The following story contains adult themes depicting explicit sexual relations between two consenting adults of the same sex. If you are under the age of 18 or reading this material is illegal where you live, please do not read any further. The writer as well as the person who maintains the webpage on which this work appears accept no legal responsibility for noncompliance with this warning.

The characters of Xena and Gabrielle are copyrighted to MCA/Universal. They are used here without intent to profit from or infringe upon this copyrighted material. The rest of the story is copyrighted to me (posted March 29, 1997--L.N. James). Absolutely no aspect of this story (e.g. ideas, images, dialog, etc) contained within this story may be used elsewhere without the expressed prior written consent of the author. This story may not be altered in any way and this copyright information must appear with this work at all times.

Thank you to those who have taken the time to read my stories or have written to me (care of Tim). I appreciate all your words of encouragement. Thanks also to Tim himself for hosting such a great site.

Neither Xena nor Gabrielle's own natural abilities were harmed or ever in question during the writing of this story but my own stamina was severely tested.

Both Hands

by L.N. James

"When the feeling burns down to one solitary color the velocity of longing melting into each other it's a song our fingers play all at once and together you can bet we never learned it but we've known it forever..." -- S.C.


The crowd swirled around them, loud and boisterous. The uncharacteristic heat of the fall night was oppressive as summer tried to hold on just a bit longer. The annual Dionysian Festival in Athens was always a huge affair, bringing people of all over Greece to the city for one week of bacchanalian abandon. Men and women laughed and cavorted through the streets, oblivious to any rules of proper conduct. Wine flowed freely and everyone was in the mood for living it up. Most wore typical festival attire--very little of anything. Gauzy, sheer dresses covered the women leaving little to the imagination. Men were mostly shirtless and wore tight breeches cut off just above the thigh that outlined in detail all that was beneath them. For once, Xena and Gabrielle felt over-dressed.

The closeness of the people around them was beginning to wear on the tall dark woman's nerves. The warrior had only reluctantly agreed to bring Gabrielle to this year's Dionysian celebration because the bard had insisted that for her storytelling, she had to actually _experience_ the event to be credible, not just hear stories about it. She considered herself a method bard and so felt she needed to immerse herself fully in all of her adventures. Xena had a distinct disdain for this particular festival. Years back in her warlord days, she had allowed her army and herself the luxury of attending one of these parties, mainly for morale boosting. She woke up two days after the final night of the festival with three people she didn't know and wearing nothing but a wreath of flowers in her hair. And she never knew what possessed her get pierced with a small silver circle in a Her headache lasted for two days following and her other ache lasted for two weeks! She chuckled in spite of herself at the memory. She hoped the bard wasn't expecting to experience _everything_ this particular festival had to offer.

"Gods, Xena! Did you see that??"

The bard's hazel-green eyes were wide and her mouth was open. The warrior smiled and chuckled quietly at the poor young woman's surprise. Nothing surprised Xena at this festival, but she knew Gabrielle wasn't quite as used to seeing such..displays. She put her arm protectively around the blond-haired woman and led her away from the ornate water fountain in the square. The two women and one man splashing about in the water were quite oblivious to passersby it seemed.

"Gabrielle, you wanted to come to Athens. I warned you that things could be a bit..mature."

"Are you implying I'm not mature enough to be here??"

Gabrielle stopped and put her hands on her hips as she narrowed her eyes up at her lover. The bard's irritation was quite obvious on her expressive facial features and the warrior tried hard not to smile at how damn cute Gabrielle could be when she was mad. She was in hot water enough as it was, Xena didn't want to further complicate things. Her voice was gentle as she took hold of the bard's hands and put them on her own leathered waist.

"Of course not, Gabrielle. I just want you to know what you're in for here. This festival has a rich tradition of being very..wild. I just don't want you to feel uncomfortable."

Gabrielle's expression softened as she put her arms further around the tall woman's waist as she looked up into those blue eyes of the woman she loved. If this warrior didn't look so good in leather at the moment, Gabrielle would have an easier time of staying mad at her.

"I don't feel uncomfortable as long as you're with me. Shocked, yes, but uncomfortable, no."

Gabrielle's complete trust in Xena was never in question. With her, Gabrielle knew she would do anything, see anything, or be anything the warrior wanted. She leaned up and kissed the warrior passionately on the lips right in the middle of the crowded bustling street. Her hand slipped up and under the back of the warrior's leather skirt and the young bard playfully squeezed a very nice bit of tight, muscled flesh. It was Xena's turn to be shocked. As they parted lips, Xena smiled and raised an eyebrow at the grinning blond.

"Consider that part of my research, dear." Gabrielle spoke in a low voice that couldn't hide much of what she was feeling. Xena knew that Gabrielle was a very thorough researcher and this was just the introduction. It was going to be a long, delicious night to be sure.

"Mm hmm"

Gabrielle smiled sweetly and took Xena's hand as they continued their way down the crowded street, occasionally having to step over revelers who had decided to take a little nap before the spirit of Dionysus commanded them to celebrate anew. They themselves had been offered mugs of wine openly out in the streets so of course they felt the needed to partake in the celebration. To be in Athens during the Dionysian Festival and not drink wine would be an affront to the god himself! Gabrielle knew that fully engaging in the customs of the festival was certainly necessary if she was to appropriately describe in her stories the whole festive ambiance. For Xena, it was much simpler--it was a free draught of port.

They passed booths of merchants hoping to cash in on the crowds by selling festival souvenirs. Small statues of Dionysus were available as well as tunics handpainted with phrases such as "My parents went to Athens during Festival and all I got was this tunic" and "Wine, women, and song--Dionysian Festival '43". Music filled the air as various impromptu gatherings in the street brought out crowds to listen to the exotic sounds. Sweet smells of open air cooking wafted throughout the city. As much as Gabrielle loved listening to music and being in the midst of all of the activity, she had to follow her one true calling-- her belly!

"Gods, Xena, I am starved! How about we go back to the inn and get something to eat?"

The tall warrior smiled down at her bard. Gabrielle was nothing if not predictable. This bard and her appetite never ceased to amaze the warrior. Luckily, Xena knew that the one sure- fire way to Gabrielle's heart was through her stomach. And if she played her cards right, she might be able to tap into the bard's appetite for other things as well. The heady effects of the wine and the festival were starting to get to them both. Xena narrowed her eyes at her bard lover and shook her head with a sly grin. A wicked little thought came over the warrior as she led them back to their inn. She would make sure the young bard had a festival experience she would remember very clearly for years to come...a very 'mature' festival experience at that.

Back at the inn, Xena led them up to their room. Luckily, they had planned moons in advance and secured this room before arriving. Festival season was always booked so getting a room was impossible unless you had the dinars to flash. The inn itself was a smaller family-run establishment down one of the quiet side streets in Athens. There were only 10 other guests in the whole place because this was in fact, the family's own house so it wasn't big. The woman running it, Trista, and her partner Diana were old friends of Xena's so they welcomed the warrior princess every time she was in Athens. The beds were fresh, the food good, and the accommodations were wonderful. All in all, it was a perfect place to spend a few festival days.

"Hey, I thought we were going to get something to eat?"

Gabrielle was slightly frowning as she followed behind Xena to their room. The thought of her belly being denied was not pleasant. Xena smiled as she opened the door to their room and led the bard inside.

"We are, don't worry. I just thought it would be nice if we had a candlelight dinner in our room. I'm going down to bring some stuff up. Is there anything in particular you want?"

Gabrielle stepped over to her warrior and smiled as she put her arms around her in a full hug. She nuzzled her face between the warrior's breasts with a teasing smile.

"You are such a hopeless romantic, Xena"

"Hey, don't say that too loud. That kind of information could fall into the wrong hands!"

The warrior smiled down at Gabrielle and kissed her on the top of her soft honey-red hair as she wrapped her arms around the bard to return the embrace. The golden hair of her bard smelled like equal parts Gabrielle and equal parts Athenian night air.

"Mmm...I know a certain bard who would like to get her hands all over that kind of information"

"Gabrielle! You are certainly in a mood tonight aren't you?"

The bard stepped away and smiled demurely, "Maybe".

Gods, she loved her warrior. She felt so at ease with her..the kind of ease that comes from complete trust and devotion. Gabrielle loved that she was able to be openly affectionate with her reticent warrior. It had taken much time and much patience on the bard's part to help Xena fully embrace their feelings towards each other. They both knew that they were meant for each other from the dawn of time until the end of eternity. Even though her warrior ways had effectively stifled her genuinely playful nature in the past, Xena was starting to discover the joy of actually having fun and letting herself really live. Gabrielle had brought this out of the warrior princess and she would rather spend her eternity in Tartarus than go back to life without her true love. Luckily, neither one of them was going anywhere tonight without the other.

"Well then _maybe_ you'd like to tell me what you want me to bring up from the kitchen, my dear."

Gabrielle smiled as she cocked her head up and put her hand to her chin in pensive thought. Xena just chuckled at the sight of her bard and put her hands on her hips.

"Hmm..what to eat, what to eat. Maybe I should get a parchment out and write down a list?"

Gabrielle looked at the warrior questioningly. Xena's eyebrowed glare told her she had better not go there.

"No, ok, well, certainly, nutbread for sure. And how about some of that stew I saw Diana cooking earlier. That looked positively yummy. Oh, and some olives. I know you like those...and some figs...and...well, I guess grab whatever you think looks good, you know I'll eat anything."

Xena chuckled at the bard and mumbled on her way out, "You can say that again.."

"I heard that, Xena!"

The bard gave a playful shove and pushed the warrior out the door. She had just shut the door and walked further into the room when she remembered something. As she went back to the door and opened it, she found the warrior standing there waiting, arms crossed with a slight smile on her face. Gabrielle smiled at up at her warrior. That woman knew her too damn well.

"Oh, hi..heh..I just thought of something else."

"Yes?" Eyebrow raised.

"How about some of that scrumptious cake...for dessert?"

With a nod, Xena smiled warmly at her love. Predictable.

"Anything else?"

With a smile of satisfaction, Gabrielle shook her head.

"Nope, I think that about covers it."

Xena started her way down the stairs as Gabrielle once again closed the door behind her. A few seconds later, the warrior princess stopped at the bottom of the stairs and waited. She smiled to herself as she heard that familiar voice call down to her.

"And bring some more wine, please!"

After each had finished their main course of stew and nutbread, they sat back on the mass of pillows thrown about the floor with the tray of food on a low table near the door to the balcony. The door was open and the soft sounds of the festival floated up to them. The night had finally started to cool off and a nice breeze came into the room. Gabrielle had seen to it that every candle in the room was lit before the warrior had returned so there was a soft warm glow lighting the room.

Gabrielle finished pouring them both another glass of wine as she reached over to the table on her knees to put the wine bottle back and grab a handful of olives. Xena had a hard time keeping her eyes off the way the bard's wonderful stomach muscles rippled under any movement. She personally thanked whatever goddess it was that had inspired Gabrielle to wear her revealing green top and skirt that hung low to her hips and showed off her legs. The effect of this outfit was that it prominently displayed all the hard work the bard had put into her physical conditioning and staffwork and by the gods, it paid off mightily for the warrior's eyes. On a related but at the moment tangential note, the warrior princess made a mental note to ask Gabrielle to wear her Amazon Queen outfit sometime again in the very near future.

When Gabrielle turned back around, she noticed Xena's eyes were glued to her body. She smiled as turned back towards the warrior facing her. It had also taken lots of time and patience before Xena felt she did not have to hide her admiring glances at the young bard. Gabrielle had seen to it that she made sure the warrior knew she was always welcome to look whenever, wherever and for however long she wanted. For this small act of acceptance by her bard, Xena was greatly appreciative.

"Like what you see?"

The warrior was broken out of her revery and looked into the seductively smiling bard's eyes. The wine started to go to work as Xena's face became warmer by the minute. Or at least, she thought it was the wine.

"You know I do, Gabrielle."

The young bard moved to sit on the floor in front of the warrior. Xena was propped up back on her elbows and her legs were stretched out in front of her. Her boots and armor had long ago found a resting place on the room's floor. Xena never looked as magnificent as when she was fully relaxed and completely comfortable. Well, of course, she also looked incredible when she was in the heat of battle. And she looked mighty beautiful when she was sleeping too. In fact, to Gabrielle, there wasn't a time when Xena wasn't a feast for her eyes. Her thighs alone could feed the bard for weeks. And don't even get her started on her breasts.

Xena took a sip of her wine and saw her bard's sea-green eyes start to burn. She knew Gabrielle's appetite wasn't confined to a good meal. Luckily, this was just what she had counted on.

Gabrielle put her wine glass down and started to crawl up Xena's body, still holding a handful of olives. She smiled as she straddled the warrior's hips and looked down at her relaxed warrior. She certainly looked tasty.

"How about an olive, Xena?"

Rhetorical questions seemed to be par for the course between the two as Gabrielle placed a soft dark olive against her lover's lips. She smiled when she felt Xena's lips close around her fingers to take the beloved olive in her mouth.

"Thank you, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle leaned down and softly licked her warrior's lips to taste where the slightly salty olive had just been.

"You're welcome. Another.."

The young bard placed another olive on the lips of her lover as she leaned down to kiss the corner of Xena's mouth as she slipped the sweet food in. Xena closed her eyes as she tasted both Gabrielle and the olive on her lips. Her free hand went to her bard's thigh as she lightly ran her hands along its smooth down-covered surface.

When Gabrielle pulled back from the slight kiss, she smiled down at Xena as she put the rest of the olives down and straightened back up. Xena also sat up partially and the two were face to face--the bard sitting in and straddling the warrior's lap. Both of their eyes met in the familiar passion dance they had been destined to share. Xena's hand went to Gabrielle's neck as she softly moved her fingers back through the thick honey-red hair behind her bard's ear and neck.

The warrior brought her glass to Gabrielle's lips and gently eased it so that the bard could take a drink of the sweet wine. She purposely let a little spill down the storyteller's chin and down her neck as she drew the glass back. Gabrielle's eyes narrowed in suspicion as she watched Xena's eyes sparkle.

"Oops..I'd better take care of that."

Gabrielle closed her eyes as she felt the warrior's lips and tongue taste away the spilled wine. The heat of Xena's mouth on her already warm skin made the bard's face tingle and a shudder moved through her body. A small moan escaped as she felt Xena's wine-coated tongue move its way gently between her lips. The taste of olive and wine and Xena filled Gabrielle's mouth as she felt the warrior's strong arm move around her waist and pull her close. Too soon the kiss had ended.

" take such good care of me, Xena."

Xena pulled back and smiled at her young bard whose voice was low and husky. Gabrielle opened her eyes to look back at the blue in front of her. Her warrior lover sometimes ignited the bard's natural passion beyond all reason. She could never get her fill of Xena but by the gods, tonight she would certainly try.

Gabrielle was just about to pull Xena back in for another kiss when the warrior stopped her hands. Xena put her wine glass down and smiled at the bard. She gently pushed Gabrielle back into some the pillows on the floor as she reached over and pulled the small heavy wooden table that held the rest of their food closer to them.

"It's time for dessert, Gabrielle."

Xena's low voice reached Gabrielle's ears loud and clear. When the warrior wanted, her voice could command armies and inspire fear in everyone who dared cross her. But her voice could also command the bard by its seductive sound and promised passion. She completely trusted this voice to possess her and she willingly gave in....always.

"First though...there's a little something I've been wanting to do, Gabrielle. That is, if you'll let me..."

Gabrielle looked into deep blue eyes that were both confident and questioning at the same time. She didn't want her warrior to struggle with any doubts about her trust. With Xena, Gabrielle felt safe and secure enough to give herself freely to her warrior lover.

"Anything, Xena, anything."

Xena's heart always skipped a beat when Gabrielle said these words. Their desires took them places they both only dreamed of going. They loved testing these new places because it brought them closer and because it brought with it some of their most passionate lovemaking.


Xena reached over to their saddlebags near their pillows and dug through the contents. She finally found their first aid supplies and started pulling out various wraps and bandages.

" you wanna play healer, huh?"

The bard's playful eyes and tone once again made the warrior stop and smile at her wonderful storyteller. That's what she loved about Gabrielle; the young woman could be passionate and comforting and playful when they made love. What better combination in a lover and what better combination in a soulmate? Xena felt immensely fortunate at this very moment and leaned down to kiss Gabrielle quickly but deeply.

"Hey, if I had known my joking would get me kisses like that, I would have told you the one about the three-eyed cyclops with one Hades of an identity crisis sooner..."

Gabrielle's chuckled faded quickly as she watched Xena lift her hands and start wrapping the soft bandages around her wrists. The palms of her hands faced each other as she watched Xena's powerful and skillful fingers deftly move the white fabric around her wrists and between her hands. Her eyes caught the warrior's own in a hint of recognition from a long ago dream as Xena securely but comfortably tightened the ties of the wrap. Suddenly Gabrielle's entire body realized at that same moment exactly what was going on and it responded immediately. As if she wasn't already liquid before...


Gabrielle's voice was low and needful. She closed her eyes as she felt Xena take her tied hands and bring them to her lips. They were tied so that her wrists were firmly connected but her hands could separate slightly. The warrior softly placed small wet kisses on the tips of each of Gabrielle's fingers as she held her captive hands in her own. The bard's sea-green eyes opened and watched as Xena parted Gabrielle's hands and placed wet kisses in each palm. The bard's breathing rapidly increased as Xena took one and then two of Gabrielle's fingers into her mouth and sucked lightly on them.


Gabrielle's whispered word came out as she watched Xena move the bard's arms above her head. Gabrielle was already laying all the way back on the pillows as it was. Xena's eyes burned into Gabrielle's as she reached up and tied the ends of the wraps around the leg of the table that held their food. Now with her hands tied securely above her head, she was feeling particularly vulnerable to her warrior.

This was exactly the way each of them wanted it to be.

Xena moved so that she now straddled the bard's hips. It was a picture of complete surrender and control. The young bard fully clothed with hands tied above her head while the warrior commanded her eyes and her body with her own. The way Gabrielle looked to Xena just now almost took the warrior's breath away. Her sleek body was stretched out, muscles taut against the strain of the binds and her increasing heat. The bard's cheeks were flushed and red, her eyes almost desperate, pleading, her mouth slightly open as her breathing increased, those lips waiting to be kissed. The way her long blond hair fell around her shoulders and the dark blue pillow under her head was perfect. Her neck looked simply too delicious to the warrior. Xena shut her eyes briefly and took a deep breath before she continued. She simply had to channel her warrior control to the best of her ability in order to keep herself from being consumed by her bard.

Looking up at her warrior tall and majestic who now controlled her in their passion game, Gabrielle felt every part of her body give in to such exquisite feelings. Her mind was absolutely loving every minute of it. She loved playing the captured heart and she loved letting Xena plot and plan her capture. She loved giving in and being controlled. And she loved feeling vulnerable with her warrior. The rush of it all, the thought of how much power Xena truly held in her hands should she want to wield it, and the idea that she was completely at the mercy of her warrior physically and emotionally was incredibly exhilarating. Gabrielle's body wasn't far behind her mind as every nerve cell and every sensory system held itself open for all that Xena could give her. Every response in her body was a direct result of something the warrior did or said. Her heart pounded its response to the leatherclad woman with dark hair and steel blue eyes.

Looking down at her bard soft and bound who now surrendered to her in their passion game, Xena felt the heady feelings of power and control that so drove her in her warrior life. She had many times before thought that the battle and the bard aroused her in very similar ways. Xena had spent many many years honing her aggressive and powerfully in charge demeanor. It was hard not to feel the pleasure of taking command of her bard like she did on the battlefield. Her actions were deliberate, each calculated to have a certain effect and each directed towards one goal--control. Xena loved that Gabrielle on occasion allowed this side of both of them to come out when they made love. She knew deep down that the independent, strong-willed bard was the one who controlled the warrior's heart. So many times in the past, Gabrielle initiated their contact, initiated their love, and initiated their passion. It had taken the young bard's patience and understanding and determination to finally break through to the warrior and _demand_ that Xena allow her inside the warrior's heart that she knew to be hers. Yes, Gabrielle's will was the only one Xena would bend to now or forever.

But tonight...well tonight was a different story all together. The warrior smiled down at Gabrielle as her blue eyes greedily took in every sight the bard offered (whether that offer was really Gabrielle's to give or not). One more tiny little thing and then the warrior would be ready to deliver on her promise of a very tasty dessert.

Gabrielle watched as Xena slowly withdrew one final wide piece of wrappings from their pack. The warrior's eyes asked a silent question and Gabrielle nodded and swallowed. She closed her sea-green eyes as she felt the fabric cover them gently. Xena secured the wrapping snugly but comfortably behind the bard's head and softly ran a long finger across the fabric from one side to the other. The soft white fabric had come from one of Xena's old shifts and so it still faintly held the smell of her warrior princess. Gabrielle could open her eyes just slightly and see only a faint outline of her lover above her. She would now have to rely on every other sense she owned to feel Xena make love to her. That shouldn't be too hard now, should it?

Xena again trailed a gentle finger over the wrap covering Gabrielle's eyes. Then she let the tips of her fingers brush against the bard's soft cheeks. The heat from Gabrielle's skin was a sharp contrast to the cool white fabric. The bard felt Xena's gentle fingers and hands move over her face and through her hair softly. Not knowing where the warrior was going to touch next, her skin tingled at every new contact. Her ears heard Xena's breathing through the quiet background sounds of the festival's waning hours. She loved the feel of the larger woman's weight resting gently on her hips and she smelled the faint scent of leather mixed with wine mixed with Xena. The soft blond hair on her arm stood up and the muscles in her shoulder reacted as she felt the warrior's gentle fingers follow a line from her temple down the side of her face along her ear and jawline to her neck and across her shoulder. She let out a small whimper as she felt Xena's other hand follow the same pattern on the other side.

For a brief second, Gabrielle felt no contact as she waited for her warrior's next move. Soon she felt strong fingers at the ties of her shirt, loosening them and pulling the green fabric apart. The cool breeze from outside their open balcony door softly blew across the bard's breasts as she felt the warrior lift her head and move the shirt up her arms. If her hands hadn't been tied, the shirt would have been history, but Xena smiled as she simply let the bard's bound arms remain in the sleeves of the shirt. The important thing right now was that her bard was naked from the waist up.

Gabrielle heard the soft clink of metal as Xena reached for her wine glass again and took a long, slow drink. There was a bit of wine remaining in the bottom of the glass as the young bard felt the cool drops of liquid grapes sprinkle across her breasts and stomach. The breeze blowing in across the drops sent shivers down the bard as she smiled a slow sensuous smile in the warrior's direction.

"Mmm..that feels good.."

With the last of the wine spilled across the young bard's body, Xena smiled down at Gabrielle. It would take all of her restraint to get through this she could see that. What was becoming one of Xena's favorite and most needed sayings these days, she thought, "Gods, give me strength..."

The bard felt the warrior warm tongue softly lick a drop of wine from the hollow of her throat. When she felt Xena move to the liquid spilled between her breasts, she gasped as Xena's mouth sucked away the wine with soft little sounds that reached Gabrielle's sensitive ears. The warrior trailed a lazy finger down to the bard's navel and dipped out a bit of the wine and moved her moistened fingertip up across Gabrielle's tense, muscled stomach. The bard let out a low moan as she felt Xena's wet fingertip glide gently over the nipple of one of her breasts. Her hands instinctively struggled to move to the warrior's head as she felt Xena's lips close around her erect nipple, sucking softly. The taste of the wine and the bard mingled and the warrior shook softly in response, praying to the goddess of patience for some extra pity on the poor warrior's passion. Watching her bard struggle against her restraints wasn't helping the warrior maintain control either.

"You taste so good, Gabrielle.."

The sound of these words vibrated against the bard's chest as she felt Xena's lips move to speak. She could feel the warrior shaking slightly as her hands made their way up and down the sides of the bard's trim muscled body. She knew Xena was having a tough time of restraining and containing herself and she smiled at this thought, "That's what she gets for starting this...".

Xena's own breathing was increasing as she suckled the bard's breasts, listening to Gabrielle's low soft moans of pleasure. Both hands moved to either breast and gently massaged them, feeling the remaining stickiness of the drying wine and the hardness of her lover's arousal. When she felt the bard's knees bend and her hips arch up slightly, she closed her eyes and pulled back.

This damn leather she was wearing was keeping her body from touching the bard's and as much as she wanted to leave it on for Gabrielle's sake (the young bard loved it when Xena made love to her while still in her leather...Gabrielle always did have something for uniforms), she felt the overwhelming desire to close the physical distance between them. She stood up quickly and released herself from the confines of the leather as soon as she could.

Gabrielle simply smiled to herself as she heard the leather drop from her warrior's body to the floor next to them. Through the wrappings covering her eyes, she could barely make out the dark shape standing above her but in her mind's eyes, she knew every detail of that magnificent body. Taut muscles rippled across every inch of warrior's body though the soft feminine form remained. Dark hair fell softly down her back and shoulders. Her blue eyes burned bright and high cheekbones gave her positively exotic regal look. Her sunbronzed skin glowed. The darker circles surrounding her nipples contrasted against the softer, lighter skin as the curves of her breasts held firm. Her trim waist moved out in a perfect line to her shapely and very womanly hips. The dark patch of relatively straight hair barely hid the outline of her soft nether lips. If Gabrielle had been able to see, she would have seen just a hint of wetness on those lips but even with her eyes covered, the bard knew that wetness was there nonetheless.

Before kneeling back down beside her bard, Xena reached over to the table behind them and picked up one of the small cakes she had been ordered to bring back from the kitchen earlier. She smiled to herself, remembering the bard's appetite. She wondered if the young woman was full yet or not.

Gabrielle felt the warrior's fingers gently touch her lips as Xena placed a bite-size piece of cake into her mouth. She smiled up at the warrior as she tasted the wonderful sweet treat she had been offered. Her eyes would have looked gratefully at Xena if they hadn't been covered. Another bite of cake came to her lips and she accepted this also.

"So is this my dessert, Xena?"

The warrior chuckled softly and smiled. "No, love, you're dessert is coming later."

Gabrielle grinned as the warrior finished off the last of the small cake herself and was about to lick the sticky sweetness from her fingers until she thought better of it.

"Open up, Gabrielle."

The bard complied with Xena's soft request as she felt one of the warrior's fingers gently slide across her lips and into her mouth. She tasted the sweetness of the cake still on Xena's fingers and happily sucked this from the warrior's fingers. When she was finished, Xena withdrew her fingers. A small smile played across the bard's lips, her warrior knew that the way to her heart was through her belly that was for sure.

Gabrielle again felt Xena's fingers at her lips urging her to take them into her mouth. She again eagerly complied but stopped sucking abruptly when it hit her. Her body suddenly was on fire and her face flushed warm instantly. She let out a slow groan as she realized she was tasting Xena's own wetness on her fingers. She would have recognized that honey-wild taste in her sleep. She eagerly sucked at Xena's fingers trying to get every last taste of her lover's passion. She whimpered slightly as the warrior smiled and withdrew her fingers from Gabrielle's mouth. She knew she had ignited her bard with one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs in all of nature.

Xena leaned down and covered the bard's mouth with her own and kissed the young woman deeply. Gabrielle let out a small moan as she let the warrior take her mouth. Xena's lips and tongue moved decisively against the bard's. She could taste herself mingled with sweet cake in the bard's mouth and this drove the warrior to explore the depths of Gabrielle's more fervently. This kiss told them both who controlled who...the warrior and the bard both shared this power over the other.

With less than restrained hands, Xena quickly undid the leather belt that held Gabrielle's skirt in place as she broke from their kiss to pull the brown skirt away from the bard's body. Candlelight danced across Gabrielle's legs as Xena's eyes closed briefly at the sight of the bard's glistening arousal covering the soft down of her inner thighs. The sweet, clean honey- musk scent of Gabrielle hit the warrior and almost drove all thought from her head. When Gabrielle moved her hips slightly and bent one of her knees, Xena nearly fell into the bard then and there. The warrior took a deep breath to steady herself and called upon every meditational mantra she ever used in battle to control her own rising passion.

Realizing that she didn't want her bard to be too sore, Xena reached up and untied the wrappings from around the table leg while still leaving her wrists restrained. Gabrielle's shoulders were thankful for the movement as she felt the warrior's gentle fingers massage away whatever slight pain she would have felt had she not been otherwise preoccupied with all other sensations in her body.

As she brought Gabrielle's arms back down over her head, she made an executive decision. The bard's green top _had_ to go. She reached in her saddle pack near the table and pulled out her breast dagger. Gabrielle felt the warrior lean down to her ear as hot breath moved against her neck as Xena's voice was earnest.

"I'm sorry Gabrielle but I'm going to cut away your shirt. I promise to sew it up tomorrow but tonight, it's my enemy."

Gabrielle smiled at the warrior. She could care less about that shirt right now and whatever made Xena happy, made her happy. With mock seriousness, Gabrielle whispered back to Xena as she nodded.

"You do what you must, warrior princess."

With Gabrielle's arms freed from the confines of her shirt, Xena sat back next to the bard and admired her lover's body. The soft white fabric covering her eyes and wrapped around her wrists were all that remained on her bard's otherwise naked body. Her hands were securely tied in front of her and resting on her stomach, her breasts framed perfectly between arms with well-developed bard biceps, her honey hair spilled against the pillow, and one knee was bent. Xena had never seen such an opulent feast before her eyes in all of Greece.

The warrior groaned as she lowered herself down against the bard. Every inch of Gabrielle's skin was warm to the touch and when it came into contact with Xena, the warrior could barely see straight let alone breath. She felt Gabrielle arms rise up and reach over and around her head and rest against her back as her tied hands moved to pull the warrior close. Xena felt incredibly secure in the arms of her bard at this moment and her eyes clouded as she lowered her face into the bard's neck. Gods, she loved this woman.

Gabrielle arched her head back as she felt Xena's teeth nip her neck near her ear. The slight pain of it sending a shudder through the hypersensitive storyteller. As Xena moved to taste and let light breaths blow gently across her ear, Gabrielle moved her other leg up a bit. The bard let out a rather loud groan as she felt Xena's wetness come in contact with her thigh. Nothing turned her on more than knowing she had this effect on the warrior and she knew that Xena's arousal equaled all the wine in Athens tonight in its volume.

Gabrielle turned her head roughly and sought out Xena's lips with her own as her tied hands pulled the warrior into her harder. Xena's own thigh moved slightly against Gabrielle's wetness as both women were drawn together with magnetic force. When the kiss ended, Xena's breathing rivaled Gabrielle's as both moved in an ancient rhythm they had known forever.

Xena reached up and pulled the soft fabric from Gabrielle's eyes over her head. She had to see her lover's eyes, she needed hazel-green burning into her own. When Gabrielle opened her eyes the look of love and desire on the warrior's face moved her deeper than all the forces of nature combined. Seeing her bard's eyes return everything Xena was feeling, the warrior softly kissed each eyelid and ran her tongue over the bard's eyebrows lightly. Her breath was once again taken away as Gabrielle moved her hips against the warrior's thigh as more liquid flowed against Xena's firm thigh.

The warrior leaned her head to her bard's ear and growled in a ragged voice that betrayed her own loss of power.

"Gabrielle, I want to hear to me..."

The bard would never deny Xena, never. Her own voice barely controlled as well came out as a passionate whisper.

"Anything, Xena, anything..."

The warrior slipped down and kissed the hollow of the bard's throat tasting the mixture of sweet wine and the salt of Gabrielle. She stopped and looked back at the bard who now watched her every move with half-closed green eyes.

"Tell me Gabrielle..."

"Tell you what, love?"

Gabrielle's voice was soft, not yet realizing the need of her warrior.

The warrior's growled voice demanded that she be commanded by the bard's honey tongue as her eyes were heavy with passion.

"Tell me what you want...tell me what to do.."

With that the warrior nipped at Gabrielle's neck and pulled back, waiting for her bard to respond. Her blue eyes practically pleaded with Gabrielle, she was at the mercy of this bard now, this she knew.

"Tell me..."

Gabrielle narrowed her eyes as she too knew what Xena needed. Her words always connected her to the warrior and she knew that her voice could bring Xena to her knees.

"So you want me to tell you what I want. Is that it, Xena?"

Gabrielle's bound hands came to move into Xena's dark hair. She smiled as she felt the warrior nod her head.

"Yes, please Gabrielle.."

"So if I told you to kiss my breasts, you would do it, right."

Xena's lips quickly moved to where they were ordered as she greedily kissed each of the bard's wonderful breasts. She couldn't get enough of the sweet flesh into her mouth as Gabrielle pulled her head closer. Gabrielle closed her eyes as she moved her head to the side of the pillow. Her languid low honey voice hit the warrior hard.

"Mmmm...yes, that's it, Xena.."

When the warrior roughly sucked in one of Gabrielle's nipples, the bard let out a small cry as she felt Xena's teeth rake over her sensitive flesh.


This word came out with more difficulty as she grabbed the warrior's hair between both hands and pulled her closer. Xena sucked in her nipple more deeply as her thigh moved against the bard's wetness once again.


Each word of the bard was distinct and deliberate and breathy. She was finding that the warrior's mouth and teeth and lips and thigh made it increasingly difficult to speak a complete sentence. As Xena complied and bit Gabrielle's nipple pulling it back away in her teeth, she heard Gabrielle's loud moan. Everything Xena did, she did to hear her bard's sounds of passion because it moved the warrior in a positively elemental way.


Gabrielle's gasped commands were punctuated by her tied hands pushing the warrior's head down her body further. A light sheen of sweat covered them both as Xena slid easily down the bard's body. She loved how roughly Gabrielle grabbed her hair and drove her warrior down. No ties could bind her bard's need.

Xena moved herself so that she was positioned right above the center of Gabrielle's warmth. The bard's hands now softly moved against the warrior's flushed cheeks, feeling the heat that had built from their long, drawn-out passion dance. Her green eyes burned and if this warrior didn't take her soon, she was about to pass out from the weight of her arousal.

Xena quickly grabbed a couple of the pillows to place under her bard. Her hands trembled as she moved them against the wetness on Gabrielle's thighs. Her senses filled with Gabrielle's arousal, the light scent had turned to a deeper musk telling Xena that her bard could not stand much more fluid loss and still hope to function in the morning.

"Please...Xena...I need your lips...your tongue..on me"

These words came with great difficulty from the bard's lips in a trembling voice. She was near the breaking point, near the edge. Gabrielle let out a small whimper of anticipation as she watched Xena lean down between her bended knees and place her shoulders between the bard's legs as she kneeled. Xena gently lifted the back of Gabrielle's thighs and placed them over her shoulder. Gabrielle's legs rested down the warrior's smooth muscled back. The warrior had apparently gained one last bit of self-control needed to concentrate on pleasing her bard lover.

Gabrielle bit her bottom lip as she felt Xena's warm breath move gently across her warm center. She couldn't control her hips which seemed to have a mind of their own and that mind directed her hips up towards the warrior's waiting mouth.

The young bard threw her head back into the pillow and let out a cry as the warrior's tongue finally made contact with her soaked center.

"Gods, yes..."

Xena delighted in the taste of her bard, she was sure she could taste the slightest bit of wine on her tongue. The bard's warm folds opened fully for the warrior's tongue as Xena slipped further into her depths, tasting the bard deep in the back of her mouth. Gabrielle gasped and her breathing came in short pants as one of Xena's hands moved gently across her most sensitive center. The bard's hands shot back to Xena's hair as she held her lover's head steady while she moved her hips to meet the warrior's tongue.

The wrappings around Gabrielle's wrists were keeping her from doing what she wanted so she simply strained against the fabric and broke the gentle knot Xena had tied. She quickly slipped one hand out of the bind and grabbed Xena's hair once again. Her other hand with the white tie still wrapped around her wrist went to the warrior's hand that had been gently sliding over her sensitive flesh. She pushed the warrior's fingers harder against herself as she let out louder moans that coincided with each entry of Xena's tongue in her depths.

"Give me your fingers!"

Gabrielle practically yelled this out with an animal growl as she glared down at Xena, her green eyes filled with a white hot passion. Her thighs were trembling against the sides of Xena's head and the warrior knew she had to give this woman her release.

Xena moved her tongue to meet both of their hands that were rubbing against Gabrielle's sensitive bud. She licked and sucked the bard's fingers as she slid one of her long strong fingers into her bard's warmth. The heat of Gabrielle's inner walls nearly scorched the warrior as she moved her finger in and out of the bard.

Gabrielle's cries became louder and were mixed with mumbled words. Each one matched the warrior's rhythm.


As Xena slipped a second finger inside Gabrielle to continue her movement, she moved Gabrielle's hand away so that she could take the bard's sensitive flesh in her mouth and suck. She felt the bard grab her hair tighter and push down harder as the bard's other hand moved to the side of her face and rested against the warrior's cheek, fingertips touching lightly and absentmindedly as Gabrielle's hips moved in time with Xena's fingers.


Xena knew her lover's needs and she knew that at the moment before Gabrielle released, she needed the warrior's fingers inside of her to be still while she let herself feel the exquisite fullness of Xena's fingers inside of her. The warrior also knew that one more move of her tongue would put the bard over the edge.

Xena sucked the bard's sensitive flesh into her mouth one last time and then pulled back and let the length of her tongue push down on Gabrielle and move gently in a circle. Gabrielle's body tensed, her stomach muscles clenched, her hands suspended against the warrior. Xena felt the bard tighten around her fingers as she moved her tongue in one more circle around her bard's need. Gabrielle momentarily held her breath and looked down at the blue eyes that were focused on her own green. Xena's fingers moved ever so slightly to remind the bard she was inside and Gabrielle threw her head back into the pillow and bucked her hips against the warrior.


Xena felt the bard's muscles contract on her fingers as Gabrielle came against them. Her lips and tongue left the bard's center and moved to replace her fingers with her tongue inside Gabrielle. Her tongue tasted the exotic and wild flavor of her bard's deepest passion as Gabrielle continued to move against her. Xena closed her eyes and inhaled deeply before she took one last taste and pulled away gently.

Gabrielle's sobs of pleasure and gasping breaths filled the room as Xena quickly moved up to hold the bard securely in her arms. Gabrielle could not move a muscle on her body as she let herself be enfolded within her warrior's strong arms. Xena pulled Gabrielle's head against her neck and softly kissed the top of the bard's hair. Gabrielle nuzzled her face against the warrior's warm neck as her breath continued to come out in short pants. She placed small wet kisses on her warrior's neck as regained composure. Her own tears blended with Xena's salty skin as she kissed the place where the warrior's heart beat soundly.


Gabrielle's softly mumbled words spilled against Xena's neck as she pulled the warrior to her tighter. Xena's hands went to the side of Gabrielle's face and moved it so she could see her love's face. Xena smiled softly at the young bard whose cheeks and neck were red and flushed, her green eyes moist. She placed gentle kisses on each of Gabrielle's eyelids and kissed away the salt of her tears on her cheeks. Her fingers gently caressed the bard's face and ran through the honey-red hair of her sweet storyteller.

With the most gentle of kisses, Xena placed her lips against Gabrielle's and showed the young bard everything that was in her heart. She withdrew and looked deep into the sea- green eyes of her one true love and spoke in a soft whisper.

"I love you too, Gabrielle, with all my heart."

Gabrielle smiled at her passionate lover and kissed her lightly on the lips as she lay back in Xena's arm and rested her head against the warrior's breast. Her hand with the wrapping still tied around the wrist moved along Xena's muscled stomach and side.

"Thank you for bringing me to Athens. I'm having a wonderful time."

The warrior smiled and softly kissed the top of the bard's head that lay in the crook of her arm and shoulder.

"You're welcome, love. Anything for you."

Gabrielle raised her eyebrows as she looked up into Xena's face. Those were three of the most dangerous words the warrior could ever say to the young bard.

"Anything, huh?"

Gabrielle rolled over on top of Xena and reached over to rummage through the saddle bag next to the table. Her eyes sparkled as she turned back to her warrior lover and a playful smile eased across her lips. Her hands softly holding one of their newest festival purchases. The warrior's eyebrow raised and her body quickly responded instantly as Gabrielle's intentions were made clear. As Gabrielle took hold of both hands of the warrior, she began to tie the end of Xena's new leather bullwhip tightly around the warrior's wrists. A devilish grin crossed her lips as she narrowed her eyes down at Xena.

"It's my turn to tie _you_ up, warrior princess!"


Colophon: The writing of this story was greatly aided by an occasional glass of warm, sweet Merlot wine, the first few days of spring, and the music of Shawn Colvin...the song "Set the Prairie on Fire" in particular (lyrics in the intro of the story used without permission). Also, a nod to Ani Difranco for inspiring the title of this story.

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