PART III
A PLACE TO CALL HOME

Agron and Saxa were both Irminonic from the southern part of Germania, north of the Danube. Agron came from the large Marcomanni tribe north of the Roman province of Raetia, and Saxa from the smaller Quadi tribe, north of the Roman province of Noricum. Therefore, when the rebels took to the Apennines and headed towards the Alps, there was never any question that once they made it into Gallia, that Agron and Saxa – and those who stood with them – would head north-east from the Rhine into Germania.

There was a question left to be answered however, and one night as they traveled across the Alps, Agron and Saxa sat together around a fire, and put their minds to answering the question of where in Germania they would go.

The obvious answer was that they should seek out the lands where they had been born. But reaching the territories they hailed from meant turning east when they arrived at the Danube, and that would have forced them to travel, for a significant period of time, through territory that was dangerously close to the borders of Roman provinces - the same provinces they had been transported through on their way to slavery in Rome.

Both Agron and Saxa had seen family members, friends, neighbours, and lovers killed during the raids which led to their capture. Both had watched their villages burning, smoke blackening the air as they were led away in chains. Both knew that their homes were gone, that their tribes had been destroyed, and that their families were dead. As much as they wished it wasn't so, they knew that there was no going home for them.

Though the truth of it weighed heavily on their hearts, they had to acknowledge that traveling so close to the Roman border in order to get back to forests where no one they loved yet lived, would serve no purpose. Embarking on such a course would only put all that they had fought for in jeopardy. All it would do was put what they held dear in danger. So, the decision was made that they would travel north along the Rhine, leaving the Danube and their former territories far behind.

Agron had heard tale of a tribe who were hardy of frame, fierce in countenance, strategic of mind and of vigorous of courage living near the upper Wesser, and so that is where the former rebels marched when they left Helvetti behind.

For weeks and weeks they walked north, following the same star until they reached the Eder River. They then followed the Eder east to the territory of the Chatti, and it was there, that the former rebels' long journey finally came to an end.

The size of their group, and the foreignness of many of their faces, made the settlement of Chatti they came across suspicious and defensive at first. It was a large settlement, but not large enough to accommodate the near hundred rebels who had descended upon it and the Chatti worried that the strange group of travelers would try to take their land.

The Chatti's unease was understandable, but it made the rebels first week camping in the forests near their settlement a tense and dangerous one. Eventually, however, Agron and Saxa managed to convince the Chatti elders that their group posed no harm, and it was agreed that the former slaves could occupy the farmable land to the north and the west of the Chatti settlement.

It was rough going at first, establishing the new settlements. Clearing land, tilling soil, building homes and fences, was not easy or quick work, but the former rebels were used to toil and demanding conditions. They had become accustomed to having few comforts, limited food, and to long hours of physical exertion. Building from the ground up was challenging, but they persevered, they struggled and they overcame – as they had overcome so much in the past.

Agron and Saxa made frequent trips into the Chatti village in those early months, attempting to build bonds between the rebel groups and the Chatti tribe. They provided wealth to the Chatti by bartering looted Roman gold, silver and jewels, for tools, grains, seeds, and other necessities. They promoted friendship and understanding by sharing gifts of Roman wine around the bonfire in the center of town, telling stories of Romans and the battles they had fought against them to win their freedom. They spoke of the long journey they had undertaken in order to get to where they were presently, and of the friends, and family and lovers they had lost along the way.

When the rebel settlements finally had livable homes, they invited the Chatti elders to feast with them, and explore their settlements. Agron and Saxa introduced them to all of the former slaves, allowing the Chatti to hear tales of the of the many lands they had come from in the broken German many of the rebels had managed to learn during their long trek and the founding of the settlements.

It took many months, and there were more than a few missteps and disagreements along the way, but eventually the Chatti came to accept the presence of the rebels in the lands that surrounded them, and the three settlements came to live and trade with each other in relative peace.

xxx

Saxa yawned as she walked into the main room of the farmhouse, and then stretched her arms above her head, attempting to work out the stiffness a full night of sleep had left in her muscles.

The floor was cold against her bare feet, but she paid it no mind, knowing that soon she would be standing on the deer skin rug before the hearth, and that soon after that she would have a fire blazing.

She was still half asleep when she reached the hearth and set about stoking the fire back to life, her familiarity with the task allowing her to attend to it without taxing her brain too much – which was a fortunate thing considering that she was never at her best in the early morning.

As the fire began to stir, Saxa detected movement out of the corner of her eye, and then a minute later, the kitchen came to life with sound as Belesa started humming and puttering around, gathering what she needed to prepare their breakfast.

Belesa's voice and the noises of the kitchen came together in a familiar and comforting harmony, and upon hearing it Saxa's eyes fluttered closed, and her heart filled with warmth. With her eyes still closed, she listened to Belesa for a short while, a smile playing across her lips as she did, but after a minute she forced herself focus on the fire again, working with renewed effort; hurrying to finish the task so that she could go into the kitchen and properly greet her woman good morning.

When the fire was finally burning, Saxa turned from the hearth and crept towards the kitchen.

"Your hands are cold!" Belesa gasped.

Stealthy as a cat, Saxa had come up behind her and wrapped one of her arms around Belesa's waist, while her other hand slipped beneath the material of Belesa's tunica and proceeded to inch its way up her naked thigh.

"Which is why I seek to warm them," Saxa purred as her hand slid higher, attempting to slip between Belesa's thighs.

Belesa slapped at Saxa's hand as it nudged itself between her thighs, and then she reached down and pulled Saxa's hand from its cozy haven.

"You did not put up resistance when I sought to explore body last night," Saxa murmured petulantly, though she heeded Belesa's admonishment and drew her arm back around Belesa's waist, contenting herself with laying kisses across Belesa's shoulders and nuzzling her face into Belesa's warm, inviting neck.

"Last night found your hands distinctly warmer," Belesa replied, her words transforming into a sigh as Saxa's lips played upon her skin. "If you would have me welcome day in glorious climax," Belesa purred, leaning back into Saxa's strong, lithe body. "You must not use hands, but that which is always warm to the touch," she breathed out, twisting in Saxa's arms so that she could run her thumb over Saxa's lips suggestively.

"So I am to have you for breakfast?" Saxa husked, grinning before she parted her lips to draw the tip of Belesa's questing thumb into her mouth.

"I would certainly not object if you were of a mind," Belesa sighed, her voice lifting in a moan a few seconds later when Saxa's tongue stroked the length of her finger, teasing her with reminders of all the other wonderful things that tongue, and the mouth it was housed in, were capable of.

"You will be late to market," Saxa warned, though she didn't seem the least bit concerned with that fact as she returned her lips to Belesa's tantalizing throat. "Laeta will scold you," she teased.

"You did not seem particularly worried about such things a moment ago when you slipped your hand between my legs, intent on pillaging sacred garden," Belesa pointed out, a deep, content groan escaping from her throat a moment later when Saxa's lips found the sensitive spot on her neck, that when caressed, never failed to make her toes curl and cunt clench.

"I cannot dispute words. My intentions wereentirely dishonorable," Saxa murmured as she slipped her hands down to grasp Belesa's tunica and then began to tug it up. "They still are," she husked wickedly, a second later. "Grip counter, bärli," Saxa instructed, leaning into Belesa's body to speak directly into her ear, as her hands worked below, tugging Belesa's tunica until it was bunched up at her waist. "I would not have you fall to harm when mouth drives you to the most pleasurable of heights."

"Concern for safety warms heart," Belesa drawled sarcastically, managing to hold her unimpressed expression for a few seconds before she gave in and allowed her lips to curve up mischievously. "I would reward gallant behaviour."

"Would you?" Saxa asked, arching a golden eyebrow at Belesa.

"I am behooved," Belesa said, a smile growing wider on her lips with each word that fell from her mouth.

Saxa's lips quirked at the edges, amused by Belesa's reply even as her heart began to quicken – Belesa's teasing tone and the wicked promise in her eyes, making Saxa's blood warm with arousal.

With her smile still firmly in place, Belesa dipped her head down, and helplessly Saxa followed suit. Under Saxa's watchful gaze, Belesa then lifted her hands to the open neck of her tunica and pulled the sleeves down, slowly, until her breasts were revealed to Saxa.

Saxa's lips parted in anticipation, her pale blue eyes locked on Belesa's dark nipples, longing to take one into her mouth and tease it to hardness. She was just about to do just that in fact, when Belesa shifted, using her grip on the counter to ease herself on top of it.

Saxa's eyes lifted to meet Belesa's curiously.

"I would have you fall to knees now, Sandraudiga," Belesa breathed out, smiling as she slowly ran her fingers up her bare thigh, biting down on her plump bottom lip coquettishly as she did.

Saxa's eyes dropped from Belesa's face to watch her fingers as the teased their way over her skin.

"I would feel your love," Belesa breathed out as she parted her thighs, inviting Saxa between them.

Saxa's lips curved up into a wild grin at the sound of Belesa's words, and then she sank to her knees before her woman and began to warm Belesa with her touch, properly bidding her good morning.

xxx

As Saxa sat down at the table with a bowl of hot oats and berries, the door to the farmhouse opened and the sound of boots could be heard on the floor. Belesa was in the bedroom, dressing for the day, so Saxa knew it was not her who had just come into the house, but she remained seated at the table and began to eat.

The footsteps were heavy, were male, and Saxa knew that it was Agron who made his way towards her, for no one else in the settlement would have so brazenly entered her home uninvited. She and Agron had made arrangements the day before to go hunting, and when she had not show up at the meeting spot at the appointed time, he had obviously decided to fetch her.

"Is little baby not done with breakfast yet?" Agron asked, grinning down at Saxa before he reached out and ruffled her hair with his hand, earning a jab from her spoon in his side a second later. "Here, let me help you," Agron continued, slipping onto the bench beside Saxa and reaching out for the bowl, sticking his finger in to scoop out some of her breakfast which he then plopped in his mouth with smile.

Saxa stared at him incredulously for a moment. Then she looked down at her bowl for a second before looking back up at Agron. She bared her teeth at him and then wrapped her arm around her bowl and slid further down the bench in an attempt to keep her meal safe from any further attacks by Agron.

"How do you remain so scrawny, when she feeds you so well?" Agron wondered out loud, shaking his head in disbelief as his eyes ran over Saxa's hunched, glaring form.

"Plenty of physical activity," Saxa replied, her lips curving up in a wolfish grin, that left no doubt as to what type of physical activity she was referring to.

"Ah," Agron exclaimed. "So that is what's made you so tardy," he continued, eyeing her bowl in a way that Saxa didn't like at all. "You use her in sundry tawdry ways first thing in morning, and then put her hard to work," he said gesturing towards Saxa's bowl. "You should be ashamed. Give that here. You do not fucking deserve it," he said crooking his hand at her.

Saxa's lips parted to speak, but before she could utter a single syllable, Belesa breezed into the room, responding to Agron's statement as she walked.

"There is nothing tawdry about the ways I was put to use, though sundry I'd agree with," Belesa declared, knocking Agron on the back of the head lightly as she walked by him on her way to the stove.

Saxa grinned over at him in amusement, and Agron glared back at her as Belesa reached the counter and pulled out another bowl to scoop what was left of the spiced oats into.

"Here. Though I know it to be your second of the day, I could not deny a growing boy a meal," Belesa said a few seconds later, walking back over to the table to place the bowl down in front of Agron.

"Growing? Rotund perhaps," Saxa cracked, earning deeply displeased look from Agron.

"That's a lie," he stated dourly, holding Saxa's gaze as he spoke. "I stand an Adonis," he continued, his expression serious though a little twinkle had entered his eyes. "I am shining example of male form, inspiring envy and lust among all who lay eyes on magnificent work of art," he continued in the same grave tone as he gestured down the length of his body grandly.

To his credit, Agron managed to hold the staid look on his face until Saxa cracked a smile, and then they both began to laugh.

"Now," Agron continued, schooling his features as he addressed Saxa seriously again. "Drude," Witch, he continued, rudely. Saxa stuck her tongue out at him in response. Agron smiled. "Keep civil tongue in mouth," he went on, pointing a warning finger at Saxa. "Or risk not returning from forest after hunt." He made a stabbing motion with his hand.

"You might consider heeding own advice," Belesa commented lightly, her eyes cutting towards Saxa pointedly before she slipped onto the bench in between the Germans. "There is good chance she will stand behind you at some point during the hunt. You'd do well not to put ideas in her head," Belesa continued, looking over at Agron with a cheeky smile.

Agron looked over at Saxa thoughtfully.

Saxa grinned at him with murder in her eyes.

Belesa looked between them and smiled before reaching over with the spoon she had clutched in her hand, for Saxa's bowl.

Saxa looked over at Belesa, her lips parting to issue complaint, but seeing the warning expression on Belesa's face, she gave up the notion of protesting and dutifully pushed her bowl to the side, making it easier for Belesa to reach it.

"Thank you," Belesa said sweetly, leaning over to kiss Saxa's cheek, and Saxa mumbled something that sounded like, 'You're welcome,' under her breath as she dipped her head down almost bashfully.

Agron's lips parted to no doubt poke fun at the blush touching Saxa's cheeks, but Belesa caught his eyes and shook her head. Agron sighed, but he acquiesced to her silent request and turned back to his oats, saying nothing.

"So," Belesa began as Saxa and Agron sat in their furs, hunched over their bowls, shoveling food into their mouths like they were afraid they would never see any again. "What are you planning on killing today?"

"Deer," Saxa declared.

"Wild pig," Agron stated at the same time as her.

Upon hearing the others response, Agron and Saxa turned to glare at each other. They held each eyes silently for a few seconds, and then at once, they began to speak. They talked over each other, voice getting louder and louder as their language became cruder and their insults to each other grew increasingly creative and foul.

Belesa sighed and dipped her spoon into Saxa's bowl again, and then brought it up to her mouth, mentally shaking her head at herself.

She should have just let them surprise her.

xxx

The moon hung brightly in the night sky as Belesa opened the door to the farmhouse and stepped outside, a mug of hot wine and a fur blanket clutched in her hands as she set out to find Saxa.

They had left the house after their evening meal to take a walk to the house Laeta and Sibyl shared in order to deliver meat from Saxa's hunt with Agron. They had lingered with Laeta and Sibyl for a time, enjoying drink and talk until the hour grew late, and then they had to set upon the road for home.

By the time they arrived back at the house, Belesa was shivering and anxious to return indoors, but Saxa expressed a desire to remain outside for a while longer, feeling too restless to be contained within walls. Such moods often came upon Saxa, so Belesa left her to the night air and returned to the warmth of the house, setting wine to warm on the stove before busying herself with some sewing she had abandoned earlier.

However, when an hour passed without Saxa's return, Belesa armed herself with the mug of hot wine and a blanket, and set out to join her lover until Saxa was settled enough to come back inside.

Belesa found Saxa at the end of the footpath that led to the house, standing in the opening of the small fence that ran around the dwelling. Saxa had her hands clasped behind her back and her head tilted up slightly, towards the stars, staring off into the distance. She made a splendid sight, bathed in moonlight and shadows, and immediately a tender smile touched Belesa's lips.

As Belesa walked, her feet crunching along the stony walkway, she saw Saxa's body tense with one breath and then relax with the next, and she knew that Saxa was aware of her presence though the blonde continued to stare up at the night sky.

When she reached her, Belesa placed a soft kiss on Saxa's bare shoulder, and then she moved slightly in front of Saxa and held out the mug of hot wine for her to grasp. When the smell wafted up to Saxa and she realized what was in the mug, her lips curved up in a happy smile, and Belesa found herself helplessly smiling back before she leaned forward and kissed Saxa softly.

"You need to admit that winter nears," Belesa whispered, shivering a little as she pulled back from Saxa's lips. "As much as I enjoy seeing you half-clothed, it has become far too cold for such attire," she continued, reaching out to run her finger from the material that covered Saxa's upper-abdomen, down over the soft skin of her exposed mid-rift, to the leather belt at her waist.

"I like the cold," Saxa breathed out as Belesa situated the fur blanket over Saxa's shoulders and then moved around the blonde again, so that she was standing before Saxa with her back to her.

"Nobody likes the cold," Belesa murmured, shivering as Saxa pressed the mug into her hands so that she could fix the blanket.

As Saxa reached behind her to shift the blanket, another tiny shiver made its way through Belesa's body, and Saxa decided that had to end. Taking a step back from Belesa, Saxa removed the blanket from around her shoulders, and then stepped forward, wrapping it around Belesa's instead.

"Saxa, it's too cold out," Belesa protested as she felt the blanket come to rest solely on her shoulders, even though the presence of the blanket began to warm her almost instantly, the thick fur trapping her body heat, preventing it fleeing from her.

"I told you," Saxa drawled, as she took control of the mug once more and brought it up to her lips, taking a deep, satisfying sip. "I like the cold," she declared, smiling as she licked her lips.

"You are a crazy German, like so many that now surround me," Belesa replied, smiling even as she shook her head at Saxa, the smile still on her lips as she brought the mug up to her own lips, taking a small sip from it when Saxa pressed it back into her hands.

"It is true," Saxa whispered into her ear as she tugged Belesa back against her firmly. A sweet laugh fell from Belesa's lips as Saxa handled her, even as a pulse of desire rushed through her body at the feel of Saxa's pleasantly rough touch. "And you favour it, do you not?" Saxa asked smugly, smiling as she slipped her hand between Belesa's legs, and pressed it firmly against her womanhood, kissing and nipping at Belesa's jaw as she did so.

"Yes," Belesa sighed, "when it presents itself in your extraordinary form," she continued, feeling Saxa smile against her throat as her words reached the blonde's ears.

"Mm," Saxa hummed against Belesa's neck, smiling against the heated flesh. "You flatter."

"It is easy with one as easily impressed by herself as you," Belesa murmured, an airy burst of laughter escaping from her lips a second later when Saxa made a menacing sound in her throat and then yanked Belesa against her, dipping her head down and pretending to bite at Belesa's neck in retribution.

"Oh … no," Belesa murmured in the least excited voice she was capable of. "Stop! I would not have it so!" she continued without any conviction, and Saxa began to laugh softly. "Trinken," drink, Belesa breathed out, holding out the mug to Saxa when the blonde pulled back from her faux attack on her neck.

Saxa took hold of the mug, and whispered, "Das ist gut," that is good, complimenting Belesa's German before she pressed a quick kiss to Belesa's cheek.

"Thank you," Belesa replied in German. "But I sound as empty head in tongue of yours," she continued, and Saxa laughed, her body vibrating around Belesa's as the sweet sound tumbled from her lips.

"You will improve in leaps and bounds as I have," Saxa breathed out in Latin, nuzzling her face against Belesa's neck. "With assistance of loving teacher," she continued gently, tightening her arms around Belesa.

"Gratitude," Belesa whispered in German, a soft smile touching her. "My cuddly one," she continued, giggling a moment later when Saxa began to tickle her in reprisal for using that nickname.

"I drink," Saxa moaned, her syntax slipping into old patterns – as it sometimes did when she was happy and relaxed. "I need dull pain," she continued, lifting the mug to her lips.

"You take issue with affectionate name, yet it but mirrors truth. You cuddle me even as you complain," Belesa replied as Saxa swallowed a large gulp of wine.

"I but chivalrously keep woman warm," Saxa said, licking her lips.

"So, it brings you no pleasure to hold me?" Belesa asked, arching a dark eyebrow up as she turned her head to the side. "It is but tedious obligation of domesticated woman to hold me in her arms?" she continued, looking up into Saxa's face. "You but fall to command?"

"Your words are loaded as ballista," Saxa breathed out, pulling back slightly from Belesa. "But housebroken as I am, I will only draw you closer," she breathed out, embracing Belesa firmly again. "Which, I will state – though you well know it to be true – is forever the chiefest desire of my heart."

"I do know, yet heart swells to hear words spoken from time to time," Belesa breathed, a sweet smile forming on her lips.

Saxa rolled her eyes in response to Belesa's words, but the tender smile on her woman's lips appealed to her, and she leaned in, bringing their lips together in a sweet kiss.

"You are a trying woman," Saxa whispered against Belesa's lips long minutes later.

"Yes, though easy in the ways you have always favoured most," Belesa replied with a grin, reaching out to capture Saxa's hand so that she could lift it and press it to her breasts.

"You did make memorable first impression," Saxa chuckled, before caressing the generous mound in her hand firmly, as she had done on the day they met. "Though, that pleasure was but flickering candle to the raging inferno of desire incited now that heart yearns as powerfully as body."

Belesa hummed contently in Saxa's arms.

"Temperature rises, making cold as imperceptible as whisper on the wind, yet I would have us retire to house," Belesa breathed in response to Saxa's words, "Where raging inferno can be soothed with loving hands and mouth."

"Our thoughts are one in this," Saxa purred, pressing her lips to Belesa's neck before she pulled back, giving Belesa room to turn around while she drained the last of the wine from the mug.

Saxa then offered her arm to Belesa, and with a demure dip of her head and a happy smile, Belesa looped her arm through Saxa's, and together they started back to the house, and their bed, and the pleasure that awaited them in each other's arms.

The End

Well, that's a wrap! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Comments are always welcome and greatly appreciated, so don't feel shy, I'd love to hear what you thought :)