Summary: The Conqueror leaves Greece to visit Cleopatra and meets a slave/gladiator named Gabrielle but all is not what it seems.
Disclaimer: See Part 1
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Enjoy the show! Or so to speak.
I groaned as the curtains in my room were pulled open, shining bright light into my tired eyes. I rolled onto my stomach, my hand searching blindly for the body I expected to find besides me but I gripped onto nothing but cold sheets. My head still reeling from my unexpected awakening, I pulled my head up and squinted around the room, searching for the gladiator named Gabrielle.
She was no where in sight and I guessed that she must have left once I passed out to return to her mistress. The thought caused my heart to clench painfully and I frowned at the unwelcome and confusing emotions that coursed through me. I've hardly known this fiesty woman for a few days and I found myself feeling something for her. It was more than desire or lust, but I couldn't accurately describe the emotion without thinking about it. And I didn't want to think about it.
I rolled onto my back as I felt a body sit on the edge of my bed. I looked up and caught Alexandria's curious gaze, raising an eyebrow of my own when she didn't speak immediately.
"Who were you looking for?" She asked me finally and I grimaced, realising she had seen my pathetic grab for the slave that wasn't there. Gods, I was getting soft.
"No one," I muttered as I sat up, stretching my aching limbs.
"Right," Alexandria drawled with a rakish grin and I followed her gaze to my crotch where the phallus I'd worn last night was still attached.
"Oh, fuck off," I growled, quickly unstrapping the harness and dropping the toy on the floor besides my bed. I was in no mood to talk about the incident between myself and the gladiator and Alexandria seemed to sense it, immediately changing the topic of dicussion.
"I recieved a letter from Palaemon this morning," she said, laying herself across my lap as she looked up at me. "Everything is going well in the Empire. He said for us to enjoy our holiday and pleaded with me not to kill Cleopatra. Apparently we need to keep trading with Egypt and if Cleopatra was to have an accident, our agreement with Egypt would be over."
I laughed as Alexandria rolled her eyes. "If Cleo was to have an 'accident'..." I continued with a wink at my second. "It would be perfect. I would take over Egypt while I was here and I wouldn't even lose any men."
"True, but you would have an entire country revolting against you," Alexandria replied as she considered the thought for a moment. "And we only just finished getting Greece under control before we left. I'd hate to have to start all over against, especially in this Gods forsaken place."
I hummed in agreement with her, not wanting to stay in Egypt any longer than I had to. Truth be told, I wouldn't mind packing my bags right now and going back to my homeland, but it would start an arguement with Cleopatra. We would need to spend more than a few days in Egypt to satisfy her. I also wanted to stay a bit longer and spend some more time with the slave...
Gods, the slave.
Just thinking about her and the time I spent with her last night, I could feel my crotch start tingling with desire. I let my fingers run lightly over Alexandria's arm, who had closed her eyes. They snapped open at my touch and immediately she was off the bed and at the door.
"You have a meeting with Cleopatra this morning," she stated with a laugh at my childish pout. "No being late this time."
"You don't even care!" I said angrilly, slamming my fists down on the bed.
"No, I don't," Alexandria responded with a smile which quickly turned into a frown. "But, I do care about you. So, tell that slave if she hits you again, I'll break her fucking neck."
My eyes widened as I lifted my hand to touch my still aching jaw. I caught Alexandria's gaze and was surprised by the intense emotion that was shining in her midnight blue orbs. I gave her a seductive smile as I ran my finger over my jaw. "You could come and kiss it better."
"I don't think that job belongs to me anymore," Alexandria winked. "Now come on, the Whore of Egypt is waiting for us."
I growled loudly as I threw the blankets off my body, despising the Egyptian ruler more and more with every second that passed. She was really starting to kill my sex life.
"Conqueror," Cleopatra greeted me warmly from her seat. She was leaning on her elbow, her dark hair being braided by a slave while she ate strawberries from the hands of the gladiator, Gabrielle. Gabrielle looked beautiful as always, her hair sparkling in the sun and nose crinkled with an adorable smile.
I wonder what she would look like waking up in my arms.
"Cleo," I replied, my voice lacking the warmth hers did. I glanced at the slave as I took my seat, but she refused to meet my eyes. Instead, she continued to feed her mistress, running the fingers over her free hand over the Egyptian's hip, caressing her lovingly.
Gabrielle's words to me on the practice field yesterday came back to me and I realised that the slave was indeed loyal to her master. In fact, she seemed to care for her a great deal. The feeling was obviously mutual as I watched Cleopatra lean in to her slave, her eyes twinkling affectionately as they shared a tender kiss. My heart clenched painfully in my chest as I watched them, wanting nothing more than to rip them apart. After last night I couldn't help but want the slave to myself. I had made her mine and I didn't like to share.
I felt a hand rest on my shoulder and I looked up at Alexandria with cold eyes, the beast inside me ready to attack. She must have felt the tension radiating from me as she stared back and I felt her thumb caress my skin soothingly. I was instantly grateful as I felt the anger and jealousy start to leave my body. I turned back to face the Egyptian, feeling myself calm even futher as Alexandria left her hand on my shoulder, silently supporting me. Cleopatra was looking at me curiously, a touch of jealousy in her own eyes as she glanced between me and my second. I watched as her almond shaped eyes narrowed at Alexandria and I could practically feel the smug grin the red head gave her in return.
My eyes fell once more on the slave whose face was emotionless. Her eyes burned with fire though as she stared at me angrily and I grinned at the jealousy in her own eyes. She may adore Cleopatra, but that didn't stop her from wanting me too. Greedy little slave.
"So, Cleo, what did you call me out of bed for on such a beautiful morning?" I asked the Egyptian, leaning back into Alexandria in an attempt to infuriate her more. Her eyes narrowed further at my second, but after taking a deep breath, she seemed to relax slightly.
Cleopatra's eyes wandered back to my own and I was surprised as she held her temper completely in check. "I wanted to talk to you about the reason I invited you to my home."
"Oh?" I raised my eyebrow. I knew that Cleo would have an ulterior motive for bringing me to Egypt and I had been waiting patiently for this talk. "So you didn't just want my company? I'm hurt, Cleo."
"Nobody invites the Destroyer of Nations to their country just for company, Conqueror. Though, I admit it was extremely welcome," she purred seductively before she returned to business. "I want an alliance."
I smiled as I felt Alexandria fingers dig slightly into my shoulder. We had expected this from her and had talked over it for several hours, weighing the pros and cons. After a long discussion, we had decided an alliance with Egypt was the best thing, until Greece had conquerored Rome at least.
"An alliance," I mused out loud, feigning concern. "I don't know, Cleo. I know of your relationship with Marc Antony and Rome. How do I know you won't turn against me?"
"You don't," Cleopatra replied calmly before biting into a strawberry that Gabrielle held to her lips. I watched with an expressionless face as she licked the juices from the slave's fingers before turning back to me. Gods, I wanted to kill her right now. "Just like I don't know if you'll turn against me, Conqueror. I know of your travels into Chin and I know that Lao Ma practically handed her country over to you. With the strength of Greece and Chin combined, it would not be hard for you to completely destroy Egypt along with Rome."
I hid my surprise as Alexandria's hand squeezed my shoulder. Our trip to Chin had been short and several seasons ago. We had tried to keep it a secret that Chin was now apart of my Empire, wanting it to be a surprise against anyone who dared attack Greece. If Cleopatra knew it meant than Marc Antony and all of Rome probably knew as well, which changed things.
"I guess an alliance between Egypt and Greece can be arranged," I said finally, watching as relief washed over Cleopatra's face. I instantly put her back on edge. "But if I find that you are joining Rome in a plot against me, Cleopatra, I will bring my entire army to Egypt and leave nothing but corpses to rot in the unforgiving fucking sun, understand?"
I watched with satisfaction as Cleopatra nodded shakily and I grinned ferally at Gabrielle. The blood had rushed from the gladiator's face, leaving her pale and looking sick as she stared at me with wide eyes. She had seen a bit of the beast in me last night, but like everyone else, she had underestimated me.
"Very well," I said as I stood up slowly, stretching my body and loving the feel of the sun shining down upon me. "Like I said, it's a beautiful morning and I think I might go for a ride. I'll leave Alexandria here to speak with you about the alliance and I'll see you at dinner."
With a final look at Cleopatra, I turned to Alex who was glaring at me through narrowed eyes. I know she despised the thought of spending the morning with the Egyptian, especially to discuss an alliance but I needed to get out of here. After watching Cleopatra touch Gabrielle so intimately, I felt my anger about to burn out of control.
I gave her a small nod which she finally returned before striding out of the courtyard, feeling three pairs of eyes on my back.
I faultered mid stride as I walked down the deserted hall on my way to the stables. How did the slave always manage to sneak up on me? My razor sharp senses always picked up danger, even when I was asleep. Maybe that was why I didn't hear her, I mused to myself thoughtfully. Maybe she isn't a danger to me. The thought brought a small smile to my face which I quickly smothered with a neutral expression.
I turned around slowly, crossing my arms over my chest as I watched the slave stride towards me. I stared back at her emotionlessly until she was a few steps away. "Yes?"
"I uh..." she stuttered over her words which surprised me. She always seemed to have some witty remark or sarcastic words to say to me and now she was speechless. I watched with slight amusement as her emerald gaze drifted over my muscular crossed arm and up over my chest before her eyes met mine, her mouth slightly agape as she stared into my eyes. It was quite adorable.
I hardened myself against the slave's natural charm and stepped closer to her, until we were sharing the same breath, our lips inches apart. "Did you have something you wanted to say to me, Gabrielle? "
I didn't give her time to answer as my mouth descended on hers and I moaned softly against her lips. I gripped her hips and pulled her body against mine, the touch of her skin setting me on fire. No one had ever been able to affect me this way, especially with just a kiss. I could feel her hands gripping my shoulders tightly as she opened her mouth underneath mine and I buried my tongue in her mouth, revelling in the warmth surrounding me.
"No," she gasped as she pulled away from me, her grip on my shoulders stopping me from advancing further. "Stop."
"Why?" I asked in frustration, feeling my clit pound in sync with my rapidly beating heart. I wanted this and I could tell by her flushed face and heavy breathing that she wanted it just as bad.
"Because," she breathed. "This is what I wanted to talk to you about. I can't do this."
"Why?" I growled once more, staring deeply into her eyes. "I thought Cleo didn't force you into her bed?"
"She doesn't, but that doesn't mean she wouldn't kill me when she finds out I've been in bed with another."
I stared down into her pleading eyes, knowing that she spoke the truth. I myself had killed more than a few slaves when I found that they were getting pleasure from someone other than their master. I also knew that if Cleopatra knew I'd bedded her slave, our alliance would be over. It was an unspoken rule that you didn't touch another person's body slave, especially the ruler of the country that you were staying in. Not that I cared about the alliance. All I wanted was this slave.
"Fine," I whispered softly, not sure who was more surprised by my words, her or myself. I hadn't expected to give up without a fight and obviously she didn't either, but I didn't want to pressure the slave to enter my bed. I was more stunned than anything at the sick feeling it gave me to think of taking the gladiator against her will. I wanted her to come to me by herself.
Then I really would have conquerored her.
I smirked, letting go of the slave and stepping back. "I'll see you around, slave, i'm sure."
I turned to walk away and was surprised when I heard her voice. I was being surprised a lot on this trip.
"We could be friends, you know," her voice was soft and maybe even a little bit hopeful and it pulled at my heart.
"I don't have any friends," I said more to myself than to her.
"That soldier you brought with you this morning, she is your friend," Gabrielle continued as I turned around to face her once more, gazing at her curiously.
"Alexandria? She doesn't have a choice. She is my second in command."
"She has a choice," Gabrielle whispered. "Just like I do. You are her master and Cleopatra is mine, but neither of us are here by any real force. I belong to Cleopatra and yes, I am her slave, but I serve her because I am loyal and because I care. Just like Alexandria cares about you."
I mused over this and I knew it to be true. I knew that despite the way I treated her, Alexandria did genuinely care for me. Once, lost ago, she was in love with me and though that had faded, there was still something there. It was mutual.
"I suppose," I muttered grudgingly but couldn't help but smile at her smug grin.
"Then we can be friends."
"Fine," I said, wanting this conversation to be over so I could ride my horse and feel the wind in my hair. "We're friends then."
Without another word, I turned away from the slave and resumed my journey towards the stables. I could see the delighted look on her face burned into my mind and I smiled as I walked out of the palace and into the sunshine. I didn't like the thought of being just friends with the gladiator, but I guess it would do.For now, at least.
To Be Continued
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