Home Part 1
Xena Fanfiction, Xena fanfic, Xena fan fiction, Xena and
Gabrielle fanfiction, Xena fiction
As always Xena, Gabby and the gang arenít mine. They belong to MCA/Universal. This story is however mine and itís just for recreation. If the idea of two women in love (who show their affection explicitly and use some Ďnaughtyí words in the process) offends you please move on. Same rule applies if love is illegal where you live or if youíre too young.
Note: Please keep in mind this is the second story in the
not necessary to read it the first story, but you may enjoy it and gain
greater insight on my take of the Xena/Gabrielle love thang. A
special thanks to Janet G for offering a godly idea for this
story. I hope I live up to your expectations Janet.
getting married on Lesbos, Xena and Gabrielle return to the
mainland to visit family and the amazons, but not everyone is pleased with
their new union.
I love feedback so if you felt moved by these words (either positive or negative) drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to non-homophobic constructive comments. Thanks for reading.
Home Part 1 of 2
nervous," Xena confessed softly.
They spent the last
league traveling in silence atop Argo. As the small village
came into sight Gabrielle could hear her wifeís sigh of
uneasiness. It had been half a moon since they left Lesbo with
the promise they would visit Sappho within the next 12.
Gabrielle was taken aback by the confession of the brave and
stoic warrior. She knew that she was going to have to be the
heroic one this time. It was never a position she was
comfortable with but one she could handle exceptionally well
just the same.
her throat before tightening her grip around the warriorís
"Weíll be fine. We have each
other," she replied.
"Yes. But what
Gabrielle replied. "I donít care what he might say. You
are my home. You are my life. Anything that happens here,
stays here... when we leave."
"It could turn
out to be a really short visit," the warrior pressed.
fine," Gabrielle answered. "I owe them the truth.
They need to know Iíve chosen my future. And that future is
Xena didnít reply
vocally. She tightened her grip on the bardís arm and let
her head lean back into the strawberry blond hair for a few
moments. As they neared the village, they spotted the bardís
sister straining at the sight coming before her. Gabrielle
noticed and gave a wave.
Lila shouted, still unsure as they approached.
"Gabrielle!" She broke into a run down the dirt
road. "Mom; Dad! Gabrielleís here!"
Gabrielle smiled at
the excitement of her sister. Xena smiled too, but she still
couldnít stop the curing in her stomach. Quickly, as Lila
approached, the bard slid off of Argo. The two young women
gathered each other in their arms, as Xena made her dismount
to see you Gabs! Where have you been? What have you been
doing? We got your last scroll. How long are you
staying?" her sister rambled.
Gabrielle held her
hands up to stop the barrage of questions. "Please Lila.
One at a time, okay?"
Lila and Gabrielle
met in another embrace. "Itís so good to see you,"
the bardsí sister beamed. As she pulled away, she noticed
Xena watching with a great deal of interest.
"Oh. Hi there
Xena," she replied casually, in the briefest of moments.
The warrior nodded. Before Xena could offer her greetings,
Lila turned and began to tug Gabrielle toward the house.
Gabrielle looked back to catch Xenaís reaction. The warrior
simply shrugged and followed along.
Herodotus were outside by now and moved to meet their daughter
as well. "Come in! Come in!" her mother exclaimed.
"Tell us how youíve been." As Hecuba led her
daughters inside, Herodotus stood sizing the warrior up. Xena
didnít falter under the glare.
way," he said pointing as he casually strolled inside the
house. Xena rolled her eyes in frustration. ĎThis is not
going to go very goodí Xena reflected as she led Argo.
ĎNot at allí.
When Xena arrived
in the kitchen after seeing to Argo all eyes fixed on her. It
wasnít the warmest of receptions, except for Gabrielle of
course. "Here," Gabrielle said rising. "Take my
chair." She practically had to lead Xena.
"Tea?" the bard asked.
please," the warrior answered softly with a smile.
the warrior's shoulders upon traveling to the teapot, which
didnít go unnoticed by the family, but no one said a word.
The silence played on the warriorís nerves. She realized she
liked it a lot better when they were telling her to get out of
town. That was honest. This forced cordial business was
things around here? Do you have a fella yet, Lila?" the
silently thanked the bard for the chit-chat. At least until
she heard Lilaís response.
"No. I canít
say I have," Lila answered. "What about you?"
dropped the cup of hot tea in the warrior's lap, but Xena
managed to steady her hands. Gabrielle met Xenaís eyes. Itís now or never, the bard thought. Xena gave the
slights of nods as encouragement, reading Gabrielleís mind.
she said softly, before getting her nerve up. "I got
married last month."
The family looked
at each other in confusion. "So where is your husband,
dear?" her mother asked innocently.
throat was tight. The only sound she could make was a noise
between a hum and strangle.
lookiní at Ďem," Xena answered. She reached out and
took the bardís hand in hers. Sheíd be damned to let this
all fall on Gabrielleís shoulders. She could feel and hear
the bard exhale.
studied the pair for a moment. Then looked to each other. Then
back at the pair.
"No Way!" Lila exclaimed.
and Xena could feel the bard tighten her grip on her hand.
"We were married, by the poet Sappho actually, when we
were on Lesbos."
A few moments
passed with no one added anything. Xena could see the pain
growing in Gabrielleís eyes the longer the silence
persisted, not to mention the pain in her hand from the
bardís capturing fingers.
Xena and Gabrielle
turned to see her father rising from the table, his tone was
soft, but the message was very clear, not to mention the sight
of his growing anger. He walked around the table as Xena stood
said, pointing at the warrior. "You! You ride into
town. Steal my daughter. Then brainwash her into some kind of
Xena saw it coming,
but she did nothing to stop it. A right hook. It caught her
square on the jaw, knocking her head sideways.
Not bad for
a man his age, she mused, trying to keep the situation light
in her mind. If she gave into her anger, Gods only knew what
she might do to her father-in-law.
Xenaís head shot
back to see him menacing toward Gabrielle.
raise no harlot!" he yelled. He brought his hand back, but
before he could make a connection he felt his fingers becoming
bruised in the vice grip.
"Do what you
want to me," Xena warned, "but harm her... and
Iíll break every bone in your body to see that it doesnít
Gabrielle was in
tears at this point. Quickly, Xena let go of Herodotus and spun
him away from Gabrielle. Xena took his place in front of her
bondmate and smoothed her forearms, kissing her on the forehead.
"Please get me
out of here," the bard whispered.
want, Beautiful," the warrior answered loud enough for the
room to here. She gathered her sobbing wife in her arms and
they walked out together toward the stable.
Argoís saddle on," she whispered. "Just in
Gabrielle clung to
Xena as they walked in to meet Argo.
Immediately, she noticed
the distress of her two mistressí and gave a whinny.
"Itís okay," Xena reassured with a love pat to her
mane. She mounted the mare and offered her arm to Gabrielle,
which the bard took. "Come on girl," she directed
the horse, once the bard was secure.
clinging didnít end. She held Xena tightly around the waist.
The warrior, in like-fashion, gripped onto the bardís
forearm. As they started to leave the small town, the bardís
sobs quieted considerably.
"I love you,
Gabrielle," the warrior whispered, turning to look into
the beautiful green eyes.
Gabrielle smiled as
her eyes grew cloudy again. "I love you too, Xena,"
she whispered snuggling into the strong shoulders.
for the night, okay?" Xena asked. "I donít think
either on of us is up for Amphipolis yet."
"I have to
agree," Gabrielle answered. "How about over
there?" she asked as she pointed.
The mare trotted
over to the clearing in the wooded area. A league down or so
was a river. They stopped for water first. Then settled into
making the camp. Silently Gabrielle went off to collect the
evenings firewood as Xena searched for some game, both women
preoccupied by the days events.
When Xena returned
with two skinned rabbits, Gabrielle already had the fire going
and water on for tea. Xena busied herself for a few moments,
but the bard had yet to speak one word to her.
"You have to
talk to me at some point, Gabrielle," the warrior started,
as she brought out a cloth to polish her sword. After a few
moments of stroking the bard still didnít say anything.
"Please. We need to talk about this," she added.
and shook her head. "Whoíd have ever thought YOU would
be asking ME to talk?"
Xena had changed a
lot in the last few months or so. Her need to engage
Gabrielleís mind as well as her body surprised the bard at
times. The once silent, strong warrior now often asked the
young amazon to express her feelings. It still filled the bard
with wonder even though it had become a natural occurrence
since the joining. At times Gabrielle couldnít be happier
with the change. But today it was something she wanted to bury
deep inside her; never letting it escape. All the hurt. All
the anger. All the pain. She wanted it hidden deep inside her
heart. But she wonít let me will she, Gabrielle
thought. Might as well get this over with.
you," Gabrielle began. The warrior waited to see if she
would continue on her own. "I canít believe he hit you...
and lived to tell about it," she added jokingly.
"Heís just lucky he didnít hit you... He may not be
dead, but he certainly would have trouble talking. It takes a
long time for a broken jaw to heal."
The warrior laid
her sword down and opened her arms. Gabrielle snuggled in
close. "I wish they could see what I see," she
whispered. "I wish they understood everything you mean to
Xena slowly stroked
the blonde's tresses, listening to the soft voice. A few
moments passed in silence until the bardís movements
captivated Xenaís attention.
"What are you doing?"
The bard, who had
started kissing the warrior's shoulder had moved to her neck.
"Do you really need to ask?" she teased, resuming
her soft administrations to the warriorís flesh.
Xena asked pulling the bard away. "I think we should
discuss this some more."
discuss?" she said sarcastically. "I love you. My
parents hate me... I told you whatever happens in Poteidaia
stays there. I had every intention of loving you tonight and
Iíll be damned if I let them take that away from me... or
even you for that matter."
Xena was taken back
by the threat in Gabrielleís voice.
"Are you going to
rape me?" the warrior asked with a growing smile.
"You think I
couldnít take you if I wanted you?" Gabrielle asked
pulling the tunic from her body, exposing the warrior to her
bare breasts. "I could you know... take you, I mean... if
I wanted. But what I really want is for you to make love to
me. I want to know that Iím right; that their narrow minds
wonít steal the love you have for me. I need to show myself
that their disapproval wonít tame my arousal, my affection,
Gabrielle skirt was
now discarded, as well as her boots. She straddled Xenaís
waist, physically placing the warriorís hands on her hips.
the bard answered placing her finger on the warriorís lips.
"No more talk... please... Just love me."
The first kiss was
slow; lingering. Xena was convinced her amazon was in no shape
for physical love. Funny. Why was the warriorís body giving
her different signals?
fingertips were so light as they caressed Xenaís shoulders,
pulling down the straps of her leathers. The amazonís mouth
captured her neck, sucking and licking the skin into abandon.
Xena realized Gabrielle was right. The bard could take her...
if she really wanted to... and Xena could feel, under the
delicate yet passionate touch, the amazon most definitely
wanted her. Slowly, she felt her self-defiance slipping away.
Xena," the amazon whispered. "Please make love to
me. Tell me Iím what you need."
Xena felt her heart
skip at the words. She cradled the bardís face in her hands
for a brief moment before her desire over came her. She stole
Gabrielleís breath as her lips captured the bardís. Her
passion was unmistakable. She would show this young woman just
how much she loved her; needed her.
The warrior broke
away first, before picking the bard up. As she walked to the
bedroll, Gabrielle wrapped her legs around the warriors waist,
while Xena supported the bard's weight by gripping her bottom.
She laid her precious cargo down softly before rising to
remove her own attire. Once she was naked, like her lover,
only then did she return. Xenaís knees barely hit the ground
when Gabrielle pulled the warrior to her with such passion, it
knocked Xena off balance and the two tumbled to hard earth
below. The crash still did nothing to unlock their lips.
They both smiled
behind the kiss. Then they began to chuckle and reluctantly
"I love you so much," Xena whispered
stroking the young amazons delicate facial features Ė her
cheeks, her nose, her lips.
Soon Gabrielle was on her back and
the warrior's lips followed the same path her fingers just
lead. The bard sighed at the contact, feeling the growing
wetness at her center. Her hips rose into the warriorís
thigh as Xenaís tongue began to massage her hard,
whisper was so soft. It was only Xena acute hearing that could
detect it. She could feel Gabrielleís want rising higher.
She loved watching the woman arch to meet her expert mouth.
The arching always made the warrior grow wetter, knowing the
effect she had on the young amazon.
Please... Take me."
The voice was faint,
but the desire behind it was undeniable. Xena had never gotten
so much pleasure out of giving pleasure. But Gabrielle was
unlike anyone she ever had. At times, it still scared the
She could watch
Gabrielle do the simplest of tasks like drawing water from a
well or filleting a fish and all she could think about was how
sexy she looked. Nothing says love like an overwhelming
desire to kiss a woman covered with fish guts, Xena joked
inward on one occasion. She realized, as she watched the
dangling fish that day, it was really her who had been hooked.
It was a frightening feeling, but she had to admit...
incredibly wonderful too.
Her body moved down
the length of the bard's body breezily and with such grace.
Gabrielle loved to watch Xena move. She always did; even long
before her admiration turned into love. This evening wasnít
any different. Her fingers twined themselves in the dark mane
pulling; guiding Xena to the heart of her sexual heat. Xena
could tell Gabrielle was more than ready tonight. Neither
woman needed nor wanted anymore build-up. Their desire was at
a fever pitch. And in realizing so, she gave into the bardís
yes," Gabrielle groaned.
Xena smiled. That
line was becoming a favorite of the bards' once the warriorís
lips finally made contact with her sex. Xena could count on it
and much to her amazement she knew sheíd never tire of it.
Xena held onto
Gabrielleís hips as the amazon thrashed up and down and
around on the bedroll. Her fingernails would be dirty in the
morning with all the clawing she was doing into the ground
below them. Gabrielle could feel the rumbling of her
Xena could feel it
too. The heavy, short pants the bard made as she neared got
even quicker. The shaking of the young womanís thighs was a
sign satisfaction would soon come. Gabrielle stride for all
the passion she could get from Xenaís lips and tongue until
she could take no more.
The bard held the
warrior's name as the shockwaves swept over her body making it
slightly convulse. Xena eased up on her sweet torture as
Gabrielleís body began to settle. Slowly she kissed up the
length of Gabrielleís body. When she arrived at the bard's
beautiful face the sight she witnessed froze her. The bard was
crying, trying her best to hold back her tears and failing
here," the warrior whispered, gathering the weeping woman
in her arms.
Xena?" she asked sobbing. "Why do they hate me for
following my heart? Iím not hurting them. Iím not hurting
anyone... I love them Xena, but now they hate me. What am I
supposed to do? Leave you so I can be the perfect daughter...
and be perfectly miserable for the rest of my life."
Xena felt three
candlemarks tall. Should have followed your first instinct
warrior, she cursed herself silently, holding the
quivering woman close.
know what to tell you, Gabrielle," Xena whispered.
"Except Iím sorry for what Iíve done tonight."
that!" Gabrielle insisted. "I donít want you to
ever regret the fact weíve shared our bodies with each
other. Donít say that!"
All Xena wanted to
do was comfort the girl, but she got just the opposite effect.
The warrior rose to recline against the tree behind them and
pulled Gabrielle into her lap. She stroked the amazon's hair
until she finally felt the bardís head relaxed against her
thighs. Only then did she speak.
sorry for making love to you. I just wish the timing would
have been better. Youíre on edge tonight and I canít help
but feel that I took advantage of you... And thatís
something I never wanted to happen."
ridiculous," Gabrielle answered. "You didnít take
advantage of me, Xena. If anything you brought all this to the
surface. You helped me do that through your kiss and your
touch... And I truly thank you."
"I never want
to be a source of pain in you life, Gabrielle, and I feel like
this is all my fault," the warrior confessed. "I
donít want to cause you problems with your family."
"You are my family," she whispered. "Youíre
my home, remember?"
All Xena could do
was smile for the moment. "Itís a position Iím very
grateful to fill, Beautiful. You know that, donít you?"
do," the bard whispered back.
Xena settled back
down upon the bed roll and gathered Gabrielle in her arms. She
listened as the bardís breathing deepened and became steady.
Xena thought back all the events of the day but her last
waking thought of was the day to come. Amphipolis, her
mind called out as Morpheus over came her.
"Get me some
of that slop you call stew and make it snappy!" The
warrior's voice boomed through the tavern with a snarl on her
lips. The bard couldnít help but grin. The customers,
however, stopped their meals and discussions to watch the duo.
Cyrene turned and
smiled as she saw the pair near the entrance.
serve your kind here. Youíll have to go elsewhere," she
said losing her smile; walking toward them, just as
When they stood
within an arm's reach of each other, they dropped the false
facades and began to grin.
you could suggest another establishment of fine dining in the
area," Xena teased, her pearly whites blazing.
Cyrene pulled the
warrior into a tight embrace, giving her a light kiss on the
cheek. As she pulled away, she quickly pulled Gabrielle into a
hug too. "How are my two favorite girls in the whole wide
world?" she asked putting her arms around both of them.
"Come in! Come in!" she insisted.
Xena and Gabrielle
took a place at the bar and they turned when they heard some
commotion at the side door.
"Hey Mom!" they heard
Xena ran and pushed
the door open.
"Need some help?" she asked, taking
one side of the keg, leading it inside.
Xena!" Toris exclaimed. "What brings you to
"I could ask
you the same thing," the warrior answered as she walked
backwards. "I heard you were living in Athens."
he replied. "But with Amphipolis harvest festival here, I thought Mom could use some extra help."
They sat the barrel
down and Toris pulled Xena into his arms. "Itís good
to see you. Is Gabrielle here with you?" he asked
The bard grinned. They were practically nose to nose.
"Iím right here."
He moved around the
bar to stand in front of Gabrielle, taking in her features.
"By the Gods youíve changed," he whispered in
amazement, picking her hands up and holding her arms out. Xena
watched as Toris eyes washed over Gabrielleís body like a
"I hope itís
not a change for the worse," the bard said casually as
possible. She could feel Xenaís jealous glare from over her
no! Youíre absolutely beautiful. So... grown up," he
answered. Xena swallowed down her growing anger. She realized
she had no right to feel anger. Itís not as if Toris knew
it was her wife he was drooling over.
"Thank you, Toris," Gabrielle replied diplomatically. "Youíre
looking very well yourself."
so?" he asked quietly. The sly grin of his sisters'
flashed onto his face. Gabrielle came to realize just what the
look meant when Xena did it, but she wasnít sure about Toris. "Well, maybe tonight after dinner the two of us
could take a walk by the river?"
Gabrielle thought as she grinned. One in the same.
exactly sure how to handle this situation. She glanced at Xena,
who appeared to be dazed Ė except for her knuckles she
continuously rubbed. Anymore wooing and Xena would be leaving
impressions of her fists in her brothers face.
being out of line, Toris," Cyrene warned her son. Xena
dropped her hands to her side. She hadnít heard her mother
come in from the kitchen with the stew. "Eat up,"
she instructed, giving them the bowls.
wrong with asking Gabrielle to go for a walk? Sheís a free
woman," he argued.
"Not as free
as you think," Cyrene replied.
"What do you
mean?" he asked.
want to continue this debate with her son. "Donít you
have another barrel to fetch from old man Tericus?" she
"Go get it,
please," she ordered in gentle yet threatening tone.
moment before making his way out the sidedoor again. Cyrene
casually strolled around the bar, taking a seat next to
She studied both
women for a moment before she spoke.
"Was I wrong to make
that assumption?" she asked with a grin.
Gabrielle had never
seen Xena blush Ė at least not like this Ė her whole body
got as red as the famed rose garden of Athens. The warrior
looked down at her feet trying to hide her growing smile. The
bard's only reaction was shock.
"How did you
know?" Gabrielle asked, pulling Cyrene from her study of
"About the two
of you?" she asked for clarification. The bard nodded.
Cyrene nodded at Xena. "She seems... settled, content...
Sheís loved you for a very long time. But it wasnít until
you came in today and I watched you look at her that I knew it
okay with this?" Xena asked raising her eyebrows.
wouldnít I be? Gabrielleís a wonderful person... So
donít screw it up," she said giving the warriorís arm
a playful swat.
didnít go very well back home," Gabrielle confessed.
"My father hit, Xena. He almost hit me... It wasnít very
pleasant to say the least."
unfortunate... for them," Cyrene said, making the girl
rest her head on her shoulder, stroking her hair consolingly.
"Just remember youíll always have a home here, my dear...
back from the loving embrace to meet Xenaís motherís, HER
new motherís, eyes. The eye contact, however, was broken by
the sniffle from the warrior.
"Thank you," the
warrior whispered to her mom. All her joy. All her hope for
the future filled the two words.
"No. Thank YOU...
Youíve brought me a beautiful daughter-in-law... Plus,
someone I can tell Xena baby stories to that will embarrass
you thoroughly," she teased, making the warrior grin.
"Like when she was two," Cyrene said leaning closer
to Gabrielle. "Her and Toris were out back in this sand
pit their father had made-."
Xena interrupted. "Youíre not going to make me listen
to the sand pit story and youíre not telling
Cyrene stuck out
her tongue. "Make me," she challenged. "Iíve
been waiting years for this day." Xena threw up her hands
and she went to the kitchen. She could hear her motherís
voice behind the closed door. As she poured the wine, she
could hear Gabrielleís laughter float to her ears.
Oh gods, Xena
thought. Iím never going to live this down.
When Toris had
returned, Cyrene promptly took him to the back and set him
straight, so to speak. When he had finally emerged from the
kitchen, he walked over to the couple with a sheepish grin. He
apologized and was warmly accepted.
But it was late
now. The fire was dwindling and it was now Gabrielle telling
Xena stories. The warrior had walked out onto the porch for
some air, but she could still hear the bard. She was talking
about Xenaís flying parchment and how the warrior refused to
give up on the idea... and how she ultimately succeeded
because of her perseverance.
cold tonight," Toris remarked walking behind Xena,
covering her with a cloak.
you," she replied sincerely.
Neither one said
anything. They sat and listened to the nighttime sounds around
them and the bardís voice behind them. It felt calm;
lucky lady," Toris remarked. "Gabrielleís one in
have to tell me," Xena smiled. "But itís still
nice to hear."
A few more moments
passed until Toris spoke again.
"Iím jealous," he
said honestly. Xena met his eyes, waiting for him to continue.
"I always wanted a girl like Gabrielle and... Itís you
who got her... my sister." He smiled uncomfortably at the
"Toris, if you
have difficulty with my relationship with Gabri-"
said quickly. "Youíre my sister, Xena. I love you and I
want you to be happy. Itís just... I always thought I would
have the girl like Gabrielle and youíd find some brave,
Xena smiled. "Gabrielle is very brave and very strong.
And sheís a warrior too. An amazon warrior. You should see
her handle herself in a fight now. Sheís unbeatable and
Iíd bet she could take on anybody and defeat them... So what
you said was true Toris, to a certain extent."
could she beat you?" he prodded.
"With a sword?
No. With a staff?... Maybe," she quietly admitted.
doesnít look the type," he answered.
of her skill... I mean, honestly, a beautiful woman carrying
around a piece of wood. How much of a threat is that?"
Xena teased. "Many men have thought the same and many men
will never walk the same again."
shouldnít upset her?" Toris joked.
"Not if you
want to stay healthy... and father children someday? No."
The siblings smiled
at each other before they heard the door open. Gabrielle
peered her head out.
"Mind if I join you for a little
while before I head up to bed?"
not," Xena answered, patting her lap. "Have a
seat." Instinctively, Xena took off her cape and draped
it around the bard. "See," the warrior said as the
bard cuddled up in her arms, the cloak tightly around her.
"Already warm," she added speaking of the garment.
nice," the bard cooed affectionately, snuggling into the
"I know you
just use me for my body heat," the warrior teased, trying
her best to sound put-out.
true," Gabrielle smiled mischievously. "I use you
for much more."
Xena chuckled and
looked over to see her brother turn twenty shades of red. The
sight made her giggle even harder.
all," the heard Cyrene call outside.
Mom," they all said in harmony.
"I better get
to bed too," Toris said. "I told the town council Iíd help build some
benches for the festival," he added as he rose to go
inside. "Donít do anything Iíd love to do," he
said to his sister. "At least not too much... I may
need your help tomorrow."
there." Xena smiled. "Goodnight, Toris."
two," he replied.
As Toris went
inside, Xena and Gabrielle continued to cuddle on the porch
listening to the crickets and light rustling of the autumn
much better than yesterday," the warrior remarked softly.
Gabrielle agreed. "Yes it did."
"You know my brother is jealous. Who would have ever
thought anyone in this family would be jealous of me?...
Ashamed... most definitely... but not jealous."
the bard said sympathetically.
Xena raised her
hand to silence Gabrielle. "I know what youíre going to
say. ĎIt was a long time ago. Iím a different person now.
I should just let it goí. Am I right?"
Xena smiled too
until it scurried away.
"I just canít forget all the
damage Iíve done. I canít forget all the people Iíve
killed. Ė all the lovers I took from someone... I always
knew what I had done, but since Lesbo itís haunted my mind
even more... I donít want to see your life taken the way I
took so many others."
know how to respond at first.
"Donít worry youíll
have me around for a very long time. If Hades calls me, Iíll
just have to tell him I already have other plans." She
your time to go Gabrielle. Itís your time to go," the
right," the bard answered sarcastically. "Look
whoís talking... How many times have you returned from Hades
grip? Twice if I remember correctly."
different," Xena muttered.
Gabrielle had to
laugh. "Oh I see. Only the brave warrior princess can
return. Is that it?"
Xena thought back
to the healing temple during the first year of their travels.
"Youíve come back to Gabrielle. Iíve almost lost you
before. I would have if I hadnít beat the life Ďbackí
Gabrielle was quiet
for a moment. She wasnít sure how to respond to the memory -
or more to the point - she wasnít sure if she should confess
how much she learned from Ephiny regarding that day.
"What are you
think about?" Xena asked the bard upon her silence.
considered a moment longer.
"Ephiny told me about that
day... The way you cried... The way you refused to listen to
everyone around us telling you to give up... She said she had
never seen anyone so determined, so angered... That scares me
you? Being gone?" Xena asked.
Gabrielle grinned gently. "You being that angered again
over losing someone you love. I donít want the darkness to
come back if Iím killed... In some way it will seem like my
life was useless... That I didnít make one bit of difference
while I was here. I couldnít bare that."
a difference," Xena said pulling the bardís head down
to rest on her shoulder. "I donít think I would have
stayed on the path Iím on now if I hadnít met you... And I
know that since youíve touched my life, Iíll never be able
to walk in darkness again... whether youíre by my side or
not... Of course, I want you by my side for as long as
"Well, if I
get to Elysia first, I promise to wait for you," the bard
replied, kissing the warrior on the neck. Xena grinned at the
gesture before yawning.
brave warrior?" Gabrielle teased.
"But I planned
on returning the favor you did for me yesterday," the
bard cooed, before kissing the warrior on the neck, the
earlobe, the cheek...
tomorrow," Xena answered.
slightly surprised. Xena was actually serious. "I guess
the honeymoonís over," Gabrielle teased.
"No. The warrior is just exhausted," she answered.
"Besides, once I have my rest," she added
seductively. "... Iíll be so much better. Good things
come to those who wait, Gabrielle."
considered the words. "Okay, Iíll let you know tomorrow
if thatís true." She stood and held her hand out to
Xena. Arm-in-arm they walked into the house and up to Xenaís
It wasnít long
after they settled into bed when Gabrielle heard Xenaís
nasal noise. The sound reminded the bard of a child playing
joyfully saying Ďweeeeí ever so softly and repeatedly. Sheís out. Gabrielle grinned. The bardís libido,
however, wasnít and she considered Ďtaking matters into
her own handsí. But she quickly decided against it. You
better be worth it, Warrior Mine. It was the last conscious
thought she had as slumber fell upon her.
having the most peculiar dream. She was sitting by a river
when a wolf cub trotted up and began licking on her toes.
Slowly, she opened her eyes, looking down at her feet. Azure
eyes looked up at her with a guilty grin.
"Nice to see
youíre finally awake," Xena replied, before going back to suck
on the bard's right big toe.
The warrior raised
her leg slightly and began to lick and suck on her calf.
"What about that?" Xena asked slyly. "Does that
much," Gabrielle replied, feeling herself growing wet.
Xena worked her way
a little higher, to the bardís inner thigh. "What about
now?" she asked before nibbling on the tender flesh.
Gabrielle moaned at
the contact and the little jolts that rose through her body
from the delicate touch. Xena worked even higher. The warrior
was close enough to smell the womanís growing, passionate
doesnít tickle," Xena remarked with a grin. Her fingers
reached up and took command of the bardís alert nipples,
feeling the tautness. "Oh no," Xena teased.
"This doesnít tickle at all does it?"
Gabrielle whispered, reaching down to tangle her fingers in
the warriors silken hair. "Not at all," she added in
divine," the warrior complimented, moving her head back
and forth, her nose batting at the bardís sensitive nub.
Instinctively, Gabrielle raised her hips to meet the
warriorís face. She watched disappointed and frustrated as
Xena moved away.
"Oh no. Not
yet," the warrior scolded playfully. The warriorís
hands caressed the bardís entire body Ė her arms, her
legs, her breasts, her sides Ė every area except one.
Gabrielleís ache was bordering on actually pain; her insides
dying for release.
Xena," she begged. "Please."
Gabrielle?" the warrior played. "What do you
in frustration and arousal. The warriorís finger tips pulled
and twisted on her erect nipples, making them even harder than
she dreamed possible. "You know what I want,"
Gabrielle replied in a short breath.
me," Xena ordered. She now supported her body weight on
her arms, hanging over her bard. "I want you to tell me
what you want," she added. The small battle of wills was
making her as extremely wet as the bard.
Xenaís arousal drip onto her thigh. "Oh Gods
Xena," the amazon cried, pulling her into a fiery kiss.
Her reserve had been totally wiped away but instead of needing
the warriorís touch, she found herself wanting to touch the
warrior. "You," she breathed. "I need to fuck
Before having a
chance to reply Xena was on her back, the bard pinning her to
the mattress. A second later she felt two of the bards fingers
plunge into her sexual cream Ė hard and fast. A third finger
was added. Then a four. The bard was relentless as her finger
prodded and her lips sucked the warriors nipples.
"Now you tell
me," the bard whispered triumphantly as the bed creaked
at the lusty motions. "You tell me. Do you like being
fucked? Do you, Xena?"
Xenaís desire was
raging. The look of pure lust shown in her loverís eyes.
Gabrielle was fucking her alright. Fucking her good. The
warriorís hips rose to meet every thrust the bard delivered.
She couldnít reply to Gabrielleís question she could only
moan an answer.
yeah," the bard said, her lips latching onto the
warriorís sweat covered neck. Gabrielle herself was
perspiring and the glistening of her skin only added to the
warriorís arousal. "You love it donít you? Gods, I
know you do... You love getting fucked by me."
Xena could only
grunt an approval. She loved it when the bard was this hot for
her; the passion uncontrollable. Anyone could walk in that
door now and she knew Gabrielle wouldnít stop Ė couldnít
stop Ė because she was consumed by her desire. At times like
these she loved it when the bard used her mouth to pleasure
It took all of her
strength but Xena pulled the bardís hand from her dripping
sex and made the bard taste it. Her breathing was hard and
voice was hoarse but the warrior did her best to speak.
me," she whispered.
her fingers clean but not before spreading some of Xenaís
juices over her nipples. Xena loved to watch that particular
ritual of the bards during one of their love sessions. Xena
also loved the affect it had on the bard. She knew those
soaked fingers alone werenít enough to satisfy the
Quickly, and with
what Xena could only categorize as a growl, Gabrielle swooped
down upon Xenaís sex, devouring all the cream she found
there. The lusty, hungry sounds the bard was making did the
warrior in. She had to delight her palette as well. Xena had
to have the amazon too.
Xena managed to whisper. "Let me have you."
contact with the warrior, Gabrielle straddled her. Finally,
they were stomach to stomach, breasts to thighs, and warm
mouths to hot centers. Both women groaned in time with each
other and when both inserted fingers at the same time the
sighs were so similar they couldnít tell them apart.
Xena smiled as she
felt her impending climax near... but not because of the
overwhelming sensations, which she would admit were absolutely
wonderful. She loved this because she knew this was
Gabrielleís favorite position and it didnít take long at
all for the waves to override her partner. And almost on cue
she felt Gabrielleís hips buck and her back arch.
Xena!" she cried in ecstasy. "Oh yes. Oh yes...
Xena loved the
little 'oh yes' Gabrielle gave with each wave that washed
over her. She loved them so much in fact that, those two
little words, repeated over and over, brought her to her own
climax. Listening to the bardís voice and feeling the
bardís fingers sent Xena over the edge.
Xena rode each
wave, striving for as much pleasure she could get out of them.
Finally she settled into the mattress as Gabrielle moved to
take her favorite place on the warriors left shoulder.
was fun." Xena grinned lazily, giving the amazon a light,
affectionate kiss on the forehead.
right," Gabrielle added, stroking Xenaís hair, twirling
it around on her fingertips. "Youíre worth the
the warrior teased, pulling her closer.
certainly did," she replied, moving up onto her elbow and
giving Xena a sound, loving kiss on the lips.
on," the warrior said rising and stretching.
"Weíve got to get moving."
just go back to sleep for a little while?" Gabrielle
begged, snuggling into the pillow.
Xena replied, ripping the blanket off the bard. "Mom,
Iím sure, is going to be needing help in the kitchen soon
and I promised Toris Iíd help him, so letís get
with a groan that didnít go unnoticed by Xena, the bard got
dressed. The two walked down stairs to find Cyrene in the
course of making breakfast.
She smiled. "Here - have some eggs. It
sounds like you two worked up an appetite this morning,"
widened and her hands shot in front of her mouth in
"Oh, now she
covers her mouth," Cyrene said, adding further
embarrassment to the room, while loving every moment of it.
Xena whined in shock.
two are the oneís making all the noise... But seriously, for
future reference, I have paying guests here who donít need
you as a rooster, my dear. Please keep it down or wait until
later in the day before... well, you know...
Cyrene walked out
into the tavern and began to take down the chairs for the days
business. Gabrielle still sat speechless, looking at the plate
of chicken eggs. Xena shot a quick look over to the bard.
"Eat your eggs," she ordered to the bard as she went
out to help her mother.
Cyrene grinned at
Xena, who at this point began to smile herself.
sorry," Xena said sincerely. "Weíve both been used
to being alone and I didnít think... "
Cyrene held a hand
up. "You donít have to explain... Besides, Iím sure
nobody heard you... I mean except for me... And Toris... who
incidentally came looking for you about a quarter of a
candlemark... He left and asked that you meet him in the
finished her drawn out equation of the days activities so far,
Xena apologized with a promise they would Ďbehaveí.
"What exactly did you hear?" Xena asked.
"Are you sure you want to know?" she teased.
meet her mother's eyes. "No, Iím not sure." Xena
smiled. "Iím going to say goodbye to Gabrielle and met Toris."
Swiftly, Xena went
back to the kitchen to see the bard nibbling on the eggs. She
gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before rising and heading
to the door. "Iíll see you and mom later. Iíve got to
minute! Youíre not leaving me alone with your mother. I mean,
not now... after this morning."
"Itís okay. I talked to her. Sheís not mad or
anything. Weíll just have to keep things quieter than
Xena could tell the
bard wasnít convinced and she walked back to meet her.
"Look, Iíll be gone for a few hours and then Iíll be
back. If youíre still upset weíll talk then, alright?"
Gabrielle smiled at
the feel of Xenaís hands stroking her arm affectionately.
"Itís okay... I just... Oh gods, Xena! Your
mother!" she whispered.
"So my mother
heard me making love to my wife? Married people do it all the
time. My mother understands so please relax, okay?"
"Okay," she agreed, sounding a little more at ease.
Xena winked as she
made her way out. "Iíll be back soon... Oh and uh...
Thanks for the payback this morning," she added slyly.
pleasure," Gabrielle teased. "Really."
Cyrene noticed the
two strangers moving toward the bar. Their shifting eyes, moving
around her tavern made her nervous.
"Can I help
you? she asked politely.
the stranger spoke. "Iím looking for the inn run by a
the only female innkeeper in these parts. Is there something I
could do for you?"
out from the kitchen with a lunch tray. Upon meeting the
stranger's eyes she dropped the tray, spilling everything to
the floor. Cyrene heard the commotion and rushed to help.
Gabrielle whispered with her heart pounding. "What are you
Hecuba looked at
Lila before she spoke. "We were hoping weíd find you
here... We really didnít get a chance to speak with
father?" she asked the pair.
"We crept out
last night after he fell asleep," Lila answered.
alone?" she asked amazed and slightly angered. She knew
the dangers of two women on the road.
"We had to see you."
Cyrene bent down
and started to clean the mess. Gabrielle moved to help her, but Xenaís mother refused.
"You have more important matters to attend to. Go."
Gabrielle wiped her
hands on her apron and gave Cyrene a kiss before rising to
face her mother. "Thank you," she whispered to
Just then Xena and Toris
returned, laughing as they made their way through the
"You did not
make more benches than me," Toris argued.
"Three is more
than two," Xena countered.
"We built the
last one together," Toris insisted.
Xena stopped and
faced her brother. "You put one leg on it. One leg. That
Xena began to move
to the bar again, but she stopped in her tracks.
wrong?" Toris asked, sensing his sister growing tense.
Xena," Hecuba offered as the two women locked eyes.
Lila," Xena replied non-judgmental. "Whereís
She tried her best
not to sneer when she said the word Ė father Ė but the
memory of his raised hand about to strike her wife made it
impossible for the warrior to stay diplomatic.
in Poteidaia," Gabrielle replied, rushing over to stand
before Xena. The warrior kept her eyes on Gabrielleís kin
even after the bard moved in front of her.
"They came to
see me." Gabrielle smiled.
She could see the
joy on Gabrielleís face, but she couldnít muster the
bardís light attitude. Theyíre probably here to talk
her out of stay with me, the warrior thought silently.
"What do they
want?" Xena asked, the mistrust present in her voice.
considered. "Iím not sure. They just arrived before you
walked in... Could you stay and take over the kitchen duties
while I speak to them?"
Xena wasnít sure
she should be alone with them. What if they talked her out of
her love? No, Xena reconsidered. She knew the bard loved
her. But what if they tried to kidnap her and take her back
home. No, she considered again. They would know Iíd
come searching for her and I wouldnít be too pleased once I
found her. After the warrior considered the question, she
realized the bard would be safe.
Xena replied, stroking the bardís cheek in support.
"Take as long as you need. Iíll be here when you get
Xena," she replied pulling the warrior down for a soft,
When they looked up
they noticed the entire crowd that lined the bar was watching
them Ė Cyrene, Toris, Hecuba and Lila. Xena grinned while
Gabrielle blushed. It had been different on Lesbo. They were,
for the most part, oblivious to the locals, who saw their
displays of affection as nothing out of the ordinary.
Gabrielle was aching to come back to the mainland but now she
suddenly longed for Lesbo again. We definitely have to
visit Sappho soon, Gabrielle said making a mental note to
trays that need to come out?" Xena asked her mother.
honey," Cyrene replied, leading both her children to the
kitchen. "This way."
up to her family. "Want to go for a walk?" she
They both nodded
and soon the trio was on the streets of Amphipolis.
About an hour later,
Xena watched her wife and in-laws walk back through the door,
smiling at each other.
Gabrielle went over
to Xena as Hecuba and Lila took a table.
go," Xena asked.
like us to take them back to Poteidaia after the festival. I
told them we would, if thatís alright?"
me," Xena remarked. "But what happened during the
"My mother was
always worried about my safety on the road with you. After the
incident with my dad, sheís convinced I made a good choice...
Of course, she says sheíd like to have seen me settle down
with a man, but... Sheís starting to accept things."
"Well, most of
her questions I plan on answering tonight when she and I are
alone." The bard blushed.
Xena smiled at the
bardís reaction. "What did she want to know?"
the bard said shyly. "About us... and when you and I are
"Look at those
cheeks, Gabrielle," Xena teased whispering in
Gabrielleís ear. "Itís hard to believe youíre the
same woman from this morning who needed to fuck me."
the warrior. "Keep teasing me and you may never have
another morning like that again."
"Are you using
sex as a weapon, Gabrielle?"
the bard retorted boldly. "And donít you forget
Xena smiled and ran
her fingers over the amazon's cheek. "Iíll keep that in
admiration for her warrior was interrupted by a thought.
"Does Mom have any rooms available?"
sure, but I think sheís full up."
"Do you think
we could give my mom and Lila our room? They need a place to
stay... Besides we could go to the stables and be alone... and
be as noisy as we want," she added seductively.
"Itís gotten a little colder out, but Iím sure
youíll be able to keep me warm."
"A roll in the
hay tonight?" the warrior questioned. "Iím
and stroked the warriorís arm tenderly. "Why donít
you grab some drinks for the table and meet us over there,
Xena replied. She grabbed the drinks and asked her mother
about the sleeping arrangements. Cyrene took their bags
upstairs to the room and came down to join the table at
The five of them
settled into a mutual comfort after a tense beginning. By
nightfall idle chit-chat turned into stories and laughter.
Tonight, it was Gabrielleís childhood in the spotlight and
her chance for embarrassment.
Lila sat and yawned
a few times. Gabrielle knew their Ďdiscussí would have to
wait until tomorrow. Lila needed her rest and Gabrielle needed
to experience a few topics sheíd be Ďdiscussí with Lila.
early," Xena commented as she returned to the stable with
tea to find the bard already dressed. "I was hoping
youíd still be naked," the warrior replied with a
wiggle of her eyebrow.
Lila weíd do some shopping at the merchant stalls
today." Gabrielle watched as the warrior cringed.
"Donít worry. Youíre not invited," she added.
Xena suddenly looked hurt. "Do you want to come?"
the bard asked in disbelieve.
briefly. "Nooo... but it would be nice if you
"Well, I told
Lila weíd talk about Ďthingsí and it would be easier for
me if youíre not there."
Xena pondered the
comment. "You can do all these Ďthingsí with me but
you canít talk about them with me?"
"Doing and talking are two different things,"
"I do love the things you do," the warrior answered
with a kiss to the bard's earlobe. "I love it when you
talk too... when the occasion arises," she added with a
wink, reminiscing about the night before.
"Lucky we were
in the stables last night, huh?" the bard replied,
slipping her arms around the warriors neck.
captured the bards slowly and sensuously.
"Absolutely," she whispered, before going back to
control the bardís lips.
their body heat rising along with her tunic. Reluctantly she
pulled away. "Iíve got to get going," she said,
straightening her garment.
Xena groaned in
frustration. "Donít be gone too long," she
relented. "Thereís a place not far from here I want to
show you... Very quiet, very secluded. Itís a place I think
it?" Gabrielle asked impatiently.
"Oh no. Iím
not telling. Youíll just have to get done with your little
sex chat with your sister before the sun is high."
enthralled by the mysterious and mischievous look in her
wifeís eyes. "Okay," she drawled. "Iíll
meet you at the inn then."
Xena nodded and
Gabrielle walked out to meet her sister. When she arrived at
the tavern, she met her mother and sister as they ate
breakfast. Lila rose anxiously when Gabrielle entered.
ready?" the bard asked.
Sure," she replied. "Iím going shopping with
Gabrielle," she said kissing her mother on the cheek as
the two scurried away. Cyrene, who was washing a table behind
them witnessed the exchange.
we had that much energy and spirit?" the warriorís
"It must be a
dormant trait," Hecuba smiled. "I donít think
Iíve ever had that much energy."
before a thought occurred to her. "Do you quilt?"
time to time," Hecubaa answered.
"They have a
few quilt exhibits this year. Would you like to take a walk
there with me after Xena takes over the kitchen?"
"After listening to those stories last night do you think
itís wise to let Xena do the cooking?" she mused.
is done," Cyrene smiled. "All she has to do is
serve. That, Iím sure, she can handle. What do you
The bardís mother
smiled. "That sounds pleasant. Thank you."
Gabrielle said to her sister, while riffling through some
scarves. "What do you want to know?"
Gabrielle," Lila whispered. "Do you have to be so .
what?" the bard asked.
Gabrielle tried to
comprehend just what Lila meant but it just wasnít coming to
her. "I thought you had questions... about me and
Lila studied her
sister trying to think of a starting point. "Well, how do
you... you know... do it?"
Gabrielle had to
laugh at the comment and she watched her sister blush. Finally
she settled enough so she could speak. "Okay. Letís
See. How do we... do it?... Itís not all that different from
what I did with Perticus... Thatís not true," the bard
reflected. Thatís not even a good comparison. "With
Xena, thereís more."
what?" Lila asked inquisitively.
Perticus but it was more a friendship love. With Xena, she
just looks at me the right way and my toes curl." The
bard had to giggle at her sappy equation. "But as far as
how we Ďdo ití we use other parts of our bodies for the
parts?" Lila asked.
Gabrielle thought. This is a lot harder than I thought.
the bard finally replied. "Instead of a man... with his...
" The bard found herself stumbling on her words, but she
was relieved that Lila could comprehend. "... instead of
that... we use other things, like our fingers... or our
Lila looked like
sheíd been run down by a fully loaded horse and cart.
Gabrielle had to laugh again Ė out of embarrassment for
herself and her sister.
"You wanted to
know," Gabrielle replied.
Lila broke from the
haze she was in to reply. "I know. I know... I just never
"Well, now you
do," Gabrielle replied, going to another stall. Lila
noticed Gabrielle had moved a few heartbeats later and bolted
to catch up.
Lila looked past
Gabrielle and noticed their mom with Cyrene.
whoís here," Lila pointed.
on," Gabrielle said as she spotted them, tugging her
sister by the arm.
Gabrielle crept up
behind Cyrene about to cover her eyes.
do that if I were you. You could get seriously hurt," she
from her offensive stance. "How do you two do that? Xena
is exactly the same way. Do you have eyes in the back of your
head?" the bard asked searching through Cyreneís hair.
tell," she said pulling the bard close by the waist.
"Find anything good?" she asked, peeking in the
smacked Cyreneís hand. "No looking. Solstice is coming
up and there just might be a gift in there for you."
Gabrielle smiled at each other. Hecuba felt happy and nervous
all at once. It was warming to know Gabrielle had a soulmate
whose mother truly cared for her. It also made her anxious
that she herself would no longer be needed as her true mother.
She didnít have long to fester in the conflicting emotions.
She heard her name yelled in the marketplace with hostility.
All four turned and
watched as Herodotus appeared. Quickly, he walked over to his
"What do you think youíre doing here?" he
The fear showed on
Hecuba and Lilaís faces. Cyrene and Gabrielle, however, stood
stone faced. When the woman couldn't find her voice, Cyrene
spoke for her.
stopped by to enjoy the festival," Cyrena challenged.
"Gotta problem with that?"
The voice was
gravely, and oh so familiar, although the tone was deeper and
older. For a brief moment, Gabrielle witnessed what Xena would
sound like someday.
Tartarus are you?!" he asked defiantly.
doesnít like to see women ordered around like a two dinar
whore," she hissed.
Cyrene for a moment before recognition washed over his face.
"Youíre the mother of that butcher, arenít you?"
Cyrena didnít let his words affect her. Thinking he had won,
he reached for Hecuba, violently tugging her arm.
Cyreneís leg shot
up breaking the connection. He looked shocked before she
pushed him back. He charged and Cyrene whipped her hand back,
stealing Gabrielleís staff. Like lightening, the man was on
his back side, a cloud of dust settling around him. She tossed
the weapon back to the bard and leaned over the fallen man.
"The way I see
it you have three choices: I can beat you senseless and throw
you out of town. You can turn around quietly and walk out of
town. Or you can start acting like a mature gentleman and
discuss your problems peacefully with your wife... So tell me...
Whatís it gonna be?"
The townspeople and
visitors watched the scene with a great deal of interest.
Herodotus knew all eyes were on them. His eyes, however,
refused to leave the deep blue of Cyreneís. As gracefully as
possible he backed down from a fight. Sensing his defeat,
Cyrene stepped back and offered her hand. Reluctantly, he took
it and she helped him get upright.
decision," she commended with a grin. "Now letís
all get back to the inn and talk things over."
Gabrielle raced to
the inn ahead of everyone. Xena was filling a mug of port when
the bard rushed through the doors.
she said dashing toward the warrior, getting to the bar before
Xena could even take a step.
here," she answered short of breath.
she asked ripping the apron off. "Did he hurt you?"
"No. He didnít have the chance. Your mother... "
the bard said trying to regain her wind.
"What is it?!
What did he do to Mom?" Xenaís voice was urgent. By the
Gods, she would have to kill that man.
Gabrielle smiled with a pause. "She was phenomenal. She
did things with my staff I never even seen Eponin do... It was...
Just then the four
returned, walking in casually. Xena started to stride toward
them, but Gabrielle grabbed her by the arm. "Please
donít," she whispered. "Let them talk things
Xena shifted her
weight impatiently. "Gabri-"
Xena," she urged again; this time grabbing both arms.
"For me... Please." Xena sighed and hung her head
low. Gabrielle lifted the warriors chin with her fingertips.
"Besides didnít we have a date this afternoon?"
she smiled shyly. "I gotta know the big mystery."
Xena smiled with
the remembrance of the plan. "Okay," she agreed.
"Let me pack a few things and then weíll go."
The bard nodded and
joined the table with her family. As Xena brought the picnic
basket over, she nodded toward her father-in-law.
Gabrielle stood up and put a vise grip on Xenaís arm.
"Are you ready, Gabrielle?" she asked politely.
she smiled. "Weíll be back a little bit later. Weíll
see you then," she commented to the table.
With a push and a
gentle tug, the warrior followed Gabrielle out the door and to
their mare. "So where are we going?" the bard asked
with excited impatience.
Beautiful." Xena smiled. "Youíll
think?" Xena said proudly, pointing in the distance.
It was quite
beautiful Ė the autumn hues of yellow, brown, red and orange
surrounding them Ė but Gabrielle still wasnít quite sure
what was so special. The sight that Xena pointed to didnít
seem all that magnificent, but Gabrielle tried to be
nice," she replied. "A waterfall... but I donít
on," Xena replied, slipping off Argo gracefully.
"Letís go for a swim."
widened. "Are you nuts? Itís too cold to go
swimming," she insisted.
Before she could
pose another argument, Xena stripped off her clothing and
jumped head first into the water, with so much as a splash.
Gabrielle admired how much control Xena had over her body.
When she jumped in it was like a bag of boulders being tossed,
but Xena caused barely a ripple.
resurfaced, the warrior motioned the bard with her finger.
"Come on in," she answered, stroking her wet hair
back with her palms. "Or donít you have the guts,"
the warrior egged.
Gabrielle made her
mind up. Soon her clothes were on the rocky ledge and she was
contemplating just how cold that water was. Before she could
talk herself out of it, she held her breath, jumping up as
high as she could. She wrapped her arms around her legs and
gave a huge splash that soaked the warrior. Xena smiled
quietly and waited for her resurface.
Gods!" Gabrielle exclaimed once she emerged. "I
donít believe it... itís... itís warm."
Xena smiled and
think anyone knows it, but this pool is fed by a hot spring up
there," she said pointing. "I wouldnít have know
either, but Lyceus fell in one autumn when we were kids. We
promised weíd never tell anyone so we could have this place
to ourselves long after summer was over... We promised when we
both found mates the four of us would come here some autumn
and spend the day swimming." Xenaís voice had grown
almost silent as she finished and she felt herself frowning.
Quickly, she met Gabrielleís eyes and she began to grin
her closer. "Thank you," she whispered. "Thank
you for sharing this place with me."
think Lyceus will mind that I showed you." The warrior
grinned. "As a matter of fact, Iím sure he would have
been quite fond of you. He had a wonderful habit of seeing the
good in people... not unlike a certain bard I know," she
added as she cocked her head.
but began to study Xena. The warrior felt the bardís
"What?" Xena asked in a chuckle.
her head to the other side before she began. "Would you
tell me more... about Lyceus I mean... I know you donít like
to talk about-."
"What do you
want to know?" Xena asked taking a deep breath.
"What was he
like? How did he look?" Gabrielle replied, giving the
warrior a starting place.
"He looked a
lot like my dad from what I remember. Sandy brown hair, dark
eyes... Toris and I favored mother more, but Ly looked more
like my father... He and I would practice swords together Ė
they werenít real; just sticks. We climbed trees. We
wrestled. We rode horses... He was my best friend... We were
inseparable... at least, I thought... A big part of me died the
day he was killed... And I still think about him
"I wish I
could have met him," Gabrielle replied, stroking the
the warrior croaked.
Gabrielle moved to
rub the tear that had cascaded down Xenaís cheek, but quickly
the warrior ducked under the water. Xena popped up behind
Gabrielle giving her a splash. Gabrielle grinned and turned
around before paddling toward her lover.
alright?" the bard asked concerned, given the recent
okay," Xena grinned. "Besides I came here not to
cry, but to play. Wanna play with me?" the warrior asked
wiggling her eyebrow.
"Iíd love to
play," the bard answered just as seductively, trying to
get back to lighter conversation.
me," Xena whispered floating backwards toward the
It wasnít a large
fall by any means but it felt quite refreshing and relaxing
against oneís back. It wasnít pounding or trickling. As
Xena leaned into the fall with closed eyes, she became
reacquainted with just how glorious this place felt. She could
literally feel her tension floating away with the current.
Gabrielle paused a
moment to admire how beautiful her love looked. When she could
stand it no longer she eased in front of the warrior.
Carefully her tongue captured a few droplets that were
cascading down the warriorís breasts. The water; the skin.
Both tastes delighted the bard and she couldnít suppress her
moan against the sweetness of it.
With the water
massaging her back and Gabrielle massaging her front, Xena
felt like she was in Elysia. She looked down to meet the bards
eyes. Gabrielle stopped her administrations to meet the ardent
gaze of her warrior.
adore you, Beautiful," the warrior whispered.
Warrior Mine," the bard replied, taking the warriorís
earlobe between her lips. "Me too."
thought escaped at that point. She simply gave into the sights
and sounds and touches of her amazon queen. Yet again, she let
Gabrielle weave her magic around her heart.
It was late
afternoon when the duo arrived back in town. Gabrielle and
Xena both enjoyed playing in the warm spring. Getting out
however was a problem. Chilly winds on wet bodies produce the
most amazing affects on the female body. At least thatís the
way Xena put it to the chattering bard.
When they walked
into the tavern they noticed Lila serving some port to some
obnoxious men, who pawed at her skirt. Xena as about to charge
over, but Toris beat her to the punch. He walked over and
causally told the men Ďthe brothel was that wayí as he
pointed. He added Ďif thatís what they were after,
thatís where they should goí. He tossed them a dinar and
told them to have a little bit of fun for him. They all
chuckled heartily and ordered another round of ports with the
promise Lila was off limits.
Xena admired Toris. He brought the peace without cracking heads. She knew
if she had gotten there first all three men would be in the
horse trough by now. When Cyrene came from the kitchen, they
"Where are my
parents?" Gabrielle asked.
uncomfortable with the question. "She went back home with
him," she replied softly. She didnít add more. She
didnít need to. Gabrielle knew the answer.
Lila?" Gabrielle asked.
"She refused to leave without saying goodbye. I told
your mom you and Xena would bring her back home... Here, your
mother wanted you to have this."
the scroll before opening it and Cyrene turned to Xena.
"Think you could help me move some things in the kitchen,
little one?" she said to her daughter.
Lead the way," she motioned. She looked over her shoulder
as Gabrielle began to read the scroll.
Gabrielle," it began. "I wish I could tell you
goodbye face to face, but your father insists that we leave. I
donít have much time, but let me say that Iíve looked into
Xenaís eyes and I see the love she has for you. You travel
at her side and she sees all the brightness you bring to this
world. I always hoped youíd find a man who could see you for
who you are... You donít have a man to do that for you, but
you do have someone Ė I think that someone is mighty special
too. There are many sides to Xena I never saw until last
night. You made the right choice, my dear Ė no matter what
anyone tells you. Take care and visit me soon. Love, Mother."
Xena returned from
the kitchen to find the bardís eyes filled with tears.
"What did she say?" Xena asked, fearing the worse.
her arms around Xenaís waist and rested her head on her
bosom. "She sees," Gabrielle whispered softly.
"I never thought it would happen, but she sees."
Xena read the
parchment as the bard held onto her. When she finished she
kissed her wife on the top of her head. "I think you made
the right choice too." Xena smiled.
away and took the parchment from Xena. "We should take
Lila back tomorrow," Gabrielle stated. "I donít
need to get her into any more trouble with my father."
agree," Xena replied. "Besides all these people in
town make me edgy."
"Yeah, but at least itís not Athens. Youíre as jumpy
as a cat there." The bard reached out, grabbing the
warriors arm. In the same instant she made a hissing noise and
sharp meow, which made the warrior laugh.
Gabrielle," Xena said trying to look serious. "Save
those noises for when weíre alone."
her playfully as Lila came up. "Now what are you two up
just a little tormenting." Gabrielle smiled. "How
about we get outta here tomorrow and head home? Xenaís had
about all she can stand of the festival life and I really
donít want to keep you any longer with Dad already
Lila looked at her
feet, shifting nervously from side to side. "Actually, I
was wondering if I could go with you back to the Amazons. I
mean you were heading there next, werenít you?"
Gabrielle tried to
get the stunned look off her face before her sister looked up.
Xena sensed Gabrielleís discomfort and fielded this
"Why do you
want to go to Arborea?" Xena asked, inquisitively.
sure. Iíve never saw an Amazon and since Gabrielle said
sheís queen and all... I thought Iíd like to see the
Sounded like a good
enough reason to Xena, but that didnít mean that Gabrielle
reciprocated. So Xena offered Lila an answer that was
agreeable to everyone.
"Iíll tell you what Lila.
Gabrielle and I will consider it. Itís very dangerous on the
road and Iím not sure if weíre up to watching over you.
Itís been a pretty stressful week... Whatever we decide it
will be for your own good. Understand?"
Lila smiled and
nodded. At least they didnít flat out reject me, she
pondered as she went back to the kitchen to begin serving
you," Gabrielle whispered. "I didnít know what to
tell her. What are we going to do?"
"Weíll talk about it tonight like I told Lila and then,
in the morning, weíll give her an answer."
her warriorís face. "I really love you. Always there
for the save," she giggled.
said, itís a position Iím very grateful to fill,"
Xena replied kissing Gabrielleís cheek. "So donít
Lila was surprised
when Xena and Gabrielle announced they would be taking her to
the amazons. But they insisted stopping by her parentsí home
to let them know where was and that for the most
part, she was safe. The first night was quiet with all three sleeping
in the same bedroll for warmth.
When they returned
to Poteidaia, Hecuba warmly greeted all three. Herodotus still
barely acknowledged the warrior and spoke little to Gabrielle.
They were going to leave that afternoon, but Hecuba insisted
that they stay for the evening. Lila offered her room over the
grumbling of Herodotus, but Xena insisted they would stay in
the stables and be gone at daybreak. Hecuba agreed, but only if
they came in for breakfast before leaving.
After the meal of
potatoes, eggs and some pork, the trio readied for their
departure. It was an educational experience for the warrior.
She learned where Gabrielle got her cooking skills. As they
packed Argo, they noticed Herodotus standing by the barn
he called. "A moment with you please."
Oh Gods, the
warrior thought as she watched the man standing before her
with his hand on his hips. "Sure," she replied
Slowly, the warrior
walked outside to meet him.
"You know how
I feel about all this... I canít help, but feel youíre
stealing another daughter of mine... Just keep her safe too,
Xena could have
sworn she saw the manís lips curl just as tad in the
smallest of grins.
"I will," Xena promised.
With a nod, he
turned and walked back into the house. Gabrielle and Lila lead
Argo from the stable.
"Everything okay?" the bard
asked. "What did he say?"
"He wants to
make sure youíre both taken care off. I told him I would...
Give him time, Gabrielle. Maybe heíll come around," the
gonna hold my breath." The bard smiled.
Xena had to smile
too. "Me neither, but anything is possible... Are we
The bard nodded and
the trio were on soon on the north road to Arborea.
up" Xena smiled as they entered the Amazon territory.
Lila looked at
Gabrielle in confusion.
"The guards are in the
trees," the queen explained.
Seconds later the
ropes dropped and they were surrounded. Lila grabbed
Gabrielleís arm for protection. Gabrielle found herself
grinning at the innocence of her sister. It seemed like ages
that she had the same wide-eyed wonder and a part of her ached
at that very moment at her Ďloss of innocenceí. Xena,
noticing Gabrielleís arm was Ďoccupiedí, gave the
friendly gesture alerting the amazons of their status within
Xena recognized the
mask before the woman behind it showed herself. "Hello,
Solari." She grinned. The amazon warrior pushed the
facial covering back and hugged Xena firmly.
yourself stranger," she whispered. She turned to quickly
to Gabrielle. "How are you, my queen?" she asked,
beginning to bow.
"Cut the queen
crap and get over her," she said opening her arms to
accept Solari. "Itís good to see."
Iím sure Regent Ephiny will be pleased with your
arrival." With that Solari, motioned the runner, who took
off into a sprint. Solari then watched Lila peek out from
behind Gabrielleís back. She seemed so shy, delicate. Long
dark hair, bright blue eyes, petite nose and sculptured lips.
Solari felt suddenly smitten. She tried to find a sense of
peace as she asked, "Whoís your traveling
is my sister, Lila. My biological sister Ė not an amazon,"
she added for some unknown reason. Maybe it was the scrutiny
of Solariís eyes that forced her to include the last fact.
Solari fell to one
knee briefly before quickly rising. "Itís an honor to
meet you," Solari nodded casually.
Lila smiled, but was still unsure of her surroundings.
That smile. That
beautiful smile. Solari realized she was staring at the
young woman, the sister of her queen no less. Although she
knew she was a brave warrior who had seen many battles, she
didnít feel worthy to be giving the queenís sister such an
intense gaze. She cleared her throat before turning to the
"May I escort
you all back to the village?" Solari asked formally.
course," Gabrielle replied.
The walk to the
village was relatively quiet. Solari and Xena took the lead
with Gabrielle and Lila following behind. Neither noticed the
other, but both women watched hypnotically, following the sway
of the women in front of them. Lila began to wonder if Solari
was familiar with the things she and Gabrielle had discussed.
When Solari looked back Ďto check on her queení she gave
Lila a lingering smile. Oh yeah, Lila figured with a sly
grin. I bet she knows... and then some.
Ephiny was tickled
to see the group arrive. She hugged all of them Ė even Lila
to whom she was just introduced. Xena noticed the once
Ďstand-offishí amazon regent had softened yet remained a
powerful leader. She held the right combination of respect for
her people without being a push-over and she did it without
instilling fear. Xena admired that; even envied it.
After some brief
conversation and catching up, Gabrielle turned to Xena.
"Why donít you show Lila around while I discuss
something with my regent?"
"Trying to get
rid of me, are you?" Xena teased.
"Only for a
little while and only if you promise to come back."
Xena walked next to
Gabrielle who was sitting in a chair in the royal hut. "I
promise. Iíll be back," Xena whispered.
wide-eyed as the warrior leaned down and took the bardís
lips with her own. She watched her queenís hands encompass
the back of the warriorís head drawing her closer. As the
warrior pulled away the bard sighed in approval.
be gone too long," Gabrielle called as her wife and her
sister, exited the hut. Ephiny couldnít find a single word
to say and Gabrielle laughed at her expression. "Would
you like me to pick your jaw up off the floor before someone
trips on it?" the queen joked.
With a snap, the
regent shut her mouth. "Iím sorry... I just wasnít
sometimes I get caught by surprise myself... Xena is certainly
not dull." The Queen found herself blushing at her own
not," Ephiny agreed with a teasing grin.
The two women
studied each other for a moment. "Anyway," Gabrielle
spoke. "The reason for our visit is not just social. I
have a favor to ask."
away," Ephiny offered.
Xena and I were married on Lesbos. Iíd like you to announce
that the queen as chosen a consort and we would like you to do
the honor of making it official in the eyes of the amazon
Gabrielle," Ephiny answered, rushing over practically
smothering the queen in an embrace before pulling away.
"Iíd be proud. You have no idea how much this will mean
to the nation... Iím so happy for you."
you," Gabrielle replied. "Do you think we could do
this tonight? I mean the announcement."
Ephiny answered. "Weíre having a banquet in honor of
your return so it would be a wonderful time to announce the
"Thanks again, Ephiny,"
Gabrielle offered once more. "Youíre a wonderful
friend. There have been so many times I wouldnít have known
what to do without you."
too," the regent replied. "You and Xena both helped
bring Xenon into this world. I canít thank you enough for
seeing me through the happiest yet most painful time of my
life. I lost a husband and gained a son in the course of a few
days. Iím glad you stood by me."
here," Gabrielle said opening her arms, before the two
embraced again. "So on to other important things.
Whatís on the menu tonight?" she joked as Ephiny joined
her in her laughter.
Ephiny rose from
the table and raised her glass.
she began. At that moment,
Gabrielle felt a knot tighten in her stomach. "I have an
announcement," the regent continued, glancing for the
queenís approval. Gabrielle gave a nod of encouragement,
letting her know to go on. "Queen Gabrielle has chosen a
consort. She has asked me if I would do the honor of joining
her and her suitor, Xena of Amphipolis, in a bonding
A barrage of claps
and whistles and war cries filled the square with approval. Ephiny
expected the village would be supportive of the union.
formality," the regent said teasingly, which brought a
few laughs through the crowd, "I must ask if anyone would
like to challenge for the queenís hand." No one made a
move. "Oh come on," Ephiny continued to joke,
"Isnít there anyone here whoíd like to take on the
warrior princess for the hand of our lovely queen?"
In the distance
someone shouted. "Hades no! We enjoy breathing!"
That brought another roll of laughter through the banquet
area, making the warrior blush.
smiled. "Point well taken... And one last point. Is there
anyone here crazy and silly enough to speak out against this
As Ephiny said the
final words an explosion rocked the tables and benches. A few
huts even swayed with the impact tremor. The majority of
amazons took cover on the ground - Xena, Gabrielle and Lila
included. Looking up from the smoke and dust that began to
dissipate, Xena noticed a figure emerge.
mortal!" the figure said, stalking closer. "How dare
you take something as meaningful as MY Queenís bonding so
Ephiny found she
was having a hard time breathing Ė a pressure tight around
her neck refused to let any air flow. She sank to her knees,
gasping for every little breath she could get.
amazons. I am your Goddess, Artemis... And I refuse to let the
hand of my queen be given to this weak mortal! The Queen will
be joined only to one of amazon blood."
to Artemisí words, but her eyes stayed focused on Ephiny,
struggling harder and harder to breath. She shrugged off
Xenaís protective arm and raced to Ephinyís side. Xena
followed suite, ordering Lila to stay put.
"Your days of
travel are over my queen. Only one of amazon blood is worthy
for travel with you. You must stay in the village until you
have wed under my requirement. Then and only then will you be
allowed to leave Arborea with your consort."
With a wave of her
hand, Ephiny began to breathe again in a huge gasp. She
collapsed on the ground, trying to regulate the air back into
her lungs. Artemis crept closer to the trio on the ground
before turning before her nation.
will rule as my queen. Any harm to her will be harm to all of you...
And as for you, my queen," the goddess replied, reaching
down stroking her face, "you will heed my wishes or your
people will suffer a terrible price."
away and gathered Ephiny in her arms, stroking the regentís
hair reassuringly. With a blinding blue light, the goddess
"Itís my fault," Ephiny croaked.
"If I had treated this announcement more sincerely-."
would have been here, Ephiny. Of course your throat would feel
better than it does now, but... itís not your fault,"
The bard looked to
Xena. She wanted reassurance. She wanted a plan. "What
are we going to do?" Gabrielle asked, the worry and
sorrow filled her voice.
meet Gabrielleís eyes. "I donít know what we can do...
I donít know."
"There must be
something... " The bard said reaching out to grasp
both women cringed in unison. Gabrielleís fingers were hot
and tingling. Xenaís arm at the location the bard touched
felt the same. They looked at each other in despair.
I canít even touch you," Gabrielle managed to reply.
Out of reaction to
see the bard tear up, the warrior reached for her once more,
with the same effects.
Xena. What are we gonna do?" the bard pleaded with more
urgency in her voice.
helplessly as the tears fell down Gabrielleís cheeks, unable
to stop them or even wipe them away.
know," Xena whispered honestly. "I donít
in Part II