Author: Ian Horne
Title: Betrayals
Characters: Gabrielle & Brutus, Gabrielle/f/f (Brutus' body slaves), Brutus & f & f (Brutus' body slaves), (Xena/Gabrielle, Xena & Antony)
Rating: NC-17
Summary: To learn Xena's plans, Brutus subjects his hostage Gabrielle to an unusual torture.
This rating is for explicit f/f and m/f sex, bdsm and potentially non-consensual sex.

The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are the property of Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.

The story depicts sex between women and sex between a man and a woman. It is NC-17 and contains bondage and what could be construed as non-consensual sex. If any of the above material offends you, if you are underage, or if this type of story is prohibited in your area, please leave now.

SPOILER WARNING – This story takes place during the episode 'Antony and Cleopatra.' There are spoilers for this and other episodes.


by Ian Horne

The wind was warm on my skin, almost hot. It seemed odd that a wind, especially a night wind, would glide off a body of water with such a heat at its essence. I wondered if it was a premonition of what was to come.

I looked up at the night sky, seeking some solace that I knew wasn't there. I so desperately wanted Xena by my side, to strengthen my resolve or, at the very least, to know that I would die by her side. But she wasn't here. She was out there, out on the water somewhere, walking the deck of a similar vessel, another Roman galley. We were approaching each other in the dark, pawns in a trap that would most likely result in our deaths.

Not that I feared death. You couldn't share your life with the Warrior Princess and not have death walking beside you at one point or another. I had already died once…crucified by the very Romans that Xena and I were now guiding to their doom. If there were irony in that, I didn't care. I wanted to be with her again. I wanted to know that, if I were to die, she and her newborn baby would be safe. I wanted to tell her that I loved her.

I loved the smell of the sea. I used to hate it, hate the sea, before Xena taught me to overcome my fear. Now I reveled in the smell and motion of the ship, as it cleaved through the waves towards our destination. I wanted to stand on this deck, holding Xena in my arms, and make her look at the stars. I wanted to tell her how precious our time together has been.

But she was with him. Perhaps she was in his arms, telling him how much she valued his love.

I closed my eyes at the thought of the two of them together, pushing down the pain in my chest. I wanted to forget why I was here, ignore what was to be. I wanted so desperately to be alone with the sea.

I felt his hand touch my shoulder. I didn't react.


I opened my eyes and turned at his soft voice. As I did, his hand slid from my shoulder. I wasn't sure if I wanted it to stay or not. As I faced his chiseled features, I tried to display as little emotion as I could. I didn't want him to know what distress I was feeling at Xena's absence or anxiety at his presence.

"You should go below," He suggested, "Get some rest before the rendezvous."

I looked into his eyes. I wondered if mine were as sad as his at this, what would be our final time together. We both knew that things had changed since our first meeting, when I was a Queen and he was my prisoner, that there was no going back to the respect we wouldn't acknowledge, but both felt for each other. I turned and looked towards the sea.

"I'll go down in a minute," I replied, not looking back to him.

He hesitated for a moment, as if he was going to say more, then turned and walked away. I wanted to look at him, to hear what he had to say, but I dared not. I was afraid he would see something in my eyes I couldn't afford for him to discover.

I had enough reason to hate him. Brutus of Rome, once friend to Caesar and, later, leader of the group of assassins that murdered the tyrant. When we first met, I had taken the place of my Amazon sister, Ephiny, who had been slain by Brutus on the battlefield, as the Queen of the Amazons. He didn't know who she had been, until I told him. I couldn't forgive him, but I could understand that her death had been an act of war. When next we met, he had arrested Eli and his followers, naively believing Caesar's promise that we were hostages against attack by Xena. The moment he left us in that mountain prison, the Centurions prepared us for crucifixion. Only Xena's intervention saved Eli and his group, but doomed she and I to be crucified.

I turned from the rail and walked towards the steps that led below deck. I paused for a moment, pretending to look back towards the sea, but allowing my glance to settle on him one more time. He was looking from his position by the helm directly towards me. His eyes, lit by a torch set in a brazier, reflected his misgivings and regret. At least, that is how I imagined they appeared. I turned back and continued down into the bowels of the ship.

I made my way to my cabin, a rather large room fitted with a large bed that was covered with feather pillows and white silk sheets. I closed the door, locking it, and stripped off my disguise. In a few moments, my helmet was on the end of the bed alongside my wig. The heat seemed worse below decks, so I stripped off my dress and what armor I had. With the heat hanging over me like a pall, I lay bare against the sheets.

Was this how it was going to end, I pondered? Xena and I had ventured to Egypt to uncover the truth behind the assassination of Cleopatra. With the government's blessing, Xena had assumed Cleopatra's identity, while I became her Chief Attendant. We discovered that three Romans, each declaring a claim on Caesar's empire, were seeking to gain control of the Egyptian fleet to reinforce his claim. One was Octavius, a mere boy, but who appeared to be the only one with a legal right.

Another was Marc Antony. Friend to Caesar, he was a roguishly handsome Centurion that, much to my personal dismay, seemed to capture Xena's heart. While she insisted that she was only playing the seductress to entrap the enemies of Egypt, I could see the spell he had cast upon her with his commanding look and manner. I played along with her, but I never hated a man more than at this moment. Xena meant everything to me.

The last Roman was Brutus. He had come to Cleopatra's court to request the fleet from the Egyptian admirals, only to discover that two people he believed dead were alive…and one was sitting on the throne. Even though I dealt with him harshly, I could see the relief in his eyes that we were alive. I had wanted to think the best of him in all this, but, when he confessed to the fact that he had engineered Cleopatra's assassination in hopes of thwarting his rivals to control of the fleet, my respect turned to revulsion.

Or did it? I could never justify his reasoning, but that didn't mean I couldn't understand his perspective. He had grown more ambitious since last I saw him, but I still believed in his nobility, that what he was doing was what he felt was right for the good of Rome. After all, Octavius was a boy. How could he expect to hold the empire together? As for Antony, he was just as ruthless, just as self-important as Caesar. Would he rule any different than his predecessor?

I smiled to myself. Perhaps I was just rationalizing his behavior to cloak my own jealousy of Xena and Antony. Was I looking for a male surrogate, because I wanted Xena to feel the pain that I felt? To choose Antony's greatest rival seemed ironic and fitting, but I had only been with a man once in my life, my dear Perdicus. Did I want to be with one again? I could imagine indulging myself in all sorts of dark fantasies with Brutus, then watching Xena's face as I related them to her.

What were they doing now, I wondered? Was she playing Cleopatra to the hilt, seductive and alluring? Were she and her lover rutting like animals in heat, trying to fit some moments of passion before the battle? I remembered how Perdicus and I had fumbled through our wedding night like the pair of farm children we had once been. We never had time to grow into each other, since he was dead by Callisto's hand the very next day. I wondered what it would have been like to be with a real man, had we grown old together. But my love had later found Xena and it never strayed from her.

What would it be like to have a man now, I wondered? My time seemed to be getting short in this reality, considering the odds of my surviving the coming battle. Should I allow myself the luxury of passion before my death? Should I lure Brutus below decks and seduce him? Should I commit the act I only think Xena is committing against me? Would I also betray our love?

I lay back on the bed, feeling the sweat of my flesh cling to the silk beneath me. Like any soldier facing death, I wanted to be with someone, to feel the ecstasy of desire one more time, to taste flesh in my lips. With a sigh, I closed my eyes.

…And opened them to find Brutus standing over me.

He was dressed in the tunic shirt and shorts that Romans wore under their armor. He didn't smile, but his eyes betrayed the desire he held for the naked body before him. I quickly spread the white sheets of the bed over me, though I knew every curve was pressing against the fabric. I looked at him with all the irritation I could muster.

But part of me enjoyed the fact that I was desirable in his eyes. I moved my arm slightly, causing the fabric to pull tighter against me.

"What do you want?" I hissed, trying to seem annoyed at his unannounced presence.

"I came to talk," he stated simply.

Our eyes locked. We both knew we wanted more than conversation.

"So…talk!" I said sharply.

"I wanted you to know how happy I was to discover you were alive," He declared, "I discovered Caesar's treachery and his intention to crucify you and Xena, but there was nothing I could do to rescue you both that might not inadvertently revealed my plan to…eliminate him. I had to risk sacrificing you two for the greater good."

"The greater good," I repeated cynically. I wasn't going to make this easy for him.

"I don't expect you to forgive me," He confessed, "But I wanted you to know just how much I respect you…then and now."

As he spoke, my concentration drifted. I could see from the bulge in his shorts what "respect" he was harboring for me…and, by the wetness between my legs, what feelings I reciprocated. But I couldn't give him the satisfaction…yet.

"Thank you," I said flatly, "Now, if you will leave me to get dressed…"

"Gabrielle, what does Xena plan to do?"

I looked up at him, trying to keep my face placid.

"She's already told you!" I replied, trying to keep the annoyed tone from wavering at his revelation.

"I think we both know Xena well enough that it can be assumed that she is planning on springing a trap," He stated, "The murder of Cleopatra is something she is not going to overlook. It has to be a trap."

"With me aboard as hostage?" I asked him incredulously.

Brutus nodded. His face was serious as if it was made of granite.

He had deduced the truth. Xena had played him for a fool and had vastly underestimated him in the bargain. And the prize for his triumph, it seemed, was going to be myself.

"Xena keeps her word," I argued, "Especially when it concerns my safety."

Brutus laughed softly.

"I suppose she's in bed with Antony right now, convincing him of her 'trust'," He mused, "Does she deserve your sacrifice, Gabrielle?"

I reached up to slap his face. As I did, the sheet fell away from my body. In one quick move, he seized my wrists, but his eyes were no longer on my face.

"I don't want to mar such loveliness," he said softly, gazing at my nakedness, "But I must know Xena's plans."

I fell back from his grip, but made no effort to cover myself. I stared up to him with an expression of angry defiance. If he wanted me, he was going to have to conquer me.

And a part of me wanted that more than anything.

He knew I was aroused. He could smell that arousal. I waited for him to make his move, to seize me and begin his 'interrogation.'

But he did neither. He turned away, waving towards the door. I looked past him towards the open portal. Two women stood there, both young and beautiful. One was as black as onyx, the other an exotic creature from Chin. They were wrapped in simple floor length, golden silk dresses, their heads bowed. The Chin woman held a robe under one arm.

"Escort her!" He commanded.

At his order, the two women stepped forward and came to me. They seized me by the arms and lifted me gently from the bed. The Chin woman draped me in the robe she carried to cover my nudity. Giving no resistance, I allowed myself to be led from the room, three woman following Brutus deeper into the bowels of the vessel. I didn't try to escape. There was nowhere to run.

I was led into the brig. It was exactly as I expected. There were no cells, only manacles set into the hull. In one corner, a brazier heated the room with its smoldering coals. Torches flickered light in the otherwise darkened room, giving it an eerie feeling reminiscent of Tartarus.

My time had come and this is where I was to die.

The women escorted me between two pillars. Removing my robe, they manacled my feet to the poles at the ankle. The length of the chains had me standing with my legs parted about two feet. They then pulled me forward, causing me to bend at the waist. Reaching up, they brought down manacles from the ceiling and clipped them around my wrists, forcing me to remain in the bent position, my arms outstretched. I glared at Brutus, who stood a few feet from my head.

"What's next?" I asked, "Invite the crew down for a party?"

He stepped over and moved his left hand down my short hair to settle delicately against my cheek. He raised my head with his fingers to look into my eyes.

"Tell me what Xena's plans are."

I could see the regret in his eyes. I suddenly wanted to tell him everything. After all, wasn't he right about Xena? Did I owe anything to Egypt? What was I about to endure torture for?

But I snapped at his hands with my teeth. Fortunately, his Centurion reflexes were swift and he pulled his hand back in time. He gave me one last sad glance, then turned to the women.


The Chin woman moved into my range of vision and I had to stifle my surprise. She had discarded her dress while Brutus and I had talked. She was beautiful, I thought, as her naked form glided into the shadows of the room like a cat.

"Your body slaves?" I suddenly asked.

Brutus nodded, noting my interest with a small smile. As he did, the Nubian stepped into my line of vision from somewhere behind me. She also was nude and she carried a small bottle. Brutus took it from her and she held her hands out. He opened the bottle and sprinkled some of the contents, a powder, onto her palms. She began to run them together. From the shadows, the naked Chin returned, carrying a large jug. She placed it at her feet and extended her hands to Brutus. Again, the Roman poured the contents from the bottle and the woman rubbed the powder into her palms.

Brutus then moved to a bench set into the hull directly in front of me, about three yards away from my head. He placed the bottle to one side and simply looked at me.

"When will your Jailer arrive?" I inquired.

"No man will see you like this," he replied, "Or touch you. Not as long as I am in command."

"No one but you," I replied cynically.

As soon as the words were spoken, I regretted it. I could see he didn't want to do this, not this way.

The Chin woman stepped to my left side, the jug in her hands. Deftly, she poured a little of its contents, an oily liquid, upon my back. It pooled down my spine into my lower back, running down between my buttocks and legs.

I squirmed at the oil, as it began to heat my flesh. The sensation was not burning, as much as it was a warm layer that was sinking beneath my skin into my nerves. As the Chin woman rubbed the oil over my back, the black woman gathered some of the drippings and began to rub the fluid over my breasts and stomach. The oil began to tingle and excite my nerves. I closed my eyes in the hope that Brutus couldn't see how the liquid was bringing the blood to a boil in my veins. The Chin woman continued to massage my back, buttocks, and thighs, taking special care to ply her fingertips over the lips between my legs. My mind cursed her for being so efficient at her job and I had to steel myself from reacting to her touch, something that was becoming more difficult as time passed.

I felt the Nubian's palms rub the fluid flames over my belly, slowly and sensuously. I groaned in my throat, hoping that it was deep enough within me that no one heard. I looked down in her face and realized that I was wrong. She smiled up at me, pleased that she had brought me to this point of near surrender. She played her fingertips over my nipples, causing me to buck in my chains. I looked furiously at Brutus. He sat there motionless, his expression like granite.

"Is this the pleasure before the pain?" I asked vehemently.

"My dear Gabrielle," He stated softly, "The pleasure is the pain."

I couldn't deny his words. The Chin woman's hot breath was waffling over the flesh of my inner thighs. She brought her lips in contact with my legs and I flinched. I tried to move back, but the manacles on my ankles kept me immobile, my outstretched arms trapped in the irons.

I could see her smile, as she continued her line of kisses towards the object of her desire. I wanted to shout, to curse her, anything, but I knew such a reaction would only give her more fuel to her passion.

And I didn't want her to stop.

The oil, my sensitivity of the flesh, my craving for Xena, all of it was beginning to build in my body. It was like they were spreading liquid fire on my skin. The Nubian placed her lips against my throat, nipping at my flesh with her teeth. For a moment, I gave in, trying to return the gesture with a bite of my own. But I pulled back, turning my head, not allowing myself to capitulate to the sensations permeating my body. But I could feel the battle was lost. As the Chin slave's face came within inches of her goal, I mewed softly and opened my legs as best I could, trying to move my body closer to her inviting lips. She seated herself on the deck between my legs, placed a gentle kiss against my lower lips, and brought her hand up to separate the folds. I was as motionless as a cat under the gaze of a predator, frightened that any action of mine would startle her away, losing the touch I now craved. The Nubian held my shoulders, as if to calm me like a young colt against bucking too hard against my restraints and hurting myself. I heard a soft sigh, as the Chin placed her fingers within the folds, probing into my core.

I closed my eyes and moaned, not caring who heard me. All I wanted now was this woman's touch inside me. She moved her fingers around, her thumb brushing against the nub of my clit. I knew that she had all four fingers within me, the oil laced across their powdery surface. I jerked and rolled as best I could against her ministrations, as I began to feel the heat burn inside me like a volcano. I wanted all of her in me. Slowly, she pulled back her hand and gazed up at me.

"NO!" I screamed.

There was no more control within me, not even a vestige of it. She could see the pleading in my eyes, as the Nubian could feel the rapidity of my breathing, as she held my upper body in her arms. The Chin laughed a silent laugh and brought her face against my clit, her tongue flickering against it. I closed my eyes and tried to absorb the sensations.

I suddenly felt The Nubian's hands on my throat. She cradled my head and brought her lips down to mine. Any consideration I had left towards resistance melted away. I parted my lips and allowed our tongues to meet. I craned my neck as much as the restraints would allow me, trying to push my tongue deeper in her, while The Chin woman raked her nails along my thighs, her teeth nipping at my clit. The Nubian's hands drifted down my throat to my chest, softly cradling and squeezing my breasts, her nails teasing the tips of my nipples.

By The Gods, I never wanted this to end.

I could feel the Chin woman crawling through my legs and assuming a kneeling position behind me. Her hands seized my buttocks, her thumbs pushing them open. I could feel her hot breath on my anus, followed by a quick darting of her tongue. No one had ever done that before and I was thrilled by the newness of it. She kept pushing her tongue deeper and deeper. I strained against the bonds holding my arms, trying to push back against her face. The Nubian giggled and leant a soft weight to my shoulders to aid in my quest, her hands never leaving my breasts. I lowered my head as best I could, licking at her dark breasts in an attempt to give back the pleasure she had bestowed on me. She cradled her head on my shoulder, giving my mouth greater access to her breasts. I eagerly suckled one in my mouth, frantically trying to please her, while her companion continued her probe behind me.

I suddenly felt the Chin woman withdraw her tongue. Part of my mind moaned at this emptiness. The despair soon died, however, as she replaced her oral appendage with her finger, thrusting it deep in my rectum. My mouth released the treasure it held to exhale a groan of surprise at this new invasion. I bucked in the Nubian's arms, as The Chin woman continuing thrusting again and again.

"More oil," I heard Brutus' voice softly suggest.

The Nubian kissed me, then released her grip. She picked up the jug from the deck and began to pour the oil down my back slowly. It streamed down my spine like a river of lava, the heat making every fiber of my being bristle into sensitivity. She poured some on my shoulders and, placing the jug down, quickly moved it again over my breasts and stomach. The river on my backside pooled at the small indentation above my buttocks. The Chin woman removed her fingers from within me and soaked them in the liquid fire. She then replaced her fingers back inside my nether hole.

I screamed at the heat. All pretenses were gone. I was more aroused than I had ever been in my life, the flames within my buttocks cascading through my body like a fire out of control. I heard the Nubian laugh, as she placed her liquid coated fingers against my pussy and thrust them deep inside. I screamed again, my body buckling against the chains, tears running down my face, my eyes sealed shut, my breath escaping in ragged gasps. Release was soon at hand, I felt, as the women continued to thrust their fingers within me again and again, over and over. I was literally crying with joy.

And then they stopped.

I could feel their bodies moving away, a last squeeze of a breast, a bite or a peck on my flesh, and they were no longer there.

I opened my eyes, the moisture of my tears blurring my vision. I blinked several times before I could discern in the near darkness that my two assailants…my angels of love…were curled at Brutus' feet. His shorts were discarded at his feet and the women were taking turns licking and sucking his erect manhood.


I could only stare at the two women sharing their treasure. It was the first time I had seen a man naked below the waist since my wedding night with Perdicus. The sight of his shaft reminded me how long it had been since I felt a man fill me inside. I wanted it. I wanted him and the women. I raged against my bonds, pulling at the chains that held me. The girls looked at me with expressions of distress, but I could tell Brutus was as serene as ever.

"Tell me Xena's plans," he asked in a calm tone.

I started to laugh amidst my sobs. No whips, no hot pokers, no rack, just stimulating my sex drive and leaving me in a frustrated state. Normally, I might have fought off my urges, battled my desires with thoughts of serenity or Eli's teachings…or of Xena.

But this fire burned inside my body and across my flesh. My anus and my pussy were aflame, my skin crawling with the need to be touched, bitten, and fondled. I pulled at my chains, wanting nothing less than to break free and take these three individuals in any way to satisfy my hunger. I needed it. I NEEDED IT!

I soon wore myself down, fighting both my desire and the restraints. I hung there like a side of meat, the air escaping from me in frustrated gasps. My body was covered in oil and sweat. I quivered against myself, trying to fight that all consuming need with what little strength I could muster.

But it was nowhere near enough.

"It's a trap!" I whispered in resignation.

"I didn't hear you," Brutus stated quietly.

"IT'S A TRAP! XENA IS GOING TO TRAP YOU AND ANTONY!" I screamed, "Octavius and the Egyptian fleet will be waiting for you!"

I babbled the details of Xena's plan like a village idiot. When I was done, I was crying like a baby, still fighting the fire within me, still craving release.

I suddenly sensed the two women at my side, unlocking my bonds. My body fell to the filthy deck in a heap. For a moment, I swore the women had bent to try and lift me, but they hesitated and stepped away, back to their master.

I could see the Chin woman bend down and pick up her dress. My ears listened to her naked feet pad across the deck and out the door, along with a rustle of cloth. Undoubtedly, she was dressing on her way to the upper deck to give Brutus' orders to change course from the rendezvous. I didn't care. I didn't feel shame at my betrayal. All that mattered were my desires, the desires that overwhelmed my mind and senses. All I could feel was a hunger for flesh, a need to be satisfied.

I raised my head, staring at Brutus through glazed eyes.

"What do you want?" I asked in a husky voice.

"What do you want?" He countered with a smile.

I knew exactly what I wanted. I raised myself on all fours and crawled across the filth of the deck towards the treasure I coveted like an animal. The Nubian stood aside, as I crawled up between the legs of my new master.

I didn't even look at him. I simply seized his cock in my hand and started to lick it, as if to draw strength from it. I could feel his hand run lovingly through my short blond hair, but I disregarded his touch, my only objective to slave over his erection. The fire in my orifices continued to burn like lava, but I could not stop. I took the head into my mouth, running my tongue along the underside back and forth. One hand held his shaft, while the other squeezed the sac beneath them. I laughed inside, as he stiffened and groaned. I kept up the action for many moments, relishing it, then stopped. I wanted more.

I slid up his body, standing upon the bench, my crotch in front of his face.
He needed no urging to delve into the gift before him, seizing my buttocks in his hand and pushing me forward. I reveled in his touch, as he licked and nibbled on my flesh. His hands held me tight, but my upper body started to sway.

I suddenly felt a pair of hands slide up my body, seizing my breasts, holding me tight, It was the Nubian. She began pressing her teeth against the small of my back, nipping down to my buttocks. Her hands roughly squeezed and massaged my breasts like I was a whore. I loved it.

I leaned forward, placing my hands against the back of Brutus' head. As I did, The Nubian released my breasts and slid her hands down to my buttocks. She parted my cheeks and began to lick at my anus. How the oil did not affect her and Brutus, or if they were, I didn't know. I only knew that my lungs were heaving for air, my muscles were raging with fatigue.

"No more!" I hissed.

I pushed them both away, sliding down like a rag doll to the deck. I lay on my back on the dirty wooden deck in front of my assailants and reached up with my arms.

Brutus fell to his knees, pulling off his tunic and tossing it to one side. He started to bend his face towards my crotch.

"NO!" I barked, clawing at his shoulders, "Just fuck me!"

He nodded and moved quickly into my arms. We kissed hungrily, as if this was our last moment. His hands then traveled down to guide himself inside me. I felt his staff pushing against my orifice and arched my back to accommodate him. He thrust deep in one stroke, forcing the breath from my lungs. I gasped, but he was lost in his actions, pumping himself deeper with each movement of his hips. I began to match his rhythm, mustering all my strength to keep up with him, using the fire within me as energy to maintain my passion. A building cascade of pleasure was replacing the flames burning inside me. I could smell the sweat on our bodies and wallowed in its sweetness. I lost myself in the pounding cadence of our lovemaking.

I could feel his muscles starting to stiffen, but it was too late for me. I screamed my climax, rutting against him like an animal gone mad. I could feel his moment as well, as I held his quivering body in my arms. He emptied himself deep within me, his mouth issuing a loud groan. In gratitude for his gift, I squeezed his body with my thighs, before slumping back against the planks.

The next few moments I was disoriented. I felt hands pull me up and then cool liquid cascading over my body. I opened my eyes to find the Nubian washing me. She smiled at me, as she moved a wet cloth over my flesh. I realized that I was sitting on the bench next to Brutus, himself being washed by the Chin. He looked at me with sympathetic eyes and smiled. I started to say something, but I merely slumped forward. He moved quickly and took me into his arms.

As he cradled me gently, the realization of what had happened began to dawn on me. I looked at him, unsure of what to say. He merely stroked my hair.

"Xena?" I managed to whisper.

"We changed course," He said softly, "Don't worry. You're safe."

Safe? The word echoed in my mind. I had betrayed Xena and the people of Egypt. But I was safe. I almost laughed aloud.

"What happens to me?" I asked softly.

He held me closer, stroking my hair.

"You are an Amazon Queen," He stated, "When I seize Rome, I hope you will remain…by my side."

Tears formed in my eyes. Brutus interpreted them as acceptance and held me lovingly. He talked about how he would cherish me, how Rome would acknowledge me with respect. I would always be his.

I didn't care. I didn't care if he tied me to a post in the crews' quarters and let the Centurions and galley slaves have their way with me. I didn't care if he led me naked through Rome on a leash or threw me to his guests at an orgy as a plaything. I no longer cared about Egypt or its murdered queen.

I lost Xena…forever.

I knew the truth. It was neither my attraction to Brutus nor the effect of the aphrodisiac oil that led to my betrayal. It was my mistrust of Xena, my jealousy of her feelings towards Antony. I tried to resist my desires, but now I felt I didn't try hard enough. I wanted to hurt her for the pain I had felt.

I betrayed her…My love…My life.

I let Brutus rock me gently, allowing my fatigue to wash over me. I closed my eyes, letting the tears flow from beneath the lids, as he continued to whisper my name over and over.




I opened my eyes and turned at his soft voice. As I did, his hand slid from my shoulder. I wasn't sure if I wanted it to stay or not. As I faced his chiseled features, I tried to display as little emotion as I could. I didn't want him to know what distress I was feeling at Xena's absence or anxiety at his presence.

"You should go below," He suggested, "Get some rest before the rendezvous."

I looked into his eyes. I wondered if mine were as sad as his at this, what would be our final time together. We both knew that things had changed since our first meeting, when I was a Queen and he was my prisoner, that there was no going back to the respect we wouldn't acknowledge, but both felt for each other. I turned and looked towards the sea.

"I think I'll stay here," I said, not looking at him, "I enjoy the wind."

Brutus only smiled, remarking, "You have been staring out to sea for quite a while."

"I have?" I asked, "How long?"

"Several minutes, at least," he replied, "I thought you had fallen sleep on your feet, you were so still."

"I'm all right, Brutus." I said in a tone of dismissal.

With a nod of resignation, he turned and walked back across the deck. My eyes followed him, then looked back out to sea. I shuddered ever so slightly.

It had been a dream. I had never left the top deck. I had simply let the warmth of the wind lull me into a daydream, a sex fantasy. Fortunately, Xena told me that I never talked in my sleep. I would have hated to hear Brutus' comments, if I had.

My jealousy over Antony, mixed with an urge to betray Xena and take Brutus as a lover…By the Gods, what kind of an animal was I inside that I would dream of such a scenario as the one that developed in my mind? I love Xena. And I had to have faith in her, I had to trust that her plan would succeed for the greater good. And I knew I would never betray her.

But looking back over the sea, I couldn't help but wonder if another betrayal was taking place on another galley.

I sighed and waited. There was no turning back now.

The End

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