Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, etc… don't belong to me. I make no money from this. It's all in fun.
Love/Sex: This story is very graphic and intense between two (at a time) women and it involves BDSM, non-consensual sex, and is generally not for the faint of heart. If you are under 21 and/or this is illegal where you live, or otherwise disturbing to you, PLEASE DO NOT READ!
Sanity: This story has been in my head for a while… I'm hoping by writing it down, it will invade someone else's head.
Send feedback to LdyDrftr@aol.com
Balancing the Scales
"Xena, what's wrong? You've been getting quieter and tenser as we go. Talk to me." Gabrielle entreated her solemn warrior companion.
"Gabrielle… " Xena took a moment of thought. We've been through so much. I can't stand her finding this out, but I can't lie to her. "You know how my past comes back to haunt us sometimes… My army… we stayed in the valley ahead for about a year. A lot of things… happened. They are not going to be very friendly."
"Xena, you've changed so much in the past three years. You aren't the same person. It'll be okay." Gabrielle reassured her partner.
"I hope you're right love…" Because I have a large debt to pay here if they insist on collecting. And I can't, won't deny their right to it.
The warrior and bard continue walking down the path moving from the open grassy plains into the dense forest. Xena kept all her senses trained outward searching for any enemies that may be lurking.
Remember, these were villagers, not another army.
After they had traveled a candlemark into the forest, all of Xena's senses came alert.
Xena's tone galvanized the bard's responses. She knew that tone, the 'there's trouble nearby' timbre of her lover's voice. She moved closer to Argo, but stayed out of the way of Xena's sword reach.
Suddenly a figure dropped out of the branches onto the road ahead of them. Gabrielle could see that it was a woman, dressed in leathers, but not armor type. The colors blended into the forest and gave the woman the look more of a scout than that of a warrior.
"Xena. I'm surprised you would come around here. Don't reach for your chakram. There are a dozen archers in the trees around you. I know you can catch an arrow or two, but I don't think you can handle a dozen at once." The woman stood casually, fearlessly addressing the warrior.
"Leigh… " Xena carefully moved her hands away from her weapons as she addressed the woman. "What do you want?"
"Justice, what do you think? After everything you've done, did you think I would just let it rest?" Leigh was coldly calm. Her gaze swept over the young woman standing beside Argo. "Up to your old tricks, eh Xena? What's your name young one?"
"Gabrielle," Gabrielle replied. "And I'm not so young as you may think."
"It's not what you think, Leigh. Gabrielle and I are…" at this Xena paused. She didn't want to put Gabrielle in danger by stating their relationship, but she couldn't let Leigh continue to think what she did. "We're together. She chooses to travel with me. I'm not holding her against her will."
"Yeah, you're real good at making people want to be with you. Gabrielle, come here. Move away from Xena. We have no quarrel with you and I don't want to see you hurt."
"I'm where I want to be, Leigh. And I won't get hurt unless you or your people hurt me. But I don't think you want that. Right?" Gabrielle said quietly.
"Xena, you know we have a claim on you. You are to be brought in for justice to our reeve. Do you submit or are we going to have to take you? My archers will take you down. If you fight, I can't guarantee Gabrielle's safety. And you can't either. Which will it be?" Leigh spoke calmly but firmly confident that they had the warrior trapped. I've waited 5 years for this, and I planned very carefully.
Xena looked down to her bard, reassurance in her eyes. "I owe you and your people Leigh. I submit."
"XENA!…." Gabrielle began.
"Good, then get down, and remove all your weapons. Carefully. I don't want my archers to get nervous."
As she slid off of Argo, she reassured her bard. "Gabrielle, this village is very fair. And I committed a number of crimes against them. It will be okay." She drew her sword and tossed it on the ground in front of her. The chakram followed. "Leigh, let Gabrielle go. She has done nothing to you or yours."
"Of course, Xena. What do you think we are? Like you?" A tinge of anger made its way into Leigh's voice. "Unlike SOME people, we don't harm innocents."
"Xena's not like that!" Gabrielle cried. "She's changed. She helps people now."
"That's all fine and good, Gabrielle, but she committed crimes here and must pay for them. Surely you agree we can't let people get away with crimes?" Leigh inwardly felt a pang of sympathy for this woman who obviously had never seen what Xena was capable of. "You are welcome to accompany us to the village and speak for Xena if you desire."
"Very well." Leigh raised her hand and a dozen archers stepped out of the forest onto the road arrows still notched and aimed at the warrior. "Xena, the daggers in your boots, and bracers .… Remember, I KNOW you well. And any others you might have added to the collection since we last met."
Xena drew the aforementioned daggers, then pulled out the breast dagger as well. "There is also a whip in my saddlebags."
"Very good. Darrien," Leigh motioned to the nearest archer. "Shackle her wrists behind her, and put the cobbles on too. Remember, Xena, there are still eleven archers on you. Don't try anything."
Darrien moved toward the warrior princess, nervous from the memories he had of this woman. The sound of breaking branches and a hoarse cry broke into the tension of the group. He spun drawing a dagger and one of the archers released an arrow aimed at Xena.
Leigh barely had time to react to the interruption, when she saw the release. "XENA!" Xena merely reached up and grabbed the arrow. "I surprised your people are so easily startled."
A figure broke from the forest crying Leigh's name. "Leigh! Leigh! The warlord Batrakis is heading toward the village from the east! The guards have already gone to the border, but the best archers are here! We need to get to the border to defend the village!" Belatedly he saw the Warrior Princess a few paces away. "Oh Leigh, I…"
"It's all right, Terren. The village IS more important." She turned to Xena, an indefinable emotion crossing her face. "You get away again Xena. Use your escape wisely. Don't come back this way again." A heavy sigh escaped. "Sometimes I feel its unfortunate I'm NOT like you…. I won't hunt you down. Just GO!!" The last words were almost snarled.
"Okay! Let's go! How far from the border is he, Terren?" Leigh turned away from Xena putting the thoughts of justice out of her head. The village IS more important, remember!
"Move it, everyone. It will take almost that long to get to the border. We have to be ready for them. You all know the drill. Let's go." Leigh gathered her people and began to move toward the forest.
"Let me help, Leigh." The unexpected request coming from Xena.
"Xena??!! Are you crazy? They wanted to capture you, try you. Why stick around? They can handle it." Gabrielle looked at her warrior in shock.
"Gabrielle, it's the right thing to do. I owe them. Maybe this will make up for some of the things I've done." Xena quietly responded.
Gabrielle flushed at the reminder. I can't believe she has to tell ME this. She's right. "You're right. I'm sorry."
Leigh looked at the warrior suspiciously. "I don't have time to hold you for trial. You could go. I know you wouldn't be back and justice…well, since when did you care about that?"
"Three years ago, I met a young girl who believed in me when I didn't. That's when I started to care." Xena smiled fondly at Gabrielle.
"You do what you will. But know this, if you are still around when we're through I WILL bring you to justice."
They had traveled hard through the forest and reached the boundary in time to rout Batrakis' army. Xena fought hard along side the villagers, who with the bows, dispatched most of the army before it reached the defenders. Things certainly have changed around here, Xena mused. At the end of the fight, Xena found herself once again surrounded by archers. She threw down her weapons.
"I don't understand why you stayed. You know your crimes and you know what the punishment will be when you're found guilty." Leigh said as she bound Xena's limbs.
"Leigh! She helped save your village! Isn't that enough? I know she camped here for a year, and took supplies and all. Doesn't this make things even?" Gabrielle frustratedly berated her.
Leigh gazed at the warrior princess bound in front of her. She saw the flash of fear in Xena's eyes and realized. "She doesn't know does she, Xena?" whispered quietly.
"No. I couldn't tell her…everything." Xena looked at the woman she once knew 5 years ago. "Please, I know you're a good person. Don't let her get caught in this."
"She chooses to follow you of her own will. If she defends you at the village she will hear everything. You should tell her. But I will do my best to watch out for her. You have changed."
"Thank you for her. I know I don't deserve anything from you after what I did."
"You're right." Leigh gathered the warriors' weapons, then gestured to the warrior. "Come on."
To Gabrielle's frustration, she was not allowed to talk to Xena on the way back to the village. They reached the main square and an older man stepped out of a hut.
"Leigh! We had heard you captured, Xena, but I thought you had lost her when you stopped Batrakis. I'm glad to see you captured her again." He walked over to where Xena stood. "You will be tried in the morning for your crimes against this village and its people. Take her to the holding cell!"
"Wait! I want to talk to my friend!" Gabrielle cried out and pushed her way in front of the man.
The reeve looked over to Leigh in surprise. "Who is this?"
"My name is Gabrielle. Xena and I travel together." Gabrielle answered for herself.
Leigh added, "She travels with Xena by her own choice. I have given her leave to come or go as she chooses, Marlin."
"Very well. You may talk to your friend until sunset. Our inn has room if you wish to stay after that."
Two of the archers led Xena to a hut off to the side of the square. The hut was built around a sturdy tree, and Xena's manacles were chained to this tree. The guards then took Gabrielle's staff from her and placed it outside the hut. They then stepped out and took up posts on either side of the door.
"Xena…. Talk to me. Please." Gabrielle entreated.
"Gabrielle, I told you. My army was here for a year. We took a lot of supplies from the village. Food and …otherwise. One person, an innocent, died because of me." Xena bowed her head unwilling to look into her soul mate's eyes.
"Xena. I'm sure whoever died, it was an accident. And you can work to make up for the supplies, right?" Fear entered Gabrielle's voice. "They won't…. they can't sentence you to death. Can they?"
"It was no accident. A woman died because of my orders. And …well, they believe in letting the crime determine the punishment. Their justice is based on balancing the scales. So its possible they could."
"Oh, Xena!! You can't let that happen. All the good you do! It outweighs anything else. Will they add that to their balance?!" Gabrielle cried into her partner's shoulder. "I love you."
"I love you too, Gabrielle."
The next morning shone brightly. Leigh went to the holding cell to get Xena for the trial. As she unlocked the shackles from around the tree she questioned Xena.
"You told her everything?"
"No. I couldn't. Make sure she doesn't hear about it. Take her away from the trial when that comes up."
"Oh, Xena …. I can't do that." Leigh's voice reflected bitterly. "Don't you remember exactly what you are being tried for? And to whom it was done? I will get Terren to take her out."
Leigh led her into the court. Gabrielle had taken a seat right up front facing the reeves' chair. She watched her love being led into the court, carefully checking her for any signs of abuse. She tried to catch Xena's eye, but it seemed as though the warrior was avoiding her. Marlin called the room to order.
"Xena. We will try you on each charge separately. And if found guilty, you will serve each sentence as possible in the order in which you are tried. The first charge is theft of food and supplies from this village by your army for the year you occupied this area. We all here are witness to it, so as no one offers any defense for you, your sentence is…"
"Wait!! I will speak for Xena on this charge."
Gabrielle sat down in shock as another's voice overrode her own started objection. She looked over to the speaker.
"Leigh?! You know as well as the rest of us the truth of this crime. What defense do you offer?" Marlin looked at Leigh in shock.
"Yesterday, Xena had the opportunity to leave and avoid judgement. Instead, she followed us and helped stop Batrakis. We would have lost fighters and supplies if she hadn't helped, and she had no obligation to help us. For this I say the scales are balanced." Leigh finished her surprising defense.
"Is this true? Any fighters here from the defense yesterday wish to dispute this?" Silence reined in the court. "Any wish to second the defense?" A chorus of "Ayes" sound in the room. "Very well. The scales are balanced for this crime. The next charge is murder of the citizen Oma. By your soldiers at your command, correct?"
Xena addressed the court. "It was my standing order that the first individual to oppose us would be killed. When my army came into your village, my second in command announced our intentions and told you of this. It was not my intention to ever kill a woman or a child. Those too were standing orders. But Oma challenged Rackis and he killed her. I'm very sorry he did that. He was punished for killing her when I rejoined my army."
"So you admit that it was by your order she was killed?" Marlin questioned.
"I wish to speak on Xena's behalf, Marlin." Leigh again spoke up unexpectedly.
"Leigh, Oma was your own mother! You would offer her killer a defense?!" Marlin was shocked and outraged.
"There are things about it that no one but me knows, Marlin. Let me tell the story."
As Leigh begins her story, she thinks back on that day…
"Mother! You heard what they said. They will kill the first person to challenge them. They've been here a week and no one has been harmed yet. Why start something?"
"Leigh, someone must stand up to these people. Someone must set an
example for the next
generation. We can't keep bowing down to every warlord that comes through. It has to stop
Her mother's reasons echoed in her head as she tried to figure out what to say. "Mother, I AM the next generation and I would rather you be around to bounce your grandchildren on your knee than set this example."
"Leigh, daughter. I tell you this now because I didn’t want to worry
you before. I won't be
around for grandchildren regardless. You've seen how thin I've become, how weak. Something is wrong inside. I won't see another moon no matter what happens here. I love you, honey, and want to do this. Make my leaving quick, and send a message. Please understand and allow me this."
Leigh cried brokenheartedly on her mother's shoulder. "I love you mother! Are you SURE this is what you want? You can't be sure that warrior Rackis will kill you quickly."
A grim smile flashes across her mother's face. "Oh yes. It will be
quick. Don't mourn me
Leigh. This is for the best."
Later that evening Leigh watched from the darkened doorway of her
home as her mother
confronted Rackis. She smiled sadly to herself as her mother rained down invectives on
the warrior's head, maligning his hygiene, his mother's choice of consorts, and a few
other curses Leigh was shocked her mother knew. Her mother ended the tirade in front
of most of the village, who had gathered to watch the spectacle, by tossing the contents
of a chamber pot onto him and kicking him in the groin.
"Good-bye, mother. I love you." Leigh whispered quietly as Rackis
drew his sword and
swung, cutting her head off in one blow. He called out to the gathered villagers. "We
warned you what would happen if you opposed us. It figures in this village of sheep,
that it was an old woman. The next person will die slowly!"
Leigh finished her tale at that point. Everyone in the room knew that Oma was the only one to die in the year of Xena's occupation. "So you see, Marlin, mother killed herself, knowingly and willingly. Maybe you don't remember how weak she was getting, but I do. It's taken me a number of years to be able to do this, but in a way, I have Xena to thank for ending my mother's suffering." She looked over at Xena as she said these last words.
"No. Don't say that. I can never be forgiven for the death of your mother. It was wrong. I was wrong."
"Too bad, Warrior Princess. I forgive you . . . for that at least." Leigh turned to address the court. "And for ending my mothers pain, regardless of the means, and as my mothers only child, I declare the scales balanced between us!"
"Are you sure you want to do this, Leigh? Of everyone here, your family was the most grievously harmed," Marlin seemed taken aback by the unusual turn of events.
"Yes, I am sure."
"So be it. Xena, the gods must be smiling on you today. The final charge against you Xena is…"
"Wait! Terren, escort Gabrielle to the inn." Leigh interrupted the reeve.
Gabrielle struggled against the restraining hands of the young man. "Xena! I don't want to leave my friend. I want to be able to speak for her!"
"Gabrielle," Xena's low voice broke through the bards' panic. "Please go with him. I don't want you to hear this. There is nothing you can say for me anyway . . . . Please."
The bard stopped struggling at the entreaty. "Xena, I love you. It doesn't matter what you've done. I know you. You're a good person."
"But I wasn't always, Gabrielle. And this is one thing I don't want you hearing. It will be okay. I will probably have to pay for this one, but it won't cost me my life. Right, Leigh?"
Leigh smiled mirthlessly. "You'll survive, I did."
Terren took Gabrielle from the courtroom.
Marlin looked down at Leigh and addressed her. "Since this last charge is solely due to you, you may tell the tale to the court"
Leigh looked Xena in the eye. "Xena, you know what the last charge is. I would prefer to take care of this privately between the two of us, as that was how the crime was committed. I will take your word as bond that you will submit to my judgement. Do you agree?"
Xena met the gaze of the woman she had known long ago, as a different person. "I agree."
"Then it is settled. You will have until sunset to talk with your friend. At sunset and until I deem it is balanced, you will come to my home and submit to me." She waited until Xena nodded her consent then removed the shackles. "I suggest you use your time wisely."
Xena looked upon the woman to whom she had just submitted herself to for judgement. "I will, but promise me you will keep Gabrielle out of this."
"You are in no position to make demands, but I won't be the cause of her loss of innocence. But you know what is to happen. It would be best if she leaves. I will not force it, but I will not stop her from seeing your punishment."
"Leigh, you can't…"
"I can and will. You have given your word. Until sunset." Leigh turned away and walked out of the court. Her mind was filled with all of the preparations she needed to make before tonight.
Just as you ruined me Xena… the scales will be balanced.
Xena had barely left the court when Gabrielle came flying from the inn across the square. She ran up to the warrior and latched on in a bear hug.
"You're free?! I was so worried! Can we leave now? I don't want to risk them changing their minds." Words tumbled out of Gabrielle's lips in her haste.
"Gabrielle, love, I'm not free. It was determined that the victim of my last crime is responsible for my punishment. Tonight when the sun sets I have to submit to her judgement."
"Who is it Xena? What was your crime against her? You never hurt women and children so it can't be that bad. Why tonight? Why not in the morning? Surely whatever chores you have to do are best done in the day." Gabrielle babbled the sentences out not sure if she should be worried or not at this change of events.
"Gabrielle, lets go to the inn, to your room so we can talk. I don't have much time."
They reached the room and Gabrielle took the opportunity privacy afforded to kiss her warrior love. "Gods I missed that!" Her hands began to wander over her partners' leather-clad form. "How much time did you say we had?"
Xena kissed her bard back, but then reluctantly stilled Gabrielle's hands. "Not enough time, love. I have to tell you some things before it gets too late for you to leave here."
"Leave?! I'm not leaving you! How can you even say such a thing? After all we've been through I can't believe you would even suggest…"
"Gabrielle! Please! Let me tell you what I must. I have a good idea what my punishment will be, and I don't want you to have to see it. It would be best if you went back to Amphipolis until it is over. Mom will take care of you."
"Whatever it is . . . "
"NO! It won't be for long love. Let me tell you what happened." Xena took a deep breath, worried about telling her bard about this part of her past. It had never really come up before, just a few terse words here and there. "Gabrielle, you know I was a warlord. I killed, stole, burned… more than I can ever atone for. But like many other warlords I also did one thing …. I took slaves. For my army and also . . . for personal use. You've seen what slaves are used for. When we were here, I took Leigh as a slave. For personal use."
"So now you have to serve her? That doesn't seem too bad. You obviously didn't permanently harm her, she looked sound. So, she wants to humiliate you in return? By making you serve her? You told me about serving Ming Tsu, so how bad can it be? I won't leave you because of that." Gabrielle laid her hands reassuringly on her partner's shoulder. "I love you."
Xena's resolve quailed under her innocent bard's words. She couldn't tell her everything and destroy that naiveté in Gabrielle. "Please, Gabrielle. Promise me you will go back to Amphipolis if not tonight, then in the morning. Leigh has the right to keep me for up to a year. You can't live here that long. Mom will take care of you and I will return as soon as possible. Please love. It will help to know you are safe."
Gabrielle looked into her soul mate's eyes and saw the quiet pleading. "Xena… I don't want to leave you. Are you sure?"
"Yes, Gabrielle. Please."
"Okay. But in the morning. We have some things to take care of now." With that, Gabrielle resumed her earlier thwarted roaming with her hands over her lovers' body. Their muted cries of pleasure reached the lone figure standing beneath the window.
"Enjoy her while you can, Warrior Princess."
Xena reluctantly opened her eyes to the fading sun. It's time. She smiled down on the form so tightly wrapped around her body. Gabrielle had fallen into an exhausted sleep after their strenuous activities of earlier.
"Gabrielle. Wake up, love." Xena bent down and kissed her bard gently on the head. "I have to go. It's time."
Gabrielle snuggled tighter and reflexively grasped the warrior to her body. "No, not yet."
"Yes, hon. Now. I gave my word. I have to make things right here. It will be over before you know it." Xena extracted herself from her lover's body and started to dress. "Go to Amphipolis in the morning. I will be there as soon as I can."
Gabrielle had watched from the bed as Xena dressed. She rose from the bed and joined the warrior. She gripped Xena tight in a fierce hug designed to imprint the feel and texture of the warrior's leather and armor on her naked body. "I love you Xena. I will wait for you forever."
"I love you too, and it won't be forever." With that, Xena kissed her bard and walked out of the room and out of the inn to face her punishment.
Xena found Leigh waiting in the square for her in front of the court. Leigh had a number of leather straps in her hand and Xena mentally braced herself for what was coming.
"I'm glad to see you are on time. Although I was looking forward to disciplining you if you weren't." Leigh held out the first strap. "I'm sure you recognize this, right? Tell me what it is and what it was used for."
Fighting her body's instinct to rebel, she forced herself to submit. "It's a collar, a slave collar. The one . . . I used on you." Head bowed in the pain of remembrance of her past actions, Xena continued. "Leigh, I can't changed what happened in the past, but for what its worth, I'm sorry."
"Yes, Xena, I'm sorry too. Sorry for the year you kept me as a slave. But for what its worth," a merciless grin crossed Leigh's face, "I won't do anything to you that you didn’t do to me. Put it on!"
Xena reached for the collar and took it from Leigh's hands. Her nature reasserted itself and she held Leigh's eyes as she buckled the collar around her throat. The task done, she dropped her arms to her sides. Xena was aware that very few villagers were in sight. Only those with a pressing need to go somewhere dared to brave the square that evening. She could feel however the burn of her lover's eyes from the direction of the inn, though she didn't turn to see. Gabrielle, please go inside, she asked mentally. She knew what was to come would be even harder on her bard than on herself.
"Very good, Xena. Now strip. While you are with me, you are a warrior no longer. I'm sure you're friend will take care of your things." Leigh watched Xena carefully searching for any signs of disobedience. She was disappointed as Xena seemingly calmly stripped off her armor and leathers till she stood naked in the fading light. "I will break you, Xena. You know that. Now come." With that Leigh attached another of the leather straps to Xena's collar as a leash and led her to her hut.
From the doorway of the inn, Gabrielle fought not to go out to the square and take Xena away from the humiliation Leigh was putting her through. Only the knowledge that Xena needed to make things right here kept her from taking her love away from here. After they left the square, Gabrielle gathered up Xena's things and took them back to her room. She didn't notice Terren watching her every move. She sat at the small table and tried to concentrate on writing in her scrolls.
Xena took careful note of her surroundings as Leigh led her into the hut. A large bed dominated the back corner of the room, a wooden chest at the foot of it and another against the wall next to the head of the bed. A wash basin on the opposite wall, with a fireplace in the middle, and a table and chairs in the center of the room made up the rest of the furniture. She was unprepared when Leigh slammed her against the wall by the door, pressing her body full against the warrior princess and kissing her fiercely.
Leigh felt the length of Xena's body against hers as she kissed the warrior. She took Xena's wrists in her hands and pressed them against the wall next to her shoulders. Her tongue demanded entrance into her prisoner's mouth and laid fierce claim to all it discovered. Leigh raised Xena's hands over her head and held them in one hand while she reached for another leather strap. Quickly she bound Xena's hands and then stepped back from her assault.
"In that year as your slave you taught me many things. Do you remember?" Leigh roamed a hand down Xena's body, smiling as Xena's nipples tightened. Lower her hand roamed until it slipped between the warrior's thighs. The wetness she found there made any evasion useless. "Your body remembers. So did you tell Gabrielle? Did you tell her I was your slave? Your pleasure slave?!" With that she drove two fingers deep inside Xena.
Xena fought her body's reaction to the woman in front of her. She did remember all of the things she had done to Leigh, and the things she had made Leigh do. Back five years ago when it was all about power and control. The undeniable thrill of taking a person so completely. The dark sexual side of her Iolaus had glimpsed, but Gabrielle had never seen. The remembered sensations coursed treacherously through her body responding to Leigh's touch. When Leigh drove her fingers in, Xena's head arched back and short, quickly suppressed cry escaped her throat. After a minute Xena realized Leigh had not moved. Her fingers were still buried deep, but not moving. Xena opened her eyes to gaze into Leigh's, seeing that Leigh was waiting for a response.
"I told her you were my slave, but that’s all."
Leigh quickly pulled her fingers out of Xena, then yanked on her bound wrists throwing her to the floor. Xena caught herself on her forearms and looked up at the woman standing over her.
"Because of you, I was ruined for all the men here! Because of you I will never have someone to share my life with!" Leigh knelt down at Xena's head and grasped her chin. "And for that I am going to ruin you."
With that, she again crushed her lips against Xena's, invading the warriors' mouth and battling her tongue. She pushed Xena over onto her side and roamed her left hand down Xena's body. Xena's bound arms were trapped between their bodies, and Leigh used this to press Xena's hands into her own dampness.
"Feel that, Xena? Your body wants this. You want this. And I'm going to take it."
Leigh stood up and led Xena over to the bed. She unbound Xena's hands and took the leash off of her. Leigh pushed her down onto the bed and stood between Xena's spread knees, gazing down at her.
"You taught me everything you liked. And you took from me anything you wanted. But I learned something you didn't expect, didn't I? And for that you tossed me back into the village. Used and marked… by you. You remember this too, don't you?" Leigh stripped off her shirt, her unrestrained breasts proudly taut. A small golden hoop pierced the right nipple and the brand of a hawk's head graced the top of the left.
"You marked me as yours, trained me as yours, then threw me away. For that you are going to pay. Remember what I learned about you that last night? Remember how it felt? That's how I am going to keep you until you are ruined." Leigh's eyes flashed fire.
Xena did remember. Everything. And a deep fear gripped her. She knew Leigh was right. That it would ruin her. She had fought it then, and she could do no less now. Xena surged up towards Leigh, intending to push her back. She was halfway to standing when a sudden sensation between her thighs stopped her dead.
Leigh saw the fear in Xena's eyes and knew what she was about to do. As Xena surged up, the hand that had been poised right in front of Xena's center, plunged in deep without warning. Four fingers buried deep and a thumb on her clit controlled the warrior faster than any bonds or shackles could.
"Oh no, Xena. I'm not letting you get away that easily." A quick flex of the wrist had Xena gasping. "Down. On your back." Leigh moved with Xena's body never letting up contact. She dangled two straps in front of Xena with her free hand. The leather had a buckle at the end and a ring sewn into the leather. "Put the cuffs on and stretch your arms above your head."
Xena managed to strap the cuffs on, pulling them tight at a warning look from Leigh. She stretched her arms above her head. Leigh reached over Xena's body, her breasts dangling in Xena's face. Leigh pulled a chain from the far corner of the bed and clipped it to Xena's right wrist. She pulled another chain from the other side and restrained Xena's left arm. With the warrior firmly bound, she pulled her fingers from Xena's center. Dripping with wetness she slid them along Xena's lips, then brought them to her own. Leigh licked two fingers clean growling in pleasure at the taste.
"You are so wet, Xena. I knew I could hold you like that. You liked it didn't you?" Leigh brought her fingers to Xena's mouth. "Suck them clean, Xena. Taste yourself."
Xena did as she was instructed, a soft helpless moan escaping her lips. She closed her eyes. Gabrielle. Trying to reach inside for the calm that Gabrielle's presence always brought her. A sharp blow across her cheek brought her back.
"Don’t try to go off anywhere, Xena. You are mine now."
Leigh moved down to the foot of the bed and strapped shackles around each ankle. Here too chains bound the warrior to the bed, her legs spread, with just enough give to bend her knees a bit. Leigh moved back up Xena's body and pulled one more strip of cloth out. The last sight Xena saw before the blindfold obscured her vision was Leigh smiling down at her.
"Darkness makes it all that much more potent don't you think? Not knowing what's coming next…" The words were whispered softly in Xena's ear. A tongue flicked out to lightly caress the shell of her ear. "The anticipation…"
Xena arched as her nipple was suddenly pinched, then the other. She felt Leigh weight leave the bed and strained to hear what she was doing and where she was going. She heard a whisper of cloth against skin, and decided Leigh was undressing. The clink of dishes was clear, but Xena didn't remember seeing what was in any of the dishes in the room. She schooled herself to calm then relaxed against the bed waiting.
After making her point with the blindfold, Leigh got off the bed and crossed the room. She dropped the rest of her clothes off of her body and reached for the supplies she had gathered that afternoon in preparation. A number of small bowls on a platter, each with a different substance in them, a skin of water, a feather, some clips, a short cat-o-nine tails. Oh yeah, she had planned this first evening very well. She crossed back to the bed and placed the platter on the chest at the head. Leigh then went to the chest at the foot and pulled out other various supplies. All went to rest on the chest at the top of the bed.
Leigh climbed back on the bed and straddled Xena's hips. She leaned forward resting her weight on her knees and hands, barely touching the prone body beneath her. She reached over and grabbed the water, unstopping the skin and taking a long drink. She placed the opening at Xena's lips and let Xena drink her fill.
"You'll need all of it you can get, Xena…" Leigh put the now empty skin down. She ran her hands lightly over her captive's arms, across her collarbone, her neck. Over her face and cheekbones, lightly caressing the skin under her hands. She leaned down and placed soft kisses over Xena's face and moved down to neck. Leigh worked her way up to the sensitive skin near Xena's ear and ran her tongue over it. She felt Xena's body shake slightly underneath her.
"That last night…" Leigh whispered softly, seductively into Xena's ear. "One of the rare times you let me touch you, taste you. We discovered something that night, didn't we?" A nip at her neck coupled with sucking caused Xena to sharply inhale. "You like this don't you? You like being conquered, being taken. A hard thing for a warrior princess to admit isn't it? But here, now, you are not a warrior but my slave. One that has no choice but to give into this. One who wants to give into this."
Xena fought to hang on to her rapidly weakening resolve to fight this. She growled a denial to Leigh's words, unable to speak what she knew was not true. She remembered that last night, when the young girl she had taken as a slave, had looked into her and saw her need for submission. She remembered Leigh taking her that night and screaming her submission to the young woman. The next day, she had thrown her back to the village. As a warlord she couldn't allow that weakness to be exploited. From that day on she had buried that need to submit. Using her obvious strength, she took what she needed from others, never allowing that deeply suppressed core to raise its head. She remembered too how it had briefly raised its head with Hercules. She was afraid to let that need rise, knowing what it took to dominate her, realizing Gabrielle was too innocent for that.
Leigh felt the struggle in the body below her and smiled. "Yes, Xena, fight me. Struggle against it. Test your bonds." Leigh moved down Xena's body and began to lick, suck and bite at Xena's nipples. She moved from one to the other riding Xena as she arched up and pulled on the chains binding her. Leigh reached back and slapped Xena's flank hard leaving her hand print. "That's right. Fight it, fight me. Come on…. Slave!"
Xena redoubled her efforts to break free as Leigh's mouth ravaged her breasts. Her thigh stung where Leigh slapped it, the heat radiating through her into her center. The delicious agony at her breasts also trailed fire down into her core. She pulled on the chains mightily for a few minutes, feeling additional slaps against her thighs, hands roughly kneading her breast, pulling and pinching her nipples and a relentless mouth against her. Chest heaving she slumped down to the bed her muscles sore from fighting her chains. The weight over her body shifted and lips pressed against hers in a possessive kiss.
Leigh kissed Xena deeply, bruising Xena's lips. A hand wandered down Xena's body and dipped into her flaming core. "Oh so wet, Xena!" She only briefly ran her fingers through Xena's folds feeling her arch up into her hand and not wanting to give Xena any release. "Not yet, slave. We have all the time in the world. I could torture you like this for the entire year." Leigh felt Xena's shudder at this and laughed.
Leigh reached over and dipped her fingers into the first bowl. Bringing them back, she painted the crushed berries over Xena's lips and breasts. She took a second scoop and smeared them into Xena's folds making her gasp. Starting at her lips Leigh began to consume the berries she had spread. She parted Xena's lips and shared the taste. Moving down to Xena's breast, she cleaned them with long strokes teasing the sensitive flesh, but doing nothing to ease the ache. Leigh felt Xena's muscles contracting as she moved farther down her body. Leigh paused to take a long look at the sight of the warrior princess stretched out in front of her, Xena's center opened vulnerably in front of her.
Xena felt the cool sticky wetness as Leigh coated her lips and breasts. Then she gasped as the feel of Leigh fingers and the berries pressed against her center. Xena opened her lips accepting the berries from Leigh then tightened her body as she felt Leigh's tongue on her breasts. The long swiping sensations kept her breasts aching and she arched trying to ease the ache. As Leigh moved farther down her body, Xena tensed her muscles trying to brace for what was coming. The sudden press of wet heat against her burning core forced a short cry from her lips. Xena bucked her hips trying to end the unfulfilled agony burning in her. She felt Leigh's arms wrap around her thighs holding her down. Again, long slow licks meant to torment and tease cleaned the berries from her body. A deep ache began to build and Xena pressed down on Leigh trying to finish it. She cried out again as the torment ceased.
"Oh no, Xena… not yet." Leigh reached over into the next bowl and again painted Xena's body.
The slow torture went on for most of two candlemarks. Xena's body was quivering with need, and increasingly louder cries escaped her lips. Xena drew a ragged breath as Leigh finished cleaning the latest substance out of Xena's soaked folds. A moan escaped her as she felt Leigh reaching for yet more. "Please . . . ."
Leigh looked down at her captive, a smile on her lips. Perfect timing. She dipped her fingers into the last bowl and carefully painted the oil onto Xena's nipples. Another fingerful and she moved down carefully placing it directly onto Xena's clit. Before Xena could react, she unclipped the chains from Xena's wrist crossing them over to reattach. She then did the same with Xena's ankles.
"Turn over, slave."
Xena felt the cool oil on her breasts and clit. As it warmed, the areas began to tingle and pull. She felt her bonds release and reattach, but the growing sensation robbed her of her chance. She heard Leigh's words as the tingle became an itch and as she rolled over and her breasts rubbed the sheets, she cried out. Xena tried to rub the oil onto the sheets but the friction just heated the oil more. The itch also invaded her center and she pressed her hips against the blankets desperate for relief. The shock of a whip hitting her exposed buttocks stopped the movement.
Leigh picked up the whip as she watched Xena's fruitless struggles. She brought the whip down leaving a series of red marks over Xena's backside. She put her arm around Xena's middle and lifted her up slightly. Leigh shoved a pillow under Xena's belly so that just the tips of her breasts hit the sheets, and left her ass high in the air with her knees spread. Just as she was about to bring the whip back down on Xena's flesh, she heard a commotion at the door. She brought the whip down distracting Xena from the sounds and reached over for some beeswax. Leigh stopped Xena's ears, rightfully guessing the cause of the noise.
As she finished the door came open and Terren came in with a bound, gagged Gabrielle.
Gabrielle looked up from the table that held her still empty scroll. Scenes had been in her head of what Leigh was doing to Xena. She pictured Xena serving Leigh dinner, still naked with that collar. Of Xena being ordered around like an animal at Leigh's beck and call. At first she smiled at the thought thinking how Xena would just give Leigh the look. As if to say, yeah right. She couldn't imagine at first Xena submitting to that. Then she remembered what Xena had told her about serving Ming Tsu, and knew the warrior not only could do it, but would because she thought it was right.
That thought led to others. Thoughts of Xena serving… not Leigh, but her. Gabrielle shocked herself at what she was thinking. Thoughts of Xena serving her, not at a dinner or something, but in bed. Of Xena submitting to her and begging her. Suddenly words from earlier hit her. "I took Leigh as a slave. For personal use."
Gabrielle bolted out of the room certain now that she couldn't let Xena stay here any longer, no matter what the reason. She ran through the square looking around for some hint as to which place was Leigh's. Cursing the time that had already passed, Gabrielle ran to each home looking in windows, trying to find her love. As she reached the end of the street and came up to the last home, a figure stepped out from behind her and grabbed her.
Terren watched as Gabrielle searched the village. He moved to a position so he could stop her. As she reached Leigh's place Terren stepped up behind her and grabbed her. He knocked her down and placed a knee in her back preventing her from escaping. He pulled Gabrielle's arms behind her and bound her wrists. He lifted her head and stuffed a wad of leather between her teeth cutting off her yell of outrage. Another strip of leather secured the gag. Terren then picked her up to her feet.
"You have a choice. I can take you back to the inn, where you are to stay, or I can take you to Xena. But I will tell you this. You are responsible for your choice." Terren finished the speech he was made to remember.
Gabrielle shook her head.
Gabrielle nodded yes.
"Very well." Terren led her to the last home. He knew the struggle had been heard and was sure Leigh was prepared. He opened the door and led Gabrielle in.
Gabrielle's eyes went wide over the gag as she saw Xena's bound, naked form on the bed. The details of her soul mate's condition slowly hit her. She saw the flushed, marked skin, the blindfold and the beeswax. The whip in Leigh's hand and the bowls on the chest also made their impression. She began to struggle.
Leigh gave Terren a quick look and he pulled the struggling bard over to a chair. Forcing her down into it, he lashed her hands to the back and tied her ankles to the legs. A quick look at Terren confirmed it and he made sure the bards legs were spread. Terren then took his leave without a word. Leigh walked over from where she had continued tormenting the warrior.
"I told Xena I would not force you to know this, but you were given the chance and chose this of your own free will." Leigh stepped in front of the bard. "Xena can't hear or see you so don't bother trying. Just sit back." Leigh turned and walked back to her captive.
Xena felt the burn of the whip as it lashed her skin and the heat poured through her body. She thought she heard a noise form outside, the first indication anything else outside this room existed, but another lash drove her back into the mindless world of feeling she had been in. Xena vaguely realized the loss of hearing as the beeswax was pressed into her ears. She felt the heat of Leigh's hand on her buttocks tracing the still stinging whip marks. Leigh fingers then roamed down into her sopping folds and lightly scratched at the maddening itch at her clit. The hand suddenly left her aching skin for a long moment. She felt Leigh move away from her and then come back.
Leigh dipped her fingers into the oil again. She bent over and bit the back of Xena's neck causing her to let out a gasp. Then Leigh moved down to Xena's hips. One oil coated finger played lightly at Xena's puckered anus. The oil coated digit slipped easily in up to the first knuckle. The oil heated quickly and Xena groaned loud and long at the newest itch. The other fingers brushed over Xena's clit re-igniting the fire there. Leigh reached for the last item on the chest. She strapped the long, thick glistening leather phallus in a harness around her waist and knelt on the bed behind Xena.
Xena churned her hips desperate now for relief. Her control shattered, she needed release. She could feel Leigh behind her and knew what that was just barely touching her burning core. Expertly driven to the point of madness with need, by the woman she once owned, Xena gave in.
"Please!!!!! Gods!! Take me! I'm yours!" Xena screamed her pleas. "Mistress!!!!!!"
Leigh drove the phallus into Xena's depths, stroking hard and deep and Xena screamed. She reached under Xena and pinched her nipples, eliciting more screams. Finally she reached up and pulled out the beeswax and took off the blindfold, still pumping into Xena as hard as she could.
The sudden shock of being filled and stretched tore a scream out of Xena's throat. She bucked back against Leigh, trying to take it even deeper. Leigh's hands on her nipples pulled another scream from her throat and sent her to the edge. The sudden assault of light and sound overloaded her senses. She arched her head back and screamed her release as her eyes suddenly locked onto her bard's. The shock of seeing Gabrielle there was overwhelmed by her body's final joyful release. Convulsions racked her body as she collapsed down onto the bed helpless to do anything but ride the waves coursing through her. She felt Leigh pull out of her and was dimly aware as she was freed and turned over. Another cool soothing oil was spread on her clit and nipples, ending the itch.
Leigh finished with the oil, and she walked over to the basin, Leigh took a wet cloth and quickly wiped off her body. She then pulled on a robe and loosely tied it. Picking up a pouch, Leigh went back to the spent warrior. She pulled an ointment out and spread it on Xena's right nipple. Leigh then pulled a needle out and a small golden hoop. Pinching the nipple to hardness, Leigh quickly pierced through it. The golden hoop went in smoothly and Leigh pinched it closed.
Slowly, Xena became aware of her surroundings. She looked up to see Leigh with a needle about to pierce her nipple. Too weak to fight, she lay there watching, grateful the numbing ointment caused the warrior to feel only a sharp pinch. When the hoop was set, she caught Leigh's eyes. Leigh leaned over and kissed her.
"Have I broken you, my slave?" Leigh smiled into Xena's eyes.
"Yes, Mistress," the warrior, now slave, answered.
"Good. You will not remove the ring correct?"
Leigh smiled. "Then go." She walked over to Gabrielle and freed her. "Here's your friend. Now get out."
The sight of Gabrielle shocked Xena. She vaguely now recalled seeing her love, but thought she was hallucinating at that point. Knowing Gabrielle saw her break caused the warrior to flush. "Gabrielle…" She couldn't even look at her love. Xena turned to Leigh.
"You promised! You said you wouldn't force her to watch!" Anger and embarrassment flooded Xena. She reached for the whip and advanced on Leigh.
"Xena, stop!" Leigh's voice cut through her. Xena's body halted stilled too thralled with the dominance of the other woman to disobey. "It was her choice. Ask her. "
"Xena, she's telling the truth. It was my choice. I'm sorry. Please. Let's leave." Gabrielle placed a soothing hand on Xena's arm.
Xena heard Gabrielle. She felt her love's hand on her arm, but she couldn't react for the thrall her body was in. She watched as Leigh walked over and picked up the discarded leash. Tilted her head back and allowed Leigh to clip it to the collar she still wore. Xena felt the whip taken out of her hand and her hands bound behind her. Wordlessly she watched as Leigh handed the leash to Gabrielle.
"This is your new mistress. Go slave." Leigh looked at Gabrielle who stared at the leash in her hands. "Gabrielle, remember what you have seen here. Remember for your sake and hers."
Gabrielle looked at Leigh understanding growing in her eyes. "All the time?"
"No, just when she needs it. I hope you are up to it. I have waited a long time to bring Xena down, but I have to let it go." Leigh smiled wickedly. "It's your burden to bear now. The scales are balanced."
Gabrielle walked to the door and opened it. Looking back at her still quiet soul mate, she said but two words…