Characters from Xena: Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal/Renaissance. No copyright infringement is intended.
This is a work of alternative (alternative...what's that?) fan fiction. No profit will be gained from its production. This piece of fiction is copyright of the author.
There are depictions of love/sex between persons of the same gender. If this is illegal where you live, you are underage, or the idea ties your skivvies in a wad, then stop reading here and find something more appropriate to your tastes and/or laws.
Thank you for taking the time to read the stuff above, and hopefully, the stuff below.
Author's Note: This is a sequel to Eternal Rewards.
Comments can be sent to email@example.com
Copyright March 1998
Xena, enticed by the warm body snuggled next to hers, woke. Looking through the loft window, she saw that the sun was just peeking over the horizon. She replayed the events of yesterday, pulling the young woman at her side closer.
Simply put, she had died. Grinning at the thought, she thanked the gods for the bard that had championed her eternal soul. Her death had brought her more peace than she could have ever imagined. She smiled down at the woman that was the reward for a life-long struggle against the darkness that had lurked along the edges of her existence, darkness that Gabrielle had taught her to overcome.
Gabrielle...the young bard, as in life, slept past the dawn of the day, preferring to savor the hazy warmth of a good sleep. The bard smiled in her sleep. Nightmares no longer interrupted her simple pleasure, although the woman under her slight frame was more than enough to influence the dreams that the bard was now experiencing. A slight movement and contact with warm flesh pulled the bard from fantasy to reality as Xena covered her small hand to gently squeeze the breast upon which it was resting. Her body stirred in conjunction with her awakened desires.
"Good morning, love," the warrior greeted her. "It's good to know that nothing has changed," she grinned.
Gabrielle answered by rolling onto the larger woman and attempted to rub the sleep from her eyes by nuzzling her lover's breasts.
Xena was taken by surprise at the sensuality of the act. Her bard had no idea how sexually enticing she could be with such an innocent gesture. Then the warrior moaned softly when she felt a gentle tongue bathe attention to her sensitive peaks. Her lips curled in satisfaction when her body responded, her nipples hardening under the bard's lips. The warrior realized that her whole picture of Gabrielle's sweet innocence had to be revised. The woman was a sly, wanton creature. "Honey, we made love all night long..." she attempted, her efforts stilled by busy lips latching onto her own.
Their kisses ran the gamut from gentle tugs to fierce bruisings. By the time that the bard pulled her lips away from the warrior's, both were breathless...and ready to go again. "I'll never stop wanting you, Xena. Breathing...eating...Xena," she mumbled as she dipped her head to feast on the delicate skin of Xena's neck.
The warrior arched her body slick with sweat in an attempt to get closer. She responded to the words of love with which the bard had assaulted her. Her talent went beyond tales of heroic epics...to erotic overtures that inflamed her senses. She was definitely skilled, the warrior thought wickedly, as the bard described for Xena exactly what she wanted to do to her.
Gabrielle pulled away from the warrior and gazed at her intently. Xena saw the smoky green eyes framed by a sweet face that transformed into one of lustful, carnal thoughts. The warrior held her breath, anticipating her lover's next move. The trickle between her legs turned into a flood when she saw what the bard pulled from behind her back.
All Gabrielle had to do was think of the sex toy. Of the soft leather harness and the stiff, yet yielding.... The bard swept passion-glazed eyes down the body of her lover as she stood.
Xena tried not to be surprised, especially after what the bard had done to her body last night. Those memories (and the sight of Gabrielle strapping the phallus to her slim hips) served to fuel her body's rampaging lust.
The bard saw the raging fire in the blue eyes of the warrior as they raked down her body. With a delicious shiver of anticipation, she lowered herself into position between Xena's legs. Catching the warrior's eyes with her own and holding them in an exquisite promise, Gabrielle thrust deep into the warm, secret places that cried for attention.
Xena gasped as she was filled to the core, the bard's aggressive lovemaking spiraling her higher to the bittersweet pinnacle of ecstasy. She wrapped her long legs around her lover's pistoning hips and rode with her to their mutual destination. When her climax seized her in a state of oblivious release, her cry of passion pierced the morning's silence.
Several candlemarks later, Gabrielle was explaining all that had happened since she had died, while Xena groomed Argo, reacquainting herself with the steed. It a good thing that her back was to the bard, because she couldn't hide the expressions that crossed her face - surprise, astonishment, anger. Gabrielle had become something of a celebrity in the Underworld. Hades had succumbed to her sheer force of personality and allowed her the freedom to travel the various areas over which he reigned. She had gotten angry when her lover had told her how she had been "killed" again when she had accidentally gotten caught between two rival warlords' armies. But then again, the warrior thought, this WAS Gabrielle.
"It was odd, Xena," she had explained. "It didn't really hurt, not like the first time."
The bard told her that ever since, she was much more careful about where she went when she visited Tartarus.
"You've certainly been busy," Xena observed, bringing her thoughts back to the present as she packed away Argo's grooming brushes.
Gabrielle reflected over her choice of words. "Well, after we were separated, life kind of lost a lot of its appeal, even here, where my every desire could be fulfilled." She paused so that she could absorb Xena's magnetic presence. "Even though I could have everything I wanted, but you. Without you, I just wasn't truly happy."
The warrior felt her love for the woman warm her to the core. "Gabrielle, without you..."
"I know, Xena," she interrupted, her voice softened by love. "Your thoughts were the only things that kept me going. You were in my heart, and I was in yours. You once said that you would stay with me, even in death, and you did."
Xena remembered the battle with the Persians. She had been more afraid of losing Gabrielle than fighting the army that was marching towards Athens. "We're together now," she answered, taking the bard into her arms and gently kissing the spot above her temple.
Their moment of togetherness was broken up by the entrance of Ephiny and Eponin. "You know, you two, I thought you'd have gotten that all out of your systems after last night," the Amazon Queen said, a humorous smirk creasing her smooth brow.
"And this morning," Eponin added with a grimace that broke into a grin. "It wouldn't have hurt to shut the loft doors," she said as she pointed up to the opened portal that faced the village.
Gabrielle was grateful for Xena's neck, for she buried her heated face to hide the flush that colored it.
Xena squeezed her closer and winked over her head to their friends. "It'll never be out of my system," she quipped lasciviously.
The two Amazons nodded their heads. It was good to see that things had worked out so well for Gabrielle. They had heard stories from Melosa of how the young queen had been unsuccessful in her attempts to hide her melancholy from their sisters in the village. While she had smiled on the outside, bringing joy to everyone she met (as she had in life), on the inside, those who knew her well could see the forlorn soul waiting to be reunited. Only her constant campaign on Xena's behalf with Hades had kept her from breaking down. And now...Ephiny smiled again.
The bard tried to pull away from her lover's embrace, but Xena resisted, instead, squeezing her closer. Gabrielle surrendered to the protective feeling and her own embarrassment. Resigned, she laid her head on the warrior's chest and looked over shyly to the Amazons. The vibrations of Xena addressing them sent delicious shivers down her spine, causing her to miss her lover's question. Ephiny's shout of delight and Eponin's slap on her back brought her back, though. "What," she asked looking around, embarrassed once again.
Xena pushed her away to an arm's length and repeated herself, a hint of anxiety knotting her brow. "I asked when our joining ceremony could take place," she repeated. When the warrior only received a blank expression, she fell to one knee and took the bard's hands into her own. Pulling them so that they rested over her heart, she asked, "Will you marry me, Gabrielle?"
The young woman knew that the beating beneath her hands was for the love they shared. Words escaped her in the sweetness of the gesture, so she simply nodded, tears welling in her eyes. She never heard the Amazons leave, nor the drums that sounded to call the villagers to the public square.
"I love you, Gabrielle."
"I love you, Xena," she answered.
For the two lovers, eternal time halted as their lips met in a promise, a rich telling of things to come. When they finally walked out of the stables, arms around each other, they were greeted by the sight of the entire village gathered.
Ephiny, who stood on a platform in the middle of the crowd, raised her hands for silence. "If it pleases Artemis and the Queens of the Amazon Nation," she called in a loud and clear voice, "I would like to announce that Xena of Amphipolis and Queen Gabrielle of Potedaia wish to be joined in the traditional Amazon Soul Bonding Ceremony."
The news was met with a cacophony of shouts and cheers. One by one, the villagers personally congratulated the couple.
When Cyrene found herself alone with them, she couldn't help the smile that brightened her face. "I am so happy and proud of you, daughter."
Xena accepted her mother's embrace with enthusiasm. "I've never been happier, mother. She is my heart, my soul," the warrior whispered.
Cyrene let the warrior loose and turned to Gabrielle, hugging the young woman into a similar embrace. "Thank you, daughter," she whispered.
Gabrielle pulled back, her features questioning. "For what?"
"For loving my daughter and bringing her back to me," the older woman answered, "again." The bard nodded her head as Cyrene left them alone.
The moment of privacy was brief, however, for Melosa soon joined them. "You will be joined tonight." The Amazon Queen signaled two priestesses. "Until then, you must be prepared separately."
The couple said their good-byes with their eyes as gentle hands led them in separate directions.
Xena glanced overhead at the full moon that had been conjured up for the joining ceremony. It seemed that in the Elysian Fields, pretty much anything could be accomplished by willing it. If the Amazons wanted Artemis' full splendor to shine on their union, it would be done.
The warrior nervously fingered a stud on her skirt. Her leathers had been polished clean, dark and supple; her armor blinded in its radiance. Her body had been pampered with a hot bath and scented oils.
She let her gaze fall over the crowd that had gathered to witness the event, anxiously awaiting the appearance of her intended bride. But not as much as I am, she thought.
All breaths were suspended when the drummers announced the entrance of the Queen Gabrielle. The vision she presented in her ceremonial attire stole any rational thought that the nervous warrior had. Her regal bearing belied her position among her people, her eyes held the prize she sought in life and was rewarded with in death.
Xena reminded herself to breath as Gabrielle joined her before the platform. Kneeling, the bard removed her mask and placed it at the priestess' feet. The warrior followed suit, placing her sword, chakram, and several daggers around the bard's symbol of caste.
The priestess raised her hands and addressed the crowd. "This night, we join two souls that found each other in life and reunited in death. May Artemis bless them and their journeys forevermore." The priestess asked the Queen and the warrior to raise their arms. With practiced hands, she bound their forearms with a silver cord of silk. "May we witness that these two have been bound in this eternal life, and shall never be separated." Taking a chalice from an acolyte, the priestess raised it to the moon and asked the goddess' blessing. "As this sacred cup is ever full, so shall be their hearts and lives be with love."
Xena watched as Gabrielle accepted the priestess' silent order, tipping the cup to her lips and binding the warrior to her with moist green eyes. Xena smiled gently when her turn came, drinking deeply of the sweet liquid.
The priestess took the chalice from the warrior's hands and placed it above the Queen's mask. "And so, as these two souls have accepted their joined destiny, may their friends and family join them in their blessings." The priestess raised her arms once more to signify the end of the ceremony. "I present to you Queen Gabrielle of Potedaia and her sworn consort, Xena of Amphipolis."
The Amazons raised their swords and staffs in salute, forming a canopy under which the wedded couple passed. As they passed Ephiny and Eponin, the warrior winked at them, then smiled lovingly at her new wife.
When they reached the end of the line, they were met by another priestess who cut the silver cord. "Be with Artemis," she intoned.
With those final words, the drums began anew and barrels of wine were cracked. The evening passed quickly. Course after course of succulent dishes were served, much to the bard's delight, and wine flowed freely from an endless supply. Toasts were made well into the early hours, the potent drink claiming one reveler after another.
Xena allowed Gabrielle to pull her into the circle of dancers, and in a dance that the warrior could compare to a seduction, publicly stamped upon the warrior's heart and body a claim of ownership. Xena answered the bard's masterful moves with her own that spoke of her surrender and love.
Then, at an unspoken time, the couple were led from the festivities to a private hut. Xena gathered her wife into her arms and carried her through the doorway into the beginning of their lives together. Forever, her mind whispered.
Setting the bard gently to her feet, the warrior (out of habit) quickly scanned the room. Flower petals had been scattered across a bed big enough to sleep a small army. Candles had been lit, casting dancing shadows over walls that were decorated with various tapestries of Amazon life.
When the warrior's eyes returned to the bed, she saw above, on the wall, a replica of Gabrielle's ceremonial mask. Above the mask was an exact copy of her chakram, under the mask, a pair of crossed daggers, and underneath those, her sword. It spoke of her promise to defend and cherish the Amazon Queen, of her own status within the Nation.
She heard the bard's gasp as her eyes fell on the same. "It's beautiful," she sighed with awe.
"Not half as much as you, my wife."
Gabrielle's eyes shimmered with tears as she lifted a hand to caress the warrior's cheek. "My wife," the blond woman repeated.
The warrior captured her hand and brought it to her lips. "I can't believe that this is real," she admitted.
The bard nodded her understanding. "Oh, it's real, warrior. And I plan on showing you just how real it is, all night long."
Xena's passion flared hot in her electric blue eyes. "You take away my breath, woman. You inflame me with your beauty, your words."
The bard rolled her eyes. "As much as I've wanted to hear you spouting poetry, please, Xena, stop talking. Just show me."
With deliberate care, the warrior began to remove the Queen's intricate costume. When the bard's flushed beauty was revealed in all its natural splendor, the warrior cradled her in strong arms and laid her gently on the bed.
Locking eyes with her wife, Xena moved to stand at the bottom of the bed. She removed her boots, armor, and leathers, taking care to neatly place them on the chest at the bottom of the bed. She grinned at the bard's anticipation, noting how the other woman's eyes were fastened on the breeches that concealed her womanhood. With agonizingly slow hands, the warrior hooked her thumbs into the waistband and inched them down to her knees where she let them drop to the floor.
The bard raised her eyes to her love's and held out her hand in a silent request.
The warrior obliged. Hooking her breeches with a toe, she flipped them into her wife's outstretched hand. Xena felt her mouth go dry when Gabrielle lifted the garment to her face and inhaled deeply. Moisture trickled down her thighs as she moved to join the bard, eager to consummate their marriage.
The passion that she met with when she fell into Gabrielle's embrace stole away any patience she might have had. Limbs wrapped around each other as their mouths met in an explosion of need, their tongues finding each other in an erotic dance, thrusting between lips that slid against each other in a fury of desire.
When the warrior felt the dizziness overtake her, she pulled away, sucking air into deprived lungs, pleased to see the bard in a similar state. It was just a brief thought that stood out in her mind crowded with a million other carnal scenes, but it was enough to cause its fruition. The warrior grinned wickedly and claimed the bard's lips once more, distracting the woman with an oral exploration so that she might settle herself between the bards opened thighs.
A sweet agony overtook her when she entered the woman's tight heat slicked with passion. The gasp that she caught between her parted lips betrayed the bard's surprise.
The warrior stilled her body's movements. "Yes?"
Gabrielle ran her hands down her lover's sides and over her tight ass and thighs. Feeling only smooth, uninterrupted skin, her eyes opened wide in disbelief, looking down between their bodies to where they were joined. "Is it really you," she asked, disbelief and awe evident.
The warrior nodded, desperately fighting her battle not to move her hips. "I wanted to feel you intimately, deeply," she groaned as bard shifted and locked her ankles over her back.
Sweat broke on the warrior's brow as she closed her eyes and took deep, steadying breaths. She pulled away, slowly, relishing the ache that the slick friction brought. Her blood raced to her most sensitive of places and the bard groaned, bunching her thighs and forcefully pulling the warrior back into her.
The warrior lowered her head and lavished hot, wet kisses on the bard's neck and face. "Love you," she rasped as she took possession of the bard's mouth, her tongue and hips thrusting in a slow dance of unfurling passion. Breaking away, the warrior raised herself on her arms for leverage, grinding their mounds against one another.
She suddenly stilled her movements when she felt the bard's hot mouth capturing an erect nipple, lavishing it with attention like it was the most savory treat. Drawing ragged gulps of air into her lungs, she rolled the bard over.
Gabrielle looked down at her new wife and willed her heart not to pound out of her chest. Only her warrior would have imagined such a feat. The bard mentally pinched herself. The feeling of being impaled, and she was impaled, she thought wryly, on the flesh of her lover was exquisite torture. Xena hadn't been thinking small, the bard thought as she tentatively raised herself. She bent to return to her lover's breasts. The same moment that she found firm purchase on a pebbled nipple, she dipped her hips, her thighs groaning with the effort, to quickly sheath the warrior's imaginative passion.
Xena felt herself poised over the edge. The sensual sounds that the bard was making as she feasted on the warrior's breasts was nudging her closer. Abruptly, she pushed the woman up into a straddling position. Taking her wife's hand, she guided it to the engorged clitoris framed by golden down and began stroking. Removing her own hand, she gasped, "I want to watch you touch yourself, love."
The bard complied, throwing her head back, consumed by the flames that coursed through her body and gathered where the warrior resumed her thrusting from below. Propping herself up on her elbows, Xena watched as Gabrielle's hand moved with abandon, her hips eagerly meeting each thrust in a wet embrace.
Their mingled grunts preceded their anguished cries of release.
Collapsing on her wife, her body's sweat mixing with that of the warrior's, Gabrielle moaned. "By the gods, Xena. I never considered it possible."
"You inspired me, my love," the warrior admitted as she withdrew from the bard, her anatomy resuming its natural form. "And I have...."
"Love," the bard interrupted, "I think that line is just a little overused by now."
The warrior chuckled as she nuzzled Gabrielle's hair.
"I love you, Xena."
"I love you, too, my beautiful wife."
Not wanting to lose the warmth of each other, neither moved as they drifted into languid sleep.
Xena was lost in the sensations her dream was arousing. Flames of desire licked at her subconscious, fanned by the gently probing between her thighs. Instinctively, the warrior reached out an arm to pull her wife closer. Finding only empty space, Xena reluctantly forced herself to wake. Glancing around the hut shadowed by low candlelight, she called, "Gabrielle?" The soft tickle on her leg got her attention.
Gabrielle knew the exact moment that Xena moved from dream to an awakened state. She held her breath and willed her body still. She heard the warrior's sleepy question and she lifted her head slightly in response. When she raised her eyes from their previous study, they were caught by her favorite color blue, arrested by the emotions that flashed through her wife's eyes - disbelief, surprise, and then desire. Realizing that she had been discovered, Gabrielle exhaled. Smiling, she bent her head and resumed her earlier pursuit.
The warrior closed her eyes when she felt the bard's breath caress her slick folds. Time slowed as she anticipated her wife's next move. She wasn't disappointed. Her patience was rewarded when a tentative touch fanned the flame of her need, engulfing her in its inferno. Xena bent her legs at the knee and let them fall, opening herself as an invitation. Reaching down, she found purchase on her engorged labia and spread them, exposing the bundle of nerves that begged for the bard's oral love.
Eager to fulfill her lover's request, Gabrielle flattened her tongue and slowly tasted Xena's juices from bottom to top, lingering and increasing the pressure when she reached the spot that caused her warrior to tense and moan.
All sensation, but that which raged at her core, fled in the wake of the fevered blood that suffused the warrior's sensitized skin with heat. With each controlled stroke the bard lavished on her quivering sex, Xena dug her fingers tighter. When the bard's thumbs moved to frame her nub, she relinquished her own hold to catch the bedsheets in a deathgrip. Her senses were on overload. Her hips began to arch and gyrate in an effort to realize climatic finish her body craved.
Gabrielle responded to her lover's anguished whimper of need. The tenuous control she had been maintaining, shattered when Xena pressed her musky sweetness closer. The bard's own sex throbbed in response as she drove two fingers deeply into the warrior's quaking flesh. Stilling her hand's movement, she blew softly across the pulsing clit.
Xena began sobbing incoherently when Gabrielle's hot breath scorched her intimacy, when her lips mercifully latched onto her need and her small hand resumed its thrusting. The warrior lost all control over her muscles, her body, when the bard added a third finger. Gabrielle's moan drew her glazed focus to the woman between her legs.
When she saw the small woman's hips moving with the increasing rhythm of her hand that was plunging between the dark woman's thighs, the warrior knew that her wife was on the verge of a powerful orgasm, pleasuring herself with her free hand. The wet sucking noises that both hands were drawing from their bodies was the final push that sent Xena tumbling down into the timeless abyss of the sweet little death. A moment later, a second orgasm shook her body when the bard cried out her release against the warrior's convulsing folds.
Squeezing her legs, the bard trapped her hand, prolonging her release. When the throbs had slowed to the occasional pulse, she removed her hand and loosened the hold in which the warrior held her head. Crawling up her lover's body, bestowing lingering kisses along the way, she collapsed at Xena's side.
Once she regained her senses and breath, the warrior looked over incredulously at her wife. "I think you are trying to kill me, woman," she weakly rasped.
Gabrielle chuckled as she moved to drape an arm over her lover's midsection. "I knew there was one thing that could stir me before the dawn."
Xena gathered her into a loose embrace. "If that's the case, then, little one, I would keep the sun from rising."
The bard smiled against the warrior's neck. "Xena, no matter what time of day it is, I'll always want to make love to you."
The warrior sighed as her wife's words softened into gentle snores. Pulling a light blanket over their damp bodies, she joined Gabrielle in a blissful sleep.
A hesitant knock alerted the warrior of the passage of time. Shielding her eyes from the late morning sun filtering through the window, she bade the caller to enter. When bright blue eyes matching her own peeked around the open door, she quickly glanced down to make sure that the bard had not kicked off their blanket in her sleep.
Waving her son into the hut, she patted the empty space beside her. "Solon, good morning."
The boy bent to kiss his mother's brow, and then, to her surprise, Gabrielle's. "Good morning, Mother," he answered, stretching out his body on the side of the bed, laying on his side and propping his head on his hand. "I'm glad that you married Gabrielle," he admitted. "She's been so nice to me since she got here, and I know that she'll be nice to you, too."
Xena mentally grinned at how nice the bard had been to her already. "I love her very much, Solon, almost as much as I love you," she growled, ruffling his hair.
"Is it morning already," the prone body on the warrior's other side mumbled, pulling the blanket over her head.
Shaking her head, Xena turned to Solon and shrugged. "She never was a morning person," she explained.
Solon grinned and jumped over his mothers' bodies to land on the other side. Pulling the edge of the blanket from the bard's head, he sang, "Good morning, Gabrielle!"
The small woman attempted to burrow her way into the side of her wife. "You are definitely worse than your mother," she said, failing to cling to the edges of her sleep. She pulled the blanket from her head and brightly smiled at the boy. My son, she thought. "Did you have fun last night, Solon?"
The child radiated from the his innocent pleasure. "Boy, did I! Who would have thought Eponin could drink so much wine? Grandma Cyrene said that she'd never seen anything like it."
"Well, that's one Amazon that can hold her drink," Gabrielle admitted. "What do you want to do today," she asked, sure that Xena wouldn't mind the company.
Solon looked surprised at the invitation. "Really?"
When both women smiled and nodded, he jumped to his knees.
"Can we go on a picnic? We can take Argo, and I can ask Grandma Hecuba to pack us a lunch..."
The warrior held up a hand to halt the boy's rush of words. "OK, OK. A picnic it is. You go get everything ready." Xena's vision blurred when her son rewarded her with a blinding smile.
"This is gonna be fun, Mom...just wait and see," he promised as he bounded out the door.
Stretching her arms and legs to the length of the bed, the bard grunted. "Well...ah...it was assumed that we would...uh...and well...you know my mom...she's big on family," she explained quickly. "She was so happy to have a grandson," she finished, her eyes pleading with the warrior to understand.
"So she's OK with us, then?"
"Of course. She was at the joining last night. She just didn't want to say anything. She's still embarrassed about the way she used to treat you."
The warrior's eyes lost their focus as she realized into which family she had married. Shrugging mentally, she figured that it couldn't be all that bad. After all, this wasn't Tartarus. "Come on, Wife, we've got a date with our son," she reminded the smaller woman.
"How long do you think that it will take Solon to get everything prepared?"
"Why," the warrior asked as she rolled over to look into the bard's eyes.
"Uh, huh." If Xena recognized the set of the bard's features, she thought it a cosmic joke played by a cruel god.
"There's going to be food, Gabrielle," she teased.
"I'm not hungry...for food."
The warrior gasped when the bard ducked her head and captured a nipple between her lips. "Gabrielle...we just...ate not too long ago," the warrior reminded.
Making contented noises in the back of her throat, the bard shook her head, tugging the now hardened nipple with it. "When you are the main course, I'm always hungry for seconds...and thirds...and fourths...."
Steeling her composure, the warrior pushed her wife back onto the bed, trying not to laugh at the disappointment that flared in her green eyes. "Gabrielle, we have all of eternity to enjoy one another."
The bard dusted an invisible piece of lint from her taut stomach. "Yeah, I guess. But I waited so long, Xena. I just can't stop thinking about it, wanting to touch you, and taste you, and...."
Tightening the iron leash she had steeled around her libido, the warrior stood and moved to the washstand. "Enough, love," she growled. "I promise you that we'll go away for a few days and we'll get it...the urgency...out of our systems. But now, we have a promise to keep."
The bard's mood improved at the thought of having the warrior all to herself for a few day. "A honeymoon?"
"Yeah...I guess so," the warrior answered, a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.
The bard bounced off the bed and took the sponge from her lover's hand, vigorously scrubbing at her back as her enthusiasm increased. "Oh, Xena, think about it...we could go anywhere. Rome, Athens, Lesbos, Cairo...."
The warrior turned and rescued the sponge from the bard's fevered grasp. She soaked up some water and turned Gabrielle around. "I bet," she guessed, "knowing you, you've already imagined a place. Some place that you created just for just the two of us."
"Mmm...you know me so well," the bard admitted as Xena squeezed a spongeful of cold water down her back.
"Better than anyone. And I promise that we will go there. Just let me get caught up with everyone here, spend some time with Solon, and then we'll go. How's that sound?"
The bard berated herself for being so selfish. "Oh, Xena, I'm sorry...I didn't think about that."
"Shh...it's all right," Xena replied, turning to bard to face her. Cupping her wife's face in her hand she grinned. "All I can think about is you, too, little one, but I do have to put in an appearance or two, and I really want to see Solon."
"In that case, warrior, we had better get dressed...because if we don't, I won't be responsible for what I do," the bard teased.
"Oh really," the warrior asked, backing the woman into the wall.
A knock at their door interrupted her next thought. "Mother?"
"Yes," both women answered. The bard shrugged when the warrior lifted her brow.
"I've got everything ready whenever you are," Solon replied.
"We'll be right out," Xena answered. She stole one last kiss from Gabrielle. "Just what were you two doing while you were waiting for me?"
The bard refused to answer, but her shy blush said volumes. She squirmed out from under the warrior's arms and moved to don her normal clothes.
"Was I the last one to know what you had planned for me when I got here," the warrior asked as they were almost finished dressing.
"Maybe," the bard answered coyly as she tied her top and edged towards the door.
When the warrior realized that Gabrielle was playing with her, she let out a subdued battlecry and chased her out of the hut. "I have eternity to get even with you, woman," she vowed.
"You can try, Princess," Gabrielle replied, sticking out her tongue in mock defiance. Turning to the boy who was hiding his laughter behind a hand, she wrapped an arm around his shoulders and began walking out of the village. "Come on, Solon, I'm starving."
Shaking her head, Xena mounted Argo in a swift, fluid motion that hinted of the power her body controlled. "You know, Argo, it's good to be home," she said as she patted the mare's neck.
The warhorse snorted in reply, and at the command from her rider, turned to follow the chattering duo down the road.
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