Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.
Sex: Yes, we have sex. Lots of it.
Violence: Yes, we have violence
Language: Yes, we have language
Other: Umm to MomPeg dont read this one<g>. Just a little something my muse gave me. Comments to TNOVAN@aol.comNot as Long as Im Around By T.Novan
Miami, Florida Present Day
The yacht anchored off the coast seemed quiet. The crew had been given the night off; taking one of the smaller launches ashore, leaving the owner of the massive craft alone with her two companions.
The male companion was in his stateroom preparing for the job. He checked all of the equipment for the fourth time, making sure that each piece was functioning properly. He glanced up at the television, which was tuned to a local station, playing some inane sitcom. He moved to his video cabinet and retrieved a videodisk, which was slipped into the player under the television. He had seen this movie a thousand times and knew most of the dialog by heart, but anything was better than the laugh track that accompanied the sitcom.
The female companion was with the owner of the vessel in the main stateroom. The young woman smiled at the older woman, who was seated in a large leather chair quietly sipping from a glass of champagne.
"It is that time for you Mistress?" The younger woman dropped the robe she was wearing, revealing her nude body. She stretched out on the large bed, sliding around seductively on the silk sheets.
"Umm-hmm." The older woman nodded, staring appreciatively at the young woman. She lifted her face slightly, inhaling the heady mixture of fine champagne, perfume and pure erotic essence that permeated the room. The fragrances sent her passions soaring. She stood, slowly crossing the room, continuing to sip from the glass. "Thank you for sharing this with me."
The young woman smiled as her benefactor continued to approach. "It is my pleasure to give you, that which you need Xena."
Xena dropped to her knees at the foot of the bed, setting her champagne aside, she reached out and pulled her companion to the edge so that her legs bent at the knees, dangling over the edge. She was, of course now, well placed between the young womans legs. A smile curled across her lips when she considered what she was about to receive. She let the tip of her tongue stroke the end of one fang before it slid across her lips to find its identical mate. The dark haired woman dropped her head between the warm thighs before her.
She kissed the flesh softly, licking it slowly, sucking gently to bring the blood to the surface. While her mouth was engaged in preparing the offering, her hand traveled to the fine patch of curly hairs. Her fingers parted the delicate flesh releasing more of the sensual scent into the air.
"Oh yes." The young woman whispered, her back tightening, arching slightly with the sensations flooding her body.
Xena slid her fingers into the silky warmth, manipulating the flesh, stimulating the young woman. She allowed a low, rough little moan to escape her chest when she felt the body before her, respond to her touch. The slight rolling of the womans hips and the permissive moans told her that her manipulations were urging her companion toward climax.
"Oh God Xena, yes more please." The womans hands found their way into the dark tresses, coaxing and pleading silently for more.
A plea, which was answered by the gentle thrusting of two fingers deep inside and a rhythmic, passionate stroking. Her body responded, sending her hips into a faster grinding against the hand that pleasured her. Xena laid her free arm across the abdomen of her companion. "Easy baby, I dont want to hurt you when I pierce you."
"Oh God I dont care if you take my leg off."
Xena smirked a bit, lowering her head back down to the spot her had prepared. She bit down quickly, making sure that the bite and the subsequent consumption of the womans life force coincided with her orgasm.
"Yes!" The young womans head was thrown back, her back arching tight as her body convulsed and spasmed through the feeding and the climax.
The feeding was over before the top of the peak was reached. Xena gently withdrew her teeth, kissing the flesh, licking away the remaining droplets of blood. She continued her loving caress to bring the woman back to earth gently. When it was over, she withdrew, offering another kiss to the marked area. She pulled back a bit to watch the small punctures heal over and the bruise fade away, leaving no trace of her.
She stood, smoothly moving the exhausted woman back into the comfort of the bed. Xena pulled the covers over the young lady, placing a light kiss to her forehead. "Thank you Victoria. Sleep well my pet." She straightened, tightening the belt of her own robe. She turned the lamp off next to the bed, leaving the woman alone to sleep peacefully.
She made one final pass over her lips to remove any remnants of the gift before knocking on the door of the stateroom.
She pushed the door open. She smiled at her friend, watching him pack the equipment in the padded cases. "Are we all set?"
"Ready to go. Everything checks out." The tall man turned offering a rakish grin as he stroked his mustache. "Did you have a good time?"
"Autolycus," She entered the room, closing the door behind her. "I took what was necessary."
"I know, I know, but did you have a good time?"
"I havent truly enjoyed that in thousands of years and you know it. Not since Gabrielle died." She sat down in a well padded leather chair. Her body language showed her misery and disappointment.
"I wish it were different for you Xena, I really do."
"So do I." She sighed, looking to her friend, offering a slight smile. "Im sorry, sometimes its just so hard. I still miss her."
"I know you do. I cant believe she hasnt been sent back."
"Oh who knows, she may have been. But it would take us forever to find her."
"Not like we dont have the time to look." He grinned, taking a seat across from his friend. "And we certainly have the means to do so. I think we should do it. Youre perfectly miserable without her. " He picked up a bottle, tipping it to his lips he took a long drink, then offered it to his friend. "When was the last time you had real sex?"
She took a drink of the bitter liquid, making an appalled face before handing it back. "Thirteen thirty-seven I think. Thats disgusting what is it?"
"Yuck. I have the finest and the rarest wines, brandies and champagnes aboard and you drink that swill? You have no taste."
"My palate must not be as refined as yours." He teased, giving her leg a playful little kick. "I still have sex when I feed."
"Congratulations. Victoria never complains. None of them do. I always make sure that they enjoy themselves."
"Yeah I heard." He wiggled his eyebrows.
"Oh you did not, you silly son of a bitch. My cabin is soundproof and you know it."
"I know it. I just like to give you a hard time." He tipped the beer again.
"Youd think after all these years you would get tired of trying to make me crazy."
"Nah, its the one thing that keeps me going."
"And here I thought it was my dazzling personality."
"That and your beautiful body."
"Glad you like it, cause its sleeping with you tonight."
"Youre always welcomed in my bed you know that."
"I appreciate it my friend, I really do."
"You know Gabrielle wouldnt be upset if you slept with Victoria."
"I just cant do it. I need the comfort of a body, but I cant sleep with them Auto. Its feels like Im being unfaithful to Bri."
"Youve got it bad right now dont you?"
"Un-huh. Its close to when we lost her. Its always hard this time of year for me."
"True, but you generally hide it pretty well."
"I just cant stop thinking about her lately. You would think after three thousand years ."
He held his hand up. "Dont even try to rationalize it Xena. Weve spent hundreds of years doing that and its never gotten us anywhere. You loved her, you lost her and you still miss her. Case closed and theres nothing wrong with that."
She leaned forward, patting him on the knee. "Thank you. Im going to turn in."
He waved his hand toward the bed. "You know where it is. Ill be there in a few minutes. I want to finish putting our gear away."
She nodded, rising from the chair she removed her robe, revealing black silk pajamas. She tossed her robe to the foot of the bed then slid between the covers. She clutched one pillow to her chest, getting comfortable on what had over many hundreds of years become her side of the bed with Autolycus. They spent many nights sharing the shame bed. It had become an easy habit for them both and definitely safer for her friend after he gave up trying to convince her that making love occasionally couldnt hurt either. After he had been hurt a few times, he realized that just having a familiar body was a nice thing too.
She listened to him put the equipment away, then moving to the bed he settled down next to her. She rolled over to face him and without a word he opened his arms, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder. He held her close, giving her a soft kiss in the top of her head.
"I miss her." She offered quietly. "I miss her so much I feel like my heart will burst."
"I know Xe, I know." He sighed, giving her another kiss.
By the time morning came the melancholy that Xena was feeling the night before seemed to have faded with the night. She entered the galley where Autolycus and Victoria were having breakfast. The pair grinned at the tall woman, while she poured a cup of coffee.
"What?" She asked, lifting her hands in question.
"You snore." Autolycus grinned.
She just dropped her head, then returned to preparing her coffee. Whatever it was that had them smiling like idiots they werent sharing it with her. Taking her coffee she joined them at the table. Victoria prepared a fresh grapefruit then passed over to her.
"Thank you. So," Xena held her spoon over the halved fruit, once again looking to her companions. "Are we ready for tonight?"
"Absolutely," Victoria acknowledged with a nod. "Auto has all the equipment ready to go. Ive made sure our invitations are in order and the rest of the team will be here later today."
"Good. I want this bastard." Xena growled stabbing at her breakfast with the spoon.
"Oh, well get him Xena." Autolycus offered. "Once we have his files, well turn the evidence over to the local police and the DEA and hell bee spending the rest of his winters as a guest of some federal penitentiary."
"So, after we finish up here, where are we headed?" Victoria questioned, breaking apart a bagel.
Two sets of eyes landed on the dark haired woman. They waited for her answer. She just shrugged her shoulders. "Havent decided yet."
"Dont you just love this life?" Autolycus laughed, rising from the table to fetch another glass of juice. "Living from one adventure to the next. Three thousand years and Ive never been bored."
"Thats not true." Victoria piped up. "There was that period in the mid eighteen hundreds when you were just down right depressed."
"Oh yeah that whole Civil War thing. Well, you cant help but be depressed when youre sitting in jail."
"Hey!" Xena defended. "We got you out as quickly as we could."
"Lair." He grinned at his friend. "You let me spend a year in that place because you were mad over the fact that you lost that bet with me."
"I did not lose that bet. You cheated." Xena accused with a smile, waving her spoon at him.
"Ive said it before and Ill say it again. Im a thief. What else would you expect me to do?" The threesome all laughed at the comment as he retook his seat next to Victoria.
"Well," Xena continued. "At least we found a way for you to use all that wonderful talent in a constructive manner."
"I always used my considerable talents in a constructive manner." He defended sipping from his juice. "You just never fully appreciated it."
Victoria slung an arm around the thief, grinning at Xena. "And hes so modest too."
"Umm-hmm." Xena nodded. "He always has been.
As evening settled in, Xena finished dressing for the party. She stood, staring at her reflection in the mirror as she slipped her shirt on. Her hand traveled to the necklace, fingers lightly grasping the small replica of the chakram. "Miss you Bri. You know, even though I have Auto and so many wonderful companions I never stop missing or loving you. Youd be so proud of us. Of the work we do. Its all for the greater good, sweetheart. Just the way you would have expected me to spend eternity." A knock to her stateroom door brought her out of her musings. "Come in!"
Victoria entered, looking absolute stunning in her black evening gown. Her long red hair flowed freely around her shoulders and her blue eyes flashed a hint of mischievous temperament. Xena smiled. Of all her companions, Victoria was her favorite; she came the closest of reminding her of the bard.
"Well, dont you look good enough to eat." Xena grinned, offering the woman her hand, pulling her into an embrace.
"Hmm dont go there."
"Sorry. Are we ready?"
"Well, we are, but you arent." The redhead chastised, buttoning up Xenas shirt.
"Sorry about that." She gave the woman a kiss on her forehead then took over the task of buttoning her shirt. "I got distracted."
"Hmm thats been happening a lot lately. Are you all right Xena?"
"Yeah Im fine. I dont know why, but Ive really been missing Bri lately."
"Ah I got you. Maybe theres a reason. Maybe shes getting ready to rejoin us and youre feeling that."
"I couldnt hope for that much."
"Yes, you could."
"I dont want to get my hopes up."
"I cant understand that, but a little positive thinking cant hurt, now can it?"
Xena sighed. "No, I guess not."
"Of course not. Xena you know the entire family adores you and worships the ground you walk on. Youve given us all such a special gift of our immortality. Dont you think it saddens us that you cant be with your soul mate? That you cant love one of us the way you loved her? We only want you to be happy Xena and we know the only way that will ever truly be is if we manage to find Gabrielle and bring her into the family."
"That was the mistake I made last time.
Amphipolis, Greece 44 B.C.
"Dont you walk away from me!" Gabrielle threw the stone in her hand, hitting the warrior right between the shoulder blades.
Xena stopped in her tracks, turning slowly to face the enraged woman. "That was not nice."
"I dont feel very nice at the moment. I am not going to let you go into this fight alone!"
"Oh yes you are. Caesar only ordered this attack because he knew it would draw me out. Well, it worked, but what he doesnt know is it just doesnt matter anymore. He cant kill me, which means I can fight until every last solider he has is lying at my feet."
"But you can still be wounded and injured and I dont intend to let you do this alone."
"Gabrielle this is no time to argue. I have battle plans to prepare."
The bard marched forward, meeting the tall woman eye to eye. "Xena you can save us both a lot of time and trouble here. Just do it."
"No! Damn it, Gabrielle, I wont curse you too. Its bad enough that it happened to me."
"Why do you have to be so stubborn? Dont you understand I want it? I want you to do it."
"You just think you do. Youre letting your heart do all your talking now. Youre not using your head."
"Dont you tell me what Im doing, you you overgrown bully!"
The warrior cocked an eyebrow. "Overgrown bully? Surely a bard of your astonishing talent should be able to come up with something better than that."
"This astonishing talent is too pissed off at the moment to even try!"
Xena pulled the bard into her arms, kissing the top of her head. "Tell you what. I promise that after this is all over well sit down and talk about it. Right now though I want you to go back to the tavern with Mother and stay there until I come back."
"Its a tiny word Xena. What part of it didnt you understand the n or the o?"
She pushed away, poking her partner in the chest. "Dont you Bri me. We are a team. Partners. Soul mates. Where you go, I go. When you fight, I fight."
"This is Caesars last attempt to take me out before he declares himself Emperor. Its going to be a long and bloody campaign."
"And that would make it different from any other of our battles how? You dont know how to do anything quickly."
This earned her a sly little smirk from the tall woman. "Yeah and arent you glad."
"I am serious."
"Xena, I swear you are the most frustrating person sometimes. Youd think after all these years of being with you that Id learn not to let you get to me like this and Id just learn to do as I damn well please. Now Im going with you. End of discussion."
The warrior sighed, shaking her head and tossing her hands in the air. "And you say Im stubborn. Everything I learned one the subject you taught me."
"And after its all over, were going to talk about the other issue."
"Now give me a kiss, because I know its the last one Im going to get for a while."
A smiling warrior pulled the little woman into her arms and gave her a kiss that conveyed all the love and admiration she had to give.
Miami, Florida Present Day
Victoria helped Xena slip on her jacket, a long dress coat that hid the stash of equipment and edged weapons that she always carried when they did a job.
"You are simply stunning in this outfit. Ive always loved you in it."
"You are biased my dear." The warrior offered, tucking a small dagger in her boot.
"Hmm could be, but I dont think so."
"Un-huh. Sure you arent. Okay, the rest of the team is here?"
"Oh yeah, and ready to go to work."
"Great." Xena straighten, offering her hand to the woman, she once again drew her into her arms. "You promise me youll be careful."
The tall woman leaned in, giving Victoria a kiss on the cheek, allowing her lips to linger there for a moment. "You know, I could almost love you they way I love her."
"No, you couldnt, and it would be a lie for you to even try. And that would make it unfair to all of us. I accept what I have with you Xena. Dont be concerned about me. I love you. Ill always be here for you, but I dont ever want you to lie to me or yourself."
"You are welcome," Victoria straightened, running her hand down the front of Xenas shirt. "Now, lets go put the bad guy in jail."
As they left the stateroom, Xena wrapped her arm around the womans waist as the made their way to the dining room where the rest of the team was waiting. Xena looked at each of them in turn.
Autolycus, dressed in a form fitting black body suit, he was checking his backpack one last time. Xena had to give him credit for always being prepared.
Chaney, dressed like Auto he would be part of the thiefs back up team. It was unlikely he would have to do much, but if he did he was more than capable and very prepared to fulfill his role.
Cormac, Xena had to stifle a chuckle every time she looked at the man. His name was derived from the Greek, kormos, which meant trunk of the tree and he looked like a tree. He was the muscle, not that they tended to need it, but occasionally it was nice to have his imposing form around. He always looked uncomfortable in a tuxedo too. He reminded Xena of a gorilla dressed in formal attire.
Denise, the third member of Autos team, Xena couldnt help but enjoy the way the womans body suit fit. She shook her head a little, knowing that this woman was a favorite of the thiefs. They worked well together in everything they did, to hear Autolycus tell it.
"So were ready right?" Xena clapped her hand together, rubbing them slightly.
"Ready." Autolycus agreed. "So youre going in the limo and were going in the van. Hey, why do you always get the limo anyhow?
"Because I can kick your ass." Xena grinned.
"Oh yeah right." He smiled, shouldering his backpack.
"Besides. It might look a little suspicious if we showed up at the party in a van that looks like the interior was put together by the NSA."
"Good point." Autolycus slapped his friend on the shoulder. "Okay, Xena, heres the drill. You and Victoria go in and make sure our host stays properly occupied ."
"While you and Denise make a second story entry and help yourselves to his computer files and anything in his safe." Xena continued with the plan.
"Right. Chaney is in the van with the monitoring equipment and Cormac is in the limo keeping the front means of escape open as a viable option."
"Lets do it." The tall woman waved her hand and the team headed for the door.
They boarded the launch with a couple of the crew helping everyone aboard. The group took their seats as the launch slowly made its way to shore.
Xena and Victoria settled into the back of the limo, Cormac closed the door then took his position as driver. The tall woman stretched her long legs out as the car pulled away from the curb.
"So," Victoria grinned, moving closer to Xena. "Any chance I could talk you into a little romp in the back of the car?"
"Are you dressed for it?"
"Arent I always?" She grinned again.
Xena wrapped her arm around Victorias waist, pulling the woman to her. She slid her hands up the womans legs, raising her evening gown and allowing her to straddle Xenas waist. She smiled when she felt the garters and the hose. Further exploration up the redheads thighs revealed that she wasnt wearing any underclothes. "You are a bad girl." The warrior teased, staring into playful blue eyes.
"And you love it."
"Im old, not crazy." She allowed her hands to massage Victorias legs. "Will you?"
"If thats what you want."
Xena nodded, letting her hands travel to Victorias most sensitive areas. The woman over her moaned as she began her intimate touch. Victoria let her head fall back, her hips beginning a slow rhythm with Xenas hands. "Oh yeah thats good."
"Umm-hmm." Xena agreed, her hands and fingers covered in the sticky warmth of Victorias passions.
They continued like that for a long time. Slowly Xena brought the woman closer and closer, sending her higher and higher.
"Oh God." Victoria moaned as her climax approached then was taken away by the skillful hands of the woman under her. "Please for both of us?" The plea was a quiet one, but one Xena couldnt resist.
Victoria began shuddering; she felt it in the very fiber of her being. She felt the extension and the building of her orgasm. She lowered her head, forcing her eyes open. Xena had her head rolled to the right, chin resting on her shoulder, eyes closed, neck exposed. Victorias eyes flashed, the extension was complete, and she thrust forward, impaling herself fully on Xenas long fingers, riding the climax as she bit down hard on the expanse of neck before her.
"Ohh " Xena groaned, feeling the piercing of her skin and the draining of her life force. "Yes. Feed, my pet."
Victoria was relentless in her feeding and her motions over Xena, she wanted the ultimate pleasure and she would take it, because Xena was giving it.
The warrior could feel her own heart pounding, hear her breath catching and the moans rumbling from her chest as Victoria found her pleasure. Soon she felt the woman leave her neck. She felt her collapse against her shoulder. She turned her head and gave a kiss to a sweat soaked brow, feeling the slowing of the woman hips. She stayed with her until Victoria signaled for her to withdrawal.
"God, thank you Xena." Victoria whimpered, licking the spot on Xenas neck to help it heal over.
"As always my pet, youre welcome." She removed her hands from under the womans clothing, smoothing her dress down, then holding her close.
Victoria pulled back, looking into Xenas eyes, running her thumb over her lips. "The one thing I do regret is that I will never get to kiss these lips."
Xena smiled, giving a little kiss to the redheads thumb. "Im sorry. You know I cant."
"I know. I love you and respect you for that. Youre devotion to her is so admirable. I dont know if I could do it." Victoria slid from Xenas lap, but remained tucked tight into the crook of her arm.
"If it were the other half of your soul that you were missing, you could. Trust me it would be easy."
"Xena, do we still have souls?"
"Of course you do. It is what allows you to feel and love and concern. It is what makes you the caring person that you are."
"Thank you for making a part of your family."
"It not a decision that Autolycus and I make lightly."
"I know. Im just glad you made it for me."
Xena hugged the woman close one last time as the car came to a stop. "Ready sweetheart?"
The door opened. Xena pressed a small button on her belt that turned on the two-way communication device that linked her to Auto. "Hello handsome." She offered slowly, while she turned around offering her hand to the redhead to help her out of the car.
The voice of her best friend resonated in her ear. "Well, hello bue-t-full."
She brought her hand to her lips in a mock cough to cover the chuckle as his voice sang in her ear.
Victoria smiled at the tall woman, fishing in her purse for their invitations to the formal party that they were about to attend. "Something funny?"
"Umm-hmm." She nodded, turning with the woman to head for the mansion.
"Hes being bad again isnt he?" Victoria linked her arm through Xenas. They were supposed to be playing the part of lovers at this party. It is what got them invited in the first place.
"Looks like hes planning on it."
They entered the home of one, Desmond Maxwell, notorious drug lord, who so far had managed to escape every long arm of the law that had made a reach for him. Tonight his escape route would be cut off. Xena would make damn sure of that if she had to break his neck herself before leaving.
"Now remember Xena," The redhead tugged on her arm. "Hes very into the dom/sub thing. So, just for tonight you think you can be a convincing dom?"
"Oh yeah," Xena laughed. "Ive had years of practice."
"Really? Damn! Something else Ill never get to experience right?"
"Well, at least Ill get a little taste tonight."
They climbed the steps to the front door. Victoria handed the invitations to the man who was posted there. Xena took the chance to have a quick look around. They were ushered inside the opulent home.
While Victoria batted her eyelashes and showed off her feminine charms, the warrior took a serious inventory of guards and security precautions.
"Anything we arent expecting there, boss?" Autolycus laughed a little. Then he made kissy noises in her ear.
"No." She growled a little, pulling Victoria back to her side, to cover her slip. She hated it when she did that. She leaned down and kissed the redheads neck, murmuring, "Im gonna kill him."
Victoria wrapped her arms around the tall womans neck. "Okay. Id like to see you try. Got that whole immortal thing going you know?" She whispered nuzzling Xenas ear.
Desmond noticed them immediately. He remembered Victoria from their accidental meeting in the coffee shop two weeks ago. She had flirted with him and gotten the invitation to the party. She agreed immediately, on the condition that she could bring her girlfriend. He was even more intrigued at that point and demanded that they come. When Victoria hinted to him that they might be willing to play games with him, he nearly passed out in the middle of the shop. Victoria just shook her head it seemed Xena was right again. Men were easy to take to the slaughter you just had to know where to poke them to make them move.
"Victoria darling!" He smiled, approaching the women; he retrieved two glasses of champagne, handing them each one. "How are you?"
"Im fine Des." She shipped the champagne, watching him appraise Xena. She didnt even try to hide the smile on her face.
"This must be Xena. Your lovely companion."
"My," She paused for dramatic effect. "Mistress."
He offered his hand to Xena, who nodded instead of taking his hand. "Mr. Maxwell."
"Please call me Des. I look forward to seeing more of you and Victoria as the evening wears on."
"Umm-hmm." She nodded from behind her champagne glass.
He quirked a brow as he eyed the tall woman. "Tell me Xena. Do you really control this woman?" He leered, running his hand up Victorias arm.
Xena caught his hand. She resisted the urge to break it, then rip it from his body and shove it down his throat. "Mine." She offered in a very low and dangerous tone. "Dont touch."
Victoria giggled a bit for effect as she snuggled closer to Xena. "Shes very possessive."
"So I see." He rubbed his hand to get the circulation back into his fingers. "Well, hopefully after some good food and some good drink she will be relaxed enough to enjoy herself with you later."
"Oh Im sure she will." She reached up, running her fingers under the lapel of his dinner jacket. "Just like I promised you."
His smile widened, he winked at the redhead and moved off to mingle with other guests.
"Temper, temper Xena." Victoria teased.
"Right." She nodded. "Okay Autolycus. Maxwell is downstairs and within sight. Move onto the property and wait for our next signal."
"Righto, old tall, dark and deadly."
Xena smiled at Victoria. "He enjoys his job way too much."
As the evening progressed it became very apparent to Xena and Victoria that they werent at a typical dinner party. It was a party where the guests would experiment with alcohol, drugs and sex. It appeared nothing was taboo in this house.
Xena was pleased at the relaxed atmosphere that invaded the house. Even the guards were relaxing. This would make the job a lot easier. She settled onto a plush sofa in the same room where Maxwell, most of his guests and several of his guards were relaxing and enjoying a variety of vices. She was offered a multitude of drugs, which she waved off, making known her vices of choice were alcohol and Victoria.
She pulled the redhead into her lap, nuzzling her neck and running her hand up her dress. "Do we have their attention?" She whispered.
"Oh yess " Victoria moaned for everyone to hear, answering Xenas question at the same time.
"Mmm good." The tall woman ran her hands all over Victorias body, keeping her head tucked into her neck and hidden in her long hair. "Autolycus, go."
"As you wish O tall, dark and horny."
"Bite me." Xena hissed.
"You just name the spot and tell me how hard." The thief offered. Xena could tell by the strain in his voice that he and Denise had begun the advance to the house.
Victoria kept her eye on the room and its occupants. Everyone in the room was watching her and Xena with a great deal of interest. She noticed a tall willowy brunette attached to Desmonds arm. The woman was obviously enjoying the show by the way she was smiling and licking her lips.
"We got a problem." Xena certainly wasnt expecting that announcement in her ear and her lips stopped against Victorias neck.
"Shit." She mumbled, while Victoria continued to put on a good show. "What?"
"New infrared beams in the office. They must have installed them within the last three days. We cant go in without tripping them."
"Give me five." Xena countered, lifting her head to look at Victoria. She smiled at the redhead. "Darling I need a moment. Do you see anyone youd like to play with?"
She nodded. Turning, she pointed almost shyly at the brunette.
Xena looked then nodded. "Good choice." They rose from the couch making their way to Des and the brunette. Xena grinned at the man. " So would you like them to entertain us?"
"If you are so inclined to share."
Xena turned to Victoria. "Why dont you show her a good time my pet?"
"As you wish Mistress." Victoria took the brunette by the hand, leading her back to the couch.
Xena crossed her arms. Leaning against the wall her eyes traveled back and forth between the staircase and the show on the couch. She looked around the room, finding everyone enjoying what they where seeing. She took a deep breath, bringing her hand to her eye. "Damn!"
"Xena?" Des turned to her.
"Contact. Anywhere I can take care of this?"
"Closest bathroom from here is up the stairs, fourth door on the left."
"Thanks. Back in a flash."
She headed for the stairs. The two guards stationed there moved aside as she approached. She glanced back to find that Maxwell had signaled her clearance up the stairs. When she was at the top she chuckled, pulling a small black case from her pocket. "Silly son of a bitch."
"You rang?" Auto chirped in her ear.
"Not you. The other silly son of a bitch." She pulled a small flat card from the wallet. "Chaney which door is for the office up here?"
From the van, Chaney checked the floor plans for the house then looked at Xena signal on the surveillance monitors. "From where you are, fourth door on the right."
"Thank you. If I can get this under the door can you disable the beams from there?"
"No problem." Chaney answered preparing the equipment he would need to activate the device in Xenas hand.
She moved down the hallway to the door, then slid the card under the door. "Do it."
Chaneys hands worked quickly to send the signal to the device that would disable the beams. It was a simple matter of sending a signal to short out the system. "Got it. The room is good to go."
"Autolycus, dont forget to pick up the card before you leave and make it quick."
"Got it. No hanky panky on the desk before we leave."
"Right. No hanky or panky until we get back to the boat. Then you can fuck like bunnies all night."
She turned, heading back down stairs. She didnt want to be gone any longer than necessary; she knew that if she stayed too long someone would come looking for her. When she reentered the room, a brow shot up. Victoria certainly seemed to be enjoying the brunette. The woman was completely unclothed, half-sitting, half lying on the couch. The redhead was licking traces of what Xena assumed was champagne from between the breasts of the woman under her.
As usual Victoria was still fully dressed, it had become standard operating procedure for them since the one time Xena had to carry the woman over her shoulder, completely naked out of a situation that had gone bad. After that little incident and the fact that Autolycus teased the redhead for a month, they agreed that Victoria would remain clothed.
Xena returned to her position next to Maxwell. She wanted him within striking distance if something should go wrong while Autolycus and Denise were upstairs. Just as she leaned against the wall, securing another glass of champagne from a passing waiter, Autolycus let her know they were in and would need fifteen minutes.
She sipped the champagne, letting it settle on her tongue while she watched Victoria and the brunette. The women were obviously enjoying each other immensely and they had a truly captivated audience. The low moans that cut through the room were the only sound to be heard besides the clinking of crystal champagne glasses.
Victoria slid between the womans legs, wrapping her arms around her thighs and beginning an erotic consumption that even had Xena wishing the champagne were just a little colder. The brunette writhed and moaned loudly, wrapping her hands in Victorias hair. Her hips rolled with each exquisite stroke of the redheads tongue.
Xena grinned, deciding to throw a little more fun into the fun and games. "Not until I say Victoria. Youre not allowed to make her cum until I tell you." The warrior walked over kneeling behind the redhead; she pulled back her hair and kissed her soundly on the neck. She had to stifle a laugh when Victoria groaned.
The brunettes moans were slowly turning into groans of frustration as Victoria kept her from the climax she so desperately needed. Xena looked to Maxwell, who had a very satisfied smirk on his face. She never took her eyes off him as she gave her next command. "Now Victoria, make her cum and make her scream my name."
His eyes darted briefly from the women on the couch to the warrior, then back again. He was totally mesmerized now. Not believing for one moment that the redhead could make the woman scream Xenas name.
"Oh God!" The brunette raised off the couch, gripping Victorias shoulders.
Xena looked around the room at the forty or so people watching the spectacle before them. Flashes of the last three thousand years rolled through her memory and the countless times that this same sort of thing had been played out in various domiciles through the ages. Some things never change, she thought as she sipped her champagne.
The screaming of her own name brought her out of her reflections. She glanced over to see the brunette collapse onto the couch. Panting, sweating and shuddering. She combed her fingers through Victorias hair, lifting her head just slightly to smile at the redhead. "Thank you." She whimpered, before laying her head back again.
"Youre welcome." Xena answered for Victoria as she handed the redhead a silk handkerchief so she could cleanse her face. "Victoria?"
"Yes Mistress." She turned, remaining on her knees she knelt before Xena.
"I think we should be going now. Its been a lovely evening, but now I require your attentions."
"Yes Mistress." Victoria got to her feet and waited for Xena to rise.
The warrior smirked a bit when the redhead handed the handkerchief back to her. "Thanks so much."
"No, thank you, Mistress." Victoria grinned.
"All done." Autolycus intoned. "Now that were all done lets make like trees and leave."
Xena stood, offering her arm to the redhead. She stopped in front of Maxwell on their way out and stuffed the handkerchief in his pocket. "Lovely evening."
The limo got caught in traffic on the way back to the docks. By the time Xena and Victoria arrived, a second launch had been sent to pick them up. Autolycus and his team had already returned to the boat. Once Xena had helped Victoria aboard the yacht from the launch, she climbed up the ladder then stripped off her jacket and began unbuttoning her shirt.
"God, I hate parties." She grumbled, throwing her jacket over her shoulder and heading for the room that had been designated as operations. She flung the door open, to find Chaney working at a computer while Autolycus and Denise looked through a stack of papers. "So what did we end up with?"
Victoria followed, just shaking her head. She took Xenas jacket from her then went to prepare a cup of herbal tea from the warriors own special blend. The tall woman dropped down into a plush leather chair, rubbing her temples.
"Well, we managed to get all his records and make off with a few personal items." Autolycus answered in his I am so proud of myself voice.
"Such as?" Xena growled. Victoria returned and handed the tea to Xena. "Thank you sweetheart." She sighed, sipping her tea. "So what did we get?"
Chaney grinned. "Enough information to send him to prison for rest of his natural life."
"Well, thats good." Xena nodded. "What else?"
"About one hundred thousand in cash. Another half a million in untraceable bonds."
"And," The thief grinned. "A few little baubles." He tossed a jewel-encrusted brooch to the warrior who caught it cleanly with one hand, snatching in out of the air.
She examined the piece. "Nice. Very nice." She handed it to Victoria. "Why dont you add this to your collection darling. It will look stunning on you."
"Yeah," Autolycus piped up. "Ya earned it tonight." He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.
"Yes I did!" Victoria smiled back, tucking the brooch in her cleavage.
"Well, children." Xena stood. "Ill leave you to sort out the details. Im going to bed. Make sure we have a file ready to send to the authorities tomorrow."
"Absolutely." Chaney nodded. "Good night Xena."
The group all wished her a good night and she headed for bed. She knew deep in her heart that she wouldnt have one.
Amphipolis, Greece 44 B.C
The warrior pulled the bard into her arms. Gabrielle placed a soft kiss to Xenas neck. "You know I have to do it." Xena offered quietly.
"I know. And you know I have to be there with you."
"Since you wont gift me "
"Youre splitting hairs now but, I dont want our last night together to be spent arguing. I want to spend it making love."
"Oh I think we can do that." The warrior grinned, working loose the ties of the bards top.
"Glad we agree on at least one thing here."
"Umm-hmm." Xena agreed, letting her mouth settle on the bards neck.
"Ohh yeah " Gabrielle gasped, her head slowly falling back as her top fell to the floor. She felt herself being lifted, then carried to the bed.
Xenas mouth never left her flesh even as the warriors hands completed the task of undressing the bard. Gabrielle had to concentrate on getting Xena out of her leathers because of the roaming hands tracing a fiery path over her skin.
"Unh I unh cant think here."
"Dont." The warrior dropped her head down to a tightly drawn nipple that was just begging to be licked and sucked.
"Oh Gods!" The bard grabbed the dark tresses pressing Xena harder into her. "Thats thats good."
"Umm-hmm." Xena nodded then switched to the other nipple.
"Youre teasing me again." Gabrielle growled.
"Umm-hmm." She agreed once again. Her hand traveled slowly the bards body to her thighs. She gave a playful, gentle slap, indicting that she expected the legs to part for her, which they did without hesitation.
She allowed her fingers to dance gently over the curls, before sliding into the moist depths. To her, there was no other feeling in the world quite like loving her bard. "Oh, Gods, Bri ."
Her own thoughts floundered from there as the bard found some semblance of rational thought, finished undressing her warrior and began her own assault on the body over her. While Xenas very skilled hands carried her toward the heights of passion her own mouth found exposed bronzed flesh which demanded its own attention.
Instead of the gentle caresses and kisses the bard was receiving, she knew Xena wanted and even demanded her own attentions a little rougher. The bard nipped the flesh near the base of her neck with her lips. She brought her hands around, grazing her nails up and down Xenas back. She loved the sounds that she managed to make Xena release when they made love. Very animalistic and primal, full of fury contained.
She knew Xena held back when they made love. On the rare occasions that she managed to get her to relax and let go, she always awoke the next morning sore with bites and scratches on her body, but it was always well worth the effort. In order to get Xena to let go the bard had to start by being aggressive.
Gabrielle felt Xena straining to maintain control, her breathing was ragged, muscles tensed then relaxed. Her touch on the bards body would increase then she seemed to catch herself and relax again. Her entire body shook with conflict between what she was giving and what she wanted.
The bard pulled herself up, biting the warriors earlobe before whispering, "Take me Xena, fuck me."
The warrior growled when the gates came crashing down. All of her efforts to make slow, sweet love to her bard were washed away with the pounding her heart and the flood from her own body and the body under her.
She lowered herself down, taking Gabrielle in every way possible except for one. The one the bard had hope to antagonize the warrior into. As their bodies slid against each other, their passion collided together, they climaxed in unison, groaning and clawing at each others bodies. Xena felt the extension coming on and the urge to bite down.
"Do it Xena please " Gabrielle begged, exposing her neck to further entice her lover.
Xena fought the urges as she rode through her climax. "No!" She growled.
They collapsed against each other, sweating and breathing hard. Xena pulled the blonde into her arms, kissing her on the forehead. "I love you too much to do that to you Bri." She tried to explain through the pants as her breathing decreased.
"I know Xe. I know." Gabrielle snuggled closer to her lovers strong body. "I love you too."
Miami, Florida Present Day
Xena came up out if her bed sweating and crying. She tossed back the covers getting to her feet she grabbed a robe and headed up on deck. She stood on deck in the chilly night air. Grasping her robe around her, staring at the stars, crying silently and feeling so very, very lonely.
"God, Bri, I miss you. It gets harder every day. To know Im going to live forever and not to have you by my side. My heart aches and my soul hurts. Im sorry I didnt bring you with me." Her voice cracked as her tears began to flow harder down her cheeks and the anger rose in her chest. " Im sorry I didnt understand then. Im sorry I didnt know then, what I know now." She moved to the rail of the ship, gripping it she raised her head to the night sky and screamed. "Im sorry Bri! Forgive me!"
She dropped her head, trying to get control of her anger, frustration and pain. She took a deep breath, raising her head, shaking it slightly. "Im so sorry my love." She whispered.
"She forgives you Xe." His voice was soft in the night air.
She turned to find Autolycus. "Im not so sure. Why am I dreaming about her so much lately?"
"Because you love her and you miss her." He moved to her slowly, draping the blanket in his hands around her shoulders.
She noticed for the first time that he had no shirt or slippers on and was dressed only in boxer shorts. A quick sniff of the air sent her into a slightly embarrassed stammer. "Im Im sorry I disturbed your feeding Autolycus."
"Dont be ridiculous Xe." He wrapped them both in the blanket, holding her tightly in his arms. "We were down to the cuddling stage anyhow and you know how much I hate that." He teased.
"Right. Thats why you and I always sleep so close together light cant get between us."
"I only enjoy cuddling with you."
She looked into her friends face; his hazel eyes were always alive and full of mischief. "You know, you make my life bearable. I dont know what I would have done without you."
"You would have ended up living in the jungle somewhere. Killing large snakes with your bare hands and scaring natives into thinking you were some kind of ghost."
She snorted a small laugh, burying her head in his shoulder. "Youre right."
"Of course Im right. Im Autolycus, King of Thieves." He pulled back from her, wiping tears from her cheeks. "And the cool part is I get to be king forever."
She grinned, giving his palm a soft kiss.
"And you know what they say?" He continued.
"Its good to be the king." They said together, laughing slightly, falling into each others arms once again.
He moved her to a large deck chair, settling down with her re-wrapping them both in the blanket. They sat there together, holding each other just watching the night sky.
"We used to argue about the stars." She said quietly.
"What about? How many of them were up there? Or better yet, knowing Gabrielle what they were made out of?"
She laughed again. "No. We used to argue about the Big Dipper. I told her it looked like a dipper. She used to say it was a bear."
"Turns out you were both right." He offered, kissing the top of her head, holding her closer.
"We generally were. The only two people I know who could approach the same subject from different points of view and both be right. I should have listened to her Autolycus. I should have made her like me. She was right. I was wrong and I got her killed."
"Xena you didnt get her killed. Caesar killed Gabrielle."
"The night before the battle, we made love and she tried then to get me to do it and I wouldnt."
"I know, and youve been blaming yourself every since. Its time to stop Xena. Gabrielle would kick your butt for laying all this guilt on yourself."
"I wish she could." She closed her eyes, resting her head against his shoulder. I really wish she could."
Autolycus still held her as the sun came up. He had watched the moon set and the sunrise as Xena slept in his arms. He looked up into the morning sky as a gull passed over the ship. He sighed, feeling Xena curl closer to his side.
"I dont know which one of you is listening," He whispered to any God that would listen to him. "But its time for this to end. Its time to let them be together. Youve tormented her enough. She a good person who has paid for her sins ten thousand times over. Let this end. One way or the other it has to end."
As the sun rose further into the sky, Xena began to stir, blocking her eyes. She groaned, holding her hand over her eyes. He laughed bringing the blanket up over her head. "You know, you give real credence to that whole vampire-sunlight thing."
"Go to hell." She grumbled, hiding further under the blanket. "I need my glasses."
"You keep hiding out under the blanket and Ill go get them."
"Thats a good plan." She mumbled.
He extracted himself from the blanket and disappeared below deck. Moving through the boat to her stateroom he met up with Victoria in the passageway.
"Is she okay?"
"No Victoria, she not. Ive never seen her quite like this."
"I heard her up on deck last night. I was going to go up, but I figured that youd go up. She doesnt seem to want to be near me when she gets like that."
"I think its because she cares for you so much. Youre a lot like Gabrielle. I think that scares her a little."
She nodded. "Do you think shed like some breakfast?"
"Always. Lets have it up on deck this morning. I think she needs the air and the sunshine."
"Okay. Ill bring it up."
"Auto, you know if there was anyway "
"I know." He gave her a hug around the shoulders. "Maybe we need a vacation."
"Our life is a vacation. What we need to do is find Gabrielle."
"If only that were possible."
"It might be." Chaney interrupted as he came into the passageway. "I want to show you something."
"Okay." Autolycus sounded doubtful.
"What did you say Gabrielle looked like?" The young man withdrew a picture from a folder.
"She was about five four, shoulder length blonde hair, green eyes, very cute little nose. Oh hell, I dont know, why?"
He handed the picture to the thief. His eyes widened as he took in the image. "Thats Gabrielle. Well, I mean it looks like her, it cant be her, but it, oh shit."
"Yeah, we got a real bad boy last night. Drugs werent his only scheme. He runs a white slavery ring too. Ive got files on almost five hundred girls." He pointed to the photo. "Shes a new acquisition of his."
"Ah fuck!" Auto growled. "We need to tell Xena ."
"Tell Xena what?" She grumbled, ducking into the entrance, moving toward her stateroom.
Autolycus handed her the photo without a word. She looked at it for a moment, then her eyes met his. "Is this a joke? If it is its not very damn funny!"
"No, Xena, its no joke." The thief shook his head. "Tell her Chaney."
"It would appear that Mr. Maxwells other business opportunities also include white slavery and prostitution. This girl," He checked his file. "Ah, Andrea Banister, seems to be one of his newest."
"Where is she?"
Xena pushed the photo into Chaneys hands. "Get us there. Yesterday. Ill be packing. Autolycus, Victoria, youre with me. Chaney, you and Denise stay here and make sure that Maxwell goes to jail and doesnt move these girls before we get to L.A."
"Everyone get packed."
She sat in a leather swivel chair on board the jet, staring alternately between the photo and the window. Autolycus sat across the table from her, quietly, waiting for her to say something. Victoria sat a cup of tea down in front of Xena, then took a seat across the aisle from the two friends, sipping her own tea.
Xena finally looked to the thief. "Its not her you know."
"I dont know what to think Xena. She looks exactly like Gabrielle."
"Gabrielle died three thousand years ago at the end of a Roman sword. I held her in my arms as she died. I carried her to the funeral pyre myself. I stood there and watched her body burn. Then I took her ashes and spread them at the waterfall where we were married."
"I know, but look at her. Can you sit here and tell me that some part of you doesnt want to believe that its her?"
"Of course I want to believe it. Of course I want it to be her, but how can it be?"
"Rebirth?" Victoria offered.
"Reincarnation?" Autolycus added.
"You have to admit Xena, nothing is impossible. We are three living examples of that fact. Vampires arent suppose to exist either." Victoria quirked a brow.
The warrior sighed, tossing the photo to the table, then retrieved her tea, sipping it quietly while staring out the window.
"Answer me this, Xena." Autolycus leaned forward, arms resting on the table. He tapped the photo. "If you dont think its her, why are we flying to L.A. to find her?"
"Because regardless of who she is. Shes in trouble."
"Shes not the only one. The file has a whole list of women ."
"And well help them too." She turned her head, giving her friend a bit of a glare.
"But her especially?"
"Yes." She finally admitted quietly with a nod. "Yes." She returned her stare to the window.
The thief leaned back into his own seat, allowing her head to lilt toward Victoria, who just shrugged.
Xena hated L.A., not because it was L.A. but because it was just another city. That was the reason for the yacht. The boat gave her the power and freedom to move around as she pleased. She made the three hundred-foot boat her home and for very good reasons. She had long ago giving up living in cities. She still enjoyed her solitude and the companionship of a select few.
She would have stayed aboard and brought the boat to L.A. if it hadnt been so imperative that they get into the city before Maxwell had a chance to move the girls on the list to another site.
She knew they had a limited amount of time. While she was certain that Maxwell was going to jail for a very long time, she wasnt naive enough to think that all of this would happen over night. He would be arrested and depending on how the matter was handled by the authorities he might even make bail and have time to hide a few of his illicit activities.
Autolycus had actually made arrangements for them to stay at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena. It had private cottages surrounded by gardens and it was tucked away from the hustle of LA proper.
Xena paced back and forth in the dining room of the cottage. She was so tense the energy around her simply crackled. Victoria watched, wanting to say something, to offer her friend some kind of comforting word, but she knew it would be useless.
"Okay," Autolycus called, entering the dining room with a slight bounce to his step. "Heres the latest intel from Chaney. The girls on the list are currently working as dancers or waitresses at a strip club downtown."
"Oh what a sweet guy! He breaks them into the prostitution gradually. After this is all over Im going back to back to Miami and rip his fucking head off his shoulders. Prisons too damn good for him."
"Xena calm down." He attempted to soothe her temper before she totally combusted.
"Calm down? Calm down? Autolycus, how in the hell am I suppose to calm down when Gabrielle is down there in that ." She stopped her rant when the words coming from her mouth were finally heard by her ears.
"Dont think its her huh?" He crossed his arms, lifting his brow.
She dropped into a chair, her head falling forward. "I dont know. I dont know what to think."
"Well, I think," Victoria offered, moving to Xena, rubbing her shoulders. "We should go to this club and check it out. And if it is her we get her the hell out of there."
"Sounds like youre suggesting a kidnapping." Xena took Victorias hand, giving it a little kiss.
"If thats what it takes, I am."
"Tell you what," Autolycus moved to stand in front of his friends. "Why dont you wait here and let Victoria and I go check it out?"
"This from the man who booked our passage on the Titanic." Xena rolled her eyes to look at Victoria.
"Youre never going to forgive me for that are you?" He asked, jamming his hands in his pockets.
"Not for as long as we live."
"I just think in this case you should let us go check it out first. You are a wreck. You need to rest."
"And you think Ill rest knowing where you are? How long have we known each other?"
"Okay, okay, but will you promise not to do anything stupid?"
"I promise. I just want to see her. If it is her, Ill know."
The club was just as Xena expected, dark, smoky and full of idiots who only wanted to get as drunk as possible then get their hands on every young girl in the place. She took a seat in the back of the club that afforded her a complete view of the place. She looked around at all the girls, not seeing who she was looking for, she asked Autolycus to make a discreet inquiry as to whether Andrea was working tonight.
Victoria gave a drink order to a young woman, trying to strike up a conversation with her. She found that with the proper monetary inducement, it wasnt difficult. Xena just sat back, sipping her drink and watching her friend try to get any information out of the woman that might be helpful.
"Can you tell me if Andrea Banister is working here?"
"Yeah, shell be in, in about an hour. She waits tables too."
Xena felt the relief wash over her, at least this girl wasnt dancing or hooking yet. She dropped her hand in her jacket pocket, allowing her fingers to dance over the item she had there.
"Well," Victoria pressed a hundred into the womans hand. "When she comes in could you send her over here?"
The waitress looked at the bill. "Hell for another one of these Ill send her over here naked."
"Just send her over. Clothed is fine."
Autolycus returned to the table. He settled down next to Xena taking his own drink into his hand. "Shell be here ."
"In an hour. We know. Victoria already found out."
"Well, I would like to suggest that if you think this might be her. We find a way to get her the hell out of here. The dancers arent the hookers the waitresses are."
"Yeah and apparently you order them. Then there are rooms upstairs where you can go."
"Fucking wonderful." Xena growled.
"This is Andreas first night."
"Christ!" Xena slammed her glass down, shifting angrily in her chair.
"Youre awfully close to doing something stupid," Autolycus whispered past his glass. "Relax. Well get her out, but Xena you have to stay calm. There are lots of big bad guys here with big bad guns."
"And I care because?" She lifted a questioning brow. "Im immortal remember?"
Victoria laid her hand on Xenas arm. "Yes, you are, but Andreas not. Dont do anything that will get her hurt."
"You mean like last time?" The warrior hissed.
Victoria sat back in her chair, leaving her hand on Xenas arm, but she could tell that her friend was too close to the edge to be reasoned with. "No, Xena, thats not what I meant."
She sighed, taking Victorias hand, bringing it to her lips. "Im sorry my pet. I just "
"Its okay Xena."
"No, its not okay. I shouldnt treat you like that and bite your head off. Im sorry, forgive me." She leaned in, brushing her lips to the womans cheek. "Please forgive me."
Victoria caressed Xenas face. "Nothing to forgive. I know this is hard for you. I hope we are successful here. I hope we find her and can take her home with us."
Amphipolis, Greece 44 B.C
Xena sat atop Argo, shifting uncomfortably in the saddle. She looked into the valley at the Roman troops that would be advancing on her village, on her home. She knew this was Caesars last attempt to destroy her before he declared himself Emperor of Rome.
The fact that she had discovered his plan and informed Brutus, had infuriated the ruler. He knew that Brutus might just be the one person that could stop his plan. Xena had heard that Caesar was planning on sending Brutus off to some Gods forsaken place then have him assassinated. Apparently, he had extended his plan to include Xena as well.
She looked down when she felt a hand on her leg. "Bri you shouldnt be here. You agreed to stay back."
"I cant Xe. I have to be here, with you."
"Then come on." She extended her hand to the bard. "You stay with me. Stick close."
Gabrielle allowed herself to be pulled up behind the warrior. She settled in wrapping her arms around Xenas waist. "Xe, no matter what happens please remember I love you. I always have and I always will."
"Bri dont talk like that," Xena twisted in the saddle so she could see her bard. "Everything will be just fine."
She was quieted by the warm insistent lips of her partner. The bard left the kiss, pulling back, caressing Xenas face. "I love you. Now just tell me that you love me and lets go do this thing."
"I love you Gabrielle."
Xena and the bard rode into the battle together. Side by side, they fought the Romans, protecting Xenas childhood home. The villagers fought valiantly, it appeared they were successfully beating back the Romans when he rode onto the battlefield. He never faltered in his direction or his intention. He rode through the battle and merely picked her up, throwing her over his horse. He retreated back into his own troops and was well protected before Xena even realized anything was wrong.
When she felt it, she turned to find him standing on the rise looking down at her, holding a knife to Gabrielles throat. He called the retreat of his men. When the field was clear he waited for her to draw near because he knew she would.
"Xena! I came here to destroy you and thats what I intend to do!"
"Let her go!"
"I will Xena, I will." She pushed on Gabrielles shoulders, sending her to her knees. He waved a centurion over, never taking his eyes from Xena he gave the order. "Kill her!"
The Roman soldier drew his sword back, without hesitation ran the bard through then twisted and drew the blade up and out. It was a fatal wound.
Gabrielles gaze never left her beloved warrior even as the blade entered her body tearing her to pieces. She even smiled at little as her thoughts returned to the last night that she and Xena had spent together.
Caesar mounted his horse, calling down to Xena. "Ive destroyed you Xena. You can not change my destiny!" He turned the horse, called a retreat and rode away.
Xena ran as fast as her legs would carry her, Gabrielle was doing her best to remain on her knees she finally collapsed into Xenas arms.
"Bri! Oh Gods what have I done?"
"Dont," She gasped a bit, blood trickled from her lips as she felt Xena trying to staunch the flow of blood. "Say good-bye Xe just hold me "
Xena drew her tight into her arms, running her fingers through her hair over and over again kissing her forehead as the tears ran down her cheeks. "Dont leave me Bri. Please!" She begged through her tears.
"Love you "
"Oh Gods," The warrior choked on her sobs. "I love you too Bri. Im sorry. Im so sorry!" She collapsed over her Bards body when she felt the last breath leave the woman. After several moments she lifted her head, releasing a scream that stilled every other sound in the valley.
Los Angeles, California Present Day
Xena tapped the table impatiently. She looked to Autolycus, who shrugged. Victoria patted her hand. "Shell be here." She offered quietly.
The warrior picked her glass up to sip her drink, when she caught sight of her coming through the crowd. The glass slowly made its way back to the table; Xenas eyes never left the woman coming to the table. "Its her." She whispered. "I can feel it. Its Gabrielle."
She stopped at the edge of the table looking at the three occupants. She took each one of them in. "Grace said you wanted to see me. Do I know any of you?"
"No." Autolycus was quick to answer. "But Desmond Maxwell said we should ask for you."
Xena felt her the woman shudder. She simply wanted to reach out and take her into her arms. To protect her and love her.
"Are you friends of Des?" Her voice quivered with the question.
"We are not his friends, but we do know each other." Xena offered. "Weve done business."
"I see. Umm, what can I do for you?"
Xena rose from the table. She retrieved the item from her pocket and placed it in the womans hand, closing her fingers around it. "Take this." She then fished a card from her pocket and handed it to her. "And when you remember, call this number." She released the womans hands and leaned over to Autolycus to whisper in his ear. "Pay whatever you have to, just keep her out of the upstairs. Im going back to the cottage."
"Yes Xena." The thief nodded.
Xena looked at the woman one last time. She reached out, caressing her face. "Ive missed you Bri. Come home. Please."
The woman could only watch as the warrior walked away. She opened her hand to find a necklace with a small object at the end of it. She could tell by looking at it that it was very old and very expensive. "What what was that all about?"
"Have a seat." Victoria pushed a chair out for her. "Well try to answer all your questions as best we can."
Xena tossed and turned. There was no way she was sleeping tonight. She looked at the clock. It was nearly two in the morning, Victoria and Autolycus hadnt returned yet.
She rolled away from the clock, curling around a pillow. Those eyes, it was her eyes that had been the true give away. There was no way the bards soul could ever be hidden once she looked into her eyes. It had taken every ounce of restraint she had not to just pull her into her arms and kiss her in the hopes that she would remember.
She heard movement in the outer rooms. She continued to listen, waiting for someone to come and fill her in. A soft knock on her bed room door made her sit up a bit, running her finger through her hair. "Come in." When the door opened she got a familiar tingle she hadnt felt in a very long time.
"Xena?" Her voice was soft, but it was definitely her voice.
"May I come in?"
She nodded. Then she realized the woman couldnt hear her head nodding, she swallowed hard before answering, feeling very nervous. "Yes." Xena reached over to snap on the bedside lamp.
The woman closed the door, then crossed the room taking a seat on the edge of the bed. They sat there, neither one of them looking at the other and not a word spoken between them.
Finally, the blonde took a deep breath and held up the necklace. "Whats this?"
"Umm its a chakram."
"Why did you give it to me?"
"Because its yours. It belongs to you."
"I dont know you and Ive never seen this before."
Xena felt her heart drop at these words. "Uhn, well, maybe you could put it on and accept it as a gift."
"What do you want in return?"
"Nothing. I just wanted you to have it."
"Why did you call me Bri at the club?"
"You remind me of someone I knew once."
"Her name was Bri?"
The blonde turned to look at her. "And this was hers wasnt it?"
Xena nodded, pulling her own necklace from her T-shirt. "It goes with this one."
"But Im not her. You should keep it."
Xena nodded. "All right, but will you do one thing for me first?"
"Yes. Your friend hired me from the club for the night. Ill do whatever you want."
The warrior bit her lip to push the tears back. She choked just a little before she tried to speak. "Put it on, just so I can see it."
The blonde fastened the necklace around her neck then she slid up the edge of the bed, turning just a bit so Xena could see. The warrior reached out taking the chakram between her fingers, never touching the woman. Xena leaned forward, taking her own necklace and pressing them together so they became one. The position brought their faces close together.
"See?" Xena took a deep breath, inhaling her bards scent. "They belong together. Just like we do."
"If thats what you want." The blonde leaned in to kiss her.
Xena used her thumbnail to pry apart the chakrams. She pulled back from the blonde. "No. Not until you know in your heart. When you do, Ill be here for you."
"What if I dont?"
"You will. If there is any justice left in the universe at all, you will."
The blonde reached out and brushed Xenas hair back from her face. "You have beautiful eyes."
"Theyve been looking for you for a long time." Xena smiled.
"I umm I dont want to go back to the club." It was a sad admission.
"You dont have to. There is another bedroom. I can show you where it is."
"Xena. I mean I dont want to go back there, ever. Im scared. If I go back there Ill have to do things I dont want to do ." Her voice cracked as her head dropped.
The warrior watched as the tears fell from the blondes eyes, leaving wet spots on her dress. "You dont have to go back there." She offered softly.
"Hell come after me. Maxwell will come after me. I owe him a lot of money."
"Hell have to go through me first. I can almost guarantee he wont be coming after you. "
The blonde looked up giving a little smile, wiping her cheeks. "Why me? Why would you help me?"
"Because I love you. I always have and I always will." The warrior watched as she cocked her head. She smiled, knowing that somewhere deep inside the little blonde, those words struck a chord with her. She reached out, wiping away the tears. "Dont cry. Youre safe here. No one can hurt you." Xena chuckled a little. "Besides, I always hated it when you cried and I still do."
Daylight brought a smile to the warriors face. Lying in the bed next to her was her bard. They had ended up spending a lot of the night talking until the blonde fell asleep. Xena was more than happy to tuck her into the big bed and allow her to sleep there.
They didnt touch each other and slept with a fairly large distance between them, but Xena was just grateful to have the blonde in her bed again. She rolled over to watch her sleep. She glanced at the clock, to see it was nearly one in the afternoon. She stretched a little, and then she slowly got up so she wouldnt disturb her bedmate.
Putting on a robe, she made her way to the outer room. Victoria and Autolycus were seated at the table having lunch. "Well hello sleepyhead?" The thief grinned. "Wheres Gabrielle?"
"Thats not Bri, at least not yet. She doesnt remember." Xena said, taking a seat at the table, pouring a cup of coffee. "God, its bright in here. Where are my glasses?"
Victoria rose from the table, retrieving Xenas glasses from the desk. She settled back at the table, handing them to the warrior. "Here you go."
"Ah, thank you," She sighed slipping them into place. "Much better. What would I do without you Victoria?"
"I dunno. But I hope you never want to find out."
Xena took her hand giving it a little kiss. "Never, my pet. No matter what happens. You will remain with me. You have been with me for far too long."
"Thank you Xena."
"Of course. You didnt think," Xena sat up a bit straighter in her chair, dropping her glasses to look at Victoria. "You didnt think that I would just "
She waved her hand at Xena. "You will have her back in your life Xena. I didnt want there to be any complications for you, or her."
"Victoria youve been with me for a very long time. We will all learn to adjust. You are very important to me. I dont intend for you to go anywhere. Once we have Gabrielle back, she will understand and she will accept you too."
Victoria smiled. She rose again giving Xena a little kiss on her cheek. "Im going for a swim. Ill be back soon."
"All right my pet. Enjoy yourself." Xena watched the woman leave through the French doors. She sighed then looked to Autolycus. "What am I gonna do?"
"Enjoy yourself. Gee, Xe, I wish I had your problems. Two women who adore you."
"One woman who adores me and another one who doesnt remember me."
Xena looked to her friends plate. "What is that?"
"BLT on wheat. Why?"
She stood taking her coffee and half his sandwich. "Looks great. Thanks." She turned making her way back to her room.
"Help yourself." He called before settling back in his chair, tossing his napkin into his plate.
Xena sipped her coffee and ate the sandwich as she moved silently around her bedroom, getting ready to shower. She smiled when she heard the groan from the bed. She turned to find the blonde slowly waking up.
"Good afternoon." She sat down on the edge of the bed, gently running her fingers through blonde hair.
"Hmm. Thank you."
"Letting me stay here last night."
Xena chuckled. "I told you it was all right. You could have had your own bed."
She sat up, shaking her head slightly. "No. I mean for letting me stay here, with you, in this bed."
The warrior smiled. "Anytime. So tell me what should I call you?"
"My friends call my Andie."
Xena nodded. "Andie it is then. Im going to take a shower and get dressed. Then well decide what we should do next."
"You know I realized that its unfair for me to ask you to get involved in my problems."
Now the tall woman laughed. "Andie, Ive been getting involved in other peoples problems for a very long time." She stood, crossing to her closet she removed a pair of slacks and a sports shirt. "As a matter of fact, the first time we met, I was bailing you out."
"Tell me about it."
"The first time we met."
"You believe me?" She turned slightly, looking over her shoulder at Andie.
"I dont know what to believe. You seem to believe it."
"What did Autolycus and Victoria tell you?"
"They said that you had been looking for me for a very long time. That you believed I was your soul mate."
"Leave it up to them to get straight to the point."
"Hes a very interesting man and she seems to care for you a great deal."
"Yes. Thats true in both cases."
"Are they your lovers?"
"To some extent yes. Autolycus and I love each other a lot, but we dont sleep together." She shook her head a little. "Thats not quite true either. We do sleep together but we only sleep together."
"Like we did last night?"
Andie sat up against the headboard of the bed, pulling the covers over her knees. "What about Victoria?"
"Hmm. Well, let me put it this way." She took a seat on the bed. "I share something special with Victoria. We each fulfill a need in the other. I have made love to her. She has never made love to me and we have never slept together."
"You have very unusual relationships."
"To say the least." She agreed. "I do what I can, but Ive tried to remain faithful."
Xena turned quickly to face Andie. "What?"
"You wanted to remain faithful to Gabrielle?"
Xena smiled. "How did you know her name? Did Autolycus or Victoria tell you?"
"I didnt tell you either. Where did you get the name?"
"I dont know it was just there. I just knew it."
"Something about it felt," She paused, looking to Xena. "familiar."
"Im sure it does."
"Its a beautiful name."
"For a beautiful woman."
"Xena will you do something for me? I just need to know."
Andie moved across the bed to the warrior. "Kiss me."
"Andie I dont know "
"Maybe it will jog my memory." She lifted a playful brow. "Please."
She still couldnt resist a well place please. She leaned in slowly. Their lips met, gently, barely brushing against each other. Xena leaned in further, taking more of a kiss. Her desire for her bard overrode any common sense that might have been left in the back of her mind. The kiss deepened as their arms wrapped around each other.
Andie pulled back, laying them back on the bed as the kiss continued. Xena heard the whimper as she pulled away; it came from her own chest. "I cant do this."
"Xena you want it."
"I want ."
"You want Gabrielle?"
"Can I tell you something?"
"I had a dream last night. You and I were in a field. It was a warm, starry night, we were wrapped in each others arms and we were making love. You called me Gabrielle. You told me you loved me. That was when you gave me this." She lifted the necklace.
Xena smiled, lifting up on one elbow. "Do you remember anything else?"
"No, but I think the dream I had was a real memory."
The warrior nodded. "It was. I gave you the necklace right after we made love one night when we were on the road."
The blonde searched Xenas eyes. "I am Gabrielle, arent I?"
"We love each other?"
"We did once. Very, very much."
"Do you think we could again?"
"I could." Xena nodded. "I never stopped."
"Im confused. I came here last night one person and woke up this morning another. Or at least with the memories of another person. Im not sure who I am right now."
"I know," Xena lifted up, sitting up next to her. "And thats why I dont want to push this. I want you to remember Gabrielle. I want you to really remember what it was like to be her, to be in love with me."
"I want to remember that too Xena."
"Its going to take time. But," Xena stood up, collecting herself and her wits. "Time is something that we have plenty of. Im going to take a shower. Why dont you go have Autolycus order you some lunch? The BLT on wheat isnt bad." She offered with a grin.
He sat back in his chair, sipping juice, watching her eat. He just shook his head. She smiled at him from behind her own juice glass. "Something funny?"
"No, its just that Gabrielle had quite an appetite too. Seems that some things carry over from one life to the next."
"Explain that to me will you?"
"I dont understand exactly when all of this was supposed to have happened."
"Hmm well now," The thief leaned forward. "Thats a tough one. Im not sure how to explain it. Do you believe in reincarnation?"
"Well that helps. We think you are Gabrielle reincarnated."
"That much I figured out. What I dont know is from when. Im twenty-eight. Xena cant be that much older than I am. So how could she possibly have been looking for me? Wait, does she think she was reincarnated too?"
He laughed, sitting back in his chair again. "Umm no. Xena is a lot older than she looks."
"Autolycus!" Xenas voice cut him off. She moved into the room, shaking her head as a warning. She stopped next to the blondes chair. "Do you know what Autolycus stands for?"
"No." Andie answered with a grin.
"Its Greek for, he has a big mouth." She knelt down next to the chair. "Andie do you trust me?"
"Okay then, Im going to ask you not to push this. If you regain your memories of being Gabrielle then all your questions will be answered. However, if you get too much information to quickly you may not be able to handle it." She took Andies hand, giving it a little kiss. "Trust me."
"I have a feeling that I always have." She glanced to Autolycus who nodded. "Thought so."
"So ladies," Xena grinned at Victoria and Andie. "Im thinking a shopping trip is in order. Andie youre going to need some new clothes and Victoria my pet you just deserve some new things for putting up with me for these last few days. What do you think?"
They both got up from their respective seats, each of them moving to her side and wrapping their arms around her, kissing her on the cheek. Just as this happened Autolycus entered from his room. "Oh yeah, I wish I had your problems." He laughed.
"Were going shopping Autolycus, call for the limo will you?"
"It would be my pleasure. Do I get to go?"
"Oh yeah," Xena nodded. "Im turning the ladies loose on Rodeo Drive. You get to stay with me and be bored senseless."
"Im sure we can find something to get in to." The thief offered with a wink.
"Im sure of it." Xena nodded, giving each of the women a kiss on the forehead. "Especially with these two." This comment got her a slap to each arm.
"Oh yeah I wish I had your problems." The thief laughed again, lifting the receiver to call for the car.
Xena merely handed them both a credit card and waved them off. "Go. Have fun. Autolycus and I will be here somewhere."
"Knowing Victoria and her ability to shop," The thief grinned at the redhead. "Sound asleep in the car by the time you get done."
Andie turned the card over in her hands then looked to Xena. "Gabrielle use to do this for you, didnt she? All the shopping I mean."
"Most of it." Xena offered. "I never was any good at it and always hated it."
"She still does." Victoria smiled, looping her arm through Andies. "So lets go have some fun and leave these two to do whatever it is they do when they are left alone together."
Andie smiled. She had decided she liked the redhead, although even after just a few short hours, she felt a certain jealously over the womans attachment to Xena. As they made their way toward a shop, Andie turned back for just a moment to look at Xena and Autolycus. "You love her dont you?"
Victoria nodded. "We all love her."
"But I mean you really love her."
"Yes." Victoria admitted quietly. "I have for a very long time."
"Have you told her?"
"No. It wouldnt do any good."
"Because she loves you. She always has and she always will."
Autolycus sipped his beer, then sat it down on the bar, running his finger over the rim. "So now what?"
"Now, we turn the file over the LAPD, let them shut that club down, take Andie and get the hell out of here and go back to the boat."
"What if she doesnt want to go?"
"You just had to say that didnt you?" She sat her drink down, turning to her friend. "You just couldnt let me believe it might be that easy could you?"
"Have I ever let you believe it was going to be easy?"
"No, no you havent."
Athens, Greece 44 B.C.
Xena tied her horse to the post. She took a deep breath, looking over her shoulder for the bard. She hated it, that she still did that. A deep sigh and she headed into the tavern.
"I can I tell you this," Autolycus voice caught her ear the moment she stepped into the place. "Its a damn good thing that hes dead. Couldnt have happened to a nicer guy."
The warrior walked over to the table where her friend was engaged in a conversation with several other men. "Autolycus?"
"Xena! What are you doing here? Did you come to celebrate the good news?" He looked past her for the bard. "Wheres Gabrielle?"
She took a deep breath, answering quietly. "Gabrielle is dead Autolycus. Caesar killed her. Im here to catch a boat. Im going to Rome ."
He stood, taking his friend by the arm and her walking away. "Okay, I want to know whats going on, but you dont have to go to Rome Xena. Havent you heard? Caesar is dead. He has been for almost a month."
"What?" Her anger flared at the thought that she had been cheated out of the chance to avenge Gabrielle.
He walked her outside, explaining as he went. "He was assassinated by his own people. Now whats this about Gabrielle?"
"He killed her. He had one of his soldiers run her through with a sword."
"Oh Gods, Xena, no."
She nodded. "I was going to "
"You mean you hadnt tuned her ." His question died on his lips when she glared at him.
"What!? That I didnt turn her like me? No, Autolycus, I didnt and now shes dead."
"Xena, Im sorry."
"Not half as sorry as I am."
"What are you going to do?"
"I dont know." She shook her head. "I just dont know. I dont know how I can live forever without her."
"Is there anything I can do?"
"Yeah," She took Agros reins in her hands. "Forget I ever existed. Forget you ever knew me."
He grabbed her by the arm. "No! I wont do that."
"Let go of me Autolycus!" She hissed.
"No! Xena I know youre upset, but ." He tightened his grip. "I wont let you go, not like this."
"Dont make me hurt you. Ive hurt enough people. I killed Gabrielle."
"You did not. You just told me Caesar had her killed."
"Because of me. Now let go!"
She turned, hitting her friend and knocking him backward. He staggered a bit, then charged her, grabbing her around the waist, throwing them both from the porch of the tavern.
They fought for several moments, trading punches until the thief could take no more. He threw a final punch before collapsing to the ground. Xena staggered a bit, running a hand over her bloodied lip. She shook her head before picking up her friend and tossing him over the saddle of her horse. "You put up a damn good fight, for a thief."
She walked out of town leading her mare with her friends body slung over her horse. She walked until the sun began to set then she stopped and made camp. She took him from her horse placing him out the ground. It was when she laid him out in on the ground that she realized something was dreadfully wrong. His breathing was ragged and he was horribly pale.
"Oh no, not you too!" She yelled, trying to get him to respond to her. Her anger flared, the light flashed when the concept that her friend was dying settled in. She let her rage build to bring on the extension. "I wont let you die too. Not because of me! Gods forgive me Autolycus."
She leaned in, piercing his neck drawing in his life force and replacing it with her own. It was either that, or let him die and she had decided that no one would die because of her again. Gabrielle had been enough.
Once the deed was done, she settled back on her haunches watching his breathing even out and the color return to his face. She watched in the firelight as the bite mark healed over. He was the first. The first in what would actually become a long line, the line that would become her family. A family that would never include Gabrielle.
They were leaning on the limo when Andie and Victoria returned from shopping. The driver immediate opened the trunk, moving quickly to help the ladies with their packages. Xena and Autolycus decided that they should help too after receiving snide comments and disapproving looks from the women.
"So did you have fun?" Xena asked, placing a few packages in the truck. "Looks like you tried to break the bank."
"Not possible." Victoria grinned, handing more packages to the tall woman. "And yes, we had a delightful time."
"Well good." Xena leaned in, giving Andie a little kiss on the cheek. Autolycus opened the door to the limo as the trunk was closed. He helped Victoria in, then Andie. He offered his hand to Xena only to get it slapped away. "Smart ass." She growled getting into the car ahead of him.
"Just try to be a nice guy." He smirked, following her into the car.
Victoria and Autolycus opted to go out to dinner, to give Xena and Andie some time alone together. They sat on the couch, sipping wine and talking about the club where the blonde was supposed to be working.
" Xena please! I just cant leave her there." Andie pleaded with the tall woman. "Shes my friend."
"Andie. The police will make sure ."
"Can you be sure of that?"
Xena sighed; looking into those green eyes that held her heart firmly in their depths. "All right. Well go together and get her tonight. The police arent planning on moving in right away."
Andie wrapped her arms around Xenas waist, laying her head on her shoulder. "Thank you."
"I told you no once. I wont make that mistake again." Xena replied, embracing her. "I wont make that mistake again." She whispered again tightening her hold.
"Victoria is in love with you. You do know this right?"
"You dont love her?"
"Yes I do. In my own way. I just cant give her my heart."
"Because that belongs to you."
"It belongs to Gabrielle."
"Right." Xena sighed.
"I uh," Andie snuggled closer to Xena. "I hope youre right."
"Well," Xena straightened up puffing up like a peacock. "If it makes you feel any better, I generally am."
"Oh brother." Andie rolled her eyes, poking the tall woman in the ribs deflating her. "Are you always this arrogant?"
"You used to call it self-assured."
"Hmm Ill bet." Andie turned so she was facing Xena. She leaned up, placing a soft kiss to full lips.
"Oh Andie unh dont "
"Yup." She ignored the comment and pressed the kiss. "You owned a horse."
"Un-huh." Xena nodded, continuing the kiss. "Big horse."
"Close enough." Andie pushed Xena back down on the couch, laying on top of her and deepening the kiss.
Xenas hands ran up and down Andies back as they tasted each other. The kiss was deep and passionate, moans from both involved parties cut through the room. "Oh God Andie " The warrior groaned. She knew she was losing what little control she had.
"Bri." The woman stopped her assault long enough to look into passion filled blue eyes. "You called me Bri when we made love." She returned her lips to Xenas neck, nipping and kissing her way down the expanse of tanned flesh. "Remember?" She mumbled, fingers beginning to work loose buttons of the warriors shirt.
"Ah God " She raised her head from the couch just long enough to watch Andie, eh Gab, eh who ever in the hell she was, push her shirt from the front of her body. "We should stop."
"Nope." It was not a comment up for debate as far as the blonde was concerned. She ran her hand over the firm smooth stomach that quivered from her touch.
"Andie please?" Xena begged. "Youre not ready."
"How ready do I have to be?" She took one of Xenas hands. After unsnapping her own jeans and lowering the zipper she slipped the warriors hand down the front of her pants.
The tall woman growled when it became quite clear, the purpose behind this action. "Im gonna ."
"I wish," The small woman put her hand over Xenas mouth. "Youd shut up and just make love to me. I know we can find a better use for your mouth than talking."
Xena relaxed back into the couch. She allowed her hands to begin removing the clothes of the woman on top of her. It was clear that this woman, in whatever state of recall she was in, was ready to move on. Maybe making love to her would jog her memory. It was a good theory and the warrior was going to run with it. She had been alone and without her bard for too long.
"Bedroom." Xena mumbled through another deep kiss.
"Un-huh." The blonde agreed breathlessly.
Xena sat up quickly, not wasting any time she picked the blonde up and carried her to the bedroom, kicking off her shoes and helping the smaller woman discard everything she could. Once they were in the comfort of the bedroom Xena broke speed records for removal of clothing.
As she slipped into bed with the little woman she pulled her into her arms. "I dont even know what to call you now."
"I am your Gabrielle, Xena. Its coming back to me slowly, but its coming back to me."
"Ergo will be thrilled." Xena laughed.
"Shut up." She leaned in and kissed her again, pulling their bodies together. She slid her leg between Xenas placing a delicious pressure there. She laughed a bit when she heard the warrior groan long and hard. "I remember that."
"Ungh huh." Xena nodded, unable to do much else as her body caught fire. Seven hundred years of pent up passion had a very low flash point. "Gabrielle, I love you."
"I love you too Xena."
The warrior finally gave in, allowing her hands and mouth to beginning a wondrous exploration of the body next to her. "Oh yeah " She moaned, hands caressing flesh long thought lost. As they came together there was no doubt in Xenas mind that she had been reunited with the bard.
Gabrielles head fell back as she responded to the touch. In her mind, pictures flashed, thoughts, sounds and memories crashed around in her head. She knew the touch, she knew the loving she was receiving was coming from her soul mate and that they had been separated for a very long time. "Oh by the Gods " She groaned.
"They have nothing to do with this." Xena groaned, rolling the bard onto her back. "They never did." Her hands traveled across warm flesh, exploring, reacquainting herself with her lovers body.
They touched, they kissed, and they experienced each other over and over gain. Loving each other only the way soul mates could. They climbed and crashed together again and again until exhaustion overtook them both.
Gabrielle lay in Xenas arms, leaving a trail of soft, warm kisses on her shoulder. "Now how could I forget that?" She murmured letting her hands rub the sweat soaked skin under them.
Xena smirked a bit, placing a kiss to the bards forehead. "Dont have a clue."
"Weve been apart a very long time havent we?"
"Un-huh." The warrior pulled her closer. "But were together now and we dont ever have to be apart again."
"Oh I like that plan."
"You only love me for my body."
"Its most definitely a perk." She agreed.
Xena laughed again, feeling whole and complete for the first time in a very long time. "How much do you remember?"
"I remember a lot of walking."
"Yeah, you did do a lot of walking."
"And am I totally cracking up or am I really remembering something about Amazons?"
"Youre not cracking up."
Gabrielle took a deep breath, propping herself of up her elbow. "Tell me Xena, how long have we been apart?"
"Are you sure you want to know?"
She nodded. "Yeah."
"Three thousand years."
She felt her breath catch, trying not to let that revelation totally freak her out. "Three thousand years?"
"Yes Bri. Three thousand years."
"We lived in ancient Rome?"
"Bite your tongue! It was Greece thanks."
"Ancient Greece. Okay and we did what, exactly?"
"Hmm." Xena rolled on her side, brushing back blonde locks. "Good question. Well we spent a lot of time fighting the good fight. Protecting the innocent and down trodden."
Xena laughed, rolling over on her back. "Sort of. Never thought of it quite like that."
"What happened?" She moved closer to Xena, intertwining their fingers. "What separated us?"
"Caesar. Julius Caesar. He killed you."
"Caesar. Ides of March? Assassinated by his senate?"
"Thats the one."
"Okay, I think Ill stop asking questions now."
"Ready to have me committed?"
"If I werent having these very odd flashbacks Id think about it, but I cant very well turn you in when I remember these things too."
"I know this is all kind of hard to believe."
"Major understatement my friend."
"Ready to bolt?"
"Nope. Never bolted before. Dont know whyd Id start now."
"Thats my girl." Xena pulled the blonde on top of her own body. "God you feel so good here. Welcome home Bri."
"Its good to be home Xena."
They finally emerged from the bedroom when they heard Victoria and Autolycus return to the cottage. The thief looked at them and grinned. "So did you two get everything worked out?"
Gabrielle grinned back at him. "Ah, yes we did and if you try to put your hand on my butt Ill kick your ass."
His grinned widened as he crossed the room scooping her up in his arms, spinning her around. "Welcome home Gabrielle."
"Thanks Autolycus, now put me down."
He laughed putting her back down on the ground. He looked to Xena who stood in the doorway of the bedroom buttoning the cuffs on her shirt and tucking it into her jeans. "You look pretty pleased."
"I am thanks." She offered dryly. "We have one more thing we need to do before we can get out of here and go back to the yacht."
"Yacht? Xena you didnt say anything about a yacht? That, I remember really well. I dont do boats."
Xena laughed, crossing the room to give Victoria a kiss hello. "Youll get used to it Bri." She looked into the redheads eyes. "You okay?" She wrapped her arms around the woman.
"Yeah," She nodded. "Im fine. Congratulations Xena, Im happy for the both of you. Its so good to see you happy. I mean really happy."
"Thank you, my pet."
"So," She ran a hand up the front of Xenas shirt, smoothing it out. "Whats this one more thing we need to do?"
"Bri has a friend at the club were going to go get."
"Oh goody." Autolycus clasped his hands together. "Another chance to piss them off."
"Right." She winked at Victoria. "You with me on this one my pet?"
"Arent I always Xena? Right behind you every step of the way."
"Good." She released Victoria and turned to Gabrielle. "You stay here, well be back in ."
"Oh no!" Gabrielle stepped forward. "We do this together."
The words hit Xena on the chest like a ton of bricks. She faltered for just a moment as old memories crashed around her. "Bri, please listen to me this time and stay here."
"Xena, Cass is my friend. I have to go."
"Aww shit." Xena dropped her head. "Youre still just as stubborn as you always were."
"And this is a problem because?" The bard crossed her arms.
"Because last time, it got you killed." Xena growled a little.
"That would be bad." Gabrielle agreed.
"Yes, it would. So why dont you just stay here?"
"Xena? There is another answer." Victoria offered. "You could do it this time."
"Do what?" Gabrielles brow furrowed with her question.
"Grrrreat." Autolycus grumbled. "That, she doesnt remember."
"Okay, Im obviously missing the joke." The blonde looked at the three faces. She noticed Xena was busy glaring at Victoria. "What are you talking about?"
"Theres something I didnt tell you." Xenas attention turned back to Gabrielle.
"What? Dont start hiding things from me now Xena."
Victoria laid her hand on Xenas arm. "You know its going to be the only way. Do you want me to do it?"
"No, Ill do it." The tall woman growled, holding her hand out for Gabrielle, who took it without hesitation. The warrior and the bard returned to the privacy of their bedroom. Xena closed the door, leaning against it with her hands behind her back. She sighed when Gabrielle turned around to face her.
"Okay Xe, what in the hell is going on here?"
Victoria and Autolycus just looked at each other when the sounds of the turning came crashing into the living room. It sounded like the bedroom was being torn to shreds behind the closed door. The moaning and growling could have been considered erotic under the right circumstances.
"Oh, Bri really enjoyed that." Autolycus laughed a bit, as he poured himself a drink and settled down on the couch. "You may as well get comfortable sweetheart, you know its going to take time for Bri to recover and there is no way Xes going to leave her."
The redhead sighed, taking a seat next to the thief and curling up next to him. He placed his arm around her, holding her close. She took his drink, sipping it slowly. "So you think Xena really did it this time?"
"Did you not just hear that racket? Of course she did."
Victoria nodded, resting her head on Autolycus shoulder.
"Are you sure youre okay?" He asked, giving her a little kiss on the top of the head.
"I guess to be honest, Im a little jealous. Ive loved Xena for hundreds of years. Ive done my best to be everything she needed me to be and she never really loved me."
"You know thats not true. Xe loves you very much."
"Not the way she loves Gabrielle. God, just listen to them." She gestured to the bedroom where the sounds of the passion following a turning were now echoing from behind the closed door. Xenas own voice was the one cutting into their reality. "Shes making love to Xena."
"Ive always wanted to make love to Xena. She would never let me."
He hugged her closer. "I know. Her heart always belonged to the bard."
Victoria nodded sadly. "Her heart, her soul and her body."
"Im sorry Victoria." He moved a bit so he could look her in the eye. "Are you going to be all right?"
She nodded. "Ill be fine. I just need to adjust to her being back."
"Are you going to be able to do that? If you give Gabrielle half a chance I think youll find you really like her."
"I already like her." She laughed a little, curling up next to the thief. "Thats what really annoys me. She is a very sweet woman."
Xena lay on her stomach, recovering from the attack returned from the bard after the turning. She exhaled slowly, groaning just a bit when she felt the small body climb on top of her. She smiled when she felt soft kisses being placed against her shoulders and neck.
"That was incredible." Gabrielle groaned. "Thank you."
"Noooooo, thank you!" The warrior grinned into the pillow, lifting her head just a bit. She ran her hand over the spot on her neck where the bard had returned the bite.
"Are you all right?" The bards fingers moved to the spot on the warriors neck.
"Oh Im better than all right."
"Xena why didnt you do this when we were together the first time?"
The warrior rolled over, pulled the blonde into her arms. "I had only had the power for about a year. I wasnt adjusted to it yet. I saw it as a curse. I didnt want to curse you too."
"So I died because you refused to ."
"Yes." The warrior admitted quietly. "I failed you. I failed to protect you."
"Oh God, Xena. You didnt fail me." She curled into the tall womans arms. "You did what you thought was best."
"And I was cursed for it. I had to live without you for three thousand years."
Gabrielle smiled, lifting her head. "Yeah but Im back now." She let her tongue move slowly over her newly formed fangs. "And you wont be getting rid of me anytime soon."
Xena laughed, tapping Gabrielle on the tip of the nose. "Put those things away. Youre dangerous with them."
"Now how am I supposed to do that?"
"Just concentrate and theyll retract a bit. It takes time, but youll get it."
"You have a lot to fill me in on here."
"I know, but now we have all the time in the world. An eternity, which will be much more satisfying now that I have you by my side."
"Im just glad you learned from your first mistake."
"It generally only takes one time for me to screw up." She grinned, placing a passionate kiss to the bards lips.
When they finally emerged from the bedroom for the second time they found Autolycus and Victoria asleep on the couch. Xena knelt beside the couch near Victoria. Gabrielle did the same near the arm at Autolycus head.
"Theyre kinda cute." The bard grinned, wrinkling her nose a bit.
"Yeah they make a good looking couple." Xena leaned in giving Victoria a little kiss on the lips. "Wake up my pet."
"Hmm." Victorias eyes blinked open slowly. She smiled when she saw Xena before her.
Gabrielle smirked, then flicked Autolycus on the ear. "Wake up." She growled in his ear.
"Aww, now is that nice?" He grumbled. "She gets kissed awake and I get my ear flicked? How is that fair?"
"How long have you been alive Autolycus?" Gabrielle grinned down at him, placing a kiss to the tip of his nose. "Life is not fair."
"Bite me." He teased, rubbing his nose.
"Dont say that." Xena warned with a chuckle. "Shell do it. Shes still got a little bit of a craving."
"Yeah!" Gabrielle eyed the thief with a mischievous twinkle. "What blood type are you?"
"Im, Im keeping it in my own damn body type, thanks."
"Stingy." She teased further, this time placing a soft kiss to his lips. "Love you Autolycus. Thanks for taking such good care of her for me."
"Well," The thief sat up on the couch, following Victorias lead. "Id like to say its been me pleasure, but I got to tell you, three thousand years with her has not been a party. Im glad youre here to take over."
Xena scowled at the thief, then she turned to Victoria. She was concerned with the look of frustration on the womans face. "Are you all right?"
"I dont believe you."
"Im fine." She reached out to caress Xenas face. "Im happy for you."
"Well talk later okay?"
She nodded again. "Okay. I swear Im not "
"Shhh I said well talk later." Xena cocked her head just a bit to signify the conversation was at and end.
"Right. Now however we need to get down to the club and get Bris friend Cass out of there."
The group walked into the club. Xena left Autolycus and Victoria in the bar area while she and Gabrielle went to the upstairs to find Cass.
"Xe?" Gabrielle took her lovers hand tugging her close.
"Try not to hurt anyone."
"Only if they get in our way."
"Be nice." The bard growled as they topped the stairs. She stopped outside one of the room, turning to Xena. "This is umm "
"Yeah, a fucking brothel. Hey, by the way you didnt have to "
"No Xena. Autolycus and Victoria pretty much drug me out of here by both arms."
"Ah I knew there was a reason I kept them around. By the way, how did Desmond get these girls in this mess?"
"Oh he paid for college or gave other loans and then called in his markers."
"I real prince among men."
"Umm-hmm." Gabrielle pushed the door open, to find an older man sitting behind a desk. "Gary, is Cass around?"
"Andie. Where in the hell have you been? Ive got a job for you. Room six."
Xena stepped forward, she leaned onto the desk. "You can take your job and shove up your "
"Xena." Gab laid her hand on the warriors back. "Gary, Im not coming back to work here. I need to find Cass."
He got up from his desk, lunging for Gab, who side stepped him. He crashed into the door, only to be drug to his feet by six feet of furious warrior. "Dont you ever try anything like that again, if you want to make it home in one piece."
"Go ahead Xena."
She turned her head to the bard while still holding the man from the ground by the front of his shirt. "What?"
"We dont have time to screw around here. Put the pinch on him and lets find out where Cass is."
Autolycus cringed when the sounds of the fight broke across the room.
"Aww shit." He grumbled as they headed for the stairs. "I should have known she wouldnt be able to do this quickly or quietly."
"Wouldnt be our Xena if it had been quick and quiet." Victoria agreed, following right behind him.
Half way up the staircase, they met Gabrielle coming down the steps with a small brunette. "Just go Xe and I can handle this."
"What are you " Cass argued.
"Please dont ask " She saw the thief headed for them. "Autolycus, get her out of here while I go get Xena."
"Where is she?"
"Having a word with the guy that was in Cass room. Victoria you want to give me a hand?"
Autolycus took the girl quickly from the club. The bard and Victoria returned to the room where Xena was having a loud word with the young man in the room.
"Xena, thats enough." Gabrielle commanded.
She turned around, letting the man crumple to the floor. "I was "
"Yeah, yeah, yeah come on lets just get out of here."
As the trio turned to leave the young man got to his feet and charged Xena. Victoria turned, placing her palm right in his chest, knocking him backward. "Just dont. Id hate to let her kill you."
"Fuck you!" The man drew back a hand, only to be sent flying half way across the room by an unseen force.
"Not tonight and most definitely not by you!" Victoria hissed, leaving the man gasping for air.
Gabrielle turned with a huge grin on her face. "Will I be able to do that? It could come on very handy?"
"Eventually, as you get control of your powers you will." The redhead grinned back. "Its a great deal of fun."
"Looks like it."
"All right you two," Xena growled from the doorway. "Lets get while the getting is good."
When they made it outside the club they found Autolycus leaning against the limo, rubbing his cheek. It was apparent that he had been slapped quite hard. "Interesting friend you got there, Gabrielle."
"Where is she?"
"The little wildcat is in the car."
Gabrielle moved to the car. She stopped turning to Xena. "Ah let me get in first. Andie and Cass where ummm," She blushed a bit, never finishing the comment.
Xena lifted a brow. "Really?"
"Un-huh." The bard nodded. "But it was very casual and once I figure out how to explain, ending it wont be a problem."
"Good." The warrior nodded. "Very good."
Gabrielle smiled, placing a soft kiss on Xenas lips. "Nice to know you can still be jealous after all these years."
"You know it." The warrior pulled the door open, allowing Gabrielle to get in. She closed the door allowing the two women a few moments alone.
The door finally opened, Gabrielle motioned the group in. Once they were all settled, Cass sat silently next to Victoria and Autolycus, while Xena and Gabrielle sat across from them. The bard made the proper introduction, once again reassuring her friend that everything would be all right. The woman smiled at her, giving a nod of her head before turning to stare out the window.
Victoria reached over, gently covering Cass hand with her own. "Were really here to help."
"Thank you." Cass smiled at the redhead.
Xena leaned in and whispered to the bard. "Looks like the start of a beautiful relationship."
Miami, Florida Present Day
The sun rose again, sunlight streaming through the windows of the cabin. Xena groaned, pulling the covers over her head.
"Whats wrong?" Gabrielle soothed her grumpy partner by rubbing her back.
"Bright light." The tall woman mumbled from under the covers.
The bard smiled, climbing out of bed to close the curtains. She stood staring out the window for just a moment before drawing the fabric closed. She got back into bed, curling up next to the warrior. "Better?
Xena peeked out from under the covers into the darkened cabin. "Much, thank you."
"Who would have thought I could be happy living on a boat?" She chuckled, climbing on top of the body lying next to her.
"And why not?" The warrior groaned a bit more as the little body settled into her back. "Its not like its a tiny ship for crying out loud, its three hundred feet long for Gods sake."
"My, my youre grumpy. Whats the matter didnt you get any sleep last night?"
"You know I didnt." She grinned, rolling over, tossing the small body down on the bed next to her.
"Well, we had a lot of time to make up for." The blonde smiled kissing Xenas shoulder.
"We have lots of time to make up for lots of lost time." Xena agreed, pulling Gabrielle into her arms.
"Yes we do." The blonde proceeded to climb up the front of the warrior. "And Im very pleased that Victoria and Cass have hit it off so well."
"So am I. Im glad Victoria finally found someone, but remind me to have their cabin sound proofed in the next port."
"Ah yeah," Gabrielle agreed. "If we hadnt been otherwise engaged we still wouldnt have gotten any sleep. Now all we have to do is fix Autolycus up."
"Bri, has he ever needed our help in that department?"
"No, I guess not."
Xena sighed, very contentedly, caressing Gabrielles face. "Love you bard."
"Love you too warrior."
"Welcome home my love." Her embrace was long and tight, forcing Gabrielle to relax into her.
Every moment that Gabrielle spent in those arms brought back more of her own memories. Some of them were good, some of them were bad, but all that mattered to her was she was where she was supposed to be when she was having them.
"Right where I should be?"
"Absolutely. Need you around to keep me out of trouble."
"Un-huh. Need me around to keep you out of deep trouble you mean."
"Lets call it a compromise and say I just need you. Trouble just seems to follow us around."
"Yup. Xena," Gabrielle chuckled. "Trouble magnet!"
"And you love it."
"Yes I do. Thanks for bringing me home Xe."
"Wouldnt have it any other way Bri. I wasnt complete without you. Now Im whole again."
"We both are." Gabrielle leaned in, placing a kiss on the warriors lips that pretty much assured their place for the day. "Now lets see if I remember all those spots." She laughed ducking under the covers.
"Ah yeah," The warrior groaned, ducking back under the covers. "Thats one. Six hundred and thirty-six to go."