[A/N: Thanks to all my reviewers! Enjoy the chapter and just to tell you I such at romance and touchy stuff but I'm addicted to it.

arwen-evenstar89: Thank you so much for your reviews! They all mean a lot to me!=)

L. Montgomery: Thank you for your kind review and yes I am only 11.

Queen Alatariel: Sorry about the quotes, but I won't bother changing it.

Dizzy: Shut up Liz. I asked you to review not faint! Sorry people, she's my friend.

Poohba: I'm going to do a flashback this chapter where she saves Dido, etc. I'm not too great at touchy stuff so their friendship sounds pretty weak.

Lady Turtle: Same with you as Dizzy, when I came over you guys nearly killed me. And I feel like torturing you so I'll e-mail your little love note to *Ahem*.

Silver penguin: Thanks for adding me!

Lil' Flippo: Cool name [off subject] and sorry about the grammar =).

Sarah the Insane: You'll just have to find out.]

Chapter III

Climbing up the creaking stairs as I shielded my face from the sun, I strolled around the deck and gazed back at what was the immense city of Carthage.

My eyes then looked at the blazing sun and pang of envy overcame me. Why could the sun have a million homes over the world while I was leaving the only one I had ever known? The place where I had learned my place in the world? And the place where I had first met my friend Dido?


Apollo's sun shone gaily on earth as Flora blessed the flowers to bloom under a canopy of Ceres' generosity. Eros flew on his wings as he shot his arrows of gold at lover's glee for Venus's whims as Juno blessed life and prosperity unto the city of Carthage.

Sitting on her throne of gold and silk cushions, young Queen Dido felt rendered helpless by boredom and the masked hatred of nobles. Her eyelids felt heavy under Bacchus's spell of merriment as the footman by her side poured some water to dilute the wine already in her frail body.

On the other side of the table stood a mere servant, offering perfumed water to the guests as she made a round trip around the table. But there was something different about her, she seemed like the type who couldn't handle boredom and thrived on joy and merriment. She was what Dido was looking for.


The next day Dido was greeted once more after Diana's luminous ode and awoke with the need of a ride on her velvety mare, Copernicus. Rising from under the warm quilt she clapped her hands and summoned forth the palace keeper.

"Janis please summon Nidia to my chambers and please saddle Copernicus. I feel like a ride."

Janis sighed deeply and the furrows in his brows deepened, "Your Majesty, I don't feel like that is a suitable idea."

"And why not dear Janis?"

"It's not lady-like, especially for a Queen as yourself, to be riding like a commoner."

"But Copernicus is of the best blood in Arabia. And Janis?"


"Tell me the real reason."

He sighed heavily again as he rubbed his temples roughly, "Because we have heard of an assassination attempt."


"That's why your Majesty."

"Goodness Janis! I'm more afraid of Carthage burning down than I am of an assassin." She laughed, "But please just saddle Copernicus before I become cross."

She turned around to face her mahogany vanity as she powdered her tanned face and fingered her hair roughly in disgust. "And tell Nidia to do something suitable with my hair. You are dismissed Janis."


Dido readied herself onto the saddle and spoke softly to Copernicus, nuzzling his mane like petting a puppy. Copernicus started to gallop as the same servant girl from the hall last night stared at Dido with wide eyes. Whispering to the wind she wished that in her next life that maybe she maybe she could be a princess like Dido and have riches from all over the globe. Beautiful objects of ivory and gold, of teak and rosewood, and of marble and rich fabrics, longing to feel the silk and fine cotton under her rough, calloused fingertips.

"Never would this happen, for the closest I will ever get to that is probably a feast for the eyes." She thought grimly, shuffling her shoes in the dirt under the shade of a palm. "Never."

She watched for a while as the Queen galloped around the palm surrounded area and leaned down occasionally on the soft mane and rubbed her cheek upon it. Deciding to have a closer look, she walked over to a bordering palm and squatted down in the dirt, watching the normally solemn girl, take pleasure in something, her ash blonde hair flowing in the wind.

The servant girl comparing the Queen's fine silks and embroidered pallas to her old discolored rags, watched the palms surrounding her until she saw a cloaked man with a crossbow aiming for the Queen.

The fine, pale wood of the mechanism fascinated her until she realized what evil the beautiful object would do as the admiration for it drained from her. The cloaked man raised it to shoulder height and made a few minor adjustments as he readied to pull back the string.

All of a sudden the servant girl felt something surge through her and charged for the cloaked idiot and rammed into him with a pain-staking blow. All through that the only thing she could think of was protecting the Queen whom everyone loved and adored, the Queen who she was enslaved to, the Queen who would soon become one of her best friends.

Within the enclosed palms Dido heard a faint thud near a mighty, forbidding banyan tree, vines and moss growing in cracks within it. The land was painted vividly; the sun the color of fire, the sky an intense blue, and the sea beyond the palace was a bright lapis.

Motioning towards the guard at her right she made a motion to go see what was behind the tree, with imperious grace. The guard straddled unprofessionally and peeked behind the tree like a five-year-old playing hide-and-go-seek.

The guard's rock-hard expression suddenly changed, for behind the tree was a girl who seemed to be eloping with her lover.

***End of Flashback***

Modesty was a foothold in our society, a code followed by everyone, a standard of living. I remembered that a little boy had emerged from behind another tree, a basket at his side, his large frightened eyes searching Dido's angry gaze.

He had piped cautiously as he pointed at me, "Don't punish her. That lady didn't do anything. She knocked over the tall him."

He looked at me shyly as I smiled back gratefully, Dido's anger seemed to fade slightly, "And how shall we believe you young one." She said more gently.

"Because, the tall man is my uncle." A sad look came over his innocent face, he looked so angelic and pure, and it seemed hard not to believe him.

Dido turned to the little boy's "uncle" and scanned him, "Is he really your kin?" Like modesty, honesty was valued in our culture, "Yes, I'm afraid so your Majesty." Came a stuttering voice from under the multiple folds of the cloak, "Young Jimel is my nephew. His mother usually sends him out on trips this time of day. And he's usually the only honest one in our family." A deep sighed escaped his hidden face, "I told him not to go here."

Dido's stern look returned as she barked imperiously, "Guards, take him away and out of my sight." She spat angrily, "You'll die at the stroke of one tomorrow."

I heard the subdued whimpers of the cloaked man for a while until he disappeared, dragged by the guards. Dido turned to me a smiled sourly, "I guess then I owe you an apology Miss?" She hesitated momentarily until I spoke up, "Tarpeia. And I'm sorry for disturbing your morning ride your Majesty."

She laughed grudgingly and sighed, "If you weren't here then I wouldn't be standing right now." Her smile eroded, "And thank you very much for saving me. I probably should have listened to Janis before and not come out here. By the way what are you doing here?" She asked slowly, another smile tickling at the corners of her lips.


Memories of Carthage flooded into my mind as I stared into the ultramarine sea, Apollo climbing ever steadier toward his summit. I though of what my mother would have said if she were still alive and here to nag me about my opinion and views.

" Women should be obedient and listen to her elders and superiors." I quoted dully as the ship jolted sharply, knocking me off balance.

A stiff laugh came from behind me, "That's good advice." [A/N: I have no equestrian skills so if I mess up on something, don't bother to tell me. *laughs self-consciously*And I'm sorry if the story sounds boring right now but I promise it will get more romantic and more interesting. *not to mention graphic* And I'm horrible at writing so no flames please. Thanks.]