Sapphic night fever

Sapphic Night FeverFanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.

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Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 6:

Sapphic night fever

written by maggielassie

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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 whoosh.org/issue12/ruffel3.html ) 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.

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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.
Whereabouts:
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.

“What?”

“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…”

“Yes?”

“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……..in 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.

THE END

 

Feminist Perspective on XWP Fanfics that are Degrading to Women

This was my longest (personal and political) response to the ‘Conqueror Fics’ thread in Subtext Central on the Talking Xena forums. Because moderators saw it as ‘being unsuitable for a PG-13 forum’ it was removed shortly afterwards, and moved to a private forum.

My type of feminism (radical lesbian feminism) aims at truly challenging the patriarchal world we live in and further the liberation of women. For the record, I define pornography as ‘material that combines sex and/or complete or partial nakedness with misogyny, degradation or abuse in a way that appears to condone, endorse or encourage such behaviour.’

This was the only time I posted on my political beliefs regarding the X/G fanfics that are disrespectul and degrading to the character of Gabrielle, and the issue of BDSM in fanfic. If you want to see the beginning of the conversation, please find it by clicking here. I was responding to WarriorLove (a.k.a. Warrior Judge) and to Marcia like I had promised it here. Now posting it here.

Posted on 04/06/2012. maggielassie wrote:

Phew! It’s Friday night now. I’m back. 🙂

Thanks for saying that I was being brave. This is going to be my goal in this post here, to be brave and to be honest about myself, my personal and political beliefs and who I am. I will try to be as respectful as possible, hence I hope that my reply does not offend anyone (esp. not any woman) here.

WarriorLove:

As a woman, as a lesbian and as a feminist, I am avidly against violence towards women. Let there be no misunderstandings or doubt.

I also don’t like all Conq stories. As a matter of fact I didn’t care for most Conq stories I read, some because the violence against Gabrielle, it seemed to me, was for violence’s sakes alone and some I didn’t like, because they seemed unrealistic (Like, how is it that Gabrielle, who was portrayed by the author as willful and opinionated, can fall in love with a woman who rapes and brutalizes her).

[…]

I am a big romantic at heart…Just violent sex doesn’t “get my juices going”, to quote the warrior princess.

Thank you for highlighting the fact that most Conq stories are indeed disrespectful of the Gabrielle character. Let me be very clear. 🙂 I completely understand that you come from a pro-woman background and that your intentions are good.

However, I’d just like to point out that there is a considerable difference between radical lesbian feminists (like me) and liberal feminists (lesbian, het or otherwise).

Liberal feminists’ intentions are actually good. They (like any other feminists) oppose violence against women. Liberal feminists tend to believe that the patriarchal system can be reformed to accommodate the requests and needs of women. Liberal feminists advocate changes in laws and social attitudes from within the system to further the rights of women. Liberal feminists (like radical feminists) do not see patriarchal power as going away anytime soon. However, instead of engaging into deeper politics that would involve the analysis on how sexuality is constructed in a patriarchy (which they believe would anger the system too much), liberal feminists decide to keep the patriarchal construction of sexuality (and it plays out within both heterosexual and lesbian relationships) as it is. Typically, liberal feminists are willing to look at prevalent social attitudes on sexuality, point out the examples of misogyny that are most obvious (like e.g. “Please do not call a woman a sl*t or a wh*re just because she wants to have sex” or things like that), but they merely advocate minimal ‘safety net’ solutions to keep checks on patriarchal sexuality –like emphasising the importance of ‘agency’ and ‘choice’ for women in being involved, without threatening the general patriarchal construction of sexuality.

Radical lesbian feminists (and even some radical het feminists) say “Not a chance!” with regards to the efficiency of ‘minor reforms’ from within the system. We have seen how the way patriarchal sexuality plays out within this system is fundamentally political to its core –to further the benefits of men at the expense of women’s dignity and bodily integrity. We have seen how an overwhelmingly pornified culture (via its mainstream media, via its traditional customs, etc) trains heterosexual women to make themselves into ‘sexual objects’ for male pleasure. We have seen how rape is still very much prevalent in a patriarchal world: around the world, approximately between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 woman gets forcibly raped by a man at some point over the course of her lifetime. We have seen how much lesbians are being constantly encouraged to replicate heterosexual norms and behaviours within their personal relationships –with a female necessarily expected to be ‘very dominant’ and the other one ‘very submissive’ in order to promote very rigid gender roles within lesbian relationships. Radical feminists decide to step outside the system and tear it down. Radical politics involve going straight to the root cause of all sorts of patriarchal oppression, which involves (amongst other things) being seriously willing to look at how sexuality is constructed under patriarchy. Our own behaviours are not exempt from patriarchal socialisation, and we constantly learn how to reconstruct ourselves in terms of our own female selves How much our selfhood has been denied to us within the limits of patriarchal sexuality, how are our ‘consent’ and our ‘choices’ shaped by much higher forces that attempt to control us, that tell us what to do (through the media, through culture and through our close friends and relatives who have learned how to reproduce the system), how much our own sexuality has been manipulated by the system and is to be re-shaped as to give use more real selfhood and real agency, and how much real female sexuality has actually been censored from us by the highly influential system of patriarchy.

These above (radical feminist) concerns are all very worthy questions, I believe. And (ever since the Second Wave of feminism) all these deeper understandings on sex have actually been accepted as very valid political points in some feminist (or pro-feminist) circles, especially since the 1970 release of Kate Millett’s book Sexual Politics –which was a best-seller at the time. When that book came out, many women agreed that “The world was asleep and suddenly Kate Millett ‘woke it up’.” I remember reading that book in recent years, and it’s actually the ‘Read it and weep” type of book, because it hasn’t aged one bit: many of the issues on male-dominant sexuality are still so much very relevant today and it actually hasn’t changed one bit. Radical feminists talk about sex a lot, this is one of the things I deeply admire about them. They don’t just talk about sex in superficial terms (like the rest of the culture does, e.g. “Just do what feels good to you” regardless of socialisation is a prevalent cultural attitude); they talk about sex in ways that are intended to further the genuine liberation of women from all forms of patriarchal oppression and indoctrination. They argue that most women typically don’t notice how much they are oppressed because we have internalised our own oppression to its core. In order for us to be able to break away from patriarchal socialisation, we have to recognise every aspects of the ways we are being oppressed (even though it may be difficult to some women). Radical feminism makes a connection between the personal and the political, because the personal is political to some degree.

WarriorLove:

BTW, Maggielassie, I remember receiving a few angry emails back in the day, regarding “A simple love story” which you said you liked, because some of my readers didn’t appreciate the fact that Gabrielle in that story made love with Xena while she was 15 years old. Some of my readers accused me back then for promoting sex with minors. Needless to say, I am against that too. However, in ancient Greece, 15 year olds weren’t considered minors, and by 15 they were usually married with kids. Times back then were different…It’s the same with slavery. It was a fact of life back then, no matter how wrong it is to own another human being.

I am not kidding but I honestly couldn’t remember that Gabrielle was 15 in the story. Perhaps it was the ‘Ancient Greek’ effect that had had this effect on me too. I remember Gabrielle getting her ‘moon cycle’ in that story, which may have made me readily perceive her as a fully grown-up woman. However, I do agree that, during our own times (the 21st Century), this sort of sexual relationship would be completely unacceptable. Anyway, what I had liked the most about that particular story of yours is that it did not portray prostitution in a positive light (lie a lot of the mainstream media does). I know a woman who lives in England and who has survived 20 years of prostitution (she had started being involved in the prostitution industry when she was 13) and she says that prostitution is actually far away from being ‘glamorous’ or ’empowering’, and she had to sustain unbelievable abuse. She told me how much she had to mentally fragment her mind from her body in order to be able to ‘carry on with the job’, and how much she had had to ‘act the part’ in order to construct a fragmented self that conformed to the demands of johns (sex buyers). She is now a political advocate for the Swedish model of prostitution law (the model that has been the most effective to tackle sexual trafficking in women, by decriminalising prostituted women while penalising johns). I also have a couple of lesbian friends who used to work on a ‘prostitute outreach’ project intended to help women being involved in prostitution (i.e. ensuring their safety from STDs, refering them to services that provide decent housing, methadone treatments and exit strategies, etc). My friends also told me that prostitution’s actual picture is actually pretty grim. Your own portrayal of prostitution in that A Simple Love Story story was not glamorous at all, and I’m thankful to you for that. 🙂 Gabrielle clearly pointed out that her ‘clients’ only thought about their own pleasure, not hers. Prostitution primarily exists because of the male demand for it, nothing else. Many women involved in prostitution are survivors of child sexual abuse, and most of them make choices that are not free –under a variety of patriarchal and economic constraints…

Anyway, the story I liked the most from you is Conversion, as it took place in a Benedictine convent, and seeing Xena and Gabrielle as being nuins having sex with each other was a real breath of fresh air from me. Considering that I come from a Catholic family, a little bit of lovely lesbian ‘sin’ was totally hilarious to me. 😀

WarriorLove:

Having said that, in this story I try to portray a relationship that is developed in extreme circumstance between a very powerful woman and a socially weak one with a huge gap in their stations.

One on hand, I have the Conq, who finds herself in love with a slave (It takes her awhile to figure out it is love, at first she thinks it’s some silly obsession) she bought with a kind heart and a gentle soul and submissive in her nature. The Conq fears that those feelings, this power that a slave has over her will bring about the end of her reign, the end of who she is. It is the love she feels that tortures her, because she doesn’t want to feel. Her feelings are what fuel her anger and harsh treatment. My Conq is not some sadistic evil $$*!#. She dreads her emotions because she thinks it takes power from her and gives power over her to someone else. In that aspect, she is weaker and less brave than Gabrielle.

On the other hand, there’s a slave, who first sees the Con a few years before the Conq bought her, and she is immediately attracted to her power, to who the Con is. She is a submissive (not because of anything that was done to her, but because it is simply my character’s nature), but as the story progresses (I don’t wish to spoil it so I won’t drop spoilers) you realize that though she is a submissive she is far from being powerless, and perhaps even holds more power than the Conq.

I think that there are only 2 pure BDSM scenes in it (Part 3 and Part 4)…but I think it is interesting to see their relationship being slowly developed and become more and more romantic and tender. They are very passionate about each other, even though it takes them a while to realize they are hopelessly in love with one another.

[…]

I hope you’ll give it a chance and not judge it without even reading it. I work hard on it and I choose my words carefully.

[…]…though the sex between them would appear at first as non- consensual (Because Gabrielle, who is a slave  has no say in the matter) it would soon be clear that she wants it, welcomes it, and even encourages and initiates it.

I might read it, just for you. 🙂 However, I cannot promise that I will enjoy it. There is no doubt that, for me, reading a story that attempts to portray the X/G relationship as being respectful only to have them engage in BDSM right in the middle of the story will deeply disappoint, no doubt for me. I just don’t believe any woman is ‘naturally submissive’; we have simply been socially trained to be submissive. I also think there can be a problem with sex looking ‘non-consensual’ but in fact being consensual. I hope you’ll forgive me to say this but a very common theme in prominent works of pornography is the woman being portrayed as initially reluctant to participate in sex (especially in a specifically degrading sexual acts) or sexually assaulted, but then she suddenly appears to ‘enjoy’ her own degradation and actively seek it. This is a very common pornographic lie: women are viewed as enjoying being raped, enjoying being degraded. The truth is that it is not true in real life. I have no idea if your own work is pornography (during those scenes) and I don’t want to form judgements until I read it, but if it appeared to be (unintentionally) the kind of theme I’m talking about here, I probably would not enjoy the scene, but I wouldn’t be blaming you. The wider social forces that condition us are more powerful than any of us.

I tend to avoid very serious imbalances in power within relationships. I can understand that it can sometimes be hard and tricky to identify where degradation starts within a particular story, especially when degradation is so sexualised. I try my best. Regarding the X/G fanfics that are degrading out there, it actually doesn’t surprise me one bit that pornography has infiltrated the Xenaverse fanfic too. We live in a pornographic culture after all and all kinds of media (mainstream and also some independent ones, like fanfic) have become pornified. The Xenaverse (just like the mainstream lesbian community) was not immune to this pornifying process, unfortunately. 😦

The (majority of) Conqueror fics are actually not the only X/G stories that are degrading and pornographic out there. A lot of the general stuff can also be degrading and pornographic too. Regarding navigating through stories- I can understand how difficult it can be. I knew where my limits were when I was navigating the Web in research for hot X/G stories, and I had been lucky enough to have had a radical lesbian feminist awakening that enabled me to see what pornography was when I saw it. I really cannot stand any BDSM of any sort (sorry), cruelty or degrading stuff, so therefore the stories I’ve linked on my website are all mostly respectful to some degree (for the most part). But I can tell you that when I was looking for all those stories, I had to go through a pile of horrible X/G stories as well (of which I instantly fled the pages). A couple of them that contained BDSM actually nearly made me feel physically sick. When BDSM is romanticised and purported as liberating, I can see so much of my past self in it, being conned by patriarchy into accepting degradation.

Also, I really cannot stand phallic toys, as I view them as a complete erasure of real lesbian sexuality, so you will never see any of those on my list of favourite (bookmarked) stories either. I used to be into phallic toys when I was younger, but when I got interested in lesbian feminism, I understood that phallic toys were just the results of influences from a heteronormative society. Moreover, in a patriarchal society, lesbian sexuality tends to be stereotypically viewed as “incomplete”, as “needing” a ‘male-like thing’ to complete it. This sort of heteronormative vision of lesbian sexuality is unfair ’cause it negates the true potential of lesbian sexuality as being its own separate thing about women loving women, and women exploring women’s bodies just the way they are.

I do not even view my own lesbian erotica stories as truly challenging the system. I just do this as a personal hobby, not as a long-term political goal. As I said before, my stories contain some elements of sub/dom because, to be honest, I myself have not even been able to fully overcome patriarchal conditioning, and because I view Xena and Gabrielle as being socialised within those forces too; Ancient Greece was another time and place for patriarchy. However, I do not necessarily see those characters as participating in BDSM. The leather outfits of ancient times just don’t prove anything to me (although I can understand that they can have connotations for BDSMers, who may co-opt Xena images in their own stories)… I believe that the most egregious forms of internalisations of sub/dom sexuality can easily be avoided through resisting BDSM. The truth is that people who are in power in society are actually not the BDSMers themselves. The real people who are in power in society are actually the ones who benefit from the BDSM of others, incl. the lesbians being into BDSM. In real life, I do enjoy when even the mild dom/sub elements (not like how it was with BDSM though) are not being strictly enforced all the time, and I would be very much open to an egalitarian form of sexuality, were it to come up in my life or in the future.

I would like to make it very clear that I am certainly not criticising the ‘consent’ aspect of BDSM, which is what people wrongfully assume when I criticise it. The consent was never an issue for me. I agree that there is a difference between BDSM and actual rape. The issue was mostly what exactly I was consenting to. I really had to break free from sadomasochistic chains, for our own personal, psychological, physical, social and political well-being as women. When I chose to withdraw consent and refuse to continue to re-enact or accept symbols of slavery, captivity, rape or torture as a turn-on, I felt a lot better, a lot more autonomous as a human being. For me, it was like ‘oh, there’s a woman-hating culture out there but I refuse to take part in it any longer’ and then I felt free. It was hard for me, at the beginning, to personally re-condition myself to a healthy, more egalitarian kind of sexuality, but it worked. And I don’t even find tender and loving lesbian sexuality ‘boring’ at all, I learned to love it again. It’s the best, the most woman-centred, even when it still contains some mild elements of sub/dom (because of the society we live in)…

I totally hate the term ‘vanilla sex’ in patriarchy, even more than I hate the term BDSM. Deriding sexuality that strives to achieve more closeness to egalitarianism as ‘vanilla’ is insulting IMO. It’s almost as if ‘vanilla’ could easily be translated in patriarchal language as ‘don’t go there, it’s boring’. In fact, patriarchy deliberately wants us to get away from the most genuinely female-centred forms of sexualities. It constructs them as ‘uninteresting’ while they can in fact be the most interesting forms of sexuality for lesbians. BDSM is the ultimate killer of sensuality. There can be many other cuddles, kisses, slow massaging, etc that can be explored within lesbian sexuality. I view lesbians not only as ‘women who like having sex with other women’ but as women-loving women, also.

I understand that such talks on sexuality can be very difficult to hear for some women who still see BDSM as romantic. A great deal of the problem, I think, is how romantic love has been shaped by male dominant heterosexual culture and then internalised into lesbian realtionships. I want to make very clear that when I was involved in BDSM, I used to see it as inseparable from romantic love. The truth is BDSM is only based on a one-sided aspect of romantic love (not based on a form of love between women that would involve mutual respect, preservation of selfhood –without one partner having to necessarily ‘sacrifice’ her selfhood and dignity of bodily integrity for the other’s happiness). I think a major wake-up call for me when I was still involved in BDSM, and starting reading feminist writings on BDSM, was that particular quote from a text by Andrea Dworkin:

“The female life-force is characterized as a negative one: we are defined as inherently masochistic. [. . .] Sexual masochism actualizes female negativity, just as sexual sadism actualizes male positivity. A woman’s erotic femininity is measured by the degree to which she needs to be hurt, needs to be possessed, needs to be abused, needs to submit, needs to be beaten, needs to be humiliated, needs to be degraded.

[…]

“Romantic love, in pornography as in life, is the mythic celebration of female negation. For a woman, love is defined as her willingness to submit to her own annihilation. As the saying goes, women are made for love–that is, submission. Love, or submission, must be both the substance and purpose of a woman’s life. For the female, the capacity to love is exactly synonymous with the capacity to sustain abuse and the appetite for it. For the woman, the proof of love is that she is willing to be destroyed by the one whom she loves, for his sake. For the woman, love is always self-sacrifice, the sacrifice of identity, will, and bodily integrity, in order to fulfill and redeem the masculinity of her lover.” (from Andrea Dworkin, in Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics.)

This was incredibly empowering and eye-opening for me the first time I’d read this quote. Although Dworkin is talking about the heterosexual framework here, it can easily be applied to lesbian relationships that have based themselves on this framework. This is why I am very sorry but I am unable to enjoy stories in which Gabrielle is portrayed as participating in BDSM for the sake of love. I remember too much of being in that position and no longer wanting to be in that position anymore. I want romantic love to be reshaped in different terms, that are more female-centred and that do not negate a woman’s full humanity so that another can be made ‘more dominant’.

I can totally understand, however, how very, very hard it can actually be to give up on BDSM. I initially did not really want to give it up myself. I genuinely believed it gave me some form of ’empowerment’. When I had been raped by a man not long after my eighteenth birthday, I felt completely disempowered. I actually mentally shut out my feelings about that experience of rape. I just wanted to get away from there.

What was so attractive about BDSM was actually two things. The first one was the endorphin rush. The endorphin rush keeps participants coming back for more, making BDSM a powerful drug-like experience. It is very, very hard to fight what turns you on, especially when you get kicks out of it (despite the negative ‘after-feelings’). The second attraction was the illusory state of being able to set out boundaries and ‘safety’. After I was raped, I think the traumatic experience played out into my subconscious mind somehow. I had been raped by a man after all, not by a woman. Also, when I was raped, I just had to lie there and ‘take it’, nothing else. In my (later) lesbian relationships involving BDSM (and especially bondage), I remember feeling as if I was ‘in control’, i.e. I was the one to decide when the bindings (or handcuffs) could be applied and when they had to come off. I viewed this as empowerment because I was having more control over this than when I had been raped (there had been no control).

I really did not want to listen to radical lesbian feminists when I’d stumbled upon them online and discovered their works (especially the work of Sheila Jeffreys in The Lesbian Heresy, a book that later saved my life). I’d actually decided to look at both pro-BDSM and anti-BDSM arguments from feminist stances. The pro-sadomachism lobby basically said ‘Anything goes’; it just could not move beyond ‘consent’ analyses, which was its major weakness. On the other hand, lesbian feminist concerns on BDSM (the other side of the debate, which is actually often hated for even daring mention it), although fully acknowledging consent too, were starting moving from the ‘consent’ analysis towards the “What exactly are you consenting to?” analysis.

However, still I did not want to listen at the start. I was thinking “Who the hell are those lesbian feminist moralists trying to tell me what to do?” What made me carry on listening to their arguments actually was a much more complex feeling I had that they might be right about something, though I did not know exactly what it was. I had built and chosen my own BDSM cage after all, and I believed that my cage could protect me. I started to listen to those lesbian feminist voices when I decided that I was willing to take a look outside the cage for a moment and see what BDSM was about, and what genuine freedom would actually look like.

I remember I revisited my rape experience in my mind and tried to see if I could have done something differently (like not being present in a specific place at a particular time; not trusting a man I had just met a couple of months prior to the rape, etc, things that had made me feel ‘guilty’ about being raped for all those years after the experience), and the truth is that there was nothing I could possibly have foreseen at that time. The rape happened, because it happened, and it wasn’t my fault. BDSM is not rape, but it is now clearly undeniable for me that BDSM is linked to a whole culture of sexual violence against and degradation of women (whether some women are willing to admit it or not).

Giving up on BDSM was the most revolutionary and radical thing I’d ever done in my life. 🙂 Breaking free from the chains of BDSM felt like genuinely regaining control, reaching a state of complete freedom again. No longer accepting the symbols of rape, torture, captivity and slavery as a turn-on felt like breathing again to me. Life cannot ever feel fuller, better, freer for me. It was hard at the time. It initially happened in steps. I first had to desexualise myself for a month. I may have been asexual for a month or two, because I gradually re-conditioned myself to truly women-centred sexuality (like a ‘going back to the beginning’ sort of thing). And even if I can’t completely kick the much milder, much more respectful forms of sub/dom dynamics in my own stories, I still am very happy that these (at least) do not stop me from being involved in political action in real life and online.

I was at a lesbian feminist gathering recently in England and I’d met a butch lesbian there who also had been formerly involved in BDSM culture and practice. We had a drink together, and we looked at each other, smiling. We understood, during our conversations, how BDSM had sounded so ‘hip’ and ‘fun’ at the time. We had both gotten out of our own (chosen) cages as soon as we were able to notice that there was a lot more freedom ‘outside the cage’, so to speak. I am also a political (non-fiction) writer. I was recently involved in the political writing of a two-part guest post (part 1 & part 2) rebelling against the postmodernist takeover of feminist studies in Academia. I also in the past wrote to MPs on women’s issues such as challenging the sex trade, and sex trade laws. I also marched with feminist friends and picketed places or media outlets that are linked to rape culture and the objectification of women. I personally do not believe I could have done all this had I still been involved in BDSM.

I think BDSM is politically problematic from a radical lesbian feminist point of view, because it keeps women ‘asleep’ with regards to potential political action and how patriarchal sexuality is constructed and linked to rape culture. So long as the oppressed get turned on by elements of their own oppression, there will be no real political change. I was so glad to see feminists protesting against the new BDSM porn novel Fifty Shades of Grey recently on the Radical Hub (yes, there can be some pornography that masquerades as erotica, but I can easily tell both apart, personally). I pray for the fourth wave of feminism (if it ever comes) to be ten times more revolutionary than the third one (which was mostly based on liberalism and postmodernism), and I hope it will look more like the 2nd wave. No patriarchal system wants females who rebel against their own degradation. Being able to overcome BDSM desires and seeing there is actually a life after this is in fact the biggest blow into the patriarchal system that wants to control us day after day…

That said, I can understand, WarriorLove, if you decide to view what I’ve said here as ‘rubbish’. I can imagine that It would be very much, much harder for me to give up on BDSM if I had written and published fanfic stories that contained BDSM. I was lucky to have broken away from it before I’d even gotten involved in the Xenaverse, and I can’t imagine what that would be for me if things had been otherwise. I’d probably feel very much unable to turn back had I ever written BDSM stories and taken pride in enjoying them… I am not trying to change anyone. I am trying to inform women on other forms of opportunities that might be available to them. I had also to tell you why there is a great chance why I might not be able to fully enjoy the kind of story you’re releasing here, because of the background I’m coming from. 🙂 I’m trying to be fully honest with you and I certainly hope my post won’t make you angry towards me (I understand that re-directing anger upwards, towards the system, can be difficult, though that’s what I do)…

I can understand that this is a very hard, hard world out there for females. I still am very proud of being one. 🙂

Marcia:

Regarding Xena and Gabrielle as butch/femme – I certainly understand your point here as well Maggie. Not all butches and femmes are into top/bottom role play. And yes, butch and femme are often just used as descriptors to categorize women in the lesbian community based on appearance (hair style, make up, etc) or fashion choices. I am always labeled as ‘femme’ because of my appearance and fashion choices as well. However, Xena and Gabrielle are both similar in appearance, imo. Maybe they have been labeled butch/femme because of their differences in personalities, as Xena was presented as more assertive and she ‘took care’ of Gabrielle and Gabrielle was typically portrayed as less assertive and relied heavily on Xena to take care of and rescue her, especially in the early seasons. By the end of the series, Xena and Gabrielle’s relationship had definitely evolved into a more egalitarian one, imo…

Yeah, I see the point re butch/femme though I’d actually want to completely discard those roles altogether, just like I’d like to get rid of any sort of gender roles. I think that I actually feel like having an ‘inner butch’ when I’m assertive about my politics. However, I can sound femme too, sometimes… I think the main reason Xena and Gabrielle got labeled butch/femme is because of negative gendered stereotypes placed upon women and lesbians in society and culture. As soon as a woman shows herself as strong and assertive, there you go: many poeple start viewing her as “wanting to be a man.”

I hate it when people (who have been raised in a stereotypically gendered society) try to box Xena into “masculine” roles, yikes! Xena is just a strong woman, she is NOT “masculine” or wanting to be “a man.” She is clearly Woman, purely female (that’s the main reason I fell in love with her), strong but so much loving and caring for her Gabrielle. They are so nice and cuddly together. I love them. I don’t necessarily see Gabrielle as stereotypically “feminine” either. She’s just herself, an intelligent young female, eager to learn more about life, adventures and love.

I think all those stereotypes aim at preventing us from fully enjoying the fact that there are two women there. Censoring genuine lesbian, femle-centred sexuality and love is one of the biggest patriarchal tricks/cons. I actually end up wondering how readers read my own stories. since we have traditionally been conditioned to stick the labels ‘man’ and ‘woman’ onto every lesbian relationship. When you actually take off the patriarchal glasses for a minute, you can easily notice that Xena is Gabrielle’s protector (not because she is “wanting to be a man” or other nonsense) but because she is an older and stronger woman protecting a young and vulnerable one. Also, I often portray Xena as spooning Gabrielle in bed in my own fic not because of a “man/woman” image (or anything like that) but because of Xena’s size. Xena, as a woman, is bigger in size, which can be comfortable and cuddly for Gabrielle.

In terms of sex though, I have found myself not wanting fanfics involving Gabrielle as being ‘sub’ all the time. I’ve actually enjoyed reading and also written scenes in which things aren’t so rigid and linear, in which Gabrielle is the one being ‘on top’ (incl. when she is still long-haired Gabrielle). I tend to want a more egalitarian relationship between them, even though there is still some very mild sub/dom dynamics involved here.

Once, I actually heard a XWP fan accusing me of ‘missing something’ if I am not able to enjoy the BDSM fanfic stories, or stories involving phallic toys. The argument is that I’m apparently “censoring myself” with all my “vanilla” politics. Yuck, I am not or will ever be a “vanilla” as I’ve explained earlier. I would actually argue that all the lesbian BDSM, the lesbian porn and the phallic toys that are constantly present in patriarchy all actually contribute to the actual censoring of genuinely female-centred lesbian sexuality. Patriarchy wants us to reproduce its male-dominated norms. It does not want us to enjoy full lesbian sexuality that also preserves bodily integrity. I had to take those things away from my life to actually be able to enjoy the simplest of things that come from the love between women: the most tender caresses, the slow touches and cuddling. I believe most lesbian couples are able to enjoy this to some degree, but it cannot ever feel purer, more loving, more genuine until you are willing to remove all the male-centred elements that constantly have attached themselves onto lesbian sexuality. You get a fuller version of our own lesbian love and sexuality that way.

Very sorry about the length of this post. I know it was long-winded. 🙂 But I just really had to fully ’empty my bag’ on BDSM and feminism. In a way, the main pro-BDSM ‘consent’ argument actually makes sense at its inception: you really have to know that you are consenting to degradation before you can ever decide to do the next thing: withdraw consent…

To you I belong

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.

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Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 5:

To you I belong

written by maggielassie

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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.

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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…”

“Forever…”

“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.”

“Really?”

“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…”

“Man?”

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.

THE END

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Love plans

Fanfic cover by Silvermoonlight.

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Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 4:

Love plans

written by maggielassie

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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.

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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,