Disclaimer: The characters portrayed in this story belong to MCA/Renaissance Pictures. I’ve only borrowed them for a short time, and have returned them in good condition.

There is no violence in this story. There is, however, tenderness and caring between two consenting, fictional [to some people they are fictional, to others, they are very real!] adults.

If you live in a place where tenderness and caring is not allowed, or if you are underage, or any other type of constriction inhibits your life, go play Solitaire or Slingo.

The story takes place a few moons after my first story, Ground Rules. It is not absolutely necessary to read Ground Rules first, however this story will make a whole lot more sense if you do!

I wish to thank my beta reader, Portia Richardson. Once again, her editing, rewriting, and general nudging have allowed me to write, and with her help, write well. And also a sincere thank you to my dear friend KB, who is also a world class nudge!

This work is copyrighted by the Author. August, 2000.

Please feel free to e-mail me at Towandababe@AOL.com with any comments, suggestions, or ideas you might feel like sharing.






Xena looked up from her nightly ritual of sharpening her sword. She realized that she hadn’t heard Gabrielle’s voice for a while. This was very unusual, because Gabrielle was always talking, constantly talking, and it generally made Xena nuts. Now, she realized, not hearing Gabrielle talking was equally nerve wracking. Where has she gone, she usually tells me when she’s going to make a visit to the bushes, or whatever. I didn’t even hear her leave, I must be getting slow in my "old age".

"Gabrielle, where are you?"

There was no response. Xena immediately got up and sheathed her sword. She looked toward the place she had last seen Gabrielle sitting and writing in her scrolls. She realized that not only was Gabrielle missing but also her scroll bag and bedroll.

Now Xena was concerned. There was one personal, material thing Gabrielle held dear; her scroll bag and scrolls. If Gabrielle had just gone to make a visit to the bushes, she wouldn’t have taken her scroll bag, or her bedroll, either.

"Gabrielle, if you’re playing a game, it isn’t funny, and I am not amused!"

Xena heard only the sounds of the day shift of insects and animals trading places with the more nocturnal creatures. Dusk was quickly turning into night.

They had left the comfort and solitude of their special place, their cave only a few moons ago. Since that time they’d spent every night out in the open. They’d had a number of adventures since leaving the cave, and Gabrielle had committed each of their adventures to her beloved scrolls.

She smiled as she thought of the intense pleasure of discovery that they’d experienced. Of how Gabrielle hadn’t wanted to leave the cave, ever. They’d talked about leaving for a few days before actually doing so, or rather Xena had talked about it and Gabrielle had offered arguments for why they shouldn’t. As usual, Xena had the last word, or at least the last word that counted....no one ever really had the last word when dealing with Gabrielle. She had made her point one more time, and when Gabrielle started on another dissertation of why they shouldn’t leave, Xena had resorted to "The Look". Gabrielle knew a ‘no win’ situation when she saw one and began packing their belongings. Xena had heard Gabrielle snuffle a few times, but then when they were ready to leave the young woman had been excited to start out for new adventures. As Gabrielle had said the morning they had left the cave, "I have blank scrolls just waiting to tell of our adventures."

Xena reflected on how Gabrielle’s excitement created warmth within her own self. Of how her love was so very open, of how giving Gabrielle was, expecting nothing in return.

Xena walked the perimeter of their campsite looking for indications of Gabrielle’s whereabouts. Argo, resting at the side of the camp, looked up from her grazing as Xena walked toward her.

"Where is she, Argo? Where is Gabrielle?"

The mare snorted and lowered her head to the grass to continue her evening meal.

"Big help you are"


Now Xena was getting worried. This was so unlike Gabrielle to just disappear without telling Xena where she was going. Besides being worried, Xena also felt that if this were some sort of trick Gabrielle was playing, she’d be sorry she’d ever considered it. Gabrielle had learned the hard way that she had to follow certain Ground Rules while traveling with the Warrior Princess. She was fairly certain that Gabrielle still remembered being punished for not listening, not paying attention. It didn’t seem likely that the young woman would forget the spanking, or the embarrassment of that incident, much less the pain it caused.

Xena redoubled her efforts. After a few moments, she found a boot print--a small foot. Gabrielle’s foot made the print, of this Xena was certain. She walked a full pace ahead, turned her head and looked down. About a foot behind her heel was another print. It was Gabrielle all right. Xena knew the exact length of Gabrielle’s stride. The superior tracking skills of the Warrior Princess showed the direction the young woman had taken. But those skills were inadequate in determining why Gabrielle had left.

As Xena tracked through the woods, her mind raced on. What had she done to make the young woman leave like this? She thought back on the days and nights they had spent in each other’s arms, loving one another, exploring and tasting and touching. Nothing seemed wrong, everything was perfect. Something must have made her do this, why am I so dense to her feelings, maybe she told me something was wrong and I ignored her, like I do so often. It’s her own fault, she talks so much, I know I tune her out...I love her so much, I can’t even think of not being with her. If anything has happened to her, I will never forgive myself. I might have many skills, but one of those skills is certainly being an insensitive jerk! Come on, Gabrielle, where are you!!

After racing through the woods, Xena came to a small clearing. Sitting on a log in the middle of the clearing, was Gabrielle. Xena was so relieved to see her that she forgot her anger and anxiety, until she saw to whom Gabrielle was talking.

Oh no, not Aphrodite again..oh please, let this be a bad dream...I don’t want that goofy Goddess of Love anywhere near me, or Gabrielle, either.

"Gabrielle, what are you doing?"

"Oh, Xena, I just thought I’d take my bedroll and scrolls and sit in this clearing a while to write, and look who showed up!" Gabrielle’s excitement at seeing Aphrodite was evident.

"Whatever made you just get up and leave without telling me? I was worried about you."

"Xena, I told you I was going, I told you twice, as a matter of fact. You were sharpening your sword, and you mumbled at me, I really thought you heard me. Of course, I know you seldom actually listen to me, but I really did think you heard me. I’m sorry you were concerned. Are you angry with me?" Gabrielle had a worried look on her face. Xena felt like a fool. Gabrielle probably had tried to tell her she was going to go to the clearing to write.

"I’m sorry Gabrielle, I guess I wasn’t listening to you. I’m just glad you’re all right. Now my next question is, what are you doing here Aphrodite? We don’t need you anywhere near us!" Xena turned her attention from her lover to the Goddess. "Why are you here?"

"Oh Warrior Princess, you are just so. . .not with it. Hellooooo? Like, I can be such a big help to you, and the little blonde here. Okay, you know I have all the answers, right? Even to some questions that have never been asked!" Aphrodite was dressed, or undressed, in one of her usual Frederick’s of Athens outfits. Everything tight and firm was diaphanously covered with mauve see-thru material. She reached into the folds of her flowing gown and produced some sparkly powder, which she then blew toward Xena.

Xena blinked, then stared at Aphrodite. Half of her felt like ripping her luscious blonde head off, the other half felt like ripping off that ridiculous outfit...Whoa, what’s happening here! I love Gabrielle, only Gabrielle, for now and forever. But the Goddess is turning me on. I never noticed how hot she is. Why am I feeling aroused by this blonde bimbo luscious creature oh, no, it’s finally happened! I’ve lost my mind! I can’t feel anything for Aphrodite..I don’t want to feel anything for her...but oh boy, I’m feeling something, I’m as wet as I can get without drowning! Don’t let this be happening! That's the Destroyer of Nations...Taking pleasures wherever she desires, not who I've tried to become. Man, I just can't get away from that part of me. Gabrielle means so much to me, she has helped me so much, I would never do anything to hurt her. An imaginary torch went on over Xena’s head, hmmm, she likes Aphrodite, maybe she wouldn’t be hurt at all, maybe it would make her even more excited to watch....by the gods, what am I thinking! Xena nodded. Right. Who needs to think, I want some of that blonde. She turned to Gabrielle. She stared at her bewildered, confused and horny. Gabrielle, what’s happening to me, don’t look at me like that, you can’t read my mind. Can you? Oh, I am in so deep now, come on Gabrielle, help me here......

"Xena! Stop staring like that, and for Zeus’ sake, wipe off your chin. XENA! You’re drooling, and look at your inner thighs, they’re wet, I can see it from here! What is wrong with you? I thought you loved me. And here you stand, the great Warrior Princess, drowning both ends in her own secretions. You really are something, you know? You sure had me fooled, with all your love and devotion stuff. Ha! It was just a ploy, wasn’t it, just to add another virgin maiden to your notched belt. Oh, you think I don’t know what those notches mean? Well, let me tell you this, Xena, this little girl is gonna go off on her own, because I don’t want to play games!"

Xena nearly screamed in anguish, as the words she tried to say came out just the opposite, and each time she tried to explain, she dug herself even deeper with the angry blonde woman standing just about 8 inches below her nose...Gee, Gabrielle is short...whereas that luscious blond woman standing over there is taller by about 5 inches. What’s an inch? Why is this happening, I don’t deserve this, oh well, maybe I do, but Gabrielle certainly doesn’t. Xena smirked and raised an eyebrow. Why am I worried about Gabrielle, there’s more than enough of me to go around. Xena’s eyes bulged from their sockets. Who said that? I couldn’t have said that. What is going on?

"Oh, how wonderful, the great Warrior Princess is having a real time trying to get a clue!" Aphrodite was obviously very pleased with herself. She loved to use her magic powder on mortals, even though it only lasted a few moments. The effect it had was to produce confusion in the mind of the unlucky recipient, and Aphrodite thoroughly enjoyed playing around with mortals. It really made her day!

"Aphrodite, what did you do? Did you do something to Xena to make her like this? Oh please, tell me you didn’t. You’d better fix her. Be glad you’re a goddess otherwise she’ll kill you when she gets back to normal!"

Gabrielle had lost all thought of leaving Xena as she realized that Aphrodite had cast some sort of spell. I should have known that something was not right...Xena loves me, I know she does, and there is no way that she would ever consider another woman. At least I sure hope that is all that has happened. ‘All that has happened,’ have I lost my mind! This is not just a little godly prank..this is serious stuff, and messing with Xena is not something to be taken lightly. I thought the scene in the cave was dangerous...this is even worse!

"Aphrodite, please! If you’ve put some spell on Xena, please undo it right now. You know how dangerous Xena can be when she’s angry. Please, Aphrodite, please!"

Gabrielle was nearly hysterical as she pleaded with Aphrodite. However her pleas appeared to be falling on deaf ears. Aphrodite just stood there, watching Xena squirm as the warrior tried to make sense of what was happening and which woman she wanted..mortal or god.

"Oh, little blond twit...Don’t worry about your precious Xena! I just want to have a little fun with you two. After all, you wouldn’t use my help when you were in that cave...Xena was mean to me!" Aphrodite stood in front of a very upset Gabrielle and a totally confused Xena and pouted. " I’m gonna teach Xena a lesson, Gabrielle! And as much as I’d like you to know my plans, you’re gonna be like, way to important in this lesson...so I’m gonna make you forget everything I’ve said! You won’t know anything about the plan, like, how I’m gonna make Xena prove her love for you over and over, even though I’m gonna throw every obstacle I can think of in her way. She’ll either win or lose, but either way, she’ll learn that it isn’t nice to be mean to the gods! And especially to me, the sweetest, most lovely of all the gods! I offered my help to you both, and it was turned down. This time Xena will either use my help or she’ll lose you completely. Oh, I’m sooooo good! So, now my little blond story teller, get ready, because like, now I’m gonna wipe out your memory...and you’ll like, be on a real run for your life! The Warrior Princess is going to chase you until she has you, one way or another!"

Gabrielle had a horrified look on her face. "Aphrodite, what do you mean? Xena already has me, she already loves me, what are you talking about?"

With that, Aphrodite threw out a puff of smoke and was gone. Gabrielle found herself standing in a clearing, holding a bedroll and a bag of scrolls...looking into the most incredibly blue eyes, blue eyes that showed no recollection of ever having seen her before. Blue eyes filled with heart stopping lust and more than a hint of violence. Gabrielle stepped back, attempting to move out of Xena’s armlength. The tall, dark haired woman moved into the space as Gabrielle vacated it, staying just within reach of the trembling younger woman. Gabrielle considered running, but felt it would be hopeless, this dark haired woman had very long legs, and could surely run Gabrielle to the ground in a heart beat. Gabrielle had no knowledge of this beautiful woman’s identity, but certainly understood that she was in some type of danger, some form of jeopardy, if she stayed anywhere near this woman. She again began to take slow, cautious steps backward, attempting to stay just out of reach of this formidable presence. Xena continued to move in on Gabrielle, much as a predator moves in on their prey.

This nice little bundle will be my dessert tonight, maybe I can even get her to cook for me first. I wonder if she's ever been taken by a woman. Well, tonight she will learn what it means to have someone with many skills make love to her. Xena moved closer, and started to reach out to grab Gabrielle’s arm.

Aphrodite suddenly appeared again, and was obviously very agitated. She flounced around the two women, distraught and distressed.

"Hold it right there, oh great blue eyed, gorgeous package of womanhood! You are like, going at this all wrong! I don’t want you to go after Gabrielle like some sort of prize at a fair...the whole idea was to have you seduce and claim Gabrielle like it was the first time you ever met her! That’s why I wiped out both yours and Gabrielle’s memories. You two fell in love without me, but now, I’m in charge. We’ll see if this is a real love match. I want you to do it my way. After all, I do have a reputation to maintain, and I can’t have mere mortals like you going around, falling in love with one another, without my help! Oh, I know you call it interference, but I call it my godly duty! OK, now, Warrior Princess, we’re gonna start this all over again...and you’ll do it my way or you’ll lose Gabrielle."

Xena and Gabrielle had both been stopped dead in their tracks. Aphrodite directed her words toward Xena, while Gabrielle remained motionless. Xena struggled to speak, and Aphrodite, seeing that Xena wanted to say something, imperiously waved her hand in Xena’s direction. Xena found that she once again had the ability to have coherent thoughts and voice.

"Aphrodite, what are you doing. We’re already very much in love, and it’s a good thing. Why are you doing this?"

"Because you didn't do it my way," she whined. "I want you to do it my way..that’s it! Now get this straight! Gabrielle has no knowledge of your relationship whatsoever, so you’re gonna have to start at like, ground zero."

Xena knew she only had moments before Aphrodite would once again wipe out her ability to reason.

"Aphrodite, please, just give me a clue here as to what you..."

Then Aphrodite once again set them in motion.

Gabrielle blinked. Her eyes widened as she stared at the tall, woman warrior with piercing blue eyes. Her head ached and she wasn't really sure where she was. Cautiously she stepped back, not wanting to make any false moves that might cause her injury, or worse, death.

"Hey, don't back away." Xena said tenderly.

Gabrielle stared inquisitively. The woman looked almost familiar, but not really. Her gut was telling her that the warrior wasn't dangerous, but her head was warning her to proceed with care. "Look, I don't want any trouble, warrior. I. . .uh, seem to be lost. I think."

Xena stepped forward, her hands out in front, showing that she carried no weapon and meant no harm.

"What do you remember?"

Gabrielle thought about the question. Raising her head to the sky, she pursed her lips and tried to recall what memories she had. Finally, she shook her head. "I don't remember much of anything. Who are you?"

"My name is Xena. I’m a problem solver.... Do you know your name?"


"Yes, I'm Gabrielle and I live in this village. We’re in Poteidaia, right?" She asked, begging for reassurance, but realizing that nothing looked familiar.

"No, we're a long way from your town."

"Hmm. I must have been injured. Maybe I was beaten, hit over the head by a bandit?"

Xena had no answer for her that made sense. What was she going to tell her, that she traveled with her, that they had become lovers and that she had just moments earlier had another face-to-face conversation with the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite? She didn't think the young woman would believe it.

"Yeah, I think that's what musta happened. I was chasing a band of thieves and they must have come upon you."

Gabrielle held her bag of scrolls to her chest and eyed the warrior suspiciously.

"Chasing a band of thieves? Are you sure you weren't one of them?" Immediately, she regretted the insinuation for the warrior's eyes narrowed.

"Yeah, they stole my bag." She reached out for Gabrielle's leather container holding her scrolls. "That's mine."

"No, this is mine."

"Are you sure?" Xena raised an eyebrow. She had her!

"Well, no, but I think it's mine."

"Nope." She grabbed the bag from her. "It's mine. These are my scrolls. I wrote them. Those thieves stole them and I chased them here to get back my stuff." Xena's eyes panned the clearing. "I don't know where they went, but I did chase them this way." She stole a glance at Gabrielle peripherally.

Gabrielle quickly searched out the clearing, too. What if the thieves were still lurking? She wouldn't be safe. The warrior hadn't attacked her, so maybe it would be best if she stayed close, at least until she recovered her memory. Those thieves must have whacked her hard. She couldn't remember much of anything except for her name, the names of her family, and some friends.

Xena swung the scroll bag over her shoulder and reached out for Gabrielle. "I've got a fire not too far from here. You can't stay out here by yourself. Those men could come back. Come with me," she didn't exactly ask, but commanded, still reaching for Gabrielle’s hand.

Whom should she fear more, potential assailants waiting to ambush her or this warrior who could very well be the thief herself? Gabrielle jerked away from Xena's touch. "I'll be fine out here. Thank you, though."

"It'll get cold."

"I've got my bedroll."

"That's mine, too," she said gruffly. Xena didn't want Gabrielle sleeping away from the fire. What she wanted was for her to get her memory back and for the two of them to pick up where they left off. Xena bent and picked up the bedroll which Gabrielle had been using as a cushion and tucked it under her arm. "I can protect you, but not out here. Either follow me or don't, it's your choice."

"I'll do fine until the sun comes up, then I'll head for home."

"Have it your way, kid. Has nothing to do with me either way."

Xena began walking back to her campsite. She could feel Gabrielle's eyes on her, but she kept walking. I don't want to spook her. If I force her, she'll just flee. She can follow. She'll be able to smell the fire.

For several minutes, Xena paced around the fire. She had thought that Gabrielle would have followed just a few steps behind her. She had scoped out the land and knew there weren't any bandits about, but what if Gabrielle got scared or an animal attacked. Slowly, she walked to the edge of the woods and stood just a few yards from the clearing, behind a tree. She could see Gabrielle sitting on a boulder, her arms crossed, hands rubbing up and down her upper arms to keep warm. C'mon Gabrielle, just get up and get over here. Forget your pride.

A candlemark later even Xena wanted the comfort of a warm campfire. She knew the girl must be freezing. Drastic measures were called for. Xena unhooked her chakram from its loop at her side and looked out at the clearing. She saw the boulder where Gabrielle sat, a very short tree stump about seven paces away from her, the only tree in the clearing was about twelve paces on the other side of her and on the ground directly in front of her was a molehill that came up to Gabrielle's shin. She gauged the distances while holding her chakram and looking through it. Flexing her wrist a few times, she smirked and sent the chakram flying through the air. It whizzed past Gabrielle's ear and the young woman flicked her hair beside her ear as if trying to rid herself of a pesky bug. The chakram clanged against the tree, then more whizzing as it traveled across and made contact with the tree stump. Gabrielle heard this second clanging sound and looked at the tree stump expecting to see a squirrel or rabbit, but she saw nothing in the darkness. She did hear, though. She heard that whizzing, whooshing sound again and then a thud directly in front of her. Perhaps a mole was returning to its home, though she didn't really believe it. Finally, the humming crossed very close to her other ear as it nose-dived onto the boulder, then back to the tree. As soon as the mysterious creature hit the boulder, Gabrielle was up and running. She raced across the clearing toward the fire the warrior had invited her to visit. She was running so hard and breathing so loudly that she didn't hear the final whizzing pass her again nor the sound of Xena grabbing her chakram and returning it to her waist loop.

Xena quickly made it through the woods and back to the fire. When Gabrielle arrived, abruptly halting to catch her breath and present a relaxed and brave expression, Xena was seated on a log, stoking the fire with a stick.

"Hey. You decided to join me, huh? Got scared?"

"No, not at all. It's dreadfully cold tonight. Without a blanket or coverings, I was going to catch my death. So, it's okay if I share this fire with you?"

"Knock yourself out."

"Thanks." Gabrielle sat across from Xena and raised her hands to the fire. "This feels great."

"Uh-huh." Now that Gabrielle was back, she could relax her guard, as much as Xena was able.

She picked up her scabbard and unsheathed her sword again to continue the ritual of sharpening she had started candlemarks earlier. When Gabrielle heard the sword being removed, she gave a start and gasped. Was the warrior just waiting for her to come to the fire to kill her?

"What?" Xena asked, oblivious to how her action might be perceived.

Gabrielle's voice trembled. "What are you doing?"

"Sharpening my sword." She answered as if to say, 'duh.'

"Oh, yeah. Right."

While Gabrielle warmed herself, she watched the warrior who was now engrossed in her work. That sure looks familiar, that woman sitting there, by the fire, sharpening that sword...but how could I have ever known her, and why does what she’s doing seem so familiar, so comforting?

"What did you say your name was?"

Xena looked up. "Xena," she said, then continued sliding the whetstone across the blade.

"What are you doing here? Out here on your own?"


"To where? Where are you going?"

"Nowhere special. Just traveling."

"Who rides with you? You don't ride alone, do you?"

Xena looked at Gabrielle again. She didn't know what to say or what to keep to herself. She wanted to tell her everything, but Aphrodite could be vengeful. The rule was to win Gabrielle without revealing anything of their recently discovered relationship. Xena shrugged.

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"I'm riding alone right now, I guess. But hopefully that'll be changing soon." Aphrodite, give me a sign for gods sake. How do I do this?

"You're going to meet up with someone? Your boyfriend?"

"No, not a boyfriend."

"Are you married?" Gabrielle couldn't believe she was interrogating this warrior. She was lucky to be alive, yet she knew that these questions might be putting her in danger.


"Oh. I'm not either, but I am betrothed."

"Yeah, Per. . ." Xena caught herself. She had only met the man once and didn't like him. He was everything her Gabrielle didn't need. He lacked adventure, lacked passion, lacked excitement. She was everything Gabrielle could ever need or want. The young blonde woman had told her as much in the cave, had even screamed it out on a few occasions. The memory froze her in her tracks. The whetstone stopping in the middle of her blade.

"What?" Had Xena been about to say Perdicus? Could she know her?

"Yeah, perfect. It's perfect that you're going to be married and he must be perfect for you and you'll be perfectly happy." Why did the name Perdicus make me so mad?

Lowering her head, Gabrielle stared into the flames dancing and leaping from the wood. "It's not perfect, it's just engaged."

Xena stared at her. Please remember me, Gabrielle. Remember something. Don't have memories of him and not me.

"Sorry to hear that." Xena was overjoyed.

"Yeah, well. He's probably worried about me. Do you know how far we are from Poteidaia?"

Xena sheathed her sword, then removed her chakram and placed it on the ground next to her other weapon. "About a four day ride."

"Four days? Gods, how could I have gotten so far from home?"

Xena shrugged and stood. "I dunno." She clumsily unfastened her armor. It hadn’t been that long since Gabrielle had joined her on the road, but she had become used to her helping her into her armor and removing it nightly. She loved that ritual and now felt awkward pulling on hooks and yanking on metal. "Aren't you going to go to bed?"

"No, I'm fine. I'm not sleepy." Gabrielle yawned.

"Yes, I can see that." Xena slipped out of her leathers and dropped them onto the ground beside her bedroll. She watched Gabrielle turn away in embarrassment. The woman wouldn't look at the warrior in just her cotton shift. Xena bit her lip. She understood that her memories were erased, but how could all those feelings be gone. Just two nights ago, Gabrielle had pleaded with Xena to 'strip slowly' for her. Xena recalled how Gabrielle's voice had gone all deep and husky and the more attention Gabrielle bestowed on her, the more eager she was to please her. She had stripped slowly; every bit of flesh revealed created another spark catching flame between Gabrielle's legs. By the time she had finished, Gabrielle was like soft clay ready to be molded. Now, Gabrielle turned away, giving Xena a private moment to undress, then slide between the blanket and her bedroll. It was so frustrating. If she wasn't afraid that Aphrodite was hearing her every word and reading her every thought, she would have cursed her up and down Mount Olympus. "Well, I'm going to sleep."

"'Night and thank you, again."

"Yeah, no problem."

Xena sank into her bedroll. Sleep didn't come. She tossed and turned. There has to be an answer somewhere. How do I win her? What can I do or say? She's afraid of me. I took the scrolls that she thought belonged to her, I took the bedroll, I told her there were thieves waiting to pounce on her, I hardly spoke to her this evening unless she said something, but that's my way. Gabrielle knows that about me. She's the talker, not me. Xena sat up with a jolt. That was it. The way back into Gabrielle's thoughts was to talk to her about it, about her life, about her dreams.

"Gabrielle, you should really get some rest, especially if you plan on starting out for your village in the morning"

Gabrielle slowly lowered herself to the bedroll that Xena had purposely placed next to her own. She sat there for a moment, and then cautiously began removing her boots, but not her skirt and top. Xena watched the young woman’s movements, her eyes hooded, her breathing controlled. When Gabrielle had removed her boots, she laid down on the bedroll and then reached over to cover herself. Xena took this opportunity to help her, and reached over to cover the body that had given her so much joy and pleasure.

"What are you doing? I can do that." She hadn’t meant to sound so abrupt, but Xena’s attempt to cover her stirred something within her, something that, at least for this moment, confused her.

"I know you can, I just thought I’d help you. You don’t want to catch a chill. Are you sure you want to sleep in your clothes? Wouldn’t you be more comfortable if you took them off?" Xena almost cringed as she said these words. Oh that was good, scare her off before you even have a chance to get her to remember...good work, oh yes, I certainly do have many skills, too bad that none of them are being put to use now!

Gabrielle started to relax, and snuggled down under her blanket. Gabrielle’s mind was a jumble of thoughts. One, she was at least a four days’ ride from Poteidaia. So how did she get four days from home? She doesn’t have a horse, doesn’t even like horses, really. Two, could she have walked? And if she walked, did something so horrible and traumatic happen on the road that caused her to repress her travels? Three, this woman who says her name is Xena is obviously a warrior of some sort, yet she seems kind enough. Four, why was she having these warm feelings about this stranger? Every time the warrior spoke to her, her stomach somersaulted, her heart felt like it skipped a beat, she felt a flush come over her. It was probably all related to fear...but she’d been afraid before and it never felt like this. These feelings were different. She felt something akin to a loving warmth....but that was impossible. Why does this woman stir such feelings within me, she touches me in the most casual way and I feel myself get all squirmy. And who is she, I know she said her name is Xena, but I don’t think we’ve ever met before, and yet I feel like I know her! And how in the name of Zeus did I get here, anyway...she said Poteidaia was a four day ride from here, and I don’t have anything to ride..how did I get here? Then she realized that she really couldn’t get comfortable still dressed...

"Maybe I should undress, I hate to sleep in my clothes. Might you have another shift?"

"No." Xena didn’t want her in clothes. She wanted her just the way she had slept with her for moons now, naked, open and warm to her.

One thing hadn’t changed. Gabrielle was still modest, and she attempted to remove her clothes while still under her blanket, struggling and twisting, until she finally had removed her skirt and top...and after a few moments of consideration, her britches. She tucked her clothes under her head, and lay down.

Xena propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at Gabrielle. She so much wanted to lean down and kiss her, to touch her, and yet she knew that if she did at this juncture in time, Gabrielle would freak out and the wonderful life they had shared so recently would be a thing of the past.

Aphrodite, I know you can read my thoughts, you’re probably sitting somewhere around our campfire right now...

"You’ve got that right, warrior babe!" The Goddess of Love appeared in a flash of light, looking luscious, as usual. She was perched on a rock just beyond the campfire, and had the most lascivious grin on her face.

Xena looked at Aphrodite, and then down at Gabrielle, who appeared to be sleeping, oblivious to the fact that Aphrodite appeared.

"I suppose I’m the only one who can see and hear you, right?"

"Right again, oh you with the eyes of blue."

"All right, why are you here? What other bit of craziness are you gonna lay on us now?"

"Xena, Xena, Xena, you have such a ‘tude...whatever makes you think that what I do is craziness? After all, love is what makes the world twirl, right? I just like to know that I still have some control here, no biggee, just do it like I say, and things will be OK! Hey, that rhymes..I have such talent, so many skills, just like you, eh, warrior babe? So, how do you think you’re doing with Gabrielle so far, think you can get her to love you?"

Xena carefully stood up, reaching down to be sure Gabrielle remained covered, and walked over toward the rock Aphrodite was perched upon.

"Hey, warrior babe, don’t get any crazy ideas here, I mean, hurting the Goddess of Love is a definite no-no...I do not do well with pain, not even at all! I mean, I know some of you mortals like a little pain now and then, seems to make a big impression during ‘you know what’ time, but me, I never could understand how...."

"Aphrodite, I’m not going to hurt you, after all, you’re a god, and I’m just a mere mortal, so you’ve got the upper hand here. I just thought it might be better if we talked over here, and let Gabrielle sleep undisturbed."

"Not to worry, you of the legs that go on forever. I am only appearing to you, you lucky woman, you! She is totally, like, unaware of me being here, or of us talking! Isn’t being a god a hoot? It is soooooo good. Now, what is your plan, what is the deal here, like, how are you gonna do this?"

"You seem to be the one with the plan. You said it had to be your way. Of course, you haven’t told me what ‘your way’ means. So, Aphrodite, I am clueless. I love Gabrielle with my entire being, and I want her back, back the way we were. Come on, give me a break here, let me know what you want."

Aphrodite sat on the rock and looked at Xena, almost as though seeing her for the first time.

"You know, warrior woman, you’ve given me a really gnarly idea here, yeah, I think I know just what I’m gonna have you do, or not do, actually. Instead of me telling you what to do, I want you to do whatever you think you should do...if I don’t like it, I’ll just pop up and wipe it off that little blonde’s memory."

"Aphrodite, that really sounds unfair, even for you! You’re gonna set the rules? Fine. I have to follow your rules? Fine. You’re telling me to do whatever and if you don’t like it, then you’ll change it? Not fine. Not fine, at all. Understand? If we’re gonna do this, set the rules and then live with them.

Aphrodite looked as though she was getting really aggravated. She had a pout on her face as she slid down off the rock and began to flounce back and forth in an exaggerated and effeminate manner. She stomped and flounced, until she finally seemed to have it all out of her system.

"OK, warrior woman, I’ll set the rules...here goes, wanna take notes? No, Gabrielle’s the scribe..can’t have her doing that, so, anyway, here goes...first, you do whatever you think will work, without telling her outright that you are, or were, lovers. In fact, warrior babe, I don’t want you to let on just how close you two really are at all! And second, oh, this is a good one; I am soooooo good....you have to do it before the sun comes up tomorrow! Now, get moving gorgeous, ‘cause you’re running out of time!"

And with a flash of light, she was gone.

Xena stood as though stunned. Great. I can always count on the gods for a meaningless exercise when I’m just trying to live my life. I have only until the sun comes up...come on, X:WP, this is it, it’s now or never, and no way is it going to be never! With that, she bolted back to the bedrolls, and practically threw herself down next to Gabrielle. Gabrielle, meanwhile, stirred slightly, turned, and looked at Xena, who was trying to get under the blankets as quickly as possible.

"What are you doing? Why are you thrashing around like that? Are we about to be attacked? What’s happening? Give me back my blanket, I’m cold!"

Xena grinned down at the young woman, and continued to snuggle down under the blankets.

"Gabrielle, I’ll keep you warm, just move over here and snuggle up against me. And let’s talk, OK? We can sleep anytime, but let’s spend the night talking. You go first! Tell me about Poteidaia and that guy you’re betrothed to and whatever else. I’ll bet you like to talk."

Xena almost gagged over what she had just said, and how many words she had used to say it. This is so not like me, oh, this better work. Gabrielle, you don’t know how much I want you, how much I want us to be like we were, so please work with me here, I know that if you had any memory at all, you would want the same thing. We were so good together, we're so good for one another.

"You want to talk now? It’s late, I was just falling asleep, and I have to start out for home tomorrow, let me go back to sleep," Gabrielle said with a pout, and then yawned to make her point

"Ya know, I don’t get to spend much time with people out here. I’m by myself right now. It’s just so different to have someone sharing my campfire." Xena hoped that this didn’t sound as lame to Gabrielle as it sounded to her.

But her statements did persuade the young woman. Gabrielle sat up, covering her naked body with her blanket and part of the bedroll. She looked hard and long at Xena. "You’re lonely!"

"Yes, right now I am. But you’re talking....go ahead, tell me something."

The storyteller in Gabrielle was about to be unleashed. Xena could tell by the glint in her eyes.

"Well, let’s see." Gabrielle cocked her head to the side as she thought about a good beginning for a story about her lackluster life in Poteidaia. There didn’t seem to be even one interesting story to tell. The warrior wouldn’t want to hear about the time she and some friends skipped stones in a pond or how she and her sister sneaked looks at their Solstice gifts days before the season’s change. What could she say about Perdicus? That he was stupid and boring and dull and would make a fine husband and their future would be just as boring as her present life in her parents’ home...Nah, that wouldn’t make an interesting story either.


"I’m thinking, I’m thinking."

"Okay, how about this? Do you have any sisters or brothers?"

"I have a sister. She’s two years younger and her name is Lila. What about you?"

"I have a brother named Toris. He’s a few years older. My younger brother, Lyceus died over ten winters ago. Killed by a vicious warlord who attacked my home village."

Gabrielle listened and something clicked in her brain, but whatever was there was instantly gone. The name Lyceus sounded familiar and him being murdered by a warlord seemed like something she had heard before. She shook her head. It could be that she was just remembering a story once told to her. The village elders were so full of warning tales about evil warlords terrorizing small towns.

"Your parents, Gabrielle? Are they alive?"

"Yeah. My mother is named Hecuba and my father is Herodotus."

"Do you get along with them?"

"My mother and I are close." Gabrielle hesitated, then added. "I really don’t like my father."

Gabrielle had never said this before. This was news to Xena. She knew that Gabrielle found her father difficult at times, and from her stories he seemed strict, but she had had no idea that Gabrielle didn’t like him. Xena nodded. "Why don’t you like him?"

Somewhat conspiratorially with a bit of guilt squeezed in for good measure, Gabrielle said, "He makes me do things I don’t want to do. He tries to get me to be something I don’t want to be and don’t think I could be, anyway."

"Which is?"

"A farm girl happy to be marrying a farm boy." The thought of actually having to marry and live with Perdicus gave Gabrielle a chill and she rubbed her hands vigorously up and down her upper arms.


"I’m all right."

"Here, come closer. I won’t bite you. Or hurt you." Xena reached out for Gabrielle and pulled her down beside her. "You can keep the blanket around you to protect your virtue." Xena laughed.

"I’m not afraid of you. I feel like I’ve known you for a long time. That’s not possible. Is it? I mean, for all I know maybe we do know each other. I feel like the goddess Mnemosyne or Lethe has cast a spell on me. I don’t remember the last four days at all. I’m assuming it’s four days since I’m four days from home. Could it be longer?"

"I ...I just met cha. I don’t know how long you’ve been on the road." Xena felt her stomach lurch as she lied to her lover. She had made a silent and personal vow to herself never to lie to Gabrielle, and now she just had.

"So, your betrothed? What’s his name again?" Xena asked as she wrapped her arms around Gabrielle.

She snuggled in closer, allowing Xena’s entire body to wrap around her as they lay in a spooning position near the fire. "Perdicus. That’s his name. It’s not that I don’t like him because he’s a good friend, but he just isn’t for me."

"Who would be for you?" Xena felt her heart picking up speed. Maybe this would be the turning point. Quite possibly Gabrielle would remember the one person in the world, the woman who was made just for her.

The blonde expelled a sigh. "Oh, I don’t know. Someone with a sense of adventure. Smart. Witty. Sexy."

"Sexy, huh? What qualifies as sexy?"

"I never really thought about that until just this second."

"Close your eyes, Gabrielle. Who do you see in your head when you think of the one made for you? What does that person look like?"

Gabrielle did as commanded, but after a few seconds she shook her head. "I don’t know."

"Try." Xena whispered into her ear.

Gabrielle turned to face her and when she did, the blanket slipped down slightly revealing her creamy shoulders. Xena starred into her eyes.

"Who, Gabrielle? Tell me."

Another flash, a click and then the image was gone. For a fleeting moment, Gabrielle had sensed something familiar again. This scene in particular, being held by the warrior in just this way had happened before, she was sure of it. But Gabrielle knew that wasn’t possible. The moment passed and everything seemed a mystery again.

She closed her eyes and softly repeated Xena’s question. "Who? Tall, I think. With long, dark hair and radiant blue eyes. Strong, unbelievably strong. Good with their hands, tough, yet gentle and so smart and interesting. Kind of quiet, maybe. . I’d probably do enough talking for both of us." Gabrielle ended with a laugh.

Xena chuckled. "You just described my brother Toris. Maybe I should take you to Amphipolis and introduce you."

"Amphipolis? That’s in Thrace, isn’t it?"

Xena’s eyes enlarged. This was one of the first things Gabrielle had said to her when they first met. The Bard had eventually followed her to her home village.

"Ever been to Amphipolis?" Xena asked haltingly.

"No, never been. I’ve never been out of Poteidaia. Except for this mystery trip I’ve taken. She paused. "Your brother really looks like what I’ve described? " And so do you, Xena.....so do you!

"Yep, and he’s smart, too."

"Amphipolis, huh?"

"Hey, you’re betrothed." Xena lightly punched Gabrielle on the shoulder. "Yep, he still lives at home."

"Oh." Gabrielle seemed dejected by this news. "Never left?"

"Nope, he never wanted to."

Gabrielle took a deep breath. She was about to make a second confession to this stranger. "You know, Xena, I’m going to end up in Poteidaia forever, but by the gods, I don’t want to. I might go mad there."

"Then leave Poteidaia. Don’t go back. Stay here with me." Xena, with her arm draped around Gabrielle’s shoulders, began to massage one of them with her hand...making small circles on the smooth skin.

Gabrielle warmed at the suggestion. She liked snuggling with this woman and somehow the warrior of few words brought out truths in Gabrielle that she would have never admitted to another. There was comfort in their present situation and a familiarity that was bordering on the absurd. Of course, she was confused about how she got here and why this woman was protecting her. And she knew that Xena was protecting her, .keeping her out of harm’s way from bandits, rapists, warlords, slavers, and perhaps controlling her own violent warrior tendencies. A woman traveling dressed in leathers and battle armor, carrying a wicked sword and that round killing thing had to be considered dangerous. Gabrielle knew she might be an innocent, but she wasn’t naive...or stupid.

"I have to go back. I have to marry Perdicus."

"Why? You don’t even love him."

Gabrielle was almost certain she detected a quivering in Xena’s voice, perhaps she was cold as well. The young blonde woman moved in closer, wrapping her arm over Xena’s chest. Xena took the opportunity to lightly kiss the top of Gabrielle’s head.

Gabrielle backed up slightly and stared at the warrior. "Why’d you do that?"

"I..I was just trying to comfort you. I didn’t mean anything by it. I’m sorry."

"It’s okay. I needed it."

"If you stayed with me, I could give you what you need." Xena blurted out and then cringed when she realized how that statement would sound. She knew Gabrielle would see her as a bragging warrior who wanted to prove her sexual prowess to her. "I didn’t mean that the way it sounded."

"I know."

"It’s just that I could use some help....."

"Yeah, I noticed that you have two of everything. Dishes, mugs, bedrolls, blankets. Did your friend just recently leave?"


"Why did your friend leave?"

"I can’t really say. She just left." Xena didn’t want to lie to Gabrielle, but she had agreed to do this Aphrodite’s way.

"Something you did?"

"No, not at all. We were good friends. Best friends."

"What was she like?"

"I dunno. Just a girl. Funny, kind, a friend to everyone, very pretty, long blond hair, green eyes, very pretty."


Xena pulled back and smiled. "Oh, yeah. Very much so. That’s a strange question."

Gabrielle cautiously sat up, making sure she wasn’t exposing too much of her body and reached behind Xena’s head for the bag of scrolls. "Well, let’s see. You like to write, did you write about her?"

Xena sat up, too, letting her blanket fall as she turned and grabbed the scrolls from Gabrielle.

"No. Uh...I don’t let other people read them."

Gabrielle found herself staring at Xena’s bare chest. She couldn’t tear her eyes from the roundness of the warrior’s breasts and the taut nipples at their peak. Just as Xena turned to face her, Gabrielle lowered her eyes and stammered, "So you’re a warrior and a bard?"

"Uh huh. I guess." Xena smiled.

"But you don’t want to share your stories? C’mon, tell me one. I love to hear new tales. What are yours about?"

"Our..I mean my adventures."

"I love adventure stories," Gabrielle said while looking just above the head of the seated warrior. She refused to make eye contact for fear her eyes might travel lower. "Please."

"Uh, okay. Let’s see." Xena never covered herself as she sat cross-legged and confident on her bedroll searching the many rolls of scrolls to find a story to tell. She opened one and read the title to herself, ‘Dreamworker.’ Well, she didn’t want to even think about the time she almost lost Gabrielle and practically died herself trying to get her back. ‘The Reckoning.’ Nope, absolutely nothing about the gods. Ares or Aphrodite, they’re trouble I don’t want to think about right now. ‘Chariots of War.’ Oh yeah. Xena remembered this one, but she didn’t want to relive her feelings about that boy that Gabrielle had fallen for. All of these stories focused so much on her as the warrior. She had to find one that featured Gabrielle, but she supposed that the Bard seldom wrote about herself.

As Xena searched the small bag of scrolls, Gabrielle stole furtive glances at the partially exposed warrior. She was a gorgeous creature to behold and the young Poteidaian woman felt her own heartbeat quicken at the vision before her. Gabrielle, in her past with her girlfriends had never really desired any of them, but she had always been curious about what a woman might feel like in her arms. She and Perdicus had hugged hundreds of times and even kissed once or twice. She had found his touch rough, the stubble on his face a bit scratchy, the massive chest too much. She wondered how it would feel to kiss a woman, to sit by the hearth and hold her hand all night, or to run her hands down her body, to feel the curve of her waist, her hips, the softness of her breasts. Whoa. Oh, by the gods, where did that come from? Gabrielle covered her mouth with her hand and looked frightened.

Xena sensed the change in Gabrielle’s demeanor and looked up. "Something wrong?"

"N-no..I’m fine." Gabrielle lowered her eyes again. "Find a story to tell me?"

"Yeah. Here we go. ‘The Titans’." Now this was a Gabrielle story. Xena quickly glanced at it and decided it would be too difficult to read it while trying to remember to switch and omit names. She rolled the parchment back into the cylinder and stuffed it into the bag. "I’ve got it pretty much memorized."

"The Titans—I love the myths about the old gods."

Xena smiled and said, "Oh, but this is no myth. This is true and it happened not too far from here and not so long ago."

Gabrielle scooted closer. "Really? What?" She was wide awake now and eager to hear the story.

Xena knew she wouldn’t do it justice, but she cleared her throat anyway. "Uh. Okay. Let’s see. I was traveling down a road a few villages from here with my friend..."

"What’s your friend’s name?"


"She does have a name, doesn’t she?"

"Sure. It’s..." Xena ran through all the names she could think of. No one possessed the qualities of Gabrielle, no one even came close, but the bard was waiting. "Mavis. Her name is Mavis."

"Umm. That’s unusual. Go on. You and Mavis were walking down a road..."

"Mavis thought I was treating her like a kid again, but I wasn’t. I just wanted her to be more cautious on the road. She had made a couple of mistakes that could have been deadly. Anyway, she was kind of mad or frustrated or something so she went off in one direction and I in another. I guess she ran across some villagers who were inside this

cave trying to coax the Titans our of their eternal slumber behind the cave’s walls."

"Oh yeah. Zeus put them there. I’ve heard about this."

"Right, so Gab---Mavis listens to what this young village woman is chanting and realizes that she is not saying the chant correctly, so of course she offers to help them. Mavis is like that—always trying to help people whenever she can. They needed a virgin to say the chant, and at the time, she was." Xena paused and looked at Gabrielle who sat spellbound.

"So she takes the scroll and does the chant thing and the walls start to crumble and three Titans are released."

"Wow. She’s powerful!"

"More powerful than she even realizes."

"The Titans are grateful to the virgin goddess and try to please her at first, but soon grow tired of being lead around by her. Especially when they realize that she’s merely a mortal."

"Uh-oh. What happened?"

"Well they started terrorizing the village and the villagers and that’s it."

"That’s it? That can’t be it. Where were you? Where are the Titans now? And what happened to that poor village and those villagers?"

"I came up with a couple of plans and things worked out and then we left." Xena said nonchalantly.

"You know, you’re not going to make much of a career out of being a bard. You’d better stick to life as a warrior. I bet there was so much more to the story."

"Well, that’s basically it."

Xena wanted to hold Gabrielle closer and she reached out to her. She would go slow and if Gabrielle objected, she’d stop, but she wanted her warmth. Gabrielle allowed Xena to pull her in and they lay side by side on the bedroll. The younger woman’s blanket had fallen away and when Xena pulled it up to cover her, she covered herself as well. Underneath the blanket, the two women lay naked, Xena’s strong arms wrapped around Gabrielle, providing the young woman with a wonderful feeling of warmth.

Gabrielle surprised herself when she didn’t flinch or draw back. In fact, she moved in closer, loving the feel of her skin against the warrior’s, Xena’s breasts pushing against Gabrielle’s back. The warrior’s leg was wrapped protectively around her. She was equally surprised that this wonderful contact hadn’t made her lose her voice. She just felt very at ease.

"You need to add chaos, fear and jealousy, definitely jealousy! You need for the Titans to really threaten the town and the virgin goddess, I mean Mavis. I’m sure you’re modest this way, but you probably saved the lives of hundreds of people, so you need to add that. And everyone loves a story about a damsel in distress. Maybe you saved Mavis from sure death."


"It’s a thought. If I were Mavis and mad at you for thinking of me as a child, I might want to prove that I’m not. Freeing the Titans would be one way, but maybe I might also strike up a friendship with one of the locals. In my case, some boy to make you see what you’re missing and to prove that I’m not some dumb kid."

Xena detected anger in Gabrielle’s voice, the same anger that she expressed during the time of the Titan adventure. "You would?" Xena slowly pressed her leg into Gabrielle’s hip while turning her torso ever so slightly to feel Gabrielle’s breast against her arm as she held her close. Gabrielle moaned softly, but neither encouraged or turned away.

"Yeah. I would. If I could show you that someone else found me desirable, maybe you’d realize that I’m not a little girl. You’d want me, the way I want you." Gabrielle whispered the final part of this.

"You know, there was a boy. A young priest that Mavis latched onto. Do you think it was to make me jealous?"

"I don’t know. I’m just saying what I might have done."

"I’ll add that to the story. I like that part."

"No offense, Xena," she said while turning slightly and lightly tapping the warrior’s shoulder, "but your story needs a lot of work. There just isn’t any oomph to it. I hope the others aren’t like that." The tapping stopped, but Gabrielle didn’t move her hand. At least not at first, but after a moment, Xena felt the hand slowly moving down her collarbone and across her chest where it rested.

Xena calmed her breathing before responding. "When I tell them, I’m afraid they’re probably all pretty dull."

Gabrielle could feel Xena’s long legs against her own, she felt the beautiful warmth emanating from the warrior’s body, and started to relax. Then she realized that she was truly enjoying the contact, enjoying it in ways that at once seemed familiar and yet also foreign. What is going on here, this feels so good, so warm, so wonderful. I never felt like this with anyone else. Strange, too, it feels like I’ve felt it before, but that’s not possible, not possible at all. I like this, I could get used to this real fast. Who is this woman, and why do I feel like I know her, and yet I don’t. I’m so confused!

"You’re imaginative. My stories could use your touch," Xena said and thought, I could use your touch. Please remember me. We don’t have much time. Please remember me. Remember what we have.

"So, Gabrielle, tell me about yourself. You got me side-tracked." Xena was having a hard time thinking about talking, she loved the feel of Gabrielle against her, she wanted more. I know I have to do this, but I would much rather be loving Gabrielle, having her love me. I want to feel her respond to my touch, to call my name, to look at me with so much love in her eyes, I could die and never want for another thing.

"I have no idea what you want me to talk about. I mean, I’ve never done anything worthwhile, I have no talents, no skills, nothing, actually. I’m just sort of a nobody, and certainly I’m a nobody out here, since I have no idea how I got here, or why I’m here."

Gabrielle sounded distressed. "Gabrielle, you are certainly not a ‘nobody’...and as for skills and talents, you have many skills! Sometimes, people don’t realize what they’re capable of until they’re face to face with a challenge. Maybe you’ve just never been challenged."

"Marrying Perdicus is a challenge. Believe me."

"Then don’t. Stay."

"I don’t...I don’t think I can."

Xena bent to kiss her softly on the lips. She buried her face in Gabrielle’s hair, inhaling the fragrance, feeling her sense take flight. She hasn’t pulled away from me. She must have an inkling of something. This must feel right to her. It feels so right to me.

"Gabrielle, you smell and feels so good. Are you warm enough? This is a great idea; both of us keeping warm together like this? I love the way you feel. Your skin is so soft." Xena paused. She was saying too much. She reminded herself to take it slow. "Stay. Okay? Think of the stories I’ll never be able to tell ‘cause they’re so lousy."

By the gods, such soft lips she has. I wish she’d do that again. Gabrielle leaned in and returned Xena’s kiss. She knew she wanted more.

"What are your dreams?" Xena asked as she let her hand slide down Gabrielle’s body. She smiled when Gabrielle’s eyes closed and she felt her ease into the touch.

"That’s all I do is dream. Mostly dreaming of getting out of Poteidaia."

"Here’s your chance." Xena couldn’t take the slowness of this anymore. She pushed her body against the smaller woman’s and kissed her again. This time her lips lingered and Gabrielle parted hers in acceptance. Xena hungrily kissed her and when they parted, they were both breathless.

"I know you, don’t I?"

"Gabrielle, we just met."

"That can’t be true," she said as she turned just enough to rub her breasts against the warrior.

Xena’s eyes were lost behind hooded lids. She swallowed hard. "It is."

Xena’s hand, which had been resting on Gabrielle’s hip, moved up. Cautiously, she softly stroked just below Gabrielle’s breast, teasing but never quite reaching her intended goal. Again, she heard a soft moan come from Gabrielle. Her hand hovered over Gabrielle’s breast as she looked into the girl’s eyes.

Gabrielle’s heart pounded in her chest, and despite the cool night she was beginning to perspire. It was a mystery, but hearing Xena talk and touch her this way made her feel so warm and cared for.

Xena’s hand continued to hover, waiting for Gabrielle, while Gabrielle held her breath, waiting for what she so strongly sought. Xena heard another soft moan from the young woman. I’m getting so wet. I wonder if she can feel how hard my nipples are against her skin. Gabrielle’s hand came up to rest against her own. She half expected the young woman to move her hand away from her breast, but instead Gabrielle took Xena’s hand and squeezed it. Now both of their hands were inches from Gabrielle’s breast.

"Can I?" Xena asked.

"Yes." Gabrielle gasped.

Xena’s hand lowered onto Gabrielle’s breast and both women moaned with the contact. Gabrielle’s heart pounded fiercely. She might or might not know this warrior, but she knew she wanted her. She had never wanted anything so much. She was very aware of the dark haired woman’s hand, squeezing, making circular motions over her nipple.

Glazed-over eyes stared at Xena. Gabrielle bit her lip and whispered, "I’m a virgin."


"But..." Gabrielle moaned.

"Do you want me to stop?"

"No, I want more," she answered breathlessly. I love the feel of this woman’s body against mine. I wish this night would never end. Four nights from Poteidaia. That’s not enough time. Four nights isn’t long enough to be away from Perdicus. I have never felt these feelings with Perdicus. Not once. Not even close.

"I’ll give you all of me. And take all of me, too. I want to be with you. I’ve never been more sure of anything." Gabrielle held the warrior’s hand on her breast. Xena’s hand was large, but soft and warm, not at all like the hand she would imagine belonging to a warrior.

Dueling thoughts fought for control. Gabrielle desperately wanted to continue, but she wasn’t feeling quite sure of herself. She felt both disoriented and grounded. For the first time in her life, she felt totally grounded and wasn’t sure why.

"Xena, I must have been hit over the head. You seem to know more about me than I know about myself. Tell me, how did I get here? I’ve got to know before we...this goes any further." I feel loved. I’ve felt that before. I’ve felt this warm and loved and it wasn’t with Perdicus. I’ve felt it just as strong as it is now with this woman. I know this, but when, where, how and with whom? Her hand is so hot on my breast. My hand feels so warm against hers.

"Oh, Gabrielle. That is so good." Xena turned so that she was on top of Gabrielle. "I want and need to be with you."

Xena groaned softly and the younger woman took a deep breath, making herself brave enough to speak her mind. "I like the way this feels. I don’t want you to stop. I don’t know why all this is happening, but I have to see it through. I don’t know what comes after this, but it doesn’t matter." Somehow, even though no one has ever touched me before...I’m almost certain I have never experienced anything like this before..yet I feel as though I recognize her touch. What is happening to me? And why do I have such complete faith and trust in this warrior woman?

Xena bent and captured Gabrielle’s lower lip between her teeth. She nibbled at it, then sucked it into her mouth. Gabrielle gasped and her chest rose for Xena’s hand. The kiss deepened and Gabrielle groaned in pleasure. She knew she was wet between her legs. She was shyly ashamed and yet filled with wonder at this reaction her body produced.

As Xena began to push her body into Gabrielle’s, gently sliding between her lover’s legs, feeling the juices flowing from Gabrielle, she too moaned with desire.

"Tell me, tell me the truth," Gabrielle requested as she pushed into Xena. "Oh, gods." A pause. "I must know you. This feels right. This is right. Help me to remember," Gabrielle said with a trembling voice.

"I can’t tell you more. Just relax, okay? Gabrielle, don’t worry. I won’t hurt you. I know you’re having a hard time trying to understand what’s happening. It’s hard for me, too. But I think things will become clearer for both of us. Just keep talking to me, tell me what you think, what you are feeling, what you want. I’ll help you remember what you’ve forgotten." I hope I’m not going to fast, but time isn’t on our side. We have just a short time until daybreak. I have to help her find our love again. This has got to work. I’m not going to lose Gabrielle. No god is going to take her from me...this is going to work. It has to work.

I’m losing my mind! Gabrielle thought as she ground her center into Xena’s thigh. "Oh, sweet gods!"

"Gabrielle, it’ll all come back. Let me hold you, keep you warm, safe, it’s what I do." But Xena was doing more than just holding her, keeping her warm...Gabrielle was hot, with a raging white heat, ablaze with beautiful passion.

Gabrielle, I love you so much, I can only say so much right now, but when this is all over I promise I’ll never stop telling you how much I love you.

"Oh by the gods...I’ve never felt so...your body is so....ohhhh, so very warm." Gabrielle loved the feelings coursing through her.

"Come on, Gabrielle, keep talkin’ to me, it’s really important that we talk to one another. It’s important, especially is we want to get your memory back!" Xena broke contact, but remained over Gabrielle.

"What does that mean? Have I been enchanted? A sorcerer?"

"Gabrielle, I can’t say." Xena bit her lip in frustration.

"Do you want to keep talking or...Will I get any answers from you if I keep talking?"

"Maybe, maybe you’ll get the answer on your own."

"Will I get any answers from you if we keep doing what we’re doing?"

Xena laughed. "Well, I’m liable to say just about anything in the heat of passion."

When Gabrielle heard Xena say those words, ‘heat of passion’, she pulled the warrior to her again, pushing down on the tall woman’s ass, pushing into her body, making as much contact between them as she could.

"Ah, oh, Gabrielle." Xena rocked against the young woman’s thigh, her long, dark hair falling onto Gabrielle’s face.

"Who are you, warrior? Who am I?"

Xena stopped. This was wrong. She couldn’t take advantage of Gabrielle in this condition. She wanted her Gabrielle back, not a Gabrielle who couldn’t remember the time they had spent together. Not a Gabrielle who couldn’t remember their love, and their lovemaking. She pushed back and sat up.

"Wait. We need to work out some things before this continues."

"Wait? You are the strangest warrior I have ever met."

"How many warriors do you know?"

"Well, none, but you’re different, that’s for certain."

"You’ve got to recover your memory, Gabrielle. Before anything else, you need to do that."

"But how can I if I can’t remember anything and you won’t talk."

"You talk. That’s the key."

"I don’t know what else to talk about, I feel so strange, laying here, with your arms around me. It feels so natural, and still so strange! I wish I knew what was going on, I hate this not knowing." And with that she began to cry.

Xena tightened her arms around the young woman, and pulled her even closer. "Gabrielle, it’s OK to cry, you’re confused, you don’t know what’s happening. Just trust me, please and talk to me."

"I ca..caan’t taa..alk, I feel soooo ba..d." Gabrielle’s sobs became even louder, more heart rending.

"OK, then I’ll talk and you listen, but you have to promise to stay awake and listen..I know how you are when you’re crying, then you get all tired and you fall asleep..."

"So you do know me. Tell me more," she said between sniffs.

Xena realized she had just said something that might just possibly cause the Goddess of Love to have a hissy fit..she’d made reference to their past together. But I didn’t say anything about us being lovers, so it should be all right. Actually, all that blonde bimbo said was that I couldn’t tell Gabrielle that we were lovers, and that I only had until dawn.

" Now remember, you have to stay awake, it’s important."

"I will, I will, I promise."

"OK, Gabrielle, I’m gonna tell you some stories..."

"Not from your scrolls? They’re not very good, Xena. I’m sorry. I’m sure you tried, but you don’t really tell a very good story."

"The bag of scrolls I took from you isn’t mine, it’s yours! The bedroll is yours, too. I said it was mine just to get you to come back with me so you wouldn’t sit out there in the cold all night. I’m sorry but it seemed like the only thing I could do to get you to come back here to the fire and safety. Your scrolls are full of poetry and romance." This better work, and work fast, or I’m gonna be in big trouble. I love this woman. Last night we made love for hours. Last night I was begging her to release my pleasure. Gods, we started out wrapped in each other’s arms just like we are now. I love the way she feels, the way she smells. Oh, this is gonna be so hard.

"The scroll bag is mine? How come I don’t remember any of that, I mean, I sort of remember, but then, I really don’t. Can I see them?"

"Not yet."

"Why? Maybe it’ll trigger something in my memory." Gabrielle continued to weep. She had never felt so insecure, frustrated or stressed.

"Let’s just see what we can do on our own together. Remember, not everything you write in your scrolls is the exact truth. See, you and I have been traveling together for a long time, we have been friends for a long time. Does any of this seem to ring a bell?"

Xena held her breath, waiting for Gabrielle’s answer...only to hear a soft snore come from the young woman in her arms.

"GABRIELLE! You have to stay awake! Come on, now!"

Xena shook Gabrielle, who sputtered and then came fully awake, ready to punch Xena for waking her before remembering the situation they were in. She quickly calmed down, and started to apologize.

"I’m so sorry, I know I promised, but when I get nervous or cry or..." she paused, "excited...the only thing that calms me is sleep. And I feel very sleepy. Plus, I felt so comfortable, so protected, that I just drifted off. Please, keep talking, I’ll stay awake this time."

"No, this isn’t going to work, Gabrielle, you can’t stay awake when we’re lying like this. I know you so well, even if you don’t know yourself right now. This isn’t going to work. So, I want you to sit up, I’ll sit up, I’ll keep my arms around you, and you can lean back against me. I won’t let you fall asleep again."

"Why can’t we sleep for a couple of candlemarks and then we’ll start fresh. I mean, why do I have to stay awake, anyway, why can’t we just go to sleep and we can do all this talking stuff in the morning."

What could Xena say? That there would be no tomorrow for them if they didn’t get through tonight? It was the truth, but too painful to contemplate.

Gabrielle had positioned herself between Xena’s long legs, the warriors’ arms were around her, she leaned back and could feel the touch of Xena’s skin against her own. She began to have strange stirrings within herself. What is with me? I’m sleepy. I’m confused and I want to kiss her, touch her, and have her touch me. I’m losing my mind, I am definitely losing my mind. Maybe the Furies have cursed me for something. Maybe for not really loving Perdicus the way I should. Gods, her skin! Her legs...they go on forever! Her smell! I feel it again, like I’ve been here before, sitting like this, with this beautiful woman’s arms around me.

"Do we sit like this often?"

"Yes, do you remember?"

"Yeah, a little bit, I think I do remember. I have this vision of a cave, of animal skins for a bed..I’m losing my mind, I’m sure of it!

Gabrielle caressed Xena’s legs, massaging the calf muscles, tickling behind her knees.

"Stop it," Xena warned lovingly.

"Don’t you think we’d get my memory back faster if we acted on these feelings instead of just talking?"

"I don’t think we can. I think Aphrodite might..." Xena froze. What had she just said? This could cost her big time. Everything might be ruined because she accidentally said too much. Maybe Gabrielle wouldn’t notice?


"Damn." Xena paused. "Yeah, Aphrodite. Gabrielle, listen to me. You’ve lost your memory because Aphrodite wanted to play a nasty little trick on us. I can’t tell you everything, but I need to keep talking to you, keep you talking to me, so that you’ll eventually remember everything and then we’ll be free of Aphrodite’s spell. A lot of this will depend on how well I can fill your head with memories of our life together, but most importantly, you have to remember the most important part, the part I can’t tell you! I know this all sounds like gibberish, and actually, the whole situation is nuts, but you know how the gods are, how they love to play with us?"

"OK, I’ll try to do whatever it is I’m supposed to do..

Xena sighed in relief. As the warrior began the story of the two of them, she shifted her body slightly to create even more intimate contact with Gabrielle.

Gabrielle listened intently, however she found it difficult to concentrate due to the sensations she was experiencing, the feel of Xena’s arms around her, the touch of Xena’s skin against her own, the warmth of Xena’s breath against her neck as the tall woman told Gabrielle of their life together.

"Xena, let me ask you a question, please?"

"Of course, Gabrielle, ask me anything, anything at all."

"Well, I really don’t understand everything that is going on here, although obviously I have a good reason to not understand anything, since I don’t have any memory...but I think the thing that bothers me the most is why! I mean, why did Aphrodite do this to me? I never did anything to her, did I? I mean, I don’t think I did, at least I sure don’t remember ever doing anything to her, of course I don’t remember anything so it sure is possible that I did something that ticked her off, but..."

Xena interrupted Gabrielle’s rambling..."Gabrielle, I understand you’re confused, so am I, actually, but the fact remains that for whatever reason the Goddess of Love just decided to play around with us. You didn’t do anything to tick her off, and I didn’t do anything either. Hey, but how are we mere mortals supposed to know what makes them nuts and what doesn’t. Anyway, according to the rules Aphrodite set down for this stupid little game she’s playing...I’m supposed to do something, without telling you what it is I’m supposed to do, and I can do it any way possible, but I can’t tell you what it is that is supposed to happen after I do the thing that I’m supposed to do...." She sighed in frustration, realizing how ridiculous everything she had just said sounded. She tightened her arms around Gabrielle, and put her face into the young woman’s hair, breathing in the essence of the woman she loved, her eyes closed, tears forcing themselves out behind her closed eyelids.

"Xena, I know you believe what you just said, and I know I have to trust you that you know what you’re doing, and what you’re telling me. The thing is that even though I have no real memory of having known you, of our supposedly having been together for some time, every few moments I get these flashes, these bits and pieces, but I can’t make sense of them. I even believe you, but me? Knowing a warrior? It’s incredible. Living with a warrior? That’s just unreal. Well, just let me say that I do sort of remember some other things, too. She blushed. "And those memories or flashes are even harder to believe. Why would you want me?"

"Gabrielle, how could I not want you?" Xena asked honestly.

"It’s sort of nice, I mean, some of the things that I sort of remember are very nice! Like right now, sitting this way with your arms around me, this makes me sort of remember, or at least it feels like we’ve done it before. Does that make any sense, does it help at all?"

"Oh, Gabrielle, you’ve no idea how much that helps, it means that whatever it is that we’re doing here is working, we just have to keep doing it!"

Xena continued to hold Gabrielle against her, even as she felt her heart swell with hope upon hearing Gabrielle’s words. This might just work, it has to work, I won’t live my life without Gabrielle, she’s my life, she’s the light in my life. Not Aphrodite, not any of the gods are going to keep us apart.

"Gabrielle, keep talking, keep thinking about what we’ve said here tonight. It’s gonna work, I promise it will. You need to think about the adventures we’ve had, think hard, Gabrielle, bring it all back into your memory, you can do it, you’re a strong person, just keep doing what you’re doing."

"Let me read the scrolls.."

"Nope, way too much information. You’ve got to do this on your own, with my help." Xena began rubbing Gabrielle’s shoulders.

"Remember how we met, in Poteidaia...remember the slavers that tried to take all of you away from your village? Remember how bravely you fought them, how we fought them together? Remember how you followed me, insisting that you wanted to have adventures, you wanted to learn from me, you wanted to have experiences so you could write of those experiences in your scrolls? Remember how I tried to discourage you from following me? You were so strong, and stubborn. You wouldn’t give up, you followed me. Does any of this seem familiar to you?"

Gabrielle sat wrapped in Xena’s arms and thought about all the things Xena had just said. She thought long and hard, trying to understand the feelings she was experiencing, the things going through her mind, the warmth she was feeling within her body, the tingling sensations she felt wherever Xena’s skin touched hers.

"Gabrielle, please answer me, are we getting anywhere here?"

"Yeah, I think we are getting somewhere. It’s still blurry, like, I almost have it, and then it fades away. I do sort of remember meeting you, in my village, the slavers, you not wanting me to follow you...Wait a minute! I do remember. You didn’t want me around, you didn’t want me to follow you, you were really kind of mean to me...I remember following after you. Walking. A LOT OF WALKING!"

Gabrielle twisted around in Xena’s arms, and looked up into her face. "Why didn’t you want me around? I do remember having to chase after you. Hey, I also remember showing up a couple of times just in time to save your bacon!"

"You did NOT show up in time to save my bacon. I’ve always been able to save my own bacon, but you’re right, I did try to discourage you. I didn’t want you to have to live the life I lived, the fighting, living on the road, having people remember the old Xena, the dark and evil Xena..."

"Dark Xena, yeah, I do remember that, I mean I remember how you were torn by your past! I remember that, I do! You were a warrior, you lead an army, you raped and pillaged, and then you had a conversion....that’s when I met you! I remember! Xena, I remember!"

"You were my true conversion."

The young woman’s excitement at remembering the past was contagious. She grabbed Xena’s arms and pulled them around her body, hugging the tall, dark woman with joy and exuberance. Xena responded with equal joy, recognizing the first real break through that had occurred since starting this Aphrodite inspired journey.

"We need to keep going here, Gabrielle, we’re gonna make it! Come on. Do you remember wanting to learn how to handle weapons, do you remember any of that?"

"Weapons? I don’t think so, I don’t like weapons, actually, I don’t like fighting, I’d rather talk my way out of....wait, something is coming back to me, talking my way out of things. I do remember! I remember you told me that rather than fight I should run, and if I can’t run, I should get the bad guys to fight one another and then I should run, and if that doesn’t work I should talk...you told me I’d be good at that because I talk a lot! Yeah, I do remember that. Does that really help us though? There’s more to it than me remembering this. More you can’t tell me?"

Xena nodded.

"I mean, what difference does it make, so we knew each other before, I mean, that’s very nice, but does it matter now? Does it make any difference to what has happened now?"

"Gabrielle, it makes so very much difference! Keep thinking, think back and remember how our friendship developed, how much we began to mean to one another. I can’t help you very much now, I can’t tell you what you need to know, you need to remember on your own. Work at it, Gabrielle, I know you can do it."

Xena continued to hold the young woman in her arms, then she had another idea. I think it’s time to add some more fuel to this fire. Let’s see if this stirs anything in Gabrielle’s memory. If this doesn’t bring her to the brink, I don’t know what will!

"Gabrielle, I want you to turn around and face me. Here, just turn, put your legs over mine, I want us to sit face to face for this part."

Xena helped Gabrielle turn, placing the young woman’s legs over her own, so that her feet were in back of Xena. They repositioned themselves so that they were just inches apart. Xena wrapped her arms around her precious lover, pulling her even closer, while Gabrielle, tentatively at first, and then with purpose moved even closer to this tall, beautiful woman and wrapped her arms around her.. Xena reached out and made sure they were covered by their blankets, tucking the blanket down around Gabrielle’s butt, making sure her shoulders were covered. The last thing she wanted was for Gabrielle to feel chilled; knowing it would distract her from working on remembering.

"Are you warm enough? Move closer to me, I’ll keep you warm, I’ll keep you safe. Now talk to me, tell me what else you can remember."

Gabrielle looked down at their naked bodies, at how close they were to one another. She realized that this felt familiar, comfortable, She also realized that she was feeling aroused by their closeness, and that she certainly wasn’t embarrassed by it!

"Xena, I want to ask you a question. We’re sitting here, totally naked. I’m working on getting my memory back, and you’re trying to help me without doing something that you’re not ‘sposed to do, according to Aphrodite. Do I have it right so far?"

"Yes, Gabrielle, you have it exactly right. Now just keep going, it’ll be daylight soon, and we have to keep going here! What’s your question? You can ask me anything, anything at all. Ask away!"

"OK, here goes. How come we’re sitting here, working on my memory, but a part of me wants to work on you right now. I’m feeling very warm, very aroused, very...very, sort of, uhh, very...."

Gabrielle felt her face get warm, her cheeks felt flushed, the flush worked its way down her neck and to her chest. She lowered her head, feeling that she had said the wrong thing, and that she had botched the whole thing, attempting to ask such a personal question.

Xena looked down at her lover’s beautiful, bright red face and smiled. I think we’re almost home free, Gabrielle, just stay with me here, we’re gonna make it! She removed one arm from around Gabrielle and reached in to cup Gabrielle’s chin in her hand. She raised Gabrielle’s face up to look into her own. Gabrielle kept her eyes downcast, obviously struggling to keep from looking at Xena, also obviously struggling to hold back tears.

"Gabrielle, look at me! Now! I want you to raise your face and look at me!"

The young woman slowly raised her face and looked into Xena’s blue eyes. She saw the beautiful smile on Xena’s face, and felt her own doubts and misgivings begin to lift. She began to understand, to remember the way things were, the life they had shared together.

"Xena, it’s coming back. I think I’m remembering. I remember being on the road with you. I was a real pain in the neck; you would get so mad at me when I wouldn’t listen. We kept running into robbers on the road, so many times I would make things worse by getting in your way, causing you to trip over me. You were so patient, or at least patient for you. You kept trying to get me to listen to you, to obey you. You wanted me to learn the ‘ground rules’ of traveling with you. Oh no, I remember something else, too...that’s when Aphrodite showed up. I couldn’t hear her or see her, but you could. You had me over your lap, you were spanking me, I mean really hard, for not listening! That was awful! I remember after that happened though I really started making an effort to behave, to listen, to obey when you told me to do something. We continued traveling; we were going somewhere special. That’s what you said. I remember being with you. A cave, a beautiful cave. Food, lots of food, a wonderful pool for bathing, food, good food, a big, warm bed, deep with furs, all sorts of wonderful things to eat, a special place for Argo. Argo! Your horse is named Argo! Xena, it’s coming back! We had this wonderful cave, all sorts of good things to eat, we had..." Gabrielle suddenly became quiet again, and her blush returned in full force.

"Xena, we made love, we made love over and over again. It was wonderful. We had found one another, we became soulmates, we stayed in the cave for a most wonderful period of time, but then, you insisted we had to leave. I remember I tried so hard to convince you that we should stay, but, as usual, we did things your way. Then I remember we had a lot of adventures, I wrote about them in my scrolls. We were on the road. But why...why is it.. why can’t I remember anything after that, I mean, we’re obviously here."

Xena’s joy at hearing Gabrielle’s description of their life together, of her regaining her memory, was nearly overwhelming. The sun was just beginning to lighten the horizon, and the time given them by Aphrodite was nearly expired, yet they had done it, they had gotten Gabrielle to remember their past, their love. She looked down at that wonderful, open, loving face and nearly cried with joy.

"Gabrielle, I love you more than life itself. If this hadn’t worked, if you hadn’t remembered our love, I don’t know what I would have done. You’re my life, my joy, my reason for living."

"Xena, would you please stop talking and kiss me? I honestly don’t know what to do with you, you talk way too much." Gabrielle wore a huge smile, as she reached up and pulled Xena’s face down to hers.

They kissed passionately; separating only when a stream of white light sliced between them and Aphrodite appeared.

Xena tightened her arms protectively around Gabrielle. "Okay, Goddess of Love. I kept my end of the bargain. Gabrielle remembers everything now."

"Just barely, warrior babe, just barely. There were a few times there when you got way to close to spilling the love beads, as it were. I was like, watching you and so could not believe what I was seeing and hearing! You like, told her everything practically."

"I did not."

"Semantics, semantics."

"So this is over?" Xena continued to hold Gabrielle close to her, while they both stared at Aphrodite.

"Yeah, it’s over. I guess. It was fun though, Xena, seeing you struggle with carrying on a conversation of more than two words strung together at a time! Did it hurt? Having to actually, like, talk?"

"I’m so glad that you had some enjoyment from all of this, Aphrodite. Now, it would be..." Xena looked down at Gabrielle, who had a moment before pinched the warrior in an effort to shut her up before she said something to irritate Aphrodite and get the Love Goddess all stirred up again.

"What Xena was about to say, Aphrodite, is would you be so kind as to leave us now so that we might spend some private time together...we would be ever so grateful."

Gabrielle smiled up at Aphrodite with an expression of such sweetness that Xena almost felt like laughing, but thought better of it. Gabrielle was right, no sense in stirring things up. She looked down at the young woman in her arms and held her comments to herself. I’d like to tell the goddess of love to get lost..but Gabrielle’s way is better.

"Fine. I’m just so out of here...this little game was getting boring anyway."

She disappeared as quickly as she had appeared. The two women looked at one another and laughed.

"Gabrielle? I have one more question. That young temple priest who helped you with the Titans? Was that really just to make me jealous? I mean, when I looked in on you and you were on the same sleeping pallet....that was all just to get back at me?

Gabrielle smiled, then said, "Mavis, how could you possibly think such a thing?"

The two women remained wrapped in each other’s arms, as Xena said softly, "Praise Aphrodite, even if she is a pain in the ..." Gabrielle silenced her with a kiss.




Other Stories Posted:

Ground Rules

Afternoon Break

Gabrielle’s Dream

Even As She Sleeps



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