Convert this page to Pilot DOC Format
by Ms Mil Toro
"I told you they would come," she heard
the voice say.
The inn was empty and quiet, the only sounds coming
from the large wash basin where a young woman hunched over washing
away stains and muck from glasses and plates. Her apron was smeared
with food, ale and wine from her daily labours. Usually, she
was industrious and efficient but on this day she rinsed the plates
indifferently not worrying if the paying customers were happy
with the service. Her long wait was over. She had a second chance.
She had bided her time and now the moment she long awaited had
finally arrived. The plan was about to begin.
She heard them enter as the strong warrior boots
scraped against the floor of the inn. Lighter footsteps accompanied
the heavy boots. The clanking of leathered armour perked up the
woman's ears. She knew these two women would come. One a young
woman bard, the other, a warrior woman. A Goddess in her eyes.
The warrior goddess was strong, powerful, alluring and dangerous.
Yes, dangerous if crossed, but the woman didn't care. She would
get so close to the flame that her eyebrows would singe because
she had to have her, and yes, she would have her. The little
bard wouldn't be strong or clever enough to stop her. And Xena
wouldn't be able to stop herself.
Gabrielle closed her eyes and faced up into the bright
sun and shiny blue sky, the water brimming her round face. She
lay perfectly still in the calm lagoon and floated weightlessly
atop the quiet waters. Xena undressed on shore. Gabrielle had
never been happier. These were the times she loved best when
out on the road with Xena. Just her and Xena alone together.
No barbaric scum, no Ares, no formerly betrothed people, no evil
blonde Xena-wannabes and most importantly, no Joxer. No. Just
Gabrielle and Xena alone. Together.
She spied Xena gracefully wading into the water.
To Gabrielle, no one was more alluring or gorgeous, not even
Hercules' half sister Aphrodite. A languid smile spread across
her face. Her body peacefully floated on the placid waters as
she waited for her Warrior Princess to swim to her. A rush of
water startled her as Xena leapt up from the calm waters beneath
her creating a mini tidal wave. Gabrielle lost her balance cursing
Xena as she sunk underwater.
"Xena! You nearly scared me to death!"
"Didn't you see me swim over?" Xena teased,
an innocent smile on her face.
Gabrielle laughed and slapped the water at Xena.
She could never stay mad at her cherished companion. She wrapped
her arms around Xena's waist, drawing her in close. "You
are going to pay for this later," she threatened into the
top of the warrior's breasts.
"Oh yeah? I'd like to see you try", Xena
laughed and extracted herself from Gabrielle's arms and raced
back to the shoreline. Gabrielle splashed after her.
Gabrielle sat writing by the fire as Xena checked
the wear and tear on her leathers.
The bard peered up from her scrolls and watched Xena
meticulously mend the tattered edges. She debated asking a question.
"Xena, when you trained with the Amazons, did
you ever, you know, get involved with any of those women?"
"What do mean 'involved'?
Gabrielle giggled, "You know, romantically."
Xena frowned. Gabrielle sighed.
"Why do you ask me that?"
"Well, I was just wondering for a poem I'm writing,"
Gabrielle was surprised that Xena might actually answer her question.
Xena focused on her handiwork.
"I know I'm not as experienced as you,"
Gabrielle prodded. "You know I never knew two women could
be together like this, like we are. I know when we visited the
Amazons before, there were a few of them that were couples but
before that, I never knew anybody."
"That's because your village had to reproduce,"
Xena grinned trying to make light of the question. She hated
talking about her past. It was best to stay in the present.
Gabrielle, can you just tell me exactly what you
need to know. Stop trying to dance around it." Xena had
no patience with circling questions.
"Okay. How many women were there, " she paused, "before me?"
Xena sighed. She finished with her leather and neatly
folded it next to her armour at the foot of their bedroll.
"A few," Xena answered curtly. She stretched
out her long legs on the blanket and propped herself up with her
"Was there ever a time when a woman was in love
with you and you didn't feel the same way, that maybe you weren't
attracted to her or something?"
"Maybe, I don't remember," Xena didn't
like the direction this conversation was taking, what was Gabrielle
getting at, anyway?
"I'm just curious, Xena. This is all new to
me. What about a woman that was like, jealous of you and tried
to hurt you through other people,?" Gabrielle's eyes gleamed
with excitement as she tried to make a grand tale out of Xena's
former loves. "I want to write a poem about unrequited love
with a touch of revenge and jealousy and an all consuming lust
"You mean like Callisto?" Xena winced,
she hadn't meant for that name to slip out.
Gabrielle suddenly got serious, her eyes downcast.
"Well, not quite that deranged, but kind of like that.
She was in love with you, wasn't she, Xena?" she searched
Xena's eyes for confirmation.
Xena gazed past the fire, remembering back to Callisto's
bizarre obsession with her. "I suppose you could say that
but it was twisted and maniacal, and I would never call her fixation,
"Yeah, you're right, but I guess sometimes I
have a little green monster that screams inside of me whenever
someone shows the slightest interest in you. I want to rip their
My precious bard, you'll never know how close some
people have come to me lopping their heads off, Xena reflected.
She cringed at the thought of her own insane jealousy.
"Listen to me, Gabrielle," she started.
"You know I've had a turbulent past and I've been with a
lot of men in my life. And some women as well. You'll never
really know how much you mean to me because I'm not good with
words. It's hard for me to say what I feel. But those people
are in the past but, you, you're here with me right here and right
now. All I can say is, I've never have been so completely happy
with a person, a woman or man as I am with you. It's like we're
soulmates," Xena stopped afraid to go much further. Her
emotions had a way of getting out of control when she spoke with
Gabrielle this way.
Gabrielle grinned from ear to ear as her face lit
up, "Really?! So I'm not crazy to think of you as my 'other
half'. Hey, my 'soulmate', I like that. That I could use in
"Come here, my little bard, you can write that in the morning," Xena patted a spot on the bedroll next to her.
"Okay, okay, you win," Gabrielle added,
"Gabrielle, you know I don't like to stop in
every little village we pass-------" she stopped in mid sentence
as Argo lurched forward and stumbled into an open hole in the
road. As the horse struggled to maintain her balance, her hoof
slid across an embedded rock and she rolled over onto her shoulder
hurling Xena to the ground. As she scrambled to get up, Xena
noticed Argo limping badly off her front hoof.
"Xena!, are you alright?" Gabrielle gasped.
"I'm fine," she barked as she raced over
to Argo's side. The mare whinnied as Xena grabbed her reins and
tried to console her. "It's alright, you're going to be
fine. It's just a sprain," she said soothingly over and
over until the horse was calm enough for Xena to examine the extent
of her injury.
"Gabrielle, her ankle is badly sprained. We'll
have to go back to that village. I want to find Argo some shelter.
Looks like you'll get your wish."
"I'm sorry, Xena, I didn't want to stop that
badly." Gabrielle was near tears.
"I know," Xena noticed Gabrielle's glassy
eyes for the first time, "Oh I'm sorry, I know it wasn't
your fault," she gave the bard a comforting hug and turned
in the direction they came. "Let's just get going, okay?"
By retracing their trail, the village would take a half day's
By late afternoon, Xena and Gabrielle approached
the village. Xena re-examined Argo's leg and noticed the mare
was still favouring the sprained ankle. They guided Argo to the
stables for food and water and some much needed rest.
They entered the inn seeking accommodations. The
inn was quite ordinary with a long counter in front and the main
eating and drinking area off to the side. A second room, the
cooking area, adjoined the main room. An elderly woman greeted
them. Her grey hair was tied back in a ponytail and several loose
strands fell around her face. She wiped her hands on a well-worn
"We'd like a room for the night and a meal ,"
"Sure," she called across the room. "Missy,
get these nice women two plates and some tea," the elderly
woman obviously owned the place.
A young blonde girl turned away from the wash basin
to face Xena and Gabrielle.
"Callisto!" Gabrielle hissed.
With lightening quick speed, Xena withdrew her sword
steering Gabrielle behind her, "What are you doing here?"
her eyes narrowed, her face steeled against danger.
Callisto smiled and raised her hands in surrender.
"Oh Xena! You don't need that sword. I'm unarmed. I'm
not a warlord anymore. I work here in this inn as a humble servant."
Callisto's voice was soft and disarming.
"Yeah, right," Gabrielle said behind Xena,
her staff at the ready.
Xena refused to put down her weapon, not trusting
Callisto's sincerity. "How did you come back? Which one
of the Gods put you up to this?"
"Now, now, ladies behave yourselves," the
older woman stepped in front of Xena, bravely shielding Callisto
from the woman warrior. "Another one of your former cohorts,
Callisto?" she glanced over her shoulder. "How many
enemies did you make, anyway?" she asked rhetorically.
"My name is Lusanica," she said to Xena.
"I own this place. This girl needed a job and I heard she
was a former warlord but she says she wants to mend her ways and
live the quiet life. Everybody deserves a second chance. Now,
please put down your sword," Lusanica stood with her hands
on her hips determined not to move.
Xena's eyes never left Callisto. She was sure this
was a trick. "Okay, I will, but first, come out from behind
that counter so I can be sure you're not armed." She tilted
her head towards Gabrielle, "Search her for weapons. Thoroughly."
"I'm not armed, Xena, honest," Callisto
sighed and voluntarily moved from behind the counter to be searched
"There's no hidden weapons, Xena," Gabrielle
"It's true, I'm trying to mend my ways. You
turned yourself around, why can't I?" Callisto smiled warmly.
Xena reluctantly returned her sword to its scabbard.
Puzzled by Callisto's apparent honesty, she decided to wait to
see what happened. After all, she had changed and it wasn't so
long ago that many people thought that would be impossible for
the Warrior Princess.
"Okay, we'll stay. We are hungry and we do
need to stay here for the night." Xena moved to a table
in the corner with her back against the wall.
Callisto retreated to prepare the plates of food
"Gabrielle, I don't want you out of my sight
for one second. Stick close to me, she's up to something, I just
know it," Xena whispered.
"Don't worry, Xena, I'm sticking close by.
Is it just me, or is she even more scary when she's so nice?"
Lusanica approached their table, "Your room
is upstairs, the first door on the left. Holler if you need anything
and Callisto will get it for you. I didn't know her from before
and I know she has a lot of enemies, but she's been nothing but
a nice sweet girl."
Gabrielle choked and coughed.
"How long has she been here?" Xena queried
not taking her eye away from the doorway Callisto exited.
"Two, maybe three full moons, I guess. She's
a hard worker, what more could I want? I've become like a second
mother to her. And I don't mind reclamation projects. I'm sure
she's really sorry for what she did in the past and she's trying
to make up for that now." Lusanica leaned over and lowered
her voice, "Please, be nice, that's all I ask. You can stay
the night and then go on your merry way. Then you never have
to see Callisto again, okay?"
Xena nodded, "All right, I'll behave, but I'm
not taking my eyes off her."
"Suit yourself. Well, I have some chores to finish up, it's quiet now but the room will fill up soon enough." She climbed the stairs.
They're here! They're here! They're here! And the
Xena Goddess looks as ravishing as ever. Oh why couldn't she
be the one to search me for weapons? She's such a spoiled sport
letting the little brat do it. No need to worry, however, Xena
will be touching me soon enough and begging me for more. She's
suspicious now but by tomorrow she'll be so much as mushy clay
in my hands. Oh by the Gods, how I love that woman.
"You have to be careful now, Callisto, don't
get overexcited, you could get careless," a voice warned
her. "Xena is a very clever woman. She's very suspicious
by nature and she might figure out your plan before it comes to
Oh no, Callisto shot back. This plan will work.
She has no idea. She doesn't know that I knew she was coming.
If she figures it out at all, it'll be too late. By then, she
will be mine. Xena will be all mine.
Callisto leaned over the food and drink and surreptitiously
spilled a couple of drops of liquid into them. She would make
sure Xena ate and drank plenty.
Xena and Gabrielle returned from upstairs and strolled
into the main room. After finishing their mid day meal, they
spent all afternoon unpacking, checking on Argo and discussing
what to do about Callisto. A few patrons glanced up from their
dinner plates as Xena surveyed the large room but quickly returned
their gaze to their food. Xena secured a table in the corner
with her back to the wall to keep a watchful eye on Callisto.
"Gabrielle, why don't you go tell some stories.
It'll distract everyone, and I'll be able to keep a better eye
on Callisto," Xena suggested.
"Sure, Xena, are you...."
Xena cut her off.
"Wait," her eyes hardened as Callisto approached
"Can I get you anything else? More food, more
tea, some port maybe?" Callisto offered demurely, the perfect
"No port for me, but how about some more food
and tea," Xena suggested, surprised she was more hungry than
usual. She turned to Gabrielle. "How about you? More food?"
Gabrielle shook her head. "I'm fine, maybe
just some tea,"
"Coming right up," Callisto smiled sweetly.
Gabrielle sat stunned. If she didn't know better
she'd swear that Callisto was an innocent and virginal local farm
girl. Her stomach lurched at the thought. It unnerved her to
see Callisto sweeter than molasses and humble as pie. However,
she was sure Xena would be able to figure out what she was up
to. As for herself, she would go tell her stories and keep an
open eye on Callisto, just in case.
Xena kept one eye on Gabrielle and one eye on Callisto.
She observed the former warrior wander from table to table.
She did her duties without complaint. Whenever a patron, usually
a man, got out of line, she smiled demurely and put him in his
place. Remembering Callisto's razor sharp tongue, Xena imagined
where she told them to stuff their wandering hands. Periodically,
she would come to Xena's table to offer her a port. Xena declined
every time. She wanted to stick to tea for tonight. She would
need to maintain all of her faculties to counteract whatever devious
plan Callisto was concocting.
Gabrielle's voice soon dominated the room. At first
only a few townsfolk were interested in her stories but soon she
had the entire room holding their collective breath as she weaved
fantastic tales of mythic adventures. Xena was even mesmerised
by her lilting voice, her golden red hair, her cherub face and
her muscular arms. After a while, she wanted to drag Gabrielle
away from the speaking area, sweep her off her feet, take her
upstairs to their room and make feverish love to her. Settle
down, Xena scolded herself, Gabrielle's almost finished. The growing
moistness between her legs forced her to shift uncomfortably in
She wondered how she, Xena the Warrior Princess and
Destroyer of Nations, deserved someone so alive and full of light
and love while her own tortured soul remained full of dark demons
from her past. Not on more than one occasion she thought that
Gabrielle would be better off without her. Xena was afraid she
would somehow taint the bard's bright soul and that Gabrielle
would eventually pay for it in Tartarus. Oh well, at least we
would still be together, she thought morbidly. Isn't that what
Callisto once teased her about, spending an eternity in Tartarus
"Can I get you another tea?" Callisto offered
as she picked up Xena's near empty mug.
Abruptly Xena grabbed Callisto's wrist, "What
are you up to, Callisto?" she demanded low enough for only
the blonde to hear.
A forgiving pleasant smile crossed Callisto's face
as if she'd never killed so much as a fly in her entire life.
She glanced down at the steely grip Xena maintained on her wrist.
"You still don't trust me, do you? I'm sorry,
I really want to put our past behind us. Believe me, Xena, I've
Xena relaxed her grip slightly but didn't let go,
"Who let you out of Tartarus? Which God?"
"It wasn't a God, Xena, it was my Guardian Angel.
Now let go of my wrist. I may be reformed now but I don't put
up with violence from anyone, including you." Xena let go.
Callisto leaned over, her ample breasts threatened
to spill out of her peasant dress, She whispered in Xena's ear.
"You know, Xena, it's a shame you can't put
your suspicions and demons behind you to let some forgiveness
into your heart. You could learn a lot from your bard friend
over there. There isn't a malevolent bone in her pretty little
body, is there? But you? You're even wary of her, of her love
for you. She's everything you think you want and yet? You close
your heart from her because you're convinced that no one could
love you. Just like you're skeptical that I'm not capable of
changing to the side of good. You changed. Or have you? Is
that why you don't believe me?"
Callisto stood up straight. "Now would you
like another cup of tea?"
Xena, too stunned to speak, just nodded as Callisto
sauntered off. It took a few minutes for her to regain her composure,
her face flushed hotly. Slowly her breathing returned to normal
as she realised she had been holding her breath when Callisto
had been so enticingly close. She had fought a strong inner desire
to slam Callisto across the table and ravish her body like so
much raw meat.
What is the matter with me? Xena berated herself.
Why was she lusting after Callisto? She shivered as warm chills
crept slowly up her back.
Maybe Callisto is right, she thought. Maybe she
was too damn suspicious for her own good. Maybe she could allow
Gabrielle past the fortress surrounding her heart. How ironic,
she mused, Callisto instructing her on the matters of the heart.
Actually it was a relief to see her act a little more "normal".
Xena noticed a flash of anger cross her face when she snatched
Callisto's wrist. It was the first time Xena had seen any real
emotion from the blonde warrior.
Xena's patience ran out. She strolled up to the
speaking area with a purpose.
Dumbstruck, Gabrielle watched as Callisto leaned
over and whispered something in Xena's ear. What could she be
whispering? she wondered. She knew Callisto had been flirting
with Xena all night and yet she knew Xena wouldn't fall for that
old trick. But this time, whatever Callisto whispered made Xena
blush. Imagine, her brave Warrior Princess blushing? Xena?
Who could fight off 10 men practically in her sleep? Unless it
meant Callisto was getting to her. Gabrielle knew Callisto had
the hots for Xena, anybody with a brain could clearly see that.
But Xena had never once shown an inkling of attraction for her
at all. Up until now. Xena was blushing.
Gabrielle began to falter in her spellbinding accounts. Her words rambled and she steadily disintegrated into a mindless chatterbox. Gratefully, she saw Xena earnestly making her way towards the speaking area.
Gabrielle raced up to the room and hurled the door
shut. Xena was moments behind her but not soon enough to prevent
the door from slamming in her face. She sighed before she gently
opened the door and entered. Gabrielle was already getting undressed,
her clothes scattered haphazardly around the room.
"Gabrielle," Xena tried to coax an explanation
out of her. She had no idea why the bard was so incensed. The
bard remained tight-lipped and angrily pitched the dinars she
had made from her evening's work on the bureau beside the bed.
She rummaged through their packs shuffling the contents around
as if that would explain everything to Xena.
Xena sat on the edge of the bed waiting for the volcano
to stop spewing lava. She could barely stifle her mirth as she
noticed that Gabrielle had stripped herself down to her boots.
It was the only outerwear she had on and usually it was the first
thing she took off. She hadn't expected their first night in
the inn to go like this, not after all that lustful pining Xena
sat through downstairs. It took all of the strength of Hercules
to restrain herself from seducing Gabrielle before she was ready.
Xena warred within herself as she patiently waited for Gabrielle
to calm down.
Xena removed her breastplates and wandered over to
Gabrielle's side. The bard would not face her as she kept her
back turned while searching through their sacks for nothing in
particular. Xena put a hand on her shoulder, "Gabrielle,
please, tell me what happened, did I do something wrong?"
Gabrielle whirled around to confront her.
"Oh you don't know, do you? You think I don't
see things? I may be younger and more naive but I'm not an idiot!"
Gabrielle's face was contorted with rage. "You! and that
woman! What does she want, Xena?"
"I don't know, Gabrielle,"
"Xena, I saw you. Did you think I didn't notice
her flirting with you all night?" Gabrielle demanded. She
mimicked Callisto. "Xena, can I get you some food. Xena,
can I get you some port. Xena, Xena, Xena....." she mocked.
She turned away from Xena and sat down on the other side of the
bed. She concentrated on taking off her long forgotten boots.
They landed on the floor with a thud.
"Me and Callisto? That's ridiculous,"
Xena couldn't help but feel a stab of guilt when she recollected
her vision of Callisto spread across the table before her.
"It's not ridiculous, Xena. I know she wants
you. I'm not blind. You know it too," she accused. "She's
always wanted you. I swear she's up to something." Gabrielle
cupped her face and screamed into her hands.
Xena sat next to her and gingerly put her arm around
"Gabrielle, even if Callisto does want me, I
still have a say in this, don't I? Look at me," she lifted
Gabrielle's chin with her thumb and forefinger. "No one.
No one could ever take me away from you. Do you hear me?"
Xena was calm and reasoning.
Despite her all-consuming jealousy, Gabrielle found
herself melting under Xena's loving gaze. She began to drown
in her crystal blue eyes. She wanted to be mad at Xena, really
angry, but instead Xena's close proximity was unsettling. The
statuesque warrior made her want to fall on her knees, part her
leather thongs and bury her face between her legs. Nevertheless,
Gabrielle was determined to maintain her composure.
"Xena, what did she whisper in your ear? I
want to know."
"Is that what you're jealous about?" Xena
"What so funny, Xena, I saw you blush, what
did she say to you?" Gabrielle wasn't going to shrug this
"Sorry, I know it's not funny. It's just that...
she said... I know it's hard to believe, but she said I was too
suspicious and that I should trust people more, including you."
"Me? Callisto was giving you advice on love
regarding me? Yeah right. Xena, she's planning something. I
know it. I can feel it. Why aren't you worried?"
"Gabrielle, you're right, I do think she's up
to something. On the other hand, I'd like to try to give her
the benefit of the doubt. You know it wasn't so long ago that
no one could think that I could change. If you knew me then,
you wouldn't believe what you're seeing now. Trust me you wouldn't.
If Callisto's up to something, we'll find out soon enough. Besides,
we should be leaving tomorrow anyway. In the meantime, I'll keep
an eye out, I promise," Xena pulled Gabrielle closer to her
and gently massaged her arm, enjoying the soft curves of her biceps.
"You promise, Xena?"
"Oh my sweet Gabrielle, yes, I promise,"
Xena said huskily, her tongue followed a trail along the edge
of Gabrielle's hairline. She breathed in the perfume that was
Gabrielle and playfully bit the side of her neck. Gabrielle shivered
slightly as Xena found her eager lips. She enveloped Gabrielle
in her arms and pulled the bard atop her long physique, their
mouths never breaking contact. One strong hand massaged the taut
muscles of the Gabrielle's buttocks and the other tangled itself
through the red head's tresses. Gabrielle tried to remove Xena's
leather tunic because her naked body was sticking to Xena's sweltering
torso. Xena firmly stopped her. Her body needed immediate release
as she could no longer contain the floodgates erupting inside
"Gabrielle, please, just hold on to me for a
moment," Xena begged, desperate to reach the pinnacle of
Xena imprisoned Gabrielle thigh between her legs.
Her slick mound soaked through her undergarments as she thrust
rhythmically against Gabrielle. The friction against her clitoris
sent her over the edge in a few swift minutes. A surprised gasp
escaped her throat.
Gabrielle brushed Xena's sweaty hair away from her
face. Her eyes were closed tightly and her chest heaved as if
she were in pain.
"Xena, are you alright?" Xena opened her
eyes to see Gabrielle's curious face.
"Oh yes, baby, I'm fine. Shhhh, don't talk,"
she covered Gabrielle's lips exploring the inside warmth of her
mouth. Xena rolled Gabrielle over on her back and her wet mouth
slid to the smaller woman's neck devouring every pore as if for
the first time. The taste of each new conquered area of Gabrielle's
satiny skin sent fiery tingles throughout Xena's limbs. She left
a wet trail along each of her beloved's arms methodically giving
it a thorough tongue massage. A light sheen of sweat glistened
over Gabrielle's body as her muscles freely reacted to Xena's
feathery touch. Xena's hand massaged one of the bard's small
breasts and she hungrily devoured the other soft mound in large
gulps, her mouth finally come to rest at the nipple. She pounced
on the already erect nipple and bit it tenderly as Gabrielle squealed
in delight. Xena's mouth moved to the other breast and gave it
equal attention. As she moved her body further down, she could
hear the smacking sound of her leather tunic as she peeled it
away from the bard's skin. The radiating fervour made it even
more slick and overheated but she was too pre-occupied to remove
Xena licked her way down Gabrielle's taut stomach
and paused at her navel, circling her tongue inside the tiny cave.
She continued her tongue bath across the width of Gabrielle's
abdomen and steadily made her way to Gabrielle's reddish triangle.
Her pubic hairs glistened with sweat and passionate juices.
Xena burrowed her nose into the soft downy fur inhaling the intoxicatingly
sweet aroma. Erotic spasms assailed her as she could think of
nothing but Gabrielle's honeydewed labia enveloping her face.
Xena rolled onto her back taking Gabrielle with her.
She lifted Gabrielle's torso above her and settled
her soaking vulva onto her groaning mouth. Her strong hands held
the bard's buttocks aloft as the Gabrielle's supple thighs surrounded
her head. Xena whimpered into the bard's steaming opening and
licked enthusiastically. It seemed she had waited an eternity
for a taste of her carnal haven, when in fact it had only been
yesterday. Her tongue playfully explored the delicate folds of
Gabrielle's secret treasures. She dipped her tongue inside and
felt the slippery walls expand and contract against her. She
stretched her tongue beyond her normal restraint and disregarded
the soreness she was certain to feel in the morning.
Finally, she found the rosebud of desire. She flattened
her tongue against it and held Gabrielle tightly. Gabrielle quickly
began to move in perfect timing to Xena's insistent ministrations.
Then suddenly, Gabrielle's body went stiff and Xena slowed down
the tempo until her spasms ceased.
Gabrielle glided her way down Xena's body and ardently
kissed her mouth. She came to rest against Xena's shoulder.
"What's gotten into you tonight, Xena? You
didn't even bother to take off your leather!" Her hand slipped
beneath Xena's undergarments. Her fingers came away slippery
and wet. "Oooh, and you're so hot!"
"Hmm, you make me hot, Gabrielle," Xena
stroked her callused hand along the length of Gabrielle's back.
"You know, when you were telling your stories, that's all
I could think of, was getting you up here."
"I didn't know telling my stories had such an
"Yeah, and I'm not finished with you yet, my
Callisto stood outside Xena and Gabrielle's room
and overheard their heated exchange of words. The intermittent
silence was soon followed by sounds of passionate love making.
It's working! It's working! I knew it would, she
exclaimed to herself. The plan was perfect and coming along
nicely. Not that she ever doubted her Guardian Angel but sometimes
she could never tell with some Gods. They might say or do anything
to get what they wanted. After all the dull and boring circumstances
she had to put up with to ensnare her beautiful Xena Goddess,
this was definitely going to be worth it. Not even Xena was immune
to the effects of the Guardian Angel's devious spells.
Xena's eyes were closed but she was wide awake.
Gabrielle was sound asleep and curled up at her shoulder, her
arm draped across Xena's stomach. Xena had tuckered out the poor
bard and she had fallen asleep much too early. They had made
love several times but Xena still could not be satiated. She
wasn't sleepy at all. She could think of nothing but the raging
desire within her loins. It was as if Aphrodite herself possessed
her. She felt a passion to devour Gabrielle and a passion to
devour Callisto. What was it about Callisto anyway? She had
to admit on the rare occasion she wondered what making love to
the narcissistic maniac would be like but most of that had been
inspired by Callisto's fiendish pre-occupation with her. Still,
in many bizarre ways it soothed her ego. She wondered how enjoyable
it would be to have Callisto grovelling at her feet. During her
warlord days, she thought nothing of maintaining a few of her
bed partners as strictly love servants. Most were men but there
were a few women as well. Callisto had that same glint in her
Oh, why was she succumbing to this torture, Xena
berated herself. She carefully disentangled herself out of the
Gabrielle's arms not wanting to awaken the slumbering woman.
She needed to go for a walk. Maybe she could practice with her
sword and work off some of her excess energy. She needed to do
She found a small clearing outside of town that surrounded
an abandoned Athenian temple. The soft light of the full moon
and brilliant stars revealed a half destroyed alter and a few
remaining haphazard boulders. Xena began practising her sword
exercises. She stretched out her muscles feeling the adrenaline
and endorphins surge through her. Now that she didn't command
an Army and Gabrielle distracted her from using violence most
times, she didn't use her sword as much as before. However, she
felt it necessary to hone her skills and although she hated to
admit it, the exercises relaxed and comforted her. Droplets of
sweat formed on her chest and trickled beneath her armoured breastplates.
She heard a twig snap and in an instant, she grabbed
the person from behind and flung a body over her shoulder. A
blonde mass of hair landed on the ground and Xena's sword was
at her throat.
"Xena, I'm unarmed!" Callisto cried in
anguish. "I didn't mean to scare you!"
Xena noted a flicker of fear pass through Callisto's
eyes. She liked Callisto being afraid of her. She had never
revealed her fear before. "Sorry," she said unconvincingly
and put away her sword. Xena leaned over top of her former arch
enemy, her breath coming in short gasping bursts. The wispy ends
of her long black hair brushed along Callisto's shoulders. She
debated on letting her up not wanting to let go of the power she
held at that very moment.
"You can have your way with me if you want to,
Xena. You're so beautiful, Warrior Princess." Callisto
said beneath her, her arms stretched above her head, her lips
Xena studied her glowing chestnut eyes, her pouting
full lips, her dark eyebrows, her blonde wild mane. Callisto
moved her hands to Xena's thighs and seared an imprint on both
sides. Between her legs, Xena's moist mound buried itself firmly
against Callisto's washboard stomach. Xena felt herself sinking
closer to Callisto's sensuous lips. She wanted to smother those
seductive lips and quell the hunger that inflamed her. She wrenched
herself away from Callisto and sat up. Oh my stars, what about
"What am I doing?" she heard herself say
"Nothing you haven't been wanting to do since
forever," Callisto sprang upright in an instant. She licked
the side of Xena's neck, lightly grazing the fine hairs that stood
on end. Xena's shoulder slightly lifted against her will, her
body not at all responding to the commands of her mind.
"You've desired me from afar for a long time,
haven't you?" Callisto breathed tenderly in her ear. "I
can take care of you Xena. Your little friend, she's inexperienced,
isn't she? You have to teach her everything. You won't have
to teach me, Xena. Your every whim will be my desire and I will
take you places you never dreamed possible. Don't you want someone
to take control, Warrior Princess?" Xena moaned involuntarily.
"Yes, my raven haired beauty, I could do that,
I could. And I would refuse you nothing." Callisto's hypnotising
soliloquy shattered Xena's collapsing defences. Her skin melted
under Callisto's kisses. She could not think clearly. Think
of Gabrielle, her mind tried to protest and resist. No, not Callisto.
Yes. Callisto's tongue was insistent, fiercely driving her mind
to flee her body.
Callisto twisted Xena around to face her. Her lips
closed over Xena's and her tongue attacked the open orifice.
She shoved Xena to the ground and climbed atop the bigger warrior
woman. In a frenzied rush, she removed Xena's leather tunic and
her own peasant dress. She licked her neck and bit at her earlobe.
Xena's hands roamed freely grasping Callisto's buttocks closer.
She felt the wetness between Callisto's legs soak her thigh and
pondered what the taste of her would be like. Her own juices
were overflowing and she could barely harness her need to take
over. She tried to push Callisto's shoulders down but the blonde
warrior rebelled against Xena's direction. Xena wondered if she
would go completely mad with unfulfilled yearning.
"Yes, my sweet, you want something, don't you?"
Callisto tongue dipped into Xena's inner ear. "Tell me
what it is, my Warrior Princess, tell me what you need,"
"Ahhh," Xena's verbal responses were even
more muted than usual.
"Don't wanna talk right now, hmmm? Oh but you
will, my Princess, you will." Callisto shifted her weight
and parted Xena's legs to find a boiling inferno. Her fingers
mischievously separated the slippery folds and contours of Xena's
nether lips. She inserted one finger and Xena's entire body arched
up to meet her. Her legs reflexively spread out wider.
"My, my, we are rather anxious aren't we, Xena?"
Callisto inserted another finger and Xena groaned loudly as her
hand instinctively grasped Callisto's urging her to thrust more
fully inside her.
Callisto bit the side of Xena's neck nudging her
that much closer to the edge of the abyss. A guttural groan escaped
"Xena, now my sweet warrior. What exactly is
it that you want me to do? I can't understand a word you're saying.
Hmm, you can actually speak words, can't you?"
"Please...." was all Xena could manage.
'Well, that's one word. But I told you, my sweetness,
you will have to tell me what you want. I'm having trouble distinguishing
between a grunt and a groan." Callisto's fingers remained
inside Xena but she kept them still. She moved her mouth to Xena's
left breast arousing the nipple to erection.
"I can't...." Xena whimpered and tried
to thrust her hips to envelope more of Callisto's fingers but
the younger warrior collapsed her thigh over Xena's hindering
"You can't what, Xena. Do you want me to stop?"
"No! Don't stop!"
"So the big dumb warrior does know how to speak,
does she?" Callisto crawled back up to Xena's mouth and
buried her tongue inside. She plunged her fingers deeper into
Xena's dark triangle and began a steady movement of unforgiving
"Now Xena," Callisto again breathed into
her ear, her voice melodically lighting the dark caves of desire
Xena harboured. "I know you want more, but you will have
to tell me so. And I mean in verbal words, out loud. I want
you to tell me what you want."
"You have such a way with words, it's so mono-syllabic.
Did you learn that on the battlefield, Warrior Princess?"
"Uhhhhh," Xena once again tried to motion
Callisto into action with her body.
"You know you want this, Xena. You can't deny
me," Callisto said harshly. "So what is it? You don't
get anything unless you tell me, my exquisite beauty."
"Please, Callisto, put...another... one inside
Callisto inserted a third finger as her eyes gleamed
at the controlling power she held over Xena. Xena's body bucked
against Callisto's hand frantically racing against time to reach
the apex of euphoria.
"Oh yes, Xena, this is what you want, isn't
it? To be completely at my mercy? I could just stop and you
would be so disappointed, wouldn't you?"
"I know, I know, you were going to say don't
stop, right? Don't worry, I won't stop, my luscious warrior.
But before I send you over the precipice, you must first answer
my original question, Xena. What is it that you need?"
Xena forced out the words like boulders up a cliff.
She was so tantalising close. "Please, Callisto...put your
hand...inside me....all the way...." Xena immediately regretted
saying it. She had never ever spoken that desire aloud to any
of her vast array of lovers.
Callisto's eyes flashed as she balled her hand into
a tight fist. She cautiously entered Xena's overflowing mound
and felt the steaming walls collapse around her. They contracted
and expanded as she re-built the momentum gained from her fingers'
penetration. She delicately guided her arm to match Xena's steady
rhythm. She worked her small fist in and out gently at first,
but then more zestfully as Xena bucked and writhed in perfect
timing to her continuous strokes.
"Yes, Xena, take it from me," Callisto's
commanded. "I bet you would never let your sweet little
innocent bard do this, would you?"
"Oh shut up, Callisto! Just take me! Take
me! Yes!" Xena wailed as Callisto's hand filled her being
to the core. Callisto viciously bit into Xena's shoulder as her
body thrashed and swayed to the rollicking wave of ecstasy that
left her exhausted and spent.
In one fluid motion, Xena sprang out of bed, clutched
her sword and aimed it directly in front of her to defend against
an invisible attacker. Her breathing was ragged and uneven and
her heart pounded in her chest as she spun around in all directions
of the quiet room. Her matted hair stuck to her forehead and
her cloth tunic was drenched in perspiration. The only sound
besides Xena's panting breath was Gabrielle's light snoring.
Briefly, Xena envied the bard's ability to sleep through a Cyclops'
Gradually, her breathing returned to normal as she
replaced her sword back in its scabbard and sat timidly on the
edge of the bed. She hunched over as she tried to recollect the
nightmare she'd had. The memory escaped her like the retreating
tide at mid day. She wiped at her brow to no avail as her entire
body was soaked with sweat. She crossed the room to the wash
basin and rinsed her face with the cool water. As she dried her
arms and face with a dry towel, Xena caught a glimpse of first
light at the window. She decided she wasn't going to sleep again
today. Her weariness distracted her from noticing the teeth marks
on her right shoulder and it was soon discreetly covered by her
leather tunic. She quickly dressed and gave Gabrielle a soft
kiss on the forehead before she headed downstairs.
Gabrielle instinctively reached across the empty
space next to her. Xena always awaken before her but, no matter,
Gabrielle habitually reached for the warrior anyway. The even
comfort of a sturdy bed reminded her of where they were. Oh yeah,
that's right, Callisto's downstairs, she remembered.
Memories of Xena's wild love making flooded her mind
sending tingles throughout her limbs as she marvelled at the uninhibited
passion Xena shared with her. Xena was usually a very passionate
lover but last night she was much more desperate as if they would
never make love again. Gabrielle had to admit it excited her
beyond her wildest dreams and a wave of renewed desire washed
over her as she reminisced how many times Xena brought her to
climax. A new record, she beamed.
Gabrielle dressed and began packing their belongings.
Thank the Gods they would be leaving this place today. She was
eager to distance Xena and herself from the new and improved evil
blonde warrior. She still was not convinced that Callisto had
truly reformed but she was sure Xena could handle it. She always
She headed downstairs to find Xena.
Xena sat on a barstool at the counter. She had just
come from the stables to check on Argo and waited for Gabrielle
to wake up from their long night's lovemaking. A sprinkling of
patrons leisurely ate their first meal of the day.
"Well, you are both welcome to stay another
night, Xena. How about breakfast and some tea?" Callisto's
hand covered Xena's igniting tiny sparks of desire throughout
the warrior's body. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Gabrielle
reach the foot of the stairs. Xena jerked her hand away from
Callisto's touch and narrowed her eyes at the blonde warrior.
"Xena, are we going now?" Gabrielle put
her arm tightly around Xena's waist and glared at Callisto. Callisto's
ignored her not looking away from Xena's icy blue eyes.
Xena turned to face Gabrielle, her face glowed with
delight. "Good morning, sweetness," Xena took Gabrielle's
face in her hands and kissed her fully on the mouth her tongue
exploring with wicked abandon. She engulfed the smaller woman
with her muscular warrior arms pulling her in as close as her
breastplates would allow. Neither one noticed Callisto seethe
with jealousy as she stalked away to get their plates ready for
breakfast. More liquid drops spilled into Xena's portion.
"I'm sorry, Gabrielle, we can't. Argo's not
ready to leave just yet. I checked her this morning and her ankle
is still too sore for her to travel. She will need at least another
day of rest so we'll have to stay."
"Xena, I don't want to stay another day. Callisto
is scaring me. I don't trust her."
"I don't trust her either, Gabrielle. But we
don't have much of a choice. I don't want to risk Argo's injury
getting any worse and besides," she lowered her voice conspiratorially
and leaned close to Gabrielle's ear, "we can still have a
lot of fun like last night."
Gabrielle's giggled as her face turned beet red.
"Xena, you are so mean, sometimes."
Callisto returned from the cooking room with two
hot plates of food and two mugs of tea. "Are you two little
lovebirds going to eat any, uh, food this morning?"
Xena and Gabrielle just stared at each other and
laughed. They sat down.
"So what's the plan?" Gabrielle asked once
they began eating and Callisto was out of earshot.
"What plan?" Xena monitored Callisto's
"What plan?" Gabrielle mimicked. "Xena,
you always have a plan."
"I don't have a plan," she answered distractedly.
"Uh huh. Since when?" Gabrielle was clearly
annoyed that Xena wasn't more distrustful of Callisto's presence.
"Gabrielle, there's nothing to plan. We'll
be gone tomorrow and we'll put Callisto far behind us. And besides,
think about it. If she is up to something, how did she know we
would be coming here? We're only here because Argo was injured
and are you forgetting that we passed by this village two days
ago. She could have tried something then, don't you think?"
"Do you always have to be so logical, Xena?"
Gabrielle was still not convinced that Callisto had transformed
into one of Hestia's Virgins. Usually she trusted Xena's judgement,
but she had a bad feeling about this one.
"Can I get you anything else?" Callisto's
hand rested lightly on Xena's shoulder. Xena shuddered slightly
but did not remove the intruding hand.
"No, nothing for me," Gabrielle answered
numbly, her eyes directed at Callisto's offensive gesture.
"We're fine, Callisto," Xena answered succinctly.
Gabrielle's eyes threw a hundred daggers at Callisto's
back as she sauntered away from their table. "Xena, why
did you let her touch you like that?" she demanded.
"Like what?" her face unexpectantly flushed
pink as the memory revived a new surge of lust.
"Xena, I don't believe it, you're blushing again."
"I am not!" she nearly shouted.
"Yes you are. What's the matter with you?"
"Nothing!" Xena gritted through clenched
teeth. She hated having personal disagreements with Gabrielle
"Xena, I'm going to go a few merchants and get
some supplies and when I come back I hope I don't find you in
the sack with that evil bitch! And if she lays another hand on
you I swear I will kill her with my own bare hands and you won't
be able to stop me!"
Perplexed, Xena's mouth hung open as she watched
the irate bard storm out of the inn.
Gabrielle strutted angrily down the main walk of
the village. Several merchants peddled their wares but she didn't
see a single face. She saw nothing but Callisto's hand on Xena's
shoulder. Shopkeepers and merchants were so much background noise
as she wondered what in Hades was wrong with Xena. Xena blushing?
Twice in two days? Xena never ever blushed. And since when
did Xena ever allow anyone to get near her shoulder without having
a broken wrist in return? Especially Callisto. Callisto, the
woman who nearly killed Xena with a poison dart. Callisto, the
woman who maliciously killed Perdicus merely to get back at Xena.
Callisto, the woman who took over Xena's body and tried to kill
her mother. Callisto!?!?
"ARRRRHHHHHH" she yelled and shook her
fist at the sky. Many villagers turned around and stared. Embarrassed,
Gabrielle chuckled and quickly moved on. With renewed determination,
she decided she would have to find out what Callisto was up to
When Gabrielle returned to the room, Xena was nowhere
to be found. The inn was empty as it was in between the mid day
and the evening meals. She decided to try the stables to look
for Xena as she bounded down the stairs. She caught a glimpse
of Calllisto leaving the inn through the back door. Her eyes
Gabrielle discreetly followed Callisto back to her
quarters. She was terrified that Callisto would catch her or
even worse, that Xena would find out she didn't trust her judgement.
But she couldn't ignore Xena's unusual behaviour and Gabrielle
knew that for the moment she would have to embark on this search
alone. She seemed to be the only one thinking clearly right now.
As she arrived at the hut, she overheard Callisto speaking with
"I told you she would be mine. I told you!"
"Callisto, that was only the first stage of
the plan, there is still another woman ahead of you, remember?
You're celebrating much too early. Love is very fickle and unpredictable."
"Oh no, she's not getting away from me this
time. I know she is mine now, she will not get away. I love
her and I must have her."
"Callisto, you know that she is only overwhelmed
by the liquid fire-----"
"Don't you say that! She loved me last night,
didn't she? Didn't you see her beg me, beg me to take her? And
then I put my mark on her!" Callisto gleefully clasped her
"It was only a dream, Callisto, I put you there
to help her along, remember? Or are you forgetting where you
would be without me?"
Callisto waved her hand, "Dream scheam. I put
my mark on her. Yes I did," Her eyes glazed over in hatred,
her voice icy cold. "I will have to murder that little bard,
she's the only thing that stands in my way. But it will have
to be an accident and then Xena will turn to me in her grief."
"No! You promised me, no killing or did you
forget our bargain? I rescued you from Tartarus with an oath
that you would not kill anyone. You would work out everything
through love and forgiveness."
"Aphrodite, you are such a fool. No more a
fool than your brother Ares, I suppose, but a fool just the same.
Did you really think I could change my evil heart? Yes, I love
Xena but it's not like your kind of love, Aphrodite, all that
mushy, gooey, squishy kind of love you offer."
"And what kind of love is it, Callisto?"
Aphrodite recoiled with growing apprehension, not quite sure how
she would return Callisto back to Tartarus now.
"It's an all consuming love, an overpowering
rage to possess," Callisto's voice contained little inflection,
her eyes focused off into a vacant realm. "I simply must
have my Xena. She will be in my possession like a beautiful butterfly
captured in a covered glass. I will study her, analyse her, admire
her silky colourful wings. Then I will wait until the butterfly
has nowhere to go, nowhere to fly. Then there will be no air
left in the glass and I will watch the little butterfly wings
come to rest and fly no more. Finally, I will uncover the glass
and slowly pull apart those lovely delicate wings-----"
"Stop it! Callisto, stop it right now!"
"Oh and are you going to be the one to stop
me? You? The Goddess of Love? We both know you won't...can't
do it, Aphrodite. Maybe you'll get Ares to do it for you, hmm?
Admit defeat to the God of War? Ha! not in a million moons!"
Callisto threw her head back and roared with laughter.
Aphrodite disappeared from the room disgusted that
Callisto was being so uncooperative.
Gabrielle staggered back to the inn her heart pounding
in her ears. Callisto and Aphrodite? Pieces of their conversation
chased her fiendishly through the woods. Murder the little bard...a
butterfly captured in a jar...simply must have Xena...put her
mark on her...liquid fire?
"Xena!" Gabrielle hollered.
Xena patiently waited at the counter for Callisto's
return to her servant's duties. The teeth mark on her right shoulder
was the single factor that convinced her. Gabrielle had babbled
on about Callisto and Aphrodite and liquid fire and markings and
murder and possession. At the time, Xena's thinking had been
foggy and unfocused. But the physical proof of the mark swiftly
brought her back to her senses. She ignored the driving sensations
in her loins willing them be silent. With great effort she brought
them under control. The liquid fire must have been hidden in
that damned tea.
Liquid fire. That could mean only one thing. A
love potion. From Aphrodite. Typical. But the question was
how did Callisto manipulate Aphrodite into releasing her from
Tartarus? She guessed Callisto appealed to the Goddess' enormous
ego but that ruse seemed all too easy. She didn't think Callisto
possessed the subtle charm or charisma necessary to convince the
Goddess of Love to break the rules of Tartarus so easily. And
why would Aphrodite want to break up the eternal love Xena and
Gabrielle held for each other? Unless it wasn't she who did.
Callisto casually entered the back door of the inn
and tied her apron around her waist. She spied Xena sitting at
the barstool, a mug between her hands.
"Can I get you some tea, Xena?" Callisto
"No, thanks. But what I'd like you to do is
ask Aphrodite if she would be so kind as to give me the antidote,"
Xena feigned innocence.
Callisto's face transformed into a mixture of hatred
and fear. In one swift motion, Callisto deftly reached under
the counter for her sword and ripped off her apron. She catapulted
herself over the counter to face Xena whose sword was already
"You're mine now, Xena," Callisto taunted.
"Didn't you see the mark I put on your shoulder?"
"That can be scraped off, I'm sure," Xena
grimaced. She circled her sword in front of her anticipating
Callisto's first move.
In a seething rage, Callisto's sword rose up to meet
Xena's. The clanging of metal reverberated throughout the vacant
inn. Sparks flew and the smell of heated steel pervaded the room.
Out of harm's way, Gabrielle peeked into the room from the front
door. The two women battled evenly by mirroring each other's
strengths leaving no opening for weaknesses.
Then, Callisto made an unforgiving error and Xena's
sword was at her throat. She had a strange sense of deja vu as
if she had done this exact same thing very recently. A prone
Callisto in a peasant dress, Xena astride her stomach, a pleasurable
tingling within her abdomen.
"Go on, kill me, Xena. Then I'll be sure to
see you in Tartarus. I couldn't live without you anyway. Do
you think you could live without your precious little Gabrielle,
hmm?" she cocked her head toward the door where Gabrielle
hovered, her staff at full combat defence.
At the mere mention of the bard's name, Xena's hesitancy
in killing Callisto disintegrated. Her eyes widened and an unleashed
fury overtook her soul as the room around her went black. All
she could see was the pale skin of Callisto's throat. She raised
the blade above her head and with two steady hands on its handle,
pointed it at her windpipe. At the last second, she thought of
Gabrielle. Gabrielle, who told her that the only way to end the
cycle of hatred was through love. Yes, her love for Gabrielle.
She couldn't kill for Gabrielle. Not even this depraved woman.
"Arrrrgggghhhh," Xena screamed as she impaled
her sword into the floorboard just inches away from Callisto's
neck. Xena heaved and panted as she stared down at the hated
blonde warrior whose life she had just spared. The colours of
the room slowly crept back into her vision enriching her surroundings.
She turned to search for Gabrielle. Without warning, Callisto
struck a blow to the side of Xena's head sending her sprawling
backwards. In a flash, she retrieved her fallen sword intent
on plunging it into Xena's stomach.
"No, Callisto!" Lusanica appeared in front
of Xena and took the full length of the blade through her stomach.
With a wave of her hand, the weapon vanished.
"It's over, Callisto. You lost." Lusanica's
grey hair yellowed, turned fuller and grew in length until it
reached the back of her knees. The crone face transformed into
an unlined youthful alabaster beauty. The threads of her servant
clothes weaved into a bold red robe that contrasted sharply with
her pale skin. Her silky golden hair intertwined with the flowing
crimson robe as it loosely surrounded the Goddess' startling vision.
"Aphrodite!" Xena and Gabrielle exclaimed
Callisto dropped to the floor and stared down at
her empty hand in disbelief. She gazed up at the Goddess of Love
astounded by her luxuriant beauty. A moment of fear passed through
her as she now realised she had just made formidable enemies of
both the Gods of Love and War. Oops, back to Tartarus, she thought
"Callisto, go tell Ares he has lost. He will
never get Xena back now. If she will not murder for Gabrielle,
she will not murder. Tell him the power of love is stronger than
the power of hate and war that he stands for. Xena has truly
made it over to the other side, the side of goodness and love.
She's finished with her days of darkness and hatred. To paraphrase
her beloved Gabrielle who once said 'love was helpless in the
face of cruelty', I say, hatred is powerless in the face of love."
A single pair of hands clapped in a shadowy corner.
A dark figure emerged.
"Ares," Xena and Gabrielle declared in
"Nice speech, little sister, but you know Xena
will never completely be yours. She belongs to no one. Well,
maybe only that girl. But no God possesses her, why do you think
I've chased her all these years. The hunt is everything."
"Love." he said with disgust. "How
long do you think her self-control will last? You saw how exquisitely
close she came to murdering Callisto. Again. It was in her heart."
"But she didn't Ares, did she?" Aphrodite
reminded him. "Now admit it, you lost the bet."
"This time, my dear, this time. Let's go, Callisto."
Callisto giggled as they disappeared into the shadows.
Aphrodite turned to Xena. Gabrielle was helping
her up to a chair when she spun around and demanded, "Where's
the antidote, Aphrodite, can't you see she's still consumed by
that liquid fire of yours?"
The Goddess just smiled admiring the girl's pluck
and devotion. She produced a small flask and handed it to Gabrielle
who quickly forced Xena to swallow its contents.
"Good morning, sleepy head," Xena, as usual,
woke up before her companion. She was grateful that Lusanica
let them stay another night at the inn. After all they'd been
through, she just wanted another loving night with the eternal
love of her life.
Xena gently shook awake the snoozing bard. "Did
I wear you out again last night?"
"No," Gabrielle opened her eyes and laughed.
"Do you want to keep practising until you get it right?"
"Don't tempt me," Xena beamed as she gathered
Gabrielle into the comfort of her strong arms. "But we should
"Why? Are we in a hurry?"
Xena nestled her face into Gabrielle's neck breathing
in the luxuriant smell of her beloved. "No," she growled.
"Xena, aren't you mad at Aphrodite and Ares
for putting you through all that aggravation with Callisto? I
mean, they made a bet on you, for Zeus' sake. It must really
get boring up there on Mount Olympus."
"I guess I am a little mad at them, but I also
learned a lot of truths about myself?" Xena reached for Gabrielle's
hand and entwined her fingers with the bard's.
"Yeah? like what?" Gabrielle was curious.
She was more angry at the Gods than Xena.
"That I shouldn't keep secrets from you,"
she enclosed her larger hand over Gabrielle's and moulded the
bard's smaller hand into a fist. Xena brought it to her lips
and painted it with tender loving kisses.
Gabrielle rolled her eyes and blushed coyly, unable
to meet Xena's ocean blue eyes.
"And besides," she added, "I think
you're rubbing off on me. My love for you is what stopped my
sword. I thought of our love for each other and I didn't want
to give it up. I don't want to ever give you up."
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