In the beginning there was War…

(Xentrya)

Disclaimer: Sadly….I own nothing….I wish I did though...

Daybreak. As soon as the first rays of light shattered the dim darkness surrounding the camp, the apparently sound asleep Warrior Princess opened her eyes as if someone had commanded her to.

As always, she hated wasting time, so lingering in bed was as rare as a friendly one eyed Cyclops, especially given the unbelievably tight schedule she needed to keep up with, for this wasn't any ordinary day. It was the eve of the battle of Kalamai, the last city she needed to take in order to ensure her domination over more than half of the Greek lands. Next on her list were Argos, Corinth Megara, Thebes and last but not least, Athens.

She had decided to write down the Goddess of the three W's - Wisdom War and Weaving- city on the bottom of her wanted territory list, aware that it was wiser to place the prosperous area under a long, hard to endure siege - thus debilitating her adversaries both physically and psychologically than opting for a premature, unexpected attack in which, there was always the possibility that while placing her stake on the element of surprise, leaks of information could very well make her strategy blow up in her face, thus giving the Athenians enough time to built some pretty difficult to break alliances…..Going up against all the North Eastern cities at once was not option, and she knew it. Taking them down in turn was still the safest bet….The Roman's "divide and conquer" old saying had more than one meaning after all….She was planning to stick to it….

Casting one brief glance towards the other side of the bed she noticed the empty half where but a few hours ago the gorgeous War God had been sleeping, and she lazily reached her hand to pick up the delicate black rose he had left behind for her on the pillow, just like he always did when for some reason or the other he had to leave before she woke up.

She only sketched a displeased grimace before she carelessly sent the rare flower flying to the floor, without as much as bothering to watch where it landed, as if it meant nothing at all, her eyes ice cold and her face devoid of any type of emotion.

"Well good morning to you too." Ares's voice suddenly broke out as he stepped out of the aether in his usual flash of blue light. In less than a second the rose vanished from the ground and materialized in his hand instead.

"I think you might have dropped something…"he stated throwing her a rather accusing look, on a tone that would have made any mortal's blood freeze inside their veins.

After having watched the spectacular magic trick with utter disinterest , and as soon as the God closed in the distance between them and personally offered her the flower, Xena rolled her eyes in exasperation, tossing the covers aside to get out of bed.

"Thanks" she muttered, placing the rose on a nearby table, showing not even the slightest intention of touching it more than she needed to, and clearly without giving a rat's ass on Ares feeling offended by her gesture or not.

Behind her, the God frowned, a flash of anger glistening on the surface of his amber like eyes. No matter what he did, nothing seemed to please this woman, and despite the fact that he did own her body, as some sort of mutual, unspoken agreement in exchange of his constant support and favor, he was thousands of miles away from any chance to owning her soul too.

Whenever they were together, sex was awesome, she was like a volcano, passion and desire burning inside her like inextinguishable flames, and her mere touch could stir inside him sensations so unique and strong that he had never felt before in his long immortal existence. The moment she left the comfort of his arms though, it was as if nothing had happened between them. She turned back to the "as cold as marble statue" routine, subtly making it crystal clear for him that it was all about business. She had something he wanted and him….well….he had a lot more than she cared to admit- even to herself- and that she needed badly…One didn't have to be a rocket scientist in order to get the drill...

Still, he was so attracted to her that more than once, he was barely able to control the craving of whisking her from wherever she was , the sight of powerful presence, organizing her troops, training her men or making battle plans with her generals and the sound of her sonorous, commanding voice, so very similar to his own, making his entire body vibe beyond control.

She possessed a surreal beauty, and moreover a completely alluring personality. In that entire army, there wasn't one single man who wasn't secretly fantasizing about her day and night, just to respect and fear her at the same time worse than they feared the pits of Hades' Tartarus.

Fearless, determined, skilful, extremely bright, hard headed, obnoxious and definitely unpredictable and cunning, his Princess as he liked to call her, was the kind of woman who didn't take "no" for an answer and who certainly didn't tolerate mistakes. She was very explicit about what she wanted and expected from everyone around her and at her turn she showed the same respect even to the lowest in rank man.

On the battlefield….she was a legend. Nothing could stand against her blade, she was one of a kind. No wonder her soldiers would shout more often her name in battle than the one of the God of War… He couldn't help adore her for that.

Consequently, it is needless to say that he wanted her to be his and his alone and that he was as possessive and jealous as hell whenever someone even looked at her implyingly….While Xena…she usually humored him, letting him believe that his crappy attitude didn't bother her much, tolerating at times his jealous outbursts….As long as that meant having another ace up her sleeve it was fine with her. Gradually becoming his weakness, she was sure of two things: he could never hurt her in any way, and…more favors of course…..The good thing about it all was the fact that the balance was apparently equal and that each of them knew where the other stood….nothing could really take them by surprise, but still the God was getting impatient. He had never met such a hard headed woman in his life….

Watching her now, that naked body of hers passing him by provokingly seductive, his pulse began racing maddeningly fast.

His heart along with his immeasurable pride ached to possess her completely…

"I had to leave last night…You were sound asleep. I didn't wake you up….."

She just gazed at him arching an eyebrow, considering weather to reply or not to that incredibly stupid line he had just finished uttering.

"I noticed" she finally said on a leveled tone, while pouring herself a glass of water from a silver jar.

'And…?" he added.

This time she didn't say anything else, she just displayed an inquiring expression that was meant to spare her the trouble of voicing her question.

"Don't you want to know where I was?"

"I'm not your mother Ares, so you don't actually need to explain your each and every move, ok? Plus, I couldn't care less about your whereabouts " she lied, simulating total indifference with such an enviable easiness that the God couldn't help wondering if she was really serious about it or not.

"Is that so?" he questioned chuckling softly. "What if I told you that I was with some hot-headed blond and that we fucked all night long?"

"I'd say that you're a terrible liar and that you should definitely have a long chat with Aristotle. You were with me half of the night. Now….. unless you have dualizing powers as well, you couldn't possibly have been with her for more than a couple of hours. As for the lying part, that could be fixed too….I could give you some private lessons….Some say I'm quite talented….." she retorted, a mischievous smile playing on her full, velvety lips.

Catching the last part of her phrase, the War God repeated slowly, as if entranced:

"Some?"

"Well, aren't you the cocky one ? Don't tell me you actually think that military skills alone are enough to hold an army together, War God….We both know that no leader can properly control such a large mass of people without the complete submission of his generals who should be loyal, dedicated and who should follow closely his exact commands….Isn't that what you've thought me?" she nonchalantly asked, taking the cup to her lips.

Before she knew it though, the God had already blown it off her hand, and grabbing her by the shoulders he growled like a wild beast against her lips:

"Unless you want to walk into battle tomorrow with five generals missing I strongly advise you to…."

"I dare you…." she cut him off, breathing raggedly against his lips, no trace of either fear or discomfort shading her stunningly sapphire moons…."Though….do such thing and we'll most certainly lose ground….I don't think that you're willing to risk that out of a stupid fit of jealous rage of some second hand rated mortals…." she added biting her lower lip, while making sure her body got even closer to his own so that her bare breasts were touching his chest now through the opening of his black leather vest…..

Her eyes locked on his, it was unable for her not to see his irides changing their color from amber to pitch black, while his muscles tensed to the point that they looked on the verge of snapping.

All this time, Xena was grinning widely. She couldn't lose this…

By the time he transported himself on the training ground, Ares was hitting the roof. It only took a few seconds before he turned the five men into ashes, firing first, asking questions later, despite having known all along what she was trying to do….She was his Chosen, he obviously knew her better than she could have ever imagined…..

About one minute later, he materialized back inside the luxurious tent, behind his clever Princess who had just put on a black nightgown, and was already standing behind her desk, fully ignoring the cries of terror coming from outside, carefully studying one more time the surrounding hills of the region and the main lines of attack, as well as the possible areas of ambush.

With a firm pull the God ripped the silky material off her, pushing her face down against the map, his fingers clenched into her hair, and, bending over her, he murmured in her ear, on a surprisingly calm tone:

"Done. Now….I don't care how you do it tomorrow but you will win that battle for me, if not, I swear it on Styx, you're as good as dead, Sweetheart….."

With that, he vanished again into a flash of blue, leaving an unspeakably satisfied Warrior Princess to savor her victory in silence…..She did hold some power over him, now she was sure of it, and what she was even more sure of is that he wanted her to know that…..she was important to him….a very useful card if played correctly….