"Yes really. Pony, you have these awesome big brown eyes, and a great smile....not to mention a damn killer body!" Ephiny smiled warmly. "Granted, your shyness and all-around generally stoic attitude makes it a bit hard to approach you most of the time, but there are quite a few ladies around who wouldn't think twice about spending some time with you." She rested her hand on her friend's shoulder as they approached the last turn in the path before the village.

"Wow." replied Eponin. "I never knew that." Her eyebrows drew together in thought for a moment. "I guess I may have been spending a little too much time with the sword huh?"

A laugh escaped the blonde. "A little? Pony, if anyone needs to find you, we always know to look at the practice field. You're always there!"

"Alright, alright...point made Eph." She sighed. "So ummm, about Terreis..."

"Yes? What about her?"

"Ahhh geeez Eph, this is sorta hard to say..."

"Pony, I'm your friend...you can tell me anything."

"Ok...well, ummm, shoot....Eph?" Eponin looked shyly at her friend. "Soli was right. I've never been with anyone before. And to be quite honest here, I'm sorta scared I won't measure up."

Ephiny's heart opened to her friend at these words. "Well, all I can say is I don't think Terreis has either Pony." She reached out and wrapped her arm around her friend's shoulder as they approached the village. "I didn't have a clue either, aside from the scrolls I had read in the library..." her voice lowered drastically. "And those don't even come close to what it's really like."

Eponin turned another wide-eyed look on her friend. "Really?"

"Yeah...it's so much more wonderful than anything that could ever be put into words." She smiled. "All I can say is if you don't feel comfortable, then don't do it. But if you really do like Terreis, and I suspect you do and just aren't admitting it, then I would say don't worry about it and just go with your heart."

"Hmmmm...maybe you're right Eph. I mean...I do like her pretty much. She's just so...so...aggressive!"

Ephiny couldn't help it as she burst into laughter. Eponin shot her a grimace. "Ok ok....well, if you want my advice..."

"I do...I do! Please...anything...."

"Alright, I had the same problem at the beginning with her, and what I did was sit her down and tell her how it was gonna be...you know...my feelings. And I explained she couldn't be like that with me. After that she calmed down a lot."

"Huh. I guess it couldn't hurt to give it a shot."

"No...couldn't hurt at all. And besides, if she continues Pony, you can always dump her."

"Dump her?? Gods Eph...and have to go through the worry you had to go through? That's like the career-kiss-of-death!"

Ephiny laughed again. "Naaaaah, it only seems that way." She grinned at her friend as they passed through the gates into the village. "It passes. Besides, I think you two make a great looking couple."

Eponin's face turned a lovely shade of red, the blush covering every inch of her exposed skin. "Awwww, well maybe I should give her a chance then huh? I mean....she likes me and all..."

"Exactly!" replied Ephiny. "Go for it."

"Ok I will!" She smiled. Thanks for listening Eph...you're the best." She gave the blonde a fierce hug. "Well, I'm gonna go look for my girl then..." A quick smile, and she was gone.

"Well...." thought Eph. "I sure hope you can handle her Pony." She giggled as she made her way across the compound to find her lover.


Eponin picked her way through the crowd to the Queen's hut. Since it was midday, she knew Terreis would be there, going over the proposed treaty with the warlord Xena. Reaching her destination, she rapped on the door frame.

"Enter." came Melosa's voice from inside.

Pony pushed open the door and walked in. "My Queen." said Eponin, bowing her head.

"What is it Eponin."

"I wish to speak with the Princess." Her eyes raised and found Terreis' own green ones looking at her. Eponin smiled.

"Certainly. We were almost done here anyways." The look didn't go unnoticed by Melosa. (she had always been the observant type...) "You are excused Terreis."

"Thank you my Queen." She walked over to Pony. "You wanted to see me?"

"Yes. Would you care to join me for a walk by the lake?"

"Oh yeah, that would be wonderful! It's such a lovely day too."

"Alright then..." replied Pony, holding her arm out to the princess. "Shall we?"

Terreis slipped her arm through the brunette's and placed her free hand over the one attached to Pony's arm. "Lead on." She gave the arm a slight squeeze.

Eponin's face broke into a wide grin. "Your wish is my command..." She lead the way out into the sunshine and across the courtyard.

They walked in relative silence until they reached the lake. Rounding a curve in the path, Terreis saw a blanket laid out along the shore, along with two wineskins and a basket. "Looks like someone had the same idea as us Pony.." she looked around but saw no one.

Pony led Terreis over to the blanket. "Please...sit."

"You mean this is your stuff?" the princess's eyes widened a bit in disbelief.

"Yes, this is my stuff." she grinned. "What? Did you think I was completely naive or something?"

Terreis cleared her throat. "Ummm...no...no, I just didn't think..."

"That's the problem Ter...you think too much. Please sit.." said Eponin, gesturing for her to do so.

The princess sat down, stretched her legs out in front of her, and leaned back on her arms. She patted the blanket next to her. "Join me."

Eponin seated herself next to Terreis and reached for a wineskin. Grabbing it, she held it out toward her friend. "I brought this for you. I thought you would like it."

The redhead accepted the wineskin and uncapping it, took a long pull. Her eyes lit up as she recognized the flavor. "Strawberry wine??? Pony, wherever did you get this?"

"Ahem...well, I had to escort on a recent trip into Athens. We were allowed some free time until the traders were done for the day, and I was just wandering around when I saw this merchant with a table full of wineskins." Glancing at her friend, she saw she had her undivided attention and continued..."My skin was lookin sorta raggedy, so I decided to get me a new one. I asked him 'How much?' He said 'Twenty dinars.' " Terreis's eyes went buggy at the price of the skin, and Eponin went on with her explanation. "I know, but then he told me what was in it..." Her eyes met inquisitive green ones. "I ummm, knew you liked it...so I got it for you." Now her eyes swept over the ground, a little embarassed since she wasn't used to expressing herself.

Terreis was totally taken aback. She gazed at this flustered warrior and couldn't help the warm smile that appeared on her face. "You are so sweet..." She reached out and touched the brunette's arm. "That's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me."

Eponin tried to hide the heat that now rose in her cheeks. "Awww...wasn't nothin."

"Yes it was something." Her hand reached up to push the hair out of Pony's eyes. "You're something..." She leaned over and softly placed her lips over Eponin's. Pulling back, she added. "Thank you for the wine."

Eponin swallowed. "Yer welcome." She couldn't take her eyes from Terreis's. "Beautiful..." her words barely a whisper, but the princess heard it.

Now it was Terreis's turn to blush. "You think so?"

"Absolutely." replied Eponin. "I still have some trouble believing this is real though."

"Believe it." was the reply.

Eponin looked at the redhead. Maybe this was what Ephiny had been talking about. Hmmmm. All she knew was that right then she wanted to be closer to Terreis, that she wasn't feeling insecure anymore. Something about this amazon princess was pulling her deeper and deeper towards a place she was quite unfamiliar with, and she was running towards it with open arms. She reached out, grasped one of Terreis's hands, and raising it to her mouth brushed her lips softly across the knuckles. She heard the whisper intake of breath from the princess and looked deeply into her eyes. "I care for you very much. Please....may I kiss you?"

"Yes." was the only reply.

Eponin leaned forward, stopping just before their lips met, her eyes searching Terreis's for any sign that this was yet another dream. Satisfied this was indeed real, she brought her lips to meet the princess's own. A chill ran up her back as their kiss deepened, and her arms reached out to draw Terreis closer to her. When she felt arms slide around her as well, she thought she would surely die from the touch alone.

Terreis was shocked at the intensity of emotion flowing through her. Sure, she had liked Ephiny, but it had never done this to her. She moaned softly as Eponin's lips left hers and began to move down her neck to the hollow of her throat. One hand reached and tangled itself in dark hair as she lowered her head to trace her tongue around a sensitive earlobe. "I want to be with you Pony." she whispered.

Eponin stopped her ministrations and raised her head to meet those entrancing green eyes. "That's good...it would've been horrible if I was the only one thinking that..." She smiled. A thought and her face grew somber. "I just hope I don't dissappoint you...." Her eyes broke away and found an interesting patch of flowers a short distance away.

Terreis reached out and turned Pony's eyes to meet her own. She looked deeply into them and spoke. "You could never dissappoint me..."

The kiss blew Eponin's last resolves to shreds. Now unafraid of her inadequacies, she let herself go....letting the feelings course through her and sweep her away to a place she was sure only lovers could go.

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