Part 2 of 2
By B L Miller
With the amount of wine that the bard had consumed, it was no wonder that she was awoken in the middle of the night by a screaming bladder. Tired as she was, Gabrielle tried to ignore it but eventually struggled to get up and head for the chamber pot. Her gait was a bit unsteady but she managed to accomplish her task and head back to bed. Still sleeping, Xena moaned a protest to the movements of the bed as the bard returned. "Shh " Gabrielle whispered, pressing her body up against the warriors back. "Go back to sleep. Its all right, Im here." she slipped her left arm around the leather-clad waist and snuggled in closer. Xena gave a contented sigh and slipped back into her dreamworld. Without realizing it, the longer fingers moved and intertwined themselves with the smaller ones, holding the bard close.
Finding herself unable to fall back asleep, Gabrielle laid there, her face buried in the long raven tresses. She listened to the deep rhythmic sound of Xenas breathing, felt the warmth of the body against her, inhaled the scent of the woman that had been much more than a friend for so long. In the darkness of the night, Gabrielle thought about the times she had seen Xena cry Thessaly, an evening at the campfire shortly after the first attack by Callisto, and most recently in Tripolis after the poisoned arrow threatened to separate them forever. There were others of course, but those were the ones that seemed the most significant to the bard. Those rare times when Xena let her vulnerability show, when she let herself become human, when she let others, no when she let Gabrielle see her innermost feelings and fears. Thessaly seemed so very long ago yet she could easily conjure up her memories just by running her fingers over the thin scars that remained on her body. Her memories were shaky, more like brief flashes of images, but still they were there. Her own fear of waking up after not breathing for so long and finding herself held in the safe haven of Xenas arms, the endless nights of pain and the steady presence of the warrior next to her, the tender care rendered to even her most minor wounds by the skilled hands that could heal or kill in an instant. Thessaly was a turning point with them, Gabrielle realized it now. A conversation long ago with Ephiny had given the bard insight into what had happened during the time that she had been fighting for her life on the alter of the temple. At first Gabrielle couldnt believe that Xena had broken down like that in a room full of people, but the normally stoic warrior herself had later confirmed it, albeit with a quick nod of her head and an urgent need to change the subject.
Xena shifted, releasing her grip on the bards hand. Gabrielle took advantage and rolled onto her back to stare up at the ceiling. She thought she knew the depths of the warriors feelings for her but Nysis insinuations now made the bard wonder if there wasnt more than what she had believed for so long. She replayed the events of their lives together in her mind, seeing them in a new light. Innocent, simple times together took on a new meaning. She questioned each event, each touch, each look. By the time sleep finally came back to her, a dozen questions had formed in her mind, each leading to the same answer.
Gabrielle woke up alone, the warrior having long ago departed the bed. With a groan, she sat up and tugged her boots on. A soft knock on the door interrupted her just as she finished tying up her right boot. "Come in." she called out.
Etta walked in, her arms full of clean linens. "I just wanted to drop these off and check on you. I thought you were going to sleep in all day."
"No, just enjoying the chance to be in a soft bed." Gabrielle stood up and stretched before taking the clean sheets and setting them down on the table. "Sometimes the ground can be very unforgiving to my back. Wheres Xena?"
"She said she had some business to take care of and that shed be back later. Would you like some nutbread with dinner tonight? I remember that as being one of your favorites."
The bards eyes lit up at the mention of her favorite treat. "You remembered?"
"Actually " Ettas eyes betrayed her. "I thought it was Lila that loved nutbread."
"Then how did ?" Gabrielle realized the answer to her question and smiled. "Xena."
"She mentioned it this morning." the elder woman admitted. "In fact, she went to the market first thing to get the ingredients." she smiled at her niece. "She loves you, you know."
"I know." Gabrielle turned away and leaned her hands against the back of the chair next to the table. "Sometimes " the thoughts and words were in her head but refused to come out of her lips. She shook her head in frustration.
"Gabrielle." Etta stepped forward and laid a comforting hand on the younger womans shoulder. "You know that if theres anything you want to talk about "
"How did you know that Nysis loved you? Like that, I mean." she felt the heat rising in her cheeks, after all, she was about to talk about sex with the woman that used to bounce her on her knee as a child. Etta smiled with understanding.
"Lets sit down and talk for a while." she guided the bard over to the bed and sat down next to her. "We didnt become lovers immediately, Gabrielle. I knew Nysis for several summers before we made the decision."
"What happened? I mean, did you two just decide that youd be lovers? Just like that?"
"I never said it was an easy decision, Gabrielle. We were friends first. Her husband owned the inn and I worked as a waitress. The winter before Maris was born, Darius caught a cold and died unexpectedly. Nysis didnt know what to do. It was a hard time for her. I worked from morning until night trying to help her keep the inn. Somehow we survived and were blessed with Maris." Etta smiled at the memory of their daughter being born. "For several moons Nysis cared for her while I kept the inn going." she smiled at her niece. "It wasnt easy, Gabrielle. We had our fair share of fights and disagreements, thats for sure, but still throughout it all we realized that we had a bond that couldnt be broken."
"Do you think " the bard took a deep breath. "Do you think that Xena feels that way about me?" she looked at her aunt, half-afraid that the answer would be yes and half-afraid that it would be no.
"I think its more important to ask yourself how you feel about her." Etta replied. "I can tell you that I see two women who would give anything for each other without a moments hesitation but in the end, the decision is up to you." she reached out and patted the younger womans knee. "Do you love her?"
"Can you imagine your life without her?"
"I dont want to think about it." the bards face grew sad. "I almost lost her twice. I cant go through that again. It it hurt too much."
"Do you want to be with her? Physically?"
"I " Gabrielle looked down at her hands. "I dont know. I guess I never really thought about that. Well not really really thought about it." she blushed in a most endearing way. "I mean well a couple of times Ive wondered if she ever you know, with a woman."
"Its so much more than just the sex, Gabrielle. The physical acts are nothing without the emotions to go with them. You have to be able to go through the good and the bad, the easy times and the hard times. It cant be easy to live with someone who has been responsible for so much death and destruction." Gabrielle looked up quickly, ready as always to defend the warrior. "Relax." Etta said, reading the expression on the bards face correctly. "Ive heard stories about Xena, who hasnt? But I judge people on what I see, not on what I hear."
"And what do you see?"
"I see someone who cares very much about you. If theres more than that, youll have to ask her." the din of the growing crowd downstairs finally forced her to draw the conversation to a close. "I have to go help Nysis and Maris with the customers. We can talk more about this later if you want." she stood up and smoothed out her skirt. "Are you coming down for mid-day meal? You missed breakfast."
"Ill be down in a little while." the bard said. She rose to her feet and gave her long-lost aunt a hug. "Thanks." she whispered.
"I just hope it helps." the older woman replied. "Listen to your heart, Gabrielle. Itll tell you the right thing to do."
Gabrielle laid back down on the bed after Etta left and stared up at the ceiling. The conversation had helped, but only to a point. She laced her fingers behind her head and tried to envision what sex with Xena would be like. She imagined the warrior laying over her, touching her in the best of ways in the best of places. Unbidden, the bards right hand came out from behind her head and traveled to her breast, squeezing the soft flesh through the green top. Gabrielle brought her left hand down and soon her top was loosened and pushed up out of the way. Eyes closed, she imagined Xenas hands touching her breasts. Her nipples hardened as she continued to manipulate them, losing herself in the fantasy. "Mmm " she pinched harder, her chest rising and falling rapidly. "Yes Xena, just like that." she moaned to her imaginary lover. Her right hand journeyed down until it slipped underneath the flap of her soft leather skirt and reached the damp warmth of her britches. A deep, throaty groan escaped her lips. It had been far too long since she had felt the joyous pleasure of release. Knowing fingers pushed the thin material aside and brushed against the blond ringlets moist with anticipation. Her left forefinger and thumb continued to rhythmically squeeze her hardened nipple, building the excitement. "Xenaaa " one finger slipped between the folds and was immediately immersed in the slick evidence of her rising passion. Her knees separated and her hips began to rock as she brought another finger into play against her swollen clit. "Yessss." she hissed, knowing it wouldnt take long. Her left hand moved over to the neglected breast and lavished attention on it as the speed of her stroking increased. It wasnt long before Gabrielle needed more and with a powerful thrust she pushed two fingers deep inside herself, moaning loudly at the sensation. "Oh Xena, yesss!"
Xena entered the inn, mentally cursing herself for forgetting to grab the small pouch of dinars before she left. "Wheres Gabrielle?" she asked.
"Shes still up in her room." Maris answered as she scurried past with a tray full of food. "Boy, she sure does sleep late. I dont know how she does it with all the noise down here."
"Gabrielle could sleep through a war if Id let her." the warrior quipped but it was lost on the young girl as she moved off to deal with her customers. Nysis spotted her and looked pointedly at the bar. "Ill only be a moment." Xena protested.
"Rules are rules." the large innkeeper replied, holding her hand out to relieve the taller woman of her weapons. The warrior huffed a sigh of aggravation and handed over the sword and chakram. "Dont bother putting them away, Ill be right back." she said as she crossed the room and bounded up the stairs.
"Oh gods ungh oh " Gabrielles soft moans were near constant as the fingers of her left hand moved rapidly against her clit and the fingers of her right hand continued to pump deeply in and out. She was lost to the world around her and never heard the door open just as she plunged in one last time and was rewarded with a powerful orgasm.
Xena stood there, momentarily stunned by what she saw. Gabrielle lying on the bed, breasts exposed, both hands busily pleasuring herself. A sharp cry accompanied one last deep thrust as the bards hips left the bed and were suspended in mid-air, her body trembling with the force of her climax. Realizing that she didnt want to be caught watching, Xena quickly backed out of the room and shut the door, careful not to let the latch make any sounds.
She stood there in the hallway, guiltily thinking about what she had just witnessed. She knew that Gabrielle masturbated, but she had never seen it before. Her own sex twitched as the vision of the bard in such an intimate moment refused to leave her mind. Oh Gabrielle. Xena thought to herself. Youre going to kill me yet, arent you? there was no doubt in the warriors mind what vision she would be thinking of later in the privacy of her own room, if she survived that long. The sound of Gabrielle moving about brought Xena out of her lurid thoughts and back to the moment. Oh how am I gonna go in there after that? she worried, convinced that the bard would see the longing and desire on her face. Xena swallowed and took a deep breath, using skills honed over many years to bring herself under control. She raised her hand and knocked gently on the door.
Gabrielle jumped at the sound. "Who is it?"
"Its me. I forgot to take some money for Argos shoes."
"Oh, just a moment." the bard replied, puzzled. She knew she didnt hear Xenas footsteps coming down the hall. She quickly adjusted her top and stuck her hands into the bowl of water to wash the scent off. "Come in." the latch lifted and the door opened as the warrior entered. Gabrielle walked over to the pouch and opened it. "How much do you need?"
"Six?" the bard spun around and looked incredulously at the raven haired woman. "Six dinars for horseshoes?" she tucked the small pouch of dinars into the valley between her breasts. "How can you even think of paying six dinars for four horseshoes?"
"I know its kinda high but-"
"But nothing. Did you even try to negotiate a lower price?" the thought of paying almost twice what was reasonable distracted Gabrielle from her thoughts and the question of how the warrior ended up at her door without being heard was forgotten. "You didnt, did you? Xena, weve talked about this before. Just because they tell you that it costs a certain price doesnt mean that it actually does."
"You know Im no good at that stuff, Gabrielle, thats why I have you." her eyes drifted to the bed where a small but telltale wet spot was still visible. Part of her wanted to go over there and touch it, knowing it would be the closest she would ever get to being with Gabrielle. Another part wanted to blurt out the truth, to take the chance that a miracle would happen and the feelings would be returned but after almost making that mistake the other day, Xena didnt dare.
"Well, were not paying six dinars for horseshoes." Gabrielle said firmly. "Ill go with you and take care of it." she grinned as an idea formed in her head. "And then you can go with me to the market."
"You went to the market yesterday."
"Yes, but that was to buy what we needed. Today I want to look for extras, you know, some scented oils, hair ribbons, that kind of thing." she picked up her bag and slung the strap over her shoulder. "Come on, Xena, itll be fun."
"Shopping can be many things, but fun isnt one of them." the warrior replied, knowing full well that she would lose the argument. Besides, the idea of spending some time with Gabrielle away from the normally constant threat of danger was appealing. Maybe she could even talk the young woman into purchasing another nightie. With that thought in her mind, Xena allowed the now anxious bard to tug her out of the room.
It took only a few moments of the persistent bards badgering to get the smith to lower his price to the more reasonable amount of four dinars to shoe Argo. The two dinars saved were quickly spent in another booth as Gabrielle found the oils that she had mentioned earlier. Being a larger town, the selection was better than the bard had seen in a long time and thus it took longer for her to make a decision about which scents to purchase. Xena was absolutely no help, her attention drawn more toward the booth of leather goods, at least thats what the bard thought. Actually the warriors attention was on the booth next to the leather goods, one which contained several delicate articles of clothing. After a quick check to make sure Gabrielle wasnt looking, Xena handed five dinars over to the merchant and stuffed the silky garment into the bottom of the bag that she was holding. When she finally appeared next to the bard, Xena was the epitome of a disinterested shopper. Gabrielle handed over the small bottles with a comment about not having any help so youd better like what I picked and headed for another booth. Xena followed behind, smiling to herself at her secret purchase.
"Humming that song. Its almost as annoying as Joxers."
"Its your song, I thought you liked it." they were walking back to the inn and Xena hadnt even noticed that she was humming it until the bard said something. "What were the words to it again?"
"You know damn well what the words were and I can understand why you said the fish would be armed." Gabrielle replied. "Besides, I dont think I need a song that pays tribute to my breasts and ass."
"Oh, I dont know about that." Xena quipped, leaning back to take a leisurely look at said bardic rear.
"Keep it up, Xena. Im sure I can come up with something equally fitting to you. Dont forget, Im a bard." she wiggled her eyebrows menacingly. "And just which parts of your anatomy would you like immortalized in song?"
"Truce." the warrior replied, holding her hands up in defeat. "No more, I promise."
"You know " Gabrielle said as if revealing a huge secret. "Its getting easier and easier to get my way with you. Youre getting soft, old lady." she reached over and wrapped her arm around the taller womans waist and gave her a gentle squeeze.
"Soft, eh?" the rare playful side of Xena popped out and without warning she scooped the bard up in her arms and tossed her over her shoulder like a stack of flour. "Ill show you soft. Oh, and dont think I missed the old lady comment either." she turned away from the inn and began heading for the pond just outside of town.
"Xena " she turned to see where the warrior was headed. "Now Xena, you know I was just teasing." she began squirming, hoping to break the hold. "Xena, come on now that waters gotta be cold."
"Dont think of it as cold, think of it as invigorating." she cleared the trees and now was standing just before the pond. She had no intention of dunking the wriggling bard, but she also had no intention of telling Gabrielle that. "You havent had a bath in a couple days, itll be good for you." she stepped up to the waters edge.
"Xena, if you let me go, Ill make you those pastries you like so much."
"Nah, youre gonna make them anyway. Try again."
"Ill Ill collect firewood for half a moon."
"Nope, try again."
"Ill " Gabrielle thought hard for something that would keep her from being dumped into the freezing pond. "Ill never make fun of your flying parchment again."
"Uh Ill never call you an old lady again."
Xena smiled with victory and slowly lowered the bard to the ground, making sure to grab a handful of ass on the way. Whether it was deliberate or an accident, she didnt know, but Gabrielles hand cupped her leather covered breast as the bard steadied herself. Xena had to turn away to avoid reacting and doing something that she would regret later. "Wed better get back." she said, reaching over to retrieve the bag that had fallen to the ground during their playfulness. She thought they were going to leave but Gabrielle simply flopped down on the ground and stared at the pond that she had almost been dumped in.
"Can we stay here for a little bit? Its so peaceful." her voice took on a serious tone. "Just for a few moments?"
Xena set the bag back down on the ground and sat down next to the bard. Both sat with legs crossed, staring at the water and lost in their own thoughts. Several moments passed before Gabrielle spoke. "Its amazing how calm the water is with all the activity going on underneath." she ran her fingers through her honey colored hair. "Its like theres so much going on beneath the surface, so much that cant be seen. Its like us."
"How so?" the warrior asked.
"Well think about it, Xena. Even after all this time, how much do we really know about each other? Sometimes I dont even know myself."
"Is something going on, Gabrielle? Is there something you need to talk about?"
"I dont know." the bard sighed. "No, I guess not. Its just something that I need to work out for myself."
"Has something happened that we need to talk about? Have I said or done anything that-"
"No." she answered quickly. "No, Xena, its not you. Its me. I guess Im just confused about myself. I thought I knew what I wanted, how I felt. Now Im not so sure."
"Maybe if we talked about them " the warrior ventured. Gabrielle shook her head.
"Not yet. Maybe maybe when I figure it out, but not now." she stood up and brushed the sand off of her skirt. "Im going back to the inn. You coming?"
"I still cant believe you ate that whole loaf."
"You know how much I love nutbread." the bard replied, sucking the remaining crumbs from her fingers. "Besides, you ate all the raspberry turnovers."
"You only made four. And they were for me."
"Yeah, well the nutbread was mine, so whats the big deal?"
Their conversation was interrupted by a large, rather foul smelling man who foolishly meandered over to their table. He had to have been blind drunk not to notice the tall warrior giving him a warning look as he approached the bard. "Hiyah, honey, howss bout comin over and havin a drink or two wit me?"
Gabrielle smiled and tried hard not to breathe in. "Xena, I believe this is your department?" the warrior grinned and before the behemoth realized it, his arm was wrenched up behind his back.
"Hey!" he protested. "Get your own girl." that comment earned more pressure on his tortured arm. The pain cut through the drunken fog and he finally realized that he had made a terrible mistake trying to pick up the pretty girl. It was too late for apologies, however, as Xena escorted him bodily out of the tavern and shoved him unceremoniously onto the dusty street.
"You know, I love having a big strong warrior at my beck and call." Gabrielle teased as the raven haired woman returned to the table.
"Well, someones gotta keep you out of trouble." she took a sip of her port. "And keeping an eye on you is a full time job."
"It always was." Etta said as she approached. "Why, did she ever tell you about the time that she and Lila got the idea in their heads to-"
"Uh, I dont think Xena wants to hear that story." Gabrielle said, her eyes pleading with her aunt not to tell the embarrassing story. "Actually " she stood up and gave the fakest of yawns. "I think its time for us to turn in, dont you, Xena?"
At first the warrior was tempted to tease the bard and ask Etta to tell her story but decided to give Gabrielle a break. "Uh, yeah, tired." she gave her own fake yawn. "Good night."
"Well then, I guess well see you girls in the morning then." the older woman said to the retreating forms, seeing right through both womens acts. Nysis came up beside her.
"Two nights and theyve shared the same bed. Any bets on tonight?"
"Gabrielle and I had a talk today. If those two dont admit the truth to themselves tonight then I give up."
"Oh, you can never give up hope, Etta. Wheres your romantic spirit?"
"Im telling you if those two dont smarten up soon, Im going to lock them both in a room until they do."
Xena and Gabrielle quietly walked down the hallway until they reached the two doors that represented their rooms. They looked at each other, then at the doors again, neither wanting to admit that they wanted to sleep with the other. "Well " Xena began.
"Yeah, well " the bard replied, shifting uncomfortably. She waited for the warrior to say something, anything, but Xena just fidgeted and stared at the doors. "Well, I guess this is good night then."
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Well, Ill see you in the morning then." she took a step forward and rested her hand on the latch. "Um you know Im not the best at making fires and it is getting cold tonight " the bard offered, both of them knowing full well that it was a lie.
"Oh, I can get the fire going for you before I go to bed." Xena replied, knowing enough to take advantage of the offer. Gabrielle smiled and led the way into her room.
Within moments a cheery fire was burning in the hearth. The bard walked over to her bag and began rummaging through it to find her sleeping shift. "Whats this?" she asked as she pulled the light blue nightie out from the bottom of the bag.
"Um well, its uh I thought you might like it." Xena stood up from the kneeling position in front of the fire while the bard held the silky nightie out in front of her.
"Its very nice." Gabrielle said. "But a little revealing, dont you think?"
"Revealing? No, see how the neckline falls?" she walked over and held the garment against the bards body. "Oh, I guess it is a little short." she said, noting that the bottom hem barely reached the smaller womans thighs.
"Uh, Xena, thats the back." Gabrielle corrected, taking the nightie from the warriors hands and turning it around. "This is the front."
"Oh." the raven haired woman said softly. Revealing was a complete understatement. Thin straps made up the shoulders and only slightly wider material went down the front to end at the waist.. Xena couldnt say that it had a plunging neckline because there was no neckline. "I um I thought this was the back."
"I can see why." Gabrielle replied, pulling on the gathered material in the front to see if it would in fact cover her breasts. She decided that it would, but just barely. One wrong move and she would most definitely pop right out of it. As it was, the sides of her breasts would be exposed as well as the valley between them.
"I can take it back." Xena offered, although that was the last thing she wanted to do.
"No no, thats okay. I mean, it does look " the first word to come to the bards mind was sexy. " nice."
"Gabrielle, you dont have to-"
"No, really. I like it. Its much nicer than the pink thing." she reached out and gave Xena a hug, crushing the light blue nightie between their bodies. "Thank you." she murmured.
"Youre welcome." the warrior replied as she stepped back from the embrace. Gabrielle reached for the laces of her top. Deciding that she didnt need the temptation, Xena took a step toward the door. "Well, I suppose Id better go so you can get some rest."
"Oh, yeah, I suppose so." she set the nightie down on the table. "Good night, Xena."
"Good night, Gabrielle." she left quickly, not trusting her resolve much longer.
Upon entering her room, Xena found herself wide awake with nothing to do, not a good combination for a warrior like her. She removed her armor and boots before shrugging out of her leathers and donning a clean shift. As she set the dark brown leathers on the table, she noticed a small break in the stitching on one seam. She thought about letting it go and fixing it another time but remembered that the bard had purchased a fresh spool of thread. Since she didnt have her sword to hone and pass the time, Xena pulled the thread and needle from the saddlebags and set them on the bed along with the leathers. A quick trip around the room to light as many candles as possible, dark thread on dark leather makes for a hard chore in dim light, and settled down to begin repairs. As the needle worked its way into the tough hide, Xena began to sing in a low, almost inaudible voice.
"Well, listen to my story about Gabrielle
A cute little gal thats lookin really swell.
Perfect hair, such a lovely lass
Nice round breasts and a firm young ass."
"Well, listen to my story bout Gabrielle,
The gorgeous bard who has me in her spell
I am hers, let there be no doubt.
Her sweet love, I cant live without."
She hummed a few more verses as the needle and thread did their jobs. She made one last pass through the brown leather and proclaimed the task finished just as she heard the bards door open and shut and the sound of bare feet come to her door. "Come in, Gabrielle." she called out while putting the needle and thread away. The door behind her opened and closed. "I thought you were tired."
"Xena ." there was a timbre to the bards voice that made the hairs on the back of the warriors neck tingle.
"Wha oh my ." if it werent for her taller than average height, Xenas jaw would most certainly have hit the ground hard. Illuminated by the multitude of candles, Gabrielle stood there in the light blue nightie, looking to the warrior like a goddess descended from Mount Olympus. Not only did the silky material hug and give tribute to every curve, but the sheerness of it left nothing at all to the imagination. The bards nipples, already semi-erect from rubbing against the satiny cloth, were clearly visible, causing Xena to experience the odd sensation of having her mouth water yet feel quite dry at the same time. The two twin strips of gathered material flowed down from the shoulders, widened only slightly at the breasts, then gathered again at the waist. The valley between, and most of the inner curves, of Gabrielles breasts were exposed, captivating Xena. Indeed, the sleeping outfit, as if anyone would ever be able to wear it long enough to sleep, was a bit short, hinting quite loudly at what treasures were hidden beneath it.
Xenas reaction was more than Gabrielle had hoped for. She was all set to give some lame excuse about wanting to chat if the warriors reaction had been neutral to the incredibly revealing chemise. Her own nervousness presented itself with a painful pounding in her heart before entering the raven haired womans room. The look in Xenas eyes had washed most of that initial nervousness away, replacing it with a new one. Tonight they would cross the delicate line between friends and lovers, a line that once crossed they could never return from. The dance had begun and Gabrielle realized, perhaps for the first time, that she did indeed have a power over the warrior. She turned around to show Xena the back, not realizing the motion caused it to flare out and up, exposing the soft curves of her bare rear. "What do you think?" she asked as she finished her circle to face the warrior. Even if Xena could find her voice, it wouldnt have mattered. The look in her eyes told the bard everything she wanted to know. There were no more questions to ask, no more answers to be afraid of. She took a step forward, her breasts swaying provocatively beneath the sheer fabric. "Xena " came the husky whisper. "Do you love me?" she took another step closer, forcing the entranced warrior to back up, the soft edge of the bed brushing against the back of her calves.
"Y-yes." Xena finally managed to stammer out.
"I guess from the look on your face that I dont need to ask if you want me." she smiled, placing a hand on the warriors chest, surprised at the rapid beat of the heart beneath the skin. "Are you scared?" the raven haired woman could do little more than swallow hard and give a weak nod. The bard smiled disarmingly. "Me too." she admitted.
Xenas voice finally returned to her, albeit a bit shaky. "Gabrielle " she reached out and let her fingers sink into the golden depths of the bards hair, pleased to feel the young womans head turn to press against her palm. "I love you. I want you gods know that I want you." they both smiled at the inflection in the warriors voice. "But nothing has to happen that you dont want, or arent ready for."
The words cut through the fear, filling Gabrielle with a confidence that what they were about to do, the journey that they were about to begin, was right for both of them. In those few words, Xena was giving the control, at least some of it, to her. "Well then " she placed her hands on the taller womans shoulders and gently pressed her down to a sitting position on the bed. If Xena was being tortured before, it increased ten times since she was now eye level with Gabrielles breasts. "I think you know how I feel." she stepped closer, her legs parting to either side of the warriors.
"Tell me." Xena urged, needing to hear the words. Her hands reached out to rest on the bards hips, pulling her closer. The proximity caused the warriors warm breath to caress the bare skin between Gabrielles breasts.
"I I um " her thought processes were being rendered useless by the sensations that Xenas breathing was causing. Her fingers found their way into the raven tresses and she was certain her legs wouldnt support her much longer. She used her hands to guide the warriors head up so she could look into the deep pools of blue that had captivated her for so long, even if she didnt realize why until yesterday. "I love you." she whispered. "More than any words could possibly describe." her voice dropped another octave and took on a tone that could only be described as primal. Gabrielle lowered her head until her lips were a hairs breadth away from Xenas. "But I certainly hope I can show you." her lips brushed once, then twice against the warm softness of the warriors mouth. She pulled back slowly, looking down into blue eyes with a mix of love, desire, and nervousness.
Xenas hands, which had stilled against the sides of the bards hips, now began to move, traveling up the bare sides, the tips of her thumbs slipping just inside the edges of the sheer nightie. Gabrielles heart began pounding faster as the strong fingers moved higher, teasingly brushing against the sides of her breasts before sliding around to frame her back and pull her close. Her knees gave out, much to the warriors delight, and Gabrielle found herself sitting on Xenas lap. The heat of the powerful thighs against her bare bottom had nothing on the inferno that burned between her legs, a need that the bard thought could never be sated. Their mouths came together, throwing oil on the already out of control fire blazing between them. Gabrielles lips parted with a moan and that was all the invitation Xena needed. Her tongue invaded the bards mouth, determined to mine all the secrets hidden within.
Every movement of the warriors tongue within her mouth pushed Gabrielles passion up another notch until the bard was certain she would pass out from sheer pleasure. She mewed a protest when Xena finally withdrew, not caring one bit that both of them needed to breathe. She surged forward and claimed the warriors mouth, the force pushing them both down onto the bed. Large hands cupped her bare ass and Gabrielle quickly found herself rolled on her back, the powerful body of the woman she loved hovering above her.
"Gabrielle " Xenas voice was thickened by desire, her eyes raking over the bard like a wolf looking at a succulent rabbit. Bracing herself on one arm, the warrior let her fingertips of her free hand slowly trail down the bards throat, smiling to herself at the rapidly beating pulse she found. "You have no idea how long Ive waited for this moment." she husked, bringing her lips down to taste the area where her fingers had just explored. Her tongue flicked back and forth across the pulse point, drawing a groan from Gabrielle as she arched to give better access. Xena laid the length of her body against the smaller woman, trapping one of the bards legs between her own. Her own hips began rocking as her hand slowly moved down to cup one incredibly soft breast.
"Oh gods!" Gabrielle gasped as the warriors fingers found their mark, capturing and squeezing her erect nipple through the silky material. Unable to stand the torment any longer, the bard reached down and pulled the light blue cloth aside, exposing the puckered flesh to Xenas appreciative gaze. When soft lips closed around her nipple and began suckling, Gabrielle thought for sure there could be no better feeling. Every flick of the firm tongue against her hardened skin was met with an answering pulse between her legs and remembering her own name was becoming difficult. Her inner thighs were slick with a desire that was far greater than she could ever have imagined. Without realizing it, Gabrielles hands slid down and gripped the back of the warriors head, willing her to never stop showing off this particular oral skill.
Xena decided that she very much liked the sheer nightie as she pushed the material aside to expose the neglected mound of flesh hidden beneath. "So soft " she murmured as she tasted the sweet flesh offered to her. The feel of Gabrielles hands pressing against the back of her head and the constant rocking motions further down were better than any aphrodisiac. Already she felt the bards dampness against her own thigh and was hard pressed not to scoot down immediately to drink her fill of the overflowing wellspring of desire. Instead she drew herself up and presented Gabrielle with another soul-touching kiss more intimate than any either had ever experienced before. The movement caused her thigh to press harder against the dewy curls surrounding the bards sex, drawing a languid groan from the younger woman. Bardic legs parted wide as Xena began a rhythm, grinding against swollen lips with just the right amount of pressure as her mouth returned to the twin peaks atop the heaving chest.
Gabrielles cries were near constant now, her hips jerking up to meet each thrust of muscled thigh against tender flesh. Her fingers curled like talons in the raven hair, her eyes squeezed tight, and everything, including breathing, stopped as her blood pounded in her ears and her body trembled. "Oh oh gods I I ohhh!" a strangled cry came from her lips as the first wave crashed through her. Xena let go of the well-loved breast and wrapped her arms around the quivering bard.
"Ive got you." the warrior murmured, planting gentle kisses on Gabrielles forehead and cheeks. Unable to make her mouth form anything more than incoherent sounds, the bard burrowed into the warm softness of Xenas neck and let herself be held as her body continued to pulse with the aftershocks.
It was several moments before Gabrielle was able to lift her head up to look into loving blue eyes. "Wow."
"Wow indeed." the raven haired woman agreed, giving the bard a quick kiss and brushing the damp hair off her face. "I didnt expect you to-"
"I didnt either. It just felt so good." she brought her hand around to gently caress the bronzed cheek. "You just felt so good." she corrected with a throaty whisper.
"Trust me, it was my pleasure too." Xena husked as she drew one finger down the bards chest to lightly circle the nipple still damp from her loving. Gabrielle inhaled sharply and her eyes fluttered shut. "Oh, you like that, do you?" she used her forefinger and thumb to lightly pinch the puckered flesh.
"Mmm, very much." the bard answered, arching into the touch as their mouths found each other.
Losing herself in the kisses, Gabrielle barely noticed when Xenas hand began to roam, lazily sliding down to caress her hip. Her body noticed, however, and responded readily, bringing the banked fire of passion back to life. When the warriors fingers brushed against the damp curls, Gabrielles legs parted instantly in open invitation.
Xena shifted their positions slightly to get a better angle with which to explore the hidden treasures. Gabrielle was on her back, completely open and oh so ready to be loved again. Long fingers slowly made their way between the wet folds to be bathed in the slick wetness. "By the Gods!" the words were torn from the bards throat as Xena brushed against her most sensitive spot. Taking the cue, the warrior continued to move her fingers back and forth, increasing the frequency in tune with the renewed rocking of the bards hips. As if that wasnt enough, Xena lowered her head and began suckling hard on Gabrielles breast. "Oh oh gods Xena, dont stop please dont stop." the bard cried, her hips taking on a life of their own.
There were no words that could adequately describe the level of pleasure coursing through her and Gabrielle was certain that no human ever deserved to feel so good. Her hands gripped Xenas shift, trying hard to find an anchor to the whirling storm she was floating in. Suddenly the warriors busy fingers left the spot where she needed them most and the bard whimpered out a protest. The whimper was cut off, however, by the most exquisite feeling as those fingers found a new place to deliver pleasure. "Ohhhh "
"Did I hurt you?"
"N-no " Gabrielle gasped. "Oh gods, no you feel sooo good inside." her hips, which had stilled initially at the unexpected invasion, slowly began to move. Xena moved her head up until her lips were near the bards ear.
"No, Gabrielle youre the one who feels good." she slowly pulled back until just the tips remained inside the moist, tight space, then pushed them back in, drawing a deep groan from the bard. "Oh yes so good." her mouth fastened itself to the soft throat as she repeated the motions with her fingers. Soon she had a steady rhythm going, each downward thrust met by Gabrielles upraised hips.
"Xena oh yes " her head thrashed back and forth and she couldnt have stopped her body from moving if she tried. Not that she wanted to, all she wanted was for the moment to never end, to be making love with the raven haired beauty until time stopped forever. Xenas threadbare shift was no match for Gabrielles passionate grip and was practically torn from the warriors body in reaction to one particularly deep thrust. Nonsensical sounds erupted from her throat as her inner muscles clutched around the fingers loving her. Her body began to tremble and her movements became more frantic as the great moment arrived. "Xena oh gods, Xena yes oh sweet gods Xena!!"
The woman whose name was being shouted so reverently smiled against the soft skin of the bards neck. "Yes Gabrielle its okay, let it go " her hand moved at a feverish pace, pumping hard and deep into the sweet warmth. When the bards hips left the ground and remained suspended in mid-air, Xena pulled out to the tips and plunged in deep one final time. She was rewarded with the feeling of Gabrielles passion flooding her hand and the sound of the bards cry of ultimate pleasure. She remained deep within, riding out the storm and feeling her own sex pulsing in reaction to the spasmodic clenching against her fingers. Only when Gabrielles body fell limply back against the bed and remained motionless save for the rapid rising and falling of her chest did Xena slowly withdraw and pull her lover close. She whispered murmurs of love and comfort to the sated bard within her arms between delicate kisses. "You are amazing."
"Me?" Gabrielle rolled onto her back, trapping the warriors arm beneath her, and smiled up at her dark lover. "Gods, Xena, I cant move." she lifted her arm up and let it flop back down to prove her point. "I dont think Ill ever be able to move again." that comment earned her a chuckle from the raven haired woman.
"Oh, Im sure I can find a way to make you move." Xena teased, moving her hand down and drawing figure eights within the bards soaked curls.
"Oh no, I cant take it." Gabrielle said, laying her hand on top of the warriors and stilling the distracting movements. "You trying to kill me?"
"What a way to go, eh?" she did, however, bring her hand away from what was now its favorite place and cupped the bards cheek. Her voice took on a serious tone as she asked "Are you okay?"
Gabrielle smiled and turned her head to kiss the warriors callused palm. "Yes." she whispered, finding the strength to roll onto her side and bury her head into the crook of Xenas neck. "Better than okay." she brought her hand around to the warriors back and was surprised to find bare skin. "Oh Xena, Ive ruined your shift!" she exclaimed.
"I would say so, theres quite a draft back there." she disengaged herself from the bard and sat up, pulling the torn outfit off her body and tossing it onto the floor. "There, thats better."
"Um " whatever Gabrielle was going to say was lost as Xena laid back down on her side and pressed their bare flesh against each other. The bard brought her hand up to rest against the side of the newly exposed breast and looked into blue eyes darkened by both desire and the dim candlelight. She moved her hand, feeling the hardened nipple pressing into her palm, watching as Xenas eyes closed with pleasure.
"Gab-ri-elle " came the sigh as the bards hand squeezed the generous mound. Now free to do what she wanted, Gabrielle gently pressed the warrior onto her back and nuzzled against the soft flesh before pressing her lips against the dusky nipple. Rewarded with an encouraging groan, she added her mouth to the equation, drawing the puckered flesh in and flicking back and forth across it with her tongue. "Yes Gabrielle mmm, oh, thats nice " the bard increased both the motions and suction, delighting in the way Xenas body writhed beneath her. The bard leaned over and took the other breast into her mouth. The movement placed her sideways across the warriors upper body and her own breast within reach of the raven haired womans mouth. Gabrielle gasped when she felt Xenas soft lips close around her nipple and proceeded to suck harder on the breast she was working on. She felt the warriors hand slide down to cup her upraised ass and responded by moving her left hand down to graze through the soaked hairs between Xenas legs. The reaction was swift and immediate as the warriors legs parted, her feet planting themselves on the bed, knees up, opening herself up for the bard. Without stopping her oral ministrations for a single moment, Gabrielle slid her fingers down into the molten inferno. Both women groaned loudly against the breasts they were loving at the contact. Well lubricated by the warriors fluids, the bards fingers had no trouble exploring the various dips and folds that made up Xenas most private place. Her fingers brushed over the sensitive clit again and again, enjoying the way the warriors hips rocked and begged for more attention. Gabrielle began stroking harder, her fingers moving up and down the length of Xenas sex with ever increasing speed as the muffled moans became constant. Wanting to give the warrior the same pleasure that had been bestowed upon her earlier, the bard placed two fingers at the edge of Xenas opening and pressed inward. There was no resistance as her fingers slid in as far as they could go. She shifted down to give herself better access, resting her head on the warm flatness of the warriors stomach. The movement pulled her own breast away from the mouth that had been loving it but that was inconsequential to the bard as she added a third finger and sank deeply into the woman she loved.
"Gods, Xena you feel so good." she pulled back and thrust in again, amazed at the strength of the muscles clenching around her fingers.
"Yes Gabrielle do it yessss."
The bard began pumping harder, urged on by the increase in the bucking hips. She shifted again, parting her legs slightly to get better leverage, and yelped in surprise as the hand that had been caressing her ass moved around and slid two fingers deep into her. The feeling of being buried deep within Xena while being filled by the warrior at the same time was more than her bardic senses knew what to do with. It apparently had the same affect on the raven haired woman, judging from the sudden increase in fluids being pumped out with each thrust of her hand. "Xena oh gods Xena, I cant concentrate while youre unggh doing that."
"Yes you can." the warrior encouraged. "Dont stop, Gabrielle, dont stop. Feels sooo good."
"Oh Xena " their mutual thrusting increased to a frenzied level as both woman tried desperately to bring the other to orgasm first.
"Yes Gabrielle, yesss "
"Xena oh gods, I cant oh dont stop!"
In the end it was Gabrielle who succumbed first, a short sharp cry was ripped from her throat while an orgasm more powerful than any she had experienced before tore through her. As she felt herself crashing over the edge, she frantically pumped her fingers in and out, knowing that the warrior was just as close. She was right. Even with the added weight of the bard on top of her, Xenas hips rose off the bed one final time and remained there as her own body exploded with the ultimate pleasure of climax.
Neither knew how much time had passed as they laid there waiting for their breathing and heartrates to return to something remotely close to normal. It was only with the most supreme of efforts that Gabrielle found the strength to turn herself around so they were facing in the same direction, instantly taking comfort in the warm cocoon of Xenas arms. Both tried to speak, to put into words just how they felt at the moment, but no words came. They settled for a loving, gentle kiss instead before falling asleep, curled up in each others arms.
Etta walked up behind her lover. "Remember, not one word. I dont want you to embarrass Gabrielle, do you understand?"
"Now Etta, what makes you think I would mention it?" Nysis grinned wickedly. "Besides, its not my fault they dont know how to be quiet. Im surprised they didnt wake up the whole house last night."
"Ny " there was no mistaking the warning tone in her voice. "Be nice." she wanted to say something else but stopped when she heard Gabrielle and Xena coming down the stairs, saddlebags in hand. "Well, good morning." Etta said cheerfully.
"Good morning." the bard replied, her face absolutely beaming with happiness. She and Xena took a seat at a nearby table just as Maris came out of the back room with a sack of flour braced over her shoulder. "Hey cuz, you think next time you can keep it down? Some of us like to sleep at night." she said as she passed, causing Gabrielle to blush right to the roots of her hair. Etta flashed a look at her daughter, but it was useless as Nysis couldnt control her mirth and began laughing so hard that her body shook. Xena knew better than to react, although she was finding it hard not to join in, especially since the bard looked so cute with a full body blush.
"Well I guess the cats out of the bag now, Gabrielle." the warrior said, leaning over to give the embarrassed bard a peck on the cheek.
"Its all right, deary." Etta said as she brought two steaming cups of tea to the table. On the other side of the room, mother and daughter were still giggling wildly, despite the death glares from the bard. "Were all happy for you, really." for the first time she noticed the saddlebags sitting on the floor. "Are you two leaving so soon?"
"Im afraid so. We have warlords to fight, villages to save, that sort of thing." Xena said between gulps of tea. "Besides, I think Gabrielle and I need some time alone."
"Didnt you have enough of that last night?" Nysis guffawed from behind the bar, sending her daughter into a laughing fit so bad that the dark haired teen dropped to the floor in a mass of giggles.
"Ignore the children." Etta said, giving her family a reproachful look. She pulled out a chair and sat down next to the bard, drawing her away from the antics on the other side of the room. "Honestly Gabrielle I really am happy for you. I never imagined when you were a young child that you would grow up and become all that you have and Im proud of you." she looked over at the warrior. "I know Xena loves you, thats obvious. Your mother may not understand but thats her loss." she pulled her niece into a warm hug. "I love you and Im proud of you, Gabrielle. You promise me that youll take care of yourself and come back soon to see us, okay?"
"I promise." the bard agreed, getting over her initial embarrassment. "And thank you, it means a lot to me."
"Of course. Despite acting like infants " she shot a look at the innkeeper and her daughter, "I know that Ny and Maris are happy for you too. Theyre just having a little fun at your expense."
"Yeah, were sorry." the large innkeeper said as she tried to control her giggles. "I for one am just relieved that the two of you finally figured it out."
"Well sometimes it takes a while to get Xena to see the light." Gabrielle said, knowing full well that she was the last to know in this particular case. When the warrior opened her mouth to protest, the bard quickly silenced her with a kiss. "But dont worry. Im sure from now on itll be much easier to get her to see things my way."
"Dont be too sure of yourself, bard." Xena said in a playful tone. "That particular threat works both ways." she deliberately ran her eyes up and down Gabrielles body to make her point. At that moment the bards stomach decided to take mercy on her and announced its presence.
"Well, wed better get some food into you before you go." Etta said, rising from her chair. "We have some leftover stew, some biscuits, and if I look real hard Im sure I can even come up with another loaf of nutbread."
"All of the above sounds good to me." the hungry bard replied. "Oh, and if its not too much trouble can you make some of those flat cake things you used to make when you came to visit? You know, the ones made with egg and flour?"
"You always were a sucker for my cooking." Etta laughed. "One stack of flat cakes coming right up."
"It was nice to see my aunt again." Gabrielle said as they passed through the village square.
"Im glad you had a good visit."
"Good?" she stopped walking and looked around to see if anyone was paying attention to them before pulling Xena into the privacy of a nearby alley. "I had much more than a good visit." she murmured, wrapping her arms around the raven haired womans neck.
"Did you now? Well, Im certainly glad to hear that." the warrior smiled as she brought her lips down to meet the bards. She lost herself for a moment in the softness of the kiss, the exquisite taste of Gabrielles mouth. "We keep this up and well never get to the stables."
"And just who would you rather spend time with, me or Argo?" the bard pressed her hips forward against Xenas thigh.
"Hmm well " she pretended to ponder the question, earning her a playful backhand to the middle. "You know youre worth a thousand Argos, just dont let her know. After all, I still have to ride her."
"Mmm, and Argo can be the jealous type." Gabrielle agreed. "Okay, you go deal with the stable and Ill take one last look around before we leave. I saw a fortune tellers shack about a block from here, maybe shell be able to tell us our fortune."
"You might as well toss your dinar down the well for all the good visiting one of them will do you." Xena said as she pulled back from the warm embrace and led them back to the square.
"You are such a cynic sometimes."
"Not a cynic, just cant see the sense in throwing a perfectly good dinar away on a bunch of nonsense." the warrior said as they approached the small hut, the door replaced with strings of beads. "Nothing they ever say is true anyway."
"Well, its my dinar." Gabrielle replied. "Besides, it might be fun."
"Sure. You go have fun. Ill meet you back here in a little while." Xena turned to go but then stopped and looked at her young lover. "Do me a favor, try to stay out of trouble."
"Me? Trouble? Im only going to see a fortune teller. How much trouble could I possibly get into?"
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