THIS IS A STORY OF A TIME LONG AGO
A TIME BEFORE SCALES AND CALORIE COUNTERS
WHEN THE GODS WERE PETTY AND CRUEL AND ..
PLAGUED MANKIND WITH TOO MANY TEMPTATIONS
"I don't know," came the response. "Let's see," Xena took a dagger out of her saddlebags, stood against a tree and put the tip of the dagger into the tree just above her head. Xena then knelt down and began measuring her height. She began at the base of the tree, stretched out her hand counting the hands as she moved up the tree to the dagger. "There," she says, "I'm nine hands high."
"How much do you weigh?"
"What! Gabrielle . Why all of the questions?" Xena grumbles at her talkative friend.
"In Athens when I was at the Academy for Bards, I took a nutrition class. Just checking to see if you are the right weight for your height."
"I feel fine." Xena knew it was hopeless to argue with Gabrielle over such matters so she gave in. "There's a river about another days walk from here. I'll weigh when we get there, okay?" Gabrielle smiled and nodded her acceptance. Xena curled the corner of her mouth, looked at Gabrielle and shook her head.
The next morning when they reached the river, Xena looked at Gabrielle. "Okay, we're here. Let's get this over with so we can have breakfast. I can't believe you wouldn't let me eat until after you weighed me."
Gabrielle stood looking around and finally spotted what she needed. "Xena, the long flat piece of wood over there should do the trick."
Xena flapped her arms to her sides and walked over to get the wood. "Okay what now?" Xena's patience was wearing thin the louder her stomach growled.
"Place the center of the wood over that small boulder," Gabrielle points to a rather large rock beside the river. Xena does what she is asked. "Okay Xena, stand on one side and I'll place these river rocks on the other. When you and the rocks are both teetering that will tell me how much you weigh.
"What's taking so long, Gabrielle, I'm hungry."
"I have to get rocks that feel the same. I'm almost done. Twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven " Gabrielle looked up at the magnificent warrior.
"Wait a minute. Here take my sword and chakram." Xena hands her weapons to Gabrielle and the wood balances back in her favor.
"Okay, this is better," Gabrielle says as she first removes one rock then another. "Xena, you are 25 rocks."
"Good. Now can I have something to eat?" Gabrielle nodded and went to collect firewood to start the fire. Xena returns with two nice plump trout. She cleans them and puts them on to cook. "Xena, how old are you?"
"How old Xena?"
"Twenty eight winters. Okay, is there anything else you seem to have to know? I am nine hands tall, weigh 25 rocks and am 28 winters old. Hobbies include keeping my sword sharp in case I'm annoyed by any more of these questions," Xena said raising one eyebrow.
"Okay, okay. I think breakfast is ready." Gabrielle exclaims holding her hands out slowly backing away from the warrior.
After breakfast, the two women packed their supplies and headed north towards the mountains. Xena had gotten word that a warlord was headed toward a small village and she wanted to be there to greet him. As they walked up the mountain the temperature was dropping and clouds were blowing in. "Gabrielle, we need to do what we are coming her for then leave right away. Otherwise, we'll be trapped here by the snow."
They were walking down a small narrow canyon. Xena was very alert and aware of her surroundings. Suddenly, three men jumped from the brush that lined the canyon. Xena quickly drew her sword, moving Gabrielle behind her. The men charged but were no match for the warrior. She quickly dispatched them, turned to Gabrielle and said, "Nothing like a good ambush to start the day." Xena smiles as she puts her unused sword away.
'XENA, LOOK OUT" Gabrielle yelled. Just as Xena looked up several large rocks fell off the top edge of the canyon. With no time to move, Xena covered her head as she was hit by the falling rock. "Xena! Xena!" Gabrielle screamed but there was no answer. She began moving rock after rock until she unburied Xena. With her friend unconscious, Gabrielle checks for and finds a steady, strong pulse. She wraps Xena in their blankets and drags her out of the canyon. With the road back down the mountain blocked she had no chose but to head up the mountain.
There was a small one-room cabin not far from the rockfall. She dragged Xena inside and collapsed. When she got her breath back, she knew it was up to her to take care of things. She checked on Xena, who was sill un moving. Gabrielle knew she had to heat the cabin to keep Xena warm. She started a fire with the small pile of wood inside by the previous tenant. Then she headed out with Xena's sword in hand to cut enough wood to last the night.
When she returned, Gabrielle laid the wood next to the fireplace. Then she put a pot of water over the flame to boil. Her task was to take care of her friend. She unwrapped the blankets she had put around Xena earlier so she could check her friend for injuries. Xena had a mild concussion, a broken left arm, a broken left leg, several cracked ribs and numerous cuts and bruises. Looking at the extent of the warrior's injuries Gabrielle could only think about how close it came, once again to loosing her warrior. "Oh Xena I am so sorry." She said aloud then whispered "I love you"
Gabrielle washed and cleaned all the cuts and set her arm using one piece of wood she cut just for that purpose. Her leg was another matter. Xena's bone protruded through the skin. While Gabrielle helped Xena on several occasions treat injuries such as these, she never actually set a bone like this. Gabrielle sucked in her breath, grabbed a hold of the leg, pulled and twisted it until the bone was in place. Finally, she used the leather twine and needle in the sack to sew the skin together the best she could. She was not Xena, so there would be a scar no matter how careful she tried to stitch the skin closed.
After Xena was taken care of Gabrielle ate a small dinner of dried meat and stale bread. She didn't want to move away from this woman she had grown to love more then life itself.
Gabrielle talked to Xena for the next hour telling her how she felt about her and hoping against hope there was the same feelings coming from the warrior. She had noticed how Xena had changed somewhat whenever they got close enough to touch. At first Gabrielle didn't understand it but as time passed she knew why. "If you could only tell me how you feel Xena." Gabrielle softly said while stroking the long dark hair of the warrior.
Gabrielle soon fell asleep next to her friend as she watched over her. She moved up close to her. If Xena moved at all during the night she wanted to know about it. Gabrielle leaned over kissing Xena lightly on the lips. "I love you Xena," she said as she drifted off into a restless sleep. Gabrielle woke several times during the night checking on the warrior until finally she saw a glimmer or daylight through the only shuttered window in the cabin.
She immediately checked on Xena. There had been no change. Gabrielle cleaned and applied suave to the cuts to keep out any infection. She knew her warrior would be okay soon. Once again she leaned down lightly brushing her lips and telling her the words she swore she would no longer hid from her no matter what. "I love you Xena, please get well."
Gabrielle knew she would have to go into the nearest village to get supplies. She remembered Xena's warning about the snows coming to this part of Greece. Gabrielle stirred the fire adding the thickest longs to it hoping to keep it burning for the hours she would be gone. Gabrielle explained all her movements to an unconscious Xena as she went about her tasks. She needed to talk to her. She needed to feel like Xena was listening even though she couldn't answer.
Before Gabrielle left for the village she was sure Xena was comfortable and warm. She counted their dinars. Only 75 left. "Oh well" she said. "It will have to be enough." She knew it would take some time for Xena to heal enough to move on. "I'll be back soon my love," she said stroking Xena's soft cheek.
Just after sunset Gabrielle returned to the cabin. She first checked on Xena. No change. Her heart sank but she was back now and wouldn't have to leave her again. She put more wood on the fire then unloaded the cart the merchant let her use to haul supplies up the mountain with the promise she would leave it there and he would fetch it in the spring.
Gabrielle started to fix a meager dinner for herself.
"Gabrielle?" came a weak voice from behind her.
"Xena, your awake. Your going to be okay, I promise." Gabrielle flashed a loving smile at the warrior. "I'm sorry I had to leave you alone all day, but there was no other way. We needed supplies. I got everything we need to last for awhile. The woods are full of rabbit and squirrel and the lake's not far from here either."
Gabrielle got food and water for Xena knowing how weak she was she insisted on helping her against Xena's protests. "Xena, when you get some strength back you can do this, until then just shut up and eat." Gabrielle said looking at the protesting warrior. Xena's eyebrow shot up and she decided she was in no position to argue.
With dinner done the warrior was trying to stay awake but kept drifting in and out of sleep. Gabrielle helped her get comfortable enough to sleep. "Aren't you going to lay down to, you must be exhausted after going into the village and pulling a cart up the mountain." Xena commented.
The bard thought resting would be a good idea since she got so little of it the night before. She pulled her blanket away from her friend and laid down facing her.
"Aren't you going to cuddle up to me tonight like you have been." The warrior's voice was soft.
"You know?" Gabrielle asked with surprise in her voice. "What else do you know?" She wanted to know just how much the warrior heard of her talking while she was unconscious
"I know that last night you stroked my hair, kissed me softly and told me that you loved me." The warriors eyes brimming with a tear.
Gabrielle couldn't say anything. She was afraid at what the warrior was thinking.
Xena smiled softly at the bard reaching out for her wanting the contact. "I love you too!" She said keeping eye contact.
Gabrielle moved next to her, putting her hand of Xena's cheek she looked deep into the eyes that held love for her. "Xena, I " Xena put her finger to the bards lips to stop her. "Please, let me." The warrior said her expression turning serious. "Gabrielle, I have loved you for what seems forever but I wasn't sure how you felt and didn't want to do anything that would jeopardize what we had. If the only way to keep you close was to just be friends then that would have to be enough for me. I never want to loose you."
"I love you my warrior. We can talk in the morning and the rest of our lives, but tonight, you sleep. You are going to need to get your strength back and get healed." Gabrielle said smiling and stroking the warriors hair. She leaned in to kiss Xena and for the first time it was returned. Gabrielle moved as close as she dared and placed a soft hand on Xena's thigh as they both fell into a contented sleep.
Several days and nights had passed. Gabrielle would wake up every morning next to her warrior. She was quickly becoming accustomed to the soft kisses she received every morning from her already awake warrior. The hugs were gentle even though both wanted so much more. Every morning after breakfast Gabrielle would go out cut more wood, check her traps and tell Xena story after story. Xena had noticed that most of her stories took on a more romantic quality since they finally admitted to each other how they feel.
Xena was mending quiet well much to Gabrielle's delight. But she did notice that the warrior's appetite also increased. One day as Xena was eating her third piece of sweetbread Gabrielle looked at her. Xena just shrugged her shoulders. "Well, there's nothing else to do."
"Maybe, we should find something else for you to do, huh." Gabrielle smiled seductively at the warrior.
"Come here" the warrior purred as she stretched out her right arm.
"Xena, we talked about this, I want you well first." Gabrielle said smiling and winking at Xena.
Two moons had passed and Xena was well on the mend. There was hardly a trace of the cuts and the bruises were gone. Her arm was still sore but she kept exercising it so she could wrap it around her bard just as soon as she would let her. The ribs were all but healed and the leg was well on its way. 'tonight' thought Xena, 'tonight my bard' her thoughts turned to holding Gabrielle and making love to her for the first time.
That night as they were getting ready for bed. Gabrielle removed her clothes and reached for her nightshirt. Xena put a hand out "Please don't" was all she said as the bard dropped her shirt to the floor. She helped Xena out of her nightshirt; something Xena had been wearing since the accident except when she wore Gabrielle's so her own could be laundered.
They stood frozen in time looking at each other. Xena stepped close and wrapped her arms around the bard. They both moaned at the contact of skin on skin. In the past two moons they had touched each other but not in much of a sexual way. It was hard enough for both of them to keep this part of their desires tucked away while they waited for Xena to heal.
Xena wanted a million times to make love to Gabrielle before now but she wanted their first time to be special and that meant holding the bard the way she was now. With both arms around her pulling her close to her own body.
Gabrielle tilted her head up to capture those beautiful blue eyes. Eyes she wanted to see until the end of time.
Xena lowered her head and captured Gabrielle's lips. The kiss was soft like it has been then the passion and hunger over took them both. Xena pressed herself into Gabrielle. She parted the bard's lips with her tongue and explored every inch of the bard's mouth. Their tongues danced with each other. Not breaking the kisses the lovers moved over to their bed in the corner. Laying down gently Xena lowered herself on top of her bard. She continued to kiss her until they had to break apart to catch their breath.
"I love you Gabrielle" Xena whispered into the bards ear as she nuzzled on it sending shivers down Gabrielle's back.
Xena slowly moved her hand over the bards body feeling every part of her finally coming to rest on Gabrielle's breast. She took her nipple in her hand squeezing it gently to immediate hardness. Gabrielle squirmed beneath her, loving the feel of Xena on her. She had wondered what it would be like and all her dreams were about to come true.
Xena needed to taste her love. She moved slowly down her body to take the already hard nipple into her mouth. As she moved to capture the other nipple her hand slid gently downward until it rested in the soft curly hair she had longed to touch.
"Yes Xena" the bard said encouraging the warrior's exploration of her body.
"I've wanted so long ." Xena started to say when she recaptured the hard nipple in her warm wet mouth as her had slid down to finally touch the bard's most intimate place. Xena was surprised but pleased at the wetness she felt. Gabrielle was about to belong to her for now and forever.
"Gabrielle" Xena moaned lowering her head and body to kiss this woman down the rest of her body.
"I'm your Xena. All my love, all my hopes, all my dreams are yours" the bard confessed.
Xena replaced her fingers with her tongue. Gently moving her tongue over the swollen nub. Placing her fingers at Gabrielle's entrance she waited for a sign from her love to let her know what she was about to do was okay. Gabrielle's raised her hips moving herself into Xena's mouth and hips. She wanted to wait until her love was on the verge of her first climax before entering her. She listened to Gabrielle's breathing as it came more labored and faster. The warrior knew it wouldn't be long now.
Gabrielle wrapped her hands in the blanket beneath her. Her head moved from side to side as her hips moved wildly, wanting more. Just as she felt new sensations coursing through her body her lover pushed her fingers into her. Gabrielle screamed Xena's name as her body took on a life of its own. Xena brought Gabrielle to a second climax within seconds of the first then a third.
"Please .no more " Gabrielle moaned unable to say anything else.
Xena raised her head and crawled up the bard's body. She gently removed her fingers holding on to her love. "You okay" she questioned.
Gabrielle shook her head then whispered "Water"
Xena chuckled and went to get the water skin left on the table. She sat down on the edge of the bed holding Gabrielle up to take a drink. "Had enough?" the warrior asked before setting it down.
"Yes, thank you" Gabrielle managed to say as her senses were slowly returning to her.
"Wow, why didn't you tell me what it was like"
"I couldn't do it justice. It is just one of those things you need to experience" Xena said stroking Gabrielle's bare back.
"Well, in that case" Gabrielle reached up pulling the warrior down on the bed.
"Wow what" the bard asked.
"Where did you learn that" Xena asked between deep breathes.
"I have a very active imagination sometimes" she smiled into Xena's lips as she kissed her again and again.
The night passed to quickly for the women. The sun was rising just as they both fell into a deep sleep holding each other tightly, entwining their bodies.
The lovers spent the next week making love, exploring each others bodies, learning everything there was to learn about each others responses all the soft noises the other made. This new side to their relationship was growing with each passing day. It seemed as if they could not or did not want to be out of the others arms.
One sunny afternoon after their lovemaking Xena held her bard in her arms and said as gently as she could. "Gabrielle, we need to get out of here soon."
"I know" the bard admitted sitting up. "It's just that this place is so special" Xena put a finger to her lovers lips. "I know, I feel the same way but you know we have to go."
A tear filled the bards eyes as she shook her head knowing they would be leaving in the morning.
During the night the mountain was covered with snow again. Gabrielle felt a little guilty seeing the disappointed look on the warrior's face.
"I think we can still"
Gabrielle cut her off. "Xena in case you haven't noticed, the snow outside is still over knee deep. We couldn't find the trail even if you were completely healed." Gabrielle said pointing to the still mending leg.
As the days passed, Xena continued her eating binges. Gabrielle kept her scrolls making not of Xena's appetite. Gabrielle was amazed at her loves appetite especially since she always ate more then her.
It had been three and a half moons since her injuries. Finally, the snow had melted allowing the women the chance to leave the cabin. Xena was more then ready. It took them three nights to prepare enough dry meats and breads for the journey.
The day finally came for them to begin their journey down the mountain. Xena was up by first light waking Gabrielle with soft kisses over her face. For the first time in three and a half moons Xena put on her leathers. She pulled and tugged. "Boy, these are a little tight," she said to herself. "The cold must have shrunk them."
"I don't think so." Gabrielle chuckled while she watched her friend trying to squeeze into the leather outfit.
"Gabrielle?" Xena looked puzzled.
"I'm sorry Xena," Gabrielle said as she stood up next to the warrior helping her lace up the back. "You have outdone yourself in the food department since we've been here."
"I can't go out and be a warrior like this. I can't move!! How am I suppose to fight? Gabrielle, you have to help me." Xena pleaded grabbing Gabrielle's arm.
"Okay, First let's see what we need to do. Let's go back to the river to weigh you again."
"Let's go!" Xena said with some urgency. The two lovers packed their belongings and off they went. It took all day for them to reach the river. They both were glad to be off that mountain and into warmer weather. As night falls Xena is anxious to get started. "Let's weigh me,"
"Xena it's too dark and besides it would be better to do it in the morning." So the two set up camp. Their dinner consisted of dried venison, fruit and bread. Gabrielle offered Xena a piece of sweet bread for dessert. Xena just waved her hand, looking away.
The next morning Xena was up early. She had already started the fire again, caught some trout for breakfast, and set up the scale for Gabrielle. She even placed rocks next to the scale so it would be easier for Gabrielle.
"Okay, Xena are you ready for this?"
Xena stood on one side as Gabrielle started placing the stones on the other. "Twenty-five, twenty-six, twenty-seven "
"Wait, Wait. Here take my sword and chakram." Xena handed her weapons to Gabrielle. "Twenty-eight, twenty-nine. There we are. Xena you now weigh twenty-nine rocks."
"Wait. Here take my armor and grieves," Xena said
"Xena, it won't make any difference and besides you had them on the first time I weighed you." Gabrielle said stubbornly.
Xena signed, "I gained four rocks. I can't believe it. I gained four rocks, Gabrielle."
"It will be okay my love. We'll work on this together. But you have to co-operate and do as I say. No arguments, no discussions, no threating me with your sharp sword, understand?" Xena sighed and nodded her head in agreement.
"Okay, first of all exercise. Now remember you have just healed from your injuries so we'll take it easy at first. We'll start with a brisk walk every morning. We'll have to walk till the sun reaches the peak in the sky there. Gabrielle points to a position in the sky. That will cast shadows so we can use the same point wherever we are. Then we'll rest some before starting some weight lifting exercises. These rocks and that wood should work. And finally, some stretching and love making to keep the old heart pumping" Gabrielle said smiling at the warrior.
"Okay, but we can't go into any towns or anything until I fit back into my leathers," Xena frowned looking down at herself and feeling the uncomfortable tightness of the leathers.
"Fair enough. If we need anything I'll go in and get it. Then meet you back on the road, agreed."
Xena smiled an appreciating smile at Gabrielle and mouthed the words, "Thank-you."
Three moons later, after Xena began her weight loss plan with Gabrielle's guidance, she felt good. Her endurance, strength, and flexibility had increased. In fact, she felt better than before her injuries. The final test, her leathers. As she dressed that morning, she debated. "Should I give it another few days?" she thought to herself. She finally shrugged her shoulders and slipped them on. They felt good, just the way they should. Xena smiled. She walked over to where Gabrielle was sleeping, "Gabrielle, wake up!"
As Gabrielle opened her eyes, all she could see was that beautiful white smile on Xena's face. "What is it, Xena?" Xena stood, extended her arms out to the side and turned around. Gabrielle smiled. All the arguments and hard work had paid off. The smile on Xena's face was enough for her.
"Come on Gabrielle. Let's pack camp and get going. But first, weigh me."
"Twenty-five, twenty-six "
"Wait my sword and chakram, Gabrielle."
Gabrielle chuckled as she took the weapons and laid them down beside her. "Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five. There Xena. You're back to twenty-five rocks."
They were on the road to Cira when three armed bandits jumped from the underbrush. "Well, well ladies. This is a robbery. Be nice and turn over your dinars. You can then pass unharmed."
"And if we don't?" Xena said dryly, narrowing her eyes.
"Then we take what we want," says the bandit
Xena tilts her head, draws her sword and twirls it in one fluid movement. Placing herself between the bandits and Gabrielle she motions for them to attack.
Xena stands looking at the three men lying unconscious on the ground. She twirls towards Gabrielle with that familiar sparkle in her eye. "Nothing like a good ambush to get things going first thing, huh."
Gabrielle smiles back, leans on her staff and says to herself 'here we go again.'
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