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Intellectual Property Disclaimer: The characters mentioned in this story from "Xena: Warrior Princess" are the sole property of MCA/Universal, Renaissance Pictures, and their creators. No infringement upon anyone's copyrights is intended. The use of these characters in this tale is for personal enjoyment only. Characters unique to this story and the story itself are all mine. Copyrighted August 18, 1997.
Content Disclaimer: This is a work of alternative fiction. If the notion of two adult women expressing physical love for each other offends you, this story is not for you. If the idea is your cup of tea, by all means, have some while you read on. If you're too young to be drinking, please have a diet Coke on me.
Quality Disclaimer: All constructive critiques are sincerely welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE WEDDING GIFT
by Bongo Bear
Xena combed the last grains of rice from her hair with her fingers. Then she pinched and pulled the front of her leathers, trying to put a little space between her skin and the tight fitting bodice. No such luck. She would have to lose the leathers altogether to extract the grains that worked their way between her breasts and into her navel.
Gabrielle, sitting on their heart shaped bed, watched with growing amusement as her warrior tugged and shimmied to get every last bit of rice out of her clothing. An occasional grain pitter-pattered on the hardwood floor. "Xena, stop it! Your antics are killing me," Gabrielle chortled as she rose from the bed to help her newly minted mate. "Here, hold still while I get the buckles undone."
"What a waste of perfectly good food! Why couldn't we just have shaken hands instead of being the targets of a food fight?" Xena complained to the bard standing behind her, though not too loudly because Gabrielle had just released the last buckle of her armor and was working on the laces in back.
"It's tradition. You know how my parents are about rituals and ceremonies. Leave out anything traditional, especially at a wedding, and the whole event's ruined." Gabrielle patiently explained.
"Someone should have explained that tradition to the Amazons. Ephiny and Solari were really getting into it," Xena said as she gingerly fingered a purpling bruise on her upper arm. The Amazons did not know to take the rice out of the little bags before throwing it at the end of the ceremony. Fifty of them, interspersed with villagers from Amphipolis and Poteidia, lined the path from the joining hut to the waiting chariot. The normally annoying ritual nearly became a gauntlet. Each Amazon carried handfuls of rice bags which they threw with wild abandon at the couple as they made their way down the path. Xena was able to protect her bride from the worst of the fast pitches with deft maneuvering, but suffered several bruises herself before making their getaway in the chariot.
The bard finished pulling out the last lace and slid the leathers off Xena's body. She caressed warm hands over her lover's back, then swept slow swaths to the front where she gently cupped Xena's breasts. The warrior pressed her own hands over her bard's in silent appreciation. Gabrielle planted wet kisses between Xena's shoulder blades, then coaxed the warrior to turn in place so she could brush her lips over the bruised upper arm and finally come to rest with her cheek laid against her lover's breast.
Xena hugged her wife closely to her and buried her nose in the sweetly scented blonde hair. She sighed in contentment, partially because the hectic day was finally coming to an end and because the night was just beginning.
"Don't you think it's time to get out of that dress and into a bath?" Xena asked. The bath was already drawn and the tub sat steaming in a candle lit corner of their honeymoon suite.
"Oh, I'm too tired to do it myself. Would you mind?" Gabrielle yawned into her warrior's cleavage and closed her eyes. She wasn't really all that tired; she was just savoring her warrior's attentions.
"With pleasure," Xena purred seductively as she released the bard. She stepped back to gaze at her wife in her wedding gown. It was almost a shame to take it off her. She was so beautiful in the silky green sheath held up with spaghetti straps. Green really is her color, just not the bilious shade, Xena thought. She untied the straps and let the sheath flow down Gabrielle's body and puddle on the floor.
She swept her lover off her feet, carried her precious burden across the room, and carefully lowered her into the waiting tub. Xena climbed in right behind Gabrielle with a sponge and soap in hand. She placed her long legs along either side of the bard's bottom, then grasping her about the waist, pulled her back until she was firmly pressed against the warrior's warm center. "Comfortable?" Xena inquired, eyeing the bard's earlobe before sucking it between her lips.
"Ummm, this is....aahh, wonderful," Gabrielle sighed as she leaned back to feel Xena's erect nipples nudge her from behind. The bard could feel Xena's warm breath continue to caress her ear and the back of her neck.
Xena rubbed the soap into the sponge. "How does this feel?" Xena murmured as she gently ran the soapy sponge over her lover's breasts. She watched the foam obscure the soft flesh as her slowly moving hands washed their way lower and lower. She felt Gabrielle's body relax, then quiver as she began to stimulate the more sensitive spots hidden under the water's surface. The bard was stroking Xena's knees and thighs. Whenever the sponge brushed against her pubic area, she tightened her grip until red hand prints could easily be seen on the warrior wet skin.
"Lose the sponge," Gabrielle gasped as her body's response demanded more intimate contact. Xena complied. Setting the sponge aside, Xena settled her long fingers into the bard's folds which were inflamed and slicked with desire. She set a leisurely pace, stroking downward from Gabrielle's fiery nether curls all the way to her moist passage, where she tentatively dipped in a single fingertip, then returning to start again at the top. Her other hand fondled a soft, warm nipple into hardened, erect attention. The warrior bruised her lips against the bard's pliant neck and scraped her teeth against the rapid pulse. Gabrielle turned her head to the side and up slightly so Xena could capture her mouth easily. Soon their tongues joined the rhythm set below. The multiple sensations drove the bard inexorably toward sensory overload.
"Aahh, please...." The bard was at a loss for words, but her body spoke a language all its own. She arched her back to press more of herself against Xena's hand, which in turn increased the speed and pressure of its intimate touch. "More..." Gabrielle demanded in a breathy whisper. Xena pushed her finger further into her lover's depths with each stroke. She felt the bard's internal warmth enclose and grasp her tightly. She withdrew slowly only to plunge back in quickly. Sensing an unspoken command, she added another finger to her bard's heated depths.
Xena's other hand was over her bard's heart and she could feel the racing thumps. She heard her lover's breathing grow increasingly ragged and uneven. She's almost there, she thought. "Gabrielle, let go. I've got you," Xena urged as she pushed her lover toward final release. Xena leaned in to kiss her bard deeper, to pull the breath out of her. She felt the deep muscles clamp around her fingers as she caressed the hypersensitive nub with her thumb. The contractions pulsed with each wave of the orgasm coursing through Gabrielle's body. Laboring for breath, the bard broke their kiss and buried her face into her warrior's neck. Xena held her tightly and waited for the sweet convulsions to quiet to slight tremors. Only then, did she slowly withdraw completely to hold the palm of her hand protectively over her lover's mons.
Gabrielle fell asleep against Xena's body. Her soft snores vibrated against the warrior's chest. Damn, I'm good, Xena thought to herself. But she was still taut with the tension of her own unquenched passions. Xena stroked her bard's downy golden hair, torn between waking her and letting her bask in the warmth of the after glow. Sighing, she leaned back into the hard tub, closed her eyes, and tried to relax.
"It doesn't have to be like that, warrior," a voice spoke in low musical tones.
"What?" Xena started, her eyes searching the dimly lit room. She couldn't see the owner of the voice. "Show yourself!"
"Shhh, you'll wake her," Aphrodite said, putting a delicate finger to her lips as she appeared at the side of the tub and tenderly caressed the sleeping bard's face. The touch strengthened Morpheus' hold on Gabrielle. The Goddess smiled sympathetically at Xena.
"What are you doing here?" Xena whispered angrily at the sudden intrusion of their privacy. She checked Gabrielle; she still slept deeply. "This *is* our wedding night! Have you no sense of propriety?"
"Chill, warrior babe. Even you have needs that must be satisfied. I can help you with that." Aphrodite held out her hands before the warrior. An intricately carved cherry box appeared in them. "I'll put this right over here." The Goddess of Love placed the box on the night stand. "Gabrielle can open it whenever you're ready. Ta, ta, my lovelies." As her words faded from the air, so did she.
Xena eyed the box from the tub. It didn't move or smoke or glow. It didn't do anything except sit there. It's probably safe, I'll check it later, she thought.
The bard stirred as the Goddess' touch wore off. Gabrielle stretched and yawned, splashing a little of the lukewarm water out of the tub and on to the floor. Xena said, "All clean? Let's dry off and get into bed. Mind the floor; it's slippery." She helped Gabrielle out of the tub and followed afterwards. They took turns patting each other dry with thick absorbent towels.
As they laid in bed under the covers, Gabrielle huddled closely to her warrior. Her mouth began wandering over the nearest bit of exposed skin. She kissed the mound of flesh before her and worked her way to Xena's smiling lips. The bard tried mightily to please her warrior. Xena was patient, but her young lover couldn't quite bring it off. Xena calmed the upset bard, explaining that she didn't need to rush things and they had plenty of time later. She thought about Aphrodite's gift, but decided it could wait until morning. Gabrielle didn't need anything else to add to her performance anxiety. The warrior wiped away her bard's tears of frustration and comforted her until they both drifted into Morpheus' arms.
The next morning, Xena awoke before her lover as usual. She took the quiet time to examine the box in private. She cautiously opened the lid and found the box empty. Puzzled, she decided that Aphrodite was either pulling her leg or that it was a simple keep sake box. In either case, it was harmless enough.
Xena considered leaving the gift with the inn. She and Gabrielle received a number of wedding presents. A few were useful; the majority were not. Joxer's gift was a set of small blades set in a circle, points facing outward so that it resembled a windmill. "It's a salad maker. You throw lettuce, tomatoes, and other veggies into the blades while you crank the handle in the back," he said, demonstrating how to make a mess rather than the chopped salad he intended.
Xena grinned at the memory and shook her head. Then she got an idea: take the blades off and make them into small throwing daggers. All she needed was a wide strip of leather she could make into a bandolier to hold the daggers. Well, she found a use for Joxer's gift; surely, Aphrodite's box could be of some value. Then she thought, Gabrielle could use the box to store her bardly supplies of parchment, ink, and quills.
Later that morning, she showed the box to Gabrielle, explaining that it was a gift from the Goddess. The bard was delighted with the ornate box and stored it among her treasured possessions in Xena's roomy saddle bags. They finished packing and left their honeymoon suite for the long road ahead as a married couple.
The couple made camp in the forest near a stream fed by a small waterfall. Gabrielle suggested stopping there rather than at a site of Xena's choosing because the bard enjoyed the sound of the gurgling stream and the waterfall made for a convenient shower.
Later that evening, while Xena was out hunting for their dinner, Gabrielle prepared the campfire and started some water boiling for soup. With the domestic chores done, she settled down to open the box from Aphrodite so she could store her quills and ink.
She opened the cherry box to reveal, to her surprise, an interior lined with soft, black velvet. A red silk bag containing dozens of small scrolls laid on top of several small objects nestled in the velvet. Some of them were small vials of unknown liquids. Most of the objects were generally shaped like cylinders of various textures and sizes. One even twisted upon itself like a unicorn's horn. As a fitting gift from the Goddess, they were of the finest materials: creamy ivory, butter-soft leather, and polished mahogany. Obviously, the box was enchanted, but she did not know the nature of the spell. She opened the bag of scrolls and began reading.
Some of the items she could identify easily while others perplexed her. Take for instance the large, brown tangle of soft leather strips connected together with brass studs. She teased apart the strips and shook out the assembly out before her. A confused frown crossed her brow as she had no idea how it was to be worn or even if it was clothing. She carefully folded the leathers and placed them back in the box.
Next, she examined a exquisitely carved piece of ivory. It was a cylinder about the length of her longest finger and its width the diameter of her thumb. The base flared out and its tip was bulbous and smooth. She thought she knew its purpose until she read the scrolls, "Oh, that's where this little guy goes!" She giggled from behind her hand at her mistake. She sighed with relief knowing that every item in the box came with explicit instructions.
As she read further, the scrolls advised about the care and safe use of the items. She paid special attention to the instructions for cleaning and sterilizing the items after each use. She held a forefinger to her lips as she looked carefully at the assortment of cylinders in the box, pondering which ones needed cleaning. She decided that it would be best to sterilize them before using them for the first time.
When the water came to a full, rolling boil, she tossed all of the ivory cylinders in. The instructions recommended boiling for about three minutes. As she stirred the pot, Xena broke into the clearing of their camp, startling Gabrielle so much she dropped the ladle into the water. "Hey, whatcha got cooking?" The warrior tossed the carcass of a nice fat rabbit, already dressed, at Gabrielle's feet. "I've got to take a bath. Be back in about half a candlemark," Xena called over her shoulder as she bounded toward a nearby stream.
Gabrielle leaned back and drew her fingers through her hair. "Whew, that was close," she said to herself, relieved that the warrior did not get good look at what was in the pot. She tilted forward slightly, peering into the forest to verify that Xena was well out of sight. When she could hear her lovers's faint splashing, she quickly fished the cylinders out, laid them aside to cool, then dried them before packing them away. She thought about starting another pot boiling, but she realized the warrior would return too soon. So, she hurriedly chopped up some vegetables from her pack, diced up the rabbit and added the stock to the still boiling water. By the time Xena returned from her bath, the soup was ready.
Dusk turned to night by the time they both settled down around the cheery campfire for their evening repast. Xena's hair, still a little moist from her bath, hung loosely around her shoulders. She gratefully accepted the full bowl of soup from her favorite chef. She fixed her gaze on Gabrielle as her bard recounted the passionate, but tragic love story of Cupid and Psyche for their evening's entertainment. Gabrielle's ability to talk animatedly while eating never ceased to amaze Xena.
She started to spoon the soup into her mouth when she noticed something odd floating in her bowl. "What the....." Xena exclaimed as she plucked out the offending object and held it up to the light to see. Gabrielle suddenly inhaled a carrot upon seeing a piece of ivory in her lover's hand. Xena quickly set the bowl and ivory aside and leapt to her bard's side. A few sharp blows to the back later, Gabrielle's face turned from a deep red due to the lack of air to the fierce flush of embarrassment.
Now that the bard had her breath back, Xena confronted her with the ivory piece. "Care to explain how *this* got in my soup?" Xena said as she held it in front of her bard's face. Avoiding her warrior's stern but amused look, Gabrielle silently pulled the scrolls and the box from their hiding place and handed them over. The normally stoic warrior's eyes widened with astonishment when she opened box.
"Oh gods," Xena exclaimed as she picked up a particularly menacing looking black leather-covered phallus. It was nearly as long as her forearm, though not quite as wide. "Is this one for Argo?" Xena asked wryly. Gabrielle blanched at her question. "Hey, I'm only kidding. It's actually for us to use." Gabrielle nearly fainted at *that* thought. Trying desperately not to roll her eyes up at her lover's naiveté, Xena continued, "Now, I understand what Aphrodite gave us."
Xena was not really shocked by the box's contents. She had used such devices with considerable skill with previous lovers. However, the vials of liquid did puzzle her. Perhaps they are some sort of lubricant, she thought. What surprised her was that the Goddess chose to give the box to Gabrielle instead of her.
Gabrielle, choking back a sob, blurted out, "I want to please you. I know I'm not very good at it." Xena reached out to comfort her bard with a strong arm around her waist. Understanding that all was forgiven, Gabrielle leaned her head on her warrior's shoulder. Xena laid her cheek against the soft blonde hair below and hugged her lover closely.
Gabrielle's feelings of inadequacy pricked at Xena's heart. Knowing that her bard was new at expressing physical love, Xena was willing to help her get past the initial awkwardness and just enjoy the warm depth of their bond. Now she was concerned that Gabrielle would start obsessing with the mechanics of their love making rather than the feelings the act invoked. Despite these concerns, Xena was thrilled by her young bard's developing sense of adventure and experimentation.
"But you know so much more than I do. You've done more than I have. I need help," Gabrielle's eyes drifted to the open box of toys, "to keep up with you."
"And the scrolls? Do those to help you, too?" Xena asked.
"Yes," Gabrielle perked up. "Let me show you." She unrolled one of the scrolls that had detailed illustrations with extensive captions and footnotes. Xena looked over one set of illustrations with a critical eye. She rotated the parchment on its side, then upside down. She cocked her head and narrowed her eyes, trying to make out each detail. After a few moments, she proclaimed, "Well, whoever wrote this certainly knew what they were talking about." She handed the scroll back to Gabrielle, who grinned with pleasure now that the scrolls received Xena's seal of approval.
"Xena?" Gabrielle clutched Xena's elbow for emphasis, "Could we try one these...umm... techniques....in the scroll?" The warrior looked into her bard's face, considering the options. "Okay, whenever you're ready, we can try something simple. Nothing too acrobatic."
"Great!" Gabrielle exclaimed excitedly. She quickly stripped down, expecting the warrior to do the same. When Xena made no move, the bard started tugging at her warrior's armor and leathers herself. Soon the various bits of hardware littered the ground around their feet and the leathers quickly followed. Xena was about to protest, but the bard silenced her with a kiss delivered with such passion that no coherent words could issue from the warrior.
The bard led Xena to their bed roll and sat down with the box opened before them. "Pick one," Gabrielle instructed. "Oh heck, pick as many as you want." Xena selected a medium-sized phallus and the large black leather-covered one. "You don't really think we can get to that *one* tonight, do you?"
Xena smiled wickedly at her young lover and said, "Nah, this is just for self-protection. I can use it to bludgeon any attackers while we're, well, you know."
Gabrielle punched her fearsome warrior in the arm. "Oh, give me a break. Besides, I don't think you'll get the result you're looking for if you go after someone with the likes of that thing!" she said laughingly. Xena put aside the phallus cum truncheon with a shrug.
The warrior gazed at the still chuckling bard and moved in very deliberately on her laughing lips. She covered them with her own and slowly teased the soft interior with her tongue. Gabrielle's mirth was replaced with her own growing desire. The bard pushed her lover back into the bedroll and stretched herself alongside her warrior's body.
She turned to the box and selected a small vial of oil. She shook a few drops onto Xena's bare lower abdomen and rubbed it in slowly. The oil warmed with the friction and soon generated a heat of its own. Gabrielle gently blew across the oily surface. Xena flinched at the sensation of warmth followed by intense cold. She never felt anything like that before. In Gabrielles's arms, the experienced warrior became a mere babe in the woods.
Noting her reaction, the bard applied a small drop to Xena's engorged nub with a tentative fingertip, then blew across it. The warrior gasped, "Oh gods!" nearly going insane with pleasure. She grabbed her lover's hand and pressed herself hard against it. She would have climaxed right then if Gabrielle hadn't pulled back, with a great deal of effort. "Not yet," the bard admonished. Xena whimpered breathlessly at the intense teasing. She closed her eyes to compose herself. It's going to be a long, wonderful night, Xena thought to herself.
The tantalizing bard ran a sensuous fingertip through her lover's inner folds to test her readiness. Xena's hips rose from the bedroll trying to follow the bard's touch. She was rewarded with the sensation of the phallus' tip pressed against her center. Gabrielle slowly rolled the length of the phallus against Xena's slick folds to lubricate it. Xena moaned and undulated against the unyielding surface. Not able to contain herself any longer, she thrust her hips upwards to engulf the phallus into her depths. The bard pumped it in and out, carefully watching her lover's reactions. As Xena's thrusts increased with speed and force, so did the bard's until they finally converged upon the right rhythm. Gabrielle hugged her lover tightly as she felt the tension crest to a peak and finally release in a flood of spent passion. She kissed away the warrior's tears of joy and silently thanked Aphrodite. Xena's lips mouthed a prayer of thanks that only the Goddess could hear.
"Do you know what this is for?" Gabrielle asked holding up the mass of leather strips she examined earlier. Xena immediately recognized it and said, "If we can find a tree with strong branches, I'll show you." Xena smiled seductively and led her partner into deeper into the forest in search of the perfect tree.
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