Author: Xebbie
Story Title: The Look of Love
Characters: Gabrielle & Joxer
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Joxer and Gabrielle meet and spend the night together after being away from each other. Second in the Pillow Talk series.
This rating is for explicit m/f sexual situations.

The characters belong to Studios USA and Renaissance Pictures and were used without permission. No copyright infringement was intended and no money was made.

Explicit male/female sexual situations.

This is the second story in the Pillow Talk series. A friend challenged me to give a bit more detail regarding "the night before" in the above story, and this was the result. It's been a while since Gabrielle and Joxer have seen each other, and from the looks of things, they sure did miss one another...

You can also find Xebbie's stories at The GJerotica Archives and Xebbie's Adult Fics

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The Look of Love
by Xebbie
© 06/99 by Xebbie

You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you
You'd be like heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you

--Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,
"Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You"

It was a day like any other. The sky was a grayish blue that day, a bit overcast; the birds were noisy, and the grass was green.

But Joxer was happy. As far as he was concerned, this was the best day in a fortnight; he was going to see *her* again.

Gabrielle. The bright spot in his universe. He got a warm, happy feeling just from thinking her name. Gabby, Gabrielle, the woman of his dreams...

They had arranged, Gabrielle and Xena and he, to meet in the Bullhead Tavern in Krestos, since he was staying in the area already. He'd been in the town for the entire day, since sunup, just waiting. To pass the time, he'd picked out a few gifts for his bard. Just trinkets really- nothing like the things he really *wanted* to give her, the riches and jewels and fineries he wanted to shower her with; those were pretty much out of his reach. No, these were just odds and ends, a small ring which he had thought was gold, but which was now turning green; a fan (which, he was told, looked like it was authentic from Chin); the best thing he'd found was an iridescent stone which seemed to glow different colours when you saw it from different angles.

Of course, he had to save some money to pay for his hotel room, so he didn't have that much to spare. Shortly after buying the stone he realized that now he didn't have the money to pay for food. He winced; it was always something. Dejectedly he walked down the street and kicked at a stone in his path.

Then he heard her. The sweetest voice in the known world, he'd recognize it anywhere- Gabby! He looked around and spotted them.

Gabrielle was complaining to her warrior friend. "Look, I know it's been a long time since we've seen him, but I just don't see why we have to be so prompt in keeping this appointment! We could tell him we ran into trouble on the way over, and maybe do some shopping in the meantime."

Xena sighed. "Gabrielle, he's come all this way to meet us, and it'll be over with soon. You know how he gets- he's always so excited to spend time with us. It'll probably only be a couple of days, at the most!"

"Yeah," murmured Gabrielle dejectedly, her head down. "I guess so. Fine."

"Xena! Hey!" They both heard him at once, and turned in unison to face the voice. Joxer was grinning at them from across the square, waving like a lunatic, the sun glinting dully off of his helmet.

"Well, here we go," Gabrielle muttered. Xena smirked and pinched her friend's arm.

"Hey, guys- you're right on time!" Joxer panted as he caught up with them.

Smiling, Xena said, "I thought you were going to meet us in the tavern."

"I was just on my way there," he explained. "I've been out, y'know, on a walk. Hey, Gabby." Gabrielle smiled tolerantly.

"Hi, Joxer. What've you been up to lately?"

He thought for a moment. "Oh, same old, same old... You guys wanna get dinner? I, uh, I'm kinda broke. I only have enough to pay for my room at the Inn."

Xena looked surprised. "The Inn? We're staying at an inn AGAIN? What's the matter with stables?"

Gabrielle grimaced. "Horse smell, for one thing."

Ignoring the remark, Xena said, "I thought we only stayed in that inn last time because we saved that innkeeper from burglars. It was free. Why do we need to spend the money this time?"

"Well," Joxer said, looking sheepish, "I kinda... have a battle injury."

"A wound? Do you need any attention for it?"

He shook his head. "No, no- it's not a wound, it's... well, I was fighting these bandits, and-" he sighed. "I kinda swung my sword the wrong way..." With a pained expression he indicated his back. Gabrielle rolled her eyes and muttered something. Xena nodded resignedly and stoically set off marching for the Inn. "I guess we'd better make reservations- and get used to the idea of a light dinner," she said, her tone making it clear that she wasn't entirely pleased with Joxer.

He didn't mind. He just watched Gabrielle as she walked, and imagined holding her in his arms... and smiled.


Xena sometimes wished her friends got along better. It had taken a while, of course, but the longer she knew Joxer, the more she liked him. He had begun as an irritating yet genuinely nice young man; he'd gotten them in trouble often, but something about him told her to let him stick around, to watch him and see what it was about him that made him so... different.

And as it had turned out, she was right to do so. Joxer was beginning to blossom, as it were, into a more confident man with incredible loyalty and courage. He'd probably never be a very good warrior, and she found she liked it that way; however, she liked having him around. He was childish, but there were times when that was actually kind of enjoyable. And most importantly, she'd come to respect him- not just for his efforts at being a warrior, but for his devotion to his ideals and his friends.

That was why it sometimes upset her to see the way Gabrielle treated him. It was as if Gabrielle had decided long ago to steadfastly ignore anything about Joxer which contradicted her initial opinion of him; how else could she have missed the development he'd undergone in the past year alone? And Joxer's devotion to her was almost pathetic. Even when she snubbed him completely, he looked at her with open adoration, like a puppy waiting to be kicked. How did he stand it?

She looked at them both, sitting on opposite sides of their table and barely interacting. Joxer would occasionally say something funny, and Gabrielle would laugh shortly and not even look up at him. Sometimes, Xena just wanted to elbow her... and him.

"Hey," Joxer said suddenly, "guys, check out what I learned recently." He held up his hands and interlocked the fingers, then twisted his fingers so that it looked like two of his fingers were disconnected. Gabrielle laughed politely.

"Nice," Xena muttered. She stood up and looked around; the tavern was nearly empty now. To Gabrielle, she said, "I think it's time to turn in, don't you?"

"Hm? Oh- oh, yes, yes it is," Gabrielle agreed vehemently. She smiled at Joxer, a hint of actual affection showing for a moment before she closed back down. "We'll see you tomorrow morning, Joxer."

"G'night," he said, and waved at her as she left. Xena stood with him for a moment. "'Night, Xena," he said.

She bit the inside of her cheek for a moment, then took a deep breath and said, "Joxer, have you thought that maybe it's time to move on from Gabrielle?"

Joxer's smile faltered for a moment, but then it returned- albeit a bit sadly. He shrugged. "Maybe, for a second. But I couldn't live without her... anymore than you could."

Xena put her hand on his shoulder for a moment, and then followed Gabrielle across the street to the Inn. Joxer sat by himself for a few moments, and finished off his ale.


He sat alone in his room, nervously picking at the bedspreads as he waited for his heartbeat to settle. Breathing deeply didn't help, and to be certain simply telling himself to calm down did nothing. What if she rejected him? She'd have every reason to, and he wasn't stupid- he'd noticed the way she was acting towards him earlier. Oh, it was all the usual stuff... But it could backfire in his face now.

He gulped, and picked up the package of gifts for her, then headed for the door.

Twice he nearly went back to his room, but his determination shone through, and shortly he was outside her door. Was she even awake? He'd hate to wake her... No, just do it, Joxer. He raised his fist and forced himself to rap briefly, three times, before he could think twice about it.

A few moments later the door opened slightly, and he saw her peering out, a candle in her hand.

"Who- Joxer?" Her voice held surprise. "What is it?"

He blinked a couple of times. "Uh, well... can I talk to you about something?"

"Sure," she said, her tone echoing his seriousness. She took his arm. "It's okay, I wasn't asleep yet. C'mon in." He let himself be pulled into her room, and her kiss took him by surprise for a moment. Only for a moment, however, as a moment later he flowed into her embrace with the air of a man finally returning home.

"Mmm- Gabby-" He reluctantly pulled back from her, and shut the door hastily. "What if Xena had looked out then?"

Gabrielle set her candle on the table next to the door. "Right now I don't care." She wasted no time and kissed him again, sliding her arms around his shoulders and standing on her tiptoes, then leaning into him. He gave in and returned it, all the longing of the past fortnight just beginning to be satisfied by her lips.

"Ohhh, Joxer," she whispered when they parted. "Gods, I've missed you."

"Oh, me too," he said earnestly, and kissed her again, lightly. She caught it and continued it for several seconds longer. "Gabby, oh, my Gabby..." Overwhelmed by feeling her in his arms, he just hugged her for a moment, and kissed the top of her head.

She made a contented noise and hugged him in return, then laughed when he lifted her off the ground. "It gets harder and harder to keep up that act while Xena's around."

Planting a quick kiss on her mouth, he said, "You're good at it. I was kinda worried before I came here."

"Worried?" she murmured, nuzzling his neck. "What about?"

"Oh," he sighed, "you know..." His fingers played at the edges of her top. "That maybe you didn't want me to come by tonight after all-"

She looked at him like he was crazy. "Are you kidding? I've been counting down until tonight since the last time you left! It's just what we agreed to so that Xena wouldn't find out." He nodded, and she kissed his nose lovingly. "Do you have any idea how hard it was to keep from jumping into your arms as soon as I heard your voice?"

Grinning, he said, "Well... yeah." He bent his head and kissed her chin, then trailed kisses down her throat as she spoke.

"It's only an act, Joxer... You know how I feel about you."

He grinned, taking the bait. "How *do* you feel about me?" he asked, wiggling his eyebrows.

She kissed him in response. Her lips parted this time, enveloping his in a soft, wet, warm caress. He made a sound in the back of his throat as he tilted his head, parting his own lips and tasting the spicy flavour of her skin. They merged, united, for a few minutes before separating.

"Does that answer your question?" she breathed, hot against his cheek. He nodded silently, still holding her close, gazing into her eyes with a deep passion which he saw reflected in her own gaze.

Holding her face tenderly between his hands, he kissed her again- softly, and very slowly, as if savouring the light feel of her lips under his. When they parted, he swept her hair back from her neck and nuzzled the curve at her shoulder.

She gasped lightly as his lips found the right spot on her neck, the spot where the slightest touch was felt deep down to her feet; he kissed her there, and around there, and slid his fingers under the strap of her bodice and pulled it down her shoulder, exposing more skin. She lifted her arm obligingly, allowing him more access, and moaned as he flicked his tongue along the side of her neck, up to her earlobe.

"Ahhhh... Gods, Joxer.... How do you- always find- the right spots??" she said through a mouth that barely worked and lungs which felt as if she'd been running a marathon. She tugged at the ties of his pants, fumbling to get them undone as her hands shook and her body felt as if it were in flames.

He lifted his head from her skin and found her mouth, eager and waiting for him... They kissed hungrily, fiercely, and she pulled at his tunic as he began unlacing her top, his fingers shaking.

Suddenly he stopped, and she looked up at him, startled. A bit nervously, he said, "Uh, Gabby, you know we don't HAVE to do this if you don't want to. I mean, we can talk, or just cuddle, or anyth-"

"Shut up, Joxer," she said, as kindly as she could. Her fingers went to the remaining laces in her top, and she slowly played with them as she spoke. "We can talk tomorrow. We have the rest of our lives to talk." She slid each lace out with deliberation, revealing more and more flesh each second. "Tonight, I want you. I've been waiting for so long for you, I've thought about you every night, and I'm *sick* of waiting." She turned around, shrugged the top off, and tossed it over her shoulder.

It hit him in the face. He grinned. "Just checking." He caught up with her in one quick stride, scooped her up, and dumped her on the bed an instant later. Pausing only to kick off his boots and yank his tunic over his head, he joined her a moment later. "Oh, the things I'm gonna do to you," he growled. Laughing, she shushed him. "Xena's in the next room. We're going to have to be quiet."

Joxer hung his head for a moment. Although he'd never admitted it to Gabrielle, this "secrecy" thing had bothered him from the start. It had been understandable at first; their first two encounters had been labeled "mistakes", and they'd both agreed not to tell Xena. Now, however, they were meeting as frequently as possible, she'd returned his love, and they were *still* not telling Xena. But Gabrielle was so intent upon it, and besides... In a way, it was kind of fun.

He lifted his head again, and got an eyeful, as Gabrielle was in the process of pulling off her boots and was not the least bit self-conscious about her current state of partial undress. He stared; her breasts had a fascinating way of shaking every time she moved her arms. Her struggles with her boots were resulting in some incredibly erotic bounces.

"Joxer? Little help?" she asked pointedly, and he shook himself out of it but continued stealing little glances at her bosom as she placed her leg into his lap. "Pull," she requested, a coy smile on her face as she leaned back on her elbows, displaying her breasts quite nicely.

Joxer's mouth was completely dry. He dragged his gaze from her chest to her face, and saw the smirk she was giving him. He stuck his tongue out at her and pulled the boot off as quickly as possible.

Before he could even move, she replaced it with the other leg. "Now this one?" He gave a resigned sigh, and rolled his eyes. "Tease," he muttered, and grinned.

When the boot was gone, the leg stayed in place, and Gabrielle started wriggling her toes. "Thank you, Joxer," she said in a soft purr. "This is much more comfortable." Her foot began an interesting little sojourn down south on Joxer's body, trailing lightly upon the base of his stomach and then past his belly button.

Then lower. He gasped. "Oh, Gabby, any time," he managed, and grinned. She returned it, still administering attentions with her foot, until he shut his eyes and pulled away from it, taking his place at her side. He looked into her eyes for a moment, his own orbs shining with utter devotion, and watched her reaction as he started tracing light circles with his finger around her nipples.

She smiled, and gave a contented hum, then raised her hand to his face and pulled him to her. "You," he said when she let him go, only to be cut off as she pulled him back down again. "You are-" She placed another quick kiss on his lips as he spoke. "-incred-" *smeck* "-ib-" *smeck* "-ly-" A much longer, and much wetter, kiss interrupted him this time. "Bewfl..." he mumbled into her lips, giving in at last.

Encircling her waist with his arms, he pulled her close, and their flesh met warmly, her soft breasts pressed against his flat chest in an increasingly hot embrace. She cradled his head in her hands, digging her fingers through his scruffy black hair as her passion grew. Just the feeling of his skin against hers, oh, by the Gods! It sent shivers through her! As he ran his hands up and down her back, she had to break the kiss off and gasp for air. He took the opportunity of freedom to turn his attentions back to her neck, first kissing and then resuming his licking.

"Ahhhh... Ah, Joxer, yes..." Gabrielle found early on that she had difficulty keeping quiet when she was with Joxer; her expressions most often took the form of encouragements, partly because he seemed to enjoy them, and partly because he actually paid attention to them.

His head buried at her shoulder, he mumbled something. "What?"

"I said," he repeated, lifting his now-sweaty head and speaking quietly, "weren't you the one who mentioned Xena in the next room?"

She bit her lip and glared at him. He was right, of course, but damn it, did he have to be right NOW? He gave her a smirk, a quick kiss, and then returned to his interrupted business. "Mmm- lower," she said, barely above a whisper. Joxer obliged, making his way past her neck and now reverently kissing the valley between her breasts.

His kisses were amazingly light, so impossibly loving; his lips always lingered, yet she felt as if she were barely being touched. The soft wet ecstasy of his tongue followed, trailing circles on her bare skin, then moving to her right breast. She held in a muffled moan as he kissed her nipple, then licked it slowly, and finally locked his lips around it and settled in to suckle.

Again, she ran her hands through his hair, which was now sticking up in small clumps on his head. It was almost comical, but laughter was beyond her as he alternately sucked and flicked his tongue at her nipple, teasing it until it was so erect it was almost painful. Moving on, he planted a few soft, wet kisses on the top and sides of her breast, and then the underside; lingering there, he licked very lightly and was rewarded with a gasp and a wriggle from Gabrielle.

Ignoring her requests that he continue that, he turned his attention to the other breast and spent an equally long time there, stealing occasional looks at his love as he did. She was breathing in gasps, her eyes squeezed shut, face flushed. Gods, she was beautiful like this. He raised one hand to her face and touched her tenderly; she opened her eyes and smiled hazily at him, took his hand and kissed it.

He was incredible, Gabrielle realized, and he was hers. How many men paid such attention to the woman they were making love to? From the past experiences Xena had told her about, not that many- but Joxer, the goof, the ungraceful klutz, was so delicate and attentive... Ah, and *so* attractive underneath all that armour!

She looked up in surprise as he suddenly lifted his head from her chest and announced, with the air of someone who has given a thought great deliberation, "I think I like this one the best." He cupped her left breast in one hand, and kissed it a few times.

"Really," she murmured. "And what inspired that?"

He shrugged. "Oh, I think this one just feels better."

She resisted the urge to swat him, and instead rolled her eyes. "What exactly makes that one any different from the other one?"

"You know..." he said after a pause, "I'm not sure. I better check..."

She giggled as he lowered his head again. Before he- or she, for that matter- could get too involved in the suckling this time, she propped herself up on her arms and gently pushed him backwards, onto the bed. "Time for a new game," she said huskily. Finally undoing the ties she had loosened earlier, she slid his pants down a few inches and gazed at him, now freed from the restraining fabric. He was fully erect, she saw, and must have been quite uncomfortable for the past few minutes.

He was also trembling. She smiled and slid his pants down the rest of the way, then dropped them at the side of the bed, and looked at him sprawled across the sheets. His manhood, while quite impressive, was not his only noteworthy feature- he also had absolutely delicious pecs, wonderful biceps, and the cutest hips she'd ever seen on a man. With his armour on, he appeared scrawny; out of it, he was nothing of the sort. Just slim, tall, and beautiful.

His gaze held so much trust and love, she felt her heart leap in her chest. This man would do anything for her; that was why it was so special and enjoyable to pleasure *him*. He reached out tentatively and tugged at the belt holding her skirt on, but she brushed his hand away. "We'll get to that," she promised, a hint of teasing in her voice.

Bending over him, she let her hand brush across his erection. He reacted as though he'd been stung, gasping and shuddering momentarily. *Good reaction,* she thought, and experimented a little bit more, spreading her hand out and running it gently up and down the shaft. He moaned aloud, and she had to put a hand over his mouth. "Quietly," she whispered, enjoying the look of suffering on his face as he nodded shakily. When she made her next move- wrapping her hand around his member and stroking very gently- he bit his lip and collapsed onto the bed.

Gabrielle chuckled. He was so responsive! She kept stroking him, rhythmically, very slowly, and was surprised when he gasped, "Tighter-"


His voice barely above a raspy whisper, he repeated, "Squeeze it tighter. Ah- like that- yes. Yes, perfect, oh, Gabby-" She herself was beginning to find this undeniably arousing. Who knew that having such power over Joxer could be such a turn-on? She hovered over him, supporting herself with her free arm, and Joxer lifted his head to her breasts again. She was surprised when his erection actually grew in her hand, becoming even harder.

He was on fire. Gods, nothing would put this fire out! Each time they'd been together had been like an amazing dream come true, but it had always been so fast, so desperate... Even the last time was quick, without nearly this much foreplay. He always dedicated time to pleasuring her, but they'd never worried about his enjoyment- he got enough just from loving her.

This, however- the act itself wasn't a totally new experience to him of course, but the fact that it was Gabrielle handling him, his beautiful Amazon Queen willfully pleasuring him, his mouth and hands at her breasts- Gods, it was almost more than he could take. He fell back from her body, gasping, and forced out: "Stop- I can't- I won't be... able to..."

She let go, and despite his relief he was flooded with disappointment. It took great effort on his part to keep from finishing it himself, but instead he lay back, panting, as Gabrielle ran her hand over his slick chest.

"You okay?" she asked softly. "Did I do something wrong?"

He swallowed, and shook his head. "No- you were perfect. I couldn't have... held on much longer."

She nodded, and kissed his chest a few times, then settled at one of his small nipples and mimicked the treatment he'd given her earlier. He arched his back and sighed happily. Compared to her actions a moment ago this was small stuff, but just as wonderful. He tangled his fingers in her hair as she circled his nipple with her tongue, and asked, "Where'd you get so good at that?"

"Dis?" she asked, not bothering to move her tongue from his skin.

"No- the hand thing." He smoothed her hair out of her face, then gasped as she tugged lightly at the flesh with her teeth before answering.

"Well I *do* carry a staff around all the time, you know. I guess I'm just good at handling those things." With a rather wicked grin, she kissed her way down his stomach.

*There's no WAY I can handle THAT right now,* he thought, and stopped her. "Gabrielle... It's okay," he said softly, sitting up. "You don't have to do all this."

She looked up at him with wide eyes, surprised. "But- I want to."

Smiling gently, he said, "I'm happy with what we usually do, Gabby... I just want to be with you. I mean, whenever you're ready..."

Gabrielle's expression changed entirely, from surprised and slightly annoyed at being interrupted, to almost shy and uncertain. "If you're ready... I'm ready." He leaned over and kissed her, parting her lips with his tongue, feeling the fire begin again deep inside him. She responded to the kiss immediately, betraying her own arousal as she slid her tongue to meet his in a slow sensual dance. He pulled at her belt, loosening it, as they continued their now fervent kiss; the fire built inside them both as he, now almost desperately, pulled the skirt away roughly and flung it across the room.

Her hips met his as they clung together in their embrace, his erection hot against her abdomen. She shivered at the feel of it, so near, and she was so ready... Still he waited, running a hand down her back and tracing it along the sides of her buttocks, drawing another shiver from her. Almost in retaliation, she stroked her hand down his front, running her fingertips down his chest, across his tight stomach, and then nimbly teasing the tip of his shaft.

He broke off with a gasp. "All right- fine," he said, glaring at her in mock irritation. "You win," he muttered, and lowered her onto the bed. Settling between her open thighs, he murmured, "You always win," as he kissed her chin softly.

"I know," she whispered with a weak grin, and pulled him into another kiss. "I love you, Joxer," she whispered as he entered her, and assumed his barely-stifled moan meant the same thing. He began thrusting slowly a moment later. "Ahhh-" she fought to keep herself quiet, whispered next to his ear- "oh Joxer... Oh I've missed you-"

"Gabby, my sweet Gabrielle-" He peppered her face with kisses, in ecstasy already, surrounded by her in every way... She caught his mouth for a moment, kissed him, then turned her head to the side and moaned quietly. He kept a steady rhythm, slowly, savouring each movement within her; Gods, he would never tire of this. Each time was like the first time, except that where that had been fast and frenzied, this was slow and loving. His dedication only grew each time she consented to be his; he'd never know why she did, but he knew enough to thank the gods for this incredible gift.

Her hands traveled up and down his back, lightly at first and then with more fervor as her passion grew. She reached the small of his back and pressed her hands there, wrapping her legs around his hips and arching her back.

"Faster?" he breathed in her ear, and she nodded, her lips and eyes tightly shut. He slid one arm around her waist, holding her hips against his, and sped up the rhythm gradually.

Gabrielle could swear there was a soundless explosion somewhere in the room. How had Joxer learned to make love like this?! As he kissed her neck and face, as he thrust into her, she had to bite her lips to keep from crying out his name. The world slipped away and she knew only who she was with, what they were doing, and how she felt... oh she felt INCREDIBLE, fulfilled, warm and dizzy and in love- "Yes, yes, like that Joxer- Mmmm, Gods YES-"

Uncertain of what to do as she lost herself in the lovemaking, Joxer kissed her soundly to keep her from crying out anymore. Not that he had complaints about shutting her up this way... She reacted to the kiss, arching to meet him, teasing his mouth with her tongue, licking the roof of his mouth- oh THAT felt good for some reason- then broke it off with a gasp. "Ah-" He recognized the high-pitched squeak, as well as the tremors that were beginning within her, and sped up again his pace yet again. Gabrielle held his face in her hands, licked his lips briefly, then grit her teeth and threw her head back in silent ecstasy.

Joxer held his pace as she tensed, his vision blurring- the pulsations inside her affected him deeply. Her climax had him doubly aroused, and the fact that HE had given such an orgasm, that he was bringing her such pleasure, helping her to enjoy this as much as her- "Gabby..." he whispered huskily. *Hang on, Joxer!* he told himself. *Think of unsexy things- warlords- Hercules in a dress- FOOT ROT, for crying out loud-* He regained his control, miraculously, and slowed to a stop.

As he was catching his breath, Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked at him in dazed confusion. "Did you finish?"

"Hunh-uh," he panted. "Didn't wanna- end yet but... Couldn'ta held out much longer..."

Gabrielle pulled his head down to rest on her chest, and stroked his damp hair back from his sweaty forehead. "Do you want to rest for a little while?"

"Just... gimme a minute." She nodded, and moved her legs from around him. The muscles within her shifted and tightened, and he found it that much harder to hold on. He yelped, and tensed, squeezing his eyes shut.

"What? What was that?" she asked, worried.

In a strained voice he said, "Don't move- I'm gonna have to pull out for a second-"

"Oh," she said, understanding in her voice. A moment later he settled against her again, and she stroked his hair softly, enjoying the intimacy. She was startled when she realized that she could in fact feel his heartbeat against her stomach, and it was racing. "Why didn't you just go ahead and finish up? I was done," she said curiously.

In a far off voice, he answered, "I'm always so sleepy afterwards... if you'd wanted to keep going I couldn't have..."

She smiled as she twirled some of his hair around a finger. How did it get so spiky when it was so soft? she wondered. "Do you want to keep going now?"

"We can stop," he said non-committally.

She giggled. "Who said *I* wanted to stop? I asked YOU."

"Oh," he said in a small, happy voice. "Okay... I'd like to finish..."

She smiled at his boyishness; sometimes Joxer was almost too cute for his age. "Sounds good to me," she said, and rolled them both over so that he was on his back. She moved down his body a little until she was straddling him, and looked down at him. He looked taken totally by surprise, and she laughed lightly. "Is now okay?"

He blinked, and recovered. "Now's great," he said lustily, reaching up to her face, then stroking his hands down her body as she began her movements- slowly at first, then more quickly. Again he noticed the bouncing of her curvier parts, much more noticeable now that he was almost directly beneath them. Ah, his beautiful bard, so... energetic, he thought, wondering where she had the energy to pick this up again so soon after her last climax. Each time she brought her hips down with more force, quicker and harder; he thrust up to meet her, holding her thighs firmly against him, his other hand wandering her body, drawing gasps from her at random intervals...

As always, she was amazed at how well he knew what to do to her, how to drive her wild- She'd expected to have the upper hand this time, in this position, but he'd fixed it so that they were equal. *And what equals,* she thought- *I have no problems sharing THIS kind of feeling.* In the back of her foggy mind she recognized his moans, his words of love, and she returned them despite her haze of desire- Gods she loved him, not just for this act, but for everything he did. There was always something this amazing man was trying to do for her, and when she was able to let him it made her feel happy somehow, knowing that she'd made his day. Sex was an act of lust, but being with Joxer made it an expression of love, and a delightful one at that. She cried out again before she thought to stop herself.

Joxer's hand went to her cheek, gently, so lovingly- the beautiful bard who had captured his heart, years ago now, and whose cries filled him with a joy he could never find any place else- she opened her eyes and looked down at him, a little sheepishly, then took his hand and kissed it, entwining her fingers with his. They tightened their grips and quickened their pace, holding hands firmly even after they rolled over so that he was again on top.

The pacing had become desperate, harder and faster than it had been the first time, and the sweat on their bodies made the movements slippery- he looked into her eyes and saw a reflection of himself, physical as well as emotional... She was feeling the same things he was, desire and love, devotion and passion, intertwined. The wall broke; he let go of her hand and embraced her, thrusting for all he was worth, only half-aware of her second orgasm of the evening- his blood rushed in his ears, but he heard her when she reached up to his face, her expression tired, her eyes full of love, and murmured, "My Attis..."

"Princess Gaia," he whispered hoarsely, and kissed her, tasting the sweat that had covered her upper lip. "Gabby... I-" He gripped the bedsheets in both fists, clenching his teeth- every muscle in his body tensed... Then it came, and for a moment he held completely still within her as time seemed to stop. "Ahhhhh- I love you, Gabrielle, I'll always love you oh GODS Gabby-" His head fell loosely to her shoulder as he thrusted a few times more, her arms encircling him, pulling the sheets up over them both.

He relaxed, rested on her body for a few moments, and then rolled off, his sweat already beginning to cool. From somewhere he heard her voice, "I'll always love you too, Attis," and a giggle, but he was already nearly asleep-

Suddenly his eyes snapped open. "Oh shoot!" he cried, jumping up out of bed and startling the living daylights out of the blonde bard next to him. He darted over to the package of things he'd brought with him, the trinkets for her, and tripped over his pants from where they were lying on the ground.

"Joxer, are you okay?" Gabrielle gasped, running to his side.

He groaned. "That hurts a lot more when you're naked. Aw, geez..."

He felt Gabrielle picking him up and guiding him back to the bed. "Lie down again. There. I'll get whatever it was you were looking for."

"The box in the pocket of my tunic," he said weakly. It didn't hurt that much, but the idea of Gabrielle nursing him back to health appealed to him. "Open it... they're for you." He tried to be valiant and not notice that she was still completely naked as she looked over his belongings, but there was just no way for him to ignore that. Oh, well- maybe she wouldn't notice him staring.

She noticed him staring. "You are incorrigible," she chided, then posed impishly for a moment before grabbing the now-tiny candle from the table where she'd left it, and bringing it to the bed. "What are these?" she asked as she opened the box.

He cleared his throat. "Just, uh, some stuff I got you earlier today."

"Joxer," Gabrielle began in a stern tone of voice, "is this why you couldn't afford dinner?"


"I've told you, you don't have to get me things!" she said, but kissed him on the cheek before going on. "Getting to see you is all I- Ooooh, is this a gold ring?"

He winced. "Well, kinda..."

"It's green," she said in an odd tone, after examining it in the candle light. Biting his lip, Joxer said, "I didn't know that at the time. They said it was gold when I bought it."

Before answering, Gabrielle looked at the rest of his purchases. Another thing was a cheap paper fan, designed to look like some she'd seen in Chin. *Boy, he must have been short on cash even before he got these. Normally he's not nearly so tacky.* Still, it was the thought that counted, and he'd tried; she loved him just for that. The last item in the box was a stone, evidently a smooth shiny black one. She looked at it in puzzlement- what was she supposed to do with this? Then it flashed in the light, and at a different angle she saw colours pass through it. She gasped. "Joxer, this is beautiful! Where did you find this?"

"On the street," he shrugged. "I know they're not that special, Gabby, but I just wanted to get you some-"

She put a hand on his shoulder. "No, Joxer, this is really lovely! I wonder where it came from! Tomorrow we'll go find out, okay?"

"You and me?" She nodded, and he smiled. "Okay." He stifled a yawn, and she did the same a moment later. "Sorry."

"It's okay," she said patiently. "It's late, and we've been, uh... busy. Let's get some sleep, okay?" He nodded, and she kissed him goodnight. "I love you, you big dope," she said quietly.

Settling back onto the bed, a big smile on his face, Joxer said, "I love you too, Gabby."

She watched his eyelids flutter once or twice as he fell asleep, then gave in to exhaustion herself. Before she had fallen asleep completely, however, his voice jolted her awake. "Gabby?" he said again, softly, his voice filled with sleep.

"Mmm? Yes?"

He put an arm around her and wiggled his hand, evidently to tired to do anything more. "T'night was incredible."

Taking hold of his hand in her own, she laced her fingers with his. "It's always incredible with you, Joxer..." This time she was sure he was asleep, and within a few moments, so was she.

Their fingers remained locked together throughout the night.

Continue on to the continuation of this series, My Favourite Mistake

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