The Innocent
by Bedbard

Standard Disclaimer: The characters of Xena, Gabrielle and Argo all belong to Universal Studios and Renaissance Pictures. No infringement is intended and no moneys will be made from the creation of this story.

Sexual Content: This story is alternative. It shows a sexual relationship between two adult consensual women and intended for readers over the age of l8. If it's illegal where you are, please stop reading now. If it's illegal in your area of the world, please move on to something else. This story's sexual relationship is between Xena and an unknown female. Our bard is still innocent. (For now)

     Innocent ? Yes, like you. An innocent. A statement delivered so casually with a smile, yet so matter of factly. The flicker in your eyes ? The excitement of rekindling old friendships. A glimpse into a past before me. A past I know nothing about. I felt a joy for you...and for me. Rediscovering, reclaiming friends of your youth. Allowing me to discover you. Sharing a bit of your life with me. How then, was I to know this innocent statement would change both our lives so drastically?
    I was sitting at a table in the dark recesses of the tavern. A half-empty mug of my usual port wine in hand. One of several
mugs littering the table. Tired from the long journey into the village, and tired of waiting for someone to relieve my boredom.
I tried to remain amicable as patron and barmaid alike exchanged pleasantries with me. (You know how much I love that.) I wondered where you were. Surely you would be here soon. But that nagging ache of doubt kept gnawing at the back of my consciousness. What if she is tired of you? What if she doesn't show? What if something happened? She should be here by now. Why isn't she here? Just as these many thoughts began eroding what remained of my even temper, a familiar silhouette filled the doorway. Thank the gods!! I said to myself, bringing my ire down a few notches. Still, the edge remained in my conscious. That is...until you flashed that wonderfully enigmatic smile in my direction. Suddenly, the wait was forgotten. The strain of the last few days melted from my body. I returned the smile. The distance closed between us as you approached my table.
     I thought, "My soul has returned to me." "Could it get any better than this?" could. Now I am just glad to see your face, your shimmering hair, your perfect teeth. I'm glad to hear your comforting voice as you greet me. "Hey woman!" you call enthusiastically.
     "Hey yourself," comes my stoic reply, hiding my joy at seeing you once again.
     You read me too well. You know it is a facade. You know I am elated to see you. I know you know. Your eyes are dancing with delight. The facade is for the patrons.
     "Gabrielle, would you like some ale?" I ask.
     "Hummh?" you reply raising your brow in a questioning arch.
     "Drink?" I ask again moving toward the barkeep.
     "I'd love one, I'm dying of thirst."
     "I got it," I say turning to the barkeep with my order.
     Bringing two mugs back to the table, I notice a tall and very pretty Amazon is now occupying my seat. . My aggravation is rising again. I look to you.
     "What the Hades is this?" I silently ask with my facial expressions.
     Patting the seat next to you, you smile and motion for me to sit. I don't like sitting where I can't face the door or with my back exposed to any Tomas, Dictus or Horatio trying to make a name for himself. Knowing this, you place your hand on my arm and say, "I gotcher back." You being there is enough. I relax a little. Still I am attempting to keep an eye on the door. I sit and halfheartedly listen to the conversation between you and the amazon. I ache to be alone with you. I can't help being a bit put
off by our company. I have waited too long to see you. No longer able to contain myself, I blurt out, "So what did you do all week Princess? Smugly I smile at the amazon.
     Again that ingratiating look, "Oh, I ran into some old friends from the Academy!"
     "W hat Academy?" asks the curious amazon trying to stay in the conversation.
     "I flash you a raised eyebrow. But being the gracious woman you are, you quickly and concisely explain the Academy. I know all this. My heart aches still when I think about leaving you there.
     "Can we get on with your story?" I inquire rudely.
     "Anyway," You continue, "I hung out with Japheus and Cliforicus."
     "And?" I ask waiting for more.
     "And...we all went back to Cliforicus' house."
     I suddenly do not like the turn this conversation has taken. Seething, I bite off what was a tort comment. I listen to the rest of the tale. My heart is breaking with every word. "Gods, Xena!" "What are you thinking?" I ask myself. "No reason for her to hang around a musty old tavern when she has friends in this village." Now, the amazon is eyeing me. I barely contain the rage and tightness gripping my chest. I need an escape now!     "Eh...hem...ah...I er...need a drink." I say hurriedly as I bolt from my seat.
    Another full mug enters my hand. I lean against the bar trying to gain control of my emotions and breathing. My mind begs, "Please let them be ta lking about something else when I get back there." However, this was not to be.
     "Japheus this,... and Japheus cute...known I liked him...may stop by." You say as I half listen.
     "Centaur dung!!!" I say to myself. "I'm having enough trouble getting you alone.""Now I have some wanna-be bard lover slinking over to take away more of your time!!" "Dammit!"
     As always, you look to me for a reaction. Keeping my voice neutral, I mutter. "Oh."
     Not seeing any immediate tirade, you continue tellin g the amazon about the wonderous
     "Japheus". I don't bother to listen. I already want to spill his blood. After a few moments, a shadow in the doorway catches
my eye. I barely glance. I hope it is some warlord aching for an ass-kicking. I'm in the ass-kicking mood. Instead, it's some average farm boy looking lost. I begin to turn back to my drink when I hear...
     "Japheus !" "What are you doing here already?"
     "Gabrielle!" "What are you doing in a place like this?" "When you asked me to meet you I had no idea you wanted to meet in
a place for warlords and thieves!"
     My head snaps up. Did my bard just call this loser "Japheus?"
     I start to relax. "Oh...this cannot be Mr. Wonderful?!" I almost giggle in relief. "OK, she'll be sending him packing in a few moments." "Here I thought I needed to worry!" "Huh!" "Farm boy was a nice friendly distraction to wile away the time she was waiting for me." "Be nice Xena," I tell myself. "He'll go away and you can have a nice evening with your bard."
     "Gabrielle!" he says interrupting my thoughts as he approaches the table with his arms wide open. Incredulously, I watch as you bound from your chair into the waiting arms.
     "Japheus," you whisper a little too intimately for my tastes.
     My mouth drops. I say nothing. The amazon catches my reaction.
     "Damn!" I try to ignore the knowing glances and gestures. My mind is reeling. I turn my full attention to the amazon. I feel your eyes boring into the back of my skull. I don't care. I take my time turning back around. The amazon keeps watching me. She knows. She saw the pained expression on my face. She understands, but her duty is to keep the princess safe. Even from the
likes of me. If I so choose, I could kill her, but she will gladly die defending her princess like a good amazon. She has nothing to fear. The tension is high between us. I pat her arm and smile for reassurance." I could never hurt the princess."" The weasel she
is standing next to is another story."" But never the princess."" I love her." I have conveyed this and more with my eyes. The amazon visibly relaxes, conveying to me she agrees about the weasel and breathes with relief that she will not have to fight me.
     I hear your voice beckoning me."Xena?" "XENA!!" you shout.
     "Hhmmm?" I lazily answer.
     "Did you hear what I said?" you ask.
     "This is my friend Japheus."
     "That's nice."
     "Xena!" You say exasperated now."Japheus asked me to attend a bard's dinner with him." < BR>
     "I knew you hated that sort of stuff." you hurriedly said "I didn't know you'd be back this soon." "I really didn't think you'd mind not"
     "So you decided to go alone? Right?" I say smoothly. Suddenly it is important to see you squirm.
     "Xena! I didn't think you would mind!""Do you?" you ask.
     In my head, my voice is screaming, "Of course I mind!!! I don't want you within ten leagues of this weasel boy! Let me cut his heart out now and be done with it! "Instead, I put on my most ingratiating smile and say, "Of course I don't mind. I'm tired anyway. I think I'll just have a few drinks with...with..."
     "Lorelei," snaps the amazon.
     "Lorelei...and find a bed for the evening."
     "Great!" "Sure you don't mind? I will meet you here tomorrow morning."  &n bsp;   I see a smug look climbing onto Japheus' face. I cannot break my resolve, or I will break his face.
     "I'm sure," I say, "Go on, have some fun. I'll meet you in the morning"
     You run to me, arms outstretched. I step between them and give you my best hug. I'd like to hold you there forever. I'd like
to tell you I love you. I'd like to tell you I will never leave you. I'd like you to tell me you love me, that we are soulmates meant to be. But coward that I am when it comes to you, I say nothing. Looking over your shoulder, I see Japheus' eyes burn with jealousy. He hates me. Good. I hate him. He steps forward. I break from our embrace ready to do battle. He sees this and stops in mid motion. Reaching a hand out to you as you turn toward him. His eyes leave mine and he breaks into a smile. I can see he cares for you.
     He says, "Come Gabrielle, we don't want to be l ate."
     You look back and forth, confusion evident on your face, waiting for my response." Will I be the all time ass and kill the weasel now? No Gabrielle, I love you. Because of that, I will not do anything to hurt you. Hurting him would only serve to drive
a wedge between us. That particular satisfaction is denied me. His saving grace is only that he stands in the fallout of my love for you."
     "Go!" I say, "Have a good time."
     "But, Xena..." You begin to say.
     I cut you off. "But nothing, now go. I'll meet you here tomorrow."     Your face alights with joy. I would die to be able to
make sure that everyday I could bring that look to your face.
     Japheus knows he has won this round. He comes nearer and touches your arm "Let's go Gabrielle." He says.
     "Bye Xena," You call as you ta ke his arm and he leads you from the tavern.
     I smile and wave. "Goodbye...have a good time." I say. 
     The smile leaves my face as you disappear through the doorway. I turn back to the now empty table and down what is left of my drink. Slamming my mug on the table, I call loudly for another drink.
     "Barkeep...Another!" I shout.
     "So?" says the amazon sidling back to the bar. "I feel like getting drunk. How about you?"
     "Oh yeah, more than I feel like taking my next breath." I sigh.
     "Good" she says shaking her head.
     "Barkeep!" Lorelei yells, "Two more!"
     "Thanks Lorelei." I say as she hands me the drink.
     She decides it is safe to return to the table. A troupe of musicians enters the tavern. The barkeep would allow the m to play, but he checks my mood first. I nod. I will not kill the musicians or the barkeep this night. Perhaps a little music may even lighten my somber mood. Following the musicians in, two old acquaintances from my army enter the tavern.
     "Oh no!" I groan.
     Lorelei looks around. "What?" she asks.
     "Heroditus and Jamius," I say by way of explanation. "...old army...not in the mood."I mutter.
     "Maybe they won't see you," she replies, trying to be helpful.
     "No," I say, "They already saw me, and they are headed this way."
     "Xena, you hag! How have you been!? cries Heroditus.
     "Heroditus you old war-horse. Why hasn't some never-be warlord slit your throat by now?" I ask.
     "Just your bad luck Xena, besides, who else would you have to pick on if I were de ad?" He said. I smile. He already lifts my spirits.
     "True old man, very true."
     Heroditus laughs and says "Xena, it's good to see you again. Let me get you and your friend here a drink."
     Before I can answer, Heroditus pushes his way to the bar, ordering a round for the table. Jamius, a handsome, young man
who tries to be worldly saunters to my side.
     Xena!! So good to see you!" he says giving me a hug.
     "Jamius, hi," I say, wondering why I have yet to break his arm. The amazon's eyes twinkle in delight at my discomfort.
     "Jamius, do you know Lorelei?" I ask getting even as the amazon narrows her eyes at me. I almost laugh aloud when Jamius wraps his other arm about her shoulders and openly leers at her.
     "I don't think I've had the pleasure," he says letting his eyes roam over her body. "Maybe you've heard of me," he continues talking to her breasts.
     "Nope, can't say I have. Are you a musician?" Lorelei asks wounding his pride.
     "" Jamius replies, "I rode with the great Warrior Princess here for several seasons. Doesn't she ever talk about me?!"
     Cutting in I say, "Jamius, I don't talk about my past muc h." seeing the hurt in his eyes I go on" But if I did, I'd be sure to mention you."
     "Well, in that case," he says brightening "We need a round for the table and perhaps you'll fill in our friend about old times." 
     "We'll take the drinks Jamius," I reply. "But I'll leave the filling in to you." I say while clapping him on the back.
     Heroditus returns to the table, "Where's that little blond bard of yours Xena?" he asks.
     Lorelei meeting my eyes says, "It's warriors night at the tavern. Bards are having a night of their own down the road."
     "Oh" says Heroditus knowing he just stepped in horse droppings and quickly tries to pull away from a bad subject. "Then these old warriors need to get drunk!" he says "Let's get another round." Just then, two camp followers enter the tavern. Lorelei being half in the bag begins imitating them, sending the entire table into fits of laughter. Several candlemarks and too many drinks later, Heroditus and Jamius bid us farewell.
     "Oh Gods!" I say after they depart. "I am so drunk!"
     Lorelei getting serious says, "Sappho is a great bard isn't she?"
     "Yes," I reply wondering at the sudden change of subject.
     "I'd do her." she says frankly.
     "What?!" I ask blinking.
     "Women...she likes women you know," Lorelei waits a beat before continuing, I had a lover once a long time ago."
     "Oh" I say unsure of what she's getting at. I keep feeling like I missed something in my drunken haze.
     "When I have sex, I fantasize about her." She said. "Seems the only way I know."
     "Yeah...I do," I say knowing only too well.
     After a few more uncomfortable beats, Lorelei asks," Have you two ever...? Raising her eyebrow while awaiting my response.
     "No!" I say a little too quickly.
     "Hunh," she say s "I thought for sure..."
     "Well, ya thought wrong." I said harshly.
     "Oh," she said dejectedly, "It's just two seem so close...and"
     "We are." I say.
     "You don't like this guy Japheus, do you?" She asks.
     "I don't either," Lorelei says. "I think she's be better off with you."
     "What's that supposed to mean?" I ask.
     "I mean, it's obvious you love her," she says "and I think she loves you too. You get along so well, it just seems you are made for each other."    ;   "Ya think?" I ask noncommittally, though my heart feels lighter at her words.
     "Yes...I do," she says.
     "Well...whatever the case...I hate to see her with him." I say still not truly confirming or denying her suspicions.
     "I don't like him either," said Lorelei, "I just hope she doesn't get hurt." I agree with a nod. Feeling the effects of the grape, I stifle a yawn. I should leave and try to find a place to set up camp for the night, but the prospect of traveling in the dark holds no appeal for me. Perhaps I'll ask the barkeep if I can stay in his stable this evening. I say as much to Lorelei.
     "Xena?" she asks.
     "Yeah?" I reply.
     "My village is not too far from here, the road is good and the bedding is warm and dry." she offers.
     I am just drunk enough to accept. I don't want to end the evening just yet, and I don't want to be alone. The company seems easy. My good mood hasn't shifted. "Sounds like a plan, if ya don't mind." I say.
     She smiles at me and says, "I don't mind at all. Besides, I like the company. We can continue this at my hut. I have some good amazon wine."
     "Is there such a thing? You are either gonna cure me or kill me is that it?" I ask.
     She laughs and says "Exactly!"
     "Let's go then!" I say laughingly.
     Together we stumble out of the tavern and into the night air. Bring drunk as lords, we laugh easily. It makes for quite a time as we try desperately to saddle our poor horses. Finally, after a quarter candlemark or so, we head out. Riding in compatible silence, Lorelei finally begins to speak. She tells me of her sister. What I gather from her tale is that her sis ter currently lives with a man who beats her. She has had women lovers in the past, as well as men. But the women are more like a conquest rather than a lover. Lorelei assures me it was not like that with her. She and her lover were together a long time before the girlfriend left her. I wonder why she is telling me any of this? Does she feel we have gained ground in a friendship and she just needs someone to share this with? Someone to talk to, or she hoping for more? I like her. I find her attractive. But my love lies el sewhere. I believe she knows this and does not push. We finally come to the village. She leads us to the stable to unsaddle the horses. Fresh hay
and apples greet Argo. I promise Argo I will brush her down tomorrow. Tonight I can barely stand. She whinnies at me. I laugh.
I tell her she is gonna get fat. Again she whinnies. Lorelei laughs. I like her laugh. It is musical. She asks me to join her in the hut.
I tell her I can stay i n her stable. She tells me not to be a fool. Besides, there is warm wine and a warm hearth with a bath in the hut. As we make our way inside, I notice it is large for only one woman. The furniture is neither sparse nor over abundant. It is tasteful and some pieces are very expensive. We make our way to the kitchen area, she comes to the table with two mugs and a jug of wine. I smile in appreciation both for the wine and the company. She smiles back and informs me she is going to make herself more comfortable.
     She returns with two sleep shifts and offers one to me. I accept and she shows me where to go to put it on. We enter a large bedroom. The bed itself is made for a king. Where did she get this I wonder absently. Oh doesn't matter. It's huge and looks comfortable. I hear a noise behind me and I turn. She is standing there looking spectacular. I hold my breath. She is holding a carafe of wine and the mugs. S he smiles and brushes against me as she glides by.
     "This is much more comfortable than the kitchen," she says pouring the wine.
     "Yes, it seems so," I manage to gulp.
     "Smooth Xena, real smooth" I think to myself.
     "Get into your sleep shirt," she says while handing me the wine.
     Modesty is not an issue with me. That is a luxury one can't have when you lead an army all over the known world. I have
been a warlord way too long to care. I begin to take off my leathers. I notice she is doing the same. I noticed a lot. The way her breasts swayed as she bent to pick up her discarded clothes. The way her aereola's shown pink in the candlelight. Yes, I noticed. I thought of a certain bard, and how much I wanted her to be in this room right now. How I'd like to see her tight stomach and firm buttocks. Perhaps it was thinking of her th at was my undoing.
     I donned the sleep shift, as did Lorelei. We climbed on to the bed from opposite sides clinking our wineglasses in the middle. We settled back onto the pillows in a semi sitting position. Lorelei began to talk of her lover. How patient she was in her love making, bringing Lorelei to heights she'd never known before. I spoke in generalities. I ached with need of my bard. I listened to Lorelei's tale and almost groaned aloud when I thought of my bard in that same way. Suddenly, she turned to me. She casually brushed my breast with her arm.
     I gasped.
     "I'm not Gabrielle," she said.
     "I know," I said resignedly.
     She brought her lips closer. Oh gods I needed release! She parted my lips with her own, holding my eyes with hers until I succumbed to the madness of her touch. Her mouth traveled my neck as her hands slid down my arms, brushing my breasts.
I felt my nipples straining against the cloth of the sleep shift. Ah...gods I was lost to her tender caresses. I moaned as she
removed the shift from my body. Her hands lovingly cupped my breast. I arched into her. She smiled at me ducking her head
and pulling an erect nipple into her mouth. Bolts of lightening shot straight down to my groin causing my stomach muscles to tighten. Her hands moved lower sensuously parting my thighs. Her tongue bathed my stomach as it made it's languid decent. My breathing became ragged. Her soft mouth roamed my body. My hips moved to ancient rhythms set long ago. She slid two fingers inside me slowly drawing away any bit of control I thought remained to me. I wrapped my hands in her hair as moan after moan escaped me and wave after wave of ecstasy jolted me into oblivion. I tumbled over the edge with my bard's name erupting from my lips.
     Lorelei sat up.
     " Oh gods!!"...Oh Lorelei...I...I," stammering for an apology.
     "Shhh...shhh." She whispered.
     "But...I...I...," crying in shame.
     She came to me then, cutting off my words with her fingertips.
     "So sorry...," I breathed teary eyed.
     To her great countenance and my eternal shame, she then embraced me into the comfort of her bosom and said. "Don't be sorry Xena, I know where your true heart lies."
     I cried in her arms for what seems like a candlemark. She whispered soothing words as a mother would to a terrified child. Until my dying day and beyond, this woman has my everlasting respect and gratitude. In one fell swoop, she has brought me jocularity, estacy, hilarity, madness, pleasure, pain, comfort and beauty. She stands second only to you my love.
     At dawn this day, I awoke tired, angry and sick. Again the bearing of this woman amazes me. Sick as we both were from
too much wine the night before, she insists on escorting me back to the tavern from which we left. Coming down from the saddle, she embraced me once again. She stroked my hair, kissed my lips and bade me luck in love and long life. I smiled as she gained her saddle and trotted her fine mount down the road. At the edge of the clearing, she turned her horse and waved one last time before disappearing into the trees. I waved back and watched the forest for long moments after she had gone. I then hung my head and made my way back inside this dank tavern awaiting your return. 
Keeper of the Secret of the Ancient
Amazon Panty Dance

L.A. Stone
Keeper of the Secret of the Ancient Amazon Panty Dance
ICQ # 38993253

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