When Love Is Found part 3
Disclaimer: The following characters of Xena Warrior Princess are property of MCA/Universal. It is not meant to infringe on any copyrights whatsoever.
However this story is mine and mine alone.
WARNING! There is graphic violence, some strong language as well as a touchy rape scene. If this bothers you please leave. I write stories in ways that I see fit. I try to make it as real as possible, NOT for the ratings of television. So if youre NOT 18 or older, go read Barney or something.
Sounds of horses running echoed into the morning air. The air was cool, clean, and rather loud.
"HEY! BLUE!" The voice called toward the barn doors. Birds quickly took to the air at the sudden shock. The tall cloaked figure stood at the feed trough, closely watching the doors as she mindlessly bumping hay and oats. Slowly the doors of the barn inch their way open. A huge horse came walking out as the other smaller horses followed behind. Blue was an enormous workhorse full-grown Calvary war-horse in its prim; even Argo could never equal the strength and size of this magnificent beast. The smaller horses all to be trained for their owners mainly work horses to help plow the fields come spring.
Luna finished filling the troft and paused to watch the animals eat their breakfast. The farm was small. A barn had been erected just off the main entrance to the cave dwelling; the front was enclosed in fence for the horses to run freely. Three small pens connected to the main, one for cattle, the other for chickens and a couple of hogs, the third pen seems to be for visiting horses an other animals. The barn was in tight order. Back section was full of hay and grain stalls; blacksmith equipment lined a small corner just inside the main doors. About 5 stalls for horses lined the right side of the barn. Hanging up on the walls were all types of farm tools, saddle and leather repairs as well as weapons. The second floor of the barn was full of old creates, stacks of fur and bolts of cloth raging from cotton, hemp to the finest silk. Many items a good merchant would take days to filter through. Sounds of horses running and playing with one another drifted throughout the air.
"Well Blue why dont you go play with the others?" Luna asks her giant friend as she walks across the barnyard. The giant horse follows her steps in a slow stride. Luna sees Blue is just a little annoyed at the question with a hard snort. " What? What did I say wrong? I thought you liked them??" Blue begins to pick up speed. Luna noticed the change of pace, her stomach tightens and every muscle in her body is telling her to run. " Hey! Blue.." Luna begins to back up toward to open barn. "Blue come on I was kidding Hey!.Shit!" Luna spins, tosses the bucket and sprints toward the doors. Damn horse. Can never take a joke Luna picks up speed then leaps into the air, pulls herself into a tight roll and lands on the top of the ladder leading into the loft. Blues whimpers and snorts in discuss that she made it to the loft and to victory as he got the better of his master.
Luna climbs the rest of the way up and laughs outright. " You jerk!! I was only kidding" Blue jumps up and clashes his hoofs together in protest. Luna smiles in surprise, " Okay, they will only be here a couple more week then youll have your barn back. Geeze." Blue snort in agreement and walks back outside. Luna places her hands on her hip and shakes her head with a smile. Crazy horse.
Sounds of fire cracking and popping drifted in the air. Small echoes of horses danced off
the walls along with pants of a very excited animal. Slowly green pools of light danced into life. Slowly the world around began to focus; familiar tapestries lined the wall of this strange place. Well my head doesnt hurt as much. Moving her head toward the pants of excited a pair of big brown eyes looked at her with happiness that its body was shaking from the fast wagging tail
" Well hello there." The voice was quiet and hoarse. She began to look herself over to inspect what damage she did to herself. Her left shoulder was out of action for a while, since it was wrapped in a sling, feeling a slight pull above her right eyes she slowly patted that part and notice her head was wrapped as well. Slowly she started to sit herself up, pains in her ribs were telling her a different story, but it didnt stop her. Small whimpers of encouragement from her furry friend were comforting. Finally what seemed an eternity she was up. Gabrielle froze, not from pain but the sight at this awesome view, a beautiful meadow within a cave. The light was something out of the heavens, beautiful, and quiet. She let her eyes drift across the room noticed the main fire pit that heated the entire cave, or temple. She wasnt really sure. Looking down at the blanket she now had to see why her knee was throbbing so. Moving aside the blanket, Gabrielle noticed the rather large wrapped knee slightly elevated by a pillow, she also noticed she was bathed and changed. "Woof." The sound startled her making her inhale at the sharp pain from her ribs. The animal whimpers, as the pain was its fault.
" Shh its not your fault. Come here girl Im not going to hurt you. Have you been here all morning?" Gabrielle asked her furry friend as she approached and laid her head on the edge of the bead. Gabrielle began to pet the animal as she slowly looked at the position she was in. " What did I do to myself." She continued to pet the animal and look into the meadow in deep thought as a voice snapped her back into reality
" You fell down a really big hole."
"Xena?" Her heart skipped a beat as she turned toward the voice to see a hooded woman before her. The hood was covering most of her facial features as a light brown eye locked onto hers, as she stopped in mid stride.
"No. Im not Xena. My name is Luna." Her answer was cold. Gabrielle sensed right away that she ran into her friend once before. The woman moved over to the side bench with medicines and bandages. " How are you feeling? You head especially, headache?" Her voice was calm this time, showing concern.
" Not too bad I guess. My head still hurts, but nothing like before. No spinning, or blurred vision." She continued to watch herput together herbs in a bowl and mix some salve from the looks.
" I would like to change you bandages of your feeling up to it. Maybe a bath."
"Are you alright? You havent taken you cloak off?" Gabrielle was absent mindedly petting the dog when she noticed that Luna still had her winter gear on, and the cave was rather warm. "Im not sure if its me or its rather warm in here." Gabrielle watched as Luna looked up at the main fire pit but still couldnt make out her face.
"Chance, open the doors." She gave her furry friend a command. Chance barked once at her mistress padded over to a rope near the center of the pit. She grabbed it with her teeth and pulled until two little doors rose up a bit and the sounds of water filed into the cave.
Gabrielle watched this incredible task, as this rather large dog open two small flood gated to take down the flames a little. She watched as the animal held onto the rope until her mistress whistled to release the rope and the doors slide shut.
"There. Give it about half a candle or so and this room should be really nice."Luna answered an unasked question, not once looking up from her work. Gabrielle still wanted to see the woman behind the voice, and why she disliked Xena so much.
"Why dont you take your cloak off and stay awhile?" Gabrielle razzed her strange savior. Hoping to break the ice between them.
" People are afraid of the way I look." A light brown eye caught hers.
"You saved my life. I would like to see the person who saved it .please?" Gabrielle was being honest, yet she just had to see her. Her voice was stern, angry, and yet full of life and power. A lot like Xenas when shes thinking of a battle plan. Luna stopped what she was doing and pulled back her cloak, untied the front and placed it over the back of the nearest chair. Slowly she turned toward Gabrielle showing the olive skin, light brown hair and eye, begin to melt into a hideous being. Hair missing, scalp scared and melted, her right eye was filled with the fog of death. Gabrielle just sat there, not able to say one word. Except. "Thank you."
Luna was taken slightly off guard. "Your welcome. .. Can I change your bandages or not?" She cocked her head to one side and just looked at her, and why on earth was she sweating. Was it that hot in there? Gabrielle regarded her with a smile and a nod. Luna slowly turned around took up a tray and made her way over to Gabrielles cot. Luna pulled over a chair set the tray of medicines and bandages next to Gabrielle and started to unwrap her left shoulder. Gabrielle was able to look over Luna and notice the scares continued down her neck and her hands were lightly scared. Luna wore long sleeves and pants, apparently the scares ran very deep. Luna continued to clean her wound.
" Im not going to bandages you back up just yet. I figure if you were up to it you might want to take a bath. That knee needs to be soaked in warm water to work out any more swelling." Green eyes nail brown to the wall.
" Xena did this to you." It wasnt a question. It was a statement of fact. Luna couldnt take her eye off her; her whole body wanted nothing more then to slam her fist into her face for being to up-front. Lunas inside were screaming for revenge.
"Yes. We had a slight disagreement, and I lost." She casually replied.
" Ill tell you what. Lets get you bathed, feed and new bandages and after all that well see how your feeling. If you feel strong enough Ill tell you a story. If not it will wait until dinner." Luna was annoyed but knew the questions would repeat.
"Yes. You havent had a good bath since I first brought you here about 5 days ago, besides it will help to determine how much damage you did to your knee. Its not broken, but some damage was done. Anymore questions?" Luna was fighting the sensation of loosing her breakfast; the thought of Xena was just making her sick. The question was coming, she knew it.
Gabrielle sat there listening to this woman. This woman who must have once served Xena in her warlord days. She could feel the hate she has for Xena. Her thoughts turned toward her friend. Where is she? Oh my gods Xena. She must think Im dead, oh gods. Her eyes began to fill with tears. "Xena." She whispered. Luna looked up from here work to see the tears forming. For a moment she felt sorry for her, she does have feeling for Xena. How? How is this possible? Luna stood to change the water for cleaning, standing over the table mindless gathering items.
" I sent a friend to look for Xena I sent something of yours to show her you were alive."
Gabrielle looked over to Luna as she continued her work not missing a beat, wondering why. But all she could do was think of what Xena was going through.
"Thanks." Gabrielle looked off toward the meadows praying that Xena is all right. Xena please be safe I love you.
"Hot stew! Hot beef stew! Only 3 dinars!" A voice shouted above the crowd of people filling the streets of Frenzea. A decent size city that sits in a valley between two great nations. This is the last stop on the way to Neapolis. The streets were filled with fresh snow that fell early morning.
"Hey Bonner!?! Come out here and look at this." The tone was deep.
"What is it? Im a little busy doing my job here." The thin man shot back in the same direction the first voice came from. He was slowly adding coal to the blacksmith fire.
"I mean it. Come here, your gonna love this." Booner looks over to his buddy looking out the window of the shop like a little kid. Bonner shakes his head, tossed aside the shovel in disgust. Man what does this ass want now. What could be so.. Bonner stopped at what he saw. His eyes bugged out of his head in disbelief.
"Holy sheep shit Noah. It that?" He asked is amazement as he pointed to the rider coming into the city. A smile burned across Noahs face.
"Yup. Its Xena. Go over and let Verco know that someone special just road into town." Both men watched out the window as Xena moved toward another stable and Inn just down the road. Bonner was watching her, his brow creased as to notice how unkempt she was, not like the warrior princess he ran into a year ago.
"Did you get a good look at her?"
"Yea, MMm, Mmm finger lickin good, Booner. The Bitch is gonna pay." Booner looked over to his buddy and became disgusted all of a sudden.
"Ya know what Noah why dont you go tell Verco, I have customers waiting today." With no answer he walked back into his shop and left Noah standing by the window watching the warrior princess. Noah looked back slightly confused at his friends statement.
"Whatever." Turning away from the window tossing his cloak over his broad shoulders
as he walked out onto the streets of the city. Noah was a large mercenary man who could care less for law and order. Kill anyone at anytime. This was his motto. A real sweetheart to be around. "Oooo Verco is going to love this."
Bonner looked back over his shoulder to see if his friend was gone, looking down both streets and saw nothing. Nothing but the warrior princess at Brodys Inn. What happened to her. He thought as he looked around. Finally it hit him, no friend. Oh gods. No wonder.
Jasmine was running at a comfortable pace around the edge of the abyss. Then followed a thin trail to a main road. It was beginning to snow lightly as she continued to follow the sent her friend wanted her to find. It was confusing to Jasmine on why her friend wanted to follow a scent of a person she hated. Horses broke her thought as she bounced into the woods edge. Five men on horseback ran past her in a hurry. She waited a little while longer then proceeded down the road to the sent of food was in the air. Jasmine was hungry, having only stopped a few times for rest then continued on, she knew her little mission was important. So far both scent continued in the same direction. "Bro." Jasmine broke out into a slow trot.
What seemed like eternity the gates of the town were finally upon them. Not really caring if her friend was tired or not, damn she was. Slowly huffing and puffing as a gentle hand began to rub her neck softly with much needed apology.
"Im sorry Argo, well stop for a while." Argo snorted in acceptance of her mistress apology and that she was still alive up there. Xena shook her head a bit as she gathered her bearing, not really knowing where the hell she was. Last thing she remembers was hearing Crowl curse her names. Didnt matter, she needed to tend to Argo. The city was set off in sections of where your dinars will take you; Xena took the middle path. The small shops faded into a blur as she trotted down the narrow streets looking for a place to put her and Argo up of the night. Stopping at an Inn called Brodys, she dismounted and stopped at the sight of Gabrielles pack of scrolls.
Xena this is great! Where did you find this, Oh it perfect." Xena just leaned against the barn doors and watch her friend light up at her gift. Gabrielle kept wanting some type of bag she could carry her scrolls in, toss over her shoulder and have it outta of the way when walking. So when they passed through Amphipolis a few moons back, she just happened to give her uncle a special job, he ended up calling it a back-pac. Well she didnt care what it was called, just seeing Gabrielle so happy was enough for her.
Well Im glad you like it, you bitched about it enough.
I did not. I just didnt want you to forget, Ms. gotta have new leather stitch." Mocking her friends warrior tuffness, then she noticed the eyebrow go up. Xena flipped over her head and put her into a bear hug making Gabrielle squeak. She loves making her squeal like a little kid, besides it always turned into a nice long hug, like now.
Thank you, Xena, Came a muffled voice from her right shoulder.
Your welcome Gabrielle. Xena replied as she rested her chin on Gabbys head, still holding one another. Content.
"Hey! You alive." Xena slowly heard the voice as an older woman came at her. "Or are you going to stand there in the cold all night?" The hag snapped.
"Need shelter for myself and my friend." Xena replied, in a daze still able to feel Gabrielle next to her. "One night."
"Fine. Pick a stale and settle your horse you can pay me at the bar." The old hag retreated into the warm inn as she yelled back to Xena. "Names Maggie if ya need anything else."
"Come on Argo, let take care of you." Xena slowly turned Argo into the barn and took the last stall on the left. Big Barn. Xena looked around as she continued to take off the saddlebags and then the saddle. "Nice place. Big, dry. This is nice, huh girl." Large brown eyes regarded her as Argo put her head on Xenas shoulder to comfort her in the pain. Xena noticing the loving gesture from her friend, slowly rubs her neck, "I miss her too." Tears once again rise to the surface and fall.
"How long do I need to stay in here?" Gabrielle could feel her whole body relax into the warm spring water Luna was helping her in. Being able to float freely, took much added stress off her ribs and knee.
"About an hour. Try to bend and flex your knee slowly. You havent been able to move it in a few days and you dont want your knee to stay that way now do you?" Luna finished curtly. "Besides, I need to clean up and make something to eat. Just do what ya gotta do and Ill be back. Chance watch your friend."
"Why do you call her Chance?"
"Because when I found her there was a chance she would live and a chance she wouldnt. Thus her name. Chance." Luna finished the sentence as she continued toward the main hall outside. Chance and Gabrielle followed her till she was well out of sight down the hall. Gabrielle floats over to her furry friend sitting on the edge of the spring.
"Chance huh? Hi there. *scratching an ear* Your friend doesnt like to talk much does she, well well just have to see about that." Gabrielle moved over to the steps and seated herself for a bath. She tried to bend her knee and found it not too painful, just incredible tight from the swelling. "Well bathing is going to be fun, especially one handed." Her thoughts drifted off to the bath not long ago.
Gabrielle Im sorry." Xena kept repeating as she was helping her friend from choking. Xena goes to start a splash fight and almost drowns her best friend.Gods Im sorry."
Its okay Paybacks are a bitch. Warrior Princess." Gabrielle coughs and wheezes.
"Well guess I deserve at least one payback, dont I?" Xena answers, watching her friend face turn.
"What is that suppose to mean?"
"Nothing. Nothing at all. A grin began to grow, as well as the temp of the tub.
"Youre fibbing." Gabrielle moves closer once more, as there noses slightly touch. A heart skips a beat.
"Im a warrior, my honor forbids it." The grin grows, heart rate speeds up. Their bodies begin to touch one another as they float close to each other.
"Okay *grin* truth or dare??" Really big grin as she see Xenas eye bug out.
Gabrielles sucked in a breath as she felt Xenas arms slide around her waist and pull her into an embrace, a nice big, wet, naked embrace. Xenas eyes drilled into hers.
"Dare." She hissed.
"Hey guys, need anymore water."
"Ya know Chance I really hated Mina for that. I hope shes alright." Her heart was hurting so much just to think of what Xena is going through, thinks she is dead. "Gods Xena, please .please be okay." Her chest was aching from the heartache she has for Xena. Closing her eyes and willing for Xena to hear her thoughts. I love you Xena.
"Luna, we need to talk to you?" The sound of the voice startled Luna that she actually yelped out loud.
"What the hell are you doing Emery, sneaking up on me. Ass. What the hell do you want." She scolded him. Finally looking else where as the silence was broken by Emery.
"We heard you found a body in the river?"
"Yup." Luna continues to unload a wagon of grain sakes into the barn. Knowing very well she was pissing the bunch of them off. Emery and his city council, circle of jerks was more like it.
" Well who was it and are they dead or alive?" Patience was wearing thin.
"Why?" Another sack hit the ground. "Why the interest." Luna walked back toward the wagon to unhook Blue.
"Luna we just want to know who it was. We have reports that Xena is in the area." another man confessed. Luna looks over toward Emery who rolls his eyes in disgust at the honesty of one of his councilman.
"Well, well the truth comes out. Now why do you think this girl has anything to do with Xena."
"Everybody knows what Xena does do people. What she did here years ago, she is still wanted and the crimes she committed she must be brought to pay for them." Emery continues to raise the level of his voice. Blue snots at the sound, Luna starts coming unglued.
"What she did here .Ya know what I think?" Luna slowly looks over the 3 men around her. One young minded fool to look after the horses. The second was without a doubt Emerys lackey. Man in his mid twenties, who still has much to learn, and for Emery, well lets just say a man well versed in politics and bullshit. "I dont think you have any idea who this woman really is." Lunas hock the gate shut to Blues pen.
"No you have no ide.." Emerys voice was quickly cut off. Luna who was forcing him back against the wagon griped his throat. Thud!
"I, have no idea Look at my face Emery." Lunas words were cold. Emery looked up at Luna. One brown, one white. Once what he could tell, was a very beautiful woman. A woman now scared for life, half of her face looked melted, a sight most people cannot look at.
" I think Ive got a much better idea who Xena is then you old man. That bitch took away my life because I disagreed with her, Poof. So if Xena was around here. Id kill her or anyone that was with her, got that Emery." All the man could do was shake his head and choke. Luna let him go and backed away shaking her head at this man the people call in the village, wise.
"Now get off my land. Next time Ill send the dogs after you. Get lost." With that said Luna retreated to the barn to finish her chores.
Emery and his friend mounted and turned back to the village.
" I know shes hiding something, and I will find out what." He stated to anyone who cared and he didnt care whom. Slowly the sound of retreating horses grew quiet.
Slowly melting into the sunlight Luna made her way across the barn and out the back into another small building. Closing the door behind her, she moved over to a large cabinet and opened the doors, revealing many hand weapons of choice. Every knife perfect, sharp, every sword perfect balance, every ax ready to use. Lightly scared hands reach for a broad sword, with loving care then removed it from its home. Sunlight was raining in through the shuttered window that reflected off the blade onto her face. Eyes were focused on the blades edge, knowing how razor sharp it was, her muscles flexed as her heart began to beat hard. A smile formed.
"Come on Xena, come to me I have a score to settle with you."
continue to part 4
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