The characters of Xena, Gabrielle and Argo all belong to Universal Studios/Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement is intended and no monies will be made from the creation of this story. It is just a bit of fluff, made for the enjoyment of the author.
Sexual Content: Yup, its there. This story is alternative in nature. It explores the sexual relationship between two adult consensual women and intended for readers over the age of l8. If it's illegal where you are, please stop reading now. If you are sorry it's illegal, I agree. Please move and join the rest of us who want a brave new world.
You can find more work by ArdentTly at Mary D's The Bard's Corner.
All e-mail can be directed to me at ArdentTly@yahoo.com. Please don't send hate mail, this is only my second story. Be gentle.
This story is a sequel to A Journey of Love
Ardent Warrior...Passionate Bard...Jealous Queen
The September moon shone down from a clear star-filled night. Its rays dappled the ground of a quiet and dark campsite. Faintly glowing embers of a hastily built and largely unattended fire twinkled and then blinked out. Two huddled forms lay wrapped in each other's arms. The two women cuddled shivering, knowing one of them should get up to start a fire but neither willing to stop the snuggling to do so.
"Gabrielle," Xena said quietly. "C'mon, let me get up and put some wood on the fire. Hey..." Gabrielle's only response was to grab the warrior tighter and make sure all of her rapidly cooling body parts were on Xena and not the cold hard ground. She shivered and her teeth chattered. "That's it. Let me up, woman. It'll only take a minute and then I'll gladly be your hot water bottle again. OK?" No response. Hmmm, the warrior thought. My neck is killing me. I gotta get up if only to get the crick out.
"Ah, Gabrielle? Aren't you hungry? I'll get us something to eat and put some nice hot tea on. Huh?" Gabrielle poked her head out from under the thin covers. "Ooh, I'm hungry, alright." she purred. "And I know a much better way to get warm, too. Besides, I'm *not* going to lay on this cold ground until you make a fire. Nuh Uh...no way...not gonna happen. I'm freezin' here!"
Xena chuckled, a low rumble emitting from the back of her throat. She kissed the bard's nose. The bard nuzzled into the woman's raven hair and sighed deeply. My, she could get used to waking up in Xena's warm, strong and very capable arms. Yes, indeedy. She really was cold and this made her somewhat cranky.
It wasn't even dawn yet and she'd had so little sleep. Not that she was complaining. No, no, no, not one bit. She didn't want to sleep anymore this day. She snaked her hand up beneath the warrior's sleep shift and cupped her sex. Xena drew her legs up and parted them slightly. She released a ragged breath as a finger slowly caressed the length of her labia. She felt the tip at her opening and it seemed her breath was caught in her throat. Gabrielle added another finger tip and gently pulled down at the now very most opening. She loved it when Xena did it to her, stretching the opening and slowly sliding in just the finger tips, teasing her.
By the response she was getting, Xena liked it too. Gabrielle looked down at the half-closed eyes of her warrior and smiled. Gods, but she loved this woman!
Suddenly, Xena's hand clutched the bard's wrist and thrust the probing fingers forward. Both women moaned at the deep contact. Gabrielle covered her lover's mouth with a passionate kiss. Xena's tongue entered the woman's hot mouth and began matching the bard's thrusts. She roughly kneaded the proffered breast with one hand as Gabrielle ran her hand through ebony hair.
Soon, both women were gasping, their bodies covered in a light sheen of sweat. Gabrielle moved her thigh between the muscular legs before her. As her mound came into contact with the bare hot flesh, she thrust forward. The pressure of her pubic bone sliding against Xena made the bard pull away from their deep kisses with a moan. Each thrust against her slick folds matched those of the fingers buried in Xena.
Gabrielle propped herself up partially with her free arm and gazed intently into the cerulean blue eyes before her. The swell of her partially exposed breast was too enticing to be ignored. Xena buried her face in between them and began kissing every inch of their bare flesh. The bard moaned deeply and began to thrust forcefully, pinning her own hand and then almost withdrawing her fingers. Xena wrapped her legs just below the bard's bottom and squeezed. Gabrielle felt the muscles spasm around her fingers and a tremor begin. The bard stroked faster and deeper as Xena's back arched. Both her hands grabbed the bard's bottom and parted the cheeks, grinding into her. "Oh, Gods, Gab...ri...elle!!" shouted the warrior, head thrown back. As she came Xena's teeth flashed in a feral smile, eyes twinkling through half-opened eyes.
As Gabrielle was nearing her own orgasm she took in the sight before her. As Xena lay back down the bard withdrew her sopping fingers. Now, with both hands free, she grabbed Xena's shoulder's and thrust roughly against her, looking for release. In response, Xena shifted her leg and began kneading her fleshy buttocks sensually. Seeing the bard very close to coming, she rolled them over into the dirt, disengaged herself from the bard and buried her face between the legs of her lover. It was so sudden that Gabrielle was left wondering how she could be in control in one moment and at the mercy of Xena in the next. Oh, yes indeed. This woman had many skills.
This thought ran briefly through her head before waves of ecstasy began rolling over her. She felt three fingers slide into her, pumping steadily. As Xena lapped at her clitoris another orgasm struck. Oh, how she wanted this feeling to go on forever! Another wave began to swell. To have time slow so that she could take in all of the experience - the sight, sound and smell! With a deep groan the bard surrendered to the exquisite emotions rolling over her very soul.
Their love making had been rather tentative in the beginning but was soon at an all-consuming level that seemed to grow in strength and need. They just couldn't seem to get enough of each other. Each woman fed off the other's passion and gave back ten-fold. Their energy seemed to rise to a fevered pitch each time they made love. The air around them seethed and crackled with electricity.
As Gabrielle lay spent, Xena crawled slowly up and kissed her gently. She began removing the bits of leaves and sticks from the bard's damp hair. Gabrielle smiled. The sky was now reddish-pink as dawn had arrived unnoticed.
Xena arched an eyebrow at her lover. Hair in a tangle, face and body streaked with sweat and dirt but oh, how the bard's eyes did shine! "We need to get cleaned up Gabrielle." she purred, giving the woman a sweet kiss. "Well, at least we're not cold any more, right?" she chuckled. "I guess we started our own fire, huh?" replied the bard. Xena kissed her gently, "Mmm. You start a fire in me each time we kiss, my love," replied the warrior. Xena thought to herself, my, how easily these terms of endearment came to her. Even when she was with Hercules she'd thought about what she was going to say in advance. Not so with Gabrielle. Not at all. As she rose from the blankets the pungent fragrance of their recent passion filled the air. Both women took a shuddering breath and smirked at each other. "Oh my, yes. A dip in the stream would definitely be an improvement," giggled the bard. Xena reached a hand out and pulled her lover up.
Later, the two sat nestled, one in front of the other, enjoying each others companionship as they dried themselves by the fire pit. Gabrielle poked the fire. She had never been this happy. Ever. This made her wonder. If things were perfect it meant the gods might be jealous. She certainly didn't want any gods mad at her! And that....God of W....Well, she just wouldn't say his name. "When do you think we'll get to Amazonia? We must be getting close by now" she asked. Xena kissed her lover's ear and hugged her closer. "Yup. I guess we'll camp just near their boundary tonight. Unless, well, we could both ride and make it to the Amazon village by, say, suppertime. How 'bout that, my ever hungry bard?" Gabrielle chuckled as she finished her tea and hard tack. "Now there's a plan. Even though their cook has absolutely no imagination in the kitchen, it'll be better than this."
"Yeah," said Xena, "We do need some supplies."
After a brief trip to the stream, camp was struck and Argo was saddled, ready to go. As they made their way south towards the Amazons each had their reasons for haste. Xena wanted to let her guard down a little and enjoy their blossoming romance. She loved Gabrielle so much. She had, she reflected, ever since the woman had taken a stand against the slavers in Poteidaia. She knew their affections wouldn't be frowned upon by the Amazons which would give them both a chance to explore their new feelings in a relaxed atmosphere.
Gabrielle had a different reason. She wanted to revel in their blossoming relationship, sure. But she also wanted to brag a little. After all, she knew how most of the Amazons looked at her warrior. 'Her' warrior. She liked the sound of that. Gabrielle snuggled into Xena as they rode on Argo. Both were lost in their private thoughts for awhile. The Warrior Princess held the bard's hand tightly as she urged the horse into a cantor. Whether from the rocking motion of riding or from the lack of sleep, Gabrielle was soon lulled into slumber. Her left hand found its way between Xena's legs and just nestled there comfortably. Xena sensed nothing overly sexual in this, just comforting. A smile seemed to reach from ear to ear as a sigh slowly escaped her lips.
Gabrielle awoke some candlemarks later. Her senses took in the soft feel of skin under her cheek; the musty aroma of leather and bronze; the fact that her fingers were intertwined with those of her love; the most delicious smell that was undeniably Xena. She placed a wet kiss on the shoulder before her and murmured 'hi' to her lover. Xena hugged her tightly in response.
"Come on, sleepy head. We're here," whispered Xena, affectionately rubbing the back of her lover's hand. She reined Argo in to a stop. "There are six amazons in the trees up ahead and...yes, two in the thicket we just passed by." She vaulted gracefully from the saddle and landed on her feet in one fluid motion. She then gently but firmly grasped the bard's waist and helped her down. Both women shared a brief hug and then held both hands above their heads in supplication.
The signal was accepted and the Amazons rushed forward. Masks were lifted and greetings exchanged. Eponin bowed to Gabrielle as befitting an Amazon Princess and then exchanged a warrior's greeting with Xena. A short battle of wills ensued. The bard smirked as she took it all in. Warriors! she thought in a dreamy fashion. Eponin's shoulders were tensed and now covered with a fine sheen of sweat. The woman's jaw clenched fiercely. Xena, however, wore a rather bored expression on her countenance. Gabrielle caught her eye and Xena sighed. Just when she was having a bit of fun, too!
With an evil grin she ever so slightly increased the pressure in her hand. The muscles in Eponin's neck stood out and she grimaced. With a gasp she fell to her knees. "I give...I give, already." Xena helped the dark-haired warrior up and clasped her shoulder. "Gee, Xena. You been workin' out more than usual?" Gabrielle, thinking of their stay in Thessaly, clapped a hand over her mouth and snorted. Xena arched one eyebrow her way, a tiny grin playing on her lips.
The visitors were led into the village. One of the warriors offered to take Argo to the stable. Xena made brief eye contact with Gabrielle and went along, too. Eponin tried to make idle conversation with the petite blond but noticed the woman kept looking back towards Xena. Gabrielle absent-mindedly nodded during the forced conversation but it was clear she was rather preoccupied. "Something up?" said Eponin, putting an arm on Gabrielle's shoulder. Giving herself a shake the bard replied with a grin, "Nope...everything is perfect."
Soon they stood in front of Ephiny's hut. The Regent had been given updates the closer the pair had come to the Amazon border. "Gabrielle. You look good. Not particularly rested, but good. Tell me, what news?" she asked.
"Well thanks, I guess. Yeah, I feel pretty good. As for news, well, we had a little trouble with some Persians, Xena took on about 100 of their elite soldiers and really kicked butt, and...oh yeah...I was hit with a poison arrow and nearly died." Ephiny just looked, both eyebrows high on her forehead. "Oh, just the usual, then?", she commented. Gabrielle laughed. "Sort of. Let's not go there right now. I'm feeling too good and it only happened 3 weeks ago so its still pretty hard to think about. I'll tell you later, okay?" That's when the Regent noticed the stiff shoulder. Correctly assuming it was the injury Gabrielle had mentioned, she let it go and they made small talk as she led the bard to the visitor's hut. Gabrielle took one look at the bed and flopped down into it contentedly. "Hmmm. Looks like the Amazon Princess has had enough of sleeping on the cold ground for awhile. Kestra, get the bucket brigade going for a nice hot bath." Kestra, an ash blond Amazon of medium height nodded and quickly left on her errand.
"Who's that?" asked the bard, watching the woman leave. "That's Kestra. Don't you remember the two girls that accompanied you to Artemis' Temple awhile back? You were attacked by robbers, remember?" prompted the Regent. Gabrielle thought about it. "I do remember two girls that couldn't stop giggling and fooling around. I also remember they were really good fighters and between the three of us we kicked some serious butt." A strange look came over the bard's face. "That was Kestra? But...she looks older than me. What happened to her?"
The Regent gently took her arm and then started her story. "Well, she and Patra were attacked while on their way to Corinth. There was a group of five trading on behalf of our nation. Four of the women were killed. Patra was one of them. She and Kestra held the bandits off for quite awhile, judging from the bodies found at the scene. When our scouting party finally tracked the group's whereabouts only Patra and Kestra were alive. Patra was in a bad way. She had been raped and had her stomach ripped open. She died horribly in Kestra's arms. She was still cradling Patra's body and rocking her when we found them. It took 2 warriors to separate them. Kestra stopped talking then and hasn't uttered one word since."
Ephiny had sat on the edge of the bed as she finished the story. "We still don't know who did it. Kestra refuses to even listen to our village healer. It's been 2 moons now and I know she's not sleeping well. Solari says others have heard her cry out in the throws of a nightmare. She is a good Amazon. She wants to train with Eponin but I haven't let her...yet. I feel so helpless! I'd love to get my hands on those pigs!" Gabrielle moved to the woman and hugged her close. "Could I help in some way?" she asked. "Maybe I could...". The discussion was interrupted as five Amazons entered with pails of steamy hot water. Ephiny rose slowly to her feet. "We can discuss this later. Now you need a hot bath. I'll get the kitchen to make up a tray. Xena can share your bath, yes?" The Regent had almost missed the red flush that began on Gabrielle's cheeks. She pondered this on the way out. Something was going on, she thought. However, the discussion of Kestra and Patra had put the woman into a funk and she was just too worried to wonder any further about Gabrielle's blush.
Gabrielle sat thinking about Ephiny's story. Boy, what a horrible thing to happen to poor Kestra, she thought. I'll have to think of something. Just then Xena entered, carrying their possessions. She'd spent nearly a full candlemark currying her horse. She felt hot and sweaty and smiled when she spotted the waiting bath. "Come on, Gabrielle. Get your gear off and let's get wet."
When the bard remained sitting on the bed Xena approached her with a worried look. "What is it?" Gabrielle pulled the warrior down beside her and began reciting the sorry tale of Kestra and Patra. She lay in Xena's arms as she finished and tears rolled freely down her cheeks. Xena kissed them away and the two women lay lost in each other's embrace, the bath forgotten.
As night fell the room was bathed in darkness. Still Xena lay holding Gabrielle as the woman slept. The warrior's brow was furrowed in thought as parts of Kestra's story flashed through her brain. Xena clenched her jaw tightly. As maniacal and blood-thirsty as she had been in her long tenure as a feared warlord, never had she condoned such actions. She had disciplined her men on a few occasions for acting like animals and had assumed the barbarity had stopped. Now, she wasn't so sure. A part of the Warrior Princess knew she'd been fooling herself. 'I refused to see it, to stop it,' growled the warrior. Images of camp life flashed before her eyes as she recalled parts of her sordid past. Xena saw with clarity what she'd refused to see at the time. Her stomach rolled with the admission.
Her lover moved against her. Xena felt a kiss on her collar bone. Then another between her breasts. She stiffened. Gabrielle couldn't see Xena in the darkness but she sensed the warrior's darkening mood. "Xena?" she whispered. "What is it, Xena?" When she got no response the bard wrapped her arms around the warrior and held her close. "Talk to me, love. You're upset about something. No, you're hurting. What is it!" With a deep sigh of regret the warrior's hands came up and caressed Gabrielle's face. "I was such a bastard, Gabrielle. I don't know how you can love me...I..I did so many horrible, unspeakable things to so...many people. And my men...I refused to see...they raped and killed...just like Patra." Xena grew more rigid as she talked. Gabrielle knew Xena had to work her feelings through before she could attempt to console her.
"I did nothing...I only saw what I wanted to see. I'm as guilty as they are." she said through gritted teeth. Xena's arm went over her eyes, trying to stop the flow of tears. The muscles in her face contorted in an effort to maintain emotional control. It broke Gabrielle's heart to see her beloved hurting this way. She knew how important a sense of control was to the woman. "As good a leader as you undoubtedly were Xena, you aren't responsible for who and what your soldiers chose to be. You can't live their lives for them. No one should expect you to." She paused and drew a deep breath. "Did you rape...anyone...while you were a warlord?" she tentatively asked. Xena's arm flew away from her face and hit the bed. She laughed harshly. "I didn't have to. It was more...enjoyable..to seduce...to break someone's will...have them give themselves to me. How can you bear to even touch me, knowing this?! I know what I was, what I am...a monster." She rolled away from her lover and sat up, head between her callused hands.
Gabrielle fumbled with a candle by the bedside. She wiped her eyes and slowly ran a hand over her face. "Xena, please. Listen to me here. We are all responsible for our own actions. Life is hard enough without taking on the sins of someone else. Its as simple as that. No one expects you to have eyes in the back of your head or be a mind reader. I know you have many skills, my darling, but I don't think those are on your list." She stood between the knees of her warrior and gently caressed her cheek.
Xena took a shuddering breath in and slowly expelled it. "I love you so very much, my bard. I guess we all have our own reparations to make. Whether I'm guilty or not is really not important right now. We have to do something for that girl. There I go again; being a selfish brute, a heartless warrior." Xena looked haunted, reliving some of the more horrific parts of her life. Gabrielle helped Xena remove her armour. Then she encouraged her to remove her leathers. Soon both women were in their sleep shifts and sat curled against the head board, the tray of food in front of them.As they nibbled their food, Gabrielle could see her friend was still troubled.
When they had finished eating she sat up and removed the tray. "Xena, roll over. You look so tense. I know just what you need. Trust me. A back massage will smooth out all of those muscles." said the bard as she slapped the warrior's tummy with the back of her hand. Gabrielle was getting very good at pulling Xena out of her funks. Hades, she'd had over two years of on the job training. She'd better be good by now. "That does sound good love, but I think I need to be clean first," said Xena as she began to strip off.
No matter how many times the bard had seen Xena nude, her reaction was always the same: completely, utterly awestruck. The casual grace of the woman, the play of muscles beneath her bronze skin incited the bard to a state of passion unequaled. She removed her own shift and carefully entered the now cold water mere seconds after Xena did. They both slowly removed the travel grime and washed each other's hair. The playful and passionate Xena from the last couple of days was gone, replaced by a pensive, withdrawn one. Gabrielle felt helpless. She wanted to, no she needed to help Xena.
The warrior quickly rose from the bath and dried herself. Gabrielle followed, trying to make easy conversation. She punctuated each sentence with a casual touch, a caress. At first the warrior was stiff and unresponsive. The bard began moving them both to the bed and Xena dropped her towel and lay on her stomach. Soon the tension was relieved from the warrior's taut shoulders. Gabrielle could feel each muscle loosen beneath her skilled fingers. She swept Xena's hair off her back and slowly kissed her lover's shoulder blade. She was somewhat startled when Xena rolled over and held the bard's hands. "I can't do this, Gabrielle, not right now. Please understand. It's not you, its just...I'm not very comfortable being me right now." Gabrielle lowered her head and calmly replied that she understood. Xena saw that the bard didn't. The images of the men she'd seduced, rendered helpless, filled her thoughts. She couldn't make love to Gabrielle now. Not when she was filled with self hatred and guilt. She pulled on her shift and lay beneath the covers. A weariness stole over her and she closed her eyes. However, both women knew the warrior wouldn't be able to sleep this night.
The bard sat watching. Xena needed to let her guard back down. The bard felt a lone tear drip from her eye. The difference between she and the warrior was that Gabrielle felt everything and verbally expressed each experience willingly. Xena, on the other hand, saw emotions as things to be hidden, mastered. To express emotions was a sign of weakness. It had taken the bard over two years to break into Xena's hard exterior. She loved the woman beneath it. That she was so ardent didn't surprise the bard. That she had a sense of humour and an easy joy to her did. But each of these traits were hard to find. One had to look past the harsh facade to find the warm and passionate woman deep below the surface.
Gabrielle slowly removed her damp towel and slid between the sheets. She drew close to her lover and began to caress her shoulders. Xena rolled towards her and in the faint candle light Gabrielle saw eyes bright with unshed tears. She took Xena's face in her soft hands and deeply kissed the woman. "How can I love you? How can I not." Xena took her lover into a fierce embrace. All of her fears about the past and future were clearly written on her face. Slowly, her eyes began to glitter with smokey passion. She'd put away her dark thoughts for another time.
They made love slowly, deliberately, as if for the first or the last time. It was almost dawn when they finally fell into an exhausted slumber.
Ephiny lay in her bed. Alone as usual. She sighed and thought of Phantes. He had truly been the love of her life. Even though they'd been joined for such a brief time she felt blessed. Little Xenon reminded the Regent so much of his father. The boy had his father's hazel eyes and his mother's blond curls. Images of Kestra entered her mind. She needed to help the woman but so far her efforts had been rejected. She decided to talk to Gabrielle again and see if, between the two of them, they could find a solution. She washed and dressed quickly, now eager to begin the day.
As she entered the dining hut Ephiny spied Xena and Gabrielle against the back wall. They were busy, deep in conversation. At least Gabrielle was doing all the talking while Xena nodded or grunted one syllable answers. Typical warrior. What was it about those two, pondered the Regent. They were so different. She suddenly remembered the bard's blush of yesterday. The two women looked oblivious to their surroundings, having eyes only for each other. Ephiny wondered if she'd ever seen Xena so relaxed. 'I wonder what happened between those two. Could they have finally...Nah. Not the stolid and unemotional Warrior Princess.' She dismissed the whole idea and walked towards their table. Both women looked up and bade her join them.
"So Ephiny. What's new in the tumultuous world of the Amazon Nation?" asked Xena. She popped another piece of cheese into her mouth and smiled at the Regent. "Oh you know: same old same old." the woman replied. "The treaties are holding with our neighbours. Things have been quiet, except for the trouble we had nearly 2 moons ago." She dropped her voice and told them she'd discuss it further in her chambers later.
Kestra walked in and Gabrielle noticed the Regent's expression soften as she watched the woman's every move. Hmmm, she thought to herself. Now, there's a challenge! Maybe she could help both women; two birds with one stone, so to speak. She made a mental note to discuss it with Xena later.
"Good morning, Kestra" began the Regent. "Come sit with us. You know Xena and Gabrielle. You met them a couple of...ah, awhile...ago." she stammered. She mentally slapped herself, realizing what she had almost said. 'Why are you babbling like an idiot? Get a grip, Amazon!'
Kestra looked uncomfortable but nodded. She sat on the edge of the bench, making herself look as demure as possible. Both Gabrielle and Ephiny tried to make the woman relax. No one was surprised when all they got were weak smiles and slight nods. Soon the table fell silent, an awkward silence hanging over them all.
Xena decided to break the ice and asked the Regent if she could take Kestra out to the practice field. The warrior knew Eponin would be waiting there. Maybe she could engage the two in some friendly combat and perhaps bring Kestra out of her shell. It was worth a try. Besides, thought the warrior, maybe if the two could be convinced to attack her she'd get the workout she needed. That way, maybe Eponin wouldn't feel too badly when her ass was kicked. Eponin was a good warrior. Very skilled but also very stubborn. She wouldn't give in until she sustained an injury. Like it was a badge of honour. Xena hated it when she was forced to do that. Enemies were fair game but...well, Xena was starting to like Eponin and some of the other Amazons. They had earned her grudging respect and while Xena liked to win she didn't always like to pay the price for doing so.
Lately Xena found herself warming to these fierce Amazons. Some of their petty grievances made Xena roll her eyes in frustration. It seemed a rarity when one or more cat fights didn't break out every week. The warrior supposed it was due to their close hive-like community. That and cycling together. Boy, that had to be rough! All those raging hormones combined with hair trigger tempers! 'Don't go there', she admonished herself. Kestra took a quick glance at the warrior as a low chuckle rumbled from Xena's throat. "Come on Kestra. Lets work up a sweat shall we?" As the two women left both Gabrielle and Ephiny cast arched eyebrows their way. As they looked at each other, they fell into a fit of the giggles.
Xena spent the day sparring with both Kestra and Eponin. Soon other warriors were entreated to try their luck with the Warrior Princess. Xena began drawing quite a crowd. She practiced her flips and no one could touch her. As she looked out into the crowd, Xena caught Gabrielle's eye and winked. The bard watched as ten Amazons rushed the warrior. Xena threw herself into the milieu with an evil laugh and as if by magic, half the warriors were lying on the ground in agony. Then Xena engaged three of the remaining women in sword play while the other two circled carefully behind looking for an opening.
'Hmm. This should be interesting,' thought Xena. She butted one woman, disarmed the second and left the third pressing her hands to her rapidly swelling nose. Then she jumped straight up, did a one and a half gainer and landed both boots on the started Amazon's chests. Both were knocked flat. Xena re-sheathed her sword and jauntily helped some of the warriors to their feet. All Eponin said was "Wow! Whatta woman." Some of the others heartily agreed. Xena tried to look warlord-like, then casually indifferent and finally settled for modest. She completely missed the total look of admiration in Kestra's eyes and the lustful one in Eponin's.
The thing of it was, Xena was totally oblivious to how naturally sensual a being she was. She knew she could turn on her charm when she wanted to, but just couldn't see how her very presence elicited such carnal thoughts. Xena was aware of only one other pair of eyes. She dusted her hands off and approached Gabrielle, a slight lopsided smirk playing on her lips. Gabrielle was only aware of two things: that this gorgeous hunk of woman was HERS, ALL HERS and whether or not she could get Xena back to their hut before they made a spectacle of themselves.
Ephiny gasped in shock as she recognized the raw sexuality evident between the two. Well, thought the Regent. There goes that fantasy, shot down in flames. Gabrielle barely got back to their hut when Xena all but ripped the bard's clothes off. They never made it to the bed. Quite a few snickers were shared along with wistful sighs as people passed their hut. Some very visual images were created as one or both women became vocal in the throws of ecstasy.
Ephiny endured the sounds silently. To anyone who would have seen her face as she stalked to her hut would have seen a very green-eyed monster. All Ephiny knew was that her chances with the fair Gabrielle were now nil. If only she had said something the first time the pair had visited. Who was she kidding? The Regent knew intuitively that she never really had a chance. And to be honest, was it Gabrielle that she wanted in particular or just someone to love and be loved by? Well, she'd had quite a few restless nights over visions of the beautiful bard. And some rather raunchy ones of Xena, too, she admitted. Well, who wouldn't, she thought with a smirk. The woman simply oozed untamed eroticism. I'll bet she doesn't even know it either, chuckled the Regent. Part of her mystique, she thought wistfully. Suddenly, thoughts of Kestra entered her mind. Ephiny wondered about that but put it down to worry for the woman. She decided to seek her out and try again to broach the subject of the...incident.
Kestra sat in the communal bath house with Eponin and some other warriors. The talk centered around the Warrior Princess, of course. Ribald jokes and suggestions filled the air along with some pretty graphic fantasies. Kestra's thoughts were also of Xena. She hadn't felt this way since her sexual play with Patra. Such strong images surged forth from her subconscious. Terrible thoughts. Thoughts she pushed back down quickly instead of facing them. She rose quickly from the bath, dressed and left. Eponin watched her leave, a puzzled look on her face.
Kestra found herself walking to the stable, not knowing how she got there. She saw the familiar figure of Xena brushing down her horse. The mare had been ridden hard by the looks of things and Xena was taking extra care in grooming her. The Amazon hesitantly approached the warrior and waited for her presence to be acknowledged. Xena looked up and seeing who was there, smiled.
"Why, hello Kestra. What's up?" Xena had her mind totally on what she was doing while some erotic thoughts of a particular bard floated just behind her eyes. By the time her senses alerted her Kestra had embraced her in a fierce hug. "Ah, Kestra? What..." was all Xena got out before her lips were covered by those of a very passionate Kestra. What to do, thought Xena as she pulled away. She could throw the woman across the stable. No, too butch. She could tell her in no uncertain terms to lay off, she was taken. Nah, too insensitive. Gabrielle did the sensitive chats. Why couldn't this happen in front of her? She'd know what to do. Yeah, right. With her temper? I..don't...think...so. Scratch that idea out - with a big stick.
"Ah, Kestra, I'm really flattered by your attention. Um, well, I'm a bit...old...for you, aren't I?" she stammered. Kestra violently shook her head and tried to get another kiss. "Now Kestra. Please." Xena said as she gently pushed the girl away. "You must be what, 15 or 16? You're still just a kid. Lots of time for love. But..not with me. I belong with Gabrielle, you understand?" Kestra burst into tears. Xena held her and uncomfortably patted her back. The warrior's eyes darted around the empty barn, looking for either help or escape. She found neither. Sighing with resignation she brought the woman over to sit on a hay bale. 'I guess I'll just have to do the sensitive bard thing and hope for the best,' she sighed.
Soon Kestra's cries diminished until only hiccuping sobs were left. "There, there." said Xena, trying to smile. A faint blush was beginning to creep up from her neckline. Xena tried very hard to avoid these situations. She felt so...inadequate in them! She could stare down any warlord you name but when it came to dealing with emotions...well, she was just lost.
Just then, Ephiny stormed in. She'd seen Xena kiss her...friend. Seen Kestra hugging the warrior! Had Xena no shame? Kestra needed comforting, yes, but...well, that was above acceptable behavior. Especially...well..towards...Ephiny stopped dead in her tracks. What was she thinking?! Xena would never betray Gabrielle. And to be quite honest, Xena really did look very uncomfortable. Maybe she had it wrong. Was Kestra doing the pursuing? And why should it matter to me, wondered the Regent. Then it struck her. "Xena, she is 23 summers old. She knows what she is doing. She thinks she's in love with you." Xena looked uncomfortably back and forth from Ephiny to Kestra. Now that the Regent was there she could get the Hades out! Was it her or was it getting very hot and close in this barn?
Ephiny gently took Kestra's hands and drew her up. The woman looked very puzzled. She noticed a tear fall from the Regents eye and trail down her soft cheek. She wiped it away with her finger and looked at it in amazement. She looked back up at Ephiny and silently asked 'why'. "Because I love you", Ephiny whispered, feeling as if she'd been hit by a two by four.
Xena drew a contented sigh. 'Well, that works for me', she thought. She brushed herself off and beat a hasty retreat. Several Amazon warriors noticed the gleam in her eye. Before long, the whole village knew they were in for some additional 'singing' lessons for the rest of the couple's stay. Were there any complaints? Only those who wished that they were on the receiving end of those icy blue eyes.
Ephiny was not even aware of Xena's escape. Just of her heart beating quickly, the blood rushing by her ears in a torrent. She had been watching Kestra's hand as she inspected the tear. When she looked up she was dazzled by the most beautiful smile. For her. She hugged her closely and then gazed into the woman's beautiful grey eyes. Then Ephiny took the woman's face in her hands and covered the inviting lips before her with her own. It was a kiss full of promise, full of hope for them both.
Kestra smiled. Then she did something she hadn't done in two moons: she laughed. She caressed Ephiny's cheek and bent in for another warm kiss. The Regent's heart was so full. She was giving her heart to someone after such a long time and it scared her. Kestra seemed to sense just how important this moment was to Ephiny. She took the woman's hand, kissed each finger tip and placed them over her heart. It was unspoken but the truth was evident in Kestra's eyes: she was giving her heart back to the woman who loved her.
Gabrielle lay in the grass on the stomach, the end of a quill tapping her persed lips. A few scrolls lay in disorder about her. She carefully re-read the parchment in front of her. Hmmm. I know what I want to say, but the words are just not there. She expelled a quick sigh in frustration. How to put into words what had happened after Thessaly? Being a very romantic person by nature she found it very difficult when she couldn't put these strong emotions on paper. This was the most important event in her whole young life and she just ... couldn't find the words. Thoughts of the object of her desire entered her mind and she knew there would be no more writing this day. She packed up her things and made her way back to the village.
The village was a veritable hive of excitement. Gabrielle caught bits and pieces of conversation and deduced the uproar had to do with Kestra, Xena, a kiss and Ephiny. 'Curiouser and curiouser', thought the bard.
Now, for those who don't know about fiery tempers, this bard's was truly one to behold. It was certainly entertaining to watch but if one found themselves on the receiving end of it, well...that was just not something they ever wanted repeated.
Gabrielle's eyes flashed green fire. Her hands opened and closed at her sides. If one looked closely they could see little wisps of smoke coming out of her ears. She was truly a vision to see. An ocean of Amazon bodies parted willingly before her. By the time she made it to their hut she was positively seething. A deep flush had risen from her heaving breasts to the top of her hair line. As she pushed past the entrance way she noticed two things: the room was bathed in the soft glow of candles and (why this was first, she had no idea!) the object of her ire was laying on their bed buck naked-as-the-day-she-was-born.
Things started to happen very rapidly from that point on. The passionate bard threw off her clothes in record time and then she launched herself across the span of at least six feet. Now, no one but Xena saw this feat but, she would swear to herself later, Gabrielle just seemed to 'fly' across from the door way. Xena had had a sultry smile on her face in preparation for her lover's entrance. However, one look at the sparks flashing from the woman's eyes quickly wiped it from her face. Before she could even manage a strangled word the bard was upon her, pinning her roughly to the bed. The bard took a deep shuddering breath and sweetly asked, "What the Hades have you been up to, love of my life?" Xena swallowed, hard. Her very thought processes just seemed to vanish, dry up, blow away. Not that Gabrielle was going to give her any opportunity to say anything. Oh, no, no, no. Xena would manage to wriggle out somehow if she was allowed to use her rather impressive charms.
"I...I...um...Gab.." Xena tried unsuccessfully. Her lips were covered in a searing kiss that seemed to draw the very breath from the woman. "Um....you see...it.." she tried again. This time her lower lip was sucked into the bard's hot mouth and nibbled. Xena's head was spinning. Rational thought was a thing of the past. She decided to do what any red blooded warrior would do...and take her punishment. If that's what this was.
Gabrielle pinned Xena's wrists down to the bed and began outlining the woman's lips with the tip of her tongue. She slowly trailed her tongue over every inch of Xena's sculpted face. The warrior moaned under the onslaught. She tried to embrace her bard. Suddenly, the loving stopped, ceased to exist. Xena opened her eyes cautiously. Gabrielle sat on the backs of her legs. Her eyes were flashing again. Xena gulped slowly. "Now, where were we?", purred the bard. Xena now understood that she was at her lover's mercy.
Gabrielle slowly lowered her body until she was belly to belly with her warrior. She leaned over and kissed each of Xena's wrists before placing them back on the bed. She gave Xena a knowing look, as if to say 'if you know what's good for you, you won't move a muscle.' She began trailing her tongue across Xena's jawline, nipping the flesh every so often. The tips of her fingers barely touching the fine hairs on Xena's torso brought moans of pleasure. Seeing her warrior so vulnerable made Gabrielle's flesh tingle. She didn't know how long Xena could last before she exploded but the bard was going to do her best to reduce the woman to a puddle of moaning flesh. Just the thought made her thighs slick.
Xena felt as if her very skin were on fire. Every nerve ending vibrated which in turn caused the surrounding muscle to twitch. Gabrielle circled each nipple with the tip of her tongue. When she sucked the pert flesh of a nipple into her mouth Xena thought she'd jump out of her skin. The same was repeated to the other nipple and then both were abandoned for parts south. Very slowly Gabrielle tongued the warriors belly button. She felt Xena's abdominal muscles grow taught with anticipation. Xena parted her legs as an invitation for further investigation. Much to her dismay, the bard stopped once again. Xena grabbed the blanket beneath her hands and held on for dear life. Ah, what a battle of wills! Gabrielle was determined to make Xena beg and Xena, well, she was going to hold on to that particular gift for as long as possible.
The warrior brought her legs together again and lay motionless, waiting for her lover to continue. Although Xena was skilled in the various areas of love making she felt a need to let Gabrielle take the reins every so often. She had never felt that need before and sometimes, it scared her, that she could give it up so willingly to her bard. Gabrielle got up from the bed and slowly circled the nude woman. She tapped her lips with one forefinger, looking like she were inspecting some prized horse flesh. Then she leaned over and slowly brought her nose down to Xena's pubic hair. The warrior's thighs quivered and it took all of Xena's might to just lay still. Gabrielle looked up into Xena's eyes and smiled wickedly. She slowly inhaled the pungent scent of the woman. "Why Xena. You're trembling. Are you cold?" she whispered seductively.
She turned her back to Xena and straddled her knees. Xena tried hard but couldn't see what the bard was going to do. Then she felt Gabrielle's mouth on her toes, slowly sliding each one into her hot mouth. She sucked them in, one at a time, slowly drawing them into her mouth and then releasing them. As she went down on Xena's toes her backside rose until Xena could see the pink opening of her vagina. She moaned deeply, jaw clenched. Oh, the ecstasy of it all!
Soon Gabrielle was pumping her hips into Xena's knees. The sight of Gabrielle's dripping sex was driving Xena mad with desire. It was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Then Gabrielle moved her butt up towards Xena and arched her back. Xena watched as a moist trail of love juice trickled down the bard's inner thigh. The warrior was breathing very quickly, every other breath punctuated with a low moan. Xena felt like her lower belly was a veritable volcano waiting to explode.
The bard looked over her shoulder and said "One finger, Xena. Push it slowly into me." Xena did as she was told and couldn't believe how hot and wet Gabrielle was. Both women moaned at the contact. When Xena's finger was deep inside, Gabrielle told her to stop and leave it there. Xena wanted nothing more than to fuck her lover long and hard. To ravish her unmercifully. Now. She took some deep breaths and concentrated on control. She was a seasoned warrior, after all. The current battle was with a bard from Poteidaia, not a cruel and heartless warlord.
Gabrielle slowly inched her way backward until her bottom was mere inches away from Xena's face. "Lick my ass, my love. Taste every inch of the skin there." she purred. Xena strained her neck forward and caressed the skin before her with the flat of her tongue. She made her way slowly to the crevice and licked its full length. Xena place the tip of her tongue over the puckered flesh within. The bard moaned and rocked back and forth. Xena brought her other hand up and encircled Gabrielle's tummy, drawing her toward the warriors waiting mouth. She pushed her tongue past the ring of muscle and pumped in and out. "Oh, Gods, Xena. It feels so good. Now, put your finger there. Yes, like that. Oh, yes." moaned the bard.
Xena had removed her finger from the bard's hot centre and pushed it deep into the woman's anus. There was no lack of lubricant so it went in easily. She pulled the bard closer so she had access to her hot opening. Soon she was matching the thrusting of both tongue and finger to Gabrielle's rocking hips. Xena could feel her lover's muscles tighten, indicating her orgasm was close. Xena's own fiery center pulsed, her inner thighs drenched and quivering.
"Oh Gods, Oh Gods, O Gods, Xena....." yelled Gabrielle until her body was racked with spasms as wave after wave of orgasm hit her. She lay flat on Xena's knees, gasping, trying to catch her breath. She lay there almost purring like a soft little kitten. Xena removed her finger and lovingly caressed the bard's ass.
After Gabrielle had retained some of her composure, she moved up the bed and faced her lover. "Who were you kissing? And what is this about Kestra and Ephiny both being in the stable with you while this kissing was going on?" Xena stroked her chin and chuckled. "Actually, Gabrielle, ah, Kestra was kissing me but I didn't kiss her back. Then she was kissing Ephiny and she did kiss her back."
Gabrielle scrunched her forehead thinking about this. 'So, it was just another infatuation thing for the Warrior Princess, huh', thought the bard. She could live with that. "And why was I not invited? I mean, I know Eph's always had the hots for you and well, I really like her, too. And Kestra. Well, she is just too cute for words." Xena looked at her lover and chuckled deeply. "My, I think I've created a monster!" She caressed her lover's shoulders and drew her close. "Ooh. I think we have some unfinished business, Warrior Princess. Are you up for it, love?" asked Gabrielle with a gleam in her eye.
"I'm up for anything you can throw at me, bard. Your smallest fantasy is my fondest desire."
Revised March 4, 1999
Copyright by ArdentTly, May, 1998.
Continue on to the sequel Hearts Lost - Hearts Inflamed