The characters belong to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.
This story contains explicit descriptions of male/female sexual relations. There is major angst ahead!
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She remembered the fires.
The scrap of wasted land had once been fertile; where only ashes blew now there had been a city, fortified and prosperous. A city that she had laid siege to, long ago. And when she returned, many years after they had rebuilt, the city did not know of the change that had come about in her life. The inhabitants had set every building afire until their streets burnt with the scent of death rather then let her have their treasures again--and their lives. If only they had known...if they had known that she had only come back to begin her own new life--her new life with him...
Xena knelt in the grass before the burial mound, her long dark hair falling down her shoulders like a cloak made of twilight, willing those fires from her past to consume her.
His eyes possessed the most amazing shade of blue that she had ever seen. Xena shook her head, chastising herself for becoming lost in thought and not hearing a word that he had said.
"You're not listening to me, are you?" The air around her shifted as Hercules settled down next to her, a look of bemusement on his handsome face.
Xena opened her mouth to assure that he had had her utmost concentration, but reconsidered. "No," she admitted. "I have more important things on my mind than the problems King Rolin is having. Take, for instance, your eyes..." she raised one hand to caress the skin of his cheek, and he closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. She was tired, sick and tired of denying herself for so long. Everything else could be damned...
"Your hair," she whispered, moving closer to him with a soft creak of leather. After a moment of hesitation her fingers threaded themselves through the golden strands of his hair. Hercules' eyes fluttered open, locking themselves with her own in surprise but definite pleasure; she felt herself drowning in the soft blue-green sea of his eyes.
"Xena..." his voice was harsh and thick with desire. He turned away abruptly, his muscular arms trembling with restraint and longing.
"Your lips..." she pushed herself up a bit and brushed his lips with her own. Her eyes were invitation enough, but to feel the feather-light touch on his lips, Hercules felt something around his heart melt. His hands suddenly had minds of their own, reaching out to grasp her tightly around the waist as he swooped down to claim her lips with his.
Hercules stood, pulling the unresisting woman up with him and folding her into his arms. Standing, he was only a few inches taller than she; in his arms, it was as if a key had been fitted into a lock--she fit him perfectly.
Her lips were on fire. Of all the men that she'd ever been with--and there had been many--no one before could ignite such lust in her with simply a kiss. Taking it a step further, Xena let her tongue slip into his mouth, probing over his teeth, thrusting in and out. Hercules moaned, the sound of pleasure escaping from the back of his throat. Backing up so that her back was pressed against a tree trunk, he dipped his head and let his lips find her neck, kissing and sucking along her skin.
Xena felt her head fall back against the trunk in ecstasy as his lips devoured her neck.
"Oh, Gods," she whispered, burying her head in his hair and inhaling the scent that was uniquely his. She had longed for this so much that for it to be actually happening was making her knees feel weak. It was ironic, actually--she--the Warrior Princess, former destroyer of nations, disciple of Ares--lusting after the heroic half-god whom she had sought so fervently to kill.
He raised his head to look at her, questions in his eyes.
"Do you want me to stop?" His voice was so husky that she could barely hear the words.
"Never," Xena whispered back, her hands parting the cloth of his shirt to run along his smooth chest. His skin felt warm and alive under her fingertips. His eyes never leaving hers, Hercules raised a hand and pushed one leather strap from her shoulder, exposing the curve of milk-white skin.
Xena pulled his own shirt from his pants, tossing the garment aside. His chest was smooth and incredibly toned, his arms lined with biceps and broad muscles. Xena's hands explored and traced every line of his upper body, letting her nails trail sensuously along his golden skin. She wanted to feel his chest press up against her own, to rub her breasts against him until she screamed in pleasure. With fingers that fumbled slightly in anticipation, Hercules freed her of the leather jerkin, his hands running over her skin and inciting the same pleasant torture that she had in him.
"I want to be with you so much," Hercules heard himself whisper between stealing kisses from Xena's soft wet mouth.
"Then take me." Her reply was so blatant and passion-filled that he almost could have cried out with joy. Almost. There were more important things to do at the moment. His hands found her breasts, massaging and tweaking their nippled peaks until they hardened, Xena gasping at the sensations he was causing. Sex had always been a physical act for her, as mechanical as breathing or eating--simply taking pleasure. But there was so much emotion with Hercules--so much sharing--lust, longing, passion--that Xena knew if she died in that very instant, she would be content.
Shifting so that the leather armor fell from her body to pool around her feet, Xena twined her arms around Hercules' neck, bringing her slender body against his so that their chests touched, skin to skin. She brought his face down and delivered a long, slow kiss.
He broke the kiss, slowly, reluctantly, and looked into Xena's blue eyes, eyes that seemed to go on forever and knew every nuance of his soul. Running his fingers over the smooth expanse of her arm, feeling the hard muscle and strength that she possessed. Gently, he pushed her back against the tree bark and and caressed one perfect, pert breast, before bending to take the hardened nipple into his mouth. A shudder of potent pleasure spasmed through her body, and Xena laced her fingers through her hair, anchoring his head to that position.
She felt her legs turn to water and a low moan escaped her lips as he started to suckle, slowly at first, then gaining momentum, his cheeks hallowing with effort.
"Hercules..." she mumbled, lost in a sea of sensation. "Herc..."
His lips released their hold on her breast, one careful hand reaching up to stroke her silky black hair.
"No...don't stop...please..." Xena whispered, then berated herself for sounding so needy. No man had ever been able to make her feel this way before; what was it about him?
Hercules shifted, giving his attentions to her other nipple; Xena murmured, letting her hands trace half-conscious patterns over his broad, muscled back.
"Oh..." the word was forced from her lips in another shudder of ecstasy. It was incredible; mind blowing: she loved this man. Loved him beyond all reason and logic. The Gods be damned--let them strike her down in her sleep for being with him.
Xena panted, her usually nimble fingers fumbling at the lacing of his woven leather pants. She loosened them, pushing the garment down over his hips, and he stepped out of them. Hercules stood up, gazing down at her from his tall massive height, then folded his arms around her, holding her with such fierce desire that there was no doubt in Xena's mind that he wanted this much as she did.
"H-h-hercules?" Xena closed her eyes, suddenly knowing she had to get one last thing off of her mind before she completely lost herself in his embrace.
"Mmm?" Again, he as raised his eyes to lock with hers, the kindness that she saw there overwhelming.
"I need to know something," she whispered. "I--" the words stuck in her throat, but she forced them out. "I think that--I know that--I love you."
"Oh, Xena, I--" His strong voice sounded shaken.
She raised a gentle hand to his lips to still the words. "I love you. It's harder for me to say that than it was to recognize any of the thousands of murders that I've committed. But--that must disgust you. I've killed so many--I've bathed in the sea of evil. Drowned in it. I gave my soul to darkness, with no hope or want of redemption. Until you." She stroked his hair, then traced his jaw line with the tip of her finger. "You've given me hope and strength--and life--that I haven't felt since before Lyceus died. I owe you everything, and you have my heart gladly. But--the pain I've caused--do I repulse you?"
Hercules opened his mouth, but no sound emerged for a breath. "Repulse me? Repulse me? You are the strongest person that I know, Xena--and now, one of the most just and good. And your beauty is enough to make my heart ache." He sealed his words with a deep, passionate kiss to her lips, and then stared into her eyes again, as if daring her to reproach his words. "I do not speak my own love for you, because words alone could never let you know how deeply I care for you--" another soft kiss. "How much I love you."
A tear, pear-shaped and crystalline traveled it's way down Xena's cheek--the only tear she had ever shed for years beyond count. Only now it was one of happiness and relief. His forgiveness and love was so total that a second tear joined the first, and then a third.
Crushed against him as she was, Xena could feel Hercules' arousal, huge and firm, pressing against her side. She touched a finger to her lips and then reached down, stroking the teasing finger along the silky length of him, from root to tip. Now it was his turn to moan, and a shudder wracked his strong, muscled body.
She wanted to drive him as crazy in delight as he had made her. Starting at his forehead, her lips traced a path down his body, stopping at his lips to let her tongue dip sensuously into his mouth. Then, moving on, Xena let her lips and tongue search every crevice of his neck, and then onward to explore his broad, rippling chest. He made no sound, as if for fear that she would stop; but Xena could feel the tremblings of his muscles as her lips passed over them, and her generous mouth curved into a smile. Shifting downward, her lips slipped over his skin, warm and tingling beneath her touch.
Hercules thought he would die of sensory overload as she knelt on her knees, cast one coy glance back up at him, and took the length of him into her mouth. He groaned harshly, the sound released from the depths of his throat.
"Xena...Xena..." he repeated her name in monotone, the syllables caressing his lips like the sweetest of songs. She couldn't answer him, of course; her tongue twirling deftly around him, her teeth nibbling gently, lips slowly sucking. Hercules would have screamed his love for her out into the night air if his brain had been capable of producing a sentence beneath the barrage of lust and pleasure. She picked up a momentum, sliding up and down the now-slick length of him, swirling her tongue around the sensitive head. Hercules thrust his hips forward, unconsciously, pushing himself deeper into her mouth.
He felt himself losing all control--if he had ever been in control at all--and he would not have believed that he could have felt any way more exquisite then he felt just then. But Xena was not a woman to be underestimated. With one hand firmly curled around the root of his cock, her mouth working incredible wonders, her other hand strayed to stroke his bared buttocks, then to gently lift the swollen sac of his balls, caressing them.
"Gods--" Hercules realized belatedly that he was shouting, and didn't care; feeling himself on the point of complete explosion, he almost screamed as Xena carefully drew her mouth away and stood, searching his eyes with hers.
"I love you," he whispered, taking her head in her hands and kissing her gently, slowly, almost teasingly. And he knew that he did not speak the words only in the face of surreal passion, but that the woman standing before him was the only one he was ever meant for, the only one his soul was born to entwine with.
"I love you more," she laughed, and before he could begin to argue that point, she stilled his lips with a kiss. "I love you, Hercules. And I want to feel you inside of me."
Hercules felt as if he had been waiting his whole life to hear those words. Lifting her slightly in his strong arms, he nibbled on her ear, whispering. "Climb up."
"What?" Xena pulled back a bit, her blue eyes searching, looking for a trace of humor.
There was none. He was serious. "Climb up," he repeated, though not so patiently, his need sharp. "Wrap your legs around my hips--I can hold you up as well. I can hold you forever." He gave her a quirky little smile, lifting her farther in the air as if the strongest man the world had ever seen needed to prove his strength to her. "Unless you're not in proper shape..." he teased, knowing that she was the perfect female specimen. "Don't you trust me, Xena?"
"Most men I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw them," she grinned, with a raised brow. "But you--always." And without any further hesitation, she braced herself, using his arms for support, lifted and balanced herself above him. Firm thighs locked together at Hercules' back, her back pressed against the unyielding tree-bark, she rested in the air. And as her legs relaxed their vise-like grip, she stayed put, his strength there to support her. As, she silently wished, it would always be.
Xena flexed her muscles once, and, as he positioned himself under her, she slowly lowered herself down on him, her body guiding him into her.
"Uhnn..." The feeling of Hercules inside of her, filling her, completing her as no one had ever before was mind-shattering. Xena had suffered through months of longing; through their journeys he had slept just across the fire, but it might well have been the Wall of Chin between them; But now, even the months of desire and anticipation could not have told her what it would feel like. Xena realized that that never before for her had body and heart blended so seamlessly, making them one.
For a moment they stayed in that position; Xena, pressed against the tree, her body joined to his as they let the sensation of it break over their heads. Then, she put her hands on his shoulders, and pulled herself up again, so that he was drawn out of her--all but the tip. Hercules took hold of her waist, and she came back down, sheathing the length of him to the core.
"Xena..." and then, as he stroked her hair, "my Princess. My Warrior Princess..."
Xena could feel his legs tremble precariously as pleasure spasmed through his body. She whispered a few phrases in his ear, and he smiled, bright blue eyes shining with mischief.
Without warning, on purpose, Hercules tumbled back onto the soft earth, taking her with him.
"Gods!" she swore, and then laughed, seeing that he was perfectly all right. "How would I explain to mankind that their greatest hero died making love to me?"
He laughed, throwing back his head so that the sandy blond strands fell over his eyes. Before she could even react, he flipped over, pinning her beneath him, every limb of his body in contact with hers.
"You haven't seen anything yet," Hercules promised, nibbling on her ear in the process.
"So why don't you show me, hero of heroes?" She quirked her brow at him in challenge. He grumbled affectionately, positioned their bodies, and began to move slowly inside of her.
Something inside of Xena--some frozen shield protecting her heart--thawed and began to boil with a raging heat inside of her. Hercules' strokes were long and slow, and she could feel his hard, strong body shaking with the effort of keeping control.
She suddenly knew that he had never been with a woman as aggressive as herself. He was moving slowly, almost gently, as if he was afraid to hurt her. Xena stared up at him; they were both in rapture, the longing and denial they had felt now beginning to feel relief. But they needed more.
"Hercules," she whispered letting her nails trail down his back and rest on his buttocks, pushing him deeper into her. "You couldn't hurt me--" And to get her point across she thrust her hips up, meeting him stroke for stroke. She growled playfully up at him. "Harder, faster--does that surprise you?"
"Zeus strike me down if I ever underestimate you again, Xena--" and with a swivel of his powerful hips, he thrust deeply into her, as her legs spread even wider to accommodate him.
Their groan of bliss was in unison. Hercules set a momentum, thrusting and delving into her, as she rose to meet him. They tumbled around the packed earth of the forest clearing, and their screams and shouts of pleasure could be heard only for each other's ears.
"I--" a sharp, glorious thrust. "love--" thrust. "you."
"I know," Xena mumbled incoherently. She was close. So close. Soclosesoclosesoclose. But while she stumbled towards the cliffs of ecstasy, ready to plummet off into glorious oblivion, Xena did not want to think of a time when his body would not be joined to hers. When she came, and he in turn, their minds and bodies would not be one, and whole. She hugged him to her, hungrily, possessively; without him, she would still be Ares' pawn, and the deliverer of incredible cruelty unto the world.
Xena felt herself soar above the clouds as she came, and Hercules exploded at the same time as they bucked together. He collapsed on top of her, but she felt the weight of his body with joy, loving the press of him above her. She stroked every part of him that she could feel through half-numb fingers. He started to pull away, thinking that his weight hurt her; but she locked her arms around him, wishing that she never had to let go. He let his lips meet hers; a kiss so tender that he could feel tears brimming over his eyes.
Hercules settled back down into her embrace, cushioning his head on the soft length of her dark hair. "You complete me, Xena," he heard himself say. "I will never leave you. The Gods be damned."
And as the man that she loved held her--or she held him--Xena did feel--and for the first time in her life she, too, was complete.
She knelt before the barren peninsula, and even though the rough breeze was cool, she could feel the flickering of the fire burn her face. He couldn't leave, once he had seen the turmoil that the city was in. Ever the hero.
A soft tug at her arm. Xena turned, making out a face through her tear filled eyes behind the curtain of her hair. She expected to see him, standing there, proud and strong, always waiting with warm arms and anxious kiss.
The child was only two, or thereabouts; he had a fuzzy cap of dark blond hair, and bright blue eyes that seemed to go on forever. He tugged at her sleeve again, and she turned to lay a gentle kiss on his brow.
"Mama?" The toddler's voice, though young, was almost an echo of his. An arm of pain wrapped around her throat; squeezed.
"Go back by Argo, my love," she whispered--and the boy, for once, set aside his curiosity and toddled back to play in the grass by the horse.
Xena looked back, fixing her eyes on the landscape, memorizing the place to memory, as she knew her path--and her son's--would never again cross it.
It was harder now for her to turn her head to look upon the lone grave marker than any trial she had ever faced. She had carved it with her own trembling hands, and anointed the wooden heart with flowers which had crumbled with time.
Xena gazed back at her son, and made as if to rise, to continue on, even without him.
But first she gazed again towards the burial mound, and dipped her head to kiss the cool, moist, earth.
"I have loved you," Xena whispered.
A tear, unbidden, slipped down her cheek to be lost in the unforgiving earth--where, far below, in its cold depths, he lay.