by Laine Roberta Lawless

It had been a hard-won battle; many warriors had died, and there were too many wounded to be cared for in a timely manner. Soon many of them would join the ranks of their deceased comrades. Moans of battle-wound agony punctuated the air that smelled of burning flesh and huge quantities of blood. Xena picked her way through the fresh corpses and the wounded, trying to save those who still had a chance to live. The Warrior Princess was revolted at the carnage. It was all so unnecessary, she thought.


The victory had not been worth fighting for. Half her army was dead or severely wounded. It would take months for them to heal, and for her army to recoup its strength. "By the Gods," she swore, "if I had known it would end like this, I would never have attacked Lyceus." As she walked, tending to the wounded, she barked out orders to the troops who were still standing to help their wounded comrades. When she came upon her lieutenant Alyssea, she stopped suddenly. Alyssea’s armor was pierced just above her breastplate, and there was an arrow sticking out of her shoulder. Alyssea was barely conscious; she had lost a lot of blood, and the top of her tunic was stained a bright red. Xena scooped her up into her arms and carried her to her own tent.

"You’ll be all right, Alyssea, I promise you," Xena murmured as she laid her lieutenant down on her cot.

"Xena, I feel like I’m going to die," she rasped.

She kissed her on the forehead and reassured her. "No, you’re not going to die! But maybe after I pull this arrow out of you, you’ll wish you had. Hold still for me now. It’ll be over quickly, I promise."

Xena reached around Alyssea’s back and while holding the shaft, deftly snapped off the arrow’s head. Then holding her shoulder down with all her might, she pulled the shaft out the front. Her lieutenant arched her back, but only uttered a low groan. Then she passed out from the pain. Xena washed her wound, bandaged it, and pressed down hard to stop her from losing any more blood.

Xena regretted her decision to fight in this barren backwash, several days’ march from civilization. Yes, she had won, but the price was too high. What had she gained? The right-of-way for a trade route to Minos, which meant she could spend the rest of her life (or at least until another warlord attacked her) collecting "taxes" from the traders in exchange for safe passage through Xena’s land. No, she wasn’t about to sit down and do nothing. Xena was a nomad, and she liked being on the move, not being tied down.

Why had she believed the story her scout had told her about the riches that Lyceus’ army was transporting? She had thought she could trust Protus, but now she suspected him of being an agent for one of her old enemies, one who wanted to wear her down, and take over her army. She had hoped for an opportunity to quit fighting, after just one last battle. Cowards like Protus always gravitate to the winner, whoever they may be, and she would have her way with him later, and find out what kind of traitor he was, even if she had to perform the torture herself.

"Spoils of war!" Xena thought ruefully, as she walked outside the tent and surveyed the remainders of the battlefield. She spat on the ground repeatedly, partly in disgust, and partly to get all the dirt out of her mouth from the dust created by the furious fighting.

She needed strong drink to get the bad taste out of her mouth. Making sure the camp was under control, and the wounded were being attended, she mounted her horse and rode into the nearest village, headed for the tavern.

Entering the dimly lit tavern, Xena sat down. Soon a pretty little barmaid came up to her, and asked her what she wanted. Gabrielle was 20, but looked 15. She had the innocence and freshness of a country girl. Her long blonde hair was partially concealed with a bandanna, and her green eyes were mesmerizing to Xena, who couldn’t stop looking at her. Xena was so fascinated with Gabrielle, and enchanted by her smile, she found that she had lost her voice. Finally after being asked "What’ll it be, ma’am?" For the second time, she managed an answer.

"Give me the strongest thing you’ve got," Xena said in her husky voice, wishing that getting drunk would make her forget where she had come from.

"That would be mead, ma’am," Gabrielle cheerily said.


"Good, then bring me that," she said. "And something to eat."

As Gabrielle scurried away, Xena looked at her diminishing form and thought her quite attractive. Suddenly she felt a little self-conscious. She looked and felt a mess: her body was bruised and bloody from several superficial cuts she’d received in battle, and her armor was caked with dirt, blood, and sweat.

A perky Gabrielle brought the mead to Xena, and they locked eyes for a few seconds. "What’s your name?" Xena asked.

"Gabrielle, ma’am." she said, practically yelling it into Xena’s ear, because of the rowdy crowd in the tavern. Xena felt her warm breath on her ear and neck, and started to get aroused. There was something so innocent, so disingenuous, about Gabrielle, not to mention that she was just a very pretty girl. Xena began to think maybe she’d be fun for a night.

Gabrielle was fascinated with Xena. She had never met anyone like her before, and she just couldn’t take her eyes off her.

"That’s a pretty name. How old are you, girl?"

"I’m not that young. I’m 20, ma’am."

"You look too young to be in a place like this. How did you get here?"

"I was just 10 when the king’s army raided my village and killed my parents, and the innkeepers took me in. I’ve been working for them ever since. I’d like to talk to you, ma’am, but my other customers are yelling for me."

"Just a minute," Xena said, reaching out with both hands and pulling Gabrielle’s face to hers, giving her a passionate kiss that Gabrielle felt all the way down to her toes. At first Gabrielle resisted from force of habit. Drunken customers were always grabbing her and trying to touch her. She put her arms on Xena’s chest, trying to push her away. As she felt Xena’s soft lips caress hers, however, she decided she liked the feeling, opened up a bit, and stopped struggling. Xena felt her soften in her hands, and began to tentatively probe her mouth with her tongue. Gabrielle felt Xena enter her, and began to reciprocate.

Just at that moment some drunk came up behind Gabrielle, put his arm around her, squeezed her breast, forcefully turned her around, and kissed her roughly. Xena stood up suddenly, knocking her mead over onto the table, and inserted herself between him and the defenseless serving wench.

"Leave her alone!" Xena commanded, towering over the drunken little weasel.

"Can’t a guy have a little fun? Why should you girls have all the fun—come and share a little with us guys!"

"In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not a girl! I’m Xena! And if you fuck with her again, you’ll have to deal with me!" As Xena introduced herself to him, an audible hush went through he crowd that had been watching the confrontation. Everyone there had heard of Xena by reputation, and no one but this fool tonight would have been suicidal enough to oppose her.

The weasel continued, "I bought her. The inn-keeper said I could have her tonight. She’s mine!" he asserted, trying to grab Gabrielle, who was cowering behind Xena. She did sometimes sell herself, but she was humiliated at this display—she didn’t want everyone in town knowing it.

Up until now, Xena had been controlling herself. Now she let him have it. He was obviously no challenge for her, so she just slapped him across the face, and pushed him away. "She’s not for sale tonight—she’s mine! You got a problem with that?

"What are you, her husband? I can have her if I like," he said arrogantly, pulling back a clenched fist. He threw the punch and Xena caught it in her palm, twisting his wrist at just the right angle to send him to his knees in pain. While still twisting, Xena put her booted foot in his groin and pressed down hard for emphasis. When she finally let go, the man was lying on the floor, writhing in pain, alternating between holding his wrist and grabbing his crotch. "I don’t think he’ll bother you again," she said to Gabrielle.

"Thank you ma’am," Gabrielle gushed. She had never had anyone defend her honor before, and it felt good. Xena was a hero to her at that moment.

"My name is Xena," she said, putting her arm around the serving wench’s waist, and looking into her eyes. "With your permission, I do think you’re very attractive, and I would like to spend the night with you."

Gabrielle was surprised. She had never gotten a proposition like this from a woman before, but then she’d never met anyone like Xena, either. She blushed profusely, and began to feel very warm. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, being with a woman, especially one as handsome as Xena. How could it be worse than some of the men she’d been with?

"All right, I’m yours. Pay the barkeep, and I’ll bring you another tankard of mead. As soon as I’m done serving, we can go to a room."

Xena simply smiled, said "Thank you," and sat down as the barmaid scurried away. Xena’d never had a woman before, but she felt open to doing something different tonight, and Gabrielle was so pretty.

Gabrielle returned with the mead. "Here’s your mead, ma’am. And don’t forget to pay the barkeep, or someone else may claim me. But I’d rather be with you," she added, a sparkle in her eyes.

"Call me Xena," she said, smiling at her and heading for the bar.

"Yes ma’am, uh, Xena," Gabrielle responded.

Xena approached the barkeep and said, "I want your serving wench for the night—how much?"

The man looked like he had been slapped in the face as his head jerked back, and his eyes widened. "You want what?" he asked.

"I want your serving wench for the night."

"I’m sorry, she’s not available."

"What do you mean, not available?" Xena said ominously, her voice rising.

"She’s been reserved by another," the man fumbled.

"Don’t worry about him—I just put him out of commission. Now how much?"

"I’m sorry, she’s just not available to women."

Xena had been fighting all day, and didn’t want to continue. Deciding to end this little confrontation quickly, she grabbed the barkeep’s shirt, dragged him halfway over the counter and said, "Yes, she is, she just told me so. I don’t have any more time for this. Now, how much?"

"Thirty drachma," he gulped. Xena put the bartender down roughly, threw the money on the bar, and walked back to her table.

Xena leaned back, put her feet up on the table, swilled her mead, and began to eat. She felt good helping someone for a change. It gave her a fuzzy warm glow—either that or the mead was beginning to work its magic. She was tired of the life she had been leading. She was more than ready for a change. She had many regrets…all the fighting seemed so meaningless now. What was it all for? What had she gained? She was barely 30 (an age considered old for a warrior), and she had nothing to show for it. After this disastrous battle, she expected many of her troops to desert, and she really couldn’t blame them.

As Xena started to relax and let the mead smooth out her rough edges, she found she was looking forward to her adventure this evening, and thinking about how sweet Gabrielle would be in bed. She seemed so innocent and so untouched by all the evil in the world. Even though Xena knew she’d already been with men, this didn’t change her perception of Gabrielle as innocent and pure.

Gabrielle returned with a flagon of mead in her hand as Xena finished eating. "Xena," she said nervously, "I’ve never done anything like this before, and I don’t want anyone else to see us leaving together, so can you just walk out the back door over there, and I’ll come out a in a minute?"

"Sure," Xena said, and got up to leave. Just as Xena opened the door, she saw it was getting dark. She smelled the air and took a deep breath. There was a part of her that felt like she was getting a new lease on life, and she was looking forward to a conquest tonight of a different sort. Gabrielle came out with 2 tankards and the flagon of mead on a tray.

"Right this way," she said, and walked around the back of the tavern to a door. She and Xena walked into a narrow passageway flanked on one side by two doors. Gabrielle said, "It’s this one," and motioned to the second door.

Xena opened it for Gabrielle. Inside the dimly-lit room there were a few candles burning, and a bed just large enough for two. The floor was wood planking laid loosely over a dirt floor and it squeaked with every step. Gabrielle put the tray down, poured ale into both tankards, offered one to Xena, and sat down on the bed, patting a spot next to her for Xena to sit. Xena sat next to her, and they both drank in silence.

Gabrielle broke the silence. "Xena, what would you like? Now, I don’t do nothing kinky or anything." Her nervousness was apparent in her voice, and Xena was touched at her frankness.

"You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to," she reassured her, taking her in her arms and kissing her. Xena once again probed Gabrielle’s mouth with her tongue, and feeling her respond, plunged it in even deeper. Gabrielle felt desire stirring between her legs, and sucked on Xena’s tongue, pulling the warrior into her.

Xena held Gabrielle, just looking at her, and then started to pull her peasant blouse down so that she could look at her breasts. They were perfectly formed, and as she felt Gabrielle’s breasts, she could feel her nipples becoming erect under her hands.

Gabrielle sighed, and felt herself go to mush. This was really much better so far than she had thought it would be. She was really aroused at the warrior’s gentle touch, and Xena was by no means an unattractive woman. Even as dirty as she was, Gabrielle was attracted to her. She was tall and wiry, with an athlete’s body, almost androgynous. She had a tremendous mane of black hair cascading from her head down her back, long thin fingers, and the face of a goddess.

Suddenly Gabrielle smelled something, and felt Xena’s armor pressing into her. It was not comfortable, and Xena smelled bad after a day of fighting. Sitting up, she said, "Xena, I usually like to wash up before we do this, so why don’t you let me make you more comfortable?"

Looking down at herself, Xena felt self-conscious. "Yes, I’m sorry, I am quite a mess, but I’ve been fighting all day…"

"That’s all right, I understand," Gabrielle said. "Let me help you get your armor and clothes off , and I’ll get you cleaned up."

For once, Xena decided to just give up control and let Gabrielle do what she wanted. She allowed Gabrielle to remove her armor, her boots, and all her clothing. When Gabrielle was done, she beheld a magnificent body, hard and muscular, with breasts that were firm and small, and not too big to get in the way when fighting. Gabrielle turned to a pitcher sitting on a low table and poured some water into a bowl next to it. She dipped a cloth into the water and started washing Xena.

She started with her face, wiping the sweat and grime off her skin. As she dried Xena’s skin, she felt the softness of it, and was surprised. She thought it would be hard, like the woman in front of her, and the men who had preceded her, some of whom had taken her roughly, without even washing their private parts before.

As she washed Xena, she was amazed at the extent of Xena’s wounds from the day’s battle, and asked her if she would like them attended to. "No," Xena said, "I’ll be all right."

"That’s OK, I’ll take care of them later, when I’m finished washing you," Gabrielle insisted.

As Gabrielle washed her, Xena felt as if years of filth and bad deeds were falling away from her. Gabrielle was smiling at her, and washing every part of Xena’s body with worship and awe. Looking at Gabrielle’s smile, she felt somehow connected with the rest of humanity. Much of her life she had felt like an outsider, someone who did not belong, so this was a new feeling. Gabrielle was touching her in a place that she hadn’t allowed anyone to go into before, and Xena found herself liking it. Gabrielle brought the cloth over Xena’s washboard stomach, and down to her loins. As she washed between her legs, Xena felt a shiver run up her cunt. Her dreaminess ended rather suddenly, and she grasped Gabrielle, pulling her to her, feeling breast against breast, and kissed her. She just wanted to feel all of this young woman at once, and Gabrielle wanted to be felt by her. She pulled down Gabrielle’s skirt, and started massaging her ass cheeks, alternately cupping them in her hands.

Gabrielle felt a fire stir in her soul, one she’d never felt before. She didn’t know why, but she just wanted to be with Xena, to be possessed by her, to be enveloped by her. But she had all night, and remembering the brevity of her other experiences, she wanted to make this one last.

"Xena," she said, pulling away, "I’m not done cleaning you up yet."

Xena’s heart was pounding, and suddenly she was jarred out of her dream-like state. She just sat there, staring at Gabrielle, who pushed her back onto the bed, and continued to wash her legs, her ass, and then finally her feet. As she finished her feet, she noticed how perfectly formed they were, long and narrow, with thin toes. She had expected them to be rough and callused, and was surprised to feel how soft they were. She started massaging them, and Xena just moaned—she had never had anyone pay attention to her feet before, and she found, much to her surprise, that they were very sensitive.

Pleasing others was what Gabrielle liked to do, and she was happy to see her ministrations were having an effect on Xena. One by one, she

took her toes into her mouth, licked them, and sucked them. Xena was so hot she was going crazy. She wanted to touch Gabrielle, but Xena was laying on the bed, and Gabrielle was sitting on the floor, preoccupied with Xena’s feet. She couldn’t get to her.

She felt an aching between her legs, and knew how wet she was down there. Finally, she withdrew her feet and pulled Gabrielle up on the bed. "I loved the way you did that," she said, "but I just can’t take any more. You have a sweet little mouth, and I want it to do something else for me."

"What would that be, Xena?" Gabrielle asked innocently.

"Put it right down there," Xena said, pointing to her pubic triangle, "and do what you just did to my feet."

"But I don’t know how," Gabrielle protested. "What if I don’t do it right?"

"Honey, you will. There’s nothing you can do wrong right now. You made me so hot, I’m almost ready to come."

Xena’s voice was deep and sexy, and Gabrielle wanted to worship the warrior princess in any way she could, even if she didn’t know how. Her own loins were starting to ache for release, but she was used to that. Her talents were not often reciprocated when she was with others, so she usually had to deal with her frustration by herself. She dove into Xena’s pussy, and started licking where she thought it would do the most good. Xena moaned, tilted her hips up to Gabrielle’s lips, took Gabrielle’s hand, and plunged her fingers into her cunt.

"Oh yeah, fuck me, baby!" Xena whispered hoarsely to Gabrielle, who started plunging her fingers into Xena’s cunt, and then pulling them out. As she heard Xena’s breathing get faster and more shallow, she tongued and penetrated her faster. Xena tasted kind of musty, but it was a good taste, and Gabrielle decided she liked it. She wanted to taste all of Xena, to merge with her. Using her other hand, she got one finger wet inside Xena, and then slowly played around
Xena’s asshole. This was a new feeling for Xena, but she was so turned on, Gabrielle could have done almost anything to her, and she would have let her. Gabrielle slowly penetrated Xena’s ass with her finger. Xena was a little startled when she felt it enter, but it felt good, and she enjoyed the new sensation.

Xena couldn’t hold back any longer, and she came in Gabrielle’s mouth, her cunt and anus pulsating, and gripping Gabrielle’s fingers, while Xena uttered a loud, long moan. Gabrielle felt a surge of hot liquid gush from Xena, and was surprised. She stopped licking for a moment, and then realizing that Xena was still coming, continued, and just got out of the way, allowing the flood to soak the sheets.

Finally Xena was done. She lifted her head up, looked at Gabrielle, and pulled her nude body on top of her. "Goddess, that was good," she whispered in Gabrielle’s ear. "I think that’s the best sex I’ve ever had." Gabrielle smiled and kissed her neck.

"I’m glad I could please you, warrior princess. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I didn’t know how well I would do." They lay on the bed for awhile, Xena’s arms wrapped around Gabrielle. Xena just wanted to enjoy the feeling of satiation she was experiencing, and not talk. After some minutes Gabrielle said, "I want to ask you about something. When you came, you ejaculated, like men do, except a lot more. What was that?"

"Sometimes I do that when I’m really turned on. It’s nothing more than the same stuff when my pussy gets wet. You were that good. Why, did it bother you?"

"Yes, at first, because I didn’t know what it was. You know how bad it tastes when men do that."

"Yes, I’ve heard," Xena responded. "Well, Gabrielle, what can I do for you?"

"Huh? What?" Gabrielle responded, incredulously. She wasn’t used to her customers asking her what she would like, and the question came as a surprise.

"I said, what would you like?" Xena asked, lightly touching the side of Gabrielle’s breast, and squeezing her ass in the other hand.

This was too good to be true, Gabrielle thought. Could I actually hope to get satisfied? "Ma’am, you can do to me what I did to you—actually anything would be all right," she said, slipping back to the formal form of address she had first used with Xena.

"Please—I’m just Xena, OK? I think you have a gorgeous body, and I want it—all of it. Do you mind if I make love to you, too?"

Gabrielle felt herself melting inside. Do I mind? Do I mind? Oh, Goddess, please do it to me! she thought. "No, please, Xena, do whatever you want—I’m yours," she said breathlessly.

"Good," Xena said, rolling Gabrielle over on her back, and straddling her. Xena gave Gabrielle a long kiss and then put her face between her breasts, feeling them with her hands, and brushing her face and lips against both of them. She surrounded them with her lips and assaulted the nipples with her tongue while she put her hand between Gabrielle’s legs and felt the wetness there. Gabrielle was starting to gasp and moan, and Xena felt her need. She plunged her fingers into her cunt which opened like a flower without resistance. Gabrielle took Xena inside her, and relished being satisfied by this fearsome warrior-turned-lover.

Xena placed her lips on Gabrielle’s erect clit, and licked her slowly, going down to her lips and inside her cunt. She tasted just as sweet as she looked. Gabrielle gasped, groaned, and arched her back. Xena could tell that she was coming, more than once, and just kept on tonguing her, until she was done and lay still, sweaty and panting for breath. Xena pulled herself up alongside Gabrielle, putting one arm underneath her head while holding her sex with the other.

Neither one of them spoke: there was nothing to say—they had already communicated on a much deeper level.

The sun had been up for a few hours when Xena awakened with a start, wild-eyed and gasping for breath. She quickly felt her ankles, and then her wrists, and looked around. She was all alone in a strange place, and for a moment didn’t know where she was. Then she remembered the tavern and Gabrielle.

She lay back down and tried to remember what had been in her mind before she had awakened. Gradually it started to come back to her. She had been imprisoned in a fortress, and bound in chains, restrained in a prone position, her wrists and ankles fettered. Men surrounded her, laughing at her, while she struggled. She felt totally degraded, humiliated, and helpless. Xena didn’t like being out of control—she always had to have the upper hand in everything. Feeling powerless was not acceptable, even in her dreams. She tried to shake the image out of her head, but it would not leave. Then she remembered the next thing that had happened in her dream. She had looked up through a roof open to the sky and seen fire come down from the heavens. It had hit everyone but her, and struck them dead. Four lightning bolts struck her chains, freeing her, but not harming her, and then she had awakened.

"This must be a message from the gods," she thought. "But what does it mean?" Xena was well aware of the way the gods communicated in signs, and dreams, and she always watched the omens, but she did not always heed their warnings. Before her last battle she had seen several vultures circling the battleground. This time she resolved to find out the meaning of the dream before she went any further.

At just that moment Gabrielle opened the door. "Oh, so you’re finally up?"

Xena was still just as entranced with her as she had been the night before. She looked down self-consciously at her body, suddenly noticing that she was nude, and observed that her wounds from the battle were healing much too quickly. She was also aware that she was not hung-over, something she would not expect, considering all the mead she had drunk. "Yeah, little one, I just had a dream, and I need to know what it meant. Is there a seer in your town?"

"Yes, there’s one close by. I can take you when you’re ready. How are you feeling?"

"Much better now. I liked the way you took care of me. What happened to my wounds? They’re almost healed!"

"Oh those! I put some of my special herb salve on them last night after you fell asleep. They do look a lot better."

"This woman has magic in her," Xena thought as Gabrielle helped her put on her armor. She felt good just being around her, and really didn’t know why, but she wanted to keep that feeling.

Continued in Changing Course


Copyright 1997 by Laine Roberta Lawless

No reproduction or distribution without authorization