The Course of True Love
Picture # 12
Disclaimer – Story mine. Characters not mine.
When she was five, Gabrielle fell in love with a wild animal.
It was a fine stag, proud and removed from the rest of its kind.
A neighboring family went hunting when the leaves turned from green to brown.
And her first love was hauled in, those eyes – once bright – now glassy.
She vowed to never take a weapon up after that, long before finding herself at the mercy of slavers and long before another wild beast came into her life.
Gabrielle knows that to take up arms means that something… or someone might die.
You might lose that which you love.
And Gabrielle vowed, as her family ate upon this noble creature, to always protect the heart of whom she fell in love with.
The sun is just rising over the mountains. The regular world is just waking up and the monsters of the night are just shutting their eyes. Everything is just as it should be, except for Gabrielle.
Gabrielle, who has never been two steps from Potedia, is now very far from home.
Far from the familiar and the familial, far from her childhood haunts and playmates, far from the arranged marriage and the predictable life planned for her.
Instead, Gabrielle closes her eyes and smells the air, her lungs gathering up the scent of love.
For only love could cause such a reaction, so strong and pure.
This untamed woman has captured Gabrielle’s heart.
This cautious animal, black mane and blue eyes, has ensnared Gabrielle’s soul.
And the course of true love… Gabrielle must follow.
Gabrielle reaches out her hand and is almost surprised that Xena does not snap or snarl.
She senses fear in the woman. And the hint of curiosity.
Gabrielle is hesitant in her movements, letting her fingers just graze Xena’s cheek.
The woman does not lean into the touch and does not lean from the touch.
They look at each other and Gabrielle recalls another day in another time, the dark eyes of her stag looking from across the river. Untrusting, he would run off. And yet, day by day, he would come closer to where she would stand.
In his own time, the stag let a child’s fingers pet his brow.
Gabrielle tells this story to Xena and the woman dips her head, ever so slightly, letting a smooth forehead whisper across Gabrielle’s slowly retreating fingertips.
Then Xena is in the darkness of the woods.
And Gabrielle is clutching her own hand to her chest, in reverence and joy, feeling all things fall into place…
Story by: SPHEERIS1
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