AN: After many failed attempts and rewriting, I think I have something that might work. Sometimes it takes several drafts to figure out exactly what you want and I wish to share this with you all.
Warning of strong language, sexual intentions implied, although nothing explicit as of yet. Good luck to all and hope you enjoy :)
In the snowy mountains of tribal Thrace, the Roman army, commanded by Gaius Julius Caesar, waited on the hillside. Overlooking on the tribesmen gorging themselves on wine and having their fill with the flesh of their women. The thought of these Thracians celebrating their victories against Rome made Gaius Julius Caesar ill. Those savages had rivaled an entire army to overthrow Caesar and Rome altogether. Once, servants of Rome, these Thracians were, but no longer, all due to one person –one woman.
A woman that Julius Caesar had grown to hate over the last year. She had become a formidable foe and chose to build her people up to rise against his expanding republic of Rome. One day, she will be mine, Caesar kept telling himself. Not only was she able to form all of the tribes in Thrace against Caesar and his army, but she lead the attack as well. She was a fine warrior, Roman trained, which the Roman noble immediately regretted. She was ruthless and those Thracian brutes gave great help to rebel against Rome. She had everything.
Almost, Julius Caesar thought. She almost had everything, except one small detail that the Thracian woman had forgotten. She was extremely outnumbered and he was going to put a stop to her little rebellion before she gathered all the tribes from Italy and revolt against him. One person can change the world. One person could change the fate of the world. One person.
"It only takes one," Gaius Caesar growled as he gazed upon the dimly lit tribe below on the bottom of the mountains. Snow falling ever so slightly upon his armor and on the bare skin of the Thracian dogs.
Noble Marcus Licinus Crassus trotted in on his horse, finishing scouting the tribe below. "Caesar!" he yelled and the Roman elite turned his head ever so slightly, not amused to see his comrade riding in so late.
"The Thracians are piss drunk. They make a mockery out of Rome," Crassus frowned heavily as he lay eyes upon the roaring dogs below, celebrating their short victory.
Julius Caesar turned and he too lay eyes on the Thracians. A small smile graced his lips and he fastened the leather strap of his helmet on his chin. "They fill their bellies with drink and fuck their women, feasting on them as if they will not live to see the next day." He snickered.
"They are open for attack, Caesar. We should strike while the iron is hot," Crassus advised.
"Indeed, my dear friend, Crassus. We will show them who the ruler of Mother Rome truly is. We shall end this celebration. Leave no one alive," he said and his comrade gave him a slow nod with a grand smile.
Crassus whistled and ordered the first legion of Romans to ride down to the bottom of the mountains. Those Thracians had no idea what was coming and they will be sorry that they ever tried to challenge the Roman Republic.
"What of the Thracian woman?" Crassus asked.
Julius Caesar bit his bottom lip and caught eye of the dark haired beauty below, sharing drink with several of the men, smiling, enjoying her evening. "Bring her to me alive. I wish to have words with the Thracian woman whom bested my men in combat. She is dear to my heart, too dear to toss her aside and leave her for the coyotes to feed off of."
"As you command, Caesar," Crassus bowed his head then rode off with the second legion, through the rough rocky terrain.
In the middle of the Thracians' celebration of victory over the Roman army, they were interrupted by the Caesar's army riding into their camp. The men quickly grabbed their weapons, only too late to save themselves. The Roman soldiers thrust their swords into the guts of the Thracians and severed their heads from body, tearing limb from limb. Slicing through the spines of Rome's most hated enemy.
The women screeched and panicked, running wild trying to be free of the Roman beasts rampaging throughout the camp. The snow once white, turned crimson in a matter of minutes. Roman horses stampeding inside the Thracian camp, swords in hands, loud war cries, screams of terror and agony echoed in the mountains of lower Thrace.
Crassus pulled his bloodied sword from a Thracian's gut, leaving entrails to fall in the crisp snow. His eyes scanned the camp and within all the chaos he saw her. The woman that started this all, the woman that will fall or die trying if he were lucky enough. He licked his lips once he saw that she made eye contact with him.
"Thracian bitch," he muttered under his breath. The dark haired beauty came charging right at him, wielding two large swords, wearing next to nothing in this harsh winter storm. Her body riddled with dirt and snow fluttering off her long unkempt midnight mane.
He anxiously hopped of his steed and readied himself for her attack. He had waited two years to be rid of this savage woman, though he knew he could not dispose of her now. She belonged to Caesar.
They clashed swords together and danced around one another. He stared into her ice chip colored eyes. So much fire, so much will to live and fight. It was such a shame that she decided to rebel against Mother Rome. "Give up Xena! You are not going to win here!" he hissed and she pushed him backwards with all of her weight.
He shook his head and laughed. He pointed his sword at the chaos surrounding them. "Look what your treachery has caused you! You gain nothing from this folly! See what happens when you betray Mother Rome and all of her offerings, Xena! See!" he growled.
Her mouth turned up into a sly grin. Lowering her stance, she gripped her swords tightly, her body writhing with heat from anger and rage. "Why don't you put your money where your mouth is, Roman? Less talking, more fighting. I'm in the mood for some Roman blood." She smiled deviously, lowering her hooded eyes, engaging in the heat of the moment –heat of the battle.
"As much as I'd love to spill your blood, Xena. I have orders," he lowered his sword and she frowned confusedly.
Two Roman soldiers stood behind her and knocked her on the head with the hilt of a sword. She fell into the snow, groaning lightly. The two soldiers lifted her from beneath her arms and drug her off as she was barely able to make way of where she was. Her weapons fell from her grasp and she lifted her head to see snow flurries falling furiously down upon her head.
Julius Caesar dismounted his horse and the Thracian woman was thrown to his feet. He cocked his head and lifted her chin, staring at the blood dripping from her fresh wound. He grinned out of satisfaction and kicked her in her side and she winced, holding in all her emotion.
"Your tribe is defeated, Xena. You are a treacherous serpent. If not for your savagery I might have taken you for myself." He knelt down and pinched her cheeks. She breathed heavily through her flared nostrils and he brushed a few tendrils from her cheeks. "Acts of pleasure of course..." he leaned in closer.
She grinned, almost on the verge of laughing. "I didn't know you liked women, Caesar."
His lip quivered and he growled as he stood, stepping away from her. "And then I am reminded that you are not a woman, but a snake. I ought to kill you where you are." He pulled out his blade and Xena narrowed her eyes, struggling to free herself from the ropes tied about her wrists.
"I'd love to see if a Thracian bleeds red but..." Caesar lowered his sword. "You are not worthy of my blade. You would become a martyr for your people and I can't have that, now can I?" he chuckled and sheathed his sword.
He lowered to one knee and touched her cheek softly and she cringed, gaping into his dark eyes. "I hear my dear friend is looking for a few slaves to add to his collection. I'm sure you will fair there and make quite a show of yourself," he whispered in her ear and she snarled, nearly biting off his cheek.
He quickly hopped to his feet and frowned. He nodded to his soldiers and they smacked her in the face with the dull end of the sword and she slumped into the arms of a Roman, falling unconscious.
A few days later Xena awoke abruptly, exhaling heavily. Her vision blurred and she blinked several times, trying to make out what was in front of her. She looked to her left and saw a man sitting beside her, a muscular tanned man. She crinkled her nose and then saw another man, shackled to the wall, of what appeared to be a ship, gawking at her. In fact, she noticed this ship was filled with men and they were staring at her like a piece of meat. She glanced to her right and saw a slew of women huddled in a corner. Thin little things, she witnessed.
"The lady finally wakes," the brute across from her chuckled. He saw she was a bit dazed and disarrayed at how she came about this ship. "You been out for days, princess."
She scowled, "I'm not your princess." She wriggled her wrists in the shackles chained to the wall and forcefully pulled her arms, groaning, trying to set herself free.
"Best of luck trying to get out of those," the man to her left mused and she huffed, settling back in her seat, her arms collapsed into her lap.
The brute sneered and looked at the woman across from him, idolizing her stunning features and her blue eyes, clear as the Aegean Sea. "I hear Thracian women can fuck for days and always leave their men begging for more," he said and Xena frowned, lifting her eyes, glaring at him.
All the men surrounding her began laughing and she smirked, laughing along with them. The man to her left scooted closer to her and grabbed her inner thigh. Her eyes widened and her jaw tightened.
"They say Thracian women are capable of pleasuring their men in bed," he bit his lip and Xena smiled mockingly.
"You know what else we Thracian women are capable of?" she whispered sensually and he raised an eyebrow. She leaned in close and then cried out and head butted him and he hit the back of his head on the wall of the ship.
All the men inside the belly of the ship roared with laughter and Xena smirked, leaning back against the wall. She eyed the brute in front of her and asked, "where are we going?"
The brute's laughter died down quickly. "We are to be sold to some Roman."
"Sold? As in slavery?" she asked and the brute let out a laugh deep from within his belly and she snarled, furrowing her eyebrows. "Which Roman is it?"
"Does it matter? They're all cocksuckers, all of them, especially Caesar," the brute spat on the floor in the Roman's name. Xena groaned lowly and thought it best to remain silent throughout the rest of this journey.
Julia, wife of Pompey, the finest General of Rome and loyal friend to Caesar, also Julia's father, looked over the balcony, admiring the gladiator women fighting one another. She suckled on a strawberry, biting off bits of the fruit slowly as she was completely engaged in the training below her.
She grinned with glee when she saw one of the women fall in defeat, raising her hand for surrender. She handed her chalice of empty wine to her slave behind her.
"My father should have thought of bringing in female gladiators a long time ago!" she laughed as she saw one of the women bleed profusely from her arm due to a severe swing of her opponent's sword. "It is far more entertaining than watching men, although their bodies are not the same of the fine specimen of the male gladiators," she mused.
Pompey arrived on the balcony and grasped his young wife's shoulder. Julia spun around and kissed him gently on the lips. "Having your fill of the women?" he mused and she nodded her head vigorously. "Had I known you'd enjoy the female gladiators I would have convinced Caesar to invite them into the games long ago."
Julia grabbed the wine from her slave and sipped it gingerly. He wrapped his around her taut waist and grinned at his gentle touch. "I was just saying the same." She lifted her eyes to her husband. "When will they actually compete? Surely they are ready, especially the blonde down there."
Pompey sighed and his hand slid off her. "When Caesar permits it, Julia. I have no control over that." He saw the disappointment in her eyes and frowned sadly, bringing her close. "But I have purchased some more slaves for your enjoyment and mine alike. I am sure you will be amused to have a few Thracian men and a woman in the arena soon enough."
She gasped. "A Thracian woman? Unheard of, Pompey! They are said to be impossible to train and you bring a woman? I am intrigued..."
He kissed the top of her head and pat her shoulder. "I make leave for Neapolis to bring back the slaves. I will return this evening."
Julia smiled as she watched her husband leave her side. She turned around and looked to her young slave. "Nara, go fetch some wine. I wish to drink my fill tonight when the recruits arrive."
The blonde nodded, "of course," she lowered her eyes and turned to make her leave.
"And make sure it's the Sicilian wine, not that shit from Ostia."
Nara nodded once more. "Yes Miss Julia."
The male gladiators down below on the training grounds stood on the sidelines watching the female gladiators spar with each other. They had grown rather amused watching women fight over the last year. They were beginning to prefer gladiator women over the whores in the streets of the republic.
"Callisto will become the best gladiator Rome has ever seen, don't you think so, Humarous?" Abder, one of the tallest, yet slimmest gladiators that Pompey owned.
Humarous scoffed and wiped his mouth, dropping the ladle of water back into the well. "She is a wiry one, she would never make it in a match against a man," he laughed and Abder chuckled along with him.
"Callisto! I hope you are better in bed than you are in the sands!" Humarous croaked out and all the male gladiators cackled.
The slender blonde shot a glare at the boys as she called them. She shoved her sparring partner, Gulsen, to the ground and stomped her foot on the woman's neck, constricting her air flow. "You wanna come play with me, Humarous? Or am I too much for you?" she teased and all the men's laughter heightened, filling the training grounds.
"Rumor has it that you can't last but a breath in the sheets. Care to test that?" Callisto winked and Humarous growled.
The instructor cracked his whip, silencing all gladiators, female and male alike. "Callisto! You pair up with Gabrielle," the tall muscular Syrian instructor of the ludi said and he snapped his around to the males. "Humarous, why don't you cease tongue and spar with Abder since you are full of words today?"
Callisto gathered herself and smiled at her opponent. Gabrielle wrapped the bandages around her wrists, standing back, stalling time to spar with her partner. The stocky petite short haired blonde gawked at Callisto, finding her demur the most amusing thing she had ever seen.
"Come on, Gabrielle. I haven't got all day!" the thin tall blonde whipped her wild sun colored locks behind her shoulders. She eyed her with a mischievous grin.
Gabrielle snuffed and picked up her sword. "Patience is not one your assets, Callisto."
"You're damn right about that. Now, fight me!" Callisto ran after her opponent, swinging both practice swords, screeching loudly.
Gabrielle ducked and swung her leg around, knocking her opponent off her feet. Callisto growled and rolled over before Gabrielle could thrust her sword into her chest. Gabrielle chuckled softly once she saw the anger rising in her sparring partner.
"Maybe you should pay attention to training instead of occupying yourself with the men," she teased.
Callisto scoffed. "Enough talk, Gabrielle. Your tongue keeps wagging, but your sword doesn't!" she charged right for her and Gabrielle's eyes widened and quickly rolled onto the sand, dodging her attack.
Julia watched, completely engaged with the fight between Callisto and Gabrielle. The only two blonde Grecian women in this training ludi and they were said to be among the best fighters. She longed to see the two go head to head in the arena one day.
"Isn't it positively exhilarating watching the women, Nara?" she smiled and saw Gabrielle draw first blood and she gasped.
Her slave nodded, "most exciting, Miss Julia."
The daughter of Julius Caesar sighed heavily, quite disappointed once she saw that the instructor ended training for the time being. She sighed and frowned sadly, handing her chalice to Nara. "The evening cannot come fast enough!" she grinned and waltzed back into her luxurious home.
"Nara, prepare the atrium for the new recruits before they arrive. I wish to surprise my husband in his quarters tonight," she smiled with glee and practically skipped through the marble halls.
Down below in the barracks Gabrielle sat by the pools, cleaning the dirt and filth from her body from today's training. She glanced down at the cut that Callisto gave her earlier and she would be sure to get her back for that, one day, if not tomorrow.
Callisto slipped into the cool waters and drenched her locks. She swam close to her opponent from earlier and grinned deviously. "I'll make sure to deepen that cut for you tomorrow, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and turned around to see Callisto wading in the water with that crazy look in her eyes. "Well, I'd like to see you try," she smirked playfully.
"I'm counting on it," Callisto frowned and dunked herself under the bath water.
Gabrielle shook her head, sighing heavily and continued cleaning her body with the dampened cloth. She worked very hard to remain neutral with all the women in this ludi, but that proved very difficult since she arrived last year. Callisto was but a huge problem to all the women. She was a good fighter, but a bit unpredictable. All the women feared her and the men only wished to sleep with her. A formidable woman on both sides it seemed.
The Syrian instructed walked into the female bathing room and frowned deeply, staring at them all. "Pompey wishes your presence outside, ladies."
Callisto stepped out of the baths and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around herself. She saw Gabrielle passing her by and couldn't resist the urge to test her. "Maybe I will have that chance to spar with you after all, Gabby." She winked and Gabrielle scoffed, brushing by her, quickly leaving the barracks.
Pompey walked along the line of his new recruits and all were men, except one. He smiled and looked to each man. "Gaul..." he pointed to one man, "Roman," he nodded. "Greek," he continued down the line and stopped in front of Xena. "Thracian." He sighed, folding his arms.
Xena frowned and glared into his green eyes. He smugly grinned. "You must be the woman that Caesar sent to me. I should be forever grateful to my old friend for sending such a fine specimen to my home."
He reached out to touch her face and Xena grabbed his wrist firmly. Pompey's mouth gaped and he chuckled lightly. "A feisty one you are and also incredibly arrogant..." he snatched his hand away and heard the whip from his instructor. "No need for that, Sorso," he called out and kept gazing into her eyes.
"You rebelled against Rome, against Gaius Julius Caesar. You are a traitor of Mother Rome, but now, you are mine and you belong to Rome once more. Funny how that works, eh?" he leaned in closer and she grit her teeth.
"I will never submit to Rome or Caesar," she spat.
Pompey laughed aloud and the male slaves beside her remained quiet, lowering their heads. "You have quite a tongue, Thracian. You go by the name of Xena. What a fine name that is. It means 'stranger' doesn't it?" he rubbed his chin and Xena lifted hers, refusing to let her guard down. "We'll have to make sure that we won't remain strangers for long, huh?" he winked.
She eyed the sword in its sheath, resting on Pompey's hip. Seizing the opportunity she spat in his face and then grabbed his sword, pointing the blade directly in his face. Sorso marched over to her and Pompey held up his hand.
He wiped the saliva off his face and smiled as he backed away from Xena holding the sword dangerously close. "Oh, you are the treacherous snake that Caesar warned me about!" he cackled loudly.
"Careful, Pompey, I might accidentally miss and aim below your belt," Xena smirked.
Callisto leaned on the wooden post beside Gabrielle and saw the dark haired woman, pointing Pompey's sword directly at his heart. "Oh, what did I miss?" she grinned and folded her arms. "Who's miss tall, dark and dangerous over there?" she nudged her head towards Xena.
Gabrielle raised her eyebrow and folded her arms, witnessing the spectacle before her. She had never seen such a slave be as bold as to draw a Roman's sword and threaten his life with it.
"New recruit," she finally answered once Callisto's question registered in her mind.
Callisto grinned, marveling at the new site before her eyes. "She would make a great opponent in the arena." She peered over at the male gladiators who were all staring in awe at the brunette and couldn't help but laugh loudly. "Or in the bed."
"If you value your life, you will drop the sword, Xena," Pompey warned and she kept smiling eerily at him, moving forward. "Sorso!"
The instructor cracked his whip and knocked the sword from Xena's hand and slashed her wrist. She hissed and grabbed her wrist, wincing in agony.
Pompey brushed his hands along his toga and smirked at his new slave. "Teach her that I run this place, she does not. See it done," he gave a curt nod and took his leave to go inside his home.
"Yes, sir," Sorso said and walked slowly over to Xena, towering over her. She lifted her head and frowned, straightening herself out, forgetting about her aching wrist.
"I will break you," he said in a low tone.
Xena smirked. "Try me."
Callisto let out a maniacal cackle watching this new recruit giving Sorso a run for his money. She gripped Gabrielle's shoulders firmly and leaned downward, touching cheeks with her. "I take it back, I'd rather see you fight her than spar with you again. It would be very comical," she hissed and kissed Gabrielle's cheek.
The short blonde cringed in disgust and wiped her face as she continued to gawk at the tall lean brunette across the field, challenging Sorso with her tongue and riddles. There were other slaves beside the Thracian woman, but none were quick to challenge Pompey himself. This woman was obviously hated by the Romans long ago before she even got here.
Gabrielle folded her arms and cocked her head watching Sorso yell in this woman's face, basically telling her that she was nothing, a worm in Rome's eye. Something that was said to all the new recruits when they arrived in Pompey's territory. The Roman general wanted to make sure that these gladiators, men and women alike, submit to Caesar and the entire Republic or face the consequences –in or out of the arena.
Sorso cracked his whip around Xena's wrist and pulled her to the ground. Gabrielle winced, feeling the woman's pain even from afar. She bet that this recruit would be hard to train and Pompey seemed to know exactly who she was from his reaction upon seeing her face for the first time.
Olympia rounded the corner and stood beside Gabrielle, twirling her long sandy tendrils around her finger lazily. "That woman refuses to submit to Sorso. She will have it tough around here," she snickered and Gabrielle eyed her. "When it's time to train tomorrow I will gladly best her in the sands." She said proudly.
Gabrielle scoffed. "I doubt that, Olympia. She is twice your size. She rivals the men."
Olympia and Gabrielle were the smallest classes among the women, yet were always able to keep up with the rest of the gladiators during training. Olympia, a strong Gaul from one of the largest tribes seized by Julius Caesar himself only six months ago.
"The males already fancy her," Olympia stifled a laugh when she saw the look in the men's eyes. They were enthralled with her fighting skills as well as her beauty.
She whistled, "Adonis, get your head out of your ass. Have you never seen a woman before?" she laughed and Gabrielle bit her bottom lip, enjoying the reddening of Adonis' cheeks as the rest of the men roared, teasing the blonde Greek gladiator.
"Not by the looks of you, Olympia!" Adonis shouted.
She chuckled softly and walked up to the tall gladiator, shoving him backwards. "Come on big boy, you want to go? I'll fight you in the sands right now. Let's go," she shoved him again and he growled.
Sorso snapped his head around, distracted by the female and male gladiators behind him. He cracked the whip against the sands. "Enough!" he shouted and Olympia punched Adonis in the chest lightly. "Go back to the barracks. All of you!"
"Next time, huh?" Olympia winked and Adonis snarled at her while his brothers pulled him away to return to the barracks on the other side of the field.
Gabrielle turned around, wrapping her arm around the post, watching the Thracian spit blood from her mouth, crawling across the sands. She shook her head. Her backside already filled with Sorso's lashes due to her disobedience. She began walking back to the barracks trailing behind Olympia and heard the whip crack against bare flesh again and cringed slightly. A sound she would never get used to no matter how long she stayed in this ludi.
Sorso raveled up his whip and stared down at the defeated Thracian woman, crawling on her knees, blood poured from her mouth. "Let me get this through your thick skull, Xena. You are a slave. You belong to Rome."
Xena lifted her eyes and gave him a bloody smile, "I am no one's slave."
He shook his head and turned to the rest of the slaves remaining silent and still as stone. "You all will stay in the male barracks. Xena will stay outside like the dog she is," he grinned and one of Pompey's guards showed the male slaves to their sleeping quarters.
He knelt down and grabbed her jaw, staring into her icy eyes. "You will learn the hard way. This is not your turf anymore. Your words have no value and neither does the mouth that bears them," he hissed with a smile and Xena spat blood into his face.
Sorso groaned and ran his hand across his face, saliva dripping from his chin and the Thracian woman grinned cheekily. "I'm definitely going to have my fill training you." He muttered and wiped his hand on his vest.