When Love Is Found Part 7
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! Subtext, YES!! There is graphic violence, some strong language as well. 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.
Enjoy. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
"Look Im warning you Vesco. I dont want ya starting anything." Maggie snapped.
Vesco looked up from Xena to see the dark look in the old woman's eyes, then turned back to Xena. He slightly turned himself to face Xena , "Now like I was saying. Wheres your little friend." Several men snickered in the background some making rude comments.
Xena could feel her heart pounded against her chest. Gods it was hard to think. So many emotions running through her at the same time, the only thing she could concentrate on was one little promise was keeping her from falling apart.
Xena promise me one thing? The voice asked.
Her heart skipped.
"So did ya leave her some where?" He asked with a humorous in his voice.
The entire bare was still except for Vesco and his men, everyone else in the tavern, including Maggie, held their breathe as they waited to see what the warrior might do.
Promise me that if anything happens to me "Xena heard the voice again. She felt like she was on fire. He was pulling all the right levers to piss her off. Xena drained her port and motioned for another. Maggie walked over to her, replaced her mug for a fresh one and looked into her eyes but all she saw was pain in her eyes. The type of pain when loosing some one you love with your entire heart and soul.
"Betcha da she left that girl tied up." He blurted out as he rubbed his manhood and laughed. Several other men began to make low comments to one another.
"Ya, needed to get a little sauced, to finish perhaps?" Another boasted from the back.
Xena stopped in mid drink at that comment. She counted to ten, swallowed then slowly set the mug down and closed her eyes. Promise me you wont become a monster."
Vesco was now tired of this game. Xena was trying her best to ignore him and he knew it. Her reached in front of her, took the mug from her, swallowed its contents then put the mug back when he took it from. "MMmmm..Now thats tasty Xena." He leaned inward a bit, "Bet that tastes as good as little golden fleece that follows you around." He bit the end of the sentence off.
Maggie's eyes about popped put of her head. Her stomach was in a permanent knot as her eyes locked onto Xena's and saw something she didnt before. "Do ya love her?"
What sounded like wood breaking was Xena bouncing Vescos head off the bar. He landed on the floor like a sack of grain. No sounds, no movement nothing. Blood began oozing out from underneath his head forming a large puddle on the floor. The bar was silent, not one person made a sound, they just stood there as if trying to see if what they just saw was real. Xena didnt move. She just sat there.
One man move forward just a bit, shaking his head a little trying to figure when she grabbed his head. He never saw it, just his head slamming onto the bar, "Bitch killed him!" He yelled as he picked up speed toward Xena. The rest of Vescos men were waking up to just what happened. The tavern was then full of chaos. Villagers scrambling to get out of the way of angry raiders or they took this opportunity to get in a few of their own.
Before she could turn she felt the massive a body slam into her against the bar knocking all the wind out of her. Ruff angry hands grabbed her pulling her off her seat. Xena was airborne. Her balance was all screwed up from the port she had been drinking she couldnt right herself. The angry raider body slammed Xena onto the table then proceeded to pin her against the table. For a few moments Xena was totally disorientated, the room was spinning, her skull felt as if it was on fire, few of her ribs were now broken, she wanted to throw up and the pain in her shoulder told her she was in trouble.
" Looks like the tables Are turned Xena." The man spat at her as he continued to put pressure against Xena, making sure she wasnt able to get up. He placed all his weight against her, her right arm was pinned under her and her left shoulder was dislocated.
A loud crash was heard as a villager and raider crashed into a nearby table shattering it into a pile of firewood. The village scrambled to his feet for defense but her noticed the raider was impaled by one of the table legs.
The bile within her stomach was lurching its way out. The order coming from the beast above her was almost to much to take anymore. Suddenly she felt a hand trying to find a way under her skirt.
"Ya killed my friend." He stated as his hand moved around her thigh. "Now Im gonna ruin you." His fingers found home between her legs, warm, soft. "Im gonna ruin you the way I would ruin your little whore." He pressed his man hood against he as he leaned over to her ear. "An ya know Im gonna enjoy tearing her apart from the inside out." He made a thrusting gesture and laughed.
Xena couldnt take it anymore. Right at this moment she didnt care weather she lived or died. No one was going to even entertain the idea of raping Gabrielle. Just thinking about what he could do to her was making her insane. Her blood was pumping, her temper was rising to the point of insanity. Then she heard a voice.
"Get off her!!" The tone was male, and distracted the raider enough for her to almost pull her arm free. The raider felt her try to move but continued pressure. He leaned into her ear.
"No, no pretty your going no where."
Xena felt his breathe behind her. "Away from you," she growled and slammed the back of her head into his face breaking his nose with a loud crack. The pressure was lifted from her back she quickly rolled herself off the table and landed in her knees. She slowly staggered to her feet looked around to and saw this pile of filth leaning against the bar holding his bloody nose. She quickly rushed him sending her crashing her body into him. Not only did she knock the wind out of him but popped her shoulder back into place.
Without skipping a beat she grabbed the back of his leathers and slammed his face into an armored knee. Not once, not twice, but five time. Boots rushed up behind her. Holding onto the bar for balance she kicked back behind her as hard as she could sending a second raider into another. Both men crashed onto the floor as another come up on her right. He swung with his right, Xena blocked with her left finishing him off with a right cross that almost took her off her own feet. She staggered a bit holding her head in pain as the room began to spin.
"Xena behind you!!!" A voice screamed out. But her reaction time was to slow. Just as she saw what was coming at her her face exploded in pain. Everything slowed down, she tired to regain balance, but it was no use she landed on her back hard, her head hit the floor almost causing her to black out. Xena pushed up onto her elbows trying to get a look at who hit her shaking her slightly to try and clear it.
"See you in Tartarus, Xena." The raider bellowed as he raised his mace ready to make it a permanent part of her skull. Xena didnt move, because she didnt care. There was nothing left in her reserves, without Gabrielle she didnt have the drive anymore. She closed her eyes and waited for the final blow that would send her to be with Gabrielle. Just as she thought her head was going to be split in half, a loud thump was heard. The bar went silent.
Xena opened her eyes to see a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest. Another raider was ready to approach, pulling his sword from its home.
"Move and Ill pop you in the chest." The voice warned.
Xena looked around her, a man was standing behind her reloading his crossbow, but she couldnt see who barked out the warning, her vision was slightly blurred. Then she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. It was Maggie. Crossbow in hand and pissed off to the teeth.
"Booner help her to her feet." She jerked her head toward the dazed, confused and bleeding warrior on her bar floor. ":Ill deal with this mess, get her upstairs. Her rooms down the hall." Maggie never took her sites of the raider that was in striking range of Xena and Booner.
Booner knelt down and looked Xena in the eyes, offering his arm to help her up. "Come on." He said gently pulling Xena to her unsteady feet.
"I know you dont I?" Xena asked softly. She swayed slightly, but the young man helped keep her upright.
"Yup, last year your little friend kick my ass in Thebes at the market." He watched her try to get her brain in gear, but she looked lost. Bonner tilted his head to the side," You tossed Noah in the an angry pig pen. Does that ring a bell." He watched as the light came on and a small smile made a brief appearance.
"Booner I always thought you were a Mamas boy."
Booner turned slightly to see Noah standing by the begging of the bar. "Fuck you Noah. Why dont you just leave." His eyes moved to Maggie's "Havent your goons done enough damage?"
Noah took a step toward them. "Nope. I dont think so." He looked over Xena's battered form as she still held onto Booner for support. "My, My Xena I have never seen you look more beautiful before." He quipped sarcastically, laughing at the look that Xena gave him in response to his comment.
"Still sleep with pigs Noah." Xena counter attacked.
"Look woman ."
"NO! YOU LOOK!" Maggie snapped at Noah. She quickly turned and fired her crossbow at an unexpected guest entering through a side door, catching him in the leg. " I want you and your bunch out of my bar. Booner upstairs, now."
Booner nodded and directed Xena to a doorway behind them. Noah's eyes grew dark at the situation. Not only did Vesco and his men fail to catch a drunk Warrior Princess, but he was being told what so do by an old hag.
. "Maggie this is the first and last time Im gonna say this, give me what I want and Ill go away." Noah waited for an answer when he heard the door shut behind him. " MAMAS BOY!" He screamed after them.
"What wrong with being a Mama Boy?" The low voice asked behind him.
Noah's eyes widened at the voice. Then he began to sweat when Maggie leaned onto the bar and smiled at him. He swallowed what spit he had in his mouth and slowly turned around to see what Maggie was grinning about. But when he turned around all that he saw was this enormousness chest in his face. He paused for a moment before he looked up to see an angry and large man standing before him.
Laughter was the last this he heard.
The stable was quiet, except for the local noise of a few animal milling around in their pens. All the animals have been feed for the evening. Argo was brushed, watered and she was happily munching on some fresh oats when a noise disturbed her meal. Her ears perked up to listen to her surroundings. The stable became suddenly silent. Rustling caught her attention as a man opened the gate to her stall fashioning a hand held crossbow.
Argo's instincts told her she was in danger, she could feel the negativity from the human.
"Nice horsey." The man quipped. He edged his way into the stale slowly not to upset the horse." Thats a good horsey. Now just stand still long enough for me to shot ya."
Argo disagreed with the whole situation, she reared up onto her hind legs banging her front hooves together. The man backed up surprised at the defensive reaction by the horse. She was making all kinds of noise, if he didnt kill her now she would alert the stable hands.
"Stupid horse, you gonna get me caught." He spat in anger moving a little further into the stall.
Argo was pushed into the corner, he raised his crossbow, aimed and was about to fire when he was knocked off his feet by an unseen enemy. He rolled with the momentum onto all fours, he looked around to see his attacker, but he only came eye to eye with the biggest wolf he has ever seen.
The yellow eyes peered into his. He began to sweat, his mind was screaming for help as his bladder relieved itself. He couldnt move. "Nice wolfy." He whispered. Sounds of horse shoes took his attention off the wolf for a moment only to see the horse he was to killed almost standing over him. She bent her down and snorted at his face.
The wolf let loose a loud howl as Argo reared up onto her legs once more, this time landing on the mans head splitting it like a melon.
Jasmine and Argo regarded one another for a moment quietly thanking one another , then Jasmine was gone. Argo looked over into the stall next to her, seeing that it was empty, she moved leaving the mess for the stable hands to find in the morning.
Candles danced in the light wind seeping through the window. A fire burned bright in its cave. The room was roomy for a small inn, there was a table with two chairs to eat, bed for two with fluffy pillows, another high back chair with a foot rest, and a small table for washing up with a drawer for clean clothes.
The heavy oak door was pushed open, two figures moved slowly toward the fire. A tall lean man walk into the fire light holding onto a half conscious warrior. He set her carefully into the chair, then dropping to his knee.
"Hey, you still with us?" He called to the warrior who's eyes roll back to the front of her head.
Xena squeezed her eyes shut to the fire light, blinking them a few times to adjust to the light. "Im still here I think." Slowly raising a hand to her head as it began to pound. She let her arm fall to her side, now she was starting to feel sick to her stomach. She opened her eyes to see dark brown staring back at her with concern. "Thank you."
"You do not have to thank me, I was happy to do it." He smiled and patted the warriors knee. "Ill be right back with something to help take that headache away, besides I think your going to need a few stitches in your head." He rose to his full height when the door creaked open.
"Well is she still in the land of the coherent." Maggie questioned as she entered to room closing the door behind her. Booner gave her a nod and headed toward her. "I take it from here, Brody could use your help cleaning up the place." Booner opened his mouth to protest, but decided against it.
Xena watched the exchange in conversation between the two people who saved her life tonight. She caught Maggie's eyes a few times in the conversation. She looked over the room the fire light danced over the walls, she slowly watched the shadows dance to her corner. She rolled her head to her right to see Maggie's setting a chair facing her.
"Come here, let me see how many stitched I need to give you."
Xena didnt move at first, but could feel the warmth slowly running down the side of her face. She needed help and she knew it. "Screwed up didnt I." She whispered. Her eyes were on the brink of spilling over with grief.
Maggie's rinsed out her towel and gently wiped off the warriors face, her eyes were full of pain, Maggie felt her heart hurt for her. Xena just sat there, her head tilted to the older woman, her eyes heart broken. The old woman place the towel back into the basin placed one hand on the warriors knee and the other cupped Xena's face. "Sometimes tough warriors need a shoulder to lean on." Xena couldnt hold it back any longer, the flood of emotions poured out, she leaned into the older woman's shoulder and began to sob .
Emotions were release that she kept pent up over the last couple of moons. In her dreams she kept reliving the nightmare over and over again, the feeling of something standing on her chest as she hears Gabrielle's scream echoing in her head. She thought about going home to her mother, a place she knew would be safe, her mother always made her feel that way, even now after all that has happened. Her heart began to settle and her breathing slowed down to almost normal. Xena rubbed her hands across her face in an a temp to dry it off.
"Here." The gentle voice called. "Better?" Maggie lightly rubbed Xena's arm as she nodded. "Good. Now wash off your face and Ill see to that cut, but first let me start your tea. Itll help get rid of that nasty headache."
"Dont mention it." She settled the tea pot over the fire, then returned to the warriors side. "Besides Vesco had it coming to him. Im just glad you got to do it, seems you owed him something first." She paused. "Xena did Vesco do "
"No." Xena said with out hesitation. "That damn story of the hole in the forest, just happens to be true." She handed to towel back to Maggie. " We almost made it out of its path, but the ground gave way."
"Tilt your head to me, honey." Xena complied as Maggie began to stitch the gash on her forehead.
"I couldnt get any good footing." Her mind flashed back to the ground under her feet kept crumbling away.
"What were you holding onto?"
"I managed to grade a tree root with, Ouch!"
"Sorry, hands arent that steady anymore."
"Sall right" She paused gathering her thoughts. "I was holding onto the tree root, holding onto Gabrielle's cloak which she was hanging onto." She felt Maggie pause in mid stitch, then finish and lower herself down into her view. Xena looked into old grey eyes, tears were close to spilling over once again. " I lost her."
"Im so sorry."
"Me too." She looked down at her boots watching the fire light dance.
"Here drink this, it will help with the aches and pains." She handed a steaming mug of tea to the warrior. "If you need anything else just ask, okay?" Maggie gathered her things to leave.
The heat felt good on her throbbing hands. "What do I owe you for the damage?"
"Nothing. Now get some rest, your gonna need it come morning. Good night."
The tone of Maggie's voice was unmistakable, not arguments. Maggie closed the door behind her and left Xena in her room. Everything was so quiet. Occasionally voices were heard from the floor below or the crackling of the fire. She looked over herself a bit, noticing bruising already starting on her thigh and she knew her face would be pretty bruised come morning. Her ribs throbbed mildly, her jaw ached but the pounding in her head was beginning to subside. She looked thoughtfully into the mug wondering what the contents were.
"Hmph, not bad stuff." She told her self outloud. Xena finished off the last of the tea, set the mug aside and relaxed back into the chair closing her eyes. Her ears rang at the sound of the silence of the room, Gabrielle always made sure that never happened. She always had something to talk about, be it their day or just a thought she wanted an opinion on. Gabrielle must think at times she never listens to her but in reality she loved to listen to her. Her voice. Gabrielle had a calming effect on her soul. Even in the worst rage that voice could snap her back to reality fast than Zeus could toss a thunder bolt. Most of all she loved their before bed chats.
Gabrielle would be in bed writing in her diary, jotting down her daily events and thoughts, while she would be sitting at the table cleaning her armor or weapons. Gabrielle would idly ask a question or get her view on something she was confused or sometime, just sometime it was a way of getting her to tell a story. But every evening if she was still up taking care of her things Gabrielle would always ask. Coming to bed soon?
Xena slowly opened her eyes. She looked toward the empty bed envisioning Gabrielle sitting there with the covers up to her waist , her knees bent, quill in hand scratching in her diary. She was wearing her light blue shift, one of Xena's favorites since she bought it for her birthday last year, it exposed the bards shoulders very nicely. Xena smiled to herself . Gabrielle's golden locks fell over her left should and she had the rest tucked behind her right ear. Losing herself in her daydream, green eyes looked to her, Xena are you coming to bed?
Here eye welled with tears, "Be there in a bit." She answered to the empty room as her vision faded away. "Gods I miss you so much Gabrielle it hurts." Xena leaned forward placing her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands. She stayed that way for a few moments concentrating on the dull ache in her head. Finally she took in a deep breathe and released it slowly. Rubbing her hands over her face, trying to rub the rest of the fuzziness from her brain, then she sat up only to be staring at a set of yellow eyes.
A big wolf at that, but where did it come from. She scanned the room with her eyes, only to noticed the candles next to the window had gone out, the wolfs entrance point. Slowly Xena put her arms to her side and waited to see what the wolf was going to do. But it was just sitting there, looking at her. Waiting. Waiting for what she wondered.
"What?" She asked. "What do you want from me?" She waited.
The wolf titled its head to the side took a couple steps toward Xena , stepping into the fire light, revealing its true colors and something else. Something very familiar.
Xena's brow creased as she looked at the leather harness that the wolf wore. Xena didnt have to think of where she saw those markings before. They were hers.
"Jasmine?" Xena called out to the wolf. She sneezed an approval then stepped up onto Xena lap, who was hit in the chest with a small leather bag tied to Jasmine harness. "Whats this?" Xena questioned softly as her finger began to untie the knot when she notice the design on the fabric, it was a piece of Gabrielle's green top.
Her heart skipped a whole lot. She began to sweat her stomach was turning end over end. She pulled the pouch form its ties. Jasmine sat at her feet as she opened the pouch and pulled out a lock of Gabrielle's hair, braided and tied with a peace of leather from her staff or boots lace, she couldnt tell which. She held the braid between her fingers feeling the texture beneath them. Xena looked into the pouch again to find a small piece of parchment with a sliver of the moon painted upon it.
"Luna." She whispered. The wolfs eyes perked up, Xena looked over to her. "Jasmine take me to Luna." The wolf let out a grunt turned to the window and was gone.
Xena stood from her chair moved over to the table where her weapon sat, put them all in their places tossed her cloak over her shoulder and fastened the clasp. She picked up her saddle bag placed the braid next to her heart and headed to the stable and to Gabrielle.
"Im coming Gabrielle."
To be continued .
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