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I will always find you. In every life.

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It was the morning after her night in his gazebo. It was dark and rainy, but the weather outside did not compare to the storm raging in her mind. Kate was not thinking straight as she rode out into the woods. Her guilt and anger overpowered every other sensibility. She wanted to ride out as far as she could. She was not scared, she often rode during Indian monsoons which were far more fearsome than this one. And she wanted to escape the storm raging in her mind. Then, she heard Anthony call out after her, “Miss Sharma!” She was not ready to face him, or anyone else. So she kept riding on, trying to get as far away as possible.

Suddenly, lightning struck a nearby tree and loud thunder boomed. She instinctively knew, how to sooth her horse so it would not be afraid. But then she heard a frightened neigh and turned around in horror to see Anthony’s horse throwing him off and galloping away. Kate galloped back to where Anthony lay, repeating “No, No, No, No, No” over and over, as if that could change, what had just happened.

She dismounted and ran to Anthony. He was not moving. She tried to wake him by patting his cheeks, rubbing his hands, crying “Anthony, Stay with me!” She briefly saw him open his eyes and then pass out again. She was terrified! They were too far out in the woods in the middle of a storm. There was no help coming and she had to try to save him herself. She quickly tore open his riding jacket and shirt and put her ear on his chest to listen to his heart. She could not hear any heartbeats. She started chest compressions following the instructions she remembered from Dr Tossach’s procedure. She had learnt it for Edwina, for when she took her swimming in the river as a child. Anthony was still not responding so she started mouth to mouth resuscitation.

The last thing Anthony saw, as he slipped into darkness were her haunting eyes. He had seen those eyes, many times, over many lifetimes and his subconsciousness started recalling every time he had seen those eyes. Starting with this life, when he first saw her at the park, at the ball, when they argued, when they danced and last night when she looked into his eyes with love.

Then his subconscious went to earlier lifetimes. Different times, different places, different names, different cultures but her haunting eyes remained the same.

He was the Spanish scout for conquistadors who was captured by Incans as an offering to their gods. She was their high priestess who spared his life. He would have willingly sacrificed his life for her eyes.

He was the Crusader, who led the siege of Jerusalem. She was the Jewish beauty who laid a siege on his heart.

She was the queen of Egypt and he was the Roman general who defied his own country for her love and her haunting eyes.

He was the general of the Qin dynasty, building the Great Wall. She was the Mongol raider who always escaped on horseback, until he laid a trap for her. He surrendered himself to her once he stared into her eyes.

He was the Spartan warrior. She was the Persian commander who had captured him as her prisoner of war. He won her heart in the end.

There were countless other memories, of each lifetime they shared. He would always be drawn to her and she would always succumb to his love.

And then his earliest memory, in a time before history, when his people roamed hunting and gathering in the wild. She was his wife and they led a simple life. Until the day a sabre-tooth tiger attacked their tribe. She flung herself on the sabre-tooth’s path to save him. He killed the beast and retrieved her, barely clinging to life, staring into his eyes until she was no more. He refused to part with her body, even though the shaman said he had to. The shaman said “Your souls are entwined, she will be your wife in every life, do not cling on to dead remains. Let it burn, so her soul may have peace and she can ready herself for finding you again."

He remembered the pain he felt of losing her, that pain remained in every life when he lost her. She always died before him and he would follow soon after. The shaman’s voice echoed in his mind “You will always find her. She will be your wife in every life.”

“Anthony, you cannot leave me. You must come back” He heard her voice calling out to her. Then felt her lips on his as she blew air into him and her hands on his chest making it beat once more. Then, he felt her head on his chest, trying to listen for his heart. He couldn't stop himself from bringing his arms around, to hold her tightly in place. And he whispered in her ears “I could never leave you.” She looked up and he saw her haunting eyes again. She was overjoyed and started kissing him passionately.

Then almost immediately, her guard was up again. She struggled and freed herself. “No, this is all wrong” she muttered. Anthony tried to hold her hand, saying “Wait. Don't go.” She looked upset “Why did you come after me in a storm, when you cannot even control your horse?” Anthony smiled “You were always the better rider, hunter, warrior but I always won you over in the end.”

Kate didn't understand. She looked more worried and ran her hands over his head looking for bumps “What are you saying?” And then held up four fingers “How many?” Anthony took her hand and gently kissed each finger “Two sons and two daughters, Edmond, Miles, Charlotte and Mary. I would love more if you would agree.” Kate blushed and started staring at the ground, not willing to look up at him.

Rain had stopped and morning sunshine brought a beautiful rainbow. Anthony knew, he must declare his love to remove any doubts in her mind
“I love you. I've loved you from the moment, we raced each other in that park. I've loved you at every dance, on every walk, every time we've been together, and every time we've been apart.
In every lifetime before this and every life we will have after this one. You must know it, in your heart. You must feel it because I do. ”

Kate looked at him and said “I do not think there is anything to say, other than I love you too” and started kissing him passionately.

Kate and Anthony eloped to Gretna Green and returned as husband and wife to their surprised families and a shocked Ton. Anthony was not going to let gossip affect his wife, they had faced much harder struggles in their prior lives. Their families and the Ton eventually came around.

Kate and Anthony led a happy life, until the day came when Kate died. Anthony mourned her loss and knew his time would shortly end as well. He was determined to write his story, so that his future self would know what to do and not waste any time finding her again.

The viscount’s journals were published by his loving children in his memory. They were proud of the love their parents had and wanted to share it with the world. Over time, the stories faded, but the books remained desirable for collectors.

Tony Bridger found one such copy in a New York bookstore. The store owner vouched for its authenticity and Tony bought the book. He was a script writer currently working on a period drama, the journal would be valuable for his research.

He started reading it at the airport, as he waited for his flight to Los Angeles. He was fully hooked! He wondered, if people lived multiple lifetimes? If souls truly connected over those lifetimes? or was this all just the ramblings of an old widower grieving his wife. He was distracted, as he made his way to his seat in the airplane. He took out the book again and decided to take some notes during his long flight.

“Excuse me, I believe you are in my seat” he heard her voice. He looked up and saw those haunting eyes.

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Her eyes....

He had seen her eyes in his dreams and in all his prior lifetimes.

“Hi!” she said again, trying to get his attention. She was smiling, she wanted something from him. He would give his life for her. He said “Kate!” She looked puzzled “Have we met? I am so sorry, I am trying to be better at remembering all my patients. But the E.R is just so busy all the time.” The man behind her cleared his throat, she was holding up everyone behind her. He was holding up everyone waiting to get to their seats. She smiled again “My seat. Please!” Tony jumped up and his book fell from his lap. He picked it up and walked to the aisle as she took the seat he was sitting in. He looked at his seat number. Thankfully it was the middle seat, he would be next to her.

As she sat down, he noticed her name on her boarding pass. K. Sanchez. Kate Sanchez. Kate, Kate, Kate.. She worked in the E.R. He had to know more about her. She had a small backpack, which she pushed under the seat in front of her and started looking at her phone. Tony felt like he was stalking, But was it really stalking when she had been his wife across a thousand lifetimes.

She saw him looking at her and put her phone down. Tony quickly looked away. He opened his book and his notepad and started taking notes. “Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!” he cursed himself silently. What was wrong with him? He picked up that book just a few hours ago, now he was stalking a stranger on an airplane. Fastest way to get thrown off the plane, possibly get arrested and canceled on the internet. He looked down at his notes - her eyes. Why was he so stuck on eyes?

“That looks like a really old book” She was talking to him. Tony turned to her and nodded “Yes it is, the diary of a British nobleman in the 1800s.” She was intrigued, her eyes had a spark. "Huh, his diary was published as book, he must have had an interesting life.”

Tony wondered if she felt a connection, if she had any memories. Then his brain scolded him again - it was just a book!! You are Tony Bridger, born and brought up in LA, not a hunter gatherer still searching for his wife. This was absurd. The flight crew made their takeoff announcements and he tried to focus on the safety drill just to get rid of the crazy idea gripping in mind. This was madness! he just needed to get laid. It had been too long since his affair with Sienna imploded. He tried to focus on work instead of women and now he was seeing his wife in a stranger on an airplane.

He glanced over and saw that she was staring at him directly. Was he that obvious? He looked at her and smiled awkwardly. Now she was embarrassed. She said “ I am sorry, I was just trying to remember when we met. You do look familiar. What was your emergency?” Tony was relieved, she didn't catch him stalking her. He smiled. “I wish I had one, but none yet.” And he extended his hand out smiling “I am Tony Bridger.” She grasped his hand, shaking it. He felt sparks. Did she feel it or was he the only one that was crazy. “Tony Bridger...Tony Bridger.. No cant say I remember that from outside work. How did you know me then?”

What could he say? Could he say the truth? What was the truth? He stuttered “Uhh.. I thought you were someone I know, her name is also Kate. Sorry.” Kate seemed satisfied. “Oh Ok.” Yep it’s a very common name, like Mike or Tony ..” and laughed. I’m Kate Sanchez, but you know that already.

She went back to her phone. And Tony heaved a sigh of relief. He opened his notebook and closed it shut it immediately. It would be impossible to do this here, next to her. He was going crazy. He closed his notebook, closed the old book and stared at his phone. As soon as the plane reached 10,000 Ft he would have wifi. He would do some work then. For now just play some games on his phone Word Puzzle, 1st clue K.A.T.E.S. Dammit! Even his phone was conspiring against him.

She was talking to him again “SKATE... TEA, ATE, EAT, TASK.. Sorry! I didn't mean to start solving your puzzle, I love this game too.” And showed her screen, she was playing the same game. Tony smiled, it was impossible to ignore or avoid her. He had six hours to know more about her before the flight landed in LA. He had to make the best use of this time. Time to bring on the charm.

He smiled and purred “So Kate! What do you like to do besides word games and saving lives?” Kate stopped smiling and looked at him seriously “I dont.”

Tony kicked himself. Dammit.. That was his line??? He deserved to be kicked. He looked away and started focusing on his stupid word game - the letters still teased him K.A.T.E.S. He swiped it and looked for wifi signal. Not yet, maybe soon.

Kate apologized “I’m sorry. That was rude. What I meant to say was that I don't want to talk about my work” and made air quotes “saving lives”. She continued shrugging “and I honestly don't have much of a life outside of work, so yeah, I play word games when I have a little bit of time, just to get my mind off things.” Tony nodded “I understand. You didn't have to explain yourself, but I appreciate it.”

Kate started “So Tony, what do you like to do besides word games and… “

Tony smiled “I am a writer, I am currently working on the script for a period drama. That's why I have this book for research.” Kate nodded “Script writer in Hollywood. What have you worked on? Anything I would know? You know, forget I asked. I haven't had any time to watch TV or movies since med school, and residency is doing a bigger number on me”

Tony responded “If you have any free time in LA, I would love to take you to a movie.” and immediately kicked himself. What the hell was that? That is his line? Kate snorted “That's funny!” Tony smiled “I deserve it.” Kate was giggling “all the ladies in LA must be swooning over that line” and in an exaggerated valley girl accent “Ohh Mai.. Gaawwd.. Cuuute”. Tony started laughing “Bring it on, I deserve it. And I am a writer for god’s sake” Kate continued giggling..

Both Tony and Kate were giggling so hard the passenger in the next seat looked at them strangely. That made them start laughing out loud. When they were able to stop, Kate said “Ok. we need to change the topic. Tell me about the book - the noble lord story stuff. Did he do anything interesting?”

Tony took a deep breath, could he talk about the book without making it weird? Scratch that.. Without making it any more weird than he had already. On the flipside, they were in a pressurized metal tube thousands of feet high in the air, what's the worst that could happen? She couldn't run away, that was her seat.

Kate looked at him pondering deeply and said “That bad huh.” Tony replied ”No. Not bad at all. I was just wondering how to best describe what I read, without being weird.” Ok that was not too bad. He could have a non-asinine conversation with her. Tony patted himself.

Kate started “Oh now, you have to tell me.. What was it? Did he murder anyone, or was there a steamy affair.” Tony smiled “Nothing of that sort, it is his story about his thousand lifetimes with his wife. This nobleman believed his and his wife’s souls were entwined. He had an accident, that's when his subconscious remembered all his earlier lifetimes with her and then he was determined to write it down so that he would find her again in his next life.”

Kate had tears in her eyes...she bit her lip and quivered. Tony looked at her “Kate, are you alright?” Kate wiped her tears “That is beautiful.” and started sobbing and said “I am sorry.” Tony realized she had been holding in a lot of pain all this time. He wanted to comfort her and take her pain away. He didn't think of anything else, he put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her in. He was ready for her to push him away, but she didn't. She put her head on his shoulder and continued sobbing. He could feel her heart beating next to his and he felt them beat as one. This was his Kate. She was his wife. He might be crazy, but he could not let her go.

Kate had calmed down, she pulled herself together and sat up straight. “I am sorry, I am a mess.” Tony said “Its all right, its all right.” Kate said “You said I save lives, I dont. Most of the time, I am dealing with death, especially since the pandemic. I have lost more patients than I have been able to save.” Tony held her hand, she let him. “Kate, I am not a doctor, but I know that the Emergency Room is possibly the hardest place for any doctor. Most of the time, people are already in an emergency and at the verge of dying, so any life you save is a miracle. You cannot punish yourself like this”

Kate smiled “Yep, everyone says that. But saying it and living it is completely different” and then she took a deep breath. “Today I got a newlywed couple. Multiple lacerations, fractures, a bad car wreck, they were visiting New York for their honeymoon. The wife died before we could stabilize her, she was brain dead even before she made it to the hospital. I was able to stabilize the husband, but he went into cardiac arrest when he heard that his wife didn't make it. I couldn't save either of them. So it was beautiful, what you said. I hope they find each other in a different life. I couldn't save them in this one” Tony hugged her again and she let him. They stayed like that for a long time, she was in his arms, their hearts beating together.

Then the flight attendant arrived with drinks and peanuts and Kate pulled back. Tony tried his charm again “drinks and peanuts, my lady” Kate laughed “That was good, you are getting better with practice.” Tony looked at the food selections to see if there was anything good and asked Kate, “Can I interest you in some airline food?” Kate laughed “umm something more exciting than stale peanuts, an overpriced stale chicken sandwich?’

Tony bantered “or perhaps some wine and cheese”. Kate looked at him for a second and then said “Sure, I am not on call, I can't remember the last time I went to a bar. Oh my life sucks” Tony asked the flight attendant for the wine and cheese/fruit tray. Kate raised her glass, “what are we drinking to?” Tony replied “To you”

Kate smiled.

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Kate was adorably drunk on airline wine and very very chatty . “This wine is good…. very…. very… good. I haven't even had beer in TWO years. I haven't had a life in TWO YEARS. Stupid Goddamn COVID. You know I hate the ER and I hate stupid people. The Human Body is disgusting... hic…” She paused and then she spoke again wagging her finger. “You know aside from stupid COVID, what's the other stupid thing in stupid ERs?” .

Tony glanced over at the passenger in the aisle seat, who was napping wearing noise canceling headphones. That was good, they were not bothering anyone. He looked back at Kate, trying hard to suppress his grin and asked “I dont know. Tell me”

Kate replied “Stupid men sticking their stupid wieners in stupid things. I took wieners out of a vacuum, a wood carving machine, a toaster, a frikking toaster.. Blehhh..”

Tony got worried - he started hoping and praying she liked men and wieners. He was silent. Kate had another long sip “What is in this thing? Did you spike it?” Tony shook his head and answered emphatically “No! I would never. Its just red wine. Pure California grapes. No spiking required”

Kate giggled “ You are funny” and then she pursed her lips before saying “And you are CUTE”. Then immediately covered her mouth “I said that out loud didn't I”. Tony felt awesome, Yeah baby, he was cute. He tried his dazzling half smile that he had practiced to perfection and purred “I don't mind. Tell me more”

Kate stopped giggling, staring at his smile.. It was working, work it baby...work.. it.. Tony’s cheeks were hurting, trying to hold his seductive half smile...he couldn't work it anymore and broke out into a grin. Kate giggled and replied “No. I wont”. Tony continued “C’mon. I wont tell anyone that you think I am cute.” Kate giggled “Stop it” and tried to push him away - her hands brushed his bicep. “Ooh… “ and stayed there. Tony gently flexed his bicep without being too obvious and whispered “You can feel it if you want”

Kate was gloriously wasted… she started feeling his bicep. She whispered back “I want to feel you… I want to…” and beckoned him closer with her finger. Tony leaned in closer to encourage her to say what was on her mind. Her lips were tantalizing close to his.

He wanted to kiss her but he shouldn't. Not like this, when she was drunk. What was he thinking? He couldn't assault her. He shook his head slightly, disgusted by himself, when suddenly he felt her lips on him.

Sparks! He felt actual sparks! He had only read about this, He even wrote about it in his romcom scripts, but had never actually felt it, not with Sienna, not with any other girlfriend. Did she feel it too? She must have, because she had stopped and pulled back “Sparky.. You are sparky. But I am gonna get you.” she said in a sing-song voice and pulled his face onto her.

He closed his eyes and surrendered to her. And his memories flooded in, burying him with sensations of all their first kisses. Their first ever was in the great prairie land, when he offered his kill, a brown bear to her and she accepted him as her mate. Her kiss started off gentle at first like a sweet summer breeze and then her lips demanded his soul. She kissed him in every lifetime that followed. In the hold of King Xerxes prison ship. On the great wall. In the Pharaoh's chamber. In the valleys and the mountains and rolling fields and beaches. In a guard turret in Jerusalem. An Incan temple. An empty chapel.

And then a new memory. They were crouched behind boulders in the sweeping Northern Apennines and her lips kissed him fervently while begging him not to leave her. She repeated “Antwone…non lasciarmi” as bullets flew over their heads. She had tears in her eyes and was desperately grabbing onto his jacket. But he had to go, he was a sniper for the US 92nd Infantry. He had to fight, so she would survive.

Tony froze at that memory and his eyes flew open. He saw his Kate, Kate Sanchez in this life. She was drifting into sleep, her lips started to slide down to his cheek. He gently moved her back so that she rested on her seat. He placed her arms gently by her side. He then laid his head back and closed his eyes, trying to recall his last memory. That memory was new. He had not read about it in the book. They had lived and loved again after the Viscount’s time, during the second world war. It was all real. This was his Kate. His mind was not just making it up from a book he read.

As he closed his eyes, his mind went back to the war. His memories flooded his mind. He was Antwone Brown, sniper for the US 92nd Infantry division which was battling Nazis in Northern Italy. He was scouting the highlands for his perch, and she found him.

Her hunting rifle was pointed to his head and he couldn't say a word. He just kept looking at her. She looked like Venus, the Roman goddess of love had descended on earth, dressed as a village belle. Her hair was tied in a loose braid and her eyes, her eyes, bored into his soul.

She looked puzzled and was asking him something. “Chi Sei Tu?” He wanted to assure her and mercifully remembered the bit of Italian he had memorized “Sono Americano. Mi chiamo Antwone Brown”

She looked relieved “Americano! Seguimi” and gestured to him to follow her. He would have followed her to the ends of the Earth. He tried to ask for her name “Ti Chiamo?” She didn't respond and kept walking ahead.

She took him to her village church and called out “Padre. Sbrigarsi!!” as an old priest hurried out. The priest spoke English and was glad to see American allies. The priest explained Nazis had attacked their village several times and they were down to their last few villagers, mostly women and children. The men had died fighting, holding off Nazis for several months, waiting for the allied response. The priest pointed to the girl and said “She good shooter. Her father dead. Fighting Nazi”

Antwone’s heart ached, he wanted revenge for her, her family, her village. He promised the priest he would return with more soldiers. Her village was high in the mountain pass with a direct line of sight to the valley below, they could not let it fall. He would not fail her. As he turned to leave, he saw she looked worried. He didn't know the words so he just said in English. “I will be back soon. With more men, more guns, I will protect you and your village” The priest nodded and translated to Italian and he saw her smile and say thanks “Grazie”

His commanding officers had agreed the village was strategic to their advance. Antwone returned later that night with his brothers in arms, and raced ahead. His eyes searched for her desperately. Then he heard her call out his name. “Antwone” She ran towards him and stopped just short. He wanted to hold her, tell her he would never leave her. But he didn't even know her name. It was almost like she knew. She smiled and said “Mi Chiamo Catarina”

Kathani...Catarina....Kate.

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Antwone rubbed his sore neck and stretched. It was an eerily quiet night in the mountains as he watched from the village clock tower. He looked around through his scope again. There was no movement. He checked his radio again. Yes, it was working, but there was no activity. There was an uneasy calm during the war, there had been no enemy action for several weeks. No sighting, no movement. Maybe they had retreated, but there was no confirmation so they would need to remain alert and vigilant. He turned around hearing a gentle snore. Catarina was next to him. She was holding her little hunting rifle and snoring gently. He smiled. She was incorrigible. She insisted on ‘helping’ and followed him around everyday even though he begged her not to. He gently plucked her rifle from her arms, removed his jacket and covered her with it as he settled back down on his watch.

He watched as dawn broke over the mountains. It looked so beautiful, idyllic and serene. As if there was no war. Nature didn't care about the war of men, neither did his heart. He was madly in love with Catarina. He didn't know if he would live to see the end of day but he knew he wanted to live every moment he had with her. But he couldn't do that to her. Add a dead husband to the list of the dead family she mourned. The war had taken so much from her already.

“I’m here. You can take your missus home.” It was his buddy Sam Baker. Antwone replied “Hush You.” Sam laughed “You know, I am right. You two cannot stay away from one another. Just put a ring on her. The padre will be relieved.” Antwone looked at Catarina. He would have loved to marry her, settle down in her village, herd goats or whatever the villagers did before the war. He could imagine a beautiful life with her. But they were in a war. He was there to kill or be killed. How could he give her the life she deserved? But he wanted to try.

He gently touched her shoulder to wake her up. She woke up dazed, clutching his jacket. He greeted her “Bongiorno Bella” and she blushed turning red like a rose. Then she quickly got on her feet and replied “Good Morning.” Antwone’s jaw hit the floor and Sam started clapping. He grinned as he told Catarina “Well done! You will be ready for America in no time.” Antwone translated “Fantastica. Sarai Americano in men che non si dica” That made Catarina cover her face with her hands and run out of the tower room.

Antwone went after her. “Catarina Please Wait. Aspetta per favore.” She stopped. He hurried over and asked her softly “Why did you run? Perché corri” She turned around and replied haughtily “Because…You Annoy Me!” speaking perfect English in her beautiful Italian accent.

Antwone grabbed her hand and brought it to his lips. He gently kissed her knuckles and said “I promise to annoy you each and every day for the rest of my life.” She giggled and snatched her hand away to run. Antwone smiled, she did understand what he meant. He had to head back to their camp. He would see her later.

He walked towards their platoon camp and a few minutes later, he heard Sam on his receiver. “Ant, your missus forgot her gun.” Antwone was worried. Catarina had run towards the river and she was without her rifle. He radioed back “Sam, she went to the river, I have to go get her. Radio the camp, I'll check in once I know she is safe.”

Catarina was sitting down in her favorite spot by the river. Where she dipped her feet in the water, just like she did when she was a little girl, years before the war. Her heart was full of joy thinking of Antwone’s promise to annoy her for the rest of his life.

She didn't realize she was surrounded until she saw their reflections in the water. She spun around to see Nazi soldiers staring at her menacingly. They were right next to her and she didn't have her gun.

They had taken other girls from her village to break their families morale and force them to surrender. Catarina was terrified but she knew she had to fight and picked up a rock. She spoke loudly in a calm voice “Ritorno!” asking them to return.

The Nazi officer sneered in German “Guten Morgen, meine liebe” as the rest of them laughed. Catarina hurled the rock at the officer’s face. Unfortunately, he dodged her rock and now he was determined to catch her. She tried to run but saw she was fully surrounded and they were getting closer to her. She picked up another rock and yelled again “Ritorno!”

That just made them laugh even more. The Nazi officer grabbed her even as Catarina punched and kicked with all her might but he held her wrists and sneered in Italian “Amore Mio”

Suddenly shots rang out and Nazi soldiers started falling down dead. The remaining Nazis started searching for the shooters yelling “Wo Sind Sie” and started shooting blindly. They still kept falling down one after the other. Soon, it was down to just the officer who had grabbed Catarina. He yelled “Komm raus oder sie stirbt, come out or she dies”. Antwone shot the officer’s hand and walked out in the open.

The Nazi officer fell to the ground, screaming in agony, blood spurting from his hand. Catarina ran to Antwone and hid behind him. Antwone looked at her and asked “Did he harm you?” Catarina said “No” Antwone said “Good. Maybe, I don't have to kill him then.” Catarina looked at Antwone and said “Then, I kill him.” She snatched his rifle and emptied the clip on the dying Nazi.

As the rifle clicked with no more bullets firing, Antwone gently took it back from her. He said softly “Catarina he is dead. He cannot hurt you anymore.” Catarina looked at at the dead Nazi, looked at her own hands and started walking to the river. Antwone followed her as Catarina sat down and started scrubbing her wrists in the cold river water. She kept scrubbing her wrists till Antwone stopped and held her hands. “Catarina, stop!” Catarina shook her head and tried to scrub her wrists again and Antwone pulled her into his arms. “Catarina, you are pure, you are holy, you did nothing wrong. He was filthy, he is dead.” Catarina started sobbing softly. Antwone wiped her tears and held her close. He then said softly “We have to go. That was just one patrol squad, there may be more, and they would have heard the gunfire. I’m out of ammo…bullets” Catarina nodded and they quickly started walking back to the village.

They couldn't get far as more shots rang out. They were spotted by more Nazis. Antwone and Catarina crouched behind a boulder. Antwone realized they couldn't outrun them. But maybe he could save her by leading them away. He told Catarina. “My love, you must go. I will lead them away from you, but you must go.”

Catarina cried “Non.” Antwone repeated “Please listen to me. I love you. I will lead them away but you have to go back to the village.” Catarina started weeping, pulling on to his jacket, begging him to not leave her “Antwone…non lasciarmi.” Antwone tried prying her fingers off him, and then felt her lips on his. Images of his prior lives flooded his brain and he couldn't make sense of what he was seeing. He shook his head and pried himself from her arms and begged again “Catarina, if you love me, you will listen.” Catarina did not listen, she held onto him, begging him to not leave her.

He pushed her down and ran out to the clearing, waving his empty rifle…Catarina was distraught. He had caught their attention and led them back down to the river. He was sure he would die, but he could not let them get to her while he was alive. He only hoped she would listen to him this time and save herself.

The Nazi patrol squad followed him down to the river and were surprised by the number of bodies lying on the ground. Their officer spoke in broken English “Did you kill them all?” Antwone smiled and said “Give me your gun and I’ll show you how I did it”

The officer pointed his gun to his face and said “Die American mongrel.”

Antwone replied "Just shut up and shoot, Inbred motherfucker." The Nazi officer was taken aback by his insult. He muttered "Why you.." and a bunch of German swear words Antwone didnt care for. He held his breath and closed his eyes, thinking of Catarina and her haunting eyes. He realized he had seen those eyes in all his lifetimes. The images he saw made sense to him now but it was too late. He wouldn't see her again in this life. He wished he had more time with her and bade her goodbye in his heart, ‘My love, I’ll see you in my next life.’

He heard a gunshot but didn't feel anything. He touched his heart and then his head, was he already dead? Then he heard noises of confusion. He couldn't be dead. He was alive. He opened his eyes and saw the officer was dead on the ground and the rest of the Nazis were surrounded by the US 92nd.

Sam Baker hollered “Lieutenant Antwone Brown, you are so soft and easy, ready to give up and die” Antwone was relieved and thrilled to see his brothers in arms. He replied to his wisecracking buddy “Sam Baker, your head is softest of all. Look at all my kills, can you even count that high?” Sam teased him back “But we still saved yo ass. Come on now, we got to march these Nazi prisoners to camp.”

Antwone said “Wait. I need to get Catarina” Sam retorted “Did you lose your missus again? And what sort of fool brings his missus to a gunfight?” Antwone was already running ahead not bothering to listen to Sam’s wisecracks. He found Catarina crouching behind the same boulder where he left her. She hadn't moved. She was catatonic.

Antwone sat down next to her and said softly “Catarina, I am here now, You are safe. I promise I won't leave you again”. She stared at him blankly and didn't respond. He touched her hair and repeated “I’m here now, you are safe” and saw a teardrop fall. Antwone’s heart ached and he couldn't stop himself from holding her in his arms, pulling her onto his lap. She broke down completely in his arms. She sobbed on his chest as he tried to comfort her. She repeated “You no leave me. No leave me.”

Antwone rocked her gently, kissed her head and whispered “I will never leave you. I promise”

Chapter Text

Tony woke up, hearing the pilot’s announcement “We are approaching Los Angeles. Temperature 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 32 degree Celsius, clear skies with no chance of rain. We will reach 30 mins before our scheduled time. Sit back, relax as your your flight crew comes around for their final checks ”

His dream felt so real, it was as if he had lived it. He was Antwone Brown and Viscount Bridgerton, those dreams, those visions were his past lives with her. His wife, his Kathani, his Catarina, his Kate. Tony turned to see his Kate. He wondered if she had any memories. If she felt anything when she kissed him. He saw she was starting to wake up but she was wincing and holding her head. He smiled and said “Hi Kate.”

Kate looked at him and he could see the realization dawning on her face along with shame and horror. She immediately looked away and said “Don’t get any ideas. I will not be intoxicated and abused.”

Tony felt horrible. He replied softly “I would never.” Things were tense for a few moments, he could hear her breathing heavily. He wanted to apologize, he didn’t mean to get her drunk. He didn't want her to feel he took advantage of her.

Then, surprisingly Kate turned to him and apologized “I am sorry, I shouldn’t have. I haven't had any alcohol in two years. I should have realized my tolerance would be shot. And I haven't had….” and then she stopped immediately realizing she was oversharing. Tony understood exactly what she meant and wanted to fulfill all her needs, if she would allow him to.

Kate took a deep breath and continued “What I am trying to say is.. I shouldn't have assaulted you and I shouldn't have yelled at you. You didn't deserve it. I am truly sorry.”

Tony wanted to laugh but he didn't want to mess anything else up. He glanced over to the aisle passenger and saw he was still napping with his headphones on. He turned back to Kate and whispered “You called me cute and kissed me. I would love to be ‘assaulted’ like that every minute of every day of my life”

Kate broke into a smile before turning to look out of the window. The plane had begun its descent. They would be landing in LA shortly. Tony was running out of time.

Tony asked “Kate?”

Kate looked back at him expectantly “Yes?”

Tony couldn’t speak. His heart thundered “Marry me Kate” as his brain screamed “Shut up Psycho” and all that came out was “uhhhh..” .

Kate looked away again but he saw she was grinning. He still couldn't speak. Dammit. Say something. Ask for her number. Yes, ask for her number.

He tried again “Kate?”

This time she was smiling as she asked him “Yes Tony?” Did she enjoy torturing him? How could she smile like that when he was dying in front of her. No. it was time to man up. Ask for her number. All that came out was “Will you ..…

Kate nodded her head.. But he couldn't finish. The plane landed bumpily and raced towards the terminal. The sudden bump made everyone brace against their seats, the moment was gone.

The captain announced cheerily “Apologies for that slight bump, just a little snag in the landing gear” .. And the passengers around started exclaiming loudly voicing their concerns. The captain continued “But we have dispatched for emergency response so no need for concern.…”. That sounded very unconvincing.

Kate and Tony could see Fire Engines rushing towards the plane and the oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling. The pilot continued still sounding cheerful. “Please remain calm and seated, Please do not try to exit until instructed by the air crew. You can ignore the oxygen masks… for now. Thank you.” All the passengers had started clamoring now.

Tony was nervous but he saw Kate was emotionless, it was as if she was built for emergencies. He saw his aisle passenger jump up and start taking his carry-on bag out from the overhead bin. The flight attendant spoke out loudly on the speaker, “Sir, please sit down until we announce it is safe for you to move.” One idiot who was livestreaming the fire engines outside turned now to livestream what was going on inside.

But the man did not listen. He yelled “I am not dying today.” and tried to move forward. Tony stood up and tried to stop him “Stop it man! No one wants to die. Let them do their job.” The man didn't want to listen. The flight attendant walked up to him even as the plane was screeching on the runway “Sir, if you do not sit down, We will ban you from ever flying again.” The man tried to push past her to leave. Tony yelled “Hey Asshole, there are hundreds of people on this plane. You are the only one causing panic.” He turned around to see, all the other passengers were worried but they nodded agreeing with him. Tony held his hand and pushed him back to his seat “Sit.” The flight attendant thanked Tony and went back to her seat.

Suddenly the man started gasping, holding his chest. “I cannot br..” and he fainted. Now Kate sprang to action. “Tony, get him out.” Tony got up from his seat and pushed the passenger onto the aisle. The flight attendant rushed back - “What happened?” Kate had squeezed into the aisle and had already started checking his vitals. She answered “Cardiac arrest. I need oxygen and Defib and Call 911 stat.”

The flight attendant ran back to grab the airplane defibrillators and Tony pulled onto the oxygen mask floating from the ceiling and pulled it over the man’s face. Kate was hovering over the man trying to find enough space to work and said “Everyone back off. I need space to work.” All the lookie-loos sat back in their seats but had their phones out. And the livestreaming idiot was fully zoomed onto Kate and Tony.

The flight attendant came with the defib and Kate remained calm as she said “That thing is broken” The flight attendant became hysterical. “Oh No! Oh No!” Kate said “Mam please remain calm.” And then turned to the plane “Someone call 911 stat.” And multiple people started calling.

Kate looked at Tony and said, “We need to restart his heart. There is no space here for me to get to his side. I will do chest compressions and you will need to breathe into him, Remove the oxygen mask and blow into him on my word.” Tony nodded. Kate ripped his shirt and started chest compressions and then said “Now Tony.” Tony bent over and started mouth to mouth resuscitation.

30 seconds, 60 seconds. 90 seconds. They continued keeping a rhythm.

The man finally gasped and breathed on his own. Kate stopped and asked Tony to pull back. She checked his reflexes and asked “Sir, do you know where you are?”. The man was dazed and kept blinking and then said “Los Angeles”. And the rest of the passengers erupted in cheers.

The medics were right behind the Fire Engines and were next to the plane shortly as the plane finally came to a stop on the tarmac. The captain announced “This is your captain speaking, please remain seated as the medical crew evacuates the patient needing medical attention.” Kate followed the medics as they loaded the passenger and took him outside. Tony was not a medical professional. He panicked. What if he won't see her again? He saw she left her backpack behind. He grabbed it and waited as the passengers started to deplane in an orderly fashion. His brain believed in orderly process but his heart was going crazy. He had to see her.

He grabbed the rest of his stuff and walked out briskly. He ran through the airport down to baggage claim - hoping he would see her there. She wasn't there. He ran outside and saw her. She was standing still looking at the departing ambulance. Tony hurriedly walked to her, trying to stay calm. He repeated in his head. “Will you give me your number? Will you give me your number? Will you give me your number?”

“Hey look....thats the Airplane guy… and there's the Airplane girl”.. People were recognizing them and whipping out their phones. Kate and Tony’s plane rescue had gone viral. Tony shook his head. He did not want to lose focus and repeated in his head 'Will you give me your number? Will you give me your number?' as he approached Kate.

He said “Kate.” and she turned to face him with a smile on her face. “Oh you got my backpack. Thank you! I was worried I’ll have to go back and search for it.”

Tony was losing it, He had to get her phone number. He couldn't let her leave without it. He couldn't let her leave. He couldn't lose her. His words tumbled out

“Will you marry me?”

Chapter Text

“No Way!!!!”

“Dude!!!!”

and incessant, incoherent, incredibly loud screaming.

What the hell was happening? Kate saw she was surrounded by livestreaming idiots and their phones. Her hottie from the plane was standing in front of her, asking her to marry him.

She looked at him dazed and asked “Tony?” He didn't say a word. He just looked at her like a kicked puppy. The screams got louder “SAY YES!!! AIRPLANE GIRL SAY YES!!

Kate shook her head - this was ridiculous. She asked again “Tony??” And he dropped down to his knees. What… the… actual.. fuck? And the screams got even louder.. “DUDE!!!!!.OH MY GAWWD!!!! SAY YES!! SAY YES!!! OH YOU GOTTA SAY YES!!.”

And then an idiota screamed “I WILL MARRY YOU PAPI!!!”

Kate relented and answered “Yes.” as the crowd erupted in cheers.

Tony couldn't believe it. He stood back up on his feet as the crowd chanted “KISS!!! KISS!!!! KISS!!!!” He looked at Kate and she looked terrified, that broke his heart. He pecked her gently and turned to the crowd. “Thank you guys. Now, we need some privacy” The crowd cheered once more before dispersing with their phones.

Kate glared at him “What the fuck was that?” Tony shook his head “I didn't plan any of that. But I do want to marry you.” Kate started laughing “Are you crazy? Tony replied “Well there is one way to find out. Come with me.”

Kate looked at him and suddenly it started clicking “You think you are that British lord dude from your book. Reincarnated, and that I am his wife, Reincarnated. Are you kidding me? ” Tony shook his head. “Not just the book, Kate don't you feel it in your heart. Didn't you feel the sparks, the memories when you kissed me?”

Kate was annoyed. “This is ridiculous! I was drunk. I don't remember what I had for breakfast this morning... leave alone past lives. I don't know you dude. You don't know me.”

Tony said “Then, Kiss me again” Kate narrowed her eyes as if she was considering it for a moment and then shook her head. “Nice try Romeo. I am not kissing you and I am not marrying you. Are you crazy? I only said yes to get rid of those live-streaming psychos. I have to get out of here. Just leave me alone.”

Tony said softly “Tell me…you feel nothing…. and I will walk away.” Kate felt the ground beneath her shift. She felt his presence on her, the feeling of him being unbearably close, his hot breath on her, his heartbeats synced with hers as the world faded away. But she could also see him standing at a respectful distance. What the hell was in that wine? She shook her head trying to shake it off and said “Dude! Leave me alone, or I will call the cops.”

Tony raised his hands and backed away. But he didn't go far. He saw Kate breathing hard and holding herself, rubbing her arms. Then she turned to see if he actually left. She couldn't see him. She called out “Tony!”

Tony smiled. She was looking in the wrong direction. He waited for another moment, she called out again “Tonyyy!!” This time, her voice was full of despair and longing. He couldn't wait anymore and responded “Right here” and Kate turned in his direction.

He caught her smile before it disappeared into a frown. She was trying hard to look upset. “I thought you left. Why didn’t you leave?” Tony grinned. That made it harder for her to pretend, so she looked away. He said “Shall we?” She asked “Just where exactly are you taking me?” Tony said “Anywhere you want. But I would prefer to just take you home.” Kate replied “This is crazy. I think I am still drunk” Tony replied “Drunk on my love”. Kate retorted “Shut up.” Tony grinned again, leading her to the airport parking lot.

“That's your car?” Kate let out a low whistle as she saw her hottie’s blue Tesla Model S. Tony smiled “You like it?” Kate said “Yeah who wouldn’t. But I can't afford it and even if I did, it will stay parked in the hospital parking lot.” Tony said “You want to drive?” And then said “Let me drive tonight, I want you to relax, not fight LA traffic. But tomorrow, if you want to” Kate laughed “You want me to drive your hundred thousand dollar car. You really are crazy!”

Tony grinned and held the car door open for her. She smiled. No one had held the car door open for her. She was a New Yorker, this gesture seemed quaint but she liked it. As they drove, Tony started asking questions, nothing too personal “Is this your first visit to Los Angeles?” Kate replied “uh-hum” and took her phone out of her backpack. Her notifications were blowing up. And she realized she had thirty missed calls and her phone started buzzing again.

Tony glanced and saw she was getting a call from Eduardo, and a handsome man’s picture was on her phone screen. His heart sank. She answered and started yelling in Spanish. Tony was relieved. That was her brother. He pretended he didn't understand Spanish and continued eavesdropping on the call.

Kate said she was an adult and she didn't need anyone’s permission to go anywhere and not to give the phone to their mother. She threatened to hang up and then she calmed down immediately. Maybe her mother was on the phone. She said “Mama, Estoy bien. no te preocupes.Te llamaré más tarde.” She was fine, not to worry, she would call her later. Then she hung up.

Tony turned to her and asked “Everything ok?” Kate nodded and said “hmmm.” Tony said “They sounded worried. You didn't tell them?” Kate was alarmed “You know Spanish? And you were eavesdropping?” Tony laughed “It was hardly an effort. I live in LA, of course I know Spanish. And you are in my car. I couldn't NOT hear.” Kate responded “Cabron” Tony laughed out louder in response.

The drive wasn't too long and Kate could hear the ocean when he parked. She thought she was going crazy. Her hottie couldn't also live on the beach in LA. She must be hearing things. Tony got out of the car, came to her side and opened her door for her. She asked “Where are we?” Tony replied “my home.” and started walking towards the door. He let Kate walk in first. Kate asked again “Where is your home? What is this place?” Tony replied “ Ah. Manhattan Beach.” Kate lost it “You live on the frikking beach?” Tony replied “Well not on the beach. In my home. We can go to the beach after dinner. Its not as cool as Venice Beach. But I like it, its quieter.” and he walked in, turning on all the lights.

Kate just shook her head, looking at his house. It was beautiful, sparsely decorated but beautiful. What the hell was she thinking? That she had a connection with him? This rich Hollywood hottie? Then she thought, it was just one night. He was making a big effort with his ‘story’ and his ‘proposal’. He was gorgeous and it would be better than picking up some rando from a bar. She had not had sex since her ex. She deserved to just enjoy herself and not think of anything else for now.

Tony asked “Would you care for more wine?” and answered himself “No. I think we should skip wine for now. What would you like for dinner? Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Thai? I am not cooking of course, I’ll order it,” and laughed at his own comment. Kate was dying inside. Why was he so cute and charming? She couldn’t let herself fall for him. She could not break her heart again. No. It was just a one night stand. She would just fuck and forget. There was no need to complicate things. She dropped her backpack on the floor and started unzipping her jeans.

Tony looked at her slack-jawed and asked “Kate?” Kate had removed her T shirt as well and now stood wearing only her white bra and panties. She looked like a goddess, her hair fell over her shoulders, her body was curvy and her legs went on for miles. And she said “ Its getting kinda late. Let's just do it. No need for whatever it is that you are doing.”

Tony’s heart thundered in his chest. She offered salvation for his tortured soul, but he wasn't sure, if he should take it. He said softly “Kate. I don't want you to think I brought you her for sex.” he stopped when he saw the humiliation on Kate’s face. Her voice broke as she spoke “What the fuck? Then, why did you bring me here?” Tony gasped. He walked to her and tried to hold her, she pushed him away. “Don't touch me” Tony apologized “Kate, please don't cry.” Kate shook her head and said “No. I have to go. I’ll get an Uber.” Tony was absolutely crushed - what the hell just happened?

He begged “Kate don't go. Please don't go.” and fell to his knees again in front of her. What was wrong with him? How could he reject and humiliate her? He said “Kate, please” and his hands went to her waist trying to stop her from walking away...His face was an inch away from her body. He could see the curve of her cunt barely hidden under the thin white fabric of her panties. He would have been licking her cunt, tasting her if he hadn't been an ass. Just that thought drove him crazy.

His grip on her waist grew tighter and he pulled her forward, firmly planting his mouth on her cunt. Kate gasped. Tony let her go and said. “I will stop” . Kate was breathing hard. She said “do not stop” Tony looked up at her and said again “Kate, I will stop, if you want me to” Kate’s hands were in his hair and she said “Do not stop”. Tony groaned and pulled her panties down and buried his lips in her folds. Kate yelped and lost her balance. Tony gently helped her sit down on his couch and pulled her panties completely off from her legs. Then, he dropped down in front of her, worshiping her on his hands and knees. He spread her legs and gently licked her clit and dragged his tongue down to her pulsating core.

Kate’s brain stopped working, buried under a flood of sensations, she lost control of her limbs and likely everything else. Tony’s hands snaked under her bottom, pulling her further into his mouth, as if he wanted to devour her whole, starting from her cunt. Kate’s legs clenched tight around his face as she felt herself starting to come apart but he didn't stop, he continued his relentless licking. His tongue explored her length, licking her clit and back down to dipping into her core. His tongue wrote his name in her core T O N Y each stroke and turn created unbearable pleasure waves. She screamed and shattered. Tony eagerly lapped up her juices and stayed there, inhaling her scent..

Kate was sure she saw stars. Sex had never felt this pleasurable, this intimate, even with her ex-fiancé. She whispered his name and he looked up, his face was glistening with her juices. Kate was wrecked just looking at his face. She cupped his face with her palms and said “Tony, that was amazing!” Tony moved up slowly dragging his lips over her hips, stomach and up to her breasts. His hands quickly unhooked her bra and tossed it on the floor as his mouth sucked on one breast and then the other.

Kate moaned his name again. His hands went back to her bottom and he pulled her up against his body, lifting her off the couch. She wrapped her legs around him as his arms wrapped around her. She kissed him hungrily as he stood up, tasting herself on his lips. He carried her to his bedroom and lowered her gently on his bed. She sat on the edge of his bed with her legs still apart as his mouth went down her body once more peppering kisses on her neck, her breasts, her stomach and her swollen cunt. Then he stood back and took off his T-shirt, his eyes not leaving her even once. His body was more beautiful than she imagined, athletic and strong. He started unzipping his jeans, but then stopped and sat down next to her. “Kate, I don't want you to regret this or hate me tomorrow. I will stop now if you want me to.”

Kate did not expect him to say that. She was overcome with too many emotions and her eyes filled with tears. She nodded yes but she could not stop her tears. She sobbed. “I am sorry, I don't know what is happening to me.” Tony wiped her tears and tried to assure her “It's alright, It's alright.” Kate sobbed and tried to speak, her words breaking up “No, it is not. I want to fuck. I don’t know why I am crying” Tony replied “Kate, I don't want to fuck, I want to make love to you. I want to worship you”

Kate wiped her tears and said “Stop talking and fuck me.” Tony looked straight into her eyes to see if she meant it. He couldn't tell because she was still sobbing. He pulled her onto his lap and felt her let go completely. Her entire body shook as she cried into his arms. Tony kissed her head and rubbed her back, trying to soothe her by repeating “Its alright” gently.

After a while, Kate stopped crying and said, “You must think I am some psycho bitch. You should have picked up someone else tonight.” Tony smiled. She still did not believe him but he knew the truth in his heart. He replied “Don’t say that. I love you” Kate asked “Will you please hold me?” Tony nodded and laid her back down gently on the bed and spooned her as she fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

Tony couldn't sleep. He looked at Kate, sleeping in his arms, on his bed. Not thousands of miles away in New York where she had been, just going about her life, away from him, all this time. All his life. What had he been doing all his life? He didn't even know who he was, where she was and the universe decided to change all that today.

He looked at Kate, this was his Kate, he was sure of that, he knew her. He knew her scent, her taste in his bones. His soul recognized hers from their thousand lifetimes together but he wanted to know more about her in this life.

Why was she so sad? Why did she think he was just a one night stand? Why did she cry after asking him to fuck her? He had seen her cry twice today and it broke his heart. Her family didn't know she was in LA. Was she running away?

This was her first trip to LA and she only had a tiny backpack, did she even bring a change of clothes? She was a doctor in New York, an extremely capable one, the way she saved a dying man in the middle of a scary plane landing was proof enough. Why was she running away? She seemed to be holding on to a lot of pain. He wanted to take all her pain away.

He gently sat up, she shifted slightly but went back to sleep. She looked peaceful, a small smile graced her lips, maybe she was dreaming. Did she dream of him, of them? He could sit there for hours and watch her sleep. He gazed at her, trying to memorize every line, every curve. She looked like a dream, no, she looked like a goddess. And it felt sinful watching her sleep like that with a blissful smile on her lips as she lay naked in his bed. Tony wanted to reach out and touch her but stopped himself. He saw tiny goosebumps on her skin. The night was cooling down quickly, he grabbed a thin blanket and gently covered her. She moaned and clutched at the blanket in her sleep. Tony tucked the blanket around her and gingerly stood up from the bed, trying not to wake her up.

He thought about making her breakfast in the morning. And then thought, did he even have anything in his kitchen? He realized might not have anything. He slowly walked out of the bedroom, trying not to wake her and went to the kitchen, hoping at least he had coffee for the morning. And then thought, what if she liked tea instead? He looked through his empty kitchen shelves. He had exactly one jar of pasta sauce and one pack of spaghetti. No Coffee, No Milk. Just splendid. He meant to get groceries, but hadn't. He never ate at home anyway. Then he thought, maybe she would like to go out for brunch? Some pancakes or waffles or eggs and bacon. What did she like? He didn't know anything about her.

He saw her clothes lying on the floor and picked them up. He folded her jeans and t-shirt neatly and placed them on the kitchen counter. He saw her bra tossed halfway across the living room but he couldn't see her panties. Maybe that was a good thing. He chuckled to himself. He picked up her bra and folded it gently and saw her panties lying on the rug. It was torn. He groaned, she won't be happy. But he would take her shopping. Maybe lacy thongs with cutouts. He was very pleased with that thought.

He had loved being completely surrounded by her, her legs wrapped around his face, her hands in his hair, as his tongue dug into her core. He didn't see any new memories this time. He didn't need to, he knew he loved her like this in every life. Her taste, her scent was in his bones. It was like coming home. He picked up her torn panties and brought it to his nose, inhaling her scent.

“Ewww!” Kate was up and she caught him sniffing her panties. He turned around and smiled. She had wrapped the blanket around herself and was walking towards him. He laughed, “Oh this? After my face was in your pussy?” Kate walked up to him and looked straight into his eyes.. “You have a very filthy mouth.” He looked into her eyes, her lips and teased her, “I thought you loved my very filthy mouth” He tugged at her blanket and she let it fall to her waist. Tony took in a deep breath as he admired her breasts once more. He held her in her arms and said “Would you like to go again? Use my filthy mouth?” and he heard her gasp. He waited for a moment and purred. “Whatever you want, whatever you need, I will stop when you want me to.”

Kate smirked. “Oh you are good! Very very good. You are a fuckboi with a loverboy routine. Did you use that line in one of your movies or TV Shows? ” Tony lost his smile. She was harsh. Why was she like this? Why did she think the worst of him? Maybe it was still too soon. He couldn't expect her to really fall in love with a stranger she met only a few hours ago. He would take what she allowed, he could not scare her away.

He said “I’m sorry, if I disturbed your sleep” Kate replied, “Oh don't worry about it. I am used to it. I power nap, cannot sleep for long, not with my schedule” Then she snatched her panties from his hand and looked at it dismayed “No!! You ripped it.” Tony apologized “I’m sorry. I’ll take you shopping.” Kate laughed “You will take me shopping for panties?” Tony held her in his arms rocking her gently and said “or anything else you want. Maybe no panties for you, at least inside our house.”

Kate started giggling “OUR house? Dude, you share your oceanfront property with chicks you pick up at the airport?” Tony replied “Only with the gorgeous chick who agreed to marry me.” Kate laughed again. “I’ll take your house, in the divorce” Tony shook his head and said “Take my life but please do not talk about a divorce.” Kate pushed him gently and stood apart. “Are you on drugs?” She looked into his eyes and held up his hands looking for the tell tale puncture marks. “Hmm.. I dont get it. You are very strange. Cute but very very strange”

Then, she turned to walk into the kitchen. Tony put his foot on her blanket and when she tugged, she saw his foot. She looked up to his face and saw his smirk. She let go of the blanket and walked in naked to the kitchen She said “Ok loverboy, enjoy the show.”

Tony followed her into the kitchen as she opened the fridge to look inside. He didn't look at the fridge, he was admiring her ass as she bent, thinking of squeezing and licking and biting it. Then she walked to the pantry and he followed her there as well. She turned around and shook her head. “Haven't you seen a naked woman before?” Tony replied “I have but no one compares to you. You are driving me crazy. I know I am a bit much, but I can't seem to help myself around you”

Kate retorted “You are not a bit much.. You are a bit TOO much. Look at you.” She used both hands to point to him, waving them up and down his body. Then she continued “What could you possibly want with this?” Then she pointed her hands at her own naked body and Tony lost it. He grabbed her waist and lifted her onto the kitchen counter, this time his mouth pounced on her breast. His hands left her waist and one massaged her other breast while his other hand moved to her cunt. Kate was rendered breathless by his sudden move.

Tony sucked on her breast and Kate howled. Tony stopped to look and asked “You ok?” She nodded breathlessly “keep going” He smiled and moved to her other breast sucking on it as well. All the while his fingers were massaging her cunt and then he slid two fingers into her core and Kate howled again. Tony pulled back again to see if she was ok. She just said “Don’t stop. Don't you dare stop again” Tony replied “Yes Mam” and continued massaging her core with his fingers as his mouth devoured her breasts. Kate moaned and howled and he continued fingering her core until he felt her clench up and then go limp. He took his fingers out and looked straight into her eyes as he sucked her juices off his fingers. Then he reinserted his fingers inside her as Kate mewled. He responded “just cleaning up the mess I made” as he swirled his fingers inside her cunt to collect all her juices and brought them back to his lips to suck them off again. Kate said “God! you are good.” as she tried to collect her breath.

Then she jumped off the counter and said. “How about some dinner. I am famished and I am guessing it's too late to order takeout.” Tony hurried to his phone to look up restaurants. He said “ughhh..I’m sorry it seems most of these places close at midnight and its two AM. I don't want to insult you by suggesting McDonalds. Maybe some restaurants downtown?” He heard her turn on the faucet and looked back to see her filling a pot with water. He asked “What are you doing?” She said “Making pasta. I saw you have some in your pantry. At least you have spaghetti and pasta sauce. Don't you know how to buy groceries? Its a shame, you have a beautiful kitchen but no food.”

Tony had the biggest smile on his face as he said “You are cooking for me.”

Kate smiled “Calm down loverboy. It’s just grocery store pasta and sauce. If you had tomatoes, basil and flour, I would make real pasta or pizza New York style. Real pizza and pasta, not the garbage that you get here” Tony grabbed her from behind and said “I love you.” Kate laughed and said “Easy loverboy, I am working with fire and hot water. I don't want to have to treat your burns. Go, sit and wait” Tony asked “Can I wait here?” his hands went up from her waist to her breasts. Kate stopped and said “Maybe, I should wear my clothes, if you can not stop groping me.” Tony grabbed her T-shirt and jeans from the counter before she could reach for them. “Please don't. I will behave”

Kate laughed and stirred the pasta as Tony went back to hugging her gently, holding her waist. Then she said “Did you say you have some wine?” Tony replied “Yes, but are you sure you want to have some? Or will you kiss me again and then yell at me?” Kate teased back “I might kiss and do something else.” Tony let go of her and went to his wine cooler. “What would you like?” he called out.

Kate responded “Surprise me, loverboy” Tony started going through his wine collection trying to find something that would impress Kate. He finally settled on his favorite Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and hoped she would like it as well.

Chapter Text

Tony walked back to the kitchen with his Cabernet Sauvignon and searched for a corkscrew. Kate looked amusedly at him as he went through multiple drawers and cabinets, unsuccessful in his search. She teased, “Is this really your house? your kitchen?” as she waved the corkscrew at him. Tony grinned as he took the corkscrew from her “I am not here much. I usually eat on set, or out with the production crew, or order takeout. And when Dee is here, I’m not allowed in the kitchen.”

Kate felt an ugly stab in her heart. She tried to ignore the growing gnawing sensation but she couldn't. She was cooking for him, in his kitchen, naked and he casually mentioned some other woman?? Her eyes searched for her clothes and couldn't see them. Did he hide her clothes? She thought about grabbing the blanket from the living room and realized that then he would surely know that she was jealous. He had already seen her naked. His hands and even his mouth had been all over her body so any attempt at modesty now was too little too late. She also realized he owed her nothing, they were not even dating. It was just a casual one night stand.

She tried to shake it off. It's not like she wanted anything more from him, why would she? She didn't even know the guy. All she knew was that he was single, Hollywood rich and way out of her league. This was probably his lifestyle. As if his gorgeous face and bod wasn't enough, that story of love across lifetimes was a real panty shredder.. And boy was he good...she had two mind blowing orgasms already and was feeling good about herself and her body. Yes, she should just let go and have fun. She would enjoy herself and not worry about his other women. Fuck, there was that ugly gnawing feeling again.

She realized she was too quiet. He would know!! She should say something, anything! Ask him about the wine. Yes. That was casual and on topic. She opened her mouth and was shocked to hear the words that tumbled out “Who is Dee?”

Tony must have seen the jealous look on her face, because he smiled. He was gloating, enjoying her misery, her irrational jealousy. And then he answered with a grin “My sister.” Kate felt relieved, she was not sure why. Because she didn't really care. Why should she care about Tony or his sister? She quickly turned her face to hide her embarrassment. Why did she have to act so clingy and jealous?

She tried to assure herself, maybe it wasn't such a big deal. She would leave in the morning, so who cares what he thought? Then, all her rational thinking disappeared as she felt his hands on her waist and his hot breath on her neck. He was right behind holding her firmly against him. She could feel his chest rising and falling against her back, his heart beating against her own. He purred “You look even sexier when you are jealous.”

Kate protested, “I am not jealous, I don't even know you.” but sighed as his hands left her waist, gently rubbing and squeezing her ass. Then he turned her around and lowered his head to kiss her breasts. He said “My jealous goddess, I worship only you.” and sucked on one nipple, while gently fondling the other, making her howl again.

He looked up at her face with concern “Kate, does it hurt when I suck on your nipples? I’m sorry, I’ll be more gentle.” He bent down again and swirled his tongue around in a circle, gently licking her nipples. Kate’s brain had short circuited, she was breathing hard. She pushed him back and said “I need to get back to the pasta before it turns into mush” Tony nodded and backed away giving her space. He went back to his wine bottle, popped it open and poured two glasses.

Kate tried to get her breathing back in control, but was finding it impossible. That mouth, that face, that body. And now he was pouring her wine. Then, she reminded herself, she was here to enjoy herself. Well, her pasta was done, maybe she would be a slutty slut to his fuckboi. She served the pasta in a single bowl and walked to his dining table “Shall we?”

Tony followed her. He was puzzled for a bit until Kate said “I thought it would be easier to eat from one bowl, while I sit on your lap” Tony threw his head back and sighed “Why are you so good to me?” He sat down and happily pulled her onto his lap, nuzzling her neck and fondling her breasts. Kate admonished him and said “Behave or I’ll sit somewhere else.” Tony pouted but agreed.

Kate curled the pasta around her fork and brought it to Tony’s mouth. Tony was in heaven, Kate was sitting naked on his lap and feeding him pasta. If there was a heaven, this was it.. He took the fork from her and turned to feed her. She took a bite and licked her lips. Tony retorted “Woman, you ask me to behave and then do things to drive me crazy” Kate laughed “Boy, you are already crazy, Don't blame me. I am just enjoying my dinner.” She moaned as she sipped her wine “This is really good wine” Tony started breathing hard. She was unbelievable. Like she didn't know what she was she doing to him? He gulped his wine down and said “I want to eat you again.” Kate just twirled the pasta on her fork and said “Dinner first, dessert later.”

Tony couldn't wait for dessert. His fingers dipped into her cunt and he started massaging her slit, going from her clit down to her core and back up again. Kate moaned his name and dropped her fork. Tony pushed the pasta bowl aside, lifted her from his lap and plonked her on the dining table. She was surprised “Tony? What are you doing?” He replied “I’m sorry, I want my dessert first” He sat back down in his chair and hungrily planted his mouth on her cunt. He snaked his hands under her bottom, pulling her closer to his mouth. Kate squealed as she tried to keep her balance. Tony looked up and said, “Lie on your back babe, I want to spread you wide” .

Kate lay down on her back, surrendering to his mouth. Tony hooked her legs on his shoulders to spread her wider and get a better angle. He smacked his lips and dove right back in. His tongue licked her clit while his fingers dug into her core. Kate didn't know it was humanly possible to feel what she felt, her core pulsed around his tongue and fingers. She felt she was going to faint and grabbed his head as she shuddered and came on his mouth and fingers. Then she watched him lick her clean and gasped “You are driving me insane. You have to stop.”

Tony looked up at her from between her legs and smirked “Oh yeah! You are one to complain.” Kate tried to push herself up on her elbows but couldn't, her limbs were jelly. She fell back down exhausted. She said “What? What did I ever do to you? You are the one spinning my world off its axis. Making me reconsider everything I know. With your stupid story, with your whole routine. Why did you pick me? Why are you doing this to me?”

Tony answered “It is you. It is all you. It is maddening, how much you consume my very being. You taunt me, you torment me, yet all I find myself thinking about, ... is you. You think I want to be in this position? Stalking you on the plane, chasing you from the airport, being consumed by thoughts of acting on my most lustful desires. You think I don't know how it all sounds but I cannot help it. You have tormented me since you sat down next to me, and all I want to do is please you, watch you moan, feel you come apart and taste you. ”

Kate looked at his face. He was in agony and it wrecked her. She softly said “Make love to me, Tony” Tony saw she meant it and replied “with all my heart” He stood up slowly, gently sliding her legs down from his shoulders until only her ankles rested on them. He quickly unzipped his jeans and dropped his boxers. Kate gasped when she saw his penis. He said “I will go slow I promise” and he held her knees, gently parting her even more and teasing her entrance with his penis. Kate moaned as he started to fill her. He used his fingers to gently massage her clit as he continued filling her. She gasped and felt fully stretched out.Tony slowly started thrusting his hips as he continued massaging her clit and she was in heaven.

She moaned and moved her hips in response to his and Tony groaned “Kate, you are killing me. You feel so good around me. I want to make love to you each and every day for the rest of my life.” Kate couldn't answer, she was sure her brain had stopped working completely. Tony moved to fondle her breasts, he tweaked her nipples and said “God! Kate, your breasts are so beautiful, so perfect. I want to play with them all day.” and then his fingers went back to her clit and he said “And god, your pussy…your gorgeous pussy… is the bane of my existence…and object of all my desires…. I want to carry you on my shoulders all day, with your wet pussy on my face and take you down, wrap you around my waist when I want my dick inside you.” Kate mumbled incoherently and Tony said “I take that you agree” and started pounding her harder. His fingers massaged her clit and he felt her clench around him and release, just as he chased and reached his own peak inside her.

He stayed inside her for a few more moments, catching his breath. He was holding on to the table to avoid falling down on her. Then, he turned his face to kiss each ankle as he brought her legs down from his shoulders. He slowly pulled out and sat down on his chair. Kate’s cunt was red, swollen and dripping with his cum, still spread out in front of his face as she lay on the table breathing hard looking down at him. Tony said, “God! I wish I could keep you like this forever. You look so beautiful. Do you want to see how beautiful you look?” Kate nodded. Tony picked up his phone from the floor and clicked a picture of her. Kate was horrified “Tony, delete that now!” Tony said “Wait, let me show you first.” He turned on his large screen TV and paired his phone to cast the image on the screen.

Kate looked at the screen mortified to see her cunt on his large screen TV. But she was surprisingly turned on by what she saw. She had studied human anatomy, she was intimately familiar with her own body but she had never imagined herself like this. Her legs were spread wide apart, her cunt was red, swollen and dripping with his cum, and her face was peeking over her breasts, looking fully satisfied. Kate couldn't remember if she ever had an orgasm this good, let alone four in a night. This felt like the first good sex of her life and she wanted more. She could get used to this crazy cute loverboy.

She looked back at Tony. He was massaging her thighs saying “You are a goddess Kate. My beautiful goddess.” He had strong arms. Kate felt like a rag doll in his arms, weightless, easily pliable. She loved this sweet surrender, letting him play with her body, do as he pleased. He pulled her right back onto his lap. She gasped “What are you doing Tony?” Tony replied “I had my dessert, now it's time for dinner” as he reached over to grab the pasta bowl.

He grabbed a bite and moaned “God! this is so good!” Kate laughed “You are joking right” Tony replied “Stop complaining. Just try it, first” and brought a fork to her lips. Kate had a bite, it did taste good, maybe because she was ravenous and exhausted and her body was still reeling with many sensations. Tony brought a wine glass to her lips and she took a sip and moaned “That's some good wine.” Tony replied “One of the perks of living in California, we have the best wine.”

Tony continued feeding her and making her sip wine. Kate was enjoying his tender loving care. He was full of contradictions. Just minutes ago, he was a filthy fuckboi and now he was tenderly loving her, taking care of her, feeding her. He looked up to his face and said “You really do like me.” Tony shook his head “I don't like you, I love you. I know you don't believe me now, but you will.”

Kate smiled and leaned her head on his shoulder. She said “I’m done.Take me to bed. To sleep. I am done for the night, No more groping or fucking, please.” Tony replied “Yes Mam.” He stood up, with her in his arms. He carried her to the bathroom, gently helped her clean up and then carried her to his bed and laid her down gently. Then he snuggled in, spooning her as they both fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

“Wake up Spartan!” That harsh voice rang in his eardrums as cold sea water drenched him fully conscious. He gasped, trying to catch his breath and furiously blinked his eyes to see. His body had been unconscious for god knows how long but the visions of her memories still plagued him. His eyes grew wide when he saw she was standing in front of him, staring right back at him.

He shook his head and blinked again. She was indeed standing in front of him, surrounded by her soldiers. He tried to reach out and touch her but his hands were tied. He was her prisoner and from the looks of it in the hold of King Xerxes’s ship. She looked at him both amused and curious - her lips were still swollen and had a gash, from his fist. And he cursed himself for doing that to her. He could have killed her with his next blow and not even have realized it until after. If only he had pulled off her face shield before punching her jaw.

They stared at each other in silence for a moment more. Then, she spoke in a mocking tone “Prince Antonius! Prince ‘Priceless’ I hope you are enjoying our hospitality. How do you like your new cell? It will have to do till I take to you Parsa Karta or Persepolis as your people like to call our magnificent city. Or if you are useful, we can come to a different arrangement.”

He asked “Does it hurt?” She scoffed “Does what hurt?” He asked “Your lip. I am sorry” And she started laughing. And her soldiers started laughing with her. “Oh this? It is but a little scratch. Does the sight of blood disturb your delicate Greek sensibilities?”

He replied “I could have killed you” She laughed “You flatter yourself Spartan, The only person who can kill Kerbanu is Kerbanu herself.”

Antonius should have been surprised but he realized he wasn't. How could she not be? She was Kerbanu, legendary naval commander and niece of King Xerxes. She was daughter of illustrious General Mahraspand, brother-in-law of Xerxes. Her name meant felicity, strength and power.

She continued “I was only getting started with you, just a little warm up to get my blood flowing. But you dropped your weapons and surrendered so quickly. Your large muscular body, betrayed by your small weak mind. What a shame! ‘Priceless’ princes like you want to live in pleasure, not die in battle for their country. Tell me what I need to know and I will ensure you get what you deserve.

Antonius smiled at her blatant mocking insults. He replied “What do you think I deserve?”

Kerbanu continued “That depends on what you tell me, Tell me nothing, and I’ll feed you to sea monsters. Lie to me, I will make an example of you and send you back in little pieces to your wife and children.”

Antonius smirked hearing her talk about his wife. She was annoyed. “You think this is a joke?” Antonius replied “I have no children yet, and my wife threatens to kill me.”

Kerbanu smirked “Perhaps, you deserve it. But if you tell me what I need to know, I can make you the King of Sparta, replacing your brother Leonidas. I can give you everything your heart desires. “

Antonius asked “You will give me everything my heart desires?”

Kerbanu replied eagerly. Her plan was working. “Just name it and it shall be yours.”

Antonius said “I desire you, Kerbanu.”

Kerbanu was stunned for a moment then she drew her sword. “Do not test my patience, Spartan! Tell me the secrets of Spartan defenses. How can we breach your fort?”

He replied, “Come with me and I will bare it all for you.” Kerbanu bristled at the double-entendre and brought her sword inches away from his throat. Antonius continued “And I know your secrets. You dream of me.”

Kerbanu was furious “Enough!! No Food, No Water. I will break you Spartan. You will submit to me.”

Antonius smiled and bowed his head “I already do”.

Later, Kerbanu found herself furiously pacing in her room. She wanted to break him and learn about the chinks in Spartan defense. Make Sparta kneel but he was breaking her instead. He knew of her dreams. Her shameful dreams.

The dreams where she surrendered herself, naked writhing in pleasure, under a man whose face she could not see. His face would be buried in her hair as he plunged inside her, her arms grasped at his broad shoulders and muscular back. They were sometimes in a mountain cave, sometimes in a secluded beach and sometimes in a forest, but it was always this dream of him bringing her pleasure and taking pleasure from her. And then yesterday she finally saw his face, the man in her dreams, and it was the face of her Spartan prisoner. The one she had captured in battle two days ago.

How could he have invaded her dreams? Her shameful pleasure filled dreams.

She couldn't sleep. She had to know. And she didn't want him to invade her dreams tonight. She went back to him and dismissed the guards. “I need to talk to the prisoner in private. Perhaps, he is shy of an audience” The guards laughed and walked out. The Spartan prisoner was no match for Kerbanu and he was tied up.

Antonius knew why she came. He asked anyway, “Couldn't sleep?”

Kerbanu drew her sword on him “How do you know of my dreams? The Greeks now resort to witchcraft and sorcery? To put filthy thoughts in your enemies' minds, in the hopes of corrupting and distracting them? You think you can win the war this way?

Antonius laughed. “Sorcery with my small weak mind?” Then he replied softly “It is not sorcery. Its our shared history, our past lives. I cannot sleep either, you torment me in my dreams.”

Kerbanu asked. “You dream…,of me? What do I do to torment you?”

Antonius smirked “I think you know, you have seen it in your dreams. I did not see or recognize your face until I saw you in battle.” Kerbanu’s sword was inches away from his throat “You are lying!” Antonius replied “I am your husband, Kerbanu and you are my wife. What you see in your dreams is my love, not filth. And I dream of your love for me. We have lived many lives before this. We are destined to be together in every life..”

He continued after a pause “You and I…we cannot sleep. Until we find each other, until I win you over.“

Kerbanu shook her head in disbelief “I am betrothed. My future husband battles your army in Thermopylae, by my father’s side. While I battle you in these seas. You are my sworn enemy Spartan. You are certainly a great fool as well. The only love you can expect from me is a swift and merciful death..” She came close, and put her sword on his neck. He didn't flinch.

She asked, “Any last wishes before you die?’ He replied “Kiss me. You know you have been dying to.”

Kerbanu scoffed and raised her sword. He smiled and raised an eyebrow just like he did in her dream last night and she could not breathe. She couldn't move. He said “Tell me…you feel nothing…and then I can die”

She felt the world around her stop. She looked at him and asked “What did you say?” Antonius repeated “Say you do not care for me. Tell me you feel nothing..” She shook her head. Her hand came down by her side, she sheathed her sword and turned to leave. Then she turned back and grabbed his face and captured his lips with hers.

She knew his lips, she knew his taste, his scent. Visions of her prior lives with him flooded her closed eyes. She dared not open them.She couldn't make sense of what she was seeing but she could not stop until she needed to breathe. She released him with a gasp and pulled back shaking her head. She cried “Sorcery!!! You are a Sorcerer. You have bewitched me Spartan!”

The guards rushed back swiftly hearing her cry. They moved to Antonius in anger, raising their swords to kill the prisoner but their throats were slit by Kerbanu’s sword. Antonius looked in shock as Kerbanu wiped the blood splatter from her face and cut his ties, freeing him. She said “ Take the raft from deck. Bear north and you will reach Sparta in two days.”

Antonios responded “Come with me.”

Kerbanu looked at the dead guards at her feet and said “I cannot. I have to die. You corrupted my mind. I abandoned my duty, I dishonored my father, I betrayed my people.”

Antonius said “I betrayed mine by becoming your prisoner. We don't have to go to Persepolis, we can go to Sparta. “

Kerbanu scoffed “As your prisoner and slave? Never! Leave. Run away and let me die before I dishonor my father anymore.”

Antonios tried to grab her but she punched his chest instead, sending him reeling backward “Leave Spartan! Go! Before I change my mind.” Antonius raised his hands and backed away.

Kerbanu looked at her dead guards on the floor, mortified at what she had done, how low she had fallen? and for what? Some sweet words from her enemy? She kneeled and raised her sword, intent on slicing her own throat. Then she felt a sharp pain in the back of her head and the world went black.

When she woke, she was in her room, on her bed. She blinked. Was it all a dream? The evil Spartan sorcerer was messing with her mind.

She tried to get up and found she was tied to her bed. She screamed in anger and frustration “SPARTAN!!”

A Spartan guard opened the door to her room, and turned back and called out “Inform Prince Antonius, his prisoner is awake.” Kerbanu gnashed her teeth and yelled “Release me now! Or I’ll kill you the moment I free myself” The guard simply smiled and closed the door.

The door re-opened shortly, revealing her tormentor, her evil Spartan sorcerer prince. She wanted to kill him and he looked relieved to see her alive and well. He asked softly “How are you feeling? I am sorry I had to.”

She realized he was the one who hit her from behind. She was furious. “You attacked me when my back was turned. You have no honor.”

Antonius sighed “You were going to kill yourself.” Kerbanu fumed “How does that matter to you?” Antonius replied “I told you. I cannot let you go, let alone die”

Kerbanu replied “I set you free. And you attacked me behind my back like a coward and imprisoned me. If you are a man, you would release me now and fight like a warrior to death.”

Antonius laughed and teased “I can show you how much of a man I am. I can make ‘your dreams’ come true.” as he moved closer to her.

She spat on him and snatched his dagger from his waistband. “I will die before I let you violate me Spartan.”

Antonius grabbed her arm and snatched his dagger back. And then he said softly “I would never….not until you ask me to. I love you.” Then he used the dagger to cut her ties. “I only wanted to cut these loose. You do not need to be tied to your bed,” and then he smirked “Unless you want to. It can be fun, being tied up.”

Kerbanu scoffed and then started interrogating him. “Where are my soldiers? How did you defeat them? How could you make me a prisoner in my own ship? What about my fleet?”

Antonius replied “Your soldiers are very loyal to you. They surrendered the moment they saw I had captured their commander. They even helped me free the rest of the Spartan soldiers you had captured, including my brother. Right now they are all in the hold, rowing us to Sparta. Your entire fleet is following us, concerned for your well being. Come, they will be glad to see their commander is alive and well.They might revolt for revenge if they think you are dead”

Kerbanu was furious “Spartan, you will regret this, I will not stop fighting you. I will never submit.”

Antonius laughed again “I didn't think you would. That has been our story across lifetimes. We fight, then we make love. Then we fight again and make love again. But you have to forgive me for this gag. I cannot let you order your soldiers to rise up and revolt. They need to row us to Sparta. They only need to see you are alive and well, not hear from you.”

Kerbanu struggled and managed to say “You have lost your mind.” just before he gagged her.

Antonius replied “That I did. The moment I saw you and realized you were the one haunting my dreams. You belong to me and I will not let you go.” and hauled her outside to assure his Persian prisoners that their beloved commander was alive.

Chapter Text

Antonius stood on the deck of the Persian ship that was now headed for Sparta. As the rest of the Persian Naval Fleet of the Agean Sea followed behind.

“Brother, Do you really think this is a good idea? Leading the Persian fleet to Sparta.” It was his younger brother Benedictus.

Antonius smiled “Would you prefer? That we ask them to row us to the nearest Persian controlled port or did you just want to go back to your prison cell?” Benedictus laughed “Given that choice, I see your point. I am just worried that you are not thinking with your head and your prisoner may be influencing your…. heart.”

Antonius grinned “I will not lie to you brother. She is not my prisoner, I intend to marry her. But, I assure you I am thinking with my head and not my…. heart.”

Benedictus shook his head "You are really not thinking with your head.. She is a Persian Naval Commander. She almost killed you and you want to marry her." Antonius replied "But she didnt. She loves me too, she just doesnt know it yet."

He smiled as he saw Spartan shores on the horizon. They would be home soon. Suddenly a guard arrived and kneeled “My Princes” Antonius asked “What is it?” The soldier said “Prisoner Kerbanu has escaped from her room. We are searching for her everywhere.” Antonius’ eyes grew wide and he yelled “Alert every Spartan to find her and not one word to the Persians. I cannot lose her.” and started running to find her.

He had searched every corner of the ship then found her in his room. She had found his weapons and had taken his sword. He quietly walked inside and closed the door. She warned him “Do not!”

Antonius asked “Do Not…What?” as he walked towards her.

Kerbanu wielded his sword but didn't strike. She continued warning him “Do not test my patience, Spartan. I will kill you, then I will kill every Spartan on this ship”

Antonius came closer. Kerbanu pointed the sword towards his chest ready to strike, but gasped as Antonius, parted his robe, baring his chest to her sword. His chest had a gnarly bruise where she had punched him, before he took her as his prisoner.

She dropped her sword and Antonius saw her eyes were brimming with tears. He followed her gaze to the bruise on his chest. He said “Kerbanu, stop fighting yourself. You know the truth in your heart.”

Kerbanu said “I could have killed you.” Antonius said “Yes, and you still can. Or you can give me life by loving me.”

Kerbanu said “We are enemies. I have Greek blood on my hands.” Antonius said “We are lovers bound to each other for eternity. My all, my blood, my body, my soul is yours”

Kerbanu said “What you say is unthinkable, impossible.” Antonius closed the distance between them, kissed her gently and said “I do not care”.

Kerbanu grabbed his face and started kissing him hungrily. She stopped to say “I want to hate you.” She was as tall as him and surprised him with her speed and power. She said “You are my enemy, Spartan!” and pulled on his hair, pulling his head back. “But I cannot stop desiring you.” She released his hair and shoved him as she pulled on his robe, stripping him naked. He stumbled and fell down taking her down with him, but she flipped him and got on top. Antonius couldn't flip her back on her back. He tried to undress her but she pinned his hands down. Antonius realized she was stronger than him.

He begged her to release his hands “Kerbanu please, I want to touch you” But she didn't listen, she kept holding his hands down with her own while she used her mouth on him. He howled in pain as she bit his neck and moaned in pleasure when she licked and sucked where she bit. She moved lower, kissing and licking his sensitive bruised chest, repeatedly muttering “I am sorry. I am so sorry.” Antonius didn't even care at that point, he was embarrassingly close and she was relentless. Her hips grinded on him on instinct as her mouth now moved back to his neck, sucking on his bobbing Adam's apple. The brush of her fabric and movement of her hips on his bare skin was too much to bear. He shuddered and came with a guttural scream. Kerbanu stopped moving.

Then his door was kicked open “Brother, We are here!” It was Benedictus, followed by more Spartans. They had their swords drawn to fight Kerbanu but they stood there shocked looking at their naked prince with his prisoner on top of him.

Antonius yelled “Get out! And close the door!” And that made the Spartans snap out of their daze and they hurried out and closed the door behind them. Kerbanu stood up as well and turned away embarrassed about what she had done.

Antonius said “Kerbanu please wait” as he stood up and quickly cleaned himself with his tattered robe. Kerbanu looked at him curiously as he cleaned himself. He asked her “Kerbanu, will you please sit down while I wear a robe.” Kerbanu answered “No. I must go. I shouldn't have.” Antonius quickly walked to her and held her hand “You should have. I am yours Kerbanu. I have been dying for your touch.”

Kerbanu said “But I am betrothed to another and I betrayed him for you.” Antonius said “Would you rather betray me, your eternal lover. For someone who doesn't know you or love you like I do?” He sighed as he felt her arms around him, she was finally embracing him.

He held her close and said “Will you please wait, while I wear a clean robe.” She shook her head as her fingers ran up and down his back “I’d rather you not.” She grabbed and pinched his butt playfully, Antonius gasped and then relented. “As you wish, my love” and let her explore his body. She continued her ministrations, now her fingers moved to his chest. She asked “You are not afraid of me?” Antonius’s brow furrowed and he asked “Should I be?”

She kissed his lips and answered “My name invokes fear in the hearts of men. I am their death not desire. I know all the weak spots in their bodies and use it to inflict pain. I have killed so many in battle, I have lost count. I do not understand how you could desire me?” Antonius smiled and replied “You are the most beautiful, most desirable woman I have ever met and when you speak of battle, it makes me desire you even more. Even the pain you inflict, brings pleasure to me.”

She spoke as her fingers explored his face and his hair. “I have fought by my father’s side since I was ten. I wanted to be the son he didn't have, to make him proud. But my Father sees Tokhmesarv as his heir and he arranged my betrothal to him. I do not like Tokhmesarv, he is weak, he is a politician not a warrior, but I could not say no to my father. I wish you were not my enemy.” Antonius replied “ I am not your enemy”

Kerbanu pulled back to protest but Antonius grabbed her by her waist and pulled her close again. He said “Kerbanu, stop fighting yourself. I know you feel it as well” Kerbanu replied “I never thought I would feel for anyone, what I feel for you. You aggravate me, confuse me. You are the first worthy opponent I encountered in a long time. My father no longer duels me, he says I am too strong for him now. I desired to duel you, but you surrendered yourself immediately. Then, you filled my head with stories, confused me and then you captured me by deceit.” Antonius tried to protest “Those are not stories and you were trying to kill yourself.”

Kerbanu kissed his lips gently and continued “Fanciful stories… You Greeks and your magical fanciful stories! It is very aggravating!” Antonius shrugged “At least, now you don't think I am an evil sorcerer.” Kerbanu’s eyes narrowed at the suggestion and she said “You may be. You bewitched me. It's aggravating how you consume all my thoughts, my very being.”

Then her hands went back down to his chest. She said, “Does it still hurt?” Antonius replied “it doesn't. It just looks worse than it is.” Kerbanu lowered her head to kiss his chest and said “Whatever would I do now?” Antonius said “I have some ideas. I can make your dreams come true” Kerbanu laughed “Wouldn't that be your dream come true” Antonius responded “Kerbanu, I have many dreams. I dream of marrying you, making you my princess. I dream of you swollen with my child, I dream of playing with our many children. I dream of a beautiful life with you.”

Kerbanu kissed him and said “You should wear your robe, before I steal your virtue.” Anthony pulled her closer and purred “steal away” . They heard a knock on the door and Benedictus’s apologetic voice “Brother, we are ashore, ready to dock.. If you are not...otherwise occupied.” Kerbanu nodded to Antonius “You should go.” Antonius groaned and replied to his brother “Yes, I will be right there.” and turned to Kerbanu “My love, You will step onshore as my betrothed, not as my prisoner.”

They landed in Sparta’s vassal port flying the colors of Sparta and were greeted by joyous crowds led by Queen Gorgo. Antonius and Benedictus kneeled before their queen and Antonius introduced Kerbanu to his sister-in-law.

Kerbanu spoke “Queen Gorgo of Sparta, I was defeated by Prince Antonius. My soldiers and I submit to you. If the brave sons of Persia, would be sent to Spartan prisons, I will go with them.”

Queen Gorgo assured her “Your soldiers will be treated with dignity..They are brave and loyal warriors and Sparta respects them.” When the Persians soldiers heard their commander’s declaration and the Queen’s assurance, they erupted in cheers.

Then Queen Gorgo came closer and said “Commander Kerbanu, You will ride with me in my chariot back to our palace. I wish to know exactly how our prince captured you.” saying the last few words with a teasing glint in her eye. Antonius grinned and he and Benedictus followed the queen in their own chariots waving at cheering crowds.

Their joy was short-lived. As soon as they arrived at the palace, they saw that a Persian messenger had arrived carrying King Leonidas’s shield. Queen Gorgo covered her mouth to stop herself from screaming. Antonius and Benedictus could barely control their rage as they rushed to the messenger.

Kerbanu’s heart broke as she saw Gorgo struggling to walk towards the messenger. Benedictus offered his arm to his sister-in-law as Antonius grabbed the shield from the messenger. “How did you get this?”

Gorgo knew what the shield meant. They all knew. She addressed the messenger in a calm voice, “You came here to deliver a message. Speak!”

The Persian messenger spoke “Queen Gorgo of Sparta, General Mahraspand of Persia returns the shield of your mighty king Leonidas as a gesture of his goodwill. Your mighty king was a worthy warrior and died valiantly, in a battle with king Xerxes himself.” Gorgo shuddered to hear those words but steeled herself. The Queen of Sparta could not show any weakness or shed any tears.

The messenger continued “General Mahraspand’s army now marches to Sparta. But he does not want more bloodshed. Sparta will be spared, if commander Kerbanu.is returned to us.”

Antonius drew his sword on the messenger. The messenger was alarmed and shrieked. “I am a messenger. This is madness.” Queen Gorgo replied “You know, how King Leonidas dealt with the last Persian messenger who dared to insult Sparta. If you wish to live, you will leave now. Sparta will not submit to any Persian demands.”

The Queen took her husband’s shield and walked into the palace, determined to reach the privacy of her chambers before anyone could see her tears. Kerbanu’s heart ached for the queen, how could she be her enemy? She also worried that Antonius would now consider her an enemy.