Betrayal

by

Lady Razeli

Chapter One

"Dance is a way of life." Xena said to Gabrielle who had been inquiring Xena as to why she didn't dance and why she wouldn't just for the fun of it. They were one the rode not far from Amphipolis. It was hot even for a summer day, and Gabrielle had nothing to write. Although she loved to write and there was almost never a day in their life something of interest happened, she felt that today they needed to do something different if they were going to spend the day relaxing away from people.

"Dance is apart of life, Xena, everyone dances no matter what they say; Come on get up and dance you'll be totally relaxed after." Gabrielle said.

"No, Gabrielle, I told you, dancing is a way of life it expresses emotions more than words ever could, dance is the most sacred thing the gods put on earth." Xena said."I'm telling you, you'd be a disgrace to the dancers of Shiva in India, you never just dance."

"Xena, you talk as if strange things happen when you dance." Gabrielle said as she danced around. When Xena didn't say anything she looked at her.

"Don't tell me..." Gabrielle started.

"Well I've never actually seen it happen, but I'm open minded." Gabrielle looked at her strangely for a moment as if fear was building up inside her.

"Haha very funny stop trying to scare me, Xena." Gabrielle said, but from her movements as she dance uncoordinatedly she was weary of her movements. The next day when they entered Amphipolis nothing had happened to her, so she stopped being scared reasured Xena was only teasing.

"What's going on?" Gabrielle asked as everyone moved about as if preparing for some sort of show.

"Dance competition between Amphipolis and Eion."

"Oh, is it every year or what?" Gabrielle asked.

"Every year around this time, goes back to before my mother was born, I usually try and avoid coming here at this time, but Mother said we had to get here by today." Gabrielle nodded and thook three steps to keep up with Xena's long stride towards the inn. They walked in to find it empty except for Cyrene and a man. He was as tall as Xena, dark skinned, low cut hair, full lips, ebony eyes, and well toned muscles. It was clear he came from a tribe farther into Africa than her friends in Egypt. She'd never been that far down before, and had never met anyone from there. Farther from the coast she heard they were wild and uncivilized, so unlike Marcus who was born in Greece. The man was wearing black leather pants, and boots to match. His shirt was white and loose, and definately made of egyptian cotton. He was definately Xena's type, and she was to his liking as well from the way he checked her out.

"Xena, this is Rameses, Rameses this is my beautiful daughter, Xena." Cyrene said.

"Nice to meet you." Xena said finding her voice and holding out her hand. They clasped forearms. He had a strong grip.

"Likewise." Rameses said."Um...if you'll excuse me Cyrene I think I hear my friend calling me." He left quickly obviously embaressed.

"Well what did you think?" Cyrene asked as they all watched him leave.

"Where did you find him?" Xena asked trying not to sound like she hoped her mother was executing a well planned match making scheme yet again.

"Oh he just waltz into town one day." Cyrene said.

"Really." Xena said.

"Yep, he's been most helpful around here, but he's unbelievibly shy, as well as one of the best dancers I've ever seen, he's entered in the contest to represent the village you know." Cyrene said.

"On his own or did you force him?" Xena asked.

"On his own, told me right after, thought he'd made a big mistake, and wanted me to get him off the list." Cyrene said.

"What a man." Xena whispered so low that Cyrene and Gabrielle didn't catch it. She liked a man who could sign up for a dance contest without a woman telling him too. Usually men didn't sign up for this sort of thing volunteerily they'd be teased.

"Hey Cyrene why is there a contest?" Gabrielle asked coming out of her trance. She was sure she was in love with man, she hadn't felt this way since Perdicus had been killed.

"Oh its just that Eion and Amphipolis hate each other. Ever since Eion had stolen from us and cheated us on market days this has just been a peaceful way to settle our differences after some war that occured between this village and Eion." Cyrene said.

"How lovely, see Xena I told you, dancing is for peace not a way of life." Gabrielle said."I'm going to go enter that contest and you should too. I hope Rameses still needs a partner."

"Hey that reminds me, what was so urgent that we had to get here by the festival." Xena said turning towards her mother, as well as changing the subject.

"Well dear, Gabrielle, Rameses needed a partner so I volunteered you to be his partner." Cyrene said.

"You already signed me up too didn't you." Xena said.

"Yes, but don't get upset you know if you win than the money goes to any charitable organization you want." Cyrene said. Xena wouldn't dare say no, she had her beliefs, but Rameses was what she wanted and this was a way to get him.

"If its for charity." Xena said sighing.

"But I was gonna dance with..." Gabrielle started.

"No worries Gabrielle I'm sure we can find you a partner." Cyrene said missing the lovestruck look in her eyes. Xena did as well as she walked out to go find Rameses they had a routine to plan and practice, and that meant time together and hopefully alone.