By Jenbob
Copyright © 2000 Jun
All rights reserved

This story takes place during the Devi episode. It begins just after Xena has returned to find Gabrielle decked out in pearls and Gabrielle has accused Xena of getting the holy water to use against her.

WARNING: Don't bother looking for a plot here. This is nothing more than a pointless sex story. It's also most definitely NOT a "vanilla" sex story, and there are parts that are "pseudo" non-consensual too, so if youíre offended by this sort of thing, you had best pass this story by!

Disclaimer: Xena and Gabrielle don't belong to me which is too bad, because I wouldn't have made them do all the stupid stuff that RenPic made them do during the 5th season.

No copyright infringement was intended and I don't make any money off this stuff. The story, though, belongs solely to me. Copies may only be made for private use and must include this disclaimer and copyright notice

"I just know you have doubts about me," Gabrielle said, the frustration she was feeling clearly apparent in her voice and posture. "And I tell you that this power is good, that it's my calling...and instead of being happy for me, you think that I'm evil."

"Gabrielle," Xena said sorrowfully, wishing she could simply deny the bard's accusations but knowing that she couldn't. She stepped forward to stand in front of her friend then hesitated for a moment, trying to find the words to explain. "Eli told me about the picture in the temple."

"Eli!" the bard burst out in utter disbelief. "You're taking the word of a street magician over mine?"

"It's not that," the warrior protested.

"Why is this so hard for you to accept?" Gabrielle asked helplessly. "Xena, I do not hurt people. I *heal* them."

"Oh no. Don't cry," Xena begged, as she pulled the young woman into her arms. She rested her chin on top of Gabrielle's head and desperately tried to soothe the bard. "Don't cry now," she repeated, as she gently began to rock back and forth. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I'm sorry."

The seconds passed slowly, as Xena continued to hold the bard in her loving embrace. She murmured soft words of love and reassurance and tenderly stroked Gabrielle's back in an effort to calm the distraught young woman. Finally, after several minutes had passed, Gabrielle drew in a deep, shuddering breath and self-consciously wiped away her tears. "I'm sorry," she said remorsefully, deliberately keeping her eyes averted from the warrior. "I shouldn't have overreacted like that."

"It's all right." Xena took a small step back from the younger woman but kept the bard within the comforting circle of her arms. She waited patiently for Gabrielle to look at her, before finally tilting the bard's chin upwards. "This is strange to us both," she said, lifting her hand to brush away the tears that remained, before tenderly cupping Gabrielle's cheek. "We'll get through this together."

"Promise?" Gabrielle asked with a small smile.

"Promise," Xena replied, sealing the vow with a kiss. After a few moments, she began to pull away, but Gabrielle quickly slid a hand up behind the warrior's neck to hold her close. Sensing the need in her young lover, Xena deepened the kiss, tasting the sweetness of Gabrielle's mouth as her tongue engaged the bard's in a gentle battle.

Soon simple kisses were no longer enough for either woman. Xena's armor was soon removed and discarded, leaving the warrior in just her leathers, while Gabrielle's entire outfit was tossed to the side. The warrior's fingers tangled in the soft hairs at the bard's nape to draw her closer, then once again she captured the younger woman's lips in a passionate kiss. Sweeping Gabrielle up into her arms, Xena carried the bard across the room to lay her down on the bed and then immediately covered the younger woman's body with her own. She scattered searing kisses down the bard's throat and then across her shoulders, before eventually focusing her attention on the younger woman's creamy breasts. Her tongue laved the soft flesh while her lips worried the tips of each breast in turn, leaving the young bard panting and begging for more.

Responding to the insistent rhythm of the bard's hips, Xena lowered a hand to stroke the slick blond curls between the younger woman's legs. Lifting her head, she covered Gabrielle's mouth with a hungry kiss, smothering the bard's groans as her fingers gently parted the fleshy folds and then slipped inside the soft, velvety core. With agonizing slowness, she began sliding deeply into the younger woman, driving the bard senseless with her touch. Spurred on by Gabrielle's increasingly wild movements and the hands desperately holding her close, Xena quickly increased the speed of her thrusts until Gabrielle came with a long, drawn out cry, her body quivering and shaking as wave after wave of ecstasy crashed through her.

Xena held her lover securely in her arms, waiting until the last of the tremors that shook her had ceased, before carefully rolling them both over so that the bard was lying on top of her. She gently stroked the younger woman's back and then briefly pressed her lips against Gabrielle's forehead. Pulling the younger woman closer, she shifted slightly to get more comfortable. "Feeling better?" she asked in a hushed voice.

"Much better," the bard confirmed. "Thank you," she said softly, her fingers tracing idle patterns on the taller womanís muscular forearm. Gabrielle lifted her head and tenderly brushed her lips against Xenaís. "I love you."

Xena smiled and then drew the younger woman back into her embrace. "I love you too."

Gabrielle fell silent for several moments before speaking again. "What about you? You didnítÖI meanÖdonít youÖ."

Xena covered the bardís lips with a gentle kiss, stopping her embarrassed ramblings. Even after all this time, Gabrielle still retained a definite touch of awkwardness when it came to actually speaking about the act of lovemaking. "Iím fine," she assured the younger woman.

The bard frowned briefly, before leaning back and propping her head up on one hand. For several seconds, she regarded the other woman thoughtfully and then shook her head. "No, youíre not."

A bemused smile tugged at the corner of Xenaís lips. "Iím not?"

A slow fire began to burn in the younger womanís eyes. Shifting her weight, she deliberately pressed her thigh against Xenaís core. "No, youíre not," she repeated meaningfully, "But you could be. All you have to do is let me help you."

"He- help me?" Xena stammered, as a wave of raw desire coursed through her. "What do you mean by that?"

Gabrielle leaned into the other woman, increasing the pressure her leg was exerting. "I mean exactly what I said. I can give you what you need, Xena," she said, her voice dropping to a sensual whisper. "I can help you if youíll just let me."

With a monumental effort, Xena fought down the rising hunger that was threatening to consume her. She drew in a deep breath and carefully scrutinized the young woman poised above her. "This has to do with your new power, doesnít it?" she finally said.

The bard nodded, as her free hand once again began to caress Xenaís body. "Yes, it does," she said evenly. "Itís a power to help people. I can use it to help you."


"First, I use it to tell me what it is that you need. Then, I use the power to give it to you."

"Gabrielle, the only thing I need is you."

"No, thatís not true," the bard said, her voice calm and even. "There's something else that you needÖsomething that youíve wanted for a long time, even if you havenít realized it for yourself yet."

"But you know what that is?" Xena said, clearly skeptical of what she was hearing.

"Yes, I do." The bardís expression turned intensely serious. "Thereís an ache deep inside of you, Xena, a longing for something you canít quite name." She paused to kiss the other woman lingeringly before continuing. "I couldnít see it before, but now itís as clear as day to me." She gently placed her hand on Xenaís chest. "Thereís an emptiness inside you that needs to be filled. Itís like a wound, and I can heal that wound if youíll let me.

"And you can see all of this because of your new power?" Xena asked quietly.

"Yes, because of the energy that's inside me. It can do more than just heal the body, it can heal the spirit and the soul." Gabrielle abruptly pulled her hand back and began to move away from her lover. "But I can see it wonít do any good to discuss this any further with you. You still donít believe a word Iím saying."

Xena quickly reached out to grab the younger womanís arm. "Gabrielle, itís not that I donít believe you. Itís just thatÖthatÖ."

"Itís just that you donít trust me," the bard said, her eyes as cold as the tone of her voice.

"Thatís not true," Xena protested.

"Isnít it? No matter how hard I try to convince you, youíre determined to believe that Iíve been possessed by an evil force." She jerked her arm out of the warriorís grasp and began to gather up her clothes. She angrily dressed while she stalked across the room to stand with her back to the bed. "I would have thought that, after all weíd been through together, youíd have learned to have a little faith in me by now."

"I do have faith in you," Xena said.

Gabrielle laughed humorlessly. "Well, you have a pretty funny way of showing it, Xena."

Xenaís brow furrowed, as she silently studied the bardís stiff posture. ëWho are you?í she asked herself. ëAre you really still just Gabrielle under that bizarre costume? I know thatís what you said but, even when I look past those clothes, thereís something in your eyes that just seemÖoff. I just wish I knew whether that was caused by the stress youíre under right now, or whether thereís some darker explanation.í

The warrior shook her head from side to side in utter frustration, her mind still churning the matter over. ëGods, Gabrielle, I donít want to believe that youíve been taken over by a harmful creature. I wish I could believe that the spirit that's entered you was a noble one. The trouble is, even though I do think thereís a devi running around here, I donít think that youíre it.'

Sighing heavily, Xena chewed her bottom lip for a few seconds and then bowed to the inevitable. At the moment, it didnít matter what the source of Gabrielleís newfound power was. Either it was a force for good, in which case the bard deserved her trust, or it was a force for evil, in which case the bard needed her help. In either event, alienating Gabrielle by openly doubting her would only lead to disaster. "What do you want me to do?" she asked, her voice laced with resignation.

"Hmmm?" Gabrielle asked, not bothering to turn around to look at the other woman.

"I said, what do you want me to do?" Xena repeated, speaking somewhat louder than she had before. "What do I have to do to show you that I trust you?"

The bard turned around to calmly gaze at her lover. "Let me use my power to help you."

Xena nodded. "All right."

Gabrielleís eyes narrowed in obvious disbelief. "You mean it?"

The warrior nodded again. "I mean it. If thatís what it takes to show you that I trust you, then use your power to help me."

The younger woman began to walk towards the bed. "Youíll do whatever I tell you to do? Even if it seems...odd?"

"Even if it seems odd," Xena agreed.

The bard paused in her approach and studied the taller woman thoughtfully. "All right, then take off your clothes," she directed, a note of command creeping into her voice.

Xenaís left eyebrow arched and her lips quirked into a half smile. "I donít think you need any special powers just to make love to me," she said, as she began removing her leathers.

"Youíre right, I donít," the bard agreed, as she turned away and crossed the room to begin rummaging through their bags. "But thatís now exactly what this is all about."

The warrior quickly shed her remaining clothes and then sat on the edge of the bed to watch her lover. "Then what is it about?" she asked.

The bard continued to search through the bags in silence, before finally finding the item she wanted. "Itís about giving you something youíve been wanting for a long time, but that I wasnít ready to give to you until now." Straightening back up, she sauntered towards her lover, a sensual smile playing across her lips. "Remember these?" she asked coyly, holding up a thin metal chain.

Xenaís eyes widened at the sight of the object in the younger womanís hands. A pair of silver nipple clamps, which she had purchased for Gabrielle months ago, dangled from the bardís fingers. The warrior had hoped to use them on her lover but, after one disastrous attempt, the younger woman had flatly refused to wear them again. Xena had been sorely disappointed but had known better than to try to pressure the bard into doing something she didnít want to do. "I remember them." She smiled at Gabrielle. "But I didnít think you were going to change your mind about wearing them."

The bard grinned. "I havenít. *Youíre* going to be the one wearing them, not me."

The warrior gaped up at her lover. Although the two of them had occasionally indulged in a few mild bondage games during their lovemaking, Gabrielle had never once tried to assume the dominant position. The bard had always automatically taken on the submissive role and had had very clear limits as to how far she was willing to allow things to go. Xena had never considered the possibility that the younger woman would take the lead during these games. Now that she had, though, the warrior was finding the idea strangely thrilling.

Xenaís musings ground to an abrupt halt, when Gabrielle began to slowly caress her breasts. A slow warmth began to spread through the warriorís body in response to the sensation of strong, knowing hands stroking her sensitive flesh. She watched, completely mesmerized, as the bardís fingers danced over her nipples, pinching and twisting them until they stood at full attention. "What ifÖwhat if I donít want to wear them either?" she asked breathlessly, a devilish grin on her face.

Gabrielle shrugged carelessly, as a wry smile tugged at her lips. "I donít recall giving you any choice in the matter. Iím the one making the rules, now, not you." She leaned down to suck Xenaís left breast into her mouth while her fingers played with the other. Looking upward, she locked gazes with her lover, while she laved the tip with her tongue and suckled gently. After several seconds had passed, she pulled away and quickly fastened the clamps onto Xenaís nipples. She smiled as she studied her handiwork and then nodded in satisfaction. "Perfect."

Xena drew in a deep breath and tried to focus on something other than the sparks shooting through her breasts. "Iím glad you like it," she said tightly.

"Oh I do," the bard replied, before covering the warriorís lips with a passionate kiss. Her tongue lightly traced Xenaís full lips, before pushing inside to explore the depths within. Moaning loudly, she pressed herself against her lover and allowed her hands to wander across the muscular planes of Xenaís back. Finally, after a few minutes had passed, Gabrielle pulled back to look at the other woman. "I love you," she whispered.

"I love you too, Gabrielle," the warrior replied. She tenderly placed her hand on the bardís cheek and smiled when the younger woman pressed a soft kiss into her palm. "Youíre everything to me."

"And youíre everything to me," the bard said, before leaning down to kiss her lover once again. Breaking away, she gave the other woman a lopsided smile. "Now stand up so that I can give you what you need."

Xena shook her head. "Gabrielle, this isnít necessary. We donít have to do this just because you thinkÖ."

The bardís smile vanished and was replaced with a dark frown. "I said ëstand upí, Slave, and I meant *now*."

A bolt of pure carnal desire arced through Xena in response to the imperious look on the younger womanís face. Hardly even aware of what she was doing, the warrior rose to her feet. "Iím sorry, Gabrielle, IÖ."

"You will address me as ëMistressí," the bard said sharply, cutting her lover off before she could finish her apology. ëYou will speak only when spoken to. You will not protest *anything* I choose to do. Do you understand?"

Xena stared at her lover in awe. Gabrielle fairly radiated raw power and Xena had never found her more seductive. She could feel the almost physical force of the bardís sexual energy and it caused her entire body to throb with an answering need. She swallowed a few times to get past the constriction in her throat and then nodded slowly. "I understand."

The bard looked the taller woman over appraisingly, before shaking her head. "No, I donít think you do. It looks like itís up to me to make things clear to you." She pointed to a pillar halfway across the room. "Over there, Slave. Put your hands on the column and stand with your feet a shoulder width apart."

Too stunned to protest, Xena moved to obey the younger womanís directive. She placed her hands on the pillar and then glanced over her shoulder to watch her lover. To her surprise, the bard grabbed one of their bags and then pulled out several strips of leather, which Xena had purchased to mend her battle skirt, before crossing the room to stand behind the warrior.

The bard dropped the satchel to the floor and then focused her attention on the woman in front of her. She idly dragged the leather straps across the warriorís back, smiling slightly when she saw the muscles twitch in response. "Youíve needed this for a long time, Slave, and tonight, Iím going to see that you get what you deserve."

Xena barely managed to choke back her gasp of surprise in response to the slap of the leather against her skin. Gabrielle had struck much harder than she had expected and the pain was considerably more intense than she had anticipated. As the bard continued to rain blow after blow down upon her, however, Xena had to admit that the experience was far from unpleasant. To the contrary, a scorching flame was beginning to ignite in her blood. Slowly, the warmth from her back spread throughout her body, searing her nerve endings and making her feel more alive than she had in ages. Closing her eyes, she lowered her head and concentrated on the feelings that were beginning to surge through her. She wasnít entirely certain what to make of the sudden turn of events, but she had to admit that she wasnít exactly anxious to stop things either.

Gabrielle silently continued to administer Xenaís punishment for several long minutes, before finally pausing to study her handiwork. She lightly trailed the tips of her fingers over the numerous marks covering Xenaís back, grinning when she saw the tall woman flinch. "Is it starting to sink in, Slave?" she asked, her voice a velvety purr. "Do you understand whatís happening here?" The bard stepped back and brought the makeshift flogger down hard across her loverís shoulder blades. "Until *I* say differently, you will obey my every most outrageous whim. Youíll obey me because, deep down, thatís what you *want* to do. This is what you need. You need someone else to take control. You need to be dominated. You need to be mastered by someone else, donít you?"

Xena shook her head, stubbornly rejecting the younger womanís words. "No. Youíre wrong. I donít want that," she said, denying the allegations as much to herself as to Gabrielle.

"Liar," Gabrielle said genially, unperturbed by her loverís disavowal. She lashed the warriorís back repeatedly, smiling broadly when she saw the raven-haired beauty twitch and tremble in response. "Admit it. Youíre loving every moment of this. Youíre getting so turned on that you can hardly stand up."

"No," Xena said thickly. "Iím not."

The bard cocked her head to one side and gazed at her lover thoughtfully. She reached out to lightly caress the other womanís muscular rear and then, without warning, abruptly slid her hand down and forward. A wicked grin immediately appeared on her face, when she felt the river that was flowing between Xenaís legs. She allowed her fingers to dance through the swollen folds for several seconds, eliciting a deep-throated groan of pleasure from the taller woman. "Oh no," she said tauntingly, "Youíre not excited. Youíre not enjoying this at all, are you? So I guess that means you want me to stop what Iím doing and just walk away, right?"

Xenaís mouth was open and she was breathing hard, while her mind and body waged a fierce battle for control. Desire, hot and pulsing, throbbed through her, making her oblivious to anything except the overwhelming need to experience more of what her young lover was offering. Her hands curled into tight fists, as she struggled to remain in control of herself. When Gabrielle stepped forward to rub herself against her back, though, the last remnants of her composure began to rapidly slip away. She desperately tried to shut out her awareness of the younger womanís body sliding sensuously against her own. The feeling of Gabrielleís teeth sinking firmly into her shoulder, however, severed the last remaining tether on her self-control. "No," she said hoarsely, "Donít stop."

The bard smiled, liking the small note of desperation in the warriorís voice. Her lips blazed a slow trail across her loverís back to reach the warriorís other shoulder. Her tongue flickered out to lick delicately at the reddened flesh before she spoke again. "Do you want me to continue?"

Several endless seconds passed, the silence in the room broken only by the sounds of Xenaís ragged breathing. Finally, she nodded awkwardly. "Yes," she whispered.

Gabrielle lightly trailed the leather straps across her loverís shoulders. "Yes *what*?" she asked meaningfully.

Xena took in a deep breath before responding. "Yes Mistress," she said obediently.

Gabrielle quickly brought the makeshift flogger down across her loverís back in several rapid blows, eliciting a lustful combination of gasps and sighs from the warrior. Eventually, she paused once again to admire the results of her efforts. Smiling in satisfaction, she crushed her body against Xenaís reddened back and slid her free hand around the other woman. She languidly slid her hand up her loverís rib cage to gently cup the underside of Xenaís left breast. She massaged it slowly, carefully avoiding touching the nipple or the chain that was attached to it, while she tenderly nuzzled the curve of her loverís shoulder.

Xena whimpered in disappointment when she heard Gabrielle drop the leather straps to the floor and felt her step away. Her protest was abruptly cut off, however, when she was grabbed by the arm and forcefully spun around to face her young lover. The bard was breathing heavily and a thin sheen of sweat had appeared on her forehead. For a few moments Gabrielle gazed up at her, eyes filled with raw hunger and the promise of things yet to come, creating an aching need deep within the raven-haired warrior. Then, without warning, the bard curled a hand around the taller woman's neck and drew her down into a fierce, possessive kiss.

Xena returned her loverís kiss eagerly, granting the bardís demanding tongue the access it sought. All too soon, though, the embrace ended and the young woman stepped casually away from her. Xena shivered involuntarily, as the heat of her loverís lecherous gaze traveled slowly up and down her body, with the intense regard of someone seeing it for the very first time. Finally, Gabrielle lifted her eyes to meet the taller womanís. Still holding Xenaís gaze, she reached out to tug experimentally on the length of chain that connected the warrior's breasts together. She smirked when she heard the other woman's swift intake of breath. "The clamps look good on you, Xena. You should wear them more often."

Not giving her lover a chance to respond, Gabrielle abruptly tugged on the chain to pull the warrior closer, silencing her shocked gasp with another powerful kiss. After several seconds, she again broke away and, with a firm shove, propelled Xena towards the bed. She crossed her arms, as a haughty, almost contemptuous expression began to cover her features. "Play with yourself, Xena, but *donít* come until I give you permission."

Xenaís brows drew downward, as a sudden wave of apprehension cooled her rising ardor. While she couldnít deny the fact that she had become immensely aroused by her loverís authoritarian behavior, there had been moments when the bard had seemed dangerously close to losing control. Moreover, there was the matter of the sudden flashes of what seemed more like real anger and scorn, rather than acting or role-playing. As much as she was enjoying herself, she wondered if she should try to find a way to call a halt to things before they went any further. Unfortunately, she couldnít think of a way to do so without making it appear that she didnít trust the younger womanís motives. After all, she had promised to do whatever Gabrielle wanted. Being asked to perform for her loverís enjoyment wasnít exactly a dangerous, suspicious request.

As the warrior continued to hesitate, Gabrielle frowned in mild confusion. "Come on, Slave," she finally said with an encouraging smile. "Donít try to tell me you donít know how to do that."

Reassured by Gabrielleís gentle teasing, Xena smiled in return and began to obey the younger womanís directive. Her hands began to move slowly over her own body, cupping her breasts, brushing lightly across her nipples, and occasionally sliding down between her legs to rub her clit. Acceding to the whispered urgings of her lover, she brought her fingers to her mouth to gently suck them, swirling her tongue across their surface while she stared into the impassioned gaze of her lover.

Xena closed her eyes and continued to obediently follow Gabrielleís directions. The minutes passed slowly while she caressed her body, creating a rising inferno within herself that nearly threatened to consume her. Eventually, though, she began to realize that the bard had long since fallen silent and was no longer guiding her movements. Opening her eyes, she saw that Gabrielle had moved across the room and was standing in front of a mirror. An unreadable expression covered the bard's features, as she calmly studied her own now nude form.

Completely bewildered and somewhat concerned over the younger womanís increasingly strange actions, Xena propped herself up on an elbow to scrutinize her lover. "Mistress?" she said, after several seconds had passed. "Are you all right?"

The bard smiled, but Xena noticed that it didnít quite reach her eyes, which remained cool and detached. "Never better," she said with a smug, self-satisfied air.

Unconvinced, Xena pushed herself up into a sitting position and continued to watch the younger woman carefully. "Are you sure? You seem a little distracted."

The bard shrugged negligently. "Iím perfect. Look at this body," she said, whirling around in front of the mirror. "Itís magnificent. Donít you agree?"

"Youíre beautiful," Xena agreed, her sincerity obvious even though she was clearly confused by the younger womanís bizarre behavior.

With a confident smirk playing about her lips, Gabrielle sauntered across the room towards her lover, her every movement filled with unmistakable sensuality. She paused for a moment when she reached the bed, before focusing her attention on her own body once again. Her hands languidly slid across her curves, caressing the firm flesh with an air of wonder and delight. "No one could possibly resist this body," she said. "Certainly you canít, can you, Xena?"

The warrior shook her head, mesmerized by the blatant sexuality exuding from her lover. "No," she said thickly, barely recognizing the voice as her own. "I canít."

The bard smiled triumphantly and then quickly moved to join her lover. She placed her hands on Xena's shoulders and then pushed her firmly backwards until the warrior was lying flat on the bed. Shifting positions, Gabrielle straddled the taller womanís hips and then deliberately ground her sex against her lover. The bardís palms moved upwards, smoothing over the taut muscles of the warriorís belly to reach the shining silver chain that still connected Xenaís breasts.

The warrior watched, completely enthralled, as Gabrielleís fingers purposefully closed around the metal links. With painstaking slowness, the bard tightened her grip and then began to pull the chain upwards. Unable to stop herself, Xena groaned loudly in response, her entire world seemingly centered on her breasts. Panting heavily, she fought to draw air into her lungs, positive that she would surely go mad if the younger woman didnít stop the erotic torment that she was inflicting.

To Xenaís intense relief and disappointment, the bard soon released the chain and dropped her hands to rest on her own thighs. The warrior could feel herself coming apart at the seams, but she struggled valiantly to remain as calm as the woman poised above her seemed to be. One look into the lustful face of her young lover, however, was more than enough to cause her entire body to tremble uncontrollably. "Please," she whimpered helplessly. "Please donít stop."

Gabrielle smiled knowingly and then deliberately pressed her hips downward onto the other woman. "Tell me you want me, Xena. I want to hear you say the words."

"I want you," the warrior said without hesitation, not caring if she sounded desperate because she absolutely was desperate. "By the gods, I need you so much."

The bard leaned over to briefly kiss her lover and then, with a surprising show of strength, quickly seized Xenaís wrists and pinned the warriorís arms above her head. She rubbed her breasts tantalizingly against the taller woman, grinning when she felt the warrior arch helplessly against her. Shifting positions, Gabrielle drove a thigh hard against the warriorís center. She captured Xenaís lips in a brutal, punishing kiss, her tongue plundering the depths of her loverís mouth. Breaking the kiss after only a few moments, Gabrielle continued to grind her thigh against the taller woman. She lifted her head to look down on the warriorís flushed face. "First you can have me. Then, Iím going to *take* you," she promised throatily.

Before Xena had time to consider her loverís pledge, she found herself gazing up into Gabrielleís glistening curls. The bardís muscular legs pressed her arms firmly into the mattress, restricting her freedom of movement and adding to the feeling that she truly was Gabrielleís captive. Inhaling deeply, Xena paused for a moment to savor the scent of her loverís arousal. Her hesitation was clearly not to Gabrielleís liking, however. With a muttered oath, the young bard grabbed the other woman by the hair and forcefully brought the warriorís face into contact with her throbbing core. "Lick me, Xena" she growled, as she bucked her hips forward against the warrior's mouth. "Use that tongue of yours and fuck me ëtil I come."

Xena stared up at Gabrielle in shocked disbelief, unable to accept that her normally demure lover had actually said such a thing. The commanding tug on her hair and the forceful driving of the bardís pelvis against her face, however, served as ample evidence that Gabrielle had indeed uttered those words. Ignoring the voice in the back of her mind, that told her that something was wrong, the warrior allowed herself to savor the sensual ecstasy that filled her at the notion of Gabrielle so completely dominating her. Focusing on the task at hand, Xena began to lick and suck greedily, straining to taste every available inch of the bardís warm flesh. Her tongue parted the younger womanís swollen folds and she moaned loudly at the flood of honeyed sweetness that greeted her. She used the tip of her nose to rub the younger womanís engorged clit and was rewarded with a throaty growl from Gabrielle for her efforts. "Oh yes, Slave," the bard said approvingly, as she allowed her eyes to drift shut and her head to fall backwards. "You're soooo good at this."

Gabrielle pressed her hips downward, forcing the warriorís face even deeper into her steaming mound, and then lifted a hand to cup her own breast. She twisted and pinched the nipple for several seconds and then applied the same rough treatment to its partner, leaving both tips distended and erect. Finally, Gabrielle opened her eyes to look down at her lover. "Come on, Xena," she ordered. "You can do better than that. Use your tongue and fuck me!"

Responding to the wanton hunger in the younger woman's voice, Xena abandoned all efforts to take things slowly and simply thrust her tongue as deeply into the bard as she was able. She felt Gabrielle's fingers twist almost excruciatingly tight in her hair and listened to the younger woman growl with lustful pleasure. Over and over, Xena drove her tongue into the bard, as the tempo of the younger woman's motions against her became faster and more urgent with each passing second. Suddenly, Gabrielle's supple young body abruptly stiffened and her hand dropped from her breasts to clutch Xena's hair tightly. Her hands pulled savagely at the warrior's head and she came with a long, drawn out cry, her shoulders arching backwards as she forcefully thrust her pelvis downward one last time against the warrior's drenched face

The bard gasped loudly, as a series of powerful, shuddering climaxes claimed her. Eventually she pitched forward, collapsing onto the mattress, her body continuing to spasm in release. She lay silently beside Xena, motionless except for the heaving of her chest while she sought to draw in air into lungs that suddenly seemed painfully inadequate for the job. After nearly a minute had passed, she managed to prop herself up on one elbow to examine her lover. "Not bad, Slave," she said hoarsely. "I think Iíll keep you."

Xena swallowed hard, her entire body throbbing with an intense longing that was rapidly making it difficult to think. "Thank you, Mistress," she managed to say, her voice thick with hunger and desire.

Gabrielle grinned, obviously recognizing the source of her loverís distress. Rolling backwards, she positioned herself between the warriorís legs, her face just inches from Xenaís core. She spent a few seconds studying the dark triangle in front of her; a thoughtful expression covering her features. Then, without a word, she abruptly buried her face in the damp curls and drove her tongue inside the other woman.

A long, loud groan fell from Xena's lips, as she closed her eyes and surrendered to her lover's attentions. She automatically reached to clutch the younger woman's hair, but stopped when the bard shook her head warningly and roughly batted her arms away. The warrior's fingers curled tightly into the sheet, while her hips rose helplessly to meet her lover's greedy mouth. The younger woman's tongue felt almost impossibly hot on her creamy, wet flesh and Xena wasn't certain that she could survive the inferno that threatened to reduce her to a pile of powdery ash. The mindless desire that the bard had evoked within her, however, left the warrior powerless to do anything but follow wherever the younger woman chose to lead


Xena's head thrashed from side to side and her breath escaped her lungs in hard, hot pants. She felt the bard's hands move to cup her buttocks, her fingers digging into the warrior's flesh in a vice-like grip as she lifted Xena's hips closer to her mouth. Gabrielle was licking, biting and sucking at her sensitive flesh, feasting on the taller woman as if she were starved. She increased the speed and pressure of her tongue against the warrior's slick, throbbing core, devastating Xena's already battered senses. Then, without a word of warning, she abruptly sucked the warrior's clit fully into her mouth. She tongued the small organ lecherously, driving Xena closer and closer to the point of no return. Just as Xena stood poised at the brink, however, the bard abruptly released her and moved away.

"Gods above," Xena choked out hoarsely, frantically reaching to pull the younger woman back to her. "Donít stop!"

Gabrielle easily evaded her loverís grasp and instead took several quick steps to where she had dropped the saddlebag a short while earlier. Reaching inside, she drew out a dark, cylindrical object attached to several leather straps. She fastened the phallus around her hips with practiced ease and immediately moved to position herself between her loverís thighs. "Donít worry, Xena," she said smoothly, as she laid her frame on top of the warriorís. "Stopping is the last thing I have in mind."

Xena groaned loudly, when she felt the younger womanís weight press into her. The bardís hands and mouth seemed to be everywhere at once, pushing the raven-haired woman past the point of madness. In a near delirious haze, she felt the clamps being removed from her nipples. Before she could react, her breasts were captured by a warm, wet mouth that sucked and chewed her nipples fiercely, sending excruciatingly delicious pain shooting through her. She could feel the tip of the phallus Gabrielle was wearing pressing against her core and she lifted her hips upwards, silently pleading for her lover to put an end to the agonizing ache that consumed her. As the tip slid into her, she opened her legs wider to accommodate it but, to her intense disappointment, the bard stilled her movements and refused to grant the warrior what she so desperately wanted.

Opening her eyes, Xena stared directly into her loverís intense face. The bardís expression was dark and enigmatic, revealing absolutely nothing of her inner thoughts. After a few seconds, Gabrielleís lip curled into an insolent smirk. "Ask me," she said, without a hint of emotion in her voice. "I want to hear you say it."

"Inside me...please...I want...."

"No," the bard said harshly, squeezing the warriorís left breast painfully hard. "Thatís not what you want me to do. Tell me what you need."

Xenaís brow drew downward in confusion, before a glimmer of understanding lit up her face. "Fuck me," she said thickly. "I need you to fuck me."

With startling ferociousness, Gabrielle drove her hips forward, impaling her lover on the thick phallus as she captured the warriorís lips in a rough, punishing kiss. She slipped one hand underneath the other woman and lifted Xena's hips up to her, increasing the pressure of her thrusts. Her mouth left the warrior's to blaze a trail down the column of her neck. Reaching the hollow of Xena's throat, she nipped and sucked voraciously on the soft skin, causing the dark-haired woman to cry out with pleasure and pain. As she marked her lover with her mouth, Gabrielle pumped her hips back and forth with an almost frenetic intensity. Her movements were devoid of tenderness or finesse and were simply characterized by raw power and savage speed, fiercely claiming the warrior as her own.

Xena's sweat-soaked torso thrashed beneath her lover in frenzied, ardent appeal. She strained against the younger woman, bucking her hips upward in a desperate attempt to try to bring the bard deeper still. The warrior moaned gratefully when she felt Gabrielle's fingers tighten in her flesh, as the bard redoubled her efforts. Her head twisted wildly on the pillow as her body instinctively sought the bard's, knowing that Gabrielle alone could release her from the exquisite agony that she was enduring.

Xena nearly howled in frustration when she felt Gabrielle slide away. Before she could protest further, however, she found herself face down on the mattress with Gabrielle pressing into her from behind. She hurriedly opened herself to the younger woman, desperate to reach the pinnacle that had repeatedly been denied to her. The bard was still loath to end the taller woman's torment, though, and instead slid her fingers through her lover's dripping folds. Gabrielle's hand worked a magical dance on the warrior's soft, wet flesh, sending her climbing higher and higher, but never bringing her any closer to the edge of the precipice. "Who's making you feel this way, Xena?" she purred seductively. "Who?"

"You are," Xena immediately said, thrusting her hips towards the younger woman's fingers.

The bard chuckled and mercilessly continued to deny the other woman satisfaction. "And who am I?"

A low, hoarse groan was wrung from the warrior, when she felt the tip of Gabrielle's finger softly brush against her clit and then immediately move away again. "My Mistress," she choked out, pressing her forehead into the mattress, while she tried to control the storm that raged inside her.

"Say my name, Xena," the bard said, her voice almost eerily calm in stark contrast to the desperate quality that marked her companion's tone. "Who am I?"

A wave of uneasiness swamped the warrior but the overwhelming lust she felt at the moment demanded that she ignore the feeling. "You're Gabrielle," she said thickly.

"That's right," the bard said arrogantly, almost contemptuously. "I'm Gabrielle. I just want to be sure that you don't forget who it is that's fucking you better than anyone else ever has in your life."

Xena grunted loudly as the bard unceremoniously plunged back inside of her. The warrior's mind nearly disintegrated, as her pleasure increased by an order of magnitude. Arching her back, she offered herself up to her lover, knowing that in doing so she would be increasing her own enjoyment as well. Xena moaned when she felt the younger woman's hands smoothing up her back, the feeling of the bard's strong fingers kneading her flesh nothing less than exquisite. The moans changed to choked gasps of pleasure when the bard's fingernails raked across her sensitive skin, sending electric jolts of pleasure racing through her body.

Gabrielle grinned at the sight of her lover prostrate before her. Bringing her hand down, she began to punctuate her hard thrusts with forceful slaps on the warrior's ass. "Thatís it, Xena," she growled, "Fuck those hips back at me. Take it like a good little slut."

Xena shuddered uncontrollably at the sound of her loverís lecherous voice. Unable to help herself, she pressed back further, groaning loudly each time she felt the phallus plunge deep inside of her. She was half-crazed with a need that only Gabrielle could satisfy and she was helpless to resist the younger woman's erotic allure. Deep down, she knew that things had long since spiraled out of control between the two of them, that

they were no longer play-acting and that there was no turning back from the path that they were on. At the same time, though, there was a part of her that reveled in that fact, that gloried in the knowledge that there was no safe word to be used to call things off.

Xena's blood surged through her veins like liquid fire. Her breath quickened and her heart raced as waves of pure pleasure began to wash through her body. She lowered her head to rest on the mattress and rocked backwards, guttural moans falling from her lips with each powerful thrust of the bard's hips. As the first faint tremors of her climax began to sweep through her, though, Gabrielle's movements once again slowed. Xena tried to protest, but her ability to speak vanished when the bard's hand slid forward to capture her clit between her fingers. Massaging the pulsing organ with practiced skill, the younger woman slowly and deliberately withdrew the phallus from her raven-haired lover.

"Who's fucking you, Xena?" Gabrielle asked. She brought her free hand down hard on her lover's ass, raining several quick blows in succession and causing the skin to glow bright red. "Tell me who's fucking you."

"Gabrielle is," Xena gasped, trying to regain control of her breathing and herself. "Gabrielle is fucking me."

"That's right," the bard crooned. "Your sweet, innocent Gabrielle is fucking you. This is what you've been dreaming of for ages. You've been waiting for Gabrielle to get over herself and just take you, haven't you."

Xena whimpered pitifully and thrust her hips backwards, but received only a taunting laugh for her efforts. "Yes," she choked out, no longer caring about her pride or her dignity, just desperate to come. "

Gabrielle slapped the warriorís rear as hard as she could and then languidly stroked a muscular cheek. "You really have a great ass, Xena," she said in an almost conversational tone. The bardís hand again dipped into the slick wetness pooling between the darker womanís legs, eliciting a frustrated groan from her lover. Ignoring the insistent movement of Xenaís hips, she instead brought a finger back up to rub against the smaller, wrinkled opening. "Have you ever let anyone fuck you here?" she asked slyly, as she slowly pushed her thumb past the muscular ring.

Xenaís eyes widened in shock at the unexpected intrusion. Gabrielle had abruptly taken things considerably farther than she would have ever thought possible. The wariness that had repeatedly plagued the warrior since they had started this interlude surged through her, threatening to drown her in its wake. After a few seconds, she shook her head slowly and tried to allow herself to relax enough to enjoy what her lover was doing. "No," she finally said. "I haven't."

Gabrielle smiled at the taller woman's admission. Reaching out, she grabbed a mass of her loverís hair and twisted her hand into the thick tresses to secure her hold. She none too gently pulled Xena back towards her until the warrior was perched on her knees, forcing the bard's thumb even deeper inside of her lover in the process. Gabrielle leaned forward so that her lips were just brushing the raven-haired womanís left ear and wiggled her thumb lewdly. "Well then, donít you think itís time you did?" she asked in a throaty voice.

Xenaís body was swamped with conflicting emotions. She couldnít deny that the feeling of her lover inside of her was sending shock waves of pleasure racing through her. The bardís words, however, filled her with a vast uneasiness that simply could not be ignored. Her warrior instincts were screaming out a warning to her that something was horribly wrong with the entire situation and that it was time to call an end to things once and for all. "No," she said, as calmly as she was able. "I donít think so."

The bardís hand tightened painfully on the warrior's hair. "Thatís not the answer I want, Xena," she said.

Xena felt her insides clench in response to the menacing note in the younger womanís voice. She ordered herself to remain composed and still while she answered. "Sorry, but thatís the only answer you're going to get from me."

Quickly reaching behind her, Xena disentangled the younger womanís hand from her hair. Anxious to put some distance between herself and the bard, she pushed away from Gabrielle and began sliding towards the opposite side of the bed. Before she had managed to move more than a foot or so, however, Gabrielleís weight smashed into her, knocking her flat onto the hard mattress and driving the air from her lungs. Xena lay motionless for a few seconds, stunned by the younger womanís aggressive response to her attempt to call things to a halt. When she felt her arm twisted behind her back into a painful submission hold, however, her rage quickly rose to the surface and she struggled to break her captorís grip. To her astonishment, however, Gabrielleís strength was more than a match for her own and she was unable to break free.

"Iím sorry too, Xena," Gabrielle said, securing her grip on the warrior, "Because Iím not willing to accept that answer."

Xena strained to get away from the younger woman, but her efforts were for naught. She fought down the rising tide of anger inside her and forced herself to speak in an even tone. "Gabrielle, let go of my arm and let me up."

The bard shifted positions above the taller woman, but carefully maintained her hold on the warrior's arm. "Iíll let you up when Iím finished with you, Xena," she said coolly.

Xena trembled with barely suppressed fury when she felt the head of the strap-on press against her sensitive flesh. "Gabrielle, I'm through playing games with you."

"Games? Is that what you think Iím doing? Playing games?" Gabrielle tightened her grip on the taller womanís arm, eliciting a strangled grunt of pain from her captive. "Does this feel like Iím playing with you, Xena?"

"No," Xena snapped. "It feels like youíre hurting me. I thought that power of yours was supposed to help people."

"It is. Sometimes, though, to help someone, you have to hurt them," the bard said matter-of-factly. "I donít like it, but itís true." She drew her hand through Xena's slick folds and then slowly inserted a finger past the tight ring of muscles that guarded the warriorís back passage. She pistoned the digit in and out for several seconds, ignoring the angry threats and grunts of protest coming from the other woman, and then added a second finger. She continued to lubricate the tight channel for several more seconds, before pulling out to place the tip of the phallus near the puckered opening. "You know you want this, Xena. Admit it," she coaxed.

Xena tried to move her hips away from the younger woman's relentless assault, but her efforts were futile. "No!" she barked. "Let me go! NOW!"

Gabrielle wrenched the warrior's arm upward, eliciting another agonized yelp. "You agreed to do whatever I told you to do, Xena," she snarled. "You agreed to let me use my power to help you. Don't think I'm going to let you back out now just because you're afraid. *I'm* the one in charge now. *I'm* the one making all the decisions."

"Gabrielle, Iím warning you..."

"You're warning *me*?" the bard demanded, her entire bearing one of scorn and derision. "Who are you to warn me? You're nothing. You exist merely to give me pleasure." She tightened her grip as the warrior began to struggle again. "You're wasting time, Xena. You know you can't defeat me," she said disdainfully. "You're nothing but a mere mortal. I am a...a devi," she said, the tone of her voice a mixture of mockery and sly amusement. "How can you possibly hope to stand against a power like me?"

The bard abruptly pushed forward and, with one brutal movement, thrust the phallus into her lover. Stunned by the intensity of the attack, Xena's furious movements momentarily stilled, before she began to fight with renewed vigor. One cruel twist on her arm, however, was enough to cause her to surrender again. The warrior's breath escaped from her lungs in short, harsh gasps, as she desperately struggled to deal with the waves of excruciating pain that were threatening to swamp her senses. "No more," she ground out through clenched teeth.

The bard ignored Xena's plea and instead began to slowly pump in and out of the other woman, going increasingly deeper with each thrust. "I don't understand what your problem is, Xena," the bard said, feigning amazement at her lover's attitude. "What happened to 'I trust you Gabrielle'? What happened to 'I'll do whatever you want me to do'? It doesn't seem to me like you meant those words at all."

Xena grimaced to herself, as she heard her own words thrown back in her face. "You're going too far. I never agreed to this."

"You agreed to let me give you what you want," Gabrielle said, as the pace of her movements began to pick up speed. "That's exactly what I'm doing."

"Youíre wrong," the warrior said, struggling ineffectually against the younger womanís superior strength. "I never wanted this."

"Thatís what you said about the whipping too," Gabrielle reminded her. "I was right about that, wasnít I?"

"You were," Xena admitted tightly, "But this is different."

"The only difference is that you haven't admitted that you want this too, but you will. Any second now you'll realize that this is what you've been dreaming about ever since you and your sweet Gabrielle became lovers." The bard pulled back until only the tip of the phallus remained in the dark-haired woman, and then slowly, inexorably, pushed forward until the entire length was buried. She stroked in and out of the other woman for several long moments, pausing occasionally to rub herself against the warrior's muscular ass. "Gods, Xena," she finally said. "This feels sooooo good, doesn't it?"

"No," Xena said through gritted teeth.

"Oh come on," Gabrielle said with a laugh. "We both know you're loving this. Are you really trying to tell me this isn't pleasurable?"

"No...just painful."

"Pleasure and pain are often the same thing, Xena," Gabrielle crooned. She drew her fingernails slowly up the warrior's spine, grinning when she saw the warrior twist and writhe below her. "You must know that. There must have been times when you had to discipline an errant lover." The bard leaned forward until her weight was resting on the warrior's back. "Times when you had to beat a slave into submission and secretly wished that you were the one being punished instead."

"No," Xena said, closing her eyes while she tried to close out the sound of the younger woman's voice.

"Yes," the bard corrected, her voice an insidious whisper that was all but impossible to resist. She slowly and deliberately traced her tongue across the warrior's shoulder blades and then positioned herself so that her lips were directly beside the warrior's right ear.

"You've been waiting for someone who was powerful enough to take from you what you always took so easily from everyone else," she said, emphasizing her words with several forceful, deep thrusts. The bard's tongue dipped into the other woman's ear and her fingers tightened painfully in the warrior's flesh "Why else would we be here now? Why else would you be letting me take you like this if you didn't want to be used?"

"Only because you'd have broken my arm if I hadn't," Xena shot back angrily.

"A broken arm," Gabrielle scoffed disdainfully. "Since when does something as insignificant as a broken arm stop the Warrior Princess from doing what she wants." Receiving no answer, the bard grinned wickedly and lifted herself off the other woman's back. Her fingers clutched the warrior's flesh in a brutal grip, as she slowly, unrelentingly pressed forward until the phallus was in as deep as it could possibly go. "You let me do this because you wanted this."

"No," Xena said tightly. "I never wanted this."

"Then why aren't you fighting me now, Xena?" the bard asked, her voice dripping with artificial sweetness. "I let go of your arm a long time ago but you haven't even tried to stop me."

Xena froze in complete shock at the bard's words, as she suddenly realized that Gabrielle had long since released her from the hold she had been using to subdue her. She had been free to escape and had failed to take advantage of the opportunity...just as she was still failing to take advantage of her chance now. She furiously ordered herself to move, to get away from the younger woman as she had angrily, and repeatedly, stated that she wanted to do. Unfortunately, she found that her body was completely unwilling to obey her commands. As much as Xena wanted to deny it, the truth was that Gabrielle had managed to tap into her deepest fantasies. The darkness in her soul that she constantly struggled against had responded to the unbridled lust that flowed like molten lava from the younger woman. Xena needed to be dominated, to be mastered, to be bent to the will of another person in the same manner in which she had once subjugated others. Gabrielle's new found power had given her the ability to conquer the Warrior Princess in a manner in which Xena had never dreamed possible. Now that she had, Xena was finding it impossible to do the sensible thing and end things before this need she had previously hidden from even herself could finally be satisfied.

"No answer, Xena?" the bard asked, taunting the other woman with her inability to physically resist what she had objected to verbally. She drove her hips forward until her thighs were slapping wetly against the warrior's buttocks. Gabrielle smiled when she heard the other woman moan loudly in response, recognizing the sound of pleasure despite all the protests Xena had been making to the contrary. "If you really don't want this, then why don't you stop me?"

"I don't...," Xena began, before drawing her breath in sharply as two hard whacks cut across her ass, sending a fresh wave of unimaginable ecstasy shooting through her body. She drew in a deep breath to try to speak again, but her ability to form words disappeared completely when the bard reached around to stroke her right breast and then roughly pinched the nipple between her fingers. Unable to stop herself, she began pushing backwards to meet the younger woman's thrusts with her own, no longer able to deny the demands of her body.

"You want this, don't you Xena?" Gabrielle whispered, her voice a seductive siren's call that easily breached the warrior's few remaining defenses. She switched hands and began pulling and twisting Xena's other nipple between her thumb and forefinger, causing the taller woman to cry out with pain as well as pleasure. "Tell me the truth or I'll stop right now."

"I want this," Xena choked out, her voice so filled with lust that her words were barely distinguishable.

The bard grinned as her hips kept up their steady rhythm, thrusting and retreating and driving Xena steadily closer to the point of madness. "That's right. This is what you've wanted from your sweet Gabrielle...the one thing you could never bring yourself to ask her for, isn't it?"

Xena groaned out her displeasure when the bard's hand fell away from her breast. Her disappointment quickly passed, however, when she felt the younger woman's fingers begin to rub firmly against her swollen clit. "Yes," she said, caught between wanting to press backwards against the phallus and forwards against the younger woman's fingers. "This is what I've wanted."

Gabrielle kept up her steady pace, as she began to speak again. "Don't worry, Xena, she purred seductively. "From now on, I'll be able to give us both everything we desire. All you have to do is ask. Now," she said, as she began to increase the speed of her hips and her fingers, "tell me what you want."

"I want to come," Xena whimpered, the needs of her body overwhelming any thoughts of self-respect or pride.

Gabrielle smiled victoriously at the warrior's admission. "You mean you want me to *allow* you to come?"

Xena nodded helplessly. "Please," she moaned weakly. "Please let me come."

The bard chuckled humorlessly and then stabbed her thumb deeply into the taller woman's velvety core. "Very well, Xena, you may come. Just don't forget *exactly* who it was who made you feel this way."

Xena's orgasm hit her like a bolt of lightning in the midst of a turbulent, summer storm. She went rigid in response to the first onslaught of blinding pleasure, before her entire body began to shudder and jerk uncontrollably. Shock waves of heat ripped through her, while every movement tormented her further by sending new arcs of delicious ecstasy racing through her body. With her eyes shut tight and the blood pounding in her ears, she was only dimly aware of Gabrielle thrusting deeply inside her one last time before coming as well, her fingers digging into the warrior's hips as she ground her soaked core against Xena's sensitive flesh.

As the last of the spasms began to subside, Xena collapsed onto the mattress completely and utterly spent. She felt Gabrielle slowly withdraw and then rise from the bed, but lacked the strength to turn to look at the younger woman. She heard the bard remove the phallus and drop it to the ground, quickly pull on clothes, and then softly walk across the room to the door. Still unable to move, the warrior listened while Gabrielle spoke softly and briefly to a nearby guard, before shutting the door and then returning to their bed. The younger woman slipped under the sheet and then turned to face the warrior. She tenderly pressed her lips against Xena's hair, as she lightly caressed her shoulders. "Good night, Slave," she whispered, before once again kissing her lover and then rolling over to go to sleep.

Xena waited until the slow, regular rhythm of Gabrielle's breathing told her that the bard was asleep and then carefully rose from the bed. She dressed in silence, her mind struggling to grasp and make sense of the events that had transpired between them just a short time ago. As she adjusted the last piece of her armor, she paused for a moment to gaze down on the sleeping young woman. It appeared to be Gabrielle lying in the bed at the moment, but the warrior was intelligent enough to know that it wouldn't be long before Tataka returned to take control completely. That fact was as certain as the fact that the goddess had, at some point during their lovemaking, been the force in control and not Gabrielle. The warrior had done her best to ignore that reality while it had been happening, but there was no way that she could continue to ignore it any longer.

Grabbing her weapons, Xena made her way to the balcony. She hesitated one last time to take another look at her lover, wishing she had some idea about what would happen when, and if, Gabrielle ever asked her about this night. The young woman had just given her exactly what Xena had always wanted. The only trouble was that the warrior was all too aware of the fact that it wasn't Gabrielle, but rather Tataka who had actually managed to do it.

Drawing in a deep breath, Xena forcefully put aside any further thoughts on the matter. At the moment, she had bigger problems. Tataka's presence could only represent a threat to the true devi in the village: Eli. If Xena was going to have any chance of getting the bard back, then she had to make certain that Eli remained safe. She could figure out how she was going to handle the other problem after everything else had been taken care of first.

The End

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