by Cath, Bard






The characters of Xena and Gabrielle and others belong in their entirety to Universal/MCA, Renaissance Pictures, and all the other powers that be.  No copyright infringement is intended.  I wrote this story at the urging of my muse; it should never be used for profit.  Please do not copy or cite elsewhere without express permission of the author.



This tale contains no scenes of violence and/or its aftermath, but it hints at darker things.



This story depicts a loving friendship between two consenting adult women. If you are under 18 years of age or if this type of story is illegal in the state or country in which you live, please do not read it. If depictions of this nature disturb you, you may wish to read something other than this story.  “Prunin’” is part of a relationship trilogy that includes “Possessed” and “Control.”  If you enjoy this, you might like those tales as well.



To Heather.


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“I’m prunin’,” the Warrior Princess grumped. “I’m outta here.”


She floated through the steaming, scented water toward the edge of the deep,  blue-tiled bath.   Before she could step out, A strong arm encircled her from behind, and a smooth, throaty voice caressed her ear.


“No you don’t…”


The arm squeezed tighter, just under Xena’s breasts, hauling her back into the water against a slick, powerful torso.  Half-heartedly, she attempted to pull away.  The grip tightened. She relaxed.


The Warrior felt a nip on her upper back and another at her shoulder – not painful, not playful.  More like possessive.  The Bard was hungry.


“For once, Xena, let’s get out together.”


Gabrielle’s statement held a promise.  Her arm traveled upward.  A surprisingly large hand splayed itself between the tall woman’s firm breasts as the Amazon pressed closer.


Another hand trailed down Xena’s hip and soothed its way to the dark curls at her apex.  Skilled fingers probed further.


Xena closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, drawing the scent of Gabrielle to the ancient recesses of her lower brain. 


Something fierce and primal sparked at her core and she growled.  Gabrielle was playing a dangerous game here.


Xena wondered if the Bard even sensed her peril.  A savage predator, poised at the brink of control, stood wrapped in the young woman’s arms.  Then, she had the audacity to nip again at the Warrior’s shoulder blade.


Slowly, Xena turned as Gabrielle began to nibble more forcefully.  The Amazon felt the motion and paused until the Warrior faced her – blue eyes piercing.  A scowling, dark-clouded visage gazed down into the Bard’s own sparkling, green eyes.


Gabrielle’s teasing smile dissolved to an uncertain half-grin; the self-assured glint in her eyes now a squint of doubt.


“You don’t know what you’re getting into here, Gabrielle.” 


Xena’s voice carried a subtle threat that sent a shudder through the smaller woman.


“I think I do,” the Bard responded evenly, trying to appear braver than she felt.


Xena loved the effect that her Warrior mode had on everyone, including this bold Amazon.


“I said I was prunin’ and I need to get out.”


Xena moved away, trying to maintain aloof fierceness, yet knowing that in the next moment it would become an overwhelming desire to seize the young woman and ravish her on the spot.


Xena couldn’t tell if Gabrielle enjoyed the rough side of their lovemaking.  The Bard never admitted her feelings about it, remaining uncharacteristically silent in the face of the onslaught.  Such activity was rare.  But when it occurred, the Warrior unleashed a dark sexuality that left both women sore and sated for several days – and Xena steeped in the old self-loathing.

The Warrior observed the wheels turning as the Bard sought to extricate them from this dicey impasse.


Gabrielle lowered her eyes and spoke in a gentle whisper.


“Xena, please stay.  You always leave first when we do this.  I need these moments with you for the time when we no longer have each other….”  Her voice trailed off.


Fierce Warrior melted into Loving Partner.  Xena stroked the young woman’s cheek tenderly.


“That time will never come, Gabrielle….”


“Then stay.  Please?”


Xena smiled.


“Hey, I’m not kidding when I say this water is hard on my skin.”




“I chap.”


Gabrielle considered her indestructible companion’s revelation.  The danger had passed.  She never realized that was why Xena exited baths before her. 






“I might have something that could help.” 


The Bard raised an eyebrow and cocked her head – pure seduction reflected in her every gesture.


“When we were in Egypt I asked Cleopatra’s chief handmaiden about some of the queen’s, er, um…beauty secrets.”


“Gabrielle, I refuse to bathe in asses’ milk.”


“That’s just a legend.  Besides, there are no donkeys to milk around here.”


Gabrielle blinked innocently.  Xena chuckled.


The Bard made her offer in a hushed tone.


“Stay awhile longer and I promise to give you the massage of a lifetime with a special oil.”


“I don’t know.  I’ve had some pretty special massages…”


The Bard cupped a breast in her powerful hand and kneaded – lightly at first, then more firmly as Xena began to respond.


“Did they do this?”






Gabrielle’s other hand sought again at the apex of the Warrior’s stunning body.


“How about this?”


Xena’s sharp intake of breath signaled that Gabrielle had hit a nerve – several of them by the look on the tall woman’s face.


“Er, yes, but….” the Warrior managed to choke out.


“Damn!” Abruptly, Gabrielle withdrew her hands. 


Xena’s crestfallen expression registered her disappointment.


“Guess we’d better get out then.” The Bard sounded defeated as she floated toward the edge of the tub.


“C’mon, Gabrielle,” Xena thought, “you’re more creative than that.  I know you.”


Suddenly, a lascivious grin lit the blonde’s scrubbed, pink-cheeked face.  She turned back toward Xena.


“I bet they never did this when they gave you those special massages.”


With that, she stood on tiptoe and floated up the length of the Warrior’s body until they faced each other eye-to-eye.


Then, Gabrielle did something wonderfully unexpected.


Reverently, she kissed Xena on her forehead and again on the tip of her perfect nose.


The Warrior gaped in surprise, forced to agree.  Not even her most fantastic rubdowns had started this way.


They left the bath.  Together.



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