A Warlord's Vengance Part III
by Marion Tuttle
Standard disclaimers: I do not own Xena, Gabrielle, Argo, any members of
the warrior's or bard's family or any of the Amazons. The all are
property of the folks at universal. No copyright infringement is
Sex disclaimer: Yes there is scenes of sex and love between consenting
adult women, if you find that sort of thing offensive, my dear you are
in the wrong place.
Authors note: I have told more then one person that has e-mailed me that
this story has taken on a life of it's own it started out to be a short
one, and well you can see for yourself what happened.
Any questions or comments on the story below can be directed to
Cyrenne entered the room just in time to hear Solari's last statement.
"Get what over with?"
Ephiny rose to greet Xena's mother "Cyrenne it's been a long time, how
have you been?"
Cyrenne arched a dark brow at the two Amazons, in that moment she bore
such a striking resemblance to her daughter it sent chills done both
women's spines. "It's good to see you both too, but I highly doubt you
have come here in the middle of the night just to catch up on old times.
Is there something wrong with Xena?"
"No no Xena is fine." Ephiny was beginning to realize that this was not
going to be as easy as she had tried to convince Solari that it would
be. "As a matter of fact she's better then she has been in a long time.
She is happier then I have ever seen her."
"Why do I have the strong feeling that there is a but there?" Cyrenne
"Well there is a few things that have changed recently, that you may not
be aware of. There have been some problems recently in the Amazon
A memory of talk she had heard in the village a few days ago about
Cyrances' death came back to her. She had gotten so used to hearing
people talk about Xena and Gabrielle's exploits that she had learned to
ignore most of the murmurings. She always knew that if there was a
problem her daughter and her friend could not handel she would hear
about it from them. The fact that the two Amazons were here now gave her
a sudden chill. "Tell me what is wrong!" She demanded.
The truth of the matter is this Cyrenne, the problems didn't end with
the warlord's death, in fact that was mild in comparison to what we are
facing now and we have to talk to Gabrielle and Xena as quickly as
"Then why are you here?"
Solari picked up the thread of the conversation here, although it had
originally been Ephiny's idea to approach things this way she could see
her lover was lost for a way to continue. "We came here because we
happen to know that Xena and Gabrielle are on their way here."
Cyrenne paled, were the coming here to warn her of the impending danger,
or maybe even to say good bye for fear they would not survive this
latest threat? Seeing the gambit of emotions that were passing across
the older woman's face Solari rushed to reassure her, this was where the
news was going to have to come out. If they didn't tell her the nature
of Xena and Gabrielle's visit the woman was likely to do something that
would place her in danger. "Relax Cyrenne, Xena is not coming here to
give you bad news, she has no idea about what is happening that is why
we have to talk to her. She is coming here to give you good news, at
least we all think it's good news."
There was a visible relaxation in Cyrenne's frame at this but still the
question formed "Why are they coming then?"
There it was, a direct question. The only way to put the woman at ease
was to give her a straight answer, they couldn't be worried about her
going out in search of her daughter. "Xena and Gabrielle have gone to
Potidiea to see her family and then they are on there way her to tell
you that they have become lovers and are planning on being joined in an
Amazon bonding ceremony."
Both Amazons sat back awaiting a reaction from Cyrenne, the had prepared
themselves for many possibilities, but they one they were greeted with
was the last one they had expected. A smile started to spread slowly
across the older womans features. "Well it's about time. I was wondering
how long it would take those two to figure out what I have known all
Ephiny couldn't hold back the exclamation of surprise she felt at
hearing Xena's mother had known, or at least suspected the feelings her
daughter and Gabrielle had for each other. "You knew?"
"Of course I knew you would have to be blind to look at those two and
not see the way they feel about each other. I'm just glad that Xena has
finally found the person that can help her heal her heart from the hurts
of the past."
Solari thought she might be out of line for asking this but it was a
question she had to get out. "And the fact that the person your daughter
has fallen in love with is another woman doesn't bother you?"
"All I have ever wanted for Xena was her happiness, if she has found
that with Gabrielle then I am happy for both of them."
Looking down at the floor Solari said. "I hope I didn't offend you, it's
just that most people are not as accepting....and Gabrielle is our
It was Cyrenne's turn to reassure the two women. She could see that even
though Ephiny had said nothing the unspoken question was in her eyes as
well. "I understand, you feel the need to protect Gabrielle. Don't worry
I had always felt towards her like she was a second daughter to me. Now
I have even more reason to feel that way." A frown started to crease her
brow. "But there is something else isn't there, you started off by
saying that there was some danger. I'm sure something must be wrong for
you to have made the trip here to meet with Xena and Gabrielle."
"Your right Cyrenne there is much more, had you heard anything about the
failed attack on Amazonia by the warlord Cyrances?"
Blue eyes so much like her daughters, clouded over briefly at the memory
of the misinformation she had received. It was not unusual to hear about
exploits of the Warrior Princess and her traveling companion. As a
general rule Cyrenne discounted most of the stories as exaggerated
gossip. But in this one instance one of the warlord's men, hearing of
the confrontation between his commander and Xena assumed that the death
blow had been delivered by the man he had supreme confidence in. He
proceeded to tell anyone that would listen in the village he was in that
the mighty Warrior Princess had finally met with the justice of his
master's blade. When Cyrenne had heard this she had sent word to Xena,
when she received no answer she had assumed the worst to be true. It was
not until a merchant passing through a week ago had mentioned to her
that he had seen Xena and she had sent her best wishes to her Mother
"I had heard about the attack." she answered "One thing that has been
bothering me about that was the messages I sent. When I had heard from
that braggart that Xena had been killed I sent word to the Amazons, I
didn't belive it, but when I got no answer....I didn't know what to
Ephiny and Solari looked at each other in confusion. "We never received
any messages from you Cyrenne."
"I sent it through on of the Amazon runners that had come into town for
"That might explain it, she was most likely a member of the rebel band.
We have not sent a party into any villages for supplies in months."
The relief was apparent in the older woman's eye's. "So the point of
your visit if I am to understand it is to warn Xena and Gabrielle of
impending danger. Do you really think that these young ones would be
fool enough to try and attack the Warrior Princess herself?"
"Under normal conditions no, they would never try something so bold as
to strike Xena and Gabrielle on the road, they are always on guard.
Trying an attack in the Amazon village would mean sure death for them.
attacking while Gabrielle and Xena were with Gabrielle's family would
have been foolish as well, they knew Xena's guard would be up there, as
she as never really been well received by Gabrielle's home village."
"Even though she saved their miserable hides." Solari grumbled under her
"True enough." Ephiny continued on "But the fact remains that the best
place to attack is here, they feel Xena's defenses will be down. The
information Falana gave us supports this theory. They know the only way
the might have a prayer in Tartarus is to take Xena and Gabrielle
completely by surprise."
Cyrenne took in everything that she had been told, once again both
Amazon women were struck by the similarities between Cyrenne and Xena,
both in mannerisms and thought. "Well the only way that I can see to
make sure that this plan fails is to make them think it has succeeded."
Two puzzled Amazons stared at the women that the thought had temporarily
lost her mind. "What are you saying? How can we possibility...?
She waved aside their protest. "How long would you say we have before
Xena and Gabrielle arrive?"
"An hour, maybe two depending on the trail the took."
"That doesn't give us much time, this is what we need to do..."
Xena and Gabrielle were just on the outskirts of Amphipolis when they
stopped for a quick lunch and to give Argo a chance to rest. That was
what Xena was telling herself anyway, she was a little unsure of going
to her mother so soon after the fiasco with Gabrielle's family. It was
not her own feelings that she was so worried about, she couldn't stand
the thought of putting Gabrielle through another scene. She watched the
young bard move about idly twirling her staff in her hands. 'I would
give my life to keep her from ever being hurt again, she has already
been through so much because of me.' Xena thought to herself.
As if her lover could read her mind she spoke. "It really doesn't matter
"What doesn't matter Gabrielle?"
"What anybody thinks or says about us, I love you, nothing will ever
She found herself wrapped in strong arms as her lips were claimed in a
warm kiss. "I'm not good with words, you know that, but I want you to
know that you are the most important thing in this world to me. I love
"Well then...shall we?" Gabrielle asked looking towards the town.
"I guess now is as good a time as any." Xena agreed as they headed down
the hill. Argo nudged Xena slightly in the back as if to let her
mistress know that she had the mounts full support, and no matter what
happened the three of them would be their for each other, their own
They arrived at Cyrenne's tavern just as the older woman was coming out
into the morning sunlight. The expression of joy on her face at seeing
her daughter and Gabrielle was reflected back to her in the warm smiles
she received from both women. "It's good to see you mother."
"It's good to see you too, both of you. Now come inside and let me fix
you something to eat, you both look half starved to death."
Xena and Gabrielle just looked at one another with a slight shrug "Do
you think all mothers think their children starve to death when the
aren't around to feed them?"
"I don't know Gabrielle, but we had better be careful. With your
appetite and my mothers desire to cook for us, Argo may decided to go on
"Hey!" that remark earned her a playful swat on the arm from the bard."
"Who was it two moons ago that was having to take a *little* more time
to squeeze into her leathers after a bath?"
"Come on Gabrielle you know it's hard to put leather on when your wet!"
Gabrielle reached up and whispered in her ear "You don't have much
trouble taking it off when you wet though do you?" She ducked away
before the Warrior Princess had a chance to react to her statement and
gave Cyrenne a kiss on the cheek. The older woman tried to suppress a
chuckle at her daughters expression, it wasn't very often someone got
the better of Xena. Something told Cyrenne though that even though her
child's battle skills were unmatched by any, she was no match for the
young bard if it came down to a verbal assault.
Xena cast a playful look at Gabrielle who was standing safely beside
Cyrenne that conveyed the message 'Just wait till I get you alone, pay
backs are a bitch.'
Inside the tavern Xena and Gabrielle were met with a cheery fire and a
table laden with enough food to feed a small army. It was not often the
warrior allowed herself the luxury of feeling this relaxed, but it felt
good to be home. As much traveling as she did, Xena would always think
of this as her home.
As they sat down to eat Xena looked towards her lover, the unspoken
question 'should we just plunge into this and get it out of the?' clear
in her eyes.
Understanding what the warrior was thinking Gabrielle nodded her assent.
Xena cleared her throat and began what she thought might be the hardest
speech she ever had to make. "Mother...There is a reason that Gabrielle
and I are here."
Cyrenne sat quietly waiting for her daughter to go on, she struggled
with telling Xena that she already knew why they were there and getting
on to the matter at hand. She wanted to let her daughter know that there
was danger on the way, but something told her that this was a statement
that Xena needed to make and surely the few minutes it would take to
hear this information from her child would not make a difference in
their planning the next move.
Xena swallowed the lump in her throat, the best approach is straight
ahead she told herself. "I came to let you know that I have found the
person that I intend to spend the rest of my life with, we plan to be
married next month. We would like you to be there..."
Cyrenne was working on trying to keep the smile from breaking out on her
face when she asked "Am I to be told who this paragon is that has done
the impossible and captured my daughter's heart, or am I to be kept in
suspense until the day of the wedding?"
Both women looked at each other across the table, not quite sure of what
to say. It was clear that Cyrenne was happy about the news of Xena
intending to wed, but would she still be as happy when she found out who
it was that Xena was planning to marry? The older woman suppressed the
urge to laugh out loud when she finally said. "If I wait for you two to
say anything I'll never get to welcome my new daughter into the family
before the ceremony." She hugged a startled Gabrielle to her while an
open mouthed Xena looked on.
"How did you know?" Xena finally managed to stammer.
"I have suspected for quite some time that there was feelings between
you two that ran deeper then friendship. However, I must admit that I
did have advanced warning of your visit, and it's purpose."
Xena could feel her temper rising, had Gabrielle's family sent word
ahead of what had happened in Potidiea in the hopes of causing trouble?
"Who told you?" she asked
"Ephiny and Solari arrived a few hours ago...."
"They had no right! It was my place..."
Gabrielle moved to place a calming hand on her lover. "Xena I am sure
that they had a reason for what they did."
Cyrenne interjected here "Yes they did there is a matter that needs
yours and Gabrielle's immediate attention, they came here to find you.
The only reason they told me was to avoid any problems. The were afraid
The warrior could see the blush rising on her mothers cheeks. "They were
afraid that you might do something like run out and try to find me?"
Xena asked, the anger leaving her voice as quickly as it had entered it.
A small smile even played across her lips as she went on, "I can not
imagine why they might have thought that."
Gabrielle gave the warrior a warm look, very few people in the world
were aware that the mighty Warrior Princess actually had quite a sense
of humor. She loved to tease the people she was close too from time to
time, and the chance to give her mother a bit of a hard time was just to
much for her to resist. Turning back towards the doorway that led to the
private family rooms past the tavern, Gabrielle played a hunch.
"Ephiny, Solari I think it's safe for you to come out now."
Both women stepped from the shadows into the center of the room. "I'm
sorry that your home coming had to be interrupted by these problems
Xena." Ephiny told her as she moved to take the forearm the warrior had
extended in greeting. "But after talking to Falana, Solari and I felt
that you need to know what was happening as soon as possible.We found
her beaten and bloody just outside the village boarders."
"That's alright, I have had my suspicions ever since that group of
rebels disappeared that there was going to be trouble. I just wasn't
sure what form it would take, and there is still something that bothers
Xena had already voiced some of these concerns to Gabrielle but for the
benefit of those present she tried to reason it out aloud again. "I
still don't understand why they left the way they did. Solari said she
thought she had gotten through to Falana and everything seemed to be
fine, then their missing. Now you tell me you found Falana beaten half
dead, obviously by the group it appears she left with and we still don't
know why." It was then that Xena noticed a slight shift in the way
Solari was standing "Or do we?"
Looking at the Xena, Solari knew there was no way to sugar coat what she
was about to say. "Before Falana passed out again she did tell us a few
Dark brows were raised in expectation over crystal blue eyes, "Such as?"
The rebels are followers of Velaska, they were helping Cyrances on her
instruction each having there own reason for wanting to harm you and
Gabrielle. Falana was their leader but after I had talked to her, she
began to see things in a different light...."
Gabrielle's shock was evident in her voice "But how can Velaska be a
threat? She is dead, trapped in the lava."
"That was one of the things Falana explained." Solari felt the lump
rising in her throat "When Callisto escaped the lava, apparently Velaska
was able to find a way out as well. She needed someone to do her bidding
for her because unlike Callisto she had not had the time to adjust to
"But Velaska became a God before Callisto did." Gabrielle was having a
hard time controlling the fear that was starting to take ahold of her.
Wrapping a strong arm around her lover to offer support Xena told her
"That's true, but you have to remember that Callisto was an immortal
before she was a God. And she had gotten assistance from Hera in the
"Lowering her eyes to the ground Gabrielle said barley loud enough for
anyone to hear. "And Callisto had Hope to help her."
Trying to keep her own raging emotions under control Xena asked for more
information. "What else did she tell you?"
Everyone could tell Solari was having a hard time relating this
information. She still felt that some how this new danger to Gabrielle
and Xena was her fault, that if she had just been more attentive in her
duties this might have been avoided. Ephiny sensing this took over
telling their friends what they had learned from the girl. "She told us
that when Cyrances died at first the group was disheartened, he had
convinced them all that Gabrielle was an unfit Queen to rule them and
that Xena was going to led them all to their death in wars she wanted to
wage for her own selfish reasons.
Falana had been having doubts about everything she had been told. After
Solari had talked to her, she began to view both of you in a new light.
The night they disappeared, she told them she had changed her mind and
the she thought the should look at things as they were and start
thinking for themselves instead of being led by other people's
Xena was beginning to understand how things had played out "So when she
refused to go with them they kidnapped her so she would tell no one of
their plans right?"
"That's about it, she tried to escape and they caught her and beat her
and left her in the woods to die. I guess they didn't count on her
having the strength or courage it would take to make it back to the
Gabrielle felt her heart go out to the young woman that had suffered so
much, and all because she had finally found the courage to stand up for
her beliefs. "Is she going to die?"
"We don't know" Solari sadly answered "She was in pretty bad shape when
Xena pulled herself up to her full height "We are going to her, if there
is anything that can be done for her we will find a way."
Ephiny's reaction was stronger then even she had expected "You can't!
What about Velaska if she decides to come here looking for you both? She
knows this would be the best place to attack you. that's why we came to
find you so we could warn you about what is going on."
"And we appreciate that, but Falana risked her life for us, we can't
just let her die Ephiny. Besides we did what we came here to do... sort
of." She managed a wink towards the bard "Mother and the other villagers
will be safer if we leave, Velaska will not come here if we are gone,
and frankly what I have in mind will work better in the Amazon village
Gabrielle stood next to Ephiny, "I learned a long time ago that it is
best to just go along sometimes." she had a reassuring smile on her face
"I'm sure Xena has a plan it's amazing really the way her mind works."
"Its too late to leave now, I'm sure your both tired. Mother do you have
another room for Solari and Ephiny, we'll be leaving at first light."
Ephiny stepped forward to protest the generosity of Cyrenne offering
them a room. "That's not necessary, the loft in the barn will be fine."
"Nonsense!" Cyrenne interjected "You are family now, you are Gabrielle's
Amazon sisters that makes you welcome within these walls anytime."
"Don't fight her Ephiny." Xena chuckled "She is the only woman, besides
Gabrielle that has ever won an argument with me."
Ephiny smiled and agreed to take the room from Cyrenne, "I guess I know
when I've been beaten ." she said.
All five women agreed that the best thing to do at this point was to get
some rest. Xena turned to her mother "I wish This visit could be longer,
"I know, the most important thing right now is getting to the bottom of
this and you and Gabrielle getting on with your lives. The sooner you
get this taken care of the sooner you can make it official that I have a
new daughter." She hugged Xena and Gabrielle before turning to go up the
"We will meet down here at first light and get an early start. I want to
put this to rest so We can get on with our lives." Taking Gabrielle's
hand in her own she kissed the back of her knuckles tenderly. Looking
into deep sea green eyes that were filled with love she said "My mother
is right, we do have a wedding to plan."
Once they were up in the room that Xena had occupied as a child
Gabrielle could sense there was a tension in her warrior she had not
allowed to show when they were down stairs. "What is it Xena something
is going on in that beautiful head of yours you didn't want to let
anyone in on down there, talk to me."
The look in her eyes when she looked at the bard held many different
emotions love, admiration, desire and something that Gabrielle was not
used to seeing in the Warrior Princess' eyes...fear. Moving to stand
before Xena Gabrielle placed a hand over her heart, she could feel the
pulse under her finger tips. Once again she prompted "Tell me what's
Xena searched the face before her, when had it happened that this young
girl from Potidiea that was little more than an annoyance had turned
into a beautiful woman that had become a friend at first. And then found
her way into the warrior's heart and was now so firmly entrenched there
that Xena truly believed their hearts were intertwined, that if
Gabrielle's heart were to stop beating so she believed hers would too.
"Gabrielle, I love you so much and the thought that something could
happen to you..."
"Don't even go there Xena, we have gotten past the 'you stay here where
it's safe Gabrielle' We are in this together!"
Xena raised her hands to stem the protest that were coming from
Gabrielle. "I know that, I wouldn't even try to leave you behind, I'm
just saying that I want you to be careful. Promise me that you won't
take any foolish chances."
"I promise, I have a lot to live for you know."
At that moment their eyes locked and the only thought left in Xena's
mind was how much she wanted to make love to her bard. Taking the hand
that was resting against her heart beat into her own she led Gabrielle
to he bed. She touched her with a tenderness that she had never known
she was capable of until she had met Gabrielle. The bard had drawn out
Xena's softer side, even against the warrior's protests.
She had been talking steps backwards towards the bed, when her knees
touched the edge she slowly sat down and began to lay back. Never
letting go of the light grip she had on Gabrielle's hand she drew her
down with her. The bard followed her down and stretched out so that her
body covered the warrior. Their lips were locked into a kiss that was
both demanding and infinitely gentle at the same time.
Keeping her hold on her lover Xena rolled them both over until she was
the one on top. She rose to her knees, one leg on either side of
Gabrielle's hips. She needed enough room to remove her armour. The want
and need for each other filled the room around them, for the moment
nothing in the world mattered or existed for them except this moment and
Gabrielle's hands moved up from the home they had found an Xena's hips,
along her sides helping to unlatch the clips that held the presently
offending breast plate in the way. The armour was removed and laid
beside the bed in a heap. Once the armour was out of the way,
Gabrielle's hands began pushing down the straps of Xena's leathers.
Their eyes never lost contact the whole time. Now naked to the waist
Xena began a slow descent back into her bards arms and captured warm,
willing lips with her own.
A soft gasp escaped Gabrielle's lips when Xena's breast made contact
with her body. The sound was swallowed up by Xena's kiss, even through
the thin material of her shirt her nipples responded to the touch of her
warrior against her. This was not the first time that Gabrielle had
thought of Xena as 'Her warrior' but it seemed more right now then it
ever had before.
Xena's lips had found their way down to Gabrielle's throat while her
fingers worked on the laces. This was almost like the first time they
had made love, there was an intensity to it that neither woman had felt
before. It seemed like they both knew of the impending danger that they
might be facing when they left for the Amazon village tomorrow, and that
added an element that had not been there before.
Finally freeing Gabrielle's breast's from the confines of her top Xena's
lips moved lower still. She took one breast into her mouth while she
covered the other one with her hand. The hardened peak brushed against
her tongue and skin, making her want the bard even more. Gabrielle
arched her back to increase the contact, her hand cradling the back of
Xena's head. She tried to push her closer, her breathing intensified.
Everything in the world seemed to center on the feelings Xena was
creating in her. The wetness felt like a pool between her legs "Xena.
please I need you now!"
Xena puled away from Gabrielle just long enough to remove the rest off
her clothing and pull Gabrielle's skirt and breeches down over her legs
and off. "You are so beautiful Gabrielle." She came back over her lover
placing a knee between Gabrielle's legs. The contact was almost enough
to put her over the edge "Gods I can feel how wet you are already."
Gabrielle began to move her hips against Xena's thigh coating it in her
"That's right Gabrielle, give me everything you have, don't hold
anything back from me."
The rhythm increased until Xena could tell Gabrielle was right on the
edge. Just before her lover hit that point Xena entered her quickly,
filling her to the brim. "Ahhh yes....Xena... you feel so good."
"You feel good to me my love, I love you so much."
Gabrielle was breathing in short ragged gasps "I....love ..you ...too.."
"Come for me....show me."
Arching her back off the bed, Gabrielle held on to Xena and rode out the
wave of her climax. Even after she had reached the point of bliss she
had been striving for Xena did not relax the rhythm of her hand, if
anything she increased the tempo. Before long Gabrielle was climbing the
mountain again only to spiral into the sweet abyss of love that she felt
for this woman that was making love to her.
She came back to herself to find Xena placing gentle kisses on her face
and pushing her sodden hair back from her face. "Welcome back love."
Gabrielle blinked her eyes to clear her vision, "That was amazing" she
told her warrior as she gazed into the bottomless blue of Xena's eyes.
"I want to make you feel this way." She told the warrior as pushed her
onto her back. Her lips found the strong pulse in Xena's throat while
she let her hands have there way on Xena's body.
Xena felt her control slipping, her plan had been just to make love to
Gabrielle. They did have to get an early start in the morning after all,
but as soon as the bard began touching her she know that resistance
would be futile. 'Oh well I can always sleep another time.' she thought
to herself. She gave herself over to the feelings that Gabrielle was
drawing from her, they made love far into the night putting all thoughts
of what the morning might bring far out of their minds."
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