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.
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Xena and Gabrielle,
A Turn of Fate,
Chapter 9: Let's Talk
Xena started heading to the stables after telling Kenji they were ready to sail from Scione. Her mind was in disarray with everything she had discovered from Harukata, including making the rash decision to die in order to stop Yodoshi, the daemon who fed off souls and trapped the forty thousand inhabitants of Higuchi that died by her hand.
'What have I done?' Xena mused, understanding the full ramifications of the bind she had placed on herself.
The crisis did not only concern her, but in turn, would affect the bard to a greater extent. Xena wouldn't just be dead, she would also be with Akemi. Could she divulge that to Gabrielle? Although they were going through an argument and harmful words were stated, Xena didn't have 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 were prevented 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.
Though Harukata's forces almost numbered twenty-six thousand, it was inconceivable to think victory could be won by combat on the battlefield alone. Their best effort to destroy Yodoshi coincided with what the old Shogun apprised:
The Warrior Princess had to die.
Xena became fully aware of her surroundings when she heard a loud yelp. Looking down, she saw the auburn-haired teenager she'd 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 galley."
"I was on my way there." Tanya assented, holding her appendage up. "Will you give me a hand?"
She reached and pulled the teen on her feet. Tanya noted that the dark warrior's demeanor was colder than usual as Xena stalked to the stables.
"Are you okay, Xena?"
"Get to the galley, Tanya, and stay to your own affairs." The answer came without a backward glance.
The younger female heeded the stern announcement and went to where she was told.
Xena walked into Argo II's stall and the Palomino whinnied in excitement.
"Hey, girl, I'm back." She spoke, rubbing the cream-colored mane.
Its color reminded her of Gabrielle's white gold hair during the seasons of summer and winter. She would never see it that full shade again, and a deep 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's done, it cannot 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'm 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, ruminating, 'I was supposed to get married. Live out the remainder of my days with my soul mate, and now, this happens.'
Sadness withered into anger when Xena's thoughts turned dark as Argo neighed wildly from seeing her mistress in such distress.
'I finally had a chance at 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 and she blared at the numerous victims she'd accumulated throughout her life, "Fuck 'em! Fuck them all!"
Xena sobbed, repeating the personal mantra over and over until her enraged pupils softened at espying the golden ring that her lover had given her yesterday. She consciously read the engraved words.
My Soul My Life.
The tall warrior 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 person she'd 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 woman into a fitful sleep, while she was questioning even in her dreams; what was a Warrior Princess to do?
The blonde Amazon sat on the cot in her and Xena's cabin with a tear-streaked face pressed against bended knees. Gabrielle felt like her heart were 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 is mine. Mine!' Gabrielle mentally fussed with faith.
Gabrielle was no longer certain if it was her jealously that pushed Xena to want Akemi or if her lover always wanted the Japian manipulator from the beginning of finding out that, in a sense, she still lived. The bard 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 who brought out the most excellent and worse in Gabrielle.
'It's Xena's fault that I am like this.' She groused.
Anger swelled within her, whilst thinking of all the times she had to play second fiddle to others whom had Xena's attention. After they made love for the first time, the Warrior Princess always found a way to relay to Gabrielle that they weren't committed to each other.
Although she hated it, Gabrielle played along with her new lover's game of pretending not to have a sexual liaison in most of the worlds view. Xena would leave her to make out with other men, then come back to her when the need and desire for the bard's trim body was too great to deny.
Each and every time, Gabrielle would give in when she'd swore that she wouldn't. A look from Xena, and Gabrielle knew what was coming as soon as they were alone. She revelled in the sensations Xena visited upon her body; the dark warrior's compassionate tongue, affectionate touches, and loving fingers that glided inside of her, always tore a scream from Gabrielle's throat 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, teasing Gabrielle constantly about staying quiet, which was a huge challenge for her, and seldom the petite woman would fail. Xena, on the other hand, remained silent during Gabrielle's ministrations, whether they were by themselves or with company.
For a while, the Amazon feared she couldn't please the experienced Warrior Princess, but Xena assured the bard that she did satisfy her. Nonetheless, Gabrielle remained having 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 became very vocal, and Gabrielle really couldn't get enough of her blue-eyed lover. But being hunted by gods, plus dealing with the Greater Good, their sex life was sporadic at best and it became a dry spell once Xena delivered Eve.
The attention that the mother showered on her baby, made Gabrielle envious; envy for all the love Xena could show her daughter in public, but none for her. Profoundly desperate for Xena's acceptance of their lives together, the Amazon Queen tried to settle with the Northern Steppes tribe. However, 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.
Nevertheless, in the end, Xena decided to stay, but the cropped blonde became cautious of her soul mate altering her stance on living with the Amazons. So she'd relinquished her title to Cyane II who was covetous of the position. Gabrielle didn't care though, she just wanted to be with Xena. Next, they dropped Eve off in Amphipolis with Cyrene and went on a sea voyage to the Land of Pharaohs to aid Cleopatra.
The tears retreated completely 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, cut 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, 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, then she's kissing another.' Gabrielle ruminated.
Drying the wetness from her cheeks with her hands, she began cogitating on why would Xena bother asking for her hand in marriage if she wanted someone else?
Gabrielle released a sigh. "Knowing how fickle she can be, why did I agree? Am I that dependent on her?"
The bard felt nauseated after crying so much and wondering about her precarious relationship with Xena, before realizing that the ship was moving. She applied the pressure point to her wrist to stop the seasickness and closed her orbs, remembering the ending results of when another warrior entered her life. A woman whom wanted to take her from Xena, and coaxed Gabrielle to become 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 at dinner, Xena said nothing the entire duration of it, until she'd finished her plate, telling me 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'd prepared because of ruminating 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 of the avowal that Najara had told me? Did Xena really cast me off on her? I'd quickly dismissed the claim, and Xena's actions proved otherwise when she came back for me. Then I betrayed Najara. I pray she'll forgive me for tricking her.
I give up. Pondering on the subject is getting me nowhere when it comes to Xena's state of mind.
"Once Xena gets back, I'll talk to her." I announce 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 goes the subtlety I wanted.
With the cookware clean for another day's use, I sit 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. Let's get ready to sleep." She answers.
Pushing off the tree, Xena moves towards the camp fire, but her reply did nothing to quell me.
Walking over to the campsite also, I pursue 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 cuts my explanation short. "I know why."
"You do?" I ask, relieved.
"Yes. Can we sleep now."
It isn't a question and Xena commences un-equipping her bracers. Like our normal routine now, I reach out to aid her, but she backs away.
"I got it." She gives 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 avers.
Taking the last of her armor off, she lies on her bedroll that is separate from mines.
Fine, I will be blunt on other matters.
"Really? Everything is okay? So why did Najara tell me you wanted me to stay with her?" I inquire more harsher than intended.
Xena sits up on her elbows. Confusion is written on her face, and from the reaction, I want to take back what I had just asked. I should've not played the fool to Najara's fabrications. No way Xena would give me up to anyone.
The sentence out of her mouth destroys that notion, "Like you weren't all on her when she spoke that craziness about the Light."
Sitting up fully, Xena goes on, "Oh, and once she talked of opening a Hospice, with the speed of Hermes, she became the Crusader of your heart."
My head's reeling. I did like Najara. Maybe too much, but she couldn't ever take me from Xena.
Bending down, I cup Xena's chin, staring into her beautiful face. "You say 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 it was for the best if you stayed with her and help run the Hospice."
"You were going to leave me?" My query 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 'cause she was going to kill you. Najara had her blade directly over top of you, and if I hadn't 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 questions with indignation.
My facial expression probably has already given me away, but how bad can a small lie be?
No more deceptions. Dishonesty took the life of Solan, Xena's son, and caused us to splinter. I will be truthful.
"I requested 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 brings 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 have to fight back the cursed memory of a bloody dagger in my hand after killing Meridian inside Dahak's temple.
"As for Najara... Yes, I admit, I was fascinated with her. She is an amazing warrior. She'd 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've no idea what you do to me when I think of you, or when I'm near you. I'll surrender any and everything for you." I confess, wiping the foolish tears away. "Nonetheless, you have made it clear that you do not share the same sentiment."
The comment causes Xena to rise, wearing a look of disbelief, which is covered quickly with the stoical mask that conceals her emotions.
"You are right, Xena." I launch my rhetoric. "Who are you? Who are you to me, huh? Who are you, Xena? Obviously, you are the person who's capable of living 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 head aimlessly into the woods.
"Where are you going?" Xena's tone Is neutral.
"Wherever I want. You're not my keeper, or lover." Locking eyes, I declare, "Not anymore. I belong to Najara now. The person you gave me to."
Her stoic facade falls completely and Xena seems livid. "You are mine!"
I have no interest in being someone's token, not even Xena's. Ignoring her, I keep walking into the unknown, until she spins me around and shoves me, not too roughly, onto the bark of a tree.
"Xena." I lightly try to push the stronger woman off me.
"I'm not letting you go."
She already did. "Why?"
"We belong together. I know it and so do you." She states.
Xena's hand travels to my thigh, slowly guiding up my skirt to more skin. The heat at my center is 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 caress my thigh whilst her left goes to my breast.
My mouth becomes occupied by Xena's and reluctantly I open it slightly to receive her tongue, relenting further as our pink muscles tastes each other. A sought slips from my throat, and I fear with that knowledge, Xena feels 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's been through the ringer today; from fighting slavers, to getting defeated by Najara, and I'm positive it's boiling under her skin. I am curious if she will take me hard again like last time when her left appendage unlace my top, exposing one of my breasts to the cool night's breeze.
Xena flicks the taut nipple with her thumb, causing me to increase my moans. The hand on my thigh traverse to its primary goal, stroking my damp undergarment. Xena breaks the kiss and lick my neck. Nipping it with her teeth almost sends me to the edge.
"Gods, Xena." I groan.
"Who do you belong to?" Xena inquires.
I respond to her with whimpering grunts, stalling what I know to be the inevitable while feeling my sex become saturated by her probing fingers.
"Who?" She purrs at my ear, sending shock waves through me.
She wants me to say her name, but I will not accede to it... Though I want to terribly.
No, I will not give in.
Striving to hold my composure, I plead, "Talk to me."
Staring into my lustful, sea-green orbs, Xena concedes, "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?"
Ceasing my aroused movements, nodding is all I can do.
Refraining hers as well, Xena continues speaking, "You recall when I told you about my journey to the Northern Steppes, so that I could get to the Amazon Land of the Dead to see you after I thought you'd died with Hope?"
"Yes." I confirm.
Xena evinced to me what happened with the remnant Northern Amazons that were nearly broken due to the aftermath of her betrayal of Queen Cyane I and its council leaders, as they were hounded by an expelled Amazon Shamaness named Alti. Xena had to deal with her grief for me, also defeat Alti and her conjured Berserker, whilst enduring adventures in the sin trade for her past.
"Alti gave me a glimpse of our future. That's 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 punctuates Xena's question.
"No." I moan. "I... I... I assumed-"
A stifle groan ends my own tirade once Xena shifts the soaked fabric to the side for direct contact with my silky clitoris.
"You seem to have forgotten the rules." She sexually chastise me by using her fingers. "I heard you say no. I don't need to hear you avow more because I haven't commanded you to affirm anything else. You are a talented bard, however, now is not the time for your wordplay. Okay?"
Giving another nod, I suppress any kind of sound, but I'm losing ground with my hips as they languidly gyrate.
"Everything I do, or have done lately, is for a purpose. You should know that by now, but I guess I'll have to show you what you presume about me is false!" Xena exclaims.
Attacking my mouth with hers, Xena's thumb and forefinger pulls my pinkish nipple, making wetness flow from the apex of my thighs down my leg.
Halting our kiss, she whispers, "I love you more than anyone. Toris, my mother... Even Lyceus."
"Mmm. Oh, Xena." I surrender to her words.
Xena hadn't ever proclaimed something this heartfelt to me in our history with one another and the confession make me swoon. I hope she means it, and it's her who has asserted it, not the battle-lust.
Xena clicks her tongue. "You can't follow directions."
Next, her head descends, taking my breast into her mouth. My hands shoot upwards to hold it in place while she sucks and bite it gently. Xena has paid more erotic attention to my twin mounds since they have grown in size after giving birth to Hope.
Placing my appendages on Xena, coaxes a repercussion in the form of her biting harder on the sensitive, pale skin. The reverberation forces me to groan and I'm certain there are more consequences to come once my hips buck for my core to be ravished.
"Enough, Gabrielle. You think I will tolerate your defiance." Xena glares at me, and for the second time tonight, it isn't a query.
Xena's two digits emphasizes what she meant by thrusting into my drenched sex.
"Xena!" I cry out, following with whimpers of pleasure as Xena's fingers lunge in and out of my canal.
My hips oscillate with the invited fingers, breaking Xena's rule of non-motion. Our eyes haven't parted whilst I continue to defy. I don't intend to, but Xena always drives me wild, especially now with her plunging deeper and faster, bringing my climax to the surface.
"I'm sorry." I apologize, offering my hand to her in hopes she'll forgive me for all my offenses this day and night.
Xena grabs it, holding it down to my waist, so she can stroke me more thoroughly.
Sluggishly, I slide my leg along the outside of her thighs, and Xena asks again, "Who do you belong to?"
A final thrust from elongated fingers coerce my orgasm to peak, putting Xena's inquiry to rest from my very loud response, "You, Xena!"
My gorgeous lover smiles in satisfaction, feeling my hot liquid coat her extremity. I convulse, hardly recognizing the anti-wet blanket that's withdrawing from my pulsating vagina, struggling to keep my eyes from shutting.
I am dizzy from the lingering aftereffects of coming, muttering, "Only you, Xena. Always you."
Xena lower me to the forest's bed of grass, kissing me soundly.
"Don't forget it." She demands in advance of standing and walking away.
I close my pupils to the sounds of her tasting my cum off of her digits while leaving me in my reverie.
Back at the camp, Xena filled Gabrielle in on Alti's vision that plagued her. The bard couldn't believe that their deaths were destined to 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 cogitated, 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 wholeheartedly, although at every turn, she's resolute to remind me that I'm hers.'
The door to the cabin opened and Xena stepped inside. Her eyes were red from severe tears as she looked at the petite Amazon on the cot.
"We need to talk, Gabrielle."
"Yes, Xena." She agreed. "Let's talk."
To Be Continued
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