Disclaimers: The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess™ and all other associated with the television series of the same name are owned by MCA/ Universal Pictures. This is a work of fan fiction and no copyright infringement is intended.

Subtext: I guess with my writing so far we'll just quit calling it subtext and call it maintext. Yes they are in love with each other.

Sex: Yes! There are scenes of two consenting adult women making love and lots of it. If it offends you don’t read this. Move on. If you’re under 18 move on.

Violence: There’s an accident, which could be considered painful.

Language: Mild…where we got Xena we got langauge.

Drugs/Alcohol: Umm yeah, one of the characters works in a bar and there is social drinking.

Other: Immortality performed by Celine Dion on the CD "Let’s Talk About Love". Written by Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. Used without permission.

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We Never Say Goodbye

By T.Novan

 

1964

Xena stood there looking down as the wind and the rain pelted her head and face. She knelt down, her knees sinking into the mud of the freshly covered grave and ran her hand over the top of the stone.

"I won’t say it." She said softly. "We never have and I know that as long as we don’t you’ll come back to me." She forced back the tears as she leaned in and kissed the cold marble stone and placed a single white rose on top of it. "I miss you already bard. Hurry home." She ran her hand over the engraving of the chakram with the quill in its center. "I love you."

She stood and took a deep breath and wondered how long she would be alone this time.

 

 

1999

Casey walked along the alleyway toward the entrance of the club. It was early so she was shocked to see more than the two cars that belonged to the owners in the parking lot, but the black Mercedes would stand out about anywhere in this section of town. Casey wondered if the owner was brave or just plain stupid to bring that car here and park it in an unsecured lot. It was just begging to be stolen.

"Well, I’m glad it’s their money and not mine." She mumbled as she continued to the club entrance.

She opened the door and stepped into the front entrance room. A woman popped up from behind a little counter next to an interior door. "Oh Casey hi." The red head said as she continued to dig around under the desk for something without actually ducking back under it. "You’re early."

"Yeah I got done with my class early and thought I’d come grab a bite to eat before work. Hey Gail any idea who that shiny black Mercedes belongs too?"

"Ohhhhhh yeah…" She said with a grin as she pulled a hand stamp and a pad out from under the desk. She leaned forward on her elbows and grinned. "It belongs to the longest, tallest drink of water this place has seen in a long time. She came in about an hour ago. Oh man!"

"That good huh?"

"OH MY GOD! I’m so bummed I’m watching the door, I’d much rather being in there watching her."

"Well now makes me glad I’m tending bar tonight. Hmm maybe I’ll get lucky." Casey said with a grin.

"Oh I’ll hate you forever!" Gail said as she swatted at her friend. Casey ducked the hand and went into the bar.

The place was empty except for Ashley and that long, tall drink of water Gail spoke of. Ashley was the other bartender. Now all she had to do was find out the name of the tall dark haired woman who was sitting at the bar nursing a drink. Man, Gail wasn’t exaggerating about his one. She was gorgeous. Dark hair, long legs, clothes that most certainly didn’t come off the rack. Not your normal customer for this place. If she were here to find someone to go home with she wouldn’t be disappointed. Casey wondered if she fit the bill of what this tall beauty was in the market for.

She slipped into the back and made herself a sandwich and grabbed a bag of chips. She headed for the bar and as she managed to find the jar of pickles and dispense a soda. She also managed to get a better look at old H2O. So she had to wipe up the first soda but it was worth it. Man oh man. Blue eyes to boot. ‘Where have you been all my life’ she thought as she got a second soda.

"What’s the matter Case? Can’t take the strain?" Ashley asked as she stacked glasses next to her friend.

"Is it really, really hot in here or is it just me?" Casey asked as she drained her soda and got another.

"Oh, it’s been warm since she came in here. I can’t keep Gail out by the door. Good thing we don’t get crowded ‘til later. You two might have it under control by then."

"Has she ever been in here before?"

"Not that I remember. I think I would have remembered her too."

"You’d have to have a building fall on you to forget her." Casey said as she pulled the bag of chips open and popped a few in her mouth.

It was about that time that she heard ice rattle. She looked up to find H2O was raising her glass in their direction. Ash started for her, but Casey grabbed her arm. "You’re busy. I’ll get it."

"Oh how kind of you."

"You know me. Always willing to lend a hand." She wiped the crumbs on the legs of her jeans as she walked over. She smiled and leaned in. "What was it?"

"Scotch. Chivas, straight." H2O said with a slight smile.

Casey turned and pulled down the bottle and poured the drink.

"Make it a double."

Casey poured the double. "Rough day?"

"Rough life." H2O said as she pushed a bill across the bar and lifted the glass to her lips.

Casey hated the fact that she had to turn her back to make change thank God for the mirror behind the bar. She turned around and laid the change on the bar. "I’m not officially on duty yet. Want to talk about it? That’s what bartenders are for you know."

"If you’re sure you want to hear it. Sure." H2O said as she tipped the glass again.

"Be right back." Casey returned to the end of the bar and retrieved her dinner.

"Slut." Ashley teased as Casey gathered her food.

"God I hope so." Casey said as she picked up the pickle jar and headed back to H2O.

She put everything down and got one of the two stools and took a seat across from the dark beauty. She extended her hand. "Casey."

"Xena." She said as she took Casey’s hand.

‘Xena. Oh that’s better than H2O’, thought Casey as they shook hands. ’Much better.’ "Well that’s certainly a unique name."

"It’s Greek. Ancient Greek as a matter of fact, it’s not used much anymore."

"Parents history buffs?"

"No. Ancient Greeks."

Casey laughed as she tried to get the lid off the pickle jar. She struggled with it for a few seconds before a strong hand reached across the bar and took it from her. She looked up as Xena opened the jar and set it in front of her. "Thanks." She said as their eyes met for the first time. "Have we ever met before?" She asked as she slowly fished a pickle out of the jar.

"You could say that. Probably in another lifetime or two." Xena said as she took another drink.

"You seem very familiar to me."

"You probably don’t remember because is was so large, but I gave a lecture to your history class a few months ago."

"Professor Gabriel? Right?" She smiled at the sudden recognition.

"Right. Guilty as charged. Ya’ got me."

"Yeah I remember that lecture. I got an A on that paper. I was the first A I got in that class."

"Glad I could help."

"Well you managed to make the subject matter seem so…real. Tangible."

"Well I learned a long time ago to go with what you know." Xena said with a grin.

"So are you a full time instructor somewhere?"

"No actually I deal in antiquities. I just happen to hold a few degrees as well."

"I’m impressed." Casey said with a smile as she sipped her soda.

"Well I had a lot of time on my hands when I was much younger."

"Yeah like you’re all that old now."

"I’m older than I look, but enough about me. Let’s just say that I know what I like and I’ll pay any price to have something I like."

"Oh well now is that a fact?" Casey grinned at her as Xena sipped her drink.

"Yup." She said as she drained the glass and stood up. "Well I’ve got a meeting this afternoon. You working all night tonight?"

"Ummm actually no. This is only a part time thing for me I work first part of the night and then someone else takes over later." Casey could barely hold back the smile that wanted to break out across her face. "I get off about ten tonight."

"Would you be interested in a late dinner with me?"

"Oh absolutely. You could show me some of your antiques or something." Oh she just knew that sounded dumber than hell, but it was too late now.

"Or something." Xena grinned as she slipped on dark sunglasses and turned to leave the bar.

When she was sure Xena was gone Casey brought her and into a tight fist and pulled it through the air to her side. "YES!"

Ashley walked up drying her hands on a towel. "You know you would have saved a lot of time if you have just gotten naked and offered yourself to her right here on the bar. Does the word subtle mean anything to you?"

"You be subtle, I want to get laid."

The door opened again. Casey looked up hoping Xena was coming back. Gail stuck her head in and waved what appeared to be a business card. "Oh how I HATE YOU!"

Casey just climbed over the bar and crossed the room at a sprint and grabbed the card. The gray linen card felt like silk in her hand on the front it read:

X&G Antiquities

Xena Gabriel, Appraiser

(212) 555-1515

Leave a message. All calls returned.

Allow 24 hours.

Casey flipped the card over, on the back in a very elegant script:

Casey,

I’ll pick you up out front at 10pm.

X

Casey looked up at Gail who glared. She smiled and turned on her heel and headed back over to the bar. "Just so there is absolutely NO DOUBT in your mind Casey McGuire I HATE YOU!" Gail barely heard the evil chuckle that filtered back across the room as the door closed.

 

Casey found herself looking at her watch almost all night long. Time just seemed to be creeping by tonight. It was about to drive her insane. It was more than just the prospect of a roll in the hay with tall, dark and gorgeous. Xena excited her, made her blood rush. It was an odd feeling that Casey had never felt before and if she got lucky too that was just a bonus.

Ash snuck up and pinched her on the ass as she looked at her watch again. "Hey!" Casey yelped as she pulled a beer out of the cooler and put it down in front of a customer at the bar.

"A watched pot never boils kiddo." Ashley said as she reached in and grabbed a couple of long necks.

"This pot’s boiling, trust me."

"So are you going to give her time to buy you dinner before you jump her?"

"Maybe." Casey grinned. Ashley just shook her head as she walked away.

 

She nearly broke her neck getting out of the bar at ten. She pushed open the door to the outside and sitting right in front of the entrance was Xena leaning against the most beautiful red convertible Mercedes see had ever seen. Xena was dressed all in black and was more stunning than she had been earlier. Casey considered just throwing her across the hood of the car. Then she realized everyone who was waiting to get into the bar was watching them. Xena grinned and pushed off the hood of the car and handed Casey a single white rose as she opened the passenger’s door.

"Shall we?"

"Oh yes let’s…" Casey purred as she took the rose and slid into the passenger’s seat of the car. She watched as Xena slid across the hood of the car and jumped over the door and landed in her seat behind the wheel.

She turned and smiled at Casey. "So do you still hate boats?"

"Ahh yeah. How’d you know that?" Casey asked the surprised evident in her voice.

"Some things never change." Xena chuckled. "Okay then, the penthouse or the beach?"

Casey smiled and smelled the rose. "The beach I think."

"The beach it is." Xena reached over and hit the keypad on her cell phone. She put the car in gear and pulled away from the curb as the phone on the other end rang.

As they pulled out into traffic a voice came on the other end. "Yes Miss Gabriel?"

"The lady wishes dinner at the beach." Xena said smiling at Casey.

"Yes Miss Gabriel. We’ll be ready upon your arrival."

"Good we’ll be there in…say…twenty minutes."

"Very good Miss Gabriel."

Xena reached over and hung up the phone. She looked over at Casey. "How was work?"

"It was work. It pays for my books and I have a good time with it, but tonight I couldn’t wait to get out of there."

"Hmmm. Any particular reason why?" Xena grinned as she exited for the highway.

"No can’t think of a one." Casey returned as the breeze picked up with their speed. "How was your meeting?"

"Profitable. I made about two hundred fifty-thousand for twenty minutes work."

"Gee I should give up the archeology thing and go into antiquities."

"Well they kind of go together don’t they?" Xena shifted the car and looked over at Casey.

"You know as well as I do that archeologists for the most part hate antiquities dealers."

"Well maybe you and I will have to work on changing their minds about each other."

"Sounds like it could be fun."

"You like having fun, don’t you Casey?"

"You betcha." She looked Xena’s long form up and down and couldn’t help but feel a familiar rush run through her body that settled somewhere between her heart and her legs.

"Here." Xena handed her the phone. "Call whoever you need to call and tell them your leaving town for the weekend."

Casey took the phone. "And exactly where am I going?"

"We’re going to have some fun." She shifted again.

"Just like that?"

"Just like that."

"But I don’t have any…"

Xena raised her hand and her eyebrow as she looked over at Casey. "Trust me I have everything you need. All you need to do is make a few phone calls and tell the people who will be worried about you that you’re going out of town."

Casey chewed on the inside of her mouth for a minute and put the phone down. Xena glanced over. "There really isn’t any one." She said with a slightly sad little smile.

"What about the woman you work for at the bar?"

"Oh I can call her later and tell her, she’d be too busy right now anyhow."

"Later it is then."

Casey looked over again and watched as the wind from the road blew Xena’s hair like a long, dark main behind her just for a moment she had the unusual sensation of deja vu.

 

The airstrip was not where Casey expected to end up, but as the Mercedes pulled up next the private jet she had a feeling she had better learn to expect the unexpected with Xena. As she got out of the car Xena tossed the keys to a young man who stepped forward. "There are bags in the trunk." She said to him before moving to Casey and putting her hand in the small of her back. "Ready to have some fun?"

"Absolutely."

Xena guided her over to the plane and up the stairs. Upon entering Casey couldn’t believe this jet. It was wood and leather forever. It was the most amazing thing Casey had ever seen. Another young woman who smiled at Casey met them and showed her to the main lounge area of the jet, Xena hadn’t followed. "Relax, Miss Gabriel will be right back. She’s speaking with the Captain. Make yourself comfortable. The champagne is iced and if there is anything you need my name is Jill. Just let me know."

Casey settled down into a plush leather chair next a window and waited. This was all too wild for her. Not only had she caught the eye of an extremely good-looking woman, she was apparently loaded too. "Wonder what I’d have to do to spend the rest of my life with her?" Casey mused aloud and her hands ran over the arms of the chair.

Feeling something at her fingertips she looked at the wooden caps on the arms of the chair. The carving was one of the most unique she had ever seen. It was of an ornate circular object with a feather in the center of it.

"It’s a quill and a chakram. It’s my logo." Xena said as she came in and sat down on the couch across from Casey.

Casey could feel the plane begin its taxi onto the runway. She looked up and smiled softly. "It’s very interesting. Is there a story that goes with it?"

"Oh yes. Several actually." Xena stood and poured two glasses of champagne. She turned and handed one down to Casey. "Those are tools Casey. The tools of a warrior and a bard." She sipped her champagne. "But there’s plenty of time for that later. Listen, why don’t you go in the back and lay down? We’ve got a four hour flight ahead of us and you might want to get a little sleep before we land."

Casey sipped her champagne and made eye contact with Xena over the rim of her glass. "What about you?"

"Oh I don’t require a lot of sleep."

"I’ll bet I’d be fine with a couple of hours." Casey grinned.

Xena held out her hand and helped Casey to her feet. She drew her close using one strong arm wrapped around her lower back. She leaned in and whispered. "Tell me what you want Casey. Do you want me to take you to bed is that it?"

Casey felt the jet lift from the ground and the shift forced her body harder into Xena’s, who stood strong against the incline of the jet as it climbed into the air. "Honestly yes. It’s all I’ve been able to think about all night and now here we are…"

Xena leaned in and captured her mouth before see could finish her sentence. Casey moaned into the kiss as their mouths and tongues began a passionate dance. This is what her body had been aching for all night. She felt herself being pulled toward the back cabin. She went willingly never breaking the kiss.

Xena broke the kiss, leaving Casey more than breathless. With a smile Xena pushed the door to the rear cabin open and motioned for Casey to go in. She went in and found a very comfortable sleeping cabin. She heard the door close and turned around to find Xena leaning on the knob. "Is this what you had in mind Casey?"

"Well actually I had imagined something a little closer to the ground, but this is good too."

"Hmmm." Xena moved forward, she took the champagne glasses and sat them to the side and began unbuttoning Casey’s shirt. "I’m glad you approve." She said as she lowered her mouth to Casey’s ear and took a lobe between her teeth.

Casey heard her own breath catch in her throat as she felt Xena’s teeth find the sensitive skin of her earlobe. "Oh yeah…I more than approve." She ran her hands over the shirt she now realized was silk and began unbuttoning the buttons as well. She unbuttoned the shirt and placed her hands under it finding a strong muscular back.

"Oh yeah…" She grazed her nails up and down Xena’s back as the taller woman continued the assault on her neck with her mouth.

Xena slipped Casey’s shirt off and unhooked her bra with a snap from one hand. A brief thought crossed Casey’s mind that Xena had done that before. She felt it being removed slowly from her shoulders and then down her arms. Xena’s hands then began roaming over the exposed flesh of her torso. Then she felt herself being lowered back onto the bed as warm soft lips wrapped themselves around the nipple of her left breast. It hardened immediately. "Ahh yesss…." Casey moaned as she pushed Xena’s shirt off her shoulders.

Xena shrugged the shirt off, continuing her exploration of the sweet flesh her mouth had been waiting to devour once again. "So long…" She said softly as her head moved to the other nipple and licked it. She pulled back and watched it as it hardened before her eyes. She gave a wicked little grin and looked up to Casey. The younger woman’s eyes were closed and her breathing had increased three fold. "Like that do you?" Xena asked as she took the nub into her mouth again and gave it a gentle bite as she continued to watch Casey’s face.

"Yeeesss…oh yes."

"Yes." Xena said determinedly as she took the flesh into her mouth and began devouring it. Her hands worked the button and the zipper on Casey’s jeans with little effort.

Casey kicked her sneakers off and lifted her hips to help as Xena’s hands slid into her jeans and worked them over her hips and down her legs. God she could feel the fire burning out of control between her legs. Xena slipped down as she pulled the jeans free, kissing the exposed flesh on her way. She stopped briefly and placed a soft kiss on soft blonde curls that simply were dripping with Casey’s juices. Xena growled as she stood and pulled the jeans free, leaving Casey naked on the bed before her.

"So beautiful…" She murmured as she unbuckled her belt and kicked off her shoes. She watched as Casey’s hands began roaming over her own body. "Ohhh…yess…you know don’t you…" She whispered as she watched the young woman tease her own nipples and begin writhing from the pleasure. "Yes you do." Xena growled as she slid out of her pants and returned to the bed.

It didn’t take their bodies long to meld together. Hands, mouths and lips searched for any exposed flesh. Casey heard Xena’s breathing coming in raspy bursts as she found the dark haired woman’s breasts with her hands and the nipples with her lips and fingers.

Xena lifted her head as a growl escaped deep from her chest. Holding her weight on one hand she reached down and parted Casey’s legs with the other. She ran the tips of her fingers lightly up one slick thigh across those wet curls, causing a thrusting motion from the blonde body under her and then ever so lightly back down the other warm wet thigh. She closed her eyes and brought that hand to her own lips and inhaled. "God you smell so sweet Casey." She licked her lips and let the tip of her tongue dance over her fingertips.

Casey watched as Xena lick her from her fingertips. "Please…" She whispered. Her own hands started their exploration of the older woman’s body. Casey didn’t want to waste time. While taking one of those delightfully hardened nipples in her mouth her hand moved to Xena’s waist. One moved to her firm ass, the other to her dark wet patch. Casey didn’t stop with dancing across them she slid her fingers into the wet fold she found there and began rubbing the engorged warmth.

"Ohhh God!" Xena growled as she found herself putting her other hand down on the other side of Casey to keep from collapsing on top of her as the young woman began taking her body places she hadn’t been in almost thirty-five years. She felt herself begin to rock with Casey’s motions. "Yesss…Casey…oh God Casey…"

The sound of Xena calling her name in unison with her low moans and growls made Casey more determined. She moved from one nipple to the other with her mouth licking, biting and sucking. Her free hand drug itself up Xena’s back digging her nails into the flesh, this seemed to make Xena happy, very happy. Her fingers and hand now completely covered in Xena’s sticky warmth continued to explore the depths of her lover. She paused just outside the opening as she watched Xena’s face. Her eyes were closed and she was biting down on her lower lip. Her head nodded in silent approval as her hips rocked hard into Casey’s probing hand. The fingers that entered her were firm and strong in their intention. "Yeeessss…oh yeess Casey…"

Casey could feel Xena’s every response to her touch and kisses. Every thrust, every twitch, every spasm. She began matching her loving stroke with Xena’s thrusting. Xena’s head dropped as her hips rocked and thrust hard into Casey. "Ohhh Casey…I’m soooo…"

"Let yourself go Xena…come for me…"

Xena lowered herself on top of Casey as her body gave a few final thrusts. Her mouth fought to capture Casey’s for a long and passionate kiss as the orgasm gripped her body. Finally, covered in a light bead of sweat and totally out of breath Xena rolled away from Casey probing hands. "Stop…stop…" She took a deep breath and reached out and pulled Casey on top of her and licked her lips. She drew a deep breath as she looked into Casey’s smiling face. "God Casey thank you." She kissed her long and lovingly. "And now for you my love."

"Yeess…please…" Casey begged breathlessly as Xena grabbed her thighs and drew the younger woman up on her knees and slid down the bed stopping between her legs.

"Hold onto the headboard." Xena told her as her face drew closer the wet blonde curls. Casey gripped the headboard hard as Xena’s mouth began to play magic in her folds. Licking, sucking, stroking with her firm tongue.

Casey rocked back and forth slowly at first, enjoying the sensation on the firm warm tongue that pleasured her. Soon however as she looked down and watched the pure expression of pleasure that spread across Xena’s face and the sounds that she made Casey could only rock harder and faster as Xena consumed her. "Oh my God…unggh…oh God yess…" Casey moaned as Xena held her in place and continued to drink her. Her body shuddered long and hard as multiple climaxes shook her body.

"Xena…God…ohhh…"

She loss the grip on the headboard and fell forward her long hair falling over her shoulders covering Xena’s head as her body ached in a rigid arch as the final explosion overtook her. She slumped forward resting against the headboard trying to catch her breath.

Xena slid out from under her and pulled the covers down. She took Casey by the waist and gently pulled her into her arms and guided her under the covers. Casey could feel the cool smoothness of the silk sheets against the tingling of her skin, then the warmth and comfort of Xena joining her and pulling her into her arms. She felt the soft kisses to her forehead and she felt the covers being pulled over them. She heard the words of love as she drifted off to sleep.

She didn’t hear the important declaration. "Welcome home my bard." Xena kissed her and held her close. "God Gabrielle it’s so good to have you back. I’ve missed you so much." She reached above her head and picked up a telephone receiver. "Jill will you wake us about thirty minutes before we land? Thanks." She replaced the receiver and pulled her bard close to her before turning out the cabin lights. She closed her eyes and drifted into a dreamless sleep, her world complete for the moment.

The phone rang. A sleepy Xena reached up and pulled it down. "Thank you Jill. Yes that’s fine." She replaced the receiver and turned the cabin lights on. She couldn’t help but smile. Her bard was home. Draped across her as if they hadn’t been apart. She kissed Casey on the forehead, "Hey sleepyhead come on wake up."

Casey opened her eyes, smiled, murmured something, closed her eyes and started to drift off again.

Xena could only allow herself to smile. "Some things just never change." She said as she stroked Casey’s back. "Now come on Case I’m serious here we land in thirty minutes we need to get up."

"You first." Her sleepy companion challenged without moving a muscle.

"’Kay we can do it that way if you want." Xena teased as she wondered if all the old ticklish spots remained intact.

"Don’t even think it." Casey mumbled as she rolled off Xena and blinked her eyes to adjust to the soft cabin lights.

"Think what?" Xena asked innocently as she stretched and ran her fingers through the long blonde hair she had missed for so long.

"I know that tone. Okay so I’m not the easiest person in the world to wake up. If you let me stick around long enough you’ll find it to be charming and even endearing quality." Casey said with a grin as she buried her face in a pillow.

"Oh I know it is." Xena kissed a bare shoulder and sat up, stretching again. She hadn’t slept that well in years. The dreams from the last time had haunted her nearly every single night since she had lost the bard in that horrible wreck. She shook it off and leaned over and kissed a bare shoulder again. "Did I say thank you for earlier?"

"I think you may have moaned something like that in my general direction." Casey said as she pulled her head out of the pillow and accepted a long and passionate kiss.

Blue eyes locked onto those green ones again as Xena’s fingers caressed Casey’s cheek. "Thank you." She said softly.

"And thank you too." Casey replied as she kissed Xena’s fingertips.

They were lost in each other’s eyes. The phone brought Xena out of it and with a quick kiss she sat up and answered the phone. "Yes? Thank you Jill. No that’s fine, perfect as a matter of fact." She said as she smiled and captured a roaming hand as it crept up her leg under the covers. "Yeah we’ll be right out." Xena hung up the phone and pulled Casey into her arms by that hand that she had captured. "So you want to play huh?"

"Now Xena aren’t you they one who said we have to get up?" Casey asked trying to divert the look and tone she could see was going to be big trouble for her.

"Yeah I guess I did. Boy you’re lucky." She said with a smirk.

"Somehow I know that." Casey giggled as Xena got up and stretched.

"You are so beautiful." Casey said as she lay in bed looking at the woman who had in such a short time begun to become a part of her heart.

"So are you." Xena said as she stripped the covers back from the bed. "And if you don’t drag that beautiful body of yours out of that bed I’ll do it for you." Xena advanced.

"I’m up, I’m up." Casey said as she moved to her knees in the center of the bed and threw her hands up in defense.

"Okay." Xena moved to a closet and took out a robe and put it on. "I’m going up to talk to the captain for a minute. The bathroom is in there." She indicated a door behind her. "You can freshen up and there are clothes in the closet that should fit you."

"How can you be so sure?" Casey asked playfully.

Xena leaned over the bed and kissed her on the forehead. "I have many skills…" She grinned and left the room.

 

The plane touched down as expected. As they were leaving Jill handed Xena a briefcase. Xena just rolled her eyes and took it. "Work." She mumbled as she guided Casey from the plane. On the tarmac set yet another surprise for Casey. A limo, driver standing by waiting patiently. Casey noticed the plates on the car read X N G 1. She was beginning to wonder who ‘G’ was. It was clear that ‘G’ wasn’t Gabriel, Xena’s last name. ‘G’ was a person.

The driver opened the door and Casey climbed into the limo. It was just as everything else had been so far this evening, perfect. Xena climbed in next to her and settled into the leather seat. She started to toss the briefcase onto the adjacent seat when Casey caught her arm.

"Hey is there something in there you’re suppose to do?"

"Nothing that can’t wait a few days." She started to toss the case, but was stopped again.

"Oh no. If there is something in there you need to take care of, do it."

Xena sighed and put the case in her lap and opened it. She pulled out a few papers and began sifting through them. She also pulled out a pair of glasses and unfolded them. Casey watched as she read the documents and slowly unfolded the glasses. She never put them on, she held then in her hands for a few minutes and then began chewing on the earpiece.

"Hey." Casey nudged her. "Shouldn’t those go across your eyes they’ll work much better there."

"Actually no. I don’t need them. This is just force of habit. Someone liked the way I looked in them once and I’ve kept them ever since."

"Very interesting." Casey said as she let her hand come to rest on Xena’s leg under the case. She let her head drop back to the seat and closed her eyes.

"Tired?" Xena asked as she watched Casey’s chest rise and fall a deep sigh.

"No just enjoying all this and wishing it didn’t have to end."

"Who say’s it has to?" Xena couldn’t help, but feel a little panic setting in. She hadn’t considered that Casey might not want to stay with her.

"Yeah right." Casey chuckled. "Like you’re going to want me to stick around after the weekend."

"Wait a minute. You think this is just a weekend fling don’t you?"

"Isn’t it?"

"Not if you don’t want it to be."

Casey opened her eyes and looked to Xena. She was now fidgeting with those glasses and her expression was quite serious. "You serious aren’t you?" You want me to stay."

"Yes…please…"

"You don’t even know me."

"Yes I do."

"How can you possibly know me? We met, what twelve hours ago?"

"Yes and you trusted me enough to leave your home without calling a single person, get on a jet and fly away to God only knows where…"

"Speaking of that where the hell are we?’

"Los Angeles…"

"California?"

"Do you know of another one? You said you wanted to go to dinner at the beach."

"I was thinking, oh I don’t know, the Atlantic Ocean maybe."

"You got something against the Pacific Ocean?

"No I don’t have anything against the Pacific Ocean. I don’t even know the Pacific Ocean, we’ve never met." Casey said with a defiant little smirk hoping to win this particular round.

Xena couldn’t help herself. She threw her head back and laughed out loud at that comment. She actually had to use the palm of her hand to wipe the tears from her eyes. "Well remind me to introduce you when we get there." She said as she put her things back in her briefcase and snapped it shut before tossing it over to the other seat. She then pulled Casey onto her lap, so that the woman was facing her, straddling her with her knees resting on the seat. She ran her fingers through Casey’s hair as she looked deeply into her eyes. "Casey this can be whatever you want it to be. If it’s a fling for you then it’s a fling and I’ll be grateful for our time together. I just hope it’s more. I want you to stay with me. I need you. I don’t need much in this life but I need you. I always have and I always will." She didn’t even give her time to respond before she pulled her into a long and passionate kiss.

Casey began to melt into the kiss, her hands started to roam Xena’s body in reflex to the dance their tongues were currently engaged in. Those roaming hands finally came to rest on breasts with nipples hardened and pushing against the fabric of Xena’s shirt. She heard the moans that came deep from within her dark haired lover as her thumbs brushed across the fabric of the shirt. She felt the button of her jeans give way and then the zipper being pulled down. She began unbuttoning Xena’s shirt as she felt her hands travel into the backside of the jeans and began a firm massage of her ass.

The kiss was broken long enough for Xena to whisper, "Take them off."

It took Casey all of ten seconds to stand up just enough to remove her shoes and her jeans as she watched Xena recline and stretch out in the seat, eyes half closed, shirt open to the waist revealing those perfect breasts and firm stomach.

Xena reached for the woman and drew her back down ot top of her in that straddling position so that her stomach and Casey’s curls came together. She lifted the tee shirt Casey had chosen and began kissing the exposed flesh of her stomach as she began rubbing her own abs against Casey’s damp curls.

"Hmm…" Casey moaned as her breath began to come in short bursts. She closed her eyes and rested her hands on Xena’s shoulders as her body began to stroke against the firm, warm flesh of her lover’s stomach.

They soon reunited in another soul searing kiss as Xena’s hands came to rest on Casey’s backside. She used this to her advantage and set the pace, guiding the grinding motion of the other woman as she thrust her stomach to set the pace. She could feel Casey begin to flow and the thought of this woman’s juices on her stomach began a flood of her own. "Oh yess…" She moaned as she buried her face in Casey’s neck and gave a little nip. "God what you do to me…" She whispered into her ear as she gently suckled the tender flesh of the lobe into her mouth.

Casey could feel herself throbbing against Xena as every grind, every thrust and every stroke was delivered with such passion and intensity she thought she’d die from the want of it. Her hands traveled to Xena’s breasts and began rubbing and pinching the hardened nipples, which encouraged Xena to move their bodies together harder and faster. Xena moaned as she forced her head back into the seat. Her eyes closed and lips parted slightly. Casey wondered why the sight of this woman’s face in a moment of passion could make her feel so damned possessed but it did. All she wanted to do was make Xena happy. She found her self rocking and grinding harder and faster into the woman under her, realizing that these motions were bringing Xena to the edge of climax as well. "Xena…my God…ohhh…" Casey moaned before biting her lip to keep from it.

"Let me hear you Casey." Xena begged as she felt more of the sticky warmth pour onto her stomach.

"Unhh…Xe…I…ohhhh…" Casey slumped forward again as they continued their passionate movements together toward a climax that would set them both free. She wrapped her hands in Xena’s hair and leaned in for a kiss. As their tongues found each other and began their slippery dance, both bodies reached their climax and began shuddering together. Moans echoed into each other’s mouths. Casey nearly screamed when Xena arched into her from her own climax, sending her into yet another spasm.

Finally after long minutes quaking and shudders both bodies fell into each other. Xena wrapped Casey up in her arms and held her close to her chest. Casey rested against the shoulder of her lover and listened to the words that where being whispered to her.

"Don’t leave me…please…don’t. You make my life complete. I know you don’t understand, but you’re the only one…" Xena said softly as she hugged Casey to her. "I love you."

 

Redressed and recomposed the pair sat nestled together until the car came to a stop about ten minutes later. Xena sat up and shrugged her shoulders a bit to relax them as the driver could be heard getting out. Casey sat up and stretched as the door opened. Xena climbed out of the car and held out her hand for Casey. Instead of Casey’s hand she got her briefcase. She groaned and smiled at the little blonde as she got out of the car and planted a quick kiss on Xena’s cheek. "You forgot that."

"I didn’t forget it, I left it. I want to spend time with you not paperwork."

"There’s plenty of time for both." Casey said as she took Xena’s free hand and gave it a squeeze.

Xena’s heart leapt into her throat. She didn’t dare believe that maybe Casey was thinking of staying with her. So far the woman had made it clear that this was just for the weekend and as much as it hurt, Xena knew she wouldn’t try to hold her if she wanted to leave. She’d just live without her again and hope for the best with the next reincarnation. All she wanted was for the bard to be happy.

As they turned and headed for the house Casey gasped. It was absolutely the biggest friggin house she had ever seen. She could hear the roar of the ocean from behind it. Xena handed the briefcase to the driver and took both of Casey’s hands. Walking backward, facing the blonde she grinned, "Come on let me introduce you."

They walked past the house and down a side path that led to the beach. The waves crashed hard against the shore as the light of the moon danced off the water. Soft lights from the house lit up the section of beach enough that they could see, but not so much that they were obtrusive to the beauty of the beach.

Xena moved in behind Casey and wrapped her arms around her in a gentle hug. "Casey I’d like to introduce you to the Pacific Ocean. Ocean Casey, Casey, ocean."

Casey leaned back against Xena and relaxed into the hug. "God Xena it’s beautiful."

"I can only think of one thing that’s better."

"What?"

"You."

Casey turned in Xena’s arms and looked into her eyes for any insincerity. She didn’t see any at all. "I swear Xena it sounds as if you are declaring your undying love for me."

That hit home and Xena wasn’t expecting it. Tears came to her eyes and she whispered. "I am. You have no idea." A single tear fell from those perfect blue eyes and Casey wiped it away with her thumb, leaving her palm planted on Xena’s cheek. Xena leaned into her hand and turned her head to place a soft kiss there. Casey shuddered from the kiss. "Cold?" Xena asked softly as she rubbed her cheek in the palm of Casey’s hand.

"Umm yeah a little." Casey lied.

"Let’s go up to the house."

They walked back up the beach and up the back stairs to the deck and entered the house through a sliding glass door. Just as with everything else tonight this house was amazing. The fireplace in this room was alive and roaring. Dinner was already served and placed on a candle lit table in front of the sliding glass door giving a beautiful view of the beach and the ocean. There were antiques everywhere.

"My God Xena this place is incredible." She said as she wandered around and tried to take everything in.

"Feel free to look around. I do have one quick thing I have to do in my office." Xena started to climb a circular staircase that was predominating in the room. Casey watched as she disappeared up the stairs and she returned to looking at the furnishings. She couldn’t believe some of the antiques in the room. Items that she would only be able to dream of seeing. There was a bust of Ares, the Greek God of War that caught her attention. She wondered why it had a little noose around its neck.

She finally moved to the table and poured two glasses of wine. She had just taken a sip when she heard Xena call to her. "Yes Xena?"

"Why don’t you grab the wine and come up here?"

"Are you sure?"

"Yeah this is going to take a little longer than I thought come on up if you want or go ahead and have dinner I’ll be down in about ten minutes."

Casey decided she wanted to see more of the house and this would be a great time to do it. She grabbed the wine and the glasses and started up the staircase. Xena’s office was the first door to the left. She went in and found Xena sitting behind a computer looking completely disgusted. She handed her a glass of wine and moved behind her and leaned over and kissed her neck. "Something wrong?"

"Nothing a large caliber handgun wouldn’t fix. This man is a moron if he thinks I’m selling him this piece at this price."

"What price?"

"Two million."

"Two million? As in dollars? U.S. currency?"

"Umm-hmm."

"And if you don’t mind my asking…how much of that is your profit?"

"This piece is in my private collection so it’s all mine."

"So what’s this piece worth?"

"Well he’s not getting for less that three." She looked at the screen again and growled at it. "Dumb ass." She typed something into an email message about his intelligence, his heritage, a counter offer went with it and then she hit send.

"That wasn’t nice." Casey giggled.

"Not nice, but true," Xena said as she sipped her wine and rolled back from the desk and pulled Casey into her lap. "My God you must be exhausted." She looked at her watch. "It’s three a.m. your time."

"No I’m fine really. Some nights I don’t get out of the club until at least four. Never home before five and never into bed before six."

"A night owl huh? Me too." She smiled and gave her a soft kiss. The computer announced an incoming message. Xena clicked the mouse button and read the message. "Ah-ha gotcha you silly little bastard!" Still holding Casey in her lap, she reached around her and typed another message and hit send.

"Three million for five minutes work?" Casey couldn’t resist.

"Three point two actually." Xena grinned and wiggled her eyebrows and the younger woman. "Ready for dinner?"

"Sure."

 

After dinner the pair sat on the sofa in front of the fireplace and talked. Casey eventually ended up stretched out with her head in Xena’s lap. Soon after that she was sound asleep. Xena sat there until the sun came up just watching her bard sleep and running her fingers through Casey’s hair.

When Casey awoke in the morning she found her head nestled in a soft pillow and she was covered with a warm blanket, snuggled down on the leather sofa. She stretched and yawned as she focused she found a glass of juice and a note on the coffee table in front of her. She pulled herself up and took the note.

Out for my morning run. Make yourself at home, look around enjoy the place. I won’t be gone long.

The cook’s name is Katherine. Tell her what you want for breakfast and she’ll set you up.

If you want a shower and a fresh change of clothes, my room is at the end of the hall upstairs. Everything you need is there.

Oh yeah, call home (use the black telephone on the desk in my office) and tell them where you are before they issue a warrant for my arrest for kidnapping.

If you need anything at all just pick up any white phone in the house and someone will take care of you.

Love,

X

Casey smiled and took the juice to the window and opened the blinds. The ocean was more beautiful this morning than it had been last night. She sipped her juice and wondered if Xena was serious about this being whatever she wanted it to be. It was just too good to be true. This beautiful, wealthy woman had just walked into that dreary little nightclub, swept her off her feet and brought her to paradise, claiming it was hers for the taking. God there had to be a catch.

She started to wander around the house as she sipped her juice. It just seemed to go on forever. She found a library, game room, at least six bedrooms, and multiple bathrooms. She made sure to pay attention so she could get back to where she had started. There didn’t seem to be any one else around but yet the note spoke of at least one other person. She stopped when she happened upon a door marked Gallery. She tried the knob, finding it unlocked she went in.

As soon as she entered the lights came on automatically, there were several small displays in this room. She also heard soft music playing in the background. She noticed that all of the displays in this room had a very personal feel to them. They consisted of two items each, from various time frames in history. As she turned to look a piece in the center of the room caught her eye.

On a tall marble pedestal, under a glass case, with lights delicately lighting it was that chakram Xena spoke of. It was balanced ever so delicately on its edge and was rotating very slowly and running through it as if suspended on air was a fine quill. The quill gently turned over in place as if pushed on a burst of air. Casey examined them wondering how in the devil this was being accomplished.

As she walked around the case she noticed a plaque:

So this is who I am,

And this is all I know,

And I must choose to live,

For all that I can give,

The spark that makes the power grow

And I will stand for my dream if I can,

Symbol of my faith in who I am,

But you are my only,

And I must follow on the road that lies ahead,

And I won’t let my heart control my head,

But you are my only

We don’t say goodbye,

We don’t say goodbye,

And I know what I’ve got to be

Immortality

I make my journey through eternity

I keep the memory of you and me inside

Fulfil your destiny,

Is there within the child,

My storm will never end,

My fate is on the wind

The king of hearts, the jokers wild,

But we don’t say goodbye

We don’t say goodbye

I’ll make them all remember me

‘Cos I have found a dream that must come true,

Every ounce of me must see it through,

But you are my only

I’m sorry I don’t have a role for love to play

Hand over my heart I’ll find my way

I will make them give to me

Immortality

There is a vision and a fire in me

I keep the memory of you and me, inside

We don’t say goodbye

We don’t say goodbye

With all my love for you

And what else we may do

We don’t say, goodbye

 

Casey noticed as she read that the music that played behind her was actually the words on this plaque. She cocked her head to listen to the beautiful arrangement as she reread the words. The song played on a loop and she simply had to wait for it. She felt the lump in her throat as she stood there reading these words written with so much love and tenderness. She looked back at the chakram and the quill.

"It’s called The Eternal Dance." Xena said softly as not the startle Casey. She was still dressed in her running clothes and was soaked from her exercise of the morning.

Casey looked up a little embarrassed, "I’m sorry I didn’t mean to pry…"

"Hey I told you to look around, I meant it. There aren’t any rooms off limits to you here."

"How did you do this?" Casey pointed to the display.

"Would you believe it’s enchanted?"

"My guess would be that there’s a story?"

Xena nodded and came into the room. "You see the warrior and the bard fell in love with each other. They settled down and even had a family, but the Gods interfered and they cursed the warrior. As the years passed the warrior watched as the beautiful little bard grew older, while the warrior’s reflection never changed."

She moved a little further into the room and closer to the display as she continued, but she didn’t make eye contact with Casey. "Then one spring morning some sixty years after they met, the warrior watched as the bard simply slipped away." She paused, Casey could see her fighting to control her emotions. "She…ah…died surrounded by her children and her grandchildren with her ageless warrior at her side. Before she slipped away she started to say it, but the warrior wouldn’t let her." She stopped and drew another deep breath before continuing. " The warrior’s final promise to the bard was to find an answer to the curse that would keep them apart. After the bard passed away Aphrodite came to the warrior and asked for the chakram and the quill. She enchanted them just as you see them there." She pointed briefly, looking up for just a second before dropping her head again. "Aphrodite said it was a gift of remembrance because the day the bard died, true love died with her."

Casey wanted to say something, anything. She could tell this was hard for Xena, but she remained quiet and allowed her to continue. Xena moved a little closer to Casey, but still just out of reach.

"Aphrodite told the warrior she couldn’t undo what had been done by other Gods. But as long as the warrior kept the faith and the love for the bard and kept the chakram and the quill safe, she would try to make sure that the bard would be guided back to the warrior, lifetime after lifetime. It was the best the Goddess could do and it was more than the warrior could hope for." Xena looked up there were tears in her eyes. "So it’s been that way as you see it now for more than fifty of the bard’s lifetimes. Some have been long and happy, some cut dreadfully short, but the warrior never lost faith that she would be returned and never stopped loving her…" She paused and added quietly. "Never stops looking for her…" Tears slipped down Xena’s cheeks and she wiped them away quickly.

"That’s beautiful."

"The truth usually is." She finally stepped forward and rested her hands on Casey’s shoulders. "Casey I told you this can be whatever you want, but promise me that if you leave you won’t say it. If you do…"

Casey placed her index finger over Xena’s lips. "I promise I won’t say it. I would never rob you of what you believe."

"Thank you. Thank you." She said as she ran her knuckles down Casey’s cheek.

"What was her name?"

Xena continued to softly caress Casey’s cheek and look deeply into her eyes as she drew a deep breath. "Gabrielle…" It came out as a call to a long dead lover, not the answer to a simple question. "Gabrielle…" She said softly before turning away.

"Xena I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you."

"It’s okay, you really needed to be told. To help you understand." She drew a deep breath and exhaled. She turned back around. "Well I smell like a pig so I’m going to go grab a shower and get changed and then well decide what to do today to have some fun okay?"

"Okay. It sounds like plan." Casey agreed trying to lighten the mood. Xena took her hand and kissed it laying it on the plague before she left the room. Casey realized immediately that Xena was giving her permission to make her own decision about her offer. Her fingertips had been placed on the lines, ‘I’m sorry I don’t have a role for love to play. Hand over my heart I’ll find my way.’ She found herself wiping tears from her eyes as she took one last look at The Eternal Dance.

 

Casey went back to the area where Xena’s room was. It was then that she realized she too needed a shower. She smiled. A shower, yes a shower would be good right now. She headed down the hall and opened Xena’s bedroom door. She heard the shower running and began stripping out of her clothes dropping them in a line to the door as she went. As she entered the bathroom she could see the silhouette of Xena’s firm, strong body behind the hazy glass of the shower door. There was something intensely erotic about knowing what was behind the door, but not actually being able to see it.

"So are you going to stand there and stare all day or are you going to join me?" Xena asked from behind the door.

Casey smiled and opened the shower door. "Now how did you know…never mind I don’t want to know." She stepped into the shower and nearly fainted as she got a good look at Xena, wet, hot and soapy. "Oh my…" She sighed.

"See something you like?" Xena asked as she ran soap-laced hands across her breasts and down her stomach.

"Oh yeah." Casey grinned as she stepped forward and began rubbing her hands over Xena’s body, smearing the soap around. "Ohhh…yeaah…" She moaned as she moved her body into the older woman and began working the soap over the both of them using her own body.

Xena’s hands slipped around Casey and she began soaping her back with her hands gently grazing her nails over her back and ass. "Casey…ohh you feel soo good."

"I’m glad you like." She said as she moved her mouth to Xena’s neck and gave it a light nip. "I want you to take me…now." She took Xena’s hands and guided them to her breasts and helped her get started. It didn’t take long.

Xena pushed Casey against the wall and began kneading her breasts taking already hardened nipples between her thumbs and forefingers she gave them firm pulls as she brought her mouth down on Casey’s for a kiss. Their tongues fought for control of each other. Xena was amazed at Casey’s insistence. She moved her under the water so the soap would be washed away. They continued the rub their bodies together allowing the water to coat them.

"Unnnh…Xena…yess." She took a hand away from her breasts and placed it between her legs and then guided Xena’s head to the now hard and lonely nipple. Xena took the nipple in her mouth and began sucking greedily on the hardened nub. "Ohhh yess just like that…please." Xena slipped her hand into Casey’s folds and found her warm and wet and it wasn’t from the water of the shower. Casey’s back arched into Xena’s mouth, her hips began a slow loving grind against the hand that was working her slippery folds.

"God Casey…ohhh…" Xena moaned even as her mouth remained firmly attached to the nipple continuing to suck. "Yes." She growled.

"I…need…you…down…" Casey moaned as she pushed Xena to her knees and guided her head to her center. She continued to hold her head into place even as Xena slipped her tongue into the folds and began drinking the flow of juice Casey gave forth for her.

Xena moaned as Casey began sliding up and down the wall as she licked her taking her bud into her mouth and giving it a firm suck. Holding it between her lips she began to run her tongue over it. "Oh God!" Casey cried as she held strands of wet black hair in her hands and began to thrust into her lover’s face. Xena wrapped her arms around Casey’s thigh to hold her in place as she continued to consume her. Casey strained against the wall as Xena’s tongue worked her into a frenzy. "Yeess…please make…me…come…"

These words sent Xena over the edge and she pushed her face hard into Casey and then brought her hand into play. Her tongue dipped deep into Casey as her thumb worked the nerve center. The groaning, and moaning of the blonde made her more determined to give her lover all the pleasure she could. She was about to begin a new exploration when Casey suddenly cried out and her muscles began to spasm and contract. Xena grabbed Casey by the waist so she wouldn’t collapse. Casey hadn’t released Xena’s head or attempted to move her so she stayed there and continued licking, sucking firmly stroking. Finally Casey released Xena’s head and slowly began sliding down the wall. Xena caught her and they sat against the wall of the shower. Xena held Casey close as her breathing and heart rate returned to normal. "Oh God thank you." Casey moaned as she reached up with a shaky hand and caressed Xena’s face.

"Happy to be of service." Xena grinned. "Where in the world did that come from?"

"Oh I don’t know. I figured this was as good a place as any to have some fun."

"Well you made my morning." Xena chuckled as she kissed a wet brow.

As soon as Casey was able to stand on her own two feet they finished their shower which included long moments of just holding each other as the warm water ran over their bodies.

 

After their shower and a quick breakfast Xena went to check her email. Casey didn’t understand it but watching this woman at her computer turned her on. Then again watching just about everything she did turned her on. ‘Man I’m getting it bad.’ Casey thought as she watched from the doorway.

"Case would you be awfully unhappy with me if we had to stop by my gallery for a minute?"

"Good God no! You have your own gallery?"

"Umm-hmm. My manager just sent me a note and we got a new shipment in and there’s a piece I’m really wanting to look at."

"Why are we still talking about it? Let’s go."

Xena actually made a small show of preparing her briefcase for Casey who grinned at her from the doorway. She tossed a couple of files into the case and then began looking for something else. She lifted a few papers and continued to look. Casey crossed the room and lifted a stack of papers and fished out the glasses and handed them to her. She tossed them in the case and snapped it shut. "Thanks." She took the case in hand and gave Casey a soft kiss.

"So where is this gallery of yours?" Casey asked as she lingered in Xena’s arms, playing with the button on her shirt.

"Beverly Hills."

"Oh I was hoping you’d say that." She broke out in a broad smile.

"So you want to go to Beverly Hills huh?

"Oh yeah. I hear it’s the best shopping in the world."

"It is if you can afford it."

"Hmmm. That could be a problem."

"Oh puuullleeezeee." Xena said as she rolled her eyes.

"Hey I’m serious here. You’ve already done so much. I wouldn’t think of trying to take advantage of your kindness."

"Listen to me. You have no idea how much this time with you means to me. I’ve been alone for thirty- five years Casey waiting for you…" She dropped the subject she didn’t want to push it. "Any how this is your weekend for fun. You get what ever you want that will make it fun for you and if running me to ruin on Rodeo Drive will do it then so be it."

Casey chuckled as they headed for the door. They walked with their arms around each other’s waist. Casey had to admit they did fit together well and she had never been this comfortable with anyone before, but just how much of this could she really believe? Xena was so nonchalant about revealing everything. Casey had to think that somewhere all the synapses weren’t firing here. Either Xena was telling her the absolute truth or she was spending the weekend with a lunatic. Granted a lunatic who was great in bed, but a lunatic none the less. Still she wasn’t afraid of her. She could sense that Xena would never hurt her and if she decided to leave she knew she’d be free to go.

She pulled herself back as they approached the limo. The driver opened the door and Xena stepped aside to let Casey in first and then she climbed in after telling the driver to head for the gallery. As Xena settled into the seat and tossed her briefcase across to the other seat Casey took her hand and played with her fingers.

"Xena?"

"Hmm?"

"What did she look like? She asked quietly.

"She looked like you. Blonde hair, green eyes…sweet, soft voice."

"Do you think that maybe you want to believe I’m her because I look like her?"

"No." Xena said quietly. "I know all this is hard to believe and you probably think I’m nuts. I won’t blame you when you go back." Xena let her head drop back into the seat. "I’ve just learned after so many times of doing this that the direct route is always the best and then you’re always allowed to make your own choice as to stay or go."

"Makes sense I guess. How many times have you done this?"

"Too many. I don’t know, somewhere around sixty I think."

"Do you always end up together?"

"No. Sometimes we don’t and I wait again. Sometimes you come back as a man, weird but okay. You’ve had red hair, brown eyes…it’s just this time you’re almost a dead ringer." She stopped and grinned. "Sorry bad choice of words."

Casey nudged her playfully and the conversation was lost to the tickle fight. "AHH THEY STILL WORK!" Xena yelled as she held Casey down and tickled her senseless.

Casey began begging for it to end when she realized she was pinned on the floor of the limo with Xena on top of her holding her down and she couldn’t wiggle free. "You win Warrior you win!"

Xena sat up and looked at her. "What did you say?"

"I said you win." Casey said as she tried to recapture her breath.

"No what did you call me?"

"Warrior. That’s what you are, aren’t you? You’re the warrior."

"Yeah, but no one has called me that since…"

"C’mere Warrior." Casey pulled Xena down and kissed her. At the end of the kiss she whispered, "I’m staying. I don’t care if you are nuts."

Xena pulled back and gave her a smile that lit up her face like a small child that had just been turned loose in a toy store. "Really?"

"Really. I can’t explain it, but it feels so right. It really does. We belong together."

"Yes we do." Xena said as she stretched out next to Casey on the floor of the limo, with her feet up on the seat. "The rules have changed…no running us to ruin on Rodeo Drive." She chuckled as she pulled Casey into her arms. "We’re going to have to go back to New York and tie up all the loose ends there and get you in into a school out here and…"

"You talk too much." Casey said as she drew her in for another kiss.

 

After a brief trip to Xena’s gallery, the pair began a slow walk down Rodeo Drive. Casey was having a ball. Xena watched her with a wide grin as she stopped in front of the shops and marveled at the displays and then pretty much decided the items were less than her style.

"It’s actually a little gaudy isn’t it?" Casey asked at one point, resting against a storefront.

"Yeah it is. But hey they keep me in business so who am I to complain?" Xena agreed with a smile. "Coffee…"

"What?"

"Coffee. I need coffee." Xena said as she looked around for a Starbucks or something.

"Just decide that did you?" Casey asked as she poked Xena in the ribs.

"Un-huh." Xena flinched at the poke in the ribs revealing that it just might be a tickle spot of her own. "Be nice…" She growled playfully at Casey lifting an eyebrow for emphasis.

"Me? I’m always nice." Casey said as she pushed off the building and gave Xena two quick pokes in the ribs before taking off running down the sidewalk.

"Oh you are in so much trouble when I catch you!" Xena said as she took off after her.

She finally caught her around the waist at the corner, when Casey hesitated for just a second trying to figure out where to go next.

"Damn!" Casey giggled as she felt the strong arms wrap around her waist.

"Now your in for it…" Xena started as the sound of screeching brakes assaulted their ears.

Xena looked up and saw three things. The truck that couldn’t get stopped, the child in the middle of the road and the horrified look on the face of a parent so stricken with fear she couldn’t move. She released Casey and made a running leap for the child, pushing her out of the way and into the arms of the mother who feared for her.

Casey watched as the truck plowed into Xena sending her crashing to the ground in the intersection some thirty feet away. "NO! GOD NO!" She started to run to Xena, but the golden light that surrounded her held her in place.

 

2002

She planted the flowers in front of the stone as she talked in the soft voice her partner always loved.

"You came back yesterday. Right here in sunny southern California too. You’re almost making it too easy this time. At least you didn’t make me wait for that. Now I just have to wait for you to grow up. Seems like I’m always waiting for you to grow up. Even when you’re an adult you’re nothing but a big kid."

She began another spot for another patch of flowers. "Hey by the way what is with you and taking top billing in everything we do? I went through the papers you set up when Casey was born. Geeze partner…you’d think you’d give the bard a little credit once in awhile." She put the flowers in the ground. "I started setting everything up for you today. I hope we don’t need it this time. I hope…" She paused and brushed dirt from her jeans. "Hell it doesn’t seem to matter what we hope does it love? This is a cruel curse the Gods bestowed on us."

She fell back on her hands and looked at the stone and the engraving of the chakram and the quill. They had decided long ago not to reveal to each other certain facts about the curse when they finally came back together each time.

The first was that if the partner who currently held the curse died in an accident the surviving partner would then have to carry it. The surviving partner would then have all memories restored, all the memories of all the lifetimes of all the times together no matter how long or how short. Gabrielle’s memories of her last time with Xena were sweet ones, even though they were only together for less than two days.

She smiled and continued planting the flowers. "Had to go out like a hero didn’t you? You know I still get cards from that woman on that little girl’s birthday. She sends cards and pictures…she was seven last week, thanks to you."

The second was that if the mortal partner didn’t want to stay the immortal partner wouldn’t interfere, of course this meant the partner who carried the curse would have to wait for the next opportunity. The cursed partner also would have to continue to carry the curse upon the natural death of the mortal partner, but both agreed it was worth it if they got to spend a lifetime together, which they did, sometimes.

They had also learned to set up a very intricate system of passing along all their property to each other. It was handled through trust accounts and things of that nature when the mortal partner was reborn. All the immortal partner had to do was find out what name the baby carried and from there it was all pretty easy.

"By the way, they named you Artemis. Artemis Brock, which is pretty damn funny when you stop and think about it." She grinned as she ran her hand across the chakram on the stone. "I love you and I miss you…"

Finally they agreed never to say goodbye, for fear that the curse would be broken and they would be separated forever.

 

2025

Gabrielle had decided today was the day. "Time to go get my warrior." She said, aloud as she tossed her car keys up in the air and caught them. She looked at the black Porsche and grinned. "If this doesn’t get your attention nothing will." She slipped into the seat and started the car.

The read and blue lights popped up on cue. "Aha gotcha!" Gabrielle giggled as she slowed down from eighty-five to a more respectable speed and finally stopping along side the side of road. She got all the papers she knew she would need and she waited, watching in the rearview mirror. She watched as the door of the police cruiser opened and she stepped out.

"Oh the hair’s a little lighter and a little shorter than normal, but I can live with it. Those eyes had still better be blue though damn it." She growled. "Don’t put sunglasses on." She whined and slumped in the seat just a little. She sat back up at the tap on the window. She smiled and rolled it down. "Yes Officer?"

"I’m Officer Brock with the LAPD ma’am and the reason I stopped you this afternoon is because you were exceeding the speed limit. Is there an emergency I should be aware of?"

‘"Yeah and it’s been brewing for twenty six years’ Gabrielle thought as she smiled and said "No officer."

"Driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, if you don’t mind."

Gabrielle handed the requested items out the window. Brock studied the license. "How do you pronounce your last name?" She asked with that same wonderful smile.

"Amphipolis…" Gabrielle answered. ‘The uniform is a plus." She thought as she smiled back. ‘Hmmm…handcuffs…’ Her mind began to wander with the possibilities.

"Interesting."

"It’s Greek. Ancient Greek to be exact."

 

Gabrielle entered the Gallery. She paused to rearrange the glasses and the briefcase, just a little bit. "It’s called The Eternal Dance. You see the bard and warrior fell in love with each other…" She said as the approached she tall woman with the blue eyes who studied the quill and the chakram.

 

The End.

 


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