Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.
Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Sex: Implied. VERY IMPLIED.
Other: Part Eighty-one in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Waiting Not So Patiently"
The Plot Thickens
"Ya know," I begin as I roll over and straddle her hips. "You dont have to leave."
"Oh yes I do." She grins up at me as she taps the end of my nose. "I was only suppose to be visiting the boys. Besides were divorced now. This goes against all Amazon law. We could be in real trouble if I get caught here, not to mention that all of this will have been for nothing."
"You know there is something truly, umm, well erotic about sneaking around like this. I kinda like it."
"Yeah, well, you always were just a little on the kinky side." She grins at me as she strokes my arms sending goose flesh breaking out all over my body.
"Oh youre a good one to talk."
"Hey who keeps sending me on those little shopping trips hmmm?"
I nod as I blush. "Okay, okay. But Im not kinky." She lifts one of her wrists for me to look at. I sigh as I kiss the little tiny welt. "Just tell everyone your mistress did it."
"I will. Next time not so tight." She gives me a low warning growl.
"Oh whats the matter, big bad warlord cant handle a little leather strap."
"Dont start bard."
"Anything." She bucks her hips sending me down next to her. "Ri Ive got to get out of here."
I watch as she sits up and reaches for her clothes. "You know this is really funny. Here you are supposedly having this horribly torrid affair and youre having a torrid affair with your own wife."
She holds up a hand. "Ex wife." She tosses on her tunic, then slips into her trousers. I watch as she looks around on her side of the bed. "Ri where are my boots?"
"Try by the fireplace." I watch her get up, fastening up her clothes as she does. She wanders over to the fireplace.
"Ah ha!" She retrieves one boot then proceeds to turn in small circles looking for the other one. I cant help but laugh. She turns and scowls at me. "Oh youre a big help."
"Try the bathing chamber."
"Now how would it get," She mumbles as she heads for the bathing chamber. "How in Tartarus did my boot end up in here?"
"We were gonna take a bath. Remember?
"That would explain why its soaking in
the bottom of the tub." She calls as I hear her retrieve the boot.
"Xe you have other boots, get another pair out of your cabinet."
She returns to our room holding the dripping boot. "Not like Im going to have a lot of choice."
"Hey! Youre getting water all over the floor."
She cocks her head and opens her mouth, but I know I cant let whatever she was about to say leave her mouth. "Not one damn word Xe!"
She laughs as she moves to her cabinet and removes another pair of boots. "I wasnt gonna say anything." She replies as she comes back over and sits down on my side of the bed. "Gods woman cover up." She tosses a sheet over me. "If you dont Ill never get out of here."
"And that would be bad?" I slide my hand up her back.
"Yes!" She gives my hand a playful slap. "Now stop it and behave."
She slips on her boots and then turns to me, leaning into me, she captures me in a kiss. Ah I do love this, always have and always will. She sits up and smiles at me. "Okay I gotta get out of here while theyre changing the Royal Guard. I dont need a fight with these women, theyll try to take my head off."
"I know whats coming up and I want you to know that I understand it and I approve and I even gave my permission, but I refuse to like it."
"I understand darling. Trust me I wont do anything I dont have to."
"I know that. I do trust you. But you are gonna owe me so big when this is all over."
"You know actually Ive been thinking about that."
"Umm-hmm. You know were going to have to get married again."
"If Ill have you."
She just rolls her eyes. "Yeah if youll have me. Anyhow, Im thinking that a royal honeymoon might be the perfect excuse to take a trip to oh I dont know Athens, Lesbos, Corinth? You choose. Just you and me for, what a week, or two?"
"Oooo do you mean it?"
"Absolutely. Anywhere you want to go."
"Ill have to think about it."
She gives my leg a pat. "You do that sweetheart. Now Ive got to go."
She smiles, leaning in for a soft kiss. "You too bard."
"You leaving by the door?"
"Now why would I do that when I have a perfectly good window right here?" She winks at me then proceeds to exit through the window.
Eph has decided that I need to make an inspection of the village. Now mind you, in the sixteen seasons that weve been here Ive done maybe three inspections I thought this was a little odd until we started walking. As we walk I notice Leland coming across the village. I reach out and wrap my arm through Ephs. "Youre parading me around arent you?"
"Un-huh." She gives a slight nod.
"I went from royalty to bait, over night. Xe would be proud."
Eph breaks out in a fit of laughter that causes Leland to stall a little until I wave her over.
"Something funny Regent Ephiny?" Leland inquires as she joins us.
Eph is still laughing and she just nods her head. Leland looks to me. "Ex-wife jokes." I offer with a shrug. This sends Eph into another bout of laughter.
"Excuse me Your Majesty?"
"Ex-wife jokes, you know. Something like I got a horse for my ex-wife best trade I ever made."
This sends poor Eph clear over the edge and she throws her head back laughing so loudly Im sure Tyldus and the centaurs hear her. Im gentle when I poke her in the ribs. "Something I can do for you Leland?"
"Actually yes Your Majesty. I would like to spend an extra week here after festival."
"Well I thought we might spend sometime together and get to know each other."
"I see. Well Im not sure ."
"Oh shit!" Eph growls.
I look up to find Xe in front of me with one of my Royal Guard, Raven is her name I think. She has her back to a tree and Xena is standing, leaning against the tree with her arm braced against the tree. Its obvious theyre having an intimate conversation by the hushed tones. The girl smiles as Xe leans in and whispers something in her ear. I have to close my eyes when I see Xe leave a small trail of kisses from her ear to her chin. I turn to Leland and open my eyes.
"Yes Leland, do stay on will you? As a matter of fact," I release Ephs arm and loop mine through Lelands. "Why dont you take me to the harvest festival tonight?"
"I would be honored Your Majesty."
I glance over to Xe and find her in a kiss with the girl. I can tell its not real because Ive been married to her for so long I can tell, but anyone else thats looking surely cant and I hope to the Gods Raven is clear on the fact that shes acting. Id hate to have to kill her.
"You should banish her Your Majesty." Leland whispers in my ear as we walk past them.
"I cant. Our children would die without her and she would die without them."
"Well maybe she would like to leave and take the children with her."
I stop and pull on her arm. "Are you suggesting that I give up my children?"
"Not by any means Your Majesty. They could come visit ."
"Stop right there. Lets make one thing perfectly clear. I know why you want to stay here. Youre hoping to gain my favor. Well, the quickest way to lose my favor is to try and come between my children and me. And dont try to get between Xena and the children either. They complete each other and I wont have them torn apart.
"Yes of course Your Majesty."
Xe calls from behind us. "Ri?"
I turn to Xe. Raven has apparently flown the coop for the moment, because I dont see her. "Yes Xena?"
"Can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Of course." I release Lelands arm and move to Xe. "Yes?" I inquire softly. This is going to be a very discreet conversation.
"You were my first Xe."
"Behave." She growls under her breath.
"How do you feel about her?"
"She wants the kids out of the picture. Suggested you might want to take them and leave the village."
"Well, that just moved her to the very top of my list."
"Be careful my love."
"Oh I will. You are going to be at the festival tonight right?"
"So do you have a date?" I grin at her.
"Nooo. Do you?"
"Tramp." She grins at me.
What a way to end a conversation. I turn and head back to Eph and Leland. Leland offers me her arm again, which I take as we walk away from Xe.
Eph and I allow Leland to join us for the mid day meal. Xe decided to take the girls and go down to the river with them. Its a safe tactical move. This woman is on Xe suspect list and she doesnt want our children exposed to her. As we sit down our meal is served and the first thing Leland does is, taste my food. She turns to me and nods to it. "Its fine Your Majesty."
"If you dont mind." Eph speaks up as she trades plates with me. I sigh. I hate this. "That is okay Your Majesty." Eph grins as she gestures to the plate before me.
"Regent Ephiny are you implying that I could be responsible for trying to poison our Queen?"
"Not at all Regent Leland. Im am merely making sure my Queen is safe until we know for sure who is responsible."
"All right you two Im right here. Dont talk around me."
"My apologies Your Majesty." Leland offers with a genuine smile.
I nod. "Its okay. You have to understand the members of my tribe are very protective of me Leland. Youre new here ."
She takes my hand, giving it a soft squeeze. "I understand. I hope I will be around long enough for them to get to know me too."
I smile as best I can, but the truth is I hope shes not around any longer than absolutely necessary. I want this over and I want Xena restored as my Consort, Champion and wife. Mel enters with Celia. I smile as I watch them. They make their way over to the table.
"Mother," She moves behind me, leaning over my shoulder she gives me a kiss on the cheek. "May we join you?"
"Of course sweetheart."
As she moves away from me she leans over and whispers something to Leland who immediately releases my hand. Mel smiles, straightens and offers her hand to Celia. They take seats to my right.
"Your Majesty." Celia smiles as she nods to me.
"Celia. How are you today?"
She glances at Mel and smiles. "Very well Your Majesty. How are you?"
"Im fine, considering. So is my daughter behaving herself?"
The look that flashes across her face is almost one of disappointment then she smiles again. "Yes of course she is Your Majesty."
"Well if youre lucky that wont last too much longer." I laugh as I sip my tea.
"Mother! Really! Please!"
I watch as the blush creeps up Mels neck. Gods I miss Xe. I also notice that Celia blushes a little. While its all right for me to torture my daughter I really should be nice to the young woman.
"Im sorry Celia."
She nods as she smiles at me. "Its quite all right Your Majesty. Mel has given me fair warning about the sense of humor that runs in your family. She has told me that you and her Mother take great delight in teasing her."
"Yes, yes we do, but its only because we love her so much."
"Of that I have no doubt. You have raised a very wonderful daughter." She glances over at Mel again. Its sweet to see such shyness. I wonder if I used to look at Xe that way.
Leland clears her throat as Xe enters with the girls. They make their way over to the table and its all I can do to keep from rushing into her arms. Its then I realize that yes I probably did look at her the very same way.
"Ah my loving family." Xe says as she moves to us.
"Dont push it Xena." I warn quietly as I give the girls hugs and kisses. "So did you have a good time with your Mother?"
"Yes Maam." Rosa confirms with a nod. "We went to the river and Mother caught fish and we cooked them over a fire. It was nice."
"That would explain the smell." Mel growls as she shoots Xe a look.
"Watch it pal." Xe smiles down at Mel.
"Dont call me that." Mel snarls as she returns to her meal.
I take a deep breath knowing that cut Xe to the quick. She and Mel are doing a good job of appearing to come apart through all this. I smile at the girls "Good Im glad. Now dont you two have lessons you should be getting to?"
"Yes Maam." Kessa offers with another hug. "We just wanted to come see you first and ask if we get to come for the festival tonight."
"Well of course you do. For a little while at least. You have to help with the blessing."
"Great." They both give me a hug as I motion for a guard.
The moment the guard approaches I feel Xe bristle. I watch as she turns slowly to the young guard known as Dana. Apparently she and Xena had a skirmish on the training grounds the other day.
"Yes Your Majesty?"
"Would you escort ."
Xe steps forward offering her hands to Kessa and Rosa. "Ill do it. They just wanted to see you first."
"Very well." I turn to the girls. "Go with your Mother. Ill see you later at the temple to offer our prayers to Artemis before the festival"
"Yes Maam." They agree as they take Xes hands.
As she turns to walk away, I hear Dana mumble, "How motherly of you."
"Push me," Xe growls in a whisper. "And Ill snap you like a twig."
"Try it." Dana challenges.
Xe takes a deep breath then turns to Mel. "Melosa?"
"Will you please take your sisters to their lessons?"
Celia stands and takes Kessas hand. "Wed be happy to take them Xena. Come on Mel."
Mel takes Rosas hand and the four of them make a quick exit.
Xe turns to Dana. "Lets go."
Eph and I get to our feet as we follow Xe and the young warrior out of the hut. Oh Tartarus Ive got to find a way to stop this before Dana gets hurt. I glance back and Leland is right behind us.
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