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Disclaimer: The characters all belong to Renaissance Pictures, MCA/Universal Pictures and Xena Warrior Princess. No copyright infringement is intended. There is absolutely no profit for me in this - I’m just having a good time. Any characters mentioned that are not in the syndicated television show are of my own creation, as is the story line. If you wish to borrow any of them, please let me know.

Content Warning: This story contains references and descriptions of intimate activity – we are in maintext folks. If you do not wish to read about this type of relationship or are under 18, please feel free to go elsewhere. There are plenty of wonderful and fascinating stories in the General Fiction category.

Violence: None. There is reference to abuse, however, nothing graphic.

Hurt/Comfort: Part of the healing process – there is a lot in here.

Spoiler Warning: Warrior/Bard fans should recognize references to various episodes.

NOTE: This story is the follow up/sequel to The Mist of Pieria. There are references to this fan fiction and you might enjoy this story more, if you read the first one.

I welcome comments and can be reached at

Sequel to The Mist of Pieria

A Journey of Love and Home

by Annmaray

June 1999

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5


The day before the celebration the Amazons started to arrive. From Alexos Tavern, the four rebels, dressed in peasant clothes watched Shulaba leading the Amazons into Amphipolis. Leandra mused there must be at least fifty of them, including Teklai. Maris was not too concerned and felt they could easily mix in among the villagers, friends and family. They would not be looking for the rebels, especially dressed as peasants and Leandra added that because there were so many to protect Gabrielle and Shulaba they would get careless.

Shulaba and the Amazons were excited and loud when Gabrielle and Xena walked out of the inn to greet them. Both looked tired and while Gabrielle did not seem to be quite her normal playful self she took on the roll of a true Amazon Queen. While her soulmate went around to talk with each and every Amazon, Xena was able to pull both Shulaba and Teklai aside and fill them in on the death of Gabrielle’s mother and the abuse by her father. Even though Shulaba knew of the abuse she said nothing to the Warrior. She also briefly mentioned Caesar and their rebirth but did not expand on the events. Cyrene insisted Shulaba and Teklai stay at the inn while the rest of the Amazons would camp near the stable owned by the innkeeper. The villagers all came out of their shops and homes to watch the Amazons enter Amphipolis. Many stopped them to shake hands and welcome the women. The village was always supportive of the Amazons.

Amarice took it upon herself to follow Gabrielle around, as she spoke with the Amazons individually or in small groups. *You really are a good Queen. I really underestimated you Gabrielle.* The young redhead noted after several candlemarks of constant conversation and demands of the Amazons that her young Queen was appearing slightly shaken. While never close enough to hear the topics and certainly not close enough for Gabrielle to realize she was following her around, Amarice noticed the change in her Queen’s posture and her eyes seem to be having a difficult time focusing. Looking around she wondered where Xena was. It was obvious that Gabrielle would need rescuing any minute now. Suddenly Gabrielle appeared to loose her balance and Amarice bolted to her side taking her by the arm offering support. "My Queen..." looking directly into Gabrielle’s eyes Amarice continued without causing embarrassment to Gabrielle in front of the Amazons, "Cyrene said the noon meal is ready and she is looking for you."

Knowing full well that this young redhead was aware of her weaken state, she simply answered. "Yes, thank you Amarice." Turning to the women she was talking with, "You’ll have to excuse me, when Cyrene calls...well she’s a mom and means business." The Amazons laughed and nodded respectfully as Amarice led Gabrielle away. Walking toward the inn Gabrielle thanked Amarice and asked her if she’d like to join several other Amazons and herself later on that afternoon. Amarice was receptive and thought it might give her a chance to talk to Gabrielle about Eponin. The Queen was happy that Amarice agreed and asked if she would not mine coming to get her, when the other Amazon’s were settled and had eaten a noon meal.

All the women except Xena began consuming much more ale than needed. Eventually the subject of Maris and her companions came up, as well as Shulaba’s request for Xena and Gabrielle to come to the Amazon village. Gabrielle needed to take her rightful place as Queen, in front of the nation. Xena agreed to do so but not until Gabrielle was feeling better and they were married. The Warrior wanted to give Gabrielle longer to rest and heal before facing the demands of an Amazon Queen. Here in Amphipolis the women would not demand the attention or bring problems to Gabrielle as they would, if on Amazon territory. Missing Gabrielle terribly and realizing that she had been outside with the Amazons in the heat for much too long the Warrior excused herself to find her lover. She was pleased that Amarice took the responsibility of watching out for her lover, as it was important for Xena to talk with Shulaba. In the process of moving to the door Gabrielle and Amarice came through the entrance. It was very apparent to Xena that Gabrielle was not feeling well and Amarice had a strong grip on her. Xena rushed to help Amarice and pulled her lover into an embrace.

"Gabrielle, what happened, you okay?" Xena was concerned and began to feel a bit guilty.

Allowing herself to fall into Xena’s embrace, she answered in a low voice. "Yes, I’m just tired and a bit hungry." Looking over to Amarice she reached for the young woman’s hand. "Thank you Amarice. I owe you one."

"No you don’t my Queen...for you I am here, always." Amarice turned and walked out the door followed from a distance by Eponin. The Amazon Warrior needed to find a way to talk to Amarice....and so far her stubbornness would not allow her to surrender even a little bit.

Shulaba came up to Gabrielle and Xena. "So how is it going between the stubborn warrior and the little redhead? Have any bets been placed yet?"

Both women shook their heads and laughed. Gabrielle said, "Shulaba you are a wonderful Queen and no the bets have not been placed.....yet."

"Mmmm, I think I’ll get the bets started. Oh and Gabrielle I might add you are the Queen – thank the gods!"

"Shulaba, I ...."

"No my not refuse your destiny."

"You will remain as Regent then...please." Gabrielle was happy that Shulaba agreed and reached out to hug her. Returning her gaze to Xena. "Come on Warrior, help me to the kitchen I need to eat, spend time with you....and catch up on all the kisses and hugs I’ve missed over the past several candlemarks." Xena had no problem with this request and led her lover to the kitchen.


After sharing a midday meal with her soulmate along with tender displays of affection, Gabrielle regained her strength and was actually feeling better. Cyrene, Lila, employees and Amazons wandered in and out of the kitchen but no one disturbed the two lovers sitting at the corner table enjoying time spent without interruption. Cyrene was especially pleased that Gabrielle was pulling herself out of her sadness with the help of Xena. *That was all she talk about the pain.*

Eventually the peacefulness was disrupted by an arriving Joxer tripping through the entrance of the kitchen, followed by Minya and Autolycus. The Warrior and her Bard gladly greeted the trio of misfits and Xena focused the topic of conversation on their three friends. A protective Xena just did not want too many questions directed at Gabrielle. Since they returned from the temple her Bard mentioned nothing about her mother or father. Keeping her arm around Gabrielle’s waist the Warrior took joy in her soulmates happy reaction to their friends. *My sweet Gabrielle, be happy right now. I know we must visit the gravesite of your mother. I just need you too...* Just then Xena realized Joxer was pulling on Gabrielle’s arm in his typical Joxer-type outburst. Before she could do anything to stop Joxer someone grabbed him by his ear and pulled him back causing him to trip and fall.

The young redhead who had pulled Joxer by force looked at Xena. "What is that?"

Xena raised her eyebrows. "It’s a Joxer."

Lila rushed to Joxer and helped him off the floor. As he was rubbing his ear screaming ouch, Lila was dragging him into the front room. She had such a crush on him. Thanking Amarice with a Warrior smile and nod of the head Xena asked, "Do you need to see me for something?"

"No." Amarice turned her eyes to Gabrielle and extended her hand. "My Queen are you ready."

Gabrielle turned to Xena giving her a hug and a kiss filled with promises to come. "See you later – okay!"

Xena hung on to Gabrielle’s tunic. "Whoa my Bard -just a minute. Where exactly are you going?"

"Staff practice. Some of the Amazons have been practicing and we thought a demonstration at the celebration might be fun."

"Okay. I’ll find Eponin and we will watch."

The Bard placed her hand out to stop the Warrior. "Oh no you don’t my love. This is a closed practice. I want it to be a surprise. Why don’t you go talk to Eponin about a certain little redhead."

Not sure whether to be happy over the suggestion that she should torture Eponin for a while or jealous that her soulmate was spending time with a bunch of Amazons, the Warrior relinquished, "Well, since you won’t let me watch, I guess I’ll go grab Eponin for sword practice....and a bit of torture." As Xena watched her soulmate skip off with Amarice, a part of her was contended that the two women appeared to be building a friendship. But most of the Warrior’s happiness was to see Gabrielle beginning to bounce back from sadness.

Minya interrupted the Warrior from her musing with a slap to the back. "See Xena.....I told you she was yours."


Before the sun rose over the village of Amphipolis the Warrior was awake. Not disturbing her soulmate she just wanted to soak in the warmth of Gabrielle’s body snuggling with her. Gabrielle had been very aggressive in their love making last night. Nothing cruel or forceful she just seemed to have an awful abundance of energy. *Just what did you do in that staff practice my Bard. You were very difficult to settle down last night...not that I minded.* Xena could not resist and slid her hand over the thigh Gabrielle had draped over the Warrior’s hip. Caressing the softness of the skin and the strength of Gabrielle’s muscles the craving within the Warrior beckoned her to crawl up her lover’s thighs to the treasure that always waited for her to claim. Her hand reached around her lover’s waist gently pulling Gabrielle on top of her. Lifting Gabrielle’s head that was now resting just below the Warrior’s chin, she pressed her lips to her soulmates. The kiss caused Gabrielle to automatically respond and she opened her mouth slipping her tongue out for Xena to take. Deep sleepy groans slipped through Gabrielle, as her body started to respond before her eyes would open. The Warrior felt Gabrielle’s hands massage her breasts and Xena pulled her kiss away.

"Oh no my love....I want you and I won’t take no for an answer." Gabrielle opened her eyes to find a very seductive pair of deep blue eyes digging deeply into her heart. Xena again claimed the lips of her soulmate with passion. She explored and tasted - feeling secure in the love they shared. Slowly Xena began to pull Gabrielle over her head stopping to give caressing attention to each breast. The same perfectly shaped mounds that use to drive her to perimeter checks years ago for want of tasting and holding them. Her sucking and licking caused several sharp gasps and cries of ecstasy from Gabrielle. Sliding underneath the athletic body of her lover Xena pushed Gabrielle upward until her curly golden center of pleasure was resting over Xena’s tongue. The first lick caused uncontrollable shutters and tremors from Gabrielle. The Warrior had her heart and soul. Gabrielle with complete trust allowed Xena to own her. Xena increased the pattern and motion of her tongue and lips - pleasuring her future wife. The taste and wetness drove the Warrior mad with desire and she could feel her own need growing. Without asking Xena felt Gabrielle arch her back and slide her hands down to the Warriors wetness. Passionately the Bard rubbed her fingers in Xena’s velvet wetness causing the Warrior to rotate her hips to meet the dancing fingers and hand of her lover. Both were very close to the edge this morning and as Gabrielle increased the circular rubbing of Xena’s wet center, the Warrior increased the same motion with her tongue over Gabrielle’s swollen folds. The rotation of hips matched each other in speed and direction. The Bard cried out for Xena to take her and together they rode their orgasms as one body, one soul and one heart.

Collapsing in her lover’s arms the Bard peeked up at Xena. "I love it when you wake me up like that!" The soulmates giggled for awhile remembering all the mornings they shared together and all the different ways they woke each other up.

The knock on the door came sooner than they hoped. Cyrene’s voice bellowed good morning from the other side, as she passed by their room. "Mom sure likes to do that. Knock and leave."

Deciding it was indeed time to get up both wanted to eat a morning meal and spend time with Cyrene before their guests started waking up for the celebration. The Warrior was pleased with the shopping they did yesterday after Gabrielle was finished with staff practice. Xena was able to pick out a black leather tunic similar to her last one. This time there was no metal clasps holding the shoulder straps. Instead leather ties held the straps in place. The tunic length was slightly longer but not by much. The leather ties holding the tunic together were now across her breasts. The Warrior also purchased upper arm and wrist bracers made of black leather stamped with circular designs reminding her of the chakram. Over the top of her leathers she chose a gold breastplate similar to the last one only this plate lacked the shoulder guards. A sturdy leather strap fastened to the back of the plate allowing her to carry the sheathed sword, as before. Today, however, Xena would leave the sword behind. The black leather boots had upper side fasteners and pulled on fairly easy stopping just below her knees. For now she decided against the knee guards. Xena included a black leather belt around her waist with a hook for her chakram and a pouch for a small dagger. The chakram would also be left in her room for today’s celebration. The Warrior decided only the dagger would remain at her side.

"By the gods Gabrielle it feels so good to be back in leather!" Turning to face her soulmate the Warrior could not speak, as her eyes filled with so much of her soulmate. "GABRIELLE – there is no way I’m letting you out of this room until you put some clothes on!"

Totally pleased with the reaction she received Gabrielle responded. "Xena, I do have clothes on."

Xena walked up to her Bard taking her by the arm and turning Gabrielle to face her. "Gabrielle, I’m serious. This was not the clothing we bought for you yesterday."

"I know that. This is the new Amazon clothing Shulaba gave me as a gift. I need to wear it today. Especially since I’m the Queen. I don’t want to hurt Shulaba’s feelings or allow the Amazons to think I do not wish to be apart of their culture."

"You don’t want their feelings hurt!!! Well what about mine?? I do not want everyone drooling all over you!!."

Gabrielle pulled her arm away from Xena’s grasp. "Listen no one will touch me but you. I love you Xena, remember? I am marrying you – remember??? Now help me with the bracers." The Warrior made no attempt to move so the Bard pulled on Xena’s arm and reached up to kiss her lover.

*I’m so weak...oh do you get me to cave in so easily.* Xena increased the passion of their kiss and in return could feel the love radiating from Gabrielle. The Warrior’s heart and soul told her inner fears to calm down – this Bard was indeed all hers.

Later in the morning Cyrene and Amarice helped Gabrielle braid portions of her hair with strips of leather, beads and owl feathers. Even after the passion of their kiss the soulmates got into a dispute over Gabrielle’s Amazon skirt and the Warrior eventually threw her arms in the air and left. Gabrielle had not seen her since. The Bard was angered by Xena’s jealousy and allowed her own temper to fuel the argument. Once Gabrielle calmed down she understood that it was not a lack of trust, rather it was Xena’s fear of loosing her soulmate. Death had damaged their self-confidence and Gabrielle realized her Warrior was still blaming herself for the pain Gabrielle went through and that her obsession with Caesar is what eventually killed the Bard.

"My Queen, did you hear what Cyrene just said? She asked if you would like some lemon tea." Amarice noticed how suddenly Gabrielle drifted off and she also was aware there had been a small fight between the lovers. It did not take an oracle to read the Warrior’s anger, as she paced the kitchen earlier refusing to speak with anyone.

"Oh yes. I’m sorry mind was just drifting."

The innkeeper smiled at Gabrielle and set off to make the tea. Cyrene was amazed how this young Amazon Queen truly regulated the mood of those around her without even attempting to do so. Cyrene’s employees became suddenly formal around Gabrielle. When the blonde Amazon first entered the kitchen, Uncle Tensandi who agreed to help Cyrene tend bar bowed respectfully. The innkeeper smirked and whispered to Gabrielle that Uncle Tensandi never bowed for anyone. Upon hearing this Gabrielle immediately bowed her head acknowledging his sign of respect. Uncle Tensandi left the kitchen with a small bounce to his step and the three women broke apart with laughter.

By midday Gabrielle’s hair, which was now hanging just above her shoulders was completed. Cyrene and Amarice entered the main room followed by the Amazon Queen. Xena saw her immediately. The beauty and power illuminating from her soulmate brought tears to her eyes. The Warrior was not the only one who was captivated by Gabrielle. The inn was filled with several Amazons but the majority was villagers. Everyone stopped to watch this gorgeous woman enter. Whether it was just the mystique of her rank as Queen or the awe of the Queen being Gabrielle – either way it did not matter for she stopped everyone’s heart. The clothing she wore was made of deer hide and beaten until it was soft and pliable exposing every curve and muscle. The skirt was a short wrap-around with slits up the sides exposing more of Gabrielle’s muscular thighs than Xena wanted. Even after Gabrielle reassured the Warrior of her love, they argued about the amount of thigh Gabrielle was exposing and Xena eventually stormed out of their room angry. Once she cooled off she was feeling rather foolish in her jealousy. When Xena decided to talk to her soulmate about her reoccurring underlying fear that Gabrielle would leave her, the Bard was already in the kitchen with her mother. Now as she observed her soulmate, Xena was relieved to see that several leather ties were in place stopping the slit where the Warrior had originally demanded – upper mid thighs. A beautiful leather belt composed of a complex design woven with various color beads wrapped around the Queen’s waist holding the skirt in place. Thin strips of leather adorned with delicate seashells gracefully hung down from the belt dancing in front, as Gabrielle walked. Her top was a halter style with an extremely low cut held together by six tiny golden clasps. The halter very generously revealed Gabrielle’s tight abdomen, bewitching breasts and powerful shoulder blades. There was not a whole lot left to the imagination except the fantasy of bedding this beauty. On her wrists the Queen wore leather bracers to match her clothing. Her feet were protected with the finest brown leather boots. Each boot had leather ties half way above the ankle to secure the footwear to her calf with the length cutting just below the knees. Around her neck she wore the traditional rawhide necklace with a single bear tooth and several small sparrow feathers.

Gabrielle entered the room, slowing down when she realized everyone was watching her. There were numerous whistles and groans of appreciation, as she moved further into the room. She was searching for Xena and finally caught sight of her standing by the fireplace. Remembering their argument Gabrielle could instantly tell by the look on Xena’s face that her Warrior was feeling slightly overwhelmed and fearful of the type of attention she was receiving, as Amazon Queen. The whistles increased in number and Gabrielle saw Xena lower her head. With complete control and pride Gabrielle instantly became the Amazon Queen. Her walk became determined and her eyes honed in on their target. People began moving out of the way, as Gabrielle made her way straight for Xena. Looking up just in time, the Warrior saw the emerald eyes of her lover. Gabrielle winked which instantly sent Xena a message. The Warrior reached down pulling Gabrielle up to meet her lips. In this single kiss Gabrielle allowed Xena to mark her territory, laying claim as the Queen’s Champion. When the kiss ended, Xena led Gabrielle to a corner table where the patrons already sitting there moved quickly and respectfully leaving the table available for the Queen. The crowd followed the two women with their eyes. Xena sat down in a chair and motioned for Gabrielle to sit in the chair next to her. The Queen had other plans and instead sat on the Warrior’s lap straddling her thighs facing Xena. Interweaving her fingers with the long black raven hair Gabrielle pulled her Champion in for a passionate kiss. The kiss did what Gabrielle hoped for – the crowd quieted down and went back to private conversations.

The Warrior was consumed in the love her soulmate was pouring on her. Severing the kiss for the rich luscious skin within her reach Xena trailed her lips to Gabrielle’s neck sucking and biting lightly. The Queen’s breasts were right in front of her and the Warrior tilted her head to kiss the warm flesh. Running and sliding her tongue into the exposed cleavage elicited sensual moans from her Bard.

"Ahem...excuse me Xena." With a slanted eyebrow and a smirk across her face Cyrene placed two mugs of ale in front of them, followed by plates of food. "You two need to calm down. Here EAT – please!"

Glancing at each other Gabrielle moved to the next chair and the soulmates laughed over Cyrene’s interference, as they enjoyed their meal. Eventually Eponin, Amarice, Shulaba and Teklai joined the couple and raved about the rumors spreading through the inn on how the Warrior conquered the Queen. Leaning over Xena whispered in her lover’s ear. "Sweetie – we both know it is you who conquered me. But thank you again for letting it look the other way."


By late afternoon the celebration was in full swing and everyone was becoming anxious for the special Amazon staff demonstration. Knowing full well what the type of performance the people of Amphipolis were going to see Shulaba deferred her right to introduce the Amazons to the village council. After the council bickered, straws were drawn and Memnos, the village healer won the honor to introduce the women.

Memnos stepped up on the wooden platform constructed especially for this performance and addressed the participants of the celebration, which by now became the entire village. "Folks thanks to Cyrene," Memnos bowed to the innkeeper, "we have a wonderful celebration today - a celebration about life. Thanks to Queen Gabrielle and Regent Shulaba our guests have a special Amazon drill team which will entertain us with a special staff demonstration. I’ve seen these beautiful women in practice...and..." Memnos wiped his brow, "...if any of you find your heart rate increasing - don’t bother me until after the performance." This comment elicited a huge roar of laughter from the crowd.

Approximately two hundred paces away sitting outside of the inn were Xena, Eponin, Cyrene, Lila and Shulaba. Close by Autolycus, Minya and Joxer were mingling with the villagers and Amazons. Eponin was not too sure to liked what Memnos was insinuating and turned to Xena. "What exactly did he mean by that!!"

Xena shrugged her shoulder. Neither she nor Eponin were allowed into the private practice so they had no idea what style this demonstration would take on. "Don’t worry Eponin, the old man’s heart probably increases whenever he comes near an Amazon. After all it was only a staff demonstration." Although the Warrior had not been happy with Gabrielle’s choice in clothing for the day, she assumed a staff demonstration was all business. Her Bard always took practice serious. Now, however, she began wondering what other mischief her little Bard might have created. Pulled from her thoughts by Gabrielle, Amarice and the Amazons stepping on the platform, the Warrior sighed at the sight of her lover looking so beautiful. Feeling proud that Gabrielle chose her above everyone else in the world Xena thanked the Creator first and then all the gods one by one.

Five Amazons began a steady slow pulsing thump on a deep bass drum reminding the audience of a heartbeat. Twelve Amazons, including Gabrielle, moved through various warm-up swings and stretches with their staffs. Next they formed three rows in offsetting positions so all twelve women could be seen. Matching the cadence of the drums the Amazons began to tap the end of their staffs to the wooden platform. Soon three more drums joined the rhythm adding a deeper tempo to the already arousing beat. Without warning the drill team began to slowly sway their hips and shoulders back and forth keeping pace with the drumbeats. This enticing movement from the scantly clothed Amazons sparked several howls of appreciation from both men and women in the audience. Several metal drums joined causing the acceleration of the rhythm and giving the musical impression of lungs matching a heartbeat. Picking up their staffs the women took several pivotal steps forward before dropping to their knees. Above their heads the staffs were held high. Immediately four Amazons playing massie cymbals could be heard causing the pace of the drums to increase. From their knees the drill team performed a series of intricate revolutions and acrobatic maneuvers with the staffs. Abruptly all the music stopped. The Amazons jumped to their feet and paired off, giving the impression that a battle would follow. Each couple began executing complex jabs and thrusts against their partner. All that the listeners could hear were the slapping and banging of wood against wood. Each timed to precision – not a beat was missed. From the silence the five bass drums emerged once again setting the cadence with a hypnotic deep thumping and pounding. The team maneuvered like wild animals’ back into their original rows. Everyone watching started to clap hands with the vibrating pulse of the drum. As before, the Amazons made repeated taps with their staffs to the platform floor. This time more force was applied and the crowd could witness the strength and flexing of muscles on each Amazon body holding a staff. Slowly and intentionally each woman proceeded to rotate her hips sexually. Before the bellowing whistles from the crowd could die down each member of the drill team held their staff vertically with their body. The bottom tip of the staff touching the platform remained stationary, as each woman began lowering the top portion at an angle forcing them to seductively crawl, in small steps a determined path up the slanted staffs. At no time did their bodies actually touch the staff, however the suggestive gyration of their hips and the arching of their backs, shaking of their shoulders and closing of their eyes sent a seriously sexual messaged to the crowd watching. To make the atmosphere more erotic the music turned very seductive forcing wolf howls and propositions from the audience to the Amazons on stage. The clapping crowd helped the drums keep cadence to the staff crawl. The drill team had total control of their audience - men and women. As the crawl ended team members dropped their staffs to the platform and continued to maintain a straddling position. The masse cymbals and all drums now joined together controlling the rhythm once again. Each Amazon laced their fingers seductively through her hair and feathers shaking and rocking her head in coordination with the gyration of her hips and shoulders. In unison the team continued the dance of seduction adding in several slow hops to the steps and pelvis thrusts, as they backed down the length of the fallen staffs. Ultimately each Amazon picked up their staff pounding the end twice to the platform and the music abruptly stopped.

Villagers and non-performing Amazons were totally aroused and out of control with excitement and enthusiasm. Many shouted and screamed for the team to repeat the performance, several villagers rushed the platform. The drill team disbanded with laughter at the overwhelming acceptance they received. Gabrielle and Amarice almost fell to the ground while hugging each other like happy little girls. Everyone was so positive and the compliments, as well as propositions, became overwhelming for the drill team.

Clapping and whistling with fascination over the wonderful performance Shulaba, Cyrene and Lila turned to speak with Xena and Eponin. Both warriors stood frozen in place. Their mouths were dropped wide open and both had eyes as big as the moon. Cyrene knew her daughter well enough to realize this reaction was not good. * Well I have two choices. I can rub it in and tease Xena a bit or I can settle her down so she does not kill anyone.* It only took a moment for the innkeeper to choose the first option. *Oh well, people around Xena will just have to duck, when her fist comes close to them.* The innkeeper positioned herself right in front of her daughter and Eponin. "Dear, the performance is over, you can close your mouth now." Cyrene could not resist laughing at the reaction she was witnessing in both warriors. "Wasn’t it wonderful – Gabrielle and Amarice were just.....just so!" Cyrene knew full well she was stepping out on a limb and at that moment she did not care. This was just too much fun for the innkeeper.

Neither warrior could respond to Cyrene’s comments. They both heard her but neither could find a voice to answer. Xena could not believe what she saw. Her Gabrielle dancing seductively and erotically with a bunch of Amazons for all of Amphipolis to see.....and with a staff.....and everyone including her own mother thought it was perfectly okay. Men and women howled at her Bard and they offered Gabrielle a night of suggestive entertainment. Xena wanted to clobber Eponin for teaching Gabrielle the staff but when she looked at her friend, she was just as shocked.

Both Lila and Shulaba loved the demonstration and motioned for Cyrene to join them in congratulating all the women. Xena began to unfreeze and continued to look around at the reactions from the villagers and other Amazons. A short distance behind Xena was Joxer who had passed out and was now face down kissing the dirt. Seconds later Minya bolted by Xena mumbling something about staff lessons. Autolycus was right behind Minya and as he passed by Xena he quickly volunteered his services should Xena ever need anyone to father a child for Gabrielle. If the Warrior was not so shocked, so jealous, so angry...and if she could move faster she would have kill Autolycus for the suggestion.

Uncle Tensandi finally tapped Xena and Eponin on the shoulders. "Great performance – you two going to go congratulate them. I can’t believe they really pulled that off."

The Warrior with teeth gritting turned to her uncle. "What do you mean pull it off."

Laughing and a bit surprised at his niece’s reaction Tensandi explained. "I let them use my barn for practice, they swore me to secrecy. I thought the villagers might find it a bit too....well you know. But the council loved it. It would seem the whole village loved the performance!"

The two warriors stormed to the inn only to be greeted by the Captain of the Royal Guard who was blocking their entrance.

"Get out of the way Teklai!" Eponin ordered.

Teklai just grinned at the two warriors and crossed her arms. "Now if that was my woman on that platform dancing seductively, invitingly and I might add executing superb staff maneuvers, I would first be extremely proud that she was my woman. Second I would make sure I told her how proud I was and third I would be right at her side making sure no one else tried to claim her. And last but not least I would ask for a private performance. Let’s face it can only get better! But a word of warning – don’t wait too long or your beds might be cold tonight....and probably for some time."

Staring at the boldness of the Captain who dare cross rank to confront them, both immediately realized the wisdom in her words. Simultaneously they turned around to notice how the crowd was already swallowing Gabrielle and Amarice. The village musicians joined in with the Amazons to play what was now known as the Staff Song. Everyone began dancing, bumping and grinding – being silly, loud and having fun. No one cared who his or her partner was. Others began eating and drinking the food and ale donated by every business in town. The Warrior patted her friend on the back. "Teklai is right. And Gabrielle has been hurt enough. I sure don’t need to add to her pain by my own jealousy."

Eponin was not sure she was in complete agreement and questioned the Warrior. "Xena, they seduced this village with their.....bodies....and...and...and..."

"You’re stuttering Eponin. Listen, if you want to loose a chance with Amarice then that is your business. I do not plan to loose Gabrielle." The Warrior glanced at her friend who looked puzzled. "Come on Eponin, you’ll catch on after awhile. It took me two years to admit I love Gabrielle. Do Amarice a favor and yourself, move faster."

Maris and Leandra were also amused with the performance. "Maris...before we kill Gabrielle – I want time with her."

The rebel leader slapped her companion on the back confirming she had no trouble with that request. "When you are done – then I will also have a turn."

Stella was already located among the crowd close to the inn preparing to cause a distraction for Xena and Eponin. Pippa was standing behind Maris and Leandra listening to them changing their plans. The problem now became larger. Not only were they going to murder this woman, they now planned to kidnap and rape the beautiful Queen. In her heart the good started to surface over the desire to be needed, which was the only reason, she stayed with Maris and her gang. The littlest Amazon decided she would find a way to warn Gabrielle.

The crowd of people around Gabrielle and Amarice were too many for Leandra to just stroll in and take the young blonde. Plus as long as Amarice stayed close, she for sure would recognize Leandra. No longer contended with just killing her, the assassin would need to make a few adjustments to the plan they spoke of earlier today.

After some pushing, shoving and hearing way too many suggestive comments about their women the two warriors finally stood face to face with Gabrielle and Amarice. Both were somewhat out of breath and appeared frustrated. The Warrior discovered that the closer she got to Gabrielle the more fear she had of loosing her to someone else. Now that she was standing in front of her soulmate Xena froze unable to touch her.

Gabrielle was extremely happy to see Xena. She began to worry, when Xena appeared to be walking away. The Bard actually grabbed Amarice and had intended on chasing after her. The last thing Gabrielle wished for was to have Xena mad at her for the demonstration. Now her lover was standing in front of her appearing to stop short, as if she was holding back from touching Gabrielle. It did not take long for Gabrielle to realize the Warrior seemed upset and confused. "Xena, what’s wrong?" Not getting any response, the Bard moved closer to her soulmate reached up and pulled Xena in for a kiss. The Warrior welcomed the warm and tender lips of her soulmate and sighed with relief. Gabrielle heard the sigh and she stopped the kiss allowing several groans of disapproval slip from Xena. "What is wrong Xena. Are you angry at me?"

"By the gods I love you. Don’t ever leave me." Xena petitioned Gabrielle’s lips with force and the Bard reciprocated, as their bodies pressed tightly sealing any chance of even air coming between them.

Neither one was watching the interaction between Eponin and Amarice. Only Shulaba and Cyrene noticed, as the two stood and looked deeply into the other’s eyes. "They are both stubborn Cyrene...I don’t know about this."

"Have faith Shulaba. Have faith." Cyrene patted her Amazon friend on the shoulder and the two walked back to the inn for some food and drink.

About half way back Teklai came running up to them. "Shulaba where is Gabrielle. Maris is in the village." The trio ran back to where they had just left the four women.

Calm and completely in control of her emotions, as only the Captain of the Royal Guard should be, Teklai nudged the Warrior on the shoulder interrupting a kiss. "Xena we have a problem. Maris is in the village, and we’ve captured two of the rebels."

Not wanting to break away the Warrior looked down at her lover. "We better get back to the inn. You are not safe out here." Gabrielle placed one more kiss on Xena’s lips and allowed her soulmate to lead her to safety. Eponin and Amarice followed closely behind. Eponin cursed slightly at the disruption because she was beginning to get brave enough to at least ask Amarice, if she could hold her hand.

At the inn, Pippa was sitting on a bench in the corner with her hands tied while four Amazons guarded the young rebel. Stella had ropes binding her wrists and ankles and was sitting on the floor outside of the kitchen surrounded by six Amazon guards and Uncle Tensandi. Teklai explained how Pippa came to the inn trying to find Gabrielle and she immediately recognized the young rebel and ordered her arrest. Soon after, Stella came rushing in only to see we already had hold of the little one. She tried to fight and Uncle Tensandi quickly took her down from the behind.

Being the tender emotional woman that made her a good Queen, Gabrielle walked over to the young rebel. The expression across this child’s face was fear and loss and the Bard saw these emotions. As Gabrielle sat down across from the child, she could see that her face was bruised, her arms and legs had marks from punches and scratches. And Gabrielle could relate to the fear, loss and the pain of abuse. As Gabrielle attempted to maintain control of her emotions, it was difficult for her not to react as the memories of her own pain began to creep back in. The Bard covered her face with her hands to hold back tears and regroup. Xena, Shulaba and Cyrene witnessed the emotional drain that swept over Gabrielle and they presumed her memories of abuse were flooding her heart. Without words the Warrior sat on the bench next to her soulmate and wrapped her arm around Gabrielle’s waist. Soon Shulaba sat on the opposite side and Cyrene sat next to her daughter. Symbolically the Bard understood the support she was receiving from the three women.

Lowering her hands she took a deep breath and searched for Xena’s free hand to hold hers. Once the Warrior had a tight grip on them Gabrielle spoke very softly to the young rebel. "Teklai tells me your name is Pippa. Do you know who I am?"

The young rebel nodded her head and said, "You’’re the Queen. Everyone thought you were dead."

Gabrielle smiled, "Well, I’m not, although a lot of people thought so. Can I ask you why you are with the woman tied up in the corner?"

"Stella – she’s not so bad. It is the other two – Maris and Leandra. They want to kill you and more."

The Warrior and Shulaba were both ready to jump in and pull the information out of this little girl, but Cyrene had a grip on Xena’s tunic and Shulaba new intervention would only lead to a reprimand later. She had not yet become as bold around Gabrielle as Ephiny had been. Gabrielle paused only a moment and asked, "What do you mean Pippa, when you say more. Did they plan to kill others?"

The young rebel was beginning to feel comfortable with this Queen. She was soft and gentle, she was pretty and she did not hit her. "They talked about killing Shulaba too. And I think they still want too, but they wanted to hurt you more."

The protective nature in the Warrior was now running out of patience and she spoke up without giving Gabrielle an opportunity to ask more. "Pippa – do you like your Queen?" Xena motioned to Gabrielle. The young girl nodded her head yes. "Then will you please tell us what we need to hear to help protect her and Shulaba." The Warrior felt her soulmate squeeze her hand and even though she knew she spoke out of turn Gabrielle did not disapprove.

"They want to kidnap the Queen and they each want" Pippa lowered her head in shame. "I’m sorry my Queen...I never wanted you to be harmed. I never wanted Shulaba to be killed. I came to warn you. Even if they kill me....I had to tell you."

Once again Gabrielle’s heart controlled her actions and she reached out and untied the ropes holding Pippa’s hands in place. No one questioned the mercy Gabrielle was showing the young rebel. "Pippa, no one will hurt you. I will make sure you are safe, okay. Do you trust me?" The young girl nodded her head yes. "Then please tell me everything. My friends can’t protect me or Shulaba, if you don’t tell them." The Warrior tightened her hold on Gabrielle’s waist and pulled her closer.

Pippa took a second to organize her thoughts. "At first Maris and Leandra were after Lila. They were going to kill her and blame it on Shulaba. Then when they found out you were alive, my Queen, they decided to kill you and Shulaba." The Regent handed the rebel a cup of water. After taking a long drink she nodded her thanks and continued her explanation. "Then, when we found out about the celebration Maris thought they could kill you both here and still get away by hiding in the crowd. But, when....when they saw you dance." Pippa lowered her head and fiddled with her clothing. "Well...they both decided they would kidnap you and...and ra...rape you many times. And then when they were done....well, they would kill you."

Shulaba excused herself and went over to relay the information to Eponin and Amarice who were attempting to question Stella. At first Gabrielle said absolutely nothing and then she asked Pippa, if she was hungry - which she was. The Queen directed the guard to isolate her and give her something to eat. Her orders included that the child was not to be harmed in any way. Once Pippa was led away Gabrielle turned to face Xena and Cyrene. "I’m really not ready to talk to the other rebel. I...I need some time to think."

Without hesitation the Warrior walked Gabrielle to their room. No sooner was the door closed and Gabrielle began to sob. Xena lifted her and carried her to the bed where she leaned her back against the headboard holding her soulmate on her lap. The Warrior knew exactly why Gabrielle was upset. It was partly for the pain Pippa had been through and the rest was for the horrible memories that were triggered by the young rebel’s abuse. Xena was angry with the rebels for threatening her lover with rape and death and the Warrior was angry with the Bard’s father. The pair stayed entwined until Gabrielle from shear exhaustion fell asleep. The Warrior refused to move and stayed holding her soulmate until there was a knock on the door. Sliding Gabrielle off her lap the Warrior discovered Eponin on the other side.

"Is Gabrielle all right? Xena, I know you don’t want to, but she is going to have to come and help us. The older rebel, Stella, is demanding to see her. She won’t talk to anyone else."

In a concern voice the Warrior asked, "Eponin, did anyone beat her?"

Before Eponin could answer the Bard was standing next to Xena. "I will be extremely upset Eponin, if ANYONE beat that woman!"

The Amazon Warrior bowed respectfully to her Queen. "No – I made sure no one touched her. Any bruises she may have were not caused by any Amazon."

The couple thanked Eponin and asked that she give them a moment to organize their thoughts. Once Eponin was gone the Warrior turned to find Gabrielle who was at the wash basin splashing cool water on her face. "Sweetie, why don’t you rest. I will talk to this rebel....and I promise no one will touch her."

Doing only what comes natural for someone like Gabrielle, she slipped her wet arms around her soulmate and with a sweetness that tugged on Xena’s heart, Gabrielle pressed her lips to the woman she loved more than life. "Thank you my love - for holding me, protecting me and most of all for loving me so deeply. Let’s talk to this rebel together. The nap helped and you just being with me helped."

Stella was moved to the storage room off the kitchen and the couple found she was still tied up sitting on the hard dirt floor. Standing tall and proud Gabrielle was still dressed in her Amazon leathers. The feathers from a white owl marking the wisdom of a queen were braided intricately in her blonde hair. Xena could not help but be proud of her soulmate. *You have come so far my far.*

The fair-hair rebel raised her head to look up at the face of the Amazon Queen. "You are beautiful."

Not at all happy with the forwardness of the rebel Xena stepped in front of Gabrielle with her hands balled tightly closed in anger. "Keep you tongue quiet or I am liable to cut it out!" The Warrior felt a soft small hand tugging on one fist. The gentleness caused Xena’s hand to open and instinctively the strong warlike fingers curled with the fingers of peace.

Not missing the physical exchange between the young woman and the harden warrior, Stella let smirk cross her face. She was well aware of Xena’s reputation and was amused by the power the Queen had over her. "I will speak to the Queen alone – Xena!"

Before Xena could object the Bard spoke up. "Then you have nothing to tell me." Gabrielle turned to walk away.

"My Queen, I will talk to no one else." Stella began to feel panic run through her veins.

Gabrielle heard fear and pain in Stella’s voice so she faced her once again. "Let’s get one thing clear rebel." Squatting down at eye level with the fair-haired woman, Gabrielle continued. "I am in charge – not you. If I say Xena stays....then you better get use to it. Now do you still have something to tell me or not?"

Glaring up at Xena the rebel found the Warrior smiling proudly and tenderly at Gabrielle. Looking back at the Amazon Queen whose penetrating and commanding green eyes never left Stella, the rebel spoke. "Is Pippa okay?"

"Yes, she is being protected and fed. Who beat her?"

A small tear formed in Stella’s eyes taking both Gabrielle and Xena by surprise. "Maris mostly. I have never beaten or slapped her. I....I love her and I’m worried."

It only took one look from Gabrielle to Xena and the Warrior knew what her lover was requesting. Xena bent over and untied the ropes from Stella’s hands and ankles. Shocked by this action Stella stayed on the ground and did not move. The next thing she could see was the Queen’s hand reaching out with an offer for Stella to accept. She hesitated and said, "My Queen, I can not accept your hand. I’ve betrayed you."

"Didn’t I already tell you I was in charge." Stella nodded her head. "Then take my hand Stella and tell me about this young child that you love."

Once standing Xena offered Stella water, which she took with thanks. "Pippa is my daughter."

"Stella, do you know about the murder attempt on the Queen and Regent." Stella nodded yes so Xena continued. "And do you know Maris and Leandra planned to kidnap and rape Gabrielle before killing her."

The Amazon rebel took two steps forward. She wanted to look directly into Xena’s eyes. It was important to Stella that the Warrior believes she would not lie. "I swear on the life of my daughter – no, I did not know of that plan. I only know they wanted to kill the Queen and I was to provide a distraction. Maris promised to let Pippa and I go when it was over." Stella’s body slumped and she sat back on the ground with her hands covering her face. "I let my stupidity and stubbornness get in the way and....I only wanted to be with Pippa." Several tears fell from Stella’s eyes. "You see...she...Pippa does not know I am her mother. I just so wanted to be with her....and make up for abandoning her....I was so young. I’m sorry my Queen for betraying you."

Memories of Solan flooded the Warrior and she lowered her head. Quickly Gabrielle moved to stand in front of Xena wrapping her arms around the Warriors waist. The time spent in Illusia helped Xena heal the shame she felt for abandoning Solan. Now most of her sadness was caught up in scattered memories. Lifting Gabrielle’s chin the Warrior smiled and kissed her soulmates lips thanking her and softly whispered, "I’m okay...really. She just caught me off guard." Xena focused her attention back to the rebel. "Stella – do you have any reason to think Maris and Leandra will stay around now that you’ve been captured?"

"No Xena. Maris is determined and Leandra is just an assassin. Their hate runs deep for the Amazons. They will do has they planned – it may just take them longer. They also believe that Amazon custom will execute any one of us that gets caught."

Gabrielle reached over and patted Stella on the arm. "I have to hold you prisoner. You know that, don’t you." Stella lowered her head and mumbled she understood. "I will arrange for you to see your daughter. Then I will have both of you taken back to the Amazon village. Stella, I can not guarantee the outcome of your trial, but I will do my best as long as you cooperate and do as I say."

"Thank you my Queen."

Gabrielle and Xena left the storage room to find Shulaba and Eponin. The first person to greet them was Cyrene. One look at Gabrielle’s face spoke volumes to Cyrene’s’ heart. She opened her arms hoping the Bard would accept her warmth and love. Gabrielle happily fell into them. At this moment, Gabrielle craved the love only a mom can give and she welcomed Warrior Mom’s offer to hold her and hug her. The Warrior stepped around behind her mother and ran her fingers through Gabrielle’s hair. "Gabrielle, I’m going to give instructions to Teklai about Stella and Pippa. Is that okay with you."

Peeking up over Cyrene’s shoulder Gabrielle blew a friendly little kiss to Xena. "Yes please." The innkeeper with Gabrielle in tow moved to the window seat and continued holding and hugging the young blonde for sometime.


Later that evening as the villagers and Amazons awoke from late afternoon naps, the celebration continued. The village musicians and the Amazons by now played and sounded beautiful together. The dancing and eating and drinking continued on pass the midnight candlemark. Xena sat on the bench in front of her mother’s inn with Gabrielle leaning up against her. The day’s activities finally caught up with Cyrene and bidding her daughters’ goodnight she shuffled off to bed. Joxer was passed out from consuming too much port and was laying somewhere under the platform where the Amazon’s performed earlier that day. The couple could hear Minya deep in conversation with Shulaba and Teklai about becoming an Amazon. And no one knew where Autolycus was. Gabrielle assumed he found the company of several willing Amazons. After the capture of Stella and Pippa, members of the royal guard were sent throughout and around the boundaries of Amphipolis in search of Maris and Leandra. They came back with word that several villagers saw two women riding horses extremely fast out of the community stables almost running a child over. Sentry patrols were then sent out to pick up the trail. The trail eventually went cold, as the rebels headed into the mountains west of Amphipolis.

Completely enjoying the firm yet soft body she was cuddling up to the Bard realized that Eponin and Amarice had been missing for sometime now. "Xena, have you seen either Eponin or Amarice lately?"

With her eyes still closed the Warrior continued to soak in the pleasure of her lover’s body so close to her own. "Now that you mention it – no I have not seen either for awhile."

The Bard sat up and looked to Xena. " think just maybe?"

Peeking through one eye Xena let her hand caress Gabrielle’s cheek. "After that performance the two of you gave...well let’s just say Eponin was extremely shocked and jealous. She definitely has it bad for Amarice."

Feeling impish Gabrielle coyly asked. "Warrior, were you shocked and jealous?"

Clearing her throat it dawned on Xena that she just walked straight into a trap and with Gabrielle’s traps the only way out was honesty. "Well....yeah I guess I was surprised....and jealous." Opening her eyes completely Xena smiled at her soulmate. "Listen once the shock wore off and I could move from my frozen state....well I was really proud of you, and...." Releasing a deep throaty growl of pleasure, "...and let’s just say your body stimulates poetry in my heart."

"Really...mmmm...poetry?" The Bard was elated that not only did Xena notice, she even got a little bit jealous. Gabrielle would never admit that to Xena but it always made her spirit sparkle, when her Warrior became so possessive. *....And you are becoming so very mushy, my lover.*

Observing that her Bard suddenly got lost in thought Xena added to her response. "Yessss, I noticed and so did everyone else in the village!" Lifting Gabrielle’s hand to her lips the Warrior covered her hand with several tiny kisses and then sensually peered into those sea green eyes. *So, you are feeling a bit playful, my love.* Capturing the Bard’s face the Warrior pulled her close, as if she was going to kiss her soulmate but stopped short and whispered a seductive request. "But do you give private demonstrations?"

Gabrielle fell hopelessly into her lovers’ arms and the Warrior watched, as her soulmates playful eyes turned to that deep glazed-over green that meant Gabrielle was surrendering her body to Xena. "Mmmm...only for you my Warrior...only for you."



The day after the celebration the village was quiet. The Amazons were packing to return home with Stella and Pippa. Joxer left earlier with a horrible hangover mumbling something about visiting his grandmother for a cure. Cyrene managed to talk Minya into staying longer. The innkeeper openly admired the woman who not only stood up to Xena but continued to carry her daughter’s whip. Shulaba and Teklai decided to stay and wait for the wedding. Although Xena still had not found anyone to marry them, she knew once things settled down somewhat she would find someone. Everyone assumed Eponin and Amarice would stay although no one had seen them since last night. The only one left was Autolycus who was now sporting a black eye.

"Well Cyrene, once again thank you for an absolutely fantastic party."

The innkeeper shoved away Autolycus’ offer to kiss her hand and pulled the King of Thieves into a big bear hug and kiss. "Don’t forget to come back for the wedding."

"Aaaaah, yes. Well send out word. I won’t be too far." The King of Thieves cautiously shook hands with Xena and tilted his head in respect to Gabrielle.


Looking down into her lover’s smiling face Xena knew exactly what she was going to ask. "Yessss."

"Who punched Autolycus in the right eye?"

Shulaba, Teklai, and Cyrene started giggling. Teklai could not resist squealing on the Warrior’s jealous temper. "Xena punched him. It was really a great hit too! Poor guy never saw it coming." Giggles turned into laughter.

"And just when and why did you hit poor Autolycus?"

Realizing she was in big, big trouble Xena attempted to justify her reasoning. "Look - he had it coming. And I punched him, when you were with mom." Xena could see Gabrielle’s raised eyebrow and that look. The look that told the Warrior she would be sleeping alone, if she did not explain. Xena turned and held her soulmates hands. "Gabrielle, after that dance – Autolycus was bold enough and stupid enough to tell me if I was ever looking for someone to be with you, so we could have children...well he wanted the job."

"Children!" Gabrielle was caught off guard by the topic. Tenderly she slipped into the Warrior’s waiting arms and the giggling women stopped, realizing there would be no fireworks and left the couple alone. "Xena, you know we can’t have children without a man."

"Gabrielle, I don’t care. Well – no, wait. I do care. We will just have to adopt or go on with our life without children." The Warrior kissed Gabrielle on the lips tenderly. "I will not allow anyone else to touch you intimately and please don’t ask that of me!"

The thought of children never really crossed Gabrielle’s mind. After the loss of Solan and Hope, the Bard just assumed as long as they remained lovers - children would not be possible. Then after they died and were reborn Gabrielle understood that each of them would just move up the karmic ladder popping into different lives where the Creator destined them to be. She did not question the foolishness of her thoughts or the wisdom of the Creator. Gabrielle felt complete knowing she was Xena’s soulmate for all eternity. Memories of all the messengers, the various religious doctrines, the prophets and the gods came flooding back to Gabrielle. After four winters of trying to understand and find a place in her heart for all of them, Gabrielle finally concluded that there was indeed only one Creator running the show and the rest were all just a part of that Creator. Pulled from her thoughts she felt her soulmate running those strong fingers through her hair.

"Hey, where did you go Gabrielle? You okay?"

A smile grew over the Bard’s beautiful face. "Yes my Warrior. I will not ask you to do something that would cause you pain. When the time or desire comes for children – then we can decide. Right now more than anything I just want us to bond in front of people who love us."

Relieved that she was not upset the Warrior led her soulmate outside. Pointing to the mountain north of Amphipolis Xena explained. "See the outcrop to the left of that mountain. Well there is an old temple priest up there. Before he retired he was the priest at Aphrodite’s temple – the one at Kolpos Bluff. I’m going to take Eponin and Shulaba with me and see if that old man will marry us."

"Why can’t I go with you?"

Taking both of Gabrielle’s arms the Warrior bent over to look directly at Gabrielle. Xena did not want the Bard coming with her because she planned on making a special side trip to pick up a gift for her soulmate. It was something she ordered prior to their deaths and hoped that one day she would be able to give this to Gabrielle. A tender kiss grazed her lips pulling Xena from her thoughts. "Gabrielle, if you come with me, then there is no one left behind to monitor mother. You know in her excitement she will slowly twist out of control without even realizing. I want this marriage ceremony to be about you and me. Only people close to us will understand what we have."

No longer able to contain her craving Gabrielle seized Xena’s lips in a forceful and searing kiss that only served to confirm that her soulmate was in full agreement. Demanding entrance into the warm moisture of her lover’s mouth Gabrielle could feel her body tremble, when the Warrior surrendered to her demands.

From the platform in the village Artemis, Aphrodite and Ephiny watched the interaction between the lovers. All three were privileged to both the conversation and thoughts exchanged between Xena and Gabrielle. Artemis placed her hand on Ephiny’s shoulder. "Well my Amazon, you better tell that old priest to pack a satchel. Oh and where exactly are Eponin and Amarice?"

The Goddess of Love looked to both Artemis and Ephiny. "Well I’m working on them. Eponin is pretty stubborn." Almost immediately laughter broke out among the trio, as they remembered the stubbornness of one other particular Warrior.


The End

Hope you enjoyed the sequel.

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5

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