Predestined...--Xena's Scroll (Part 1)
I was the Empress of Rome, sharing with my husband the command of a sprawling empire more huge than the world has ever known. I had thousands of soldiers at my disposal, each of them more eager than the next to give their life for me. We had immeasurable wealth and there was no material item I couldn't have simply by asking for it. I could have the finest craftsmen in the world create a work of art just by describing what I wanted. We had hunting grounds, riding courses, and lived in a spacious mansion, a palace really. I had a wardrobe full of clothes and accessories from every country in the world.
All these things were at my disposal. It seemed I had everything any person could desire.
Yet, I was still empty.
For as long as I could remember, I had felt a huge void inside me. I had tried to explain it to Caesar once, but he had just stared at me blankly, then said he wanted to fuck me. I didn't let him fuck me, but I didn't try to talk to him about it again.
He often told me he loved me, and I suppose he really did. At one time, I probably loved him too, but that had to have been many years ago. I had thought he was handsome and charismatic when I had first known him. I had seduced him at the same time he was seducing me.
There was an old saying that said, "Be careful what you with for because you just might get it." I had never really known what that meant until I had married Caesar.
It wasn't that I was opposed to leading the Roman people. No, on the contrary, I enjoyed that very much. They were good-hearted and undemanding for the most part, and I found the daily work of providing for them suited me. I know I had a reputation of being a fair, kind ruler, and I strived to keep it that way.
Whereas my reputation was almost always favorable to some degree, Caesar's was just the opposite, and it seemed to be getting worse. He didn't direct his actions toward the Roman citizens; I wouldn't allow that. Instead, he focused his energies on military campaigns designed to widen his influence of power. I got out and did my share of "influencing" too, but only when necessary to defend the Roman people. But when it came to domestic decisions, I made almost all of them.
I had been gone nearly a month, and if the truth be told, it wasn't long enough. Lately, I was more at peace if I wasn't anywhere near Caesar. But we had messengers arriving from Chin, coming to offer us a treaty and I needed to be there for the negotiations.
I rode into the courtyard in my usual style, testing my guards' readiness with a series of kicks and flips from the back of my galloping horse. It was my version of a triumphant entry, and I thought of how much fun it was, when I forced a smile for Caesar's benefit. I flipped off the horse and landed directly in front of him. He had no idea how much I wanted to move the aim of my bow and arrow just a fraction of an inch so I could penetrate that smug skull of his. I removed my helmet, letting him see I was unharmed. "My emperor," I purred.
His returns smile was genuine. "My empress."
Thank the gods the necessity for showing public affection had been and gone. I'm sure he wanted to kiss me, but I kept out of arm's reach, effectively deterring him The cheers around us did my ears good, as I answered his questions about my mission. I assured him I had been very successful, then told him I wanted to go in and change clothes. I was annoyed when he followed me inside, but he wanted to tell me of a surprise he had cooked up for my return.
I was only half-kidding when I mocked the idea of yet another new playwright. It could mean a very long boring night in the balcony of the theater, watching some historical drama being acted out before me. Whole wars had been fought on that stage, and usually were acted out so ludicrously that I would be tempted to jump down and show the actors how to really swordfight.
Then I realized it was a good thing that the evening's entertainment had been planned, no matter how bad the stage production. I had been gone for a month, and I know Caesar wanted to get into my cunt. His invitation to the playwright was probably just to soften me up, but I would take advantage of the after-play party to load him up on liquor, until he was too drunk to come sniffing around me.
This play was unlike any other I had ever seen though. I was riveted from the moment the handsome hero entered the village of the beautiful young girl. He single-handedly rescued her and her fellow villagers from some dirty-looking warlord.
And from that, a romance blossomed and then love. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my husband yawning, but I was leaning forward in my chair, absolutely hypnotized.
The play grew tragic when the hero plunged off a cliff to save the girl once again. This time, there was no way he would be able to save himself from dying, but he saved her without any hesitation.
I felt tears flood my eyes, when during the last act, the hero appeared to the girl again, seeming to be just fine. At the very end of the play, it was revealed he was an angel, and HAD met his death with the fall, but was given the chance to reappear to her in spirit form to tell her goodbye. With a final kiss, a loving look, and a whispered promise they'd be reunited soon, the play ended.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one affected as the applause was tumultuous. The hero of the play spoke over the crowd, introducing the playwright. My heard was pounding too hard in my ears for me to catch the name as he said it, then held his hand out to the side. He was inviting the playwright out on stage.
I always brought a rose to the theater with me, as was custom, but it was a rare occasion for me to throw it onstage. I was very surprised to see not some learned old scholar, but a feminine blonde step forward then, and many flowers were being thrown in appreciation. She was bowing toward the opposite side of the stage, and I waited until she turned before throwing my rose.
The cheering continued, but I must have frozen in mid-clap when she was suddenly looking up toward me. I got my first good look at her.
She was quite simply the most exquisitely beautiful woman I had ever seen. Her hair was bright blond and was curled, then drawn up in a becoming fashion, that exposed a long slender neck. Her face was smiling up at me, and the white perfection of her teeth was the most dazzling. I couldn't quite make out her eye color from this distance, but I could see they were big and bright. Standing between the two main actors, I could see she was rather petite, but even from this distance, I could make out her firm, full breasts and shapely hips. She smiled for a long moment, then more flowers and cheers caught her attention, breaking the moment.
Caesar was eying us both, me and the playwright. He was less than pleased. Annoyed, I sighed at him, "What's the matter?"
He shrugged pointedly. "Not a thing. If you'll just give me a minute, we'll go to the party."
I nodded and watched him go, before slowly turning back to the stage. The playwright was gone from the stage now, but by closing my eyes, I was able to visualize the blond goddess easily.
It was more than just her delicate beauty I was caught up in. There was something else, something I don't know how to define. We had stared at each other as though we recognized the other, but couldn't place where. I searched my memory, and my conscious mind didn't know her. Yet, there was something about her that made me feel as if a missing part of my life had been restored. It was a part I didn't know was missing, until I saw her.
It was common for us to host a cast party after a new play, and it looked as if everyone was in attendance. I spotted the little blonde almost immediately, and made my way toward her, offering a polite word to the people I passed on the way over.
She was smiling at something someone had said, but the smile faded when she saw me. Green…she had beautiful dark green eyes.
She was lowering them, and I heard a wonderfully melodic voice. "Hello, Empress". I didn't want to be fighting to see those gorgeous eyes, so I slipped a hand under her chin, lifting her head gently.
"Your name is Gabrielle?" I had heard it spoken several times on the trip across the room to meet her.
"Gabrielle…" I said the name slowly, letting it slip over my tongue like a caress. "It's a beautiful name, fitting for a beautiful woman."
Did I catch a shudder in her? "Thank you, Empress," she said, "but you're the beauty. You're truly the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Your reputation is well-deserved." I gave her a slight smile of gratitude, then took her arm, pulling her to a corner of the room. It was much privacy as possible in the situation, and I know no one would have the nerve to try to interfere. I didn't comment on it, but the second my hand had touched her, I had a felt tingling warmth travel up my arm. I wondered if she felt the same.
I smiled down at her again. "Your play was the most remarkable play I've ever seen," I began.
Once again, I was aware of Caesar staring at the two of us, seemingly straining to hear every exchanged word. His new high priestess, that bitch Alti was with him. I was only able to talk to Gabrielle for a moment or two when Caesar approached, taking my arm possessively. Gabrielle obviously noted it, and grew formal again, her eyes immediately lowering. Apparently, Caesar didn't want us to continue our talk, and I didn't resist him as I let him lead me away. I could feel her eyes boring into my back, and knew in my heart I would be seeing her again soon. She seemed as intrigued with me as I was with her.
I realized what was happening when he led me to our bed chamber, and it just irritated me more. Neither of us had been totally faithful in our marriage, and it had always been an unspoken agreement not to question the other.
More than once he had come to bed with the stink of some other woman's cunt juices on him, and it was as if he were daring me to bring it up. I'd never give him that satisfaction. No I got my revenge in my own ways. One of my favorites was letting him go down on me so I could treasure the look in his face when he tasted another man's sperm inside me. I knew better than to not wash when I'd been with another woman. The smell of another woman's arousal mixed with my own scent seemed to excite him more.
But now, he had pulled me from Gabrielle because he was jealous, pure and simple. When we were in the bedroom, he asked me what I had been discussing with her. I gave him some sort of non-committal answer about her writing. I made it clear I didn't want to go into details.
His hands stroked over my hips and across my ass, before I felt him press his lips to my shoulder. "It's been a long time", he whispered huskily, meaningfully.
What's the best way to tell one's spouse that he no longer arouses you…in fact, his touch makes you want to recoil?
I reached up and patted his hand, like one would pat a child's. "It's been a long day," I told him with a weak smile.
He sighed, but didn't press the issue for now. He left me alone so he could go meet with Brutus…again.
The next few minutes are kind of blurred together in my memory. I remember walking out on the balcony, and catching a flash of gold in the moonlight. It was coincidental that Gabrielle's bedroom should be across from in, and taken aback, I stepped into the shadows for a second. I'm not sure why. She had changed out of her light-colored gown, and now had a blue sheet wrapped around her body. She had tucked the end of it between her breasts, but her hand still clutched the sheet, as if she were afraid it was going to slide from her body. I slowly stepped forward, allowing her to see me in my own black gown, even as my eyes where drinking in the creamy smoothness of her shoulders and upper chest. Gods, if the rest of her was half as gorgeous as that little expanse of skin, I would be in the Elysian Fields forever!
She stared at me unabashedly for a moment, and I wondered if she was making some sort of assessment of my own body. Then I saw her cheeks pinken in a blush, as if she had just realized who I was . I saw her head lower in deference to my position.
I was just about to call out to her, when I heard a low voice talking behind me. "I had the most interesting vision tonight…of you and the writer."
I knew it was Alti before I had whirled to face her. Casesar had named her high priestess of Rome without consulting with me, because he knew I would have fought the decision with all that I had. She seemed to think that position gave her carte blanche to go anywhere and do anything. I was going to have to put a stop to that.
She kept her voice in that low growl. "I saw the way you looked at her tonight…wouldn't Caesar give anything for you to look at him that way?"
She was very observant, but I wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of knowing that. Instead, I demanded to know what she wanted. She told me I was in her way, before she came after me with a flash of movement.
She was a skilled fighter, but for some reason, she was more focused on trying to grab a hold of me while we fought. I pulled away from her grasp repeatedly, wondering if she had some plans of rape in that demented head in her, but after a moment, she seized a brief opportunity, and I felt her hands close on my throat.
I should have been able to wrench myself away from her easily, but there was a sudden jolt of light and sensation in my brain that paralyzed me. She was talking to me, but I couldn't hear what she was saying. I was in agony, seeing glimpses of myself in another time and another place. I felt the pain of a hard metal object striking my lower back, and felt the sharp numbness of my spinal cord being severed. And then, I could feel the agonizing shock of my arms being severed, one at a time. I saw it, and at the same time, was feeling it. Other images piled up, one on top of another. Me trapped under ice, me getting the Tartarus beat out of me, me lying dead in a coffin. Even during that vision, I was aware of the pain coursing through me, and briefly, I wondered if death couldn't even take away all my pain.
Finally, she released me, and I gasped for breath as the pain rapidly fled from my body. It left me weakened though, and I was supporting my upper body on shaky arms, trying to will the strength to stand and protect myself for whatever she had planned next.
I was really kind of relieved to hear Caesar and Brutus's voices. Brutus had a hold of Alti's arms, restraining her. I pushed myself to my feet, and watched as my husband threatened to kill her here and now. I stopped him, though, letting him know I wanted to do it in front of the Roman citizens. He seemed pleased by that, and ordered Brutus to have Alti interrogated. He held his arms out to me, and I paused a second, then allowed him to embrace me. The physical pain from the visions was totally gone, but the mental pain was still pounding in my head. As he held me, I willed them to leave my thoughts. I was unable to release them until he had let go of me.
He walked back inside with me. I tried to get another glimpse of Gabrielle, to see if she had watched what had just transpired, but I didn't see her. "I'll stay with you until you fall asleep," he told me, as I began to pull the bedcovers down.
That was the last thing I wanted. "Don't you think you should be the one to interrogate Alti?" I asked, and when he hesitated, I added, "I'll be fine, I'm going to take some sleeping herbs, and I'll be sound asleep in no time."
I sat on the edge of the bed, and didn't resist when he bent down to kiss me. He let his lips linger, then was watching my eyes. "You sure you're okay?"
I smiled at him. "I'm fine," I reassured him. "Now, you'd better get going."
I had no intention of taking any sleeping herbs. It was just an excuse to get rid of Caesar. I stood the moment he was gone, then began pacing the floor at the end of the bed, thinking hard.
What had those images been from? Were they hallucinations or were they really something from my life? Alti had seemed surprised, and yet not surprised, to see them too. The images had been brief and agonizing, and although I couldn't remember them happening, they did seem vaguely familiar. Sort of like seeing and talking to Gabrielle. What was going on?
I had braided my hair to go to bed, but in my clash with Alti, the restraint had pulled loose. Now my braid was half undone, and I threaded my fingers through it to pull my hair loose again.
Gods, I was never going to be able to sleep in this condition! Caesar was used to my taking midnight walks, and he knew I could take care of myself, so I trusted if he didn't find me in the bedroom, he wouldn't worry too much. I wanted to take a stroll through our secret garden, hoping the bright moonlight and scent of flowers would calm me enough to sleep.
I walked to the wardrobe and pulled the doors opening, looking for the first appropriate clothes I could find. The black leather outfit I had worn upon my return home had been cleaned and was hanging in front. That would work fine.
I dressed quickly, then pulled on my black riding boots. I strapped my sword to my back, just for kicks, enjoying the weight of it on my back. I usually carried it with me, but my weapon of choice lately had been the bow and arrow. Tonight, though, I wanted the sword with me. It seemed more…appropriate somehow. I was ready to go.
Casesar had something about posting guards outside the door of our room, and I didn't want to have to try to explain what I was doing out in the middle of the night, so I headed out to the balcony again. A quick look around showed the courtyard was empty, and with a grin, I somersaulted off the edge of the balcony, directly into the little cove of the garden I had maintained just for my enjoyment.
Once on the ground, I looked up at Gabrielle's balcony, hoping she'd be outside watching for me. I was disappointed not to see her though, and sank onto a stone bench, my mind racing as I tried to get a finger on what was happening.
Sitting wouldn't placate me though, and the cool night air soothed my edginess as I wandered through the neat rows of bushes. The scent of them helped calm me, as I knew they would.
For some reason, my brain kept wanting to focus on Caesar's looks when I was with Gabrielle. At first, all I had seen was jealousy in his expression, but the more I thought about it, the more I had thought I had seen something else in his expression. I paced and thought about it for long moments. It was easy to picture, but not so easy to discern. I think it's because my brain was trying to deny the obvious.
It was the same look of recognition.
Startled by the closeness of the voice, I whirled and drew my sword simultaneously. Gabrielle took a hurried step back, her hands coming up in front of her automatically. "It's just me…" she squeaked, "Gabrielle."
A smile of warmth slid over my face as I resheathed my sword. "Sorry," I told her, "You surprised me."
"I won't do it again," she said seriously, her eyes still huge. "I've never seen someone move so fast…or so lithely."
I shrugged. "Reflex," I told her. My eyes narrowed as I took a step toward her. "What are you doing here?" I saw her swallow hard, as she remembered her place and lowered her head.
"I uh…I couldn't sleep."
For a moment, I let her hold her inferior position. "Couldn't sleep? So you ended up here?"
"Yes, Empress," her voice was so soft, I had to bend to hear her speak.
I wrinkled my brow in confusion as I repeated it. "So you ended up here?"
The pink blush that seemed to cover her features a lot was there now. "Yes, Empress."
I chuckled, and my hand gently urged her to meet my eyes again. I tried not to let my hand linger too long on her baby soft skin. It would give me great pleasure to continue touching her all night…forever…but she seemed so uncomfortable around me. There could be several reasons for that, but now wasn't the time to ask.
"You don't have to keep calling me Empress," I told her. "Not when it's just you and I. I have a name, you know."
"Yes," she whispered. "I know you do."
"I'd like to hear you say it."
Our eyes locked for an incredible amount of time. I desperately tried to read the emotion in hers, but I was unable to. It was as though she was still shielding something from me. And then I heard it…"Xena."
Sweet Hera, just the sound of it coming from her throat caused my body to shake in ecstasy. I felt a gulping in that space between my legs that was suddenly awake and crying out for more knowledge of this girl's seductive powers. Just from her saying my name.
I tried not to let her see the desire in me, as I smiled and nodded. "And you're Gabrielle…doesn't that sound much nicer?"
"Much nicer…" I watched amazed as her pink tongue licked over suddenly dry lips.
"Why did you come here, Gabrielle?" I asked then. I HAD to have an answer. I had been thinking about her nonstop since I had first seen her, but I had to know if she was curious about my position as Empress, or if there was something else. "You couldn't have gotten to this part of the garden without climbing down the trellis from your balcony."
The charming pink in her face that had never left, suddenly darkened a couple of shades. "I don't know why I did it…" she finally answered, and I saw her eyes sparkle with tears. "I don't know why I'm so drawn to you…but you're all I can think about."
"You've been thinking about me?"
She nodded, and then broke the gaze, walking a step or two away from me to face a lilac bush. "You're all I've been thinking about…" she began. "And all I want to think about. When I first saw you in that balcony, so many thoughts went through my head…your beauty…your power…your eloquence…and…"
"And?" I gently prodded.
"And your touch…forgive me, Xena, but I wanted to know what you felt like. You're so compelling to me…I've seen people before that I've wanted to know better, but with you…it's like I want to know EVERYTHING about you…and at the same time…"
I stepped forward in front of her again…"It's like…you already know."
"Yes!" Her eyes were searching mine again. "Yes, that's exactly what it's like. You feel it too?"
"From the moment I first saw you…It's like I've known you forever…but I couldn't have, could I?"
"No…" her face was so close to mine, I could feel her breath on me. It smelled of cinnamon, the specially flavored wine I had created that people seemed to adore.
I did see a shudder in her this time, at my saying of her name. Perhaps, it had the same effect on her that hearing her say my own name had on me.
I took a deep breath. "What would you do if I said I really wanted to kiss you, just now?"
"I could never refuse you anything," she answered.
Her eyes widened as I took a step back, displeased. "No, that's not what I want to hear," I said, sounding like a petulant child. "It isn't enough. I don't want you to be with me because you think I want to be with you. I want you to be here because you want to be with me."
"I'm here because I want to be here…with you…" she said slowly, as if it were very hard for her to say it. "And I very much want you to kiss me." This time she took the step forward, and she lifted her neck to look at me. "Please?"
I stifled a satisfied growl, not wanting to frighten her, and allowed myself to believe her words. There would be time later to figure out if she was telling me the truth. For now, all I could think about was the hunger inside me to taste those lips so delicately parted just below my chin.
With shaking tenderness, I bent my head, and softly touched my lips to hers. Shivers of sensation immediately shot from my lips, down to my breasts, and lower, and I felt a surge of wetness I hadn't felt in a long time. Who was I fooling? I had never felt it before.
I heard a soft moan, and I knew she was feeling an answering response. I didn't touch her anywhere else, but just left my mouth on hers for a long time, at first, just feeling the pristine softness of her flesh, then not resisting the urge to let my tongue come out to delicately rub along the same flesh. Her slightly parted lips opened further, and my eyes closed with joy when I felt her fingers tentatively wind in the hair at the back of my neck, holding my mouth more firmly against hers.
My hands clawed at my sides, trying to resist reciprocating the touch. I didn't want to frighten her with my intensity, but her mouth was now wide open against mine, and I felt the first shy touch of her tongue doing the same as me, licking softly over my lips and then my own tongue.
The moan was wrenched from me this time, and I could no longer resist, my hands coming up to grasp her shoulders firmly. Gods, if possible, her skin was even softer there…like velvet stretched over a chair's arm. My fingers began to knead her flesh, as the kiss deepened even further, and I sucked her tongue into my mouth.
When I finally released her, she was trembling, and I held her body against my own, supporting her. My own legs were a little less shaky, but only because I had shared kisses like that before. Just not with that, emotional depth.
"Gods," I heard her whisper into my upper arm, where her face was pressed. "Gods, I never imagined it could be that powerful."
"Are you all right?" I whispered into a pixyish ear, and when I heard her soft "yes", I allowed my tongue to trace over the top of it.
"Is it enough?" I pressed.
"No…" she burrowed her face even more into me, and I felt a shock of rapture, when I felt her mouth open to my flesh,
and she was licking over the flesh of my bicep.
Xena's Scroll (Part 2)
The Xena and Gabrielle XXX Scrolls Page 2