Copyright Disclaimer: Any and all characters referenced from the
Xenaverse belong to Renaissance Pictures and their respective
parties. I don't own the characters otherwise we'd already have a
movie and the series would have never ended the way it did. All
superfluous characters belong to me.
Sex, Violence, Language Warning: They will all be present and they will probably be graphic. In specific reference to the sex portion of the warning I will say that any descriptive sexual text will be centered on that of the lesbian variety. If you like it, great. If you don't, I don't want to hear about it.
Spoiler Warning: Post 'Friend in Need'.
Feedback: Seriously, I live on it. If you like this story even a little bit please drop me a line saying so either through email or comments at the Athenaeum. I would really appreciate it. All constructive criticisms would also be appreciated.
Author's Notes: This is the third book in my Living in the Past series. If you haven't read book 1 or 2 you're gonna be a bit lost, so you might as well go check them out as well. ;) But if you really just can't be asked, there will be a brief synopsis going on in the beginning of this story that I hope will get you up to par. So grab yourself a cozy chair and a warm or frosty beverage and relax. The fun's about to begin.
Book 3: Chaos Theory
If an object as inanimate as a plate were ever afforded the ability to feel, the one resting on the blanket between the vampire and the time traveler would have suffered the piercing sting of neglect. The two women to either side of it were focused on anything but its contents of cheese and fruit. The plate probably wouldn't have been able to suss out what they were doing. The wine was being consumed, idle chit-chat was going nowhere, and they both looked as if they were trying to bore holes in the other one's forehead with their eyes. That is, until they drifted into the uncertain terrain of their pasts.
"So are you ever going to tell me where you're really from?" Khepri asked.
"You ever going to tell me why you're different from the other vampires?" Sarah countered.
"How 'bout the immortality?" The vampire volleyed.
"How 'bout we trade?" The younger woman suggested.
The dark haired beauty sighed and smiled at her secretive companion. But she had to admit, it seemed like a fair idea.
"Asteri and I are the twin offspring of Bacchus and Akasha. You probably know Bacchus as the lord of the Bachai, but you may not be quite as familiar with Akasha. My mother, once queen of the vampires, was hunted down and nearly destroyed by those who would take her power. She escaped into Greece and sought shelter within the ranks of the Bachai."
As Sarah listened to the story her mind went directly to one of the worst movies she'd ever seen and the woman responsible for the myth itself... Or what she'd thought was a myth.
"Mother wanted to learn all she could about them because they shared many of the same traits, but had different strengths and weaknesses. Father wasn't sure what to make of her at first; didn't know if he could trust her," she winked at her companion and Sarah smirked and studied her glass. "But after a while it didn't really matter if he could trust her or not, because he'd fallen in love and, after a bit of courting, so did she."
"And I'm guessing it didn't take long before you and Asteri came along."
"Precisely. Two children born with the strengths of both the Bacchai and the vampire."
"I'm assuming that you didn't come out full grown, because that would just be a fate worse than death for your mother," Sarah postulated with a healthy sip of wine.
"No," Khepri answered with a chuckle. "The permanence of our form didn't take root until we'd reached our physical peaks."
"So, what happened to Bacchus and Akasha? I don't recall seeing them hanging out back at the lair."
"What happened to the quid-pro-quo? How 'bout you start answering some questions for me, now?"
Sarah nodded; it was fair. "What do you want to know first?"
"How 'bout we start with those little parlor tricks you've got up your sleeve in the immortality department?"
She took a deep breath and smiled. Of all the questions Khepri could have asked her, this was definitely the easiest one to answer.
"That's still up for debate. You see, it kind of just happened in the last few months. We were all in Chin trying to get Eve out safely. I'm not positive if this was the source, but Eve did something to me one night when I was bathing."
The vampires eyes grew wide and her nostrils flared; alerting Sarah to the context in which her statement could have been taken.
"Not the 'something' you're thinking right now," she corrected. "She kind of just came in while I was sitting there and started spewing some mumbo-jumbo while she held her hands above me. After that, Rada made a couple of attempts on my life that would have worked, had I not just developed this uncanny ability to not die."
"So this is something that could go away at any second?"
"As far as I know."
"Doesn't that scare you?"
Sarah chuckled, "I kinda lived with that whole mortality handicap for the greater part of my life, I think I can handle going back to it."
"Right," Khepri smiled. "Of course, you can. I guess it's a little difficult for me to understand that concept."
There was a small silence as they both settled more into spending time together. Sarah took another sip of wine and spoke up again.
"So, what happened to your parents?"
"You know, I think I really deserve another question from you," Khepri asserted. "I mean, my first answer was both longer and more explicit than yours was."
"Ha!" Sarah laughed aloud. "Really, that's how you'd like to play it, huh?"
"Well, I think it's only fair."
The time traveler quirked her smile and narrowed her eyes. "Fine, but it better not take more than a sentence or two."
"I don't think it will," the vampire set her glass to the side and fixed her eyes intently to the ones in front of her. "What would you do if I kissed you right now?"
Sarah's breathing increased as the question sunk in. Taking a cue from the older woman, she set her glass to the side as well.
"Well, given that I agreed to come out with you, I'd say the odds are stacked pretty high in favor of me kissing you back... or slapping you."
"Slapping me, huh?" She asked as she moved to her hands and knees and moved closer to her prey.
"Well it is the first date and we certainly haven't reached the end of it," the time traveler explained as she swallowed hard from their increasing proximity. "Wouldn't want anyone to think my virtue had been impugned upon."
"Yes, because I certainly haven't 'impugned' upon you before," She sarcastically smirked and moved closer still.
Sarah smiled, "Yeah."
She moved in to close the distance and was met by Khepri's obliging lips.
The plate between them was not only forgotten but discarded like a piece of garbage as they moved in closer to one another. Sarah's breathing increased rapidly as she marveled at the feelings that were taking over her body. She'd been anticipating this moment since the morning and thinking about it throughout the day, yet still she was still surprised by the clench of her stomach and flutter of her heart as their bodies connected. Her hands found their way into dark hair as her tongue begged entrance into the vampire's mouth. It was granted quickly; entangled in lustful heat.
Khepri's ardor was becoming too much to fend off as their kisses heightened. She pushed Sarah back and climbed atop her. Her exuberance only served to feed the fire within the time traveler's loins and she grasped harder at the silky locks between her fingers. A firm thigh worked its way between her legs and started a slow but forceful grind, causing a moan to erupt from her throat.
"Jesus," she rasped before moving her own leg up against her partner.
The growl that emanated from Khepri was visceral and the intensity of Sarah's reactions was driving her crazy. With swift movements she extracted the hands from her hair and held them down beside her captive's head. This only caused the younger woman to moan louder and squirm her lower body more.
A fire was building between the two women and it was quickly reaching a dangerous level. Sarah was amazed at how turned on she was by everything Khepri did. It was as if the woman knew how to push all of her buttons. Cold lips moved to the corner of a mouth, then across the hard terrain of a jaw line before finally trekking down a smooth expanse of neck and latching on to the pulse point. The time traveler didn't even bother to stifle the moan that escaped her throat. Her neck was a key erogenous zone and Khepri's lips certainly had clearance to venture into those confines.
What had started off as a slow grind began to build into a heated frenzy as both women increased their breathing. The noises Sarah made only served to fuel the fire that Khepri had been feeding off of for the past few moments. She maneuvered the girl's wrists into one hand so that the other was free to roam. Though it had crossed her mind to let her loose completely, something told her that a little restraint actually put the girl at ease. As her free hand headed south it encountered a leather clad breast and she growled in frustration at the inability to feel the girl fully. But on she pressed as she nipped at a collar bone and moved back up to sample the sweet lips of her captive.
After what seemed like an eternity she pulled back to look into the girls eyes and was met with a gaze of pure and undeniable lust. Her own orbs exuded a confidence that demanded a surrender that she knew was to be received. And as they shared the same palpable air, she moved her hand down further to reach between Sarah's legs before diving back into her mouth. As her fingers made contact with the girl's most intimate area, her tongue made entry between her bruised lips. Pulling away only to hear her moans un-muffled, she stroked her purposefully while once again drowning in her permissive eyes.
"Fuck!" Sarah exclaimed.
Her body was on autopilot; simply following the lead that was set for her by the beautiful woman that played her like a finely tuned instrument. She knew that they should have been going slower than this, but her body was so far past caring that her mind and heart may as well have been as noticeable as teardrops in a rainstorm. The feelings were so strong that her eyes seemed to close of their own volition and allowed her to simply go with the moment.
Khepri could both feel and smell the girl's arousal and not one stitch of clothing had been removed. It was that first whiff that caused her fangs to flare up and her pupils to overtake the blue of her irises. Pure instinct forced her face back down to the girls neck, dragging against it at first with her tongue, but then with her teeth.
Now, Sarah had received a fair share of hickeys in her time, but the needle like point of the vampire's fangs against her flesh was discern-able in an instant. Her libido slowed mildly but did not halt as her heart started beating double time with both fear and arousal.
"Khepri?" she asked breathlessly.
She received no answer other than a small decrease in the pace of their grind and an increase in the pressure on her neck. After a small wince she tried again.
"Khepri, let my hands go, ok?" She asked steadily.
As the vampire breathed harder she released her hands only to move both arms tight around her torso; the fangs never leaving her neck. Sarah thought for a moment about what was happening and forced herself to try to remain calm. She knew she wouldn't die, no matter what Khepri did to her, but she wasn't all that sure that a bite from the woman wouldn't cause her to become a vampire. Whatever she did, she had to be careful. Moving her hands to stroke the woman's head and back, she continued to speak.
"You know you've got all the cards right now, honey, so I'm not even gonna play like what I'm saying may change what you're about to do, but can you please tell me what's going on?"
The timbre in her voice and the way she said 'honey' forced her to pull back the slightest bit. And as her hands moved to dig into the sand for restraint she breathed hard and spoke her words against the girl's neck.
"I didn't feed today," her words were choppy. "I thought it wouldn't make a difference, but sometimes the need can be accelerated by..."
"Arousal." she ground her hips for emphasis and moved back into her lustful trance. "It's not like it would kill you."
Sarah heard the words and felt the flick of the tongue that punctuated them.
"No, but it sure would take things to a whole new level of fucked up," Sarah emphasized. "I'm not saying there isn't something morbidly hot about the idea of you biting me, but I really don't think we're quite at that level of intimacy. And besides that you haven't even asked me if it's ok."
The girl's last statement served to pull Khepri from her over-sensitized state and she eased back to look in blue eyes.
"I'm sorry," She said, moving quickly off of her captive. "The yearning was so strong, I didn't even think about what I was doing. I've spent very little time trying to control my urges."
Sarah got to her feet and moved closer to the vampire. "Hey, it's ok. I wasn't scared, I didn't think you'd actually hurt me."
"But I wanted to."
Their eyes were locked on to each other for a brief moment; Khepri's conveying the truth of her statement and Sarah's searching for any kind of response at all to what she'd just heard. She didn't have a chance to form one before the vampire bolted swiftly back into the woods, leaving her alone with her thoughts and the equally confused plate of finger foods.
The Queen splashed lukewarm water on her face and then ran wet hands through tousled hair. After grabbing a towel she sighed softly, glad that the day was over. With a roll of her neck, the tension melted away and the towel was tossed aside; abandoned in search of a sleep shift.
Eve's eyes followed her movements idly as she sat on the bed; a brush moving smoothly through her hair. A mischievous smile grew on her lips as her love shed her leathers and released her body from its binding accouterments. She could tell Varia had noticed because the Amazon's movements slowed ever so perceptively as she bathed in the open appreciation.
"You're awfully quiet tonight," she pointed out before slipping the shift over her shoulders. "Is there something on your mind?"
"No, I'm fine." Eve's smile was quick to come and gave away her statement for a falsehood.
"You know you're not a very good liar," Varia asserted. "I'm not sure why you try."
She moved closer to the bed and touched the Messengers cheek softly. "Are you still thinking about what happened yesterday?"
"You mean my manipulating you into starting a war you could never win, then switching sides at the last minute, thus demeaning you in the face of your tribe?" She looked up at her sadly. "Why in the world would I be thinking about that?"
The Queen smiled sadly and sat down on the bed beside her. "Eve, I'm not going to say that I wasn't hurt by what you did, or that I'm not still a little angry about it, but I know you were trying to do what you thought was right at the time."
"But I hurt you, Varia," she sat up to come face to face with her. "We've become very close these past few weeks and the feelings I have for you make me feel like I could fly to the moon if only I wouldn't miss being next to you so much."
The Amazon smiled, "You make me feel the same way."
"And still I did this awful thing to you. And that's on top of all the horrible things I did to you in the past."
"We've been through this before..."
"But talking about it doesn't change the hurt that I inflicted upon you, and am apparently still capable of causing."
"Eve, you can't possibly believe that we're going to go our entire relationship without hurting each other."
"No, I know that pain is a part of love but..." She moved away from the bed and started to pace the floor.
"But what?" Varia sat up straight awaiting her answer.
"But I am my mother's daughter," Eve said as if she'd just explained everything.
The Queen shook her head in confusion. "And your mother is in a very happy relationship with Gabrielle."
"Right now she's in a happy relationship with Gabrielle." The Messenger conceded sadly. "But that has all come with a price and it's a hefty toll. Read Gabrielle's scrolls sometimes. Their relationship doesn't seem so loving when the sidekick is being dragged behind the great hero's horse."
Tears began to fall from Eve's eyes as she looked into brown orbs that conveyed nothing but love. "I don't want to do that to you. I don't want to constantly hurt you and then be allowed to redeem myself through your love."
Varia stood up and stepped forward to take Eve's face into her hands.
"The first thing you have to understand is that you are not your mother and I am not Gabrielle. I'd never cut my hair that short." She waited for a sad chuckle to emerge and continued. "The next thing you have to understand is that, as crazy as it may sound, I don't think Gabrielle could be with someone who bent to her every whim and did everything they could to avoid causing her pain. Now, I'm not saying that she's crazy enough to have enjoyed what happened after Xena lost her child, but I do think that the depth of their love couldn't exist without their profound ability to cause each other pain. Gabrielle understood what life with Xena would be like every step of the way, and she took those risks gladly because the rewards were worth so much more."
She moved them both back to the bed and lay down beside Eve.
"Theirs is a great love," she asserted while stroking the Messenger's face. "And with great love comes great hardship and great happiness. They both had the choice to settle for a mediocre relationship that would have been tantamount to dying a slow, monotonous death, but they didn't. They're adventurers. Every day they chose to risk their very lives in order to feel that they were living as fully as possible. People like that don't take the easy way out when it comes to love. So, yes, you are your mother's daughter, but that's not a bad thing. It means that you will experience things that most people only dream about."
Eve looked through the tears in her eyes and allowed her heart to be touched by some of the most thoughtful words she'd ever had directed at her person.
"I've already started having those experiences," she explained as she drew the Queen's face down for a soft and loving kiss, which was reciprocated in kind.
Varia pulled back slowly and caught her eyes again. "I promise you that I'm strong enough to take the bad with the good."
Eve rolled them over so she could lie on the warrior's chest and listen to her heartbeat. With a soft sigh she closed her eyes. "I hope so."
Arsen tried to situate his shirt into a more presentable state as he made his way through the dark woods, but gave up after tripping over several unburied roots.
"Gods be damned," he swore just before looking up ahead at the sound of a twig snapping underfoot.
Quickly he moved behind the nearest tree so as to surprise whatever may be lurking in the dark. It took only a few moments before he realized that his vigilance was ill founded. Sarah passed by his hiding spot without as much as a glance in the direction of his cover.
"Damn girl, you really need to watch those footfalls," he pointed out as he emerged. "You clunk around like a horse. And from what I understand about these woods, that's not the smartest thing to do."
Sarah turned and regarded him for a brief moment before smiling and moving on.
"Thanks, but from the look of your shirt, I'd say you weren't exactly the person I need to be taking safety advice from."
"Hey, this happened to me in the camp and I wouldn't have expected any less from a feisty Amazon."
"You're not supposed to be in the village after dark unless there's a festival," She warned.
"What's your point?" he asked as if truly confused.
She smiled briefly, and then waved him off again. "Go home, Arsen. It was good seeing you."
He, of course, did the exact opposite and started walking with her back in the direction of the camp. "You know it's not normally in my best interest to press women on what's bothering them because that usually ends in a bunch of boring crap coming out of their mouths that I didn't want to hear about anyway. But you've kinda got the knack of not having a whole lot of boring shit happen to you. So why don't you save yourself some time and let me in on what's got you all mopey."
She thought about rebuking him further, but decided against it because she honestly wanted to see if she could get a reaction out of him from what was momentarily bothering her. Stopping in her tracks she turned to face him while delivering the news.
"I can't have sex with that hot vampire chick because she wants to bite me and drink my blood whenever I get her all hot and bothered."
"Huh," he grunted.
She rolled her eyes, "Yep, see, just boring old vagina stuff. Nothing to get all excited over."
"Yeah, pretty much," he agreed, turning around to continue his previous path.
Sarah tried to keep walking toward the village, she really did, but her curiosity got the better of her and she had to turn back to further question her friend.
"Ok, how the hell could that possibly be boring? I'm dating a vampire!"
"Exactly!" He stated obviously. "What did you expect?"
"I guess I expected her to show a little more restraint."
"Well then that was just you being stupid," his tone was one of mere observance, with no intention of offense. "What I'd be more concerned with are your reasoning skills. I mean, even if she did bite you, you wouldn't die because of that weird 'immortal' thing you've got going on. And to top it all off, you'd have gotten laid. Either you're faking the super powers, which I highly doubt due to my own testing in that area, or, you don't like fucking women. Which is just plain silly."
"I have no way of knowing what could happen if she bit me, I could turn into a vampire!"
"Oh, yeah, that would be horrible," he rebuked sarcastically. "You'd have bad-ass strength to go along with your bad-ass immortality. It'd be redundant for you to be more resilient. Especially with your superior fighting skills."
"I don't want to have to kill people and drink their blood!"
"I don't want to have to sneak into an estrogen fest just to get into Amazon panties, but these are the sacrifices we make to get up in them guts!"
Sarah's entire face squinted as if she'd just sucked on a lemon. She put her hand up in defeat.
"You know what, in the spirit of you just walking away right now and never uttering that phrase again, I'm just going to say you win and continue on home."
"Now you're using the old noggin!"
And they both went their separate ways. Though it must be noted, one left much more sexually satisfied than the other.
Khepri bounded into her quarters and drank every ounce of blood in her bar. Though it paled in comparison to the warm flow of a beating heart she fell back onto her bed in a somewhat satiated manor. It was then that Asteri decided to make his presence known.
"Leave my room if you do not wish to quarrel," she suggested. "I am in a foul mood and your presence only serves to further intensify my rage."
"Poor girl, had a bad first date, didn't you," he mocked her and sampled a bit of fruit before spitting it out. "I still don't understand the human fascination with food. It's cold and boring."
"Brother, in case you hadn't noticed I was trying to calmly suggest that you leave my presence before I forced you out of it."
"No, you were quite clear in your wishes, but sadly that's not going to happen until we've had a little chat," he moved closer to the bed. "You see, this whole set up we've got here is not so monarchical that it runs on one established command. We both rule our people and the events of the past few days, however entertaining, have not helped solidify the plurality of our government."
"The plurality of our government?" She laughed while taking her feet. "Surely you mean the farce that is two children leading the most dangerous creatures on the face of the earth?"
"Call it what you will, Khepri, but this is our legacy; those 'creatures' are our denizens. And you, sister, made me look a fool in their presence! I require satisfaction."
"Asteri, I'm in no mood for your dramatics," she pinched the bridge of her nose. "Leave my quarters or I shall crucify you to yours... again."
He chuckled, "You really don't understand that I'm not making requests anymore, do you?"
"It honestly doesn't matter to me right now."
He looked her over with a maliciousness that is only born of oppressive rage. "Oh, but it will. In case you haven't noticed, love, I've already lost everything. So, now, I'm free to do anything. You however have marinated yourself in weakness to the point that is simply pathetic."
With a roll of her eyes she sat up and crossed her arms. "Get to the point so that I may soon get to bed."
"You have taken my vampires away from me, you have relieved me of certain rights to feed in what should be my land, and you have done all of this in the name of some ridiculous sentiment you have for a worthless human."
"Still looking for that point."
"The point!" He raged and moved right in her face. "The point is that there may be a way to kill her and if there isn't then I swear by the blood of the demons that runs through my veins I will find a way to make her suffer beyond any mortal measure if you don't drop your boorish tone and do exactly as I say."
She finally looked him in the eyes and regarded him seriously. "You don't have the means."
He chuckled, "I don't have the means! You, dear sister, have all but given up our hunting grounds. How long do you think it will take for hunger to set in amongst the ranks? And once that happens, who do you think they'll come running to remedy that thirst. The leader who sold out her people for some pathetic piece of human cunt? Or the one who was wrongfully usurped by his whore of a sister?"
"The hunting grounds have not been relinquished, they've simply been limited to those humans who are not of Amazon blood."
"And why should we settle for that? Hmm?" He started circling her. "Have you ever seen a pack of wolves let a herd of deer roam free in their hunting grounds just because the leader of the pack became sentimental? That's not the way nature works."
"We're not wolves; we have minds that think beyond our next meal."
He ignored her sentence completely, "And even if the leader did become a sentimental fool, do you think that that ridiculous train of thought would last forever? Because it wouldn't! The hunter does not fall in love with the hunted."
"I'm not falling in love!" She stood in protest.
He grabbed her by the arms and growled. "Thirst is a powerful force, Khepri! Need, not desire, rules the body and once the foolish weakness for desire dissipates, need wins out," he loosened his grip slightly. "But you already know this, because you nearly gave in tonight, didn't you?"
"You don't know what you're talking about," her rebuke was faint and she couldn't meet his eyes for the first time that night.
"Tell me you didn't rake your fangs across her pulse point," he resumed his grip and forced her eyes back to his. "Tell me she didn't have to ask you to stop from biting down. If you tell me that, then I shall forgive all transgressions and give up my sinister existence for a life of poetry and piss with all the other poor fools that believe in the power of love. You look me in the eye and tell me that you didn't want to rip into that girl's throat and I'll leave you to lead this pack in whatever perverse way you see fit."
Every inch of her hate shown through with the stare she gave him. But even with a growl in her throat and fire in her eyes she couldn't deceive the truth of her heart.
"One of us will end up hurting that girl and at this point I don't care who it is," He reasoned. "But understand this. You have the rest of eternity to live, whether you like it or not, and this world will be a horrifically lonely place to go through when you have the ability to live it out with your loving family by your side."
At this point she couldn't tell whether or not he was playing her, or if he was being genuine. But it didn't matter, because in the late hour his words were starting to make sense. It was after he saw this flicker of resignation in her eyes that he moved in for the kill.
"In the end you'll end up hurting her, and if you don't I swear I will for what she's done to this family. Either way that girl is doomed to suffer as your lover," he loosened his hold on her. "Whether you spend eternity alone because of her suffering is up to you."
He left her simply staring at the space he no longer occupied and left the room. As much as her heart told her that what he said was a lie, and that she could fight against anything for what she wanted, her mind confirmed his postulation. Sarah was in danger if they proceeded and she simply couldn't have that. She, for the first time, realized that she was severely close to losing something that mattered.
Sarah ambled through the village confused and distraught. As her path intersected with the campfire a voice called out her name.
"Sarah, come sit," Rada called out with a slight slur. "Tell me about your date."
"Well, it didn't go exactly as I'd planned," She sitting down and accepting a smoke.
"What, she try to bite you?"
Sarah's eyes narrowed and Rada's squinted as she started to laugh. "Poor baby, went out on a date with a monster and expected it not to bite her."
"Yeah, I guess so," she put out the half smoked cigarette and stood up. "You know, I think I'm going to head for my bunk. Quit while I'm behind."
"Oh come on, sit down and have a drink with me."
"Tomorrow night," she promised with a sad smirk.
A she made her way inside the small dwelling she'd been afforded and shed her clothes to get more comfortable she sighed with resignation and plopped down on the bed. Closing her eyes, she thought about her predicament and simply shook her head. Women, in general, were difficult to handle sometimes, but perhaps trying to shack up with one that literally wanted to suck the life out of you wasn't the greatest idea she'd ever had.