Xena and the Moon Goddess

by Laine Roberta Lawless

 

"What must I have been thinking of?" Xena questioned herself as she hurried along the well-trodden path, her sweat soaking into her leather armor, making it stick to her skin. The day had begun with fair weather, but had now turned hellish for her, the cruel sun beating down on her tanned, lithe body, burning her skin.

Fear took hold of Xena’s mind, fear for the safety of her beloved Gabrielle. She had told her to wait in a tavern while Xena reconnoitered with a trader named Sophia, who had told her that there was a war party headed toward the town where Gabrielle was staying. Thinking the meeting might be dangerous, Xena had told Gabrielle to wait in town.

As Xena approached the town, her fears became manifest. She heard tortured screams and yells, and smelled smoke in the air. Everything was chaos, terrified villagers were running everywhere, being pursued by armed men who eagerly stuck anything that moved with their swords. As she neared the tavern, Xena saw Gabrielle struggling with a brutish ass of a man who was beating her in the face and ripping off her clothes, trying to rape her. Xena saw pleading terror in Gabrielle’s eyes as she screamed over and over again, "No….no!"

Xena pulled the rapist off Gabrielle, punched him in the face, and ran him through the gut with her sword. "You filthy pig! You’ve forced your last woman!" He clutched his stomach, his eyes wide open in disbelief, fell to his knees, and collapsed on the ground. Blood running down her sword, Xena put her arm around Gabrielle and said, "Are you all right? I’m sorry—I never should have left you here!" Gabrielle was so frightened she could hardly talk, but she nodded.

The tavern and the stable next to it were on fire. "Argo!" Xena yelled, remembering she had left her horse in the stable. Quickly Xena ripped the awning off a stand at the market, swathed Gabrielle in it and secreted her in between some large baskets of fruits and vegetables for safe-keeping. "I’ve got to go get Argo," she said. "You’ll be safe here for now."

Xena knew their chances of getting out of there would be better on a horse than on foot, and she rushed into the burning stable to get Argo. She saw her on the other side of the flames, tethered to a post, whinnying and rearing up, desperately trying to escape. Xena threw her chakram, cut the rope binding the horse, and caught it on its way back to her. Xena whistled for Argo, and the horse ran to her, but stopped at the wall of flame between them. She mentally sent a visual picture to Argo of the horse being covered with fireproof armor, charging through the flames unhurt. Argo stepped back, a strange look on her face, and charged the flames to get to Xena. Argo had complete trust in Xena, and knew Xena would never deceive or harm her. Argo emerged unscathed, and Xena led her away from the fire.

"Gabrielle? Can you stand up?" Xena asked when she got back to her lover she had hidden in the market. Before Gabrielle could answer, a warrior ran up behind Xena and tried to stab her in the back. Xena sensed him coming, though, and kicked back as hard as she could with the full length of her leg, imbedding her foot in his groin.

Gabrielle was still in shock, but managed a weak, "Yeah, I can," as Xena lifted her up. Xena put her foot in the stirrup and hoisted her onto Argo, then got up herself, holding Gabrielle tightly to her breast while they rode out of the town.

After 20 minutes of hard riding, Xena felt it was safe enough to stop for a while in the forest. She got off Argo first and then slid Gabrielle down into her waiting arms. Gabrielle, still wearing the awning to cover her nakedness, buried her face in between Xena’s breasts and sobbed uncontrollably while Xena held her, saying nothing.

"It’s all right, you’re safe now," Xena consoled her. "You know I won’t ever let anybody hurt you. I love you and will always protect you." Xena took Gabrielle’s face in her hands, brushing her tears away, kissing her on the cheek, and looking into her eyes with great concern.

"Xena, you’re my hero, my warrior Goddess," Gabrielle exclaimed, kissing Xena on the lips.

Xena looked at her quizzically. "Oh, please—I’m not a Goddess, Gabrielle."

"You are to me, and I worship you like one," Gabrielle said, a look of awe and admiration in her eyes. She kissed Xena on the lips, and pressed her tongue into her mouth. "Make love to me now," she asked, letting the awning slip to the ground, exposing her breasts.

Xena stepped back, startled that Gabrielle would want to get intimate after what she had just experienced. "Ah…" she stammered, "ohh, are you sure you want to do this now?" she asked, holding Gabrielle by both her arms.

"Oh Goddess, I want you now!" Gabrielle insisted, ripping off Xena’s armor, and pulling her down to the ground where the awning lay. Xena looked at the body of her lover; it was perfectly proportioned, and fit with her body like a hand in a glove. Xena was so tall, and Gabrielle so short, that Gabby’s face hit just between her breasts when they were standing together.

Xena finished taking off her armor, and laid Gabrielle down, kissing her on the lips, and dragging her breasts over Gabrielle’s as she leaned over her. "Thank you, Goddess!" Xena thought, as she surveyed Gabrielle in all her beauty.

Xena kissed Gabrielle’s neck softly as she ran her hands over her breasts, brushing against her pert nipples ever so slightly. Gabrielle moaned in her ear, and begged Xena to go down on her, to that special place they both loved.

"No, not yet, my sweet one," Xena said, feeling that old familiar quickening in her heart and between her legs. She gently kissed and massaged her breasts, putting first one nipple in her mouth, and then the other, sucking and licking until she felt the aureola become erect. She was driving Gabrielle crazy—she was writhing with need, and caressing Xena all over. When she put her hand between Xena’s legs, Xena the Warrior Princess came on the spot, with a shudder and a wailing moan loud enough to awaken a sister in Hades.

Xena put her hand between Gabby’s legs and felt an immense pool of wetness that was soft, warm, and inviting. Putting her fingers in that special place, she began to slide them in and out, while her other hand searched out the sweet spot above and danced the spiral dance. Xena was getting ready to climax again and Gabrielle was begging to have her mouth on her.

Xena toyed with her, kissing her thighs and her pubic mound, but not her altar. Finally Gabrielle got so tired of waiting that she grabbed a fistful of Xena’s long black hair and jammed her face between her legs in the right spot. Xena began licking furiously, devouring the taste and smell of her Goddess’ altar, drinking in her essence in every part of her being. Never before had Xena been so devoted to anyone in her life; no one had ever made her feel so alive before Gabrielle. Xena wasn’t very good with words, and telling someone she loved them was uncomfortable, so she was always grateful for the opportunity to show her how much she was loved.

Soon Gabrielle was coming in waves, her essence gushing out into Xena’s mouth with every new orgasm. Xena drank in all of it, loving the sweet taste of her lover, and climaxing in rhythm with Gabrielle. Finally, Gabrielle could take no more, and pushed Xena’s head away. Xena exited somewhat reluctantly, her face drenched with Gabrielle’s love essence. Gabrielle pulled Xena’s lips to hers, and they kissed a long, lingering kiss. "Goddess, how I love you," Xena sighed to Gabrielle.

"I worship you in my heart every day, whether we’re together or not," Gabrielle responded. Together, they lay side by side, arms around each other, basking in the afterglow of their love.

"Xena," Gabrielle said after a long time, "I don’t want to go around in this cheap awning, looking like a seller of fruits for the rest of my life. Can we get me a shirt to wear?"

Xena and Gabrielle both laughed. "Yes, it’s just not you. It’s pretty ugly, all right. Let’s go see Sophia—maybe she has something. She’s camped just over the hill."

"Xena!" Gabrielle protested. "I don’t have anything to wear, and I certainly don’t want to wear this hideous awning over there!"

Xena chuckled and squeezed her lover’s breasts. "I don’t care if you don’t wear anything…you’re beautiful to me naked."

"Thanks, Xena, but you really don’t want other people staring at me, do you?"

Xena thought for a moment, and frowned. "No, I wouldn’t like that at all. Let’s see…why don’t you wear my breastplate?"

"I can’t wear that—it’s way too big for me," Gabrielle protested.

"Don’t worry about it," Xena said, putting the armor around Gabrielle. "It covers the necessary areas—that’s all that matters."

Xena and Gabrielle mounted Argo and rode over the hill to see the trader Sophia. Gabrielle looked truly ridiculous wearing Xena’s armor with nothing underneath. In some ways she may have been a princess, but today she didn’t look like one, nor a warrior either.

A raven swooped down in front of them and Xena noticed that it seemed to be cawing at her. Knowing that a bird like that often means a message is coming one’s way, Xena opened her heart to it, and resolved to be on the lookout for other signs or omens.

"Xena, do you think some mysterious force like the Goddesses drew us together? Do you ever wonder if there’s a purpose for us being together? I never knew anyone like you before."

Xena rode on silently, thinking that these were the questions that she would rather not have been asked. Even though she felt they were destined to be together, she also knew that what the gods put together, they can also rend asunder. For only the second time in her life, she was really scared. Up until the time she had met Gabrielle, she had had nothing worth living for but her anger and lust for revenge; she’d had nothing to protect and cherish. Now that she did have someone worth dying for, she was deathly afraid of losing her.

She chose her words carefully. "Yes, I think that it was fate that drew us together. You’re good for me…you’ve mellowed me out." Xena again was silent and the warrior within her desperately wanted to retreat, but she got up her courage and said, "You’ve shown me that it’s worth taking the risk to love someone, that love can be returned."

Gabrielle gave the Warrior Princess a big squeeze and said, "Oh, Xena, I love you so much! You’ve taught me many things, and I’ve done things with you that I never thought I could do before. Besides, look at all the great stories I’ve gotten out of our adventures!" Xena laughed and playfully poked her in the ribs.

Within 20 minutes they were at Sophia’s camp. She was a fiftyish woman from Crete with long graying hair who wore full, flowing skirts. She was bending over a steaming cauldron making dinner just as they arrived. "Well, Xena, I didn’t expect to see you so soon," she said.

"I didn’t think I’d be back so soon, either. Gabrielle got caught in town when that raiding party attacked. She was nearly raped by one of the soldiers, and now she needs a new shirt."

Sophia looked at Gabrielle with concern and asked her if she was all right. She said she was, thanks to Xena, and then began to tell the story with every detail. Xena stopped her with "That’s enough, Gabrielle. I don’t think Sophia wants to hear about all our problems."

"No, I do. I want to know what happened to the rapist. Is he still running around free?"

"Xena killed him!" Gabrielle blurted out excitedly.

"Good!" said Sophia. "At least he won’t be doing it to any more women."

"That’s just what Xena told him," Gabrielle chimed in, embarrassing Xena so badly that her face flushed.

"Anyway, my lover lost her shirt back there. Do you think you have anything that would fit her?"

"Yes, I’m sure I do. I’ve got some nice things in leather that lace up the front. Why don’t you stay and have dinner, and then we can see what’s in my inventory?"

They were both hungry and accepted eagerly. After dinner, Xena noticed that Gabrielle’s face looked puffy, and took it in her hands to examine it. "Ouch," Gabrielle said, and flinched.

"He really did hurt you, didn’t he?" Xena asked

"Yeah, I guess so. I didn’t feel so bad afterwards, but I’m kinda sore now."

"Looks like you’re starting to bruise," Xena said, gently kissing Gabrielle’s cheek. "Why don’t you see what Sophia has for you to wear, and I’ll go into the forest to look for some herbs to take the swelling down."

Twilight descended as Xena entered the forest, and she knew she had to hurry or all she’d have for light would be fireflies. As she stooped down to gather the leaves of a prickly green plant, suddenly she felt warmth all around her, and the forest became lighter. She stood up, and saw a bluish light surrounding her. She felt warm, kind of like she felt when she was near Gabrielle, and she sensed a presence near her. Normally this would have freaked her out, but it felt so good that she decided to go with the flow for the moment, and suspend whatever suspicions that she might normally have. She felt nurtured and loved, but didn’t know how—or why.

Gradually, a woman materialized out of the blue light and spoke to Xena, who was so startled that she dropped the herbs. "Xena, I’ve been watching you…and I see how you have turned your life around. I am pleased with your progress."

"My lady, who are you?" Xena stammered, dropping to her knees and lowering her gaze.

"I am Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon, and protector of all women, especially those who love other women." Artemis was shining with a bluish-white light so brilliant that it almost hurt Xena’s eyes. "I illuminate the dark places in your life as well as the light." As she said this, the glowing light around her shimmered. She was taller than Xena, with long light brown hair and a marvelously proportioned, sinewy body. She was carrying a bow, and had a quiver of arrows on her back, and one of her dryads was with her. The dryad looked as if she were a 16 year old girl, and was wearing just enough clothing to cover her breasts and pubis. Artemis put her arm around the girl, and drew her close.

"What…why, why have you appeared to me? What do you want?" Xena stuttered, awestruck.

"Xena, I may be a Goddess, but I like to look people in the eye when I talk to them. Stand up and look at me," Artemis commanded. Xena hesitated and complied. She really didn’t know what to do—she had never talked to a deity before.

"I have been here since the beginning of time, and I have always been a part of your life, even if you have not been aware of it. I sent Gabrielle to you. I saw that you were lonely and needed some guidance in your life. Gabrielle has set you on a more noble course than you could have achieved on your own. I gave her to you. She is yours, and will remain so, as long as…." Her voice trailed off, making Xena anxious. She had a begging, pleading look on her face, as if to ask "as long as what?"

"…As long as you continue to do right, and fight for your oppressed sisters wherever they may be. Be their heroine—I have chosen you for this task. This is your destiny, and your purpose in life. If you continue to trod the path of right, I will come to you and heal you when you are sick, and I promise you a place in the Elysian fields when you go through transition before your next life.

"I give you the gift of prescience. Whenever you do not know which way to turn, think of me, and the answer will appear to you, either in a dream, or by a sign." Xena felt a warm, tingling surge of energy flow through her, starting at her heart and spreading throughout her body. "Watch for portents and omens—I will be there. I am your protector, just as you protect our sisters. Are you prepared to accept your divine destiny?"

Xena took a long time to answer. It wasn’t every day a goddess appeared to her, and she was momentarily dumbstruck. "Yes, Artemis, I accept my destiny. Thank you for sending Gabrielle to me—she has saved my life. Thank you for honoring me with your presence and gifts, Goddess. I only regret that all I can give you are these herbs I have just gathered."

"Xena, you have already given me the gift I wanted—your life in the service of our sisters. Keep the herbs for Gabrielle." With a great whoosh of wind, she was gone, and the forest was nearly dark. Xena returned to camp and spent the rest of the evening caring for Gabrielle and being more contemplative than usual. She did not mention anything of her encounter with Artemis to Gabrielle or Sophia. She decided it was best to keep it to herself for now.

To be continued… 1997 Laine Roberta Lawless No reproduction or distribution without authorization