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STOLEN DESIRE: TROIKA REVISITED
Disclaimers: The characters Xena, Gabrielle, Ephiny, Aphrodite, Minya, etc. are owned by MCA/Universal. I am not making any dinars from this story and do not intend to infringe on the rights of the owners of "Xena: Warrior Princess" in any way.
Contains mature subject matter and language which some may find offensive. Sex? Hades, yes---lots of it. Sexual encounters between women? Absolutely. If any of this offends you, if you are under the age of 18, or if this type of material is illegal where you live, I strongly recommend that you skip this one.
Please send any comments to email@example.com
Thanks to my soulmate, Crimson Blade, for her creative input.
Im dedicating this one to fellow bard, Annmaray. Pleasant dreams, my friend.
The warrior woke to the sounds of heavy breathing. Forcing one eye slightly open, she caught a glimpse of the two women on the blanket next to her. "Oh yes...mmm gods yesss, Gabrielle," Ephiny groaned, gazing into lustrous green eyes. The queen was sitting upright, straddling the Amazon, panting heavily as she descended on her again and again. Ephiny eagerly matched her thrusts, the firm leather penetrating the bards moist haven.
Xena squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting the two women to know she was awake. It wasnt that she hadnt watched the two make love before. She had and, she had to admit, she enjoyed it---the same way Ephiny liked to watch her and the bard. And Gabrielle was no exception. She took great delight in feasting her eyes on Xena and the Amazon, their bodies intertwined in desirous unity.
"G..gods...youre so...gooood," the bard, now lying on her back beneath the Amazon, moaned. Ephiny positioned her arms on either side of the queen, supporting her weight as her hips lunged forward, bringing her lover to the brink. "Ta...take me...pl...pleeease," Gabrielle begged, gasping for air. The regent complied, sweat trickling down her face as she rocked faster, dragging herself across the bards pelvic bone with each thrust. "Mmm...ahh...Gab...rielle," the Amazon growled as her own passion heightened.
Xenas ears burned when their screams of ecstasy filled the air, resounding through the tree tops, escaping into the night sky. She listened to them whispering for a while and then all was silent. She felt a warm body snuggle up to her own and then another as Ephiny and the bard moved close to her, wrapping their arms around her. She knew she had no reason to be jealous. They both loved her. But she had been away for a while, leaving them to fend for themselves while she was in Amphipolis tending to the family tavern. Her mother had fallen and broken her ankle and the warrior wouldnt rest until she went to check on her.
She wasnt foolish enough to believe that Gabrielle and the Amazon would refrain from making love while she was gone. And they had certainly given her a warm---in fact, ardent---welcome upon her return. Her emotions as jumbled as her thoughts, she lay awake for several candlemarks before finally drifting into sleep.
Xena felt a tug on her line. This fish certainly felt big enough to provide her and her two lovers with a hearty meal. She waited until the line was taught and then gave the pole a yank, tossing the floundering fish onto the bank. "Oh yeah. Youre a nice one," she said through a cheesy grin as she removed the catch from the end of her line.
"Morning, Xena," Gabrielle smiled at the approaching warrior.
"Mor...," Xena paused, taking a second look at the two women. The queen was topless, sitting on Ephinys lap with her arms around her, giggling while the Amazon nibbled away at her neck. The warrior couldnt help but notice the trail of hickeys sprinkled over the bards neck and breasts. "Morning," she finally responded, her face suddenly pale.
"What? No kiss?," Ephiny pouted.
Xena made her way over to the women, giving them each a less-than-enthusiastic peck. The Amazon, not at all satisfied with the pathetic effort, took hold of the warriors arm and pulled her back with a jolt. Xena looked into her eyes, a smile forcing its way across her mouth as her legs turned to mush. Both women had a way of doing that to her...and they knew it. Ephinys lips parted as the warrior leaned in and gave her a mind-boggling kiss. "Mmm good morning, my love," the regent sighed. Xena winked and turned to the bard, giving her the same attention. "Thats much better," Gabrielle swooned, watching the warrior make her way toward the campfire. "Nice ass," the queen grinned. Xena chuckled under her breath.
"Like hello, dumplins!," the shrill voice invaded the quiet clearing.
"Hello, Aphrodite," Xena grumbled.
"Hi, Gabrielle! Hi, Amazon woman!," the goddess gave them a toothy smile, waving wildly at the two women as though they were on the other side of the forest rather than an arms distance away.
"What brings you here?," Ephinys eyes narrowed.
"Well...," she squeaked. "I need your help."
"What is it this time, Aphrodite? Somebody leave another trout in your temple?," the warrior rolled her eyes.
"Oh dont be so trite, Xena. Actually, Im missing something. One minute I had it and the next it was gone!," she exclaimed.
"Cut to the chase. What is it?"
"My potion---a teeny bottle of lust. But it doesnt take much. I mean, this stuff is totally cutting edge. And if it fell into the wrong hands---well, lets just say that would be a real bummer," she declared.
"Where was it the last time you saw it?," the warrior half-heartedly inquired.
"I had it when I was in my temple just outside of Piedmon. Then some wacked-out looters came in and ransacked the joint. They robbed me blind! Anyway, I guess I got distracted," the goddess explained. "Those gifts were for me! "Presents from my loyal peons...umm...I mean followers. They cleaned me out, Xena!," she whined.
"Why is this potion so dangerous?," Gabrielle interjected.
"My dear bard, a single drop of my lust elixir can drive the entire town of Athens mad in a matter of seconds. Were talking about a world full of brainless psychos, all interested in---whatever it is they crave most at the time. Sort of like when you were obsessed with yourself and Xena couldnt stop fishing. Oh and Joxer was that...that ape thingy. Lets face it, that was not pretty. But this...I dont even want to think about it," she shuddered.
"Sounds like we dont have much of a choice," Ephiny sighed, shrugging her shoulders.
"Alright, Aphrodite. Well get our gear together and head for Piedmon," the warrior agreed.
"Bitchin!," the Love Goddess shrieked and clasped her hands together, vanishing from sight.
The three women packed their saddlebags and secured them to the horses. "So much for breakfast and Im starving," the bard complained, bending over to pick up her staff. "I have some nut bread," the regent grinned, breaking off a corner of the bread for the queen. "You, my dear, are a life saver," Gabrielle smiled and took Ephinys hand as the Amazon leaned down to pull her onto the horse.
Xena peered at the two women out of the corner of her eye. The bard sat in the front of the saddle, seductively licking Ephinys fingers clean after the regent fed her the last bite of bread. What was going on here? It had been ages since the bard had lapped at her fingers like that! The warrior was beginning to think that maybe she had stayed in Amphipolis too long and that the two women riding alongside her might just wish to be alone...sans one warrior princess.
Exhausted from the days ride, the bard had turned in early, leaving Ephiny and Xena sitting next to the fire honing their blades. Taking notice of the distraught expression on her companions face, the regent put her sword and stone aside and moved behind the warrior. "You want to talk about it?," the Amazon quietly asked, sliding the leather straps over Xenas shoulders.
"Mmmm," the warrior moaned as warm hands made contact with her flesh, sinking into her tense shoulders and back. Turning her attention away from her sword, she closed her eyes and leaned her head forward, melting into the regents caress.
"Oh, you like that?," Ephiny leaned in close. "I have another relaxation technique I think you might like even better," she purred in Xenas ear before moving in front of her, dropping to her knees. "Come here," she whispered, coaxing the warrior down off the rock on which she was sitting. She dragged a blanket toward them and guided her onto her back. Xena stared up the stars, raising her backside to allow the Amazon to remove her undergarment. She let out a quiet moan when she felt Ephinys mouth against her, her tongue teasing the sizzling flesh.
"Ephiny?," the warrior mumbled when the regent had been between her thighs for nearly a candlemark.
The Amazon looked up, her jaws aching, a look of concern on her face. "Xena? What is it?" She repositioned herself next to the warrior and held her close. This had never happened before. She had always been able to please her.
"You feel so good," Xena whispered, drawing her nearer. She didnt understand it either. She had definitely enjoyed what the regent was doing. But for some reason, she just couldnt relax. Her mind was too cluttered as her worry threatened to consume her.
"So...so do you," Ephiny finally replied. "Whats wrong?," she pressed, hoping that her love wasnt upset with her for some reason.
"Theres nothing wrong, sweetie," the warrior answered, tenderly kissing her lips in an attempt to reassure her. The gods, she loved this woman. Yet she knew she had hurt her feelings. She caressed the Amazons shoulder, running her hand over her breasts and across her midsection. Hesitating, she looked into her loves eyes, asking the question without uttering a word. She smiled when she saw the regent part her thighs. Slowly, she moved her hand under her skirt, stroking her softly before finally slipping inside the inviting folds.
The regent moved in unison with her loving strokes. Xena relished the way she felt, the way her eyes sparkled as she gazed up at her. "I love you," the warrior whispered, tenderly kissing her cheek, her neck, her lips. Ephiny returned the words and pressed against her, needing to be filled by her lover. Xenas thumb brushed against her, causing her to tremble. The Amazon maintained her gradual rhythm as she felt herself start to give. The warrior could feel Ephinys arms tighten around her when she climaxed. "Xenaaa," she whispered.
The regent held onto her lover, listening to her breathe as she slept. Making love to Xena had never been quite like that. So gentle...almost tranquil. As always, she had felt the depth of the warriors love in her touch. But she could tell something was troubling her.
Xena stood behind the tree, listening to the bard and Ephiny talk. "...I mean, who does she think she is--- forcing us to traipse all over the place? My feet are killing me!," Gabrielle complained.
"Well, shes the type that expects everyone to drop what theyre doing at the snap of her fingers. Besides, well be rid of her soon enough," the regent grinned, drawing the queen close.
Crouching behind the tree, remaining perfectly still, the warrior hung on every word.
"Ephinyyy," the bard growled. "Youre insatiable!," she exclaimed as the Amazon raised her skirt.
Again?!, the warrior said under her breath. Every time she turned around, the two were pawing at each other---which wouldnt be so bad if they would include her more often. She didnt get it. Before she left for Amphipolis, it had been a rare occasion for two of them to pair off---although it had certainly happened a few times. But now...Gabrielle and the regent were constantly off in their own little world.
"Every one knows Im all for groping and groaning," the goddess sudden appearance startled the warrior. "But you three have more pressing things to do right now. Tell them to get their groove on some other time," she snapped.
"Alright, Aphrodite, well get moving," Xena said in a hushed tone, not wanting the women to know she had been spying on them. "Now, scram! Dont badger me." The goddess took the hint and departed in a huff.
"Sorry to interrupt," Xena approached the two amorous women. "But we need to get going."
"Ok Xe...na...just...just...a little...longer...ohh..g..gods yesss!," the Amazon suddenly gasped.
Gabrielle, on her knees, peered out from under the regents skirt. "Oh...Xe...Xena...Are you...umm... ready to head out?," she stuttered.
"Mmm hmm," the warrior nodded, folding her arms over her chest, staring at the two women.
"Something wrong?," the queen casually asked as struggled to stand.
Xena shifted her eyes from regent to bard, a plethora of emotions surging through her body. "Nope," she answered before coolly strolling away. But she could feel her face turning green with envy.
They traveled most of the day, stopping to make camp just before sunset. Ephiny managed to snare a rabbit while the bard ignited the fire. Xena ambled through the trees, checking out the area, trying to sort her thoughts. Without too much effort, she devised a plan.
After dinner, the warrior broke off the end of an arrow and placed it on the ground in front of her. "Oh, ladies!," she crooned, summoning Ephiny and the bard to her side.
"Yesss?," the regent answered, moving next to Xena. Gabrielle followed suit. "Whats this all about?," she inquired, staring down at the object.
"I thought it would be fun to play a game. You know...to pass the time," the warrior replied.
"A game?," the Amazon stared at her in disbelief. "Who are you and what have you done with Xena?," she chuckled.
"Very funny," Xena groaned. "This is how it works," she began to explain. "Spin the arrowhead and wait for it to stop. And whoever spins gets to ask the person closest to the tip a question---any question. The catch is, you have to respond in one sentence or less and, of course, you have to be honest. Ill go first so you can get a feel for how its done." Giving the arrow a flick, Xena watched it spin, finally coming to rest with the tip pointed directly at Ephiny. "Ok. It landed on you," she looked at the regent. "Lets see...," she thought aloud. "Are you responsible for the chip in my chakram?," her eyes narrowed.
The Amazon bit her tongue, averting her eyes away from the warrior. "I didnt agree to play this game," she gruffly objected.
"Oh, come on, Eph!," the bard pleaded.
"Alright, alright. Yes, Im responsible for the chip in your chakram," she reluctantly confessed.
"I knew it!," Xena snarled.
"I asked you to teach me to use it, but you never did," the regent muttered under her breath. "I just wanted to try it out!," she raised her voice as she spoke in her own defense.
Having more important matters to contend with, the warrior refrained from rattling off her usual "dont- mess-with-my-chakram" lecture and returned her attention to the game at hand. "Ok, Ephiny, give it a spin," she directed.
The regent watched the arrow rotate. "Xena...," she said through a smirk when the tip pointed toward the warrior. "Do you really like my cooking?," she raised an eyebrow, waiting for a response.
The warrior took a deep breath. "No, I dont like your cooking," she admitted. Ephiny scowled.
The bard reached for the arrowhead. "Xena!," she enthusiastically exclaimed. "Hmmm...," she looked pensive as she tried to conjure up the perfect question. "Ive got it! Why dont you ever take the time to read my scrolls?"
The warrior hesitated, trying to figure out how to answer such a difficult question in a single sentence. "I havent read your scrolls lately because...," she focused on her words. "I dont think I deserve all the praise you give me and...I always cry when I read them," she confessed.
"Xena...," the bard whispered. "You cry?"
"Well, you have to admit, you write some pretty emotional stuff," the warrior mumbled. Gabrielle, obviously overwhelmed by the disclosure, gave her a huge hug.
"Ephinyyy," the queen chimed when the arrow landed on the Amazon. "Whats it like to have sex with a Centaur?," she asked through a mischievous grin.
"Come on, Ephiny, you have to answer the question," Xena taunted.
"Its...," the regent stalled. "...its...horrible!," she finally blurted out, her face turning bright red as the other two women roared with laughter. "Im gonna get you for that one," she warned the bard. "Yes!," she erupted when the arrow pointed dead at the queen. She rested her chin on her hand for a moment, the wheels in her head spinning as she tried to come up with the most obnoxious question possible. "Gabrielle...," her eyes narrowed. "Whos the better kisser, me or Xena?"
The bards face turned white. "Thats not fair!," she protested.
"Actually, Gabs, it is," the warrior insisted, her curiosity peaking.
"The truth, huh?," the queen murmured.
"Yep," Ephiny leered, seemingly pleased with herself.
"Ok...honestly...," Gabrielle spoke slowly. "Neither of you is a better kisser because Xena does this thing that I really like a lot AND...," she attempted to squeeze as many words into the sentence as possible. "You...," she glanced at Ephiny. "...do something else that Im equally fond of," she sighed with relief. The warrior and the Amazon beamed. "Now...," the queen gave the arrow a spin. "Xena, this ones for you. Think, Gabrielle, think...," she said to herself. "Ok, I have it. Right after we first met---we went to visit your mother and that woman, Treylin, kept following you around. I asked you why and you wouldnt give me a straight answer. Then that night, you disappeared with her...," she attempted to jog the warriors memory. "I asked you what you two had been doing and you told me you went out for a ride--- remember?"
Xena nodded, swallowing hard as a sense of uneasiness began to surface.
"Well, my question is---what were the two of you really doing that night?," she folded her arms over her chest and waited for a response.
"Screwing like a couple of minks," the warrior quipped, her candid answer shocking the Tartarus out of both bard and regent. "Xena!," the two simultaneously gasped.
"Well, you asked," she said matter-of-factly, shrugging her shoulders.
"I gotta tell you---this games going way beyond the realm of need-to-know," Ephiny mumbled, chuckling under her breath.
"You wanna quit?," Xena grinned at the regent.
The Amazon, naturally, took the comment as a personal challenge. "I never surrender, Xena. Well... almost never," she winked at the warrior.
"Whose turn is it anyway?," Gabrielle asked, still flustered by Xenas last response.
"I do believe its mine," the warrior picked up the arrow head and blew on it before flicking it with her index finger. "Gabrielle...dear," she said through a colossal grin. "Has Ephiny convinced you to try the leather...umm...gadget yet?"
"The leather gadget?," a confused expression emerged on the bards face as she tried to figure out what the warrior was talking about. Xena moved her eyebrows up and down while the regent tried not to laugh. "Oh!," Gabrielle finally caught on. "For Hades sake!," she exclaimed.
"Fess up, my lovely bard," the warrior insisted.
"Yes...," Gabrielle looked annoyed. "Ephiny and I have...," she inhaled deeply, trying to hide her embarrassment. "...have shared that experience."
Well, at least she hadnt lied. Xena had tried---on many occasions---to convince the bard to join her and the regent in their encounters with the strap-on, but Gabrielle had always insisted that it just wasnt her thing.
The bard spun the arrow and waited. "Ephiny," a serious expression washed over the queens face as the tip of the arrow came to rest in front of the Amazon. "What did I say to you the first time I...the first time we...the first time with the...you know...the leather thing?," she stammered.
A smile tugged at the regents lips as she reflected on the occasion. "You said...," she thought about it carefully. "You said that you missed Xena and wished that she could be with us and you asked if I thought about her when we made love AND...," she continued to extend the sentence. "...I said yes and you told me that you thought about her constantly...especially when we made love."
The warrior felt a twinge of guilt. The look on both their faces spoke volumes. They obviously adored her. But what about what she had heard them say earlier...about getting rid of her? "Spin, Ephiny," she insisted, determined to find out whether or not her jealously was warranted.
"Xenaaa," a conspiring grin painted the bards face as she lifted her eyes to focus on the warrior. "We could...you know...we could try it now...the leather thing," she growled.
"N..now?," Xenas jaw dropped. As far as she was concerned, the game could wait.
"Mmm hmm," Gabrielle answered, nipping at the warriors earlobe.
The bard moved her hands over Xenas breasts, teasing her puckered nipples, driving her lover insane. The regent looked on for a moment and then quietly stood and headed toward the trees. "Ephiny, arent you going to...dont you want to stay?," Xena asked, realizing that the Amazon was about to take her leave.
"Im going for a walk," the regent smiled and disappeared among the trees.
Ephiny was sitting on a rock, thinking about all that had transpired over the course of the evening, when she heard the bards cries of pleasure. A contented smile shifted the corners of her mouth and the regent stood and headed back to the clearing. "Is everyone...satisfied?," she gazed down at the two women lying close together on the blanket.
"Gods, yes," Gabrielle sighed, her head resting on the warriors chest. "But...," she looked up at the Amazon. "I think Xena has something to say to you," she grinned.
"I...I umm...I was hoping youd return soon," Xena addressed the regent, who was now kneeling beside her. "I have a craving," the warrior whispered.
"For?," the regent moved closer.
"You," she growled, drawing the Amazon into a fervent kiss. Ephiny melted in the warriors arms, every touch sending chills up and down her spine. "Ga..brielle," she managed between kisses, reaching out for the bard who was still snuggled against Xena.
"Oh no. You two are on your own this time," the queen responded. "Shes already told me what she wants...and she wants it from you," she grinned. "She said youd understand," she smiled and closed her eyes, listening to her lovers surrender to each other.
The warrior woke in the middle of the night to find that she was alone on the blankets. She knew Gabrielle and Ephiny were probably in the bushes somewhere relieving themselves. Lately, when nature called, the two almost always answered together. Still, she decided to check on them just to be sure. "Cant those two do anything alone?," she grumbled as she tried to untangle herself from the covers.
"Gabrielle? Ephiny?," she whispered though no one else was around. Hacking away at the underbrush with her sword, she made her way into the woods. When she abruptly came to a halt, her ears zoned in on the rustling sound emanating from behind a cluster of tall trees. Quietly, she moved forward and knelt behind an unusually broad pine tree.
"Did you see the look on her face when she saw the two of us the other day?," Gabrielle laughed. "You would think she had never seen two women making love before!"
"She could have at least given us a few minutes to finish! I know we need her but sometimes she dances all over my last nerve!," the regent grunted.
"Well, I cant wait until we get to Piedmon so we can find that potion and tell her to get lost," the bard groaned.
"Patience, my love," Ephiny leaned forward and kissed her. "We dont want to make her angry...at least not yet," she advised, running her hands down her lovers back and over her firm buttocks.
The warrior, careful not to make any noise, stood and made her way back to the campsite. Once she was settled on her bedroll, her mind began to reel. She had definitely stayed in Amphipolis too long. Gabrielle and the regent had been alone together for so long that they had come to the decision that they wanted to be together...without her. A single tear escaped her eye as she admitted to herself that she had always been afraid this might happen. But the love-making experience she had shared with both of them earlier had almost convinced her that maybe she had been wrong---that her fears were groundless. Feeling as though her whole world was about to shatter, she rolled onto her side and buried her head in the blankets.
The bard and the Amazon returned within moments, chattering and snickering as they settled on the ground next to the warrior. Xena made a conscious effort to remain still. She didnt want them to know she was awake. "Gabrielllle," she heard Ephiny moan.
"How can you be sure she wont interrupt us?," the regent whispered.
"Im taking you right here and now," the bard growled. "If she interrupts us again, Ill kill her!," she exclaimed in a hushed tone. The two women laughed quietly, each undressing the other.
Xenas tears burned her eyes when their hushed groans of pleasure assaulted her ears. She loved both of them so much and the thought of a life without them...the very notion left her crushed. She wasnt going to lose them. She couldnt let that happen.
The three women set out early the next morning and managed to arrive in Piedmon before midday. "Did you see that?," Ephinys forehead crinkled as she spoke. "Was he doing what I think he was doing? With a melon?"
"He must like fruit...a lot," Xena shuddered, securing the two horses to a post.
"And that woman over there?," the bard pointed toward the elderly lady who was doing what appeared to be a strip tease in the middle of a field. She wouldnt have paid as much attention if the strippers audience hadnt been a cat. "Shes not going to...," Gabrielle held her breath and stared at the woman. "The gods! She did! Ewww!," the queen exclaimed, covering her eyes with her hands.
The regent nudged the warriors ribs with her elbow, gesturing toward the side of the road. "I love you. Ive always loved you and, one way or another, Im going to have you!," the man exclaimed, addressing what looked like a very old scroll.
"Excuse me. Excuse me!," Gabrielle approached the man. "Do you realize youre trying to seduce a piece of parchment?," she sounded exasperated as she reached out and attempted to snatch the scroll from the mans hand. "No! Dont touch it! Its mine! All mine!," he declared, dropping to his knees, kissing the parchment again and again, uttering the words, "I cant wait to get you alone."
"Something tells me Aphrodites lust tonic is around here somewhere...," Xena grumbled under her breath. Though she was exhausted from lack of sleep and emotionally drained as well, she was trying her best to focus on the task at hand.
"Duh! Of course its around here!," the Love Goddess appeared in front of them. "Check it out! These people are acting like a bunch of loons!"
"You can say that again," Ephiny groaned when she noticed a woman clutching a tree, clawing at the bark, begging it marry her. "Oh yeesss, you big barky hunk of love!," the woman exclaimed, pressing her body against the tree in a most lecherous manner.
"Talk about splinters," Gabrielle mumbled. "Ouch."
"Why isnt the potion affecting the three of us?," the warrior asked the goddess.
"I suppose whoever has it popped the top somewhere around here, probably spilled some of it," she guessed. "What a waste!," she threw her arms up in disgust. "Anyway, if you had been here when it happened, you and your chakram would probably be on pretty intimate terms by now," she giggled. The warrior gave her a chastising look. She certainly hoped the Amazon and Gabrielle didnt come into contact with the stuff. "Thats all I need," she uttered under her breath.
"Whats that?," Ephiny inquired, unable to decipher what she had said.
"Oh...nothing," Xena insisted, searching the area for some kind of lead. "If we spit up, well be able to cover more ground," she suggested. "Gabrielle, take this side of the village. Ephiny can cover the north side. Im heading for Aphrodites temple. But be careful. These people are out of their minds," she reminded them, her eyes fixed on a man engaged in a one-sided conversation with a shoe. "Im begging you! Say youll never leave me! Say it!," he pleaded, aggressively shaking the uncooperative footwear.
"Hey!," Gabrielle blurted out. "Hey, you idiot! Thats a shoe youre talking to!"
"Shh! Gabrielle, chill out!," Xena ordered, clamping her hand over the bards mouth.
The three women agreed to meet in front of the tavern in two candlemarks and went their separate ways. Much to the warriors dismay, Aphrodite decided to accompany her on her journey to the temple.
"When will these tacky mortals learn to keep their grubby little claws off my stuff?," the Love Goddess griped.
"You realize youre talking to one of those tacky mortals now," the warrior grumbled, sick of listening to the goddess annoying complaints.
"More presents!," Aphrodite squealed, throwing the door to the temple open, darting toward the table next to the long row of candles. "Like it...hate it...like it...like it...hate it...," she uttered aloud, sifting through the pile of gifts. "What in Hades name is this?," she scowled, holding up a fuzzy object.
"Looks like one of your admirers thought you could use a new look," Xena laughed at the sight of the skimpy fleece bikini.
"Where does this go?," the goddess stared at the narrow thread.
"Its a thong, Aphrodite," the warrior grinned. "The string goes up your..."
"Dont say it!," the goddess interrupted. "Just the thought of it gives me hemorrhoids. Twisted freaks," she muttered under her breath. "Like it...hate it...hate it...," she continued with her inventory.
"Wait...," the warrior moved closer to the table. "Did you say you hate this...and this?," she asked, reaching for two of the discarded objects.
"Yeah. Theyre yucky," Aphrodite grimaced. "Hate it...love it...hate it...," she went back to her task.
"Could I have these?," Xena requested.
"Please take them. Theyre only taking up space and I need to make sure I have plenty of room for the good stuff!," she skipped across the room to the other table full of gifts.
The warrior stared down at the items she held in her hands. An exquisite dagger with a bronze handgrip and a silver inkhorn. "Theyre going to love these," she said to herself, her heart skipping a beat as thoughts of Gabrielle and the regent flooded her mind. There was no way she was going to stand idly by and watch them walk away from her. "Ayiyiyiyiyi!," she suddenly belted out, exploding in a furor of backflips.
"What the...?," the startled goddess abruptly turned to face her.
"I have to find them!," Xenas voice faded as she flipped out the door.
"Gabrielle and that...that Amazon are more important than finding my potion?!," she called out after the warrior. "As if!," she shouted in a huff, her hands on her hips. And then her jaw suddenly dropped. "The tonic! Xena!," she yelled, guessing that the warrior had been enchanted by the missing potion. "I know its somewhere in this village," she said to herself, vanishing in a puff of smoke.
Xena raced through the village, completely ignoring the orgy taking place in the streets. "Gabrielle! Ephiny!," she bellowed, leaping over a pile of sweaty, writhing bodies.
The bard rummaged through the bottles, grateful to the village healer for allowing her access to the room which housed the medicine supply. She carefully inspected each flask, reading every label. Trying to ignore the persistent thumping sound that had been assaulting her ears for some time, she continued to search for missing potion. "The gods!," she belted out, jolted by a sudden thud which was followed by a loud crackling sound. "Oh this is just great," she sarcastically muttered when the wall gave way. Her eyes wide open, she stared in wonder as the bed protruded through the wall. The healer and her husband were so engrossed in each other that they failed to notice the bard standing over them as the bed continued to creep across the floor. "Screwing like a couple of minks," Gabrielle shook her head, forcing her gaze away from the couple.
"Pardon me!," the warrior suddenly bolted through the door, vaulting the bed in her attempt to get to the bard. The copulating couple didnt even notice. "Excuse me again!," she shouted, scooping the bard up and jumping into the air, whisking her over the bed and out the door.
"What...where are we going?!," Gabrielle yelled in her ear as the warrior hastily transported her over the ground.
Xena froze in her tracks, rapidly turning her head from side to side, looking for a place to go. "The barn!," she shouted, carrying the bard away.
"Whats going on, Xena?!," Gabrielle exclaimed when she found herself being dropped on top of a pile of hay.
"Dont talk, Gabrielle," the warriors voice was muffled as she buried her head in the bards neck.
"Xena! What about the potion?! We have to meet Ephiny!"
"Ephiny. Gods yes. Shes next," she panted, ravaging the bards neck.
"Xena? Are you going to...," her voice trailed off as she watched the warrior remove her skirt.
"Oh yeah...right here...right now," Xena purred, quickly ridding the bard of her clothes.
"We cant...we have to...oh my godsss," she gasped, her eyes fixed on the warriors raven tresses, now nestled between her thighs.
"You are sooo amazing," Xena moaned, drinking her in. Licking, sucking, devouring---her hunger ignited the bards passion.
"Wait...pl...please wait," Gabrielle groaned, her excitement so intense she nearly slipped over the edge. "I want this to last," she helped the warrior remove her leathers and urged her onto her back. She felt her lovers heart beating against her chest when she pressed against her, tracing a circle around her nipple with the tip of her tongue.
"H..harder," Xena groaned when she felt the bards teeth graze her neck. Gabrielle sank her teeth in deeper, relishing the flavor of the sweet flesh. The warrior felt the tantalizing body against her rise and descend again as her lover moved her arm between them, pressing her hand against the dampness between her legs.
"Xena? Gabrielle?," the Amazon peered inside the barn, instantly losing her breath when she saw her two lovers flailing around in the hay. "Umm...," she took a deep breath and closed the door behind her. "Shouldnt we be trying to find Aphrodites..."
"Get rid of those clothes and come here," the warrior gritted her teeth, throwing her head back when the bard pushed deep inside her.
"But...but we...," the regent stammered, kneeling beside her lovers.
"We..both...w...want you," Gabrielle uttered through ragged breaths, giving the regent a passionate kiss.
"Pleassse...," Xena reached out for the Amazon, grazing her tongue over her lips, begging her to join them. The regent looked down at her lover, her eyes locked on ice blue spheres as Xena tugged on her thigh, urging her to straddle her. Ephiny, unable to resist the invitation, shifted her leg, gasping when she felt her undergarment shift and then the warriors warm breath on her scorching thighs. She felt Gabrielle press against her, her soothing voice falling on her ears in a whisper. "I cant get enough of you," she moaned, now sitting close behind the regent. One knee on either side of the warriors stomach, the bard began to knead the Amazons breasts with enchanted hands.
The warrior lifted her arms and placed her hands over the bards, caressing her fingers as they moved over the regent. Ephinys frame quivered when she felt the warriors mouth cover her, her tongue gliding over her folds and then slipping between. Her excitement held her captive as Xenas strokes became more intense, pushing her to the limit. "Mother of Zeus!," the Amazon cried out and threw her head back, Gabrielle clinging to her when her body started to jolt. She arched her back, a deep moan escaping from her throat as she sank into the bards embrace.
Thoroughly spent, her heart racing, the regent lay next to the warrior. "The gods on Olympus," she sighed, draping her arm over Xenas chest. "Do you have any idea what you do to me?"
"I have a pretty good idea," the warrior growled and lapped at her neck, sparking yet another tremor.
"Gabrielle?," the regent called out to the queen, who had disappeared behind one of stalls on the other side of the barn.
"Ephiny, come here," the bard replied.
The regent attempted to get up, only to be pulled back down by the zealous warrior. "Dont move," Xena whispered, a wild glint in her eyes.
"Ill only be a moment. I promise," she returned her lovers kiss.
"Pleassse hurry," the warrior pleaded, her need escalating.
Ephiny disappeared behind the stall where she was greeted with a heart-stopping kiss. "Ephiny...," the bard began to speak. "You know Xenas been affected by the lust potion..."
The regent cut her off, kissing her passionately. "I assumed she had, but I cant say that it bothers me," she confessed through a sly grin, grazing her tongue over the bards lips.
"I suggest we take advantage of it. Besides, she wont be able to concentrate on finding the potion while shes in this state," Gabrielle growled, her lips parting to welcome the regents tongue.
The warrior lay on her back in the hay, lost in her craving for her lovers. The Amazon suddenly emerged and Xena watched her perfect form move as she made her way across the barn and picked up her satchel. "Ephinyyy," she beckoned.
"Im right here, Xena," she responded, not at all surprised by the warriors urgency. "Sit up." Xena complied. The regent placed the cloth over her lovers eyes and tied the ends behind her head.
"I have a feeling Im going to like this," the blind-folded warrior moaned as Ephiny coaxed her onto her back.
"I have a feeling youre right," the regent replied, kissing her deeply before backing away.
"Hey...whats...where are you? Ephiny? Gabrielle?," the sightless warrior floundered in the hay, finally managing to sit upright. She reached up to remove the blind fold, but a hand wrapped around her wrist and lowered her arm to her side.
"Shh. Lie back," the bard purred in her ear.
"We want you to savor every moment of this," Ephinys voice came in a whisper.
The warrior sighed when she felt silken lips brush against her own. "Ga...Gabrielle?," she questioned.
"Does it matter?," the regent answered.
Void of her vision, Xena was forced to rely on her ears and her flesh. Every sound, every touch sent her soaring into Elysia as her lovers descended on her, feasting on her desire. A low growl emerged from her the back of her throat as heated caresses and frenzied kisses poured over her body. She felt the dampness against her midriff and then someone leaned over her. Feeling a warm sensation against her lips, she opened her mouth. "No...it doesnt matter," she groaned, stroking the nipple with her tongue. A pair of soft hands were massaging her thighs, pushing her legs further apart. She bent her knees and raised her hips, overpowered by her yearning. "Mmm...yes...pleassee," she begged when she felt the faint caress. And then she was lying on her back, both women now out of reach.
"Are you two trying to drive me crazy?!," she chuckled, sifting through the hay in search of her lovers. "Lie back," a voice whispered. She reclined and listened intently, letting out a gasp when she felt one of the women crawling on top of her. She felt the firm leather against her and arched her back, raising her hips. A mouth descended on her own, delivering probing kisses while another attentively drifted over her breasts. "Gods dont stop...pleassse d..d..dont stop," she groaned, the intense stroking making her dizzy as her lover entered her, matching her eager thrusts. Suddenly the ties were loosened, the blind fold removed from her eyes. Her vision hazy, she focused on the woman lunging against her. "Gabri..elle," she gasped, a smile tugging at her lips as she watched the bards hips rise and fall. Ephiny stretched out next the warrior and held her tight as her body surrendered. "Mmm...gods...gods, yeesss!," Xena screamed in ecstasy. The regent shifted her eyes to Gabrielle, a flood raging between her own legs when she saw the queen close her eyes as her body began to tremble.
The three women, their energy depleted in the wake of their spontaneous rendezvous, lay close together. "We really should get going," the warrior groaned, not wanting to budge. She was more confused than ever. If Ephiny and the bard were putting up a front--stalling until the time was right for them to rid themselves of her--they were both two of the most accomplished thespians she had ever encountered.
"Gods, yes, we need to get going. The entire village is out there...screwing like minks," the regent snickered. Xena and Gabrielle both joined in her laughter.
Reluctantly, they tore themselves away from each other, dressed, and gathered their belongings. The warrior pushed the barn door open and stepped outside. "Yep, theyre still at it," she informed the other two women as she surveyed the villagers risqué conduct. The three headed outside, trying to ignore the lurid activities taking place all around them.
"Xena! Amazon woman!," Aphrodite appeared in front of them, wringing her hands as she started to babble. "I found it!," she enthusiastically announced. "The lust potion---I know where it is!"
"Slow down," the warrior instructed. "Where? Who has it?"
"This way!," the goddess shouted, tugging on the warriors arm.
The three women trailed behind Aphrodite, struggling to keep up with her brisk pace. "There!," she pointed to a small hut surrounded by roving goats and sheep. "I tried to get it back myself but she threatened to break the flask if I came any closer," she explained.
"Who?," Xenas eyes narrowed.
"That wacko inside the hut. Xena, shes like totally wigging out!"
"You said she...a woman?," the warrior pressed.
"Theres another woman in there with her. But shes tied to a chair," the goddess answered.
Xena looked at the bard, noticing her mouth hanging open. "Xena...," Gabrielle uttered.
"I know, Gabrielle," the warrior cut her off. "This is Minyas hut," her tone revealed her concern.
"I hope nothings happened to her," the bard began to fret.
"Whos Minya?," Ephinys brow crinkled.
"Shes an old friend of ours," Xena informed her. "Ephiny, go in through the front door. Gabrielle wait outside in case whoever were dealing with manages to make it out here. Im going in through the window," she stated. "Aphrodite...," the warrior looked threatening. "Stay here. I mean it." She didnt want the Love Goddess to interfere.
The women moved into position, the regent and Gabrielle waiting for Xenas signal. "Now!," the warrior shouted and bolted through the window. "Minya?," she exclaimed, obviously shocked at what she found. Minya was standing at the ready, a whip in one hand and the bottle containing the potion in the other. Behind her, a young woman was blind folded, gagged, and bound to a chair. "Minya, what in the name of Zeus are you doing?," Xena stared at her in disbelief.
"Xena!," Minya giddily exclaimed as though she were happy to see the warrior. "Oh!," she glanced at the bottle in her hand as if she had just remembered it was there. "Im warning you, Xena...," her tone instantly changed. She glared at the warrior and the Amazon as they closed in on her. "Hey---whos she?," she gestured toward the regent. "Got a new woman?," she smiled.
"You could say that," Xenas eyes narrowed, zoning in on the potion. "Minya, I want you to hand over the bottle. Come on...give it to me," she extended her hand and inched her way closer. The regent, her sword in her hand, remained still, ready to make a move.
"I cant do that, Xena," she cracked the whip in the warriors direction. "Ouch! Damn thing bit me again!," she shrieked when the whip came back and snapped against the side of her cheek. Ephiny managed to suppress her laughter.
"Minya, why are you holding this woman captive?," Xena probed, moving closer still.
"Oh, Im not holding her captive...Well, maybe I am, but its not what you think," Minya replied.
"At least take the gag off her mouth so she can breathe," the warrior suggested.
Minya looked over at the woman who was mumbling beneath the gag, desperately trying to speak. "Oh all right, but stay back!," she warned, reaching back to remove the gag.
"Minya!," the woman shouted once the cloth was removed from her mouth. "Whats this all about?!," she angrily demanded.
"I...I only wanted...," Minya looked down at the floor. "I wanted to be with you. I wanted you to love me," she looked like she was going to cry.
"What?! What in the name of Hades helmet were you thinking?!," the woman began to rant.
"I...I...," Minya stammered, but never managed to reply.
"Of all the hair-brained.....wait....Did you just say you love me?," the distraught womans mood seemed to shift.
"Umm...I umm...ye...yes," Minya managed to answer, nervously fidgeting with the whip she still held in her hand.
"Well you certainly didnt have to go to all this trouble!," the woman shouted. "All you had to do was tell me!," she laughed.
Minya dropped the whip and rushed to the womans side. Realizing she was still holding the potion in her hand, she suddenly tossed it in Xenas direction. The warriors eyes grew wide as both she and the regent lunged forward, landing flat on their stomachs on the floor. "Whew! Thank the gods!," Ephiny exclaimed when Xena caught the bottle just before it hit the floor.
Minya untied the woman and took her hand, guiding her toward Xena and Ephiny. "Xena, this is Sharron," she looked down at the two women who were still lying on the floor.
"Nice to meet you," the warrior grumbled, rising to her feet. "And this is Ephiny," she introduced the regent.
"Xena?...," Minya looked confused. "Wheres Gabrielle?," she whispered discreetly.
"Shes outside," Xena answered.
Minyas jaw dropped as she looked the regent up and down. Shifting her gaze to the warrior, she gave her a slap on the back. "You dog!," she uttered. "Both of them?"
"Mmm hmm," Xena nodded, wrapping her arms around the Amazons waist. Ephiny blushed slightly and then grinned from ear to ear.
The four women made their way outside where the bard and the goddess were waiting. "Here," the warrior handed Aphrodite the bottle. "And dont lose it again," she ordered.
The goddess clutched the cherished bottle and bounced up and down in her elation. "Well, gotta run!," she squealed. "Im gonna put on my...what did you call that thing?," she glanced at Xena. "Thong! Thats it!," she exclaimed, disappearing in a pink haze.
"Gabrielle...," Minya threw her arm around the bards shoulders. "Youve certainly got your hands full," she teased, eyeing Ephiny and Xena. "This is Sharron," she introduced the young woman to the queen. Gabrielle gave her a questioning look and then smiled when she noticed the adoration in Minyas eyes as she gazed at the woman of her dreams.
"Pleased to meet you, Sharron," the bard finally responded through a warm smile.
"The three of you will stay for dinner, wont you?," Minya enthusiastically extended the invitation.
Xena noticed when Ephiny gave the bard a look---a look the warrior was unable to identify. "Yes! Of course we will!," Xena vibrantly accepted. "In fact...," she added. "I was thinking that we might hang around for a few days. That is, if you dont mind."
"Not at all! Id...," she glanced at Sharron and corrected herself. "We would love it," she beamed. Sharron impishly batted her eyes in response.
The warrior and Minya sat out back in the wood shed skinning fresh trout for dinner while Gabrielle and Ephiny helped Sharron tend to the livestock. "Minya...," Xena began. "How long have you known Sharron?"
"Weve been friends for years. She dated Howers brother for a while...that is, until we both wised up and dumped the losers," she chuckled. "Shes been staying here with me for several weeks. Oh, Xena, its been so wonderful having her around," she swooned, a light flashing in her eyes. "I...I just couldnt help myself. She does things to me if you know what I mean," she winked, the goofy expression on her face nearly causing the warrior to laugh out loud.
"Oh yeah, I know what you mean," Xena sighed, lopping off the head of a two-pound trout.
"Xena? Are you ok? Cause you dont seem quite yourself," Minya stared at the warrior.
"Mmm hmm. Im fine," she answered, trying to conceal her anxieties.
"So...tell me about Ephiny. Where did you meet her? How long have you known her? Whats she like? And how did you ever convince Gabrielle to share you with another woman?," she pried.
"Ephiny is, as Im sure you already know, an Amazon warrior. Shes also Gabrielles appointed regent. Shes...," Xena inhaled deeply, momentarily loosing herself in her thoughts before continuing. "Shes incredible. I adore her. Gabrielle and I both do," she sighed, a troubled expression moving over her face.
"It sounds so romantic!," Minya exclaimed. "But..," she locked her eyes on the warriors. "Why do you seem upset?," she pressed.
Xena placed the knife she was using on the table and turned her chair toward the woman sitting next to her. "Can I tell you something?," she asked after a few moments of deliberation.
"Sure, Xena. Anything," Minya insisted, sliding her chair closer to the warrior.
"Ive been a little worried. Worried that...I dont know...that maybe I dont make Gabrielle and Ephiny happy anymore," she confided.
"Oh, Xenaaa! That cant be true. Whats not to love?!," she playfully punched the warriors upper arm, blushing when she realized what she had just said.
Xena pondered the words briefly and then suddenly erupted. "Minya! You can help me with this!"
"Wha...what can I do, Xena?," Minya enthusiastically offered.
"Well...," a wry grin made its way across the warriors lips as she began to divulge her plan. "I just need you to keep your ears open, if you know what I mean," she raised an eyebrow. "You know...sort of pay extra attention to what they say when Im not around."
"You want me to eavesdrop, dont you?," she asked through a devilish grin.
"Eavesdrop sounds so negative. Lets just say I want you to do a little investigating for me," the warrior shifted in her chair, a little ashamed of herself for what she was asking her friend to do.
"I knew some day you would need my help!," Minya gleefully announced before rising from her chair. Her mind racing from the excitement of her alliance with her heroine, she scurried around the kitchen making the final preparations for dinner.
Another pair of ears was just what the warrior needed. If Gabrielle and Ephiny were planning on leaving her, she needed to find out exactly why before she could figure out a way to keep it from happening.
The warrior opened her eyes and glanced at the slumbering women on either side of her. Without making a sound, she slipped out of the bed without waking Gabrielle and the regent. When she had reached the kitchen, she poured herself a mug of cider and sat down at the table, waiting in the dark. "Xena? Xena?," Minyas voice came in a harsh whisper.
"Im here, Minya," the warrior answered, lighting the candle on the table.
Minya pulled up a chair and sat close to the warrior. "I have something to report," she said in an official tone.
"What did you find out?," Xena eagerly inquired.
"Well...I followed Gabrielle and Ephiny to the creek and hid in the bushes. They had no idea I was there!," she proudly informed the warrior.
"What did you hear?," her impatient friend pried.
Minya averted her eyes, glancing around the room. Her reluctance to answer was obvious to the warrior.
"Minya?!," Xena raised her voice. "What did they say?!"
"Youre not gonna like this," she cautioned.
"I dont care. I just want to know."
"Well...Xena...they said you...need a bath," she hesitantly answered.
"What?!," the warriors brow wrinkled as she squinted her eyes.
"They said you smell like a barnyard," Minya quickly backed away from her companion.
"Oh, they did, did they?," Xena grumbled, raising her arm to get a whiff of her pit. "Do I? Stink?," she asked her friend.
"Well...you smell a little musty sometimes. But I wouldnt say you reek or anything," Minya replied. The warrior grumbled something under her breath and headed back to bed.
Gabrielle and Ephiny woke to find that the warrior was no where in sight. "Have you seen Xena?," the drowsy bard stumbled into the kitchen where Minya and Sharron were baking bread.
"Oh! Morning, Gabrielle!," Minyas voice boomed in the queens ears. "I think shes taking a bath," she tried not to snicker.
"Thanks. Morning, Sharron," the bard mumbled on her way out the door. She made her way across the dusty ground and, not paying attention to where she was going, nearly bumped right into the warrior. "There you are!," the bard enthusiastically threw her arms around her love.
"Good morning, sweetie," Xena said softly, pulling her close.
"Whats that smell?," the bard wrinkled her nose, backing away slightly. "The gods! Look at your skin! How long did you stay in the tub? You look like a raisin!," she exclaimed, staring at Xenas shriveled flesh.
"I...I...umm....I put rose petals in the water," the warrior confessed. "Lots of em. That must be what you smell. And I...umm...guess I must have fallen asleep in the tub," she nervously replied.
"Well, you certainly smell good!," the bard chuckled and gave her a mind-boggling kiss. The warrior felt her heart skip a beat when the queens hands slipped under her shift.
"What did they say this time?," Xena inquired, closing the barn door behind her.
Minya sat on an overturned bucket, milking a very large cow. "I gotta warn you, Xena. Once again, its not good news," she sighed, tugging away on engorged udders.
"Just tell me, Minya. I can take it," the warrior asserted.
"Your breath...," she began.
"What about it?," Xena scowled.
"Whens the last time you brushed your teeth?," Minya looked up at her friend.
"What?! Let me guess...I have bad breath," the warrior sounded highly offended.
"Mmm hmm. Thats what they said."
Xena breathed heavily on the palm of her hand and lifted it to her nose. "I dont smell anything," she mumbled and exited the barn.
"Ive been looking for you," the regent moved behind the warrior, wrapping her arms around her taut midriff. "I wanted to give you something," she purred in her ear.
Xena slowly turned to face her. "What is it, my love?," she whispered, flicking the regents earlobe with her tongue.
"This," the Amazon pressed her lips to the warriors, their tongues soon rolling over one another in a heated frenzy. "What the...," the regent suddenly stepped back and reached inside her mouth, extracting a clump of something she was unable to identify. "Xena?," she sputtered. "What have you been eating?," she sounded disgusted.
"Mint leaves," the warriors face turned red. "Sorry."
"Warn me next time, will ya?," Ephiny headed for the well to rinse her mouth out.
"I think they smell good!," Xena called out after her.
"One or two leaves, yeah, but not the whole damn plant!," the regent replied, chuckling under her breath.
"What the hell do they want from me?," the warrior grumbled and headed to the barn to brush Argo and collect her thoughts.
"Xena...," Minya was apprehensive.
"What is it this time?," Xena groaned.
"Youre not going to..."
"I know. I know. Im not going to like it," the warrior interrupted. "Tell me anyway."
"Well...," her friend giggled nervously. "Its...its your hair," she sighed.
"Apollos chariot! What about my hair?!," she erupted, her patience wearing thin.
"They said youve been wearing it that way for years and that its getting boring," Minya reluctantly disclosed.
The warrior slumped in her chair, slapping the palm of her hand against her forehead. "Arrrggg!," she groaned in frustration.
"Xena?," Minya placed her hand on the warriors knee. "I think I can help you with this one," she grinned.
"Would you like some bread?," Sharron passed the basket to the bard.
"Thank you," Gabrielle grabbed two rolls.
"Any idea whats keeping Xena?," Ephiny inquired, wondering why the warrior was so late for dinner.
"Oh, shes here!," Minya chimed. "She came in a little while ago. Shes in the back room. Should be on her way to the table soon!," she merrily declared.
"Youre certainly in a good mood this evening," Sharron noted, smiling at Minya.
Minya grinned from ear to ear, keeping her mouth shut in her determination not to spoil the warriors little surprise. "There she is now!," she announced when she caught a glimpse of Xena peeking around the corner. The warrior immediately disappeared again, pressing her back flat against the wall. "Come on, Xena!," Minya beckoned. "Dont be nervous. Theyre going to love it!"
The warrior took in a deep breath and rounded the corner. Gabrielles mouth dropped open and the regent nearly choked on her bread while Sharron tried to act as though she didnt notice. "Well? What do you think?," Minya beamed with pride.
Xena stood next to the table, gnawing on her bottom lip while she waited for her lovers to respond. The bard stared at the warriors raven mane. "Its...its...curly," she managed, trying to hide the fact that she was more than a little shocked.
"Yes, its...," Ephiny stood and walked around the warrior, trying to figure out why she would want her hair to be so...so....enormous. "Its very...umm...fluffy," she finally uttered, trying to be polite.
"I did it myself!," Minya boasted. "Xena thought she could use a knew look."
The warrior joined the women at the table. She could feel her lovers gawking eyes piercing her skin and it made her uneasy. She knew she looked ridiculous but, after all, they were the ones who were bored with her conventional appearance. Ephiny and Gabrielle, mesmerized by the warriors distracting new do, tried in vain not to stare as they hurriedly gobbled their food.
"Spill it, Minya," the warrior growled, taking a seat next to her friend.
"Ok, but youre..."
"Yeah, yeah. Not going to like it. Just get on with it," Xena groaned, not sure she wanted to hear what her lovers had to say about her this time.
"Ephiny says youre a bumbling warrior and that she could kick your ass with both hands tied behind her back," Minya blurted out, darting across the room in an effort to get as far away from the warrior as possible.
"She said that?!," Xena sounded furious.
"Yep and...," Minya suddenly fell silent.
"What else?," the warrior snarled.
"Gabrielle said you couldnt defend yourself if your competition were a wingless fly!," she chimed and nervously scurried out the door before Xena could reply.
Now the warrior was getting pissed. What did they mean she was a bumbling warrior?! She had half a mind to go outside and kick both their butts just to prove a point. But she knew she couldnt really hurt them. Thats the last thing she would ever do---even if they were stomping all over her ego. No, she would have to think of some other way to prove herself to them.
Minya shuffled across the ground, tripping over a goat in her attempt to get to the warrior who was seated on a bench sharpening her blade. "Xena! Xena!," she shouted running at full speed.
"Did you deliver the message?," the warrior inquired, continuing to work on her blade.
"Y...yes. I handed it to...Dar...Darius himself. I even stood there while...while he read it," Minya panted, out of breath from her brisk jaunt.
"How did he react?," the corner of the warriors mouth shifted, unveiling a haughty smirk as the words rolled off her tongue.
"Hes furious, of course!," the woman snickered. "I mean, wouldnt you be pissed if someone sent you a note that said: Saw your momma at the brothel last week. She prefers to be on top, in case youre curious. And, by the way, she smells like the back end of a mule train. Gods, Id want to wring your neck if I were him!," she declared.
"Thats the idea, Minya. Hell bring his goons here with orders to run me through. When he does, Ill see to it that they run away with their tails tucked between their legs and save the day---in front of Gabrielle and Ephiny, naturally," she grinned, not seeming the least bit concerned.
"What do you need me to do next, Xena?," Minya eagerly asked through a wicked grin.
"Just keep your ears open. And when Darius and his men get here, dont interfere. No matter what happens, you and Sharron are to remain in your room until its over," the warrior instructed, sliding the coarse stone over the edge of her blade.
The warrior lay flat on her back between Ephiny and Gabrielle. She could sense that something was about to happen. The bard slithered across her chest, coming to rest when her lips were only a breath away from Xenas. "Cant sleep?," the queen whispered.
"No. Guess I shouldnt have eaten that sandwich so late in the evening," the warrior answered, listening to the stillness.
"There are other things to do in bed besides sleep, you know," Gabrielle grazed her tongue over her lovers inviting lips.
"I agree," the regent shifted to face the warrior, nibbling on her sensitive neck.
"Listen!," Xena exclaimed in a harsh whisper.
"Horses...," Ephiny affirmed. "And from the sound of it, theyre getting closer," she sat up and listened intently.
"Get dressed!," the warrior jumped out of bed, grabbed her leathers and armor, and dressed in a flash. "Outside!," she ordered. The bard and the regent complied, each snatching their weapons on their way out the door. "There must be at least twenty men," she thought aloud as the three women headed outside. Before the band of warriors dismounted their horses, Xena grabbed the two women by their arms and dragged them toward the barn.
"Xe...Xena, what are you doing?!," the bard squealed.
"I can walk on my own! Where are you taking us?!," Ephiny loudly protested as she felt herself being pulled across the earth.
The warrior opened the door to the barn and shoved the women through, securing the latch from the outside. "Welcome to the party, boys! Glad you could make it," she snarled and headed straight for the surly bunch.
"Xena! Dammit, Xena, get your butt back here!," the Amazon called out after her, slamming herself against the door again and again in an attempt to get it to budge.
"Whats her problem?!," Gabrielle grumbled, moving a crate next to the door. She climbed on top of it and extended a hand to Ephiny, pulling her up.
"The windows too small, Gabrielle. Theres no way we can fit through it," the regent insisted.
"No, but we can see through it," the bard replied, standing on her toes to get a better look.
"Ayiyiyiyiyicheeeyaaa!," the warriors verbal signature ripped through the air as she vaulted over several horses, landing in the center of the circle of soldiers.
"Im here to defend my mothers name," Darius announced, taking several paces toward the raven-haired inferno.
"Yeaahh, your mother...," Xena suggestively licked her lips and revealed a taunting grin. "Hot little number, your mom. Give her a big kiss for me next time you see her," she winked and puckered her lips.
"Im going to cut that brazen tongue of yours right out of your filthy mouth!," he shouted and charged at her, his comrades following his lead.
The bard and Ephiny peered through the tiny window, holding their breath. "The gods, Gabrielle! Shes unarmed! Has she lost her mind?!," the regent gasped, terrified that her love was going to get herself killed out there. The horrified bard, unable to speak, locked her gaze on the warrior and watched the confrontation unfold. "Where the hell are Minya and Sharron?," Ephiny mumbled to herself.
Darius made his move on the warrior, taking a mighty swing at her with his sword. She jumped high into the air, landing behind her opponent. Within seconds, she had managed to take his weapon and hurl it into the distance, sparking the advancement of the warlords men. Ruthlessly, they swarmed on her---blades swinging, daggers flying. She dodged them all. The struggle escalated, her expert defense tactics making the soldiers heads spin. When she had worn them all down, Darius ordered a retreat. "This aint over," he snarled, glaring over his shoulder at the warrior before climbing onto his horse.
Xena stood tall, shoulders back, chin high. "And the worst damage I did was a bloody nose," she chuckled under her breath. "Besides, if they hadnt been here tangling with me, they wouldve been somewhere else robbing and killing innocent people," she told herself.
"Xena! Open this door!," the bard demanded, yelling through the window.
The warrior wiped the smile off her face and headed toward the barn. "Welcome to freedom, ladies," she unlocked the door and shifted it on its hinges.
"Xena!," Gabrielle swatted the warriors muscular arm. "What was that all about?!," she fumed.
"Let me tell you something...," Ephiny gritted her teeth and pressed her chest against the warriors. "If you ever do that to me again, Ill..."
"Youll what?," Xena mustered up the sweetest smile the regent had ever seen.
"Gods! You piss me off sometimes!," Ephiny exclaimed before her anger settled. "Are you all right?," she suddenly regained her composure and softened her tone.
"Never better," the warrior beamed.
"Why didnt you let us help you, Xena? And what did that warlord mean when he said he was defending his mothers name?," the bard asked, still unable to believe the warrior had actually locked them in the barn.
"Darius and I go way back," Xena explained. "And I didnt want to see you or Ephiny get hurt in a confrontation with one of my enemies. As for his mother...well, thats a long story. Forgive me?," she shifted her gaze from bard to regent and back again.
"That depends," the bard grinned, draping her arms around the warriors neck.
"On what?," Xena happily took the bait.
"Oh, I suspect youll have to make up for this one, Xena," Ephiny interjected, untying her tunic to reveal her ample breasts to the warrior.
Xena bent down and teased the regents nipple, flicking it lightly with the tip of her tongue. Her libido sparked beneath the surface of her skin as she put an arm around each of the women, escorting them inside and directly to the bedroom.
"You certainly look happy today," Minya noted as she planted herself on a log next to the warrior.
"I am," Xena smiled, seemingly lost in thought.
"Oh...good," her friend mumbled and averted her eyes.
"Gods, Minya, have they said something else?," the warrior groaned. She couldnt believe that after everything that had happened the night before---the warlord, the warriors, and most of all, the most incredible sexual encounter she and her lovers had ever experienced---Gabrielle and Ephiny were still saying horrible things about her? After all that, they still wanted to get rid of her?
"Never mind," Minya abruptly stood and started to walk away.
"Oh no you dont," the warrior grabbed her waistband and pulled her back. "I dont care how bad it is---I have to know what they said," she insisted.
Minya nervously twirled her fingers through her hair. "Xena...I...I really dont know how to say this...," she began.
"Just say it, Minya! Whatever it is---just open your mouth and say the words," she sounded irritated.
"Well...Xena...," she stalled again.
"Minyaaa...," the warriors eyes narrowed making her look particularly threatening.
"They said you have sex with farm animals," she spewed the words and then moved away, backing into a tree in her haste to get out of the warriors reach. She wasnt sure if what she had heard was true and, honestly, she didnt want to know. The idea of her heroine getting it on with livestock was one she found difficult to swallow.
Xena shook her head as though she was unable to believe what she had just heard. Then she noticed the look on Minyas face. "Oh for the love of Zeus! You dont actually believe that, do you?!," she shouted.
"Well...I...I mean...its possible...," she stuttered.
"Minya!!!," Xena blurted out, cutting her off.
"Then its not true?," the woman desperately waited for an answer.
"Tartarus no! Its not true! Damn, woman! Pull yourself together!," she ranted, pacing back and forth across the ground. "Farm animals?," she muttered to herself as she tried to figure out what was going on. "Somethings not right here...Theres no way they could think that...Is there?...," she continued to talk to herself. "Then again...Gabrielle is always teasing me about the way I talk to Argo...What am I saying?! Minya?," she turned to face her friend. "I think its time Gabrielle, Ephiny, and I headed out," she announced. "I need to be alone with them."
The three women said their good-byes to Minya and Sharron and set out when the sun was high overhead. They traveled all day, finally stopping at dusk to make camp.
Ephiny and the warrior sat next to the fire while the queen scrawled on the scroll in front of her. "Xena?," the regent glanced at her love. "How did you manage to stay so focused that day in Piedmon? After we came out of the barn? I mean, considering the fact that you had been exposed to the lust potion?"
"What?," the warrior looked puzzled.
"You know, after we left the barn. You seemed to overcome the effects of the potion. How did you do it?," she reiterated.
"Wh...is...is that what you thought?," Xenas gaze began to ricochet from regent to bard.
"Well...I...we...," Ephiny stammered, glancing at Gabrielle who stared at the warrior with her mouth wide open.
The warrior interrupted. "I wasnt exposed to the potion."
"You werent? But...how...why...," Gabrielle stuttered.
"My loves...," she drew them both into her arms. "I knew exactly what I was doing that afternoon in the barn," she said through a warm smile.
The warrior positioned herself between the two women, taking each of their hands in her own. "I have something to tell you," Xena sighed.
"What is it, Xena?," the bard questioned.
"Ive been wondering if...What Im trying to say is that for a while there I thought...," she couldnt find the words to finish her sentence.
"Tell us, Xena. Please. We want to know whats going on," the regent assured her.
The warrior considered her words carefully and then tried again. "I was wondering whether or not you both might...," she stared into the trees. "...want to be together...without me," she finally managed.
"Xe...what? How could you think...," Ephinys words dissolved as she tried to figure out the reason for the warriors doubt. Gabrielle looked on, dumbfounded.
"Since I came back from Amphipolis, you two have been spending a lot of time alone," Xena noted.
Gabrielle and the Amazon considered the words and then turned toward the warrior. The bard smoothed the palm of her hand over Xenas cheek. "No, Xena. Neither of us wants to go through life without you," she whispered.
"But...I...I know about some of the things youve said about me recently," she confessed. "You both seemed annoyed with me for dragging you from village to village. I heard you tell Gabrielle you would be rid of me soon," she disclosed, glancing at Ephiny as her tears began to surface.
Ephiny grew silent, her mind reeling, drifting back to the conversation between herself and the bard. "Xena!," she suddenly erupted. "We were talking about Aphrodite!"
The warrior looked away and then returned her gaze to the Amazon. "Well...thats not all...," she took in a ragged breath before continuing. "I...umm...I also know that you said I smell like a barnyard," she shrugged her shoulders.
Both regent and bard looked perplexed as they stared at each other in search of an answer. "Argo! Xena, we said that about Argo!," Gabrielle chimed. "Did you...oh my gods! You thought we were talking about you?!," she burst into laughter. Ephiny followed suit.
"Argo?," the warrior mumbled to herself, a dark expression suddenly moving over her face. "What about what you said about my hair? Boring, I believe it was?," she raised an eyebrow.
Again, Gabrielle and the Amazon stared at each other, both clearly puzzled by the inquiry. "Aphrodite!," the regent blurted out. "The gods, Ive been looking at that same hairstyle all my life!," she chuckled.
"Ok, Ill buy that, Amazon. But how do you account for the bumbling warrior crack you made?," she glared at the regent.
"Joxer!," both Ephiny and Gabrielle chimed in unison.
The warrior could feel her face turning various shades of red as her own blatant impropriety dawned on her. "Well, while Ive got my foot in my mouth...," she grinned. "I have one more thing to ask you about...," she hesitated for a moment. "Two words...farm animals?," she managed to utter.
"Farm animals?," Ephiny mumbled.
"As in sheep, goats, cows?," the bard looked stumped.
"Callisto!," both women suddenly erupted and began to laugh uncontrollably. The warrior had to admit, it was pretty funny.
"Gods, Xena!," the regent exclaimed, giving her a playful shove before a serious expression emerged on her face. "I realize that Gabrielle and I have been spending a lot of time together. But you have to believe me when I tell you that we were only trying to give you some space. We were both worried that we were...well, that we were getting under your feet."
"Ive never felt that way. Besides, I cant think of anyone Id rather trip over," the warrior grinned.
"Xena, every time Gabrielle and I are alone together, we talk about you. I cant tell you how many times weve wished you were there with us," the regent whispered, stroking the warriors cheek.
"And...and when Im not around...and you make love?," Xena asked softly.
"Especially when we make love. Xena, weve missed you," Gabrielle placed her finger tips on the warriors chin, gently lifting her head to make eye contact.
"I know I can seem a little distant sometimes, but believe me when I tell you that I dont need any more space," the warrior growled, capturing the bards bottom lip with her teeth.
Ephiny looked on, a warm sensation washing over her body. The warrior pulled the Amazon near and kissed her lips. "Mmmm..yes," Ephiny moaned, closing her eyes in sheer contentment, captivated by the kiss.
"Oh!," Xena jumped to her feet and scurried toward Argo. She shuffled through her saddlebag until she found what she was looking for and then returned to the bedrolls, taking a seat between her lovers. "I have something for you two," she smiled, glancing down at the items she held in her hands. "Gabrielle...," she turned to face the bard. "I know it disappoints you when I dont read your scrolls and I want you to know thats going to change," she sighed heavily and handed her love something wrapped in a piece of cloth.
The bard accepted the item and carefully peeled back the satiny fabric. Holding the inkhorn in her hand, she felt a lump emerge in her throat. She blinked her eyes, trying to hold back the tears, but they made their way down her cheeks just the same. "Xena...," she wrapped her arms around the warriors neck and tenderly kissed her lips. "I love it," she sighed, overwhelmed by the gesture.
"I thought you would," Xena responded, taking in the sweetness of the bards exquisite lips.
The queen slowly pulled away and watched the warrior turn to face Ephiny. "This is for you," Xena handed the cloth to the regent, her finger tips lingering on the Amazons hand. Ephiny slowly unraveled the fabric, her eyes glancing back and forth between the polished dagger in her hand and the heart-rending expression on the warriors face. "You didnt...," the regent was obviously moved. "You didnt have to do this," she spoke softly, gliding her hand over her loves shoulder and down her muscular arm.
"You deserve something nice," Xena smiled, planting a tender kiss on the regents forehead.
"Mmmm," she groaned, guiding the warriors mouth to her own. "So do you," she said in a low growl that caused Xenas heart to skip several beats.
The bard moved closer to the two women, joining them in their passion. Candlemark after candlemark passed as they united in the splendor of their love. When the sparks finally settled, they snuggled close together, staring up at the twinkling stars. "Xena?," Ephiny whispered.
"Hmmm?," the warrior responded, planting a kiss on the regents cheek.
"About your hair...," Ephiny stared at the mounds of curls protruding from her lovers head.
"I know, I know. I look like the poster child for the Top 10 Reasons One Shouldnt Stand In An Open Field During One of Zeus Lightening Storms," Xena chuckled. "Ill take care of it in the morning."
"Thank the gods!," Gabrielle shouted. Both women laughed at the bards remark.
"By the way, ladies...My horse does not stink," the warrior insisted, a huge smile painting her face as she closed her eyes in her quest for slumber.
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