For Love Of A Queen, Part 6

And with the love of a little child, life and hope began anew............

Leaving Gabrielle, I ran to be with my little girl.  As I entered our hut for
the first time since Eph's death, I found Marga playing with Thalia, one of
the
young Amazons who had thankfully been looking after her through my dark time.

Marga looked up at my entrance, running to me and crying "Boo!!!!"

I took my little one in my arms and felt I had a little bit of my Ephiny
back.
"It is alright, little one.  Boo is here, and I will never go away again."
Gently smiling at her, I wiped away her tears.  Looking over at Thalia,
"Thank
you for all that you have done.  I think I can take it from here."

"Boo, where is Mommy?  She go away!"

As Thalia left, I carried Marga over to the bed and sat with her in my lap.
"Mommy has gone to be with the other great Queens of the Amazons.  They
needed
her there at the council fire."  I fumbled along.  How do you explain death
to a
two year old?

"When Mommy come back, Boo?"

As tears rolled down my cheeks, I held Marga close.  "Mommy won't be coming
back, little one.  Mommy is in the Amazon Land of the Dead.  The bright and
beautiful place where all the best and brave Amazons go.  The hunting is
plentiful, the forest more beautiful than any we have seen, Mommy is
surrounded
by friends, and there is always peace."

"I miss Mommy, Boo."  And Marga clutched tightly to me sobbing.

I couldn't help it, a sob broke through, and tears continued to flow.  "I
miss
her too, little one.  I will always miss her."  And with that, I finally
grieved.  Grieved for the loss of the life we would have had.  Grieved for
the
loss of my best friend, my lover.  Grieved that my Eph would never be here to
see the woman Marga would become.

I held Marga late into the evening, just trying to pass on the security that
I
was still there.  Marga eventually cried herself to sleep.  I lay her on our
bed, then sent for Gabrielle.  We had many things to discuss.  I waited for
her,
sitting on the porch.

She approached, and sat down next to me.  Placing her hand on my shoulder,
she
smiled.  "Hello Poni.  How are you doing?"

"I guess as well as can be expected, Gabrielle."

"You needed to speak to me?"

"Yes, I do, my Queen.  I think there are a lot of things we need to discuss."

"I agree, Poni"

"I understand that Eph's spirit has yet to be set free?"

"That is correct, Poni. I wanted to wait until you were more yourself and
ready.  You do need to be there, as her soulmate and champion.  It has been
set
for tomorrow morning, if that is ok with you?  I know Eph gave you her rite
of
caste until Marga comes of age, so as the new Queen when I leave, you also
need
to be there."

"Yes, that is ok.  And I will be there.  So you will not take her place, my
Queen?"

"No, Poni.  My home is with Xena.  Where she goes, I go.  Perhaps someday, we
will settle down."

"Then we need to discuss this.  Gabrielle, I am not Queen material.  I am a
simple woman, a warrior, Weapons Master of this tribe.  I was privileged
beyond
measure to be loved by a Queen.  But me, a Queen?  No.  I think Eph knew that
deep down.  And besides, my responsibility is in raising Marga to be Artemis'
Chosen One.  She will be my life now."

"Believe me, I do understand, Poni.  Any thoughts on who we could choose for
my
new Regent?  And know this will only be until Marga comes of age.  Ephiny's
wish
will be honored.  The council and the Amazons will agree on that, I am sure."

"Then let it be so.  I must say, out of all the Amazons, I would have to
choose
Shaloppa.  She was one of Eph's most trusted advisor's and a good friend.
She
has a heart for the Amazon's.  One much the same as Ephiny's."

"I am glad we are of the same mind, for Shaloppa was my first choice.  I will
talk to the council, and we can pass on the mask at the funeral pyre, if that
is
alright with you?"

"Yes, the sooner the better.  There is much to be done to restore our village
and to recover from this great loss.  We have lost so many!"

"I agree, my friend.  Poni, before I go, I need to give you something.
Ephiny
wanted you to have this, in the event that something should happen to her."
Smiling sadly, she handed me a scroll.  "I am so sorry that I must give you
this.  She was a dear friend, and I will miss her.  I'll leave you to read it
in
privacy."

As I watched Gabrielle walk away, I looked down at the scroll in my hands,
opened it, and slowly began to read.

My Dearest Love,

If you are reading this, it means that I am gone.  How I wish I could be with
you now, to hold and comfort you. I know how badly you are hurting, and wish
it
didn't have to be so.

My strong, beautiful Poni, you have given me so much.  Never did I truly know
love until you returned to me.  I have loved you forever it seems, but I was
so
afraid you could never see me that way.  And when Phantes came along, I
thought
perhaps you might finally see me as a woman you could love.  Now I know how
much
I hurt you with that.  But know this, my love, it was always you.

When I became Queen, I didn't know how I would do it.  I felt pulled in so
many
directions.  And when I thought I couldn't handle anymore, there you were.
You
gave me support, shared of your strength, but most of all you believed in me.

You saw me so deep, so clearly, with an unshakable belief and faith in who I
was.  You gave me an unconditional love, and I thank you for that.

To know your love, your touch, was like coming home.  You completed me in
every
way possible.  And if there is one wish I could make, it would be that I
could
feel your love, your passion just one more time.

Poni, I wish I could be there to grow old with you, to watch our daughter
grow
into the woman she will be.  Somehow I know, that little Marga will be your
guiding light through this time of darkness.  Hold onto her now, for she is
the
most tangible symbol of my love for you.

One final thing I want you to hold onto, my love.  I will always be there.
You
might not see me, but I'll be there.  And when it is time, I will be waiting
here for you, holding your place at the council fire.  We will be together
once
again, for this is our destiny.  Our love will always be.  You own my heart
and
soul for all eternity.

I love you with all that I am, my Weapons Master.  Now and forever.

Ephiny

And sitting there on our porch, surround by her love,  I knew I could now go
on................




For Love Of A Queen, Part 7

And with her letter, her words of love ringing in my heart from beyond the
grave, I felt a part of me lost return……….

Sitting there, holding her letter, I was once again awed by this woman I
loved with all that I am.  She had thought of me, of my pain, my lostness,
and had found a way to make it a little more bearable.

As I sat there, more at peace than I had been since Ephiny's death, I
realized finally how very tired I was.  I had not slept in the days since it
happened.  It seemed like a lifetime had passed, but in truth it had only
been two days.  I needed sleep, needed to be presentable for her funeral.  I
needed to be the Weapons Master she had known, strong and true.  I sent for
Thalia once again, and had her take little Marga, telling her I would see
them in the morning.  After bathing, I slid into our bed, and fell into a
gentle slumber, knowing she was there in my heart.

Suddenly, I felt a hand gently shaking me, rousing me out of my sleep.  I
recognized that touch, the voice saying my name.  "Dear gods, please don't
let this be a dream!", I thought, as I slowly opened my eyes to the most
beautiful vision ever seen in my life.

It was Ephiny, sitting there next to me, smiling that gentle smile reserved
only for me.  "Poni, poni, wake up.  It's me!"

"Oh Eph!!!!!!  How I have missed you!!!!" I took her in my arms, holding her
close, and praying to any of the gods that would hear me that I would never
have to let her go.

"I know, my love.  And I have missed you."

"I don't understand?  How can this be?  Am I dreaming?  If so, please tell me
I never need to really wake up."

"Poni, yes this is a dream.  And in the morning you will have to wake up.
But this moment in your dreamscape was a gift to you and me from Artemis.
She heard my wish, that I could feel your love, your passion for me just one
more time.  I just couldn't reach you until you passed through the pain and
rage.  You have no idea how I've longed to!!!!"

And with that, she leaned down and kissed me gently.  And once again I knew
Elysia when I thought I'd never know it again.  My arms went around her as
she lay down next to me, pulled her tightly to me, deepening our kiss,
wanting only to feel all of her and make it last for the rest of time.  As
her tongue danced with mine and her hands wandered my body lovingly and
gently, tears began to stream down my face.  Gently she wiped them from my
face.  "Love, please tell me what's wrong?"

I nuzzled my face into her neck and clung to her.  "I don't want you to go.
I want to stay here always.  You are the air that I breathe, the wind on my
face, the sun on my skin.  Everything that means anything to me, you are.
You are my world.  You are my home."

She moved and looked me in the eye, so much love in that look.  "Oh poni.
All those things you are to me.  But we both know I cannot stay.  But we have
the gift of this night."  Smiling, she gently kissed my lips.  "And I want to
spend it, showing you all the love I have in my soul for you."  Then she was
kissing her way down my neck.  "And I want you to hold onto this night for
the rest of your life.  Tell me you won't forget me?"

"Eph, I could never possibly forget you.  I need….."  I stopped trembling
with emotion and aching need.

She pulled me close, and I nestled my head in the hollow of her breasts.
"Baby, tell me what you need?"

Kissing them reverently, breathing against her skin, "I need to touch you
everywhere and all at once.  I need to know you are really here."

"I am here, love."

I quickly began removing her leathers, my mouth following the path of my
hands and her leathers, playfully licking and nipping.  "I want to feel your
skin on mine, taste you on my lips, feel myself so deep inside you I touch
your soul."  And with that I pleasured her over and over, loving her with my
mouth and hands, and with all that I am.

As we lay there sated in the afterglow of pleasure, I sighed in contentment.
"My love, my wish is that I could live this night for the rest of my life."

And having held her in my arms one last time, I knew this gift of love would
never end………….



For Love Of A Queen, Part 8

Lying next to her, knowing forever she was mine………..

Holding her so close, feeling her heart beat with mine, I breathed into her
ear.

"When I am with you.........

I feel the heat of the sun,
The caress of wind on my cheek,
The pounding of waves to shore,
The flow of rivers to sea,
Rain covering, touching everywhere,

And now that you are gone,
In all these things,
Your memory remains." *

And with those words, I felt the warmth of her tears on my shoulder.  "Poni,
that is so beautiful!  Where did you hear it?"

"I wrote it for you."  I said smiling.

"You write?  You wrote that for me?  I didn't know you were a bard Poni."

"I'm not, really.  You just seem to bring it out in me."  Smiling at her, I
kissed her lips tenderly

"I especially like the part about rain covering, touching everywhere."
Pulling me over on top of her, she whispered "Poni, cover me.  Touch me
everywhere!"  And she pulled me down for an impassioned kiss.  As my tongue
began to dance with hers, I felt her pull away.  "Poni, someone is here."

I rolled over, holding the covers over us, as two shimmering forms appeared
at the foot of our bed.  "Artemis!  Aprodite!!!"  I said as I struggled to
decide to get up and bow, or maintain our modesty.

Artemis looked at me and smiled.  "Relax Poni, you don't need to bow before
us this night."

Chuckling, Aphrodite looked at me and said, "Yeah, take a chill, Warrior
Babe!  I think we all know who's temple you are worshipping at tonight!"  She
looked from me to Eph, wiggling her eyebrows, and winking at me.

Looking back to Artemis, "Artemis, I don't understand.  Why are you here and
why did you bring Aphrodite?"

"Relax, my Weapons Master, all will be explained."  She looked down, smiling
softly on us as we lay there holding one another.  "You both probably figured
out I am here because of my gift to Ephiny.  But there is also another
reason.  Aph, would you care to continue?"

"Sure Sis!  Poni, I have been watching you and Eph for a long time now.  From
the first moment I felt the stirring of love in you for Eph.  I don't think
I've ever felt passion burn so brightly, love flow so strong and true, as
what I have felt grow in you over the years.  I felt the pain, the strength
it took for you to do what you thought was best for her.  You gave me a major
headache though, ya know?  I hate having my plans changed!"  Shaking her
head, as if shaking her tangent from her mind, she said "Oh yeah, back to the
important stuff!  I felt how hard it was to trust again, to give of your
whole self, to let Eph finally love you.  You can be a thick-headed Warrior,
but underneath you are all heart.  I don't think I've felt another love like
yours Poni, except for maybe Gabrielle's.  As I've watched you and your love
for Eph grow, I have learned who you are.  And I like what I see, Poni!  As
Eph is Arte's Chosen by her status of Queen's Regent, you are now my chosen
because of your heart.  And with that, I want to give you a gift."

"A gift???  Aphrodite, I don't know…….."

"Awwww Poni, I promise you'll like it, and I'll get it right, I promise!!!!"

And holding onto my love, I waited for whatever path we would be sent down
this time…………



For Love Of A Queen, Part 9

And with my love in my arms, I knew I could face whatever the future held…………


Looking at Eph, then back to Aphrodite,  "I believe you said something about
a gift?"

Aphrodite was all excited, jumping up and down.  "Yes!!!!!  You both will
love this!!!!  I loved your poem so much, Poni.  My gift is your wish and it
is tied to your poem."  Waving her hand over us, and shimmering hearts flowed
over our bodies.  "Every day of your life that you feel the things in your
poem, Poni, you will relive this night."

"What on earth does that mean, Aphrodite?"  Looking at her a bit confused.

Winking at me, she said, "You'll see, Warrior Babe!  And you both will like
it!  Enjoy the rest of your night, you two!  And I do mean enjoy it!!!!!!"
Winking at me one last time, they both began to shimmer and disappeared.

"Well, that was certainly enlightening!"  Frustrated, I looked down at Eph.
"What the hell does that mean "Every day of your life you feel these things
you will relive this night???"

Stroking my cheek and smiling at me, "I don't know, love.  But it is a gift,
so let's just take it as such, and don't worry about it."

Sliding my body on top of hers once again, and whispering in her ear, "Now
where were we?  I believe they told us to enjoy our evening, and I intend to
do just that.  I think you said something about Poni covering you, touching
you everywhere?"  And I began kissing her neck, nibbling on her earlobe, and
letting my hands wander where they would.

Touching her, feeling her, knowing she was mine, was the most exquisite
treasure.  And I gloried in spending the rest of that night, exploring every
inch of that treasure I'd found.

*       *       *       *       *       *

Much later, I was awakened by the touch of my lover's lips.  She was dressed
in her leathers once again.  She smiled at me sadly, "Poni, it is time for me
to go."

I pulled her tightly to me, longing to just hold her here always.  I looked
into those beautiful eyes of my lover wanting only to drown in them forever.
"I don't want you to go, but I know you must.  I'll love you forever."

"And I you, my love.  Forever."  Backing away, she began to shimmer, and I
startled awake.  I was still in our bed.   The feel of her in my arms, the
scent of her body, the taste of her on my lips, still lingered.  "Oh Eph…………
", I groaned.

When I'd gained a bit more control, I whispered.  "But at least we had this
night.  I'll hold onto it forever, my love."

With that, I knew it was time for me to arise and rejoin my Amazons, to face
the funeral pyre, and let her body go.  As I stood and began donning my
leathers, it was as if a peace descended upon my heart, like my part of
Ephiny's heart now beat with mine.

First thing I did was go gather my daughter for breakfast.  She was
definitely happy to see her "Boo".  I spent quite some time cuddling and
loving my little Marga, explaining to her what would soon take place.  In my
arms I held my world.  More importantly, our world.  Somehow I knew, in her
little heart lay my strength to go on, my reason to live.  And also my
strength to let my Ephiny go.

As I approached the funeral pyre, carrying my little girl, I noticed Xena &
Gabrielle there.  Gabrielle in the Queen's place, where she's always
belonged.  As we passed by, they both touched my shoulder and smiled.  We
took our place next to the Queen.

Gabrielle spoke of Ephiny for a few moments.  Spoke of what it meant to be an
Amazon, and that Ephiny embodied all an Amazon should be.  Gabrielle
commended Eph's spirit to Artemis, and readied the archer's with their
flames.

Turning quickly, looking at Gabrielle pleadingly.  "Stop!!!!  Please stop!!!"

Gabrielle looked at me sadly, "Poni……"

"Wait.  Gabrielle, I want to do this.  I need to do this.  Eph needs me to do
this.  Please?"

She looked at me, as if she truly understood, and I noticed one lone tear
stream down her face.  "Yes, Poni, I think you are right."  Turning to one of
the archers, she commanded, "Give Poni the torch."

Handing Marga to Gabrielle, I took the torch and approached the pyre.
"Ephiny, you have given me such joy and happiness in life.  You have given me
such love as I never believed could exist.  But most important, you gave me
myself, whole and true.  You showed me I could do anything, and yes showed me
I never need be anything more.  You gave me peace, my love.  And I thank you.
This day, I give your body up, but never your heart and spirit.  For I know
you will be with me.  We were destined to be forever.  I love you!"

With that I lowered my torch, stepped back and watched the flames consume…………




For Love Of A Queen, Part 10



As I watched the flames consume the body of my love, I remembered all of our
times together………

The past hung over me like a blanket, gently enfolding me within Ephiny's
love.  As the tears began to flow, I heard a voice within my heart saying,
"There will come a time when this will hurt less, my love.  And I will always
be here within you, Poni.  Forever!  And remember Aphrodite's gift."

Looking in the flames, searching for the only love I would ever know, "I'm
sorry, Eph.  I just don't have the strength to believe right now."  I turned
sadly and gathered my daughter from Gabrielle.  As I turned to walk away, I
felt a hand on my shoulder.  Turning, I saw it was Xena.  "Poni, I understand
what you are feeling.  We are here for you, my friend.  Know that.  No matter
where we may be, we will always be here for you and Marga.  You only have to
send word."

Seeing the tears in her eyes, I gently patted her hand.  "Thank you, my
friends.  You have truly been dear friends to Eph and myself, and I thank you
for that.  But, right now I must be alone.  I have to let her go and learn to
go on, for Marga's sake.  Thank you for being here for me."  Then turning, I
took my child and returned to our home.

It was truly the best thing for me to have Marga with me at this time.  Had
it not been for her, I am sure I would have withered and died in my grief.
But life does go on, and Marga was the one to light my way now.

We settled back into the daily routine of the village.  Xena & Gabrielle
returned to their path.  I took up my responsibilities once again of Weapons
Master.  Training the young ones, the seasoned warriors, and helping Shaloppa
adjust to her knew role as Queen.  Shaloppa was the best choice, and she
truly blossomed in her new position.

Weeks went by, but never was Eph far from my heart.  When I had time, I was
wont to take solitary rambles to places that were dear to Eph and me.  It
made me feel nearer still to her.  One day, I had a break after training so I
took myself to one of our favorite spots.  When we were just children, we had
found our own little version of Elysia.  It was a tiny valley that was
virtually hidden from view by the mountains surrounding it.  There was only a
single path leading to it.  Entering, you would notice a green lushness not
common to the surrounding area.  A waterfall descended from the mountains
high.  It was fed by a hot spring, so the valley was always warm and lush.
It was always our haven when life was too much.

As I took my seat, I remembered all the times we sat talking as friends, then
later as lover's.  The times when I loved her there, when it was greatest
bliss to touch her, to hold her.  My arms ached to hold her now.  And with
that thought, I felt the rain gently falling, covering me, touching me
everywhere.  And I was struck by a vision of Ephiny.  Her body on mine,
covering me, touching me everywhere.  And with that, a deep sense of peace
and of her love descended on me, and I knew she was with me.

With that I arose and started making my way back to the village.  The rest of
my day went the way of the norm.  I went on with my practices, played with my
daughter, and helped Shaloppa.  Throughout it all I felt my Ephiny near.

Nighttime came and so the bedtime for little Amazons.  I finished putting
Marga to bed, then retired to my room to do the same.  As I was stripping my
leathers, I heard, "As beautiful as ever."  Spinning around, I saw a faint
shimmering, growing brighter.  And there before me stood my Ephiny.  She
smiled brightly at me and wiggled her eyebrows, "By all means, do not let me
stop you, my love!"

Turning quickly, and taking her in my arms.  "Eph!!!!  Wha….What are you
doing here???"

She looked in my eyes, and whispered. "Isn't this your wish, my love?  This
is your gift from Aphrodite."

Looking at her, not understanding.  "I don't understand.  What is her gift?"

"Earlier today, you remember when you were in our special place, you felt the
rain, felt me?  When you feel this, then I will come to you."  Touching my
face, she gently kissed my lips.

Returning her kiss, I panted.  "Oh Eph!!!!!!!  I need you!!!!!!"

She began to finish removing my leathers, then her own.  Taking my hand
gently, and smiling that loving smile I so loved, she took my hand, leading
me to our bed.  "And I need you, my Poni."  Lying me back on our bed and
covering me with her own, kissing my neck, my ear, she whispered.  "But we do
have ALL night, my Warrior."

I took her hands in mine, intertwining our fingers, and in one swift movement
turned her over, so I was hovering above her.  "Not yet, my love.  I need to
feel you first."  Kissing her neck, I began trailing my tongue down her neck,
nipping and kissing along the way.  As I began my descent to her breasts, I
sighed.  "Oh, how I have missed this!!!!"  Gently cupping her left breast in
my hand, I placed gentle kisses around her areola.  My tongue began to trace
slow patterns around it.  Pausing and looking up into her eyes, "I love you,
baby.  Forever."  Taking her nipple in my mouth, I began to suckle in
contentment.  My left hand came up, kneading her right breast, tweaking her
nipple between my finger and thumb.

"Oh gods, yes poni!!!!!"  Ephiny moaned and squirmed beneath me in pleasure.
"Please don't stop!!!!!"

When I finished thoroughly pleasuring her breasts, I let my hands remain,
continuing to knead and pinch her nipples, I started my descent lower.
Trailing my tongue once again, descending down her abdomen.  Then I felt soft
curls on my face, and my body trembled in excitement.  I'm sure a purely
carnal look graced my features as I looked up at her and growled, as I raked
my teeth through her curls and over her flesh.  "Mmmmmmmmm, I have wanted
this so badly!"  By this time, my body was fairly throbbing with passion.
And with a predatory grin, I let my tongue delve into her sweetness.  I
groaned, tasting her, smelling her, taking her all in.  "Now I am again
home."  And with that, I took her clit in my mouth and began to suck in
earnest.

"Yes poni!"  Ephiny moaned, as her body began to join me in this rhythm of
pleasure.  I set a leisurely pace, thoroughly enjoying my task, and becoming
more excited with each passing moment.  Pulling me up to look in my eyes, she
whispered in my ear.  "Baby, I need more.  I need you inside me, NOW!"  She
punctuated that with a firm bite to my neck.

Thrumming with excitement, I entered her with two fingers.  And at that same
moment, she raised her thigh between mine, and whispered.  "Come with me, my
love!"  On fire now, I began to move within her over and over, as I moved in
rhythm on her thigh.

Grunting and moaning from our efforts, a thin sheen of sweat covering us.
"Oh baby, you feel so good!  It feels so good to be inside you."

"Oh poni!!!!!  I'm almost there!"  She panted.

I increased my efforts, stroking her clit as I entered her again and again,
and within moments, we were both flying into the Elysia of pleasure and our
love.  Ephiny trembled violently, pulling me tight to her, and raking her
nails across my back.  As I felt the scratch marks on my back, my own release
overtook me, my body trembling from head to toe, I collapsed onto her.

"By the gods, Poni!!!!  It only gets better!!!"  She smiled at me, running
her hand down my cheek.

And for that one moment in time, we held Elysia in our hands…………

 

Taiko's Scrolls of the Xenaverse