Title: Golden Hours
Author: Janine
Fandom: Spartacus: War of the Damned
Pairing: Saxa/Belesa
Rating: R
Words: 2,806
Summary: Saxa and Belesa share a quiet moment together before Spartacus and what's left of his army leave the Alps to face Crassus and his legions one more time.

xxx

A delicate hand trailed distractedly along Saxa's thigh until Saxa caught it with her own and drew it away so that she could toy with the fingers that had just brought her to the height of pleasure.

"You are troubled meine bärli," my little bear,she breathed out, drawing Belesa's hand to her lips where she pressed a kiss against flesh that yet lingered with her scent.

"Are you not?" Belesa asked, a touch of incredulity in her voice as she propped herself up on her elbow so that she could look down at Saxa's face.

"I occupy mind with pleasant thoughts," Saxa replied, a lazy smile spreading across her lips as she gazed up into Belesa's beautiful – and at the moment, concerned – blue eyes.

"How does your mind not ripple with concern?" Belesa asked, her brows creasing in confusion, as her eyes searched Saxa's face for an answer, for her own brain was plagued with multitudes of worries.

Crixus and all that followed him south to march on Rome were dead or captured, save Naevia, who had been spared to carry message of Crixus's death to Spartacus.

After Naevia's return to the rebel camp, Spartacus had held two days of gladiatorial games in honor of Crixus, and during that time the camp had been full of boisterous voices and had flowed with wine, but the games were over presently and it was once again time for war.

At first light, Spartacus, and all who were willing to fight, would march south to meet Crassus and his Roman legions in battle once again. The rebels had won many victories against the Roman legions, but that was before Crixus and the thousands who had followed him had fallen. Victory had always been an uncertain thing for them, and with their numbers now drastically decreased, triumph stood even more doubtful for those who marched into battle.

Belesa, and the other women and children who could not fight, were to continue north across the mountains and out of Roman territory, but without their warriors to protect them as they crossed into unknown lands, their futures were as uncertain as the futures of those were going south to fight.

"Worry fixes nothing, causes only more problems," Saxa breathed out, reaching up to gently run her fingers across Belesa's smooth cheek. "It distracts and makes fear. Thoughts are better turned to pleasant things that give a warrior reason to return from battle."

"And what thoughts could have the power to distract from such troubling reality?" Belesa asked, unconsciously leaning into Saxa's gentle touch, though she did not want to be comforted by it.

"Thoughts of you," Saxa replied, "and first time we lay together in southern woods," she continued, her lips curving up into a fond smile as her mind drifted back to the first time she had held Belesa naked in her arms.

She had removed herself to the outskirts of the encampment to enjoy some quiet and the stars, but her eyes kept on drifting from the heavens to observe the people sitting around the campfire closest to the spot where she stood along the treeline. The evening meal had already been taken, but many still lingered around the fires, enjoying a bit more rest and conversation before they had to prepare themselves for sleep.

She had taken her meal around the fire she observed now, but as she and others had drifted away from the spots they had occupied, others had claimed their positions by the warming flames, and Gannicus and Sibyl now lounged almost exactly where Saxa had sat and ate not long before.

"He stands a fool."

Saxa was not unaware of a person walking nearby her, but the sound of a voice so close to her ear did startle her slightly and cause her back to tense. There was always too many of them and too little space for them all, and though she didn't like it, Saxa had gotten used to having people constantly wandering in and out of the space around her that she once would have considered personal, that she once would have taken up arms to defend if it was breached without her invitation.

"Many would say he stand as a god," Saxa replied in her broken Latin, turning her head to the side to see who it was that addressed her.

Her posture relaxed, and her lips curved up slightly when her eyes fell upon the woman beside her. Saxa knew her name to be Belesa, and she remembered her well from their first meeting at the gate to Sinuessa, when Belesa had removed her top to show her brand and then offered her breasts to Saxa for closer inspection.

Belesa had sparked her interest and moistened her cunt that day, but her attention had been too focused on Gannicus at the time to pursue her interests, and after sharing a few drunken kisses and gropes in coming days that did not go any further, Belesa had stopped approaching her.

Large as the rebel camp was, they still crossed paths occasionally and at those times they would smile and nod in acknowledgement, or sometimes exchange a word in greeting, but they had not truly spoken to each other since the last time Saxa had halted Belesa's hands from wandering beneath her skirt in favor of dragging Gannicus out of the alehouse they had been drinking in when his eyes had held on Sibyl too long for her liking.

"I would rather place such divine title upon you," Belesa replied, drawing Saxa's mind back to the present and away from foolish decisions of the past.

"I accept title," Saxa responded, smiling rakishly. "Have you offering for the goddess?" she asked, putting Gannicus and Sibyl out of her mind in favour of focusing on the lovely creature beside her.

"I have no riches or possessions of any kind, only the rags upon my back. All I have to offer is myself," Belesa whispered, holding Saxa's eyes unwaveringly for a few seconds before she reached out for Saxa's hands and took them into her own. "Would you accept such humble offering?" Belesa breathed out, her eyes lifting coquettishly to meet Saxa's as she lifted the German's hands up and pressed them to her breasts.

"Humble?" Saxa repeated, her eyes dancing with mirth as her lips curved up into a wicked smile. "Hands are filled with bounty," she continued, her eyes dropping down to watch as her hands massaged Belesa's generous chest.

"Then you are pleased?" Belesa asked, her lips unconsciously curving up happily and her breath hitching slightly as Saxa continued to touch her over the thin material of her dress, the German's thumb brushing repeatedly over her rapidly stiffening nipples.

"Will be pleased when clothes are gone and lips and tongue can enjoy offering too," Saxa husked as she pinched one of Belesa's plump nipples, causing the woman's eyes to close and her lips to part as she as gasped in pleasure.

"There is a place nearby that would offer some privacy for such explorations," Belesa breathed out, her eyes fluttering open to gaze at Saxa with undisguised longing.

The warm, full breasts in her hands and the naked desire in Belesa's eyes cut through Saxa like steel honed to a razors edge and she leaned forward and brought their lips together, kissing Belesa slowly and deeply, a precursor to the skilled and passionate touch that would soon be unleashed upon the rest of Belesa's divine body.

"We go," Saxa panted, her chest rising and falling as rapidly as Belesa's when she pulled back from the brunette's lips.

Belesa smiled widely, her eyes shining with anticipation, and then she reached for Saxa's hand again and began to lead her to the place she had spoken of where they could come to know each other better.

"Is mind truly filled with thoughts of me, or do you simply offer words to warm heart in what might be last hours together?" Belesa asked, drawing Saxa out of her memories of the past.

"I speak honest," Saxa assured her, holding Belesa's eyes so that Belesa might see the truth of her words in them. "Where I come from, east of Rhine, where my family has lived for many …" Saxa paused, struggling to find Latin words to express the thoughts in her mind. "I don't know words to say, but many of my family lived there for many and many years."

"Generations," Belesa supplied softly, reaching out with her thumb to smooth the wrinkle that always formed between Saxa's eyebrows when she was frustrated by problems with communication. "Many generations of your family," she continued, modeling for Saxa how to properly use the word in a sentence.

"Generations," Saxa repeated testing the word out, placing it in the chamber in her mind where many new words and phrases had been stored since Agron had liberated her brothers and sisters from the Roman slaving ship. "Where many generations of my family lived, there is spring of warm water surrounded by forests of deep green. I dream to bring you there, to make love in warm waters, and show you places where I played when only a little warrior."

Despite the worry and fear which lay heavy like stone upon her heart, Saxa's words warmed Belesa and the picture Saxa's words painted in her mind brought a sweet smile to her lips. She had never seen this land Saxa spoke of, but she longed to explore them with Saxa by her side.

"Heart swells at the thought," Belesa whispered before leaning down to brush her lips against Saxa's. "Live," she breathed out a moment later, cupping Saxa's jaw with her hand, "come back to me and make dream as real as the ground beneath us," she continued, her voice cracking as she blinked rapidly, fighting to hold back the tears that welled in her eyes at the thought of never seeing Saxa again after she marched away with Spartacus at dawn.

"Will fight," Saxa replied softly, reaching up to gently wipe away a few tears that escaped from Belesa's eyes. "Will return. There is reason like never before for victory," Saxa continued, her heart racing beneath her breast as she gazed up at Belesa, holding her eyes steadily for a long moment before she leaned up to bring their lips together again, in a kiss that was far more intense and desperate than the one Belesa had initiated a minute before.

Though it shamed her to think of it presently, Saxa had taken Belesa to bed that first night in the southern woods to help push Gannicus and his desertion of her from her mind. She was used to being the one who ended her relationships and he had wounded her pride as well as her heart when he had left her to take up with Sibyl.

In the early days of her relationship with Belesa, she had made great public showings of her fondness for Belesa, to claim her so that others would keep their distance, yes, but also to show Gannicus that she did not care that he had moved on from her. She had cared, of course, at that point in time, and she had used Belesa for pleasure, for comfort, and in some way for revenge … but only at the beginning.

She hadn't expected it, but as the days wore into weeks, things had begun to change.

She had begun to change.

When she and Belesa shared conversation, Belesa's eyes did not wander from her, and the smiles that touched her lips at Saxa's words lingered upon them with fondness instead of quickly disappearing with distraction.

When she awoke in the morning, Belesa was still there beside her, often waking her with kisses and mischievous, wandering hands, instead of her waking to an empty bed and drunken laughter outside of her tent.

When she and the other fighters took to what open ground was available during breaks in travel to spar, Belesa watched her proudly and cheered for her from edge of their training grounds, then greeted her with kisses and a skin of water after her hard work.

Throughout the day, Belesa's fingers twined with hers as they walked, her sweet voice filling Saxa's ears as she shared her thoughts and feelings or worked with Saxa on improving her Latin.

Belesa's eyes were only for her, Belesa's touches were only for her, and Belesa's kisses were only for her. When she was with Belesa she felt warm, and full and cherished, and it was only once she felt this that she realized how much she desired such a feeling. It was only once she was with Belesa that she realized how much she wanted someone to belong only to her, and to belong to them in turn.

As the days wore into weeks, Gannicus faded from the forefront of her mind. Tensions eased between them, teasing words began to flow again, they spared and wrestled and laughed, and then they parted, to return to the women who had somehow managed to capture their wild hearts.

"What reason lights a fire in your warrior heart like none that has burned there before?" Belesa breathed out softly.

"Love," Saxa replied, blinking rapidly. "For first time, love," she continued holding Belesa's shimmering eyes with her own which were glistening with tears that threatened to fall at any moment.

Gannicus was like no man she had been with before, and she had loved him, but though he cared for her, her love had not been returned. Belesa returned her passion and her love in equal measure, and there was something powerful in that, in their mutual need. In times gone by, others had burned with desire and love for her that she had not been able to return, and in most recent days she had burned with desire and love that had not been returned to her. To now have her heart long for someone who equally longed for her was something new, and slightly terrifying, but a lit a fire inside of Saxa that she clung to desperately, because she would need to blaze as hot and fierce as the sun if she was going to find her way from battle back to loving arms.

"Mutterficker!" Saxa exclaimed a moment later, her hand lifting to cover her arm where Belesa had just landed a solid blow against it. "Why?" she asked, her eyes wide with surprise, though her lips started to curve up even as she inquired what she'd done to warrant such a violent response.

"You break sweet words that heart has longed to hear on eve of dire parting," Belesa declared glaring down at her. "Would that you had broken words sooner," she continued, though her voice gentled as she gazed down at Saxa.

"Have broken words now," Saxa muttered with a touch of petulance, "Have broken words before parting when bärli can hear, so bärli can know," she continued in a kinder tone. "Would sooner have made difference?" Saxa asked, arching golden eyebrow questioningly. "Would legs have spread more?" she went on, grinning before she quickly flipped them over so that Belesa was lying beneath her. "I think such a thing is not possible," Saxa purred as her hand crept playfully up Belesa's thigh.

"Probably not," Belesa agreed with a smile before Saxa's hand caused her to gasp and her hips to roll. "But it would have gladdened heart to hear them spoken … even though hands, and mouth, and eyes made tender feelings known."

"Then will speak the words until you sicken of them on return from battle," Saxa promised before leaning down to bring their lips together in a tender, loving kiss. "But now, to show feelings with hands, and mouth, and tongue," Saxa breathed out when the kiss broke and she pulled back to see Belesa's eyes.

"Then legs shall spread yet again to accept tender sentiments," Belesa purred, before fully opening herself up to Saxa for further exploration.

"Roman legions are mere nothing," Saxa rasped, leaning down to kiss Belesa's neck and chest. "Not even Odin could stop me from returning to feast between these thighs," she mumbled, her voice warming the tender skin between Belesa's breasts as she kissed her way between them and still further down.

"I pray to the gods it is so," Belesa breathed out.

What the future had in store for them, neither of them could say with any certainty – despite the promises they asked for and the promises they made. What the dawn and subsequent days would bring was unknowable to them; but that night they were free, that night they were together, and in the golden hours that remained they would savour every moment they had together before the coming dawn.

The End