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 Ninety-six in the series "Raising Melosa". Takes place right after "Time".
The Price of Silence
I look over to the wagon and I grin. Ri and Kai are having another of their many philosophical debates. These two are going to talk each other to death one of these days.
The girls are in the next wagon back and they are having a grand time laughing and playing some game or the other. Liaus looks a little unhappy with his company back there, but it could be the way Kes keeps looking at him.
Mel and Bailus are arguing over the benefits if a sword verses a staff.
Me? Me. Im just riding my horse. Trying to find some peace.
I chuckled as I realized I have my peace, being surrounded by my talkative wife and son, my laughing daughters, their friends and my argumentative warriors. My life wouldnt be worth living if anything happened to any of them.
I decided however, to rescue poor Liaus. I dropped back a bit and offered the boy my arm, which he grabbed hold of without hesitation.
"Thank you Xena." He sighed gratefully as I pulled him up behind me on my horse.
"Are you your fathers son?"
"Thats what he says."
"Then keep your hands were I can see them."
I could feel him laughing as I nudged my horse back to the front of the line. As we drew closer to the front wagon I felt him tense up a bit.
"You okay there, Tiger?"
"Im fine Xena."
We moved closer to the wagon I cleared my throat to get Ris attention. She turned to me with a smile. "Yes love?"
"Would you like to stop and make camp in that clearing by the waterfall?"
"Could we? That would be wonderful."
"I dont see why not. Were way ahead of schedule. We could spend a couple of days if you like."
"Oh dont tempt me Warrior."
I smiled as I leaned over and give her a kiss. "Well ride up ahead and make sure theres no one around."
"All right love. Be careful."
As we rode forward I slowed as we approached Mel and Bailus. "Im going to ride ahead a bit. Youre in charge, pay attention."
"Yes Maam." Mel offered with a little salute. I couldnt help but roll my eyes. Nothing like an smart-aleck warrior.
"Shes beautiful." I heard Liaus mumble as we moved away from the group.
Oh boy it sounded like someone had a crush on my daughter.
"Yes, Mel, is very beautiful."
"Oh yes she is Xena, but, but I wasnt talking about Mel."
I smiled and cleared my throat a little. "Who? Who were you talking about?"
"Ah well ah the Queen."
I really had to choke down the laughter. Somebody had a crush on my wife. "Yes. Yes she is. She spoken for you know?"
"Oh yeah Xena, I know."
Oh I now had something to play with later tonight when Ri and I are alone.
Liaus and I found the spot to be deserted so we simply took the time to stretch and relax until the caravan arrived. We cleared a few rocks and made several fire rings and we plotted out the camp and where the tents would be set up. I had chosen a nice quiet spot away from the rest of the group for our tent. Ri would love it. Id make sure that the tent was set up so that it faced the waterfall. Could be a nice couple of days.
Camp was set up quickly and the kids had time for a swim before the evening meal. As the traveling staff took care of all of the details, Ri and I sat on the bank and just watched the kids play in the water.
As I held her close to me I whispered in her ear, "You have an admirer."
"What?" She craned her neck around to look at me.
"I said, you have an admirer."
"And who would that be?"
"Liaus? Oh Xe please."
"No really. He told me today."
"Good Gods." She just dropped her head and shook it slowly back and forth.
"So how much are you gonna pay me to keep my mouth shut?" I teased as I nibbled the back of her neck.
"What do you mean?"
"Oh I think Mel would have a ball with this news."
"Dont you dare!"
"Thats up to you. I can be bribed."
"Oh really? And what will your silence cost me?"
"Well lets see." I leaned back on my elbows to give it some thought. "What have you got that I want?"
She turned around and slid up my body, pushing me back to the ground as she whispered in my ear. "Well I could ."
"Un-huh." I nodded in agreement as she found that spot on my neck. "Tent." I managed, as I rolled her off and got to my feet. She was right behind me as I pulled open the flap and ushered her inside with a soft smack to her backside.
As I entered the tent she grabbed me and kissed me. A kiss I felt to the very bottom of my boots.
I held her close to me as she slept in my arms. That was perfect. Ill have to get bribed more often. I pulled the blankets up over us as I heard someone approaching the tent.
"Come in." I called even before she knocked. Her damn boots still squeaked.
Mel pulled the flap back and entered, she just stood there with her hands on her hips and a slight grin on her face as she stared down at us. "If you are even remotely interested, the evening meal is ready."
"Thanks you runt. Why dont you go bring us something so we dont have to get up?"
"You have no intention of getting up do you?"
"Ah no I guess I probably wouldnt. Ill be back soon."
I chuckled as she mumbled something about her own frustrations. I pulled Ri close and kissed her forehead. "Wake up sleepy head."
"Nope." She laughed as she curled into my side. "Dont want to."
"Mel is bringing us food."
"I know. I dont care."
"Come on Ri, lets be good."
"Personally I thought we were pretty good."
"Thats not what I meant and you know it."
"Too bad because thats exactly what I meant."
Her hands started a slow crawl down my body. "Behave."
"Since when do you want me to behave?"
"Mel will be back soon. At least wait until after she leaves."
"And after she leaves?"
"Im all yours."
"I can work with that plan."
"Glad to hear it."
I at least managed to talk her into a robe before Mel got back and we look reasonable when she arrived. I stood up and tied my belt off as I took the tray and placed it on a table. "Thanks runt. Care to join us for the meal?"
"Un no thanks. I already ate and I know when Im so very not needed." She grinned as she left us alone again.
"Smart girl." Ri laughed as she leaned back into the bed.
"Yup. Thats our girl."
"So what are you going to feed me first?"
"Me? Feed you? Youre supposed to be bribing me remember."
"Yeah, but youre actually over there with the food and Im sure you can get very creative."
"You know I can." I offered as I turned to face her with a plate of figs in one hand and a bowl of honey in the other. "Move over."
As I lay on my stomach with one arm over the side of the bed it occurred to me that Ri and I really should just spend the evening in bed more often. I felt her crawl up on my back and give me a little bite on the shoulder.
"Hey be nice!" I growled as I rolled over and pulled her into my arms. "What has gotten into you tonight?"
"Dont answer that."
"You asked." She laughed as she slipped an olive between my lips. I held it there and she took the invitation.
"Hmm that was nice." I ran my hands up and down her back as we broke from the kiss.
"The whole evening has been veeerrry nice."
"Yes, yes it has."
"Tired?" Her eyes sparkled at me in the lamplight.
"Well, you just seemed so tired."
"Its a crime to take the time to catch my breath?"
"No. Just dont want to wear you out."
"Yes you do, you just cant do it." I smiled as I lifted my brows.
"Oooo that sounds like a challenge." She chuckled as she dropped her head to my neck.
"Challenge? Would I challenge you?"
"Umm-hmm." She nodded as she continued to nibble my neck.
"I would not." My hands traced up and down her back. "Okay, maybe I would, but its only for your own good."
"My own good." She snorted a laugh as she raised her head. "Yeah right."
"It is. I swear."
I rolled her over on her back and stared down at her. "You dont believe me?"
"Nope. I see as more for our mutual benefit."
"Would I use you like that?"
"You know you would."
"Are you complaining?"
"Have I ever?" She laughed as her hands slid under the blanket landing on a very sensitive spot.
If I had been able to speak I would have told her no. As it was all I could do was groan.
"You say something?"
I shook my head as the muscles in my arms began to tremble.
"Didnt think so." She chuckled as she continued. "Now youre not gonna mention my little admirer to Mel," She paused to torture me just a little. "Are you?"
"Didnt think so."
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