A Collection of Sapphic Domestic Discipline Stories

“Well, you certainly had a lot of adventure for such a short trip!” Charis laughed as she poured them more tea.

Xanthippe and Hypatia had only seen her briefly when they had arrived the previous night. She had waited up for them but as soon as they got home she retired, as did they. Charis had come to wake them up later than usual and they were now talking about their trip and finishing breakfast. Xan yawned widely and thanked her for the tea.

“Why were you so late anyway?”

They both laughed and Hypatia began to recount their journey home. When she got to the part about talking to Ambros, careful to leave out any specific details as to the content of their questions, and how they were to make tribute, Charis wrinkled her nose in a disapproving manner.

“She’s amazing! We are meeting with her at noon to discuss the ritual. I’ve known a lot of High Priestesses but Ambrosius is incredible!” Hypatia said wistfully.

The only response was from Charis who blew a raspberry. Xan laughed knowingly but Hypatia looked at the older woman in surprise as she had not expected such a review to come from her.

“Well! I take it you don’t agree?”

“I certainly do not!” she replied haughtily. “She’s a horny old goat and a busy body as well!”

Hypatia look even more scandalized but Xan, still chuckling, made to explain.

“Ah, Charis has a bias view of Ambros. I think she never really appreciated her attentions towards me.”

“No I did not! Worship is one thing but her teachings, if you can call them that, had you running wild! I didn’t know what to do with you after you started in at that temple.”

“I wasn’t wild!” Xan grinned rolling her eyes. “I was just…. enjoying my body.”

“And every female body from here to Athens!” Charis snorted.

“Did she?”

“Oh, you have no idea! Barely a day went by I wasn’t chasing her and her girlfriends out of the chambers or the hayloft…” Charis scoffed and began to tick off on her fingers. “…behind the goat shed, in the river, back field, front field, store room and even the andron!”

Xanthippe had gone slightly pink in the face by this point and Hypatia was thoroughly enjoying hearing about her lover’s past.

“It wasn’t that much! Charis you exaggerate!”

“Hardly! I thought you’d never settle down into a good match and look! As soon as you stopped spending every spare moment at temple you’ve found yourself a proper mate. Just like I said would happen.” she finished looking smug.

“Do you think your aversion to her has something to do with a more personal feud?” Xan said cheekily.

Charis looked at her, raised an eyebrow and feigned ignorance.

“I have no idea what you mean!”

“I mean the fact that I heard from some strong sources that you and she have had at least three shouting matched since you came to know each other.”

“Oooh really!” Hypatia said excitedly. “What about?”

“The first was about Ambros wanting to marry her and Archippos….”


Xan only flicked her eyes toward her and continued, too focused on getting her back to hear the slight tone of warning.

“The second was about Charis never paying tribute with her body at temple…”

“Xanthippe.” Charis warned again drawing her child’s name out into a low growl.

Xan still did not heed. She was now laughing as she revealed her last bit of information.

“And the last one was where she went down there and told Ambros off for keeping me all night without sending word.”

“Why didn’t you send word?” Hypatia laughed.

“I was a little tied up!”

They were both so wrapped up in their revelry neither of them noticed Charis was rather cross. Hypatia had a million questions.

“I didn’t know they were in a relationship!”

“They weren’t! That’s why they never wed.”

“Why didn’t you take part in ritual, Charis?” Hypatia said turning to her only to finally see a thoroughly unimpressed woman beside her. “Oh dear…”

“Charis doesn’t lay with anyone because…” Xan laughed and finally looked over at her. “Because…uh-oh! Oh well, nevermind. It’s not for me to say.”

An uncomfortable silence descended. Xanthippe tried to give Charis an apologetic smile but it had little effect.

“What my daughter was going to say is I do not lay with anyone because I am a follower of Artemis. Something that is not a joke but a very important part of who I am. I never wed Archippos but we were partners and I loved him very much. I still feel his loss every day.” Charis said softly her tone cold as ice. “Young lady, you have hurt me.”

Hypatia sat stock still hoping to simply disappear from what was clearly a tense moment between them. As soon as Xan heard those words tears sprang to her eyes. It reminded the noble woman of the time her lover had thought she had bruised her. This time she did not try to hide them. She let them trickle down her face as she struggled for the right words.

“I’m sorry! It’s not funny. Such disrespect is shameful especially to one’s mother. I’m so sorry.”

Charis let the silence stretch for a while before she stood up and approached Xan who also stood. The older woman brushed her tears away with her thumb before she embraced her.

“Okay. It’s alright, young one.” She said softly and when she continued she gave Xan a hard swat. “Next time you don’t mind your manners what do you think will happen, eh?”

They broke apart and the Mistress was blushing furiously and avoiding her mother’s eye.



“I know! You’ll get walloped just like me!” Hypatia giggled.

“Excuse me, little Lady? I believe you were just as eager to listen and ridicule as this naughty one here. I don’t think you should tease anyone about being mouthy considering barely a week goes by without you having a sore bottom because of your lip!”

Hypatia’s face now matched her Mistress’. Charis had never really spoken to her that way before and it reminded her of her own mother.

“I’m sorry.” she stammered looking anywhere but up.

“Hmm, I hope so. As for you, I asked you a question, Xanthippe. What will happen?”

Xan grimaced. She had hoped Hypatia would have caused enough of a distraction but Charis had not forgotten.

“Um… I’ll be in big trouble?”

“You bet! Now sit down and finish your breakfast.”

They were quiet as they ate but not uncomfortably so. Both younger women were pouting but Charis seemed to be enjoying their company regardless. Hypatia tried to think of something to lighten the mood.

“You must be tired of getting told off, Mistress. Now you know how I feel!” she smiled at her lover.

The smile was not returned. Instead, Xanthippe gave her a slightly incredulous look and then tried to look as though her comment meant nothing. Charis on the other hand had perked up at this and narrowed her eyes suspiciously.

“Why would you be told off, young one? And by whom?”

“Oh! Uh…” Hypatia stammered realizing she had just thrown Xan to the wolves. “I was just joking.. nevermind.”

“Don’t lie. You are worse at it than Xanthippe.” Charis smirked before turning back to her child. “The truth, please.”

Xanthippe sighed, shot Hypatia a look that said ‘thanks a lot!’, and cleared her throat.

“Well, Hypatia and I were not greeting guests properly and Eudoxia was upset.”

“Mm-hm. Too much whispering and giggling perhaps?”

Their surprised faces told her she had guessed correctly. Charis raised her eyebrows expectantly and Xan continued.

“Also, Ambrosius scolded because I was a little rude when she was teaching.”

“Hmmm. You’ve always been mouthy during lessons. Well, not mine, of course. Still, I thought you knew better by now.”

It seemed to Xan that Charis was enjoying herself. The horsewoman was even more surprised to find, even though she was in trouble, a comforting feeling had settled in her chest. She had been trying to be in control for so long she had forgotten the safety that comes from being held accountable by someone familiar. The feelings were slightly overwhelming and she nibbled the edge of a pita absentmindedly.

“Is that all, dear?”

“No.” Xan answered softly, frowning. “I said something blasphemous in front of Kalli and she was rather upset.”

“As she should! What did you say?”



“I said I felt useless and insulted Hera and Athena in the process.”

“Learned from Alcaeus perhaps? As if I need to ask! I’m going to have a serious talk with that woman!” Charis muttered as though making a mental note. “But right now, I think you and I need to have a little talk. Hypatia, take the dishes down to the kitchen, please.”

“Oh but… I don’t think that you should…”Hypatia began but stammered to a stop.

Charis, who had realized what Hypatia was about to say, fixed her with a look that she had seen Xanthippe don many times. It was a look that came right before she ended up staring at floor boards with a sting in her rear. She changed gears quickly.

“Uh… waste food. So I’ll just save this for lunch then? Okay.”

Hypatia hurriedly gathered the trays, whispered an apology to Xanthippe and left the room.

Xanthippe stared at the floor. She was resigned to her fate and expected Charis to start scolding at any moment. When the older woman got up and went to sit on the bed Xan gulped and thought perhaps she misread the situation. She didn’t look up but as soon as she heard it she gave a small sigh and stood. It amazed her that, even after all the time that had past since she had been spanked, she could still recognize the summoning sound of Charis patting her lap.

Xan wanted to drag her feet or protest but she had learned long ago that was not a wise plan. When she was standing beside Charis she reached our her hand passively. Charis took hold of her at once and pulled her until she was in the desired position. To Xanthippe’s surprise she was sitting on her mentor’s lap instead of over it. When this surprise showed on her face, Charis laughed and held her tight.

“Had you going there didn’t I, little Mistress?”

“I’ll say!” Xan smiled relieved “But it can’t be comfortable, Charis. I’m too big now!”

“Oh, hush you are not! Now, remember we used to talk like this when you were younger?”

“Well, yes but I usually wasn’t sitting so comfortably!” the younger woman giggled.

“I can fix that for you if you want.”

“No, no! I’m fine. Never mind!”

Charis laughed warmly and shifted so that Xan’s head now rested on her shoulder. She ran her hand over Xan’s head in a comforting way. The sat quietly for a while.

“So how was Athens?”

“What? We just told you what happened.”

“Yes, but how did you feel about what happened? You went through quite a few emotional ups and downs while you were there. So I want to know how you are feeling.”

Xanthippe sighed as she ran over everything that happened. Properly meeting Hypatia’s parents, seeing Papak again, not to mention that horrible woman. The boring parties and the wildly exciting chase Hypatia had sent her on. What happened to Kalli and how she felt so unable to help. The feeling of joy she felt as her former lover and her current partner clasped hands across her, sharing a laugh in the gathering dusk. Then the journey home, the advice and the omens, the upcoming tribute. Suddenly the magnitude of her shifting emotions settled upon her like a storm.

“I’m feeling…everything all at once, to be honest. Angry, happy, worried, hopeful and..”She took a deep breath. “Sad.”
“So lots of changes and lots of feelings, huh? Poor girl. You’ve been getting tense lately, and I didn’t know for sure, but I didn’t think Athens would give you much of a vacation.”

“Then why did you let me go?” Xan pouted, now feeling rather hard done by.

Charis laughed and patted her bottom.

“I don’t think that would have been a good idea. You are pretty stubborn, my girl!”

“Well…. I’m like you!”

“I suppose that’s true enough. Unlike me however, you tend to bottle your feelings until they burst. I’ve noticed you are getting a bit of a swelled head as of late.”

Xanthippe sat up and scowled at her.

“I am not! I…since when….how do you… oh forget it!” she snorted as she stood up suddenly.

“Come back here!”


“Xanthippe, you either come here and sit on my lap or I shall take you over it and remind you who you are talking to right now!” Charis said sternly.

With a dramatic sigh Xan begrudgingly sat, arms folded and her head turned away. It was only when Charis took hold of her ear and pulled her around to face her that Xan looked into her eyes. Her angry glare was met with a determined one.

“If you don’t believe me just look at what happened there. You would have never done that before. You do not get up until I say, young lady!”

Xan tried to keep up her scowl but it had begun to falter as she realized Charis was right. She had never done that before, she wouldn’t have dared. Still, her wall was up and she didn’t want to let it down. She responded with a undefinable grunt.

“Do you need further proof? How about what happened over breakfast? You didn’t even hear me when I was warning you to stop, did you?”

Xan shrugged. She hadn’t heard. She was too wrapped up in the power game she was trying to play. She unfolded her arms so she could pick at her nails nervously.

“I seem to remember, not long ago, seeing a certain young Mistress reprimanding her apprentice for the same type of behaviour. Interesting conflicting messages you seem to send to her. One would think the rules did not apply to you.” Charis said mater of factly as she began to rub Xan’s back in wide circles. “Is that true? You think that you are in charge and now you make the rules?”

The horsewoman made a quiet noise in her throat that sounded like ‘I don’t know’. She felt like she was seventeen again, not twenty seven and the Mistress of an estate. She had though she had everything in control, that she knew just what to do. Now she wasn’t so sure.

“I see you and Hypatia have taken up your room together.”

“So what?” Xan grunted a little more aggressively than she had meant to.

“So, that is the first time in twenty five years anyone has ever tried to organize my house without talking to me about it first.”

“I didn’t think it would bother you so much.”

“Or maybe, you wanted to test out how much power I’ll let you have before I put my foot down?”

“Tsk. No! Besides, wouldn’t I have done that from the start instead of nearly a year later?”

“At the start, you were so run off your feet and overcome with grief you had no energy for games. But now things are brighter and you want to stretch in your new role. I’m telling you to mind your manners and not to overstep, little Mistress.”

“Well then, why don’t you take the title!?” Xan pouted furiously.

“Not my style!” Charis laughed. “Never was. Arch was the head of the business and I ran the home. And you….”

She paused here to wrap her arms tightly around the young woman and kissed her cheek.

“Were a wild ball of trouble we found in Athens. Brave like him and stubborn like me. Getting in scraps and always kissing all the girls, though you didn’t learn that from either of us!”

“Must have been the fellas!” Xan giggled even though a moment before she was so determined to stay cross.

“Probably. But you were ours. Our little yellow horse. It was the fates. We built all this for you and you should be Mistress.”

“Then what are we talking about?” Xan sighed her temper returning.

“That you run the business and I run the home.” Charis said patently before her tone took on a stern note. “And that, no matter how high your station, I will always be your mother and you will mind me or I will tan your hide!”

Xanthippe gulped. She was embarrassed but she felt the feeling calm begin to grow in her chest. It didn’t feel like she had to be in charge of everything anymore. She could have her responsibilities but Charis was there, as she had been for years, to make sure that when it all became too much Xan would have someone to help her wade through it. Whether it was through a conversation about her feelings or correcting her when she was out of control the calm constant was there. Her eyes felt wet with the relief that accompanied this realization.

“Thank you. I’m sorry I forgot myself for a while there.”

“Good girl.” Charis smiled as she patted her bottom and held her for a while before continuing. “Now, I have some work to do and you have some thinking to do. Up you get.”

“I will. I have to get ready to go soon but tonight I’ll….” Xan shrugged as she made her way toward her wardrobe.

“Oh no, young one! You are staying here.”

“What!? But we have to go to temple!”

“Tough! Did you think I’d let you get away with running around sassing everyone in Athens or the amount of attitude you’ve shown me this morning? Guess again! You are to stay in this room until tomorrow, little girl!” Charis smirked still exuding an air of authority.

“But..but I can’t! I have to go! Ambros is expecting us!”

“Well I guess she’ll be disappointed then, won’t she? I will simply send her a message explaining you have been sent to your room for being a smart mouth! I’m sure she’ll approve!”

“No! Charis! C’mon, please?”

“Has that ever worked before, Xan?” Charis chuckled.


“No, it hasn’t. Now I expect you to think about everything we’ve talked about and to stop running from those feelings. I will come have supper with you tonight and we will talk then.”

Charis stroked her face and began to leave when Xan let out a frustrated growl.

“On the other hand…” the older woman sighed as she turned around and strode purposely toward her daughter. “If you continue to act the brat then I shall just have to…”

“No, no! I’ll be good!” Xan said quickly as she sat on the bed trying to protect her rear. “I promise, I’ll be good and stay put!”

Charis stood with her hands on her hips looking down at the young woman. Xan had adopted her most repentant, pleading look and seemed to be working. Her mentor smirked and ran her hand over her head once more. She nodded and made her way towards the door before stopping once more.

“Oh, I almost forgot. You’ll need this.” She smiled as she opened the wardrobe and took out a bore bristle brush.

“What for?” Xan said nervously.

“Your hair. It’s a mess!”

Xan frowned and ran her hand over her head. She couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed the fairly thick growth that now covered her head. She looked up at Charis sheepishly wondering if she had caught her marveling at her own cluelessness. The woman gave her a smile and a wink before leaving her alone to sort her emotions.


Meanwhile, Hypatia was in the kitchen. Everyone else was doing a mid season cleaning of the chambers and the outside so she sat alone. She felt guilty for getting Xan in trouble but she wasn’t worried about her.She knew Charis would never harm her.

As she sat contemplating, Elpis came in from the front of the house. They hadn’t seen each other since Hypatia had left and they hugged in a jovial way. They began to talk about what had happened. Elpis was a great audience and was eager to learn all about it.

“Listen, I want to hear more but we should take care of these.” She said motioning toward the breakfast things with a tut. “I don’t know who’s fool enough to have left them laying around. Help me will you?”

“Hey! I left them there!” Hypatia chuckled.

“Oh! I should have known. What can’t do your own dishes?”

She had said it in a friendly, teasing way but Hypatia’s cheeks went pink and she looked away. Elpis seemed to understand and adopted a kind tone.

“Aww sorry, Hypatia. I didn’t know…”

“It’s okay.”

“Didn’t know you were such a pampered little princess you’ve never washed a dish!” Elpis bellowed with laughter.

“Why you..you..!”

“Can’t even swear right!”

They stood across the table from each other both smirking and eyes flashing as they prepared for friendly combat. Hypatia moved first. She picked up a handful of barley from breakfast and threw it. It splattered across her friend’s face as though in slow motion. The next second they were shrieking with laughter as the threw the contents of the leftover breakfast at each other. Hypatia ducked a crust of bread but didn’t miss the porridge and she too became covered in it. With nothing left to throw they started to rough house.

The were laughing wildly as the shoved and grunted trying to get one up on each other. Hypatia had just given Elpis a firm bump with her hip when she felt her seize her leg and then go stiff. Turning to see if she had inadvertently hurt her she saw what had caused her to freeze and she followed suit. Charis was leaning against the door way of the kitchen, arms folded and her eyebrow arched. They couldn’t tell if she was angry or amused as she seemed a little of both.

They seemed to realize at the same time that Elpis was still holding her friend’s leg awkwardly. Releasing their holds, they both stood up and looked at each other to see who would speak first. After a brief argument using only their eyes they determined neither of them were willing to make the first move.

“Mind telling me what you have done to my kitchen?”

Her tone was light and sounded only mildly interested but it held an undertone that did not bode well for the pair. They looked around and saw that they had overdone it a little. There was barley everywhere. On the floor, walls, and flecked across the surfaces and table tops. They looked at each other and saw they were relatively unscathed which explained how the porridge had gotten so far in such a short time.


They had said it together, looked at each other in surprise and giggled nervously.

“I can’t say I mind, really.” Charis smirked as she came into the room careful not to slip on the mucky floor.

“You don’t!?” Elpis said shocked, barely willing to believe it.

“No. I wanted the kitchen cleaned but everyone is too busy today but now…”

Charis paused and flicked some barley off her shoulder that had fallen from the ceiling.

“You two are going to scrub every last inch of this place until it gleams. If I find one grain of barley you will be sorry, indeed. Well, hop to it!”

“All of it?” Hypatia groaned. “Just the two of us!? It will take all day!”

“Do you have something else planned?”

“We have to go to temple!”

“Well, consider your appointment cancelled! The broom is over there. Go on!”

“But..but you can’t just…”

Hypatia’s defiant tone was not well received. Charis spun her around and gave her bottom a resounding smack towards the cleaning cupboard. The sting from it convinced Hypatia to drop the subject immediately and she hurried out of swatting range.

“And you, Elpis? Have you have anything else to do?”

“Uh…maybe just one thing…” Elpis said her voice higher than usual.

“Did you water the goats like I asked?”

“Not yet. I kinda forgot. I’ll do it right now and come straight back!”

Another loud smack and a yelp from Elpis told Hypatia her friend had received the same treatment as she hurried toward the goat shed. The noblewoman began to get out the supplies as Charis began to fill a bucket with water from the sink. Hypatia heard her mutter something that sounded like ‘kids today!’ but she couldn’t be sure.

Elpis returned shortly and began to clean as well. When she walked over to Hypatia, she stared at her for a moment frowned and let out a groan.

“Oh, Charis! It’s going to take forever! She doesn’t even know what she’s doing!”

“Excuse me! I can use a broom!”

“Yes but there’s no point sweeping the floor until you get it off the walls and ceiling first!” Elpis sighed.

“Don’t blame me. She your partner in crime! Teach her how.” Charis chuckled.

Elpis tutted irritably and whispered to her friend.

“Way to go!”

“Uh, I think you helped a bit!”

“You started it!”

“Oh yeah, well….”

“Stop bickering and get to work! Honestly! Is there something in the water? Every young person I’ve come across today is trying my patience!” Charis scolded from across the room.

“It’s just going to take forever is all!” Elpis pouted as she began to wipe down a wall.

“Count your lucky stars, Elpis! When I was your age and I wasted food in such a way I had to clean it up, go without supper and I had my tail tanned! You are getting off easy!”

They were quiet after that as they realized it could be worse. Hypatia was using the broom to get the grain off the ceiling when something occurred to her and she stopped.



“Does that mean you had a food fight when you were younger?”

Charis paused in looking over her shopping list. Elpis had peeked out from behind a counter and was watching her, smiling slightly. The older woman seemed to be thinking back and then laughed.

“Yes, a few times actually! Got away with it twice but the third time me and my two friends got caught. Never did it again after that!” Charis smiled reminiscently before going back to her list. “Maybe that’s why I’ve let you two off so easy. You did look rather funny when I caught you. Besides, as I recall, these things tend to happen before you have time to think it over.”

Both young woman laughed and tried to imagine Charis being young and wild but somehow couldn’t quite figure it. After what felt like ages Charis called Hypatia over to her. She handed her a note and told her to take it to Cyrus to deliver to the temple. She then went to fetch something else. Hypatia looked at the note and marveled at how beautiful Charis’ writing was. Even though it seemed to be a quickly jotted note the form was exquisite. Hypatia realized Charis must be high born to use such penmanship.

“Hypatia! What do you think you are doing?”

The noble woman jumped, realized what it must look like and hurried to explain.

“I didn’t read it! I swear! I just… your writing it’s beautiful!”

The older woman looked at her suspiciously, one eye narrowed. Eventually she nodded as though determining something and spoke.

“Alright. Don’t make a habit of that since most people wouldn’t believe you even though you were telling the truth. You don’t want to end up labeled a sneak.”

Hypatia shook her head vehemently and hurried towards the door but stopped when Charis called out to her.

“Thank you, by the way. It was very nice of you to say.” she smiled warmly.

“Welcome!” Hypatia grinned back and then went off to find Cyrus.


Xanthippe stood up and walked over to the window. She looked out for a while, sighed and turned back toward her room. She looked around trying to think of something to do. So far she had reorganized the wardrobe, wiped down the walls and swept every inch of the floor. She was so bored she had even propped up a small mirror and tried a few different hairstyles not that she had much to work with. She had finally decided on brushing it along her natural hair line and then twisting the fringe so it lifted up a little with a slight swirl. She didn’t look as tough as before but she thought the effect was rather dashing.

She was just about to lay down on the bed when Charis came in with supper. Xan jumped up and cleared the mirror and brush from the table.

“Oh now that looks nice! Much more feminine.” Charis smiled looking at Xan’s hair.

“Ya think?” Xan smirked as she looked in the mirror. “Thanks! It’s pretty simple too.”

As they ate they talked about what Xan had thought about during the day. She confessed to feeling overwhelmed and worried about having to be in charge but also how that made her feel strong. They also discussed how much happier she had been feeling lately, ever since Hypatia had come into her life.

“And to think, you didn’t think anything good would come of having an apprentice!” Charis teased.

“You know? You are right so often you should put in to be an oracle!” Xan grinned. “I really love her, Charis. Now, whenever I think about the future she’s there with me. I’ve never had that before.”

“That’s wonderful, young one! I always liked her but after really getting to know her I am very impressed by her. She’s a good girl and she adores you. You are both so happy together.”

“Yes, we are happy.” Xan said wearing a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Uh-oh. What’s that look about?” Charis cooed her face lined with concern.

“Oh nothing really. It’s just…sometimes I feel guilty.”

“About what? She’s happy here and I don’t think she cares about class as much anymore.”

“Hmm? Oh, no. Not that. I feel bad for.. you know… he never met her and well…. being happy when he’s…”

She couldn’t say it. The lost of Archippos still hurt her heart too much.

“Oh Xanthippe!” Charis sighed and then chuckled softly as she grasped her hand and squeezed it tight. “That’s just silly! He always wanted you to be happy! It’s alright to be sad and miss him but if you really want to remember him then be happy! You just have a good time, don’t worry about the little things, and fight for what’s right and you’ll be just like him! He was always laughing and joking sometimes at the worst moments. Used to drive me mad!”

Xanthippe beamed as she remembered.

“Like that time when you were complaining about the heat and he poured a whole bucket of water on you!”

“Oooh I could have killed him! What about when you complained about having to search for duck eggs every morning…”

“And when I woke up the next day he had put fifteen ducks in my bedroom?” Xanthippe roared. “He always used to make the things we despised doing into a joke or a game. It wasn’t so bad after that.”

They reminisced happily for a while. Xanthippe was feeling a lot lighter but she still had a nervous feeling in her stomach and she figured now was as good of time as any.

“Um… Charis?”

“Yes?” Charis answered wiping her tears of mirth from her eyes with a serviette.

“Do you think it would be okay if… I mean, I’d really like it if… Can I please share a room with Hypatia?”

“Ah, now there’s my sweet girl. I guess being cooped up for the day did the trick, did it?”

“And then some! I was bouncing off the walls and I didn’t feel so tough anymore.” Xan blushed. “You didn’t tell anyone I’d been sent to my room did you? Well, Ambros I guess but anyone else?”

“I didn’t even tell Ambrosius, young one. Your reputation is intact.” Charis winked. “As for your question. I think it would be fine for you two to share a room….”

Xanthippe perked up and looked elated.



“You two had better be committed to each other. I don’t want to have to chase another dozen women out of here!”

“You won’t!” Xan giggled. “I promise.”

“Good. Well, I should go see if Hypatia and Elpis have finished yet.”

“Finished what?”

Charis recounted their adventure and Xan rolled her eyes.

“Little brat!”

“Look who’s talking! Remember you are to stay in tonight. I’ll send her up when she’s done.” Charis smiled as she gave Xan a tight squeeze.

Not long after, Hypatia came into the room and flopped onto the bed dramatically.

“Everything hurts!” she moaned.

“Poor apprentice! Do you want a massage?”

“Not yet. Come down to the river with me? I’m all dirty and hot.”

She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively and then blushed.

“Uh.. no, my dear.” Xan said trying to sound casual. “I’d rather stay in tonight.”

“Oh come on! I’ll make it worth your while.”

Her lover stood up and began to lay sweet kisses on her neck and chest. Xan sighed happily at the gesture but did not answer. Hypatia kissed her lips passionately still trying to convince her between smooches.

“Mmm, I’ve missed you…..where were you today?”

“Oh, around.”

“I like your hair! Very cute but still tough. Just like you!”

“Thanks.” Xan smirked and kissed her back still trying to avoid her questions.

Xanthippe had closed her eyes but when she looked at Hypatia through her eyelashes she could see her lover giving her a searching look. She was still kissing but her eyes were narrowed suspiciously. They broke apart and Xan gave her a quizzical look.

“What’s going on?”


“You sound funny and you won’t look at me properly. Are you mad I made us miss our appointment?”

“No! I mean it wouldn’t have mattered since… well I didn’t feel like going anyway!” the Mistress grinned leaning in for a kiss but Hypatia stepped back and fixed her with the same look.

“Are you sure your not mad? Elpis and I were just fooling around and things got out of hand.”

“No I’m not mad, my dear. I’m sure Charis made you sorry you ever dare to mess up her kitchen.”

“Then why don’t you want to come to the river?” Hypatia said sadly, her eyes downcast.

Xanthippe sighed and decided there was no getting around it. She wrapped her arms around her lover and pulled her close.

“Because… I’m not allowed to.”


“I’ve been sent to my room for being rude.” Xan muttered and closed her eyes waiting for what came next.

Hypatia looked up smiled and then began to giggle. When she saw Xan wasn’t joking she really started to laugh, stepping back and hold the chair for support. Her blushing Mistress tried to give her warning look but it only made her laugh more. Xan made a sound between a laugh and a growl and advanced toward her. Hypatia yelped comically and began to retreat.

“You know, come to think of it, I believe it was you who landed me in this predicament!”

“Uh-uh! You were naughty, not me!”

They were now standing on either side of the table. Every time Xan made to grab her lover Hypatia squeaked and skittered around to keep the table between them.

“When I catch you, little brat, I’m going to pay you back!”

“Oh yeah!” Hypatia grinned wickedly as she bolted towards the door, threw it open, and crossed the hall. “Now what, Mistress?”

Xan stood with her hands on her hips looking bemused. She crooked her finger at Hypatia but the apprentice just laughed and leaned against the wall.

“Come here, my dear.” Xan purred her tone sharpening slightly.

“Uh, nope! You think I’m crazy?”

“Very funny. Now come on.”

Hypatia’s eyes gleamed with mischief and she stuck her tongue out by way of response. Xanthippe’s eyebrow rose but she was still smiling in spite of her increasing annoyance at being taunted.

“Perhaps I’ll just have to go find someone else to go with me on an evening swim?” Hypatia said loftily looking at her fingernails.

At this, Xanthippe actually came right up to the threshold but stopped short before crossing it. She reminded Hypatia of a lion in a cage she had seen once.

“When I get a hold of you, little apprentice!” Xan chuckled darkly. “You are going to be sorry!”

“Come and get me then, my huntress!”

“I can’t! But if I do…”

Hypatia turned when she heard someone coming up the stairs. Charis took one look at Hypatia’s grinning face and Xan standing in the threshold and laughed.

“What’s going on?”

“Xan wants to go for a swim but I told her she should stay in and be good!” Hypatia giggled.

Xanthippe looked shocked for a good ten seconds before she shook her head disbelievingly at her lover.

“Really?” Charis smiled and, as Hypatia approached her careful to stay out of Xan’s reach, she put her arm around her waist. “That’s interesting. Funny how she’s in there and your out here though? By the looks of her, she really wants to get a hold of you, so why doesn’t she just come out then?”


“Have you been teasing again, Hypatia? I warned you not to do that this morning, didn’t I?”

“Oh, yes I suppose you did. Um.. but”

“It only leads to trouble but I think you should find that out for yourself.” Charis laughed as she gave Hypatia a push towards the door.

It wasn’t forceful but since the apprentice wasn’t expecting it she had to move forward to regain her balance. In the blink of an eye, Xanthippe had reached out and seized both her wrist and began pulling her back into the room with a triumphant grin on her face. Hypatia yelped and tried to pull away. She was torn between giggles and genuine concern for her behind.

“Thanks, Charis!” Xan laughed.

“Yeah, thanks a lot!” Hypatia groaned to Charis’ casually retreating form.

Still holding on to her lover, Xan pushed the door shut and then began to pull her towards the bed. Hypatia was laughing and twisting but she couldn’t break free. Xanthippe wrapped her arms around her and flexed her muscles. The noblewoman stopped laughing as she felt the air being forced from her lungs by Xan powerful arms.

Her lover relaxed slightly but still held her tight as she leaned down and ran her teeth across Hypatia’s throat. She growled as she did this and Hypatia wondered if she might have gone too far. When Xanthippe reached down and grabbed her bottom hard, she gulped and felt sure she had.

“Sorry, Mistress?” Hypatia panted trying to catch her breath.

“Too late! You are going to get what you deserve, naughty girl.” Xan growled as she began to pull Hypatia’s pepalos off. “Lay on the bed.”

Hypatia obeyed quickly. Xanthippe seemed rather angry and she didn’t want to upset her further. Her lover walked over to the table and picked up a hairbrush. Hypatia let out a little whimper but lay still. Xan patted her bottom possessively.

“What I want to know right now, young lady, is…” Xan said darkly as she straddled her lover and took on a much lighter tone. “Do you want your massage first or shall I do your hair? What is this barley?”

Hypatia blinked as the word sunk in.

“Xanthippe! You nearly made my heart stop!” Hypatia said incredulously.

A flurry of kisses and that deep rumbling laugh caused Hypatia to forget her outrage at being tricked. She relaxed and let her Mistress take care of her.

“Kalli! Kalli, wake up!”

“Go away.” Kalli mumbled turning over.

Hypatia sighed at shook her again.

“Come on! I already bought you an hour but if you don’t get up now Xanthippe is going to lose her temper. We’re already late in setting off.”

“Don’t care…. tired.”

“Oh for the sake of Olympus! We have to go!”

“Leave me alone, flower!” Kalli chuckled sleepily.

Suddenly, a voice sounded from behind Hypatia making her jump.

“Kallikrates! Get up!”

As soon as she heard it Kalli woke, eyes wide and jumped to her feet her mouth hanging open in shock.

Hypatia had wheeled around to see a extremely angry looking woman who was only vaguely familiar to her. She was a little older than Eudoxia and had sharp alluring features. Her black hair was very long and had silver strands throughout that made it gleam in the light of the morning. Even in her angry state she was devastatingly beautiful.

“Oh!” Kalli squealed before trying to force her voice to be calm and failing miserably. “Ambros wh…what are you doing here?”

“I? What am I doing here?” Ambrosius snarled slowly approaching her. “I am here because I received word from the High Priestess of Athens telling me that one of my juniors had decided that she knows better than I. That she is an unruly little whelp who does not listen to her teachers nor sees anything wrong in going off with someone who is obviously a dangerous brute!”

As Ambrosius reached out towards Kalli, Hypatia was sure she was about to hit her but the young woman did not flinch. The High Priestess caressed her face looking for any signs of bruising. Kalli kept her eyes downcast and meekly allowed herself to be examined. Ambros’ delicate fingers traced the light bruising on Kalli’s face and she then inspected the dark bruising on her arm. With every mark she discovered she made a pained noise in her throat. She took a deep breath Hypatia assumed was to calm her temper. Instead the woman began to scold once more.

“How dare you!” She hissed “How dare you, Kallikrates! I finally give you the responsibility of delivering the offering, something I was not sure you should do but you begged to prove yourself and what happened? I get word that you made the offering and slunk out the back without talking with the Priestess as you had been told to do. She followed you. Did you know that?”

Kalli shook her head, eyes still firmly on the floor.

“Oh yes. She saw you go off with that animal and sent word to me straight away. I had to ride through the night to reach Athens! Then when I get there I am told you have not returned. Next thing I hear you have been beaten and are staying here. The pain you caused me that night! You are the most ill behaved little Priestess I have ever taught!”

Now Kalli flinched for those words came down upon her like a strong blow. Hypatia felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see Xan looking a mixed of grim and slightly amused. She felt bad for her old friend but it was true that she did disobey one of the most fundamental rules of her position.

“Kallikrates, do you wish to be a Priestess?” Ambrosius said sharply.

“Yes, I do! I so do!” Kalli cried kneeling as she made her plea.

“Very well. This is your last chance. To repair your hubristic slight upon me and the temple will not be easy.”

“Please! I will do anything. I’m sorry!”

“I am glad to hear it, Kalli.” Ambros said her tone softening slightly. “I love you very much and it would rend my heart in twain to see you go from me in shame. You have been marked by Aphrodite and for you to waste this blessing would be terrible. Kallikrates, you shall consider yourself bound to me. You will take no lovers, you will stay by my side and you will learn to behave with the respect the Goddess deserves. Do you consent?”

“Yes, Priestess!” Kalli responded at once as tears trickled down her face.

Hypatia was surprised to hear such elation in her voice where before there had been much despair. She felt awkward witnessing such intimacy but she was hesitant to move at Ambrosius’ power was quite startling. The Priestess bade Kalli to rise, kissed her sweetly and whispered softly to her. Kalli smiled weakly and nodded.


“Yes, Priestess?”

“We shall be returning with you today. Charis kindly gave me use of a horse. We should set out soon. Please ready the mounts. Kalli and I will be down after I have seen to her disobedient behind.” Ambrosius said calmly as she removed her belt.

“Of course, Priestess. Come along, Hypatia.”

“But…” Hypatia said softly worried for her friend

“Come along. It’s alright.” Xan said softly as she took her lover’s hand and lead her from the room.

As they descended the stairs the noblewoman thought she heard leather on flesh but figured she might have imagined it.

They waited at the front of the house for the servants to bring the horses chatting with Eudoxia and Timo. Hypatia took a large satchel of scrolls from her Mother and upon hearing that they were for furthering her business education Xan let out a little moan. The only one who heard this was Timo and he laughed and clapped her on the back with a commiserating wink.

Shortly there after, Ambrosius strode from the house followed by a very subdued looking Kalli.

“I thank you both again for caring for my Priestess. I offer you both a blessing.” Ambrosius said impressively to Eudoxia and Timo as she held both their hands in hers.

Her words were like music as she recited her blessing of love and prosperity. When she was done they thanked her and bid them a fair journey. Kalli thanked them as well and apologized for bringing the man to their home before hurrying toward the horses blushing deeply. Hypatia hugged and kissed her parents and Xan shook hands as they made their goodbyes.

They mounted their horses and set off. Both Xanthippe and Hypatia led the new animals, who were laden with their saddle bags behind them. Ambrosius rode side saddle leading the last horse that bore a rather miserable looking Kalli. As they reached the gate they turned and saluted before rounding the corner. Hypatia slowed and flung her leg over so she was astride the beast. She took the chance to fall back to have a word with Kalli. The young Priestess had donned a himatari before they left. She had pulled it up into a hood that obscured most of her face. From what Hypatia could see of her she was frowning deeply.

“Psst! Kalli.”

She did not respond.

“Kalli! Hey! It will be….”

But Kalli peeked out from under her hood and shook her head at her. Her eyes were red and a few tears still trickled down her face. She retreated under her hood almost immediately. Hypatia’s heart went out to her. The fact that she had wrapped her himatari in such a way showed she was either ashamed or very emotional, as was the custom. She made another attempt to let her know it would be alright.

“Kalli, don’t be ashamed! I get it all the time and trust me….” Hypatia hissed but before she could finish she was interrupted by Ambrosius.

“Young Lady, come here please.”

Hypatia gulped and urged her horse forward. Xan moved over to let her ride up alongside them and Hypatia could see she had a slight smirk playing about her features. The apprentice gave a nervous sidelong look at the powerful woman beside her.

“Yes, Priestess?”

“I ask that you not speak to Kallikrates. She has expressed to me she feels great sadness and that she needs time to feel these emotions. I have bid her to be silent to help give her structure while she thinks.” Ambros smiled before turning her head so he voice would carry behind her. “While she has been very good to avoid the temptation of answering you I think it would be hard for her if you continue to try to speak with her.”

Kalli bowed her head in the affirmative and Ambrosius turned back to face Hypatia. For the first time the apprentice saw that her almond shaped eyes were a golden yellow flecked with rich brown. Her body was covered with freckles that were lighter than her olive complexion giving her a a stunning network of unique markings. Captivated by her beauty, she did not answer right away but as the woman’s slender eyebrows sought and answer, she stammered her reply.

“Oh! Uh.. of course, Lady! I mean Priestess! I…I will! I mean, I won’t!”

The woman chuckled softly her face glowing with amusement.

“Oh my, Xanthippe! I think I may have frightened your young apprentice!”

“You are quite scary when you are in a mood, Ambrosius.” Xan laughed.

“Yes, I have been told that before.” she said smirking as though she thought the idea to be both comical and ludicrous. “I suppose I can get a little loud when I’m voicing my displeasure.”

“Nothing compared to how loud she is when she voices her pleasure.” Xan whispered daringly to Hypatia who giggled.

“What was that, Xanthippe?”

“Nothing, Priestess!”

“Mm-hm. Mind your manners, little Mistress. I may be older but my hearing is fine!” Ambros admonished, shaking her finger but her eyes held the warmth of humour in them. “I remember teaching you to unleash your pretty voice in a song of pleasure. More like a growl than a melody but still…. very pleasant none the less.”

“Oh! Is that why you are so loud Mistress? I wondered where you learned to bellow like that!” Hypatia teased. “I’m sure everyone knows when we lay together!”

“That is good! Sex is a celebration of the body and soul. One should rejoice without reservation!” Xanthippe shrugged slightly pink in the face.

“Very good, Xanthippe! I’m surprised you recall my words so well.”

“Thank you, Ambros! Such lessons are a joy to recall.”

“Mistress! Did you have ideas of being a Priestess?” Hypatia asked excitedly.

“Oh, no! Not I.”

“Well, then why would you have lessons…”

“She chased my juniors so much and was at temple so often I decided to offer her some of my insights.” Ambrosius smiled impishly and when she saw Hypatia’s confused expression she continued. “I trained her to be a good lover. Is she? Does she bring you pleasure often, Hypatia?”

“Oh…uh well we…. I mean, she….”

“Oh dear, Xan! That’s not a very good review!”

The Mistress pulled a face at the older woman’s teasing tone.

‘No! It’s just…. a delicate subject.” Hypatia said blushing deeply.



“Why would talking about sex with me cause discomfort? It is my role in the world, you know? I help people from all walks of life have good love and good sex.”

Hypatia mulled the thought over for a while. It did seem to make sense if there was anyone who would be comfortable talking about love making it would be a High Priestess. She felt the heat leave her face and she felt more at ease.

“Xanthippe is a kind and caring lover. Passionate and always attentive. I always achieve pleasure, although…”

Hypatia gave Xan a cheeky look.

“I often have to wait until it pleases her to give me release.”

“Oh, really!? That’s interesting!”

“Oh yes! I wonder where I learned that, Ambrosius?” Xan laughed rolling her eyes.

“I always thought you would be the take charge sort. You certainly didn’t learn to obey in my bed. It’s nice to be on Top, isn’t it?”

Xanthippe smiled and nodded her eyes slightly out of focus as though she was looking into past sexual adventures. Ambros laughed and spoke again, waking Xan from her memories.

“See the mate you have chosen, though? Hypatia is anything but meek and mild as she has proven by rescuing my little Priestess here. This woman is strong, and independent and yet she can submit. I told you long ago one must be strong to submit to another. Now do you believe me?”

“I do. I finally understand what you tried to teach me.” the Mistress beamed as she reached out and caressed her lover’s face. “Still, I just can’t bring my self to be meek in the bedroom. I suppose I am not as strong as I thought!”

Hypatia smirked and kissed her hand. She then had a thought. It seemed a waste not to take advantage of the opportunity to seek advice from a High Priestess. After quietly asking Xan what she thought of the idea, Hypatia turned back to their companion.

“Um… Ambrosius?”

“If you seek my advice I would be very happy to give it to you. However, I request you come and pay tribute at the temple in return.”

Ambros chuckled at their surprised faces.

“I have been doing this for 40 years, remember?”

“Oh yeah!” Xan laughed. “But we just made tribute! A whole goat!”

“Ah, ah! Don’t play games with me! That was a offering to thank her for your love and you know it. The flesh of the beast was owed to repay the blessing. I ask you to come and offer your power at the altar.”

“In front of…. everyone?” Hypatia said hesitantly.

“I… uh..” Xan stammered.

“I’ll shoo the priests away for you. Only Priestesses.” Ambrosius tutted.

“Oh wonderful!”

“Oh well, that’s different!” Xan laughed. “Set the date and we’ll be there.”

“Uh, better make it before the moon wanes, Mistress. Our courses are due then and I don’t like making love with cramps.”

“It helps ease the pain you know?” Ambros offered conversationally as she stretched. “Xanthippe, is good at easing them if I recall. Anyway, what did you want to ask me?”

The young couple shared a look and Hypatia spoke.

“Well, last time we made love Xanthippe was really dominant and I found it very exciting so I kinda….”

“Want more?” Ambros smirked and they nodded. “A fairly common issue. What did you say Xan?”

“That we have to talk first so neither of us gets hurt or scared.”

“Good girl!”

“But I don’t know how to do that really.”

“Me either.” Hyaptia added.

“Lucky for you, I know all about it!” The Priestess grinned proudly flicking her hair slightly. “It’s fairly simple. First, you talk about what you like and what you don’t like. Fantasies, erogenous zones. Talk, talk, talk, talk! You’ll have to get over your shyness, little Noble.”

Hypatia snorted derisively and began to roll her eyes but stopped quickly when the Priestess fixed her with a stern look.

“I have no patience for sass when I am teaching, Hypatia.” Ambros said in a tone that reminded the apprentice of her earlier mood.

“I beg your pardon!”

Ambrosius nodded approvingly at the improved respectful tone but, as Xanthippe began to giggle at Hypatia’s mistake, the Priestess leaned forward and narrowed her eyes. The Mistress hurriedly adopted a look of pure innocence but it didn’t seem to work.

“That goes double for you, young lady!”

“Yes, Priestess!”

“Better! Now, secondly you’ll want a word that means stop….”

“How about stop?” Xan said sulkily.

She did not like how many times in the past two days she had been told off in front of her apprentice and the thought was making her moody.

“Last warning!” Ambrosius said tersely before she continued her train of thought. ” …because “stop” comes out in places where you don’t want it to be. It is foolish to think one can know when every ‘don’t’, ‘ow’, and ‘no’ is a genuine request. Choose a word you are unlikely to scream in ecstasy, ‘tree’ for example, and if it is said by either partner you stop. Do you understand thus far?”

“Yes” they answered together now quite interested in her advice.

“But?” Hypatia began. “I trust her. She would never hurt me. So is it really necessary?”

“You trust Xanthippe more than yourself?”


Hypatia turned to smile at her lover but she took a sharp intake of breath instead. Upon hearing her answer, Ambrosius had reached out and given her a sharp slap to the back of the head.

“What was that for!?” Hypatia yelped rubbing her scalp more from shock than pain.

“For being a fool! Never trust anyone more than yourself! You are the only one who knows your mind. Always trust yourself, always listen to you instincts, always keep yourself safe. Relying on others is fine, but you know you. They simply know what you show them. Shall we continue?”

“Wait just a minute! Mistress, do you trust me?”

“Of course, my dear!”

“More than yourself?”

“Oh, well no!”

“Well!” Hypatia huffed.

“Look, it’s like Ambros said, you have to take care of you…. oh don’t be upset, my love!”

Hypatia was riding with her chin tilted up at an angle that clearly showed she was offended. She had just turned to say something scathing when the Priestess cleared her throat loudly.

“Now, now that’s enough. If Xanthippe told you to never speak to your parents again, would you obey?”

“No! But that’s…”

“Join the army?”

“No, but…”

“Asked you to slay your horse?”

“No, but I…”

“You see! You don’t trust her more than yourself so don’t allow love’s spell to make you think otherwise!” Ambros said with an air of a woman who had had this argument many times.

Hypatia frowned and realized what she said was true. When it came down to it she would trust her own judgement over any one else.

“I see what you mean.”

“Good. Most importantly….”

“I still don’t think it should have earned me a smack!” Hypatia scowled.

“If you interrupt me again you’ll earn yourself another! Now hush!” Ambrosius chided, her voice stern and yet still full of warmth. “As I was saying, upon hearing it you must always stop and never be angry the word has been used. It’s not for either of you to decide why the other used it. It simply must be. There! I told you it was simple. Now quickly, let’s review.”

Hypatia was surprised by how fast she had finished but Xanthippe, having studied this way before, was ready. She sat up a little straighter and began to repeat what she had heard.

“We must talk. Discuss our desires and things we do not want.”

“Good. Hypatia?”

“Uh… Choose a word that means stop and always stop?”

“Are you asking?”

“No! That’s what we do.” Hypatia said more confidently and when the older woman appeared to be waiting for more she searched her mind. “Oh, and trust yourself to know what you want and… and who you are.”

“Well done, Ladies! You are fine students, even though you are both a little mouthy.” Ambrosius beamed at them her golden eyes flashing pride and amusement. “There is more for you to learn but that will have to wait. I must tend to Kalli.”

They had almost forgotten Kalli was with them. She had been trailing behind in silence, her hood still drawn. Ambrosius stopped her horse and drew Kalli’s mount up beside her. Xan and Hypatia finally saw Kalli’s shoulders were heaving gently and realized she must be crying. Ambros adjusted her chiton and threw her leg over so she rode astride as she pulled Kalli’s horse closer.

“Hypatia come, take the beast.”

The apprentice sidled over until she could reach the lead line and hold the horse steady. She could hear the two Priestesses talking as she waited.

“I’m fine, really!” Kalli hiccuped.

“No you’re not, you are sad. Come on, come to me.”

Ambros helped the young woman up onto her horse. She adjusted them until Kalli sat in her lap the same way Xan had held Hypatia on the way back from the races. The young Priestess let out a sob and cuddled close to the woman’s chest. Hypatia couldn’t see her face as it was still obscured but she could hear her mournful voice. The sound made her heart ache. She had never heard Kalli be anything but confident and bubbly.

“I am bad! I’m sorry. I should leave the temple.”

“No, that’s not true. You’ve just made a mistake. It will be all right. I won’t let you run away.”

Kalli seemed to be saying something but her sobs made it incomprehensible.

“Poor Kalli. Poor little dove! I know.” Ambros cooed softly kissing her forehead.

Hypatia didn’t realized she was staring until those golden eyes flicked in her direction.The Priestess fixed her with an admonishing look that broke her out of her daze.

“You may take the beast now, Hypatia.”

“Right! Of course! Sorry, Priestess!” Hypatia blushed as she hurried to obey.

Xanthippe and Hypatia took the lead allowing the Priestesses to have their privacy. They rode along in silence for a while. Hypatia took a glance behind them and saw Kalli’s hood had fallen down and she had drifted off. Ambrosius had closed her eyes and allowed her horse to fall in step with the other two freeing her arms to hold onto the slumbering woman.

“Mistress, will Kalli be alright?” Hypatia whispered.

“Yes, my dear. She’s always been impulsive and she tends to be very hard on herself when she feels as though she has hurt people she loves. Ambros will take care of her. She may be rather strict but she is one of the most loving people I know.” Xan smiled.

“I can see that. She is unlike anyone I’ve ever met. I find her personality very attractive.”

“You have no idea. To be made love to by her is truly a religious experience.”

“She is very beautiful.” Hypatia shrugged.


“We’re you lovers long?”

“Ummm… that’s not really what I would call it. To be with her is…different. Amazing, mind numbing, incredible and yet…”

“Well you sure know how to make a girl feel special!” Hypatia grumbled.

“Oh, my love, I’m sorry! Have I made you jealous?” Xanthippe sighed, angry with herself for being tactless.

“It doesn’t matter! I’ve had a fair few lovers in my time!”

“I should have explained better. Unless you are one of her Priestesses, Ambrosius does not hold a place in her heart for you. She can adore you, befriend you, teach and guide you but she reserves her love for those marked by Aphrodite. When you lay with her you are a cherished instrument she plays with skill but one must always be ready for the day she chooses to play another. That’s why I said we couldn’t call ourselves lovers. You and I on the other hand…”


“Well, I love you. Your love feeds my mind and body. When we make love…” Xanthippe smiled and closed her eyes looking for the right words. “You sate the thirst I have in my soul. No one has ever done that before.”

“Oh….” Hypatia said softly. “Well, aren’t you the charmer! That was beautiful. I love you too!”

They rode along for a while in happy silence. Just after noon Ambros called up to them causing Kalli to stir.

“Just a short way ahead is a small stream. We will stop to eat there.”

Xanthippe frowned and squinted up at the sun.

“We should press on. At the speed we’re going it will be the middle of the night when we get back. There is some food in the saddle bag that we can eat as we ride. Help yourself.”

“It’s just around the bend here.” Ambros smiled as though she had not heard. “Kalli, come on little dove, wake up.”

Xanthippe’s shoulders squared with frustration and she turned her head around.

“I said we should….”

“I heard very well what you said. It is what I say that will be obeyed today, little Mistress!”

Xanthippe opened and then closed her mouth. She did not trust herself to speak as her irritation at being delayed and the rising heat of the day threatened to have her lose her temper. Taking a deep breath she turned back around and stared forward. Ambrosius wasn’t going to let her avoid the situation, however.

“Xanthippe?” she purred drawing her name out in a tone of warning.

With only a slight grimace to her apprentice Xan sighed and answered in a respective tone.

“Yes, of course, Priestess.”

“Good girl. Ah, here we are!”

They had rounded the bend and came across a small clearing by the side of the road. It was quite a beautiful little place. There were wildflowers all about and a babbling stream running through. A large elm tree cast a wide circle of inviting shade. It seemed as though it was a popular place for travelers to stop and rest. Someone had built a small rail to tie horses to and there was even a rough stone fire pit under the elm tree. The group moved off the road into the shade and dismounted.
Hypatia retrieved the saddle bags and Xan gathered up the horses and took them to drink from the creek.

“Oh wait just a minute!” Ambros called to Xan as she cracked her back. “Kalli, my bag.”

Kalli hurried over and took another saddle bag down and returned pulling her hood up as she came. Ambrosius tutted and began to remove items from the bag.

“Hood down, Kalli. I’ve given you long enough. Besides, you’ll make yourself sick wearing that in this heat! Now go on. You know what to do.”

As she spoke, the older woman handed Hypatia a pot to hold and then handed the bag to Kalli.

“Yes, Priestess.” Kalli replied meekly as she removed her head covering and hurried off towards the tree.

Ambrosius smiled to herself and began to stretch. Hypatia was impressed by how limber she seemed to be as she watch her bend double and straighten up.

“Pretty one, that kettle won’t fill itself!” Ambros chuckled warmly.

Hypatia giggled and went off to fetch some water. On her way back she helped Xan tether the horses and they made their way up to the tree. Kalli had already swept the debris from around the hearth and started a small fire. She took the kettle with a nod of thanks to set it amongst the flames. She then stood and peered around looking for something. She apparently saw what she needed as she strode off a moment later.Ambrosius settled her self against the base of the tree as Xan and Hypatia brought the food out and lay it on a piece of cloth.

By the time Kalli returned, the kettle had began to steam. She knelt down by the fire side and deposited a few apples on the cloth before tending to the tea. Hypatia began to help her but as she reached for the apples Kalli pulled them away and shook her head. The noble woman thought she was being rather possessive but, as Ambros began to mutter prayers over the fruit, she realized they were an offering.

The young Priestess handed them each a cup of tea and then poured one for Ambros. Hypatia watched out of the corner of her eye as Kalli sat on her knees in a serving position holding the cup in offering to the High Priestess. Ambrosius did not even look at her as she continued to speak. When she had finished she took the cup, downed it quickly and handed it back to Kalli.

“Pour for yourself.” Ambros said softly as she felt the weight of each apple as though trying to determine something from it.
Kalli sipped her tea slowly eyes fixed on the apples. Hypatia followed her gaze and tried to see what was so interesting but they just looked like plain apples to her.

“What are you looking for?”


“I just….’

Xanthippe put her hand on her arm and shook her head with a small smile. She then gave a quick glance towards the Priestesses before chancing a roll of her eyes and a wink. Hypatia smirked and shrugged.

Ambros held out her hand and Kalli immediately handed her a knife. She delicately peeled the skin off one of the apples so that it was an intact spiral. She lay the skin on the hot rock, watched it for a second and then began to cut slices. She showed the first slice to Kalli who smiled and nodded.

“No surprise there, eh Kalli?” Ambros chuckled as she transferred it from the knife into her mouth.

She cut a second piece and looked at it before showing Kalli who frowned a little.

“Mmm, well Xan lucky and unlucky as always. Great loss, great gain.”

“Yeah, just my luck.” Xan sighed sadly.

“Better than the other way round! Here.” Ambrosius smiled as she held the fruit out but when Xan tried to take it with her hand she added “Ah, ah! You know better.”

At this Xanthippe made noise between a groan and a laugh and allowed the Priestess to place the fruit in her mouth. Ambros cut a third slice, squinted at it, frowned and then showed it to Kalli who also looked confused. Hypatia held her breath.

“Hmm… I don’t know what it’s trying to say. What do you think Kalli?”

“Me?” Kalli stammered her eyes wide with disbelief.

“You are a Priestess after all! What say you?”

“Oh, well… forgive me, but I think the message is upside down, Ambros.”

Ambrosius stared at her, turned the slice over, and laughed heartily.

“Very good, little dove! The wisdom of youth. Hypatia, you can’t do anything easily can you?”

“What does it say?” Hypatia asked nervously.

“Patience, now. Hmmm…. oh yes! Obviously! Walks between an image and the true self.”

Hypatia let out a sigh of relief and leaned forward to accept the fruit.

“Had you worried did we?” Ambros winked as she cut another piece. “Ok Kalli, your turn! Oh ho! What’s this!?”

They all leaned closer. Kalli was slightly pale and seemed to be hovering between looking and hiding her eyes. Xanthippe and Hypatia had no idea what Ambros had seen in their omens to give her answers but Kalli’s was clear as day. In the center, where the core piece shone light green, was the shape of a small clam shell. Kalli beamed when she saw it.

“You see! She marks you again! My my…” Ambros purred lustfully. “I’ve never know one to have so much favour.”

“Thank you, Priestess.” Kalli blushed as she ate her slice.

Ambrosius picked up another apple cut it in half and handed them to Xan and Hypatia.

“What do these say?” Hypatia asked excitedly.

The Priestess paused and fixed her with a confused and slightly condescending look.

“Nothing. It’s just an apple, silly girl!”

Hypatia’s turned to Xan looking puzzled and quite disgruntled at being chided in such a manner. The Mistress couldn’t help but laugh at her scandalized expression and eventually Hypatia shrugged and joined in with her mirth.

They continued with their lunch. Hypatia noticed that Kalli would serve Ambros first and then wait for the Priestess to offer her bits of her food. They rest of them lounged comfortably but Kalli continued to sit on her knees, back straight, head held high. The noble woman realized Kalli had been telling the truth when she said being a Priestess wasn’t as easy as it seemed.

Xanthippe was anxious to get back on the road and she kept stealing glances at the sun. Noticing this, Hypatia cleared away the leftovers expecting they would depart soon. However, when Xan saw Ambros lean back against the tree and called Kalli into her arms, she sighed quietly and stretched out on the grass. Hypatia cuddled up beside her.

“I thought we were going?” she whispered.

“Yes, well…. best just get comfortable. It will be a while longer now. Try to have a little rest, my love.” Xan yawned.


“It’s mid-day.”


“And…” the Mistress smiled with a little nod toward the tree. “Come mid-day, Ambrosius is always hungry.”

“But we just…” Hypatia began but when she glanced towards the Priestesses she gave a small laugh of understanding. “Oh, I see!”

The pair were kissing passionately. Well, from what she could see, Ambrosius was doing all the kissing. She had laced her fingers in Kalli’s hair and was positively devouring her mouth with her own. Hypatia looked up at Xan to see she was laying with her eyes closed and decided she could risk admiring their technique a while longer.

What surprised her most was how passive Kalli was. She didn’t seem to make a movement without Ambrosius guiding her in some way. This was contrary to what the apprentice had heard from Elpis. According to her friend, Kalli was very much the one to make the first move.

Hypatia swallowed hard. Her throat suddenly felt dry. It truly was something to behold. At one point Kalli ran her hand up to cup between Ambrosius’ thighs. The reaction was immediate. The high Priestess stopped her kissing, grabbed Kalli’s wrist, and bit her cleavage. Kalli yelped. It was a pleasurable sound but it had a firm under tone of pain that indicated that the bite had been more corrective than playful. Hypatia jumped as she heard Xan’s deep rumbling laugh.

“She shouldn’t have done that, I guess.” she said softly, her tone amused.

“My Goddess! I see what you mean now.” Hypatia hissed back.

“Just wait. They haven’t even started…”

Just then, Ambros stopped kissing once more and turned her head toward them.

“You two either come over here and be of service to me or stop with the commentary!”

“Sorry!” they answered quickly.

“Well? What is it to be?”

“We’ll be quiet.” Xan blushed.

“Pity! At least, pay attention. You might learn a thing or two!” Ambrosius quipped causing Kalli to let out a laugh that quickly transitioned into a gasp as her lover slipped her hand under skirt and entered her.

Soon the meadow echoed with the sounds of Kalli’s appreciation. Hypatia peeked over at them and saw Kalli looking quite spent. Ambros, on the other hand, seemed relaxed even well rested. Kalli propped herself up on one arm and flicked her hair alluringly.

“May I give you pleasure?”

“No, little dove.”

“But…”Kalli stammered before her tone took on a pleading quality. “Please? I need to….”

“No, you want to. For now, you may take pleasure but you will not give it. Not until I think you are ready.”

“Priestess, please! I have been giving to you for years and I think that I should at least…”


“Yes?” the apprentice answered slightly startled thinking she had been caught eavesdropping again.

“Go and fetch me that rose over there.”

Hypatia hesitated.

“Better go quick, little apprentice!” Xan chuckled sleepily.

When she had returned with the flower, Ambrosius took it from her with a smile. She looked up at Hypatia and flicked her eyes back toward Xanthippe, and though the apprentice didn’t know how, she knew she had been dismissed with a thoroughly imperious and yet utterly pleasant gesture.

When she had sat down and looked back at them, Ambros was braiding Kalli’s hair with enough force to show she was displeased but not enough to be painful. When she had finished she threaded the rose behind Kalli’s ear and held her chin. Her voice took on a very serious tone, and yet, still it still sounded like a loving caress.

“Do not argue with me, Kallikrates. You have lost the privilege of pleasuring me but don’t worry…” she smiled as she gave her a gentle kiss. “I will make sure you earn it back.”

“Yes, Priestess.” Kalli answered wistfully as though under a spell.

“We are going!” Ambros said suddenly as she rose and headed towards the horses.

They all gathered up the saddle bags, put out the fire and hurried after her. When they reached her she was already astride her horse and heading out to the road. Hypatia helped Kalli sling the saddle bags onto the other horses and chanced a whispered conversation.

“You’re right about one thing. It’s not all flowers and orgasms, Kalli!” she said looking at Ambrosius as she halted at the road.

“That’s true, flower.” Kalli beamed at her and her hand caressed the rose in her hair. “But when it is mmmm…. it’s magic!”

They put their heads together and giggled quietly until they heard Ambros call out to them.

“Well, we haven’t got all day!”

They made up the time by riding at a canter for a while. By the time they reached the temple it was just becoming dark. As they said their goodbyes Ambrosius turned to Xan.

“If you are going to pay tribute in the next week we should discuss some things. You will meet me for lunch here tomorrow. That should give you time to practice. Thank you both once again for all your help. Come Kalli!”

“Tomorrow? But we have work to do and the….” Xanthippe began but stopped as the Priestess turned around and fixed her with a sly smile.

“What was that, little Mistress?”

Xan smiled as she shook her head.

“We look forward to seeing you at noon tomorrow. Thank you, Priestess and good evening.”

“Good evening, ladies.” Ambrosius purred appreciative before turning and entering the temple with a flick of her dappled raven hair.

As they set towards home neither spoke until the were sure they were out of ear shot. Xan let out a low whistle.

“So what do you think of Ambrosius, my dear?”

“What a woman! What a marvelously, intelligent, erotic, confident and incredible…” Hypatia said in an awed voice before adding in a whisper with a mischievous grin. “… pain in the ass!”

They both burst out laughing as they made their way home.

As the small group began to discuss what had just happened, Hypatia watched Kalli go. She was only half listening to thier congratulations at handling the situation as she had a tense feeling in her stomach. She barely excused herself as the feeling intensified. She moved across the room quickly and with determination. When she reached the foyer she saw them.

Kalli looked angry and scared. The man had a hold of her arm and was pulling her toward the door. They were arguing quietly as not to draw attention and as Hypatia approached he hit her across the face. She did not think she only acted. His back was to her and as he raised his arm again, Hypatia seized it and twisted it behind his back.

“Let her go or I will break you arm.”

He still held on to Kalli as he hesitated. He shouldn’t have. Hypatia twisted until she felt his wrist break. He let go of Kalli and tried to dislodge her. She knew she didn’t stand much of a chance unless she moved quickly. Hypatia wrenched his arm further up his back. The pain made his knees buckle and she kicked his legs out from underneath him.

It took all her strength and focus to hold him down. When she felt someone’s hand on her shoulder she was so full of adrenaline rolled off quickly and turned to fight the newcomer.

“Woah there! It’s alright, it’s me!” Timo said softly.

“He hit her! He hit Kalli! I broke his arm, Father.” Hypatia panted dazed slightly by her combative state.

“Did you?” Timo said as casually as though she had just told him she had received high marks on an assignment. “That’s my girl! Are you hurt?”

“No. He never got the chance.” she smiled as he embraced her.

“Well done!”

It was only when they broke apart that Hypatia noticed that the whole guest list was watching from the door of the andron. The men had begun to break away from the group and moved towards the man on the floor. Xanthippe made to join them but she stopped when she felt Eudoxia’s hand on her arm.

“Best let them deal with it their own way.” she said quietly. “We have our own way of doing it. Besides, she’s looking for you.”
Hypatia spotted her at that moment and made her way through the throng.

“Are you alright?” Xan asked as she embraced her.

“I’m fine! Where’s Kalli?”

Xan nodded toward a circle of women and Hypatia made toward them. Timo came over to speak with his wife.

“Xanthippe, who is Kalli to him?” he asked privately.

“She is a Priestess of the temple of Aphrodite. They have no connection.”

“Is she now? Well, that will make things more interesting! Excuse me, won’t you?”

Xanthippe watched him leave as casually is if he were going on an evening stroll. When she returned to the andron the room was a buzz of conversation. No longer stuffy and polite the voiced were united with a purpose. Small groups were formed and women flitted between them sharing information. As she made her way towards Hypatia and Kalli she could hear snippets of conversation.

“What’s his standing?”

“Who’s his mother?”

“Amyntas of Athens!”

“No! Not the commander in the army?”

“The very same!”

“He better pray they kill him before she finds out!”

“Who is she?”

“I don’t know her bloodline. They call her Kalli but that can’t be her full name.”

“I heard Hypatia’s new lover say she was a Priestess.”

“By the Gods! What temple?”


“Ooooooh! He’s doomed!”

Xan marveled at how fast the information could fly between them. She didn’t quite know the point of it but she had more pressing matters to attend to. She had expected the gossip to continue when she reached Kalli and Hypatia but there was none here. In fact, those who surrounded them were quite calm and attentive to the pair. They were both sitting and sipping hot wine. Eudoxia was standing behind her daughter and gently running her fingers through her hair while Kalli was having some sort of oil applied to her face by a wisp of a woman.

“There that should help the pain and minimize any bruising.”

“Thank you, Doctor but honestly, I’m fine! I’m tougher than I look!” Kalli smiled and turned toward Hypatia. “Not nearly as tough as this Lady here though! My hero!”

“Well… if I hadn’t antagonized him then…” Hypatia began but she was cut off immediately by many different voices.

“He would have anyway!”

“It’s not your fault!”

“He’s a pig! He’ll get his, just you wait!”

“Speaking of which….” Kalli said slyly looking to Xan. “How’s it going out there?”

“Where? Outside?”

“No, I mean the talking. How goes it? Is he ruined yet?”

Xanthippe didn’t know what she was talking about but Eudoxia answered.

“Just about. We’re just waiting for… ah here it is.”

Someone had just handed her a scroll and she signaled to a servant.

“Take these to the messengers at once. Tell them to ride. I want them delivered quickly.”

As soon as one servant disappeared another arrived and spoke softly to Eudoxia.

“The men are finished now.” Eudoxia spoke to the circle and, as few more people broke off to inform the others, she spoke directly to Kalli. “Do you wish to stay here or retire before they return?”

“I think I’ve had enough excitement for one night.” Kalli laughed.

“Xanthippe, Hypatia? Please show Kalli to the upstairs.”

“Of course.” Xan replied quickly glad of having something to do.

As Hypatia stood to leave her mother whispered some advice as they walked across the andron.

“Stay with her but also let her be alone if she wishes it.”

“Yes, Mother.”

Hypatia lead the way upstairs and decided her room would do until the servant made up another. As soon as the door closed behind them Kalli let out a low whistle.

“Well! That was one hell of a party, huh kids?”

She frowned slightly, shook her head as though ridding her mind of thoughts and then pulled at her chiton.

“Hey hero girl, do you have anything I could wear? I feel dreadful in this thing!”

Hypatia began to pull out different garments and Kalli chose a soft pepalos.

“That’s a good idea. I’ve been bound since sun up.” Xan groaned as she began to undo her chiton but stopped as she asked. “I’m assuming you want us to stay with you?”

“Of course! I much prefer company….how do you get this stupid thing off?… especially if it’s with two lovely ladies…. oh fuck it!”

After struggling for only a short while Kalli pulled the whole thing over her head and threw it in a heap on the floor.

“Ha!” she said triumphantly as she shook her hair so forcefully pins began to fly everywhere. “and that takes care of that stupid hair do! Now for the makeup. Where’s the basin. Oh I found it!”

She poured the water into the basin, slopping quite a bit over the sides in the process, and began splashing it over her face. Meanwhile, Xan had removed her chiton and bindings, threw them on the floor and was wrapping herself in a thin pepalos. They were chatting disparagingly about formal attire and neither of them noticed Hypatia until she cleared her throat irritably.

They both looked up from their tasks to see her still fully dressed with her hands on her hips and frowning.

“What’s the matter, pretty flower?”

“You two are the limit! Look at this place! Barely in the door and it’s a shambles!”

Kalli laughed but Xan began to pick up the various things that had been strewn about the place.

“Well, well! It seems your love has gotten through to you about cleaning up where no one else could Xan!”
Xan shrugged and chuckled as she wiped up the spilled water.

“I’m just glad of something to do. Tonight I’ve felt about as useless as Hera’s tits to Athena!”

As soon as it was said, Kalli lay a hard slap on Xan’s prone posterior. Xanthippe stood slowly and turned to face her looking thunderous.

“Ooooooooh, Kalli!” Hypatia squealed half amused, half warningly.

“Don’t give me that look! How dare you say such a thing in front of a Priestess! Just because I’m your friend doesn’t mean I’ll stand for such talk!” Kalli scolded wagging her finger and looking just as irate.

After a moments pause, Xan sighed, crossed her arms defensively and adopted a hang dog expression.

“Sorry.” she muttered.

“What was that?”

“I said sorry, Kalli.”

“I should hope so.” Kalli nodded approvingly as she began to braid her hair.

“How did you do that!?” Hypatia goggled at her.

“Easy. I can teach you if you want.”

“That would be…” Hypatia began excitedly but upon seeing Xan’s eyebrows reach for her hair line she switched her tone quickly. “Ahem… completely unacceptable. Right, Mistress?”

Xanthippe couldn’t help but laugh at Hypatia’s winning smile and fluttering eyelashes.

“Right, brat!”

Hypatia giggled, removed her chiton and folded it neatly. When she felt Kalli’s eyes upon her she looked up. The woman smiled kindly at her.

“You are very beautiful.”

She said it such a sweet and conversational way Hypatia didn’t know if she was expressing desire or simple admiration. Either way, it made her feel nice.

“I am, aren’t I?” she smiled back. “Thank you.”

“Confident. That is good!” Kalli grinned before turning to Xan who had been sitting contemplating quietly. “Still pouting or lost in thought?”

“Hmm? Oh, no. I was just thinking about tonight. Never mind. You probably don’t want to talk about it.”

“Talking is good. Let us talk.”

“Well, what was that all about?”


“When everybody split up and then the message that was sent and the gossip…”

“Oh that wasn’t gossip!” Kalli grinned.

“It wasn’t?”

“That was war!” Hypatia laughed and when Xan look puzzled she continued. “That was a social blood letting. By this time tomorrow he won’t be able to show his face anywhere without people talking. I doubt he’ll ever find a mate after this which is good as his blood should not muddy the lines.”

“Really? It will happen that fast?” Xan asked impressed. “Well, good! Though, I doubt Aphrodite would favour him after tonight anyway.”

“She certainly didn’t favour me tonight.” Kalli said softly, feeling her cheek absentmindedly as she continued. “I don’t know what I have done to upset her.”

Her eyes brimmed with tears as she finished speaking. Hypatia got up and held her tightly. Xanthippe was quiet for a short while. She then stood up and came over to stroke Kalli’s hair as she spoke.

“I think you might be looking at it the wrong way because you are upset.”

“What other way it there to see it? I didn’t defend her honour from that idiot and so she didn’t help me when I needed it!”

“Hypatia was there though.” Xan pointed out as she stroked her lover’s hair as well. “She helped you. Then everyone came together to cast out violence to protect love. I don’t know, Kalli but I think you were just part of a plan here.”

Kalli was quiet as she thought. Eventually she gave a small hiccuping laugh and dried her eyes on her pepalos.

“Just my luck!” she smiled weakly and then her eyes filled with tears again. “I wish I was at the temple. I wish I was home.”

“We’re going home tomorrow. You are more than welcome to come with us! In fact, that would be a great help since we have three extra horses to bring back with us.” Hypatia smiled. “Oh, you do know how to ride, don’t you?”

Kalli smirked slightly as she spoke.

“Well, yeah! It’s kinda my job, flower!”

“What? Oh! Kalli!”

They all shared a good laugh and when they were through Kalli seemed more relaxed but she still chewed her lip nervously.

“Where am I to be sleeping?”

“I think the next room over. They’re just making it up now. I can tell them to hurry if you are tired.”

“Oh no. No rush.” Kalli said her eyes darting slightly. “Is it a private room or..”

“Of course!”

“Oh. Lovely.”

Upon hearing Kalli’s somewhat saddened tone, Hypatia gave Xanthippe a questioning look. Her Mistress was smiling knowingly.

“She doesn’t like to sleep alone, my dear. Kalli is afraid of the dark.” Xan chuckled.

“I am not!”

“Are too!”

“I just don’t like to be alone!” Kalli pouted.

“I should have guessed!” Hypatia said knowingly. “You all sleep in a heap at the temple.”

“How do you know that?” Xan asked her eyebrow raised.

“How do you?” her apprentice countered with the same look.

“Fair enough, my dear!”

“May I join you tonight?” Kalli asked flirting expertly.

Before she spoke, Xanthippe looked to her lover who nodded.

“You are most welcome but only for sleeping.”

“Oh you are no fun little Mistress! Here you have two beautiful women panting over you and you only think of sleep!”

“Wouldn’t be the first time!” Xan winked. “And I bet it won’t be the last!”

Kalli and Hypatia shared a look and spoke at the same time.


They sat around talking good-naturedly for a while until the conversation was interrupted by the growl of Kalli’s stomach. Hypatia opened the door and stopped one of the servants. Soon after they were supplied with food and drink. As they placed the food on the table Kalli began to bless the wine. It wasn’t until she finished that Xan realized what she had done.

“Kalli! Did you just bless all that wine?”

“Yes. There’s not much here it just…. oh this is rather fancy pottery, Hypatia. Where is it from?”

“Lesbos, my mother’s birth place. It is very thin so…”

“Oh, so the weight is…”

“All wine, yes!” Hypatia giggled.

“Oops! Well, there’s nothing for it we’ll have to try to drink it!”

“What a hardship!” Xan laughed and Kalli joined in but Hypatia chewed her lip.

“We can possibly drink all of it without becoming…” she paused and looked around before lowering her voice to barely a whisper “…drunken.”

Xan and Kalli look at her and then at each other and shared a laugh. Kalli began to pour the wine and began chatting without a second thought.

“I’m serious! We cannot get drunk in this house!”


“Because… well just because! It’s not done! It’s never been done!” Hypatia hissed still keeping her voice low. “It’s barbaric!”

“Are you telling me you’ve never been intoxicated!?” Xan smiled at her incredulously.

“No! I… what kind of a girl do you think I am!? Have either of you? I mean what would people say?”

“Well, as I am a whore…” Kalli laughed.

“And I am a run about thief….” Xan added with a smirk.

“We don’t really care what people think! Cheers!”

“Well, I do! Xanthippe, if Mother thinks you are a drunk there will be nothing I can say to stop her from going on the war path. Please!”

Xan stopped half way through downing her drink and frowned. She set it down and pulled Hypatia over to sit on her lap.

“Alright, my dear, alright! For you, anything!” she said as she sweetly nuzzled her neck.

“I can’t drink all this by myself!” Kalli pouted, sighed and walked over to the door. A servant followed her back into the room. “Here, take this down to your Mistress and tell her it is a gift of blessed wine from the temple of Aphrodite. Oh wait a minute! Top us off won’t you?”

Kalli watched it go almost longingly.

“What a waste of a good night!”

“You’re just put out because you always go wild in Athens and since we’re going back tomorrow you’ve missed your chance!” Xan teased.

“I would think you could do what you want where ever you are, Kalli.”

“Ha! You two have only ever been to temple for a short worship session. Believe me, being a Priestess is not all orgasms and flowers! Having Ambrosius as High Priestess is no festival. She’s quite strict. That one night I stayed at the Estate instead of going back to temple…”

She gave a little shudder and continued.

“I thought the roof would cave in she yelled so loud! If she ever finds out that…. oh well never mind!” Kalli stammered quickly popping a date into her mouth.

“Finds out what?” Hypatia smirked narrowing her eyes.

“Nothing! The dates are delicious I wonder if I could get the recipe?”

“Kalli?” Xan purred dominantly. “Please, tell me Ambro knows where you are.”

“Of course she does! She would have sent out a search party by now!”

“Then why so evasive?”

“Maybe because you two won’t mind your own business!” Kalli laughed and stuck out her tongue at them still looking for a way to redirect the conversation. “Besides, it’s not that big of a deal! I’m more educated in the matter than most of the older Priestesses and much more than the Priests so…”

Xanthippe groaned and placed her hand over her eyes.

“Kalli, you didn’t!” Hypatia gasped.

“I don’t know what you think I’ve done so I can’t answer that.”

“Stop playing games! Did you get permission to be a Temple Hetaera?”

Kalli looked away and turned slightly pink.


“I thought you were being trained to be a Hetairistriai.” Xanthippe said incredulously.

“I am but…”

“How did you end up working tonight then?”

“I was sent to Athens to pay tribute and when I was coming out of the temple I kinda… thought I’d give it a whirl.” Kalli shrugged her blush deepening. “But it doesn’t matter because she’ll never find out about it will she?”

“But she will! Mother would have sent a message to the Temple in Athens and they will have sent one to Ambrosius and by the time we get back tomorrow…Oh, Kalli! You are in soooo much trouble!” Hypatia sniggered.

“Hypatia, that’s enough. You don’t have to rub it in.” Xan said quietly.

“I think Kalli will be the one doing the rubbing when she gets home!”

“Hypatia! She feels bad enough.”

“I’ll bet! I would if it were me!” Hypatia threw her head back and howled with laughter.

“Oh shut up, will you!” Kalli growled her eyes bright with tears.

“Oh come on it’s funny!”

“Alright, little apprentice…” Xanthippe said firmly as she lifted Hypatia off her lap into a standing position. “If it’s so funny, I’m sure you won’t mind giving us all a laugh.”

As she felt her Mistress begin to pull her over her strong thighs Hypatia locked her legs and struggled to avoid being up ended. Kalli had let out a gale of laughter at how quickly her expression had changed from goading to shocked.

“Okay! Okay! I get it! It’s not funny!” Hypatia squealed still struggling.

“No?” Xanthippe smirked.

“No, Mistress!”

“Are you going to stop teasing and do as your told the first time?”

“Yes, Mistress! I’m sorry!”

“Hmm, I don’t know.” Xan smiled impishly still half halfheartedly trying to pull her lover over her knee. “What do you think Kalli?”

“Hmmm…” Kalli giggled.

“Oh for heaven’s sake Kalli! I’m sorry!” Hypatia yelped half amused, half desperate.

“Alright! I accept.”

“You got lucky, little brat!” her Mistress purred as she released her but not before landing a firm swat. “Alright, you two we are going to bed.”

“Xanthippe, the sun has barely set!”

“Yes, but we shall be preparing to leave before it has barely risen. As neither of you are a joy to deal with when tired, we are going to sleep.”

“What!? I am expected to be up early as well?” Kalli moaned. “Listen, let’s just stay up a bit later and leave a bit later.”

Hypatia, who had already begun to lay bed mats on the floor chuckled and shook her head.

“What’s so funny now?”

“Best just give it up Kalli. That’s the “I will be heard and obeyed tone”. It won’t do any good to argue you should know.”

“She never had that tone when she was with me! You’ve given her a swelled head by doing as you’re told all the time.”

“Oh, I had this tone before you just never listened, Kalli.”

“Well what makes you think I’ll listen now, oh all powerful Xanthippe!” Kalli scoffed folding her arms petulantly.

Xanthippe turned away from making the bed and stood with her hands on her hips.

“Either you behave yourself and come to bed with us or you bed alone. You know what I expect of you, Kallikrates.” Xan said in smooth clipped tones.

Hypatia had already stretched out on her side and was watching their conversation with mild interest. Kalli continued to look sullen as Xan lay down beside her apprentice. After she had adjusted the blankets so they were covering the whole bed the Mistress folded back one side and fixed her friend with a look that was firm but not unkind.

“When you’re finished pouting, Kalli, blow out the lamp and come to bed.”

Sighing deeply, Kalli stomped over to the lamp, blew it out and thumped back towards them in the dark. Hypatia, head resting on her lovers chest, could see her outline in the soft glow of twilight as she flopped down beside them with a snort of frustration. The woman tossed and turned for a while before letting out a irritated, rather loud, growl.

“Kalli! Enough! I’m surprised at you!” Xan said sharply.

Silence and then a soft sigh.

“Sorry. I’ll be good, petal.”

“Petal!?” Hypatia giggled.

“Well, what do you call her?” Kalli laughed.


“That’s so kinky!”

“Mmm, isn’t it just?”

They were quiet for a while until Kalli began to fidget once more. Xan made a sound between a chuckle and a groan and lifted her free arm.

“Come here then.”

This had apparently been what Kalli had been waiting for as she immediately cuddled up to lay her head across from Hypatia’s place on Xan’s chest. Hypatia’s free hand was resting across her lovers strong hips and she felt Kalli hesitantly brush her fingertips across it. It was such a brief gesture but she knew it was a movement that asked permission. She took the woman’s hand in hers and squeezed it gently.

“This is really nice.” Kalli whispered and they could hear her smile in her voice.

“Mmhmm.” Xanthippe responded sleepily.

“I haven’t slept this way since I had two lovers when I was at school.” Hypatia grinned.

“Sounds like my kind of school! Where’d you go?”



“Yeah. She’s my aunt.”

“Lucky girl!”

“Shhh.” Xanthippe muttered stirring slightly.

A few moments passed before Kalli whispered again.

“How long did you study there?”

“Only a few months. I was bored and oversexed. Besides, I missed riding too much.”

“I’d take being oversexed over riding any day!”

“I bet you would!”

The both began to giggle quietly. They had just resumed their whispered conversation when they both felt Xanthippe growl and pull them tight to her body with each arm.

“Ladies… go to sleep!”

They tutted in unison and fell silent while listening to Xan’s deep sigh of satisfaction.

“Hypatia, are you sure about this?”

“Trust me! I’ve done it a hundred times! Besides, we are doing business.”

“But, is it sporting?”

“Oh, you worry too much! Of course it is!” Hypatia laughed rolling her eyes and dragging Xan into the stables. “Come on!”

They were now standing in the large stables beside the track. Hypatia struck up a few conversations with the trainers and jockeys. At first, Xan was uncomfortable but talking about horses was her element and she relaxed as she examined the animals. Hypatia had discovered that a few of the owners were not pleased with their trainers. The noble woman flitted about finding out as much gossip as she could.

Eventually, she brought three nobles over to Xanthippe and they began to negotiate. By the time they left the stable they had three new contracts and were rather pleased with themselves. The chatted happily as they made there way over to the betting tables. After a quick scan of the standings and some deep discussion, Hypatia lay her bet across the board. Ignoring the subtle jibes about her choices she simply grinned and handed over a large amount of drachma.

When they arrived at the stadium, Xanthippe pulled Hypatia away from the nobles area and led her towards the lower classes. There, they met the fellows who had been saving a spot for them right up against the rails. The atmosphere here was loud and boisterous. Hypatia was used to the suppressed and stuffy people in the higher class seating but she began to enjoy the excitement. She remained stoic for the first race but by the third she was cheering just as loud as the rest.

“Can you believe it? We’ve won every bet so far!”

“Hush, my love.” Xanthippe said quickly, her eyes darting around.

“Why? We make a great team and with the amount we’ve won we could…”

“Hypatia, obey me and hush! I’ll explain later.”

“You’re being a spoil sport!” Hypatia said huffily as she turned back towards the race pouting furiously.

Xanthippe wrapped her arms around her waist from behind and quietly spoke into her neck.

“If you keep shouting about how much money we’ve won we are sure to be robbed on our way home. Do you understand now, little apprentice?”

Hypatia turned around and looked fearful at the thought.

“Oh! I didn’t… I mean are you sure? What will we do?”

“Shh, it’s alright! I’ll protect us. Watch the races and relax.” Xan smiled and gave her a peck on the cheek.

Hypatia tried to enjoy the rest of the afternoon but every win made her more nervous. She was afraid she had put them in danger and cursed herself for being so naive. When it was time to collect their winnings Xan noticed her lover was very tense. She gave her a squeeze and told her to go and collect her drachma. Hypatia’s heart beat fast as she took the four bags that were bulging with coins from the disgruntled looking clerk. She hurried back to her Mistress who was not looking at her but past her. Xan let out a laugh and waved to someone. The man approached smiling also.

“You old dog! How are you!” Xan grinned as she shook hands with then man.

“Not bad, still working. How about you?”

“I’ve gone straight. My lover and apprentice, Hypatia. Hypatia this is Ampelios.”

“Nice to meet you. Congratulations Xan. If you’ll excuse me, time is of the essence you know!” he smiled as he slunk back towards the table.

“Who was he?”

“A thief. We used to work together sometimes.”

“What!? So he was going to rob me?” Hypatia spluttered.

“Well… yes. He didn’t though because you were with me.” Xan shrugged.

“I’m going to go give him a piece of my mind!”

She started to march towards him but Xan held her back.

“Now now, no harm done! Besides we need to get home. Come along and say goodbye to the fellas.”

Tutting, Hypatia allowed herself to be diverted from her path and led over to the group. They spent a while chatting. So long in fact, that on the third round of goodbyes Xan looked up at the sun and cursed.

“Oh damn! We’re going to be late!”

“I don’t mind! Why don’t we just stay….” Hypatia began but upon catching Xan’s disapproving look she added. “Oh, well… yes we should be going.”

They hurried over to the stables and arranged to take one of the horses with them that evening. The others would follow in the morning. Xanthippe climbed up on to the animal and Hypatia made to get on behind her.

“No, I want you up here.” Xan smiled as she patted her lap.

“Tsk! I can ride in back just fine!”

“I know, I just want to hold you. Come on up you get!”

Hypatia relented to being lifted up to sit side saddle in her Mistress’ lap. They set out at a walk as Xan had to take care not to knock anyone over in the crowd. Once they reached the road she spurred the animal into a trot.

“Stop squirming!”

“I can’t! I’m sore from last night. I’m trying to get comfortable!” Hypatia giggled.

“Is that so? Poor apprentice! I’m afraid it can’t be helped we need to get back quickly.”

“Not this quickly! Go at a walk and we’ll be back in plenty of time. You’re just trying to tease me!”

“I am not!”

“You are too! Admit it! You are just as naughty as I am!”

Xanthippe tightened her hold on Hypatia and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“Oh, you think so? Well, I’m not but I can be!” Xan laughed as she urged the horse into a canter.

Hypatia groaned as her discomfort increased with the speed of the animal. Xan laughed at the pout that was forming on her lover’s face and when they were half way back she slowed to a walk.

“That wasn’t funny!”

“It was too! Besides now we can walk back and protect your tender rear! I only think of you, my love!”

“Really? I thought you did it to have me squirm in your lap.” Hypatia purred in her ear. “I’m sure you found it exciting.Considering the state of your bosom, I don’t suspect you are cold, Mistress.”

Xan gave her a surprised look and then grinned.

“I can’t help it if Eros decides to cast his spell!”

“Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to send you on another hunt tonight?”

“That’s very sweet but no, my dear. We shall be staying the whole evening.”

Hypatia sighed dramatically and pouted the whole way back but did not argue. When they arrived they were hurried inside by an irritated Eudoxia. In record speed they groomed and dressed and just made it out front as the guests began to arrive.

Hypatia’s face began to hurt from holding the polite smile she donned to receive so many people. Xanthippe marveled at her ability to remember everyone’s names and how she always added something personal to her greetings. They were both becoming rather bored and had just put their heads close together to share a small conversation when they heard a melodic laugh that made them look round.

“Kalli! This is a surprise!” Hypatia beamed a genuine smile at her.

“Greetings to you both. I hope you are well.” she responded demurely.

Hypatia and Xan shared a slight glance at the tone Kalli had adopted. She seemed different. Her chiton was wrapped rather stiff and formal instead of seductive and free flowing as per usual. Hypatia noticed she was trying to convey something with her eyes but the expression was unclear to her. Xan however seemed to understand at once and, as a man walked up and escorted Kalli inside, Hypatia began to cotton on.

“Is she working tonight?” Hypatia whispered.

“Yes, I believe so. It would be best if we didn’t speak to her more than anyone else. She needs to focus.” Xan smirked and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively causing Hypatia to giggle.

They both jumped as Eudoxia swept down upon them interrupting their stifled laughter.

“Do you have any idea what it looks like when you hold whispered conversations and laugh while greeting guests!?”she hissed from behind them. “I expected a bit more decorum from you, young lady! What would your Mother say?”

Xanthippe blushed and stammered to answer. She had been under the impression that the scolding tone had been meant for Hypatia.

“I beg you pardon, Lady.”

The apprentice giggled at her Mistress’ flushed features and submissive tone but stopped quickly as Eudoxia addressed her.

“And you, child! You know better! We will discuss this later but for now, behave yourself! Honestly!”

“Yes, Mother! Sorry!” Hypatia said quickly as more guests approached and Eudoxia hurried to greet them.

Once more they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. As soon as there was a lull in the procession Hypatia chanced another hushed conversation.

“Now look what you did!”

“Me!? You started it!” Xan hissed back.

“I did not! I just asked a question. You’re the one who was pulling faces and…”

“I just wanted to make sure you got my meaning!”

“Very subtle, Mistress! I think even the statue here caught your meaning!”

They both began the chuckle despite their best efforts to suppress it. As it often happens, they found the more they tried to be still the more funny it seemed. Hypatia let slip a snort of mirth and Xan had to turn away lest she burst out laughing. When she turned back the look they both received from Eudoxia put an end to their revelry.

Finally, everyone was present and the welcome party entered the andron. Hypatia began trying to slip out unnoticed early in the evening. The third time Xan spotted this behaviour she decided to put an end to it.

“Enough, my dear. Do as your told and stay put.” she purred quietly.

“Fine.” Hypatia sighed. “I suppose I’ll go talk with Kalli. I’ve been trying to get her on her own but she’s stuck like glue on that bore of a man.”

“I don’t think that’s the best idea. She seems to be having a hard time of it and you might say something to make her job even harder.”

“I will not! I’m smooth as silk!”

“Hmmmm.” Xan smiled as she made towards the food table.

She tried one of the spiced dates and upon finding it very tasty turned to speak to Hypatia only to realize she had not followed. Just as she was scanning the room for her wayward apprentice Eudoxia came over and began to orchestrate a conversation between Xan and a woman interested in starting a stable. Not wanting to be rude, Xanthippe began to chat and eventually became distracted in the woman’s ideas which she found quite interesting.

Meanwhile, Hypatia had taken her chance to try to strike up a conversation with Kalli. She was standing amongst a group of young men and women all roughly the same age. Hypatia grimaced inwardly as she realized that they were the young aristocratic sort. Still, she was sure she would have a much better time talking to Kalli and she entered into the circle seamlessly.

She tried to catch Kalli’s eye but her friend seemed determined to pay all her attention to the man she was with. The fellow was speaking to two other men and as Hypatia looked around at the women she realized they were all simply listening to them talk. She had seen it before, partners who were content to simply support their mates idea without ever adding any of their own opinions. She didn’t see anything wrong with it, she was just surprised to see Kalli behaving this way.

“Well, I suppose she’s different when she’s working.” Hypatia shrugged mentally. “Well, that’s not for me anyway.”

“I just think it would be easier that way. Why should we have to run all over Athens to pay tribute. I mean if they can all share the libation why not one temple?” Kalli’s date laughed pompously.

The women around Hypatia gasped at his audacity but looked rather impressed as though he were being brave in some way. Kalli, who previously had been listening with a glazed over expression, seemed to become more stiff at his words. The man continued.

“Personally, I think to much funding goes towards temples. There’s hundreds between here and Sparta and they won’t do us any good if the Spartan army comes calling. Better to put the money toward the war machine. Don’t you agree?”

“Too true!” Agreed the others all but Hypatia and Kalli.

Hypatia looked to her friend wide eyed as Kalli’s smile became more fixed and she nodded slightly. Shaking her head at Kalli, Hypatia spoke.

“I disagree wholeheartedly!”

“Oh, really?” the man smirked patronizingly.

“Indeed! Firstly, even a babe just off the breast knows the Gods don’t share anything well. The Earth would be a shambles if we tried to cram them all into one building. Secondly…”

“I guess you have a point there. At least, the lesser Gods could be consolidated…”

“Who decides which Gods are lesser? You? Ha! Best check your mortality, good fellow! It’s not for us to say!” Hypatia chuckled as she took a drink from a passing tray. “As I was saying, secondly…”

“Of course not. I assume the Assembly could…”

“Could what? As you put it funding is already wasted on temples. Now you expect them to waste time discussing things they have no place deciding?”

Kalli laughed quietly at Hypatia’s statement. Hypatia winked at her but the man shot her a dark look. He looked around apparently not at all pleased that the group was now agreeing with her just as much. Squaring his shoulders, he spoke again.

“Come now! Everyone pays tribute equally but we all know who are most powerful!

“Oh yeah? Which ones?”

“Well… Zeus, of course, and Poseidon, Hades, and Ares!”

“Boys club, is it?” Hypatia snorted derisively. “Can you believe this guy, ladies?”

The women all giggled demurely and seemed to be more on her side now. Kalli was beaming at her.

“Who would you pick then?” he spat.

“I? I would never be so vain. Besides, if we take money…” Hypatia began and as he made to interrupt her once more she held up her hand. “Now, now! I’ve heard you out! At least be sporting in debate!”

She returned his angry look with a sly smile. The other men were now looking at him with less admiration as it was bad form to speak over another in debate. He nodded curtly and fell silent.

“Very good. If we reduce funding to our cultural centres and re-route it into the war chest in order to fight Sparta then they have already won. I mean, isn’t that the difference between us? They revel in war and we in higher learning? Where would you all prefer to spend an afternoon, crushed against the bloody bosom of Ares’ battle field or enveloped in the folds pleasure Aphrodite has blessed us with?” Hypatia said with a suggestive look that caused all but one to laugh at her double entendre.

“You honestly think Aphrodite is more powerful than Ares!?” he asked incredulously.

“I never said that. I do know that I prefer making love more than fighting. Though, now that you mention it… love can stop a war but war cannot end love. Just look at all that business in Troy!”

Hypatia knew she had won it. Her opponent was too emotional to offer any real challenge and the group had reacted to her statements much more favourably. He, however, did not seem to think it was over. He struggled for some sort of argument but could not seem to come up with one. Hypatia waited patently but her smug look of mild interest seemed to push him over the edge.

“Well, Aphrodite, like most women, is only good for a fuck!” He muttered darkly.

Those closest to him heard and stepped away from him looking angry. Hypatia, however, continued to study him as though he were an interesting insect she had found under a rock.

“I’m afraid I will have to ask you to leave as you disgust me. Can you find the exit or shall I call a servant?” Hypatia said as simply as if she were discussing the weather.

The man shot her a fierce look and turned to leave but not before growling “Come!” at Kalli. As she made to follow him, Hypatia touched her arm gently.

“Don’t Kalli! Stay, please?”

“I’ll be right back. Don’t worry, sweet flower.” Kalli smiled as she squeezed Hypatia’s hands before squaring her shoulders and striding out of the andron.

Part 17: Still in Athens

Xanthippe awoke the next morning after trying to cuddle into Hypatia only to find she was not there. The Mistress sat up yawning as she looked around the room. After they had finished making love, they had quietly snuck back into the house as not to be discovered by the stable hands in the morning. Xan smiled remembering their night of passion as she dressed.

As she descended the stairs she wondered where her lover could be but she did not wonder for long. She could her Hypatia in the andron and she sounded quite angry. Xan made her way towards the door when someone called to her.

“Psst! I wouldn’t if I were you. Best just to leave them at it.”

Xan turned to see Timo giving her a knowing look.


“When they spar off, it’s best not to interfere.”

“She is upset! I will go to her.” Xanthippe frowned at him as thought it was the only logical course of action.

“Well, I warned you!” he chuckled. “Actually, I think I want to see this!”

The scene Xanthippe walked in on was one of pure tension. Eudoxia was sitting stiffly her expression an unreadable mask. Hypatia on the other hand was standing pacing angrily as she ranted.

“You are the most egotistical, arrogant, self absorbed son of a….eep!”

Hypatia had stopped speaking as a familiar hand grasped her belt and pulled her around so she was face to face with an angry looking Mistress. The apprentice could not break eye contact she simply waited. Xanthippe spoke in a calm, firm tone that brooked no argument.

“You will not speak to anyone that way, especially your mother. Get yourself under control before I haul you upstairs and make it so you can’t sit down for a month!”

“I’m angry!” Hypatia responded her voice shaking with the effort to stay calm.

“I know you are! Deep breath and out. Good. Now tell me, what’s wrong?”

“She is pitching a fit because….”

Hypatia who had begun to calm herself tensed up immediately and made to turn to resume the arguement but Xan held her still.

“Eudoxia, I am speaking to your daughter right now. Please, be quiet. Thank you.”

Xanthippe spoke with determination but was still polite never taking her eyes off of Hypatia.

“Hypatia, what is wrong?”

Hypatia started to speak loudly and quickly. Her Mistress reached up and held her under the chin they she always did to ensure eye contact. Every time Hypatia began to yell or rage Xanthippe would give a gentle squeeze and her lover would relax slightly.

“She wants us to stay on and go to more dreadful events!”


“And well she didn’t ask me! She never asks me! We have plans and the renovations but does any of that matter? Of course not!” Hypatia growled.

“Alright, my love, alright. I want you to stay calm.” Xanthippe said softly rubbing her back.

“Will you talk some sense into her Xanthippe?” Eudoxia sighed.

“Did you ask her nicely or did you just tell her to do it?”

“I simply informed her of her duties to her family!”

“Well, they are in conflict with her duty to herself so I suppose she will have to choose. I think you would have a better chance if you asked her properly.”

“Duty to you, you mean! To your estate, to your plans! It is not I who should be asking it is you, Xanthippe!”

“Very well, Eudoxia, I shall! Hypatia, what do you want to do?”

“I want to go to the temples, we promised we’d visit the fellows and we can’t miss the horse races. There is so much business to be done there. Then we really need to be getting home because…”

“Home? You are home!” Timo interjected.

“My home, Father. The home I am building for myself. Where people actually see me and not just noble daughter.”

“That is who you are!” Eudoxia snorted.

“That is who I have been molded to be and I don’t think I want to be that person anymore.”

Eudoxia looked as though she had just been slapped in the face. Her well refined mask slipped and her eyes flashed pain and anger. She glared at her daughter and then at Xanthippe.

“So you will let another mold you now? This woman, one who has only know you a short while, you’ll let her control you? You do all of the work and change who you are and for what? What is your station? To be considered her pet by a bunch of servants?”

“That’s not…”

“What will come of it? Where is your security? Tomorrow she could decide to take another lover and then what of you? This estate you have worked so hard to save from ruin is gone, she is gone, and you have losts your standing in the noble community? You should be building your own estate!”

“I am! I own forty five percent of the Estate! I have built business relationships and personal relationships. I have spent a large amount of money improving the property and I have projected an increase in profits that will triple my investment in three years! I am not her pet! I am her partner!” Hypatia spat venomously, as though she had been holding back.

Xanthippe was confused by her tone but she quickly understood the intent as soon as she saw the look her parents gave each other.
“How much have you invested?” Timo groaned.

“All of it! Everything except my holdings in your companies.”

“You are a fool! How could you do this without talking to us?” Eudoxia said with a pained expression as the ran her fingers through her hair. “How in Tartarus did we not know about it!? How did you make sure we weren’t notified by the accountant?”

“I saw him at Aphrodite’s temple screwing one of the priestesses and told him if he didn’t want his husband to find out he better keep his mouth shut.” Hypatia smiled darkly.

“You little wretch! I …”

“Do not speak to her that way!” Xanthippe said sharply glaring at Eudoxia. “Calm down and speak respectfully or not at all!”

Hypatia gave her lover’s hand a gentle squeeze as a thank you. Eudoxia returned Xan’s glare three fold but she did calm herself before speaking again.

“All right woman! Since all of this is your doing what have you to say? What do you make of this rift you have caused?”

“Have you finished, my dear?” Xan asked politely and Hypatia nodded.”Very well. What I see is two women who are both feeling threatened and worried. Hypatia does not want to continue on the path you have set for her. She wants her own choice now and she should have it. She is wildly intelligent and amazing at social situations. Her investments are her business. I assure you that Hypatia is the one who makes the financial decisions. She is so highly skilled at all matter of business we would be fools not to listen to her.”

“They won’t listen! They treat me like a child!” Hypatia snorted.

“You are their child. That the way it’s going to be so you might as well get used to it, Hypatia.”

The apprentice gave her a “who’s side are you on” sort of look.

“Oh come on! Charis still calls me “young one” and the only time Alcaeus calls me “Mistress” is when she is mad at me. They are always giving me advice and harping on about it when I don’t listen!” Xan laughed. “Everything we are is because of what they taught us you need to respect that, Hypatia. If that means we have to sit through boring parties then we shall. However, since we have done that and the fact we have other things to do should at least cause you to want to ask her instead of telling her, Eudoxia.”

“Oh for heaven sake! Hypatia will you please do as I have asked?” Eudoxia sighed exasperatedly.

“No, I have things to do. I’m sorry, Mother.”

Eudoxia took a deep breath and turned back to Xan.

“Now what? I suppose you’ll have to tell her as she only listens to you now.”

“I believe the answer would be the same for me. After all, if she won’t do it for you what chance do I have?”

“That’s not true, she listens to you more than anyone!” Timo pointed out “You have her wrapped around your finger!”

“I assure you, I have just as much control over her as she has over me, Father!” Hypatia snorted and Xan laughed and nodded.

“In fact, when Hypatia became our investor she flat out stated she would be in control of the finances because… how did you put it?”

“I don’t take losses lightly”

Eudoxia smiled at her daughter when she heard that and looked as though she was slightly more assured but she still had reservations.

“I still think you moved to fast on this… this well the whole thing, Hypatia! The romance, the money, the apprenticeship.” Eudoxia sighed as she took a seat.

“It’s my damned life!!!” Hypatia shouted and turned to leave.

Xanthippe pulled her back by her belt once more and had her sit down.

“That’s enough, Hypatia!” she said matter of factly as she sat beside her. “Stop stalling. She’s right we have moved fast and that worries them.”

“It’s none of their effing business!”

“Hmm, funny. That’s exactly what I said to Charis when she brought it up and she didn’t appreciate the response as it did nothing to calm her fears.”

“What!? Charis thought we were moving fast too?”

“She did and so she offered me advice.”

“And did you listen to her?” Eudoxia smirked.

“Uhh…not at first.” Xan blushed. “I was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to her until she made herself painfully clear I was going to hear her. Which I did but I still chose my own way.”

“I though Charis liked me?” Hypatia pouted.

“She does but she had the same fears your parents have. Well mostly, I mean she’s not worried I’ll listen to you and ignore her advice.”

“And why is that, Xanthippe?” Timo asked suspiciously.

Xan cleared her throat awkwardly and then shrugged at Hypatia.

“Because if I ever dared to ignore or insult my mother she would tan my hide, Timo.” Xan blushed with a wink to Hypatia who giggled.

Timo laughed and Eudoxia looked at Hypatia as though she wished to do the same as Charis.

“Trust me, you have much more influence over Hypatia than I. She reads everything you send her and even asks for time off of horsemanship lessons so she can do it all. Also, there is the fact that the last time you came for a visit I foolishly referred to your formality as being cold and the look she gave me was positively startling! Said she would never speak to me again if I ever said a word against you. Whew, and Alcaeus! Remember, my dear?”

“Oh, yes! I thought she would die of shock!”

“What did she say against us?” Timo laughed.

“Well, no you two just against nobles in general.” Hypatia shrugged. “I told her to shut her face as she didn’t have any idea what she was talking about.”

“Hmmm, and now you say the same things against our class.”

“I am not! I just want to be a little different. I mean, I can’t tell these people I’m an apprentice. They look down on me and you when I say it.”

“Who did?” Eudoxia said sharply.

“Oh, that timber merchant and his wife and the other one.. you know he does the olive groves. Anyway, I’ve just been lying and saying I’m still doing nothing with my life because an idol noble is better than one who works below her birthright, apparently.” Hypatia said sadly. “I didn’t want it to get around and damage our standing.”

“That bastard! His son is so stupid all he does is fell trees!” Timo grumbled.

“If they have a problem with what you are doing tell them to talk to me, darling.” Eudoxia said her eyes glinting with protective malice before she continued in a sharp tone “Don’t you ever change how you feel for other people, young lady!”

“Except for you of course!” Hypatia muttered but upon recieving three disapproving glares she gulped and continued. “Sorry! I won’t, Mother.”

There was a slightly awkward silence that followed. They were still angry at each other but the protectiveness of her parents and Hypatia respectful tone had calmed the room a bit.

“Well, how’d you and Charis resolve your issue?” Hypatia said eventually.

“Mmm, well she told me what she was worried about and then I told her how I felt and then…yeah that was it.” Xan shrugged.

“So what would make you two more comfortable with Hypatia’s choices? Hypatia what do you want from them?”

“I want them to listen to me and let me make my own choices!”

“You should have told us about the investments instead of sneaking around and only telling us because you needed a weapon! How do you expect us to think you’ve done this properly when you hide it from us!?” Eudoxia scolded.

Hypatia began to argue but Xan cut her off.

“She’s right, Hypatia. You know how I feel about power games and underhanded actions. I thought you had told them before you suggested it to us. In fact, you led me to believe there would be no issue with you doing this but now I see that is not the case. You have been obscuring the truth again, my dear. You and I will discuss the consequences of that later.” Xanthippe finished with a significant look at her apprentice who frowned slightly.

“Fine! What do you want to know?” Hypatia said sulkily.

Eudoxia and Timo shared a glance wherein they had a whole conversation with out ever speaking.

“Very well, you two!” Eudoxia began her tone formal. “We will listen but this is business, Hypatia. If you lose your temper we walk.”

“Same here!” Hypatia said calmly “I have the notes upstairs. Shall we begin?”

“I’ll get some supplies.” Eudoxia nodded as strode towards her office that was adjacent to the andron.

“I’ll order some refreshments.” Timo said as he too left the room.

“Be right back!”

“Oh, I’ll… wait here.” Xanthippe said softly to the empty room as she marveled at how quickly they had dispersed.

Soon, they had all returned and started their negotiations. Xanthippe had intended to be a part of it but she soon found she was in way over her head. They spoke so quickly and used terms she did not understand. This caused her to realize how Hypatia had used simple language when explaining her ideas at the estate. The other thing that struck her was how seamlessly Eudoxia and Timo worked together.

At one point, Eudoxia had stopped in the middle of her sentence to sip her tea and Timo instantly picked up where she left off. They moved through the negotiation as one intimidating force. Xanthippe was impressed and wished she could offer such support to Hypatia. Not that she seemed to need it. She answered their questions with ease and presented her plans determinedly. The Mistress simply tried to keep up.

“Massive increase in revenue is possible here.” Eudoxia said pointing at a list of rows and columns.

Hypatia shook her head and took the paper.

“Nope. Non-negotiable. It stays as is.”

“Why? It’s the best course of action. The workforce is doubled, the cost is half. It’s the right move.” Timo shrugged.



“Tell them why it’s non-negotiable.” Hypatia said expectantly as she searched for another scroll.

Xan cleared her throat, blushing.

“Umm… may I see the notes? I’m slightly lost. You are all rather talented at a subject I obivously need more study in.” she grinned sheepishly.

“Tsk! Slaves. You should buy some slaves and you will be more prosperous. There are other dealers you won’t have to buy from Carpus. We could even sell you some of ours.” Eudoxia smiled.


Xanthippe had answered sharply and glared at the woman. Eudoxia and Timo both stiffened and Hypatia nudged her under the table.

“Easy! They’ll walk.” Hypatia hissed to her.

“I apologise to you both. I will never keep slaves. Ever.”

“Ideologies are fine but this is business. It is better to prosper and then try to change it.” Timo said shaking his head.

“Don’t be stubborn.” Eudoxia laughed.”We can give you a good price on four decent slaves. Their Greek needs improving but as you speak their language they should transition quickly.”

They began to discuss the arrangements as though the matter was settled and Hypatia chewed her lip. Xan saw the hesitation in her eyes and how she seemed to be searching for the best way to address the situation. The Mistress cleared her throat and spoke in a relaxed yet formal tone.

“You have convinced me.” she began causing the pair to smile triumphantly. “I can see how owning a person would have it’s benefits. I will take two slaves and how much would it be for your daughter?”

“I beg your pardon!?”

“Your daughter. How much? What is her worth? To me she is invaluable. I love her, I teach her, I need her for my finances. I’ll teach her to speak Persian and I see no reason why you two should ever have contact with her again. After all, my opinon will be the only one that matters because, regardless of what she thinks and feels, she will be an object. Shall we strike a deal?” Xan smirked.

Hypatia was trying to stifle her laughter at the shocked expression on her parents faces. She had never seen them falter so much during negotiation. The apprentice gave her lover a look that clearly said “you must be out of your mind!” to which Xan grinned and winked at her.

“Oh very clever, Xanthippe!” Eudoxia smiled. “It’s not the same thing and you know it!”


“Because she is our child!” Timo blustered.

“We are all someone’s child.” Xan chuckled. “It is the same thing to me. Which is why I will never own slaves. But thank you for your offer.”

Eudoxia and Timo shared another silent conversation. When they had finished they both laughed and shrugged.

“Alright, it’s non-negotiable. That was a strong move that could have backfired and closed the table but you took the risk. Well done.” Eudoxia said with a sly look at Xan. “Perhaps you know more about business than you let on.”

“She is very good at reading people and conveying ideas. Once she studies up a bit she will be quite the force to be reckoned with.” Hypatia giggled. “Only, I’m not looking forward to teaching her as she fidgets and I have no way of correcting her.”

“I was the same way. Your mother made me write lines!” Timo laughed. “Remember Dox? You were such a strict teacher!”

“She used to make me do the same but I never thought she would do it to you, Father! I would run wild most of the time but not when you were teaching me!”

“Oh please! My tutors used to strike me across the shoulders with a switch if I even dared to slouch! Look I still have a scar on my hand from when I refused to stop using my left to write!”

“You were left handed, Mother?”

“Yes, before my shrew of a teacher took a lash to it so many times I could only use my right. So consider yourselves lucky to have me instead of her.” Eudoxia smirked.

“Oh my goodness! What a horrible thing to do! You’ve never told me that before!” Hypatia frowned.

“Mmm, well it’s not a time I like to remember. Indecently, it is why I have never struck you, my darling. It would make me feel like I was the same as them. However, I have noticed…” Eudoxia grinned as she gave Xan a small wink. “that you seem to benefit from a firm hand. I’ll admit I was very close to doing it myself before you became an apprentice.”

Hypatia blushed crimson while the other three shared a laugh that was not unkind. The apprentice pull a face at them and then giggled as well.

They returned to their negotiations but the tone was less formal. After going over every aspect of Hypatia’s plan they had finally gathered all of the information they needed.

“Excuse us, please? We will take time to discuss our findings and return shortly.”

Xanthippe watched them go into Eudoxia’s study. She leaned back in her chair casually and grinned at Hypatia.

“Whew! Well, I guess we just wait then?”

“Are you mad!? We need to talk strategy! Pay attention, please. Here we go!” Hypatia said firmly as she organized her papers.

Xan sat up and tried to follow along with Hypatia’s rapid explanations.

“We must be united. If we don’t present the same response we will have lost before we started. Don’t react to their response. No matter what they say we must react as though we had always expected them to say it. The first to show emotion is the first on the defensive. Maintain eye contact but don’t stare them down unless, of course, you’re laying the final line. Also….oh damn! They’re too fast!” Hypatia hissed as the door to the study opened. “Just follow me, alright?”

“Of course!” Xan answered her head spinning from how fast it was all moving.

Once everyone was seated Xan had thought they would start right away but the simply sat in silence. No one said anything, they sat casually as though this was completely normal. The Mistress wanted to say something but when she turned to Hypatia the woman shook her head ever so slightly. This went on for quite a while before Hypatia smirked and stood. She poured her mother some tea a sly look playing about her features.

“Thank you.” Eudoxia said automatically before rolling her eyes and laughing.

“Come on, Dox! That’s the oldest trick in the book!” Timo teased.

“I know! She obviously takes after me which is why she would use trickery to take the first point! Well done, darling.”

Xan had missed the joke and she looked to Hypatia questioningly.

“First to speak loses the advantage.” she shrugged. “What say you both?”

They shared a glance and the Eudoxia spoke.

“Your plan is solid. There is room for improvement but we think you have been wise to take it the way you have so far. You must have a personal accountant to review your choices. To continue without one is reckless and we will choose a proper one for you. Still, your Father and I feel you have moved too much into this venture too quickly and we have a way to fix that. Your response to what we have said so far?”

“Thank you. Your thoughts are important to me. You may provide a list of accountants and we will choose one from it. I think I am moving at a reasonable pace and so I see not need for you to fix anything. I will, however, listen to what you have to say out of respect or you.” Hypatia countered in a blend of professionalism and familiarity.

“Before we tell you our idea I wish to remind you and I want you to heed.” Eudoxia said firmly. “If you had come to us in the first place we would not be as uneasy as we are now. In fact, your deception has caused us to question other aspects of you life as well since we are no longer sure you will come to us for help if you need it. If you wish to restore our trust in you then you will take our advice and follow through with our next suggestion.”

“Oh shit!” Hypatia thought to herself. She had never faced this type of negotiation before. She tried desperately to think of the last time her Mother tried to teach it to her but remembered she had skipped out on that lesson to go riding. She looked at her mother to see a self satisfied smirk creeping across her face. Hypatia groaned inwardly as she realized Eudoxia remembered as well.

“One day, you will be sorry you did not learn this from me.” Hypatia echoed what her mother had said long ago. “I guess I’ll have to learn it now, Mother.”

“Indeed! I told you this would happen and now here we are!” Eudoxia laughed. “We have decided that to undo the haste in which you have invested that you father and I will take on half of your shares. You will be our representative on the estate and therefore the balance of power will stay the same.”

“I can’t agree to that. We don’t have all our members present.”

“It is our only offer.” Timo said simply.

“That changes nothing, Father. We simply cannot make a decision without a vote. We have come to an impasse. The only thing we can offer is when we return to the Estate we vote and send you the results.”

“Unacceptable. We will have no power to over rule.” Eudoxia sighed.

“You do not have that power now, Mother.” Hypatia said slyly.

Xanthippe had expected anger at those words but both parents chuckled.

“Damn! We’ve taught her too well!” Timo sighed. “We shall not budge, nor I suspect will you and so we are stuck! Xanthippe what do you think?”

“I…uh” Xan said with a sideways look at her lover. “I agree with Hypatia.”

“Hmm, you coached her before we came back. Another smart move, darling.” Eudoxia smiled. “Just tell us what you honestly think.”

Hypatia was shaking her head at her again but this time Xanthippe spoke.

“Honestly? I have no idea! I’ll admit it freely. My knowledge is based in horsemanship, basic haggling and…” Xan smiled at Hypatia before continuing. “Dealing with my bratty apprentice. The only thing I can offer to you is the fact that this woman could outsmart me any day. I hope that assuages your fears. So when I tell you I agree with her I am being truthful. She is my partner and I will listen to her above any other.”

Hypatia squeezed her hand under the table. They were all quiet for a while. Hypatia slammed her hand down on the table excitedly making them all jump.

“I’ve got it! We can’t give you shares but you need to retain power. My counter offer is I sign the ownership of my horse over to you both. Then you will have a hold over for when I won’t listen to your advice. It’s worked before.”

“Hmm, that’s not a bad idea.” Timo mused and Eudoxia nodded. “But still, it is just a horse and though you love the creature you may part with it. Also, you are the only one who stands to lose there. What about Xanthippe? We need hold there too.”

“Besides, I had hoped you would listen to our advice without the need for emotional blackmail.” Eudoxia said huffily.

Hypatia made to speak but Xanthippe stood up.

“I offer my vote. I will always vote in favour of Hypatia’s financial choices, only excluding slavery. She will consider your advice, I will make sure of it. Thus I see no need for you to take ownership of her horse.”

“Done!” Eudoxia and Timo said in unison and stood to shake her hand.

“Not done!” Hypatia yelped as she too rose. “You are trading your power over your Estate, Xanthippe. You can’t!”
Xan turned to her and smiled lovingly.

“Why not? You have offered your power to me, my dear. As have they by allowing you to be taught by me. I am only providing a balance. I too must give.”

“Oh! I… you… I love you!” Hypatia stammered as she kissed her sweetly.

“And I you!” Xanthippe blushed as they broke apart. “So it’s a deal?”

Hypatia nodded and they all shook on it.

“That was fun! We haven’t done that in ages!” Timo smiled.

“Oh, I know! I’ve missed it.” Eudoxia grinned as she signaled to a servant.

“What’s fun?” Xan asked the room.

“Negotiation, of course. It’s a grand game! We used to play it all the time.” Hypatia giggled at the puzzled look Xan was giving her.

“Oh yeah, loads of fun! I thought I was going to go cross eyed my head was spinning so much!”

Eudoxia dismissed the servant and fixed Xan with an amused look.

“Hmm, yes I suppose you prefer hide and seek, Xanthippe? At least, I assume that’s where you two where when you both left the party early.”

Both Xan and Hypatia blushed and looked at each other nervously.

“How did you know about that?” Hypatia groaned.

“Next time, don’t shack up so close to where the guests wait for their horses. You could almost be heard in the foyer!” Timo teased and then joined in his wife’s laughter at their reaction.

“Oh gods! Excuse me while I find a hole to crawl into, won’t you?” Xan joked, her face now crimson with embarrassment.

“So, considering you only went to half of the event and that it is past noon I have a request.” Eudoxia began.”Go to the temples today and then come back here for a meal with just the family. Then tomorrow you can go see your friends, go to the races and return here for another small event. It will only delay you one day.”

Hypatia let out a dramatic sigh as she threw her head back to stare at the sky, praying for patience. Xanthippe laughed and held her hand in hers.

“We would be delighted. Thank you.”

“Mistress! The first thing I said was we need to be united! We’ve just lost the game!” Hypatia said exasperatedly but still good natured.

Xanthippe looked around to see Eudoxia and Timo shaking hands looking triumphant. With a sheepish grin to Hypatia she shrugged.

“Ooops! Sorry, my dear.”

“Tsk! Well, it’s done now. I’ll just send a message to Charis so she doesn’t worry we’re late a day.”

“Oh, no need. I’ve just sent one.” Eudoxia grinned

“Of course you have.” Hypatia chuckled. “Why did I think I could win? I should have just given in, in the first place!”

“Never give in.” Xanthippe said softly earning herself a smile from Eudoxia before she spoke.

“Exactly! Besides if you hadn’t fought me on that then we would have never found out about the finances and we would not have fixed it. It seems the only way to get the truth from you was to draw it out!”

“I suspect that won’t be necessary in the future, Mother.” Hypatia said with a sheepish grin to Xanthippe.

“No, it most definitely will not, my dear.” Xan purred dominantly as she gently pushed an errant strand of hair back behind her lover’s ear. “I’m sure of that.”


Later that afternoon, Xanthippe and Hypatia were walking back down the road to the house. They had spent the day visiting different temples and making offerings. Hypatia was chattering on but Xan was quiet. Eventually, the apprentice noticed and asked her what she was thinking about.

“I guess, I am sort of distracted. I keep thinking about the negotiations this morning. I wish I could have been more helpful to you.”

“You were helpful!”

“Not really. I mean you did everything and I couldn’t even keep up. Also, I forgot everything you told me to do and I probably looked foolish and… well, I’m sorry.” Xan sighed.

“Mistress, do you remember the first day we rode out together?”

“When you flew through the air and then fell like a stone? Yes, reminds me of Icarus!”

“Very funny! I meant when we were talking about horsemanship. You told me I had plenty of knowledge I just didn’t know how to apply it yet. The same is true of you. You argued well and came up with the perfect solution. My parents are known for their plans but even they did not come up with one that could resolve the issue. Not only that, but you kept Mother and I from having a shouting match. Father still doesn’t know how to do that!” Hypatia chuckled “You are gifted with business sense. I see no reason why you should belittle yourself so much in future.”

Xanthippe looked at her when she heard the dominant tone to give her a disapproving glance when she noticed Hypatia was sporting a sly grin. Something stirred in her memory and the Mistress laughed as she realized she had said the same thing to Hypatia months ago.

“You’ve got me there, my love! Will you teach me when we get home?” Xan asked still giggling at Hypatia’s well timed sass.

“I can but you will have to take it seriously. I don’t have time to do my lessons, the finances, the expansions, and chase after you to focus. It is a tedious subject at times and there is a lot of reading. I will need to know you will pay attention and do the work. Can you do that, Mistress?”

Xanthippe sighed and rolled her eyes imitating Hypatia.

“Is it that hard to obey, Xanthippe?” Hypatia giggled.

“…..Yes!” Xan winked at her. “But I promise I will be a good student. After all, you are and you are a brat. It would be a shame if I could not show you I too can behave!”

“Good! Then I am excited to start! Oh, what shall I do if you are naughty? I could make you write lines!”

“You just try it and see what happens, little apprentice!” Xan smirked as she patted her lover’s bottom possessively.

“Hmmm, I suppose that won’t work.” Hypatia mused. She thought a while and then exclaimed, eyes flashing with mischief. “Oh, I know how to make sure you study!”

Xanthippe gave her a look that was half questioning, half warning. Hypatia could tell she seemed to think nothing could change her mind. Grinning broadly, the apprentice voiced her idea.

“If you shirk on your studies, I’ll tell your Mother on you!”

Xan’s calm exterior was interrupted by a look of shock and apprehension.

“You wouldn’t!”

“I would!”

“Tattletale!” Xan teased sticking out her tongue.

They continued to tease each other as they walked. Eventually, Hypatia said something Xan found too cheeky but took off before her Mistress could get a hold of her. Laughing, Xan chased her but she had trouble keeping up to the spry woman. When she finally caught her they were both out of breath from sprinting and laughing. They kissed and carried on down the road arm in arm.

That evening Xan and Hypatia entered the andron chatting casually. Eudoxia and Timo where already there and the food had all been assembled on a long table. Eudoxia cleared her throat loudly and the servants hurried to put the finishing touches on the feast. When they were done they all left, pulling a curtain across the door as they went.

“Ah, privacy!” Timo sighed as he slouched in his chair.

“Indeed!” Eudoxia smiled as she removed a few pins to let her hair down.

“I must say parents, if you would just relax a little then you could be yourselves around your servants all the time!” Hypatia laughed.

“I don’t know, Hypatia. Would they really be themselves then?” Xan pondered aloud. “I think the way in which we where our masks is part of who we are. Don’t you think?”

“I suppose that’s true. But if it’s a mask then who we are underneath would be the true self and the outer visage would be….”

“You kids and your philosophy! By the gods, Dox did we ever sound like that?”

“I don’t think so, Timo. We were more interested in pleasures of flesh, not the secrets of the mind.”

“Oh ick!” Hypatia joked. “Not before I eat please! Mistress, remember Charis and Alcaeus at the temple. I now see why you retreated so quickly!”

“Don’t remind me!”

“Since you are a servant now Hypatia, we figured you could serve.” Timo grinned teasingly.

“I am not!”

“You very much are, darling!” Eudoxia laughed.

“Mistress! Say something! Tell them I’m not!” Hypatia whined comically.

“We all must serve someone in some way and so all of us are servants at some point.” Xanthippe smiled wryly. “We shall both serve tonight, Hypatia.You may use my proper name, my love.”

“Which one?”

“The Greek one, brat!”

“You have two?”

Xanthippe discussed how she had come about her second name as she and Hypatia prepared the libation. No one was paying attention to what Hypatia was doing with the urn as they chatted. When they all stood to make the offering Xan saw her lover give her father the smallest of winks before handing the chalice to her mother.

“I offer this libation to Zeus and the Goddesses and Gods of Olympus.” Eudoxia recited elegantly before taking a deep drink.

Her eyes went wide and then narrowed as though against a strong wind. She swallowed and shuddered pulling a face. Timo and Hypatia both burst out laughing as the formality melted away to reveal a thoroughly disgusted woman.

“Hypatia! This is vile! What did you do to it?”

“Nothing, Mother!” Hypatia gasped between giggles.

“Come now! Timo, honestly, get a grip!” Eudoxia tutted at her husband who was red in the face from laughing. “It burns! I barely managed to swallow it. You must have done something.”

Xan took the urn and smelled the contents. Smirking and yet raising her eyebrow at the same time she explained.

“She is telling the truth, she did nothing to it. It is simply undiluted wine.”

Eudoxia gasped and fixed her daughter with a look that was half amusement, half disapproving.

“Young lady! Are you trying to make a barbarian out of me? I gave that as a tribute, now what will happen?”

“I don’t know perhaps Dionysus will show up and bless you by making sure your parties are no longer boring!”

Both Timo and Hypatia fell against each other positively roaring with laughter. Xanthippe had begun to chuckle as well but she quickly stifled as Eudoxia turned to her blushing slightly.

“Xanthippe, when you are taking my ill behaved daughter to task tonight, would kindly impress my displeasure at being fooled and ridiculed upon her backside for me?” Eudoxia said loud enough to be heard by Hypatia, who stopped laughing at once to stare open mouthed in surprise. “Oh, not so funny now is it, darling?”

“Mother! I’m in enough trouble without your help! It was just a joke!” Hypatia pouted.

Eudoxia’s only response was to join Timo in laughter. Xanthippe gave Hypatia a sly grin as she prepared the libation properly. Once they had all settled down they did the tribute properly. The apprentice was still slightly flushed from the previous comment and Xan could sense she was thinking of a way of causing more trouble.

“Oh my gods! I haven’t seen you look like that since I put Laconia oils in your tea when we were first wed, Dox!” Timo smiled mischievously.

“So it was your idea then?”

“No, I got it from Pamphilos the other day. He did it to me and I thought it might loosen you up a bit!”

“Who’s that?”

Xanthippe saw the small flicker of rebellion in her lover’s eye. She tried to give her a warning look but Hypatia was focused intently on her mother. Waiting until she the woman had taken a sip of wine the apprentice revealed the answer.

“He owns the brothel that we visited the other day.” Hypatia said with an impish grin.

Just before Xan closed her eyes and prayed for patience she saw Eudoxia choke on her drink slightly.

“What!? What brothel? What on Earth were you doing at such a place?” Eudoxia said incredulously.

“She’s just joking!” Timo scoffed before asking hesitantly. “You are joking, aren’t you?”

“No I…”

“No she is not. Hypatia, in her haste to cause you both to react, has revealed a rather delicate subject about my past.” Xanthippe sighed giving her apprentice a disappointed look. “The men there are my family. They took care of me and protected me when I had no one and I wanted her to meet them. They are good people and I assure you we went when they were closed. I’m sorry you found out this way but I never suspected…”

“That she would be a spoiled little terror!? Hypatia, we have taught you better than to…” Eudoxia began to scold her daughter.

As she went on Hypatia sunk lower in her chair and looked rather uncomfortable. Xanthippe was reminded very much of Charis and she grinned as she remembered something. Peeking out from around Eudoxia’s back, Xan pulled a face at, the thoroughly embarrassed, Hypatia causing her to let out a snort of laughter.

“Do you think it’s funny, Hypatia!?”

“No, Mother I…”

“It certainly looks like you do!”

Hypatia was still smirking as Xan was still making faces. Eudoxia turned around to say something to the horse woman and caught her making a rather grotesque face. Throwing her hands up in the air, Eudoxia returned to her seat looking unimpressed.

“Honestly, am I the only one who knows how to behave around here?”

“Oh come now, Doxi! Firstly, you did the same thing to me when I spoke in the assembly and secondly shall I bring up how we met?” Timo grinned.

“No you shall not!” Eudoxia said sharply but then smiled as she shrugged. “Well, I suppose you are right husband. I’ll leave them to deal with it on their own.”

“How did you meet?” Hypatia said eagerly, embarrassment forgotten.

“Never you mind!”

The apprentice tutted but decided to let it drop as her Mother’s tone seemed quite final. She rose to help Xan serve the first platter. When they were at the table Hypatia put a hand on her shoulder.

“I am very sorry, my love. That was foolish of me. I was not thinking and I hope I did not hurt you.” she said softly and earnestly.

“Thank you. It was rather uncomfortable but I don’t think any way we told them would have been easy. Next time, think before you speak, please.” Xan said with a mild swat to her lover’s behind. “Besides, I finally got you back for making faces at me when Charis scolds!”

They both giggled and brought the plates over to the dining table. The conversation returned to being light and comical. Xan found Timo’s tales to be very entertaining. Although, when he started telling one particular story, Hypatia groaned.

“So the little idiot though he was the best thing to hit Greece since Athena and he went around telling everyone he was going to marry Hypatia. She told him to get lost but he didn’t listen. I was going to intervene but Dox said the girl could handle it and boy did she!”

“Must you tell this story to every one? I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes my legacy in life, Father!” Hypatia tutted.

“Don’t be silly, I haven’t told that many! Anyway, the boy wrote all this dreadful poetry about how women were delicate flowers and soft creatures and…”

Eudoxia picked up the story smoothly.

“How we are so perfect that we should simply bask in the attention of men.”

“And…” Hypatia added. “What was it? Oh yes, we could never do anything bold or brave as it wasn’t in our nature! The nerve!”

“So he’s reading this crap poem in front of a whole group of nobles and when he finishes Hypatia walks right up to him and starts telling him off! I thought she was going to loosen some of his teeth!”

“What did you do?” Xanthippe asked eagerly.

Hypatia rolled her eyes and motioned to her father.

“The darling child! She says, Oh yeah? You think I’m all soft and sweet? You obviously have no idea how strong women are!. Then she reaches under her chiton and pulls out her linen phulakia and threw them at him!” Timo roared wiping tears of mirth from his eyes.

“You didn’t!” Xan squealed with delight.

“She did!” Eudoxia laughed. “He went pale and flat out fainted! Apparently, he couldn’t handle a little blood.”

“What a baby!” Hypatia scoffed. “To think a grow man not being able to handle a woman’s courses! He left me alone after that. So did all the boys, actually, much to my relief! Honestly Father, you tell it too often! Besides, half the nobles in all of Greece saw it for themselves!”

“You didn’t complain when the word reached Aunt Sappho!” Eudoxia grinned. “She bought you your horse to show her support for your cheek!”

“She said it was because I was born blessed by Aphrodite and Artemis like her!”

“Sappho? As in Sappho of Lesbos?” Xan asked excitedly

“Ah, do you admire my dear sister, Xanthippe?” Eudoxia smiled slyly.

“I do. Her writing is amazing! I borrowed a scroll from my first lover and painstakingly copied it so I could have my own version. She had been a student at Sappho’s school and she…um… well she stole one of her scrolls before she left.”

“Oh, she probably didn’t steal it!” Timo snorted. “Sappho tends to give them out as tokens to her bedmates. I bet half the women in Greece have one now!”

“No way! She was only twenty when she left and Sappho must be much too old to… to…”

Xanthippe looked at Hypatia who was stepping on her foot rather firmly and shaking her head. Looking back to Eudoxia she saw the woman was giving her a slightly scathing look. Realizing her mistake, the horsewoman spoke quickly.

“Oh you misunderstand me. I just meant she would be far to sophisticated and worldly to be wooed by a twenty something country noble! I mean if she was capable of impressing Sappho, why would she want to chase me?” Xanthippe offered trying to sound truthful.

“I see, I thought you meant…. well, as she is my younger half-sister I just…. nevermind, shall we?” Eudoxia smiled as she stood to retrieve a small scroll from the other side of the room.

“Smooth recovery, young woman!” Timo whispered with a wink as Xan breathed a sigh of relief.

They enjoyed a pleasant evening in conversation. Xanthippe learned a great many things about Hypatia’s wild youth. It dawned on her how submissive her lover had been when she came to the estate considering she had previously seemed to do what ever she wanted. Eventually, it was time to retire and Hypatia went to the kitchens to tell the servants to come and tidy up. Xan took her chance to speak to the pair.

“I wanted to let you know I took your advice and made a large tribute to Aphrodite. It was accepted. I want to assure you that I love your daughter very much. Our relationship is based on trust, and though I do physically correct her, it is by her consent. I give you my word that I would never hurt her.”Xanthippe said respectfully.

“We know.” Timo smiled.

“Oh, I just wanted to be sure.”

“And we thank you for that. It must have been difficult to say. However, if Hypatia did not consent to you she would make that very clear. Forcefully, vociferously, and most likely, painfully clear to you.” Eudoxia smirked her voice brimming with pride.

Xanthippe smiled and gave a small bow of her head. Hypatia came back into the room and they all bid each other goodnight. As they climbed the stairs Hypatia was going between yawning and bubbly chatter.

When they reached their room, Xan noticed her apprentice was moving a little faster than usual when it came to preparing for bed. Hypatia unwrapped her chiton and folded it neatly before fixing the bedding. Smirking, the Mistress walked over to the small table that held the grooming supplies and began to look for what she would need. When she turned around Hypatia was climbing into bed.

“Oh no, naughty girl! If you think I have forgotten my promise you are very much mistaken. Come along.”

The apprentice groaned but stood and approached her lover pouting prettily.

“Tell me why you are in trouble tonight.”

“Um… because I was shouting at Mother?”

“Yes, and?”

“I didn’t think before I spoke about the brothel?”

“Mm-hm, what else?”

“I sort of….uh… obscured certain facts that maybe I should have given more detail on?” Hypatia said softly looking anywhere but up.

“You mean you lied, Hypatia. You obscured the truth from me and your parents. In fact, the only reason you told the truth today was to have the upper hand in an argument. How long would it have taken you to come clean if that had not happened or would you have done so at all?”


“Ah but you see, my love, that is something you should be sure of. I am about to make sure we are both very clear on the consequences of such behaviour.” Xan said sternly as she lifted Hypatia’s chin. “I told you I would punish you if I caught you sneaking around like this again, didn’t I?”

“Yes, Mistress. I really am sorry! I won’t do it again! Maybe, this time, we could just forget …”

“Are you attempting to wriggle out of your punishment right now, young lady?”

“I..uh… no I just thought…”

“The only wriggling you will be doing tonight is over my knee! Also, I have something here to make sure you don’t forget this lesson in future.”

Xanthippe picked up a small bottle of Laconia oil from the table and pulled out the stopper. She dipped her first two fingers in and coated them with a liberal amount of the liquid. Setting the bottle down, she then reached out with her free hand and laced her fingers through Hypatia’s hair at the base of her neck.

“You will not lie to me or to your family. Open up, little apprentice!”

Hypatia made to protest but as soon as she opened her mouth her Mistress had pressed her fingers inside. She was now, rather forcefully, coating every inch of the noble woman’s mouth with the foul tasting oil. As soon as she was released, Hypatia spluttered and coughed. Xan chuckled as she wiped her hands on a towel.

“Oh Mistress! That’s vile!” Hypatia wailed as she made towards the water jug.

She didn’t get far. Her Mistress seized her by the arm and led her towards the bed. Seconds later, Hypatia found herself draped across those strong thighs. Her bottom was bared with ease as she was only wearing her thin shift and she groaned as the first hard swat fell.

As her Mistress had predicted, the apprentice had begun to squirm from the start. The was no warm up and the pain was building rather quickly. Trying to take her punishment properly became more and more difficult as her Mistress kept up a forceful tempo on her hind quarters. The sting and the acrid taste in her mouth made for one sorry woman so that, by the time her lover stopped, she breathed a sigh of relief as she was lifted into a standing position. The relief was short lived, however, as she was led towards the corner.

“Please! I’ll be good!” Hypatia whined as she was placed with her nose touching where the walls met.

“You seem to listen best when you are over my knee or facing the corner, naughty girl! Now, listen. You only hurt yourself when you lie and you know this. You are a very honest woman but you have cast doubt down upon yourself and this is shameful. I do not want to have to worry that you are telling me the truth, ever.”

“I won’t do it again!”

“Ah, but how can I believe this? Before, I would have, but now?”

Those words struck deep with the noblewoman. She bowed her head as much as the wall would allow and felt rather sorry for herself. One of her most valued traits was her word and she realized she had sacrificed it for almost no reason at all. Tears pricked at her eyes and she let out a small sob.

Xan turned her around when she heard this. What she saw was a very guilty looking woman and her heart went out to her. Hypatia looked up at her eyes swimming with tears.

“Will you ever trust me again, Mistress?”

The horsewoman’s heart swelled with sympathy. She cooed and pulled her lover into an embrace.

“Oh, Hypatia, I trust you. You’ve just made a mistake and we’re going to address it. I’m going to make sure you think about the consequences before you make such a mistake again and then it will all be done with. Alright, come with me.”

Hypatia nodded sadly as she allowed herself to be led back toward the bed. Releasing her lover’s hand, Xan crossed the room to another table and picked up a solid wooden brush. When she returned she saw her apprentice was eying it nervously but was not resisting.

Xanthippe sat on the bed and patted her thigh. Hypatia immediately resumed her previous position sniffing slightly.

“Good girl. Are you ready?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

Xan rubbed the smooth surface of the brush against the beautiful bottom before her that was already blushing from the previous punishment. Her apprentice yelped as the first swat descended and Xan began a steady rhythm. She delivered five swats to the right side making sure to overlap and give enough time in between so the woman could feel each one. She then moved to the other side and repeated the process.

Hypatia, despite her efforts to remain still, had begun to drum her feet on the floor. The pain was stinging and deep both at the same time. Her yelps became more drawn out as her Mistress focused her attention on where she sat. Sure that her behind must be on fire the noblewoman began to struggle a little more forcefully.

“Settle down.”

“I can’t! It hurts!” Hypatia pouted with an petulant kick. “No, wait I didn’t mean….ow!”

Xanthippe had begun to spank her thighs. It hurt much more even though the force was almost half of what was used on her bottom. She squealed and tried to remove the sting by wiggling.


“Please what, Hypatia?”

“Not there, please! I’ll be still!”

“Tell me where then” Xan smirked as she continued to pepper her lover’s thighs with brisk smacks.

Hypatia groaned and fell silent. Eventually, when the heat in her thighs increased past the point of pride, she spoke.

“Ow! My bottom, please!”

“Gladly, my dear!”

Xanthippe delivered the last ten swats hard and fast. Hypatia arched her back but true to her word she did not try to avoid her punishment. When Xan stopped and threw the brush on the bed her lover relaxed over her knee, panting slightly. The Mistress made comforting noises as she rubbed the repentant woman’s back in wide circles. Eventually, she guided her up to stand in front of her.

“That wasn’t pleasant was it?”

“No, Mistress! That brush is wicked!” Hypatia pouted submissively.

“I know. I think we should bring it with us. I certainly does the trick!” Xan chuckled as she stood and wrapped her arms around her lover. “I think you have learned you lesson hmm?”

Hypatia nodded.

“And we won’t have to revisit this any time soon?”

“No we won’t, Mistress.”

“Good girl! I forgive you.” Xan said gently as she kissed her sweetly.

A second later, the Mistress’ eyes snapped open and she made a face.

“Oh! I forgot about the oil!”

“Lucky you!” Hypatia giggled.

Xan laughed and led Hypatia over to the water jug and let her rinse out her mouth. Hypatia felt a strong comforting feeling deep in her chest. Her tension that had hounded her recently was slipping away and she wondered why she had not noticed how much it had been affecting her until it was gone. She helped Xan undress in a fog.

“What are you thinking about so deeply, little apprentice?”

Her voice drifted through Hypatia’s thoughts rather slowly. When she finally realized her Mistress was talking to her she looked up biting her lip. The feeling in her chest intensified as she looked into those strong bronze eyes. She felt like her heart was about to burst but when she spoke her voice came out barely louder than a whisper.

“I’m sorry I lied!” She whimpered her voice cracking. “Thank you for…for caring. For taking care of me!”

Xanthippe held her close as stroked her hair. She could feel her lovers tears fall against her naked chest as she finally released her stress. Hypatia smiled as those strong hands caressed her bringing her so much comfort so shortly after they had caused her bottom a great deal of discomfort. The broke apart and Xanthippe lifted her shift over her head. She then cupped her face with both hands and kissed her before speaking.

“Thank you for letting me care for you, my love.” She said her eyes brimming with tears.

They climbed into bed and snuggled close under the covers. Xan began to rub some of the sting out of the well punished bottom. Hypatia yawned and felt herself begin to drift off smiling as she was massaged and doted upon. She rolled over and brought her face to rest against her lover’s bosom laying sweet kisses on the olive skin. They lay blissfully entwined, listening to each others heartbeats as they fell asleep.

Part 16: Athens

Author’s note: Posted early for Monica because she is awesome! 🙂

Hypatia groaned and stretched atop her horse. They had been riding for hours and the day was becoming hot a sticky. Xanthippe was also beginning to feel the heat since she had donned a chiton for the ride. They were finally on their way to Athens.

Everything had been sorted at the estate and the renovations would be finished by the time they returned. As they were only going to stay for a few days they did not bring much with them. Hypatia knew there would be plenty of clothing at her parent’s Athens house and so they only brought a few essentials.

“I’m looking forward to the festival! I never noticed how much I’ve missed worship until recently. I mean, I’ve only given to Aphrodite lately.” Hypatia said as they trotted along.

“I haven’t often been to temples. Did you worship Aphrodite often?”

Xanthippe’s tone was casual but it didn’t fool Hypatia. Raising an eyebrow at her Mistress, the apprentice tutted.

“If you wish to know about my sexual past you only need to ask me. Not here, of course. Tonight, we can share if you wish.”

“I’m sorry, my dear. I should know better by now then to try to be coy with you.” Xan laughed.

“Yes, well I am skilled at being coy.” Hypatia winked. “To answer your previous question, I used to go to many temples. When we are in Athens we should go and make tributes at all of them. It is unwise to favour one Goddess over the others of Olympus.”

“I guess.”

“No, really. They are just like people except much more dangerous. Jealousy is a real risk we run at not appeasing them all. It is wise to avoid their wrath.”

“That’s just ridiculous! Why would they care so much? I mean I know they are all powerful and to be respected but what’s the big deal if I give to one and not the other?” Xan scoffed as she lifted a low hanging branch over her head.

Just then, a bird flew down, obviously agitated by Xanthippe’s disruption of her tree and began to dive bomb the woman. Xanthippe ducked a weaved as the little creature did her best to fight off the invader. Hypatia was beside herself with laughter at the scene. Eventually they had to gallop away from the bird. The creature sat on a fence post twittering madly at them as they retreated.

“Now, what do you say about favouring one god over the other, Mistress?”

“What? That was just some mad bird!”

“Not any bird! It was a Cuckoo. That’s Goddess Hera’s bird and I think, it’s safe to say, she just sent you a strong message!” Hypatia said dissolving into giggles once more.

“Really? Yikes! I think you are right, my dear. I would not want her wrath upon me. She is as fierce as they come. I’ll give a libation to her tonight. I just hope it’s soon enough!.” Xanthippe gulped.

“We probably won’t be there until after the evening meal but they will be ready for us. Are you excited about the festival, Mistress?”

“Oh yes. It’s one of my favourites. I used to go every year. I prefer the Great Panathenaea to the Lesser. There is more to do.”

“Every year? Did Charis and Archippos take you?”

“No. I haven’t been since I moved to the estate. I was born in Athens.” Xan said casually.

Hypatia felt silent. She had just realized she had never really asked about Xanthippe’s childhood. The stories her Mistress offered were always about the estate and so Hypatia just assumed she had grown up there. The more she thought about it the more she came to see that all of Xanthippe’s stories took place after she was 15.

“Ummm… Mistress?”


“Who were you before you came to the estate?” Hypatia asked hesitantly.

Xanthippe sighed. She had been avoiding this conversation. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to share with her lover, it was just that she had always tried to forget who she was.

“My love, that is a very long and difficult story. I don’t know if I am strong enough to tell it from start to finish. I don’t want to lie or keep things from you. It’s just… not a very happy tale.”

“Oh! Well you don’t have to I just wondered…”

“You misunderstand me. I want you to know I just don’t think I can tell you everything all at once. I intended to introduce you to my first little family when we were in Athens. Perhaps, I can tell you about it before we go to see them.” Xan smiled.

“How many families have you had?”

“Those who I was born to, those who helped me to survive, and then the estate. So three, so far.”

“So far? Are you looking for another?” Hypatia laughed.

“I think I may have found her.” Xanthippe grinned and Hypatia blushed.

“So I will be meeting your blood family?”

Xan’s joyful expression was replaced by a dark look.

“No. You will meet decent, loving people, not the scum I am born from.”

Hypatia cleared her throat awkwardly and did not press for more info. Xan gave her an apologetic look and seemed to be struggling for something to say. Hypatia decided to change the subject much to Xan’s comfort.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you and I suspect you won’t be happy about it but it can’t be helped. We most definitely will be in for the full grooming treatment tonight.”

“Oh no! Why?” Xanthippe groaned dramatically.

“Just the way it is, Mistress. You will have to get used to it!” Hypatia giggled.

“I will never get used to it. I despise being groomed!”

“My my, Mistress! Are you pouting? Tut tut!”

“Watch it, my dear.” Xan said warningly.

“Watch what? Your lip stick out like that or how you now sit slumped over as though you were sixteen again? What would Charis say?” Hypatia laughed brazenly.

Xanthippe pulled her horse right up along side her apprentice and laced her fingers through her hair. Hypatia was forced to halt her horse lest she be pulled backwards by the firm grip. Her Mistress leaned in and spoke gently into her ear.

“If I didn’t know better I would think you were trying to force my hand again.” Xanthippe growled, smiling at how Hypatia’s eyes widened at the thought. “Luckily for you, I know you are teasing your Mistress to take her mind off her troubles. Though it may endanger your backside, it is very sweet of you.”

Xanthippe began to kiss and nibble at Hypatia’s neck lovingly. Though she enjoyed the feeling very much, the apprentice could only think of how they were standing in the middle of the road necking.

“Well, I can see it did the trick! We should carry on, Mistress. We have to keep moving if we want to get there before dark.”
Xanthippe did not release her she simply turned her until they were face to face.

“When we arrive, you will be the one who grooms me and I you. I expect you to make that clear to your mother.” Xan said firmly as she unlaced her fingers and carried on at a walk.

“But… uh Mistress?” Hypatia stammered.

“Either you make it clear or I will. I think you would do it more diplomatically than I. Do I make myself clear, young lady?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

Hypatia’s parents lived just outside of Athens. Both women were tired as they traveled down the side road towards the house. Just before they rounded the bend, Hypatia sighed and flung her leg over so she was riding side saddle. Xan smirked at her and the apprentice stuck out her tongue.

Xanthippe admired the smooth white stucco and the wide open plain of the building. There were beautiful gardens all around and in the far fields there were rows of matching servants quarters. Their quarters were almost as big as the main house and seemed to be surrounded by vegetable gardens. As she took everything in Xan heard Hypatia let out a little snort of laughter.

There was a boy of about seven sleeping on a large rock beside the road. Xan gave Hypatia a puzzled look but she just shook her head and called to him gently. He stirred, yawned and looked up in surprise. He didn’t move he looked too embarrassed to think. Hypatia giggled and nodded toward the house. Quick as a flash the boy jumped up and ran as fast as he could down the road.

“What on Earth?” Xan laughed as she began to move forward.

“Oh, wait. Give him a minute to get through the gate.” Hypatia smiled and then explained. “He’s the one who announces the guests to give them time to come and greet us formally. If we wait for a moment they won’t know he was asleep. Mother doesn’t like to be rushed.”

When they rode into the courtyard, many people greeted them. As when Eudoxia had come to the estate, two men formed a step for Hypatia and she stepped down elegantly. This was also available to Xanthippe but she shook her head before they had clasped hands and they simply stood to the side as she dismounted. They walked over to where Eudoxia and Timo were waiting and made formal introductions.

They went inside to have tea and supper. Xanthippe admired the house but was more interested in the number of servants milling about. It was almost like a party. They were ushered into the andron. Hypatia was talking a mile a minute and, unlike the first time, Eudoxia was not reprimanding her. Hypatia made a joke and Timo laughed loudly, picked up his daughter and spinned her around.

“By the Gods I’ve missed you!”

“I’ve missed you too. I’m so glad we are staying here. It’s so much nicer than the in town house. More comfortable.”

“Timo, do you hear that? I can’t believe she likes this place more now? She used to despise being out of the city. Well, now you truly have a servant girl for a daughter.”

“What!? I never even looked at that woman! Oh, you mean Hypatia? Whew, thought I was in trouble for a minute!” Timo joked with a wink to Xan who had a hard time stifling her laughter.

To her surprise, both Hypatia and Eudoxia chuckled heartily at the joke. In fact, everything about how they behaved when together was calm and relaxed. Eudoxia was lounging on a settee, Hypatia sat on the end of it talking to Timo who was relaxing in a large chair. Xanthippe sat across from them happy just to listen to the familiar babble.

A short while later, a group of servants arrived with food and drink. One of the women placed a small table in front of Xanthippe and a platter of food upon it. The Mistress was listening to a story Timo was telling and she thanked the woman absentmindedly. The three nobles looked at her in surprise as did the servant.

“You speak Persian?” Timo asked

“Oh, did I? I didn’t notice but yes I do. Almost fluently.” Xan shrugged as she tucked in.

“Why?” Eudoxia asked suspiciously.

“Tsk. Mother!” Hypatia hissed. “Honestly, what’s wrong with speaking another language. You do.”

“I speak another dialect of Greek, thank you very much.”

“I speak Persian because when you are raised by slaves you tend to pick it up. Hypatia you must know some as well.”

“Not really. I never listened when they spoke it. When they spoke to me it was in Greek. They used to call me a nickname. Now what was it…”

Hypatia tried to remember as she popped a grape into her mouth. When she told Xan what they used to call her, the Mistress choked slightly on her drink. A smile crept over her features and she had a sparkle in her eye. All three looked at her inquiringly.

“Oh well, I can see why they would call you that. Not that I would. It’s a little harsh.” Xan smiled.

“What does it mean?”

“Spoiled little terror!”

“The nerve!” Timo scoffed.

Hypatia burst out laughing as did Eudoxia. He looked at them as though they were mad.

“Come now Timo, they have a point!” Eudoxia giggled. “She is a bit of a terror when she wants to be.”

“I beg your pardon! I used to be but not anymore. Isn’t that right Mistress?” Hypatia said with an air of humour but her eyes were slightly pleading.

“You are a treasure, my love.” Xanthippe said adoringly.

Hypatia beamed at her. Their conversation shifted to the renovations of the estate. Xanthippe could see how much her parents wealth of knowledge had shaped Hypatia’s abilities. The discussed the reading they had sent and when Eudoxia asked Xan about the etiquette scrolls the Mistress smirked slightly.

“I read through them and your daughter was a tireless teacher. It had been a while since I have been versed in the upper class rituals but I was surprised to find I still remember after being a trades person for so long.”

“Did you serve in a noble house when you were young?” Timo asked without judgement.

Xanthippe stiffened slightly and took a drink to avoid answering right away. She could feel Eudoxia’s eyes studying her intently. She was just about to answer when the woman answered for her.

“No, husband. She was born into it.”

“What line?” Hypatia asked casually.

“Hypatia, use your eyes before asking such a question.” Eudoxia chided gently. “She does not wish to discuss it and that is her right.”

“Of course, I’m sorry.”

“Thank you.” Xanthippe smiled at Eudoxia.

The subject was changed almost seamlessly and they all talked happily for a while. Eventually, Hypatia had begun to yawn more frequently and was growing less talkative.

“I think we should prepare for bed. You have been awake since before first light, little apprentice.”

“How on Earth have you managed to get her up before noon, Xanthippe?” Timo laughed.

“I’m fine. Really.” Hypatia said sitting up a little straighter but her eyes remained heavy. “Besides, we can sleep in tomorrow.”

“Mm-hm. What of the preparations for the party, and our grooming? Not to mention, the temples you want to visit.”

Xanthippe watched as a flicker of rebellion shifted across Hypatia’s face. It was subtle, brief and ended in a small smirk settling on her features. The Mistress had expected something like this. She figured her lover would need to test the waters now that they were on her home turf. Hypatia stood up and came over to sit on her lap lovingly.

“Our servants are fast. Grooming will be done quickly and the preparations have all been set.” Timo offered.

“Oh, we won’t need them. We groom each other.” Hypatia smiled as she ran her fingernails down Xan’s neck.

Although Xan knew her apprentice was testing her she was surprised to find that she was also testing her parents. Timo seemed slightly uncomfortable at the closeness she was displaying but Eudoxia was calm and calculating as ever. She and Xan shared a brief look. Hypatia, not quite getting the level of tension she was angling for, decided to escalate her actions.

“Unless you wish to go to bed for something other than sleep, Mistress?”

When she had spoke, Hypatia had not bothered to lower her voice. She had also applied a playful bite to Xan’s now clenched jaw line. Hypatia had succeeded in controlling the atmosphere but she did not expect what came next. Xanthippe quickly lifted her from her lap, looking immovably firm.

“That is enough, young lady! I have made it clear what I think of these little games. Apologise for your unacceptable behaviour immediately!” the Mistress said dominantly.

Hypatia blushed crimson and looked as her lover pleadingly. She was met with an impatient and warning arch of the eyebrow. Stammering an apology as she stared at the floor, Hypatia wished she had held back a bit.

“Good girl. Now go upstairs and get ready for bed. I will join you shortly.”

“Yes, Mistress. Goodnight Mother, Father.” Hypatia said softly as she hurried to obey.

“I’m sorry that the evening was cut short so suddenly but I find if I don’t correct her behaviour immediately then she will continue to act out until she becomes…”

“A spoiled little terror?” Eudoxia chuckled.

“I was going to say unhappy but I suppose when Hypatia is unhappy she tends to vent her frustrations on those around her.” Xanthippe winked.

“That is because she is just like her mother!” Timo teased earning himself a disapproving look from his wife.

“I should go to her. Which room is hers?”

“Second on the right.”

“And where am I to be staying?”

“Second on the right, of course.” Eudoxia chuckled

Timo gave his wife a subtle look that told Xan this was a new development. The Mistress looked to him and he shrugged and smiled.

“Thank you, for a lovely evening and for being so welcoming. Goodnight.” Xan said politely.

They bid her goodnight and waited until she had gone up the stairs to speak.

“You weren’t kidding, Dox! That woman has our child under a spell. I can’t believe she did what she was told!”

“Really? Why not? You were twice as wild as Hypatia and I tamed you!” Eudoxia smiled.

“You did not! I’m still half man, half beast!” Timo growled comically as he lifted her from the setee to hold her in his lap.
Eudoxia laughed and kissed him passionately.

“My minotaur!”

Meanwhile, Xanthippe had found their room and entered to find Hypatia sitting on the bed in her shift looking sullen. Chewing her lip, the apprentice looked up nervously and stood to help Xan undress. She sighed and made to speak a few times before falling silent with a frown etched upon her features.

“Why so sad, naughty girl?” Xan smiled as she wrapped her arms around her lovers waist.

“Because I was a brat and now you’re mad at me.” she pouted. “And I’m embarrassed that I got in trouble and sent to my room.”

“Poor apprentice! I’m not angry. I would like to hear what you thought you were doing.”

“I don’t know. I guess I’m tired and grumpy.”

Xanthippe kissed the top of her head and gave her bottom a firm squeeze.

“Are you trying to lie to me or are you just trying to wriggle out of having to explain yourself?”

Hypatia’s answer was to put her head on her lovers chest and squirm in her arms. Her Mistress laughed and held her close. She then led her over to the bed and pulled her down until she was sitting on her lap.

“Perhaps, you thought you would show off a little bit?” Xan purred into her neck as Hypatia shrugged and wiggled closer. “I think that was a yes. Maybe, you just needed to know if I would let you get away with being a brat now that we are in Athens?”

“Maybe” Hypatia whispered.

“Mm-hm. And what did you discover from your little test, my dear?”

“Umm… that you will chase me regardless of which city state we are in?”

Xanthippe chuckled and kissed her on the cheek.



Hypatia swallowed and forced herself to look into those strong brown eyes.

“I’m sorry. I’ll try not to do it again.”

“Good girl. I want you to know that no matter how many times you test my resolve, I’ll be there to show you when you cross the line because you are mine.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too. Now into bed before I change my mind about spanking your naughty bottom!”

“I wasn’t that bad!” Hypatia giggled as she crawled into bed.

“That is for me to decide, brat!” Xan smiled as she crawled in beside her and gave her a playful swat. “Mmmm. This bed is lovely! We should get one for our room.”

“Our room, Mistress?”

“I don’t sleep as well when you aren’t there. When we get back I want you with me.”

“Oh, well..” Hypatia yawned and snuggled closer. “it’s a good thing I ordered a larger bed for us before we left, then”

Her Mistress looked at her in surprise and laughed heartily as she pulled the blankets over them.

Xanthippe was bored. She had never really enjoyed large formal gatherings but she had always been able to find people to have an interesting conversation with. This party, however, was full of the type of people who were so focused on presenting a good image that they very rarely said anything of consequence. Hypatia seemed in her element as she flited from group to group. Occasionally, she would introduce Xan to another dull person and they would go through the motions of discussing business.

Despite her internal mood, Xan was pleasant and charming. Though, it felt endless she was pleased by how capable Hypatia was at securing new contracts. Once again, her lover went off to bring another potential client over while her Mistress finished a conversation with a man that was very dense. Xanthippe sighed as she was left alone for a moment. A servant came to refill her goblet and the horsewoman couldn’t help herself.

“I will give you everything I own if you will trade places with me.” Xan whispered in the other woman’s language.

“You’re on your own, Lady.” she breathed back trying hard to hide her smile.

The horsewoman was just about to say something else to her when the woman’s eyes widened in terror and she beat a hasty retreat. Xan looked over her shoulder to see Eudoxia and Hypatia leading a woman towards her. Her stomach clenched and her heart beat fast. She would like nothing more than to turn tail and follow the servant girl into the kitchen. Instead she held her ground taking a sip of her drink to try to relieve the sudden sensation of ashes in her mouth.

“Xanthippe, this is Carpus…” Eudoxia began but the woman cut her off.

“We have met before.” she said her voice conveying disgust. “I’m surprised to see such filth in your company, Eudoxia. I thought you had better taste.”

As soon as she spoke, Xanthippe felt her fear vanish. A cool, calm flood of anger replaced it.

“I surprised to find you alive Carpus.” Xanthippe said forcing herself to sound casual. “I had hoped.. I mean, I had heard you had died. What happened, did Hades send you back because you terrified the creatures of Tartarus too much?”

“It was my husband that died.”

“Lucky man. The pits of hell will be a welcome change after living with you.”

The two women smiled darkly looking as though they were about to tear each others eyes out.

“I shall take my leave now. Good evening, Ladies.” Carpus said to the other two women coldly before turning back to address Xan. “I would rather not spend time with a creature I should have killed when I had the chance.”

With that she turned and left. As she watched the woman go Xan felt powerful. All the times she imagined how awful it would be to face her again seemed foolish now. She smiled as she realized she had finally faced her and won. Her thoughts were interrupted as she realized Eudoxia and Hypatia were looking at her.

“What’s wrong? Didn’t you enjoy our little family reunion?”

Xanthippe had said it with a chuckle but she was soon having trouble stifling what was sure to be a bought of hysterical laughter. Eudoxia smirked at the reaction but Hypatia looked upset.

“Are you alright, Xanthippe?” the apprentice said softly.

Her Mistress nodded still trying to hold it together. Her eyes were now watering from her efforts.

“Why don’t you two go for a walk?” Eudoxia suggested with a shadow of a wink. “Go on Hypatia, your Mistress looks positively bored to tears.”

That did it. Xan let out a snort of laughter that caused a near by group to look their way. Hypatia lead the way to the back garden where her Mistress finally could act normally. The Mistress sat down on a stone bench holding her sides and giggling. When she had finally caught her breath she saw Hypatia still looked rather worried.

“Oh, come here, my love. Everything is alright!” she cooed putting her arm around her.

“It is not! That was horrible!” Hypatia said sadly. “Are you sure you are okay? Who is Carpus to you?”

Xanthippe sighed and pulled Hypatia to sit on her lap.

“She birthed me.”

“That was your mother!?”

“No, Charis is my mother. That thing just bore me.”

“Hmmph! Well, I don’t think it’s funny at all! How could she say such things to you?” Hypatia growled her anger growing fast..”Well, it doesn’t matter why! I’ll make sure she never sets foot here again! How can you be so calm about it? If I ever see her again I’m going to…”

“Relax, my dear. I don’t care what she thinks. Well, I thought I did. I was so frightened to see her again that I have avoided Athens for years but now… it just seems silly! I guess my memory of her was scarier than the real thing.” Xan shrugged.

“I can’t believe you came from someone so wretched! You are so sweet and loving. How long did you live with her? I mean if you want to tell me.”

“I never really did. I mean she was there but I was just another asset. Carpus is a slave trader. People are just things to her. I was raised by servants. When I was twelve I left for good.”


To Hypatia’s surprise Xanthippe smiled broadly.

“Because of Papak. He was a slave at the house. We used to spend so much time together, he and I. When I was twelve it had been decided that I would be sent away and eventually married off. I ran to him and begged him to help me. She caught us speaking Persian. Oh gods, it was awful. I thought she would beat him to death.” Xan shuddered and Hypatia grasped her hand tightly. “I took everything I owned and sold it. The next day, I went to her and begged her to sell him to me. She did but that she was finished with me. She saw me as no better than a slave but since she could not sell a citizen, she threw my papers at me and told us to get out.”

“That’s.. horrific! I’m so sorry!” Hypatia choked as tears threatened to fall.

“Don’t cry, my love! That was one of the happiest days of my life! We were finally free. Just me and Papak. We set out together and well… it all turned out fine.” Xan smiled as she brushed a tear from Hypatia’s cheek. “Better than fine. We both found families and love. I can’t wait for you to meet him. He is going to be so excited to see us!”

They sat in silence for a while both deep in thought. After a while Hypatia broke the silence.

“So that’s why you were so upset when I said I was your slave, Mistress?”

“Yes, my dear. I should have explained much sooner. I’m sorry. Do you want to go meet Papak and the fellas tomorrow?”

“I’d love to! Wait, what fellas?”

“Oh, you’ll see!” Xanthippe smiled impishly.


“Uh… Mistress? Are you sure this is the right way?” Hypatia asked for the third time.

“Yes! Goodness, I know where I’m going Hypatia! What’s wrong?”


Hypatia linked her arm and continued down the road. She had never been to this part of the city before and she was slightly nervous by how loud it was. Everyone was celebrating as the festival was in full swing but they were of a different sort than the noblewoman was used to. There was very little divide between the classes and she could hear many different languages spoken around her. Children and dogs ran about the place and when she saw a group of men drinking wine without diluting it she moved even closer to her Mistress.

“Relax, my love. We’re almost there and, though they are a boisterous bunch, they won’t hurt you.”

“It is barbaric to drink wine straight.” Hypatia scoffed.

“You should be watching one such as these, more closely.” Xan said as she caught hold of a young boy and held out her hand to him.

The boy put something into her out stretched palm, looking scared. Hypatia wore a puzzled look as Xan bent down to talk to him.

“What did you take it for?”

“Food.” he trembled.

Xanthippe sighed and opened her palm. Hypatia saw it was her purse and her hand flew to her belt. Her Mistress pulled a couple drachma from her own purse that hung around her neck and handed them to the boy.

“Next time don’t get caught, alright?” she smiled. “You may not escape with your life. Are you a fast runner?”

He beamed and nodded.

“That’s good. Remember if you get caught drop the money and run. They’d rather pick up the purse than catch the thief. Go on then!”

He ran off into the crowd. Hypatia turned to her Mistress with a raised eyebrow.

“You seem to know a lot about thieving, Mistress?”

“Hey, girl’s gotta eat!” Xan laughed.

“I never would have believed it! After all that talk about proper behaviour to find out you are a scofflaw!” Hypatia teased.

“That’s how I always know when you are up to no good, brat! Oh, just down here.”

Hypatia was about to make a quick retort when she noticed where Xan was leading her. She hesitated looking scandalized. Her Mistress chuckled and pulled her down the road and knocked on a door.

“Eff off we’re not open yet!” someone yelled from inside.

Xan laughed and replied with a rhythm of knocks. Hypatia gave her a questioning look but she only smiled and waited. Suddenly, the door was flung open. The man stood and stared for a moment before letting out a joyful yelp and flung his arms around Xan’s neck. He was speaking rapidly in Persian and Greek and Hypatia only caught a few words.

“Where have you…. your hair….. he’s here…. come in, my darling!”

They followed him inside. Hypatia was surprised to find that the dwelling, although plain on the outside, was quite beautifully adorned within. There were silk curtains for doors and intricate mosaics along the walls. Hypatia looked around feeling both interested and nervous. She jumped when the man loudly called up the stairs in Persian.

“Pamphilos! They are going to be sore at me for having them all woken up!” Xan giggled.

“They should be up by now anyway. We have a meeting before we open tonight. Hello, who’s this?” he smiled as he seemed to notice Hypatia for the first time.

“Forgive me! This is Hypatia. Hypatia this is Pamphilos. He took me in when I….”

Xanthippe suddenly stopped talking as she saw someone come down the stairs. Hypatia turned her attention to the new arrival to find one of the largest people she have ever seen. He was lean and muscular and so tall he had to duck to come through the door. When he saw Xanthippe he looked shocked as though he couldn’t believe his eyes. They hesitated for only a moment before embracing each other so tightly it looked as though they were afraid the other would slip away.
Hypatia felt awkward witnessing such a display. They were speaking in rapid whispers and both were teary eyed. When they finally broke apart Xan led him over to where Hypatia stood and introduced them.

“I have heard a lot about you.” Hypatia smiled.

“I wish I could say the same but since this little Tahmasp never comes to visit me…” he laughed as he began to rough house with Xan. “Isn’t that right? Where have you been? Huh, horse girl?”

“I write and…hey ow no fair… you know where I live too ya know!” Xan giggled trying her best to overpower him.

“You are so much stronger now! I don’t know if I can hold you off. Oh wait, of course I can!”

Papak pivoted slightly and put her in a hold. Xan tried to get free but it was no use since he was so large could hold both her wrists easily in one hand.

“Do you give in?” he laughed.

“Never give in!” she grinned back.

“Good, you remembered!”

Papak let her go and they continued to chat for a while. More men came down the stairs, and upon seeing Xan came over to hug her. Hypatia was introduced over and over. Pamphilos led them all into the andron where the chatter continued. Papak and Xanthippe were deep in conversation so Hypatia chatted with the other men. They were not shy people.

“So are you two in love or only making love? Is she good in bed? Are you?””

“We’re in love…”

“Why do you call her Mistress?”

“I’m also her apprentice and she told me to.” Hypatia blushed as they giggled.

“Oooh! Tahmasp takes after you Pamphilos!”

“How do you mean?”

“She lays with the help!”

“Help?” Hypatia scoffed.

“Hey, fellas lay off!” Xanthippe whined at them and they all laughed. “Come here, my love. Sit with me and I’ll protect you from their wild ways. You all be nice!”

Hypatia felt more at ease sitting on Xan’s lap but it did not stop the questions.

“Sooo, did she make you her apprentice because you lay with her or do you lay with her because you’re her apprentice?”

Hypatia sat up a little straighter and fixed the man who had asked with a sharp look.

“I lay with her because she a kind and wonderful person and I love her.”

The man let out a laugh and winked at Xan.

“This one’s a keeper, Tahmasp!”

Hypatia began to listen to how they were all talking to each other. Gentle teasing seemed to be a sign of affection. When someone would joke back the atmosphere grew happier and more jovial. Eventually, the apprentice had listened to them enough to try it for herself.

“How did you ever manage to get yourself a noblewoman?”

“She traded six horses for me!” Hypatia giggled.

“I did not!” Xan said incredulously to the teasing crowd.

“You did! Then you seduced me and now you have brought me to a brothel! Only the gods know what you will do to me next!”

Her Mistress blushed as the men chuckled and continued to rib her. She gave Hypatia a stern look but the apprentice simply giggled and kissed her. She was enjoying herself more and more. Everywhere Xan went she was on top but here she was very much a little sibling and Hypatia liked to see how she interacted with them.

“Oh come now Tahmasp let the girl talk! Is she this tough in bed too, Hypatia?”

“No she is gentle as a lamb unless I try to take control then she pounces like a lion. So naturally, I do that often!”

“Hypatia…” Xan growled warningly.

“You seem the sort that could run circles around anyone. You must keep her busy!”

“Indeed, but I let her catch me every once in a while otherwise she would lose interest in the hunt. That’s the best thing about being a noble, you learn to wrap people around you finger!”

As the group tittered at her statement, Hypatia felt her Mistress lace her fingers through her hair. Xan turned her until their eyes met and Hypatia saw the all to familiar look of disapproval.

“Little apprentice, you are testing your limits again and you are close to crossing a line. Behave.” her Mistress purred dominantly.

“Yes, Mistress.” Hypatia pouted submissively.

Xan smiled at her tone and then addressed the room.

“The rest of you behave as well! I don’t need you corrupting my sweet woman with your roguish ways!”

“You’re one to talk!” Papak laughed. “You used to be completely wild! Sneaking out all hours and getting in fights!”

“You stole so much even I was offended!” Pamphilos joked as he handed them each a glass of wine. “I bet you’ve lost your touch for thieving now that you’re a Lady.”

“You think so? Then how’d I get this?” Xan smirked as she held up a ring.

Pamphilos looked down at his hand in surprise, laughed and snatched the ring back from her. Hypatia giggled and took a drink. A second later she choked and barely managed to swallow the burning liquid. She tried to conceal her shudder at the taste but her Mistress noticed.

“Pamphilos, you old trickster, that wasn’t nice! She’s never had it before, let alone undiluted!”

“What is it?” Hypatia gasped her eyes watering.

“It’s a strong wine Egyptians developed that we’ve brewed. Here let me mix it for you.” Papak smiled as he took her glass and added water and honey to it.

Hypatia thanked him and hesitantly tasted it. This time she found it was quite nice. She turned to Xan to comment of the flavour but instead marveled at how her Mistress had taken the whole glass in one go. Hypatia raised a disapproving eyebrow at her.

“Don’t give me that look. That’s how you are supposed to drink it!” Xan grinned at her. “Honest! Papak, tell her!”

“Maybe it is how we drink it but you are of a different class now, Tahmasp.”

Xanthippe tutted and asked that her next drink be diluted with water.

“Why do you all call her Tahmasp? What does it mean?”

“Strong horse. I gave her that name a long time ago. Do you remember?” Papak asked Xan who smiled.

“I do. It was when I found out that the name you were called was not your own. First, I begged you to tell me your real name and then I asked for my own Persian name.”

“But Xanthippe is such a beautiful name. Why change it?”

“That’s what I said.” Papak smiled. “She told me that Greeks could rename Persians then it should work the other way as well. I thought, even though she was only seven at the time, that she was as strong as a horse, so that’s what I named her.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon chatting happily. Hypatia learned a lot about the person her lover used to be and thoroughly enjoyed the company of the raucous men. Around four, Xanthippe announced that they should be going.

“Oh why? It’s still early.” Hypatia pouted.

“It is time for them to get ready to open and we are expected for supper at your parents house, my dear. We will come back before we leave.”

They said their goodbyes and made their way back up the street arm in arm. The walk felt shorter than it had that morning and Hypatia’s mind was buzzing. Before, she saw the streets they walked through as crowded and potentially dangerous but now they seemed full of life and happiness. As they walked past a small restaurant the heavenly scent ensnared her senses.

“Oh, let’s sup here instead.” Hypatia said as she moved to enter to shop.

Xanthippe tutted and pulled her back on course. The Mistress intended to keep walking but Hypatia resisted by stopping dead.

“Come along.”

“Why? I would rather eat here. I’m sure there will be more boring people at the house tonight and that I will be expected to be the charming daughter as always.”

“All the more reason to go. We made a commitment to your parents, Hypatia. Now come along or we’ll be late.” Xan said firmly.

Hypatia sighed dramatically and allowed herself to be lead away from the lively atmosphere. She continued to see places she would much rather be and no matter how convincingly she pleaded to be sidetracked her Mistress would not allow it. The further they walked the more petulant Hypatia became. When her last effort to avoid their engagement was firmly denied the apprentice let out a growl of frustration and resigned herself to brooding silence.

Xanthippe decided to give her a chance to cool off before speaking to her about her resistance to going to supper. Even though her lover had not been out right rude or disobedient, Xan could sense an imminent tantrum. When Hypatia seemed only to be working herself up more the Mistress finally addressed the behaviour.

“All right, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Just forget it!” Hypatia snipped.

“I will give you one minute to get your attitude in check, young lady. I suggest you use it and then I will ask you again.” Xanthippe said sharply.

As they walked along Hypatia tried to rein in her mood but she was failing. It felt like only seconds before Xan asked her again even though they had almost walked the length of the side road.

“I’m sorry. I’m just tired and I don’t want to spend my evening with a bunch of bores. It’s all I’ve ever done and I was hoping I could convince you to sneak off somewhere with me.”

“I see. You are frustrated and that is fine. It is not alright to take your frustration out on others, however. Truth be told I find such events boring as well but it is important to business and to your parents so I am pleasant while I’m there.”

“You haven’t had to go to thousands of them!” Hypatia muttered sullenly.

“No I haven’t, Hypatia. I can’t imagine how you deal with it. Tell you what. If you are a good girl and suffer through supper, without the attitude…” Xan smirked as Hypatia rolled her eyes. “I will sneak off with you to some secluded place and reward your efforts.”

“Really, Mistress? Oh, thank you! Can we leave right after the meal? We should go for a swim or maybe a moonlit ride.” Hypatia bubbled.

“Hmm, perhaps.” Xan grinned at how quickly her apprentice’s mood had changed. ” This isn’t a promise. It all depends on your behaviour, remember?”

“Don’t worry, I will be good as gold!”

Xan wasn’t too sure about that last statement but she hoped her suspicions would not be confirmed. She smiled and gave Hypatia a firm kiss before she spoke.

“We’ll see.”


As it turned out, Hypatia was right. The supper was another dull affair and though her apprentice squirmed impatiently throughout the meal, she was pleasant. Xanthippe was having a conversation with Eudoxia and a insufferable merchant when a servant came and delivered a note to her. Eudoxia gave her a surprised look as it was odd anyone should know to send her a message there. Xan opened the note to see Hypatia’s neat handwriting.

“Come and find me, Mistress. If you are successful in you hunt I will yield to all of your desires. If you are not successful then you will go wanting. Good luck!”

“Excuse me won’t you?” Xan said politely. “Something important has come up.”

She left the party careful to avoid Eudoxia’s suspicious glance. She went up stairs to their room but Hypatia wasn’t there nor was she in the back garden. Xan smirked and went into the kitchen. There were many servants bustling around and one woman giving the orders. The horsewoman approached her and was about to speak when the woman smiled and handed her another note.

“Naughty Mistress! You are not supposed to ask for help! Find me by your own merits or go without.”

Xanthippe laughed out loud and shrugged. Just as she was about to leave the servant woman she had whispered to the night of the first party cleared her throat. Xan looked at her inquiringly. She did not speak she simply opened a jar and pulled out a handful of barley. With a wink she poured it back into the jar and then walked away.The Mistress turned around and went into the kitchen store room. It was dark and she lit a lamp so she could look around. On top of the sacks of barley she found another note.

“Servants are such gossips! You are close and yet so far. By now I have started without you. I suggest you hurry before I finish without you as well!”

Returning to the kitchen, she blew out the lamp and scratched her head. She knew the servants were watching her as she thought. Looking around for anyone who could give her another clue she received only sly looks.

“Spoiled little terror!” she chuckled in Persian causing a giggle to pass around the room.

“Psst, the Mistress is looking for you and her daughter. She’s coming this way! Go out the back.” another woman whispered and Xan beat a hasty retreat.

Xan stood in the moonlight trying to think of where her lover could be. At first she was a little disgruntled that Hypatia had left without her permission but she was finding this little game very enjoyable. She began toward the stables when something caught her eye. A glimmer of light shone from under the door of a small stone structure. It looked like a the feed shed they had at home. Xanthippe tried to open the door but found it was stuck fast. She knocked.

“Who is it?” Hypatia’s voice rang out with sultry tones.

“Your Huntress, open up!” Xan laughed.

“Which one? I’ve had many!”

“Hypatia open the door.”

The only response was a soft giggle and she tried the door again to find it was now open. She stepped inside to find Hypatia laying naked on a bed she had arranged using feed bags and blankets. Xanthippe secured the door behind her and approached her lover slowly. Once again Hypatia was reminded of a large cat stalking its’ prey and her breath quickened in excitement.

“It seems you have caught me again, Mistress.” she purred.

“I have and now you will yield to me.” her Mistress growled dominantly as she picked up a length of leather chord. “Give me your hands. I have no more patience for games tonight.”

So many sensations flooded Hypatia’s mind at those words. Excitement and hesitation, longing and apprehension but overall complete arousal. Her Mistress bound her hands together and lifted them above her head before tying the chord thorough the handle of the bin behind her. Hypatia tested her bonds and found they were very secure. Xanthippe smiled and began to run her hands along the woman’s beautiful form. She used her mouth to alternate between firm bites and soft kisses. She continued to tease this way until Hypatia was writhing and panting.

“Stop teasing and get on with it!” Hypatia growled impatiently. “Ow!”

Xanthippe had been kissing her upper thigh and as soon as she heard the commanding tone of voice she bit much harder than before. Hypatia watched as her Mistress ran her tongue over the spot she bitten. Xan looked up with a dominant glint in her eye.

“Do not tell me what to do, Hypatia.” she said in a low warning tone as she slowly mounted her lover. When they were face to face she continued. “You will submit to me. That is what I desire. Do you trust me?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

Hypatia had barely finished her sentence when Xanthippe slid her tongue into her mouth and began to kiss her passionately. Her Mistress’ hands began to massage her breasts and she could feel her nipples growing hard. Just as Hypatia began to feel short of breath, Xanthippe stopped kissing her and took her right breast in her mouth. She bit down gently and flicked her tongue hard before moving to the left and repeating the technique. Hypatia groaned and was just about to speak when Xanthippe returned to explore her mouth.

Her Mistress repeated this technique many times. Each time Hypatia began to plead with her she was silenced with her kiss. Xanthippe stopped to give her a chance to breath. She place a finger on her lips and gave her a meaningful look before she stood up. Hypatia was silent as she watched her shed her clothing and untie the cord from the handle. Her lover then allowed her to bring her arms down to rest on her stomach while she massaged the ache from her shoulders.

Hypatia sighed and smiled at how gentle she could be while still being so forceful. Xan gave her a soft kiss before grabbing her legs and pulling her down the bed slightly. Her Mistress mounted her again but this time she knelt over her face. Hypatia moaned her desire as she could smell her lovers scent as she pressed herself down on top of her.

The noblewoman had never had her mouth taken this way and she found it rather challenging to preform her usual technique. She soon realized, as Xan thrust against her forcefully, that she was only meant to offer herself fully. Hypatia allowed herself to revel in the feeling of her lovers sex pressed into her mouth and the power of her movements. Soon could hear her Mistress’ moans becoming louder and the way her body shuddered. Xanthippe growled as she came and Hypatia felt the sweet nectar flood her mouth. Her mind was spinning so much she barely felt Xan get up. Her lover slid her back up the bed and she smiled as once more her arms were lifted about her head and secured.

When Hypatia felt those strong hands part her thighs she grinned down at her Mistress longingly. Xanthippe put her thumbs on either side of Hypatia vulva and spread her. She slowly ran her tongue from just above her opening up to her clit with firm strokes. The Mistress focused her attention on the woman’s clit with soft writhing flicks as she reached down to coat her fingers with her own juices.

Hypatia gasped and looked down as she felt her Mistress enter her. Bronze eyes flashing with power Xanthippe gently but unyieldingly pushed until her first two fingers were fully inside of her lover. Her tongue never stopped moving as she withdrew and entered again. She could feel Hypatia’s body moving to her rhythm and the thought caused a new flood of sweet juices to burst forth. Wishing to enjoy the feeling for longer the Mistress sat up and focused purely on penetration.

Hypatia was using all her will power to stay still. Xanthippe was fucking her so expertly that though she longed to climax she could tell it would only happen when her Mistress allowed it. Her lover’s fingers moved in and out of her slowly. She loved that each time, Xanthippe pulled all the way out and entered her anew. The apprentice whimpered and tried to push herself down onto the strong hand only to be rewarded with a hard slap to her inner thigh. Pouting slightly she tried to catch Xan’s eye to try to entice her to give her release but she was focused on her task.

Xanthippe was waiting. Waiting for Hypatia to stop bucking and trying to wiggle around her fingers. She was waiting for submission but her lover was stubborn. Once again Hypatia tried to fuck herself on Xan’s hand and once again the Mistress corrected her. This time with a number of stinging swats on each thigh. She was impressed that her apprentice had kept quiet for so long but she would only give her pleasure when she accepted her place.

Xanthippe withdrew her hand and gather more of her own fluid. She noticed Hypatia had stopped writhing and pulling against her restraints. Her body was quivering and her breath was heavy but she lay still. As the Mistress circled her opening Hypatia moaned her pleasure but did not try to force more stimulation. Xan smiled and rewarded her immediately with long fast strokes. Hypatia voice began to reach it’s crescendo and the Mistress could feel her vagina begin to contract around her fingers.

“Not yet! Don’t you dare! You must ask me for release.”

Xan expected her to have trouble with submitting so fully. She was sure the Hypatia would scoff at the idea. She was wrong. Her lover’s eyes snapped open to gaze at her lovingly and with deep longing. Her hair was sticking to her face and her cheeks were flushed pink for exertion. Xanthippe had not stopped her thrusting but Hypatia seemed to be holding back from the edge of pleasure. The apprentice licked her lips and swallowed.

“Please, Mistress? Please allow me to come by your hand. I am yours. Please?”

“Good girl. You may.”

Xanthippe brought her mouth down upon her and continued thrusting. Hypatia had been so close before that it did not take much to bring her to orgasm. Her voice was usually high and melodic but this time it came as a deep growl of satisfaction. Xan delighted in the sound and feeling of her lover’s pleasure. She slowed her movements as Hypatia finished and gently pulled out.

The apprentice, who had been lost in a fog of endorphins, eyes closed, jumped when she felt Xan’s fingers touch her lips. Her eyes fluttered open and she smiled up at her lover before feeling her fingers slide into her mouth. Hypatia sucked obediently savouring how their combined flavours danced across her pallet. With her free hand Xanthippe untied the cord and brought Hypatia’s arms down gently. Removing her other hand from her lover’s mouth earned her a soft pout and she chuckled as she picked her up and sat down with her in her lap. Xan released the woman’s wrists and examined them. She tutted when she saw that they were slightly chaffed. As she spoke she place tender kisses along the lines left by the chord.

“Poor woman! Your huntress should have been more gentle with you. Although, the bonds were not tight. I wonder how this happened?”

“I liked the feeling so I twisted and pulled, Mistress.” Hypatia whispered abashedly.

“Ah, I see. Well, I will have to find something softer to bind you with next time I catch you.” Xan laughed softly. “Did you enjoy being caught? I enjoyed your game very much, my dear.”

“Oh it was wonderful!” Hypatia sighed and looked up hesitantly. “It’s just… I love how dominant you are only.. um..”

Xan’s heart beat fast, worried that she had been too forceful.

“You could be more rough if you want to, Mistress” Hypatia blushed and, as she buried her face into her lover’s chest, she could feel her deep rumbling laugh.

“How deliciously naughty you are!” Xan purred with a small nip to her neck.”I could never be rough with you, my love. I can, however, be more forceful but we will have to have a talk first.”

“About what? I trust you.”

“Mm-hm but if I am to be more dominant then we must talk in order to protect your power and mine. So we shall have to discuss what we both want.”

“But I want you to do more tonight.” Hypatia pouted.

“No, Hypatia you will wait.”

“Please, we could just….”

“You have two options, my love. Keep pushing and I will spank you. Submit to me and I will give you pleasure. Which will it be?” Xanthippe simply stated one eyebrow arched in warning.

A sigh, a squirm and a pout were the only answer until Xan gave her lover’s bottom a squeeze prompting her to speak.

“I’ll be good, Mistress.” she sighed.

“Is it that hard to obey, Hypatia?” her Mistress chuckled.


Xanthippe smiled and kissed her deeply. Hypatia purred as she felt her lover’s strong hand enter her again. Her Mistress spoke in a lustful growl.

“Well, then I will just have to help you learn to love to submit to me because you will obey me, Hypatia.”

“Mmmm, yes Mistress!”

Part 15: In Need.


“You can’t be serious!”

“I am. If you had not been stalling all morning, we would be done by now. Again!”

A sigh, a groan, and a dramatic roll of the eyes was the only response.

“Keep it up and I’ll have to make you stand in the corner!”

Xanthippe narrowed her eyes, stood up slowly and approached Hypatia. The apprentice bit her lip, her smile barely contained.

“I beg your pardon, my dear?” Xanthippe said in that low warning tone that always made her lover squirm. “Do you think it is appropriate to say such things to me?”

“It was just a joke, Mistress! Besides, you’re such a naughty student! What am I supposed to do with you?” Hypatia giggled burying her face into the woman’s strong chest to avoid her eye. “Oh no! I didn’t mean it!”

Xanthippe had taken hold of Hypatia’s arm, spun her around and swatted her towards the corner of her room. Once she had made sure her apprentice had her nose in the corner she gave her bottom another few swats.

“You have been dancing on the line all morning and you have just crossed it, my dear. Perhaps a few minutes here will remind you who is in charge.”

“Well, this is a funny turn! I thought I was the teacher today!” Hypatia pouted.

“I am always the teacher. You just happen to be teaching me something. That is what this lesson is about, my dear. I want you to stay here, no fidgeting, until I tell you may come to me, understand?”

“Yes, Mistress. Can I ask that you at least read over the scroll while you wait? You should have finished them all ages ago!”

“My my, you are full of sass today! Right now, I suggest you focus on how close you are to getting a spanking and not how close I am to finishing reading. Now hush!” Xanthippe chuckled with a light slap to the prone backside.

Xanthippe returned to her seat and began to read a tedious scroll about proper party etiquette. After about five minutes, she noticed Hypatia had begun to squirm.

“Be still!” Xan said casually still reading.

“My nose itches!”

“Yes well, my palm itches! Which one would be more unpleasant for you?”

Hypatia tutted but settled down. Xanthippe smirked as she continued to read. It had been a while since Hypatia had been in trouble and Xan was starting to recognize the signs of impending mischief. Hypatia would become a combination of flirty and bratty. Often, when she acted this way, she would come very close to getting in trouble but back off as soon as Xan gave her a warning. The more warnings she got, the more subtle her teasing but it was still noticeable that she seemed to be playing a power game. Usually, Xanthippe would suspect Hypatia knew exactly what she was doing but this pattern seemed unbeknownst to the apprentice.

Xan’s suspicions were provided with more evidence later that day when she saw Hypatia and Elpis having a discussion in hushed whispers. When her apprentice saw her she quickly said goodbye to her friend and came over asking what their lesson would be, in a forced casual tone. The Mistress did not address the conversation wanting to give Hypatia the benefit of the doubt but also knowing, if there was trouble afoot, she would be sure to find out about it sooner or later.

They made their way over to the stable and led Hypatia’s horse to two small trees that stood close together. Xanthippe told her to tie him between the trees, one lead on either side of his halter. She then proceeded to run a sharpening stone over a pair of large clip pliers while explaining her actions.

“Today I’m going to show you how to maintain their hooves. Alcaeus did most of them but she left five so I could show you. So first…”

“Why don’t you just use a farrier?”

“That costs money. It’s best to learn to do it yourself that way you can always tend to a cracked or spilt hoof without having to wait. So…”

“What’s this?” Hypatia interrupted holding up a long piece of metal.

“It’s a rasp. That’s for later. First you have to…”

“What does it do?”

“Hypatia!” Xanthippe growled. “How am I supposed to teach you if you won’t pay attention?”

“Oh. I’m sorry. It must be frustrating to have to teach someone who won’t listen properly.” Hypatia said with a meaningful smirk and a cheeky wiggle of her eyebrows.

Xanthippe place her hands on her hips and scowled but as soon as she caught her meaning she relaxed and chuckled.

“Alright. Point taken, my dear. You listen to your lessons and I’ll listen to mine.”

Hypatia giggled and was quiet from then on. Xanthippe taught her how to clip the hoof even, taking care to follow the natural form of the foot. Hypatia was only half listening as Xanthippe switched from the clips to the small hooked knife. The way her Mistress held the animals foot between her legs caused her to have to lean forward. The apprentice couldn’t help but admire the woman’s firm thighs and bottom. She was so caught up remembering the last time they made love she didn’t notice Xan was speaking to her. When Xanthippe sighed and released the animal’s foot to stand up Hypatia realized she had been caught.

“What is this called?” Xan said holding up the clips.

“Ummm… pinch thingy?”

“And this?”

“A knife?”

“And the object I just asked you three times to pass to me?”

“Um… the rasp?” Hypatia smiled weakly.

“Lucky guess! Now, my dear…” Xanthippe said seriously as she looked around and picked up a small flexible branch. “Do you know what this is?”

“It’s a stick.” the apprentice snorted offended by the perceived insult on her intelligence.

“Wrong. It is a switch and, if you don’t stop acting up, I will use it to give you a licking you won’t soon forget!”

“Yes, Mistress!”

Xanthippe nodded at the submissive tone and placed the switch against the tree as a reminder. It seemed to work, since Hypatia was attentive for the rest of the afternoon. By the end of the lesson, she could identify all of the tools and describe the right method of tending the hooves. Xanthippe untied the last horse and told Hypatia to pick up the larger pieces of the leftover clippings. Her apprentice did so but she was not above grumbling about the futility of such a task.As they passed where the dogs were tied during working hours Xanthippe told Hypatia to toss the clippings to them.


“Because they love them! Watch.”

Hypatia threw the pile to the dogs and they instantly began to chew happily. Hypatia gave Xan a surprised look and the Mistress shrugged.

Xanthippe did not see Hypatia for the rest of the afternoon but she did hear about her. First, Alcaeus had come to tell her Hypatia had mouthed off about her horse being moved to a smaller stall.

“I told her that the pregnant mare need more space and she got all snotty about it. Then, when I went to reprimand her, she just stormed off in a huff.” Alcaeus tutted. “She’s been tense as a cat lately!”

“I know. I’ll talk to her about it.” Xanthippe sighed, shaking her head. “I think it’s all of the renovations.”

As Xan went to look for her lover, Charis had come to speak with her. As it turned out, she had caught Hypatia and Elpis talking behind the goat shed.

“I wouldn’t mind except Elpis hadn’t finished milking and now supper is going to be late. I gave them a bit of a talking to. Elpis was sorry but Hypatia nearly bit my head off. I don’t know where she is now. Is everything alright, young one?”

“Something is going on but I don’t know exactly what the issue is. She’s been on edge and she’s picking fights all over the place. I’ve warned her she is on the fast track to ending up over my knee but she doesn’t seem to heed.” Xan said scratching her head.

“Hmmm. When was the last time you punished her? Before she got the letter from her mother?” Charis said pensively.

“Yeah. Well, I put her in the corner this morning for being a brat but that’s about it.”

“How did she act after that? Was she calm or more agitated?”

“Calm but then when we did our lesson she was acting up again and I had to give her another warning.”

“And after your warning?”

“She settled down but obviously she’s at it again. Why all the questions, Charis?”

“That girl is a ball of stress. She’s probably nervous about the trip and all of the work she’s in charge of. Remember when she first came here? When Hypatia is nervous she acts out. When she thought things had changed between you two, she acted out. That’s what this is. She doesn’t have control of her emotions to the degree she usually does and so she is trying to find control elsewhere.”

At first, Xan scoffed but then she remembered something Hypatia had said recently.

“Finding order in chaos…hmmm maybe you are right.”

“Of course I am!” Charis laughed. “Find her, restore order, and for heaven’s sake don’t push her to talk. You can’t force that, just be there for her when she’s ready.”

“What am I meant to say if I don’t ask her what’s bothering her? I mean I can’t just punish her without a reason!” the Mistress said chewing her lip.

Charis laughed and gave her a small squeeze.

“Between, her smart mouthing everyone with authority and whatever her and Elpis are planning, I’m sure you will have more than enough reason to give her a smack or two!”

As per usual, Charis was right. If Xan didn’t know better, she would have though Hypatia was avoiding her since she could not find her. However, she did find where she had been by the number of riled people she had left in her wake. It seemed Hypatia had told off the builders, two stable hands and when Alcaeus had told her Xan was looking for her she had told her to mind her own business.

“Well, where is she now!?” Xan sighed.

“I don’t know. She rode off at a gallop fifteen minutes ago.” Alcaeus shrugged. “Why don’t you go after her?”

“No, I will wait for her to come to me.”

Xanthippe went about some business as she waited. She had expected Hypatia to come back shortly but as the sun set she began to worry. Her nervous energy caused her to abandon her studies and proceed to the courtyard to pace. People gave her a large birth for they could tell when she was agitated. When darkness had fallen, Xanthippe strode toward the stable absolutely fuming.

“Cyrus, my horse!” she barked and as the boy jumped and hurried to obey she spoke more gently to him. “There’s a good lad.”

She was just about to head out to find her wayward lover, when she heard hooves on cobblestones fast approaching. When she looked out into the courtyard she saw Hypatia dismount, hair wind swept, and a frown etched upon her features. Cyrus went out to greet her and Xan could hear them talking as they approached.


“Whew! That was a wild ride! I tried to make it back before dark but oh well!” Hypatia laughed.

“Uhhh… Hypatia.”

“I was expecting to be the only one at the stable at this hour. Why are you still here?”

“I was…”

“They work you too hard! I’m surprised Xanthippe isn’t pacing about waiting for me to…oh! Good evening, Mistress.” Hypatia said softly as she spotted Xanthippe waiting beside her horse’s stall looking grim. She gulped and muttered to her young friend. “Thanks for the warning, Cyrus!”

“I tried!” he hissed back.

“I wouldn’t have made a difference. Cyrus, could you please put the horses away? I need to have a discussion with my apprentice and I’m afraid it cannot wait.” Xanthippe said as she took Hypatia firmly by the arm and marched her towards the house.

Hypatia’s stomach was filled with butterflies as she was led across the courtyard but as Xanthippe began to ascend the stairs they were quickly replaced by dread. On the landing, Hypatia resisted slightly only to be pulled in front of her Mistress and rewarded with a hard smack toward Xan’s room. She hurried forward, silently breathing a sigh of relief they had not gone into her own bedroom.

As soon as the door closed behind them, Hypatia made to speak but she didn’t get the chance. Her Mistress seized her once more, led her over to a chair, place her foot on it and lifted Hypatia over her knee. The apprentice only had a second to comprehend the new position before the first swat fell. Her whole body was balancing over Xan’s thigh and her Mistress had wrapped her arm around her waist to keep her from falling off. Her head and feet hung down towards the floor which forced her bottom into the perfect position. It all happened so fast that she didn’t find her voice until her bottom had been bared and her Mistress had begun to deliver a very through spanking.

“Ow, oh! I’m sorry! Mistress!” Hypatia panted through gritted teeth, a second later wishing she had kept quiet as Xanthippe began to scold.

“Oh you are going to be one sorry brat when I’m through with you! I don’t even know where to begin!” Xanthippe growled her arm keeping up a steady swing. “You were rude to everyone you came in contact with! With me, Alcaeus, Charis, the builders and hands, Alcaeus again! You’ve been sneaking around with your partner in crime. Don’t think I haven’t noticed and you will be telling me what that is about! But not just yet.”

Hypatia tried to squirm away from the deep sting in her behind but she had no where to go. In fact, the only thing her wiggling accomplished was to offer more of her thighs up to be punished. Her bottom was heating up fast and her pleas seemed only to make things worse. Soon, she had resigned herself to simply making non-verbal protests, not that she could have held them back if she wanted to. The spanking stopped for a minute and Hypatia hoped it was over. She peeked over her should to see Xanthippe shaking out her hand.

“Little apprentice, you are wearing my arm out! I see I need to build up more stamina if I am to take care of you.”

Her voice was firm but held a slight bit of humour. The apprentice initially took this as a good sign but she yelped as her punishment continued now with firm measured smacks.

“You have been almost impressively naughty today! I want you to think about every smart mouth, sassy, disrespectful thing you have said and know I will not tolerate such behaviour!”

“I know! I’m sorry. I won’t do it again!” Hypatia wailed.

“I’m sure you will do it again, my dear. You are human after all. I’m going to be here to correct you every time.”

Even though Hypatia was rather uncomfortable, those words made her feel safe and secure. The stress she had been carrying began to leave her as all her attention was focused on her behind. Once more, Xanthippe stopped and lifted Hypatia up to face her. Her apprentice tried to speak but Xan held up her hand, silencing the stammered apology.

“What have you and Elpis been up to? I want the truth and I want it now!”

“I don’t want to…”

“Is it something private conversation between friends or is it mischief?” Xan said dominantly holding Hypatia’s chin up so she was forced to face her.


“Is it something you had to carefully plan out so you wouldn’t be caught at it?”


“Tell me.”

“Please, I don’t want her to get into tro… noooo!”

At her lover’s response, Xanthippe had growled and turned her back over her knee. After about twenty hard smacks she returned Hypatia to a standing position.

“I am not playing around, Hypatia! I want to know right now!”

Pouting furiously, Hypatia only tried to flirt her way out for a second. As soon as she started, the thunderous look she was given put an end to her evasive plans.

“I told her that she could use my room to lay with Kalli tonight, since she got in trouble last time.” Hypatia whispered.

“Is that all?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“And you felt, instead of coming to me and telling me this, you two would hatch some silly plan? I have no issue with them using your room, in fact, that is very kind of you to offer!”

Hypatia looked up wearing a shocked expression.

“But… but Elpis was in trouble last time and you were mad at Kalli and…”

“Because they woke up the whole estate and caused me to leave my warm love nest in the middle of the night. Not because they were making love!” Xan chuckled. “Besides, if you two thought for a minute Kalli is the type of woman to sneak around, you are mistaken. She will walk into this house like she owns the place and welcome as many lover’s as she desires. Such is Kallikrates.”

“Oh. Well, we didn’t think of that. So, you’re not mad about our plan?”

“On the contrary, I am rather concerned that a woman who is as honest as you cannot see when she is lying.”

“I didn’t lie!” Hypatia hissed angrily.

“Sneaking around is wrong in it’s own right. Deliberately manipulating events to hide something is the same as lying, my dear. If you obscure the truth then you are lying. Whether through your words or your actions, it is lying.” Xanthippe said firmly.

Hypatia opened and closed her mouth a few times. Xan knew she was struggling with the concept and gave her time to grasp it fully. The apprentice looked up her eyes wet with tears.

“I’m sorry!”

Xanthippe pulled her into a hug and stroked her hair. She knew that Hypatia’s fierce sense of honour and truth would provide enough of a lesson for her and so she did not feel she need to press the issue further.

“I know, it’s alright. Now that you know, I don’t want to catch you at it again.” Xan said softly and Hypatia nodded. “There is one other thing we need to discuss, my dear.”

“I went out and no one knew where I was and I didn’t come back until late.” Hypatia murmured sadly.

“Mm-hm. I’m glad you know and that you admitted it. Good girl.”

“I don’t know why I did that. I just went for a bath. I could have told Alcaeus and…oh she must be pissed with me. We were just starting to get along too.”

Xanthippe felt her resolve weaken slightly as she felt her lover’s tears begin to fall.

“I’m sure Alcaeus understands people have bad days. She is often in a mood herself, after all. Maybe you stayed out so late to see if I would wait for you or come find you?”

“That makes me sound pathetic!” Hypatia wailed.

Xanthippe turned her around, delivered a very hard smack, and pulled her into a tight hug.

“I don’t ever want to hear to talk about yourself like that again, young lady!” she whispered with all the softness of a lover. “You are wonderful.”

“Thank you.”

They held each other for a while. Xanthippe was thinking about what her next move should be when Hypatia spoke.

“Are you going to use the strap, Mistress?”

It was said quietly, guiltily and almost pleadingly. Xanthippe realized her apprentice was still in need but she wanted to be sure.

“No, my dear.”

“Oh.” came the disappointed response.

“I’m going to do what I promised would happen to you if you misbehaved again today. I’m going to switch you.”

Hypatia gasped slightly and looked up in surprise.

“Did you think I had forgotten? Perhaps, you did not think I was serious? Well, I do not make empty threats, little apprentice. Pass it to me and lay down on the bed.” Xanthippe purred dominantly.

When Hypatia turned around she saw it laying there and wondered why she had not noticed it before. She picked it up and handed it to her Mistress before putting herself in position. She bunched the blankets up and held them tightly, breathing in the familiar scent of her lover. Xanthippe swished the implement through the air a few times to feel how it moved. Hypatia looked at her just in time to see Xan test it on her thigh. A thin red line appeared on the olive skin just beneath the Mistress’ skirt. The horsewoman bent down and spoke softly into her lover’s ear.

“You scared me this evening, Hypatia. I was worried something had happened to you when you didn’t come back. I want you to know, if you need me to discipline you, you only have to ask and I will help you relieve your stress. Alright?”


“Of course, my love.”

“Thank you, Mistress.” Hypatia said choking back a sob.

Xan kissed her gently and then stood. She lay the switch across Hypatia’s bottom, waited for her to relax, took aim and brought it down with a snap. Her apprentice reacted to the sound first but, as she felt the pain blossom, she lifted herself up on her elbows and looked at Xan in shock. Smirking, the Mistress indicated she should lay back down and she did, pouting deeply.

Xanthippe lay another two in quick succession and once more Hypatia made to rise but quickly flopped back down. Xan, taking pity on the woman, placed her hand on her back and used the switch to lightly deliver a series of stinging licks. By the time she was through, her apprentice’s bottom was red with a few lines from the harder swats. Xanthippe ran her hand over it to feel for any welts, relieved to find very few.

“Up you get, my love.” she said gently before placing the bedding on the floor. “Come to me, my good girl.”

Hypatia cuddled into her at once. Xanthippe spoke to her comfortingly, holding her close and stroking her hair. When she felt her apprentice quiver slightly, she looked down to see she was crying softly.

“If there is anything you want to talk about, I’m listening, my dear.”

Hypatia gave a small sob and everything that had been worrying her tumbled out. She spoke of her fears about the festival in Athens and the stresses of the renovations. Xanthippe said very little, she mostly listened. When Hypatia had talked herself out, the Mistress kissed her forehead and sighed.

“Well, that all sounds very stressful. No wonder you have been tense lately. Poor little apprentice! Do you feel better now?”

“Mm-hm.” Hypatia yawned. “Thanks for listening to me carry on.”

“My pleasure. I will always listen if you wish it and I hope I can ask the same of you.”

“Of course! I can listen now if you want.”

Hypatia sat up a little trying to shake the sleep from her mind. Xanthippe laughed and patted her bottom.

“I’m good tonight. Come on, it’s time for bed. Help me with my bindings?”

Hypatia yawned again and began to unwrap the cloth when she stopped suddenly. Xan turned to see she had a mischievous glint in her eye.

“I hope you’re not thinking of causing more trouble…”

“Shh! Listen!”

Xanthippe listened, frowning slightly. As soon as she heard it, she laughed.

“Oh well, that’s the other thing about Kalli. She’s a moaner!”

“Maybe we should give them a bit of competition, Mistress?” Hypatia giggled suggestively.

“Into bed, brat!”

“Please? Just a little, Mistress? It’s so early yet!”

Xanthippe tutted and undressed her pouting lover. The Mistress spooned her, enjoying the warmth of her freshly spanked bottom against her.

“If you’re good, perhaps I will help you start your day in a most pleasurable way.”

“Mmmmm.” Hypatia smiled as she had already started to fall asleep.

Author’s Note: To love in whatever form it takes. Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! May your orgasms be plentiful and numerous! 😉 ❤

Part 14: Down to Business.

“I need to talk to you about something.” Hypatia said one evening as she massaged oil into Xanthippe’s skin.

It had become a ritual for them to groom each other every other night. They both found it very soothing and it gave them time to talk privately.

“Mmmm?” Xan exhaled dozily.

Hypatia took a deep breath and spoke.

“I was thinking that I could delay my lessons for a week or so. It’s just, I have something I want to work on and my mother has sent me a bunch of reading I’m behind on. Really, all I’m doing right now is grunt work and I just feel my skills could be put to better use elsewhere. So, I was wondering if you would be okay with that?”

Xanthippe did not respond right away. She turned over and gave Hypatia a studying look as she began to wrap her bindings loosely. Hypatia chewed her lip and went over all of the explanations she had planned for this conversation.

“Very well. One week. You shall have it. Lay down, it’s your turn.”

“Really? Just like that?”

“Yes. Why, were you expecting me to argue?” Xan chuckled.

Hypatia lay down and chose her words carefully as she felt those strong hands begin to work away the aches and pains.

“Well yes, to be honest! I had all sorts of rebuttals lined up. Seems like a waste of time now!”

“My love, you are a very capable and honest woman. If you say you want to work on something then I know I will not find you larking about. I trust you.”

“Mmmm, you are sweet. Thank you.” Hypatia sighed as she began to doze off.

Hypatia awoke to the sounds of birds outside her window. Yawning, she smiled as she realized Xanthippe must have lifted her into bed after she had fallen asleep. After she had dressed and had her breakfast Hypatia set to work.

For the next week, she could be found in the study surrounded by parchment or otherwise running all over the estate taking tally of things. One morning Alcaeus saw her walking in a very usual manner. She would start off at the outside of the barn and take a series of broad steps and then jot something down. When the stable master got closer to her she saw that the woman had a quill in her hair and one between her teeth. Her fingers were stained with ink and she was so engrossed in what she was doing she didn’t notice she was attracting an audience.

“What are you doing, girl?”

Hypatia didn’t answer she just began to flick the beads on her abacus rapidly and scribbled another figure onto her parchment. When Alcaeus asked again she looked up surprised to see someone was there.

“Sorry, did you say something?”

“What are you doing?”

“Measuring and I’m…. oh Alcaeus! Now I’ve lost my place! Please, unless you need me for something, I need to concentrate.” Hypatia wailed.

“Alright, sorry!” Alcaeus chuckled throwing her hands up. “By the way you were jittering about I just wanted to make sure you weren’t having some sort of fit!”

Hypatia tutted and went back to her work. That evening she was in her room reading a scroll when she heard a knock at the door.

“Come in.” She said absentmindedly without looking up.

Xan and Charis entered carrying some supper. It wasn’t until they had placed it on the table, knocking one of her scrolls off, that she looked around in surprise.

“Oh! What time is it?”

“Time for you to put that down and eat a proper meal.” Charis laughed taking her scroll from her.

“What has you so busy lately, my dear?” Xanthippe smiled as she tried to peek at a long list of figures.

“Ah-ah! It’s a surprise!” Hypatia said quickly snatching the paper away and putting with the others. “You’ll find out soon enough. I need to have a meeting with you both and Alcaeus in two days around noon.”

“Very well but no more talk of business while we eat. Here.” Charis smiled as she doled out a large portion of barley and fish onto some bread and place it in front of Hypatia.

Her stomach gave an audible growl and she tucked in enthusiastically. Xanthippe raised an eyebrow at Charis and turned to her apprentice.

“Have you not been eating, Hypatia?”

Her mouth full, Hypatia could only advert her eyes slightly. She chewed slowly and gave Charis a “help me out, here” kind of look.

“Don’t look at me, I haven’t said a word and I’m not going to.”


“Umm…” Hypatia mumbled, swallowed and looked at Xan with a weak smile. “I may have forgotten once or twice, Mistress.”

“Mm-hm. What do think will happen if you forget again, my dear?” Xanthippe smiled her tone firm but not unkind.

“You’ll bring me room service?”

Charis giggled at the woman’s smart response and Hypatia winked at her. Xanthippe smirked but she sat up a little straighter in her chair a fixed her apprentice with a warning look.

“Sorry. I’ll remember next time.”

“Good girl.”


Finally, they day of her big reveal had come. Hypatia had organized the study and set up her presentation all morning. Elpis had agreed to bring some tea and lunch in just before everyone arrived and the noblewoman was very confident in her plan. There was a knock at the door and she took a deep breath and welcomed them in. Once everyone was settled and supplied with food and drink she began.

“Thank you all for coming, I know you are busy. For the past week I have been working on a proposal that will increase our profits now and in the long term. Now if we look at the margins for the last five years we can begin to…”

Hypatia laid out her plan and fielded their questions for the next hour.

“To summarize, we need to increase feed production and the size of our barn. The farm houses need to be renovated so the labour force can increase and they will work harder if they are happy. Bigger barn, more contracts. More feed, more contracts. More production, more food, more workers and that will equal profit. Because right now we’re just breaking even and that is a shame, considering how hard everyone works.”

“Well, I can’t argue with that but if we’re just breaking even how can we do all of this? It will take a fair bit of money for the barn alone.” Alcaeus said scratching her head.

“That’s easy! We just need and investor and I have a good one in mind.” Hypatia smiled.

“I don’t know, my dear. Archippos always told me not to take on investors. They don’t put in any work, they try to tell you how to run your estate and then they take your profit.” Xanthippe said hesitantly.

“That’s not true, though. If all depends on how much they invest and what kind of deal you strike. If he had taken an investor years ago this place would be wildly profitable. Look, I have the math here…”

“Oh, wipe that look off your face, young one! She wasn’t blaming him. Honestly, you are so touchy sometimes!” Charis chuckled.

Hypatia looked up from her figures to see a dark look had descended over Xan’s features.

“No, I didn’t mean anything by it. Look at what he built! I just mean it’s impressive he could do it all on his own without a third party. If we want to keep this place going, then we will have to make changes.”

“Oh, yes well… I thought… sorry. Please continue.” Xanthippe blushed.

“I don’t know, kid. I’m with Xan on this one. I don’t want any high brow, pretentious, so called noble, with more money than sense telling me what to do. Those sort make me… ow! Charis, what was that for!?”

Charis had kicked Alcaeus under the table and the stable master was now glaring at her and rubbing her shin.

“I beg your pardon, Alcaeus! The people your are describing are exactly the ones that make it possible for you to have an income. Also, you are talking me and my entire family with those cruel words! I speak for them and myself when I kindly ask you to shut up!” Hypatia growled.

Alcaeus stared at her open mouthed. She looked to Xanthippe expecting her to reprimand the woman but was met with a stern look. Realizing she was out numbered and what she had said, Alcaeus stood to face Hypatia.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think. It was wrong to say.”

“Thank you, I accept. Now, as I was saying, we just need the right investor and I have the perfect one!” Hypatia smiled mischievously.

“I don’t think your mother would want to invest in us.” Charis said with a weak smile.

“By the Gods, no!”

“Who then?”



“What!? You’re just a kid!” Alcaeus laughed.

“A kid with a twenty five percent share in two of the biggest monopolies in all of Greece. Not to mention, my own personal investments and my property holdings in Athens. This “kid” could fund an army large enough to take on Sparta!” Hypatia said proudly.

They all stared at her. Hypatia grinned and fixed her hair casually.

“You never mentioned any of that!” Xan said finally.

“Well, it is not polite to flaunt one’s wealth about the place. Didn’t you ever wonder why I didn’t ask how much you meant to pay me?”

“Well! Okay kid, you have my vote! There you go Xanthippe, an investor who won’t tell us what to do because you’re the boss!”

Xanthippe winked at her but Hypatia straightened herself up to her full height.

“Oh, no it’s not that simple, I’m afraid. The amount of money that is needed would make it so that forty five percent of this place belongs to me. I have not come this far to lose control over what I have worked so hard to get nor do I expect any of you to lose yours either. The only way I will invest is if I have a say in how the finances are run. I do not take losses lightly.”

“Good for you!” Charis cheered. “You’re one tough nut, Hypatia! I vote yes.”

“Charis, you can’t be serious! Why should she automatically take almost half when we’ve done all the work!” Alcaeus scoffed.

“This isn’t work to you?” Charis said pointing at the parchment and graphs. “Did you not see how much effort went into this? The poor girl has been running herself ragged. Besides, if it wasn’t for her we would be losing money and still have a thief working for us! Tell me, can you do any of this Alcaeus?”

“Well, no but I…”

“So what!? She has to learn everything we teach and do everything we say but we have no obligation to learn from her? What a pile of shit!”

Alcaeus was silent as she thought. Xanthippe had let out a gasp when Charis had cursed as she couldn’t ever recall hearing her do it before. Hypatia covered her mouth to stifle her laughter. The room was quiet as everyone mulled over what had been said. Xanthippe was the first to speak.

“If we agree to this, how much power would you have over the estate?”

“One vote. One for each of us, with yours being the decider. So if there are three ayes but you say nay we either convince you or change the plan. It is your estate after all.” Hypatia shrugged.

“Hmmmm, I’m still not sure.” Alcaeus muttered.

“That’s the best I can do. It is usually the person with the most money in the venture that gets the deciding vote. This way it is more democratic and the Mistress retains her role. I’m telling you, the money is balanced now but if we were to have even a small issue, we’d be right back to losing money.”

Xanthippe ran her hands over her hair and sighed. She really didn’t know what to do. Everything Hypatia said had made sense, and yet, something she did not wish to admit was keeping her from making a decision. The apprentice was watching her closely and when they looked into each others eyes she smiled and came over to her. Making sure no one could hear her, Hypatia spoke gently to her lover.

“My love, our roles will not change. I will still be yours. I want to help this place grow as your apprentice and you as my Mistress.”

Xanthippe smiled and stroked the woman’s cheek.

“Alright! I trust Hypatia. I’m in! Charis?”

“Of course!”


“Well… on one condition! I’m the stable master and I don’t want you sneaking around me. Got it, kid?” Alcaeus grumbled.

“I assure you, if you ever catch me at it you only need to tell my Mistress and she’ll make your objections clear by tanning my hide!” Hypatia smirked.

“Ha ha! Deal!”

“We should celebrate!” Charis smiled.

“There’s no time for that. We have more to go over.”


“Women, we have hardly even begun! I suggest, you make yourselves comfortable! I’ll have Eplis bring more tea.” Hypatia grinned as she swept from the room.

“That kid is something isn’t she?” Alcaeus chortled. “Who would have thought!”

“She’s wonderful.” Xanthippe sighed rather wistfully.

When she heard the two women begin to laugh she looked around to see they were eying her knowingly. Alcaeus made kissing noises and Charis burst out laughing. Xanthippe was blushing furiously and telling them off good-naturedly when Hypatia came back into the room. Her Mistress had just picked up a quill to toss it at Alcaeus when Hypatia took it from her.

“Now, really! Settle! Business is not about messing around! It is finding order in chaos. It is the life blood of Athens and our society depends on us being serious. So I expect you to…to …. Ah! I sound just like my mother!” Hypatia groaned, looked at the quill in her hand and threw it at Alcaeus. “There! That’s better!”

They spent the rest of the day organizing the plans so that, by the next morning, Hypatia was able to begin the renovations. She sent messengers out to secure the finances and to bring builders to the estate to quote the price of the stable. She already knew she could get the best deal on supplies and she had a specific master builder in mind for the stable.

The day he arrived on the estate Charis, Xanthippe, Alcaeus and Hypatia greeted him. Hypatia showed him what they wanted and they waited as he looked at the site. The man did some quick calculations and made an offer. Xanthippe’s eyebrows reached for her hairline and Alcaeus let out a whistle. Just as they were about to speak, Hypatia cut in sounding rather flustered.

“Mistress, my deepest apologies! I had no idea that this man would try to insult you so blatantly. I heard he was the best but he is obviously a thief or he believes you to be a fool. Please, forgive me and allow me to find a proper master who understands how much work is to be had at this estate!”

Xanthippe looked at her with a puzzled expression. Hypatia sounded almost frightened but when they made eye contact she gave her a small wink. Xanthippe frowned at the man and said nothing.

“This is a good offer! I can’t supply the materials and the labour for less! I mean no offense!” he stammered.

Charis was the first to catch on to the game and she spoke to Hypatia in an uncharacteristically harsh tone.

“Silly girl! Did you not tell him we will supply the materials?”

“Oh, I forgot!”

“Well, that’s different! If I can be assured of more work in the future and I don’t have to haul or pay for the materials I can do it for…” he grumbled as he did some quick recalculating. “This much.”

He held out a small piece of parchment to Xan but Hypatia took it quickly, looked at it, gave him a tense look and shook her head warningly. As the Mistress went to take it from Hypatia, he snatched it back, scratched out the first number an wrote another before handing to back to her. This time the noblewoman shrugged and hesitantly handed it to Xanthippe looking as though she expected her to be angry. The Mistress looked at the number and tried to play it cool.

“Of course, it will be done in under two weeks. I am the fastest and my structures are guaranteed to stand or I repair at my own cost. Your apprentice did make a good choice in me, even if she doesn’t know the first thing about negotiations.” he laughed.

“Well, we all have to learn.” Xan smirked at Hypatia who was barely containing her laughter. “I accept your offer.”

They shook hands and as soon as they were sure he was gone they burst out laughing.

“That was amazing, Hypatia!” Xanthippe grinned.

“That was nothing! He’s lucky I didn’t get him to pay us to build it! I could have if you two were faster on the hop. Thank the Gods for Charis!”

“I’ll tell you, I almost lost it when he said you didn’t know how to negotiate! Well done, kid!” Alcaeus chuckled as she ruffed Hypatia’s hair, much to her chargrin.

“Thanks! Alright, the goods should be delivered in two days and he’ll start on it then. I have to go see the farms and… oh yes! I need some dogs!” Hypatia said more to herself than anyone in particular.

“Dogs? What for?” Charis asked.

“The supplies. I think three should do it. I’ll get them from the farms when I go to do some research. Care to join me, Mistress?”

“I would be delighted, my dear.”

“Uh-oh, they won’t be back for ages! Stay out of the back field you two!” Alcaeus teased.

“I have far to much to do, I assure you!” Hypatia said huffily.

“Oh, well damn! There goes my plans.” Xanthippe laughed.

A short while later, the two women were dismounting and walking down the road towards the small farms. They were slightly out of breath as they had raced down the back lane and Hypatia was proud she had won this time. They were chatting casually when they heard the familiar series of whistles. Again, the children came out and Xan went through the game with them.

“Hey, you were the lady at the alter!” one child said to Hypatia.

“Well, duh! They are in love! It’s soooo romantic!” another one sighed.

“Are you going to have babies?”

“They can’t make babies, you idiot!”

“Why not?”

“Because you need…”

“Alright, that enough! Here!” Xanthippe said quickly handing out the raisins to stifle the awkward questions and rolling her eyes at Hypatia apologetically.

Hypatia giggled. They continued on their way until Hypatia saw the girl from before playing in her yard with a dog. They stopped and made to enter when the dog turned and charged them barking fiercely. It did not attack, it simply stood between the girl and the strangers growling defensively.

“Hey! Swift, come here! They’re all right.” the girl called to the dog and the beast relaxed and loped back to her side happily.

“Sorry, she just had babies and she a guard dog but she’s nice! You can come in. Mama, there’s people!”

A wiry looking woman came out of the house and greeted them. Xanthippe talked to her while Hypatia knelt down to talk to the girl.

“Excuse me? I need three good guard dogs and I was wondering…”

“Well, you can’t have mine! Beat it, Lady!”

“Menodora! Be nice! I’m sorry.” the girl’s mother sighed.

“It’s fine, she knows what she wants in life. It is good!” Hypatia giggled.

“Yes, well she gets that from my wife, I’m sure.”

Hypatia smiled and turned back to the child.

“I don’t want to take your dog from you, child. I just thought, since you are so good with them, I would ask your advice as to where I can find three good dogs I can borrow for a couple weeks. Will you help me?”

“Oh sure! I’m the best with dogs! I can’t believe you don’t have one. They are so much better than any old horse! Okay, don’t talk, I have to think!” Menodora said seriously as she sat and began to think.

Hypatia laughed and stood up to talk with the adults.

“She reminds me of you, Hypatia!” Xan chuckled.

“She’s too outspoken at times.” the woman smiled.

“Then she is like me! Say…um I’m sorry I don’t know your name.”

“Metrophanes, Lady.”

“Oh, I’m not much of a Lady anymore! I wonder, who build that onto your house?”

Hypatia pointed to a small outcropping that was made of gnarled branches and bits of spare materials.

“My wife, Isocrates. She’s always working at something. She should be home soon actually.”

“Do you mind if I look at it?”

“Sure, if you wish.” Metrophanes said with a puzzled look at Xan who could only shrug.

Hypatia walked over to the structure and look at is from all angles. She then gave it a shake and found it was very sturdy. Nodding, she walked back to them and had a quick word with Xanthippe. Once they had finished their discussion they turned back to find another woman had joined them. She was tall and looked rather fierce but the way she was now playing with her child showed she was kind hearted. Isocrates introduced herself to Hypatia casually while hanging her daughter upside down by her ankles. The child was laughing and swinging at the woman’s legs with all her might.

“I was looking at the addition you built. It is very good.” Hypatia smiled.

“Oh, thanks. I wanted the kid to have her own space, you know? Have you seen her by the way?”

“I’m down here! Ma, let me go!”

“Oh, so you are!” Isocrates laughed putting her down gently and kneeling down to talk to her. “Go play with the dog, we have to talk.”


“She doesn’t listen to me like that and I bore her, for heaven’s sake!”

“That’s because you are a push over, Metro. But you are very sweet.” Isocrates teased and turned back to them “So what can we do for you?”

“We want you to do the renovations to the houses on the estate. Is that something you would be interested in?”

“What, like fix things up or real building? Either way the answer is yes!”

“Real renovations. The houses are far too small and they need to be fixed up as well. We have the supplies coming soon and I believe it would be better if the people who lived here made the decisions about their own homes.” Xan smiled. “We’ll need to see drawings of the proposals before you start but, other than that, it would be up to the community.”

“Why now? Why me?”

“Better houses, happier people, more work. It’s simple. Besides bigger houses mean more children and that helps everyone.” Hypatia smiled. “Also, you obviously have skill and people here will trust you more than a master builder. Frankly, so do I. They are terrible at over charging.”

“Alright, I’ll do it. I’ll get everyone together and we’ll get the plans to you in two days.” Isocrates grinned.

“Good! Now for compensation, we can offer you four drachma…”


“Per day. Also, you can have one worker at two per day.”

“Better!” Isocrates chuckled. “Honestly, I’m just glad to be able to build with real materials for a change. Thank you, Mistress!”

“This is very much Hypatia’s doing.” Xan said with a proud look at her apprentice, who blushed.

“Oh, I know that look!”

“Iso, hush!” Metrophanes hissed. “I try, really I do!”

They said goodbye and made their way towards the other farms with Menodora and her dog in tow. The child kept up a steady stream of chatter as they went along. She had them stop outside a small house and spoke with a boy of about ten.

“Okay, he says you can use his dog for two weeks.” She said seriously before turning to him and having a whispered conversation, nodding and turning back to them. “It will cost two drachma and you have to feed the dog. His name is Bite and he is a good dog.”

“A fair price, young man. Here you are.” Hypatia laughed handing over the money and tying a lead to the animal.
The boy smiled, took off one of his bracelets and gave it to the girl. When she saw Xanthippe looking at her inquiringly, she shrugged.

“I gotta get paid for making the deal. Beside isn’t it pretty?”

“She is exactly like you, Hypatia!” Xan snorted.

“Then she will go far! Alright lead on, Menodora!” Hypatia giggled.

They acquired another dog for one drachma and one of Hypatia’s bone hair pins from a twelve year old girl. Menodora got a ball out of the deal and seemed rather pleased with herself. The last house they came had two children to gave them a choice between two dogs. Hypatia looked at them and made to take the larger one. Smiling she looked to the girl who shook her head, looking unimpressed, and pointed to the small dog.

“Take Bark, if your smart. She barks. A lot! Don’t worry only for a good reason. Let’s see what she costs.”

The kids made a small circle, discussing the fee. Finally, they had decided and Menodora approached them looking somber with her hands behind her back.

“It’s a high price but she is a good watch dog. If you want her, it will cost you.”


“Two drachma. Promise you’ll be nice to her and they each get a ride on your horse. I told them it was a high price but there you have it.” She sighed shaking her head at them.

“It’s a deal. Come on.”

“As for my fee…”

“I should have known!” Xanthippe chuckled.

“Yes, well! I got all them dogs! But seeing as you are the Mistress, I’m doing it for almost nothing! All I ask for, is a ride on your horse.”

“Very well. I’ll give you a ride home. Can your dog follow without biting at the horse?”

“If I tell her, she won’t.”

Xanthippe mounted her horse and Hypatia lifted the girl up to sit in front.

“Hang on! My ribbon!”

The youngest girl took a ribbon from her hair and handed it to Hypatia to give to Menodora. Once they were all sent Xanthippe told Hypatia to wait for her, the girl told her dog to come along, and the set off at a brisk trot. Her Mistress returned shortly after and they gave each of the kids a ride on Hypatia’s horse. The noble woman gathered the leashes and led the dogs while Xanthippe followed with the horses.

Their last stop was at the goat farm. Tying all the beasts, they went to speak with the farmer. Xan chatted with him while Hypatia took a shovel and went to test a theory. She went to the pasture and broke up some of the dirt. Then she went to the field where the feed was growing and did the same. Taking both samples she returned to her Mistress and the Shepard.

“Well, I want to check my scroll just to be sure but I think I have enough to go on.”

“It’s dirt.” the man scoffed.

“Very good!” Hypatia said condescendingly

“Hypatia” Xan warned.

“Yes, well… look at the colour. One is light as clay and the other is a rich black. I’ve been studying the scrolls Mother sent me and there have been some wonderful discoveries about soil lately. How long has that been a pasture?”

“Ten years and we’ve been growing your feed on the other for five. Crop rotations not new, ya know?”

“I think you should switch the two fields.” Hypatia said confidently.

“What!? That’s ridiculous! How am I supposed to get water all the way over there?” the man spluttered indignantly.

“Are you actually an Athenian? I just can’t believe you can be this stupid!”

“Hypatia, this is your last warning.”

The apprentice sighed and tried again.

“Listen, the river runs right pass this field. You would only have to place two lines of irrigation across it and the water will run down to return to the river at the bottom. The soil is more fertile and we will have twice the feed. The other field will grow weeds and the goats can feed from it. I can’t understand why you resist a plan that will lessen your work and double your production?”

“Oh well… what do you think Mistress?”

“I think she is right.”

“Then that is what I will do.”

“Excellent, good day.” Hypatia said as she quickly returned to the animals.

Xanthippe spoke to the man for a moment and then followed. She was wearing an odd expression as she untied the horses. Hypatia decided she had better say something.

“I’m sorry, Mistress. He’s just so… I mean he makes me so…. anyway, I shouldn’t have said that.”

“I understand, my dear. You lost your temper but you listened to me when I told you to behave. I am not upset. I actually though you looked kind of cute while you tried to keep your cool.” Xan winked.

“Oh, good! I can use that to my advantage!” Hypatia smirked back.


A few days later, the whole estate was a bustle of activity. The supplies had been delivered and the builders had begun. Hypatia was just getting ready to go out to the farms after a messenger had just come to tell her the plans were ready. Since the barn was being worked on from the back, they had been leading the horses down the side to get to the back field. Xanthippe was waiting for her and Hypatia led her horse down the narrow corridor.

“Hey lady, I have a message for you!”

Menodora hopped out from the bushes beside the path. Hypatia’s horse started and reared. The child’s dog, sensing danger, began to bark and snap at the beast to keep it from trampling the child. Unfortunately, this only made matters worse. Hypatia reacted quickly. Stepping between the dog and the screaming horse she grabbed the girl and they fell into the bushes. The dog moved between the people and the horse and, seeing his chance to escape, the horse galloped down the path and out of sight.

“Damn it! Hold your dog and go wait by the back fence.” Hypatia cursed as she ran after the horse.

When she got to the back of the barn she looked around, scanning the horizon for the animal. Fortunately, Xanthippe had already been astride her horse and she caught up to the other quickly. She was leading it back, dismounted, and handed the reins to Hypatia.

“Perhaps, we have put off your lessons too long, little apprentice!” She smirked.

“It’s not my fault! That kid and her damn dog nearly got us both killed!” Hypatia said incredulously.

Xanthippe looked to where Hypatia had pointed to see the girl sitting with her arms clasped tightly around the dogs neck. The Mistress handed her reins to Hypatia and approached the child.

“What are you doing here?”

“I came to give you a message. The plans are done.”

“I know, someone has already come to tell us. Do your mothers know you are here?”

“No, they said I’m too little. I wanted to show them I can handle myself just fine!” the child said gruffly.

“Hmmm, considering you nearly got yourself and Hypatia trampled and almost lost a horse, do you think you’ve handled yourself well today?”

“Well, I didn’t know the old nag would freak out!”

“You are lucky your dog went at Hypatia’s horse and not mine.”


“Mine would have killed her.”

Menodora’s eyes went wide as she seemed to grasp the seriousness of the situation and squeezed the dog tighter.

“Come on. We’ll take you home.” Xan sighed. “You’ll ride with me so make sure that animal behaves itself.”

“She will, I promise!”

Before they had set out, Hypatia, upon Xan’s instruction, had led her horse back and forth past the dog who was held fast by her owner. They did this until the beast no longer feared the dog and Hypatia learned the sooner you correct the fear the quicker the rehabilitation. They traveled down the back road at a walk.

“Can I hold the reins?” the girl asked after a while.

“Of course not!” Xanthippe scoffed. “You’re too little.”

“Why does everyone always say that to me! I’m eight and a half you know! But I always hafta say in the village. I made it to your place just fine on my own.”

“It’s not about whether or not you can do it. It’s about what can happen to you on the way.” Hypatia sighed.

“That’s dumb! Like what?”

“Menodora, do you know what a slaver is?” Xanthippe said grimly.

“They snatch people, Ma told me.”

“Do you know what that means?”

The child shrugged.

“They steal people from their families, take them far away from Greece, chain them up and make them work forever. Slaves are sold to people who can do anything to them. Owners beat them, starve them, even make them fight to the death for entertainment. In short, if they take you, you won’t be a person anymore, just an animal.”

Xanthippe spoke honestly but not harshly. Hypatia saw a flicker of anger in her eyes but it did not seem to affect her voice.

“Not all owners are like that, Mistress.” Hypatia said softly, thinking of her Mother.

“No, but all slaves are in danger of that happening to them, Hypatia.”

The noblewoman fell silent. Those words had given her a lot to think about. Menodora was also quiet as they approached her house. There were a few people milling about and they greeted them as they tied their horses. Isocrates came over to them and Xanthippe told her about Menodora’s adventure. The woman sighed and knelt down, looking somber.

“We told you to stay. What were you thinking?”

“I just wanted to show you I can be useful!”

“‘Well, then if you want to be useful, you will go sit over there on that beam. Take Swift and guard the supplies. The only time you will move from that spot is to stay in the shade. If you show me you can stay put, perhaps I won’t make you sit there all day. But I wouldn’t count on it, kiddo.” Isocrates scolded but, when her daughter nodded sadly, she gave her a hug.

Menodora started towards the supplies but her mother called her back.

“Hey, what do you say to the Mistress?”

“Oh, thanks for bringing me back and sorry about the horse.”

“What horse?” Isocrates asked looking to Xan, who had left out that bit of information.

“Oh, uh gotta go!” Menodora said as she scampered off to guard the supplies.

Xanthippe laughed and told the large woman about the spooked horse.

“By the Gods, that child is a handful! If we could not tell Metro about that, I think it would only upset her.” Iso said shaking her head. “We have all of the plans ready if you wish to see them.”

Xan and Hypatia followed her over to a table covered with parchment. Hypatia began to look over their plans, frowning the whole time. The others looked nervous at her reaction. She was shaking her head and speaking quietly to Xanthippe. They spoke for a while and then they both nodded.

“These are no good! I mean the building plans are fine but we’ll need to do better.” Hypatia said finally.

“Well, we talked it over and these are the things that need the most attention. We could scale it back a bit but not by much.” Metrophanes said hesitantly

Hypatia gave her a puzzled look.

“Scale it back!? No, we need to make it bigger. Much bigger! Look at this one, there’s nothing to it just a beam replacement. And this one, six people live here and there is only one small addition to it! Now what I was thinking….”

Hypatia began to scribble on some spare parchment laying out plans for additions to each home. She worked quickly, speaking rapidly with Iso and Metro and making adjustments, as per their advice. When Hypatia did a complex equation in under a minute, Isocrates stepped back to speak quietly to Xan, a coy grin playing about her features.

“I hope it’s not to forward for me to say Mistress, but you should marry that woman!”

Xan laughed and winked at her. They spent an hour going over everything and once they were finished they headed back to their horses. Hypatia yawned as she put the parchment into her saddlebag. As she made to lead her horse out to the road, Xanthippe put a hand on her arm and nodded towards the supplies. Menodora gave them a small wave looking almost bored to tears. They waved back and went out to the main road where Hypatia yawned again.

“You’ve been working so hard lately, my dear. Have you been sleeping?”

“Yes, I just have a lot of studying to do. I’ve let it pile up for too long, I guess.”

“Tut tut! I think you will have to bed with me tonight so I can make sure you have a decent sleep.” Xanthippe purred. “Up you get, we’ll ride back today.”

“Yes, Mistress.” Hypatia smirked.

That evening, as they lay together in post coital bliss, something roused them from their sleepy state. The dogs had begun to bark furiously. They dressed quickly and hurried out to the courtyard. Alcaeus met the on their way and threw a spear shaft to Xanthippe as they ran towards the supplies. The dogs were frenzied and they peered around the darkness. A bunch of men had joined them now and Xanthippe called out to the darkness.

“Alright you thieves! Come out or we’ll let the dogs loose on you!”

“Oh for the sake of all that is sacred, Xanthippe, hush up!” came a sultry voice from the side of the barn.

Hypatia thought she recognized the voice but she was sure when she heard another, more familiar groan, that one of the people was Elpis. Sure enough, her friend came into the light looking defeated. She was followed by the confident, flowing form of Kalli, who was smiling broadly and picking straw from her hair.

“No need to panic, everyone! The only think I have stolen tonight are a few kisses!” Kalli beamed at them. “Alcaeus you’re looking butch as always. I love a strong lady. Charmion, how are you? Oh, Xanthippe are you cross with me? Such a fierce look! It may work on your beloved but not me.”

Hypatia giggled softly but Xanthippe gave her a look which proved Kalli’s statement. The whole time Kalli spoke there was a small ripple of laughter that passed through the group. Elpis was beet red and staring either at the ground or at the sky as though begging help from Olympus. The crowd dispersed until only Xanthippe, Hypatia, Charis, Kalli and Elpis were left.

“Elpis, what were you thinking? You woke up the whole house! What do you have to say for yourself!” Charis scolded.

“Ummm… oops?” Elpis grinned sheepishly and Hypatia and Kalli burst out laughing

“That’s enough out of you two!” Charis barked pointing at them before seizing Elpis by the ear and leading her back to the house.

“Good bye, sweet flower!” Kalli called after her.

“Damn it, Kalli! What are you playing at?” Xanthippe growled.

“I beg your pardon!? I was making love with a very sweet girl, who happens to not have her own room. We used the hayloft, as you and I have done many times. So don’t get all high and mighty Mistress with me! I didn’t know there would be dogs! They weren’t there when we started.”

“How long have you been up there? They’ve been here hours!” Hypatia smirked.

“Mmmm, yes it has been hours, hasn’t it?” Kalli purred. “Anyway, sorry to rile you so, Xan. I’ll go and leave you to your woman.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Kalli! It’s too late for you to go back now. You’ll stay here tonight. Hypatia, can she use your room?”

“Of course, Mistress.”

“Ooooh, will she be there too?”

“No she will not! Neither will anyone else, I mean it Kalli. I’m tired and I don’t want you to chase my maidens all over the place.” Xanthippe said sternly.

“Don’t worry they will come to me! Uh-oh there goes the eyebrow! You mean business, don’t you? Hypatia, I think your Mistress’ palm is itching! I best watch out for my backside!” Kalli laughed.

“I wouldn’t worry about it.” Hypatia smiled as she lead the way back to the house.

“How can you be sure? She’s done it before, you know?”

“Because, Kalli, I may be hers but she is also mine. So I am the only one that makes her palm itch now, you see?”

“Ha ha! I hear you loud and clear. I respectfully bow to your claim.”

Kalli linked arms with the apprentice and they headed up stairs. Xanthippe followed rolling her eyes at how much more wild her life would be if they became friends.

Kalli was still there the next day at lunch as she had slept until noon. Much to Xanthippe’s chagrin, she joined them for lunch and regaled Hypatia about the mischief they had got up to when they were lovers. They had decided to eat outside under the big tree. The apprentice was in stitches over one particularly saucy tale when she saw Xan looking rather uncomfortable.

“Oh, poor Mistress! That’s enough Kalli, she’s not having as much fun as we are!” Hypatia giggled as she moved over to cuddle up against Xan.

“But you haven’t heard the best part about how she…”

Hypatia felt her Mistress stiffen against her and her pulse quickened. The apprentice sat up a little straighter, fixed Kalli with narrowed eyes, and her voice came out as a growl.

“I said, that’s enough Kalli!”

“Oh my goodness! You can be a little beast when you want to. Alright, I’m sorry. I’ll tell you a nice story instead.” Kalli grinned popping a olive into her mouth. “One time…”

But she didn’t get to finish as a young woman approached with a arm full of scrolls for Hypatia. The noblewoman sat up and groaned. She took the lot and flopped to the ground, pretending to be crushed under the weight of them. Xanthippe laughed and filled a pita with some olives and feta and gave it to the messenger. She thanked them and ran off.

“I just got caught up with the last bunch she sent me! Mistress, save me!” she whined from underneath the pile of parchment. “Tell her you’ve given me so many practical lessons I’ve forgotten how to read!”

“Well then you would have to save me from her, as well!” Xan smirked as she lifted Hypatia back up to cuddle with her.

“Well, they are pretty long but they seem to be interesting.” Kalli said as she scanned one quickly. When she caught Hypatia’s surprised look she put on a huffy demeanour. “No one thinks prostitutes can read but we can. Don’t let your mind be clouded by class, Hypatia. There is my lesson to you.”

“Oh, of course. Thank you.” Hypatia blushed as she picked up the smallest scroll.

She read it, shook her head and read it again. Xan controlled her desire to read over Hypatia’s shoulder but when her lover bit her lip and look up at her nervously, she had to ask.

“Mother has summoned us to Athens for the Panathenaea in two weeks. I mean I have to go but if you don’t want to…I mean you probably should…. I just mean she asked for you specifically… but you don’t have to….” Hypatia stammered.
Xanthippe smiled and place her finger on Hypatia’s lips.

“We’re going together. Don’t fret, my dear.” she purred as she removed her finger and gave her lover a soft kiss. “It will be nice and I haven’t been to Athens in ages.”

“There’s one more thing…”


“These are for you to read, not me.” Hypatia giggled, pushing the pile towards Xan.

“Oh, that’s why there are so many about etiquette!” Kalli laughed.

Xanthippe frowned at the amount she had to read. However, when she looked into Hypatia’s soft green eyes and saw all of the love and longing there, she smiled.

“Well, I best get to it. I have a lot of studying to do. Will you help me, my dear?”

“I would love to, Mistress!”

Part 13: Worship

When Hypatia awoke the next morning she was still a little tender from the spanking but more physically frustrated elsewhere. She got up, dressed, and went down stairs to get some breakfast. She was busy thinking about how close they had come to making love as she scooped some of the thin barley, wine and spice porridge into a cup. Taking a swig and yawning, she once again noticed everyone in the kitchen had become more subdued upon her arrival. Perhaps, she was tired or simply fed up with it but, whatever the reason, she did not want to engage them. Instead, Hypatia sighed, gave them all a forlorn look and left.

Grumbling to herself, Hypatia made her way over to the group of stable workers who were milling about, waiting for the days assignments. They also seemed resistant to speak to her and she was just about to give them a piece of her mind when Xan and Alcaeus began to speak. Pouting furiously, Hypatia waited for them to be finished, assuming she would be working with one or the other.

“Hypatia, you will find Elpis and clean out the goat shed. When you are finished, come and find me. Alright everyone, that is all.” Xan smiled at the group.

“Wait! Why do I have to clean out the goats? What did I do?” Hypatia pouted, louder than she had meant to.

Those who had been going about their business stopped to see Xanthippe’s reaction. Hypatia could feel their gaze upon her and heard the whispers as people repeated what she had said. Xanthippe fixed her with a dominant glare while Alceaus’ eyebrows reached for her hairline.

“You haven’t done anything but you will do as you are told, girl.” Xan said firmly. “Lest you wish to give me a reason to punish you?”

“N..no, Mistress!”

People snickered at her response and Hypatia blushed pink. When Xan spoke again, even she seemed amused.

“Good choice, my dear. Go on, get to it!”

Hypatia went to grab some supplies from the stable before she went to look for Elpis. Cyrus helped her find what she needed chattering the whole time. Two women came up to her smiling in a way that told her they had just finished talking about her.

“Hey, don’t forget the push broom. We won’t need it ’til later and it makes fast work in there.” said one.

“Ha ha! That was funny what you said! I’ve always wanted to ask “why me” when I get the short end of the stick but I’m not brave enough. Oh well, ours is not to reason why, eh?” laughed the other.

Hypatia chatted with them for a few minutes and, by the time they all cheerfully said good bye, she was feeling a bit better about the day. They weren’t the only ones who seemed to think everything was back to normal as other hands she had spoken before to greeted her as she walked by. Smiling, Hypatia dropped off the tools and went looking for Elpis.

She was having some trouble finding her. She decided, after checking every where she could think of, that she would go ask the ladies in the kitchen. They didn’t know where she was and Hypatia was just about to do another sweep of the house when Xanthippe entered with Elpis in tow.

“There you are! I thought I told you to get to work, my dear?”

“I was looking for her!”

“That’s funny, I was looking for you!” Elpis chuckled.

“I expect you two to be finished before noon. Don’t spend too much time mucking about and Hypatia?”

“Yes, Mistress?”

“I had better not find your work half finished again today or I will be very unforgiving.” Xanthippe said with a significant look at her apprentice who nodded submissively. “Well then, it’s not going to do itself. Hurry up, you two!”

“Yes, Mistress!” They replied in unison and quickly left through the back door.

“Supper was lovely last night, ladies. Good work.” Xan spoke to the room.

“Thank you, Mistress.” they all responded at different times.

Xanthippe smiled and left them to discuss the scene they had obviously all be listening in on.

Meanwhile, Hypatia and Elpis had begun their chores. After shooing all of the beasts out into the small paddock, they began removing the old bedding and dung from the shed. Hypatia had been resistant to the task but she soon found it to be not very much work. The best part was she and Elpis kept up a steady stream of chatter and jokes as they worked. Sometimes they found themselves doubled up with laughter at each others wild stories.

They took a short break and, upon noticing Hypatia preferred to stand, Elpis fixed her with a knowing smile and began to tease her.

“Oh, that’s right! How’s your backside feeling today?”

“Sore! No thanks to you!” Hypatia scoffed rubbing her bottom.

“Me? What did I do?” Elpis laughed.

Hypatia fixed her with a scandalized look and adopted a mockingly innocent tone.

Oh, Hypatia! You just need to push her a bit and she’ll be her old self again. Trust me, it will work! Wonderful advice!”

“Hold on a minute! It worked didn’t it? She did go back to being the old, firm handed, Mistress! Isn’t that what you wanted?”

“Well, yes but…” Hypatia chuckled as she gave her behind another rub. “I didn’t want her to be that firm! I must remember to hide that strap!”

“I never told you to give her a smack on the ass! That was your wild idea and I won’t be blamed because you are a unruly brat! It sure was funny though!” Elpis snorted and dissolved into giggles and Hypatia join in.

When they were almost finished, Elpis went to lead the goats back into the shed as Hypatia finished strewing the last of the fresh straw around. She bent down to pick up a shovel they had forgotten when she heard Eplis call out to her. Before she could respond she found herself in a heap on the ground as goats milled about her. Wincing as she got her her feet, she looked around for what hit her and saw a large male goat making to charge her again. Lucky, Elpis grabbed one of his horns and shooed him away laughing hysterically.

“Sorry, I should have warned you! He does that! I hate that stupid goat! He gets me at least once a week. You should have seen it though!” Elpis giggled.

“Yes, well if I wasn’t already sore I will be now! Oof! Come on lets go get some lunch!” Hypatia groaned.

When they arrived back in the kitchen Hypatia felt a large change in the atmosphere. People greeted her and chatted casually around her. She didn’t quite understand the reason for the change but she welcomed it. She grabbed some pita, nuts, and cheese that was laid out for lunch and sat down gingerly.

“Ooooh tender ass, Hypatia?” Charmion teased. “Are you ever out of trouble?”

“Firstly, I am sore because that damn goat rammed into me. Secondly, … no I am not!” Hypatia giggled as other joined in.

“I hate that effing thing!”

“He’s such a brute! Too bad, he’s such a good breeder.”

“Tsk! Any male goat can be a good breeder! I’ve wanted to get rid of him for ages” Elpis grumbled.

“It’s been so long since we had a nice roasted goat!” Eutropia sighed. “I can’t even remember that last time.”

“When we had the sports day. That was fun.”

“Oh, I love sports!” Hypatia said excitedly and when they all laughed she added huffily. “I’ll have you know, I am very good at all sorts of sports!”

“Really? A pretty, polished Lady like you?” Charmion said disbelievingly.

“Yes! What do you think the noble classes do, woman? Hunting, racing, field sports, swimming, rowing. You name it, I’ve done it!”

“The other thing your class is famous for are those parties where everybody lays with everyone else or so I’ve heard.” Elpis chuckled.

“Oh, that reminds me of this one time….”

“Time? Oh damn! What time is it?”

“Past noon, why?”

“I have to go, I’m late for my lesson with the Mistress!” Hypatia yelped as she hurriedly wrapped the rest of her food in her pita.

“Uh-oh! You’re in trouble again! You really have a knack for it, don’t you?” Charmion snorted.

Hypatia finished her lunch as she walked towards the stable at a brisk pace. Luckily, Xanthippe was running late as well. She was speaking with Alcaeus when she spotted her apprentice and made her way over to her.

“I’m sorry, Hypatia. Have you been waiting long?”

“Uh…no I was a little late myself actually.” she replied sheepishly.

Xanthippe frowned slightly at that but gave her a approving nod for telling the truth. After Alcaeus had sent Hypatia to fetch the horse she would be working with, she turned to Xan with a knowing smirk.

“Well, I told you to lay down the law and I see that you have. Well done, young Mistress!” She laughed giving Xan a friendly push.

Xan smiled and returned the gesture. She was feeling confident in herself today. When Hypatia returned to the with the large horse in tow, they said good bye to the stable master and headed towards an empty arena. Xan explained they were going to be working on getting the horse to jump hurdles as they set up a series of obstacles. When the were finished they returned to the animal and the Mistress told Hypatia to mount it.

“Oh, I’m riding him?”

“Yes. You have jumped before, right?”

“Oh yes, often in fact. It’s just…” Hypatia said as her hand absentmindedly moved to her backside.

“Ah, still a bit tender my dear?” Xan purred and flashed her a wink. “It can’t be helped, I’m afraid. I need to show you the technique and it is hard to do properly. Up you get.”

Hypatia gave a sound half way between a groan and a giggle and mounted the horse. She rode him around the ring for a while to get used to his gait before returning to where the Mistress was standing. Xan was now holding a long, wooden pole that looked like a spear shaft.

“Okay. This horse is to be a war mount. He doesn’t scare easily, easy to control, but he doesn’t jump properly yet. I want you to be careful, now. Don’t do anything reckless. Make sure you know where I am standing because he has been trained to mow people over, understand?”

“Yes, Mistress!”

“Good girl. Now, bring him in at a trot when you get to the jump give him a smack and we’ll see if he’ll go over on his own.”

Hypatia brought the beast up to speed and headed towards the first short obstacle. He managed to get his front feet over but he landed on either side of the jump. Instead of bring his back end up and over, he simply used his powerful hind quarters to knock the posts down. Xanthippe set it up again and called her apprentice over.

“Well, he’s a little lazy but we can fix that. This time I want you to do the same thing and I’ll see if I can knock him over. It might be bumpy so hold on.”

“What are you going to do?” Hypatia asked hesitantly.

“When he gets to the jump I’m going to hit his forelegs with this stick so he tries to jump higher and thus brings his back end with him. Don’t worry, you are a good rider. You’ll do fine, my dear.”

“But… won’t that hurt him?”

“I would think so, yes.” Xanthippe smiled but Hypatia chewed her lip. “What’s wrong?”

“Can’t we do it without hurting him?”

“Not really, not that I know of. This is how it is done. I have done this many times, which is why I have you riding. I promise you there won’t be any lasting damage.”

“But… I don’t want to…”

“Hypatia, come now, that is enough. We have two more to get through today. Stop stalling!”

“I’m not!” the apprentice pouted, crossing her arms before saying in a very whiny tone. “I just think there has to be a better way! You can’t know everything about it!”

Xanthippe reached up and gave the woman’s thigh a small slap.

“Do not speak to me that way, young lady! I have told you this is the way it is done, I listened to your concerns, and I have assured you that the beast will be fine. I do not claim to know everything about it but this is what I know will work. Do you have another way of teaching it to jump?”

“No, Mistress.”

“Then stop pouting and being argumentative! Behave yourself or I will make it even less comfortable for you to ride.” Xanthippe warned.

“Yes, Mistress” Hypatia mumbled as she rode off to try again.

As she approached the jump, Hypatia resisted the urge to close her eyes. The animal made to jump and Xanthippe rapped it hard across the forelegs. Hypatia almost lost her seat as the beast gave a lunge and lifted his whole body over the obstacle. Xanthippe encouraged her to try again. The second time the horse did it on his own. Hypatia turned him around and looked at Xan in surprise.

“See? He remembered what he needed to do.”

“I guess.” Hypatia sighed as she brought the horse along side Xanthippe. “What happens if he forgets?”

Her Mistress chuckled and squeezed the thigh she had swatted before.

“Well, then you just have to give him another little tap, my dear!”

“Very funny!” Hypatia scoffed and as she rode off to take the hurdle again she stuck out her tongue at her laughing Mistress.

“I have to admit, that does feel nice.”

“I told you it would!”

It was evening and the two women were in Hypatia’s room. She had convinced her Mistress to let her groom her. She had just finished wiping Xanthippe’s strong, naked, form down with a cloth dipped in lavender water. As she made to pick up a small bottle of oil, Xan wrapped her arms around her from behind and held her close.

“That can wait. It’s your turn, my dear.” She purred and began to unwrap Hypatia’s pepalos.

Hypatia smiled as she felt the cloth fall away. Xanthippe pulled at the strings of her undergarment and let it fall as well. Hypatia tutted and bent over to pick up the clothes when she heard her Mistress gasp. Suddenly, she felt herself being turned so she stood more in the light by a rather worried looking lover. Xan had knelt down and was running her hand over the noblewoman’s bottom.

“See something you like, Mistress?”

“Not at all!” came the tense reply.

“I beg your pardon!?” Hypatia said in mock outrage.

“I’ve bruised you terribly! Look!”

Hypatia turned around awkwardly trying to see what she was talking about. She could just make out a dark splotch that crept over her bottom and up her hip slightly. She wasn’t concerned about that, more by the almost panicked look her Mistress was trying hard to hide. Hypatia turned around and tried to hold her but the horsewoman pulled away tears shining in her eyes.

“Hey, it’s alright. Come here, please?” Hypatia cooed as Xan relented to being held. “You didn’t hurt me I was…”

“I did!” Xanthippe croaked as a tear fell.

“Xanthippe, listen to me! I was working in the goat shed today and that stupid male goat rammed me. That’s all! I promise, I had no marks when I dressed this morning, I looked! You didn’t hurt me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Oh, yes! I’m surprised I didn’t fly through the air when he nailed me! Ask Elpis she was there but I think my word should be good enough, don’t you?” Hypatia said firmly.

“Yes, you are right, my dear. I trust you. I’m just… I was just…scared.” Xanthippe murmured, the last word barely audible.

Hypatia gave her lover a tight squeeze and felt her bury her face into her hair.

“Poor Mistress! Everything is all right.”

When she felt the woman relax, Hypatia released her from the embrace and gave her a sweet kiss. Xanthippe tried to hide her emotions and hurriedly brushed her tears away looking embarrassed. The noble woman cupped her face, gave her a knowing smile, and simple shook her head. Xan nodded and smiled amazed at how much they could say without speaking. She picked up the cloth and began to run it over Hypatia’s soft body.

“Mmm, you are good at that, Mistress!”

“You may use my name, my dear. You already did, after all!” Xan smiled as she re wet the cloth and focus on the woman’s backside, taking care to be gentle around her bruise.

“Oops! You caught that, then?” Hypatia giggled.

“Indeed, but no matter. We are alone now and you say is very elegantly. Alright, what’s next?”

Hypatia placed her bed mats on the floor and had Xanthippe lay out on her stomach. Rubbing a liberal amount of oil on the horsewoman’s back Hypatia was pleased when Xan sighed contentedly. The noble woman straddled her and began to massage.

“What do you think you are doing, my dear?”

“What does it feel like? I’m massaging you!”

“You have also mounted me which is something that I do to you. Not the other way around. I suggest you do it properly. I am positive that this method is not employed in most bath houses.” Xanthippe said her voice a mingle of sigh and growl.

Hypatia tutted and got up to kneel beside her Mistress instead.

“You just haven’t been to the right ones.” She whispered daringly.

“Girl, if you weren’t so good at what you are doing right now you’d be in trouble! Lucky for you, you’ve already got a sore bottom.”

Hypatia chuckled and focused on relieving the multiple knots she could feel. They chatted about this and that. When she had finished Xanthippe stretched and smiled at her.

“That was lovely! Thank you, my dear. Alright, lay down, I’ll get dressed and do you.”

“Oh, good! My muscles haven’t ached this much since I did rowing.” Hypatia sighed as she flopped down. “Oh, that reminds me! We should have a sports day. Some people were talking about it at lunch today.”

“Hmmm.” Xan smiled as she straddled her apprentice and spread oil over her back. “That’s a good idea. It has been a while and we always have a good time.”

“And we have to roast a goat and I have just the one in mind! I mean, if that’s alright with you.”

“Yes that sounds good. In fact, I owe a tribute of exactly one goat.”

“Really? To whom?” Hypatia yawned.

“Come on, up you get.” Xan smiled and began to fix Hypatia’s bed for her. She guided her in and pulled the covers over her before she spoke again. “I want you to be the one to organize the event, my dear. I’m sure you will do it right. Now get some sleep.”

“Oh it is going to be wonderful. My parties are never boring…unlike some I can remember.”

Xanthippe had been putting the stopper back in the oil bottle when she caught Hypatia’s meaning and turned around with her hands on her hips. Her apprentice was giving her a coy, teasing, grin and buried her face under her bedclothes to stifle her giggles. The Mistress strode over and began to tickle her under the blankets.

“Alright, alright! I give! Xanthippe, stop!”

“Little brat! Time for bed.”

Hypatia tutted and made herself comfortable. Xanthippe kissed her gently and made to leave.

“Hey, wait a minute! You never told me who the tribute is for!” Hypatia pouted as she sat up.

Xanthippe returned to her bedside and softly pushed her back down into bed before kissing her deeply.

“I owe Aphrodite for bringing you to me, my dear. Also, I prayed to her to give me the strength to deal with your wild antics and smart mouth.” Xanthippe chuckled, patting the woman’s bottom through the covers. “I would say she has delivered, wouldn’t you? Now stop stalling and go to sleep!”

“Yes, Mistress.” Hypatia sighed happily. “Goodnight.”



A week later, Hypatia awoke early, brimming with excitement. Today was the day of the gathering and she was sure everything was ready. Still, she went over her list one more time to be sure before she went out to the stables to help feed the horses. Everyone seemed to be looking forward to it and they all hurried to be finished before noon.

When it was time to begin everyone gathered in the courtyard. All of the people from the little farms around the estate had joined as well. Elpis lead the goat over to Xanthippe who bent, grabbed both sets of legs and hoisted it onto her shoulders. They crowd made it’s way down the road to the nearby Shrine of Aphrodite.

The Priestesses greeted them and had already prepared the fire. Hypatia had made sure that everything was decorated with myrtle wreaths, roses and apples to honour the Goddess. Xanthippe brought the animal up to the alter and placed it upon it so that the ritual of pouring water on it could begin. She held the beast and repeated the prayers the Priestess were speaking while Hypatia gave out hand fulls of barley to everyone.

Once the prayers had be finished everyone threw their barley seeds toward the alter shouting blessings. The head Priestess handed the Mistress a clay chalice filled with water.

“I offer this beast to you great Goddess Aphrodite as a tribute and as my thanks for your gift of love.” Xanthippe said clearly as she poured the water onto the goats head.

When the water made contact with it’s face the beast nodded to try to avoid the steady stream. People sent out a soft cheer for the beast had consented to the sacrifice on the first try. Hypatia stepped forward holding a bowl of barley. They looked into each others eyes and smiled. The Priestess cleared her throat loudly and Xanthippe gave her a sheepish grin. She tightened her grip on its horn, plunged her hand into the bowl to retrieve the knife hidden there and slit the animal’s throat in one smooth motion. Just as quickly the younger Priestesses held a bowl under to collect the blood as the crowd let out a cheer.

“That was well done!” the head Priestess said quietly to Xan. “Oh and look at your love, now that is lucky!”

Xanthippe turned to see Hypatia’s face had been splattered with blood from the sacrifice. Grinning, the apprentice wiped some of it onto her hand and transferred it to her Mistress’ brow. The Priestesses had begun to butcher the animal and Xan and Hypatia milled about in the crowd chatting.

A short while later, a hush descended over the group as they waited for the Priestess to speak. She was examining the animal’s entrails very closely. The rest of the women of Aphrodite gather around her and had a brief discussion while everyone waited with baited breath. The head Priestess approached the alter and added wine and spices to it before throwing it into the fire.

“They have accepted the offering!” she announced smiling to the cheering crowd.

All of the women from the kitchen hurried forward and began to prepare the meat. They rubbed it with spices and oil before calling to the men to get their help lifting it onto the spit. Everyone was having a wonderful time as they waited for the meat to be cooked. Xan, Charis and Hypatia were sitting at a table when Alcaeus came over to them smiling broadly.

“What has you in such a good mood?” Xan asked suspiciously.

“I’m just enjoying the festival, is all.” the stable master blushed.

“Really, it wouldn’t have anything to do with that handsome priest I saw you go into the temple with an hour ago, would it?” the apprentice giggled.

Xanthippe gave her thigh a little squeeze and raised a disapproving eyebrow at her. Hypatia stopped her laughing and looked at Alcaeus timidly.

“Sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No, you shouldn’t have but I will! How was he?” Charis cackled. “It’s about time!”

“Excuse me, Charis, but I’ve payed tribute recently! Just last week I brought an offering to the temple.” Alcaeus scoffed.

“I was talking about the last time you offered yourself to a good looking…”

“Charis, please! I won’t give any details, but I will say, I think I’m good for tributes for the next few months! You should go seek him out he’ll make you…”

“Argh! I’m getting out of here before I hear what can never be unheard!” Xanthippe yelped as Charis and Alcaeus erupted into gales of laughter.

Hypatia joined her and went to check on the meat. It was almost ready to be handed out and it smelled heavenly. The servers were busy stripping the meat from the bones and putting it on large platters. When they finished the bones were placed back into the fire for the Gods to consume and the head Priestess was looking for any signs in the smoke.

“Hello, Xanthippe. I haven’t seen you in ages then, all of a sudden, you are making a grand tribute! I must say, I preferred when you would come to me for your spiritual needs.” a sultry voice said from behind them.

“Oh, hello! Yes, well a lot has happened to me recently.” Xanthippe grinned back.

Hypatia eyed them suspiciously as they spoke. She could tell there was some history between them. The woman was tall and full bodied. Her hair was a rich brown and had flowers braided into it. When she commented on Xanthippe’s short hair, she reached up and caressed her head and neck almost lovingly. Hypatia cleared her throat.

“Oh, I beg you pardon, my dear! This is Hypatia, my apprentice. Hypatia, this is Kallikrates…”

“Xanthippe you know I prefer Kalli.” the woman chimed, her laughter sounded rich and smooth. “I am one of your Mistress’ lovers. It is a pleasure to meet you.”

“And I you.” Hypatia smiled graciously. “I saw you here the other day while I was preparing for the sacrifice.”

“Did you? I must have been distracted, I would definitely remember a vision such as yourself.” Kalli purred running her hand down Hypatia’s back.

Xanthippe was uncomfortable. She expected Hypatia to be upset at the bold announcement but, what was worse, was how Kalli flirted with both of them so openly. Xan couldn’t tell what Hypatia was thinking, she had erected a wall of formal politeness.

“I do not blame you. It takes a great deal of concentration to please three partners at one time. You seem very capable.” Hypatia purred stepping closer to the woman and returning her caress.

“I am. Perhaps, you would like to see how capable, my lovely?”

Hypatia smiled and batted her eyelashes seductively as Kalli move closer to her. Xanthippe did not think, she simply acted. She reached out and took a hold of Hypatia’s arm and firmly, but gently, pulled her away from the other woman. Once Hypatia stood beside her, the Mistress wrapped her arm around her waist possessively and eyed her former lover.

“Oh, what’s this? Well, well, Xanthippe! Your tastes have changed, I see!” Kalli chuckled. “Will you not share with another lover?”

“No, Kalli. She is mine.” Xanthippe smiled.

“Especially, since she hasn’t had me herself yet. Why should you get the first taste?” Hypatia giggled.

“Hypatia, hush!” Xan said sternly giving her a warning tap on her behind.

“Yes, Mistress. I’m sorry.”

Kalli looked from the dominant looking Xan to the subdued and submissive Hypatia and smiled knowingly.

“Oh, my Great Goddess Aphrodite! You’ve found her! I’m so happy for you! That’s what this is all for isn’t it? My blessings to you both!”

Kalli took two small roses from her hair, said a small blessing and gave them each a bloom. They thanked her and made their way over to where the meat was being handed out. Xanthippe still expected Hypatia to say something about the interaction but she seemed content as she got them each a plate. They sat and began to eat. Hypatia tore a strip of meat, popped it into her mouth and sighed happily.

“Is it that good?” Charis laughed.

“Yes! It is delicious. It is blessed and well, it may be rude to say, but that goat had it coming! I rejoice we are eating him!”

“Me too!” Elpis piped up from the other end of the table. “Perfect choice for Aphrodite, I say. Out of all the goats, he was most like her because he was a horny, cantankerous, mean, old…”

They didn’t hear the rest of what Elpis was going to say for, as she had spoke, a temple elder had overheard her and gave her a slap to the back of the head. They all stifled their laughter as the woman scolded Elpis for her blasphemy. Xanthippe let out a small snort and the woman turned to her.

“Do you allow such disrespect at your estate, Xanthippe? Have you no control over her!?” She barked.

Xan almost choked on her meat as the woman began to speak louder, drawing the attention of the people around them.

“Of course not, Priestess! I was just waiting until you had finished. Elpis come here!” the Mistress barked.

Elpis hung her head and made her way over while the Priestess nodded approvingly and left to hand out more sacrifice.

“Sit here beside Hypatia, young lady!”

Elpis hastened to obey her lip quivering but she was surprised when Xan looked around and leaned in to whisper to her.

“That way you two can talk and you won’t bring the wrath of that harpy down upon us.” she smirked.

After all of the meat had been eaten and the bones had been burnt to ash everyone made their way back to the estate. All but the ones who had stayed behind in the temple preferring their physical activity to be carnal instead of sport. After a short rest so the athletes could digest, the crowd made it’s way out to the far field.

“You have all heard me speak enough today! I give you my apprentice, Hypatia, daughter of Eudoxia and Timo!” Xan called to the crowd, who applauded.

“Salutations! The first event will be the pentathlon and we will begin with the discus. All who wish to compete step forward. Women to the left, men to the right.” Hypatia announced elegantly.

Once everyone had entered and the spectators were all seated, the games began. Alcaeus was taking bets since, they had all agreed, if she was playing then no one else would have a chance to win; male or female.

When it was Hypatia’s turn to throw she heard a small chuckle ripple through the crowd. Smirking she picked up the discus, took a deep breath and threw it father than most of the men had. Everyone cheered and a few people ran over to try to change their bets to no avail. Xanthippe smiled at her and took her turn. She won but only by about twenty centimeters.

The rest of the day they were neck in neck with each other. Xanthippe took the javelin but Hypatia won the long jump. Traditionally wrestling and running were supposed to come after but they had decided it would be best to hold the horse race while there was still plenty of light.

The spectators sat on the rails of the large arena. The course was to be around the outside twice. Hypatia was riding her horse and Xanthippe had chosen a large black mare. In total there were ten racers both male and female. They all lined up at the start and waited for the signal. Charis waved the flag and the crowd whooped and roared as they were off.

Hypatia was at the back of the group while Xan held the lead as they made their first loop. Hypatia had begun to move her way up the inside on the second lap until she was right behind Xanthippe. As they came towards the last stretch, Hypatia pulled ahead with a whoop. She knew her strategy had worked for Xan’s mount must be tired from holding the lead. The finish line was in sight when her Mistress passed her, face furrowed with concentration. Hypatia urged her horse to over come but they were too late. Xan had won by a few lengths.

A large number of people let out a groan for most had bet on Hypatia. After the horses were led away the men lined up to run the foot race. It was only a stade from one end of the paddock to the other. Hypatia noticed the older men were teasing Cyrus as he stretched. Narrowing her eyes she called out to Alcaeus.

“Four drachma on Cyrus!”

Everyone stared at her for she had just about bet two weeks salary on the smallest runner. Cyrus smiled at her and took his mark. There was no contest. Cyrus took off like a hare and beat the other runners by five lengths. Hypatia cheered and took her place at the line. Xanthippe gave her a teasing little push.

“You may place a good bet but I’m going to win!”

“Oh yeah? Want to bet on it?”

“Sure! How much?”

“One kiss. Here, in front of everyone!”

“What do I win, then?”

“I’ll let you win the wrestling so you can save face!” Hypatia said cheekily.

“You’re on, brat!” Xan chuckled as they took their mark.

Hypatia’s technique was the same one she had used for the horse race. Xan took an early lead but Hypatia sprinted past her and kept on going. Suddenly, Elpis outstripped her out of nowhere and won the race.

“How’d you do that!?” Hypatia panted

“You’re not the only one who gets in trouble around here!” Elpis laughed.

“I guess neither of us won, my dear.” Xan smiled.

“Oh, good now I can kick your tail in the wrestling!”

“You wish!”

The men went first. Cyrus joined Hypatia to watch since he was to small to compete with any of the other fellows. Elpis helped Hypatia tie her hair back so it wouldn’t get in the way when it was her turn. Alcaeus acted as referee.

“Now I know finger breaking is a legal move but not today! I need you all to be able to work tomorrow, understand? Good! First to three throws wins. Begin!”

There were plenty of great battles between the men. Everyone cheered loudly as bodies went flying and people were pinned. Finally Alcaeus called for the women who wanted to wrestle to step forward. Only Xanthippe and Hypatia entered the ring. Hypatia turned to the other women with her hands on her hips.

“What goes on here?”

“Wrestling is too rough!”

“And it hurts!”

“It’s dirty too!”

“Oh you are all a bunch of babies!” Hypatia groaned as she threw her hands in the air to a hail of laughter.

“What’s the matter, Hypatia? I thought you would enjoy rolling around with the Mistress!” Elpis shouted boldly as everyone catcalled and whistled at her statement.

The apprentice blushed madly but Xanthippe, obviously unimpressed pointed at Elpis. The servant woman frowned and then batted her eyelashes like Hypatia had taught her. Xan couldn’t help but smirk.

“Girl, you are this close! I’m warning you!” the Mistress scolded holding her thumb and forefinger close together.

After everyone calmed down the two women began to prepare to fight. Xanthippe simply secured her bindings and picked up some sand to rub on her palms. Hypatia on the other hand unwrapped her pepalos and threw it to Charis. She stood in only her underwear and a leather strip that covered her breasts. Xanthippe raised an eyebrow at her but she simply shrugged and smiled.

“What? I prefer to wrestle naked. This is for your benefit, Mistress.” she said quietly but Alcaeus heard and laughed.

“We’ll discuss this after I win the match.” Xan smirked

“Oh good, we won’t be discussing it at all then. I’m going to win!”

“Alright! It’s not a debate!” Alcaeus barked. “When you’re ready, go!”

Xanthippe rushed forward but Hypatia ducked, rolled and was back up on her feet. The Mistress tried another approach but again Hypatia dodged her and she went running past. People were giggling. Xan turned around to see her apprentice standing with her arms folded, legs crossed giving her a “that’s the best you can do?” look.

Xan lunged once more but this time Hypatia sidestepped looped her arm around her Mistress’ collarbone and pinned her fast. Alcaeus called a point and the crowd cheered. Hypatia gave her a kiss on the cheek before letting her up causing everyone to giggle once more. Xanthippe let out a sound that started off as a growl but turned into a chuckle as they prepared to square off again.

This time, Xanthippe got a hold of the woman but her stance wasn’t set before Hypatia writhed and the Mistress ended up on her back with Hypatia on top of her. Hypatia planted a few more kisses before Alcaeus could stop laughing long enough to call the point. Xan hopped up blushing furiously. People were now calling out to her to get it together and she fixed Hypatia with a challenging glare. Hypatia simply pretended to fix her hair and blew her a kiss to the great enjoyment of the spectators.

Hypatia’s confidence led her to let her Mistress get too close. Before she could compensate, Xan had pinned her down on her stomach. Hypatia almost succeeded in getting out of the hold but Xan placed her knee on the woman’s tailbone and she was stuck fast. Hypatia yelped as her Mistress gave her behind a hard smack and Alcaeus marked the point to Xanthippe. Now it was the apprentice’s turn to hop up blushing to the sound of cat calls.

Once more Xanthippe managed to get a hold of her and, this time, Hypatia found herself flat on her back with her Mistress straddling her. Xan leaned in to whisper something to her but the apprentice gave a quick kiss instead. The crowd was getting louder now that they were tied. Xan helped Hypatia up and, as the noblewoman made to go back to her side of the ring, the Mistress gave her another smack on the behind.

“Pay back, little apprentice!” Xan laughed when Hypatia shot her a petulant glare.

“We’ll see, Mistress!”

“Ready? Go!” shouted Alcaeus.

The two women circled each other like a pair of big cats. Neither one would make the first move nor would they be the first to break eye contact. Both women feel their hearts beat fast and the sound of the crowd had faded. It was almost as though they were dancing.

Hypatia made the first move. She ran in low and, as Xan bent to hold her, she took a knee and slide to the side. The Mistress was off balance and Hypatia got up quickly and held her from behind. Xanthippe rolled twice and Hypatia lost her grip slightly. It was enough of a mistake for Xan to wiggle lose and turn the tables so she was now on top of her apprentice.
Hypatia’s top half was held firm but her legs flailed wildly and she almost succeeded in jarring the woman loose. Her downfall was when she planted her feet to do a lift. Xanthippe took her change to place her thigh between the woman’s legs and press down on her pelvis with her powerful hips. The more the noble woman struggled the tighter the hold became until she was unable to do much more than squirm. But squirm she did, because though she was sure she had lost the match, she was now enjoying the feeling of her Mistress’ thigh between her legs. She looked up into those bronze eyes which looked triumphant and yet soft. When the match  was awarded to Xanthippe, she shrugged and kissed her lover deeply before helping her up and giving her another playful swat.

“Well done, my dear! Now put you clothes back on.” Xanthippe purred in her ear.

“Only if you promise to help me take them off later.” Hypatia grinned back.
The door to Xanthippe’s room slammed open as the women stumbled in, wasting no time in undressing. They had barely contained themselves for the rest of the evening and as soon as they saw their chance they had snuck off. Now they were peeling their clothes off while kissing passionately. Xanthippe tossed her bedding onto the floor and then picked up Hypatia and lay her down.

Their tongues danced wildly and they caressed each other gently. Hypatia was enjoying testing her boundaries. She found that if she moved her hands lower in an attempt to move things along her Mistress would grab her wrists and bring them back to where they were supposed to be. The third time this happened, Xan actually gave the woman’s hand a slap before pulling them back up.

The Mistress chuckled as she felt Hypatia’s lip try to pout even while they were making out. The noble woman tried to keep her hands where they were meant to be but eventually they began to roam again. Xanthippe seized both hands, placed her mouth against Hypatia’s neck and let out a long, low, growl. Hypatia shivered with excitement as her heart fluttered. Though it was a wonderful display of dominance it did nothing to stop the apprentice from pushing the limits.

Every time she would try to control their lovemaking Xanthippe would patiently correct her. This excited Hypatia much more than the heavy petting they were now engaging in. If her mind had been less clouded by lust she might have noticed the warning signs, such as, the deepening of Xan’s voice or the little slaps to the apprentice’s behind. These acts only fueled her to misbehave more as she tried to get as much of the new sensation as possible.

She finally went too far. Xanthippe had just delivered a gentle bite to Hypatia’s collarbone as yet another warning to keep her hands where they belonged. The apprentice giggled and returned the gesture by biting Xan’s shoulder a little harder than was necessary. Xanthippe straddled her and grabbed both her wrists pinning them to the floor.

“Now what, little apprentice? Hmmm? How will you get what you want now?” she chuckled.

“Same way I always get what I want. I just look the way I do and wait. The pleasure comes quickly.” Hypatia panted.

“Is that so? Perhaps I should make you wait again? Then the next time I go to bed you, you will be as docile as a lamb.”

“I assure you, if you make me wait, I will be as untamable as a lion! Best to try your hand at taming me now, Mistress.”

With her words Hypatia growled and gave her lover’s a firm bite on her arm. Before she could even react, Xanthippe had rolled off of her and pulled her over her lap. Hypatia gasped and wriggled to be freed as she realized what was coming. Xan spanked her, not too hard but enough to cause slight discomfort. At first, Hypatia had groaned and giggled but, as the punishment continued, she began to feel its’ effects more thoroughly. By the time her Mistress had stopped, her apprentice’s bottom blushed pink as did her face.

“Is that what you meant my dear? Is that how I should tame you?” the Mistress said seductively as she stroked the woman’s behind. “I believe we just had a discussion about you trying to force my hand. Do we need to revisit that lesson, my dear?”

“No, Mistress! I remember!”

“Do you really? I seem to remember you teasing me today. Let’s see…”

Xanthippe began to pepper Hypatia’s backside with stinging swats once more as she continued to speak.

“You poked fun at Alcaeus. That wasn’t very nice, my dear.”

“But I…ow…just spoke the truth…ow!”

Xanthippe did not respond to her explanation she simply increased her speed slightly and carried on with her lecture.

“You were rather forward with Kallikrates at the temple. You were trying to make me jealous. That was rather mischievous!”

“Owwww… but it worked. You claimed me and she stopped trying to mount you then and there.” Hypatia hissed as her word cause Xan to speed up once more.

Once again Xan did not address what she had said though she did smile at Hypatia’s words.

“You also made it very clear that the reason you wrestled in such a fetching outfit today was to get a rise out of me. Not to mention half the people in the audience! That was very naughty!” Xanthippe chuckled as she gave her lover five hard swats and began to rub her now red bottom. “Now tell me, my love, is that the kind of behaviour one would expect from a girl who has learned her lesson? Or is it the behaviour of a daring little brat?”

“Umm… shall we say it was the actions of a little brat who has now learned her lesson, Mistress?”

“Good answer! Hmmmm, I suppose we could say that, after all, your bottom is very warm. Does it hurt?”

“Yes it does!” Hypatia pouted and gave her behind a little wiggle.

“Poor girl! Let me make it feel better for you.” Xanthippe purred as she ran her hands in smooth circles over Hypatia’s back.
Her Mistress’ hands explored every part of her, everywhere except the one place she longed for her touch the most. Moaning, Hypatia arched her back trying to submissively suggest what she desired. She quivered when she felt Xanthippe’s strong fingers brush against her sex. It was only a brief caress but the apprentice felt herself become slick with need. Xanthippe made a soft sound deep in her throat and lifted her lover up off of her lap to lay her back onto the bedding.

“I wish to taste you. Will you yield to me?” the Mistress whispered as she kissed the inside of Hypatia’s thighs moving ever closer to the source of the sweet scent that ensnared her senses.

All semblance of language gone from her mind, Hypatia responded with a beautiful melody of sounds. A seductive symphony of lustful consent. She had expected Xanthippe to begin at once but her lover was almost frustratingly gentle. Hypatia opened her eyes and looked down to see that her Mistress was gazing at her vagina lovingly. The noblewoman had never seen anyone look at her with such feeling, such reverence. Just before she placed her mouth against her, Xanthippe looked up and gazed into Hypatia’s eyes adoringly.

The Mistress ran her tongue along her lover’s delicate folds slowly. She took her time exploring every taste and sensation. The heady aroma of her juices, the softness of her down against her face, her moans of pleasure that reverberated down the length of her squirming form and into Xan’s own throat. Hypatia’s breath was quickening and her legs had begun to quiver. The Mistress focused her attention on the woman’s clitoris with slow firm flicks of her tongue. When she could feel Hypatia come close to the crest of her orgasm, Xanthippe’s tongue writhed wildly.

Though every inch of her sang in ecstasy, Hypatia was silent. Her mouth was stretched wide in a hushed scream of pleasure and her eyes fluttered with each rolling wave that crashed down upon her. Suddenly, as she felt herself finish, she found her voice but it did not sound like her. It came out as a sigh, a growl, a whimper, and a moan all at once. Her Mistress was on top of her now kissing her deeply, pressing her hard into the floor. Hypatia was almost breathless as she tasted herself on her lover’s kiss, unable to move, unwilling to try, lest she find she could.

Xanthippe ceased their kissing and looked into her lover’s eyes passionately. Hypatia could see the firm glint of power that made her shiver so. Two simple words were all that was said and all the noblewoman needed to hear.

“To me.”

As soon as she was released, Hypatia moved quickly. Xanthippe had barely settled herself when her lover had taken her in her mouth. If her Mistress’ technique was akin to an act of worship, Hypatia’s could be considered a grand festival. She was relentless. Her mouth moved so quickly Xanthippe looked down at her in delighted surprise.

Though her tongue flitted fast, she was most skilled at making sure no one place got too much attention. The Mistress was almost beside herself with pleasure and she hadn’t even arrived yet. Her lover seemed not to breath and yet she would use her voice to cause wonderfully tingling vibrations. When Xanthippe felt the woman’s tongue move towards her soft opening she seized a handful of her hair and gave a small shake.

Hypatia giggled but she heeded the warning as she returned to lap all around her Mistress’ clitoris. Xan had meant to say something but, as soon as she felt her lover begin to add suction to her movements, she could no longer form words. Again and again her lover brought her to the edge and slowed but in a way that was not frustrating. Hypatia knew her Mistress was ready but she waited until they locked eyes. Willing her message to be heard, Hypatia smiled when she saw Xanthippe smirk, her eyes flashing understanding. The Mistress laced her fingers in her lover’s hair and pressed her into herself.

Pure euphoria. Her body spasmed, her mind exploded in ecstasy. Every surge was met with another, even more intense, always building until the final climax. Where Hypatia had been silent, Xanthippe roared with all the power she possessed. Her body relaxed until it was almost limp and she panted as she felt mind buzz with pleasure. Hypatia slowed her movements, gently bringing her lover back down to Earth. She only stopped when Xanthippe gently guided her up by her hair to kiss her softly.

They lay, curled together, exhausted and quite sated. Their intimacy had progressed beyond speaking, their communication came as sweet kiss or a tender caress. Sleep was coming fast. They gazed into each others eyes and spoke before Hypnos cast his spell on them.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Part 12: Power Struggle

As it turned out, Hypatia did make quite the influence on her Mistress. She twirled the end of her quill as she thought of all the things they had been doing over the last week. Right now, she was supposed to be working on the finances but something was bothering her. She felt conflicted about the blossoming romance.

She was still having lessons with Xanthippe, and Alcaeus had even relented to teaching her as long as she watched her mouth, but something felt different. It seemed that every time she took lessons with Xan they would eventually end up in some private place practicing their kissing techniques instead. Hypatia enjoyed these little rendezvous very much. They made her heart and other parts of her flutter with excitement. It just didn’t feel the same as it did before they began courting.

The apprentice cursed as she realized she had once again let her mind wander from her work. She started to tally once more when she let out a growl of frustration. She wanted to talk to someone about how she was feeling so she decided to take a little break and go see what the conversation in the kitchen was about today. She had taken to sitting around gabbing with the women there most every day but she hadn’t since her mother had visited.

Striding into the kitchen, Hypatia pinched a fig from the cutting board and sat down at the table. She was distracted by removing a particularly stubborn stem from the fruit and didn’t realize the quiet that had descended until she popped it into her mouth. She looked up to a room of reserved glances and subdued conversation.

“Something the matter? Oh, no! Did Charis need these for something?” Hypatia mumbled her mouth still full.

“I’m sure it will be fine.”

“Yes, she won’t mind.”

Those who had spoken used very formal tones and Hypatia furrowed her brow slightly. She was worried they might be upset she hadn’t visited in a while so she tried to use humour to relieve the tension.

“Ha! She just about bit my head off last time I knicked some pistachios. Perhaps, we can keep it between us this time.”

“Of course.” Came the only reply.

“What goes on here? Have I upset you some how? Oh, I know! My mother scared you all out of your wits, didn’t she? Don’t worry, I’ll be the one in for it, not you!” Hypatia giggled but no one returned her laughter.

“Hypatia, come keep me company while I milk the goats, will you?” Elpis said with a significant look.

“Uh… sure. Well, it was nice talking to you all again.”

She got up and followed Elpis out the back door toward the goat shed. When they got there they went around the back and the servant woman gave her a tense smile.

“What has got their goat all of a sudden?” Hypatia snorted.

“Uh… oh I don’t know. Maybe that you are fooling around with the Mistress!” Elpis said in mock confusion.

“What!? How do you know?”

Elpis laughed and ticked off her points on her fingers as she went.

“Hmmm, let’s see. That night at the river. Your mother came to visit but you stayed here. What was the other thing? Oh yeah, just that your bed was smashed to bits! Didn’t you know that gossip is only thing that flies faster than Hermes?”

Hypatia groaned and put her hands over her face to hide her blushing.

“That still doesn’t explain why they won’t talk to me! I mean nothing has changed.” she frowned.

“Oh sure! You two have been sneaking off so much lately that even Alcaeus mention it the other night.”

“Well, yes I suppose we have. But I’m still the same as you are.”

“Really? I mean, I don’t care, but some of the others don’t know if you’ll go running to Xanthippe with their secrets.” Elpis shrugged.

“Maybe things have changed a bit. I don’t know…” Hypatia sighed as she sat down on a rock.

“What’s wrong? Is she no good in bed?”

“Very funny. It’s just…. you’re right it is different. I don’t feel that little spark anymore. Whenever I challenge her she just laughs and kisses me. She used to…um… you know.”

“Pretend I don’t.” Elpis smiled as she sat down beside her.

“Tsk! Promise you won’t tell?”

“I swear it.”

Hypatia took a deep breath and tried to think of how she felt. When she had it sorted, she said everything rather quickly for she knew if she paused she would not be able to continue.

“We used to have a battle of wills, her and I. That’s what I found so alluring. She’s the only person who has had this power over me and I think that’s what drew me to her in the first place. But now, I feel like I can do what ever I want and there’s no boundaries. We don’t even do proper lessons anymore. Oh Gods, I probably sound ridiculous!”

Elpis chuckled and thought for a while.

“I get it. Don’t tell anyone but when I first came here I had a thing for Xanthippe. She’s so strong and that look when you’re in trouble…” Elpis smiled and gave a little shudder of excitement “Mmm, makes your stomach do flips.”

“Exactly!” Hypatia laughed “That’s what I want. That’s who I have feelings for but I don’t know how to tell her. I mean, she’s been so sweet.”

“Listen, you help me with the goats and then I’ll help you hatch a plan to get the old Mistress back.”



Xanthippe entered the study and was surprised to find it in chaos. Parchment was strewn every where and scrolls were piled up. What was more concerning was Hypatia’ absence . The apprentice often worked in such a mess but she always tidied up when she was done. Frowning, Xan scanned the rows of columns and saw they were not finished. This was even more peculiar and the horse woman felt her temper rise.

She took a seat and tried to think what she should do. The past few days had been very pleasurable but recently Hypatia had become more flippant. Before, Xan would not have hesitated correcting the behaviour but now she was worried it would jeopardize their romance. Still, she felt she had to do something.

Just this morning her apprentice had used her proper name in front of the stable master and a few hands. At the time, she didn’t say anything but she could still remember the shocked looks they all had given her. In fact, Alcaeus had pulled her aside and gave her a bit of a talking to about it.

“It’s not proper, Xan. You know that! Do what you will, but it will only cause problems for you both if you don’t lay down the law.” Alcaeus had whispered to her.

Xanthippe knew she was right but she was still dreading the conversation. Now that they were involved, she didn’t want to seem too controlling. She had always known that if she were to find love she would very much want to be on top. That was the main reason she had never gone further with her lovers. They simply could not be submissive to her. Not that she blamed them, only that she didn’t feel the same spark she got when Hypatia tried to squirm out of trouble.

The thought of losing her new love and her apprentice in one fell swoop made her stomach upset. She wished Charis was around so she could ask advice but her mentor had gone into town. Xan didn’t want to wait to act but she also didn’t want to act at all. After some more soul searching she nodded and stood to seek out her apprentice when something Eudoxia had said stirred in her memory.

Xanthippe took a small cup from the shelf and filled it with water. She then added a small amount of wine. Breathing deeply, she cleared her mind of all thought and spoke from her heart.

“Goddess Aphrodite, I offer to you this libation. Please, offer me your blessing while I try to deal with the gift you have already sent me.”

Xan smirked at her own words and shrugged at the ceiling in an apologetic sort of way.

“I didn’t mean to say it like that, sorry. Well, I hope it goes well anyways and… oh I’m dreadful at this. I guess I should go to temple more often but I just don’t have time and… argh! Okay, please don’t smite me for this awful tribute and help me out with my lover and I’ll sacrifice a goat to you. Sound good? Alright, thanks!”

She downed the libation in one and went to find Hypatia. When she had reached her door she could hear laughter coming from inside. She knocked but there was no answer. The voices had stopped for a moment but started up again almost at once.

“Who is it?” Hypatia giggled.

Tired of the game, Xanthippe opened the door and strode into the room to find Hypatia and Elpis sitting at the table. They looked as though they were up to something and kept shooting each other sly glances. Just as Xan opened her mouth to speak she was interrupted.

“Oh, Xanthippe! You should have said it was you!”

“Why do I find you here when your work has not been finished? Elpis, is there not something you are meant to be doing?”

“No, Mistress. I have the afternoon off.” Elpis answer politely and turned to Hypatia and odd smirk playing about her features. “You told me you had finished.”

“No, I told you I was done for the day!” Hypatia chuckled causing Elpis to join in.

“Uh-oh! I don’t think your Mistress is very happy with you!”

“Perhaps not, but have you seen my eyelashes? I bet I can melt her heart.”

Xanthippe peered at them with narrowed eyes. Something was funny about the whole interaction and as the pair tried to stifle their giggles, she made to speak again. Once more Hypatia cut across her, batting her eyelashes and pouting gently.

“See just like that. I’ll teach you if you want.”

“Really? Hmm that could come in handy. Is that what lead you to break the bed?”

“I beg your pardon, Elpis?” Xanthippe growled.

The woman’s eyes snapped upwards and then promptly to the floor. Elpis gulped and squirmed in her chair. Suddenly, she didn’t seem to find it so funny anymore. Hypatia on the other hand let out a poorly suppressed snort.

“Psst! Try the eyelashes!” the apprentice hissed across the table.

“Shut up!” Elpis whispered back with a nervous giggle. “That will only make her mad.”

“You are correct in….”

Hypatia interrupted yet again.

“No it won’t. If you really want to piss her off you have to do something big. Like this!”

Quick as a flash, the noblewoman hopped out of her seat a laid a hard swat to Xanthippe’s behind. It was as though a shock wave had rippled across the room at the sound. Elpis stared, open mouthed. At first, Hypatia had felt she had done the job properly but, as her Mistress slowly turned to face her , she realized she may have over done it.

“Elpis, leave us!’ Xan barked.

Elpis didn’t need telling twice as she scrambled for the door quick as she could. She risked a apologetic look at Hypatia as she closed the door and beat a hasty retreat down the stairs.

“Oh my!” Hypatia stammered as she backed away from the very angry looking woman. “I take it you are not pleased, Mistress?”

The apprentice felt her back bump against the wall and she pressed her body against it. Her Mistress did not stop advancing until she had pinned Hypatia against the wall with her muscular form. They were roughly the same height and thus, unless she turned her head, Hypatia had no choice but to look into the woman eyes which were now flashing dangerously. She could feel Xanthippe’s steady breath on her face and all she could do was let out a little moan at how foolish she had been.

“No, Hypatia I am not pleased! Do you have any explanation as to what you thought you were doing, young lady?”

“Um… no?”

“Are you asking me?”


“I think the only thing you have asked for today, is a spanking. Is that what you want?” Xanthippe growled.

“Yes.” Hypatia whimpered and wriggled to test the strength of the body that was holding her so expertly.

It was there for only a second but the apprentice saw it none the less. Shock, understanding and then desire flitted across the horsewoman’s face and was replaced by a dark look that caused Hypatia to turn her head away. Xanthippe ran her teeth across the exposed neck and gave a small nip. When she spoke her mouth was just beneath Hypatia’s ear and the noblewoman could feel every syllable in her throat.

“Do you think you can force my hand? Do you think I am here to serve you, my dear? If that’s what you think then I believe it is time to remind you of your place. Turn around.”


“Turn around!”

Hypatia jumped at the sharp tone and obeyed. Xanthippe took her time positioning her apprentice. She did not speak, she used her body to place Hypatia the way she wanted her. When she had finished, the woman had her forearms pressed against the wall and her legs spread. Her bottom stuck out and the crown of her head was resting on the cool stucco. She felt a strong hand push down on her tailbone so that her behind was presented in a fashion that was almost lewd.

Hypatia gasped as Xan quickly flipped up her skirt, undid the ties that held together her leather undergarment, and let it fall to the floor. When she had tucked the skirt into the belt at Hypatia’s waist, she stood back to admire the effect. Hypatia could hear her cross the room and set a chair in the middle of it. She couldn’t help herself and she tried to peek at what was happening. Xanthippe was sitting behind her but, when she saw Hypatia’s eyes upon her, she stood up and delivered a very hard smack to her bottom. The Mistress casually returned to her seat and the apprentice quickly returned to her proper position.

“You will be still.” Xan said clearly, not as a command but as a statement.

“I am going to kill, Elpis!” Hypatia groaned inwardly.


Hypatia felt an eternity pass as she waited. Xanthippe was thinking of the best way to proceed and enjoying the view. She could still see a faint outline of her hand print blushing pink on her apprentice’s backside. Eventually she stood, seized a handful of Hypatia’s hair and gently pulled her into a standing position. Once more she pressed her body into her firmly, holding her against the wall.

Even though she knew she was in serious trouble, Hypatia couldn’t help but press her bottom back toward Xanthippe’s powerful hips. Her Mistress had placed her mouth against the nape of her neck and, when the noblewoman gave a little wiggle, she could feel her smile. It was an odd feeling, to be aroused, nervous and utterly protected but the apprentice didn’t have time to dwell on it.

“So, do you still think you can manipulate me to act?” Xanthippe purred with another, more forceful bite. “Hmmm? No answer for me, girl? Perhaps, I have frightened you?”

“No, Mistress! I am not scared. Worried a little about my behind, but not frightened.” Hypatia panted.

Xanthippe chuckled and licked the mark her teeth had left on the woman’s neck.

“Good. I will not have you fear me, my dear. Although, after today I expect you will fear my correction.”

“I yearn for it! Please, I need to feel your power. I am comforted by our roles. I only fear that they are slipping away from us as our love blooms.” Hypatia gulped, her chest tight, tears brimming in her eyes.

Xanthippe cooed sympathetically and turned her around. Wiping the single tear from her lover’s face, she kissed her gently.

“Is that what this mischief was all about? Why did you not just speak to me? If you had, you would not be in the world of trouble you have found yourself in.”

“I didn’t know what to say! It’s a hard thing to talk about.” Hypatia pouted and Xanthippe understood her feelings as she had been having the same ones for days now. “Are you very upset with me, Mistress?”

“Oh, yes, my dear. We will discuss that shortly. For now, I must make sure you understand what I expect from you. You will listen to what I have to say and make your choice, just as you did the first day you came to me.”

Hypatia nodded and Xanthippe took a deep breath hoping Aphrodite had heard her plea.

“If we are to continue our romance, I shall remain your Mistress and you my apprentice. I will continue to teach you and correct any behaviour I deem inappropriate. You will only use my proper name when I have told you, you may. I expect your obedience and I offer you my complete devotion. However, what you must understand, above all else, is that you are equal to me when it comes to your feelings. I have no right to your heart. I can only hope to be worthy of your adoration. I need to know what you are feeling and I promise to share with you as well. Remember, you are not bound to me, you shall always have a choice.”

“Yes!” Hypatia said softly almost as soon as her Mistress had finished.

Xanthippe’s heart beat fast. She had been prepared to give the woman time to answer but she obviously did not have to wait.

“Are you sure?”

“I never…”

“Go back on your word. Yes, I know.” Xan smiled and sealed it with a kiss that started out gentle but quickly escalated.

Hypatia moaned softly as she felt Xan’s tongue slide over her own. They where both breathing heavily and the apprentice relished in the feeling of being held down. Her Mistress laced her fingers through her hair and Hypatia reached to unwrap the horse woman’s bindings. Quick as a flash, she felt her wrist was caught in a vice like grip.

“Oh no you don’t, little apprentice! This hand has already caused enough trouble today, hmm?” Xanthippe chuckled. “It’s time to make sure you understand that I am the one who is in control, not you.”

“Oh, but I do, Mistress! I swear it! I just wanted to… to… um.”

“Provoke me? Well, you have succeeded and now you shall reap what you have sown.”

Xanthippe stepped away from her and crossed the room. Hypatia, hoping to garner favour by being compliant went and stood beside the chair. She felt very foolish for pushing the boundaries so far and so, she could only stare at the floor as Xanthippe returned to her. She waited for her Mistress to sit but when she did not, the apprentice looked up with a confused expression to see Xan was smirking at her.

“Kneel on the chair and present yourself to me, Hypatia.”

“But I… I though I would….”

“Be held close to me? Draped across my lap where you can squirm and be held still? No, I think today you should be able to show me you can remain in your place without force.” Xanthippe said in a no nonsense tone. “Kneel!”

Hypatia knelt on the chair and held the back. She winced as the leather chord that ran along the edge dug into her knees. Xanthippe came around to the front of her and raised one slender eyebrow expectantly. Hypatia smiled weakly as she realized she had already made a mistake.

“Uh, Mistress, may I have something to rest on. The chair is hurting me.”

“Of course, my dear.” Xan said as she took a small bed pad, folded it and placed it on the chair. When her apprentice had returned to her position Xan stroked her bottom gently. “Good girl. I only wish for you to feel pain in your rear, and believe me, you will.”

Hypatia tutted softly but immediately regretted it. Xanthippe began to rain down swats fast and hard. The apprentice gasped and held her breath in surprise. Her previous punishments had always started slow and worked up but this was hard from the start. Xan stopped and placed a hand on the woman’s back.

“Breath. Good. Now then, you are a very clever woman, Hypatia.”

“Thank you, Mistress.”

Xan smirked at that but quickly returned to her dominant demeanour.

“Hush. You are very adept at conversation and you have never been shy to voice your feelings or opinions. Today, however, you decided it was too awkward to be honest and so you hatched a little plan to try to get what you want.”

“I was just…ow!”

“I said hush!” the Mistress growled, with a hard swat to emphasize her point. “Not only were you disrespectful and rude to me, you also thought it would be a wise idea to give me a smack to show off how disobedient you could be. I never would have expected such behaviour from you, my dear. You may be naughty at times but you have never been so badly behaved, before today.”

Hypatia sighed and pouted but remained silent. She wished she hadn’t gone so far. If she had only held back, they might be spending this time in bed. Xanthippe interrupted her thoughts by coming to stand in front of her and lifting her chin so they were eye to eye.

“Now, I want you to think about how your actions made me feel, girl! My apprentice, plotting with another servant to make a fool of me and force me to take action. Then, to top it off, you dare to strike me in front of her. Tell me, do I do such things to you?”

Hypatia’s lip quivered. She felt very guilty indeed. She had only been thinking of herself but now she knew she had done something much worse than mere disobedience.

“No, Mistress. You respect my privacy.” Hypatia whimpered as she choked back a small sob. “I’m sorry! I have embarrassed you. I do respect you, I only thought of what I wanted.”

“I know, my dear. Which is why, I am about to make sure you never even come close to acting this way again. Since you have done all of this to get a rise out of me, I will be using this instead of my hand to make sure you are not getting what you have asked for but what you deserve.” Xanthippe said as she picked up a long strip of leather that had been left over from the repair of the bed.

Hypatia let out little squeak and made to stand. Xanthippe did not even look up from the leather she was now inspecting closely. She merely pointed to the chair, clearly expecting Hypatia to obey. The apprentice lowered herself back onto the chair, chewing her lip as she watched Xan turn the strap in her hand. It was five centimeters wide, one thick, and looked very intimidating. The Mistress wrapped it around her right hand until it was the proper length.

Fixing Hypatia with a firm look she then brought it down very hard against the palm of her own left hand. The snap made the apprentice jump but what was more worrying was the wince of pain and how Xanthippe hissed as she shook her hand to take away the sting. The noble woman was surprised and humbled by how her Mistress had tested the implement on herself first.

Xanthippe was doing some quick thinking as she stepped back towards her lover’s prone posterior. The burning sting in her hand told her the strap was heavier than she had expected and she knew she would not need to use it too many times to make her point.

“You will not with hold your fears from me!” Xan said as she cracked the leather against Hypatia’s bottom.

The woman yelped and made to cover her behind.

“No! Hands on the chair. Be still or we will start over.”

“Yes, Mistress!” the woman panted gripping the chair firmly.

“Good girl. Now, as I have said many times before, you will watch your tongue!”

She brought the strap down again just below the first swat.

“I will!”

“No plotting! No sneaking around! No running off when you have work to be done!” Xanthippe listed, landing a swat with each sentence.

“I won’t! I won’t.” Hypatia panted.

Xanthippe stroked the woman’s bottom giving her time to breath and making sure there was no damage to the skin. Although she could clearly see the blossoming red of the lines from the strap, Xan was pleased there were no welts, nor any sign of bruising. The Mistress smiled to herself as she saw Hypatia had become rather aroused, judging by the moistness that had gathered on her most delicate tresses. Avoiding the temptation to caress and delight, Xan took her time repositioning her apprentice so that her legs were closer together to protect her tender sex.

“Lastly, my dear. If you ever strike me again, I will not hesitate to take this leather to your bottom more times than even you could count!”

The Mistress landed the last five, hard and fast, all to where Hypatia’s bottom met thigh. The apprentice had cried out with each swat and was now breathing heavily. Xanthippe rubbed the blushing bottom for a moment to soothe but also to feel the heat she had imparted there. Telling Hypatia to stay put, Xanthippe placed the strap on the table and pulled the bedding off of the frame and down onto the floor. When she had settled herself comfortably she smiled up at the pouting woman and patted her chest welcomingly. Sniffling slightly, Hypatia lay down beside her and placed her head on that strong chest.

“There now, that’s better, hmmm? Is that what you wanted, baby?” Xan purred.

“No… well, yes but…I mean…. I didn’t want to hurt you! I’m sorry!” Hypatia wailed and cuddled closer.

“Shhhh. It’s alright, my dear. You didn’t hurt me you just… bruised my pride a little. Don’t worry, I believe it has made a full recovery, for I feel rather proud by how red your naughty bottom is right now.”

Hypatia turned and looked behind her. When she turned back she was flushed and her mouth hung open in shock. Xanthippe giggled and pulled her into a tight squeeze. Eventually, the woman relaxed and reached back to feel her tender mounds.

“It’s so warm and sore and…”

“Are you whining to me right now, young lady?”

“No, Mistress!” Hypatia said submissively. “Just making an observation.”

“Mm-hm. I am also very proud of how you listened and stayed still. Such a good girl.” Xan said gently kissing the top of her lover’s head. “I am sure you have learned your lesson and I forgive you, my dear.”

“I have. Thank you, Mistress.”

They both sighed contentedly and lay together for a while in calm quiet. Eventually, Hypatia began to wiggle, trying to find a comfortable position.

“How does your bottom feel, Hypatia?”

“Um… sufficiently spanked and sorry?” she answered grinning slightly.

Xanthippe laughed heartily and Hypatia enjoyed the deep rumbling vibrations against her cheek. Her Mistress sat up and had her lay on her back. She then straddled her apprentice and began to place gentle kisses on her face and neck. Xanthippe noticed that when she kissed Hypatia, the woman no longer tried to encourage more passion by using her tongue as she had before. The noble woman would only part her lips as a polite invitation. This pleased the Mistress very much as she had found her lover a little too dominant with her tongue. Wishing to reward her, and also herself, Xan kissed her deeply.

After a few minutes of kissing, Hypatia reached up to undo the bindings again. Xanthippe didn’t even hesitate in her snogging as she seized both wrists and pinned them to the floor. When she felt her lover struggle slightly she moved her attentions to the woman’s neck so that she could speak if she needed to. All that escaped from her, however, was a lustful moan.

Hypatia writhed beneath the dominant weight. Every part of her felt alive with need. Her tender bottom was pressed against the hard floor and though it was rather stingy it did not stop her from trying to lift her mound to make contact with her Mistress. Xanthippe smiled and allowed her to squirm but made sure adjust her body so that her lover could not receive the stimulation she desired. The horsewoman spend another few minutes exploring the woman’s soft mouth but stopped when Hypatia’s panting became heavier and her thrusts more forceful.

“You are delightful, my dear.” Xan purred into her ear, pressing her chest into her and delivering a small bite. “You seem to want something, hmmm? What is it? Tell me.”

“I…mmm… I don’t know.” Hypatia sighed her mind reeling.

“That’s okay, I do. I know exactly what you want. Which is why I believe you are ready.”

“I am. Please, Mistress!”

Xanthippe looked deep into her eyes and smiled in an almost sinister way. Hypatia felt a little jolt in her stomach at the intensity of those eyes. Suddenly, Xanthippe released her and stood up. She walked over to where Hypatia’s underwear lay forgotten, picked them up and tossed them to her.

“Put those on, pull your skirt down and go finish your work, naughty girl!” Xanthippe ordered casually.

“What!? I..but I thought…” Hypatia stammered.

“Thought I was going to take you? I may have but then, what would that teach you? That you can have me when ever you wish? No, that won’t do. I am not a woman that can be caught, Hypatia. Come on, hop to it!”

Sighing, pouting, and stalling, eventually, Hypatia had made herself presentable. She tried one last seductively suggestive flutter of her eyelashes. Xanthippe chuckled opened the door and swatted her through it. The apprentice returned to the study to sit on a stinging bottom and finish her work while her Mistress retired to her room for a short rest. At least, that what she had intended to do. However, as soon as she lay down Xanthippe slid her hand into the moistness of herself, her mind fixed on images of Hypatia, as she brought herself to orgasm.