Lesbianning PT 12: Tyrant or Lover

“You’re tired,” Kira said. “You’ll come to your senses in the morning.”

Ayla’s soft smile signalled that her decision had nothing to do with being tired, or weary from the road, or any other such passing mood.

“I have lived with the consequences of Ariadne’s decisions longer than you can imagine,” she said, her voice melodic and smooth, completely absent of stress or fear. “I have decided my path. Do not concern yourself.”

“I concern myself,” Kira argued, “because I fear for you. This is not a war like any other. This time Ariadne is on the offensive. She intends to establish a new royal lineage, one with magic in its veins.”

“And she has the once fearsome witch hunter to help her,” Ayla said. “Strange how the twists of fate turn our hands and heads.”

Kira’s discomfort was evident as she sat straighter and defended herself. “I owe Ariadne my life.”

“As has already been said, I do not begrudge you your allegiances. I ask only that you leave me to walk my own path. I will stay tonight and tomorrow I will go to Ariadne.”

“Hmmm…” Kira ran her palms down her thighs and fixed Ayla with a curious look. “How long has it been since you took a maid into your bed?”

The question caught Ayla off-guard, made her laugh. “I am almost certain we have had a discussion like this before,” she said, “but I assure you, I am not taking aim at Ariadne due to lustful frustration.”

“It can do strange things to people,” Kira said. “It’s important to keep oneself sexually satiated in the interests of good decision making.”

“Oh yes? And who is warming your bed these nights? Or is it more a procession of whos?”

“That’s neither here nor there,” Kira said, her expression strangely reserved. Kira was not normally shy about her love interests, of which there were many. If anything she was a little too cavalier in such matters.

“There is someone special,” Ayla surmised, smiling with genuine amusement.

“Everybody is special,” Kira replied. “Everyone is special in her own way.”

“Evasive!” Ayla’s eyes laughed, though she herself refrained. “There is certainly something afoot here.”

“There is someone,” Kira admitted, looking uncharacteristically sheepish. Her strong features were not suited to the expression at all. “But I cannot take her as my lover, for she is under my command.”

“Most all your lovers have been under your command,” Ayla replied. “It has never stopped you in the past.”

“This one is different. She needs me to maintain distance. If I get too close, I will ruin her. I must be the tyrant to her, and the tyrant cannot be the lover.”

“I disagree. Sometimes the lover is the tyrant, sometimes the tyrant is the lover.”

“If one were dealing with a normal woman, perhaps. But this one is not normal. This one is…” Kira paused, but her expression said it all. She seemed enthralled by the mere thought of the woman who had claimed her heart.

“I must meet this woman,” Ayla said, her lips curling in a smile. “Where is she stationed?”

“Stationed?” Kira gave a short, harsh laugh. “She is stationed in a cell, which is the best I can do for her and for everyone else in this camp.”

“You are locking your own soldiers away?” Ayla’s brow dipped slightly. “I have never known you to have any difficulty commanding anyone.”

“As I said,” Kira repeated. “This one is different. She is a born warrior. The hunt is in her blood, barely contained. She acts entirely on instinct, and when she moves, she moves with fearsome grace. No enemy can stand before her, but all she knows are foes. She has no friends, and she loves no-one.”

“She sounds dangerous.”

“Oh she is.” Kira’s eyes lit up with excitement. “She is very dangerous indeed.”

“It also sounds as though she could use a touch of civilization,” Ayla continued. “I hardly imagine she is getting that in a cell.”

“She has no use for civilization. She has lived a life without need for niceties.”

“That’s no reason to let her continue to live that way. If she is as wild as you describe, she needs to be tamed.” Ayla let her fingertips dance against the arm of the chair for a moment, then cocked her head to the side and fastened her gaze on Kira. “Is this why you wanted me here?”

Kira’s smile grew broader. “You always did have a talent for taking wild things and subduing them to the good.”

“So under false pretext of dire events you have me tempted into a war zone with two of your soldiers.” Ayla’s tone no longer held amusement. “When did you become manipulative, Kira?”

“Around the same time you decided you were going to hide away from the world,” Kira shrugged without guilt. “Will you help me?”

“Oh I’ll help you,” Ayla said, her eyes narrowed on the immortal warrior with definite pique. “I’ll help your hide right out of those leather britches and lash it until you cry for mercy.”

“Do not be angry with me,” Kira chuckled, disregarding the threat immediately. “My intentions were good.”

“You know what they say about good intentions,” Ayla said, her lips still thin with disapproval. “The path to a striped hide is paved with them. You are fortunate I have worn my arm out these last days on Ariadne’s envoy, or I would take you to task.”

“Oh yes,” Kira said dryly. “I count myself very fortunate – though I doubt that scout does if her rear bore your displeasure with Ariadne.”

Ayla nodded slowly, her expression solemn. “You are not the only one who has been a tyrant.”