror glared at her mother, she was able to foresee a fearful brawl in their near future.

Queen Gabrielle waited anxiously for the Conqueror's next words and studied her Lord's foreboding features.

The Conqueror turned to Athena and said, “I wish to speak with her Majesty privately.”

Princess Athena was only too happy to oblige and with wide and hasty gaits she stepped off the training field and walked towards her hut.

When she was comfortable that Athena was far enough away, the Conqueror turned to her Queen. “Should you accept the right of cast, you will do so without my blessing or my approval." Her words weren't uttered in rage but rather calmly, more like a determined statement of fact.

The Queen's chin began to quiver. "I don't understand, my Lord," she said, distraught. "You advocated on my behalf before the Amazon council that it was my choice to make."

"Yours. Not theirs," the Conqueror emphasized the distinction and began walking towards the place where she had tied her horse the day before. "Did you think for a moment that I would allow the Queen of the Realm be dictated to by the Amazons!?"

The Queen was barely able to keep up with her Lord's marching pace. "I thought you'd done so for my benefit… So that I would have the opportunity to express and obtain my heart's desire." The Queen's disappointment was limitless.

The Conqueror didn't respond.

"I cannot stay here if you do not." Gabrielle's eyes weld up with unshed tears and her shoulder slumped in resignation. "Can't we stay here just a while longer then go back to Corinth to interrogate the governors?" her voice quivered.

"It would take a few moons to train you and I have an Empire to manage," the Conqueror said and wouldn't look at her Queen.

"Surely Nobleman Timaeus can manage it whilst we're here?" The Queen was desperate to change her Lord's decision. The Queen knew better than to suggest that the Conqueror would travel back and forth.

"We just got back from Thira after spending the better part of the summer there."

"My Lord, please… I beseech you." The Queen, like numerous times before, had to resort to begging. "Stay here with me."

"I have made up my mind," the Conqueror strictly informed her.

Queen Gabrielle halted her steps, and bore her sad gaze into the Conqueror's back. "Am I not free to do as I wish, my Lord?"

The Conqueror stopped dead in her tracks with her back turned to her wife.

"Isn't the Queen of the Realm free to do as she pleases?" Queen Gabrielle repeated her question.

The Conqueror brusquely turned to face her wife. "When you were training earlier today… I noticed that your collar was not around your thigh as always."

"My collar!?" the Queen was baffled at first by the Conqueror's words. She could neither see nor understand what relevance her collar had with her desire to remain with the Amazons. "The skirt I was given to wear was a tad short, and knowing the nature of the combat exercises on the training field, I thought it best to take it off beforehand so that others wouldn't see it. I opted to keep it private as I thought you might want as well." It then dawned on her that the Conqueror's ardent reluctance to stay with the Amazons might have had very little to do with managing the Realm or with interrogating the governors.

The Conqueror knew in her heart that the Queen had been right to do so, but still it vexed her beyond reason and she wasn't about to lose the argument, "Then you should have told me as much beforehand rather than have me find out the way I did."

"I am sorry if I have offended against you, my Lord," the Queen offered and lowered her head.

The Conqueror ignored her wife's heartfelt apology.

"I was hoping that in spite of any reservations you might have, you could find it within your loving heart to be happy for me, or at least demonstrate happiness for my sake."

"Anger cannot be dishonest," the Conqueror retorted. "What is it about them that fascinates and attracts you so much?" she asked, not entirely positive that she wanted to hear her wife's answer.

"I am not entirely sure, my Lord," the Queen replied after a few long moments had elapsed. "They fulfill some need in me that I have yet to fully understand either its nature or quality.”

"Fulfill some need…" the Conqueror repeated almost in mockery, grossly displeased, and vexed still. "I've suspected something like this might happen. That is the reason why I was reluctant to take you with me to the Amazons in the first place."

The Queen was at a loss for words. All she could feel was an insuperable and overwhelming pain in her shrunken heart. It was then that her tears finally won over and started to stream down the slopes of her face of their own accord.

"When I agreed to become your wife, I had no idea what it meant to be Queen, what it meant to be the wife of a powerful Ruler. All I wanted was to be close to you and to be bonded to you because the love a slave girl bore you was so great… I could hardly contain it. But I have learnt quickly. All throughout our years together, the Realm took you away from me; wars tore you away from my arms. Your duties and responsibilities robbed me of you. I have never placed myself between you and the Realm, between you and who you are. Won't you do the same for me, my Lion?"

The Conqueror listened carefully to her wife's claims. She could hardly believe her ears. Never before had Gabrielle spoken to her in such a manner, and what was this about? Was Gabrielle's argument that she owed her? Hasn't she given her wife the world? Hot air came blowing out of the Conqueror's nostrils like out of a raging bull, and her lips were drawn into a tight thin line. "I never forced you to marry me. It was your choice and yours alone," she mercilessly rebuked her wife, then added like she didn't preplan her words, "Am I not enough for you!?" Her voice rose to a shout.

After a few silent moments passed and the Queen didn't reply, the Conqueror resumed walking. By the way that the ------- Conqueror strode, Queen Gabrielle became aware of just how livid her Lord was.

"You are my entire world, my Lord," she cried after her meekly. The words came out of Gabrielle's mouth without premeditation or faltering. She wasn't sure whether she had answered the Conqueror's question.

"Then by all means, stay here," the Conqueror eventually said with a chilling tone of voice as she reached her horse.

"I beg you, my gracious Lord, stay here with me. Please do not leave me alone for I cannot stand to be without you."

"You must take responsibility for the choices you make, Madame. If truly you cannot part with me then you are welcome to join me and I shall be willing to forget all about this whim of yours," the Conqueror said, disinclined to compromise in anyway.

"Throughout all our years together, I haven't asked much of you. Of what little I have asked of you over the years, my Lord, I have hardly ever asked for myself." For the Queen it was the last resort.

The Conqueror mounted her steed and crudely grabbed hold of the reigns.

“At least wait until daylight before you leave, my Lord, please." But she might as well have been talking to the trees around her.

From above the steed's back, the towering Conqueror looked down at her sobbing wife, but her heart was too hardened. "Goodbye, Madame," she muttered with sealed countenance and icy eyes, and kicked her heels into the steed's ribs.

"My Lord, please don't leave me!" The Queen pleaded, out of her mind with grief as she watched her beloved Lord galloping away from her. She felt every ounce of strength she still possessed absconding from her body. Her legs crumbled beneath her and she fell with a thud to her knees. She wept violently. So much so that she nearly lost her ability to breathe. Nevertheless, she drew a hefty volume of air into her lungs and cried out with all her might: "Xena!"

The eviscerating cry that carried her Lord and lover's name could pierce the heart of any being on earth; it could have split a rock into pieces; it could have shattered steel as if it was glass; not the callous heart of the Conqueror, though, who kept riding ahead, never looking back at the devastated wife she had left behind.

The Queen looked up to find that darkness had already set and a full moon adorned the black skies seeded with twinkling stars. Aside from the dull ache in her soul she felt nothing, not even the night's chill. She lay down on the ground, which was covered with decaying yellowing leaves and pressed her ear against it to see if she could still hear the sounds of hoof beats. She was drained and exhausted. Her breath was slow and shallow and she could smell the suffocating odor of the sand and thought that this how it must feel being buried alive. She barred the vagaries of her mind from running rampant inside her head, including the search for the reasons that had caused her Lord to object so emphatically to staying with the Amazons.

It took the Conqueror but a third of the time to reach the border between Amazon lands and Thrace that it had taken to cover that exact distance the day before in the opposite direction. When she neared the campsite where the Imperial Guard detachment was stationed, her men startled to their feet with unsheathed swords as soon as they could discern the drumming of hoof-beats from a distant.

“Stand down!” The Conqueror's familiar roar perforated the darkness.

When she reached their campsite, the Conqueror dismounted the neighing animal, and her cloak billowed in the breeze and revealed her injured arm beneath it.

They all bowed before her, none daring to inquire after her well being for that would have been drawn unwanted attention to what might be perceived as weakness. The highest-ranking officer approached his Supreme Commander. "Majesty," he bowed, "We didn't expect to see you back so soon."

"I trust all is quite calm here," the Conqueror said, and took a flask that was offered to her by one of her men.

"There isn't much traffic in these parts, Majesty," the officer replied.

"Good. I'm headed back to Corinth tonight. Her Majesty and her Grace will remain with the Amazons in the meantime. Hand me a quill and three parchments along with wax," the Conqueror ordered and seated herself by the burning bonfire.

"You heard the Lord Conqueror, and fill up a plate!" the officer ordered the soldiers. They all scurried to comply with the commands.

By the light of the fire, the Conqueror issued three summonses to appear before the throne: the first to Lady Lila, Governor of Macedonia, the second to Nobleman Arkilis, governor of Thrace and the third to Nobleman Simonides, governor to Moesia . She melted the wax onto each rolled parchment and sunk her seal ring into the molten red substance.

"At daybreak, have these sent to the governors of all three provinces," she instructed the officer and handed him the parchments. When her hand was free she took the plate that was made for her and only then did she realize how hungry she was.

When she was done she put her plate aside. "How many of you have wives, soldiers?" she asked as she gazed almost pensively at the flickering fire.

They all exchanged looks between them till one by one most of them raised their hands.

"They must resent your absences away from home for long periods of time while you're on a mission , do they not?" the Conqueror asked.

Once again they looked at each other, not entirely sure what their Master was aiming for and what was the desirable answer.

"The truth, now…" she encouraged them.

"Well, mine sometime does, Majesty, as I'm sure the wives of my comrades do as well," one of them took it upon himself to comply with his Master's inquiry. His brothers in arms all nodded their head in agreement.

"Mine once locked me outside my home for the entire night when I was delayed by my duties," another offered.

"Consider yourself lucky," said the third, "Mine sicced my mother-in-law on me."

"After the campaign in Chin, my wife had me sleep with our livestock in the barn for no less than seven whole nights. I say, I needn't tell any of you how hard I was coming back from the battlefield… had she not took pity on me when she did, I dare say I might have sunk as low as taking a sheep instead," a forth burst into laughter, but a sharp scolding look from the officer, meant to remind the young soldier that he was in the presence of the Lord Conqueror and not his drinking partners in a sordid tavern, stifled his lark immediately.

The officer, who was older than the others, then offered his own wisdom, which could only have come from years of experiences and life. "We lay waste to lands and conquer nations in your Majesty's name and under your Majesty's command, but in our homes our wives are the true rulers. And so, whenever I return to my wife from my missions, I come bearing gifts and sweet words."

The Conqueror couldn't help but think about what she had brought to her wife when she had returned from the battlefield; her darkness and her whip. Nevertheless, she knew that her Gabrielle shared those dark needs and craved them as much as she did.

The Conqueror rose to her feet, and they all stood with her almost simultaneously. "Commander," she addressed the officer, "When I reach Corinth I shall send more detachments of the Imperial Guard to take your position here, so that you may return to your wives. Every fortnight there will be a rotation of forces along this border. Until such time, you are to stop anything that moves along these perimeters. You shall interrogate all that you stop as to their identity, where they hail from, their destination, the nature of their business here and you are to search their property for weapons. Those who seem suspicious to you will be escorted to Corinth to appear before me. Is that understood?"

"By your will, Majesty," he said with his body starched at attention.

The Conqueror mounted her steed. "At ease," she threw over her shoulder as she rode away from them till the darkness of the night around her swallowed her whole.

Meanwhile, back on Amazon lands, Princess Athena who stood in waiting for her parents to return near their assigned hut began to worry once darkness descended and her parents were still nowhere to be found. She took a torch, and with the Conqueror's words to her in mind, she entered the woods at the edges of the village where they had tied their horse the day of their arrival, to see if the Conqueror's steed was still there. As she neared the area, from afar, she saw a figure lying on the ground. It was too dark and too far to see clearly.

She pricked up her ears and squinted in effort to better her sight. Stooped and highly alert, she advanced stealthily. Her initial thought was that another Amazon was murdered, this time only a very short distance away from the edges of the village.

When she was but a few feet away from the figure, much to her horror she recognized her mother and her heart lost a beat, thinking something horrible had happened to her.

“Mother!” she exclaimed and ran towards the Queen, who was lying all curled up and motionless on the cold hard ground.

“Athena,” the Queen responded faintly.

Abruptly Athena knelt down next to her mother and dropped the burning torch at a safe distance. She surveyed her mother's pale face to the moonlight. Her eyes were open and bloodshot.

“Are you hurt?” Athena asked nearly flustered.

“I hurt inside,” the Queen rasped.

Athena quickly glanced over her mother's body to check for any visible injuries. Of course there were none to be found. “Hurt inside?” Athena asked in haste, “I don't understand what you mean. Where is her Majesty? What happened?”

“My Lord has left me in rage,” the Queen replied.

“Oh, mother,” Athena sighed gently. She had anticipated the discord between her parents. Knowing how tender her mother's heart was, she gathered how devastated her mother must be. Unlike herself and the Conqueror, her mother was incapable of hardening her heart and there wasn't a high, impenetrable, fortified wall with guards that never sleep around it. Her mother, she knew, felt everything raw. Her heart was not only tender but exposed as well, and she loved the Conqueror more than anything else, and so she took pity on her mother for experiencing such great, paralyzing pain.

Athena took off her cloak and draped it over her mother's nearly frozen body. She rubbed her hands over her mother's form to keep her warm.

“You must get inside and sit by the fire or you'll catch your death out here,” Athena said with the softest of voice. “Please mother,” Athena urged the Queen and gently helped her to a sitting position. “There you go,” she muttered when the Queen was able to stagger to her feet.

“Do you need me to carry you?” Athena asked.

“No. I shall walk on my own,” Queen Gabrielle finally said and began walking with small steps, leaning against her daughter's arm for support.

“We must get something hot in you as soon as possible.” Athena was concerned, and draped her arm around her mother's slender shoulders and rubbed her bicep so to generate heat. “You mustn't trouble yourself. Her Majesty will come around eventually. She loves you more than anything,” Athena attempted to cheer up her forlorn, dejected mother but it only made the Queen's eyes water up again.

When mother and daughter entered the hut, Athena started a fire in the hearth and helped her mother into her nightgown. She then helped her to bed and covered her. She then seated herself on the other side of the bed and she felt fortunate that she could repay her mother for all the times her mother had insisted on putting her to bed when she had been a child in spite of the fact that she had been Queen and the Conqueror had often reminded her that there had been servants for that.

“What was the row about?” Athena asked.

“My will to remain here and my Lord's will to return to Corinth .”

Athena waited for her mother to continue, but the Queen cupped her daughter's chiseled cheek. “You look so much like my Lord that it is as though my Lord is here with me. It is a great comfort to me,” she said sounding tired and her eyelids became too heavy to keep open.

“It is late. You should sleep now,” Athena whispered and rose to her feet. “We shall talk more tomorrow.” She placed a kiss on her mother's forehead and blew out the candles. “Your training to become Queen of the Amazons awaits you tomorrow. You need to be strong,” she whispered.

Before she left the hut, Athena heard the Queen murmur something unintelligible before succumbing to sleep.


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