By MaryE
Copyright 1999


Dedicated to my eagle-eyed, hot-lipped beta bard who suffered so in the perfecting of this little story.

DISCLAIMERS: The characters Xena, Gabrielle and the amazons mentioned in this story belong to MCA/Universal Studios and Renaissance Pictures. They didn't loan them to me, I borrowed them to play with. They have been returned safe and sound. The story is mine and can't be reproduced, reprinted or published without my permission. There is consensual sex between adult women mentioned, alluded to and dwelled upon in this story which makes subtext totally unnecessary. If you are under 18 years of age, don't read this. If you are offended by such stories, back away from the PC. If it's illegal where you are, move…then read it.
Send comments to: I love criticism. Well, I do love e-mail.

'Twas the shank of a mild spring evening, sometime after Gabrielle had become Queen of the Amazons. The three quarter moon had risen well into the ebony sky which embraced it adoringly and stars twinkled at each other suggestively while below all of nature seemed occupied in the ancient dance of love. The air, fragrant and still, was filled with sweet anticipation and seemed to pulse with the sensuous rhythm of life.

"Umm, ohhh, yes." Xena purred in Gabrielle's ear as her hand roamed sensually across firm, warm abs. "Ahhh, I love the feel of my bard in the evening."

Gabrielle's hand caught the warrior's in mid-caress, lifted it from her skin and returned it to its nonplused owner.

"What?" Xena protested, rippling her body the full length of the nubile woman lying beside her. "C'mon, Gabrielle. It's been more than a week...a WEEK!"

"Not here." Was the cool if not entirely chilly response and Xena could feel the bard pulling slightly away? She sighed and moved to close the distance Gabrielle was creating between them. "Bri! C'mon. C'mer. I want you. I need you."

Gabrielle tossed her an I-don't-think-so smirk, quickly averting her face before the very close, and rapidly approaching, warrior lips could find her mouth. "Not here. They can hear us. You know I hate that. We agreed, no lovemaking while we're in the Amazon village."

"There hasn't been anything for them to hear, Gabrielle." Xena pointed out indignantly. "I don't know what you're so squeamish about anyway. Haven't you heard the sound of ardent amazons every night since we got here? Making love is the favorite indoor sport." Snuggling against the bard's cheek she added. "It's certainly one of mine."

"That's exactly what I mean." Gabrielle folded her arms across her ample chest. "You can hear everything. Gods, no privacy. I can't do it, Xena. I told you that. This shouldn't be a surprise to you now."

"I'm not surprised, Bri. I'm, willing...beyond willing." She sighed and added her arm to Gabrielle's own, across the bard's chest. Well, slightly higher so that her arm touched the nipples that were riding up and down on each bardly breath. "We are dealing with NEED here, little one. NEED. Ohhhh. Sweetie."

Untouched, so to speak, by Xena's words and maneuvers, Gabrielle threw back the blanket and nimbly leapt from the bed. She quickly slipped into a crisp white tunic, covering her naked body before the warrior's lust-filled azure eyes had finished consuming it. 'A tad unfair to sleep in the nude, I suppose.' She admitted to herself, gathering her hair into a loose braid down her back. 'But she started sleeping in the nude the night we got here. If I can stand it, she can stand it.' Xena uttered a long, frustrated moan. 'Not!' Smirked the bard.

"Xena, you need to occupy yourself."

"I'm not doing it by myself again tonight, Gabrielle!"

"Uh, sorry. My fault. Poor choice of words." The young woman recovered with a quick grin. "I mean, you need to occupy your mind. How about reading a scroll. I got these from the amazon library. Why don't you read one?"

Xena turned on her stomach and pounded a pillow before burying her face in it, muffling her response. "I looked through them the other night. Twice as a matter of fact." 'This is what I get for falling in love with a bard.' She told herself. 'She's a writer; I'm a doer. Oh, I'd like to do her all right. And she can write it about later if she wants.' Xena folded the pillow into an accordion shape and launched it across the hut with a silent curse. 'Frakinmakinsnapincentaurballs!'

Gabrielle drummed her fingers on the table as she thought. "Okay, then. Let's play a game. Want to give Charades another try?"

"Oh, POE-lease! I hate that game. Like I'm not already frustrated enough!." Xena made the gesture for 'pound sand' as she rose from the bed then wrapped herself in a blanket.

'Well, that wasn't too bad of a charade.' Thought Gabrielle who processed the gesture's meaning immediately. "Okay, then let's think of another..."

The unmistakable sound of a woman at the apex of passion drifted in from a nearby hut. The warrior and the bard locked eyes, curled the edges of their mouths and arched eyebrows as if mirror images of each other. The lover's cry seemed to hang in the air between them for an endless moment.

"Did that sound like Solari to you?" Gabrielle tilted her head to one side and mused as the echo faded.

"Eponin. Definitely Eponin." Xena clarified as she sank dejectedly into a nearby chair.
"I give it, oh two minutes max and then we'll hear Solari. She has kind of a quirky, alto growl at the end."

Gabrielle raised both eyebrows in a look of respect mixed with surprise. "You know their, ah, um, er, voices that well?"

Xena stretched her legs out, resting her feet on the little table in front of her and relaxed her face into a broad smile. "Not just their voices. You know their voices, my little bard. I have learned the fine nuances of their love cries."

Another shriek, this one concluded by a deep growl, filled the night air. Gabrielle looked at Xena. "Solari?"

"Yep. Unmistakable, isn't it." Xena put her hands behind her head and drew in a loud, smug breath. "I figured it all out the first few nights we were here, my dear. Nothing to it...superior warrior hearing and all that. Besides, I did seem to have a bit of time on hands every night...what with nothing else to do. Sort of filled in that time between your goodnight-warrior-princess cheek peck and your dead-to-the-world snoring."

"I don't snore."

"Oh, but you do." Xena insisted. "And the only cure I've ever found for it is taking your lovely nipples between my fingers and thumbs and..."

"Never mind." Gabrielle interrupted, blushing. "I'm familiar with your, um, healing touch." She turned to light a candle as she spoke, eager to busy herself with some distraction. 'Oh yes, she does have many skills. Let's not go there now.'

A lilting shriek rang out, darting through the hut like the ghost of a sated harpy. Gabrielle straightened at the sound and looked back at the warrior princess. "Ephiny?"




Gabrielle shrugged admitting that the voice stumped her. The warrior swung her feet to the floor and chuckled. "The high pitched ones are usually the younger amazons. That was Gandilor. She and that tall redhead are an item lately. Hadn't you noticed?"

Gabrielle gathered up some scrolls from the floor around the table as she thought back over the past week. "Yes, now that you mention it. They have been together a lot." She bent at the waist to retrieve a scroll lying near Xena's feet and the warrior's mouth watered as her eyes took in the lush round curves of the bard's ample breasts nearly tumbling over the top of the loose fitting shift. "I thought they were working on their perimeter defense skills." Gabrielle said as she rose upright again and caught a lusty leer in the warrior's eyes.

"Well, I think they've mastered the perimeter and begun working the interior." Xena offered with a wink to her naïve, yet very comely young companion. Another ear-piercing shriek rang through the still night air. "Ah, that would be the redhead."

Gabrielle laced up the front of her shift ignoring the wounded scowl that formed on the warrior's face as she did so. "Xena, how do you know all this…the voices, I mean."

Xena shrugged and the blanket slipped off her shoulders. "The questions is, how come you don't. Shouldn't a ruler know more about her subjects? Um, take their comings and goings, for example. You don't want the younger generation dismissing you as an old prude, do you?"

The scrolls tumbled from Gabrielle's arms before she could reach the chest at the foot of the bed - their intended destination. Her face, illuminated by a scarlet flush, conveyed something between horror and incredulity. "They wouldn't. I mean, they couldn't think that. Could they?"

"Why not?" Xena sensed her quarry wavering. "What evidence do they have to the contrary? All they see is an uptight, upright queen who never has an ounce of fun… and her desolate, joyless, frustrated, long suffering but nonetheless devoted champion. Quite pitiful if you think about it." Xena wiped a non-existent tear from her cheek and sighed a heavy, mournful sigh. "You remember how Tara hated her elders and they merely forbade dancing. Imagine if the issue had been sex?"

Gabrielle's mouth began to form words and probably would have succeeded in actually speaking one, if the room hadn't suddenly filled with the sound of yet another passionate outcry. This one issuing from very near. A midrange, breathy war cry wrapped around a single revealing name. "Ahhhhh-yeee, EEEPH-OOHH-NNEEEEYYY, uhhhhhh-ungh."

"My goodness, Ephiny." Gabrielle blanched. "You deserve a hand for that one."

"No worries." Xena assured her. "She'll get a hand all right, a pair of hands. Stay tuned. You'll see, ah, hear all about it real soon."


"What? Did you ever take a good look at Scheera's hands? They are immense. Ephiny will have no trouble reaching the sound barrier in, oh, about ten minutes. Scheera's a tease." She stooped to assist the bard with retrieving her scrolls and savored the fragrance of her beautiful companion, lover, reluctant but oh so fetching young queen. She handed over a pair of scrolls and felt her heart melt as she met the gaze of those emerald eyes. 'Oh Gabrielle. I do love you so.'

The tenderness in Xena's stare caused the bard to blush once again and she couldn't immediately withdraw her own gaze from the warrior's wistful look. 'Gods, you are so beautiful, my warrior. Those eyes, those lips...I adore those lips.' But Gabrielle did restrain herself, unable to overcome the fear of having her unbounded passion for the warrior known by all her subjects.

"Gabrielle?" The dark-haired woman whispered softly, hopefully responding to a momentary crack in the bard's facade.

"Ah, no. Sorry." The blond replied ending the tender moment before it got the best of her. Her personal little phobia had started about a month ago, the morning after a particularly passionate night with Xena in a tumbled down inn. The innkeeper had leered at them when they left and Gabrielle had withered beneath the man's castigating stare. The thought of the amazons looking at her in the same disapproving manner was terrifying enough to chill her libido sufficiently to resist her beloved warrior...if just barely so.

More moans wafted through the night, more distant and subdued but unmistakable in their meaning. 'The amazons are coming in droves tonight.' Xena noted keenly aware of how her hypersensitive body parts yearned to join the activities.

"That would be…."

"DON'T tell me any more, Xena." Gabrielle piled the scrolls atop the chest. "I don't want to know that much about them, just like I don't want them to know that much about me.

The warrior shrugged, letting the blanket slip a bit farther down to the tops of her perfect round breasts. She felt as if steam must be rising from the surface of her skin. "Kind of unavoidable. Unless, of course, one IS a prude." Her voice was listless and void of any detectable emotion.

Gabrielle felt tears welling up in her eyes unexpectedly. In truth her body ached to be touched by her beloved warrior and the love cries in the night were not helping her deal with the smoldering deep in her groin. She hated what this…what she was doing to Xena. Suddenly she was awash with the new fear that her reticence could cost her the warrior's trust and affection. "Oh, Xena." She fairly sobbed. "I'm not a prude. I just want to be good leader. I need them to respect me. I haven't anything else to offer them really. If I lose their respect, I'll never be able to earn it back."

The words poured out in a tumble. Suddenly she was enfolded in strong arms and those beautiful lips were kissing her forehead, her eyes, her earlobe and were decidedly headed south straight towards a fire that was threatening to go out of control. Gabrielle barely managed to extricate herself before it was too late.

"Ah, no. Xena." She said betraying only some of the difficulty she had in uttering those words. And the kissing stopped, but the tender embrace remained.

"Gabrielle, I do understand." Xena assured her, allowing the blanket to drop even lower as overheated skin sought to touch and be touched. "But you are wrong about all this. The amazons wouldn't have let you become queen if they didn't see in you the qualities that are needed. You are loyal, intelligent, kind and passionate." She paused distracted by the electric charge of Gabrielle pressed against her. 'Passionate, oh yes.' "Um, that's why they respect you and they always will. A little ecstasy wouldn't change that, my queen. If you and I cry out our love..."

"But what would they think of me then? No one knows we are lovers, Xena. They think we are friends..."

Xena burst into raucous laughter. Her frustration found its venue in that laugh and night upon night of built up tension flowed out upon the peels of unrestrained warrior mirth. 'How in Hades could Gabrielle get herself to believe that no one knows.' Tears rolled down her cheeks and letting go her grasp of the now very indignant blonde bard the warrior sank into the chair clutching her sides. The blanket was lost along the way.

"What is so funny!" Gabrielle's face darkened in acute discomfort causing the warrior princess to renew the fit of laughter. Seeking desperately to ignore the sight of Xena's luscious body cavorting tantalizingly about the chair - head thrown back, breasts jiggling, legs parting in spasms of glee -- Gabrielle put her hands on her hips and drew her eyebrows into a threatening line. Xena convulsed in hysteria unable to, no, not even attempting to control the pleasure she was taking in the bard's ridiculous self-deception. "By the gods, Gabrielle. Ha. Ha. Ha." The warrior gasped for breath. "You can't possibly, ha ha, actually, ho ho, believe that no one knows."

"No. Well, yes. I mean they might suspect." She shuffled uncomfortably from foot to foot, her hands wrapped about her own waist. "But they can't know. Not for sure, that is. And some...some of them would be shocked, I'm certain."

The bard looked so adorably distressed that Xena bit her lip and with great will power achieved a moment of silence -- mainly by holding her breath.

Just then the night filled with the sound of Ephiny's climax. A climax worthy of great note...long, fierce, intense and oh so melodic. Gabrielle covered her face with her hands and Xena fell into a new round of unabashed laughter, her sides now aching from the effort. "You're not a prude, my dear." Xena choked out between gales of laughing. "You're just misinformed." More laughter. "A little out of touch." Loud chuckling. "In more ways than one..."

"I GET the point." She began tossing the scrolls one at a time at the amused warrior who fended them off easily, sending several back in the direction from whence they had come.

"C'mer." Xena said catching the bard's wrist and pulling her close. "The one place in all the known world where we can truly be lovers without any fear of reprisals or condemnation is this village...with our friends. They knew we were lovers even before we were, my dear. Now kiss me, you little fool. I'm taking you to bed."

For an instant, Gabrielle gave into the desire that Xena's touch inspired. Her head emptied itself of all but the sensation of the warrior's lips upon her own, and her center pressed against a hard, tanned thigh. Xena's hands were everywhere, caressing, stroking, and nudging the white tunic from silky shoulders. Her desire so strong that her knees nearly buckled beneath her as she felt the young woman melt into her embrace and past into her very soul.

But it was not enough, not quite. Gabrielle tensed and withdrawing from the passionate kiss laid her head against Xena's shoulder, sighing. Xena trembled with frustrated desire. Her core heated beyond enduring and her body ravaged by a hunger for her lover that knew only one source of release, she felt herself nearing madness. She could take the bard, she knew, and yet she couldn't. As much as her body demanded to be touched and satisfied, it was the warrior's soul that truly hungered. Gabrielle's love was the source of all things for Xena. It was love she needed to receive, love she longed so to give. Surely there had to be a way.

"Come to bed, Gabrielle." She gently insisted. "I promise, I will not touch you until you want me to. We'll make it through this. Come let me hold you, that's all."

Willingly the young woman agreed, her own need for closeness every bit as urgent as that of the warrior princess. They put out the candle and settled into the inviting bed with only the glow of moonlight to illuminate their thoughts. Fingers entwined between them was all the contact they dared if they were to remain in control. Xena felt her desire drip hotly, unrequited, along the inseam of her thighs. Gabrielle felt the pounding of her own heart beat in every sensitive part of her body. But she alone in time found the comfort of sleep.

Xena's eyes roamed the interior of hut for the thousandth time. The sweet agony of the past week loomed ahead of her as well, for they had another six days before they were supposed to leave. And she knew that the dedicated young queen would keep that commitment…and with it her distance from the frustrated warrior. 'Ahhhh! I'll never make another week of this.' She acknowledged. 'But what in the name of 'Dite's tits can I do about it?' She closed her eyes and moaned as only a frustrated lover bereft of all hope of satisfaction can moan.

When she opened her eyes again, they were met with the sight of moonlight glinting off the pile of scrolls at the foot of the bed. Her mind stalked an idea, just out of range, and she sat up to rummage through the parchments searching for a passage vaguely remembered. 'Yes! Got it!' Elation thrilled through every cell, every organ - some of which rejoiced at the hope of relief - as the warrior found the text she sought and read it several times, her face given over to a salacious, determined, victorious smile.

Xena tossed the scroll to the floor and lay down on the bed again. Positioned on her back, hands gripping the bedding on either side of her hips, she threw back her head, sucked in a lungful of air and implemented her plan to remove all of Gabrielle's fears of being heard in the act of lovemaking. The warrior's voice filled the hut, the night air, the village and traveled far into the surrounding forest - issuing forth the most explicit rendition of climactic passion that she could summon to mind.


The effect on the young woman asleep beside her was, well, instantaneous and dramatic. At the first series of YES!s, Gabrielle's eyes popped open and her heart leapt into her throat. Her hand flew to cover Xena's mouth but was caught by the warrior in mid-flight somewhere between the GA and BRI syllables of the first GA-BRI-ELLE!

By the time Xena was working the JUST LIKE THATs, the bard was safely secured beneath an arm and leg, pinned to the bed unable to do much but tell herself that this wasn't happening and wonder if embarrassment could be fatal. She rallied at the DON'T STOPS, but to no avail. Xena was on a roll and Gabrielle was fading fast, praying for unconsciousness. OH BY THE GODS brought the young queen to a shudder as she recognized it - one of her own phrases - and HARDER, one of Xena's frequent cries, caused the bard to shift her furry mound up against the leg that held her down.

Desire flashed and roiled and consumed her. UNGGGH nearly brought her to release so associated was that sound with the warrior's real comings. That and the realization that Xena was employing her free hand upon the nipples of her own breasts, no doubt a method acting technique. By the final AHHHH the bard wasn't certain how much of the performance was acting and how much was real.

The silence that followed was claustrophobic. Dripping in sweat, Xena released her hold on Gabrielle and flashed her a crooked half smile. The blonde attempted to say something but couldn't bring anything to mind. In the distance, the sound of faint gasps and hushed snickers was just barely audible, or so the queen believed - the warrior later recalled the sound as applause - but neither was entirely certain. And suddenly as she brushed a wet curl off her clever lover's cheek, it didn't matter at all. There were only those lovely lips needing so to be kissed, and those blue-blue eyes dancing sexily toward ardent green ones, and the delicious warmth of skin meeting skin the length of two very eager bodies.

"Gabrielle, are you sur…"

"Hush, my warrior." The bard cooed. "You've said enough."

The moon had since descended from the velvet heavens, the stars had twinkled themselves to sleep, and nature had began to rise from it's sated slumber. A blush crept upon the horizon and happy amazons arose to their daily labors, their spirits lifted on the sounds of one very loud and satisfied queen and her even louder dark, amorous, talented warrior…who as none could deny that brilliant morning did in fact have many skills. Among them the ability to take a little scene from an otherwise unremarkable scroll entitled "When Harriata Met Salmonius" and apply it to the situation at hand.

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