Disclaimers: see chapter one.

Chapter 3

"Umm," she murmured, still lying on top of me in the same position; my body limp, at the moment. "I love the way that feels." She kissed my cheek. "Boomp… Boomp… Boomp," she added, her voice barely above a whisper, mimicking the heartbeat-like throbs of my pulsing, sated sex.

"I can’t believe you did that… twice," I mumbled, not wanting to admit I was amazed she’d been able to do it even once, in a natural manner.

"Wanna try for three in row?"

"You trying to kill me with pleasure?" I quipped. "One helluva way to go, but… what I really want right now is… to bury my face between your legs." I gripped her behind, intending to roll her over.

She didn’t budge, but did groan, raise her head and look down at me. "Now the bard comes out, hmm?" She smirked. "But, how about I do the face burying?" No sooner were the words out of her mouth, than the latter was headed for my breast.

I captured her face in my palm. "Hey, I know I said not to expect much, but… I would at least like to take a stab at pleasing you. This ain’t a one-way street, ya know," I said, teasingly. Her eyes darted back and forth searching mine, in a serious manner. "What? Does Gabrielle have to tie Xena up before she’ll allow the bard to even attempt to return the favor?" I queried, adding a bit of levity, desiring to make her smile again. That smirk returned, at least. "I’ll do it, if I have to," I asserted, sounding serious myself now. "’Course you’ll have to provide the ropes."

"You mean you don’t carry them around with you?" Her eyes lit up now.

"Not on the first date." I watched her smirk turn into a smile. "If I’d known I was gonna run into Xena, however, I woulda brought along the whip and chains."

"Oh really?" Eyebrow arch. "Tell me more about this whip and… chains."

"Well… the whip’s about ya-ay long," I teased, throwing both arms out wide. "And the chains… well, actually… I don’t have any, at the moment," I admitted with a wry grin.

"Uh-huh, but you do have a whip?"

I nodded agreement, my hands returning to her back.

"You ever use it?" That eyebrow shot up again.

"Well… honestly, no… it’s just a fake one that hangs on the wall alongside Xena’s plastic sword and chakram. For decoration," I clarified.

She chuckled. "I didn’t think you were the S & M type. Not unless my judgment is failing me in my old age." She paused, still grinning. "What wall? Living room or bedroom?"

"Bedroom, a’course. Along with a dozen different pictures of her and Gabrielle covering the rest of the walls."

"I got a few pictures in my extra bedroom." It was my turn to arch an eyebrow. "Where I keep the computer," she explained.

"A woman’s gotta have somethin’ to look at besides a computer screen," I acknowledged, and then suddenly realized my fingers were playing with a patch of light fuzz on her lower back.

By the god’s, even this part of the fantasy, too? I thought, knowing I’d written about women with fine trails of hair down the front and back of their bodies, but seldom had the few I’d been with –who possessed this feature- ever lived up to my expectations. (The fuzz that is, not the women.) But here I was and… boy, did it feel familiar!

It was also at this time that I noticed my right foot was rubbing against the back of her calf. I ceased its movement.

"Why’d you stop?" she asked, almost immediately.

"I… I wasn’t aware I was even doing it, ‘til just now."

"Don’t stop," she murmured, her lips moving towards mine. "It turns me on."

"Good, cause that’s exactly what I wanna do. In more ways than one," I added, determined she was going over this time and used my left leg to push off with. As I suspected, she didn’t see this coming and I ended up on top for the first time that night.

"You’re stronger than you look," she admitted, right before I finished the kiss she’d been about to plant on me.

Slowly, I repositioned my body on hers, so that we were breast-to-breast, but not sex-to-sex. Her body was too much longer than mine to accomplish both. She moaned, her hands coming alive and squeezing my behind. Now I moaned.

"Persistent as the devil, aren’t you?" she asked, as my lips began working their way down her neck towards the breast my right hand was cupping in preparation.

"Umm-hmm," I answered, my tongue trailing over her skin, anxious for the salty musky flavor I’d found so enticing once before.

"Oh yeah," she murmured, my tongue slowly laving back and forth across her growing nipple. She arched her chest. "Holy shit!" she hissed, as I took the hardened nodule into my mouth and sucked lightly.

Once this territory was secured, my hand, having other things on its mind, headed off for points south. The curls were soft and thick and damp. My eager fingers found warm folds, slick with her juices. It was my turn to growl now, my own groin muscles tightening again, desire stimulated. She, on the other hand, whimpered. Her right hand gripped one of my cheeks from the side, creeping, reaching, stretching, as if attempting entrance from that direction.

"I wanna be inside you," she whimpered, as I inched away from that hand. "Please, Rachael…"

"I’ve got a one track mind," I mumbled around her breast, then began working my way down her body. "I can’t concentrate… on but one thing at a time and… you doing that… would certainly distract me… when the thing I want right now is… right… down… here."

"Good god you’re a stubborn woman," she remarked, her hands sliding into my hair, as I went down on her. "Awh Jeez!" she hissed, hips arching to meet my eager tongue. "Oh god that feels good! Oh-h-ho yes!" My tongue was delving inside. Both of those long legs suddenly came up off the bed and landed on my shoulders.

"Oh yeah," I mumbled. Assuming we were definitely in business now, I settled in to deliver a nice (I hoped) lengthy, tongue-lashing.

Sensing how much she seemed to enjoy "entering", I teased her relentlessly with my fingers, without venturing inside. I wasn’t sure if she’d like this or not and it wasn’t my usual modus operandi, I just… did it. I was glad I did, a few moments later.

"Good god, j-ju-just do it!" she finally growled, sending chills up my spine. "Yes! Yes-s!" Those long legs closed in around my head. "Oh yes, baby, don’t stop," she urged her hips bucking in rhythm with each slow thrust. "Oh-h… Oh-h… Uh-huh… Uh-huh…"

And that’s the last sound I heard for a while, because strong thighs pressed against my ears shutting out everything else.

She lay breathing heavily, while I kissed the insides of each thigh then started working my way up her body. She seemed relaxed, tranquil and satisfied. I beamed with pride, because unless she’d been faking it –if those interior contractions could be faked- I’d succeeded at my task. And that was a wonderful feeling!

I was just about to snuggle up to her neck when one hand gripped my side and she slid out from under me so fast, it almost made my head swim.

"What the… Uhm!" Half her body came down on top of mine, pinning me to the bed. Oh god, what have I got myself into? I thought.

"Being a self-professed bard you should know that warrior’s don’t like being denied," she said, in a sinister sounding voice near my ear. Her hand roamed slowly over my behind. "Especially the Conqueror."

Uh-oh. "But… we didn’t write any Conqueror stories." I corrected, hoping she was teasing.

"No? Hmm… but you’ve read some, haven’t you?"

"Uh, yeah, I’ve read one… or two."

"Then you should know, shouldn’t you?"

"Uh… yeah, sure."

"What? I don’t believe that’s how the Conqueror is addressed, now is it?" she growled in my ear.

Oh boy, role-playing! "Uh, no… my lord," I added, playing along.

"That’s better," she purred, her hand moving over my behind and down to my thigh.

"Yes, my lord, it… won’t happen again," I added, then attempted to raise up.

"Ah-ah-ah-h-h!" she objected, her whole body moving swiftly to cover the back of mine. "That little move right there, just proves…" She paused, her arms moving down the backs of mine, her mouth positioned right next to my ear. "…that you weren’t listening so well, now were you?" she purred.

My chuckle sounded plumb phony to my own ears. Oh, I’d listened all right, I just wasn’t good at role-playing when I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d read several Conqueror stories and although I liked the idea of master and slave –nice master falling in love with the slave, that is- and enjoyed the stories themselves, I’d cringed at a few sex scenes thinking, "Ooo, that’s gotta hurt", or "Oh my, that wasn’t nice." And I was afraid she might have something like this in mind; the latter thought leaving me a might uncomfortable. Three fingers was my limit! And those had been small ones, not the lengthy appendages she possessed -the same ones now intertwining themselves around mine. Although, don’t get me wrong, the thought of being "taken" in a "nice way" in this position was definitely a turn-on!

She must have sensed some reluctance or was just making sure she wasn’t misunderstood, for she whispered softly. "Trust me, Rachael. I won’t bite. At least… not hard."

"Whew, that’s a relief," I murmured, my body tingling from sensations caused by her whisper. "Ooo!" I added, a moment later, when she repositioned herself and I felt her damp hair press against and tickle my behind.

"Like that, hmm?" she asked, the sinister voice returning. She then filled my ear with her tongue.

"Umm." I couldn’t help but moan, feeling myself relax somewhat, even though I still wasn’t sure what to expect.

"Ya’ll did write one where Gabrielle and Xena are on an island, right?" she queried, a few moments later.

"Memories, Dreams and Schemes?"

"I don’t remember the name. It’s where Xena was still bad and Gabrielle was still innocent. Gabrielle was afraid of a big cat. They stayed together in a cave and..."

"Yeah, that’s the one," I confirmed. "You liked that?" I couldn’t help but ask. No one else seemed to. One of my solitary blunders! I hadn’t been able to put down Savanna’s ideas.

She hesitated for a heartbeat. "The love scenes, yes," she answered simply. The unspoken words, "the story, no" filtering into my brain as if by telepathy or osmosis. "Who wrote the love scene where Gabrielle’s in pretty much the same position you’re in now?" she asked, in a seductive tone of voice.

I wondered what she’d say or do, if I lied and said my partner. I remembered the scene she was talking about clearly, I had borrowed (stolen) the general idea from another story I’d read. And the thought of that particular scene did stimulate things a might.

"You did, didn’t you?" she asked and attacked my neck, hitting that sensitive spot dead-on!

"Oh-ho-ho g-god!" She had me writhing beneath her, her sex pressing against my backside. "Jes-sus Christ!!" I hissed.

"Better call on someone you know," she mumbled against my neck and then attacked it again, nibbling just hard enough that I felt her teeth tug on my skin.

I was moaning and writhing, my head raised off the pillow due to her ministrations. "Are you trying to… drive my crazy?" I groaned.

"No, just trying to… Um-hm-hm-hm," she suddenly snickered, the deep sound a bit more like Alti, rather than Xena. "On second thought, yes I am. I’m gonna drive you crazy with desire." She accentuated the last few words, referring to one of the earlier stories. "Oh yeah," she continued, tugging on my ear now. "I wanna make you so h-hot…" she breathed, directly into my ear. "that you’ll beg me to take you!"

Oh holy shit, I thought, another fantasy come true! How the hell did she know all this about me? Or did she know? Was it just coincidence? She read the stories, you idiot! My mind screamed at me. Oh god!!! I had a feeling if she’d read all those stories I was in "trouble" with a capital "T".

"Do you want me, Rachael?" She licked my ear. "Inside you?" I whimpered. "You do, don’chu?" She pressed herself against me. "Hmm?"

"Yes-s-s!" I hissed in response.

"Umm, you don’t know how much I wish I could take you just like this." She paused for a breath. Uh-oh, I thought. "Holding your hands…" she continued in a sultry, whispery voice, "…moving slowly… so very slowly inside you."

I whimpered again. Her words were setting off one explosion after another in my groin. I could actually feel the bombs dropping, traveling down my body; their origins obviously somewhere in my brain, I assumed. I had a feeling I knew what she was proposing, but I didn’t really want to go there. I preferred things to be natural, for now. The idea was still having the desired effect, however. I’d been there before and … knew I’d go there again if she asked me to.

I was a bit relieved when she let go of my left hand, her fingers trailing over my arm and down my side, raising chill bumps along their route. Their destination: the target still being bombarded by explosions.

Her fingertips teased my desire relentlessly.

I couldn’t take very much of this exquisite torture. "Take me!" I pleaded.

"Not quite the magic words," she responded in my ear. "Close but no cigar, darlin’. Try again."

I had a good idea what she wanted me to say, but I didn’t like using the word in this context. And I had the distinct feeling she was aware of this.

I held out for as long as I possibly could. When her other hand joined the party, lightly stroking from behind, teasing that throbbing, pulsing, aching cavern of desire, I couldn’t take it any longer. It was just a word, after all.

"F- - k me!" I finally cried out.

"With pleasure!" she purred.

And did she ever. It only took two to fill the well, as I suspected. I was "off to see the wizard", when she threw in a twist at the end! I’d never written about or fantasized, much less experienced what she did with the tip of her thumb. I’d read about it in stories, however. And although what she did was rather tame by comparison, it was something I wouldn’t soon forget!

Three o’clock in the morning. I was absolutely exhausted. I wasn’t used to this much activity! She assured me I’d already given her what she wanted when I attempted to reciprocate. And so, I ended up falling asleep on her shoulder. At least that’s the last place I remember being. Didn’t even have a celebratory cigarette afterwards, because she only smoked outside and when she drank.

I woke up the next morning not knowing where the hell I was, at first. I rolled over to find her lying on her side -back to me. No cuddling during the night… bad sign? Is it over now? Have I overstayed my welcome?

I wanted to reach over and touch her, but the memory of those few one-night stands stayed my hands. This was usually when the whole thing started to unravel: the morning after. One woman had even acted as if she’d rather I’d left before she woke up. Would Regi be this way? I didn’t know.

I knew I didn’t want it to end like the others. I wanted to get to know her… spend time with her… stay another night with her and… My god, you’ve fallen for her, you twit! My mind screamed.

No, no… couldn’t be! God no! Please… tell me I haven’t done such a stupid thing!!

Not a single voice, not even the negative one, offered an answer to my silent plea. I didn’t know what to do!

One thing was for sure I needed a cigarette, badly! A cup of coffee would be nice, too.

It was light outside; I could see the sun’s rays filtering through the blinds. The digital clock on her side of the bed read: 7: 38. Four hours sleep. Could be worse.

So, do I put on my clothes and go outside or lay here and fidget ‘til she wakes up? Or should I just leave altogether? Avoid the discomfort of facing her, seeing that look in her eyes that would say last night hadn’t meant a thing to her. Did I take the risk of destroying the beautiful memory I had in my head right this moment?

No, I didn’t want that. I wanted last night to remain just as it had been… a beautiful dream come true!

As quietly as I could, I gathered up my clothes and hunted down the bathroom I was pretty sure should be located in the hall. When I came out, I half expected her to be up. She wasn’t. So, I sneaked one last peek at her through the open doorway. By the gods, she looked wonderful. Hair tousled and spread out on the pillow, sheet tucked up under her arm, hands near her face like a little child. My eyes wandered up to the Wonder Woman poster above the bed. That fits, I thought, the image imprinting itself upon my brain, she’ll always be a wonder woman in my memories.

The thought hardened my conviction. I was doing the right thing. On the way to the door I passed a chalkboard on the wall by the phone. There was chalk in a holder at the bottom. I went over and scribbled out a short note: Thanks for the wonderful evening I won’t soon forget.

Closing the door behind me, I slipped away as quietly as I could on that early Sunday morning, knowing this day would surely haunt me for many years to come. But at least the memory would remain intact… beautiful… mysterious…and untarnished.


The original story was posted that week. And since I’d taken the chance on receiving e-mail this time, although burying the address on the very last page– afraid to do this before; fearing nasty bug or virus infested mail- I began receiving a few heartwarming comments from readers. I knew the tale was dark, not your usual love story by a long shot. It had told itself, for the most part years ago, along with a few others –before the depression came down like an anvil in my mid 30’s- and at the urging of good friends I’d sent it off for posting, hoping someone could relate to it. Not many had, I assumed. I could only hope it was the subject matter – an abusive home life, described in the first chapter- and not my writing in general. Of course, I’d buried the address too, so what did I expect? Expectations again! Was I letting my low self-esteem and negativism blind me to my own true goal?

Ever since I’d actually commenced finishing stories –via my first computer- I’d longed to share them. When friends read and subsequently urged me to do something with my writing, it only intensified this longing. Too afraid of rejection, however, I’d never mustered the courage to send anything off to a publisher. And in my heart of hearts -even though making money from what I loved doing would have been great- I longed to have them be more accessible and affordable to people like myself, who didn’t have even semi-regular access to Gay and Lesbian bookstores, much less afford to pay from nine to twenty bucks for one book they could read in a couple of days.

The Internet had been like a god-sent, in this respect, once I got "on-line" several years before. Xena fan fiction stirred my imagination and got me writing again; after a six-year dry spell of depression. This had been a wonderful outlet, which subsequently whet my appetite to finally do something about those old stories: put them on the Internet.

The recently posted story had been the first of four I’d attempted to whip into shape. The whipping hadn’t been easy let me tell you. Problem being, I’d already spent so much time on these in the past, it was hard to go over the same territory again and again. Sometimes it felt like I was beating a dead horse. Two more still needed a shit-load of work; the third an objective eye, before I let it out of my hands entirely. After sending off the posted one, I’d been depressed. There was nothing so unusual about that, though it was interfering with my whipping. And so were my expectations! Not to mention the fact that all I could think about was Regi.

And so it was, in early May, after answering some heartwarming and greatly appreciated e-mails -replying "Thank you" and "hope you enjoy the next one"- that one reader wrote me back. I recognized the e-mail address: Arghh–at-yadayada-dot-com. The letter read:

Hi… I wanted to thank you for writing back to me. I didn’t think you would. I was wondering are you going to be writing any more fan fiction? Sounds like the 5th season really brought you down. It did me, too. We never got around to discussing this though did we "plain Rachael"?

My eyes did a double take, my heart jumped up in my throat and I sat straight up in the computer chair, feet hitting the floor.

You’re not exactly the easiest person in the world to track down you know. That’s why I pay to have an unlisted number, I thought, my heart pounding away in my chest, my ears burning.

If not for the address on this latest story, I wouldn’t be writing this. I’d have to wait until you came back to the bar I guess. This way seems better though. At least we don’t have to meet face to face. I don’t intend to bother you. Don’t get the wrong impression. I just wanted to see if you’d answer one question for me.

In your note you said Thanks for the wonderful evening. But, if you really felt that way, why did you leave without at least saying goodbye? I’ll understand if you don’t want to answer, but I really would like to know.


I sat back in the chair feeling exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time. I didn’t know whether to "shit or go blind". I got up, paced back and forth in front of the computer several times, then sat back down. Placing my hands on the keys, I noticed they were shaking uncontrollably. No way was I going to answer her in this condition. I grabbed the mouse and saved the e-mail. I’d come back later and compose an answer at my leisure.

"I can’t believe this!" I exclaimed as I shut down the computer. I couldn’t help but wonder now about my decision to put my address on the story. Had this been fate at work?

Later came after work. I was eager to get back and re-read her e-mail. I’d thought about little else all day long. Thoughts such as: She really wants to know? Why? Is she just mad that I left before she woke up or… is there more to it? Did I possibly hurt her ego by leaving? Is she the type who always needs to be in control? And would she use my response as a way of getting back at me, giving her an opening by which to do the "kissing off"?

Needless to say, it was with a jaundiced eye that I re-read her letter that afternoon. I heard curiosity and anger in those words. But, then again, juxtaposed to her first e-mail with high praise for the story, I wasn’t sure exactly what to think.

Over the next day and half, I composed my response -though not long- carefully wording it so I sounded in no way hopeful. I was sure the latter would bring about the "kiss of death".

In answer to your question: I went home with you -eyes wide open- knowing it was a one-night stand. I’ve found it easier in my experience, limited though it is, not to have to face each other the morning after. I did, however, mean what I said in my note: It was wonderful… Thank you.


With my hand on the mouse, cursor over the SEND button, I hesitated. I kept staring at the last line. It was an opening if she wanted to rain all over my parade. "Ah, what the hell, if it’s that important to her to be the kiss-er, then… so be it!" I hit the button.

And subsequently regretted it for the next three days!

When I received a response, which I wasn’t really expecting by this time, I cringed upon clicking the mouse and opening it. The screen blinked and up it popped; short and to the point:

Thanks for answering my question. You ease my mind.


"Oh well, guess that’s… that," I said aloud, to the pictures on the walls I suppose, since I was quite alone in my small bedroom.

She had left me nothing to respond to. But then neither had I. Or so Savanna had so calmly pointed out, once she’d read the correspondences I’d forwarded to her, needing advice from an objective eye and a cool head. I’d already assumed I’d never hear from her again, once she didn’t immediately write back with any stabbing comments.

Coulda been worse, I thought, knowing my memories were still intact and basically untarnished. My heart ached, however. I’d definitely fallen for her, though I wasn’t sure if I was in love or lust. It’s a thin line and quite hard to distinguish, especially when you’re in the middle of it; one of those: you can’t see the forest for the trees!

There was one thing I did know for sure: it would be awhile before I was ready to brave the bar scene again. Or at least, go home with anyone, since I’d already made plans to go out -with "married" friends- to a bar in Atlanta that featured "drag queen" shows.

And yes, even though I knew the chances of running into Regi were few and far between –she was here on the weekends, after all - I still spent more time looking for a familiar face that night than watching the shows. Sensitive and caring Savanna –knowing me as well as she did- caught my wandering eyes, during one of their forays. And when she hugged my neck –a custom among our friends upon parting company and saying hello- Savanna whispered simply, "You know where she lives." But, there was no way I was walking head-on into that kind of heartache. Savanna had obviously read something between the lines of Regi’s letter that I just couldn’t see. In my heart, however, I wished Savanna were right.

Part 4

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