Part 2 of The Heart's Furies

"Hmmm?" Gabrielle knew full well what Xena was asking, but she wanted to hear the warrior say it. That and she loved the sound of Xena's sultry voice.

"You said 'so do you'." What did you mean?" Xena's mouth was all of the sudden dry. Gabrielle's hands didn't stop as she further explained herself.

"You spend so much time making sure that others are happy, what about you?" Cupping water in her hands, Gabrielle started to rinse the soap out of Xena's dark hair. In the twilight, her hair gleamed luminously. Gabrielle wanted to bury her face in it.

"What about me?"

"You deserve to be happy too." Holding her hand in front of Xena's face, Gabrielle continued. "I know, you think you don't deserve happiness because of your past. But you're wrong Xena. You do deserve happiness." Then in a soft voice, she continued, "and so do I."

Turning around, Xena avoided Gabrielle's eyes as she motioned for the bard to turn so that she could return the hair washing.

Xena thought carefully before she responded to what Gabrielle had said. In her heart, she hoped she knew the answer to the question she was about to pose. But, her mind told her to look at this in a more logical manner.

Carefully soaping Gabrielle's hair, Xena weighed the different events from their two summers together. On one hand, what had happened earlier weighed strongly in her favor. On the other hand, Perdicus weighed strongly against her. There were dozens of supporting points for both sides; the kiss they shared when Xena was dead, Gabrielle leaving her to go to Poteidaia. The way Gabrielle's eyes lit up when she saw Xena; the various starry eyed boys Gabrielle had befriended during their travels.

The list went on and on.

Gabrielle respected the silence, knowing Xena needed room to think.

Finally, Xena responded as she rinsed the strawberry blonde hair. "You're right," she spoke in a quiet voice, full of unshed emotion. "You do deserve happiness. Tell me Gabrielle, what would make you happy?"

Swallowing hard, Xena closed her eyes. Gabrielle wasn't stupid, she knew what Xena was asking.

Slowly turning around, Gabrielle moved closer to Xena until their bodies were almost touching. Xena steeled her body, willing herself not to take the bard into her arms. It was driving her crazy to know the woman she loved was so close. Her eyes still closed, Xena dropped her head, waiting for Gabrielle's response.

Putting her hand under Xena's chin, Gabrielle lifted the warrior's chin until their eyes were lined up.

"You would make me happy. You, Xena of Amphipolis." Slowly, she leaned forward and brought her lips to Xena's.

At first shocked, Xena didn't respond. Soon, her lips began moving in response to Gabrielle's. Slowly at first, they simply relished the feeling of the other woman's lips. Softness meeting softness, although not for the first time, still an exquisite sensation. Mouths opened and tongues intertwined as the heat and passion between them started to build.

Gabrielle pressed her body into Xena's, getting as close as she could, wishing she could be even closer. The feel of the other woman's body against her own sent amazing jolts of electricity through Xena's body. She moaned into Gabrielle's mouth, the bard returning the sound with a moan of her own. Wrapping her arms around the supple body pressing into her, Xena rubbed her hands across her back. Gabrielle shivered at each touch brought her hand up to caress Xena's face.

Finally, Xena pulled back, realizing they couldn't continue this. Hugging Gabrielle to herself, she whispered in her ear. "We can't do this now. Remember we aren't travelling alone. I don't want to start something we can't finish."

Panting, Gabrielle's mouth curled into a smile. "Too late, I think we already started."

Smiling back, Xena kissed Gabrielle's jaw, planting a row of little kisses from her ear, finally coming to rest on soft, full lips. "I promise it will be well worth the wait." Pulling back, she lowered and raised her eyebrows suggestively.

Capturing Xena's lips with her own, Gabrielle languidly treated the warrior to the most sensuous, passion filled kiss she had ever had. Moaning, Xena was helpless against the onslaught, just hoping she would be able to withstand this wonderful torture.

Finally releasing Xena's lips, the bard gave her a suggestive look of her own. "Just understand that I won't wait forever! It's taken me this long to get your attention and I don't want to have to start over again, got it?"

"Gabrielle, you've always had my attention. You certainly aren't going to lose it now."

Gabrielle gave Xena a full smile. It wasn't often that the warrior admitted her feelings, even to the bard. It had taken her a long time to come to terms in her mind with what her body already knew. Gabrielle had the ability to create new emotions, new sensations in Xena, and that scared her. But, after fighting her body's responses for this long, Xena was finally able to admit to them both that she loved the bard completely, and there was no one else who even came close to competing.

Pretending to grumble, Gabrielle relented. "I guess I've waited this long, I can wait a little bit longer!" She reached for the other woman's hand. Bringing Xena's hand to her face, she softly kissed the tip of each finger and then the palm of her hand. "I love you, Xena."

Squeezing the hand that held hers, Xena whispered back. "I love you, too." Then looking at their hands together, she brought the other woman's small hand closer. "You starting to get all wrinkly. We'd better head to shore, I don't want a pruny bard on my hands."

They walked hand in hand to the shore, carefully putting on their fresh shifts and gathering what they had brought with them.

By the time they got back to the camp, Cyrene and Syrilla were asleep. Mindful of the sleeping women, Xena and Gabrielle silently put things away. Gabrielle had placed their bedrolls a foot a part, but Xena was quick to move hers until she was right next to Gabrielle. Lying down on her side, she patted to the spot in front of her. Gabrielle laid herself down where Xena had indicated and the warrior spooned her long body against her. Snuggling closer, Gabrielle sighed with contentment as Xena put an arm around her waist, tucking her tightly against the other woman's body.

"Xena?" Whispering, not sure if the other woman was asleep, Gabrielle remembered something.


"You didn't answer my question."

Yawning, Xena asked, "What question?"

Turning carefully, Gabrielle faced Xena, putting her head on the other woman's chest. "What would make you happy?"

Cradling the younger woman against her, Xena kissed her golden hair. "You Gabrielle. You are all that I have ever wanted and you are what will make me happy."

Tilting her head, Gabrielle's lips found Xena's. A soft kiss to begin with, it became more enflamed, both women pressing harder against each other. Breathless, she pulled away, needing to breathe. "I think we started again."

Placing short, light kisses on the bard's mouth, Xena spoke between each kiss. "" She ended her sentence with one more long kiss, brushing Gabrielle's lips with her tongue.

Delicately moaning, Gabrielle replied her voice husky. "But we are soooo good at it!"

Laughing softly, Xena pressed her lips to Gabrielle's forehead before she pressed the woman against her. "Good night my Gabrielle."

Settling her arms around Xena, Gabrielle burrowed further into her embracing. "Good night," floated back up to Xena's ears as she shut her eyes and let herself be lulled to sleep by the feeling of Gabrielle's heartbeat.



The cool morning air on her face contrasted sharply with the feeling of warmth coming from her body. 'That's what happens when you have a bard on top of you!' Xena grinned to herself, then felt embarrassed by her giddy feelings. It was true, Gabrielle, during the night had moved so that she was on top of Xena, who was lying on her back. But, the weight was a pleasant reminder to her of the fact that she and Gabrielle had finally gotten past their fears. Opening her eyes and looking down her body at the golden hair that lay fanned out on her chest, Xena gave a blissful sigh. She couldn't resist the urge to touch the hair, feeling its softness as it slipped through her fingers. In her sleep, Gabrielle sighed, her hand moving and covering Xena's breast. The hand didn't squeeze, it just rested there, as if it were a natural place to keep a hand. Stifling a laugh, Xena put her arms around the sleeping woman and clasped her tightly against her. 'Gods, this is nice.' It was almost a source of strength to have Gabrielle that close, as though she derived strength from just having contact with the other woman. 'That just might be possible,' Xena remarked to herself.

As comfortable and warm as she was, Xena knew they would have to get moving soon. The sun had started its glide through the sky and she wanted them to get to Amphipolis before it got too late. Then, the next stop would be the Amazon village, and then, finally, she and Gabrielle would be alone once again. Funny, it took her a long time to feel that she could be alone with her love. Before, she had craved being totally alone, not a soul in the world bothering her. That way she didn't have to worry about anyone other then herself. When Gabrielle first started traveling with her, she would sometimes leave the other woman behind and go off just so that she could have that time alone. Eventually that changed. When it was just the two of them, she felt more at peace than at any other time in her life. In fact, she didn't like to be without the bard these days.

Looking again at the bard, Xena tried to discern how she could get out from under the woman without waking her. As she was figuring, she heard a branch break and saw a shadow replace the sunlight. She managed to grab her sword, which she had placed beside her bedroll the night before.

"Xena, it's just me. Sorry, I didn't want to wake Gabrielle." Hearing her mother's voice, Xena relaxed and put her sword back down.

"You should know better then to sneak up on me," Xena whispered.

"Yes, I probably should." Xena heard her mother begin to laugh. "How are you doing to get up without waking her up?"

"That's what I'm trying to figure out. I seem to be pretty well pinned."

Smiling, Cyrene commented. "She looks so peaceful and sweet."

"Peaceful? That's because she's not sleeping on the ground, she's sleeping on me!' Xena snorted in reply.

"So, how are you going to do it?"

"I'm not." Putting her hands on Gabrielle's shoulders, Xena started to gently shake her, talking to her at the same time. "Come on, Gabrielle, it's time to get up. Wake up, Gabrielle..."

A huge yawn came from the sleeping woman. One green eye popped halfway open. "It can't be time to get up yet, I haven't finished sleeping!"

Laughing at the bard, Xena ruffled her hair. "If you had it your way, you'd sleep all day long."

Both eyes open now, Gabrielle gave her a mischievous sneer. "I can think of something else I might have us doing all day..."

Clearing her throat, Xena used her eyes to point out that Cyrene was standing not a few feet away from them.

"...eating is something I'm always in the mood for!" Gabrielle rushed on. She didn't know how Cyrene would react to what was going on, but she didn't intend to find out now, when they still had a day of travel ahead of them.

Sitting up, Gabrielle finally noticed where she had been sleeping. Blushing, she hurried to get off Xena, getting her leg tangled in the blanket in the process. Tumbling forward, she felt strong arms catching her from behind, keeping her from meeting the ground with her face. Xena turned her so that smaller woman was cradled in her arms.

"Are you okay?" Cyrene asked, concerned the bard might have twisted an ankle.

"I think she's fine mother, she just isn't very coordinated when she first gets up." Xena set the bard upright, making sure the blanket was out of her way.

"Ha, you should talk! At least I don't destroy cookware when I get up!"

"Oooo...yeah, that hurt!" Xena stood up and glared down at the bard with mock ferocity.

"Well, maybe that didn't, but this will!" Gabrielle swung her leg up to kick Xena in the shin, but the warrior was ready for her. Grabbing her leg in both hands, Xena pulled causing the bard to lose her footing. With a shriek, Gabrielle landed on their bedrolls, but as she fell, she grabbed Xena's hands, forcing the bigger woman down with her. They landed in a moving heap, both trying to pin down the other woman. In the end, strength won out as Xena managed to pin both of Gabrielle's shoulders against the ground.

Breathing hard, Gabrielle surrendered. "Okay...okay...I give up! You win!"

With a wicked grin, Xena began to tickle her. "Say it! Go ahead, say it!"

Writhing around, trying to escape the warrior's nimble fingers which were attacking her ticklish sides, Gabrielle gasped. "The Warrior Princess wins again....she's the best in the land!!!!" Xena ceased her tickling and grinned at the bard, who glared back at her.

"Hey! Some people are still trying to sleep around here!"

Three heads turned in the direction of the voice. Syrilla was sitting up in her makeshift bed, hair standing up in all directions. "It's bad enough you three think loud in the morning, but you didn't have to start yelling!" She mumbled. Looking at the three women, Syrilla asked, "What are you guys laughing at? What's so funny?"


After they broke camp, the four women headed toward Amphipolis. About half way there, Xena decided to scout ahead to see if there would be any trouble on the road, but as she rode ahead of the other women, she had a strange feeling that made her anxious to return. 'It's like I don't want to let her out of my sight,' the warrior thought. After seeing that everything looked fine, she turned around and headed back. Stopping Argo, she waited for the others to come into sight. When they did, her vision focused on Gabrielle and she was amazed at how powerful the vision in front of her was.

Tears formed in her eyes as she watched Gabrielle. Letting her eyes travel the figure in front of her, she took in the well muscled legs, the lean hips and tight stomach, the firm, full breasts which tempted her, the long smooth pale neck, beautiful soft golden-red hair and a face that could melt anyone's heart. She knew she didn't deserve this beautiful woman, but rather than focus on that, she chose to find joy in the fact that this woman had picked her. Gabrielle loved her, and that was the best thing she had in her life.

Catching Gabrielle's eyes, Xena smiled warmly and then grinned when she saw a slight flush come into the woman's fair face. It was certainly a beautiful site, the warrior siting with her back straight in the saddle, her dark hair being picked up by occasional bursts of wind. The first word that came to Gabrielle's mind was regal, and she realized that in many ways that described Xena. Dismounting from Argo, Xena waited for them to catch up to her.

Gabrielle was just starting to talk to Syrilla about the Amazons when they caught up to Xena. "I don't think you'll have any problems there, the Amazons are pretty accepting," she assured Syrilla.

"Plus, it helps to know the Amazon Queen," quipped Xena as she took her place by Gabrielle's side, leading Argo. "The Amazons adore Gabrielle."

Playfully whacking Xena in the stomach with her hand, Gabrielle blushed. "I know there are Amazons who would disagree with that statement! Valska is a prime example, showing that not everyone likes me."

"Ah, but they know better than to say anything," Xena replied seriously. "They wouldn't dare speak against Gabrielle."

"That's only 'cause you bash heads when they do!" Gabrielle stuck her tongue out at the warrior walking next to her.

"Hey, you better be careful with that tongue!" Then leaning in to whisper into the young woman's ear, Xena spoke in a low, sexy voice. "I have plans for it later."

Gabrielle closed her eyes as she felt a wave of desire roll over her. Taking a deep breath, she vaguely heard Syrilla and Xena continue to talk about the Amazons, but she could only concentrate on the wonderful sensations washing over her body. Opening her eyes again, Gabrielle noticed she was walking alone with the warrior.

"Where'd Syrilla go?" Confusion was evident on her face.

Chuckling, Xena smiled down at the other woman. "She decided to wait for mother to catch up with us. They're just behind us."

Turning to look, Gabrielle saw that indeed, Cyrene and Syrilla were walking a few yards back, talking to each other.

"Something wrong?" There was a bit of mischiveousness in Xena's voice.

"I think you know what's wrong, the question should be what are you going to do about it?" The bard turned her best evil grin on Xena. "And when!"

"Patience, my little bard. Tonight we'll probably end up staying in Amphipolis at mother's inn, and then tomorrow we'll head to the Amazons and privacy."

"Two more days?" Obviously, the woman was frustrated.

"'fraid so. At least once we reach the Amazon village, we'll have our own hut. Then we can finish what we started last night." Just as frustrated as Gabrielle, Xena tried to reason with herself that two days wasn't forever. But, each time she looked at the beautiful woman next to her, she realized that it wasn't soon enough. Actually, she had held feelings for Gabrielle for so long she still wasn't sure that this wasn't all a dream. In her dreams, she and Gabrielle finally admitted their feelings and decided to take their relationship to a higher level. But, she would wake up before they got the chance to make love to one another. If this weren't a dream, she would wake up forever in Gabrielle's arms. To her, that was all that mattered.

Beside the warrior, Gabrielle was muttering "Two more days, two more days," over and over again.


They reached Amphipolis a little after nightfall. Cyrene's staff was very glad to see her. They had been running the inn in her absence and they now all realized it wasn't an easy job. They were very grateful to be able to return to their regular duties around the inn.

As word of the innkeeper's return circulated, more and more people came into the inn wanting to hear about what had happened. Soon, it seemed that the entire village was gathered within the main room of the inn, all waiting anxiously to hear about her adventures.

Cyrene was quick to announce that they had a real bard there that would tell the story, putting her arm around Gabrielle and leading her to a small stage set up in the corner of the room. Everyone faced Gabrielle, waiting anxiously to hear her. Xena sat at the bar, her eyes on the woman she loved watching the bard's every move. Usually, Xena didn't like to hear stories that involved her, but she was going to make an exception this time. She didn't want to let the other woman out of her sight, almost afraid that the woman would disappear if she did.

Waiting for the crowd to quiet down, Gabrielle started the story from where Cyrene and Xena had left town.

Leaning against the bar near Xena, Cyrene watched her daughter watching Gabrielle. Quietly, she spoke to her daughter. "I like Gabrielle a lot, and I'm very happy for you both."

Not bothering to pretend not to understand, Xena let one side of her mouth turn up in a smile. "Thank you mother."

They both listened to the rest of Gabrielle's tale in silence.

There was tremendous applause when Gabrielle finished and many of the town's people were asking for another story. But, Xena was quick to move towards Gabrielle, telling the crowd that they were all tired and were going to get some sleep. The people were understanding enough, with only a few drunken men making comments, and they were quickly shut up by a pair of steely blue eyes glaring their way.

Finding Cyrene and Syrilla in the kitchen, Xena told them that she wanted to get an early start the next morning.

"Can you show Syrilla the guest room that's next to your room, Xena? I think that's where we'll put her up for the night. There should be clean sheets on the bed, if not, let me know and I'll take care of it right away." She didn't mention where Gabrielle was going to sleep, she figured she knew the answer so it didn't make much sense to mention it.

Nodding, Xena started to lead Syrilla up the back stairs.

Syrilla stopped to take Cyrene's hands in her own. "Thank you for your kindness, Cyrene. I have never in my life been treated as well as I have been in the last two days. I'll always be grateful for the day that Gangrius brought you into camp."

Patting the other woman's hands, Cyrene smiled. "You're welcome, Syrilla. I'm...sorry about what happened to your family, but I have faith that there are people in this world who will be kind to you and won't persecute you because you're different."

A loud yawn came from the stairs, and both women turned to look. They saw a surprised Gabrielle, her cheeks red. "Sorry, I didn't realize just how tired I am!" She gave the two women a sheepish grin and elbowed Xena when she heard the warrior beginning to laugh.

"I'm coming. Good night Cyrene." Syrilla headed toward the stairs.

"Thanks Cyrene, and we'll see you in the morning!" Gabrielle called out with a little wave.

"Good night, everyone. Let me know if you need anything!"


Gabrielle sat alone on the bed in Xena's old room while the other woman got ready for bed. Very interested in where the warrior used to live, she looked around the room taking in everything she saw. Overall, the room was rather bare, nothing like the bard's own room back in Poteidaia which was crammed full of childhood momentos.

On one shelf over the bed were a few old wooden toys. Some shifts and dresses still hung in the open closet and a hairbrush and pins sat on the dresser. A few drawings done in a child's hand hung on the wall, mostly just pictures of people and weapons.

Getting out of the bed, Gabrielle walked over to one of the pictures. There was a stick figure with long dark hair, and another stick figure with blonde hair. They were holding hands in the picture, both of them wearing huge smiles.

"That's me and Lyceus." Gabrielle hadn't heard the warrior come in but wasn't surprised to hear Xena's voice behind her. She felt two arms encircle her from behind and draw her in, then felt herself pressed up against a muscular body.

Leaning back further against Xena, taking in the smell of leather that was so much a part of Xena Gabrielle spoke in a soft voice. "Who drew the picture?"

"Lyceus did, when he was 6 summers old. He loved to draw and would make pictures of just about anything he saw. Unfortunately, he didn't have any real talent for it, but it made him happy." Resting her chin on the smaller woman's head, Xena absorbed the feeling of finally being able to hold her love.

Still facing the picture, Gabrielle whispered, "I wish I had known him."

"I wish you had too. So long as I didn't have to compete with him."

Turning in Xena's arms, Gabrielle gave her a puzzled look. "Compete with him? For what?"

"For you," Xena said softly as she kissed Gabrielle's nose.

"Xena, there isn't anyone on earth, Tarturus, or even the Elysian Fields that could change the fact that you are the one I love and you are the one I want."

Xena immediately thought about Perdicus. Perdicus had taken Gabrielle away. Losing Gabrielle to him had broken her heart. Maybe if she had spoken up at the time, told Gabrielle how she felt, maybe she wouldn't have lost her. Or maybe, Gabrielle had simply loved Perdicus more than she had loved Xena. The thought saddened her immensely.

Feeling Xena's sadness, Gabrielle took her chin between her thumb and forefinger, forcing the warrior to look at her. "Hey, what's wrong? That should make you happy?"

Pulling the bard closer, Xena hugged her tightly. "It does make me very happy."

"I sense a 'but' there. What is it that's keeping you from being happy?" She saw Xena take a shaky breath and let it out. Then it dawned on her. "Perdicus."

Nodding her head, Xena let go of the bard and sat down on the bed.

Now understanding what was upsetting the warrior, Gabrielle quickly put her thoughts together, trying to figure out how to explain.

Kneeling on the floor in front of the warrior, Gabrielle put a hand on each of Xena's knees. "I know I hurt you when I got married. I am so sorry that I did."

"Why did you marry him?" It came out in a soft whisper. A question Xena had been dying to ask for some time, but was always afraid to.

"The reason I married him was because he needed me, Xena. I thought at the time you didn't, at least not the way that I needed you. I wanted and needed so much more than I thought you were willing to give me. Perdicus needed me in that way and I thought that he would be able to quench my need for you. Almost as though I could transfer my feelings for you to him." Giving a small bitter laugh, she continued. "I realized immediately after the wedding that I was wrong. Do you remember how you kissed me after the service? Well, that kiss was all I could think about all night. I knew at that moment what love was, and that the love in my life was all found in you. I didn't let Perdicus touch me that night, " Gabrielle said this hesitantly, for some reason wanting Xena to know this. She saw Xena's eyes widen in surprise. "I was too numb. I thought that I had really lost you forever and it was my own fault for running away from you. By morning, I had resigned myself to a life with Perdicus, a life without you. I was miserable, but realized that I had created my own fate and that I to live with the mistake I had made. You taught me that. You can't take back your mistakes, but you can live your life trying to deal with those mistakes. What I didn't know is that Callisto had other plans for us."

Xena pulled the woman up and set her on her lap, cradling the bard in her arms. "I thought that I had lost you forever. I didn't want to face life without you in it, but I didn't want to share you with Perdicus either. It was then that I realized that I was in love with you."

Tears started to fall from Gabrielle's eyes, realizing the depth of emotion that this woman felt for her. "I love you, Xena."

Gently kissing away Gabrielle tears, Xena let her mouth move until she was touching her lips to the bard's lips. They kissed tenderly for a few moments, both knowing they couldn't take this kiss very far, especially with Syrilla in the next room.

Breaking away, Xena smiled ruefully at the bard. "Tomorrow night....that is...I mean, I don't want to rush you. If you need time..." She hadn't thought about that, but Gabrielle might not be ready to steam ahead just yet.

"No, no, I don't want to wait any longer than I have to, Xena!" They both grinned at the forcefulness of Gabrielle's protest. "I didn't let Perdicus touch me the night we were married because I had always wanted you to be my first. I couldn't imagine anyone else making me happy. I have waited for a long time, please don't make me wait any longer."

Leaning back and shifting her body Xena pulled Gabrielle on top of her. The bard rested her head on Xena's shoulders, snuggling closer to the warm body underneath her.

"I promise Gabrielle, as of tomorrow night your waiting will be over." Rubbing her hands in a pattern on Gabrielle's back, Xena smiled when she heard Gabrielle's breath deepen as sleep overcame her.

"I never break a promise," Xena whispered into Gabrielle's silky hair as she fell asleep herself.



Soft lips met, tongues meshed together, heat rose as two women's bodies met in passion. Gabrielle moaned when she felt Xena pull away.

"Shhh, it's okay, my bard, we're not done yet." Opening her eyes, Gabrielle saw the sexy smile on her love's face. "I just want to feel your skin on mine, to touch your body, not your clothes."

Swiftly, Xena undid the laces of Gabrielle's green top, sliding her hands under the loosened garment, both women groaning at the contact.

All thoughts of slowly discovering each other's body left as Gabrielle felt a fervent heat wash over her.

Quickly taking off her skirt, she pushed the warrior back, sliding her hands under Xena's shift. Her passion requiring speed, she swiftly slid her hands up the hard body she so admired, taking the shift with her.

Grinning at her passionate partner, Xena moaned when she felt Gabrielle lay down on top of her.

Lining herself up so that they were breast to breast, Gabrielle lowered her mouth onto Xena's forcing her tongue into the warrior's hot mouth. Small hands covered large breasts as the bard tried to convey her passion without words.

Xena's head thrashed from side to side as she felt Gabrielle kiss her way up her jawbone and take an earlobe into her mouth.

"Gods, Gabrielle!" Xena moaned loudly. Feeling lips move down her throat, biting and sucking along the way, her body became more responsive.

A pair of large callused hands found soft silky hair as Gabrielle's mouth hovered over a luscious nipple.

"Please, please Gabrielle!" Xena's hands pressed Gabrielle's head to her chest, urging the woman to continue.

She didn't have to wait long as Gabrielle's tongue reached out and connected with a dark nipple. Xena's body arched into Gabrielle as the woman took the entire nipple into her mouth. Suckling Xena's breast, Gabrielle's hand reached for the other breast, kneading it. Xena started to thrust her hips against the body covering her.

Eyes tightly closed, Xena voiced her needs. "Please Gabrielle, please make love to me!"

Gabrielle stopped. She looked at the glistening body under her, a feeling of helplessness overwhelming her.

Raising her head Xena tried to see why the bard had stopped. "What is it? What's wrong?"

Unable to meet the blue eyes of her best friend, Gabrielle closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "I don't know what to do," her voice low, not hiding the despair and embarrassment she felt.

"Huh? What don't you know how to do?"

Clenching her hands, Gabrielle tried to explain. "I don't know how to make love to you Xena." A blush moved into her cheeks as she admitted her inadequacy.

Suddenly, a laugh broke the silence. "You don't know how to make love to me?"

Gabrielle's head snapped up as she realized she was being mocked. Looking at Xena's face, she was hurt by the mirthful and pitying look she saw in her friend's eyes. But, Xena was still laughing, a mean laugh that left her cold.

Rising off Xena, Gabrielle grabbed the sheet to cover herself, suddenly feeling very vulnerable without her clothes on. She slowly backed away from the bed. "Xena..."

"No, don't talk, you innocent child!" Xena's words were harsh and Gabrielle had to blink back tears. "If you can't satisfy me, then I guess we're done here!" Xena got up and put her shift back on, moving toward the door.

"Xena! Don't leave me! I love you!" Gabrielle was crying in earnest now. The warrior walked out the door without looking back. "No!"

Suddenly Gabrielle opened her eyes, disoriented. It was dark all around her and she was lying on her side. Feeling something around her waist, she looked down and realized that an arm was encircling her stomach, holding her tightly.

Her senses finally awakening, Gabrielle was aware of the sound of deep breathing in her ear. Her nose picked up the scent of leather and soap.

'It was just a dream,' she told herself. Taking a deep breath, she tried to slow the beating of her heart.

Her dreams were always full of her warrior, but this was the first nightmare about the warrior since they began traveling together. In her dreams her gentle warrior had been gone and in replace was a harsh woman, mocking and laughing at her.

In reality, she was in Xena's arms, held gently, but firmly against the warrior's muscular body. Gulping back a scream of frustration, Gabrielle let out a sigh instead. The movement of her chest caused Xena to tighten her hold on the young woman.

Turning in the protective circle of the warrior's arms, she took the opportunity to study Xena. Silently watching the other woman, Gabrielle admired the beautiful face that looked so peaceful in sleep. But, her dreams haunted her musings. She didn't know how to make love to someone. That was a fact that she couldn't ignore and it bothered her because the desire to love Xena physically was so strong. She wanted to be able to make Xena happy. She hadn't thought about that before -- what if she couldn't satisfy Xena? Would this ruin their relationship? Scared at this thought, she nestled closer to the other woman, taking some comfort in the arms around her.

Maybe she was worrying about this too much. After all, she had told Xena about the fact that she had never been with Perdicus. Surely the warrior would realize that meant she didn't have any experience of that nature.

Gabrielle absently ran her fingers over Xena's cheeks as she thought about how to rectify this situation. Being afraid wasn't going to help, she had to do something about it, and quick!

"Morning," the sound of Xena's sultry voice startled Gabrielle.

"Hi there," Gabrielle leaned in and softly kissed Xena's lips. She was going to make love to this woman tonight, she just needed to find a way to get a quick education in how to pleasure a woman.

Pulling the bard closer, Xena hugged her tightly, not wanting to let go of the wonderful sensations of having her love in her arms. Gabrielle snuggled in, hearing Xena's steady heartbeat under her.

Sighing, Xena released her hold on the bard. "I suppose we should get up and get breakfast so that we can head out to the Amazon village. We should be there by mid-day."

"Great, that means we can eat there!" Gabrielle gave Xena a huge smile.

"Yes, that means that you can eat as much as you want." The two women had found that because of Gabrielle's status as Queen, she could eat as much as she wanted at every meal without having to worry about running out. The Amazons made sure their Queen had enough to fill her never-ending stomach anytime she was hungry. They found the Queen's favorite foods and kept them in stock for her to enjoy when she was there.

"In that case, let's go!" Hopping out of bed, Gabrielle stretched her muscles, trying to get rid of that stiff morning feeling.

Xena watched as the bard stretched, appreciating the view of Gabrielle's supple body. She couldn't wait until tonight, when the bard would be all hers. Before she could voice the thought, there was a knock at the door.

Cyrene popped her head in, hoping she wasn't interrupting anything that would embarrass them all. "Are you two awake?"

"Yup, come on in mother." Xena smiled when she saw her mother take notice of what she and the bard were wearing and that they weren't in bed together.

"Just wanted to let you both know breakfast is available now if you want it before you leave. We have a little bit of everything, but it won't last too long, so I suggest getting down there fairly soon."

"Thanks Cyrene, breakfast sounds wonderful! Xena hardly lets me eat when we're traveling! I swear, she doesn't give a girl enough time to swallow!"

Rolling her eyes at the exaggerations of the bard, Xena spoke to her mother. "We'll be down as soon as we get dressed and get our stuff together."

Cyrene left, closing the door behind her.

Rising from the bed with the graceful ease of a panther, sleek as she stretched her muscles, Xena watched her friend's reaction. Watching with open admiration, Gabrielle didn't realize the woman had moved until she felt arms around her. Picking the bard up, Xena tossed her gently onto the bed, using her body to pin Gabrielle down. Growling, Xena spoke with a menacing look on her face.

"Don't let you swallow, huh?"

After the dreams she had had the night before, Gabrielle felt a bit of fear well up inside of her. Then she saw the playful gleam in Xena's eyes. "Well, maybe that was stretching it a bit..." Gabrielle began to defend herself.

A well-formed eyebrow went up, as did one side of a mouth. "A bit?"

Gabrielle was squirming now, trying to get out of Xena's grip.

"I don't think that was very nice, Gabrielle. Maybe I should teach you a lesson..." Xena brought her mouth down to Gabrielle's. When Gabrielle tried to bring her head up to meet the warrior's lips, she pulled back, just out of Gabrielle's reach. "Now, now..."

Gabrielle settled back down, realizing she wasn't going to get anywhere, Xena outweighed her and was definitely stronger then she was.

Once again, Xena moved in to kiss Gabrielle. She stopped just short of their lips meeting and her tongue snaked out, licking the bard's lips. Gabrielle moaned at the contact, closing her eyes as she anticipated Xena's kiss.

Seeing the look on Gabrielle's face, Xena smiled. One last swipe of her tongue across the younger woman's lips, and she got up off the bard.

"Xena!" Disappointed, Gabrielle tried to call the warrior back.

"Lesson learned, I think." Xena grinned, satisfied the lesson wouldn't be forgotten. Turning to get her leathers on, she didn't see the bard come flying at her until it was too late.

Tackling Xena around the waist, Gabrielle let out a cry of triumph as she and the warrior fell to the floor.


"What took you two so long?" Cyrene demanded when she finally saw her daughter come into the kitchen. She and Syrilla had been sitting in the kitchen, waiting for them to come down the stairs.

Carrying their saddlebags, Xena took them out the back door, setting them by the step leading in. Looking sheepishly at her mother, she tried to think of something to say. "We..."

"It's my fault, I fell back to sleep." Gabrielle filled in as she came into the room. With an innocent grin, she continued. "I am not an easy person to wake up!" Noticing the knowing look she was receiving from Syrilla, she blushed. "Morning, Syrilla."

"Good morning, Gabrielle."

Cyrene gave them both a suspicious look, but said no more. "Well, there isn't much left, but I can fix you two some eggs if you want."

Gabrielle's stomach growled in response.

"I guess that would be a yes," Cyrene noted dryly.



"Gods, your mother packs a mean table." A huge smile on her face, Gabrielle burped softly. "Excuse me!"

Walking on the road from Amphipolis, the three women were loaded down with food that Cyrene had insisted they take. It was enough food to last for days, despite the fact that they had told Cyrene that they would be within Amazon territory in time for the mid-day meal. Even though they had only been walking for a short bit, Gabrielle could already see signs that they were getting closer.

Fondly stroking the bard's silken hair, Xena gave her a soft smile. "I am glad that we were able to fill you up before we left."



The three women were quiet as they walked. Xena was beginning to get worried about the bard, knowing it was unusual for her not to at least make some effort toward a conversation. Syrilla never really spoke much, but Xena assumed that was because she had so much going on in her head. Being able to hear other people's thoughts had to get annoying.

Wanting to talk to Gabrielle, but not wanting to push her, Xena became frustrated. Mounting Argo, she looked at the bard. "I'm going to scout ahead, I'll be back in a few minutes." Argo took off, her master leaning forward in the saddle, pushing her hard.

The other two women walked on in silence.

"She's frustrated." Syrilla finally spoke up.

"What?" Confused, Gabrielle looked at the other woman with a frown on her face.

"She's frustrated." Syrialla repeated.

"Why is she frustrated?"

Trying to get Gabrielle to understand without hurting her, Syrilla asked another question. "Why are you so nervous?"

Turning red, Gabrille stuttered. "I...I...well, I...see, I had this dream last night...and I...well, I'm afraid if it coming true." Her voice got softer as she finished until it was almost a whisper.

"She loves you and nothing will change that." Syrilla spoke firmly, knowing what Gabrielle was afraid of.

Feeling tears in her eyes, Gabrielle admitted her biggest fear. "I just don't want to lose her."

Feeling compassion for the bard, Syrilla tried to think of a way to explain Xena's love. She smiled as she realized the answer. "Gabrielle, do you love Xena?"

"With all my heart." A soft, yet firm voice answered.

"What if she did something to disappoint you? Would you love her less? Would you leave her?"

"Of course not! It doesn't matter what she does, I love her for..." Gabrielle hesitated as she saw what Syrilla was trying to do. "...who she is."

"I think you understand now, don't you? Give her a chance, don't assume that she's going to run away just because you disappoint her. Her love is as strong as yours, just give it a chance and you'll see. " Stopping, Syrilla studied the bard. Turning to see why the woman had stopped, Gabrielle caught her twinkling eyes. "Besides, I don't think that you'll be a disappointment to her."

Blushing profusely, Gabrielle didn't know what to say.

Syrilla continued to walk, smiling to herself in victory.



When Xena returned she noticed a change in the bard. Gabrielle began telling a story as soon as Xena was in hearing distance and kept telling stories to the two women until they reached the edge of Amazon territory. Every now and again, she would reach up and emphasize a point by touching the warrior's knee. Secretly pleased that the bard was a physical person, Xena relished the brief contact, smiling down at Gabrielle often and seeing that smile returned.

When they entered Amazon territory, they slowed a bit, listening to the noises around them. When they finally heard a shrill bird call from the trees, Gabrielle stopped. Putting her staff down, she returned the call with one of her own.

Three Amazon warriors jumped down from the trees above them. Looking at the visitors, it didn't take more then a few minutes for the three Amazons to fall to their knees. One of them rose after a few seconds. Taking her mask off, she smiled at her queen.

"Gabrielle! We didn't know you were coming!"

"Eponin!" Gabrielle pulled the dark-haired woman into an embrace. "We didn't know we were coming until a few days ago, so we figured we'd just surprise everyone."

"You're always welcome here, you know that." Eponin pulled away and glanced at Xena. "See you'e still traveling with this old lady."

"You're just jealous because I can knock you on your butt before the count of three." Xena replied stoically.

"Hey, that only happened once, and I happened to be drunk at time!" Grinning, Eponin grasped Xena's forearm in a warrior's handshake.

"It's good to see you too, Eponin." Xena really did like the Amazon warrior, they were a like in many ways.

"Eponin, this is our friend Syrilla. Syrilla, this is Eponin, head of the Amazon guard." Gabrielle made the formal introductions and the two women smiled at each other in acknowledgement.

"Any friend of Gabrielle's is welcome." Eponin gave a sly grin. "But, friends of Xena usually don't make it this far!"

"Ha, ha, glad to see that you didn't lose your sense of humor when I knocked you down on it."

"Ouch, that hurt! " Eponin was glad to see the warrior again. Maybe this time they could have a real sparring contest. Looking at her queen, she was also glad to see her. Maybe she would get the chance to flirt some more with the young woman. It was an understatement to say that most of the women in the village would love to trade places with Xena for a day.

"I should probably get you guys to Ephiny." Hearing Gabrielle's stomach growl, Eponin smiled. "Ah, yes, it's about time for a meal too, isn't it."

They were all laughing as they headed toward the village.


After it had been announced that the queen was back for a visit, the food hut was crowded with women who wanted to welcome the young queen. Many of the Amazons had doubted the bard's abilities at first. But, after what happened with Valaska, all had come to respect and even like Gabrielle. She may not have been born of Amazon blood, but in their hearts, it didn't matter.

Sitting back, watching the onset of flirting Amazons, Xena carefully studied her young friend. Radiating energy, Gabrielle was a natural with the crowd, talking to everyone she could, remembering all their names and even something about them. 'She's good at doing that,' Xena realized. 'She knows just what to say to make you feel you are important.'


After everyone had eaten and gone back to their daily duties, Gabrielle told Ephiny she needed to talk to her. Xena had gone off to the practice field with Eponin, and Gabrielle could only imagine the challenges they would find for one another.

"Sure, we can go back to my hut, if that's okay with you?" Ephiny smiled at Gabrielle, very glad to see her again. She included Syrilla in her smile, figuring that the quiet woman had something to do with what Gabrielle wanted to talk to her about.

They headed toward Ephiny's hut, Gabrielle catching Ephiny up on what had been happening since they had last seen each other.

The three women settled down in the tent before Gabrielle spoke.

"Ephiny, I have a request of the village. I would like for Syrilla to live here, providing that the council approves."

"It is unusual that we take in outsiders. Maybe you could tell me why you want her to live here." Glancing at Syrilla, Ephiny smiled. "No offense intended, but we do have rules and laws to live by. It's nothing personal."

"I understand," Syrilla spoke simply.

Taking a deep breath, Gabrielle launched into Syrilla's story. Syrilla was surprised to hear that the young woman had remembered everything she had told her a few days before.

Ephiny listened to the story without interrupting, but her empathy showed clearly on her face. It reminded her much of how she and Phantes were treated after they were married. Just because her husband was a Centaur, they were ostracized and condemned by people they didn't even know.

"I know that it's not customary for outsiders to live here. This case, however, is different. Just as the Amazons are outsiders outside of this village, Syrilla is considered an outsider too. She deserves a place to live, somewhere where she'll be safe. For someone like her, I couldn't think of any place safer then here." Gabrielle finished up, waiting for Ephiny's reaction.

After listening to Syrilla's story, Ephiny knew that the council would approve, but she still needed to present it to them. "I agree to take the matter before the council." Then, she remembered who she was talking to. "Unless you would rather do it Gabrielle."

Thinking about it, Gabrielle shook her head. "No, that's okay, I would rather you present it to the council. You're much better versed on protocol than I am."

"Okay then. I will call for a meeting in two hours." Turing to Syrilla, Ephiny gave her a soft smile. "In the meantime, how about a tour of the village?"

Nodding, Syrilla agreed.

Calling in one of the guards outside her hut, Ephiny instructed the guard to give Syrilla a tour, tell her as much about the Amazon way of living as possible.

After they had left, Gabrielle turned to Ephiny. "Thank you Ephiny. I can't tell you how much that means to both Xena and myself."

"Speaking of Xena, how are you two doing?"


"No, I don't mean how are each of you, I mean the two of you, together."

"Huh?" Gabrielle was surprised.

"Come on Gabrielle, we all think you two are a great couple."

Blushing, the younger woman grinned. "How did you know?"

"I know because we've been betting on how long it would take the two of you to get together and Epinon handed me two dinars at lunch!"

Gabrielle laughed. "Betting on us? Wait till Xena hears that one..."

"Do me a favor and wait until after you leave before telling her. I don't want to be around when she find out!" Pretending to be scared at the thought of an angry Xena, Ephiny realized that it was really something to be afraid of!

"So, how are you two doing?"

Adverting her eyes from Ephiny's Gabrielle looked around the woman's hut. "Um, we're doing fine. It's still pretty new to us."

Raising her eyebrows, Ephiny asked, "How new?"

Blushing a deeper shade of red, Gabrielle tried to answer. "Um, if you mean...have we consummated the relationship...."

"Uh - huh...." Ephiny confirmed.

"Well, no."

"Why not?" This surprised Ephiny. With the amount of sexual energy that comes off the two women when they're together, she would have thought that would have happened a long time ago.

"We've been rather busy, the opportunity just hasn't come up. I mean, we haven't been alone since we admitted how we felt."

Ephiny sensed there was something the bard wasn't telling her. "Gabrielle, what is it?"

Sighing, Gabrielle realized that she needed help in this area. "I'm a bit nervous. I mean, I've never....been with anyone."

"Never?" The Amazon was obviously surprised.

"No, never," the bard said unhappily. "I mean, I'm not exactly sure what to do. Gods, this is embarrassing!"

Ephiny moved closer to Gabrielle, putting her arm around her. "Don't be embarrassed. I mean, everyone has to start somewhere. You have to learn sometime, right?"

"I guess so. I'm just afraid of letting Xena down." Gabrielle sniffed as she felt tears rolling down her face.

Ephiny's heart went out to the younger women. She remembered her first time. She had been scared to death, but passion over rode her fear. There had to be something she could do to help her friend out. Suddenly, an idea hit her.

"Gabrielle, come with me. " Grabbing the bard's hand, she pulled her out of the chair she was sitting in.

"Where are we going?" Gabrielle asked as she was dragged out of the hut.

"You'll see!"

Gabrielle was surprised when Ephiny led her to the Amazons' scroll library. She had spent a good amount of time in the hut, studying Amazon culture and just enjoying reading what was in the various scrolls. But she didn't see how anything in there was going to help her out.

"Ephiny, I've been here several times! I don't think there is anything in here that's going to help!"

The Amazon grinned as she led the bard to the back of the hut. "I know you've been here before, but I bet you've never been in here!" She brushed back a wall hanging, revealing another room.

"What the...?" Gabrielle had never seen this room before.

"We keep these hidden because they are our most treasured stories." The four walls of the additional room was covered floor to ceiling in scrolls.

Stopping in front of one of the walls, Ephiny scanned the shelves. "Ah, here," she reached for one of the scrolls. "I think that this should help."

Reading the title on the scroll, Gabrielle's eyes widened. "You mean all these scrolls..."

"Yup, they are all about how to please a woman. Over here," Ephiny pointed," are the scrolls that are educational. And these," she pointed again, "are scrolls of fictional stories. But, all the scrolls have to do with a woman pleasuring another woman."

Gabrielle was already immersed in the first scroll as Ephiny left her alone in the hut.


As the sun was setting, Ephiny announced to the village that they would have a welcoming ceremony for the newest addition to the Amazon nation.

The council had agreed with Ephiny that Syrilla would be able to stay with the Amazon nation. There were two stipulations. First, everyone would be told about Syrilla's gift. Syrilla was expected to help educate the Amazons about her gift so that they could better understand it. Second, Syrilla was asked to work with the healers of the village. Everyone in the village contributed to the livelihood of the Amazon nation in some fashion, and Syrilla was expected to do her part. Syrilla agreed. So tonight would be a time where everyone would meet Syrilla and hear her story. They would then party until the sun came up.

Xena came back from the practicing fields dirty and sweaty. Eponin was with her, limping. With a laugh, Ephiny head toward them. "Should I guess who won?"

Grinning, Xena answered for both of them. "I did, of course, but I'm not the reason for Eponin's limp."

Giving the Amazon warrior a questioning look that clearly expected an answer, Ephiny innocently asked. "Do tell, Eponin."

Grumbling, Eponin mumbled.

"What, I didn't hear that?" Ephiny asked.

"I said, I fell into a rabbit hole." Eponin turned red as she spoke louder this time. Several women stopped and snickered when they heard the raised voice. "Great, now the whole village will know!"

Laughing, Ephiny patted the Amazon on the back. "Humility does a girl good, Eponin." Sniffing the air, she crinkled her nose. "You two had better take a bath before the party tonight. You stink! I won't let either one of you at my table smelling that way!"

Eponin turned and limped toward the baths.

Xena stopped Ephiny before she left. "Have you seen Gabrielle? I haven't seen her all day." There was quiet concern in her voice.

"When I looked for her to tell her about the council's decision she was in the library, reading up on Amazon tradition." It was sort of true.

"Could you ask her to meet me at her hut before the party?"

"Sure, I'll ask her."

"Thanks Ephiny." Xena flashed her a grin before she headed off toward Eponin.

Ephiny barely heard Xena say "Race you!" to Eponin as she walked away.



The hut was quiet when Gabrielle got there. One of the things left to her by Terreis when she died, the hut was neat and actually larger than most of the huts in the village. Gabrielle loved being able to have her own place when she visited and the bed was big enough for both her and Xena. Grinning to herself, she felt more confident then she had earlier. Reading those scrolls really helped her to understand. She was still nervous, but she was now convinced that she would be able to make love to Xena without worrying about how to do it.

"You look happy," A sultry voice floated out of the shadows.

Moving toward the voice, Gabrielle saw the outline of a familiar figure in the shadows around the dark bed area. As she got closer, she saw that her warrior was lying there, wrapped in a towel, a alluring smile on her face. The towel just barely covered Xena's long body, revealing a good amount of tan skin. "Why shouldn't I be happy? I'm here with you."

Gabrielle gazed into warm blue eyes, feeling herself moving closer to the warrior. The pull was almost magnetic, her feet moving without her consciously thinking about it. She stopped in front of the bed, moving her eyes over Xena's body. Feeling a rush of warm heat, she closed her eyes. Without thinking, Gabrielle blurted out what was on her mind. "You are so beautiful."

Taking the bard's hand and pulling her onto the bed, Xena wrapped long arms around her love, holding her close against her. "No, YOU are the one who is beautiful. You take my breath away." Then she brought her lips to Gabrielle's, lightly pressing against her mouth.

Gabrielle opened her mouth in response, inviting Xena's tongue to explore. Leisurely, passionate kisses were exchanged. Gabrielle became lost in the sensations she was feeling. Reading all those stories had affected her and she felt her passion rising fast.

Pulling away, Gabrielle looked into Xena's eyes, seeing the need there. Slowly, she raised onto her knees. With deft fingers, she unlaced her top, pulling it off and flinging it into the air, not taking her eyes off Xena. She wanted to see the warrior's reaction. She wasn't disappointed as she saw blue eyes grow larger at the sight of Gabrielle's freed breasts. Quickly, she took off her skirt and breeches, not sure if she could wait any longer.

Kneeling next to the warrior, Gabrielle's hands reached down and undid the knot keeping Xena's towel fastened around her. As she opened the towel, she watched as Xena's breasts were revealed. A soft moan escaped her lips.

Not being able to stand the distance between them, Xena reached up and pulled Gabrielle to her. Both women felt a shock of electricity when their bodies met. Running her hands over the bard's back, Xena brought her mouth to Gabrielle's, kissing her more forcefully this time, needing to feel the bard's passion.

As she returned the kiss, Gabrielle's hands explored Xena's body, running over every inch of skin within their reach. Finally, they came to rest on large full breasts. Each hand cupped one and Gabrielle pulled away from Xena to watch. She lightly ran a finger over one of Xena's nipples and saw it stiffen in response.

Smiling, Xena watched as the bard explored her breasts with light touches. "You like that?" She asked as she brushed a hand through silky golden hair.

"I like the fact that you react to my touch." Gabrielle's fingers were playing with Xena's nipples, never ceasing their pleasurable torment.

"Trust me, my body loves it when you touch me." Xena moaned softly as she felt currents running from her breasts to her center.

Gabrielle couldn't resist any longer. She brought her mouth to Xena's breast. With slow licks, she slid her tongue across the breast, not touching the erect nipple.

"Gods, Gabrielle!" Cried Xena, entwining her hands in Gabrielle's hair.

Lavishing the same attention on the other breast, Gabrielle suddenly sucked Xena's nipple into her mouth.

Moaning loudly at the contact, Xena arched towards Gabrielle.

Suckling one of Xena's nipples while tugging at the other one with her fingers, Gabrielle began to immerse herself in the task.

"Gods, Gabrielle! That feels so good!"

Lifting her head, Gabrielle looked at Xena. "I have always wanted to do this." Xena moaned in response.

Xena was already floating at the feeling of Gabrielle's hot, wet mouth on her breast. She hadn't expect the bard to take control like this. It was unusual for her to give in; she was usually the one who controlled things. But Gabrielle was different.

Feeling Gabrielle's mouth lift off her breasts once more, Xena struggled to open her eyes to see what was going on. Heavy lidded, she saw Gabrielle start to kiss down her rib cage, then her stomach. Gabrielle moved down, sticking a tongue in Xena's belly button, causing her hips to rise off the bed. As she realized where Gabrielle was headed, she rolled her head from side to side, feeling a desperate need for release rise from inside of her.

Enjoying the reactions she was getting from Xena, Gabrielle continued her path downward. Opening Xena's legs wider, she slid her body between strong legs. Grinning at the sight of the patch of dark hair between Xena's legs, Gabrielle could smell her partner's arousal. Intoxicated by both the smell and the sight of what she was doing to Xena, she brought her mouth to the curly thatch and kissed it gently, drawing a moan from the other woman.

With a wicked grin, Gabrielle slid her tongue between Xena's folds. Tentatively at first, her tongue began stroking Xena with more energy as she found the sensations meeting her tongue enjoyable. Some parts were smooth against her tongue, others were rough, and they all were wet.

Xena's hips were thrusting against Gabrielle with each stroke of her tongue. Ragged moans and cries of pleasure were coming from her, unable to control her body's reactions. Her hands had grabbed the sides of the bed as she tried to cling to some degree of control, but the more the bard's tongue lashed, the less control Xena had.

Finding a hard knot and knowing that was her goal, Gabrielle sucked Xena's clitoris into her mouth, occasionally sliding it through her teeth. Xena began thrashing around, and the bard desperately tried to keep her grip on the warrior. Finally, with a loud cry, the warrior's body went rigid as she went over the edge.


Gabrielle stilled her tongue, just resting it inside of her lover. As she saw Xena relax, she pulled out, licking her lips as she crawled back up Xena's body into her waiting arms. She snuggled next to the panting warrior, listening to her shallow breaths.

Flying on a cloud of pleasure, Xena felt completely happy and contented, the first time in a long time, she realized. Never before had she had a sexual partner that could make her feel so much. Putting her long arms around the small bard, she squeezed her tightly against her. "I love, you," she whispered, her eyes still clenched tightly.

Hoping she had managed to satisfy the warrior, Gabrielle softly kissed Xena's face, brushing her lips over eyelids, cheeks, nose. "I love you, too," she whispered into Xena's ear.

Without opening her eyes, Xena rolled herself and the bard over until she was on top. Planting one knee firmly between Gabrielle's legs, she opened her eyes and starred into the beautiful, desire filled green eyes of her love.

"Do you have any idea what you do to me?" Xena purred.

"Nnno," Gabrielle managed to get out, overwhelmed by her own desire for Xena.

"Hmm...then I guess I'm going to have to show you, aren't I?" Grinning evilly, Xena brought her mouth down, capturing the bard's lips with her own. In sensuous motions, she kissed Gabrielle, using her tongue to excite the bard.

Pulling away, Xena watched Gabrielle's face as she brought one hand up, cupping a firm breast. Moaning at the contact, Gabrielle threw her head back when Xena's skilled fingers pinched her nipple. " responsive. I like that," Xena told her lover.

Again bringing her lips to Gabrielle's, Xena gently kissed the bard then began kissing a searing path to her chest. Stopping on Gabrielle's neck, Xena sucked a spot at the base of her neck until a purplish spot appeared. "That shows that you are mine," Xena told the bard, who just whimpered in response.

Kissing across Gabrielle's collarbone, Xena's mouth rested at the top of the swell of Gabrielle's breast. Using her tongue, she painted circles, making each circle smaller and smaller, until she reached the waiting nipple. She slowly licked the nipple, feeling it stiffen at the contact. Keeping her tongue there she began licking faster and faster, finally taking the nipple into her mouth.

Gabrielle had surrendered all thoughts of watching Xena make love to her. The sensations she was feeling were too intense to do anything but feel them. She was moaning constantly now, her body writhing in response to what Xena was doing.

One hand fondling one breast, her mouth on the other, Xena was lost in her own world of sensations. The soft skin in her mouth felt so good, so right. She had imagined so many times what it would be like to suckle Gabrielle's perfect breasts, and she found the reality was better than her imagination.

Xena's knee began to press against Gabrielle's center, gently at first and then harder and with more pressure as the bard responded. Moaning when she felt Gabrielle's sweet juices cover her thigh, Xena knew the bard wouldn't be able to handle too much more before she went over the edge.

Her hand left Gabrielle's breast and traveled over a firm stomach, finally finding the soft thatch of hair. She cupped Gabrielle's sex, firmly pressing on it, then moved her hand and caressed the inside of firm thighs.

Thrashing around wildly now, Gabrielle couldn't believe the fire she felt between her legs. She could feel her own juices soaking the insides of her thighs, and a tight sensation between her legs. She jolted with she felt one finger slide between her nether lips.

"Gods, Xena!!!" Gabrielle was barely able to get the words out.

"I'm right here, Gabrielle." Xena lifted her head from Gabrielle's breast to reassure her. Her hand was coated in Gabrielle's juices, and the feeling was making her light headed. Gods, she loved this woman! She rested her fingers at Gabrielle's opening, wanting to make sure the bard wanted this before she did it. "Gabrielle, it might hurt a little…."

With a growl, Gabrielle yelled out, "Do it! I NEED you Xena, please!!!"

Xena carefully pushed her index finger into the tight hole, moaning at the sweet sensation. She stopped when she reached the thin layer that separated her from her bard's ultimate pleasure. Wrapping her other arm around Gabrielle, holding her tightly, Xena pushed through.

Gabrielle gasped, then moaned. The pain subsided as Xena's finger began to move in and out of her. Thrusting against Xena's hand, Gabrielle felt a tremor start from her center and then consume her whole body. She yelled out Xena's name as she went stiff, feeling incredible waves of pleasure wash over her entire body.

Carefully pulling out of the tight tunnel, Xena wrapped her arms around the trembling woman, cradling her against her body. As Gabrielle returned to earth, Xena whispered words of love into her ear, letting her know that she was there and that she loved the bard.

"Gods…" Gabrielle said in a breathless voice a few moments later. She was having difficulty forming whole sentences.

With a soft laugh, Xena kissed the girl's forehead. "Now you can understand how you make me feel. I love you so very much."

"Love…you…too…" Gabrielle said, still not completely conscious.

"Why don't you rest? Get some sleep." Xena tenderly brushed her fingers through the bard, sending little shock waves down the bard's body.

Curling up in Xena's embrace, Gabrielle gave a soft, contented sigh. "Okay…"

Watching the sleeping bard, Xena herself felt tired, but completely at peace. Soon, she was asleep as well.



"Hey you two!" Ephiny pounded on the outside of Gabrielle's hut next to the cloth-covered entrance. 'And Xena's now, I guess.' The regent thought to herself.

The party had started around her, Amazons dancing and socializing as the drums pounded out an exciting rhythm.

When Gabrielle and Xena hadn't shown up at the beginning, Ephiny decided to go looking for them. Pounding once more on the hut, she was about to yell again when a hand snuck out and firmly grasped her wrist.

"What?" Xena growled from the doorway.

Gulping at the sight of the naked, angry warrior, Ephiny tried to remember why she had been pounding on their hut. Then her ears focused on the drums. "Oh yeah, the party. Are you two coming, or not?" Trying to be casual, it was hard when there was a mortal in the body of a goddess standing before her.

"Sweet Zeus, I forgot about the party!" Gabrielle shouted from somewhere behind Xena. "Give us a few minutes, we'll be right there!"

Xena narrowed her eyes at Ephiny as she let the cloth cover the doorway again.

Handing Xena her shift, Gabrielle already had her skirt on. She had awakened in Xena's arms, feeling complete. Waking up the warrior with a kiss, she had been trying to concentrate on her friend's beautiful body when Ephiny knocked.

Growling, Xena put her shift on and reached for her leathers.

Turning with her back to Xena, Gabrielle looked around the hut for her green top. Suddenly, she felt two arms encircle her, one hand covering a breast, the other around her waist, and a mouth on her ear. "Don't think that we're done here!"

Pushing her body back into the warrior's firm body, Gabrielle moaned softly. "As far as I'm concerned, we'll never be done."

Turning the bard around, Xena kissed soft lips.

"I was hoping you would say that," she hugged the bard against her, stroking the woman's back.

Laughing softly, Gabrielle put her arms around the taller woman, looking up into amazing blue eyes. "I don't think I could ever get tired of that! I just wish we didn't have to go to this party, then we could continue what we started!"

"Agreed, but you know we can't, so let's get out there so we can get back and continue. "

"I would, but I can't find my top. Have you seen it?"

Xena tried to keep from smiling as she pointed to where she had seen the bard throw her green top.

Gabrielle followed the direction of Xena's finger and looked up. Hanging off one of the candle holders on the wall was her green top. "Oops, guess I was a little too zealous."

"Nah, I like you that way," Xena assured her as she reached up and unhooked the top.

"I hope you always feel that way!" Gabrielle's tone was serious, still a little worried about whether or not she had pleased her warrior.

Grabbing Gabrielle's wrists and leading her over to the bed, Xena sat down on the edge of the bed, pulling the bard in between her legs. Taking Gabrielle's chin in her hand, she tilted her head up. Looking into green eyes, Xena spoke with passion in her voice. "Gabrielle, I love you no matter what you're like in bed. I would love you even if we didn't do what we did today. That doesn't change how I feel." Grinning, she went on. "Sure, it helps, but that's not why I fell in love with you, okay?"

Unable to answer, Gabrielle wrapped her arms around Xena's neck, pulling her closer for a soul-searching kiss.

Breaking apart a few moments later, Xena helped Gabrielle into her top. And after Gabrielle had helped Xena get her armor on, the two of them left hand in hand for the party, both wearing smiles on their faces.


The End


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