AN: Currently in the process of editing. Working on Part Two now. :) Please excuse any lack of line breaks between segments, haven't quite remembered everything that does and does not work as a line break in doc manager on . Read, review, and enjoy.
To Settle The Score
"For now, I don't mind playing whore to Caesar, because in the end, he'll be the one fucked."
"Mmm... Xena..." The emperor of Rome barely mustered a smirk up at his empress as she slid off him and collapsed onto the sheets at his side. Xena's chest heaved and a pleased smile played at her lips. Caesar's eyes wandered low, down the warrior's body, from her strong jaw line, to her neck and then to a collar bone glistening with sweat-begging for his kiss-finally to her heaving chest, where he found tempting pink nipples urging his flame. Up and down, up and down, with the ever so slight shake of her breath to disturb the hypnotizing pattern, until his mouth watered and a burning desire in his stomach rapidly descended beneath the sheets. Caesar ducked his head to take the temptation into his mouth, but Xena forced him away.
"Caesar, are you never sated?" Xena shook herself from his hands and cut his gaze, plopping over to face away from him. Caesar swept aside the black locks of hair covering her back. Scars etched themselves into permanency from her shoulders down to her tailbone, bearing meaning and beauty, the lines of a life fully conquered.
"I never thought someone with an, 'appetite', such as yourself would complain," he bargained, laying wet kisses across her shoulders with every word. When he reached her neck, she swiftly refused him with a bat of her hand and a shift of the covers above her shoulders.
"Guess not even my 'appetite'," she smiled at the word, "can combat Morpheus."
Displeased, Caesar backed away. This was not the first time he was left to visit a whore after one of these encounters. He slipped out of the bed and into his night pants, then without a word to the door.
Xena grinned as he did and stopped him before he was gone. "What?" she called, "no cuddles?"
Caesar growled and slammed the door behind him, leaving the warrior princess in peace to finish the job the emperor always left incomplete.
Caesar laid at the private dining table before dawn with Brutus, discussing strategies and the like—none of which interested Gabrielle, the slave girl, a few paces away. Only a few moons had passed since she was captured outside her village, and in truth, she was not feeling the least bit worried about being enslaved in Rome.
She was set to be married at Summer Solstice, to some brute from her childhood. Nice man, gentle, kind, and completely in love with her… but she wanted adventures! To tell them; to live them. So she ran away, only to be snatched outside of her village by slave traders before she could make any significant distance.
Gabrielle glanced down at her raggedy peasant clothes and sighed. She had planned her escape to be a bit more graceful, but, either way, she was out of Potedeia. Now all she had to do was find a way out of Rome.
Another slave girl who had been badly beaten by one of the emperor's men nudged her. Gabrielle turned around. A bowl and cup in hand, the girl motioned to Caesar. "Can you take this to him?"
An array of gashes swept from her face to her shoulders. Gabrielle smiled sympathetically and nodded. "Sure."
The other girl smiled weakly, and bowed her head in thanks.
When the girl walked away, Gabrielle checked around her, right-left, and hastily spit into Caesar's milk. That'll show him, she thought with a smile, but her smiled swiftly faded when she felt a strong presence at her back. She spun around to find the emperor himself glaring down his nose at her. Though her heartbeat raged, she kept up her composure. She bowed her head and offered him the bowl and drink. "I was just bringing you your breakfast, Emperor."
Caesar quirked an eyebrow and pushed the offer away. "I can see that." He took a step closer, and Gabrielle winced when he yanked the cup from her hand. He twirled the liquid inside the cup around, the same as Poseidon would to the ocean when brewing a storm. "And I suppose your spit is the special ingredient?"
"Oh, haha, well you see… ahem… Emperor," Gabrielle staled, each thought barely finished before spoken into words. "You must mean the egg yolk they added to the milk—hah, more protein ya know. Always important to—"
Caesar seized the girl's face in his hand to stop her rambling. He purposefully knocked the plate of food from her hands and threw Gabrielle to the marble floor. "Girl, you realize what you've done is punishable by any means I decree, do you not?"
Gabrielle glared up at the man who claimed to be her better. She considered her punishment… a beating… a moment she had lived a hundred times in the last few moons. Each time did get a little easier. Before she could recover enough of herself to even wipe the yolk from her cheeks, one of Caesar's men scrambled her way.
Brutus tore through the crowd of slaves that gawked down at the girl. "Caesar, is this really—"
The emperor silenced him with a wave of his hand. "Not now Brutus." He snapped his fingers and three guards came down from their posts at the door. Caesar poured the full glass of milk over Gabrielle's hair and face. Torn at the seams, her clothes nearly fell from her body and her ragged, and a thick layer of milk coated her already matted hair.
One of the guards ripped the back of her shirt down the center, exposing her unscathed skin beneath.
"No!" Gabrielle struggled against him until the other guard appeared with a knife that he swiftly put to her throat. Tears came streaming forth from her eyes as the man's filthy hands gripped at her neck, while another guard unhooked a whip from his belt.
On-looking servants cringed as he drew it over his head, anticipating the crack.
The room fell into an eerie silence as the guards awaited Caesar's command. In that same instant, Gabrielle peered up and caught eyes with Brutus, her pleading gaze compelling him to help her.
"Caesar!" Brutus broke in. "She's just a young girl!"
Caesar scowled. "An insolent young girl, Brutus. She must be dealt due punishment."
"But Caesar—" he argued, taking a glance down at the pitiful girl at the emperor's feet, "Mercy?"
The emperor glanced back at his supposed "right hand." Brutus' loyalty to him was a quality Caesar highly valued; it would bring many more to his side. He stared down at the slave girl on her hands and knees before him, milk dripping down her face. "Alright Brutus," he clapped his hands, and the guards moved away, "Mercy."
Gabrielle's eyes shot up in utter amazement. In all the years she spent reading of tyrannical rulers such as Caesar, she had never come across one word that even implied mercy.
Brutus adjusted himself and nodded proudly. "Yes, Caesar."
Gabrielle stared up at her master, hope gleaming in her eyes.
"No, that doesn't mean I've spared you." He idly traced his thumb over his chin and smirked, his eyes drowning with pride at his next words. "No... I have the perfect use for you."