The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be Yadayadayada. No copyright infringement is intended. I wrote this story at the urging of my muse; it should never be used for profit.
VIOLENCE – Yup!
LOVE/SEX WARNING/DISCLAIMER: This story involves both love and hot sex between two consenting adult women (It’s a WARRIORJUDGE story – What did you expect? If you don’t know who ALEXIS MORRAL CARINGTON COLBY DEXTER was (in other words, if you’re under 18) or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, GO WATCH POWER RANGERS.
FOUL LANGUAGE – I’m no Tarantino, but I have my moments…
To my BETA readers, mentors and guides: Sam Ruskin, (You’re the greatest!!! Love ya!!!) and LESIAF (the fastest Beta on the Xenaverse).
Comments & Feedback: As it pleases you...You know were to find me.
A couple of hours later, the judge found herself standing on the young attorney’s threshold. It took her that long to get there because she got lost on the way and was too pig-headed to stop and ask people for directions.
Judge Lawless stood there, staring at the door, for what seemed a long time. She felt as if her hand was too heavy to make the journey all the way to the doorbell. If you'd just kept your mouth shut when you should have, you wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. For a few moments, she raised her finger to the doorbell and almost pressed it, but she backed away. So close, yet so far…What am I going to tell her? I can’t believe I didn’t work on a speech on my way over here. Ok, you’re a big girl, please act like an adult. Why are you making such a big deal out of it? You can do it! Just ring the damn doorbell, enter, say you’re sorry, go home, jerk off, and go to sleep.
Finally the judge raised the amount of courage required to lift a heavy right hand and pressed the doorbell. A few moments passed and the door was opened. The blonde attorney stood in the entryway in a white silk sleeping gown that made the judge feel very uncomfortable to allow her blue gaze to rest anywhere on that body.
“You shouldn’t open your door without asking who it is first,” the judge commented.
“What are you doing here?” Gabrielle yawned, still a little stupid from slumber and not fully registering that Judge Lawless was on her doorstep.
The judge looked at her messed-up hair and sleepy eyes that still squinted as Gabrielle rubbed them while they adjusted to the light. She looks adorable when she wakes up. “I came here to talk to you.”
Gabrielle blocked the entrance with her slim figure. “Can’t it wait until tomorrow?”
The judge realized she’d have to do better than that in order to win access to Gabrielle’s apartment. “Look, I came here to apologize.” That sentence made the little blonde’s eyes widen with astonishment, so much so that the judge couldn’t help but feel almost offended.
A hint of a smile graced Gabrielle’s face, and she fought to conceal it. I’m going to enjoy this.
“Come in.” She left the door open as a silent invitation to the judge to enter. The judge walked in, scanning the young attorney’s living room with her eyes.
“Please, sit down.” Gabrielle offered and walked towards the kitchen, “Would you like something to drink, Your Honor?” She tried not to raise her voice too much so as not to wake her roommate, Tori.
“A Johnnie Walker would do just fine,” the judge responded.
Gabrielle’s head popped out of the kitchen door. “I don’t keep alcohol around my house,” she said. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”
I cannot believe this, an Irish woman who doesn’t drink. Must be a cold day in hell. “Coffee’s fine too.”
After a few moments, the younger woman returned to the living room holding two cups of steamy coffee. She handed one to the judge, then sat down on the sofa next to her. The judge sipped at hers, more out of politeness than actual enjoyment of the coffee. She placed her cup down onto the table and stood up. She began irritatingly pacing back and forth in the living room, trying to organize her thoughts, as Gabrielle looked puzzled by the judge’s strange behavior.
The attorney waited for quite some time for the judge to proceed. She was about to give up, waive her right to a proper apology, and let the condescending judge off the hook. It is most satisfying, elating actually, to watch the judge twist and squirm in agony as she is fighting to find words. She’s acting as if she never apologized in her life…Yup, I think I’ve had my fun.
Just as she was about to open her mouth, the judge beat her to it. “Look, Gabrielle, I’m sorry for being such a bitch back at my place. I am willing to have you back on the case,” the judge blurted out. She sealed her words with a nervous smile. She knew her apology sucked and she was trying to conceal it with that poor excuse for a smile.
Gabrielle couldn’t believe her ears. “That is, by far, the lamest apology I have ever heard in my entire life.” She put her hands in front of her after putting down her coffee. “I don’t want to work with you, Your Honor. You are a terrible person to work with.”
“Oh, come on, Gabrielle, what else do you want from me?” The judge stopped her pacing and threw her hands up in frustration.
“You know what I want,” Gabrielle replied.
The judge blew out a long labored breath. She’s having a field day with is. I cannot believe I’m actually allowing her to treat me this way. The judge sat down next to the attorney.
“For some reason, you decided from the first time you saw me that you couldn’t stand me. We don’t seem to be able to work without fighting and arguing. I don’t understand you. First you were rude to me in court, than you choose me, of all people, to assist you, and then you’re putting me down every chance you get and consistently trying to get me off the case. And now, here you are asking me--in such a pathetic manner, let me add--to come back on the case. What the hell is it you want, to drive me insane?” Gabrielle cried.
Blue eyes met green. The judge couldn’t for the life of her answer this question. She could find no sane reason for her behavior towards the younger woman. “The killer knows we’re investigating. He’s already killed Dr. Bennet…”
Gabrielle felt she knew were this was going “That was never conclusively established. We assume he was murdered.” She cut through the judge’s speech.
“I’m…worried about you. I don’t want you to be next.” The judge responded. Shit, I can’t feel my tongue.
The blonde attorney couldn’t suppress a small grin. “So you're worried about me?”
“NO!” the judge exclaimed. Then there was silence. “I mean, yes, I am,” she finally admitted. I cannot believe I just said that. I’m supposed to be the great lawyer and here she is kicking my ass while she's giving me the third degree. I’ve lost it…I’m such a wimp. I think I’ll hold someone in contempt tomorrow, just so that it’ll make me feel better... This must be some karmic punishment for being too sarcastic in life.
Yet again, Gabrielle felt herself suppressing a smile. She felt exhilarated, savoring the small victory over the judge. This is better than sex…if I remember correctly. “Well, you shouldn’t worry about me. You’re not my mom and I’ve been taking care of myself just fine before I met you…”
Blah blah blah, yeah, right I get it…you’re a real Amelia Earhart ain’t cha’? “Look, if this psycho decides to do you, I’m not sure I’ll be able to protect you.”
“Protect me? I cannot believe you’re getting all Kevin Costner on me. Protect me? Is this a lesbian chivalry thing that I’m not getting?”
“Forget it, I’ve had just about enough of you. I was wrong to come here.” The judge rose to her feet and was headed towards the door. “…Just forget it…” she muttered.
Gabrielle felt she’d crossed a line she shouldn’t have. Even though she was angry at the judge’s behavior earlier that night, she felt genuine sorrow for her words.
Just before she reached the door, she heard Gabrielle call her from behind. “Xena,” the judge was surprised to hear her own name instead of her title. She stood frozen, still not looking back. She couldn’t understand for the life of her why that comment about protecting Gabrielle being a 'lesbian chivalry thing’ got to her, but it did.
Gabrielle went and stood behind the tall black-haired woman. The judge didn’t turn around. She was concerned about exposing an ounce of weakness to the young attorney. “I’m so sorry, Xena, I was way out of line. It means a great deal to me that you’re worried about me, really. But nevertheless, I’m old enough to make my own choices and I choose to work with you on this case.”
“Why?” The judge’s voice sounded hollow. She still didn’t give her newfound partner the benefit of seeing her eyes.
“Given the fact that you don’t know how to take a compliment, I don’t think it’ll be wise to answer that question, Your Honor.” The judge could detect the smile in Gabrielle’s voice, and she mimicked it on her lips as well.
The judge turned around and faced the young woman. “You’re OK…” she muttered and raised an eyebrow. “And I’m really sorry for the way I acted. There’s no reason why the two of us cannot be coworkers,” she said, and smiled.
Coworkers? Did she just say ‘coworkers’? I cannot believe this woman…”As a matter of fact, I think it won’t be such a bad thing if the two of us became friends, God forbid,” Gabrielle smirked. She couldn’t help but feeling a little rejected.
“Us? Friends? You’ve got to be kidding me…” the judge chuckled.
“Yeah, why not? You think I’m not worthy to be a friend of yours, is that it?”
“No!” the judge exclaimed. She knew she wasn’t being honest, but she couldn’t find the truth in her heart either. “It just that we don’t have anything in common that isn’t job related.”
“We have a lot of things in common that aren’t work related…”
“Like what!?” The blue eyed woman cried.
“Music,” answered Gabrielle.
“OK, I’ll give you that…” the judge’s shoulders slumped slightly.
“Virginia Woolf,” Gabrielle continued.
Who told her that? “Alright, alright. I’ll try to be more civil with you. I cannot promise more than that, now can I?”
“No, you can’t,” replied Gabrielle, and went to sit down on the sofa. She raised the coffee to her lips and sipped. It wasn’t as warm as before, but that’s the way she preferred it. She wished things could be a little different between her and the judge. She wanted the judge to appreciate her, maybe even like her a little.
The expression on the younger woman’s face didn’t go unnoticed by the judge. She felt that she owed the woman more than that. After all, Gabrielle was a fine woman, hardworking, smart, sensitive, and kind. And she'd found it in her heart to forgive her, and not because she had to, but because she wanted to, so it seemed.
The judge sat next to Gabrielle on the sofa. “I’ll tell you what, as a peace offering, I’m willing to give you something I believe you want a great deal,” the older woman said, and looked deeply into her partner’s green orbs.
“What’s that?” questioned Gabrielle and shrugged her shoulders.
“If you’ll behave yourself, and mind not to make me mad, I’m willing to throw in some cello lessons, you know, private tutoring, free of charge.” The judge gave her a toothy smile.
Oh brother…she just wouldn’t let you have the satisfaction of feeling that you were right and she was wrong.
“Are you serious!?” exclaimed Gabrielle, her green eyes shimmering with joy.
The older woman couldn’t help but feel good when she saw the sheer happiness in the younger woman’s beautiful features. She felt her face stretching and her million-dollar smile was all over it. “I am serious. I take it you’re interested--”
“Yes, of course I am. Thank you, Xena.” She felt like jumping on the tall woman and smothering her with a tight embrace, but she didn’t dare do so. We may have broken the ice, but it still would not be appropriate to be too familiar with her.
Et in terra pax hominibus bone voluntatis (And on Earth peace and goodwill among mankind). The judge could hear Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria' in her mind. “You do realize that we have a lot of work ahead of us tomorrow, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I know. I’ll finally get to meet Dr. Simba Straub.” Gabrielle couldn’t contain the smirk on her face. It didn’t go unnoticed by the judge, but she decided against retaliation due to the recent peace treaty she'd worked so hard to achieve.
“We’re meeting with her at 2:00 p.m. After our meeting with her, we're headed to the D.A.’s office. I’ll issue a warrant ordering the D.A.’s chief of staff to submit to me all personal records of all the employees in the D.A’s office.”
“They won’t let you do this. It’s outrageous!” Gabrielle’s eyes widened. She looked at the judge more in astonishment than awe.
“They have no choice. I’m not the police, you realize. I’m an investigative judge. I have the authority to look at those records, and they have to give them to me.” The judge explained. It’s fun to be me.
“This will make all hell to break loose. It’s an election year. The district attorney isn’t going to like it, not one bit.” Gabrielle looked down at her cup and rubbed its rim with her fingertips. She felt a tad bit nervous.
Clever girl, thought the judge. “Well, tough titties,” she concluded firmly.
“The district attorney is a very powerful man, Xena. He knows how to play hardball. He won’t just let you trash the reputation of his office while he’s the head of that office. He’ll do anything to make you take the heat off and protect his good name and his men, especially on election year. He can make trouble.” Gabrielle knew the judge was aware of those points, but felt she still needed to give voice to them. She knew Judge Lawless was a proud woman and was afraid she wouldn’t recognize her opponent’s strength.
“I’m not afraid of anyone, Gabrielle. I haven’t gotten where I am today without the ability to not underestimate my opponents. However, being a judge has its privileges, one of which is being almost untouchable. It is you and your career I’m worried about. Even though most of his arrows will be directed towards me, you might get hurt. In the future, they might screw your clients over for this.” The judge’s concern was evident in both her eyes and her voice. OK, Lawless, now you’re scaring me…Since when do you care if someone gets hurt?
“I know, but I’m ready.” Gabrielle didn’t mean for the tremor in her voice to be audible.
The judge heard but ignored it. She didn’t want Gabrielle to be angry with her again for being a little overprotective of her. “Very well then.”
A silence came down between the two women, “It’s getting late,” Gabrielle remarked.
The judge looked at her wristwatch. “It’s 2:00 a.m. already,” she announced, not sounding too surprised. She hoped that Gabrielle would want her to stay for a little bit longer.
Gabrielle captured the judge’s eyes with her own. “I don’t feel like sleeping just yet,” she felt like a child arguing with its mother.
The judge smiled at her and quirked an eyebrow. “Me neither.”
“Well...in half an hour, my favorite movie is on channel 5, wanna stay with me and watch?” Gabrielle was hoping the judge would stay. She felt it was important for her that she share her favorite movie with the judge. She couldn’t understand why.
“It depends...” the judge muttered, with a conquering smile.
“On what?” It was Gabrielle’s turn to quirk an eyebrow.
“What movie? Is it ‘Pretty Woman’?” the judge smirked.
I guess acting nicely towards me for more than 30 minutes is impossible for her... You’re bigger than that, Gab, forgive the handicapped woman. “No, I don’t watch that kinda garbage. Speaking of favorite movies...what’s your favorite, ‘G.I Jane’?” Gabrielle knew the judge would catch her drift. She wasn’t mistaken.
“Well, I guess I had that coming, didn’t I?” Did I say that out loud? What’s wrong with me? I’m enjoying this…
“Yes, you did. By the way, my favorite movie is ‘The Remains of the Day’ with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson,” Gabrielle said. I guess you didn’t see that one coming, did you?
“Oh, that’s a great movie. I was depressed for two weeks after seeing it. It just so sad to see a person who gives up his entire life and the chance for happiness with the one he loves so that he would be able to be of service to his master the best way possible. Excellent performance by the leads.”
“You know...you amaze me!” Gabrielle said.
“You are so perceptive about other people’s behavior, and yet you’re so blind when it comes to yours.” Gabrielle wasn’t sure whether she should have said it or not. It doesn’t matter…It’s already out there. Deep down inside, she wanted to converse with the judge on a little more personal level. She attributed that desire to the late hour of the night.
“What are you saying?” The judge didn’t sound angry. It sounded to Gabrielle like something else, but she couldn’t tell for sure.
“You do the same thing Mr. Stevens did in the movie. It depressed you when he does it on screen, and yet it doesn’t bother you that you do the same with your life.” Once she'd realized the judge wasn’t going to bite her head off for her earlier remark, she'd felt a little bolder and went on with what she wanted to say.
The judge resented it. “I do not!”
“Do too! You gave up on love, hence you will never be really happy in your life. He did it out of loyalty to his master, but your reason for depriving yourself of love is just as stupid - fear.” Neither woman understood Gabrielle’s sudden interest in the judge’s love life.
“Whoa! Hold on a minute, missy. Your basic assumption that love equals happiness is wrong. Love means misery...in the long run.”
“No, it’s not. You just haven’t met the right man...I mean woman...so far.” A crimson color painted Gabrielle’s hot cheeks.
“What about you...still waiting for Mr. Right?” questioned the judge, sounding a little defensive.
“Yes, I haven’t lost hope.”
“Oh dear...You’re in for eternal waiting. I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. If I were to wait for 'the right woman’ I would have a much better chance at finding her than you have of finding the right man. There isn’t such a thing as the right man for women. The very concept of it was invented by men to create the illusion for women that such a man really exists, so that they’ll be more willing to marry them,”
Gabrielle raised her hand and shook her head from side to side. I cannot believe that those pearls of stupidity came out from her mouth...and after careful consideration, I’m sure. I knew she’s brilliant, but sometimes... Gabrielle had so much to say to the blue-eyed woman that she kept quiet and gave the judge one of those looks that says it all.
“And what’s your favorite movie?” She eventually asked, after making sure the judge understood the meaning of the look.
The judge was far from being stupid; she read it loud and clear. “I’m sure you’re not familiar with this one. It a Dutch movie called ‘Antonia’s Line’.”
“Oh...that’s an excellent movie. It won the Oscar for best foreign movie, didn’t it?”
“I must admit that you amaze me, Gabrielle O’Connor.” The judge made it sound as if she felt defeated.
“Don’t sound all disappointed, now, Your Honor,” chuckled Gabrielle. That remark made the judge reward her with rich laughter. And then there was silence. They only looked at one another. The gaze went on much longer than was usually the custom between two people. Gabrielle’s eyes were glued to the judge by an unseen force. The judge was just as captivated, but being the control freak she was, she broke the eye contact and addressed the blonde, “Do you want to go and make some popcorn, or what?”
What the fuck was that?
Gabrielle cleared her throat, and nodded “Sure.”
Gabrielle fixed the beverages while Xena was on popcorn detail. Making popcorn...Not a problem...Just stick it in the microwave, radiate it for few minutes and... Voila. Needless to say she cremated the kernels the first time. Gabrielle assisted her the second time, which is why they came out just fine. They went back to sit next to one another in the living room. Gabrielle brought a blanket so that they could duck under the covers and keep warm. The judge grabbed the remote control and turned the TV on. The two women comfortably sank into the sofa and watched the movie together, occasionally exchanging thoughts and opinions, and sharing what scenes they loved the most. Gabrielle felt as if she was sitting together with an old friend and not with the distant, cold Judge Lawless.
A little before noon the judge woke up. She found herself in the young attorney’s living room, lying on her sofa and cupping her smaller frame. The judge had one arm pillowing the blonde’s head and the other arm resting on her hip. We should seriously consider stopping this habit of sleepovers...what will people say!? We spend more time in each other's houses than most of the women I’ve been with...I don’t think I like it.
The judge was too scared to admit to herself just how good Gabrielle’s beautiful, warm body felt against hers. Gabrielle, who was still clad only in a short satin nightgown, stirred and whimpered in her sleep. It appeared that Gabrielle felt very comfortable in the judge’s arms. The judge simply didn’t have the heart to wake up the young woman just yet. She looked so adorable and innocent in her sleep She looks adorable and innocent when she’s awake too...She is so durn cute. It feels nice to wake up with a woman in your arms, a woman whom you know and like. Yes, I like her, damn it...and it’s all her fault. The judge’s eyes involuntarily roamed her sleeping partner’s body, her gaze stroking the perfectly muscled stomach that during slumber was exposed beneath the nightie. The judge licked her suddenly dry lips. OK, Xena, you stop it right there...She’s not for you. Remember the first commandment, the one you enjoy breaking the most? The judge gathered up all the strength she could muster and gently unlaced her body from the still sleeping woman. Gabrielle grunted.
She took a peek at her wristwatch with a lazy eye “SHIT!” She jumped to her feet. “Gabrielle, wake up!”
“What?” Gabrielle took a sharp intake of breath and her eyes snapped wide open. She was startled out of her wits.
“It’s almost 12:00. We’re supposed to meet with Dr. Straub in two hours. Get dressed.” The judge spoke without an ounce of politeness.
Gabrielle was a little disoriented from slumber and still not fully recovered from the almost violent wakeup call the judge paid her. “And good morning to you, too, Xena.”
“Oh, good morning.”
“Get into the shower, I’ll make coffee and some breakfast. Once you get out, I’ll take a shower,” Gabrielle said.
Xena enjoyed listening to the counselor talking in this manner. It’s sounds like something I would say. In a weird way it reminded her of how it felt to live with a lover.
After half an hour or so they both sat at the kitchen table drinking their coffees and eating their breakfast.
“I have to admit I enjoyed yesterday a great deal...I mean talking with you and watching ‘The Remains of the Day’ with you,” the judge admitted, and cast down her gaze to the plate in front of her.
“I enjoyed yesterday as well. I think we can become great friends,” Gabrielle smiled.
“Well, I wouldn’t go so far as calling us fr--” the counselor’s green eyes captured the judge’s, giving her a look that made her heart twitch and hurt. “I’m sorry... look, I was just kidding really. The truth is that I absolutely agree with you.”
“Were you serious about you giving me cello lessons?” Gabrielle asked timidly, and forked the scrambled eggs that were resting in her plate.
The judge smiled. “Sure I was.”
“Would you give me a lesson today?” Gabrielle tried to put the cutest expression she had in her stock in order to charm the judge into agreeing.
Apparently it worked. “Sure, but before you touch the cello, I need to teach you to read notes.”
“I can read notes. I played the flute when I was little.”
“I was even very good at it.”
“I see...Well then, I guess we’ll see just how good you are tonight.” They exchanged teasing looks and grins. Gabrielle felt she was behaving differently with the judge than with her other friends. She couldn’t figure out in what way, but it was different. She wasn’t sure if it had something to do with the fact that her new friend was a judge, or rather the fact that her new friend was a lesbian. She didn’t want to think about it and pushed the thought to the back of her head.
The judge was still wearing her clothes from yesterday. She didn’t feel too great about it. The counselor was wearing one of the Calvin Klein outfits that looked so great on her. This time the judge allowed Gabrielle to take her car. I just hope to God she won’t get used to my unexplained acts of kindness. I’m still ‘Judge Dread’ - to be treated with reverence and awe...
I wonder how long before Mrs. Hyde will burst out and take over, Gabrielle thought as she placed her briefcase with her copy of the case file in the back seat of the car and started the engine.
The judge gave Gabrielle directions to Dr. Simba Straub’s clinic. During the drive, she thought about her past with Simba. They'd met at university. Xena had been 20 years old, a law student, and Simba was a 24-year-old med student. They had fallen in love in a mad rush and moved in together after one week of dating. Simba was straight when Xena met her. But due to my irresistible charm she fell for me. It lasted about 18 months. Xena came home early from one day after one of her classes was canceled and caught her lover in bed with a man. That had been the end of it. Since that incident Xena had rarely seen Simba, but once her former lover became a psychiatrist, every once in a while she came to court to testify in her capacity as an expert witness. Xena never forgot the pain and anger she'd felt upon discovering Simba’s betrayal.
Mercilessly enough they made it to the doctor’s clinic on time. The judge was the first one to enter.
“Hello, Xena,” the Doctor greeted the judge, then, catching sight of Gabrielle, instantly corrected herself and said “Hello, Your Honor,” so to not be disrespectful towards Xena in front of her subordinate.
“Hello, Doctor.” The judge turned and looked at Gabrielle.
“Dr. Straub, allow me to introduce Miss Gabrielle O’Connor. She is assisting me with this case.”
“Nice to meet you, Miss O’Connor,” the doctor offered her hand.
“Nice to meet you too, Doctor,” Gabrielle replied.
The two women eyed each other. Dr. Straub was almost as tall as the judge was, with long blonde hair and brown eyes and a great feminine figure. She was, all in all, a very good-looking woman. Xena and Simba had sex with one another Xena and Simba had sex with one another Xena and Simba had sex with one another...Xena and Simba had sex with one another...Xena and Simba had sex with one another was the only thought that danced around in Gabrielle’s head. I have to stop thinking about it before I start blushing and I’m busted. I have to think about something else that will distract me. The song 'Hakuna Matata' began playing in her head instead.
The judge was well aware of the looks Simba was giving Gabrielle. She was shamelessly exploring her. The judge barely contained a warning growl. Simba knew her well. She knew her taste in women, knew Gabrielle was to the judge’s taste. Xena didn’t want the doctor to get the wrong idea.
“I assume my intern sent you the case file, and that you have studied the case,” the judge said.
“Yes, I have. Please, Your Honor, Miss O’Connor, sit down.” She motioned towards her leather couches.
“From what I've read in the case file, I believe the killer to be a male, Caucasian, in his thirties. Most serial killers are. Most serial killers have disturbances in childhood. The most common ones are...”
“Setting fire, bed wetting, and mutilation of animals,” the judge cut through her speech.
“That’s correct, Your Honor,” the Doctor complimented her. Gabrielle was impressed. “I understand the suspect responsible for this was someone from the D.A’s office. If that’s correct, and if you can gain access to those files, this information about the disturbances in childhood might come in handy, as a screening process.”
“Why does he kill? Why in that particular manner? What need does he serve by killing in this fashion?” the judge inquired and crossed one leg over the other.
“There was no evidence of sexual intercourse found on the victims, correct?” the doctor inquired.
“That is correct,” Gabrielle responded. “They were all found naked, stabbed in the chest area, and their penises removed and placed in their mouths. With the first two victims, we found the attacker’s blood mingled with the victim’s blood. We didn’t find his blood with the third victim, we assume because he realized we were onto him, and so chose to stop with that specific ritual.”
“The amputation of the penis is very symbolic. It can be one of several things. Maybe our killer is a repressed homosexual, and by amputating the penis he fells he can overcome his desire towards the male sex member, or maybe he just acts out his sexual frustration. Maybe as a child he was sexually abused by a man and cutting off the penis is a way to punish his attacker. Yet another explanation is that he doesn’t feel good about his own manhood and he shifts this frustration and non-acceptance towards others rather than towards himself. The blood ritual might be his way of saying he understands what his victims felt. The fact that he stopped tells me that he is not implosive. He is very calculated. And since he has the taste for blood, he won’t stop. In any case, this man is likely to have problems with romantic relationships. He has a house, not an apartment, or maybe a warehouse. He doesn’t kill them on the scene, and what he does with them requires privacy,” the doctor explained. “Do you have any questions?”
Xena gave Gabrielle a questioning look, then replied. “No, not at this moment. But if we have any later, we’ll give you a call.” She stood up. Gabrielle stood up as well.
“Thank you very much, Doctor.” Gabrielle said, and turned to exit the clinic, with the judge following her.
“Your Honor?” Xena heard her ex-lover calling from behind her. Both Gabrielle and Xena turned to look at the doctor. “May I speak with you, privately?”
“Go on, Gabrielle. I’ll be right out,” the blue-eyed woman said.
"I'll just bring the car around, then," replied the counselor before exiting.
Simba moved in front of Xena. "You look great.”
“Thank you, and so do you.”
“You know, Xena, I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately.”
“You don’t say...” a hint of scepticism was evident in the judge’s voice.
“Don’t be like that, Xena. You’re a lot more appealing when you don’t sting,” came the doctor’s reply.
“What do you want, Simba?” asked the judge impatiently, though by then she'd begun to get the picture.
“I got divorced a year ago. And I realized I’d made a huge mistake with you. I was young and stupid all those years ago. I guess I was scared. I had the ultimate woman and I lost her. Do you think you and I can get together for a cup of coffee?”
Don’t even think about it, Xena, no matter how good she looks. You know better than this-- once a cheater, always a cheater. You don’t need this...besides if you drink any more coffee this week you’ll have to get a detox. In any case, you don’t really want her...you’re just a little hungry, that’s all, nothing a good workout and some self-treatment can’t fix. Not to mention you don’t have time for this, you owe Gabrielle her cello lessons. Gabrielle her cello lessons?!? Where did that come from? Since when is she a part of that kind of equation?
Her ex-lover’s warm arms moved around the judge’s waist and her lips were closing the gap between them.
At this point, Gabrielle came back into the clinic. She saw the two feminine bodies moving closer in a manner that left no room to speculate. She was shocked. Her eyes widened. She froze in her place. Shaking her head, she turned on her heels and left.
The touch of her ex-lover caused such a rush of emotion that the judge was oblivious to Gabrielle having observing them. “I don’t think it’s such a good idea. I don’t want you, not even physically,” she said, pulling herself out of the doctor’s grasp.
“It’s that little blonde assistant of yours, isn’t it? I know you, Xena, and I’ve seen the way you look at her...You should be more careful with your body language in the future, especially if you’re in the presence of a shrink.”
What is it with people…First I hear this shit from my friends and now I have to take this shit from my ex-lover as well? For the millionth time…NO, I DON’T FEEL ANYTHING TOWARDS GABRIELLE. I’ve stopped feeling ages ago. I don’t even remember how to do this.
“You’re being ridiculous. She is merely my coworker and nothing more,” the judge denied firmly.
“If I have any more questions, I’ll give you a call.” The judge walked out of her ex-lover’s clinic and met with the young blonde, who was leaning against her BMW.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.” Xena said, and walked towards the passenger seat.
“It’s ok. I’m sure whatever it was, it was probably very important,” Gabrielle answered, opened the door to her car and slamming it shut quite hard after settling down in the driver’s seat.
“Are you angry with me?”
“Why should I be angry with you?” she sounded strained and unconvincing.
The judge decided to drop it. Maybe it’s that time of the month. “Fine,” she muttered. “Let’s go to the D.A’s office now.”
The drive was quiet. Gabrielle was deep in her thoughts. She couldn’t understand why, but seeing Dr. Straub’s arms around the judge was not to her liking, to say the least. It made something inside her burn and she didn’t recognize the fire.
Xena didn’t understand why Gabrielle, usually such a chatty person, was so quiet. It bothered her. Deep in her heart she relished those mindless chitchats with the small blonde, even the heated arguments. Gabrielle is giving me the silent treatment and I don’t understand what crime have I committed to deserve this cruel and unusual punishment.
Just around 5:00 p.m. the two women arrived at the D.A.’s office. They both entered the building, walking through the lobby and straight to the elevators.
“Once we’re in there, you let me do the talking. If you think I have a big mouth, prepare to see an even bigger one: the mouth of District Attorney Aron Willard,” she informed the shorter woman.
Gabrielle didn’t reply.
“Hey, are you with me?” the judge waved her hand in front of the blonde’s glazed eyes.
“Yeah, I understand. I shouldn’t be saying anything. Just keep my mouth shut like a good little...”
“Hey. Stop it. Believe me, I know what I’m doing and I know what’s best.”
“Yeah, after all, you’re Superwoman,” Gabrielle whispered beneath her breath and leaned against the elevator’s walls.
“What did you say?”
“Nothin’, let’s just get it over with,” Gabrielle replied, somewhat snappishly, which was out of character for Gabrielle, the judge thought.
The secretary showed the judge and the counselor into the office where District Attorney Aron Willard sat in his chair, reading some papers. The judge paused a little, waiting for him to acknowledge of her presence.
How does being ignored feel like, Judge Dread? Gabrielle thought.
“I’ll be damned. If it isn’t Cagney and Lacey...What can I do for you, Your Honor?”
“Well, you’re no Jack McCoy either, Sir,” the judge grinned her evil grin. Gabrielle could swear she heard the judge’s teeth gritting. “Counselor Gabrielle O’Connor, I would like you to meet District Attorney Aron Willard.”
“Pleasure,” the District Attorney smiled. Like the Cheshire cat in ‘Alice in Wonderland,' thought Gabrielle.
“All yours, I’m sure,” Gabrielle mirrored his phony smile.
“I can see she learns fast. She’s gutsy too, just the way you like’em!” he said. This time Gabrielle was sure she heard a growl from the back of the judge’s throat. The judge’s eyes sparkled and grew darker. She was glaring at him. She is so gorgeous when she’s like this, thought Gabrielle.
“How can I help you, ladies?” he stretched back in his chair, and placed his hands behind his head. His smug, confident demeanor was just like a red shirt waved in front of Judge Lawless. This should be fun, thought Gabrielle, and giggled to herself. The best show in town, and I got a front-row seat.
“I want you to order your personnel to hand over to me all the records and files they have on each and every one of the D.A’s office employees, including you.”
“You cannot do this.” He leaned forward and spread both his palms on his desk.
“Oh, yes I can, and you know it.” The judge had never looked more satisfied and elated in her entire life.
Gabrielle reveled in the judge’s expression. She looks stunning when she’s in her ‘don’t fuck with me’ mode. Even though I resent what she did in the doc’s clinic, I admire her…
“I want to see the warrant.”
“Be my guest.” The judge beamed in delight. She loved showing off muscles and bending people to her will. Especially powerful people. “Gabrielle, show him the warrant,” she shot from the corner of her mouth, without taking off her eyes from her prey, the now sweating district attorney.
Gabrielle opened her briefcase and handed it over. The bold man grabbed it and scanned it quickly.
“I’ll fight you. It’s downright unconstitutional. This is a gross violation of the people’s right to privacy. I’m going to motion a petition to the Supreme Court. I won’t just roll over and play dead while you’re pulling a Kenneth Star on me,” he exclaimed. He was so pissed Gabrielle was afraid he might get an aneurysm, with his red face and swollen veins in his forehead.
“I wouldn’t motion anything to the Supreme Court if I were you. For one thing, your chances of winning in this petition are slim to none. Second, should you do so, I would go to the press with this investigation and tell them that someone from this office forged evidence and that it is my belief that the serial killer, known as the Mohel, is someone from this office. I don’t think you need this kind of publicity on election year.”
“You wouldn’t dare. It’ll damage your investigation as well,” he said.
“To some extent, yes. But not viewing the files will cause more damage.” She pierced him with her cold dark blue eyes.
“I give up,” raised his hands in the air. “You’ll get those files tomorrow.”
“No. I will have them now! Before someone of, shall we say, interest tampers with them,” she responded firmly.
“Suit yourself,” he muttered, defeated.
By the time Judge Lawless and Counselor O’Connor arrived at the judge’s house it was already past dinnertime. Gabrielle was in awe at the judge’s performance in the District Attorney’s office, but still couldn’t shake the unpleasant feeling that seeing Xena with Simba back at the clinic had caused her. She couldn’t understand it, but that unpleasantness resembled anger and an ounce of...she didn’t know.
Once all the files were stored in the study, the judge turned to Gabrielle and asked, “Care for some dinner? I’ll have James cook something. You can have your first cello lesson right afterwards. How about it?” She was still high on adrenaline from kicking the D.A’s ass.
“Not tonight. I have a date with Jeff. He’s coming over to my place for dinner.” Gabrielle looked very closely at the judge’s beautiful features, watching her reaction.
The judge felt a slight sting. She was truly disappointed, since she'd been looking forward to spending a musical evening with the young attorney. She maintained her composure though, trying hard not to let her disappointment show on her face. “Oh, I see. Well, some other time then,” she showed the best smile she could muster. Fuck.
“Sure, some other time.” Gabrielle answered, smiling back.
“When did you talk to him?” The judge simply couldn’t help herself. She was curious. After all, she was positive that Gabrielle hadn’t made any phone calls that day.
“When you were alone in Dr. Straub’s clinic. Her secretary allowed me to make a phone call in the waiting room. Why do you ask?”
The judge chuckled a tad bit nervously. “No reason.”
“At what time would you like me to come over tomorrow?”
“Around 10:00 a.m. I should think. We’ll start going over the files in order to find a match to Dr. Straub’s profile,” the judge said flatly. “We have a lot of work.”
“I’ll be back here tomorrow at 10:00, then.”
“Good evening, and have a good time tonight,” the judge said.
“I will, thanks.”
“Don’t be late tomorrow!” the judge cried after the door to her house closed behind the smaller woman.
What the fuck is going on with me. It bothers me, damn it. It’s eating at me that she’s going out with that stud from the D.A.’s office. For all I know he might be our killer. No, that’s not it and you know it. You wish she'd wanted to stay here with you. You wish you could have a chance to dazzle her with the cello. You want her to like you. It’s important to you…that’s why you bother with her. You know damn well why it stings your heart…because she found a crack in the wall.
“Was that Gabrielle?” James asked from behind her while she was still staring at the now closed door.
“Yeah,” her answer sounded weak. She still didn’t turn around to face her pal and housekeeper.
He approached her and placed a gentle arm around her waist. “Hey,” he shook her gently. “Are you OK?"
“Yeah, I guess,” she answered. She didn’t even convince herself.
“Let me fix you something to eat, then we'll talk, OK?” He smiled, trying to cheer her up a little.
“I’m not hungry, thanks.”
“Have you eaten anything today?” he sounded like a concerned…well, mother more than a father, really.
“No, but I don’t feel like eating,” the judge insisted. “But would you be a dear and fix me a nice cup of coffee with some Irish cream in it…and don’t hold back on the Irish cream, will ya?”
“Anything you ask. Come on, let’s talk.”
Once they were in the kitchen James began making two cups of coffee, one for him and one for his employer and good friend, who was clearly in desperate need of some help.
“Let me guess. It’s Gabrielle, isn’t it?” he began.
“Is it that obvious?” the judge asked. Is there a neon sign above my head that say ‘Yes, it’s Gabrielle’? She saw James smiling while he poured boiling water into the two cups on the kitchen’s marble counter.
“Talk to me, Xena, one woman to another,” he chuckled, still remembering her remark about him hardly being a man on account of his gayness. His words made her smile. She cared deeply for James; he was truly a good friend.
“I don’t know what’s coming over me, James. I find myself thinking too much about her. She makes me f…feel too much…anger, joy, nervous, concern, worry…You know? I feel like I’m dangerously close to losing control."
James added a generous splash of Irish cream to the judge’s cup of coffee. “What do you make of it?” he asked.
“I don’t know, that’s why I’m talking to you…” she snapped.
James forgave her. He knew she was in a vulnerable state at the moment. He placed the cup in her hand and, as she was sipping it, he said to her, “I think you have feelings for her.”
“Why James, have you gone mad? I don’t have those kind of feeling in me anymore.”
“You can deny it all you want, either to me or to yourself. But I think you’re beginning to fall in love with her.”
“I should have you committed, James. You know me better than this.”
“No, I don’t. I don’t care how many women you fucked and ditched over the past 4 years, I know you have a heart, Xena. And from what I’ve seen, Gabrielle is just the kind of person to melt you down,” he said.
“I don’t believe this…” the judge muttered.
“Than ask yourself. If that guy she’s dating made love to her tonight, how would it make you feel?”
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