Violent Content Warning: This story contains scenes of a violent nature.
Alternative Content Warning: This story also contains scenes of an alternative nature. This story is not for those under the age of eighteen.
Timeline: Takes place three months after Part 2 of Careful What You Wish For....
Authors Notes: This is the third installment to this series. All POSITIVE comments are welcome. Negatives I will simply ignore. Send your thoughts to email@example.com.
Careful What You Wish For....
I felt tiny hands on my boots. I looked down to see Alexa trying to chew on my laces. "Hey." I smiled. I reached down and picked up my daughter. "What are you doing huh?" I tickled her tummy. I was almost finished helping Cyrene clean the mugs, huge job at an inn. Alexa is now three months old. I think she gets more and more like Xena everyday. This small child wont give up on anything until she gets it, whether its being fed, changed, or just held.
"Gabrielle." Cyrene stepped out from the kitchen. "Youve done enough for one day. Now you go and relax."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, Dear. Go on."
I stood, with Alexa, and headed out of the inn. "You wanna go shopping with Mom huh?" She gurgled at me. I headed towards the venders in the square. Xena hates to shop, so Alexa is my companion. Im sure when she gets older, she wont want to do this anymore. I breathed in the scent of summer. I cant believe Xena wanted to stay here. Our house is almost complete. She only has to finish some of the interior. Cyrene gave her a piece of land near the river, outside of town. Argo has plenty of room to run and graze. I helped her build the fence that housed her. As for the house, Im not very handy with a hammer. My warrior seems to be though. I thought all she could do with one is crack it over a warlords head, but she proved me wrong. Hercules and Iolaus came to see her and she immediately put them to work. Of course the big guy was only too happy to help. I took to telling stories every night to finance the construction. I think its a fair trade.
I stopped at a produce booth and bought two apples and a peach. The peach was for Alexa. "Hi, Gabrielle." I turned to see a woman, a warrior. A tingle shot down my spine.
"Hello....How do you know my name?" She grinned at me and then looked at Alexa. She simply turned and walked away. Something was strange about her. "Come on." I said to the baby in my arms. "Lets go see Mommy."
It wasnt too long of a walk, but it was a distance. I saw Argo in the pasture, grazing. "Xena?" I called as I stepped inside the door.
"Over here." I walked into the room that was going to be the babys room. "Hey." She turned around from where she was painting the wall. "Come here you." She took Alexa out of my arms and kissed her.
"Xe, do you know a woman dressed in black, stands about my height, reddish hair?"
"No, doesnt sound familiar." She took a seat on a box. "Why?"
"She knew my name. Never saw her before."
"Really?" I nodded.
"Mmm, might be one of my moms friends. I think shes told everyone in town shes a grandmother." I reach over and push an unruly hair out of her eyes.
"Shes just proud of you and her, Love."
"And you too." I shrugged.
"So....almost done?" I ask, looking around.
"When this paint dries, this room will be done. If you want, we can move in a couple of days. I can finish the rest as we move in."
"Really? Great." She knew I loved Cyrene very much, but I really didnt like living at the inn, too noisy.
"Yeah. Mom says to go down to the storeroom and pick out anything you want."
"Oh Xena, I cant do that."
"She never uses any of that stuff, Love. Its been there since I was Alexas age. Good stuff, too."
"Alright, Ill take a look. Dont you want to come too?"
"Ill help you move it, but you can pick it out. I trust your decorating skills, since I have none." she smiled.
Xena came with me. She was right. She has not the taste, or for that matter the desire, to decorate. Xena pried the door open and a billow of dust floated out. "Is this a storage room or a tomb?" I joked.
"Is there a difference." she laughed. I looked around at all the furnishings that Cyrene had put here.
"Whered all this stuff come from?"
"Well," she started to wade through it. "When Mother first opened the inn, she told everyone that she would take their furniture that they didnt want. After a year or two and Mom saved enough, a craftsmen made her all matching tables and chairs. So, she had no use for the old stuff and she cant throw anything away."
"Isnt that a bed?" We bothed moved over and looked.
"This used to belong to my uncle I think." It was a beautiful wooden bed with a shelf built into the headboard.
"You like it?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Then its yours."
"Its perfect for our bedroom."
We spent the day going through all of Cyrenes stuff. I found several pieces that will furnish our house nicely. Xena and I moved all of it to the house. Cyrene was nice enough to take our daughter for the night. Xe and I needed some time to ourselves. We both rode Argo to the river and laid down on the grass near the bank. "Youve been awful quiet." she says.
"Thinking about us." I sighed and turned my head to her. "Im glad our future is together Xena. I love you." She smiled and kissed me solidly on the lips.
"Me too. I was worried that I couldnt be everything you and Alexa needed."
"Youre all we need." I smiled.
We slept by the river and awoke at dawn. As we rode back into town, I saw that woman sitting on a barrel, looking directly at me. As we moved, her eyes moved with us. "Xena." I said into her ear. "Theres that woman again." I pointed to the barrel. She was gone.
"What woman?" She stopped Argo.
"She was right there on that barrel."
"Well shes gone now. Come on."
She yawned. I could tell Xena was getting tired. She helped me down from Argo. Shes been working nonstop since Alexa was born to build that house. Of course, she took out time to be with us, but she was burning herself out. "Come on." I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her towards the inn.
"Where are we going?"
"Love, we just got up....ohhhh." She wiggled her eyebrows. "Frisky are we?" She was no longer dragging her feet. We exchanged pleasantries with her mother before we made our way back. I closed our door and bolted it. "Oh boy." Before I could stop her Xena attacked my neck, pinning me against the door. Her lips moved to mine.
"Xen..." I said between our lips. "Xena no."
"Huh?" She stopped her kiss abruptly. "No?" she asked confused.
"Were not here to make love, Xena."
"Then what are we here for?" Her arms dropped to her sides.
"Sleep? Gabrielle, We just woke up an hour ago." She stifled a yawn. I raised my eyebrows.
"Im fine." she argued. Still, I started to remove her leathers and armor. I knelt, unlaced, and removed her boots. "Okay, maybe a little nap wouldnt hurt." she yawned.
"We both need some more sleep." I removed my own boots and we both crawled into bed. Just as I predicted, Xena fell asleep.
I awoke because I felt eyes on me. I felt Xenas arm around my middle. So she was still here. I opened my eyes and saw the reason I woke. The warrior was sitting in a chair, facing us, watching us. How did she get in here without Xena hearing her? "Xena!" I screamed. I felt her arm pull me back from the woman, who was inches from me. Xena got out of bed, pulling me over to her side of the bed. Her arm remained around me. I looked over my shoulder and saw her grab her chakrum.
"My, my, my. You two certainly are jumpy." the woman smiled.
"Who in Tartarus are you?" Xena hissed. "How did you get in here?" I think Xe was more upset about the stranger getting in, then her actually being here.
"Well, it wouldnt be easy...if I were a mortal."
"Your not?" I ask.
"Nope." she smiles.
"Who are you?" Xena repeats.
"My name is Dasmas." We exchange looks.
"Dasmas." I repeat.
"Goddess Dasmas to be more precise." I moved off the bed quickly. "Hey, no need to be afraid of me." She stretches her arms. "Im harmless really." Xena raised her chakrum.
"Oh now...is that the way to treat your humble helper?"
"Helper? What have you ever done for us?" Xena smirks. Dasmas smiles.
"Think, Warrior. Now who do you suppose gave you the opportunity to be a father?" We looked at each other once more.
"That was you?" Xena asked. "Why?"
"Well, hey..." She propped her feet up on the edge of our bed. "I was bored. What can I say? I heard your woman complaining about your lack of manhood, so...I fixed it." she chuckled.
"Your not taking, Alexa." Xena warned.
"Hey, I didnt say I wanted your kid. Hell, I didnt even know it would happen." She was getting a big kick out of this. I could tell Xena was angry.
"You made Gabrielle pregnant."
"Uhhh no. That was all you. I just gave you the means. How was I supposed to you guys would get....aroused?"
"Why now?" I jumped in before Xena could get any angrier. "Why tell us?"
"Oh Im merely here for entertainment reasons again. Thats all." I smiled nervously at her.
"Nothing has happened." I commented.
"Oh thats gonna change." She stood, making Xe step in front of me. "Wait now." She put her hands in front of her as Xena started to move. "This time, Ive got nothing to do with it. Itll happen all on its own. Well, if youll excuse me, Im gonna go cause something funnier until the show starts...See ya." She disappeared.
"Xena, what is she talking about?"
"I dont know. Lets go get Alexa."
We found our daughter in the only place she would be when shes away from us, with her grandmother. Before we could reach for her, Cyrene turned and said, "Gabrielle, someones here to see you." Xena took Alexa from her mother. I stepped up behind the bar and saw two amazons.
"Yes?" They bowed.
"Queen Gabrielle. We wish to see the new princess." I motioned Xena over and they smiled. "Shes beautiful. Queen Ephiny sends her regards." I nodded. "She wishes to know when you will return for your daughters inanition."
"Tell her, soon." Xena said. They bow, satisfied with her answer. We all watched as the women exited the inn. Xena yawned again.
"We just fell asleep when that god showed up."
"What god?" Cyrene jumped in.
"We just met the god who changed Xena."
"Who was it?"
"Someone named Dasnas."
"Dasmas." Xena corrected. "Ill take her and well both lie down...You wanna take a nap with Mommy huh?" she smiled at the infant in her arms. "Come on, Sweetheart." she cooed. I smiled as I watched Xena and Alexa move back to the bedroom.
"Shes tired huh?"
"Which one?" I chuckled. "Need any help with the supper crowd?"
"Gabrielle!" Cyrene looked at each other as we heard the sound of Xena coming down the hall at a run.
"What is it? Whats wrong, Love?" Panic was written all over her face.
"Gods, please tell me you have, Alexa."
"What? No, you had Alexa. You said you were taking a nap....Oh gods where is she if you dont have her?"
"I dont know. I bolted our door and laid down with her. When I woke up, she was gone." she said quickly. "The door was still bolted and the window was locked.
"Did you check under the bed, in a corner?" Cyrene asked. Xena sighed heavily.
"Yes, Mom. Shes not in that room....If she would have moved, I wouldve woken up." I felt like I was about to faint.
"Okay, lets all calm down. Xena, you check the back of the inn. Ill check the front. Gabrielle, you check outside."
We split up to our assigned searches. I was starting to panic. I checked the entire perimeter, with no results. I ran back into the inn. Xena was openly crying. Xena never cries. Cyrene was trying to comfort her, apparently it wasnt working. "Its all my fault."
"Hey, its okay. Well find her." I soothed. "Look, someone must have taken her because if she just crawled away, we wouldve found her." As much as I hated to admit that someone took my baby, it was the only logical answer.
Xena pulled herself together and went into full warrior mode, but she only succeeded in scaring everyone she came into contact with. By nightfall, we were both a wreck. "Well try the caves near the waterfall."
"Xena, its getting dark why...."
"You go back. Ill catch up." I reined my horse.
"No, Im coming....Xena!"
"What?" she asked quickly. I looked at my love.
"I never told Ephiny that we had a girl."
"Those amazons. They said that they came to see the princess. When I last talked to Ephiny, the baby hadnt been born yet." An expression of deep thought crossed her features.
"Theres been a lot of trouble in this region from disputes with the amazons over land rights." I nodded. I had formed two treaties since my induction.
"Maybe one of the enemies of the Nation took her." I reasoned.
"Come on. Weve got one more place to search, then Im heading towards the village." Xena and I headed to the last place near town that we hadnt looked, the fall. We dismounted and headed towards the lagoon. I felt a hand wrap around my mouth.
"Lets check over here, Gabrielle." I turned to take her hand.
"Gabrielle?" She was not standing behind me. "Gabrielle!" I called. No
answer. Oh great, lost her too. I frantically looked for any signs of which direction she
went in. I knelt, letting the torchs light eliminate the ground. Nothing, not a
footprint. I stood and felt it. "Your in the tree. Come on down." I said
"Interesting. How can you feel my presence now when you didnt before?" I looked at her.
"Who says I didnt?" I jabbed the bottom of the torch into the ground and boldly moved to her. "Is this your idea of entertainment?" I hissed. "Wheres Gabrielle and Alexa?"
"You think I have them?" she smiled, amused.
"No, but I bet you know where they are."
"What makes you say that?"
"Youre a god arent you?" I smirked.
"Oh that I am."
"So, where are they?" Dasmas chuckled at me. I launched myself at her, pinning her against the tree she just jumped out of. "This may be all fun and games to you, but this is my family...."
"Now hold on. My entertainment comes when you see who did it...or rather who ordered it."
"Then tell me." I smiled. "Youll see the fun sooner that way." She appeared to think about it a moment.
"To find what your looking for, you must go behind the water." I turned around to the waterfall. I knew there was a tunnel behind it. My brothers and I played here as children.
I drew my sword and carefully moved behind the waterfall. There was a lit torch about ten feet into the cave. My senses were on alert. No sign of anyone. I checked the first passage and the second. I listened carefully. I heard the sound of someone being punched. Gabrielle! I peeked into the fourth passage. I saw Gabrielle being held by an Amazon. Then, I heard my daughter cry in the corner out of my view. Not knowing what they were doing to her, I couldnt remain out of sight. I bounded into the middle of the cavern. "Let her go! NOW!" I screamed as I held my sword and chakrum, ready. The two women exchanged glances before releasing Gabrielle. "Come here, Sweetheart." I reached out my hand, not taking my eyes off of them. Gabrielle buried her face, for a moment, in my shoulder sobbing.
"Leave Xena." That voice. It couldnt be. I turned, just enough to see who it was. It was him...and he was holding my daughter, who was wailing.
"Give me my daughter back," I said slowly " and Ill kill you quickly."
"Afraid I cant do that." He pulled our daughter close to his chest, trying to get her to calm down. Her small arms reached out for us. Gabrielle moved forward as she wiped tears from her eyes. I grabbed her arm.
"Give her back." Gabrielle sobbed.
"No. She will ensure our home stays intact."
"Hows that?" I asked.
"These amazons promised not to destroy our farm and the villages nearby if we give them your daughter. I worked my whole life for our farm, Daughter. I will not let it be destroyed by your people. Its all that harlots fault." He pointed at me."If you had stayed put at home, you would never been put in this position."
"Shes your granddaughter. You basterd." I spat at him.
"No shes part you, Harlot." he smiled. "Or so Lila told me. So, I dont feel bad about
this." he said defiantly.
"Heroditus, these are renegade amazons, drifters. Gabrielle, doesnt rule over them." He looked at the four women in the cavern. "They could care less about Alexa or your farm. You give them our daughter, it doesnt guarantee your safety! It only guarantees that youll sell out your own blood for your own gain. What does Hecuba think of this?" Gabrielle buried her face once again in my shoulder. My sword arm had come around her to hold her. I rubbed her back.
"She doesnt know." he said quietly. "I dont want to lose my farm, my home."
"Enough talk." The tallest of the bunch moved forward. "Give me the child." I moved my chakrum hand ever-so-slightly.
"Run and get Alexa." I whispered into her ear, just as threw my chakrum. Gabrielle ran towards her father, while I was busy leveling the women.
Even though I was busy fighting, I saw my love reach out her arms and her father place the baby in them. I breathed a sigh of relief as I took out the last one. I sheathed my sword. I moved to Heroditus and pinned him to the wall. "How could you do this?" Gabrielle said from over my shoulder.
"They said she was amazon royalty and...."
"I know what they said." I spat. "Answer your daughters question." I hissed. He choked slightly as my hand tightened around his throat.
"Shes half Xena. You mean nothing to me, Warrior." I smiled at the gagging sound as I was squeezing the air out of his throat. A small hand rested on my arm and I felt a tiny hand grab at my arm band. I looked over and saw them. Alexa was leaning over, tugging on my armband, wanting to be held. I smiled at them, dropping the gasping man to the ground. I reached over and took my baby in my arms. I leaned down. "Dont you ever show your face in Amphipolis again or I swear Ill kill you. You got me?" He nodded.
We moved out of the tunnel taking the last torch with us. I looked down and wiped Alexas tear stained face. "Your okay." I smile, getting one from her too.
"Xena," she said she took the reins of her borrowed horse. "How did you know where we were?" Alexa was beginning to fall asleep.
"Well, I had a little help."
"Goddess of entertainment." I smiled.
"Yep....We better get Alexa home." I commented. Gabrielle helped me as I carefully mounted Argo. I turned her around to follow Gabrielle, when I looked up into the tree.
"Nice performance. I give it three stars." she smiled. I heeled Argo to catch up with my bard.
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