The Play
By C.N. Winters


Disclaimers: Xena, Gabby, Sal and the others mentioned do not belong to me. They belong to MCA. I'm just writing a simple story about love. Love between two adult woman. Deep, passionate, affectionate love. . .(Sorry I got carried away). If you're too young (or too old) please don't read it. If they don't like these stories where you live, move. And if it offends you, open your mind a little more and come back when you've matured. 'Nuff said. Now on to the story.

Act one: The Casting Call

"You send urgent word for us to see a play!"

Xena's temper was getting the better of her as she paced in front of Salmoneus.

"No. Not SEE a play. Be IN a play. There's a bit of difference," he corrected her.

Gabrielle sat on the stage, legs crossed at the ankles, watching Xena move swiftly back and forth. The bard stayed out of this one.

Xena had a choice of coming to the island to meet Salmoneus or a chariot race in Athens. The dinars the bard brought in for her stories weren't enough for the supplies they would soon be needing, like a new saddle for Argo. The chariot race, however, offered 500 dinars to the winner, which could keep them set for months. Xena shook her head again as she thought of her misfortune.

"Don't you have anything to add?" Xena asked stopping in front of Gabrielle, now directing her anger toward her friend. She simply shook her head, trying to avoid this debate.

"Look if it's any consolation you still may be able to make Athens before the race. That is if you leave now. I wouldn't be troubled. . .Of course I might also be dead. . .But think nothing of it," he said as he began to shuffle away.

"Stop right there!" Xena protested. "What do you mean dead?"

"Well," Salmoneus began as he turned around. "There's the king see? And he paid me a lot of dinars - a whole lot of dinars - to organize this production for his wedding anniversary. It was going to be a lovely affair, wine, food, song - "

Xena rolled her eyes along with her shoulders and he could see her irritation rising.

"Anyway," he continued quickly, "This king is known to have a very bad temper. I heard that once he got his supper cold and the next day he had his chef for dinner. This man is not someone to be tangled with. Hence if I fail to get this production of the ground, I could be Fillet of Salmoneus!"

Xena slumped her shoulders in defeat. She wasn't about to let that happen and she knew Salmoneus wasn't joking. She'd heard about this ruler long before his cannibalism speech. "What do you need?" she asked, running her fingers through her hair in frustration.

He smiled broadly. "You mean you'll stay?!" he asked.

"Yeah." Xena replied to the point. "But on three conditions. One - you split half your earnings with us. Two - you never have anymore dealings with this man no matter how much he offers. And three - you never, ever tell a single soul about this."

"Not even Hercules," Salmoneus pushed.

"Especially Hercules," Xena insisted. "Do you agree?"

"Half huh?" he said mulling it over in his mind.

Xena shot Gabrielle her look. "I don't believe this man."

"Okay. Okay," he said throwing his arms up in the air. "I was only kidding. Yes I agree."

Xena nodded. "Fine. . .You've got your two leads - here we are. . . Who's who and what's the production?"

Salmoneus clapped his hands once before rubbing them together. "Miss Sunshine will be the fair maid Celestes while you warrior princess will be the dashing, Darvin."

Automatically and without conscious thought Xena was soon shaking her head. "Waitaminute. Waitaminute," she spouted. "You mean to tell me the production you're doing is Forever's Legacy."

"So you're up on popular cultural arts? I'm impressed Xena," Salmoneus complimented. "It's a big hit in Athens right now. Is that where you saw it?"

The bard, who had been untypically silent, finally began to make her presence known with a laugh.

"What's so funny?" Xena asked getting annoyed.

"We're really in deep this time," she giggled. "Besides how are you going to convince the audience she's a man. Look at her," Gabrielle said pointing to Xena's breasts. "I'd like to see you try to hide these." Her laugh grew harder and Salmoneus found himself beginning to laugh. Xena was another story.

"Ha.Ha.Ha. Very funny," the warrior replied. "But tell me Gabrielle, how comfortable are you with that scene in the end of act two? You know the one where Celestes is laying on the bed, stark naked, waiting for Darvin's arrival?" The bards' eyes grew wide with the knowledge. "That's what I thought," Xena added victoriously.

"Xena's right," Gabrielle said jumping from the stage. "We can't convince anyone. So we'll be going now."

Gabrielle tried to leave but Xena grabbed her by the back of her tunic. "Where you think you're goin'? We made a promise. Remember?"

Gabrielle hung her head and stopped fighting Xena's restraints. "Look," Salmoneus offered, "We'll have to change some of the scenes. For example, no shirtless scenes for Darvin. . .I'm sure we can tone this down just a bit.. . .So for now quite worrying and start memorizing those lines. You've only got three days to open/closing night."

Salmoneus shooed them away with his hands, toward the back of the stage. Once they were behind the curtain Salmoneus raised his head and his hands in prayer. "Please Zeus help us!"

Act Two: The Rehearsal

". . .And Darvin kisses Celestes passionately," Salmoneus coached.

Xena pulls Gabrielle by the waist and plants a friendly, almost cautious kiss on Gabrielle's lips.

"Oh yeah," Gabrielle teased, with her voice void of emotion. "I'm excited now."

"Hey, I'm the one doing all the work!" Xena complained. "Maybe if it didn't feel like I was kissing a tree trunk I'd be more inspired."

"A tree trunk?!" What does that mean?"

"It means you could do something more than just stand there, rooted perfectly still!"

The other performers were concerned that the argument would escalate uncontrollably but Salmoneus saw it as the perfect opportunity. Both 'actress' stood inches apart, their breath raged, their eyes flaring as they still squabbled.

"Kiss her!" Salmoneus insisted. "Kiss her now!"

Xena shot a quick look to Salmoneus then to Gabrielle. She grabbed Gabrielle forcefully, letting one arm encompass her waist, pulling her until there wasn't an inch between them. Xena's lips found Gabrielle's swiftly and Gabrielle hands reached up pulling Xena's head closer. Xena pulled back slightly, tilting her head in the opposite direction before reclaiming the bards' lips yet again. When Gabrielle's leg reflexively wrapped around the warriors strong thigh, Xena's tongue puncture through Gabrielle's closed lips. But soon the bard's lips opened and accepted the foreign presence, matching it stroke for stroke.

"Beautiful!" Salmoneus shouted. He waited a few seconds but the scene wasn't ending. In fact it became more heated. Xena reaching down to support Gabrielle's leg as she softly stroked it, causing the bard to moan loudly. "You can stop now," Salmoneus cued. ". . .Oh, ladies? . .Cut! . . . Xena!"

Xena's head whipped to meet Salmoneus' voice. "Is that what you're looking for?" she asked, trying desperately to hide her labored breathing. Gabrielle was still in her arms. The bard's eyes finally opened and her leg went back to the floor as Xena finished her sentence.

"Yes! That was wonderful!" Salmoneus shouted. "All we have to do is start a fight before the scene and we'll be all set." The other performers clapped their approval as Salmoneus spoke. The sound brought Gabrielle back closer to reality. The reality that she had kissed Xena. Kissed her passionately. Kissed her as her tongue played tango with Xena's. Suddenly she felt discomfort in the warriors' arms and slipped away.

Xena opened her mouth to speak to Gabrielle's turned back but decided against it. Salmoneus watched the display as Xena shrugged.

"Let's take ten minutes everyone. You've been doing great today!"

Xena started to walk to Gabrielle until he spoke. "You're a real natural Xena. You could have had a profitable life as a performer."

"Thanks Salmoneus. I just hope things go alright for the performance tomorrow. . . I'm going to find Gabrielle. Did you need anything backstage?"

"No," he replied. "I have my wine flask here. Who could ask for more?"

With a nod Xena walked behind the curtain, to find Gabrielle looking at the wardrobe closet. "Find anything of interest for opening night?" Xena asked casually. Gabrielle turned when she heard Xena's voice but quickly brought her head around to the closet.

When she didn't answer Xena walked over and placed her hand on Gabrielle's shoulder, "Hey," she said softly, feeling Gabrielle flinch at the contact. Xena quickly removed her hand. "Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm just nervous. I can't imagine going out there in front of all those people."

"Are you kidding? I've seen you speak to audiences twice the size of that room."

"That was different," Gabrielle insisted. "I could make it up as I went along. They were my words not someone else's."

"Look," Xena said turning Gabrielle around, ignoring her discomfort at their contact. She kept her hands firm on Gabrielle's arms this time. "You're going to do wonderful. Just forget about those people sitting out there and pretend it's us."

Gabrielle looked away, refusing eye contact. Xena realized her mistake and tried to make up for it. "I mean, think of it as reading one of your story together at a campsite. But instead of just reading, we're acting it out with Argo as our only audience."

Gabrielle chuckled, making Xena grin as well. "You're really the greatest friend I've ever had," Gabrielle whispered. The bard's grin began to melt away as she spoke the words. Xena was unsure why such a compliment spoken caused such sorrow in the young woman's eyes.

"Are you sure that's all that's bothering you?" Xena prodded.

Gabrielle didn't reply instantly. She was weighing how much to reveal carefully. She spent many nights wondering how it would feel to kiss Xena the way she did minutes earlier. Now she knew. Instead of having the fascination pass, she felt more intrigued than ever before. The love scene in act two was going to be a real bitch.

She decided to hold her tongue for now. She didn't want them to be the king's breakfast because the performance was so lousy. She didn't think either one of them would be able to remember one damn line if she let her truth be known.

"I'm fine Xena," Gabrielle smiled again. "Thank you for worrying about me. I know it will all be over in less than twenty four candlemarks."

Xena nodded. "Okay. Well, we better get back. Act two is up next."

Gabrielle watched as Xena walked out onto the stage. 'Oh Gods! Act Two!'

Act three: The Performance

"Pull tighter!" Xena insisted.

"I don't want to hurt you," Gabrielle explained as she tugged on the bandage.

"How's it going?" Salmoneus asked, peeking his head into the dressing room.

"Salmoneus get in here!" Xena ordered. "Let him do it!"

Gabrielle let go of the bandage and Xena lost her balance, stumbling forward into Salmoneus arms. "Here!" she said handing him the bandage that covered her breasts. "Pull as hard as you can."

"Are you sure?" he asked.

"Do you want to be on the menu tomorrow?" Xena asked.

Salmoneus tugged with all his strength and Gabrielle watched as Xena's eyes popped open wide.

"How's that?" he asked cautiously, his voice rising an octave. He knew the warrior had to be in pain from the pressure and he wasn't sure if he was the next to experience anguish as a result.

"Just wonderful," Xena replied, her voice much deeper than usual.

"Hear that?" Salmoneus and Gabrielle said in harmony.

"What?" Xena replied taking short even breaths.

"Your voice," Gabrielle explained. "Your voice dropped. You're an alto."

"Let's go for baritone," Salmoneus said, reaching for the bandage again.

"Let's not," Xena said, taking his hand and grasping it with such force it brought tears to the man's eyes.

"Okay Xena," he complied. Quickly she let him go. "Let's get that shirt on," he replied as he held his sore knuckles.

Once everyone was dressed they took their places. Salmoneus made a small statement and a moment later the curtain opened. Xena winked at Gabrielle from off stage and the bard gave a small grin as she delivered the first line.

Act one progressed rather nicely. The king smiled at the jokes, remained watchful at the drama and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Xena herself had to admit that she was having a good time. Gabrielle's nerves quit racing and she settled into a comfortable rhythm. At least until the curtain closed. That meant act two was moments away.

"I can't breathe," the bard confessed to the warrior as the sets moved around them.

"You can't breathe?" Xena countered. "Think about how I feel. I literally can't breathe."

Gabrielle smiled. "Yeah. The things we do for friendship."

"All I know is Salmoneus owes us big time if we pull this off," Xena replied.

The kissing scene and the love scene refused to leave Gabrielle's mind. They hadn't rehearsed or spoken of the scene since the afternoon before. Xena could feel a certain apprehension in Gabrielle. 'Why is she so uncomfortable with this act?' Xena wondered. 'I thought it was pretty wonderful'. Suddenly a realization hit Xena. 'Maybe she's uncomfortable because she thought it was pretty wonderful too'.

"You'll do fine Gabrielle," Xena reassured. "Besides you're a wonderful kisser."

That caught Gabrielle's attention. "You think so?" the bard asked, swallowing nervously.

Xena looked deep into Gabrielle's eyes. It was a big chance. But she was used to taking chances. With the bard at her side, she felt invincible. She licked her lips subconsciously. "Absolutely," she whispered seductively.

Gabrielle was on the verge of throwing her arms around her 'leading man', showing all the passion and love she'd been suppressing for months; years. She would have if a voice from behind hadn't startled her.

"Take your place Gabrielle," the stagehand directed, giving her a little push.

Before her brain could compute what was happening she was center stage again. She was Celestes waiting for her one true love Darvin to arrive. Gabrielle thought about how the script played out.

Darvin, after having been banished from the kingdom, returns to Celestes bedroom, where they share their first passionate kiss. Darvin leaves with the promise he will return by nightfall so they can flee together. When Darvin returns he finds Celestes waiting for him, naked in her bed, begging to 'become one with him'.

Once the curtain opened Gabrielle somehow felt more at ease. She couldn't explain it but everything felt 'right'. She knew as she watch Xena's pride filled eyes watching her, that everything fit perfectly. She was Celestes and Xena was her Darvin. And like Celestes she waited for the arrival as the act began to come to a close.

Xena took command of the stage as soon as she walked on it. And like the audience, Gabrielle was helpless in being drawn to her presence. Gabrielle could barely remember saying the dialog as she chased after the exiting Darvin/Xena.

"Wait my love! Promise you'll return for me. Let me hear your promise one last time and give me hope of your safe return. My heart beats for you and you alone."

"As does mine, my dear. Your words inspire. Your love astounds me. I promise after meeting with my family one last time, we ride together, never to be separated again. I promise."

Gabrielle felt the air escape her lungs as Xena pulled her close. Before she had the chance to consider, the words escaped Gabrielle's mouth, "Kiss me."

'That's not in the script' Xena smirked inside. 'Ad-libbing now my bard. Okay. Two can play this game'. The warrior caressed Gabrielle's face lovely with the back of her hand. "With pleasure my sweet," grinned the warrior.

Salmoneus eyes widened and he started thumbing through his script looking for the added dialog but the action on stage stopped his efforts.

Xena's lips claimed Gabrielle's with such force it caused the bard to moan. Her hand grasped Xena's neck pulling her tighter. Xena was now the one moaning as Gabrielle's other hand worked its way to Xena's backside, kneading the flesh with her fingertips. Reluctantly, Xena pulled away to make her exit off stage left. But suddenly she felt herself being tugged around.

Gabrielle's lips recaptured Xena's and their tongues began to struggle for control in each other's mouths. Xena felt a river beginning between her legs. She knew if she didn't get out of there quick, she'd end up destroying the plot line and end up taking Gabrielle on the mock bed, right there with a room full of people.

Xena broke away, taking Gabrielle's hands. "I promise I'll return my love. I promise."

Without looking back, she finally completed her journey across the stage. Once in the shadows, away from the audience, did Xena turn around. The look in Gabrielle's eyes was pure desire. 'I love you' Xena mouthed silently across the stage to her beautiful red-head. Gabrielle smiled, before she began her soliloquy. Xena contently strolled to the changing corner. Out in the theater, Salmoneus eyes widened as he watched Gabrielle. He had to get backstage fast.

Xena began her costume change as Salmoneus rushed to met her. "What the Tartis was that?" he whispered angrily. "That wasn't in the script."

"Are you knocking my performance?" Xena demanded.

"No not at all. It was very convincing. However in the interest of my life expectance could you please keep me informed of any changes? My heart's about to attack me!"

"Xena you're up," the stagehand whispered, interrupting Salmoneus. Finishing the last buckle she began to make her way on stage.

Suddenly Salmoneus remembered the real reason for his trip back stage. "Xena, there's something you should know!" he whispered excitedly.

"It'll keep," she whispered as she slipped from behind the curtain stage.

The sight that met her froze her. Gabrielle was lying on the bed. . .naked. Xena tried to get her barrings but she couldn't remember her line. Gods is she beautiful Xena thought as she gave up hope of remembering it.

Gabrielle waited a few heartbeats to see if Xena was going to remember. The bard was going to have to go for the save. "You've returned my love. Just as you said you would. I've waited for you."

Once Gabrielle spoke, it helped break the spell and Xena dove into her dialog. It didn't help however when Gabrielle rose from the bed, and walked seductively toward the warrior. Xena couldn't take her eyes off Gabrielle's beauty. Her tongue felt tied. And she tried to take a deep breath to steady her nerves. No such luck - the tight bandage prevented it. 'Not like any more air would help anyway' Xena resolved.

Once the lines were spoken Xena picked Gabrielle up, into her arms carrying her to the bed. She rested her gentle down and soon followed. She lightly caressed Gabrielle's neck with kisses, making her way to her ear. She whispered, close to Gabrielle's ear so only she could hear.

"You're so beautiful Gabrielle. I've wanted you for so long." The voice was husky, filled with her raging passion. Her strong hands, caressed Gabrielle's breast and the bard arched her back to meet it.

Gabrielle positioned Xena's head to face the audience so her own lips couldn't be seen. "You do have many skills," Gabrielle complimented. "Please tell me you'll show me a few in greater detail tonight."

Xena couldn't contain the moan and she settled her thigh higher to connect with Gabrielle's center. The bard was now making sounds of her own. Xena bent down and captured Gabrielle's nipple with her lips letting her tongue swirl around until it was taunt and beet red.

Salmoneus shock wore off for a brief moment. "Close the curtain! Close the curtain!" he whispered frantically, while he still had control of his vocal cords. The curtain closed but the scene, once again, didn't stop. Gabrielle was trying to pull Xena's shirt over her head as Xena began working her way southward with tender kisses across the bard's firm stomach.

Salmoneus rushed out onto the stage. "Enough!" he whispered as he pulled Xena by the shirt, trying to bring her to her feet. She glared at him. And he giggled nervously. "Please?" he asked meekly.

Xena growled at him and turned back to Gabrielle, who shrugged her shoulder. Her scowl melted away when she saw the beautiful, naked woman under her.

"Come on," Gabrielle replied, sliding out from under Xena so she could stand. "We've got one more act and we're out of here."

Xena's eyebrow arched. "I like the sound of that," she replied playfully. They began to walk to the changing corner until they noticed Salmoneus hadn't moved. He turned to face them.

"Have I lost all control of this production?" he asked pointedly.

Xena walked over, taking him gently by the arm, leading him off stage.

"Yes," Xena replied dryly. "Yes you have."

The Reviews are in

"Where is he?!" The King boasted in the banquet hall, as he approached Salmoneus and Gabrielle. "Where's that strapping, handsome man that played Darvin?"

"He wants to send his apologies your majesty for not attending the feast," Gabrielle offered. "He's very ill. It took all he had to get through tonight's performance. . .He said perhaps the next time he visits your kingdom you would be gracious enough to give him an audience with you."

"Of course!" the King proclaimed. "I'd be honored to met such a talented young man. And you my dear, I must admit, are the most beautiful woman to grace this kingdom - with the exception of my queen and the princess, of course," he added as he gestured to his wife.

"Of course," Gabrielle nodded graciously.

Salmoneus and Gabrielle both released a sigh as the king moved on, caught up socializing with the others. But their comfort didn't last long when they were approached by a Duke and Duchess.

"It was a wonderful performance," the duchess commended.

"Yes," the duke added. "We saw the play in Athens but tonight's performance was exceptional. We both agree it was the most passionate production to date. Where is that young 'suitor' of yours anyway? We wanted to offer our good wishes."

Gabrielle went through her speel again. Then again. Then again. It was getting old as countless numbers inquired about her 'suitor', her 'lover', her 'soulmate'. After an hour and a half of well wishers, Gabrielle now she felt like she was the one truly nauseated. She had told the tale so much that she herself began to believe her 'better half' really was ill.

'But 'he's' not' Gabrielle told herself, slyly. 'Perfect health. Perfect body. All just waiting for my arrival'. The thought made her grin broader. 'Now she's the one waiting for me. Maybe I will have one more glass of wine'.

Feeling no pain but still having enough sense to continue the charade, she decided to make her way upstairs. Everyone seemed to love the play; everyone seemed fooled. Slowly she tried to open the door to the bed chamber but it was locked. "Who is it?" she heard a deep voice ask.

"Gabrielle," she answered. She heard the door unlatch and looked around to be sure no one would show up unexpectedly. Only then did she enter.

Xena was reclined on the bed. Her costume long gone. Her face paint, with the artificial cleft in the chin, erased. Her hair, which once held the Draco style ponytail, hung loosely around her feminine face.

Gabrielle was taken aback for a moment but quickly closed the door, locking it behind her. Xena rose from the bed letting her aqua, silk robe fall open.

"You've returned my love. Just as you said you would. I've been waiting for you."

Gabrielle took a moment to admire Xena's beauty. She floated in the words that showed Xena's growing desire.

"Why didn't it sound that good when I said it?" Gabrielle asked outloud, surprised she had the ability to speak.

Xena cradled the bard's face in her hands. "Because. . ." Xena offered seductively. "We're no longer in a room filled with other people. . .It's just you . . .and I . . . alone."

Gabrielle never thought such a sad word as 'alone' could call forth such desire. But it did. . .Her heart was racing; her breathe more strained. Gods how I want this woman Gabrielle thought as she soaked up all of Xena's features. Her crystal blue eyes, her firm, round breast, her black, coarse triangle of hair, all the way down to her overgrown toenails. Nothing evaded Gabrielle's eyes. And Xena hid nothing.

Desire, mixed with her nervousness crept out and Gabrielle began to giggle. Slowly at first then with more heart. Xena smiled warmly.

"Do I look amusing Gabrielle?" Xena offered, stroking the woman's cheek. Soon the bard's desire took precedence with the way the warrior dragged out her name.

"No," Gabrielle replied growing serious, "You look delectable."

The sentence came out deep and husky. Gabrielle never thought she would describe herself as a wanton woman but that's exactly what she was now. And with that thought she found herself leaning against the door for support, with her eyes closed.

"Gods, you're so beautiful," Xena whispered into her ear, lightly licking the lobe as she spoke.

Gabrielle couldn't suppress the moan. In truth, she didn't want to. She wanted Xena to see and hear the affects of having her this close did. Her desire was raging and her joy was overwhelming. She wondered if she wasn't dreaming. She had to find out.

"Is this real?" she asked Xena, her eyes searching. "Am I going to wake up yet again to find you on the other side of the fire?"

Xena's heart melted at the honest. "I take it you've wanted this for a long time?" she replied, leading her newfound lover to the bed by the hand.

"Yes," Gabrielle replied with a shuttered.

"I see," Xena replied, casually dragging out the conversation, tracing the young woman's neck line with her finger after they sat on the edge of the bed..

Gabrielle knew the warrior was playing with her. The warrior never wanted to 'talk'. At times it had been a sore spot for the bard since she loved language so much. Her desire to touch Xena now, without words was overwhelming, perhaps even a bit unsettling, given her nature. But at second thought, Gabrielle didn't mind.

The waiting to feel Xena was like torture one moment and Elyasia the next. It made her blood race frantically through her veins, unsure of what location to attend to - her mind or her loins. She was loving every moment.

"You see?" the bard managed to ask.

"Oh yes Gabrielle," the warrior replied. The bard tried hard to stay focused in the conversation. The fact that Xena's fingertips had moved from her neck to her thighs didn't help. "I've wanted you for so long. . . I brought you out into the world, away from Poteidaia. But Ephany and the amazons - they turned you into a woman. They gave you the skills and the confidence you truly needed-"

"That's not true!" Gabrielle argued. "Xena, don't you see the love I have for you - the desire to be one with you - made me mature. You could never find a 'girl' sexy or desirable. I realized I had to be become a woman for you to notice me."

"Oh really?" Xena prodded in the spirit of fun. "Just when do you think I 'noticed' you?"

"You tell me," Gabrielle countered.

Xena considered retreating but she promised herself as she waited for Gabrielle that things would be different. She would open up and show her heart, no matter what the consequence may be someday.

"Okay," the warrior began getting herself in check. "It was the day with Draco. I saw your spirit. And I felt inspired. . . Why do you think I didn't pack you off and send you back home? I may not have realized it then but I knew at that moment that I loved you."

Gabrielle smiled. Not so much at the confession of love but at the point she was about to make. "Yes Xena but when did you realize you wanted me?"

Xena watched helplessly as Gabrielle stood and removed her dress off her shoulders. Xena watched it fall into a puddle before her eyes traveled up the bard's lovely naked body. Xena sat still as Gabrielle lowered herself onto her lap to face her.

"When Xena?" Gabrielle whispered, kissing Xena's neck. "When did you know you enjoyed watching me bathe?" The kisses worked their way around to the opposite side. "When did you realized you enjoyed watched my mid-drift when we practiced my staff?" Her hands, lightly skimmed across Xena's erect nipples. "When did you realized you wanted to hear my cry of ecstasy?"

Xena moaned as Gabrielle continued, the physical and verbal assault.

"When Xena?" Gabrielle provoked. "When did you realized you wanted to taste my mouth," the bard asked, tracing the warrior's lips. " . .my skin," she continued, stroking the length of Xena's body. ". .my wetness," she asked as she plunged two finger deep inside of herself getting them slick. ". . .When Xena?" she asked yet again as she brought those fingers to the blue eyed beauty's mouth. " . . When?".

Xena closed her eyes and sucked greedily on the bard's fingers. The feel of Xena's wet tongue rolling around her digits and the satisfied moans of her lover caused Gabrielle to whimper.

Xena had enough. She pulled the woman down, capturing her lips, plunging her tongue deep inside. Gabrielle enjoyed the taste of herself in Xena's mouth, making her grow wetter than before. Xena too could feel the wetness, trickling to her thigh. The sensation unleashed the warriors' deep passion and she found herself suddenly over Gabrielle, with the bard's back on the bed. Gabrielle herself was unsure of just how she got into this position but she loved the feel of Xena's weight above her.

Xena paused a moment to gaze into the beautiful eyes that captured her heart. Gabrielle's' desire played across her face as well as her own desire reflected back at her.
Gabrielle brushed Xena's long tresses behind one ear before caressing the warrior's face.

"Take me," she pleaded softly. Xena was all but helpless to comply.

Her lips dove into Gabrielle's neck with a hungry groan. Her teeth plucked at the flesh lightly, bringing goosebumps on the bard's body. The feel of Gabrielle's petite hands caressing her back set Xena ablaze. Xena's mouth worked down swiftly, catching Gabrielle's nipple in her mouth, kneading it with her tongue and lips.

Gabrielle's hips rose, at the contact and Xena could feel how excited the bard truly was getting. She had to feel the dampness of Gabrielle's desire with her fingertips. So continuing to administer affection with her lips, Xena's hand slowly crept down.

Suddenly, Gabrielle gripped her hand. For a brief moment Xena thought she had gone too far to fast. That was until Gabrielle forced Xena's fingers inside of her, bucking her hips to begin a sensuous rhythm. Xena couldn't believe all the nectar she found there.

"Oh Gabrielle," Xena said pumping harder and faster into the gorgeous red-head.
Gabrielle was pure lust, striving for all the pleasure Xena's skillful hands could bring. Xena watched her lover. The look in Gabrielle's eyes, the desperate want that showed on her young face, captured Xena and refused to let go. "You feel so warm, so wet," the warrior complimented.

"Oh yes," Gabrielle whispered. "For you," she struggled with her words. "For you."

Gabrielle had to know. She wanted to feel Xena, to taste her. She ripped Xena's hand away and threw the warrior on her back. Xena's passion dropped slightly from the surprise. It quickly returned when she felt Gabrielle's moist lips, laying claim to her center.

No lingering kisses on her thighs, no light fondling on her labia. Gabrielle was quick and to the point. 'I like that' Xena thought as she lay helpless in Gabrielle's lips. The bard was greedily sucking and licking at Xena's juices. Watching Gabrielle between her thighs, moaning in pleasure, devouring her body, did as much for Xena as the actual contact. Soon Gabrielle's efforts focused solely on the warrior's large clit. 'I really like that' Xena smirked, releasing a lingering moan.

"Like that do you?" Gabrielle teased. It was uncanny the way the petite woman could almost always read the warriors thoughts.

"Very much," Xena answered in a throaty voice.

Slowly Gabrielle inserted two fingers. Once slick, she began moving quicker in and out. "And that? Do you like that Xena?"

Xena's head began to thrash back and forth her dark mane spreading over the pillow. "Oh Gods. Yes," Xena answered obediently, working her hips to meet the bards' hand.

Gabrielle added a third finger. She didn't have to ask this time. Xena already began to answer. "Yes, Gabrielle," she whispered, moving even faster, lifting her back from the bed. "Yes! Don't stop. Don't stop," she pleaded.

Gabrielle smiled. The mighty warrior princess begging her, the little bard from Poteidaia. It was quite a sight. Gabrielle wanted and needed Xena's release as much as the warrior did, if not more. Witnessing Xena's desire climb higher and higher, ignited the bards own passion and her lips and tongue went back to reclaim the warrior's nub.

Xena's hips slowed down, savoring the feel of Gabrielle's mouth on her once more as her fingers plunged and recoiled.

Gabrielle could feel Xena's muscles tense; then relax. Then tense again. She was close.

"Oh Xena. Please. Please come for me. Come for me. I need to taste your love for me." The bard now found herself begging, totally captivated by the raven-haired woman's movements and sounds. "Come," she order seductively. "Come."

'That voice' Xena thought. 'That beautiful voice. Yes love. I'll come for you. I'll come for you'. Xena wanted to tell her so much but she couldn't vocalize it. Instead she found herself exclaiming only the bards name as she reached her climax.

"Gabri. . .elllllle!"

Xena's body shook with her overwhelming satisfaction. Gabrielle pulled away from her duties to admire Xena's convulsing body. In a moment, however the bards' head shot back down and she gathered the nectar that trickled out of her beautiful love, lapping it up devotedly.

Xena's muscle control returned and she had only one thing on her mind. She pulled Gabrielle onto her knees and quickly ducked her head between them. The bard seemed even wetter than before. And her taste was incredible.

"So sweet," Xena mumbled against Gabrielle's slick skin. "So delicious . . .ummmm."

The sound of approval vibrated against the bard, making her gasp. "Oh by the Gods Xena. . .What are you doing to me?" the bard pleaded.

"What am I doing?!" Xena teased. "I'm going to make you come," she added alluringly. Gabrielle knew that wicked smile was on Xena's face even though she couldn't see it. "I'm going to make you come," the warrior went on. ". . .all over my face."

Gabrielle's groan came from deep within her. And Xena knew just what place. 'This opening up and talking more might not be that bad', Xena amused. 'Gods, listen to the sounds she's making'. Xena was taken aback. She never realized Gabrielle could be so . . . animalistic. So lustful. . . . It didn't fit her picture of her adorable bard. But that's not to say she didn't like it. Maybe Gabrielle had a dark side too. Raw and assertive. The thought made the warrior work harder; faster.

"Yes Xena," Gabrielle coached. "Just like that. Do it like that. I'm goin' do it Xena. I'm goin' come all over your face. . .That's what you want huh?" she asked rhetorically, as she pitched her own nipples; playing with her breasts.

Xena could only moan. This was her Gabrielle. The one she always knew was there. She could always feel Gabrielle's passion lingering under the surface- when she told stories, when she faced down foes. It had always been there but now it was finally being released. To say that Xena totally enjoyed it was a gross understatement.

'Yes. . .Yes. . .' the warrior repeated over and over in her mind. Suddenly the bard stiffened. And Xena knew. "Oh yeah," Xena sneered. "Gabrielle do it . . .do it."

Gabrielle arched her back as the waves overtook her. It felt like a river was escaping as she cried.

"Oh Gods Xena." She struggled with the words as she started to shake. "Yes! It feels like Elysian! Yes!"

Gabrielle couldn't support herself any long and started to tumble on the bed but Xena caught her and rested her down gently. The warrior lightly caressed the trembling woman allowing all her love to seep from her fingertips. Once the bard's breathing was close to normal only then did the warrior kiss her tenderly on the lips.

"Thank you," Gabrielle whispered.

"Thank YOU," Xena replied. "I've never been able to get pleasure from giving pleasure."

"Never?" Gabrielle asked.

"No. Never," Xena grinned.

The bard looked deep into Xena's eyes. "Neither have I," she confessed.

They both moved forward for another kiss when they heard a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" Xena asked in her 'masculine' voice.

"It's Salmoneus. Can I come in?"

Gabrielle's eyes got wide. And Xena released a small chuckle. "Better cover up your unmentionables," Xena whispered.

She rose and put her robe back on, making sure it was tied this time as she answered.

"What do you want?" Xena asked harshly as she met him. It would have come across more threatening if it weren't for the small grin on her lips Gabrielle had put there as a result of their earlier activities.

"Your share," he said holding a pouch. "Gabrielle said you'd be getting an early start tomorrow to avoid the king. I thought I'd bring it now before I retire for the evening."

Xena grinned. "Keep it. I can't take your money. . .I think of you as a friend Salmoneus. It wouldn't be right."

Salmoneus now grinned. "Are you sure? There's a thousand dinars in here. After the performance the king upped my commission as a way of saying thanks."

Xena could hear Gabrielle gasp in the background when he revealed the amount. Xena seemed unsure. But Salmoneus handed her the bag.

"Here Xena. I don't have many friends. . .Consider it a gift. . .And perhaps a down payment on a future favor," he winked.

She did need the money - a new saddle for Argo, perhaps a few extra nights at some village inns, new undergarments for Gabrielle, maybe some thing in leather. Xena grinned at the thought. "Okay," she agreed, taking the bag. "Just promise you'll stay out of trouble long enough for me to enjoy my honeymoon." She replied pointing to the bard, wrapped up in the sheets.

Salmoneus stepped more inside and shot a few glances back and forth between the two women. He began to grin.

"Remember rule three Salmoneus," she whispered. "Or I'll cut of the flow of blood to you brain so fast you'd wish you were decapitated."

"Not even Hercules," he teased.

Xena sneered.

"Okay! I get the point," he whispered. "You're a lucky lady, you know that Xena?"

Xena looked back at Gabrielle, who was blushing. And it lightened her mood. "Yes I know," she replied, turning to face him again.

"I think she's pretty lucky too," he winked again and made his way across the hall to his bed chamber. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," she replied locking the door again.

"Honeymoon huh?" Gabrielle said as Xena took off her robe and climbed into bed. "Don't you have to be married to have a honeymoon Xena?"

"Yep," she replied casually. Gabrielle waited for the warrior to continue. Xena realized that was her cue. "Oh, I though the amazons would do us the honor. . .That is, of course, if you feel I'm worthy enough to be the consort of the queen."

Gabrielle straightened herself to a sitting position. "And just what makes you think I want to marry you?"

"You mean you don't?" Xena asked casually.

"I didn't say that," Gabrielle grinned.

"Good," Xena replied, bringing the bard to her chest, nestling into the bed. "Then it's settled."

Gabrielle smiled against the warrior's shoulder. "I love you Xena."

Xena reflected on the words and their conversation earlier that got cut short by their passion. "When I died," Xena whispered.


"You had asked when I first wanted you. It was when I died. . . Everything you did to bring me back. Your loyalty. Your devotion. . .Your maturity. . . I knew you were a 'woman', in every sense of the word."

Gabrielle placed her head back down on Xena's chest, snuggling closer. "And Gabrielle, when you wake up you'll be here in my arms tomorrow . . .and every morning after. We'll never sleep on opposite sides of a camp again."

Gabrielle placed a loving kiss on Xena's neck. "One more thing," Xena said reached over to extinguish the lantern. " . .I love you too."

Xena could feel Gabrielle's love and joy wash over her. 'Yeah' Xena admitted freely. 'This talking stuff ain't bad at all'.

The End.


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