The moon rose high into the clear night air. The wind gently rippled through they tall reeds, singing a song of lamentation. A twig cracked, sending a stag hurtling from within the shelter of the Yew trees, into the tall reeds. A black shape appeared from within the trees, pursing the frightened creature. The creatures speed was almost impossible, her four legs barley touched the ground. It leapt, caught the stags flank and tripped it in one go. The stag let out a cry as the creature went for its neck. The stag thrashed for less than a candle flicker before laying still. The creature released the grip on the stags neck. The moon became obscured by a solitary cloud, and when the light returned, a woman could be seen leant over the carcass, devouring it; blood smearing her naked body.
"Please, can we stop and make camp here?" Asked Gabrielle.
"Its you that keeps on reminding me that were in a hurry, and its you that keeps on insisting that youd rather walk!" Xena replied Icily "Besides, theres still plenty of light yet."
Xena kept on riding and didnt even bother to look back at the woman she loved with all her heart. She knew she was just being petty, but Gabrielle was wrong this time and Xena promised herself she wouldnt give in.
Xena stopped Argo and turned to face Gabrielle.
Gabrielles face was red with anger and frustration, Xena was so stubborn sometimes, especially when she was right.
"Look Im Sorry, OK Please can we stop, Im tired, Im hungry and Im fed up." Gabrielle stood where shed stopped, tears were welling in her eyes, she fought them back hoping Xena wouldnt see them.
Xena did, the sight tore at her insides, wrenching her heart open; she turned away as quickly she could, dismounted Argo and led him off the track. She went about her usual tasks of settling Argo, trying her best to keep away from Gabrielle. Tears silently fell from her cheeks all the while. Obviously her will was no longer her own.
Xena was so wrapped up in her emotions, that she didnt hear Gabrielle walking up to her. Gabrielles hands wrapping around her waist, made her jump back into the here and now.
"Oh! Im sorry, I .I didnt mean to make you jump."
"Its O.K, You didnt." Stated Xena.
"But " Gabrielle let it drop. " I came over to apologise, I dont like you not talking to me, it makes me feel so lonely ."
Xena just looked at her, she was still embarrassed from being sneaked up on, now she just didnt know what to say, so she did the most sensible thing and let Gabrielle do the talking.
"I know you were right and Im sorry for arguing, its just that you always think you know best, and I just wanted to .em .ah . win for once."
Xena just stood there, trying to stop a grin spreading across her face.
"SEE!!!!! Every time Im wrong you always make me look like a little girl, Im not a little girl anymore, Im a "
Xenas mouth closed over hers, her cool, wet lips sending tiny electric pulses all over her body, her tongue went out to meet Xenas. Two firm hands ran down her back, pulling her deeper into Xenas embrace. Gabrielle could smell the deep musky smell of Xena, heightened by the smell of the worn leather that hug and curved around Xenas body so well, the thought of it sent her knees weak and if it wasnt for Xenas grip she would have fallen.
"I.." Kiss "..never.." Kiss "..want to " Kiss " argue with you ." Kiss "..again." Kiss Kiss "Promise me " Kiss "..that well.." Kiss " ..argue " Kiss " again." Said Gabrielle.
Kiss "Why?" Kiss.
"Because, " Kiss " making up is so much fun!" With that Xena picked Gabrielle up and carried her to their campsite.
Laying her gently down, Xena quickly removed her weapons and armour (with help from Gabrielle) and then set about Gabrielle.
She began by slowly and gently kissing her lovers eyes, then her lips, moving out to her ears and then down to her neck, where she gently kissed the warm flesh. As Gabrielle became more aroused Xenas kisses became more frenzied. Xena straddled Gabrielle and then sat upright, removing her remaining clothes. She then removed Gabrielles, kissing each bit of flesh as it became revealed. When they were both completely naked, Xena again straddled Gabrielle. She ran her hands gently and smoothly over her firm breasts, before playing with each nipple, making them erect in turn. She then placed both of Gabrielles arms above her head onto the floor and held them there as she leant down to kiss her full on the lips.
Xena then ran her left hand down Gabrielles arm, past her breast, instantly erecting the nipple again, across her stomach and dipped down between her legs. Gabrielle moaned as she opened her legs wider, Xena moved her legs to fit between Gabrielles and held both arms in her one free hand. Xenas mouth moved to Gabrielles neck again and began to kiss it and gently bite the soft flesh. Her kisses and bites became more intense as her hand picked up pace.
Gabrielle was in heaven. Feeling Xenas firm body between her legs, her hot breath and warm mouth on her neck, Xenas breasts rubbing against hers, the fact she couldnt move and of course Xenas expert hand between her legs, with those fingers that drove her wild. It wasnt long before she was heading towards the edge, Xena drove her fingers deeper and harder into making her buck and scream out, Xenas teeth bit down on her sending a strange sense of pleasure and pain through her.
Xena felt Gabrielle tense, so she pushed her fingers into her hard one last time, sending Gabrielles body into wild thrashing accompanied by her cries of ecstasy.
Gabrielles body went limp, all her energy spent. She hurt deep inside, but it was a pain she felt worthwhile, and she could feel her neck tingling. Xena lay next to her, propped up by her arm, looking down at her.
Gabrielle smiled up at Xena, who returned the gesture.
"Wow!!!!!!!!!!! Were going to have to argue more often, if thats what happens when we make up!"
"I dont think I could handle seeing you hurt like that on a regular basis!" With that Xena turned her head and then rolled away from Gabrielle.
"Oh, Xena Im sorry, I didnt mean it, its just I enjoyed that a lot. Please dont shut me out, not now, not after everything weve been through. Please." She slowly rolled Xena back so that they were facing each other.
Gabrielle smiled at Xena again, and when Xena returned the gesture Gabrielle pounced on her,
"My turn now!"
"Your turn for wha oooohhhhhh yesssss!!!!!!"
"Gabrielle, wake-up. Come on hurry up, theres something moving in the trees."
"Get up, get dressed, Im going after it."
"Whatever it is out there."
With that Xena finished strapping on her armour and sword drawn she strode of towards the trees. "Stay near Argo." She said before disappearing into the trees.
Gabrielle finished getting dressed and picking up her staff she walked over to where Argo stood. He was sweating, his ears were pricked and his eyes were glazed white. Something big was scaring him shitless. Gabrielle did her best to calm him.
Xena moved through the trees as quiet as the dawn mist that clung to the ground. Faint noises of movement could be heard up ahead. Xena became worried, very few things could move as quietly as she could. What in Hades could it be.
No matter how quickly she moved, or how much she tried to out manoeuvre the thing she could not draw closer. She gave up the hunt and drew back fearing to go to far into the woods any further than necessary.
When she got back to their camp Argo was gone and Gabrielle lay on the floor unconscious. Xena let out a cry and ran to where her lover lay.
"Gabrielle, Gabrielle speak to me please wake up. Gabrielle."
After a while Gabrielle moaned and came round, Xenas face greeted her as she opened her eyes, tears were rolling down her cheek.
"Xena, whats wrong?"
"I..I came back and saw you lying there, I thought something had happened to you, I thought you were dead."
"Yes, but you must have seen me breathing!"
"Yes. But you were still hurt. What happened to you."
"I I cant really remember, it all happened so quickly, I remembered trying to calm Argo down and then this woman appeared, she was dressed in black armour and carried a bow, she stood there looked at me and then turned to walk away. As she did Argo got spooked and bolted."
"So how come I found you on the floor?"
"I was in his way!" She said blushing.
"Come on, pack your gear up, wed better go after him."
"Oh, not so fast, my heads pounding!"
After half a day, they finally caught up with Argo. He was by a stream, grassing on the lush green grass. His flank was covered in sweat and he was still steaming. He was pleased to see Xena and came trotting over to her. After a reunion the woman stopped and made camp, Argo would have been too tired to continue.
They sat by the stream letting the sound out it bathe them in peace and serenity, they watched the soon go down blazing red, still they didnt move, the moon began to climb its way into the sky. Gabrielle shivered. Xena placed her arms around her.
"I Love you Gabrielle!"
Gabrielle looked at her, shock was clear on her face, for once Gabrielle was speechless,
"Come on, Ill start a fire and will snuggle up." She grabbed Gabrielle and took her over to the clearing.
The woman crouched just within the eaves of the trees, watching the two woman slowly explore each others bodies. She watched as their tempo increased and heard their cries get louder, floating over to her on the breeze. When theyd finished and they sat huddled together, watching the flames of the fire dancing for them, she curled up beside a tree and watched as they drifted of to sleep. Her only company were the blood red tears that fell from her eyes.
Gabrielle woke with a start. Instantly waking Xena up, who grabbed her sword before enquiring about the sudden movement.
"Someones watching us!" Was the reply she got.
"I dont know who, but they, no shes over there, just within the woods."
"Where?" Xena strained and still couldnt see her.
"Over there somewhere."
"Can you actually see her?"
"Then how do you know theres someone there and how do you know its female."
"Well I dont really, I can feel theres someone there and it feels like a woman watching us. She doesnt seem to be aggressive either."
"How do you know this?"
"Well I am an Empath."
"Shit, I thought that had waned!"
"Im going after her."
"No Xena dont, leave her be!"
"Why? I dont like being watched, it gives me the creeps."
"Shes deeply interested in you, but not in a malevolent way, its almost ."
"Its almost well . Love!"
"You mean she, whoever she is, loves me?"
"I think so!" She paused "If not its a similar emotion."
"I want to know who she is, come on." With that Xena strode of in the direction Gabrielle had implied.
Shed gone only a dozen yards, when Gabrielle let out a piercing scream, Xena turned to see her on her knees, hands clutching her head;
"Get out, leave me alone, what do you want from me?"
"Gabrielle, Gabrielle whats wrong? Whats happening? Gabrielle answer me!"
"Xena .get her .out ..of .my head please .hurry!"
"Gabrielle how do I do that? How do I help?" Gabrielle didnt respond.
Xena turned and began running in the direction of the woman. She entered the trees and began searching for her. Xena found her stood with her hands holding her head, a deep look of concentration knotting her forehead. Letting out her battle cry, Xena charged. The woman opened her eyes by the narrowest of margins and watched the advancing warrior. Xena swung her mighty sword and connected with the air in front of her. The woman had vanished, leaving a small cloud of smoke.
Xena scanned the surrounding wood, hoping to find some sight or sound to betray the woman. After a short search she was happy that the woman was no longer around and went back to Gabrielle.
"Are you O.K?"
"Yeah, I think so. Did you kill her?"
"No! she got away!"
"She got away .. from you . how?"
"Its hard to explain, she just sort of vanished in a cloud of smoke!"
"Did you recognise her?"
"No. Should I?"
"Yes! She knows you well, she said she was going to dispose of me so she can have you all to herself again." Xena looked blank "She said you were lovers and that shes the only one you love and the only one youll ever love. Thats not true is it? You told me you loved me, you meant it didnt you?"
"Of course I did Gabrielle, I wouldnt lie to you. I dont even know who she is. No one I know could disappear like that."
"She said her name was Nienna, and that you was her first true love and she thought she was yours. She said that you left her to die in the village when the warlord attacked. She still loves you, but at the same time she hates you for leaving her."
"Do you know her?"
"Yes..but but I thought shed died when I was still young ..Nienna "
"Xena..dont trip out on me now. What are we going to do?"
"What do you mean?" She asked absent mindedly.
"She wants to kill me, just in case you give a fuck!!!"
"Of course I do, Im sorry, its just that its all a bit of a shock for me!"
"Can we get out off here. The sooner We get to the village, the sooner Ill feel better. Besides she wont be able to walk passed all of the Amazon guards and you will she?"
"I dont know, but your right. As soon as its fully light will go!"
"No. I want to go now. Please?"
"O.K , but youll have to ride for a while."
The sun was almost at noon, when a crow landed on the track in front of them. Xena checked the horse and watched it.
"What is it Xena, why have we stopped?"
"Theres a crow on the track!"
"And? Why stop for a crow?"
"It told me too!"
"What? Have you been at those roots again?"
"No! The crow told me to stop, so I did!"
"Ive got to see this for myself." She dismounted and walked around Argo until she could see the bird. "So thats the creature that finally gave Xena an order!"
Suddenly the crow vanished In a cloud of smoke and the woman from before appeared.
"Hi Nienna. Its good to see you. I thought you were dead, how did you survive?"
"As if you care, you left me there to die. You told me you loved me. Where were you when the warlord attacked OUR village, where were you when his men raped me repeatedly, where were you when they beat and whipped me for fun and where were you when that monster came and saved my life by giving me immortality."
"Im sorry. I tried to get back to you but I couldnt. I wasnt the Warrior Princess I am now. I couldnt help you but I tried. I grieved for an age over you, I loved you with all my heart, before it became black."
"Loved, loved, you no longer love? Has this whore stolen what is mine to have."
"The only thing she stole was my heart, but I would have given her it willingly."
"Well now Im going to take it back for ever!!!!" She clicked her finger and Xenas eyes clouded over.
Xena dismounted and drew her sword, she began to advance on Gabrielle. Her steps were slow and laborious, but still she advanced. Gabrielle pulled out her staff and began frantically trying to get Xena to stop what she was doing.
"Do not try and fight it, she will kill you and then we will be happy together once more."
"No, Never. Xena snap out of it, fight it, help me, come on, dont give into her."
Her words fell on deaf ears. Still Xena advanced. Her movement becoming more and more fluid, picking up pace. Xena began swinging and lunging her sword at Gabrielle. Gabrielle found it hard to do anything but parry the forceful blows.
"Xena stop. Your going to kill me if your not careful. Xenaaaaaahhhhhhhhh "
Gabrielle fell to the floor as she tripped over a tree root. Xena stood over her, sword point at Gabrielles neck;
"Xena dont do it, fight her." Gabrielle became frantic she had to get Xena to snap out of it " Xena please its me Gabrielle, your Gabrielle. You must remember, you promised me that youd love me for ever ."
"She promised me that as well and look where it got me" Interrupted Nienna.
" you promised me youd never hurt me!"
With that Xena stopped and relaxed her sword,
"NNNOOOOOO!!! Xena finish her. Do it, I command you to." Xena stood there blinking, trying to regain control.
Nienna ran towards Gabrielle, screaming hysterically. Xena turned to face her, as she did her sword was lifted slightly and in her blind rage Nienna impaled herself onto it.
Xena blinked back into herself and saw Nienna with her sword through her. Tears began to well in her eyes,
"What have I done, Im sorry, I ..I ..I didnt mean to hurt you, please dont die ."
"You stupid bitch, Im immortal now, your sword isnt going to kill me" She let out a viscous backhander that sent Xena sprawling away to the floor. "If I cant have you no one will" She let out a scream of rage and flew at Xena, turning into a puma as she went.
Xena rolled into a standing position, ready to face the cat. Nienna leapt but Xena stepped out of the way, Nienna stopped, turned and then multiplied into three.
"Shit!! Which ones real!" Exclaimed Gabrielle."
"I dont want to hurt you Nienna, please stop this madness before its too late."
The three cats began circling Xena, and then the pounced as one. Xena closed her eyes and swung her sword. There was a blood curdling scream followed by a thud. Xena dropped her sword to the ground and then knelt, tears flowing freely.
Gabrielle stood someway back. She saw the cats leap and saw Xena cleanly cut the head off one of them. She heard the scream and then saw the corpse of the cat turn back into Nienna. She saw Xena drop to the floor, weeping letting her emotions wash over her. Gabrielle stood where she was watching Xena sob relentlessly, giving the time and space shed need.
"Are you feeling any better?"
"A bit. Thank you for being so understanding."
"Its O.K, Im glad to help." Gabrielle paused. "I still dont understand, what happened to you how did she take control of you?"
"I was told a story by the Amazons awhile ago and it told of creatures that were given immortality and mystical powers and the price was that they must forever feed on human blood or waste away, and they may never see the sun again. Nienna seemed to have overwritten that last one though."
"What were these creatures called?"
"And this story told of how to kill these creatures?"
"Yes. Either by the removal of their heads, or by exposure to sunlight."
"Which had no effect on her!"
"It would seem so." Xena paused. "Well be there soon!" She could see smoke rising from between the trees up ahead.
"Theyre never going to believe us!"
They rode the rest of the way in silence
"Xena, Gabrielle, Im glad to see you made it at last, looks like you had a bit of trouble with vampires on the way though!" She said with a smile.
Xena and Gabrielle looked at each other in shock, how could Serensi know theyd only just arrived.
Serensi noticed there puzzled faces;
"Your necks," she pointed out " looks like theyve been attacked by vampires."
The two of them suddenly realised she was referring to the love bites covering their necks and just smiled at each other.