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 readers Nancyjean and Alexandriaruth whom I can't thank enough.
Comments, thoughts, questions & feedback : MOST WELCOMED – The more you write me, the quicker I post – I mean it!
As ordered, Lady Cyrene left Corinth that very night. However, the next morning when Lady Satrina reported to the Imperial Chambers, she found the Conqueror standing in her regal attire and with her shoulders stalwart and square. Given recent conduct, seeing the Conqueror prepared and ready so early in the morning gave the steward pause. Once again there was a sharp shift and she hoped it'd be for the better. She reckoned that Lady Cyrene's visit, however brief, had done the trick.
“Majesty,” she curtsied before the Conqueror.
“Lady Satrina,” the Conqueror tipped her head just slightly in acknowledgement, “Have the chambermaids restore order and do some cleaning in the Imperial bedchamber,” the Conqueror commanded.
“Yes, Majesty,” Lady Satrina sounded surprised.
“Let the cook know that I shall take breakfast in the dining hall. Inform Nobleman Timaeus that he is to join me.”
“Right away, Majesty. Would there be anything else?”
“The statue in the Imperial bedchamber is not to be touched, is that understood?”
“I will notify the chambermaids, Majesty.”
“One last thing, have flowers brought to the Imperial chambers.”
“Yes, Majesty,” Lady Satrina curtsied again as the Conqueror exited the Imperial chambers and made her way to the Imperial stables for a morning ride.
As soon as the Conqueror was out of the Imperial chambers, Lady Satrina's curiosity got the better of her. She entered the Imperial bedchamber just for a quick look. As she suspected, it reeked and the air was stale. The Queen's dresses and undergarments were scattered all over the chamber, and all her jewelry was arrayed in a peculiar manner atop her dresser. If Lady Satrina didn't know any better, she could have sworn that the Queen had been living in the Imperial bedchamber for the past couple of moons. The sight that greeted her that inclement morning in the Imperial bedchamber disturbed her, profoundly so, for it gave the word ‘obsession' a whole new meaning.
She exited the Imperial bedchamber and sent a servant to fetch a crew of chambermaids and to relay the Conqueror's orders to the cook and then sent another servant to inform Nobleman Timaeus about the Conqueror's wish to meet with him in the dining hall. When she was once again alone in the Imperial bedchamber, she quickly placed all the Queen's belongings back to their proper place. What needed to be washed, linens, the Conqueror's garments and most importantly the Queen's clothes, she placed in one heap at the corner of the chamber in no particular order. She had done so as a preemptive measure against any rumors that might circulate should the chambermaids be allowed to witness what she herself had witnessed that morning in the Royal couple's bedchamber.
After her morning ride, the Conqueror strode into the dining hall and found Nobleman Timaeus already waiting for her there. He was about to get up and bow before her, but she signaled him to remain seated with a gesture of her hand.
“Thank you, Majesty,” he said and wiped his mouth.
“I have deprived Athens of its governor for too long. You may return home,” she informed him.
“Another letter to the evil Master of our fates?!” Athena inquired with her usual facetiousness.
Queen Gabrielle laid down her seal, got off her seat and walked around the plain table. “Princess Xena Athena!” she exclaimed and Athena knew that when her mother used her full name and title she had hell to pay , “Kindly refrain from disrespecting my Lord, your Sire.”
Athena couldn't comprehend how her mother so vehemently discouraged any disrespect toward the Conqueror yet all but curled away to lick her wounds when another woman made shameless advances towards the Conqueror right in front of her.
“Please pardon me, mother. I didn't mean to cause you any discomfort,” she said and took the folded sealed parchment from her mother's hand.
Queen Gabrielle tightened the thick woolen cape around Athena's body, "Keep warm," she said, "It is the coldest night yet."
"I will," Athena promised.
"And remember what my Lord always says about complacency," the Queen continued.
"A warrior's worst enemy," Athena replied, "As soon as I'm back I shall come to you," she assured.
"Thank you." Queen Gabrielle rose to stand on her toes and placed a kiss on Athena's cheek.
Princess Athena delivered her mother's letter to the Imperial Guard posted at the Thracian border. When the commander of the force informed her there wasn't any word from Corinth , Princess Athena's heart soured at the thought that once again she'd have to cause disappointment to her mother. As she rode back to the Amazon village, she hoped that her mother hadn't held any high expectations. Her resentment towards the Conqueror that had festered inside her ever since the Conqueror had left increased to the highest levels yet.
When she returned to the Amazon village, as promised she went straight to her mother's hut with a heavy heart. When she told her mother that the Conqueror remained entrenched in her silence, it was like watching a blunt blade plunge into her heart. That night, Athena arranged for a cot to be placed in her mother's hut and from that night on, the young Princess would spend the nights with the Queen so to dispel her loneliness and ease her pain.
A few days later, close to dusk, the Conqueror sat at her desk in the Imperial bedchamber and her eyes ran with great thirst over her wife's letter to her.
"My beloved Lord,
As I trust you know, there haven't been any more attacks since the one that took the life of Princess Terreis and injured you. Matters seem serene and it is almost easy to forget times not long ago when it hasn't been tranquil around here. I venture to say that the massive presence of your Imperial Guard around the Amazonian borders contributes greatly to the peace and sense of security around these parts and I am grateful to you for that.
It is so hard to retain concentration in my rigorous and demanding training when you, my beloved, dominate my every thought. Nevertheless, I tell myself constantly that my efforts are dedicated to you and I am renewed with strength I didn't know I possessed. You deserve a strong Queen at your side. It is my desire that all your subjects will look upon you and see how proud you are for choosing a confident and capable woman as your mate.
Those entrusted with ushering me into the ways of the Amazons and the elevated role I'm destined to fulfill are very much impressed with me, and it is my belief that not without a touch of surprise.
What I am most proud of my Lord is the delicate work I've undertaken with one of the Amazons by the name of Mitylene. She wasn't born into the Amazon nation. Like me, she used to be a body servant, and when my Lord in her infinite benevolence decreed all slaves be released from their owners, she found her way to the Amazons, who adopted her as their sister. It pains me so to see her scars, not only those which have been left on her body but those which have been left on her soul for they are by far worse. I wish her soul could be healed as mine has by your love for me.
It might amuse you to learn that I have seen a few of the younger Amazons here feast their eyes on her Grace, and true to form she feasts her eyes on them, as well. There is no doubt in my mind that had it not been for her painstaking task of protecting me, she would have surely garnered many conquests under her belt.
Words cannot express how dreadfully much I miss you. I have known hunger in my life, but it pales in comparison to this consuming craving I feel towards you now, my wild Lion. It is not just my heart and soul that hanker for you, beloved, but my body as well.
In my mind's eye I see you as you are on the eve of battle, dresses in full armor, with your long, sharp sword sheathed against your strong thigh, with your royal Corinthian helmet. I see you with your body wired and I can hear your powerful blood humming under your hot skin. I see your dangerous eyes beholding me like a coveted prize to have and to conquer. You are my very own divine God of War to worship, and I do, my Lord, with all that I have and with all that I am.
I imagine all your bodily tools, your mouth and tongue, your hands and fingers, your grand member, like weapons of love and desire invading my body all at once, piercing my flesh and bringing about it starving ecstasy. I imagine that you fill me so completely that my soul has barely any place in my body. I feel you ripping and ravishing my soul, drowning me in you, both quenching and aggravating my yearnings at the same time, defeating me yet I feel victorious.
As always I allow myself to be immersed into you, unguarded, trusting completely – surrendering before you as you pillage me and bring me to heights I have never thought possible.
Since you went away, my living flesh feels like a piece has been torn from it. At times my body aches as if dried teasels are carding it and I bleed lust all over through the tears for you.
But what I miss most of all, is the feel of your strong arms around me and the weight of your body upon mine. I pine to feel your naked skin sliding against mine, and your breathing muscles pressing into my flesh.
I long for my ravenous beast to come between my thighs.
Please, my Lord, return to me. I implore you to come and be one with me. I swear to you I shall strew flowers in your path if you do, just come.
Your loving wife and adoring Queen,
Soon after the Conqueror had finished reading her wife's letter, a servant served her with supper in the Imperial chambers. After arranging the table for dining, she ordered him to send for Lady Satrina.
A few moments later, Lady Satrina appeared before the Conqueror, who wore an all too familiar expression on her features.
"You asked to see me, Majesty," she said and curtsied. The look about the Conqueror's countenance unnerved her. There was no mistake about its implication.
The Conqueror, who was reclining over a heap of pillows next to the low table on which her supper had been served, slowly put her knife down and regarded her former body slave intently.
"Get me a woman," was the Conqueror's command, and there was no denying her meaning.
Nevertheless, and although she took her Master's meaning well, Lady Satrina refused to comply with the Conqueror's demand. Of course, she could not out right disobey the order, but she most certainly could raise obstacles in the Conqueror's way to obtaining her wishes.
"A woman, Majesty?! Which woman?" Lady Satrina asked with a lukewarm expression across her face, like she had no idea what the Conqueror wanted.
"Do not act all foolish with me, Satrina," the Conqueror warned and rose to her feet.
Mindlessly, Lady Satrina took a small step backwards. "I'm sure I do not understand…"
"Then I shall simplify it for you. I'm in the mood for some professional seduction," the Conqueror clarified what needn't any clarification.
Lady Satrina gave up. It was all she could do not to exacerbate the Conqueror's irritation with her anymore than she had obviously done. "Any specific requirements, Majesty?"
The Conqueror casually strolled back and forth, occasionally placing her forefinger over her chin as if she was contemplating what she desired. "Beautiful and petite," she said and then paused briefly before she continued, "with golden hair and green eyes."
Satrina couldn't tell what possessed her to say her next words to the fearsome Ruler, "About the Queen's age?" She would later come to realize that it was out of great care and loyalty she bore the Queen.
The Conqueror gave her the look of death that momentarily robbed the steward of her senses. Lady Satrina scurried away to cater to the Conqueror's needs. As she made her way down the corridor, she resented the Conqueror for entrusting her with the ignominious task of procuring whores for her. After all, she wasn't just the household steward, but a former lady-in-waiting for the Queen and a devoted friend to her. By ordering her to fetch a prostitute, the Conqueror breathed a secret into existence between her and the Queen, for she would never hurt the Queen by divulging the humiliating truth that the Conqueror had entertained whores in their Imperial bed, while the Queen had been away.
Listening to Lady Satrina's monotonic footsteps furthering away down the corridor, the Conqueror contemplated her order and nearly lost her supper. The very idea of touching a foreign body, of inhaling a foreign scent, of hearing foreign sounds, of sharing intimacy with someone who was not just a stranger to her, but not her beloved wife, was repulsive to her. She lusted after her Queen and after her Queen only. She was surprised to discover that other women not only failed to arouse her, but that her indifference towards them turned into pungent disgust over the years.
As Lady Satrina was about to reach the corner before the long flight of stairs, she heard the Conqueror's voice coming from behind her, "Forget it!"
Lady Satrina turned on her heels and saw the Conqueror standing in the middle of the corridor with two burning torches set in the stony walls to each side of her, and despite the fact that normally it would attribute greater fearsomeness to her, at that moment her stance seemed somewhat weakened.
With small steps, the steward covered the ground between them. "With your permission, Majesty," she spoke with a soft voice, "I know what it's like to lose or miss a spouse."
The Conqueror glared at her, arms folded over her chest, unwavering. "I don't know what you think you know…" she asserted then desisted.
"With respect, Majesty, I know that I have hand delivered you messages from her Majesty the Queen yet I have been given none to return," Lady Satrina claimed.
The Conqueror let out a deep sigh. She unfolded her arms and allowed them to drop to the sides of her body. She invited Lady Satrina to join her by the fireplace.
As the Ruler of the world and her household steward sat by the crackling fire, Lady Satrina measured her words carefully. She added another log to the fire, not out of necessity to feed the fire, but to allow herself time needed to organize her thoughts.
"Over the many years that have passed, my sentiments toward your Majesty and her Majesty the Queen have altered," she said and swallowed to moisten her throat. "I bear great admiration towards your Majesty, and a sisterly love towards her Majesty the Queen," she swallowed again and regarded the Conqueror for any response, then continued, "That is to say, I deeply care for your Majesties and wish for nothing but happiness, longevity and good constitution for the both of you."
The Conqueror pensively gazed upon the fire. "I know," she let out.
"Out of profound respect I bear towards your Majesties, I shan't attempt to meddle in affairs which do not concern me and which I haven't received permission to meddle in."
The Conqueror nodded her head in approval.
"When Lao-Ling was taken from me… There were times I would wish that I had been poisoned as well and would be spared the suffering of her loss." Thinking about those dark days brought the kindhearted woman to the brink of a stupor of sorrow. "Alas, the fates weren't kind to me and I was left to go on living without her. I dare say that if it hadn't been for your Majesties' permission to return to Corinth and if it hadn't been for her Majesty the Queen's generously rendered comfort, I wouldn't have survived those painful times."
The Conqueror sat still in her armchair, deep in her own thoughts, trying to decipher Lady Satrina's message to her. "I remember," she finally said.
Lady Satrina knew the Royal couple well, better than most, perhaps even better than all. Throughout their joint lives together, she had played a close and integral part that was inherently and intricately woven into the delicate fabric of them. Intuitively, she surmised that the Conqueror had been at fault for their current discord. Knowing the Queen's tender heart, she knew with absolute certainty that she would forgive the Conqueror anything, even the betrayal of the Conqueror's body with that of another woman if it should happen; however, she also knew that the Queen's heart wouldn't be completely mended after such betrayal. As much as she wanted to say to the Conqueror that the Queen would pardon her any trespasses she had committed against the Queen whilst at the Amazon's lands, Lady Satrina was well aware of the fact that it would more than imply that the Conqueror had done something wrong or had made an error. That was something inconceivable and impossible, not to mention dangerous to say to the Conqueror, and so she elected to say:
"Your Majesty's Queen is alive and well. Any differences, disputes or divisions can be bridged. I beseech you, gracious Majesty, with all my heart that you'd find it within you to forgive the Queen her offense against you, whatever it is." When she spoke, her eyes were down and fixated on the embroidery around the hem of her dress but there was no denying how earnest she sounded.
"Look at me," the Conqueror ordered.
Lady Satrina complied.
"Have you any idea how hazardous the spot you've placed yourself in?" the Conqueror asked and leaned forward over the armrest to narrow the void between herself and her steward.
"I do, your Majesty," Lady Satrina replied and nearly cowered in her seat. The Conqueror's gaze was too cumbersome for her to hold.
"Why do it, then?" the Conqueror demanded to know.
"I owe her Majesty the Queen as much. It is my way of repaying her at least one of my many debts to her."
After a few long moments had passed, the Conqueror finally removed her gaze from Lady Satrina and leaned back into her armchair. "Thank you, Lady Satrina. That would be all."
Lady Satrina got up from the Klismos chair she sat on. Her legs were weak from the effort of being scared and so she took a moment to support her weight against its curved backrest. As she made her way out the chamber, she dwelled on the Conqueror's last words to her. In all her years of service to the Conqueror, as her body slave, as her chambermaid, as her household steward, the Conqueror had never thanked her for anything.
The Conqueror moved to sit at her desk. She took a piece of parchment and dipped a quill in the inkwell. She wrote a letter to her mother that read as follows:
During your last visit with me, you grossly interfered in matters which are none of your business and thus provoked me to no small extent. In spite of your offense, and although I was just to be angry with you, my rage might have been too severe.
Previous restrictions against your visiting to Corinth are hereby null and void .The Lord Conqueror of the Realm"
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