By Kandis Glasgow

Disclaimers: I swore that I wouldn't write while I was on vacation, but writing to me is a vacation of sorts. So I will go to the beach during the day and write at night. I am all alone here in Laguna Beach. I should be sad but it's all good! I finished chapter 17 here. I think that's why it turned out so…. well you know….sexual. Laying on the beach in the warm sun, the sand, the women and well…… No, I didn't get any. I just thought about it. Anyway….the usual applies. Xena, Gabrielle, Jan, Mel and Ares don't belong to me. I mean no infringement on the rights to them. I am getting nothing for this. Well, nothing but a few e-mails here and there. I have made some great friends through the e-mails, so send away. All the rest of the women and men that appear herein are mine. I thought them up all by myself. They make themselves up after that.

Sex Disclaimer: HoooWhee! Women loving all over! Terra and Skye gotta wait a bit cause of that nasty bad guy. Krista and Lissa might have to take a break, too. But, C&T and G&J get it. Get it? Sure ya do! By the way men will fall in love in this story as well. If you don't like it…thupppppt!!! Here's to my gay brothers! If this is confusing where you live, you haven't been reading along with the rest of us. Go back to the beginning. If this is a bad immoral thing where you live, then you live in the wrong place. I can't help that and you can't read this. Go, go, go. I won't be held responsible for your punishment! ( No matter how much I would like to be!) If you are underage….well, not much I can do about that either. Come back when you've grown up.

Language: F**k yeah! Mel even got into it last time (with good reason I might add). You never can tell who's going to be next.

Violence: I can't see it in this, but Xe might kick a butt or two.

Spoilers: This story is based on them. If you haven't seen certain episodes (like all of them) some of the inside jokes and comments won't make sense. It won't hurt anything. But if you don't want to know……don't read this!!

Thank you for reading my stories! At last count this entire series is somewhere around 660 pages long. What has happened to me? I am possessed! In a good way I hope! If you are enjoying this and haven't written yet or haven't written in awhile, let me know what you think! See ya!

©kg 5/18/00

Part 18

(Eighteen? Are you nuts?)

Uh huh!

Two tall people stood outside of a rather large tent. One warrior/assassin, the other a frightened former slave. The taller of the two looked down on her companion with true affection on her face. She cared a great deal about the man in her company, yet she was hard pressed to explain why. He was far from ordinary in looks. He was almost as tall as she was. His frame was broad, but thin from lack of food. He would be quite muscular once they fed him decently. His hair was golden blonde, with a hint of red. It was the same color as his sister's. But it was his eyes that would capture the very imagination of those that met him. The kindness and knowledge in those ancient green orbs, sent avalanches of emotion careening through their very being. He loved. Simple as that. He was love. You could see it and feel it. If you didn't know what true love was it would be confusing at first, but joyous at the recognition. The Amazon nation was in for a grand treat.

"Ready?" Terra turned to face the young man behind her.

The fear on Terran's face showed the turmoil that lie within. He had never met his sister face to face. Now that the time had come, he wasn't sure he could do it. His hands rung in fearful anticipation. "Wwwhat iff she doesn't like me?" It seemed that Terran's stutter was of a nervous nature. It all but disappeared when he and Terra had been at the bath.

She's gonna love you. If I do, she will." Her gruff reassurance did little to dissuade his fear.

Terra pulled the flap back and motioned to her companion to enter before her. She followed him in and was overwhelmed by the eyes that had turned their way. Every occupant turned to find the source of the disturbance in the very atmosphere in the tent of healing. Cyrene floated up to them with a sweet grin on her face.

"Hello, Terran. I am Cyrene. We've been expecting you."

"You have?" Terran tilted his head to look at the older woman. He liked her. His smile said as much.

She turned him around gently, studying his form. "Yes dear. My Goddess, aren't you a handsome one. If I didn't have a wife I'd consider you."

"Consider me for what?" His innocent face appeared confused.

"Nevermind, sweetheart." She patted his arm. Her attention turned to Terra. "Taylor explained things to me when she came in." Seeing the look on the tall woman's face she gave her news of her beloved. "Skye is sleeping right now."

"How is she?" Trepidation crossed her face. She hated asking that question for fear of the answer.

"She's fine, Terra. She is just tired. Candace is sitting with her while Taylor is on sentry duty. She'll be back in a few hours."

"Of course. I have duty as well." She had almost forgotten.

"You would think they would give you a break." Cyrene huffed her disgust.

"I have a duty, Cyrene. It is an honor to have it." She looked at the older woman sternly.

"Warriors. Go figure." She noted the quiet manner with which Terran waited. She liked him for some unknown reason. Perhaps it was because he reminded her of Gabrielle. "Take him to see his sister will you? It was nice meeting you, Terran."

He blushed. It was never nice for anyone to meet a slave. Now was a different story. He grinned at her. "Thank you."

"You're welcome, sweetheart. Now you two run along." She turned away from them to attend to an injured warrior.

"Come on." Terra led her friend to the back of the long tent. Small lanterns lit the entire length. It was more dim than full daylight, but no details were lost in the lamp light. They reached the bedside of her lover.

Candace looked up from a scroll to acknowledge her new company. She took Terran by the hand. Taylor had given her the details of their encounter. What she had failed to reveal was the striking resemblance he had to the rest of the blondes. He was definitely relation. His green eyes were lighter than hers, but the hair was the exact shade of her own. She gazed into his countenance, feeling total contentment wash over her. No doubt about it, this was Skye's brother.

"Hello, Terran. I am Candace."

"Hhhi, Miss Candace." He gave himself a mental kick for the title. Candace didn't seem to mind. He tried not to blush at her. He was not successful.

Terra knelt beside the cot that held her injured lover. She didn't want to wake her from the sleep she needed so desperately. Her head bowed to the cotton material of the bed. Tears fell silently. She hadn't cried for her lover's trial, but now she couldn't stop the water that fell. The pain and anger she had locked away was loosed by the love of a total stranger.

Terran let go of Candace's hand to join his new friend beside his sister. He looked at Skye, whispering his greeting. "I missed you, Skye." His large hand touched her forehead.

Terra stood up with the tears still streaming down her cheeks. She wiped at them quickly, hoping the Regent wouldn't make note of them.

Candace did, but didn't make a comment. She reached for her friend. "Ter, it's OK. You need to let it go."

"I will. Just not now." She wiped at her eyes again. She accepted the cloth Candace handed to her and quietly blew her nose.

There was a slight stirring in the bed beside them. Green eyes fluttered open. Skye wanted to smile at her lover, but the cut above her lip prevented little more than a small curl. She frowned as she slowly turned her head to look at the man next to her. She wasn't frightened by the odd sight of a bearded man at her bedside. Two sets of green eyes met in recognition.

"Hi, Skye." Terran smiled at her.

"I know you don't I?" Her voice was little more than a dry whisper.

"Nnnot rreally." His nerves were starting to show. Terra placed a strong hand on his shoulder. He bowed his head at the contact, trying to draw strength from the warrior.

Skye looked into the eyes of her lover, then back to the gentle man at her side. He looked back up at her. "I should know you though. I can feel it." She paused. "You are my brother."

He smiled broadly at her, shaking his head emphatically.

"But, how….where….who are you?" She had a million questions.

"Mmmmy nname is Tterran. I I I cccca……aah ccc…I I I.." His nerves and excitement overtook him. He bowed his head and shook uncontrollably.

Skye wrapped an arm around him. "Terran, it's OK."

His head shot up from the cot. Green moisture filled eyes stared at her in wonder and love. "It is?"

"Of course. I have missed you." She stated it as if she had known him all along.

"Hhhow how ccould yyou?" He wasn't getting it.

"I was missing a piece of me. Now, I am not." To her it was as simple as that. She kissed his forehead.

His smile brightened. He had no words to describe the joy in his heart. "Give me your hand."

With what energy she had left, she placed her small hand in his. He closed his eyes, in what could only be described as concentration. A small light began to glow from the contact of brother and sister. The large bruise on her shoulder began to slowly fade from sight. Skye groaned loudly.

Terra watched as several of the marks on her lover's body faded from sight. In her sudden panic, Terra reached out to stop him, but it was too late. The glow faded. His head lifted to look around at amazed faces.

"I can't heal all of them." He sounded disappointed.

"Heal them?" Candace was in total awe. She thought he meant all of the women in the tent.

"Her wounds. I can't heal all of them." He looked into Skye's green eyes. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry? You healed her and you're sorry?" Terra was still in shock.

"I didn't heal all of them. I can't." He was on the verge of tears.

"And you think this is a bad thing?" Candace shook her head.

"Uh huh. Are you angry?" He looked frightened. Maybe they would turn him away now.

Candace squatted beside the precious young man. "We could never be angry with a gift like that. Thank you for sharing it with us, with Skye." She nodded to the woman who was once again asleep. These two were an unusual pair.

"Really?" Terran thought back to times when he had gone through torture because he was unable to heal some wounds of his Owner. Once they had discovered his gift, he had been the subject of a great deal of experiments. They had called it science. He knew it to be torture.

Candace learned a great deal about the young man in their charge in a few seconds of time. His kind heart was lucky it had never turned bitter. The Amazon Regent took his hands in hers. "Terran, you have a wonderful talent. It is precious that you would share it with your sister. Can we leave her to rest for a while?"

He looked down at the small blonde woman with affection. "Yes. She will need to sleep."

"Terra, you have sentry duty, right?" The Regent stood beside her friend.

"Yes, Miss Candace. Will you guard the Glass?" She made a small gesture toward the instrument on the stand by the bed.

"Of course. You go on. I'll make sure to notify you if anything changes."

"Very well." She looked at the man. She had no words to thank him enough.

"It's OK, Terra. I love you, too." He grinned at her.

She smiled at him. It seemed that words were unnecessary. "Right. See you later." She nodded to them both. She bent for a quick kiss to her lover's forehead. The small blonde moaned lightly in her sleep. Terra smiled. "See ya." She took off in search of Kimi.

Candace watched Terran watch Terra. He adored her-that much was obvious. "You're not in love with her are you?"

"ME? No, Miss Candace. She is…….not my type." He smiled in a way that let Candace know what he meant.

"Ohhhh really? Interesting. You will be hard pressed to find someone that is your type if you hang out with the Amazons too long."

"Why?" He was so incredibly innocent.

"Because they are all women."

"Oh. It's alright. I am not looking to find anyone." His head dropped in remembrance of a lost love with sky blue eyes. He made a mental realization, they were the same color as Terra's.

Candace was too observant for her own good. "You lost someone, didn't you?"

Tears gave the answer before he could.

Candace reached to him with her small arms. He sank into the embrace. They stood for a long while as he rocked in his sorrow. He hadn't known the depth of his feelings for the man that cared for him. Terra had started the deluge of emotion, Candace was letting him finish it. He sniffled in a staccato fashion, letting the Regent know he was finished crying for now. She pulled back from him, reached to the table and handed him a cloth. He wiped his eyes and his nose.

"OK?" Her dark green eyes searched his tear stained face.

"Yes ma'am." He blew again.

"Terran, there are two things you may not call me, and one of them is ma'am." She feigned seriousness.

Sea green eyes grew wide. "O.O.OK. What's the other?"

"Let's just say if it starts with a "C" I'll kick your ass."

"Bbbbut your name starts with a 'C'." He was getting confused again.

"How do you know that?" Here was a new mystery.

"I I I don't know." He shrugged. "Why dddoes Terra call you Miss? Are you an Owner?"

"Heavens no! I would rather her call me that, than Your Highness. It sounds better coming from her."

"Your Highness? Are you Royalty?" He had heard of royalty, but had never met anyone that came close.

"You could say that. Are you hungry?" She knew the answer before she asked it. He looked like he could use a few hundred good meals. She tried to study him a little more closely. He was quite handsome with his chiseled features. He needed a better hair cut, but Mel would take care of that soon enough. She suddenly wondered how her friends were doing. She knew they were safe and that was enough for now.

"Yes, your Highness." The title rolled easily off of his tongue.

"Oh God. Not you, too." She shook her head in despair.

"Is it not proper?" He was trying to understand it all. He wanted so badly to get it right, but it seemed each time he did-he failed. This was going to take some getting used to.

She shook her head. "Yes, it is. It's just not comfortable for me."

"Because I am your friend." He felt the camaraderie of his new companion.

She smiled at the bearded man. "Exactly."

"Very well. What shall I call you?" He inclined his head in deference.

She noted the respect. Somewhere along the line, someone had taught him a great deal of protocol. "Terran, you may call me whatever you think fits me."

"I like your Highness. You have a certain air about you that lends itself to the title." He gave her his best smile, which was dazzling to say the least.

Candace looked at the young man, trying to understand which personality was the real Terran. She thought the one she was seeing now was the correct one. If he had a chance to spend time with people who cared about him he just might heal. "If that's how you feel, Terran, then it's fine with me. Let's go eat!" She grabbed the Glass and made for the door.

"Yes please!" He was excited about the thought of food.

He would soon find that it was just a family trait.


Aphrodite smiled as her guests made their way into the dining room. She knew the emotions that ran high this morning, but far be it from her to mention them. Erianna would have a major fit if she did, so the Goddess of Love kept it all to herself.

"Good morning all." Erianna motioned to her friends be seated. "Pat has prepared breakfast for us."

"I hope he…..she.. uhm.. Pat fixed a lot. I am famished." Janice's stomach growled to emphasize her need.

"Janice, you ah always hungry." Melinda hope Janice would go where she thought she was headed.

"Yeah, but I sure worked up an appetite last night." She wagged her brows.

Melinda merely smiled at her lover. "All that flossin' you did Ah suspect."

"You can say that again." The doctor wasn't letting up.

"Janice if you do not cease and desist this verah moment, I will divorce you long beforah we ah married. Do Ah make mahself cleah?" Blue eyes blazed a trail to Janice's very conscience.

She felt as guilty as she was. "Yes, Belle. I understand."


Xena had learned long ago not to bring up the delicate subject of sex in mixed company. Girls and warriors seldom saw things in the same light. Warriors liked to let everyone know that they kept their women well satisfied. Girls on the other hand stayed with their warriors because they were satisfied. To them that they were still with their warrior's was proof enough. No one should be privy to their lives behind tent flaps. How Jan, after fifty years, still hadn't gotten it was confusing to Xena. She needed to have a talk with her.

"Shall we eat?" Xena waved to the table.

"I don't see anything." Gabrielle was incredibly observant.

"Chill, Babe. It's on the way. Anything you want." The Goddess was dressed in a less revealing outfit than she was used to wearing. The pink lemay material clung to her body, leaving not much to the imagination. In this case more was more.

"Cool." The Regent seated herself at the large table.

Soon the group was feasting on anything and everything that was considered to be a breakfast food. There were even things that were questionable.

"Honey, I want to stay here, K?" The small Regent swore she was in heaven.

"Gabrielle, there is more to life than food." Xena took a bite of something called Eggs Benedict. It was a little rich for her tastes.

"Yeah, but you're here, too. I have food and sex. What more could I need?" The bard shrugged.

Xena about choked. She had never dreamed that she would talk like that about sex in front of her mother. Either one of them. "I didn't realize that all I was good for was sex." She tried to laugh. It came out like a gag.

"I was making a joke, Xe. Lighten up." Gabrielle gently prodded her lover with her knee.

"I just don't want to be threatened with divorce." The very thought brought chills to her heart. She shivered.

"There is only one thing I would ever divorce you over." The bard took another bite of strawberry crepe.

Xena frowned. "What might that be?"

"Sleeping around of course." She added a mental 'Duh' that everyone heard

"But I…I mean we…." Xena caught herself before she said more than she should.

"They don't count." Gabrielle let the cat out of the bag.

"They who?" Aphrodite was in the middle of taking a bite. She knew very well who, but this was as probing as she could get without getting in trouble with her wife.

"Candace and Taylor." Xena gave herself another mental slap. Was her tongue as loose as her morals?

"YOU SLEPT WITH THEM?" Jan was in danger of a coronary.

"Not exactly." Gabrielle was so very calm about the whole thing. Xena on the other hand was hyperventilating.

"What does that mean, not exactly." Janice's curiosity was getting the best of her.

"Jan it means it none of ouha business." Melinda was attempting to dissuade her lover.


"Drop it, Jan." Xena almost growled.

"You brought it up." Janice tried to defend her position.

"Janice do you want details?" Gabrielle squinted at her look alike in a definite challenge.

"Well…." She had to think about it. She knew the four women were closer than they let on in public. She had seen the way that Xena and Taylor interacted. Heat permeated from the two women whenever they were within meters of each other. She could only imagine what happened in private. "No."

"Then drop it." Gabrielle took another bite of waffle.

"Right. Dropped." She turned her attention to her food.

"Well, that was interesting." Aphrodite leaned in to whisper to her spouse.

Erianna spoke from the corner of her mouth. "Yes, my love it was, and you will keep your mouth shut about it."

"I will?" She was so disappointed. This type of juicy stuff was what her love filled dreams were made of.

"Um hum." She smiled at their guests.

They smiled back at her.

Skye giggled under his breath. Women were so strange when it came to things of a sexual nature. Men? Do it. Talk about it. Do it with anything and everything. Ok, anyone and everyone, but sometimes it seemed to be the same thing. In the dark, or with all the lights in the house blazing. With the windows open and the neighbors watching the show-it didn't matter. Just use protection. And if you could get away with sleeping around-good for you. If you could convince your partner to do it with you? Well, sign me up! Xena was all good in his book.

Gabrielle saw the emotions and amusement run amok across Xena's future grandson. "Skye, it's not what your dirty little mind thinks it is."

He had the good sense to look shocked. "Gabrielle, I would never…"

"She's really good, Skye. I'd watch what I say if I were you." Xena gave him both eyebrows in warning.

"Yes, ma'am." He returned to his breakfast and changed the subject. "So how do we get out of this lovely place anyway? That nasty hunk of leather daddy just did the sparkle thing and 'Poof' we were standing on the shore of the Big Glass Lake." His hands danced in time to his speech.

Aphrodite answered his fabulous query. "The best way to get out is to let me do the honors, otherwise you have to swim for it."

"Swim? As in kick my legs swim?" His eyes grew wide.

"There will be some leg kicking involved yes, and not the kind you're wishing it was." Aphrodite knew this man's mind.

"I can't swim." He knew he was going to take heat for this one.

"Well, of course not. Why on God's green earth would he know how to swim. Fuckin' 'A'." Jan rolled her eyes and determined that Skye was a wuss.

"Jan, stop that. Not everyone in the world can swim." Melinda was going to have heated words with her lover very soon.

"I don't know about you, but I want out of here. If I have to leave Pretty Boy there behind, well so be it." That did it.

Skye flew out of his seat to his full height. His size seemed to increase with his ire. "Who you calling 'Pretty Boy', ya dyke?"

"Dyke? Oh, I don't think so!" Janice leapt across the table at the large blonde man. He easily avoided her with a swipe of his arm. Her body cruised past him without a touch.


Xena nodded at Melinda. "If she gets her ass kicked, it might get her ego in check."

"Ah have lived with her foah fifty yeahs. She'll only get her body injured. Trust me, her ego will remain intact." She rushed to her lover. With all of her strength, she held the small fireball from the angry queen that would tear her to pieces.

Aphrodite was loving the show, but was sure her wife was feeling otherwise. A small ball of energy exploded in the middle of the table. It captured the attention of all parties.

"That's better. Now, it seems that some of you have forgotten that you are not in a back alley or in a dive bar. You are in our home and we will not tolerate this type of behavior. Ever." Erianna sternly glared at the offending parties.

"Forgive me, Erianna. I forgot my place." Skye nodded his true remorse.

"Yeah, sorry." Jan hadn't been in a good fight in a long time and it seemed that it would be a while longer.

"Very well. Now apologize to one another." She was such a Mom.

Skye's ice blue eyes glared at Jan. He would love to spar with her further, but it would have to wait for another day. "My sincere apologies, Jan." He nodded with a twinkle in his eye.

"Right back attcha, Skye." The twinkle in her eye matched his. This was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

"Far out! Love is a good thing. It's way so bitchin'. About that getting home thing. I'll send you if you will let me."

"Send us?" Mel wanted all the details.

"Yeah, babe. Little shimmer here, tiny sparkle there and 'Presto Chango'! Home!" She put her hands on her shapely hips.

"Presto Chango? What the hell does that mean?" Xena was picking up some of Candace's phrases.

"It means like magic, Babe." Gabrielle patted her arm

"Just like magic for sure. Only Magic is illusion, this is real. When you're finished with breakfast and you're all packed, I'll send you. If you like that is."

Everyone looked to Xena. She was after all the leader of this group, no matter Gabrielle's title. She didn't like the thought of using God power for anything, but this was a totally different situation than she would normally find herself in. She agreed for the mere fact that Skye couldn't swim. "Fine. But will you please pay Charon? After all he did for us, I think he deserves it. Mel, you will need to try to get the paths back to normal down here, before we go." She gave Mel a stern look.

"I'm ready to try." She was finished with her breakfast and eager to try her hand at changing the streets of gold to dirt again.

"Good. We'll be right back. You guys get the gear together when you're finished here."

The two women made their way to the door. Stepping through, they found themselves once again in the byways of Tartarus with its streets of gold.

"Go for it." Xena nodded at her twin.

"In the sweat of youah face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground; for out of it you were taken: from dirt you ah and to the dirt you shall return." There was silence for a few moments then the two women noted the rush of brown heading their way. It passed under their feet and continued into the distance. The streets had changed back.

"Nice job."

"Ah'm glad it worked."

"Alright let's get the others and get out of here." Xena started toward the door when she was stopped by Melinda's hand on her arm. The unasked question sat on her face.

"Xena, we don't care what you do you know." She wanted to remain vague for a reason.

"I'm sorry? I don't follow." Xena was caught off guard. She wanted to be sure she knew what the conversation was about.

"With the four of you. It's none of mah business, but one can't help but see the love that ya'll share. It's odd to me Ah'll admit."

"Mel, it really isn't what you think." She wanted to explain, but had no words.

"Ah beg to diffah. It's exactly what Ah think. Ya'll love each other in a unique way. Your soul belongs to Gabrielle, but there is love that belongs to Candace and Taylor. Whethah anythin' has transpired because of that, is not mahn to know. Ah trust you ah happy, so mah blessin' goes with whatevah happens."

Xena didn't know what to say. Her soul belonged to Gabrielle, no doubt. But the love for the other two was almost as strong as her love for the bard. She suspected it was the same for the others. They were in love. All of them. Artemis had said they were one.

"Thanks, Prof. Your support is important to me." She did care very much what Melinda thought. She respected the older woman's opinion probably more than anyone's.

"We don't get much chance to talk, Xena, but Ah love you as well. Ah am suah it is not in the same way, but Ah do." Her eyes were soft as she contemplated the emotions she was trying to convey to her friend.

"I know you do. You do know that you are the one that keeps this group sane, don't you? The mothering is something Skye and Terra need for sure. I hated to take you away from Terra while Skye was missing, but I didn't have a choice."

"It seems to me that you ah in need of mothering on occasion as well, Princess. Ah am heah to make suah that you don't beat up on youahself, or take youahself too seriously."

"You are my counter-balance. Gabrielle has been trying to balance me out for years. Looks like she finally got some help." She laughed quietly as she stared out over the vast expanse of still water.

"You'ah too hard on yoahself, Xena. An analytical perfectionist. Lord have mercy. Gabrielle has her work cut out for her. Ah suspect that she does need help on occasion." She tilted her head and looked at her friend with kind eyes.

"I am sure she does. Shall we?" Xena motioned her hand at the door.

Melinda nodded her affirmation.

The two partners strode back into the wondrous house of Gabrielle's parents. The house was truly a masterpiece. Melinda contemplated the décor one last time. If, and when, they got home she would use some of the ideas for their own abode.

"Nice stuff, eh Prof?"

The verbal patterns of the younger women were being picked up, even by the proper southern Professor. "Way nice stuff, Xe. Many of these ah priceless works. They ah all beautiful. Erianna has wondahful taste."

"What makes you think Erianna did the decorating?"

Melinda gazed at her with one raised eyebrow as if to say 'Duh'.


The pair led themselves to the dining room.

"All fixed?" Gabrielle watched the emotions of the matching women as they entered. She was such a student of the unspoken language, that it was easy for her to note that the two had come to an understanding of some sort, and it had brought them closer. Xena seemed relieved. The bard knew that approval from Melinda was important to Xena. Melinda was the matriarch of the eight of them, and although Xena had a mother she honored the wisdom of the professor.

"All fixed. Is everyone finished?" The warrior was anxious to be home with her friends.

Gabrielle smiled as if reading her mind. "I'm ready. Let's go see how they faired in the fray." She giggled at her use of the words.

Jan rolled her eyes. Leave it to the bard. "Let's get home. I can't wait to sleep in my own bed."

"You may not get to, Jan. The troops are bound to still be on site. I am assuming that you want to join us." She grabbed her pack from Gabrielle's outstretched hand.

"Oh yeah. Of course I do. I wasn't thinking I guess." She shrugged.

"Imagine that." Skye smiled wickedly at her.

"Oh ha ha, Skye. You have to do better than that." She squinted at him.

"I'm just warming up." He gave her a mischievous grin.

"Enough. I won't tolerate this, kids. Berate each other on your own time. Does everyone have everything they need?" Xena looked at Gabrielle with purpose. Gabrielle shook her head.

Melinda gave Jan the very same look. "I got 'em."

"Got what?" Skye's curiosity would get him an earful if he wasn't careful.

'Nunya" Jan answered.

"Nunya? What's nunya?"

"None ya business." Jan smiled at the easy way that had gone.

Skye smiled. "Fine. You'll just tell me later."

I don't think so." She gave him a smirk.

"I do. Girls just can't keep a secret." He took off running with Jan in hot pursuit.

"Great! We get stuck with the sibling rivalry syndrome. HEY! That's enough!" Xena thrust out a hand and nabbed Skye by the shirt. He was surprised by her strength, and swore never to make her really angry with him. "Jan?"

"Alright, alright." She started to laugh. "I'll get him later."

"Fine. Aph, I think we need to go before something gets broken."

'My thoughts exactly, Xena." Erianna nodded to her. She walked to her daughter. "Sweet Gabrielle, my thoughts are with you always. Be happy will you?" She kissed her forehead then pulled her close to her heart.

"Oh Mother, I will see you again soon, I promise we will visit as often as we can."

"I know you will, but can you do me a favor?" Gabrielle nodded. Erianna whispered her request.

"Leave those two behind."

Gabrielle laughed heartily. "You got it! Goodbye mother." She turned to her God mother. "I presume we will see you often?"

"Yeah, Squirt. You know I can't stay away from the two of you. I love you, Gabrielle." The Goddess of Love had a tear in her eye as she spoke to her daughter.

Gabrielle's eyes cried in turn. "I love you both." She gave them both a solid hug for good measure. She released the two females, stepping away from them. With a curt nod she spoke to her wife. "OK, Xe. I'm ready."

"Thank you foah your….hospitality." Melinda begged their hostess' forgiveness.

Aphrodite gave her a knowing nod. "You are quite welcome, Melinda. I don't envy you."

"She's tough to handle, but Ah have it all under control."

"You're a saint." Aphrodite laughed.

"Ah think not. She's just excited to be a kid again. Ah think it has gone to her head. And her libido I might add." She tried to whisper under her voice.

"Mel! I am shocked!" Jan smacked her lover's backside gently.

"Get us out of here!" Xena plead with her hostess.

"My pleasure. See ya, Warrior Babe. Be good to my girl!" She waved her hands and the group sparkled away.

"Honey, I love them, but it's nice to have the house to ourselves." Erianna sighed her relief.

"Oh yeah. Why is that?" The pink clad Goddess pulled the small, blonde beauty into her arms.

"Kiss me and I'll tell you." Erianna knew how to get right to her lover's heart.

"If I kiss you, there won't be any talking for a very long time." White teeth smiled down on her wife.

"You catch on fast!"

The kiss lasted so long that they forgot the question.


Candace stretched her limbs trying to wake all the way up, as her lover slipped between the covers with her. The feel of the tall warrior's naked skin against her did a great deal to help her reach her goal.

"You feel so nice." She wrapped an arm around the tall woman.

"Well, I am nice." Taylor whispered against Candace's forehead. She placed a sweet kiss while she was at it.

"You are? Prove it." Candace sought the lips that kissed her so sweetly. Their lips met with tentative touches.

Taylor could only have hoped that her lover had amorous thoughts. During the past few solitary hours on duty, she had done nothing but think about how close she had come to losing her lover. It gripped her heart with love for the small blonde.

Passion began to burn in both of them. Soft kisses led to heated tasting of each other. Their tongues played tag back and forth across the threshold of their lips. Taylor's strong arms wrapped around her petite lover. With simple strength, she pulled the smaller woman on top of her. Candace broke the passion of their kiss to use her lips in another fashion. She moved up to place her questing mouth at the nape of her lover's strong neck. Right on the soft hairline, she ran her mouth up to just behind Taylor's ear.

"Ummmmm. I think you must be as nice as I am." Taylor reached for a well-shaped butt. She grasped the tight globes with her large hands, spreading them apart. Candace, climbing to her hands and knees, felt exposed and undulated in turn.

"Oh I can be, or I can be mean as hell." Her breasts swayed in time to her movements.

"I can handle anything you can dish out." She ran her hands around to the front, taking possession of the firm globes swaying so temptingly before her eyes.

"Is that so?" The regent took a small nip at the warrior's lip.

Taylor put one hand behind Candace's head, then caught the Regent's lips in a torrid kiss. The kiss broke leaving both parties breathless. Taylor whispered her hoarse response. "You can bet on it."

"Mmmmm. I don't have that much money, but I'll place all of it on you." She wanted her woman in a bad way. She had been waiting for the last six hours for her intended to be off duty. Terran stayed with Skye while Terra pulled sentry duty as well. Now her lover had joined her in their private tent and she was going to take advantage of it.

"You know we have to be quiet. You can hear everything out there." Taylor continued her assault on the puckered flesh in her hands. Her fingers gave them a determined pinch, eliciting a loud moan from her partner. "That's not being quiet." She grinned and squeezed again.

"I can't be quiet when…youhooo are touching me like thaahhat. Ummm." Wetness was beginning to slide down her inner thigh.

"Then the nation is going to find out what a good lay I am." She pulled one of the swinging globes into her hungry mouth. The nipple was as hard as gemstone. She flicked her tongue across the tip with swift firmness. It played on her tongue.

"Oh ho.mmmm yeah. And you are such a good lay." That was her last intelligible line for a time. She couldn't think anymore.

Taylor persuaded Candace to move her body up while she moved hers down. In the center of the bed, a soft searching mouth joined with a very hot, inviting sex. Taylor wasted no time impaling her lover on her long tongue. Candace danced her sex up and down on the muscle that invaded her so passionately. The tall firefighter moaned her approval. She wanted more than sex with her lover, she wanted proof that they were both very much alive.

Candace let her hands rest on her thighs to hold her body up as Taylor assaulted her throbbing passage. The firefighter was everywhere at once on her sex. Her long fingers separated the swollen lips that hid her needy bud. She sucked the entirety into her mouth to be manipulated by her talented tongue. She maintained the suction while she flicked at the tip. Her lover began to rock with need.

Candace was heady with desire. She was so lost in the feeling between her legs, she forgot to try to be quiet. "God, TAYLOR! Yeah. That's soooo good. MM!"

Taylor smiled inwardly. She would hear about this for sure. It was a price she was more than willing to pay.

"Make me come, Tay. Please. I need you!" She needed to know she was alive as well.

Taylor was happy to comply with her lover's wish. The reach to enter Candace's wet sex was a short one. Two fingers pushed slow inches into a slick opening. Candace groaned her absolute approval. Taylor slid one strong arm around a very muscular leg. She fingered her fiancée with a determined purpose. The leg in her grasp began to tremble, and she knew she was on the right track. Her manipulations continued in earnest.

Candace was so close to her goal. Taylor pushed into her again and the tingles started. She sucked with a light flick to her nerves as the feeling began to travel up her legs. "Oh God. Don't stop." Taylor pulled out and then forcefully entered her sex again. Candace cried out. She let her mouth run the entire length of the swollen bundle. The last furious flicks of her tongue brought Candace over.

Candace let Taylor's tongue work its magic. Well placed flickering sent shock waves to her core and she exploded into ecstasy. Her legs shuddered with the intensity of the release. She could feel the coursing squeeze around her lover's fingers. The sensation sent more pulsing signals of fury through her limbs. She thrust her sex across her lover’s flesh seeking completion. Taylor thrust into her in response to her need. "Aaaaaaaah Tayyylor! Yes! Mmmmmm! Mmmaah Lord!" She came again. Taylor continued her ministrations in a gradually slowing pace. Her lover shuddered with her final pulse, then collapsed to her elbows.

Taylor slid out from beneath her, pulling her gently to her longer frame. Her long arms encompassed the smaller woman in comfort and safety. "I love you, Candace. Don't ever leave me again." She didn't want to cry. She really didn't. But tears welled up in cerulean blue eyes, tracing a quiet path down her chiseled face.

Candace switched her place with the brave firefighter. She held the strong woman as she loosed the emotions of the previous day into her lover's shoulder. They rocked for a very long time until the tears slowly came to an end. Taylor was very quiet for what seemed like forever. Candace was content to hold the warrior while she dealt with all of her emotions. War was an ugly thing. They both knew. Candace had cried as soon as her head had hit the pillow. Taylor had suffered even more than she. She had lost her if only for a time, but still she couldn't imagine the pain. She never wanted to imagine it. When she did, the agony of the thought wrenched her soul.

"You OK?" Candace tested the water.

"I will be. As soon as Gabrielle and Xena get back, I'll be OK. I just feel so unsettled. They leave. Skye gets kidnapped. You die on me. I think I need therapy." She laughed quietly.

"They will be at the village when we get there, I hope. I am alive. And not only is Skye safe, she has a brother to boot. Did Terra tell you what he did?" She was still in awe.

"Yeah. Did he really heal her?" She was beginning to think that anything was possible in this place.

"He healed many of her wounds. You have to meet him. He is an interesting young man." She closed her eyes.

"With the healing and all, I suppose he is." She was frowning in the pre-dawn light.

"It's not just that. He feels different. His person. He's like Skye, only he feels more. No, that's not it. Ah, I can't explain it. You have to meet him." She sighed deeply taking in the scent of her lover.

"You know he can't stay in the village." Taylor sunk deeper into her lover's embrace. She realized she was exhausted. She had been up for twenty-four hours and had fought a battle in that time. She needed sleep.

"We'll see about that." Candace was persuasive.

"I guess you have a plan." Taylor stifled a yawn.

Candace smiled at the control her intended tried to display. "That I do. You get some rest, babe. It's time for me to get up." Candace started to get out of the cot when she was caught by the gentle persuasion of her lover.

"Stay with me until I go to sleep." The mighty warrior sounded more like a small child.

"Sure." Candace let Taylor's head down to the pillow. It wasn't more than five minutes before Taylor's breath was deep and even. The Regent kissed a strong cheek. "Sleep well, my love."

The Regent stretched and walked to the wash basin. She washed up all the important parts. Her dress for the day was different than that of the day before. The clothes that could be salvaged had been sent back to the village with some women from the clean up crew. Most of the rest of the army would be moving out by the afternoon. She knew there were many that would not be fit to travel for a few more days. Those not able to travel would be well guarded and cared for. Her clothes were her last concern. She dressed and headed for Delmar's tent.

The women that could, bowed at her entry. Delmar nodded her greeting.

"Good morning, Healer. How are things going?" She smiled at the woman that had saved her life not so long ago.

"Go see for yourself." She pointed with her chin to the back of the tent. It was still mostly dark, as the lamps had been put out for sleeping hours.

Candace frowned into the dark. She looked back to the healer who smiled at her and nodded again.

She made her way to the back. Several figures came into her sight but it was difficult to make them out. A large form slipped behind her catching her unawares.

A voice whispered hotly in her ear. "Hi, honey. Miss me?"

She jumped at the sound. She spun to face the voice. Recognition hit her. "Xena?" Her arms flew around the neck of the warrior. Xena picked her up into her strong embrace. "Yes, you goofball, I missed you." Candace kissed her cheek. "Now, put me down."

The warrior reluctantly placed her to her feet. It had been all that she could do not to kiss her soundly.

"Gabrielle? Mel? Jan?" Her eyes were getting used to the dimness.

Melinda lit a lamp. "We ah all heah, Candace." She set the lamp on the stand.

The small signer flew into the embrace of the three women. She pulled Gabrielle tight to her breast. She whispered her greeting to the bard. "I missed you." Her co-Regent released her and nodded her agreement. When the hugging was done, she noted a tall, looming figure standing back from them. She slowly released them. She tilted her head, as she had a tendency to do when curiosity struck. She was in shock.

"Where's Terran?" Candace wanted to save the poor man a shock to his heart.

"Terra?" Xena shook her head.

"No. Terran." She put her hands out as if they should know.

"Who?" Gabrielle frowned and looked at her companions. They all shrugged.

"Terran. The man that was watching Skye." She knew this is where she had left him.

"A man? There was no one here when we got here." Xena was letting this all sink in. A man? Certainly not.

"Hang on." Candace ran to the front of the tent. "Del, where's Terran?"

"He left about a half-candle mark ago to get some food. He'll be back in a bit. Why?"

"I can't explain right now. If he gets here, send him to my tent and tell him to wait there."

"Yes, your highness." She hated being ordered around, more than that, she hated giving orders to others.

She wanted to be frustrated with the title, but now was not the time. "Thanks." She trotted to the back.

"Sorry. Now where were we." She knew very well where they had been. She had hoped that they didn't.

"Who Is Terran?"

"Ah yes. Well, that's hard to explain. Who is this?" She put her hand out to indicate the man with them.

"He's Time. Remember? We went to find him. Well, here he is." The Warrior Princess presented him.

"Of course. How do you do?" She reached her hand out to shake her greeting.

"It's my pleasure, your Highness." Skye bowed deeply while kissing the back of the small Regent's hand.

"Suck up." Jan couldn't keep it to herself.

"You know it, sister!" Skye nudged the blonde doctor.

Candace's gaydar went berserk. "I see we have family among us."

"You got that right!" Skye gave two snaps up.

"There are two things you should know about him." Gabrielle offered to explain him.

"Yeees?" Candace wasn't sure about this.

"First his name is Skye." The regent felt that was the easiest to explain.

"Interesting." Candace nodded.

"And second….he is Terra's brother." She waited for the shocked response. It didn't come.

"Now, why does that not surprise me?" This was getting so good.

"It doesn't?" Jan stepped in. She thought, for sure, this would cause at least a ruckus.

"Nope. Taylor and Terra found a man hiding out in the cliffs above the camp. He is in bad shape mentally, not to mention very skinny. He'll be OK soon I have a feeling. Get this. He's from The Mars Colony."

"You mean a slave?" Gabrielle was heart broken all over again.

"Yes. They tortured him for his gift, among other things. I'm getting ahead of myself. He has the infamous blonde hair and green eyes. His name is Terran, and he is Skye's brother. This Skye." She indicated to the still sleeping woman. "To top it off, he," she pointed to the man standing with them "looks like a perfect match to the man Terran was in love with. The one the Owners killed. It's such a long story. Listen. Terran is going to be at my tent. I want to explain to him first what is happening. He's fragile. Seeing you without an explanation, would send him reeling. Give me fifteen minutes. A quarter candle mark, then all of you meet me at my tent. Agreed?"

The five collectively shook their heads.

"Great." The small woman strode to the front. "Del, did you tell him?"

"Yes, your Highness. He's waiting for you. He's confused, but compliant." She looked down her nose. She wasn't happy with the way things were being handled. If she understood all of the implications she wouldn't have such an issue.

Candace didn't have the time to explain it all right this minute. "Thank you, Delmar. Your adherence to my dictates will be noted." She hated using her rank to put others in their place, but sometimes it was necessary. She left the tent and went to try to explain some things to the young man with the broken heart.

She approached him gently. "Ter?"

"Yes, your Highness." He bowed.

"Please, don't call me that." She was frustrated enough as it was.

"I am sorry, Miss Candace. I don't know what else to call you." He was frustrated himself. He wanted to do the right thing and it seemed that he wasn't.

"I'm sorry. Anything you want to call me is fine. Terran, listen, we have some people here that want to meet you. Remember we told you about Xena and Gabrielle?" He nodded. "Good. Well, they are here with Melinda and Janice. They have someone else with them." She paused.

He frowned at the feelings coming from her. She was afraid for him because of the man with them. He knew it was a man.

"Is he an Owner? Do you wish to return me to….them?" He knew it had all been too good to be true.

She reached out to him. "Oh NO! Sweetheart, no. He is not an Owner. We never want you to leave us." She wanted to reassure him of his place with them. She switched back to the man with the other group. "He is tall and very handsome. He has blue eyes and white hair. Do you understand?"

He thought for just a few seconds. "He looks like Spencer."

"Yes, honey. He does." The signer waited for it to sink in.

"I can handle it." He set his emotions in stone. He had had a great deal of practice where there was no place for his emotions.

"They will be here in a few minutes. How did everything go with Skye overnight?" She was making small talk.

"It was fine. She slept for a long time. She woke up for a little while and we talked some." His insides started to shake. "They're coming."

"They are? How do you know?" Candace gave him a look that stated she was curious.

"I can feel them. No, I can feel him. Odd." He tried to reach out for more.

"It's probably not as odd as you think." She was beginning to get a grasp on the way things went around here.

The small group reached the tent. Blue eyes met green as they had done a thousand times before. All the words in the world would find it hard to describe the emotions that pass when soulmates see each other for the first time. Skye grinned broadly. Terran blushed trying not to.

"There you are." The tall man with the blue eyes stepped from behind the women and approached the blonde with the emerald eyes. He opened his arms allowing Terran to slip into them. The blonde's arms went around the strong shoulders as if he had been made to be there.

"Are you sure?" Terran whispered against Skye's neck.

"Oh yeah. Absolutely positive." Tears welled in blue eyes for the umpteenth time that day. Skye was finally home.


To be continued……ain't love grand? Hoo Ya!


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