By D.virtue

The woman saw the despondent way the woman moved and sat rocking slowly back
and forth on the log, holding herself.

“ I told you I’m not here to hurt you, maybe I can help you?” The woman said
with a gentleness in her voice that Diana had not heard in a long time.

Diana put her hand out for her pack, and the woman looked at it, and then
said, “ I will give you back your pack, if you promise not to run off until we
finish talking?”

Diana glared at the woman underneath her hood, but the woman was not disturbed
by the eyes, she just stood waiting for Diana’s answer.

Diana gave an abrupt nod of her head, and the woman smiled and handed the pack
to Diana. Diana took it and hugged it to herself, as tears ran out from under
the cloak.

The woman’s heart actually ached for the depressed woman, although she could
only assume the woman was a woman, she still did not know for sure. She walked
over and sat next to Diana, who at first thought to move, but was to mentally
tired to. so when the woman moved to remove Diana’s hood, she did not stop

There was a collective gasp when Diana was once again revealed. The warrior
stared at Diana in amazement, and then she blinked and shaking her head of the
vision, she finally spoke.

“ What on the Gods green earth are you doing out here by yourself?”

Diana looked at her with both defiant eyes and sadness.

“ I can take care of myself.” Diana said sharply.

“ AH!! you can speak, you have a beautiful voice to match your obvious

Diana gave her a look of tell me something I don’t know.

“ Why are you out here by yourself? It is very dangerous, not only because of
some of the people, but also wild beast?”

“ Like I said I can take care of myself.”

“ You sound angry?”

“ Why shouldn’t I? You obviously can’t take a hint that maybe I want to be
left alone?”

“ I don’t think you do, I think you ran because you were scared?”

“ Of you?”

“ Hahahahaha, obviously not?” The woman reasoned.

Diana gave her a look of that’s right.

“ But your obviously afraid of something that you see in me?” The woman said
continuing her reasoning.

Diana didn’t say anything she just looked away.

“ So I’m right. There is something about me that disturbs you, yet it has
nothing to do with the fact that I am a warrior?”

Diana remained mute as she listened to the woman, until she felt the woman was
reasoning her way right to the right answer.

“ What do you want?!” Diana asked sharply once again.

“ To help you.”

“ I don’t want or need your help. Now what?”

The woman smirked at the young woman’s defiance, but she was not detoured by

“ Well you may not want or need it, but you have it irregardless, until I find
out what is going on with you that would make a young one like yourself
runaway from her home, then I am not going anywhere.”

Diana rolled her eyes and moved to the ground and then woman followed her,
Diana moved again and again the woman followed. Everytime Diana moved the
woman warrior moved.

“ Stop that!” Diana finally shouted at the woman.

“ Tell me.”

“ No. It’s none of your business, now just leave me alone.” Diana stated
matter of factly.

The rest of the day the woman talked and Diana’s irritation grew, but despite
it all, Diana had to admit she did like the woman.

the night came and the woman slept near Diana, for some reason she felt
protective of her, she saw her as a vulnerable little girl who despite her
bravado was actually hurting pretty deeply.

over the next few days, Diana became less watchful of the woman and her
warriors, but she still had the desire to continue to run, she was actually
very tired of it, so she tried to stay still for a while, and she found the
warrior and her women a good place to start. Diana had no physical interest in
the warrior at all, although she knew the woman had those desires of her, but
Diana’s leaving of Xena was not about running into someone elses arms, it was
about the deep love and concern she had for her and the others, and her need
to protect them from harm that came to them because of her.

When Diana went to sleep, which she didn’t get a lot , since she had been on
the go, and the dreams that came to her all played to keep her from resting
truly. Finally when Diana did fall asleep the warrior woman rolled over to
face Diana, and looking at the woman’s eyes moving beneath the closed lids she
realized the woman was dreaming.

The warrior sat up quietly as not to disturb the sleeping camp, but she
watched the young woman react to her dreaming. Tears ran out from beneath the
closed lids and the young woman curled into a ball and rocked as if whatever
she was dreaming was affecting her physically.

“ What is it that disturbs such a young ones sleep as this, oh, you poor
thing.” The warrior thought to herself as she watched the young woman struggle
in her sleep to control herself.

The warrior eased back down and closed her eyes and pretended to be asleep as
she assumed the dream would soon wake the young girl, and she was sure the
woman did not want anyone to know that she had had a disturbing dream.

Sure enough Diana tossed and suddenly she woke up with a start, and looking
around herself to orient herself again as to where she was, she soon oriented
and then wiping her damp hair from her face she eased out of her bedroll and
went and got one of the water skins and took a long draw from it.

Diana looked at the camp and studied each of the women, then she noticed that
the leader was not there, she immediately knitted her brows and slowly scanned
the area of the camp, and then recorking the skin, she walked slowly out of
the camp to look for the woman hoping nothing bad had happened to her.

Diana found her practicing. Diana watched for a moment, and then standing to
the side of a tree where she thought the woman would not see her, she watched
the woman’s dance with her deadly dance partner her swords.

Diana was impressed with the woman’s moves, and her smoothness, but Diana soon
begun thinking of Xena, and despite where it looked like Diana was looking,
Diana’s eyes were actually looking at Xena, watching Xena and her magical
dancing, the grace of a cat, the quickness of a snake, and then smooth as silk
landings and takeoffs from a standstill.

Diana’s eyes became teary, and when the first tear rolled down her cheek, she
blinked and came back to where she was, she wiped her eyes and was about to
return her gaze upon the practicing woman, but to her surprise the woman was
standing next to her just watching her.

“ Oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to disturb you.”

“ You didn’t, I was finished.”

“ Your very good.” Diana said somewhat embarrassed at being caught.

“ Thank you, but how would you know?” The woman asked pointedly.

“ What do you mean?”

“ You may have saw some of my routine, but you definitely were not thinking of
me when those tears ran, I can only assume it was a woman you were thinking

“ Why would you assume that?”

“ Because it wouldn’t make sense for you to be watching me and thinking about
a man, usually a person identifies others by who they closely resemble, even
if it’s just a matter of the same gender.”

“ I see, so your a philosopher as well as a warrior?” Diana said somewhat

“ Don’t get mad at me just because I call it as anyone can obviously see.” The
warrior shot back. She felt comfortable enough with Diana to do it, seeing how
they had been together for the last two weeks.

Diana looked at her with irritation and was about to turn and walk away, but
was stopped with the warriors words.

“ What? Now your going to run again? Is that how you handle all of lifes
problems, or is it how you handle those which make you the most

Diana whipped around with flames dancing from her eyes.

“ You know Nothing about me or my life, so don’t assume just because I have
allowed you and your warriors to stay here with me, that you can make
outrageous statements to me and I will accept them, because I won’t!” Diana
hissed at the warrior.

The warrior cocked her head at Diana’s outburst , and she knew she was close
to something, so she pushed further. When Diana went to turn and storm away,
the woman caught her arm and spoke with conviction to her.

“ Your a coward! You claim to not need or want any help, because you can take
care of yourself, well I believe your afraid of me because I can expose you,
your afraid that the more I get to know about you the closer whoever it is
that is most likely out looking for you will get to finding you, your not
running away because the person hurt you, that’s what I had assumed all of
this time, I thought someone had hurt you so badly that you ran away to get
away from the pain, but it’s not that at all, your running away because of
your own fear of the love this person has to offer you, your a coward! “ The
warrior hissed at Diana.

Diana jerked her arm free of the woman’s grip and went to turn to leave, but
then she stopped and turned back.

“ You know nothing about me, and just because you were clever enough to figure
out that I left for those reasons, does not mean you know me, I’m leaving come
first light, and I would appreciate it if you did not follow me?”

“ Count on it, I have no desire to be around a coward, especially one where
the heart is concerned, there are too many people out there who only can hope
and dream of meeting someone who obviously has touched you deeply, they can
only hope to meet someone like that, and here you are, this very desirable
young girl, running away, it’s like being wasteful with food, when there are
those who have none, and can only eat what they are able to beg borrow or
steal, you sit here throwing whole pieces of meat to the dogs. You should be
ashamed of yourself, and you want have to wait until first light to leave, me
and My Amazons will leave now!” The warrior then stored her sword in it’s
sheath and stormed past Diana, only sparing a look of disgust back at Diana.

Diana stared after her and at first she was going to say something, but then
she realized the woman had read her like an open book. Diana turned away from
the woman and she leaned against the tree and her tears rolled like a river
down her face, as she sunk to her knees still leaning against the tree, not
concerned with the roughness of the trees bark cutting her skin.

The warrior saw Diana, and despite her desire to go back and help her, she
decided she could best help her by finding the person who was most likely
looking for the young distraught woman.

The warrior woke her warriors and after some quick and a quick search of
Diana’s pack, and the discovery of a small picture, about wallet size, of a
group of women, including friends, and the main person in the picture.

“ Xena?” The woman said quietly in surprise as to see the protective embrace
she had around the bright eyed woman. Who was holding the arms around her
obviously in a loving matter.

The leader then with some quick explaining she sent her warriors away to find
Xena, she then put Diana’s things back exactly like she had found them and
then she got her things and taking a wild guess as to the direction the young
woman would most likely , she went that way, and then jumped up into a tree
and waited, so that she could continue to follow the young woman.

Diana eventually came back to her camp and discovered all of the women gone.
she looked around the camp somewhat lost in where or what she should do, so
she sat down and cried for a while. The warrior watched her and her own tears
in sympathy for the woman tore at her heart.

Finally, Diana composed herself and picking up her pack she placed it on her
shoulders and begun to walk in the direction the leader had guessed. Diana
walked for days without stopping to get anything to eat, but she did drink,
her depression was starting to really show. Finally Diana wandered into a town
and seeing the Inn at the other end, she decided to chance it and go and stay

Diana went inside with her cloak covering her head, and she got a room and
went up to it and there she stayed for over a week, if it had not been for the
warrior woman, who had been following Diana, then Diana would not have eaten.
The warrior had food sent to Diana’s room Daily and the servant was told to
not leave until Diana had eaten at least half of it each day.

Diana was to depressed to think why or who could be up to sending her food,
and why the servant stayed and encouraged her to eat, but she did it

After about another week of being in the room, Diana voyaged out to go and
bathe herself, and while she was out her room was straighten up. The warrior
took one of Diana’s one piece outfits and then left the room and hid and
waited for Diana to leave the Inn, finally after a few more Days Diana did.

The warrior ran inside the inn and tearing off a piece of the intricate design
on the blouse part, she gave it to the Inn Keeper and told him to hold onto
it, and when a woman showed up asking about the young woman, he was to give it
to her and tell her the direction the young woman went, and that Jeanni was
following her, also give her this note.

“ Do you understand?”

“ Yes ma'am.”

“ Good, now come and see which way we go so you can tell her.”

The warrior ran out the door and looking down the street she saw Diana turning
the corner.

“ Did you see her?”

“ Yes.”

“ Good.” The warrior said and then flew down the street to go and catch sight
of Diana to continue her tracking of the young girl.

The warrior caught sight of Diana and then when she saw Diana throw something
out in front of her a few feet away, and then head for it, The warrior assumed
it was something that could cause her to lose sight of the girl so with a
quickness that even Diana would have been impressed with just as Diana went
through The warrior threw a piece of the heaviest part of the garment to the
ground right where she jumped from into the opening.

She came out the other end and saw Diana waiting for something but not looking
in the direction her hand was held out. The warrior realized that the young
girl was probably waiting for the thing she had thrown to come back to her so
she darted into a bunch of trees, and just then the thing appeared in the
young girls hand and she brought her hand around and put the item in the pack
and continued walking.

After Diana had gone a distances from their arrive area, the warrior came out
and placed an arrow in the dirt and with stones pointed their direction a few
paces from where they came out. The warrior followed Diana and watched her
each and every time she broke down and cried pitifully alone in the woods or
quietly in the rooms she would take at different Inns.

“ Why are you running from her, when it’s obviously you love her?” The warrior
asked of the woman who was in one of her crying spells.

Diana wandered for weeks, finally at one point she was sitting leaning against
a building, weak from her wandering, her distraught, and her lack of purpose,
although one thing always remained clear to her, and that was why she had left
, she just had no purpose outside of that.

because it was a warm day, Diana removed her hood for a while, and some of the
kids of the town saw her and walked over to her.

“ Hi.”

Diana looked at the little faces and saw only one face. Gabrielle’s. Tears
welled up in her once again but she swallowed and spoke to the children.

“ Hi.”

“ Why are you crying?’ A little round face little girl asked all of the age of
6 maybe.

“ Why do most people cry?”

“ Why are you sad?” The little girl reasoned correctly.

“ Because you remind me of my little sister.”

“ Where is she? Did she die?”

“, she’s at home, I just miss her.”

“ Oh, is your mother and father there also?”

Diana smiled despite herself, and then she shook her head and answered the
inquisitive little girls question.

“ No, but she is with my family.”

“ Can’t you go home to see them?”

“ No, it wouldn’t be a good thing to do.”

“ Why? Home is where people who love you are, I don’t understand why you can’t
go home? Don’t you want to?”

“ Maybe she doesn’t love them anymore?” A little boy interjected.

“ Shut up Calis, of course she loves them, why would she be crying then?”

Diana had to try to contain the laughter that the little ones were invoking in

“ No, I do love them, very much, I left because of my love for them, I didn’t
want anything else bad to happen to them because of me. So....what’s your
names?” Diana said changing the subject seeing how she was about to get
emotional again.

“ Salea, Calis the big mouth, and this is Trila, she’s my best friend.”

“ Well hello Calis, and Trila.”

“ Hi.” Calis said like a little boy who is not interested in the affairs of
women, or girls, he just wanted to go and have some fun, but he was stuck with
his two friends who were girls and was interested.

“ Hello.” Trila was more of the quiet watchful one.

“ So, where were you little ones off to by yourself?”

“ We were going to get some wood for my mother’s Inn.”

“ Wood? You little ones were going to carry wood?” Diana said somewhat

“ Well we have a little cart to help us.”

Diana looked at the cart, and then she thought about the amount of wood an Inn
usually used, and she realized the kids probably made many, many trips to get

“ How would you like it if I helped bring some wood for your mother’s Inn?”

“ You? How much wood can you carry as small as tiny as you are?” Calis asked

“ Calis you stop that, your being very rude.” Salea scolded.

“ It’s alright Salea, Calis, I can understand why you think I can’t carry very
much wood, but with your help I’m sure we can bring a bunch of wood for
Salea’s mother, what do you say?”

“ Calis blushed and then his boyish charm came shining through his eyes, as he

Diana saw she had won him over.

“ Okay. So there Salea.” Calis said sticking out his tongue at her and
marching in the direction where they usually collected the wood from.

“ Boys.” Salea said rolling her eyes as she took Diana’s hand and lead her to
the wooded area where they collected their wood.

Diana made sure the kids didn’t hurt themselves, and after they had filled
their wagon, Diana told them to go ahead and she would catch up with them in a
while, she wanted to get a little more wood for them.

“ But you will come to the Inn right? I want you to meet my mother, I know she
will really like you, your so pretty.”

“ Where is your father?”

“ He’s in the tavern drinking.”

“ Who helps with the Inn?”

“ We do, and my older sister.”

“ So your mother works and your father does what?”

“ He drinks and gambles with his tavern friends.” Trila injected.

“ I see. What’s his name?”

“ Jabest.”

“ Well you three head back to the tavern and I WILL come and meet your mother,
besides, I have to, I have to bring my share of the wood don’t I?”

“ Yes. Okay bye, see you at home?”

“ Alright, you better get back before your mother gets worried about you?”

“ Okay.” Salea and Trila then ran and caught up with Calis and the three of
them handled the load on their cart, with Trila picking up any wood that fell
off and replaced it back on the cart.

Once the three were gone Diana looked down at the tavern, and then looked at
the trees.

“ I’ll talk to you in a bit Jabest.” Diana said to herself.

Diana then walked into the woods a little further and with the warrior still
watching and following the young girl, she followed Diana into the woods and
hid a distances away.

The warriors eyes nearly fell out of their sockets when she was what the young
woman did. Diana looked around and not seeing anyone near, she extended her
nails and focusing on her first target, she leaped in the air and begun
chopping down the tree, Diana went from tree to tree and by the time she was
finished she had cleared a whole area, fifty trees in three candlemarks.

The warrior was stunned speechless. Diana then went to the small lake and
cleaned herself back up and then redressed in one of her less conservative
outfits. The warrior once again was left with her mouth hanging open, by the
supreme beauty.

“ Xena how could you let this one even out of your sight?” Jeanni thought to

Diana then headed out of the woods and straight over to the tavern dressed in
the less conservative outfit, and covered it with her cloak, she left the wood
stacked and piled nicely. Diana then entered the tavern and the warrior went
into the tavern from the back, and came around to keep an eye on Diana,
although she now saw Diana really could take care of herself.

But she still felt protective of the young girl. Diana walked into the tavern
and scanned it as she always did, when she entered into any place, especially
Taverns. Diana saw that the clients in the tavern were mostly men working on
getting drunk, although there were a few women warriors, and a few of the
working women. Diana spotted an excessively loud table and she decide to try
that one first.

“ Excuse me?” Diana said interrupting the men.

“ What do you want?” One of the men asked of the hooded figure.

“ I’m looking for a man.” Diana said dubiously.

“ Really?” Well, if you take off that hood we’ll let you know if you found

“ I’m looking for a particular man.”

“ And who might that be?”

“ A man name Jabest?”

“ I’m Jabest, what do you want?” Said the same man who had been talking to
Diana the whole time.

He was a large hairy man, who had shifty eyes, and he was constantly cheating
on the other men who were gambling with him.

“ Well Jabest, I think you need to get home now and help your wife run the
Inn, I mean it’s not really right that she works hard all day and night, while
taking care of your children, and having your children hauling wood to the
Inn, from the forest, which from what I see, they are made to go and get wood
all through out the day, because of trying to collect enough to run the Inn,
which I am sure, is not even enough to run the fires needed to cook the food.
What kind of a man are you that you would have women and children working like
dogs, and for what? so you can come here and drink and gamble away the profits
that your family worked their behinds off trying to make? Catering to all
sorts of people, good and bad, with no one there to look out for them to make
sure that they are not harmed in anyway, is that why you married? To have a
woman and children support you?”

“ Who in Tartarus are you to talk to me like that you slag?!”

“ It does not matter who I am, all that matters is that you will get off your
lazy but and go and take care of your family, even if I have to kick you butt
from here to there.” Diana said with a warning tone.

The man jumped up from the table knocking it over onto one of the other men
sitting at it. Diana just glided back as the table was dumped.

“ Listen you little bitch, I’m going to beat you so bad your going to wish
there was someone here to stop me!”

“ Am I now. Well then, how about a little wager, since you seem to like to

“ What?!”

“ If you win, then you made have whatever you want from me? But if I win, then
you will leave gambling and drinking behind you and become an upstanding man
in this community, starting with the care and support of your wife and family,
no lying, cheating, going out at night or during the day without taking care
of the things at the Inn first, and that means making sure that everything is
done in the Inn, also, you will not allow your wife to be left alone in the
Inn without someone there to protect her from anyone who would harm her, or
your family.”

“ That’s an awful lot of things to change about myself for what? some strange,
probably old crone of a woman, underneath that cloak of yours. Besides you
don’t have enough of anything that could be worth that. Especially some old
crone. So if you don’t have any Dinars then I’m not interested?”

Diana pulled out a bag of gold and threw it to one of the servants. The
servant open it and gasped.

“ What, what is it?”

“ Gold.” The servant said in awe at the amount.

“ And there’s plenty more where that came from.”

The man’s eyes lit up and a wet smile curled his hidden lips.

“ I’m going to love this, I get to slam you around, for a bit, until your
bones are all crushed and then I will have more money to gamble with.”

Diana stepped back and then she turned and walked out of the tavern and out
onto the road ways. The whole tavern followed, and when Diana saw the men
taking wagers on who the winner would be, which she knew the odds were against
her probably as high as 10 to 0, ten in the favor of Jabest. So Diana smirked
and then added to her deal.

“ Oh, and since all of the men seem to want in on this little deal, then I
suggest, I should receive something from them as well?”

“ Fine, we’re willing to make a deal with a loser,hahahahahaha.” A man laughed

“ Okay, deal is, if he loses, then all of you will go into the woods and there
you will find a stack of wood, you will all care the wood back to the Inn, and
when that wood runs out, the Innkeeper will be able to call on ALL of you to
go and get more, deal?”

“ Deal!!”

“ Alright, so be it.”

“ Okay Jabest anytime your ready?”

“ Are you going to take off the cloak? I want to make sure your not hiding any
weapons under there?”

“ Oh, okay, but can’t you just take my word that i’m not?”

“ No.”

“ Okay then, fine, I’ll take it off.” Diana said as she begun unfastening the

The people started gathering around, coming out of the different shops, and
the clients of the tavern were all waiting to see what the little woman looked
like. The warrior woman sat on the roof of the Tavern, well hidden behind the
smoke stack, watching and not really concerned, about Diana’s ability to
protect herself, but the man looked as tho he had some soldiering experience,
and hand to hand sort of made her uncomfortable for the little girl.

Diana finally finished unfastening her cloak and she then whipped it off of
herself. There was a collective gasp.

“ Look at her!! She’s a Goddess!! It’s not fair!!”

“ Why are you calling me a Goddess?”

“ Because! Look at you! Your more beautiful than the Goddess Aphrodite

Diana heard many different comments, mostly all saying the same thing.

“ There isn’t even any comparison, there’s no Goddess more beautiful.”

“ Well I’m not a Goddess, and I’m not an Immortal, or anything like that, you
have my word. But, even if I were, I would not let you off the hook with our
deals, so....are you ready Jabest?” Diana asked refocusing on the drooling
man. “ Jabest? You Hoo?”

“ OH! What?!”

“ Are you ready to crush my little bones?”

“ I....I.....”

“ You what Jabest, are you afraid that you might get lucky and land a strike
and scratch m.e.....?” Diana teased as she shifted her hips just a little, but
enough to make Jabest’s eyes drop to watch, along with all of the other eyes.

“ I....”

“ I don’t have all day Jabest, are we going to do this, or would you like to
call me the winner and you and the boys be good and go and do what you should
be doing in the first place?”

“ I....” Jabest stuttered as he looked around at the crowd that now was
glaring at him and the others, because of the protective natures that Diana
aroused in all of the people.

“ If you hurt her, then you’ll never get your drink from my tavern again
Jabest, and none of you either.” The tavern keeper yelled.

“ Yeah, touch a hair on her head and you’ll never get your meats from my shop
again.” The butcher yelled.

By the time everyone finished yelling at Jabest and the other tavern men,
Jabest was essentially made an outcast.

“ You should be ashamed of yourself Jabest, and you men also, you have a good
woman in Yesina, and yet, rather than doing right by her, you dishonor her
more by challenging a little girl to a fight, what kind of a man are you?”

“ Yeah Jabest, we all know your mother as well, we know how well you take care
of her, and yet you can’t honor your own wife the same way? Shame, shame on
you Jabest!”

The women of the town were now surrounding Jabest, and the their men as well
as the single men all stood behind them. Diana had manage to gain the support
of the whole town, just by showing her innocent face, along with her
magnificent body, and people just seemed to feel compelled to want to protect

The warrior woman smiled with amusement and understanding. She understood
exactly how the people felt, she herself felt that same protective nature for
the young girl, and for the same reason at first, which was her innocent
looking face and Goddess type beauty, and the body didn’t hurt any.

Jabest swallowed hard, and then with a resigned expression, he dropped his

“ You win.” He said, as he lifted his eyes up to look at the young girl, who
now glided over to him and she lifted his head up high and said with a bright

“ I may have won our deal, but your the one who’s winning, you will win back
the love of a good woman, and your children will grow up to adore and honor
you, by being good and decent citizens, you won’t miss this other life, I
promise, as long as you do what you agreed to, and i know the women and men of
this wonderful town will help you keep your word. Right?”

“RIGHT!!!!!” Came the thunderous resolve.

Jabest smiled slightly, and then Diana saw that the man was not as shifty
looking when he did.

“ We’ll start with a good cleaning, I don’t think a man who is going to
change, should start with his rough looks. Is there a bath house near?”

“ Yes, I have one, you may use mine Jabest.”

“ Great. Ladies, and gentlemen who would like to help me clean this man up,
alone with the other helpers of the Inn?”

“ ME>ME< ME< ME< I will also!! Came the calls from all of those who wanted to

“ Great. well let’s get started.”

After a few candlemarks, Diana came out of the tavern, the people had not gone
anywhere, which sort of surprised her, but there they sat, and stood, talking
and waiting for the men.

“ Okay, since there seems to be an audience, here they are the men you’ve been
waiting to see, obviously.” Diana swept her hand towards the door and then
stepped to the side.

Jabest was the first to come out, there was a collective gasp of surprise at
how well the man cleaned up, so much so there were women who were actually
flirting with him, making comments.

“ If you weren’t already married Jabest, I’d consider an offer.

“ Reyalla, shame on you, he’s married with children, now you step back and
behave yourself.” An elderly woman said scolding the younger woman.

Diana had to admit, Jabest was a rather nice looking man, he didn’t look
anywhere near the age she thought, she thought he was at least in his 40’s,
but he actually looked all of twenties. The scraggily beard and hair, and
untidiness, was just amazing.

The other men soon came out as Jabest was grinning from ear to ear at the
compliments he was getting from everyone. The people all praised the cleaned
up men, which numbered about twenty in all.

“ Okay gentlemen, Jabest I can now see why your wife was smitten by you, your
a very good looking man, now, if you can internalize that into a
characteristic, then you will have no problem winning the love and trust of
your wife again, I’m sure.”

“ I will, thank you.”

“ Your welcome, but now , it’s time to get to work, You guys go to the woods
where I told you to and gather up the stacked wood and bring it to the Inn,
Jabest, you will escort me to your Inn, I am in need of a room, for a few
days, plus, I told someone I would come and meet someone.”

Diana looped her arms in Jabest, and he beamed brighter, the women of the
town, all walked surrounding them, and the men followed them, all for the
purpose of seeing Yesina’s reaction to her cleaned up husband and his behavior
towards his wife.

The entourage walked to the Inn, with Diana talking with Jabest and he had a
grin on his face that just seemed to never want to leave at how proud her felt
with the most beautiful woman walking arm in arm with HIM, a drunk and a
gambler, a man whom usually was foul mouth and rude, now he felt younger than
the woman looked who held his arm proudly.

The big man’s eyes actually watered at the thoughts, and Diana saw them and
she gave him a squeeze with her arm on his, and he squeezed back , and smiled
more, as he wiped his eyes of the emotions he was feeling.

When they arrived at the Inn, Trila met Diana and seeing the big crowd she ran
to Diana and Diana let go of Jabest’s arm and Trila pulled Diana down to her
and whispered.

“ Who are all of these people, I don’t think there’s enough rooms in the Inn
for them?”

“ Don’t worry Trila, their here to visit, if Salea around?

“ yes, she’s in the kitchen with her mother and sister.”

“ Good, will you do me a favor?”

“ Yes!!” The young girl said excitedly.

“ Will you escort this handsome gentleman into the Inn and take him into the
dining area and keep him company?”

“ Okay.” Trila answered with a shy smile as she took Jabest’s hand, and
despite the the young girl having known Jabest for all of her young life, she
did not recognize him all cleaned up and standing tall.

Diana smiled and then whispered to Jabest, “ Relax.”

Jabest smiled and the young girl took his hand and he left to go with her to
the dining area of the Inn, followed by all of the people who walked with
them. Diana found the kitchen and went into it.

“ Hello?”

“ HI!! Came the shrill cry of the little girl and her friend Calis.

“ Hello you two.”

“ You came, you came, I told you she would come. Mommy, mommy, this is her,
this is the lady I told you about, the lady who helped us with the wood, the
one who was crying because she missed her family.”

“ Diana blushed slightly at the little girls recollection of her behavior of
earlier, and the woman smiled warmly, and then lovingly quieted her little

“ Salea...quiet down, now, your embarrassing the young lady. Hello, I’m sorry
about that, she’s just so excited that you’ve come, I told her you probably
had many things to do?”

“ I had a few things to do, but I am a woman of my word, especially to
children.”Diana noticed how the woman was a little uncomfortable with her
cloaked self. “ Does it make you uncomfortable that I have my hook on?”

“ Yes. I have to be honest.”

“ I understand.” Diana then removed her hood and the woman and her older
Daughter both gasped.

The older girl moved around to come and stand in front of Diana and next to
her mother.

“ Are you a Goddess?”

“ Nothing like that, I’m just a normal young woman.”

“ Young you are, normal...Your Not.” The mother stated.

“ Okay, maybe a little abnormal?” Diana teased, and the woman smiled and then
Diana smiled and Yesina visibly relaxed.

“ I have a surprise for you.”

“ For me?”

“ Yes, but I want you to do a favor for me?”

“ What’s that?”

“ I want you to meet someone, but I need for you to get cleaned up, and I
would like to help you?”

“ I don’t know.....?”

“ Don’t worry, it’ll be alright.”

“ But My Husband will....”

“ Don’t worry about him, come on, let’s go get you cleaned up and your
daughter can finish making the meal, right?”

“ Uh...yes.”

“ Great.” Diana then grabbed the woman’s hand and she whispered to Salea to
show her where her mother’s room was located.

After about a candlemark with Yesina, Diana turned her around to look in the
mirror at herself.

“ By The Gods! I haven’t looked like this seems like forever, why?”

“ Because a new start deserves a new attitude.”

“ New start, I don’t want to leave my Husband, I mean he has a lot of faults,
but I don’t think I could leave him?”

“ Who said anything about leaving your husband, I am all for family, as long
as I know there is true love and not just one person doing all the giving.”

“ Is that why you left your family?”

Diana lowered her eyes from the mirror, to look at Yesina’s hair, and then she
looked back up at the kind and wondering eyes.

“ No, My family is probably the most loving family to ever walk this earth.”

“ Then why did you leave? If I’m being to nosy....”

“ No.” Diana said, realizing she should expect such questions by now,
considering she has just stepped right in the middle of a family situation. “
I left to protect them, bad things kept happening because of me, and the only
way I could think of to protect them was by leaving.”

“ Your bonded must really be worried about you?”

Diana gave the woman a stunned look and the woman’s eyes glanced down at
Diana’s necklace.

“ You recognize the symbols on my Necklace?”

“ Yes, your bonded to another woman, obviously a powerful one?” The woman

“ Yes. But we’re not here to talk about that, we’re here to talk about your
surprise, which I’m sure is getting very impatient by now, so if we don’t want
it to leave, we’ve better get down there?” Diana said changing the subject.

The woman stood up and they headed for the door, but then the woman stopped
and turned to look at Diana.

“ Your such a young one to be out in this world all alone, your obviously
deeply in love with whoever the woman is, I can see it in your eyes everytime
the mere mention of family comes up. You should go home little one. There is
no life in running from love, not when it’s true love. Whatever problems arise
as a result of the two of you being together, can not be as bad as those that
arise from the crater side hole in her heart at the lost of you, as well as
the worry and fear she must have about you being out here by yourself. I can’t
imagine that she would be comfortable just letting you out of her site, yet
along, disappearing like this, she must be going absolutely crazy?”

Diana once again had tears in her eyes, but she shakily reached for the door
to open it, but Yesina saw Diana’s pain as if it were a gaping wound in the
middle of her chest. She pulled the young girl into her arms and Diana sobbed
for a moment with the woman holding and whispering mothering type words to the
heartbroken young girl.


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