Just The Beginning

by Lena

This story is number three in the Ares' Gift Series and takes place immediately after "Three Weeks Does Not a Lifetime Make.....Oh Yeah?" To the great relief of the protagonists. It would certainly help if you started with Ares' Gift and worked your way through. Just a suggestion.

Disclaimers: The character of Arielle belongs to me. The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Cyrene, Toris, Lilla and Argo are the property of Universal, MCA, and Renaissance Pictures and, unfortunately, do not belong to me. This story does, however, belong exclusively to me. Please refrain from plagiarizing. I have not nor do I expect to receive any dinars from the writing of this story.

Rating: NC17 for graphic sexual content. There are scenes of physical and emotional intimacy between two consenting adult females, which I thoroughly enjoyed writing and hope you enjoy reading. However, If you are under 18 years of age or this type of material is illegal in your neck of the woods ..................SCAT.

Gabrielle slid from their warm pallet to use the chamber pot, careful not to awaken Xena. After washing up, she noticed the cooing coming from the crib.

"Good morning, little princess. You hungry again? What do you say, you and I let your mother sleep a little while longer. I'm sure I can warm you up some fresh goat's milk to tide you over. Come on." She gently lifted her gurgling daughter into her arms and headed out to the hearth. "Now you lay right here while I go milk old Hera, and be quiet. Mommy will be right back." Gabrielle laid Arielle in the crib Toris had made for their new arrival, then bundled up and ran out to the barn to complete her task.


"I think your mother was right, you do have my appetite." Gabrielle mused as she watched the infant in her arms suckle enthusiastically on the clean rag she had soaked in warm goat's milk.

Two candle marks later, the well rested new mother opened up ice blue eyes to see her lover and child no longer by her side. The raven haired beauty arose and stretched out her feline body, padded to the wash basin and scrubbed her face and trunk clean. After drying herself off, she proceeded to wash the rest of her, paying close attention to her sex in hope she may get to use that particular area in the near future. "Gods, I can't believe I fell asleep on her last night. Some lover I turned out to be." The warrior talked to herself as she shook her head in disbelief. Then threw on her warmest tunic and woolen booties then went in pursuit of her family.

"Hey, Gabrielle, I'm so sorry about last night. I must have dozed off." The raven haired beauty looked her mate in the eye, full of contrition.

"What's that you're feeding her?" Xena bent down to kiss her lover's lips and her daughter's head.

"It's goat's milk. I thought it would do until you woke up. You needed some sleep and, anyway, she seems to like it." Gabrielle looked up and smiled, proud of her success.

Xena looked upon the scene not knowing quite what to make of it. "Well, I'm here now, so let me take her." Taking the baby away, the tall warrior walked to her favorite chair by the fire and situated herself and the baby for nursing.

"Xena,..... you mad at me?"

Xena gazed lovingly upon her daughter suckling at her breast, never looking up or in any way acknowledging her partner's presence.

Gabrielle wasn't sure if she was angry or hurt, but she was having a definite visceral response to Xena's actions. "She was doing just fine. I don't see anything wrong with her having a little variety in her diet, especially if it allows you to get more rest. The healer did say to add water, some watered down fruit juice and goat's milk as she accepts it. So, what did I do wrong." The little Amazon couldn't prevent the lilt of anger in her voice.

"You should have asked me first, Gabrielle. She's only 6 weeks old. She needs her mother, not some animal." Xena retorted sharply.

"Fine! She's your daughter, after all, right..... You do what you want." Gabrielle fought back her tears as she threw on her heavy cape, grabbed her staff and stomped out into the cold morning.

"I didn't mean it that way and you know it. Gabrielle. Gabrielle don't....." Xena's words were cut off by the slamming of the door. "Aw.....shit!" The frustrated warrior flopped back in her chair then looked down lovingly at her little daughter. "I hurt her, little one. It seems I do that a lot." Xena stroked the softy downy hair of her voracious daughter and watched her eat as she worried about her lover out somewhere in the cold.

"Ok, my little Amazon Princess, if you are quite done, I'm going to get dressed and go apologize, yet again, to your Mommy." Xena stuck her finger in the baby's mouth releasing the suction on her nipple. Lying her bundle over her left shoulder, she rubbed her cheek against her baby's as she gently patted it's back eliciting a boisterous burp. "You're so soft and delicate. How did something like you come out of Ares and me?" She just sat there for a moment in awe of her child. "I hate to leave you, but your mommy's out there freezing because of me and my big mouth, so I need to go find her and, maybe she'll feed you some more of that good goat's milk later. Would you like that?" The baby cooed as she was laid in her crib.


"Gabrielle?....What are you doing back here already? Where's your family?" Cyrene smiled inquisitively.

"Um.....uh.....Mom, I need to collect a few supplies. Just enough for a couple of days."

"Supplies for what? Where are you going?" Cyrene was becoming concerned.

"I thought I'd go visit the Amazons for a few days. Xena is back on her feet and they don't really need me for anything" Gabrielle avoided her Mother-in-law's gaze.

"What happened? Did you two have a fight or something?"

"Or something..... Look I'm just gonna grab a few things and be on my way. If you see Xena, tell her I'll get Argo back to her as soon as I can." Gabrielle busied herself collecting her supplies as Cyrene went to the kitchen to gather some food for her journey.

"Here take this. You must eat." Cyrene handed her daughter-in-law the bundle and gently took her hand. "Is there anything I can say to change your mind?"

"No. I'm sorry. I have to go." With that the little Amazon Queen turned on her heel and ran out into the cold.

"This can't be good." Cyrene ran up the stairs, calling to her son and daughter-in-law as she packed a few things in a quilted sack.

"Toris, I have to go to the farm. Can you and Lilla take care of things here for me?"

"Sure. What's going on? Are Xena and the baby Ok?" Toris voiced his concern.

"That's what I intend to find out. Now, go saddle my horse for me and I'll be down in a moment." Cyrene whipped off her apron and changed into her heaviest traveling clothes, then headed out to see her daughter.


Xena had walked down to the stream in search of her partner, but found no sign of her. Concerned for her infant's well being, she returned to their home and waited, impatiently, for her return.

"Where can she be out in this weather?" The worried warrior paced back and forth and from window to window, praying to any god that would listen that her love would return to her unharmed. "I don't know what to do. I can't just leave you here to go looking for her. And, it's too cold out there for a little one like you." Xena spoke to Arielle, asleep in her crib.

It was nearly three candle marks later when the warrior's keen hearing caught the sound of approaching horse's hooves.

"She must have taken off on Argo." The warrior mused. "It never even occurred to me to check the barn. She must have ridden for a while to blow off steam." Xena walked to open the door for Gabrielle.

"Where have you been? I've been worried sick about you." Xena exclaimed as she pulled open the door.

"Mother!?! What are you doing here?" The warrior stood dumfounded in the doorway.

"Well, I'd say freezing unless you get out of my way so that I may come in and get warm." Cyrene swept passed her statuelike daughter toward the fire blazing in the hearth.

"Xena, what in tartarus happened between you and Gabrielle?" Cyrene stood with hands on hips, facing her child.

"You've seen her?" Xena approached her mother in earnest. "Where is she? Mom, I really need to apologize to her. I don't know what's wrong with me. I said some things I didn't mean and I hurt her."

"Daughter, I don't know what you said, but I do know that she is on her way to the Amazons as we speak. She asked me not to tell you. To just say that she'd return Argo to you as soon as she could."

"She took Argo? Mom, this is really serious. I've got to find her before something terrible happens to her." Xena began running about the farm house gathering supplies and stuffing them into her saddle bags.

"Could you stay here and care for Arielle while I'm gone? There's some goat's milk right outside the door in the snow you can feed her with a little water. Just make sure you warm it up, but not too hot......"

"Daugher, I did raise three children. I do believe I can handle the situation. Don't worry about Arielle, I'll take good care of her. You just be careful out there and bring your bard back home safe and sound."

"I will Mom. Can I take your horse?"

"Of course, little one."

"Thanks, I'll be back as soon as I can." Xena quickly kissed her baby's head and her Mother's cheek. "Thanks, Mom."

"Xena, whatever it is that happened. Just think what your life would be like without your little bard." Cyrene reached up and pat her daughter's cheek.

"That's all I've thought about for the past three candle marks. I don't ever intend to find out first hand. I'll be back as soon as I find her." With that Xena turned on her heel and ran out into the cold to search for her soul mate.


The frigid air bit into Xena's face as she pushed the mare as hard as she dared towards a group of caves where they'd frequently sought shelter in their travels to visit the Amazons. She felt sure her partner would stop there to rest Argo and build a fire before starting out again in the morning.

Darkness was falling and the cold wind was fierce. Xena knew that if her soul mate hadn't made camp in the caves, she'd be in trouble. The thought made the warrior's heart pound in her chest and sweat bead on the nape of her neck in spite of the cold.

The caves became visible off in the distance and Xena started looking for any signs of a camp fire inside as she dismounted, allowing her horse to catch her breath and cool down as they walked single file up the cliff face.

Xena brought her horse into one of the taller caves and started a small fire to warm her mount, then went to search the rest of the caves for partner and Argo.

The smell of smoke caught the warrior's senses and she followed it to the source. "Gabrielle?" Xena called out to no response. "Gabrielle, are you in here.....? Come on, answer me." Xena's eyes were adjusting to the darkness and she was able to make out the smoldering cinders of a quickly doused fire. "Argo, come here girl." At her mistress's command the large palomino appeared from the far reaches of the cave. "Good girl. Now, where's my wife?" Xena pet her horse's soft nose and was rewarded with a nudge.

"I'm here, Xena." Gabrielle called out, her tone completely void of expression.

"Are you alright?" Xena asked sharply as she quickly examined her bard for any signs of injury. Then felt her tenuous hold on her emotions release. "Have you lost your mind, running off like that in this weather? If you wanted to punish me, then you've succeeded. Now, let's just get some sleep and go home." Xena was tired and didn't know how to deal with the fear she'd been consumed by for most of the day. And, when she thought about it, most of every waking moment since she'd given birth to their daughter.

The warrior busied herself collecting wood for the fire and feeding it til it blazed bright and warm.

"I'm not going with you, Xena." Gabrielle hadn't moved from her spot.

"What in tartarus are you talking about, Gabrielle? Of course you're going home with me." This wasn't going as Xena had planned. She was going to beg her bard's forgiveness but her anger and fear got in the way.

"Xena, you're not listening. I am not going with you. I am going "home" to the Amazons. You can take Argo in the morning. I'll walk. Your mother gave me enough food for another couple of days, plenty enough for my journey."

"Your "home" is with me and our daughter, not with the Amazons." The frustrated warrior hissed through clenched teeth.

"She's not "OUR DAUGHTER", Xena. You made that perfectly clear." Gabrielle was yelling now and trying hard not to cry.

"Gods! Why is this happening to us?" The frustrated warrior clenched her fists to her forehead and walked around in a circle trying to think of what to say. "I don't know why I said those things, honest. I didn't mean that you are any less her parent than I am. If it weren't for you, Arielle would never have been born."

Xena looked beseechingly into her soul mate's eyes. Sitting upon a large boulder, the warrior reached her hands out toward Gabrielle in supplication. "Gabrielle, I need you to help me say the words that will make you understand how I feel. Cause I don't know how." Xena felt tears burn her eyes and wiped at her wet cheeks in frustration.

"Xena, I'm not putting words in your mouth. You had little trouble with words this morning." Gabrielle walked around the distraught warrior and sat across from the fire.

"I'm scared." The words were barely audible to the little bard's ears.

"Scared of what?" Gabrielle blurted as she spread out her bed roll across the campfire from Xena.

"Motherhood. Of the responsibility of raising a child. What if I screw up? What if she grows up to hate me?" Xena stared at her boots as the tears fell down upon them washing the dust of the road away.

"She's not going to hate you." The bard's voice sounded irritated.

The raven haired beauty took a deep breath and finally stated her deepest fear. "I'm afraid she'll be taken away from me just like Solon. That she'll fall victim to my enemies. Ever since I first held her in my arms, I knew I had to do everything in my power to protect her, to keep her safe. I don't deserve her, Gabrielle. I know that and sooner or later the gods will figure that out too and take her away from me." Xena paused to wipe her eyes and clear her throat of the emotion that had developed a painful knot there.

"Gabrielle, you're the only reason I have such a precious gift. If it wasn't for your love and belief in me, I'd have done away with the pregnancy without a second thought. Gods! I'm a terrible mother. But I do love our daughter and I do love you. We belong together, the three of us. It's gonna be a big adjustment and I'm sure I will continue to mess up. But, believe me, I never wanted to hurt you. I know that I did and I'm so sorry." Xena stopped for a moment to collect herself then, taking a deep breath, continued in earnest. "Please try to understand. Please ..... forgive me. You can't leave me, Gabrielle. I need you. Our daughter needs you." Xena's sobs cut off her ability to speak.

The tender hearted queen instantly crossed the fire and embraced her Consort. "Sh..., sh..., sh..., Xena, I'm here, love, and I think I understand. I'd never try to take her away from you. And, I'd never allow anyone else to either, not even the gods. She is our baby, always has been and always will be. But you have to trust me with her Xena."

"I do trust you, Gabrielle." The warrior sniffled. "I'd trust you with my life and hers. Always." Xena looked up into gentle sea green eyes full of love and compassion. "I love you." A long elegant hand reached up to tenderly cup Gabrielle's damp cheek and wipe away her tears.

"I love you, too." The little bard whispered against her Consort's skin. Xena's breath caught in her throat as she felt soft lips kiss the palm of her trembling hand. Gabrielle bent slowly to kiss her lover's full lips. The warrior moaned as she felt a soft tongue beg entry into her mouth. Scooting back on the stone she'd been sitting upon, Xena guided her bard to straddle her lap.

Tossing the warm cape aside, the warrior kissed down a succulent neck and let her large hands run up and down the little bard's taut body then cup her firm arse.

"Xena wait." Gabrielle demanded as she felt the gooseflesh rise from her lover's ministrations combined with the freezing air whipping through their shelter.

"Mmmmm, No." Xena sucked and licked at the bard's pulse point as she rubbed the bard's sex through her bottoms.

"Xena, wait, just a moment." The aroused warrior moved her mouth down to kiss her partner's chest, then raised both hands to cup the tempting breasts .

"I've waited over two moons. I want you.....now." Large strong hands reached behind the little blonde and loosened the ties of her top exposing her creamy white breasts to the warriors lustful gaze and causing a shiver to run through the bard's chilled body.

"Xena, I'm freezing. Just let's move over by the fire."

"You've already built a blazing inferno in my belly."

"Xena, I love you, but LET ME GO!!!!!" The shivering little bard scooted out of her lover's passionate embrace and ran to quickly lay their sleeping furs near the campfire.

As her aroused lover looked on, Gabrielle seductively removed her clothing and slithered under the blanket holding her hand out beckoning the warrior to join her.

Xena's mouth went dry as she watched the show her lover gave her, then stood on shaky legs and began removing her own clothing as she slowly approached, devouring every curve offered her with her eyes.

Gabrielle held open the blanket and her legs to welcome her lover and moaned loudly when their mounds met. The intensity of emotion was overwhelming for both women, frozen in time, relishing their connection as they stared into each other's eyes filled with love and desire. This was home. This was total acceptance. This is where their souls and their bodies joined.

Xena placed most of her weight on her forearms laying on either side of her lover's shoulders and gently pumped her curly black hair into Gabrielle's softer golden mons. They held each other's souls as their pupils dilated with the increase in their mutual arousal. No words were necessary. The tears they shed said so much more than words ever could.

Gabrielle reached up to cup Xena's heaving breast, running her thumb across her erect nipple. The warrior lifted her upper body just enough to allow her breast access to her lover's warm wet mouth. "Drink from me." Xena's eyes rolled back and her eyelids closed as she was sent into sensory overload at the feel of her lover suckling at her breasts, alternating one to the other.

Gabrielle knew by the trembling of her partner's limbs that she was close to her climax, so she tilted her pelvis and began to pump her sex into Xena's, giving her more constant stimulation. She locked her gaze with her lover's as she returned the warrior's nipple to her mouth and rhythmically suckled the sweet warm milk into her mouth as she pinched Xena's other nipple and rubbed it between her fingers.

Gabrielle felt her release building in the pit of her belly, but tried to maintain control until her partner climaxed.

"Oh gods....., Oh gods.....,OH........, GODS..........., GABRIIIIEEEEEELLLLLLEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

The sound of Xena calling out her name in ecstasy pushed Gabrielle's passion beyond her control as she pumped her sex powerfully into her lover's slickened folds.


The sated warrior rolled onto her back pulling her lover with her, causing the golden head to rest upon her shoulder. "I love you, wife."

"And I love you, my Consort..... Always."

"Always." Xena covered herself and her lover with the blanket and both drifted into peaceful slumber.


"By the gods, I'm cold.....and.....wet? Xena? Xena, wake up.....you're leaking." Gabrielle nudged her partner then quickly threw on her warm tunic and got up to tend the dying embers of their campfire. Having fetched enough wood to feed the flames, she ran out into the snow and filled their frying pan, then quickly returned to place it by the fire to melt and warm for bathing.

Xena slowly became aware of the activity around her and the sticky wetness under her engorged breasts and belly. Mumbling profanities under her breath, the highly uncomfortable beauty called out to her partner for assistance. "Gabrielle, I need a wash rag and warm water. My breasts have sprung a leak all over me."

"And me. Thank you very much." Gabrielle complained as she tossed a warm wash rag to Xena.

"I'm sorry. I can't help it I've missed two feedings since you so graciously relieved me of my milk last night. I just need to get home to our daughter and get into a regular feeding schedule." Xena diligently cleaned herself of the sticky mess. "Yuck, Gabrielle, I hate being all sticky." Xena went to the fire and proceeded to complete her bath as did her partner.

"Well, partner, then you have a problem cause It will be several candle marks before we get back to the farm. You'll be miserable by then." Gabrielle looked at Xena, her concerned features turning into a lascivious grin, she tilted her head down just a touch, her sea green eyes glinting with the first sparks of hunger as she slowly approached her prey.

Xena reached out her arms and gently pulled her love into her embrace. She released an audible gasp as warm lips enveloped her nipple and sucked deeply, drinking from her breast. The gentle warrior slowly ran her finger's through soft blond hair, moaning her relief as her partner groaned her arousal. "Gabrielle, you just don't know how good that feels."

The busy bard looked up at her lover and smiled. "Xena, you don't know what feeding upon your breast does to me, love. I've never felt such desire. Does that make me a pervert?"

"No. That makes you my Gabrielle." Xena gave her lover a gentle smile and the bard returned to her task as she felt warm hands begin massaging her buttocks and a muscled thigh slip between her own.

The very aroused bard found it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand with her sex sliding tantalizingly over her lover's powerful appendage. "Oh gods, Xena, I need to lie down before I fall down." Gabrielle panted releasing a pliant nipple.

The relieved warrior gently lowered her lover to the furs. Xena took a pert pink nipple into her warm mouth as she rolled upon her lover, lifting her thigh again into warm slick folds. "Xena, I've missed this so much. I need to kiss you. Come up here." The petite bard wrapped her hands in black tresses and gently coaxed her partner to accept a gentle, soulful kiss. Tongues explored each other as if for the first time and gentle hands soothed eyebrows, cheek bones and the slope of a jaw. Xena withdrew from the kiss ever so slowly to place feather soft kisses upon the chin, eyelids and forehead of the woman who was her life, her reason for being. The bard's breath hitched as a tear escaped her sea green eyes.

"Gabrielle? What's wrong, love?" Xena lifted her weight onto an elbow, looking down upon her partner with deep concern in her beautiful blue eyes.

"Absolutely nothing is wrong, my heart. I'd just forgotten how gentle you can be and how very loved you make me feel."

"I do love you. I'm not good with flowery words, but, if you'll let me continue, I'll try to show you just how very much." With that the raven haired beauty latched upon her lover's soft neck, sucking over the pulse point and eliciting a moan of pleasure from the quivering woman below her when a large warm hand pinched a pink nipple.

Gabrielle tilted her pelvis up to meet her lover's thigh as she pushed her thigh harder against Xena's own slick folds. "Oh gods, Gabrielle, what you do to me." The aroused warrior slowly ran her warm, wet tongue over her partner's breast, lapping at a taut nipple before giving it a soft nip with her perfect teeth and then sucking it hard into warm depths. This caused the bard to pump her pelvis faster and harder, sending a clear message to her partner that her time was close at hand.

"Oh, no, my love. I'm not finished with you yet." Xena said as she separated herself from her partner's arousal eliciting a groan of disappointment.

"Xena!?! Where are you going?" Gabrielle complained.

"Sh, sh, my love, I'm going to worship you. I've thought of little else for the past three moons. I need to taste you and smell you and love you till you scream my name in ecstacy." Xena said as she slowly slid down her lover's taut abdomen, meeting her eyes with hot blue desire.

The bard reached down to run her fingers through soft black tresses as a deep guttural moan of pleasure escaped her throat.

"Mmmmmmm." Xena purred as she licked and kissed and tasted her lover to her heart's content. Realizing, by her partner's trembling thighs and swollen sex, that her time was at hand, the warrior woman plunged two long fingers into her vagina as she suckled hard at her clitoris.

"Oh gods! Oh gods!!! XEEEEEEENAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Upon sensing the pinnacle of her lover's orgasm, Xena slid the tip of her tongue under the hood of Gabrielle's throbbing clit, prolonging her partner's pleasure and allowing herself to watch her climax, full of pride and joy in the knowledge that she caused her lover such bliss.

"Oh, Xena!" The emotional bard sobbed out her lover's name as tears of joy streamed down her face.

"I'm here, my love. Don't cry. I've got you. Sh, sh, I've got you." The gentle warrior woman glided up her lover's body and pulled her into a warm, safe embrace, placing gentle kisses upon her temple and murmuring words of love and comfort.

"I'm sorry, Xe. I've never felt anything that wonderful before. I felt like we were one soul soaring into the heavens." Gabrielle sniffled and took deep breaths trying to compose herself. Then looked into her lover's eyes that were full of love and unquenched desire. "Oh Xena, what can I do to pleasure you? Tell me what you want."

Xena was trembling uncontrollably at her lover's offer. Taking her soul mate's face in her hands she gently kissed the sides of her mouth and her chin, "Just touch me, please, now." With that Xena plunged her tongue into the warmth of her lover's mouth, kissing her deeply and passionately as Gabrielle slid her tiny hand into her lovers wet folds, rubbing her palm against Xena's erect clit, making certain the tips of her fingers entered and stretched open her sex with each pump of her partner's hips. Xena threw her head back to avoid biting her lover as a shattering climax spread like hot lava through her loins. Gabrielle watched her lover's pleasure in awe at the intensity of her beauty.

Xena let her head drop to Gabrielle's shoulder waiting for the darkness that had enveloped her mind to recede as her bard stroked her sweat dampened hair and murmured words of love in her ear.

"I love you, wife." Xena whispered

"I know. I love you, my Consort." Gabrielle rubbed her partner's strong back and shoulders, knowing her warrior needed comforting too. "Rest now. I'll warm up some of your mother's stew. You need to eat something before we start back. We need to get home to Arielle. You know, I really miss the little noise maker."

"Yeah, me too." Xena rolled over to face her partner as she snuggled deeper into the furs. "I'm sure Mom is taking good care of her." There was a long pause as Gabrielle went about preparing their meal and packing up their belongings. Xena knew they needed to discuss the rearing of their daughter, setting each other's roles out clearly. But she was just too tired and blissfully sated to concentrate as sleep took her to the land of Morpheus.

Gabrielle looked over at the woman who owned her heart and sighed, knowing the road ahead of them would be bumpy at best, but was confident that their love would find a way. "Always." She smiled and went back to her chores.

The End,

(For now)

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