~ Beware The Green-Eyed Monster ~
No. 4 of the: Foibles and Follies, The Misadventures of the Warrior and Bard Series
First, if you havent done so already you may want to read "Simple Pleasures" since one of the main characters in this story is introduced in that one. Then, if you feel inclined to want to read the other stories in this series, they can be found at my website: http://web.archive.org/web/20010804185956/http://www.xenaeyes.com/Lawls.html.
Alternative Sexual Content: Yeah, you should know the drill by now. Theres some kissing and hugging and loving and it is between two grown women. Hey, how many times must we say it; they are in love. So if you are not at least 18 years of age or this type of material offends you then yada, yada, yada
Spoilers: None. This is my story, my timeline, and my creation. Mine, mine, mine.
Xena:Warrior Princess, its characters, and all related materials are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures © 1995-2000. Ive borrowed a couple of their characters, but the story idea for "Beware the Green Eyed Monster" is solely the property of the author (me). "Beware the Green Eyed Monster" was completed on 1/24/00.
Feedback is always welcome at: email@example.com. Dont be shy; tell me how
Now on to the story
The wolf was intently studying the writhing and moaning forms under the blanket in front of him, cocking his head from side to side, listening, his ears perked and his big brown eyes gleaming excitedly in the moonlight. Suddenly, he lifted his muzzle toward the sky, opened his mouth, and let out a long howl.
The mournful sound echoed throughout the valley and back. Except for the hoot of a nearby owl, a hollow silence immediately followed the trailing off of his plaintive call, for the briefest of moments.
"Xena!" The blanket was cast aside and a tousled blonde head appeared. "Do something will you."
"I thought I was doing "
"You know what I mean," Gabrielle huffed refusing to look at her companion.
"What would you have me do Gabrielle?" Xena reached over and lovingly stroked the bards cheek. "Hes just jealous. Cant you relax and ?"
"Xena, I cant relax with him " the bard hesitated and glanced at Autolycus who was eyeing them intently with his tongue lolling out. "Staring at us that way. And that howl " She crossed her arms across her chest and sighed deeply. "I just cant."
"All right," Xena said resignedly as she abruptly leaned over the bard toward the unsuspecting canine.
Auto never saw it coming.
Gabrielle watched in wide-eyed wonder as the wolf slumped to the ground.
Xena casually lay back down beside the bard then grabbed the blanket and settled it once again over top of them. She pulled the frazzled little one back into her arms and maneuvered and nuzzled her way to where theyd left off before they were interrupted.
"Come on Gabrielle, weve got thirty seconds."
"Nah-uh warrior princess. I cant possibly O-h-h-h my gods, yes I can "
The wolf blinked miserably at the blanketed pair of bodies and tried to lift his head. He struggled to thrust a single paw toward them then coughed before settling back with his head on his paws and growling softly, continuing his vigil through tearing eyes.
"Gods yes faster, Xena "
"G-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-r." Autolycus began dragging his body toward them, his belly flat on the ground and his paws frantically clawing and slipping in the dirt.
"Ten seconds Gabrielle!"
"Ah Xena, nothing like a putting a lot of pressure ah-h-h yeah, thatll do. Little to the left "
"G-r-r." Cough. "G-r-r-r-r." Cough. "G-r-r." The wolf painstakingly inched closer and closer.
"O-o-h yes thats it "
He whimpered and stopped, gasping for breath.
"Oh-h-h-h-h gods Xena!!!"
A calm silence finally fell over the clearing as the two lovers suddenly lolled onto their backs, tossed the blanket aside, and struggled to calm their hyperventilation and their frenzied hearts.
Wiping a bead of sweat from her forehead and languishing in the afterglow, the bard gazed dreamily up at the star strewn sky above with not a care in the world. She smiled and absently reached over with one hand to tenderly caress the inside of Xenas arm and with the other patted Autolycus lightly on the head.
Xena sighed deeply at feeling the bards warm touch; Auto coughed and whimpered softly.
Coughed and whimpered?
Gabrielles orbs suddenly grew as large as chakrams. Glancing toward the wolf she immediately saw that his eyes were drowning in misery causing them to glint brightly in the firelight. She watched in transfixed horror as a drop of blood escaped his left nostril and rolled downward in an agonizing slow-motion stream toward the ground. Then she saw his tongue snake out and sweep it away, the simple action finally wrenching her out of her fascinated stupor. Her hand clenched down viciously on the warriors wrist, nails digging unmercifully into flesh as she gasped and sat up with a start.
The warrior immediately sprang to her feet as though launched from a catapult, her eyes frantically searching the clearing surrounding her for trouble, and every muscle and sinew tensed and prepared for a battle.
"What where who is it, Gabrielle?!"
The bard reached up and tapped her startled companion on the thigh to gain her attention then frantically pointed toward the wolf who was still painfully inching his way on his belly across the ground toward her all the while gazing up at her beseechingly with his tearing brown eyes.
Xena, finally realizing what had happened, quickly bounded over the bard and thrusting her fingers into the side of his throat, released the struggling wolf from her pinch. He yipped once, then rolled over onto his side and was still.
Gabrielle gazed incredulously from the wolf to Xena then back, her face slowly beginning to tinge with remorse and guilt.
"By the gods," she said softly as she covered her mouth with her hands and leaned in closer to his muzzle trying to determine if the poor creature was still breathing. "Is he ?"
"Nah." Xena interjected as she lay back down beside the bard and unconcernedly pulled the blanket up over her bare body. "Hell be good as new in no ."
A flash of gray fur suddenly headed directly for the bards face. Xena cringed and brought the blanket up over her face. Way to prove my point Auto, she thought.
Before Gabrielle could blink she was pushed onto her back, stunned and startled. Autolycus quickly leapt on top of her, lapping at her face with total abandon. She flailed her arms and tried to push him off. But she found he was very persistent, nearly as persistent as a certain in-the-mood warrior princess could often be.
"Pffft Xe pffffft XENA!"
The warrior came out from hiding and grinned sheepishly as she leaned up on her elbow and watched her bards face being rubbed raw by the wolfs rough and quite relentless tongue. Been there, done that, she thought as she watched on in amusement.
"Ack pfffft! Get him pfft off !"
"Hmm Gabrielle, I think hes trying to say thank you."
Still grinning broadly, Xena lay back and rested her head on her arms, gazing contentedly up at the night sky and listening serenely to the struggle going on next to her. After a few moments she glanced over just in time to see the bard wrap her arm around the wolfs neck, grab his scruff, roll him over onto his back, then quickly position herself atop him, desperately trying to pin him to the ground. But the action was to no avail as he continued to squirm and cover her face in a barrage of wet canine kisses.
The warrior abruptly snapped her fingers and cast the wriggling wolf a feigned snarl. "Hey Auto, maybe Im the one who should be jealous."
He hesitated and glanced over at her with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. It proved just enough of a diversion for the bard to reach up with both hands and quickly wrap them around his muzzle clamping his mouth shut. He growled softly but finally lay still in her grasp.
"Gods Xena, I dont believe this is a case of simple jealousy. Hey, hold still " Gabrielle said breathlessly as Autolycus began squirming beneath her again. She squeezed her hands tighter around his snout. "I think this animal is downright obsessed."
Xena leaned up on her elbow and grinned playfully.
"Let him up, Gabrielle."
"What? So he can use my face as a tongue warmer again?"
The warrior broadened her grin and cocked her eyebrow.
"Just let him up."
The bard shook her head at the ludicrousness of the entire situation, then hesitantly released the wolfs muzzle and rolled off of him. Immediately he flipped over and gave her face one last swipe before he sat back onto his haunches, panting and wagging his tail briskly. She rubbed a bit of drool from her face and cast the warrior a subtle glare.
Without hesitation, Xena reached over to draw the frazzled bard toward her. In an instant the wolf was wedged in between them, his tail thumping on the ground and his eyes darting from one to the other repeatedly before reaching up and giving the warrior a swipe across the chin with his overactive lingua. Xena smirked, having it seemed finally made her point.
Gabrielle looked at her with a knowing smile.
"Xena, whats the name of that place again?"
"Athens City Academy for Troubled Canines."
"Ah-huh." The bard lay down and pulled the blanket up over them then reached out to drape her arm over both her lover and their new friend swaddled intimately between them. Autolycus growled softly and snuggled in closer to the warrior, his eyes casting a subtle warning toward the bard. She pulled back and looked at him in amazement. "So how soon can we get there?"
An immediate hush followed by quiet murmuring fell over the tavern when they entered. The warrior scanned the room casually. Seeing no one and nothing out of the ordinary she sauntered up toward the bar while Gabrielle went to lay claim to an empty table at the back of the room.
"Hey, hows about some service," Xena shouted to the tavern keeper hovering at the far end of the bar. He scampered over to her location then suddenly in apparent recognition of her, stopped and eyed her warily.
It wasnt the first time shed gotten this type of reception; seemed the old reputation would never die. She shook her head and returned his uneasy stare with a bemused smirk.
"N-n-no mum," he stuttered anxiously. "Just dont want no trouble in here."
Xena leaned across the bar and gazed into his eyes for an extended period of time, her message silent but acutely clear. He finally resigned his stance and quickly looked away, sighing and running a damp rag across the top of the bar as he attempted to avoid any further contact with those penetrating blue eyes. She grinned maniacally and slapped her hand down onto the cloth, stopping it mid-swipe. The barkeep jumped and stared at her, eyes wide and mouth agape.
"Now," she said in a low voice. "Ill have a mug of your strongest and my cute little friend over there," she paused to wave and grin impishly at the bard, "Shell have an apple cider."
"C-c-oming right up mum." He threw his rag into a bucket behind the bar and scurried away to complete her order, hesitating occasionally to glance uneasily at her over his shoulder.
Just then, Xena heard a slight commotion radiating from a table near the door and looked over to see a group of young village maidens all eyeing her and chatting excitedly amongst themselves. It was obvious that one member of the group was being urged by the others to do something, they kept poking and prodding at her and all the while she was getting jumpier and generally looking like she wanted to crawl under the table. The warrior noticed an embarrassed flush in the young girls face and when their eyes met she felt compelled to flash her a charmingly toothy grin. The clearly unnerved girl nearly fell backward out of her chair; her companions sat in silent wide-eyed and open-mouthed trances. Xena chuckled softly, cast the young woman a wink then turned back toward the bar while composure was regained and excited chatter resumed at the table behind her.
"Here you go." The barkeep set a tankard of mead and a mug of apple cider down on the bar in front of her. He backed away quickly, still eyeing her suspiciously.
Xena raised a questioning eyebrow.
"One dinar mum."
She tossed a coin onto the bar, grabbed the drinks, and smirked at the barkeep one last time before turning and heading toward the table in the back. Setting the apple cider down in front of the bard, she gave her a winning grin then slid down onto the bench beside her and took a long swill of her mead.
No sooner had the warrior settled when Gabrielle reached over under the table and lightly traced her fingers along the inside of Xenas thigh.
Xena nearly flew into the air when she felt a sudden surge of butterflies in her gut and subsequent tingling warmth between her thighs. "G-a-a-brie-l-l-le." With a look of utter surprise, she reached down to entwine her fingers into her tormentors digits, effectively capturing them and preventing any further wandering. "What was THAT for?"
"Just thanking you for buying me a drink," the bard said coyly.
A waggish smirk instantly captured Xenas face. Arching her eyebrow in feigned inquisition, she disengaged her hand from the bards, reached over and placed it on her companions knee then slowly slid the hem of her skirt up along the little blondes thigh.
"So bard, what do I get if I buy you another?"
Gabrielle smiled seductively, waggled her eyebrows, then leaned over and whispered something into the warriors ear.
Xenas face flushed immediately and she released a deeply ardent sigh. Her hand maneuvered higher along the bards thigh. When she spoke again, her voice held a low timbre as she continued her seductive interrogation.
"Uh-huh and if I buy you dinner?"
The bard placed her elbows on the table. Casually resting her chin in her hands, she proceeded to erotically maneuver her tongue along the length and breadth of her upper lip, the expression hinting, tantalizing, and teasing. Finally satisfied with the impressiveness of the move, she settled back into her seat, cast the warrior a suggestive wink, and waited for a response to her bewitching wiles. She was not disappointed.
"Ahem." Xena suddenly cleared her throat, swallowed hard, and shifted in her seat as a rosy hue gathered in her cheeks and across her chest. Her eyes were sparkling with passionate wonder. "Gabrielle, you are something."
The bard grinned mischievously and continued her onslaught by reaching over and leisurely tracing her fingertips around the warriors trembling lips, then downward along her cheek, neck, shoulder, and forearm before allowing them to come to rest on her wrist. She caressed and tickled the skin under her hand lightly, barely making contact, teasing and torturing. Her smile broadened as she watched the eruption of goose flesh across the skin of the warriors arm and neck.
"Thats right Xena, youve created a monster by sharing your many skills with me." Gabrielle crooned seductively as she gazed lovingly into the warriors eyes. "I am a quick study you see."
Xena leaned down and placed a lingering kiss on the bards shoulder then whispered into her ear, "Indeed, and a creative monster at that." She leaned in and drew an earlobe into her mouth while her hand slid underneath her companions skirt to linger on the inside of her thigh, firmly massaging the flesh under her hand in a sensuously slow motion.
Gabrielle shuddered and growled softly.
"Um, excuse me."
A lilting soft-spoken voice suddenly interrupted their private foray. They both sighed agitatedly then turned to find a tall and quite strikingly attractive blonde watching them closely. Xena immediately recognized her as the blushing young maiden from the table near the door and gauged her age at roughly seventeen.
"Arent you Xena?" the young girl continued as stares and playful snickers erupted from her companions seated at the far side of the room. She waved her hand dismissively at them while never losing eye contact with the warrior princess.
Xena glanced at Gabrielle, who it seemed was eyeing the girl rather suspiciously. She reached over and placed her hand lightly on the bards shoulder then turned back toward the stranger.
"Yes, I am. And this is Gabrielle, my "
"Oh my gods!" the girl abruptly interrupted before nearly breaking into a swoon. "I could just die. I cant believe oh gods..."
The warrior and bard glanced at each other bemusedly for a moment before Xena turned back toward the girl with eyebrow arched inquisitively.
"You all right?"
"Oh yea I just have always dreamed of " the girl hesitated and glanced sidelong at the bard, " meeting you."
"Well then, how do you do." Xena reached out her hand.
The young woman grasped it enthusiastically in her own, her blue eyes sparkling in sheer delight as her hand lingered and her thumb began stroking the back of the warriors hand.
Xena grinned broadly as she held the youngster literally captivated in her gaze.
The subtle message conveyed by this exchange was certainly not lost on Gabrielle who stared uncomfortably at the two hands locked together in front of her face. Her soft green eyes hardened and narrowed slightly as she started to feel a very odd feeling in her gut: an uncomfortable, unnerving, unfamiliar, inexplicable, Ive got a bad feeling about this feeling. She rubbed her neck absently then glanced over at Xenas face. Taking a double take she noticed that the warriors eyes were sparkling with a delight nearly equal to that in the eyes of the young strangers. The feeling in her gut continued to grow as she realized that not only was this the worst case of warrior princess haze shed seen since well, since Hower, but even worse, the warrior princess herself appeared totally enraptured by the not so subtle flirtations being bestowed upon her. Gabrielle frowned as she turned back to study the young womans face again, looking closely for intent but finding only a blatantly ruddy glow. Abruptly, her right eyebrow cocked into a suspicious arch. Hmmm, Ive definitely got a bad feel
"Ahem," the girl suddenly cleared her throat and finally released the warriors hand. "My name is Whyla. Why dont you join us? My friends would like to meet you too and Id love to " she hesitated and cast the bard another sidelong glance, " buy you a drink." Her lips curled into a dazzling smile.
Xena leaned back and took another long draw from her mead. Setting her mug down on the table, she smiled sheepishly at Gabrielle who was still locked in an intense study of the girl in front of them. Funny, the warrior couldnt seem to remember the bards eyes ever being that particular shade of green before. She leaned over toward her partner and looked closer. Yep, her eyes definitely seemed greener somehow. Must be the lighting in here. Shrugging it off, she took another quick swig from her mug and turned back toward Whyla.
"Ah, Whyla. Why dont you go on ahead and well join you shortly," Xena hesitated, glancing again at the bard. "Right Gabrielle?"
The bard turned and gazed absently at her partner but said nothing.
Xena gently touched her arm. "Gabrielle?"
Gabrielles lips suddenly curved into an oddly sinister looking smile. "Sure Xena," she began in a low voice. "She wants to " She hesitated, the smile growing broader. " buy you a drink. Whats one more drink? We should be thankful that she wants to BUY you a DRINK." She hesitated and looked back at Whyla, the sinister smile remaining fully intact. "Were right behind you... Oh Im sorry, your name again?"
"Whyla," the girl said hesitantly. She looked uncomfortably from the bard to the warrior and back again before turning to head rapidly for the bar. "Ill just go get the drinks now."
Gabrielle watched her go. "Yes, you get the drinks. Im sure Xena will be VERY thank "
The warrior suddenly reached over and grabbed the bards hand. "Ga-a-brielle, something wrong?"
The bard cast her partner a sidelong glance before standing and starting for the table near the door. Midway there she stopped and turned back around.
"You coming warrior princess? Whyla wants to buy you a drink you know." With a subtle smirk she spun on her heals and headed across the room.
Xena watched her go with a befuddled expression on her face and an uneasy feeling igniting within her gut. What in Hades ? Women! Taking one last swallow from her mead she stood and started toward the table near the door where Gabrielle was already making small talk with several of Whylas friends. Gliding silently up behind the bard she placed her arm lightly around her partners waist, pulling her close before allowing her hand to glide leisurely up along her back and come to rest at the back of her neck. She felt the bard shiver under her touch. Well thats a good sign anyway, she thought.
"Hi." Xena cast the group a disarming smile before again turning her eyes to the bard.
Gabrielle started to say something but fell silent when she saw Whyla approaching with the drinks.
Xena felt the muscles tense under her hand and watched as the bard and Whyla glanced uneasily at each other while the younger woman placed a tankard of mead and a mug of apple cider down on the table then sat down. Ok, now thats a bad sign. The warrior suddenly tightened her grip on the back of Gabrielles neck.
"Ack! Xena?" Gabrielle swung around looking at her companion in astonishment. "What was that for?"
"Oh look, Gabrielle," the warrior said through a sheepish grin. "Whyla bought US a drink." She nodded toward the table and cast the young woman a casual wink. "Thank you, Whyla."
Gabrielle crossed her arms and glared up at the warrior, her toe tapping out an anxious beat against the floor.
Xena sighed and diverted her eyes toward the ceiling, silently searching her mind and trying to figure out exactly where they were in the bards monthly cycle. Yep, that could explain some things.
Whyla sat at the table in bewildered silence, glancing from the bard to the warrior repeatedly before casting Xena a tentatively flirtatious smile. "Ahem, please sit warrior." She reached out and tapped the seat of the empty chair immediately beside her.
Xena hesitated briefly to glance at the bard before moving to sit down. But no sooner had she settled down into the seat than she immediately shot back up to her feet as if the thing had been rigged as an ejector. Someone, it seemed, had beaten her to it. Spinning around abruptly she saw the bard grinning impishly up at her.
"Thanks, dont mind if I do," Gabrielle said casually as she settled back into her chair then nodded her head to the empty seat on the other side of her. "Sit down Xena. Tsk, getting slow in your old age."
Xena arched her eyebrow and cast the bard a crooked grin before sliding down into the vacant chair beside her.
Gabrielle eyed the warrior devilishly for a moment then absently reached out to grab the mug in front of her. She took a long, deep swill. Suddenly her eyes began to water and the color in her face traveled through several shades of red. Swallowing hard and following it with several gasps for air and a cough, she quickly reached up and switched the mugs on the table in front of her.
"I believe that ones yours, Xena," she said in a raspy voice. Then she turned her attention to the young blonde on her other side. "S-o-o Whyla, how old are you anyway?"
Whyla stared at the bard in puzzled silence for a moment then shifted uncomfortably in her seat. "Seventeen," she said quietly.
"Ah-huh." The bard picked up her mug of cider and eyed the young girl over the rim while she drank. A moment of uncomfortable silence fell over the entire table as all conversation had ceased and all eyes fell on Whyla and Gabrielle.
Xena fidgeted in her chair then picked up her own mug and drank deeply, watching the two women uneasily.
The bard casually placed her cup back down on the table, her eyes never leaving Whylas face. She leaned over a little closer to her. "Virgin?"
"Pfft!" Xena spewed her mead onto the floor in shocked surprise. "Gabrielle!?"
Whylas eyes took on a piercing intensity as she narrowed her eyes and stared defiantly at the bard. She casually picked up her mug and took a large gulp of mead before responding. "Yeah. Whats it to ya?"
The warrior quickly reached over and placed her arm on the bards shoulder. "Ah, Gabrielle. How bout we ?"
"Thought so." Gabrielle said smugly as she settled back into her chair and crossed her arms.
Whylas expression was now bordering on a contemptuous glare. "Whats that supposed to mean?"
"Well little girl," the bard said callously, "your naiveté is written all over your face. You see you couldnt possibly handle a warrior like "
Whylas eyes suddenly lit with fire as she sprang to her feet. "Little girl! You have the nerve to call ME little girl -- you -- you -- SHORT SIDEKICK!"
Gabrielle jumped up, knocking her chair over backward in the process, and got as close to in her face as she could get considering the woman was nearly six inches taller. "I may be short but Im definitely NOT a little girl!"
"Ga-a-brielle!" Xena quickly got up and calmly placed her hand on the bards shoulder again. "I think we should "
"Oh yeah, well -- youre still JUST a sidekick!" Whyla spat.
"Ill show you whos JUST a sidekick!" The bard spun around, threw her arms around Xenas neck and captured her lovers lips in a frenzied kiss.
When the kiss finally ended several moments later, the warrior staggered backward and flopped down into her chair. Glancing over at the tavern keeper who was glaring at her ominously over the bar, she shrugged and grinned sheepishly then glanced around the table at Whylas friends who were all bemused and speechless.
Gabrielle shook off the swoon that had momentarily overtaken her and immediately headed back into the fire. Pointing her finger into the taller blondes chest she thrust her shoulders back and straightened her spine to stretch her five foot three inch form to -- well, five foot three and one quarter. Now she was ready.
"All right now LITTLE girl," she said callously. "Why dont you just hurry along back to the cradle that you..."
"Little girl -- LITTLE GIRL -- why Ill show you little girl!" Whyla pushed the bard aside, leapt and planted herself in Xenas lap, threw her arms around the startled warriors neck, and immediately captured her lips in a searing kiss.
Xena jumped out of her chair as though it was on fire and began flailing her arms in an attempt to escape. But her flailing was to no avail. It was like she was caught in the stickiest spider web in the known world. She was immediately hoping it wasnt a black widows web, and that this wasnt the kiss of death although when she managed to cast her wide-open eyes toward the bard, the look on her partners face nearly stopped her heart on the spot. Uh-oh, Hades here I come, she thought. Finally gaining control of her own limbs, she reached up to grab the young girls arms in an attempt to extract herself from her merciless hold. Then suddenly and without warning, she was struck in the face by something very cold, very sticky, and very, very wet.
In shock, Whyla finally released the warriors lips and gasped as she spun around to face the bard with her fists clenching and unclenching repeatedly.
Gabrielle smugly placed the now empty mug back down on the table and stood with her arms crossed, glaring steely-eyed at the two stunned and dripping women in front of her.
Xena casually licked her lips. "Mmm, apple cider. Sweet, just like you Gabrielle."
The bard cast her partner a sidelong smirk before she abruptly lunged at Whyla and shoved the taller woman over backwards onto the table before jumping on top of her and while straddling her body. She quickly wrapped her hands around the startled womans throat. "Youve been a bad little girl and must be PUNISHED!" she snarled as she struggled to press her thumbs together across Whylas windpipe.
Whylas eyes nearly popped out of her head as her face turned several shades of scarlet before the color of rage finally settled in. Sputtering obscenities she flung her hands upward to wrap around the bards throat.
Whylas friends all stood and glanced at the warrior in dumbstruck fascination, waiting for her next move.
Xena sighed deeply then rolled her eyes before moving behind the bard and wrapping her arms around her partners waist. She was just about to try to separate the two seething women when she once again felt something very cold and very wet splash over her head and onto the flailing and ranting bodies on the table beneath her. Soaked and somewhat shocked, she stepped backward with a sputtering bard in her arms and turned to see the tavern keeper with an empty bucket in his hands glaring at them all spitefully. Without a word she carried the still fuming bard to the door, opened it, and casually tossed her outside. Then she closed the door again, grinned sheepishly at the barkeep, and tossed him several dinars. "Id like to buy Whyla and her friends a round." She turned back toward the door and hesitated before opening it. "Oh, and make it milk will ya." Then wiping a stream of cider and water mixture off her cheek, she opened the door and stepped calmly out into the rapidly approaching night.
Gabrielle was lying just outside the door on her stomach with her chin in her hands. Autolycus was busying himself with lapping up the residue of water from her face. As Xena came through the door he quickly plopped down on his belly in front of Gabrielle and placing his head on his paws, innocently gazed repeatedly from the bard up to the warrior and back.
Xena grinned then whistled for Argo. The mare trotted up from wherever shed been hiding and nuzzled the warrior fondly. Xena patted her on the side then reached into one of the saddlebags and extracted a towel. She vigorously rubbed her hair, shoulders and neck while she studied the two forms on the ground with a waggish expression. "Thank the gods youre not a green-eyed monster Argo," she said as she tossed the towel over the saddle and stroked the mare on the shoulder.
Gabrielle sighed and lay her head down on her forearms, nose to muzzle with the wolf. They eyed each other for several moments in silence before the bard sighed again. "Well Auto, looks like its you and me in the doghouse now." She glanced up at the warrior and grinned sheepishly before turning her attention back to the wolf again. "Hey, maybe we can room together at the Academy. What do ya think boy?"
Autolycus slithered forward and gave her a swipe across the nose with his tongue then settled back again with his muzzle on his paws and his tail thumping out a happy, contented beat.
Xena had picked a small clearing near a babbling stream for their campsite. Argo was calmly grazing the lush grasses in a meadow nearby while the bard finished washing up the dinner plates then set to work laying out the bedrolls near the fire. Xena was busy running her sharpening stone across the blade of her sword, stopping every so often to stroke the gray fur of her nearby companion. The wolf gazed up at her lovingly from his position at her feet. It was a serene, peaceful, uneventful evening.
"Xena?" Gabrielle started to remove her top and glanced over her shoulder toward the warrior, her eyes suddenly afire with longing.
"Hmm, Gabrielle?" Xena casually laid her sword and stone aside and leaned down to pet the wolfs head.
"Coming to bed?" the bard said, her voice holding a low timber as she wantonly tossed her top aside and started loosening her skirt, her fiery eyes never leaving the warriors face.
Recognizing the sultry tone of her companions voice, Xena finally glanced over just as the skirt slipped from the bards hips. She gasped and hesitated mid-stroke on Autos head.
The wolf glanced up at Xena suspiciously then looked at the bard who was now lying across the bedding casting the warrior her best come-hither. He nuzzled Xenas hand urging her to continue petting him.
"Ah, in a minute Gabrielle," Xena said breathlessly. "I think Ill have a little talk with our friend here first."
Gabrielle grinned knowingly and snuggled into the bedding pulling the blankets up over her as a chill began to settle around her.
Xena urged Autolycus to his feet then grasped his muzzle between her hands and eyed him sternly.
"Now you look. Im going to go over there and get close to that woman and you " she hesitated as he struggled out of her hold and tried to lick her face. "Hey behave. You are going to lie by the fire there and not pay us any mind. Ok?" She patted him on the head then pointed toward the fire. He obediently trotted over, plopped down beside it, and closed his eyes. Xena grinned. "Good boy."
Gabrielle watched appreciatively as the warrior glided toward her removing an article of clothing with every step until there was nothing left and she was standing over her in all her bronzed glory bathed in firelight. The bard shivered with pleasure and patted the bedding beside her.
Xena glanced over at Autolycus who appeared to be asleep. His whiskers were twitching and his breathing was deep and slow. Smiling contentedly, she slipped into the bedroll beside the bard, gathered her lover into her arms, then reached down and pulled the blanket up over them. There was a brief moment of silence when only the crackling of the fire could be heard. It was followed shortly by a few soft moans.
"Mmmmm, Xena. You still taste like apple cider."
Argo abruptly stopped munching on a clump of grass and stared at the forms moving under the blanket, listening.
"Gods Gabrielle, I think you missed a spot ah oh yeah, right there."
The big gold mare stomped her hoof and swished her tail in agitation.
"Oh-h-h bard yes thats right tell me a story "
Argo pawed at the ground and tossed her head, her cream colored mane flying wildly back and forth across her neck.
"Mmmm, so sweet warrior."
"O-h-h-h-h-h yes! Gabrielle yes!"
Without warning the blanket was suddenly stripped off the two lovers exposing them to the chill of the evening air. They scrambled into each others arms and found themselves staring wide-eyed at a snorting and obviously irritated war-horse hovering over them with their blanket dangling from her mouth.
Argo suddenly threw her head to the side and tossed the coverlet across the clearing before reaching out to almost tenderly nuzzle the warriors hair.
Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other, glanced over at Autolycus still sleeping soundly by the fire, then looked back at each other and burst into raucous laughter.
"Xena?" Gabrielle finally said after shed managed to calm herself down and wiped the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. "Do they have a school for troubled war-horses in Athens? Because otherwise, its going to be awfully crowded quarters for Auto and me at the Academy."
The warrior grinned impishly as she pulled the bard closer. Argo reached down again and nipped at her hair. She absently swatted her hand at the mare in an attempt to shoo her.
"Gabrielle, Im not sure theres an Academy in the known world that can save us now." She arched her eyebrow and grinned wickedly. "Nope, we need a full-fledged, green-eyed monster slayer." Still trying to shoo the hair-nibbling mare. "Hey, wonder what Hercs up to these days."
Disclaimer: No four-legged friends of a green-eyed persuasion were harmed before, during, or after the writing of this tale. Trust me it just didnt happen. However Xena and Gabrielles sex life may never be the same.
To be continued in upcoming Foibles and Follies: The Misadventures of the Warrior and Bard Series.
[ Story V - "No Room At The Doghouse, Er...Inn" ]
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