~ The Wedding Night ~
by Seska

Disclaimers: They don't belong to me, they belong to Universal. I am only borrowing them to get this story, that is chasing me since who knows how long, out of my head and be able to sleep again without hearing it call to me every free minute to finally write it ...*g*

Note 1: This is a story about two women in love and those two doing something about it. AAAAAND: this "doing something about it" is described clearly, clearly...so, if you're too young to read stuff like that, or you're in a country where it's against the law or it's just not you're liking, then what in Tartarus are you still doing here?? (I warned you...don't hold it against me afterwards *gg*)

Note 2: Okay, we're back in the "the little Gabby-maiden"- time line, which means Gabrielle has no idea about anything and...well...you'll see...*eg*

Note 3: Thanx to my editor. (You know who you are *s*.)

Note 4: And another great thank you to my second editor RlRoc. I wasn't so sure to post this story on the net, but your help gave me the last kick to do it. Thanx!!! *great hugs*

Note 5: I'm new at putting my stories on the net and letting others read them. So, well, I'd be happy about helpful criticism or comments to my story. Flames will end in the garbage can without further comment. You should better use your free time for something more useful. *g*


Gabrielle stumbled through the forest, holding the blanket to her naked body.

Only the moon cast some light into the darkness around her. She ran, tears streaming down her face, her heart aching from her pain.

She ran and ran, like an animal chased by unmerciful hunters; she raced over stones, branches and the soft moss on the forest floor. But where to?

"Xena...must find Xena..." Her mind repeated over and over again.

Somewhere out there in the dark forest near Poteideia the warrior, her friend, would have her camp, somewhere. How could she find her, if, at all was she still nearby? She didn't know, but nevertheless she kept on running. Somehow she could feel herself getting closer to her goal. It was as if something was pulling her in the right direction.

Gabrielle nearly fell to the forest floor when her naked feet hit a root hard, but she caught herself and continued on. Then suddenly, she could see it. There it was!

In a small distance she could see the light of a fire shimmering through the trees. Not much further, just a few more steps and she would be in Xena's arms again.

Gabrielle slowed down and halted in the darkness of the trees that surrounded the small campsite. Argo was dozing nearby and beside the fire she could see the warrior. She was lying with her back to her, her head nestled on one arm.

Xena seemed to be asleep and only the crackling of the fire could be heard in the silence of the night.

Crack! Xena opened her eyes slowly as she heard a noise outside of her camp.

Her warrior instincts searched around but she kept her body still. One night ago those instincts would have made her grab her sword, jump up and get the intruder without further thought. But tonight was different.

There was no bard lying nearby. No bard to protect, no bard she would give her life for. There was nothing, only an emptiness she had never felt before.

Not even after the death of her brother. There was no reason left for her to live.

The moment Gabrielle had left hand in hand with Perdicus after their wedding into their new life, everything Xena was and felt had gone with the wind. The bard had taken it all with her and had left nothing.

So, why bother to grab her sword and fight? Why should she try to protect her life?

Perhaps she should just lay here and hope the stranger outside her camp would end her misery with his or her weapon. But, how would Gabrielle think about it if she heard the warrior hadn't even fought back and was killed by some stranger?

Wouldn't she feel guilty for the rest of her life? Why torment the woman she loved more than anything else with that, only because the bard had followed her feelings?

Was it Gabrielle's fault that her love wasn't meant to be for the dark warrior with the worst past one could think of, but for the handsome Perdicus?

All those questions formed themselves in Xena's mind and made her grab her sword in the end. She would not give up on herself and let the bard feel any guilt about her broken being, her broken heart.

If this emptiness was the torment for her past deeds, she would carry it.

In one swift motion she rolled around, jumped up and faced the forest ahead of her. Her blood shot through her veins and carried her into the familiar warrior readiness.

She felt all the anger and hurt of the day's events, of Gabrielle leaving her to marry Perdicus boil up.

Whoever had chosen to stumble around her camp hadn't made a very good choice.

"Whoever is out there should better come out and face me. I'm not in the mood to come and get you!" she warned in a deep, dangerous voice that made Argo whinny softly in protest.

Gabrielle forced her tears to stop and brushed them away with one hand. She could see the warrior standing in her full height, scanning the forest.

Gabrielle's heart ached and holding the blanket tightly around her body she stepped out of the darkness into the circle of light the campfire was creating.

She searched Xena's eyes and when she saw the warrior glare she knew so well in those ice blue eyes it was too much for her to take.

She whispered softly "Xena..." before new tears splashed over her face and her voice broke.

"Gabrielle?" Xena gasped in shock. Seeing Gabrielle's tear-filled eyes and hearing the soft, breaking voice her heart stopped only to resume in double speed.

She let her sword fall to the ground and reached out for her friend. "Oh, sweetie...what is it?"

Gabrielle flew directly into the warrior's arms, throwing her own around her neck and burying her wet face into the black mane she loved so much.

"Xena..." she choked under her tears.

"Shh, its okay...I'm here, sweetie." Xena held Gabrielle close to her, stroking the strawberry- blond hair softly.

"Please hold me, Xena...it was so awful...please hold me..."

"I'm here, everything is okay, Gabrielle." Xena murmured nonsense words into the bard's ears to quiet her down, holding her friend as close as possible.

After some minutes when Gabrielle's tears had stopped, she moved back a little and looked into the bard's face. Slowly she stroked some strands of Gabrielle's hair out of her eyes.

"Gabrielle, what happened? Where's Perdicus?"

Gabrielle looked into Xena's eyes as new tears formed. She sobbed and whispered, "He's in...in our bedroom. Oh, Xena, it was so...so..."

Again she buried her face against Xena, pressing herself against the familiar warmth and the smell of leather, sweat and Xena. There were no words that could describe how she felt after her stay with Perdicus.

But in Xena's arms she suddenly felt all safe and loved. The warrior squeezed her eyes shut for a moment. She was confused. Whatever had happened must have been horrible to frighten Gabrielle so much.

And it seemed as if Perdicus had to do something with it. If it was his fault she would go and kill him! How could he dare leave her Gabrielle like this? Whatever he had done to her bard, he would pay for it.

"Oh, stop that, Xena! She is NOT "your" Gabrielle anymore. She has never been!" a dark voice in her mind reminded her.

"Come on." Xena put one arm around Gabrielle's shoulders and led her to the fire and her blanket.

"Sit down and tell me what happened."

Gabrielle sank down on Xena's blanket and looked up at her friend. Xena smiled softly at her, trying to comfort the bard somehow.

"Let me make you some tea, okay?" she offered and turned around for her cup by the fire.

"No! No, please, sit beside me, Xena. Please don't leave me alone."

Xena dropped the herbs she had been holding and placed herself beside her friend on the blanket. She sat nearby but didn't allow herself to touch the bard.

"Gabrielle, I will never leave you." Xena told her sincerely.

Gabrielle looked into Xena's eyes and smiled sadly.

"I want to help you, Gabrielle. But you need to tell me first."

Gabrielle nodded slowly. She then stared into the fire and brushed some tears from her face. She was a bard, so why was it so difficult to find the words to express how she felt? To tell Xena not only about the pain she felt after Perdicus lovemaking but about the emptiness she felt after leaving Xena.

Well...that was another story and she had made her decision when she agreed to become Perdicus' wife.

"I...Perdicus?he...he" she stammered helplessly. Xena held her breath and squeezed the bard's shoulder to encourage her. "He just...it was so awful...he just..."

"Gabrielle, what did he do? You know you can tell me. It's just the two of us here."

Gabrielle searched her friend's eyes and held them for some seconds. Then she looked back into the fire. She was just too embarrassed about it all.

"He just...took me. I felt like...I dunno. When he was lying on top of me...inside of me...it...I only wanted to run away...from him...but he was there, on top of me...panting and he's my husband and I knew it was my fault and that I had no right to turn him away. Oh, Xena...it was so horrible."

The words suddenly splashed out of Gabrielle's mouth like rain in a hard thunderstorm.

Xena swallowed hard. Had Perdicus really forced Gabrielle? What had happened? She couldn't believe what she heard.

Perdicus had seemed like such a kind young man. But if he had forced Gabrielle to sleep with him she WOULD kill him. No matter what!

"I'll kill him!" Xena muttered under her breath. She stared into the fire feeling the hate against Perdicus growing with every beat of her heart.

How could he do something like that to Gabrielle? The warrior reached out for her sword that was still lying nearby where she had dropped it, but a small hand on hers stopped her in mid-motion.

"No, please, don't."

"But, Gabrielle, I can't..."

"Please??" The plea was so soft and the pain in Gabrielle's eyes so great that Xena stopped moving immediately.

"Please, just hold me, Xena, please." New tears streamed over the bard's face.

"Oh, sweetheart, come here." Xena reached for Gabrielle and placed her on her lap, holding her close and waiting for the bard's tears to stop.

She stroked Gabrielle's back gently. The young woman closed her legs around Xena's waist, pressing herself against the warrior.

"Shh, it's all right. It will be all right. You'll see. You will be fine, I promise."

They held on to each other as if for dear life. It seemed as if an eternity had passed when Gabrielle quieted down enough so Xena could talk to her again.


The bard moved and looked into Xena's eyes.

"Gabrielle, you need to tell me if he...if he has forced himself on you. Did he hurt you?"

Xena kept her voice as softly as possible though her heart was pounding with the rage she felt deep inside. She searched the bard's eyes for an answer.

The bard shook her head no and then spoke, her voice not more than a whisper.

"No, no he didn't force me. It was just that...that I felt so bad."

"He didn't hurt you?"

"No...yes...I mean, yes, in the beginning it hurt a little, but that's normal, isn't it?"

Gabrielle blushed a little before speaking on. "It wasn't about that hurting...the girls in my village had talked about it, so I knew...but?then it was more like...hurting here."

Gabrielle laid her hand over her heart and stared at Xena. The warrior reached for her and again held her close.

So, Perdicus hadn't forced himself on Gabrielle. He just had been too rough. But still the warriors heart ached from the rage against Perdicus and the pain she felt for Gabrielle.

She rocked the bard slowly, stroking over her back and her hair. There were some minutes of silence when Gabrielle's shy voice suddenly broke it.



"Is it always like that?" Gabrielle moved back a little to be able to look at the warrior. Then she placed the blanket over her naked shoulders, holding it close tightly in the front. She searched Xena's eyes fearfully.

"Oh, Gabrielle, no. No, it's...it can be wonderful. It can be the most wonderful thing."

"But why wasn't it like this? Why did it hurt so much in my heart? Why did I feel like..." Gabrielle shrugged her shoulders helplessly. "...like he didn't see me. Like he only pushed and pushed and satisfied himself? Like I was just one of those whores who follow armies around?"

Gabrielle looked down embarrassed.

"Maybe...maybe because he was a soldier. They don't know it differently."

Xena remembered the soldiers of her armies who had, after fights, taken the whores who followed her army without much feeling, only just to satisfy themselves and still the battlelust.

She herself had sometimes taken a slave to her bed, taken her or him and hadn't cared about them, about their feelings or if they were satisfied.

She had taken them and then shoved them away. But to imagine Gabrielle lying under Perdicus who acted like one of her soldiers was too much for her.

Xena shook her head to clear her mind from the horrible pictures and then looked at Gabrielle. It seemed as if, after Xena's answer, the fear in the bard had increased. Immediately Xena rushed on.

"But you will see, Gabrielle. He will learn how to make love to you. You have to show him and tell him what you like and that he hurts you with his...behavior. Perhaps he just didn't know."

How could she find the right words to comfort Gabrielle when all she wanted to do was jump up, take her sword and run to Perdicus to punish him for what he had done to Gabrielle.

Never would she have done anything like this to the bard. Whenever she had dreamed about seducing Gabrielle it had been slow and full of love and passion.

"I'm so afraid, Xena. I always thought that my first time would be wonderful. Something that I would always be able to remember as special."

"I'm so sorry, Gabrielle. But I'm sure it will...it will be different in the future. It can be different, it can be wonderful, you'll see."

The warrior pulled Gabrielle into her arms. She didn't trust herself that she wouldn't cry. She could feel Gabrielle's pain deep down in her own heart.

Oh! And what she would've given to show Gabrielle how wonderful her first time could have been. What she wouldn't have given to be Gabrielle's first and only, to pleasure her, to make love to her, to show her her love.

"Xena?" Gabrielle whispered in Xena's ear after a little while, still holding on to her friend.

"Yes, what is it Gabrielle?"

"Show me."

Xena pushed Gabrielle back softly to be able to look into the green eyes. Had she heard right?


"Show me how it feels. Love me..."


Gabrielle searched Xena's eyes and locked them together.

"I always wanted YOU to be my first. Please show me. Make love to me."

"No...I mean...I can't...I...you're a married woman, Gabrielle. I can't do this."

It wasn't only the fact that Gabrielle was married now that made Xena refuse her. It was the fear that had grown with her love for the bard.

How could she now take Gabrielle's offer, now after so many struggles she had had with herself, when she so many times had been so close to telling her bard about her feelings. But always the fear had been there. The fear that Gabrielle would be too shocked about it all and leave her. The fear that she wasn't worth the bard's love. She, the ex-warlord who had killed more people in cold blood than one could count. And, to all those fears that had held her back from Gabrielle in the past, now came a voice in her head warning her that it wasn't what Gabrielle really wanted.

What the bard wanted was a happy life with a man, in a village, perhaps many kids at her side.

But that offer right here wasn't true. It only happened because Gabrielle felt lonely and hurt after her night with Perdicus.

Xena tried to push Gabrielle off her lap, refusing to look into her friend's eyes. But Gabrielle used all her strength to hold Xena down.

"Please, Xena."

"I can't, Gabrielle. Perdicus...you..."

"Forget about him, Xena. I don't love him like I love you. I want you so much. I want to feel your skin on mine. I want to feel you. It always has been you."


Xena wanted to say the name with emphasis but it came out as a soft plea. Here she was, her Gabrielle, the woman who had stolen her heart so fast she had no chance to fight against it, sitting on her lap, only a thin blanket around her nude body, telling her she loved her, wanted her.

"Don't you love me, Xena?" Gabrielle asked the hurt and sudden doubt swinging in her voice.

"Gabrielle...you're confused...I don't want you to do things you'll regret later." Xena said seriously.

Gabrielle used one finger under the warrior's chin to raise her bent head.

"Look me in the eyes and tell me you don't love me, Xena."

Two green eyes melted into two blue, searching, full of love and desire.

"I can't Gabrielle. I can't do this. You have to go back to Perdicus. He will look for you when he wakes up and finds you gone."

Again Xena tried to push Gabrielle off her lap, but the bard held on tightly, seeing the answers to her questions in the blue eyes already. They showed as much love as she felt deep inside her own heart.

Gabrielle pushed the blanket off her shoulders, revealing her naked body to Xena's eyes.

"Gabrielle...don't..." Xena pleaded softly, her voice thick from her love.

And desire. Her eyes traveled over the bard's skin. Over her shoulders, to her chest, to her beautiful breasts, to her flat stomach. Unconsciously she licked her lips with the tip of her tongue fighting for strength to hold back.

Gabrielle used her now free hands to push down the straps of Xena's leathers. She smiled before leaning forward and placing her lips on the naked skin to suck slowly.

"By the gods, Gab, don't do this...please." Xena gasped desperately.

Gabrielle's lips wandered to Xena's ears where she whispered in a hoarse voice, her hot breath on Xena's skin raising the gooseflesh all over the warrior's body.

"I want you, Xena. I need you so much. Please, it has always been you. It should've been you. I love you so much."

Gabrielle began nibbling on Xena's earlobe, pressing herself against Xena.

The warrior whimpered at the sweet contact of the bards breasts against her own. And with Gabrielle's words in her ears and hungry lips on her skin all the walls she had built to hold back her feelings for Gabrielle crashed down in a rush.

She slipped her arms around the bard and pressed the smaller body against her own.

"Oh, Gabrielle...love..." Xena stroked Gabrielle's hair off her shoulder and pressed her lips to her neck feeling the bard's pulse. Gabrielle gasped softly and threw her head back to give Xena greater access. A lightening bolt shot through her body right to her center settling there in a burning heat she had never felt before.

No touch, no kiss of Perdicus ever had felt so good. She closed her eyes and dug her hands into Xena's black mane.

"Yes, Xena...oh...that feels so good."


Xena let her mouth travel to the other side of Gabrielle's neck. Then she leaned back, putting her hands on Gabrielle's shoulders.

She looked at the bard with pure love. Gabrielle bent her head and regarded her questioningly.

"By the gods, please don't stop, Xena. Please, don't!"

"I won't...I just...I just want you to know that...that I..." Xena smiled nervously. Suddenly she felt like a little child, not like Xena, the strong warrior princess. Gabrielle smiled back.

"What, Xena? Tell me..."

"I love you, Gabrielle. More than anything else in this life. More than my own life and that...that I want to make you happy."

"Oh, Xena. I love you too. And, you make me happy with everything you do."

Xena felt Gabrielle's words wander right to her heart. But suddenly their faces turned serious and they stared at each other in silence as if they were seeing each other for the first time.

Xena lifted her hand and lightly touched Gabrielle's lips, following the line.

"Kiss me, Xena."

Gabrielle whispered against Xena's fingers, never looking away from the blue eyes that were transfixed to her lips.

It was an offer the warrior couldn't refuse. Slowly, ever so slowly like it would take her an eternity, Xena leaned forward, softly pressing her lips to Gabrielle's. She lingered there, waiting. When she felt the bard pressing back and opening her mouth just a little, she pushed her tongue out and into Gabrielle's mouth.

Neither woman was prepared for the fire that exploded in their bodies when their tongues touched for the first time.

Small shudders ran through them making them moan deeply. Xena's tongue fought with the bard's but then slid over Gabrielle's teeth only to disappear into the warrior's mouth.

But Gabrielle was too eager for the contact to just let go so easily. She pushed her tongue into Xena's mouth taking control over the kiss.

She could hear her lover whimper and she deepened the kiss as an answer.

But the warrior had her own mind and pushing the questioning tongue back she closed her teeth over Gabrielle's bottom lip nibbling lightly. Then she switched to the upper lip, this time her lips closing over it and sucking intensely before she, again, dived into the hot cave of the bard's mouth.

Somehow they kept their control and Xena broke the kiss first gasping for air. Gabrielle held her eyes closed, her tongue sliding over her lips where Xena's had been some seconds before.

"By the gods, Gabrielle, you are so beautiful." Xena said in wonder.

Gabrielle opened her eyes and responded in a deep, thick voice.

"Make love to me. Touch me. Let me feel your skin, Xena. Let me feel everything."

Xena reached behind her and opened her leathers. With Gabrielle's help she freed herself from them. Next followed the thin skirt she wore underneath.

Gabrielle gasped and stared openly at the bronze body. She licked her lips hungrily as her eyes traveled over the erect nipples.

The warrior smiled, reached around the bard and pulled her close against herself. The moment their naked bodies touched both gasped and held on tighter.

Xena's hands caressed Gabrielle's back gently. Her lips were fastened to the bard's neck. Gabrielle threw her head back and moaned, the noise not much louder than a whisper in the night air.

With Gabrielle throwing her head back and arching her chest, Xena had the perfect opportunity to bend down and drop featherlight kisses onto one of Gabrielle's breasts. The bard dug her fingers into Xena's hair. She nearly screamed out when she felt hot lips close around one erect nipple, sucking deeply.

"Arg....Xenaaaa, yes...don't stop...love me...oh yesssss..."

Gabrielle encouraged her lover, begging not only with her voice for more. Xena closed her eyes and swirled her tongue around the nipple in her mouth. When Gabrielle's hips suddenly pressed her hot center into Xena's stomach, she let the nipple go and threw her head back too, her mouth half open, her eyes still closed.

"Gabrielle...yes...that feels so good..."

Xena looked down to find Gabrielle's center pressed to her midriff, pushing into her over and over again. She let her callused hands wander over the bard's back then down to her hips, holding onto her, encouraging her movements.

She heard moans of pure pleasure escaping the bard's open mouth. The girl bent her head and nipped at Xena's strong shoulders. She didn't know exactly what her hips were doing, but felt exquisite shudders running through her body.

She wanted to melt into Xena, to become one with the warrior and never let go again. Xena held Gabrielle tighter to her and moved over until Gabrielle was lying down on the blanket. She used the short moment of separation to free herself from her wet breeches.

She stared into the bard's lust-filled eyes and then lowered herself on top of her, placing her arms on either side of Gabrielle's head. Slowly, very slowly, she let their bodies melt together, careful not to hurt the smaller bard under her with her weight.

Both held their eyes locked and Gabrielle threw her arms around Xena's neck to pull her down closer to her body. Xena used her knees to spread Gabrielle's legs further apart until she could lie down between them. She groaned when their centers made contact. The bard only wanted to come still nearer to her warrior. She closed her legs around Xena's hip and pressed them together. Xena closed her eyes and concentrated on the exquisite feeling of her lover beneath her. There was no place between them where the air would have had a chance to separate them. They fit together as if their bodies were meant to be melted together into one. Again Gabrielle began rocking her hips unconsciously when Xena leaned down and captured Gabrielle's lips in a deep kiss. The warrior sighed and buried her face in Gabrielle's shoulder.

"Yes, Gabrielle. Feel it. Push against me." She whispered in a husky voice into the bard's ear.

Then she began answering her lover's thrusts with her own, their hips joining in a hot dance of pure pleasure. The warrior sucked her way down until she could again close her lips around one nipple.

The other one she took between two fingers rolling and squeezing it until Gabrielle arched her back further and dug her hands into Xena's hair, holding her close to her chest.

Her hips had stilled and her feet were planted on the ground beside Xena's thighs.

"Gabrielle...love...so sweet..." Xena moaned against the hot skin, then moved up again quickly to capture Gabrielle's mouth with her own. Her lover answered the kiss as if in ecstasy. She pushed her tongue into the warrior's mouth and with her hands on Xena's head she pulled her closer as if to crush them together.

Xena's free hand now slipped between their bodies and roamed down Gabrielle's stomach to her curls. She laid her palm flatly against the hot center and broke the kiss to look into the bard's eyes. Gabrielle stared at her, her eyes filled with hunger and desire.

"Gabrielle...I don't want to...to hurry...to hurt you after Perdicus."

Xena slowly moved her hand away from Gabrielle but was stopped by a small hand.

"No, please...don't leave me, Xena. I want to feel you. Touch me...love me."

Xena kissed her softly on the lips, growling and then slowly moved one finger between the folds. She was greeted with more wetness than she thought would be there and gasped in pleasure.

Regarding the bard's face closely, she moved her finger up and down, exploring. Then she stroked the hard nub watching Gabrielle close her eyes and throw her head to one side, her lips parted slightly. Her small hands wandered over Xena's body to her butt where she pressed the warrior down.

"More...I need more...of...you...touch me...fill me...Xena..."

Gabrielle gasped and squeezed Xena's cheeks softly. Her lover groaned deeply and let one finger slip to Gabrielle's opening. Xena waited. Gabrielle still had her eyes closed and her head thrown to one side.

Afraid of hurting her bard but remembering the wetness down there, Xena decided on a different tactic.

Pressing soft kisses on the bard's body everywhere she could reach, she slid down the small body and placed herself between her lover's legs.

Gabrielle shot up, looking down at the face between her thighs, so close to her center.

"Xena? What are you doing?"

Xena grinned up but when she saw Gabrielle's eyes showing wonder but fear too, she moved up again and looked at Gabrielle.

She kissed her tenderly on her lips then spoke in a soft voice, "Sweetheart...I never would hurt you, you know that, don't you?"

Gabrielle nodded and smiled at Xena. To assure the warrior she stroked the broad back in long strokes.

"I just wanted to..." Xena let her tongue travel sensually over Gabrielle's lips, then went on a small grin playing around her lips, "...but if you don't want me to..."

Gabrielle's mind searched for possibilities of what Xena could be doing down there. She blushed a little and answered embarrassed.

"No! I mean...I just don't know what exactly you were going to do."

"It's all right, Gabrielle. Promise me you will always tell me if you don't want something I'm doing, okay?"

Gabrielle nodded.

"Please, promise me that, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle's heart melted from Xena's soft words and she gave her partner a love-filled smile, "I will. I promise."

Xena kissed her gently and stroked some hair out of her sweaty face. "Xena?"


"What did you....uhm...what was it you wanted to do down there?"

Xena grinned, "Let me show it to you, okay? I promise I won't hurt you and if you don't like it I will stop immediately, okay?"

Xena waited for the bard's nod, grinned and again kissed her way down Gabrielle's body, taking some time at sucking on her breasts.

Her hand cradled one breast and she sucked as much of it into her mouth as she could. Gabrielle whimpered softly but kept on watching her warrior's face. Xena had her eyes closed and made soft noises playing with the bard's breasts.

Her face showed so much contentment and love that Gabrielle let her head fall back on the blanket. Her heart ached from the love she felt for the woman who was ravishing her body.

Then she felt Xena between her legs.

The warrior placed the bard's legs over her shoulders and took a deep breath. The smell off her aroused bard made her mind spin and her heart beat in double speed.

She then blew against Gabrielle's center, which made the bard yelp in surprise and pleasure.

"Ourg...gods...Xena...what are you doing to me??" Gabrielle asked, her hips shooting up, inviting Xena to more.

The warrior smiled. She could smell and see Gabrielle's excitement and felt it settle down in her own center. Slowly she parted the bard's folds further and then stroked her length one time with her tongue. The sweet contact made Gabrielle scream out.

Before she could totally relax again, Xena began exploring her center with the tip of her tongue. She found the spot she knew would take Gabrielle even higher and circled it.

"Xena...ouhm...oh, please, don't stop...arg...Xena..."

Xena hesitated for a moment but then pushed her tongue into Gabrielle's opening. The bard again shot up, her fingers of one hand dug into Xena's hair as the fingers of her other grabbed a fistful of the blanket.

She pressed the head closer to her center, wanting and needing more of the sweet torture. Xena now placed her finger over Gabrielle's clit and played with it, pushing her tongue in and out at the same time. When she felt Gabrielle's muscles begin to contract she quickened the motions of her tongue and fingers.

Then suddenly Gabrielle arched her back again, her legs closing around Xena's neck and screamed into the night.

"Xenaaaaaaaaaa, oh yessssssssssss..." She then collapsed back on the blanket. Totally powerless her legs and arms fell to her sides.

Xena licked all the wetness away from Gabrielle's center, kissed it one last time and then moved up again. She stroked Gabrielle's damp face and kissed her softly on her lips.

The bard had her eyes closed and was still breathing hard.

"I love you, Gabrielle." Xena whispered and covered the bard's body with her own.

She hid her face in Gabrielle's shoulder sighing deeply. Gabrielle opened her eyes slowly, closing her arms around Xena's neck, she held her close.

"Oh, Xena, I love you so much." She whispered back and stroked the black hair and broad back. Xena sighed again and relaxed against her bard.

Although she didn't have had a release herself she felt wonderful. Never before she felt so secure and content. Never before had she been so happy.

She wanted to lie there with Gabrielle for the rest of their lives and all through eternity, never letting her bard go away again.

Then suddenly she felt a small hand slip between their bodies. Xena slowly opened her eyes and looked down at Gabrielle questioningly. The only answer she received was a shy smile of her bard.



The small hand wandered over Xena's stomach to the curls. There it stopped.

"You don't have to do this." Xena said and watched Gabrielle closely.

"But I want to. It felt so wonderful and I want to give it back to you. You just...you just need to...show me." Gabrielle said with a shaky voice.

The warrior leaned down and kissed her bard softly on the nose, then on her upper lip before closing in on her mouth with her own.

They kissed deeply for some time until Xena broke the kiss again and her lips wandered to Gabrielle's neck. She sucked deeply but suddenly Gabrielle pushed her away.

"No, Xena! It's not me this time. I want it to be you."

Xena leaned down again and resumed her sucking. Only this time she placed her own hand on the smaller one above her curls. Closing her eyes and fighting for strength she guided Gabrielle's hand between her hot folds.

Before one finger came near her center she knew it would take all her power not to come directly at the first touch. So, when the bard's finger slipped into her wetness she groaned deeply and stopped her sucking.

Gabrielle didn't dare move her hand. Still the warrior's was placed on her own and she was sure her lover would guide her when she was ready.

Although she was sure that Xena WAS ready. The wetness on her fingers surprised and scared her a little but the deep groan she heard come from Xena assured her again.

Then she felt the warrior move their entwined hands against her center. Small shudders ran through the body on top of hers and she placed her lips to Xena's neck where she could feel the strong pulse beating quickly. It became faster with every moment like their hands did at the same time.

Gabrielle closed her eyes and dug the fingers of her free hand into Xena's hair to hold her head close, nestled in her shoulder. She could hear small whimpers from her lover right beside her ear, which made every nerve in her body send shockwaves to every place on her skin and in her body.

When Xena guided one finger to her opening she wasn't exactly sure if she should dare it, but immediately the warriors deep, husky voice filled her mind and pushed away any doubt.

"Gabrielle, move...inside me...I need to feel you deep inside me."

Gabrielle slowly pushed one finger into the hot cave, answering Xena's moans with one of her own. Like Xena had done before with her tongue, she began a steady rhythm with her finger.

"More...please...gimme more..." Xena begged and moved her hips against Gabrielle's hand. This time the bard didn't wait a second. With the next push she inserted a second then a third finger.

"Look at me, Xena. Look at me."

Xena slowly moved her head until she could look down into Gabrielle's eyes. Her own were shining with desire and she had to fight back the impulse to close them again.

"Yes, look at me. See me...loving you." Gabrielle encouraged and hastened her fingers.

"Gabrielle...." Xena whimpered, before all her muscles went rigid, one lone tear slipped out of her eye and splashed onto Gabrielle's cheek.

The warrior was smiling but then threw her head back and screamed her bard's name into the night.


After the last waves had shot through her body, Xena collapsed on top of Gabrielle, breathing hard and again burying her face into the strawberry-blond hair of her lover. Gabrielle moved her fingers out, which drew another moan from Xena. She looked at them for a moment before slipping them into her mouth. She groaned when she tasted her lover and pressed Xena closer to her body, waiting for the warrior to recover again.

She had her eyes closed and was still sucking on her fingers, so she didn't see the blue eyes looking down at her after a moment. Xena reached out, took Gabrielle's hand at the wrist and pushed the small hand away.

Before Gabrielle could protest she closed her lips over the bard's mouth and kissed her deeply and with all the love she felt for the woman in her arms.

Xena could taste herself on her lover's lips and stroked her soft hair slowly. The kiss lasted, it seemed, for an eternity until Xena began placing featherlight kisses all over Gabrielle's face and caressing the small body under her with long gentle strokes. The bard was a little surprised about this.

After Perdicus had found release he just rolled over and had fallen asleep, not even taking her into his arms. So she had thought Xena would do the same.

But it wasn't like that.

Like so many other things that were different in the warrior's arms, this was different from Perdicus' lovemaking.

Now she understood the word. It was love, Love that they had made. True love. She could feel it deep down in her heart and it replaced all the bad memories of Perdicus.

It was as if her wedding night with Perdicus never had happened, but instead it had been Xena who had been her first. Gabrielle answered Xena's kisses by caressing her arms and back.

When the warrior looked up and searched her eyes she smiled happily.

"Oh, Xena...."

"Shh...it's okay, honey." Xena kissed her lightly on the lips, then again looked her in the eyes. Both women could feel tears of love come to their eyes. Gabrielle laughed happily and wiped them off Xena's cheek.

"I love you, my warrior."

"I love you too, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle not only heard those words but felt them diving into her soul, completing it. She had found her other half at last. No, that wasn't right she had found her other half when she had first looked into the warrior's eyes, but tonight the two halves were joined, completing themselves to become one.

Xena slowly slid off the bard's body and rolled over taking Gabrielle with her. Without having done it before, the two bodies at once found the right positions to fit together, with the bard lying half on top, half beside Xena, their legs entwined and the bard's head nestled above the warrior's breast where she could listen to the steady heartbeat.

It was a miracle, it seemed as if their hearts beat like one. Xena wrapped her arms around Gabrielle, pulling her closer. She placed the bard's blanket that was lying beside them over their bodies. She kissed the top of the bard's head.

The soft snores told her that Gabrielle had fallen asleep. Listening to her new lover's breathing she let herself be lulled into the land of Morpheus too.

If only for a little while, because she knew that morning would come too quickly, and that this would mean giving up her dreams. But tonight she held them all nestled in her arms...

Chapter One

Xena felt a strange heat curled around her body when her mind began to focus again after only a few hours in the land of Morpheus. A small hand lay on her right breast and one leg was placed between hers.

Her warrior instincts nearly made her jump up and fight the stranger on top of her. But she soon enough realised that there was no danger coming from the person. She slowly opened her eyes and looked down her body only to find a golden head nestled on her chest. The deep snores coming from it told her that Gabrielle was still deep asleep. So she put her head back on the blanket and enjoyed the peace of the new morning.

Gabrielle...her old best friend...her new lover.

Xena gently stroked over the strawberry-blond head.

Everything had gone so fast and she had had no time to think about it. But now she had the time she needed and so her thoughts began to wander.

They had made love. And it had been so much more than what she had imagined it to be like, so many times before in her fantasies. It had been full of passion and love. It had been so wonderful. But what happened now? What did Gabrielle think about it? Would she still feel the same once she woke up?

Perhaps she had done wrong. Perhaps she had really only used the young woman when she had been hurt and had searched for a friend that stood by her side and who she could trust. But she, Xena, had taken advantage of the situation and had taken Gabrielle for her own pleasure.

She had coldly used the one person in her life that she loved more than anything else. How could she have thought that Gabrielle wanted what had happened between them the night before? Gabrielle had chosen Perdicus over her. Wasn't that answer enough?

Xena sighed heavily and placed a featherlight kiss on top of the bard's head. But what if Gabrielle had wanted it? No, she shouldn't let build such hopes in her heart. There was no way the young, gentle bard could want something like that with her, the dark warrior, the Destroyer of nations.

So, what would happen, once the bard woke up? Would she see shock in those beautiful eyes? Would the bard scream at her and run away? No, Xena was sure that Gabrielle wouldn't do something like that. From the way the bard snuggled to her, she concluded that she would still think that this was what she wanted. And if it wouldn't be that way, maybe she would be too afraid to say or do anything and stay with the warrior out of fear.

No matter what would happen, she had to take Gabrielle back to Perdicus, to her husband. The person she loved and she had given her life to. THIS was what Gabrielle wanted and Xena wouldn't stand in her way.

Xena looked around the campsite. It was still dark and the fire had died down to small embers. Argo was standing under a tree and seemed to be asleep, unaware of the torment in her mistress' heart.

The warrior again sighed heavily and then decided to get up, break camp and get the bard back to her new home before Perdicus would wake up and realise that his wife wasn't there. She had enough problems with the situation at hand and really wasn't in the mood for a jealous husband to whom she would have to explain why Gabrielle was with her and not with him.

But getting up was said easier than done.

Every time Xena moved a little the bard snuggled back against her, fitting unconsciously into the new position. The only thing the warrior could do was roll the bard over on her back so she was lying on top of her. But still, the bard held on, closing her arms around the warrior's neck. Xena couldn't help but grin. The bard not only had a strong hold on her heart but it seemed also on her body.

The warrior looked down into the face of the sleeping woman. Gabrielle had her mouth slightly parted, which seemed to invite Xena for a slow, sensual wake-up kiss. She closed her eyes immediately and took long breath to get her suddenly fast beating heart back to normal.

It would be so easy! She could kiss the bard awake, then ravish the small body under her again and again until the sun would rise. And then she would ride away with Gabrielle. Away from here to a new life, not caring about Perdicus or what the other people would say.

It would be so easy! And yet, she couldn't do it.

Slowly she opened her eyes again and opened Gabrielle's hold around her neck to be able to get up. When Xena's warm body left the bard, Gabrielle moaned in protest and reached for the blanket to curl around it, a content sigh escaping her mouth.

After having washed and dressed Xena broke camp until only the blanket on which Gabrielle lay and the other one she was half under, half cuddling with was left. She sat down beside the bard, a cup of tea she had made herself in her hands and watched the young woman in sleep.

Gabrielle was so beautiful. Even in sleep she took the warrior's breath away and made her heart beat faster.

When the first rays of light began to shine through the trees in the far distance Xena emptied her cup and moved over to Gabrielle. In a turning around process the blanket had fallen off the bards nude body and so Xena had an uncovered view from Gabrielle's hip up to her face. The bard was lying with her back to the warrior, cuddling with the blanket as if it were Xena's body.

The warrior kneeled down behind Gabrielle and gently stroked some hair that had fallen into the bard's face, back behind her ear. Then she let her hand wander over Gabrielle's shoulder, down her side to her hips. She slowly leaned over and placed a small kiss on the side of the bard's forehead.

Gabrielle reached for Xena's hand in her sleep and pulled it to her lips placing a gentle kiss on it. Her lips curled into a content smile and she whispered Xena's name.

When the warrior heard the soft whisper she got big eyes and stared down at the young woman in wonder. As an answer her heart skipped and an all too familiar warmth spread through her body. She fought the impulse to roll Gabrielle over and claim her mouth in a sweet, deep kiss. Instead she tried to pull her hand out of the bard's grip but the hold was too strong.

Xena thought for a moment and then lay down behind the bard. Just for a short moment she could hold Gabrielle again, couldn't she?

When Gabrielle felt the new warmth behind her she rolled around and snuggled back against the bigger body. Xena rolled her eyes. This was too good to be true! She grinned and laid her head back onto the blanket. But suddenly soft lips pressed against her own and a second later a small tongue pushed against her mouth and begged for entrance.

Automatically she opened her lips and let Gabrielle in. She could hear a soft groan coming from the bard when their tongues met.

Xena didn't know what to do. She should push Gabrielle back and tell the bard to get up so she could take her back to Perdicus. But the feeling of the hungry mouth against her own was just too good. Gabrielle had her eyes still closed and smiled against Xena's lips.

"Good morning, Xena." she said before she slid totally onto the warriors body and deepened the kiss again. Xena moaned helplessly and her hands wandered over the naked back stroking up and down Gabrielle's spine. They deepened the kiss even more. Gabrielle's tongue danced around Xena's, then slid over the warrior's teeth and back to meet Xena's. The warrior groaned and moved her tongue back. She closed her lips over Gabrielle's bottom lip and sucked feeling small shudders run over the body on top of her. Her hands drew small circles on Gabrielle's back as her mouth wandered to the bard's throat to suck deeply at a mark that their lovemaking the night before had left.

Gabrielle threw her head back and moaned again. When she couldn't stand the feeling of Xena's tongue on her throat anymore she searched the warrior's mouth and kissed her hungrily pushing her hips against Xena's.

The moment Gabrielle realised that Xena had her leathers already on she opened her eyes in shock and stared down at the body under her.


Xena's eyes followed Gabrielle's down her own body. She sighed and let her head fall back.

"Why are you dressed already?"

There it was! The moment Xena had feared. The moment when she had to explain to Gabrielle that she would take her back to Perdicus. Before she could answer something, Gabrielle rushed on, her eyes darting around the empty campsite.

"Why did you break camp?"

Xena's hands fell away from Gabrielle's back. She met the bards surprised eyes and took a deep breath.

"We have to get up, Gabrielle."

"What? But it's still dark? It's in the middle of the night!"

Gabrielle stared down into Xena's eyes not understanding what she had heard.

"The sun is already going up, Gabrielle. See..." Xena nodded to some trees through which they could see the sun coming up in the far distance. She used the moment the bard's eyes followed her nod to push her off her body and get up. She went over to where her armour was lying beside the fire.


Gabrielle's voice was shaking and Xena knew how shocked the young bard must have been at the roughness of the warrior. But it was for the greater good. There was no other way.

Xena bent down and got her armour when she felt small hands slip around her waist.

"What is up with you, Xena?"

Gabrielle nuzzled Xena's neck, squeezing her waist gently. The warrior stepped out of Gabrielle's arms and began fastening the buckles at her armour.

"Nothing, Gabrielle. Get those blankets and then we'll go."

"But why? I don't understand this, Xena!"

Gabrielle stepped around her and looked up at the warrior. She reached automatically out to help Xena put on her armour.

Xena refused to look into the sea green eyes and again stepped out of Gabrielle's reach.

"I can do that."

She snapped at the stunned woman and went to Argo to check the saddlebags once again, turning her back to the confused bard.

Gabrielle let her hands drop to her side and stared at Xena's back. After some seconds in which only the songs of the awakening birds could be heard, Gabrielle spoke again, her voice showing the fear she felt.

"Did I do something wrong, Xena?"

"No, everything is perfect."

Xena answered coldly and went to Argo's other side without looking to the bard.

"Then why..."

"I will take you back to Perdicus and then I will leave." Xena interrupted her.

"What?!" Gabrielle thought she would faint at the warrior's emotionless words.

"I said, I will take you back to Perdicus and then I will leave."

Xena didn't need to look up to know that tears sprang to Gabrielle's eyes and how shocked the young woman was.

"But what about tonight...I don't want to go back to Perdicus. I want to stay with you. I love you, Xena. Don't you love me anymore?"

Xena went by Gabrielle and got the two blankets. One she threw to Gabrielle, the other she put into the saddlebags.

"Xena? Talk to me...please!"

Gabrielle stepped to Xena and laid one hand on the warrior's shoulder. She could feel the warrior tense under her touch and let her hand drop away paralysed with fear.

The older woman turned around and stared with cold eyes at her, the familiar mask in place.

"What do you want to talk about, Gabrielle? Okay, we slept with each other. It was great fun! Now I will take you back to your husband. And that's it. What is so hard to understand about this?!"

Gabrielle's mouth dropped open and tears ran down her face in big streams.

"It was great fun? That's all? It wasn't more for you? Just great fun? Don't you love me?"

Gabrielle thought she had to die. Xena had only used her. Had taken her for her "great fun" and now was bored of her and wanted to get rid of her. Had she really been so mistaken? Had Xena really only played with her? All those caresses, the kisses and those loving words, all only part of a big game?

Gabrielle felt her knees weaken and stared onto the ground. Her world tumbled down and her heart broke into thousands of pieces, all shattered at the warrior's feet as was Xena's heart at Gabrielle's.

The warrior could see the deep pain the bard was in and knowing that it was her fault she felt everything she lived for dying away. She wanted to take Gabrielle in her arms and kiss her pain away and tell her that everything would be all right. That she had made a great mistake in trying to push her away. That she was her life, her reason for everything. But the dark taunting voice in her head reminded her of her decision and that it was for the better to take Gabrielle back to Perdicus. That this was what the young woman really wanted. So, she took a deep breath and answered, in a hard voice:

"No, I don't love you, Gabrielle. I never really have and never will do so. Sorry, but it's like that."

She shrugged her shoulders and turned around to Argo. She couldn't stand the sight of her bard, in tears, near the breaking point. Xena closed her eyes against the small whimpers she heard from behind her.

"No! It's not true! It can't be! Tell me that it's only a bad dream! Please, Xena. Don't leave me. You said you loved me!"

"People say a lot of things in their lives, Gabrielle." Xena again turned around and stared at Gabrielle. Inside her heart was aching but from the outside she wore a stone mask hiding her own pain.

The bard looked up and searched the blue eyes with her own. She suddenly felt dirty all over and her eyes looked emptily at the warrior.

"So, are you ready? I want you to be back with Perdicus before he wakes up. We don't want him to find his wife gone. It would be hard to explain to him that his wife slept with another one in their wedding night, Gabrielle. We don't want to have to do that, right?"

Xena felt horrible and she had to fight to get those words out. To her surprise Gabrielle nodded, pulled her blanket around her nude body and went to Argo's side. She didn't look up and waited for the warrior to get going.

The older woman climbed on Argo, reached for Gabrielle and pulled her up behind her. In a fast trot, as fast as it was possible to do through the forest, she rode back in the direction of Gabrielle's new home.

The whole ride through neither woman said a word and the silence laid as heavily on them as the words Xena had spoken.

Perdicus' and Gabrielle's new house was far outside from town and a long way away from other houses, only fields and on the backside the forest surrounding it. Xena stopped Argo at the front door and held her arm out to help Gabrielle get down. But the bard slid down from the big horse without the offered help and took two steps to the door, before turning around and looking up to Xena, who still sat atop Argo.

"So, that's it, Xena?"

"Yes! What, do you expect more of me?!"

Both women locked eyes at those words and stared at each other until Xena broke the contact. She turned Argo and without looking back she said:

"Goodbye Gabrielle!"

Then she rode off, tears forming in her own eyes. She kicked Argo in her sides making her whinny in protest and then gallop off at high speed. Away from Gabrielle, away from her dreams...

Gabrielle looked after Xena until her form was gone from the horizon and then some more. After a while she turned on her heels and went into the house. She slipped into the bedroom quietly. Perdicus was still deep asleep. She stood in front of the bed, staring down at her husband. New tears formed in her eyes. Fighting them back she turned to the window staring out of it. She saw the sun climbing higher into the sky dipping the land into beautiful colours. But for her everything was black.



She didn't bother to turn around when she heard her husband's sleepy voice address her.

"What are you doing there? Why are you staring out of the window?"

"It's nothing, Perdicus. I was just watching the sunrise."

Slowly she turned around forcing a sweet smile onto her lips. Perdicus bought it. He smiled back at her and held out a hand.

"Come back to bed."

Gabrielle took his hand and lay down beside him, but when his other hand slipped under the blanket she still held around her body and onto her naked skin, she gave him a toothy grin and sat up.

"I'm hungry. Aren't you hungry? Let's get something for breakfast, yes?!"

Gabrielle already was out of bed again and on her way to the kitchen before Perdicus could answer something.

"Sure...whatever..." he said and got up himself sighing at the moment his wife had chosen to eat breakfast...

Chapter Two

Xena opened the door of the barn she had stabled Argo in and stepped out stopping for a moment to look around. She sighed heavily.

Four moons! Four moons since she had left Gabrielle. For four moons she had travelled from village to village helping people against warlords, thieves and other problems that only the "famous Warrior Princess" could solve. Always the same kind of villages, always the same kind of people. She did her job and then rode on to the next village.

She had even gotten hold of Callisto the day after their night of lovemaking. She had found out from one of Callisto's men where she was and had been able to stop her from her plan to kill Gabrielle that day. She had brought the blonde woman to the local government and then had travelled on to go help the next village.

It was a thing she did without thinking about it, without feeling.

The reason for all, the reason that had given her actions in fights a meaning, that had given her life a meaning, was gone. Xena felt like her soul had been ripped out and she was only going on because it would have been too easy, too cowardly to give her life up.

The warrior closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath of the fresh summer air.

It was the same as always: here she was, in a small village who had called for her help against a warlord. The so called "warlord" and his army had been a troop of maybe 15 men whom she only had looked at once, then kicked some butts lightly before they had turned on their heels and had fled.

That had been yesterday. The villagers had offered her a small party in the local inn and had asked her to stay for another night. Maybe not only because they wanted to party her but although because they feared that the "warlord" would come back.

Xena had agreed. There was no place she needed to go, no town, no sight she needed to show her bard. So she had stayed, had drunk and eaten in a dark corner of the local inn being interrupted only from time to time by villagers who thanked her for her help. She had watched them party and then had excused herself early to go to bed. She wanted to have an early start. But the villagers had again asked her to check the area for the warlord. So she had done it without further comment.

Returning from her area check, all she wanted to do now was get her things from her room at the inn and get out on the road again. There at least she was alone and could let her mind wander.

These were the times she cherished the most. Being out on the road, being able to think of her times with Gabrielle.

It wasn't like Gabrielle would ever leave her mind. It seemed the young woman dominated her thoughts every second she was awake, and every second of her sleep. Since she had left Gabrielle at Perdicus' house there wasn't a moment she hadn't thought about the bard, about their only night of lovemaking, about her decision. All the time, for four moons, she had asked herself if she had made the right decision and all the time she had felt her heart breaking anew when she remembered the pain in the young woman's eyes at her sharp words.

Maybe she hadn't made the right decision. Maybe.

One night, about half a moon after she had seen Gabrielle the last time that fateful morning, she had even considered about visiting her friend and asking her for forgiveness and if she still loved her. To beg her to come with her. But that dark voice in her mind had made clear she remembered all her thoughts that had let to her decision. And so she had rode on to the next village and not to Gabrielle.

Xena sighed again, closed the barn door behind her and went to the inn. It was the middle of the day and so the inn was full of villagers who took their mid meal. Xena slowly pushed the door open and went in. The owner, standing behind the bar, nodded to her when he saw her entering and placed a mug in front of him for the warrior.

Xena first checked the room for people she didn't know and who could mean trouble. Her eyes travelled over the tables, the fireside in the far corner, the bar and the stairs beside the bar that led up to the rooms. All the people seemed only to be the town's villagers, meaning no danger and so she went to the bar and reached for the mug.

"Thereus." She nodded slowly.

The old man who owned the inn nodded back and returned to his work serving the people. Xena sat down on a stool and looked into her mug, again thinking about the young woman with the red-golden hair.

Suddenly she felt a cold shudder running over her body, from her neck down to her feet. She placed the mug back onto the bar with suddenly shaking hands, straightened up and slowly turned her head to the stairs beside the bar. The next thing she heard was a soft gasp and then green eyes met blue ones.

Xena felt as if her heart had stopped beating only to resume in double speed. There she stood. Just like this. Four moons and then she just stood there on the stairs...

Gabrielle gasped in shock when blue eyes met her own. She thought she would tumble over if she didn't find some support somewhere. Trying to hold the sob that threatened to escape her mouth, she placed a shaking hand against her mouth and reached with her other one for the banister.

"Xena..." she gasped, never loosening the eye contact to the warrior.

"Gabrielle..." Xena felt her knees shaking. Her heart screamed at her to run to the bard and gather her up into her arms but her feet didn't move. So she just stood there and stared, eyes wide open, at Gabrielle.

Gabrielle felt tears spring to her eyes but before she could make a move into Xena's direction one strong hand slipped around her left arm.

"Gabrielle? Is everything okay with you?"

Perdicus searched his wife's' eyes in confusion. One moment ago she had been walking down the stairs totally normal, the next she seemed near breaking down. He placed himself in front of her and laid one hand onto her cheek.


She didn't seem to notice him. Her eyes were transfixed to a place behind him. The confusion showing in his face he turned his head when his eyes fell on Xena who stood staring at Gabrielle with the same shocked expression as his wife. He turned totally, visibly relaxing. A big smile appearing on his face he went to the warrior.

"Xena! That is a surprise! What are you doing here of all places?"

Xena fought to turn her eyes away from Gabrielle and looked at Perdicus, forcing herself to smile back at him.

"Perdicus! Indeed a surprise!"

Her eyes returning to Gabrielle for a short instance she clasped hands with the young man. Perdicus followed her gaze and waved to Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle! Look what I have found! It's Xena!"

The young bard somehow got the power over her body back and moved down the last few steps to stand in front of Xena. Slowly she let her eyes travel up over the so familiar black leather with the golden armour until her eyes met Xena's.

"Xena." Gabrielle said forcing her voice to sound neutral.

"Gabrielle." Xena, speaking with the same neutral voice, nodded to Gabrielle.

"We have to celebrate this!" Perdicus placed an arm around Gabrielle's shoulder and ordered drinks for the three of them. Gabrielle looked to the floor when she felt her husband's arm slip around her. Xena instead kept her eyes fixed on Gabrielle.

"Come on, Xena. Sit down with us." Perdicus nodded excitedly to a free table.

At least the warrior turned her eyes to Perdicus again.

"No. I have to move on." she said and then looked back to Gabrielle, meeting the green eyes. For a second she thought she had seen regret when she refused to stay.

"Oh, come on, Xena. You two haven't seen each other for such a long time. I'm sure you have very much to talk about, right?"

Perdicus squeezed Gabrielle tighter and smiled at her. But the young woman only looked to the floor avoiding eye contact with the warrior.

Xena still hesitated. Her mind told her to turn and leave as quickly as possible. But her heart, still hammering like a wild fire, only wanted her to stay by "her" bard.

"I'm sure Gabrielle would love to have you stay for a drink or two. Right, Gabrielle?"

Perdicus again smiled at his wife and looked at her questioningly.

"Sure." was all Gabrielle said without looking up.

"You see, Xena. One drink won't hold you up too long."

Perdicus grinned at her, sure about his victory.

And he had won. And so they sat down at a table in the back. But the one drink turned into two and then three. Most of the time only Perdicus was speaking, telling Xena about their farm, that they were on their way back home from Athens where they had sold some wheat and that they only wanted to pass through this town. Xena and Gabrielle only took part in the talking with short answers to his questions, stealing glances at each other when they were sure that the other one wasn't watching. At least Perdicus asked Xena to stay with them for another night in the village. As before, the warrior tried to refuse, telling the couple she had to go to another city because of a "problem" there. Of course Perdicus didn't buy it and kept on until Xena held up a hand.

"I will think about it. I have to go check on Argo, now."

"Yes, Xena. Think about it. We will stay here nevertheless. There are only a few hours of light left. One night more won't be harmful."

Perdicus knew he was getting on the warrior's nerves but he just had to keep her here. He knew that Xena and Gabrielle hadn't seen each other for such a long time and would like to spend some more time with each other before the warrior really had to move on.

Xena stood up, her eyes fixed on Gabrielle who sat staring at the table. The young woman slowly looked up and locked her eyes with the warriors'.

Xena couldn't stop herself and a soft smile played around her lips when she found Gabrielle's eyes looking back at her. The whole time that they had been sitting at the table they had only once or twice looked directly at each other.

Xena's smile faded when she got lost in those green eyes, suddenly piercing her right through her body. She wanted nothing more than to take Gabrielle in her arms and make love to her over and over again. Kissing those sweet lips, caressing the soft skin and hearing the young woman moaning in ecstasy beneath her.

As deep as this connection had been, Gabrielle broke it again and looked away. Xena nodded to Perdicus and left to go to Argo.

Gabrielle and Perdicus sat together in silence for some minutes, the only motions they made reaching for their drinks and putting them back on the table. Gabrielle fumbled with her hands in her lap, trying to hide her feelings from her husband. Since she came down the stairs from their room and she had seen the warrior sitting at the bar, her heart was hammering in her body so hard that she was sure the whole of Greece could hear it.

Everytime that she felt those ice blue eyes on her her body sent shock waves all over her skin. There was nothing more that she wanted than rushing into Xena's arms and claim those luscious lips with her own, than feeling the strong body again moving against hers, than feeling the callused hands caressing her whole body. And yet, she had to stay apart from Xena, hiding her feelings. She didn't dare looking up into Xena's eyes, afraid that she would loose her hold on her body, afraid she would indeed reach for the warrior right in the middle of the full tavern. Afraid she would break down when she again saw the coldness of their last time together instead of the familiar warmth she had loved so much in Xena's blue eyes.

When Gabrielle felt Perdicus eyes on her she turned her head to him and gave him a light smile. He smiled back and if she didn't know it better she would think she saw sadness in his eyes. But the moment she saw it, it was gone again, replaced with a comforting warmth she had seen so often the last few months.

"Why don't you go to her? I'm sure you have a lot to speak about...without me interrupting you two."

Perdicus took a sip of his mug and then looked at his wife. Gabrielle searched his eyes questioningly.

"I dunno...she seemed...so...distant...."

"Well, you weren't the most open person, too."

Gabrielle's expression turned from shock into fear. Did Perdicus know? Had her behaviour towards the warrior showed him the deep feelings she had for her?

Perdicus again smiled. Trying to reassure his wife.

"Come on...go. I will be waiting for you in here."

He reached for Gabrielle's hands, still in her lap and squeezed them. Gabrielle tried to read her husbands eyes, but she saw no hint of his thoughts. Slowly she rose, leaned over and placed a soft kiss on his cheek, whispering:

"Thank you."

She locked her eyes one more time with his and then left the inn. She didn't hear Perdicus' sad voice following her:

"Goodbye, Gabrielle."

Because he knew.

Gabrielle walked the short distance from the inn to the stable with shaking legs. What would Xena think of her, when she followed her into the stables? Would the warrior speak with her? Or had the night they had spend together really destroyed everything they once had, their friendship? Did Xena want a friendship with her? After all she had told her that night she had no further interest in her.

Gabrielle stood in front of the stable door closing her eyes, trying to find the courage to go in. Taking two deep breaths she opened the door, went in and closed it behind her again.

It wasn't a big stable and only three horses were placed in the five boxes on the left side of the building. In the second box stood Argo who softly whinnied when she saw the familiar figure of the bard. Gabrielle smiled and looked around for the warrior. Argo was there, the saddlebags stood beside the horse's box, but Xena was nowhere to be seen.

"Xena?" Gabrielle asked with a voice that revealed her nervousness.

"I'm here, Gabrielle."

Xena walked past Argo out of the box and dropped the brush she was holding in her hand into her saddlebags. Then she stood straight and looked at the bard.

Gabrielle had bent her head when she saw the warrior slipping around Argo not daring to look at the beloved face. But the moment she felt the warrior's eyes on her she looked up.

Their eyes locked. They stared at each other, not saying one word, just staring. A heavy silence washed over them, only the horses breaking it with their snorts. Again a connection like some minutes before in the tavern emerged, drawing them together, revealing their feelings. Both thought their hearts were about to explode and their knees about to give away under them.

Gabrielle saw it all in the blue eyes of her warrior: fear, nervousness, regret and love. She gasped.

With that both shot forward like two arrows fired off by a bow. They slammed together in the middle of the barn, their mouth hungrily connecting in a lip-bruising kiss. Gabrielle's hands in Xena's neck, Xena's hands around Gabrielle's waist. Xena moaned deeply when her tongue met Gabrielle's. They fought for dominance in the bard's mouth, pushing and circling around each other. Xena pulled Gabrielle closer to her, her hands wandering over the young woman's back, their mouth still locked tightly. Xena broke the kiss first, her lips wandering down over Gabrielle's chin to the front of her throat.

"Xena...oh...." Gabrielle moaned and dug her hands into the black mane. She bent her head to be able to reach the warrior's throat too while Xena sucked deeply at the point where she could feel the fast beating pulse.

"Oh, yes...Xena...take me..."

Gabrielle nibbled at Xena's ear lobe moaning and gasping helplessly. Suddenly she was lifted off her feet. By pure instinct and not wanting to loose contact with the warrior, she closed her legs around Xena's waist and claimed her mouth again hungrily, pushing her tongue into the older woman's mouth, exploring roughly.

Xena pulled Gabrielle to her and then carried her over to a crate that was placed against the far wall. She slowly lowered Gabrielle onto it not breaking their kiss. The bard still had her legs closed tightly around Xena's waist.

Again it was the warrior who broke the kiss. She searched Gabrielle's eyes for a second. Her heart hammered as if it was about to explode and her eyes told how much she desired Gabrielle. And in Gabrielle's eyes she could read the same hunger, passion and desire.

Not being able to hold herself back anymore Xena reached for Gabrielle's blouse and ripped it open. Gabrielle gasped and when Xena bent over and took a hardened nipple in her mouth she threw her head back nearly screaming out. Holding herself up with her hands behind her she arched her back against Xena's mouth wanting to get more of herself into the loving mouth.

Xena's right hand kneaded Gabrielle's left breast while she let her tongue circle around the nipple in her mouth. She moaned deeply and with her free hand on Gabrielle's lower back pulled her closer, searching for more contact. She switched breasts when she heard Gabrielle moaning her name.

The younger woman reached with one hand into Xena's hair and held her to her chest afraid Xena would stop. She could feel thousands of lightening bolts shooting from her breast down to her centre where they settled in a wetness and heat she had felt only once before: When they had made love for the first time. She wanted Xena. She needed Xena. She needed Xena to take her. Right here, right now.

"Yes, Xena...please...arg..."

Gabrielle tried to hold back a scream of first pain and then pure pleasure when Xena bit down on her nipple.

"Take me...Xena...oh please...take me!" she begged in a husky voice between gasps and moans.

Xena let the breast in her mouth go and pulling Gabrielle's head to her with one hand she claimed her mouth again. She let her tongue explore the hot cave while her hands wandered down to Gabrielle's thighs.

The short skirt Gabrielle had worn when she had been with Xena would have made it easy for her to touch the soft skin on the young woman's thigh. But the long skirt she was now wearing refused the touch. Xena growled into Gabrielle's mouth and again without thinking tore the material into two pieces, ripping the skirt open just to the middle of Gabrielle's thighs. A second later her hands caressed the bard's bare legs that were still placed around her waist. Pushing the rest of the skirt out of her way and further up she let her hand travel to Gabrielle's hot centre. She began a gentle caress through the wet breeches and moaned deeply.

Gabrielle broke the kiss the moment Xena's hand found her centre and gulped when she felt one finger stroking her up and down. She closed her arms around Xena's neck and hit her face in the black mane of her lover. Unconsciously she pushed her hips against the exploring finger.

"More...I need...more...you...Xena..." she gasped, the hunger for the woman loving her driving her crazy.

Xena groaned and pushed the wet breeches to the side so she could at last touch Gabrielle without any barrier. She bit down on Gabrielle's shoulder when she felt Gabrielle's heat. Small shudders ran through both their bodies. Xena found Gabrielle's nub and circled it with two fingers making the bard buck against her.

"Oh...by the gods...don't stop Xena.oh...yes..."

"Gabrielle...." Xena's mouth fixed itself to the bard's throat sucking deeply.

There was no time for games. They needed each other without any delay.

This time Xena didn't hesitate like during their first night. Her desire to have the young woman was too great. She pushed first one finger and then another into Gabrielle quickly taking up a rhythm as old as time.

Gabrielle held on to Xena's neck and threw her head back again when the warrior entered her. She felt like exploding and having Xena filling her made her body react with shock waves over and over again. Her constant moaning vibrated in Xena's ears.

"Yesss...this feels so good...Xena...uhmmm...oh gods...pleeeease...harder...ung..."

Xena's thrusts now came faster and harder when Gabrielle whispered in her ear, her voice shaking like her whole body.

"You...want you...too...Xena...please...with me..."

Xena groaned, opened Gabrielle's legs from around her waist and then moved her body away from Gabrielle to find a new position, her fingers working on and on in the bard.

"Don't leave...me...Xena", Gabrielle begged when her body lost contact with the warrior.

"Am...not..." Xena gasped and then straddled the bard's right thigh. She closed her eyes and bit in her lower lip when her aching centre made contact with Gabrielle's strong thigh.

Gabrielle groaned at the wetness on her leg and the heat from Xena's centre against her skin. She reached for the warrior's head and claimed her mouth for a deep hungry kiss.

Xena began moving her hips against Gabrielle's leg in the same rhythm as her fingers were working in and out of her bard. Sweat ran over their bodies and their heated moans and gasps broke the silence of the barn.

They felt each other bodies stiffen at the same moment and locked eyes when they climaxed together.

"Xenaaaaaa..oh gooooods......."


Both moaned the others name deeply and only broke their locked gazes when all the power left their bodies to fall into each other's arms. Xena moved her fingers out of Gabrielle, feeling the aftershocks vibrating Gabrielle's centre. Then she placed herself between Gabrielle's legs again and hugged her close, breathing as hard as the bard. Xena buried her face into Gabrielle's hair and took a deep, slow breath.

It took them some minutes to regain their power. Gabrielle was the first to break the silence between them. Holding on to Xena she whispered her voice breaking from the tears that began to stream over her face.

"I love you, Xena. Gods...I love you so. Please don't leave me. Don't ever leave me again."

Gabrielle sobbed against Xena's shoulder.


Xena moved back a little to be able to look in her bard's face but Gabrielle refused to look up.

"Gabrielle. Look at me. Please."

She placed her hands on either side of Gabrielle's face and lifted it until she could look into the green eyes. They locked eyes for a heartbeat before Xena leant over and kissed the younger woman gently.

"Don't cry. Please, don't cry, sweetheart. I love you Gabrielle. I will never leave you again. Never. Gods... I'm so sorry...so sorry."

Tears shone in Xena's eyes when she remembered what she had said to Gabrielle after their first night. When she remembered the four moons without her beloved bard.

Gabrielle laughed between her own tears and stroked Xena's off her cheeks.

"I love you, Xena. There are no words to describe the feelings I have for you."

Xena smiled tenderly at her before pulling her into another hug. They held onto each other as if their lives depended on it.

"I missed you so very much, Gabrielle." Xena whispered and kissed Gabrielle on the side of her throat.

"I missed you too, Xena. I thought I would never see you again." Gabrielle leant back from Xena's hug and wiped away her tears, smiling slightly at the warrior.

"I'm so sorry, Gabrielle. I don't know..."

The bard put one finger to Xena's lips to stop her.

"Shh...Let's not talk about this now, okay."

Again Gabrielle smiled at Xena, locking her eyes with the warrior's. Slowly the younger woman reached for Xena and pulled her head to her for a gentle kiss. At first it wasn't more than a brushing of lips but when Xena didn't pull back Gabrielle begged for entrance with the tip of her tongue against the warrior's lips. They moaned when their tongues met and moved slowly against each other, enjoying the closeness they again shared and the feelings they told the other by that love filled connection. After some long heartbeats they broke the kiss.

"I guess we should go back to Perdicus, hmm?" Xena said and tried to close Gabrielle's ripped blouse. The bard nodded and slid off the box, fixing her cloth as good as possible.

"Well...I better think about something to tell him coz of my clothes!" Gabrielle looked at her blouse in deep thought a blush creeping up her face.

"We will think of something."

Gabrielle's head shot up.


"Of course!" Xena, who had picked up her saddlebags, now returned to stand in front of Gabrielle. She put the bags down and took Gabrielle's hands. She half said down half leaned against the box and looked up at Gabrielle earnestly.

"I..uhm...." she laughed nervously and looked around the barn not daring to look into Gabrielle's eyes.

"What is it, Xena?"

Gabrielle opened Xena's legs gently so she could move closer to her lover, her hands wandering over Xena's neck.

Again Xena looked up and searched Gabrielle's eyes.

"I love you, Gabrielle....

"I love you, too, Xena!" Gabrielle smiled and reached to hug the warrior, but Xena held a hand up to stop her.

"No, wait...I.....I want you to stay with me. I want you to come with me and leave Perdicus, Gabrielle. I can't live without you anymore. After all that has happened between us after the last four moons. I know now how much I need you."

Xena bent her head in embarrassment about her selfish thoughts. Again her heart was beating in double speed when she thought about the possibility of Gabrielle refusing to come with her. What would she do then?

She felt gentle fingers lifting her face and two green eyes looking at her filled with tears.

"Yes." Gabrielle whispered, too overwhelmed with joy and love, to speak loud.

"You mean.....?"

"Yes, Xena. YES! How could you ever doubt that I want to be with you? I love you. You're my family, my home, my everything."

Now real tears streamed over Gabrielle's face.

"Oh, honey! I'm so sorry for all I did. I was such a fool. I love you."

Xena pulled Gabrielle into her arms and held her close. After some minutes and after Gabrielle's tears had stopped, the young bard leaned back and searched the warriors eyes.

"But...what will we do about Perdicus. I'm married to him and I can't...."

This time it was Xena who stopped Gabrielle's words with a finger on her lips.

"Let's first go back to the inn and get you changed into something...more intact, and then...we'll see."

Xena laughed and wiped Gabrielle's tears away.

"If he doesn't co-operate I still have my trusty chakram to free you from him."

Gabrielle looked in shock at Xena.

"You wouldn't??!!"

Xena had to laugh again but then suddenly became serious.

"No, no I wouldn't. But I would never leave you with him. I meant what I said earlier. I need you and I won't let him stand in my...our... way again."

Without waiting for a response, Xena got up from the crate, leant down to Gabrielle to kiss her and then picked up her saddlebags again. She reached for the bard's hand and pulled her gently after her out of the barn and into the direction of the inn.

They both hesitated a moment before Xena squeezed Gabrielle's hand and pushed the door of the inn open, still holding the smaller hand in hers. This time the inn was full of the villagers who had come home from their daily work to have dinner together.

When they saw the warrior entering most of them nodded to her, their eyes still full of thankfulness for her defending them against the "warlord". But the second their eyes fell on the bard, with the ripped clothes and a dark blue mark on the side of her throat a fearful silence fell over the room. No one dared to say a word but instead looked in shock from Gabrielle to Xena. Was it possible that the warrior who had rescued them two days ago would do something like this to a young woman?

Xena let her gaze travel over the guests, searching Perdicus. One man got up, his eyes showing pure anger. His wife looked at Gabrielle and smiled at her gently, trying to comfort the bard.

"Xena?" Gabrielle reached out with her free hand to hold Xena's arm and looked at the man.

"I know, Gabrielle." Xena locked eyes with the farmer and gave him her best glare, staring at him, until he sat down again turning his eyes away in fear.

"Where's Perdicus?" Xena whispered to Gabrielle, letting her eyes travel through the inn again. Still nobody dared to move.

"I don't know. He said he would wait in here for me."

"Go up into your room and wait there for me."

Xena let Gabrielle's hand go and walked to Thereus who stood behind the bar, staring at her in shock.

"Thereus, did you see the man that came with the woman who came back with me?"

He only stared at her, his voice washed away by his fear of the Destroyer of nations. And he was sure he was standing in front of her and not the warrior who had saved them.

Xena sighed and grabbed his shoulders to shake him.

"I...I...he...has...left...." the old man stammered and moved away from the warrior when she let his shoulders go.

Xena looked at him. Only a second he could see surprise clouding her eyes, before she turned away.

"Which was their room?"

She gave him a warning glare when he didn't answer.

"It's the third on the right side. "

"Thanks." Xena nodded and went up to Gabrielle's room.

When Xena entered the small room Perdicus and Gabrielle had used she found her lover sitting on the bed, holding a piece of parchment in her hands. The young bard looked up quickly to the warrior.

"He's gone." was all she said before she stared at the paper again.

Xena looked around the room and then went to sit beside Gabrielle.

"He knows about us. He always did. Always."

"What?" Xena stared at Gabrielle.

"All the time, Xena, he knew about us. He knew how much I loved you and still do." Gabrielle laughed nervously and looked back at the paper in her hands.

"How...I mean..."

Gabrielle gave Xena the note she held in her hands and got up to move to the room's window.

Xena looked after her before reading the letter.

My beloved Gabrielle,

I think the day has arrived that we need to say goodbye. I always knew that this would happen. But somehow I hoped that you would forget Xena and learn to love me. So I asked you to marry me and when you said yes I was the happiest man in the world.

After our wedding night you changed. But I thought with time you would come back to me. That you would accept me as your husband and take me into your heart.

But I was wrong. Your heart always belonged to Xena and I know now that this will never change. That's why I'm leaving and set you free from our marriage with this letter. It wouldn't do either of us any good if I forced you to stay with me.

Remember that I will always love you!

All my love,


The warrior looked up to the young woman leaning against the window frame.

"What does he mean with "you changed" and "come back to me"?"

Gabrielle turned around and leaned back against the frame, looking down and closing her arms around herself.

"After...after our first time, after you and me had made love I...I stayed away from him. I refused him."

"You what?" Xena couldn't believe her ears. So many nights she had woken up from horrible dreams of Gabrielle lying in Perdicus arms, giving her soul and body to him. And now Gabrielle told her that she never had been touched again by him?

Gabrielle looked up and searched the warrior's eyes, tears forming in her own.

"Xena, I couldn't let him touch me. I kept remembering how your hands felt on my body and...and how much I loved you. I never stopped loving you and whenever he tried to come close to me I felt so horrible that I pushed him away."

"And he...he accepted that?"

"What could he do? I know that he wasn't very gentle with me on our first night, but he always has been a noble man and he would never have forced himself on me. I never would have thought he knew why I pushed him away. It must have hurt him so much. I must have hurt him so much."

Gabrielle again turned around placing a hand over her mouth to keep back a sob.

"Oh Gabrielle."

Xena stood and moved to her young lover taking her into her arms and holding her close.

"It's not your fault, love. If I wouldn't have...If I had stopped you when you wanted to marry him it all would have been different."

Xena placed a gentle kiss on top of the bard's head and rested her chin there.

"I'm so sorry, Xena. I never wanted to hurt him. He was always so good to me. Even after I moved away from him. He was always so warm and understanding with me never forcing me into anything."

Gabrielle's tears splashed onto the warrior's chest as the young woman turned in her arms. She held on tightly to her warrior.

"But I never could forget you. I missed you so badly and still hoped that one day you would come back and take me with you again."

"Oh, Gabrielle."

Xena pushed Gabrielle back gently and lifted her face with a finger under her chin.

"I'm sorry I hurt you so. I swear I will never leave you again and if I were able to I would turn back time and do everything differently."

"Xena..." Gabrielle whispered when the warrior slowly bent down and brushed her lips against the bard's.

"Yes, Gabrielle. I'm here and always will be." Xena again kissed her lightly and then hugged her close for some heartbeats. When Gabrielle's tears had stopped she took her hand and guided her to sit down on the bed. Xena kneeled down in front of her and took her hands in her own.

"I love you, Gabrielle."

"I love you too, Xena. I always have and I always will." Gabrielle gently stroked Xena's hair behind her ear and smiled a lovers smile at her.

"Gabrielle, do you...do you want to go see Perdicus and talk to him?"

"What do you mean?!" Gabrielle stiffened and looked fearful into the blue eyes of the warrior. Was Xena again about to leave her? Hadn't she just told her she would always be here?

"Don't say you want to leave me again!" New tears of fear and anger reformed in Gabrielle's eyes.

"Oh no! No!!!" Xena reached up and pulled Gabrielle into her arms. She placed a kiss on the bard's ear and whispered.

"I'm not leaving you again, Gabrielle. As long as you want me by your side I will be there."

This time it was Gabrielle who pulled back and placing her hands on either side of the warrior's face she claimed her lips in a slow, sweet kiss. She moaned when she felt Xena's tongue slip into her mouth. She broke the kiss to let her lips wander to Xena's ear.

"Then don't ever leave me again, Xena. Please. "

Xena moved back a little and began trailing kisses over Gabrielle's throat down to her collarbone. She let her tongue flick against the soft skin and freed Gabrielle from her torn blouse throwing it to the floor. The bard's hands dug into the warrior's black mane and she whimpered softly when Xena took a nipple into her mouth and began sucking on it slowly.

Opening Gabrielle's legs further Xena kneeled down between them kissing her way down over the flat stomach.

Looking up for a short moment Xena placed her hands around Gabrielle's waist and pulled her to the edge of the bed. Gabrielle's finger traced the lines of Xena's face slowly.

Making Gabrielle raise her hips a little for some second she slipped her skirt and breeches off her body.


Gabrielle moaned and closed her eyes when Xena turned her head and placed featherlight kisses on the inside of her thighs moving closer to her centre but refusing the contact yet.

"Make love to me, Xena. Please. Now."


Xena grinned and caressed Gabrielle's thigh with long strokes of her callused hands locking her eyes with Gabrielle's.

"Please, Xena. Please!" Gabrielle begged her voice shaking with need and her hips pushing forward, searching for contact with the warrior.

"Let me make slow love to you, Gabrielle. I want to take you slowly this time. I want to feel you."

Xena answered and leaned over so she could kiss Gabrielle's stomach, up to her breasts and around her nipples.

Gabrielle could only groan as an answer and moved her hands to Xena's armour.

"Take it off."

Xena leaned back again and quickly freed herself from her armour, leather skirt, thin cotton shirt and breeches until she was totally nude. Then she kneeled down between Gabrielle's legs again. She began kissing along Gabrielle's inner thigh coming dangerously close to her centre.

Xena took a deep breath smelling Gabrielle's excitement and remembering how good the young woman tasted on her lips.

She groaned helplessly. Her hands wandered further up cupping the bard's breasts. She let her palms lightly slide over the already erect nipples teasing Gabrielle until the bard placed her hands over Xena's pressing them harder against her chest.

Both women groaned and locked eyes. Gabrielle could feel the wetness between her legs grow with every heartbeat. When Xena smelled Gabrielle's excitement again she forgot all about her plans of slow lovemaking and not being able to resist anymore she flicked her tongue out one time, licking Gabrielle's heat.

Gabrielle screamed out and rose her hips begging for more but Xena pulled back. The warrior could feel her own wetness flow down her legs. She reached out with one finger and slid it over Gabrielle's nub. Then she moved it to Gabrielle's lips watching the bard suck the wet finger in her mouth with a racing heart.

"Oh gods, Gabrielle!" she moaned. She clasped Gabrielle's waist and leaned over at least burring her face into Gabrielle's wet heat, moaning and groaning.

Gabrielle held on to Xena's shoulder and answered every lick of the warrior's tongue with a thrust of her hips.

"Oh...Xena...this feels so good...oh...by the gods..." she moaned over and over again.

Xena began circling Gabrielle's clit with the tip off her tongue, totally lost in the taste and smell of her lover. When she felt Gabrielle's thrusts coming faster and her constant moaning becoming louder she pushed her tongue into Gabrielle taking her over the edge.

"Oh, by the gods...yes, Xena...ung...Xenaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa....."

Gabrielle's body stiffened and she felt the whole world collapsing around hers taking her up into unknown heights. When she came down again she fell back onto the bed, breathing hard, her hands stroking over Xena's head.

The warrior kissed each thigh one time and then stood up on shaking legs and moved the exhausted bard gently backwards on the bed. She slowly lowered herself beside her and Gabrielle rolled around to snuggle against her lover.

"I love you Xena." She whispered and kissed her tasting herself on her warrior's lips.

"Love you too, Gabrielle." The older woman placed a kiss on top of the bard's head and smiled contentedly.

After some moments, Xena was sure the bard had fallen asleep already.

Suddenly Gabrielle slid onto Xena's body and sat up, straddling her hips. She gave her a mischievous grin, letting her hands wander up her body, coming to rest just under her breasts.

"What am I going to do with you, Xena?!"

"What?" Xena raised one brow and looked up at her lover unsure of what she meant. She let her hands slide over Gabrielle's thighs, stroking her gently up and down.

"You always turn me into a heap of quivering flesh without me having a chance to do something against it."

"Oh, that." Xena smirked and her hands wandered over Gabrielle's waist to her back. She slowly sat up and kissed the bard between her breasts.

"See, your starting it again." Gabrielle closed her eyes and arched into Xena, her own hands roaming over the strong back of the warrior.

"Are you complaining, my bard?" Xena asked before taking a hard nipple into her mouth and sucking on it.

"Oh...its not...that...but...ung...don't you think...oh...that it's my turn ...oh...now...." Gabrielle's hands dug into Xena's hair and she pushed Xena's head back to claim her mouth in a passionate kiss, exploring the warrior's mouth forcefully. Taken back by the sudden fire in Gabrielle Xena let herself be guided back onto the bed.

Gabrielle broke the kiss and hungrily searched Xena's breasts sucking and biting until she heard Xena whimper. Then she kissed her way down Xena's body biting and sucking here and there on her way.

Xena felt as if a thunderstorm was rushing over and through her body. Thousands of lightening bolts shot through her settling down in her centre. Wherever Gabrielle's lips touched her she felt like she was being burned. When she felt those sweet lips on her centre she had to close her eyes and bit her lower lip to not cry out. It took only some short flicks of the bard's tongue against her nub before she felt herself nearing her climax. To top it she suddenly felt two fingers slit into her moving in a fast rhythm. Her whole body exploded in a rush and she arched her back digging her fingers into the bed, screaming Gabrielle's name.

She collapsed totally spent when Gabrielle crawled up her body a happy grin placed on her face. She snuggled up beside Xena, holding her tightly.

"That was...well..." Xena had no words to describe Gabrielle's sudden love attack.

"So, you liked it?" Gabrielle asked.

"Liked it?? That's an understatement!"

"Good, very good. Coz I'm planning to do it again for a very long time."

Xena laughed and stroked over her bard's arm that was placed over her body. She turned her head and kissed Gabrielle's head that was nestled on her shoulder.

"You can do it forever, Gabrielle."

"Forever?" Gabrielle searched her warrior's eyes.

"Forever!" Xena smiled gently and guided the bard's head back onto her shoulder.

"Forever it is then." Gabrielle concluded and sighed happily.

There were some heartbeats of silence between them, both content about being in each other's arms again when Gabrielle's voice broke their thoughts.



"What about...uhm...Perdicus?"

Gabrielle asked shyly afraid of the warrior's reaction.

"What about him?" Xena asked quietly, keeping her eyes closed but her heart taking up a beat at the subject of the conversation.

Gabrielle heard Xena's reaction under her ear and placed a gentle kiss above the warrior's heart thinking about Perdicus and what to do about their situation.

Xena sighed. Why was it that there was always something between them? That they never could be happy without having to deal with a problem?

"Did you think about...about going after him?"


Gabrielle sat up and turned on the bed so she could look at the warrior.

"How many more times do I need to tell you, that I don't want to leave you again. My place is at your side."

"That's not what I meant."

Xena too sat up, leaning her back against the wall and pulling Gabrielle between her legs so she was leaning against her chest. She put her arms around her bard holding her tightly.

"I meant, we could go after him and you could...talk to him. Perhaps that would help."

The young bard rested her head back against Xena's shoulder taking one of Xena's hands and tracing its lines with the tip of her finger.

"Yes, maybe we could do that."

Gabrielle said, her voice revealing that there was more to come. When she didn't go on, Xena squeezed her tighter to encourage her to go on.


Gabrielle sighed in frustration.

"But.... It's just...I don't know what to tell him."

The bard looked to the table beside the bed where Perdicus' goodbye letter laid.

"He already knows how I feel about you, us. And I don't think I'm ready to meet him again or that it would be of any use. I'm not even sure he wants me to follow him. After what I did."

Gabrielle closed her eyes against her tears.

"Gabrielle, it's not your fault, my love. You read his letter. He already knew how you felt even before he asked you to marry him. It was a risk he knew was there. I'm just happy...I'm just happy that...you...he..."

Xena fell silent. She never had been someone to express her feelings with words. And so they failed her now again.

"I love you, too, Xena."

Gabrielle answered understanding the warrior's last unfinished sentence as what it really meant: a declaration of her love, though she still feared she didn't deserve to be happy. The bard half turned around in Xena's arms so she could rest her cheek against the warrior's chest.

"And I'm happy, too. There never would be another place I would be happier, Xena. Can't we just let it be like that? Take the gods' present and enjoy it as it is."

"I dunno if the gods have their hands in this, Gabrielle." Xena said, her voice sounding bitter and far away.

"Xena...." the bard looked up, intended to make Xena understand that she could accept their love without having to pay for it or anything, but when she found the blue eyes winking at her in amusement, she gave her lover a not so gently slap to her forearm.

"Hey! That hurt!"

Xena twisted Gabrielle around and pushed her back on the bed, holding her hands down at her sides.

"What was that for, my little bard?"

Gabrielle grinned up at her nervously.

"Uhuuu...Xena...you know I only meant to...to..."

"To what?!"


The piercing blue eyes seemed to dive into Gabrielle's greens and from their deeper and into her heart, melting it with love.

"Uh...would you just forget about it and kiss me, Xena?"

"There's nothing I would prefer more to do."

Xena slowly bent lower and claimed Gabrielle's mouth for a sweet tortured kiss that left them both breathless.

When the warrior began nibbling on Gabrielle's chin and the bard herself began an exploration of the warrior's body with her gentle hands, they both forgot everything around them and at least accepted the fact, that even Perdicus had learned not to deny anymore: two halves of one soul couldn't be kept apart. They would always find each other again and only then be happy. They would complete each other and nothing could ever separate them...


The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive