Comrades in Arms

by Laine Roberta Lawless

 

"Come on, Gabrielle," Xena pleaded, offering her arm and pulling her foot out of the stirrup. Even though she liked having her arms around Xena, it was clear that Gabrielle didn’t like riding horses.

 

When they left camp, there had been no extra horse for Gabrielle, so she had to ride with Xena. Alyssea was already mounted and impatient to go. "Where are we headed?" she asked Xena.

 

"I don’t know. I just want to get out of this God-forsaken place. Let’s head North. Maybe we can sell this armor to some warrior wanna-bes," she laughed, patting the enormous sack full of metal secured to the back of the saddle. "Then maybe we can get Gabrielle a horse of her own."

Alyssea gave Xena a strange look, that asked, "How long is she going to be traveling with us?" Alyssea hadn’t yet figured out what part Gabrielle was to play in Xena’s plan, and she wasn’t sure she liked her being around. Up until now, she’d had a very close relationship with Xena, and had considered her to be her mentor, and she was afraid she might be replaced by Gabrielle. Hearing Xena and Gabrielle making love in the tent the night before had been mind-blowing. She knew Xena had sex whenever and with whomever she wanted to, but she’d never heard her sound like that before. There was something primal, something so intimate about the sounds she’d made, sounds she’d never heard from Xena on other nights. She’d never thought of Xena being with a woman before, and even though she worshipped her, having sex with Xena had been the furthest thing from her mind. She wasn’t sure if she should be shocked or turned on. Nevertheless, Xena was her leader, and she would follow her wherever she went.

Gabrielle was in heaven riding behind the imposing warrior princess and clinging to her waist. Many years ago she had given up waiting for a knight on a white horse to ride up and save her from the lowly tavern. She had never expected her savior to come in female form! Having dispensed with what little bloodlust she had within her, she was in a gay mood, feeling giddy and talkative. Gabrielle’s chatter was a striking contrast to the badlands they were traversing, where there were no trees, not even a shrub, for as far as they could see. The noonday sun shined down mercilessly and sweat began to roll down Xena’s brow. Her back got sticky from perspiration and Gabrielle could feel the wetness against her chest, and smell Xena.

"When are we going to get to some trees?" she asked Xena.

"It will probably be close to nightfall before we do," Xena responded. "These badlands go on for miles in all directions."

"How long have you been with Xena?" Gabrielle asked Alyssea.

"I’ve been fighting with her for 4 years."

"What has it been like? Tell me some stories."

"What do you want to hear? Stories of how many men I’ve killed?" Alyssea said in an annoyed tone.

Gabrielle was just trying to make friends with her, and it seemed that she was asking the wrong questions.

Xena intervened. "Alyssea, I think what Gabrielle wants is to hear about the adventures we’ve had. She may think we’ve led more exciting lives than she has."

Alyssea smiled, and said, "I wouldn’t want anyone but Xena at my back. She’s the best fighter I’ve ever seen, and she’s taught me a lot. I remember one time we were riding into a village, just the two of us, and some guy was wanting to make a reputation by killing the warrior princess’ lieutenant. I heard this arrow whistling behind my back, but by then it was too late. Xena was riding beside me and had already caught it in her hand! She drew her arm back like this, as if she were throwing a javelin, and flung it back into the bowman’s heart. I would have never known what had hit me otherwise. I owe her my life."

"Wow!" Gabrielle exclaimed with the wonder of a child. She couldn’t see, but Xena was blushing. She gave Xena a little hug, and began to study Alyssea. She wanted to know Xena better, and thought Alyssea might help.

Alyssea was about a half a foot shorter than Xena, but she had a wiry body, small breasts, and very muscular legs. Her sandy hair cascaded down her back in curls, but that was the only feminine part of her. She had very sharp features, a chiseled mouth, and a hard look born of a difficult early life. She wore a leather and brass breastplate like Xena’s, but underneath she wore a leather shirt instead of a tunic. She looked every inch a warrior. Gabrielle thought she was attractive, in a handsome way.

The three of them passed the afternoon that way, as Alyssea regaled Gabrielle with tales of Xena’s bravery and prowess as a warrior. Just at twilight time, some scattered vegetation started to appear, and it soon turned into scrubby looking woodlands. They’d been traveling for the better part of the day in the heat, and it was just now beginning to cool off. They hadn’t encountered anyone on the road all day. The badlands were called that for a reason, and were the territory of bandits, highwaymen, and the foolish. Those who had no reason to go there avoided the area. Part of Xena felt right in her element, and part of her was glad to leave the badlands behind.

"Let’s start looking for a place to camp," Xena said.

"I’ll scout on ahead and see what I can find," Alyssea volunteered, and rode off.

Although she enjoyed her stories, Gabrielle was glad to see her go—it gave her a chance to be alone with the warrior princess. Before Alyssea was out of sight, Gabrielle had slipped her hands beneath Xena’s leather tunic, and was cupping her breasts and massaging her nipples. Xena felt a rush of warmth unlike the heat she had experienced earlier in the day. It had started in her nipples and spread throughout her entire body until it had settled in between her legs. After sweating all day, she was also getting wet down there.

For a moment, Xena stopped to ponder what it was about Gabrielle that turned her on so easily. She’d been with many men before, but she’d never experienced the ecstasy with them that she’d felt with the inexperienced Gabrielle last night. On some level, it was like Gabrielle fit neatly into a hole in Xena’s soul. She felt so good, she didn’t want to question it, but just twisted around and kissed Gabrielle passionately on the lips.

"Oh, I want you now," Gabrielle whispered, her hands traveling down to Xena’s crevice. Xena put her hands on Gabrielle’s, stopping them, and said, "No, not now—Alyssea will be back soon."

"Xena, when?" Gabrielle pleaded.

"Tonight, after she has gone to sleep. Now stop taking unfair advantage of me," she giggled uncharacteristically, pulling Gabrielle’s hands out of her tunic, and kissing her again.

Alyssea rode up right after Xena had extricated Gabrielle’s hands. She had a dead rabbit hanging from her saddle horn. "There’s a real secluded spot up ahead, and I’ve got dinner!" she announced.

"Good. I don’t want to be seen from the road. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone from Borego’s army was looking for me, and I don’t want them to find us."

Alyssea led them to a small clearing about 100 yards from the road. It was surrounded by scrubby trees and boulders and was defensible if they were attacked. Xena let Gabrielle get down first and then dismounted. Gabrielle noticed a grimace on Alyssea’s face as she dismounted.

"What’s the matter?" she asked.

"Oh, it’s just my shoulder, where I was wounded. It only hurts when I get on or off a horse."

"Here, let me take a look at it," Gabrielle said, stepping closer to Alyssea, and examining the bloody bandage around her shoulder.

"No, that’s all right, I’ll be fine," Alyssea said, withdrawing from her.

"Let her look at it," Xena said. "She has stuff that will work wonders on that wound." Reluctantly Alyssea accepted Gabrielle’s ministrations.

Alyssea didn’t know if she could trust Gabrielle, and was wary of letting her get too close to her. Still, she had a gentle touch as she peeled back her clothing, cleaned her wound, and put some of her special herb salve on it.

Xena removed the saddle and bags from her horse, and asked Gabrielle to go look for some firewood nearby.

Alyssea tied up her horse and began skinning the rabbit. Xena went over to her horse and removed the saddle and bags for her.

"Thanks, Xena," Alyssea said as Gabrielle disappeared in search of firewood. "My shoulder is starting to bother me."

"Did Gabrielle fix you up OK?"

"Yes, she’s got a very nice touch," Alyssea answered.

Xena was thinking, "I should say so!" but didn’t give voice to her thoughts.

"How long is she going to be traveling with us?" Alyssea asked.

"I don’t know. Why, don’t you like her?" Xena asked.

"No, she’s OK. I just heard you with her last night, and I really don’t know what to think. What’s going on?"

"I was laying there, minding my own business, and she starts crawling all over me. It felt good, so I let her do it, that’s all."

"Come on, Xena, it was more than that. Don’t give me that crap. You weren’t just a spectator, you were a participant."

"So what? You’ve seen me with men before."

"Yes, but that’s different."

"How?" Xena probed.

"I don’t know, it just is."

Xena held Alyssea by both her arms and looked her right in the eye. "Alyssea, you’re very important to me--you’re my right hand. No one could replace you. What can I say about Gabrielle? Yes, I liked being with her, and I don’t know why. It just happened. I can accept that—why can’t you?"

Alyssea petulantly tried to turn away from Xena, who would not let her go. No matter what Xena had said, she still would not have been pleased. Up until now, her relationship with Xena had been very close, and she felt that intimacy slipping away from her with the arrival of Xena’s new playmate.

On the other hand, she always knew Xena was an if-it-feels-good-just-do-it sort of woman, so why should she be surprised if she took a woman to her bed? Xena was a true hedonist, and she delighted in living life to its fullest, and whether the fun involved intoxication, fornication, or fighting, she was up for all of it. The amazing thing about her was how she could still stay in control, no matter how much she’d had to drink, or how many lovers she’d had in one night. Xena was a skilled strategist, a mistress of manipulation. She could bend men to her will, whether it was with a sword, her body, or her words. Alyssea studied her and strove to emulate her. She was intoxicated by the aura of power surrounding Xena.

Just as Gabrielle returned with the firewood, Alyssea pulled away from Xena’s grasp. Putting her load down, she smiled at Xena and gave her a quizzical look. Xena quickly put some distance between herself and Alyssea, and busied herself building a fire, while Alyssea finished skinning and gutting the rabbit. They sat around, watching the critter cook over the fire. When it was done, Xena cut off the biggest piece and gave it to Alyssea, as an offering of thanks to the hunter. Then she took the rest of the whole carcass and cut off small pieces and began feeding them to Gabrielle by hand, while she gnawed on the rest of it. There was something very intimate about this little feeding ritual, and Gabrielle enjoyed it immensely. She felt as if she were a goddess accepting offerings from her devotees. None of this nuance was lost on Alyssea. In spite of Xena’s reassurance, she still felt left out. There was some kind of energy between Gabrielle and Xena that she had never witnessed before when Xena was with others. It was as compelling as it was exclusive.

After dinner, Xena got a goatskin of wine and passed it around. They all drank their fill of what was left, and felt pretty good as the evening wore on. Eventually they went to bed, and lay there in the stillness, listening to the desert rodents scurrying around, and occasional owls hooting. Other than that, all was silent.

Xena left her bedroll and went over to Gabrielle when she thought Alyssea was asleep. She lay next to Gabrielle and pulled her on top of her body and started kissing her passionately, mingling her tongue with her lover’s. Xena stroked her back and her butt with her hands, and cupping her ass in her big hands, pulled Gabrielle even tighter, grinding her pubis into her leg. The desert was still warm from the day’s sun, and as they threw off the blanket covering them, the fire illuminated two well-proportioned women’s bodies writhing with desire, while the still air was suddenly punctuated with deliciously teasing moans of pleasure.

Both Xena and Gabrielle were so inflamed with passion that they almost had to fight with each other to see who would do what to whom first. They both wanted to kiss the other all over, they both wanted to taste the other’s delights, they both wanted to feel the other’s hot, wet desire. They were not the only ones with a need.

Alyssea was not asleep. Her companions were so loud, she didn’t know how anyone could sleep. After watching them for a few minutes, she felt compelled to join in, to experience for herself the thrills they were giving each other. She slithered over to the heaving bodies next to the fire, and put her hand on Gabrielle’s back and began stroking it, all the way down to her butt and on to her legs. She looked at her nice round, firm ass and began to kiss it.

Gabrielle was so into Xena that she didn’t notice for a moment the presence of an extra hand. But when she felt kisses on her ass, she knew that wasn’t Xena’s mouth! Just as she turned around to see who it was, Xena looked up to see Alyssea bending over Gabrielle’s ass. Xena just reached out with her long arm, took Alyssea’s hand in hers and kissed it. Alyssea looked up, smiled in acknowledgment, and went right back to her pleasant task at hand. Gabrielle was enjoying all the attention to her details, so protest was the last thing on her mind.

Xena’s hand unclasped and found its way to Alyssea’s firm, young breasts. While she fondled Alyssea, her other hand found its way to Gabrielle’s wet, sweet spot, and began to explore. Oh, she wanted her in her mouth, she wanted to taste her sweetness! Xena couldn’t wait any longer—she rolled Gabrielle over onto her side and went down on her. Alyssea barely had time to get out of the way.

Gabrielle was licking her lips, and looking like she needed a kiss, so Alyssea put her arms around her, and kissed her. Alyssea saw Gabrielle’s breasts and began to play with them, while she positioned herself so that her own breasts dangled in Gabrielle’s face. Alyssea wanted to kiss Gabrielle’s breasts, to suck on her nipples, to see what it felt like. So she stopped kissing Gabrielle, held one of her tits, and popped the nipple into her mouth. She tongued it gently at first, then started sucking on it while holding it in her hand. Gabrielle let out a load moan, and her breathing became more like gasping. Alyssea wondered if she were responsible, and then looked down at Xena eagerly devouring Gabrielle’s nether regions.

Xena was totally absorbed by Gabrielle’s pussy. She just wanted to bathe in it, and make her feel good. Back and forth her tongue went, from her clit to her lips to her cunt. She had just entered her with her fingers when Gabrielle had moaned and gasped for air. Once she felt Xena inside her, she began to thrust upward, and grind up and down. Xena’s mouth rode her like an experienced rider on a horse. She simply would not let her go, and Gabrielle climaxed again and again in new levels of ecstasy.

Seeing and feeling Alyssea’s breasts in her face was too much for Gabrielle to resist. She fondled each of them and put each in her mouth in turn. Soon Alyssea was feeling hot and wet and moaning with pleasure as Gabrielle began to explore the wet spot between her legs. Finding an opening, she slowly entered, making sure that Alyssea really wanted it. When she didn’t move away, or protest, Gabrielle went in further, probing gently. She liked the hot, wet feel of her cunt, the way it closed around her fingers, and sucked them inside, wanting them, inviting them. Alyssea bent and spread her legs to allow Gabrielle greater access. Suddenly Alyssea opened up, and almost all of Gabrielle’s hand went inside her. Gabrielle took her other hand and worked Alyssea’s clit, making her moan so loudly that Xena came on the spot, groaning into Gabrielle’s pussy, the vibrations forcing her to climax even more.

"Oh, Goddess, oh Xena!" Gabrielle gasped as she climaxed once again. "Come here, Xena, I want you," she commanded, after she had been worn out by Xena’s expert oral ministrations. Xena got to her knees and straddled Gabrielle’s mouth, facing Alyssea. She grabbed Alyssea in a full frontal embrace that supported both of them Then she slowly lowered her sex over Gabrielle’s waiting mouth, so wet she was dripping her honey down Gabrielle’s chin. Pulling Alyssea closer, Xena bent over and gave her a kiss, plunging her tongue into her waiting mouth. Alyssea eagerly received Xena’s penetration, accepting it inside her, and opening within herself as if she were a flower blooming. As Gabrielle moved her hands to squeeze Xena’s ass, Xena probed to feel the wetness between Alyssea’s legs, and felt her shudder in her arms.

Alyssea felt the highest she ever had in her life, being touched by the warrior princess—she felt like she had come home. Xena continued to stroke her vulva, pushing her fingers into Alyssea’s cunt while she stroked her throbbing clitoris. Gabrielle’s mouth was doing its magic on Xena’s pussy, and she was moaning and writhing while holding onto Alyssea. Suddenly, she exploded, drenching Gabrielle with a shower of her love juice. Listening to Xena was such a turn-on that Alyssea came right in her hand at that moment. Xena fell onto Alyssea, and they lay on each other in a sweaty, panting heap, while Gabrielle’s face was still covered by Xena’s pussy. Xena was practically passed out, her climax was so intense. All three of them lay there for a number of minutes, not moving, except to breathe.

Xena heard one of the horses whinny, and she was suddenly alert. So was Alyssea, for she started to move. Xena stopped her with her hand. If there was someone out there, they would make a more difficult target laying down than sitting up. Xena looked over at her bedroll for her sword and chakram—they were just out of reach. She listened intently, and soon heard the sound of several pairs of boots walking on the soft sand. "Gabrielle, stay down—someone’s coming," she whispered hoarsely. She looked, but could see no one. She grabbed a handful of sand and threw it on the fire to squelch it, then dove for her weapons, while Alyssea went for hers. Pulling her sword out of its scabbard, the characteristic sound of metal grazing metal rent the air, and the footsteps stopped.

"Xena?" a familiar male voice questioned.

"Who is it?" she demanded in an annoyed voice.

"What’s left of the rabble you left behind you, dear," came the familiar reply, as its owner stepped closer to the glowing embers of the fire.

Xena stood up, stark naked, with sword raised, and said, "Jason?" Then she recognized him and his two companions. "You old cocksucker, with your butt-fucking buddies, Cleis and Gordo. What are you doing here, in the middle of the night?"

"Well, I could ask you the same thing! Have you been having fun?" he said, drinking in her naked body, and those of her companions, thinking that if she’d been a boy, he would not have hesitated to pay homage to her in a very physical way.

Suddenly Xena remembered that she was naked, but she stood unashamed, her androgynous body dimly outlined by the embers of the fire. "Jason, why don’t you and your friends turn around so we can put some clothes on?" she said irritatedly. "And while you’re at it, go look for some more dry kindling so I can get this fire started again. It’s because of your foolishness that I had to put it out, and it’ll take some doing to get it going again."

"As you wish, my princess," he said mock-seriously, and went off in search of firewood.

As Xena turned to her blanket, and knelt to the ground to put on some clothing, Gabrielle asked, "Who is that?"

"Oh, that’s just my gayest soldier, Jason, and his friends."

"What are they doing here now?"

"I sure as hell don’t know. But we’ll find out when they get back. It’s a good thing they didn’t come any earlier," she said, kissing Gabrielle. Expecting the boys to be back any minute, they all dressed hurriedly.

Jason returned and put some kindling on the dying embers which then burst into flame, revealing a much mellowed-out Xena and her companions. "So what are you guys doing here?’ Xena asked.

"Well, after you disbanded the army, we just decided to stick together and take the North road out of the badlands. We were looking for a place to camp when I saw your horses. Where are you headed?"

"I don’t know—I just wanted to get away."

"Maybe we could travel together. You know, we could be useful to you."

"No, Jason, I’m not starting up the army again. What I have to do, I have to do alone."

"Yes, I can see that," he said sarcastically, looking at Gabrielle and Alyssea, who started to giggle like someone with a guilty secret.

"Don’t be a smartass, Jason," Xena half-heartedly reprimanded him. "If you want to camp here, you’re welcome. We’ll see about tomorrow in the morning." Cleis and Gordo returned and heaped more wood on the fire. "Since there are so many of us, we won’t have any trouble keeping the fire going, and we can all take turns keeping watch. Jason, you go first, and I’ll join you in a minute. The rest of you can work out the order. I wouldn’t put it past Borego to be looking for us, and I don’t want to get caught with my pants down." Once she said it, she realized the double meaning and clapped her hand over her mouth, while everyone else had a good, hearty laugh.

Once she was dressed, Xena walked with Jason to the perimeter of their encampment. "Were you having fun with you that new girl and your lieutenant?’ he asked cheekily.

For once, Xena did not feel the need to be on the defensive. Jason was an old friend and comrade, and she and he had talked about many things in the past, including sex and relationships. "Yes," she responded slowly. "I guess now I know what you meant when you talked about having same-sex relationships. This felt very different than when I was with men. It was better."

"Honey, what did I tell you? You try women, and you’ll never go back!"

"Well, I just don’t know. I’ve never felt this way before. Gabrielle crawled under the blanket with me, saying she was cold, and the next thing I knew, she was all over me. It felt good, so I just let her do it. I just thought I’d let her please me, and then…" her voice trailed off.

"And then?" Jason prodded her, not wanting to miss any juicy detail.

"Then I wanted her for myself, she made me so hot, I wanted to please her; suddenly I wanted to devour her. I feel so good now, it makes me wonder if this is too good to be true."

Jason’s eyes grew wide while she talked, and he raised his eyebrows. He was seeing a side of Xena he had never known existed. "Ewww, I know just how you feel!" he squealed. "But aren’t you leaving something out?"

"Like what?"

"I mean Alyssea. Wasn’t she part of your little melee tonight? What about her? I always knew she worshipped you, but not in that way!"

"Oh, that. Well, she had heard Gabrielle and me the night before, and when we started in tonight she just decided to join us. She’s really a very sweet girl!"

"Yes, I’ll just bet, especially now!" Jason joked. Xena smiled and gave him a playful poke in the ribs. "So how do you like being the meat in the sandwich, dear?"

"Jason! I don’t know. This is only my second time! I don’t really know how I feel, except I’m hot for Gabrielle all the time."

"Ummm-hmmm. Yeah, I’ve been there before. So what are you going to do with Alyssea?"

"Do? What do you mean, ‘do with her?’ "

"This is not going to work for very long. You know, Xena, women get jealous of each other. Each and every one of you wants to be the only one. You’re all like cats—you’re very territorial."

"How did you learn so much about women, Jason? I never thought they interested you."

"Well, my mother was one, and (forgive me for saying this), some of my best friends have been women. With love comes jealously and possessiveness."

"Love?" Xena guffawed, recoiling as if she had been slapped. "Who said anything about love?"

"Honey, Gabrielle is a sweet little thing, and you won’t be able to use her for your pleasure, and then throw her away like you did with the men. If you continue to sleep with her, you will start to love her, and she you; that is, if you’re not already in love with her."

Xena became very agitated, and suddenly got up, and started pacing back and forth. She had not considered love to be a consequence of a couple of evenings’ casual pleasure. She had spent so many years hardening her heart to any kind of tender emotion that love scared her. The trouble was, she was already in love with Gabrielle, but wouldn’t allow herself to feel that. "Jason, you’re making this so complicated!" Xena protested.

"Xena," he said, putting his hand gently on her shoulder, "that’s the way relationships are. Just enjoy her while she’s here, give her what you can, and take whatever she’s willing to give you. I think she’ll be good for you. You need to be loved just as much as the rest of us do."

Xena’s eyes started to tear up and she turned away so Jason wouldn’t see her. "Have someone wake me just before daylight. I’ll take the last watch," she said abruptly, and strode over to the campfire. Alyssea and Gabrielle looked very sweet and serene all snuggled up together. Xena got her blanket, threw it down next to them, lay down next to Gabrielle, put her arm around her, and went to sleep.

To be continued…

1997 Laine Roberta Lawless

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without permission