~ Kissing Gabrielle ~
by Annmaray

Disclaimers: Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle, Cyrene and Argo are the sole copyright property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended in writing this story. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story cannot be sold or used for profit in any way. Copies of this story may be made for private use only and must include all disclaimers and copyright notices.

Love/Sex Warning/Disclaimer: This story depicts a first time love/sexual relationship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 21 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it.

Spoilers: The story sets itself after the second season.

Comments: If you liked my story, drop me a line. I can be reached at annmaray@yahoo.com

"NO GABRIELLE, forget it, you are not going to do this." Xena increased her pacing and kicking at whatever happened to be in the way. Here she had hoped for a simple, friendly visit with her mother. Had she known there was a festival in town honoring some stuffy old elder and had she known her mother offered to run one of the amusement stalls Xena would have put off the visit. When Cyrene told both women she was to collect dinars so the town could rebuild the healer's hut and buy medicine, Gabrielle jumped in immediately offering to help. Then to make matters worse Cyrene started laughing, as she told Gabrielle that she had just volunteered for the kissing stall. That's when Xena lost all control.

"Oh, come on Xena, why not, I'm not a kid." Gabrielle found herself facing an annoyed and soon an extremely angry Warrior. "It's not like it involves killing or fighting."

Becoming angrier by the minute the Warrior approached the young woman she'd been traveling with for over two years now and grabbed her by the arms. "You can't because I SAID YOU CAN'T. And you DO NOT need another reason."

"You don't own me Xena! Now let go of my arms!"

Xena released her grip on Gabrielle noticing the red mark left by her fingers. She did not intentionally mean to squeeze that hard and immediately felt guilt and remorse. "I'm sorry?did I hurt you?I?.I 'm sorry." The Warrior opened her arms hoping Gabrielle would accept her hug.

She did not. Instead she backed away. "Xena, I am going to help your mother at this kissing stall and that's it - get it."

Xena fought the tears she could feel crawling out of her heart. "Why do you have to be so unreasonable and stubborn about this." The Warrior looked to her mother for help. "Mom, you can find someone else, there are plenty of young pretty girls in Amphipolis."

Gabrielle could feel her temper increasing, "Xena, you are not listening. Why would you care if I kiss a few boys or men from the village." The Bard could feel her face beginning to flush and her heart rate increase. She was not sure, if it was because she believed the Warrior was sounding jealous or if it was because she was so in love with Xena. Either way the next words that came out of Gabrielle shocked her as much as they did Xena. "Xena, if we were lovers I could understand you being upset. But the last time I looked you had your lips locked around Ulysses, not me."

"Girls, please stop bickering." Cyrene tried to calm both women down, but before she could say anything else Xena went storming out the front door of Cyrene's inn, almost pulling the door off the hinges. Turning around she saw the tears beginning to fall from Gabrielle's eyes. Cyrene closed the distance between them and pulled Gabrielle into her arms. "Ssssshhh, it will be okay. I know my daughter can be unreasonable, but I know she loves you."

"Well, she sure has a funny way of showing me." Gabrielle calmed down somewhat, pulling back from Cyrene's grip. "Cyrene, I really don't think Xena loves me like that. I mean, I know she loves me as a friend, but?..I would really like a more?." Realizing she was talking to Xena's mother about wanting a sexual relationship with her daughter, Gabrielle closed her mouth abruptly.

Cyrene pulled Gabrielle into a hug. "Gabrielle, I could think of no one in this world that I would want my daughter to be involved with intimately than you." Tenderly and motherly rubbing Gabrielle's back Cyrene continued, "I think Xena wants the same type of attention from you that you want from her. But my Xena is a stubborn woman." Tilting the Bard's head so she could look into the emerald eyes, Cyrene knew why Xena was so in love with the young blonde. "Gabrielle, this kissing stall may actually work to your advantage."


"I can't believe she is doing this Argo." Xena paced around the stables talking to Argo. She knew Argo could not answer her, but lately found herself speaking to Argo a great deal about her love for the little Bard traveling with them. "Doesn't she know I love her, doesn't she know I don't want anyone else kissing her but me."

The Warrior attacked a few sacks of grains with her fists. "Ulysses was?.was?he was a mistake. I just so badly wanted to crawl into that hammock with Gabrielle and?I wanted her?I needed to touch her - to make love to her." Landing a swift sidekick to the sack of grain sent it to the opposite side of the stables. "Argo, are you listening to me?" The Warriors faithful horse just grunted and sputtered a bit. "Oh, damn Gabrielle, Ulysses was just a distraction."

"Then why don't you tell her, my daughter?"

The Warrior turned around to find her mother standing in the doorway. "Tell her Xena." And with that Cyrene left the stable.


It was midday before the Warrior calmed down enough to find Gabrielle. She knew an apology was in order. Yelling at Gabrielle was not something she wanted to do and she realized she more than likely hurt the Bard's feelings. Xena assumed Gabrielle would still be with her mother and was not surprised when she found the two of them knee deep in flour baking pies, breads and cakes.

"Xena, hello dear, are you hungry? Gabrielle and I left a plate for you from the noon day meal." Cyrene pointed to the plate on the stove that had been kept warm for her.

The Warrior accepted the plate and sat down across the table from where both women were working. Gabrielle could sense Xena's eyes on her, but she did nothing to reciprocate. The Bard was still somewhat hurt and did not want to find herself in another argument.

It was way too quiet for Cyrene, *Hmmm, time for me to stir things up a bit.* Cyrene placed the last pie in the oven and turned to face the Bard, "Gabrielle, I really want you to be safe while you are accepting kisses at the stall tomorrow." This caught Xena's attention. "Perhaps you could practice kissing a few men at the inn tonight after your stories, just so Xena can judge how close the men kissing you should be allow to get. "

"MOTHER - what do you mean practice!" The Warrior abandoned her food and stood. "And what do you mean so I can judge how close they should be. "

"Now calm down Xena." Cyrene was pleased at her daughter's panicky reaction, as it only confirmed what she already knew - her daughter was very much in love with Gabrielle. "You don't want any men grabbing or hurting Gabrielle, do you?"

Becoming increasing furious Xena directed her question to a, so far, very quiet Gabrielle. "What do you have to say, you feel YOU NEED TO PRACTICE." The Warrior knew she was raising her voice, something she did not want to do, but at the moment she found she could not control it.

Gabrielle looked back down at the dough she was kneading so she would not have to respond to Xena. Her emotions were scattered into so many confusing directions and she began to believe this whole kissing thing was her fault. However, the one emotion that stood out above the rest was that Xena was upset and when the Warrior got this upset with the Bard, tears always followed.

"Gabrielle, look at me - answer me!"

The Bard raised her eyes slightly to meet the penetrating deep blue eyes of the woman she was in love with. Resting her palms on the table and leaning forward, Gabrielle was not too sure what possessed her but she met the Warrior's demand for an answer. "Xena, STOP YELLING AT ME."

Pounding both fists to the table the Warrior glared at the hypnotizing green eyes of her Bard. Breaking the spell Gabrielle held over her Xena jerked her head to find her mother, "How long is this table?" Waving her hand to indicate she was referring to the distance between the Bard and herself.

Cyrene was caught off guard by her daughter's question. "Oh, I'd say maybe six or seven hand lengths, why?"

Without warning Xena reached over the table grabbing the front of the Bard's halter top pulling her forward and leaned in to meet Gabrielle's lips. Pressing her lips softly to Gabrielle's came as a shock to all three women. Xena had not meant to kiss her, she just wanted to make a point about the distance between them. The Warrior just lost control, when she saw the lusciously pink and yielding lips, which Gabrielle seemed to be offering. Xena broke the kiss immediately, letting go of Gabrielle's halter and backed away from the table. With her heart racing she could feel her body reacting to the young woman standing in front of her. The throbbing between her thighs and the wetness that it produced begged the Warrior to take Gabrielle to their bedroom and make love to her. Unfortunately, the ex-Warlord that still occasionally popped up into her personality during confrontations refused to give in.

"That mother, is TOO CLOSE."

Both Cyrene and Gabrielle shook their heads, almost forgetting the original question. Cyrene could not help but notice the increase of air Gabrielle was attempting to get into her lungs, along with the tears welling up in her eyes. In an attempt to distract her daughter, hoping to give Gabrielle a chance to regain her composure Cyrene asked bluntly, "Well little miss mighty warrior, what distance do you suggest."


Once again Xena's insistence that she not do this without a reason infuriated Gabrielle. Removing her apron she threw it on the table and walked around standing between Cyrene and Xena. "What is bothering you Xena?" Waving her arms in the air for emphasis, she continued, "Is it because I'm kissing strange men, or is it because the distance doesn't meet your approval. Or is it because your mother suggest I practice." Gabrielle paused to wipe a tear running down her cheek. "Or is it because you?.you??you are in love with me and are TOO DAMN STUBBORN TO TELL ME."

The Warrior could feel her mouth open, but nothing would come out. She felt trapped, caught and afraid she'd push the Bard too much. Doing the only thing she knew how to do, the Warrior retreated throwing two chairs and one table out of her path on her way out the door.


Xena ran until her lungs burned, forcing her to stop. Leaning up against a tree the mighty warrior broke down in tears. Slamming her fist down on the tree several times she believed she was a fool. Gabrielle was right. She had no right to tell the Bard what she could or could not do. As long as her relationship with Gabrielle was just friendship, Xena had no right to make a personal claim on her. The Warrior slid to the ground and closed her eyes. *Think, think, how do I fix this.*


It was long after the evening meal before Xena returned to the inn. Gabrielle was telling her last story of the night, so Xena opted to slip past her and head for the kitchen. Cyrene was cleaning the last of the plates used by the nighttime crowd when she saw her daughter enter the kitchen.

"Mother, look I'm sorry about earlier?.."

Cyrene cut her daughter off. "You do not owe your apology to me, Xena. It is that beautiful blonde woman out there who is hurting."

The innkeeper watched, as her daughter slumped down into a chair. She walked over and lifted Xena's chin to look into the eyes of her child. "Honey, why don't you go clean up and when Gabrielle is done with her story, I'll suggest she come into the kitchen. Then talk to her - no even better - Xena, take her in your arms and kiss her."

With her mother's encouraging words, the Warrior found a bath sounded wonderful. It would also help her calm down and think about the way in which she would claim her Bard.


"DAMN it, I can't believe I fell asleep in the tub." Panic set in, as Xena frantically dried her body and pulled on the clean blue tunic left by her mother. By the time she stepped into the kitchen the only person there was her mother.

"I'm late, I?I fell asleep?where's Gabrielle?"

Cyrene was irritated with her daughter and had just assumed Xena had changed her mind. "I thought you might have had a change of heart, which is why you never met with Gabrielle."

"NO?.gods no?.I love her so much. Where is she, mother?"

Cyrene pointed to the back of the inn towards the bedrooms, which indicated to the Warrior that Gabrielle had gone to bed.

"Mother, was she crying?"

Cyrene lowered her head returning to the mug of tea she had been nursing. Xena understood her mother's body language. *Gabrielle would definitely be crying.* She bent over giving her mother a kiss on the top of her head. "I guess I blew that."

"You should know, Xena, that Gabrielle moved her things into the guest bedroom." Cyrene did not want to tell her daughter something that would cause her pain, but she did not want Xena to walk into the room they always shared and find Gabrielle gone.

She thought someone had just pierced her heart with a sword. The loss and pain Xena was feeling at that moment was overwhelming. "I can't loose her mother. She is too deeply imbedded in my soul." The Warrior dropped to her knees laying her head on her mother's lap and began to weep.

Rubbing her daughter's shoulders and running her fingers through Xena' fair raven-colored hair, Cyrene smiled. "Ssshhh?..Gabrielle will be at the kissing stall by mid morning tomorrow."

The Warrior, who at this moment felt very much like a child, peered up into her mother's reassuring smile. "I love you mom. Thank you."


The joyous sounds emanating from the festival served as a wake up call for Gabrielle. Lying in bed she listened to the various voices and giggles coming from the village. Her first thoughts of the morning were of Xena and how much she missed not waking to the Warrior's teasing. Yesterday when the Warrior kissed her, Gabrielle hoped it was Xena admitting her love. But then everything became hectic and emotions propelled out of control. Gabrielle concluded that both she and her Warrior wanted to control the events that were taking place. "I should have known better. Anytime one of us wants to be in charge - we fight."

While she was washing her face, the Bard thought back to last night, when Cyrene explained that Xena wanted to speak with her and would meet her in the kitchen. At first, she was concerned about meeting with Xena, as she really did not want to argue with her anymore. It had gotten to the point where Gabrielle believed she had already said too much and was even a bit embarrassed about her reaction to Xena's kiss. The Bard thought she would melt into a puddle, when the Warrior grabbed her halter letting those elegant fingers tease her breasts. * Oh gods?..and her lips. * Gabrielle found herself tracing her own lips with her fingers, as she thought of Xena touching her. Shivering slightly the young woman from Poteidaia closed her eyes and began licking her lips gently with her tongue, while her hands began to burn a trail down her body. Slipping her hand into her breeches, Gabrielle could feel her wetness and desire for the Warrior. As hot flashes began consuming her body a loud knock at the door wrenched Gabrielle from her musings.

"Good morning Gabrielle, can I come in?" Cyrene did not wait for a response and gingerly opened the door to find the young blonde washing her face. The innkeeper prided herself in the ability to read people pretty well, a talent she acquired from years of tending bar and running an inn. One look at Gabrielle told Cyrene that the young woman was not only sad, but obviously had not slept during the night. She went up to Gabrielle and wrapped her into a hug, which was willingly accepted by the Bard. "Gabrielle, I need you to listen to me, okay."

Cyrene could feel Gabrielle nodding her head yes. "My big dumb warrior-daughter fell asleep in the tub last night. She really does love you." Gabrielle released her grip on Cyrene's shoulders and looked into the same blue eyes she saw in Xena. Smiling back, Cyrene continued, "I'm afraid I've not been totally honest with you Gabrielle?..of course, this means I haven't been honest with Xena either." The innkeeper paused to gauge the Bard's reaction. "You understand, I only thought I was helping?..you know giving things a little push in the right direction. I had no intentions of letting everything get so out of hand."

"I don't understand Cyrene."

"There is no kissing stall."

"WHAT!" Gabrielle attempted to release her hold on Cyrene, but the innkeeper held her firmly.

Cyrene started chuckling. "You have to admit Gabrielle, my daughter's reactions to you kissing strange men was absolutely precious. She was just so out of control."

Remembering Xena's initial reactions and subsequent outbursts compelled Gabrielle to giggle.

"Now, Gabrielle here is the plan???."


Just as promised, Xena found her mother and Gabrielle opening up the kissing stall about mid morning. Not only were there several men already lined up with their grubby hands wrapped around their precious dinars, there were also a few tough-looking women. *Oh, this is just great. Everyone wants to kiss her.* The Warrior noticed that on top of the table - the way-too-small table separating Gabrielle from the drooling mouths waiting to touch HER BARD, were ten mugs of ale. *Figures, mom is going to make them pay to kiss my Bard, then reward them with a mug of ale.* Feeling her anger rise and totally out of patience, Xena knew she would have to stop Gabrielle no matter how mad the young blonde would get.

Shoving the first man in line backwards, causing a chain reaction of bumping and pushing, swearing and shouting, the Warrior slammed her dinars on the table top.

"Well, good morning my dear." Cyrene kept her voice low enough so only the three of them could hear. "I see you've managed to be the first one in line."

Mumbling something that Cyrene couldn't quite make out Xena reached across the table with one hand grabbing Gabrielle behind the neck. Only a breath away from each other's lips Xena whispered, "I paid, now I want." With that the Warrior tenderly brushed her lips against Gabrielle's eventually deepening the kiss. Gabrielle brought her hands up holding onto the one arm that was wrapped around her neck. Both women became overheated in the cool morning air and Cyrene who was taking dinars and handing out mugs of ale listened. She heard Gabrielle let a small pleasurable moan escape her lips. Xena also heard the moan and broke the kiss.

"Xena," Cyrene was extremely pleased at how this was turning out. "Why don't you take Gabrielle inside, she hasn't had breakfast yet and I bet she is hungry." The innkeeper reached over and patted the Bard on her shoulder, "go on child, you can come out and help later."

A complete look of utter confusion crossed Xena's face. Gabrielle walked into the inn and headed for the kitchen with Xena stumbling behind her, still not sure what was going on. Once in the kitchen the Bard faced her Warrior. "Xena, your kisses confuse me. I understand when you kiss me because I'm hurt or sad. I understand when you kiss me JUST because I'm a friend or you are getting ready to leave me behind for awhile. I might even understand why you kissed me when you were in Autolycus' body - WAIT, no I really did not understand that time." Gabrielle stepped closer to the Warrior. "I do not understand??."

Xena grabbed Gabrielle around the waist and pulled her tightly. Falling into the warm emerald eyes of her Bard the Warrior whispered, as she closed the space between her lips and Gabrielle's, "Let me show you, so there will be no misunderstandings ever again."

Claiming Gabrielle's tender lips consumed the Warrior and when the Bard opened her lips, she enticingly licked Xena's upper lip with her tongue. Accepting the invitation offered by the woman she was so deeply in love with Xena responded to the commands being issued from Gabrielle's body. As their tongues circled each other's in exploration, Gabrielle could feel her legs weaken caused by Xena's tongue and lips probing and sucking hers. Their bodies were pressed tightly together and each could sense the increase breathing and heart rate of the other. Wanting more but unsure of how to ask, Gabrielle let her thigh slip between Xena's legs and began slowly rubbing pressure against Xena's heated mound. The Warrior let out a gasp of air, when she felt Gabrielle's thigh caressing her. Not wanting to stop the kiss she desired so deeply, the Warrior increased the fever of their kiss and found Gabrielle to be a very willing partner. Gabrielle could feel Xena's heated wetness on her bare thigh and coupled along with her own increased wetness, her hunger to taste and touch the Warrior was uncontrollable.

Groaning fervently Xena pulled away suddenly from Gabrielle's sweet lips. "?..auhhh?.gods Gabrielle?you're w..wicked?." Tremors shot through her body as Gabrielle's hand cupped Xena's wet breeches underneath her leathers. The Warrior arched her body back slightly and begun rotating her hips slowly. Grinning in satisfaction over her ability to control the Warrior the Bard slipped her fingers between Xena's breeches and bewitchingly stroked her Warrior's wetness with her fingers, allowing them to slide in and out of Xena's heated shaft. Sudden weakness overtook the Warrior's legs and she knew she could not stand much longer. "Gabr?.oh?yes, yes?" She could only hope Gabrielle had the strength to catch her. Increasing the pressure and variance of her strokes on her lover Gabrielle's unmanageable urge to taste what she was touching begged for attention. Leaning close to one of Xena's earlobes the Bard could not resist grabbing one to nibble. Soon her tongue was licking and twirling around in the Warrior's ear causing an even deeper animalistic urge to taste her lover. Purring into Xena's ear, "Mmmmm?, Warrior, I'm ssooo, so very hungry."

Having no desire left in her body to fight or even want to fight Xena could feel Gabrielle pushing her up against the table in her mother's kitchen. Within seconds she could feel her back against the cool surface with her legs dangling over the edge. Shock registered at the fact that Gabrielle was going to take her right here, right now on her mom's table and the Warrior had no strength to prevent it. The sneaky, cunning, gorgeous, passionate Bard had managed to out maneuver the Warrior.

Never removing her fingers from inside of Xena's fever-induced center, Gabrielle was able to push Xena to the table and lay her back. With her other free hand, the Bard pulled up a chair and sat down ready to satisfy her hunger. Caressing Xena's thighs with her free hand she crawled her way up ripping the Warrior's breeches from her waist.

"OH SWEET GODDESS??.." Xena had no control over her outburst. That little blonde actually tore off her breeches in her desire to have all of what Warrior had to offer. Leaning on her elbows the Warrior had to look and see, if this was really Gabrielle. Sitting between her legs was indeed her young lover. "Oh?Gabrielle, lo...look at me. " The glazed over deep blue of Xena's eyes connected with the untamed emerald eyes of her lover. The Warrior watched as Gabrielle slid her fingers out of Xena's center slowly bringing them to her lips. The Bard licked and sucked her lover's juices off her fingers, moaning and gasping over the delicious flavor.

"Mmmm?.Xena?.you?..mmmmm?.are," slurping over the juices that dripped from the fingers to her lips, "?..MINE."

Before the Warrior could react she watched and felt Gabrielle graze her tongue through Xena's curly down hair spreading her satin folds with her tongue and fingers. Some where soon after the Warrior's eyes closed under the exotic dancing of Gabrielle's tongue darting in and out of her shaft, licking in circles, tugging and sucking with her lips. Nothing mattered anymore, the Warrior' body began trembling and her hips lifted off the table, as her lover increased the speed and pressure of her licking.

Gabrielle could feel Xena's center of pleasure throbbing and vibrating. "YES, oh gods Gabrielle, don't s.s..stop." Not a chance of that happening, Gabrielle thought. The Bard slipped her fingers back into the Warrior and slowed the speed of her tongue centering in on the small swollen nub that would bring her lover to climax. Latching on to the nub with her lips, Gabrielle rolled and tugged, constantly sucking and flicking it with her tongue. Her fingers were caressing and sliding in the wetness of her lover memorizing every texture and fold of her Warrior.

Loosing control of her body and breathing the Warrior could take no more, as she reached her peak. Finally collapsing and falling back to the table. Gabrielle reached up grabbing Xena by her leathers pulling her to a sitting position on the table. She found her Warrior grinning and trying to focus her eyes.

Xena struggled to focus her eyes, as she heard Gabrielle giggle softly. When she finally opened them, the Warrior saw her lover running her tongue over her lips. "OH?gods, Gabrielle?..stop?please" trying to catch her breath she continued, "?.you?you?.oh..where did you learn?."

"Ssshhh, my lover, stop trying to talk." Gabrielle kissed Xena tenderly, letting her tongue drag across Xena's lips. "I was hungry."

Xena raised her eyebrow at Gabrielle. Lifting herself off the table Gabrielle was right there to wrap her arms around the Warrior's waist. As they both headed toward the bedroom, Xena looked back toward the kitchen. "I'll never be able to eat a normal meal at that table again." Both women laughed.


The Warrior had every intention of ravishing Gabrielle, as soon as the bedroom door was closed. Gabrielle had her boots off in record time and was kneeling on the bed by time Xena was able to shut the door. Xena walked over to the bed sitting on the edge and began removing her boots. Before she had them both off the little Bard was feasting on the Warriors neck. Kicking her last boot across the room Xena grabbed Gabrielle by the arms and lightly pushed her away without releasing her hold.

"Look at me for a minute, please." Xena observed the seduction in Gabrielle's eyes and smile. "You're possessed aren't you?"

"Mmmm, oh most definitely Warrior." Gabrielle quickly pressed her lips to the one person she loved above all others. Xena fell once again into the lips, into the woman she so passionately wanted to always be with.

Realizing Gabrielle was stripping Xena's clothes off, at the same time she was probing her lips and mouth, the Warrior stopped her.

"Wait, Gabrielle. Please, I have something I need to say."

Xena sounded serious, so Gabrielle sat back with a bewildered look hoping and praying she did not do anything to upset the Warrior. "What is wrong Xena, are you okay?" Gabrielle saw tears pooling in her lover's eyes and reached to wipe them with her hand. "Xena??"

"I'm okay?.I just?." Xena paused and pulled Gabrielle closer to her. "I just love you so much Gabrielle. I won't be able to stop, if we continue?.I want to be in your life forever and in the next life and the next."

Tears began flowing from Gabrielle's eyes and her lip started quivering a bit. "Xena, don't you know that you are the other half of my soul?.please, please don't ever stop loving me."

The Warrior took the laces of her lover's halter and untied them to reveal the young, firm breasts that she wanted to feast on the first day she saw Gabrielle. Removing the halter and delicately laying her lover on her back Xena massaged the two bountiful mounds. She could feel Gabrielle watching her and glanced into her eyes. The Warrior saw all the love Gabrielle held for her. As Xena covered Gabrielle's breast with her mouth and hands, the Bard whispered, "I love you, my Warrior?.oh, how I love you."

The only words spoken over the next few candlemarks were words of love and sounds of pleasure. The Warrior loved Gabrielle beyond what her fantasies could ever hope to achieve. And the Bard returned the love, bringing Xena to multiple orgasms. As the morning turned to midday and the sun began to slip into the late afternoon sky, the lovers became one soul.

A knock on the door woke Xena from her nap. Both had been exhausted form the emotions of the previous day and night. And both were exhausted happily from their lovemaking.

Slipping out from the hold Gabrielle had on her, Xena wrapped herself in a blanket. "Just a minute."

Opening the door she discovered her mother with two hot mugs of tea. "Don't you think it is time to get up and join the world again." Taking the mugs, Xena could see the glimmer of self-satisfaction cross her mother's face. Pointing at the sleeping Bard, Cyrene said, "You better wake her up, I still need Gabrielle's help at the stall, especially this evening." As she turned to walk out the door, Cyrene swatted her daughter on the back side and added, "Oh, you too - I'm going to need all the help I can get."

Xena was totally flabbergasted by what she heard her mother say. * Why would she ask Gabrielle to kiss strange men now, surely she knew what the two of them were doing all day. And why would I need to help.*

Before she closed the bedroom door Cyrene whispered a question directly to Xena, "Are you happy my daughter?"

"Yes, mom, very happy."


That evening, as the three women stood at the defunct kissing stall selling mugs of ale, Cyrene told Xena how she tricked both her daughter and Gabrielle into believing there was a kissing stall. Cyrene had previously agreed with the festival coordinator to place ten mugs of ale on the table. One of the mugs would contain a small pebble. Whoever chose that mug would receive a free meal for their family at her inn. Once the mug with the pebble was gone, she would set up ten more mugs and randomly drop a pebble in one.

Cyrene gave her daughter a strong hug. "I admit I was not completely honest with you both?.well? more so with you, Xena. I just could not stand by anymore and watch the love you two have for each other become lost because YOU ARE BOTH STUBBORN. "

Xena turned to Gabrielle, "And just when, did you find out mother was selling ale instead of your kisses?"

While filling the ten mugs of ale on the table, Gabrielle could not resist a few giggles. "Not until this morning."

Xena pulled Gabrielle from her chore and wrapped her arms around her waist so she could look into Gabrielle's eyes. "You know I was really jealous?"

"I know." Gabrielle reached up giving Xena a sweet kiss on the lips. Then teasingly added, "Well, your dinars did buy you that kiss."

"Mmmm, I'll say. I love you so much." The Warrior squeezed tightly praying this wonderful woman would never leave her.

"I love you Xena."

The End

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