Sapphic night fever

Sapphic Night FeverFanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 6:

Sapphic night fever

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimers: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does. Many other characters here are my own creation though.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Six episode Heart of Darkness, but before Who’s Gurkhan.

Warnings: (1) This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women, and also relates other same-sex female couples’ love activities. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws. (2) This story includes some mild references to gay male sexuality too. If this is not your bag, be careful of how you might handle parts of this story.  (3) This story contains some violence. Please take this story with a pinch of salt. Some evil misogynistic and racist guys are getting roughly handled but, no –no, not all men are like them. (4) This story includes alcohol references, and references to drunkenness, as well as some mild slang.

Author’s note: (1) Obviously, it is not a first time story. I’m more interested in exploring the evolution of Xena and Gabrielle’s intimate relationship as it must be taking place beyond the screen, in this Seasonal Passion series. (2) This is a seasonal X/G femslash series, which means there is one romantic and erotic X/G femslash story per XWP season –this is the very last instalment for this series however. Some parts of this series are remotely connected to others. (3) The poem My Soulmate was originally written by the lesbian poet Brigitte Stolwijk. I used it in this story with permission from the author. Everything here was written by me except this poem. (4) The Amazons’ names in this story were particularly inspired from an interesting Whoosh article (see ) on brave Amazons who existed in antiquity –including Alkaia’s name (pronounced Al-ka-yah by me personally), which means ‘mighty one.’

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback, Silvermoonlight for making fanfic covers of my stories; some people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for inspiring me; Donar (from TX) and Marcia (a.k.a. Amphodia) for the wonderful encouragements and support they express for my writing. Thanks also to all the women who read my Seasonal Passion series. Thank you so much, Brigitte Stolwijk, for writing a poem especially for this story.

Feedback: see feedback page.


Xena kicked off a little rock that was in her way along the small road made of dry dirt and pebbles. Walking alongside Gabrielle, Eve and Virgil, she could easily tell that several candlemarks had already gone by since they had left Amphipolis –leaving Lucifer, the darkness and all the rest behind. The warrior was leading Argo II by the bridle as she strode beside her daughter and the battling bard. Virgil was walking close, by the other side of the mare.

“It’ll be good to go back to my home village.” Gabrielle gave Xena a slight smile as they and the others paced ahead.

The Warrior Princess grinned back at her lover. “Yes, we’ll be going tomorrow, Gabrielle. Don’t worry, sweetheart. We’ve got everything organised.” She beamed at the sight of the beautiful, sunny morning while wandering past a splendid stretch of meadows, bright green trees and bushes.

“Yeah, I know, Xena. Everything should be all right, but it’s just that…” the short-haired woman hesitated, sounding a tad apprehensive, “… I haven’t seen my family for so, so long –especially considering that you and I had been asleep for twenty-five years back in the mountains.” She lightly shook her head, wanting to dispel right away any unwelcome thought about any potential bad thing that might have happened to her family from her mind.

“Gabrielle, look at me,” Xena requested with a gentle tone as she kept holding Argo’s bridle and making sure her mare continued to trot ahead. Eve and Virgil walked silently nearby, sensing Gabrielle’s worries.

The magnificent young blonde wearing her delightful red velvet warrior outfit instantly gazed up at her dark-haired partner. “Yes?” she asked, already roughly guessing in her mind what Xena was about to say.

“Everything is going to be absolutely fine,” the warrior woman reassured her short-haired soulmate, placing a warm hand onto her shoulder as they kept walking ahead. “I’m sure everyone in your family is all right. They have just gotten much older, that’s all. But Gabrielle, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.” She tried to make her lover smile again, which she managed somewhat. She herself knew that she was merely saying these things as an attempt to make her lover less jittery. There was always the possibility that a member of Gabrielle’s family might have been harmed, caught a disease or gods knew what. Such a long time had gone by since they had last seen them, and Xena herself had not been able to find her mother alive in Amphipolis after all. Nonetheless, she still wanted her younger partner to remain calm for as long as neither of them had any further information on the current status of the battling bard’s family.

Gabrielle smiled wistfully. “You’re probably right.” She turned her head back to look at the sunlit path ahead. “I still can’t wait to go back to Potadeia and see them though.”

“We’ll be heading there tomorrow.” Xena briefly glanced around at Eve and at Virgil as she added: “We’ll be going to Potadeia tomorrow –all of us together. Ain’t that right, Eve? Virgil?”

“Yes, mom,” Eve replied quietly.

“Sure, Xena,” Virgil simpered in Gabrielle’s direction, wanting her to pay attention to him. “I’d love to see Gabrielle’s home village.”

As they moved further ahead and approached a nearby forest, a young man suddenly came from a path amidst some trees that were on the left-hand side of the road and quietly stepped out to join them. “Excuse-me?” He smiled at them, especially at Virgil.

Xena, Gabrielle and the others immediately stopped dead in their tracks to eye this stranger addressing them. They quickly noticed that he probably was a mere innocent young farmer though, as his casual and dishevelled peasant clothes indicated.

“Can you please help me find the village named Delphos?” His tone sounded friendly enough. “I’ve got to meet my grandfather there soon. It’s going to be his birthday in a couple of days.”

“Delphos is further east,” Xena said with a firm voice, “and we’re going west. You’re going in the wrong direction, I’m afraid.”

Virgil suddenly spoke. “Wait, fellow, I can take you there! I know where Delphos is.” He chuckled warmly, and checked out the young man very closely from head to foot with a lecherous look on his face. “What’s your name?”

“Nikon, sir…” The young farmer was happy Virgil addressed him. ‘By the gods, this man looks so gorgeous!’ he thought at the sight of this handsome, muscled and very masculine being standing before him. He had spotted him on the main road while he had been walking in the nearby woods and now he knew he had made the right decision to get closer to him. “What’s your name?”

“Sir? I like that…” Virgil teased him, smirking –already picturing in his mind whatever scenario of dominance and submission he already had planned for him. Joxer’s son turned briefly towards Gabrielle. ‘She can wait,’ he thought, ‘I’ve seriously got to take a break from being her admirer for at least one day.’ He walked closer to Nikon, noticing that the young man was indeed really attractive despite his peasant clothes. “My name is Virgil,” he added, grinning mischievously, and placing a gentle but firm hand on the young man’s shoulder –rubbing it.

Nikon attempted to catch his breath, then smiled. He reached up and lightly wrapped his fingers around Virgil’s biceps while looking up at him. “Wow…” was all he could say.

The three women standing near watched this homoerotic male moment with great attention. Eve said nothing –keeping a small, coy expression on her face. Gabrielle looked surprised, as though she had just seen a giant suddenly come out of the forest. Xena sighed and shook her head. ‘Greek men,’ she thought, ‘all the same.’ The Warrior Princess cleared her throat loudly and purposefully, which caused the two young men to re-direct their attention towards her. “Get a room!” she exclaimed and sniggered. Gabrielle and Eve both chortled at Xena’s remark.

“Look, Xena… huh…” Virgil answered, sounding a little awkward, “… Gabrielle…” he added while glancing at the battling bard, “I’m sorry but… I have to go now, for a little while. I have to show Nikon where to find Delphos.”

“Is that all you’re going to show him, huh?” The warrior woman chuckled, making the other women smile some more. They all had just discovered a side of Virgil which they had not known about.

“It’s okay. Take your time, Virgil. We’re not going to Potadeia until tomorrow anyway,” Gabrielle said.

“I will meet you all near Potadeia tomorrow morning,” Joxer’s son promised. “Is that okay?”

“Sure,” Gabrielle replied.

“Go ahead. We’ll see you then.” Xena nodded.

The warrior, her lover and her daughter waved the two men goodbye. Once Virgil and Nikon were gone, the three women turned to look at each other straight away. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Xena asked Gabrielle after suppressing a laughter.

“This sure surprises me that Virgil likes men too.” The short-haired woman’s eyes slightly widened as she smiled. “It’s absolutely fine if he does though. He’s Greek after all.”

“So long as he is happy…” Eve added with a warm voice.

“Of course, it’s fine.” The Warrior Princess laughed. “I was just kidding him on, that’s all…”

“I know,” the battling bard said, “I have noticed your sense of humour grow bigger and bigger over the years –unlike the stoic, reserved and apathetic warrior I’d initially met.” The two lovers grinned at each other.

“Well…” Xena wrapped an arm around Gabrielle’s exquisite broad shoulders and squeezed some of the soft bardic skin with her fingers while looking down into her eyes. “I’ve learned from the best.”

The short-haired woman smiled intensely. Both soulmates and Eve, along with Argo II, happily resumed their journey ahead.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Eve, Argo and the two soulmates were now crossing the forest they had been heading towards. The subject of Virgil had come up again within their conversation. “At least he’ll stop going after me for a little while,” Gabrielle was saying, “I’m not even interested.”

As they carried on walking forward into the woods, Xena playfully pouted her lips to her girlfriend in a way that indicated doubt.

The battling bard smiled and shook her head. “No, Xena! I’m really not interested in him. I was only ‘under the influence,’ so to speak, when I was necking him in Amphipolis the other night. You know that.”

“Yeah, I know.” The Warrior Princess agreed. She easily gave up on teasing Gabrielle now and again, to keep the battling bard from getting mad. “A bit like me and Lucifer. Trust me, had I been completely sober from the darkness’ influence, there is no way I would have been all over that kind of guy.”

“You sure?” the short-haired blonde asked jokingly.

“Yuck.” Her taller lover grimaced. “What are you talking about Gabrielle?” Xena’s rhetorical question was followed by a brief shrug from her, to change the subject.

“He was horrible. I believe you, mom,” Eve confirmed.

As the three women and the mare were getting near a little lake at the centre of the woods amid a grassy land that looked a bit like a small clearing, Gabrielle decided not to carry on with this conversation. “Xena, how about we stop here for a little while and go bathe in there?” she suggested, pointing to her left.

“Sure,” the warrior accepted. “I’m sure the three of us could use a bath, and Argo could use a drink and some grass.”

Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Argo headed towards the edge of the water. They walked amidst bushes, climbed above trunks, and made their way through a couple of narrowly-distanced trees. Backpacks and saddle bags got dropped onto the grass-covered ground of the little clearing beyond the trees. The lake was of course bigger than the tree-less area and extended a bit further into the woods via a mossy rocky stream. A few birds could be heard chirping nearby, bringing some lively mood to the happy couple of female fighters in this late morning. The tall, leather-clad woman with azure blue eyes and long dark hair smiled warmly and winked at her younger lover. They, their daughter and the mare would be relaxing in this pleasant, heavenly place for a little while, for sure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The butter-coloured horse was eagerly gulping from the lake, her snout dipped in the water. Eve was sitting on the bank while her mother and Auntie Gabrielle were washing themselves in the lake. They were using a bar of soap that they were sharing between them, which they tossed out of the water once they finished lathering themselves. They rinsed themselves as they swam. Watching them, it briefly crossed Eve’s mind that the two women were really swimming too close to each other –unlike the way mere friends would swim together. However, since she was being so busy fumbling with the hem of her long green skirt while wondering whether or not she should go bathing now that she did not entertain the thought of their closeness any further.

“Come bathe, Eve!” Gabrielle encouraged.

“You’re not being shy, are you, sweetheart?” Xena asked her daughter. “You don’t have to be. We’re family.”

“I’ll come in a minute,” Eve answered, “when you two will be finished.”

A few moments later, the Warrior Princess and the battling bard climbed back to shore, seized towels from the saddlebags and covered their bodies with the soft drying cloth. Argo was now resting on the ground near Eve after her long drink. While the two soulmates were busy drying themselves, Xena’s daughter stood up quietly, undressed quickly and jumped into the water. The splashing noise coming from the lake made the short-haired woman and her older partner turn around to look in Eve’s direction.

“Here, mom. I’m in the water.” The young red-haired woman grinned coyly as the surface was effectively reaching her shoulders.

Xena shrugged buoyantly. “Fine then, Evie. Enjoy it!”

“Here’s the soap!” Gabrielle threw the scented bar in Eve’s direction, and the Warrior Princess’ daughter caught it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The three women had finished all their morning ablutions and were fully dressed. Xena was teaching her daughter how to catch fish as they were both kneeling near the edge of the lake. “See, Eve, you stick these crushed bugs onto this small hook for bait…” She made the young red-haired woman hold the fishing rope. “Then when you’re ready you fling this line into the water…” And she carried on explaining to her the right manner of fishing while going into more intricate details about it.

Sitting close to a peaceful Argo, Gabrielle was opening one of the saddlebags to get some food out of it. It was a few vegetables, fruits and some bread that she and Xena had purchased from a village market very early in the morning as they had gotten further away from Amphipolis. “I definitely think we’ll be cooking these with the fish for lunch, Xena,” she said to the busy warrior and mother. She used a wooden board and a knife she got out from another bag to cut the vegetables they would all be having with the fish. She placed them into a small cooking pot. When she finished, she stood up and gently approached her warrior lover and whispered something in her ear that Eve could not hear.

The older woman listened discreetly at what her blonde partner was saying and asking, and suddenly displayed a slight half smile. Then she turned back towards her daughter. “Eve, would you mind staying here trying to catch our lunch for a moment? Gabrielle and I are having a few things to attend to right now. Please stay here with Argo, if that’s okay.”

“Sure, mom. I’ll try my best to catch some fish. It already sounds easy by the way you described how to do it.”

Gabrielle reached out her hand. Xena took it and got up. As they were both leaving from the little clearing to go to an area somewhere at the back of the trees and bushes, the battling bard firmly held the Warrior Princess’ hand. With her free hand, the short-haired woman swiftly grabbed a bedroll that was lying on top of a backpack, and the two soulmates went hiding for a while.

Eve was way too preoccupied with her fishing, as she had just spotted a couple of trout moving around within the lake in front of her, that she did not even turn around or pay much attention when Xena and Gabrielle left the clearing. Xena’s daughter was a peaceful woman now, after all, while her mother and her auntie were both fighters. They both probably wanted some privacy to talk fighting business, she vaguely thought as she saw one of the brown spotted fish move nearer her hook in the water.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Hey, I did say I would make love to you right now, warrior.” Gabrielle led Xena to a very quiet corner of the woods, behind bushes and trees. She found what looked like a comfortable spot of earth and laid out the bedroll there. “Lie down here,” She ordered her taller partner after she had finished unrolling the thick blanket and after they both dropped all their weapons down onto the ground.

The Warrior Princess obeyed. “Oh, you! It’s certainly not of food you’re being hungry for right now,” the brunette said as she smirked and watched Gabrielle crouching down near her legs. She then briefly licked her own lips as she gazed intensely at her younger lover with her eager azure blue eyes.

“Ha… you definitely got that right.” The blonde woman smiled and winked mischievously. She proceeded to remove each of her long-haired lover’s boots, one at a time. After that, she wanted to take off the cumbersome armour and breastplate Xena was wearing, and her lover helped her do that. The battling bard hurriedly reached under the dark-haired woman’s leather battle skirt and pulled down her breeches and tossed them away. She also put her hands under her own red skirt and rapidly lost the underwear she was wearing herself. Then she took off her own boots. Gabrielle jumped on top of her warrior, straddling her stomach as she playfully interlocked her own fingers with hers.

Noses softly brushed one another. Ardently hungry eyes met, inflamed with love. The fiercely hot climate of the sunny candlemarks of this early Greek afternoon made them feel torrid and feverishly aroused. They still had not eaten but they definitely desired something other than food at this precise moment.

Lovingly and lustfully grinning up at her short-haired partner, Xena now was completely at the mercy of Gabrielle’s desire, and she was utterly captivated by the beauty and excellence of her wonderful sidekick and soulmate’s vigorous body, her beautiful red-velvet-covered breasts, her radiantly muscle-toned shoulders, abs and thighs. She really loved her Gabrielle the way she was now. She was also thoroughly entranced by the fervour of her erotic requests, both verbal and non-verbal –the way the bard was showing her how much she wanted to make love to her right now, including in body language. The young and inexperienced blonde virgin of Potadeia was long gone, for sure. The Warrior Princess had realised this quite a few seasons ago. She smiled wistfully at the thought. The contradictory nature of her feelings excited her nonetheless. She was absolutely enamoured of Gabrielle, regardless of how she looked or behaved in the bedroll.

The sturdy but gentle battling bard immediately leaned down to place her mouth onto Xena’s. She also put her arms underneath her supine partner’s shoulders, feeling the taut and lightly moist skin she could feel there as she started fumbling to undo the back of Xena’s leathers. They kissed with impassioned vehemence as the older woman encircled her arms around Gabrielle’s back, enjoying the softness of the bardic skin and velvet outfit. Tongues teased one another, intermingled together, as lips consummately wet each other.

“I love you, Gabrielle,” Xena solemnly uttered between two kisses, as she was gasping for breath –the intensity and strength of their passion filling every part of her being. “Hey, you know I felt absolutely nothing for Lucifer, right?”

“Of course I know. Same goes for me and Virgil. I love you too, Warrior Princess. You’re part of me, my other half…” As she tenderly kissed many areas of her warrior lover’s neck, shoulders and upper chest, the short-haired woman slowly pulled down the straps of her woman’s leathers until she managed to fully uncover her gorgeous ample bosom. “Oh, Xena…” she murmured in an enamoured and heated voice. She instantly squeezed one big breast into her palm before taking it in her mouth, enthusiastically savouring Xena’s hard nipple.

“Hmmm… Gabrielle…” the splendid warrior woman began moaning in delight at the feel of her younger lover’s touch, teeth and tongue. “Make love to me, please.”

Gabrielle devoured more of the sweet mound, then switched to the other breast –offering it the same treatment. It always was a real treat for the battling bard to feast on the warrior’s large breasts. She gradually moved lower though she skipped Xena’s belly as the leather bodice was in the way. She swiftly moved back to kneel in front of her taller lover, placed herself between her legs, spread them and lifted the leather strips of the battle skirt. “Raise your knees, Xena,” she requested with a lecherous tone, to which her partner complied. Gabrielle bent down and kissed the warmth of Xena’s dark curls as she wrapped her arms around firm, strong thighs until her hands reached her lover’s labia, which she parted with her fingers. She then plunged right in and wanted to drown in the scent and taste of the older woman’s sex, though not too fast.

“Oh… Gabrielle… Yes…” the Warrior Princess groaned in bliss. “You always make love to me so marvellously,” she added as she felt the tip of the blonde’s tongue madly teasing her clit. Xena reached down and ran her fingers through Gabrielle’s hair, encouraging her to delve deeper, to take her even higher. “Gabrielle… Please…” Beatifically lying on her back, the dark-haired woman felt her younger soulmate penetrate her with her tongue and emitted more pleasure sounds and entreaties, no longer caring whether her daughter could hear their love noises in this short distance from the lake.

The battling bard lightly finger-played with the warrior woman’s sensitive nub as she kept tasting her delicious nectar, adoring her lover’s rapturous noises. She was so glad to notice that Xena had become more and more emotional and open over the years. Gabrielle eventually took her partner’s clit in her mouth, lavishing it with every stroke of her tongue. She swiftly brought a hand back around to her soulmate’s entrance and instantly possessed her with two skilled fingers as she continued feasting on the swollen bud.

“Ah… Gabrieeeelle! Oh, yeeeeeeees…” Xena’s mind and body were driven to the pinnacle of ecstasy as the mesmerising rhythm of Gabrielle’s tongue and fingers took the Warrior Princess higher and higher with every stroke and penetration.

After her long-haired lover came, the battling bard removed her fingers, quickly sucked them clean and then hungrily licked her warrior dry –tasting every succulent part of her sex, running her tongue into every fold. Having now placed her arms behind her head, Xena relaxed onto the bedroll, as she took pleasure in the delightful oral aftershocks generated by her soulmate. “Hmmm… I love you, Gabrielle.”

As she finished the activities, Gabrielle kissed the warrior woman’s centre tenderly. “I love you too, Xena…” she replied, as she climbed back up on all fours on top of her older lover, “… so much!” The short-haired blonde smirked, and kissed the love of her life while touching her dark hair.

Xena enjoyed the sweet, soft velvet of Gabrielle’s red top pressing against her breasts. She wrapped her arms around the strong little fighter and hugged her very tightly, as none of them broke the delicious contact of their mouths and tongues’ movements together. They eventually ended the kiss and lay next to each other until, after a while, Gabrielle sat up and went crawling, looking for her underwear in the grass somewhere near the bedroll.

Although Xena had already pulled the straps of her leather outfit back up and covered her breasts, the unspoken cheerfulness of this shining bright early afternoon told her that their lovemaking was not over yet. She moved herself up and knelt on the blanket she had been lying on. “Gabrielle…” she libidinously whispered her younger lover’s name, the sultry weather and the wildness of the nearby birds’ chants making her dizzy.

“Yes, what is it, Xena?” Gabrielle smiled and turned around to look at the Warrior Princess.

Xena breathed heavily. “Don’t put your underwear back on. I haven’t yet got the chance to feel your warmth pushing against my thigh today. I want you again… oh, now Gabrielle!” Her azure blue eyes were now captivating the battling bard’s gaze. On her knees, she was slowly rubbing the top of her own thighs, which she spread –to tempt Gabrielle.

The blonde woman chuckled. “You’re wanting me again now, Xena? Are you serious?” she asked with an inquiring look. “Your daughter is soon going to be wondering what exactly we are doing, you know that?”

The magnificent tall woman with long dark hair grinned and shook her head. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. She would not have a clue, and I told her to stay there. I want you now, Gabrielle. Please… Take me…”

Unable to resist, Gabrielle swiftly crawled back towards Xena, embraced her and kissed her. Both on their knees, the two soulmates hurriedly moved towards a tree that stood near the bedroll, and the short-haired woman got her older lover to take a crouching position in front of her. “Lean back and put your hands on the tree, warrior,” the battling bard ordered.

“Oh… Yes… You’ve always got some awesome ideas for naughty positions, my love,” the warrior woman stated lustfully as she pressed her leathered back against the tree behind her and moved her hands back to firmly place them on the trunk. She then moved her knees apart, inviting her lover with her voluptuous stare. The strips of her leather skirt were hanging between her legs, hiding her sex.

“I learned from the best.” Knelt in front of Xena, Gabrielle went on to straddle one of the warrior’s thighs as she put her hands on her lover’s shoulders and looked deeply into her eyes. The older woman sighed sensually in happiness. Finally, she could feel the heat of her soulmate’s centre onto her thigh, along with the soft brushing of her red velvet skirt onto her leg. Watching this sturdy, sexy, exquisite and splendid smaller woman in her brand-new red velvet outfit felt so exciting and heart-warming to Xena. She was entirely fascinated by the absolute beauty of her short-haired Gabrielle, including her gorgeous abdominal muscles. “Oh, yes, please… Take me,” she requested intensely, biting her lower lip at the sight of her younger lover’s abs and muscle-toned body.

The battling bard giggled warmly. “You know, Xena, in the past, when you wanted me to take you it used to be just for an occasional, spicy role-reversal –a way for you to show me how much you were willing to open your heart to me. But now you want it to be like an art, don’t you, huh?” Gabrielle delicately kissed her partner’s lips and brushed her nose against hers, enthralled by how much the Warrior Princess was willing to give herself to her again. She also wrapped her hands around her neck, engulfing them into the long black hair.

Keeping her hands on the tree behind her, Xena smiled naughtily at her love. “Well, some warriors do like having their sidekicks make love to them sometimes.”

“Uh, huh…” the young blonde murmured as she brought a hand down and leisurely trailed two fingers along the inside of her lover’s other thigh.

The Warrior Princess slightly moved her hips forward as she felt Gabrielle’s hand approach her centre after moving past the leather strips. “Oh, please Gabrielle, yes! I’m yours, my bard… completely…” Xena’s moans became seriously insistent.

The short-haired woman entered her soulmate, using a couple of fingers. She simultaneously began grinding her own hips against Xena’s thigh. Gabrielle increasingly and gradually picked up a more rapid rhythm as she thrust inside her older partner.

“Haaaaah… Gabrielle…” The long-haired warrior panted heavily and moaned even more intensely in pleasure. She was totally enraptured by her blonde sidekick’s touch, as she carried on encircling her arms around the tree trunk at the back. “”Uh… Oh… Yeaaaah…”

Gabrielle kept one hand onto Xena’s shoulder, maintaining her own balance as she continued to rock herself while tightly straddling the Warrior Princess’ leg. She excitedly massaged the area around her lover’s clitoris and she added one more finger to her deep loving of her soulmate’s depths. She sometimes twirled her fingers inside too, ardently stroking the warrior’s hard inner core with her skilled, impassioned lovemaking technique.

“Ohhhh! Gabrielle, yeeees!” Xena would not be able to take this for much longer. Her breathing got faster and faster as her gaze travelled all over the magnificent young fighter dressed in red velvet who was making glorious love to her. The bouncing of Gabrielle’s cleavage in front was delicious to see. So were the shapes of her thighs and legs moving onto her, in the glow of this sunny afternoon. Most importantly, the warrior woman rejoiced in watching the battling bard’s ecstatic face, her sumptuous complexion and radiant beauty staring back at her. “Gabrri…eeellle!” Xena was utterly enthralled by the pulse of the velvet clothing’s movement against her younger soulmate’s skin as she came –the sweet, honeydewed scent of the blonde’s body throwing her onto the brink of wondrous giddiness. She slowly caught her breath while Gabrielle was still inside her.

The short-haired woman had already orgasmed multiple times during the passionate friction of her warm and wet centre onto her taller partner’s muscle-toned skin, and she reached the peak once more. After this, she took her hand slowly out of her long-haired lover’s sex and brought her wet fingers to the area between her legs to collect some of her own juices. With both of their succulent juices mixed together onto her fingers, Gabrielle brought her hand up to touch Xena’s lips –making her taste their blended liquid passions.

“Hmmm…” The Warrior Princess licked the battling bard’s hand and took her fingertips into her mouth, delighting in the delectable savour of the heavenly combination. She released her own hands from the tree and wrapped them around the smaller woman’s waist, caressing the smooth skin of her lower back.

Quickly, Gabrielle stuck her own mouth near Xena’s and sucked on her own fingers before her partner got the whole taste of the luscious mixture for herself. The short-haired blonde removed her hand. They kissed with ravenous fervour, as the younger woman enclosed her arms around her long-haired soulmate’s neck. “You are so beautiful… so warm inside… I love you, Xena,” she told her beloved, in the middle of the passionate contact of their mouths and tongues. “You own my heart, Xena,” she added as they stopped kissing for just one moment.

“Gabrielle…” Xena tenderly stared into Gabrielle’s heart and soul with her powerful eyes. “I love you more than life itself!” she vigorously declared as she swiftly moved from her crouching position under Gabrielle and stretched out her own legs on the ground to lay them to rest after such thrilling activities. Then she kissed her bard some more as she tightened her grip of her lower back.

The battling bard was now knelt onto her lover, straddling her legs as she continued to caress her lips and her tongue with her own, when she felt one of Xena’s hands move lower and strongly grab her butt through the velvet skirt. Gabrielle thoroughly enjoyed this with no protest whatsoever. Instead, she moaned excitedly into the warrior’s mouth when the older woman firmly squeezed her backside.

Xena did not hesitate to use two hands to affectionately grasp the cheeks of her beloved Gabrielle’s buttocks once more, captivated by the feel of the velvet beneath her palms as she steadily held onto these lovingly rounded shapes. She lowered her head to taste Gabrielle’s neck. She then unhurriedly dove down into the flesh of her bust.

“Ohhh…” The short-haired woman had thrown her head back in joy, always taking great pleasure into her warrior lover’s eager touch. It was at that precise moment that a young woman’s voice shattered their concentration into this fantastically passionate and deeply sensuous moment.

“Mom?” Eve stood there, fifteen feet from the lovers, looking at them with wide eyes. She was intensely confused by what she was seeing.

Xena and Gabrielle instantly moved away from each other and turned around to look at Eve. They remained seated on the ground, fixing up their clothes, making sure their skirts were in place and looking embarrassed at the warrior’s daughter suddenly catching them. After a short moment of silence, the dark-haired woman asked reluctantly: “Eve, are you all right?” Her blonde lover smirked nervously while looking at the shocked red-haired woman.

Still standing there watching them with great confusion, Eve opened her mouth, as if to say something, but then decided to abruptly turn around and go back to the lakeside. She rapidly walked away. Gabrielle and Xena immediately searched for their underwear on the grass and put them back on. They also retrieved all accessories and weapons they had left here, and headed back towards where Xena’s daughter was.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Having built a fire, Eve was gutting the fish she had been catching as her mother and Gabrielle came back into the clearing. Seated and just about to prepare lunch, the redhead focused on the work she was doing and did not say a word as the other women approached.

Xena silently sat next to Eve. The sun of the early afternoon combined with the heat from the cooking made her feel very warm, especially after having been sweating so much from her exquisite activities with her soulmate. She wanted to talk to her daughter anyway. The battling bard got a cooking pan for the chopped vegetables that were meant to accompany their meal. “Here, let me do this,” the warrior said to Gabrielle, as she took the pot of small potatoes and leafy greens. She had become much better at helping with the cooking lately.

“Thank you, Xena.” The short-haired woman guessed that Xena wanted to prepare the lunch with her daughter while talking to her privately. She picked up a whet stone and went to sit down on a tree trunk near Argo to sharpen her sais. The mare was grazing a little further from the cooking fire, as she did not like too much heat.

The Warrior Princess picked up a water skin and poured some liquid in the pot to cook the vegetables, which she then placed onto the fire. Next to her, Eve quietly took the gutted fish and placed it on a frying pan she had found in one of the saddlebags while her mother had been away with Gabrielle. The young redhead processed to fry the fish as Xena broke the silence: “So you know how to gut fish? I noticed the way you gutted this fish was so neat and precise,” she remarked as she smiled.

“I learned lots of things, mom, while I was being raised by the Romans and the maids of Octavius,” she responded in an unsettled tone, still slightly shaken by the compromising position she had just found her mother and Gabrielle in.

“And they didn’t teach you to catch fish?”

“No, mom, usually the men in my army caught the fish themselves while we were on the road, but they would always give me, as Livia, the privilege to gut each fish –because I was always particularly skilled and sharp at it.” Eve threw a steely glance at her mother, which for a split second reminded the older woman of Livia. “I always took great pleasure at doing this kind of job,” the warrior’s daughter added. A short moment of silence followed, and then Eve softened her features. “What were you doing back there with Auntie Gabrielle, mom?” she asked earnestly. “I’m confused.” She shook her head as she looked back at the fish she was making, tossing it a bit in the pan. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Xena was watching her cooking too, now using a wooden spoon to stir the greens and the potatoes. “Are you kidding, Eve?” she questioned her daughter in a somehow amazed tone. “Are there not any women who love other women back there in Rome?”

“I’ve spent much more of my life in the company of men so far, mom –Octavius, my army, the male Romans, Ares… Octavius’ maids were married to men, and I did not pay much attention to what the Amazons were doing. I was busier attacking them. So, no, mom I’m afraid I do not know what you were doing and had no idea that women can love other women. Men don’t usually talk about that,” she said calmly, noticing the fish was frying well.

Gabrielle chuckled very quietly as she overheard the other women’s conversation while she kept sharpening her weapon. She thought it was a real shame that women like Eve had not heard that there was such a thing as Sapphic love between women. She continued to listen.

“I have to say, mom…” the young woman with long, brownish red and curly hair continued, “It kind of came to me as a surprise what you and Auntie were doing back there.”

Gabrielle immediately turned around to speak to Eve before Xena ever had the chance to say a word. “You do realise that I am not exactly your auntie, don’t you?” she inquired smilingly in a friendly voice.

Eve briefly gazed at the battling bard. “Yeah, I know but…” She shook her head again as she watched her cooking.

Xena stirred the vegetables some more. “Eve, do you remember I had asked you to stay here, while Gabrielle and I were back there?” she asked quietly. “If you had respected my wish, you wouldn’t have caught us.” She shrugged.

“You had both been away for too long,” the warrior’s daughter answered. “I was really beginning to seriously wonder what the two of you were doing.” This was true. It had been at least a candlemark that had gone by before Eve had decided to go find her mother and Gabrielle.

The Warrior Princess sighed, not knowing what to say to that. She thought about her daughter’s bewilderment at the idea of women making love, and decided to try another way of explaining things to her. “Look, Eve… Gabrielle isn’t really your auntie. She is your other mother, in fact.” The short-haired blonde woman let go of what she was doing and approached her soulmate after she heard these words.

Xena’s daughter noticed the fish was cooked. She took it off from the fire and stared at Xena and Gabrielle with great astonishment. “My other mother?”

The battling bard came to sit near her long-haired lover, who instantly put an arm around her shoulder while looking at her daughter with a grin. “Eve, Gabrielle and I are soulmates. We are a couple and we had you together.” Xena checked the potatoes on the smouldering fire. They soon would be done and they finally would all eat.

“That’s impossible.” Eve was further taken aback.

“Everything is possible in the world of Eli, Eve,” Gabrielle reassured.

“Eve,” the warrior woman continued, “Gabrielle and I were already lovers before you were born. And then when I had you, I was told by Callisto, who was redeemed by then, that she had given me a child –you, sweetheart. I figured she might have used my soulmate’s genes to fertilise one of my eggs as she had brought us back to life after our crucifixions.” She nodded, remembering.

“I also had a dream once, Eve…” Gabrielle stated, “… just before Xena was about to give birth to you –that her child was coming from both of us in some way.” She tenderly held her older lover’s hand that was resting on her shoulder while beaming at Eve. “I had always hoped to get the chance to have another daughter.”

The young red-haired woman remained silent for a while, getting some plates for the fish while her mother was finishing cooking the accompaniment to their main course. She could not believe what she was hearing, but she thought for a moment about the world of Eli and fatherless conceptions. This could be possible. She stopped worrying and tried to appreciate the discovery. She gazed at the lovers again. “So you’re both my mothers, really?”

“That’s right,” the battling bard replied.

“I really wished we could have seen you growing up,” the Warrior Princess said unhappily as she removed the cooked potatoes and greens from the heat.

Eve changed the subject. “Can two women truly love each other and be together as a couple?” She genuinely wondered if this was possible.

“Well,” Xena smirked and placed a delicate hand on her soulmate’s knee as she nodded again at her daughter, “we’re the proof of it, sweetheart!” Her and her younger partner both looked like a very happy couple.

“And there are other women like us, Eve,” Gabrielle’s face was radiant as she affirmed this. “Remember when we went to visit the Amazons?”

“I pretty much only spoke to Varia, about other things, just before they all came at me for my past crime.” Eve lowered her head, ashamed. She moved it back up when her mother called her name again.

“We need to eat now,” Xena suggested, “before our lunch gets cold.”

The women helped themselves with the food and ate greedily. It had been a long time since they had had breakfast, so they intensely enjoyed this late lunch. Xena and Gabrielle explained to Eve everything she wanted to know about women loving other women, stressing that it was the most beautiful and most natural thing in the world. The warrior’s daughter started wondering if she had been missing something while spending so much of her time with men. She was no longer confused. Everything made perfect sense now.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another candlemark had gone by. The three women were on the road again in the mid-afternoon, walking at a leisurely pace and enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather. They were strolling down the small road of dry earth and pebbles again. Though they had all agreed that they would not be going to Potadeia until the next day, they all thought that they might as well be getting closer to Gabrielle’s home region nonetheless.

“So where do you think Virgil is now?” Xena smirked as she led a well-rested and well-fed Argo by the bridle.

“I dunno.” the battling bard lightly smiled. “Probably fooling around with Nikon somewhere.”

“Yep, Gabrielle, this is exactly what I think,” the dark-haired woman added, winking.

They all laughed briefly. As their amusement quietened down, Eve kept walking silently, enjoying the warmth of this day while the other two women continued to talk. Eve’s mind kept wandering back to her recent discovery of Sapphic love –something to mull over, clearly.

The bent shape of the path made the women turn right, into another forest. The women trailed amidst tall trees. Feeling sunlight suddenly being largely blocked by dark green leaves overhead, the three of them carried on following the path until Xena unexpectedly motioned them to stop walking. “Hold on, I heard something.” They all carefully examined their surroundings, feeling potential enemies nearby –hiding somewhere. Gabrielle briefly bent down to take her sais out of her bootlegs.

Three men abruptly charged at them, yelling hysterically and wielding daggers and swords. “Ayiyiiyiyiyiyi,” Xena yelled as she swiftly kicked the elder attacker’s wrist to disarm him –making his weapon drop to the ground. He probably was their leader, the Warrior Princess thought. Faster than a flash of lightning, the tall brunette did a front flip to get behind him and harshly kicked his back before her boots touched the ground again. The fat, bearded man with dark curly hair fell to the ground on his stomach –but Xena was not finished with him. She grabbed that older man by his collar.

Meanwhile, Gabrielle and Eve were defending themselves against the two thugs who had accompanied him. Gabrielle was fighting a young man with long blond hair and a moustache. Catching his brandished dagger with a sai in a self-protective fashion, she rapidly stabbed his fist with the sharp end of her twin weapon to make him drop his knife. He moaned at the pain as his blade fell to the ground. He attempted to grab the short-haired woman with his other arm but she pushed him back with a strong elbow. The battling bard of Potadeia now used the blunt ends of her sais to punch her attacker’s face, making him feel dizzy. He tried to kick her, but in a very clever sweeping movement of her leg she destabilised his knees and brought him to the ground. “Stay down,” Gabrielle ordered, stamping her boot on his chest. She turned her sais around in her hands and pointed them down in his direction, threatening him.

Using her self-defence techniques, Eve abruptly swirled the weaponed arm of the young man with short dark hair who was attacking her, causing him to lose his balance. He fell but stood back up again after letting go of his dagger, and menaced her with his fists. The warrior’s daughter energetically pushed him away. As he attempted to rush back towards her, somewhere above him a flying chakram rapidly sliced off a heavy tree branch, which fell on his head to stun him. Eve turned towards Xena. “Thanks, mom.” She watched her mother catch her circular weapon back.

Still holding the oldest man by the neckline of his clothes with her other hand, the Warrior Princess turned back towards him and lifted his head towards her. “Who sent you? Why are you here attacking us?” She jabbed a pinch into his neck. “You’ve got thirty seconds. Speak.”

Struggling for breath, the demented leader of the thugs tried to catch one last laugh, which actually ended up sounding more like a choked chortle. “Nobody’s sending us, Xena. We just wanted to kill you and Gabrielle, just for sport, just for fun.” The warrior woman sighed. How petty and mundane this older man was to her. He looked like an old, foolish and run-down warlord –probably having lost his army and needing two younger and stronger men to help him kill legendary warrior women. She had met men like him gazillions of times before. He was not worth killing and she took the pinch off him. He fell back to the ground.

“Let me guess…” She mocked him with a smile while he rubbed his neck and regained his breath as he looked up at her. “…You and your thugs were trying to kill my companion and I because you wanted us dead so that you could make heaps of dinars for having murdered us, legendary female fighters, is that right?”

“That right?” Gabrielle also asked the bandit she had just been fighting.

“Yes,” the young blond man on the ground replied. “That’s right,” the older man instantly added in a bitter voice which denoted his disappointment that his plans failed.

The two soulmates both shook their heads vigorously and decided to leave the attackers and their silly hunger for money without a word. Gabrielle put her sais away in her bootlegs. Xena caught Argo back and motioned Eve to resume their stroll into the forest. This was obviously just another bunch of the run-of-the-mill variety of bandits they had bumped into today.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Xena, Gabrielle and Eve had walked on further. They got into the heart of the brightly green forest –right in the middle of it. They paused for a moment, just to rest for a short while. Argo also needed some respite from the long walk. The Warrior Princess could suddenly sense that other people were nearby. The battling bard looked around them. She could perceive this too, that there was somehow a presence nearby, thanks to the intensive defence training she had gotten from Xena a few years back. As for the warrior’s daughter, she could sense something too, having been a fighter herself in Rome.

“Mother, do you think someone’s nearby?”

“Eve, I think quite a few people are nearby. Now the question is whether they’re here to try to attack us or not.”

“I’d say let’s just stay alert, Xena,” Gabrielle suggested. “It could be anybody.” She was ready to catch her sais anytime. “We’ll show weapons if they want to attack us.”

A dozen of women wearing feathered bird-like masks made of polished wood suddenly descended from the trees above, sliding down ropes. They were scantily clad in suede outfits and, although they were carrying weapons, Gabrielle and Xena already knew they meant no harm. The two lovers relaxed a little. Their daughter, who was standing behind them, however, was a little tense. She hoped this was not Queen Marga’s tribe appearing before them, with Varia or another Amazon attempting to catch her and bring her to justice for the awful crimes she had perpetrated against an Amazon village during the days when she had been Livia. Now facing the three women, members of the Amazon tribe made the Amazon peace sign –which got instantly reciprocated by Gabrielle– and lifted their masks. Eve relaxed a little, as she could not notice any Varia or Marga there. She was relieved it was not the same Amazon tribe she had attacked back in her dark Livia days either.

“Hello, sisters,” the battling bard greeted. “What is your tribe?”

A tall woman with long, slick black hair and a graceful, well-built frame stepped to the front of the tribe as she spoke, now facing Gabrielle. “I am Queen Andromache and the women with me are some members of my tribe. Others from my tribe are visiting a nearby village at the moment.” She briefly motioned another Amazon to come next to her, and encircled her arms around her shoulder. “And this is Andromeda, my lover and Second-In-Command. We both rule this tribe.” Andromeda gave a small smile. She was a slightly shorter woman compared to her partner, the Queen. She still looked very sturdy and confident and was a beautiful blonde with intensely piercing eyes.

“Pleased to meet you, Andromache , Andromeda and everyone else here.” The short-haired woman grinned.

“Yes, very pleased to meet you,” her warrior lover confirmed. She became somewhat apprehensive that this tribe too might want to take her daughter to an Amazon justice council. “Do you know Queen Marga’s tribe by any chance?” she asked after the appalling thought crossed her mind.

“Marga, yes we know her,” Andromache replied. “But we haven’t visited that particular tribe for a very long time. We haven’t seen them recently,” Andromeda added. “We live in Northern Greece the majority of the time, and we don’t travel down south very often. Today is an exception. We came looking for women like you, Xena and Gabrielle, among other women,” the Amazon Queen explained just after her lover had spoken.

“For us?” Gabrielle raised an eyebrow. Beside her, her older partner and their daughter felt their mild fears somehow assuaged as they figured that these Amazons were probably not after Eve. Their peaceful words, gestures and demeanour suggested that they were most likely here for something else. The short-haired blonde talked again: “Look, I’m a Queen in my own right…”

“We know that,” Andromache interrupted smilingly. “You are a real legend, Gabrielle, and so is Xena. We’ve heard from other Amazons who also know Marga’s tribe that you were still alive, and still looking very young as I can see,” she remarked with a charming voice.

“We’ve already heard that nowadays you two are the most famous Sapphic couple of Greece,” Andromeda stated delightedly, “and possibly of the entire world. Many of us were also brought up reading copies of Gabrielle’s scrolls and listening to your stories. You both truly are amazing.”

“Thank you,” the battling bard answered, astonished how much her stories had already become so famous to all the Amazons of Greece. “Now may I ask what you are here for, sisters?”

Andromache glanced fleetingly behind her. “Doris, come forward.” A slender-bodied Amazon spear-woman with shoulder-length curled red hair came to stand next to her Queen. She was holding a bunch of small scrolls. “Give them some,” Andromache ordered. Doris then handed three of her little parchments to the soulmates and their daughter.

As Xena, Gabrielle and Eve started reading, they heard Andromache speak again: “You are invited to our party. It is called ‘Sapphic Night Fever,’” she said, confirming the bold words inscribed at the top of each little parchment they had just been distributing. The warrior and her bard were immediately enticed by this undeniably interesting offer. Eve was silent; she just observed how the situation was unfolding.

“It will be tonight,” Andromeda explained further, lovingly placing one hand onto her Queen lover’s which was resting on her shoulder. “The event’s location is specified on the invitation scrolls. Sapphic Night Fever has been organised in the honour of our beloved poetess Sappho, whose birthday is today.” She and the other Amazons were happily staring at Gabrielle and Xena. This whole tribe was doubtlessly a bunch of admirers.

“Unfortunately,” Andromache continued, “Sappho will not be able to attend, as she is in Crete this weekend, but we will have a Sapphic party in her honour nonetheless. We’ve been searching the area since this morning for potential Sapphic women who could attend it, and you both were on top of our list of prospective guests. We would really appreciate if you came there tonight.”

“This won’t merely be an Amazon party,” Andromeda elaborated. “It will be a party for all Sapphic women in the area to come, including non-Amazons. This is a women-only event however, but we welcome any woman who is Sapphic, or at least potentially interested in Sapphic love, to come. So will you come?”

“I’ll think about it,” Xena replied in a friendly tone –a little worried that Marga’s tribe might be there, but they lived much further south so it was unlikely. She and her soulmate would probably go visit them again later this month, without Eve.

Gabrielle noticed Doris beam at her in encouragement. “Come. It will be fun!” the young Amazon lancer promised excitedly. “It would be awesome to see you and your lover coming to the party tonight because both of you are such Sapphic legends of Greece. Everybody talks about you,” Doris added.

The short-haired blonde woman turned to her lover. “Xena, I really think we should go there,” she recommended in an exhilarated voice.

The Warrior Princess relaxed as she gazed into her soulmate’s eyes. “Oh Gabrielle, is there anything I would refuse you?” She slowly shook her head, lovingly smiling and her girlfriend.

“Thank you, Xena.” The battling bard winked and looked back towards the Amazons. “Yes, we will be there tonight,” she declared pleasantly.

“Gabrielle’s wishes are my command,” Xena added proudly. “Let’s go now, love.” The three women and their horse began resuming their walk ahead. “We will see you there,” Gabrielle said enthusiastically as they were moving past the Amazons to get further into the forest. The tribeswomen saluted them. “Yeah, we’ll definitely meet you at the party,” the warrior woman affirmed. “See ya,” Eve added in a shy tone, waving goodbye.

The Amazons watched them as they left. “Do you think they’ll really come?” Doris asked her Queen.

“Yes, Doris,” Andromache replied. “If they said they’ll come, they’ll come.”

The Amazon dozen got ready to walk away in another direction to go join the rest of their tribe. As they were leaving, Doris was the slowest to move as she was trying with difficulty to pack the remainder of her invitation scrolls into a narrow leather rucksack while still holding her spear in the crook of her arm. Another spear-woman approached her. She was Doris’ lover. She was a thin, voluptuous and cheerful young brunette with lightly waved hair. “Hey, love, you want me to help you?”

“Sure, Phoebe.” Doris kissed her partner as soon as she was approaching, warmly and sweetly. They paused as they both were trying desperately to shove the small parchments in the narrow bag. “I think the opening is a bit stuck,” the Amazon redhead realised. They eventually managed to put the scrolls away but, as they both got distracted by another exquisite kiss they so much longed for, a single invitation sheet fell to the ground –unbeknownst to them. It had slid off the scroll pile unnoticed while they had been attempting to shove the bunch of invitations into the rucksack. Both women were too absorbed into such an emotionally sidetracking contact of their mouths and tongues to be able to detect anything touching the ground.

“Hurry up, Phoebe and Doris!” Andromeda ordered. “Andromache isn’t exactly happy seeing you fooling around when we’ve got to get moving now and join the others.” She sounded seriously irritated by the two lovebirds in action.

Doris and Phoebe immediately stopped kissing and turned around, towards the other members of the tribe. They saw Queen Andromache looking very annoyed while staring at them. She had her arms bent, displaying pointed elbows, with her curled fists resting against her hips –in a posture that indicated demand for discipline. “How many times will I have to catch you two?” Her tone was mildly indignant. “You can always do this later, when we won’t have work to do. Now let’s go.”

Feeling guilty, the two Amazon lovers steadied themselves, attempted to appear as determinedly committed to their tribe as possible now and stepped back towards the other Amazons. The Amazon warriors all left this part of the woods, following Queen Andromache and her beloved Second-In-Command Andromeda in the direction of the nearby village where the other women from their tribe were hanging out. They all had to get into a thorough search for more potential guests who would be coming to Sapphic Night Fever in the evening.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Only a few distances away into the forest, the three men who had attempted to attack Xena, Gabrielle and Eve earlier in the day had languidly gotten themselves back up and were still recovering from their minor bruises and injuries. “Let’s get going now!” Pyrrhos shouted to Timon and Kleon. Timon, the long-haired blond thug with a moustache, was finishing wrapping a bandage around the hand that Gabrielle had stabbed. Kleon, the young man with short black hair, was still massaging his temple –feeling a lingering headache after having just woken up following a painful stunning by a big tree branch.

Pyrrhos was their elder leader who used to have an army as a warlord. Recently, he had developed an obsession with the idea of killing the Warrior Princess and her battling bard –especially since he had heard from some very clever spies that the two legendary women were still alive after twenty-five years of miraculous cryogenic hibernation. Nobody knew what had happened exactly though there were rumours going about that Ares, the God of War, had had something to do with this. The fact that they were still alive, young and well presented a wonderful chance for Pyrrhos to go after them and attempt to murder them. He remembered when he had been a young boy, thinking that he could not stand a chance to kill the Warrior Princess because of his age. Then, when he was barely twenty years old, his father had died. He had been a ferocious warlord whom Xena had slain in a battle with the help of her little ‘friend’ Gabrielle. Thanks to their twenty-five-year sleep, Pyrrhos was now forty-five and saw himself as perfectly trained and able to kill them.

There was now also an additional desire to avenge his father in all this, but money still was his primary motive. Once the job would be done, Pyrrhos would be bringing their dead bodies to whoever would pay to make him rich and famous for being the man who would have slain Xena and Gabrielle. He had recently met Timon and Kleon, two young men who were captivated by exactly the same goal as his –and were determined to seriously help him out in his task. Pyrrhos had been pleased to find two younger enthusiastically bad men like them, whom he could rule and get to follow him around. The only problem would be that, if he managed to kill the Warrior Princess and the battling bard, he would then have to share the money he would get with these two young thugs –but that could simply be resolved by getting rid of them too, and therefore making all the money for himself. Pyrrhos was still delicately rubbing his neck after getting a painful pinch from that crazy warrior woman. She and the other bitches had defeated them, but not for long, the elder man kept telling himself.

“We’ve got to get going now!” Pyrrhos insisted. “We’ve got to go find them.”

“Pyrrhos, sometimes Xena and Gabrielle are faster than lightning. How are we gonna manage to find them after this?” Timon wondered.

“Yeah, how?” Kleon also asked.

Pyrrhos sighed. “I don’t know… but we really mustn’t give up.” His voice was rough and raucous. “Follow me. Let’s go.” He started moving away from the corner of the woods they were in quick and easy steps for his middle age. The other two men walked behind him to follow where he was going. Pyrrhos briefly stopped to point down at the ground. “Look we can see where their footsteps were going, right here.” The two younger men looked. “We’ve just got to follow them now.” The ground of the forest path was indeed made of light brown sandy dirt that could easily show the footprints made by Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Argo earlier on. The men all smirked. They figured they were lucky not many people had visited this forest lately since the last rain so that they were now able to retrace such important footsteps.

The bandits continued walking and walking for half a candlemark or so, until they arrived somewhere at the heart of the forest and stopped there, noticing the footprints becoming more numerous. Pyrrhos stared at the ground, confused.

“Now how are we gonna manage to find out where they were going?” Timon questioned the leader.

Pyrrhos kept his gaze downwards, peeved. “There must have been other people finding them.”

“Look here!” Kleon pointed to a couple of feet ahead. He went to pick up the small object, and lightly touched its texture. “Amazon feather.” He glanced back towards the other men. “Must have come right from the mask of an Amazon.”

“Amazons were here?” Pyrrhos pondered, until his eyes suddenly happened to fall upon something else that was lying on the ground nearby. “Look!” He motioned his head to Timon, making him see the little parchment that an Amazon or another woman had probably inadvertently dropped there.

Timon stepped ahead, bent over and immediately seized the small scroll. He went to show it to the others. On it, it read:


Sapphic Night Fever

1 invitation for 1 person
A Special Night for
All Sapphic Women!
Strictly Women-Only Party.
Organised by the Amazon
Tribe of Queen Andromache
In the Honour of Our Dear
Beloved Poetess Sappho.
The Underground Cave
beneath the Main House
in the Rubicon village.
When: Tonight.


“Sapphic Night Fever?! Hmm…” Pyrrhos exclaimed in a smugly pleased manner. “Timon, I bet you that Xena and Gabrielle are going there.” He smiled at the young man.

“What proof do we have that they’ll definitely be there?” Timon cautioned.

“Right, this is a Sapphic party and, seriously, what do you think Xena and Gabrielle have been doing in their bedrolls during all those years while they were on the road? Counting the stars?” the older man asked rhetorically with a bombastic tone and a wicked grin on his face. “Timon, I have researched those warrior women for many, many years, and I can tell you that many people already know that they are now the most famous Sapphic couple in Greece, and possibly the whole world.”

“I’m with Pyrrhos on that one,” Kleon specified. “Almost everybody here in Greece now suspects that Xena and Gabrielle secretly hump together like a couple of crazed vixens in heat.” He laughed.

“I know…” Timon nodded and sniggered. He felt it incredibly stupid that Kleon and especially the older fool had not understood his question. “…but that’s not what I meant. What I meant was how can we be sure they accepted those Amazons’ offer to attend that particular ‘Night Fever’ party, huh? What if we arrange a plan to get in there and they don’t show up?”

“It is worth the risk trying to catch them there, I believe,” Pyrrhos said. “We’ve got packs of dinars to make if we succeed.”

“Okay…” Kleon acknowledged. “But how do we manage to get in there? Look at the scroll again.” He pointed his finger on it. “It says that the party is ‘strictly women-only,’ and we are men. There will most likely be someone at the entrance, who will be watching out for whoever wants to get in and who could shout for backup at any time. If we have to fight a whole bunch of Amazon warriors, I doubt we’ll ever make it into Sapphic Night Fever if you want my opinion.”

“Stealth, Kleon!” The older man shouted with a boisterous voice. “Stealth is what we’re going to need in elaborating this plan. We’ll also need stealth when we’ll be stealing both warrior women’s bodies after we kill them at the party, and thus we’ll also need another stealthy plan to outsmart lots of Amazons…” Pyrrhos briefly looked at the scroll again. “The ‘women-only’ rule won’t be a problem. I just had a wonderful idea.” He sneered. “All we’ll have to do is properly and cleverly disguise ourselves as women!” He began uttering an evil roaring laughter.

The other two men chuckled at his new plan, feeling interested. After a short moment of cheerful amusement, something crossed Timon’s mind. “Your plan really does sound good, Pyrrhos, but we’ve only got one invitation with us. What are we gonna do?”

“Er…” The leader scratched his head, thinking for a few instants. A new idea sparked in his mind, and he explained to the others: “We’ll first go to the nearest big town, Nicopolis. I know an old forger there who makes fake invitation scrolls that look very authentic. We’ll just have to go there and get another couple of copies made of the small parchment we’ve got here. And Rubicon is not very far away from Nicopolis by the way.”

“Well, it all sounds fine by me. Let’s go now then. We don’t have much time ‘til tonight,” Timon remarked.

“Yeah, let’s get going. I like this plan too,” Kleon added.

“Follow me,” Pyrrhos ordered. The three men ran away into the woods, towards the direction of Nicopolis, thoroughly anticipating the important tasks they had to take care of in order to manage to infiltrate Sapphic Night Fever tonight.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena, Gabrielle and Eve were now agreeably travelling on foot though the side path of a gorgeously green meadow surrounded by beautiful bushes after walking out of the forest. They would soon be heading towards Rubicon, where Sapphic Night Fever was to take place. It was now late afternoon and the sun still emitted glorious golden light onto the nearby shrubs, plants and flowers. The battling bard smiled at the magnificent white blossoms occasionally popping out amid the green sleek leaves of the bushes skirting the plain, as she lightly touched some of them in passing. Argo II wanted to sniff the flowers, which made the Warrior Princess chortle a little. “Come on, girl,” she told her mare as she gently led her by the bridle. “We’ve got to keep moving!”

The warrior’s daughter was preoccupied by something else which continued to trouble her thoughts however. “Mom?”

“Yes, Eve?” Xena asked while they all kept themselves advancing forward.

“I’m not sure how to feel about going to that Sapphic night, since I may not be that Sapphic to begin with. I mean… if that party is only for Sapphic women, then how will I fit in there?” Eve looked slightly worried, feeling somewhat inadequate.

Gabrielle jumped into the conversation before her lover ever had the chance to reply. “Oh, but you’re with both your mothers here.” She placed her hand on the young red-haired woman’s shoulder in a friendly way. “We’re family, Eve! And Xena and I are a Sapphic couple. Don’t worry. You will be okay.”

“Yes, Gabrielle… but I may not be a Sapphic woman per se.” Eve turned her gaze back towards the Warrior Princess. “Mother, are you really sure I should be going there with you tonight? I don’t even know if I’m attracted to women. I’ve never even given a thought about it.”

Xena smirked. She lovingly wrapped an arm around her daughter as she smilingly looked her in the eyes. “Oh, Eve, tell me… Is Ares really the only person you’ve ever slept with if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Yes,” Eve replied sincerely. She was not lying. As Livia, she had always been too overwhelmingly focused on the spirit of battle and destruction to be able to ever think about having another lover.

“Well, you have nothing to worry about then!” The tall woman with long dark hair was attempting to cheer her daughter up.

“What do you mean?” The young redhead was puzzled. “Do you seriously think that the darkly charming God of War, when he was still a god, was not handsome enough?”

The warrior briefly shook her head. “That’s not what I meant, sweetheart. He may have been attractive, but maybe he was just too attractive…”

The battling bard looked a bit jealous about her partner saying such words. “Watch out, Xena. If I ever catch you kissing Ares again, I’ll kick your butt!” she playfully joked.

“Relax, Gabrielle…” Xena grinned and displayed a sweet-eyed expression to her soulmate. “I’m just explaining something to Eve.” She turned back to her daughter. “Eve, what I meant by ‘too attractive’ is that men who have a lot of charm tend to blur a woman’s vision from what other possibilities there may be. In other words, you were probably being too seduced by Ares to ever be able to try to find out whether or not love between women is for you. That’s what I meant by you having nothing to worry about.” They all carried on walking ahead into the sunlight.

Eve could fathom what her mother was saying. “You’re right. I may have been too much under the control of Ares to realise anything else…”

“That’s right,” the short-haired blonde confirmed. “Now please just come with us to that party tonight, be friendly to the women there, make new friends and see if there might not be a woman at Sapphic Night Fever whom you may be attracted to,” she proposed in a lighthearted and cheerful way.

“Sounds like an idea, Gabrielle,” the woman with curly red hair answered. “After all, I’ll never know if love between women is for me until I try it…” She saw both Gabrielle and Xena gleefully nodding at her. “There is one thing though, mother…” She looked at Xena.

“What is it, Eve?” Xena questioned.

“I am the messenger of Eli, and do you think Eli’s teachings would allow Sapphic love between women if I were to try it?”

“Yes, I believe so,” Xena replied. “He certainly never had any problem with Gabrielle and I…”

“Eve,” Gabrielle interrupted with a pleasant tone, “I knew Eli, and what was most important to him was love between people. I’m sure this would include love between everyone. You don’t have anything to worry about, Evie.” She lightly caressed her cheek in a friendly, motherly manner.

Eve finished hesitating and began smiling firmly. “All right. Let’s all go to Sapphic Night Fever tonight then! I’ll just see how it goes.”

The Warrior Princess and the battling bard happily thanked their daughter for her newly found openness to explore Sapphic possibilities. They were glad and were hoping with both their hearts that Eve would meet a beautiful woman at the party this evening.

“I have one more thing to ask though,” the young redhead added. “Why is it called ‘Sapphic Night Fever’ anyway?”

Gabrielle chuckled. Xena explained with a naughty smile on her face: “Well… this, Eve, is what you get when you spend a whole night with your female lover dancing and making love.” The short-haired bard burst out laughing. The other two women giggled too.

“Oh, wow!” Eve exclaimed. “I’ll sure have some things to learn tonight…” She sounded slightly embarrassed.

“Yup!” both her mothers told her at the same time. They then said nothing, attempting to look a little shy. The three women and the mare left the meadow, having walked past the rest of the bushes, plants and flowers. They joined a shadowy road situated near a high, green hill somewhere on the left-hand side. The path was covered by cobblestones and extended much further ahead. Rubicon was further down this way. They had to get there soon. None of them doubted the party that was organised by the Amazon Tribe of Queen Andromache would stir up a lot of entertaining fun to them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The wooden barn door shook several times. Noises of men being involved in sexual activities together would have been heard loudly had anyone been walking nearby. “Oh, Virgil! Oh, yeah…” Movements continued behind the door until the male companions finished enjoying themselves, and were now both panting deeply. Inside, both men were satisfied with the excitingly carnal encounter.

“Wow, Virgil!” Nikon turned around in Virgil’s arms, still breathing heavily. “You truly are awesome…” He smiled at the sexy, muscular man he had just been sharing a wonderful time with.

Virgil gathered up his trousers while grinning back at the young farmer who had admirably been enjoying his physical prowess in such a lascivious way, and they briefly exchanged a kiss. “I guess we’d better get back on the road towards Delphos now? Your grandfather will really appreciate you arriving early for his upcoming birthday.” The two men had headed much further east, in the direction of Nikon’s home village. They had just decided to surreptitiously sneak into a barn that was currently unoccupied, only for a quick shag. Nikon had found Virgil naturally hot-blooded, and he had had to experience the kind of man he was, in the flesh.

“Sure.” The young farmer was putting his clothes back on. The strong, heady smell of hay mixed with masculine sweat made him dizzy. He briefly shook his head while opening his eyes widely, trying to get himself back on track. “I’ll also have work to do back there, helping grandpa with the livestock.”

“Let’s get moving then.” Both men unlocked the bolt and got out of the place they had been entering and walked back towards the main path. Joxer’s son did not say a word. He seemed preoccupied by something else.

“Virgil?” Nikon asked as they were strolling along the road.


“Are you still thinking about her? That Gabrielle girl?”

“Yeah…” Virgil’s voice sounded serious as he changed the subject. “You know, Nikon, it’s just a one-time thing what happened between us by the way? Just wanted to make this clear.”

“Of course,” the young farmer replied. He was a bit saddened by this fact, but he understood that Virgil, in general, preferred women.

Virgil’s thoughts kept wandering back towards the battling bard as he carried on leading Nikon back to his home village. Joxer’s son wondered if she would be jealous seeing him in a guy’s arms, if she felt anything for him at all –or whether she was really too mesmerised by her Xena. He really needed to keep attempting to see if he stood a chance with the battling bard later on. He remembered his father, endlessly telling him how much he had loved Gabrielle –but her heart was for Xena. Virgil sighed. He looked at Nikon again, as they continued to follow the road. He did not mean to sound so negative to him, even they both were giving themselves a good time only for a short while. “But you know what, Nikon?”

“Huh?” the other man responded.

“I think we should spend a night together anyway.” Virgil winked, and Nikon was happy.

“Yeah, let’s just spend a night together.” The men amiably patted each other on the back and kept going forward.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was five candlemarks before midnight when Xena, Gabrielle and Eve arrived in Rubicon. They immediately left Argo II and some saddlebags with her, along with their rucksacks, at the local visitor stable in the village. Then they continued wandering around. It was still daylight outside at this time thanks to the warm season. The village was small with only a few dwellings in it, and lots of green grass spaces and leafy bushes. The three women approached the Main House, which was the biggest of all houses. It was made of stone, had many windows and quite a few doors. They saw an Amazon guard standing just next to a side entrance, spear held upright in hand. They walked to her.

“Hello, what is your name?” Gabrielle asked. “We’re going to the party tonight, the one called ‘Sapphic Night Fever.’”

“Yeah, it’s here, downstairs.” The tall Amazon grinned warmly. “I am Alkaia, Amazon general. Queen Andromache has assigned me to be the guardian of this party for the evening even though I’m a general, as she could not find anyone better for the job.” She was a very stalwart and beautiful woman in her late twenties, with a dark brown skin tone and gorgeous walnut-coloured eyes. Her hair was partially pulled back by an Amazon feather headband, with long elegant African plaits reaching down her back. Her short and tight Amazon clothes were made of soft, dark orange-brown suede –revealing an ample cleavage and well-built shoulders, thighs and arms. She wore various Amazon arm bands and bracelets. Some were silvery, some golden, and others were made of leathery cord holding either little tiny seashells, pieces of feather or fur. She overall seemed like a very smart Amazon guardian exhibiting a very sisterly and welcoming attitude. “I suppose you’re Gabrielle and Xena, all right? I’ve already heard all about you,” she said to them with gracious and captivating eyes.

“Nice meeting you too, Alkaia.” Xena’s expression was friendly. So were the others’, even though Eve was still being a bit shy.

“Same here,” the battling bard added. She handed the three little scrolls to Alkaia. “Here, our invitations.”

“Thanks.” The Amazon guard took them, had a short look at them, and handed them back to the very pretty blonde woman in red velvet. She looked briefly at the warrior’s daughter. “Who’s the young lady with you, if I may ask?” Her tone was simply curious. “I just don’t think I’ve ever heard of her.”

“She’s my daughter, Eve,” the Warrior Princess replied. “Actually…” She encircled an arm around Gabrielle. “Our daughter.” The short-haired woman blushed as she proudly looked at her taller lover.

“Your daughter?” Alkaia looked utterly perplexed. She stared at Xena. “But you look young enough to be her big sister? Oh, wait…” The Amazon guard pondered the situation for a moment, then she remembered something she had been told and everything neatly became clear to her mind. “You and Gabrielle were buried in ice for twenty-five years, weren’t you?”

“Yes, I guess we could put it this way,” Xena confirmed.

“How do you know?” the battling bard asked.

“I read it in one of your scrolls, I think.” The Amazon general displayed a gorgeous, light-hearted smile. “Very well-written, by the way. And I do remember reading vaguely about Eve now.”

“Thank you for the compliment.” Gabrielle smiled back.

“Sapphic Night Fever is down this way.” Alkaia swiftly pointed her thumb towards the entrance next to her. Inside were sombre, stony stairs leading down somewhere into the dark. A few torches hung along the side wall though, illuminating the way down. “I hope the three of you have fun. I’ll probably join much later on, after locking this place once everyone invited is inside.”

“See you there then,” the battling bard stated. She walked ahead of the others. Xena and Eve nodded warmly as they walked past Alkaia, following Gabrielle inside. The three women slowly but excitedly walked down the steps. It was all so pleasant for the Warrior Princess and her younger lover to see that the Amazons were being so supportive of them coming to the party. They had been enchanted by Alkaia’s lovely welcome. They also hoped Eve would be having fun in there.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Music could already be heard loudly as the three women descended down the steps into Sapphic Night Fever. A large dark green curtain with golden Greek Amazon patterns was draping the entrance downstairs. Behind Gabrielle, Xena outstretched her arm and lifted it to let her favourite Amazon Queen enter the party. “After you, my love.”

“Xena…” The battling bard’s eyes opened even wider as she and the other women got into the party. They became totally amazed by the magnificent festivities down here. They were inside a large hidden underground cave with a very high ceiling that was currently being used as a huge party hall. The place was lit by various torches hanging about here and there along the cave wall. There was a stage on the other side of the room, onto which lay a white marble naked statue of the poetess Sappho in the background, in front of a huge dark red tapestry upon which silver Greek letters shone reading “Sapphic Night Fever: A Special Night for All Sapphic Women!” Onstage, some Amazon musicians were playing lyres, flutes and drums while others were singing Amazon chants. Those musicians were wonderful and the rhythm of their music sounded absolutely entrancing, charismatic and delightful. Not too fast, not too slow.

Rows of tables and chairs were present on the left side of the room. There were also large buffet tables on the right-hand side, upon which party food and drinks were being served by kind Amazon cooks, who had probably been making meals from a cauldron they had found in the village. They had roasted some of the food on a small fire pit near the wall as well. There was a vast dance floor in the middle of the party hall. The sandy cave floor had been covered with a lot of carpet for women to be able to dance on it. The carpet’s patterns were vivid and colourful, and a few Sapphic couples were already dancing slowly together on it, following the gentle rhythm of the hypnotising music.

The ambiance of Sapphic Night Fever was overall blithely, passionately enthralling and enticing. The thrilling sight and scent of a large space filled with women wearing all different colours of clothing and various kinds of perfumes could make one feel ravishingly staggered and bewitched. Looking at this place and literally feeling it fill their senses, the warrior woman and her bardic partner quickly realised that they could easily decide to simply drown into the delicious atmosphere of this female-only party that very evening.

“It’s absolutely beautiful down here, Xena,” Gabrielle concluded after perusing the party scene. “We were definitely right to come.”

“Yes, it looks totally marvellous, I’ve got to admit,” Eve added with a modest voice.

“It certainly looks great.” Xena smirked. “Let’s go get ourselves a drink, shall we? And perhaps food too? I’m hungry.”

“Okay, the warrior is hungry. I see…” The short-haired blond woman playfully pinched her lover’s cheek, to annoy her a little –which worked. “Let’s go get served, Xena.”

The three women walked towards a buffet table that served skewered food and grabbed a piece for each which they ate as they wandered towards another table that served wine punch. They each took a mugful of it, as they kept strolling around into the party. The Amazons serving them had been very welcoming, smiling women –quickly noticing that the newcomers to the party were thirsty and starving. Some women had noticed that the two lovers arriving were Xena and Gabrielle, the legendary couple, and had winked at them. They had also made fervent comments about how much they admired them.

Four Amazons immediately walked towards the Warrior Princess, the battling bard and their daughter as soon as they spotted them. They were some of the women whom the soulmates had met earlier on in the day: Queen Andromache, her Second-In-Command Andromeda, and the two spear-women Doris and Phoebe. “Hey, Xena, Gabrielle… So happy to see you come here after accepting your invitations!” Andromache enthusiastically exclaimed. “Can you please remind me of the other woman’s name?” she asked, motioning towards the warrior’s daughter with her eyes. “I don’t recall us being properly introduced earlier on today, in the woods.”

“Ha, that’s my daughter Eve,” Xena said while still chewing some of her food. She looked at Gabrielle, who was giving her a soft glance. “Our daughter,” the warrior further stated to Andromache.

“That’s great.” Andromeda looked delighted. They had all heard from some of the bard’s scrolls for the explanation to why Xena and Gabrielle barely looked older than their daughter. “Pleased to meet you, Eve.”

Eve shyly shook hands with the Amazons in front of her. She hoped in the name of Eli that they had not read too many scrolls talking of Livia, or she would be having a very hard time here at this party tonight –but since the Amazons were not exhibiting any hostile behaviour towards her, she figured that these particular women had not heard much about what Livia had done to some Amazons. “Pleased to meet you all.” The young redhead smiled warmly.

“We all hope you’ll be having a load of fun down here, Eve,” Doris wished sympathetically. She was dressed in a short sexy two- piece panther outfit and had an arm wrapped around the shoulders of her dear lover Phoebe, who was holding her waist. Doris’ partner wore a taut green silk assorted top and skirt outfit around her chest and hips and sparkling diamond jewellery around her neck and wrists. The two young lancers had left their spears put away someplace. They just wanted to enjoy the party tonight. “Welcome to Sapphic Night Fever, Eve!” Phoebe declared.

“Thank you.” Xena’s daughter was very much intrigued by this party her family had taken her to, and could not wait to find out more about Sapphic women and their secret lives.

Having greeted the newcomers, Andromache and Andromeda walked away somewhere else in the party, having other things to take care of at the moment. The Warrior Princess, the battling bard and their daughter figured that an Amazon Queen and her Second-In-Command must be very busy at a party like this. As chief organisers, they probably had business to attend to.

Another two women approached and came to say hi to Xena, Gabrielle and Eve. Their names were Bremusa and Zoe. Bremusa was a splendid young Amazon in her mid-twenties, with a gorgeous caramel complexion and shoulder-length mocha-coloured tight curls slightly pulled back by a headband made of thin, crisscrossed leather threads. Her titillating, scanty clothes were made of soft light purple silk, revealing her ample womanly shapes, and she wore an Amazon pendant with a silver labrys around her neck. Zoe was another superb Amazon, likely of the same age as Bremusa, and probably of Asian origins. She had beautiful light brown eyes. Her shiny straight black hair was tied back into a high pony tail. Her discreet makeup enhanced her facial features as she smiled. She wore tight clothes made of dark suede which indicated she might be a combat Amazon who probably hid weapons in her bootleg. Her golden jewellery displayed little Amazon figures in its motifs. These two women’s accosting conduct was doubtlessly spirited and convivial. Xena, Gabrielle and Eve were absolutely pleased to meet them. They had finished eating and were sipping at their wine.

“You know, there are many lay Sapphic women that we managed to invite to the party today, Gabrielle,” Bremusa explained. “Many are villagers. They all seem to be enjoying themselves here. Look at them.” She made the blonde battling bard notice many women laughing together in the party hall –at the seats, on the dance floor, near the plentiful buffets and so on.

“I can see, Bremusa,” Gabrielle replied, “it’s all so truly awesome your tribe got so many women to come here. May I ask how exactly you all managed to organise such a grand, phenomenal party? And what about some of the food? How did you make it? I am really curious about it, and I forgot to ask Andromache before she went elsewhere…” Next to her younger partner, Xena remained silent. She too was interested in getting to know how on earth had the Amazons been able to set up something as big as Sapphic Night Fever, especially in such a small village as Rubicon.

“Oh, it was initially Andromeda’s idea,” Bremusa answered with a tenderly soft tone. “She of course succeeded in talking Andromache into organising it together with the other Amazons from our tribe. Then, a few days ago, we were all wandering about in the environs to find a venue, a secret place where all non-Amazon Sapphic women could be invited to join us as well. We met this old widow called Agnes, who lives in the main house just above this hidden cave we are in just now.” She briefly pointed her finger towards the ceiling as she continued talking. She sounded very jolly and honoured to be the one to tell the whole story to the legendary Sapphic soulmates. “She told us she was sympathetic to all women, including Amazons and Sapphic women, and was always happy to help. She offered us to come down here, to this secret place, for us to decide if we wanted to organise Sapphic Night Fever in here. She said it used to be used to hide gold when her husband had been alive. He had been a very rich man. She put the gold somewhere else, but she still had this cave which she locked. We accepted to have the party here, and she agreed to let us use the cauldron and stove in her house to cook our food. She even offered us the punch wine! Isn’t that great?” Bremusa was all mirthful after sharing the plans that had led to Sapphic Night Fever.

“It is truly amazing!” Xena confirmed, grinning, after drinking up the rest of her wine from the wooden mug she was holding. She turned to Gabrielle and Eve who had nearly downed their drinks as well. “I’m getting some more wine. Do you want some?”

“None for me just now, mother,” the young redhead said. “I’d prefer not to get drunk. I would rather get to enjoy the party first.” She had noticed the woman standing next to Bremusa, Zoe, eyeing her closely and constantly smiling at her affectionately ever since they had come to greet them. Eve felt too coy to say anything about it, but she was trying, deep down, to admit to herself that she was somewhat intrigued by this woman.

“I’ll have another mugful of it, Xena, yes,” the battling bard agreed for the proposed drink. After she watched her older lover go back towards the punch table, she looked back at Bremusa and thanked her for her explanations. The short-haired woman also glanced at Zoe. She spoke to her. “May I ask a question if that’s not too personal?” She saw the young combat Amazon acquiesce with a soft blink of her eyes. “Are you Bremusa’s lover?”

“Pfff…” Bremusa instantly suppressed a chuckle, which nearly made her choke on her drink. She grabbed a little cloth that she had been hiding in her cleavage and dabbed her chin with it. “Uh, huh…” She shook her head. “I stop you right here, Gabrielle. I don’t think Alkaia would like this if she was. No, no, Zoe really is not my lover. She’s just a very good friend of mine.” Near her, Zoe was just chortling a little while keeping an eye on Eve, whom she thought was an exciting red-haired beauty.

“Alkaia?” Gabrielle asked Bremusa, simpering a bit. “Are you Alkaia’s girlfriend?”

The Amazon dressed in light purple soft silk beamed. “Yes, I am,” she confessed proudly. “I am Bremusa, the raging female and lover of the mighty Alkaia! You met her upstairs, didn’t ya?”

The battling bard nodded, as she also somehow noticed her Warrior Princess coming back with the drinks out of the corner of her eye. “We did. She is absolutely lovely!”

“Thank you,” Bremusa stated. “Now if you don’t mind…” She began walking away, towards the stairs that led to the way out, as she warmly waved at them. “I’m missing my lover, and I have to go up there and keep her company sometimes. I’ll see you all later.” And she temporarily left the party.

Gabrielle gazed up at Xena while she took the new mug of wine her lover was giving her. “Hey, do you know that Bremusa is Alkaia’s lover by the way?”

“No, but now you’re telling me. It’s fantastic,” the taller woman acknowledged. She observed that the remaining Amazons standing just next to them were Zoe and the tender and loving couple that was Doris and Phoebe –who could not stop necking at the moment.

Zoe could not help but find Eve so, so attractive. She made up her mind that she had to be the one to make the first move, as the young redhead seemed to be way too shy to start talking to her. “Can you come with me and I’ll get you a drink?” she inquired, with a gleaming sparkle of affinity in her eyes. When she saw Eve slightly surprised and not being able to say anything, she insisted with a gentle voice: “Please…”

The warrior’s daughter hesitantly but surely brought herself to accept the offer. “Sure.” She smiled nervously at Zoe and followed her to the wine stand.

Xena and Gabrielle had been silently watching Eve being proposed a drink by Zoe, not wanting to interrupt their precious moment. “I think this Amazon likes her, Xena,” the battling bard brought up after a short period of time.

“I know, sweetheart.” The Warrior Princess sounded pleased. “If Eve happened to find herself a woman who likes her, Gabrielle, then she will be having a great deal of fun at this party, believe me.” She winked at her soulmate.

The short-haired blonde chortled gleefully. “Well, at least she will no longer be so ignorant about Sapphic love, darling, huh?”

“Yep.” Xena gazed again at Phoebe and Doris, who were still making out. “Hey, you two, geeeeeeet a roooom!” she teased them, bellowing. Quitting kissing, the other two lovers laughed at the impudent warrior woman.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Upstairs, outside the entrance to Sapphic Night Fever, Bremusa had come back to meet Alkaia. The couple already had their arms wrapped around one another. The Amazon general guarding the place had let her spear rest against the wall beside her as she was embracing and kissing her shorter lover. “Hmmm… my Bre…” she lovingly said while staring down into her partner’s eyes, “thank you so much for coming back up here to keep me company during this long boring shift. I love you for that.”

“Don’t thank me, love,” Bremusa replied in an enamoured way as she met Alkaia’s gaze. She always found the taller woman’s skin so soft. She kept gripping onto her shoulder blades while she revelled in the feel of the Amazon guard’s warm, tender hands clasping the sides of her waist. “I am your girlfriend and this is the least I can do.”

“You are so sweet, my Bre…” Alkaia complimented, and her mouth and tongue made contact with her lover’s once again. The sweet, excellent party music could be heard from the stairs at the back. It felt gratifying to their ears.

“I love you, Al,” the slightly younger woman affirmed after they gently broke the kiss. She continued to look up at her lover with eyes as adorable as a doe’s.

“I love you too, Bre.” The Amazon general reciprocated with an impassioned expression on her face.

After they had been cuddling for a few instants, Bremusa brought something up. “You saw Xena and Gabrielle when they came in by the way?”

“Yes, I did see them, Bre.” Alkaia nodded. “They looked just as awesome as in the legends, if not better.”

“Yes, they do look great, Al, but…” The Amazon dressed in silk seemed a little preoccupied while she absentmindedly rubbed her taller lover’s collarbone. “…something keeps nagging me somehow…” Her voice was low.

“What?” The Amazon guard raised an eyebrow.

“Well…” Bremusa caught her breath and lightly smiled. “They’re the most legendary Sapphic couple on earth these days, but why do they have to be white? Why do nearly all legendary Sapphic couples that make it to fame have to be white? When will the day come when this world will recognise beautiful and passionate Greek Sapphic couples of African origins, like us? We’re still living in such a white-centred world.” She did not mean to be negatively complaining. She only wanted to remark on something that seemed more than a little unfair.

Alkaia chuckled in a reassuring manner as she kept holding her girlfriend tenderly. “Oh, my Bre…” Her tone was confident. “Don’t worry, we both will soon become the next most legendary Sapphic couple on earth. You’ll see, Bre, the entire world will recognise the brave, magnificent and loving women we are!” She and her lover had both been born in Greece, and were Greek. Both their families had come from Africa, though from two different parts of that continent. Alkaia’s parents had migrated to Macedonia, where her mother had given birth to her. Bremusa’s parents had come to live in Thessaly, where their little girl had first seen daylight. The two women had first met when joining Queen Andromache’s tribe. Their attraction to each other had been immediate. Then Alkaia had saved Bremusa’s life in a battle, and their romantic relationship had been building up intensely from that moment.

The Amazon general’s slightly younger partner giggled briefly and nervously. She kept a positive countenance. “I wish I could believe you, Al…”

“Believe me, my love.” The taller Amazon insisted, then went back to the previous subject. “Anyway, not to bother you, but I do like Gabrielle and Xena. I think they’re fun,” she asserted charmingly.

Bremusa shrugged and smiled. “Yeah, absolutely. Met them myself. Spoke to them, and they do rock! Gabrielle even said you were totally lovely, Al, by the way.”

“Did she?” Alkaia laughed.

“Yes. She’s very nice and funny, and cool…” The shorter woman slowly shook her head amiably. “Al, I have absolutely nothing against white women. Hell no! I’m part of Andromache’s tribe after all, and she’s a white woman. It’s just that…” she briefly paused, “…they do seem to get an awful lot more admiration and appraisal than we do, you know, that’s all…”

“I know, Bre, I agree…” The mighty, stunning Amazon guard grinned in a way that communicated desire and love. “You know, talking of admiration and appraisal, I’d really love to give you a lot of these right now…” She kissed her lover quickly on the mouth. “…but I’m on duty, unfortunately…” She shrugged in a vanquished manner. Work was stronger than desire, sometimes.

“Oh, but today is the two-year anniversary of when we’d met!” Bremusa grumbled. “Don’t you remember? Hmmm???” She looked up at her with pleading eyes.

“Yes, I know, Bre.” Alkaia sighed. “And I really want to be with you right now. It’s just that Andromache has given me the responsibility of maintaining security outside Sapphic Night Fever for tonight. I know it really sucks that she gave the job to an Amazon general, but she could not find anyone better than me to handle it right. I also know it sucks she gave me this job on such an anniversary date, but I really can’t be with you until later on in the evening, honey-pot.” She winked. “I’m sorry…”

Bremusa said nothing. She just pouted sweetly to her beloved while carrying on caressing her skin with her fingertips. Suddenly the two lovers heard footsteps coming up the stairs in the entrance behind them. They ceased hugging and turned to watch who it was who was coming back up from the party. It was Toxaris, a thirty-something Amazon with curly blonde hair. She was an archer-woman in their tribe, and a good friend of theirs.

“Hey, how are you?” Alkaia questioned. “Been having fun down there?”

“Yeah,” Toxaris moved past the two women, stopped walking, crossed her arms calmly in front of her belly and stared up at the sky, taking deep breaths. Sunset was still nowhere near. It would take another two and a half candlemarks or so. “I just needed a bit of fresh air, that’s all. It’s just so incredibly hot down there! So full of womanly heat, you know…”

Bremusa guffawed. “I bet it is. It’s Sapphic Night Fever after all!” Her lover laughed with her. After a short while the young Amazon thought of a plan which she shared quietly with her lover. “Hey, Al, I’ve got a wonderful idea,” she whispered into the Amazon general’s ear. “Toxaris is a very talented Amazon in everything she does. Why don’t you give her the security job at this door just for a few moments while you follow me into the woods?” She winked.

“Are you nuts, Bre?” the Amazon guard murmured into her partner’s ear. “I can’t do that. Andromache will be terribly mad at me.”

“She won’t know. It’ll only be for a short while. Oh please, baby, it’s our anniversary,” she implored with a low, tender voice that always made Alkaia’s heart melt like mush. “I need you now. I can’t wait until later.”

“Okay,” the taller woman accepted reluctantly, “but this is only for a quickie, alright, love?”

“Sure. Thank you so, so much, my darling.” Bremusa was satisfied.

“Toxaris,” Alkaia called.

The other archer-Amazon turned around and gazed at the couple. “Yes?”

“Bremusa really needs me to go somewhere with her right now. It won’t be for long, I promise. Would you please come here and watch the door for me? Only for a few minutes…”

Toxaris reflected. “Yes, sure,” she decided, and came closer to Alkaia. The Amazon general handed her her spear, which she took.

“Stay right here,” the tall woman ordered, “and beware of anyone who tries to come in the door. Make sure they’ve got their invitations.”

Seeing Toxaris standing here, Bremusa was reminded of something, someone, an Amazon legend… “Hey, you know, I’ve never told you but you do look like the legendary Ephiny by the way?”

“Who?” The other Amazon was confused.

“The legendary Amazon Queen whom my girlfriend and I read about in some of Gabrielle’s scrolls and saw Amazon drawings of,” Alkaia elaborated further, “the one who got unfortunately killed by Brutus.”

“Really?” Toxaris asked.

“Yeah,” Bremusa confirmed. “She really was a great, intelligent one nonetheless.”

“Ha, far out.” The blonde Amazon chuckled.

“See you soon. We’ll be back shortly. Thanks for covering for me,” Alkaia stated.

The two lovers rushed into the woods nearby until they stopped by a bulky oak tree. Standing right there, Alkaia kissed Bremusa again with ardent passion while her younger lover’s back rested against the tree. The shorter woman grabbed her lover’s ample bosom with both hands. She thought that would gleefully get her mouth to go down there very soon, but the mighty Amazon general was much quicker than her in the action as she began pulling down the straps of her light purple silk top. Soon Alkaia’s tongue plunged into the valley between Bremusa’s breasts. The taste of her partner’s skin felt like heaven to the Amazon general. “Oh, Al, yes… please…” the slightly younger woman exclaimed as she threw her head back in bliss…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle and Xena went to get themselves another drink at the punch bar. Doris and Phoebe were following them, walking around the party with them. The battling bard shortly found herself engaged in an interesting conversation which started with Doris.

“So you do understand there will be performances onstage at this party, Gabrielle?” the red-haired Amazon inquired.

“No kidding?” The short-haired woman grinned. “I love stage performances. I bet they’re gonna revolve entirely around Sapphic themes, right?”

“That’s right,” Doris affirmed, “absolutely. Many couples are going to be allowed to express their love onstage. Phoebe and I are some of your biggest fans. We admire the love you share with Xena, so much. Oh, Gabrielle, will you please just climb up there with her at one point?”

Phoebe got into the conversation, but she addressed Xena: “Yes, that’s right, Warrior Princess. We’d really love to see you and your bard expressing your love onstage tonight.”

The warrior woman did not know what to respond. She just bit her lower lip.

“I dunno, Phoebe…” Gabrielle answered instead of her lover, “Xena tends to be very private when it comes to talking publicly about our relationship.”

“Oh, please, Gabrielle,” Doris begged, “we just admire you both so much. You could just share some poems or memories or something. We just want to see you celebrating your love here. You might not find an event as private and as woman-loving as Sapphic Night Fever to celebrate it for a long time.”

The battling bard turned to the Warrior Princess, giving her a fervently sentimental look. “Xena, I think this might be a good idea. I’m really seduced by it. We could celebrate our love to our most trusted Amazon admirers and women like them. What do you think?”

After considering Gabrielle’s words for a little spell, Xena glanced at Doris. “All right.” She gave a slight half smile. “We’ll think about it… but this won’t happen until later on tonight, okay?”

“Sure,” the red-haired spear-woman agreed. “Just take time to grab a couple of blank parchments at the scroll table over there,” she pointed, “and please both write whatever you want to say onstage on them. Take your time, whenever you’re ready. Thank you.” Doris took Phoebe’s hand and headed to the dance floor with her, leaving Xena and Gabrielle alone. Both the Amazons were glad they had managed to convince them so successfully.

The short-haired woman tenderly placed her hand into her older lover’s, and occasionally brushed her cheek against her shoulder in affection while they both continued walking around the party hall, holding drinks and sipping them. They soon found a corner entirely dedicated to them, the legendary couple, after getting past several stands dedicated to Sappho’s arts and writings. Some tables exhibited lots of well-made drawings of the Warrior Princess and her little bard when they had both been younger and the blonde had had long hair.

“Hmmm… so sweet…” Xena remarked as she saw those pictures. There were also replicas of their weapons and various arts about their adventure at the closest stand, along with imitations of clothes they used to wear or were still wearing. The warrior motioned towards the green ‘younger Gabrielle’ styled top, brown skirt and long-haired blonde wig being displayed nearby. “If we go onstage, baby, you’ll have to wear these for me.” She smirked playfully.

Gabrielle gave her a surprised stare. “Huh? What, Xena? What’s happening? You don’t like my new style?”

“Oh, yes, my sweet bard, I do!” the taller woman reassured her confidently. “I love the red velvet… but I do love your former style too, just like in the good old days, hey my bard?” She lightly pinched her younger partner’s butt and winked at her.

The short-haired blonde blushed, a little embarrassed but still ever-enjoying her beautiful Warrior Princess’ boldness. “All right, Xena, I accept… but if I do it I will get you for this later on,” she warned enthusiastically, “if you know what I mean?”

Xena chortled. “All right, sweetheart,” she confessed in a lecherous tone, “I can’t wait…” After downing their drinks, both she and Gabrielle went for a dance together. It had been their third mugful of wine in a row, and the alcohol was starting to have an effect on them. They thought it would be wise to skip the booze for a while.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile, elsewhere at the party, Eve and Zoe were sitting alone together at a table. The warrior’s daughter was still slowly consuming her second mugful of wine. She did not want to get drunk, not so fast in any case. The young redhead could not help but find the delightful woman who had proposed to get her a drink and who wanted to chat her up utterly attractive and charming even though she still was not sure about herself and where she stood when it came to Sapphic love. She simply needed to talk to Zoe, to spend some good time with her.

“So, are you from Chin?” Eve smilingly asked the enticing Amazon.

Zoe was slightly amused. “My parents were from Chin, actually. I was born in Greece, as my mother had migrated here before she had me.”

“I see… My mother told me she knew a woman who was from Chin.”

“Lao Ma? Yeah, I remember from Gabrielle’s scrolls.” The combat Amazon grinned.

Eve was little perplexed. “I’m beginning to wonder who hasn’t read her scrolls here at this party,” she brought up with a peaceful voice.

Zoe laughed. She then changed the subject. “Let me tell you a bit more about myself: I joined Queen Andromache’s tribe a few years back,” she related soberly. “They were being so sisterly and energetic to me when I met them one day in the middle of a forest, and I felt it would be great to fight for the Amazon Nation and get trained for it. I became the best combat Amazon in my rank last year.” She looked proudly joyful. “Now tell me more about you. What brought you here?”

“Well, as you already know, I’m Xena’s daughter. I was born in Greece also, but I was brought up in Rome…” Eve felt so reluctant to talk about her life. She already feared that someone knowing her as Livia would pop into the party at any time.

“Rome? Wow!” The combat Amazon was impressed. “You wanna tell me more?”

“Not really…” The warrior’s daughter shook her head but kept a friendly expression. “Zoe, I had been taken away from my mom. I didn’t really like my childhood and I’d rather not talk about it, is that okay?” she asked kindly.

Zoe sighed and smiled in a warm-hearted way. “Sure…” Eve was so mysterious, cryptic, but yet so desirable to her eyes. She had to cut her some slack somehow. “Would you still like to share with me what brought you down here, at Sapphic Night Fever?” She observed her in an impassioned manner.

Eve relaxed and returned the infatuated gaze, not sure of what it meant yet but already feeling butterflies squirming in her stomach. “I was, huh…” She smiled widely. “…interested.”

“Interested, really?” the young Amazon teased her.

“Yes.” The redhead nodded, flushing a little. “Interested.” She noticed her mother and Gabrielle grinning at her from the dance floor. Xena was winking, and the battling bard was raising a thumbs-up after spotting her looking so happy in her private conversation with Zoe. This made Eve blush even more, but she stopped looking at her family and turned her eyes back towards the combat Amazon she was sharing a party table with.

“Is this your first Sapphic party?” Zoe asked.

“Yes, it is. That’s why I’m a little nervous, sorry…”

“Well, we’ll make sure that you will enjoy tonight for the rest of your life then. Do you wanna dance?”

Eve was bashful. “Can we please stay here for a little while? I’d rather finish my drink first.”

“Okay,” the combat Amazon replied serenely. She reached out for the back of the other woman’s hand, stroking it gently. “We’ll wait.”

“Thank you.” The warrior’s daughter blinked and giggled nervously at the unexpected touch.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was four candlemarks before midnight when the music stopped onstage. Queen Andromache and her beloved Second-In-Command Andromeda had got onto the platform and were about to speak. They made sure to raise their voice loud so that everyone at the party could hear, but they were already certain that what they would say would be echoing throughout the hidden cave.

Andromache was the first to address the audience who was staring back at her cheerfully, for the most part. “Thank you all, women, for coming here this evening to Sapphic Night Fever, a very special night for all Sapphic women especially dedicated to the honour of our dear poetess Sappho and organised by my tribe. I will now let my, oh so cherished, partner Andromeda announce something very important for tonight.” She allowed her Second-In-Command to step forward.

Andromeda beamed at the women in the room. “Hello, all dear sisters! I hope you are all having an absolutely wonderful time down here! I would like to simply announce to you that there will be lovers’ performances onstage by a few couples who were carefully selected by Doris and Phoebe, our best spear-women. Then we’ll have a vote and there will be prizes.” The audience cheered merrily at what she was saying. She continued in an excited tone: “One of our prizes is very interesting actually… and somehow erotic!” She chuckled.

“Yeeeaaaahhhh!!!” many women in the audience shouted agitatedly. “Woo, woohoo… Woo-ooh-hoo-hoo!” a very noisy Amazon exclaimed somewhere in the crowd.

Andromeda briefly glanced back at her Queen lover, who was just smiling at the whole heated enthusiastic tension building up in the room, then regained her composure as she spoke to the party guests again: “The two women who will get voted as the ‘Best Couple of the Night’ will win the ultimately exciting prize!” she declared eagerly. “They will have the honour, for tonight, to go sleep together in the secret private room situated at the back of this underground party. We’re keeping it locked for the winners. It is very comfortable. There is a large bed back there and also a hot spring to bathe in…” She winked at the party women, humorously indicating her one-track mind. “To whoever wins, good luck, women! There will be other surprise prizes for the other two couples who win.”

The audience clapped and cheered. Many women were wondering intensely who would be winning such a precious prize, and more. Onstage, Andromeda stepped back and let her Queen speak again.

“And now I would like to introduce our first selected Sapphic couple to come onstage,” Andromache proclaimed loudly. “They are not Amazons but are wonderful Greek village women nonetheless. Everyone, please praise Theodora and Lysandra!” She outstretched her arm in presentation towards the brunette and the blonde wearing loose cotton dresses who were climbing onto the platform. The audience applauded them and got ready to hear the Sapphic poems they had to tell in celebration of their love…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, right after Theodora and Lysandra had finished their poetic performance and gone offstage, the Amazon musicians restarted playing –plunging Sapphic Night Fever back into a rhythmic harmony as enthralling as a heatwave of sweltering desire rushing through the body. Feverish, sensuous party excitement and captivating, entertaining sexual tension permeated the huge room. It all escalated rapidly as additional instruments played a sensual and oriental music that filled every partygoer’s senses to the pinnacle –making them drown in its intense heat. The women dancing figured that the new sound effects from the Orient were generated by the new extra musicians that had appeared on the platform. Those female artists were talented and the women in the room had already guessed they were not from Greece. The Amazons must have managed to get them to play at their party, most guests surmised.

Right in the middle of the dance floor, Xena and Gabrielle were dancing together very closely and lovingly, facing each other. The battling bard had her hands placed onto the Warrior Princess’ shoulders while her taller lover kept a steady grasp of the sides of her waist. Feeling Xena’s hands on her tummy while continuing to stare up into her azure blue eyes, Gabrielle thrust her hips forward while dancing. The warrior woman did the same and soon their thighs were sensually interlocking –simulating Sapphic lovemaking moves. Thankfully Xena had removed her cumbersome armour to dance with Gabrielle. She had left her breastplate safely at Andromeda’s table by the side of the stage, along with her weapons.

The two soulmates still felt the agreeable effects of the wine they had drank earlier fluttering through their heads. Making enjoyable movements here on the dance floor, they were both following the cadence of this party’s voluptuous sounds and tempo. They quickly realised they both wanted to indulge profoundly in Sapphic Night Fever’s womanly homoerotic luxury. The scent of hundreds of different perfumes filled their lungs as all around them on the dance floor various Sapphic couples were involved in similar kinds of erotic rhythmic movements. Some women were even performing belly dancing to the sound of the Oriental music. Still other women were not dancing. Standing somewhere in the party hall, they could not stop staring at the Warrior Princess and the battling bard, prying on them in action or simulation thereof.

“Xena…” Gabrielle softly called into her partner’s ear as they carried on holding each other closely and making throbbing moves.

“Yes, Gabrielle?”

“I think they’re looking at us, on the side… over there…” She discreetly directed her eyes briefly towards their admirers.

“It’s all right.” Xena shrugged and laughed. “I think it just means they want to join…” She gave her blonde lover a toothy grin. She would not be talking like this had she not drunk booze.

“Xena!” The short-haired woman was shocked at her older partner’s indecent remark. They still kept dancing.

“Well, you know what they say…” Xena joked in a crude way to purposefully annoy Gabrielle, “the more, the merrier!”

“Oh, Xena, you’re evil,” the battling bard grumbled, but she already knew the Warrior Princess was not being serious.

The taller woman giggled, tenderly brushed her nose to her soulmate’s and swiftly kissed her. “I’m kidding, sweetheart. You already know this.”

“I hope so.” Gabrielle gazed smilingly at her Xena. “ ’Cause I’m really not into group lovemaking. I love you way too much for that.”

“I love you too, and I ain’t into group lovemaking either.” The warrior with long dark hair shook her head. “I’m way too obsessed with having you all for myself for that.” The two lovers kissed again, then suddenly Xena gently turned Gabrielle around while dancing so that her back was to her. She grabbed her hips with two firm hands and began making some steamy leg movements at the back of her lover’s thighs. Touching the soft velvet of the blonde’s red skirt made her feel deliciously light-headed.

The short-haired woman had not anticipated her warrior lover’s audacious shift in dancing position but still thoroughly appreciated the intimacy of it nonetheless. She could feel Xena’s gorgeous leather-covered body behind her with the ample breasts pressing against her back. Gabrielle moaned in enjoyment while keeping dancing erotically as she closed her eyes and threw her head back, leaning into the warrior woman’s strong frame. She rested her hands onto Xena’s arms. “Oh… Xena… Huh… But what if we’re being watched right now? Hmmm…” she asked while continuing to take pleasure in the dance.

The Warrior Princess immediately moved her mouth down to suck on Gabrielle’s neck. “Don’t worry,” she responded in between two loving suctions on her soulmate’s skin. “Just concentrate on the music, my love,” she kindly ordered. “Keep your eyes shut and drown into it… I love you… so much…” The taller woman planted several sultry kisses onto her short-haired lover’s neck. She felt Gabrielle relax against her body. While she continued to make forward movements with the front of her thighs, she retained a strong hold onto the blonde’s hips, as Gabrielle’s hands now covered hers. Xena joyfully felt the battling bard lithely moving her adorable rear dressed in red velvet backwards against the front flaps of her own leather skirt.

The scorching torrid dance both lovers were being frenziedly focused on, combined with the endlessly spellbinding music and intensity of the Sapphic atmosphere filling the room, doused them into delirious excitement beyond belief. They sometimes rotated their hips sideways simultaneously in accordance with the pursuit of the sumptuous music’s different beats.

Behind Gabrielle, Xena rested her head on her companion’s shoulder as her hands moved up to vigorously cup her girlfriend’s breasts through the delicious velvet, which made the blonde groan in delight again. The battling bard reached back with her arms to rest her hands onto the flesh near the back of Xena’s neck. After that, the Warrior Princess brought her own hands back down to leisurely touch the smaller but sturdy woman’s abdominal muscles which she loved. Her bard had really become such a stronger, more robust fighter in recent years. The long-haired woman was being completely seduced by her sexiness. She moved a hand down to touch the skin of one of Gabrielle’s thighs, which was slightly parted from the other. ‘I wish I could take her right here, right now… so gorgeous, so loved… my sweet, sweet love…’ Xena thought, as her fingers played with the front hem of Gabrielle’s skirt.

“Hmmm…” the battling bard moaned dreamily as she kept her eyes closed and shuddered warmly at the touch of Xena’s fingertips near her inner thigh. The two lovers rotated their hips again, and made some more moves to stick to the delicious rhythms that were continuously controlling their bodies.

Xena had to make more adventurous dance moves to admire her partner’s beauty. She interrupted Gabrielle’s backward embrace of her neck as she delicately turned the younger woman anew, having her facing her again. She held her by the shoulders while her soulmate placed her hands on her leathered waist.

The short-haired blonde carried on dancing, and wondered what would be her taller lover’s next moves this time. She had already taken great joy in the latest one, though undoubtedly knew she would feel embarrassed if she started caring about the nosy admirers standing nearby. She chose not to. She felt mesmerised by her admirably indecent partner instead. “I love you very much, Xena. You are so fantastic!” Gabrielle complimented happily.

Xena remained silent, following the rhythms. She hungrily licked her lips while she peered down libidinously at the glorious shapes of her soulmate’s body, dressed in such a delightfully short and revealing red velvet outfit. While making coordinated dance moves the Warrior Princess slowly and gradually crouched down rhythmically in front of her battling bard, using the supple grace of her legs. Xena slowly slid her fingers down along the skin of Gabrielle’s arms as she leisurely moved her head downwards, closer and closer towards the heady scent of her blonde lover’s centre –brazenly simulating oral lovemaking right in the middle of the party.

“Xena, oh gods!” Gabrielle chuckled nervously. She clearly had not expected such an alluringly raunchy dance move, and she softly caressed Xena’s long-haired head with both her hands. “You are driving me nuts, you know that?”

The Warrior Princess unhurriedly moved her head slightly back up to kiss the battling bard’s enticingly splendid abs, tonguing them alternatively, while firmly stroking the sides of her waist. “But this is exactly what I intend to do…” she quickly and loudly answered over the party music, and emitted further lustful moans as she resumed her oral attention to those dearly cherished abdominal muscles.

Gabrielle was no longer bothered by whoever was standing nearby. There were many, many other women on the dance floor performing similarly erotic dance movements with their lovers. The short-haired woman carried on cuddling her partner’s head warmly, running her fingers through her hair. When the warrior woman went back down to bury her face into her skirt while sticking to the rhythms, the blonde moved her hips forward in cadence with the sensual music the artists kept playing.

The battling bard passionately enjoyed Xena’s simulated submission to her right in front of female voyeurs who were undoubtedly watching. Gabrielle wanted to return the favour, and could not help but realise how much she loved how her warrior lover had gradually broken all her barriers of inhibition over the years –ever since she had enthusiastically offered her virginity to her. Xena reluctantly moved herself back up while continuing to dance closely. Gabrielle began to make the same rhythmic downward moves onto her warrior’s body, which caused Xena to feel undeniably impressed by and enamoured with her younger lover’s equally determined fearlessness. The two women fleetingly thought that Sapphic Night Fever was actually even better than the hell-intoxicated party they had had with Lucifer and others recently.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Zoe had managed to take Eve to the dance floor. She had seductively lured her with enticingly emotional words about how beautiful she was while she had been leading her there after their drinks were finished. Now quietly making modest movements together in tempo with the music, the two women faced each other.

Eve looked somehow embarrassed though secretly intrigued by the lustful moves made by all the nearby dancers, and she had even noticed to her surprise both her mothers dancing like that together without shame as well, but she had looked away –not wanting to invade their privacy.

Zoe was obviously not the shy type and openly smiled to the warrior’s daughter about all the erotic dance movements performed by other women close-by, but she also realised that Eve was genuinely coy and did not want to look too sprightly to the lady –whom, she easily guessed, probably was a virgin to Sapphic love.

“Are you enjoying yourself so far at Sapphic Night Fever, Eve?” The combat Amazon held the redhead’s waist tighter as the other woman held her around the neck. They were dancing smoothly.

“Yep. It is good.” She grinned. “I like the atmosphere, and you’re a really great dancer.”

“So are you, Eve.”

“Thank you, Zoe.”

They kept dancing, as Zoe suddenly led Eve into more complex movements, slightly steamier.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena and Gabrielle left the dance floor. They went to get themselves another drink and some more party food. Carrying their meals and mugfuls of wine with them, they walked to the other side of the party hall and decided to sit together at one of the party tables. Andromeda came to see them. She put two scrolls and a couple of quills down on their table.

“What are these for?” Gabrielle questioned.

“You didn’t pick up your blank parchments from the scroll table like Doris had asked you. Here I’m bringing them to you. Please both prepare yourself for your performance onstage tonight. I know you’ll both do well.” The Amazon Second-In-Command left the couple alone after saying this.

Sitting beside one another, Gabrielle and Xena looked at each other, smiling. After they finished their meals, they kept sipping at their wine as they took the scrolls that lay on the table and started writing. The battling bard wrote a poem about their relationship while the Warrior Princess simply wrote some important memories she had about their love. They both enjoyed their writing and the romantic, passionate feelings and recollection it brought to their minds. The two women were not looking at each other’s scrolls, however, since what one was going to read or say onstage was supposed to be a surprise to the other.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Toxaris did not mean to feel this way but she was profoundly drunk as she still stood just outside Sapphic Night Fever’s entrance three candlemarks before midnight. She had feigned her soberness pretty well when Alkaia had asked her to replace her on the guarding job. She was very good at faking it, but the alcohol was still seriously ramming inside her head like a padded hammer striking repeatedly against a vibrant gong. She had taken way too many drinks in a crazy binge earlier on, during the first two candlemarks of the party down there. Daylight remained out here for now. The Amazon archer tried to steady herself a little, trying to preserve an austere expression on her face in case of potential late visitors. She hoped Alkaia and Bremusa would be back soon, especially since they had said they would return much earlier. They were late, and Toxaris did not like this. She could not leave the door unattended however. It would be too risky.

Behind a large green bush a few yards away from where Toxaris was standing, Pyrrhos, Timon and Kleon were hiding and carefully peeping at what they had recognised as Sapphic Night Fever’s entrance door. They had noticed the blonde Amazon guard standing there, spear in hand, but they were not fearful at all. Their plan would work.

Pyrrhos had had his beard shaved, his eyebrows trimmed and his nails polished. Some feminine makeup had been applied onto his face and womanly perfume poured on his neck. He was wearing a long dark blue dress made of cotton that neatly enveloped his overweight body. He was also wearing a slick brown shoulder-length wig that cleverly covered the sides of his brow ridges, making him look much more like a woman. The other men were very cleverly disguised in a similar fashion, faking female appearances, with their brow ridges equally covered with hanging hair.

Timon’s moustache had been shaved off. He had not needed to wear a wig as he already had long blond hair, which had been brushed and styled in a feminine way. He displayed colourful makeup on his complexion, and had donned a purple shirt top and a long black leather skirt. As for Kleon, he was also made-up, adorned in a light brown suede dress with long sleeves, and wore a long, slightly wavy wig of red hair. All three men were wearing knee-high boots to cover their masculine lower legs. They all wore scarves around their necks to skilfully conceal their Adam’s apples as well as pairs of big cushiony pouches filled with fine hay within their ladies’ top undergarments to fake breasts under their clothes. Timon and Kleon at least were young attractive men and seemed convincing to pass as sturdy though not necessarily unappealing ‘ladies,’ while Pyrrhos merely looked more like an older, fat and ugly ‘woman.’

The three men all realised they had to change their voices a little to make things work, and had been happy to have had some helpful voice training by some townswomen back in Nicopolis during late afternoon –the very same townswomen stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers whom the men had paid for their whole feminine makeover. The thugs had all watched themselves closely in mirrors and had been satisfied with the results. They found themselves convincing enough to infiltrate the Sapphic Night Fever party. Each of them held a handbag with a small crossbow inside. They all hid poisoned darts that they were planning to shoot Xena and Gabrielle with. Pyrrhos had heard from a legend about a very remote time, while he had still been a child, that a clever woman named Callisto had shot Xena in a similar fashion, and it had almost worked.

While they had spent a good portion of the afternoon in Nicopolis, just before the feminine makeover but after having gotten two extra invitation parchments made for them, the three men had come upon Pyrrhos’ ex-army with a new leader, Erasmos, whom Pyrrhos had challenged in a sword fight to the death. The ex-leader had won, and the army had agreed to serve him the next day –after they had buried Erasmos that evening. Pyrrhos had told them about his murderous plans and the men were more than happy to join and help him tomorrow.

Pyrrhos was disappointed he could not get those men under his control right now, but he understood that the burial of a dead leader was an unavoidable, compulsory policy for an army. With the help of Kleon and Timon, he would surreptitiously kill Xena and Gabrielle tonight, and tomorrow he would rule his army to combat against the Amazons and steal the warrior women’s bodies away from them. All this sounded like an awfully big plan but the bandits had to stick to it if they wanted to get the chance to reach their goal. Now hiding near the party entrance, the three men observed the Amazon by the door as they were engaged in a quiet, whispering conversation about their own plans.

“Sometimes I wonder why we couldn’t have decided to just simply wait until they show up outside that party door and get them then,” Timon complained. “Did we really have to disguise ourselves as women?”

“We have to infiltrate that Sapphic party, Timon,” Pyrrhos replied, “and I did not have a better idea than this for doing so. If we waited ‘til they come out that could take until tomorrow… Besides, Xena and Gabrielle are more likely to be distracted as warriors and therefore easier to shoot if they’re busy having fun.”

“If we manage to kill them,” Kleon asked the elder man, “are you sure your army will still be willing to come back for you and help us steal their bodies tomorrow?”

“Don’t sweat, Kleon,” Pyrrhos asserted confidently. “Now that I’ve killed their new leader, men from my ex-army are more than willing to come back to join me again. Plus they like the idea of helping me steal the bodies of the Warrior Princess and the battling bard from the Amazons.”

“We’d better start going in now,” Timon suggested. “The party most likely started earlier, and they’re probably already in there.”

“All right,” Pyrrhos agreed. “Now come with me. I’m finding it really exciting doing something so forbidden.” He sneered and moved himself away from the green bush. The other two men following him. Covertly camouflaged with feminine appearances, they approached the Amazon guard at the entrance. They held out to her three invitation scrolls, of which two were fake though looking like authentic ones.

Drunk as a skunk as she was standing by the door, Toxaris greeted what she vaguely discerned as three women approaching. The women looked a bit strange but the Amazon archer thought this might just be due to the effects that the alcohol was having on her senses. The visitors had their invitation scrolls anyway. They were probably just being innocent village women late to the party. She let them in. Her head kept throbbing hard from the booze binge that had intoxicated her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A few moments later, Alkaia and Bremusa got back from the woods, towards the entrance to Sapphic Night Fever. The Amazon general took her security job back from Toxaris. “I’m so sorry things took so long. Bremusa and I got our boots caught into a puddle of mud when we were in the woods. We had to go get them washed at the nearest lake.” Alkaia was not lying. While she and her lover had been having a quickie, they had been so absorbed into each other that they had not noticed when inadvertently stepping into some nasty, muddy soil that had not had time to dry after the last rainfall. It had been near the tree they had been at.

“I see…” Toxaris did not want to say too much. She was too drunk but still concealed it well.

“Was there anyone trying to cause you trouble while we were away?” Bremusa questioned –she and her girlfriend remaining completely unaware of their blonde Amazon friend’s inebriety.

“Nah…” the Amazon archer negated. She walked away from the couple and went to sit down and relax on a patch of close-by grass. Dusk would be coming soon now, in another candlemark or so.

Alkaia and Bremusa stayed together by the door, the Amazon general’s arms wrapped around her shorter lover’s waist. The slightly younger woman was resting her back against her taller partner’s frame.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The disguised men hurried down the stairs to get into the party. In there, they looked around while trying not to make themselves noticed too much. There was so much noise coming from some weird female musicians, and the room was absolutely filled with women. Many female guests and Amazons looked so obviously liquored up with wine. The bandits hoped that the females down here would be too distracted by both Sapphic Night Fever’s atmosphere and their alcohol intoxication to try to notice that they were not real women.

Timon saw Xena and Gabrielle sitting together at a table, holding each other’s hands and looking into each other’s eyes in an enamoured manner. “Look there,” he mentioned cautiously in a circumspect manner to the other men. “They’re at that table over there.” The other two bandits glanced at the legendary Sapphic couple.

“We can’t try to have them now,” Pyrrhos retorted, his male voice being covered from the female attendees by the music. “We’ll have to wait until there’s a moment when they turn their backs or something, when they really can’t see us in the crowd…”

“Agreed…” Kleon confirmed.

“There are so many women at this party that they will not think of coming near us or recognise us anyway,” Timon remarked.

It felt utterly evilly thrilling to these men to have managed to clandestinely invade a woman-only party like this. They hated Xena and Gabrielle. They were misogynists who believed that there should not be women like them without men, not even for one single event or one single night. Especially Pyrrhos, he considered women’s roles to solely belong in the kitchen or in the bedroom serving their husbands sexually. He hated Amazons and Sapphic women because those were untamed, free women. Seeing those bitches down here moving, gyrating and contorting themselves on the dance floor in outrageously Sapphic erotic positions was a complete abomination in his eyes. He saw that as an utter crime against male rule. At the same time, he found that bizarrely exciting, but still it was abominable to him. That’s why he had had this brilliant idea to deceive the women down here, to get himself and his younger thugs inside the place as underhandedly as penetrating an unconscious woman in her sleep, so that then he would be able to stealthily kill the most challenging women of all: the Warrior Princess and her faithful battling bard. His evil thoughts were that cruel.

The two younger men did not necessarily share all of Pyrrhos’ old-fashioned opinions about women and the kitchen. They nevertheless did find it beautiful to watch women performing erotic acts onto other women, and thus they deemed it acceptable that, as men, they should be entitled to access Sapphic women’s private spaces. Moreover, all three men believed that, if women were to have too many women-only events that Amazons organised, females together might then potentially attempt to start a revolution against the overall general social power that men had as supreme rulers –and these thugs, just as any other men like them, were not going to let that happen. How dared those Sapphic harlots enjoy themselves sexually and, especially, emotionally without men? In the bandits’ eyes this was clearly a ‘wrong’ that they had to put right, by making the women accept them into their circles, trust them –until the moment when they would be shooting Xena and Gabrielle with poisoned darts. They all agreed that, if they had to disguise themselves as women to achieve all this, then so be it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Holding Eve’s hand, Zoe unhurriedly headed towards the punch table to get herself and the warrior’s daughter another mug of wine. They got there, and as they were sharing their drinks standing together, the combat Amazon spoke: “I’m so glad that I managed to take you for a dance, that I got you to do at least a few bold moves and that you enjoyed it.” While holding her drink, Zoe tenderly brushed off the strands of hair that hung by the side of Eve’s face with her free hand.

The redhead smiled humbly. “It was interesting and enjoyable, yes.”

Zoe looked intently into the other woman’s face with an expression that suggested she was being intensely charmed by her. “Eve, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in a long time,” she stated sincerely, “you know that?”

Eve blushed tensely. “Thank you,” she barely managed to reply. She was at a loss for words. She was undeniably strongly attracted to Zoe too. The Amazon was, after all, a very beautiful woman of Asian origins with a wonderfully shaped body. Eve was being completely emotionally possessed by the sight of her beauty, and she was also very much curious about what Sapphic sexuality would feel like. The warrior’s daughter thought that, maybe, she just had to let herself go. On the other hand, she could not feel comfortable with her own memories of how she had profoundly hurt, tortured and wounded an Amazon tribe for the glory of Ares –women like Zoe. She could not resist the combat Amazon’s enticing charms however. Eve concluded that she had to dispel the dark thoughts of her evil past for tonight if she wanted to really enjoy herself with the Amazon.

Zoe suddenly leaned forward to kiss Eve on the lips. It was a passionate, gentle kiss which the redhead did not resist. The two women ended up embracing each other and kissing more deeply…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Phoebe and Doris were totally under the wine’s intoxicating influences when they approached three new women who had just arrived at the party a few moments ago. The two Amazon lancers wanted to greet them. What they did not know is that those ‘women’ were not real females, but they were being too drunk to notice anything particular in the semi-dark party hall, only lit by torches on the walls.

“Hello, sisters. Welcome to Sapphic Night Fever!” Doris said.

“I’m Phoebe and she’s my girlfriend Doris. What are your names?”

Pyrrhos carefully kept a feminine composure in his woman-like attire. “Hah… I am ‘Pyrrha,’” he stated in a higher-pitched voice, like an elder female, “and this is my daughter ‘Klea,’” he pointed towards Kleon, “and her lover ‘Timona,’” then introducing Timon. The two young ‘women’ smiled warmly at the Amazons. So did ‘Pyrrha.’

Doris and Phoebe chuckled briefly. They thought that Pyrrha was an interestingly funny woman in her manners, or maybe that was just the alcohol. “Sorry,” Phoebe sought an excuse for their suppressed laughter. They had handed so many invitation scrolls today that they could not remember all the invited women’s faces. It did not bother them that Pyrrha was ugly and fat, as there were quite a few overweight women at the party, some with long-term partners. Women came in all shapes and forms after all. Timona and Klea looked like a special, unique couple in their own rights –or maybe it was just the booze overdose ringing through the spear-women’s heads that made them consider some particular women differently. They shrugged. Nothing out of the ordinary, as far as they were concerned. “Pleased to meet you,” Doris added.

“Pleased to meet you too,” Timon replied. “Same here,” Kleon said. Both men were equally imitating female voices, like Pyrrhos, but they were faking younger ones. The men tried desperately to appear friendly and inoffensive in their feminine clothes and demeanour.

“And what about you, Pyrrha? Didn’t you have a lover to take to Sapphic Night Fever?” Phoebe inquired.

“Oh… Huh… My lover?” Pyrrhos added, continuing to speak like the ‘Pyrrha’ he was imagining being. “Oh, I had a dear beloved female partner until recently,” Pyrrhos lied in a sad tone, “but she just passed away two moons ago.”

“I’m sorry,” Phoebe apologised, wiping the smile off her face.

“We hope the three of you will be having fun here.” Doris nodded, partially focused and under the influence. Onstage, the music carried on playing as people were either talking or dancing.

The Sapphic village couple Theodora and Lysandra, who had been onstage earlier on walked nearer to where Phoebe, Doris and the disguised bandits were standing. These women had had quite a few mugfuls of wine already too. The two spear-women turned to them. “Hi! We really enjoyed your performance earlier on. Keep up the good work!” Doris exclaimed happily.

“Thank you very much,” Lysandra said, and she and her lover got introduced to the three strange ‘women’ the two Amazons were talking to. After some time, Phoebe and Doris had to leave this particular conversation group because they had other things to attend to. Both Amazon lancers had to distribute a whole bunch of scrolls around the party hall –little parchments which would serve as ballots for all Amazons and their guests to vote for the ‘Best Couple of the Night’ who would win the first prize, as well as for other couples who would win secondary prizes.

Theodora began talking to the disguised men without guessing they were not women. “So tell me, Timona and Klea, what brings you to Sapphic Night Fever? Are you going to be celebrating the love you share tonight?” She and her lover felt that the weird women they were talking to were being overly dressed for a party like Sapphic Night Fever. Almost everyone down here wore short, sometimes scanty, clothes.

Pyrrhos sniggered at the woman’s words when he suddenly imagined the two young men who had accompanied him frolicking together on the dance floor like a couple of pederasts with an odd taste for girly clothing and makeup. Kleon suppressed a nervous chuckle. The thought of moving his body close to the other young man while dancing in feminine attire made his stomach churn in disgust. He and the other, older, man in drag remained silent, not knowing what to say.

Timon simpered as he decided to reply to Theodora with a female-like higher-pitched voice: “Yes, I think so… Later on, after a few drinks…” He was undeniably abashed deep down, but he knew he had to act his part in order to try his best to pass as a woman. The three cross-dressers now could not wait until they would get the opportunity to shoot Gabrielle and Xena with poison darts and rush out of this party, although the success in invading a Sapphic women-only event still made them feel stiff under their dresses –which, thankfully enough, were made of material loosened enough under their waist to hide their bulges. They would miss that delicious infiltration without any doubt. Furthermore, the women they had been speaking to down here seemed to believe they were real women. The bandits were very delighted too that they had been able to fool those women in such a skilful way, so far.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The music had stopped a little moment ago. Onstage, Andromeda called out for Xena and Gabrielle to come onto the platform and give out their romantic performance about their love relationship, exactly two candlemarks before midnight. Everyone turned their gaze towards where the Warrior Princess and the battling bard were sitting.

“Come on!” Doris encouraged them loudly in front of the crowd around them. “It’s time for you to go up there and celebrate your love!” Hundreds of female admirers were also yelling joyfully in support of the two legendary warrior women lovers.

At their table, Gabrielle and Xena blushed a little, but were more than happy to satisfy the enthusiasts. They had had some time to sober up a little since their last mugful of wine. They grinned, stood up and began walking towards the stage, scrolls in hand. The throng of Amazons and lay women made enough space for them to stroll into a small path in the direction of the platform, amongst a sea of people.

As soon as they had seen the Warrior Princess and the battling bard getting up and turning their backs on their way towards the stage, the three cross-dressed men had agreed that it was time to act now or never. They did not want to lose that opportunity for a nice shot. They had rushed to the very back of the room, near where the stairs to the way out were. The other attendees before them were being way too distracted by the legendary Sapphic couple they were watching to be able to notice what was happening at the back. There was also a lot of commotion in the party hall generated by the overall excitement of the Amazons and their guests for the two famous women.

“Let’s try to get them from the stairs when they’ll be climbing up on the platform, quick! That will be a perfect angle. We’ll be able to shoot above the crowd.” Pyrrhos instructed to the two young men following his every move. The curtain covering the way out had been clung to a hook on the side of the cave wall, to allow party women to go out easily any time they wanted to get some fresh air outside, and thus the lower part of the stairs now directly faced the stage on the other side of the room, though from a very large distance. It was still within shooting range however, but they did not have much time –and they would quickly be climbing their way out once the job would be done. The bandits were now standing on the steps at the bottom of the stairs, having gotten their crossbows loaded with poisoned darts out of their handbags and observing carefully as Xena and Gabrielle were about to go upstage after making their way through the crowd. The leader told the others he would be the one attempting the first shot, aiming at the taller warrior woman.

Xena was the first to walk up the small steps to the stage. She felt incredibly overjoyed by the fabulously warm sisterly reverence in the room; it was amazing she and her partner could be admired so much. She smiled at Andromache and Andromeda, waiting for them onstage –but still something was not quite right. She quickly detected the barely audible, rasping sound of a small object piercing through the air with her strong, heightened sense of hearing. She remembered an enemy had tried to get her that way a long time ago, which made her even more alert now. She swiftly, brilliantly and instinctively reached back to catch in her hand the poisoned dart that was just about to stab her through the shoulder. This happened in a split-second. She instantly turned around and remotely, fleetingly saw three persons’ shapes at the back of the room holding crossbows. “Gabrieeeellle! Get down!” she screamed.

Gabrielle immediately jumped backwards from the steps she had started to ascend. She nearly fell backwards in her haste to do what her warrior lover was telling her, but she got her arms swiftly gripped by Doris and Phoebe, catching her on each side in front of the crowd. On the small stairs, the Warrior Princess bent down to avoid the second poisoned dart sent by another attacker, which then crashed onto the back wall. As for the next projectile, its not so skilled shooter missed the warrior woman miserably, and it hit the huge dark red ‘Sapphic Night Fever’ tapestry with silver Greek letters at the back instead. “Get them!!!” Xena shouted, pointing towards the three people at the back of the party hall. She rushed down towards Andromeda’s table to retrieve her armour and weapons, which she had left there while enjoying the party.

“Damn!!!” Timon cursed as he had missed his shot, right after that warrior bitch had been clever enough to avoid Pyrrhos’ and Kleon’s attempts.

As the three crossed-dressed men saw a bunch of Amazons get themselves out of the crowd to go after them, Pyrrhos ordered that the three of them immediately took off. It had been much more difficult than they had initially thought and they would try this another time. The priority now was to get their asses out of here. The disguised bandits rapidly rushed up the stairs towards the way out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Sunset was drawing near when the Amazon general and her girlfriend standing outside totally unexpectedly heard some male voices as they witnessed three men, wearing feminine clothes and holding unloaded crossbows, coming up the stairs towards them. What were those intruders doing down there? This was a women-only party, for Sappho’s sake! Alkaia very cleverly grabbed the first infiltrator coming out the door by the shoulder: the fat man wearing a ridiculous dress. She pulled him with great force and pushed him against the wall outside in such a rough manner that his brown wig fell off from his head. His weapon dropped to the ground too. “Don’t move, you bastard! How on earth did you get in there?!” Alkaia hollered. She held out a strong arm against his neck and her other hand threatened his chubby belly with the sharp end of her spear, stilling him against the wall behind him. He muffled a whimper in his throat, scared of the impressive woman. This clearly was not the same Amazon Pyrrhos had seen standing outside the entrance earlier on. She tied him up using a rope she had left lying nearby.

Bremusa powerfully kicked at the other two men coming out, in every direction. Her taller lover swiftly joined her in the action. What was advantageous to the two women was that the crossed-dressers wore long skirts that made it awkward for them to battle them properly. And Alkaia was such a fast fighter that she disarmed them from their empty crossbows in no time. Her slightly younger partner pulled Kleon’s wig off from his skull and could plainly see a man in drag, just like the others. “You think you can fool us like this?” Bremusa asked disgusted, slapping him across the face. The two women kept fighting him and Timon off with their strong legs and arms, which swiftly brought them both down to the ground in a few sweeping movements. The young men whined in pain as they collapsed.

Both Amazon lovers tied them up as well. They noticed that many other Amazon women had been coming up from the party, and had been watching them fight. Alkaia and Bremusa then dragged all three men they had just defeated by their clothes and bound them to the nearest notice posts in the village, not too far away from the door to Sapphic Night Fever. They also gagged them with pieces of cloth. They turned back and faced the other women who had just come up out here. They probably were after the men too. Bremusa and Alkaia watched as Xena, dressed back in her armour, Gabrielle, Andromeda and an angry Andromache came outside, after the other women –along with a few village female guests following them.

“What has been happening here?” the Amazon Queen questioned her most faithful Amazon general in a furious voice while walking towards her and her companion. “How did those men manage to get past you? I thought you were much more intelligent than this, Alkaia, that you would be able to distinguish men from women regardless of what they’re wearing.”

Alkaia kept her poise. She was not guilty. “I was not at the door when they got in, my queen. Toxaris was.” The crowd of women outside the Main House all looked around in Toxaris’ direction.

The archer-woman was still sitting on the grass, drunk, staring back at Andromache. “We— well, my queen… I’m sorry, I did not recognise they weren’t women ‘cause they were so cleverly disguised and… huh… I wasn’t feeling too good…” She rubbed her forehead with her palm, the alcohol intoxication still hurting.

“Were you drunk, Toxaris?!!” the Queen blurted out. She shook her head, finding this whole situation utterly disgraceful to the Amazon Nation. “You are dismissed, Toxaris.” Her tone was bitter. “You are no longer an Amazon, You can leave us now.” She turned back towards her most trusted Amazon general, the ire in her royal soul as burning hot as furiously boiling water. “Where in the name of deceased Artemis were you when those men got in the door?!! Where did you go???!!! There is not a chance in Tartarus they’d have got in with you standing outside instead of that silly Toxaris!”

Alkaia breathed deeply, intensely anxious and challenged. “I… Bre…” She could barely manage to utter words under the formidable gaze of fury coming from her queen, but since everyone up here was waiting for her response, she finally managed it, sighing: “I’m truly sorry, my queen. Bremusa and I, it’s our two-year anniversary of when we met… We needed a little moment in the woods for some privacy together while letting the door be watched by Toxaris. Toxaris is usually a good fighter, and we did not know she was drunk…” She carried on speaking, in a humble way: “We were planning to get back here quickly but I… we… got our feet caught into some mud which we had to get washed off at the nearest river…”

“And when we eventually managed to come back here,” Bremusa continued –defending her lover with all the strength in her heart, “we never thought there had been any infiltrators as we still did not know Toxaris was drunk. She was pretty good at hiding it, the mean one. Oh, please, my queen, understand…” the young Amazon implored, “… it was all my fault. I was the one who strayed Alkaia from her duty. I shouldn’t have… but please don’t forget that we still managed to catch those men as soon as they came out.”

Andromache was still mad. “You both will get heavily punished for this!” she menaced. Even Andromeda was shocked by her partner’s anger.

“No, they won’t!” Xena raised her voice at the Amazon Queen, who immediately turned to face her.

“What, Xena?!” Andromache’s eyes widened at the warrior woman’s audacity. Nobody had ever talked back to her like this. Close-by, a group of Amazons lit torches outside the Main House, as night was falling.

The Warrior Princess sighed courageously and shook her head. She then insisted with a somewhat lower but still very confident voice: “I said they won’t.” Next to her, Gabrielle admired her for that. Without having communicated their feelings about their viewpoint on this, they already knew they shared the same thoughts. The two soulmates both understood how much Alkaia and Bremusa had needed each other so badly and could not wait on an evening like this, a date that signified the two-year anniversary of when they had met. To both lovers, it was the Amazon Queen’s mistake to assign Alkaia, an Amazon General, as a security guard during such an important occasion for celebration. If she had really preferred the Amazon general to be her door guard for Sapphic Night Fever, then why not simply organising it another evening when that would not have been such a precious anniversary for Alkaia and Bremusa’s relationship?

“It was not really Alkaia or Bremusa’s fault, Queen Andromache,” Gabrielle remarked, wanting fairness. “What would you say if you were being required to work outside the door of a cheerful party place while it’s the date of an important anniversary for the celebration of your relationship with Andromeda? Please try to calm down and understand them, my queen.” Staring at her, the Amazon Queen said nothing, completely dumbfounded and unsmiling.

Xena talked to the Queen again: “Look, Queen Andromache… Alkaia and Bremusa are very loyal and skilled fighters in your tribe. They don’t need to get punished at all. They did manage to catch the bad guys on their way out. Imagine how those men who tried to shoot Gabrielle and I with poisoned darts would have succeeded in escaping if the two strong Amazon partners had not stood right out here a few moments ago,” she explained all this in her usual charming, convincing tone –which made Andromache ponder things for a few instants.

The Amazon Queen looked back towards the general and her shorter lover. She also briefly observed the bound and gagged men, squirming in their restraints. “You two did fight them well,” she admitted to the Amazons who had caught them.

“We did, my queen,” Alkaia confirmed, with eyes that warmly begged for mercy.

Queen Andromache sighed and relaxed, her Andromeda by her side lightly caressing her forearms and encouraging her to understand the situation. “All right. I’ll let you two off for the time being. I admit I perhaps should have organised Sapphic Night Fever on a better date. You two probably desperately needed each other. It’s good you’ve made up for it and managed to catch those intruders though.” She gazed at the crowd around her and addressed them: “All right, everyone. Go back down into the party! We mustn’t let such an unfortunate invading malevolence spoil our fun for tonight. Andromeda, Xena, Gabrielle, Alkaia, Bremusa and I will all join you in a few moments, right after taking good care of those evil men up here.” She winked and smirked, and watched most of the Amazons and their guests as they walked back down into Sapphic Night Fever below.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Pyrrhos stared intently at the Warrior Princess in front of him. He was afraid after getting caught. So were Timon and Kleon, but none of them could talk –gagged and shaking in their bindings. Xena held her whip, which she had fetched from the saddlebags near Argo in the local stables a few moments ago, and almost taunted them with it.

“Hey boys, we met earlier on today, didn’t we?” she called out provocatively. “Want me to take off the gags?” She sneered as the men nodded in a pleading way. Those bandits were so grotesque in their sweat-soaked agony at being bound and gagged while wearing feminine dresses, fake breasts and makeup. She bent down quickly and removed the older man’s gag only. “I’ll only let your leader speak for now.”

Pyrrhos caught his breath. “We agree that we have failed. Now please release us, Xena.” His voice was faint from nearly being choked.

The Warrior Princess shook her head. “Not so fast… I want to know the names of the men attempting to murder me and my soulmate his evening. What are they? Now tell me before I put the pinch on you again!” she commanded in a solemn tone. Next to her, Gabrielle, Alkaia, Bremusa, Andromache and Andromeda watched her handle this attentively.

“I’m Pyrrhos, Xena,” he said urgently, wanting to avoid any further blow to his neck, “and the young men with me are Timon and Kleon.”

“All right, Pyrrhos.” The warrior woman snickered. “What makes you think you can come down here, infiltrate a women-only space in some stupid disguise and think you can kill me and my soulmate, huh?!” She cracked the whip she held once, just to frighten him. It worked, as she gleefully noticed the distress on his face.

“Xena,” Gabrielle addressed her lover, “maybe we all should just leave them up here, bound and gagged, and go back down to enjoy ourselves at the party? What they did is absolutely unspeakable, I agree. They intruded a sisterly space where they were obviously not welcome, just to try to kill us.”

“Leaving them up here is a great idea, Gabrielle,” the Warrior Princess approved. “We’ll just do that in an instant…” She looked back towards the bandits while motioning a finger towards the Amazon Queen and her Second-In-Command. “See, guys, this Amazon Queen here is named Andromache which literally means ‘man-fighter,’ and her Second-In-Command’s name is Andromeda which means ‘man-ruler.’ Please be delighted to be introduced,” she mocked in a half-serious way.

“That’s right,” Andromeda said in a grave tone. “That’s exactly what our names mean…” She chuckled. “… but don’t worry, boys, we don’t hate men,” the secondary Amazon ruler denied. “Some women in our tribe still do need men for mating seasons sometimes…” she brought up as proof.

“We only want to scare men like you away just by the sounds of our names,” Andromache added sarcastically.

“All we ask is a little respect of our women-only spaces and events and no attempted murder,” Andromeda continued, remaining respectful to members of the opposite sex in general.

“That’s absolutely it,” Xena validated to the thugs. “Defending women-only places and events does not make these Amazons or any supportive women raging man-haters, not at all.”

Gabrielle got more involved into the conversation: “Absolutely not. The issue here is that the Amazon Nation should have the right to create private separate spaces for women whenever needed.”

“Exactly!” the Warrior Princess confirmed her battling bard’s words while keeping her eyes on the thugs.

“But I guess this important notion felt too big for your small cruel brains, hey guys?!” Alkaia made fun of them in a rhetorical manner that made her lover Bremusa laugh. Somewhere at the back, the party could be heard restarting from down below.

Pyrrhos could not take the insult. All these women disgusted him, and the last one who had spoken did even more because of her non-whiteness. These women menacing him and his comrades said they did not hate men, he thought, but he himself hated women with the heat of a thousand suns for sure. The awful bitches always wanted to have the last word instead of being compliant as they should be. He had to retort something back to the Amazon general, impulsively, in order to preserve his inflated ego, even in such a dire situation he was in. “Oh, you shut up, savage woman!” he yelled at Alkaia. “Go back to Africa!”

The undeniably discriminatory remark made Alkaia’s blood boil like lava. She immediately walked past Xena and swiftly bent down to hit the older man across the face with a strong backhand, which made him understand his mistake in a flashing burst of pain all over his cheek. “I was born in Greece, you worthless racist maggot!!!” the Amazon general bellowed at him, enraged. Bremusa also rushed to him and gave him a kick in the abdomen, which made him agonise rightfully. Her taller lover then gagged Pyrrhos again, to stifle his cries.

Gabrielle’s jaw dropped in shock at what Pyrrhos had just said. “Sweet Aphrodite!” she spoke to him. “How can you be so low?!”

“Yes, how dare you?!” Xena added, disgusted at the leader’s prejudiced opinions. She gave her whip to Alkaia who was just next to her. “Here, take good care of him. We all know that not all men are like him and his buddies but as far as I’m concerned this sort of thing he said and what they all did don’t fly with me, if you know what I mean. Make them pay for all this dearly.”

“Yes, that’s right,” Andromache urged Alkaia on, “do him right!” Her respect for her most faithful general shone brightly through her smile now. She did not even conceive how she could have been so angry at her a few moments ago. “Andromeda and I are going back down into the party. Please join us soon, after you’re finished with the punishment for the intruders and attempted murderers.” She and her blonde partner instantly turned away and went to vanish downstairs, underneath the Main House.

As Alkaia faced the men with Bremusa by her side, she held the whip they decided they would take turn in using on the men. She heard the Warrior Princess say something: “Hey Alkaia…” The Amazon general glanced over her shoulder. So did her girlfriend. They turned towards the Warrior Princess and her battling bard.

Xena spoke with a smirk on her face: “Those bad boys probably gave themselves a hard-on at their success in infiltrating a Sapphic event like this one. Now we’ll see if the whiplashes can get them equally excited.” She chortled and winked, joking wickedly.

Alkaia laughed. “Hey, by the way, Xena…”


“Thank you so much to you and Gabrielle for defending my partner and I earlier on to Andromache.” The Amazon general was grateful. So was her lover, who said something similar as well in agreement.

“No problem,” the tall warrior with long dark hair replied with a happy expression.

“”You’re welcome,” the sweet little sturdy short-haired blonde added with an amiable smile.

Bremusa and Alkaia grinned in a friendly way at Xena and Gabrielle. They turned back in the direction of the tied up bandits. The Amazon general whispered something about the warrior couple to her lover: “Awesome white sisters, huh?!” she remarked with a grin.

“Yep. They really are,” Bremusa agreed, delighted.

Alkaia was the one to strike the first blow of Xena’s whip. She carried on beating their bodies with enthusiasm for a little while, eliciting muffled laments of suffering from the bandits. She then handed the weapon to her slightly younger partner. Bremusa lashed energetically at the thugs, making the bastards pay fairly for their evil deeds. All the while, the battling bard and her Warrior Princess happily watched the Amazons’ legitimate revenge with reverence as the whiplashes hit the three men repeatedly, making them justly suffer the ordeal from the retribution they deserved. Alkaia and Bremusa carried on taking turns at flogging them, damaging their clothes, bruising and tearing at their skin violently with the leather whip –which they spun alternately from right to left while thrashing it at each of the three thugs before them. The Amazons aimed harshly at the men’s faces, chests, legs and so on –making them sweat, cry, bleed and writhe even more in pain under their restraint. The disguised bandits agonisingly underwent the appropriate punishment for hating women, disrespectfully infiltrating their private spaces, attempting to kill two wonderful female fighters and yelling distastefully racist outrage at an Amazon general of African descent.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena, Gabrielle, Alkaia and Bremusa went right down into the noisy, cheerful and lively Sapphic Night Fever –leaving the door locked behind them. They had left Pyrrhos and his thugs tied up, half-conscious, painfully hurt and unable to cry for help outside –tied to the village notice posts, as well as gagged. The four women hoped that now, since it was now dark outside, all villagers were asleep and no one would try to free those men –as Xena still had a few more things to deal with them later on.

For now however it was time for the Warrior Princess and the battling bard to climb onstage to celebrate their love to the crowd, as they should already have done earlier on. Women encouraged them and, within moments, the two lovers were on the platform –praised by Andromeda and Andromache. The audience cheered them noisily, including Alkaia, Bremusa, Doris and Phoebe amongst other Sapphic couples who were similarly wrapping their arms around each other while anticipating the performance. In the throng, Eve watched her mothers onstage while the adorably attractive Zoe cuddled her in a semi-embrace.

Xena wanted to go first but she asked Gabrielle to quickly change clothes just for the performance, as the bard had agreed. The Warrior Princess was going to tell things she remembered about their love and she really wanted the young blonde to wear that green top with criss-crossed laces at the front, the rust brown skirt and the long wig for the occasion. Gabrielle still accepted, wanting to please her lover. She went to borrow the costume that lay on a display table, and then rapidly went backstage to change clothes and put the long blonde wig on. She returned to the stage after a short while.

Women in the audience clapped happily at Gabrielle’s costume. Just like old times in the romantic legendary scrolls and drawings made from them, they thought. The Warrior Princess was seated on a chair that had been placed at the centre of the platform. Her bard lovingly sat in her lap, encircling her arms around her soulmate’s neck and wondering what she was about to say in her speech performance. Xena rested a tender hand around Gabrielle’s waist. With her free hand, she held the scroll onto which she had written something earlier but, as she was about to read it to the crowd, she felt profoundly embarrassed by something. “Just please give us just a minute,” the warrior requested to the women in the audience. She talked to her bard in a low voice: “Honey, I wanted to write something about my memories of you and our love so I let my thoughts roam freely in my head while I was writing this, and therefore I ended up writing something that’s a little erotic at times. Are you mad at me?”

“Huh…” The little Amazon was surprised, as she looked her lover straight in the eyes, slightly flustered.

“If this is not what you want I would respect that and skip those parts, don’t worry.”

Gabrielle reflected briefly on what Xena was saying. “But I thought you were very private about this stuff, warrior?”

“Yeah, I am,” Xena murmured back, “but there are only Sapphic women in the room here, most of them admirers, and I would not go too excessively into details anyway. So what do you think?”

The bard, now looking long-haired again, relaxed. “Xena, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I love you with all my heart, and I am absolutely not ashamed of anything that happened between us in the bedroll over the years. You’re such a wonderful lover, and it thrills me that some women I trust get to know this –as I have always enjoyed all the love you’ve given me, including erotic love. And I’ll also have a surprise for you with the poem I wrote, you’ll see.”

“You’re an excellent lover too, my bard. I love you too, so intensely it hurts,” the Warrior Princess affirmed sincerely. She and her lover kissed, and the audience hailed them lively. The women watching were bedazzled by the legendary couple for making such a romantic contact in front of them. They all acclaimed them, and praised them by loudly repeating their names.

The two lovers gently broke the kiss and looked back at the women in their audience who were waiting impatiently for Xena to start talking. “All right, everyone,” the warrior woman began addressing them loudly enough and joyfully while occasionally reading her notes on the scroll she had written, “let me tell you about my undying, powerful love for Gabrielle. It started a long, long time ago…” The blonde woman stared at her intently. She was completely mesmerised by her taller partner’s words, and realised for the umpteenth time how much she loved and desired the Warrior Princess as she kept listening. She knew she could not, would not want to, live without her.

“If I was to tell you everything about my love for Gabrielle, we would all be old and grey by the time I finish talking, considering the magnitude of my love for her,” Xena continued, chuckling. “So I’ll just stick to the most important details to my heart. You already know how we met from my bard’s narration in her scrolls,” she stated confidently. “I initially did not want to believe I deserved such a wonderful and beautiful creature. She was so altruistic, devoted and loyal to everyone kind enough to her –and I believed I was just an unworthy, guilty and miserable ex-warlord having done so many horrible things to others…”

Gabrielle shook her head in friendly disagreement. “Ooohhh…” everyone in the audience complained simultaneously.

Xena carried on in a warm tone: “… but she kept saying to me that I was not really evil, that there was a really good side in me. I was totally amazed by how much she had faith in me, and trusted me unconditionally despite my past evil deeds. I fell in love with her completely, even though at the beginning I did not believe I was the right lover for her. But she became so deeply attracted to me, desired me with all her love that I eventually gave in to her one day. She was actually a virgin for me, you know? Such a precious gift she’d given me, as an experienced woman.”

The women listening to the warrior’s story cheered in admiration. “Woohoo!” This was all so incredibly romantic to them that sort of detail about their legendary couple. Onto Xena’s lap, a Gabrielle dressed in her most popular bardic outfit blushed wildly, though she was not bashful at all about having given her virginity to the Warrior Princess. She was actually very proud of it, and let her partner continue talking.

“Let me tell you how much I surprised my own ex-warlord self when I started making love to her. I was being so gentle, only getting more fiercely impassioned when she really desired it,” Xena made her beloved companion’s face flush even more as she uttered these words. “Nevertheless,” the warrior woman resumed seriously, “I still did not believe I was the right person for her, and I would wait until someone else came along while keeping making love with her because I simply could not, would not ever resist her. She was so irresistible even though I knew it was not the wisest thing to do continuing to sleep with her despite not being convinced I was the one. So I told her many times I did not deserve her. One day, I let her go to marry Perdicus, her childhood friend, because she was having so much pity for him, felt intensely pressured into marrying him, and I also thought she would be much safer without me. I was wrong,” she recalled. “As you all know from her scrolls, Callisto came, killed her husband and tried to murder her too. Gabrielle and I were back together later on in the same year, and this time I was willing to give our relationship more of a serious chance, to open up more of myself to her, as I loved her so much.” She nodded and smiled, feeling the nostalgia of the memory of her and her Gabrielle getting back together.

“Aaaaahaaaaa!” Women in the audience were so happy, and wanted to hear more. So did the bard. She felt delighted at her lover’s account of their love relationship’s beginning.

The Warrior Princess decided to abridge the story, sticking to its main details since she did not want to spend the whole night onstage. “Anyway, our mutual passion was brilliantly ardent and our lovemaking was always intensified by our burning love for one another.” Her tone was very emotional and fervid. “For instance, Gabrielle, my dear soulmate, loved making love in small spaces behind waterfalls or in secret caves. As a lovely long-haired beauty, she always sensually opened herself to my touches like a purring little kitten waiting for her warrior lioness.” Xena dropped her scroll, already knowing her notes by heart, and hugged the waist of the bard who was sitting in her lap more dearly.

“Woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo!” some prying women in the audience shouted. “More details, please!” They found the warrior’s story as heated as the inside of a volcano ready for eruption.

“Hey, calm down, women back there!” Xena warned good-naturedly.

“Go for it, Xena,” Gabrielle whispered unexpectedly into her ear. “This is exciting to do something new like this, telling something so hot and loving for a Sapphic audience, and I am not afraid. I trust you with all my heart.”

The dark-haired woman grinned at what her lover was telling her. She spoke to the audience: “Okay, okay. Gabrielle consents to this, and I am not ashamed of anything I’ve done with her so I will continue with a little bit more details, just a tiny little bit.”

“Yeeeeeaaaaah!!!” the women watching and listening cheered.

Xena breathed deeply and beamed at her recollection. “So basically, countless times during our lovemaking sessions, I travelled onto her body with my tongue and my fingers as she opened herself to me like a rare, precious and splendid little flower. I’ll say no more on this for now, way too private…” Her lover blushed again, keeping a steady, warm hold around her neck and feeling her heart melt completely for the warrior woman who would do anything for her. There were only female attendees at this party anyway, and she felt no shame about her lover sharing a few secrets with the Amazons and other Sapphic women.

Many women in the audience thought they were about to swoon, having learned so many intimate details about their most admired Sapphic couple. They cheered and cheered anew.

The Warrior Princess felt like having just crossed a boundary here but carried on her story anyhow: “So anyway, I loved her so much, would do anything for her. There was a short, intense rift between us at one point but it never destroyed her love. Our love was so strong that no one or nothing could possibly destroy it, not even Ares the relentless God of War. We both went through so many adventures, ordeals, challenges and misfortunes that put our love to the test, but nothing could come between us, not ever, not even death. Gabrielle has changed my life forever. She taught me to believe in myself, to keep my dark side at bay and show more of my good side. I love her so much also because she changed me, and made me a much better person, a better warrior who fights for the greater good. I taught her to become a warrior too, made her the wonderful fighter that she is now. We shared so much together.” Xena turned her gaze to Gabrielle’s eyes. “Gabrielle, my beloved soulmate, I love you with all my heart, my passion, my devotion. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to be with you forever and ever. Together we shared so many blissful nights, so many happy, funny moments, so many comforting times, so many kisses. You are the best kisser that I have ever known. I love to kiss your sweet, sweet lips, so tender… so soft…” The warrior slowly caressed the side of her bard’s face with the back of her knuckles and kissed her intensely. The audience clapped and cheered, applauding what they understood as Xena’s concluding words.

“Your turn, Gabrielle,” the dark-haired woman said after reluctantly breaking the sweet contact with the blonde’s mouth. Gabrielle got up from Xena’s lap, went to retrieve her own parchment that lay close-by and got ready to speak to the audience. Her lover stood up from her chair, watching the smaller woman looking oh, so sweet in her ‘Younger Gabrielle’ outfit.

“All right. I am ready for my turn now,” the bard said, still feeling warm, delicious shivers roaming down her spine from the erotic details her Xena had shared with the audience a few moments ago. Gabrielle was utterly elated by the love she and the Warrior princess shared and profoundly proud of her relationship with her. She preserved a serene expression. “I wrote a poem,” she declared, holding her scroll, “about my love for Xena, and I will share it now. It is called ‘My Soulmate.’” Loud enough for all women present to hear, she enthusiastically read her poem to the audience with a tinge of nervousness and slightly reddened cheeks on her face:


My Soulmate

Many years ago, when I was a much younger woman
You saved me from Draco and his filthy men
The moment that I looked into your eyes
The world stopped spinning, my knees went weak
We became one, my green eyes drowned into your blue eyes
That moment, for once in my life, I lost the ability to speak
Forever and ever, you are a part of me like I’m a part of you
You taught me everything that you know: how to live, love and fight
And of course…. How to be loved……. And to make love…… one night
Even though at first you did not want me, I’d finally managed to convince you
The first time that we made love, the softness of your skin, your breasts, your desire
Waves of passion taking over….my legs went numb and I felt the movements of your thighs
Against me……time after time……until I lost control……I sighed
Your lips, your tongue, your touch, the words you had whispered in my ear
“I love you, let yourself go, let us become one. Don’t panic, do not fear
I will be gentle………..I will make love to you, with you….. more than once”
I shivered….. the pleasure in my thighs…the waves of passion…. almost too much
Not once……..or twice…….. so many times…… night after night……..
I can’t control it, my lover……. I want you.. this so bad….. I can’t fight
This feeling…….I want you……your pleasure, passion……taking me higher
Since that night, when we became one, there was more
We’ve been through a lot, you and I … life has so much in store
So many adventures, some pain, sadness and mistrust
There was a rift between us, a deep one; we forgot our trust,
Why we fell in love, deeply in love, the bond between us –but we survived
Since then, the connection we have is stronger, every day with you, I feel that I’m alive
Through heaven and hell, crucifixions, death, fire and ice, we were revived
We found each other back because our souls are connected and our feelings for each other thrive
Forever; no one is capable of breaking our bond, the deep love we have, despite
The attempts he made, Ares the God of War, but even he couldn’t break it, neither my mother or father
You know why? Because you are my everything, you are my other half, my reason to live, to fight
You own my heart, my soul; I will always love you forever and ever
You make me happy so you are the one, no question, no doubt, it’s no secret
Not anymore; we’ve managed to overcome our troubled past, in spite of all our regret
Fighting to live, fighting for our love; trust me you really have to admit
That I loved you from the very first moment, even though I was initially not fully sure of it
I know, marrying Perdicus years back meant to leave my first lover and experience an escape from reality, a lie
The truth was……is: I can’t live without you……not then, not now, not anymore or I’d cry
Xena, my love, you are my everything…. my soulmate
Our love is far more than just a fling……… it’s fate
I’m so glad to call you my other half, My lover
I’ll love you forever


As the audience applauded again, Xena and Gabrielle gazed into each other’s eyes onstage. Xena was in absolute admiration for her bardic lover. “This was absolutely beautiful, sweetheart,” she said to her. She loved the poem, and it was indeed a surprise for her that the blonde woman had included some erotic details in it too. Her bard was so full of surprises. The poem had been totally, grandiosely magnificent. “Thank you for the surprise, Gabrielle. Thanks so much for writing this for me.” She beamed, and hugged her.

The Warrior Princess’ heart pounded in her chest as vigorously as hurricane winds agitating a blue sea. Her love for her Gabrielle was even larger than the world itself. The smaller woman spoke near her ear: “I told you I wasn’t ashamed of anything we’ve ever done together in the bedroll. It was great erotic and romantic art to share privately with our Sapphic sisters here.” The blonde bard could not help but feeling an equally powerful, never-ending love for her Xena –a love even more captivating than ten thousand new exciting adventures. The warrior enjoyed what her younger lover had just been saying, and both lovers got ready to leave the stage while the women watching them kept cheering and clapping, fully delighted by the performances. Gabrielle returned backstage to take her wig off and change back into her more favoured red velvet clothes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Meanwhile during the same night, somewhere just outside Delphos, Virgil and Nikon lay naked together under the stars, just having had further sexual relations together on top of a small pile of hay at the farm near the younger man’s grandfather’s house. Both men were covered by a blanket and contentedly gratified in the aftershocks of their second intensely masculine encounter.

“Sorry, Virgil, I couldn’t get us to go inside as my grandpa doesn’t know yet that I like men.” Nikon lay his head onto Virgil’s chest while Joxer’s son stroke his hair slowly but firmly.

“It’s okay. I understand, Nikon. You don’t have to justify yourself to me.”

The young farmer stared at the handsome man’s face while keeping his head on his torso. “Are you still thinking about her?”

“Yes, if you must know,” Virgil replied with a solemn tone while carrying on petting his one-night boyfriend. “Gabrielle may be Sapphic, being with Xena, but I’m having the conviction that I could turn her straight somehow. I heard that she had at least married a guy before. I just like her so much.”

“I doubt you could ever make her like you back,” Nikon objected, “not if she is really deeply in love with her Warrior Princess, as rumours go…”

“I know…” Joxer’s son admitted with melancholy. “She’s just the impossible love in my life, I guess…”

The young farmer sighed, so much wanting Virgil to fall for him instead. “I wonder how you can waste your time trying to understand women. They can’t even fully understand our needs and we can’t even understand theirs. That’s why there are so many Sapphic women in Greece, because they can at least understand their own needs together. We’re way too sexual for them, and they’re way too sentimental. I went with a woman once. I know what it’s like.”

Joxer’s son looked back at Nikon, still lying on his chest. “I suppose you’re right,” he stated sadly, but he still preferred women.

The young man wanted to challenge his current sexual partner’s infatuation for the battling bard: “Now you tell me if men cannot please you better…” Virgil’s eyes widened in surprise and he smiled carnally as Nikon began moving himself down on his body…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was half a candlemark before midnight when Alkaia, Bremusa, Xena and Gabrielle went upstairs to check on the bound and gagged bandits outside –whom, to the four women’s satisfaction, were still out there. The party’s music had restarted below after the Amazon general and her lover had given a stage performance too –following the Warrior Princess and the battling bard’s. Holding torches, the four women came nearer to the wounded, whiplashed men who had woken up from their semi-conscious state by now. In their gags and bindings, they were gazing right back at the female fighters approaching them, worried at the fact that the women were carrying a few weapons with them.

Xena gave her torch to Gabrielle for a moment. The warrior then crouched down before Pyrrhos and placed her hands upon the cloth on his face. “I’ll need to talk to you,” she said in an austere manner, “but please do not dare screaming when I undo this, or I’ll slit your throat with my chakram.” She took the gag from his mouth and was glad to see he did not make a move or a sound. He probably was still in pain from the torture inflicted on him earlier on. All three men’s feminine costumes were torn to shreds after the payoff, showing bloodied wounds and bruises on their skin. Behind the warrior, the other three women observed and listened –themselves ready to speak too anytime.

“If you want us to release you and your thugs within minutes,” the Warrior Princess kept speaking to the leader, “without me putting the pinch on you or us hurting you any further, you will have to tell me something.”

“What, Xena?” Pyrrhos inquired quietly, hating this warrior woman and her comrades even more after what had happened to him, as well as to Timon and Kleon who were still gagged, sitting next to him. The three cross-dressed men’s makeup had partially been smudging their faces, from sweat and agony.

“Suppose you had managed to kill me and Gabrielle, how exactly were you planning to get our bodies after the double murder?” Xena already suspected that those three men were certainly not acting alone. They obviously had some outside help somewhere, something to enable Pyrrhos to steal her body and her soulmate’s sometime after the crime.

The older man’s body language indicated that he really did not want to say anything but the Warrior Princess silently threatened him so distressingly with the positioning of her fingers towards his throat. He refused to relive the effects of the pinch and reluctantly spilled the beans: “I hooked back up with my former army today in Nicopolis, and killed their leader. My army was going to come here tomorrow and fight the Amazons to steal your bodies before the funerals.”

Xena smirked at the extraordinary nature of this whole plan: first the thugs had disguised themselves as women to infiltrate a Sapphic party and attempt to quickly and surreptitiously shoot her and her bard with poisoned darts, and now on top of all that those bad guys were to send an army tomorrow to steal their bodies. “I am completely dumbfounded by your ideas, Pyrrhos. This is an extremely unusual plan for bandits and warlords like you.” She shook her head in utter amazement. “Plus, you have committed another offence in the process of attempting murder as I pointed to you earlier: invading a women-only Sapphic event. That’s also a totally lousy thing to do.” She relaxed a little, trying to make him understand: “Look, as I said earlier, I and the others here really don’t hate men –but the party down there is a Sapphic, women-only event! Dressed in ladies’ clothes or not, men are not welcome there. Sapphic Night Fever is not a silly beauty pageant or something. It’s a private Sapphic event organised by Amazon women and strictly for only other women to attend.”

“Yes, this is simple,” Gabrielle added in a forceful tone. “Us Amazons and our sisterhood of Sapphic women should be entitled to our own private events when we desire them.”

“Especially within a world in which men in general hold most of the social power,” Alkaia remarked astutely.

“Sweet deceased Artemis, darling! We should all start a revolution to overthrow that!” Bremusa asserted confidently, winking at her taller partner.

“Tell me about it,” the Amazon general replied to her lover. She turned around and quickly went to retrieve two of the men’s crossbows that were still lying on the grass nearby. She remembered the warrior woman had told her that she would need them.

“Who do you think you are to come down there and try to kill us?” Xena asked Pyrrhos with an irate voice.

“Look, I had to infiltrate that party as it was my best chance for shooting you and your bard, while you’d be distracted by the crowd. Too bad it didn’t work,” the older man answered the Warrior Princess in a dispirited manner.

“Shut up!” Xena began to remove their bindings and gags with the other women’s help. “Now is your chance to get away, but don’t you make any silly moves or we’ll burn you with our torches,” the warrior woman threatened. She noticed they were way too weakened by the whiplashes they had received to be capable of engaging in a fight. Xena bent down and searched through one of the handbags that the thugs had brought and was able to find more ammunition they had had with them –another three poisoned darts which she took in her hand as she stood back up.

“For Sappho’s sake!” Alkaia suddenly hollered angrily at the three men. “If it had been me standing by the door when you came in earlier, there is no way you would have gone past security. I can distinguish men from women even from a mile away, you bastards! No matter what the clothes…”

“Now walk away!” Xena yelled at the bandits. In their tattered feminine clothes and still feeling painful from their whip ordeal, Pyrrhos, Kleon and Timon started walking away from the women who had been torturing them here in Rubicon.

“Move faster, bastards!” Xena grabbed a mug of wine that Bremusa had held in her hand for her. Taking her torch back from Gabrielle, she held the flame right in front of her own mouth. The Warrior Princess took a sip and blew alcohol onto that flame, towards the three men who were now a little further away from her. The raging fire she produced made the thugs walk away a little bit faster from the village. Pieces of their clothes caught fire and they really wished they would have been able to run away like a bunch of antelopes escaping predators –but their movements were being too slow after the rough flogging they had sustained.

After blowing a flame to scare them, Xena handed her torch to Bremusa and took a crossbow that Alkaia gave to her, which she loaded rapidly with one dart while giving another dart to Gabrielle. The battling bard loaded the other crossbow that the Amazon general had fetched for her. Xena turned back towards the men, who were only a little further ahead: “Hey, by the way, boys?” Her tone was so confidently intimidating that it caused Pyrrhos and his two comrades to turn back towards her to check what she was up to. “I lied when I said I was going to let you get away.” The tall woman with azure blue eyes and long dark hair sneered and pointed the crossbow in the direction of the men who had attempted to kill her and her soulmate today. Her lover did the same, wanting to help Xena in her task. Gabrielle had become much less lenient towards bad guys over her sidekick years spent by the warrior’s side.

Everything happened too fast for the three wounded bandits and they were too slow to get away from Rubicon before Xena and Gabrielle had effected their revenge upon them. Those men were ruthless attackers who had tried to spoil the party and take their lives away from them. The Warrior Princess and the battling bard shot them mercilessly with the poisoned darts they had. Xena first shot Pyrrhos. The poisoned dart she aimed at him rushed through the air and pierced the back of his neck. He reached back and removed it but knew that the poison was already travelling through his veins. Gabrielle shot Timon in the leg, and her older partner reloaded her crossbow with the last dart to shoot Kleon in the back. The young men removed the darts from their bodies, and joined Pyrrhos as the three of them continued to wander away from Rubicon despite having been shot with deadly poison. Nonetheless, the four women standing not far from the entrance to Sapphic Night Fever knew those three thugs would die before reaching Nicopolis. The lethal substance was already working its way through their systems. It would cause their deaths soon enough and they would probably collapse somewhere nearby.

Gabrielle dropped her crossbow and walked towards Xena, who was still loosely holding hers. “I agreed with your plan, my love,” the battling bard spoke wistfully, looking her lover in the eye. “I know you needed my help, but was it really necessary to kill them?”

“Yes, Gabrielle.” The Warrior Princess made no bones about this. “Otherwise they could reach Nicopolis again and tell Pyrrhos’ army to come here and attack us in revenge for the punishment that was rightfully inflicted upon them. You don’t want any of the Amazons or the other female party guests down there to be in danger, do you?”

“No, I guess not,” Gabrielle admitted. She now understood perfectly that those particular bad guys had had to be dealt with, for safety reasons.

Xena let go of the crossbow she had been holding. It fell on the ground. The warrior gazed back towards the other two Amazon women. Her younger lover did too. “Great job, Xena!” Bremusa stated, smiling. “Yep, you got them. I bet they’ll fall soon,” Alkaia added firmly, “and die.” The four women went back down into the party and locked the door behind them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Back on the dance floor at Sapphic Night Fever, Gabrielle and Xena had drunk some more wine and were now dancing together again, noticing the music was not the same kind as earlier on. It was more like Greek Amazon sounds now, with much more rapid rhythms. Musicians onstage played beats and beats of feverish, energetic harmonies and melodies that made women at the party perform many quicker movements with their whole bodies. The Warrior Princess slowed her moves just to question the battling bard: “Gabrielle, do you have any idea of where Eve is? Not seen her for a while…”

The two soulmates became almost motionless in the middle of the dance floor. “Oh, don’t worry,” the short-haired blonde woman replied, “She’s probably having fun somewhere down here with that beautiful Amazon, Zoe.”

Xena relaxed and grinned. “I guess she must be exploring her Sapphic side just like we’d encouraged her to, huh?”

“Yeah… like mother, like daughter.” Gabrielle chuckled. She and her taller lover resumed dancing –very closely in each other’s arms, sensually caressing each other’s skin. The younger woman suddenly urged the warrior into following her into making particular movements –swinging, swaying, curving, hopping and contorting oneself in a prancing manner that was very much one of the many Amazon ways of dancing. A brightly lively, bouncing mood was permeating the whole atmosphere of Sapphic Night Fever at that very moment.

The dance became delightfully delirious between them. Xena ended up carrying Gabrielle in various intricate positions right in the middle of the dance floor and, at one point, the battling bard even jumped over her partner’s head with all the supple functions of her body. They were being entertained by their own activity and somersaults when, suddenly, they both became still as the musicians stopped playing onstage. It was midnight.

“Your attention, please, everyone!” Queen Andromache requested aloud from her vantage point at the top of the platform. “My beloved Second-In-Command has got something to announce.”

Andromeda stepped forward on the stage, holding a voting results scroll in her hand. She glanced at it while looking at her audience. She had to raise her voice so that everyone could hear her through the huge cave that was used as a party hall: “All right, everyone here, we’ve had Doris and Phoebe busy counting all the ballots at a table over the past hour, and now we have the results of all your votes. Thanks for casting them. We have winners now for Sapphic Night Fever!!!” All the women watching her were now attentive and impatient to hear the rest. “The two women who got voted as the ‘Best Couple of the Night’ are truly amazing and we all admire them here. Sisters, please congratulate… Xena and Gabrielle!” She motioned her hand towards where they were standing and everyone in the room clapped and cheered at them. The two warrior lovers gazed at each other and smiled.

“They have won our first prize!” Andromeda declared. “They will have the honour of spending the night alone together in the secret private room we’ve prepared for them at the back of this party.”

“Alkaia, please escort them to it,” Andromache ordered her most loyal Amazon general who was near the platform.

Alkaia immediately went to lead the Warrior Princess and her battling bard, who followed her while blushing at the applauding and praising crowd, to a small but thickly built wooden door that was somewhere on the very back wall by the side of the stage. She unlocked the entrance and looked at the couple as they got in. “Have fun in there.” She winked. Bremusa, having gotten next to her own lover, giggled at the thought of the wonderful time they would probably be spending in there. Xena and Gabrielle would now be in perfect privacy, shielded from the prying eyes of everyone else at the party.

The Amazon general gave the warrior women a key to lock themselves in before she shut the door. She and her girlfriend went back to the front row of people near the stage. Soon the next winning couples were announced: Alkaia and Bremusa, who won some Sapphic diamond jewellery, and Theodora and Lysandra, who won scrolls of Sappho’s poems. The Amazon general and her slightly younger partner were absolutely delighted to have at least won the second prize for the very short poem performance they had given onstage earlier, right after the warrior woman and the bard had been on the platform. The music resumed, slower this time, bringing Sapphic Night Fever back into a gloriously romantic cadence.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Within a darker, quieter corner of the party, hidden between two cave rocks, Zoe and Eve were standing together, facing each other while holding each other very close. “Relax…” the beautiful woman with exquisite Asian features said. The warrior’s daughter felt very responsive to the combat Amazon’s pleasurable touches, caresses and kisses. The other woman had pushed Eve’s green shawl away from her chest and was currently smelling, tasting the skin above her tight and short dark pink top garment. “Hmmm…” The redhead threw her head back in excitement at what Zoe was doing to her and provoking in her. These were such interesting, completely new sensations she felt. Eve determined in her mind that she should just continue to let herself go, and get to know what sleeping with a woman would feel like at least once in her lifetime. The Sapphic Amazon music in the background also energised her. She had interestingly heard her mothers onstage not so long ago, talking enthusiastically about the undying love between them and the erotic moments they had shared. Hearing all that had stirred up a great deal of curiosity within Eve. Sapphic lovemaking intrigued her beyond limits. She had to find out more.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Doris, Phoebe, Lysandra and Theodora were having a conversation together, over the music, near the party tables while holding drinks in their hands. They still found it unbelievable that they had been so absorbed in their alcohol influence and the party atmosphere earlier on in the evening that they had failed to recognise that the three so-called ‘women’ they had been speaking to at one point had in fact been men. The four women were still drunk but they could realise how bad it was they had not been able to tell.

“Men at the party, in dresses! That was terrible!” Theodora exclaimed, shaking her head and rubbing her temple at her recalling of when she had spoken to the cross-dressers.

“I feel really stupid,” Doris said “As one of the organisers I was not even capable of staying sober and attempting more closely to discern faces better.”

“It wasn’t your fault.” Phoebe lightly patted her partner’s shoulder. “I wasn’t even able to tell myself. They were being very cleverly disguised, and the semi-darkness of the party room was also to blame.”

“Well,” Lysandra grimaced, “the fact those bad men were here to assassinate Xena and Gabrielle was even creepier.”

Doris sighed in disapproval. She smiled again and tried to change the subject: “Anyway, it’s good that many men in the environs who’d heard of our Sapphic Night Fever event were so respectful of our ‘all female’ rule for guests, and our party is women-only again now that the thugs in drag are gone. Let’s talk about something else… Well-done, Lysandra and Theodora for winning the third prize, by the way.”

“Oh yeah…” Radiance came back to Theodora’s cheeks. “I’m sure we will both enjoy these poem scrolls…”

“Yes, we will. Xena and Gabrielle’s performances were absolutely stunning by the way,” Lysandra brought up cheerfully, “I’m really not surprised they won the votes, on top of them already being famous. The only thing I was totally surprised about was how open they were about sharing erotic details that hadn’t even been in Gabrielle’s scrolls.”

“Yeah, I was deeply surprised too,” Theodora added.

“Yes,” Phoebe agreed, “this felt incredible, but still I believe they did it because this is a Sapphic women-only party down here and they felt like opening up their hearts and sharing a few secrets with us.” She beamed and winked.

“I agree,” Doris said.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark after midnight, Xena and Gabrielle were bathing next to each other within the small hot spring inside the comfortable back room, rubbing soap onto their own skin. It was a beautiful place they were in. Like a small recess within the larger cave space, the room was big enough and magnificent, lit by numerous candles placed on little wooden tables and carpeted with a colourful thick tapestry all over the floor –onto which they had dropped their clothes, armour, weapons and boots somewhere. There was a king size bed in the middle of the agreeable space the two lovers were in, secluded from the other party-goers’ activities. A mound of elevated little grey rocks covered the sides of the hot spring they were bathing in on the left side of the room.

The water the Warrior Princess and her battling bard found themselves in was pleasant and warm, generating a cosy bubbling around their nude bodies. The steam rose with heavenly flowery scents of lavender, lilac and roses coming from the various bath oils that had been poured into the hot spring prior to their ablutions. Shutting their eyes, they moaned softly –relaxing after having soaped themselves, getting closer together in the hot spring and snuggling against one another. Sapphic Night Fever’s music still played in the adjacent party hall. Its slower, quieter rhythms felt undeniably soothing to their ears.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle kissed Xena’s neck and rested on her shoulder. “Such a great party, huh?” She lightly ran her hand onto a large breast.

“Yes…” The long-haired woman replied, pensive as she rubbed her fingertips up and down her younger lover’s spine underwater. Her other hand was on the blonde’s upper arm. “It was. Definitely better than any party with Lucifer while under the Darkness’ influence.”

“Yeah, totally, Xena. We even had an even better, closer dance here,” Gabrielle remarked, comparing it with the already sexy dance they had had in front of Lucifer and others before being unfortunately interrupted by Virgil.

“That’s true.”

The battling bard ceased touching her lover’s bosom and touched her stomach instead. She lifted her head from her shoulder and met her gaze. “Xena, it was an absolutely amazing party, minus the disguised men infiltrating and trying to kill us of course.”

“Well, they must be dead by now. We took care of them right, and some time after Alkaia and Bremusa had already done a wonderful job at whipping them in punishment with one of my own weapons.” Xena smirked.

“Alkaia and Bremusa are totally amazing sisters by the way!” Gabrielle declared.

“They really are, Gabrielle. I really like them too. So glad we met them.”

“And when we won this prize, this room, it really felt like heaven, Xena…” the short-haired woman affirmed to the Warrior Princess while looking at her with lovable bedroom eyes. “I want to make love to you in here for sure.”

“I want to make love to you too.” Xena hugged the smaller but sturdy body of her loyal and devoted Gabrielle closer to her in the warm water enveloping them. They kissed deeply and impatiently while touching the side of each other’s faces.

After a few moments of tender relaxation together, along with the usual back rub sessions they gave each other in the water, the two women climbed out of the hot spring and grabbed some towels that had been left nearby for them. They helped dry one another and kissed again. After that, they both rushed towards the bed. Xena was the first one to lay her back on it, and Gabrielle immediately jumped on top of her –covering her body with her own. They kissed once more. The bed’s mattress was profoundly comfortable and its sheets and pillow-cases were made of a navy blue silk material feeling so soft to contact with the skin.

Xena noticed that some fruits had been left in a bowl on a bedside table by their dear Amazon sisters for her and her girlfriend to eat, mostly grapes. She reached out and grabbed a small cluster of them. She placed them in her mouth and crushed them between her teeth. She then slightly lifted the torso of the younger woman above her, cupped her hanging breasts with two firm hands and brought them one by one to her hungry lips and tongue while squeezing them with her fingers at the same time. The grape juice in her mouth combined wonderfully with the taste of her sidekick’s skin and nipples.

“Oh… Xena…” Gabrielle arched her chest forward to bring her lover’s mouth and hands closer.

After the Warrior Princess had finished savouring each the blonde’s nipples, her head fell right back onto the bed. She opened her legs, making room for the battling bard’s hips to adjust themselves against her groin. The short-haired blonde hovered above her older lover, her arms upright and her fists planted in the bed on either side of Xena. The dark-haired woman gently stroked her soulmate’s back with both hands. Their mutual gaze into each other’s eyes was truly intense, electrifying to both their souls. The bright enough candlelight in the room would make it easy to see everything they would be doing together this very night.

“Gabrielle, you’re so gorgeous, lovely and mind-blowing in bed. I’ve also always thoroughly enjoyed pleasing you too, tasting you, touching you,” Xena voiced huskily. “I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. You’re the best thing I’ve ever had. I’ll always be with you, always.”

A big smile of utter happiness shone on Gabrielle’s face in approval. Her sea-green eyes stared intently down into the azure blue ones of her soulmate beneath her. She felt as though she and the warrior woman were already one, and would become one again and again. After a short instant of motionless silence, the short-haired woman felt a burning warmth underneath her. She moved her hips slightly, reached down a hand to her partner’s nether lips and parted them delicately, delighted with the hot wetness she touched there. Gabrielle also used two fingers to open her own private area, which she then stuck into Xena’s heat beneath her. The sweet junction of their centres together felt as emotionally and physically fulfilling to both lovers as bathing in a sea of endless pleasures. The battling bard now had both her hands flattened onto the silky sheet on each side of her warrior love. She moved herself back and forth on top of the Warrior Princess, creating a friction of heightening passion.

“You’re the one I’ve always loved, Xena… oh…” Gabrielle uttered while preserving control of her tribadic movements, “the one I’ve always loved sharing intimacy with… hmm… yeah… You’re so beautiful… Ha… You’re my whole life, Xena.” She moved her face down to briefly kiss Xena’s lips.

“Oh… haahaaah… Yes, Gabrielle… ha…” The enthralling music in the background were driving them mad with desire as they were both still feeling the delicious wine they had drunk at the party having worked its glorious way inside their minds.

“I’ve never met anyone as wonderful as you, my love… oh… uh… I want to be with you forever and ever…” Gabrielle swayed her heated flesh more energetically onto Xena’s and they both came almost simultaneously within a few moments, their clits throbbing against one another as the battling bard collapsed her weight upon the Warrior Princess’s body. The brunette hugged the blonde close to her heart while they both panted heavily, blissfully gratified –but this would surely not be the last orgasm for the night. They would be wanting more shortly.

After a brief period of rest, Xena’s thoughts got fixated in one of her favourite new fantasies. “Gabrielle, go put your red velvet outfit back on…” she requested in a lustful tone while caressing the small of her soulmate’s back, “I want us to make love again soon with you wearing it while me being naked. You know how much I love the way your new clothes feel against my skin.”

“Sure, anything you want, Warrior Princess.” Gabrielle smirked, reluctantly moved away from Xena and rose from the bed. She was nude but had still kept her silver arm band on while undressing for the bath a little earlier. It encircled her upper arm and kind of made her look extremely sexy. Gabrielle went to put her red skirt and top back on, but omitted any underwear on purpose of course. She then climbed back on top of the warrior. “So you really love my new style too, huh?”

The feel of velvet clothing and beloved warm bardic skin pressing onto her naked body shot a greatly powerful sensation within Xena, like a lightning bolt thundering her libido into reawakening. She was to have the woman she loved in her red outfit tonight, for sure. “Yeah, I do.” She reached up to touch strands of hair from the blonde’s head above her. “I like your short hair too. I got used to it by now. I especially love the way it has already grown back a little.” The Warrior Princess loved her Gabrielle just the same with any kind of hairstyle, even though she still loved remembering the previously long blonde hair the bard used to have. She found her just as desirable with the hair length she currently had though.

“Maybe I’ll grow it long again one day. You never know…” the battling bard smiled, resting her forearms on the bed and keeping her body lovingly positioned on top of her soulmate’s.

“Whichever way you’ll have it, I will continue to love you, sweetheart.” Xena reached down for Gabrielle’s precious abs with both hands and rubbed them, loving the feel of the silky, taut skin against her fingers.

“I love you too.”

The two lovers kissed deeply and fiercely, mixing their saliva and circling their tongues around each other in their mouths, their lips stuck firmly against one another. They moaned passionately, making the oral union even more heated. Following the hungry kiss’ end, they both made eye contact again. Then Xena moved her hands down to the back of Gabrielle’s thighs and pulled the blonde’s hips towards her belly. The battling bard’s velvet-covered body turned her on too much. She had to have her woman right here, right now.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle suddenly moved her upper body to an upright position and was excitedly thrilled by the unexpected but yet very familiar move. She poured a few drops of erotic fluid onto Xena’s strong tummy in response, as she straddled it.

“I want you, Gabrielle. I will have you now, my sweet and hot battling bard! I need to feel your taste in my mouth as soon as possible,” she stated fervidly, keeping firm hands on the back of the battling bard’s thighs.

“Anytime you want, my love.” Hearing Xena’s ardently and pleasantly brazen words made Gabrielle’s mind go wild with excitement beyond limits. The intense feeling deliriously combined with both the delectable wine’s ongoing effects and the sound of the background music from Sapphic Night Fever next door, which had climbed a few degrees more rhythmic by now. Her soulmate felt exactly the same way. Winning the privacy of this special couple’s private room was a first-class prize indeed.

Xena brought her head forward to kiss Gabrielle’s cleavage, just above the velvet top. She then pulled her battling bard even more forward above her until she made oral contact with her tummy. She tongued the short-haired woman’s dearly worshipped abdominal muscles one side at a time while happily letting her hands wander onto the velvet-covered butt at the back. She dragged her further forward, carrying the back of her hips and managing to get her legs moved above her shoulders.

The battling bard placed her hands against the rocky back wall behind the bed while maintaining her upper body upright as she straddled the Warrior Princess, her knees planted on either side of her head. “Yes, Xena…” She closed her eyes and cravingly anticipated what was to come next.

Xena gleefully grinned at the alluring sight that now came directly into her upward field of vision. She had to see more of it. Putting her fingers onto the sides of Gabrielle’s thighs just below the bottom hem of her red skirt, she pushed the garment up towards the sides of her hips, also uncovering most of her rear in the action. The Warrior Princess could not cease gazing up at the battling bard’s blonde vulva. Its shape, consisting of warm, soft folds and gorgeous inner lips, constantly fascinated her. Its intoxicating scent had always enticed her. Her partner emitted dreamy sounds somewhere above her and a small trickle of ambrosial juices suddenly plummeted onto her face, which whet Xena’s appetite even more and made her unable to wait longer. She strongly grabbed Gabrielle’s hips and descended her centre right onto her frantically avid mouth.

“Xena…” The short-haired woman began groaning in vehement rapture at her dark-haired soulmate’s lingual contact with her clit accompanied with alternate suctions of it. “Oh… ha… yeah… more, please… I love feeling your mouth, your tongue on me like this… haaahh… hmmm…” Gabrielle slowly bucked her hips towards Xena’s face, back and forth, while she carried on enjoying another moment of her warrior orally gratifying her –keeping her hands steady onto the back wall. She enjoyed her older lover’s firm hands resting onto each side of her butt at the same time.

The vigorous licks from the Warrior Princess’s tongue went inside every fold, every corner of the battling bard’s centre, licking the beloved flesh all over and eliciting additional moans of pleasure from the short-haired blonde. Xena revelled in the heady scent that diffused itself all the way around the area underneath Gabrielle’s skirt. The red velvet garment still hung a little higher above Xena’s nose and intensified the heat of the bardic fragrance. The older woman savoured the honey-musked taste that drove her crazy with love and threatened to wreak havoc on her senses. She felt her own sex throb in joy as she got her tongue inside her lover’s tunnel and swallowed all the essence that happened to flow in her mouth. Xena then made her tongue travel leisurely again into her younger partner’s centre while she kept grabbing her shapely backside and fumbling the hem of her skirt with her fingertips. The warrior woman thought that if she drowned in the area her mouth and nose were stuck into right now she would at least die happy, feeding herself her favourite meal. Xena loved Gabrielle so much that she wanted to remind her how much.

“Haah… Xena… Aaahh… Yes! Oh…” Sapphic Night Fever’s music added more tempo to the activities that mustered blissful exhilaration within Gabrielle –each beat matching each caress from Xena’s tongue on her labia, each ministration of her mouth onto her sex and each vibration made within her nether lips by her lover’s moans against them.

The Warrior Princess’ lips caught the battling bard’s aching nub again. She licked around the bundle of nerves in unhurried circles, eventually sucking it anew and running the tip of her tongue onto it. She made the short-haired blonde reach the summit of her enjoyment within moments.

“Ah… Ha… Xeeenaaa!!!” Gabrielle gripped onto the rocky back wall as she experienced an orgasm that was as earth-shattering as an earthquake.

Xena licked her soulmate dry, kissed her blonde centre dearly and helped Gabrielle move herself back down on top of her. As the short-haired woman now laid her head onto her taller partner’s upper chest, she used her fingertips to play with her large breasts while the warrior woman tenderly ran a hand through her hair.

“So you like me devouring you like this, Gabrielle?” Xena questioned with a low, contented voice.

“Hmmm… Loved it, Xena,” Gabrielle answered calmly. “I love you.”

“I love you too, sweetheart. You already know I love you so much that I’d do anything for you, huh?”

“I know.”

The two soulmates rested for a while, delighting in the now more peaceful sounds the musicians were making nearby. “I want to do that to you again, right now, my strong battling bard, my beloved little Amazon Queen!” Xena asserted joyfully. “I love you so, so much and it makes me feel so wet each time I do this to you.”

“Huh?!” Gabrielle lifted her head, looking into her taller lover’s eyes. “And I had another idea in mind. I wanted to make love to you right now, to taste you again… because I love you too. Tasting you and taking you turns me on so, so much.”

“I see… We’ve got different desires at the same time you and I…” a smirk showed across Xena’s lips. “… so this means we have to arrange things a little, our own way.”

The battling bard decided to arrange things herself. “Oh, please, let me…” she requested, being so experienced these days. She went to straddle Xena’s face again, except that when she placed her centre above it this time she laid her whole weight along the Warrior Princess’ body in a reversed position compared to the last one. Gabrielle instantly spread the older woman’s thighs further and moved her blonde head down to kiss the beloved dark curls covering the hot folds she wanted to dive into. She wrapped her arms around her taller lover’s legs as she relished the wild taste of her centre with her tongue.

Xena reached up, seized Gabrielle’s hips again and lowered her down to her mouth again. Noticing the red skirt was still being rolled up to the top of her rear, she touched its velvet again with one hand and softly squeezed her younger partner’s uncovered scrumptious butt with the other. “Hmmm…” was all both lovers could say while tasting each other at the same time as the party music coming from next door carried on filling their ears with glorious rhythms evoking absolute elation within their souls.

The battling bard licked and sucked Xena’s sensitive nub while the Warrior Princess simultaneously worked on pleasuring her swollen bud with her mouth and tongue. The feel of her older partner touching and lightly pinching her backside felt pleasant to Gabrielle too. The younger woman’s tongue went on to trace Xena’s entrance. She then took it with two fingers while returning her mouth to her clit.

“Oh… Gabri… hmmm… eeellle… hmmm…” Xena’s body reacted with total compliance to the delightful invasion coming from the smaller but strong woman on top of her. The warrior keenly licked Gabrielle’s sex more deeply in response, loving every single drop of her sweet essence as she trailed her tongue through every crevice before taking her little nub in her mouth again. She also enjoyed the feel of Gabrielle’s velvet-covered bust pressed against her belly.

The battling bard came rapidly, feeling her soulmate below her licking away at her passion, blowing warm breath onto her blonde centre and kissing it tenderly. Meanwhile, Gabrielle sped up her fingers’ movements deep inside of Xena while she kept sucking her clit eagerly until she brought her over the edge. After that, Gabrielle sucked her digits dry, warmed the warrior’s centre with her hot breath and kissed it equally lovingly. The blonde then lifted herself, pulled her skirt back down to her thighs and turned back around on the bed to lie next to the Warrior Princess. They kissed amorously, mingling their tastes and declaring to each other their undying love and devotion for one another again and again, as they continuously heard Sapphic Night Fever still making satisfying musical noises next door. The two lovers appreciated the intense comfort provided by the silky bed beneath them as they rested for a short while.

Gabrielle almost fell asleep when Xena asked her something: “Can I have you now please?” The rhythms in the adjacent party hall picked up a little pace, back into an erotic cadence. “You know, Gabrielle… I already wanted to take you right there in the middle of the dance floor earlier on,” the audacious warrior said huskily.

The battling bard lifted her head and went to climb on top of her Warrior Princess. She straddled her hips, her sturdy body still dressed with two pieces of clothes while her lover was still deliciously naked. “Oh, really?” Gabrielle asked Xena, manipulating her large breasts with both hands. She occasionally kissed them and licked their nipples while the older woman moaned in joy and stroked her shoulders. “I know that, Xena… hmmm…” The blonde woman’s tone was affectionate. She stared into her soulmate’s eyes again. She was far from being shocked by the comments she had just heard from her warrior partner.

Xena caressed Gabrielle’s short hair as her younger lover lay on top of her, worshipping her breasts. “You know I respect you too much for doing something like that though. It was only a fantasy, that’s all… but I want you to know that I really enjoyed sharing our romantic and erotic feelings for each other onstage tonight. It was so wonderful.”

“I agree, warrior. I enjoyed that too.” The blonde woman kissed her dark-haired partner beneath her. She then felt her beloved warrior’s hand reaching beneath her body, getting under her red velvet skirt and rubbing her already excited nub.

“So…” Xena looked at her short-haired bard with lustful eyes. “Can I take you now? You’re so wet and I want to go inside you. Please…”

“Yeeeaaaah…” Gabrielle lifted her velvet skirt a little more and willingly gave in to her burning desire for the Warrior Princess to take charge this time. Placing her upper leg against her soulmate’s sex and applying warm pressure into it, she straddled her older lover’s thigh as the warrior continued to fondle her amply aroused bundle of nerves.

“Yes, Gabrielle…” Xena rejoiced in feeling the short-haired woman’s thigh pushing against her vulva. She reached further under Gabrielle’s skirt and, with three long fingers, she inserted herself rapidly inside the battling bard, increasingly gaining speed within her.

“Oh, yes… Xena…” Gabrielle totally enjoyed the incredibly full and straightforward invasion into her drenched core. Her downward gaze profoundly kept intersecting itself with her brilliantly skilled warrior lover’s beneath her as she raised her upper body and placed her hands onto Xena’s breasts. Gabrielle loved the deepening of the intensity this whole position created between them, and she maintained her balance while she made some rapturous moves on top of her soulmate. She did not want to break eye contact with Xena for one second, deeply experiencing the exquisite emotional connection the lovemaking brought to them both. The contemplation of the unyielding, resolute love they shared for one another, the powerful Amazon music in the background and the delightful mental effects of their earlier wine consumption all intermixed together inside their heads right at that moment. It all made things clearly feel like they both were having their own private Sapphic party right there in the back room they were in. “Ha… oh… yes… Xena…” The battling bard rocked her leg faster onto her partner’s sex.

“Oh… Yeah… Gabrielle…” Xena cried out rapturously, intently revering the strong moves of her younger sidekick’s athletic body above her. She delighted so much in watching this little Amazon dressed in red velvet making delicious movements on top of her. The short-haired blonde woman’s undeniable sexiness evoked such a great deal of desire within her. “I really wanted to have you just like this, in your red velvet outfit… hmmm…” She touched Gabrielle’s velvety top garment with her free hand while she carried on making love to her little Amazon deeply. After an instant, her fingertips travelled down to one gorgeous abdominal muscle on the side of her younger lover’s well-built tummy. “You still do like your warrior taking charge sometimes, like in the good old days, don’t you, huh?” Using the hand she was penetrating her with, she moved her skilled thumb up to stimulate the blonde’s clit while maintaining her three digits deeply inside her. She wanted to make her confirm what she had just inquired.

“Yeah… sometimes… especially when I’m on top like this… Ha…” Gabrielle managed to say while continuing enjoying the thrusts. She moved her hips more closely onto the pleasuring fingers, wanting them totally and completely inside her. The short-haired woman then briefly moved herself down to kiss Xena’s mouth, as she kept enjoying every moment of the warrior combining such powerfully penetrative lovemaking with massaging of her hard nub with her thumb. The battling bard captured her Warrior Princess’ lips beneath her again, kissing her more deeply this time, while keeping squeezing her large breasts.

After undergoing a crescendo of euphoric satisfaction that corresponded perfectly to the amazing instrumental build-up that Sapphic Night Fever’s musicians were performing in the adjacent party hall, both lovers finally brought their climax to fruition. “Xeeenaaa!!!” Gabrielle was the first to come, reaching down with one hand to slowly remove the warrior’s digits from her centre as her tremors subsided down below –but she was still making leg movements to and fro to pleasure Xena. The warrior woman briefly stuffed her own ambrosia-coated fingers in her mouth to suck them clean, just before she screamed Gabrielle’s name and reached her desired peak –orgasming from the friction of the blonde’s thigh against her clit.

The battling bard collapsed on top of the Warrior Princess. “I love you for this. You own my heart, Xena…” she moaned happily. Breathing deeply, Gabrielle entwined her fingers leisurely with her taller girlfriend’s long dark hair, which she loved so much, as her head lay down near the older woman’s ample breasts. She would soon run the tip of her touch across the nipples and think about wanting to kiss those two lovely mounds time and time again in the near future.

“Gabrielle, I love you so much. You are my beautiful and strong little Amazon,” Xena said softly while letting her fingertips roam across the skin of her younger partner’s lower back and enjoying the feel of her clothes stuck to her nakedness. “I love having you just like this sometimes. It feels so good… I can see how you still like me to take the lead now and again.”

“I do still like you taking over sometimes, yeah… Feels especially good when I straddle you at the same time.” Gabrielle carried on resting onto Xena. They felt the expected but agreeable feverish state resulting from both the party they had attended and their own private after-party still dancing inside their minds.

“Hmmm… so sweet to make love to you as you shake yourself on top of me like this, my sturdy little Amazon bard!” Xena complimented Gabrielle. “You are the best lover I’ve ever had, and I’m in complete admiration for you. I’ve never loved anyone else the way I love you, and never will.” The Warrior Princess slightly lifted her head and kissed the top of the battling bard’s hair as the younger woman lay on her chest. “So you really enjoyed this party, didn’t you?”

Gabrielle lifted her face to meet Xena’s eyes. “I did, didn’t you?!” Her tone was friendly and glad. She already knew her lover’s reply.

“Of course I did.” The warrior woman smiled. “This was the best Sapphic party in years, and winning the ‘back room’ prize was the climax of it!”

The younger woman lightly chuckled. “Yeah, literally…” She quickly undressed to be able to lie naked with her lover and dropped her velvet clothes by the side of the bed.

“Indeed.” Xena went to rapidly blow out many of the candles to make the room darker. She then climbed straight back onto the bed, next to Gabrielle.

Hearing Sapphic Night Fever’s now quieter music still playing in the background, the two soulmates kissed each other goodnight in a tender way, pulled the navy blue silk bed sheets to cover their bodies and snuggled closer together. Feeling their eternally deep connection to one another and their undying love, they drifted off to sleep while simultaneously thinking about all the romantic times of comfort and erotic moments of pleasure they had experienced together. It was a unique and intense sensation of love that led them both together into gloriously wonderful dreams about their relationship, their superb union that brought so much happiness to their lives despite any obstacle that happened to cross their path.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Later inside the party hall, three candlemarks after midnight, the music had finally stopped altogether, Sapphic Night Fever was over, and almost every woman there had passed out after enjoying the utterly beatific ambiance combined with the delicious wine that had been served. The Amazons had laid out a supply of bedrolls all across the dance floor at the end of the party. Many Sapphic women were now sleeping together in the peaceful silence of the huge cave. Doris was resting with her beloved Phoebe. Lysandra and Theodora were equally resting together. Queen Andromache and her Second-In-Command Andromeda had found themselves a bed backstage.

As for Alkaia and Bremusa, they had made love together again under blankets on a very special luxurious Egyptian-styled couch that was situated close to the door that led into the private back room where they had left Xena and Gabrielle earlier on. The door was locked, but the Amazon general had still been instructed by her queen to prevent any crazed Sapphic admirers of the legendary Greek couple from trying to peep on them. Alkaia could still share a blissful two-year anniversary with her lover on this comfortable couch that was situated in a quiet corner too, behind some Sappho exhibition stands on the one side. The two Amazons had been careful to keep an eye on the private door all the time, even when sharing intimate moments under the blanket together. No one would dare cause trouble to Alkaia anyway when she was nearby. She was not regarded as a strong and intelligent Amazon general for nothing. She always knew how to keep the peace among female party-goers, as well as maintaining security for the Amazons overall. Bremusa relaxed happily onto the Amazon general’s strong frame while they were now both immersed in a serene slumber.

Within a quieter, more remote corner of the cave much further away, Eve was still awake while Zoe, nestled near her, was fast asleep. They were both in the nude, lying on a bedroll that the combat Amazon had fetched for them both. The warrior’s daughter had been trying to fall asleep right after their lovemaking session, but had not succeeded. Eve thought she should have been able to drift off, especially considering that she had been thoroughly enjoying it. She barely knew Zoe, had only met her a few candlemarks ago, but already she had opened her up to a whole rich new world of sensations. The beautiful Amazon had shown her new interesting things, and Eve had been more than willing to learn how to please her in return. The novelty of the touches, scents and tastes that the young redhead had been experiencing with her beloved combat Amazon had felt so warm, gratifying and delectable to her senses. The satisfying sexual encounter that Eve had just pleasurably acquainted herself with had seemed so much more different than when she had been with Ares, as the God of War tended to be viciously rough in bed. Eve had definitely found sleeping with Zoe to be a much better, much more affectionate sort of lovemaking.

Yet she could not sleep. Following the aftershocks of her erotic moments with the other woman, her mind had been wandering back towards the cruel, unspeakable crimes she had committed against the Amazon tribe that Varia had been in. She could not drive the remembrance of her despicable, murderous actions against other women away from her head. Eve sighed as a deep feeling of sadness struck her. What she had done to members of the Amazon Nation, the way she had harmed them meant that she could not possibly ever stay with Zoe after this. The combat Amazon would eventually find out what she had done from other Amazons telling her, and then she would break her heart –or maybe even kill her. She would have preferred it so much more if it had been a plain lay woman seducing her at the party rather than an Amazon, but no one else could be as charming as Zoe to her. Eve was not into ‘one night’ romances though she was deeply infatuated with this beautiful, superb other woman who had been so good to her in the bedroll –but she had to reluctantly come to terms with the fact that she could not conceivably have a relationship with that woman. Eve did not manage to get to sleep until another candlemark or so.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Very early in the morning, Virgil had packed his rucksack as he was about to leave Delphos and his ‘one time’ fling with Nikon. Joxer’s son had had to get up not long after dawn regardless of not having slept much –since he had to a long walk to make if he wanted to be able to reach the forest closest to Potadeia and meet with Gabrielle, Xena and Eve there in early afternoon. Just as he was walking away from the gates of the farm he had spent the night at, his young one-night male sexual partner was waiting for him before the road, wanting to say goodbye.

“You could have stayed asleep, Nikon,” Virgil said, grinning mildly. “I did not want to wake you up.”

“But I really wanted to say goodbye…” The young man looked downcast at the thought of the handsome man of his dreams leaving him. “I will never forget you, Virgil, you know that?”

Joxer’s son felt a little bit of a guilty conscience at leaving this other young man after they had had such marvellous sex together, but he had made things clear the day before that all this was only a ‘one time’ thing. He sighed. “I know.… Goodbye Nikon.” He gave him a last kiss on the mouth, and began strolling away.

“Goodbye, Virgil. I’ll miss you, gorgeous man,” Nikon said, refusing to cry but wanting to. He watched him leave on the road, and hoped he would meet another beautiful man like him someday.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Alkaia had gotten the old widow who owned the Main House in Rubicon led to safety as soon as she had heard that Pyrrhos’ would-be army would be here by noon. It had been in the early candlemarks of the morning that the Amazon general had heard from the Amazon spy she had cleverly sent to Nicopolis overnight to see what that army would be up to if Pyrrhos would not show up again. Apparently, the army men Pyrrhos had been supposed to rule again from this day on had realised that their warlord had not come back to them, that he had disappeared somehow. Since Pyrrhos had had the chance to tell them the day before that he was going to Rubicon, the men from his would-be army had thus surmised that he, Timon and Kleon had never come back from that particular village. The Amazon spy had heard that the army had decided that they would come visit Rubicon by noon, just to investigate on what might have happened to their prospective leader. As for the three men’s bodies, some Amazons from Andromache’s tribe had found them lying somewhere on the ground in the nearby woods very early in the morning. The three men were dead from the poison, and soon Pyrrhos’ army would find them there and would want someone to pay for having killed them –but would find no one in sight to interrogate, as everyone from the party would be gone.

Just one candlemark ago, Alkaia had gone to knock on the back room door downstairs to wake Xena and Gabrielle up, and get them to get ready to move. It was now three candlemarks before noon. The party guests had been asked by Andromache to leave. Bremusa, Doris and Phoebe had kindly explained to them that an army would soon be searching the environs and encouraged them to return to their homes early in the daylight –so they could be safe and avoid being attacked while being innocent. Sapphic Night Fever was officially over, and the immense cave that had served as a party hall had to be evacuated as soon as possible. The Amazons would come back and clean up later, after the army would have come and gone. The emergency now was everyone to get away from Rubicon so that Pyrrhos’ would-be army would find no one from the party left here when they arrived.

After such a great Sapphic party, Andromache, Andromeda, Alkaia, Bremusa, Doris, Phoebe, Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Zoe agreed that it was much easier to simply leave Rubicon and let whole army of men find Pyrrhos and his thugs’ dead bodies with no one to interrogate about the deaths. This was certainly not chickening out. This was more about getting that army to carry their dead leader away without finding anyone supposedly ‘guilty’ here to talk to or attack. There were now solely the Amazons, the Warrior Princess, the battling bard and the warrior’s daughter left, standing on the lawn in various groups just outside the way out of the cave they had exited a few moments ago. There was splendid morning sunlight out there.

“So they’re going to find Pyrrhos dead?” Xena asked.

“I guess so.” Alkaia nodded.

“Well, at least instead of stealing my body and Gabrielle’s like they wanted to, they’re going to find their own dead bastard’s corpse for them to take home instead.” Xena chuckled. “This is going to feel quite ironic to them.”

“Stupid woman-hating racist bastard he was, that Pyrrhos! He definitely deserved to die.” Bremusa remarked. “Infiltrating a woman-only party to try to kill two women and then later on cruelly slurring at my partner, that’s utterly insane.” She shook her head in disapproval.

“Xena, why does that army have to care so much that Pyrrhos disappeared?” Gabrielle questioned. “Is it because he was their leader before?”

The warrior woman turned to the battling bard. “Yeah, I think so, Gabrielle…” She shrugged.

Andromache came closer with Andromeda by her side. “We’d better get going soon, Alkaia,” the Amazon Queen said. “That army could be here even earlier, in no time.”

“Yes, my queen,” the Amazon general replied. She looked back at Xena and Gabrielle. “Where are you going now, sisters?” she asked, smiling.

“Today Xena, Eve and I are going to Potadeia, to meet my family after many, many years without seeing them,” Gabrielle responded.

“I hope you’ll have a good time there,” Andromeda wished. “We’re now all going in a completely opposite direction.”

“We’re heading back north,” Alkaia disclosed. “So I guess this is it…” she added, feeling displeased and bitter at the fact that she, her lover and the rest of her tribe would soon be having to part from the Warrior princess and the battling bard.

“Yeah, we will miss you, Gabrielle and Xena,” Bremusa admitted in a sad tone, though keeping a warm expression on her face. “You are such wonderful women and a stunning couple, and we were so glad to have met you for real.”

“And I was very glad to meet the mighty Alkaia and her beloved astute partner Bremusa,” Xena stated warmly. “Never underestimate your intelligence and strength, women! You both are wonderful too –a great couple working together as a team. Keep it up.”

“Yes, exactly,” Gabrielle agreed. “Don’t worry about the mistake you made yesterday. Everyone makes them. You made up for it perfectly when you caught the infiltrators right on the spot as they were coming out the door.”

“That’s right,” Andromache said, looking at Alkaia and Bremusa. She now fully accepted that it was not their fault, they were not the guilty ones and that she would seriously think twice before getting so angry at her most loyal Amazon general next time.

“We will miss you all.” Gabrielle interlocked her wrist with Alkaia’s in an Amazon way of encouraging one another to remain strong. She did the same thing with Bremusa, Doris, Phoebe, Andromache, Andromeda and other Amazons who wanted to say goodbye.

Xena gazed into the eyes of the Amazon general standing before her, a woman just as tall as she was. “Take care, Alkaia. Good luck with everything, General.” The Warrior Princess nodded, a facial gesture which got reciprocated by Alkaia.

“Thanks, Xena.”

Xena called Eve who was standing close-by –trying to say goodbye to Zoe. “I’m afraid we’ve got to go, sweetheart. Please join us when you can,” she requested.

“Just a few minutes, mom,” the warrior’s daughter shouted to her mother. Turning back towards Zoe, Eve tried to explain: “Look, I’m sure I could love you, but I just can’t be with you, I’m sorry,” she declared sadly.

“Why?” the combat Amazon was heartbroken at seeing this beautiful woman getting away from her after they had just made love together last night.

“Because… I can’t be with you. I’m going in another direction now and I’ve got my own reasons.” Eve was completely unhappy to have to leave the other woman like this.

“But… Oh, Eve, will I see you again someday?” Zoe begged.

The young redhead shook her head slowly. “I don’t know… Maybe… But I will always remember you anyway. You were my first female lover and I will never forget that.” She smiled at the Amazon.

“I will never forget you either.” A tear flowed down Zoe’s cheek. Eve kissed her again, one last time, deeply and passionately. Then they hugged, said goodbye, separated and the warrior’s daughter walked back towards her mothers.

“Let’s go,” Xena said to her lover and her daughter. She and Gabrielle both hugged Alkaia and Bremusa very tightly before they left. The Amazon general and her lover felt like the great new friendship they had with the legendary women was vanishing from their lives as they said goodbye.

“We’ll see you again someday, right?” Bremusa hoped.

“I’m sure we will,” the short-haired blonde woman in red velvet beamed with confidence, “as soon as we cross paths again, and Xena and I usually do cross paths with the Amazon Nation often.”

Xena winked at the beautiful Amazon couple that had been maintaining security for their room last night. The Warrior Princess, the battling bard and their daughter waved one last time at all the women from Andromache’s tribe before leaving. They had gone to get Argo II back from the local stable along with their belongings, and the tall woman with long dark hair was leading her mare by the bridle as they walked away from Rubicon. The Amazon tribe would be leaving the village only a few short moments afterwards, long before Pyrrhos’ would-be army would come to find their dead leader.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Three or four candlemarks later, Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Argo II were strolling along a path within the forest that was closest to Potadeia. Virgil was waiting for them somewhere by the side of the small road in the middle of the woods.

“Hey, ladies!” he greeted, staring at Gabrielle and holding his backpack.

“Hi, Virgil.” the battling bard replied. The Warrior Princess and Eve said hi too.

Virgil walked next to the women and the horse as they continued to cross the woods. “So, what have you been up to?”

“We should ask you first, Virgil.” Xena smirked. “You managed to show that young villager the road… and more, huh?” She and her younger lover laughed, thinking that Joxer’s son had been giving himself a good time.

The man was a bit embarrassed at the women’s cheekiness. “I did, huh…” He sighed. “But I’ll say no more for now, sorry. Nikon was able to find Delphos all right though, thanks to me.”

“Good.” Gabrielle nodded.

“What about you ladies? Been up to anything special while on the road?” Virgil was curious.

“Oh, we went to a Sapphic party organised by the Amazons,” the blonde woman answered.

“Yeah, Sapphic Night Fever,” Xena added, “it was great.” She grinned, leading Argo by the bridle.

“Sapphic Night Fever?” Joxer’s son already guessed that party had probably been for Sapphic women to go to.

“Yeah, that was the name,” Gabrielle confirmed. “It was awesome!” She paused. “But it was a strictly women-only party. Only us women were invited, so you probably wouldn’t have been able to come anyway.”

“Huh? Nothing I really missed then…” he stated.

“But still a bunch of evil thugs tried to infiltrate it and kill us,” the short-haired woman told him. “They were dressed in women’s clothing.”

Virgil raised an eyebrow. “Really? Did you still manage to have a good time there though?”

“Yes.” The Warrior Princess chortled. “We got two amazing Amazons to get them sorted right, and then we went back to the party. We also went to kill the thugs later on, and went back into the party again.”

“Cool,” Joxer’s son said.

“Would you respect women-only events organised by the Amazons, Virgil, as a man?” Gabrielle asked, just wondering. She found the subject of sex-segregated places interesting, and her admirable Amazon Nation kept lots of them for instance.

The man pondered a moment at what the woman he liked was saying. “Um… Of course I would, because there are men-only events too in Greece, Gabrielle.” He giggled. “I’ve actually even been myself to a men-only event in Athens once.”

“Let me guess…” Xena chortled, surmising what he was talking about even though women were not allowed to attend the events he was talking about. She was not born yesterday. “You’ve been to one of the places where men are all over each other and have orgies together?”

“Well, yeah, once or twice.” Virgil sneered at her remark. He knew she was teasing him for not coming out, so that’s what he did. “I swing both ways after all. I’m a Greek man and most of us swing both ways. We live in a country that is renowned around the world for openness to male homosexuality nowadays after all.”

“That’s completely acceptable, Virgil, of course,” the warrior woman asserted. “I’m with Gabrielle myself, and she’s of my sex. I was just teasing you, that’s all. I just think you could have told us earlier.”

“I know.” He winked. “I still prefer women though, just to let you know.”

“But that’s so good that you would be respectful of a women-only event, Virgil.” Gabrielle smiled at him. “We appreciate it.”

Virgil was totally happy that Gabrielle was noticing him for once. “No problem, Gabrielle.” He gazed at her with infatuation in his eyes, just like his father. “I understand that women can really need their privacy too sometimes. Men and women don’t always have to be together all the time, I agree. Sometimes members of one sex just need a bit of space for themselves, that’s true.”

“Thank you.” The short-haired blonde was grateful of his words.

The three women, the man and the mare carried on moving forward into the forest –closer to Potadeia. Eve had remained silent during this whole conversation and later talks as well because she was still thinking about Zoe, still sad that she had had to leave the gorgeous combat Amazon.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As they all got closer to Potadeia, just as they were near the end of the forest, Gabrielle requested to speak to Xena privately before they go into the village. The Warrior Princess and the battling bard found themselves a little corner in the woods, among trees, to be able to talk to each other in private. Eve and Virgil respected that, waiting with the horse back there on the main path.

“What is it, Gabrielle?” the dark-haired woman stared at her girlfriend resting her back against a tree. The blonde woman seemed pensive. “Are you nervous about something?” Xena questioned.

Gabrielle’s eyes turned to her soulmate. “It’s just that… twenty-five years, Xena! I haven’t seen them for such a long time…” She looked massively anxious now. “What if my parents died, caught a disease or something happened to them? How would I deal with that? I mean your own mother had already passed away when we went to Amphipolis, Xena.”

The Warrior Princess moved herself closer to the battling bard and took her into her arms for a firm, comforting hug. The short-haired woman embraced her too, closing her eyes. Xena pressed Gabrielle’s head tighter onto her chest as she tenderly ran her fingers through the short blonde hair. “Shhh… Don’t worry… Everything will be all right, everything. I bet Lila and your parents cannot wait to see you after such a long time.” She tried to comfort her gently, wanting desperately for her soulmate to look happy again.

Gabrielle lifted her head to meet her lover’s gaze on her. “You really think things will be okay?”

“Yes, Gabrielle. And whatever happens, you know you won’t have to worry about anything. I’ll always be there to support you.” Xena lightly brushed her younger lover’s earlobe with her fingertips, looking down into her eyes with the deepest, most sincere love in the whole wide world. Hardly anyone else on earth could ever love another as much as they both did love each other, and this was true. “Everything will be all right, Gabrielle,” the warrior woman repeated. She leaned forward and kissed the shorter woman.

The oral contact was emotional, deep and thorough –eyes closed, mouths pressed hard against one another, tongues intertwined and hearts beating very fast. The women’s mutual adoration of this moment felt like absolute paradise. They unwillingly had to break the kiss after a moment, but at least Gabrielle felt more relaxed now.

The battling bard grinned at her older partner, still hugging her, even though still feeling a tad apprehensive. “You’re right, Xena. And we’ve already gone through so many things together you and I. We will certainly go through more at one point.”

Xena kissed Gabrielle lovingly on the forehead. Then she met her eyes again. “I’ll always be with you, Gabrielle, always.”

“I know. I’ll always be with you too.” They swiftly kissed again. The Warrior Princess and her lover went back on the road with Eve, Virgil and Argo II, towards Potadeia where the same afternoon Gabrielle would be meeting her sister Lila again after a long, long time.



To you I belong

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 5:

To you I belong

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Five episode Amphipolis Under Siege.

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Author’s note: (1) Obviously, it is not a first time story. I’m more interested in exploring the evolution of Xena and Gabrielle’s intimate relationship as it must be taking place beyond the screen, in this Seasonal Passion series. (2) This is a seasonal X/G femslash series, which means there is one romantic and erotic X/G femslash story per XWP season –thus one more story to come in the future.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; some people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for inspiring me; Donar (from TX) and Marcia (a.k.a. Amphodia) for the wonderful encouragements and support they express for my writing.

Feedback: see feedback page.


Through the little window of the wash room she was in, Xena noticed that night would be drawing near in another couple of candlemarks or so. The Warrior Princess was sitting in the hot tub that Cyrene had prepared for her. Her mother was downstairs with Gabrielle, taking care of baby Eve.

Cyrene had known that Xena and Gabrielle would need to bathe after all their energetic fighting during the siege of Amphipolis, so the tavern-keeper had poured several buckets of hot water to fill the bath. However, since Cyrene did not yet know that Xena and Gabrielle were lovers, the warrior had told her bard that the two of them would wash themselves separately tonight. Xena certainly did not want her mother to find this out in such a likely awkward way.

Moreover, the Warrior Princess needed a bath as soon as possible after what had happened with Ares earlier on today. Gabrielle also had to help Cyrene watch over Eve, in case Xena’s mother might have to go see the wounded next door. There were so many injured people that Cyrene’s tavern had had to be used as an infirmary to treat them all. Later, after dinner, Xena would go check on them again to see how they were doing.

For now, the warrior woman was bathing in a copper tub, in the middle of the small wash room at her mother’s house in Amphipolis. The water was nice, warm and cosy –enveloping Xena’s well-toned, curvaceous body. Now and then, the warrior kept rubbing soap onto the cloth she was using to wash herself with. She frantically scrubbed herself. Xena wanted to wash every single part of her body after getting so close to Ares. What had happened in his temple had been making her feel so nervous.

Furthermore, Gabrielle had been looking and sounding so worried and jealous after Xena had been telling her that she had ‘felt something’ when she had been making out with Ares. The warrior had detected a tinge of sulk in the younger woman’s behaviour while they had been walking back to Cyrene’s. Xena really wanted to have a talk with her lover as soon as possible tonight. Ares was still the last person she had kissed, and she clearly did not desire to keep things that way.

After she finished bathing in the tub, the Warrior Princess immersed herself deep in the water to rinse off the soap off from her body and hair. This bathwater needed to be kept warm for Gabrielle who was to come next, so Xena needed to hurry and get out now. The tall dark-haired woman stood up, got out of the tub and grabbed a towel. She started drying herself.

She could no longer wait for the moment when she and her lover would be making passionate love again. Hopefully, Gabrielle would not be too mad at her. The two of them had been fooling Ares so brilliantly after all. Xena had left her usual clothes lying on the floor while she had been bathing. She picked them up one at a time and began to put her leather outfit and armour back on for the evening, along with a clean pair of dark breeches she had brought for herself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Evie!” Gabrielle smiled, completely beatified, at the little baby in front of her. Eve had been placed in a cradle that had been brought into Cyrene’s kitchen so that both women could watch over her.

Xena’s mother was boiling some crushed oats in hot water to prepare some fine baby cereals. After watching the cooking fire under the small cauldron she was using, she turned to look at Gabrielle and Eve. “Isn’t she nice, huh, my granddaughter?” The curly-haired woman of fifty-odd years of age beamed.

“She’s so beautiful,” the short-haired blonde replied as she briefly glanced at Xena’s mother. “I bet you’re proud, Cyrene?” Gabrielle turned back to the baby. “Oooh… Aren’t you a cutie?!” she tenderly exclaimed as she lightly stroked Eve’s cheek.

“Her mushy oats are ready. We’ll just need to wait until they cool down a bit,” Cyrene said while pouring the cereals into a bowl on her kitchen counter.

Gabrielle lifted Eve from the cradle. “Come with me, li’l one. Your supper’s ready.” The battling bard of Poteidaia carried the baby in her arms. She went to sit on a chair at the kitchen table. Placing Eve on her lap, she spoke to Cyrene: “Xena should be done soon with the bath, if she’s leaving any hot water for me, that is… I’ll be glad when I can go up there.”

“Ha…” Xena’s mother grinned as she brought the bowl and a spoon to the table. She put them down on it. “Don’t worry about Eve, Gabrielle.” She reached out for the baby. “Here, give her to me. I’ll spoon-feed her myself once it’s at the right temperature. Meanwhile, you can go upstairs and see if Xena’s still gonna be taking much time in the bath.”

“Okay, thanks.” Gabrielle handed the baby to Cyrene and stood up. While Xena’s mother sat down with Eve at the table and took care of her, the short-haired blonde woman walked towards the stairs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As Xena came out of the little wash room, she walked towards her bedroom –the bedroom she used to sleep in as a child. She opened the door and got in, and then she suddenly heard someone climbing upstairs. She quickly turned around, took a peek out of the door and saw it was Gabrielle coming up. Xena hurriedly went to their saddlebags –which had been placed in the warrior’s room– to get a fresh, dry towel and some clean underwear for her lover. She came out of her room and saw Gabrielle walking along the corridor, towards the wash room.

“Hey, sweetheart!” the Warrior Princess called out, extending an arm to show the things she had in her hand. She saw the blonde woman turn to her. Gabrielle displayed an unemotional countenance on purpose. Xena attempted a clumsy smile at her soulmate. “You’re going to need these… for after your bath.”

The battling bard of Poteidaia briefly pouted her lips. She could still remember the very disturbing ‘I felt something’ she had heard her older partner say earlier on about the session with Ares. The short-haired woman walked towards the long-haired one, unsmiling, and nonchalantly took the items from her taller lover’s hands. “Thanks,” she spoke in a somewhat cool tone, “Is the water still warm?” She walked back towards the wash room.

“Yes, Gabrielle,” Xena tried to respond cordially despite Gabrielle’s strange attitude, “very warm.” She could notice the battling bard was being sulky to some extent. The warrior did not like this. She saw the blonde woman get into the wash room and swiftly shut the door behind her. The Warrior Princess went back inside her bedroom.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Xena had been brushing her wet long hair while sitting before the lit fireplace in her room, hoping her hair would be dry soon, when she suddenly stood up and went to put down the hairbrush on her bedside table by the bed. She decided to go sneak in the nearby wash room. She had to go speak to Gabrielle, now. Her mother was probably being too busy taking care of Eve right at this moment that she surely would not notice a thing. A fully clad Warrior Princess with semi-damp hair opened the door of her bedroom, got out and walked towards the wash room, where her blonde lover was.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle was relaxing in the hot tub and had her eyes closed when Xena entered the little room. Steam still faintly rose from the water, as the bath had remained warm enough. The battling bard opened her eyes as soon as she heard the warrior shut the door behind her. The short-haired woman looked up at her tall lover, who was now standing in front of the bath.

“Xena? What are you doing here?” Gabrielle asked, confused. “You don’t want your mother finding out about us this way, do you?”

“No,” Xena answered in a quiet voice, gesturing to the younger woman to speak lower, “I’ve been very careful not to make a noise so far… I came to talk to you.” The Warrior Princess pulled a chair that was in a corner of the small room, placed it in front of the tub and sat on it.

“What do you want?” the bard enquired in a lower tone. She rubbed a bar of soap onto her forearm as she kept enjoying her bath.

Xena seized another soap bar that had been lying nearby. She then reached inside the tub to catch one of her younger lover’s feet. She grasped Gabrielle’s leg, moved it above water and started washing her girlfriend’s foot with great loving care. “My beloved Gabrielle, all I want is you.” Her blue eyes took on a seductive hue as she gazed deeply and enticingly at the short-haired woman.

The way Xena was looking at her made Gabrielle’s heart melt a little and she began to smile slightly. “Fine. You can wash my feet for now!” The battling bard smirked. She moved her leg back into the water after the brunette had finished cleaning the first foot. She lifted her other leg and extended it out above the bath’s surface, towards Xena.

The warrior woman grabbed the foot that her short-haired lover was offering to her and leisurely lathered the sole and toes with soap while keeping her eyes on Gabrielle. She was so glad she had just managed to change her lover’s mood to some extent. “Can we talk, please, Gabrielle?”

“About what, Xena?”

“About the sort of face you’ve been pulling to me ever since we came back here earlier on?” After Xena was done with the cleaning, she put down the soap and immersed her soulmate’s lovely foot underwater to rinse it, without letting it go.

Gabrielle said nothing for now. She could feel that Xena still held a firm grip on her leg and wondered what she was up to. She kept a friendly, but reserved, expression on her face. She was not going to let the Warrior Princess have her way so easily. She first wanted some explanations for her lover ‘feeling something’ in someone else’s arms. She also wanted Xena to spill it all, about what had exactly happened in that temple today.

The older woman lifted her lover’s foot from the water and gently massaged it, making Gabrielle utter a faint moan of enjoyment. She knew her bard loved this. “I admit… I just don’t understand you, sweetheart. You were in this with me. This was our plan, to deceive Ares so that we could get his help in making Athena withdraw her army from Amphipolis. So what’s wrong, Gabrielle? Is this because I said to you that I felt a ‘little something’ you’ve been behaving like this since we came back here?” Xena asked clearly. She then softened up and looked compassionately at her short-haired lover. “Oh, sweetheart… Just let me know what I can do for you and I’ll do it.” She took her younger lover’s big toe into her mouth and started to suck on it tenderly.

Gabrielle did not answer Xena’s questions. She just closed her eyes and delighted in the feel of her lover’s mouth engulfing her toe. After a few silent moments, she re-opened her eyes and spoke: “Go back to your room and wait for me, Xena. We’ll talk soon. I simply don’t want your mom to catch us in here like this.”

Xena stopped what she was doing and released the younger woman’s leg, which then moved back underwater. “All right.” The Warrior Princess stood up, walked around the tub and quickly bent down to kiss the top of her soulmate’s blonde head. “I hope to see you soon, my love.” She headed back out of the wash room door as the battling bard watched her leave. Just before she left, the long-haired woman turned to her younger lover. “I need you, Gabrielle,” she stated in a pleading tone before shutting the door behind her on the way out.

Gabrielle sighed. She swiftly rose and climbed out of the bath a few moments later. She dried herself with the towel Xena had given her. She put her brownish leather top, her orange skirt and the remainder of her usual clothes back on. It really was time now that she and Xena have a serious talk, for sure.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“So you said earlier on that you ‘felt something’ when you were with Ares today, isn’t that right, Xena?” The battling bard of Poteidaia stood, arms crossed, sternly looking down at the Warrior Princess –who was seated on the floor by the fireplace in her room, drying her long hair with the heat.

“Yes, this is right,” Xena reluctantly admitted. She stood up and walked towards Gabrielle who had just arrived in her bedroom a minute ago. She worryingly looked at her younger lover. “Oh, sweetheart, I need you so much.”

As she approached her soulmate, the warrior wanted to kiss her so badly that she tried, but the blonde woman motioned her to stop before she could even do it. “Not so fast, Xena…” Gabrielle’s sea-green eyes solemnly stared up into her lover’s azure blue ones. “I really need to know what happened in Ares’ Temple today. I already know this was part of the plan you’d organised with me, but I do not want you to hide anything from me about what happened.”

“Sure…” the warrior woman affirmed anxiously. “You know I really had to act the part convincingly in order to fool him to save our daughter and Amphipolis. What do you really want to know, Gabrielle?”

“Everything, Xena,” Gabrielle earnestly requested. “I need to know all about what happened between you and Ares today. Please tell me.” The short-haired woman went to sit down on Xena’s bed, and her long-haired partner followed her.

Xena sat next to her shorter lover and started to talk, with slight qualm showing in her voice: “Well, when I first went to see him in his temple, I really acted as if he was going to get me as a lover and I was going to become his warrior queen, offer him my body, everything…” She gazed into Gabrielle’s eyes with an embarrassed look on her face.

“And?” The battling bard tilted her head, ready to listen to everything the Warrior Princess was about to reveal to her.

“And before the first time I kissed him today, I felt so nervous. I hadn’t felt the God of War’s powerful charms penetrate deep inside my soul for years, but I knew this was going to be very intense. Nonetheless, Gabrielle… I could feel my body shaking like a leaf.” Xena whimpered, “oh… I trembled inside just before my mouth and his made contact…”

“And after that? Please, Xena…” Gabrielle austerely nodded, somewhat peeved. “Carry on.”

“Once he and I kissed… I could feel his godly influence working its dark magic on me, his intense powers controlling me to some extent.” Xena tried to keep eye contact with her soulmate, despite her own anxiety. She cleared her throat and continued: “I remembered when I used to be with him in the past, during the time when I was a warlord. I noticed this past attraction I used to have for him also put me further under his spell today.” She shook her head tensely. “But Gabrielle, I never forgot our plan or the fact that we both had to deceive him so skilfully… He wouldn’t buy what I was saying to him, so that’s when you got into the picture and made him believe that what I was saying was true.”

“Yeah, Xena, I know this part.” Gabrielle put a warm hand on top of her soulmate’s shoulder. She caressed the warrior’s skin while keeping an intent gaze at the taller woman. “Please tell me more. Tell me about the second time you saw him in his temple today. What did you do exactly?”

“I had dropped my armour and clothes on the floor before I showed myself naked to him while dropping the furs that were covering my body. But I think I’d told you this was part of my plan to seduce and deceive him, hadn’t I?”

“You did. What happened after that?”

Xena was now seriously worried about what she was about to reveal to Gabrielle. “As he approached me… I grabbed him and threw him onto a couch. I could feel his strong godly influence on me, so I had to attempt to keep the little bit of control I had left. Then I jumped on top of him and then…”

The battling bard of Poteidaia noticed the Warrior Princess tense up even more. “Then what, Xena?” She looked more closely and suspiciously in her older lover’s eyes.

“Gabrielle…” Xena reluctantly carried on, “I’m sorry… It was as if I could feel myself being attracted to him somehow, for some reason. So we kissed and…” She hesitated, her face grimacing, disgusted at the recollection.

“Tell me everything, Xena.” Gabrielle was becoming seriously irritated now. She placed a hand on the side of the warrior’s face, slid it slightly down to lift her chin and made the warrior woman look at her more deeply. “Xena,” the bard’s facial expression showed some worry, “after all we’ve been through together, I really do think you can tell me how far you went with Ares. I really want to know. I just don’t want you to hide anything from me. I never hide anything from you, so please… tell me the rest.” The blonde woman waited apprehensively for her taller lover to speak. She prepared herself for the possibility of hearing something nasty, even though she already knew Xena had not had any penetrative sex with Ares. She slowly slid her hand down past the brunette’s shoulder and clutched her upper arm, as if wanting to squeeze the truth out of Xena.

“Oh… sweetheart… this sort of god plays tricks on us all the time. It’s like that other time when I was sleeping in the woods with Eve in my arms, and he started invading my head while I was asleep. He’d induced a disgustingly perverted dream in my mind that time, remember?” The Warrior Princess so desperately wanted Gabrielle to know that Ares had been exercising some sort of uncontrollable godly influence upon her mind. Both this and her past relationship with him caused her to feel very slightly attracted to him, but she wanted so much for her battling bard to know that Ares was first and foremost using his godly aura to draw women to him, and that Gabrielle mattered to her more than anything else.

“Xena,” the short-haired woman replied in a rather annoyed tone, “I already know about that awful dream which was not really yours to begin with. You told me all about it, about how you’d felt completely invaded and controlled by him during your sleep that time.” She tightened her grip on her long-haired lover’s arm. “Now please tell me more about what happened when you were on top of him in his temple today? And tell me what that ‘I felt something’ meant? What did you exactly mean by that?” Her look was very serious. She wanted to know everything.

“Gabrielle… when I said I’d ‘felt something’, I basically meant that… because of a small part of my dark past I’d spent with him intimately, and the fact that his godly presence can use some powerful charms to control women, I may have been very faintly feeling something while I was in his arms, but there’s nothing deeper to it, my love, really…” Xena stared at Gabrielle in a pleading way. “You’re the only one I love, Gabrielle.” She placed a warm hand on the blonde woman’s cheek and lightly caressed it.

The battling bard seized the Warrior Princess’ hand and slowly moved it away from her face. “Xena, please tell me…” She was getting very impatient. The warrior was driving her nuts by not answering her main question. “What did you do when you were on top of him? Earlier on, you said that you nearly ran out of foreplay. I wanna know exactly… what kind of foreplay?”

Xena so much wanted this difficult conversation over and done with. She did not want to drag this on any longer. She told the truth to Gabrielle: “I briefly bit on his nipple, that’s all…” A look of remorse could be observed on the warrior’s face.

The younger woman contorted her features in repugnance. “Xena!” she grumbled.

“…very briefly,” Xena added with insistence. “I’m sorry.” She caught the blonde’s arm as her lover was starting to turn away from her. “Oh… sweetheart… I didn’t do anything else. I was just trying to keep him waiting. He so forcefully wanted to have sex with me. I was feeling so nervous, Gabrielle. I was so impatiently waiting on you to interrupt that damn session with all your fighting… and when you did, oh, I was so thankful for that, even though that bomb was a little much and I wasn’t expecting it.”

The short-haired woman freed herself from her older lover’s grasp and stood up. She turned back to her lover, looking disappointed. “Oh, Xena, I knew you were waiting for me to save you from that mess but that doesn’t mean you had to bite on his damn nipple for goodness’ sake!” Gabrielle was exasperated. She could not help feeling more than a tad jealous.

Xena could not bear seeing her battling bard so upset. She got up and walked towards the short-haired woman. Facing her, she regretfully wailed: “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry… please… forgive me. I was feeling so nervous when I was in that temple. I never stopped thinking about you while I was there.” She tenderly took Gabrielle’s hands into her own. “You are my one, my only one… He does not matter to me. Do you believe me?”

The battling bard calmed down a little. She slowly interlocked her fingers with the warrior’s and gazed up into the taller woman’s eyes. “Yes, Xena… I do believe you. It’s just that… I’m a bit angry and frustrated right now, that’s all…”

Xena let go of one of Gabrielle’s hand to be able to softly touch the short blond hair. She started bending her head down and spoke near her soulmate’s mouth: “Will you let me kiss you? I need you so much. I just want to forget all about him and kiss you. Please?”

After giving it some thought, the shorter woman hesitantly yielded. “Uh-huh,” she uttered, and her long-haired lover covered her lips with hers.

The kiss was sweet, mending for the both of them. The Warrior Princess felt so glad and excited when she felt the bard’s tongue intermingling with hers. Now her soulmate was kissing her, and after such unease she had felt in Ares’ arms, it felt incredibly comfortable and heartwarming to kiss Gabrielle again. It really felt like coming home for Xena, to the place where she belonged. After a moment, their mouths separated, and the taller woman stared deeply into her blonde partner’s eyes.

The battling bard languidly shook her head. “That was nice… but Xena… I’m still very frustrated about what you did,” she said, unsmiling.

“Oh, my love…” the dark-haired woman pleaded, “please… just let me know what I could do for you to get you to forgive me, and I’ll do it.”

This remark caused Gabrielle to suddenly smirk and then briefly bite on her lower lip. “Well, Xena… there might be something you could do to please me, my darling,” she hinted, smilingly pouting her lips. She walked around her lover, which caused Xena to follow her every move.

The short-haired woman went to lie partially on the bed; she laid her back and her thighs onto the mattress, placing her knees at the edge of the bed. Gabrielle’s lower legs dangled by the side of the mattress. She sensually and unhurriedly spread her legs while smiling up at the Warrior Princess.

Xena’s breath was caught in her throat. The long-haired woman lustfully looked under the blonde’s orange skirt. She could see that Gabrielle was not wearing the underwear she had given her; she was in fact not wearing any. The warrior licked her lips at the sight of blond curls and pinkish labia. She swiftly took off her whole armour, which she chucked on the floor. Still wearing her leather bodice, she went to climb on top of Gabrielle and kissed her again.

The smaller, but strong, woman wrapped her hands around her lover’s neck. “Hmmm…” she moaned against Xena’s mouth as the warrior’s hands travelled around her back and slightly lifted her in an attempt to fumble at her brownish top and remove it. Gabrielle helped Xena get this upper garment out the way.

Once the younger woman’s breasts were exposed to the tall brunette’s libidinous gaze, she raised herself up a little on top of her partner and stared deeply into the sweet sea-green eyes. “What do you want me to do for you, my love? I’ll do anything.”

Gabrielle looked so sexy, still wearing that little necklace around her neck and those thin pleated strips of brown leather around her upper arms. Gazing up into the Warrior Princess’s piercing blue eyes, she answered her question in a low, alluring tone: “Pleasure me, Xena… please… and make me forget all these annoying frustrations over you and Ares.”

“Yes… anything you want, my love.” Xena quickly kissed Gabrielle again. She then immediately trailed her lips and tongue over the younger woman’s chin and down her neck. When the warrior reached the bard’s breasts, she took a great deal of time in squeezing them in her large hands, feeling them with her fingers and firmly stroking them with her tongue.

“Oh, yes… Xena…” Gabrielle slightly lifted her head, her eyes dreamy, watching Xena performing such loving ministrations on her. Her older lover really had to get herself forgiven, for sure. The short-haired blonde woman basked in the feel of her partner’s hands and tongue on her sensitive bust. Her breasts that had already hardened in anticipation.

Xena took one of Gabrielle’s nipples into her mouth and suckled it, wanting to forget absolutely everything about what had happened with Ares as she tasted more and more of the younger woman’s bosom. She groaned in bliss as she kept savouring her lover’s skin. The Warrior Princess’ mouth switched to the other breast and hungrily sucked on its nipple too. At the same time, she kneaded both the bard’s breasts again.

“Uh… Xena… Yes… more…” Gabrielle needed Xena to do everything she wanted right now, everything she requested, everything she desired –so the younger woman would be able to forgive her for her close moments with the God of War. “It’s so much better being with me, huh? Hmmm…” she asked her older lover.

“Oh, yes!” Xena seductively smiled at Gabrielle. The Warrior princess loved the battling bard’s body so much. She descended further on it and knelt in front of the bed, noticing that Gabrielle had become such a strongly toned and very well-shaped creature ever since becoming a properly skilled fighter at the start of the year.

Lifting her head to look more closely at her sidekick’s body, the tall woman relished the feel of her partner’s shape and contours as she ran her hands along her robust little frame. She unhurriedly felt her way around Gabrielle’s gorgeous abdominal muscles, watching them pleasantly twitch in response to her touch.

“Yes… Xena… more, please…” Gabrielle was becoming seriously moist between her thighs.

Xena used both her hands to pull up Gabrielle’s orange skirt and the brownish leather strips, which she all moved up and placed around the short-haired woman’s belly. Slipping her arms underneath the blonde’s thighs and pulling her lower body closer towards her face, the Warrior Princess lifted the battling bard’s muscular legs and put them over her shoulders. The warrior then spread the bard’s thighs a bit wider. She reached around her younger lover’s legs and gently caressed her labia.

She dipped two fingertips into the slippery wetness just outside her partner’s entrance. Having coated her fingers with the familiar nectar, she brought her hand to her mouth to taste the beloved liquid again. “Oh… Gabrielle… You are so mine…” As Xena sucked the juices off her fingertips, her azure blue eyes shone with desire as she stared at the short-haired woman’s face. So willing to please the battling bard, Xena lowered her head and softly nuzzled the golden hair at the apex of Gabrielle’s sex. She subsequently began to part her soulmate’s nether lips with her talented tongue, which then dove deeper into the blonde’s warmth.

“Oh, Xena… Yes!” Gabrielle immediately reached down and put a hand on top of Xena’s head. She entwined her fingers into the thick dark hair, driving the warrior woman even deeper into her soaking wet centre. “Yes… that’s exactly what I meant… oh… about what you could do for me… Good girl… Ah…” The battling bard felt completely ecstatic when she felt her dark-haired lover’s eager tongue thoroughly delving into her folds.

Xena enthusiastically licked her way around Gabrielle’s clit, causing the bard to utter more noises of pleasure and grip more tightly onto her head. The warrior woman’s tongue totally lavished her short-haired lover’s centre, rapturously travelling into reddened, swollen and fully excited bardic lips and textures before entering the welcoming sodden opening. Xena always enjoyed the warmth she found there. The long-haired woman pushed her tongue back and forth inside and hummed into her partner’s sex, bringing about some gratifying vibrations in the younger woman’s centre.

“Xena… oh… ah… yes…” Intense rapture consumed the battling bard.

Xena drank from Gabrielle’s delicious flowing passion as her nose pressed strongly onto the inner folds and nerve endings of her blonde lover. It sounded like music to her hears when she heard the younger woman blissfully cry out some more. After a while, the Warrior Princess moved her tongue back up to the battling bard’s little overexcited bud. She orally pleasured it with intense fervour.

“Ah, yes! Xena… oh… that’s right… just like that.” Gabrielle took joy in every flick of Xena’s tongue, every suction from her mouth on her engorged clit. She kept her firm grasp on the warrior’s head.

The dark-haired woman brought her blonde girlfriend over the edge in no time, making her exclaim her name as she came. “Xeeenaaa!” The younger woman went limp, removed her hand from her partner’s hair and threw her head back onto the mattress. The Warrior Princess slowly licked off the essence from the short-haired woman’s spent body, worshipping every drop of her battling bard’s sweet taste. After lovingly kissing Gabrielle’s delicate folds, Xena placed her girlfriend’s legs back on the bed and swiftly climbed her way back up to kiss her.

Their tongues sought each other as they kissed, and Gabrielle could sense her own essence on Xena’s mouth. Then the taller woman used her arms to lift herself up slightly on the bed. The warrior’s sturdy shape hovered over the smaller woman’s robust one when Xena asked Gabrielle: “So? Am I forgiven now?” She gave her a slight half smile.

The battling bard chuckled, gazing up at her lover. “Yes, you are completely forgiven Xena… for now…” She winked.

The Warrior Princess sighed in relief. She dropped her weight onto the blonde woman before her head travelled back down to her bosom. “Hmmm…” Xena briefly kissed each of Gabrielle’s gorgeous mounds. “I’m never gonna get enough of those boobs.” The remark made her younger lover laugh for an instant. The warrior laid her cheek onto the skin between the bard’s breasts. She happily rested there, closing her eyes.

The younger woman tenderly stroked her soulmate’s dark hair. “I love you, Xena.”

The warrior opened her eyes and slightly turned her head to look up at the short-haired woman’s face. “I love you too, Gabrielle… always…”


“Nothing, no one can ever separate us… not Ares, not anyone or anything…”

“I know…” The tone of the bard’s voice was sweet and mellow.

Xena kept resting her head near Gabrielle’s breasts as her younger companion continued to caress her hair. That was when they suddenly heard the bedroom door open. Both women had been so excessively absorbed in each other’s emotions that they had not noticed Cyrene coming towards the room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The baby had been crying for a short while when Cyrene decided to climb up the stairs to her daughter’s bedroom. At the top of the stairs, she stopped moving, as she could hear strange kinds of noises coming from that room. Listening to those sounds, Xena’s mother could somehow discern the two women telling each other things that mere friends were not supposed to, as well as uttering some suspicious moans. Maybe she should not disturb them, but such an option was not possible right now. Eve needed her mommy.

Moreover, Cyrene felt very intrigued by what she was hearing. She really needed Xena to come downstairs and take care of the baby. At the same time, she had just realised there was something she was curious to find out –what exactly that was going on between her daughter and that young bard of hers.

The curly-haired woman started walking very slowly towards Xena’s bedroom.  She was thankful that the corridor’s hardwood floorboards made it easy for her footsteps to go unheard when she was approaching at such a slow-moving pace. Cyrene got to the entrance to her daughter’s room and stood just outside of it for a short moment. She decided not to knock. Just after she had heard them declaring their devotions and going quiet, she seized the handle and opened the door.

She immediately saw Xena and Gabrielle cuddling each other a bit too closely. Her warrior daughter, though still dressed in her leathers, was lying in a compromising position on top of an almost naked Gabrielle with her head laid near the blonde woman’s breasts. After catching Xena with Ares earlier in the day, this was quite a shock for Cyrene. Her eyes widened in utter surprise.

Xena instantly lifted her head and turned it around. “Mom?” she asked in a totally awkward tone. This clearly felt like déjà vu to both daughter and mother.

“Xena!” Cyrene’s exclamation was, once again, an embarrassed one.

The Warrior Princess quickly grabbed the bed’s blanket to cover up her soulmate’s partially nude body, just before she stood up to face her mother. Gabrielle felt disconcerted herself, but she did not say a word. Keeping her naked skin well-covered, the blonde displayed a gawky grin at Xena’s mother.

Not knowing what to say, Cyrene changed the subject straight away. “Sorry, Xena… I really had to come and get you as soon as possible… Eve needs to be breastfed. Can you come downstairs now, please?” the curly-haired woman requested in an insistent tone, just before she turned away from Xena and Gabrielle and headed back out, towards the stairs.

“I’m coming right down, mom,” replied the Warrior Princess. She glanced back at the battling bard who was still lying on the bed, looking abashed.

“I’m sorry, Xena. I didn’t want her to find out about us this way either.”

“We should have been more careful… I was hoping to take time to…” Xena looked a bit saddened. “… to tell her myself.” She sighed and shook her head. “You stay here for now, sweetheart. Get dressed. I’ll go take care of Eve and talk to mom.”

“Sure. Go, Xena. Your daughter needs you now.”

The warrior walked out of her bedroom –leaving Gabrielle inside– and closed the door behind her before she hurried right downstairs. Her mother was already there –trying to comfort the agitated infant.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Stepping into the kitchen, Xena carefully took the crying Eve from Cyrene’s arms as the two women briefly exchanged a somewhat reserved look. The tall warrior woman went to sit on a chair near the table and gazed up at her mother. “Mom, can you please help me with my laces at the back?” She jerked her head sideways to imply what she meant. Cyrene instantly walked around Xena’s seat and undid the laces at the back of her daughter’s outfit. Still holding her baby, the Warrior Princess then swiftly used one hand to pull her leather garb down.

Once she had uncovered her bust, she moved Eve closer to her nipple. The young infant stopped crying and suckled on the breast. Xena affectionately and pleasantly sang a little tune to soothe her baby. Eve needed to be breastfed less often these days. The homemade baby food helped, but she still sometimes needed to be nursed, and the Warrior Princess was still lactating to some extent.

Xena’s mother stood by as her daughter carried on breastfeeding the baby until the little one was sated. “Take her, mom.” Xena handed a now sleepy Eve back into Cyrene’s arms. As the older woman went to place her back into her cradle, the warrior quickly lifted the leather straps of her outfit back up and covered her chest again. Still sitting on the chair, she reached back to the laces of her outfit to tie them back. After getting the infant to sleep, Cyrene turned back to her daughter. Awkwardly staring, she began to speak.

“Xena… I have to admit… what I saw upstairs was quite a bit of a shock. I mean, I knew you and Gabrielle were very chummy but… I certainly didn’t know you were that chummy. Can you please let me know what’s going on between you two?” Cyrene blinked, attempting a small, nervous smile.

From her seat, Xena earnestly gazed up at the older woman. “Mother… if you want to know everything, Gabrielle and I are best friends, soulmates and lovers.”

“But, Xena…” Cyrene faltered. “what about that… the God of War I saw you with today? Was it really all just a part of some plan between you and Gabrielle?” She felt puzzled.

“Yes, mom. We were supposed to fool Ares into believing that he was gonna get me to become the future mother for his child, so that we could get his help to save Eve, and to save Amphipolis.” Still solemnly, the warrior added: “I felt very embarrassed when you’d caught me earlier in his temple, but still it was only about me deceiving him, and there was nothing more to it.”


“Yes, really.” Xena nodded.

“So you…” Cyrene stammered. “You and Gabrielle are really… lovers?” She came to sit next to Xena at the table.

“Yes, we are, mom.” The Warrior Princess looked at her mother with an intensely determined gaze. “And I love her very much. We’ve been together for years, and I honestly couldn’t imagine being with anyone else… ever. She’s part of my family, mom. Do you have any problem with this?” Xena wondered whether her mother was being bothered by the fact that her lover was a woman.

“No, Xena…” The older woman tried to smile. “Not at all. It’s just that I had imagined that you would be with a…”


Cyrene remained silent, but tried to keep a warm, serene expression on her face.

“Well, forget it, mom,” the warrior woman said in a calm tone. She kept her composure, as she knew this might be new to her mother –even though romantic attraction to members of the same sex was never really an issue in Greece. “Gabrielle is the one I love. We’re soulmates. And I don’t need a man, sorry…” She reached for the older woman’s hand on the table, and gingerly held it while giving her a soft-hearted stare.

Cyrene was thoughtful for a minute or so. She then lovingly squeezed her daughter’s hand and smiled radiantly at her. “You and Gabrielle, oh… of course! What was I thinking? Who could possibly make you happier than the woman you’ve been sharing adventures with all those years. Of course, I’m very happy for you.” She moved closer, and she and Xena hugged for a short, but happy, moment. Then they looked at each other again.

“Thank you, mom.” The Warrior Princess smiled. “I knew you would understand.”

“Of course I understand, Xena. I was just a bit surprised, that’s all, but if it’s a woman you love… and especially if it’s Gabrielle, and she makes you happy –then I’m glad for you. And with Eve, you really have built yourself a family, Xena.” They briefly hugged again.

“I have indeed, mom.” Xena beamed. She was so glad her relationship with Gabrielle turned out not to be a problem for her mother after all.

“I’m so proud of you.” Cyrene kept smiling warmly. “How long have the two of you been together, by the way?” She wondered.

“Nearly four years, mom.”

“But… during all those years you were on the road with Gabrielle… How come you never told me?”

“I’d been planning on telling you, mother, but I just needed to find the right moment for it.” The warrior looked apologetic. “I’m sorry that I didn’t get the chance to tell you, mom, and that you had to catch us like this to find out.” She sighed.

“It’s alright. Don’t worry about it. You’re my daughter, and you have found a beautiful, caring and loving partner to be with. That’s all that matters to me in the end.”

“That’s good.” Xena grinned.

“Plus, you’ve really trained her to become a very skilled warrior. I can see that she’s a completely changed woman now, thanks to you,” Cyrene remarked blithely.

“Huh!” The Warrior Princess blushed and chuckled softly. “Yeah, she is.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Through a window, Gabrielle noticed that night was falling outside. She had been putting her brownish leather top back on and arranged the blankets on the bed right after Xena had left the room. She had then quickly walked back to the wash room to retrieve the underwear the warrior had given her and put it on. She was back in Xena’s bedroom now, waiting for her soulmate to come back up. The short-haired blonde woman knew that the Warrior Princess wanted to talk to her mother alone, unless she called out for her to go downstairs –which she had not.

Gabrielle stood near the fireplace, looking around the beautiful room she was in. She loved her lover’s bedroom here in Cyrene’s house. It offered her tiny glimpses of the innocent child Xena probably used to be. The place was approximately sixteen square-feet big. Nicely-styled dark pink, brown and beige carpets with diamond-shaped criss-crossed motifs lay about on the solid hardwood floor. The walls were made of creamy-coloured stones. The double bed was wide, nice and comfortable; it had white linen and a warm woollen dark brown blanket on it. On the other side of the room, there were a few of Xena’s childhood dolls and other toys, old fishing lines and nets –all tattered with time. A small dresser with a mirror stood by in the corner. Xena had put the saddlebags on the chair near it after leaving Argo in Cyrene’s tavern stables earlier in the day.

Feeling genuinely at ease in the tranquillity of this room, Gabrielle walked away from the fire and went to sit down on the bed. Placing an elbow on her knee, she lowered her head and massaged her forehead with one hand. She remained peaceful for a moment or so, when a flashing light abruptly struck the room and a male godly presence showed itself before her.

She lifted her head and rose from where she was sitting, feeling amazed. “Ares?”

“You think you’ve got what it takes to really please Xena, huh?” Suave and haunting, the God of War mocked her by grinning contemptuously as he stared at her. He was so jealous and envious of her for having conquered Xena’s heart.

“What are you doing here? I thought Xena had made it clear to you that she isn’t going to sleep with you. Leave my soulmate alone.” The battling bard of Poteidaia gave him an icy glare.

Ares sneered, ignoring most of what she had just been saying. “I’m here to see Xena of course. I should have come earlier tonight, but I was busy rectifying the damages you did to my temple earlier on. I also had to get a few of Eli’s followers out of my sight.” He changed the subject. “You think I haven’t heard her say that she’d felt something after I left?” He smirked. “Beware, oh… little one, gods can hear everything, even when we’re no longer visible.”

Gabrielle shrugged and huffed dismissively before shaking her head coldly. “You never give up, do you?”

“No… as a matter of fact, I don’t.” The God of War kept smiling evilly.

“Forget it,” Gabrielle insisted. “She isn’t interested in you. She loves me. You’re wasting your time, Ares.”

“You know, Gabrielle. All those years, I’d been wondering…” Ares started walking around the room, away from the hostile woman while keeping an eye on her and glancing at her now and again. “… what exactly she saw in you, why you made her so happy. Oh, I’d found out pretty early on about your dirty little secret, that the two of you were lovers. But I was always completely baffled at what she’d possibly found in such a ridiculous bard like you that could inspire her so much in following the ‘greater good’ and other kinds of nonsense.” He now moved back towards Gabrielle, getting closer and closer to her while she stood there, looking at him with disdain.

“The greater good is not nonsense, Ares. It is real.”

“So then,” he continued, “I understood that she probably saw something in you that I hadn’t.”

“Yeah,” the battling bard smirked, “beats you, doesn’t it?” she taunted.

The God of War grimaced and shook his head. “The thing is, Gabrielle… Whatever light she may see in you, however strong her relationship with you may be, all this cannot change one simple fact: Xena needs the flame of war to burn intensely inside of her to make her whole, to inspire her, to arouse her real being. War is her nature. Nothing can change this. She keeps refusing to see it, but she knows somewhere deep down inside her that she needs to conquer the world, with me.” He grinned wickedly as he stood face to face with Gabrielle, staring down into her eyes. “You don’t stand a chance to really satisfy Xena’s true needs.”

“You really want her to go back to her old ways, don’t you?” The young short-haired woman asked in a disgusted tone. “I knew it. All you want is to possess her, to control her.”

“I never stopped wanting her to become what she was always meant to be: a Warrior Queen. I don’t believe you’ve got what it takes to fulfil Xena’s destiny. I do. Now please, don’t even try to interfere with my plans to get her back. I’m warning you. If you ever attempt to damage one of my temples again, I will not be so lenient next time.”

Gabrielle chortled in a totally derisive way. “You really don’t know her that well, do you?” On a more serious note, she added: “In her life, Xena always needed to find someone who could show her the path towards redemption, and I was that person. The love I have for her, the capacity to love I opened up in her heart –all this love Xena and I share is stronger than any forces of evil in the world, yours included. I was able to show her that there was light within her that she hadn’t explored enough –that love, care and consideration for others were really values that were part of her nature all along. I was able to open her heart –and this is what beats you, what bothers you the most.” As she carried on looking up at him with scorn, Gabrielle shook her head again. “Go away, Ares. Xena doesn’t want you here. She feels nothing for such a selfish, cold-hearted creature like you!”

Ares slightly backed away, keeping a confident expression on his face. Before disappearing, he stated: “Soon… the Olympians are going to come after Eve again. She’ll need my help once again. Then we’ll both see how wrong you in fact are –that it is you who just doesn’t really know Xena. It’s only a matter of time before she can be mine again.” In another burst of flashing godly light, he vanished.

Gabrielle sighed. She would need to tell Xena about this unexpected godly visit as soon as her lover came back up.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena climbed up the stairs, leaving her mother making dinner downstairs for tonight, and Eve asleep in her cradle with Cyrene keeping an eye on her. The Warrior Princess walked along the corridor and opened the door to her bedroom. While she was going inside, Gabrielle immediately rushed towards her.

“Xena, Ares was here!” the short-haired blonde put both her hands on her taller partner’s upper arms as she revealed this with a solemn stare.

“Really? When?”

“Just a few minutes ago.” The battling bard briefly scanned their surroundings before moving her sea-green eyes back towards Xena’s azure blue ones. “He said he’d heard you say that you ‘felt something’ and that he was coming here to see you.” She let her hands gently slide down the long-haired woman’s arms and moved them back towards herself.

“Stubborn bastard…” The warrior chuckled and shrugged. She walked around Gabrielle and quickly inspected the room. Then she turned back towards her soulmate. “I can’t sense him here. He must be gone for now. Why do you think he came to see you instead of me?”

“I don’t know. You were busy talking to your mother downstairs. Perhaps he took the opportunity to try to send me a warning. He said he didn’t want me to interfere with his plans again, that he supposedly knows about your true needs better than I do, and that he wants you back. He wants you to go back to your old ways and become his warrior queen.” Gabrielle looked a tad apprehensive about the God of War’s relentless determination to get the Warrior Princess back. “Xena, be careful, I know he can have an effect on you, and I know he must be planning on coming back tonight somehow.”

“Gabrielle…” Xena rubbed her lover’s shoulder and the shorter woman put a hand on the warrior’s elbow. They shared a tender gaze. “You don’t have to worry about a thing. He’s talking nonsense when he says he knows better than you do. You’re the one I’ve always loved, Gabrielle. I have never loved Ares the way I love you, not even during my warlord days. It was just pure lust between us, nothing else. He can come back here tonight and he’ll get nothing from me. Gabrielle, I love you, no one else but you.”

“I love you too, Xena.” Gabrielle smiled and moved up her other hand to catch a few strands of the warrior’s long hair, which she held softly.

Xena lowered her head and they kissed passionately for a minute or so. Then the taller woman proudly said, grinning: “It’s time for you to come downstairs with me now. Mom’s making dinner. She’s very happy you and I are together, and she wants to see us both as soon as possible. She asked me to hurry up and come to get you. And I’ll probably have to go check on the wounded after dinner.”

The battling bard beamed at the Warrior Princess. “Oh, so she took things really well, Xena? I knew she would.”

“She did indeed, and I knew it too. Now please come downstairs with me. She’s waiting for us.” The taller woman quickly picked up her breastplate, which she had left lying on the bedroom floor. She would put her armour back on for the rest of the evening.

With Xena having an arm around Gabrielle’s shoulders and holding the smaller woman closely, the two women exited the bedroom. The warrior swiftly shut the door behind them.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“I am so, so happy for the both of you,” Cyrene both looked and sounded euphoric. The three women were sitting at the kitchen table –Xena and Gabrielle next to each other, facing the warrior’s mother. The baby was soundly asleep in her cradle.

“Thank you so much, Cyrene.” The short-haired woman gave her a wide smile before getting another spoonful of the succulent and nutritious soup her lover’s mother had been making. “You’ve always been so supportive of Xena and I.”

“Yes, and the fact that you are lovers makes me even more supportive. It’s so good to see such a happy family.”

The Warrior Princess said nothing. She just sat next to her younger partner, occasionally grinning coyly at her mother while eating her food. This was the first time Cyrene was seeing the battling bard and her together after getting to know they were a couple.

“Oh, definitely, Cyrene,” Gabrielle took one of Xena’s hands in hers, and the lovers’ fingers interlocked as they joyfully gazed at the warrior’s mother, “we couldn’t be happier.”

Cyrene smiled back. That was at this precise moment that everyone heard a knock coming from the house’s front door. The tavern-keeper stood up and went to see who it was. She opened the door. “What is it?”

“Is Xena here? It’s urgent.” A neighbour –who was a man in his mid-thirties– stood on the porch, looking very worried.

“Yes, Phaedrus, she’s in the kitchen.” Cyrene offered him to come in. He walked straight to the tavern-keeper’s kitchen.

“Xena?” Phaedrus stared at her, impatient, distressed and needing the help of Xena and her fine medical skills as soon as possible.

The Warrior Princess rose from her seat. “What is it?”

The bard just remained seated, listening to what was going on. Her lover’s mother was back in the kitchen, wondering what the emergency was.

“You’ve got to come to the tavern and see the wounded. My brother Alexis is losing some blood. I think he might be haemorrhaging,” he warned.

“I’ll be right there.” Xena glanced at Gabrielle, then at her mother. “Looks like I’m gonna have to go there earlier. I’m going there alone. You two stay here and finish this dinner together. I’ll be back as soon as I can.” She followed Phaedrus as he was leaving to go to the tavern next door.

“Sure, Xena,” Gabrielle said, “we’ll be waiting for you.”

“Yes,” Cyrene added, “I’ll be keeping you some food for when you come back.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The talented healer that Xena was had been able to stop Alexis’ bleeding in no time. It had only be a minor haemorrhage, and the patient had been a lot more frightened than actually hurt. Phaedrus had just gone home after the Warrior Princess had made his brother drink a sedative medicine that she had prepared in order to calm him as he needed a rest. Now Xena was walking past bunk after bunk to check on each of the injured people. They had all been fighting pretty well today and the number of casualties had not been too serious.

A couple of townswomen, Demetria and Berenike, had been keeping watch on those wounded, as well as bringing them food and water. These town ladies were currently helping Xena out by providing her with clean healing tools, bandage material, fresh linen and buckets of water with soap to care for the sick. As the warrior woman moved through her mother’s tavern, which had been turned into a temporary infirmary, she carried on examining each person after another. She had been dealing with frequent broken limbs, minor cuts and lacerations, shell-shocked minds and small fevers when she finally completed the inspection of all the patients.

Noises of footsteps made themselves heard from some place at the back. Her attention was immediately drawn there. As Demetria and Berenike walked back towards the other end of the room, getting out the door while carrying dirty linen and other materials to washing areas in town, Xena turned around a dark corridor that was in a corner just outside the main room in Cyrene’s tavern. She was about to light a torch when she suddenly saw bright flames igniting themselves one at a time before her. Some strange force had been lighting each of the torches that hung along the wall. The Warrior Princess could sense, but not see, the godly presence she knew. She relaxed and sighed.

“Show yourself, Ares!” Xena ordered as she was standing in the middle of this red-carpeted alleyway.

Right in front of the dark-haired woman, flickering, flashing brightness became steady and the strongly muscular, masculine and ruthlessly charming godly entity materialised. “Hello, Xena.” His intense gaze was tormentingly fixed upon her eyes. “I could hear what you said earlier on after I left, you know?”

“What are you talking about?” Xena grimaced. “What are you doing here?” The tone of her voice was utterly unfriendly.

“When you said you ‘felt something,’ I heard it. How long are you going to continue to deny the intense connection that we share, you and I? The ever-burning passion we both have for each other?” His stare became steely and lascivious.

“Speak for yourself!” the warrior woman retorted harshly. “I share my own passion and connections with Gabrielle, no one else, and certainly not a bastard like you.”

The God of War snickered derisively. He shook his head in dismissal of what this beautiful woman he had been obsessed with for so long had just been saying. “Xena, oh, Xena,” he said in a hauntingly seductive tone, “she can’t possibly give you what I’ve got.”

Looking at Xena, Ares was completely fascinated by what he perceived as being a very valuable sexual object. He yearned so much to possess her entirely, to master her and to rule her. He was completely obsessed with the possibility of getting supreme power over her as well as complete ownership of her. He had already had her once, but he had lost her.

On the surface, he was very much fond of this warrior woman, but within the depth of his cold and stony heart, he somehow knew that he did not really love her –not the way that short-haired blonde battling bard of hers loved her. Deep down, he only loved her like a heavily prized mortal female trophy he had to get for himself. She had become such an independent and good-willed woman in recent years, but he knew she still had a precious dark side he needed to tap into to be able to get her. No other woman had such great skills for warmongering, bloodlust and violence as Xena did in her past.

He really had to have her again. He knew there was this ever-burning rage buried somewhere deep inside her, which he could help ignite, and he also really thought he was the best person who could satisfy her sexually and emotionally. What made him so sure of himself was primarily the way she had been giving herself to him at one point during her raging warlord days. He had been able to see her submission to his warring lust and plans as well as her supreme appetite for destruction. In Ares’ mind, Xena needed to be dominated by his godhood in order to be able to accomplish her true destiny, and he would make good use of her sexual and reproductive abilities as soon as he could get her. He really had to sire a child through her, to plant his godly seed in her.

As a less desirable option for him, he would become a mortal in order to get even the slightest chance in Tartarus to intimately possess her again; but this would be chosen only if the Twilight prophecy ever turned out to be true. In the meantime, he believed it was merely a myth. Right at this precise moment, he kept attempting to pierce his way through her antagonistic shield, to break through her mental barrier with the powerful force of his godly aura.

Xena could feel the dark deity trying to bring her defences down through the depth of his intense look. When he started touching her upper arm, she backed away. “Maybe I just don’t want or need what you’ve got!” she spat out bitterly. She had nearly fallen for his mental tricks today, and this certainly was not happening again.

“Xena…” Ares admonished, “after the way I’ve helped you today,” he grasped one of the Warrior Princess’ shoulders with a sturdy but gentle hand, “after the way I fought Athena and saved your child and your town, the least you can do is speak to me in a respectful tone, don’t you think?”

The warrior woman reflected on what he was asking for a minute. “I neither want nor need what you’ve got, Ares,” she repeated in a slightly quieter tone.

“But you very much used to like what I’ve got,” he insisted. “You used to love it, actually…” He moved his hand up to her forehead, generating some memories to bring back into her mind as a radiant, supernatural brightness emanated from the palm of his hand.

Xena stood immobilised, completely enthralled and controlled by the psychic pushing and digging into her mind despite trying to resist it. The sight of her surroundings faded to black, as she was abruptly being mentally transported to the past –a long, long time ago, six years ago as a matter of fact…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Evil Xena stood at the top of a Greek hill, sniggering at the resourceful lands ahead –which were hers to conquer as soon as she could. Ares, the God of War, stood right next to her with an arm around her shoulders. The Warrior Princess’ army were somewhere behind them, waiting for their commander to give signals or instructions.

Xena warmly looked back at Ares. She was wearing a voluptuous red velvet warrior outfit which he had given her the night before. They had been having madly intense sex, and he had also given her an interesting weapon. It was a chakram, which he had stolen from a foreign god of war’s temple. She was gleefully carrying this weapon as she remained thankful to Ares for all the flaming, battling fury and hunger for war and conquest he had been fuelling inside of her bitterly resentful being.

She hated all the pathetic pacifist people she often encountered while travelling. She cheerfully and mercilessly rammed her sword through their worthless hearts if they did not shut up. Xena grinned at Ares. “Thank you so much for the chakram and these awesome clothes. That was some night we spent together last night, huh, God of War?”

“Hmm… yeah, it was, my Warrior Princess babe.” Ares slid his hand down to the dark-haired woman’s waist and held her closer and more tightly. “And now you’re going to conquer Greece for me…” He stared deeply into her eyes as he added: “… and perhaps the whole world also. I can assure you that as long as you’re willing to serve Ares the God of War with your utmost loyalty and worship, to satisfy me and all my needs for war and bloodlust with all your relentlessly awesome fighting and warring abilities, I will make you happy and powerful in all your rage.” He softly caressed her cheek with his free hand.

Xena chuckled blithely. “Sure, I will give you my entire devotion, God of War. You’ve been doing so much for me already.” Proud of the wonderful circular weapon this handsome god had given her, Xena was fully controlled by the almighty spell he vehemently kept exercising upon her mind. Surely, she had already been conceitedly evil before meeting him a few moons ago –when he had appeared to her all of a sudden in the middle of a forest, saying he had something she would be looking for– but he kept feeding in, nurturing the dark side within her in a dangerously charming way. He had been such an amazing mentor to her. Her mind could not stop wandering back to last night’s sexual sessions with him. He had used one of his interesting godly tricks to kindle some sort of a red glowing light inside of her abdomen to force her to enjoy their activities even more. He was very possessive and she kind of liked this. “Let’s start with Greece first of all.” Xena glanced at the peaceful valleys in front of them. “How do you want me to conquer it?”

“Xena,” he slightly moved her body with the bewitching touch of his hands so that she was totally facing him, “a good place to start would be the complete destruction of Hercules. I want you to go after him now.” His intense gaze penetrated hers.

“Sure, Ares,” the Warrior Princess smiled maliciously, “whatever you want, God of War.” She wrapped her arms around his neck. He was the only way she could get to achieving supreme authoritative power over all people. In this world of men, Xena believed that for a woman to be able to rule it, she needed to get as close to the centre of phallic power as possible. Ares embodied the most masculine facet of male power –the patriarchy itself. She would willingly serve this male-supremacist system as a proud and devoted handmaiden of it, becoming an ever-more raging female warlord and conqueror. Through her allegiance to this Greek God of War and her respect for him, one day she would be able to hopefully get the same social powers, the same privileges as men did. Now that she no longer had Borias, she needed Ares. Things would work even better now since this one was a god too, not just a man.

The God of War encircled his hands around her waist and the two of them kissed voraciously. A few moments later, they parted and Xena climbed up on her horse and began riding down the hill.

“Go, Xena!” Ares cheered her on, “You’re my future Warrior Queen. Make me proud. Destroy Hercules! Conquer Greece! Conquer the world! Fight for the glory of Ares! You’re full of ever-blazing power and beauty. Make the world whatever you want it to be. Rule it!”

The Warrior Princess briefly turned to simper at him as she left and then continued her ride the other way. She instructed her army to follow her and the men did. Ares carried on watching her as she travelled down the valleys while she spurred her horse on to a hurried pace. Neither she nor the God of War knew that Hercules –and then later on Gabrielle– would soon help her turn her life around, and she would never come back to Ares.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena’s strong and vigorous independent mind struggled incessantly to break the mental chains of Ares’ induced flashback. After the constant battling of her mind against the god’s control, she managed to rouse herself from the blackout. “Stop it, Ares!” Xena shouted, grabbing his hand and pulling it away from her. He let go. “As I’ve said before, I will not ever become your little Warrior Queen. I feel nothing for you!” she yelled. They were both still standing in the middle of this torch-lit corridor somewhere at the back of Cyrene’s tavern.

“You’re lying,” he objected. “I’d heard you say that you felt something about what we were doing in my temple earlier on, the way you seduced me.” He leered at her. “Oh, I’d bet you felt the exact same delightful excitement you used to feel when you were mine, remember?”

The Warrior Princess took a step back and became thoughtful for a moment, about this memory of her warlord past the God of War had just been provoking within her mind. She was also thinking about what had happened earlier in the day. She looked at Ares again. “Quit it. I was only with you for a short while.” Her voice sounded bitter. “I was living in a state of complete darkness at that time. I hated everyone. My whole life was being consumed by hatred. Now things have changed, and I’ve met Gabrielle. She’s the one I love. She’s the one I belong to.”

“No, Xena, you belong to me,” he asserted, as he advanced towards her again and smoothly ran the back of his hand against her cheek while never breaking eye contact with her. “Now please, let’s conclude the deal we both accepted earlier on today. As I said, Gabrielle does not have what I’ve got to keep you happy. She can’t possibly fully satisfy you.”

Xena took another few steps back and began to laugh uncontrollably for a few seconds at what he was saying, before she spoke again: “No kidding… Is this why you’ve been annoying her tonight while I was talking to mother? Oh, you must clearly know that she indeed makes me happy if you worry so much that she might interfere with your selfish plans, huh?” She sneered.

Ares said nothing. A long time ago, he had been the one who had trained her to become the even better, more skilled warrior she had become. Now he really had to keep a stoic, unaffected and unemotional stance to prevent the ungrateful woman from chipping away at any slightest bit of his strong, proud and godly masculinity. She had been messing with him too much today already, and it drove him mad. He had to keep his feelings under control.

“Who the hell do you think you are coming here and trying to control my mind with flashbacks of someone I no longer am? Just like you attempted to control it by invading my sleep with absurd dreams, huh?” Xena taunted. “Do you really think I forgot about the way you’ve been poisoning my life ever since I decided to change for the better?” She scowled. “Like the way you drove me insane with the furies and you wanted me to kill my mother? Or when you sided with Dahak and manipulated Gabrielle? Do you really think I could forget these things and go with you? I don’t believe you would ever change. You’re too obsessed with your own selfish self!”

The God of War became a bit less stoic, changed his mind and decided to try the tactic which he thought would most likely work: “You’re wrong, Xena. Things have changed, and I love you. I want to be beside you, to fight beside you.” He looked at her with his sinister yet alluring gaze.

Although feeling his charms trying to force themselves upon her mind, the warrior woman remained unsusceptible. “You don’t love me. This is only part of your game. You just want an offspring to carry on your line, and you’re just seeing me as a tool for doing the mother job…”

Right at that moment, Gabrielle arrived in the corridor where Ares and Xena were standing. She held her pointed sais in both hands. The battling bard had been looking for her warrior lover in the makeshift infirmary when she had suddenly heard indistinct shouting noises coming from the back of the tavern. She had gotten her sais out of her bootlegs and ran there, keeping her sharply pointed weapons out in case the Warrior Princess was about to fight some mortals and she had to help. Now that she saw it was the God of War who had indeed come back to irritate Xena, she quickly bent down to place her weapons back into the sides of her boots. She walked closer to her soulmate while keeping an occasional eye on Ares. “Xena? Is everything all right?”

The taller woman briefly turned to her partner. “Yes, everything is fine, Gabrielle. Don’t sweat it. I’m just wrapping up all I had to say to Ares for tonight.” Xena looked back towards Ares: “About the deal you thought we had today, I was just desperate when I tried to get your help. I had no choice after Athena had poisoned the town’s water supply during the siege. Now forget all about this so-called deal…” Xena lightly shook her head. “Nevermind. You will never take ‘no’ for an answer anyway. Get lost, Ares!” Just after Xena said these words, Gabrielle glanced at the God of War, mischievously smirking at him while raising her eyebrows, giving him the very same smug type of look she had thrown at him earlier on. This made him mad.

The Warrior Princess took her soulmate’s hand and they both started walking away from the passageway. “Stop annoying me and my soulmate. Stop asking for something you’re never going to get. Leave us both alone,” she said as they were slowly leaving. “You’ve heard her, Ares,” added Gabrielle, “Leave us alone.”

Ares felt exasperated at Xena because she refused to sleep with him, because she denied there had been a real deal being agreed upon between them today, but he gave up for now. “The Olympian Gods will keep coming after your baby, Xena. They will keep wanting Eve dead, and you know it. You will need my help, and you will come back looking for me. See you next time, Xena.” The God of War was totally fed up seeing her denying what he thought was what she really needed. He had to take a short break from this. A gleaming blast of bright light he had just psychically summoned prompted his disappearance from the corridor. The lit torches on the wall extinguished themselves instantly.

The two women watched him go as they turned away from the passageway at the back of the tavern. They crossed the temporary infirmary again, making sure the sounds of Xena’s argument with Ares had not been disturbing the wounded too much. After checking up on a few patients who were having trouble getting back to sleep, Xena and Gabrielle got out of the tavern to get back into Cyrene’s house next door. They left Demetria and Berenike to watch the injured and take care of them overnight. The townswomen had explained to them that they would do so and would not need to get Xena unless there were to be an emergency.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Warrior Princess carried her baby into Cyrene’s bedroom as her mother was preparing some warm little blankets for Eve. The curly-haired woman got the baby linen out of her closet and went to put it inside the cradle, which had been moved into her room. Gabrielle stood near when Xena delicately put the infant into her cradle. The short-haired woman smiled, standing in the doorframe.

Cyrene smiled warmly as the warrior began humming a song to get Eve to sleep. The baby had been breastfed again as soon as her daughter had come back into the house with Gabrielle after going to check on the wounded in the tavern. Xena had asked her mother to take the baby with her for the night, and Cyrene was very enthusiastic to look after Eve for now. She understood that it was now getting late and the two lovers were probably wanting some peace and quiet for themselves.

“Thank you so much, mom.” Xena grinned kindly after Eve had finally fallen asleep. “Come knock on my bedroom door if there’s any problem with the baby.” She walked towards her lover.

“Sure, Xena. And I’m so glad to be helpful. I love children so much, and I love my granddaughter more than anything.” The older woman watched her daughter leave with the battling bard as they were just getting out of her bedroom. “Goodnight, you two. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” she joked.

Xena and Gabrielle laughed. “Goodnight, mom,” the tall woman said, blushing. “Goodnight, Cyrene,” the blonde added. They shut Cyrene’s bedroom door and made their way along the corridor towards the warrior’s room.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was very dark outside Xena’s bedroom window and very late in the evening when the Warrior Princess and the battling bard were taking their clothes off to get ready for bedtime. Gabrielle was the first to get into bed. All in the nude, she slipped herself under the sheets and blankets. She tucked herself in and waited for her older lover to join her. The room was lit by a few bright candles that stood on the bedside table.

Xena had taken her armour and boots off when her eyes pensively fell upon her chakram, which she had put down on top of the dresser. It no longer mattered to her that Ares had given her this weapon. She had thoroughly mastered it and made it completely her own thing over the past few years. She carried on undressing herself absentmindedly while thinking about her chakram and about the flashback the God of War had induced in her mind tonight.  It was fascinating how yonical the weapon Ares had given her looked; she bet that the god himself had not even thought of this.

Moreover, ever since the chakram of darkness had been fused with its lighter counterpart and such a balance had restored her to her real self after she had come back to life the last time, this weapon felt even more intrinsically and organically linked to the fair and independent female warrior she had become. She no longer wanted to rule the world, nor did she need to seek the help of any patriarchal sort of power to instigate this. She had become her own free warrior woman fighting for a better world, no longer interested in conquering it.

Xena was perfectly happy with the inherent good-natured power that resided within a great part of herself. The chakram was a yonic symbol, and it represented all the self-determining and uncorrupted strength for doing good she had been building for herself over these past few years. Gabrielle’s love also redeemed her. When she was experiencing this kind of love and she was reciprocating it to the young bard, she needed no army, no evil bloodlust to deprave her life. With Gabrielle and Eve, they would help promulgate Eli’s Way of Love around the world, but their plans to fight for the greater good had existed long before Eli had even shown up in their lives. It was very rare in this day and age to see independent women like her and Gabrielle roam the world. They both cherished this fact.

“Are you coming to bed, Xena?” The battling bard stirred the Warrior Princess from her pondering thoughts.

Xena was making her leather bodice slide down her well-toned frame as her younger lover asked her this. Glimpsing at the bard, she replied, “I’ll be right there, sweetheart.” She got herself fully undressed and then climbed into bed beside Gabrielle. They had made a great choice in deciding to sleep together naked again for tonight.

The short-haired blonde woman immediately covered her partner’s sturdy body with her own and smiled affectionately as the warrior caressed one of her ears. She brought her mouth to her soulmate’s to kiss her deeply. Both women enjoyed the very warm and pleasant contact of each other’s skin as Gabrielle lay on top of Xena. The two were intensely hugging one another while their nipples were making delightful contact, breasts pressing against breasts.

They continued to kiss –their tongues ardently pushing and passionately wandering around one another within their mouths. Underneath the bedsheets, Xena’s legs were spread and Gabrielle’s warm centre felt so good against hers. As their faces parted, the battling bard lifted her head to gaze down into the azure blue eyes of the person she loved so much.

“Xena, I need to know something.”

“What?” The Warrior Princess puzzlingly looked up into the sea-green orbs of the woman she loved so profoundly.

“Has Ares really always gotten to you in some ways?”

“Gabrielle…” Xena frowned.

“Be honest, please,” Gabrielle requested solemnly as her hands lay beneath her lover’s shoulders and lightly squeezed the skin of her back.

The older woman sighed while she continued to stare up at the strong little bard on top of her. She reached up and tenderly stroked the short hair. “Yes, Gabrielle, in a certain way he always got to me. I have remote memories of him as a mentor and as one of my ex-lovers. He also has some sort of a distinctive power that draws women to him, but this entirely comes from his godly presence and tricks, you know?”

“Yeah, I noticed.” The battling bard’s features displayed some soft-heartedness. She trusted her partner even though she wanted to know everything about the warrior woman’s interactions with and emotions about other people. Gabrielle also knew that the God of War had this strange attractive aura emanating from his dark self. She remembered how he had been playing with her own mind twice, once during one of his sick portal games and the other just after he had killed Eli –when the God of War had been making Gabrielle feel the shimmering glow of his powers. Therefore, she remained largely unsurprised because she knew what Xena was talking about.

“Anyway, you really don’t have to be jealous or worried about anything, Gabrielle. He means nothing to me. It is to you that I belong, and I love you more than anything. My heart belongs with you.” The Warrior Princess was very sincere. “We were both crucified together on a cold and snowy mountain. We died together. We went through heaven and hell together. We came back to life together. We went through so many things together. How could I not love you more than anything? No one can ever get in the way of what we feel for each other.”

“You’re absolutely right. I love you so much, Xena.” They kissed and held one another tightly again. Gabrielle was still lying on top of Xena, feeling the mesmerising harmony of their bodies never breaking the sweet contact.

The long-haired woman softly ran her fingers along the skin of her younger partner’s back. “I love you too, and I belong to you. Just please never forget it if I ever have to kiss some man again as part of some plan to get ourselves or anyone out of trouble.”

“Well,” Gabrielle grumbled, “I cannot say I’m not peeved whenever you do that, but I trust that you are mine, Xena.”

“And you should, because I am yours. I belong to you. Now please, make love to me, Gabrielle. I need you now. I’ve already made myself forgiven earlier on for what happened with Ares, remember?” Xena winked.

“Oh, yeah!” Gabrielle beamed at the thought of the lovely way Xena had been pleasuring her. Her warrior always knew how to please her. She moved her hands towards her older lover’s and entwined her fingers with the warrior’s. “I would never forget that.” The energetic battling bard of Poteidaia surprised her soulmate as she pinned the Warrior Princess’ hands down onto the pillows while she lifted her own upper body up. The little twinkle in her lustful gaze expressed victory.

Xena giggled at the bold move, her hands caught in Gabrielle’s grip. She liked to see this smaller, yet muscular and firmly toned body on top of hers. Her little bard had become a very strong woman now. “Hmmm… ’you trying to impress me, sweetheart?”

“Maybe…” Gabrielle answered in a seductive tone as she kept smiling down at her long-haired partner. “You know, I’m no longer the little innocent virgin you met, Xena.”

“Oh, I can see that!” The Warrior Princess chuckled loudly. “I have changed you, sweetheart. And you changed me too.”

“Yep, for the better… Xena, I’m going to make love to you now. I’m gonna make you feel something,” the battling bard began to grin wickedly, “something that will show you that you really don’t need Ares, or any other man for that matter.”

“Gabrielle, you know the only one I need is you,” the long-haired woman asserted heartily.

Gabrielle softened and let go of Xena’s hands as she once again lowered her weight onto the dark-haired woman’s and buried her face into her neck, her arms lying on each side of her body. The warrior moaned softly as the blonde woman planted kisses onto her skin. Her own hands were now languidly moving along the sides of the battling bard’s abdomen.

Yearning for more, Gabrielle quickly moved her way downwards to Xena’s magnificent breasts. She always loved the nice, full and warm way they felt every time she kneaded them. As she carried on manipulating her long-haired lover’s beautiful bosom, she covered one nipple with her mouth.

“Hmmm… Gabrielle… yes… more…” the Warrior Princess urged her soulmate on while gently rubbing the back of her neck.

The short-haired blonde unhurriedly feasted on the brunette’s bust. She adored the gorgeous ample breasts so much. She eagerly switched from one to the other while her older partner kept uttering noises that indicated absolute delight. After Gabrielle had fully treated herself with Xena’s marvellous bosom, she moved the blanket and bedsheet away from them, uncovering both their bodies. Then she swiftly returned her attention to her dark-haired lover’s body and planted hot and lingering kisses all over her tummy.

What the two lovers did not know was that Ares was standing in a corner of the bedroom. Having made himself completely invisible, he was silently watching them both as they were making love. He depressingly knew Xena would be way too enthralled by Gabrielle’s touch to even notice he was here. He was totally jealous and upset by what he was seeing. He hated the way such a stupid bard had managed to steal his Xena from him. Xena was always meant to come back to him, and he certainly would not give up. He would keep trying to get Xena back. Gabrielle might have won the battle, but to him she had not won the war. Soon his fellow Olympians would go after Xena’s child, which would surely prompt the Warrior Princess to come to him for help again. He continued to watch as Gabrielle traced warm and wet circles onto Xena’s belly with her tongue, eliciting more rapturous sounds from the warrior woman.

These sounds made the God of War feel very unhappy. All these years, unbeknownst to the two women, he had occasionally made himself invisible like this and spied on them while they were having sex. It had usually made him feel bizarrely horny and he had often gone back to his temple straight afterwards to masturbate. However, tonight there would be no masturbation for him, just frustration. Now it demoralised him so much seeing the woman he desired the most on earth making love with another woman –a bard who had never looked like she could possibly make this warrior happy as much as she really did. Why was he even watching this? Complete obsession with and fascination for Xena’s body perhaps? Ares sighed inwardly. Keeping himself invisible, he left the room.

Both women were utterly oblivious to their surroundings, not caring whether someone had been standing nearby or not. Gabrielle kept making unhurried, delicious love to Xena. She parted her soulmate’s legs, bent the knees and lowered herself down until her head nearly made contact with her centre. The battling bard planted another series of kisses along each of the warrior’s inner thighs, one at a time –entrancingly teasing and pleasing her lover. Gabrielle’s nose and mouth lovingly brushed the dark patch of hair covering the warrior woman’s sex. She blew some pleasant heat into her warm fur.

“Gabrielle… uh… yeah…” Xena reached one of her hands down and lightly ran her fingers over her partner’s soft blonde short hair. The Warrior Princess’ other hand lay near the pillows.

Gabrielle could not delay this any longer. Xena’s familiar and wildly exotic scent was threatening to wreck havoc on her senses, making her dizzy. She had to invade those gorgeous lips ahead with her tongue, possess the long-haired woman’s sumptuous flower again with her mouth –show her soulmate once more that no man, or anyone else for that matter, would ever be able to pleasure her the way she did. Gabrielle first flattened her tongue and licked each of the outer folds. Xena urged her to dive deeper as she kept caressing her hair softly. The bard then reached around the warrior’s thighs and used her fingers to fully open her centre. She subsequently drove her mouth to it and plunged her tongue right in.

“Oh, yes! Gabrielle… Oh… Gabrielle!” The Warrior Princess threw her hand back towards the pillows behind her head. She staunchly grasped the cushiony material with both hands. She emitted more sounds of joy as the battling bard slid her tongue deeply into her sensitive nether lips. Xena closed her eyes and threw her head back as she thrust her hips up to move her sex closer to Gabrielle’s brilliant mouth, revelling in every moment of the blonde’s expert tongue laving her centre.

Loving the familiar taste of Xena as usual, Gabrielle passionately licked the whole of her lover’s intimate area. Gliding her tongue into every inner fold and crevice, she thoroughly circled the clitoral nub, without touching it directly.

“Oh… yes… Ah… Gab… rielle… Uh…” The warrior’s hands kept clutching at the pillows and her hips kept pushing up to meet her soulmate’s face. She felt totally blissful when the battling bard’s tongue went inside her. When it made pleasurable backwards and forward movements in the way it stroked her inner walls, it felt so exquisite a sensation to the long-haired woman. Xena was trying not to make too much noise, remembering her mother was sleeping in a nearby room.

Gabrielle rubbed a fingertip around her partner’s swollen, fully excited sexual node at the top as she carried on invading her entrance with her tongue. She withdrew it after a short while and proceeded to orally focus on Xena’s clit. As she vigorously sucked on it, the short-haired woman moved her hand back around, somewhere beneath her chin. She abruptly claimed her long-haired lover’s dripping wet opening with two skilled fingers.

“Whoa… Gabrielle… Ah!” Too surprised to notice she was becoming a bit loud, Xena spread her legs a tad wider and welcomed Gabrielle’s deep touch. The Warrior Princess’ damp and hot body quivered in delight when the battling bard slightly twisted her fingers inside, stimulating her inner spot, while she continued to fervently tongue her engorged bud.

After making love to her dark-haired woman in enjoyable swirling motions for a few seconds, the blonde refused that her soulmate would come so soon. Gabrielle immediately stopped her movements, making Xena moan in frustration. She climbed back up the warrior’s body while still keeping her fingers deep inside her.

“Gabrielle, why are you stopping? I was so nearly there.”

“Hold on, love.” The sexy short-haired woman grinned down at her lover in a wickedly alluring way. “I want to come with you.” She shifted her lower body to straddle the warrior woman’s thigh. Gabrielle supported herself onto one arm as her other hand was otherwise engaged into Xena’s centre. She started to rub herself against her lover’s skin, directing some strong rapture into her own clit as she resumed her moves inside the brunette’s hot cavern. “Feeling something now, huh?” She smirked.

“Oh, yes!” Xena placed a hand onto Gabrielle’s back and urged her anew. The battling bard stuck a third finger inside the Warrior Princess and moved her thumb near the clit. She intensely looked down into those azure blue eyes she had always loved so much. The other woman gazed back up at her.

“Harder, please… Gabrielle.”

“Oh, I will take you harder soon, my love…” Gabrielle concentrated hard on keeping eye contact while carefully synchronising the movements of her fingers with the ones of her hips. “First…” she breathed heavily, “I want you to tell me who you belong to again. Tell me, Xena. Who do you belong to?”

The warrior surrendered completely. “I belong to you, Gabrielle.” When the short-haired blonde accelerated her incredibly skilled fingers’ motions inside her while continuing to please her clitorally with the thumb, Xena felt herself being filled and loved with such an unbelievably sultry vehemence by this younger woman.

Her Gabrielle had really become so enticingly agile and muscular. This woman was clearly no longer the little virginal girl the warrior had awaken and guided sexually a few years back. No, her bard was fully erotically mature now. “Oh… yes, Gabrielle… just like that…” Xena groaned, utterly thrilled by her smaller lover’s audaciousness. This little woman had changed so much over the past year, especially since she had chosen the way of the warrior. Her splendid and stunning Gabrielle now wanted to take the lead a lot more often than ever before.

The sexy battling bard of Poteidaia carried on making deep and hard love to her long-haired lover, thrusting back and forth within the warrior’s sex. She could blissfully feel the slippery wet heat tightly engulfing her rapid fingers. She was glad she was making love to Xena this way. She might be only a sidekick, but she was loving her dark-haired partner like a true warrior should.

“Who makes you happy the most, Xena, huh?” she inquired in a husky voice, “Who fulfils all your desires?”

“Oh… Uh… You do, Gabrielle! You make me… Ah… Oh… so much happier than… Oh… Umm… anyone else I’ve ever slept with… Ah…” Xena intermittently released these words from her mouth with an impassioned sincerity as she kept enjoying being taken by Gabrielle. “I’m yours, Gabrielle!” she quickly added, then continued to make noises of delight.

“Mine, huh? Oh… Uh… Xenaaa…” The battling bard’s clitoral friction to the Warrior Princess’ thigh made her come at that exact moment. She nonetheless would keep making sweetly intense love to Xena until the long-haired woman found release.

“Ah… Gabrielle…” The older woman ran both her hands across her short-haired lover’s back and clung to her smooth skin. “Oh… Yours… always… yes…” All of a sudden, Xena felt Gabrielle change her movements within, and the blonde woman swirled her talented fingers strongly against the hardest spot inside her already overexcited centre. A mind-blowing, earth-shattering orgasm overcame the warrior woman’s senses. “Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!”

Gabrielle had no time to waste. She really wanted to treat her Warrior Princess with some gratifying post-orgasmic tender and loving care. The battling bard instantly withdrew her fingers and swiftly slid her way down Xena’s body to taste her lover again. She softly flicked her warm tongue over her older partner’s sexual nerve endings, which were still twitching.

“Oh… Gabrielle… you make me so happy…” Resting and getting great pleasure from her younger soulmate’s generously loving oral activities in the aftershocks of their lovemaking, Xena tenderly caressed the blonde head. Unexpectedly, Gabrielle brought her over another delicious edge in no time. She tried, and succeeded, to tone down the sound of her orgasm this time as she came.

The battling bard of Poteidaia licked her long-haired lover dry, kissed her heated nether flesh and moved back up her beautifully toned body. Gabrielle made Xena taste herself during a heartily hungry kiss. Her fingers were still coated with the warrior’s nectar. She frenziedly painted her taller partner’s lips with it and possessively kissed her.

As their mouths separated, a bewildered Xena simpered at Gabrielle and stared up intensely into the magnificent sea-green eyes of her wonderful lover. The bard had never marked her with her own juices in such a way or displayed such a bold possessive attitude after making love to her. “What’s going on, Gabrielle? How dare you do to me something I used to do to you when you were such a young, long-haired and innocent thing?”

Gabrielle smirked wickedly, chuckling. “Payback time, Xena.” She affectionately nuzzled the warrior woman’s nose –briefly remembering, for instance, when Xena had smeared her lips with her own wetness before kissing her possessively during an intimate day at the beach a long time ago. The battling bard softened up. “I’m kidding.” She looked warmly at the woman she had just been making love to.

“I love you, my gorgeous battling bard.” Xena moved her lips up to meet her younger lover’s. Tangling her tongue with hers, she enthusiastically groaned against her mouth. She interrupted the kiss to speak again. “You’ve really become quite something, Gabrielle.” The warrior delicately pulled the bard closer onto her chest in a heart-warming hug. She lovingly caressed her blonde hair and her soft skin. “I love it when you make intense, hard love to me like this. I love you, Gabrielle.” She tightly held the woman she loved more than life itself.

“I love you too, Xena.” Gabrielle warmly kissed Xena’s big breasts and then closely snuggled up to her, resting her head onto her chest and joyfully relishing the scent of the warrior’s skin. After a while, they shifted and covered themselves up with the sheet and blanket again. Then the battling bard turned around on the bed. Feeling very sleepy, she settled herself onto her side. The Warrior Princess quickly nestled up her sturdy frame behind Gabrielle. She tenderly encircled a strong arm around her, threaded her legs with hers, pointed the nipples of her ample bosom into her back and moved her head closer to her ear.

“I love the way you make love to me so wonderfully assertively… but I can still spoon you, sweetheart,” Xena stated in an apparently victorious smug tone, and she smirked.

“You can spoon me all you want,” Gabrielle retorted as her eyes were alternatively opening and shutting. “Just don’t forget who’s in charge when we make love now.”

The warrior uttered a short, low laugh. “Oh, but you’ll still let me be in charge too, sometimes?”

“Yeah, sure… when I decide you should be.” The battling bard was slowly drifting into sleep as she felt her soulmate kiss the back of her shoulder.

“Oh, you don’t seriously mean this, Gabrielle?” Xena mildly grumbled.

“As I said…” Gabrielle was about to enter the Land of Morpheus, “payback time, Xena…” She fell asleep nearly right after saying this.

The Warrior Princess smiled wistfully, put her head down onto a pillow and closed her eyes. Deep down, she was willing to give her batting bard whatever the younger woman wanted. As the years had gone by, the warrior had become softer and softer in the bedroll.

Xena fell asleep spooning Gabrielle, totally fascinated by the passionately intense lovemaking she had just been sharing with her smaller, but robust, partner. Her hand rested onto those well-shaped abs. The warrior woman joined her lover into the Land of Morpheus, thinking about the absolutely superb abdominal muscles the short-haired blonde had worked out during battle. She loved this completely transformed, stronger shape of her lover.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena had been up and dressed in her leathers not too long after the sun had broken through her bedroom window a couple of candlemarks earlier. She had not yet put her breastplate or any other of her armour items back on; this could wait. For now, the dark-haired woman sat by the dresser, thoughtful. She did not need to go assist the wounded this morning as she had been told by her mother that a physician from another town had just arrived and was already there helping out while townspeople were also watching over the injured.

Gabrielle was still in bed. The warrior had briefly gone to her mother’s bedroom earlier on after she had woken up, to breastfeed Eve. Cyrene had already gotten the baby fully changed before Xena had come to her room. The Warrior Princess had not been able to tell whether her mother had heard the noises she and the battling bard had been making the night before. Xena was relieved Cyrene would likely never dare mention it if it were to be the case. Her mother had simply smiled at her, telling her once again she was proud Xena had built such a happy family, one that was solidly bound together.

Now back in her bedroom while Cyrene was carrying on taking care of Eve, Xena was sitting on the dresser’s chair, pensively absorbed in thought. It had been quite a day they had all gone through yesterday. First, Amphipolis had been besieged. Then she had nearly forced herself to make a sinister deal with Ares. The warrior woman thought about the clever plan she had been able to work on with Gabrielle in order to fool the God of War. She was very satisfied by the way things had turned out, so happy she had not slept with Ares again after all these years of breaking free from his control.

If, assuming for a minute, there would have been no explosion in that temple, nothing interrupting them, or if it had been her baby instead of the doll wrapped up in the blanket Xena had been carrying towards Athena, the Warrior Princess would have had to go through with Ares’ horrible deal. She would have had to prostitute herself, to submit herself to the God of War’s will and force herself to cheat on her soulmate for the life of her child. The tall woman shook her head and sighed. Ares was not going to get her, not now, not ever. Her heart belonged with Gabrielle. She suddenly sensed her lover move on the bed.

Xena rose from her chair, turned her gaze towards the battling bard as she slowly approached the bed. Her short-haired blonde partner was still asleep even though she had just lightly stirred on the bed. The younger woman lay supine onto the mattress, her upper body uncovered and the reflection of a ray of sunlight glowing against her skin. Gabrielle’s well-toned abdominal muscles could be distinctly defined by the warrior’s wandering eyes as the blonde’s beautiful chest and belly rose and fell while she was breathing deeply in her sleep.

Xena kept thinking about how much her bard meant to her as she quietly sat on the edge of the bed, silently and admiringly observing the little strongly built blonde beauty before her. The warrior loved Gabrielle more than anyone else on earth. It was to her that she belonged. She never needed Ares, any man or anyone else when she had her battling bard. Gabrielle gave Xena a devoted, absolute and loyally faithful love –something which was way beyond the cold-hearted God of War’s possibilities. It had been pointless for him to come back and annoy them last night, but he would never take ‘no’ for an answer. The warrior shrugged. She focused her attention back to Gabrielle.

This younger girl had come into her life and made her believe in herself again, helped her remain strong through dire, trying times. She had trusted her unconditionally, given her intense support when everyone who had known the warrior’s past self had hated her. The young storyteller had warmed up the older woman’s gloomy heart with enthusiastically told stories on campfire nights. The Warrior Princess had in return taught the bard how to fight, making her a well-trained fighter. They had become lovers, and Xena had helped Gabrielle become a woman.

They had experienced soul-connecting passion of the flesh during all their plentiful lovemaking sessions over the years. They had also experienced dangerous adventures, harsh trials, suffering, death and resurrection together. And now they were bringing up a child together. They were eternal lovers. This was the way things were meant to be. They loved each other so fiercely, so profoundly that anyone or anything that tried to stand in the way of their everlasting bond was more than likely to fail. Ares had seriously been kidding himself when he had been trying to get Xena to leave Gabrielle for him while the warrior had been putting her clothes back on in his temple after that disgusting session with him the day before –like he could stand a chance compared to her highly valued, adorable and admirable little short-haired sexy beauty. No one or nothing would ever make Xena leave Gabrielle.

The battling bard gradually opened her eyes. She had to adjust her sight to the morning sunlight coming from the window. Once she had done this, she saw a leather-clad Warrior Princess climb and crawl towards her on the bed.

“Hello, gorgeous!” Xena said with a delighted smile. Her upper body was now hovering over Gabrielle’s as she bolstered herself on her hands, which she had placed on either side of the bard’s body. She swiftly lowered her head to kiss her blonde partner.

Gabrielle reached up and wrapped her hands around Xena’s neck while they both deepened the tongue-mingling kiss. “I love you, Xena,” she affirmed when they ended the oral contact.

“I love you too, Gabrielle.” The Warrior Princess began to softly nip at the battling bard’s skin, wanting to savour every inch of her younger lover’s body again. “You’re really the best thing that ever happened to me, the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life…” The long-haired woman moved herself down, took one succulent nipple into her mouth; then a minute later she took care of the other. “And I’m very proud… so proud to have you,” she added as she teasingly played with the blonde’s breasts. “Let me show you how much…”

“Oh… Xena…” Moaning in joy, Gabrielle sensed her own heart beating faster in utter love for this wonderful woman she was with. With one hand, the battling bard quickly grabbed the other side of the blanket, pulled it and covered them both as she felt Xena moving her mouth further down onto her body, planting hot little kisses onto her midriff and her abs along the way…

The two women were at it again. There would hopefully be the whole morning for them to lazily lie in bed and thoroughly enjoy the scrumptious taste and the soft feel of each other’s bodies again and again –to revel in the euphoric sensations all this would bring, once again, to the core of their beings.

There was no need to mention that all this would make them completely forget about breakfast, but they clearly did not need a morning meal when they had the taste of each other to delight in. With some luck, Cyrene would not dare bother the two lovers, and the baby would not need her mother until lunchtime.


Love plans

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 4:

Love plans

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Four episode If the Shoe Fits (but before Paradise Found).

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Author’s note: (1) This is not a first time story. I think there are enough first time stories out there. I’m more interested in exploring the evolution of Xena and Gabrielle’s intimate relationship as it must be taking place beyond the screen. Also, I believe that the warrior and the bard can still be intimately passionate with each other after their first time. (2) My femslash stories sometimes remotely follow each other; my first three were called Closer than blood bonds, Circle in the sand and What matters most. This is a seasonal X/G femslash series, which means there will be two more stories to come in the future.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; Donar (from TX) for the pre-release reading & feedback; other people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for their encouragements.

Feedback: see feedback page.


Once she, her taller lover and the young man had finished eating, Gabrielle took the dirty pan, plates and spoons. She went to kneel by the river and proceeded to wash all those dirty dishes in the water, scrubbing them with a cloth. The bard had been happy to come back to her Warrior Princess, but she was now frustrated that, once again, she had had to do all the cooking and was now doing all the cleaning. She sighed, annoyed, as she continued her task. Sunset was only one candlemark away and she would be able to go to sleep soon.

Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer had come to this little grass-covered area, which spread by a river, after they had been walking into the woods while they were on their way back from the castle where they had said goodbye to Alesia, her father and her stepmother. The warrior had wanted to go to the place where she had sent Argo in order to get her horse back. She had told her Palomino mare to head for the river as a way to create diversion for Zantar’s men earlier in the day.

The three friends had put down their gear there. There was large cluster of the woods’ trees and some bushes at the back of this wide and flat riverbank. Xena had whistled for Argo and the animal had trotted back towards her, whinnying. The smart horse had been hiding behind some dense foliage. The Warrior Princess and the bard had taken care of their usual evening routine of getting fire, food and supper ready while Joxer had simply sat there quietly.

Gabrielle now cleaned the last bit of dirt on the dishes, gathered them into her arms and stood back up. She was still wearing the sack she had cut in a particular way to use as a makeshift top. Her green shirt had been tattered to pieces by Xena when the dark-haired woman had used it to gag and tie up Zantar.

Joxer had already fallen asleep on a blanket he had been given. He was presently snoring. The storyteller went to tidy up the cookware she had just washed, not saying a word. Her warrior woman was now crouched down on the ground, spreading out two small bedrolls very close to each other on the other side of the fire, away from the noisy male sleeper. When the blankets were ready, Xena stood up.

The warrior then quickly went to check on Argo. She saw the mare peacefully sleeping on the grass somewhere close by. The tall woman walked back towards the bedrolls she’d just made. She removed every bit of her armour and weapons, her thigh-high boots and placed all those items on the ground near her as she went to lie down under her blanket. She looked up at Gabrielle as she patted the empty space beside her that was meant for her younger lover to sleep on.

“Coming to bed, love?” the older woman asked in a low voice.

“Yeah, I’m coming, Xena,” the blonde woman simply replied. She took off her dark red boots and quickly slipped herself into bed too, next to Xena. She covered herself with a blanket. The two lovers occasionally slept on separate –though very close– bedrolls, especially when someone else was around.

The Warrior Princess kissed the bard’s lips. She instantly noticed that her partner was not in a good mood when she saw her lack of responsiveness.

“Anything wrong, sweetheart?” she inquired.

“You let me do all the cooking and cleaning again. Maybe I’m the fairy gods-sister of dishes after all.” Gabrielle lay supine, looking unhappy, while Xena lay on her side, keeping her eyes on her younger lover.

“Gabrielle… I’m sorry. I will help you more tomorrow.”

The bard sighed in frustration. “That’s what you always say, Xena…” She turned her head to stare at her best friend. “And my shirt, today, I can’t believe you damaged it so that you could use it as a gag rag for that smelly warlord,” she said in a slightly angry way. Both women were trying to keep their voices down because of Joxer sleeping nearby.

“Oh, Gabrielle, I’m so sorry,” the warrior repeated, in an apologetic tone. “I’ll buy you another one in town.”

“Yeah, right… I don’t think you’ll ever find the same one.” Gabrielle huffed. “You shouldn’t have stolen my favourite top.”

“Gabrielle, I had to use it because we ran out of rope,” Xena protested. “Remember, last night? I had already been planning on catching Zantar that I had left a big coil of rope near our bedrolls. However, when I woke up this morning I found that most of the rope had been cut off and only a little bit of it was left. So that’s why I had to use your shirt.”

“Well, sorry, Xena, but I had to cut a great length of that rope you were keeping. I needed some rope to hang that showering pot from the side of that tree I’d found in the woods. There was no lake nearby and I had to get washed,” the bard explained, sounding peeved. “I thought you would still have enough rope left to bind his wrists. So you didn’t have to use my shirt.”

“No, Gabrielle, I couldn’t use that ridiculous bit I had left. I had to use something else. I’d seen that you’d used my rope to hang your water pot. Thank you very much.” The dark-haired woman spoke in an irritated way. “You hadn’t even bothered waking me up to ask me if you could do that. I had also been so anxious to catch Zantar that I’d overslept this morning. I’d asked to wake me up in case that happened and you didn’t even do that.”

The blonde diverted the subject of this conversation: “Xena, you overslept because you’d been so preoccupied with catching that warlord that you kept tossing and turning in your bedroll and you couldn’t get to sleep last night.”

“Well, Gabrielle, it’s true that I was being nervous about that and other things. It had taken me a while to fall asleep.” Xena’s tone sounded somehow quieter.

Gabrielle shook her head. She now had something else to argue about. “Why didn’t we make love last night?” she asked, in a voice kept low enough to avoid waking Joxer. “We haven’t made much love these last few days… Are you that nervous? Is it your time of the moons, Xena, or what? It can’t be…”

“No, Gabrielle, you know it’s not,” the warrior denied. “You’ve already noticed, countless times, that I usually get it pretty much at the same time as you do, which often is a natural occurrence when two women live together… Anyway,” she continued, “our ‘time of the moons’ has hardly ever stopped us from doing stuff, my bard… so long as we bathed in water to momentarily stop the flow.” The older woman winked and lightly smiled at her companion. She was trying to be funny with this womanly talk. She used it as an attempt to ease the boiling tension between her and her lover. It worked, if only temporarily.

“True.” The storyteller briefly chuckled, thinking about how their lovemaking had occasionally been the best kind of painkiller when she and her partner had had belly cramps. She still felt somehow irritated by the way her taller lover had been behaving recently, in general. “Xena… as I said earlier on when I came back, I realise that we are like a family and that we have problems of our own, but we still need to work things out, okay?” The blonde spoke in a tad friendlier way for now.

“Of course, Gabrielle,” the warrior woman simply said.

“So, why didn’t we make love last night, Xena?” The bard asked again.

“Gabrielle, we couldn’t have done much last night anyway, with Joxer sleeping near us,” Xena remarked.

“Yep,” Gabrielle agreed. “And he’s here tonight too, because you did not tell him to go sleep elsewhere so we could get some privacy.” The younger woman’s tone was angry again.

“Oh… you always put that responsibility on me. And we can’t tell him to go away all the time. It’s not nice, Gabrielle.”

“Perhaps… but, anyway Xena, I kinda already figured that you seemed too nervous for us to make love these last few days, Joxer being around or not. What’s making you so agitated that you have trouble falling asleep at night? It can’t only be catching warlords, is it?” The bard had turned towards her partner and propped her head up on an elbow. She was gazing into the eyes of the woman lying next to her.

Xena gave her a seriously sad look. “Gabrielle, I’ve already spoken to you about that vision I had, haven’t I?” she asked, talking about the fact that she had seen herself and her lover getting crucified together on a snowy mountain.

“This is bothering you again?” Gabrielle scowled. “Xena, I thought I had made myself clear before; I do not fear your vision. I don’t even believe in it.” Gabrielle moved to lay her back onto the bedroll again, wanting to go to sleep soon. “I’m glad you told me though. I understand that it’s still what’s making you so nervous.” She reached beside her, took the Warrior Princess’ hand in her own and gently rubbed it. “I’m also glad you’d told me about that vision, especially because I don’t like it when you hide things from me, like for instance you’d never told me you had a stepfather…” The blonde woman still sounded upset.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think it was important.” The dark-haired woman shifted to place her back onto the bedroll as well. “It just never came up, not before I told Alesia, anyway.” Both frustrated lovers were now looking at the night sky above while holding hands under their joined blankets.

Gabrielle changed the subject, to go back to what she had initially been talking about. “Well, I still don’t like the fact that you expected me to do all the cooking and the cleaning once again…” She removed her hand from Xena’s and swiftly kissed her partner on the mouth. “Now sleep well, warrior.” The younger woman shifted to go lie onto her side. She turned her back to her lover.

“I’m sorry, Gabrielle. And I’m also sorry I ruined your shirt.” Xena did not even bother moving at that moment. She just lay there, still partially thinking about the vision Alti had shown her. That terrified her inside.

“You know, Xena, I was thinking earlier on today…” The bard spoke over her shoulder. “Lately, when you got angry at me, it might have been a convenient way for you to avoid your deeper emotions. That’s like when you mistreat my belongings, like what you did to my green top today. That’s your way of avoiding intimacy.” Gabrielle put her head back down on the bedroll and shut her eyes, frustrated and not wanting to talk for much longer.

“Oh, Gabrielle…” Xena’s tone was cheerless as she turned herself to wrap an arm around her girlfriend. “I’m sorry. I’m gonna make it up to you. I’ll make things better for us, you’ll see.”

“You always say that,” the storyteller grumbled, unconvinced. She shrugged a shoulder as she kept her eyes closed. “You don’t know how useful I am to you… Goodnight, Xena,” she finally said, flatly.

“No, sweetheart, of course I do…” Xena objected, in a low and unhappy voice. She still understood that her blonde lover wanted to go to sleep now. “Goodnight, Gabrielle.” A few minutes after hearing this, the younger woman entered the Land of Morpheus.

Xena needed to dispel the disturbing vision from her mind at least for a while. She thought about the argument she had just been having with her lover. That troubled her so much seeing her Gabrielle being so bad-tempered. The Warrior Princess realised that she needed to figure out some exciting plans for the next day, so that her bard would be able to forgive her for the edgy mood she had been having lately. She needed to show Gabrielle, once again, how much she loved her. She would also have to try to rekindle the flame of their passion. She had her own ideas for that. After one candlemark or so, Xena fell asleep too, knowing she would have to get up early the next day. She was very exhausted as well, after having spent quite a few late nights agitated and worrying on her bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The fire had burned out a long time ago when the dark-haired woman took a very early morning bath in the river. Gabrielle and Joxer were still asleep when she got fully dressed and led Argo to drink. Xena then walked to where the young man was lying. She crouched down and lightly shook his shoulder. He jumped up, wide awake.

“What’s happening?” he asked.

“Shhhh… Joxer. Gabrielle is still asleep,” the warrior murmured. “Didn’t you ask me, last night, to wake you up early in the morning?”

Joxer glanced at his surroundings. He then looked at the tall woman and lowered his voice as he spoke. “Huh… yes, I did. It’s my dad’s birthday today, and I have to get to my home village before midday.” He sat up and started putting his clumsy warrior outfit back on, starting with the boots. “Thanks for waking me up, Xena.”

“No problem. Won’t you even stay for breakfast?”

“Mmm…” He placed his round silver shield in front of his chest. “I would love to, Xena, but I’ve really got to go. I’ll get something on my way.” He then put his weird hat back on his head. “Can I still kiss Gabrielle goodbye while she’s sleeping?”

“Sure, go ahead.” Xena got up and went to get her fishing line.

Joxer rose from his bedroll and went to Gabrielle. As he approached the sleeping woman, he lowered himself down and kissed her cheek. “Bye, Gabby. I’ll see you later… hopefully.” The bard emitted a small whimper as she unconsciously turned the other way while keeping her eyes shut.

The young man sighed. He still thought about Gabrielle as he stood up and began walking away. “Goodbye, Xena.”

“Bye, Joxer.” After he left, Xena walked to the river. She fished, for her and her lover’s breakfast.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The smell of frying fish slowly woke the blonde woman up. It was still very early in the morning. She rubbed her eyes and moaned lightly as she sat up on her bedroll. She blinked and saw her older lover making breakfast.

“Hey sweetheart, you’re awake,” the warrior woman observed, while she kept tossing the fish in the pan.

The bard yawned. “Uh… I guess I am.”

“Come sit near me. Breakfast’s almost ready.”

Xena put two portions of sliced fish on the wooden plates once it was fully cooked. Gabrielle got up, went to sit next to the taller woman and was handed her food and a spoon so she could eat it. The Warrior Princess started to munch her own portion.

“See, Gabrielle,” she said, between two mouthfuls, “I’ve made breakfast for you.” She smiled.

“Thank you.” The first bite made the storyteller feel even more awake.

After they finished eating, they were still seated on the riverbank when Xena gave Gabrielle a small bouquet of daisies. “Look, I went to pick them early this morning for you.” She grinned at the bard.

“Oh, Xena…” The younger woman began to smile as she took the little bunch of flowers into her hand. “This is so nice.” She gazed at her lover with her cheerful sea-green eyes. “Thank you so much, Xena.”

“Anything for you, my bard.” The warrior leaned down to quickly kiss the bard. “I’m going to go clean the dishes now.” The taller woman then took the dirty frying pan, plates and spoons and stood up. She also seized a cloth and walked to the edge of the very close river as she carried on talking. “I’ve got some very exciting plans for you and me today,” she said, her back turned as she knelt to wash the dishes in the water.

“Oh, really?” Gabrielle was astonished. Xena was being so kind and considerate this morning, in deciding to do all the cooking and the cleaning for once. No doubt the Warrior Princess felt she had things to make up for, the bard thought.

“Yes,” the dark-haired woman answered as she began scrubbing the plates, “we’re riding to Athens, very soon.”

“Athens? Xena, it sounds exciting. We’ve not gone there for a while… By the gods,” the storyteller realised, “this is going to take us a few hours.” She got up and started taking her clothes off. “I’d better take a bath now, before we go.”

“Yes, get ready, sweetheart. We’re gonna be going soon.” The brunette was careful not to drop one dish while she was cleaning, as the continuous stream of the water kept moving from right to left before her.

A naked Gabrielle approached Xena and kissed her deeply before going into the river to bathe. “Thanks for doing the dishes, my love… for once.”

“No problem. I’ll do them a little more often if you like.” The warrior relished the view of her nude girlfriend swimming while she washed the rest of the cookware. Once everything got scrubbed clean, she went to tidy up their gear, pack the bags and prepare Argo.

Meanwhile, the bard soaped and rinsed herself, before climbing out of the river and drying herself with a towel. She got dressed with the same sack she now used as a top.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the early candlemarks of the afternoon, the two women, on horseback, approached one of the city’s gates. They had been travelling through the Attica region for a while in order to get to Athens. They were happy to have finally gotten there. Xena slowed Argo to a slow trot while Gabrielle, sitting behind her on the saddle, tightly clung onto her waist with her encircling arms. Both lovers were hungry, as they had not had lunch yet.

The guards carefully looked at the women who were nearing the gate. “Good afternoon, ladies. Please state who you are and your purpose in visiting Athens,” one of them asked.

The warrior brought her horse to a halt and looked down at the guard. “I’m Xena of Amphipolis, and I’m bringing my best friend, Gabrielle of Poteidaia, to visit the City Market. It’s on today, I believe?”

“Yes,” he replied, “it’s on. We’ve heard of you, Xena, and the good deeds you’ve been doing in some villages these last few years.”

“We don’t believe you’d be looking for trouble,” a second guard remarked.

“No, that’s right,” the first man who had spoken confirmed, respectfully smiling up at the dark-haired woman. “Have a good day visiting the market. You’ll find stables for your horse somewhere on the right after crossing the entrance to the city. You can’t miss them.” He ordered the rest of the guards to open the gate.

“Thank you,” Xena simply said as she made her Palomino mare resume her trot. Gabrielle kept holding onto her partner as they rode forward.

They got into the city, found a stable and paid a few dinars to the horse-keeper to take good care of Argo for the afternoon. Both women then strolled together further inside Athens. They found a nice tavern to eat a quick, affordable and good lunch in before going to visit the vast City Market, which was meant to be on until the evening.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The two women leisurely wandered through Athens’ huge and magnificent market. Merchants, coming from different parts of Greece and beyond, were selling a variety of diverse things: food, drinks, clothes, jewellery, soaps, perfumes, oils, candles, incenses, firewood, valuable goods, etc. The stalls extended up to several yards around and ahead of them. From where they were walking, Xena and Gabrielle could see the city’s Acropolis if they looked up somewhere on the right. That high, flat-topped rocky hill, on which stood the temple called the Parthenon, felt so pleasant to their eyes.

“The Acropolis is so beautiful, Xena,” the blonde woman said, holding her staff in one hand, as they both walked in between a steady flow of drifting people.

“Yep, the Temple of Athena looks splendid, viewed from down here.” The warrior and her bard strolled by stand after stand of colourful textiles and clothing for sale.

“Have you got any money left?” Gabrielle stopped to look through a large display of shawls with intricate patterns on them.

“Yes, I’ve got a few dinars left. Just ask me if you need anything.” Xena stayed by her lover’s side for now.

“I’m alright just now.” The storyteller kept browsing the stall she had stopped at. “I’ve got a bit of money too.”

The taller woman spotted something further ahead. “Excuse-me, Gabrielle. I just need to go look at something. I think I may have found what I’m looking for.”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

As the bard remained where she was, the Warrior Princess walked to another stand that was only a few feet ahead on the left. The merchant there was selling various kinds of ladies’ halter tops. The garments were made of the exact same fabric Gabrielle’s green shirt had been. Xena carefully searched through the colourful displays.

“Can I help you, ma’am?” the clothes-seller asked. He was a short man in his mid-forties with a moustache on his face.

“Yes… perhaps,” the warrior replied. “Do you, by any chance, have something green and nice that could go on a petite woman?” She had the strange intuition that this merchandise came from the same weavers as her partner’s shirt had.

“Sure, ma’am.” The merchant proceeded to show her everything he sold that was green, until the dark-haired woman’s eyes came upon the exact same green halter top that Gabrielle used to wear.

“Here.” She pointed. “This one, can I have it? How much do you want for it?”

“Four dinars, please.”

Xena gave the man the four dinars he wanted and was handed the top. Gabrielle, who had finished looking at the shawls, walked towards her lover. The bard could not believe what she was seeing as she approached the warrior.

“My top, Xena… You found the same?” Gabrielle’s jaw dropped.

“Yes.” The Warrior Princess grinned as she turned to her younger lover and showed her the garment. “Isn’t this wonderful?”

“It is.” The blonde took the green shirt. She could not stop staring at it. “I never thought you’d be able to find a similar one.”

“Gabrielle, this was one of the reasons I wanted to come here today. We find everything in Athens.”

“Well, thank you, Xena. Where can I put it on?”

Xena turned to the clothes-seller. “Do you have a secluded booth somewhere? My friend wants to get rid of the sack she’s wearing and put this on instead.”

“Yes, ma’am. Just back there, at the back of my stand.”

Gabrielle walked towards the booth at the back. She went behind the large curtain that hid it and quickly changed her upper garment. She came out a few seconds later, criss-crossing the laces of her green top to fasten it shut.

“Thank you so much, Xena.” She repeated as she went towards her taller lover. She kissed her only on the cheek, since there were people around them. The bard was happy. She beamed at the warrior as they both resumed their walk around the market.

“No problem, Gabrielle. So much better than wearing that sack, huh?”

“Oh, I am so incredibly glad you’ve managed to find my favourite shirt in this market.” They kept wandering forward. The blonde woman was still holding her staff vertically as they strolled.

“Yes, so am I. I’d told you I would be getting you another one.” Xena gave Gabrielle her familiar slight half smile.

“This is so kind of you, Xena.”

As the two lovers turned around a corner, they heard a slur being hurled at them. “Harlots!” a male voice shouted. The warrior and her bard spun around to see a couple of old men sneering at them.

“Silly old fools!” The dark-haired woman retorted, with scorn. She saw the rude men shake their heads and walk away. She turned back to her girlfriend. “Don’t pay attention, sweetheart.” She gently placed a hand onto her shoulder, encouraging her to walk the other way, which they did. “Some Athenians are very conservative. Whenever they see women who don’t seem to have husbands or slave-owners, they call them ‘harlots.’ They simply don’t like to see free women.”

“Yes, I’ve heard about that, Xena.” Gabrielle shrugged. “It’s unfortunate.”

“It is. Gabrielle, we’re in a big city-state that’s not exactly egalitarian. Even the Athenian government owns some slaves.” The two women strolled across a square that bordered the City Market.

“Speaking of slaves…” Ahead of them, the storyteller and her older lover saw a bunch of male and female slaves being held in shackles and forced to advance as their traders whipped any trailing one. One of the masters kept yelling at them to move. It felt depressing for Xena and Gabrielle to see this.

“Gabrielle, I’m sorry. There’s nothing I can do for them, not within a city that’s got a powerful government on the side of the bad guys.”

“I know, Xena. I know… Let’s go back into the market.” Both women turned away and made their way back in between the stands. They were now wandering through the large section where vendors were selling fruits, vegetables and other food items.

“All that slave trading is so heartbreaking. That’s not one of the things I wanted you to see today.” The warrior’s tone was cheerless.

“It’s all right, Xena. I’m very grateful you saved me from such a horrible fate when we first met.” The bard briefly stroked the taller woman’s upper arm as they kept walking.

“Well, I’m glad I did.” Xena gave her a small, fleeting grin as she lightly patted her shoulder.

“I’m glad you did.” Gabrielle spotted stalls that sold empty scrolls a few feet ahead, just outside the food section of the market. “Xena, I need to go buy some more blank scrolls. I ran out and I’ve not been able to write about yesterday’s events yet.”

“Okay. You go ahead. I’m gonna look at the fruits. I’ll come find you later… soon.” They separated for a few moments.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Warrior Princess came near a berry stand. All kinds of berries were being sold there. With a dinar or two, she purchased one pound of strawberries and one pound of raspberries. She had kind of an idea of what to do with those items tonight.

“Do you have a bag I could put them in?” she asked the female vendor.

“Sure,” the woman answered. She wrapped the fruits in some cloth and placed them in a cream-coloured sack, which she then handed to Xena.

“Thank you.” The warrior carried the bag over her shoulder as she continued strolling until she had moved past the food stalls. A stand sold flowers, candles and essential oils. This gave her more ideas for the evening that was to come. She bought a bunch of white candles, some red roses and a bottle of almond oil from the merchant there. She put those things in her sack and began walking towards where Gabrielle was. The dark-haired woman felt a little peeved that she now barely had any money left. She would have to find a way of making some more dinars before tonight if she wanted to be able to take her girlfriend to an inn.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The blonde woman had just purchased five new blank scrolls and some more ink for her quill when Xena arrived. The bard felt satisfied that she would have a bit of a writing supply for a while, but the fact that she presently had only two dinars left annoyed her.

“Okay, Gabrielle? Having fun?” the warrior woman inquired as she approached.

“Yep.” Gabrielle looked at the little bundle her older lover was carrying. “What did you buy?”

“I’ll show you later on.” The taller woman winked.

“Fair enough.” The storyteller shrugged with a smile on her face. It somehow intrigued her that the Warrior Princess sounded so cryptic. She knew Xena so well that she had already surmised that her partner had some plans, though she had no idea what they were.

“Gabrielle, we have to leave this market to go somewhere else in this city. I have no money left, and I think I’ve got an idea on how I could make some more if you follow me, please. Is that okay?”

“Sure. I don’t have much money left either.” The bard carried her blank scrolls and the little pot of ink in one hand and her staff in the other as they started strolling away from the big market.

“It’s all right. You’ll have an opportunity to make some more, too.” Xena peacefully led the way as she and Gabrielle left the City Market.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the later candlemarks of the afternoon, the Warrior Princess and the bard arrived near what looked like an area for outdoor performances, enclosed by wooden barriers. There were various rows of benches with many people sitting on them; they were watching the current performers. On the stage, a man and a woman were telling a love story. Twenty feet from there, Xena and Gabrielle stopped walking in order to talk to each other before coming any closer.

“Gabrielle, this is a place for free performances, one of the few places in Athens where anyone can speak freely.” The warrior woman gazed down into her shorter lover’s eyes. “However, as you can see, they only have two guards to watch over the area; so whenever the occasional controversial view comes up on stage, it’s bound to cause a stir. I was thinking that, maybe, you could volunteer to tell them a story that would be against slavery. I know you’ve got some in your repertoire, right?”

“I do, Xena, but telling a story like that in Athens… This is not like in the small village taverns where I’d been doing some anti-slavery storytelling. We’re in a big city here. My audience would definitely be more agitated. Why would you want cause such a stir?” Gabrielle wondered. “Plus, I’d be the only one making money if my story worked.”

“No, Gabrielle. I would too,” Xena explained, “Anti-slavery views tend to come off as contentious to the more conservative Athenians, but they would be the only ones to protest. Some more open-minded and progressive people here would listen to your views on slavery, especially the ones who do not happen to own slaves… I was thinking that, perhaps, I could be making quite a few dinars in helping the guards maintain security and making sure that no one manages to interrupt your performance. I’m a warrior after all, and I could use some of my skills to help keep the peace around here. The people organising artistic events also tend to be enlightened. I’m pretty sure they would let me protect that kind of free speech. What do you think? Is it not a good idea?”

“Well… we’re broke, Xena. We don’t have much choice if we want to make money anyway.” The bard resigned.

“Thank you, sweetheart. Think about some of the people here. You could open their minds with a compassionate story.”

“Sure,” the storyteller agreed. “Let’s try it.”

The two women walked towards the small entrance to the outdoor performance area. The guards gave them slightly weird looks but then opened a corner of the barriers for them to go in. Xena and Gabrielle immediately went to sit on an empty bench at the back and waited until the current performance ended.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Who wants to go next?” the male organiser asked the audience, from where he was standing on the stage. He was short, overweight, grey-haired and beardy. His outfit was a white toga.

The blonde bard rose from her seat. “I do, sir,” she answered.

“Then come forward, little missy.” He smiled at Gabrielle as she began to approach while staring up at him. “My name is Apollinaris. What is yours, young lady?”

“I’m Gabrielle of Poteidaia.” She grinned back at him as she climbed the small steps that led to the top of the platform. She had her staff in one hand.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” Apollinaris announced, making his voice heard to all the people watching, “Gabrielle of Poteidaia is going to tell you a story. Please consider rewarding her well if it turns out to be a good one.” He left the stage to the storyteller, who went to stand in the centre of it.

Xena remained seated behind the rest of the audience. She had put her bag of purchased goods down somewhere onto the stony ground in front of the bench she was sitting on. Her partner’s new scrolls and ink-pot lay next to it. The warrior’s eyes gingerly scanned around the place as her lover was just about to start telling a story.

From where she was standing, Gabrielle put her staff down on the floor and gazed around at the audience who was facing her. She could tell it included mostly married men and women. Athenian husbands had been taking their wives to come watch outdoor performances. Having performed a few times elsewhere, including in this city’s academy, the bard did not have any stage fright. She felt confident as she saw people smiling at her, and decided to tell a slave girl’s story she knew well.

“Once upon a time,” Gabrielle began, grinning at her audience, “there was a young girl. Her name was Timothea. She had been abducted by slave-traders when she was only sixteen. She still missed her parents and her big sister years after she’d been taken away from them.” Her facial expression became gloomier as she continued telling the story.

Among the Athenians watching, a few pro-slavery conservative people started to stir in their seats. They already did not like the idea of the story being about the misery of some slave girl. Other spectators, who did not happen to own slaves, looked very interested in the tale the blonde woman was telling. At the back, the Warrior Princess kept an eye on all the people watching.

“Every day, Timothea had to carry barrels and barrels of wine for her owner, who was a tavern-keeper.” Gabrielle carried on. “She was totally exhausted. She also had to clean the whole bar and main room in the tavern every night. Her master would then check that everything was ‘spotless,’ and if it wasn’t, he would whip and batter Timothea…” The bard mimicked gestures of physical violence. “… until she got so many bruises that her injuries made it even harder for her to work for him the next day…”

Some people in the audience were horrified by what the blond performer was describing. They could not imagine how bad the pain of slavery was. The young woman kept telling the story: “… but she still had to. So Timothea worked in slavery with a painful back and sore legs. Plus, she was underweight and in terrible health as she was being poorly fed by her owner. Every night before bed, she cried huge tears, praying the gods that her torment would soon be over.” Gabrielle kept displaying sad features and speaking in a morose tone as she told the unhappy tale.

A pro-slavery man stood up and started protesting against the performance. He interrupted the storyteller and bawled in an angry voice: “This sort of story is the exception rather than the rule. Many slave-owners treat their slaves respectfully and feed them well.”

Another man, who was rather burly and whose stylish clothes suggested that he was wealthy enough to own slaves, also stood up. Looking at the first man who had spoken, he added loudly: “Yes, that’s right. We should stop all this hate speech against slave-owners! We aren’t all bad people.” Ironically, just after saying this, he got a dagger out of his vest and advanced towards the stage. He got past the front row of benches and stood in the empty space in front of the platform when the two male guards and Apollinaris walked towards him, trying to stop him. However, the burly man started punching the guards, who were not as sturdy as he was.

“Ayiayiayiayiayi!” Xena ran to the front and kicked the attacker’s weapon out of his hand. On the stage, Gabrielle was silent as she was seeing her lover fight the burly man. The warrior managed to punch him several times, making him growl in pain, while occasionally ducking herself to avoid his blows.

The first slave-owner who had spoken wanted to attack too, but he was not as muscular. He rushed towards the stage, got past the guards, and managed to climb on top of the platform while Xena was still busy fighting against the other man. “Take care of this one, Gabrielle!” the Warrior Princess shouted as she kept kicking the burly slave-master. Meanwhile, Apollinaris and the guards were attempting to keep some of the audience calm. Many people just sat and watched what was going on at the front as they really felt impressed by Xena’s heroics.

The man approaching Gabrielle on the stage was unarmed. He was still very menacing though, as he looked like he wanted to attack her with his bare hands. The bard swiftly seized her staff, held it horizontally with both her hands and hit him hard in the chest with a couple of sweeping movements.  She kept striking him with her fighting stick until she made him fall off the platform, knocking him out as his body hit the floor.

The Warrior Princess had severely weakened the burly man she had been fighting. With several kicks to his stomach, she managed to push him back towards the exit. One of the guards opened the barrier and let Xena kick him some more, until he got fully sent outside the outdoor performance area. The dark-haired woman then ran rapidly towards the other man, whom the storyteller had knocked off from the stage. She grabbed him by the shirt and, with all her mighty warrior strength, she lifted him and threw him over the surrounding fence.

Once the first two protesting slave-owners were away, their wives rushed towards the exit of the enclosed area to join them and help them get back up and go home. Xena walked towards Apollinaris while Gabrielle was still standing on the stage, waiting to find out if she would be allowed to go on.

“My name is Xena,” the warrior woman said to the beardy organiser. “I’m here to keep the peace while my best friend is telling a story. Can you please let her go on with it?”

“Certainly.” Apollinaris joyfully grinned at the tall woman. He seemed to be a light-hearted man who was not ready to give up on views that were challenging the unfair status quo in Athens. “Thank you so much, Xena. I’m one of the people who oppose slavery, and I would love to hear the rest of your friend’s story.”

“Thanks, sir.” Xena gave him a slight half smile.

“It’s alright, Xena. If I had known I was to get a free performance of storytelling against slavery today, I would have hired some more guards, but since you’re here and you seem strong enough to beat those guys, I’ll pay you good money.”

“Thanks.” The Warrior Princess was glad. Her plan worked and, with enough luck, people from the audience would also offer her dinars for keeping the peace. Apollinaris looked up at the stage and spoke loudly to Gabrielle: “Please continue, young lady. Many people in the audience would like to hear the remainder of your story.”

“Yes!” Some progressive people amongst the spectators cheered at Gabrielle, raising their hands. “We want to hear the rest,” someone’s voice exclaimed. Xena now stood near the stage. She was surveying the audience and watching out for potential further trouble.

On top of the platform, the bard quickly placed her staff back onto the floor and briefly smiled at the audience. She then carried on with the story while speaking in a solemn tone: “One afternoon, Timothea’s sister, Eugenia, who had kept looking for her ever since the abduction that had taken place a few years back, walked into the tavern where the young slave girl was working. She recognised her sister but was horrified at seeing her looking so thin, so battered…” Gabrielle frowned. “… The slave-owner saw Timothea talking to who he felt was ‘a stranger’ and he slapped her right in front of her sister. Eugenia tried to get her little sister out of all this. The two women figured out an escape plan as they continued communicating through exchanging notes via slipping them under doors and windows…”

As Gabrielle kept telling the tale, Xena saw a man rising from his seat, brandishing a sword and coming to fight her. “Anti-slavery extremists!” he yelled. The warrior got her own sword out of the scabbard on her back and wielded it at him. Their weapons clashed a few times and the fight interrupted the bard anew. The blonde woman, the guards, Apollinaris and the rest of the audience simply watched what was going on in front of the stage.

As her blade kept clunking against the attacking man’s, the dark-haired woman replied to his slur. “Is that what you call extremists? People who just want to speak out on the suffering of the enslaved? You’re a bastard.”

“Why would people listen to harlots like you anyway?” he angrily retorted, while continuing the sword fight.

Xena succeeded in making a small cut on the back of his wrist. He bellowed and dropped his sword to the ground. She put her weapon away and gave him a shove with her boot, which made him fall. “Because women can be right too,” she simply replied.

The two guards picked him up and dragged him outside the barriers. His wife walked out to take him home. The Warrior Princess had to fight and kick out a few more pro-slavery folks before Gabrielle was allowed to continue her story.

Finally, the bard resumed her tale on the stage: “So Eugenia was able to get a key made for Timothea to unlock the chain on the collar that she was being forced to wear. One night, the slave girl managed to rid her neck of the heavy thing. Without her collar, no one would ever be able to identify her as a slave and take her back to her master. The escape plan nearly worked. Eugenia was waiting for her sister outside the place where she was being kept…” The storyteller loved the way her partner had fought those bad guys that had tried to stop her performance. She felt secure to tell the ending now.

“… Unfortunately,” Gabrielle bemoaned, knowing this particular story did not have a happy ending, “Timothea had just gone out the door when her owner ran out and stabbed her in the back, inflicting a deadly wound on her. He had somehow heard her footsteps when she was trying to flee his place. ‘That’s the price to pay for an escaping slave!’ he yelled, and turned to go back inside. Timothea died in her sister’s arms as Eugenia ran towards her as soon as she saw her collapse…” The bard shed a couple of tears while finishing the story. Many people in the audience were crying. Some did not own slaves and felt utterly aghast while thinking about the cruelty of slavery. “Timothea said, just before holding her last breath, ‘Please, Eugenia, don’t let the story of my life be forgotten…’”

The blonde woman dried her tears with the back of her hand and told the last part while keeping an earnest facial expression. “So a few months later, Eugenia went on to tell her late sister’s story all around Greece as she kept advocating for the emancipation of the enslaved. I’d like to add that what happened to Timothea is not an odd or unusual case. Although there may be some masters who are much less abusive towards their slaves than Timothea’s owner was, the story of her life represents the experience of many slaves and the potential threat for every person living nowadays under slavery: the experience of mistreatment, malnutrition, battering and even the threat of death. No one deserves this. People deserve real freedom.”

Most people in the audience applauded to Gabrielle’s story about a slave girl and, more importantly, to the political statement it conveyed. The bard thanked the audience for listening and climbed down the platform to join her lover.

Many spectators approached Gabrielle and Xena. They gave both women generous amounts of money. “With some friends that were with me and my husband tonight, I’m going to try to develop an anti-slavery movement right here in Athens,” said one woman as she shook the storyteller’s hand. The blonde woman replied to her something in encouragement for such a plan. Apollinaris and other people also gave lots of dinars to the Warrior Princess for protecting free speech and beating slave-owners while she had stopped them from interrupting Gabrielle’s performance.

Once they had said goodbye to all the open-minded people there and gathered their belongings, the two lovers left the outdoor performance area. It was now the evening and dusk had fallen as they both decided to make their way back towards the public stables where Argo was being kept. They smiled at each other, and Xena kindly encircled an arm around Gabrielle’s shoulders as they kept walking.

“I’d told you this was a good idea, Gabrielle,” the warrior woman warmly stated. “Each of us made some money and, at the same time, we’ve managed to speak out against slavery to those compassionate people through the real story you told. It’s sad that most people out there still don’t know what is really going on in slaves’ lives, but maybe a stronger anti-slavery movement which they would support could help bring more of the truth into light.”

“Yep,” the bard agreed, “we’ve opened their hearts, Xena. I’m glad they intend to do something useful with the awareness they now have.”

They arrived at the public stables when Xena said, “Let’s go to a relaxing place for tonight.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena and Gabrielle had just gotten out of the city’s gates on horseback. The Warrior Princess had placed her bard in front of her on the saddle this time. She had her arms around her younger lover’s bare midriff as she was manipulating the reins. This close contact thrilled the blonde woman as she strongly held onto her taller partner’s arms and leaned into her embrace while they were moving forward. The travellers rode to an inn that was situated in a small village somewhere just outside Athens.

As the two women neared the large public house with well-lit windows, Xena stopped Argo, climbed off the mare and helped Gabrielle dismount as well. The warrior tied the Palomino horse’s bridle to a wooden barrier that was located close to the entrance to the inn.

Gabrielle took the saddlebags off from the mare. One contained Xena’s sack of purchased market goods, and the bard handed it to her older partner. The lovers were gently holding hands as they walked towards the place’s front door. They then released each other’s hands as they got inside.

“It seems to be a very nice place, Xena,” said the blonde woman as she looked around the reception and into the main dining room, which she could see through the doorway that led to it.

“Yeah, it does,” the dark-haired woman answered. She walked to the front desk as she saw a woman who looked about fifty years old standing behind it, greeting them both. “Hello, lady. Can my friend and I have a meal and a room for tonight?” Xena got some of the dinars she had earned out of a small leather purse she had and put the money down onto the innkeeper’s wooden table.

“Certainly,” the lady at the front desk answered, grinning at both women.

“I can help with the cost, Xena, if you’d like me to,” proposed Gabrielle.

The warrior woman turned to her and refused the offer. “No, Gabrielle. I intend to pay for us both tonight.” The taller woman had really planned on paying for the inn with only her own money and let her younger lover keep her own part of tonight’s earnings to herself. “Please keep your own money, sweetheart,” she whispered in her ear.

“Okay,” the bard accepted and kindly shrugged. “Thank you, Xena.”

“No problem.” She gave her the familiar slight half smile, and then turned back towards the innkeeper. “Will this be enough?”

“Yes, sure,” the woman replied, and took the dinars Xena had put on the desk. “Make yourselves at home. You can go have dinner now if you want. Your bedroom will be the first one on the left after you go up the stairs.”

“Thank you. I will add a few more dinars for my horse to be taken to your stables. Her name is Argo and I left her just outside at the front.”

“All right. I will arrange for someone to take your mare to our stables at the back.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The soup and main course meal in the inn’s dining room had both been deliciously excellent. The two lovers were now savouring honey-covered dates that had been served to them for dessert. They were sitting at a table for two, lovingly exchanging little warm glances towards one another.

After they finished, the innkeeper took all the plates and cutlery away, and Gabrielle decided to place one of the blank scrolls she had purchased from the City Market earlier in the day on the table. She took her quill out of the saddlebag, which she had placed near her feet while sitting at the dining chair, and spread the empty parchment on the table. The bard looked at her partner in front of her.

“Sorry, Xena,” she said in a very friendly way, “but I’m still due to write yesterday’s events on a scroll.”

Xena smiled. “Sure. Go ahead. I’ve got to go upstairs and get our room fully prepared for tonight.” She winked, and then got up from the table, leaving the blonde storyteller alone to write. “Join me when you’re finished. See you soon.”

“Yes, see you soon, Xena.” Gabrielle was happy to notice that the Warrior Princess probably had something in mind for the two of them to spend a good night together, after their recent lack of intimacy.

First, her taller lover had made breakfast and done the dishes, for once. Xena had also given her a small bouquet of flowers that she had handpicked. Then, she had taken her on an unexpected trip to Athens. They had been wandering through the busy City Market and her older lover had bought her another green shirt, the exact same as the one that had been damaged. Sometime after that, Xena had found a brilliant, useful and interesting way for both of them to make money at a ‘free performance’ show. Finally, now that her dark-haired partner had taken her to an inn just outside the city, the warrior wanted to get the bedroom she had paid for ‘fully prepared’ for them tonight.

Something suggested to Gabrielle that perhaps Xena had some plans in mind, some love plans, to rekindle their intimacy. She knew Xena so well that she already figured that out. The bard had some of her own exciting love plans too. She smirked and kept writing about yesterday’s events, deciding to concentrate on her scroll for now. She was a quick writer and, in a candlemark or so, she would be happily joining Xena into their bedroom upstairs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The warrior woman walked up towards the room that had been reserved for Gabrielle and her for the night. When she got in, she found a female servant still in the room, finishing preparing the bed. She was a woman in her thirties, with brown hair, and dressed in a rather plain chiffon outfit. “Is there anything I can do for you?” the servant asked.

“Yes, I think so.” Xena looked around the room. It was gorgeous and big enough. There was a large copper basin placed not far from the fireplace. She turned back towards the servant. “Can you please prepare a hot tub for me and my friend tonight?”

“Sure,” the innkeeper’s maid replied.

“Thank you.” The Warrior Princess went to put the saddlebag she was carrying on the floor near the bed. She got the cream-coloured sack of purchased market goods out of it and placed it on top of the bedside table.

As the servant came in and out of the room at regular intervals, bringing more and more buckets of very warm water to fill the copper tub with, Xena took off her scabbard and breastplate. She put her weapons and armour down near the saddlebag on the floor by the bed.

Once the hot tub was full and the servant had left, the warrior knew that Gabrielle would probably be up here in less than half a candlemark now. She wanted everything to go as planned. She took the fruits she had purchased earlier out of the sack of goods that was on the little table. She also got a couple of wooden bowls out of her saddlebag and poured the strawberries and raspberries into two different receptacles.

Xena found the almond oil she had bought earlier. She went to hide the two fruit bowls and the small bottle of essential oil somewhere on the other side of the bed, in a corner her partner would not see unless she really looked.

The warrior walked back to the bedside table and grabbed the sack that only had the red roses and candles left in it. She approached the hot tub, moved a hand into the bag she carried to pluck at the flowers and threw all the roses’ petals into the bath. The little red bits floated on the surface of the hot water.

With the help of the fireplace, Xena lit all the candles she had purchased earlier on and placed them wherever she could, all around the room. The place looked so romantic when she suddenly heard footsteps coming from the hall and nearing the bedroom door.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle had just finished writing when she had put away her scroll and quill, left the dining room and climbed up the stairs with her own saddlebag in hand. She opened the door to their reserved bedroom and saw Xena standing, looking at her in a charming way. “I’ve just had the hot tub prepared for both of us, Gabrielle.”

“Thank you.” The bard walked further inside to go put her belongings near the warrior’s on the floor. Her eyes wandered around. It was a very nice place. The bed seemed comfortable. The tub was full. The room was well-lit, with candles scattered here and there.

Xena walked towards Gabrielle, hugged her and then kissed her. They exchanged a deep, warm, passionate and tongue-mingling kiss. When it ended, the bard spoke.

“This is such a nice place you found for us tonight, Xena. Very romantic.” She gazed up at her taller lover with her sweet sea-green eyes. “I’m suspecting…” she said in a gentle tone, “that the candles and the rose petals were your ideas, right?” The Warrior Princess kept holding her close and caressing her beautiful long blond hair, which started to excite her.

“Yes. Of course the innkeeper’s maid wouldn’t have thought of that.” The taller woman chuckled. “Those were my ideas.” She playfully grinned. “And I’ve got a few more ideas for the two of us tonight.” She immediately leaned down to reclaim her younger lover’s lips, tenderly.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Both lovers got near the hot tub once they had removed all their clothes. Gabrielle had taken two wooden hair sticks out of a bag. She handed one to Xena. Both of them had already washed their hair in the morning and did not want to wet it again. So they each lifted and rolled their hairstyles into buns on the back of their heads, before they climbed into the bath.

Xena got into the water and sat in the hot tub. So did Gabrielle who sat in between her lover’s legs, her back to her. The smell of roses felt very pleasant to the bard, as the bright red petals rested on the surface around them. The warrior had a bar of soap in her hand and started lathering her younger partner’s back with the creamy, frothy substance.

Gabrielle relaxed under the influence of Xena’s tender strokes. Underwater, both of her taller lover’s legs touched each side of her thighs. She placed her hands on the warrior woman’s knees while Xena kept rubbing her back.

The Warrior Princess also cleaned the storyteller’s shoulders and arms before asking her to turn around. Once the bard faced her in the bath, the dark-haired woman moved her body forward, kissed her younger lover and began running the soap along the blonde’s neck, collar bones and breasts. “So how do you like our romantic evening so far, Gabrielle?” she asked in an alluring tone while she kept washing the rest of her younger lover’s body. Xena’s azure blue eyes always mesmerised Gabrielle.

“Well,” The bard briefly chuckled, “it clearly feels like a bit of a change from the last few nights…” She kissed the older woman again as she snatched the soap from her hands. She lathered it all over the beautiful bronzed body, loving the feel of her taller lover’s curvy shapes. “Let me do your back now.” Once she managed to move her body around the warrior in this large tub, Gabrielle got behind Xena and washed her back. She put down the soap on the side of the tub and used her palms and fingers to massage her taller lover’s shoulders, back, spine and ribs.

“Hmm…” The warrior woman loved how the blonde’s touch made her feel at ease. Once the delightful backrub was over, she moved herself around in the tub and gathered the smaller woman into her arms. They both lay snuggled up to each other in the warm water of the bath, keeping their heads above the surface.

On top of Xena in the tub, Gabrielle felt the warrior’s wet hands move around her back. The Warrior Princess was seductively moving her fingertips across the younger woman’s spine. The blonde woman covered her older partner’s mouth with hers and their tongues intermingled as they both closed their eyes. When the kiss ended, the two women just rested in the large copper basin for a magic, quiet moment.

They were being absorbed in the absolute serenity that enveloped their senses in the peaceful Inn room. The scent of the bath, perfumed with soap and roses, smeared, immersed their skin and made them cuddle up to one another some more. Each woman revelled in feeling the other’s body pressed tightly against her own.

Once they felt they were clean enough and fully relaxed, they decided to climb out of the tub. Gabrielle got out first, seizing a towel that lay somewhere near and quickly drying her body with it. Xena followed a short while after. The bard had just finished drying herself when she covered the warrior’s skin with the towel and began rubbing it onto her. She stared up into Xena’s eyes.

“I love you, Gabrielle,” asserted the warrior. She claimed the bard’s mouth again, for a short but intense kiss. While kissing her, the older woman reached around Gabrielle’s head and removed the stick that held the storyteller’s hairstyle together. The younger woman’s dry blond hair fell onto her back. She spoke as her dark-haired partner’s lips then travelled to the corner of her face.

“Hmmm… I love you too, Xena.” Gabrielle replied as she felt her taller lover’s sweet little kisses moisten her cheek with love. Still holding the towel, she reached up and also undid Xena’s bun by removing the wooden stick from the dark hair, which then cascaded down the warrior’s back. Both women chucked the hair accessories aside.

“You know… I’ve also got some ideas of my own for tonight, Xena.” the bard gazed up at the Warrior Princess with passionately libidinous eyes as she said this. “Please… Let me finish drying you, my love.”

“Sure.” Standing in front of her shorter lover, Xena let Gabrielle dry her.

The blonde used the towel to brush away the humidity that trickled down her lover’s body. She first wiped the semi-damp cloth onto Xena’s shoulders and back. She then moved the towel across the front of the warrior’s body. Her strokes caressed the warrior’s ample breasts. Once the two gorgeous mounds were dry, she could not restrain some deeply erotic desire to bring her mouth to them.

Interrupting her drying motions, Gabrielle placed the towel over her shoulder and leaned down to wrap her lips around one of Xena’s nipples. At the same time, the storyteller grabbed and squeezed the taller woman’s breasts.

“Gabrielle… Hmm…” The dark-haired woman had not imagined that Gabrielle would be taking control of her body so quickly. She had thought she would be the one to make the first lovemaking move on this romantic night at the Inn. As she felt the bard’s delicious mouth switch to her other breast, the warrior woman uttered another moan of delight and forwent some of her initial plans. Now she could not wait to feel the blonde woman’s skilled sweet little tongue touch her where she wanted it the most. “Gabrielle… Please…” Still standing, Xena  slightly spread her legs in front of her younger lover. She gently caressed the back of the blonde’s head.

Gabrielle noticed the hint her partner was giving her. After she had relished taking as much of each of the warrior’s breasts into her mouth during a few more moments, she dropped to her knees and kissed the brunette’s lower belly. She then took the towel and began to tease Xena by rubbing the large cloth onto one of the taller woman’s legs, then the other. The bard noticed her older lover shudder as she caressed her inner thighs with the towel. She could feel that the Warrior Princess was becoming even more impatient. Gabrielle blew some hot breath onto the dark curls and the magnificent glistening folds before her.

“Please… Gabrielle…” Xena groaned in excitement. She put her hands onto the blonde’s hair, delicately stroking the back of her head. “Your mouth on me, please… Lick me, my love…”

Unable to resist her strong sexual hunger any longer, Gabrielle dropped the towel onto the floor and nudged her lover’s thighs a little further apart. Putting her hands on Xena’s hips, she pressed her lips onto the warrior woman’s soaking wet centre and thrust her tongue into the heavenly wild taste of her partner’s sex.

“Oh… Gabrielle… Gods…” The Warrior Princess closed her eyes and tightened her grip on the storyteller’s head. She gently drove the eager mouth and tongue deeper into the burning need between her thighs. “Gabrielle… Oh… Yes… That’s right… Lick all of it, my bard…” Having her beloved little girlfriend pleasuring her like this, Xena let more sounds of enjoyment escape her mouth when she felt the incredibly skilled sweet bardic tongue glide its way around her engorged clit.

Kneeling in front of her lover’s parted legs, Gabrielle had her face buried into the essence of her older lover’s exotic heat while she flicked the tip of her tongue around the bundle of nerves for a moment. The warrior’s wetness coated the bard’s nose, mouth, cheeks and chin as she eagerly licked the tender hot folds, savouring every corner, every crevice of the dark-haired woman’s intimate flesh.

“Gods… Gabrielle… Yes…” Xena lovingly ran her fingers through Gabrielle’s hair. She loved the way her bard always knew how to sexually gratify her with her amazing oral abilities.

The blonde woman carried on tonguing her partner’s centre with fervour. She continued to bask in the scrumptious scent and taste of her Warrior Princess. Simultaneously, Gabrielle was humming her joy against Xena’s sensitive textures as she performed this oral activity she always loved so much. As the bard moved a hand to her partner’s sex to tease the clit with her thumb, her tongue entered the warrior’s sodden opening and she plunged it back and forth inside it, eliciting more pleasure exclamations from her taller lover. After a little while, Gabrielle’s tongue made its way out and travelled back up towards Xena’s swollen bud, which she lovingly sucked and licked until her warrior reached orgasm.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” The Warrior Princess screamed the bard’s name. Her hands pressed the blonde’s head even deeper into the juicy heat between her legs as she came. As she breathed heavily and loosened her grip on Gabrielle, she gently caressed the smaller woman’s hair.

“Hmmm… You taste so good… Xena…” The bard licked and drank every last drop of her lover’s passion before affectionately kissing her centre. She stood back up and looked into her taller partner’s eyes.

Xena instantly bent her head down to kiss Gabrielle. She delighted in the feel of her own taste onto the younger woman’s lips. The two naked women kissed deeply, their tongues dancing around one another. The room was still being lit by the bright candlelight. The warrior could no longer wait for the rest, and she knew the bard needed some lovemaking tonight. The tall brunette reached down to the back of her blonde lover’s thighs and suddenly scooped the smaller woman’s legs up to wrap them around her waist. She started carrying her towards the bed.

The way Xena lifted her somewhat surprised Gabrielle, but she kept kissing her older partner as she tightly enveloped her arms around the warrior’s neck. The dark-haired woman could feel the warm dampness of her lover’s centre pressing against her belly as she firmly held onto the younger woman’s thighs while walking towards the mattress. She carefully deposited Gabrielle onto the bed. “Hang on, Gabrielle… I also have a couple of surprises for you tonight.” Xena walked around the other corner of the bed to get the things she had hidden there earlier.

The blonde woman lay on top of the blanket, hoping her beloved warrior woman’s surprises would be good ones.

Xena placed the small bottle of almond oil and the two fruit bowls somewhere on top of the bed. She then climbed up towards Gabrielle. The bard spread her legs as she saw the Warrior Princess approach her on the bed.

“What are these for?” Gabrielle asked with a gleeful sparkle in her sea-green eyes.

“You’ll see,” was the warrior’s cryptic response. She went to lie on top of the younger woman and pressed her lips onto hers.

As both lovers shared another blazingly passionate and deep tongue-searching kiss, they hugged each other in bed. Gabrielle constantly enjoyed how soft the dark-haired woman’s well-toned skin felt. Xena could not get enough of touching her blonde lover. She realised how much she had been missing the silkiness of her skin these last few nights.

The warrior caressed the bard’s mouth with her own a few more times before she began descending on her younger partner’s body. She nibbled at Gabrielle’s neck and placed a few little fiery kisses on her way down to her breasts.

“Oh… Xena…” The smaller woman shivered in bliss as Xena cupped and kneaded her breasts. She felt incredibly happy and aroused that her older lover was touching her again, after quite a few nights without lovemaking. “Gods… Xena…” Gabrielle exclaimed when the warrior woman’s mouth closed itself around one of her nipples, making it stiffen in response. She moved her hands back to grasp at the pillow that supported her head.

The Warrior Princess greedily drew the bard’s breast into her mouth. She took joy in sucking it, flicking her tongue around it, before she switched to the other breast and gave it the same loving treatment, which made her younger lover moan pleasurably again. After this, Xena lifted her head and was glad to see Gabrielle’s nipples had become all sensitised by what she had done. She touched them with her thumbs before moving downwards and kissing Gabrielle’s abdomen.

“Oh… Yes, Xena… Please.” The blonde woman was becoming even more excited. She had been missing her older lover’s lovemaking so much.

Before doing what she would usually do, however, the warrior raised herself to a kneeling position between the younger woman’s legs, which made the bard whimper in disappointment. “Hold on, sweetheart. This is when my surprises begin,” Xena said as she smilingly stared down at Gabrielle while running her strong hands over her lover’s thighs.

The bard continued to wonder what the warrior woman was up to. The feeling of her partner stroking her thighs kept her excited, as she looked up at her.

Still kneeling between Gabrielle’s legs, Xena grabbed a strawberry from one of the fruit bowls and held it by its green tail. She could see the beautiful blonde curls of her younger lover’s centre before her. She lowered the red fruit to her girlfriend’s sex.

Gabrielle held softly onto the cushiony fabric behind her head. “What are you doing?” she asked with astonishment, as she felt Xena gently running the strawberry between her nether lips.

The warrior gave the bard a radiant, wicked smile. She still had one hand placed onto one of the bard’s thighs. “Just lay back and relax, my love. I’m just having a bit of delicious fun,” she answered as she brought the fruit up to her mouth, after it had been well-coated with the blonde woman’s nectar. Xena bit on the strawberry, savouring it, and especially the appetising juice that was on it. “Hmmm…” She lowered it to the storyteller’s labia again and took another bite, eating the whole fruit. She discarded the tail and took another strawberry, which she, once again, positioned against Gabrielle’s centre.

“Oh… Xena…” The storyteller moaned as she felt her partner, once again, touching her sex with the red fruit. “Why are you teasing me like this?” She was becoming impatient.

“Because it spices things up.” Xena winked down at the bard and smirked. She slightly dunked the strawberry into Gabrielle’s juicy entrance, turned it on the spot –covering it with the bard’s essence– and took it to her own mouth to taste her lover’s luscious nectar again. After she finished eating that strawberry, she took another one, dipped it in the younger woman’s folds and then brought it to her supine partner’s mouth. “Taste yourself, Gabrielle.”

Gabrielle opened her lips and ate the strawberry Xena was giving her, tasting her own excitement on it. “I taste good.” She grinned up at her older lover, who then discarded the fruit’s tail.

“You do.” The warrior used another strawberry to tease the bard’s labia. She also tickled her clit with it, before smearing it with more juices and eating it. Xena even used one strawberry to dip it in her own wet centre. She immediately moved the fruit to her younger lover’s mouth. “Taste me again, now.”

Gabrielle instantly bit on the strawberry Xena was giving her, loving the taste of her lover’s passion on it. She eagerly ate the whole fruit minus the green tail, which her taller partner chucked aside.

“And now I’m wanting some more of your precious cream for my strawberries, my love.” The dark-haired woman smirked again before she coated a few more red fruits with the blonde’s taste and hungrily ate them. “Too delicious.” She put the strawberry bowl on the bedside table.

Gabrielle was becoming very aroused. “Uh… Xena… Please.” She moved her hips slightly up a couple of times, to give her partner a hint of what she wanted.

“Hmmm…” The Warrior Princess smiled down at her younger lover, with her charming azure blue eyes. “You want me to put my mouth on you again, don’t you?”

“Yes… Oh… Xena… Please.” Gabrielle squirmed in over-excitement. Xena had been teasing her too much. She wanted more.

“Please, what, Gabrielle? Come on. Say it, my bard. Tell me you want me to lick you.” The warrior woman, still knelt in front of companion, stroked the younger woman’s legs.

“Lick me, Xena, please…” the blonde woman begged with impatience, briefly raising her hips again. “I want you to lick all of it.” She wanted her lover to stop teasing her.

“Very good, Gabrielle… Whatever you want from me, you get, my love.” Xena immediately moved back, lay on her stomach and positioned her head between Gabrielle’s spread legs. She placed her hands around the younger woman’s thighs and blew some warm air on the glistening blond curls, making her girlfriend tremble in delight. The warrior then placed Gabrielle’s legs over her shoulders and buried her face in the bard’s heat.

“Oh… Yes… Xena.” Gabrielle felt absolute bliss when Xena’s tongue touched her clit. She had been waiting for this for quite a few nights. She had missed her dark-haired partner loving her with her tongue.

The older woman used the tip of her tongue to stimulate the area around the storyteller’s sensitive nub, licking it in slow circles.

“By the gods… Xena…” The bard kept her hands onto the pillow. She curled her hands into fists as she grasped more strongly onto the soft material while raising her hips up towards the warrior’s face, encouraging her to dive deeper into her intimate parts.

Xena groaned pleasurably against the excited flesh as she slid her tongue all over Gabrielle’s centre. She sucked each of her younger partner’s outer folds into her mouth, and then slowly licked the delicate pinkish textures of the blonde’s inner labia. As she kept tasting and savouring her bard’s succulent hot sex, the Warrior Princess glided her tongue into every crevice and every bit of the warm flesh, making Gabrielle utter more sounds of pleasure. Xena’s tongue, lips, chin, nose and cheeks were now completely covered by her companion’s ambrosial love juices, and the warrior hungrily carried on licking the bard’s precious flower.

“Xena… Oh… Yes!” Gabrielle moved her hands down to tenderly caress her lover’s dark-hair.

The warrior’s tongue got inside the bard’s wet entrance and the older woman moved it back and forth inside the blonde’s love tunnel.

“Uh… Oh… Yes… Xena…” The younger woman enjoyed every moment of the sweet and loving activity her partner was performing on her, as she pushed the taller woman’s head closer onto the area between her legs. She voiced her delight, once again, when she felt Xena use her thumb to rub her clit as the warrior continued making love to her orally and skilfully.

After a while, the dark-haired woman’s tongue got out of its comfortable haven and moved upwards to touch Gabrielle’s engorged bundle of nerves again. This time, she drew the node into her mouth, sucking it and tonguing it to bring her younger lover closer to climax.

After thrusting her hips up to press her centre more closely onto Xena’s mouth, the bard moved her hands back towards the pillow behind her head, gripping it firmly as she orgasmed. “Xeeenaaa!” Her body fell back onto the mattress as she attempted to catch her breath again.

The Warrior Princess licked away at every trickle of Gabrielle’s intimate essence. She loved drinking her bard’s honeydewed liquid. It had such a deliciously unique taste. Xena gently kissed her younger lover’s sex and lifted her body up. She raised herself to crawl back up the storyteller’s body and fervently kiss her on the mouth.

The bard revelled in the taste of herself on her taller lover’s lips. “I love you,” she said, following the kiss’ end.

“I love you too,” Xena replied, gazing into Gabrielle’s eyes. “What an amazingly tasty little treat you are, my bard.” She claimed her lips again, and their tongues intertwined as they both hugged on the bed. The warrior softly ran her fingers along the bard’s skin as the two of them rested for a few moments. “I have a few more plans for us tonight,” she murmured sweetly in the storyteller’s ear.

“What are they?” the blonde woman asked quietly.

Xena raised herself back up to a kneeling position on the bed. “Turn around and lie on your stomach, my love. I’m going to give you a massage.”

“Oh, great idea.” Gabrielle rolled over and moved her long hair away from the skin of her back. She dragged down her pillow to place it under her upper chest, keeping her arms around it. She closed her eyes as she lay prone onto the bed, anticipating her taller lover’s skilled touch.

After quite a few years of being Gabrielle’s lover, the Warrior Princess obviously knew by heart all the sensitive areas of her beloved companion’s body. The dark-haired woman grabbed the little bottle of almond oil, opened it and went to straddle the bard’s hips. She poured some of the sticky liquid onto one of her hands and rubbed her palms together to make it warm after she had put down the open bottle of essential oil on the bedside table. She first massaged the back of the smaller woman’s neck with firm but delicate, skilful hands.

“Xena…” Gabrielle felt Xena’s long fingers make contact with her skin while applying a pleasantly warm and oily substance onto it.

“Just relax, Gabrielle.” The older woman kindly ordered as she worked her slippery hands onto her partner’s shoulders for a little while. She then moved her fingers down towards the blonde’s shoulder blades and started to rub them. With gentle pressure, she worked her slippery palms and fingers into the skin at the top of the storyteller’s back.

“Hmmm…” The blonde woman purred, enjoying every moment of this delicious massage.

As Xena moved her hands further downwards in continuous, and sometimes circular, motions, she felt Gabrielle’s muscles relax under her every stroke. She also used her thumbs and index fingers to work her smooth touch along the sides of bard’s spine.  The warrior got some more oil to massage her younger lover’s lower back.

“Hmmm… Xena…” The younger woman just lay there, breathing calmly, with her hands around her pillow. Feeling her partner’s oily touch slide further down her back sent thrilling shivers down her spine.

The warrior moved to straddle the bard’s thighs. She intensely rubbed the small of Gabrielle’s back with unhurried movements, eliciting a few more, occasional, happy low moans from the smaller woman. After this, Xena grabbed the small bottle again and poured some more almond oil onto her hands. She then kneaded her younger lover’s firm, round buttocks. “You’ve got such a gorgeous butt, my love,” the taller woman softly said.

Gabrielle chuckled briefly. She clung onto her pillow when she felt the Warrior Princess’ oily hands massage her butt cheeks. The bard moaned quietly, feeling mild titillation when her partner softly brushed the back of a finger across the cleft of her rear. She experienced a very warm and pleasant sensation when her older lover lightly stimulated her little puckered opening with the tip of a thumb. The storyteller sometimes craved and loved the warrior’s touch all over the sensitive parts of her body, like in this evening’s gentle massage for instance.

After she had finished massaging the younger woman’s buttocks, Xena glided her hands over the back of Gabrielle’s thighs, moving herself on the bed accordingly as she kept slowly rubbing the touch further down the bard’s body. Her fingers could still sense some taut muscles at the back of the blonde woman’s legs, but this tension swiftly yielded under a few firm, but careful, tactile strokes. “Keep relaxing, sweetheart.”

Gabrielle gasped when she felt Xena’s fingers touch the back of her knees. She was particularly sensitive right there. The warrior worked her way further down her legs, and the storyteller enjoyed the way her older lover deeply massaged her skin there. She also loved how Xena took special and tender care of her feet.

After she had was done with massaging Gabrielle’s soles and toes, the Warrior Princess went to lie closer to the younger woman on the bed. She spoke again. “So you loved the massage, Gabrielle, didn’t you?”

“Hmmm…” the bard cooed, rolling herself back over to a supine position. “Xena,” she grinned, “you know I always love massages from you, and I give you some as well sometimes.”

“It’s true.” Xena smiled back and went to lie on top of the blonde woman’s body. She passionately kissed her and ran her fingers through her hair.

Gabrielle touched her dark-haired partner too. They both loved the scent and the feel of each other’s skin and hair. They shared a strong hug, loving the contact of their bodies pressing against one another. “Thank you so much, my warrior. I had been missing your touch these last few nights.”

“Well, I really wanted to make up for it, my bard.” Xena was caressing Gabrielle’s skin. They were both gazing intently into each other’s eyes.

“Have you got any more plans for tonight?”

“Well…” Xena sat up on the bed and took the bowl of raspberries, “I do have another little surprise.” She grabbed a fistful of the dark pink fruits and placed the small bowl on the bedside table, beside the strawberries.

The bard wondered once again what the warrior was up to as she saw her holding a handful of raspberries while staring down at her. “What are you going to do with those?” Gabrielle asked.

“I’m just gonna be having a little fun.” The Warrior Princess smirked. “Spread your legs, Gabrielle.”

“You’re not going to…” The blonde woman gave her partner an astonished look.

“Please, spread your legs, my love,” Xena kindly requested.

Gabrielle could not resist and complied. The dark-haired woman pressed the raspberries against her lover’s centre and gently squashed them. The pink fruits’ juice spread all over the bard’s centre. Droplets trickled on the blanket beneath.

“Hey, Xena,” Gabrielle jumped slightly from feeling the raspberry nectar on her labia, “you are staining the bed. The innkeepers are going to charge us for this.”

“It’s all right, Gabrielle.” Xena brought her fingers to her mouth to suck the raspberry juice off them. “I’ll pay for it. It’ll be all on me.” She looked at Gabrielle’s sex again; the raspberry liquid was all over it. “Hmmm… I’m gonna have to lick all this off now.” The warrior began to lower her head towards the bard’s centre.

“Xena, wait!”

“What?” The dark-haired woman stopped her motions to look into the storyteller’s eyes.

“If you’re going to do this to me again, I would like to be able to do it to you at the same time. Is that okay?”

“Sure…” Xena gave her a slight half smile. “I’ll also give you some of that fruity taste too.” She grasped another handful of raspberries and smeared her own sex with them, spreading the pink juice all over her nether lips.

After her blonde partner got her pillow out of the way and moved her body slightly further down towards the middle of the bed, the Warrior Princess turned her body around so her hips were positioned above the bard’s head. Unable to wait any longer, Xena moved her face down to Gabrielle’s centre. She started licking all the fruity nectar off from the gorgeous pinkish folds, intensely appreciating the taste of her younger lover mixed with the raspberry liquid. Her tongue got into every warm and wet recess of Gabrielle’s sex.

A few little drops of juice and bits of fruit fell onto the blonde woman’s face. She immediately reached up and lowered Xena’s hips until her hungry mouth made contact with the taller woman’s centre. The bard greedily tasted her partner’s sexual textures and enjoyed the juicy mixture of her lover’s passion and the raspberries.

The two women carried on orally pleasuring each other simultaneously. When there was no more fruit juice to lick off each other’s sex, they continued to eagerly savour one another. Xena took great joy in running her tongue all over Gabrielle’s precious flower while feeling her blonde girlfriend do the same thing to her. Similarly, it was intense rapture for the bard to be able to tongue her older lover’s intimate area while the warrior was performing the same ministrations on her. They both stimulated each other’s clit at the same time.

As they were closer to climax, Xena interrupted while they both remained in this position. “Gabrielle?”

Gabrielle stopped her oral task for a few seconds. “What is it, Xena?”

“When I come, please keep some of my juices in your mouth. I’ll do the same thing. I have an idea. You’ll see.” The warrior returned her mouth to her younger partner’s centre.

“Okay.” The bard also resumed her own activities. They both licked deeply and intensely into each other’s sex. Once again, each woman sought out the engorged nub of the other. After a while, they orgasmed and kept one another’s wetness into their mouths. Then Xena turned her body back around on the bed and took Gabrielle into her arms.

They both shared the most heated kiss they had ever experienced together, mingling their own intimate tastes into each other’s mouths. They searched each other’s tongues, and together they drank each other’s mixed love essence as they kissed deeply.

“I love you, Gabrielle.” Xena said as the kiss ended.

“I love you, Xena,” responded Gabrielle. “We’re so clearly made for each other.”

“Yup.” The Warrior Princess went to lie on her back onto the comfortable mattress and pillows.

The bard moved to lie next to her taller lover, placing her head on the dark-haired woman’s shoulder, her hand on her belly and wrapping a leg over one of her thighs. Xena encircled an arm around her beloved companion. They rested, experiencing the agreeable post-orgasmic effects.

After a few moments, Gabrielle lifted her head. “Xena?”


“I want us to make love again… in a truly soul-connecting way. Do you know what I mean?”

“Umm… I think I do… Come here.” The warrior woman sat up, pulled the bard up and encouraged her to do the same. They faced each other, sitting up on the bed. “I’ve got an idea for a soul-connecting position,” said the taller woman as she parted her younger lover’s thighs. “Do you want to try it, Gabrielle?”

“Yes, absolutely, Xena.”

Xena scissored her legs around Gabrielle’s and tightened them around her partner’s hips, causing both their warm centres to tightly press against one another. The storyteller shivered at the very warm and blissful contact, as she also encircled her legs around the dark-haired woman. With their legs interlocking like this, they firmly held onto each other’s arms. They exchanged a very intimate and direct gaze into each other’s eyes as Xena began grinding her sex against her companion’s. “Follow my movements. Move against me, Gabrielle.”

“All right.” Gabrielle strongly clung onto Xena as she rubbed her own clit against the warrior’s.

The two lovers embraced each other as they found the right rhythm for this intense, tribadic lovemaking. Xena leaned down to bring her mouth to Gabrielle’s and kissed her for a short instant, grinding herself harder against her. The strong sensation they were mutually sharing swiftly rippled through both their beings. It would not take them long to find release again. The dynamic moves they were doing so marvellously connected their bodies and minds. Azure blue eyes and sea-green ones met again as both women brought themselves over the edge while screaming each other’s names. The utter rapture of this moment filled their minds. They ground their mounds together again, one more time, mustering another strong climax within their groins.

Exhausted and sweaty, they quickly unlocked their legs and collapsed onto the bed, their damp and hot bodies snuggled up to one another. They had the odd feeling of a trillion of multicoloured stars having just exploded inside their minds. They both breathed heavily in the aftershocks of this interesting kind of lovemaking.

“Wow!” Gabrielle lay into Xena’s arms, tired but so happily fulfilled. “I’ll forever love you, Xena.” She kissed the older woman’s neck.

“Me too, Gabrielle.” The warrior delicately stroked the bard’s back. “I’ll love you forever, my bard.”

“You know, what, Xena?”Gabrielle asked quietly.

“What, Gabrielle?”

“I really believe that you and I share a soul-uniting connection of some kind. I feel we are destined for one another. You’re part of me, Xena, and I have an idea.” The blonde woman briefly lifted her head, just to look at the Warrior Princess. “I think we should go on a spiritual quest together. I think our next trip should be to India. That way we could perhaps find out more about our soulmate link.”

“India, really?”

“Yes, Xena. I would love so much to go there with you, to find the answers that I need.”

“All right. India, it will be then.”

“Thank you, Xena.” Their lips joined and their tongues danced again with one another. After this kiss, Gabrielle spoke again. “Of course, we could always stop by some holy mountains on our way.”

“Anything you want, sweetheart.” The warrior briefly kissed the bard’s temple. “So, have I made it up to you today, with all the things I did for you? No more frustration, huh, Gabrielle?”

“No,” the younger woman beamed, “absolutely not… Xena, you’ve made me feel so glad today.” Gabrielle admitted sincerely. “First you made our breakfast and did the dishes. You also gave me flowers. Then you took me to Athens and found me another green shirt at the City Market. Then you found us an interesting and politically productive way to make money at the outdoor theatre.” She continued speaking about this wonderful day with an enthusiastic voice: “And you brought me to this pleasant inn and paid for the room and dinner. You found some exciting things to do in bed, with some fruits, and then you gave me a massage. Finally, we made love so wonderfully it felt even more intense than ever…” The blonde woman kept smiling. “I am so proud of you, Xena. Forget about the arguments we’ve had recently. None of them count anymore.”

“Good. I’m so happy too… I love you, sweetheart.” Xena gave Gabrielle a goodnight kiss.

“I love you too, warrior. I’m glad I’m so important to you.”

“You are more important to me than anything, Gabrielle.”

“It feels the same to me.”

They both got under the blanket on the bed. The bard fell asleep in The Warrior Princess’ embrace. Xena lay awake for a few more moments, listening to Gabrielle’s peaceful breathing. As she softly caressed her lover’s blond hair, she stared at the ceiling and thought about how happy she was about the fact that all her love plans had succeeded beyond expectation. She was satisfied she had so brilliantly managed to rekindle the flame of their passion.

Then a darker thought suddenly came over her: the haunting vision of them being crucified by Romans on a snowy mountain. The images in her head felt so cold, so frightening. Gabrielle had just been bringing up the possibility that they may be soulmates. If so, would they really have to die together in such a cruel and painful way? The warrior felt sad. If the vision was to come true, she would be dragging the bard to her death. She would do anything to stop such an awful thing from happening, even if it meant that she would herself die alone, sacrificing herself for Gabrielle.

Xena strove to dispel the abhorrent thoughts from her mind. She managed to join her bard into the Land of Morpheus. The next day she would pay for breakfast and the raspberry stains on the bed. Then they would both leave the inn, travelling together towards more adventures.


What matters most

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passionseries, Vol. 3:

What matters most

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash; hurt/comfort.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Xena: Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Three episode Forget Me Not (but before Fins, Femmes and Gems).

Warning #1: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Warning #2: This story contains a male-on-female attempted rape and some violence. It also contains some references to the infamous “Gab-drag” and to Gabrielle’s rape by Dahak. It contains some post-rift angst and it is somehow part of the ‘hurt/comfort’ genre too. However, all this was necessary to the small plot of this story.

Author’s note: (1) I felt there were still some problems left unresolved regarding the rift arc, hence one of the reasons why I wrote this. (2) This is not a first time story. I think there are enough first time stories out there. Also, I believe that Xena and Gabrielle can still be intimately passionate with each other after their first time. My femslash stories sometimes remotely follow each other; my first two were called Closer than blood bonds and Circle in the sand.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; Donar, Ninja & RJcreek (from TX) for the pre-release reading & feedback; other people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for their encouragements.

Feedback: see feedback page.


There were two or three candlemarks left to go before sunset. Xena had already set up camp a while ago. She had built a fire and prepared a bedroll for the night that was to come. The three friends were sitting on a tree trunk in the middle of the woods. Argo was grazing nearby. Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer were eating the warm stew the bard had just made, right after she had finished writing the last day’s events on a scroll.

The Warrior Princess finished her portion of food. She immediately grabbed her sword to sharpen it. She often did this after supper. She was sitting beside her blonde companion. Joxer was seated on the other side of the log, consuming the last bit of his meal. He turned to the bard who was next to him.

“You’ve always been such a marvellous cook, Gabrielle,” he said, smiling.

“Thanks, Joxer.” Gabrielle grinned back at him.

After finishing his food, Joxer suddenly belched. “Excuse-me,” he said, looking sheepish, while glancing at the two women beside him. “I’m sorry.” He could not help himself and felt very embarrassed for behaving so rudely in front of Gabrielle.

“It’s okay, Joxer.” Gabrielle sighed. She turned towards her dark-haired lover and whispered something in her ear. Xena stopped whetting her blade to hear what the bard had to say. “Xena, can you please tell Joxer to leave?” The shorter woman quietly murmured. “I don’t wanna be nasty to him, but we’re gonna need a bit of privacy.” The taller woman simply put her weapon down and stood up. She spoke to the young man.

“Joxer,” the Warrior Princess said, trying to keep a kind expression on her face.

“Yes, Xena?” Joxer looked up at the tall brunette, wondering.

“I really would not like to sound rude,” Xena smiled at him in a somewhat condescending way, “but would you mind going to find someplace to sleep in the next village and leave us a bit of privacy for the night?” She knew the young man was used to hearing that. She had asked him to go quite a few times so that she and her lover could be alone at night, or for a couple of days.

“Er… Sure, Xena. As usual, I don’t mean to bother you two, you know?” Joxer rose from his seat and looked at the two women with a timid expression on his face.

“Yes, we know that, Joxer.” Gabrielle nodded, politely grinning, while eating. She was glad to get a bit of her appetite back. “Don’t worry… Goodnight, Joxer! And thank you for bringing me back from the temple of Mnemosyne.”

“It’s all right. Goodnight, Gabrielle,” he said, glancing at her with enamoured eyes before turning and starting to walk away from the warrior and her bard.

“ ’Night, Joxer. Thanks.” The Warrior Princess sighed and went to sit back down to resume the sharpening of her weapon.

Joxer trudged away into the woods, aiming at reaching the next village. He thought about Gabrielle. He really wished it had been his name the bard had written on her scrolls when talking about the love of her life, instead of Xena’s. The young man exhaled, feeling a little sad, and walked further away.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Thank you, Xena.”

“No problem, Gabrielle.”

When they were alone, the two lovers felt more tranquil. Gabrielle was consuming an apple after she did not manage to finish her stew while Xena was nearly done with the whetting of her blade.

“You still haven’t gotten your full appetite back yet?”

“No, not quite, Xena.” Gabrielle slightly shrugged, giving her lover a brief small smile. “I’ll be all right though.”

“I hope so.” Xena went to put the whetstone down. She stood and unfastened the scabbard that was on her back, along with the chakram on her waist. She went to place her weapons near their gear that was lying in a small pile on the forest ground. She sat back down next to Gabrielle on the log. The younger woman looked pensive while chewing on her fruit. Xena studied her younger lover’s face with concern. After a few moments, Gabrielle turned to her and started to speak.

“Xena.” She tossed her unfinished apple onto the ground as her sea-green eyes stared into blue ones.

“Yes, Gabrielle.”

“Are you really sure this is all over?”

“Yes, Gabrielle. We don’t really need to talk about any of this anymore. I forgave you for what happened in Chin, didn’t I?” Xena kept gazing at Gabrielle as she felt a pang of anxiety unsettle her.

“I know, even though I’d almost got you killed… Sorry, Xena, I still need to talk about this. I chose to keep my memories today after all…” Gabrielle looked sad and depressed.

“Come here, sweetheart.” The Warrior Princess wrapped an arm around the bard as she used her other hand to caress her blond hair while they were still sitting beside one another. “I’ve already forgiven you. You know, as I said earlier on, I’ve heard you when you talk in your sleep…” She paused. “… I know you were jealous of my former lover and teacher Lao Ma, but it’s all right, Gabrielle. I understand now that you were so unhappy I’d left you behind so I could go to Chin because I owed something to someone I used to love.”

“Yes, I was jealous, Xena.” The blonde woman gently rubbed her lover’s upper arm as the other woman was hugging her in a half-embrace. “I’m sorry.”

“I understand you for being jealous, my love. Lao Ma was my first female lover after all, but you are my best.” Xena kissed the top of the younger woman’s head. “And I’m so sorry I lied to you about Ming Tien.”

“It’s all right, Xena. I don’t care about Ming Tien anymore.” Gabrielle raised her head to look up at the warrior. “I’ve done so many terrible things these past months. I don’t just mean what happened in Chin. I know you forgave me for that now. I’m also talking about the rest. I’m so sorry I’ve lied to you, Xena. And all those painful memories…” Tears started escaping the bard’s eyes. She would never dare mention Hope or Solan. She knew the dark-haired woman was not ready to hear those names yet, as her lover was still recovering from her son’s death.

Gabrielle uttered unhappy moans. “Uhh… When I was in the temple of the Goddess of Memory and while I was still combating the shadows in my mind, I still couldn’t decide to get rid of everything, because that would have meant I wouldn’t have remembered you and all the wonderful things we’ve shared together; I wouldn’t even have remembered myself.” She sniffed, as her older lover kept trying to comfort her. “It’s just those painful memories, you know…”

“Do you wish you had gotten rid of them, Gabrielle?” The warrior was worried. She had wanted Gabrielle to go to the temple of Mnemosyne by herself for a reason. She had wanted the bard to deal with her own pain and decide for herself if she wanted to erase all this from her mind, including what they had together. Xena was glad Gabrielle had chosen to remember her, but the blonde woman’s pain still made her uncomfortable. She gently cradled her lover’s head in one arm while stroking her back with her other hand.

“In a way, yes, Xena, though I had no real choice but to keep them if I wanted to remember other things.” The bard sighed and reached around to place her hands on the top of Xena’s back while the taller woman was still trying to console her. She could feel the warrior’s breastplate near her cheek and ear as she closed her eyes and kept speaking. “I just wish I hadn’t lost my blood innocence. I also wish Dahak hadn’t raped me.” She moved slightly back from her lover’s half-embrace to be able to stare up into Xena’s eyes. “That’s when it all started, my love. Sorry, I’ve not talked much about this before but I really have to now.”

“Gabrielle…” The Warrior Princess’ tone sounded compassionate.

“When I killed Meridian… when I opened up the gate to release Dahak into the world…” Gabrielle was still crying as she continued: “… that’s when all those horrible things that happened between us started. Xena, when Dahak raped me above that altar, when he thrust into me, I thought I was going to die. And maybe I actually wanted to die, because it hurt so much inside…” More teardrops ran down the bard’s cheeks as she whimpered in anguish. “I knew from that day on that everything had changed… everything.”

Xena quickly stood and went to get a piece of cloth from one of their saddlebags. She sat back down next to the blonde woman on the log, delicately lifted Gabrielle’s chin and dried her tears with the soft material. “Here, my bard… Don’t cry, my love.” She hugged her and as she gently stroked her back, she said: “You know, Gabrielle, I’ve been thinking. What happened in Britannia was my fault,” Xena finally admitted as she moved back to gaze into the younger woman’s eyes. “I shouldn’t have left you behind as I was going into battle. If I hadn’t left you in that temple, you wouldn’t have killed Meridian… You wouldn’t have been raped. I’m so sorry, Gabrielle.” The warrior shook her head in sorrow. She was tenderly holding her girlfriend’s upper arms as the other woman placed her hands on her own to reciprocate the affectionate gesture. At the same time, they were looking deeply into each other’s eyes.

“It’s alright, Xena. I shouldn’t have killed Meridian. I shouldn’t have trusted Khrafstar.” The bard still looked quite dismal.

“Gabrielle, how could you have known who he really was? Oh, sweetheart, none of this was your fault! You killed Meridian because you were trying to save someone.” Xena softly rubbed the side of her younger lover’s face with the back of one hand as her other one resumed caressing the long blond hair. At the same time, she stared intensely into Gabrielle’s eyes. “As for what happened after that, you should not feel responsible for your own rape. By the gods, I would have killed him for raping you if he’d only been a mortal.”

“I know you would have, Xena… Gods, it hurt so much inside… I had never had anyone forcing anything into me before that happened… but when I was being suspended above that altar, in the midst of Dahak’s flames…” Gabrielle sniffed again. “… it felt so horrible. I wanted to die at that moment.”

“Oh, I’m so glad you made it, Gabrielle. I’m so glad you’re alive. I’m sorry you had to go through so much pain when he raped you. Come here.” She hugged her closely again. “It’s all going to be all right now. Everything’s going to be all right.”

The bard gently broke the hug to look at Xena again. “No, Xena, nothing is ever going to be the same and we have to live with it now… I’m just glad that we made our way back towards one another. I love you so much, warrior.” She stopped crying.

“I love you too, my sweet little bard. I’m glad too. I’d nearly lost you and I’m so glad you decided to make your way back home after you went to the temple of Mnemosyne today.”

Their mouths instantly joined as they kissed tenderly for a while. The kiss became slightly more heated as their tongues touched and entwined. Gabrielle started to moan against Xena’s lips and tongue.

“What is it, Gabrielle?” the Warrior Princess asked as she broke the kiss.

“I want you to love me, Xena, right now. Is that okay?” The blonde woman claimed her lover’s mouth again. She wanted to dispel the thought of Dahak penetrating her as far away from her memory as possible. She knew she could not completely do that but she wanted something else to keep her mind occupied right now. Her warrior making sweet love to her would be the right thing.

“Are you sure?” Xena asked, while alternatively brushing her lips to her younger lover’s and tasting her mouth.

“Yes, Xena. I don’t want to think about my rape anymore. I just want to be loved by you right now… I need your touch.”

“All right, my love… Come with me.”

The warrior took the bard’s hand into her own and stood up. Gabrielle rose with her. She gave Xena a small smile as the warrior led her to their bedroll. It had been placed in front of a tree not far away from the campfire, which was in the middle of that little clearing they had found at the heart of the woods earlier on as they had been walking together with Joxer after Xena had arrived.

“Lie down, sweetheart.” The smaller woman complied. Her taller lover took her gauntlets, armour plate and boots off before she went to lie down beside her on the blanket. Gabrielle just lay there, looking at the other woman.

Xena first took her younger lover’s boots off and chucked them aside. She then pulled at the laces of the blonde’s green top, opened it and revealed the familiar gorgeous breasts to her lustful gaze. The warrior then reached underneath the bard’s skirt, slid her hands up the smooth thighs and slowly removed the petite woman’s breeches. She pulled them down to Gabrielle’s ankles and then lifted her lover’s legs to fully take them off. Xena tossed her girlfriend’s undergarment to the side of the bedroll. She went to cover her younger lover’s body with her own as she intensely kissed her again while running a hand along one of the bard’s thighs.

They sometimes made love with some of their clothes still on, in case of an impending attack. They thus would be quickly prepared if they ever had to fight someone off. Still, the feeling of partially keeping their clothes on occasionally heightened their lovemaking. Gabrielle loved this and so did Xena. The bard would be able to feel the sleekness of the warrior’s dark outfit and the cold brass of her arm bands pressing against her skin as her older lover would be making love to her. Remaining partially dressed was a blissful way of spicing things up for both of them. The Warrior Princess simply kept the storyteller’s green upper garment open and had the younger woman’s breeches off so that she could have easy access to all the intimate parts of her smaller lover.

Xena leisurely ran her lips across Gabrielle’s neck. She kissed her way downwards and brushed her lips onto one of the bard’s nipples as she kneaded the doughy flesh of the other breast. The blonde woman closed her eyes, pleasantly moaned her dark-haired lover’s name several times as she totally surrendered to her touch. Xena’s long hair softly tickled her ribs as the warrior’s mouth took possession of each of her sensitive breasts –one at a time, suckling the nipples, licking around them, cupping the mounds with her hands, loving them, lavishing them with her tongue…

“Oh… Yes… Love me, Xena…”

It all felt so wonderful. They had slept together again quite a few times after the tragedies that had nearly separated them over the past year. They had made love intensely again especially after Xena had fought against a whole army of Persians and saved Gabrielle from a deadly poison. They both wanted to forget the misfortunes that had befallen them before that, by pretending they never happened. They both tried hard to compartmentalise their memories as much as possible inside their minds while making love. They wanted to remember only the good things that had gone on between them, not the bad ones, during those heated moments.

The Warrior Princess gently nipped at the bard’s silky skin as she moved her way down her lover’s body, savouring every inch of her lover’s abdomen and causing her girlfriend to utter more pleasure noises. When her mouth got near Gabrielle’s leather belt, she raised her head, lifted the younger woman’s skirt and put it on her belly. She delicately spread the blonde woman’s legs before placing them over her shoulders.

“Yes… Xena…”

Xena kissed the smoothness of each inner thigh, before softly nuzzling the golden curls of the bard’s triangle. She then used her fingers to spread the outer labia of Gabrielle’s sex and slowly glided the tip of her tongue on the area around the clitoris, which made her younger lover moan again in enjoyment.

“Gods… Xena… Yes… Love me…” The bard trembled in delight. She raised her hips to take more of her older lover’s oral ministrations. She also put her hands on the back of the dark-haired woman’s head, driving her closer to her need. Her warrior woman knew how to love her. That was for sure.

As Xena’s tongue unhurriedly carried on delving its way into the tender pinkish folds and delicate textures of Gabrielle’s centre, the warrior reached under her lover’s buttocks to give herself optimal access. She knew how much she loved it every time she tasted and savoured her younger lover’s precious flower. Its delicious scent and the sweet flavour of its nectar always felt so appetising to her. She sank her tongue inside the bard’s opening and moved it in and out of it for a while. The dark-haired woman then licked her way back up the blonde’s cleft and took the sensitive nub into her mouth. She alternatively sucked and stroked her tongue on the sensitive bundle of nerves.

Gabrielle’s vulva was now fully swollen with gratification as she kept arching her back off the bedroll. Feeling Xena vehemently pleasure her like this again, it did not take her long to reach climax and scream her lover’s name. “Ohh… Xeeenaaa!” She fell back onto the blanket beneath her, her body limp and spent.

The Warrior Princess licked the remainder of the bard’s honey-dewed essence before leaving a trail of loving kisses while on her way up her smaller lover’s body. She took her girlfriend’s mouth into a searing kiss. The storyteller felt the taste of her own excitement on Xena’s lips. The two lovers rested, kissing and cuddling for a quiet moment. After a while, the older woman started to speak.

“You are my beautiful little treasure, Gabrielle,” said the warrior, propped on one elbow and watching the supine woman next to her. At the same time, she leisurely caressed the curves of the bard’s voluptuous shape. She basked in the feel of her blonde lover’s satiny skin.

Gabrielle stared back at Xena, wanting to drown in the splendour of the dark-haired woman’s azure blue eyes. “And you are my magnificent warrior goddess.” She beamed and tenderly rubbed her taller woman’s shoulder and upper arm. “Xena, I want you to take me right now. Please do it like that time… just before you went to save Ulysses last year.”

“You mean like that day we did it in that barn?” Xena asked, remembering vividly the intimate moment they had both shared as she had made intense love to her bard up against a stable door.

“Exactly, Xena, that day before we headed for the sea. When we did it in that barn, it was so ardently spicy, my warrior. I’d totally loved it.” Gabrielle grinned.

“Are you sure this is what you want now, Gabrielle?” The warrior wondered. “I mean, this had happened some moons before…”

“Before all those awful things started,” the bard interrupted, “I know.” She gave her older lover a solemn look. “This is exactly why I want you to take me like that day, warrior. It was all so fiercely passionate between us. Also, apart from my wedding to Perdicus and the usual risks we took during our adventures, there had never been anything too serious or dreadful that had torn us apart from one another at that time.” Gabrielle sat up as she kept staring into the Warrior Princess’ eyes. “Oh, please take me, Xena… like that day, when you made love to me against that stable door.”

“Okay…” Xena warmly said, “if this is what you want, my bard.” She always gave her lover whatever the younger woman wanted in the bedroll. She rose to a kneeling position on the blanket. Gabrielle did the same. The dark-haired woman claimed the blonde’s mouth into a sizzling deep kiss. Their lips united and opened widely at the contact of each other as their tongues battled for control inside their mouths. The warrior then placed her hands onto the bard’s shoulders and gently turned her around. “Please go kneel in front of that tree there, my love,” the taller woman said, motioning to the large trunk that was just behind their bedroll as she tenderly kissed her lover’s neck.

Gabrielle went to kneel in front of the oak with her legs slightly apart and her thighs remaining in an upright position while she had her back to Xena, who had followed closely behind. The storyteller, with her skirt still encircling her hips and thighs, was still wearing her open green top. She fervently anticipated the sultry moment that was to come.

“You’re a bit overdressed, sweetheart,” Xena decided to merely remove her younger lover’s upper garment. She slid it down Gabrielle’s arms and tossed it aside. The Warrior Princess swiftly reached underneath her own battle skirt to take off her breeches, which she also chucked out of the way. Kneeling upright behind Gabrielle, she moved her lover’s long blond hair to the side of her neck and lovingly kissed the top of her back.

“Now, please, put your hands on the tree, Gabrielle,” the warrior softly commanded. “It will replace the barn door from that other time.”

The bard immediately placed both her hands on the tree before her. She felt an utterly thrilling shiver run down her spine as strong female hands reached around to knead her breasts. She could feel Xena’s leathers pressing against the skin of her back as the warrior softly nibbled her earlobe. “Xena… please… I crave your touch.”

Releasing one breast, Xena slid one of her hands down her lover’s belly. She then reached down to the front hem of Gabrielle’s skirt, pulled the garment up and put her hand into the heat of the blonde’s sex. “Hmmm… so wet, my bard.” Xena slid her fingers in between Gabrielle’s folds and started circling the area around the clit in a gentle way. With her free hand, she moved her fingers up to trace the bard’s lips and felt the storyteller passionately suck them into her mouth at once. They both groaned in arousal at the fierce intensity of this erotic moment.

“I’m going to take you now.”

“Oh… yes… Xena, please!” the bard groaned against the warrior’s fingertips, before sucking them again. She slightly bent forward while firmly holding the tree in front of her.

Her hand still on Gabrielle’s sex, Xena delicately pushed two fingers into the bard’s drenched entrance and stilled them in there for an instant. She removed her other hand from the blonde woman’s mouth and reached down to pull the back of her younger lover’s skirt over her hips, exposing Gabrielle’s sweet round cheeks. The warrior then lifted her battle skirt up, brought her fingers between her own sexual lips and parted them. She then stuck her soaked folds onto the bard’s plump rear. Her sodden centre’s contact to the silky skin of the bard’s butt cheek made her shudder in delight. She immediately began to move her fingers up and down inside Gabrielle while her free hand also reached around to cup one of the younger woman’s breasts again.

“Gods… yes… Xena!” The bard kept both her hands on the oak as she pushed herself back against the warm, wet flesh pressed against her backside. She tilted her head back into the warrior’s powerful, affectionate and seductive embrace –the feeling of her lover’s leather outfit near her back. Gabrielle freed one hand from the tree to reach around and grip her older lover’s firm ass, yanking her body closer to her own.

Xena rocked herself harder against Gabrielle’s cheek. She pushed further inside the blonde’s sex too, making her cry out her name again. The Warrior Princess came very quickly, from the rapturous friction of her clit against the bard’s delightful rear. “Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” Nevertheless, since her storyteller had not orgasmed yet, she carried on making love to her, thrusting deep inside her. She removed her other hand from Gabrielle’s breast to move it down towards her lover’s centre. She skilfully played with her little girlfriend’s clit as she suddenly changed her fingers’ motions inside the soaking wet cavity.

“By the gods… Xena…” Gabrielle had already put both hands back on the tree as she felt the warrior slow down and lightly curl the tips of her digits inside her. Xena’s fingers were now making careful but intense swirling movements against the hard spot within her while the taller woman’s other hand simultaneously massaged her sensitive button. The bard turned her head sideways and immediately felt the dark-haired woman lean down and briefly claim her lips. The warrior brought her over the edge in a few more heartbeats.

“Xeeenaaa!” Gabrielle then let Xena eagerly kiss the side of her neck as she dropped her hands onto her older lover’s forearms. She leaned back into the Warrior Princess’ strong embrace. They both stayed locked into this intensely intimate position. The torridly passionate connection lasted for another minute or so before the warrior withdrew her fingers, sucked them clean and gently carried the bard backwards until they both lay back down onto the bedroll.

Xena pulled a blanket over them both. She tenderly spooned in behind Gabrielle while stroking her sleek blond hair. The aftershocks of their glorious lovemaking were still rippling through both their bodies as they kept panting. After they rested for a short instant, the warrior woman softly spoke in her younger lover’s ear.

“I love you, my naughty little bard. You’re my beautiful little sunshine, Gabrielle.”

“I love you too, my warrior. Thanks for doing it in one of the ways we used to… before all that horrible stuff happened…” Gabrielle felt happy to have found a pleasant distraction that temporarily kept her mind off the fact that her bad memories were still there.

“No problem, my love. Now rest.” Xena kissed her younger lover’s cheekbone.

The Warrior Princess briefly got out of the bedroll to throw a few more chunks of wood in the nearby fire. Night was drawing near. She quickly checked on Argo and then went straight back to lie by the bard’s side between the blankets. They both entered the Land of Morpheus shortly afterwards, as soon as darkness fell over the woods.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the middle of the night, Gabrielle started growing more agitated in her sleep. The blonde woman lay on her back, a short little distance away from the warrior lying next to her. Xena lay curled up onto her side in a foetal position, facing her lover. The dark-haired woman was being absorbed into a deep, peaceful slumber and had her eyes tightly shut.

Tormented by a disturbing dream, the bard slowly turned her face from side to side as she was still asleep while one of her hands softly grasped at the cushiony material that supported her head. She started to emit barely audible whimpers of distress.

At the centre of the Amazon village, she was being carried in Joxer’s arms while she heard Xena looking for her while fighting a bunch of her Amazon sisters. The Warrior Princess suddenly arrived in front of her and Joxer. She called her lover’s name. Gabrielle could see the hateful, enraged look on Xena’s face staring at her. This was not her Xena, not the Xena who had always protected her and cared for her. Oh, no, this Xena was a completely different person. She hated her for having caused Solan’s death.

As Gabrielle jumped out of Joxer’s arms, she turned away and attempted to escape Xena’s fury. However, she abruptly felt the warrior’s harsh whip snag around her ankles, catching her and pulling her down. She fell onto the ground and briefly saw Xena quickly climb onto a horse. Then she felt herself being painfully dragged by the legs across some jarring ground which was painfully cutting her, battering her, tearing at her skin. She passed out…

“No, Xena… No… Don’t…” Gabrielle was uttering moans of scare and woe in her sleep.

Xena made her way out of the Land of Morpheus, as she subconsciously noticed that something was going on with her lover. The warrior’s sleep rapidly became shallower until she woke up to see the younger woman tossing and turning beside her. The storyteller kept stirring her body on the bedroll while having a nightmare.

“Gabrielle?” Xena, only half-awake, quietly said her girlfriend’s name. With one keen ear, she listened to the bard talk in her sleep.

“Xena, please… Don’t hurt me… No, don’t drag me behind that horse…” Gabrielle groaned, as she carried on having the haunting dream…

When she regained consciousness, Xena was trying to throw her off a cliff. She thwarted her by kicking her in the face. They both fell, and she stood up. She yelled her utter hatred at the Warrior Princess. She hated Xena for abusing her. She used to believe her older lover would never do such a thing. Wrath consumed her too. She hated Xena so much now. She angrily and violently ran towards her. She wanted to push her over the cliff…

“No, Xena… You shouldn’t hurt me… No…” As Gabrielle was now shaking her body from side to side, she sobbed in sorrow.

Xena, more awake now, immediately sat up and gently shook her lover to wake her up. “Hey, Gabrielle, wake up. Everything’s okay.” She tenderly caressed the side of her lover’s face. The bard opened her eyes and lightly jerked as she awoke at once.

“Huh!” The blonde woman gasped.

“Hey, hey, my bard!” Xena reached underneath Gabrielle and gingerly lifted her back to take her into her arms. “It’s okay, Gabrielle. Don’t worry. Everything’s alright.”

“Xena…” the bard murmured. As the Warrior Princess lovingly hugged her, Gabrielle affectionately put her hands on Xena’s shoulder blades. “I’m glad you’re here, my love.” Gabrielle did not want to tell the warrior about what she had just been dreaming of. It had felt all too real. It actually had really happened. Nonetheless, she did not want to think about this right now. It had felt so horrible, and she still loved Xena more than anything else.

Inside her mind at this precise moment, Gabrielle simply wanted to block out the hurtful memory of the abuse and attempted murder she had sustained at the hands of her lover. She wanted to blank this out as much as the other gruesome memories of, for instance, Xena holding her dead son in her arms or Gabrielle being herself responsible for Hope killing him. Moreover, the bard knew it had not been her true warrior lover harming her. Solan’s spirit had created Illusia, and that had sorted things out for both of them. Her cuts and bruises from being dragged behind a horse had disappeared, been washed off by the Waters of Illusia. Her Xena was not like that. Her Xena had fought against a whole army of Persians in her honour and had managed to prevent her death from a lethal poison. Her Xena was now cuddling and comforting her after this awful nightmare.

“Yes, I’m here, sweetheart.” The Warrior Princess kissed the top of the younger woman’s head and carefully laid her back down on the bedroll after she finished enfolding her into a warm, soothing embrace. She lay back down next to the bard and kindly placed an arm around her lover’s tummy. “Sleep now. You’ll be all right, Gabrielle. I’ll be watching over you. Even if I fall back into sleep, I’ll always keep an ear to perceive your every move.”

“Thank you, Xena.” Gabrielle closed her eyes.

Xena studied her blonde lover’s presently serene face as the younger woman drifted off to sleep again. She had not asked the storyteller what she had just been dreaming about because she knew exactly what it had been. Gabrielle had been dreaming about the day when the warrior had attacked her in a rage over the death of her son.

This was the first time the dark-haired woman had had to wake her girlfriend up from such a dream ever since they had come back from Illusia. Obviously, Xena had countless times listened to Gabrielle while her younger lover talked in her sleep. It was in this way that she was able to tell what her partner was dreaming of. She had also had to carefully wake her up from quite a few bad dreams lately, after all the dreadful events that had almost separated them. However, to the best of the warrior’s knowledge, the bard had not been having nightmares about the day Xena had dragged her behind a horse before tonight.

Judging from what she had heard the storyteller say in her sleep over the past moons, Gabrielle’s occasional bad dreams in the aftermath of their tragedies had mostly been about her first killing in the Temple of Dahak, the emotional conflicts that had ensued the birth of her daughter, Solan’s death and when she had had nearly committed suicide after poisoning Hope. Xena figured that Gabrielle probably had never had a nightmare about what the Warrior Princess had done to her three days after their children’s funerals before now.

The older woman let out a low sigh and shut her eyes. Gabrielle was bound to eventually dream about this after all. The warrior knew she would have never attacked her lover had she not been blinded by rage and hatred, even though her thoughts sometimes reminded her about the fact that she had done such a thing. But what counted now was that she and the bard had both returned safe and sound from the Land of Illusia. They had been reconciled by Solan’s love and concern for the two of them. Gabrielle’s injuries from the attack had miraculously vanished before she and Xena had gone back to reality. The warrior was thankful of Solan and Illusia for that.

What was important now to the Warrior Princess was that the bard apparently trusted her again. Keeping her eyes closed, Xena let the harmonious sound of crickets chirping in the woods gradually carry her back into the Land of Morpheus. Her mind was at rest, for now.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As the first light of dawn appeared through the trees, Gabrielle showed more signs of unease and disturbance in her sleep. While another dream still replayed the same horrendous event as in her latest nightmare, she shook her head from side to side and whined in distress while still having her eyes closed. Her recurring agitation woke Xena up.

“Gabrielle?” Xena called out, as soon as she opened her eyes and saw the bard stir and moan.

“No, Xena… No… Please don’t hurt me… No… You shouldn’t drag me behind a horse, Xena…”

“Gabrielle, I’m here,” said Xena, as she delicately roused her lover anew by tenderly moving her more closely towards her on the bedroll. “Everything’s okay.”

Gabrielle jerked awake and looked into the warrior’s eyes. She slightly gasped. “Xena…” She wrapped an arm around her partner as she silently stared on at the face of the woman lying next to her.

“Everything’s okay, my love,” replied Xena.

The storyteller remained quiet for another moment or so before fatigue overcame her again and she fell back asleep, thinking about her Xena being nice, soft and protective of her –unlike in this same haunting dream she had just had.

The Warrior Princess watched as the bard moved to lie onto her back again and drifted back into the Land of Morpheus. Xena did not like this. This was the second time in the same night that her lover had been dreaming of being attacked by her.

The taller woman turned her head to gaze up at the early daylight. The morning birds were already making a lot of noise out here. Although her younger lover had had no difficulty going back to sleep, the warrior had been made too nervous by this second abrupt awakening to be able to return to the Land of Morpheus right away. She could not help but only stare up into the pink-blue dawn sky and listen to the birds’ early morning chants while thinking about her partner’s latest nocturnal disturbances.

Why did Gabrielle have the same bad dream again? Had the bard not really forgiven her for what had happened three days after Solan’s funeral? It certainly did not look like it. Gabrielle still loved being around Xena just as much as ever before. They were still having heated lovemaking sessions, and last night her younger lover had even asked her to do it in just one of the ways they used to before all the horrible things they had had to go through. Moreover, Gabrielle sounded a lot quicker at blaming herself than blaming Xena when talking about the awful things that had happened between them. The warrior did not understand. Her lover’s cuts and bruises from being dragged had all disappeared after visiting the Land of Illusia, so why was the bard now having these nightmares about that day Xena had hurt her?

Anyway, the taller woman kept thinking, Gabrielle had never talked about being attacked by her ever since they had both made their way back from Illusia, and this was not the time for the Warrior Princess to start talking about this now –not now that everything was going to be fine between them again, or at least she hoped.

After spending a couple of candlemarks awake and thoughtful, Xena turned herself onto her side, her back to Gabrielle, and started sleeping again. She was still too tired to get up yet.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Another couple of candlemarks went by. Bright sunlight shone through the trees. Xena awoke from her unusually late morning sleep. She sat up on the bedroll and looked around her. Gabrielle was no longer lying beside her. The bard had managed to get out of bed before her, which was rare, but the warrior thought this was probably because she had had a little difficulty going back to sleep in the early candlemarks of the day, while the blonde woman had not.

Xena looked at the empty space beside her on the bedroll. Where had Gabrielle gone? Knowing that she would find out where if she searched the vicinity, the Warrior Princess put her boots on and got up. She briefly looked at how Argo was doing. Then she started walking through the forest. She strolled amidst the beautiful trees and green foliage, looking around, until she walked down a slope, a small soil path with a few scattered pebbles. She found another clearing down this way, with a cascade at its centre.

It was a very splendid landscape. The little waterfall descended from a succession of huge rock steps before flowing inside the stream at the bottom of this small valley in the middle of the woods. Xena approached the fresh, green grass that surrounded the water. She saw that Gabrielle’s clothes and boots had been left on the ground by the water’s edge. She looked towards the other side of the stream, at the undercutting of the rock that was behind the cascade. There seemed to be a small cave formation behind this waterfall. The Warrior Princess knew that the bard would be in there. Gabrielle loved to wash herself under cascades. Xena took off all she was wearing and started walking into the stream before her. She walked to the bottom of the waterfall that spilled ahead.

She hoped the bard would not be mentioning the dream, as she was planning herself to avoid bringing that up. She would not tell Gabrielle she knew what the nightmare had been about, not now anyway. This had disturbed her enough last night and this morning.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle had made her way down here one candlemark after Xena had gone back to sleep. She was now inside the little hollow of the rock behind the waterfall, letting the water from the back of the cascade shower her. She had just finished pampering herself with the soap she still held in one hand. The last thing she currently wanted to think about was the horrible reminiscent nightmare she had experienced twice last night. She kept pushing that dream away from her mind until it no longer came up into her conscious thoughts, at least temporarily.

It was not too dark in this little cave thanks to the light coming from the other side of the waterfall. The rippling surface of the water that was surrounding her threw bright little caustic reflections against the rocky wall inside this undercutting. The bard nevertheless kept her eyes closed under the noisy flow from above. She was too preoccupied on rinsing her hair to see or hear Xena coming.

The Warrior Princess quickly made her way to the other side of the falling water. What she saw as she got in there was so appetising to her sight. Gabrielle, with the water from the stream reaching her somewhere above the knees, was completely naked. The cascade flowed on her blonde head and down her slender, shapely and dainty figure. The younger woman had her eyes shut as she lifted her face up towards the falling water. The liquid slid down the sublime contours of her body, immersing the voluptuous smoothness of her skin while the bard absentmindedly caressed her own rib with a bar of soap.

Xena breathed in deeply at seeing her lover like this. She knew, judging from the loud sound of the water, that Gabrielle had not noticed her presence yet. She wanted to surprise her. She quietly walked around the blonde woman, until she got behind her under the cascade and tenderly wrapped her arms around her.

The bard did not jump when she felt well-toned arms encircle themselves around her ribs and abdomen. She already knew who it was. Her older lover gently pulled her backwards, a little away from the flowing water.

“Came in here without me, didn’t you?” Xena kissed the blond head.

“I did not want to disturb a warrior’s peaceful sleep.” Gabrielle smiled while she felt Xena’s breasts pressing against her back. She slightly turned her head to be able to kiss the dark-haired woman and felt the warrior’s lips cover hers. As the strong hands moved up to cup her breasts, she arched herself into the loving touch. Then she delicately took the Warrior Princess’ hands into her own and turned to face her lover. She immediately wrapped her own hands around Xena’s neck. They kissed again, as the warrior reached behind Gabrielle and briefly grasped her rear.

“There’s hardly anything in this world that equals your beauty,” Xena said, as their mouths slowly separated and she had now moved her hands lightly up the shorter woman’s back.

Gabrielle stared up into the taller woman’s azure blue eyes. “Huh! Been watchin’ me, haven’t you?” She smirked.

“Only for a few seconds…” The warrior gave her bard a charming and playful look. She leisurely stroked her long fingers along her younger lover’s spine.

“Well, now let me wash you.” Gabrielle kissed Xena a few more times on the mouth, as she started running to soap onto her lover’s muscles. Gabrielle took great care in cleaning the well-sculptured, magnificent bronze body before her. She went on to wash the warrior’s hair. The brunette went to rinse herself under the cascade and the blonde relished in the sight of water falling down Xena’s well-toned, superb frame.

As the older woman stopped showering herself, she moved away from the waterfall and walked back towards the bard. Gabrielle’s attention focused on the droplets of water that were trickling down the Warrior Princess strong female shape, ample bust and sleek skin. Xena had a few battle scars but she surely always displayed a constantly enticing beauty.

A torrent of excitement suddenly rushed through the storyteller’s body. She gazed up into Xena’s eyes again and mischievously grinned. “Okay. Now I want you, warrior; but I want to be able to take you on dry grounds.” She instantly took her taller lover’s hand and led her out of this hollow space. They made their way back to the other side of the cascade, into the lake.

Xena chuckled at the boldness of her younger companion as she followed her in their way back across the stream. They swam a little. Their clothes still lay on the perimeter just outside the water. Gabrielle tossed the soap on the grass, turned towards Xena and kissed her again.

“Now lie down, my warrior… please,” the bard requested, in a self-assured tone. Her blue-green eyes twinkled with gleeful anticipation.

“All right.” Xena chortled. She gave the shorter woman the slight half-smile her lover loved so much. The warrior woman complied and went to lie on her back, onto the green ground. Gabrielle immediately pounced on top of her like a little tigress. The brunette suppressed a laugh, as the alluring petite blonde looked down at her in a very lustful way.

“I’m going to make love to you, Xena. I love you so much.”

“I love you too. Yes, Gabrielle. Make love to me, please.” The Warrior Princess submitted herself to this precious moment. She had allowed the bard to gain control over their lovemaking on a slightly greater number of occasions than before, ever since they had been reconciled. Xena could see that, following the past year’s tragedies, Gabrielle was somehow becoming a much more grown up person and thus she was willing to give her a bit more opportunity to take the lead in the bedroll these days. Furthermore, after the misfortunes that had almost broken their relationship to pieces, Xena felt she might be becoming a much softer warrior than ever before, someone who simply wanted to occasionally give her younger lover a little more leeway during their intimate moments.

The warrior parted her lips as the bard’s mouth vigorously covered hers. Their tongues mingled together in sensuous motions. Gabrielle’s kiss lingered until she began moving lower, running her lips along Xena’s neck and chest. She cupped the older woman’s breasts, loving the feel of kneading those two sublime mounds, and started taking as much as she could of one of them into her mouth.

“Oh… Gabrielle…”

As the Warrior Princess observed the bard suckling onto one of her breasts while fondling her other one, a few straying thoughts started wandering inside Xena’s mind. Gabrielle was such a lovely little blonde bard. Xena could not help but feel only love and respect for such an admirable younger person –one who always loved her, supported her, adored her and treated her right. Gabrielle was the dearest thing to her in the whole world and she would never want to lose her. Suddenly, a particularly dark thought crossed the Warrior Princess’ mind as she saw the bard move to her other breast and felt the sweet tongue flicking around her other nipple. As Xena’s body enjoyed her lover’s ministrations, her mind wandered away towards a terrible thing she had done.

To think that one day not so long ago I was so enraged that I furiously rode into that Amazon village in an attempt to destroy Gabrielle. How could I? What if it had worked? What if I had been controlled by hatred and rage to the point that I would have managed to kill Gabrielle? I’d probably be wanting to die right now, if I hadn’t killed myself already. None of my life would ever have meaning without Gabrielle by my side. She’s the only light there is inside the whole temple of darkness that represents my life.

She did not know why she was thinking about those things at such an inconvenient moment, right in the middle of sharing intimate acts with her lover, but she could not help it after what she had heard Gabrielle say in her sleep last night and early this morning.

After her enjoyment in suckling Xena’s breasts, the blonde woman planted a few kisses onto the warrior’s belly. This awoke Xena from her dark thoughts. All she wanted right now was to see Gabrielle while the bard would be making love to her.

“Gabrielle.” She quickly reached down and carefully lifted her younger lover’s chin.

“What is it, Xena?” The storyteller gazed into the warrior woman’s face, surprised. “I thought you liked it when I…”

“I do, Gabrielle,” the warrior woman interrupted. “I love it very much… but right now I just want to be able to see you, sweetheart. Please.” She gave her a small, tender smile.

“Okay.” Gabrielle moved back up the taller woman’s body and looked down deeply into her eyes. Maybe something was perturbing her dark-haired partner, but she could not guess what it might be and thought the older woman was not going to tell her, not now anyway. “What do you want now, Xena?” she calmly asked, wanting to know what would pleasure her lover the most at this precise moment.

“I want you, Gabrielle… inside me, and I want to be able to see your face, to look into your eyes as you pleasure me. I need to see you make love to me right now.”

Xena’s seductive tone felt so pleasant to the bard’s ears. She pressed her breasts against the warrior’s as she lay on top of her lover, kissing her deeply again. The Warrior Princess revelled in the exquisite sensation of their nipples touching. She then felt Gabrielle move her body to straddle her strong thigh.

“Hmmm…” The smaller woman basked in feeling her drenched centre’s contact to her strong lover’s firm muscled leg. The bard rested one arm on the grass, by the side of Xena’s shoulder, as she brought her other hand to her older lover’s warm sex and began teasing the dark curls with the back of her knuckles.

“Oh, yes, Gabrielle… Please… Take me…” Xena parted her legs wider, pushing the muscles of her thigh more tightly against the blonde woman’s centre in the process.

“Oh… Xena…” Gabrielle raised her upper body by shifting her forearm upwards while leaving the palm of her hand against the smooth verdure underneath. She looked into the brunette’s piercing blue eyes. Meanwhile, the fingertips of her other hand slid in between Xena’s folds to find some heated wetness there. Gabrielle pleasingly tickled the warrior’s clit before sliding her fingers further down between the tender lips and slipping two digits inside the soaking wet cavern. Its sleek walls squeezed tightly around her fingers as she moved them back and forth inside her older lover.

The bard simultaneously rubbed herself energetically against Xena’s muscular thigh. She kept invading the Warrior Princess’ hot and welcoming depths while gazing down at the magnificent creature she was making love to. She loved mounting Xena.  To Gabrielle, it always felt so delightful to see when the warrior was being conquered by her touch. As Xena was now willingly opening herself again to her deep thrusts, the blonde woman felt even more excited.

“Gabrielle… By the gods… I love feeling you inside me… Oh… Yes… Make love to me, my bard…” Xena had one of her hands gripping at the small of Gabrielle’s back while the bard continued making love to her at a rhythm she found pleasurable. The warrior curled her other hand into a fist as her fingers pulled at a bunch of grass from the green ground next to her. She let out moans of ecstasy as her younger lover’s thumb started pushing against her engorged nub and one more finger entered her. She kept staring up into the sea-green eyes as Gabrielle kept penetrating her with all her love.

“Yes… Gabrielle…” The warrior’s eyes were completely absorbed in the glorious sight of the bard as they moved to follow the exquisite features, dangling damp strands of hair and creamy skin of the woman above her. The beauty of Gabrielle utterly fascinated her. While the lovemaking carried on pleasuring her physically, Xena’s mind drifted away again.

I can’t live without her. I couldn’t ever bear the thought of losing Gabrielle. I’ve always loved the feel of her skin pressing against mine, the sight of her gorgeous face, her wonderful ways of looking at me with her cheerful eyes, the touch from her hands while she makes love to me… Oh so many things… I also love the way she speaks to me, loves me, listens to me, tells me stories, supports me through hard times… She’s my only hope in this new, post-warlord life, my only hope. Have could have I ever wanted to destroy her? I’m supposed to protect her. Why did she have that dream last night? Does she wish she’d lost that particular memory at the Temple of Mnemosyne yesterday? Gods… She’s so beautiful, a precious gift that was given to me, really…

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” Xena abruptly screamed. An intense orgasm roused her from her wandering thoughts.

Gabrielle removed her fingers from Xena’s centre and eagerly sucked the wetness off from them. She then had both her hands positioned on either side of the warrior’s body as she resumed the grinding of her clit against the taller woman’s muscular thigh. “Oh… Gods… Uh… Xena…” She kept gazing down at her beautiful Warrior Princess.

Xena grabbed the bard’s rear with both hands as she helped with the friction by moving the muscles of her leg against Gabrielle’s wet folds. She always felt great joy at feeling up her younger lover’s backside. The luscious essence coming from the blonde’s sex trickled down the skin of her thigh.

“Xeeenaaa!” Gabrielle came and the weight of her body dropped onto Xena. The warrior moved her hands up to envelop the bard’s back, hugging her into a tight embrace. They kissed and exchanged words of love while the incredibly gratifying aftershocks of their lovemaking still reverberated wonderfully inside their heads. They always experienced the agreeable post-orgasmic feeling that came right after their soul-uniting intimacy in this way. It was as if a swarm of colourful butterflies had just been flying through their skulls.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

During the following three candlemarks, the two lovers had walked back up towards their current campsite, had both gotten themselves completely dressed, had brushed and dried their hair under the sunlight, had found something for their meal and had cooked their lunch. Gabrielle still was not particularly hungry so she only took a small portion of food in her plate.

They had nearly finished eating and were now chewing on some berries for dessert when, in the beginning of this sunny afternoon, a Greek Amazon approached their site in the middle of the woods. She stopped walking when she was only twenty feet away from where Xena and Gabrielle were sitting.

“Queen Gabrielle?” She made the Amazon peace sign, which was instantly reciprocated by Gabrielle. The Amazon had thick and straight red hair with some of its streaks styled in small braids and tied towards the back of her head. She was dressed in a brownish-red outfit that consisted of a short leather skirt and a sleeveless top that supported her bust. In one hand, she vertically held a long spear, which was her weapon in case of an impending attack.

“What is it, sister?” The bard quietly and respectfully asked. She could not remember that particular Amazon. “What is your name?”

“My name is Gaiane, my queen. I come from the village of Ephiny, who is being our queen during your absence, as you already know. She asked me to come find you in order to deliver you a message from her.” Gaiane smiled at the blonde woman. She kept talking: “Sweet Artemis, it took me weeks to find you, my queen! I’ve been looking all over quite a few areas in Greece before I came upon a nearby village where I met a male friend of yours who told me where to find you, and so here I am.”

“Was it Joxer who told you where to find me, Gaiane?” It would normally have felt a little odd to Gabrielle that the Amazon messenger had not even bothered greeting Xena or at least acknowledged her presence, but considering that the Warrior Princess had stormed on horseback into their village the last time they saw her, the storyteller understood why Gaiane had not. Xena just remained seated beside the bard, keeping silent.

“Yes, he said his name was Joxer, my queen.”

“All right.” Gabrielle got her mind prepared concerning whatever unpleasant thing the other Amazon might end up mentioning. “What is your message from Ephiny?”

“Can I please speak to you privately for a few moments, my queen?” The messenger felt somehow troubled by the Warrior Princess’ presence. After all, that was the woman who had violently ridden into their village, attacked them and attempted to murder their queen only a few moons ago. She wanted to talk solely to Gabrielle.

The bard turned towards her dark-haired companion. “Xena, it will take only a few minutes. Sorry, I will have to go speak to Gaiane alone,” she murmured.

“Sure, go ahead,” Xena replied, in barely a whisper. Her face was neutral, unsmiling.

Gabrielle stood up and walked towards Gaiane. The two Amazons walked further into the forest, some distance away from the campsite and Xena. They stopped by some bushes and trees and stared at each other.

“So… What is it, Gaiane? What message does Ephiny have for me?”

“I’ll tell you now, my queen. At the latest Amazon Council meeting in our village, the leaders of our tribe reached a decision…” The messenger paused. She cleared her throat. “…regarding what your partner, Xena, did…” She hesitated a few seconds. “… on the day we saw her dragging you behind a horse. Huh… How have your scars healed, my queen?” Gaiane wondered. “Was it difficult?” She looked up and down the blonde’s body and it felt very strange to her not being able to see even the remnant of a scar from a deep cut.

“Er…” The abhorrent thought of Xena assailing her abruptly crossed Gabrielle’s mind and she briefly shuddered. This particular event had never been mentioned directly to her before today. “It’s a long story, Gaiane. My scars got washed away in sacred waters, I think. Xena and I have made up since. Everything is all right now.” Gabrielle gave her a reassuring nod. “So, please, can you tell me now what the Council decided?”

“Xena is barred from entering Greek Amazon territory for one year. Should Xena ever attempt to enter any of our villages during that period of time, she would be brought to trial and could be executed. Ephiny said it really was the least harsh decision they could make, considering the letter you’d sent her to say you were doing fine.”

The bard remembered she had paid a professional messenger to carry a letter to her Amazon village not long after she had come back from Illusia with Xena. She had wanted Ephiny and her tribe to know that she was alive and well and that the Warrior Princess had not been her real self on the day of the attack. “So Xena is not allowed to visit any Amazon village for one year? Is that all?”

“Well, in Greece, at least. That’s right. It was the most considerate penalty, my queen. The council also took the fact that Xena had just lost her son into account.”

“Thank you, Gaiane. I’m truly sorry about what happened at the Amazon village the last time I was there.”

“You don’t have to be, my queen. It wasn’t your fault. This temporary ban on Xena is mainly because she attacked us and injured Ephiny’s arm before abducting you, wounding you. I’m just so glad to see you’re fine and you don’t even seem to have any scar, Queen Gabrielle.”

“I’m okay. How is Ephiny’s arm?” Gabrielle worried.

“It’s fully healed now. She’s fully recovered, my queen,” Gaiane assured her. “I’m gonna have to go soon now that I’ve delivered you her message. I’m sorry, my queen. It will take so many days of travel for me to get back home. And I miss my lover Charis, who had to stay in our village because of different Amazon duties that were assigned to her.”

“I understand, Gaiane.” The bard sympathetically grinned at her.

“Thank you, my queen.” The Amazon messenger bowed in respect. “I’d just like to say a few more things before I go.”

“Yes, what are they?”

“Queen Gabrielle, please remember that, while Xena is temporarily barred from entering the lands we own, you are not, and you never will be. We’ll welcome you anytime, my queen, if you decide to come and see us without the Warrior Princess.”

“Thank you very much, Gaiane, but I think I’d rather return there in a year’s time. I don’t usually go on a trip anywhere without Xena by my side. I’m sorry.” Gabrielle gave her a look of apology.

“Ephiny is not going to like this, my queen.” Gaiane’s expression displayed a tinge of sadness. “She kept wondering, after receiving your letter, how you can still remain with your partner after what she did to you.”

The storyteller sighed. Some degree of annoyance overtook her. “Gaiane… there is nothing that can separate Xena and I. We’re just simply meant to be together. Besides, all my physical wounds miraculously healed after that awful event.”

“But what about your mental wounds, my queen? Are they really gone too after what happened that day?”

The bard paused to think about the painful dream she had just experienced twice in the same night. It was a very unwelcome thought and she immediately tried to shake it off from her mind. “I know that she was not herself that day, Gaiane,” Gabrielle slightly raised her voice at the Amazon messenger. “She was being trapped in a state of rage over the death of her son!”

“I understand that, my queen.” Gaiane accepted that there would be no point in pressing the issue further. She already knew that Gabrielle loved Xena more than anyone else on earth. She simply gazed at the bard with some empathy and concern showing in her eyes. “I’m sorry, Queen Gabrielle. I just hope for you that such a thing will never happen again.”

“It won’t, Gaiane,” Gabrielle simply said. Her tone was now quieter.

“Goodbye, Queen Gabrielle. I hope that, someday, you’ll come and visit us again.” The Amazon messenger bowed anew.

“I will. Don’t worry. Goodbye, Gaiane. Tell Ephiny I will be glad to see her again, next year.” The blonde woman bowed her goodbye to the messenger.

“No problem, my queen.” Gaiane turned and started to walk away. Gabrielle watched her leave until she was no longer in sight. The storyteller then began making her way back to her campsite, towards her lover.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena was still sitting on the blanket after she’d eaten all the berries and could see Gabrielle walk back towards her. She figured the Amazon messenger must have left. She did not like the fact that she had come to disturb their peaceful day. The warrior had not needed to go spy on the conversation, even though she had been able to make out the sound of Gabrielle somewhat raising her voice back there.

Considering what she had done the last time she had gone to the Amazons’ village, the warrior had known exactly what Gaiane had been talking about. What she did not know was what the Amazons wanted to do about it, but she trusted that Gabrielle would tell her what Ephiny’s message had been. Xena felt a bit anxious inside, but she still kindly smiled at her younger lover as she saw her approaching.

The bard went to sit back down next to the warrior. Her long golden hair brightly shone under the afternoon sunlight. “You ate all the berries.”

Xena looked at the empty wooden fruit bowl she had put down on the grass and moved her eyes back up towards Gabrielle. “Yeah… Huh… I’m sorry, sweetheart. I was very hungry,” the Warrior Princess said, a little sheepishly. She regretted having consumed all the berries out of nervousness.

“It’s all right, Xena.” Gabrielle gave her a small grin and shrugged.

“So… What was the message Gaiane had to deliver you?” the dark-haired woman carefully asked.

“Do you really want to know, Xena?” The blonde woman stared solemnly into the silvery azure eyes of her taller lover. “’Cause if I tell you, I might bring some things up you may not want me to.”

“I don’t care, Gabrielle. Go ahead. Tell me what the Amazons have decided for my case?”

The storyteller softly breathed. “Well, after taking into account all of the facts that preceded and followed your attack, including the anger over the death of your child and the fact that I’m still alive, they agreed to only impose a temporary ban of your presence in all the Greek Amazon territory. You are not to enter any of their villages for a whole year. If you do, further actions will be taken under Amazon Law. That’s basically what Gaiane said.”

“Is that all?” The warrior woman could only blink.

“Yes, that’s all, Xena.”

“Fine, then.”  Xena calmly shrugged. “I’ll just avoid going into their lands for a year. Will you still go visit the Amazons since you’re their queen?”

Gabrielle shook her head. “I don’t think so, Xena. I always travel with you, and if you’re not welcome there, well… Ephiny will make a perfect queen in my absence. I’ll go and see them again in one year’s time, with you.” A brief smile showed itself across the bard’s features.

“Are you sure this is what you want? I don’t want to keep you away from your tribe, Gabrielle.”

“Xena, you’re not keeping me away from them. This is my choice, what I have decided. I don’t want us to get separated on our travels. I’m sure of it,” the storyteller asserted.

“All right.” Xena nodded.

There was a moment of silence. Gabrielle turned her head away from her partner to look down absentmindedly at the ground. She just sat there with a detached expression on her face. Some of the things Gaiane had just said to her had unexpectedly brought some disquiet within her mind, and talking with her lover about the Amazon decision over Xena’s terrible actions after their children’s funerals had not helped. It kept reminding her of the dreadful event she kept trying to rid her mind of.

Xena pouted her lips and lowered her head. She thought for a moment about the nightmare that she knew Gabrielle had. She still did not really want to bring that up but now, after the Amazon messenger had come out of the blue, she thought she could ask her lover a few questions. The warrior felt a bit worried about what the bard might be thinking now that a consequence of what she had done had suddenly emerged, especially because it was the first time such a thing was being brought up ever since they had come back from the Land of Illusia. She looked back up at the younger woman. “Gabrielle…”

“Yes, Xena?”

“Sweetheart… I know we got reconciled with the help of Solan’s spirit in Illusia. I also know you’ve been telling me many times that we’re meant to be together but…” The Warrior Princess hesitated. “I really need to know something right now, regarding what I did last time I was at the Amazon village.”

“What is it, Xena?” Gabrielle suddenly began jittering at the vivid memory of her abuse at the hands of her older lover, which had oddly come up in her dreams during the past night. The bard did not mean to feel so nervous but she just did.

“Well, Gabrielle, I’ve got to admit I’ve heard you talking in your sleep last night, again, and I was wondering…” This felt incredibly difficult for Xena to talk about these things, especially as she noticed the shorter woman shaking. She carried on anyway. “Are you sometimes scared of being with me after what I did to you? I mean, I know your cuts and bruises miraculously disappeared, but… I just need to know how you really feel, deep down, about remembering this.”

“Well…” The bard kept feeling tense. She was still not making eye contact. “I love you more than anything, Xena… It’s just that… I kept having this horrible dream last night.”

“That’s my point, Gabrielle. I know this. I heard what you said in your sleep,” the dark-haired woman stated in a mild and cautious tone. “Now I just need to know, why do you think you were having this nightmare? Do you wish you’d lost that particular memory at the Temple of Mnemosyne yesterday?” The brunette softly placed her hand onto the blonde’s upper arm, but Gabrielle instantly jumped at the touch. Xena removed her hand.

“Huh… I don’t know, Xena…” The younger woman’s heart was beating fast in her chest and her breathing accelerated. She did not want to feel like this but it just happened to be the case. She looked back towards the warrior, still trembling at unwelcome thoughts she had no control over. “Er… Would you just let me go for a walk just for a couple of hours, my love, please?” There seemed to be a smattering of apprehension in the storyteller’s voice. “I just need to go think on my own. I’ll get back to you on your questions later on, I promise.”

“Sure, my love,” the Warrior Princess resolved to let her go so that she could think about it. She did not want to lose Gabrielle but she also felt unsettled by the bard’s latest reaction to her touch. She wanted to give her younger lover what she needed, so that everything could then perhaps be all right again.

The shorter woman stood up and started walking into the woods. She fleetingly stopped when she heard Xena call from behind her: “Gabrielle?”


“I’m sorry if I ever mentioned anything you didn’t want me to.” The warrior woman remained seated, looking up at the back of the blond head. “You know, Gabrielle… if you secretly wanted to leave me, because you somehow don’t feel safe around me, you know you could.” Xena gasped at the thought of Gabrielle leaving her, but she always cared about the bard’s well-being. “I love you, Gabrielle, and I don’t want you to feel like you haven’t got the freedom to just go.”

Gabrielle sighed. She still did not turn to look at the Warrior princess. “I am not leaving you, Xena. I just need to be alone for a while, so I can hope to find out what can possibly be going on in my head.”

“Okay,” Xena simply replied. She watched as her blonde lover peacefully resumed her stroll into the huge forest. She surely did not like to see Gabrielle walking away.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The bard wandered aimlessly among the trees and the bushes for one candlemark or so. She had traversed a great part of the woods and was now a long distance away from the campsite when she found a very small rock. It lay somewhere between a couple of large oaks. She decided to sit there, just to concentrate and think. Gabrielle started replaying today’s and other events in her mind. She felt more relaxed and could finally breathe now that she was alone. She realised there was something ugly she could no longer attempt to block out from her mind, not after Gaiane had mentioned it and certainly not after Xena had as well.

What is happening in my head? I love Xena. I want to be in this relationship with my best friend more than anything. We’ve even been making love in ardently passionate ways ever since we got back together again, even more so after she vanquished a whole army in my honour and saved me from that poison. I’m so incredibly in love with her. I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I fully understood that she was not being herself during what she’d done to me after Solan’s death. The miracle of Illusia cleaned off my wounds. My physical injuries were no longer visible. So why exactly did I have the same nightmare twice last night? Why did I feel so anxious when Gaiane and, especially, Xena were trying to talk to me about it? What’s going on? Am I afraid of something?

Then, suddenly, it hit her. Something had been shattered to pieces on the day Xena had dragged her behind a horse. She had been so used to believing that Xena would never physically assault her prior to that. She had always known there was this ‘fine line’ that existed within Xena between her dark side and the better part of the Warrior Princess, but Gabrielle had always thought she was able to control the dark side of her lover, to tame the beast within. She had always felt secure in Xena’s arms before that murder attempt. Even during some of their heated lovemaking sessions, Gabrielle had pleasurably noticed that the warrior could use her wild side in a safe and positive way, one that did not hurt. After the abuse, the bard had been able to feel safe again in the taller woman’s arms only insofar as she had managed to mentally shut down this particular memory. It had been so painful that it had had to be dissociated from her conscious mind as much as it could be.

Gabrielle understood why she had been dreaming of what happened all over again last night. In the realm of Morpheus, the subconscious mind operated freely. Before the past night, most of her nightmares had been about Hope, the loss of her blood innocence or when she had wanted to take her own life after feeling responsible for Solan’s death. However, this new nightmare, about what Xena had done to her after three days following the funerals of their children, was bound to arise at some point while she was asleep. There had been no escaping it.

Yet the bard had still been able to keep that dream away from her thoughts this morning, when she had made love to her lover. Nonetheless, later, when Gaiane had come to see her and brought the same unwanted thought of Xena dragging her behind a horse up, some very unexpected feelings of underlying fear and unease had rushed through her. If only the Amazon messenger had not shown up.

… what about your mental wounds, my queen?

Now there was no more denying it: all the suffering, all the torment this particular event had caused. Her physical wounds might have vanished very fast and the Land of Illusia might have saved her loving relationship with Xena, but still… All the pain from this and other recent events was still present and it would probably take more than a little while for her to heal from this. Gabrielle already felt like a different person, a more mature one, one who knew that she could not take everything for granted.

Do you wish you’d lost that particular memory at the Temple of Mnemosyne yesterday?

She remembered the Temple of the Goddess of Memory. Yes, this had somehow been one of her underlying goals to lose that particular memory, along with the memories of her rape, Hope, Solan’s death and especially her guilt. She knew she had made the right choice in keeping her memories but some of the agony remained. Why did she have the terrible thought of her lover abusing her seep through her dreams? She knew the Warrior Princess had been overcome by a state of rage when she had attacked her. Xena had not been herself. She had forgiven her the hate while they had been in Illusia. It had not been her Xena doing this, so what was she afraid of?

Well, now since she knew that she was not able to keep Xena’s dark side completely under her control, what proof did she have that such a thing would not happen again if the warrior were to be overtaken by some wrath all over again? She had none, but she still wanted to be with Xena.

The Warrior Princess had almost always felt like a protector to her, not an abuser. She needed to get rid of this newly found psychological conflict within herself. Perhaps trying to have a good communication with her lover might help. She would never dare bring that up herself, but if Xena wanted to talk she should not shun the subject so maybe they could both attempt to work things out since the two of them really loved each other. Moreover, the storyteller did not want to be afraid of her partner, not even subconsciously.

Gabrielle rose from the rock she had been using as a seat. She looked around her. Then suddenly she realised that she had left her fighting staff at the campsite. She had been so overwhelmed with those troublesome thoughts that she had forgotten her only weapon. By the Gods, how could she have been so distracted? It was a real warlord jungle out here. Somebody evil could pop up anytime within a large forest like this one, and Xena had always told her, countless times, not to forget to take her staff whenever she was going somewhere. The bard started walking back towards the campsite. There was going to be quite a few moments that would pass before she would be able to reach it however, as she had wandered for such a large distance from where the Warrior Princess was in those woods.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena stood beside Argo. She was brushing the mare’s mane and body. The animal whinnied in approval. She always liked being brushed by her mistress. The warrior was still absorbed in thought. She was very unhappy Gabrielle had left the site the way she had, and she was surprised that her mere touch had startled the younger woman. Xena figured she should not have mentioned the fact that she knew about the dream. That had probably been a bad idea. She hoped her bard would come back soon. She deeply regretted everything she had done that had hurt her lover and best friend, particularly dragging her behind a horse.

How could have I ever attempted to kill my own guardian angel? She always keeps me on the right path. Ares… that bastard! I should have never listened to him.

The dark-haired woman gently patted on Argo and went to put the brush back into one of the saddlebags. She then walked nervously and without purpose around the spot where the burned out wood from today’s cooking fire was. As she absentmindedly looked around the campsite, her eyes happened to fall upon a nearby tree. She stopped instantly and focused her attention on the object that lay on the ground next to it. It was Gabrielle’s staff. Xena made her way towards it and grabbed her lover’s weapon. She stared at it, wide-eyed.

Gods… she forgot her staff! Oh no, it’s my fault. I shouldn’t have annoyed her with all those questions and insecurities of mine. She would have remembered to take her weapon before she went for a walk. By the gods, I’ve got to go find her.

The Warrior Princess kept the staff in her hand as she ran away to go try to find the bard. She hoped that nobody had already attempted to cause trouble to her Gabrielle.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was almost a quarter of a candlemark after the blonde woman had began making the first steps back towards the campsite. She was trying to walk fast but the forest ground was sometimes treacherous with all its small mounds of earth and little heaps of plants with occasional broken branches lying around. She did not want to end up falling. She could not help feeling tense right now.

As she turned around a corner, Gabrielle knew that she was no longer alone. A man who looked like a lone marauder was walking in the opposite direction from her, fifty feet ahead. She began struggling to reassure herself inside her mind.

Relax, Gabrielle. You can handle it. Just try to act normal.

The bard said nothing. She just kept walking. If she were going to attempt to flee, she feared that might cause an unwanted reaction from the man who carried on approaching. He was dressed in dark brown leather clothes with a succession of small silvery metal plates covering each side of his upper garment. His somewhat unkempt dark hair fell by his shoulders. As he was sauntering across this path, he seemed to be gazing towards her in an eerie way.

Gabrielle did not know of another way to get back towards where her lover was. She did not want to get lost within those woods. However, she realised even more as he now was getting very close that she really did not want to risk an attack.

She suddenly changed her mind and chose to turn right. She found herself in the middle of another large bunch of trees. She undertook a few strides to see if she could get a little further away from the path she had just been on, away from that stranger. A few seconds later, she heard some quick footsteps drawing near where she was. She started running.

How in Hades could I forget that staff? Oh I really wish Xena was here.

As she continued to run, the blonde woman, all of a sudden, got one foot caught in one of the roots that rested at the bottom of a tree. She fell forward onto the ground and swiftly rolled herself over only to see the marauder now being too close for her to get the chance to leave. He held a dagger in his hand as he ran towards her. He was so athletic and muscular that it only took a few heartbeats for him to reach her position. For a mortal, that lone marauder had probably nearly as much strength as Xena.

As she was trying to stand back up, he abruptly pushed her back down. Scared, she screamed in alarm: “Xenaaaaaaaaa!” Her loud shriek echoed through the large forest. Gabrielle lay on the grass, her back onto the cool verdure beneath. The fall had not caused her much harm but she was terrified.

“Shut up and stay on the ground, little beauty.” The marauder cruelly sneered down at her in an incredibly chilling way, as he knelt down while pointing the sharp blade of his weapon at her. “I won’t hurt you if you cooperate. Open your legs!” He seized one of her wrists as he closely watched her.

The bard felt intensely frightened. She reluctantly started to do what he was asking her to. She wished she could figure out a way of kicking or hitting him. Without her staff, her chances of defending herself against such a strong man were scarce. He was such a big warlord, and she did not have Xena’s fighting skills.

But Xena is going to come and save me now, isn’t she? She must have heard my scream for help. Oh, how could I get myself into this mess?

The attacker spread Gabrielle’s legs wider and moved himself between them. Hovering above her, the man caught her other wrist and gathered both of them tightly into one of his hands. His other hand took the coil of a thin rope that had been hanging by his belt. He immediately unrolled it and tied both of the young woman’s hands with it. He placed them above her head. By tying her up, he was making her chances to fight him even scarcer.

“Please… No… Don’t do this,” Gabrielle agonisingly begged in a low voice. She sobbed. She was petrified. This moment reminded her so harrowingly of when she had been suspended above that altar in the Temple of Dahak, and the evil thing had abruptly thrust into her, except that this time this was going to be a human raping her. Her hands frantically shook within their bindings.

Oh no… Gods, please, tell me this is not happening again. Xena, come quickly, please.

“Be quiet, woman!” He lifted her skirt over her belly and cut the sides of her breeches with his dagger. He then removed the piece of fabric and threw it aside. He put the blade of the knife under the laces of her green top and ripped it open.

Gabrielle felt dreadfully exposed against her will. What she was experiencing was so ghastly and repulsive. Yet she did not know what to do. She cried and moaned in despair when he started touching one of her breasts. “No… Please… No.” Having her bosom kneaded by someone who was not her lover felt utterly horrible.

Xena, please come and save me.

“I told you to shut up, little bitch!” he growled and slapped her across the face, which hurt her and reddened her cheek. That man was now kneeling between her legs and holding his dagger a little higher above her supine body. He was just about to unbuckle his trousers with his free hand when a round, circular object suddenly struck his knife away from him.

“Ayiayiayiayiayi!” The familiar war cry made itself heard in the middle of the woods. Xena caught her chakram as it flew back around towards her while she was standing between two trees, thirty-three feet away. The Warrior Princess then performed a forward flip that brought her closer.

Still on the ground with her hands tied up, Gabrielle tried to get away from the marauder by shifting her legs. As he attempted to catch her again, the bard had one leg underneath him and raised her knee in a swift upward motion, hitting his crotch and making him yell. This was instantly followed by a violent kick from Xena onto his shoulder, which threw him backwards onto the grass. All this happened within the span of a few mere seconds.

“Get up, you bastard!” Xena roughly grabbed him by the vest.

“Xena! I’m so glad you came,” Gabrielle said in a grateful voice, still sweating from the recent fright while looking towards her beloved warrior. “Please, untie me.” She managed to get back upon her feet with difficulty, since she could not separate her hands.

“Are you okay, sweetheart?” Still holding the marauder in one strong hand, the Warrior Princess made her way towards the bard and quickly used her chakram to carefully cut the rope that bound her lover’s hands.

“I am. Thank you, Xena.” Gabrielle, still breathing fast, shook the remnants of the bind away from her wrists. With one hand, she quickly proceeded to hold her green top shut. There would be some spare laces in one of the saddlebags back at the campsite. She went to pick her torn breeches up from the ground with her other hand. It was unfortunate she could not put them back on.

The bard watched as Xena firmly gripped the man and pushed him with force, slamming his back against a tree. He snarled in pain as the Warrior Princess stood in front of him. Xena rapidly jabbed her fingers at two pressure points on the marauder’s neck. He uttered a groan that got stifled by his immobilisation.

“You’ve got about thirty seconds to apologise to my friend. Tell her you’re sorry for trying to rape her.” She pulled him by the hair to make him look at Gabrielle.

“Argh… I’m sorry… for trying… to rape you,” he forced himself to say, between low growls.

The blonde woman watched with worry as her lover seemed to be taking great pleasure in hurting him. “It’s okay, Xena. Take the pinch off him, please.”

The dark-haired woman pressed the same points on the man’s throat to remove the pinch. He put a hand onto his neck as he tried to catch his breath. Xena pulled her sword out of its sheath and pointed it at him. “I should just kill bastards like you,” she said as she gazed at him with scorn. “How dare you try to rape my best friend, huh? You like treating women like pieces of meat, don’t you? Son of a Bacchae!”

Gabrielle could see her partner was very angry. “Xena, please don’t kill him. He did not get the chance to do anything,” she said, still holding her green top shut and clasping her ripped underwear in one hand.

Still keeping her weapon near the marauder, Xena looked at Gabrielle. “But what tells us that he’s not gonna try to do this again, to someone else?”

“I don’t know, Xena.” The bard had no idea of what to say. Her blue-green eyes were still wet with tears from her attack. Her cheeks were bright red and one had been slapped. She was firmly grasping onto her tattered breeches. It felt incredibly hurtful to the warrior seeing her like this.

While Xena was distracted staring at her girlfriend, the man kicked the sword out of her hand, a move that the Warrior Princess had not anticipated. He was a strong and quick bastard. He slapped the warrior with the back of his hand as she turned back towards him. Xena then roughly punched him in the jaw, making him bleed. He was then quick and strong enough to kick the tall woman’s abdomen in retaliation. This threw her onto the ground.

The marauder got another dagger out of his bootleg and angrily lunged towards Gabrielle. The blonde woman gasped and attempted to run. Xena swiftly got up, grabbed her sword, scampered towards the man and plunged her blade into his back, impaling him just as he was brandishing his knife and was about to stab her younger lover. He let out a loud cry as the long weapon rammed into his heart and the bloodied blade came out of his chest. A few drops of blood splattered onto Gabrielle’s clothes and skin. The man whimpered and died, dropping his dagger.

Xena removed her sword from the marauder’s body, and the weight of his corpse fell on the ground. The Warrior Princess replaced the blade into its scabbard on her back. She would have to clean her weapon tonight; that was for sure. She went to Gabrielle. Panting, she placed a hand onto the bard’s shoulder.

“Are you all right?”

“Yeah.” The storyteller breathed deeply.

“I’m sorry, Gabrielle. I wasn’t sure if I was going to kill him, but then he came at you real fast.”

“It’s all right, Xena. That way we know for sure he won’t ever try to rape another woman again.” Gabrielle’s face was unsmiling.

“Come here, Gabrielle.” Xena hugged her for a short moment. “Let’s go home.” She then wrapped an arm around the bard’s shoulders and they both walked back towards the path the younger woman had tried to take earlier. “Here, I’ve got your staff.” The warrior picked up the long fighting stick she had left lying on the grass, as they both wandered away. “Sorry I didn’t have the chance to give it to you as I was being so busy taking care of that filthy man.”

“It’s okay, Xena.” Gabrielle rested her head against Xena as they walked. The Warrior Princess kissed the top of her blond hair.

“Everything’s going to be all right, Gabrielle. I’ll take good care of you, sweetheart.” The tone of the warrior’s voice sounded deeply comforting to the bard’s ears.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The two women had made their way down to the little lake by the water cascade right after they had returned to their current camp, in the later candlemarks of the afternoon. Xena had brought a bar of soap, a towel and a clean white shift for Gabrielle, along with a cloth for her sword, all of which she put down on the ground at the edge of the stream. The bard was now taking off her boots. Xena did the same. She also removed her breastplate and gauntlets. She dropped those armour items onto the grass. The warrior then moved closer to the bard, who still felt upset by what had happened to her.

“Hey…” The taller woman tenderly said. “You’re gonna be okay, sweetheart.” She hugged the blonde woman tightly.

“Yes, Xena,” A few tears rolled down Gabrielle’s eyes. “Please, help me remove my clothes.”

Xena helped her younger lover take her green top and her skirt off. She then grabbed the soap, gently took the storyteller’s hand and led her into the lake. They stopped walking in the water when it reached the top of Gabrielle’s thighs, because the warrior was still wearing her leather garb. Xena had the bottom of her battle skirt dipping underwater as she faced her nude lover. The younger woman took a little moment to immerse herself in the stream, to dampen her skin and her hair. She stood back up above water, in front of the Warrior Princess.

“Wash me, Xena, please,” Gabrielle said in a sad tone. “Even if he didn’t manage to rape me, I still feel awfully dirty after he touched me. I want you to clean my skin and hair, to help me forget.”

“Oh, Gabrielle…” Xena moaned compassionately. She proceeded to wash the blonde woman carefully. She ran the soap along every inch of Gabrielle’s skin. “You don’t seem to have many bruises, which is good.”

“Why did he wanna kill me?” the shorter woman asked in a dismal tone.

“I don’t know, Gabrielle. Frustration perhaps, from the fact that he couldn’t rape you… or maybe vengeance. Marauders can be degenerate people.” The Warrior Princess cleaned her lover’s face. “Turn around, love,” the dark-haired woman requested. She then cleaned the long golden hair.

Once the bard had been washed thoroughly, the warrior splashed herself a little and cleaned off her battle sweat. The smaller woman moved back under the surface to rinse the soap off from herself. She then got back up and twisted her blond hair between her hands, to squeeze water out of it.

When they both felt clean enough, they made their way back to shore. Xena dried the excessive liquid from Gabrielle’s skin and hair with the towel. She delicately stroked the large piece of cloth across her lover’s smooth frame while she looked at her with loving eyes. Xena then caught the clean shift from the ground. “Lift your arms, sweetheart.”

The bard did what she was told and the warrior put the thin nightdress onto her. The white garment fell down her body, up to the top of her knees. Both women solemnly stared at each other, and Gabrielle began to cry again. “Xena… I shouldn’t have forgotten my staff. You’d always told me to never forget it…”

“Gabrielle…” Xena took her into her arms, hugged her tightly and softly caressed her hair for a little while. “Please don’t cry, sweetheart. It wasn’t your fault.” She kissed the top of the blonde’s head. The brunette then brought one hand to her lover’s face. She slowly rubbed her palm onto the younger woman’s cheek. Xena then lightly cupped Gabrielle’s chin to gaze deeply into the sea-green eyes. “It is never your fault when someone tries to rape or kill you. It’s always is the attacker’s fault.”

“I know but…” The sound of Gabrielle’s low voice was rueful. She had both her hands placed onto the warrior woman’s strong shoulders as she kept weeping. “I’m sorry, Xena. I shouldn’t have left our camp like this.”

“It’s all right, my bard.” Xena kindly smiled and began to dry her younger lover’s tears with her fingers. “We’ll talk about this later, my love… Right now, I’m so happy you’re alive and that marauder didn’t get the chance to rape you. It’s very fortunate I was able to save you in time just after I’d heard you scream. I may not have been able to save you from what Dahak did to you, but I’m glad that, at least, I could save you from this.” Xena’s words felt incredibly true to Gabrielle’s ears, which helped the younger woman stop crying.

“Thank you so much for saving me, washing me and comforting me. You’re my true best friend, Xena.”

“No problem. I’d do anything for you.” Silvery blue eyes brimmed with the tiny sparkle of empathising tears. “I love you, Gabrielle.”

“I love you too.” Gabrielle and Xena hugged again and shared a brief kiss on the lips.

The Warrior Princess put her armour, boots and gauntlets back on while the bard bent down to take her dirty clothes that were still stained with the evil man’s blood. Gabrielle also picked up the bar of soap that had been tossed onto the grass and went to kneel by the edge of the lake. She submerged her green top in the water and scrubbed it with the soap, until two strong female hands suddenly stopped her movements. Xena was kneeling next to her.

“Let me help, my love. Let me take care of your laundry this time.” The dark-haired woman washed both of Gabrielle’s garments for the next moment or so, cleaning them completely. The soap they had bought from a town market was strong and did a wonderful job at washing anything. The warrior woman rinsed the clothes by drenching them. She wrung them out and handed them back to her lover. After that, she untied the scabbard from her back and pulled her sword out of it. She doused her weapon and the inside of her sheath in water. She then wet the little cloth she had brought and cleaned the dried blood off from her blade, using soap.

Once the warrior finished wiping the last traces of blood from her sword, they both stood up, gathered Gabrielle’s belongings and peacefully walked back up towards their camp, with Xena having an arm around her shorter lover’s shoulders.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Both women got back to where their camp was. Gabrielle hung her damp clothes onto the little branches of a bush close by. The heat from the campfire, once built, would then get her green top and skirt to dry. The bard picked up her torn breeches and went to open one of the saddlebags. She got a needle and thread out of it, along with another pair of breeches that were intact. She put them on, underneath her white shift.

Xena fed a couple of apples to Argo, went to re-fill the mare’s wooden bucket of water and went to chop some wood for a fire. After she came back with a small heap of firewood, the Warrior Princess started building the first flames. The campfire built up and burned steadily in the middle of the clearing.

Both women were sitting on the nearby log when Joxer arrived. Gabrielle was sewing her ripped breeches back on while Xena was sharpening her sword. They looked at the young man as he arrived. He was carrying a small cauldron.

“Hey, ladies.” He smiled.

“Hey, Joxer.” Xena grinned back at him. So did Gabrielle.

“Hello, Joxer,” the bard said.

“’Evening, Gabrielle… Listen, guys, you won’t have to hunt or cook tonight. With a few dinars, I was able to buy some stew from a tavern in the closest village. It’ll need warming up but there’s enough for three. Isn’t this wonderful?”

“This is very kind of you, Joxer,” Xena answered. The two women thanked him, and the Warrior Princess put her sword and whetstone down to go help the young man place the pot on top of the fire. Gabrielle kept sewing for another couple of minutes, until her torn breeches were repaired. She stood and went to put them in a saddlebag, within which she also put the needle and thread. She grabbed a large wooden spoon and walked towards the fire cooking dinner. The bard stirred the stew in the cauldron. The warrior went to get some plates and smaller spoons.

Once the meal was ready, the three friends went sitting on the tree trunk to eat. Gabrielle was now a little bit hungrier, which made both Xena and Joxer smile.

“Excellent stew,” The blonde woman said. “Really many thanks for buying it, Joxer.”

“No problem, Gabby.” He looked at her in a kind of dreamy way that reflected his crush on her.

Once they finished the stew, Gabrielle and Joxer were talking, while Xena resumed the sharpening of her weapon.

“So, Joxer, I’m quite surprised you didn’t come back and see us earlier on today,” the bard wondered.

“Well, I met a couple of childhood friends at the village and we spent the whole day chatting in the tavern. An Amazon came looking for you at some point, by the way. She seemed honest, so I told her where to find you. Did she come to see you?”

“Yes, she did, Joxer. It was Gaiane, a messenger. She delivered a message from Ephiny and left.”

Joxer changed the subject as he briefly looked at the shift that was on Gabrielle. “Gabby, I hope you won’t mind me asking but, why are you wearing a nightdress? It’s not time to go to bed…”

“Her clothes are still drying, Joxer,” Xena interrupted, while carrying on whetting her blade.

“That’s right, Xena,” confirmed the blonde woman, before gazing back at the young man. “They had to be washed. I was attacked this afternoon, by a lone marauder, and Xena had to kill him but a little bit of his blood spilled over my clothes.”

“Oh, sweet Aphrodite, Gabrielle!” Joxer’s eyes widened. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, Joxer, I’m all right.” She gave him a small, reassuring grin. “Xena arrived just in time to save me.”

“Oh, Gabby…” The young man opened his arms and Gabrielle accepted his hug, for a short while. He then stared back at her. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say. If there’s anything I can do…”

“It’s okay, Joxer,” the bard cut him off. “You’re a good friend. I understand that.” She smiled at him.

“Yes, you are, Joxer,” Xena seconded. “Thanks again for buying the food. It was nice. If you want the money back, you just ask.”

“It’s all right, Xena,” Joxer objected. “The food is on me.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Moments passed as the three friends continued their evening conversation. Two candlemarks before sunset, the women needed some privacy and Joxer was very politely asked to leave again.

“Good night, ladies.”

“Goodnight, Joxer,” replied Xena.

“Goodnight.” Gabrielle kindly waved at him. “Bye, Joxer.”

“Bye, Gabrielle. Take good care of yourself.” He walked away from the campsite, carrying the empty cauldron on his way back towards the nearby village that was outside the forest. He would bring the cooking pot back to the tavern.

After he left, the two women were still sitting on the tree log. They turned towards each other, eyes meeting and silently staring. A minute passed and Xena took Gabrielle into her arms. She hugged her tightly. The younger woman felt very responsive to the warm embrace as she placed her hands onto her lover’s back, her head resting on the warrior’s chest.

Xena tenderly caressed the blond head. She then moved slightly back to look into her younger lover’s eyes again.

“Gabrielle… is there anything you want us to talk about right now? Anything I can do for you?”

“Yes, Xena.” Gabrielle gave her an earnest look. “We need to talk. Good communication is probably the best solution for us.”

“I believe you’re right. I’m sorry there were a few things I didn’t want to talk about after we came back from Illusia. I really thought that since we had forgiven each other, everything was okay but obviously not, because you kept having those nightmares about your guilt… I gave you the choice to do whatever you wanted with your memories at the Temple of Mnemosyne yesterday, but you still decided to come back and remember me. And then you had this other horrible dream last night about me attacking you. Is that right, Gabrielle?”

“Yes, Xena.” Gabrielle sighed. “Ever since we returned from Illusia, I kept shielding my conscious thoughts from this particular memory. It was enough of a miracle that my physical wounds were gone, so I believed I had to push what happened as far away from my mind as possible.” Small tears started running down her eyes. “Unfortunately, in my dreams, my subconscious mind roamed free, Xena. So that’s why I had that other nightmare last night. I had it twice, but I kept ignoring it this morning while we made love. Still, when Gaiane turned up and talked to me today about the last time you were at the Amazon village, she said something about my ‘mental wounds.’ It hit a nerve in me. Then it all came back to the surface…” She wept.

“Oh, Gabrielle…” The Warrior Princess softly stroked the side of her younger lover’s face. “I’m so sorry,” she finally said. “I shouldn’t have done this. I should have never treated you like this. I’m sorry I attacked you that day.” She began crying herself. “I was so heartbroken and angry after Solan died… I remember that, before I’d decided to abruptly storm into that Amazon village, Ares had come to me during a time when I was most vulnerable to manipulation, while I was deeply mourning Solan’s death. The God of War kept trying to tap into my dark side, implying that what had happened to my son was all your fault, and telling me that I should go back to my old warlord ways and kill you…” Xena whimpered and sobbed.

The bard’s eyes widened. “Ares had egged you on, Xena? Is that why you’d come at me like that? Oh, but that changes everything…”

“It changes nothing, Gabrielle,” Xena denied. “It was still me who did this to you.” She sniffed and pulled Gabrielle towards her, hugging her tightly again while caressing her back. “I’m so sorry about what happened that day, my love. I occasionally thought about it, sweetheart, and still felt some guilt. I think you might have forgiven me this while we were in Illusia, but still… you are the light in my life and the mere thought of hurting you makes me want to die inside.” She kissed the top of her younger lover’s shoulder. “That was one of the underlying reasons why I didn’t want to be forgiven when you went into that church with Tara that other time, remember?”

“I remember,” Gabrielle moved to rest her head into the crook of the warrior’s arm. “I’ve already forgiven you for what happened anyway. And now I know that Ares was trying to separate us again. He probably wanted you to kill me so that then he could take you back.”

“Oh, Gabrielle,” the dark-haired woman kept crying and gently running her hand along her partner’s back, “he did not succeed. Just like when he sent you to Chin ahead of me in an attempt to make us hate each other and separate us, he did not succeed. He can try all he wants. I promise you he will never manage to tear us apart. I should have never listened to him. I was overwhelmed with grief and anger, but I should never have mistreated you like I did that day. It was not you who killed Solan. It was Hope.”

“Oh, Xena!” The bard lifted her head and gazed at the Warrior Princess. “I still should have never sent Hope to the place where Solan was. I should even have known she was evil right from the start.” Gabrielle’s features were gloomy.

“Gabrielle, as painful as it is for me to admit, I understand that you were a mother and this was your first child. You were trying to protect her because you couldn’t help but love her. I’ve already forgiven you for that. I saw Solan in Illusia. It’s all over… but since you had that dream last night and Gaiane showed up to tell you that I was temporarily barred from the Greek Amazon territory for what I did, I simply wanted to tell you how sorry I am. I’m supposed to be your protector, not your abuser.” Xena shook her head. “Killing you would be like killing one part of me.”

“But you protected me today, when you fought that man.” The bard now looked more hopeful as she reminded herself of the present day’s events, and before. “And, sometime after we’d returned from Illusia, you’d also fought a whole Persian army for me before saving me from a poison… Xena,” she took her older lover’s hands into hers as they both kept staring into each other’s eyes, “let’s just try to forget about the bad times. I know it won’t be easy, but we’ve already forgiven each other. Now what matters most is that you genuinely love me and you will always want or try to keep me safe from harm, just as much as you want me to become a stronger fighter.”

“Yes, that’s true, Gabrielle, but… Can I ask you a question?”

“Yes, Xena. Go for it.”

“Are you sometimes scared that I might physically hurt you again? If I were to be overcome by wrath again?”

The blonde woman uttered a low gasp and remained silent. The warrior pondered her lover’s reaction and understood why the bard was not answering her question.

“Gabrielle,” Xena sincerely said, “I cannot promise that such a thing will never happen again, as it is something that I don’t know…” Her azure blue eyes still showed sadness and regret. “I can only tell you… that I will try my best to stop something so horrible from happening again.” Xena nodded. “I love you, Gabrielle, and I don’t want to harm you, ever.”

“I love you too, Xena. And I am not afraid of you. I believe what you’ve just said, and I want to be with you.” They kissed and hugged for a while. Then Gabrielle said, “What matters most is that we both want to treat each other right.”

“Yes, and we will strive to achieve this.”

“We will.”

They stood up and went to get some cloth from the saddlebags to dry their tears. As night was drawing near, they felt happier.

“I’m very glad we had this conversation,” the bard stated.

“I’m glad too,” the warrior woman confirmed.

“Now let’s just put all this behind us.”

“Yes. Now it’s really over.”

Gabrielle would no longer need to shut down her bad memories in her mind. They did not frighten her anymore. Good communication had just been established between Xena and her. Her older lover had also apologised for what had happened three days after their children’s deaths. The taller woman had said that she clearly would never want such a thing to occur ever again. The bard understood that this memory had been upsetting the warrior too, ever since the older woman had heard her talk in her sleep the night before. Gabrielle figured that this was probably such a thought that had perturbed Xena while they had been making love this morning.

The storyteller knew as well that the Warrior Princess had definitely forgiven her for her betrayal and her lies regarding Chin and Hope. Over time, both lovers’ mental wounds would hopefully heal completely as they were now putting all those horrible things behind them, once and for all.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was dusk when Gabrielle took her skirt and green top down from the bush they had been hanging on. Both garments were dry, thanks to the campfire which still lit the clearing. The bard went to the saddlebags, to get spare green laces for her top. She had bought those cords in town and always kept them just in case she would need to fix her top. She ran the laces into the fabric, to repair the garment. She then folded both her clothes and placed them on top of the saddlebags. She took a clean shift out of a bag, for her lover.

Meanwhile, Xena was getting ready for bed. She had checked on Argo, thrown some more wood in the fire and made sure the bedroll would be comfortable for her and Gabrielle. She took all her clothes off except her breeches. Her armour and weapons lay by her side of the sleeping blanket. She took the grey shift from the bard’s hands as her younger lover walked towards her. The Warrior Princess put her nightdress on.

Both women lay down onto the bedroll and covered themselves with a blanket, as the nearby campfire kept burning. Gabrielle lay on her back and Xena onto her side. The warrior was watching her. She gave her a goodnight kiss on the lips and settled down next to her.

“Goodnight, Gabrielle.” Considering the fact that someone had tried to rape her bard today, the warrior was being very mindful of the possibility that the younger woman might not be comfortable with any acts of intimacy yet. Therefore, Xena made no attempt to make love to Gabrielle. She just simply lay there and closed her eyes.

The blonde woman sighed. “What is it with the ‘goodnight,’ Xena? You’re not usually like this. You usually want to get very close.”

The dark-haired woman had re-opened her eyes as soon as she had heard her lover’s frustrated voice. She raised her head and gazed deeply into the supine woman’s eyes. “Well, Gabrielle, I thought you might not want us to do anything after someone just tried to…” She placed a gentle hand onto the bottom of the shorter woman’s belly.

“Xena,” Gabrielle gave her a serious look, “I’m okay. He didn’t even get the chance to do anything. And he’s dead now anyway. You killed him to save me. Now please… make love to me and make me forget all about what happened today. I want to lose myself in your touch and forget about that man. I crave you touching me just as much as ever, and especially now that we managed to sort everything out between us.”

“All right.” Xena got closer to Gabrielle on the bedroll and kissed her for a short moment. “Are you sure this is what you want?”

“Love me, Xena. That’s all I ever want.” The bard grinned at her lover and sat up. She pushed the top blanket away and made some movements to remove her shift. She chucked the garment aside and lay back down.

The warrior took her own nightdress off and climbed on top of her younger lover. She supported some of her weight onto her forearms as she stared down in the smaller woman’s sea-green eyes.

“I love you, Gabrielle.”

“I love you, Xena.”

Xena kissed Gabrielle. Her tongue gained entry into her mouth. Both their tongues touched and intermingled for a long while as their lips strongly pressed against each other. They moaned their desire into one another’s mouth.

The storyteller shuddered in delight at the feel of her older lover’s ample breasts making contact with her own. Their nipples touched and hardened. The Warrior Princess started moving her mouth down to the pulse point on the bard’s neck. She kissed her there and then licked her way down to Gabrielle’s bust.

“Oh… Love me, Xena… Yes.” The blonde woman felt the warrior tenderly kneading both her breasts while sliding her tongue around one sensitised nipple.

Xena basked in taking each of Gabrielle’s breasts in her mouth, one at a time. She groaned in hunger against each of the gorgeous mounds while sucking on them in turns. After the joy of orally stimulating her younger lover’s breasts, the warrior planted several kisses along the bard’s abdomen until she came upon the barrier of her breeches.

Xena raised herself and reached down to remove Gabrielle’s underwear. She pulled at it, making it slide down the younger woman’s legs. Then she threw it to the side. The Warrior Princess spread the bard’s thighs and moved her own body back down to settle her head between them. She blew warm breath onto the blonde’s centre, making the golden curls vibrate.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle made soft, sensual sounds of erotic anticipation as she felt Xena tenderly kiss her sex. She loved all the different ways her warrior could pleasure her like this.

The dark-haired woman pushed her tongue back and forth inside her lover’s entrance as the younger woman’s legs hovered above her shoulders. She reached a hand around one of the blonde’s thighs and slowly massaged her clit with her fingertips while she continued to probe her with her tongue.

“Gods… Xena…”

Xena then licked and sucked her way further along the tender flesh of Gabrielle’s folds while she kept moving her mouth and tongue into the intoxicating heat for a moment. She felt overwhelmed by the familiar and scrumptiously tasty wetness of her younger lover.

“Yes… Gods… Xena…” The storyteller kept her hands on the bedroll. Her fingers curled into fists as she held handfuls of the blanket beneath.

Xena quickly found Gabrielle’s sensitive button and she slid the tip of her warm tongue in circular motions around it. She took the bundle of nerve endings into her mouth. The Warrior Princess lovingly kept sucking the bard’s clit while she moved her hand down and teased her lover’s dripping wet opening with two fingertips.

“Yes… Oh… Do it, Xena.” Gabrielle kept crying out in ecstasy. She moved her hips towards her partner’s fingers, to welcome the insertion.

Xena gently entered Gabrielle as she continued to orally please her swollen nub, while inhaling the delicious scent of her bard. She moved her fingers back and forth inside her blonde lover, picking up a rhythm. Sometimes, she briefly stopped, slowed down and twisted the tips of her digits inside Gabrielle to make love to her girlfriend in swirling motions, while her mouth and tongue kept working on the blonde’s engorged clit. She then resumed her back and forth movements inside the bard.

Gabrielle was driven closer and closer to the edge until she came, screaming her lover’s name. “Xeeenaaa!” She breathed heavily as she felt her older lover withdraw her fingers and lick away at every last drop of her love juices. She saw the taller woman climb her way back up on top of her. They shared a sizzling, deep and wet kiss, which tasted of bardic excitement. When they finished, the Warrior Princess spoke.

“I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Gabrielle.” Xena softly glided her open lips across her lover’s smooth mouth. “I love you, my bard.”

“I love you too, my warrior.” Gabrielle beamed. “I want to stay with you forever.”

“Forever it will be then.” The dark-haired woman hugged and cuddled the blonde one. She still had the nectar of her lover’s arousal on her fingers. She raised her body to uncover the storyteller’s breasts and she spread the essence onto her nipples, circling them one at a time. She then went to suckle each of them in turns, to lick the wetness off from them.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle enjoyed Xena’s lips on her breasts again.

When she ended the sweet activity, the Warrior Princess kissed the bard again and then went to lie down onto her back, beside her lover. Gabrielle shifted to go lie on top of Xena straight away. She placed a thigh between her lover’s legs. The brunette lovingly caressed the younger woman’s back.

“My turn to pleasure you now, warrior?” The blonde woman smiled down at her.

“Gabrielle… You know, you don’t necessarily have to. I’ve decided, for tonight, to care more about your pleasure than mine.”

“Xena, oh, don’t be silly.” Gabrielle chuckled. “I really want to please you. I want to make you come, my love.”

Xena laughed. “All right.” Feeling her lover’s thigh pressed against her underwear was already driving her mad with desire. So was the feel of her girlfriend straddling her leg.

The bard hungrily took the warrior’s lips. They kissed vigorously and eagerly. Then, no longer able to wait, Gabrielle seized Xena’s breasts, wrapped her hands around them and firmly squeezed them as she brought her mouth down to one of them. The blonde woman ran the tip of her tongue around the taut nipple before sucking on the gorgeous mound for a while. She did the same when she switched to the other breast.

“Oh, Gabrielle… Yes!” The Warrior Princess began voicing her pleasure. She was glad that, this time, she could fully concentrate on what her younger lover was doing to her. “Make love to me, my bard…”

Gabrielle continued to delight in her loving stimulation of Xena’s superb breasts for a moment. She was suckling them, licking them, lightly biting them and playing with them with her fingers. Then she started to move herself lower onto the warrior woman’s body. She stuck her tongue into the navel and softly licked and bit at the skin around it. Knowing that her taller lover was still wearing breeches, the bard sat up and instantly proceeded to take them off, pulling the undergarment down the older woman’s legs and tossing it aside once she got it out the way.

“Gabrielle… Please…” The Warrior Princess spread her legs.

Gabrielle lowered herself back down and tenderly kissed each of the inner parts of Xena’s thighs. She kissed and smelled the luscious scent of the dark curls before opening her partner’s folds with two fingers and delving into the warrior’s centre. Once her mouth and tongue were in position on her lover’s sex, the bard’s hands reached up to grab her lover’s breasts as she carried on licking her swollen labia.

“By the gods… Gabrielle… Yes!” Xena immediately covered Gabrielle’s hands with her own and made her knead her bust in a harder way. She moaned in ever- increasing rapture from each stroke of the storyteller’s tongue on her sex.

The bard dipped her tongue several times inside the warrior’s hot, dripping cave. She kept relishing the wonderful taste of her lover’s juices as she licked her way up and down the warrior woman’s appetising centre for a while, revelling in all the succulent textures her mouth made contact with.

“Gabrielle… Oh… Uh…” The Warrior Princess put her hands on the bedroll, which she roughly gripped onto while throwing her head backwards, taking intense pleasure in her little girlfriend’s oral ministrations.

Gabrielle carried on cupping Xena’s breasts as she tongued the area around her lover’s engorged bundle of nerves. The bard noticed that the warrior was very wet and completely aroused. She drew the clit into her mouth and slipped a hand down to place three fingertips just outside the older woman’s soaking wet cavity.

“Oh… Yes, Gabrielle!” Xena raised her hips in invitation. She trembled in satisfaction when Gabrielle entered her.

The bard thrust her digits hard inside the warrior as she carried on stimulating her nub with her mouth and tongue. As her movements picked a rhythm that Xena loved, it only took a short moment for Gabrielle to drive her lover further up the road to climax.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” The Warrior Princess’ body tensed and fell limp on the bedroll.

The storyteller removed her fingers from her partner’s warmth and licked them clean. She also licked away at her warrior’s last juices before kissing the dark patch of hair and crawl her way back up Xena’s body to kiss her, making her taste herself.

“I love you warrior.”

“I love you too, bard.” She embraced her. “Hey, you won’t be having any more nightmares tonight?”

“I don’t think so. Not a chance.” The bard smiled.

“Good. I’ll always be watching over you.” Xena ran her fingers through Gabrielle’s hair in a gentle way.

They rested and fell asleep in each other’s arms, after tenderly kissing, cuddling and feeling the pleasant warmth that resulted from their lovemaking as their bodies were pressed against one another.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A few candlemarks went by into the night. The two lovers were still naked. They were sleeping in a spooning position on the bedroll, under their blanket. Lying onto her side, Gabrielle awoke and opened her eyes, feeling Xena’s familiar body behind her. She gently took the strong female hand that had wrapped itself around her and guided it down to the blond patch of hair that was between her legs. This roused the Warrior Princess right away.

“What are you doing, Gabrielle?” Xena asked in a low voice, blinking her eyes awake. She softly gasped when her fingers made contact with the fine golden fur.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle moaned in a desirous tone. “Please, Xena… I want more… Touch me…”

The warrior sighed. The bard’s words and the feel of her lover’s warmth against her hand excited her anew. “You always want more, sweetheart…” She kissed and softly nipped at the blonde woman’s shoulder, always loving the taste of her silky skin. “All right, you win.” This clearly was not the first time the younger woman was waking her up for more, right in the middle of the night. Xena rubbed Gabrielle’s sex and gently tickled her clit.

“Oh, yes… Xena…” The storyteller felt a curling sensation at her centre and got even wetter from Xena’s touch. The sweet fondling lasted until Gabrielle could not take it anymore. She needed Xena to enter her. “Xena… Please…” She squirmed from the ache coming in her sexual core.

The Warrior Princess quickly understood her bard’s body language. She could feel the sticky pool between the other woman’s legs. She slipped her free arm underneath her younger lover’s body and reached around to cup one firm breast. She temporarily removed her hand from the smaller woman’s centre and grasped her hip, which caused a whimper from the bard.

“No… Don’t stop, Xena.”

“I’m not stopping.”

Xena slid her hand behind Gabrielle. She caressed the smooth buttocks and then the back of the blonde’s thighs. Her fingers inched closer towards her younger lover’s hot and dripping wet folds.

“Oh… Yes! Xena, please.” The bard arched herself a little forward and moved her hips to allow the warrior access.

“You want this, don’t you… hey, my love?” Xena teased Gabrielle’s sexual lips with her fingertips.

“Yes… Do it…”

The warrior pushed two fingers inside the bard’s drenched centre, taking joy in her partner’s inner walls squeezing around her. Gabrielle groaned her lover’s name in bliss when she felt Xena take her from behind. She seized her taller lover’s free hand that was on her breast, and hungrily sucked on two long fingers, making them wet.

The dark-haired woman kept thrusting hard inside as she removed her other hand from the blonde’s mouth and moved it down underneath her girlfriend’s body until she was able to find her clit at the front. She trapped Gabrielle’s sensitised node between two fingers as she continued to sink her digits deeper in her younger lover’s sex in backwards and forward movements.

“Oh… Gods… Xena…  Uh… Oh… Yes…” Gabrielle bent her upper body a bit further forward on the bedroll as Xena kept filling her in this spooning position. She pushed her hips back towards the intensely thrilling pleasure the taller woman was giving her. The bard carried on uttering rapturous noises and moaning her lover’s name as the warrior continued to rub her swollen bud while adding one more finger inside and never stopping making love to her.

“Touch me too, Gabrielle,” the Warrior Princess kindly ordered.

The storyteller reached somewhere behind her, and her hand found her older lover’s sex and stimulated her clit. The lovers’ torrid love moves continued at a gratifying rhythm between them both, until Xena thrust harder and effectively inside Gabrielle, building pressure against the firm spot within. She made her girlfriend orgasm and felt the younger woman’s core clenching around her fingers in one final spasm.

“Xeeenaaa!” the bard screamed. She kept fondling her lover behind her, while relaxing her spent body. Multicoloured butterflies were flying inside her mind. As she felt Xena withdraw her digits from her, Gabrielle carried on playing with the warrior’s stiff bundle of nerves until she made her fall over the edge of ecstasy.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” After she reached the peak, the dark-haired woman panted heavily and, as the blonde removed her hand, she pulled her younger lover’s back closer to her.

Gabrielle rested herself into Xena’s passionate embrace, before turning around to kiss her lover. The warrior covered the bard’s lips with her own and mingled her tongue with her lover’s. They kissed in a sultry way, deeply stroking inside each other’s mouth as their tongues danced around one another. When this ended, Xena whispered something in her lover’s ear.

“Gabrielle, what matters most is that I love you.”

“The fact that I love you, Xena, is what matters most to me too.”

“All right, let’s sleep now, my sweet bard.” The warrior woman grinned.

Gabrielle’s face was happy when she turned anew and Xena settled herself behind her again, in another warm, tender spooning embrace. The delicious aftershocks of their heated lovemaking still profoundly vibrated inside their heads. Their bodies were exhausted as the warrior held a strong, comforting hand around her bard and she swiftly kissed the sweet-smelling blond hair. The bard took the warrior’s hand in her own and briefly kissed it. She could pleasantly smell the scent of her own passion onto Xena’s fingers.

The two lovers rested and entered the Land of Morpheus a few minutes later. They had a peaceful sleep for the rest of the night, with no more bad dreams for anyone.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Morning broke through the woods. A couple of candlemarks after it did, the Warrior Princess woke up and kissed her bard to make her open her eyes.

“Good morning, my love. Please rise, my little sunshine.”

“’Morning, Xena. I’m… coming…” Gabrielle yawned herself awake and sat up on the bedroll as Xena got up to put on a shift. The brunette went to gather their clothes, some soap and a couple of towels. She also led Argo by the bridle.

The blonde put her nightdress back on too, and gradually stood up from the blankets to join Xena, as the warrior and her mare headed down towards the lake by the waterfall. Gabrielle lazily followed behind, carrying their boots and still feeling too tired to say a word.

Arriving at the stream, Xena took Argo to the perimeter of the water, and the animal instantly lowered her muzzle to drink. The warrior put her and her lover’s clothes down onto the grassy ground. She kept the bar of soap in her hand.

The two women removed their shifts, entered the lake and went to shower themselves together under the cascade. They soaped and washed each other’s bodies as they exchanged kisses and intimate words of everlasting love. After rinsing each other, they made their way back to shore, dried themselves and put on their day clothes.

Gabrielle criss-crossed the new green laces onto her top as she finished getting dressed. Xena got into her leather outfit. They both put their boots on, before walking back up towards the campsite with Argo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As Gabrielle, Xena and Argo returned to the place where the rest of their gear was, they noticed that Joxer had gotten there. “Hello, ladies,” he warmly said.

Both women greeted him back and went to brush their hairs. After that, the warrior went to put her whole armour back on.

The young man helped the two lovers, as they got ready to break camp. While the three friends were walking away after gathering all their belongings, Gabrielle spoke to Xena, who held the slowly trotting mare by the bridle.

“What matters most is that we stick together, Xena.” The bard smiled at her lover, vertically carrying her staff in one hand.

“Yeah,” the Warrior Princess replied with a grin, “and that we strive to be respectful and loving towards one another. We already love each other and care a lot about one another anyway.”

“That’s right,” Gabrielle kept a small grin on her face.

Joxer pretended to be completely oblivious to their conversation as they all carried on strolling through the forest. “Right, ladies. Let’s go get some breakfast in the closest village.”

They all walked until they exited the woods. The nearby village they chose to enter was close to the Temple of the Heavens. It was there they would soon hear about a warlord named Maecanus who stole the Mystic Diamond of the North Star for Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love.


Circle in the sand

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 2:

Circle in the sand

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Two episode Lost Mariner.

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Author’s note: (1) This is not a first time story. I think there are enough first time stories out there. Also, I believe that Xena and Gabrielle can still be intimately passionate with each other after their first time. This story can be somehow seen as a follow-up to Closer than blood bonds. (2) The title of this story partly refers to a song (of the same name) by Belinda Carlisle. No copyright infringement intended.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; Donar, LucRen, Ninja & RJcreek (from TX) for the pre-release reading & feedback; other people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for their encouragements.

Feedback: see feedback page.


Some candlemarks had passed since everyone got washed ashore after Cecrops’ ship had nearly gotten caught within a fierce whirlpool. Xena and
Gabrielle had been glad to find Cecrops alive. After a few hours of just sitting there remembering his beloved Terai, he left. The warrior and her bard figured that he probably was now walking further into land, towards one of the towns, to go find Hidsim’s daughter.

The rest of the ship’s crew and passengers walked away too, except the two women. All the others were happy to freely roam into the world at last. They had to go explore. They had to get away from that ship’s curse that had threatened their lives. Because Gabrielle was still weak and needed time before walking, the two lovers stayed near shore.

Gabrielle sat on the grass, still feeling a bit weak from her now receding seasickness. Xena told her to wait there. The Warrior Princess went to look around the remains from the wrecked ship and managed to find a few useful things in case they both were going to have to stick around any longer, as night was getting near.

From the disarray of goods cast ashore, Xena took a couple of blankets, three water skins, a big loaf of bread and a frying pan. She gathered those things into one of the blankets and rolled it all up in a bundle to carry on her back. Xena then walked back towards Gabrielle and stared down at the bard.

“Are you ready to get up and get going?” The Warrior Princess asked. “We could walk a bit further along the coast and see if we can find somewhere to rest.”

“Yeah, Xena… sure,” Gabrielle replied, looking up at the brunette, “I think I could try.”

Xena reached down and lifted the bard up. She offered her shoulder for Gabrielle to lean on while walking. The blonde woman felt glad as the warrior woman wrapped a strong, warm and helpful arm around her waist. They both started walking away, but they both knew that they would soon have to find a place to sleep as Gabrielle was still a little sick and could not walk well.

“Can we stay near the sea, Xena, while we’re walking?” the bard asked her strong and charming female companion.

“The sea? Why, Gabrielle? I thought the sea made you sick?” The Warrior Princess was somewhat amazed.

“Xena, travelling by sea makes me sick…” Gabrielle started smiling while keeping leaning on the warrior’s shoulder. “… but hearing the peaceful grandeur of the sea makes me happy. I quite like the idea of us staying near the sea tonight if we have to sleep in this area because of me.” She noticed Xena look back at her and smirk in a warm-hearted way while walking, and she continued: “Well, Xena, I hold no grudge against the sea…”

Xena laughed at the surprising, yet sweet, contradiction from the bard. She let Gabrielle carry on with her explanations.

“Xena, I can still appreciate the sense of peace this beautiful expression of nature will give me as I’ll lie down to sleep…” Gabrielle paused, smirking back. “… next to you.”

Xena briefly leaned down to kiss Gabrielle on the forehead, and they kept walking by the sea waves.

“You’re just so full of surprises, my bard.” Xena warmly tightened her grip around Gabrielle’s waist. “That’s one of the reasons why I love you.”

“I love you too, my beautiful warrior,” replied Gabrielle, leaning closer against Xena as they walked on along the coast.

“You’re right, Gabrielle. It’s also better to stay near the sea in case I need to catch fish tomorrow morning.” Xena kept encircling Gabrielle’s waist with her left arm while carrying the bundle of things they would need on her right shoulder. The Warrior Princess urged the bard to keep going as a crimson-hued sky was showing itself on the horizon while the sun was slowly setting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just before sunset, Xena and Gabrielle were walking near a large cluster of palm trees they could see on the left. No more grass was present in the place they were now moving through; there were just a few bulky rocks randomly scattered on a sandy ground near the edge of the sea. They reached a point where there were less rocks and Xena decided that they stop there, as Gabrielle was getting really tired of walking. The warrior and her bard quickly noticed that they were now on a beach.

Xena asked Gabrielle to stand for a minute while the warrior unwrapped the bundle she had been carrying on her back. The tall woman crouched down and spread one of the blankets on the sand, in front of a rock. She put down the other objects she had taken from the shipwreck onto the side of this makeshift bedroll. Then she stood back up and turned back towards Gabrielle.

“Xena, I’m still not feeling well,” the bard said. “I didn’t like walking.” Gabrielle indeed looked very weak and sounded exhausted.

“Come here.” Xena quickly scooped her up, lifted her with her powerful arms and immediately felt bardic hands around her neck while Gabrielle’s head went to rest just above her breastplate.

“Hmmm… Xena.” Gabrielle loved the wild scent of her warrior woman as well as being lifted and carried to bed by her.

“Here. Rest, my little bard.” The Warrior Princess carefully laid her down onto the spread blanket. She removed Gabrielle’s boots, chucked them to the side and then covered the bard’s body with the other blanket she had brought.

“Are you coming to bed too?” Gabrielle lay on her back, looking up at the woman she loved.

“Yes, I will be, Gabrielle, as soon as I’ve built us a fire.” Xena briefly kissed the blonde woman’s lips. She then went to walk towards the forest of palm trees at the back of the beach.

Gabrielle tried to make herself comfortable between the blankets Xena had prepared for her while she waited for her dark-haired lover to come back. The younger woman felt very tired, as she was still a bit ill from the last days’ events.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The tall woman came back a few moments later. The sun had set and it was dark. Xena used the moonlight to find her way back. She was carrying a little bundle of wood and some stones, which she put all down on the ground, somewhere in front of the makeshift bedroll.

“I was able to find a few shrubs in the woods at the back. I chopped them with my sword.” Xena looked at Gabrielle and saw that the little woman still had her eyes open and had not fallen asleep yet. The Warrior Princess proceeded to make a little fire. “This small amount of wood I’ve found might not last us long,” she continued, “maybe just a couple of hours, but it shouldn’t get too cold around here during the night, hopefully. I’ll try my best to keep you warm, otherwise.”

“I’m sure we’ll be okay, Xena.” Gabrielle yawned. “Are you coming to bed?”

“Yes, Gabrielle, I’m almost done.” Xena finished what she was doing until she saw little kindled flames dance, starting to make crackling noises over the wood. The warrior then quickly went to get ready for bed. She unbuckled her breastplate, removed her gauntlets and arm bands, took off her boots and placed all those things onto the right-hand side of the bedroll with the rest of their belongings. She also put her chakram and her sword in its scabbard down on the ground next to where she was going to sleep.

The Warrior Princess swiftly got herself inside the blankets beside Gabrielle, who was on the left-hand side. Xena always kept her weapons close to her while sleeping in case anyone turned up and tried to attack them during the night.

As soon as Xena was lying next to her, Gabrielle instantly turned towards her, laid an arm onto the warrior’s waist and placed her head on top of the dark-haired woman’s chest, above the leather-clad breasts. The warrior immediately encircled her strong arms around the bard and gave the younger woman a goodnight kiss.

Gabrielle enjoyed the kiss from her lover. She would have liked to do more with her warrior tonight, but she still felt weak. Xena understood that Gabrielle was still somewhat sick and that her bard just wanted to sleep. The blonde woman closed her eyes, let her mind be cradled by the sound of the sea and fell asleep. The sturdy brunette started drifting as well, joining her little lover into the land of Morpheus.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two or three candlemarks later, the fire had burned out. Xena suddenly awoke as she felt Gabrielle start to stir in her sleep. The warrior woman thought the girl might be a bit cold. She gave her own half of the blanket to Gabrielle as she quickly folded the covering in two on top of the younger woman to keep her warm. She then held the bard more tightly into her arms. Xena was happy to notice that a moment later Gabrielle seemed to feel the heat the warrior was making for her as the bard now looked quieter in her sleep. She snuggled up to her warrior. Xena hugged her bard close to her heart, and then she went back to sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle woke up as soon as she felt an intense warmth on her skin. She could also hear the sound of sea waves. She turned around on the blanket she was on and immediately covered her eyes from a bright late morning sun.

‘At least there’s going to be a nice weather today,’ the bard thought. She felt around the bedroll with her other hand and noticed that Xena was not there.

Gabrielle sat up and, once she adjusted her vision to the daylight, she looked around her. She was alone on a beautiful sandy and sunny beach. She had not fully realised last night what a magnificent place it was because it had been too dark and she had not been feeling too good. There were a few rocks scattered unevenly along the beach, leaving large spaces of sand between them. There was mostly sand on the seashore –neat and clean sand, with some of the grains twinkling in the sunlight.

The bard looked at the sea in front of her. Its waves were splendid. Neither too high nor too low, waves were pushing sublime blue shimmering water to beat against the shore, recede and so on –maintaining the sea’s natural rhythm. Gabrielle believed she had hardly seen anything as beautiful as the sea in her whole lifetime. Although there were nice waves, the water was not too agitated today, which the bard thought was a good sign. She kept looking around but could not find the warrior woman anywhere in sight.

However, she knew that Xena would not have gone very far away as she could notice that the warrior had left her boots, gauntlets and breastplate by the bedroll. Gabrielle remembered that, the day before, Xena had talked about ‘catching fish’ so the young woman figured this was probably what the warrior was doing right now. Gabrielle grabbed one of the water skins that were lying by the bedroll. As she had just awakened in the sun, she was very thirsty and needed to drink some of the water that was in it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena came back towards shore a candlemark later. She had been swimming very far in order to be able to catch something for their lunch. She was carrying two fishes in the one hand and a bunch of seaweed in the other. As she reached the edge of the water, she walked towards Gabrielle. The warrior felt slightly exhausted from the hard work of swimming underwater to go and get food. She also needed to eat. She was glad to see that her lover was awake, looking up at her as she approached.

“Feeling better, Gabrielle?” Xena asked as she arrived near Gabrielle.

“Yes, I’m feeling a lot better,” Gabrielle replied, smiling. “I think my seasickness has passed now, Xena.” Gabrielle looked at what Xena had in her hands. “What did you get us for lunch?”

“Two fresh salmons and some edible seaweed,” Xena answered. “We’ve also got a loaf of bread here,” the warrior remarked.

“Seaweed? We’re gonna be eating seaweed, Xena?”

“That’s right, we are. It’s very nutritious, Gabrielle.”

“Hmmm… well, if you say so. Let’s eat then, Xena. I’m hungry.”

The bard got up and the Warrior Princess handed her the food so she could start preparing it. Xena gave her a quick kiss. The taller woman immediately went to the palm tree forest to collect some more wood from shrubs she could get from there.

The warrior walked back towards the place where they had set up camp on the beach a little while later and started building a little fire so they could cook the fish. Because the sun was strong during this midday, the bard quickly went to dampen her skin and the top of her head with seawater.

Gabrielle walked back towards Xena. Once the fire was ready, she started cooking the fish in the frying pan while the warrior woman was cutting the seaweed and some bread with a dagger. Both women sat and proceeded to eat when their lunch was ready. The bard enjoyed her first taste of seaweed.

“Hmmm… delicious!” The younger woman savoured the sea green vegetable.

“I knew you’d like it.” Xena fleetingly grinned. “Always better than eating raw squid, I guess?”

“Xena, please don’t talk about that now,” Gabrielle mildly grumbled. She started eating her fish too. “Xena?” The bard looked at her partner.

“Yes, Gabrielle.” The warrior was heartily eating her meal. She was so hungry.

“Can we stay on the beach a little longer? Like until tomorrow?” Gabrielle besought. “I quite like it here. It’s so nice and romantic for the both of us. This place is completely stunning!” the bard exclaimed. “It’s a gift from the gods, Xena. Please, can’t we just both spend a peaceful day appreciating the absolute beauty of this exquisite marine landscape here?”

“Maybe…” Xena hesitated. “Are you sure, Gabrielle?”

“Please?” The blonde woman displayed an attractively pleading look with her sweet little blue-green eyes.

“All right.” Xena warmly sighed. “We won’t start heading back until tomorrow morning. I’ll have to go pick up Argo in town by tomorrow evening though.”

“Thank you, Xena,” said Gabrielle, beaming, while she was finishing eating the rest of her food.

“It’s fine, Gabrielle. I think it’s actually a good idea you’ve got here.” The Warrior Princess looked happy. She briefly scanned the area around them before directing her beautiful piercing blue eyes back towards her younger lover. “I have to reluctantly admit that I really love how you often make me stop and think about the beautiful qualities that can be found in natural things.” Xena uttered a small chuckle. “I think I actually like the beach too, now that I think about it. And it’s a very warm and pleasant day today.” The dark-haired woman blushed. She devoured what was left of her lunch.

“Well, when you soften a little bit, you’re not so soulless, Xena.” Gabrielle smirked. “I love it when you show your emotions. It makes me feel so alive when I notice you being so warm.”

Xena said nothing. She just felt mesmerised by the delightful charisma emanating from this little blonde bard who meant so much to her. ‘Anything for you, little one,’ the warrior thought.

Their lunch over, both women rose and went to wash their hands and faces in the sea. Standing up in the water at knee height, they splashed themselves with a few drops and walked back across the sand, towards their bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Xena?” The young blonde stood on the splayed blanket in front of her lover.

“What is it, Gabrielle?” The Warrior Princess was leaning back against the rock that was behind their bedroll as she shook the sand off from her feet. She was wearing her arm bands, which she had put back on in the morning, but decided not to put her boots, breastplate or gauntlets back on yet. Those items were still lying by the blanket.

“I thought about what Cecrops said yesterday on the ship. . . You know, when he explained how he discovered the love that saved him from his curse partly through observing us and understanding the love you have for me.”

Xena just grinned. She stood upright to face her little girlfriend.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it, Xena? The love we share, and the way it helped redeem someone.” Gabrielle smiled radiantly.

“It is.” The Warrior Princess then gave her lover an intensely serious look when she said, “I love you, Gabrielle.” Xena immediately inclined herself to cover the bard’s mouth with her own before the younger woman ever had the chance to reply to her love declaration.

Gabrielle swiftly placed her hands on the back of the warrior’s neck and returned the kiss. She parted her sweet little lips, allowing Xena to deepen this precious moment. The taller woman put her strong hands onto the small of Gabrielle’s back, feeling the blonde’s soft skin with her palms and fingers, and then she moved her tongue inside the shorter woman’s mouth. She felt the bard’s tongue instantly entwine with hers as the two women were now kissing each other more deeply.

Both lovers continued tasting each other’s tongues and lips for a while, before gently ending the moment with a few little tender, warm and wet kisses on each other’s mouths.

“Xena, I’ll never forget the way you jumped on that ship to join me, without even caring if it was cursed.” Gabrielle stared up into the warrior woman’s eyes, feeling grateful.

“Cursed or not, Gabrielle, all I cared about was you.” Xena stared back at her lover with a pleasant expression on her face. “I would have never let you travel on this cursed ship without me. I’d even go get you in Tartarus if you were there. I just can’t lose you, Gabrielle. You matter too much to me.”

The bard felt so glad she had fully managed to conquer the warrior’s heart. Xena loved her so much that she didn’t seem to be able to live without her now. The blonde woman wanted to show her older lover, once again, how much she mattered to her too. The younger woman could not stop thinking about all the times the Warrior Princess had saved her life. She also thought about all the times her taller lover had pleasured her.

While kissing Xena again, Gabrielle reached around and fumbled for the laces that held the warrior’s tunic at the back.  She pulled them loose. She then brought her hands up to the top of Xena’s shoulders, grabbed the straps of the warrior’s leathers and gently pulled them down until she slid the top of the garment down and exposed the taller woman’s ample breasts to her lustful gaze. She licked her lips at the appetising sight before her and immediately moved her hands to cup Xena’s breasts. She so much loved the feel of those two beautiful mounds in her hands.

Xena felt excited at her young lover’s sudden bold move. She gasped as soon as she felt Gabrielle’s tongue flick around one of her nipples while one of the shorter woman’s hands enveloped and rubbed her other breast. The Warrior Princess already knew what her sweet little bard had in mind. She felt a sudden wetness start flowing between her legs at the idea of just letting Gabrielle do what she wanted to do, so long as it genuinely reflected the younger woman’s intimate desires.

“Gabrielle, do you really want to do this right now?” She asked, and briefly bit her bottom lip at the thought of her little girlfriend pleasuring her.

“Yes… Hmmm…  I do.” Gabrielle stopped tasting her lover’s nipple for a minute, just to look up into the warrior woman’s eyes. “I want to show you, once again, how much I love you, Xena. Please let me.”

The bard felt the dark-haired woman surrender to her touch as soon as she resumed her ministrations. Gabrielle suckled onto one of Xena’s breasts, then moved her mouth towards the other mound to take it between her lips too. She spent quite a few moments enjoying the taste of Xena’s breasts before trying to fully remove her lover’s leather garb.

“Xena, please… take off your clothes,” Gabrielle requested. “I want to see you.”

“All right,” Xena replied as she started undressing, “but you take yours off too.” She grinned.

“Absolutely.” Gabrielle smirked. She moved slightly backwards, to give Xena space. Then she untied the laces of her green top. After that, she started removing her skirt.

Once the two lovers were completely nude, Gabrielle ordered Xena to lie down, which the warrior did. The bard immediately went to cover the warrior’s body with her own and fiercely kissed her. While their mouths and tongues mingled, the Warrior Princess tried to move her hands up to grab the younger woman’s back, but Gabrielle instantly seized her hands and pinned them down onto the bedroll –just behind Xena’s head.

They had already made love many times, the bard recalled as she kept kissing her warrior passionately. During their past lovemaking, Xena had been taking the lead a lot more often. Gabrielle absolutely loved it when Xena was taking control of their intimate moments, but the blonde woman also loved the fact that her experienced partner had been teaching her how to take the lead herself. So she did that sometimes. The bard released her lover’s hands from her grasp, knowing the Warrior Princess understood that she wanted to be the one in control right now.

Xena kept her hands behind her head for the moment, succumbing to the sweet sensations her Gabrielle was bringing to the core of her being. She could feel the warmth between her thighs intensify at every one of Gabrielle’s audacious moves. The warrior realised that she felt this cute little bard should definitely take over now. She was glad she had been teaching her well, but also she knew this bright and imaginative young girl had been learning her own moves by herself. The warrior Princess had merely given her small hints and tips on how to make love to her.

Gabrielle gave a quick kiss to each of Xena’s breasts before moving herself lower down the warrior woman’s magnificently muscled body. She kissed her way down to the older woman’s belly and briefly licked inside her lover’s navel before scooting down to softly kiss each of the brunette’s inner thighs. She then kissed the dark hair between her lover’s legs and parted Xena’s thighs to grant herself better access to her lover’s sex.

The warrior spread her legs wider and uttered a moan of pleasure as soon as she felt the tip of the bard’s tongue lightly tease her clit. She also felt Gabrielle’s fingers spread her sexual lips as the girl’s tongue delved deeper into her centre. Xena could not resist. She had to touch her younger lover now. She knew that Gabrielle would not mind too much if she moved her hands a little.  The dark-haired woman immediately placed her hands on the blonde’s head, driving her closer to her need.

Gabrielle did not mind Xena putting her strong hands on the back of her head while she was doing this. She loved feeling those hands there so long as it remained gentle, as had been agreed upon between them. She felt the warrior gently push her head down as she lowered her mouth further down into Xena’s heat and tasted more of her beautiful lover’s juices, which soon smeared her tongue, lips, cheeks and chin as she licked her way into the familiar territory.

“Oh… whoa… Gabrielle… oh… this feels so good!” This felt more than pleasant to Xena. This felt amazing. Her little bard she loved so much had become so wonderful at pleasuring her. She admired the fact that Gabrielle had been so eager to acquire such oral skills.

The blonde woman relished in the exotic taste of her warrior as she kept running her tongue all along her dark-haired lover’s sensitive folds. She then twirled her tongue around the Warrior Princess’ clit before moving downwards to her lover’s entrance.

“Uh… Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” Xena cried out in ecstasy as she felt the bard’s tongue moving back and forth inside her. No doubt Gabrielle wanted to show her how much she loved her, which reminded the warrior woman of the intense passion she felt for her younger lover.

After a moment, Gabrielle’s tongue came out of Xena’s hot and slick cave as the bard drove it to the top of Xena’s folds again. Her mouth claimed the warrior’s sensitive nub and she sucked on it until her partner reached orgasm.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” was all the Warrior Princess could scream as she came, her hands stroking the young girl’s hair.

The bard licked the remainder of her older lover’s wetness. She kissed Xena’s sex before bringing herself back up onto the taller woman’s body and kissing her, making her taste herself on her lips.

“Xena, your juices taste so good that we could cook with them!” Gabrielle said after they finished kissing. She gazed down into the dark-haired woman’s eyes with a satisfied grin on her face. She saw Xena chuckle at her witty remark. She felt happy when the warrior woman hugged her tightly. They both delighted in the feel of each other’s bodies, skin against skin as Gabrielle was still lying on top of her beloved friend.

“Thank you, my little bard, for all the wonderful pleasures you’re willing to give me,” Xena whispered into her ear, while they could both hear the sound of waves crashing against the nearby shore. They rested in each other’s arms for a little while, and then the insatiable Warrior Princess murmured something else into her young partner’s ear: “Gabrielle, I love it when you’re on top sometimes. I want you to take me right now.” She caressed the skin on the bard’s back as Gabrielle’s eyes looked into hers.

“You want me to make love to you, Xena? Now?” Gabrielle smirked. “If so, your wish is my command.” The younger woman felt enthralled by the great desire Xena had for her, how she was able to own the warrior’s heart to such an incredible extent. She proudly realised that her sublime older lover did not want to be sexually overpowered by anyone else but her in this new, post-warlord life the Warrior Princess was now leading.

“Gabrielle, you’ve heard me. Take me!” Xena’s eyes burned with sexual hunger as she stared up at her gorgeous bard. “I want you to make strong love to me, to thrust deep in me and make me moan. Please, do it.”

“All right, Xena.” Gabrielle moved to the side of sat up. She suddenly had a wicked idea cross her mind. “I will do it but patience, my warrior! I’d like to do something first.” The bard snickered.

“What?” Xena asked, wondering.

“Do you remember the Bacchae lair?” The younger woman wiggled her eyebrows and the brunette understood.

“Oh, Gabrielle!” Xena, still lying on the blanket looked up at her young girlfriend with wide eyes. “I’ve dreamed many times about you biting me again, maybe not as hard but just as passionately as that time when you were a Bacchae for one night.” The Warrior Princess gave her a wild smile. “Oh, yes, you can do that too, Gabrielle, before you take me.”

Gabrielle felt deeply aroused. “Come on then,” she reached out her hands to the supine warrior woman, “sit up!”

Xena took the storyteller’s hands and sat up. She couldn’t wait to feel her younger lover taste her neck again.

Gabrielle quickly crawled around to position herself behind Xena. The bard knelt behind the warrior and pushed her dark hair to the side, revealing the skin of the taller woman’s neck. The blonde woman brought her body close to the tall woman’s back, placing one knee beside each of Xena’s thighs. She reached down to spread the folds of her own sex and stuck her wet centre onto the small of her older lover’s back. She then reached around with both hands to knead both of the warrior woman’s large breasts, flicking her fingertips across the nipples. Finally, Gabrielle moved her mouth to her partner’s neck and started tasting the skin with her teeth and tongue.

“Ohhhhh, Gabrielle…” Xena moaned and closed her eyes. The whole feeling was exquisite. Her little companion was fondling her breasts. She was biting her neck with the same ardent passion as during that night in Bacchus’ cave. At the same time, the Warrior Princess could feel the bard’s breasts and sex pressed against her back.

Gabrielle kept biting and sucking passionately onto Xena’s neck as she rubbed herself against the warrior’s back. It was a very thrilling experience to her. She caused a pleasant friction to her own sensitive clit by grinding her centre against the warm skin of her older lover’s back while she kept massaging the other woman’s ample breasts and tasting her flesh.

The warrior covered the younger woman’s hands with her own as they were cupping her breasts, and she squirmed in delight at the feel of her little friend’s teeth on her neck. “Hmmm… Oh, yes, Gabrielle! I love it when you do this.” She urged her on. She knew Gabrielle was being careful not to hurt her too much.

As soon as she felt the warrior’s hands onto hers and heard her lover encourage her, the bard pushed her mouth, teeth and tongue a little harder onto Xena’s neck while she took one final bite. Her lover’s skin was so delicious.

“Gabrielle… hmmm… That was excellent,” Xena said as she felt her younger lover tenderly kiss her neck and move back around to face her again. She opened her eyes again.

“You’re gonna have one of those hickeys now, my love.” Gabrielle pushed Xena back down against the blanket, covered her body with her own and vigorously kissed her. She felt the warrior deeply respond to the kiss as she was now lying on top of the older woman’s body. The sound of the waves on the beach felt so romantic to their ears while they ran their tongues into each other’s mouths and held each other close.

“I don’t care, sweetheart.” The Warrior Princess looked deeply into her little bard’s eyes, the soaking arousal getting ever more intense between her legs. “I want you to take me now. Come on. Do it! And make me scream, please.”

“Alright, Xena.” Gabrielle gave her lover a wicked grin and went to straddle the older woman’s thigh. She made Xena open her legs wider and instantly used three fingers to enter her. Her thumb found the clitoris amid the adorable textures and fur of the dark-haired woman’s sex. The bard steadied herself onto the warrior’s strong thigh. She started moving back and forth to create another friction against her own excited nub. As she pushed her fingers more deeply and rhythmically into the warrior woman’s centre, she kept rubbing Xena’s sensitive sexual node with her thumb.

“Oh!… Ah… oh, yes, Gabrielle!” The warrior kept staring up at her bard while the younger woman kept driving her towards the peak of erotic joy. Gabrielle was the only person who made her feel relaxed enough to just sometimes lie there and enjoy being a woman even more than she already did. “Come on, Gabrielle!” Xena commanded. “Yeah… Oh… That’s right… Thrust hard! Make hard love to me. You know your warrior likes it hard.” She reached around and grabbed the girl’s sweet little butt, trying to drive the bard deeper into her.

“Oh, Xena… You feel so good.” Gabrielle loved the feel of Xena’s hands grasping at the skin of her buttocks. She loved the warrior’s inner walls clenching around her digits as her beloved Warrior Princess’ slippery sweetness coated her fingers. It felt so incredibly warm inside of Xena. The bard knew she was still a bit of a sexual apprentice –and the warrior was still the one in charge of most of their lovemaking– but she prided herself on every time she was able to take her older lover skilfully enough, to fill Xena with such a fervour that would make the warrior scream her name in admiration. She was glad her dark-haired lover was so open to her and trusted her enough to let her make love to her like this.

“Yes… Oh… Gabrielle… Ah!” Xena was now near climax. She thought about last year, how Gabrielle had been so virginal and innocent. She felt so incredibly happy her bard had learned how to make love to her so wonderfully. The Warrior Princess did not always want to take the lead in the bedroll. She also needed a lover who could do it to her right, and her Gabrielle could do it just right. She adored this little woman for being able to give her so much.

Mastering the right techniques with her hands and fingers, Gabrielle made Xena come as she kept gazing deeply at the extraordinary beauty of her lover’s exquisite features and silvery blue eyes.

“Oh, yes… Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” the warrior screamed. She gasped for breath, relaxed and quickly gathered the bard into her arms.

“Xena,” Gabrielle lay on top of her lover when she whispered into her ear, “I’ve not come yet. I couldn’t rub myself against you hard enough, but it’s okay. I don’t mind. Don’t worry about it.” The blonde woman deeply and affectionately kissed her partner before rolling herself over. “I’m glad enough I could pleasure you, darling.” She sat on the blanket beside Xena, a little further to the front. She bent her knees up and wrapped her arms around her legs while observing the sea.

“Oh, Gabrielle.” Recovered from her orgasm, Xena was able to sense a tad bit of frustration in Gabrielle’s posture, though she knew her bard would be too kind to admit it. “Come here!” She sat up, held out her arms to touch the undersides of Gabrielle’s shoulders and dragged the bard backwards towards her –placing the younger woman between her legs. Xena was now sitting behind Gabrielle, enveloping her younger lover’s waist with her strong arms. They both had their knees bent. At the same time, the warrior woman was leaning her back against the rock behind them.

“Hmmm…” Gabrielle forgot any sort of frustration and groaned in euphoric anticipation as she could feel Xena’s hot breath on her skin while the older woman planted small kisses along her shoulder. “Xena… Yes, give me a cuddle!” She leaned back into the warrior, feeling Xena’s generous breasts pleasantly point their nipples against her back. She then felt the taller woman caress her long golden hair and gently push it to the side.

“I will give you much more than a cuddle, sweetheart.” The Warrior Princess tightened her grip around the bard’s waist. She delicately nibbled at the blonde woman’s earlobe. “You said you hadn’t come yet?”

“No… huh… I haven’t…” The younger woman felt a titillating shiver run down her spine at the feel of Xena’s warm breath and saliva on her ear. She covered her strong lover’s encircling hands with her own.

“What do you want me to do about this, my love?” Xena softly ran her tongue across the skin below Gabrielle’s ear. “Perhaps, I could help.” The warrior let go of her lover’s waist. Her hands cupped the bard’s sumptuous breasts and her thumbs played with the sensitised nipples.

“Oh… Yes, Xena!” The younger woman’s tone sounded completely enamoured. “Touch me, please.” She grasped one of the taller woman’s hands and slid it downwards, towards her throbbing centre.

“Hmm… You’re wet, my bard… Is this for me?” Xena tenderly stroked the golden curls and pinkish flesh between her younger lover’s thighs. She slowly rubbed a finger around the girl’s pulsating clit, eliciting another rapturous moan from Gabrielle. “Do you want me to take you? To make you come then?” The warrior licked her lover’s earlobe again.

“Uh… Oh… Yes, Xena, please… Do it!” Gabrielle half-closed her eyes to enjoy her older lover’s touch while alternatively catching a glimpse of the stunningly glamorous marine view before them. The weather was hot, the sand bright and the superb blue sea, at the edge of the beach, sparkled in the sunlight.

“All right, my love.” The warrior was happy to switch back to her dominant role to please her lover. She quickly placed the bard’s bent knees above her own and then went on to spread her lover’s legs wider by opening her own as extensively as she could. She then pushed two fingers inside Gabrielle. She instantly thrust them back and forth at a rhythm she knew her bard would find pleasurable. She brought her other hand down to play with her little girlfriend’s sensitive nub.

“Ah… Uh… Oh… Gods… Xena… Oh… Yes!” The blonde woman held strongly onto Xena as she threw her head back against the Warrior Princess’ shoulder. “Harder!”

Xena thrust harder, deeper and more thoroughly into the bard, feeling the spasmodic clenching inside the younger woman’s tight juicy centre. It did not take her long to make Gabrielle come as, a moment later, a loud scream of bliss escaped from the blonde woman’s throat.

“Xeeeeeeeeeenaaaaa!” She took a deep breath as she fell limply back into her older lover’s arms while the dark-haired woman slowly removed her fingers from her sex.

Xena tasted the sweet ambrosia on her fingers as she licked Gabrielle’s wetness off from them. The bard turned in the warrior’s arms, kissed her deeply for a moment, thanked her and then went to bury herself into the valley of her breasts. The older woman immediately hugged her bard affectionately and kissed the top of the blonde head. She eased both of their bodies downwards until she was flat on the blanket with the bard on top of her.

Gabrielle rested her head quietly near Xena’s big breasts while gently running her fingers along those splendid mounds and occasionally kissing them. She wanted to honour the woman who made love to her so amazingly. Her body lay on top of her warrior and her belly pressed against the warmth of Xena’s centre. She felt the Warrior Princess caress her back and wrap her strong legs around her waist.

As she enveloped her bard so cosily, Xena watched her little friend drift into an afternoon nap. The gorgeous little blonde looked so cute, cuddly and vulnerable with her head lying between her breasts and her body trapped between her legs. The warrior caressed Gabrielle’s long hair, observed as her chest heaved under the little woman’s head and cradled the sleepy bard into her protective arms. She could not help but feel ardent love for this girl who adored her so unconditionally and gave her everything she could.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Gabrielle awoke from her short nap, moaning her lover’s name. She stirred and started getting herself back up.

“What is it, Gabrielle?”

“The sun is too hot… I need to go cool down in the water.”

“Okay. Don’t go too far.”

Gabrielle got another drink from one of the water skins, offered it to Xena and watched the warrior quench her thirst too. She then stood up and went for a swim in the sea.

The bard, still naked and barefoot, approached the edge of the water. She contemplated the waves hitting the seashore for an instant as they crashed against her legs and immersed her feet in foamy water before receding, and so on.

The waves did not seem too strong. She could still swim. Gabrielle walked further into the sea until the water reached her waist. The salty liquid was warm and agreeable, yet cooling enough for her. She dampened her hair and started swimming forward, a little further, until she heard a sudden loud shout coming from the beach.

“Gabrielle! Please don’t go too far!” The bard turned around in the water to see Xena. The Warrior Princess was standing on the beach, still naked and observing her from the distance. ‘Ugh. . . Xena is becoming all motherly again. . . She loves me so much that she’s so afraid to lose me.’ Gabrielle chuckled at this thought, spun back around and resumed her forward breaststrokes into the blue sea.

A few moments went by. As far as she had swum now, her feet could not touch the bottom any longer and the sea was deep. With a few swim strokes, she turned around again to try to see Xena. The warrior woman’s presence could no longer be seen from the distance and Gabrielle, getting exhausted, began swimming back towards shore.

Half-way through, she stopped as soon as she could touch the bottom. She still could not see her lover on the beach. She stood in the water, which now reached her at the height of her shoulders, and carefully looked around her. Xena liked to surprise her and Gabrielle knew it.

Suddenly, the bard felt two strong arms move underwater and wrap themselves around her waist. She did not panic because she knew who it was.

As Xena came up from behind, she caught the shorter woman’s abdomen. The warrior got her head out of the water, moved closer to Gabrielle’s back, wrapped her arms around her younger lover’s tummy and began to gently nibble her earlobe.

“I told you not to go too far, my love,” Xena mildly chided. “Gabrielle, I nearly lost you in the sea recently. I don’t want to risk it again.” After licking at the bard’s ear, she proceeded to plant passionate kisses along her neck.

“I was not going far, Xena. And you won’t lose me.” Gabrielle softly moaned as she could feel her warrior’s breasts in her back and her mouth on her skin. The strong, protective female arms tightened across her waist. She covered them with hers, until Xena moved her hands up underwater and firmly gripped her breasts.

“Gabrielle, I know you didn’t intend to go far…” Xena spoke in her ear. “… but you need to remember how treacherous the sea is. There could always be an undercurrent trying to drag you away from me.” Beneath the surface, the Warrior Princess was delicately kneading her younger lover’s breasts.

“Don’t worry. I’m fine.” The bard gently moved the dark-haired woman’s hands away and started turning into Xena’s arms. Now facing her lover, she repositioned the warrior’s hands onto her bosom. “I’m here, Xena.” She looked up at the taller woman. “The sea didn’t take me away.”

Xena leaned and fervently kissed Gabrielle. The blonde’s eager mouth and tongue sought her own. They melted in each other’s arms as they then embraced one another. After this short cuddle, they swam back towards the beach.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They both walked back together, hand in hand, towards their bedroll. Having dampened their hair in the sea, they were less vulnerable to the sun’s heat now. They sat down together, very close to one another. Xena took the spare blanket they had to cover both their nude and drenched bodies.

“Xena, do you think we should put our clothes back on now? Or do you think it’s all right if we stay naked?”

“Don’t worry, Gabrielle. I think it’s rare when someone stops by this corner of the coast here.” The warrior smirked. “Besides, if anyone showed up and tried to bother us, you know I would deal with them, right?”

“Yeah, right.” The bard grinned.

There was a moment of silence between them as they relaxed while sitting next to one another, listening to the sea. Then the sun felt too warm on Gabrielle again.

“Xena, can we please move the blanket we’re on to the other side of that rock behind us? I want to go lie in the shade ‘cause I’m boiling…”

“Sure, my love.” Xena kissed Gabrielle’s cheek.

They quickly stood up, walked around the rock, moved the blanket to the other side and prepared another makeshift bedroll. Gabrielle lied down in the shade to protect herself from direct sunlight. Xena immediately went to rest beside her on the blanket.

They were still naked and lying down quietly next to each other. The warrior propped herself onto one elbow as she absentmindedly caressed the smooth skin of the supine bard’s abdomen.


“Yes, Gabrielle?”

“During the time when we were on our way to Ithaca, I was so scared you would leave me for Ulysses.” Gabrielle still somehow felt sad about what had happened that time.

“Gabrielle,” Xena felt a little abashed the bard was mentioning this again, “we’ve talked about this before, haven’t we?”

“Yes, but you made me feel like I was not enough for you that time…” The blonde woman gave her older lover a pouty look. “Like you still needed a man in your life or something. . . I’d gotten used to being miserable anyway…”

“Honey, I was only attracted to him, and I cared about him, but I did not love him. It’s you I love, Gabrielle. You know it.” The dark-haired woman caressed her younger lover’s chin. “As for men, Gabrielle, I admit I still feel like I’m attracted to them sometimes. But you know, even if we’d stayed in Ithaca, I believe I would have gotten tired of Ulysses eventually and gone back to you. You taught me how to love and it’s you I’ll always love in the end.”

“But I would have been real mad if you’d left me for Ulysses and we’d have had to be ‘only good friends’ again.” Gabrielle wondered if the Warrior Princess was finally willing to take their relationship seriously.

“Well, we had stopped being together for a while after your wedding and what had happened to Perdicus…” Xena suddenly noticed that Gabrielle looked dismayed. She realised it had probably been a bad idea to refer to the tragedy that had befallen the bard with the loss of her husband. “Oh… I’m sorry I brought that up, Gabrielle.”

“No, Xena,” Gabrielle objected, “you don’t have to feel sorry for that. We can talk about my wedding if you like.” The bard gazed at the warrior with a solemn expression on her face. “It does not bother me. Although I felt terrible when I lost Perdicus, I feel a lot better now.”

“Did you love Perdicus, Gabrielle?” The warrior really wanted to know.

“Xena,” the blonde woman turned to face her lover more closely as they kept lying next to one another, “there are some things I need to tell you about what happened with Perdicus. I feel ready to discuss them now.” The steady rhythm of the sea could still be heard from behind the rock.

“Go on.” The warrior stared at her younger lover, glad that Gabrielle was finally ready to talk about all this. For so many moons, she had been waiting for this conversation.

“To answer your question, I loved you both, Xena: Perdicus and you, but not in the same way. . . I had been so glad to see him again in Troy. He was a childhood friend, and I’d grown to like him very much in a way. . .” The bard carried on with her explaining. “The first time I’d been engaged to him though, I did not really want to marry him. You’d come into my life, Xena. I’d left my village to join you. You were everything I wanted, Xena. You’ve always been. But…”

“But?” the warrior asked.

“When it finally happened between us one day, you did not really want me,” Gabrielle said, cheerlessly. “You kept saying that you did not deserve me.”

“I’m sorry, Gabrielle. I wanted you but…” Xena sighed. She knew what the bard was talking about. She let her lover continue what she had to say.

“I loved you more than anything. I’d even given my virginity to you,” The younger woman’s tone sounded somewhat morose. “but you kept saying that I should get on with my life and find another lover, one who would ‘deserve’ me.”

“Oh, Gabrielle, I’m so sorry sweetheart.” The taller woman moved closer on the blanket and affectionately stroked her little girlfriend’s arm. “I’ve been a fool, but I honestly did not believe you deserved a nasty ex-warlord like me, a woman with a dark past…”

“But that’s not all of it, Xena.” Gabrielle interrupted. “I did not care about your past. I never have. I’ve always loved you the way you are… As soon as Perdicus came to see us many moons after Troy and asked me to marry him, I glanced over my shoulder towards you. I was worried. I was thinking about you and I, and the intimacy we had started experiencing together not long after I’d come back from Potidaea last year.”

“I remember when you glanced at me over your shoulder. And you also went to talk with him privately that night?” The warrior kept gently running her hand along the silky skin of the younger woman’s arm. She was ready to listen attentively to what her young bard had to say.

“That’s right. He told me that, while he’d been involved in another war after Troy, he’d killed people. That had made him feel so bad that he’d pointed a dagger to his heart but something had stopped him, he’d said to me.”

“What had stopped him?” Xena frowned.

“He said that seeing my face in his mind stopped him. I thus concluded he meant that the thought of being with me again had stopped him from killing himself.”

“Really? Did he really say that, Gabrielle?” The Warrior Princess now fully realised that the bard must have felt pressured into marrying Perdicus. It made her feel slightly bitter. But Perdicus was dead now. So, ‘Let him rest in peace,’ Xena thought.

“Yes.” Gabrielle recalled the poignant memories of what had happened. “This is something I’d never told you, Xena. I felt afraid that because the thought of seeing me again had stopped him from killing himself, then he might commit suicide if I refused to marry him. I couldn’t stand this. I loved him as a childhood friend, Xena. I really cared about him. He was important in my heart.” Sparkling tears started brimming in the blonde woman’s eyes.

“Oh, Gabrielle!” the warrior woman said in a compassionate tone as she softly stroked her younger lover’s hair and cheek.

“And then the next day you told me not to worry about you… that seeing me happy would make you happy…” Small tears started rolling down Gabrielle’s face.

“I just did not believe I deserved you, sweetheart.” Xena dried some of the bard’s tears with her thumb. “When something started between us last year, I felt very anxious inside,” the warrior explained, regret showing in her eyes. “I thought I was unworthy of the love I was getting from such a young, beautiful and innocent woman like you, Gabrielle. I so much loved you that I couldn’t resist it every time you said you wanted to sleep with me… but I also really wanted what I believed would be the best for you: that you someday would find someone who would deserve you. That’s why I told you that I thought Perdicus was a good man. All I wanted at the time was that you settle down with someone who deserves you. I thought you’d be safer that way.”

“That’s right, Xena. You wanted me to go, and at the same time I so much loved Perdicus as a childhood companion that I really did not want him to kill himself.” The younger woman felt sorrowful. “But it turned out that I wasn’t safer when I was away from you, because Callisto came after us and Perdicus died anyway.” She sniffed.

“Oh please don’t cry, my bard.” The warrior held her lover closely for an instant. “You know, at the same time, I was very jealous when you finally chose to marry him. Although I did not believe you could stay with me because of my warlord past and I wanted to be happy for you at your wedding, I was so sad at the idea of losing you. I felt my heart sink in my chest as I watched you go with him.”

“I can imagine that, my love,” the bard replied, “Sometimes I believe that I should have stayed with you even though you’d wanted me to go… You were my first lover after all. It felt absolutely awful inside to leave you, Xena.” She stopped crying. “Anyway… you know, I had to make myself look happy on the day of my wedding. . . I loved Perdicus too in a way, though not as much as I loved you. But I saw how desolate he had become and I just could not let his despair overpower him.” She blinked. “I felt happy for him at our wedding. The fact that I was helping him, it made me smile throughout that day. I also thought I had a soft spot for him since I’d seen him in Troy.”

“I understand, Gabrielle.” Xena could see that her younger lover had somehow been pressured into a wedding. She could not blame her for that. “Can I ask you something personal?” She tenderly rubbed the shorter woman’s ear.

“Yes, anything you want, my darling.” Gabrielle sighed. “After all, it’s been a while all this is over. I feel better now, even though remembering all that happened makes me feel real sad.” She tried to cheer up a little. “But I really think I’m ready to tell you everything now, Xena, so go on.”

“Did you think about me during your wedding night?”

“All the time, Xena.” There was  a very sincere tone in the bard’s voice. “By the gods, I was so nervous. I’d never slept with a man before that and, to be honest, when it happened with Perdicus I did not really enjoy it.”

Xena felt sorry for Gabrielle. She imagined that her beloved companion must have had to put up with some sex she had not truly desired on her wedding night with Perdicus.

“Did you tell him you were not a virgin?”

“Of course not.”

“So what did you tell him?”

“I simply told him that I’d never been with a man before and then let him believe what he wanted…”

“Not bad… That way you didn’t lie… I just hope he didn’t hurt you.”

“No, he didn’t. But he wasn’t an excellent lover either. I guess, at the time, I was curious at the idea of what it would be like to sleep with a man. Still, I couldn’t stop thinking about you. He was in no way as good as you in bed, Xena. I kept staring at the ceiling while he and I were doing it. And, to tell you the truth, I faked some moans while he was on top of me. I also faked my happiness the morning after that, to keep him happy.” Gabrielle remembered the utter emptiness she had felt on her wedding night, without Xena’s presence. Perdicus had been no match, for sure. She sighed. “It’s a real shame things had gotten that complicated between you and I last year. I would have rather stayed with you. I would have preferred it if Perdicus hadn’t come back and so forcefully asked me to marry him.” Sea-green eyes stared into blue ones.

“Gabrielle…” The Warrior Princess placed one arm around the waist of the woman lying next to her. “I’m sorry about what happened.”

“Oh, Xena, I’m so glad we got back together.” The bard kept lying onto her side, facing Xena, and propped herself on one elbow to gaze more intensely into the warrior’s eyes. She placed her other hand on her older lover’s shoulder and gently stroked her there. “When you kissed me again, while you were in Autolycus’ body, I was so glad. I wanted you back so much.” The blonde woman grinned. “I had already nearly lost you once last year after a poisoned arrow had hit you, and I just couldn’t bear losing you again. When I brought you back to life with the Ambrosia, I was so happy to finally have you back. I’d wanted you back not only to life. I also wanted you back in my bedroll.”

“I know, and I’m glad I went back there too.” Xena gave her younger lover the slight half smile that Gabrielle loved so much. “I had been missing that ever since the day you’d gotten married.”

“So you still don’t believe that you deserve me now after all we’ve been going through that showed us deeply in our hearts that we’re meant to be together?”

“No, sweetheart. Now I’m willing to give it a try.” The warrior nodded sheepishly. She wished she had been willing to give their relationship a more serious try from the day it had started, instead of continuing to think that Gabrielle would be safer without her. Callisto could have killed Gabrielle the morning after her wedding, had Xena not come to save her.

“Even though you don’t think our relationship is ‘the best for me’?”

“Gabrielle, I am seriously willing to make it the best for you. I love you and I want to make you happy in any way I possibly can.” The dark-haired woman’s hand softly brushed the side of the younger woman’s face. “I know I’ve done terrible things in my life, so terrible that sometimes I sincerely wonder how you can stay with me… but I’m now fully become aware that, although these sorts of feelings are still all new to me, I’m very deeply in love with you…” Xena tenderly kissed Gabrielle’s forehead. “… and I’d never felt anything for anyone else before I met you that meant as much as what I feel for you right now. You’re such a beautiful little bard.” Xena’s eyes briefly widened as they wandered down the blonde’s naked body before moving back up to look into Gabrielle’s gorgeous face. “You are like a real gift from the gods to me. I’m so lucky to have you, whether I deserve you or not. I’m now willing to take the chance, Gabrielle. I’ve now decided I really want to make it work for the both of us.”

“So, please Xena, promise me: no more Ulysses, no one else in your love life apart from me, huh?” The bard raised an eyebrow at the warrior after asking this new question, wanting to know how serious Xena was about making their relationship work.

“Gabrielle, I barely felt anything for Ulysses. Nothing compared to what I feel for you. And no, I promise, there will be no one else from now on.”

“Good.” The younger woman smirked and quickly kissed her lover’s lips. “’Cause I think the love you have for me must be part of your redemption somehow. I’ve been thinking. . . and I realised that if the Fates made us end up together again after all, that you even had to be brought back to life another time to be with me once again, well I believe us being together can only bring a positive experience to you in your quest to redeem yourself. I don’t believe it’s any coincidence the Fates sent me on your road, Xena.” The bard kept smiling at her lover. “I know you’ve done terrible things but love can redeem you too, I know it.” The two women kissed for a quiet moment, then stared into each other’s eyes again.

“You know, Gabrielle, I realised that I simply cannot live without you. Even if Perdicus hadn’t died, I’m somehow convinced that I would have at some point come to visit you at your new house while you were married.”

“And I think that, if my husband hadn’t died and you would have come to visit me like you say, then I would have ended up having you as a secret lover when Perdicus wouldn’t have been around.” Gabrielle chortled.

“Even though you would have known, in your heart, that it might not be right for Perdicus?” Xena wondered.

“He would have never known so it wouldn’t hurt him.” The bard shrugged. “Besides, I love you, Xena, and that’s all that would matter to me.” The young storyteller brushed a strand of dark hair off the side of the taller woman’s face and delicately brought it behind her ear. “That’s all that matters to me now. I’m so glad you’re now willing to make it all alright for both of us.”

Xena just kissed the younger woman again, for a long moment. Gabrielle enjoyed the contact of the Warrior Princess’ lips and tongue against her own. When the kiss was over, she looked at the beautiful warrior woman lying next to her once again.

“Xena, you know, regarding what happened between us last year… and that ‘virginity’ thing…”

“Yes, what about it?”

“Well, I’m very glad you were my first, although… I’ve got to ask you something.”

“What, Gabrielle?”

“Well, you know how some religious people we meet on the road are like, especially the Hestians… So what I want to ask is this: If anyone religious that we barely know ever tries to find out about how I lost my virginity, we’ll just let them believe I lost it on my wedding night, okay? What happened between us before my marriage is nobody’s business but ours, all right?”

“Oh Gabrielle…” The warrior woman stroked the beautiful blonde’s hair. “We already know that most people out there define the term ‘virgin’ only as ‘untouched by man’ anyway. They don’t really care about what women do together… not even amazons.” Xena chuckled and showed Gabrielle a slight smile. “So don’t worry about the Hestians or anyone else. It’s all right by me: We’ll tell nosy religious people whatever you like, and that wouldn’t even have to be a lie in their own vocabulary if you told them that you lost your virginity while you were married.”

“Thank you.” Gabrielle sighed in relief and appreciated Xena’s relaxed attitude about the subject. She knew how some Greek religious people were like, with their silly attitudes regarding virginity and ‘purity.’

Both women quietly rested in the shade behind the rock for a candlemark or so, as the sun reached the zenith. They peacefully listened to the harmonious noise sea waves were making a few feet away from the bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the later candlemarks of the afternoon, when the weather’s heat was less intense on the beach, Gabrielle got up and went to sit in the sand. She observed the waves crashing against the shore a few feet ahead. They had become a lot higher than earlier on when she had gone for a swim. She was still nude but did not care. It was still a nice and romantic day she was spending with the warrior in this magnificent deserted area.

Xena was done resting too. She got up from the bedroll and walked around the rock. She found the naked bard sitting alone on the beach. Still not wearing any clothes herself, she started walking towards her lover. Being naked in the sunlight did not bother her. It was a wonderful romantic day she had agreed with Gabrielle to spend on the beach. Tomorrow, they would be back on the road again.

“Gabrielle, what are you doing sitting there?”

Hearing the sound of the Warrior Princess’ voice, the blonde happily turned her head to look up at her.

“I was waiting for you to join me here, Xena… Can you bring your chakram, please?”

Xena stopped walking. “Sure. Why?”

“You’ll see,” Gabrielle said in a cryptic way, smiling.

The dark-haired woman turned back towards the bedroll, went to get her chakram and made her way back towards Gabrielle. She sat down on the sand next to the bard.

“Here, I’ve got it, sweetheart.” She kissed the top of her younger lover’s head. “What do you want with it?”

“Can I borrow it?”

“You don’t know how to use it.”

“I know, but I just want to be able to draw a circle in the sand. Its contours will be more accurate if I use your chakram to do it, Xena, please.”

“Okay.” The warrior handed her chakram to the bard, which the younger woman took into her delicate hands. “But why do you want to draw a circle in the sand, Gabrielle, anyway?”

“To make a point… You’ll see.” Gabrielle turned towards Xena and kissed the older woman on the lips. Then she kept grinning at her lover. “First of all, Xena, I’d like to let you know how happy I am we’ve finally managed to have this conversation about what’s happened between us over the past year or so. I’m glad we’ve finally managed to get all this out of ourselves so we can move on and think about the future… our future together.”

“So, no more weddings, Gabrielle?” Xena asked while raising an inquiring eyebrow at the young blonde.

“Xena, darling, please don’t look back. Look ahead. I’ll never walk away again. And you won’t want me to go anymore now, will you?”

“Well, sometimes I still wonder if you’d be safer without me in some ways, but you’re also giving me such a great strength of mind and heart every day during our travels together. . . I’ve decided that I’ve got to be with you, Gabrielle, no matter what. I’ll keep protecting you whenever you need it; and I’ll carry on teaching you how to fight whenever you want it.”

“That’s so great, Xena. So great you’re ready to go forward now.” The bard kindly patted the warrior woman on the shoulder. She then turned back to the sand in front of them. She shifted to a kneeling position as she ran the palm of her hand across the creamy-coloured granular ground to flatten it. She then put down the chakram onto the sand before her and turned to look at Xena again. “Can I tell you a story? I haven’t told you a story for a couple of days.”

“Sure.” Xena had learned to truly enjoy Gabrielle telling her stories, especially since they’d gone back to being lovers again.

“Once upon a time, there was a dark warrior princess. She was very unhappy about the things she’d done and thought her life only led to darkness and dead ends… until the day she saved a young village girl from being captured for slavery…” The blonde woman felt a bit nervous and blushed at the idea of telling the dark-haired woman about their own love story.

“Gabrielle, I already know our story, thank you. Why don’t you tell me another one?”

“No, Xena, wait.” The storyteller brought her fingers to the taller woman’s lips and gently hushed her. “I’m trying to make a point here. I promise you, it is worth it.” She removed her hand from the warrior’s mouth and continued: “So… this beautiful Warrior Princess met this young woman. They started travelling around Greece together as good friends, and many moons later they became lovers. And it was a first time for both of them. It was a first time for the younger woman because she had been a virgin before their first night together… but it was also a first time for the dark warrior princess because, although she was very much physically experienced, she’d thought she would be incapable of loving and caring about someone else’s pleasure and happiness. However, she surprised her own self with the fact that she could treat a younger and inexperienced lover with respect because she had truly fallen in love with someone else for the first time in her life after she met that young girl. Her younger friend was her first real love.” Gabrielle noticed Xena blush buoyantly at hearing the bard telling their own story.

The bard carried on: “Anyway, unfortunately, their relationship broke after a few moons because the warrior could not find enough confidence in herself for them to be together –and for other important reasons as well. After quite a few more moons, the warrior woman died, not long after being hit by a tree trunk during an enemy attack. Her younger friend wanted her back to life so much she felt terribly pained for a couple of days… She felt sad until the moment she resuscitated the woman she loved with a piece of Ambrosia. They went back to being lovers that night. So, therefore, the Warrior Princess did not feel so ‘dark’ anymore and saw there could also be light in her heart and in her life…”

“You are the light in my life, Gabrielle.” Xena simpered and wrapped an arm around her younger lover. “So… are you still going to draw that circle and make the point you wanted to make or what?” Both women looked at the chakram that Gabrielle had placed on the sand in front of her.

“That’s right, I’m making my point now, Xena. My point is…” The bard started moving her index finger in the sand around the circular object, tracing its outline. She knew the chakram had already shaped a circle by itself, but she nonetheless proceeded to draw another one around it. “We belong together, Xena. It doesn’t matter that difficulties separate us sometimes, our relationship never ends. Our love is endless. It keeps going ‘round and ‘round… like a circle!” The storyteller finished drawing the circle around the chakram. “I complete you. You make me whole. We fulfil each other. And that intense feeling burning inside us –what makes us both feel as if we were each one half of the same soul– is really all we need. I drew a circle because it has no end…” She turned to face her older lover while they were still sitting on the beach. “… just like our love, it’s eternal, no matter what.” They both gazed at one another intensely and immediately kissed each other deeply.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Not one word was spoken as they continued to thoroughly kiss each other hungrily. Suddenly, Xena stood up and lifted the bard. Gabrielle swiftly grabbed the chakram before being moved off the ground. She quickly tossed it near their belongings as the taller woman carried her towards where their bedroll was. When the warrior reached the place behind the rock, she put the smaller woman down onto the blanket.

The blonde then lay down comfortably on her back while looking up at the eagerly lustful look she could see on the warrior’s face. She bent her knees and spread her legs, inviting her lover in.

“Gabrielle…” Xena knelt between the supine bard’s legs and stared down at her lover with a desirous look on her face.

“Yes, my warrior?”

“So you really think there is ‘light’ within me, huh?”

“Yes, Xena. You’ve always treated me right, intimately, I mean.”

“But you do know I have a dark side too, don’t you?” She grinned wickedly at the smaller woman. That made Gabrielle chuckle.

“Of course I know that, Xena. Why are you asking?”

“I’m just trying to explain to you one of the reasons why I like taking the lead so often during our lovemaking, my little bard. You’re so beautiful. I love taking you. And I also love to…” Xena wanted to be playful right now. She wanted to tease the smaller woman before making love to her. She instantly tickled the bard’s belly, making the blonde woman laugh and squirm nervously. The warrior sniggered.

“Oh… Uh… No… Er… Please…  Stop tickling me, Xena.” The younger woman tried to catch her lover’s hands to make her quit, but Xena was too fast.

“I love to make your little body squirm to my touch. It’s so cute.” The Warrior Princess sometimes liked grabbing and lightly pinching the bard’s skin while mischievously moving her fingers along the sides of the girl’s abdomen. That was what she kept doing now.

Gabrielle could not take any more of this. It was no longer funny. “Xena… Stop… You often see me as a ‘little one.’ Who’s being the big kid now?… Uh… Stop… Xena… It’s not funny anymore.”

Seeing that her little girlfriend was starting to feel very uncomfortable, Xena instantly stopped tickling her.

“I’m sorry.” The warrior leaned down to kiss the bard’s mouth. Her body hovered over the smaller woman’s as she used her upper arms to support some of her weight. Her hands touched some of Gabrielle’s long blond hair, which she loved.

“It’s all right. Thanks for stopping.” The blonde wanted to tickle Xena too, to get her own back on what the taller woman had just done to her, but she thought it could wait until later. She felt too good when she felt Xena’s lips onto hers and responded to the kiss with fervour. At the same time, she wrapped her hands around her older lover’s neck and ran delicate fingers through the dark hair. After kissing for a moment, she spoke to the woman who now lay on top of her. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” Xena enjoyed her body’s contact to the silkiness of Gabrielle’s skin. That little woman felt so soft to her. “So it really doesn’t bother you that I have a dark side and that I prefer being the one in charge of the lovemaking most of the time?” She sensually brushed her lips to her younger lover’s.

“No, Xena, it doesn’t bother me.” Gabrielle smirked. She kept caressing Xena’s hair while looking up at her. “You know, I have a wicked streak too… I mean, I know a lot about your past and your reputation in some villages but I don’t care at all. I love you just the way you are. You’re so stunningly beautiful, and I totally love it when you take the lead in the bedroll. I love feeling all your warrior strength when you make love to me. I love your power. I love it when you take me. I love your dark side, when you can use it in a good way. I love all of you.”

“Oh, Gabrielle, do you know what you are saying to me?” The warrior immediately took the bard’s mouth again into a searing kiss. She felt so aroused by the things her younger lover had just said to her. She wanted to enjoy the woman she loved and take her ardently. Her tongue easily found entry into Gabrielle’s mouth as their lips locked together once again. Their tongues intertwined, moving fast, making the kiss deep and wet as they passionately tasted each other’s mouth again and again.

Xena caught Gabrielle’s hands into her own and pinned them down onto the blanket beneath them for a short while. She shifted her weight from the bard and returned to a kneeling position between the storyteller’s legs. She grabbed the younger woman’s bent knees and spread her wide open in front of her –admiring the wonderful blonde beauty before her.

Gabrielle remained on her back. Her arms lay still and flat, near her head. She could still hear the peaceful grandeur of the sea working its waves along the beach as she gazed up at her Xena. Her very experienced lover kept staring down at her libidinously. Gabrielle completely relaxed and kept her legs spread –willing to give herself completely to this delightfully stunning dark-haired goddess. She saw the Warrior Princess give her a naughty smile.

“Gabrielle, you are so absolutely gorgeous and I want to make love to you right now,” Xena said huskily. “I want to make you moan and scream my name in bliss.”

“Oh, yes Xena. Take me!” The bard briefly bit her lower lip in sweet anticipation. She felt herself getting very warm between the thighs at the thought of the warrior being on top again.

“Yes, I am going to take you, Gabrielle.” The carnal tone in the Warrior Princess’s voice was so incredibly mesmerising and powerful. “I’m first going to take you with my mouth and with my tongue until you come. And as soon as you catch your breath and you’re ready to go again, I’m going to take you again with my breasts, with my sex and with my fingers until you scream my name in intense pleasure. I swear it, my little bard, you’re going to enjoy every single moment of your warrior taking you.”

Gabrielle moaned in strong excitement as Xena went to lie on top of her again and covered her mouth with vigorous kisses. The words the sexy taller woman had just been telling her seductively thrilled her. She loved it when her lover spoke in such an erotic way to her. This warrior woman clearly was her wildest dreams come true.

The Warrior Princess nibbled on one of the bard’s ears before trailing her tongue down towards the pulse point on her younger lover’s throat. She then planted a series of small, tender love bites along the blonde’s neck, collarbone and shoulder before starting moving her way downwards.

Xena pressed the tip of her tongue onto one of the bard’s dark pink nipples and licked around it, before suckling on it. She then moved to the other breast. She licked and sucked its bud in the same fashion, trapping it between her teeth. Gabrielle’s nipples completely stiffened under her lover’s ministrations. The warrior grabbed the bard’s breasts with both hands and energetically kneaded the pliant flesh. She flicked her thumbs across the hard nipples while slightly lifting her head to look at her bard.

“Are you mine, Gabrielle?” she asked in a horny voice.

“Oh… Yes… Xena… I’m yours,” the storyteller softly groaned. The feel of Xena’s touch on her skin provoked a flame of desire within her. It now fiercely burned inside her body. She enjoyed the sweet, delicious surrender, as she let her older and more experienced lover take complete control of this precious lovemaking. She kept uttering little noises of delight as Xena carried on stimulating her sensitive bosom.

The warrior woman again covered each of the bard’s breasts with her mouth, one at a time. She joyfully played with her younger lover’s breasts for a moment. She was wrapping her hands around those two lovely mounds as she greedily suckled them, eliciting some more happy moans from the blonde woman who then arched into her touch. Xena descended further on her young friend’s body, leaving a path of sultry kisses along the way.

“Oh… Yes… Xena… Please…” Gabrielle moved her hands to delicately run her fingers into her lover’s long, slick and dark hair.

The Warrior Princess gently bit at the soft flesh next to the bard’s navel, slid her tongue around the crevice and left a moist trail of saliva as she moved further down to reach her goal. The dark-haired woman teased each of the petite blonde’s inner thighs with soft little kisses. She paused a brief moment, inhaling the intoxicating scent of her younger lover’s arousal before gently kissing the golden patch of hair at the top. Xena draped Gabrielle’s legs over her shoulders. She flattened her tongue and slowly licked the outer folds, making her lover gasp.

“Hmmm… You’re so wet, Gabrielle. Is this for me?”

“Yes, absolutely…”

The warrior also loved getting a delightful view of the bard’s intimate places. She lifted her head, reached around the younger woman’s thighs and used her fingers to lightly caress her girlfriend’s centre. She spread the outer lips with her thumbs. Xena always felt utterly fascinated by the delicacy of the pinkish textures of her younger lover’s sex and the blond curls covering its apex and outward areas. She looked up at Gabrielle.

“Tell me, my bard: this cute little thing you’ve got between your legs. It’s so beautiful. Is it mine?” The warrior licked her own lips in hunger as she kept touching the bard.

“Oh, yes… Totally, Xena! It’s yours whenever you want it.”

Xena really liked what she had just heard. She instantly buried her face between Gabrielle’s legs. She felt absolutely enthralled by her little lover’s hot and wet centre. She revelled in the familiar and delicious taste of her bard. She leisurely licked up and down the length of the bard’s labia, lapping at the honey-dewed wetness. With the tip of her tongue, she gave slow licks on the area all around the clit.

“Oh… Uh… Xena… Oh, Gods!” Gabrielle rapturously squirmed under her lover’s oral activities on her erogenous zones. She wanted more of this. Her hips started bucking towards Xena’s mouth. She kept stroking her lover’s hair.

The Warrior Princess probed her tongue even more deeply into the bard’s sodden folds. She licked her way into every corner, every crevice. She enjoyed taking every part of the sleek textures into her mouth as she hungrily sucked and licked the inner folds for a long moment.

“Oh… Uh… Yes… Ahh… This feels so amazing, Xena…” the blonde woman kept moving her hips. She tried to push down the dark-haired woman’s head more strongly onto the area between her thighs, but Xena suddenly lifted her face from her sex. “Please, Xena, don’t stop!”

“I won’t, my love.” Xena looked up at her lover for a minute. Her little friend’s moisture was coating every corner of her mouth. “You’re just so tasty. I wanna eat you alive.”

The warrior needed to change her position to give herself more access to her lover’s private parts. She wanted to honour the woman who offered herself to her so willingly and completely. “Come here! You know you love this.” She grabbed Gabrielle’s thighs, shifted herself to lie onto her back and pulled the sweet little body to her until the bard was on her knees straddling her above the shoulders, each of Gabrielle’s leg planted on either side of her head. The warrior took her girlfriend’s hips and lowered her down to her eager mouth.

“Oh… Gods!” Gabrielle swiftly grabbed onto the rock in front of her to support herself as she felt the Warrior Princess return to her task. She felt Xena’s tongue tease her swollen nub again and continued moaning her lover’s name in delight. “Oh… Yes! Xena… This feels great!” Her warrior kept using one of her ‘many skills’ to stimulate her. This felt fantastic. She moved her hips up and down, closer against the warrior woman’s face.

Xena happily lay on her back while fully spreading the bard’s centre above her to taste it even more intimately and closely. Her hands reached around to grip her younger lover’s firm buttocks. She moaned in delight as she thrust her tongue even deeper into the younger woman’s depths, savouring more of the sweet honey-musk that abundantly flowed from the hole. She tried not to lose one drop of her little lover’s luscious nectar. She moved a hand back to the front of Gabrielle and fondled the small bud near the top of the blonde woman’s sex with a finger, as she continued to drive her tongue in and out of her lover. The taste and scent of her bard felt so overwhelming to her senses.

“Xena… Oh… Yes!…Gods!… Uh…” Gabrielle cried out in ecstasy as she felt the warrior plunge her tongue repeatedly inside her while carrying on playing with her throbbing clit. The storyteller grasped more steadily onto the rock behind their bedroll and could see the sea when she looked somewhere above it. The waves that were building up and smashing against the shore before Gabrielle’s eyes now practically matched the wave after wave of increasing pleasure that swept through her body. “Oh… Xena… the things you do to me…” she moaned in delight.

The Warrior Princess knew the bard was going to be approaching climax soon. She glided her tongue upwards, towards her younger lover’s sensitive bundle of nerves and drew the nub into her mouth. She heartily sucked on it while caressing it with her tongue.

“Xe… Oh, yes! Xeeeenaaaaaa!” Gabrielle screamed in ecstasy. As she saw a huge wave crash onto the shore, she reached orgasm, erupting onto her lover’s face below her; her juices pouring down onto the warrior’s nose, cheeks and chin.

Xena carried on licking her little girlfriend’s delicious sweetness with enthusiasm, until the bard’s last glorious spasms ceased. Gabrielle collapsed onto the rock in front of her. The warrior quickly lifted her with her strong arms. In a few swift movements, Xena dragged the smaller body down until the other woman fully lay on top of her.

Gabrielle tried to catch her breath and kissed the brunette, tasting herself onto her mouth. She beamed in euphoria. The Warrior Princess smiled back at her radiantly.

“I love you, Gabrielle.” She stroked her younger lover’s hair and caressed the smooth skin of her back.

“I love you too.”

“I’m not finished with you, my beautiful bard.” Xena grinned wickedly. “Tell me when you’re ready for more… but please rest for now.” She slightly moved the bard down to place her lover’s head close to her heart and she tenderly kissed the top of her lover’s head.

The bard snuggled up closely into the warrior’s embrace. She rested on top of the other woman for a moment, as she just needed to recover from the intense pleasure she had just received for now. She felt comfortably warmed by all the love and tenderness she was getting from her Warrior Princess.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

. . . as soon as you catch your breath and you’re ready to go again, I’m going to take you again with my breasts, with my sex and with my fingers until you scream my name in intense pleasure.

After resting for a short while and being absorbed in drifting thoughts about all the lustful things the warrior woman had said to her, Gabrielle started opening her eyes again. She lifted her head and stared deeply into Xena’s piercing blue eyes as she felt another heat smouldering between her thighs.

“Xena, I want you to take me again, just like you said you would.”

The Warrior Princess just smirked. She quickly flipped the bard onto her back and covered her body with hers. She passionately claimed her mouth with her own. She felt delighted when Gabrielle’s lips parted to allow her a better entry. She pushed her tongue into the blonde’s mouth until her younger lover’s tongue intermingled with hers. After fervently kissing her, Xena whispered something into the storyteller’s ears.

“Gabrielle, I’m going to take you again. I’m going to make hard, intense love to you.”

“Oh, yes! I can’t wait.”

“Neither can I.”

Xena first moved up Gabrielle’s body until her large breasts hung over the bard’s face. The storyteller looked up, seized the two beautiful ample mounds and pressed one of them towards her mouth. Then she moved to taste the other one.

The warrior liked offering her breasts to Gabrielle because she knew how much her younger lover loved them. Xena lowered them against the blonde woman’s hands and mouth as Gabrielle kept playing with them and voraciously suckling on them, one at a time.

The bard teased each of the hardened nipples and whimpered contentedly as she squeezed the Warrior Princess’ breasts into her hands. She felt disappointed when the dark-haired woman moved down her body and the magnificent mounds were out of her reach.

“Hold on, sweetheart, you’re going to like this.” Xena opened Gabrielle’s legs wider and lowered one of her breasts until its tip touched the wet folds of the bard’s sex. She squeezed her own breast in her hand and pushed it into her lover’s centre, making Gabrielle moan again. She then slid the nipple around her lover’s clit, lightly teasing it before thrusting the tip of her breast against it. She heard Gabrielle cry out in joy and she then used her other breast to do the same thing. She took the other mound and stroked the bard’s sensitive bundle of nerves with it. Then she moved it down and pressed the nipple against her girlfriend’s entrance.

“Uh… Oh… Yes, I love it, Xena, when you make love to me with your breasts.”

The warrior woman lifted herself again, spread the bard’s glistening lips and went to push her own wet centre against her lover’s. Xena now lay on top of Gabrielle, with one arm on the ground to support her own weight and her other hand grabbing one of the blonde woman’s hips, as she began rocking against her.

“Oh… Yes! Xena.” Gabrielle wrapped her legs around her older lover’s waist and clung firmly onto Xena’s back as the warrior ardently ground her sex into hers. Their throbbing lips meshed themselves together as both lovers intensely gazed into each other’s eyes and kissed. The blonde woman panted and groaned in enjoyment. “Oh… I love it… when you make love to me like this… Xena.”

Xena drove her clit more energetically against the bard’s for a long while before suddenly turning herself over, pulling Gabrielle with her. She sat up with her back against the rock and made the smaller woman straddle her thigh.

Gabrielle felt surprised by this abrupt shift in position but instantly put her hands on her lover’s shoulders. The warrior kissed her and made her place one knee between her thighs so that the bottom of one of the bard’s legs now pressed against Xena’s centre while the younger woman’s other knee rested on the other side of the taller woman’s thigh.

“Ohhh… Gabrielle.” Xena revelled in the sensation of her girlfriend’s leg pushed against her wet folds as she brought her hands up to knead the storyteller’s breasts.

“Uh… Yes… Xena.” Gabrielle loved it when her lover took possession of her sensitive breasts. She kissed Xena again and then stared into the warrior’s silvery blue eyes.

“What do you want, Gabrielle?” The Warrior Princess asked as she kept massaging her younger lover’s breasts.

“Ah… Er…” The bard shivered in pleasure as she felt the taller woman move one of her hands towards her centre. Xena’s fingers made contact with her velvety folds before lightly touching her clit. “I want you to take me, Xena. I want you to put your fingers deep inside me.” The blonde spread her legs wider to encourage her warrior.

“All right.” Xena instantly entered Gabrielle with two fingers. She used her thumb to play with the bard’s swollen bundle of nerves as she began thrusting back and forth inside her bard. With her free hand, she reached around and grasped the younger woman’s soft ass. At the same time, she strongly rubbed herself against the blonde’s leg. “Can you feel me inside you?” She gazed intensely into the bard’s blue-green eyes.

“Um… Oh… Yes, Xena!…  That’s it… I love feeling you inside me… Uh… Oh…” Gabrielle continued moaning in absolute rapture as she held strongly onto the dark-haired woman’s shoulders. She stared back at Xena, revelling in the superb erotic connection she shared with this sublime warrior woman. The waves were still making some noise on the beach but Gabrielle was no longer aware of them. All her attention had now been drawn to what her lover was making her feel.

“Gabrielle… Oh… You feel so good inside…” The Warrior Princess intensely looked into her little friend’s eyes as she kept making sweet love to her bard.

“Xena… Oh… Make it harder, please!”

Xena swiftly added a third finger inside the bard and pushed her digits harder and deeper into Gabrielle’s drenched centre. She delighted in the feel of the blonde’s inner walls, which kept tightening around her fingers.

“Uh… Gabrielle… You love it when I give you some mighty warrior love like this, huh… don’t you, my bard?” Xena smiled at the ecstatic expression she could see on Gabrielle’s face as she continued moving inside her at a fast pace.

“Yes… Uh… My warrior… Oh… Yes… I love it… Very much… Ah…”

The dark-haired woman stimulated her lover’s sexual node more vigorously with her thumb, making the younger woman cry out her name again. The storyteller’s pleasure noises sounded like music to her ears.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” The warrior woman quickly came, from her clit’s contact to the girl’s skin. She continued taking her girlfriend towards climax anyway. Gabrielle rocked her hips and moved herself more thoroughly up and down onto the warrior’s hand until she reached the peak. She enjoyed every single moment of Xena filling her so wildly. It made her core clench spasmodically several times around her lover’s fingers.

“Xeeeenaaaa!” She screamed her lover’s name again in utter bliss and fell forward, panting, onto Xena.

They were both gasping for breath, as the Warrior Princess removed her fingers from Gabrielle’s comfortable warmth and moved her hand up to smear the bard’s mouth with her own wetness.

“So sweet!” Xena murmured, before placing her other hand onto the nape of the smaller woman’s neck and pulling her towards her. She eagerly kissed her, tasting Gabrielle’s delicious love juices on her mouth. “I love you, Gabrielle,” she said, “I love you more than you could ever imagine,” and she kept kissing her. The two lovers quickly shifted down onto the bedroll until they lay in each other’s arms.

“Oh… I love you too, Xena.” Gabrielle purred. “I love it when you make powerful and hard love to me so exquisitely.” She felt intensely gratified. Her warrior had just intimately overpowered her so wonderfully. She loved Xena’s dark side for a reason. The Warrior Princess’ dominant power and ardent sexual passion excited her somehow. At the same time, she also loved the fact that the warrior woman treated her right in the bedroll.

Gabrielle was aware of her lover’s bad past but she was glad the taller woman loved her so much that she always gave great importance to her pleasure. The storyteller felt so happy that her own sexual satisfaction mattered so much to Xena.

The older woman could make Gabrielle experience the intensity of her warrior strength during their lovemaking while simultaneously making it safe, by caring so much about how the bard responded to her touch.

If something had felt unpleasant to Gabrielle, Xena would have stopped immediately. The blonde woman was pleased she had opened up such a good side in the warrior. She noticed that she could keep her lover’s dark side under control during their intimate moments, turning it into something rather pleasurable and safe.

Feeling Xena gently stroke her long blonde hair and cuddle her, the young bard dozed off into her lover’s embrace until it was nearly time for supper.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the evening, both women went for another swim together before supper. They also slowly rolled themselves around on the seashore, while closely hugging, kissing, declaring their devotions and loving the feel of each other’s skin, as beating waves softly hit their bodies. They cuddled like this for a little while, until it was time Xena to go catch some more fish and seaweed for their meal. Gabrielle waited for her on the shore.

Once the warrior had caught the food, they walked back towards their belongings. Gabrielle took the blanket, walked around and moved their bedroll back to the front of the rock. She wanted to be able to get a nicer view of the beach while they ate.

Xena walked into the palm tree forest at the back, to gather some more wood from any shrub she could find. She came back and kindled a small fire so Gabrielle could cook.

The Warrior Princess and the bard ate quietly. They observed the sea waves rising and falling in their endless rhythm on the coast. Intermittently, they smiled at one another, the brightness of love sparkling in their eyes. There would now be another couple of candlemarks to go before sunset. As they finished savouring their food, Gabrielle started speaking.

“Thank you, Xena.” The blonde woman grinned.

“For what?”

“For this gorgeous, amazingly wonderful and romantic day you were willing to spend with me on the beach.”

“It’s all right, my love,” the warrior charmingly said.

“You know, I’m gonna miss this place. It was so great to spend such an outstanding day together on the beach.”

“Yeah, I loved it too, Gabrielle, but we really have to start heading back to town early tomorrow morning.”

“It’s okay, Xena. I understand that we have to go. I just simply loved the fact that, for one day in our lives, there was only you, me and the beach that existed for us.” The bard carried on smiling at her older lover.

“Yeah, it was awesome,” the Warrior Princess agreed, smirking.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At night, they made passionate love again a couple more times. Exhausted and panting, they exchanged more words of love and devotion before they decided they really had to try to get some sleep. They now lay together in the bedroll, still completely nude.

As she was trying to fall asleep, Gabrielle turned onto her side. She almost instantly felt Xena gently spooning her from behind.

“I love you so much, my little bard,” Xena affectionately said. She nestled up behind her younger lover, slid an arm around to cup one of the bard’s breasts and softly kissed her neck. She entwined her legs with Gabrielle’s.

“I love you too, my warrior.” Gabrielle slightly turned her head to smile at Xena.

The Warrior Princess gave the bard a quick kiss and was glad to see the younger woman comfortably settle down closer into her embrace. This was a sleeping position they both loved so much. The dark-haired woman lay her head near the blond hair and relished in the glorious smell of her little lover.

The blonde woman could feel Xena’s protective arms around her and the warrior’s hot breath near her ear. She could also feel the warrior’s large breasts softly pressing against her back and her lovely pubic hair touching her butt. This felt all so wonderfully intimate, loving and affectionate to her. Gabrielle fell asleep, feeling all the tenderness her warrior woman was giving her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Xena also entered the land of Morpheus. Later on in her sleep, she started dreaming, a pleasant dream.

The circle that Gabrielle had drawn in the sand appeared on the ground before her eyes. She was standing alone on the sunny beach, wearing her warrior outfit. The pleasant smell of the salty water filled her nostrils. She then looked up into the sky to see a brief eclipse as the sun turned into an ever-burning ring of fire. After the eclipse, she could see her chakram slowly flying towards her in an upright position and flipping around continuously onto itself. She jumped up and caught it in her hand. She looked through the circular object and suddenly saw Gabrielle appear on the other side of it. She placed her weapon back on her waist.

The bard was now on the beach with her, fully dressed and grinning at her. Xena smiled back and walked towards her. She kissed her younger lover and whispered promises of everlasting love into her ear. Then their hands interlocked and they started dancing together on the beach, in a circular motion. The sun was hot, and the sand bright. The waves were very large in the sea, forming almost circular shapes of blue foamy water before breaking into a surf near the edge of the beach. Xena danced faster with Gabrielle on the sand. This circular dance overwhelmed her mind. She laughed happily and the bard started laughing with her. This love they shared was eternal, she knew it, just like circles could spin ‘round and ‘round…  forever.

The Warrior Princess peacefully slept, snuggled up against her sweet little bard. She smiled in her sleep, thanks to this beautiful dream she was having. The younger woman slept quietly and blithely in front of her on the bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Early in the morning, Xena got up. She woke Gabrielle up with a few gentle kisses. They got dressed and gathered their belongings. Together, they started walking away from the coast. They both knew they would never forget any of the excellent romantic moments they had spent together on the beach the day before.

“You know, Gabrielle. I had a wonderful dream last night,” the Warrior Princess said, smiling, as they continued to walk away from that amazing place.

“You wanna tell me about it?”

“Yes, I will tell you all about it. But, first of all, let me tell you how much I’ll always love you… forever, sweetheart.”

“My love for you is endless too, Xena.”

Xena let herself be fully convinced that nothing would ever separate them anymore. What she shared with Gabrielle was stronger than anything –life and death included. They belonged together and were made for each other.

They walked happily together in the sunlight, towards town –towards more adventures.


Closer than blood bonds

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 1:

Closer than blood bonds

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimer: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season One episode Ties that Bind.

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you’re older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Author’s note: This is not a first time story. I think there are enough first time stories out there. My favourite X/G first time story is Heaven Down Here by Rebecca Hall (a.k.a. Storm), and thus I’d rather keep it that way in my own subtextual canon (this story here can also somehow be seen as a potential sequel to my favourite first time story, by the way). Also, I believe that Xena and Gabrielle can still be intimately passionate with each other after their first time.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; Donar, LucRen, Ninja & RJcreek (from TX) for the pre-release reading & feedback; other people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for their encouragements.

Feedback: See feedback page.


For me, our friendship binds us closer than blood ever could.

The words of the warrior woman still echoed inside the bard’s mind. The extent of the emotional message those words attempted to convey had reached deep inside of Gabrielle’s heart. She felt she was sharing such a profound and very intimate bond with the woman who was standing next to her –the woman who, a couple of weeks ago, had been the first person to make love to her. And she was the very same woman Gabrielle had had to prevent from going utterly mad and harming other people today in this village.

Gabrielle followed Xena as they both walked away from Locia –the villagers feeling utterly peaceful now that the ruthless God of War had left. Xena held Argo by her harness as she and her sweet little blonde friend walked beside the horse.

It had been the second time Ares had tried to get Xena back since she had renounced the warlord lifestyle. His plan had been so evil and stealthy this time. The way he had taken the shape of her father angered Xena. That bastard had made her believe that Atrius had finally come back to search for her –to search for his daughter. However, no, it had been that insanely cruel God of War all along who had impersonated her father in an attempt to make her turn evil again.

As she and the bard walked on further outside the village, Xena felt a little sad and disappointed by what had happened. Gabrielle noticed that the beautiful dark-haired woman walking next to her looked somewhat unhappy.

“Are you all right?” asked Gabrielle.

“Yes, I’m okay, Gabrielle.” Xena gave her a reassuring smile. She pushed her sadness away from her mind –thinking that she and Gabrielle could always talk about this later on.

Looking at the younger woman, Xena felt grateful that Gabrielle had so swiftly brought her back to reality –during the moment when the burning rage that Ares had been inducing in her had threatened to consume her. The way she could have viciously attacked those poor villagers felt dangerous. Had Gabrielle not hit her on the back with that pitchfork, many innocents would have died. Xena wondered what she would do if she did not have that little bard to keep her company and to make sure that she did not stray from her path to redemption.

Both women occasionally looked at each other and smiled as they started walking towards a green forest that was just outside Locia. This apparently was a shortcut to where Xena was leading Gabrielle and Argo.

As they entered the woods, Xena picked up her pace. She strode for a few seconds but then quickly noticed that Gabrielle was lagging behind. Xena briefly stopped walking and turned around to glance at the trailing bard.

“Come on, Gabrielle. Hurry up! I want both of us to find a nice place on the other side, before nightfall.” Xena smiled at Gabrielle while giving her an impatient look. The warrior princess resumed her walk.

“Okay, okay, Xena, I’m coming.” Gabrielle rushed to Xena and walked faster until she caught up with her. The bard took the warrior princess’ hand into hers. Noticing the nice move, Xena held Gabrielle’s hand tightly into hers, pleasantly squeezing it, as both women and Argo quickened their pace through the woods.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On the other side of the forest was a beautiful valley with grassland, bushes and trees. Both women were glad to see the pleasant landscape ahead as they exited the woods. It was still daylight. This sublime place felt peaceful. There was a little stream nearby. Xena led Argo to the side of a tree where she thought the mare could settle for the night that was to come. Then the warrior princess found a comfortable patch for her and Gabrielle to sleep on. She pointed it out to the bard.

“There we’ll be comfy, Gabrielle. Can you please come prepare our bedroll for tonight?” Xena winked and went to gather some wood for a fire as dusk was getting near.

“Sure.” Gabrielle smiled as she went to unload the saddlebags from Argo and then walked to the comfortable patch to prepare the bedroll for the night. She carefully unrolled blankets and made them lie flat onto the ground. She then sat on the newly spread bedroll, waiting for Xena to come back with the firewood.

Xena came back a few moments later, carrying a little heap of wood. She dropped it to the ground in front of Gabrielle, who was sitting on the bedroll looking at her. The bard was beaming at the sight of Xena before her and her little green eyes shone with happiness.

Crouched near the firewood, the warrior princess stared back at Gabrielle with her silvery blue eyes. She smiled back and then crawled towards her bard. Getting close to Gabrielle, Xena knelt on the bedroll –just next to where the blonde woman was sitting.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” The dark-haired woman smiled down at the bard.

“Because you are so beautiful, my warrior,” Gabrielle replied, reaching up to grab the back of the taller woman’s neck –trying to pull her down for a soft kiss. Xena immediately reacted. She wrapped her arms around Gabrielle’s back and leaned down to press her lips onto the bard’s. Gabrielle quickly responded to Xena’s embrace and wrapped her arms around the warrior woman’s neck while being kissed by her. They both parted their lips. Their tongues entwined in slow, sensuous motions. They shared a sweet, deep and tender kiss. When it ended, Xena looked at the shorter woman.

“And you’re very gorgeous too, my bard,” said Xena, grinning. She proceeded to make a fire for Gabrielle and her so they could keep warm in the night. Meanwhile, Gabrielle got something out from one of the saddlebags: some food that the villagers had kindly offered to her and Xena for their dinner tonight.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

By the time both women had finished their meal, night had fallen. Xena and Gabrielle were sitting next to each other on a rock that was near the fire. The warrior was sharpening her sword while the bard was eating an apple and some grapes she was having for dessert.

After she finished consuming the fruits, Gabrielle noticed that Xena was looking sad again –like the way she had earlier on today –right after they had left Locia.

“Xena, what’s wrong?” The bard looked at her with concern. Xena stopped whetting the blade and turned her head to the side to look at Gabrielle.

“Nothing, Gabrielle…” Xena sighed. “It’s just that I really thought it was my father who was with us today. I initially didn’t believe it but then…” Xena shrugged as she looked at Gabrielle with gloomy eyes.

Still holding the whetstone and the hilt of her sword in each of her palms, the warrior brought her hands down beside her thighs, against the rock she was sitting on. Gabrielle’s hand quickly and tenderly covered Xena’s as the warrior was still clenching her sharpening stone.

“Oh, Xena, I’m so sorry.” The bard gave an empathising look to the warrior, wanting to comfort her.

Xena let go of the objects she was holding and put them down onto the ground near the rock. She sat back up next to Gabrielle, gazed into her partner’s eyes and squeezed her hand into hers. She talked again.

“It’s all right, Gabrielle. I just missed my father more than I’d ever dared to think I would.” Xena exhaled. “It’s just that at one point when he and I were talking to each other today, I would have never thought it would turn out to be Ares, tricking me and trying to get me back.” She sighed again.

“I know, it’s such a shame, Xena.” Gabrielle softly rubbed the warrior’s shoulder with one hand while still holding Xena’s hand in the other.

The bard said nothing for a minute or so. She glanced in the direction of the fire while thinking more deeply about what Xena had just said about the God of War. Feeling curious, she looked back towards her older companion.

“Xena, can I ask you a question about Ares?” she carefully inquired.

“Sure,” Xena replied.

“Did you really use to…” Gabrielle hesitated. “… be with him?”

Xena felt a bit annoyed that Gabrielle was asking her this question but she felt that, since she loved her young female friend and she had already slept with her, she could tell her the truth about things like these when the bard was asking her to. She stopped holding Gabrielle’s hand for a moment and turned to look at the fire in front of them.

“Yes, Gabrielle, I used to be with him for a short time. That was before I’d met Hercules. Ares got me my chakram when he used to be my mentor and. . . lover,” Xena managed to say. She turned her head back towards her friend and both women’s eyes met again.

“And how do you feel about him now, Xena?” Gabrielle’s hand searched back for Xena’s. The warrior caught the bard’s hand back into her own.

“Not much, Gabrielle. Ares seduced me with his godly powers. He fuelled my dark side during a time when I’d nearly forgotten what it was like to feel anything other than pride in violence. He made me uncontrollable and murderous. And now that I’ve decided to go on a quest to redeem myself, he tries to get me to become his warrior queen, to get me to revert back into darkness. I have no love for him at all. He disgusts me now!” Xena felt bitter at the thought of Ares beating her up today. She quickly shook her head and dispelled the irritating feeling. She squeezed the younger woman’s hand harder.

“I believe you, Xena.” Gabrielle gave her a sweet little grin, wanting to cheer the warrior princess up. “Can I ask you another question?”

“Yeeeees?” Xena retorted, smiling and feigning annoyance. “Anything you want,” she then replied, more relaxed now. While looking at this precious little woman who made her heart melt, she briefly kissed the back of the bard’s hand she had been holding. Gabrielle chuckled.

“Was Ares a…” The blonde woman hesitated.

“Was Ares what? What are you trying to say, Gabrielle? Was he what?” The brunette wondered.

“… A better lover than I am?” The young woman felt embarrassed asking this but she really wanted to know. She feared she might lack experience when comparing herself to the warrior’s ex-lovers.

“Oh, Gabrielle!” Xena’s jaw dropped in disbelief. She so much wanted to get that wrong thought out of her gorgeous little friend’s mind. “Of course not!” She stared right into Gabrielle’s eyes, lifted the bard’s chin and gently stroked her cheek with the back of her fingers. “Gabrielle… I have never slept with anyone that mattered as much in my heart as you do now. . .” Xena paused, then realised: “Oh, Gabrielle, I know you’re asking me this because you must be worried about being sort of ‘inexperienced’, is that right?”

“Huh. . . that’s sort of the way I feel, I guess.” The blonde woman felt sheepish.

“Gabrielle, I can assure you that I did notice that you seem to be learning quite well, if you get my drift?” Xena grinned. “When we slept together, I could already feel the intense passion you’re able to show to a lover.” Xena kept smiling, looking deeply into the bard’s eyes. “You are my best intimate partner ever, so please stop feeling so insecure. Experience is something you easily acquire with time, okay?”

“Well, I know I’ve got a great teacher, that’s for sure.” Gabrielle smiled back at the warrior and sighed in relief, before being pulled forward by Xena into a hug. The two women held each other tightly into a close embrace for a while. As they ended the hug they briefly kissed on the lips while still holding each other’s arms.

“I’m so glad you’re here with me, Gabrielle, preventing me from being trapped in the dark part of myself again. I’m very thankful for that.” Xena beamed at Gabrielle.

“So you’re not too mad at me about the pitchfork earlier on?” Gabrielle asked, and then saw Xena shake her head.

“No, Gabrielle, not at all.” The warrior gave the bard an honest look. “You had to stop me from harming all those innocent people. Why would I be mad?” With a smile in the corner of her mouth, her silvery blue eyes peered into Gabrielle’s green ones.

“Yeah, I know what you mean, Xena,” Gabrielle admitted, feeling completely overwhelmed by the beauty of the woman beside her.

“All right then, Gabrielle.” Xena briefly squeezed the younger woman’s hands and then stood up. “Now if you’ll excuse me.” She took off her breastplate and tossed it to the ground. “I need to go skinny-dip.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena took her leather bodice off and walked towards the nearby stream. Gabrielle went to sit on the bedroll while she lovingly watched her dear friend. Xena removed the rest of her clothes while approaching the water’s edge.

“Are you going to join me?” The charming fighter briefly turned to look at where Gabrielle was now sitting. The dark-haired woman then got into the lake. The water was good. She started swimming leisurely.

“I will. Soon, Xena,” Gabrielle answered and stayed by the campfire. She kept observing Xena from where she was sitting. Moonlight was very bright out there. Thanks to the clear sky, the full moon above and the light from the campfire that gleamed over the water, Gabrielle was able to observe the beautiful naked warrior princess as she was peacefully indulging in a midnight swim. The bard found her incredibly sexy.

Gabrielle watched as Xena fleetingly immersed herself in the stream. Then the bard felt very aroused when she saw the warrior’s ample breasts bob up and down on her glistening body as the soaked woman quickly moved back up above water. Xena resumed her peaceful swim. The sight of the tall woman’s broad shoulders and magnificently toned arms and thighs felt so delicious to Gabrielle’s eyes.

The bard was now deeply thinking about the first time she and Xena had made love together. It had happened a couple of weeks ago –not too long after Gabrielle had come back from Potidaea. Gabrielle had been missing Xena and she had come back to her. Sometime after that, the bard had finally been able to tell the warrior princess that she was now feeling something intense for her –something that meant much more than simple ‘hero worship’ to her. Gabrielle had also managed to convince Xena that she was old enough to know what she wanted, what she desired. She had been glad to find out that the warrior was also very much attracted to her. Gabrielle had easily figured out that Xena had not only slept with men during her past but the warrior princess had also had many female sexual partners before she had met Gabrielle, which Xena confirmed to her.

Reminiscing at the loving memories of the intimate activities she shared with the warrior during their first time together, Gabrielle remembered how wonderfully skilled the woman who took her virginity had been. Xena had not wanted to take her virginity at first. The warrior had seemed happy enough just caressing her and tasting her; but upon Gabrielle’s earnest request and profound desire to be deeply touched inside by the woman she loved, Xena had then gently pushed her skilful fingers inside the bard while whispering affectionately pleasing words in the young woman’s ear. Gabrielle’s first time had therefore been almost painless. It had actually felt exquisitely pleasurable to her, having that stunningly pretty warrior woman make love to her in a way she had totally been fantasising about.

“So what are you waiting for, Gabrielle? Join me, please. I need you here,” from the lake, Xena loudly urged Gabrielle with a yearning smile. She woke the bard up from her sweet reverie.

“Okay, I’m coming, Xena.” Gabrielle grinned at her naked friend in the stream ahead and stood up to remove her clothes.

Gabrielle’s top, skirt, boots and undergarment all quickly got tossed aside. The nude bard swiftly took a bar of soap out of a saddlebag. She then walked towards the lake. She got into the water and rushed towards Xena until she stood in front of the warrior, in the water. Its surface reached them both at the height of their waists.

Gabrielle wrapped her arms around the taller woman’s neck. Xena placed her hands onto the sides of Gabrielle’s waist and leaned down to kiss her. The bard kissed back passionately and, a moment later, they both gently ended the kiss.

“Look what I brought.” Gabrielle said, showing Xena the soap bar she was holding.

“Very good,” Xena slowly uttered while smiling. “Will you rub me with this now?”

Gabrielle smiled back. She wet the soap bar and rubbed it along Xena’s neck and across the warrior’s shoulders and chest. The dark-haired woman trembled at the blonde’s luscious touch. The bard then washed the warrior’s sublime breasts, toned belly and arms. She also plunged the soap into the water to put it between the other woman’s legs and tenderly cleaned Xena’s centre. The warrior woman lightly moaned at the intimate rubbing while letting herself be touched.

“Turn around now.” Gabrielle kindly ordered.

Xena complied by turning her back to Gabrielle. The bard washed her friend’s hair and then gently pushed it to the side of the woman’s neck. She lathered the soap onto the warrior’s back in slow and sensual strokes. Xena was enjoying every precious moment of her cleansing by this beautiful young woman. Gabrielle also moved the soap underwater and rubbed the other woman’s rear.

“My turn now.” Xena turned around and delicately took the soap from the bard’s hand.

“Okay.”  Gabrielle briefly dipped herself underwater to get herself ready for the intimate wash. “Wash me now, Xena.” She closed her eyes in sensuous anticipation.

With both a strong, yet sensitive touch, Xena lovingly cleaned every inch of Gabrielle’s skin, rejoicing at the softness of the bard’s body. She rubbed the soap bar around each of the younger woman’s lovely breasts in unhurried movements, curving it around the nipples. Gabrielle shivered in excitement at the sensation of letting herself be so skilfully touched by this gorgeous older woman. She bit her lower lip as she felt Xena stroke her tummy with the soap and then glide the bar underwater to rub her heated centre. Gabrielle took pleasure in the glorious delight found in every minute of Xena cleaning her so intimately.

“Now you turn around.” Xena said, kissing the bard on the cheek. Gabrielle opened her eyes, twirled and offered her back to Xena. The warrior princess cleaned the bard’s hair, moved it to the side and leisurely massaged the blonde’s back for a long while, noticing muscles relaxing under her every caress. She then ran the soap underwater along the shorter-woman’s shapely backside.

Once the wash was over, both women submerged into the stream, to rinse the soap off from their bodies and hair. They each had one arm around the other’s shoulder as they walked out of the lake –water dripping from their soaked and naked bodies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The two women had put on some nightclothes after quickly drying their bodies by the fire. Gabrielle had a white shift on and Xena a grey one. That was all they were wearing, no undergarment. Their hairs were still partially soaked, as they sat by the fire. Sitting behind Xena on the bedroll, Gabrielle was brushing the warrior princess’ hair in a sweet and careful manner.

“Xena?” the bard softly asked while working on the other woman’s hair.

“Yes, Gabrielle,” Xena replied.

“When you said earlier on that our friendship bound us closer than blood, I thought it was pretty nice,” said Gabrielle, feeling happy, “but I’m curious to know: what exactly did you mean by that?” The young woman carried on untangling the knots in Xena’s hair with care.

“I meant that to me you are my best friend and my family.” Xena’s voice was emotionally intense. “I also meant that, although the two of us are friends, we also share a lot more feelings and things together than most friends do. And now we’ve even slept together. I also feel that we’re so connected to each other, you and I, that you’re closer to me than any family in blood.” Xena shifted her sitting position to turn around and gaze into Gabrielle’s eyes. “I think I love you,” Xena admitted, “even though I’ve done so many terrible things in my life that I still don’t think I deserve you, Gabrielle.” The warrior looked dismal again.

Gabrielle put the hairbrush down. The cheerless expression on the warrior’s face made the older woman look so cutely vulnerable to the bard. Xena leaned down and Gabrielle hugged her. She gently cradled the older woman’s head onto her shoulder.

“Shhhh, Xena, please don’t say things like that. That’s not true,” Gabrielle reassured. “I love you so much,” the younger woman said. Xena carefully broke the hug to see the passion that shone from the bard’s eyes. She caught Gabrielle’s hands and held them tightly.

“Gabrielle, I love you too, so much. It’s just that. . .” Xena hesitated. “It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’m tearing up inside. I love you so much it hurts, and I want to be with you all the time.” The warrior princess continued explaining: “When I was a warlord, I used to put such a great deal of restraint on myself to keep me from feeling anything for anyone other than myself that I’m afraid I might have forgotten how to love. That’s also for this reason that I don’t think I deserve you. You are such a good and honest woman. And I used to be this ruthless monster.” Xena gasped. She loved being with this beautiful younger woman but always thought that, if there were to be someone out there better for Gabrielle, she would willingly let the bard leave her for that person, for the greater good, as she seriously did not feel she deserved such a good little woman.

“Xena,” Gabrielle sighed, while both women were staring at one another clutching each other’s hands, “It doesn’t matter now. What is done is done. It’s all in the past now. Now I love you and desire you, and I trust the fact that you are becoming a much better human being now. Your past doesn’t scare me.” Gabrielle gave her an earnest look. “You are now wanting to do good, Xena, and I have faith in you. I sincerely do. So please stop trying to take my choice to be with you and sleep with you away from me. I fully consented to sleeping with you, Xena. I desired you and I wanted you to be my first, I’m sure about that. It is also my choice to carry on being with you.”

“If it is your choice, Gabrielle, then I wouldn’t take it away from you, never.” Xena kept admiring her bard for the trust the young woman had in her. “I love you too much.” The warrior princess softly kissed Gabrielle’s forehead and then their eyes met again.

“Good.” Gabrielle smirked. “Now will you brush my hair, warrior princess?”

“Sure.” Xena started smiling. She took the hairbrush and went to sit behind Gabrielle. She began to delicately untangle the bard’s strawberry blonde hair, which was already half dry by now. The warrior put tender loving care in the task of brushing her beautiful younger friend’s hair. Gabrielle felt happy.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, the women’s hairs were almost dry thanks to the heat of the fire. Both friends shared a little bit of wine, which they drank from a goatskin that the villagers had given to them. Xena felt tired.

“Okay, Gabrielle.” The warrior put the wineskin away. “Time for a good sleep now.”

Xena lied down on the bedroll, keeping her eyes open for the time being. Gabrielle immediately went to lie down next to her. Propped onto one elbow, the bard placed her other arm on Xena’s belly while looking at her friend’s face. The warrior woman looked back and wrapped her arms around the blonde woman’s shoulders to bring her closer to her.

Feeling the affectionate move, Gabrielle brought her lips to Xena’s. The warrior princess was responsive. She opened her mouth to press her tongue against the bard’s lips, attempting to kiss the young woman more deeply. Gabrielle enthusiastically parted her lips and took Xena’s tongue into her mouth, quickly mingling it with her own. The kiss became more intense, fiery, lingering and passionate as both women held each other tightly on the bedroll. A moment later, feeling a burning sensation between her legs, Gabrielle carefully broke the kiss to look into Xena’s eyes.

“Xena, please… I want us to make love again, right now.” There was a strongly desirous tone in Gabrielle’s voice and a lustful expression on her face. Xena thought that she did not feel so tired after all. She sat up. Gabrielle did the same. The warrior woman then placed her hands onto the sides of the other woman’s shoulders while their gazes met.

“Are you sure, Gabrielle?” Xena inquired.

“Yes. Absolutely sure, Xena.” Gabrielle was sincere about her desire for Xena. She so often felt deeply sexually turned on by the sublime fighter who meant so much in her heart.

Xena felt equally attracted to the stunningly wonderful young woman whose burgeoning beauty developed as fast as the inner power that emanated from the bard to make the warrior’s heart soften like fluff.

The blonde woman took the older woman’s hand and kissed its fingertips. Gabrielle’s lips felt like glossy petals to Xena. The warrior princess tried to caress the satin-like skin of the bard’s face but the blonde woman held her hand firmly into hers.

The young woman brought Xena’s hand down towards the bottom hem of her shift. Understanding the communicative gesture, Xena caught the garment and helped Gabrielle remove the thin white dress. The warrior then revelled in the sight of the bard’s wonderfully blossomed naked body before her.

Xena rapidly took off her own shift too. She then lovingly kissed Gabrielle, softly grasped the smooth skin of the bard’s shoulders and carefully moved the younger woman onto the bedroll.

The warrior woman felt her heart melt at the thought of the unbelievable trust this young woman had in her. It took Xena a great deal of strength to keep herself from being rough, like the way she had been with other lovers in the past. Thankfully, the intense love she felt for Gabrielle helped her keep herself under control. She wanted to fulfil all of Gabrielle’s sexual wishes while carefully behaving like the bard really wanted her to in the bedroll.

Gabrielle now lay onto her back with Xena’s body on top of her as the warrior princess was continuing to give her a deep, searing kiss on the mouth while they both held each other tightly. She felt such an incredibly intense emotional link to this taller woman she loved, and all she could think about right now was the deeply intimate affection the warrior was giving her. She felt the fighter’s wet centre press against her thigh as Xena moved her mouth down to leave a trail of moist, blazing kisses onto her neck.

“Hmmm. . . Xena. . .” Gabrielle started moaning in pleasure.

Xena kissed her way down to the top of the bard’s chest. She gripped one of Gabrielle’s breasts into her hand and began to squeeze it firmly but gently for a little while. She then tickled the nipple with two fingertips, making her young friend utter another sexually charged sound.

Xena held the bard’s breast again and took it into her mouth, tickling the hardened nipple with her tongue. She kept sucking onto this mound and was rewarded by another cry of gratification escaping from Gabrielle’s mouth. With her free hand, she tightly grasped the other breast and tenderly brushed its nipple with her thumb until it went stiff.

“Oh, Xena… yes!” Gabrielle felt a wave of ecstasy and bliss sweep over her. The way the splendid warrior woman was taking care of her sensitive breasts electrified her. She felt Xena move her mouth to her other breast and take it between her lips, first sucking its nipple then the whole breast. “Hmmm, Xena, it feels so good. . .” Gabrielle cried out and quivered in satisfaction.

Once Xena finished suckling the bard’s adorable breasts, she kissed her way down the younger woman’s tummy and started licking around the belly button, eventually dipping her tongue into the navel.

“Hmmm… Xena. Oh, please, carry on!” Gabrielle ran her fingers through Xena’s hair as she felt the warrior princess glide her mouth towards her heated centre. She bent her knees and spread her legs wider, offering herself to Xena.

Xena absolutely loved pleasuring Gabrielle like this. She first kissed the lovely blonde curls of the bard’s triangle. She then used her thumbs to part Gabrielle’s outer lips and sank her tongue inside the tasty wet cleft.

“Oh gods, yes, Xena!” Gabrielle felt an utter bliss rush through her body as Xena licked her way along every fold of her sex. She felt the warrior woman’s tongue slide into her wet opening while Xena’s fingers began rubbing her clit in circular motions. “Hmmm… Oh, yes! Xena, you are so skilled… Hmmm…” Gabrielle moaned at the intense pleasure her girlfriend was giving her. She started thrusting her hips rhythmically towards the other woman’s tongue as it pleasurably stroked back and forth inside of her.

Xena then firmly moved her tongue along the bard’s labia and pressed it against the engorged bundle of nerves at the top. The warrior’s tongue exquisitely slid around Gabrielle’s clit, making circular, leisurely movements, while she totally savoured the sweet, luscious and honeydewed taste and smell of her little friend’s sex.

“Oh, gods, Xena, please… Don’t stop!” Gabrielle loudly uttered a couple of times while caressing Xena’s hair. Hearing this, the warrior princess thought that there was no way she was going to end this so soon. Xena placed her mouth around Gabrielle’s hardened nub and began sucking on it –sometimes alternating with teasing pushes from her tongue.

After the bard had felt the warrior princess vigorously sucking and licking her swollen clit for a long while, she suddenly grabbed Xena’s hair and arched her back off the blanket beneath her and a rapturous guttural cry tore from her throat.

Xena hungrily licked away at all of Gabrielle’s precious dripping nectar, slowly running her tongue up and down the bard’s glistening folds. She kissed her friend’s beautiful sex and climbed her way back up Gabrielle’s body.

“You taste so good, Gabrielle,” Xena softly whispered into Gabrielle’s ear. The warrior utterly enjoyed getting a good taste of her bard yet again. Xena kissed the younger woman’s mouth. Gabrielle enjoyed feeling the taste of her own passion onto her experienced lover’s lips. The kiss deepened and their tongues sensually intertwined.

When they ended the kiss, Gabrielle squirmed beneath Xena. She was not in pain at all, but simply wanted to be able to sit up. Noticing this, the warrior woman moved her weight away from the blonde woman’s body.

Gabrielle sat up, quickly grabbed Xena by the shoulders and used all her might to flip the warrior onto her back. Xena sank into the blanket. Gabrielle straddled the dark-haired woman’s stomach and leaned down to kiss her neck affectionately. The warrior princess placed her hands onto the bard’s back; Xena always loved the feel of Gabrielle’s silky skin.

“I wanna taste you too, Xena. Hmmm…” Gabrielle said while kissing her way down to Xena’s collar bone. The young woman felt a fierce, smouldering desire inside of her. All she could think about right now was touching and savouring again the perfectly toned body of the woman she loved.

“Yes, Gabrielle. Do whatever you want.” Xena surrendered to the bard’s touch. Deep down, Xena still did not feel she deserved Gabrielle, but she felt completely powerless in dealing with the bard’s sexual demands. She loved that little woman so much that she felt like giving her everything she wanted. She utterly enjoyed satisfying Gabrielle’s every want.

Gabrielle slowly moved her way down Xena’s body, enveloped her hands around the warrior princess’ ample breasts and rejoiced in the delightful way these felt between her fingers and palms. The bard took as much as she could of one of the breasts into her mouth to suckle its nipple, which swiftly went hard under her ministrations. She then eagerly pushed more of the breast into her mouth while caressing the nipple of the other breast with her fingertips.

“Gods, Gabrielle. . . This is too good!” Xena gasped, thrilled by the strength of Gabrielle’s ability to please her. She felt Gabrielle slip her tongue towards her other breast and flick it across its nipple before sucking the mound into her mouth as far as she could.

“Oh, yes!” The warrior’s hands suddenly left Gabrielle’s back and clutched violently at the blanket underneath. Xena clenched her teeth, enjoying every moment of this.

After finishing relishing in Xena’s magnificent breasts, Gabrielle moved her way down the warrior woman’s body. She gently nibbled at the smooth skin of Xena’s stomach, near the belly button, and then heartily placed her head between the taller woman’s legs. The bard kissed the dark curls and then eagerly slid her tongue into the centre of the warrior princess’ pleasure.

“Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” Xena screeched. “Gods, please, more!” Xena put her hands on the back of Gabrielle’s head and firmly stroked the bard’s hair.

Gabrielle licked her way into Xena’s delicious wet slit and pushed her warm tongue inside the warrior’s entrance, pleasingly moving it in and out of her. She heard Xena scream her name in pleasure again. Savouring the warrior woman’s appetising scent and exotic taste, she gave firm licks to Xena’s inner folds while softly fondling the warrior’s hard clit with her fingertips. The bard then glided her tongue towards the sensitive bundle of nerves. Gabrielle flicked her tongue across Xena’s nub and happily sucked on it for a moment.

“Gods, Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!” Xena felt the joy of being so lovingly pleasured by the beautiful young woman she loved as she strongly but carefully held strands of Gabrielle’s hair into her curled, clenched hands. She tossed her head backwards, feeling completely exhilarated to be intimately pleased by her bard.

Gabrielle did not have as much experience as Xena, but the bard noticed that she was learning fast –judging from the warrior’s pleasure. She licked Xena’s remaining juices, kissed the dark patch of hair and crawled back up the warrior’s body.

“Hmm. . . this felt so good,” said Gabrielle before kissing Xena. Like she had the first time, the bard loved doing such explorations of the warrior’s body. Xena kissed her own taste onto Gabrielle’s lips. The warrior princess then gently rolled the bard over onto her back.

Xena gave the bard another deep, eager kiss before propping herself onto one elbow as she now lay down next to her. She noticed that Gabrielle was quietly gazing at her. She peered back into the bard’s eyes for a while as she leisurely caressed the smoothness of Gabrielle’s chest and belly. Gods she loved this woman. Xena could not deny the glaring emotional attachment she shared with this young bard. The passionate love flame that had been kindled inside her heart not too long after she had met Gabrielle now burned stronger than ever. After this long reflective moment, the warrior climbed to straddle the bard’s thigh.

Gabrielle felt Xena’s warm wetness against her skin. She moved her thigh upwards as much as she could under the warrior’s weight and heard a low, guttural cry coming from the other woman’s mouth as she was pressing against the warrior’s centre.

Xena brought a hand down to the delightful warmth between Gabrielle’s legs and began to fondle the bard’s sex, tenderly but firmly.

“Oh, gods, Xena, yes!” Gabrielle felt extremely aroused. She shivered in absolute excitement when she felt the warrior woman delicately massaging her swollen clit and the area around it. She felt she could not take this for much longer. All she wanted right now was her beloved friend to make love to her deeply. “Xena, hmmm…  Please… Take me now!” she ordered while lifting her hips a little and looking up into the experienced woman’s eyes. She then felt Xena swiftly bring her fingers downwards, near her wet cavity.

“You really want this, huh, my bard?” Xena asked as she teasingly positioned two fingers just outside Gabrielle’s wet entrance and ran them in stroking circles around it for a moment while smiling down at the bard.

“Xena, please! Oh, yes… my warrior, please!” Gabrielle begged, with an intensely amorous tone. Trying to relieve the ache between her legs, she desperately attempted to thrust herself up towards Xena’s fingers, but could not.

Xena could not resist. She had to please her bard the way the young woman wanted her to. She immediately inserted the two fingers deep inside Gabrielle’s coral opening. She revelled in the bard’s lovely inner textures which she felt clench around her digits. Xena kept straddling Gabrielle’s leg, grinding her sex against it joyfully in forward and backward movements while she moved her fingers back and forth inside the young woman and felt the bard’s liquid fire wet her digits.

“Oh, gods… Xena, yes! Hmmm… more please!” Gabrielle urged, placing her hands on the toned skin of Xena’s back. She then felt the warrior push a third finger inside of her while tenderly rubbing her clit with the thumb. “Oh… sweet… gods… Harder, please, Xena!” the bard loudly screamed. She felt utterly thrilled and arched her body upward, threw her head back and lifted her leg against Xena’s soaked folds.

“Gods, Gabrielle!” Xena cried out in bliss at the intense friction. The warrior princess’ fingers picked up some pace inside the bard as she thrust those three digits harder and deeper into the younger woman’s soaking wet centre. Xena also pushed her thumb further onto Gabrielle’s sensitive clit.

“Gods, yes! Xena! Keep going,” Gabrielle cried out as she grabbed onto Xena’s back more tightly. Xena saw the blonde woman’s face glow with happiness at the way the warrior deeply touched her.

Gabrielle realised she was going to come soon. She looked more deeply into the eyes of the woman making love to her, as she gripped more strongly onto the skin of Xena’s back –trying to bring more of this beautiful warrior woman into her. She felt so good. Xena’s hand was usually very rough while handling a sword in battle, but it could bring a touch that was so skilfully strong, swift and careful at the same time when it came to pleasuring her. Although Xena was now driving her fingers harder inside her, it had happened following Gabrielle’s readiness and willingness for her to do so and it all perfectly matched the bard’s inner sexual tempo.

With final deep thrusts of her fingers inside Gabrielle and pleasing strokes from her thumb on the bard’s engorged nub, Xena brought her friend over the edge.

“Xeeeenaaa!” As Gabrielle climaxed she closed her eyes and fiercely tossed her head backwards. Her body went rigid and she sank into the bedroll, feeling the rapturous aftershocks from the multiple blissful waves of intense pleasure the warrior princess had just given her.

Xena came not long after that, screaming Gabrielle’s name, as she kept strongly moving up and down against the bard’s thigh. After the orgasm, she fell limp onto the blonde woman. Xena removed her fingers from Gabrielle and hungrily sucked them clean.

The warrior princess moved her weight away from the bard’s thigh, went to lie next to her and kissed the side of her younger lover’s face. They were both covered in sweat, and the heat from the fire made them both feel even clammier.

Xena shifted and now lay on her back. Gabrielle instantly moved to snuggle up to her best friend and put her head onto the warrior’s chest, briefly kissing her breasts before resting there. Xena wrapped her arms around Gabrielle and cuddled her closely, stroking her hair.

“I love you, Xena… You’re so wonderful,” Gabrielle said, hugging Xena’s waist, and feeling the warrior princess softly kissing the top of her head.

“No, Gabrielle. You are wonderful! I love you…” Xena hesitated. She then murmured: “and I still don’t believe I deserve you… I hope that one day you’ll find someone who does. I’m only doing all this for you just now because I love you, you are so wonderful and I cannot refuse.” Xena felt sad.

“You believe what you wanna believe, Xena,” Gabrielle said while resting herself in her friend’s protective arms, “but you are with me for now, and I’m not gonna let you go that easily… Anyway, you’re right, Xena: our friendship really does feel closer than any blood bonds…” Gabrielle felt very exhausted and closed her eyes. She nestled herself closer against Xena and drifted into sleep.

Xena kissed the bard’s hair again, caught a blanket that was lying on the side of the bedroll and covered their nude bodies with it. Closing her eyes, she held Gabrielle tightly into her arms, felt slightly happier now and then fell asleep.


Another Way (a post-FIN story)

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.


Another Way

written by maggielassie


Genre: Xena: Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Post-FIN; Xena/Gabrielle and Gabrielle/Aphrodite femslash.

Copyright: I don’t own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place after the events of Friend in Need.

Violence: just a couple of scenes involve some violence, nothing too harsh though.

Subtext/maintext: Yes, some, between consenting adult women. This story contains themes of loving relationships between women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. This is only PG-13 though, for this one.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; everyone on TX for their encouragements.

Feedback: See Feedback page.


“Xena?”  Gabrielle whispered to the female presence she had just noticed lying next to her, in the dark of the amazon queen’s hut. Moonlight lit the room. The woman had her back turned away from her on the bed. Gabrielle could hear some breathing — that sounded like Xena’s breathing. The sensual female form and long dark hair of the woman she loved seemed to be close to her now. She placed her hand on the shoulder of the woman lying next to her. Suddenly, she could hear some painful moans coming from that woman.

“Xena?” Gabrielle asked again as she started getting closer to the presence while slightly tightening her grip on the woman’s shoulder. The woman turned around, pressured by the grip. It was really Xena. Her beautiful blue eyes were filled with tears.

“I’m so sorry, Gabrielle, I should have known there was another way.” Xena’s facial expression was so pained.

“Xena, please don’t cry! I’m so glad you’re here with me.” Gabrielle smiled at her, both reassured and reassuring. Xena’s face became less pained as Gabrielle started drying Xena’s tears with her thumb.

“I should have known, you know?” Xena looked at Gabrielle with her deep blue eyes.

“What?” Gabrielle asked her, amazed.

Xena’s presence then started vanishing in front of her. Gabrielle could see Xena gradually becoming transparent until the bard found herself staring into the empty space on the bed next to her.

“Xena! Where are you?” Gabrielle whimpered. Her lover so close to her again, this had not lasted long. Gabrielle sat up and her hands felt around on the bed. “Xena?!” Her right hand suddenly felt something steely and wet under the blanket. She got it out from underneath and looked at it. It was the chakram, covered in blood — just like the way she’d found it on that battlefield in Jappa. Distress rushed through her.

“No!” Gabrielle woke up in a sudden jump, sweaty. She looked around in the queen’s hut. It was late morning. The sun shone through the planks and the entrance. What an overwhelming dream, she thought. She lay back down onto her bed for a minute, staring at the ceiling.

“My queen?” someone called. Gabrielle turned her head. Varia stood by the entrance, looking at her worryingly.

“I’m sorry, Varia. I slept in again.” Gabrielle said with a vanquished look on her face.

“It’s alright, Gabrielle.” said Varia “It’s understandable after what you’ve gone through… I heard you scream ‘No!’ What was it?”

“Did I?… Hmm, it’s okay, Varia. I just had a bad dream, that’s all… Can you please ask for some warm water to get prepared for me in the bath hut, Varia? I’ll be over there in a few moments.”

“Alright, Queen Gabrielle,” said Varia, with a reassured smile.

“Thank you, Varia.”

Varia bowed her head and left the room. Gabrielle got up from her bed and put on just some light clothing for going to the bath hut. She reached for the water that was in the Egyptian vase on a table, put some on her forehead, temples and cheeks, and drank a little.

She had brought back that vase from the Land of the Pharaohs six months ago. Goodness, how time went fast. She had met a group of nomads there who needed a girl with a chakram to help them defeat an attacking army. Great job, but so much harder without Xena by her side. She was now a very skilled fighter, equalling the strength of Xena’s, but her sense of well-being felt incomplete without her soulmate.

She looked into the mirror by the table. She looked depressed. Her hair had grown back a little, though it was still short. She looked at the chakram she’d left on the table the night before. It was clean and dry, not bloody like in the reminiscent dream she’d just had. Good. She went out, and walked toward the bath hut.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She had asked to be left alone while she was bathing. Her amazon sisters understood that she needed a lot of time for herself. It had been so many months since she’d lost her lover and best friend, and she was still mourning. Amazons recognized her as their queen again as soon as she’d come back living with them. She sometimes asked for some queen’s duties that involved watching out for the tribe and its food supply to be under Varia’s responsibility, when she could not always go outside during her times of mourning. Gabrielle still always participated in fights whenever there occasionally was a nearby danger. She would be there to defend her tribe.

Gabrielle still did not think she was doing enough as a queen to be with her tribe. She could not always be with them during meals and dances in the moments she needed to retreat to her hut to mourn. She could not stop thinking about Xena.

As she lay in the hot tub, Gabrielle could not stop bringing to her mind all the amazing sensual moments which she’d had while bathing with Xena. Then came to her mind all the good times they’d had spent hugging, kissing, cuddling, bathing together, sleeping together and making love. Her soulmate, now dead.

While she’d been on the deck next to her at the time of leaving Jappa, Xena had implied that she would be her ‘spiritual sidekick’ from now on. However, Gabrielle had only felt the presence of Xena’s spirit near her only a couple of times ever since.

Gabrielle remembered one time when she was on the ship during the exhaustingly long trip from Jappa to Egypt. She had been lying down to sleep while feeling so lonely, and suddenly she’d felt a hand stroking her short, golden hair. When she’d looked up, she could see Xena’s ghost smiling at her, “It’s me. I’m here for you, Gabrielle.” Such a lovely presence, watching over her while she’d gone to sleep.

Then another time, while she had been walking with the nomads going to battle in Egypt, she’d spotted Xena in the distance watching out for her.

“Why doesn’t it happen more often?” Gabrielle whispered to herself “She’d said she’d be at my side.” Where was Xena? Did she go into an afterlife? Did she go to the Elysian Fields? Gabrielle felt clueless.

I should have known there was another way.

She remembered the dream she’d just had this morning. Did that mean anything? What was Xena trying to say? What other way? She sighed. Perhaps it was just a dream and it meant nothing, just like all the other nightmares she’d been having every single month since her lover’s death.

She rubbed the soap onto herself. While soaked into the warm water from the bath she was lying in, a painful –but necessary– thought came over her: Xena would probably never come back to her, and maybe she should be starting moving on now?

She could not stop thinking about Xena, and it was distancing her so much from reality, stopping her from forming relationships with others. As the new warrior princess, she felt like an emotional wreck. Xena was the most important person she’d ever known: her soulmate, but she was not ever going to be with her anymore. So what could she do to get ready to move on?

Maybe she should quit the warrior lifestyle just for a little while –the time she would need to recover– like taking a vacation of some sort? She was a brilliant warrior princess, but fighting reminded her too much of the times she’d been with Xena, in a way that was hard to cope at the moment. She had to learn how to fight without emotionally missing Xena. She had to learn how to use her memory of Xena solely to give her more courage to fight in the future.

She had what was left of the Amazon Nation to help her fight, and she would come back to them eventually. Maybe now she could decide to go to a friend’s place, or to her family’s –somewhere calm, away from violence for a little while. Then later she could come back to her amazon tribe, rested and ready to fight even more, and more committed to take part in amazon gatherings again. Whose place could she go to, to help her move on?

She had already visited her sister Lila in Potidaea once since she’d come back to Greece. She had only been able to go there for a weekend, as Lila was now busy with local Poteidians building a new tavern, a business Lila was going to own –her faithful sister therefore was not home often. “Maybe come back to visit me in the winter,” Lila had said “and we’ll have more time to spend together.” It was only summer now. Going to Lila’s was not an option. Who else could help her?

What about Aphrodite? The Goddess of Love was a loyal friend and she could summon her anytime. Gabrielle remembered that when she’d gotten off the boat from Egypt, Aphrodite had been there to welcome her back to Greece. The Goddess of Love had hugged her as she was crying over the loss of Xena and the fact that, for the first time, she was back from a long trip without Xena by her side. “Call me anytime you need me, pumpkin. Also, my temple door is open if you ever need a place where to rest,” Aphrodite had said as they were parting while Gabrielle was heading to her amazon village.

Ending her absorption in thoughts, Gabrielle got out of the bath and grabbed a piece of fabric to dry herself with. She had brought her red velvet outfit, which she put on. Standing alone in the middle of the bath hut, she summoned the Goddess of Love, hoping Aphrodite would have time to hear her right now.

“Aphrodite?” Gabrielle called and waited a few moments.

“Yes, sweetheart?” In a golden shimmer, the Goddess of Love, with a cute smirk on her face, appeared before her.

“Aphrodite, I’m gonna need to ask for your help… Would you let me come to your temple and spend some time there? I need a vacation from fighting, just for a moment.”

“Hmm… the new warrior princess, Amazon Queen Gabrielle, already needs a break from fighting? What could this be about?”

Gabrielle slightly lowered her head and briefly bit her lip, sad-looking.

“Xena, huh?” said Aphrodite. “Oh, pumpkin, come here.” Aphrodite opened her arms to welcome the bard in her embrace.

“Oh, Aphrodite!” A tear came down Gabrielle’s eye as she wrapped her arms to firmly grip Aphrodite’s back and put her head near the Goddess’ shoulder. They slightly broke the hug to look at each other.

“Aphrodite,” Gabrielle explained: “it’s just that I now need to spend some time away from violence for a little while, so that I can better manage my feelings over my memories of her.

It’s been so many months now and I have decided to start coming to terms with it, before it eats me up alive. I’ve been mourning for a while now. I can’t stop missing her, but it’s taking too much of my life. I have to learn how to deal with it. Then, when I’ll come back to Amazon territory, I’ll use her courage she taught me and that remained in my heart to be able to fight again, without her…. So, is that okay for me to come spend some time with you? I need a friend, a non-warrior one at the moment.”

“Of course, Gabrielle, it’s alright.” Aphrodite smiled.

“I’m gonna have to go pack my things and we could walk to your temple; it’s a nice day.”

“Gabrielle, you still have the ashes, don’t you?”

“Yes, they’re in my hut, put away in the same corner as the Xena Scrolls… my ‘mourning corner’ that has a drawing of Xena Joxer had made.”

“Have you thought of pouring the ashes somewhere? It might be a way of starting coming to terms with it?”

“There’s a little river near Amphipolis. Maybe, Aphrodite, you could come with me as I go pour the ashes there.”

“When you’ll be ready, we’ll go there, pumpkin.”

“I’m ready today, actually. We could go there as we’re on our way to your temple.”

“Huh? You sure, Gabrielle?” They looked right into each other’s eyes.

“I have to let her go, Aphrodite. That would be a start, I guess.” Gabrielle said in a solemn expression.

“Okay, honey. Just go pack your things. Say goodbye to your tribe. I’ll be waiting for you outside.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Okay, Varia, now you’re queen again for the time being… until I come back.” Gabrielle had just explained it all –regarding why she needed to go away for a while– to her amazon sisters.

“Take care of yourself. We’ll all be waiting for your return, warrior princess.” said Varia. They both hugged.

“Goodbye, Gabrielle. We’ll hopefully see you again sometime soon, sister.” said Cyane.

“You will, Cyane.” Gabrielle interlocked her wrist with hers in an amazon way of saying ‘stay strong’.

The Amazon Nation praised the warrior princess, Gabrielle, as she got on her horse, Argo II, to leave for her vacation. On Argo’s back, she slowly rode towards the gates of Amazon Land. Aphrodite was standing there, waiting for her on the way out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle rode to the river near Amphipolis, with Aphrodite walking by her and Argo’s side. As they arrived near the edge of the river, Gabrielle got off her horse. “You wait here, Argo. Good girl!” Gabrielle got Xena’s ashes out of one of the sacks that was on Argo’s back. She walked closer to the river.

Gabrielle knelt in front of the water. She held the urn firmly with both her hands. Aphrodite stood near, watching Gabrielle quietly. It was a warm day, and the sun shined onto the river.

“Xena,” Gabrielle spoke to the silent sky above her, still holding the urn, “you have been my whole life so far. I don’t believe I’ll ever meet anyone like you again. The fact is I will most likely never see you again.” Tears started running down Gabrielle’s cheeks; she quickly dried them and sniffed. Aphrodite had a pained expression on her face while looking at Gabs by the river.

“I will never feel your touch on my skin ever again…” Gabrielle continued. “We will never hug each other tightly ever again… And we will never kiss or make love ever again… You left me. I understand you had to. Now I seriously have to come to terms with it. I have to find another way… my own way to be able to live now as the new warrior princess. I will never forget you, Xena. You were my best friend, my lover, my soulmate, my family…” Gabrielle looked down at the urn and took off its lid. “We’ll be together again, Xena… one day.”

Solemn and self-assured, Gabrielle poured the ashes into the river. “Here is the closest river to Amphipolis, Xena — your home.” She kept a quiet expression on her face as she watched the sun-glittered water engulf Xena’s ashes until the urn was fully emptied. “Goodbye, Xena. I will now use the memory of your strength and courage to help me survive.” Gabrielle closed the lid, put the empty urn onto the grass, and left it there. She walked back to Aphrodite and Argo.

“Let’s go to your temple now, Aphrodite.” They all walked away.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It was two months later. Gabrielle was still staying in Aphrodite’s temple. She had prolonged her vacation. She felt she needed to spend more time with Aphrodite. Her great friendship with the Goddess of Love had initially prevented her from feeling empty inside after she’d said goodbye to Xena’s ashes. But now the friendship she had with Dite was getting even stronger. The Goddess was always lively and cheerful about spending time with Gabrielle.

Within her temple, the furniture, the marble floors, stairs and pillars were all of an absolute beauty. It was a spacious and elegant place. There was a beautiful garden just outside, with lots of flowers, and there was a stable for Argo at the back. Because Aphrodite was an immortal, she didn’t need food. Gabrielle could only find food there when people brought gifts to the goddess. Thus, Gabby often had to walk to Athens to go buy food for herself.

Apart from that, everything needed was there for the bard, especially the charm and liveliness of her immortal friend. They had fun together everyday, sometimes playing dice or checkers, other times going outside for walks, to see the sun, the trees and the flowers. Occasionally, Aphrodite had to go to towns on a Love mission to spread love amongst mortals; Gabrielle would come with her and witness the wonderful Love that her friend was spreading around Greece.

They found so many ways of having fun together and enjoying themselves, be it in the temple or outside. Now this evening, they were both sitting on a couch talking to one other, just after Gabrielle had had her dinner.

“So you like it here, pumpkin?” Aphrodite grinned.

“Hmm… this is the best vacation I’ve ever had in my life…” Gabrielle smiled but her tone then became slightly saddened: “… ever since my girlfriend passed away.” She smiled again: “Thank you so much, Aphrodite, for letting me stay.”

“You’re very welcome, honey. How are you feeling now?”

“A lot better. I’m starting to be able to live again, little by little.”

“Any more nightmares?” asked Dite.

“None since I’m here,” replied Gabby.

“You must be feeling very comfortable in the bedroom I gave you, no?”

“Yes, it’s very nice. Great view. Thanks.”

“That’s no problem, Gabrielle. Do you want me to go get you some wine?” inquired Aphrodite.

“I’m fine.” Gabrielle smiled at her.

Aphrodite smiled back. She put her hand onto Gabrielle’s, which was loose on the couch. The bard noticed the Goddess’ hand gently caress hers. Gabrielle reciprocated and their hands interlocked. They exchanged a friendly and smiling look at each other. Gabrielle suddenly looked deeply into Aphrodite’s eyes. Her friend had been doing everything to cheer her up ever since she’d got here, including godly tricks that suddenly made flowers or rabbits magically appear. Aphrodite had been so funny and loyal to her. And now holding her hand tightly and looking so deeply into her eyes, the goddess seemed to be having a crush on her.

Gabrielle could barely resist the charm. She brought her lips closer to the goddess’ to see if that was the next move Dite expected. They kissed. It was just a gentle, short kiss on the lips. Gabrielle breathed, thoughtful a minute, and resumed kissing her friend. This time it was a much deeper kiss. Gabrielle remembered when she’d backed away from Dite’s kiss while they’d been in Rome many moons ago, while Caligula was ruling. She would certainly not back away, not now. It was so powerful kissing the Goddess of Love. She felt butterflies going through her head. Happiness.

Why had she backed away the first time anyway?… Xena, she suddenly thought. Gabrielle immediately broke the kiss. She lowered her head, feeling confused. “I can’t. I’m sorry…” She whispered. She then briefly looked at Dite. “… Not just now.”

Gabrielle stood up and walked away quickly, toward her room upstairs in the temple. Aphrodite watched her go, feeling slightly disconcerted, but she understood. It’s a shame gods can’t sleep, she thought. She would also feel better retreating to her own bedroom now. She would have to be satisfied simply lying onto her bed then. Gods can rest, but they can’t sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

That night, Gabrielle kept tossing and turning in her bed, alone in the room Dite had given her when she’d arrived two months ago. Why had she so swiftly backed away from such a delicious kiss Aphrodite was giving her? She could never stop thinking about Xena, but was she not now trying to start a new life, as she’d planned? Her own attitude bothered her. If she really wanted to come to terms with the loss of her soulmate, she figured she should not prevent the beautiful goddess of love –whom she really was fond of– from giving her all the affection she’d terribly been missing lately. If she wanted to feel better, she felt that she’d better show others that she really was fine now, that she’d started turning the page.

Gabrielle got up from her bed in the middle of the night. She got out of her room and walked along the corridor towards Aphrodite’s suite. She knocked on the door.

“Come in.” Said Dite. Gabby opened the door. “Hey, sweetheart?” The goddess smiled. She lay comfortably onto her bed.

“I couldn’t sleep, Aphrodite.” said Gabrielle. “About earlier on… I’m very sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have walked away.” She gave the goddess an apologetic and embarrassed look.

“Oh, it’s okay. Come here.” Aphrodite sat up and opened her arms to Gabrielle. The bard walked towards her, sat on the bed and reciprocated the embrace. They hugged tightly for a minute, and then Aphrodite offered: “Do you wanna lie down on the bed next to me? You don’t have to if you don’t want to.”

“No, I want to.” Gabrielle nodded.

“You sure?” Aphrodite touched Gabs’ chin and looked into her eyes.

“I am.” Gabby nodded again, and proceeded to climb onto the goddess’ bed, and lay next to her.

“You wanna sleep here now? I’ll watch for you, make sure you fall asleep comfortably.” Dite wrapped her arms around Gabby.

“Sure….” Gabs said, her arms around her friend too. “Aphrodite?”

“Yes, Gabrielle.” She gently stroked the bard’s golden hair.

“I think I’m ready.” She looked up at Dite, with a peaceful, relieved expression.

“Really?” inquired the goddess.

“I have to move on with my own life. I need affection, Aphrodite. You’re such an warm and loyal friend. I’m really fond of you. You’re so beautiful.”

“I’m fond of you too, honey. You’re very gorgeous too.”

Gabrielle sat up, put her hand on the goddess’ cheek and kissed her. Aphrodite kissed back. This time it was much better. The kiss was never interrupted and became very passionate. It felt so good kissing the Goddess of Love, Gabby thought. Once again, butterflies flew inside her mind –probably the effect of kissing such an amazing deity.

“Aphrodite… there might be something I might not be quite ready for though. I might need a bit more time for this. You know what I’m trying to say?” said the bard once they finished kissing.

“Oh, pumpkin!” said Aphrodite, smiling. “It’s okay. I completely understand. We will just kiss and cuddle then, if you’re okay with that?”

“Absolutely, I love kissing and cuddling with you. I need it, so much. You’re my goddess, Aphrodite.” Gabs snuggled up to her. They kissed and sensually touched for a few moments, gently running each others’ hands onto the fully clad shapes of their bodies.

Aphrodite then hugged Gabrielle tightly. The bard, a few minutes later, fell asleep with her head lying onto the goddess’ breast. The new warrior princess felt cosy. Aphrodite was the only woman she would want to get this type of affectionate behaviour from these days.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

During the next two weeks, Gabrielle only wanted to sleep next to Aphrodite. They became really close to one another. Gabrielle now regarded  the Goddess of Love as her new romantic interest. They were not intimate –or at least not yet– but so often they were kissing, cuddling, caressing each other’s bodies and sharing baths together. It was strange for Gabrielle having an immortal girlfriend, especially a goddess. She clearly had never gotten that close to someone like Dite before.

On a beautiful morning, Gabrielle was finishing her breakfast, sitting at a table and eating some fruits. Aphrodite walked to her; she held a green velvet bag in her hand. The goddess sat next to Gabby.

“Gabrielle, have you ever thought of what it would be like if you became immortal?”

Gabrielle looked up suddenly, concerned.

“What are you talking about, Aphrodite? I know I won’t live as long as you will, but I’m so happy spending some time with you right now.”

Aphrodite opened the bag she held. She took a round object out of it. It was a golden apple. She showed it to the bard.

“I got this from Odin. I’d momentarily teleported myself to the Norse while you were in town the other day. After some discussion, he gave it to me. I’d explained to him why I so much needed it… Gabrielle, I think I love you. I’ve never felt that way for someone –ever since Hephaestus and I got separated a couple of years ago. I’d love to have you here with me for eternity, with all your mightiness and beauty. What do you think?”

The bard felt utterly perplexed.

“I’ll… need to think about it. It’s an interesting offer. But, at the same time, I really feel alright the way I am, as a mortal. I wasn’t expecting this kind of offer; that’s all I can say right now. Just please give me some time to think about it, okay?”

“Of course, I understand, Gabrielle.”

Gabrielle took the golden apple into her hand, to touch its texture. It was so wonderfully smooth. She looked up at her new girlfriend.

“You know, pumpkin,” Dite spoke gently and seductively, “it might actually feel wonderful for you to become an immortal. Think about how many painful mortal feelings you could rid yourself of, huh? Like, for example, fear of death, what a horrible sort of feeling that must be?”

“Yeah, but maybe that’s the importance of feelings like these: making you feel human, bringing you back to reality… As the new warrior princess, I might need this sort of reality to motivate me for fighting,” answered Gabrielle.

“That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t feel any strong incentive to fight for yourself or your people in Amazon Land, Gabrielle, if you were immortal. Will you just think about it?” inquired Dite, quietly  and nicely.

“Yes, I will. I promise.” Gabrielle handed back the apple to Dite. They smiled at each other and hugged.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the afternoon, Gabrielle needed to go to Athens to get herself a large supply of food. She left Argo in the stable, because she figured she’d rather walk than ride on horseback to Athens on such a seemingly peaceful and beautiful day.

She took a shortcut through the woods. She was dressed in her red velvet warrior outfit with her sais in her boots and her chakram hanging on the side of her waist, in case there might be trouble ahead. She was on her long vacation from fighting, but there could always be people wanting to mess with a warrior princess.

As she walked in the middle of the forest, she arrived to a clearing. She suddenly stopped walking, got the sais out of her boots, and held onto them firmly. She could hear noise, like barely discreet footsteps. She looked around her.

An ugly-looking, long-haired, chubby warlord who was loosely holding a sword walked out from one of the bushes on the right. He was shortly followed by his mates, who then stood behind him. They were all armed. But there were only three of them, as far as she could tell.

“Gabrielle!” said the chief warlord, sniggering with his ugly teeth. “The new warrior princess!”

“What do you want from me? I’m on my vacation for the time being.” Gabrielle kept her eyes focused on the three warlords, her pointed sais held in front of her in self-defence.

“Well, since you’re the new warrior princess,” said the main warlord “somebody has to kill you and therefore be proud to become the man who killed Gabrielle. Me and my friends here, we could make plenty of dinars, just on your head.” The warlord brandished his sword in attack. “Do you think we care about your vacation? Prepare to die!” the warlord bellowed.

He lunged at her, while the other two men were still standing some space behind. All her movements now had to be swift and effective. Gabrielle skilfully stopped the blade of the first warlord attacking her –catching it into one of her sais. She then quickly moved forward, pushed him and his weapon back away from her with all her might, and she subsequently kicked his chest with an outstretched leg, throwing him backwards. He hit his back against a tree and moaned in pain. His sword fell on the ground beside him.

Next, the two other warlords started coming at her. Gabrielle dropped one sai onto the grass in order to quickly seize her chakram. She flung the circular object around. Flying in the air, it struck both the warlords’ weapons, chopping off the top of their swords. Gabrielle caught her chakram back. The warlords dropped their disabled swords and ran towards her in a fury, wanting to kill her with their bare hands.

She plunged her other sai into the thigh of one of them, and quickly got it out. The man screamed. Blood ran from his fresh wound. He collapsed. She immediately stretched her leg forth and fiercely kicked the head of the other man, breaking his neck. His body fell down to the ground.

“You bitch!” shouted the man with the wounded thigh, lying on the ground in pain.

“Shut up!” Gabrielle retorted. “Just get a bit of cloth and firmly place it around your wound to stop the bleeding. You’ll be fine.”

Gabrielle looked at the chief warlord, who had his back against the bottom of a tree. As she walked closer, it looked like he had no broken limbs. He slowly started standing up and brandished his sword again.

“You killed one of my mates. I’ll kill you.” said the warlord, as he was walking towards her, step by step.

“Yes, I killed him. When attacked, a warrior has to act quickly. And there can be people being killed in the process.” said the new warrior princess, sharply.

“Argh… I’ll kill you!” the warlord bawled. He started walking quicker, his sword in hand. Gabrielle leaped forward –she did a very high front flip that sent her flying above the enemy, with all the beauty, strength and suppleness of her body. She landed on her feet, behind the warlord, turned to him and kicked the sword off from his hand as he moved around to face her again.

The warlord stared at her, unarmed, and tried to attack again. She punched him in the face with such a force that it discouraged him from attacking again. He was severely weakened.

“Now you all just get the Hades out of here!” Gabrielle said. The wounded and exhausted men walked away from the scene, carrying the body of their dead mate.

Gabrielle crouched down and put her sais back into the sides of her boots. As she stood up again and was ready to go, she heard a masculine voice behind her: “Well-done, Gabrielle.” Gabrielle turned around, bug-eyed, as she saw Ares standing a few feet away from her with a slight smile on his face. He looked just as hauntingly suave and malicious as ever.

“Ares? What are you doing here?” Gabrielle froze.

“First of all, I’m here to admire my new warrior princess. The way you beat those three guys was absolutely awesome and stunning. I had to come here and watch this.” The God of War walked towards Gabrielle and softly caressed the side of her face. He then gently lifted her chin with the tips of his fingers, forcing her to look at him deeply. “You should be proud of yourself. You’re pretty much just as skilled as Xena now.”

Gabrielle pushed his hand away.

“Stop it!” she uttered. “I’m on vacation, Ares.”

“Hmm… you fight pretty well during your vacation. That surely arouses me,” said the God of War, lecherously gazing at the shape of her body from head to foot.

“They were attacking me. I had to fight back,” Gabrielle replied angrily. “Look, it was Xena you wanted to own as a warrior queen. Now she’s dead. Leave me alone.”

Ares sighed.

“That she’s dead is a terrible fact to me. She did not deserve to die.” The God of War now looked dismayed at that thought.

“For once, here’s something you and I agree on,” remarked Gabrielle.

“Look, Gabrielle, you’re important to me. Your amazing skills appeal to me.”

“So is that what you’re here for? You now want me to become your warrior queen to fulfil all your sick and lascivious needs?” Gabrielle looked at him suspiciously.

“Well, very tempting but… Not exactly,” replied the dark deity.

“Good! I’m with Aphrodite now anyway.” Gabrielle smirked. “Now please get out of my way.”

“Gabrielle, wait, I have something important to tell you.” Ares placed his hands onto the bard’s shoulders, gripping her smooth skin. He never wasted an opportunity to touch a beautiful woman.

“What is it?” Gabrielle wanted to move away from him but she felt she was somehow being under his godly influence right now. She remained standing in an upright position, facing the God of War while looking up at him.

“Look, I know Aphrodite has just made you an offer to become an immortal.” said Ares. “I’ve been watching you this morning, inside her temple. I can make myself invisible and watch in a corner, you know.”

“What exactly do you want from me?” asked Gabrielle. A feeling of unease climbed up her spine.

“I’ll let you know soon enough. First, I have to tell you about something…. Xena’s soul, Gabrielle, do you know why she disappeared away from you?”

“Xena’s soul?… Why?”

“She’s trapped in hell, Gabrielle. She died unfairly, an untimely demise,” Ares explained as Gabrielle listened to him attentively. “It wasn’t her time. The souls were freed. She did not have to stay dead. Somebody, Akemi perhaps, withheld or distorted information. Had you dumped Xena’s ashes in the water on Mt. Fuji, Gabrielle, those forty thousand souls would have been just as freed and Xena just as redeemed. You just didn’t know there was another way.”

“Are you sure?… How do you know all this, Ares?” asked Gabby, in a shocked bewilderment.

“I’m a God, little girl. I’ve got my own contacts in the netherworld.” He tightened his grip upon her. “I saw her soul being trapped in hell, Gabrielle. That place is worse than our Greek Tartarus. I could not intervene; it was outside the realm of my duty as the Greek God of War. She is there because she’s been cursed. First, she died unfairly. Then, dark ghostly Japanese forces from the netherworld seized her spirit, in an attempt to avenge their Lord Yodoshi, and they took her to hell.”

“Last time I saw Xena’s spirit, I was in Egypt, on a mission,” said the bard. “I saw her in the desert.”

“They seized her not long afterwards. I had confirmation of that, Gabrielle,” said Ares.

“Is this why she never came back to see me?” Gabrielle put her hands onto the strongly muscled arms that were grasping her shoulders. Profoundly disconcerted, she needed to hold onto something right now.

“That’s right,” said Ares. Gabrielle looked at him.

“Still, what do you want me to do? What can I possibly do?” The bard was sad and confused.

“As an immortal, you could help release Xena’s soul from hell. Only someone like you can free her, Gabrielle,” said the God of War.

“How?” Gabrielle did not understand.

“Look, let me take you to a place somewhere just for a few moments, will you? Just the time for me to explain a deal I want to make with you and why, and then I’ll teleport you back here, all right?”

“Okay.” Gabrielle accepted. She would do anything to help free Xena from her unfortunate situation.

The God of War held Gabrielle tightly and they both vanished together in a flash of light.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In another burst of light, Ares and Gabrielle appeared inside a dark place. The bard looked around her. The God of War stood by her side.

“Where are we? Where did you take me?” Gabrielle was confused.

“Don’t you recognize this place, little girl?” asked the dark deity.

Gabrielle scrutinized the dark room. It was a vacant and gloomy temple. On the floor, a few feet ahead, the few remnants of an extremely sabotaged loom lay. Its threads were gradually turning to dust. A feeling of déjà vu came over the bard.

“The loom?… We’re in the Temple of the Fates,” said Gabrielle, bedazzled by the bleak spot before her.

“That’s right, Gabrielle… Or, more exactly, what is left of the Temple of the Fates. You destroyed their loom, remember?” asked Ares.

“But that’s not possible.” Gabrielle shook her head, even more puzzled. “When I destroyed it, it was in an alternate life, when I was trying to save Xena.”

“Yes, but, Gabrielle, please consider that under Olympian Law, no Greek sacred place can completely disappear. Deities, without mortals knowing about it, can still access different lives and different universes.”

“And exactly how, Ares? How did you find out about the loom?”

“I’ve always been watching all Xena’s paths very closely, including alternate lives. Gods can only watch those alternate lives though; we cannot intervene. So, anyway, in the process of watching Xena’s, I came across many of her lover’s paths too; as your destiny and hers are always so intrinsically linked together, Gabrielle. I’ve got to admit I’m jealous,” he conceded, sounding unsatisfied.

“You’re so obsessed with Xena that you’ve been doing this? Nothing surprising here… Still, can you please explain to me how come this place exists here and now despite the fact that I’d destroyed it in another world?” she asked.

“Well, it doesn’t, as a matter of facts. It doesn’t really exist. I just took you to that alternate universe here, at some point in time not too long after you destroyed the loom. I know this may sound strange, Gabrielle, but digging deep enough into the various schemes of things, I was somehow able to access this place, this paradox. I’ll take you back to reality soon enough, you’ll see.”

Gabrielle did not have any time to waste on asking the God of War for more details. In the real world, Xena had died in Jappa. Cruel Japanese ghost judges of the netherworld had abducted her soul and taken her to hell.

“Okay.” she said. Now having a better understanding of where she was, she spoke more firmly: “Now let’s get straight to the point, shall we? Why did you take me here, Ares? What is this about? How am I supposed to release Xena’s soul?”

“Follow me.” Ares walked towards the left wall of the shadowy place they were in. Gabrielle walked with him. He lit one of the torches hanging on the wall with his godly powers.

Gabrielle looked at the newly lit stone wall Ares was showing her. An engraving had been carved into it. It said:

“To the mortal who destroyed our loom:

Thou hast not completely tare it asunder,

so to speak. In whatever life thou shalt have,

shouldst thou become an immortal and then

drink the sacred Water of Aganippe, thou shalt

be granted the ultimate power over all

destiny. Our reign as Fates hast disappeared,

and this is our legacy to thee.”

~ The Fates.

“By the gods…” said Gabrielle, as she was starting to come to realize what this was all about. “You said earlier on that I was the only one who would be able to free Xena’s spirit from hell, Ares. And you also said that you knew about the offer Aphrodite made me. What exactly do you want from me? What is the deal you were talking about?”

“As the Fates carved it on this wall before they disappeared after you destroyed their loom, they gave you the legacy of the power over destiny –probably because they wanted a possibility for the control over mortal destiny to never be lost, but that’s another story.” Ares continued: “There are, however, two prerequisites to your acquiring of the power over destiny. First, you must become an immortal. Second, you must drink some of the water from the spring of Aganippe, which is at the base of Mt. Helicon.”

“The Fountain of Aganippe? The sacred place of the Muses? I’ve been there before while I used to write some of my scrolls. I thought it only was a place to give inspiration to writers and bards?” asked Gabby.

“That’s right,” answered Ares. “It is mostly a place to inspire mortal bards to write. Yet, according to the gift you received from the Fates, if you became immortal you could become some sort of powerful eternal being who could control destiny. Drinking the sacred Water of Aganippe hence would set your power in motion… I believe that if you then wrote on a scroll something related to the destiny of a mortal soul, living or dead, what you write would come true.”

“So then I could write, for instance, something about Xena’s soul escaping from hell and making it to heaven or the Elysian Fields, and it would come true?” A feeling of hope crossed Gabrielle’s mind.

“Correct. You would have the power over the fate of Xena’s spirit… Of course, more importantly, you could also write about Xena’s soul being born into a new body like say, for example, the body of another beautiful woman –an option which I would prefer.” Ares grinned. “When that beautiful woman would be grown, I could seduce her all over again.”

“So, is this what it was all about?” asked Gabrielle, sternly. “You want me to bring Xena back to the living world so that you can one day attempt to possess her again? You’re only driven by your own selfish needs, aren’t you?” She looked at him with disgust.

“Selfish, me? I was the one who told you about all this. I helped you find out about this fortunate legacy from the Fates to you –a gift you could use to release Xena. You should be more grateful, little girl… Now, why would you care if I were to be with Xena?” The God of War sighed. “You’ve got your new partner, the Goddess of Love. As an immortal, you could be next to her for eternity. So it’s not all that bad, is it?”

“Xena is my soulmate! I won’t let you have her.” said Gabrielle, scornfully. “Once I’m immortal and I drink from that spring, I will write about a destiny for Xena to go to heaven, and that will be it.” She started turning away from him. He seized her arm, prompting her to face him again.

“Oh, no, it won’t.” Ares stared at her with an evil look on his face. “I have something that will inspire you to write the right thing.”

“What are you talking about?” In a quick movement, Gabrielle freed her arm from his grasp. She kept looking at him.

“I knew you would be trying to pull one of your ‘goodie two-shoes’ plans here. So I took some precautions: I went to Poteidia and got your sister Lila abducted yesterday. She’s being guarded by some of my followers in my temple right now.” Ares sneered.

“You bastard!” Gabrielle screamed. “You vicious, conniving bastard! You’re trying to get me to bring Xena back only to satisfy you own perverse needs, and now you’re threatening my sister. I hate you!”

Ares gripped her shoulders in an attempt to calm her down. He did a godly trick while staring at her. Gabrielle froze. She looked up at him more quietly. She could feel his influence upon her now. He’s trying to control me now, she thought to herself; I shouldn’t let him take over my sanity.

“Gabrielle, listen,” said Ares. “Accept Aphrodite’s offer as soon as you get back to her temple. Become immortal tonight. Then come and meet me tomorrow morning near the Fountain of Aganippe. Come alone, with a scroll and a quill. Your sister will be there. She will not be harmed if you cooperate. We will free Xena’s soul from hell, you’ll see. Everything will be alright, for Xena, for your sister, for you and for me.”

“Especially for you, huh?” Gabrielle remarked. “I will have to lose my mortality so that you can have Xena. This is unfair.”

“So do we have a deal then?” asked Ares.

“Yes… I guess we have one,” said Gabrielle, reluctantly. “I’ll meet you at the base of Mt. Helicon tomorrow. And I want my sister to be there with you.”

“She will be. Shall I bring you back to the real world now?”

“Yes, please.”

With his grip on the bard, Ares teleported Gabrielle back into the woods, back to reality.

“One more thing,” said Ares before he left. “Don’t even think about going to that sacred spring by yourself during the night. I will be watching over that place closely.”

“I won’t do that,” said Gabrielle, unhappy. Ares disappeared in a flash of light.

What was she going to do now? She did not want to walk to Athens anymore after all this. With a couple of dinars, she would just be asking for food from someone nearby. It was still the afternoon, but she just wanted to go back to Aphrodite’s as soon as possible.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle walked back into the temple not too long after managing to get a little bit of food for the evening, from people in a neighbouring village. The Goddess of Love lay on one of the couches, reading one of the Xena scrolls Gabs has let her borrow.

“Hey, sweetheart! You’re home?” said Aphrodite, lifting her head from the reading. She smiled.

“Yes, I’m here now.” Gabrielle walked to Dite and gently kissed her on the lips, briefly.

“Hey? You don’t look so happy, Gabrielle,” said Dite. “Something happened while you were out?”

“Oh, no I’m alright. I just got attacked by some warlords.” Gabrielle had a quick bite on some food while she sat on a chair near the Goddess. She did not want to worry Aphrodite too much.

“Oh, really?” asked Dite.

“Yes, really… right in the middle of my vacation. I had to fight back. Annoying.” Gabrielle nodded.

“But you’re alright now?” asked Dite.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” answered the bard.

“I was just re-reading one of your scrolls. It’s excellent. It’s the one about Xena fighting the Persian army and saving you from a poison.”Aphrodite sounded excited about the story.

“Oh, it’s an old one, that one. I love it, one of the best I’ve ever written.” Gabrielle smiled.

“It is.” Aphrodite smiled back.

“Hmm… Aphrodite?” asked Gabrielle.

“Yes, honey?” The Goddess of Love glanced at her.

“I’ve been seriously thinking about the offer you made me, earlier on today…” Gabs took a deep breath.

“Yes?” said Dite, impatiently interested.

“… and I thought that, actually, it might definitely be okay for me to become an immortal. In other words, I think I’m ready, Aphrodite. I’m ready to join you.” Gabrielle looked at her in a serious way.

“Eh… Are you sure you wanna do this? I thought you said you would miss your mortal body, your mortal feelings?” Dite was curious.

“Yes, in a way, I guess…” said Gabby. “But I really wanna do this. I’ll be able to protect the Amazon Nation even more, and I’ll be by your side for eternity. I want to make you happy… Er… Aphrodite?”

“Yes, pumpkin?” asked the Goddess.

“Can you please go get that golden apple for me, now?” The bard briefly bit the bottom of her lip.

“You want it right now, already? Won’t this be a bit too quick for you? I thought you needed some more time to think about it?” Aphrodite looked slightly puzzled.

“I’ve had all afternoon thinking about it. It’s very tempting, and I’m ready. I know that as an immortal, I won’t become someone devoid of feelings,” affirmed Gabrielle.

“Not with such a good heart you have, you won’t… I’m so happy you’ve made that decision. I really want this to happen but, at the same time, I’m very surprised, as it isn’t like you at all to suddenly want to become immortal so quickly. But, if you insist…” Dite smiled.

The Goddess stood up and went to get the green velvet bag that contained the golden apple. A few seconds later, she handed the apple to Gabrielle: “There you go. Take your time.” Gabrielle took it in her hand and looked at it again. Aphrodite sat back down and went back to reading the scroll she loved, while keeping an eye on Gabrielle sitting in the same room.

For a moment, the bard sat there, golden apple in her hand, and absorbed in her thoughts:

Could this all really be helpful to Xena? Once I get the power over all destiny –as a gift from the Fates– what could I possibly do to thwart Ares’ plan? He’s got Lila; I don’t want him to kill her. At the same time, I want to be able to free Xena’s soul without the possibility of Ares having her again someday. He would drive her back into her evil warlord ways and make her kill innocents again. I must find a loophole in Ares’ plan somehow. How could I possibly send Xena’s soul to heaven? Surely there must be another way… Bah! I’ll just take the apple. As an immortal, I might be able to beat Ares on a fair game.

Gabrielle brought the golden apple to her lips, holding it in front of her mouth for a minute. Aphrodite saw that and watched her.

“You’re really sure this is what you want?” Aphrodite now watched her with close attention.

“So be it.” Gabrielle nodded solemnly.

She placed her teeth around the golden flesh of the fruit and took her first bite of it. A rush of shimmering golden waves fluttered around her soul. She kept eating the apple, letting the powerful stream of immortality overwhelm her spirit.

Once she finished eating the godly fruit, she put the core down on a table and she looked at Aphrodite, who was sitting in front of her.

“How are you feeling now, Gabrielle?” asked the Goddess of Love.

“I’m fine. Eating that apple was so wonderfully pleasant.” Gabrielle smiled. Next, she took one of her sais out from her right boot. “Just checking something,” she said.

Gabrielle stretched out her left forearm in front of her and, with her other hand, plunged the point of the sai deep into it. “Unbelievable,” she said, bewildered. The sai was buried deep into her arm, its tip coming out of it from underneath, and there was absolutely no blood visible and she did not feel any pain. She pulled the sai out of her left arm and, still, felt nothing. There was no hole, wound, blood or physical pain. These things were non-existent in an immortal’s life. Gabrielle put her weapon away.

A few moments later, she walked towards the Goddess of Love and sat next to her on the couch. They kissed and then they paused for a moment, looking into each other’s eyes.

“I’ve made it, Aphrodite,” said Gabrielle. “I’m with you now.”

“Thank you so much for doing this for me, my little darling.” Dite hugged her.

“It’s alright.” Gabrielle smiled and hugged back. They resumed kissing and cuddling each other closely. Gabrielle stayed with Aphrodite. This night would be a long one. She needed to relax.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the morning, an immortal Gabrielle walked through an easy path she knew, one which would lead her to the foot of Mt. Helicon. She had told Aphrodite that she just needed to go for a walk outside, for the first time, as an immortal fighter. She had put an empty scroll and a quill in a rucksack she carried. She also had a sheath placed onto her back, with a sword inside it, sticking out. She wore her amazon outfit today –the one she’d been wearing when, with Xena and her amazon sisters, she’d been fighting the forces of Bellerophon, just outside a fortress on the nearby coast.

She arrived near Mt. Helicon. As she kept walking through a landscape filled with ample greenery such as grass, bushes, flowers and trees, she reached her destination: the Fountain of Aganippe. Ares was standing in front of it, a few feet ahead of her.

“Hello, Gabrielle,” he said. “Thanks for coming. I can feel the aura of your newly acquired immortality from here.” He looked at her right in the eyes and grinned.

Gabrielle looked around. They were standing in the middle of this beautiful Aganippe place she knew: lots of green spaces, a grass-covered ground, plants, bushes, and a few trees. Somewhere behind Ares, the spring of Aganippe was gushing from the centre of a large, rectangular and light blue marble pool. The morning sun glittered over the water. This was the magic Water of the Muses, which had the power of inspiring any writer who drank it –the very same water which would enable an immortal bard like her to be inspired and write something that would come true.

“Where is Lila, Ares?” asked Gabrielle angrily, while scrutinising the place around her.

“Kyros and Leonidas,” called Ares, “come out here! Bring the sister!”

A little distance away from the scene, two of Ares’ warlords and loyal followers came out from one of the large green bushes on the right hand side. They held Lila between them by her arms. Her hands had been tied together with ropes, and she had been gagged with a piece of cloth. Lila’s eyes stared into Gabrielle’s, as soon as she saw her sister. One of the men held the blade of a dagger near Lila’s throat. She looked terrified.

“You bastard!” shouted Gabrielle to Ares.

“Now stay where you are just now, Gabrielle,” said Ares, “One movement towards her and she dies, understand?”

Gabrielle remained where she was. She may be immortal but she was not a god yet. She could not help Lila from the place where she was standing. She looked at the water behind where the God of War was standing. Just one sip of it and that would be it, to give her the power over destiny of all souls.

“You want me to cooperate, Ares, right?” She sighed.

“That’s right,” he said. “Did you bring a scroll and a quill?”

Gabrielle opened her rucksack and dropped the scroll and quill on the ground beside her to show Ares.

“Here they are,” she said. “You want me to write about Xena’s soul being born into a new body, once I drink the water, alright? The body of someone who’ll become a beautiful woman. Is that still what you want?” she asked, tensely.

“Yes.” Ares smugly sneered. “Except that you’re not gonna be the one who gets to choose the body, Gabrielle. I get to choose it.” Ares glanced towards another one of the bushes, not too far away from Lila and her two captors. “Theron! Galenos! Bring the other girl!” he yelled.

Gabrielle saw two other men come out of the bushes. They were carrying the body of someone. The woman looked unconscious, inert. The men walked to the middle of the scene, in between Ares and Gabrielle. In a thump, they dropped the body to the ground and walked back near the bushes.

Gabrielle looked at the woman’s body lying on the ground. The woman looked dead. Gabrielle did not know her, but her features and shapes looked beautiful, just like Xena’s. Although it was not Xena, it seemed to be the closest resemblance to the former warrior princess. Gabrielle was shocked.

“You found a woman who looked like Xena and you got her killed?” she asked Ares.

“That’s right,” replied Ares, “half an hour ago. She’s only been strangled by one of my men. Her body is still fresh, beautiful and intact –perfect to welcome a new soul. I figured that once Xena’s spirit enters it, the body will be revived and the bruises on her neck will heal shortly thereafter.”

“Hold on, Ares,” said Gabrielle, repulsed. She tried to make sense of what she was witnessing: “You won’t accept Xena’s soul to go into the body of a future newborn because you don’t wanna wait until she grows up to seduce her… So, you want her right now, and you kill an innocent… And now you expect me to go drink that water and then write for Xena’s spirit to take over the body of a woman who’s been recently killed?”

“Correct.” Ares gave Gabrielle an evil smile. “Moreover, Xena will probably only have a very vague memory of her past life once she enters her. She’ll be easy to seduce again, for me.”

“You are one sick son of a bacchae!” yelled Gabrielle, feeling squeamish. “And you think I’m gonna do this for you? You think I’m just gonna let that happen?” She gave him a scornful look.

“Oh, yes, you will! Especially if the life of your beloved sister is at stake,” said the God of War.

Gabrielle looked towards Lila. One of her captors still threatened her with his blade. Her sister painfully uttered a muffled moan under her gag –Lila’s eyes bulging as she saw the blade move slightly closer to her neck, intimidating her.

“Lila, I’m sorry,” said Gabrielle, upset, “I did not think you would get involved in all of this.” Gabrielle looked back at Ares. She was profoundly annoyed at what was going on.

“See, Gabrielle? She’s in danger,” said Ares, in an authoritarian voice, “Now, let’s get down to business, shall we? Come drink the sacred water here, then walk back toward your scroll and write for Xena’s soul to escape from hell and take over that woman’s body in a few moments. Do that or Lila dies, get it?”

“Ares,” Gabrielle shouted back, “that water is not only supposed to give me the power over someone else’s fate. It is also supposed to give me some inspiration on how to write about that fate.”

“Yes, but, Gabrielle,” yelled Ares, “when someone holds a dagger to your sister’s throat, let’s just say that that your options for inspiration are limited, all right? Now please proceed with the job. I want my Xena back. I will treat her right, you can count on me.”

“Ares, this is unfair,” responded Gabrielle. “Can I please ask, as an immortal, that I get the chance to fight against you first? A fair fight? I’m very angry just now.”

“I guess a God of War would never refuse a good fight,” said Ares, “but what are you hoping to win in this?”

“The chance to beat you at your own game.” replied Gabby. “If I win, I’ll still write the story you wanna hear. But the woman comes with me, and not with you, when she stands up. And then her, Lila and I, we can all go home safe.”

“And if I win?” asked Ares.

“Then I write the story you wanna hear and you can have the woman, I guess,” said Gabrielle, reluctantly. “But because the scroll will be my work, I want to at least get the chance of reaping the rewards, even if it’s not certain.”

“Alright,” said Ares, thoughtful. “I guess that either way the woman could still be mine, as I could always go after her again sometime if she goes with you. But… I doubt you will win anyway.” The God of War smirked.

He ordered Theron to remove the dead woman’s body from the middle of the scene. The follower obeyed, as Ares and Gabrielle were getting ready to confront each other.

While Ares’ warlords and Lila watched from their standpoint on the side, the God of War got his sword out of his sheath. Gabrielle did the same. Facing each other, they walked towards one another. Ares brandished his sword. As his blade was about to strike Gabrielle, she stopped it with her own sword.

Their weapons clashed several times, making raucous, clinking sounds. An immortal swordfight: they both would have to figure out what would strike the winning blow or bring the other to the ground.

In a swift move, Gabrielle’s sword penetrated the chest of the dark deity. She pulled it out. Although that hadn’t produced any physical effect, it angered Ares further. He moved forward, held his sword high in the air and lowered it to hit the new warrior princess. She blocked the blade with her sword in a defensive move, but as he kept his sword in position above hers, Ares hit Gabrielle’s head with his elbow. This did not hurt her, but it made her temporarily lose the control of the protective position of her sword.

Ares plunged his weapon underneath Gabrielle’s right collarbone. For an instant, the blade protruded from the top her back. Gabrielle quickly jumped backwards, backing away from Ares’ sword. There was no blood, no mess, no nothing. She sent a proud smile to the God of War, who was facing her –proud that she was immortal and physically unscathed.

She dropped her sword on the grass and threw her chakram around. In its circular flight, it broke Ares’ sword. He dropped what was left of it to the ground.

Gabrielle caught the chakram back and uttered a Xena-like war cry while running toward Ares. She performed a back flip while climbing up his body with her boots –once again totally Xena-style. This somersault landed her on her feet, near the pool. Ares looked at her closely and he started walking around her, distancing himself a few feet away from her while still staring at her in the eyes as she also carefully watched his every move.

“So, you think you’re Xena, now?” Ares hissed. He kept walking around Gabrielle until he was facing her from a small distance as she was now standing in front of the spring, her back to the fountain.

“No,” retorted the blond, short-haired, woman, “I just think that I have now learned how to master all the wonderful strength and fighting techniques I learned from her.”

“Alright, little girl, very impressive but I don’t have an eternity for this,” said Ares. “As we’re immortal, this could go on forever, and I just won’t let that happen.”

Ares immediately lifted his right arm and a shining ball of godly power appeared in the palm of his hand. Gabrielle froze. With his godly skills, he quickly magnified the flash of light –throwing it towards her. The godly forward lightning hit her and sent her straight into the pool behind her.

This was not painful at all, thanks to her immortality. As she fell into the water, Gabrielle let the liquid engulf her whole being. She let her body sink to the bottom, even though the pool was not deep.

Underwater, with her eyes closed, she relaxed as she felt she could hear the Muses’ beautiful chants around her. She felt she could also make out the faint voice from one of the Fates inside her mind –perhaps the Crone:

In whatever life thou shalt have, shouldst thou become an immortal and then drink the sacred Water of Aganippe, thou shalt be granted the ultimate power over all destiny…

All destiny: past, present and future. The fate of all beings, living or dead, will be under your control, one at a time, or in a series of consequences.

The second part of the statement hadn’t been carved on the engraving she’d seen, but she felt it must be true. From another sphere of existence, one of the Fates was letting her know about the possibilities of her power.

She thus opened her eyes, swam back to the surface of the pool and gulped some of the Water of Aganippe as she came out.

Drenched, she stood up in the sacred water –which was still surrounding her at mid thigh-height. Ares was waiting for her outside the pool, with an irritating grin.

“I’m afraid you lost the fight, Gabrielle,” he said.

“That’s because you don’t accept fair fights, Ares!” she angrily retorted. “You always have to use your godly powers somehow, huh?”

“Look, this could have been going on forever,” said the God of War. “We have things to attend to here. I’m glad you drank the water. Thank you for your cooperation,” he said smugly.

Gabrielle felt a powerful wave of inspiration rush through her. Suddenly, it came to her that all she wanted to do was writing –writing about Xena. She figured this sort of feeling meant that drinking that water clearly had the intended effect. It was working.

“Come on now,” Ares said, “come out of the water.”

Gabrielle climbed out of the pool. Ares ordered one of his men to get Gabrielle something to dry herself with. Next, Galenos threw a piece of thick fabric towards her. She caught it and started drying her face, arms and hands.

A few feet in front of where she was standing, Ares picked up the scroll and the quill she’d brought. He looked at her.

“So? Shall we get down to business now?” inquired Ares. “You have to free Xena’s soul from hell, remember? You don’t want her to stay there forever, Gabrielle, do you?”

“No, but I couldn’t send her to heaven if I wanted, could I?” said Gabrielle, with a sad expression on her face.

“That’s right. You couldn’t do that.” said Ares. “Not when your sister has a knife being held near her throat.”

Gabrielle looked at Lila. Her dear sister was still bound and gagged, and surrounded by her evil captors. Although immortal, Gabrielle could still sense a very strong feeling of urgency. She felt a number of thoughts coming through her mind:

But I could not write something about Lila for her to get freed right now, could I? I can only take care of one soul’s fate at a time, unless it happens in a series of consequences. The water I drank tells me that my inspiration should, first and foremost, be on Xena. I’ve got the feeling that I can do something that way.

Theron brought the freshly killed woman’s body back to the centre of the place. Ares walked towards Gabrielle and handed her the empty scroll and the quill, which she took.

“Shall we, huh?” Ares, facing her, looked into her eyes. “And, please, don’t even think about writing something on your sister being freed,” he said, ruling out the option. “I’ll be able to tell, I’m a god. If I see that you’re cheating, I’ll be slicing all the limbs of your body, and you’ll be spending the rest of your eternity in pieces. You’re not quite a god yet, you know?”

Gabrielle felt intimidated. For sure, the Lila option was out. She would have to save her sister some other way.

“Gabrielle,” Ares continued, “seriously think about it: Xena has the right to live again, in a brand-new body. That’s not so bad, is it?”

“So you’re gonna stand next to me when I’m writing and try to force me to comply with what you wanna hear?” asked Gabby. “I don’t think you can do that.” Gabs shook her head.

“Not exactly…” replied Ares. “I cannot really intervene on that. Your newly found power is outside my realm in that respect. It won’t really work if someone watches you writing. The Fates themselves needed not to be observed when working on their threads.”

“So then back away a little,” said Gabrielle, insisting. “Please.” She briefly glared at him.

Ares walked back towards the dead body. He crouched down to observe the beauty of the woman as that of an object he yearned. Gabrielle looked at him. He looked back.

“But Gabrielle,” said Ares, “I can still make sure that you will write the story I wanna hear. If I don’t see the body here coming to life with Xena’s soul inside it, your sister will die and I will separate your limbs so viciously, you won’t even be able to write anymore. So don’t even think about sending Xena to heaven. Now please, don’t waste any more time and write for Xena’s soul to wake up right here, in front of me.”

Ares looked at Gabs, impatient, and with an evil look on his face. Gabrielle looked at the empty scroll she carried, her quill in her other hand. She resumed her thinking:

I have to write something about the destiny of Xena’s soul, but I can’t send her to heaven. What can I do?…  I’ll have to cooperate somehow, or at least pretend to… I must find a loophole somehow… Another way.

Still feeling the wave of inspiration inside her, the bard was absorbed in some more thinking and, a few minutes later, she lowered her quill onto the scroll and wrote –just a few sentences. She then looked at Ares.

“Done,” said the bard, nodding, with a firm expression on her face. She suppressed a smile. What she wrote was going to come true in a few moments.

“Thank you,” said the God of War. “Now let’s see it happen.”

Smugly pleased, he observed the body of the woman on the ground –expecting it to get up at any minute now. When it did not, a few seconds later, Ares stood up, walked quickly towards Gabrielle and seized the scroll off from the bard’s hands.

“What have you been writing, Gabrielle?” He looked at the scroll. What he read on it made him contort his features in anger and puzzlement. “But… that’s not possible… What is this about?” He looked at Gabrielle. “You little bitch!” he yelled.

Gabrielle smirked at him.

“Gotcha, God of War!” she said, pleased.

As Ares was angrily lunging towards Gabrielle, the world stopped and events started going backwards.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

She would have the ultimate power over all destiny: past, present and future, thus she would be given the full power of the Fates’ loom –but Ares hadn’t known that part; he hadn’t heard what the Fate had said to her when she was underwater. Gabrielle had fooled Ares so perfectly. The fate of any being, living or dead, would be under her control, the Fates had decided. The water had given her the inspiration to dig into Xena’s past, and to know what would be the final, the good, the right thing to do. She had gotten the inspiration to find another way, a better way. Hence what she had written on that scroll about Xena was very simple:

“After burning Akemi’s body, Xena successfully managed to take her ashes to the sacred shrine in Higuchi without the townsfolk hearing about the fact that she had those ashes or attacking her –thus restoring the honour of Yodoshi’s daughter. No one died in a fire. Yodoshi was taken to the underworld and never became a soul-eater.”

The way she had taken care of that particular moment in Xena’s life changed the destiny of many souls, many beings, one by one, in a series of consequences. Thirty-five years after those events, she would not have to go to Jappa or be separated from her soulmate.

Gabrielle found herself caught inside the middle of a huge vortex of destiny. She was suspended in the air –gently swirling around. While she was looking at what was going on around her, she could see the latest events in her life –and other people’s– going backwards, one at a time.

She saw herself walk backwards to Aphrodite’s, like what she’d done this morning, but reversed. She suddenly felt her immortality being drained from her body, as the golden apple from last night was gradually being restored before her eyes until it was intact. She could see yesterday’s events going backwards. As she got her mortal body back, she felt profoundly human once again, and got really excited at the idea of all that had happened lately going further backwards.

She saw Lila –tied up– walk backwards in the direction of her home in Potidaea with the men who had abducted her. In backward motions, it looked as if the men were removing the ropes on arrival, untying Lila, and leaving –leaving her in peace at her home in Potidaea. Also, the other woman that had been abducted had not been strangled by Theron or slain. She saw her too returned to her home, alive and well.

Further backwards, she saw her recent romantic involvement with Aphrodite being erased bit by bit. She saw herself walk backwards from the temple with the Goddess. Sometime after that, she saw Xena’s ashes get out of the water to get back into the urn she’d held –herself then riding backwards from the Amphipolis river towards Amazon Land. Backwards, it looked as if Aphrodite was leaving her there.

Further backwards, she could see the latest months in her life being undone: she had not been returning to her Amazon village; she had not travelled to Egypt; she had not spent huge moments of her existence alone on a boat from Jappa.

The vortex of time finally reached the events of Jappa, during the last time she’d been with Xena. She saw Xena’s ghost re-appear beside her on Mt. Fuji.

Most importantly, she saw Xena’s last breathing moments going in backward motions: Xena’s head got back onto her shoulders, her neck was intact. The arrows removed themselves from Xena’s body one by one, as if thrown backwards. While the blood quickly went back into Xena’s body, her wounds closed miraculously, her body was intact. Morimoto’s army retreated, or so it looked when seen backwards. Later, Gabrielle and her soulmate travelled away from Jappa back to Greece, in backward motions.

Backward motions could look so wonderful when seen that way, Gabrielle observed. A huge feeling of utter happiness overwhelmed her. It was unbelievably exhilarating to know that none of those horrible things in Jappa had ever happened to her soulmate.

It was absolute euphoria to Gabrielle. She was going to be with her lover again in a few moments. Both the threads of their destinies were so interlocked together within the weave of life that the Fates had miraculously given her the gift of mending what had happened, re-uniting them both, finally.

She was never going to have to force herself to recover from Xena’s demise or to try to find another way to live. Her path –as the inspiration in her heart taught her to restore– was with Xena, as always.

She figured that since –according to the story she’d just written on the scroll– Xena had not done anything wrong in Jappa, thirty-five years later the monk Kenji would never come to Greece to bother them while they both were camping under the stars. This is where it had all started.

Gabrielle suddenly passed out inside the vortex she was in. Everything happened precisely as it should –precisely. As if all this had been a dream, she woke up in the past –which was now the present– just before the very last moment that was not going to be changed by what she had written: the last time she’d been having a quiet and peaceful conversation with Xena.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle woke up next to Xena on a bedroll, in a jump. It was six years after they’d met –without counting the twenty five years they’d spent together in hibernation.

“Are you okay, sweetheart?” asked the beautiful dark-haired, blue-eyed woman who was just sitting up to look at her. Both were on the same bedroll.

“Xena!” Sat up, Gabrielle turned towards her lover and hugged her tightly for a long while.

“Hey, Gabrielle,” asked Xena, “what’s happening? You look like you’ve not seen me in a long while, and you just fell asleep a few minutes ago?”

“Did I?” asked Gabrielle, bewildered, and looked around. She then looked back at Xena, smiled and said: “I’m so glad you’re here with me, my darling.” They hugged again.

“It’s all right, honey,” said Xena while hugging the bard, “I ain’t going away, never ever.” Xena smiled and gently ended the hug to look at Gabrielle. Gabrielle also looked at Xena right in the eyes. They kissed –a long, loving, deep and passionate kiss.

“Gotta put some more wood in the fire,” said Xena after they had finished kissing.

While Xena went to take care of the fire, Gabrielle reached for one of their rucksacks to search carefully amongst her scrolls. Had this all been a dream? She could not find the ‘Friend in Need’ scroll. It was as if it had never existed, as if it had never been written. Next, if things worked well, the monk Kenji would not be turning up tonight. The bard sighed and put her scrolls away.

A few moments later, Xena was lying on the bedroll again, next to her. Gabrielle was observing the night sky. Relaxed, she started talking.

“Looking out at the cosmos makes you think… about where we are, where we’ve been, where we’re going now.” Gabrielle said this, smiling –this gave her a strange feeling of déjà vu.

“Yeah… and like the bigger now,” replied Xena. “I mean, Gabrielle, what are we gonna do? Wander around Greece our whole lives looking for trouble?  Why don’t we go away?  Far away?  Whaddya say?”

Gabrielle looked at Xena. She changed her reply this time:

“I think that maybe we should stay around here, in Greece, for a few weeks. Is that okay to go visit the amazons tomorrow? Not much’s been happening to them there since Bellerophon had attacked them. I need a little rest in their currently peaceful village. Then we could perhaps go to the Land of the Pharaohs a little later. Okay, Xena?”

“I was just thinking about the Land of the Pharaohs right now.” said the warrior princess. “It’s very strange that you mention it. The Amazon village, you sure you wanna go there now?”

“Yes… Please?” asked Gabrielle nicely.

“Okay, okay, then,” replied Xena. “We’ll just stay in Greece for a while then. Tomorrow we’ll visit your amazon sisters. We could always travel to the Land of the Pharaohs next month, I guess.”

“Thank you, my darling,” said Gabrielle, smiling at Xena.

“No problem,” said Xena.

Next, the bard turned her head to look towards the dark woods. She could not see anyone out there, no monk Kenji, no one stalking them. Kenji had probably stayed in Jappa this time, as there was no need for him to come to Greece –no Yodoshi. He probably had never even seen him. Gabrielle sighed in relief.

Gabrielle looked at Xena’s chakram, which was lying near the bedroll. Did she still know how to use it?

“Hey Xena,” she asked, “can I just show you something? Would you please let me hold your chakram for a minute?”

“Sure,” replied Xena, curious at what Gabby was talking about.

Gabrielle took the chakram and stood up. Xena watched her, sitting up on the bedroll. Gabrielle noticed a few branches that were protruding irregularly from the top of one of the green bushes nearby. She threw the chakram around. In a marvellous circular flight, it trimmed the top of the bush she’d aimed at –severing those few irregular branches. As it was flying back towards her, Gabrielle caught the circular object back. She turned to Xena: “Now, catch,” and flung the chakram around towards her –to give it back. In a swift move, Xena caught it in her hand.

“Wow, Gabrielle!” said Xena, bug-eyed. The warrior princess looked at the bard in admiration. Her jaw dropped. “How did you learn how to do that?”

“I saw it in a dream… I guess,” said Gabrielle, feeling a little awkward. She went to lie back down on the bedroll next to Xena.

“Well,” Xena said, still bedazzled by the bard’s amazing chakram throw, “I guess I could always let you use my chakram now and again from now on.” Xena smiled while looking at Gabrielle next to her, giving her a charmingly deep look. “I’m sure that, down south in the land of the Pharaohs, they might be in need of two girls with a chakram, two warrior princesses.” Xena winked.

“Yeah, I’m sure they would need us. Thank you so much.” Gabrielle smiled back. “I love you, Xena.”

“I love you, Gabrielle,” Xena replied.

Xena and Gabrielle kissed and cuddled up to each other on the bedroll. As their mouths interlocked and their tongues intertwined sensually, they both felt around each other’s body. Once they finished kissing, Gabrielle looked at Xena.

“I want you,” said the blond woman, “right now.” She looked at her lover with desire burning in her eyes.

“And I want you too,” said the brunette, reciprocating the yearning look.

Within the thrill of erotic passion, they sensually took each other’s clothes off. Then they gently grabbed the most arousing shapes of each other’s bodies –one lover sliding her hands over the other’s body simultaneously as the other one was touching her in the same fashion.

They thus proceeded to make love –pleasuring one another in turns, then at the same time– while affectionately declaring their devotions to each other. Each woman moaned in pleasure and felt her body squirming with joy at the other one’s touch.

They both enjoyed the way they so voluptuously connected to one another. They loved each other and, in the middle such a mentally and physically pleasurable moment, they felt they were forming a powerful unity as soulmates.

Moments later, a rapturous orgasm filled both their beings as the two lovers loudly screamed each other’s names. An intensely gratifying sensation flooded both their bodies and minds.

Exhausted, they both fell asleep in the arms of one another, snuggling up to each other. Now lying in the bedroll next to Xena, Gabrielle felt the ultimate bliss of having gotten her soulmate back. This was to be forever –she would make sure of that.

The next morning, Gabrielle and Xena got up and packed their bags and, with Argo II, they headed towards Amazon Land.