by Xenaslaves

This story was written without the knowledge or consent of MCA/Universal and is not intended to infringe on any copyrights. This story is for intended for mature readers over the age of 18 as it contains both violence and explicit love scenes between two women. Be advised the story does contain sexual violence against some main characters! Please gain permission before copying and/or publishing any or the entire story.

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Chapter 1

Gabrielle slowly got up rubbing the sleep from her eyes. "" She whispered. "XENA?" After she awoke finding Xena gone, startled, she jumped up and started to change into her clothes...
"HADES! She was supposed to wake me up!" She slipped on her short green top and adjusted her skirt...

She carefully thought about the events of the previous night, trying to find a reason for Xena's disappearance. They had arrived at the Inn pretty late that evening. Gabrielle had walked into the Tavern to order some food, while Xena looked for an area to leave Argo.
A few moments later, Xena came in and sat next to her at the table. She reached for her drink and began to munch on her food, never once looking up at Gabrielle. The bard sat there stunned, taking in the withdrawn state of her warrior. "Xena, what's wrong? You feeling ok?"
"Oh nothing Gabrielle, a little worn out is all." Gabrielle rubbed the back of her hand against Xena's cheek. Surprisingly, Xena allowed this to continue for a few seconds, given the last week she hadn't been able to touch her at all. "Ephiny's meeting us in the morning right?"
Xena looked up at her light green eyes,
"She said she'd come get us at first light," then lowered her head back to the table, ignoring the fact Gabrielle was still staring at her. They ate their meal in silence then slowly made their way to their room. Xena walked in front with her bard closely behind. When they entered the room, Xena sat at the edge of the bed and started to remove her boots, while Gabrielle remained standing to remove her clothes.
The bard wasn't facing Xena but she could feel her close stare on the back of her body. Gabrielle caught herself smiling at her friend's attention. Could it be she feels the same way? She suddenly felt herself turn red with embarrassment and anger... How could I be thinking that! , she scolded herself.
She slipped on her shift and turned to face Xena, who to her surprise had only begun taking off her right boot. Xena, embarrassed, shot her gawking eyes down to the floor, in fear the young woman had caught her. Blushing, Gabrielle quickly moved under the covers as the warrior stood up to undress. Gabrielle had seen her naked many times before, but something about her warrior's body tonight left her breathless. She stared closely at Xena's broad shoulders, slowly moving down her long muscular back to those beautifully sculptured legs. Naked, Xena turned to notice the glare aimed at her body while she slipped on her shift. "What are you looking at?"
She asked, raising an eyebrow. "Oh, uh, uh nothing." Gabrielle quickly turned her back to the warrior. I love it when she gives me that look. Oh stop that! She told herself. Xena stood there for a moment as thoughts invaded her mind. Could it be she feels the same way? Nah of course not. She disregarded her concern and got into bed. The bard was almost in tears from having been caught staring. How could she feel like this towards her best friend? I'll ruin everything if she finds out, " I can't feel this way," she repeated to herself softly, not realizing she had spoken out loud.
"What Brie?"
Gabrielle, still facing the wall, cleverly covered her mistake.
"Ah well, um Xena..."
"Spit it out Gabrielle."
The young woman found confidence and whispered, "well it's cold," shivering on purpose to make it more effective. "Could I lay on your shoulder?" Xena became stiff from the thought of the woman's body against her own and hesitated in answering. I always want you next to me, she thought silently, yet nothing escaped her lips. Xena's hesitation made her companion uncomfortable. "Never mind, it's ok." Gabrielle muttered quietly. She's never hesitated before, something's wrong.
"I'm sorry Gabrielle, of course you can." Gabrielle smiled and placed her body directly next to her warrior. Her head resting on broad shoulders, while her leg tightly snuggled on top of Xena's thighs.
"Mmmm, that's better..."
"Night Gab…rielle."
"Night Xena..."
Little did the bard know, Xena had closed her eyes and silently thought of what torture it was to feel this way towards Gabrielle and not be able to express it.

Gabrielle quickly came back to reality, still with no explanation of her warrior's disappearance, as she walked towards the Tavern.
"Where is she...maybe with Ephiny, but why didn't they wake me?" Before entering the tavern, she noticed the local villagers standing around staring at her.
She was used to it, considering people usually thought she was crazy for traveling around with the former Warlord. As she walked through the thick doors a room full of warriors greeted her. "We've been waiting for you, young one." A deep voice said through the crowd of men.
Gabrielle stood with her staff in hand, trying not to look too afraid. Suddenly, she heard a muttered moan from the corner and quickly moved her eyes to find Xena tied up on a table. "XENA!"
The warrior was on her back, tied down with metal restraints. The gag in her mouth was fully red from her blood. She had blood running down the side of her face from a gash above her right eye. Ten men stood on the other side of the table with swords drawn.
A guard grabbed the bard's arms, only to be thrown off balance as her staff struck his ribs. Gabrielle started towards her warrior when she heard, "don't harm her, we need her alive," the man said laughing. Gabrielle knew she was trapped. Her only option was to run, but she wouldn't dare leave Xena. With mighty stokes from her staff she began to force her way through the armed men, tossing them to all sides of the room. Gabrielle felt the strong blows her face was receiving from the attacking men, but continued to move. She was half way through when Thasis reminded his men to leave her alone. Her warrior watched in amazement, as her young determined companion ripped through the crowd, directly towards their leader. Xena tried to struggle out of the ropes, but felt her body numb and realized something must have been put in her drink.
Gabrielle had blood dripping down her face when she finally reached Thasis. With anger burning deep within her, she raised her staff to his face and screamed. Unfortunately before she had a chance to speak she collapsed to the floor from a violent blow to the head.

A few candlemarks later the bard slowly awoke. "XENA?"
"I'm right here, Gabrielle." She turned her head in the direction the voice.
"Oh Xena! What happened?" she exclaimed, as tears ran down her face.
Xena was tied up against the wall with her weight dangling from her bleeding wrists. Her feet were barely able to touch the ground. Her armor lay in front of her leaving her wearing only her shift. "Gabri...lle," the warrior responded slowly, half unconscious. "Did she hurt you?" Gabrielle shifted herself so that she could see Xena more clearly, a difficult task with her arms and legs tied tightly behind her. She realized they were in a dark dungeon with barley enough light to see. Gabrielle felt the cold floor against her naked legs. She rolled gingerly onto her right side trying to avoid any unnecessary pain. She could feel blood trickling down the side of her face and panicked. She looked down to learn she had been stripped of all her clothes and was left wearing only a shirt.
"SHE? Who Xena?" She stopped her questioning when she found a stream of blood running down Xena's inner thighs. "You're bleeding! Where are you hurt?" She tried to struggle out of her own restraints to help her warrior. "Xena! What happened in the Tavern? Where's Ephiny?" The warrior looked down at her hysterical friend, trying to hold her own tears away as she began to explain what she remembered. "I…I… was… Callisto has us here... Ephiny escaped while I fought off the attackers. She went to get help. I don't know what happened. Everything was going fine, until I felt myself falling to the ground. I think the drink I ordered had something in it." She took a deep breath. "Hopefully, Ephiny made it out."
"But Xena…" The warrior looked down to her companion and whispered,
"shh someone's coming."

Ephiny made it just outside the village before she felt her body start to go numb. A passing stranger, alarmed at the young woman's condition, approached her. "Can I help you?" he asked.
Ephiny looked up at him through a fog, "Amazon village...My Queen is in trouble… Please tell Sar…" was all she managed to say. The old man picked Ephiny up in his arms and took her into his home. He noticed blood dripping from the side of her waist and applied pressure to stop the bleeding. His wife took care of the gash, while he gave his son orders to go to the Amazon village to deliver a message. The young boy quickly got on his horse and sped towards the Amazon nation.
A few candlemarks later exhausted and hungry he jumped off his horse, only to be greeted by swords surrounding him. "Wait! I bring you a message," he pleaded. A tall woman with a strong muscular build, resembling Xena's replied. "Hand it over then." The boy handed the note over to the closest Amazon, who curiously tore the letter open and read it aloud, "Amazons... I have here a wounded woman... She was only able to tell me a few details. She asks for your help… The Queen is hurt... Please tell Amazons..."
Sarina, the leader of the group, thought about the visit Ephiny had made that day. "Our Queen and Ephiny must be in danger. Gather up the Amazons... Hurry!" With the order given they quickly spread out. The young boy followed behind explaining to Sarina in greater detail, the events that had occurred that day. With both the Queen and the Regent Queen missing, Sarina took it upon herself to lead the Amazons. They gathered up half the women and rode off towards the village with no time to waste. Sarina was worried about her own lover Ephiny, and of course her Queen Gabrielle. Her only comfort was her belief in Xena's love for their Queen. If needed, she knew Xena would sacrifice herself to spare Gabrielle's life.

After half a days ride, Shae noticed Sarina laughing to herself and smiled. I wonder what she's laughing about, she thought. She shrugged her shoulders then focused her attention back on the open field.
Sarina had been thinking of the last time the four of them were together. Gabrielle and Xena had stopped by for a short visit with the Amazons. The four of them sat around the campfire chatting. Later in the evening, Ephiny and Xena stood and headed towards the hut to talk privately. Sarina began to inform the Queen of the Amazons activities that occurred in the past couple of weeks, when suddenly a young woman walked up and stood beside them, "Queen Gabrielle?"
Gabrielle stood as she responded, "Yes I'm the Queen." The woman lowered her head, "I'm…"
"Zalis!" Ephiny cried. She ran towards the young Amazon with open arms. "Ephiny!" Zalis reached for the Regent and took her into a loving embrace.
"Gabrielle! THIS is Zalis, she's been gone many moons visiting her sick mother."
"It is my pleasure to meet you my Queen," she nodded down at Gabrielle.
"Nice to meet you too Zalis. I heard a lot about you." Xena walked towards the crowd and took a seat, just as Sarina stood up. "Where you going Sarina?"
"Nowhere, let me go!" Xena looked up at her confused. "Sarina?"
"Stop Xena...I need to leave!" The warrior watched as Sarina walked towards her hut violently kicking at the ground. "Where's Sarina?" Ephiny asked, finally noticing she was missing. Xena caustically answered, "she's back at the hut, *YOU* should go get her."
Ephiny excused herself and headed towards her lover. Moments later, both women returned to join the circle. Zalis had moved closer to Gabrielle in order to make room for the two women. Xena managed to catch Sarina's evil stare towards Zalis. Judging from the glare, Xena concluded that Zalis must have been one of Ephiny's former lovers. Xena smiled over at Sarina in acknowledgment, and gave her a quick look to stop sending nasty facial expressions. Sarina acknowledged the signal, looked down at the fire and frowned.
In the meantime, Xena hadn't noticed that Zalis had moved closer to Gabrielle. She was sitting facing the bard with their knees touching. Xena tried to hold back her anger as she noticed Zalis' romantic stare towards HER Bard. The warrior tried to control her thoughts, now feeling the jealousy Sarina had moments earlier. Gabrielle will move away if she needs to, she thought silently. She was trying to hide her anger as she stared down Gabrielle. But Ephiny and Sarina simultaneously looked at each other and smiled. Their assumptions about Xena's feeling towards Gabrielle had just been confirmed by the look on her face. Zalis reached over and placed her hand on the Queen's lap, as she caressed the Queen's delicate face with her palm. "ZALIS, give her a little room to breathe, will ya?" Xena exclaimed in more of a statement than a question, as she stormed off towards the Queen's hut. Gabrielle looked up at Zalis baffled, before she stood to follow her warrior.
Zalis focused over on the Regent and the healer. "What was that all about?" Sarina could only present a sarcastic smile as she answered, "you mean you don't know?" Zalis took a drink of her port and looked over to focus on Ephiny's eyes.
"I apologize Ephiny, I was not aware the Queen was taken…" Ephiny smiled at her friend, "they're an interesting couple…" Was all she managed to say before Sarina broke in with a plea to go to sleep. The Regent knew her lover would explode with jealousy if she didn't react, so she complied.
"Night Zalis..."
"Good night ladies..."

"What's wrong Xena? What did I do?" The bard's questions were left unanswered as Xena lay her head down on the pallet. "We'll talk about it later Gabrielle."
"But Xena..." The warrior shifted so that her back faced her questioning bard.
"What happened Xe?"
The warrior sighed, trying hard to find an excuse for her actions. "I just didn't appreciate how fresh she was with you." Gabrielle placed her hand on her companion's shoulder and whispered, "Fresh? What do you mean?"
"Please Gabrielle…I'll explain later." The Queen could feel the hurt in Xena's voice, and complied. "Ok Xena…go to sleep. We'll talk later."

Sarina, startled by Shae, came back to reality when she realized they were arriving into town. To the villagers, it looked as if their town was under attack. The determined young faces of the Amazons caused the villagers to panic, yelling for their men to prepare for battle. "Over here Amazon!" An old man's voice rang through the crowd. Sarina jumped off her horse and ran, as six others followed. She ran through the gates as Ephiny came running out, causing them to collide.
"AHHHHH!" a painful cry escaped Ephiny's mouth, as she felt her injury instantly begin to throb with pain. "OH EPHINY, I'm so sorry..." The Regent looked up at Sarina while clutching her side, "I'm ok...It's good to see you love.... " She smiled reassuring her lover she was ok. "Gabrielle and Xena were taken to Callisto's castle. I don't know the details, but I do know how to get there. We need to hurry!"

Meanwhile back at the castle, Callisto slowly entered the dungeon. "Hello ladies, so glad you could join me." Xena raised her eyes towards her enemy. "Callisto! If you dare harm her I will kill you!" Callisto slowly walked over to Xena. "Be quiet, you've had your turn," she punched the warrior knocking her unconscious, then turned to face the young woman still lying on the floor. "SO Gabrielle..."
Callisto walked towards her as Xena slowly regained consciousness, "Don't touch her, Callisto!"
"Or what, Xena? I only want to play with her a little..."
Callisto reached down and grabbed the bard's hair, pulling her up on her knees. She knelt behind the young victim, placing her arm tightly around the woman's waist. She pulled down on her bleeding wrists, causing Gabrielle's back to arch exposing her delicate neck. "Callisto, please! It's me you want!" Xena pleaded.
"Oh no warrior, you're wrong...I've had you." Callisto's eyes darted over to Xena. "Now I want something pure, and innocent. When I've made her mine, I'll kill her, so you could never have her..." She laughed hysterically at the ex warlord. "How weak this little one makes you Xena."
She began to whisper into Gabrielle's ear but it was hard for the Queen to understand over Xena's cries. "Callisto, if you harm her, I will spend the rest of my days hunting you down!" Callisto just smirked up at the warrior, then continued. "Gabrielle, do you love Xena?" She tightened her grip on the bard's wrists. Gabrielle felt her hands clench beneath her as pain jolted up her arms.
"Ye...s, yes I love her."
"Good, I'm counting on it." Callisto yelled before knocking the bard down to the ground. She moved to stand directly in front of Xena. "Oh Xena, don't look so sad. I'm not forcing myself on anyone. I promise I won't do anything to Gabrielle without her consent." Callisto looked over at Gabrielle struggling in the corner. " I know how long you've lusted over her body and now I'm going to have her." She laughed at the enraged glare coming from Xena. "This will make you pay, for all you've done to me," she muttered under her breath. " Oh… will it make you pay!"

Chapter 2

Xena looked up to focus on the most beautiful creature she had ever seen. "Gabrielle don't let her near you, no matter what happens to me...understand?" She felt Callisto forcefully strike her against the ribcage and gritted her teeth to hold back the cry. "No! Please stop," the young bard protested. Callisto turned and replied, "not until you say I have permission Gabri..."
"Gabrielle NO!" Xena screamed, before the next hit took her breath away. Xena could feel her ribs had been broken and her body starting to go numb from the loss of blood. Callisto repeated the act several times, as Gabrielle watched in utter horror. I can't let her do this. I can make it stop! It's just my body, A small sacrifice to pay for the woman I love. THE WOMAN I LOVE! Baffled by her last thought, Gabrielle raised her head to speak. "Calli…" When suddenly, there was a knocking at the door. "Callisto, we need you out here NOW!" The man's voice rang loud from the outside. "Ahh, just when I was beginning to have fun." Callisto laughed at her remark as she untied the unconscious warrior and allowed her to fall onto her shoulders. She laid her next to Gabrielle before walking out. Halfway down the hall she stopped and yelled back into the dungeon. "Enjoy your last time together." Then the footsteps faded, leaving only the sounds of their breath audible.
It was shocking to see the amount of blood flowing down the warrior's face. The area around the cut was turning yellow with infection and was spreading quickly. Her lips were swollen from the punches she had proudly taken for her bard. Gabrielle laid her head down on Xena's chest to feel the movement of her breath. It was obvious Xena had suffered some damage to her lungs from the rhythm of her breathing. "Xena, please be strong for me, please hold on!" She lowered her eyes to the ground and silently asked her Goddess for help. ARTEMIS, PLEASE HELP US...PLEASE GUIDE THE AMAZONS…

A candlemark later, Xena jumped to her feet. Her adrenaline was the only thing keeping her upright. "Gabrielle!" She screamed. "I'm right here." Gabrielle whispered back. The warrior felt the dizziness in her head and lowered to her knees. She knew that the loss of blood was preventing her from balancing. She let herself collapse onto her side, so that she faced her companion.
"How long have I been out?"
"Close to a candlemark…I think."
"Turn around Gabrielle, so I could take off your binds." The young woman nodded before allowing the warrior to help her onto her side. Xena waited until Gabrielle was facing her before attempting to speak. "Gabrielle. Last week when I was by the river gathering up the fish, I had a visit from Ares. I didn't understand why he would give me such information, but I listened anyhow. He told me about Callisto's new army and her plan."
"Xena. Why didn't you tell me before?"
"When we visited the Amazons I told Ephiny. We decided it would be best to hide you for awhile. We were going to discuss it in the morning, but..."
"Xena, why would she be after me? Is she after the Amazons? What Plan?"
"Brie…" The warrior lowered her eyes and continued, "Her plan is to hurt me in the best way she knows how. She knows how much I love you, and if harm were to come to you, it would kill me. I couldn't survive without you by my side."
"Xena, why now? Why is this all happening now?"
"Listen carefully Gabrielle, I wish I had time to explain, but I can't. I want you to promise me that you won't give into matter what harm comes to me."
"Xena no, I can't."
"Gabrielle YOU HAVE TO!" The thought of Callisto's hands on her bard's body struck her. She tried to control herself from her anger as she continued, "Gabrielle, I haven't been honest with you. In the last two summers, I have grown to admire and love you. I've watched you change from an innocent young girl to the powerful woman you are today. And I've wanted to hold you in my arms forever and never let go, but I was scared. I know that this might be overwhelming but I feel I must...I...I..." Gabrielle covered Xena's mouth with her fingers and moved herself inches from Xena's face, "I love you too Xena." She placed a delicate kiss on the warrior's lips, which caused all pain to fade for a brief moment. The bard wanted nothing more than to hear Xena's confession, but under the circumstances she couldn't. She wanted to hear her words, but not there and not that way. She couldn't believe the moment she had dreamt about, was happening in the dungeon of Callisto. She softly cupped her warrior's face, looking deep into those baby blue eyes.
"Xena. It's my body she desires not my soul..." She slightly hesitated before continuing.
"You own my soul, as I do yours. And whatever happens, this isn't your fault."
She lowered Xena to the floor, kissing her softly on the forehead as she moved away.
"Gabrielle wait please... Promise me!"
"I told you, I can't... Just relax, let me take care of you." The bard tore the bottom half of her shirt and began to make thin, long strips. The pounding from her head injury was strong, but she ignored it while she covered Xena's gash. "Please Brie… Promise me." Xena's voice shook with sadness. She tried hard to hold back her emotion but couldn't.
"Shh…Xena. Please don't worry about me." She felt around Xena's waist, trying to figure out the extent of damage. It was obvious a few ribs were broken but there was nothing Gabrielle could do to ease her warrior's pain. She moved towards the blood on Xena's legs and lifted her shift to find the cause. Gabrielle froze, as she saw long deep gashes running up her inner thighs. It was as if fingernails had ripped the skin wide open. "Xena, what did she do to you?" Tears rolled down Gabrielle's face. "Gods Xena…talk to me. " The warrior didn't reply, instead she closed her eyes and calmly let herself fall back into sleep. She was still under the effects of her drink, causing her to come in and out of reality.
Gabrielle cried on her shoulder for a period of time before hearing Callisto's voice through the door. She looked up to find the hateful eyes of her enemy staring down at her. "I see you've made no progress Gabrielle! I was hoping I'd have more fun with Xena, but oh well. You'll do..." She walked over to the bard and knelt down next to her. Without notice, Gabrielle forcefully swung her arm sticking Callisto clear across the mouth. Callisto laughed, licked the blood off her lips and slammed Gabrielle against the floor. She then straddled the young woman's back as she gripped both of her arms. "So you wanna play Gabrielle? I can play!" Gabrielle struggled underneath Callisto, but the harder she struggled, the more her head got smashed into the cold dungeon floor. Gabrielle breathed out slowly, tasting the blood dripping from her mouth.
"Ple…ase Cal…listo…don't..."
Callisto grabbed the bloody rope still lying near her and began to re-tie the wrists. Gabrielle could hardly bare the pain the ropes were causing, and let out a small cry. She was having a hard time hearing and understanding Callisto, due to the additional blows to the head. She lay still, not wanting to upset her attacker any further. When suddenly she heard a loud groan coming from Xena and looked up to find Callisto's foot against Xena's neck. "O.K! PLEASE! CALLISTO! STOP! I'll do anything you ask, PLEASE! I promise… Just stop!" Callisto looked down at the eyes full of rage, and smiled. She laughed hysterically, as she kicked the woman in the chest. Gabrielle attempted to find her breath as her eyes closed and she blacked out.

Two candlemarks later, Gabrielle opened her eyes to find Callisto above her. She started to move, but realized her hands and legs had been tied down to the floor. She looked around for Xena, spotting her at the other side of the dungeon. Callisto had positioned herself on top of her with one hand on each side of her face. Callisto's thighs straddled her hips, restricting her from moving. Gabrielle's body was shaking uncontrollably with fear of what was to come. "Callisto!"
"Do not talk unless I say so Gabrielle." The warrior ripped off her leather top and tossed it against the wall. It caused a loud crashing sound as her armor bounced off the wall and struck the floor. She reached for the sword lying beside the captive's body and raised it up. Gabrielle watched speechless, as Callisto slid the sword under her shirt, causing small trembles of fear across her body. Callisto raised the sword up splitting Gabrielle's shirt in two, revealing her bare breasts. The crazed woman drew a deep lustful breath as she took in the image of the naked woman below her. "Gabrielle tell me, did Perdicus do this to you before I killed him?" Gabrielle began to frantically cry not trying any longer to control her anger. The anger running through her body was enough to drive her insane. She had so much hatred for Callisto after the death of her husband. How could Callisto have the audacity to bring it up? She only got to experience one night with Perdicus after they were married. Unfortunately, that night was spent talking in each other's arms rather than having sexual intercourse. This left Gabrielle pure in body with the hope that Xena would be her first. She closed her eyes and listened to her thoughts as Callisto began exploring her breasts. I should have told Xena the truth about Perdicus and I. Why didn't I tell her? Now I must lay here and be tortured by the woman I hate the most.
"Callisto.... Please... Slow... down!" In a panicked state, Gabrielle's only thoughts were on stalling the anxious warrior, in hope that help would arrive.
Callisto noticed the tears running down Gabrielle's face and felt her center ache with anticipation. Swiftly raising herself up, she took off her skirt before lowering her bare body down on the naked bard. Their centers touched, sending a stream of energy to rush through them. They both closed their eyes at the contact of the slight pleasure. Callisto then placed two fingers in her mouth to moist them before laying them on the bard's soft nipple and making it instantly erect. Callisto rubbed her fingers in a circular motion against the bard's nipple while she cupped her own breast with her left hand. She moaned loudly as she felt the wetness building between her legs. "Mmmm…" She liked watching the fear in the young woman's face increase. Gabrielle started to pant with anger, gritting her teeth, as she tried to calm herself. Scared, she closed her eyes and tried to imagine that the woman above her was Xena. Her attacker remained straddled above Gabrielle's thighs as she leaned over and brushed her lips against the bard's. Callisto bit at the woman's swollen lip, which caused her to gasp from the pain and pleasure. A tingle spread through Callisto's body at the sound. How she loved the sound of agony! She passionately licked her way up and down the bard's neck, making Gabrielle tremble with her own desire. The sensations overtaking her body were unfamiliar to her. She had only felt this way on cold nights when she got to lay her head down on Xena's breasts. My Xena. She felt her excitement level building at the thought of having her warrior above her, but this wasn't Xena! She allowed the tears to overtake her confused emotions. " ARTEMIS HELP ME, DON'T LET HER DO THIS! "
Callisto softly bit below Gabrielle's ear causing a soft moan to escape the bard's mouth.
"No God could help you now Gabrielle!" Callisto sucked on her neck while she moaned from the burning sensation she felt within. She looked deeply into the young woman's eyes before lowering her tongue to slide down Gabrielle's chest. She could feel her excitement building with the sound of her bard's increasing gasps for air.
Mmm...She's enjoying this, she thought to herself as she began to rock her hips against the bard's center. She thrust back and forth moaning louder with every movement. Gabrielle let out soft groans, pleading silently for it to continue. She couldn't understand the glorious feelings of pleasure from her body. She had dreamt of Xena performing this act night after night, but this wasn't XENA! She came back to reality, opening her eyes to find Callisto on top of her. Her body went into shock in a matter of minutes, making her face pale and her body temperature cold.
Callisto noticed the silent change and looked up at her, "Ah ah… Gabrielle…stay focused!" Callisto raised herself up and placed her hands on the bard's waist to ground in closer on the small hips. She could feel herself coming closer to her climax with every thrust. "Callisto, please don't." The Queen gasped, as the pressure on her center increased. "Ahh GODS Gabrielle!" She thrust faster, moaning louder as she became amazingly wet all over Gabrielle's waist. As she was about to release she decided to change positions and stopped. She lay flat on the bard's body before straddling only the right thigh. She responded with a loud groan from the sensation of their breasts rubbing against each other, ignoring the bard's cries. "Callisto…stop… Please."
"Oh NO little one, we're not quite through yet." The warrior slapped her forcefully, causing her to gasp for air and look up. She could hardly make out what Callisto was telling her, but could see her lunging down at her. Callisto positioned her body so that her sex lay on the bard's strong thigh. The friction of their skin together would make her cum all over Gabrielle's leg. She lowered her breast to the young woman's mouth, and wickedly smiled. She warned her, "Gabrielle, if you cause me any pain, your warrior princess will get another beating," as she lowered her nipple to the waiting mouth.
Gabrielle hesitated for a second but quickly obeyed after the thought of Xena's battered body. She placed her mouth around the erect nipple and bit down softly, mimicking what Callisto had done earlier to her own body. She rubbed her tongue over the nipple repeatedly, hearing the loud moans fill the room. Callisto rubbed her center against the bard's thigh and felt her body slowly going over the edge. "OH GODS you feel good," Callisto screamed. Gabrielle closed her eyes and listened as the soft moans turned into pleading cries. How she longed to hear the same cries escape her warrior's soft lips.
"Ahh Gabrielle!" Once again Callisto began her slow rhythmic movement rubbing against the bard's delicate skin. Gabrielle felt the tears rolling down her face and bit down on her lower lip. She felt Callisto thrust a few more times before she slowly climaxed against her. The wetness running down the inside of her leg, suddenly increased and the bard gagged in disgust. "MMMmmmm that was nice." Gabrielle felt the weight of Callisto's body being lifted off her chest, and prepared herself for what was to come. "Now it's your turn Gabrielle..." The young woman locked eyes with the crazed blonde warrior, " No."
"Ah, don't be scared little one."
Suddenly she felt Callisto's body jerk above her. What in Hades was going on?

Chapter 3

Gabrielle looked up to find Xena on one knee, rocking back and forth trying to maintain her balance. Xena's hands were wrapped forcefully around Callisto's throat, forcing her to slowly move off Gabrielle. Callisto's left fist slammed into Xena's ribs, causing her to be thrown back. She lost her balance and fell taking Callisto down with her. "Xena No!!!" The young bard cried.
Xena gasped for air then punched Callisto and struck her in the jaw. Naked, Callisto was now straddling Xena's body, trying to keep the warrior under her. However, Xena thrust her hips forward causing Callisto to fall onto her side. She quickly tossed her body on top of Callisto's and screamed.
"You will pay for this!" Xena held her down by the neck as she punched her. "You Bitch…I'm GOING TO KILL YOU!"
"XENA!" The warrior didn't release the pressure on Callisto's throat as she turned to look up at Gabrielle. She was so involved with Callisto that she hadn't noticed the guards that snuck up on her. She felt the cold swords at her back. "Release her! NOW." A guard's voice rang loudly through the room. Xena thought for a second to sacrifice herself and take Callisto with her, but she couldn't leave her bard alone. She could feel her hand throbbing from the strong hits as she released her hold. Callisto gasped for air as her bare body crawled away from her. The guards quickly grabbed Callisto's arm and dragged her out to safety. Xena collapsed onto the floor and crawled over to Gabrielle. She paused as she saw the bard's condition below her. "Xena, untie me. Please untie me!" She couldn't handle being restrained any longer. Xena's body froze as she looked down at her companion, her love. "Oh Gabrielle, I'm sorry!" was muttered over and over for a few moments in different variations. Gabrielle screamed to get her warrior out of the daze. "XENA! Please, untie me, NOW!" She was baffled by the bard's screams, but quickly regained herself and reached for her wrists to release them. Once free, she rose up into her warrior's strong arms and embraced her. Xena cupped the back of Gabrielle's head bringing her in closer. "It's ok...Shh… I'm here." Xena heard the low weeping cries coming from her love, as she silently lost herself in thought. I'm so sorry Gabrielle…So sorry. "Gabrielle, I'll hold you forever if necessary… Shh… Just try to relax. I'm here now." She held her embrace for several moments before making her way down to the bard's ankles to release them.
Xena cradled Gabrielle in her arms. Their bodies were trembling from left over adrenaline. "Gabrielle I'll never let you go again, I promise." She lowered her head giving her bard a soft kiss on the forehead. "I promise my love, I'll get us out of here!" Xena moved away and attempted to make eye contact with her young companion.
"Where are you hurt Gabrielle, tell me?" Gabrielle's heart tore as she realized the hurt in her voice. "Xena I'm ok really." The warrior softly groaned from the pain caused against her ribs but she tried to ignore it. She wanted nothing more than to hold her love, close to her body, protecting her against all danger. "Xena, are you ok?" Gabrielle slowly muttered through her cries.
"Yes Brie… I'll be fine. Just as soon as we get out of here." The warrior looked for something to wrap Gabrielle in as she scanned the room for possible escapes. She was having some problems focusing and started to feel herself getting weaker. She decided to reposition her body against the wall. She used her strong legs to slide herself and Gabrielle against the solid wall. But Gabrielle panicked at the sudden change, "Please Xena, Don't leave Me." The warrior stopped and looked down. "Gabrielle, I'll never leave you. Please believe me...It's ok." Xena stared into the emptiness of the dungeon surrounding them. She could feel the tears running down her face, although she tried with all her strength to deny them. Gabrielle placed her head on her shoulder and wrapped her arms tightly around her warrior's neck. There was complete silence for a long time until Gabrielle spoke. "Xena? I need you to know something in case we don't get out." Xena lifted the bard's head slowly and stared deeply into her light green eyes, "I'm listening, but we WILL get out." Gabrielle's voice was calmer now as she spoke. "Xena, when I left to marry Perdicus, I know I hurt you. I'm sorry. I just couldn't bare to be near you with all the feelings I was having." She took a long breath then continued. "I've loved you since the day I saw you and every morning waking up in your arms, made my heart sink further into your soul. I couldn't bare to lose you as a friend. If you had known how I felt, and didn't feel the same, I...I..." The young woman's body shook from emotions which overtook her once again. "Xena, I love you more than life itself."
"I love you too Gabrielle…I love you too."
Moments later the bard raised her hand up to the small gash. "Xena? It's bleeding again!" The warrior opened her eyes and placed two fingers against her loves lips. "Shh listen, don't worry about me. I'll be just fine." Xena cupped the back of Gabrielle's neck. Their faces were only inches apart from each other. "Gabrielle, I'm so sorry this happened." Their lips met in a brief kiss of love, rendering them silent.
Then suddenly they were interrupted by noise outside the doors. Xena jumped up to her feet then leaned against the wall for balance. "Xena what!"
"Wait Gabrielle, don't say a word," was whispered before Xena staggered over to the steel doors placing her ear against the cracks. She could hear voices coming from the other side, but could hardly make out the light whispers. She turned back towards Gabrielle and silently signaled her to the corner of the room. Gabrielle rose to her feet and crept over to the corner, shivering from the light breeze on her naked body. The doors swung open and a warrior peeked in, not having been informed of the recent events with Callisto. However, he did know she was back in her room and decided to take her up on her offer.
Callisto had promised him he could have a turn with the young bard when she was through. He saw the naked woman in the corner and smirked, before looking around for the sleeping warrior he had seen earlier. Little did he realize, Xena stood behind the wooden door waiting for just the right moment to attack. "Where'd the warrior princess go?" He asked the young woman.
"Call..isto took her..." Gabrielle replied, her face flushed with embarrassment and fear. Xena kicked the door slamming it straight into his back sending him to the floor. Then she grabbed the second man's neck and instantly broke it. She aggressively kicked the man on the ground forcing him over on his back. She reached over him and applied the pinch to his neck. He grasped his hands around his throat in pain. "I have just one question and then I'll release you." Xena explained.
"Anything, please." he muttered in agony.
"Tell me the quickest way out of here, and if you lie to me," she laughed.
" You don't want to lie to me." Her facial expressions were ones of a madwoman. He nodded his head in agreement, gasping a slow "yes" before she released the pinch allowing him to speak, "Through the door, left down the hall to last room. Make a right past Callisto's quarters." Xena's eyebrow rose,
"Callisto's quarters huh? Thank you." Xena exclaimed, as she punched him roughly in the face, putting him into a deep sleep.
She held out her arms, "Come on Gabrielle." She positioned her body at the entrance of the dungeon as she listened for further noises. Gabrielle ran to her side and stood beside her. She reached for Xena's forearm capturing it in her small hands. "Xena you're in no condition for this. Please, you'll be hurt." Xena caught her bard's glare, I can't allow Callisto near you again, she thought to herself as she replied. "Gabrielle, we have to try." She lowered her face to place a small delicate kiss on the companion's lips before she continued, "Trust me… Stay behind me ok?"

Chapter 4

With a wave of her hand, Ephiny ordered her Amazons to halt. They huddled in a circle as Ephiny gave them their orders of attack. "Natalie take ten Amazons and head towards the trees over there. When you see we've made it in, move towards the back and keep guard. Kill any enemy that tries to escape. Be ready! Our Queen and Xena will be exiting through the back window." The Amazons nodded at the Regent and headed off. Ephiny stopped for a second, thought about her remark, then looked over to Sarina. "How do you know there's a window?" Her partner asked. "It's hard to explain, I just know. It's like I know where to find them." "But Ep..."
"Look, I just know Sarina, you have to trust me on this one." Ephiny focused her eyes away from her lover and looked around for the remaining leaders of the Amazons. "Castera, head in towards the doors. Have Kidimah cover the outsides while you drive in through the middle. Clear the way for those Amazons to enter," she pointed over to the Amazons on her left. Castera looked up at Ephiny and nodded. She gathered up the Amazons and they rode off towards the castle. Ephiny signaled to the Amazons still huddled behind her and looked straight at Shae. "Shae, take your Amazons through that entrance, and don't spare any time. The main goal is to get in. Once inside, help clear a path for Sarina. Keep the men busy while she searches for Xena and Gabrielle." Ephiny gripped Sarina's arms gently and looked into her eyes, "Go with Shae. Try to guide the Queen to the back window."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! Positive Now go!" Their eyes locked, "please take care of yourself love."
"I will."
Ephiny watched as Sarina swiftly ran towards the group. Ephiny refocused then turned to the remaining Amazons. "Follow me!" she yelled. The Regent reached for her sword, as she observed her Amazons disburse to their designated areas. Castera and her Amazon's rushed the castle, only to be counter attacked by Callisto's waiting army. Shae could hear the sounds of swords striking, warriors grunting, and cries of pain. She felt herself reverting back to her old warlord days as she tried to focus on the orders at hand. Her smile widened with every kill, as her eyes burned with passion. She kept a close eye on Sarina as she tried to clear a path for her. Shae screamed as she positioned herself in front of the Amazon. "Sarina! I'll cover, Go!" Shae felt a deep gash across her back, as she fought off two warriors with her sword. She kicked her foot back, aggressively striking her attacker at the knee, which caused him to fall. She turned quickly, running her sword though his chest before returning to the attackers in front of her.
Sarina swung her heavy staff as she snuck her way through the fighting warriors, hitting anything that she met. She was fighting off three warriors when she felt Castera's mighty arms pull her aside. Castera kept up her fight while Sarina managed to sneak behind them, into the castle.
At the same time, the Amazons by the trees waited for the others to enter. Natalie watched in disbelief as she witnessed the hostile fighting taking place in front of her. They saw Amazons and warriors falling dead to the ground. They wanted to join the fight but were under strict orders to wait. They watched as Shae cleared the way for Sarina while fighting off many enemies at once. Castera fell to her knees from a violent jab to her waist. She recovered, tossing the warrior off his feet as she killed him. Then Natalie saw Sarina make her way in. "She's in! GO NOW!" Natalie signaled over to the Amazons to continue towards the back of the castle. Sarina rushed in to find a large group of men with swords in hand. They were standing there ready to strike her. She panicked for a brief moment, until she heard the sounds of Amazons rushing through the doors. Their swords held high in the air while battle cries filled the room. Sarina felt herself being pulled towards someone's body. She lifted her staff to strike but it was stopped by Shae's powerful hand. Shae grabbed the staff, and pulled her closer. She pushed Sarina towards the sidewall and raised her sword. It slid swiftly through the chest of the raging warrior rushing towards them. She looked over to Sarina and yelled.
"Sarina go! We'll take care of them." The fight continued violently around her as she slid herself against the wall towards the hall. She held her staff close, prepared to strike at any attacker that came near. Dead warriors were falling to the ground around her. She was forced to step over a few to get by. Once reaching the hall, she found herself alone. That's odd, she thought to herself. Maybe it's a trap? Regardless, I have to find the Queen. She disregarded her reasoning and continued. Luckily, she made it most of the way, with confrontations she could handle. At the end of the hall she found two men racing towards her. She positioned her staff parallel to her shoulders, hitting the men directly in the face. As they fell, one gripped at her clothes, taking her to the ground. She quickly recovered and stood to find them once again in front of her. She shot two sharp stabs with her staff at their waists, sending them flying against the end of the hall. She could hear people approaching from the corner and rushed over to confront them.

Just moments earlier, Xena and Gabrielle turned out of the dungeon and moved slowly down the hall. Gabrielle placed her arm around the warrior's waist to keep balance, while Xena held herself against the wall. They got to the end safely, then stopped as two men fell in front of them. They heard the Amazon battle cry when Sarina jumped out from no where, with her staff aimed up at them. Xena reached up, stopping the staff just before it struck her. "Xena!" Sarina's smile quickly faded when she felt the strong blow strike her in the back. Xena reached over her, grabbed the warrior's heads and smashed them together. The two men dropped to the ground simultaneously. "Are you ok?" Sarina asked. Xena was covered in blood, in only a shift to protect her. Gabrielle's naked body hid behind hers. Sarina kicked opened the door behind her, searching for anything to cover her Queen. She picked up a long bed sheet and handed it over. Xena turned and placed the sheet around the young woman's body. Then she turned her attention back to Sarina, and signaled down the hall.
"No! Not that way!" Sarina screeched. She signaled for the women to turn back towards the dungeon doors. Xena could hear the battle occurring down the hall and knew it would be to risky, so she complied. They passed the dungeon doors once again causing Gabrielle's grip on the warrior to tighten. Xena noticed the pressure on her arm, and tried to reassure her bard. "We're almost there, don't be scared... I'm here..." They walked along the dark hallway searching for the window. OH, I hope she was right, Sarina thought to herself. "Look!" Gabrielle pointed to what seemed to be a small window just above their heads. Sarina looked over to Xena, asking her if she could hold her weight, so she could break the glass. Knowing the weakened state of her warrior, Gabrielle bent over and offered her back. "Here…Go on Sarina...climb up." Sarina looked unsure, but with no time to spare, she stood on Gabrielle's back while Xena kept her balanced. She smashed her hand through the thick glass and called out for her guards. "NATALIE!" The Amazons stood outside the window waiting for their precious cargo to be handed to them. Xena tried to pick up her bard but stumbled, getting weaker from the loss of blood. Sarina reached over to pick up the Queen herself, but was stopped. "No! Sarina, I'll do it." The warrior lifted her love up in her arms and gave her to the waiting hands that took her.
"Xena, come on."
"Gabrielle, I'll be right there, go ahead of me."
"XENA NO! I can't leave without you."
Xena ignored the pleas and started towards the hall but was stopped by Sarina's hand.
"My weapons! CALLISTO!"
"No Xena, we can't. We have to leave them. Worry about her later."
"Come on Xena!" Gabrielle yelled from above. Sarina and Xena heard the yells and looked up. "Sarina, I'm taking the Queen. Hurry, the guards are coming!" Xena looked up at the Amazons, then back at Sarina. "But Sarina, how will you get out?" The Amazon softly spoke, "don't worry about me... I'll see you soon." Sarina bent down allowing Xena to use her back to step on. The warrior grabbed the arms that succeeded to pull her up, grunting in pain from the sensation in her wrists.
At the same time, Ephiny headed towards the back of the castle while calling out the retreat signal. Ephiny saw Natalie and her followers heading out towards the village. She looked over to the window and noticed Xena. Then ordered the remaining Amazons to go as she rode over to pick up the warrior princess. "XENA, come on!" The warrior gripped Ephiny's arm and jumped up. She let out a small cry of pain as she straddled the horse, due to the cuts on her thighs. They started off towards the other Amazons, escaping seconds before the warriors arrived. "Where's Gabrielle? Who has her?" She muttered. "It's ok Xena, she's safe, I saw her riding ahead with Natalie." Then Ephiny asked, "what happened? Where's Sarina?"
"Ephiny I can't talk about it now, I'm sorry. Sarina is still in the castle, helping the others. How did you know where we were?" Ephiny's only explanation for knowing the exact location of her Queen was that Artemis must have led her there. "With the help of Artemis, Xena." After her reply she remained quiet, thinking only of Sarina. Ephiny felt Xena's upper body resting against her back. She stopped the horse and slid off to reposition herself behind the warrior. She wasn't sure what condition Xena was in and didn't want to risk having her lose her balance. She held the warrior around the lower waist, trying not to cause her any pain.
They arrived at the Amazon village by nightfall. "Get the healer!" she cried out. Ephiny heard a soft moan below her and looked down to find Xena on her knees. Ephiny jumped off her horse quickly, pleading with Xena, "Wait! Slow down Xena... Gabrielle's fine." She signaled over to some Amazons to help. Ephiny helped the warrior up to her feet. "Take me to Gabrielle, Ephiny!"
"Xena we must go to the healer first. Then you can see Gabrielle."
"Ephiny I'm fine. I just need... to see her." The Amazons ran up to the Regent Queen and waited for their orders. She signaled to the youngest Amazon "Go get the Queen, bring her to my tent. And you," pointing to the older of the two. "Go get the healer, bring her to my tent."
"Of course, right away," said one of the Amazons, as she ran towards the tents. Ephiny put her arm around the tall warrior as they began to walk. She cradled the back of Xena's neck, "Xena, thank you for protecting our Queen." The statement, though thoughtful, ran a knife through her heart. "Your welcome," she softly muttered. "EPHINY!"
The Amazon's voice rang loudly through the village. They turned to find Sarina running towards them. "Callisto...She...I mean they..." Ephiny held her hand up to her frantic lover, "Slow down Sarina, tell me what happened." Confused, by the panicked state of Sarina, Xena looked up towards the woods. She listened for oncoming warriors but heard only silence. Thank the Gods, she's not under attack, she thought. She focused back at the rambling Amazon. "I saw Callisto as I escaped from the castle. She was standing in front by the entrance."
"ARE you hurt?" Ephiny patted her lover's body looking for any marks of injury. "No, she didn't touch me. She told me that if I delivered Gabrielle a message she would let me go, and take Xena's things with me." Xena raised her eyes towards Sarina and growled, "What's the message, Sarina?"
"I think the message is her army is going to attack the Amazons!" The frustrated warrior questioned her again, "What did she say EXACTLY?"
She was now confused and nervous at the warrior's attitude towards her. She tried to calm herself to think of the exact words. "She said to tell my Queen not to go far. She wasn't done with her yet. That she wouldn't stop until she had her." Xena's facial expression left both Ephiny and Sarina speechless. "NO! Never again!" Xena's body trembled in anger, her eye's full of hatred and disgust. She gritted her teeth as she turned around and headed towards the healer's tent. The two warriors followed behind in silence, from fear of what Xena might do to them if they spoke.

Chapter 5

Xena stormed through the village, searching frantically for Gabrielle. She stopped suddenly and turned grabbing Ephiny by the arm. The Regent struggled in pain from the warrior's strong grip causing Sarina to raise her arm as if to strike her. "Xena, now that's enough!" Sarina looked up at her in rage.
She quickly released the grip on Ephiny's arm, blocking the hit coming straight towards her. She took in some deep breaths before speaking. "Ephiny, I'm sorry." She looked down into the Regent's eyes and apologized for her actions, while Sarina moved in front of Ephiny to protect her. "I didn't mean to hurt you." The warrior continued to take deep breaths, trying to shake off the dizziness that had just re-emerged. She could feel her body weakening, but insisted on finding the Queen before she would rest. They turned towards the healer's tent, when Ephiny noticed Xena was having difficulty walking. She told Sarina to embrace an arm, in order to keep the warrior from falling. Then the three of them walked over to find the Queen.
The Queen's guards gathered by the entrance of the healer's tent. Ephiny opened her mouth to order the Amazons to move, but Xena barged her way in, tossing the Amazons to the side. Xena looked over to the healer's table, where Gabrielle lay and started to approach when she heard her bard's command. "XENA No! Close your eyes!" Gabrielle frantically looked around for her blanket, while the healer stood there patient, medicine in hand. "What Brie?"
"Please Xena" The warrior turned slowly, her back facing her frantic bard. "OK, now... Turn around." The bard spoke in more of an order than a statement. Xena turned her head and watched as Gabrielle wrapped herself tightly in the blanket, then she rushed over and took a seat beside her. "Gabrielle, what's wrong?" "Nothing Xena. I was startled, you scared me." Xena knew that things would never be the same, and didn't want Gabrielle to react to her in fear. She had already decided to do whatever her bard asked of her. She would not argue. The healer allowed them to stare in each other's eyes for a brief moment before commenting on the warrior's rude behavior. "Xena you must move so that I can help her. You're not doing her any good by coming here. Why don't you have someone help you to your tent." The healer visually inspected Xena's condition and wondered how such a thing could have happened to the warrior princess.
"You don't look well Xena. Go to the tent and I'll attend to you soon." The warrior rose her hand to Gabrielle's face, softly caressing it. "Do you want me to stay, Gabrielle?"
"No Xena. Please, just do as she asks." Xena glared up at the healer and nodded, before stumbling off the pallet towards the exit. Ephiny and Sarina waited patiently outside until Xena's departure. They took her by the arms and walked her slowly to her tent. "Xena you have to take care of your injuries. You won't be any good protecting her if you're injured. You need..." Xena dazed off into her own thoughts, completely ignoring Ephiny's words. SHE DOESN'T WANT ME TO LOOK AT HER? I don't blame her. I was so weak in protecting her. I failed.
Xena suddenly jumped back into reality when she realized they were at her Queen's tent. She walked over and sat down on the floor, positioning herself on the side of the bed. She lowered her head into her hands, fighting the tears of frustration overtaking her. "Xena? Tell me what happened. What does Callisto mean by finishing the job?" The warrior shook in anger, muttering a few unrecognizable words at them, before she began to cry. Ephiny signaled for Sarina to leave them alone, before she sat herself next to the warrior. She rested her arm around Xena's shoulders, and stared down at the floor.
"What happened Xena?" The warrior's body shook as she allowed herself to feel the pain. "I couldn't protect her…" Ephiny was in a loss for words. She didn't understand what had happened. "You did protect her Xena …She's alive and well."
"No…she will never be well." Ephiny tightened her hold around the warrior's body. "It'll be ok now Xena…" The warrior couldn't respond with words, she could only cry.
Moments later, the healer walked in to find the two women sitting oddly on the floor, their eyes staring directly at the ground. "How is she?" Xena quietly asked. "She'll be fine. No internal injuries, just flesh wounds. She will heal in time, no worries young warrior." Xena raised her eyes to focus on the healer. "Can I see her?"
The healer smiled, "Of course you can, but only after I've looked you over."
"She should look you over Xena. I'll go check on Gabrielle." Ephiny quickly excused herself, as Xena got off the floor and onto the pallet. The healer looked down at her and frowned, "Well I see you're a mess," she exclaimed. Xena didn't bother to answer the healer's remark, instead she closed her eyes and gritted her teeth, while she waited for the healer to attend to her injuries. She began to clean the wounds, shaking lightly from fear of this patient. It wasn't every day she worked on such an angry warrior. She tried to remain calm by starting conversation, but was ignored. "Now Xena, we must take this shift off so I can continue." Xena grunted cries of pain as she helped the healer remove her shift. She lay back down, shivering from the sensation of the cold pallet against her naked skin. The healer noticed the gashes running down the warrior's legs, "what happened here, dear?" Xena opened her eyes for a brief moment to remark, "I thank you for helping my friend and I, but I don't feel like talking right now." She closed her eyes and raised her arms over her head, allowing the healer a better view of the injuries. Xena kept her eyes closed, trying desperately to block out the images that danced in her mind. She could see Callisto's body on top of her bard's, and felt a stream of warlord anger she had long forgotten. She wanted nothing more then revenge, even if she had to die for it. "XENA!" Ephiny disrupted the warrior's daze as she rushed in towards the pallet. Xena started to rise but felt the healer's hand which stopped her.
"NO XENA, you can't move right now! Lay back down."
"Ephiny, what's wrong?"
"I can't wake up Gabrielle!"
"WHAT!" Xena screamed.

Chapter 6

Xena attempted to jump off the pallet but felt the pain from the quick movement. "No. Wait. It's just the sleeping powder!" Xena's face, now directly in front of the healers, expressed the look of an angry warlord's before a kill. The healer stuttered, as she spoke to the young warrior. "Well, the Queen was shaken up. I gave her some sleeping powder, so that she could get some rest. I didn't mean any harm, really." Xena looked up at Ephiny and sighed, before lowering down to the pallet. Soon after, she fell into a deep sleep to dream about the next confrontation she would have with Callisto.
Xena's hand came out from under the covers, gripping Shae by the neck. "Ouch!" Xena opened her eyes to find her hand wrapped around the Amazon's neck.
"Oh Shae! You know better then to sneak up on me!" The startled Amazon looked down at her.
"Xena, being as hurt as you are, you still have a mighty grip." Xena chuckled, then winced in pain as she grinned at the young Amazon. "Help me up, will ya?" Xena looked around the room for her clothes, smiling when she saw them lying neatly on the table. Gabrielle would fold them in the same manner, every morning. Must be Amazon habit, she thought silently and smiled. "So, what are you doing here Shae?"
"I was told by the Queen to watch over you. I was just about to wake you up when you grabbed me." Xena dropped her eyes from the Amazon's face as she attempted to walk towards the table. Shae grabbed the warrior's arm trying to convince her to lay back down. She told Xena she had strict orders from the Queen. She was to watch over her, to make sure she didn't move from the pallet. Xena nodded in acknowledgment but insisted she had to see the Queen. With a day wasted they had less time to prepare for battle. She began to dress herself slowly, but realized the armor was too heavy on her injured waist. Wearing Sarina's shift, she strolled out of the tent and towards Gabrielle.
In the meantime, Amazons were by the fighting grounds, sparring against each other. Shae smiled as she noticed them working hard on the new techniques she had taught them. Moments later she noticed Castera, her top fighter, glaring intensely at Xena's body. All of a sudden, Castera was swept off her feet and fell to the ground. Shae laughed hysterically, silently thinking to herself. So, I'm not the only one who likes to stare at Xena. Xena turned her head towards Shae wondering what the laughter was about, but decided to let it go. They were just outside the Queen's Quarters when Ephiny came running to her side. "Xena, I've been looking for you. I think I have a way to distract Callisto." Xena nodded down at the Amazon, now gasping for air." I have a plan also Ephiny. Let's first check on Gabrielle and then we'll discuss it." Ephiny ordered the guards to move, as she restrained the warrior from barging in.
Gabrielle was standing by the table talking to Sarina when Xena and Shae entered. Xena's facial expressions froze, as her eyes met the vision in front of her. It looked like Gabrielle had just gotten out of her bath. Her hair was wet and running down the sides of her neck. Her shift was tightly snug around her body, exposing her nipples through the thin fabric. Even Shae had to admire the beautiful creature that was her Queen. Both warrior's stood there speechless, mouths open, as they waited for some response from the Queen. When Gabrielle raised her head towards Xena, her face looked like an angel's. Her voice was the most beautiful sound the warrior had ever heard.
"Xena, what are you doing up?" Gabrielle asked as she walked over to her warrior. "Xena, you should lay down. I talked to the healer and she said you shouldn't be moving."
"I'm a fast healer remember?" Xena answered sarcastically. Gabrielle grabbed her by the arm and walked her over to the bed. Once Xena was seated, she positioned herself between the warrior's legs. The women that remained in the room walked out leaving them alone to talk. The Queen reached over and placed her arms around the warrior's waist, capturing her in a strong embrace.
"Did Sarina tell you, Gabrielle?"
The Queen softly whispered back, "yes, I know."
"We need to talk about what happened Gabrielle," she muttered as Gabrielle tore away from her arms and shook her head. "Please Gabrielle... Don't leave. We need to..."
"No Xena, I have to worry about the Amazons right now. We'll talk about that later. Put this blanket around you and let's go eat." The bard turned to undress but hesitated. "Xena, could you please wait for me outside?" Xena obeyed, placing a blanket around her as she strolled out. She hates me. What am I going do? Ephiny and Sarina stood by the training grounds watching Shae and the others practice. They noticed as Xena walked towards the campfire, her eyes lost in a daze. Ephiny ordered the Amazons to stop for the night then headed over to the warrior. "Everything ok, Xena?" Ephiny asked. "It will be soon…" Xena replied under her breath. Sarina and the Queen came over moments later and sat down next to their loved ones. They discussed the plan for several hours before deciding to go to bed.
"Good night, my Queen," Sarina said while lowering her head. "Good night, Sarina," she replied. Gabrielle helped her warrior to her feet and watched as Ephiny and Sarina strolled into the same tent. Gabrielle smiled, "Well I see, they're not sleeping tonight." Xena lowered her eyes at the remark and remained quiet. They walked over to the Queen's tent, slowly taking in the breeze that surrounded them. "I'll see you in the morning, Gabrielle?"
"No, wait Xena. Please don't leave me alone." Gabrielle's face became pale from fear and her eyes glazed with tears. "Please Xe..." Xena looked at those beautiful green eyes and placed her arm around the smaller woman's waist. "I'm sorry Gabrielle. Of course I'll stay with you." They slowly walked in and headed over to the bed where they sat down. "We need to talk, Xena." The warrior nodded, "I know."
"This is hard for me to say. So I need you to be patient and quiet until I finish. Ok?" Xena laid her body down on the pallet and waited patiently for Gabrielle to collect her thoughts. The smaller woman lied next to her warrior and stared up at the ceiling. "I haven't been completely honest with you Xena." She sighed before continuing, finding the words harder to say then expected. "The night Perdicus and I had was beautiful, touching, and memorable. However, I never... Well, we never actually..." She closed her eyes and began to cry. Xena rolled over on her side with her head propped up by her arm. Now she could see her companion clearly as she spoke. Xena remained quiet, not sure of what the bard was trying to say. She wanted to comfort and hold her in her arms, but decided to leave physical contact out. "Shh... It's ok Gabrielle. Take your time."
"That night, when I lay there next to him, all I could think about was you. He could tell something was wrong, and so we decided to talk about it. I told him how I felt...about YOU." Xena tried to stay quiet but it crept out, "You did what!"
"Shh...I'm not done. He wasn't mad, just confused. He decided that I needed time to think, so we stayed up all night talking. JUST talking! Do you understand?" Xena guided the bard's face towards her and wiped her tears. "Are you telling me that you weren't with him that night...Sexually?" Gabrielle lowered her eyes from her warriors. "Yes," she grumbled. Xena panicked for a brief second realizing the significance of the bard's story. She could feel the anger coming on again as she thought of Callisto. Her mouth opened in shock and she began to shake. Gabrielle raised her eyes to see tears rolling down her warrior's face. "Xena, that night with Callisto..." The warrior covered the Queen's mouth, as she pulled her closer into her. She didn't want to hear what was coming next. She didn't want to acknowledge what she thought happened. She knew it was important for her to talk about it, but wasn't sure she could handle the details. Moments later, Xena composed herself and asked her bard to continue.
"I don't know exactly what occurred. It's a blur. The parts I remember I don't want to talk about. I just wanted to clear your mind by telling you that I am, still, pure in body. I don't want you to feel guilty on my behalf, so I needed to tell you." Xena pulled away quickly, locking eyes with the young woman. "Gabrielle, are you telling me, nothing happened?" She stalled for a brief moment before continuing, "from what I saw..."
"No Xena, what you saw was the beginning of Callisto's plan. I'm sure if she knew I was a virgin it would have been different, but luckily..."
The warrior's eyes tore away from the bard's face, as she spoke.
"Even with the amount of pain I've caused throughout my life, no guilt has hurt me more than this one."
"Wait Gabrielle, let me finish. I've never believed it possible for me to give my soul away to anyone. Thanks to you, I have felt this love. It's a love that has grown stronger everyday with your smiles. I thought I had lost you. When I saw Callisto on top of you… I felt so helpless. Thousands of sharp knifes ran through my heart." Xena took a deep breath trying to regain her composure. "It was awful Gabrielle. I will never forgive myself." Gabrielle reached out, wiping the tears from her warrior's eyes. "It's ok Xena. SHHH… It's ok." She embraced her, waiting for her to continue. Xena calmed herself and lay back on the bed, gripping the young woman's hand as she spoke. "Gabrielle. I guess what I'm trying to say is...*You* own my heart, my soul and..." Xena looked deeply into her love's eyes, "my love." Gabrielle smiled, but remained quiet allowing her warrior to continue. "I love you with all my heart Gabrielle. I always have and always will." Tears steadily slid down the young woman's face.
"I love you too Xena." She reached over and took her love into a strong embrace." I love you so much."

The next morning, Xena awoke alone. She jumped up, searching for Gabrielle.
"I'm *here* Xena, Lay back down." Xena sat back on the bed, while Gabrielle finished the scroll she had been writing. She rolled it up and placed it neatly in her bag. Then walked up to her warrior and positioned herself between her legs. "Xena we need to change the bandages, before dressing. Raise your shift up, just a little. I'll take care of these first." She pointed to the injuries on her warrior's inner thighs. Xena complied with the bard's request and moved her shift up to her waist. She flushed a bit from embarrassment but maintained her serious demeanor. Gabrielle started to undo the bandages slowly, feeling every bit of sensation she could from touching her warrior. The bandages fell to the floor and Gabrielle frowned at the awful cuts. How could she have done this to her? I hope she doesn't tell me what happened… I can't know yet. In a difference of character, Gabrielle felt like what she didn't know wouldn't hurt her, whereas Xena had to know *everything*.
Xena tilted the bard's eyes up to her own. "It's ok love, it doesn't hurt."
Gabrielle sighed, as she grabbed for the new bandages behind her. When she turned, she placed a soft kiss on her warrior's lips. She caressed Xena's thigh as she whispered into her ear. "I love you Xena. I always have." Xena grabbed her around the waist and brought her closer. She could feel Gabrielle's waist against her center, sending electricity through her body. Gabrielle saw the reaction her words and actions were causing in the warrior's eyes. They stared at each other awkwardly, not sure what to do next. Gabrielle could feel Xena's mind wandering, possibly about Callisto, and decided to distract her. The bard flashed her a wicked smile, before lowering to her knees. Her intention at first was to give soft kisses to all the injured areas of her thighs. Her rationality was that Xena would think of her, instead of Callisto, when she saw the scars. However, once she began, she felt her passion rising and couldn't stop. Xena, speechless from the action, tried several times to call her name and failed. She had dreamt so long to be touched this way, but didn't know quite how to react. She was overwhelmed by the sensations and shocked by the actions.
Just then, Shae walked in to find Gabrielle's face between the warrior's legs and slowly sneaked out without being noticed. Embarrassed from what she had seen, she decided to keep guard outside so they would not be interrupted. Gabrielle stood and positioned herself inches from Xena face. She kissed her gently, sliding her tongue into her mouth. She was astonished by her actions, but couldn't stop herself. She wasn't sure what she was doing, but continued. It felt too good to stop. As she kissed her warrior, she slipped two fingers into Xena's undergarment, catching Xena off guard. "Gabrielle!" she wailed. Shae stood outside the tent blushing in embarrassment when Ephiny and Sarina approached her. "Just give them a moment," Shae stuttered out. The three women looked at each other and smirked.
A candlemark later, Xena walked out fully dressed with her sword.
"Let's go Shae...We need to train." Shae followed closely behind the warrior, glancing back once to see the smiles radiating off the couple's face. "XENA! Ephiny!" The young woman's voice rang clear from the woods. Ephiny and Xena ran towards the frantic cry. They found the woman covered in blood, struggling to walk towards them. " Oh my gods, Taylor? What happened?" The Regent asked with deep concern. The girl started to speak but fell before she had a chance to allow words to escape her mouth. Xena caught the young Amazon before she hit the ground. Xena carried the Amazon in her arms, as they walked to the healer's tent. "Callisto's coming! She's after the Queen!" The Amazon managed only those words before she blacked out.

Chapter 7

Xena carried the young Amazon to the healer's tent and placed her softly on the pallet before looking up to meet the healer's eyes. "Will she? I mean?" The healer softly responded, "She'll be fine, just needs her rest warrior." The healer raised her right hand, gesturing for everyone to leave the room. Xena and Shae obeyed immediately as they walked out in silence. They slowly walked away with their eyes lost in the roughness of the ground below them. Thoughts began to race through Xena's mind rapidly. Thoughts of revenge and hatred mixed in with various tortures that Callisto would receive. Then her thoughts changed from sweet revenge to torturous memories. Xena stopped where she stood and stared into the sky as her mind flashed back into Callisto's territory. The memories seemed so clear to her. She felt as if she were back in the dungeon with Callisto.
She could clearly see the room in Callisto's dungeon, the darkness of her surroundings that made her feel disoriented. The sweet stench of dry blood on her face made it less bearable. She opened her eyes to find Gabrielle lying across the floor with her hands tied behind her back. How helpless she felt when she saw her. Xena's heart melted, knowing her companion was hurt and she wasn't able to rescue her. She tried repeatedly to focus on Gabrielle but the effect of the drug was still overwhelming. She saw only figures, one of her bard and the other of her enemy. Callisto was kneeling before her, whispering words of madness. Anger raced through the warrior's veins, as she struggled to free herself from the restraints. Callisto looked over at Gabrielle lying on the floor, then back at Xena. "She's a beautiful girl... You *were* lucky to have her... Too bad she's mine now." Xena struggled harder to free herself, causing more blood to race down her arms. "If you touch her Callisto…I…" Callisto's hand slapped hard against the warrior's sore face. "STUT UP Xena! You're in no position to threaten me." Xena stared into her eyes, trying to figure out this insane creature she had created. In her heart she knew why she was there. Callisto placed her lips against Xena's ear and captured it in her mouth. She nibbled on the warrior's earlobe for a few moments, causing Xena to gag with disgust. "I will make her mine Xena. Your threats won't change my mind."
"uhhhgggg…" Xena struggled harder to break the chains that restricted her, ripping the remaining skin on her wrists. Callisto growled into Xena's ear as she secured her prisoner's breast with her hand. Her nails were digging into the warrior's chest, practically breaking the skin and drawing blood. Xena wanted so much to yell in anger, but remained quiet. Just as long as she stays preoccupied with me, Gabrielle will be safe! She allowed the thoughts to cycle in her mind for several seconds, before being rudely distracted. Callisto had slid her hand up Xena's inner thigh to massage it. Her cold hands caused Xena to tremble at her touch. She could feel Callisto's sharp nails trailing up and down her skin. Xena closed her eyes and concentrated on Gabrielle, hoping her bard's image would regain her composure. Callisto lunged in for a kiss but the warrior moved her head to avoid it. "Xena, don't resist me. You know you want this." The warrior didn't remark, instead she let out a soft grunt of disapproval. Every smile from Callisto made her heart ache more. She wanted nothing more then to protect Gabrielle. Xena flinched at the sensation of the hand between her legs. Callisto gripped Xena's center, teasing it as she slid her fingers into the warrior's breeches. Xena closed her eyes not wanting to allow her assaulter pleasure by looking angry. Callisto inserted two fingers into Xena and the warrior tensed around her fingers. She bit down on her lower lip, and closed her eyes. Xena prayed that Gabrielle would stay asleep long enough to not witness this. Xena knew it would drive Callisto insane if she pretended to ignore her abuse. She remained neutral with her expressions, thinking of Gabrielle to block it out. Xena whimpered with the thought of Gabrielle tied down on the floor and struggled once more. She needed to block it all out and lose herself. Callisto thrust her fingers deep within the warrior repeatedly, and still no visible reaction occurred. The only evidence was in the wetness that grew within them. The warrior had successfully blocked out any physical sensations. It was as if she had entered a state of meditation. The blonde woman allowed her fingers to stay within Xena's walls as she observed her. She thrust her fingers deeper causing Xena to gasp for air. Callisto closed her eyes at the sound, letting the feel of her wet center consume her.
"That's it Xena. Let me hear you." She continued to gasp for air, "Callisto you'll pay for!" The blonde warrior smiled as she withdrew her fingers from her prisoner's body. "Ya…ya. I know."
Xena kept her eyes closed as her breath began to slow to a normal pace. ARTEMIS... Please Protect Gabrielle. I Will Owe You My Life.
"Huh?... Didn't like that Xena?" The warrior opened her eyes and stared straight at her assaulter. Callisto saw a look she had never seen before, one that scared her, yet excited her. "Well, that was fun. You were terrible Xena. I hope Gabrielle responds better."
"NO Callisto… IF you…" Xena's mouth was covered by Callisto's hand before she could continue. "Yes I know. You'll kill me" Callisto removed her hand from Xena's lips, and brought it up to her own face. She placed her fingers inside her mouth, tasting the warrior's juices. She moaned as she started to walk towards the door. "Oh ya. I forgot something." Callisto walked back and raised the warrior's shift. She smiled when she saw the warrior's muscular legs tighten as a reaction. Callisto laughed, as she clawed her fingernails into Xena's upper thighs and aggressively slid them down. The warrior's thighs ripped open into small slits and blood began to flow from them. Xena bit down hard on her lower lip and tried not to make a whimper. "This way you are marked as mine!"
"I will never be yours Callisto." She breathed out slowly, knowing the day events were far from over.
Xena heard Shae's cough, which caught her attention and brought her back to the Amazon Village. Remembering what had happened with Callisto made her sick to her stomach. The Queen's voice traveled across the village. "XENA!"
The warrior raised her eyes to find Gabrielle running towards her, followed by Sarina and the royal guards. "Xena what happened?" The warrior cupped the younger woman's face in her hands, and looked deep into beautiful green eyes. "She's coming Gabrielle, Callisto's coming." Xena could only focus on the images invading her mind. She could see Callisto's body on top of Gabrielle's, stealing away what was pure in her young companion. She could feel herself breaking down at any moment. She wanted so much to be alone, away from all the extra eyes. She took in a few short breaths to calm herself. She couldn't look vulnerable now. Not in front of the Amazons! Xena suddenly stormed off towards the forest to find some peace within the shadows of the morning sky. The Queen turned in time to see Xena's rapid pace towards the emptiness of the trees. "Xena!" The Queen dashed after her warrior. "Xena Stop!" The royal guards frantically chased after her but the Queen had grown in strength from the last summer. Her body was fast, almost as fast as the warrior princess.
"Xena PLEASE!" The warrior stopped dead in her tracks, and turned around slowly. "Gabrielle, go back to your Amazons!"
"What are you planning on doing? The bard asked. "I need time to think my love. Please, go back." Gabrielle could see the pain overcoming her warrior's eyes. The rage that Xena usually hid well was now very evident to Gabrielle. She realized the royal guards were still behind her and turned to face them. She waved her Amazons to a stop and ordered their retreat immediately. "But, my Queen!" A young Amazon yelled. "GO!" Was screamed in a loud commanding tone. They quickly obeyed the Queen's orders, slowly moving back towards the tents. They stood far enough to give the Queen privacy, but close enough to observe her. Gabrielle walked over to her warrior princess, and stood inches away from her. She softly caressed her warrior's face, brushing some hair that covered her eyes. "Xena. Please don't do this."
Xena moved away from her touch. "Don't you see Gabrielle. Everything I do hurts you. It's my fault this happened. It's my fault..." The warrior's voice drifted off with the morning breeze. Xena raised her hands to her face and covered it. Gabrielle was shocked at the warrior's vulnerable display. She wasn't sure how to handle it. The pain in her lover's face was unbearable. She watched as Xena fell to her knees and lowered her head. There was only silence between them, but it was clear that Xena was crying. "I don't want to ever hurt you Gabrielle..." The Queen felt the pain that ran through her as she sat herself down in front of her crying love. "Xena, look at me." Gabrielle reached out to touch Xena's arms, when she felt her pull away. "Gabrielle… Please...Just leave me alone."
"NO Xena, I won't."
"Gabrielle Please!" Xena's voice was harsh and cold. "No Xena...I won't leave you!" The warrior looked up at her slowly, and sighed. "But Brie..."
"Xena. I love you. I need you right now. Please don't fall apart on me." Xena lowered her eyes to the ground. "I'm trying to protect you my love. Nothing more."
"You can only protect me, if you stay by my side. Not by taking revenge on Callisto." The bard slowly cupped Xena's face, lifting it up to meet her eyes once more. "Xena please… Look at me." Gabrielle moved in closer to her love and kissed her softly on her lips. "Gabrielle, I can't promise I'll be able to control myself when I see Callisto. I want her to suffer like no one has." The Queen closed her eyes at the sound of her warrior's words. " I will never allow anyone to hurt you again." Xena softly spoke in a tone barely loud enough for Gabrielle to hear. "I know Xena... I know."
The Queen moved closer, "we'll survive this. I know we will." Gabrielle softly kissed Xena's forehead then placed her arms around her warrior. "I love you Gabrielle. I'm sorry it took all this to finally tell you."
"I'm sorry too Xena." They held each other for close to a candlemark, before returning to the watchful eyes of her Amazons.

A few candlemarks after learning about Callisto's return, Xena and Gabrielle split up to attend to the day's business. Shae ordered her Amazons towards the training area, while Sarina ran over to her tent to gather up staffs to work with. Sarina, once satisfied with her selection ran over to meet Shae and Xena. They decided they needed to brush up on fighting techniques for the upcoming battle. Not to mention it was a great way for all of them to relieve some unwanted stress.
In the meantime, Ephiny walked into the Queen's quarters, to find Gabrielle sitting on the bed, her eye's lost in a daze. It was obvious she had been crying. "Gabrielle? Is everything ok?" Gabrielle's eyes looked up at the Regent's, "I'm fine...I was just thinking." The Queen tried to wipe her tears hoping Ephiny wouldn't notice. "Do you want to talk, Gabrielle?"
"No Ephiny I'm ok…Please I want to be alone." The Regent disregarded her words to sit next to her. "Gabrielle? What happened with Callisto?" Ephiny placed her hand on the Queen's shoulder. "Please Gabrielle…I need to know." The young Queen wiped the tears from her face and turned to face the Regent. "It was awful Ephiny…" After responding she felt impelled to look away and face the wall. "I felt so helpless and alone… and Xena." She wiped the side of face and sighed. "My poor Xena… The shock on her face when she loosened me from the restraints was murderous." Ephiny didn't understand what the Queen was telling her and questioned, "Gabrielle…I know this is hard for you to talk about. I am your friend and trusted sister. Please talk to me." Gabrielle turned to face her, then began to hysterically sob in her arms. "It was horrible Ep..."
Ephiny held her tightly as she listened to the Queen explain in greater detail what had happened in the dungeon with Callisto.
Close to a candlemark later, the Regent held her Queen tightly in her arms. They were lost in an uncomfortable silence while Ephiny took in what she had heard. It wasn't until Gabrielle changed the subject that she broke out of her intense daze. "Ep?"
The Queen hesitated for a brief moment, before finally getting the courage to speak.
"I can't lose her now, Ephiny. I've gone through too much to finally make her mine. I can't lose her now." She couldn't resist the urge to let it all go. She broke from the embrace, lowered her face to her knees and began to cry. The Regent moved over to her and gently caressed her back. "I don't know how to bring her back to me. I feel… like I'm losing her. I'm afraid her rage for Callisto will take her away from me. I can't bare the thought of not having her in my life Ep..." Ephiny smiled at the bard's honest words.
"Even in death, Gabrielle. Xena will never leave you. You need have faith in your love for her."
"You saw her earlier, Ephiny. She was ready to crucify Callisto."
"And that would be bad?" The Regent rethought her statement and cursed herself. "Gabrielle. Callisto needs to be stopped. She will never stop hunting you. You know that. Xena's only trying to protect you."
"I know." Gabrielle continued to cry in her silence.
"Should I get Xena?" The Regent asked, not quite sure of how to handle the now hysterical Queen. "No! Please don't... I'll be fine. Just stay with me."
"Gabrielle. Of course I'll stay. I'll do whatever you need me to do."
"I don't know how to make her happy Ephiny. I don't know how we'll survive this." The Regent lowered her eyes to the floor.
"It takes time Gabrielle. You will always have each other. You just need time."
Gabrielle began to pant in anger. "What if we don't have any more time?"

The young Amazon flinched at the sight of Shae hovering above her. She had lost the fight once again. She could hear Shae scolding down at her. "No Taylor not like that! *That* will get you killed." Xena shook her head in disappointment. These Amazons weren't nearly as good as Callisto's army. Many great Amazons sacrificed their lives to save Gabrielle in Callisto's dungeon. She raised her right hand up to her neck, trying to relieve the pressure she felt.
Shae looked over to Xena, then back at the Amazon on the ground. Confused and frustrated at the skill level her Amazons possessed that day, she momentarily gave up. She decided to ask Xena for a friendly competition, knowing Xena enjoyed a good fight. Fighting always made the Amazon release her built up frustrations. She ordered the Amazons into a large circle, before approaching the warrior. "Are you strong enough to play with me, warrior princess?" Shae smiled as she spoke. She knew she was flirting with the warrior, and got a bit nervous about the response. Xena smirked at the young Amazon, as she drew out her sword. She flipped into the air, landing inches from Shae's back. "I have many skills!" Shae raised her weapon behind her head to stop the heavy sword aimed at her neck. The swords came together causing a loud crashing noise to occur.
"AJIAJIAJAIJA!" Gabrielle stood at the sound of the battle cry and grabbed her staff. She rushed out of the Queen's tent frantically looking for her warrior. Ephiny noticed the circle of Amazons and quickly chased after the Queen to stop her. "Gabrielle! They're just practicing!" Gabrielle took a few deeps breaths, and smiled. It was beautiful to see her smile, even though the tears were still flowing down her face. She relaxed, wiping the tears from her eyes. They walked together over to a small log and took a seat. "It's ok my Queen... I promise everything will be ok." Gabrielle softy caressed Ephiny's hand, as she tried to calm herself. The Queen watched as Xena aggressively fought against her opponent. It was nice to see Xena smiling again. Shae was almost equal in skill, considering she used to command her own army. She was the kind of fighter whose eyes lit up with every new challenge. She possessed the love of war, as did Xena. Luckily Ephiny had found Shae before she had a chance to turn her life to darkness.
Moments later, Shae fell to the ground from a clever kick to her thigh. She grasped Xena's calf, causing her to fall to the ground beside her. It was obvious to the Queen that Xena had let herself fall. It wasn't like Xena to let her opponent overtake her. However, being they were in front of the observing Amazons, it was much easier for Xena to make the fight look like a tie. She didn't want the Amazons to believe their champion trainer could be beaten. The two warriors simultaneously began to laugh as they lay there. The sound of Xena's laughter made both the Regent and Queen smile. It wasn't often they got the pleasure of hearing the mighty warrior's laugh. Xena and Shae picked themselves off the floor, as she gave the orders to continue practicing.
Shae and Xena walked off towards the woods causing the Queen great concern.
Gabrielle started towards the trees but stopped when she noticed Shae running back. "Shae. Where's Xena?"
"She told me to tell you she would return shortly and not to worry. I offered to go, but she refused." Gabrielle continued towards the woods to retrieve her lost warrior, but was abruptly stopped. Shae jumped in front of the Queen and gripped her arm. "My Queen! She said, she needed to be alone. She'll be back." Gabrielle struggled against Shae's grip, until the grip was loosened at the sound of the Regent's voice." "Don't touch her like that Shae! Let her go NOW!" Ephiny's voice was strong and powerful. The Queen spoke to make the uncomfortable silence disappear. "Shae, she's after Callisto. I have to go get her."
"No my Queen, She's not. She said she needed to check the area alone... Have trust my Queen," Shae responded." Gabrielle fought against the tears that wanted to overtake her. She sighed as she lowered her eyes to the ground. Maybe she just needs some time alone, she thought silently as she headed back towards the Queen's quarters.
Xena looked up at the trees that surrounded her. She walked slowly, taking in every sound she was able to hear. She suddenly stopped, and turned. "ARES!"
"I hate it when you do that Xena. It makes it difficult for me to spy on you."
"What do you want Ares?"
"Well, I'm here to help you. I know when Callisto is planning to attack."
"Ares. STOP IT. I know what you're trying to do." Ares crossed his arms and smirked. "Oh really Xena. What would that be?" Xena remained calm as she spoke, though the anger rising within her was very apparent. "I'm not stupid Ares, you wanted me to feel guilty because of Gabrielle and Callisto. You figured the guilt would consume me, making me leave her." Xena took in a small breath trying to calm her breathing. "Go on." Ares stated. "You knew that without her, I would go insane. Making it a perfect time for *you* to move in on me. As you can see, your plan failed." Ares' face turned cold and angry. "Well I guess I've been caught." Xena lashed back, "you're very predictable and STUPID."
"Xena, you're wasting your time with that little bard. I can see the anger that's building within you as we speak. The anger, that *I* originally gave you. Why must you push me away? Let Callisto have your little bard. You and I could rule this world."
"No Ares! Never!" Xena reached for her sword, bringing it up to his face. "What are you gaining from being a hero? You were admired a thousand times more when you were my follower."
"That's your choice Xena. You've made a big mistake." He turned to walk away from the warrior as he spoke. "I saw everything that happened in the dungeon Xena... Let me just say. It was very entertaining."
"AHHHHHHH" Xena flipped into the air, landing inches away from her enemy, when he disappeared. "No! GODS NO!" She allowed herself to feel the rage that was overtaking her. The rage she had carried within her for days. Xena fell to her knees, and screamed. "ARES! I will never forgive you for this!"

Gabrielle was sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by seven other Amazons. The Amazons listened in amazement as their Queen told of her adventures with the Warrior Princess. They were so involved in the story, no one realized Xena had walked in and stood in back of the room. Gabrielle looked up and noticed her presence. Seconds later, the Queen ordered everyone out, except Xena. The Amazons rushed out at the Queens command, as Gabrielle walked over to her warrior. She reached up, touching Xena's face with her hand. She could tell Xena was upset and wanted nothing more than to console her. "Xena. What's wrong?" The bard's voice was filled with concern for her warrior. Xena wasn't about to inform her about the visit with Ares. She knew it would upset her. She decided to cleverly disguise the concern. She bent down, and began to unlace her boots "Gabrielle, I'm just a little worried about the surprise attack. That's all."
"Xena, come here." Gabrielle slowly pulled out a chair by the table. "Sit down." Xena complied with the command and quickly walked over to take a seat. Gabrielle knelt down to finish unlacing her boots. Once she was done, she rested her head on Xena's lap. The warrior closed her eyes, trying hard to hold back the tears that threatened her very existence. She had so much love for this young woman that her touch made her weak. "Xena?" The bard raised her head and moved herself closer to her warrior. "Yes Gabrielle." Her hands separated the warrior's legs, and she slowly snuck in between them. She embraced Xena with a hug that could have lasted forever. Her waist was teasing the warrior's center.
"I want… I want to be with you." She softly whispered into the warrior's ear. "I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow... I want us to be together. I want to experience everything I've dreamt about for so long." The warrior inhaled deeply. Her own hearts desire was less than a breath away. The warmth of her words still felt against her ear and throat. "Gabrielle?" She whispered quietly. "Yes Xena?" "Do you understand what you ask of me?" Xena pulled back to look deeply into Gabrielle's green eyes.
"I already love you more than life itself, and would do anything to protect you. I'd gladly give my life for you."
Tears began to gather in the bard's eyes as she listened to the words of love and trust coming from the one that rarely spoke. She knew in her heart, that the words were an oath of love.
"Gabrielle, I will do everything in my power to protect you," the warrior continued to whisper, her own voice choked with emotion. "If we are together it will seal my vow of love to you. And know this, I will die trying to save you from any danger. Even the Gods will feel my wrath." Gabrielle's tears slid down her cheek as she slowly nodded her head. Xena leaned forward to gently kiss Gabrielle's lips. They both parted their lips at the same time, deepening the kiss. A sigh escaped the younger woman as her dream began to come true. Hands slowly circled as they pulled each other into an embrace, deepening their kiss and enjoying the feel of their bodies. Gabrielle pulled from the kiss and whispered into Xena's ear, "please Xena, I love you. Tell me how to show my love to you."
Xena slid her hands into Gabrielle's silky hair, holding her head mere inches from her face, her thumbs sliding along Gabrielle's cheekbones. "I can see it in your eyes, my love."
Their lips came together again. "I can feel it in your kiss."
Pulling from the kiss again, Gabrielle tugged on Xena's hands to pull her up into a standing position. Her small hands found the hooks and buckles of Xena's armor. Hands slowly caressing each other as the leather and metal found a place on the ground around Xena's feet. Gabrielle stepped away from Xena to admire the warrior completely naked. Her bronze body so beautiful in the soft light filtering into the tent. For the first time the Queen of the Amazons could openly look at the body of a goddess before her. Her eyes took in every curve, every hallow and scar that covered her soon to be lover.
At first Xena was self-conscience standing before the bard's gaze, but soon she was able to see the love within her eyes, the pulse that beat so erratic under the soft skin of her neck. The rise and fall of her breasts that told the warrior of the Queen's desire and need to gawk at the naked body before her. Slowly turning around, Xena allowed Gabrielle the same opportunity to gaze at her back, giving herself time to control her desires to take the bard that very instant. She also needed the time to control her own emotions, as tears of joy and hate filled her eyes. The joy of having the opportunity to be with the bard and the hate at who she had become. She thought of how she didn't deserve the love she saw in the young woman's eyes. Slowly, two arms reached around the warrior. Her own arms folding over those of Gabrielle. She spun within the embrace, to once again face the Queen and smile into the upturned face. Their lips met in a slow kiss as Gabrielle's hand traced the bones and curves of the muscled back under her fingertips. Xena's hands found the laces of the bodice before her, and her need to see the Queen in all of her glory took over, as shaky hands undid the laces. She slowly pushed the garment from the soft shoulders and let it hit the floor. Looking down she could see the swell of the creamy breasts so close to her own body, the rosy hardness that called to her mouth, and the blush that rose within the bard's cheeks.
Slowly she brought her head down to kiss the swell of a breast. Gabrielle's head fell back as a sigh escaped her lips. Xena's hands slid from Gabrielle's hips to under her breasts. She lifted them slightly and began to cover them with kisses.
Gabrielle's hips pressed into the warrior's as her back arched from the attention her breasts were receiving. The feel of Xena's lips and tongue driving her insane with need. The Queen's hands found their way into the thick dark mane of the warrior, pressing her into the soft flesh under her lips.
Gabrielle's hands tangled within her hair driving Xena to take a hard nipple into her mouth and gently suck on it.
"Xena please I...need...want more!"
Releasing the nipple, Xena's eyes lifted up to meet Gabrielle's. She gently pushed her toward the sleeping pallet. As Gabrielle walked backward, Xena tugged at her belt. The belt and skirt hit the ground at the same time. Gabrielle's calves touched the edge of the low pallet, and she sat down on the edge, afraid her legs wouldn't hold her up anymore. The closeness of her dream was slowly driving her mad. Xena kneeled before her and began to unlace her boots. Warrior hands caressed the firm calf as the boot slid off. With both boots removed, Xena lifted the bard's right leg, and began kissing her ankle. Her tongue gently slid up the calf to the knee, leaving a small salivia trail in her wake. Her body was shaking with desire as Gabrielle pulled Xena up to kiss her again. The warrior slid her body in between the spread thighs of Gabrielle and pressed herself against the bard's waist. The sensations and heat between them caused both to break out in a light sheen.
Xena slowly began to guide her lover into a prone position. Once Gabrielle was lying lengthwise on the bed, Xena slowly crawled to her. Spreading Gabrielle's thighs with her own body, she knelt over her and they kissed once more. Gabrielle's hands caressed the body above hers. She wanted more. She wanted to please the warrior. Her mind reeled with her lack of knowledge. To be a bard, and know the words, but not the actions. She screamed in frustration. Xena lifted her head from the shoulder she was sucking on to gaze at the quaking body beneath her. She looked at her companion, an eyebrow lost under her damp bangs, as she asked, "what is it love? Did I hurt you?"
The Queen's hands gently held the face above hers, as she whispered, "please Xena, end this ache within my body before it kills me."
A smile filled the face of the warrior. Leaning down she whispered in a warm ear, "it is supposed to feel like that love. That's the desire you feel from my touch. And when I'm done, the emptiness you will feel when I'm not touching you, will make you stay at my side feel the pleasure I will once again give you."
Her tongue caressed her partner's ear, as Gabrielle shuddered at the words. Slowly licking her way down to Gabrielle's breasts, Xena covered them with wetness as she licked and sucked every inch. Her tongue continued lower, circling Gabrielle's belly button. Gabrielle lifted up on her elbows to watch what Xena was doing. Her face held a look of confusion and pleasure, as she wondered where Xena was headed. A moan escaped her lips as Xena ran her tongue across Gabrielle's pelvic bone. The Queen arched her hips involuntary as she felt the tongue and hot breath of her lover against her mound. "By the Gods, Xena!" Xena heard the words, and wondered to herself if the bard would scream her name soon. She desired to hear her name screamed at the pinnacle of the Queen's release. Her tongue began to caress the wet folds of her lover. She moaned at the taste of the sweet ambrosia on her tongue.
Gabrielle's senses were overrun by the sensations of her warrior's tongue and hot breath on her most intimate parts. Her arms gave out, and she fell back onto the pallet. Her eyes closed and rolled back into her head. Her hips left the pallet and pressed against the face at her center. Her entire body began to shudder as she came to a fast release. Pulling away slowly, wanting more of the ambrosia, Xena crawled next to the bard and held her as her body continued to quake from her release. Xena whispered in the Queen's ear, "I have you love, relax." As the shuddering ended and her breathing returned to normal, Gabrielle lay in the strong arms of her lover wondering if she could give those same feelings in return. Slowly she pushed Xena onto her back and climbed up to straddle her hips. The feeling between her own legs as she settled against the lower stomach of the prone warrior caused the ache to begin again.
"Xena tell me how to please you."
Xena sat up, and took the lips of her companion in a sheering kiss. When they pulled apart, her hands remained on the Queen's hips, "you do everyday I wake up near you, my love."
Gabrielle stretched her arms out over the shoulders of her lover, playing with her hair, a smile toying with her lips. "I want you to feel the way I did when you, well, when you, when you did that thing with your tongue."
A blush rose in her cheeks, her head dropped slightly at her lack of knowledge. A hand slowly lifted Gabrielle's face and green eyes met blue.
"I will show you so many ways to please me, by you allowing me to please you." A smile spread across Xena's face. Her center ached from the feel of Gabrielle's mound pressed against hers. Her hands were wrapped securely around the bard's waist, and her mouth against her Queen's delicate neck. Gabrielle tilted her neck back allowing her warrior better access. Xena trailed her tongue up her lovers' neck to her ear. She sucked on it gently, as she listened to the breathing intensify once again. The sounds made her shiver with her own pleasure. The feeling was overwhelming, she could not imagine how Gabrielle was feeling. She trailed her tongue down her lover's neck to her collarbone, down to her breast.
She gently moved her tongue against her swollen nipple, capturing it in her mouth as she sucked it. "AHH Xena..." The warrior's hand's softly caressed Gabrielle's back, bringing her into a tighter hold around her own body. Gabrielle wrapped her legs around Xena's lower back, causing them both to moan at the hot contact of their bodies so tightly secured together. The bard began to rock her hips against Xena's center, she could feel the ache growing rapidly with every thrust. Xena's mouth moved away from her lover's breast, as she moaned with excitement. Xena's hand pressed aggressively against her lover's lower back, moving her lover's hips faster against her. She lunged in capturing the bard's mouth once again. They moaned into each other's mouth repeatedly. Gabrielle's movement progressively increased as her breathing sped up. She could feel her body aching for another release. She could feel her warrior's heartbeat against her breast, and the sounds escaping her lover's throat. Xena pulled away from her Queen's lips moving her mouth to her lover's shoulder.
"AHH… YES Gabrielle… Just like that…" Gabrielle moaned at the sound of Xena's pleasure building. She wanted so much to please her warrior. She continued to thrust her hips into Xena's center, arching her back to press her breasts tighter against her warrior's body. Moans repeatedly escaped her mouth from the pleasure she felt. Unknowingly the young woman dug her nails into Xena's back causing the warrior extra pleasure.
"AHH YES Gabrielle!" Xena's hand found it's way to Gabrielle's breast teasing the nipple against her fingers. She began to move her hips in unison with her lover's, as she lowered her hand down her bard's waist to her thigh. Gabrielle didn't even realize where her warrior's hand had moved to, she could only feel the wetness between her legs and the pleasure the grinding was causing against her center. Xena's body tightened closer around the other woman. "Oh Gods GAbrielle! Mmmm…" The Queen felt Xena's body shake, and her warrior's final scream of pleasure. "Gabrielle!"
Xena's hands tightened around the bard's hips knowing she couldn't withhold the mighty release any longer. The sound of her warrior's release almost drove her over the edge once again. She felt her lover's warm hand on her center, teasing her. Xena entered the warm folds of Gabrielle, rubbing her swollen sex with her thumb. "Xena!"
She dug her nails further into her warrior's back as her body shook at the impact. Xena moaned at the warm wetness around her fingers. She wanted so much to be inside her lover's body, but not in this position. She gently rubbed against Gabrielle's center as she listened to her lover's sounds of pleasure. She drove her bard to the very edge of release, and then suddenly stopped. Gabrielle gasped at the lack of attention on her center.
"Brie... Lay down."
Gabrielle quickly complied with her warrior's request and unwrapped her legs from Xena's back before lowering down to the pallet. Xena lied down beside her and kissed her aggressively on the lips. Gabrielle thought she would melt into her lover's mouth. She grabbed onto the back of Xena's head bringing her in closer to the kiss. Xena trailed her hand down her companion's muscular body. She stopped at her breast, cupping one in her mighty hand, moaning at the sensation. Gabrielle arched her back to press her breast into Xena's hand. The warrior could feel the frustration her lover longed madly to release. She lowered her hand to her lover's lower waist to find the warm center that was Gabrielle. Xena's mouth never once detached from her bard's lips. She gently opened Gabrielle's folds with her fingers, once again teasing the throbbing sex.
She wanted to build up her lover's ache to the last moment before finally entering her. Gabrielle instinctively rocked her hips to the movement of the fingers against her. She moved her lips away from her warrior's mouth. "Gods Xena... Please."
Xena began to kiss the sides of her lover's jaw, then trailed down her neck to take small delicate bites. Gabrielle was overwhelmed with pleasure, her eyes rolled back and body arched with every movement of those glorious fingers. Xena could tell by the breathing she was close to her release.
"Gabrielle. Just relax..." the warrior whispered into her ear. The Queen bit down on her lower lip, not really listening to her lover's words. She could only feel the intense burning growing within her. Xena slowly moved her fingers to her lover's opening not wanting to do anything that would hurt her. She gently inserted one finger into the warm opening of her love. "XENA!" Gabrielle's nails found their place on Xena's back once again causing the warrior to gasp for air. Xena shook at the glorious sounds her lover was making. She gently penetrated the younger woman with her finger, careful about causing her any pain. Gabrielle began to rock aggressively against her, bringing her lover deeper within her.
Xena inserted another finger and watched as Gabrielle's body shook harder with every thrust. Gabrielle's moans had grown louder, more like screams of sweet agony. Xena heard her name called over and over, intensifying her desire to take the bard completely. Xena felt her own release coming near, from the sound of her lover's cries. The warrior thrust into Gabrielle one last time before she felt her tighten around her fingers and heard one final glorious scream.
The Queen's body shook for several moments before finally calming. Xena came to her own release with her fingers still inside Gabrielle's warm center. "Mmm Gabrielle."
The bard moved to lie on top of her lover's body, kissing her gently on the neck. Gabrielle couldn't even talk after what had just occurred. Her body was drained from the glorious lovemaking. "Gabrielle?"
"Yes Xena." was softly whispered.
"I've… Well… I…" Gabrielle raised her head to look into her lover's baby blue eyes.
"What's wrong?" Gabrielle asked as she tried to lift her body off Xena's. Xena held her down with her mighty arms, and smiled.
"That was extraordinary Gabrielle."
The young Queen wanted so much to respond but just lied there quietly on her lover's shoulder. "I love you my warrior," was whispered before they both fell asleep in each other's arms.
"GABRIelle!" The bard quickly jumped up to find Xena already half dressed. Xena grabbed the Queen's clothes and tossed them over to her. Naked, Gabrielle caught her clothes in mid air. "Get dressed Gabrielle!" The Queen looked up at her confused. "Wait, Xena WAIT."
Gabrielle rushed to her warrior's side. She grasped her warrior's face and brought it down to her. Their foreheads were touching, their lips only inches apart. "Promise me, You'll come back to me safe."
"Gabrielle. We need..."
"XENA Promise me."
Xena kissed her lover's lips as if for the last time. "I promise my love...I promise."

Continued in Part 2

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