Sex/Violence: This story contains both. The story depicts the physical expression of love between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 or this is illegal where you live, do not read it. If it might bother you in any way, you have been warned, so you're on your own.

Copyright: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong to MCA/Universal.

Novice warning: This is my first attempt at fanfiction, and has not been reviewed by anyone...so go easy on me. If anyone would like to do me the favor of looking my next piece(s) over before I subject myself to the opinions of the masses, I would be delighted. Let me know at: ladycthryn@aol.com

Blessing in Disguise
by Lady Catherine

For the first time in a few months, Gabrielle and Xena were enjoying some leisure time in a small tavern. Gabrielle was in the middle of a somewhat bawdy tale about a king's harem minus the king, which Xena was quite enjoying. Gabrielle had become increasingly uninhibited in the stories she told to Xena in private. They both found themselves looking forward more and more to these quiet times alone, and the tales. Neither shared these thoughts. In fact, as much as they enjoyed the private interactions, both worried about the implications of their reactions. They both found themselves involuntarily beginning to lean across the table as Gabrielle whispered the most intimate parts of the story. Xena had heard and personally experienced similar and even more erotic tales. However, for some reason, hearing the descriptions fall from Gabrielle's lips made the tale incredibly more erotic. Her eyes alternated from Gabrielle's green eyes, lit with the tale she was weaving, to her lips, which seemed to be drawing Xena in. Gabrielle was at a particularly descriptive point in her narrative when a young boy rushed through the tavern door. He crashed into a serving girl, causing her to spill the ales she was carrying, and causing Xena and Gabrielle to break eye contact for the first time since the bard's story began. They watched the boy run to the bar, completely ashen and breathless. He looked at the tavern keeper and choked out, "Xanthes approaches. He sends the message to have drinks and entertainment ready for him and his men or you, (gulp) and I, will be sorry."

The tavern keeper stammered in reply "H-h-how far is he?"

"He'll be here in minutes, his horses are being stabled now."

"Oh, no...h-how many men?"

"About 6." At this, the women at the bar who spent their evenings tending to the "needs" of the male patrons grew white. They knew that their job was keeping the customers happy in ways that would shock most. Being experienced in their field, they could pretty much shoulder anything that their customers requested, and anything that they could dish out. None of them, however, wanted to be there when Xanthes and his men arrived.

Xena's eyes grew wide. A million thoughts coursed through her mind. She knew Xanthes. She also knew what he and those in his company considered "entertainment". She and Xanthes had maintained a relatively civil relationship when she was a warlord. She hoped that Gabrielle's tales of her good deeds had not yet reached him. He was one of the only mortal men she knew whom she would consider a threat. His strength and sword skills, combined with his complete lack of honor in combat made him a fearsome opponent. If he knew that she'd gone soft, he would challenge her. If she fought him, he or his men would go after Gabrielle to get at Xena. If she didn't fight him, they'd go after Gabrielle anyway for "entertainment" purposes. Although Xena was sure she could defeat him, she knew his skills were sufficient to keep her occupied long enough to harm Gabrielle. There was only one way to ensure her friend's safety, but it was dependent upon whether Xanthes still respected and feared Xena as a warlord. She would have to prove to him that they were still made of the same cloth. She did not want to subject Gabrielle to her plan, but there was no other way out. Her stomach tightened. Gabrielle would surely be reviled at what was about to happen. She never wanted Gabrielle to see her like this. This was all spinning through Xena's head as she heard the men approaching.

The tavern door banged open, and Xanthes' men entered. Before Gabrielle knew what was happening, Xena had leapt up out of her chair, pulled Gabrielle up by her top, spun her toward the wall against which Xena had been sitting, and slammed her up against it. Xena was amazed that she saw no fear in Gabrielle's eyes, just confusion, and a bit of anger.

"Xena, wha.."

She felt Xena's breath in her ear, "I'm sorry, just trust me." Gabrielle saw the look of pain in Xena's eyes, the look that said she was about to do something that needed to be done, but that she hated doing. Another whisper was felt "Do you trust me?" With this Xena looked again into Gabrielle's eyes. She saw Gabrielle nod, although the confusion was evident in her furrowed brow. The absolute faith in the bard's eyes made Xena despise herself even more for what she was about to do.

By this time, Xanthes and his men had entered the tavern. Xena felt the men's eyes fall upon her and the bard. Xena quickly pinned Gabrielle's arms over her head with her right hand while pulling the smaller woman's body to hers with the other hand roughly on the small of her back. Loudly enough for the men to hear, Xena said with a evil smile "Don't forget, wench, you know what happens when you don't obey me!" Xena kissed Gabrielle roughly on the mouth.

Gabrielle was so shocked she tried to pull away. "Xe...wha..."

Xena laughed, "Then again, maybe you like what always comes when you've been bad". She then backhanded Gabrielle with her left hand while still holding her against the wall. Xanthes' men began shouting words of encouragement to Xena as they saw her force her right leg between Gabrielle's thighs. "Ahh..." Xanthes chimed in, "A woman after my own heart." Xena turned suddenly, standing to her full height, yet never freeing Gabrielle from her position. "Xanthes old friend. I was a little, um, distracted. I didn't smell your men come in." He appeared as Xena remembered him, about a half foot taller than Xena, with a chest like a barrel, and muscles bulging out from every possible location under his armor. He had various scars but none too serious. This was due solely to skill, and not lack of battle.

A few of the men growled and moved toward Xena in response to her insult. Xanthes and Xena both laughed at them. He said, "Go ahead boys, introduce yourselves to Xena, Warrior Princess. I can find replacements for you anywhere."

Still putting on her act for the unwanted audience, Xena turned to Gabrielle and growled menacingly in her ear, "Don't move if you want to live." Xena crouched slightly and beckoned the now hesitant men forward with long fingers, and a evil smile. As her name registered in their somewhat slow minds, they stopped their forward movement. "What's the matter boys, don't wanna play anymore?"

They attempted to respond when Xanthes interrupted, "Save your hides, idiots! Your pride is already gone!" He laughed at them as they slunk back towards the bar and angrily grabbed the mugs that the petrified bartender had placed out for them.

Xanthes walked towards Xena, hand outstretched. Xena's stomach curdled as she accepted the warrior's handshake. Suddenly, she heard movement behind her. She though 'Oh no. Gabrielle, why didn't you just listen...' She spun around angrily. She saw that Gabrielle had taken a few steps forward. She knew that the bard's curiosity, mingled with her hurt and anger, had gotten the best of her. It took everything in Xena not to react to the small cut and large bruise she saw forming on Gabrielle's cheek from her abuse. In a flash, Xena's hand was around Gabrielle's neck, lifting her from the ground. Silently Xena thought 'The only way these lowlifes are going to believe me is if she is truly scared. Gabrielle, please forgive me.' She slammed Gabrielle against the wall once again. "I told you to stay, bitch!!" Again, Gabrielle felt the sting of Xena's hand come across her cheek. Her lip split, and she felt the blood trickle down her chin. A tear that she tried uselessly to hold back, escaped her eye as she heard, "If you move again, I will kill you... and go back for your little sister!!"

The men laughed heartily. One, who had a little too much ale, stepped forward, beginning to undo his trousers. His eyes were on Gabrielle as he offered to Xena, "Let me help you show her how to behave." His trousers landed around his ankles as Xena, never taking her hand from Gabrielle's throat, landed a solid kick with her left foot to the man's chest, sending him flying into a table. She moved toward him, dragging Gabrielle with her. She stood over where he now lay on the floor amongst shattered wood and snarled very slowly, "I don't like to share." She growled at him through gritted teeth.

Xanthes, beginning to tire of the shame Xena was causing his men, stepped in. "Xena, Xena, calm down." He circled Gabrielle, eyeing her up appraisingly while rubbing his chin, "Why don't you let me buy this difficult piece of trash from you. I've been pretty fortunate in my, uh, business dealings lately and would like to give my men a treat. You can do better than her, and they like a little girl with a lot of fight. Won't take us long to break her." He and his men nodded their heads and laughed at his last statement. Xena was struggling to contain her anger and not break them all in two. Subjecting Gabrielle to this treatment from herself was bad enough. Allowing Xanthes to disrespect the bard was pushing her toward the edge. She reconsidered killing them all. The thought was becoming more and more appealing. She reminded herself that by the time she finished with Xanthes, his soldiers would carry Gabrielle off. She knew that no matter how quickly she rescued her friend, the damage that they could inflict on her was unthinkable. She would rather Gabrielle hate her, her worst fear in life, than have her suffer at the hands of these pigs. Xena couldn't let them think that she cared what happened to the bard. She reined in her anger, seeming to consider Xanthes' offer for a moment. She pushed Gabrielle away from her a little, looking her up and down herself. "No, Xanthes, sorry...she's a personal project of mine. Keeps me occupied, and, believe it or not", she shook her head disbelievingly and laughed, "when she does break from time to time, she keeps me veeerryyy satisfied. I think I wanna keep her a while. Besides," she put her hands on Xanthes' shoulder, "I know how you like 'em. Her look is deceiving. She's already been married, and been around the block once or twice besides. Hell, I've dragged her around that block myself more times than I can count." At that, they both had a good laugh. Internally, Xena held her breath, hoping that this was enough for him.

Xanthes gave Xena a disappointed look and said, "Oh well...Keep 'er. You're right, I do prefer fresh meat. But...she's not hard on the eyes, so if you tire of her, let me know. The boys'd like her just fine.

"You got it old friend." Xena smiled and shook the warrior's hand again.

Xena had hoped that the men would leave after this. They didn't. A few continued to drink at the bar and paw and grope the "professional" women roughly. The women suffered through it, afraid they would be killed otherwise. Xanthes and the others kept and eye on the warrior and bard, waiting for the show to continue.

Gabrielle had long since figured out what was going on. From all the hints these men had dropped about what they sought for pleasure, she had some idea what they would do to her if they got hold of her. She had never heard of Xanthes, so was unsure of his prowess as a warrior. She had no doubt, however, that what Xena was doing was completely necessary. She knew her friend would never hurt her otherwise. As much as the bard's face stung from Xena's slaps, her foremost concern was what Xena was going through. She replayed over and over the look on Xena's face at the beginning of this mess. The look of having to do something she would completely despise. Gabrielle had always held out the hope that someday Xena would kiss. She had hoped, however, that it would be willingly, not as part of some plan. Gabrielle felt guilty. She was actually glad the men had stayed. She knew Xena would have to continue to touch her, to kiss her. She also knew that this was the only way their contact would ever go beyond friendship, so she ignored the situation, ignored the abuse that went along with it, and concentrated on the contact. She didn't even try to rid her head of these thoughts. She realized long ago that those efforts were fruitless. She was helpless to keep her mind from thinking of her friend in a way she knew she shouldn't.

Gabrielle was abruptly shaken from her musings when she heard Xena approaching. "Are you ready to behave like a good little slave now?"

Gabrielle knew her part. She set her jaw and stared Xena indignantly in the eye. Xena pressed her lips roughly against Gabrielle's as she shoved her right hand under Gabrielle's top, squeezing hard on her breast. Gabrielle grimaced as she heard Xena say slowly and loudly, "BE...GOOD!!" Gabrielle looked into Xena's eyes looking for some remnant of her friend. She could not find it. Another tear escaped, a result of loathing the situation, and the worry that their friendship would suffer after this fiasco. Xena had retreated pretty far inside herself to pull this off, and Gabrielle was afraid that when it was over, she might not be able to pull her back. They had been making so much progress... Gabrielle knew the only way through this was to close her eyes, stop fighting and pretend she and Xena were alone somewhere, just like she always wanted. And that's what she did. Xena once again descended on Gabrielle's mouth, but this time Gabrielle did not resist. She accepted Xena's mouth as softly as possible.

Xena was glad that her back was to Xanthes. He surely would have seen the shock on her face when she felt the change in the bard's response, when she felt Gabrielle actually kiss her back. That mouth, so soft... she's so beautiful... Xena began to kiss Gabrielle back softly. She felt her hand begin to drift once again over Gabrielle's breast, lightly this time, her fingertips grazing the nipple. Gabrielle gasped. Xena stopped her hand as she realized, 'Oh my gods, what am I doing?!?! I am protecting her from these pigs, but I can't protect her from myself! I was just about to take advantage my best friend! I am no better than those filthy warriors. She must have been terrified to have given in to me like that. Oh, Gabrielle, I am so, so sorry. Sorry I put you through this...'

Gabrielle felt Xena stop and in her utter disappointment was snapped back to reality. Tears of this disappointment began to flow unchecked.

"Hey girls", Xanthes called, "We're gonna go have some fun ourselves...Xena, give her some for us!!"

Xena pushed her fists into the wall on either side of Gabrielle's head to keep herself from attacking Xanthes and ending his disrespect toward her friend, the disrespect that she started herself, that she encouraged in him and his men. She looked down to see tears streaming over Gabrielle's bruised face. Checking one last time to make sure all of Xanthes' men were gone, she backed away a little from Gabrielle. Seeing the bruising and tears that she had caused, she tentatively reached a hand out, but stopped. The realization of what she had done overcame her. She rushed outside and Gabrielle quickly followed. Xena walked to some bushes and threw up. The combination of holding in her anger at Xanthes and his men, defiling and beating on her best friend, and the fact that she began to take advantage of the situation proved too much for her stomach to handle. When she finished, she walked over to Gabrielle, took the bards hands in hers and bent her head to look the bard in the eyes. "Oh, Gabrielle, I am so, so sorry. This should have never happened. Let me explain...", Xena pleaded, her eyes filling with tears.

"Xena", Gabrielle interrupted, "I know, I know why you did it. I know what those men would have done to me, and I know that if there was another way, you would have taken it. Please don't torture yourself over this. You did the right thing. Let's just go now, OK?" Both hearts were needlessly breaking from unspoken thoughts and fears.

******************** Gabrielle's hopes were dashed. Xena was actually sickened from having to touch her. Gabrielle was sure that if her friend knew the extent of the bard's fantasies about her, she would wretch for days. Gabrielle was convinced that she was the most selfish person in the world. Her friend had been going through hell in that tavern, and Gabrielle was praying it would last. Even though it was against Xena's will, Gabrielle knew she would have given anything to continue to feel Xena's lips against hers, feel strong hangs exploring her breasts...to be given the chance to reciprocate. 'Gods', she chastised herself, 'Stop it!' She shook her head to chase the tears and thoughts away, and, being unsuccessful, she simply lowered her head and cried.

Xena was watching her friend. Despite Gabrielle's words, ensuring Xena that she understood, the pain and confusion was evident on the bard's face. Xena feared that there was no going back from this. She thought, 'Damn you, Xanthes, if I lose her friendship, I'll hunt you down and slaughter you like the pig you are!'

The pair walked on in silence for hours. "Gabrielle. Gabrielle..." Xena called to the girl ahead of her, trying to break her from her trance. She came up behind her friend and touched her shoulder. The bard flinched and pulled away. Xena's touch had sent a shot of desire through her that she could not control right now. She thought, 'Surely she'll feel the heat in me, the shudders that her touch causes'.

Saddened by the reaction of her friend, Xena took a step back and spoke softly, "Gabrielle, we have to make camp soon. We have a long journey ahead of us tomorrow and we'll need our rest. There's a stream not far from here. We'll camp a couple of miles up ahead and I'll get dinner."

Gabrielle looked at Xena with sorrowful green eyes and nodded. 'She has no idea how I used her. She's still caring for me, protecting me, believing me to be her sweet, innocent friend. Little does she know that I'm capable of taking advantage of her at her most vulnerable. I'm no better than those men in the tavern, maybe worse...because I'm supposed to be her friend.

The night progressed in near silence. The warrior tried, against her grain, to make conversation. The bard provided only one word answers or a nod or shake of her head. Gabrielle began to lay out her bedroll on the opposite side of the fire from Xena. She knew Xena had no desire to be near her. She also knew that she couldn't be that close to Xena without reaching out to her, and she had to stop doing that. It would be the first time they would be in the same place and sleep since their first winter together.

Xena's mind was reeling. Gabrielle always laid her bedroll next to Xena's. She smiled as she recalled their first cold night together when they needed the warmth. When Gabrielle had curled up next to her, Xena swore she never felt so safe, so at home. She prayed it would stay cold forever. She didn't have to worry though. Gabrielle had continued the habit even after the weather broke, and Xena didn't argue. The warrior's face turned dark again as she remembered how she had begun wanting to touch Gabrielle when they laid together. How she watched the bard out of the corner of her eye when she washed and changed for bed. She felt horrible. She looked over and thought Gabrielle to be asleep. She went to the woods and threw up again. Her desires for her friend made her hatred for herself grow, and continue to torment her stomach.

Gabrielle had laid quietly, mulling her thoughts. She heard Xena become sick again, and her own stomach lurched. 'That's it', she thought, 'I have to go. I make her sick, even all the way over here. I can't keep my mind off of her. She's too honorable, she'll never ask me to leave, and she's too loyal to ever leave me.' Gabrielle stifled her sobs as she heard Xena coming back. Her first thought was to leave in the morning. She reconsidered this when she realized that, for one thing, Xena would be up before her and would argue the point, and secondly, she owed Xena an apology. She owed her the truth. She had seen what guilt had done to Xena. She had convinced Xena that she could heal by facing her demons. She now had to put her own words into practice. She was petrified... of Xena's reaction, of her life without Xena, of her life and Xena's should she lose the courage to proceed.

As expected, when Gabrielle woke, Xena already had breakfast cooking. No sooner did Gabrielle stir, then Xena was by her side, handing the bard a cup of tea. Xena had not slept. She cried most of the night, haunted by waking visions of violating Gabrielle's trust, her faith, her body. She prayed that it had all just been a dream, that she would wake from this nightmare and Gabrielle would be sleeping at her side, snoring, and wake up grumpy and hungry. How sweet that would be... Maybe she could make her forget. Gabrielle had the highest capacity for forgiveness of anyone she knew. Maybe... I'll show her how gentle I can be, how much I care for her... With that, Gabrielle began to stir. Xena, thoughts of forgiveness still fresh in her mind, flew to the bard's side with her first peace offering, Gabrielle's favorite tea. "Good morning, sunshine!", Xena greeted with a big smile.

With every word and gesture of kindness, Gabrielle despised herself more, her resolve beginning to fade. She wanted to just hide it all and let Xena go on thinking her an angel. She knew she could only bury it until the next time she saw Xena change, or bathe, or practice with her sword. The next time she had to ride on Argo close to Xena, the next simple touch or innocent stare, Gabrielle knew she would once again succumb to her deviant thoughts of her best friend. The woman standing over her with that brilliant smile, gorgeous eyes and waiting on her was not helping matters any. She took a deep breath and dove in.

"Xena, we have to talk", Gabrielle blurted out.

Quickly, in a panic, Xena replied, "No, Gabrielle, can't we just forget it? I'll make it up to you, I swear! I..."

Gabrielle put her hands up and interrupted, "Xena, let me get this out before I lose my nerve."

'Here it comes', Xena thought and then voiced, "I know you hate me, I know I betrayed your trust in me..."

"What?!?! What are you talking about? I told you I understood why you acted the way you did. I am the one who must apologize..."

Xena took a step back looking confused and started to speak, but was stopped by the bard, "Please let me get this out." Xena nodded her consent, promising to be quiet, as Gabrielle continued, "I always tell you the only way to get rid of your guilt is to face the cause, to admit your wrongdoings and right them when you can. Well, it's time for me to follow my own advice. What I'm about to tell you will no doubt sicken you...again. I can only hope that after we separate...shh, no interrupting...believe me, you will want me far away when you hear this... I can only hope that after we separate you will not hate me. That you will find it in your heart to forgive me, even if you don't understand it. Here goes..." The bard took a deep breath, and continued, "Before you even began to put your plan into action the other night, I knew that whatever it was, you would loathe doing it, just from the look on your face. Later, you became physically sick twice, yes I heard you, from having to be touch me...that way. Xena, please let me finish, this is hard enough. All the while, I knew that touching me was abhorrent to you, that you were suffering, to protect me from those men." Gabrielle lowered her head in shame and gave a pitiful laugh at herself. "You think I'm so sweet and innocent..." Her head came up and she looked Xena in the eye with the anger at herself evident on her face, " Do you know how I repaid you for protecting me, for going so far as to do something you loathed to save me? I enjoyed it!! I was actually glad that those scum entered the tavern, had put us in that situation, because it finally gave me what my selfish heart and body wanted. I finally had you, your lips on mine, your hands on me. Though not exactly the same scenario, it was exactly what I wanted. So instead of helping you through it, minimizing the contact, making it as brief as possible...I looked right into the pain in your face and could do nothing about my desire for the contact to never end."

Xena's jaw had dropped increasingly lower and her eyes grew ever wider during Gabrielle's confession. Gabrielle looked at the expression on her friend's face and thought, 'I knew it, even after all she has seen in her life, she is shocked, disgusted.' She wanted to turn and run away, but she continued, "Xena, I'm about to get graphic, so prepare your stomach, but I have to get this all out. I apologize in advance, but I feel that your misperceptions of me run so deep that the extent of my betrayal of our friendship needs to be proven to you explicitly." She looked into Xena's eyes, which were riveted to her. Gabrielle was disgusted with herself once again as those blue eyes still sent a jolt of desire through her that almost made her knees buckle. The bard broke the eye contact so that she could continue. "When you first hit me, I was sooo angry with you. I didn't understand what was going on. Why was MY friend, MY warrior, MY Xena, hurting me?"

Hearing Gabrielle's words broke Xena from her spell. Her abuse of the woman came flooding back to her. Then she realized what the bard had called her. 'HER warrior, HER Xena?' The warrior felt her heart leap. That momentary joy was quickly replaced by self-hatred when her eyes refocused on the bruises on Gabrielle's face.

Gabrielle saw where Xena's eyes had traveled, and the pain that was on her face. "No, Xena. Don't go there in your head. Stay with me here. You did this for a reason, to protect me. It was what I did next that deserves punishment. Xena, when I realized what was going on, I loved you more than ever. Yes, I love you. I have for a very long time. I know that you were fighting every instinct to mangle those guys just in order to protect me. You were also forcing yourself to kiss me, to touch me. Even with this knowledge of what you were going through, when you kissed me that last time....when I finally focused, the desire that shot through me was overwhelming. I closed my eyes and imagined us alone, as I have so many times. I kissed you back because I wanted it so bad and wanted to believe that you desired it too. I didn't want your hands or your mouth to ever stop. I wanted to touch you so badly, to feel you. I wanted so many things. When I felt your hand gently on my breast..." The bard's eyes closed as she remembered the touch. She opened her eyes and paused, allowing her breathing to get back to normal. "...my gods Xena, though I knew it was torturing you, I wanted you to never stop. I wanted both your hands on me, all over me... I'm so, so sorry.", Gabrielle hung her head once again, "I wanted the men to never leave so you'd never stop touching me. I closed my eyes and thought about what I wanted more than anything, to touch you. You have no idea of the thoughts with which my mind has betrayed our friendship. All the while you're giving me your trust, love and friendship, all I can feel is my desire, my want for you. Every time we bathe, ride, practice, sleep..." Gabrielle had lost herself in her thoughts, no longer looking at her friend. Staring at her hands, she continued, "I dream about touching you, owning your body, having you surrender to me. I can almost feel your breasts in my mouth, feel your wetness under my fingers, taste the desire pouring from between your legs, like mine pours from me for you." Realizing what she had just said, Gabrielle stopped abruptly, and looked over at Xena, "Gods...listen to me, even now I can stop. I'm so sor..."

Xena couldn't take it anymore. In a split second she had closed the distance between herself and the bard, pushing her to the ground.

As Xena had grabbed Gabrielle, for a second, Gabrielle was afraid, afraid that her awful confession had pushed her friend over the edge, afraid that Xena hated her so much that she might hurt her. Then, she looked in Xena's eyes. She thought she saw a passion there that reflected her own.

Xena didn't move, just lied there on top of the bard, breathing heavily. She had Gabrielle pinned to the ground. She couldn't listen to the words anymore, or she would surely succumb to the warlord in herself, taking from Gabrielle everything that she wanted, needed. And that would be wrong...wouldn't it? 'But isn't that exactly what she's saying she wants?' "Stop Gabrielle, no more, please." Xena panted.

The momentary hope fled once again. Xena wanted her to stop, the look had not been the passion the bard thought. "Xena, do you hate me? Hurt me if you want to, I deserve it for the things I've thought of you, of us. And, oh gods, Xena, as much as I try, as much as I try to fight it, I can't stop." She took in the sight of her heart's desire poised over her, chest heaving. The bard's body was reacting despite her every effort. She shook her head. "Even now, gods Xena, I want you so badly..."

"Gabrielle", Xena panted. She couldn't even speak. She placed two fingers over Gabrielle's mouth. Gabrielle noticed how they were trembling. "Gabrielle, I can't..." Gabrielle interrupted, "Oh Xena, I know. I know it makes you sick. I would never want you to do this just because I want..."

"Shh. Please." Tears began to well up in the warrior's eyes. "I mean...I... I can't do this unless it's everything. I...I... You're so wrong, so mistaken... I want... so bad... I thought it was just me." Xena lowered her forehead to Gabrielle's shoulder in frustration of the words that wouldn't come. She lifted her head and raised her body slightly. She took Gabrielle's hand slowly and placed it between them. She looked into Gabrielle's eyes as she brought the bard's hand between her legs.

Gabrielle tensed. "Xena, don't do this for me..."

Xena kept her hand firm. "Gabrielle, I couldn't make myself do THIS for you..." and then Gabrielle felt the most exquisite feeling of her life. Xena was soaked... As Xena guided Gabrielle fingers under her breeches, the bard's hands slid into the wetness. Xena's head turned slightly to the side and fell forward as she moaned Gabrielle's name.

"Xena?" Gabrielle's eyes went wide at first, then slowly became slits. He stomach clenched and her groin ached. She exhaled quickly fingers still moving slowly between Xena's legs, "Please tell me this is from me. I need to hear it."

Xena could barely talk. "Y-y-yes, always...like you said...when we bathe...practice, ride, sleep...always wet for you...gods, please...ahhh", Xena breathed heavily between words, as she and Gabrielle involuntarily began to slowly, rhythmically grind into one another. As Gabrielle continued to slide her fingers slowly within Xena's folds, Xena placed two fingers once again on Gabrielle's mouth. "Can I..." Her lips separated, she licked them and continued to struggle to speak, "Different this time, I promise."

Gabrielle realized that Xena wanted to kiss her. She took Xena's index finger into her mouth, slowly, sensuously, closing her eyes for a minute as she enjoyed the feeling. She continued to suck on Xena's finger and roll her tongue around it. She opened her eyes. Xena was staring down at her with a look of both desire and amazement. A small smile crept onto Gabrielle's face. Her voice was low, "Surprised? Not what you expected from me?"

Gabrielle's surprising aggressiveness was thrilling the warrior. "I...uh...I..." Xena's passion was still overriding her ability to speak. Her eyes closed again, and her head went back with a sharp gasp, caused by the sensations of Gabrielle's never ceasing fingers. "Never knew... Please.... Want you so bad..." She place a hand tentatively on the inside of the bard's knee. Then, with a look of complete innocence that Gabrielle had never seen on the warrior, "It's OK?"

Gabrielle felt in complete control, which proved to be an incredible aphrodisiac. She replied to her lover's shy question, "Gods, Xena, how could you doubt that now?"

Xena, still slightly apprehensive, slowly moved her hand up the bard's inner thigh. She watched Gabrielle's mouth close and nostrils flare as she inhaled quickly. The bard's mouth opened slightly, slowly. Xena slid two fingers under Gabrielle's breeches and felt a flood of wetness. Xena's eyes closed as she moaned. The feeling alone brought her close to climax. "Gabrielle, please know that I love you with all my heart. I'm sorry for how I..."

Gabrielle put two fingers from her free hand to Xena's lips , "Xena, shhh, I'm so glad, this wouldn't have happened if you hadn't, but..."

Xena froze, fearing the worst, "What??"

"Shhh, no love, no, no. It's alright. But, I want... for so long... please..." Her eyes drifted down to Xena's breasts, that she had seen so many times and longed for so badly. Xena's insecurities finally began to subside. Her eyes followed Gabrielle's. The desire in the bard's eyes made her pulse quicken. With her left hand she gripped the top of her shift tightly and tore it open slowly so that her left breast was exposed over Gabrielle's.

Gabrielle stared, panting.

Quickly, Xena moved up so that her exposed breast was over Gabrielle's mouth as she captured Gabrielle's eyes with her own. Gabrielle's mouth was wide in awe at the beauty she saw before her. Xena slowly lowered herself, "Please, Gabrielle, show me what you want."

Xena's words sent a new bolt of desire through the bard. Gabrielle hesitantly placed her tongue on Xena's nipple. It began to harden instantly. She slid her whole tongue over Xena's nipple slowly. Xena bit down on her lower lip, closed her eyes and gasped as her held fell forward. Gabrielle began to circle Xena's nipple with the tip of her tongue. Xena tried to push more of herself into Gabrielle's mouth. Gabrielle pulled back, teasing her.

"Gabrielle... more... please." Gabrielle couldn't hold back anymore as she took Xena's breast into her mouth, sucked it roughly, and raked her teeth over the nipple.

Xena was losing all control, "Ahhh, yes, Gabrielle, yesss..."

Every word from the warrior succeeded in driving Gabrielle further. She sucked as much of Xena's breast into her mouth as she could. Her hand, still between Xena's legs, felt the warrior get wetter. "Xena.."

"Yes, anything.."

Gabrielle looked into Xena's eyes with a passion and dominance that both surprised and excited Xena. The bards voice was low, "I want to be inside you..."

The bard's words shot through Xena. "Oh, gods...yes...please... I want..." Before Xena could say anymore, she felt two of Gabrielle's fingers enter her. She began to grind on Gabrielle's hand ans tears began to drip down her face.

"Xe, did I hurt you?" Gabrielle, paused, concerned.

"Gods, no, please don't stop..." Xena continued to moan and grind on Gabrielle. "It's just....ahhhh.... I love you so much...never dreamed it could be real...Please don't stop loving me, Gabrielle..."

Xena's words were bringing Gabrielle close to the edge, along with the fact that Xena had never stopped her fingers from exploring under Gabrielle's breeches. The bard began to pump her fingers more quickly, her palm grazing Xena's clit with each stroke. She knew her warrior was close, "Gabrielle...can't hold on...please..."

"Come for me Xena, show me that you love me...what I do for you..."

With Gabrielle's request, Xena let go. She screamed the bard's name as she felt an orgasm rock her as she'd never experienced before, and it kept coming. "Gabrielle, gods, don't stop, yes, yes, I love...ahhhhhh". Her motions slowed as she relaxed her body to Gabrielle's but held Gabrielle's hand in place. Laying her head on the bard's chest, she whispered, "Stay inside me... need to know it's real."

"It's real, love, always." Gabrielle looked down at the woman lying on her. Her heart was so full, she felt as if it would burst. "You're so beautiful it scares me. One look, one movement, makes me so wet." Xena began to grind again to Gabrielle's words. "I dreamed about this, about feeling you come all over my hands, scream my name. Your breasts pressing against me..." With that, Gabrielle took her free hand and slowly ripped the rest of Xena's shift open, capturing the warrior's right breast in her mouth, sucking and licking it desperately.

Xena felt another climax coming, "Oh my gods, again... yes, Gabrielle..ooohhh.". Gabrielle felt Xena clench around her fingers and her body start to convulse. "Gabrielle, yes, ahhhhhh..." her body froze, and she screamed again, "Gabrielllllle...." Breathing heavily, her body collapsed to Gabrielle's.

"Mine?", the bard questioned.

"Yours", Xena breathed into Gabrielle's breasts. Gabrielle slowly removed her fingers from Xena, bringing them to her own mouth, sucking and licking the wetness from them. Xena stared up at her, once again taken back by the bard's boldness.

Gabrielle glared ferally at Xena, "We're not done love."

"Gods Gabrielle, where did you learn..."

"Learn? From lying next to you, reading stories I shouldn't have, having people tell me things. Everything, EVERYTHING I wanted to do to you, with you. And I will..."

"No, please, just hold me for a minute." Xena's eyes filled once again, overcome with the joy she was feeling.

"Xena, are you OK? Didn't you want..."

Xena laughed and raised her head, "How can YOU still be unsure? The Warrior Princesses' body, mind and soul just need a moment to adapt and recover from the shock. And THEN, my bard, it's MY turn to play..."

The End

Hope you enjoyed it. Please send comments to ladycthryn@aol.com


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