Author: Klancy7
Story Title: Web of the Furies
Characters: Xena/Gabrielle, Gabrielle & Ares, Xena/The Furies
Rating: NC-17
Summary: The Furies have come to pay a bounty, demanded by a certain wargod. But Ares isn't the only one behind it.
This rating is for explicit f/f and m/f sex, bdsm and rape.

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

This takes place after Xena and Gabrielle's return from India, and before the events of 'Endgame'. Possibly offensive passages include quasi-rape of Gabrielle by a male, actual rape of Xena by the Furies, and consensual but rough sex between Xena and Gabrielle. All this in the course of one evening. I've got to move to ancient Greece.

You can find more of Klancy7's stories at her web site Klancy7 Fan Fiction and at XENADOM.

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_____ *** _____

Web of the Furies
by Klancy7

Gabrielle said nothing the first time it happened.  She walked on through the trees, making her way carefully through the dense greenery, trying not to let the elastic limbs of needled pine slap back in her partner's face.

Then she heard it again behind her, a muted crackling, and she sighed.  "Xena."

Bad enough they had to pass through a forest rumored to be cursed with some dark enchantment; she could do without that nerve-crimping noise.  It was silent for awhile, except for the padding of their feet through the leaves.  Well, Gabrielle's feet padded -- as usual, the warrior moved as silently as fog.  How is it possible, the bard thought grumpily, to walk quietly through dead leaves?  Then another muffled snap sounded behind her and she whirled.

"Will you please stop that!" Gabrielle barked, jabbing her finger into Xena's chest.

The tall warrior stumbled, startled at their abrupt halt, and her blue eyes widened a little.  "What?"

"Stop wrenching your back around like that!"  The finger poked again, and the green eyes below Xena's were flashing.  "I finally broke you from cracking your knuckles, and now you're snapping your spine!  Aside from it being a thoroughly revolting habit, those little cracks are your bones grinding together.  It does not help, Xena, I've told you this!"

"Gabrielle -- "

"You're going to wind up twisted and crippled with an arthritic back before you reach fifty summers if you keep this up."  Jab, jab.

"And you won't reach thirty, if you keep that up."  Xena lifted the tip of Gabrielle's forefinger off of her sternum.  "Maybe the legends about this forest are true, Gabrielle; you're turning into a harpy before my eyes."  She hunched her broad shoulders experimentally, trying to find the catch between them that was plaguing her, then noticed Gabrielle squinting up at her.  "What?  My back hurts."

"I'm not surprised," Gabrielle retorted, turning to continue deeper into the sunlit trees.  "If you'd have let me rub it last night, you'd be fine.  You didn't even ask.  I still don't see why you need to add swinging from tree to tree like a monkey to your repertoire, Xena.  And if you must add it, why you feel you need to drill from dawn to dusk is  -- "

"Gabrielle, I've drilled every day since we met."  Xena's tone held an amused patience that irked her younger partner all over again as they tramped on.

"Tree flight is complicated," the tall warrior continued, studying the tangled treetops above them with interest.  "It enabled the northern Amazons to move through their forests like wind.  It made them fearsome in battle, when mobility -- "

"Xena, don't lecture me about Amazons, I should lecture you about Amazons," Gabrielle grumbled, fanning mosquitoes out of her face.  "At least Amazons know when to quit, they stop drilling before they're so exhausted they're shaking like  --  "

"True, many Amazons do tread a bit light in their boots," Xena drawled.  She expected Gabrielle's abrupt halt this time, and she was grinning down at her when the bard spun around.

"Don't you ever drop it, Xena?"  Gabrielle seemed genuinely angry, and Xena's smile faded.  "The kick-butt bully act?  Because it can get really, really old  -- "

"Hey."  Xena's eyes were puzzled, and she stepped to Gabrielle and cupped the back of her neck.  "What's wrong, Bri?  Are you ticked at me?  Or are these woods really getting to you?"

It took a moment, but Gabrielle deflated a little, and her shoulders sagged.  "Yeah, I guess."  One side of her mouth crooked upward in apology.  "I'm sorry.  Just tired, probably.  Can we make camp soon?"

Xena studied her partner.  They hadn't been traveling that long.  "Sure, as soon as we're well off the main road.  Another half-league in.  Okay?"

"Okay."  Gabrielle nodded, and then grinned up at Xena, ruefully.  "You do take the macha-stoic bit a little far, sometimes.  I really could have helped your back last night."

"Hmm."  Xena looked thoughtful.  "You want me to cut back on the macha.  You sure about that?"

She snaked her arm about Gabrielle's shoulders and swept her around so the small of her back rested in the crook of the taller woman's elbow.  Gabrielle flailed a little in surprise, sputtering.  She looked up in time to see smiling blue eyes coming at her, and then she was silenced with a lush, warming kiss.  The bard's hand flapped twice in protest, and then it went limp, and rose to catch in the wild, black forest of Xena's hair.

Xena finally lifted her head.

"Hoo," Gabrielle breathed.

The warrior smiled down at her agreeably.

"Xena," Gabrielle sighed, "you know that's not what I'm talking about -- "

"Hey!"  Xena released Gabrielle abruptly and snapped upright, swinging her left elbow back in a tight arc.  The loud cracking sound of her spine aligning almost drowned out the whooshing thump of Gabrielle's sari-ed butt hitting the carpet of leaves.

When they finally walked on, it was in stony silence.

____*** ____

All right, I shouldn't have dropped her, Xena acknowledged, but she's being plain silly now.  The warrior winced at the adolescent whine in her own internal voice as she watched Gabrielle's stiff back recede up the weed-strewn slope ahead.

"Hey, slow down," Xena muttered under her breath.  "Like I'm chasing after some bloody toddler."  She raised her voice.  "Gabrielle!  I'd rather you didn't get too far ahead, not in a forest neither of us knows -- "

"Oh, out-butch me, then," Gabrielle snapped back over her shoulder.  "If I'm walking too fast for you, Xena, take to the trees and haul me up by my hair like some bull-headed, mutton-thumping -- "

"Like a what?"  Xena stopped dead.  "Gabrielle, come back here!  You're unarmed, dummy!  In a forest that's supposed to be -- "

"I'm not worried."  Gabrielle's voice was fading in the distant trees.  "If I run into anyone, I'll just have my leathered warrior-butch blind them, with one flash of her diamond-hard nipples!"

"My what?!"  Xena yelled.  She refused to keep trotting uphill after the unreasonably irate bard, so she stopped where she was, steadying herself on the slippery vines underfoot.  She raised her voice one more time.  "I think I'm going to allow you some personal space, Gabrielle, at least until your gods-be-damned moons begin!"

There was a far-off scurrying of leaves and twigs ahead, as if a low-hanging branch had been yanked down and released suddenly, but no reply came.  Just as well, Xena thought, flexing her shoulders absently.

They had a meanness to them these days, the tall woman mused, both of them.  It wasn't just Gabrielle who'd been short of temper -- Xena had been more sullen and distant herself, lately.  She didn't know if it was the image of the crosses that continued to haunt them, or the strain of their travels in India, but something was off.

This, however, was out of hand, this little temper tantrum that drove the bard recklessly alone into unknown territory.  It had been so long since Xena had considered Gabrielle truly young -- perhaps she was forgetting her partner had just entered her third decade.  No, that was condescension --

Xena was rocked out of her thoughts as if a bell had gone off near her ear -- the aura of danger reached the warrior with the same clarity.  She drew her sword from her back-scabbard in one smooth movement and braced, flexing her knees and centering her weight evenly, taking in light, silent breaths as her senses engaged.

Piercing blue eyes scanned the surrounding trees, and her nostrils flared softly as she tested the air.  The forest suddenly held the deep, ominous stillness that falls before lightning storms, but the sky was a featureless gray.

"Gabrielle."  Xena's throat went dry, and her gaze rose to the top of the hill, where she'd last seen her partner.

"Xena!"  The call was faint.

The warrior snapped her sword back in its sheath and exploded up the slope, her long legs churning like oiled pistons as she covered ground.  She darted over the top of the ridge and crashed through the thick brush at its summit, sharp twigs and reedy limbs scoring her arms and thighs as she darted through them.  Xena hardly felt it.  Her throat closed with an anxiety that threatened to undermine her instinct, and she tried to focus on the fading beam of Gabrielle's voice.

"Xena, I'm here . . . "  The words trailed off on a note of odd laughter.

The warrior whirled, adjusting her trajectory, then plummeted deeper into the enfolding trees, shouldering aside branches as she went.   She saw the lip of the slope a heartbeat before she reached it, and she allowed her momentum to rocket her over the edge.  Xena flipped in a tight spin, silently so as to hear any sound from her partner, and sailed down the curving side of a deep, dish-shaped compression in the damp forest earth.  It was an oval valley as large as half a village, and the warrior hit the muddy slope half-way down.  She kept her balance, but barely, as she skidded down on the flats of her boots to the bottom of the bowl.

Xena burst into a thick stand of poplar trees and through them into a grassy, sun-drenched enclosure.  She shuddered to a stop.

The warrior's cobalt eyes ticked quickly over the macabre scene, logging everything in one clean sweep -- visually, if not mentally, because little of it made immediate sense. A huge, intricate web of rope spanned one side of the circular space, staked in the grass at its base and extending high into the bracketing trees.  She saw three women, crouching at different levels in the netting like black-widow spiders, their hair serpentine, their pallor a ghostly white.  Their shining eyes on Xena made her feel as if she were being watched by bloated wasps.

And she saw Gabrielle, standing on the ground in front of the looming web and the poisonous women, flushed, panting, and apparently triumphant.  Smiling at her happily.

"Xena," Gabrielle called.  "Are you woman enough to face a real challenge?"

Xena's mouth opened to reply, but she never got the words out.  One of the women hurled a fist-sized rock that connected solidly with the side of her head, and the warrior sank down bonelessly in the grass.  She found herself on her back, staring up at a line of treetops, and felt warmth trickling down her face.  She heard Gabrielle's voice, sounding frightened now, and then that faded too.

____ *** ____


Xena swam sluggishly for daylight, the pounding heat in her right temple worsening as she came awake.  She realized she was naked -- that first, unpleasant shock of knowing her body was exposed filled her at once.  Next she knew she was bound; her wrists and ankles had been laced tightly into the hemp strands of the web.  Xena hung about half-way up the sheet of net, her muscular body pulled taut against the rope mesh behind her.  She'd been stripped and strung up like a side of beef, in the brief time she'd been out -- this was a pretty efficient operation.  But whose?

One eyelid cracked open, and a glint of blue shimmered behind it.  Xena winced the blazing sunlight out of her eyes as she surfaced at last.  She was welcomed by a queasy thump of pain in her skull.  She squeezed her eyes shut again and moaned.

Immediately, Xena heard Gabrielle's light step coming toward her.  Cold fingers fell on her left side, the touch of them so intimate on her bare skin that she shuddered.  She opened her eyes again, and looked dully down at Gabrielle.

The bard had to look further up to see her than usual.  The moment Xena's eyes opened, Gabrielle's hand dropped to her side, and she took a step back, distancing herself from the netting that bound the naked warrior.  For a moment, Gabrielle looked almost afraid of her, and Xena's heart gave a quiet, painful thud.

"Are you all right?"  Gabrielle asked softly.

Xena flexed her shoulders gingerly.  "My back's better."

"Xena.  Your head."  Gabrielle seemed both fearful and sad.  "I'm so sorry.  I didn't know that was going to happen."

"And you -- "  Xena paused to clear her throat and rotate her head on her neck, "You knew about the rest of it?  That this was a trap?"

"No.  Yes -- I don't know, Xena."  Gabrielle came forward and touched Xena's side again, and her voice was low.  "I didn't plan any of this . . . I was just -- angry at you, and then furious, and I was running, and then I was here.  With them."  She looked over her shoulder with foreboding, then turned away from the warrior.

Xena followed her gaze, and frowned, sourly.  She knew these three women.  She'd met them before, as had Gabrielle, under less than pleasant circumstances.

The smallest of them, the one with shriekingly blonde hair and glacial eyes, left her two sisters and approached the net.  "I'm sorry, Xena, but we can't be of much help to you," she said.  "The Furies are present by divine command.  We have no control over what's to happen here."

"Alecto."  Xena's voice was pitched to its most ominous growl.  "You and your scabrous sisters, over there, are out of line.  You only pursue criminals who have escaped punishment.  Trust me -- neither Gabrielle or I fit that description."

Gabrielle felt a warmth on the back of her neck, and knew Xena's gaze was on her.  She closed her eyes, and felt herself fill again with the forest's dark magic.

"I know the law as well as you do, warrior."  Alecto perched her hands on her hips, looking more resigned than perturbed.  "We're not here to avenge any crime.  We've come to pay a bounty."

"Bounty for who?"  Xena winced, and looked up at her right wrist.  The damn hemp was abrasive as hell.

"For six war criminals, who might otherwise have escaped earthly justice."  Alecto cocked her head, watching Xena's futile struggle to free her hands from the ropes.  "Our services here were demanded in payment.  It was too rich a catch to refuse, Xena."

"Demanded?"  Xena snapped, tossing her head to clear her dark hair from her eyes.  "Who's behind this, Alecto, and what do they want?   And what the bloody hell have they done to Gabrielle?"

"Your partner believes she is dreaming."  Alecto nodded at Gabrielle.  "That's partly the forest.  Try not to hold her responsible, for her role in this."  The youngest Fury's eyes softened slightly, as she studied the bound warrior.  "Xena.  Please know there's nothing personal in what we do to you.  We're rather fond of you, really, as a human.  How couldn't we be -- you're a one-woman vigilante squad."

Magaera and Tisiphone, her sister Furies, crooned wordless agreement.

"Try not to hate us forever," Alecto finished.  "You won't be hurt, if you cooperate."

"She's not going to resist, Alecto."  Gabrielle turned back to them, with such a placid, dreaming expression in her eyes that Xena knew she was beyond reach, at least for now.  But maybe they could communicate, while there was time.

"Why are we here, Gabrielle?" Xena asked her partner softly.

"Well, I think I'm about to have a really fine, vivid, trashy dream."  Gabrielle smiled, lazily, a dimple deepening in her cheek.  "I think you're here to be in my dream, and to beg."

Xena went still.  "Come again?"

"You're supposed to beg me to let you finish," Gabrielle clarified.

____ *** ____


"Gabrielle, listen to me."  Xena tried to keep her tone level as the three Furies began to move toward their web.  "I think I know who's behind this.  You would too, if you'd just focus.  Want me to break it down for you?"

"No, Xena," Gabrielle said calmly, folding her hands behind her.  "I want you to break down for me.  I hadn't thought of it before, but based on how we're getting along, lately, I must want to humble you.  For some reason.  Dreams are good opportunities to work out internal conflict," the bard added.

Xena swallowed as the netting holding her swayed slightly.  The Furies were climbing, spidering above and around her.

"Listen to yourself, Bri.  What you're asking.  You want me to -- beg, right?"  Xena's nostrils flared with distaste.  "It doesn't matter what for.  You know me better than anybody, Gabrielle.  What would forcing me to beg -- for anything -- do to me?"

Gabrielle's brow furrowed, and her gaze moved to Xena's intense eyes.

"I've never begged for anything in my life, Gabrielle.  Not at the gauntlet, not from the cross. This is not bravada talking, all right?  A warrior doesn't beg."  Xena spoke more rapidly now, as the Furies finished positioning themselves around her.  "You'll have to crush my spirit to break me, and the rage would be -- terrible.  I  wouldn't be able to turn to you, not if you were part of this.  Who would step in, when I'm most vulnerable?  Who benefits from all of this, Gabrielle, who gets what he wants?"

"A spider," Gabrielle murmured.  She smiled, and Xena's heart sank again.  "A big, black, hairy one."

One moment Ares was not there, and then he was.  Xena hadn't even sensed the presence of the God of War, that thin quail of combined arousal and nausea that always preceded his appearance.

"Alecto, you throw like a girl."

The big god's base voice dripped with scorn.  He linked his massive arms behind his back and strolled to Gabrielle's side.  "That rock should have knocked the fight out of you until sunset at least, Xena.  We could have skipped all this dreary exposition, and moved directly to the good stuff."  He smiled, his ebony eyes glinting under tousled black hair.  His gaze moved, with great pleasure, over the warrior's spread-eagled nakedness.

Gabrielle was staring up at Ares, dazed, and Xena felt a swell of anger fill her.

"I was right, then, about your planning this little party to win back your pet warlord,"  Xena growled.  "But what's Gabrielle done to you, Ares?  Why punish her by dragging her into this?"

"Why not?"  Ares's large hand slid up Gabrielle's lean side, and cupped the precious swell of one breast.  The bard closed her eyes.  "I wouldn't want her to miss a moment of this, Xena.   I've developed a strange affection for this irritating young twit, here.  And she does owe me this little web scene.  Know why?"

The warrior just looked down at him, her eyes so full of contempt the insult screamed through the silent glen.
"Because your Gabrielle is the only creature in the world who can make the fearsome warrior princess beg."

Ares squeezed the full swell of Gabrielle's breast lightly, and the blonde woman gasped and shuddered.  He looked back up to enjoy Xena's expression.  "I could break you, physically, Xena.  You don't believe me, but give me a bullwhip, a few branding irons and enough time, and I'd have you screaming.  But not this way."  Ares nodded at the net, and began kneading Gabrielle's buttocks through the fabric of her skirt.  "I can't break you, this way.  And she can.  I've killed men for less grievous insult."  He grasped Gabrielle's chin in cruel fingers, turned her face up and kissed her, a rough, sandpaper-hot scourging of her tender, bow-shaped lips.

Rage took Xena, and she rebelled against the ropes binding her ankles and wrists.  The danger to Gabrielle was as clear to her as if the bard were being squeezed by a python.

The Furies did nothing to still the warrior's blind thrashing.  Three pairs of taloned hands clenched squares of rope and heaved, snapping Xena's naked body against the harsh hemp of the net.  She jerked, hissing, as the scratchy cord abraded her back and hips, but she was given no time to recover.  Alecto and her sisters began pulling their ropes back and forth, wrenching the warrior's arms and legs, forcing her muscular body to writhe in its restraints.

"Look, sweet Gabrielle."  Ares moved around behind Gabrielle and wrapped one arm around her waist.  He gripped her chin, and pointed her face toward the four figures on the netting, outlined against the afternoon sun.  "Watch our warrior twist with pleasure before us.  She thinks she doesn't want to watch what's going to happen to you, little bard, but I know better.  I know your violent, difficult lover better than you.  Together, we're going to teach our Xena a lesson."

Ares grasped the silk of Gabrielle's colorful sari in his hands and ripped it apart, shredding the delicate fabric until it hung in strips from the bard's naked shoulders.  Her wrapped skirt still covered her hips, but her large breasts were exposed, and immediately caught up in the thick, kneading fingers of the wargod.

"Let's watch your warrior dance for awhile, what do you say."  Ares settled into his task, grimacing pleasurably as his fingers probed the full globes.   He glanced over the girl's shoulder to see her pale breast-flesh swell and blush in his gripping hands.  Gabrielle's nipples began to quicken in his palms, becoming taut and rasping against his skin.  She looked down at his groping fingers, her face filling with a high flush of color.

Xena was strong, but Ares was stronger.  He lifted Gabrielle against him, his hands pressing hard into her breasts to bear her weight, just long enough to remind her how much stronger.  He lowered her again, his tireless fingers still churning, still staring, mesmerized, at Xena.

"She's a marvel, Gabrielle, isn't she?  All womanly curves and muscle, gleaming in the light.   Xena's breasts are the perfect handful, if your fingers are long enough." Ares ground Gabrielle's breasts together.  "Are mine long enough for you, my not-so-little bard?"

Gabrielle's dropped back onto Ares's round shoulder.  Then she slit open her green eyes, and saw Xena flinch in pain as she was snapped again into the net.  She went rigid in the burly god's embrace.  The dreaming caste left her green eyes, and they snapped with anger.

"You bitches of Hera!"  The venom in Gabrielle's tone startled Ares sufficiently to allow her to burst out of his grasp.

The young Amazon queen stalked to the net, and her green eyes shot lightning bolts up at the Furies, who had stopped yanking on the ropes.  "You're hurting her, and that stops now."  Gabrielle's voice was low, but deadly.  "Whatever's happening to me, it only carved out enough of my head to allow the sex, all right?  You try to injure Xena, even in my dreams, and I swear on my mothers I'll scratch out all six of your eyes."

Xena studied her young wife's face.  "I'd watch it," she murmured to Alecto.

"Understood, Gabrielle," Alecto called respectfully.  She glanced at her sisters to silence their imminent grumbling.  "Ares, it seems your hold on the warrior's lover is not complete.  She will become -- a little defensive, if she thinks we're hurting the prisoner."

"She'll be more than defensive."  Ares's eyes were stormy.  "I plan to make her rabid.  Furies, get to work on the warrior."  He snatched Gabrielle's unresisting arm in one fist, and pulled her back where Xena could see them clearly.   He looked up at Xena, with a charming smile.  "Xena?  Keep your eyes on your backwater whore, here, if you want to watch her enjoy a genuine fuck for once."

The swarming began.

Tisiphone skittered forward and cupped Xena's firm right breast in her two hands.  Magaera moved in the same moment to wrap her cold fingers around the left, and they lowered their heads immediately.  Xena felt Tisiphone's sharp teeth first, nibbling lightly on her swelling nipple -- then the powerful suction of Magaera's lips, fastened around her other protruding bud.  Xena arched her lower back so tightly it almost locked painfully in place.  Her breasts were not as infamously sensitive as her young partner's, but they were fast getting there, and the blue eyes squeezed shut.

Ares had no patience.  He ripped the rest of Gabrielle's clothes off without artistry, just a dark, brutal hunger.  Gabrielle stood facing him, her arms at her sides, her emerald eyes empty again.  The last part of her dream had shaken her, her sleeping mind admitted.  But pleased her, too. Thank the gods she had enough confidence, now, to defend what she loved, even in sleep.

Ares took Gabrielle's broad shoulders in his hands and tripped her, an uncharacteristically crass movement -- he just wanted her down.  Gabrielle fell, sprawled on her back, and then lifted herself on her elbows.  She looked up at Ares, silently.

"Spread your legs, girl."

She obeyed at once.  Her heels moved apart as she lay back and lowered her head to the grass.  She turned her eyes away, not wanting to see Ares's face as she exposed herself.  She could feel his gaze, though, hot and delighted on her tender, furred nether-lips.  Gabrielle began to tremble in spite of herself.  She could feel her flat stomach and naked breasts glow whitely in the sunlight.  She had to struggle not to bring her hands together over her vulnerable mound.

The big god dropped to his knees between Gabrielle's wide-spread legs and tore at his leather breeches with one hand.  The pressure within them had become unbearable.

Xena forced herself to watch, and she forced herself to be silent.  Carnal pressure was rising in her in waves, and the Furies had only touched her breasts.  The two sisters were coating them now with their tongues, stopping to chew one nipple or the other as their heads moved over the warrior's chest.  The immortal bearers of justice, Xena was learning, were highly skilled at this particular form of interrogation.

As was their leader, Alecto, who used that standing to claim the most rewarding and challenging position, between the warrior's wide-spread legs.  She placed her hands on Xena's inner thighs and pushed, coaxing her open, looking down at the warrior's damp slit with greedy eyes.  She swept her long tongue across her lips, and then Xena suppressed a scream as she burrowed up into her.  Her hips jerked hard against the web as the small Fury began sucking her sensitive folds.  The warrior's breasts surged up against the mouths of her other two tormentors, and she was bitten again.  Another gasp escaped through Xena's clenched teeth, and Gabrielle heard a  moaning sound in it.

"Pull me up," Gabrielle said quietly, her arms still on the ground above her head, her legs spread so widely by Ares's knees that her pelvis ached, watching the immortals move ravenously over Xena.

Ares was balanced on his hands and knees over the fallen bard.  His penis quivered, long and ridged and perfectly disciplined, it's bulbous tip skimming up and down the trim, upturned slit of the girl's cunt.  He was startled that she had spoken, but he was still sane enough to heed her.  "What?"

"Pull me up," Gabrielle repeated.  "So we're facing her.  Take me from behind."  The green eyes drifted to the bearded face.  "I want this over as quickly as possible, Ares.  I understand why I'm having this dream, but I don't like it.  I want Xena down off that net, and then I want to wake up, and find her completely unharmed.  So do what I tell you, and we can finish this."  She drew a shuddering breath.  "If you want Xena to lose control, make her think you're forcing me from behind.  Pretend to rape me."

Ares's eyes moved appreciatively over the trembling globes of the pinned woman's breasts.  "You can pretend I'm raping you if you wish, Gabrielle," he whispered,  "But I'll know the truth."

He got up on his knees, grasped Gabrielle's wrist, and pulled her up with him.  He clenched her hips and swiveled around in back of her, one burly arm wrapped around the lean waist.  The bard was lifted erect on her knees, her breasts draped over Ares's thick wrist.

The warrior's vision was hazing red, now, as sparks of heat coursed through her groin, and she had to struggle to stop her hips from swiveling beneath the suction of the Fury's mouth.

Ares was nudging Gabrielle's upper thighs apart impatiently, and she shifted and widened her knees for him.  He reached down, and instead of his prick, he inserted the tip of his thick forefinger into the young woman's vagina, and wormed it up into her.  Gabrielle cried out with shock, a short, barking sound that made the war-god's cock twitch against his belly.  He grinned into Xena's eyes over Gabrielle's shoulder, and began feeling around in the young woman's snatch, twisting his finger, rotating it rapidly, rubbing the sides of her clinging tunnel with his knuckle.

"I'll take out your eyes myself if you bloody her, Ares."  Xena's voice was ragged, almost hoarse, but there was no mistaking the threat in it.

Ares continued fingering the girl's cunt, smiling at Gabrielle's soft, helpless grunts.  When he grew weary of it, he jerked his finger out of the straining hole with an obscene popping sound, and moved directly behind her.  He fumbled with his tumescent cock, then fit it between Gabrielle's legs.

"I won't bloody your beloved lapdog this time, Xena.  But be warned, this other -- unpleasantness -- will go on all night."  He grinned, and bucked his hips with relish, as his penis rooted deeply into Gabrielle's cleft.

Gabrielle grimaced and cried out again as the fleshy pole impaled her, and she surged up higher on her knees.  Ares carried her lush body back against his chest as he shoved himself deeper inside her, his free hand mauling her firm right breast.  And for Ares, as Gabrielle squirmed frantically against him, it began to be almost as much about Gabrielle as about Xena.

"You are so not like your daughter," he breathed in Gabrielle's ear, and she whimpered, stuffed with his cock, arching her huddling breasts against his groping hands.  He began fucking her at last.

"You look pretty caught up in this, Xena," Ares called.  "You might want to start pacing yourself, love.  The hotter you get, the harder it's going to be to keep yourself from begging for relief."
Xena bucked against the net, purposely bringing on the scathing sting of the rope against her welted back.  She shook with the effort it took to quell the fire rising in her as Ares bucked and Gabrielle writhed back against him, her dark-fringed eyelashes fluttering as her mouth fell open.  The arousal sweeping through her partner was not feigned, asleep or awake.

"Are you a truth-teller, bard?"  Ares's prick was fully inserted.  His hips began a slow, lewd twisting, his enormous member delving in her tight sheathe.  Gabrielle whimpered.  "When you sing this tale in a neighborhood tavern, will you tell them how wet the God of War made you?  How your clit was so swollen, the tip of it ground against his pole as he ravaged your sweet little cunt?"

"Shut up, Ares," Xena snapped.  Her head tossed as she struggled to rein in her own rising carnality.  Her blood was pounding through her belly and sparking great bursts of heat in her tortured nipples.  "We both use cotton rolls bigger than you when our moons hit."

It startled a half-frenzied laugh out of Gabrielle that seemed to surprise even Xena, but it enraged Ares.  The hulking god started hammering in and out of the girl again, rooting into her from behind like a warhorse, his white teeth bared in a triumphant leer as he watched Xena's eyes glass over.

Gabrielle's head whipped back and forth against Ares's big shoulder, her face contorted in a mask of denial.  She couldn't raise her hands, as the wargod's arm was clamped below her breasts, but she began to fight him.  She could feel Xena's eyes on her, all over her, and she waited until she knew her voice would scythe through her lover like a blade.

"Stop," she gasped, her voice high and faint.  "Oh, please -- ahhhhh."  Gabrielle grunted as Ares pumped relentlessly in and out of her.  "Take it out . . . take it out of my pussy, please . . . "  She let her legs loosen and splay, so the warrior could see her stuffed mound swell visibly with each of the wargod's lunges.  Her arousal rose higher, knowing the picture she made, and imagining her warrior lover spread-eagled on the web, watching her being raped.

"Gabrielle . . ." Xena whispered.

The bard's breasts bounced prettily over Ares's muscled arm, her nipples pink and enormous, and she heard the new strain in the warrior's hushed voice.  Her green eyes opened, and trained directly on Xena's face.  When Gabrielle spoke, her tone was measured and calm.

"Furies.  Stop."

Magaera lifted her head from Xena's wet, quaking breast at once.   Alecto's rough tongue took one last, dragging swipe through the suspended prisoner's open cunt.  She  had to rap on Tisiphone's head roughly before she popped Xena's other nipple out from between her sucking lips and retreated.  As she did, the last of the relentless physical stimulation of the warrior's body ceased abruptly.

All of the long muscles in Xena's body stiffened, as if they could physically brace against the backwash of heat that flooded them.  The warrior hung on the precipice of a lust volatile enough to render her senseless, if it held too long.  And then that peak began to back down, the sudden lack of stimulation dragging her arousal back from the edge -- but still holding, dangerously high.

"Slowly, Ares."  Gabrielle's voice trembled, but she tightened her jaw and kept her eyes locked on Xena's face.

Ares had been enjoying Xena's quaking efforts to lie still against the netting. He began grinding in Gabrielle again, deeply and thoroughly, at a relaxed and almost leisurely pace, his eyes half-shuttered.   He was loving this.  The unexpected, pleasurable tightness of Xena's young wife, his flexing prong rooting into her through enough wetness to signal her building desire, fanned the wargod's own carefully banked need.

Gabrielle closed her eyes as she heard the soft sloshing of Ares' cock moving in her, tendrils of pleasure swirling darkly and constantly through her belly.  "They'll not touch you again until I say, Xena.  And I won't do that -- until you beg for release."

Xena intended to resist as long as she could.  The pressure inside her seemed to compress her heart, and face drained of color.  Her clit peeked stiff and trembling between her lower lips, turgid and hideously sensitive.  She couldn't count on her  physical passions receding any further, not while she watched the God of War force-fucking her young lover.  Xena shivered with despair, and as always when despair threatened, she looked for Gabrielle's face.

She was looking up at Xena calmly, unconcerned, her own desire evident in the flushed planes of her cheeks.  After all, Xena brought Gabrielle to the apex of pleasure, and made her linger there, waiting, with maddening regularity.  Gabrielle thought she knew the land Xena inhabited now -- the blade-edge of tremendous orgasm, promised, but denied by the complete withdrawal of touch.  It was both a wonderful and terrible place, and Gabrielle envied her lover's presence there.  She was even gratified by it.  She didn't want to look at that too closely.

Gabrielle had no complaints about her relationship in the blanket department, her sleeping mind admitted.  None.  But she had conjured a dream that was turning extraordinarily hot.   She knew who was raping her, saturating her with this loathsome, deliciously stuffed sensation -- and Xena helpless, forced to watch it happen . . . Gabrielle would never admit it awake, but asleep, she found this scene well worth savoring.

What neither the warrior nor the bard remembered was Alecto's warning about the web.

As Xena hung, silent, the large expanse of webbing began to pulse with green light, a color drained seemingly from the surrounding trees.  The complex weaving shimmered with a murky glow that started at the edges of the rope strands, and moved slowly in toward their center, and the naked, wretched woman bound there.

The three Furies, as one, leaped from their holds and dropped soundlessly to the grass.

"Xena, you're resisting.  Stop it," Alecto called up sharply.  "Say the words, quickly."

Gabrielle shook her head, puzzled.  Her green eyes turned to Xena, to see if she understood, and she leaned forward and pulled herself off of Ares, as if he were an unwelcome distraction.

Ares pulled in a deep breath, summoning control over his body's heat.  He could let the Amazon go, for now.   The God of War was a master of self-restraint, if it meant prolonging his pleasure.  And his pleasure was about to increase tenfold, it seemed.

The green light carried pain with it, and the ability to drain a recalcitrant prisoner's strength.  It was actually a much more humane interrogation device than most of those used by the Furies' earthly counterparts, but its power was ruthless.  It hit Xena hard, and she cried out.  But then she managed to stand -- hang -- motionless again.  Xena closed her eyes and sent out sensors, trying to assess what damage was being done to her body by this rope monstrosity.

She had certainly suffered more terribly -- Xena was not in agony.  And she didn't think she was incurring any worse injury than a deep bruise or six.  But the punishment of the Furies' web gripped her completely, filling every cell with the same rational, bearable amount of raging discomfort and creeping lethargy.  It was pervasive and utterly inescapable.  Xena tired quickly, trying to hold off both the web's effects and the stubborn, slow burn still suffusing her.  Her hands twined around the ropes, and she rolled her head on her neck to try to relax locked muscles.

Then the dark warrior was aware of a flurry of rapid movement in the grass in front of her, and felt a small thrill of relief.  Gabrielle had snapped it again, then, whatever spell the forest used to cloud her mind -- Ares had pushed her too far.

Xena tried to focus on Gabrielle as she whirled on Ares, who just stood there with his sorry prong dangling between his legs.  There was a flashing swirl of short blonde hair as the bard spun, felling Ares with one crisp kick to the chin.  Then she bent and snatched a long knife from the wargod's thick belt, and she was on the Furies, slashing at them with unmistakable sincerity.

The three goddesses retreated hastily before the enraged Amazon queen, their hands raised in unconscious supplication.  They couldn't be killed by a mortal, or even badly hurt by one, but any scratch on their curvaceous bodies was, cosmetically, most  unwelcome.

"Gabrielle, Xena's not being damaged," Alecto said soothingly, then scooted her butt backwards to avoid Gabrielle's attempt to re-pierce her navel.  "Will you listen to me, you -- you violent young lunatic?!  Our net is designed to draw confessions from the resistant!  When it sensed Xena refusing your orders, it reacted.  Gabrielle, the pain and weakness are tantamount to a light beating, and --  "

Apparently unsatisfied with the Fury's explanation, Gabrielle unleashed a string of curses that would have shamed a sailor.  The bard cut through the thick hemp strands binding Xena's right ankle with one clean snap of the knife.  The right one followed in seconds, and Xena hung by her wrists alone.

"Xena!"  Gabrielle's hand rested on Xena's waist, her touch warm and confident and utterly her own again.  "I can't reach your hands, and I'm not turning my back on these --   gorgons!  Can you see me?"

 Xena squinted at her lover's upturned face.  "You're the cute one?"

"Yes."  Gabrielle threw the knife up toward Xena's right hand and she caught it, neatly.  The hand clutching the blade was freed first, then the other.

That stopped the pain, and the awful sensation of her strength draining from her.  The current, or whatever river the web used to carry its punishment through the warrior's body, was severed with the cutting of the ropes that bound her.

Xena let her weight rest on her heels for a moment, to shake the retreating haze from her mind.  The stretchy hemp she stood on would provide an excellent launch, she decided.  Gabrielle let out a grim cheer as the warrior tucked her long body and flipped into a spinning trajectory that ended with her feet planted in the grass a hand-span from Ares's boots.

Ares's eyes were shining again, with friendly malice.  He looked almost benevolent, even with his engorged penis still bobbing majestically between his thick thighs.  The wargod had lost, and he knew it, but he couldn't resent it, yet -- he loved watching this woman work.

Xena's eyes, on the other hand, were glacial.  "I brought you a thank-you note from the irritating blonde."

The tall woman's foot flashed up and caught the splayed-legged God of War smack in his divine privates.  Smack was the word for it; the sound all but reverberated through the sunlit glen.  All three of the Furies moaned in reflexive sympathy as the brawny man half-bent, trying to keep the agony off his face.  The left one hurt more than the right, Ares thought, but it was actually a pretty close call.

"Ding dong," Xena murmured, "your dick is dead."

Ares spit out a mouthful of blood from his bitten cheek, and tried one last salvo.  It was a weak one, but it was all he had left.

"How do you know I'm even here, Xena?  How do you know your Gabrielle didn't create my image, for her supposedly enchanted dream?"  Ares made it all the way upright, so he could meet Xena's eyes evenly.  "Look at you, woman!  You're still smoking like a bonfire, and so's your little sex slave, there.  How do you know she didn't conjure -- "

Ares's query was cut off when Gabrielle's foot crashed powerfully up between his legs, almost exactly where one warrior's foot had recently gone before.  This kick landed more on the right one this time, so at least the searing ache was even now.  Ares dropped, figuratively and literally, to his knees, and weaved there for a moment before he could summon the power, and the good grace, to vanish into the evening air.

Gabrielle shook out her foot.  "He was really here," she confirmed needlessly.

The bard focused on Xena's profile, and she sobered quickly.  The tall woman seemed basically unhurt, and indifferent to her nakedness, but her eyes were still giving off that spooky blue light.  Gabrielle touched her bare shoulder, and was startled when her hand was shaken off with a brusque shrug.  Xena turned stiffly and addressed the Furies without once looking at her young wife.

"Your bounty's been paid, Alecto."  Xena's voice retained the harsh quality of steam under pressure.  "Forgive us if we don't invite you to stick around for dinner."

"We'll take our leave, warrior."  Alecto swept her small cape in summons to her sisters, and the three Furies looked at Xena with a detached friendliness.  Tisiphone even winked.  "I make no apology for our work here, Xena.  Six warlords no longer wreak havoc on your nation's innocent."

"Perhaps I'll consider that a fair deal, someday."   Xena's pulse beat visibly in a vein in her neck.  "But I suggest the three of you stay out of my way until then, Furies."

The corner of the youngest Fury's mouth lifted, briefly.  "We're leaving you a gift, Xena.  Actually, it's more for your pre-menstrual little samurai, over there.  You'll  both forgive us, sooner than you think."

 The three women vanished in a triple shimmer.

But when they were gone, the shimmering in Xena's vision didn't stop.  The blow to her head, the relentless, grinding arousal, the torment and weakness of the web --  it caught up to her, and to her humiliation, she fainted.

Warriors may or may not beg, but they never faint, not unless they've lost a limb.  But there she was, suddenly stretched out on her side, nausea warring with the raging pressure in her blood, her knees burning because she must have hit those first.  The sculpted arms around her felt cool, at least until Xena realized who was cradling her.

" . . . -na, you back in there?  You want to open those baby-blues now?  Please?"
sounded worried again, but Xena had no psychic space for such concerns.  She rocketed out of the bard's arms, moving so quickly the curved wrists that supported her retained their position in mid-air for a moment.

"Gabrielle, are you possessed?"  Xena snarled, and the guttural rasp of her warlord days infused her voice.

Her body was filling again with that sick, thrumming energy -- apparently her damn libido was pitched so high not even momentary unconsciousness could dampen it.  The tall warrior crouched, naked and heart-breakingly beautiful, her arms and legs humming with suppressed power.  The blue eyes glittered with a predatory chill that would have warned Gabrielle off, if she had loved her less.

"You're covered with rope-burns," Gabrielle called.  She sat back on her heels, frowning.  "Those cords really dug into you, Xena.  I think your back's the worst -- "

"Gabrielle."  Xena balanced herself, unsteadily, on one knee, and kept her eyes on the grass at the bard's feet.  "You might want to take off, okay?  Put a little ground between us.  Head west, I'll catch up before dawn."

"No."  Gabrielle understood that she had just been warned. "Answer me first, are you okay?  Has that web let go of you?"

"Yeah, I just -- "

"I know."  Gabrielle nodded, brushing the grass from her hands.  Xena struggled to keep her gaze on the ground as the bard stood up.  "I don't know if it was Ares or the forest that had me, Xena, but it's gone, now.  You know I can help you.  If you can catch me, you can take me."

Xena groaned and covered her eyes with one hand.  All that curvaceous nakedness perched right in front of her was overwhelming.  "You don't know what you're saying, Gabrielle."

"I know what I'm offering."  Gabrielle's voice was both gentle and stern.  "I know you're about to blow apart inside, because I'm the one that brought you this high, and then kept you there.  It can't be good for you, Xena, not this long."  Gabrielle cleared her throat.  "Look at it this way.  I got you into this, and I'm going to get you out of it."  She hesitated.  "If you can prove you're woman enough to deserve such devotion."

Gabrielle was running for the trees before her last words were out.

It very nearly wasn't a race.  It wouldn't have been, if they hadn't gone to India, where Gabrielle got her impromptu haircut.  As it was, her shorter tresses slipped through Xena's snatching fingers as she sped past her, and Gabrielle made it into the trees surrounding the enclosure.  The fact that she got out of the bowl-shaped valley without being run down was proof in itself that Xena was starting to enjoy the chase.

Gabrielle burst over the lip of the ridge, and her dashing legs carried her deeper into the forest.  She was trying to remember that she had, covertly, agreed to this, being chased through the dark, tangled trees by a screeching, naked banshee, with midnight hair streaming back from her white face . . .  who kept trilling out the most blood-frosting war-cries heard this side of the Styx.  The bard ran further and faster than she would have believed possible, sustained by a lurking excitement as much as fear -- Gabrielle had not reached climax that afternoon, either.

As for Xena -- having Gabrielle run from her, watching her naked body twist and dip through the dense trees ahead, the frightened flash of green eyes over one shoulder -- she could have lasted all night.  It was a chase Gabrielle would describe as primal in the retelling -- though the entire story was not a tale that ever made it into the bard's public catalogue.

The prey was brought to ground just as Artemis's moon edged over the eastern hills.  It wasn't until Xena actually touched her, wrapped her arms around Gabrielle's cold waist and carried them both, crashing, into the thick grass, that the warrior felt the leather strands twined around her forearm.

Xena wrestled the flailing bard over onto her back.  She settled most of her weight on her hipbones, and pinned her wrists to the earth at either side of her head.    She stared at the odd wooden shape dangling from her own wrist without seeing it, at first.  Then her blue eyes widened, and the expressive eyebrows peaked.

Gabrielle was gasping for breath, but she too stared blearily at the gift of the Furies.  Xena sat up and snapped the belt off her wrist.  She snaked it around her waist, lifted herself, and fastened the complex bindings with practiced ease.  Gabrielle forced herself to lie still, but when she saw the smooth, polished length of the rosewood phallus rise between the warrior's legs, she began struggling again.

"No," Gabrielle gasped, sitting up and twisting in Xena's grasp, "not me -- not this time!  Xena, damn you -- you need -- "

Xena flattened both of her palms on Gabrielle's shoulders and pushed her roughly back down.  "You don't command my pleasure tonight, village girl."

Gabrielle recognized again the voice of a warlord who didn't exist anymore, except on nights like this.  Part of her would always be afraid when she heard this voice.

The dark woman lowered herself, carefully, onto the second head of the double-phallus.  The smooth wood slid up into her on waves of exquisite pleasure, and the walls of  her tunnel tightened around it's thick shape until she commanded herself to relax.

Comfortably stuffed, the warrior looked down at her captive impassively.  "You were enjoying yourself, Gabrielle, back in the glen.  May I ask how long you've been dreaming about Ares?"

"That was the first time," Gabrielle answered honestly.  Her voice sounded high and breathless in her ears as she braced herself on her elbows.  She was very aware of her pendulous breasts, throbbing beneath the warrior's remote gaze.  The grass was dry and scratchy against her buttocks, and she tried to focus on that unpleasant distraction.

"Good."  Xena smiled, absently.  "Now that that's settled.  I'd like to return to a topic that arose between us previously, this evening."  She positioned herself carefully between Gabrielle's wide-spread legs, and her eyes held something like compassion.  "You married a warrior, village girl.  You really should know that by now, but if you don't -- it's time I drove the point home."

Strong hands clenched Gabrielle's wrists and pulled, jerking her elbows out from under her.  Gabrielle felt the harsh burn of the grass on her arms, then her head sank back against the ground as the wooden phallus sank deeply into the sucking welcome of her cunt.  She screamed.  Xena pushed her hands back down to the grass, on either side of her tossing head, and pinned them there.

"You're in lovely voice tonight,"  Xena murmured, and she began fucking her.  Her hips felt wired with muscle as she pulled the phallus out of Gabrielle and screwed it back in, her lips curling around a pleasurable growl.  The prong that was nestled deeply between the warrior's own legs seemed to pulse and throb inside her, and a smaller, leathered knob scraped repeatedly over her turgid clitoris with each thrust.

"I'll let you go in a heartbeat, Bri, if you ever send me away."  Xena balanced on her forearms and looked down into Gabrielle's fixed, tearing gaze.  "Otherwise, I'm mated for life.  You're stuck with me.  And this hardness in you, fucking you?"  She swiveled her hips tightly against Gabrielle's captive cunt, stirring the hardness within her in audible, delicious circles.  "That's part of the package, village girl.  That's me, too.  You get all of me.  And I never want to hear again that you don't relish this part, because that's a lie."

Gabrielle may have tried to respond, but she gurgled breathlessly instead as Xena began to surge and grunt over her impaled body.   The Destroyer of Nations had wielded a double-headed phallus with pleasure, and considerable skill, during her early years, on willing and unwilling women alike.  Now Xena sank into the familiar, remembered pleasures of the device, filled with memories of past ravishings and the blood-chilling delight of this one, and she was cresting in seconds.  They both were.

With a combination of relief and gratification, Xena felt Gabrielle's teeth break the skin of her shoulder as the heat within her burst.

"Not that it matters, Bri," she whispered to her convulsing young wife, "but you came first."

Xena rutted an extra thrust or two and then joined Gabrielle in the explosion of friendly fire sluicing through them both.  Some benevolent goddess stood over them with a huge bowl, drenching them both in streams of pure pleasure, and be-damned if it didn't last almost as long as the coupling itself had.

Finally Xena slumped over Gabrielle's breasts.  She blinked, and Gabrielle could feel the feather-brush of her eyelashes on her pale globes.

"Xena," Gabrielle gasped, and she patted at Xena's heaving shoulder weakly.  "Honey.  If we don't get this thing out of me, right now, we'll have to be joined at the crotch for life."

"Is that a warning, or a rash promise?"  Xena snorted laughter against the creamy, pink-tipped breasts, and sat up.  She managed to unfasten the Furious Phallus (as Gabrielle would dub the beloved device in the private scroll), and ease herself off its prong.

Xena knelt beside the trembling bard, and carefully worked the smaller phallus out of her.  Gabrielle squeaked once, helplessly, as the passing wood brushed her still-quivering clitoris, and Xena had to bite back another snort of glee.  Gabrielle always shook like an aspen immediately after intense sex, and she would remain crazily sensitized for awhile; whereas Xena, as usual, felt as sanguine and sated as a big cat.

The warrior tossed the assembly of wood and leather straps aside, grunted, and tipped over to lay flat out on the grass.  She whoofed again, softly, as Gabrielle simply rolled with her, and draped herself over her long form.  They adjusted themselves automatically for awhile, unbending a leg or lifting hair out from beneath a shoulder for greater comfort.  Finally they lay still, Gabrielle's head on Xena's shoulder, breathing out the last sweet moments of fading pleasure.

"Is this killing your back?" Gabrielle asked, finally.

Xena flexed her shoulders cautiously, but the pain was insignificant.  "Nah, it's not bad."

"Why did I ask."

"No, really, I'm fine."  Xena blinked up at Gabrielle's face.  "Why did you run so far east?  We still have to walk back to that glen to get our essentials, like something to cover our naked butts."

"I didn't choose a direction," Gabrielle yawned.  "I was too busy running from a psychotic harpy to care where I went."

"Hey, how much of that before was you, anyway?"

"Pardon?"  Gabrielle rested her chin on Xena's sternum.

"Our too-butch-for-your-britches fight, before all this started.  Was that the forest's magic, or you?"  Xena craned her neck and lifted an eyebrow at Gabrielle.  "You really get sick of me, sometimes?"

"Sometimes," Gabrielle nodded into Xena's chest.  "Sometimes I think you deliberately fence me out, with your warrior-bitch act.  Then I figure, so what, even if you do, I don't always have to do something about it.  If you go all silent, it doesn't mean anything's wrong, either with you or between us."  She drilled her with emerald eyes.  "Because if there were something wrong, you'd tell me, right?  You'd let me know?"

"Absolutely."  Xena nodded to cement the sentiment, which was a mistake, because she still had her neck craned to see Gabrielle's face.  Both women heard an ominous crackling sound, and Xena's face went blank.

"Oh, no,"  Gabrielle said.

The warrior squeezed her eyes shut, and slowly raised her tense shoulders to try to trip the new, painful crick deep in her back.

"Down, Xena.  Relax."  Gabrielle tapped on both of Xena's bare shoulders sternly, until she complied and lowered them.  Gabrielle returned Xena's quizzical look evenly.  "Do you have something to say to me?"  She waited.  "I'm listening."

Xena sighed, and then smiled up sardonically at her young wife.  "Gabrielle, my back is killing me."

"Is it?"  Gabrielle asked, sympathetically.

"It is," Xena affirmed.  "I would appreciate a backrub tonight."

"Was that a request?"  Gabrielle cocked her head slightly so she could hear.

Xena sighed again.  "Gabrielle, would you please give me a backrub?"

"Why, of course I will."  Gabrielle smiled, and the sides of her eyes crinkled.  "I'd be pleased to rub you, warrior, as long, and wherever, you wish."  She kissed Xena's nose.  "All you had to do was ask for it."

"I'm asking for it."


"Oh, I'm begging ya."

They both slept fine that night.

----- End -----

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