Fallin' In Love Again
by Azurenon & Savanna Mac
Xena Warrior Princess and all the characters contained herein are the sole property of MCA/Universal Studios/Renaissance Pictures. No infringement upon these rites is intended. We’ve merely borrowed these characters, as well as, some scenes and lines, for the sole purpose of entertainment and storyline continuity.
This story contains rather graphic details of two consenting, adult females involved in sexually explicit situations with one another. If this is not something you’d like to read about, please do not read our story. I’m sure there are even better ones, more to your liking.
Be it known, that this story is number "7" in a series we have entitled: "Between the Episodes", which makes reference to the aired episodes below. And, if you haven’t read the previous 6 stories by Azurenon and Savanna Mac, starting with "Dream of Choice", you may be a bit lost when reading this one, as we often make reference to things that have gone before.
This story takes place following our daring duo’s adventures in the MCA/Universal Studios/Renaissance Pictures copy written material entitled: "Adventures In The Sin Trade I & II" and picks up immediately following "A Family Affair". If you haven't seen these episodes, I would strongly suggest you do so before reading this. And even if you have, you may want to refresh your memory.
Thanks go to all our friends! No need to mention each of you by name, you know who you are. This is for all the subtextors out there. We hope we have spun an enjoyable tale. If not, then please accept our humble apology.
This story contains more than 12 pages.
To those who may be following this "Between the Episodes" series, I’d like to apologize for going back on what I said in my last note at the end of: "Deciphering The Scrolls", concerning skipping over season 4 and moving onto season 5. I have since found trying to correct season 5 (to my liking), to be biting off far more than I could, or even wanted to chew. I don’t have the talent nor the determination for such an endeavor. (I’m no Melissa Good, that’s for doggone sure.) And so.. this is one of at least four more offerings in this series, all dealing with the 4th season. Azurenon.
Thought I might have to sit my writing partner down and give her a good pep talk about not giving up (Azurenon was talking about giving up on our heroes all together, considering them to have truly died at the end of the fourth season). As it stands, I didn’t have to go there. And I’m glad. Hope you enjoy the stories half as much as we did writing them. Thanks to everyone...
Smile, S.M (Savanna Mac)
The two lovers were still sitting on the log; Gabrielle’s head remained on Xena’s shoulder, as the warrior related her trials and tribulations while searching for her beloved in the Amazon "Land of the Dead". She conveniently skipped over the part about the true vision Alti had caused her to see, and only said that she had seen Gabrielle in a vision of the future and knew she was alive. And so, she had rushed back to find her.
"No wonder you never received my messages," Gabrielle commented.
"Yeah, I was... a bit outta touch and... outta my mind with grief."
Gabrielle raised her head from the warrior’s shoulder and reached up, touching Xena’s face, turning it towards her. Misty blue eyes met sea-green in the dawning light of a new day; the barest hint of pink in the eastern sky, reflected in the warrior’s eyes. "Thank you, Xena," the bard said simply, then led the warrior’s lips to her own.
Xena’s reciprocating kisses were unusually light and oh so very tender. "Sometimes... I still can’t believe... you’re real," she murmured against the bard’s lips, feeling her lover’s breath tickle the tiny hairs above her own lips. The latter of which trembled, as did her right hand, when she reached up and gently caressed Gabrielle’s face.
"Oh, I’m real... believe me," the bard assured, taking Xena’s hand and leading it down to just above her breast. "Feel my heartbeat? Beating with love... for you."
Xena was suddenly overcome with pent-up emotion; a large lump forming in her throat; her heart literally aching; tears springing into her eyes. "Oh-h Ga-brielle..." was all she could manage to say, right before she broke down.
The bard pulled her lover close, pressing Xena’s head to her shoulder; the strong warrior’s whole body seemingly vibrating with her sobs. Tears were in Gabrielle’s eyes now. Tears of joy, over the love she felt for Xena and the knowledge of what her true love had gone through in order to try and find her.
"Not even in death, Gabrielle." The bard heard these words as plainly as if Xena had just uttered them. But, she knew she hadn’t. No, that had been several months ago, when they both thought Gabrielle might die from the poisoned arrow loosed by a warrior in the Persian army; the latter of which Xena had fought off single-handedly.
There was no longer any doubt in the bard’s mind that Xena truly did love her and that they were most definitely meant to be together. The only niggling question left for Gabrielle was: Were they supposed to live the remainder of their lives always fighting... always in danger... Xena always killing? Was there not another way for them to be together and rally against injustice, without bloodshed?
This thought was pushed aside, however, when Xena groaned in agony, sounding for all the world as if her heart were literally breaking in two. She clung to Gabrielle like a small child. The bard placed a light kiss upon the side of the strong warrior’s head. "I’m here now, Xena. I’ll always be... right here," she whispered into her lover’s ear. This, however, served only to initiate another onslaught of gut wrenching sobs.
Yes, my beloved... go on... let it all out, she thought, feeling the power of her love for Xena flow through her and supply her with a strength she didn’t know she possessed, until a few short weeks ago. She remembered this same power flowing through her as she used her staff to vault up and grab Hope, pulling her evil daughter with her into Dahak’s fiery pit. She had seen Xena’s face over Hope’s shoulder as they were falling. Shock and confusion had crossed the warrior’s features. I love you, Xena. More than life itself, she remembered thinking.
The warrior pulled her closer, if that was possible, as if she had heard these thoughts. "You were willing... to die for me, Gabrielle," she blubbered, into the bard’s shoulder. "By the gods... I thought I’d lost you... forever!"
"Sh-h," Gabrielle soothed. "You didn’t... lose me. We’re here to... gether now," she continued, hiccupping from the tears she’d shed. "Like you said... that’s all that matters... we’re together."
"Ares! That bastard!" Xena growled, as she straightened up, brushing tears from her cheeks. "You just wait’ll I get my hands on him, I’ll..."
Gabrielle reached out and touched the warrior’s cheek, realizing Xena’s grief had turned to anger now, as it often did. "Xena, please... don’t let him... come between us... right now, hmm?"
Xena gazed into her true love’s eyes, seeing in them all that she’d ever needed and wanted, just waiting for her to reach out, grab hold of and never let go. She took the hand on her face and led it to her lips where she kissed the palm softly and tenderly, without breaking eye contact with those lovely sea-green orbs. "I love you... so much, Gabrielle."
The bard nibbled her lower lip. "And... I love you, too, Xena." She urged the warrior’s face closer to her own.
Their lips met once again, this time turning into a more passionate embrace. The warrior’s lips still quivered slightly, her bottom one caressing Gabrielle’s in that oh so familiar way; her tongue gently urging the bard’s into that so slow and sensual dance that only they knew the rhythm to.
Xena had known, from just the one light kiss she’d ventured to place upon a pair of lips that had looked identical to Gabrielle’s, that those lips, that woman was not her lover. But this had not been something she could explain to anyone else, at the time.
Now hearing and especially feeling Gabrielle’s breathing increase; the exhalations issuing forth from the bard’s nose -pressed near her own- and moving slightly with each gentle manipulation of one another’s lips, there was no doubt that this was her lover. She suddenly had the sensation that they were sharing the very same air. What Gabrielle breathed out, Xena was breathing in. The warrior had never experienced anything quite like this before and did not want it to ever end. They were back together again. And Xena’s heart, mind and body were all eager to be reunited in the same way their breath was now mingling together.
When Gabrielle finally broke away, Xena asked on an exhalation, "Can we leave soon? I... need to be with you... in that special way."
"Yes-s," Gabrielle responded, kissing her lover’s cheek. "But, I don’t wanna wait... until we leave."
"Your family...." Xena reminded.
"We all had a hard night. They’re probably asleep," the bard answered against Xena’s neck.
"Joxer..." the warrior added.
The bard groaned, remembering that Joxer was sleeping in the barn, the same place Xena was supposed to be staying. "At this point... I could care less," she muttered, the taste of the warrior’s sweat-salty skin acting like an aphrodisiac on her sorely deprived senses.
"Are you sure?" Xena asked, her breath hot against the bard’s ear.
Gabrielle closed her eyes. She wasn’t sure of anything at this moment, except how much she dearly loved, wanted to lie down with and make love to her beloved warrior. But, right here, so close to her parent’s house would be far too risky, at best. And of course, they both could use a bath. A memory appeared before her closed lids, as if someone had handed it to her on a silver platter. She saw the secluded little cove along the riverbank where she used to play as a child and then later used as a writer’s hideaway. It would be perfect. All they needed was a blanket to lie on. And she knew just where to get one. This would also give her the chance to let someone know where she would be. Lila would just have to understand.
"Meet me at the river," she said, pulling back slowly. "By the bridge into town. You know where I mean?"
Xena nodded. "We’re leaving now?"
"No. I... I know of a secluded spot not far from there, where... we can be alone." Xena arched one dark eyebrow and looked at the ever-lightening sky to the east. "It’s very secluded," the bard assured. "You can only reach it by wading out into the river." Gabrielle stood up.
"Where are you going?" the warrior asked, grabbing her arm.
Gabrielle looked down at Xena’s hand on her arm and thought, This used to be the other way around, didn’t it? Then she responded. "To get a blanket and... tell Lila not to worry."
Questioning blue eyes searched sea-green ones. "You’re going to tell her, aren’t you?"
Gabrielle smiled and placed her hand over Xena’s. "I’m not ashamed of my love for you, Xena. And I think Lila will understand without being told. She understands me. Not quite as well, nor... the way you do , but... she’ll understand." I hope, she added only to herself, as she placed a soft kiss on the back of Xena’s hand. "I’ll be there shortly, don’t worry."
* * * *
Gabrielle was at the window to the bedroom she had once shared with Lila. Memories of Hope flashed unbidden through her mind. She pushed them aside. It’s finally over, she told herself.
"Lila?" she whispered, but received no response. "Li-la!" she hissed a bit louder. Still nothing. She stuck her head in the window, allowing her eyes to adjust to the darkness within. It was possible Lila wasn’t even in bed. She listened for signs of someone being up, moving around in the other rooms. Not a floorboard creaked. And she could now see that the room was unoccupied. Where is she? she wondered. Oh well. She was pulling herself up in order to climb through the window, aiming to get Lila’s blanket, if nothing else and leave her a note.
The bard raised up, smacking her head on the window frame above it. "Ouch! For the love of Zeus!" Gabrielle hissed. "Lila, where did you come from?" she grumbled, gently rubbing the top of her head and hoping her parents had not heard the noise.
"I was taking blankets to Joxer and Xena," her sister hissed back. "Only Xena isn’t out there. What in Tartarus are you doing?"
Gabrielle now noticed the two blankets in Lila’s arms. Thank you, whoever is watching over us, she thought. "I’ll take those," she said, reaching for the blankets.
Lila stepped back. "Why? Where are you going? You and Xena aren’t leaving now, are you?" Her sister’s voice rose several increments in tone and volume.
"Sh-h!" Gabrielle hissed. "No, we’re not leaving yet." She took a step closer and reached for the blankets once again.
Lila held onto them. "Then what do you need the blankets for? I thought you were staying with me in...?" Her sister paused. "Oh-h," she added, seeing the pleading look in Gabrielle’s eyes. She let go of the blankets. "And just what do I tell mother and father?" she grumbled, hands on hips now.
"Tell them... I... went fishing with Xena or something."
"Ga-brielle! You hate fishing," Lila reminded.
"Uh, not anymore I don’t." The bard grinned a bit sheepishly, rearranging the blankets so that they were both rolled up and tucked under her left arm. She finally glanced up at her sister, a pleading look in her eyes.
"You... love her, don’chu?" Lila had to inquire.
Gabrielle bit her lip, then a smile slowly took the place of this expression, as she saw understanding in her sister’s eyes. "Very much," she finally answered.
"Then what are you standing around here for? Get moving before father comes to investigate that noise."
"Thanks, Lila." Gabrielle quickly grabbed her sister and hugged her close. "I knew you’d understand."
"So you and Joxer... aren’t....?"
Gabrielle pulled away, shaking her head. "He’s a good man, Lila. If you think he’s the one for you, don’t let him get away." With that the bard took off around the side of the house.
Lila heard a noise coming from inside the house. The front door creaked open as Gabrielle fled into the shadows of the trees, heading for town. Herodotus, their father, was soon peeking out from behind the door, then moving on out to stand in the doorway, his long tunic dangling to the knees of his pants, a sword in his right hand, quivering ever so slightly.
"Who’s out there?" he called.
"It’s just me, father," Lila answered, stepping into the light.
"Lila? What in the world.... child, I thought you’d be in bed, after all the excitement we had around here last night. What was that noise? Was that you?"
"Uh, yes, I... I was... trying to close this window." She moved quickly over to the window. "The prop seems to be stuck. I thought I could get to it better from out here." She pretended to tug on the piece of wood holding the window shutter open.
"Lemme do that." He walked over and grabbed hold of the stick. It moved easily and the shuttered banged closed. "Women," he said almost under his breath. "What would you do without a man around here? Where’s your sister?" he suddenly asked, realizing she should have been with Lila.
"Uh... well..." Lila’s eyes roamed over in the direction of the outhouse.
"Oh." He then glanced over at the barn not far from it, a frown furrowing his brow. "I’m sure she’ll be leaving tomorrow. Try to talk some sense into her, will you?"
"Yes, Father, but you know how... headstrong she is."
He grunted as he walked by her. "Never shoulda treated her like a little boy when she was younger," he grumbled quietly. "But she was always such a strong little thing... always following behind me and..." His voice trailed off, as he headed for the woods, in the opposite direction Gabrielle had gone, presumably because he believed the outhouse to be presently occupied.
Lila breathed a sigh of relief. If her father really knew of Gabrielle’s true relationship with Xena, she feared it would break his heart. And yet she couldn’t help but wonder why neither of her parents were unable to see what was clearly written on both her sister’s and Xena’s faces.
* * * *
"Xena?" Gabrielle called, peeking over the side of the bridge, where she assumed the warrior would be hiding and waiting.
Strong hands touched the bard’s shoulders. "Looking for me?" the warrior whispered near her ear.
"Xena!" Gabrielle exclaimed. "By the god’s you’re always sneaking up on me these days."
"Um, I like... takin’ you by surprise," the warrior purred in her ear. "Where’d you get those?" she asked, referring to the blankets.
"Lila just so happened to be taking these to the barn for you."
"You tell her?" Xena put her arms around Gabrielle’s waist.
"Not in so many words. But, I think she knows."
Xena groaned. "She’ll tell your mother and father now, right?"
"I don’t think so. Either way, doesn’t matter to me. Come on, let’s get outta here," she added, glancing around them, wondering if anyone was up this time of morning.
Gabrielle led Xena down a well-worn path to the river. At a wide sandy area, where it was obvious many people visited on a regular basis, the bard proceeded over behind some bushes and dropped the blankets.
"You call this secluded?" the warrior questioned.
"No, I told you, you can only get there by wading into the river. Now, take your clothes off. No sense getting them wet. We’ll roll them up in the blankets and carry them over our heads, as I used to do with my scrolls and ink."
"Say that again," Xena prodded. Gabrielle frowned up at her, while unlacing her boots. "Just the first part," the warrior added.
"What? About not getting your clothes wet?"
"No, before that." Xena moved closer. "The other thing you said about my clothes."
Gabrielle straightened up, a slight grin on her face. "Oh, you mean..." She took a step closer herself, after glancing beyond the bushes. "...take your clothes off. Or do I have to take them off for you?" she added.
"Umph, I think... I like the last idea even better," Xena purred and leaned over for a kiss.
Gabrielle did indeed peel the warrior’s clothes off, while glancing around them from time to time, while Xena did the same to her. They were down to their boots when Gabrielle said, "You love livin’ dangerously, don’chu?"
"I thrive on it," the warrior hissed. "That and... your love, of course." Xena pulled the bard close, their naked bodies touching.
"Umm... not here," Gabrielle murmured, pushing away slightly. "Let’s get these boots off and get wet."
"I already am," Xena purred. "Want me to prove it?" She pulled the bard close once again, grinding her desire into her lover’s thigh.
"By the gods," Gabrielle gasped, feeling the immense dampness.
"I’ve been thinking about you while you were getting those blankets," the warrior whispered. "Thinking and dreaming of having you next to me again."
Gabrielle cleared her throat. "Save that thought," she said on an exhalation. "The quicker we get to where we’re going, the quicker we can... make your dreams come true, hmm?"
Xena moaned and reluctantly let go of her lover. In no time flat, the warrior’s boots were dangling from her hands. "Let’s wrap this up," she said with a sly grin.
With their clothes and boots tightly rolled up in the blankets, Gabrielle headed for the river, Xena right behind her. "How deep is the water?" the warrior inquired.
"Used to be up to my neck almost," the bard answered. "But I’ve grown a little taller since then, I think."
Xena grunted. "Hey." She placed a hand on Gabrielle’s shoulder. "Hold this a moment, will ya?" she asked, handing over her rolled up blanket.
"What’s wrong?" Gabrielle queried. "Did you... XE-NA!" she gasped, as the warrior bent over and scooped her up in her arms.
"Just in case it’s deeper than you remember," Xena grunted, rearranging the bard’s weight in her arms. "Now you can hold both blankets up above your head and outta the water."
"Hmm, I like the way you think," Gabrielle commented and leaned in, kissing her lover.
"Ooo, better get you in the water," Xena said, after breaking away rather quickly. "You’re heavier than I thought."
The warrior grinned from ear to ear and proceeded into the slow moving water.
The cove was definitely secluded, being surrounded on three sides by high cliff walls, plus there was an overhang in the far wall, in which they could be out of the sun and out of sight of anyone passing by. Xena reluctantly dropped Gabrielle off at the shore, the bard wanting to get their blankets laid out before they bathed, among other things. Xena decided to go for a leisurely swim and loosen up tense, sore muscles while waiting on her lover.
After getting everything prepared -laying out their blankets and their clothes, in their usual positions, as well as, Xena’s weapons easily accessible, as always- Gabrielle finally waded out into the river. She could not see Xena; for, there was an early morning fog hanging close over the water, but she knew the warrior would not be far away. She was probably watching her right now, with her keen eyesight, just waiting for the chance to pounce and scare the living daylights out of her.
When this didn’t happen, however, Gabrielle busied herself washing up, as best she could, without any soap. She was leaning her head back in the water and becoming a bit concerned, when a dark head surfaced in front of her. Xena came up out of the water slowly, eyes wide open, lips slightly parted, tongue making a growling, "R" rolling sound in the back of her throat, as water cascaded over her face and dribbled from her lips. Strong hands reached out to the bard’s waist and pulled her close. A wet face moved towards her; mouth slightly open; bottom lip quivering slightly and seeking out her own. Xena’s passionate kiss nearly took her breath away.
"Oh-h Xena,... I missed you so," Gabrielle said, breaking away to catch her breath.
"Sh-h, love, no words, hmm?" the warrior requested. She then covered the bard’s lips with her own, once again. Her kisses were soft, tender caresses now; their breath mingling together as one. Gabrielle’s arms instinctively went around Xena’s neck.
The branches of the trees along the riverbank were slowly coming alive with a myriad of birdcalls; the feathered creatures seemingly greeting the new day with song. The river slowly gurgled its way southward, an occasional splash could be heard now and then as the fish seemed to dance their morning greeting as well. These sounds, however, hardly penetrated the bard or her lover’s consciousness. These two were far too engrossed in the rhythm of their own breathing and the slight smacking sounds of wet lips parting and coming together over and over again.
Soft sighs soon began escaping the bard’s lips, when Xena’s hands roamed over her bare buttocks and then cupped each cheek. The warrior’s thigh pressed against Gabrielle’s desire. The bard broke away from their lips’ embrace to catch her breath. Undaunted, Xena moved on to her ear. Her tongue lightly circled the outer edge, her breath hot and heavy. Usually, at this point, the warrior would have said, "I want you, Gabrielle." But this time she uttered not a word. She merely filled her lover’s ear with her tongue.
The bard’s knees felt weak. One leg instinctively lifted, rubbing against the outside of Xena’s, then wrapping itself around it. The warrior grunted softly, as she cupped the bard’s behind and lifted her up. Gabrielle wrapped both legs around her lover’s hips now and clung to her, as Xena nibbled and sucked on her neck. She inhaled the warrior’s scent. With no soaps to mask it, it was pure Xena with only a tinge of river water mixed in. The taste was wet, sweet and tangy at the same time. And Gabrielle loved it. Soaps and perfumes, though nice, were nothing compared to Xena’s own unique aroma, especially when it came to arousing Gabrielle.
Xena worked her way forward on the bard’s neck. Gabrielle slowly loosened the grip on her neck and eased back, when the warrior’s tongue stroked her Adam’s apple, then continued on down to the hollow of her throat.
"Umm," the warrior murmured. Gabrielle eased back even further, her chest rising instinctively, and breasts desiring their share of the exquisite tongue-lashing.
Xena captured one dark pink nipple with her lips, stroking the sensitive membrane and feeling it grow hard and erect. Her tongue circled this protrusion slowly now, sensing the puckered flesh of the bard’s aureole and reveling in the knowledge that she had this effect on Gabrielle. She groaned as a wave of delicious arousal flowed over her. And she was soon sucking hungrily at the bard’s breast, the taste of its slight emissions urging her onward in her quest.
"Oh-h, uh-huh!" Gabrielle murmured, her head thrown back, long hair just barely dipping into the water, arms stretched out their full length and still clinging to the warrior’s neck.
Xena looked up, watching this display. No, not just watching, she was mesmerized by the glow that appeared to have returned to Gabrielle’s cheeks, along with the intense look of pleasure on her lovely visage. And for the first time in her life, Xena allowed herself a moment to covet the male appendage. She would have given almost anything at that moment, to be able to enter her lover’s sanctuary; filling her with a part of herself, moving in rhythm with her, hands still free to hold her up. She groaned at the injustice of it all. Then just as quickly as the thought came, she pushed it aside and moved onto the other breast awaiting her eager mouth; lavishing it with as much, if not more attention than the previous one.
The next time she looked up, she could see that the early morning fog was burning off rather quickly. A tingle shot through her at the prospect of being watched; for, it was one of her fantasies. But just as quickly, the pleasurable tingle was replaced with a ripple of fear. For, although Xena believed she could handle any danger that might come her way these days, she knew from experience the hazards of their sexuality being witnessed. And in a small town like Poteidaia, she knew exactly how high the cost of discovery might be for Gabrielle. And it was far more than Xena was willing to pay for a momentary thrill.
She eased back and pulled her lover upright. Gabrielle gazed up at her with heavy lidded green eyes, filled with desire. Oh how Xena dearly loved that look. She pressed her lover’s body against her, Gabrielle’s head going to her shoulder and then began carrying her towards the shore.
The bard had previously set up their blankets underneath the overhang and Xena carried her to them, trudging through the sandy soil with only a few grunts; her lover busy nibbling on her neck, fanning the flames of desire.
Xena slowly dropped down to her knees and gently laid her lover back on the blankets; her body settling between the bard’s thighs. She hovered over Gabrielle for a moment, enjoying the lusty, needy look in her lover’s eyes. Normally, she would have asked, "Do you want me?" in order to hear Gabrielle’s sultry voice reply, "Yes, take me, Xena.", the magic words that set the warrior on fire every time. And yet this time, she uttered not one syllable. The answer to her question was staring back at her from the depths of two beautiful sea-green orbs.
Their lips met as Xena positioned her arms beneath Gabrielle’s; their wet bodies coming together fully. The warrior groaned; Gabrielle moaned, the latter’s breathing increasing; the ardor of her kisses setting Xena’s loins on fire. The bard wrapped her legs back around Xena’s hips, one foot trailing down the back of the warrior’s calf. Xena moaned once again. She did not know why this felt so erotic to her, yet she knew it was an open invitation from the woman beneath her; a signal that she was more than ready to proceed with satisfying that ache inside.
Slowly, Xena’s hips began moving to a rhythm only they knew the beat to. The warrior nibbled and sucked at her lover’s lips, watching every nuance of change in the expressions crossing her lover’s beautiful visage. Normally, she would have moved on to Gabrielle’s neck now, working her way towards that sensitive spot that drove the bard wild with desire. Yet, she didn’t do that now, either; for, she wanted to prolong the moment; draw it out as long as she possibly could; savor that expression of ecstasy on her lover’s features.
* * * *
Their lovemaking was very slow and tender. Not hurried or aggressive in any manner or aspect. Xena maintained eye contact with Gabrielle’s face throughout. Seeing the flush rise into the bard’s cheeks; her lover wetting and nibbling her own lips from time to time, Xena could feel her own orgasm building momentum. She wanted to prolong it further; to wait for Gabrielle. And yet her lover was steady pressing her onward; hips arching slowly; legs wrapped tightly around the warrior’s, keeping their desires in constant contact. Xena bit her own lower lip, trying desperately to hold back. But the fires of her passion could not be contained. Gab-bri-elle! she silently exclaimed in her mind, as her lower body burst into flames; her legs quivering in the throes of bliss. She attacked the bard’s neck now, in that special place. Gabrielle moaned uncontrollably, as Xena kept up her pursuit of rapture far beyond her own climax; pushing herself to what she felt was the very limit of her endurance.
"Xe-na! Oh-h XE-E-NA!!" the bard cried out, no longer able to hold the words back. "Oh-ho-ho-ho-huh!!!"
Xena moaned right alongside Gabrielle; the intensity of her lover’s orgasm sending her up and over yet another precipice of passion. Colored lights burst before the warrior’s closed eyelids. "Uh-huh-huh-h!" she groaned, slightly out of tune with the bard’s moans, her lower body going completely limp a few moments later. She literally collapsed on top of Gabrielle, tears stinging her eyes, a large burning lump growing in her throat.
"Umm... yea gods, you’re... incredible," the bard whispered.
"I... l-love... y-you," Xena responded, her voice cracking on each word. She nuzzled her face into her lover’s neck.
"Xena? What’s wrong?" the bard inquired, concern evident in her voice.
"Nu... Nu-thin’," the proud warrior answered, trying hard to hold back the emotions welling up inside, yet her voice was betraying her.
Obviously not satisfied with this answer, Gabrielle moved her head away from Xena’s. She then reached up and brushed the warrior’s dark hair back from her face. "Xena! You’re crying!" she announced, as if this were news to the warrior, herself. "What is it? What’s wrong?" the bard lifted her lover’s chin.
"I... I just... love you... s-so v-very... m-much," Xena stammered, forcing the words out around the large lump in her throat.
"Oh-h!" Gabrielle squeaked, caressing Xena’s tear-streaked face. "Oh my... strong... proud warrior," she whispered, then placed a soft kiss at the corner of Xena’s mouth, tears filling her own eyes now. "I think... I could fall... in love with you... all over again, if... that’s possible."
It’s possible, Xena thought, for I’m way ahead of you on this one, my love. Unable to force these words around that lump, which felt like it was the size of an apple now, Xena settled for placing soft, tender kisses upon her true love’s lips, hoping to convey by osmosis, the depth of her feelings.
Their breath, as well as their tears intermingled now, at they both continued to say with their lips gentle caresses what their hearts and souls were saying loud and clear within the confines of their own bodies.
* * * *
Xena awoke first, as always. A cool breeze was blowing into their sheltered cove; the sun past its zenith. Gabrielle was laying in her arms, in her usual position, one arm around Xena’s waist and one leg crossed over hers. Xena dared not move; Gabrielle looked too peaceful to disturb. Instead she merely gazed upon her lover’s exquisite countenance, taking in every minute detail.
I love you, Gabrielle, she thought, More than anyone I’ve ever known. You’ve broken down my walls, my love. You’ve opened up my heart with your gentle, loving ways. And now you dwell inside me, touching my very soul and leading me along this path we walk together. You are my inspiration... my source, she continued, her right hand rising to touch the bard’s face, yet pausing at the very last moment. Without you, my life has no direction, no purpose, no... meaning. Her index finger lightly traced the contours of her true love’s bow shaped lips, without touching them. Without you, Gabrielle, I am nothing. I am empty.... a mere shell... a body without a soul. You mean the world to me, my love. No, you are my world. My sun rises and sets in your eyes.
The vision of their deaths, which Alti had caused Xena to witness, flashed before her mind’s eye suddenly. No! she silently screamed, her fingers trembling now at the mere thought of this vision coming true.
Gabrielle sighed heavily in her sleep; her breath bathing Xena’s fingers in their warmth and drawing her from that hellish trance. Yes, love... just breathe, she thought. Breathe the warmth and light of your love into my chilled and darkened heart. Breathe life into my world, as only you can. I don’t know what you see in me, but... I know I have indeed been blessed to have you share my life.
One green eye suddenly fluttered open briefly. "Umm," the bard murmured, right before this eye slowly closed and she snuggled closer. "I like that," she uttered, as if she had heard Xena’s thoughts.
"Like wh-what?" the warrior had to ask.
"Watching me sleep," Gabrielle murmured, then yawned. "You’re always watching over me. I feel so safe with you."
"How’d you know I was watching you sleep?"
"I could feel your breathing change." Both green eyes fluttered open now. "I’ve... been awake... dozing off and on, for a while now. I even... watched you sleeping... for a little bit." She yawned contentedly.
Xena knew what Gabrielle meant now. The feeling of being watched over and protected finagled its way into her heart, creating a warm afterglow effect in its wake.
Gabrielle raised up now and crawled over on top of her lover. Then she merely lay down, head nestling against Xena’s shoulder, face against her neck. "I believe I have... fallen madly in love with you, again," she whispered. "Think it’s possible?"
Xena smiled. "Been there... done that," she responded, her fingers busy tracing patterns on her lover’s bare back.
"With who?" Gabrielle’s head shot up. Narrowed green eyes stared down at the warrior.
"With you, silly. Who else?" Xena brushed her lover’s hair back from her face.
"Oh." The bard laid her head back down. "You’re always one step ahead of me," she added, with another yawn.
"Not always," Xena murmured, thinking if she had known what Gabrielle was going to do about Hope, she would have stopped her. Then it suddenly hit her that if she had been able to stop Gabrielle, then she would not have gone to the Amazon Land of the Dead; never known Alti had trapped all those Amazon’s souls; never have released them from their bondage. But someone is always one step ahead of me, she thought.
A sudden breeze whipped across the sand, creating a small whirlwind that quickly dissipated before it reached the two lovers. It merely bathed them in its refreshing coolness. "Umm," Gabrielle murmured, holding her head up and letting the breeze sweep across her face. Xena looked on, wondering when she’d ever seen a more beautiful site than the pink glow to her lover’s cheeks, the quaint smile on her face, and those long silky blonde tresses being buffeted by the cool current of air.
"Oh-h-hmm," Gabrielle yawned, laying her head back on Xena’s shoulder and snuggling close again. "Guess we should get back and... visit with my family before we move on in search of Argo, tomorrow." And yet, the bard made absolutely no move whatsoever to get up; if anything she snuggled closer.
"Yes, I suppose you should," Xena agreed.
"We should," the bard corrected, raising her head once again. "You’re a part of my life, Xena. You should be a part of this family, whether... they like it or not."
"After all that has happened here lately, you expect them to want me as a part of the family?" Xena asked, incredulously.
"You saved them and a lot of other people, Xena. They know that. Just... give them a chance to say so." Gabrielle rose up a bit further and glanced out at the river. "‘Course taking some plump trout home for supper wouldn’t hurt matters any." She gazed down at Xena.
"Oh my, what a major little manipulator you are. No wonder you stole my heart so easily."
Gabrielle arched one light brown eyebrow. "I didn’t have to steal your heart, oh great and noble warrior," she countered with a smile. "You gave it to me quite willingly... as I remember."
Xena smiled now too. "How right you are, my love. And not just once, but twice now." To emphasize this statement, she pulled her lover back down and covered the bard’s lips with her own.
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