The Whole is Greater Than the Part [i]
Antiope sat in her chambers contemplating…
She wasn’t sure how to do this. She had spent years, alright, hundreds, or was it thousands, of years, distancing herself from her warriors’ personal lives. Never crossing that line; never wanting or daring to go there. Yet here she was. Sigh. What was she going to do? Sex had never been a problem since Iole’s death so very long ago. There were always those willing to come to her for an evening, a week, or even longer. But it was just that, sex. Nothing more. She hadn’t wanted anything more. Well, until the last few years. Antiope was lost. How was she going to do this? How could she tell her? Iole had Initiated their relationship so Antiope really had no idea what to do.
This sighing and feeling like an actor in a tragedy was new to her. Antiope did not like it at all.
She tried using military tactics. Designing how she would attack the problem. She wrote notes and plans and possible outcomes. She spent weeks going through and editing these until she felt that every contingency possible was covered. Last week she laid everything on her table and studied them. The whole idea felt all wrong. Two days ago, she threw all of her ideas and plans out. This was not a battle or war. Antiope got up and started to pace.
By Tartarus, Hippolyta did this all the time. She never had a problem formulating how to woo and conquer women OR men. What did she do that was different than what Antiope was trying to do? Phillipus was still madly in love with Hippolyta, just as Hippolyta was madly in love with Phillipus. They were the perfect couple. And not one of Hippolyta’s ex’s ever spoke discouragingly about her after the romance disappeared either. Well, except for Herakles, but that was another story, and, besides, Hippolyta had been very young then. Antiope sat down again and put her head in her hands. Why was this so hard?
She finally raised her head and slapped her thighs as she got up. She’d talk to her sister. That’s what she’d do. She could be frank with Hippolyta. She could be open. She left her chambers and marched to Hippolyta’s rooms and banged on the door. When her sister didn’t come to the door right away Antiope banged again, this time even harder. Phillipus opened the door quickly giving her commander and friend a look that clearly said “Why are you interrupting us?” and she growled, angrily, in her throat. Antiope pushed her way past her and into the room. She sat down on the bed next to her sister and said in a quiet voice “We need to talk.”
Hippolyta sighed and got up from her bed. She walked over to the chair that held her robe and put it on her nude body. “Phillipus my love, will you leave us please?” Grumbling, Phillipus left the room, slamming the door on her way out. A moment later the door opened again and Phillipus stormed in to an ornate chest by the window, opened it, and pulled out a tunic. She slammed the lid down and, after giving Antiope another growl and angry look, she left with another, louder, bang of the door.
“Yes, sister dear?” Hippolyta said as she walked over to the door, opened it and instructed a guard to get wine and something for the two women to eat. She then closed the door and turned to look at her sister. “Sit please?” she said pointing to a couch, by the window.
Antiope sighed and got up from her sister’s bed and stormed over to the couch, scowling, and aggressively sat down with a loud “harrumph”. She said nothing for a few minutes, angrily glaring out the window. With a knock on the door the food and wine arrived. Hippolyta poured herself some wine and then poured a cup for her sister. Walking over to Antiope and offering her a goblet, she said, softly “What’s wrong Antiope?”
Taking the wine from Hippolyta, Antiope seemed to crash onto herself. The anger and determination left her and she assumed an extremely worried and sad countenance. “What do I do Hippolyta?” she said in a quiet, small voice.
Once again Antiope sighed. “How do I tell her? How do I pursue her?”
“Ah,” said Hippolyta. She sat down next to her sister and put an arm around her. “How can I help?”
“I don’t know what to do.”
It was now Hippolyta who sighed. “Tell me everything.”
After Antiope finished telling Hippolyta everything she could think of, from the dark sensuous russet of her hair, her well defined widows peak, the glorious, golden, earth-tint of her eyes, her pale skin underneath her armor glimpsed while bathing, the sound of her laugh, her smile, her dimples and the wonderful way this affected Antiope, it was very obvious to Hippolyta that Antiope suffered from one simple soul-rending disease. Love.
After finishing a bite of cheese Hippolyta asked the most important question. “Who is she?”
“Menalippe,” answered Antiope.
“Ah yes,” Hippolyta said, “Does she know how you feel Antiope?”
Antiope looked down at the floor and shook her head quietly. “No” she said.
“You’ve had lovers before Antiope,” Hippolyta said. “one of them for an extremely long time. How did you tell them?”
Antiope looked at her sister, “This is different Hippolyta. I just needed to show consideration and let my sexual wants and needs be known with the others. And Iole pursued me.”
Hippolyta gazed into her sister’s eyes. “And this is very different,’ she said.
“Do you know what she likes Antiope? Do you know what makes her happy?” Hippolyta smiled, “Aside from the usual puppy dogs and violets of course.”
Antiope chuckles softly. “She enjoys running, manning a phalanx, and fighting with her spear, and she is so strong.” Hippolyta smiles and shakes her head softly. “She likes to sit and chat with others. She loves to listen to stories, plays, and poetry. She writes some of the same.” Antiope says. “Her smile,” she sighs, “lights up the earth yet comes easily to her lips. She doesn’t enjoy swimming though does it well enough. And yes, she does love dogs but I don’t know what flower she cares for the most, though it may be irises. And, before you ask, I have not seen her with anyone in at least four months.”
“She is also a Seer Antiope. Don’t you think she already knows how you feel?”
“I can’t be sure Hippolyta. I don’t know what I would do if she rejected me. I’m afraid to take that chance.”
Hippolyta smiles and says “But Antiope, you can’t enjoy her companionship, her smile, anything at all with her, unless you tell her your feelings.”
Antiope smiles hesitantly and quips “How should I do that Hippolyta?”
Hippolyta laughs and then tells her.
The following day, before training begins, Antiope has a meeting with her officers. Artemis, Orana, Penthesilea, Menalippe, and Phillipus sit on benches with Antiope as she goes over the schedule for the week. They munch on fresh bread dipped in wine, goat cheese, fruit, and nuts and drink cool water while discussing the state of affairs and who will do what. Antiope states that over the next three days she will meet with each officer privately to discuss any worries they might have. She sets the schedule for these meetings. She’ll see Artemis and Orana today, Penthesilia and Phillipus the following day, and Menalippe, her lochagos, the day after that.
Once finished, Antiope says “May the Five look kindly on us all.” Any leftover food is wrapped in cloth and placed into a hamper for lunch. Antiope and Artemis head off to speak privately. The others move towards the gathering warriors and training begins.
On the morning of the third day Antiope stops Menalippe and suggests they meet over dinner that evening instead of during the day. After Menalippe agrees, they go about their duties. Menalippe leads spear forms practice while the other officers lead their own specialty forms practices and Antiope wanders from group to group giving advice, praise, showing various weapon techniques, and sharing some small jokes and stories to put everyone at ease. It’s a good day in training and no-one notices the way Antiope’s heart races when she is near Menalippe. Neither do they notice how she seems nervous around Menalippe nor how she seems to be dreading the end of the day’s training. When the shadows reach a certain length, the warriors are all dismissed and everyone heads to the baths.
Later that evening, as Antiope waits at a small table in the tavern near the palace, she wonders, yet again, if this is the right way to do this. She trusts her sister but she worries. What if Menalippe refuses her advances? What if this is all a stupid mistake? What if? What IF? Holding in the sigh that nearly escapes her lips, she takes a deep breath instead and has another sip of her wine and waits. She doesn’t have to wait very long as within a few minutes Menalippe walks in and sits down across from her.
“General,” Menalippe says, smiling. It lights up her whole countenance and Antiope is smitten with her smile and dimples yet again.
Her heart starts racing. She tries to calm herself by calling for dinner from the tavern-keeper, breathes deeply, and says “Tell me how you feel about our current training and training schedule. Is there anything you have noticed that might benefit from some changes?” At least she thinks this is what she says. For all she knows she may have just said blah blebatch and spit up a pomegranate aril.
They discuss training, All the good things that Menalippe has noticed, all the worries. Dinner arrives and is eaten and still they talk. Antiope later thinks that there was some kind of meat or stew or something for dinner but can’t be sure. Was there rice? And what did they talk about? All she truly remembers is Menalippe’s smile, her dimples, and the fact that they agree to meet again in a week to discuss the changes made and if they worked.
A week later and Antiope finds herself in the tavern once again talking with Menalippe. However, this time the talk of training only lasts a very short time. They end up talking about their dreams and future. They laugh and joke. They stay in the tavern long into the night and leave only when the tavern is closing. At the end of the evening as they both stand in the doorway Antiope says “May I walk you home?”
Menalippe smiles and nods her head. “That would be wonderful General,” she says and they start the long walk towards her house.
On the way Antiope walks with her hands behind her back. After about five minutes of walking in near but comfortable silence she stops and looks Menalippe in the eyes. “May we talk?”
Menalippe smiles radiantly. “Yes, of course.” She has an expectant look in her eyes.
Antiope takes a deep breath. “I like you Menalippe. I’d truly like to spend more time together.”
“As would I.”
Antiope smiles broadly and leans in to kiss Menalippe. It is soft and gentle and feels so right. After a few moments she pulls away, reaches down and takes Menalippe’s hand. They continue their walk in companionable silence. Once they reach Menalippe’s house Antiope leans in for another kiss. This one is more passionate and lasts much longer than the first. After some time Menalippe gently pushes Antiope away. She is smiling brightly as she slowly shakes her finger no. “More later General”. She leans in and lightly kisses Antiope on the nose, turns, and walks into her house.
Antiope is a little shocked at the nose kiss but finds she is smiling. As she walks home she finds herself whistling. By the time she nears the closed door of her chambers she is wearing a cheesy grin. She must tell Hippolyta, now! Phillipus is, once again, not happy to see her.
Over the next few weeks the two of them find more and more time to be together. Menalippe spends at least two days a week eating dinner at the palace with Antiope. Sometimes with Hippolyta, Phillipus, and Diana, but otherwise they eat alone. Antiope spends nearly the same amount of time at Menalippe’s house. All is right with the world.
It becomes obvious to all that the two of them are starting a relationship.
One night after dinner at the palace, the two find themselves sitting, talking, and laughing about nothing in particular in Antiope’s chambers. Despite seeing each other at least four times a week for over a month now, they’ve never done anything more than kiss. This confused Antiope in the beginning but she now realizes that this relationship, unlike all but one of the others in her life, has truly become much more than any other. It’s about more than just sex. She thinks that it is love. But tonight, is different. Tonight, is much more.
Shortly after they sit down on a couch together, when dinner is done, they start talking. After a bit Antiope can take it no longer. She leans over and gently kisses Menalippe. As their kiss gets longer it becomes more intense. Soon their tongues are deeply exploring each other’s mouths and, as their tongues encircle one another, Antiope twines her fingers in Menalippe’s hair drawing her even closer into the embrace.
Antiope and Menalippe slowly explore each other’s backs and sides as they kiss. It becomes more heated and their hands start reaching in and under each other’s clothes. Slowly at first, but then faster and faster, they remove all of their clothing. The kissing and caressing becomes even more intense.
Antiope reaches between them and softly caresses Menalippe’s breasts, fondling and squeezing her nipples while Menalippe gasps and moans as her nipples harden. Antiope bends down and takes Menalippe’s right nipple into her mouth. Menalippe throws back her head and moans with more intensity as Antiope sucks hungrily. Antiope feels every moan and gasp in her cunt, in her psyche, in her heart, as her mouth moves, slowly, from one breast to the other. All she can think about, when she is actually thinking, is finally, finally, taking Menalippe to her bed.
Antiope looks up, with a glint in her eyes, at Menalippe and smiles. Menalippe smiles back and, getting up and ardently kissing again, they make their way slowly into the bed chamber and fall into bed. Once there Antiope easily moves on top of Menalippe and, while kissing her, reaches down with her right hand to softly stroke her cunt. Menalippe is already so very wet. She shudders into Antiope as the stroking becomes stronger and harder and Antiope reaches two fingers into her cunt and starts rhythmically moving her hand in and out. Menalippe’s moans and her gasps become louder as a third finger is inserted and Antiope lightly rubs her clit with her thumb. She moves her hand slowly, sensually bringing Menalippe closer and closer to the edge. She finally reaches the top and topples over that precipice and moans loudly as her cunt and body seize in ecstasy.
Antiope is not finished however. Leaving her hand and fingers where they are, she slowly makes her way down Menalippe’s body, kissing lightly, sucking hungrily, and nipping with her teeth, until her mouth is near her clit. She extends her tongue and softly licks her clit eliciting a groan of pure pleasure from Menalippe. Once more she moves her hand slowly in and out making sure her fingers are curved exactly into the right spot. She uses more and more pressure and strokes her harder and faster while her tongue licks until she is caressing a rock-hard clit. Listening to Menalippe’s moans Antiope decides now is the time and, instead of licking, starts to suck. Menalippe screams in ecstasy as she comes again, harder and more avidly than before.
Antiope, smiling, slowly removes her fingers and kisses Menalippe’s center softly. She then comes back up Menalippe’s body and holds her tightly as the contractions and shuddering overwhelms her body completely. Antiope kisses her, letting Menalippe taste herself on her mouth and tongue while Menalippe’s orgasm takes her completely.
Afterwards, Antiope’s arms encircling Menalippe and holding them close, they fall asleep. Before closing her eyes Antiope kisses Menalippe softly on the forehead and thinks how absolutely lucky she is.
Menalippe stretches languidly and rolls over in the morning. The sun is high in the sky and she feels warm, happy, and completely and totally loved. She rolls back over and looks at Antiope sleeping next to her. The cares of the world are no longer etched on Antiope’s face, or in her shoulders. Menalippe kisses Antiope gently and then more voraciously as Antiope awakes and holds her close. Their hands start gently caressing each other. Menalippe curls even closer to her in bed as their kissing becomes even more passionate. It’s been many years, perhaps never, that she has felt this way. She knows now that she is home.