Disclaimers: See Part 1
Additional Note (Please Read): ): This story is tied in with, The Conqueror & Ri: A Twist of Destiny. If you haven't read both story's chapters preceding this one, you should do so now.
Feedback always welcomed, sometimes needed at, Alexjanos612@yahoo.com
Xena and Gabrielle,
A Turn of Fate,
Chapter 11: Thus Regretting
A figure softly laid the resting Amazon onto the cot, rousing her from sleep.
"Xena?" Gabrielle groggily questioned.
"No." the voice clarified. "I am not, Xena Sama."
Gabrielle adjust her eyes in the dim candle lit cabin and noticed that it was Kenji.
She sat up immediately. "What are you doing here?"
"Pardon my intrusion." Kenji bowed. "I enter in all the occupied rooms, attending to everyone's needs of fresh water early in the morning. When I walked into yours, I nearly tripped over something laying in the middle of the floor. I ignited the candle and saw it was you sleeping there. So I picked you up, to settle you on your cot. I didn't mean to wake you, Gabrielle San."
"I'm glad it is you who's been coming in here while I slept." the bard smiled sadly.
Her disposition towards Xena was still damaging, she dreaded the remaining voyage.
"Are you okay?" Kenji asked. "I haven't seen you since the meeting with the Shogun."
"I'll be fine." Gabrielle replied, praying that it would be true.
She hated herself for asking. "Have you seen, Xena?"
"The Shogun granted her request for new quarters. After I had shown Xena Sama to her cabin, she stayed inside." the monk elucidated. "That was the last I'd seen of her yesterday."
Gabrielle wasn't sure how much more her heart could take. It was becoming increasingly clearer that Xena wanted nothing to do with her.
'She hadn't waste any time getting another cabin.' Gabrielle thought bitterly. 'Maybe I should have gone back to Greece.'
"This morning, when I brought her water, Xena Sama practically threw me out the room. She's probably thinking heavily on being reunited with, Akemi." Kenji said tactlessly.
'God! Does everybody knows, Xena's going to Akemi?' due to perturbation, Gabrielle turned on the monk. "If that is all, Kenji, you can go."
"Yes, I am finished." he answered, nebulous of Gabrielle's emotions. "I can bring you breakfast and if you prefer, a wooden tub to bath. The water will be lukewarm, but it'll be suitable to get you clean."
"Hunger has left me. I have no appetite for food."
"I have to come back anyway to give you another candle, because the one you have is almost melted completely." Kenji said. "I'll bring you food and you can decide from there."
"I'm not hungry." Gabrielle confirmed.
However, the monk was out the door before hearing Gabrielle's response. She wasn't in the mood to chase him down to argue and sustenance would aid building her strength. Gabrielle haven't eaten anything since Xena cooked them both fish she'd caught two evenings ago.
'After she made love to me.' Gabrielle ruminated.
The remembrance of their coitus was maddening to Gabrielle's consciousness. She wanted to scream her anguish. To bash something, or someone until her sorrows melted into nothingness. Instead, Gabrielle opt to stare at the candle's embers. Watching as its dying flame clung to oxygen for life, just like her soul wanted to cling to its other half in Xena.
Gabrielle's chagrin was unbearable as the light flicker out to distinguish the darkness.
Xena tossed and turned, unable to grasp sleep once she was awoken by Kenji's creeping.
'Damn monk.' Xena cursed. 'I'll get my own water from now on.'
Waking up to discover Kenji with a smile on his face, setting a bowl of fresh water on the table caused Xena to replace his happy expression with trepidation as she yelled at his hastily retreating form, to never enter her room again.
Now she was awake and found herself cogitating on the woman she'd destroyed. Xena swore no more tears could be created after the million she had already shed while thrashing on her cot, till slumber ceased all actions.
The Warrior Princess stopped her motions and gave up on sleeping. She had quit trying to meditate whether, or not the decision to hurt her soul mate was correct. Xena knew it was the right choice to make, but why did it pain her so terribly? How come she couldn't find infinite solace in the fact she was protecting Gabrielle from knowledge that would definitely break her? If the sandal were on the other foot and Gabrielle decided to keep such a secret from her, could Xena accept it?
Xena had her answer as she wiped the tears away and walked to the table.
'I am selfish and manipulative.' Xena acceded, splashing her face with handfuls of water. 'I'd be devastated if Gabrielle hid something of this magnitude from me.'
That ratiocination made Xena feel worse, but the damage was done and there was no turning back now.
Xena almost lost her balance when she'd recalled Gabrielle's final statement.
'I renounce you.'
Though it was spoken in a soften tone, its announcement was a finality that cut Xena's soul deeply. Xena held back the droplets from spilling as they burned her orbs, even as more of Gabrielle's words resounded in her head.
'I should have known you were breaking off our bonding.'
'I trusted you, Xena.'
Xena started shaking her head, unsuccessfully trying to halt the memories of Gabrielle's sentences. Nonetheless, one stood out strongly.
'This is all my fault. You did warn me when I first tried to give you my heart. You confessed that you would use me and hurt me. That's why I married Perdicus. He'd loved me and possibly was my true love.'
Xena gripped the table's edges hard, remembering the night she had lied to Gabrielle about how she felt. The night before, Perdicus snuck into their campsite to claim the petite bard.
The night when girls wanted to have fun.
"Can I have the last portion?" Gabrielle asked me.
"You cooked it, so it's only fair you have it." I responded.
"But you did catch it, Xena." she grinned.
"Do you want me to eat it then?" I smirk.
Her grin disappears and it's replaced with a mock pout. I roll my eyes, grabbing her bowl to fill it with the remaining rabbit stew. I taste a spoonful, then hand the dish back once Gabrielle's sullen face became overly exaggerated.
"Just teasing." I laugh. "I wouldn't have eaten all of it and suffer your wrath."
"Darn straight." Gabrielle glares. "You know I need my nourishment."
I chuckle and watch while she eats. She appears so happy and content as if our lives didn't almost end, or change when we fought against, Bacchus. I note that my analysis of Gabrielle's body have shifted. I'm no longer studying the transformation the same way I use to. Gabrielle's firm abdomen and the muscles on her arms that were once covered in baby fat had grown on me in different ways. Fascination changed into awe and now it's desire.
It isn't just her well defined physique, but also her personality that brightens anybody's day. No wonder every village boy is smitten by the young pretty woman. Her laugh. Her voice. Her smile, that she is giving me right this moment.
I divert my eyes from hers, hoping she haven't noticed me basically gawking at her. I stand up to retrieve my whetstone and sword. Next, I sit in front of the fire, a little distance away from her. Commencing my nightly ritual, Gabrielle slides closer to me.
"Hey." she starts. "I really like my food, but I love sharing with you."
She scooped some stew in the spoon and brought it to my lips. I became hesitant whether to let her feed me, or decline the offer. I decided to indulge her and opened my mouth.
After swallowing, I made a comment. "So this is what you wanted to do for me. You don't have to, Gabrielle. With Joxer gone, that's enough for me."
Scooping more, Gabrielle fed me again. "No, Xena. Neither getting rid of Joxer, nor feeding you, is part of what I have planned for you."
"What are your plans?" I query.
"You'll have to wait and see." Gabrielle teased, putting the utensil in her mouth and pulling it out slowly, seductively.
Bacchus' effects must still be affecting me from being a bacchae, because it's no way she's implying what I think she is.
"I'll be right back, Xena." she interrupted. "You finish sharpening your sword. I'm gonna clean the pot and our dishes."
Gabrielle arose on her muscular legs, collecting our dishware, but before heading for the creek, she took her saddle bag too. I began using the whetstone once more, pondering what plans my bard was formulating.
My bard? Where did that come from?
Gabrielle isn't, my bard. She is my best friend. Closer to me than family. She excel beyond a sister. She's...
Incredible. Plus she is causing my libido to rise. How could I forget including her legs in my scrutiny. Those legs, she has built strong muscles from walking. I can only imagine how thick her thighs would be wrapped on either side of my head as I-
"What am I doing?"
I put my whetstone and blade down. Standing on my feet, I pace back and forth, scolding myself. I can not have her. I'm under the influence of what happened earlier. It'll pass and everything will return back to normal.
Arms encircle my waist, startling me briefly, before I breathe in the scent of Gabrielle's strawberry blonde hair.
"Did you miss me?" she inquired from behind me.
"You weren't gone that long." I reply.
I started to twirl in her embrace, but Gabrielle seem reluctant to move.
"Don't look at me yet. Allow me to hold you and say what's on my chest while I got the nerves." Gabrielle said.
The tempo of my heart speeds and I have an idea why. However, I fear it.
"Xena, Warrior Princess. You're always there for me, saving my life countless times and I never showed you how appreciative I am. I do thank you, but I don't think that truly bestows the gratitude you deserve." Gabrielle explained.
I can feel her small frame quivering and it makes me nervous.
"You are my best friend, Gabrielle." I wanted her off me, so I wouldn't do anything stupid. "I'll be there for you whenever you need me."
"I know you will." then she questioned timidly. "Xena, am I only a friend?"
"You're closer than family." I reiterate what I have told myself recently.
"So I'm in the sister zone?"
I felt Gabrielle's arms loosen somewhat around me and began to crave her warmth.
"You exceed that as well." I give her a honest answer.
"I'm greater than a friend and family, Xena?" her grip tightens. "What am I then?"
I regret giving the honest answer now as I stand with her embracing me. I can't fathom what to tell her. I love you like no other? You irritate me sometimes, but I'll slit my wrists if you left me? I adore you as my friend, however I want you naked in our bed roll writhing underneath me? All of those answers suffice for how I feel, but it doesn't answer her inquiry.
What is she to me?
"I'll tell you what you were to me and what you are now." Gabrielle spoke.
"Go on." I respond, grateful to gather my thoughts together.
"You were my savior and I hero worshipped you. You were the most gorgeous woman I've laid eyes on and I wanted to be exactly like you. Then you became my best friend and the hero worship fell away. You were placed on a pedestal, in comparison to the gods themselves, but when we got close and I learned who you were beneath your warrior persona, the altar lowered, you became human to me. By becoming mortal to my mind, your feats was real and astonishing. You are flawed, yet extraordinary at the same time. I began to love you and at first it was compared to sisterhood. As it grew, I realized I do not love you similar to the way I love, Lila, my blood sister."
Gabrielle took a breath, then released it. "I'm attracted to you, Xena. You captivate me on an intimate level and I want to give myself to you."
It was difficult for me to draw air into my lungs after Gabrielle's confession. She wants me to be her first? Is she serious? She can't be. Gabrielle must be suffering from the remnant effects of Bacchus too.
"Face me, Xena." Gabrielle whispered, while letting go of her hold on me and taking a few steps backwards.
I spun like she requested and was graced with an astonish sight. Gabrielle's green top, her brown skirt and boots was gone. She stood in front of me barefoot and adorned in a pure white night shift I'd haven't ever seen. I could hardly breathe before, now she was breathtaking, leaving me breathless.
"I wanted to wear this to bed when I lose my maidenhood. Do you see where I am going with this, Xena?" Gabrielle asked.
My brain was at a crossroad. One trail leads to me throwing Gabrielle down and losing myself in the enjoyment of sexual conquest. The second trail led to me knowing I couldn't do this to her.
I had to restrain my lust and deny the bard's gift. "Gabrielle, I totally acknowledge your meaning and I'm thoroughly tempted, but I can't be the person to make love to you."
Her pout is genuine this time. "I don't understand. You don't find me attractive?"
"Gabrielle, any person would be crazy not to think you're attractive." I affirm.
"I'm not talking about other people. My concern is you." Gabrielle replied.
She was backing me into a corner. "You are a beautiful woman, but I believe you're jumping ahead of yourself."
Gabrielle looks puzzled. "What do that mean?"
"Can't you see that we are suffering from Bacchus' power. He had the ability to cause extreme sexual propensity. Surely you felt it while we were bacchae?" I ask.
"I know Bacchus was the god of wine and sexual frenzy." Gabrielle proclaim as she move towards me. "I also felt his effects along with you, but it was more than that, wasn't it?"
Gabrielle's movements become bolder and she encloses her arms around my neck. "Close your eyes, Xena."
I do what she implore.
"Remember the sensation when I sank my fangs into your skin. I don't have to inquire if you were horny. We already know that answer. The real question is, out of everyone in Bacchus' cave, including the god whom granted us the power, who did you want to make love to?"
Recalling every detail, the word flew from my mouth. "You."
"Once I tasted your blood, Xena, you over powered Bacchus' control. You were all I knew as your life blood coursed through me. That's how you killed Bacchus with me at your side. I wanted him dead, because I feared he was an obstacle, preventing us from being carnal of each other." Gabrielle confessed.
I involuntarily shiver from the memory of her biting into my neck. It wasn't solely lust, but passion also as eroticism's urge surged within me for one person.
My eyes was still shut as a wet tongue traced the exact spot, Gabrielle bit.
"I can make it a hundred times better than when we were bacchae." she purr. "With you coaching me doing our lovemaking, we'll both soar in ecstasy."
Her teeth graze my skin, marking me the way she did in the cave. She was marking me as hers. My eyes shot open while I grasp Gabrielle's shoulders, pulling her from continuing the erotic task on my neck.
She looked at me in agitation. "You don't desire me now?"
"I would love to be swept away in this rapture you got going on." I admit. "If this was just fucking, I'd be for it, but you're offering me something precious. You'll never be able to get it back and I'm not letting you make this mistake so callously, because of what happened with, Bacchus."
"Let me make this mistake?" Gabrielle was mad. "This is my decision. You assume because I'm choosing to be with you romantically, it's based on callosity? I do not want to do that F-word you used. I want to make love, Xena. Don't dare say, you only want to sleep with me and that's all."
"Sounds like you are giving me your heart, Gabrielle. You aren't yourself at the moment. You're confusing lust for love."
Gabrielle moved out of my reach. "This has nothing to do with Bacchus, Xena. I know what I feel. I felt lust and love before on multiple occasions. The time when I slept beside Philius after I had read that enchantment and freed the Titans. He was almost my first."
Thank the gods he wasn't.
"Once you and Hercules saved Prometheus, I kissed Iolaus before we parted ways with them." Gabrielle said.
She kissed Iolaus? Iolaus kissed her! I'm not sure how I feel about that.
"I probably would've married Talus if his fate weren't connected to Celesta like death in chains." she added sadly.
"That sickly boy?" I question.
"His name was Talus, Xena." Gabrielle rebuke me. "Respect the dead."
My stupid mouth. Gets me in trouble when I say too much without thinking. "Forgive me, Gabrielle. His name is, Talus and he was courageous. Are you finished, cause I'm really not interested in hearing about guys you could have-"
"Next, it was Perdicus." Gabrielle interjected. "I kissed him while we were in Troy before it fell when the Trojans got duped by the Greeks' false surrender."
The Trojan Horse that finally yielded victory to Greece. Beware Greeks bearing gifts, indeed. Wait a moment. She kissed Perdicus? I begun listening to her intently as anger rose inside me.
"I would have went back to Potidaea at his side, if he hadn't chose to travel with, Helen. Then when we were hanging with Petracles, a fistful of dinars couldn't keep me from being infatuated by him. Kissing him was nice, but once it was over, I felt guilty for doing it, because he was your ex-fiance."
She kissed Petracles as well? My blood started to boil. Gabrielle's lips been on Iolaus' and Petracles'. She'd not only kissed Perdicus, but was even willing to leave me for him, had he not decided to live a soldier's life. What am I? Her last option?
"I wasn't aware you got around like that, Gabrielle."
"I didn't sleep with any of them. Not the way you slept-" Gabrielle abruptly stopped speaking.
"What?" I became intrigued. "The way I had sex with others?"
"Nevermind, Xena." she replied. "I sense this is going in a direction I was not aiming for. I only wanted to assert to you, that I'm fully in tuned concerning my choice to be with you in a sexual fashion."
"Perhaps you are right." I state.
A triumphant grin formed on her face and I was eager to remove it.
"We are going in a direction we do not seek. Lets turn in for tonight to shake off the remnants of being a bacchae and get our emotions in order."
"Stop it, Xena." Gabrielle shouts. "The events of today have heighten my attraction to you, but I can discern the difference between Bacchus' magic of lasciviousness and love. I'm knowledgable of which is which, Xena. I would have stayed with, David, but he had a fiancee."
"David?" I was baffled again. "The Israelite?"
"Yes." Gabrielle responded. "Being in his presence was amazing and it aroused me to see how passionate he was about his Psalms. The moment I started to kiss him, a woman walked in named, Sarah. David introduced her to me as his betrothed, making me feel foolish. That's when I excused myself to find you."
"The night it was thundering?" I asked.
She nodded her head and I was crushed. Gabrielle had intentions on being with some boy while I was deeply disturbed by Goliath's actions, that ultimately led to his death. Killed by the same boy, Gabrielle desired. With my aid, he had become, David, the giant killer. I'm profoundly disconcerted that Gabrielle only came to me, because she couldn't have, David.
I am a last option.
"I thought you'd found me on your own accord, to give me comfort."
"I brought you amenity, Xena."
"Yeah, after you couldn't place your lips on, David." I want to hurt her. "I think your attraction is solely for the male gender. I've heard everything you've disclosed and not once was a woman mentioned."
Gabrielle appeared shocked. "I fell for males mostly, because you're the only woman I like in that way."
"Well I don't have time for being a test trial for you."
"What is this, Xena? I'm giving you my heart and you're rejecting it?" Gabrielle inquired.
"It seems you give your heart to anybody." I retort.
Her expression displayed grief. "So I'm some easy harlot? Is that what I am to you, Xena?"
"No. You are very dear to me, Gabrielle. That is all." I tell her. "You probably aren't under any sexual influence, however I am. If you plan on giving me your heart with your body, I'll just use you and hurt you later. So forget about today and this night. You'll find your true mate in the future, who will sweep you off your feet. They'll be far deserving of your maidenhead once they'd made a perfect wife out of you and you will be-"
"Save the crap!" Gabrielle's orbs was agleam with tears.
She separated our bed rolls, then took the night shift off, showing she had nothing on underneath it before laying down under the furs.
"You are correct, Xena." her tirade exploded. "Someone will come and take me from you. We'll get married and make euphoric love in our marital bed and you'll think back on this night, thus regretting it."
Silence descend in our campsite and as I watch Gabrielle's dainty nude body lie in the furs, I realize.
I regret it already.
'I was right.' Xena thought. 'The following night, Perdicus would come and steal Gabrielle's heart.'
The Warrior Princess knocked the bowl containing water off the table in irritation of her past moronic judgment. Xena's constant obtuseness caused Gabrielle to lose her virginity to Perdicus then and it shattered their relationship now.Xena rubbed her eyes once more, vowing not to cry again as she began to convert her sadness into superior determination. She decided on going to the armory to prepare herself mentally and physically for her noon inspection. Once her workout was done, Xena would find out what the Samurai could do and she begun looking forward to it.
To Be Continued
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