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DISCLAIMER: I dont own Xena or Gabrielle (though I wish I did) and this was written entirely in fun. No copyright infringement was intended.
SUBTEXT DISCLAIMER: Who...me...write subtext??? Of course theres subtext. Theyre soulmates after all.
VIOLENCE DISCLAIMER: No violence...unless a certain warrior doesnt start paying attention to a certain bard...
OTHER STUFF: Hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. Feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Thanks.
Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
DEDICATION: I dedicate this story to Alina. A wonderful person who agreed to beta read for me and has provided constant support and encouragement throughout my writing spurts. Alina, thank you for everything. You cant possibly know how much your support has meant to me.
"Xena, this is Demitri and hes taking me to the festival dance tonight."
Steely blue eyes flicked up and down the length of the young man standing next to the bard. He was about a half a head taller than her and had short curly blond hair framing a boyishly charming face.
Demitri straightened his shoulders and lifted his chin at his introduction. He met the hard gaze briefly then dropped his bright blue eyes to the dirty floor as a blush crept up his neck at the frank appraisal.
Cerulean eyes slid back to the mug cradled in strong hands.
Gabrielle spun on her heel and left dragging the young man behind her, her hand clasped firmly around his arm just above the elbow.
Xena watched them go then put the mug to her lips and tilted her head back, holding the position until she had drained her glass.
Once the pair was out the door, the icy blue eyes softened then slid shut, and her brow furrowed almost as if she were in pain.
The warrior took a couple of deep breaths to steady herself then opened her eyes and slid her seat back, dimly noting the scrape of the chair against the wood floor as it mingled with the other tavern sounds. Reaching in her travel pack she withdrew a coin and running her finger over the design, she thought about how the golden color matched that of the bards hair in the early morning light. Shaking herself, she plunked the cold piece of metal on the table and resolved, she made her way to the door.
"Can I get you another glass of wine?"
Green eyes reluctantly returned to the young face of her escort.
"I...no...Ive had my limit. Thank you." The bard turned her head away and perused the room again.
Demitri took in the sight of the charming woman sitting across the table and reminded himself again that if it was too good to be true...it probably was.
He smiled sadly as he observed the bright green eyes, smooth creamy skin, and slightly upturned nose. Her honey golden hair was plaited and pulled back, held firmly in place by a carved ivory clasp. The silky green dress brought out her eyes and fit enticingly over the firm young body, off the shoulder and cut low, hugging in all the right places from breasts to hips to calves.
She was a vision.
Every eye had turned to the woman he had escorted and more than one fellow had discretely slapped him on the back and told him how lucky he was.
Only he wasnt. The longing looks and hopeful sighs werent for him.
"Would you like to dance?"
The golden head slowly turned to him again and even white teeth caught a soft red bottom lip.
"No I...Im sorry." Her hand tangled in her hair, brushing her bangs back from her eyes.
"You seem distracted." His voice was quiet but firm.
Long slender fingers found his forearm and squeezed slightly as the beautiful green eyes dropped to study the floor.
"Im sorry Demitri. I havent been totally honest with you." She glanced up into his eyes and then looked away.
He waited patiently, his fingers idly playing with the empty mug clasped in his hands.
She took a deep breath.
"I was just using you. I mean..."
Her eyes found his again.
"Youre very sweet and I do really like you but...it couldnt ever be anything more than friendship."
She fell quiet again and then her head snapped to the door as it opened, a hopeful look on her face.
Two men entered, laughing at some joke, and the bards disappointment showed in the slump of her shoulders.
"I just thought..." She closed her eyes, blinking back the burning sensation that threatened.
"That your love would show up, if you got her jealous enough?"
Gabrielles eyes flew open to search his face and finding only compassion in his sad smile, she nodded slowly.
He took her warm hand in his and brought it to his mouth, brushing his lips against her knuckles in the softest of kisses.
"Its been my pleasure and my honor, but I cant stay."
"I understand. Im sorry."
"Dont be. Dont ever be sorry for loving someone."
He rose and walked past the bard, nodding once to the form standing sullenly just past where they had been sitting, then he tilted his head toward the table he had just left.
Once he was safely past, she stepped out of the shadows just behind her bard, her blue eyes wide, wondering how he had known she was there, then decided she didnt care right now.
"Can I have this dance?" The voice husked next to Gabrielles ear, sending shivers skittering down her spine as the warm breath caressed her skin.
"No..." Gabrielle spun in her chair, her anger draining away as soon as she saw her warrior.
"Youre right. No more dancing around for us. This is what I want. Is this is what you want?"
Without waiting for an answer, she took the delicate hand in hers and pulled the younger woman up to her.
Sapphire eyes met emerald and held.
"You look beautiful Gabrielle."
The raven head tilted slowly toward the slightly parted lips of the bard and when they met the warrior watched as green eyes darkened with desire slid shut in stages. Only after the bards eyes were completely closed, did she slide her own shut.
Small hands found her waist even as her own cupped the bards face, and she smiled into the kiss as she felt the tip of Gabrielles tongue run across her lips. She parted hers slightly and their tongues met as their bodies melted together.
When they broke apart, slightly panting, they pulled back only the slightest of distances, keeping their bodies mingled. The warrior rested her forehead against the bards, her eyes still closed, and savored the moment of their first kiss.
"Gods Xena, do you know how long Ive dreamed of this?" She whispered. "I just cant bel..."
A long finger covered her lips silencing her.
"No more waiting my bard. I love you, I need you, I want you with me always."
Gabrielle looked up into serious blue eyes and swallowed.
"I love you too Xena and...."
Urgent lips covered her mouth again cutting her off and she silenced willingly, enjoying her newfound relationship and the sensations it was causing to well inside her.
Across the room a curly blond haired, blue eyed young man watched the new couple as he dropped coins into the barkeeps greedy hand.
"Send them a bottle of wine. Tell them..." He paused considering his words as he watched the warrior pick up the smaller woman by the waist and twirl her in circles.
"Tell them its a tribute to their newly declared love."
Smiling, he left the inn, satisfied that his work here was finished.
By Shalon 10Jun99
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