Disclaimers: See Part 1
Additional Note (Please Read): ): This story is tied in with, The Conqueror & Ri: A Twist of Destiny. If you have not read both story's chapters preceding this one, you should do so now. Thank you all for reading and I hope you enjoy the chapter.
Feedback always welcomed, sometimes needed at, Alexjanos612@yahoo.com
Xena and Gabrielle,
A Turn of Fate,
Chapter 9: Let's Talk
Xena began heading to the stables after telling Kenji that they were ready to sail from Scione. Her mind was in disarray with everything she had discovered from, Harukata, including the rash decision to die in order to stop Yodoshi, the daemon that fed off souls and trapped the forty thousand inhabitants of Higuchi that died by her hand.
'What have I done?' Xena questioned, understanding the full ramifications of the bind she had placed on herself.
The crisis did not only affect her, but in turn will effect the bard to a greater extent. Xena wouldn't just be dead, but she would also be with, Akemi. Could she expose that to Gabrielle? Although they were going through an argument and harmful words was said, Xena haven't the heart to cause her lover any form of pain. Either way, Gabrielle would suffer unless Xena changed her choice, which wasn't likely. The souls of Higuchi weren't the only ones Yodoshi captured. There were others as well, along with Akemi and altogether they was preventive from going to the afterlife. Akemi's father absorbed all the dead spirits of Higuchi, before adding sixty thousand more, bringing his total of undead warriors to a staggering one hundred thousand.
Harukata's forces almost numbered twenty-six thousand. It was inconceivable to think that victory could be won by combat on the battlefield alone. Their best effort to destroy Yodoshi coincided with what the old Shogun apprised.
Xena had to die.
Xena became more aware of her surroundings when she heard a loud yelp. Looking down, she saw the younger auburn haired woman she knocked over.
"Gods!" Tanya yelled. "You're in such a rush, where's the fire?"
Fire was the spark to all the troubles that now centered in Xena's world. She wasn't in the mood for Tanya's banter.
"We are ready to leave port. You should get to the galleys."
"I was on my way there." Tanya said, holding her appendage up. "Will you give me a hand?"
She reached and pulled Tanya on her feet. The dark warrior's demeanor was more colder than usual, Tanya noted as Xena stalked to the stables.
"Are you okay, Xena?"
"Get to the galleys, Tanya and stay to your own affairs." the answer came without a backward glance.
The young woman heeded the stern reply and went to where she was told.
Xena walked into Argo II's stall. The Palomino whinnied in excitement.
"Hey girl, I'm back." she spoke, rubbing the cream colored mane.
Its softness reminded her of Gabrielle's white gold hair doing the seasons of summer and winter. She would never see it that shade again. A profound sorrow gripped her very soul.
"Argo." Xena choked on tears. "I have to do something. Something of momentous proportions, that will free many spirits in bondage. I know what I must do, but I'm afraid once it is done, it can not be undone."
Droplets poured from Xena's eyes. "I have to do this, Argo. Your mother knew most of my brutal past. How much I had to repent for. I must yield to what I am chosen to do, even if it means to never see you, or-"
Xena's voice faltered with her resolve and she collapsed on her knees.
'I was suppose to get married. Live out the remainder of my days with my soul mate.' she ruminated as Argo neighed wildly at seeing her mistress in such distress.
Sadness wither into anger with Xena's thoughts turning dark. 'I finally had a chance of happiness. Real happiness. I deserve peace and to be happy. Gabrielle believes that and I do too. Haven't I atoned enough for one lifetime? Haven't I!'
Her fist pounded the hay straws in the stall. "Fuck 'em! Fuck them all!"
Xena sobbed, repeating the personal mantra over and over, until her enraged pupils soften at the golden ring that her petite lover had given her yesterday.
My Soul My Life.
The tall woman let out another soulful dirge. She knew what needed to be done, no matter how strongly she didn't want to do it. Xena accepted that she would have to hurt the only person she truly gave her heart to.
'Gabrielle, my love. This is going to break you.' she wailed more with the acknowledgement.
Argo II bent her head and gently nudged Xena, trying to offer some sort of comfort. The tender nudging put the tired somber warrior into a fitful sleep, all the while thinking in dreams, what was a Warrior Princess to do?
The blonde Amazon sat on the cot in hers and Xena's cabin with her tear streaked face pressed against bended knees. Gabrielle felt like her heart was in tatters after hearing Xena's declaration of Akemi's importance compared to her.
'That using bitch, Akemi! Stealing what's mine. Xena and I belong with each other. She was mine. Mine!' Gabrielle mused with faith.
The bard was no longer sure if it was her jealously that pushed Xena to want Akemi, or if her lover always wanted to from the beginning of finding out that Akemi in a sense, still lived. Gabrielle disliked herself for her earlier comments to Xena. A jealous lover wasn't one of her good qualities, particularly when it came to Xena. She was the only person that brought out the most excellent and worse in Gabrielle. Anger swelled within her.
'It's Xena's fault that I am like this.' she groused.
Thinking about all the times she had to play second fiddle to others that had Xena's attention. After they made love the first time, the Warrior Princess always found a way to relay to Gabrielle that they weren't committed to each other. Though she hated it, Gabrielle played along with her new lover's game of pretending not to have a sexual relationship in most of the worlds view. Xena would leave the young woman to make out with other men, then come back to her when the need and want for the bard's body was too great to deny. Each and every time, Gabrielle would give in when she swore that she wouldn't. A look from Xena and Gabrielle knew what was coming soon as they were alone. She relished in the sensations that Xena visited upon her body using a compassionate tongue, affectionate touches and loving fingers that glided inside of her, forcing a scream from Gabrielle's mouth, before an explosive orgasm made her moan, or shout Xena's name.
Rarely, if someone was travelling with them, mainly Joxer, Xena would still take her. She teased Gabrielle about staying quiet, which was a huge challenge for her and seldom she would fail. Xena on the other hand remained silent doing Gabrielle's ministrations whether they were by themselves, or with company. For a while, the Amazon Princess feared that she couldn't please her lover, but Xena would assure the bard that she satisfied her. Still Gabrielle had her doubts, until she had her tongue on the older woman's clitoris, drinking Xena's climax as it free flowed into her mouth. Yet, when Xena became pregnant with, Eve, she was very vocal and Gabrielle really couldn't get enough of the blue eyed warrior, but being hunted by gods, plus dealing with the Greater Good, their sex life was sporadic at best. It was a dry spell once Xena delivered, Eve.
The attention the mother showered on her baby made Gabrielle envious. All the love Xena could show her daughter in public and none for the petite blonde. So desperate for Xena's acceptance of their lives together, the Amazon Queen tried to settle with the Northern Steppes tribe. Xena wouldn't have it, so she started to plan her and Eve's exit. Under the threat of Olympian Gods, the raven haired warrior was willing to abandon Gabrielle, when all she wanted to do was keep Xena and Eve, her family safe. However, in the end, Xena decided to stay, but the bard became cautious of her soul mate altering her stance on living with the Amazons. She relinquished her title to Cyane III, whom were covetous of the position. Gabrielle didn't care, she just wanted to be with Xena. Next, they dropped Eve off in Amphipolis with Cyrene and then went on a sea voyage to Egypt to aid Cleopatra. The tears ceased falling from Gabrielle's eyes as the rage set in.
'I gave up my throne. I bestowed Eve with my Right of Caste and how was I rewarded by Xena? First she breaks off all sexual contact with me before we get to Egypt. Then I got a front row seat to watch her practically seduce Marc Antony in every way imaginable while in Alexandria. A Roman from the same tree as Caesar. The same people who betrayed her and had us crucified!'
Grabbing her sais from the cot, Gabrielle threw them both at the wooden walls of the cabin with all her strength and anger, causing them to impale all the way through to the hilt.
'I have every god given right to be jealous. She claims on multiple occasions that she loves me move than anybody, next she's kissing another.' Gabrielle ruminated.
Drying the wetness from her cheeks with her hands, she began speaking aloud. "Why did Xena ask me to marry her if she wanted someone else?" Gabrielle released a sigh. "Why did I agree, knowing how fickle she can be? Am I that despondent for her?"
Gabrielle was feeling nauseated after crying so much and thinking about her precarious relationship with Xena, before realizing that the ship was moving. She applied the pressure points to her wrist to stop the sea sickness and closed her orbs, remembering the ending results of when another warrior entered her life. A woman that wanted to take her from Xena and coaxed Gabrielle to be desirous of a different path away from her secret lover as well.
Kneeling by the creek to rinse the last trace of the delicious rabbit stew out of the pot, I can't stop thinking how variant Xena's mood has been since giving Najara to the Phoenician authorities. Our ride on Argo through the forest was devoid of conversation and awkward. Even doing dinner, she said nothing the entire duration of it, until she'd finished her plate, telling me that she was gonna feed Argo some fruit and brush her down.
That was a candle-mark ago, now here I am, all by myself, unable to eat every bit of the tasty food I've made, because of wondering if she's mad at me for leaving her to be with, Najara. I had to though, if I didn't, Najara would have-
I can't picture my life without, Xena. My best friend. My Champion. But what about the words that Najara had told me? Did Xena really cast me off on her? I've quickly dismissed that claim and Xena's actions proved otherwise when she came back for me. Then I betrayed Najara. I pray that she'll forgive me for tricking her.
Pondering on the subject is getting me nowhere when it comes to Xena's state of mind now.
"Once Xena gets back, I'll talk to her." I say silently.
Startled, I look up to see Xena leaning on the tree closest to me. Gods, I hate that she is able to sneak up on me. There go the subtlety that I wanted.
The cookware clean for another days use, I set it down before rising. "Xena, are you mad at me? Did I upset you?"
"No Gabrielle. I'm not upset, nor angry with you. Come on, let's get ready to sleep." she answers.
Pushing off the tree, Xena moved towards the camp fire, but her reply did nothing to quell me.
Walking over to the campsite also, I drove the issue further. "Xena if you have any misgivings about me leaving you in the Inn, it was because-"
"You don't have to explain." Xena cut my explanation short. "I know why."
"You do?" I ask relieved.
"Yes. Can we sleep now."
It wasn't a question and Xena commenced un-equipping her bracers. Like our normal routine now, I reach out to aid her, but Xena backed away.
"I got it." she gave me a false smile. "Why don't you lay down."
Something is wrong. I'm not allowing her to placate me anymore. "That is it, Xena. Clearly you are hiding your true feelings, don't deny it."
"Deny what? There's nothing wrong." Xena said.
Taking the last of her armor off, she laid on her bedroll that was separate from mines.
Fine, I will be blunt on other matters then.
"Really, everything is okay? So why did Najara tell me that you wanted me to stay with her?" I inquire more angry than intended.
Xena sat up on her elbows, confusion written on her face and from that reaction, I wanted to take back what I had just asked. I should've not played the fool to Najara's lies. No way Xena could give me up to anyone.
The next sentence out of her mouth destroyed that notion.
"Like you weren't all on her when she spoke that craziness about the Light." Sitting up fully, Xena went on. "Oh, and once she talked of opening a Hospice, with the speed of Hermes, she became the Crusader of your heart."
My head was reeling. I did like Najara, maybe too much, but she couldn't ever take me from Xena.
Bending down, I cup Xena's chin while staring into that beautiful face. "You say that you know why I left with Najara. Do you? Do you really know?"
"You wanted her and she wanted you too. Who am I to interfere? I told her that it was for the best if you stayed with her and help run the Hospice."
"You were going to leave me?" my question is barely audible.
"It's what you wanted." she retorts.
"How dare you!" I shout, jumping to my feet. "You're wrong. I went with her, because she was going to kill you. Najara had her blade directly over top of you and if I hadn't said, or done anything, you would be dead now. That's the real reason you awoke alone. I did it for you, Xena."
"Is that when you became an initiate of the Light?" Xena query with indignation.
My facial expression probably already gave me away. How bad could a small lie be?
No more lies. Dishonesty took the life of Solon, Xena's son and caused us to splinter. I will be truthful.
"I asked to join while you were gone to capture, Marat."
"Hmm, well I stand correct. You can still see her, Gabrielle. Make sure you know the visiting schedule for inmates."
Xena's chuckle brought my belligerent attitude to the fore. "You listen to me Xena and you listen good. I only did that mostly because of the Hospice. You of all people know how I feel about life."
I had to fight back my cursed memory of the bloody dagger in my hand after killing Meridian inside Dahak's temple. "As for, Najara. Yes, I admit that I was fascinated with her. She is an amazing warrior. She saved my life and appeared to have a reverence for it. Najara had an allure on me, it made me willing to confide certain fears, mainly your dark side, but it isn't merely enough to sever our connection. You have no idea what you do to me when I think of you, or when I am near you. I'll surrender any and everything for you." I confess wiping the foolish tears away. "But you have made it clear that you do not share the same sentiment."
That comment caused Xena to rise. She had a look of disbelief which was covered quickly with her mask that hid her emotions.
"You are right, Xena." I began my rhetoric. "Who are you? Who are you to me? Huh? Who are you, Xena? Obviously, you are the person that can live without me and I'm tired of it all. The pretending, the sneaking around with you. Most of all, I'm weary of not feeling loved, or being able to openly show it. At least, Najara didn't hide her intentions. She wanted me and I relished it. I should be with her... I will be with her."
I headed aimlessly into the woods.
"Where are you going?" Xena's tone was neutral.
"Wherever I want. You're not my keeper, or lover." Locking eyes, I say. "Not anymore. I belong to Najara now, the person you gave me to."
Xena was livid, her stoic facade fell completely. "You are mine!"
I have no interest in being someone's token, not even Xena's. Ignoring her, I kept walking into the unknown, until Xena spun me, shoving me not to roughly onto the bark of a tree.
"Xena." I lightly try to push the stronger woman off me.
"I'm not letting you go."
"We belong together. I know it and so do you." she replied.
Xena's hand travelled to my thigh, slowly caressing my skin. The heat at my center was set ablaze in an instant. Darn it! How does she do this to me?
"Xena, stop. Either talk to me, or let me go with the words you've already spoken."
Her right hand still rubbed my thigh, her left went to my breast.
My mouth was occupied by Xena's and reluctantly I opened my mouth slightly to receive her tongue, relenting further as our pink muscles tasted each other. A sought slipped from my throat and I feared with that knowledge, Xena felt in control. I know she is influenced by battle lust. I have felt its wrath just once and I won't ever forget it. Xena has been through the ringer today. From fighting slavers, to getting defeated by Najara. I know it's boiling under her skin. I'm curious if she will take me hard again like last time when her left appendage un-lace my top, releasing one of my breast to the cool night breeze.
Xena flicked the taut nipple with her thumb, causing me to increase my moans. The hand on my thigh traversed to its primary goal, stroking my damp undergarment. Xena broke the kiss and licked my neck.
"Gods, Xena." I groaned.
Nipping it with her teeth almost sent me to the edge.
"Who do you belong to?" Xena asked.
I answered her with moans, stalling what I knew to be the inevitable, feeling my sex become saturated by her probing fingers.
"Who?" she purred at my ear, sending shock waves through me.
She wants me to say her name, but I will not accede to it, though I need her terribly.
No, I will not give in.
Struggling to hold my composure, I plead. "Talk to me."
Staring into my lustful sea green orbs, Xena conceded. "Alright. While I am talking, do not move and I don't want to hear a peep out of you, unless I command it. Understand?"
A nod from my head was all I could give ceasing my aroused movements.
Refraining hers as well, Xena continued speaking. "You recall when I told you about my travel to the Northern Steppes so that I could get to the Amazon's Land of the Dead, to see you after I thought you'd died with Hope?"
"Yes." I confirmed.
Xena had divulged to me what happened with the remnant Northern Amazons that was nearly broken due to the aftermath of her betrayal as they was hounded by an expelled Amazon Shamaness named, Alti. Xena had to deal with her grief for me, also defeat Alti and her Berserker while enduring adventures in the sin trade for her past.
"Alti gave me a glimpse of our future, that is how I found out you survived the fall into the lava pit. All of that I went through, continue to go through and you think I would exit your life, because I don't love you?" a few strokes between my legs punctuated Xena's question.
"No." I moaned. "I... I... I thought-"
A stifle groan ended my own tirade when Xena shifted the soaked fabric to the side for direct contact with my silky clitoris.
"You seem to have forgotten the rules." she sexually chastised me using her fingers. "I heard you say no, I don't need to hear you say more, because I haven't commanded you to say anything else. You are a talented bard, however, now is not the time for your wordplay. Okay?"
Another nod while I suppressed any kind of sound, but I was losing ground with my hips as they gyrated languidly.
"Everything I do, or done lately is for a purpose. You should know that by now, but I guess I'll have to show you what you thought about me is false!" Xena exclaimed.
Attacking my mouth with hers, Xena's thumb pulled my pinkish nipples, making wetness flow from the apex of my thighs down my leg.
Halting the kiss, she whispered. "I love you more than anyone. Toris, my mother, even Lyceus."
"Mmm." I surrendered to her words. The confession made me swoon. Xena haven't ever said something like that to me in our history with each other. I hope she means it and it is her who spoke it, not the battle lust.
Xena clicked her tongue. "You can't follow directions."
Next, her head went downwards, taking my breast into her mouth and my hands shot up to hold it in place while she sucked gently. Xena paid more erotic attention to my twin mounds since they grew in size after giving birth to, Hope.
Placing my hands on Xena caused a repercussion in the form of her biting hard on the sensitive pale skin. That reverberation forced me to groan and I'm positive there are more consequences to come when my hips buck for my core to be ravish.
"Enough, Gabrielle. You think I will tolerate your defiance." Xena glared at me and for the second time tonight, it wasn't a question.
Xena's two digits emphasized what she meant, thrusting into my drenched sex.
"Xena!" I cry out, followed with whimpers of pleasure as Xena's fingers lunged in and out of my canal.
My hips oscillated with the invited extremity, breaking Xena's rule of no motion. Our eyes hadn't parted while I continued to defy. I don't intend to, it's just Xena always drive me wild, especially now when she plunged deeper and faster bringing my climax to the surface.
"I'm sorry." I apologize, before offering my hand to her in hopes that she would forgive me for all my offenses this day and night.
Xena grabbed it and held it down to my waist so that she could stroke me more thoroughly. Sluggishly, I slid my leg along the outside of her thighs and Xena asked again.
"Who do you belong to?"
A final thrust from elongated fingers made my orgasm peak putting Xena's inquiry to rest from my very loud response.
My gorgeous lover smiled in satisfaction, feeling my hot liquid coat her two fingers. I convulsed, hardly recognizing the wet blanket withdrawing from my vagina.
I was dizzy from the lingering aftereffects, muttering. "Only you, Xena. Always you."
Xena lowered me to the forest bed of grass and kissed me soundly.
"Don't forget it." she demanded, in advance of standing and walking away, leaving me in my revelry.
Back at the camp, Xena filled Gabrielle in on Alti's vision that plagued her. The bard wouldn't believe their deaths was gonna come true and tried to persuade Xena from believing it too.
'But we did die. I was foolish to think we could run from our fate.' Gabrielle thought, once her mind came back to the present. 'Am I a fool now?'
She gazed at the silver band on her index finger, scanning the engraving.
My Heart My Love.
The words at the moment felt hollow and meaningless.
'I should take it off and destroy it. Xena will never be mines, though at every turn she's sure to remind me I am hers."
The door to the cabin opened and Xena stepped inside. Her eyes was red from relentless tears as she looked at the petite Amazon on the cot.
"We need to talk, Gabrielle." she announced.
"Yes, Xena." Gabrielle agreed. "Let's talk."
To Be Continued
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