Cerberus’ Challenge: part three

by: Puckster
(copyright 1997)

Chapter X

Back in the bath, Gabrielle had settled in for a good long soak. She drifted, savoring the memory of Xena’s hands on her body, replaying the intimate moment like a favorite song. Suddenly, she heard a rumble and a snort right beside her head. Turning, she saw General Grumpy, as she had come to call the enormous gray cat. He was sort of purring, slurping air in and snorting it out. Then, with two huge feet, he reached up onto her bare shoulder and began to make what Sibyl called ‘happy paws’. His eyes closed with feline pleasure, making his little face almost disappear. He raised his chin to the ceiling, as his slurping and snorting actually got louder.

Gabrielle looked up at the unexpected sound of soft laughter. Xena was leaning against the doorway to the room. Then, seriously, she said, "I’m back."

The General looked up from his work and belted out a Meowoowooow, his pink mouth gaping. The tall warrior walked across the floor toward the bath, light and shadow running on her face as she passed in and out of the lamplight. Her eyes never left Gabrielle’s. As she paused on the opposite side of the bath, General Grumpy flounced away, stubby ears flat and fluffy tail twitching.

Xena stood for a moment longer, savoring it all before taking the leap of her life. Gabrielle stood up, water sheeting down her body. She then held her position in the water, leaving her thoughts unsaid, but Xena could see her eyes were dark wells of desire, waiting.

Gabrielle could feel the elemental powers of the universe gathering around them, bouncing between them like shooting stars. Perhaps destinies uncounted hung in the balance, but right now they only knew of their own. Two lifelines stretched out before them, strong and twining.

Xena dropped her robe and stepped into the mirrored surface of the still water, speaking softly, her face lit from within. "Gabrielle. I need you to know that if we make love it will be my first time of the heart. If we make love I will give myself to you, and I have never done that. Ever. You will be the only one for me. Ever."

"I’m so ready for you, woman. I’ve waited for you…" Her words faded in the blaze of her beloved’s crystal eyes.

"I commit myself to you, bard."

Gabrielle didn’t hesitate an instant, "And I to you, warrior."

The two women leaned into one another. To Xena, Gabrielle was now a shining being of light, light in her hair, light on her wet skin, and light deep in her loving eyes. She allowed waves of passion to sweep through her, warming and chilling her. Gabrielle was very still except for her eyes, which danced over Xena’s chest, shoulders and face.

Things were becoming very hot. The air around them was sticky, and their short breaths came in gasps. The tips of their heaving breasts touched with the smallest of movements. Xena dropped her mouth to within an inch or two of Gabrielle’s and said in a low throaty voice, "Turn around, Gabs. Let’s take it slow." Gabrielle turned without protest; she wanted to ride this wave for as long as she could.

Xena took a soapy sponge and rubbed Gabrielle with it lightly, spreading the soap all over her back and neck. Then, she set the sponge aside and brought the flats of her callused hands in contact with the other woman’s warm slick skin. Xena smiled as she felt a shiver. So many baths they had taken together, both of them secretly longing for these softer touches, both covering up the longing with talk and play.

Even though she moved hardly at all, Gabrielle seemed to be in motion beneath Xena’s fingers. She knelt and her hands worked down in a rolling motion to the tail of the bard’s spine. At the base, she found two sensitive dimples and pressed them softly with her thumbs. Gabrielle gasped as she felt a cord of ecstatic energy pull tightly from her groin up into her chest. She hung balanced on the balls of her feet, holding her breath. Xena lipped the tender skin of the firm bottom, smiling with pleasure at the younger woman’s sensitivity. …she… is exquisite…The more she aroused her beloved’s passion, the more her own sense of power and focus returned to her. After all the problems with concentration, now her only purpose was to pleasure Gabrielle and feed upon her ecstasy. Xena stood and wrapped one strong arm around the other’s waist, steadying her, watching her, pulling her closer. They both began to sway.

Gabrielle could hardly believe it was finally happening. Some part of her worried that this was a delusional dream following a head injury, or a trick of the gods, or something someone slipped into her nut bread. Every one of those things, and more had happened, after all. But the truth of Xena’s love anchored her. The bard could feel Xena’s heat, could feel it radiating into her back, through the touch of Xena’s breasts soft against her shoulder blades. Then, Xena’s hand was sliding up her stomach; was cradling and lifting her breast; was rubbing her palm around and around a buttoned up nipple…Gabrielle couldn’t wait any longer... She turned her head and reached up with her questing mouth to join them both together…

When true desire has been checked for too long, and then is suddenly given the language of physical love, enormous forces are released into the world. In that instant, an uncultivated hillside in what would someday be called South America, collapsed in a mud slide. But also in that very same instant, there were hundreds of miraculous recoveries, several million original ideas, and a record hatching of monarch butterflies. You just never know what love will do.

…Though no one was there to hear it, the cacophony of noise (celebration and panic) from Mount Olympus was deafening. At Gaea’s, before her well-banked fire, Sibyl only smiled sleepily. Then she rose, slippers flapping across the floor as she took herself off to bed...

Without their lips breaking contact, Gabrielle turned around in the circle of Xena’s arms, wrapping her hands up around Xena’s neck, arching her body into the taller woman’s. Each called out to the other; their mouths and hands searching with abandon. Their breasts fit, Xena’s on top of Gabrielle’s, like a pair of puzzle pieces.

Xena squeezed tightly and dunked them both into the water to rinse off the soap. When they came back up Gabrielle’s legs were wrapped around the warrior’s hips, clinging to her. She walked them over to the side of the pool and sat Gabrielle on its edge, Gabrielle’s hands mapping her body frantically. Each woman was a little crazed by with the other’s nearness; they moaned and swayed, their arms grasped and caressed, their lips rubbed, and tongues twined thick and warm.

Both of them faint with excitement, they lay back onto the warm marble, Gabrielle below Xena’s powerful body. The sensation of being pressed firmly into the floor by Xena’s passion shot through the bard, whose hips began their first, tentative movements. Over and over, Xena would pull back just far enough to look into Gabrielle’s eyes and caress her face. Over and over Gabrielle would bring her warrior back down to her hungry young mouth and thrusting tongue.

Then Xena backed up and retreated away from the bed of her lover’s body. "Lay back, Gabrielle." She instructed in a husky whisper. Gabrielle laid back. Xena pushed a pile of folded towels behind her lover’s head "I want you to watch me love you." Gabrielle watched. Then Xena disappeared beneath the water’s surface. A moment later, she rose up unblinking between Gabrielle’s knees, water sheeting down her face, her eyes two stunning bolts of power.

The younger woman began to tremble violently. "Xena…please, whatever it is, for goddess sake will you please just do it!?"

But Xena was in no hurry. There was lost time to make up for. Watching, she lowered her shining wet face down to the goose-bumpy skin of Gabrielle’s stomach and breathed wickedly into her navel. Xena watched the bard’s every move, listened to her every sound.

"Are you watching me, bard?" Xena whispered.

"Yeeeesss, Xena…." The green eyes were glassy and fixed on Xena’s face.

Deliberately, so that Gabrielle could see the length of her tongue, she opened her lips and let it slide thickly down along the line of muscle and sinew that angled up the side of Gabrielle’s sculpted belly. The sounds that Gabrielle was making were becoming frantic. Xena let her tongue snake out again and twist the dark amber curls with its tip, her eyes watching. Gabrielle began to guess what Xena was up to, and the thought it made her wild. Her hips moved pleadingly, reaching for Xena, and her face became very serious. Xena’s hands joined in the dance as they slid up Gabrielle’s thighs and wrapped around her glistening sex. She gasped and groaned when she felt Xena gently pull her apart. She felt hot breath on her netherlips, stirring through her hair. For a moment, things got very dim and her eyes closed.

"Gabrielle…Gabrielle, watch me now." She looked down, whimpering, and saw Xena’s open mouth lower onto her clitoris, ringing it inside her warm wet lips. She cried out in a convulsion of ecstasy at the most intimate touch she had ever known. Her body took over, wiping out all remaining thoughts. The whole of her being was condensed down to that one throbbing point. Then, deep inside her mouth, the tip of Xena’s tongue flicked and circled the swollen bud of Gabrielle’s desire. The body of the young woman jumped and vibrated like a lyre string plucked too hard. Xena smiled into Gabrielle’s sex, flicking her again and again, devouring the sight of her lover’s passion. Xena’s own desire was building in her like a storm. Hungrily, she sucked the hard knob in and out, causing a whole new crisis for the bard to cope with.

Gabrielle never had experienced such an intensity of passion. She looked down again and almost fainted at the sight of the face of this ravishing woman joined to her sex in such an intimate touch. Those eyes…it was far more than she could bear. Just when she thought she couldn’t take it any more, Xena intensified the sucking, pulling her in harder. She held on much longer than she thought she could, then she felt a great helpless surrender raise her hips for an instant of stillness, and an explosive rapture shook her arching body in spasm after spasm. She reached desperately for Xena’s head, weeping.

Xena let Gabrielle pull her up to mouth a tight breast, as one of her hands reached back between her legs. As her body began to quiet from the climax, a strong lean finger circled Gabrielle’s wet entrance, leaving a trail of heat where it had passed. Xena’s soft face nuzzled her breast; white teeth toyed gently with her stiff nipple.

Gabrielle knew then that Xena wasn’t going to stop. Knees wide, her pelvis tilted sharply upward, Gabrielle begged for more. She felt Xena enter her with a single burning finger. Astonished at the intensity of sensation, she was not prepared for a second finger. The warrior was doing such surprising things with her hands and body. A thumb rubbed against her clit, as strong fingers reached deep inside her.

Xena reared up high over her beloved’s sprawled body. Gabrielle watched the muscles move in the warrior’s arm as it pumped into her. A look of purest desire came over Xena’s face, and then her other hand moved down into her own throbbing center. Gabrielle’s whole body rocked on Xena’s arm, captivated by the erotic vision of her lover pleasuring herself. Xena’s fingers slid quickly up and down with expert movements. Their searching eyes locked on each other again, the passion circling between them.

Gabrielle saw when Xena’s climax began; her blue eyes widened and she threw her head back, but no sound at all came from her clenched teeth. Even as she shook and bucked with the convulsions, Xena had the presence of mind to push deep into Gabrielle and then hook her fingers. Then Gabrielle groaned something incoherent and seized again, releasing floods of her honey into Xena’s hand.

Still aflame, Xena lowered herself onto the body of her lover. Between the kisses she gave, she asked a question that a day ago would have been unthinkable. "Gabrielle, I need you once more…your mouth…can you love me with your mouth?"

In answer, the bard licked her lips and said, "Anything, Xena, anything at all for you…oh, yes let me taste you…"

Xena smiled, "Here, I’ll make it easy for you." She took the pile of towels and, leaving two as a cushion for Gabrielle’s head, also put one on either side. Then, almost shyly, Xena put a knee on each pad, straddling Gabrielle’s face. Gabrielle was able to reach Xena’s turgid nether lips easily with her mouth and tongue. She breathed deeply and lightly kissed, then nuzzled and tasted Xena’s dark opening. She let her tongue slip inside where it was wet, then ran it up and down the sweet opening, getting a true taste of her lover’s sweetest passion.

She pushed Xena up a few inches to get a quick look up, and reaching up with her hand she exposed a large and erect clitoris. It was Gabrielle’s very first glimpse of a woman’s sex. She lightly pulled the hood back, exposing the sensitive skin of Xena’s clitoris, and rubbed it gently with a fingertip. Xena’s moan sounded like a wild animal’s. Smiling she pulled Xena down onto her opening mouth and sucked the node inside. The view up the warrior’s taut body was incredible. Breasts swayed and abdominal muscles clenched; muscled arms reached down to tangle demanding hands into her hair.

Xena tossed her hair back and rocked herself gently into her lover’s mouth, seeking. Looking down, she worshipped the sweet face pressed into her, and the luminous green eyes gazing up. The bard’s tongue was telling a wonderful new story. Her face froze in an expression of agony or ecstasy, as she felt teeth grip the shaft of her clitoris and delicately scrape it, up and down. Then the teeth anchored at her base, and Gabrielle’s warm tongue began to slowly swirl around Xena’s stranded and pulsing clit. She held herself in suspension for several heartbeats, then threw up her powerful arms, fists clenched, and voiced a single, desperate cry. Her magnificent body clenched over and over, soundless once again.

She slumped forward over the body of her lover, pivoted around, and gathered a grinning Gabrielle up in her arms. Their lips were reunited after having traveled far; they tasted themselves in the sweet musk. Again, the passion arose in them, relentless. The warrior pulled Gabrielle hard up against her and eased them back into the warm bath water. Using Gabrielle’s natural buoyancy, and under an assault of her salty kisses, Xena turned her around so she face away again, her bottom nested into Xena’s lap, her body within easy reach. One hand ran gently over Gabrielle’s clit, the other reached from behind and buried itself inside her opening. Slow movements inevitably became faster ones. The bard’s hands reached up and behind Xena’s head. The warrior lifted her slightly and rotated her sideways so she could grind her own sex into Gabrielle’s rounded hip, while working her vagina and clit with both hands. Her even white teeth held a bite full of her shoulder. Gabrielle felt dizzy with the unabated passion and conflicting sensations Xena was producing from her body. This time, it was first Gabrielle whose eyes opened wide, and whose soulful cries brought her lover to release as well. Both women blacked out momentarily, then came back clasped together, checking each other, touching noses and brows. Xena was still pressed tightly into Gabrielle’s leg, pumping softly.

Xena withdrew her hands and sighed. She pulled Gabrielle close, wrapping her arms and legs around her. With her head resting forward and Gabrielle’s leaning back, they rested in symmetry, their mouths turned in and occasionally seeking a reassuring touch of the other. In this way, they fell fast asleep in the warm water.

…Gaea added tiny wavelets to rock the spent lovers tenderly… I do love these two… she thought, deciding to indulge herself. The women never saw the watery form of the priestess Sibyl rise up out of the pool to anoint each sleeping cheek with a shining kiss, silver for Xena and gold for Gabrielle. "Silver for consciousness and gold for slumber." Her honey-rasped whisper was unmistakable. Then she sank back down again. …"Someday they will save the world"…


Chapter XI

Xena awoke without her usual start, her cheek tingling. She was still wrapped around the smaller woman, as if her own strong arms and legs were old tree roots and Gabrielle’s body the earth below. Power moved in her again, resounding in her soul. Xena tucked in her chin so she could look down into Gabrielle’s sleeping face. With a small sound of wonder and delight, she tightened her hold a little bit. Gabrielle made slurping sounds and murmured something that sounded like …"More wine, pleeese."

"Gabrielle…" Xena called softly.

"Mmmm? Ooooo…Xenaaah…" Gabrielle nuzzled into her neck. Abruptly, Gabrielle sat bolt upright and turned sideways in Xena’s lap. Without opening her eyes, she said, "Be sure to get some baklava!" Then she slumped back onto the pillow of Xena’s shoulder and, in a couple of breaths, was snoring lightly. Gabrielle snored the way the General purred, with a charming collection of slurps and snorts.

Xena thought the whole thing was pretty amazing. She thought everything about Gabrielle was pretty amazing. She smiled and thought of other amazing things that Gabrielle might be likely to do soon. It was time for a plan. There was no way of telling what time of day or night it was, down in the bath. And Xena didn’t want to be parted even for an instant from her lover. It was time to go upstairs. Xena simply picked the sleeping woman up in her arms and walked up and out of the bath. Rather than deal with robes and towels, she kept right on going down the hall and up the stairs with the peacefully snoring Gabrielle nestled and dripping against her skin.

Xena got to her own door and managed the latch with her knee. But she hadn’t cleaned her room lately, and the obstacles on the path to her bed were yet to be numbered fully. Actually, Xena’s room was perpetually a mess whenever she was in residence at Gaea’s. Aside from maintaining the immaculate condition of her tackle, saddle, trip gear, armor and weapons, Xena had little interest in belongings. Not to say she didn’t acquire belongings, she just had little interest in them. Most of that variety of Xena’s belongings resided in this room in huge trunks. When Xena stayed at the house, a great deal of stuff came out of those trunks and then remained out. Many people who heard of her poor housekeeping were surprised, having seen her professional care of her gear on the road. But, getting to know her better, they realized it was consistent with her character, after all.

…well, how was I to know a thing like this would happen tonight?… Xena’s feet, having kicked open the door, now went to work shoving baskets of leather scraps and harness hardware out of the way. Gabrielle’s snores were sounding more disrupted, and Xena began to regret her "flair for the dramatic" as Sibyl called it. She edged around an open trunk lid, and kicked a tangle of old boots and a dressing gown under the bed. …I’ve got to do something about this room…But first she had to put Gabrielle down on the bed. With a start, she realized that the turned-back bed had been made fresh with scented sheets, with one of Sibyl’s little bundles of herbs on each pillow. Beside the bed was a small tray with a lamp, chilled wine, cheese, fruit, several vials of oils, and some of Sibyl’s candied dates. An island of beauty in a sea of chaos. …I’m going to have to thank her for this, whether she’s smug about it or not…Most important to the still wet women were the two fresh towels folded neatly on the coverlet. Xena sat on one towel, cradling Gabrielle in her lap. Gabrielle who was holding on to her sleep even more stubbornly than usual, snuggled close, smacked her lips and murmured, "…baklava…"

Xena smiled and took up the second towel, carefully drying her lover’s body. She looked at Gabrielle with a renewed curiosity and interest. She found a mole just to the right of midline on her abdomen. She traced a few fading scars with the corner of the towel, and remembered where each had come from, each bandage they had required. But Gabrielle had survived all the odds against her, and looked stronger and healthier than ever before. Xena’s towel dried a well-muscled thigh. Actually, she was in excellent physical condition. For the first time Xena realized that the young woman was thriving in her company, despite the almost constant danger. …life together has worked so far for us, why not more? Maybe it really is meant to be, like Sibyl says…But Xena had to clean her room. She laid the bard back and pulled up the soft cotton and wool covers. Gabrielle settled and sighed and was off dreaming again.

Xena was a woman with many skills. She had a talent for cleaning a room very quickly. But only when it really mattered. The trunks were the key to the whole thing. They were deep bodied, heavy lidded trunks that could take anything, even flying horseshoes. She quickly and quietly put her things into baskets and then the baskets went into the gaping trunks. Pothos had to be evicted from one of the baskets and put out the door. When the trunk lids were closed, the room was clean. She eyed the trunks warily. There would be a fine puzzle waiting for her to undo on some rainy day. Which is how the room got to the shape it was in to start with, naturally. Xena hated having extra stuff she didn’t need or want, but couldn’t throw something potentially useful away. She was happiest out on the trail with her few possessions under strict control. Once a long time ago, Sibyl told her the trunks would always be waiting here for her. Xena had interpreted that remark as a personal threat. Which is exactly what it was.

She took one of the bundles of garden herbs, held it over the lamp’s flame, and then dropped it smoking into a clay bowl on top of one of the trunks. The aroma it released cleared the room of the odors of wet leather and steel. It also seemed to have a rousing effect on Gabrielle. Xena stood by the bed and watched Gabrielle writhe and stretch beneath the covers. She looked up to the window in the alcove above her bed and noticed it was still dark outside. The full moon lit up the landscape outside, revealing that it was snowing lightly.

Xena didn’t need to think twice about her options; lifting the covers she slid into bed next to Gabrielle’s warmth. Delighted, she found that touching Gabrielle’s dry body was a completely different experience than touching Gabrielle’s wet one. She drew back the heavy blankets; leaving Gabrielle covered with only a soft sheet. She found herself revisiting the long months of erotic tension between them, while staring at the now thin barrier between she and Gabrielle. She thought back to the cold nights they had shared blankets …how many of those nights was Gabrielle really sleeping?…Memories of the longing, once desperate, now enflamed her.

Xena began to slowly caress her beloved through the fabric with long, sweeping strokes of her callused sword hand, watching the cloth glide over the curves of Gabrielle’s hips and waist. She sat up, reached out to Gabrielle’s silken shoulders and drew her hands down across the white skin of her chest, below the tan line of her clothes. Soft sounds rose up from her caresses, her callused palm rasping against the cloth, which hissed in its turn against Gabrielle’s skin. Effortlessly, she touched the body she had only imagined touching countless nights before, watching the bard recite a love poem or tell a story. Watching her own sun-darkened hands on the white skin, she let them gather the fabric as they passed over Gabrielle’s breasts, exposing their young nakedness. Xena felt the heat rise in full strength with the rhythm of these simple movements. She felt nipples draw hot lines across her palms, as her hands moved downward. Xena’s face became very serious. It was time for her lover to wake…


Chapter XII

Gabrielle had been dreaming about a marvelous feast. It went on and on, and she never got full. Course after course of exotic and tasty dishes appeared and disappeared. The best part was the baklava, more than she could eat or stuff into her pockets. It dripped in honey, and the crust was better than her mother’s.

Abruptly, the dream shifted. There, a little ways out was an old, old woman, standing in the fog. Gabrielle realized she was in a doorway and the woman was outside. "Please come in"… Gabrielle gestured.

"Thank you, sweet Gabrielle. You are always the picture of hospitality, even in your dreams." The woman’s head barely came up to Gabrielle’s shoulders, and she leaned on an ancient caduceus staff: two entwined snakes surmounted by golden wings an ancient symbol of healing. Her dark face was deeply coweled, but Gabrielle could see two sharp eyes peering up at her through the gloom.

"You seem very familiar with me, but I don’t know who you are."

"You are guest in my house, yet you don’t know me?" Gabrielle jumped, about to speak. Gaea chuckled and took the bard’s hands in her own. "Don’t worry, child, I usually prefer things that way. Tonight, I wish you to know me. Gabrielle, I have seen you ever steer the ship of your destiny away from it’s charted rout, unerringly bringing it into an course to intercept with Xena’s. I don not know why, but you and she are for each other.

But know this: she comes out of a past that cannot be erased; reliving it is her greatest weakness; resisting it is her greatest strength. She is a Warrior. It is her battle alone and you may not share it. But you can help her live when she’s not fighting it." The goddess let go of her hands and stepped back. "Help her live when she’s not fighting, Gabrielle…" As Gaea’s form dissolved into the fog thickening around them, she bent forward and touched her staff to Gabrielle’s forehead. "Awake and help her live…"

Gabrielle’s transition from dreams to waking was seamless. Without opening her eyes, she became aware she was in a bed with Xena in a full state of arousal beside her. She felt burning hands on the sheet over her body, and then laid out upon her bare chest. As the fiery touches rolled over her breasts she felt a stab of longing in her belly that was almost painful, and her eyes opened directly into Xena’s.

Gaea’s words still rang in the bard’s ears as she looked up into the face of her beloved. She had caught her face in the most extraordinary expression of profound yearning. Her sad eyes looked like a wounded child’s. She reached up and cupped her hand to her dark lover’s cheek.

Demanding hands slipped lower on Gabrielle’s body, blistering her with their heat. "Wait, Xena, hold on." Gabrielle had other ideas. "Please wait, Xena. I’m not ready" she fibbed. Xena drew her hand back with such speed that Gabrielle almost regretted her choice in tactics, but she had a hunch about how to help the warrior live. "I need you to help me take it slow, Xena. Let me give you a back rub. Would you turn over for me?"

That brought Xena back from wherever she had gone after recoiling, and she rolled over willingly. Gabrielle got up on her knees and began to prowl around the edges of Xena’s body. She urged the compliant woman high enough to place a couple of pillows beneath her hips. The moment was transcendent, this beautiful, powerful being of her deepest desires laid out thus before her, this warrior disarmed.

Noticing the tray by the bed, she poured some oil into her palm to warm. With the other hand, she popped a couple of grapes in her mouth and poured two cups of wine. Remembering the orange, she took a grape and rubbed it against Xena’s lips, which opened obediently to pull it in. Gabrielle grinned wickedly, her hunch about Xena had been dead right. She fed the warrior again, who accepted the next grape cradled in her tongue.

Taking the warmed oil, she spread it thickly across both palms. Then she put her hands down like a pair of wings at the small of Xena’s powerful back, and drew them upward. A groan escaped from deep within Xena. Gabrielle’s strong thumbs traced two firm paths along either side of Xena’s spine as her stroke lengthened and spread to end finally at the rounds of her wide shoulders. With practiced hands, Gabrielle worked out the tension in her warrior’s neck and shoulders, feeling the muscles loosen and tendons become supple. She found the old injuries and places where the pain always gathered in knots, and carefully worked them free. Then she picked up a big pinch of warm flesh, and rolled the skin up in her clever fingers all the way down Xena’s spine to her lower back. She used her knuckles to reach deep into the powerful muscles. Xena was groaning regularly now, in a way that satisfied Gabrielle very much.

Refreshing the oil in her hands, she placed her spread hands across Xena’s buttocks, an area she had less experience with, though not for lack of wanting to. Gabrielle thought Xena’s bottom was magnificent; had savored any opportunity to view it unobserved when they bathed. It was very developed, joining the powerful thighs to her lean body. It was more than Gabrielle’s small hands could handle. In a stroke she had only read about, she used an oiled elbow to push into the strong muscles and then loosen them in small circles. She was rewarded by the sound of Xena’s gasp and the sight of her hips grinding into the pillows beneath.

Gabrielle felt another bolt of passion race through her body and into her warming sex. She sat back, knees spread. The erotic energy between her legs hummed like a beehive. One hand left Xena momentarily to dip into herself, and found honey. Leaning forward, Gabrielle’s hand with its exotic tincture returned to trail a glistening finger around Xena’s open mouth. Xena closed her eyes as her lips wrapped themselves around it and sucked it in gently…oooh that is soo nice… Gabrielle felt some of her self control loosen, and forced herself to remove the finger from Xena’s mouth and return it to the task of kneading Xena’s bottom. Xena’s whole body was shining with the oil and deeply relaxed, yet she was still the picture of tension.

Xena was trying very hard not to turn over and ravish Gabrielle. The massage she was receiving was so far beyond any other she had ever been given, was so blatant in it’s sensuality she felt an instinctual desire to respond. But she held herself still, remembering Gabrielle’s words of caution.

Gabrielle spoke as she reached over for another vial of oil from the bedside, "That’s it, Xena. Try to let yourself relax while I pleasure you." Gabrielle’s moving hands circled each around a muscular cheek, then gently parted Xena’s bottom. Holding her open, Gabrielle dipped a finger into the vial and dripped the oil into her lover’s blushing sex. The finger moved up and down the length of Xena’s vulva, leaving a slick trail behind, the long stroke ending in a tiny bump. Gabrielle purred, "Then, when I am done, I will be more than ready for what you want to do with me." She removed her hand from Xena, who arched back; head turned to the side, raven hair falling down her back, blue eyes watching her out of the corners. Gabrielle bent down and breathed into Xena’s opening, warming the oil and activating it.

The oil Gabrielle had used began to burn lightly. Gently, she urged the warrior up to her knees. Xena’s head drooped momentarily, awed at how easily sex came to Gabrielle. She was beginning to breathe quickly, in small gasps. When she felt Gabrielle position herself between her spreading legs she tossed her head back, tilting her burning sex upward, reaching, demanding. "Gabrielle!" she growled through clenched white teeth. "Do it!"

Gabrielle held herself still, her empathic senses fully extended. She held on for several more heartbeats, then she casually turned and took a long sip from a cup of wine on the bedside. In shock, Xena started to rear up, only to impale herself upon Gabrielle’s fingers that punched deeply into her throbbing sex. Xena actually screamed.

Gabrielle was very pleased. Deep inside of Xena, she hooked her fingers; just outside of Xena, her thumb pressed into her clitoris. Then, to Xena’s despair, Gabrielle stopped moving her hand. Gabrielle’s other hand put down the wine and reached down into her own wet and swollen sex and entered. She sagged, her head lolling, flame colored hair washing across her face, for an instant overcome. But she took a deep breath and raised her chin, her eyes smoky with passion, and waited for Xena. She held still and waited not long before the motion in Xena’s hips began, stroking her fingers. She pumped into herself with Xena’s beats, and felt the pulse in her ears add to the rhythm in her hands. She began to reward Xena’s hard work with strong strokes of her own, forming her hand into a javelin shape to reach deeper. The warrior growled and yelped as she struggled to take what she needed from the bard, their sex beginning to resemble a battle.

"Work it Xena, work it…" Gabrielle whispered hoarsely. Then she heard Xena’s low growls become throaty roars. Her face in a grimace that made the cords stand out in her neck, Xena peaked, tossing her head in wave after wave of ecstasy. She rocked back and up onto her knees to receive the full impact of the spasms, her own hands now rubbing her sex violently, demanding a climax from her swollen clit. Gabrielle removed her fingers from inside herself, and bent low to attend to the needs of Xena’s new position of choice. She never stopped the beat of the thrusts into the warrior, so it was with joy and wonder that she felt the band of muscles inside of Xena’s passage clamp tightly around her over and over as Xena’s body shook again with the orgasmic blows.

The warrior collapsed forward into the bed, seemingly spent, her hips heaving on the pillows. Gabrielle lay herself down over the warrior’s wide back, carefully positioning her sex so that it nestled deeply into Xena’s wonderful bottom. With her cheek against Xena’s muscled back, the happy young woman rested, very pleased with herself, completely unaware of the volcano building beneath her.

Xena felt the arms and hands of her lover cover her own, completing the contact of their bodies. It was a delicious sensation. But Xena was far from spent. The warrior had never felt so…alive…before. Grabbing Gabrielle’s arms and pushing off, she swung her leg out and back, and then flipped them both over in a wrestling move she’d learned from an Olympian athlete. It worked very effectively. Gabrielle found herself mashed face first into the pillows, then she was all alone as Xena bounced whooping off the bed.

In two leaps off of a couple of trunks, she had reached the weapons rack and drawn her sword ringing out of its scabbard. Voicing her battle cry, she whipped the blade back and forth around her head and body. Then she paused. For an instant of stillness, her hair settled around her shoulders and breasts like thunderclouds descending into the hills. Then, centering the point on Gabrielle, she held forth the blade in two fists and advanced upon her. Gabrielle knelt on the bed with a sheet snatched up around her full breasts, eyes huge. The tip of the blade was just level with the wide-open pupil of Xena’s left eye.

In a very quiet voice that said the stakes might be high, Xena said, "Now it’s my advantage, bard. You made a promise, fair and square." Gabrielle just nodded in agreement, not trusting her voice. "Now, I have some instructions for you. Will my instructions be acceptable to you, bard?" Xena’s face was sublime, eyebrow arched provocatively. Gabrielle nodded again, now completely speechless. Xena lowered her sword point. "Good. I thought you might say that. You are apparently aware that I in my past was a dominatrix. Did you learn what that meant, Gabrielle?" She moved closer to the bed.

"Yes." She sort of fibbed again.

"Do you understand that it is, for you and I, a consensual act? That if at any point or for any reason you want me to stop, you must simply say ‘mercy’. You understand that? Hmm?"

"Yes." Gabrielle whispered.

"Do you consent, Gabrielle?"

"Oh, yes Xena…" she breathed.

"I thought you would say that, too." The sword point came up again, followed by a command. "Kneel on the bed before me, my bard…a little wider," the flat of her blade slapped between the young woman’s thighs, separating them wider. Gabrielle did as she was told. "Don’t move, Gabrielle. I mean it." She flicked the hilt and suddenly the tip of her sword was at the base of Gabrielle’s neck. Gabrielle was paralyzed but unafraid, her truth-sense telling her she was being loved intimately. The cold line of steel traveled down between her breasts and stopped under each one, lifting it on the side of the blade. "Watch, bard." Xena commanded, as it reached further down over the smooth skin of her belly. With another flick, the razor edge shaved off a small bit of Gabrielle’s nether hair, which drifted slowly to the ground. The young woman was shaking with the desire. Xena’s teasing alone had taken her to a new level of erotic experience. "Breath, Gabrielle." Xena ordered. She realized she had stopped and took two refreshing breaths. Then the very tip of Xena’s blade descended between her cringing thighs and pressed the flat against her wet sex. Xena slid the chilly steel over her ever so slightly… Gabrielle thrilled to the danger until her trembling threatened disaster. Xena removed the blade tip quickly and safely. "Turn and face the window, bard. Remain kneeling."

Gabrielle turned and faced the window over Xena’s bed. A cup of wine was pressed to her mouth, which she drank from thirstily. Then the warrior’s hands were back with food, with strips of cheese, figs and grapes, all fed into Gabrielle’s open mouth. Gabrielle ate it all with the warrior’s breasts brushing her back. She had lost all sense of the story line of her life, except for the infinite world of this bed. She had become a story for someone else to write about. She allowed herself to be fed, and even arched sensuously into the morsels, using lips and tongue, to show Xena her willingness. She nibbled and sucked Xena’s lean fingertips only when they were offered.

"Move back to the edge of the bed and bend over it." Xena instructed. Her voice betrayed nothing. Gabrielle’s heart leaped as she quickly positioned herself. "Offer yourself, bard." Gabrielle arched into the new position, appreciating why Xena had loved it so much. She felt completely revealed to her lover. It was delicious.

Xena’s burning hands started on her ankles, setting her skin afire as they moved up past her knees and thighs to sweep across her bottom. They grabbed fistfuls of the creamy flesh, kneading. The thumbs reached closer to her opening, spreading her moisture, widening the entrance. Then the hands withdrew and she felt nothing. "Xe-?" She whimpered, waiting, feeling her exposure. Then gratefully, she felt a push, as slowly Xena entered her. The warrior seemed to fill her unexpectedly, and she felt herself tighten around the pressure.

Then, to Gabrielle’s utter shock, Xena brought both hands down onto her rear end…both hands…then what- Gabrielle’s questions blew away into nothingness, as she caught the reflection of them both in the glass of the window. There was Xena behind her, hips moving gently against her, midnight hair in a tangled mane around her ardent face, stomach clenching with each soft push. Gabrielle had no idea how this could be happening, and didn’t care. The feelings in the deepest part of her belly didn’t care.

She began to goad Xena on with her hips, calling out to her with an urgent voice. Xena gripped tightly into the crease between hip and thigh and pulled the smaller woman into her thrusts, their bodies slapping together. For long moments their drums beat on. She felt herself soften as the thrusts reached deeper. Somewhere in the frenzy, Gabrielle felt her whole body clench and hold. Her vision blurred, and then she came violently, drenching Xena behind her.

Something about the softer sounds Gabrielle made as she climaxed echoed unexpectedly into the depths of Xena’s own soul. She felt a great welling up in her chest. Unbuckling the leather covered wooden phallus and its harness, she turned Gabrielle around and gathered her in tightly to her body, dropping all pretense and pride. Resting her cheek against the top of the other woman’s head, she let her tears of gratitude fall freely into the amber hair.

Then she reached back and pulled the heavy covers up, drawing Gabrielle down to lay beside her. There was still no sign of light dawning through the window. In her arms, Gabrielle lay shuddering, tears streaking her face, as well. Xena kissed her face clean and then each trembling eyelid. Finally, she tasted the sweet lips she found raised to her.

Gabrielle opened her eyes and looked up at her passionate lover and felt the love Xena had for her swelling inside. She snuggled close, put her head on a broad shoulder, her leg across a long thigh, and flattened her hand over Xena’s pounding heart. She felt the beats, once racing, slow; the strong body soften, finally satiated.

Gabrielle yawned. "I’ve got to sleep again, my love…" she pleaded.

"Yes, rest. I’ll have to let you off easy just this once." She was half-asleep herself.

…This time there were no gods or goddesses were around to guide the lovers slumber. Not even a tiny elemental sprite bothered with them at this hour. They made due with only each other, and the island world of their wonderful bed.


Continue to Part Four

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