Author: Friction
Story Title: Enchanted Again?
Characters: Xena/Gabrielle
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Gabrielle is overjoyed that Xena is hers, but Xena has some reservations...Sequel to The Enchantment?
This rating is for explicit f/f sex.

Amazon Ice Awards
Winner of an Amazon Ice Award

Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle and all other character who have appeared in the syndicated series are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in the writing of this fan fiction. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Saras is the property of B L Miller, who kindly loaned her to me for this story. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

This story graphically depicts a love/sexual relationship between two consenting women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal where you live, please do not read it.

As far as Xena goes, the violence is minimal.

Fits rather snugly into the Lust/Comfort category.

This story is a shameless (trust me on this) sequel to The Enchantment?. Although I never intended a follow up, here it is. Never say never. Many parts of this story will make more sense if you read the first one.

Thanks to B L Miller for her valuable input. I would also like to thank my partner, Pam, for her infinite patience and support. After ten years, she still smiles when our eyes meet.

I welcome comments or constructive criticism at

You can find more stories by Friction at Mary D's The Bard's Corner


Enchanted Again?
by Friction

Part I

Gabrielle was practically euphoric. She wanted to pull Xena from her horse and kiss her passionately. It was all she could do to restrain herself. The memories of their incredible love making enveloped her. Teeming with energy, she twirled, gazing at the vivid blue that filled the sky. It paled in comparison to her companion's eyes. She felt as if she could conquer the world. Her dream had come true: the warrior was hers. She marveled at the very thought. Her appreciation for life had increased tenfold. Her world had new intensity; it was bathed in a sensual glow that was Xena.

The warrior rode a few yards ahead on Argo, lost in her thoughts. She was stunned by the recent turn of events. The young woman who had come to represent the one constant in her world had now thrown her completely off balance. Xena's world had tilted. She longed for the stability she had come to associate with the bard, something she had never known until the young woman came into her life. Gabrielle kept her grounded. In fact, it was the young woman's friendship that saw her through the difficult times, giving her direction and keeping her on course. It was a delicate balance that now seemed askew. Suddenly, the mere act of traveling down the rode together felt eerily different.

As they made their way to the Amazon village, Xena could not help but wonder what affect their romantic involvement would have on their friendship. The past haunted her. Each time she had taken a lover to her bed, she had experienced the sting of betrayal. In her heart, she knew Gabrielle was different. Still, this new, unknown element worried her. Their relationship had left the safe confines of friendship and was now in uncharted territory. Not since their earliest days together had she questioned the bard's love and respect; she had no reason to. Gabrielle proved herself with countless gestures every day. But, they had taken it one step further. Things had changed. Gabrielle had made it more than clear that she not only loved the warrior but truly desired her.

Her heart quickened as she remembered Gabrielle's unrestrained display of passion. She was an incredibly giving lover, taking the warrior to heights she hadn't thought possible. No matter how her practical side balked at the problems ahead, she knew in her heart there was no turning back. Her love for Gabrielle outweighed her concerns. Coupled with the bard's own declaration of love, the rational part of her mind didn't stand a chance.

For the first time since she had left her violent past behind, she allowed herself to be ruled by the physical and the emotional. It was wonderfully liberating to set her reservations aside and listen to her heart and her body, a body that now carried the imprint of the young woman's affections in every cell. Her skin burned with the memory of the bard's touch. The knowledge that she had experienced only a taste of the pleasures that lay before them heightened her excitement. She wanted more. Her body screamed for it, so loudly that it drowned out any arguments she presented to the contrary.

Xena was so caught up in her thoughts that she failed to notice how uncharacteristically quite her friend had been the last few candlemarks. Suddenly aware of the silence, she brought Argo to a stop and looked back at the young woman. Gabrielle beamed up at her. The purity of emotions that played across the bard's face pierced the warrior's heart. Xena found herself so affected by the genuine display that she did not attempt to conceal her own feelings. She smiled lovingly at her companion.

Gabrielle came forward, stopping alongside Argo. She placed her hand on the bare skin of Xena's leg and looked deep into the warrior's eyes, questioningly. "Do you want to stop?"

The question was innocent enough, but Xena found herself wondering if there was a hidden meaning in her tone, her touch. She found herself hoping there was. The warrior experienced a dizzying excitement at the realization that the friend she thought she knew so well, had another side, a side that was a complete mystery to her. There was much more to her companion than she had ever imagined. This aroused her, threw her further off balance.

Gabrielle's eyes locked intimately with Xena's. Something unexplored in their depths called to the warrior. The tingling of her skin caused her attention to shift to the bard's hand, resting lightly on her thigh. She was captivated by the strength and tenderness of the young woman's hands, flooded by the memories of what they could do. The feel of Gabrielle's warm fingers on her upper thigh made her heart hammer. It was impossible to ignore the sensations she was experiencing.

"Xena, is everything all right?" Gabrielle feigned confusion even though it was obvious that the warrior was plagued with desire and her struggle to control it. The bard recognized that look, having seen it for the first time only recently. The knowledge that she could have such an effect on the warrior thrilled her. She felt the muscles in her belly tighten and curl as a warm glow radiated through her.

"Yeah, I..." She stopped speaking when she felt the bard's fingers caressed her sensitive skin, causing a ripple of pleasure to course through her body. She wanted this woman... desperately. The warrior scanned the area for a secluded spot. Unfortunately, the terrain was wide open and couldn't offer any protection.

The bard's fingers continued to move along her thigh, slowly exploring. The warrior quickly placed her hand over the smaller one impeding it's progress. She nervously cleared her throat. "We should keep going if we want to find a good place to camp before nightfall." The heat of the bard's skin trapped between her hand and thigh was dizzying.

Gabrielle slowly pulled back, a bit disappointed by the warrior's gentle rebuff. "Okay, if you think it's best."

Xena noticed the change in the bard's tone. Her fingers traced the young woman's jaw line, prolonging contact in an effort to temper her words. "I want to find a safe place for us."

Gabrielle's face brightened. The warrior's gentle caress spoke volumes. "Maybe we would make better time if I rode," she suggested.

The warrior was taken by surprise at the unusual request. "I thought you didn't like heights."

"Well... I've been wanting to talk to you about that. It's not entirely true." The bard looked a little chagrined by her confession.

"But , I thought..."

Gabrielle interrupted her. "It was uncomfortable for me being so close to you... your heat... the scent of your body.... the motion of .... well you know. I... I thought it would... reveal my feelings." Her cheeks flushed a lovely shade of pink.

"I see." The corner's of Xena's mouth turned up playfully. "And you think you can handle it now, huh."

"I'm willing to try, if you are." Gabrielle's eyes sparkled as a sensual smile spread across her face. Xena's heart pounded as she scooted forward in the saddle and reached down to pull the bard up behind her.

She settled close into Xena's back relishing the intimate contact and wrapped her arms tightly around her lover's waist. "Mmmm, I think I could get used to this." The warrior spurred Argo on, trying to focus on anything but the tingling of her skin where the bard's hands had drifted.

"I think I'm going to like this... a lot," Gabrielle said happily. "I don't feel at all uncomfortable."

Xena swallowed hard, wishing she could say the same. She struggled to hold her rising libido at bay. "Maybe we should think of getting you your own horse."

The bard nuzzled her face into the warrior's hair and inhaled deeply. "Mmm, but what fun would there be in that, kind of defeats the whole purpose."

"I thought the purpose was getting us from place to place."

"Maybe that used to be the purpose, but if we used our imaginations, I'll bet we could come up with something much more interesting." Xena felt the young woman's breasts rub seductively against her back and wondered if the bard was purposely trying to drive her wild.

She attempted to force Gabrielle's suggestive remarks from her mind, but failed. Her nearly uncontrollable passion for the bard concerned her. The warrior feared she might capitulate completely to her raw desire and worried how Gabrielle would react to it. She had not allowed herself to surrendered to those primal feelings since she had given in to her lust for blood as a warlord. The similarities frightened and excited her. The sensual fever that surged through her now reminded her of the thrill she experienced during the heat of battle, both were aphrodisiacs. She hoped that giving in to her desire would not cause her to spiral out of control once again, that her companion's gentle nature would guide her and keep her in check.

Suddenly, she felt Gabrielle's hand slide along her hip and over her thigh. All lucid thought left her. The bard's fingers rested casually between the warrior's legs against her damp breeches. Xena's entire body went taut. She was completely focused on the soft pressure of the bard's hand against her, of the mare's gentle rolling gait and gradually her tension gave way to need. The warrior was lost in the moment, and felt herself surrendering to her arousal. Her eyelids felt heavy as she teetered on the brink between rational thought and desire.

She was very close to giving in to the sensations radiating through her when Argo snorted, pulling her back. Immediately she was aware something was wrong. There was a subtle change in the air. She spoke in a warning tone. Her voice barely a whisper. "Gabrielle, down." Easing the young woman off the horse, she quickly dismounted beside her, drawing her sword. The bard reached for her staff.

It was quiet. Too quiet.


The warrior quickly spun around to face the voice that broke the eerie silence. "Ares don't you ever give up?"

He stood before her, smiling. His sword was drawn. "Only if I see there's nothing to be gained. And with you, I know better." Xena cautiously watched the god of war, prepared to react. "Pity we were so rudely interrupted in the cave. The Narcis berries were just beginning to work their magic on you." He smiled at the memory. "We were just getting to the good part."

"Speak for yourself," The warrior responded angrily.

Ares rolled his eyes in regret. "If I had been the first to bring you to climax, you would be bonded to me for life. You would desire only me. It was a great plan." He cast an annoyed look at Gabrielle. "Such a shame to waste all that pent-up passion on this little girl. She couldn't begin to know what to do with it."

"Obviously you haven't been paying attention." Xena replied bitingly.

"I must admit, I have been a little preoccupied reminiscing about our last encounter." He grinned lewdly. "What a vision you were: writhing naked, consumed with lust. You were the picture of utter anguish: your face so beautifully tormented, so full of suffering. It was such fun torturing you that I could have gone on...."

Gabrielle felt her anger surge, red hot and insuppressible. It rose so quickly, she didn't think. She acted without hesitation. In one fluid motion she swung her staff and came up powerfully between the god's legs. Taken off guard, he buckled, surprised by the blow. Immediately, she brought her staff down hard on his sword hand, causing the weapon to fly from his grasp and land at her feet. She stepped over it, placing herself between the god and his sword.

When she spoke, her tone was firm, forthright. "I don't want trouble, but you should know that I will no longer stand by passively." Ares straightened. Although the look on his face was unreadable, he was truly amazed that this small woman had separated him from his weapon. Xena, stunned by the turn of events, prepared herself for the worst kind of trouble.

Gabrielle was completely focused on her opponent. The warrior could see the muscles in the young woman's arms flexing with pent-up power. She was obviously ready to back up her words. The bard reiterated her sentiments so that there could be no misunderstanding. "Make no mistake, I won't stand by and let you take what is mine... ever again."

It was a challenge; the bard had taken her stand. Ares had never so thoroughly underrated an opponent before. He studied her intently, sizing her up. He made no move to attack her, instead he inhaled deeply and stroked his beard.

He broke eye contact with the young woman and looked to the warrior. "It seems I may have underestimated your companion." Xena allowed a smirk to tug at the corner of her mouth.

Ares laughed. "You always did have good taste, Xena. I never should have doubted that. It seems I may have enchanted the wrong woman. " He winked, baiting the warrior.

Xena's eyes narrowed menacingly. Ares raised his hands in supplication. "Just kidding, although now I must say, my interest is piqued."

He turned to face the bard. "Gabrielle, I do apologize. You have my word that I will not try to take Xena against her will again."

The bard knew this was no great concession. She was sure Zeus had put Ares in his place for interfering in their lives. What mattered was that she had made her point, she would no longer stand by silently while he taunted her lover.

In an act of good faith, Gabrielle stepped behind the sword. A silent understanding passed between them. Ares bent to retrieve his weapon. "As for my interference, all bets are off on that count."

Although he smiled sinisterly at the young woman, his attempt at menace was ineffective. The bard sensed the change in her relationship with the god-- the playing field had shifted. Their love had tipped the balance of power. Harming Gabrielle would sever the thin thread holding Xena to him. He knew that he would lose the warrior forever. The risk was unacceptable to him. At least for now, Ares had lost and he knew it.

He shook his head and arched a brow acknowledging the young woman's nerve. "Xena, heed my warning: you have more at risk with this one, than you ever did from me." His image shimmered and slowly faded away.

She turned to the warrior, and the adrenaline drained from her, leaving her weak. Xena took the bard tenderly in her arms, amazed at the young woman's ability to continually surprise her. Gabrielle felt sure Xena would admonish her for putting them at such risk. But when she pulled back to search the warrior's eyes for disapproval, she found only love.

"For what it's worth, you earned Ares' respect today."

The bard looked down shyly, but Xena continued. "No one in my life has ever stood up for me the way you did." She fought to keep the deeply felt emotion from her voice. "Gabrielle, I'm proud that you've chosen to be with me." Holding her emotions in check, she turned and mounted Argo.

For once, it was the bard who was speechless. She was keenly aware of a new dynamic in their relationship and she liked it. Her thoughts returned to Ares' parting words. She walked to the warrior's side. "What did Ares mean about you having more at risk with me than with him?"

Xena looked into the bard's eyes and prepared to irrevocably surrender her heart. "Ares knows my love for you is absolute. He understands how vulnerable that leaves me... how you could..." She paused unable to voice her fear. "It's something he always wanted from me. Something I could never give to anyone... but you."

Gabrielle swallowed hard, not knowing what to say. Suddenly, she fully comprehended the power Xena had yielded to her. Her mind searched for words that would express what this meant to her, words that would instill trust and faith in the warrior. She could find none. The young woman struggled to find a way to tell her lover that she would never abuse the gift she had been given, but the depth of her feelings rendered her mute. When she looked up, she found Xena's hand poised in the air, reaching for her.

Their eyes met.

"I trust you Gabrielle... completely." The bard took her hand, the intensity of the moment threatening to unleash a torrent of emotion in the young woman. Sensing the bard's struggle, Xena let a playful look cross her face and lifted her brow.

"But... from now on... you ride in front." The warrior's mischievous smile could not mask the moisture that filled her eyes.

Gabrielle laughed. "One slip of the hand and my seat gets changed?"

"You learn quickly... too quickly for me to think it was just a slip." The bard could only smile in response.

Xena slid from the mare and gracefully lifted her partner into the saddle. She mounted behind, settling into a space too perfect to be described and gently urged Argo forward, the small woman firmly in her embrace. A peace settled over her with the realization that she would do whatever it took to keep their relationship intact. She was determined to make this work.

Gabrielle reclined into the comfort of her lover's arms. They rode in silence for some time. Nothing more needed to be said.


The bard had been lost in her thoughts for several candlemarks. Overnight, the world had become a new and infinitely more beautiful place for her. It was love--- and it was glorious. The romantic stories and ballads all had new meaning for her. The young woman contemplated how this new perspective would enrich her writing. She was anxious to record her musings .

"I can't remember a more beautiful day, can you?" The bard said dreamily.

Xena smiled and inhaled deeply taking her companion's scent into her. "It's a great day."

Gabrielle enjoyed seeing the warrior in such high spirits. "This riding thing is really working out well, don't you think?"

Xena had to admit she could not think of a time when she had a more pleasant ride. The gentle swaying of the bard's body against her was wonderfully erotic, yet soothing. "Yes, Gabrielle, it is."

The warrior was truly reveling in the closeness. In fact, it was difficult for her to focus on anything else. She tried to divert her attention from the hypnotic scent of the bard. "You've been pretty quiet. Are you working on a new story?"

"Yeah, I should finish it by the time we reach the Amazon village."

"Mmm, they'll like that. I know how much they enjoy sitting around the fire listening to your tales."

"Well, this piece isn't meant to be performed in front of a group. It's for a more... private audience."

"Oh." Xena's voice registered her surprise. It had never occurred to her that the bard would write about that part of their life together. But as she considered the idea, it seemed like the natural progression of things.

Curiosity got the better of her. "What's it about?" she asked, trying to sound more disinterested than she was.

"You'll know soon enough. I'd rather not tell you until I'm finished. I want you to get the full effect."

Ever since she was a little girl, Xena hated secrets. She had become more patient with these things as an adult, but not much. As they rode on, the warrior could not help but speculate about the nature of the story.

"So, is this story based on your experience or is it fiction?"

Gabrielle was amused by the warrior's obvious interest. "Like most of my stories, it's based on fact, but pumped up just a bit to make it more exciting."

Xena thought for a moment and pulled Argo to a stop. "If this story is not for a group, does it involve some of our more... ah... intimate moments?"

"Yeah,... kind of." The bard spoke cautiously.

"And you need to pump it up to make it more exciting?" Xena's voice was a little unsettled. She was beginning to take this personally.

Gabrielle smiled as she realized where the conversation was headed. "Well no, those parts are plenty exciting. I have to elaborate on the plot, that's all."

"Oh." Xena mulled this over as she spurred Argo on. "And just who... will your audience be?"

"If, I don't stop talking, I'll never finish and no one will hear it."

Xena was not accustomed to being told to be quiet, albeit in a nice way. She felt shut out and a little wounded. It caused her to consider the many times she had asked her companion rather bluntly to be silent.

The bard picked up on the warrior's mood change and lightly caressed her thigh. "I didn't mean to be short with you. I'm just anxious to organize my thoughts. That's all." As was her way, Gabrielle handled her partner with a gentleness the warrior often took for granted.

Xena's mind drifted. She thought of the many nights they had spent together by the campfire and the pleasure she got from watching the bard scribe her stories. Gabrielle's face went through a myriad of changes when she wrote. Each idea she had elicited a subtle alteration in her expression. The warrior never tired of observing the bard at work, or any other time, for that matter. She wondered what small changes played across her lover's face now, as Gabrielle pondered their passionate interlude.

Xena was becoming obsessed with this story. It was probably the most private tale the bard had written. She wondered how her companion would describe their love making. Gabrielle had a way of bringing her words to life. The notion intrigued and excited the warrior.

Although she was anxious for the safety the Amazon village could provide, her desire to make love to the bard was becoming more and more difficult to ignore. There were so many things she wanted to show her. The warrior's hunger gnawed at her, weakening her resolve to put in a full day of traveling. She looked around desperately for an appropriate place where at last she could get her hands on her young lover.

Xena wasn't the only one becoming aroused. At first, writing about her passion, had been a great outlet for Gabrielle. But, it had also succeeded in heightening her desire. She longed to explore her lover more completely, to experience Xena with this new awareness using all of her senses. She wasn't quite sure how to express this to the warrior. Her one attempt to get something started hadn't worked out that well. She decided that Xena probably preferred to do the initiating. There was so much she didn't know, so much she was anxious to learn. The thought of the many lessons yet to come thrilled her.

"This looks like a good place to make camp," the warrior declared. Gabrielle was surprised, but extremely grateful that Xena decided to stop so early in the day.

The warrior dismounted and reached up to help Gabrielle down. As her hands gripped the bard's bare midriff and she felt the taut muscles flex beneath her fingers, time stopped. Xena's awareness became limited to the young woman's warm flesh and sweet scent.

As the bard slid down from Argo, the warrior became painfully conscious of their close proximity and the softness of young woman's skin. Her senses were on overload. She fought her desire to tear the clothes from Gabrielle's body and take her that very instant. In a display of the utmost restraint, the warrior set her down and stepped back, suddenly frightened where her intense passion for the bard would lead.

The bard released her breath in a heavy sigh. The air was thick with tension. She wanted Xena. It had taken every bit of effort she possessed not to seize the opportunity and pull the warrior to her. But, this was new to her. Having less experience, she hesitated, believing she should follow Xena's lead. Now, the moment had passed, replaced by a newfound awkwardness. She suspected that the warrior was holding back, hesitant to let herself go. Gabrielle decided at that instant, her new mission would be to crumble the walls of her Xena's unwelcomed control. That's where the story came in.


They easy fell into the routine of their chores. The warrior went hunting while the bard set up camp. In no time, two rabbits were being added to the contents of a thick stew. As the meal to cooked, they went about their individual tasks. Gabrielle wrote and Xena sharpened her weapons.

As she watched the bard working on her story, she couldn't help wondering what the evening would bring. Would Gabrielle want to be together, intimately? Maybe she was too tired or worse, not interested. Xena glanced at the bedrolls stacked near their saddlebags and wondered if her companion would place them together. The thought of laying next to the bard, holding her through the night, every night, caused a wave of happiness to wash over her.

The warrior was brimming with sexual tension. She wanted to make love to Gabrielle in the worst way. It was awkward to ask. She wasn't at all sure how to approach the subject. The warrior feared she might intimidate her young lover. This had to be gentle, mutually desired. Xena knew a talk was in order and dreaded it. She resolved to bring it up after dinner.

Gabrielle was totally immersed in her writing. Xena was restless and frustrated. She didn't understand why the bard was keeping this story to herself. Her friend had always bounced ideas off her in the past. The warrior hoped that hadn't changed. She was only now realizing how much she enjoyed being included in this part of the bard's life. It was something she had taken for granted. A confirmation and reminder that their lives were intricately bound together.

The bard's fingers moved nimbly, her hand sliding silently across the parchment as she recorded her thoughts. She stopped momentarily, touching the end of the quill to her lips. The wooden shaft rested lightly against the soft pink flesh. Slowly, she lifted the quill and resumed writing. Xena's eyes remained on the bard's lips. A shiver ran through her as she watched the tip of the young woman's tongue caress the silky surface, leaving it glistening with moisture.

Suddenly, the warrior could not wait until after they ate. "You know... it's kind of an anniversary for us."

Gabrielle looked up from her work. "Have I forgotten something?"

"No, not exactly, it's just... well... it's our first day together as... a... couple."

The bard looked up at the woman standing across from her. Xena was antsy as a cat. Her face was flush and Gabrielle could see that her hands were trembling. She was delighted by the warrior's unexpected sentimentality. It was a rare display that the young woman was determined to reward. She set her parchment and quill down and stood. "So what did you have in mind? Did you want to celebrate?" She asked coyly, feeling only a little guilty for teasing the warrior. Xena was so nervous that she hadn't even noticed the bard's sly smile.

"Gods Gabrielle, I'm no good at this." She took a deep breath and continued. "I only know that I haven't been able to think of anything but you all day. I... want..." Xena's voice was deep, sensual. "I need..."

The bard took a step toward her. "What is it that you need... exactly?"

The warrior took a deep breath; this was not going to be easy. "Well.... I...." When she summoned the courage to meet Gabrielle's gaze, she saw the playfulness there and smiled in relief.

"Do you need me to touch you..." The bard's eyes twinkled . "or do you need to touch me?" Gabrielle pressed her index finger to her lips, pondering the idea. Her lips parted slightly as her tongue grazed the tip. She let her finger glide to the hollow of her throat, slowly tracing the curve of her breast before coming to rest on her thigh, agonizingly close to the apex of her legs. The warrior's eyes never left the bard's hand.

"Both," she replied, huskily. Xena knew with certainty that this woman owned her, body and soul. The bard exuded an innocent sensually that eroded whatever control Xena hoped to maintain. She took a step closer, sure that Gabrielle could hear her heart pounding even from this distance.

"Mmmm... convince me," the bard breathed, taking another step to narrow the gap between them.

Xena's genuine smile spread to her eyes. "You need convincing... huh?" She closed the space between them and placed her lips against the bard's ear. The heat of the warrior's breath made her pulse race. "And do you prefer to be convinced verbally," Her tongue caressed her lover's ear, "or... otherwise?" She gently caught the lobe in her teeth.

Gabrielle nearly swooned. She placed her hands on Xena's hips to steady herself. The voice she could always depend on deserted her. Her mouth opened but she was not able to reply.

Luckily, no words were needed.

The warrior tangled her fingers in the young woman's hair as she pulled her close. Their lips touched, softly at first. But as the need to deepen the contact became overpowering, the pressure became more insistent. Gabrielle parted her lips in eager supplication, giving Xena the access she craved. The warrior moaned, her tongue tasting the sweetness of her companion. Intimately she explored, probing deeply at the bard's urging. It was sheer bliss. The kiss went on and on leaving them both utterly charged with desire.

Xena gently lowered the bard to the ground, her body aching for intimate contact. Nimbly, her fingers loosened the laces of Gabrielle's top and slipped underneath. The warrior thrilled at the softness of the young woman's breasts. She massaged them lovingly, playing with the hardened nipples.

The other hand sought out the bard's hot center, working its way up the young woman's thigh where her experienced fingers slipped past the bard's very wet breeches. Gabrielle gasped as the cool fingers made contact. The sensation was extraordinary. Xena had intended to dip into her, merely sample her wetness. But her lover was so warm, so slick that her fingers slid back and forth of their own accord.

"Oh... Gods, Ohh!" Gabrielle cried out loudly, gasping between words "Oh!… Oh!..." Xena was about to extend her efforts when her sensitive hearing picked up rushing footfalls coming from behind her. The warrior reached for her sword and jumped to her feet.

She stood ready. The rushing figure was nearly upon her.


Xena heard the desperate plea and deflected her sword just in time. She twisted quickly to the side. Unable to slow his momentum, the attacker crashed into a nearby tree. The impact forcing the air from his lungs. He dropped immediately to his knees, a large stick raised before him. Still trying to recapture his breath, he made an awkward attempt to stand, lunging toward her.


The older man ran to place himself between them. "I'm sorry, he thought you were... uh... hurting the girl." His face flushed with embarrassment.

Gabrielle was on her feet now, hurrying to Xena's side. Only when she was up close, could she see that the attacker was young, only a boy. "It's okay. She didn't hurt me. Look I'm fine." The bard cleared her throat, trying to shake the traces of the passion from her voice. She noted the disarray of her clothing and quickly tried to smooth it out.

The young man looked at her, his expression bewildered. He was very large for his age, probably only ten or eleven summers. Gabrielle stumbled over her words. "She was just..." Her mind searched furiously for a workable explanation. "It was a game. We were playing a game." The bard blushed from head to toe, aware that the older man knew exactly what the game had been.

"A game?" The boy smiled.

"Yes, just a game. I'm not hurt. What about you? Are you okay?"

"Yes," he nodded sitting back on his heels. " I like games."

"Yeah," Gabrielle replied, "me too." Her face colored again.

He looked at Xena, and noted her serious expression. "She doesn't look like she likes to play."

Gabrielle, couldn't resist a sly smile in the warrior's direction. "Well you know, looks can be deceiving."

Xena walked over to the boy and helped him to his feet. "Are you sure you're not hurt?"

The older man interjected. "He's fine. Strong as an ox." He quickly checked the boy over. "I apologize. It's always been his nature to step in and try to help people. Unfortunately, he hasn't developed the wisdom to match his size yet."

The older man held out this hand in greeting. "I'm Galen and this is my son, Caleb.

"I'm Xena and this is Gabrielle." She took his hand.

Caleb, suddenly bored, turned from the conversation. "Something smells good. I'm hungry." He looked at Gabrielle and smiled. The genuineness of his expression was endearing.

"Well, you're welcome to join us, if you like." Gabrielle said, returning the smile. Xena remained silent, not at all happy with the turn of events.

"That's very kind of you, but we have intruded enough already." The older man apologized awkwardly. The unspoken message in his words hung heavy in the air and none of the adults were able to make eye contact.

"But, I'm hungry!" The boy complained.

"Caleb, we have food of our own."

"Really, your quite welcome to stay." Gabrielle interjected. She turned to Caleb and winked, "After all, you tried to save my life, that should be good for a meal, right Xena?" The warrior nodded and went to tend to Argo. It was going to be a long evening.

Gabrielle quickly gathered up her story and quill and put them in the saddlebags.

"What's that stuff?" Caleb questioned.

"I'm a bard, I tell stories."

"Wow! Can we hear one?"

"Sure, I'd be happy to tell one after dinner."

The four sat down to their meal. Xena's mood became progressively worse as she watched the remaining daylight fade. She knew what was coming.


Gabrielle told the story of enlisting Callisto's aide to defeat Velasca and imprisoning them both in a lava flow. Caleb was enthralled. He obviously appreciated the bard's skill. "I've heard this story before in my town. But, he didn't tell it nearly as well as you."

The bard smiled shyly. "I've had a lot of experience telling that story. It's based on our experiences."

"You were there?" The boy looked at her in amazement.

"Yes, it was Xena who tricked them and cut the bridge, dumping them into the lava."

"Wow, can you tell the one about how Velasca escaped?" Xena turned her full attention to the conversation.

"Velasca never escaped." Gabrielle said weakly. She felt a cold chill pass through her.

Galen could see the young woman was visibly shaken and tried to smooth things over. "Our bard told a tale of Velasca's escape. It was probably just something he made up."

Xena was beside Galen instantly, questioning him. "How long ago did you hear this story?"

"It must be nearly a moon ago now." He scratched his head. "I'm really not sure."

Xena pressed him. "I need to know everything that you can remember."

He told the story to the best of his recollection. His memory was hazy and he couldn't recall the details. "I remember that she escaped by some magical means." He noticed the bard looked very pale. "I'm sure it wasn't true. It was too outlandish to be anything but fiction."

"Tell us another story," The boy pleaded.

His father sensed a change in both the warrior and bard. He feared they had worn out their welcome. "No, Caleb. It's getting dark. We should be moving on."

Gabrielle was edgy. The story of Velasca's escape had thrown her and the man's words hadn't fully registered.

The warrior spoke up reluctantly, "You can't travel in the dark. You might as well camp here, with us."

Her voice brought Gabrielle back from her thoughts and the bard smiled warmly at the generosity her lover displayed. She knew how much Xena valued her privacy and after the interruption earlier, she imagined it was especially difficult.

"That's very kind of you." Galen smiled, obviously relieved. "It would probably be safer for us to stay here. I'm not very familiar with this area." The warrior nodded. Her attention was fixed on the bard's loving expression. She would have endured almost anything to see that smile.

As the two guests went to unpack their bed rolls, Gabrielle took the opportunity to speak privately with her friend. "Thanks, I know you were hoping for some time alone. It was the right thing to do. We couldn't just send them off. Caleb did try to help me, after all."

Xena took a heavy breath. "Yes, his timing was fortunate. I had planned to do things that would have made you cry out even louder. His father might have attacked me too."

Gabrielle smiled and tried another tack. "Look at it this way. Maybe I can use this in a story some time."

"Hmmm," Xena replied, whispering in the bard's ear. "I was hoping we'd be doing research for your current story."

Gabrielle laughed. "Me too. Tomorrow, I promise. We'll have our own hut then." The seductive look she cast in the warrior's direction made Xena's temperature rise. She turned quickly to gather their gear.

The bard laid their bed rolls out a few feet apart on the opposite side of the fire from their two guests. Xena groaned silently. This wasn't exactly how she'd hoped the evening would go. She curled up under her blanket, pillowing her cheek with her right hand. Gabrielle's scent lingered on her fingers. The musky aroma was comforting. She closed her eyes and let her thoughts drift.

The young woman inched closer to the fire. She felt chilled, unfortunately it was the kind of discomfort that only the warmth of Xena's arms could resolve. Gabrielle closed her eyes and tired to sleep, but her mind kept returning to Velasca. If she were free, it wouldn't be long before she found them. She tried to think of something pleasant to distract herself. Her mind drifted to thoughts of the warrior and their rather abrupt interruption that afternoon.

A candlemark later the bard lay wide awake staring into the fire. Suddenly, she felt her covers lift as Xena curled up behind her. The warrior nuzzled her lips against her neck and spoke softly. "I'm sure it's just a story. We would have heard something before now if there had been any truth to it."

Xena had a good sense of these things. Gabrielle exhaled deeply in relief and felt her body slowly begin to relax. Encircled in the warrior's arms, she knew she was safe. "What about..." She looked shyly at the men sleeping across the fire.

"I'll be up before they awaken. Get some sleep, I want you rested for tomorrow." Xena kissed her lightly and pulled the bard close. Gabrielle sighed contentedly and melted into her lover's embrace. Moments later she was sound asleep. The warrior soon followed.


True to her word, Xena was the first one up. She had caught and cleaned fish for their breakfast. After a quick meal and one last story, the father and son said their good-byes and were on their way.

Gabrielle retrieved her scroll and began writing. The warrior was puzzled at this change in the bard's routine. She shrugged and quickly started to break camp, packing up their things. Xena was anxious to arrive at the Amazon village and the privacy of their own hut.

Soon, it became clear that leaving was not nearly as urgent for the bard. Gabrielle sat leaning against a tree totally absorbed in her scroll, oblivious to Xena's efforts. Rather than disturb the bard, the warrior picked up their dishes and walked to the stream to wash them, a chore Gabrielle normally took care of.

When she returned her companion was still engrossed in her work. Xena began drilling with her sword. She practice several tricky maneuvers, designed to get the young woman's attention. Unfortunately she never looked up from her scroll.

"Gabrielle, are you almost ready to go?" The warrior asked, trying to keep the impatience from her voice. The bard seemed to ignore her. Xena raised her voice. "Gabrielle?"

"Hmmm." She never looked up from her writing.

"I said, I'm ready to go."

"Hmmm..." The bard continued scribing her story.

Xena tried again. "I thought you wanted to get to the village. Remember?... Our own hut."


The warrior was sure the young woman hadn't heard a word she said. She shook her head and decided to give up. Laying back on the grass, she watched her lover intently. Occasionally the corners of the bard's mouth would turn up in a smile. Once she broke out into a outright grin. Then just as quickly, her expression became very intense as if she were deep in concentration.

Xena closed her eyes and relaxed. The penetrating warmth of the morning sun felt wonderful. She thought of the bard and smiled. It wasn't often the young woman lingered on a story when they were ready to leave. The warrior decided to indulge her friend. After all, there was really no rush to get to the village. They weren't expected. Her thoughts drifted back to the bard's scroll. She wondered if Gabrielle would pay as close attention to detail in this story as she did in her other tales. How much would she reveal? The warrior found herself slipping beyond the confines of curiosity and into the realm of obsession. She had to read this story.

The bard's voice interrupted her thoughts. "Hey Xena! If your done napping, we should get going. It's getting late."

The young woman was too busy putting her scrolls away to notice the irritated look Xena threw her.


All things considered, they made good time traveling. They moved much more quickly with Gabrielle riding. The bard was still uncharacteristically quiet. Xena wondered if she was thinking about her story. She missed the bard's constant chatter.

It was mid afternoon when they were greeted by the scouting party and escorted into the village. Xena had dismounted long before they reached the borders of Amazon territory. She quietly led Argo, lost in her thoughts.

Gabrielle noticed the change in the warrior. She seemed distant. The bard guessed that Xena was uncomfortable with others knowing about the change in their relationship. She laid her hand lightly on the tall woman's shoulder and was dismayed when the warrior stiffened at her touch. Taking the none to subtle hint, she pulled back. Gabrielle had to find a way to put her lover at ease. She hoped that her story would communicate what she could not.

Xena was just about to leave their hut to care for Argo when she spotted the bard's story lying on the table beside the bed. Gabrielle was outside speaking with some of the villagers. She could hear them conversing. The warrior looked down at the story, mysteriously drawn to it. Her curiosity was piqued by the bard's secrecy and her reluctance to share the details. Xena knew she shouldn't breech her companion's privacy, but her eyes couldn't help wandering over the text. A sudden noise made her glance up from the parchment. It was Gabrielle.

"Xena, if it's okay with you, I'll wait to unpack. I want to go see Ephiny and invite her by when she has some free time."

The warrior felt a rush of anxiety. The bard almost caught her in the act. She shifted her weight nervously. "Sure, go ahead. There's no hurry. We're going to be here a while."

Gabrielle noticed her companion seemed a little edgy, but she let it pass. "Great, I'll catch up with you later then." As she turned to go she smiled.

Xena watched the bard leave. She could hear her talking outside. Gradually her voice faded into the distance. The warrior looked down at the scroll. The temptation to read it was irresistible. This was the first time the bard had left the parchment out, easily accessible. Could she have meant for her to read it? Xena realized she was fishing for excuses to look at the story. But, now was the ideal time. The warrior knew Gabrielle would be gone for quite awhile. She could finish reading before the bard returned.

Xena sat on the bed and picked up the parchment. Guilt washed over her and she reprimanded herself for her lack of control. There were other things she should be attending to. She didn't want to miss lunch, and Argo was in need of some attention. It was the ideal opportunity to wash and brush her down. The warrior moved to return the parchment to the table, allowing herself to admire the bard's elegant handwriting. Before she could avert her eyes, she had read the first lines.

Part II

Gabrielle tossed the saddlebags onto the bed and began to remove their dirty clothing. She was trying to hurry. Ephiny was on her way over. The bard was eager to fill her in on everything that had happened since they'd seen each other last, especially the most welcome change: her relationship with Xena. She suspected that the warrior would have lunch and go to the stables to brush down Argo. This would give them time to chat privately. She was anxious to share her exciting news.

Gabrielle quickly unpacked their belongings. Their stay here would give her the opportunity to get caught up on their mending. As she reached deep into the sack, her fingers brushed against a rough, hard surface, something foreign. She pulled it out for examination. It was the small clay pot that contained the juice of the Narcis berries. She had hastily packed it in case the witch needed a sample of the magic that had enchanted the warrior.

The bard held it up examining the intricate design on the outside. The pot felt curiously warm in her hand. It was a pleasant feeling, a penetrating warmth. Wondering if she could feel the heat through the lid, she spread the fingers of her free hand over the top. It too, was soothingly warm. The sensation was intoxicating. She could feel an energy running though her as if she had completed a circuit. Her body was suffused with a glowing heat.

Gabrielle was engulfed in sensation. She didn't realize she was stroking the lid until she felt it jiggle. Her actions had caused it to loosen. Suddenly, she was aware of a tantalizing aroma coming from the pot. The bard knew this smell. It was familiar and alluring. The memory was close to the surface, but illusive.

She felt an urgent need to remember, to retrieve it from the recesses of her mind. Gabrielle raised the jar closer to her face, inhaling deeply. A pleasant lightheaded feeling came over her. She took another breath and struggled to identify the captivating scent. The smell was mild, to faint to accurately recall. She gently agitated the lid in an attempt to release more of the aroma into the air. There was a sucking sound as a seal was broken. A full bodied, musky fragrance filled the air. Gabrielle reeled at the scent. Her hand jerked back, sending the lid crashing to the floor. The noise startled her out of her daze.

She gasped as she looked into the container. The red liquid seemed to pulse with life. Something deep inside her issued a warning, she knew she should run, get as far away as she could. But, the nectar swirled in a beautifully hypnotic pattern and she could not tear her eyes away; she didn't want to. She peered deep into the liquid and her memory returned, instantly she knew the smell, it was Xena. It was the enticing scent of her lover, the clear fluid that signaled her partners arousal.

Her mind flashed back to the last time she had experienced the scent. As she remembered the taste of her warrior, her mouth watered and she licked her lips. The recollection was so vivid that it was almost like reliving the moment. She could hear Xena's moans of pleasure. Smell her excitement. In fact, the scent of the warrior's desire was so enticing that her hand reached out, in search of her. The need to run her fingers through Xena's essence was overpowering. She was driven by hunger, a yearning to taste the warrior once again. Her arm extended, stretching to make contact with the intoxicating wetness.

Suddenly, the vision disappeared. What she saw made her freeze in fear. One trembling hand held the small pot. But, it was the other hand that captured her attention. Sometime during her delirium, she had dipped her fingers into the blood red liquid. Her first two digits were coated with the magical liquid. A jolt of desire rushed though her as she felt the glittering substance penetrate her skin. Her body began to awaken, surge with energy. It felt so delicious that she could not resist the temptation to raise her fingers toward her mouth. She wanted to lick them, to take them inside.

Gabrielle raised the throbbing fingers to her lips, painting them with the alluring nectar. She felt a searing heat roll through her as she lightly caressed the them. Her skin began to tingle as the nectar sensitized every nerve, radiating down her neck and spreading to her limbs. The young woman's body came alive with an enhanced awareness. Her senses were so keen that she could feel the tiny ridges of her fingers against her lips. The very air seemed to caress her.

Gabrielle was lost in the rapture. She could have traced her lips forever, her entire body quivered. The liquid had transformed her fingers into the ultimate instruments for pleasuring herself. She wanted more. The bard was compelled by a force greater than she had ever known to experience these sensations everywhere. She wanted to paint her most intimate parts with this sensual substance. It became an overpowering need that she did not have the will to deny. Gabrielle tore desperately at the laces of her top with her free hand, unable to put the small pot down. She had to have it near. The warmth of the liquid pulsed through the clay pot to the rhythm of her own heart. The connection could not be broken.

At last her breasts were free, the nipples already painfully hard. She struggled with her belt and ripped her skirt off. The now damp breeches were hastily flung across the room. Her pulse was racing. Anxious to experience everything the magic could offer, she dunked her fingers into the pot, swirling them through the syrupy liquid. When she removed them she watched the sensual nectar sparkle in the dim light. It trickled down her fingers onto her palm and she gasped, sure it would engulf her entirely.

It called to her, bringing her out of her haze. Her eyes moved from the substance to her erect nipples, now begging for attention. Without hesitation, she lovingly coated them. A moan wrenched from her depths. Her breasts felt swollen, hot. She thought the ecstasy would overwhelm her. Lovingly she caressed each nipple, slowly alternating her attention from one to the other. Soon it wasn't enough, not nearly enough. She could feel the wetness between her legs building. Her dripping center demanded contact, too.

Gabrielle plunged her fingers into the pot gathering more of the liquid, hoping it could quell her need. She carefully parted her outer lips, exposing her aching center. The young woman's fingers swirled purposefully though the river of moisture her body sent forth. Her need was intense. Gabrielle yearned for consummation, but instinctively knew her own hands would never be enough. She could not end this raging desire on her own.

There was a sharp knock on the door. Her heart quickened. The bard was so consumed with lust that she gave no thought to who it might be. She no longer cared. Her heart hammered in her chest as she awaited them, release... and bonding... were at hand.


Xena made her way back from the dining hall, carrying a tray of food. She had no doubt the bard would be famished and wanted to surprise her.

"Hi, Xena." The warrior looked up to see Solari smiling warmly at her. She returned the greeting. "It's good to have you back with us. I didn't think we would see you two again so soon."

"We had a change in plans. Gabrielle was anxious to spend time with Ephiny."

"I know Ephiny is glad to have her back. As soon as she found out you'd arrived, she ended the council meeting. She's probably with Gabrielle now."

"Looks like we'll all have a chance to catch up over lunch." Xena glanced down at the tray she was carrying. "I'm headed there now."

"Well, I hope I get to see more of you this visit than last time. Stop by the training field tomorrow morning. Maybe we can get some sparring in."

The warrior nodded and headed towards their hut.


Xena balanced the tray of food as she used her foot to knock on the door. "Open up. I've got lunch." Getting no reply she held the tray precariously in one hand and swung the door open.

The sight before her made the warrior stop dead in her tracks. Gabrielle lay on the bed, writhing erotically. Her red stained fingers were poised at her sex. The warrior dropped the tray and lunged for the bard's wrist.

"Gabrielle?" She looked quickly around the room searching for the responsible party. Her eyes fell to the small pot in her partner's left hand.

"What have you done?"

The words seemed to awaken the bard, spur her to action. She was desperate for their bodies to make contact. Gabrielle longed to kiss her lover, to feel Xena's lips against her. She wanted to cover her partner with the wondrous liquid, melt into her. With her hand trapped in the warriors grasp she lunged forward in an attempt to capture her companions mouth, intent on devouring her. Xena pulled back from the amorous young woman, barely avoiding the brush of her tainted lips. She wrestled the pot from the bard and twisted to placed it on the table beside the bed.

Gabrielle groped wildly with her free hand, frantically trying to get hold of her companion. Driven by her hunger, she had to have release. "Ohhhh... Xena," she groaned, her voice low, guttural. "Please... I need you ."

The warrior grabbed the flailing hand. In desperation, Gabrielle arched to make contact with her lover's body. Xena fought to keep her at arms length. It wasn't easy. The bard was wild with need. At last, she was able to pin both of the bard's wrists in one hand.

She tore the blanket on the bed and used the cloth to wipe the bards fingers and lips. Gabrielle moaned at the delicious sensation and struggled wildly to free her hands. One broke loose and shot under the warrior's leathers. The young woman's fingers tried to reach the source of the warrior's power, Xena's sex. The determined bard circumvented the warrior's breeches, nearly obtaining what she so desperately desired. The warrior pulled away from the urgent groping and recaptured her lover's hand.

Gabrielle twisted in her lover's grasp. She arched her throbbing breasts toward the warrior-- conscious only of her need for a lover's touch, her need to be fulfilled. Xena held the bard's wrists in one hand and wiped urgently at her nipples with the torn cover. As she made contact, Gabrielle immediately stopped struggling and melted into her touch. She moaned loudly, thrusting against the cloth that tortured her nipples. The warrior knelt on the bard's thighs and held the young woman's hands above her head, effectively pinning her to the bed.

"Gabrielle, listen to me! Try to get hold of yourself!" The bard's entire body stiffened. She looked at Xena, her eyes briefly comprehending. The warrior relaxed her grip and tried to calm the young woman by stroking her hair. This gentle contact pacified her only momentarily. Soon her body began to slowly rock and Xena knew she had lost her again.

"Don't you want me?" the bard purred in a wickedly seductive tone. It sent a shiver down the warrior's spine. Gabrielle's body was flushed, hot and ready. Her eyes reflected her desire. They glowed with a feral lust. She slowly licked her lips. "I want you."

"You have to fight this. I'll get help."

The bard groaned and licked her lips seductively. "You can help me right now!" Her tone was imploring. "Let go of my hands and I'll show you how." She smiled innocently and pulled a hand from the warrior's gentle hold. "Please.... I'll be yours... Forever." Gabrielle ran her fingers down the warrior's arm, leaving a trail of goose bumps. Her hand tightened around Xena's wrist and gently coaxed the warrior's hand between her legs.

Xena was lost in the bard's eyes, awed by her beauty. She didn't sense what the young woman was up to until she felt Gabrielle's silky wetness beneath her fingers. The bard was hot, swollen with need. The warrior was losing control, being pulled in, she longed to possess the bard to take her. She gasped. "Gods... I."

"I want you... only you." Gabrielle whispered. The feel of the sensual woman's hot breath in her ear nearly obliterated Xena's resolve. Slowly the bard began to gyrate against the warrior's hand. The sensation against her fingertips was incredible. She looked into the bard's hypnotic eyes. They sparkled, reflecting the candle light with an eerie sensuality. Gabrielle moved erotically to the rhythm of her partner's strokes. Soon her pace quickened, becoming more urgent. She moaned in the warrior's ear.

"Yeess... Yeess." The bard's voice was filled with unrestrained lust. It sounded so foreign and unfamiliar that Xena snapped out of her haze and pulled her hand away, unsure of what to do.

Gabrielle groaned in obvious pain. Her need for release was overpowering. She had only one goal and would do anything to achieve it. "If you don't want me ... maybe someone else..." She trailed off letting the meaning of her words sink in.

The thought made the warrior's blood run cold. Xena remembered they way the enchantment had seized control of her will when she had been under it's spell. She knew it would force the bard to bond with the first person to bring her to climax, just as it had done with her. There was risk, leaving the bard in current state with so many Amazons around. Could she get the word out about Gabrielle's condition before someone succumbed to her insistent advances?

The bard tugged at Xena's wrist, reminding her what she needed. The warrior searched Gabrielle's face for signs of the young woman she knew and loved.

"Please... I want it to be you." Xena's resolve broke as she watched the bard's lip tremble with emotion.

"Okay Gabrielle, you win." She bent to kiss her, willingly succumbing to the needs of the woman she loved.

It was a marathon session of orgasms for the bard. Xena was amazed at the young woman's energy level. Gabrielle could not get enough. She did not tire. After each climax she would catch her breath and beg the warrior for more. They were a tangle of limbs, twisting in and erotic dance.

Xena was exhausted and still had not alleviated her lover's hunger. She realized that if she allowed it, this could go on indefinitely. Her options were limited. Her body needed rest and so did Gabrielle's. She slid her hand along the bard's spine, feeling for a pressure point and quickly jabbed it. The bard went limp in her arms, unconscious.

"Forgive me Gabrielle. I need time to figure out a way to help you." The warrior grabbed the bard's shift from the pile of clothing on the chair and slipped it over her head. She laid her young lover gently on the bed and tenderly pulled the covers over her.

Relaxed and sleeping peacefully she was the picture of innocence. Xena gently pressed her lips to Gabrielle's. "I'll find a way out of this. I promise."

Not sure how long the pressure point would hold against the effects of the powerful magic, she wrapped the clay pot in the torn bed cover and went to find the Regent.


Ephiny listened to Xena's tale intently. Interrupting only a couple of times to ask questions. "So we need to find this witch, Ariel. You think she can help?"

"I'm sure she can. She was able to release me from the enchantment, using a powerful elixir. I was hoping you would send one of the Amazons to find her. I... I would go myself, but I think it's best if I'm not far from her now."

The Regent thought for an instant that she saw Xena blush. "I'll send two of our fastest scouts, immediately." She held the warrior's eyes. "I care a great deal for Gabrielle and I'm prepared to do whatever I can to help."

"Thanks." Xena awkwardly broke eye contact. She wondered just how much the Regent knew.

Ephiny looked at her sympathetically. "You look exhausted. Try to get some rest. Get something to eat."

The warrior's thoughts turned to the food scattered on the floor of their hut, to the vision of her tormented lover, completely vulnerable to the pull of the magic within her. Suddenly, she felt the need to be with her, to know she was all right.

"No, I have check on Gabrielle." She stood to leave.

The Regent clasped Xena's arm, trying to reassure her. "Please, stop by the dining hall and get some food, surely Gabrielle is hungry too."

"Yeah, maybe your right."


The warrior made up a tray with all of the bard's favorites. She was ready to leave the dinning hall when an Amazon approached her rather hesitantly.

"Xena, my name is Serena, I'm one of the cooks."

The warrior recognized her from their last visit. She was the woman who had made a few casual physical advances towards Gabrielle the last night of their visit. Xena felt embarrassed by the way she had warned off the poor woman. "Ah,... I remember. I owe you an apology. I..."

Serena interrupted her. "No please... I wanted to apologize to you. I never would have... shown an interest, if I had known she was involved. I'm terribly sorry."

Xena felt the heat rise in her cheeks. There were many uncomfortable aspects to their new relationship that she would have to get used to. "No harm done. Let's forget it."

Serena smiled gratefully and extended her hand in friendship. The warrior balanced the tray and graciously accepted. Suddenly, the Amazon's expression changed. A look of fear darkened her features as she pulled her hand from Xena's and slowly backed up.

Before she could turn around to see what had caught the woman's attention, Gabrielle flew past her and lunged at Serena. They both tumbled to the ground, the Queen winning the top position. The crazed bard sat astride the startled Amazon, struggling with her. "She's mine!" Gabrielle growled.

Xena dropped the tray for the second time that day and quickly wrestled her angry companion off Serena. "She's not herself. I'm sorry." The warrior said in apology. The cook jumped to feet and hurried out the dinning hall.

The bard squirmed in the warrior's grasp; eager to eliminate her competition. She wasn't about to share Xena with anyone. The warrior pulled her in, strengthening her hold. As soon as Gabrielle felt the heat of her lover's body against her skin, her attitude shifted. She relaxed and buried her head in the warrior's leathers.

"I missed you." She purred, nipping the warrior's breast.

Xena was keenly aware that everyone in the dining hall was watching them and grabbed the bard by the arm to lead her outside. "Let's go back to the hut."

"But... I can't wait that long... Pleeease." The bard put her arms around the Xena's neck and pulled herself up, locking her legs around the warrior's waist. She ground her sex into Xena's abdomen. "Mmmm... You were so good. I want more."

Before the warrior could react, Gabrielle captured her lips in a passionate kiss. Xena attempted to pull back, but the young woman tangled her fingers through her hair and tightened the grip of her legs. There was no way to get free without hurting Gabrielle. When she tried to speak, to reason with her, the bard used Xena's open mouth to her own advantage plunging her tongue in.

The warrior felt her knees go weak. Gabrielle's amorous attentions were wearing her down. The bard was relentless. Her young lover's sex pulsed against her, echoing the beat of her own heart. The rhythm was hypnotic and she found herself wanting to give in. She moaned into Gabrielle's mouth. Yes, she could take, her right here, again and again and...

A vision of the bard, valiantly defending her against the god of war, jolted the warrior out of her trace. Xena broke the kiss and immediately her head cleared. She reached behind her young woman and once again hit the spinal pressure point. The bard collapsed in her arms.

The warrior's heart hammered as she considered the implications of what had happened. The strength of the magic controlling Gabrielle was greater than she had ever imagined. It had nearly claimed them both. A sense of foreboding settled over her as she carried the unconscious woman to their hut.


"Ephiny, I don't know what to do. The use of pressure points is becoming less effective and her metabolism is so out of whack that I don't think it's safe to drug her. How am I going to keep her distracted until the scouts return with help?"

"Well," Ephiny shrugged, "You could try giving in to her. It might exhaust her, bring her some relief."

Xena sat down wearily. "I have ...many times. It just seems to make the situation worse. I think it has an even stronger hold on her now." The warrior rubbed her eyes. She looked very tired.

"Hmmm. I Guess we need to think of another way to wear her out then." Ephiny's brows furrowed as she thought. "What about a sparring match? The winner gets ... you."

"This is pretty serious to her, I afraid she might injure someone in her zeal to win. Besides, I would never consider being with anyone else and I don't want Gabrielle led to believe I would."

Ephiny was a little surprised by the conviction Xena's voice. "I see." She noted the warrior's trembling hands and sat beside her. "It's serious between you two then?"

Xena nodded, looking away. "She's the other half of my soul."

Ephiny was quiet, she hadn't expected such a heart felt admission.

"I'm afraid this magic has found a way to strengthen it's hold on Gabrielle through me. It's using my passion for her to access my dark side."

"What do you mean? Why would you think that?"

"When we kissed, I felt it reach into me, searching for what it could use, tempting me. It used my desire to control us both."

"But you didn't give in; you're here. What stopped you?"

"I... I thought of her love for me... and somehow I regained control." Xena looked directly at Ephiny. "I'm afraid it will win the next time, that I will give in to it."

"Xena, when it comes down to it, you will always do what's best for Gabrielle. I would stake my life on it."

Remembering how consumed with lust she had been, the warrior feared that she couldn't be trusted to do the right thing. She could still recall the seductive pull of the magic. It made her shiver.

Ephiny could almost feel the sexual energy radiating off the warrior's skin; she crossed the room, putting some distance between them. "Maybe we should think up competition that will wear you both out." Xena smiled softly.

The Regent suddenly had an idea. "The contest could be for a day's training with you. It's not likely Gabrielle would want to be without your company for an entire day."

"What type of contest?"

"It has to be something without weapons or contact that is still physically exhausting. Something..."

"The obstacle course," Xena interrupted.

"Good idea. Amazons are always up for competitions. It shouldn't be difficult to round up enough competitors to wear her down. How many times do you think she can run it?"

"Normally she could probably run it several times. Now... I don't know. This enchantment has her pumped with an unnatural energy. We need to be prepared for anything.

Ephiny agreed. "To be safe, we should have many challengers on hand, just in case."

The warrior looked anxious. "I hope the scouts come back with the witch soon."

The Regent looked anxiously at the warrior. "Xena, I took the liberty of speaking with Saras, our eldest healer. She was going to search the archives for information on these Narcis berries. You may want to have a talk with her."

"Good, the more we know, the better off we are." The warrior got up to leave. When she reached the door she turned to Ephiny. "I appreciate everything you've done for us."


Much to Xena's surprise, Gabrielle slept peacefully through the night. Unfortunately, upon awaking, she was charged with sexual tension and made her intentions known in soft caresses and lingering kisses. The warrior was only able to avoid the bard's advances by convincing her they needed to eat. Oddly, even in her current state of arousal the bard was open to this.

The trip to the dining hall was challenging. Gabrielle was not shy about revealing her lust for her companion, no matter who happened to be looking. The warrior was greatly relieved when the bard's concentration shifted to her meal. She seemed to have the same passion for her food that she did for her lover. Xena wondered if the magic was causing that also, trying to keep her strong.

The warrior used this time to speak with her friend. She described the contest that was to take place and explained that she would be obligated to train with the winner for the rest of the day. The bard became highly agitated when none of her arguments swayed Xena from going through with the silly competition. In the end it didn't matter, Gabrielle intended to do what ever was necessary to be the one spending the day with the warrior.

The one mile course was laid out behind the sparing field. It contained sixteen individually challenging obstacles. Completion of the course required great strength and stamina. It demanded the use of a variety of skills: running, jumping , rope climbing, and crawling. It also required careful maneuvering, coordination, balance and speed. Even one time through, at the breakneck pace was grueling.

All of the competitors had been informed prior to their entry that they were to lose without making it appear obvious. Nevertheless, Gabrielle had easily defeated the competition the first five times through, surprising even Xena. No one had to hold back. It was an amazing sight. The bard traversed every obstacle with grace and agility. The Regent was sure she had set a course record. She had never seen anyone so such focused and determined.

It occurred to Ephiny that the reason this enchantment had such a hold on Gabrielle was because it amplified her existing feelings for the warrior. She knew how deeply the bard loved Xena. The Regent glanced at the warrior and was startled by the intense look of pride and love shining in her eyes. Ephiny knew by the expression on the warrior's face that somehow they would prevail. Xena would do whatever it took.

The bard had traversed the course nineteen times. Her current opponent had to trip repeatedly so that Gabrielle could maintain her lead. By the time the bard crossed the finish line, she was weaving precariously. Amazingly, she managed to stay on her feet and walked with great determination back to Xena's side.

Gabrielle groaned loudly as another Amazon stepped up to challenge her, summoning the last of her reserves she swung at the woman. She managed to connect solidly with the challenger's jaw, knocking her unconscious. The effort nearly made the bard topple over. She looked menacingly into the crowd.

"Anyone else?" she growled. The exhausted bard took a wobbly step toward Xena and her knees gave way. She collapsed into the warrior's arms.

The warrior gently cradled the young woman against her and kissed her lightly on the forehead. "Gods, she has heart."

Ephiny smiled in agreement. "Yes, and it's all for you."

A tear slide down Xena's cheek. "I have to find a way to free her from this." She bent and reluctantly handed the spent young woman to Ephiny. "Please, take her back to our hut and keep an eye on her. I'm going to speak with the healer. If the scouts return, come and get me."


The warrior found Saras in the library, immersed in her scrolls. She took a seat beside the healer. "Have you been able to find anything?"

"It doesn't look good." Saras said honestly. "I need to ask you some questions... rather delicate ones, due to the nature of these berries."

"I understand. Ask me anything you need to. I just want to help Gabrielle."

The healer cleared her throat. "It appears that once the liquid has made contact with the victim's skin, it preys on their sexual appetite. The more intense the person's innate desire, the stronger it's hold." The woman sought a tactful approach. "I need to determine how would this effect Gabrielle?"

Xena took a breath before answering. "Gabrielle has a very passionate nature. I'm afraid it has a very tight hold on her."

The healer glanced nervously at the warrior, hesitant to ask her such intimate questions. "Have you made love to her since she came in contact with this substance?"

"Yes, but just that initial time... is that bad?" Xena replied anxiously, worried she'd done something to harm the bard.

Noting the edge in the warrior's voice, the healer tried to temper her answer. "Well, yes and no. Apparently, the enchantment causes an individual to bond with the first person that brings them to climax. For obvious reasons, I think it's good that it was you."

Saras stopped to collect her thoughts. "Some believe that this liquid contains an entity that binds with the individual's libido and, is in fact, nurtured by it. It feeds off the energy released during orgasm: the more climaxes, the stronger the entity becomes." She paused before asking her next question. "How many times did she ah...?"

Xena's heart hammered in her chest at this new information. "I... I was trying to tire her out... bring her peace. I never wanted... It took awhile for me to realize it wasn't helping. She was so desperate... so in need." Xena closed her eyes and rubbed her forehead, awash in guilt.

Saras gently took her hand. "I know you would never knowingly bring harm to Gabrielle. How many..."

Xena thought. "Fifteen times... maybe more... I don't know. I wasn't keeping track."

"Fifteen?" Serena was stunned. "One after another?"

The warrior's face flushed. "She was desperate, driven..."

The healer shook her head at the unfortunate news. "All right, the important thing now, is not to make it worse." She gave Xena a warning glance. "I think it best if you don't do it again."

Noting the warrior's remorseful expression, she smiled sympathetically. "Xena, I know it was very difficult for you to deny her something she needed so much. The enchanted can be very convincing. It won't help anyone to dwell on what has already been done."

"What if the scouts can't locate the witch? Is there anything we can do to rid her of this?"

"I read one account where two individuals attempted to exorcise it. They tried to starve it out, so to speak."

"Were they successful?"

"Unfortunately, the possessed woman died. After four days of abstinence. Her suffering became so great that she went mad and drove a dagger into her own chest."

"I won't let this… thing harm Gabrielle. There has to be something I can do."

"I have an idea, I think the trick may be to make the host's body undesirable to the entity, to make it too painful or frustrating to inhabit."


"If I'm correct that it feeds on the energy released at orgasm, maybe it could be weakened by forestalling climax over an extended period of time. It might even attempt to flee such a body, in favor of another, more acceptable one."

"You think I could take this from Gabrielle into myself?"

"Yes, I believe it's possible. How did it exit from your body before?"

"I drank an elixir that caused the entity to take on vaporous form. The witch expelled it from my lungs and it vanished into the air."

"We don't have the elixir to transform it, or the power to force it from her. But if the entity were desperate, it might leave her body for a more acceptable host. It might transfer from Gabrielle to you through ... a kiss." She searched the warrior's face for her reaction.

"It seems logical." Xena took a deep breath. "At least there's a chance I can take this from her."

"It's very dangerous. The entity could end up possessing you both. I truly don't know what to expect." The healer considered the plan. "I would guess that each transfer might at least weaken it."

"Each transfer?" Xena looked at the healer in disbelief. "If I'm successful getting this thing out of Gabrielle, I will not put her in danger by giving it back!"

"I see... and you think Gabrielle will just accept your sacrifice and save herself?"

Xena did not respond. The answer was clear. "What could we hope to accomplish by passing this thing between us?"

"It seems reasonable to assume that if it isn't fed, eventually its hold will lessen."

"Do you think we can destroy it through starvation?"

"I don't know. It might attempt to flee, it might fade away or it might reside inside indefinitely."

Xena stiffened. The thought of an indefinite period of torturous yearning was extremely unpleasant. Sensing the warrior's misgivings about Gabrielle's further involvement, the healer continued, "at the very least it would buy us time to search for other answers."

Xena looked up as Ephiny entered with one of the scouts.

She quickly stood. "Did you bring the witch back?"

"We weren't able to find her. The cave showed no signs of any one living there, no furnishings or supplies of any kind."

"You must have gone to the wrong cave. We were there only a couple of days ago." Xena was angry, and frustrated. The scout looked miserable, ashamed for having failed her Queen.

"We followed your instructions to the letter. It was as you described, only empty. Alani stayed behind just in case the witch returned. I wanted to get back quickly with the news." The warrior turned to the healer. "It's looks like we'll get to test your theory. Ephiny, Saras will fill you in. Better post a couple of guards at the door to our hut."

Xena squeezed the distraught scouts shoulder, acknowledging her effort and left abruptly. Her hope of overcoming the entity had greatly diminished.


The warrior sat on the corner of the bed watching her lover sleep. The young woman was so relaxed, so peaceful. It seemed, if she were to wake up, she would be herself but Xena knew better. The entity's hold was insidious and unrelenting. She remembered the agony she had endured: bound, helpless, and alone in the cave before Gabrielle had found her. Her will had been broken and she had transformed into something primitive and untamed. During that time she had but a single purpose: sexual release. She knew that shortly after the bard awoke she, too, would be driven by the same goal.

As she recalled the power of the entity, she feared that they would not be able to overcome it. Although Gabrielle had a strong will, Xena wasn't sure it would be enough. The warrior's experience would help. But, the real wild card in their struggle was their love for each. It was the one thing, she hoped, would tip the balance in their favor. Xena was ready to do whatever was necessary to save her companion and was confident that if the bard regained control she would, also.

She slowly removed her armor and donned a simple shift--- an unlikely outfit for the battle she was about to enter. A battle for Gabrielle's life. The bard stirred in her sleep as if sensing her lover's presence. She grimaced as she felt her sore muscles complain and slowly opened her eyes. The warrior watched her carefully for signs of recognition.

"Xena, I had the strangest nightmare..." As soon as their eyes met, she knew it was no dream. Something stirred deep within her and she could feel the yearning build.

"Gabrielle, I need you to listen to me. Try not to give in, you must hold back, delay climax. If the entity becomes desperate, it may attempt to flee your body and pass into me. Then you will need to do the same for me."

The young woman watched in silence as Xena spoke. She understood the warrior's request. But, it was impossible. Xena didn't realize what she was asking. Even now, the bard could feel her will surrendering to her need. The attraction to the dark-haired woman was too strong to resist. Her eyes roamed the length of the warrior's body. Xena was truly exquisite. Her thin white shift accentuated every curve. Gabrielle could see a faint shadow through the sheer fabric. Her desire was insidious, slowly engulfing her... controlling her. The hunger surged, causing her senses to reel. There was no resisting it. She wanted the softness, the scent, the ecstasy that accompanied the warrior's touch. It was too much to bear. "Please... touch me...I..."

"I know… Soon." Xena soothed. Her only hope was that Gabrielle had heard her words and would try to fight. She lovingly stroked the bard's hair, as she tried to relax her. "I'm going to release you, slowly… very slowly..."

Gabrielle watched her lover, her eyes glittered with rapt anticipation as the warrior removed her shift. She focused on Xena's long fingers, entranced by the grace of their movement as they peeled off the useless garment. The vision enthralled her. She marveled at the loveliness of her partner's body. The desire to be touched by the warrior, was irresistible. "Now... please." She tore at her own robe, tossing it haphazardly off the bed. Her nipples hardened unbearably as the cool air made contact.

Xena was overcome by the incredible beauty of her companion. Gabrielle's skin was flushed, her body open, ready to accept whatever she would give. The bard lovingly cupped her breasts, lifting them in offering to the warrior. Xena bent slowly to accept the tender flesh.

Gabrielle felt her lover's teasing breath excruciatingly close to her erect nipple. Her heart raced in expectation as she awaited the pleasurable contact. Moments seemed like candlemarks. She couldn't endure the longing for another instant. Frantically she locked her free hand around the back of the warrior's neck and firmly urged her forward.

Xena placed her hands under the bard's arms, holding her back, asserting her control. Gabrielle knew it was useless to force the issue. Her strength was no match for the warrior. She gave in and eased her hold. In reward, the warrior's hot tongue flicked lightly over the puckered flesh.

She groaned as Xena's wet mouth closed on the hardened point. "Ohh, yes... yes..." Her touch was maddeningly light and the bard tried again to pull the warrior to her, only to feel Xena's tongue lift from her aching nipple.

"Easy... easy." The warrior spoke softly, stroking her lover's cheek.

Gabrielle let her hands drop and felt the warrior's tongue caress her once again. This time she took the hardened tip into her mouth and suckled it greedily. The bard's skin was irresistibly soft and inviting. She feasted hungrily, stroking the tortured point. Her thumb and forefinger imprisoned the other nipple, delicate and small. She pulled it gently, eliciting a tortured moan from the bard. Her teeth grazed the surface, causing the tip to grow taller, harder. Gabrielle groaned in ecstasy as the warrior closed her mouth on it. The young woman's hips lifted off the bed. Xena did not release the breast, but continued feasting.

"Mmmm... yes! Oh, Xena...."

The bard could hardly endure the sweetness of it, the maddening increase in tension as her lover all but devoured her breasts and then backed off, teasing them with delicate strokes of her fingers and tongue. Her desire rose in a tormenting rhythm. She needed more, but she knew if she pressed the warrior she would lose her touch altogether. In desperation she voiced her need. "More... please... lower."

Xena complied, slowly releasing the bard's sensitive breasts. Her tongue began to travel slowly, making it's way down her lover's torso. The warrior noted the changes in her lover's body: the variations in her breathing, the heat of her skin, the trembling of her limbs. Each was a sign of the young woman's impending climax.

Xena felt her own passion rise to a fever pitch. They were in complete harmony. Her body instinctively knew what the young woman needed. Gabrielle was utterly pliant and responsive. The power she held over the bard excited her. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, catching her lover's scent as it rose from her core. She was close. Gabrielle began whimpering, making desperate little sounds. It was time. Her arousal had escalated to the next level.

"Yes..." Gabrielle groaned spreading her legs wide, encouraging her lover to proceed.

"Bend your knees."

Gabrielle moaned and obeyed. Her fingers tangled in the dark hair, pushing Xena toward her dripping entrance. The warrior stilled. Gabrielle groaned, desperate for her to continue. She writhed, clutching at the warrior, urging her lower. Xena remained passive.

"Please... don't stop... I..." the bard's hands released her. The small fingers curled into fists. Her need was maddening. She pounded the bed in frustration.

"That's it, that's it," The warrior spoke in a gentle reassuring tone. "Let me pleasure you." Her sensual voice caressed the bard, bathed her in rapture.

Gabrielle arched off the bed when she felt the heat of Xena's tongue on her skin once again, gliding closer and closer to her soft mound. Another jolt of pleasure shot through her as the warrior's finger parted her folds. The bard clutched at the blanket, trying to control her hands. She could feel the warrior's breath on her and knew she would soon feel her lover's tongue where she needed it most. Her entire body glistened with a thin layer of salty sweat, trembling with anticipation.

When at last, Xena's tongue plunged into the bard's opening, it was ecstasy. A few more thrusts and she would tumble over the edge. The warrior drove into her again. She could feel the tightness of her lover's walls, the trembling of her thighs. Moisture was literally dripping from her.

Xena stilled her movements, trying to remain motionless. She could feel her lover's sex throb; Gabrielle was painfully close. She withdrew and spoke softly to the bard, gently calming her. The young woman's hips churned, trying to draw The warrior's attention back to her pulsing center.

She was about to cry out, to beg for release as Xena's mouth descended, swallowing her words. The bard's tongue moved wildly inside the warrior's mouth, desperate to communicate her need. She could no longer move. Xena's weight pinned her to the bed. The young woman bucked, but her attempts were futile. Her sex ached for contact that she could not provide it. Gabrielle's fists pounded Xena's back, as she fought to dislodge her, make her move the tinniest bit. She was completely at the warrior's mercy.

Xena lightly wiped the bard's tear soaked cheeks and allowed the small hands the only outlet they had against the torture she endured. At last, exhaustion claimed Gabrielle and she relaxed. Her hands lay limply at her sides. The only indication of her ongoing misery was the soft whimpering sounds that escaped her lips. Xena sealed her mouth to the bard's, kissing her softly, trying to give her some refuge from her pain.

They lay in peace for a few blessed moments. But all too soon Gabrielle's need surged. It came back exquisitely soon, in agonizing waves. Xena felt the bard's body writhe as lust surged through her veins. She pinned the bard's wrist to her sides and lavished her lover's breasts with languid strokes of her tongue. Gabrielle's nipples throbbed steadily under the warrior's ministrations.

She cried desperately, "Pleeeease... I need you."

The warrior tried to calm her frantic lover. "Shhh... hold on..."

Again Xena descended, her lips and tongue winding a slow path down the bard's heaving body.

Gabrielle trembled violently as the warrior's hands caressed her inner thighs. She tried to edge her pulsing sex toward her lover's fingers. The gentle strokes on her sensitive skin inflamed her. They stoked a fire that threatened to consume her. Her moisture overflowed her lips and trickled out, adding a maddening itch to her torment. She felt Xena's fingers poised at her entrance and knew she could not bear another moment of teasing. She cried in relief as the warrior's fingers glided in, filling her completely.

"Mmmm... yours... take me."

The bard was slick and tight. Her muscles grasped the warrior's fingers, holding them with amazing strength. Gabrielle's breaths were coming in great gasps. Her legs were shaking. She was on the verge of orgasm and Xena knew she had to drive it back. She slid out.

Her young lover let out a hoarse groan that seemed a cry for mercy. She ached in her emptiness and would have done anything to have Xena inside her again. She belonged to Xena's hands, Xena's mouth, belonged to them inside and out. She was so very close to the edge. Her muscles grasped for the warrior's fingers, her swollen clitoris begging to be touched.

No matter how she struggled, climax was just beyond her reach, her mouth opened in a low moan. She rocked back and forth, her body pleading in vain. Xena's mouth was once again locked to hers in a searing kiss. A hot shiver shot down to her sex. She was desperate for a single touch that would hurl her over the edge.

The bard re-doubled her efforts to free herself. It was all Xena could do to hold her in place. Gabrielle could smell her own wetness. The heat of her lover's body, its very nearness, escalated her pleasure to pain. Her body ached as never before. She screamed aloud, attempting to give herself some form of physical release.

The bard was wild with need. How long could she writhe, dreaming of orgasm? Surely she would loose her mind. Every candlemark of her starvation sharpened her craving. It seemed she would break open like over ripened fruit. Her hunger could not be contained. She would surely perish. She had to find release. Her head tossed from side to side as she struggled against Xena's strength. She had to have more than the warrior's kiss.

Xena was lost in their kiss. There was something savage in Gabrielle that called to her. Her own sex contracted as she envisioned moving inside the bard, pumping her long fingers into the young woman's quivering body. In response to her vision, she slid her hand down Gabrielle's torso. She felt driven to touch her lover's burning clitoris, to bring her to orgasm. It would take only a few strokes and this would end. Her fingers glided over the slippery wetness on the bard's thigh. She was almost there.

The bard dug her short nails into the warrior's back. Xena winced and broke their kiss. She opened her eyes and looked down at her tormented lover. Her head cleared. The entity had nearly won, nearly taken her in. For those few moments she had lost control. She pulled her hand back as if she had been bitten and shuddered.

Gabrielle was awash with emotion, tears rolled down her face. Xena gently wiped them away. The warrior's touch felt like both a mercy and a punishment. Her hunger gnawed at her as she teetered on the verge of climax. It seem that even the gentle pressure of bringing her legs together would plummet her over, but Xena knelt between them making even that impossible.

She was weeping. Her entire body trembling with need. The warrior hugged her tight, trying both to comfort and pin the bard's hands to her sides, afraid of what she might attempt.

Gabrielle pleaded. Her voice ragged. "It hurts!.., Xena, please!... it hurts!..." Her voice broke as her body stiffened in utter anguish. Her words sliced through the warrior heart.

The bard's pain-filled cries tore at her very soul. She threw her head back, futilely trying to block out the agonizing noise. Her own hands, that could have given her relief from the sound, held the thrashing bard in place. Xena felt an intense burning as tears overflowed her eyes. She tried to focus, steeling herself for the anguish she would find in the bard's features.

What she saw there shocked her. The warrior could not believe her eyes. She blinked rapidly to clear her vision. Gabrielle's cheeks were smeared with red tears. The moment had come. She locked her mouth to the bard's and parted her lips savagely with her tongue. With all her strength, she drew the breath out of her young lover. Their bodies ground against each other, breast against breast. Through their kiss Xena felt a current of erotic torment surge into her with such force that she was knocked off the bed onto the floor.

Gabrielle was free.


She blinked her eyes and tried to clear her head. Her heart hammered furiously in her chest and her body ached, but her will was once again her own. Xena had saved her and now she had to do the same for the warrior. But how could she hope to control her? She glanced down at her lover.

The warrior lay against the wall. Her head lolled to one side. She could feel the entity surging through her, spreading it's tentacles throughout, taking control. It left no part of her untouched. Her body was shocked and throbbing, alive as never before. A tingling began at her scalp and spread rapidly over the surface of her body. Her skin pulsed with energy. Every cell screamed for attention. The force spoke to her seductively, tempting her with promises of rapture. It was power and she wanted to embrace it. She would have release.

Xena's head raised. Her eyes blazed with an enchanted light. The entity would not be denied. Immediately, she focused on the bard. Her flesh quivered at the sight of the naked woman. She was on her feet instantly, moving toward Gabrielle. The warrior's desire pulsed within her like a second heart. Her sex felt swollen, wet, and hungry.

"Take me... now!" The savageness of her command left no doubt that she would have what she needed.

The ferocity of her gaze and the aggressiveness of her movements startled Gabrielle. She stood and cautiously backed away. Xena advanced, pushing her roughly against the wall. The bard was not physically capable of handling the powerful warrior. She stood naked and vulnerable, back against the wall. Her bare hands raised before her were her only protection. She tensed, bracing herself for Xena's assault.

Something in the bard's expression stopped the warrior cold. She saw fear. Xena backed away, burying her face in her hands. Gabrielle eased her defenses. She knew the warrior was there, fighting for control.

"Gabrielle, help me... I..."

The warrior's body trembled, fearing for her lover's safety. What would she do to the young woman if the entity succeeded in overpowering her?

Gabrielle gently took her hand and slowly lead her to the bed. "We can do this... stay with me Xena... keep fighting!" The warrior lay flat on her back, eyes closed, jaw set, hands balled into fists. Her neck was corded with tension. Her body quaked from her effort to maintain control. The bard slowly straddled her leg.

"I love you, Xena." She raised her lover's left arm, stretching it over the warrior's head. Her thumbs tenderly caressed the inside of Xena's wrist. Gradually, the warrior relaxed, her fingers slowly uncurled. Gabrielle gently molded Xena's fingers around the left side of the headboard. She loving repeated the procedure with the right hand. The warrior lay with her arms above her head, her hands gripping opposite corners of the wooden bed frame. She clung to the bed, grateful for something solid to hold on to.

"Yes, that's right... hold on... I'm going to help you." The bard's tone was soothing. She brushed Xena's neck with her lips and whispered in her ear. "I would die for you... don't give in, I need you."

The warrior's limbs trembled. But, she held tight to the bed as commanded; her knuckles white. She gazed up at the young woman. Her eyes fixed on the thick golden hair of Gabrielle's sex, glistening with moisture. The hunger called to her.

She could feel the bard's touch everywhere. Fingers lingered on her skin: stroking, tormenting, possessing. She was on fire. Her breast exploded in sensation as they were licked, suckled, bitten. The warrior's sex throbbed between her legs. She understood now that her need was born of years longing. Her body swayed, undulating in response to her lover's caresses. A part of her mind reasoned that she need not be rendered so helpless. If she let go, she could take control, have what she wanted. It would be so easy. Still, she did not give in. Her lips moved in a silent chant as she fought the entity with her entire being, 'love you... love you...'

Xena's sex was flushed and throbbing with pleasure, her resistance weakening. She spread her heavily muscled thighs and pumped her hips, issuing a silent invitation to her lover. She groaned as Gabrielle's fingers entered her wet vagina. Her limbs froze. She needed this sweet contact more than air. Her hips lunged to swallow her lover's probing fingers and moaned as they went deeper, plunging forward then almost out. Xena was on the edge of the most delicious agony If Gabrielle touched her clitoris, she would be lost, incapable of restraint. Mercifully, her lover slid out.

She pressed her mouth to Xena's. Instantly she yielded opening to the bard. Gabrielle held her tightly, trying to calm her lover's passion. But, the tide could not be turned. Xena's body boiled with heat. The sound of her own blood roared in her ears. Something snapped deep inside her, she stiffened. The warrior let go of the bed and pulled Gabrielle's knee between her legs, attempting to churned against it in a rhythmic motion. The bard pushed away with all her strength, breaking free. Xena sat up. Her eyes shinning with lust.

She no longer viewed this young woman as her friend, her soulmate, she was simply the means to an end. "I'm done playing..." The warrior growled.

She straddled the bard's waist and raised up on her knees. She grabbed the young woman's wrist and pulled her hand toward her. Gabrielle was helpless against the warrior's strength. She closed her hand into a fist, struggling futilely.

"Xena, you can't force me to do this!"

"We'll see." The warrior smiled and uncurled the bard's fingers. "I will have what I desire."

Gabrielle looked into her companion's eyes searching for traces of the woman she loved. "Xena, please...fight. I know we can beat this."

She had lost. The warrior's eyes glazed over as she pulled the bard's hand closer...

There was a violent knocking at the door. Ephiny was yelling. "Xena, Velasca's coming!" Gabrielle's adrenaline rushed as she struggled to free her wrist from the warrior's hold.

"Ephiny, help me!" She cried.

The door burst open, banging against the wall loudly. Xena released Gabrielle's hand and shifted to face the intruder. The bard quickly rolled away.

Ephiny went to the warrior and grabbed her by the shoulders. "Velasca has come for Gabrielle."

The bard quickly slipped her shift over her head. "Ephiny, the entity is in Xena now. It's controlling her." The warrior moaned and reached for the bard.

Gabrielle turned to her. "Xena, I need you. Velasca is here!"

She didn't hear the bard's words. Instead she gazed at the young woman like a predator. "Now... I need you NOW!" She grabbed Gabrielle, intent only on her needs. The Regent watched horrified, waiting for her friend's signal.

Gabrielle tried desperately to get through to her lover. She held the warrior's chin, forcing Xena to meet her eyes. "She's going to kill me. Please... help me!"

The warrior grimaced, locked in an intense struggle with the entity. Her lover was is great danger.

Gabrielle turned to the Regent, near panic. "Does she know we're here? Can we hide?" Her physical resources were completely depleted. Gabrielle was going on mere adrenaline.

Ephiny looked at the bard sadly. "She's in the village... there's no time." The Regent's heart sank. She was powerless to help her friend.

Gabrielle sprang into action. "Help me get her into this shift. We have to get her out of here." Xena sat motionless as the bard slipped the shift over her head. Her face contorted in pain. The casual contact was torture. Then came the sound that made the bard's blood run cold.

"Gabriiieeelle, I know your here. If you come out now, I won't torch the entire village." Tears welled in the bard's eyes. She knew she had to go. Her pain came from the knowledge that she was sacrificing Xena. She knew that the warrior would die a terrible death in the clutches of the entity. Xena was bound to Gabrielle and would never find peace without her.

Velasca's voice boomed. "Gabrielle, this is your last chance." The Regent felt her friends anguish and grasped her hand.

"Ephiny, I have to go." Xena sat as if in a trance. The bard longed to hold her, to express her love but knew it would be agony for her partner. She stood and handed Xena's sword to the Regent. "Promise me ... you'll put her out of her misery, if it comes to that." Tears rolled down the young woman's cheeks.

Her eyes silently pleaded for a confirmation. "I promise." Ephiny's voice caught in her throat, barely audible. Gabrielle nodded and stepped outside to face her enemy alone.


"Velasca, don't hurt anyone. I'm here."

"So brave," the goddess quipped, her face contorted in hatred. "But this time I will be the hero, ridding the Amazons of an ineffective figurehead and restoring myself to position I was born to hold." She looked coldly at Gabrielle. "And you... you will endure the same death you planned for me." She grabbed the bard roughly by the arm, twisting it cruelly. The bard groaned in pain.

Before Ephiny could stop her, Xena was on her feet, moving swiftly toward Velasca. Her outstretched hands, her only weapons. Velasca barely had time to react. The warrior was within three feet when the god hit her with a bolt of energy square in the chest. Xena's body was thrown back a couple hundred feet. She fell limp and unconscious to the ground, her shift smoldering. Gabrielle cried out and tried futilely to wrench free of the god's grasp. The Regent ran to the warrior.

Velasca laughed. "You mortals are no match for me."

Ephiny kneeled beside Xena. "She's alive."

The god pointed a warning finger at the Regent. "If you know what's good for the village, you won't try to interfere." She grabbed the bard and both women faded from view.

Solari ran to Ephiny's side awaiting her command. "Gather volunteers, we're going after her."

"But, how can we follow?"

"I think I know where she's taking Gabrielle. She's going to throw her into the lava."

Solari had no trouble recruiting Amazons. In no time, she had rounded up some of their bravest warriors for what she feared would be a suicide mission. She approached the Regent.

"Solari, you don't have to come."

"You said volunteers. I want to fight alongside my sisters. It's you who should remain behind. If we fail, the village will need you."

"This is our best chance to defeat Velasca. If we fail, I'll be her next target."

Solari gripped her friend's arm. Their eyes met in mutual respect. "Then we must succeed."

"Get Argo. We're bringing Xena with us."

Solari looked skeptically at the Regent. "What can she possibly do? She may not even regain consciousness."

"If she does, no one will fight harder to save Gabrielle."

The Amazons were ready.


"You don't have long to live now, Gabrielle," Velasca taunted.

The bard was resigned to her fate, her only hope was that the others would survive. "Give me your word you won't harm the Amazons."

"Oh, I won't harm them, not if they follow my commands. The Amazon nation will rise to greatness under my rule. We will once again be a force to be reckoned with."

As they broke through the woods, Gabrielle's stomach lurched. The acrid stench of steam rising from molten river below, triggered the memory of the bard's brush with death. With the rope bridge reconstructed, it looked as it had seasons before. Gabrielle could still remember the intense heat, burning her skin as she had dangled helpless over the lava.

She was torn from the unpleasant memory as Velasca roughly pushed her toward the bridge. "Let's try this again, shall we? Get out to the middle!"

The bard began slowly edging her way across the bridge. When she reached the middle, she bravely turned to face her enemy.

"Going to beg for your life again?"

"Would it do me any good?"

"No. This time I will have my revenge. There is no Xena to save you. Say good-bye Gabrielle."

As Velasca raised her hand to release a ball of energy, six arrows struck her in the back. She whirled around in a rage and hurled a bolt in the direction of her attackers. The hidden archers fled the brush as it exploded in fire. More arrows hit their mark, making the god spin to face her aggressors. Again, she released her power.

"Ephiny, you will regret this!" As the brush burned around her, the god yanked the arrows from her body. The Amazon fighters, led by the Regent and Solari rushed her.

Velasca howled in rage and shot yet another bolt, hurling them back. She laughed as they landed like rag dolls in a helpless tangle on the ground. She was about to turn her attention to the bard when a lone figure appeared. Gabrielle saw her at the same instant as the god. It was Xena, bloody and battered, her white cotton shift tattered.

Xena's face was void of expression, but her eyes glimmered with an unnatural aura as she staggered toward the god. Velasca walked casually toward the unarmed woman, knowing she posed no threat. "Not quite yourself I see." The god smiled and swiftly backhanded the warrior. Xena was knocked to the ground from the force of the blow. She appeared to be unconscious.

Fearing for the warrior's life, Gabrielle screamed her name and tried to get to her. Driven by the sound of her lover's voice, Xena struggled to sit, then tried to get to her feet. It was useless. The blood loss had weakened her. Velasca smiled at the warrior's feeble attempt and watched as Xena's head fell forward, defeated.

"I wouldn't want you to miss the show." Velasca hissed as she grabbed the warrior and roughly leaned her against a boulder. She kneeled before Xena and lifted her head so that she would have a good view of Gabrielle's death.

Suddenly, Xena's arms locked around Velasca's neck. She pressed her mouth to the gods and held on with all the strength she had left. The warrior had caught Velasca off guard. It was the last thing she had expected. The god was stunned by her action and hesitated. In that instant, the entity slammed into her knocking her backward. Although free, Xena collapsed.

Velasca moaned, and struggled to her feet. She clutched her head, reeling from the sensations. The entity had entered the tissue of her lungs and was spreading rapidly through her body, taking possession. Ephiny staggered to her feet and approached the disoriented god. With one forceful kick, she pushed Velasca to the edge of the cliff. The god teetered on the edge. Her arms flailed wildly at she tried to regain her balance. Ephiny threw a punch that sent her hurling over the side and into the swirling molten liquid below.

Gabrielle held the motionless warrior in her arms. Blood trickled from the corner of her mouth. "Xena... please, don't leave me." She gently rocked the battered woman, as her tears splashed on the warrior's blood stained cheeks. Gabrielle gently wiped the moisture from her lover's face. Xena's dark lashes fluttered.



Gotcha! I knew you wouldn't be able
to resist peeking. How do you like the
story so far?

Tell me: if Velasca hadn't so rudely
interrupted us, would you have
forced me to take you?

Let's end the story with a love scene,
Come find me; I need your inspiration.

your own private bard...

Xena winced, she had been caught in the act. She got up from the bed. A smile lit up her face as she shook her head in disbelief. Gabrielle knew her better than she thought. It was clear that her worries about overwhelming the young woman with her passionate nature were unfounded. She set the parchment down on the table.

"Mmmm... when I get my hands on you..." Her pulse raced as she quickly headed out to find her companion.

Part III

She looked everywhere for the young woman. Finally, she spoke with an Amazon who told her that Gabrielle had been hungry and was upset that the dining hall was closed. Xena smiled and headed for the kitchen. She walked through the deserted dining room and opened the door to the cooking area. The bard sat on a tall stool in front of a very large butcher block table, eating a piece of fruit with obvious delight.

Gabrielle could see the spark in the warrior's eyes from where she sat. She put the fruit down and smiled. "You must have finished the story, huh." Her eyes flashed with anticipation. Xena advanced like a lioness stalking her prey. The young woman's breath caught as she watched her approach.

The bard didn't stand a chance. She could almost feel the heat rising off her lover's body. Gabrielle swallowed hard. "So what did you think of the story?"

"I think," Xena said, lifting a brow, "that I won't have to force you to do anything." She picked up the bard's napkin by the corners and twirled it. She pulled the ends sharply, snapping it for effect. The bard's eyes widened. "When I'm done, you'll be begging me. Are you game?"

Gabrielle's throat was so tight that she couldn't speak. She nodded eagerly. Xena smiled and covered the bard's eyes with the twisted napkin, tying it firmly behind her head. She leaned in and tasted the bards lips, pulling back slowly. Her lips traveled up the young woman's jaw line.

She breathed hotly into the bard's ear. "Anything goes, Gabrielle The only rule is no peeking." She slowly began to untie the laces of the bard's top. Her energy was palpable. Gabrielle inhaled her scent and felt light headed. The dangling laces tickled her bare skin and she shivered. Xena smiled and laid her hands on the bard's shoulders slowly caressing them. Then she casually pushed the garment down the bard's muscled arms. Gabrielle trembled at the touch of her lover's practiced hands.

"What do you have in mind?" she questioned, unable to keep the edge of excitement from her voice.

Xena did not reply. Instead she reached into the barrel of flour and grabbed two handfuls, hurling them on top of the wooden table behind the bard.

Gabrielle heard two soft pops of air as the flour hit the table top and turned toward the sound trying to identify it. She could smell something sweet.

The flour covered the table in two giant star burst shapes. Xena pulled her up from the stool to a standing position. She ran her flour coated hands over the bard's bare back, eliciting another shiver. Gabrielle moaned at the soft caress. The warrior's hands felt unusually silky.

She purred in delight. "Mmmm... what is that? It feels... wonderful." She squirmed against the large hands and nuzzled her lips into her lover's neck. The heat of Xena's skin thrilled her.

"What do your senses tell you?" The warrior paused, then lightly grazed Gabrielle's nipples with her thumbs. The bard cried out in pleasure, reveling in the incredible sensation. Xena whispered in her ear. "This game is about awareness. What do you feel?"

The bard concentrated. "It's smooth but..." She grinned. "I need more." Xena smiled and brushed her eager nipples once again. "Mmm..." Gabrielle could feel them harden, feel the tips lengthen, reaching out. She arched her back, silently urging her partner to continue.

"Again." Gabrielle pleaded, her voice filled with passion.

"Yes... soon," the warrior promised. The bard shifted, anxiously awaiting her lover's next move.

Xena's hands slid down to her young lover's waist and unfastened her leather belt. She snaked it around one wrist then across to the other, grazing her abdomen in the process. Gabrielle gasped. The bite of the leather as it curled against her skin excited her. She felt a pulling deep within as moisture formed between her legs. Xena chuckled at the young woman's reaction and let the belt fall to the floor.

"Let's save that... for later."

The warrior's fingers worked the tie on the bard's skirt. She allowed the material to caress Gabrielle's hips and bare legs as it slid down, pooling at her feet. Xena knelt before the nearly naked bard. The young woman's breeches were now all that stood in her way. She slid her hand up Gabrielle's thigh and hooked her finger through the crotch.

"Hmmm, you're ready, I see."

"Ohhh... yes..." The bard began to answer, but the words dissolved when she felt her lover's knuckle graze her swollen clitoris. When Gabrielle's body trembled in response to her touch, Xena removed her hand.

"Oh, I'll get back to that. I promise." She slowly released the undergarment from the bard's hips. Gabrielle shivered as she felt them glide down her legs.

Xena drank in the sight of the naked woman. Her golden skin was dusted with flour. Imprints of her hands were visible on various parts of her body. "Do you know how beautiful you are?" She ran her fingers lightly up the sloping contours of the bard's waist and lifted her gently, setting her on the flour covered table. Gabrielle could feel a silky softness under her bottom.

The warrior knelt and removed the bard's boots, gently massaging each foot. The young woman marveled at the sensuality of her lover's touch. She moaned contentedly and laid back on the table. Xena reluctantly stepped back, watching with interest as Gabrielle took in her surroundings without the benefit of sight.

When the bard moved, she could feel a cool smoothness against her skin. As she slid her arms across the surface of the table, she concentrated on her less used senses. The warmth of the fire radiated from across the room. Gabrielle could almost envision the glowing embers. Breathing deeply, she was aware of an array of enticing aromas and if she listened carefully, she could hear Xena's light footfalls as she walked around her. Occasionally the warrior brushed against her warm skin with cool fingers. The contrast in temperature made her shiver, the anticipation was maddening.

Xena quickly discarded her clothes. She gathered a few items from around the kitchen, putting them within arms reach on the table. After placing the full butter churn next to the fire, she returned to the bard's side. The warrior dipped into the flour again and smoothed it over her own breasts and across her abdomen.

With the blindfold in place, Gabrielle's other senses were more alert. She was suddenly aware of sounds she had not noticed before. It made her anxious. "What if someone walks in?"

Although she couldn't see her lover's mischievous grin, she could hear the teasing lilt in her voice when she spoke. "I guess they will see their beautiful Queen, being ravished by one very attentive Warrior Princess." She slowly knelt on the floor at the end of the table between the bard's feet.

"And when will this ravishing begin?" Gabrielle teased.

Suddenly she felt the warrior's fingers tighten around her ankles and took a ragged breath. Her body was slowly being pulled toward the edge of the table. "Oh, you'll know." Xena informed her.

Gabrielle's body melted in response to her lover's words. "There are so many things I want to do to you." The warrior confessed. A gasp escaped the bard's lips. She could feel her lover's hot breath agonizingly close to her center. Xena spread the young woman's legs wide and bent forward, giving her a most intimate kiss.

Gabrielle moaned, "Ohhhh... gods"

"I'm beginning" Xena said seductively, her excitement undeniable. She crushed a collection of fresh leaves between her fingers, causing them to release their juices.

"Do you want to know what it felt like to be enchanted?"

"Yes..." Gabrielle replied breathlessly. Her heart beat rapidly in anticipation.

"Relax and concentrate on the sensations." Xena coated the tip of her finger and gently applied it to each of the bard's nipples. Initially it felt cool, but almost immediately she felt her breast suffused with heat. She arched into the feeling.

"Oh Xena, it's incredible I..."

She clenched her teeth as the nerves of her nipples became highly sensitized. She squirmed and gripped the edges of the table. "Oh it's... ahhhhh." She felt as if she were being lightly stroked by a million feathers. It was delectably titillating. She groaned. Her back arched and fell, over and over. The sensations became almost more than she could bear. "Ohhhh… Xena…. gods….!"

The warrior immediately captured one nipple in her mouth then the other. The pressure of her tongue soothed the maddening itch, bringing the bard closer to the ecstasy she sought. All at once Gabrielle thought she would climax, lose control. The touch of the warrior's tongue on her breasts drove her wild. Gradually, the sensations from the herbs receded and Xena's mouth enveloped her in a comforting warmth.

Gabrielle struggled to recapture her breath. "Gods, that was extraordinary."

"Do you want me to go lower?" The bard swallowed and nodded.

Xena parted the young woman's delicate lips, exposing her. She carefully applied a drop of the juice to her finger tip and grazed the bard's swollen clitoris. Gabrielle went rigid as a jolt of pleasure coursed through her. Soon , her entire being felt flooded with warmth. All of her senses had come alive. A low thrumming centered in her sex and intensified with each second that passed. Her clitoris pulsed wildly. Then the teasing itch began. She moaned, lifting her hips.

"I'll lick it off, if you want."

The sounds escaping the bard's lips were unintelligible as she wildly thrust her hips toward the warriors voice. Gabrielle could not form the words. Her mind was reeling.

The warrior mercifully bent forward, wrapping her arms around the bard's thighs. She knew the bard would not be able to hold back. Moments after Gabrielle felt her lover's attentive tongue move against her, she came. Her body was quaking uncontrollably. She went rigid as wave after wave of pleasure washed over her. Xena held her tight as the aftershocks claimed her like mini orgasms. At last, her body calmed and she floated in the embrace of her lover's arms. It was ecstasy. Bathed in the glow of the warrior's love, she drifted off.

Gabrielle awoke a half a candlemark later, feeling as if she had slept the entire night: She was completely rested and revitalized. Shifting in her lover's arms, she was puzzled that her eyes could not penetrate the darkness and realized she was still wearing the blindfold. She raised her hands to remove it.

Her lover's hands stopped her. "Not yet." The warrior breathed. "I'm not finished with you."

Gabrielle reached for Xena and pulled her in for a passionate kiss. The warrior gently broke away and rose to retrieve the butter churn, placing it within reach. She dipped into it, checking the temperature. It was perfect. She stood beside the table and poised her hand over the bard, letting the warm liquid splash on her lover's chest.

Gabrielle was startled at first, then relaxed into the sensation. The droplets felt like warm rain as they hit, leaving wet trails across her skin.

"That feels wonderful," The bard purred.

Again, Xena dunked her finger into the churn. This time, she let the warm liquid drip on the bard's lips. She lightly sprinkled a chestnut colored powder over her finger and coated her lover's lips, gently separating them as she pushed the tip of her finger into the bard's mouth. Gabrielle moaned and swirled her tongue around the warrior's digit. Xena's slowly pulled back.

"Mmmm… cinnamon." She grinned. "Again…"

Xena smiled and began pouring the warm butter over her lover's breasts. Gabrielle gasped at the sensation. It was like nothing she had ever experienced. It warmed her body to the core.

The warrior looked hungrily at her young lover's body as it glistened in the firelight. She was a vision, tanned and greased. Her skin shone with a incandescent beauty. She bent down and pressed her lips to the bard's as their bodies slid sensually against each other.

Xena straightened, standing before the bard. Gabrielle sat up and felt for her lover. She wrapped her legs around the warrior's waist and glided up and down her lover's torso, never breaking the kiss. Xena's tongue moved inside her as their bodies, slippery and hot rubbed passionately against each other. The bard was dizzy with pleasure. She pulled back, breathing heavily.

"I want to see you… please."

Xena reached behind the young woman's head and untied the blindfold. Gabrielle eyes remained closed, awaiting a signal from her lover. Xena brushed the stray hairs from her face and lightly kissed each eyelid. Her hands traced the curves of Gabrielle's body, coming to rest at the young woman's waist.

The bard placed her hands behind the warrior's neck and slowly opened her eyes. Her first sight was Xena's face. The blue eyes were locked to hers and the depth of the love she saw there made her heart race.

"Set me down, I want to see, all of you."

Xena set her on the table and stepped back. She watch as the bard's eyes devoured her. There was no mistaking Gabrielle's passion for her.

The young woman was stunned by the raw sensuality before her. The warrior's body gleamed in the faint light. It was a vision the bard would never forget. Emotions welled inside. Gabrielle had never wanted anything this much. She tried to clear her throat. Her voice was barely a whisper.

"Come here."

Xena's approach was slow, deliberate. She stood like a goddess before the young woman. Gabrielle's hand traced the swell of the warrior's hip. She caressed the warrior's silky thigh with the back of her hand and slowly dipped her fingers between her lover's legs. Xena gasped as she felt the bard's gentle fingers slip across her sex. She slowly rolled her hips, encouraging the young woman.

To her dismay, Gabrielle removed her fingers, examining them in the firelight. They sparkled with Xena's essence. She was barely able to restrain herself from taking them into her mouth. The aroma was intoxicating. She reached for her lover, slowly painting each of the warrior's nipples, reveling in their silky softness. They hardened instantly under her gentle touch.

Xena sighed and let her head fall back. Gabrielle teased the delicate points with her fingers, driving the warrior wild. She pumped them gently. The warrior moaned, raising her head, her eyes hooded in pleasure.

Gabrielle wanted Xena's full attention. She paused and waited for Xena's eyes to slowly focus on her. As Xena watched, the bard pulled her closer.

The warrior's breast was so close to Gabrielle's mouth that a full breath would cause her nipple to brush the bard's moist lips. She began to inhale, but froze as she saw the tip of her lovers tongue extend forward. What little air she had been able to collect was forced from her as the young woman teasingly flicked the tip. Immediately Gabrielle leaned in, taking the nipple fully into her mouth. It was electric. Xena's eyes snapped shut as ripples of pleasure shot through her. Gabrielle suckled each breast as if it were her only sustenance. Soft sounds of pleasure escaped Xena's throat as the warrior's hips began to move in response to her increasing desire. Gabrielle gradually became aware of the gentle rocking and pulled back to watch the sensual motion. Her lover groaned at the loss, anxious to resume the irresistible contact.

The bard discovered if she moved forward a few inches, her knee would be positioned directly under Xena's dark mound. She picked up the bucket of warm butter and poured it over her own thigh. When she glanced up she saw her dark-haired lover gasp. Xena knew what Gabrielle intended to do.

She inched forward on the table and brought her knee between Xena's legs. The bard locked eyes with her lover and firmly grabbed her hips. The warrior held tight to Gabrielle's shoulders as her knees went weak. A hoarse cry wrenched from her depths as the bard slowly glided Xena's sex along her slippery thigh and back again. The warrior was delirious as her young lover gradually quickened her pace.

Her face was the picture of the rapture that enveloped her. Xena was gasping for breath, allowing more of her weight to rest on the bard's hot thigh, in an effort to increase the pressure against her throbbing center. Gabrielle knew the warrior was close, but could not bear for it to end. Slowly, she slid off the edge of the table, removing the exquisite pressure of her thigh. Xena's mouth was agape. Her eyes opened in a silent plea.

"I want to taste you." The bard whispered.

Gabrielle maneuvered the warrior so that she was backed against the table. Xena offered no resistance as the bard eased her back. Her legs dangled over the edge. The bard spread Xena's knees apart and kneeled between them.

"Oh, Gabrielle..."

"Yes…soon, very soon." The bard let two fingers glide the length of the warrior's sex. She separated her fingers, nestling the warrior's swollen clitoris between them then glided the digits back and forth, creating an incredible friction. Xena's hips lifted off the table.

"Yes…don't stop…ohh."

Gabrielle continued stroking her lover and felt her begin to tremble. As she bent to taste the warrior, she moved her fingers to Xena's entrance, slowly gliding deep within. She pulled backed to her entrance and stilled her motions. Her attention was now focused on her lover's engorged clitoris, which she gently sucked. The warrior was overwhelmed with sensation as the bard's fingers thrust inside her once again. She tossed her head from side to side and went rigid as the powerful climax over took her. Xena erupted in pleasure, pushing her hips against Gabrielle's mouth. The orgasm went on and on, rocking her to her very core.

When her spasms subsided, Gabrielle rested beside her. Cradling the spent warrior in her arms, she felt the warrior give in to the euphoria and doze. It was nearly a candlemark before Xena opened her eyes.

"Do you have any idea what you do to me?" The warrior asked.

The bard blushed. The idea that she could return half the pleasure Xena gave her filled her with joy. "I love you, with all my heart."

The warrior kissed her tenderly. "And I you."

Xena glanced out the window at the sky. "We had better get baths. There are only a few candlemarks until dawn."

Gabrielle sat up and looked around the room. It was a mess. She winced. "I'm going to have to wake up early and come back to clean this up." Xena lifted a brow.

"What was that look?" She asked teasingly.

Xena smiled. "Nothing"

"Come on, I know that look. You don't think I'll be able to get up early."

"Well, you usually are pretty hard to wake up and it's very late," Xena replied delicately. Gabrielle knew that her partner was probably right but hated to admit it.

"I've been getting better, you know."

Xena grinned. "Hmm... okay, if you say so."

"Just because I don't wake up at the crack of dawn like some people."

"It takes a little discipline. That's all."

"Okay, I'll admit discipline isn't easy for me. Just like letting loose isn't easy for you."

"What do you mean? I can be loose, even playful."

"Hmm... okay, if you say so." Gabrielle turned her back to the warrior and grinned wickedly. She reached into the flour barrel and grabbed two handfuls. As quickly as she was able, she hurled them at the warrior. Xena attempted to move, but lost her footing in the butter on the floor. The flour caught her on the side of the face and squarely on the chest.

She looked menacingly at the bard.

Gabrielle lifted her arms in a defensive move. "You said you could be playful." The sight of Xena half covered in butter and flour made her laugh uncontrollably. The warrior lunged toward her, and would have had her, but once again she slipped.

"I will get you," Xena grinned.

Gabrielle took off running toward the baths buck naked, the echoes of her laughter trailing behind her. Xena smiled. For her, life could not be any better. She gathered up their clothing and quickly followed.


The warrior had been awake for nearly a candlemark but could not force herself to untangle from her lover's limbs. They fit together so perfectly. The bard nuzzled into the warrior's chest and sighed contentedly. "Are you up?" The young woman mumbled.

"Yeah, I've been up awhile. Watching you sleep."

Gabrielle looked into her lover's eyes. "I'm glad I don't snore. I'd hate to think of you awake, listening to me." Xena wasn't about to tell the bard she did indeed snore. The truth was that she found it endearing. The soft whistling sound had comforted her through many rough nights. She leaned down and kissed the bard tenderly.

They were interrupted by a knock on the door. The warrior jumped out of bed and slipped her shift over her head. She quickly tossed a robe to Gabrielle and donned a stony expression as she opened the door.

"Good morning, Ephiny."

"Morning, Xena." The Regent glanced at Gabrielle, still in bed.

"I just wanted to let you know that breakfast will be delayed this morning. It seems someone broke into the kitchen last night and made a mess of things. Serena, our cook is hopping mad. She is looking to have the guilty party's head on a platter by lunch time."

Gabrielle glanced at Xena with a guilty look. The warrior's face remained unreadable. "Any leads on the perpetrators?" She asked innocently.

"No there were no clues left in the kitchen. There were however, two sets of flour footprints leading to the baths."

"Could have been anyone." Xena offered.

"Yeah," Ephiny answered, giving the warrior a wry expression. "Anyone who wears a short green top." The Regent handed the flour covered top to Xena.

Gabrielle blushed bright red and Xena could not contain a smile as she took the top from Ephiny. "Thanks for covering for us. Things got... a little out of hand."

"Uh huh... I see that." She let her face break into a warm smile. "I'm happy... for both of you."

Gabrielle got up and hugged her friend. "Thanks Ephiny... for everything." She gave her a knowing wink. Xena stood uncomfortably, awkwardly holding the bard's top.

The Regent turned to go. "I'll leave you two alone. But, I hope you will refrain from using the dining facilities for anything except eating in the future."

"Right," Gabrielle said, looking properly chastised. Ephiny shook her head as she closed the door. She had a feeling things would never be dull when these two visited from now on.

The bard flashed an accusatory look at the warrior.

"Don't look at me... I was eating."

Gabrielle tossed a pillow at her. "Very funny."

Xena caught it easily and walked toward the bard, holding the pillow menacingly.

Gabrielle had yet to win a pillow fight against the warrior, so she retreated until the backs of her legs bumped the bed. Xena gently pushed her down, gracefully slipping the pillow under the young woman's head as she fell.

"So you never did tell me what you thought of my story."

"I think I did... and quite graphically, at that." The warrior replied as she lounged languidly beside her.

Gabrielle grinned. "Hmm, yes. I have never received such a… stimulating critique."

Xena looked at the bard mischievously, raising her eyebrow. "But, there were parts that seemed highly exaggerated. "

"Like what?"

"Fifteen orgasms?"

"Oh, that" Gabrielle blushed. "Well, it's something to shoot for." She winked at the warrior. I'm up to the challenge, if you are."

Xena's eyes took in the beautiful body of her young lover, devouring every inch and smiled. Of course, she was.

The end..…

Copyrighted January 1998 by Friction

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