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A Past Remembered

By Anita Louise

Copyright 1997

Chapter Thirteen

Gabrielle tried to convince Eponin not to go back to the Tavern. The woman wouldn't listen, she told the Bard that someone there might know where Xena and Ephiny were taken. As they approached the door Gabrielle said, "Aren't you afraid they might come back, the soldiers?"

Eponin gave the woman a glare and said, "It's not like we're not in trouble already. Relax, and no one will pay any attention. "

Gabrielle shrugged her shoulders and said, "All right, lets see if we can get any information on where they have gone."

As the two approached the bar the woman, from before, came hurrying up to them and said, "I knew you would come back."

Eponin replied, "Just for drink."

She looked at Gabrielle and asked, "That all you want too?"

Gabrielle mumbled, "Just drink, thank you."

Eponin jabbed her in the side and said, "Thank you, you see any of these men in here saying thank you. If you're not careful they will think you are some kind of..."

The Bard smiled and said, "Well, we are, aren't we?"

The drinks had arrived and Eponin, began to drink her ale like someone might take it away. Gabrielle reached out and grabbed the woman's hand as she said, "Take it slow, won't do either of us any good if you go and get drunk."

"Say you two, want to buy a girl a drink?" Gabrielle felt the woman before she heard the sounds. She had pushed her way between the two and had wrapped an arm around each of them. Eponin glanced at her and said, "Sure." She motioned for the woman behind the bar to bring her another Tankard of ale.

Gabrielle brushed the woman's arm off and moved away. She turned her attention to the Bard and said, "Are you sure you're old enough to drink that stuff?"

Gabrielle replied, "Old enough." The woman at the bar set down the Tankard and Eponin slid it toward Gabrielle. Eponin smiled at the woman and said, "Looks like you have taken a liking to my young friend."

The woman, leaned close to Gabrielle and said, "He is young, but that can be an adventure."

Gabrielle looked at her and said, "Forget it, I'm spoken for. Ep, let's go."

Eponin ignored her, so she repeated it. Eponin turned to her and said, "Entertain yourself, I'm going to go over and talk to those men."

"No..." She watched Eponin swagger up to a table and sit down. From the loud boisterous noises she was hearing, she guessed the woman was doing just fine. Of course she had walked off an left her in a situation. Gabrielle took a drink and said, "I really have to go."

The woman wrapped her arm around the Bard's waist and said, "Don't be in such a hurry, your friend doesn't seem to be, we have all night. What's the matter? Aren't I good enough for you?"

Gabrielle stuttered, "It's not that, it's just you don't understand."

The woman started to cry, people in the room began staring at them. Gabrielle looked over toward Eponin, who was giving her a look, that said do something. She reached out and touched the woman's left hand and said, "Now, now, there is no reason to cry."

The woman smiled and said, "My name's Efin."

Gabrielle muttered, "Gabe." She barely got the words out of her mouth before the woman reached over and kissed her.

Gabrielle tried to push her off and said, "I'm not like that."

"Hey there young man, Efin to much woman for you." Gabrielle turned to gaze at the soldier that had pulled her and Eponin into the search earlier. She replied, "No."

He laughed and said, "Well if she isn't now, she will be." He turned and walked over to a table and sat down. Gabrielle said, "Wait here, I have to go talk to my friend."

Efin said, "Don't be long."

Gabrielle walked over to the table leaned down and whispered in Eponin's ear, "Get me out of this." The woman stood up and followed her over to the bar. She walked up to Efin and put her right arm around the woman's shoulders and said, "Come on sweet thing, I got a room upstairs and I know you can teach my friend a thing or two."

Gabrielle replied, "I'll wait."

Eponin answered, "Suit yourself, but it will be easier up there with us, then down here with them."

She glanced around the room and said "I'm right behind you."

After opening the wooden door, Eponin and the woman stepped into the room, followed by Gabrielle. After closing the door, Efin, walked over to a table and lit a Lantern. The light, sent a pleasant glow throughout the room. Gabrielle stepped over to a wooden chair, and sat down as she said, "What now? We can't stay up here all night?"

The woman walked over to Eponin and said, "I can make it real satisfying."

Eponin set down on the bed and said, "Why don't you sit down here by me." The woman smiled and sat. Eponin said, "Now, we mean you no disrespect, but my friend and I are not in the mood. But you can keep us company."

She gazed toward Gabrielle and said, "Not even your young friend?"

Gabrielle stuttered, "No, like he said, just company."

She shook her head and said, "Pity, this could have been your lucky night."

Gabrielle replied, "There will be others, Ep, want to tell me what is going on?"

Eponin replied, "Well, we have this charming woman's attention for the rest of the night. I already paid for that. What we do is our business and no one else's..."

The woman got to her feet and said, "Name's Efin."

Eponin replied, "We have Efin's company, and lady, we need some answers."

The woman stared at them and said, "What kind of answers?'

Eponin continued, "I was told downstairs, that you have been keeping the Warlord, Krispies, company most evenings. If this is true, I want you tell me where he has gone?"

She looked at Eponin and asked, "Why do you want to know? I'm not going to tell you anything that will get him hurt."

"No, no, you have us all wrong, we were hired to help with the transfer of two women prisoners. When we arrived, we were told he had left already. We just want to join him."

She sighed and said, "Oh in that case, I don't know where he was finally going, but I do know he was going to stop at Thebes."

Eponin smiled at Gabrielle and said, "That is good to know, we should be able to catch up to them. We will rest here for awhile and then be on our way." She could see the Bard was tired and continued, "Why don't you come over here and lay down for awhile. Try to get a little rest."

Gabrielle answered, "What about you?"

Eponin stood up and said, "I'm sure Efin will keep me company. I will wake you in awhile and you can keep watch, while I sleep."

Gabrielle got up as she said, "I am tired." She stared at Efin and asked, "You don't mind?"

She shook her head and said, "I get paid one way or the other. If you'd rather sleep, it's fine by me."

Eponin watched the Bard stumble over to the bed and collapse on it. She walked over and raised her feet off the floor, placing them on the bed. When she turned around she ran into Efin , who was watching her very closely. "You sure baby him, something I should know about?"

Eponin growled at her and said, "Haven't you ever seen anyone do something without thinking that?'

She shook her head and said, "What's it to me anyway long as you've paid. How shall we spend the night?"

Eponin walked over to the table and sat down as she said, "For a start, you could get me some Port, and I don't like to drink alone."

Gabrielle felt the gentle shaking on her shoulder as she opened her eyes and stared into the face of a stranger. She yelled, "Hel..." The woman had placed her hand over the Bard's mouth and whispered, "It's me Ep, remember?" Gabrielle shook her head as she gazed into the un-shaven face of the man who stood above her. Slowly she focused and nodded her head. Eponin released her hold on the woman's mouth as Gabrielle sat up and said, "Why don't you scare a person."

Walking off, Eponin replied, "Didn't seem to scare Efin."

As the Bard scrambled to her feet she asked, "Where is Efin?"

"Went downstairs, we have to go." She walked across the room, opened the window and said, "We can leave through here. Come on."

As her feet touched the ground, Gabrielle bend over and took a deep breath as she said, "You know, you scared the begezz's out of me back there. I thought you were really going to..."

Eponin laughed as she said, "I wouldn't do that to you, your first time should be memorable."

Gabrielle stood up and said, "Did you get any rest?"

Eponin replied, "A little, had to keep Efin occupied."

"You didn't?"

"Not hardly, Ephiny would probably kill me. Anyway, we got what we wanted. Do you feel like hitting the trail?"

Gabrielle replied, "How do we do that? It's still dark, and we might lose the trail. Besides, it's going to be hard to walk from here to Thebes."

Eponin said, "Then lets go get a traveling companion." Gabrielle ran to catch up with the woman. She watched Eponin enter the stable area, and in a few minutes she led Savior from the building and said, "Well, we can ride."

Gabrielle smiled as she said, "Thank the Gods."

Eponin scoffed, "The Gods had nothing to do with it. Let's go." After the two women mounted the horse they fled the city. They soon found themselves back in the Forest.

Continued in Chapter Fourteen