Author’s Incoherent Ramblings: This is my third story. Like the previous two it is another long one. What started out as a conversational piece to follow "Waking Up With the Conqueror", has turned into it’s own animal. I guess the only thing short about me is my height.

If you haven’t read "Waking Up With the Conqueror" you won’t have a flipping clue as to what’s going on in this story so back up and go to and enlighten yourself. Sit down relax, get a cup of coffee because this is a long journey. If you really want to understand everything go to and read "Gabrielle’s Destiny" for the full effect as it has become sort of a trilogy.

No copyright infringement is intended; all characters from Xena: Warrior Princess are copyrighted by their creators and corporate types who have the contracts to prove ownership. This story is for entertainment purposes and I do not profit by it. Please do not link or reproduce without permission. Destiny, Danni, Desire’, Maryanne and other twenty-first century types are characters from my own little wicked mind. I own them and they answer to me only.

Sexual Content: Yes it’s here. If you are under the age of 18 go away. This story is not for you. It is intended only for an adult audience and only those adults who can handle it. There is female/female sex. Although graphic, I hope you find it more on the erotic side. It is a very small portion of the story encompassing only a few pages.

Warning: Male/female kissing and petting. Okay it’s one very confused lesbian.

Language: Desire’ is a bit of a potty mouth. (Words that begin with the letter F etc. Mattie swears once or twice but around Desire’ but who can blame her.)

Violence: Not really although Desire’ has a nasty little temper and tends to hit inanimate objects.

Spoilers: Please read "Waking Up With the Conqueror". This is not shameless promotion. It is vital that you understand why Des can be such a nutcase at times.

Humor: Well I cracked myself up writing this story so I hope you enjoy my sick sense of humor.

Love: Eternal love between two women is the theme here

Feedback: Constructive criticism is welcome, however, adulation, flattery, applause and all positive reactions are greatly encouraged to stroke this OLE gal’s ego. Please stroke me at I am a cat you know.

I would like to dedicate this story to my mother. She always hoped that one day I would actually sit down and finish just one story. She must be impressed that I have even finished three. I would like to begin the story with a poem I wrote to her just hours after she found out that I was gay. She was not a happy camper but we persevered and remained close until her death.

Frances Lee Wilks

In Loving Memory

April 5, 1929 — June 18, 2000



Love Me


























Desire’ just stared at Danni. She was six feet tall with long raven black hair being blown by the overhead fan, soul stealing pale blue eyes, bronze skin, a radiant smile, and Annie’s identical twin. She was wearing a crisp white button down blouse tucked into skintight leather pants and long, sleek, black boots. Danni stared back, pale blue eyes drinking in pale green eyes. The world appeared in slow motion around them as the rest of the world seemed lost. They were the only two people who existed at this moment.

"Homina," muttered Desire’.

"I see you still have a way with words," teased Danni. Danni put her hand out, grabbing her and pulling her into a bone-crushing hug. The two reunited souls wrapped their arms around each other, Desire’ crying softly into Danni’s shoulder. Danni wrapped her hand around her head, fingers gliding through her hair. "I see you’re still a crier," Danni whispered into Desire’s ear. "Destiny, it’s me," she said softly. "I told you I would never leave you. I promise you I never will. I love you Destiny."

"Eve, it’s really you isn’t it?" she whispered.

"Yes, it’s really me," she whispered back.

An ancient memory flashed through Destiny’s head. They were sitting around a campfire, Destiny’s head resting on Eve’s knee as she leaned over Destiny to wash freshly placed stitches from a battle wound inflicted earlier in the day by a warlord’s sword. They had spent many moons reconciling their feelings about the incident in Rome. It had been a very long road over many years to mend their friendship, realizing they shared the same soul connection Eve’s Mother and Destiny’s grandmother shared. And today that connection had almost been severed. Destiny, always the insecure one, begged Eve to promise her she would never leave her again. Without hesitation, Eve told Destiny that evening as she finished dressing her wound.

"I remember that night by the campfire. I love you Eve."

Eve released her hold on Destiny. She gently cupped her face between both hands, tilting her head upward so she was staring directly into her eyes. After a long, passionate look she leaned forward brushing her lips gently over Destiny’s lips savoring the softness. Destiny opened her mouth slightly, inviting her long lost soul in. Eve parted her lips open farther, searching for the smaller woman’s tongue.

Two ancient souls shared a soul-shattering kiss while the Goddess and two more ancient souls watched the reunion, not caring they were in a public place, a redneck bar at that. Mattie stood with her arm around Annie, leaning her head on her shoulder, her free hand covering her face crying gently as she watched the two. Annie leaned over to whisper in Mattie’s ear. "Everything is precisely as it should be love."

Mattie leaned closer into her lover’s shoulder "Precisely as it should be," she repeated.

Desire’s tongue danced inside of the tall woman’s mouth. Her hands wrapped around Danni’s head pulling her forcefully toward her. She kept her eyes open watching the beautiful passionate look of the other half of her soul. After long moments, something caught her eyes and she slowly pulled her lips from Danni’s.

Looking over Danni’s shoulder she could see a very large angry man walking toward them. Annie and Mattie watched as the intruder walked up to the reunited women. He was at least six and a half feet tall and very thick around the waist. He wore blue jeans, a beige cowboy shirt and white cowboy hat. He appeared to be in his thirties or forties with pale skin, long brown hair and a full beard and mustache. Desire’ tensed up as she released her hold on Danni.

"Take your sickness and get out of here. This is a family place," yelled the irate man.

Desire’ backed away from Danni, pulling her around to the side as she glared at the man, a feral glint in her eyes, a smirk forming on her lips, the green-eyed monster ready to protect her. "We are family jackass. By the lightness on your feet I bet you are too."

Desire’ started walking deliberately toward the rude man only to be intercepted by the dark menacing form of Annie who stood facing her with both hands in the air and her back toward the cowboy. "Desire’," whispered Annie, "Let’s not start something okay."

Desire’s eyes never left the intruder’s face, the green-eyed monster urging her to attack as he began to speak. "Are you insulting me?" he asked as he balled his hands into fists.

"And they say blondes are the dumb ones," replied Desire’, sarcasm dripping from her voice. "Maybe its just men in general." She took a step back planting herself in a cat stance, her hands held up in front of her as the burly man seethed with acrimony.

"Take your dyke friends and get the hell out of here," screamed the man as his fist lurched forward. Annie turned around to catch the fist with her hand. The man was startled by the show of strength and struggled to free his limb.

A crowd was forming to witness the confrontation, circling the five women. "Look, we don’t want any trouble," Annie stated attempting to diffuse the situation. "Why don’t you boys just leave us alone and no one gets hurt."

"The only one that’s gonna get hurt is that little bitch!" cried the cowboy pointing at Desire’.

"Uh oh," whispered Annie as she heard the word little.

"Little! The only thing little around here is the size of your dick!" yelled Desire’ pointing at the man. Her eyes were on fire as her body trembled with rage. She started toward the man only to be held back by the strong firm grip of Danni and Mattie trying to contain her. Annie held her ground between her friend and the idiot with the big mouth as Desire’ growled and wrestled to break free. The sound of breaking glass was heard as a bottle of beer crashed over the head of the cowboy knocking him to the floor. "Take that you asshole!" cried Desire’ unleashing the green-eyed monster.

The crowd surrounded the women, curious to figure out who hit the man who appeared to be standing alone. As they started closing in on the group Danni grabbed Desire’ by the waist while Annie grabbed Mattie and together they somersaulted over the heads of the angry crowd, their loved ones in tow. Danni landed with her arms around Desire’s waist, holding her up and taking her hand. Annie did the same and the two tall dark women grabbed their girlfriends and ran out of the club, not stopping until they were in the parking lot in front of their SUV.

Annie pulled the car keys out of her pocket and opened the door, motioning for everyone to get in as Aphrodite popped up in front of them, holding Desire’s guitar. "Desire’ give me your keys. I’ll take your car home but get going now. Those guys are on their way here," yelled Aphrodite. Desire’ did as she was told and hopped into the car with the others. Annie pulled out of the parking space and took off; looking back into the rear view mirror as several urban cowboys came running out of the casino searching for them.

She made a right turn onto the Strip and gunned the engine until they were safely away from the Frontier Hotel and Casino. Annie pulled up to a red light and turned around frantically glaring at Desire’. "What the hell were you doing? People could have been hurt in there!"

Desire’s eyes turned dark as she thought of the moments in the club earlier. "That asshole started it!" Desire’ glared at Danni then punched the passengers seat in front of her shaking Mattie. "Why did you two hold me back? I could have had him down in less than a minute."

Danni placed her hand on the small brunette’s shoulder only to have it swatted away from the irate woman. "Anyone gonna answer me huh?" Desire’ asked again, seething with anger.

Annie turned around to look into the back seat as the signal changed from red to green, pointing her left hand at Desire’. "Don’t you talk to these two like that! You would have been arrested if it wasn’t for them," she yelled as Mattie tapped on her shoulder to get her to start the car. "This isn’t over!" she added turning around to drive, yelling out the window to the cars behind her honking their horns.

"Listen you two, calm down. Let’s not talk about this until the car is stopped okay? I’m famished. Let’s go get something to eat," interjected Mattie.

"Not ashamed to be seen with a maniac in public?" Desire’ asked sarcastically.

Danni slapped her across the shoulder. "Some things just don’t change Des. Same god damned temper!"

Desire’ sunk down into the seat and closed her eyes, concentrating on her breathing techniques to calm herself down. She couldn’t remember the last time she had lost her temper so completely. Years of martial arts had taught her discipline yet tonight she found herself taking the initiative and provoking a fight. She could feel herself losing control and felt helpless to stop it.

Annie kept one eye on the road and the other on her hostile friend. Ancient memories came flooding back as she thought about the hotheaded brunette in the back of the vehicle.

Annie remembered the spell Aphrodite had placed on Destiny shortly after she had returned to the amazons. Destiny over reacted as usual when the Goddess called her ‘little one’. Poor Aphrodite was just trying to be affectionate. Luckily for the Goddess Destiny had at least learned to avert the true aim of the arrows. Not that the arrows would have hurt her. Just imagine what kind of spell she might have put on her if the arrows had hit her.

Aphrodite was not amused and placed a spell on her. Every person Destiny greeted was bound by the spell to call her ‘little’ in one form or another. By the time her and Gabrielle were summoned to help diffuse the situation arrows were flying everywhere and the little brunette was growling at every person who came near her. It didn’t help when Aphrodite admitted to screwing up the spell.

Annie smirked as she thought about the situation. She looked into the rear view mirror only to be met by dark green eyes, the rage subsiding only slightly on Desire’s face. The look made Annie shudder. She knew Desire’ and she remembered Destiny vividly but never had she seen such a look of pure rage on her face before. She could see her friend struggling with her emotions in the back seat. "Where shall we go for food gang?" Annie asked quietly. "Desire’, any suggestions? This is your city," she added.

"Wrong person to ask," answered Desire’. "I only know cheap."

"Cheap is good," answered Annie and Mattie in unison. Desire’ proceeded to give Annie driving instructions to a local casino featuring a $2.49 New York Steak dinner, then slumped back into her seat.

She knew an apology was in order but groveling had never been her strong suit. She turned to look at Danni, who sat with her head against the window, her eyes staring outward at the scenery passing the vehicle. Desire’ rubbed her shoulder and mouthed the words "I’m sorry," when Danni looked at her. Danni smiled inviting the other half of her soul into her lap. Desire’ accepted the invitation and closed her eyes as Danni stroked her hair.

As Desire’ laid her head onto her soul mate a flood of memories came pouring down. She could see the attractive brown-eyed blonde wielding a whip in her hand, eyes filled with lust and determination. She was powerless to stop the invasion of her senses. Desire’ jumped up from her position to look into the gentle blue eyes of Danni, still caressing her face. They looked at each other silently, communicating as only true soul mates can until Desire’ placed her head back down and closed her eyes.

Another wave of memories came flashing through her mind. She was wearing a Roman uniform and talking by the fire with Livia. Her and Livia were engaged in battle fighting the enemy for the good of Rome. Next she watched helplessly as Livia and her army placed the members of the Amazon tribe in shackles. Then Livia turned around to stop an assault from behind, eventually running her sword through an Amazon sister before Destiny could break free and go to her sister in need.

Desire’ was deep in a dream, her head rolling from side to side as Danni attempted to comfort her. Annie looked into the rear view mirror to see what was going on behind her. She couldn’t see Danni’s face filled with concern and could barely make out the figure of Desire’ draped across her lap.

Annie smirked. "Can’t wait to get reacquainted I see."

"Ssh, that’s not funny. She’s sleeping," answered Danni, her eyes dark with contempt.

Mattie looked back to see the small brunette shaking and trembling from the dreamscape she had entered. "Is she okay?" asked Mattie.

"I’m not sure," Danni answered. "She’s been like this since she put her head down and closed her eyes."

Desire’ was deep inside of her nightmare of memories. She couldn’t reach her Amazon sister before the dream changed. She was being brought down from the cross, her body barely holding onto life. She could feel the pain in her arms from the dislocation, her legs shattered from the mallet. The pain increased as she was laid on the ground, her arms and legs tied with rope. She could feel an excruciating pain in all four limbs feeling as though they had been ripped from their sockets.

Desire’ woke up frantically, her head thrashing back into Danni, eyes wide open as she absorbed the events of the dream. Danni held her head comforting her and telling her she was safe while Annie and Mattie stared back in astonishment. Desire’ was shaking, perspiration covering her brows as the car came to a stop in the parking lot.


Danni jumped out of the car sprinting to the other side of the vehicle to open the door. Desire’ sat quietly for a few minutes, seemingly disoriented before taking Danni’s hand and stepping cautiously to the ground. Strong legs momentarily felt weak as she stumbled forward into Danni’s arms, apologizing as she tried to regain her composure.

Annie and Mattie watched as the woman struggled in apparent pain. "I think you might have been right," whispered Annie. "This may be too much for her too soon."

Mattie placed a loving arm around her remorseful partner’s elbow and responded. "Well all we can do now is help her through this. I think she’s having flashbacks from Greece. Come on, let’s talk inside."


The four sat down at their table and ordered steak dinners. There was silence after the waitress delivered their drinks, interrupted only by the sound of Annie’s fingers drumming along the top of the table. Danni kept her hand protectively across Desire’s right thigh as she stared across the table into her sister’s eyes.

"So Xena," started Desire’, pale green eyes glaring at the pale blue eyes of the tall brunette sitting across from her. "You look as though you can’t decide whether to slap me into the next seat or hug me." Both women stared at each other intensely as their partners watched in silence until Desire’ winked at Xena.

Xena fought unsuccessfully to continue her stoic demeanor as a grin formed at the corners of her lips. "Trying to break the tension cowgirl?" she asked.

"Is it working?" asked Desire’.

"No. Okay maybe a little," she answered. "What happened tonight?"

"Rats, I must be losing my touch," answered Desire’. She sat quietly, nonchalantly avoiding the silent stares of her friends. Two women sitting at the next table were staring in wide-eyed wonderment. "Listen guys I think I had better call you by your given names instead of Xena and Gabrielle," she whispered pointing toward the women gawking at them. "Otherwise we’re gonna continue to get really strange looks and frankly this situation is strange enough, okay Annie and Mattie?"

"You’re probably right," answered Annie.

"Fine with me as long as you tell us why you are avoiding the question," added Mattie.

Desire’ picked up her glass of iced tea and took a long drink looking over at two pairs of eyes watching her gaze. "It’s what I do. Besides I’m good at it." She took a second swig of the liquid before putting the glass back onto the table, then looked down at the hand caressing her thigh. "I’m okay right now," she added quietly.

Annie glared across the table. "You’re not okay cowgirl. You just knocked a man out with a beer bottle and you could barely walk out of the car earlier. Talk to us."

Desire’ squirmed in her seat as she absorbed the words. "I never touched that man," she replied defensively. "I was in front of him remember?"

Annie rose slightly from her seat. "Desire’ that bottle just picked itself up off of the table and smacked him in the head. There’s only one person I know who can make that happen and she’s a little green eyed brunette with a nasty temper!"

Desire’ could feel the green-eyed monster spring forward in response. Her breathing accelerated. She gritted her teeth trying desperately to contain the monster inside of her as her pulse quickened, dark eyes glaring across the table. Annie and Mattie stared down at the table astonished as the dinner knife in front of their friend rose from the table.

Danni responded to the tension in her partner’s body and placed her arm around Desire’ before she could respond to the accusation. "Hey, calm down. Don’t get mad at her," she whispered into Desire’s ears. Desire’ took a deep breath and relaxed, placing her head on Danni’s shoulder as the knife settled back down on its place on the table.

Desire’ put her hand over her face in shame as tears welled up in her eyes. "What’s happening to me?" she asked as Danni continued to hold her and offer her comfort.

"Purity of rage," stated Annie as she placed a comforting arm around the green-eyed blonde next to her.

"Desire’ you’re remembering your life as Destiny," interjected Mattie. "It happened to us over time but you seem to be flooded with the memories."

Desire’ pulled her head away from Danni’s shoulders and looked at Mattie. "I haven’t had a single memory of Destiny killing people yet I know she did. Why is that?"

"Probably because you hated killing. You only did it because you were raised to be a warrior," answered Mattie.

"Then how come I have this incredible urge to kill something?"

"What are you remembering?" asked Mattie.

"Lots of pain. I was on the cross again. Only this time they took me down and tied me up. The next thing I felt was excruciating pain in my arms and legs. That’s when I woke up." Mattie and Annie looked at each other with solemn faces. Danni remembered the story, her eyes filled with sorrow as she tried to contain the liquid forming in them.

"That didn’t really happen to me did it?" asked Desire’. Three pairs of eyes filled with despair as they nodded their heads, helpless to hide the truth. "Why? Was I that horrible in that life?"

"No," came the answer from the three women in unison.

Mattie reached across the table to hold Desire’s hand. "You were used as a pawn by the Gods. You were nothing but goodness despite your family and were punished to bring out your dark side nothing more," answered Mattie.

"So what happened? I became evil and killed innocent people," replied Desire’ as she tried to shake away the throbbing in her temple.

"You never killed innocent people! Never!" exclaimed Annie. "Danni and I have a lot more regrets from our past than you ever could."

"Yes but have any of you killed in this life?" asked Desire’.

"Of course not," replied Annie. "Our lives are much different now. It’s a much different world."

"But I have," stated Desire’ as she lowered her head, pale green eyes filling with tears as her voice lowered. "And I enjoyed it."

"When did you kill someone?" asked Mattie, her hold on Desire’s hand tightening as Danni and Annie looked on in shock.

"Do you regret some of the things that happened in Corinth?" asked Desire’ talking to the tall brunette across from her.

"Of course I do. I almost killed you. I did kill you and I can never apologize enough to you only try to make things better," she answered.

"I don’t regret what happened in Japan. For me it happened in this lifetime just last night." Desire’s eyes turned dark with blood lust as she continued. "And I loved it. I relished the moment I plunged the sword into that samurai’s back. I felt justice was being done and I laughed as I pulled the sword out. I could taste his blood on my face and I reveled in it," she finished, her eyes glazed over as she relived the memory.

Mattie, Annie and Danni sat in silence, stunned by the admission from their friend, unsure of what to say next.

"I lived a year full of memories in less than twenty-four hours and I feel so out of control right now. I was playing a role to get done what needed to be done. Now the bad memories and painful memories from my past as another person are flooding back in just the last few hours and it is making me angry. Every beating, whipping, rape, it’s all coming back and I want to scream." Desire’ was crying as she continued to speak. "My head is pounding and I want to lash out even now when I’m surrounded by nothing but love. My soul was born of evil. Why was it continued to be reborn?" a few moments of uneasy silence passed. "I gotta get out of here," Desire’ said jumping up from her seat and running out of the restaurant and casino, barely missing a patron or two.

Mattie jumped up and turned to Annie and Danni before they could react. "Let me go talk to her," she said and turned to follow the small brunette.

Mattie found Desire’ at the side of the casino standing in the hot desert sand. Her head was convulsing as she released what little food still in her stomach. Mattie approached her, placing her hand on her back until she could compose herself. After a few moments Desire’ stood up and turned to Mattie who pulled her into her arms and hugged her. After a couple of moments Desire’ moved away.

"I’m sorry," both women stated in unison.

"Why are you sorry?" asked Desire’. "I’m the one losing my mind. It’s pretty sad when you think about it. In 2000 years I’ve gone from Amazon queen to drama queen."

"I was afraid all this might be too much at one time. Annie was just very anxious to see you again. Sometimes her heart gets in the way of what’s best and I go along with her anyway. Ancient habits die hard," answered Mattie.

"So I got under her skin, huh? I do that you know. I grow on people like a fungus," said Desire’ giggling half-heartedly.

"You also have a way of avoiding your emotions with humor. Destiny was the same way," answered Mattie. "You keep all of your pain hidden and now it’s catching up to you."

Desire’ looked at the ground, kicking the dust with her boots. "That’s why I haven’t left this place," she whispered. "It’s a great place to hide. I live just down the road away from everywhere and everyone."

"Don’t you think it’s time to stop hiding? You have three people who aren’t going to leave you and we love you very much. Stop putting everyone else’s needs in front of your own," answered Mattie.

"I don’t do it out of selflessness. I do it out of a very selfish need," replied Desire’.

"How can doing for others be selfish?"

Desire’ looked into gentle eyes nervously. "It is when I do it. Keeps me from living my own life. It gives me a purpose."

"Danni is not going to let that happen. Focus on yourself right now. Tell me what happened in Corinth. Annie has been rather quiet about it. You mentioned rape. Did she do that to you?"

"No! She didn’t do anything to me. She was a different person, the Conqueror."

"Okay. What did the Conqueror do to you?"

"Mattie you don’t really want to know. I feel like crap about that. I knew she was your soul mate but I still needed to be with her. I feel like I betrayed you."

"Desire’ I didn’t know her at the time. Don’t feel guilty. Did the Conqueror rape you?"

Desire’ averted her eyes toward the ground and nodded. "Kind of," she answered then paused. "And Velasca and well Callisto tried I think." She paused again to look into the shocked eyes of the small blonde standing in front of her. "Maybe it was just foreplay for horny lesbians in ancient Greece," she finished, a weak smile forming across her lips.

Desire’ never heard the sound of Annie’s footsteps as she walked up to them. Annie paused and looked at Mattie, grimacing at the expression on her face. She knew she would need to discuss the events in Corinth with her partner but she was shocked to hear the names Velasca and Callisto mentioned in the same sentence.

"Callisto?" Annie asked. "What did she do to you?"

Desire’ looked up behind her into the eyes of her new friend. She looked over at Mattie and back at the ground. "I, I didn’t want to say anything. I was afraid you would hurt her."

"What did she do to you?" asked Annie placing one hand on Desire’s shoulder and the other hand under her chin, pointing Desire’s face upward.

"She attacked me. At least that’s how it started," answered Desire’.

"She raped you!" hissed Annie. "What do you mean that’s how it started?"

"She wanted me Annie. She was jealous of the Conqueror because you had me not because I was with you," hissed Desire’ as the memories came flooding into her brain. "I guess she really liked the way I kissed!"

Annie stepped back in disbelief and shook her head. "Whoa," interjected Mattie. "When did she kiss you?"

Annie backed away in discomfort. Desire’s heart was beating fast as the confrontation continued. "Shall I answer that question or would you like to do the honors?" answered Desire’ pointing at the tall brunette.

"Mattie I told you I did some really tasteless things in Corinth. This is not the place for this discussion," answered Annie.

"Tasteless? Is that how you describe things?" asked Desire’, pointing an accusatory finger at Annie.

"Alright I did some heinous things. Is that better?" yelled Annie, pointing back at Desire’.

"Look you’re right Annie. This isn’t the place for this discussion. I’m sorry. Let’s get some rest and talk about it in the morning. I forgave you and I meant it but Mattie’s right. I need to talk things out. My head is ready to explode and I can’t get a grip on my temper," answered Desire’. "Where’s Danni?"

Before Annie could answer, Danni came out of the casino holding the packaged food of another uneaten meal.

Desire’ turned around to Annie and Mattie and grabbed both pairs of hands. "Annie talk to Mattie tonight. I never really felt like the Conqueror raped me. I used that term to drive a point home about slavery. Rape is about power and you never had that power over me. I wanted to be with you." Desire’ turned around to look at Mattie. "Remember, my time was spent with the Conqueror, not Xena. She would never hurt me and I know that." Danni walked up to the trio as the conversation ended. "Will you guys stay with me tonight?" asked Desire’. "I have a guest room for you two," she said, pointing at Annie and Mattie. "And Danni, I have a king size bed that is if you don’t mind sharing it with a crazy little brunette with an attitude. I don’t want to be alone tonight." The three women nodded and walked toward their car.


Annie undressed and jumped into the bed next to Mattie, leaning over to kiss her. Mattie pulled her head down for a more passionate exchange of tongues as Annie pulled the covers away from them. "We need to talk," stated Mattie as they pulled apart.

Annie looked away from intense green eyes and nodded her head. "What do you want to know?"

"Everything, otherwise I can’t help Desire’. She’s in trouble Annie. I can feel it. What was she to you before she was your consort?"

Annie bowed her head as she started her explanation. "She was my slave at first. I used her for sex and punished her when she disobeyed which was often. She has a mouth on her you know."

"But she wanted to be with you. What happened?"

Annie proceeded to explain to Mattie about the first couple of weeks after Desire’ arrived in Corinth, careful to leave out the graphic details of their sex life. She told Mattie about the infamous dinner party, offering her to Tallus and the fight that ensued. She even admitted to being beaten by the small brunette and her actions that resulted in Desire’s experience with Charon refusing her passage.

"She forgave you for all of that?" asked Mattie, bewilderment in her voice.

"Yes. We made up and that’s when I found out about her tumor. I didn’t believe her tonight when she said she was okay. She would fib about something like that."

"How did Velasca hurt her?"

"She drugged her and raped her. I watched. I heard Desire’ moan underneath her and I ran. I thought she was cheating on me. I didn’t talk to her for months after that."

"How did you guys get together after that?"

"Palemon and Terreis came to me after she fled for the Amazon village. I guess she’d had enough of my jealousy. She can be really evil sometimes," Annie answered reliving the memories from Corinth of the sassy brunette.

Annie continued to explain the events that happened in the Amazon forest, laughing along with Mattie as she told her about the leopard, spider, her fear of heights and the replay of the centaur/centaur conflict. She told her about the long days filled with activity as Desire’ stood by her side helping her to be a better ruler and laughing as she recalled Desire’s desperate attempts to teach her football and baseball.

"Wow, that’s an amazing story. Sounds like a year in the life with Xena and Gabrielle in ancient Greece," stated Mattie. "She had an amazing effect on you and here I thought only I had that effect on you."

"You do honey. Don’t you see? Her light comes from you. I think that connection, even if it was subliminal, propelled her to protect you regardless of the consequences."

"We have to protect her now. She’s still my baby even if she is old enough to be my mother. Do you think the Gods are still messing with us with all of this reincarnation stuff?" asked Mattie, giggling at the thought.

"Probably. I think the Gods will always interfere with our lives."

"What do you think happened with Callisto?" asked Mattie.

"I have no idea. She had better tell us tomorrow. She almost broke a blood vessel when I asked her about it," answered Annie, snuggling against the small blonde. "Come on hon, let’s get some sleep. We have a lot to talk about in the morning," she added, kissing her soul mate goodnight and spooning her. Moment’s later blonde and brunette slept soundly in each other’s arms.


Desire’ came out of the bathroom to find Danni sitting on the bed leaning against two pillows along the headboard. She was wearing a blue T-shirt and a pair of black lace underwear. Desire’ stared at the blue-eyed beauty for a few lingering moments before turning the light off and crawling onto the bed.

Danni stared intensely as Desire’ crawled on top of her, straddling her waist as she reached above her head to turn a soft light on, her breasts brushing against Danni’s face. Desire’ leaned back on her knees to look at the treasure before her, mesmerized by the radiance of the soft blue eyes looking back, committing each beautiful feature to memory. Gently Desire’ placed her hands around the bronze face and pulled her in for a delicate kiss.

"You look like you’re afraid of me," whispered Desire’.

"Should I be?" asked Danni.

"Probably. You haven’t exactly seen me at my best," answered Desire’.

"I saw you at your best on stage tonight. You were fantastic. That kiss was pretty nice too."

"One kiss from you and I go crazy," teased Desire’.

"Still hiding your emotions after all this time," replied Danni.

"Old habits die hard. Maybe they never die. They’re just reborn," answered Desire’ looking away. Both women fell silent until Desire’ leaned in close to Danni’s face and whispered, "Maybe you can help me with that."

"Thank you for asking. That’s a good start," answered Danni as she leaned in to kiss Desire’. Startled Desire’ closed her eyes to relish the soft lips and tender tongue seeking entrance into her mouth as a rush of fire invaded her core.

"I’ve always been better at this kind of communication," said Desire’ breathlessly as she stared into deep pools of blue.

Danni gently placed her hand over Desire’s lips. "I want you but I want to know about you," whispered Danni. Desire’ started to move away from Danni but was stopped by two large hands around her waist.

"I like you just fine where you’re at," Danni whispered. "You seem quite comfortable."

"It’s just a good fit," answered Desire’ trying to slow down her breathing and heart rate.

"I suppose you fit this good with Xena," sighed Danni.

Desire’s body went rigid at the mention of her former Corinthian lover. "I don’t want to bring the Conqueror into the bedroom Danni. This whole situation is way too weird. You two look alike. That’s all. When I look into your eyes you look totally different."

"How so?" asked Danni.

"When I looked at the Conqueror I saw a lot of things. I saw lust, passion, anger. Saw a lot of anger actually and power. I even saw love after awhile. But when I look into your eyes I see my heart looking back. It scares me because I’ve seen that look before and I can’t place where. I feel like I’ve met you even though I know I would never forget meeting a woman as beautiful as you. Maybe I’m just remembering another life."

"You know it took years for you to believe in soul mates the first time around," replied Danni.


"Yeah, even with those two around as the perfect couple."

"Poetic justice. I’ve spent the better part of thirty-eight years looking for my soul mate."

"And you’ve found her. I see it in your eyes. Only we’re very different people now. Annie and Mattie are very different today then they were back then."

"Yeah they seem a lot more mellow."

"And we’re both feistier than we were back then," teased Danni. "I know some of the story from Corinth but only what little Annie told me yesterday."

"I suppose the memories just came back to her yesterday." Danni nodded. "This whole thing is so weird. Who would ever think that time travel exists. I never even thought Xena was real until this morning."

"I never paid attention to that show until a few months ago. My sister was an obsessed fan. A couple of years ago she called me up one day telling me this over the top story about being the reincarnation of Joxer. Then she told me her and Harry broke up because he was the reincarnation of Xena and wanted to be with Mattie, the reincarnation of Gabrielle. I just figured she had an over active imagination and it was her way of dealing with the loss. I never believed it to be true until a few months ago."

"Is that when the soul switching happened?" asked Desire’.

"Yeah. She came to visit with Mattie. Said they were together now. I knew she wasn’t the same and when Harry came to visit a couple of days later I could tell the sister I grew up with was inside of him. It was freaky to say the least. All of a sudden the person who was my sister was no longer this meek woman and she had a girlfriend. And the sister I knew looked like a man."

"Wow. You’ve had a lot to deal with in a short time. When did you start remembering Eve?"

"That was Gabrielle’s I mean Mattie’s idea. Annie felt close to me from the minute we met and I was strangely drawn to her too, even though I still love my other sister, Harry, whatever you want to call him. That’s when I went through regressive hypnosis."

"Are you two still close? I mean you and Harry?"

"Yes we’re very close. I want you to meet him."

"Meeting more family members. That’s serious," teased Desire’ as she brushed her hand across a bronze cheek.

Danni placed strong hands around Desire’s face and brushed her lips against her soul mate in a fiery kiss. "I hope I get to meet your parents," she whispered and leaned in for another kiss. Desire’ tensed up and pulled away.

"I don’t have any family," stated Desire’ quietly. "My parents are dead," she added forcing down the tears threatening to invade her face.

"I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Do you have any brothers or sisters?" asked Danni.

"None that I speak to. Let’s just say they weren’t around when Mom and Dad got sick. My parents left me everything as a result. They weren’t too happy."

"Tell me about your parents," said Danni.

"We were close, especially my Mom and I. She had MS and was crippled by the time I was an adult. Dad died taking care of Mom. He wouldn’t let me help him. When he died I took over. For three years I stayed with her and nursed her. Nothing on her body worked except her mind and her mouth. We used to call her the talking head. It’s not a happy story."

"I want to hear all of it Danni’."

"Really?" asked Desire’.

"Yeah, really," answered Danni as she wrapped her arms around the small brunette on her lap. "I want to know everything about you."

Desire’ sat back down in Danni’s lap and proceeded to converse with her for the next couple of hours telling her all about her family and friends, dreams and goals in life. She was amazed at how open and freely she discussed intimate parts of her life, careful not to discuss past loves and mistakes. Instead she only concentrated on the really important things in her life like her family and her ideals. Danni talked about her family, Annie and how life has changed with the discovery of her past life with Xena and Gabrielle.

"So how come you’re still single after all these years?" asked Danni.

"Because I suck at relationships," deadpanned Desire’. "I tend to keep my feelings to myself. I don’t communicate very well."

"You’re doing a fine job of communicating tonight," replied Danni.

"Yeah, I guess I am," Desire’ answered pondering the statement. "Must be the company because it sure as hell ain’t me." Desire’ looked at the clock on the headboard noting the lateness of the hour. "We should get some sleep," she added.

"I suppose you’re right," agreed Danni as she leaned into Desire’ for another kiss. Her lips brushed against Desire’s demanding entry. Desire’ submitted, opening her mouth for Danni to invade. They lingered against each other, tongues dancing with passion. After several moments they broke free and Desire’ crawled over the side of her partner. Danni placed her arm around Desire’ and pulled her in tight as two ancient souls closed their eyes, taken over by sleep.


Desire’s dream was vivid. She was back in Corinth atop Pegasus, the white mare given to her by the Conqueror. She called her Peggy for short. Five members of the royal guard flanked her when Callisto rode up to the group at the outer edge of the city.

"Well boys," started Callisto. "The Conqueror has asked me to personally escort her favorite little guest of the city to a secluded spot so they may talk. Run along boys. Your services are not needed here."

Desire’s eyes lit up at the possibility of speaking to the Conqueror. It had been several months since coming home from the Amazon village and they had not engaged in a single civil exchange of words during that time.

"Shall we go my sweet?" asked Callisto as she turned her horse around and motioned for Desire’ to follow. Desire’ could not explain why she wasn’t afraid of this woman. She knew from watching the show that the woman was crazy but she seemed much different from the episodes. Sure she was intense and bitchy but who could blame her. The look in her eyes was one of constant mischief, not insanity.

"Why are you being so nice Callisto?" asked Desire’.

"You’re a guest Desire’. It’s my job. Now be a good girl and be quiet."

"Why would the Conqueror ask a general to escort me when I have half of the royal guard at my disposal?"

"Because the Conqueror wants this little interlude to be confidential. It seems you two have a bit of making up to do. Now no more questions," answered Callisto, frustrated by the constant banter of the small brunette.

They reached the outside of a cavern. Callisto dismounted and instructed Desire’ to do the same. "After you my pretty," stated Callisto. Desire’ walked ahead of Callisto as instructed. There was a hot spring just inside the walls. Blankets were laid down by the edge of the water. She looked to the left of the cavern at a small structure in the shape of the letter X. Before her senses could register she felt a vice like grip around her arms as they were pulled behind her.

Callisto pushed her toward the structure. "Gotcha now my pretty. Oh and how I have waited for this moment."

"What are you doing?" shouted Desire’ trying unsuccessfully to free her arms.

"Taking what’s mine little girl. I’ve been looking so forward to this little meeting since that sham of a dinner party so long ago," she said while tying Desire’s hands with rope.

She pushed Desire’ into the X with her body. Desire’ could feel the cool metal of a steel blade against her neck before she could respond. She felt the warm breath of the blonde against her back. "Now be a good little girl and stop fighting. You might just live to see another day," whispered Callisto.

Desire’ froze when she felt the blade break her skin. "Good girl," purred Callisto as her other hand roamed inside of Desire’s shirt, caressing her breast.

Desire’ gasped from the intimate contact. "Please don’t do this. It isn’t you."

"What do you know of me?" asked Callisto pausing momentarily.

"You’re not a rapist."

"Is that what you think I’m doing?" asked Callisto removing Desire’s shirt, her hands continuing to roam over Desire’s body.

"What else would you call it? I don’t remember being asked to be here."

"The conqueror held you against your will and took you. Why would you pine over a woman who raped you?"

Desire’ was wordless, unable to answer the question as Callisto walked in front of Desire’ and picked up a whip. She grabbed Desire’s chin forcing her to stare into eyes filled with lust. "Much better little one. Fear, I like that." Callisto leaned in and claimed Desire’s lips with a forceful kiss.

"Celibacy can addle the brain?" whispered Desire’ staring into menacing eyes. She could feel the slow burn of arousal growing between her legs wishing she could kick herself over her body’s betrayal. Her heart was racing against her chest as Callisto walked behind her and placed her hand between her legs, feeling the heat below the fabric of her jeans. "Besides I’m free now."

"Very nice," purred Callisto. "Your lips say no but your body says differently." Desire’ stayed quiet, closing her eyes. "Why so quiet little one?"

"So why take it if you know it’s what I want," asked Desire’.

Callisto walked closer to Desire’ slipping her hands around to the front of her pants unclasping the button and sliding the zipper down slowly. "It’s much more fun this way."

"Hurting another woman. That’s what turns you on?"

Callisto stiffened from the accusation. "Tell me you don’t want me and I’ll stop."

Desire’ took a deep breath as a hand softly caressed her stomach.

Callisto planted soft kisses on her captive. "I’m waiting for an answer."

"Not like this," answered Desire’.

Callisto removed her hand and walked around the contraption staring into her captive’s face.

"But you do want me."

Desire’ averted her eyes to the ground listening to the sound of her own heartbeat. "I’ll take the fifth."

Callisto gave her a funny look. "What does that mean."

"It means I’d rather not answer that question right now."

Callisto placed the whip down in front of Desire’. "Why are you so frightened of me?"

"Hello! Are you kidding me? You’re Callisto. Need I say more?"

"Yes please continue."

"Okay for starters you’ve kidnapped me and tied me up against my will and now you’re waving a whip at me."

"You’ve been frightened of me since the first day we met. Why is that?"

"We didn’t exactly meet under the best of circumstances," answered Desire’.

"That doesn’t answer my question."

"You haven’t exactly been civil to me," continued Desire’.

Callisto glared at the small brunette her patience waning. "You’re avoiding the question."

"It’s complicated."

"Enlighten me."

Desire’ hesitated before answering. "I’m more afraid of feeling something for you."

"Ah but you do feel something for me. Why is that so hard to admit?"

"I don’t do rejection well or haven’t you noticed?"

"But I’m not here to reject you. The Conqueror doesn’t want you. Such a delicious little body should not be wasted," answered Callisto walking seductively behind her captive placing both arms around her waist.

"You just want to hurt me."

"That’s where you’re wrong," whispered the blonde, her warm breath blowing against the nape of Desire’s neck causing a stirring within her soul.

"You hate me Callisto."

Callisto gently pushed the long strands of dark hair away from Desire’s back. "I never hated you."

"You haven’t exactly been friendly to me."

"Let’s just say I don’t do rejection well either."

"I never meant to get between you and the conqueror. It wasn’t exactly a choice."

"Is that what you think? The conqueror doesn’t even know what she has with you."

"What?" exclaimed Desire’ confused by the statement.

"It’s the conqueror I’m jealous of. You spend your nights pining away for her while she does the deed with Ares. Don’t you think it’s time to let go?" whispered Callisto.

"What if I can’t?"

"Let me help you," purred Callisto placing kisses on the exposed flesh under Desire’s hair eliciting a moan from the small brunette. "You want me. I can feel it and I want you. Tell me."

Desire’ could feel the fire under her skin from the soft lips of the blonde. Resist her, cried the little voice.

"Then tell me to stop and I will untie you," continued Callisto her hands roaming gingerly across her belly.

"Yes," gasped Desire’. Wimp, cried the little voice. It’s Callisto psycho bitch from hell. You really are sick.

"Yes what?" asked Callisto.

"Yes I want you," cried Desire’ her legs trembling beneath her.

"Good girl," purred Callisto as she slid the jeans off of Desire’s body gliding her lips over the exposed flesh of her buttocks and legs as Desire’ stepped out of the clothing. She felt between the small brunette’s thighs laughing with glee at the amount of moisture on her hand. Desire’ looked back to see Callisto tasting the juices on her hand. She leaned her body into Desire’ and held her hand up for her to finish the job. "Taste yourself," she stated as Desire’ complied. Callisto gently pulled Desire’s head back covering warm soft lips with her own. Gentle eyes stared into hooded eyes tinged with fear. "I won’t hurt you. Don’t be afraid."

Callisto walked away for a few moments, coming back with a phallus strapped to her waist. She leaned into Desire’ and whispered into her ears, "You should have been mine long ago. You shall be mine now." Callisto gently pulled Desire’s legs back. With a couple of fluid motions she inserted the phallus between the swollen folds of Desire’s sex smiling contentedly when Desire’ gasped from the penetration.

"That’s it little one. Let go. You’re mine now," purred Callisto as she slid the phallus in and out, her own breath becoming ragged from Desire. Callisto placed both hands around Desire’s hips increasing the penetration. She couldn’t fight the heat between her legs, thrusting her hips backwards to receive the phallus as Callisto continued to talk.

"Oh yes my little beauty. Don’t fight it. It feels so good," she squealed as waves of ecstasy washed over her body from the friction against her sex. Desire’ was breathing hard trying desperately to control her body as the object moved in and out pulsating through her inner walls.

Callisto moved in closer to Desire’ shortening the strokes but using more force. She reached around Desire’ with one hand, rubbing the wet bud of arousal as Desire’ cried out. "That’s it little one. Come for me," she whispered, beads of perspiration forming on her forehead.

Desire’ could feel her insides explode as Callisto rubbed her sex and penetrated her harder with each thrust. Her senses betrayed her as a flood of sweet caresses invaded her body sending her over the brink of ecstasy. "Gods yesss, don’t stop," she cried.

"That’s it baby, now," continued Callisto as she thrust the phallus deep within Desire’s walls. "Yes, oh Gods, so good little one, come with me," she gasped as her inner walls exploded from the pending orgasm.

"Ohhhhh, yesss," cried Desire’ as her release washed over her leaving her body quivering from the pleasure.

Desire’ lowered her head trying to hide the tears forming in her eyes from shame. Callisto collapsed against her back placing soft kisses across her shoulders and back. She stayed inside of Desire’ wrapping her arms around her chest, squeezing and caressing Desire’s breasts as Desire’ moaned from the touch. Slowly Callisto teased her pulling the phallus out slowly and reinserting it as she continued to lick and caress Desire’s back and shoulders while continuing to pleasure her breasts. Slowly Desire’ began to respond rocking her hips in rhythm with Callisto's ministrations. After many moments both woman climaxed again.

"We’re not through little one," whispered Callisto as she untied the straps holding Desire’ firmly against her. "Are you still frightened?"

"No," whimpered Desire’ resting her head against the blonde’s shoulder.

"Are you always so demure in the company of another woman?" asked Callisto a sweet expression on her face.

Desire’ grinned shyly looking downward before a soft hand under her chin faced her to look into the dark eyes of her captor. "Not usually."

"It’s rather adorable," whispered Callisto before placing a gentle kiss on her lips. She led Desire’ over to the blankets and laid her on her back before disrobing.

"You have a beautiful body," whispered Desire’.

"I didn’t think you had noticed," replied Callisto as she straddled Desire’s stomach. "I’m not done with you." Callisto pressed her body against Desire’ reveling in the feeling as flesh met flesh. "You feel so good," she gasped than ran her tongue along Desire’s neck, biting and sucking on the golden flesh. Desire’ moaned in response. Slowly she made her way down Desire’s body, kissing and licking the tender skin, both hands around her breasts as she squeezed the nipples.

"So you don’t hate me Callisto," replied Desire’ in between groans.

Callisto looked up into the deep green eyes of Desire’, her own eyes almost black with lust as she pinched and caressed the full mounds of flesh in her hands.

"I could never hate you," she said breathlessly. "Don’t you feel the connection?"

"Connection?" asked Desire’.

"I felt it the first time I laid eyes on you. The conqueror may own your heart but one day I’ll own your soul." Callisto continued running her tongue down Desire’s body, licking and nipping her stomach until she reached the apex of her thighs. Desire’s mind was spinning from the gentle words spoken and the fiery touches igniting her body on fire. Callisto softly caressed the swollen nub with her hand as Desire’ squirmed and moaned under her. "That’s it little one. Let me have you."

""That’s it baby. Give yourself to me," purred Callisto as she continued to stroke moist folds of flesh. Before Desire’ could reply Callisto plunged her tongue deep inside the walls of her flesh. Desire’ cried as her arousal continued to grow, bucking her hips upward toward the tongue bringing her sweet pleasure.

She looked down at the blonde hair between her legs, excited by the sight. "Oh Gods yess, Callisto."

Callisto penetrated Desire’ with her tongue, drilling the muscle in and out as the small brunette continued to writhe with pleasure. Desire’ bucked with the rhythm of Callisto’s attention as the burning inside her center began to ache. Callisto pulled her tongue out of Desire’s cavity, running it along the outer folds of the wet sex before claiming the swollen bud of arousal. "OH God’s please," cried Desire’ as wave after wave of ecstasy released her ache. She continued to buck her hips as the sensations came flooding through her body. Callisto lapped up the molten lava rushing out of Desire’s center as her body continued to rock with tremors.

Callisto rested her head alongside Desire’s thigh, a satisfied smile on her face. She looked up at Desire’ pinning her hands against her sides, an evil grin on her face. "You are so beautiful," said Callisto, her voice husky as she climbed Desire’s body until she was face to face with the small brunette.

Desire’ was breathless, her skin tingling from the pleasures of the blonde. "Kiss me."

Callisto complied soft lips connecting with the open mouth below as Desire’ plunged her tongue in her captor’s mouth exploring and tasting her own scent in a passionate kiss.

"Suddenly you’re not so demure," remarked Callisto as the kiss was broken.

"Is that a problem?" asked Desire’ a devilish glint in her eye.

Callisto sat up straddling Desire’s waist, her swollen wet sex rubbing against the golden brown stomach of her captive. She looked into pools of lust filled green eyes. "Please, you’re so wet. I want you," added Desire’ as she rocked her pelvis upwards into the waiting sex of the blonde who moaned in response.

Callisto leaned forward offering her breasts to the small brunette. Desire’ raised her head capturing milky white flesh between her lips, caressing the soft skin with her tongue as Callisto moaned above her. Desire’ wrapped small hands around both breasts, gently squeezing one while lavishing the other in her mouth as pink nipples hardened in response. She ran her tongue along the inside of the breast, suckling the sensitive flesh before grasping the nipple between her teeth and gently nipping the swollen nub. Callisto leaned forward to smother her with her chest as Desire’ blazed a trail of fire across one breast onto the other one reveling in the feel of the soft warm skin.

Desire’ pulled Callisto on top of her as warm flesh melted into warm flesh. She wrapped her hands around the blonde’s face pulling her lips down onto her mouth, a warm soft tongue penetrating Callisto’s mouth as passion ignited a fiery kiss. Moments later Desire’ rolled over on top of Callisto, hungrily kissing her lips, then beginning a slow burning trail down her neck and body to the mound of blonde hair between her thighs as Callisto continued to emote sounds of pleasure.

Desire’ kissed the alabaster skin around the soft curls, blowing warm breath between her thighs. "Gods Desire’. Please stop teasing me. I want you," cried Callisto, her hips bucking into the air desperate to make contact with the sexy mouth torturing her.

Desire’s eyes glazed over with lust as she viewed the beauty of the lithe body below her. "Patience Callisto. I have my own way of doing things. Do you want all of me?" A small smirk formed around Desire’s lips as she probed the moist folds of skin.

"Yes," answered Callisto panting from the touch as Desire’ crawled over her body, claiming her lips and tongue with a kiss filled with raw sexual power.

"Then you shall have all of me," whispered Desire’, blowing warm breath into Callisto’s ear as she nibbled the tender lobe, grinding her sex against Callisto’s engorged flesh. Slowly she slid her tongue down the sensual blonde’s body until she could smell the sweet fragrance of her arousal caressing her senses.

She licked the insides of each thigh torturing her captor with the erotic sensations of her tongue before lowering her mouth over the willowy blonde curls as she continued to kiss every inch of succulent flesh before brushing her tongue over Callisto’s hooded passion. Gently she ran her tongue back and forth over the engorged flesh as Callisto let loose a low guttural moan. Softly she sucked the sweet bud, teasing the inflamed senses of the woman below her.

Callisto writhed with Desire from the small brunette’s tender caresses, grabbing her by her hair with both hands and pulling her into her center. Desire’ plunged her tongue deep into the recesses of Callisto’s pulsating sex, thrusting the length of her tongue up and down, lapping the sweet liquid of passion. Callisto bucked her hips wildly moaning with pleasure from the sensations of the warm moist tongue claiming her being. "Gods yess, Desire’. Please don’t stop," cried Callisto.

Desire’ could feel the blazing fire within her body as she thrust her tongue deeper inside of the blonde. She could feel Callisto nearing her release, abandoning the cavity and claiming the protruding bud with her tongue, stroking it furiously over and over as waves of erotic sensations flooded Callisto’s body. "Oh Gods, yess, I’m cominggg," she cried as her thighs quivered, crushing the brunette’s head between powerful muscles. Desire’ continued her hold over the sweet mound of flesh, riding out the flood of pleasure as she lapped the fragrant liquid.

Callisto laid her head back, spent from the sensual activity. "Spread your legs," commanded Desire’.

Callisto looked down at the aggressive brunette now in control of the moment. "No more, I can’t," gasped Callisto.

Desire’ wrenched her thighs apart and stroked the wetness of Callisto’s sex. "Oh yes you can. You said you wanted all of me."

Callisto looked down into feral green eyes, glazed over with lust and leaned back as Desire’ penetrated her with two fingers. Callisto gasped at her touch. "Feels so good after a good orgasm, doesn’t it," purred Desire’ as she added a third finger, enjoying the touch of warm muscles surrounding her fingers. Callisto moaned and gasped in response as she felt a fourth finger inside of her. "Relax. Take a deep breath and let me in," she added feeling the muscles relax around her hand. Gently she slid her thumb inside the cavity, wrapping her fingers around it as she formed a fist inside of Callisto.

"Ohh Gods," cried Callisto in surprise. Desire’ gently pushed her way inside the wall of her sex until her hand disappeared up to her wrist.

"Relax and breath," Desire’ moaned as she straddled a well-muscled thigh, rubbing her throbbing sex against Callisto’s skin. Using short powerful strokes, she penetrated the blonde, filling her entire being with sweet bliss, pumping in and out as Callisto moaned and called her name.

"Gods Desire’, more please," she purred, her voice low and desperate. Desire’ continued her strokes matching the rhythm of Callisto’s hips gyrating upward to receive the sweet rapture of Desire’s hand.

Desire’s motions were increasing as her own excitement grew, spreading her juices over Callisto’s thighs as a fierce orgasm began to mount. "Oh Gods Callisto, come for me now," cried Desire’ as her own release found her.

She covered Callisto’s swollen flesh with a few furious strokes of her tongue as Callisto screamed her name, "Desire’ Godssss, yess." Callisto arched her back forcing her pelvis against Desire’s face and heated tongue as wave after wave of orgasm crashed through her body, leaving her weak and unable to move. Desire’ dropped her head on top of the blonde’s mound, gently kissing the soft blonde hair, wiping the beads of sweat away from her face.

When Callisto was ready Desire’ removed her hand from inside the walls of her sex and climbed on top of Callisto, laying her head on the soft curves of her breasts. "You know where I come from, dinner and a show is a good way to seduce a woman," teased Desire’.

"You would have never come with me if I had asked," answered Callisto.

"Perhaps not at first. But listening to the Conqueror and Ares every night has weakened my resolve," answered Desire’ stroking alabaster skin as she spoke.

"You never told me why you were so frightened of me."

"Let’s just say that the stories I’ve heard of you are way different than you appear to be."

"What stories?"

"It’s hard to explain but they’re not flattering. They described you as insane over the loss of your family at Cirra. Your only goal in life was to make Xena suffer."

"What else did they say about Cirra?"

"Just that Xena burned your village when she was a warlord and your family died in the fire. But you don’t have that wild crazy look in your eyes," answered Desire’. "Except maybe during sex which is a good thing."

"So you’re not frightened of me?" Callisto asked.

"I’m still here of my own free will aren’t I?" The two women lay together wrapped in each other’s arms for several minutes enjoying the sweet after glow of passion. "Come on. I have to be at the tavern soon. The owner will be expecting me," stated Desire’ as she stood up and offered her hand to help the blonde up.

The two women dressed in silence, each deep in thought over the events that had occurred. Desire’ walked up to Callisto and pulled her into a passionate embrace. "Thank you," she whispered, kissing the tender skin of Callisto’s neck.

"This isn’t a brush off is it?" asked Callisto backing away from the small brunette.

"Not as long as the Conqueror keeps treating me like shit. I don’t know when or if she’ll let me in again." Callisto stiffened as she listened to the words.

"You would go back with her if she did," asked Callisto, her eyes turning dark with anger.

Desire’ sighed. "It’s complicated. I don’t belong here. I have to help the Conqueror and make things right."

"You’re really not from this world are you?" asked Callisto.

"No, I really fell from the sky. I can’t go home until I make things right."

"I could make you happy," purred Callisto, caressing Desire’s shoulders and planting kisses along her jaw line.

Desire’ moaned at the pleasurable sensation. "Gods you are so not like the stories. I can’t explain. It’s just something I have to do."

"We belong together Desire’ not you and the conqueror." Callisto pulled her closer wrapping her hands around her head hugging her tightly. "Don’t go."

Desire’ could feel her knees weakening from the affection one lone tear escaping her eyes now clouded with tears. "Right woman wrong time," whispered Desire’ her voice quivering with emotion.

"What do you mean?" asked Callisto still holding her closely.

"I wish I could stay like this forever," answered Desire’ kissing Callisto desperately.

"It can be like this forever," answered Callisto.

"No it can’t. I was sent here for a reason."

Callisto pulled away abruptly. "Fine, go back to her if she’ll take you," she growled. "Get out now," she screamed slapping Desire’ in the face.

Desire’ stood stunned at the outburst. "Please don’t do this Callisto."

"You’ve made up your mind. Now go before I change my mind and kill you!"

Desire’ woke up, breathing heavy, sweat pouring down her face. She looked behind her to see Danni’s peaceful face, her eyes half open looking back. "You okay?" asked Danni.

"Bad dream. Go back to sleep," answered Desire’. Danni closed her eyes and within minutes Desire’ was listening to her soft snores. Desire’ felt the wetness between her legs. "Gods," she thought. "I am so fucking horny because of Callisto. Pervert!" yelled the little voice." Desire’ waited several moments more before quietly getting out of bed and putting some shorts on. The clock read 4am.


Desire’ moved stealthily through the house, making sure not to disturb her sleeping guests and walked to the kitchen and quietly began gathering ingredients for breakfast. She tried desperately to shut the memories out from her head. No one knew about the incident in the cave including the Conqueror and now she was being aroused by those memories in Corinth while lying next to the woman of her dreams.

Within an hour eggs were frying in the pan along with hash browns. Biscuits were ready to bake along with a pan full of gravy on the stove. Bacon was frying and pancakes were ready to go on the griddle as she nibbled on the food she was preparing. "Like cooking is going to help with this fucking ache in my groin," she whispered to herself never hearing the quiet footsteps of Annie coming from behind.

"Problem cowgirl?" asked Annie as Desire’ jumped out of her skin, dropping the griddle in her hand and creating a rather unruly noise within the house.

"Jesus don’t scare me like that," she whispered loudly. "You’re gonna wake up everyone."

"Don’t worry, they’re heavy sleepers. You’ve been busy. It smells great in here," answered Annie as she picked up the griddle and placed it on the stove. "Now the smell of this food will wake up Mattie very soon," she added grinning.

"Why are you up so early?" asked Desire’.

"I’m always up by five. What about you? You look a little frazzled."

"Didn’t get any sleep."

"That’s a good thing," replied Annie, a toothy grin on her face.

"It’s not what you think," answered Desire’ as she turned down the flames on the stove.

"Is that the fucking ache in your groin you mentioned earlier?" asked Annie smirking.

"You heard that, huh?"

"Yeah, things okay?"

"God Annie, she’s wonderful. It’s all these fucking thoughts and memories running through my head. If you thought my brain hurt in Corinth just imagine the agony I’m going through now."

Annie laughed at the brunette. "You poor thing," she stated, placing her hand on Desire’s shoulder. "Wanna talk about it?"

"This is a switch. You getting me to open up."

"You were a great teacher," answered Annie.

"Ask me anything. I’m too tired to argue."

"What has you so flustered that you’re cooking for an army?"

"I just wanted to make sure I had enough food for Mattie," answered Desire’ grinning as Annie laughed. "The minute I closed my eyes I dreamed about Corinth and Callisto."

"And that aroused you?" asked Annie.

"It’s a long story. Sit down," answered Desire’ as she proceeded to explain the events to Annie in detail.

"So she kidnapped you, appeared ready to rape you and that turned you on," stated Annie.

"Well it sounds sick when you say it like that."

"But it sounds okay when you say it?"

No! Just different. I don’t think she meant to hurt me. She mentioned something about a connection and it felt right. That scared me. She seemed so different in Corinth. She acted like she couldn’t even remember Cirra. I was hurting and when she told me it was me she wanted it just felt good."

Annie stared at Desire’ absorbing the words from her friend. "Say something Annie. You wouldn’t give me the time of day."

"I tried talking to you," answered Annie defensively. "You nearly took my head off in the healer’s room."

"I know I can be a bitch but you were fucking the God of War."

"I stopped that weeks before I visited you," replied Annie.

"I didn’t know that Annie. Gods don’t be mad at me, please."

"I’m not. Warrior pride. You just crushed it."

"I’m sorry."

"Don’t be. I was an ass. That doesn’t matter now anyway."

"That’s why I was so drunk in the tavern that night. I hadn’t had a drink in five years except that damn glass of wine in the Amazon village."

"Are you in recovery?" asked Annie.

"Not for alcohol. Drugs." Desire’ stopped watching the stunned expression of her friend before continuing. "I was on prescription pain pills for five years. I went cold turkey in April. I just never drank while I was on the medication and now when I have a drink I get loopy with one glass."

"Wow. There’s so much I don’t know about you," Annie replied pulling Desire’ into an affectionate hug.

"I just didn’t want to burden you with my depressing life. In Corinth I felt like somebody. Talking about this crappy life would’ve changed things."

Annie placed her hand under Desire’s chin, tilting her head up. Their eyes lingered on each other as two friends shared a moment of affection. Annie leaned into Desire’ and placed a chaste kiss upon her lips as Danni walked into the living room.

"Why bring the Conqueror into your bedroom Desire’ when you can have her in your living room," yelled Danni before she stormed out the front door. Annie broke away from Desire’ and ran after her sister.


Annie grabbed Danni by the shoulder spinning her around roughly. "What’s your problem?"

"What’s wrong Annie? Mattie not enough for you? Is that the real reason you were so anxious to see her? So you could have your little sex slave back?"

"Now just a minute! Don’t you go accusing me of doing something wrong. I care about her and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to be her friend," yelled Annie.

"Then why were you kissing her?" cried Danni, fighting back tears.

"It was an innocent kiss. She’s hurting Danni. This is all too much for her and I feel responsible."

"How do I know it’s me she wants and not you?"

"Danni she told me she felt the connection. I saw it in her eyes. What did you guys do all night? I get the impression you didn’t you know."

"We talked for a couple of hours."

"What did you guys talk about?"

"She told me about her parents, the rift between her and her siblings and about her illness."

"Danni I knew her for over a year. She never once talked about her family. I only knew about her tumor because Aphrodite told me and every time I tried to talk about it she changed the subject. You’re the one she wants. You know more about her in two hours than I did in over a year. Don’t blow it now."


"Great, just fucking great," hissed Desire’ as Mattie appeared from the hallway. "Son of a bitch!" Desire’ stalked the room, the green-eyed monster springing into action.

"What is wrong?" asked Mattie, concern in her sleep filled eyes.

"Danni’s pissed off because apparently I was fucking Annie in the living room," answered Desire’, punching the air and growling as she spoke.

Mattie watched startled, her eyes wide open as a small glass of water on the living room table rose and soared across the room, crashing into the wall.

"Shit, just lovely," added Desire’ as she stomped around the living room. "It’s bad enough I break things with my hands but now my mind is working overtime and breaking things on it’s own. Just fucking great!" she yelled as she slammed her fist into a mirror hanging on the wall, shattering the glass. Unfazed, she turned away running into Mattie.

"Don’t touch me Mattie. I don’t want to hurt you!" she screamed as the small blonde tackled her pinning her to the ground, the impact to the head stunning her.

"Stop it," cried Mattie as Danni and Annie rushed through the front door. "Calm down, please." Desire’ looked into friendly eyes and burst into tears.

"What happened," yelled Danni and Annie in unison as they ran toward their partners.

"I can’t take this. I’m losing it," cried Desire’.

"No you’re not Desire’. Just let it out," replied Mattie, pulling her up into an embrace. "I hope you two worked things out," she added pointing at the two tall dark brunettes watching helplessly. "Get me a towel someone." Danni ran to the bathroom and came back with the item asked for, handing it to Mattie. Desire’ held her hand away from Mattie careful not to bleed on her.

Mattie took the injured hand and inspected it for damage. Shards of glass were riddled through the bloody knuckles. "I need tweezers. Jeez girl, we have to work on that temper."

Danni handed the tweezers to Mattie and lifted Desire’ to her feet, holding her between strong arms. Desire’ looked down at the bloody hand then back up at Annie standing behind her lover. "Oh boy," she started, her voice shaky. "This is worse than touching my scar." Her eyes rolled back as the traffic jam started in her mind, horns beeping as she lost consciousness slumping back into Danni’s arms.

"What happened?" asked Danni, panic in her voice.

"She just feinted," answered Annie. "Another little quirk of hers. She doesn’t like blood, especially her own. Come on, let’s get her to the sofa and dress that wound. Let her sleep until we’re done."

The trio worked together as Mattie tweezed the glass from Desire’s hand while Annie searched for bandages and Danni cleaned up the broken glass. When they were finished Annie slapped Desire’ lightly on the cheeks to revive her. "Wake up sleepy head," she said with a soothing voice.

Pale green eyes fluttered open. "Feinted didn’t I?" she asked. Everyone nodded in unison. "Great. I must be making one hell of an impression on you guys tonight."

"Nice first aide kit you have in the bathroom. It looks like a hospital in there," Annie interjected grinning.

"I told you I’m that clumsy," Desire’ said laughing. "I get hurt a lot."

"How much of that is self inflicted?" asked Mattie.

"That’s only the second mirror I’ve broken. Usually I just hit the wall."

"That explains the hole in the kitchen," stated Annie. "What happened? Did a soufflé fall?"

"Go ahead and laugh princess. Remember paybacks are a bitch and so am I," answered Desire’.

"Danni you have your hands full. Do think you can handle her?" asked Annie laughing.

"I’m up to the challenge. Be afraid little one. I will tame you," teased Danni.

"Oooh, I’m scared," mocked Desire’.

"Fear, I like that," answered Danni. Desire’ shuddered at the sound of Danni’s words, trying to place the familiar tone before following her guests to the table.


Desire’ watched as her new friends dished up the morning meal. Her left hand was wrapped with a heavy gauze bandage to stop the flow of blood.

"Everything looks wonderful Desire," stated Mattie as she finished serving the food. "Destiny certainly couldn’t cook like this."

"Wait until you taste it," added Annie. "She cooked like this every morning in Corinth, even when we weren’t speaking."

"Well I for one am going to enjoy this meal very much," purred Danni. Desire’ glared at the tall dark beauty listening to the familiar words, shaking her thoughts from her head as she picked up a fork to start eating.

"Hold on Desire’," stated Mattie. "We say grace before we eat a meal."

"This is our third meal together. Did I miss something?" asked Desire’.

"We never got around to eating those meals. They’re in your refrigerator now," answered Mattie.

Annie sat across from Desire’ grinning at the exchange. "Looks like you’re gonna have to teach your gal some manners Danni."

"Oh goody, I do so love to teach manners," answered Danni.

Desire’ dropped her fork and froze in her seat, staring at Danni with a blank look in her face as she began to tremble. She stood up on shaky legs and walked away from the table and stopped. Slowly she turned around to stare into Danni’s eyes, paralyzed with fear. "You remember Corinth Danni."

Danni looked back at the small brunette and bowed her head.

"How can she remember Corinth?" asked Mattie. "She wasn’t even born yet."

"Callisto," whispered Annie as the realization set in. She looked over at the bowed head of her sister trying to contain the anger within.

Desire’ paced back and forth along the carpet, her body trembling as she attempted to piece together the events in her mind. "That was you in the cave wasn’t it?"

Danni raised her head, silent tears falling down her face. "Yes."

"This just gets better doesn’t it?" cried Desire’ flinging her arms in the air. "Amazing. See what I mean about foreplay Mattie."

"Desire’ try and calm down before you say something you don’t mean," interjected Mattie.

"What could I possibly say? Let’s review the last twenty-four hours of my life shall we? I go to bed, wake up in an arena half-naked, get punched in the face, taken as a slave, beaten to death and wake up still in ancient Greece. I make up with tall dark and deadly, spend weeks with the amazons only to be raped by one. I then spend the next few months getting the silent treatment, then I’m kidnapped and almost raped again, accosted by thugs, stranded in a tree and make up with the dark deadly one again. Then I come up with the ridiculously stupid plan to be whipped to death by a woman who turns out to be my soul mate. We somehow make it back to Japan so I can kill a samurai, burn Xena’s bloody remains, restore her life and wake up only to find I have a permanent tattoo, long hair and the goddess of love in my bathroom. I picked up a bloody decapitated head for Chris sake. Then I meet you guys find out I am the reincarnation of some murdering harpy that happens to be related to Gabrielle and I meet my soul mate who it appears I’ve already met. Oh and don’t forget I can now move things with my mind which comes in real handy when I want to break stuff. I think I’m entitled to say something I don’t mean or at least have a nervous break down," yelled Desire’ her voice quivering as her body shook uncontrollably.

Mattie rushed to her side offering her a shoulder to lean against. "Let’s not forget that my former grandmother is now young enough to be my daughter," added Desire’. Desire’ looked around gazing into emerald green eyes. "Does it stop getting weird? Because I don’t know how to process this much information at one time," stated Desire’ her eyes devoid of expression. "I think my hard drive just crashed."

"I wish I could say yes with conviction," answered Mattie. "But the truth is I don’t know."

"Is there a support group for time travelers who have learned about ancient incarnations?" asked Desire’ sarcastically.

"This isn’t the time for sarcasm," replied Mattie.

Desire’ moved away from the small blonde a wild look in her eyes. "Oh no, this is the perfect time for sarcasm. Xena and Gabrielle are real and in my living room as Annie and Mattie. Callisto who became Livia then Eve and is now Danni is also here. Which one is supposed to be my soul mate again?"

"I am," stated Danni rising from her seat to approach the erratic brunette.

"I supposed it takes a village to love me."

"We need to talk about this," interrupted Danni ignoring the remark.

"Fine. Talk," answered Desire’.

"How did you figure it out?" asked Danni.

"Because all of a sudden you started talking like her. Why didn’t you say something?"

"What was I supposed to say? Nice to see you again. By the way I was the one who kidnapped you against your will in Corinth," answered Danni. "If it hadn’t been for your words I would have really hurt you."

"Okay, that might have been a little intense," teased Desire’ trying to lighten the mood. "I hope you try the dinner and movie route this time around," she added grinning.

Danni rolled her eyes at Desire’. "This is serious."

"Cut me some slack. This situation is way messed up. At least the silverware is still on the fucking table," hissed Desire’.

"Calm down you two. You need to talk this out," interrupted Mattie. "Come on Annie, let’s give them some privacy."

"Jeez, are we ever going to get to eat? I’m starving," Annie said pouting as she followed Mattie to the guestroom.

"Shut up warrior," threatened Mattie. "She has a microwave."


Desire’ and Danni stood in the living room in silence for several moments looking into each other’s eyes. "We’re off to a rip roaring start aren’t we?" asked Danni.

"We can look at the bright side first," answered Desire’.

"Desire’ there is no bright side to what I did to you."

"Yes there is. At least now we won’t have that uncomfortable first time experience. Been there, done that," answered Desire’.

"Can you try to be serious for a few minutes?" asked Danni.

"I don’t want to be. I don’t do serious well unless I’m in bed."

"I need you to be serious right now," pleaded Danni.

Desire’ gazed into distressful blue eyes sending the monster back into its lair. "I feel this intense connection to you and I don’t want anything to screw that up," she answered. "Besides it was Callisto, not you or Eve or Livia."

"But I remember it like it was me even if I looked different."

"But nothing happened. You didn’t rape me remember? I consented."

"That’s not how it started."

"So we should play the what if game?"

"I meant to hurt you."

"I don’t believe that although your priorities were a bit screwed up."

"If you hadn’t stopped me I would have hurt you."

"But you didn’t. Instead I ended up hurting you."

"I was convinced you were the one."

"One what?"

"My soul mate. I felt that intense connection the first time I looked into your eyes and all I saw looking back was fear. I was always angry in Corinth and I didn’t know why. I loved the Conqueror and hated her at the same time."

"Did you even remember Cirra before we talked?"

"No but later Ares said the same thing."

"No wonder you were so different. Your memories of Callisto were erased before you were reborn. Maybe that’s why you didn’t remember it. I thought you hated me because I took the Conqueror away from you."

"I never hated you. I knew we belonged together. After the cave I knew I lost you. I couldn’t understand how you could go back to her and figured if I couldn’t have you then eventually no one would."

"Wow," stated Desire’ as she walked away and sat on the sofa. "Please sit next to me," she added as she patted the space beside her. Danni sat down next to her.

"It hurts knowing you chose her over me."

"Danni I did what I had to do. I was dying in Corinth."

"Dying? I don’t understand."

"I couldn’t tell you because I had to make things right so I could come home. The tumor was growing. No one could have saved me. That’s why the stupid plan to get Xena and Gabrielle back together."

Danni placed her hand over Desire’s, lowering her head as she spoke. "I betrayed you. I led Ares right to Gabrielle because I was jealous."

"It was all part of the plan."


"I overheard you with Ares. I led you to Gabrielle. I knew you hated me."

"I never hated you. I hated seeing you with someone else."

Desire’ smiled. "You were rather vocal about me."

"I was hurt. I lash out when I’m hurt even today."

"Remind me not to piss you off."

Danni ignored the comment. "How can we start knowing how I hurt you?"

"Hey the conqueror beat me to death and I forgave her," answered Desire’ sarcastically.

"You’re doing it again," interrupted Danni.

Desire’ lowered her had and looked away. "I’m sorry. We just have to. I can’t lose you now. You said I should belong to you. Is that what you meant?"

"I wanted to make you mine that first night in the dining hall," answered Danni nodding. "I knew we were destined to be together."

"That’s it," stated Desire’.

"What’s what?" asked Danni.

"Do you remember this morning I told you I see my heart in your eyes?" Danni nodded. "I told you I was scared because I’d seen that look before. I saw it in Callisto’s eyes, your eyes that day in the cave."

"You’re not just saying that to make me feel better are you?"

"No. It was all so confusing. I should have been frightened but when you looked into my eyes I felt safe. I wanted you and if you’ve seen any of the episodes on TV you’ll know that seemed pretty sick at the time."

"Are you afraid of me now?"

"Gods no. I’m just so sorry about what happened. If I’d known how you felt about me I wouldn’t have put you through that," stated Desire’.

"Through what?"

"The judgment. I volunteered you for the job. You sounded like you were enjoying yourself."

"It was an act. I cried when I left. Then I ran into the conqueror and she was with Gabrielle. I thought just like that she’s over you and I was so angry."

"You deserve an Oscar for your performance," Desire’ teased. "That was a past life Danni. Let’s concentrate on this century. You’re pretty good with a whip," added Desire’ smirking.

"Are you ever serious?" asked Danni glaring at the small brunette.

"It’s how I deal with life," answered Desire’ lowering her head. "My life hasn’t exactly been a hallmark card. Humor keeps the pain at bay."

Danni took the fragile woman into her arms gently hugging her and placing an affectionate kiss on top of her head. Desire’ melted into the embrace finding comfort in the strong arms holding her. "I’m not the same person Desire’. I’m very different."

"And I’m nothing like the woman in Corinth. She was a mask, an outer shell to protect the emotional basket case inside." Desire’ looked up, a confused expression on her face. "Sadly that wasn’t meant to be funny. It was supposed to be profound," she added with a goofy grin.

Danni chuckled absorbing the words and the unusual expression on Desire’s face. "You’re right. You suck with words," she teased as both women began laughing. "I think I know what you meant to say."

"Would you like to share?"

"Inside you are very frightened and insecure. I can see the pain in your eyes. To survive you had to be stronger then you felt capable of being so you put on a mask and created a new persona, one that would help you through the difficulty of your situation. You pretended to be the hero Xena was viewed as when in reality the hero in you lies within your heart much like the battling bard."

"That sounds much better but you give me way too much credit. I could never be the hero Gabrielle was."

"Don’t sell yourself short, no pun intended. You weave your way through life led by your heart. It takes courage to wear your heart on your sleeve," interjected Danni.

"I bet you speak from experience."

"Maybe in my younger days. I was wild and crazy until I lost someone very dear to me. Since then I’ve kept my heart tucked away safely and have never allowed myself to sincerely love someone.’

Desire’ pulled away from Danni concern etched in her golden features. "That doesn’t sound good. So you’re the heart breaker and I’m the heart broken."

Danni pulled the small brunette closer to her. "No not this time. I’ve been single for a few years and had plenty of time to think about my life and what I want. I look into your eyes and I see the love that has eluded me. I can’t forget the past but I can learn from it. I promised I wouldn’t give myself to another woman until I was ready to give her my soul."

"That’s a bold statement to make to someone you’ve known for a few hours."

"I wouldn’t say it unless I meant it."

"Danni there is so much you don’t know about me. I’ve made some really bad mistakes in my life. What if I don’t live up to your expectations?"

"We have the rest of our lives to get to know each other. You’re my destiny, the one who completes me. Don’t you feel that? Now is not the time to tuck your heart away."

"I’m scared," answered Desire’ softly.

"So am I but it’s an exhilarating good kind of fear. I can feel the connection. It’s so strong. Don’t you feel it?" Danni placed her hand across Desire’s chest feeling the pounding of her heart as Desire’ nodded.

"Are you sure it’s not just lust?"

"If it was I wouldn’t have let you talk last night. Or sleep," whispered Danni, her warm breath caressing Desire’s cheek as she continued to hold her close.


Mattie sat patiently on the love seat inside of the guestroom watching as Annie paced the floor. "Well it’s been fifteen minutes and we haven’t heard the sound of glass breaking. That’s has to be a good thing don’t you think?" asked Mattie grinning at the sight of her warrior.

"Give it time. If she doesn’t break something I will."

"This isn’t your battle."

Annie stopped her pacing and looked at Mattie in disbelief. "How am I supposed to react? This happened because of me."

"Yeah, yeah and global warming is your fault too," replied Mattie, a smirk forming on her lips. "You’re not responsible for everything. You don’t even know what happened. You weren’t there."

"Desire’ told me before you woke up."

"Then sit down and enlighten me." Annie complied sitting next to the blonde and replaying the details of the event.

"Wow maybe it was just foreplay," teased Mattie.

"Mattie how can you make a joke about this?" growled Annie.

"Because Desire’ can."

Annie cocked her head as she looked at Mattie. "I hope that’s a good thing."

"I think it is. It sounds like she was mostly upset because she felt something. At least now she knows that what she felt was the soul mate connection. Danni isn’t the same person and Desire’ knows that."

"So we’re just supposed to forget about what happened."

"Yes. Desire’ is strong. They’ll be fine," answered Mattie. "Just be glad she didn’t cripple the two of you," she added trying to break the tension. Annie glared at her and joined in the laughter.


Danni shifted herself from the sofa to the floor, kneeling between Desire’s legs.

"Hey we’re the same height," giggled Desire’ as Danni ran her hands up her thighs, caressing golden brown skin. "My dream last night was about the cave. It’s good to know it was you who made me so wet."

"Really, how wet were you?" asked Danni, her voice low and seductive as her hands slid up Desire’s stomach toward her breasts.

Desire’ moaned as she felt two large hands press against the fabric covering her chest. "Very," she choked as Danni claimed her mouth eliciting a second moan from the small brunette.

"So you cook like a mad woman when you’re frustrated," Danni said teasingly as she broke the kiss, looking deep into her lover’s eyes, a feral grin on her face.

Desire’ reached around Danni’s shoulders with one good hand pulling her closer to her body as she placed kisses on her eyelids, nose and cheek. "Lost my vibrator in Corinth," purred Desire’.

"What?" asked Danni, unable to contain her laughter.

"Hey now is not the time for laughter. I’ll tell you the story later," she replied and pulled Danni’s lips toward her own. Desire’ probed the tall beauty with her tongue begging for entry. Danni opened her mouth to receive the soft warm kiss as their passion ignited within their loins, tongues dancing to the rhythm of their bodies as they pressed together, moaning into each other’s mouths.

"Hey you two break it up," said Annie as she walked back into the living room with Mattie.

Mattie stopped, blushing at the sight of the two women entwined with each other. "Sorry, we heard you laughing and thought it was okay to come back. Guess we were wrong," she added tugging at Annie to retreat back into the guestroom.

"No way. I’m starving you two so break it up," replied Annie. Desire’ and Danni continued their kiss, smiling at each other as they feigned ignorance to the intrusion and continued caressing each other with lips and tongues.

Annie just shook her head and walked over to the table and sat down, followed by a very hesitant blonde. "Nice to see you two getting along," whispered Mattie in Danni’s ear as she walked by. The lovers broke their kiss and burst out laughing, hugging each other tightly.


Desire’ struggled quietly with her morning meal as her guests continued to enjoy the feast she had prepared earlier. Her hand was heavily bandaged from the earlier incident with the attacking mirror, leaving her almost completely helpless to eat the food dished up in front of her. Pride and embarrassment kept her from seeking help as she fought unsuccessfully to hold the fork in her inept right hand. Jeez, she thought, I must look like an idiot. You are making one hell of a crappy impression. Keep it up girl and even your soul mate is gonna leave you in the dust. After several long moments she gave up the fight and chose to eat only what she could pick up with her right hand.

Danni, Annie and Mattie ate their breakfast peacefully, ravenous from missing their last two meals. "Problem cowgirl?" asked Annie as she looked over at the frustrated woman.

Desire’ looked up her eyebrows furrowed, a scowl on her face as she contemplated her answer to the warrior. "I’m fine," she grumbled as she flexed her right hand. "Damn hand doesn’t want to cooperate."

Danni reached a strong hand over and stroked Desire’s thigh. "I could feed you," she said looking into her soul mate’s eyes.

Desire’ was lost in pools of blue for long moments before responding. "I would take you up on your offer if we were alone," she whispered into Danni’s ear. "How about taking these damn bandages off."

"Desire’ leave those bandages on," ordered Mattie.

"Nah the bleeding has stopped. It’s no big deal. I just need smaller bandages," responded Desire’ as she got up and walked to the bathroom. "Relax guys. I can do this all by my little old self," she added as three bodies began to get up from the table. Reluctantly the trio sat back down and began eating their meals.

Desire’ returned shortly from the restroom and walked over to Mattie holding her newly bandaged hand out for inspection. "See ma, everything is fine." Desire’ opened and closed her hand, a slight grimace on her face from the pain of the fresh wounds.

Mattie looked up at her and gave her an annoyed look and slapped her on the shoulder. "Some things change. They just get worse."

"So were you always over protective with Destiny?" asked Desire’ as she sat down to eat.

Danni and Annie sat across from each other, smirks on their faces as they listened to the exchange of words. "Someone had to be Desire’. I’m not sure who was worse, Destiny or Xena," answered Mattie laughing and rolling her eyes.

The air was silent as all four women finished their meals. Danni and Annie watched with wide-eyed amazement as the small brunette now shoveled large bites of food into her mouth like a voracious lion. After long moments the tall women laughed in unison as their shorter counterparts continued to attack their plates. Mattie and Desire’ looked up at their partners as they spoke in unison, "Must be a family trait," they exclaimed.

"Good thing you cooked for ten people," added Danni laughing at the expression on Desire’s face.

Desire’ looked over at Danni, her nose wrinkled with a disdainful expression on her face. "Be nice. I haven’t eaten since yesterday morning." Everyone laughed as she finished her sentence. "All right let’s talk about something other than my eating habits," she added.

"What do you want to talk about?" asked Annie as the laughter subsided.

"I want to know about you guys," answered Desire’ as she turned to look at Danni. "Is Danni short for Danielle?" Danni nodded her answer. "So were your parents into the rhyming thing?"

"What do you mean rhyming thing?" asked Danni.

"You know how parents are when naming twins. They rhyme like Rickie and Vickie or Mary and Shari." Annie started squirming in apparent discomfort at the topic of conversation. Desire’ flashed an evil grin toward Annie, acknowledging that the discomfort did not go unnoticed. "Annie and Danni rhyme so if your real name is Danielle, than her name is."

"Don’t you even say it cowgirl," said Annie interrupting the small brunette before she could finish her sentence.

"Oh Gods say it isn’t so Annie," replied Desire’ as she struggled to contain her laughter. She looked down at her plate of food before looking into the ice blue eyes of the warrior.

Annie sneered at Desire’. "Let’s talk about something else. If you say something stupid I may have to hurt you."

Desire’ started laughing harder. Why did she have to dare me? I can’t let this go. "So," started Desire’ grinning like a Cheshire cat. "Did I tell you guys I was in the Four H club when I was younger?" Three heads shook in response. Desire’ continued to smirk as she spoke gazing at the irritated warrior. "We used to raise farm animals. My favorite was my prize heifer. She took the blue ribbon at the state fair. She was a beaut. She was solid black in color and had these amazing blue eyes." Desire’ stopped to look at Annie who was shooting her threatening looks as she finished her story. "Guess what her name was Annie?" she asked trying hard to stifle the laughter.

Mattie and Danni looked at their partners then at each other and shook their heads, ready for what was yet to come. "I really don’t give a crap what your cow’s name was," answered Annie.

"She wasn’t just any cow. She was my favorite prized black heifer," responded Desire’ teasing. A moment of awkward silence passed between the four women. Desire’ couldn’t hold the laughter in any longer and blurted out, "I was saying her name was Annabelle. Kind of rhymes with Danielle dontcha think." Desire’ could swear she saw steam rising from the warrior’s nose as she burst into laughter.

Realizing maybe she had gone too far Desire’ leaped from her chair, running through the kitchen and into the backyard, a disgruntled warrior on her tail. Desire’ grabbed the staff leaning against the Jacuzzi and launched herself over the hot tub, running at full speed. She turned in time to watch Annie leap over the obstacle in one step and land within a few feet of her.

Before Annie could move in for the kill she was met by the pale blues eyes and bared teeth of a usually tranquil large black dog protecting his human. Blue stood his ground growling at the tall dark stranger who appeared ready to do harm to his gal. Annie froze staring into pale blue eyes turning darker with each passing minute attempting to scare him away. Blue never backed down as Desire’ laughed behind the stalemated beasts.


Mattie looked calmly through the vertical blinds to see what kind of mischief the two old friends were getting into. She laughed when she saw the stand off between dog and woman.

"So what’s going on?" asked Danni casually in between bites of food.

"It seems Desire’ has a secret weapon to defend herself."

"What’s that?"

"A really big, really mean looking dog. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that expression on Annie before or Xena for that matter," answered Mattie as a large grin invaded her face.

Danni stood up to look out the window and laughed at the site of the deadly warrior being held at bay by the over protective mutt. Danni sat back down and continued with her meal. "You know we’re going to have to do something with those two. Otherwise I don’t think I can take a week of this," stated Danni.

"Let’s give them some time. Desire’ is going through a lot right now. Maybe this is her way of handling things."

"We should be so lucky. Desire’ definitely has an evil streak in her. She played some nasty tricks on Xena in Corinth," answered Danni.

"I’m sure Xena deserved," stated Mattie as both women giggled.


"Annie meet Blue," interrupted Desire’.

"This is the same sweet dog Aphrodite is so fond of?" asked Annie.

"Relax he thinks you’re gonna hurt me," answered Desire’. Blue continued to growl, baring his teeth in threat, a thick line of black fur raised on his back. "Bend down slowly and reach your hand out. He won’t bite."

"No. I like my hand very much thank you," answered Annie. "Call him off."

"Annie I can’t. He’s going on instinct."

"You didn’t train him to attack?"

"No he just protects me so you better start getting friendly soon or we’ll be here all afternoon," answered Desire’ with a soothing voice. "I promise he won’t hurt you." Reluctantly Annie did as she was told. The big black dog cocked his head looking at the tall menacing figure, lifting first one eyebrow then the next. "Go ahead Blue," whispered Desire’. Blue walked up to Annie tentatively and sniffed her hand. He licked the proffered digits and jumped into her arms knocking her backwards as he continued his assault with his tongue on her face. Desire’ laughed as the dog continued to show his affection for their new friend.

"Blue off," commanded Desire’ as the dog stepped aside from his captive. "Inside now," she added. The big black dog lowered his head and trotted through the sliding glass door.

"Oh now he listens to you," cried Annie. Desire’ walked over to her and extended her arm to lift the tall brunette up off of the ground.

"Of course," answered Desire’. "He’s trained to listen to me. Protecting me is pure instinct. He loves me."

Desire’ stepped away from Annie after helping her up. Annie followed the small brunette, backing her into the wall of the house. Desire’ reached along the wall and grabbed onto the other staff, bringing it in front of her in a defensive position. Annie stopped, her eyebrows furrowed as a low husky growl escaped her throat.

"Get the other staff Annie. Come on fair fight," said Desire’.

"I don’t want to fight you.

"No you just want to strangle me. Come on. It’ll be fun. Get the juices flowing."

Annie couldn’t resist the challenge and walked over to pick up the second staff, then walked over to Desire’ and stood in front of her.


Inside the house Mattie and Danni watched as the once menacing dog galloped into the dining room staring at the unexpected company. Before either woman could respond the large black dog was sitting between them, sorrowful blue eyes pleading for affection.

Danni laughed at the goofy looking black dog with overgrown drooping ears. Both women reached over to pet him. "This is what Annie was afraid of?" asked Danni laughing as the dog licked her hand. "I can hardly wait to give her a hard time about this."

"Now don’t you start too Danni. It’s bad enough we have two overgrown kids to deal with. I don’t need a third one."
Mattie looked out through the blinds again to see what the two exasperating women were up to. "Uh oh," she started.

"What’s wrong?" asked Danni.

"Well they each have a staff and they are preparing to do battle."

"Great. Thank god Desire’ has a mini hospital in the house. Who do you think is going to get hurt first?"

"Desire’," they replied in unison. "Maybe Annie will knock some sense into her," added Danni.

"Let’s hope she doesn’t kill her first," declared Mattie. Both women nodded their heads in agreement and stood to watch the confrontation.


Annie waited for Desire’ to land the first strike, a low shot that Annie easily jumped over. Annie countered with a strike to the middle that was easily blocked by the small brunette. Both women struck blow after blow, anticipating the other’s next move. Soon the sound of clashing wood echoed off of the walls, as the strokes became faster and more forceful. Each woman fought with all of her strength, oblivious to the neighborhood men standing over the walls watching the two women battle each other wearing only tank tops and shorts. The fight lasted close to half an hour as each woman landed blow after blow and blocked the others efforts.

They were now several feet away from their starting point. Desire’ ducked under Annie’s last shot, countering with another sweep, hitting Annie in the back of the calf. Desire’ jumped up to gain her footing, slipping on a foreign object as Annie countered with an overhead strike that connected with the small woman’s head before she tumbled to the ground.

Desire’ shut her eyes tightly as the pain invaded her skull. She shook her head trying to get rid of the stars dancing in front of her eyes as she pulled herself up, stumbling into the shocked warrior, then bouncing away toward the wall in an effort to regain her footing.

"Desire’ I’m sorry," exclaimed Annie as she tried to help the woman. "I thought for sure you would block that shot."

"No problem," answered Desire’ as she slid down the wall, giving up the struggle to stand vertically. "At least you didn’t hit this pretty face," she teased as Annie ran to her. Within moments their partners were outside, anger mixed with concern on their faces.

"Uh oh. I think we’re in trouble," whispered Desire’ as she stared at the two women coming closer. Annie looked over at Mattie and shook her head.

"You’d better be okay Desire’ or I’m the one who’s going to get hurt," responded Annie.

Desire’ rolled her eyes and looked at Annie. "Are you supposed to be the responsible one?" she asked. Annie just shook her head as two dark shadows appeared behind her.

Mattie stood with her hands on her hips while Danni kneeled down and put her arm around Desire’. "Well did you two have fun?" asked Mattie sarcastically.

"She started it," defended Annie pointing toward the fallen woman.

"And you just couldn’t resist a challenge could you Annie?" asked Danni.

"Hey don’t blame her guys," interjected Desire’ as she rubbed the top of her head. "I’m the one with the bug up my butt."

"That’s a lovely visual. Thank you," replied Mattie.

"Sorry," answered Desire’. "Words aren’t my strong suit." Desire’ tried pushing herself forward without success. Danni reached her arms around her and pulled her up, careful not to lose her strong grip on the injured woman. "I forgot to duck," added Desire’ looking toward the ground where she originally fell. Her eyes landed on the foreign object she tripped on. "Thank god there were no squeaky toys in Corinth," Desire’ added, laughing as she tried to shake the pain off. Danni picked her up and carried her into the house. "Now this I could get used to," Desire’ whispered into Danni’s ear.

Danni set her partner down on the couch and walked to the refrigerator to retrieve some ice while Annie and Mattie walked into the house, laughing as Mattie slapped Annie in the back of the head.

"Owe what was that for?" asked Annie rubbing the back of her head.

Mattie rolled her eyes at her soul mate. "I just felt like doing that," she answered. Annie stopped in the doorway between the kitchen and living room staring into the pale blue eyes of the big black dog. She crouched down and growled at Blue who responded by jumping backward, crouching on all four legs.

"Woof, woof, woof," he barked, the loud noise echoing through the room.

"Just lovely Annie. That makes my head feel a lot better!" yelled Desire’.

"Woof, woof."

"What did I do?" asked Annie.

"You teased him now play with him."

Annie reached down to quiet the barking dog. Blue ducked from her touch and flipped around running through the house and around the furniture like a greyhound before coming back to Annie. "I’m not chasing him."

"At least throw his toy. He’ll calm down after ten or twenty times," teased Desire’.

"How about I just hit him on the head. It worked with you," answered Annie.

"Funny princess," replied Desire’ as she left the sofa heading toward Annie. "Touch him and die," she added running into Danni before she could reach her goal.

Danni growled pushing Desire’ backward. "Sit down."

"Relax its just a little bump. I’ve been hit in the head lots of times. No big deal."

"That explains a lot," mumbled Annie laughing as Mattie slapped her on the shoulder.

Danni sat her girlfriend back down on the sofa applying a bag of ice to her head. Blue continued to use the house as a racetrack trying desperately to attract the attention of one of the humans in the room. "Be nice to me or I’ll sick one of my cats on you princess," teased Desire’.

"What cats?" asked Annie. Blue ran back into the room yelping, his tail between his legs as a large tabby and white cat attached itself to his butt, another running behind. After a couple of strides he was able to shake the offending beast off and run to Desire’ for comfort.

"Those cats," answered Desire’ as both animals stopped, hissing in the direction of the beaten dog.

"They remind me of you in the morning," Annie stated pointing at Desire’ and laughing.

"Paybacks Annie," hissed Desire’ as the longhaired cat walked over to Mattie and started brushing up against her legs. "They protect me and they bite." Mattie bent down to pet the cat as he proceeded to lick her foot. Desire’ looked over at the docile feline and shook her head. "Or lick," added Desire’.

"Just like their owner," quipped Annie as she howled with laughter joined by her sister and girlfriend. Desire’ looked up her eyebrows furrowed, a scowl on her face. "You walked right into that one cowgirl."

"I guess I did," muttered Desire’ as the laughter quieted down. "So what do you guys want to do today?"

"I was thinking we could go to the lake," answered Annie.

"In the mood for fish," said Desire’ smirking at her joke. "Paybacks. I owe you big time."

"Honey I thought we were going shopping," stated Mattie.

"Ewe shopping. I’d rather pierce a body part," interjected Desire’ as three sets of eyes stared at her. "It’s a joke. I hate needles."

"That’s why you have so many tattoos," added Danni.

"That’s different. Besides I was drunk, at least for three of them," replied Desire’. "I passed out during the fourth one," she added looking at the lion on her hand. Annie dropped her head in guilt, shuffling her feet nervously as Desire’ spoke. Her discomfort did not go unnoticed by the small brunette. "Ya know Annie," she started drawing out the words. "I have an idea to eliminate the guilt from your mind. I could pick out a small tattoo of your own then we’d be even and you wouldn’t feel so bad every time the subject comes up."

"That might work," responded Annie. "We’d be even right?"

"Annie I’m just kidding. You’re the one with the guilt. I’ve grown rather fond of it myself." Danni and Mattie looked at each other wondering what the little brunette was up to.

"I still feel bad about it. What did you have in mind? Some kind of cat or something?"

"Actually I was thinking of something small to remind you of me."


Desire’ fought to keep her composure. "How about a little black cow with the name Annabelle underneath," she stated before bursting out in laughter. Annie glared at her blue eyes turning feral. "Walked right into that princess," added Desire’ in between giggles as Danni and Mattie laughed uncontrollably at Annie’s pouty face.

"You are evil," replied Annie.

"And don’t you forget it," answered Desire’. Mattie moved toward Annie and wrapped her arm around her shoulder trying to wipe the grin off of her face. "Come on warrior," she said escorting her to the guestroom. "Let’s go shopping."

Annie looked over her shoulder helplessly. "Don’t suppose there’s a mall near the lake?" she asked.

"Sorry princess. Have fun," answered Desire’ still laughing.

Danni sat down next to her girlfriend content to be alone with her. "So what do you want to do?" she asked.

"Let’s go to the lake," whispered Desire’. Danni just laughed.



Desire’ and Danni spent a leisurely day at Lake Mead, swimming and playing with the dog and each other. They spent hours talking as they ate their picnic lunch, soaking up the sun and reveling in each other’s company. They were home by three sending the wet dog out into the backyard as they cleaned up, both much darker from the rays of the hot desert sun and drained as they cuddled together on top of the bed to nap.

Danni woke up an hour later unable to resist the sensual form asleep in her arms. She wrapped her arm tighter around the sleeping figure drawing her body closer, kissing bare shoulders until Desire’ began to stir. "Um," moaned Desire’ as she opened her eyes.

"Take this off," husked Danni tugging on the T-shirt covering Desire’s chest. Desire’ lifted the article of clothing off in compliance as she turned to face the tall beauty.

"Lay forward," whispered Danni with a low sultry voice.

Desire’ laid her naked form down as her soul mate commanded. Danni started with her neck placing soft gentle kisses along the back. Desire’ sighed at the intimate touch, reveling in the feeling of the tall beauty behind, her body tingling with each brush of lips as tense muscles relaxed. "Nice," she purred.

Danni continued her ministrations down her shoulders, along the curvature of her spine. Desire’ could feel her body going limp as she watched her lover’s attentions in the rose stained mirror located in the middle of the headboard. I am so glad I didn’t get rid of this bed, she thought. The long dark form of Danni looked sensuous with every move she made. "Oh yes, don’t stop," said Desire’ gasping.

She lost herself in thought, all tension from the early morning incidents seemed to be leaving her thoughts. Her body responded to each touch as Danni moved lower down her form.

"Oh Gods, that feels so incredible," purred Desire’. Danni’s hands felt like satin kisses as she stroked the tender flesh of her lover’s thighs, kneading the firm but pliant muscles. Desire’ squirmed beneath the loving touch of her partner as her body came alive from the erotic caresses.

Danni drank in the sexy sight of the small muscular form below her. She prayed silently to the gods thanking them for bringing such a beautiful creature into her life. The skin below her touch felt like molten lava to her senses as she continued to explore Desire’s body.

Desire’ elicited a low moan as Danni’s hands caressed the baby soft skin of firm buttocks. "Oh, that is soo good," said Desire’ breathlessly, bucking her hips gently to receive the caresses that felt like rose petals against her skin.

She could feel the slow burn of arousal reach her core as Danni continued the attack against her senses. "So you like the way I touch you," whispered Danni then stroked the small earlobe with her tongue.

"Oh yes," gasped Desire’. "You’re driving me crazy. Oh yeah, that’s it. Ohhhh," moaned Desire’ as every inch of her body relaxed, the tingling sensation of goose bumps invading every inch of her body. Desire’s head collapsed down into the pillows as waves of sensations flowed through her body leaving her weak and limp. Danni slowed down her assault and gently stroked the warm sensitive skin as Desire’ composed herself.

"Turn over," demanded Danni.

Desire’ hesitated looking back at the long muscular form behind her. "You’re gonna kill me Danni," she gasped.

"I’m gonna kill you with love," whispered Danni. "Now do as I say," she added as she swatted Desire’s rump.

"What a way to die," exclaimed Desire’ as she turned around to face Danni. "And so forceful too." As her head hit the pillow she found herself looking into gentle eyes. Time seemed to stand still yet felt endless as pale green eyes drank in pools of blue. Desire’ could hear her heart pound loudly as she looked into the eyes of eternal love, instantly recognizing the soul she had searched for so long. Her eyes clouded up with tears as she memorized every feature of the incredible woman leaning over her, the bronze skin, azure eyes, high cheekbones, cute little nose, features chiseled in stone surrounded by silky midnight black hair. Suddenly, she thought, heaven is a place on her. Thank you Belinda Carlisle. After long moments Danni leaned into Desire’, her full supple lips placing angel kisses against the golden brown cheeks of the small brunette, before capturing Desire’s lips with a gentle loving kiss. Desire’ opened her mouth slightly to invite her lover in for a passionate exchange leaving both women breathless.

"Now just relax and follow my instructions," Danni said gently. Desire’ did as she was told falling limply into the sensuous form. Danni wrapped strong arms around the smaller woman, taking great care to keep her relaxed.

"Ohh gods, yessssss," cried Desire’, as the tension in her body released under Danni’s touch. "Where did you learn to do that?" gasped Desire’.

"Xena isn’t the only one with many skills," answered Danni.

"Apparently not," whispered Desire’.

Danni turned her prize over and continued her ministrations as Desire’ relaxed letting go of the worries of her world. When Danni was through Desire’ lay with her head entrenched deep within the pillows completely relaxed.

"Wow, are you sure you aren’t a chiropractor?

"Glad to be of service my lady," answered Danni with a chivalrous tone.

"You can service me any day," teased Desire’.

"I plan on it," responded Danni. "Maybe with regular care you won’t sound like a package of Jiffy Pop on top of the stove when I adjust you."

"Wasn’t quite what I had in mind," muttered a disappointed Desire’. "But I’ll take what I can get. That’s the best massage I’ve ever had," whispered Desire’. Danni answered with a passionate kiss as she wrapped her arms around Desire’ and held her close. "And those manipulations, wow," added Desire’ teasingly as she pulled away. Danni looked down at Desire’ with a goofy grin. "What are you thinking about?" asked Desire’.

"I think I am looking at the most beautiful sight in the world," replied Danni.

"Good answer. Now tell me I look young and you’ll never get rid of me."

Danni quietly laughed. "I see myself when I look at you," she answered. Desire’ gave her a puzzled look. "I’ve been searching for you my whole life Desire’. I’ve been with beautiful women before but I have never seen the other half of my soul."

"So I’m not the most beautiful woman you’ve been with," interrupted Desire’ giggling.

Danni mockingly tapped Desire’ along the side of her face. "You still have intimacy issues don’t you?"

"You mean to tell me I’ve been this annoying for over two thousand years," answered Desire’ teasingly. Desire’ looked away from intense blue eyes. "I’m sorry," she whispered. "It’s just that I just met you and already I feel like I’ve known you my whole life. I’m scared. Before yesterday this whole soul mate connection was a fantasy on a TV show. It gave me hope but I’m not sure I really believed it. Now it’s staring me in the face."

"Desire’ I’ve always felt there was only one person out there for me and I would know her when I met her. I’ve felt love before and I’ve even settled a couple of times with women who made me feel loved but I never once felt complete with a lover. I knew the instant our eyes met that you were the one. Annie and Mattie didn’t tell me exactly who you were."

"But Annie told me you were excited to see me."

"I was and I knew I had been Eve in an earlier incarnation. I also knew that my soul mate had been Destiny back then but Annie never said you were her. I woke up with memories of Corinth and knew I had to come to Las Vegas to find you. Shortly after I made the reservation Annie called me and told me about her memories of the conqueror. She wanted me to meet you and wild horses couldn’t have kept me from being here."

"Wow," whispered Desire’.

"We’re gonna have to work on your vocabulary," teased Danni.

"I’m not in the mood to talk anymore," whispered Desire’.

Desire’ wrapped strong muscled legs around the tall beauty’s hips and pulled her body against her. She reached around Danni’s neck tightly pulling her lips in for an ardent kiss as two heartbeats sped up in unison. Pulses raced as tongues danced in the heat of passion, two souls searching to reconnect as one.

Desire’ pushed up Danni’s T-shirt struggling to feel the heat of flesh meeting flesh. Danni accommodated by lifting the shirt off with one swift movement of her hand. She looked longingly into pale green eyes before lowering the length of her form against her partner, savoring the moment as bronze skin pressed against golden brown skin for the first time. Both women elicited low guttural moans from the sensation as the inflamed skin connected.

"Mmm so nice," purred Desire’ as Danni’s lips latched onto her neck, suckling and kissing the tender skin. Desire’s fingertips traced an erotic pattern down the long slender spine of her lover, digging her nails in as Danni’s velvety tongue caressed an earlobe. "Too many clothes," added Desire’.

Danni jumped off the bed to accommodate her lover. The doorbell rang before she completed her task. "Damn," exclaimed Danni. "Who the hell could that be?"

"Who cares? It’s probably just someone trying to sell something," answered Desire’ frustrated.

"What if it’s my idiot sister?"

"They have a key Danni. Now get back here."

Danni hesitated then picked up her T-shirt and put it on while Desire’ watched on in horror. "What if the key doesn’t work?"

"The key works. I promise."

"Desire’ they could have lost the key. I’ll just be a minute," answered Danni as she leaned over to kiss her love on the forehead.

"You’re right," grumbled Desire’. "Just hurry back and don’t forget to shut the doors on your way in."

Danni walked out to the front door and opened it expecting to see the familiar faces of blonde and brunette.

"Jeez what took you so long?" asked an unfamiliar high-pitched voice on the other side of the screen door.

Danni squinted trying to make out the person standing on the porch. "Can I help you?" she asked.

"You’re not Desire’. Who are you?"

"I’m Danni and you are?"

"I’m Maryanne. This is still Desire’s house isn’t it?" she asked. Danni nodded in response. Maryanne opened the screen door and pushed her way into the front room. She had shoulder length blonde hair, dark brown eyes and ivory skin. She was slender in build with full sexy lips and stood about five and a half feet tall. Maryanne looked Danni up and down with an approving glance. "Very nice," she said. "Damn you look like Xena. You must not be from around here. Where’s Desire’?"

Danni backed away from the aggressive woman. "She’s in bed," she answered. "Asleep."

"Honey it’s five in the evening. If she’s in bed with a gorgeous thing like you here she is not sleeping. But I don’t like to be stood up," answered Maryanne as she walked toward the bedroom.

"Wait," called Danni as she walked after the woman.

Maryanne waved her hand behind as she walked. "Relax it’s not like I haven’t seen her naked before." She was through the bedroom doors before Danni could catch up to her.

Desire’ stood beside the bed clothed in a long purple nightshirt bearing the image of a cranky looking cartoon rabbit with crooked ears holding a coffee cup and wearing fuzzy slippers with the caption ‘I hate mornings’ across the bottom.

"Maryanne what are you doing here?’ hissed Desire’.

"Jeez, no wonder you never get laid," answered Maryanne pointing to the bulky nightshirt. "It’s Sunday, duh," she added as Danni looked on.

Desire’ looked at her with a puzzled expression on her face. "So. I’m kinda busy right now. Go away."

"Be nice. It was your idea to go to the Backlot tonight. Don’t back out now. What the hell is with your hair girl?"

Desire’ looked like a deer caught in the headlights. She instinctively reached her hand behind her head, running her fingers through the long dark tresses. Shit, she thought. What do I tell her? Well since Thursday I spent a year in ancient Greece and it just kind of grew. Without saying a word Desire’ looked at her hands wondering how she would explain the cuts and bruises on the left hand and the new tattoo on the right.

"Hellooo Desire’. Remember me your best friend. Is it Xena night and I forgot to dress the part?" asked an impatient Maryanne.

"They don’t have blow dryers in ancient Greece," she answered weakly, a smirk on her face. You idiot. Don’t try explaining it to her. She already thinks you’re nuts! yelled the little voice in her head. "Nothing. It’s just a new hairstyle. You know I wanted long hair again."

Maryanne walked over toward her friend. "Since when do you do hair extensions? Those can’t be comfortable against your scalp. Now lean over and let the good doctor make sure they’re not too tight."

Desire’ started to back away from the blonde in protest. "Sit!" demanded Maryanne.

Desire’ complied and motioned for Danni to come in. "This is my best friend Maryanne. She’s also my neurosurgeon," stated Desire’ as Maryanne inspected the scalp pulling and tugging at the roots of the hair. "Owe," she cried.

"Where the hell did this lump come from?" demanded Maryanne.

"A staff," answered Desire’.

"Is this some kind of new foreplay for you Desire’? Jeez I know you like it rough sometimes but keep it in the bedroom," teased Maryanne.

Desire’ shot her an evil look as she continued to run her fingertips through her hair. "Did you do this to her?" asked Maryanne pointing an accusatory finger at Danni.

"Maryanne shut up," interrupted Desire’. "Danni had nothing to do with it."

"Then who did?"

"Xe," started Desire’. "Another friend Annie."

"Two women in two nights. Welcome back Desire’. I was beginning to think you were never gonna get laid again," wisecracked Maryanne.

"It’s not like that. Annie is Danni’s sister."

"Boinking sisters. You really are back in form."

"It’s not like that. Annie is just a friend."

"How come I’ve never heard about her?"

"Because I just met," started Desire’. "Never mind it’s not important."

"Fine. How come there aren’t any hair extensions on your head?"

"I don’t know Maryanne," answered Desire’ looking helplessly over at Danni who was quietly watching the exchange between friends. "I’m a medical miracle. You know that so how come my hair can’t grow fast?"

"Desire’ your hair barely reached your ears three days ago and now it’s half way down your back. Kind of weird even for you don’t you think?" Maryanne looked down at her friend catching sight of the mangled left hand and tattooed right hand. "What the hell happened to your hands?" she asked grabbing both of them before Desire’ could hide the evidence. "What was it this time, mirror or window?"

"Maryanne hush. Now is not the time."

"You said you’ve only broken one other mirror," interrupted Danni glaring at Desire’.

Desire’ sighed and looked at her lover. "What can I say? Windows have always been my specialty."

"Desire’ you haven’t lost your temper like that since you moved to Nevada. What is going on with you?" asked Maryanne.

"Too much to explain right now. I’m fine and I’m very happy thank you," answered Desire’ exasperated.

"Explain the tattoo," demanded Maryanne.

"It’s a tattoo!" yelled Desire’ as she jumped from the bed. "I’m a Leo remember? So I got a tattoo of a lion. It’s no big deal!"

"Jumping through a chakram. Don’t you think that’s taking this fandom thing a little too far?"

Desire’ shook her head, grabbing the hair by the roots with both hands in frustration. "I like the way it looks. Maryanne go into the front room. Let me get dressed and we can talk."

"Put your jeans on. The night is still young," answered Maryanne as she walked out of the room. "And don’t dawdle you two."

Desire’ turned toward Danni and walked into her arms, wrapping small hands around her waist and resting her head on her chest. "I’m sorry about this," she whispered. "I have to talk to her. She’s very persistent."

"What are you going to tell her?" asked Danni.

"I have no fucking idea. What do you think? She’s my best friend. She knows everything that happens in my life."

"You could always tell her you went to sleep one night, time traveled to Corinth and spent a year with the Conqueror before going to Japa and saving Xena and Gabrielle," answered Danni.

"Yeah that’ll work. Then she’ll chastise me for reading too many Conqueror stories and blame herself for my insanity because she is the one who got me hooked on the show," answered Desire’. "She’s smart Danni and she’s gonna think it’s strange that I got a tattoo two days ago and it’s already healed. Tattoos just don’t heal in two days."

Danni released her hold on Desire’ and walked over to the closet where her clothes were hanging. "Eventually you’re gonna have to tell her something," she stated as she changed her clothes. Moments later she came out wearing black jeans and a red button down shirt, matching snakeskin boots in her hand.

"Wow you look beautiful," purred Desire’.

Danni reached down and kissed her on the lips. "Get ready. I’ll keep your friend company," she whispered.

Danni walked out to the living room to confront Maryanne who was no where to be found. She saw a light coming from the front bedroom and walked toward the short hallway stopping when Maryanne stormed through the door. "What the hell is going on here?" shouted Maryanne. "Where are all of her instruments?"

Danni gave her a quizzical look. "I don’t know what you’re talking about."

"The fiddle, the mandolin, the Dobro, her guitars. They’re all gone!"

"Calm down Maryanne. I’m sure Desire’ will explain when she comes out," answered Danni.

Annie burst through the front door holding a brown paper bag in her hand as Maryanne finished her sentence. "Hey sis. Where’s the cowgirl? I have something for her."

Maryanne stared at the tall dark beauty her mouth dropping wide open. "Damn Desire’, you hit the mother lode!" she exclaimed. Annie shot a glare at the stranger.

"Who are you?" asked Annie.

"A friend of Desire’s. Don’t tell me you’re Annie," answered Maryanne.

Annie looked over at Danni for an explanation. Danni just shrugged her shoulders in silence. "Yes I’m Annie."

"Jeez how do you do it Desire’?" shouted Maryanne. "Two Xena look-alikes and you get both of them."

"She told you Annie is just a friend."

"Yeah and Desire’ and I were once just friends, really good friends." Maryanne looked up at Annie and winked. "I would have thought one of you would prefer blondes," she added flirting with Annie.

Annie looked nervously over at Maryanne and pointed her hand over her shoulder toward the door. "Should we come back later?" she asked Danni.

"What’s wrong? Afraid Gabrielle is going to walk through the door and get jealous?" teased Maryanne. Annie and Danni looked at each other frozen as they heard the footsteps up the front porch. Annie stepped aside to let her partner come through the door. Maryanne stood speechless as Mattie walked in.

"Hey guys," said Mattie casually before noticing the stranger in their midst. She looked at the stunned expressions of her girlfriend and sister in law then walked over to Maryanne and extended her hand. "Hi I’m Mattie," she said as she shook her hand.

"Very clever," responded Maryanne. "Just like the show. I suppose you’re gonna tell me you’re the reincarnated souls of Xena and Gabrielle," she added her voice dripping with sarcasm, not noticing the menacing form of Desire’ walking into the room.

Desire’ stood with her hands on her hips, her eyebrows furrowed, eyes darkening as an inferno of rage boiled within. "Maryanne what’s my worst pet peeve in life?’ she asked her eyes fixed on the dark brown eyes of her friend.

Maryanne returned the look startled at the feral expression on the face of her buddy. "Rudeness," she said looking down at the floor like a schoolgirl about to be punished.

"So why are you being so goddamned rude to a guest in my house? Now apologize to Ga, Mattie before I really get pissed."

"Look I’m sorry but don’t jump on my ass for being concerned. There are three strangers in your house who look like they’ve moved in. You look like you’ve been beaten up by the warrior princess and all of your instruments are gone," defended Maryanne.

Desire’s eyes shot wide open as every muscle in her body tensed up with anger. "What the hell were you doing in the front room," she yelled causing the green-eyed monster within to take action.

Annie’s sharp ears picked up the slight sound coming from the room in question. Instinctively she reached over and grabbed Maryanne by the hand pulling her forward as a sharp metal object raced across the hallway, now vacated, and slammed into the wall.

Danni ran over to Desire’ wrapping strong arms around her in a tight hug as Maryanne stood flustered looking up at Annie.

"Ssh Desire’ calm down," whispered Danni as she held onto her love caressing the back of her head.

"What’s in that room?" Annie asked Maryanne.

"Her um weapons collection," stammered Maryanne. The room became deadly silent for long moments as all eyes focused on the angry brunette.

"I’m sorry," whispered Desire’. "I’m so sorry," she repeated as her breathing slowed down followed by tears. She trembled in her partner’s arms.

Danni pulled back placing a gentle hand under Desire’s chin to point her face upward. "You okay now?" she asked. Desire’ nodded in response as Annie walked calmly over to the cat food bowl and picked up the steel dagger. She turned around to face the open door to the front room and slowly walked toward the entrance. Her mouth dropped as she viewed the contents along the wall.

"What the hell is this?" she asked stunned at the vast assortment of daggers, swords and various other ancient weapons displayed in cases on shelves.

"Some girls collect dolls. I always hated dolls," answered Desire’ trying to lighten up the mood in the room.

Annie walked into the room to get a closer look at the displays then set the dagger back into the empty space and walked out of the room closing the door behind her. "Let’s agree right now to keep that door closed," she stated. "I’m glad you only challenged me with a staff."

"Can someone please tell me what the hell is going on around here?" asked Maryanne.

Desire’ broke away from Danni and walked up to her bewildered friend, extending her hands out to grab her hands. "Maryanne I don’t even know where to start," answered Desire’.

"How about the truth, for old times sake," responded Maryanne.

"Beware of what you ask for, you might just get it."

"Desire’ stop trying to distract me. Answer my question."

Desire’ looked helplessly over at Annie and Mattie standing quietly behind Maryanne shrugging their shoulders. "Anybody care to help me here?" she asked looking around the room then back at her friend as silence ascended on the group. "You’re not gonna believe a word I say so why don’t we just go dancing."

"Are you back on drugs Desire’? Is that why you’re acting so weird?" asked Maryanne.

Desire’ stepped away from her friend defiantly. "No! Damn it Maryanne. I’m crazy not stupid!" Desire’ glared at her friend. "You know this would all make a hell of a lot more sense if I was!"

Mattie walked over to Desire’ and took her hand. "Why don’t we all just sit down and try to answer your questions," she stated pointing toward Maryanne. The four women nodded and one by one they each took a seat around the dining room table.

"Maryanne can you keep an open mind regarding what you are about to hear?" asked Mattie.

"Is this Xena related?" asked Maryanne.

"I’m afraid so," answered Mattie.

"Maryanne," interrupted Desire’. "Just listen. You know when I’m lying."

"That’s true. Go ahead."

Desire’ sighed deeply hesitating before beginning her story. "You’re gonna get the short version right now. Just the highlights. You know we’ve discussed the possibilities of reincarnation. Guess what? It really does exist."

"And you want me to believe that Mattie and Annie here are really Xena and Gabrielle reincarnated," interjected Maryanne sarcastically. Desire’ nodded in reply. "So where does the other one fit in?" she asked pointing at Danni.

"Eve," responded Desire’.

"Xena’s daughter?" asked Maryanne as Desire’ nodded. "Next you’re gonna tell me you’re the reincarnation of Ephiny or something."


"What?" asked Maryanne.

"I’m the reincarnation of Destiny, Gabrielle’s granddaughter.

"Who the hell is that?"

"It doesn’t matter. Her story begins when the series ended. Maybe if there had been a season seven we would have heard about her!" hissed Desire’.

"So you can’t even choose a character from the show. You have to make one up."

"I’m not making anything up Maryanne. Shut up and let me explain."

"Desire’ they’re fictional characters. At least if you’re gonna claim reincarnation choose historical figures not TV characters."

"Maryanne the Xena scrolls are real," answered Desire’ frustrated.

"And so is Santa Claus."

"Annie why don’t you just put the fucking pinch on her. Maybe then she’ll listen to us!" yelled Desire’ her anger mounting.

"Desire’ control your temper," interjected Annie. "There’s got to be a way to prove to your friend that we’re telling the truth without going to such extremes."

"Yeah but where’s the fun in that? Pinch her," hissed Desire’. "What’s a little blood between friends."

"Desire’ try starting from the beginning," interrupted Mattie. "Just listen to the story and then we’ll prove to you who we really are."

"Fine. I’ll just pretend you’re telling me a hell of a fan fiction story," answered Maryanne. "Continue."

"Fine," answered Desire’. "I met someone on the Internet. She claimed to be Aphrodite."

"The Goddess of Love?" asked Maryanne.

"Yes. She sounded cute," answered Desire’.

"Celibacy has rattled your brain Desire’," stated Maryanne.

Desire’ ignored the sarcasm and continued with her explanation. "She asked me to meet her at the Crazy Horse where she worked. I figured she had to look pretty good to strip there."

"The goddess of love is a stripper in Las Vegas. This is good Desire’. What happened next?" asked Maryanne.

"She sent me a green crystal and told me to place it on my bed. I didn’t see any harm so I did as she asked. The next thing I know I’m wearing only a T-shirt in an arena with the Conqueror on judgment day."

"I knew it. You’re reading way too many conqueror stories."

"I was supposed to go back to Japan and help Xena and Gabrielle."

"Oh this just gets better. Why would Aphrodite choose you?"

"Because my name is Love and Desire’ is spelled Desire in the phone book," answered Desire’.

"You knew about that?" interrupted Annie.

"Yeah I knew about that. Aphrodite was just trying to cheer me up when she said that crap about the sound of my heart breaking being the loudest blah, blah, blah. I was chained naked to a wall at the time."

"You guys really believe this stuff?" asked Maryanne.

"Well I spent a year in Corinth and woke up with a tattoo and really long hair. A little odd don’t you think?" hissed Desire’.

"You spent a year in ancient Greece and woke up the next day," stated Maryanne.

"It’s time travel. There are no brochures available on the subject!" yelled Desire’. "I did the calculations. One minute passed in this century for every day I was in Corinth, to the exact minute."

"How hard did you whack her on the head?" asked Maryanne looking at Annie.

"Explain the hair growth Maryanne and the tattoo. It’s real and completely healed in two days. What do you want us to do to prove it to you?"

"I want to do another MRI on your brain," answered Maryanne. "What happened with your musical instruments?"

"I needed them for the concert. They didn’t make the trip back," responded Desire’. Maryanne stared at her friend in complete bewilderment. Desire’ sat back frustrated as memories started flooding her conscious.

She was in Greece laying in the sand as the warrior princess applied the pinch on her. She could feel the blood trickling from her nose as her breathing stopped. Next she found herself tied up at a campsite with Xena and Gabrielle. She was antagonizing Gabrielle, egging her on until the bard lost her temper and applied the pinch. The blood trickled down as Destiny’s anger mounted. Suddenly Gabrielle’s arms were being pulled toward her until the pinch was released. Next she bent over toward a masked warrior and applied the pinch amazed when it appeared to be effective. Then the vision ended.

I know how to apply the pinch, thought Desire’. That’s it girl, just do it. Then maybe Maryanne will believe you.

"Earth to Desire’. Where are you?" asked Maryanne.

Annie watched as Desire’s expression grew feral. Desire’ jumped out of her seat, her hands out in front of her as Annie jumped up to block her intentions. "Whoa Desire’. That’s not the way," she said pinning Desire’ down in her seat.

"Annie she’ll believe us. Just let me pinch her," insisted Desire’.

"No! Be patient. How did you expect her to react?"

Desire’ sat back down in her chair, arms folded over her chest. "Fine. She can just think I’m crazy. Relax I promise I won’t pinch her."

Annie seemed satisfied with Desire’s answer and sat back down. Before she could respond she watched in horror as Desire’ jabbed both hands into her neck and collapsed forward on the table gasping for air, blood seeping from her nose.

"Desire’!" yelled Maryanne as she reached over the table in astonishment. "What’s going on?" Annie ran to the aide of her friend jabbing her fingers into her neck to release the blood flow back to her brain.

Desire’ gasped and choked as the air came back into her lungs. She looked up at Maryanne who was holding her head with one hand on her forehead. "Do you believe me now?" asked Desire’ in between gasps.

"Okay I believe you. Jeez was Destiny insane too?" asked Maryanne.

Danni rushed over to Desire’s side, wiping the blood from her nose before lifting her up and carrying her to the sofa. "That was a really dumb thing to do," she said as Desire’ closed her eyes. "Shit," mumbled Danni.

"Is she out?" asked Mattie.

"Out cold," responded Danni.

"What’s wrong with her?" asked Maryanne frantically.

"It’s a side effect from the pinch. She could be out for awhile. Desire’ appears to have a much weaker constitution than Destiny," answered Annie.

"She needs to go to the hospital," said Maryanne. "Who knows what kind of damage she’s done to herself."

"She’ll be okay. I promise. Let her body sleep it off," answered Annie.

"How do you know? You’re not a doctor!" yelled Maryanne.

"Actually I am a doctor," responded Annie. Maryanne looked at her, a puzzled expression on her face. "At least I was. I worked in the ER before all this, awe never mind."

"Before Ares switched your bodies back," finished Maryanne. Annie nodded her head in response. "And you don’t have a medical degree as Annie. Now I’m really scared because I’m starting to believe you."

"I promise she’s not in danger. She feints easily anyway."

Maryanne laughed at the admission knowing her friend all too well. "How many times has she feinted on you guys?"

"Once," answered Danni and Mattie in unison.

"Three times," answered Annie. Three sets of eyes looked at her. "Twice in Corinth. She doesn’t like her scar touched."

Suddenly a twinkle of light was seen in the room and there in the middle stood the Goddess of Love. "Once on me babe, since you’re counting."

Maryanne gazed at the vision before her in shock and disbelief. Annie walked behind Maryanne offering support in case the stunned woman lost consciousness.

"Whoa who are you good looking?" asked Aphrodite pointing at Maryanne. "Still on your feet. That’s a good sign. Desire’ feinted in the bathroom when she came back from Corinth and saw me." She looked over at Danni sitting on the floor next to the prone brunette. "What happened to her now?"

"This is Maryanne, a friend of Desire’," introduced Annie. "She’s having a hard time believing our story so miss intense over there applied the pinch on herself."

"The girl knows how to make a point doesn’t she," responded the Goddess. "Do you believe now?" she asked pointing at Maryanne.

"How do I know this isn’t a dream and I’m gonna wake up any time?" Aphrodite reached over and pinched Maryanne hard on the butt. "Owe, do that again."

"What? You still don’t believe us?" asked the Goddess.

"Oh I believe you. I just wanted you to pinch me again. That felt nice," said Maryanne flirting.

"You are definitely a friend of Desire’s," answered Aphrodite.

"Come on Maryanne," interrupted Mattie. "Let’s all sit down and fill you in on all of the gory details while the crazy one sleeps. I’m sure you have lots of questions."

The three women and the Goddess sat down with Maryanne and began their story telling her about Desire’s trip to Corinth, how she helped them in Japa and their first day in Las Vegas meeting Desire’. Mattie explained to her some of the knowledge she had acquired about reincarnation and how their souls were entwined through eternity. Danni told her about her feelings for Desire’ and their lives together as Eve and Destiny and the couple of incarnations she could remember. Aphrodite told Maryanne about Desire’s plan to outsmart her brother Ares and how she rocked on stage in Corinth and at Gilleys. Annie went into detail about the injuries Desire’ sustained in Corinth and the angry outbursts she was experiencing in the last twenty-four hours. They talked for over an hour while Desire’ slept peacefully on the sofa.

"Maryanne is she being truthful about the tumor being gone?" asked Annie.

"The tumor is never gone entirely but it hasn’t grown in four years," answered Maryanne.

"So she still has the tumor," interjected Danni.

"Yes but it’s barely millimeters in size so it’s controllable."

"Why don’t you just remove it? Isn’t it likely to grow again?" asked Annie.

"It’s in the skin at the base of her skull. The skin can’t be stretched anymore without a major skin grafting surgery that would cause more harm than good. She has elected not to have such a radical procedure."

"When was her last MRI?" asked Annie.

"Last week. She’s fine physically. I think you need to be more concerned about her mental health," answered Maryanne.

"Well thank you Dr. Ruth," interrupted Desire’ wiping the sleep from her eyes. "Owe why does my head hurt so much?" she said pressing her fingers against her temples trying to release the pain.

"Because you’re an idiot," answered Annie as she walked over to the sofa. "Sit up," she instructed. Desire’ did as she was told and leaned over allowing Annie access to press her fingers into her neck. "This is gonna hurt but I promise it will feel better in a few minutes."

"Owe, shit no kidding," cried Desire’ as Annie pushed on a pressure point.

"Give it a couple of minutes," stated Annie as she rubbed the back of Desire’s shoulders. "That was a really dumb thing you did."

"So Maryanne do you believe us now?" asked Desire’. Maryanne nodded in response. "Worked didn’t it? I’m a woman of action not words."

"It was still dumb," muttered Annie. "How does your head feel?"

"The pain is gone, thanks. Of course I can’t feel my right shoulder," answered Desire’, her arm hanging limply to the side.

"Oops," responded Annie.

"Oops does not sound good," stated Desire’. "Owe, okay I get the point. It was dumb. Don’t maim me," she yelled as Annie repaired the damage.

"That should do it," replied Annie.

Desire’ reached her right hand over her shoulder and patted Annie’s hand. "Thanks," she said looking appreciatively at the tall woman behind her. Annie looked down into gentle green eyes, staring for a long moment. "What?" asked Desire’ breaking the silence.

Annie brushed her left hand against Desire’s cheek still looking into her eyes. "It’s nice to see the sparkle back in your eyes," she answered.

Desire’ smiled ready to deliver a witty comment but stopped noting the sincerity of the moment. "Thanks for putting up with me," she replied.

"Are you two through with your moment?" asked Aphrodite.

"It doesn’t pay to hold my tongue," answered Desire’. "So Maryanne what do you think of my new friends?"

"Very nice. Especially the blonde," she answered looking over at Aphrodite.

"Right back at you," interjected Aphrodite.

"Down girl," replied Desire’. "Or I’ll tell Peggy."

"Go right ahead. We broke up," answered Maryanne.

"What? You do not just break up after twelve years. So you had a spat."

"No we broke up this time. Peggy threatened to leave so I walked out. You know it’s been coming on for months so why are you so surprised?"

"Because you guys have had problems before. Don’t just walk away."

"That’s why I came here Desire’. Of course after four years of abstinence who would figure you would hook up with someone the day before I become single. I’m really bummed you know," answered Maryanne.

"Does Peggy know you’re here?"

"Oh yeah. I made sure she did."

"Great. You know she hates me already."

"How did you two meet?" interrupted Danni uncomfortable by the conversation.

"One night stand," answered Maryanne.

"Almost twenty years ago," added Desire’.

"So you two are ex-lovers," commented Aphrodite. "Oh do tell."

"Don’t encourage her," interrupted Desire’.

"We were both stood up by our dates at a bar so we went home together," started Maryanne. "Actually we went to a motel, a cheap motel at that."

Desire’ laughed as she remembered the events of that night. "The air conditioner was in the closet."

"And Desire’ left her wallet on the bed the next morning with the door open."

"Too bad I left the car keys in the car," added Desire’ chuckling. "We had to call the police to help us open the door. I wasn’t about to break the window."

"The cop looked at me then at the money on the bed and I know he thought I was a hooker," continued Maryanne.

"She was dressed in a leather mini skirt, low cut silk blouse and fishnet stockings and black spiked heels. We didn’t have any extra clothes." Desire’ and Maryanne were joined by the others laughing at the absurdity of the situation. "It gets better guys," stated Desire’. "I never thought I would hear from her again but she calls me up and tells me she has Mono. We’ve been friends ever since. See what you have to look to forward with me Danni."

"Oh but its soo worth it," said Maryanne.

"Maryanne," started Desire’.

"What? I’m just promoting you."

"I don’t need promoting do I Danni?" Danni shook her head in response. "So Maryanne back to your little problem. Why did you leave Peggy?"

"We don’t make love anymore. She doesn’t find me attractive."

"Then do something to get her attention. You’ve gone through this before. Do something to liven things up." Maryanne sat silent for a minute. "And don’t be thinking about a three way. That’s not gonna help."

"I’m not the one who wants it now."

"Peggy wants a three way. You’ve been talking about it for ten years. She was bound to say yes."

"I don’t know if I can go through with it. She has this friend from work,"

"No! Don’t you dare even consider it! Can’t you learn from my mistakes?" Desire’ said the words before she could stop herself. She looked at her new friends staring back at her with puzzled expressions. "Shit. There goes one more secret. I’ve done some stupid things in my life."

"She was something else in California. All the good-looking women knew her and wanted her. It’s those bedroom eyes," started Maryanne talking rapidly. "She could be dating three or four women a week but she never lied. Nobody cared and we all knew each other’s names. She never hid her intentions. Either you want it or you don’t and we wanted it. That’s why she left California you know. She ran out of women to date."

"Maryanne! Please shut up. You’re not helping me here," cried Desire’ looking over at Danni. "Too much information!"

"Well that’s another thing you two have in common," interrupted Mattie referring to Annie. Annie rolled her eyes glaring at Mattie then at the small brunette on the sofa.

"Maybe you should be the Goddess of Love," teased Aphrodite.

"Sex maybe but I obviously suck at love," answered Desire’.

Danni stood up from her seat looking cautiously over at her soul mate. Maryanne grabbed her by the hand before she could walk away. "Danni you have nothing to worry about really. When she’s in a relationship she’s a totally different person. She’s the most loyal woman I’ve ever met and she has never, ever cheated on a girlfriend. I’m sorry I got carried away."

"That’s okay," answered Danni then walked over to Desire’ and yanked her up from her seat claiming her lips with a fiery kiss. "Do I have anything to worry about?" she whispered into Desire’s ear.

"No. You’re not mad are you?" answered Desire’.

"Of course not but I’m really turned on right now," Danni said responding with a gentle kiss along the earlobe.

"Break it up you two. You have company," interrupted Annie, a devilish grin on her face as the lovers broke from their embrace.

"Maryanne back to your problem," replied Desire’ trying to contain her composure as Danni caressed her backside.

"The three way?" asked Maryanne innocently.

"Yes," answered Desire’. "Aphrodite maybe you can help her. Isn’t this your specialty?"

"If your lover is half as cute as you I’m in," answered the goddess.

"Aphrodite that’s not what I was talking about. I meant love. Can’t you help her get back with her girlfriend?"

"Oh that. Yeah I guess I can but it won’t be as much fun," she answered.

"Aphrodite!" yelled Annie and Mattie in unison.

"What? Even Goddess’ have to have fun too you know," defended Aphrodite.

"Good. Then you’ll help her. Now let’s go dancing," interjected Annie.

Mattie stared at her in astonishment. "Since when are you so eager to go dancing? Especially country western."

"Since I learned some new moves and can probably teach you a thing or two," answered Annie. "I can even do the Tush Push."

"Since when?" asked Mattie.

"Since Desire’ taught her in Corinth," answered Danni. "Shall we go?"

"Lead the way," replied Mattie.


All eyes watched the breathtaking sight as the six women walked into the bar. Heads turned around and patrons whispered to each other acknowledging the beauty of the group. It was still early and one table was left in the middle of the room. All six crowded around the table and ordered drinks from the bar.

Couples two-stepped on the dance floor in a circle going clockwise. Maryanne scanned the room searching for familiar faces in the crowd stopping at the sight of a shorthaired brunette with hazel eyes standing near the bar. She politely excused herself from the table and walked up to her friend.

"Who’s that?" asked Danni.

"That’s Sue. She’s a nurse at the hospital where Maryanne works. Will you excuse me a moment? I haven’t seen her in quite a while." Danni nodded and watched as Desire’ walked away from the table sighing with contentment, oblivious to anything except the object of her affection.

"Hello, earth to Danni," cried Aphrodite waving her hand in front of the smitten woman’s face until Danni focused her eyes and looked back. "Wow you’ve got it way bad girl. Can I pick em or what?"

Danni smiled as lascivious thoughts raced through her mind. "You did good Aphrodite. Thank you."

"She looks relaxed," interjected Mattie. "I think the worst is over."

"Nah it’s just the calm before the storm. Something tells me it’s going to be a bumpy ride but as long as we make the journey together I don’t care," replied Danni.

"What makes you think that?" asked Annie.

"It’s just a feeling. I know it sounds weird but I can feel her emotions and they run deep. They’ve been bottled up for a long time. If I’m right she hasn’t been really happy for many years."

"She was happy in Corinth," responded Annie.

"That was different. In fact it proves my point. If she had been happy at home she would have missed it. Instead she had a chance to start over, to make a difference."

"Whoa you’ve really connected with her Danni," stated Aphrodite.

"Are you happy Danni?" asked Mattie.

"Gods yes. How do I convince her to go for the brass ring? To do what makes her happy in life. I can already hear her telling me that my happiness will make her happy. Have any of you guys read the eulogy to her father that sits on the entertainment center in a frame?" Three heads shook their heads in unison. "I read it. He lived for others. She may have been much closer to her mother in spirit but she worshiped the man that was her father."

"That’s a very admirable quality," interrupted Mattie.

"Yes but like her father she has never learned to live for herself. It’s like she feels that her own happiness is a selfish thing. We know about three other incarnations together. Destiny lived and died for the amazons. Then she lived and died for the mother of peace. In our last incarnation she died for her country and now from what I’ve heard she has lived her life for her family. They say our souls reincarnate trying to learn the lessons we failed in the previous life. Annie you learned not to embrace your dark side by becoming the mother of peace. She’s been repeating the same mistakes for thousands of years and still hasn’t learned that it’s okay to seek her own happiness."

"I didn’t realize you had done so much research on reincarnation. I’m impressed," stated Mattie.

"There has to be a reason behind her actions," interjected Annie. "Another common thread." Aphrodite glanced away from the table attempting to look nonchalant. "Aphrodite you know something," added Annie.

"Guys I’m a goddess. I’m not even supposed to be showing myself to mortals anymore. I can’t go teaching life lessons. She has to learn them on her own."

"Come on Aphrodite. I know you care about her," replied Annie.

"I do guys. That’s not fair. My father isn’t the king of the gods anymore. Things are different now. Look I can give you a hint. I can’t tell you the reason but I’ll tell you this. It’s guilt. There’s one common thread in every life that leads her to believe she has failed and she spends the rest of her life trying to atone for the mistake because she believes she is selfish. That’s all I can say."

"What could she have done to make her feel so guilty?" asked Mattie.

"I can’t say Mattie. But I do feel that with you guys in her corner she’ll figure it out this time."

"Fair enough," responded Danni.

"Well if you two will excuse us I am going to take this lovely woman onto the dance floor and show her a couple of new moves," Annie said as she offered her hand to Mattie and led her away. Aphrodite and Danni watched impressed as the two lovers glided gracefully among the crowd.


Desire’ greeted her friend with a hug and kiss. "How are you Sue?" she asked.

"Not half as good as you look darling. How did you end up with so many gorgeous women in Las Vegas?" asked Sue staring at the table occupied by the Goddess, warrior, bard and soul mate.

"It was a package deal," quipped Desire’. "Buy one get the other three for free."

"That was some deal," Sue shot back. "You do know they look like the cast from Xena. I can see the headlines now, ‘Yes she is and there are two of them.’ Which one is yours?"

"The brunette without a blonde attached to her face," answered Desire’.

"Who are they?"

"Well the little blonde is Mattie and her girlfriend is Annie. My girlfriends name is Danni and. Can you hold on for a second?" asked Desire’ walking quickly up to Danni and Aphrodite still seated at the table. "Aphrodite what do I call you?"

"By my name silly," answered the goddess.

"Yeah right. That’s not gonna look suspicious. Sue wants to know your name. What do I tell her?"

"Oh right. I don’t know. Call me Alex."

"If I call you Alex she’ll think you’re the actress who plays you on the show."

"I don’t know. You think of something. I’ll play along."

"Fine," muttered Desire’. "Be back in a few." Desire’ walked back to the bar. "Sorry about that. Had to ask her a question."

"What’s wrong? Did you forget her name?" asked Sue.


"So what’s her name and is she single?"

"Her name is Alice. Alice Love. She’s a cousin on my dad’s side of the family," answered Desire’ as Maryanne spit out her beer. "Problem?"

"No problem," answered Maryanne trying to contain her laughter.

"She doesn’t look like an Alice," interjected Sue. "Oh well is she single?"

"I think so. She swings both ways."

"So how serious are you and Danni."

"Very serious. It’s definitely love at first sight."

"For at least a week with that one," teased Sue.

"I was thinking more like a life time," defended Desire’.

"So she lives here in town."

"No she lives in Nashville."

"Long distance relationships are hard Desire’."

"It won’t be long distance for long Sue."

"Are you moving?"

"We haven’t discussed it yet but I’ve been wanting to move to Nashville for a couple of years."

"Maryanne said you two just met. Typical lesbian bringing the U-Haul on the second date."

"Yeah well I’ve spent my life not jumping into relationships and look where it’s gotten me. It’s time to let my heart lead the way. I gotta go. I want to dance with my new girlfriend," answered Desire’.

"Talk to you later. Maybe you can introduce me to the blonde."

"Hey I get first dibs on the blonde. Go find your own," interrupted Maryanne.

"You have a girlfriend Maryanne. Don’t go blowing it," hissed Desire’ as she left the bar.


Desire’ walked back over to the table and sat down in Danni’s lap, wrapping her arms around her neck and laying her head against her shoulder. "Are we having fun yet," she whispered.

"I am now," answered Danni hugging the small brunette tightly.

"Aphrodite will you talk to Maryanne please? Her and Peggy make a great couple. I can’t bare to see them split up."

"I’ll go talk to her now."

"Aphrodite," called Desire’. "Not too much flirting. Peggy will be here any minute."

"How do you know that?" asked the goddess.

"I called her before we left. Nobody’s going home until those two are back together."

"I hope you know what you’re doing," responded Aphrodite.

"I do. By the way your name is Alice. We’re cousins on my father’s side," answered Desire’ chuckling.

"I don’t look like an Alice," responded Aphrodite. "Is that the best you could come up with?"

"Apparently it is," replied Desire’ watching the goddess shake her head and make her exit. "I could’ve said Ethel."

"Alice?" whispered Danni.

"I thought it was funny."

"You’re evil Desire’."

"Yes but in a very good way," purred Desire’ before pressing her lips against Danni’s. "I wish we could be alone right now."

"We will be soon," answered Danni.

"Let’s just hope Peggy gets here soon."

"Did I hear my name?" asked a voice from behind. Desire’ turned her head looking into cold hazel eyes.

"Thanks for coming," answered Desire’. "Peggy this is Danni."

Danni raised her hand to shake Peggy’s. "Pleased to meet you."

"Likewise," answered Peggy. "Why am I here Desire’? Obviously Maryanne struck out with you."

"That is so not fair Peggy. You know we’re just friends."

"That’s not the way Maryanne tells it."

"She just does that to piss you off. We haven’t had sex together in fifteen years so don’t believe otherwise. We hardly see each other anyway because of you," hissed Desire’.

"So why do you want us to stay together?"

"Because she loves you idiot. She chose you because you make her happy."

"But she wants you."

"Because she thinks you don’t want her."

"That’s not true."

"Well don’t tell me. Tell her."

Peggy scanned the room looking for her lover. "She’s at the bar," said Desire’. Peggy looked toward the bar glaring at Maryanne as she laughed with the beautiful blonde goddess.

Her eyes turned dark with jealousy as she took in the sight. "Yeah she wants me. It didn’t take her long to move on," answered Peggy stomping away from the table.

"Stop ya big baby," yelled Desire’ running after her and grabbing her by the arm. "She’s talking to my fr, cousin, Eth, Alice. Stop assuming shit."

"Desire’ don’t interfere. We’ve been having problems for months."

"Then fix it. Don’t run away from it."

"That’s easier said then done."

"Duh. Nothing in life that’s good is easy," replied Desire’. "Except for me," she added smiling.

Peggy looked at her annoying friend and laughed. "I’ve heard that about you Desire’," she teased.

"Look give her some time and think about it. Go dance and talk to friends but don’t leave without talking things out with her. You guys belong together."

"Fine. I’ll talk to her before I leave."


"I promise."

"Okay and don’t take too long. I’m not leaving here until you two make up." Desire’ joined Danni at the table along with Annie and Mattie taking a break from the dance floor.

"Are you always so sensitive to your friends?" asked Danni.

"Was I too harsh?" asked Desire’.

"Let’s just say I have no intentions of getting on your bad side ya big baby," quipped Danni.

"I just hate lesbian games. Sometimes you need tough love," answered Desire’.

"So how did it go?" asked Danni.

"Pace yourselves guys. It’s gonna be a long night," she replied.

Both couples spent the rest of the evening two-stepping, occasionally switching partners. In between dances Desire’ ran between Maryanne and Peggy talking and convincing them to reconcile. Sue kept Alice company when she wasn’t counseling Maryanne. It took all night and well into the morning before Peggy and Maryanne kissed and made up.


Danni walked into the kitchen to find Mattie tending a pot on top of the stove. The strong aroma of coffee permeated through the room.

"You look like you’ve been busy," stated Danni as she walked over to the counter to prepare a cup of coffee. "How long have you been up?"

"About an hour. We found some steaks marinating in the refrigerator and took it upon ourselves to fix dinner. Annie is in the shower right now," answered Mattie.

"Sounds great. How long before I should wake up sleeping beauty?"

"We’re in no hurry. Let her sleep."

"Anything I can do to help?" asked Danni.

"No. Annie has already volunteered to barbecue. Did you sleep well?"

"Amazingly I slept like a baby," answered Danni.

"You sound surprised. Why is that?"

"Lets just say I have some pent up frustration right now. I think we were asleep before our heads hit the pillows. I hope you guys don’t have anything planned for us tonight because I would really like to just stay home and get to know Desire’ if you know what I mean," answered Danni smiling.

"Enough said. I’m sure we can entertain ourselves tonight. Speaking of Desire’ she seemed pretty relaxed at the bar. That’s a good sign."

"Of course. She was immersed in someone else’s problems."

"You already sound like an old married woman," commented Mattie.

"Do you ever feel what Annie is feeling or read her thoughts?"

"All the time. Any minute now she’s going to come in here and ask me where her underwear is. When she hurts I hurt and when she is worried about something I usually know."

"I can feel Desire’s emotions. Last night all she worried about was her friends."

Annie walked through the front room wrapped in a towel using a second towel to dry her hair. "Honey," she started.

"Look in the dryer," interrupted Mattie.

Annie looked at her soul mate and turned to walk away. "Thanks. Good evening Danni."

"See what I mean," stated Mattie.

Annie was bent over searching the contents of the dryer when Desire’ stormed into the small room accidentally running into her. "Sorry," she whispered leaning over the tall form rummaging through some clothes on top of the dryer. Annie looked up startled at the naked body of her friend.

"Guess you have lost your modesty," she quipped.

Desire’ picked up an article of clothing and stepped backward silently. "Sorry. I’ve lived alone for a while."

Mattie and Danni stepped out of the kitchen to see what was going on. Danni gazed longingly at the naked figure of her girlfriend smiling at the lack of modesty. "Good evening," she said quietly walking toward the hallway. "Are you going somewhere?"

"Actually yes. I forgot I’m supposed to work tonight," answered Desire’. I’m covering a concert in Primm," she added. Before she could continue speaking, strong arms enveloped her body as Danni lifted her off of the ground claiming her mouth with a hungry kiss. "I can miss the opening act." Annie stood up to watch the couple and quietly pushed Danni through the hall, into the bedroom and closed the double doors.


Danni carried her treasure to the king size bed, her lips never breaking from the tender kisses of her hearts Desire. Desire’ clung to the dark beauty, muscled thighs wrapped around her waist. Danni climbed on top of the sheets, lowering the small woman who kept a firm grip around her waist. Together they fell into the soft embrace of the mattress as Danni gently laid her body between the open thighs of her lover, lips and tongues melting into one as the flames of passion ignited.

Danni lifted her head drinking in the sight of pale green eyes filled with rapture looking back into soft blue eyes. Desire’ caressed her cheek tracing a pattern with her fingers along strong cheekbones, eyebrows and lips. Words were not spoken as emotions were expressed silently between soul mates.

Desire’ gently pulled her lover’s face down brushing her lips against Danni who returned the kiss tenderly for long moments. As passion mounted lips and tongues engaged in the sensual rhythm of love. Desire’ ran small fingers through ebony tresses of silk drawing the object of her affection closer yearning to satisfy the intense burning inside.

Danni blazed a trail down Desire’s neck, sucking and kissing the warm sensitive skin, her hands caressing and fondling full round breasts as Desire’ moaned with pleasure. Danni looked up into lust filled eyes. Pink nipples grew erect as she traced a circular trail around one while taking the other in her mouth as the small brunette bucked upward desperate to feel more of the moist hot lips and tongue teasing her body. "Oh gods that feels so good," gasped Desire’. "Please don’t stop."

Danni gazed up her eyes sparkling like sapphires. "It feels like I’ve waited my entire life for this moment," said Danni, her voice low and sultry. "I want to savor every minute." Danni lowered her head blowing warm air across the chest of her lover, placing angel kisses on every inch of flesh and teasing now erect nipples by flicking her tongue over the buds and stroking golden brown skin with skilled hands.

Desire’ squirmed and gasped for air under the delicate ministrations of the tall dark woman. Her body was on fire as the slow burn of arousal turned quickly into an inferno from the attention. She could feel beads of perspiration form on her lips and forehead, sweat covering her back with as much moisture as the wetness forming between her thighs. Danni pressed her long form between her lover’s legs pushing their bodies into the folds of the mattress. Instinctively Desire’ reached her hands behind her head feeling the damp hair plastered against her back, the pillow soaked with liquid. Shit, she thought. This can’t be happening. "Danni I’m really wet," she whispered.

Danni reached a strong hand between short muscled thighs, dipping long fingers into the moist center of Desire’s sex, reveling in the feeling of the warm moist sensation of her arousal as Desire’ cried softly at the touch. "Yes and it feels so good," answered Danni oblivious to the situation.

"Danni," gasped Desire’ pushing her head upward with both hands. "I mean I’m soaked."

Danni looked up, a lustful expression on her face. "Since when is that a bad thing?"

Desire’ pushed herself into a seating position, moisture dripping down her arms and back. "I um," she starting shaking water out of her hand. "We’ve sprung a leak."

Danni looked at her with a quizzical expression attempting to comprehend the meaning of the words spoken. "Danni it’s a waterbed. One of the tubes must have broke. I’m drenched," hissed Desire’ her frustration mounting.

"Shit," replied Danni, lowering her head against Desire’s stomach releasing a deep sigh of frustration.

"Let me up," commanded Desire. "I have to fix this fucking thing before the whole room gets flooded." Desire’ pushed herself off of the bed, water trickling down from every part of her body as she examined the growing wet spot on the bed. Desire’ screamed her frustration, grabbing the pillows and heaving them across the room in a fit of anger. "You know it only happens when I have a gorgeous woman in my bed. Countless nights alone and not once does it spring a leak. But now," rambled Desire’. "Do you know how long it takes to clean up this crap? It’ll take half the night before we’ll have a dry bed to sleep in or do anything else in," cried Desire’ as she walked into the bathroom to dry herself off with a towel and put on a T-shirt.

Danni stood up and followed Desire’ into the bathroom, pulling her into a tight embrace from behind. "Relax Desire’," she whispered placing gentle kisses along the tense neck. "I can wait," she added interlacing her fingers through the small fingers of her angry lover.

"That makes one of us," whined Desire’ leaning her head back, face tilted up to meet Danni’s lips.

"Maybe it’s a sign. I shouldn’t have tempted you to miss work tonight. Tell me what to do and I’ll clean it up. We’ll have a nice dry bed by the time you come home this evening," replied Danni.

"Damn it. I hate responsibility," hissed Desire’. "But I suppose you’re right. The sheets need to be washed or just change them with a clean set in the linen closet. Use the bath towels to soak up the water and toss the tube in the garage. There’s a replacement in the closet. You’ll need to use the blow dryer to dry the mattress cover. And stop doing that," cried Desire’ referring to the roaming hand along her body. "Or I’ll never get out of here," added Desire’ breaking free from her lover’s arms and opening the shower door.

Danni picked up some towels and made her way toward the bed to begin her task while Desire’ turned on the showerhead waiting for the water to grow cold. After long moments Desire’ yelled, "Shit! I hate the desert sometimes! No fucking cold water!" Danni peeked her head into the bathroom backing up when the small brunette stormed into the room to get prepared for work.

When Desire’ was ready she picked up her camera bag and walked over to Danni giving her a quick kiss on the lips, "Thank you. I’ll see you tonight."

"Desire’ don’t be tired when you come home tonight. I’ll be waiting for you." Desire’ smiled then stomped through the hallway slamming the door to the garage behind her as she left for work.

Annie and Mattie came out of the kitchen to see what all the commotion was about. Danni was standing in the hallway with a couple of bath towels in her hands.

"What happened?" asked Annie hesitantly.

"Bed sprung a leak," Danni answered letting out a much-needed sigh.

"Uh oh. Are you sure the world is safe with her out there in such a mood?" teased Annie.

"We might want to listen for the phone and watch the news tonight just in case," answered Danni laughing. "You guys can help me after dinner."

"Now that sounds like a fun way to spend an evening," stated Annie sarcastically.

"Well do you want to be the one to explain to her why her bed is still wet when she comes home tonight?" asked Danni.

"Point taken," responded Annie. "Just tell us what to do."


The concert ran much longer then Desire’ had anticipated. It was nearly midnight as she got into her car and turned onto Interstate 15 to go home. Time seemed to drag on endlessly as thoughts of the luscious tall brunette filled her mind. Desire’s thoughts floated back to the events before work as she drove down the long dark deserted highway just outside of Las Vegas, counting the miles to her exit on Lake Mead Blvd. She joined the singer on the radio as she started down the lonely stretch of road toward home. Desire’ drove slowly careful to make the sharp curves on the poorly lit road. Suddenly their was a loud explosion and Desire’s car swerved to the left then to the right as she struggled to control the direction of the vehicle, coming to a skidding halt along the side of the road. "Shit! I don’t fucking believe this night!" she screamed into the hot desert air.

Desire’ walked out of her car to inspect the wheels stopping at the back tire on the passenger’s side shredded to bits. "Well I guess fix a flat isn’t gonna do a damn thing," she yelled. Frustrated she opened the trunk to get the jack and spare out, clearing away the excess junk covering the opening over the compartment. She yelled into the night air when she opened the hatch and found it empty. "Shit, those bastards! Where’s my spare tire?" she yelled slamming her fists against the defenseless car. "This day just gets better and better," she cried stomping around the deserted road. "Think Desire’, think. The cell phone that’s it!" Desire’ ran to the front of the car and searched her camera bag for the electronic gadget. "It figures! The one time I don’t bring that worthless piece of crap with me!" Desire’ turned her emergency lights on and stood by the car listening to the radio praying some poor soul would take pity on her and stop.

She waited for over thirty minutes before a taxicab drove by ignoring her desperate pleas for help. Barely half a dozen cars drove down the empty highway all ignoring the flashing lights signaling her distress. Desire’ pounded the steering wheel with her hands as she listened to the lyrics of a Clay Walker song.

He was drivin' home one evening in his beat up Pontiac.
When an old lady flagged him down, her Mercedes had a flat.

He could see that she was frightened, standin' out there in the snow.
Til he said "I'm here to help you ma’am, by the way my name's Joe".

She said "I'm from St-Louis" and I'm only passin' through.
I must've seen 100 cars go by this is awful nice of you.

When he changed the tire and closed her trunk and was about to drive away.
She said how much do I owe you, here's what he had to say.

"You don't owe me a thing; I've been there too.
And someone once helped me out Just the way I'm helping you."

"If you really want to pay me back, here's what you do.
Don't let the chain of love end with you".

"So where the fuck are you Joe?" Desire’ read the time on her watch. It was

past three in the morning and time to go find help. She looked down the road. Gravel and dirt lined the road for miles. Up through the desert she could see a lone house with the porch lights still on. She estimated it would be a couple of miles away through the desert floor. She grabbed her camera bag, locked the car doors and began her trek through the sand.

Thirty minutes later she was standing on the front porch knocking. After several moments she knocked again, then walked around the house looking for signs of life, calling out to anyone who would listen. Finally after fifteen minutes of calling and banging on windows and doors she was satisfied that her trip had been futile and started back for her car, the moon lighting her way.


Danni ran out of the front door when she heard the vehicle pull up only to be greeted by Annie and Mattie. "Oh it’s just you two."

"We’re delighted to see you too sis," replied Annie. "Where’s Desire’?"

"I have no idea," answered Danni as the trio walked into the house. "She hasn’t come home yet and she hasn’t called. The casino said she left around midnight."

"Have you tried calling her cell phone?" asked Mattie.

"It’s not turned on," answered Danni.

"Have you looked to see if she left it in the house?" asked Mattie.

"I didn’t think of that," responded Danni as she rummaged through the house for the missing phone. She came upon Desire’s purse and reluctantly opened it. There inside was the electronic device turned to the off position lying beneath a pack of cigarettes. "Here it is," she said holding it up in the air. "Something’s wrong guys. I need your car to go find her."

"Of course. I’ll drive you," answered Annie.

"I suppose you want someone to stay here in case she calls," stated Mattie. Both women nodded in agreement. "I’ll turn the news on just in case." Annie kissed her girlfriend goodbye and left with her distraught sister.


They drove down Lake Mead Blvd retracing the route she would have driven stopping a mile short of Interstate 15 when they saw the abandoned white car on the opposite side of the road. Annie made a U-turn and parked their vehicle behind the Toyota Tercel. Danni jumped out before the car came to a complete stop and ran to the vehicle looking inside for any sign of life.

"Where could she be?" she asked as Annie walked up to her.

"I don’t know," answered Annie. "I’ve already called the police. Let’s wait until they get here." Both women looked around at the desolate stretch of land and highway searching for any sign of their friend. Moments later a police car drove up to help them with their search.

"Good evening Ma’am," he said tipping his hat. "I’m officer Drake. What seems to be the problem?"

"This is my girlfriend’s car but there’s no sign of her," answered Danni.

The officer walked around the car looking for clues and talking to Annie and Danni.

"I suggest one of you drive down the road for a couple of miles to see if she might be walking for help. The only other direction she might have gone would be up to that house in the desert. Hopefully she went down the road," stated officer Drake.

"Why? What’s in the desert?" asked a frantic Danni.

"There are snakes and coyotes in the desert. They have been known to come out at night," he answered.

"Great," responded Danni panicked at the thought of Desire’ being hurt.

"Relax," whispered Annie putting her hands on Danni’s shoulders to comfort her. "I’m sure she’s okay. It’s the snakes who should be worried," quipped Annie.


Desire’ sat down on a rock to take a break. The moon was full as it made it’s way slowly down the morning sky. Desire’ was covered with sweat from the hot desert weather. "Dry heat my ass," she muttered. "Hot is hot after 100 degrees." She heard the rustling of sand before she heard the lonely sound of the coyote howling. She looked behind her staring into the dark brown eyes of the wild creature.

"What do you want?" she asked in a monotone voice. The animal looked at her cocking his head. "I don’t have any food and Desire’ is not on the menu so run along." The coyote sat down staring back an almost sad expression on his face. "Look if I had something to eat I would share," she said in a soothing voice, reaching her hand out for the animal to sniff. The coyote hesitated watching in bewilderment as the creature before him showed no signs of fear. Slowly he stood up and walked toward Desire’ sniffing the proffered hand.

"I’m not gonna hurt you," she whispered then rummaged through her camera bag with her other hand. She brought out a wrapper and slowly opened it being careful not to startle the animal. She unwrapped the crackers while the beast looked on and offered the food to him. "It’s not meat so cheese and crackers will have to do." The coyote smelled the food and stuck out his tongue to taste the treat then gently took it from her hand. "Good stuff huh." Desire’ put her hand out and the overgrown dog came close enough for her to pet him. Desire’ held up the other hand holding the last cracker. "Now you don’t get this unless you’re a good little puppy," she said softly.

Desire’ stood up with her camera now around her neck, discharging the flash so as not to scare the animal. He walked away momentarily but came back for the treat when he assessed that he was not in danger. Desire’ lured the dog on top of the rock creating a silhouette in front of the full moon now positioned low in the sky. Still talking soothingly to the animal she stepped away and proceeded to click off several shots of her camera, the flash illuminating the black desert sky. When she was finished she moved toward the coyote offering him the last cracker for his services, petting him as he finished with the delicacy. "No more sweetie," she said stroking the dense fur along his back. "Gotta go now," she said and turned to walk away. The coyote followed for a few strides until he saw lights flashing along the road and ran away.

Desire’ threw up her hands and started walking rapidly. "Now someone stops for me!"


Danni had returned from searching the road for her lover. A tow truck had pulled up and was preparing to hitch the vehicle to the truck when several flashes of light were seen in the desert. Annie ran into the sand straining to see where the lights were coming from, her sister following not far behind. She could make out the short brunette’s figure in the moonlight shaking her head as she recognized the outline of the coyote on a rock howling as she drew nearer to her destination. Danni broke into a sprint when she heard the sound of the beast.

Without her glasses Desire’ could not make out the two forms running toward her, praying they were friendly faces. As the two women came closer she distinguished the familiar figures of the twin towers. Danni ran to her picking her up and throwing her into the air and back down for a bone-crushing hug. "Thank god you’re alright," she whispered.

"Of course now I have motion sickness," teased Desire’ before kissing the jubilant woman. "I waited for three hours in the car and no one would stop and help me."

"Next time bring your cell phone," replied Annie handing her the object in question. "Good thinking using that flash to scare away the coyote," she added.

Desire’ looked at her eyebrows furrowed with a questioning glance. "I was using the flash to take his picture. If they turn out they’re gonna be awesome."

"Pardon me for thinking you had a brilliant idea," quipped Annie.

"Desire’," interjected Danni. "Coyotes are wild animals. He could have hurt you."

"Nah he was just hungry. Did you know coyotes like cheese and crackers?" asked Desire’ an innocent expression on her face as she winked at Annie.

Danni shook her head is disbelief. "You fed him?" she asked.

"Sure. How else was I going to get him to pose?" Annie laughed at her sister’s obvious discomfort over the situation.

"It’s a good thing he didn’t know you were a cat," teased Annie. "Come on sis, let me tell you a little story about a leopard and an Amazon," she added as the trio walked to their vehicles.


The tow truck driver had the injured Tercel on his flat bed by the time the women walked up ready to deposit it at the tire store up the road. Officer Drake waited until the three women were safely in their SUV before leaving. Danni sat in the back seat with Desire’ all three women laughing as Annie finished her tales about the Amazon forest. Desire’ snuggled up on Danni’s lap wrapping small hands around her neck and placing kisses on her cheeks and lips as Annie put the car in gear and drove off, smiling at the scene behind her. "I’m not really tired," whispered Desire’ stifling a yawn and cuddling against the hollow of her partner’s throat.

Danni stroked the dark strands of hair, kissing the top of her head. "I’m just glad you’re not hurt," she whispered as the small body fell limply in her arms.

Annie looked in the back seat at her sister and the small quiet bundle in her lap. "Is she asleep?" she asked.

"Like a baby," replied Danni sighing with frustration. "There’s always tomorrow."

"Actually Mattie has a surprise for you two but I think I should warn you now," stated Annie.

"What’s that?"

"She thought it would be fun if we all took in a show before we leave. She has tickets to see the Blue Man Group tomorrow night."

"Fine," said Danni. "Just as long as we come straight home afterward."

"Patience my dear sister, she’s worth the wait."

"Tell my burning loins that," quipped Danni.


Danni woke up in the same position she was in when she fell asleep, on her side with a small brunette bundled inside of her arms. She gazed at the peaceful expression of the sleeping woman debating whether or not to awaken her. Gently she caressed the golden brown skin drawing a pattern down her arm, along her side and down a muscular thigh as Desire’ began to stir. She stroked the flesh along the inside of her thighs stopping to run her fingers through the patch of dark hair eliciting a soft moan from the brunette.

Desire’ leaned into the long form behind her reveling in the sensations created as flesh met flesh trying to remember how they both ended up naked. She reached her right hand behind her stroking the silky flesh of firm buttocks, drawing the tall women closer until she could feel Danni’s sex pressed into her backside. Danni stroked the entrance to her center, rubbing her finger along the warm folds of sex relishing the feeling of liquid gold along her hand.

"Good afternoon," whispered Danni as she suckled the delicate earlobe.

"Yesss," purred Desire’. "Will you marry me?"

Danni lifted her head for a moment reaching around Desire’s waist to pull her tightly into her body. "You surprise me," she whispered.

"Danni if you can make me feel this good, this complete just by touching me I want to spend today and every day of my life with you." Desire’ turned her body around toward Danni, both arms around her face caressing the bronze skin as she stared lovingly into gentle blue eyes. "You know I’m crazy and I’m getting old but I have never felt such intense feelings like this before in my life. You don’t have to answer right now. I told Annie when we were reunited with our soul mates we would feel ten times the power of love that we shared." Desire’ paused to lose herself in pools of blue, her own eyes clouding with tears. "I was so wrong," she whispered. "These emotions, this feeling of love is far greater than anything I could have ever imagined," she added before pressing her lips against Danni’s with a tender kiss.

Danni placed her palm along the side of Desire’s face, brushing the soft skin, her heart beating more rapidly as she returned the kiss. "I don’t know what to say but you are getting better with words," she whispered smiling.

Desire’ placed her fingers over her partner’s lips. "You don’t have to say anything."

Danni gently grabbed the hand kissing each fingertip her eyes never leaving the sparkling green eyes filled with love. She placed the hand over her chest to feel the motion of her heartbeat. "This is what you do to me. This is what love feels like, the kind of love that reaches the soul. I won’t let that go." Danni paused freezing the moment. "Yes," she added before claiming Desire’s mouth in a passionate kiss. "Will you come to Nashville with me?"

"To visit?" asked Desire’.

"To live," responded Danni.

"I thought you’d never ask," answered Desire’ as she wrapped her arms around the taller woman aching to feel her next to her, inside of her as two bodies melted into one. Hungry mouths devoured each other with feverish kisses; hands roaming, exploring each other’s forms as passion took over. Desire’ flipped her lover savagely on her back, kissing and suckling the bronzed skin along her neck, face and ears with wild abandon. Small hands caressed her lover’s breasts, pinching taut nipples and stroking tender flesh. Danni moaned and gasped for air as Desire’ began her assault down her body, feverishly devouring the silky flesh as she pressed her sex between long muscled thighs.

Desire’ looked up at her lover catching sight of the time on the clock as the doorbell rang. "Shit!" yelled Desire’.

Danni’s body tensed up as she looked down at her in frustration. "What’s wrong?" she asked flustered.

"My two o’clock is here. I didn’t realize how late it was," answered Desire’ listening intently for the bell to ring a second time.

Danni ran her hands through her hair. "Arrgggh," she cried pulling at the long tresses as she moaned her disapproval.

Desire’ leaned up, her arms straddling Danni then dropped her head. "I forgot to tell you about the appointment. I am so sorry," she said breathlessly. "Maybe they’ll go away. I’ll tell them there was a family emergency, give em some free stuff."

"Not if Annie answers the door," stated Danni.

"I’ll stop her," cried Desire’ jumping off of the bed and running into the closet. Moments later she was wearing a shirt and shorts walking toward the door as she heard a knock from the other side. Desire’ opened the door slightly looking into emerald green eyes.

"Sandy is here," stated Mattie.

"Do they know I’m here?" whispered Desire’.

Before Mattie could respond Desire’ heard a small voice call out her name followed by tiny footsteps and a little red haired girl looking up at her with big blue eyes. "Hi Alicia," greeted Desire’ weakly. Alicia pushed the door open bounding into the small brunette’s arms and kissing her on the cheek as Danni quickly ducked under the covers unseen.

Desire’ hugged the child and set her down on the other side of the threshold. "I’ll be out in two minutes, honey. Now be a good girl and don’t wrinkle that pretty dress okay." The excited child nodded and ran back to her mother as Desire’ closed the door and turned to her cowering lover.

She ran into the bathroom, grabbed her hairbrush and ran back into the bedroom jumping on top of Danni pulling the covers from her face. Straddling her waist she leaned over to kiss her only to be stopped by a hand covering her lips. "You do that and I’m not gonna give a damn who’s waiting outside." Desire’ contemplated the words. "Go, get out!" cried Danni. "I’ll be out in a few minutes." Dejected Desire’ slipped off of the bed and left.


Desire’ laughed as she walked into the room. Annie had an eight-year-old boy attached to her back as she romped around the room, her young charge shouting, "Giddy up." Mattie was on the sofa with Alicia sitting on her lap telling her a story. Sandy greeted Desire’ with a hug and pulled her into the kitchen before she could object.

"Desire’ it’s only been a week since we last spoke. Have I missed something?" asked Sandy.

"A lot has happened in a week," answered Desire’.

"I should say so. The kids want their picture taken with Xena and Gabrielle." Desire’s eyes shot up looking at Sandy with a puzzled look. "Your friends, Mattie and Annie," added Sandy.

"Oh yeah of course," responded Desire’ trying to cover up that deer in the headlight expression on her face.

"You know Donny is a huge fan of the show. He’s seen most of the episodes. He thinks those two are the real deal."

"What do you mean?"

"Mattie and Annie are the names they used on that episode that showed the two heroes reincarnated in the present. That’s what I mean. They’re dead ringers for the actresses."

"Could it hurt to let them think that?" asked Desire’.

"I guess not but who are they?"

"They’re from out of town. They came with their sister to see me perform on Saturday night. My cousin introduced us so I invited them to stay while they’re in town. They’re terrific people and wait until you meet Danni," cooed Desire’.

"Who’s Danni?"

"I know this is gonna sound crazy. Do you believe in love at first sight?"

"Not really."

"Well I do. Danni is Annie’s sister and she is so incredible Sandy. I know she’s the one."

"Take things slow Desire’. It’s been a long time since you’ve dated. Don’t go jumping into anything."

"It’s a done deal. I’m moving Sandy."

"Ssh, don’t say anything right now. We just talked about it. Xena and Gabrielle, I mean Mattie and Annie haven’t been told yet."

"When did you two meet?"

"Saturday. I know it’s fast but it’s right. Gods Sandy I can’t even describe to you the way this woman makes me feel."

"Where is this Danni?"

"She’s in the bedroom getting dressed. You’ll meet her soon."

"Desire’ are you nuts? You’ve done this before. Just because a woman is great in the sack doesn’t mean you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with her."

"That’s the great thing. We haven’t even made love yet. We keep getting interrupted."

Sandy looked at her friend exasperated from the conversation. "Oh, I’m sorry. Did we," started Sandy.

"Don’t worry about it," interrupted Desire’. "My mind is on over load. I forgot about today."

"We can come back another time," offered Sandy.

"No come on the kids look great. Besides don’t they want their picture taken with Xena and Gabrielle?" Sandy nodded her head in response. "One other thing, just to warn you. Danni is Annie’s identical twin sister," added Desire’.

"No way!"

"Oh yeah," purred Desire’ as Danni walked into the living room. Sandy turned around to witness the vision of the second tall brunette.

"Wow. You know Sam said I could have a three way with women if he could watch," whispered Sandy.

"No!" answered Desire’. "I am not sharing this one."

"I was including you."



The photo session lasted for two hours. Alicia and Donny provided numerous photo opportunities excited at the prospect of being with their heroes. Desire’ brought out a sword and pair of Sais from her weapons collection to make the heroes look more realistic.

After they left the four women dressed and left for dinner and their show. Desire’ and Danni ached through out the evening refraining from contact among the straight environment. By eleven all four were in the SUV on their way home.

Danni and Desire’ cuddled in each other’s arms in the back seat. "So what did you think of the show?" asked Mattie attempting to make conversation.

"It was great," responded Danni and Desire’ in unison, their eyes locked as they leaned toward each other taking turns placing soft kisses along each other’s face. Mattie looked back when she heard soft sucking sounds and turned away leaving the two lovers with some privacy. Annie looked back in the rearview mirror, smiling at Mattie and placing a possessive hand across her thigh.

Gentle kisses turned into passionate ones, followed by feverish kisses as lips and tongues danced without regard to their location. Danni held her treasure closer nipping at the soft skin of her lover’s neck as Desire’ ran her fingernails through raven hair moaning silently as the vehicle moved along the road.

Mattie leaned over to her lover and whispered, "Can’t you go any faster? Those two are going to be naked soon."

Annie laughed quietly and kissed Mattie. "Relax we’re almost home. I’m just as eager to have some privacy as they are."


The two lovebirds were completely engrossed with each other as they stumbled out of the car and walked through the garage to the bedroom, waving goodnight as they closed the door.

Desire’ pushed Danni against the closed door tearing her clothes from her body, ripping the buttons from her shirt and skillfully unlatching the bra holding the firm breasts captive, her lips never leaving Danni’s. Breaking the lip lock, Desire’ slid down the long slender form both hands caressing soft skin, her tongue blazing a trail down the flat muscular stomach until her hands rested on Danni’s belt. Quickly she unbuckled the leather, throwing it to the floor and unzipped the tight blue jeans. Using both hands she slipped the jeans over curvaceous hips stopping to gently kiss the dark triangle of curly hair before sliding the material down the length of long toned legs until boots and pants lay on the floor.

Using her hands she caressed well defined calves raising hands and body up Danni’s legs stroking and licking the limbs as she made her ascent back up her lover’s long form, stopping momentarily to lick the inside of her thighs and blow warm breath over the tall woman’s heated center. She raised her body upward standing on tiptoes to claim her lover’s mouth in a fervent kiss that lasted for long moments, both women moaning from the erotic connection.

Swiftly Danni turned Desire’ around pulling her body next to hers as she ripped the blouse from her chest, unhooking the bra as she sucked on the small brunette’s neck and ear. Two strong hands reached around Desire’ engulfing large firm breasts within her grasp, stroking the succulent flesh and pinching the pink nipples between her thumbs and index fingers as Desire’ cried out from pleasure. Danni ran her hands down the muscled stomach, unzipping her lover’s jeans and pushing them down with experienced hands as she kissed and suckled the curve of Desire’s spine, blazing a trail of fire down soft firm buttocks as the pants slid downward. Within moments boots and jeans lay on the floor beneath as Danni made her way back up stopping to place kisses along Desire’s cheeks before continuing upward enveloping her with strong arms and pulling her closer into her body. Desire’ responded by leaning her head back to meet Danni for a fiery kiss, flesh melting into flesh.

Desire’ turned into her lover’s arms grabbing her by the hand leading her to the bed and throwing her onto her back. Desire’ straddled Danni drinking in the sight of the long slender exposed skin brushing her wet sex along Danni’s stomach. Both women moaned from the contact.

Desire’ slid down the bed placing her head between the open legs of the tall brunette. Strong hands slid around bronze calves as Desire’ began placing kisses over every inch of flesh, stroking each muscle with her hands and licking every inch of skin firmly as Danni moaned and gasped below her. Slowly she made her way up the long legs, kissing and nipping inner thighs as she drank in the sweet fragrance of her partner’s arousal. "God Desire’ stop teasing me. I need you," cried Danni.

Desire’ raised her head, her hands wrapped around each thigh. "Patience my dear, patience."


Mattie was in Annie’s arms as soon as the bedroom door closed on Danni and Desire’. The two kissed passionately aroused by the display of affection in the SUV. Annie carried her small bundle toward the bedroom. "Honey," whispered Mattie as Annie placed kisses along her neck. "Shouldn’t we bring Blue in?"

Annie looked at her lover, her lips still connected to her neck as she feebly shook her head. "Honey he sleeps in every night. Let’s just let him in and then we can go to bed," replied Mattie. Reluctantly Annie set Mattie down giving her the best pouty face she could muster. Mattie gave her face a playful slap. "Honey it’ll just take a minute," she said as she walked to the back door.

Mattie unlatched the sliding glass door and called the big black dog. Within seconds eighty pounds of canine came bounding through the door covered from head to toe in mud. Blue jumped up on Mattie covering her with dirt and grime as she fought him off, ordering him back outside. Blue did as he was told and she closed the door. She looked out the window verifying that the Jacuzzi cover was on. She turned the light on to see if she could locate the source of the problem, freezing at the sight before her.

"Oh no," she mumbled as Annie walked behind her embracing her with both arms.

"Ewe," Annie cried backing away from the small blonde. "What happened?" Mattie pointed out the glass door as Annie looked on. "Oh shit!"

"We better tell Desire’," stated Mattie.

"Let’s see if we can repair the damage first," replied Annie.

"Is plumbing one of your many skills?" asked Mattie looking back at her girlfriend.

"I can handle a wrench," answered Annie. "Let’s pinpoint the leak. Maybe there’s a shut off valve. Go get some towels to cover the floor," added Annie removing her boots and rolling up her pants.

Annie opened the door blocking the dog from coming back in and stepped into the water sinking a good twelve inches down from the porch. She walked around looking for ripples in the water, finally locating the leak by the side of the house. She searched unsuccessfully for a shut off valve before going back into the house. "Must be in the front," she said to Mattie as she made her way through the living room and out the front door.

She found the two valves located underneath the front window. Not knowing which one went to the back she turned both completely off and went to the backyard to verify that the water had stopped. She sighed when she saw the ripples of water churning from the broken pipe. "The valves aren’t working," she called to Mattie as she came back inside.

"Do you want to get Desire’ or should I?" asked Mattie.

"Oh no," answered Annie frantically. "I may be down but I’m not beat yet. We’ll just turn the water off completely in the front. Come on." Mattie followed Annie out to the sidewalk in front of the house. Annie opened the compartment in the cement brushing away the dirt and cobwebs and turned the valve. It wouldn’t budge.

After several failed attempts Mattie brought her a wrench from the garage then went inside to locate an emergency plumber. After several phone calls she realized help would not arrive until the morning. She walked back outside as Annie tugged at the valve with all of her strength. "Damn," she cried as the valve broke in her hand. "Oops." Defeated she held up the piece of broken metal for her partner to see.

"I guess it’s time to get Desire’," stated Mattie. "Do you want me to do it?"

Annie looked up at her lover frustrated. "No I’ll do it. Let’s go." Both women walked back into the house. Annie walked over to the large chess board sitting on it’s pillar and cleared the pieces off, picking up the two foot square plaster board and placing it in front of her.

"Honey what’s that for?" asked Mattie.

"In case she hits me or things start flying," answered Annie as she walked toward the master bedroom.


Desire’ ran her fingers teasingly over the silken curly dark hair covering her lover’s sex. She suckled the skin on her inner thighs tracing her lips along the soft flesh until she reached the moist center in between muscled legs. She stopped to inhale the musky fragrance of Danni’s arousal before slipping the tip of her tongue along the outer walls of swollen flesh, stopping when she heard a knock on the door.

Desire’ and Danni froze staring at each other as blue and green eyes turned dark with anger. "What?" hissed Desire’.

"Desire’ I need to talk to you," stated Annie.

"No. Go away. We’re busy."

"I really think you should come out here," yelled Annie.

"What the fuck is so important that it can’t wait until morning?" asked Desire’ growing more impatient with each passing minute.

"Please just open the door," Annie cried.

"Is someone dying Annie?"


"Then leave me the fuck alone."

"Honey calm down," whispered Danni getting up from the bed.

"No!" cried Desire’. "Lay down please."

"Guys I wouldn’t bother you if it wasn’t important. If you don’t come out at the count of three I’m coming in," yelled Annie.

"Fine. Come in. I don’t care. I’m not modest," replied Desire’ as Danni grabbed her by the hands to calm her down.

"Give us a minute Annie," yelled Danni.

"You might want to put on a shirt and shorts," added Annie.

"Great just fucking great," cried Desire’ in frustration. "This is gonna be bad isn’t she?" she asked.

Danni put her arms around the small brunette and helped her up and over to the closet dressing her as she stood pouting. "Whatever it is we will handle it together," stated Danni.

"I want to handle you tonight," whined Desire’ as she pulled up her shorts and followed Danni out of the bedroom. Desire’ growled at Annie as she walked into the hallway. "What the hell are you doing with my chess board?" asked Desire’.

"Didn’t know if things were going to start flying through the air," answered Annie prompting a grin from the fiery brunette.

"So what’s so wrong that you had to yank us out of our cozy little position?" hissed Desire’.

"There’s a little problem in the backyard."

"Spit it out Annie," cried Danni.

The large black dog ran through the house tracking mud on the beige carpet as he made his way toward his human leaping onto Desire’ with muddy paws. "Shit, out Blue. What the hell happened to him?" cried Desire’. "You are going to tell me he just got inside the Jacuzzi arentcha?"

Annie gazed at her slowly shaking her head. Desire’ started running out to the backyard, black dog in tow. She closed the door shutting the dog outside and walking back through the living room toward the front door.

"Where are you going?" asked Annie.

"To turn the shut off valve off," replied Desire’.

"I tried that. The threads are stripped," responded Annie.

"Okay then I’ll turn the main valve off."

"It doesn’t work," stated Annie weakly holding up the broken valve.

"What?" cried Desire’ desperately.

"It was frozen," responded Mattie. Desire’ stopped in front of the door both palms covering her eyes as she tried to contain her anger.

"Annie, now might be a good time to use that board as a shield," stated Desire’ calmly as the rage seeped out. "Shit!" she screamed. "Goddamn it!" she cried kicking at the front door her body trembling with anger as she jumped up and down slamming her fists into the wall losing her battle to contain the little monster. Danni ran to her lover wrapping both arms around her, picking her up and moving her away from solid objects as her fit continued. Moments later Desire’ calmed down falling limply in her lover’s arms. "Don’t suppose a plumber is available?" she asked.

"Afraid not," answered Mattie. "Not until morning."

"I won’t need one in the morning," grumbled Desire’. "You guys ready to go swimming?"

"Tell us what to do," answered Danni.

"There’s about six feet of boards buried under the gate to prevent a certain black dog from digging his way to freedom. That’s why the water is backing up. It has no where to go. Plus the dirt is covered by another six inches or so of rock. It all has to be dug up and moved to allow the water to flow into the street. How deep is the water now?"

"About a foot high," answered Annie.

"Is it cold," asked Desire’.


"The water, is it cold?"


"I’m there. We’d better get started otherwise we’ll be bailing water out of the house. There’s shovels and rakes in the back," she added walking toward the backyard, followed by her friends. "If we work fast we might finish in a few hours."


All four women stood against their shovels admiring their work. It had taken a few hours just as Desire’ had warned but the hard labor paid off. The water level never reached the door and was now receding following the path past the side of the house and down into the gutter. Everyone was covered in mud, perspiring from the sweltering heat. Silently Desire’ took off her shoes and clothes and set them in a pile on top of the porch.

"Not exactly how I planned to get naked tonight," she quipped, a weak smile on her face.

"Yep that modesty is way gone," teased Annie.

Desire’ glared at her and smiled as she turned the hose on and washed herself off. The trio watched intrigued as she set the hose down and walked over to the Jacuzzi, turning it on and jumping inside. "Feel free to join me." Danni wasted little time undressing and rinsing off to join her lover in the luxurious water. Moments later Annie and Mattie were relaxing in the warm soothing liquid.

"So what next?" asked Danni as she gathered Desire’ into her arms and pulled her into her lap. Desire’ leaned back purring as she closed her eyes contemplating an answer to the question while Annie and Mattie cuddled in the tub across from them.

"We should all try to sleep for a few hours before someone from the city comes out to repair that valve. I should be able to get us a room reservation for tonight while the repairs are being done my treat."

"Make sure there are no waterbeds," teased Mattie. Desire’ was too tired to even smile at the comment.

"Desire’ we can take care of ourselves. Thank you for the offer," interjected Annie.

"No it’s my treat. You’re my guests so I insist. We can stay at the Rio, maybe have dinner together and take in a show," answered Desire’.

"Hey don’t they have that new interactive show there?" asked Mattie.

"Okay maybe we won’t take in a show," answered Desire’ shaking her head.

"Is it that bad?" asked Mattie.

"You can try it out. I’ll take bets Annie will kill someone before the night is over," said Desire’ teasingly. "Lord knows I almost did."

"What’s so bad about the show?" asked Mattie.

"When you were a kid at school and the teacher was busy fixing the film when it broke did you like the other kids putting on a hand puppet show in front of the screen?" asked Desire’.

Annie rolled her eyes as she listened to the exchange of words glancing at Danni who was grinning at the little brunette. "And you compare this show to that because?" asked Annie.

"Because it’s kind of like that at first except they use a tarp on the ceiling and use their bodies. That’s the interesting part. It goes downhill from there."

"What do they do after that?" asked Mattie chuckling as she tried to picture the scene in her mind.

"Well they swing back and forth on cables yelling a lot. Water gets sprayed on everyone then the actors, I use that term loosely, jump into the audience rubbing their wet bodies against you coaxing you to dance. My friend and I had free tickets and I still say we paid too much," answered Desire’.

All four women joined in laughter as Desire’ finished her sentence. "The sad part is that the young adults seemed to enjoy it. I must be getting old because I’ll take gay men and white tigers any day over crap like that."

"I think we can find a better show than that," interjected Mattie containing her laughter.

"I think we should do the Mardi Gras parade," stated Desire’.

"I’ve heard of that," responded Mattie. "Don’t they have a parade in the casino every night?"

"Every hour. For a few bucks we can dress the part, ride in a float and toss plastic beaded necklaces at all the idiots jumping up and down trying to catch them."

"Throwing things at people sounds like fun," added Annie.

"It’s fun to watch. Sophisticated classy people become idiots and start climbing over each other screaming just to catch some fifty cent necklace they can buy in the gift shop. Then they start bragging to their friends about it. It’s definitely entertaining."

"What about your dog?" asked Mattie.

"I’m sure I can get a reservation at the Bed and Breakfast. We can drop him off on the way."

"Bed and Breakfast," repeated Annie questioningly.

"Yeah. It’s called the Doggy Bed and Breakfast. It’s a hotel for pets. He loves it there and they love him."

"Only you Desire’ could find something like that for your dog," interjected Annie.

"I’ll make the reservations and call the plumber in the morning. We’ll have fun," replied Desire’ yawning as she closed her eyes leaning back into the warmth enveloping her.

"We’ve lost her," whispered Danni.

"Do you always have that effect on her sis?" teased Annie. Danni glared at her, eyebrows furrowed as a low growl escaped her throat.

Annie coughed as she felt a well-placed elbow hit her in the stomach courtesy of Mattie. "Behave."

"I’m sorry," replied Annie. "Take it as a compliment. She’s really relaxed in your company. Have you two talked about your future past Sunday?"

"Not in detail but she is going to move to Nashville with me," answered Danni quietly trying not to disturb the peaceful bundle in her arms. Annie and Mattie looked at Danni surprised by the answer.

"When did you decide this?" asked Mattie.

"Yesterday before we were interrupted the first time," answered Danni. "She asked me to marry her and I said yes." Annie choked a second time as Mattie poked her again in the stomach then looked up at her scowling.

"What? We’re already married," defended Annie.

"As Harry and Mattie. The divorce is final so what’s your excuse now warrior?"

Danni laughed at her sister’s discomfort. "She’s right. You two should have another ceremony."

"Okay. We can talk about it later. It’s not like I’m going anywhere," mumbled Annie. Mattie kissed the tall warrior satisfied with her answer. "We should do it here in Las Vegas. I’m sure we’ll be back to help Desire’ move."

"Good idea. We should do it together, have a double ceremony," Mattie chimed in.

"Then it’s settled. Now let’s get out of here. I’m starting to prune," answered Annie.


"Woo hoo," cried Mattie as she tossed another beaded necklace into the group below swaying her hips to the Latin music and bumping against her tall dark beauty. Across the way they could see Desire’ and Danni in another float laughing and dancing as they joined in the festivities.

Annie couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of adults clamoring over each other trying to catch the cheap beads. "Ouch," she cried as Mattie jabbed her hard with an elbow. "Stop doing that."

"Annie you’re supposed to toss the beads into their hands not throw them at their heads," answered Mattie "You’re gonna put someone’s eye out."

"Yeah but this is a lot more fun," stated Annie as she balled up another necklace ready to nail someone. Mattie stopped her arm before she could release the object. "Annie you’re gonna get us kicked off."

Annie looked down at Mattie frustrated and dropped the necklace below her. "All right," she grumbled. "Party pooper."

Desire’ and Danni watched the exchange as the floats made their way back into the back of the casino, laughing as Mattie put the warrior in her place. "Who’s in charge in that relationship?" asked Desire’.

"Annie of course," answered Danni.

"Yeah right. Keep telling yourself that," replied Desire’ sardonically. "I suppose you’re in charge of this one."

"Of course I am," answered Danni before leaning forward and placing a firm kiss on her lover’s lips resulting in a rowdy cheer from the crowd below watching the exchange. Instead of pulling away Danni wrapped both arms around the small brunette deepening the kiss as she dropped the last two necklaces remaining in her hand oblivious to the flashes going off.

"Exhibitionist," whispered Desire’.

"Just claiming what’s mine," answered Danni.


"Are you sure you two don’t want to come with us?" asked Mattie.

"Gee, shopping and a light show how could we resist?" teased Desire’.

"Shopping?" asked Danni. "You didn’t say anything about shopping."

"Oh please Danni. Tell me you don’t enjoy shopping," stated Desire’.

"I love shopping," answered Danni as Desire’ rolled her eyes in disgust.

"We can go if you want. Annie there is a strip club on Fremont Street," Desire’ said, a devilish grin on her face as she winked at the tall warrior. "I’m sure we could keep ourselves occupied."

Danni and Mattie scowled as their girlfriends took pleasure from their discomfort. "The light show is every hour. You go shopping then come get us for the show. Sounds like a plan to me," added Desire’. "We’ll be good."

"Oh yeah, we’ll be very good," teased Annie. Mattie and Danni looked at each other for a moment then walked away together in conference.

"Think they’ll let us go?" asked Desire’.

"Sure. They know we’ll behave," answered Annie.

"Speak for yourself," quipped Desire’.

"Hey that’s my sister you’re talking about," replied Annie slapping Desire’ on the head for the rude comment.

"Ouch I was kidding." A brief pause and a wink later. "Kinda."

Danni and Mattie walked back over to their partners. "You can go for an hour," stated Mattie. "Then we shop together agreed?" Annie and Desire’ nodded their heads in response.

"Happy girl," Desire’ whispered into Annie’s ears as the four left the casino.

"Oh and one other thing," added Danni. "No buying lap dances either of you." Annie and Desire’ looked at each other and shrugged.

Once they were out of eyesight Desire’ jubilantly spun around in a circle with her arms stretched out to the sides of her body and her head pointed up to the sky.

"What the hell was that?" asked Annie shaking her head, slightly embarrassed by the looks they were receiving by passers by.

"Snoopy happy dance!" explained Desire’ spinning one more time for emphasis.

"You are a goof ball."

"It’s Vegas baby. I can be a lil crazy."


The room was smoky and crowded as Annie and Desire’ made their way to a vacant table near the main dance floor. Annie walked away to order drinks, coming back a few minutes later to watch as a new dancer graced the floor. She was tall and slender with long auburn hair and bluish green eyes that sparkled against her bronze skin. Her facial features were exquisite.

"You two could be related," whispered Desire’ her eyes riveted on the stripper as she removed her clothes.

"No I don’t look that good," answered Annie modestly.

"Oh yes you do," answered Desire’ taking a gulp of her drink to cool herself down. "Almost as good as your sister."


"When Danni looks at me she touches my soul. That’s a place strictly reserved for her."

"Good answer."

"Mattie would say the same about you."

The two women watched in silence until the stripper was down to her bra and g-string. Desire’ jumped up and walked to the floor, stuffing a five dollar bill into the g-string, grinning like a Cheshire cat. Before she could respond the redhead leaned over and kissed her on the lips. Desire’ stood there stunned, looking back at Annie who was laughing and cheering as the woman took her bra off and wrapped it around Desire’s neck pulling her face into her crotch and ruffling Desire’s hair as she struggled to break free.

When the humiliation was over Desire’ staggered backward eventually bumping into her chair and sitting down as Annie howled at her friend patting her on the shoulder.

"Now she just touches the lower extremities."

"I think she likes you," whispered Annie attempting to contain the chuckles as Desire’ downed her drink and ordered another one.

"That’ll teach me to tip."

"Is this your first time?" asked Annie startled.

"No. I went one other time. It’s the first time I’ve ever tipped."

"What did you expect?"

"Not that. Thank god Danni didn’t see it."

"But she will hear about it," answered Annie, an evil smirk on her face.

"You wouldn’t."
"I would."

"What’s it gonna cost to keep you quiet?"

"Let me get back to you on that. I’ll think of something."

"That’s blackmail princess."

"I prefer to call it extortion," teased Annie. "Besides that’s the least of your problems right now," she added pointing behind Desire’. Desire’ turned her head to see the tall redhead walking up to her, the bra still in her hand as she leaned over to Desire’ and wrapped it around her neck.

Desire’s eyes bulged as she turned her head to look at Annie, a frightened look on her face. Annie shrugged her shoulders and laughed as the stripper grabbed Desire’s hands and pulled them toward her. Desire’ tensed up resisting the woman’s advances. "Relax honey," whispered the redhead. "It’s my job so enjoy."

Desire’ watched as the woman climbed onto her lap wrapping long legs around her waist. She placed Desire’s hands against her chest struggling to lower them over round full breasts. Desire’ leaned back fighting to keep her hands safely above the mounds of flesh. "I can’t," Desire’ stammered. "I have a girlfriend."

"Is that who the beauty is sitting next to you?" asked the stripper casting an appreciative glance at Annie who weakly waved back.

"No she’s my girlfriend’s sister," answered Desire’ perspiration forming on her forehead and upper lip.

"Cheating on the girlfriend. How decadent."

"No," cried Desire’.

The redhead relaxed her grip on Desire’s hands and reached around her head pulling her face forward smothering the small brunette between her exposed breasts. "I’m teasing sweetie," whispered the redhead. "Besides you’re even cuter when you sweat," she added holding Desire’ in a vice like grip and shaking her chest against the crushed face as the men cheered around the two women. Desire’ opened her mouth to protest only to be met by silky soft flesh against her tongue. "Oh yesss, open up little one," squealed the stripper.

"I’m thos desth," muttered Desire’ in defeat.

Desire’ closed her eyes in despair when suddenly the stripper relaxed her grip and squealed, "Harry baby you’re here!" The redhead jumped from her seat and ran into the arms of a tall man standing behind her leaving a very flustered Desire’ staring blankly ahead.

"Yes you are," came a low sultry voice behind her. Danni placed her arms around the small brunette pulling her closer as she wrapped strong hands around her neck mock strangling her. Desire’ stared up into angry blue eyes trying unsuccessfully to regain her composure. "I thought we agreed no lap dances."

"She, I, she," stammered Desire’ as Annie howled while Mattie looked on shaking her head. "I didn’t pay for it," she finished weakly.

"No but she did," squeaked the redhead, pointing at Annie. Annie’s eyes grew wide as she glared at the stripper then turned to face her friends, an innocent look on her face.

"You set me up!" yelled Desire’ jumping from her seat to confront the warrior, only to be stopped by Danni’s strong-arms.

Annie burst out laughing while Danni and Desire’ glared at her. "If you could have seen her face Danni you would understand," she added. "It was precious. How was I to know you guys would be back so soon?"

Desire’ sat silently steaming from the practical joke. "Why are you guys back so soon?" asked Desire’.

"Ran into an old friend," answered Danni pointing to the man behind her holding the stripper in his arms and kissing her.

Desire’ strained to get a better look at the man finally recognizing him. "That’s Joxer isn’t it?" she whispered into Danni’s ear.

"He prefers Harry," answered Danni.

Desire’ jumped from her seat and into Danni’s arms. "Do you forgive me?"

"That depends," answered Danni.

"On what?" asked Desire’.

Danni leaned forward claiming Desire’s lips in a feverish kiss. "On that," she husked. "I forgive you. Come on. I want you to meet Harry."

Desire’ turned toward the man in question who was now hugging Annie and Mattie as the redhead put her top back on. When the three old friends were finished with their salutation Danni led her girlfriend over in front of Harry. "This is Desire’," she introduced.

"It’s a pleasure to meet you," replied Desire’ as she reached to shake the man’s hand.

Harry grinned and took the proffered hand pulling the small brunette into a bear hug. "We’re gonna be family," he stated. "Don’t be so formal." Harry held on tightly then quickly stood back. "Let me take a look at you." He looked intensely at Desire’ drinking in every inch of the woman. "She is beautiful Danni. Welcome to the family. I would introduce Melinda but I see you two have already met," he added.

Desire’ blushed from head to toe as the redhead walked up to her and gave her a bone crushing hug. "Oh we’ve met all right sweetie," she said holding onto Desire’ who was staring at Danni a look of bewilderment on her face. "We’re gonna get along great," she added. "After all we’ll be family soon."

"Family," repeated Annie, Mattie and Danni.

"Yes isn’t it great?" replied Harry. "Melinda and I are going to get married."

"Harry when did this happen?" asked Danni.

"It happens on Saturday," interjected Melinda bouncing back into Harry’s arms. "And we’re gonna start a family."

"Are you pregnant?" asked Danni.

"No. She’s not. We’re waiting until after the wedding," answered Harry. "Look I know you guys probably have a lot of questions so let’s go somewhere we can talk. Melinda’s shift is over."

"Good idea Harry. We’ll wait here while Melinda gets dressed," interjected Annie.


"Wow sounds like some of the adventures we used to have," exclaimed Harry after Mattie finished her story about Desire’ and the conqueror and how the four met up on Saturday, including the adventures of the last few days. "Mel here wants to go through hypnosis to see who she was in her past lives. I think she could be Meg," cooed Harry.

"That would sure explain a lot of things," added Melinda as she caressed his chest. "Just in case no starchy foods for me."

"Desire’ you’ve been quiet during all of this tonight," stated Harry.

"I don’t think she’s gotten over that lap dance tonight," quipped Annie.

Desire’ shot Annie an evil glance before responding. "I’m sorry. Mattie tells a story much better than I do."

"You must have something juicy to add since it’s your story," replied Harry.

"No I think she pretty much covered everything," answered Desire’. "It’s been an amazing five days."

"So you’re the one who really killed the Samurai. That’s amazing. It must feel pretty good to be a modern day hero," stated Harry.

Desire’s expression turned dark as Harry stopped talking. Danni could feel the muscles tense along the small brunette’s shoulders. "Is that what you call it?" Desire’ said softly staring down at the table.

"I’m sorry did I say something wrong?" asked Harry.

"Can you excuse me a moment?" asked Desire’ as she stood up and walked away from the table. Quickly she walked out of the restaurant and through the casino until she was standing under the neon lights along Freemont Street.

"I’m so sorry Danni. I didn’t mean to say anything to upset her." Harry was noticeably upset and concerned about his sister’s girlfriend. "I just wanted to let her know I think she’s an amazing woman."

Danni smiled lovingly at the man she still called brother. "She’s been through a lot Harry. That’s all. I’m going to go and check on her. You guys wait here." Danni stood up and left the table walking rapidly outside to find Desire’.

"You okay?" she asked placing her hand on the distraught woman’s shoulders.

Desire’ looked up into comforting blue eyes silent for long moments before answering. "I thought I was. Now I don’t know."

"At least the silverware stayed on the table," teased Danni trying to lighten the mood.

"Thank you," whispered Desire’.

"For what?"

"For making a joke."

"So you just forgot to laugh?"

Desire’ smiled and looked up at her partner. "Yeah I guess I did." Desire’ stood on her toes reaching her hands around the tall woman’s neck receiving a gentle embrace for her efforts. Danni leaned down to make herself more accessible returning the gesture fervently as Desire’ held on for dear life.

"Let’s sit down," offered Danni leading her lover over to a vacant bench. Desire’ sat down continuing her silence. "I’m ready to listen whenever you’re ready to talk," she added, wiping the lone tear escaping down Desire’s cheek as Annie looked on unnoticed.

"I killed a man and I feel no remorse."

"You did what you had to do."

"I enjoyed it Danni. That’s not like me. I felt powerful."

"What you did was justifiable."

"That argument wouldn’t fly in this world."

"You weren’t in this world," answered Danni pausing to gauge Desire’s reaction. The small brunette looked wistfully down at the ground deep in thought. "It really bothers you doesn’t it?"

"Yes, I guess it does." Desire’ leaned into the strong arms of her partner letting out a deep sigh enjoying the closeness. "Thanks for listening. I just needed to say it out loud."

"I’ll be here for you any time you need to talk."

"So much has changed in the last five days," added Desire’ quietly.

"Do you have any regrets?" asked Danni.

"None," answered Desire’ a peaceful smile on her face. "Especially you. It’s amazing how fast my heart can beat when I feel so peaceful around you."

"That’s a very sweet thing to say," interrupted Danni before placing a gentle kiss on Desire’s lips.

"It’s the truth. I did some crazy things that you call heroic but they weren’t. I did them because I wasn’t afraid to die. I wasn’t afraid to die because I’ve never really had a reason to live."

"You had your family to live for."

"My family would have gone on without me. I only helped them. Besides my parents are gone. If I died tonight you would go on without me. It might hurt at first but you would survive. That’s not what I’m talking about."

"I’m not following you."

"It’s been a long time since anything in this life has ever given me a reason or a purpose to want to live just because I wanted to exist on this earth. In a few short days you have given me that incentive. I want to live because I want to be happy with you. I want to love you because it makes me feel so alive and because I want to feel this good for a very long time. If my time were to end now, I would go kicking and screaming because it wouldn’t be enough time with you. Thank you." Desire’s voice began to crack as she finished her explanation, tears streaming down her face as she smiled at the tall dark woman sitting next to her.

Danni pulled her soul mate toward her in a fierce hug, wrapping one arm around her waist, the other around her head as she stroked the dark strands of hair belonging to the trembling woman. "That is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard," she whispered, her own eyes clouding with moisture.

"It’s a good thing I met you after Corinth, otherwise history would have stayed the same. I was reckless and stupid and had nothing to lose."

Danni pulled away from Desire’ placing one hand under her chin, tilting the golden brown face upward. "I think you would do the same thing all over again because you would follow your heart."

"Now it’s my turn to tell you that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me. I want to believe you but I’m no hero."

"But you are," answered Danni with conviction. "Heroism comes from inside and you lead your life by your heart." Annie turned and walked back into the restaurant, wiping the tear from her cheek.

"Don’t be so sure. I’ve done some things in my life I’m not proud of but I have tried to atone for my sins."

"We all have skeletons in our closet. I was a troublemaker growing up. Harry loves to tell the stories of my delinquency."

"I waited until high school to screw up. I turned it into an art form," answered Desire’ wistfully resting her head on a sturdy shoulder.

"Do you want to talk about it," Danni affirmed.

"What if it’s really, really bad?" asked Desire’ soulful eyes gazing into pools of soft blue.

"I suspect when you’re really, really bad you’re really, really good," teased Danni attempting to alleviate the tension.

"Yeah that’s what big mamma used to say," replied Desire’ a small grin forming on her lips.

"And who was big mamma?"

"She was the leader of the prison gang. She thought I was a mighty fine young southern belle. That’s when I took up karate again. There were no sticks to beat her off with."

Danni’s expression changed from jovial to concerned. "You’re not kidding are you?"

Desire’ took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, her eyes glued to the floor beneath her. "Wish I was," she replied softly. "Do you want to hear the gory details?"

"Did you learn from your mistake?" asked Danni cautiously.

"Believe me it’s not something I would ever repeat. The women in prison look nothing like those chicks in the movies."

"Then some day you’ll tell me. I don’t think now is the right time and this isn’t the right place," replied Danni gazing around her brightly lit surroundings.

"You might think twice about getting involved with me if you knew the truth."

"You’re not a cold blooded killer are you?" answered Danni.

"No," defended Desire’.

"Then stop worrying. We’ll talk about it when the time is right. Come on. Let’s go. They’re probably worried about us."

"Can we go back to our room?" asked Desire’. "I just want to be with you."

"Sure. Harry will be in town for a few days. I’m sure he’ll understand."


"Is everything okay?" asked Mattie when Annie sat back down at the table.

"They’re going to be fine, just fine," answered Annie convincingly. Several minutes later Desire’ and Danni walked up to the table.

"I’m sorry if I said anything to upset you," Harry said as he jumped up to meet Desire’. Desire’ gave him a hug.

"Thank you," she whispered. "I’m fine. I have some things to work out and you just pointed me in the right direction." Harry looked at her with a puzzled expression as he sat down. "You really are a sweet guy."

"We’re going back to the room. It’s been a long day and you guys probably have some catching up to do," interrupted Danni.

"Here are the car keys sis," answered Annie. "I’m sure Harry won’t mind giving us a ride back to the hotel."

"No sure. Anything for you guys. You know that," answered Harry.

"Thanks. We’ll see you guys in the morning," responded Danni. "And we’ll see you two on Friday," she added pointing at Melinda and Harry. "I’m happy for you Harry."

"Good night you two. Don’t get into any trouble," interrupted Mattie as the couple walked away. "We should probably keep an eye on the news

"Agreed," answered Annie.


Desire’ and Danni stood silently removing their clothes. Together they laid down on the bed luxuriating in the comfort, holding each other’s hand. Danni turned on her side gazing up and down the length of the short muscular form in front of her. She cupped Desire’s cheek with one hand placing a tender kiss upon her lips, her eyes never leaving the pale green eyes watching her. No words were spoken as the two woman communicated with gentle glances and soft caresses.

Desire’ turned on her side facing Danni, tracing a pattern from sleek shoulders down to slender long thighs with her fingertips and back up to her face placing gentle kisses against bronzed cheeks and nose. Heartbeats pounded in rhythm with each other, each breath keeping perfect time with the other as they gazed longingly into each other’s eyes.

After several minutes Danni moved closer to Desire’ embracing her, legs entwining with each other as flesh melted under the gentle caress of their hug. Desire’ pressed her chest into Danni’s emoting a soft moan from the silky soft feel of her skin. The two lovers connected, lips pressed gingerly against lips opening slowly, tongues melting together in a long drawn out kiss that seemed to last a lifetime.

Desire took second place to the simplicity of love as the two soul mates reveled in the emotions elicited from the touch of exposed flesh. Outside of their bodies the world no longer existed, only their souls reflected in each other’s eyes. They lay in each other’s arms kissing each other tenderly content to feel the purity of that emotion.

The sound of an alarm going off and the telephone ringing brought them out of their trance. "What the hell is that?" asked Danni rolling her eyes.

"Well at least we’re being interrupted not trying to have sex," answered Desire’ as she got up to answer the phone. "Hello. Yeah okay, thanks," said Desire’ before hanging up the phone. "Get dressed. They’re evacuating the building. There’s a fire on the twentieth floor."

"We’re on the twentieth floor," exclaimed Danni as she jumped up to get dressed.

"Oh yeah," replied Desire’. The two quickly got dressed and started out the door. Desire’ stopped in the bathroom, wetting some towels and handing one to Danni. People were walking quickly down the hallway anxious to get to the stairs. Danni grabbed Desire’s hand to lead her down the hall. "Let’s check to see if everyone has been notified."

"Good. Let’s ask him," answered Desire’ pointing to a security guard that appeared to be going door to door making sure the guests were out of the room.

"There was a lady in a wheelchair next door to us," she added turning to go toward the room in question pounding on the door. She could hear a sound from the other side but was helpless to open the door. Smoke was seeping down the hallway, the fire apparently coming from one of the guestrooms. Danni ran to the security guard offering to help. He handed her a second card and she ran back to the room Desire’ was standing in front of.

They opened the room and found an elderly woman on the floor crawling toward the door. "Help me. My husband is downstairs," she cried. "The battery is being recharged. It won’t work."

Desire’ ran to the bathroom to wet some more towels, placing one over the frightened woman’s face. Danni picked up the frail lady and headed out the door. "Give me the key," yelled Desire’. "Take her downstairs. I’ll meet you there," she added grabbing the card key from Danni’s hand.

"Okay but don’t be long. The smoke is thickening."

"I’ll just check a few more rooms and meet you downstairs, now go," she answered running to the next room, the towel over her face as the smoke intensified. Danni hesitated then looking into the eyes of the frightened elderly woman decided to take her down the stairs and come back up. She was met with a flash of light as she carried the woman to safety.

Desire’ opened the next room as the smoke filled the hallway. She looked through the room convinced it was empty. The security guard continued his search across the hallway leaving when the smoke started choking him. Desire’ continued down the hall, wrapping her hands in a towel to avoid the heat. She finished going through the rooms on the south side and started back up the north side. Three doors down she opened a room with two lovers naked in bed, oblivious to the sound of the alarms or the telephone ringing.

The man and woman jumped up startled as Desire’ walked in on them, her face covered by the towel. "You have to get out," she yelled. They stared back frozen by the sight of the intruder. "Out, you have to leave," she said motioning with her hand to the door. The smoke had yet to begin seeping into the room. They continued to stare not moving out of the bed.

"Fire," she yelled as she grabbed some clothes from the floor and threw them at the couple. "Get dressed, now," she commanded, then turned around. The couple looked at each other then grabbed their clothes and did as they were told. Desire’ walked into the bathroom pulling the bath towels down and placing them under the faucet. She never turned around when the man came up behind her, striking her across the back of the head with a beer bottle. Desire’ fell to the floor unconscious as the terrified couple ran hand in hand down the hallway.


The floor had been sealed off by the fire department. Danni panicked when she saw the security guard that offered her the key. "Where’s Desire’?" she yelled.

"I don’t know ma’am. I left when it was too smoky," he answered.

Danni ran past the barrier up the stairs followed by security. By the time she reached the twentieth floor two large firemen stopped her. "Whoa lady, you can’t go in there. It’s too dangerous."

"My girlfriend’s in there," she cried.

"Calm down, we’re doing a sweep of the rooms right now. If she’s there we’ll find her. Now please go back downstairs. We’ll escort you."

"I’m not going anywhere until you find her." answered Danni.

Realizing that she wasn’t going to back down the fireman handed an oxygen mask to Danni. "At least breathe with this," he stated.

Moments later another fireman came running down the hall carrying the limp figure of the small brunette. He laid her down in front of the steps. "Get a medic. She’s not breathing," he yelled to his coworker. Danni jumped past the firemen running to Desire’ and proceeded to start CPR. After several tense moments Desire’ coughed opening her eyes long enough to see the familiar crystal blue orbs of her lover.

"Are the paramedics downstairs?"

"Yes," replied the fireman. "I’ll take her down."

"No you just help with the fire. I’ll take it from here," answered Danni as she picked the small bundle up and carried her down the twenty flights of stairs, careful to hold a towel pressed against the open wound on her head.

Danni coughed and choked as she continued down the stairwell, the smoke seeping into her lungs. A team of medical response personnel met her downstairs. Danni laid the limp body onto the gurney and watched helplessly as the men and women began working on her.

"Excuse me miss, we need to check you out," interrupted a paramedic.

"I’m fine. Help her," she cried pointing over at Desire’ who was covered with an oxygen mask, an IV in her arm as she was readied for transport.

"Danni!" came a male voice from behind. She turned toward the sound to see Harry, Mattie and Annie running toward her.

"Thank god you’re all right," cried Harry pulling her into a hug. "We saw the fire trucks when we pulled up."

"Where’s Desire’?" asked Annie and Mattie in unison. Danni looked at them then pointed over to the gurney.

"What happened?" asked Annie, placing a comforting hand on Danni’s shoulders.

"She insisted on checking the lady next door. I got a key from the security guard and we helped this lady. Her wheelchair wasn’t charged so I carried her down stairs."

"How did Desire’ get hurt?" asked Mattie.

"I don’t know. She wanted to go door to door. The old woman was so frightened so I carried her down here." Danni looked up noticing an oriental couple pointing at Desire’. The man covered his face with his hands shaking his head. Danni stalked over to the couple pointing at the security guard speaking with them. "Why are they pointing at her?"

"Do you know her?" asked the security guard.

"Yes. What happened to her? Tell me now!"

"Calm down Danni," interrupted Annie as she placed her hands on her distraught sister’s shoulders.

"They are very sorry ma’am. They thought she was an intruder," answered the security guard.

"What? She was just trying to warn them," cried Danni as tears rolled down her cheeks.

"They did not know what she wanted. They are deaf and they do not speak English," replied the security guard. "They are very sorry."

"Excuse me ma’am," interrupted a second paramedic. "They’re ready to transport your friend. Do you need a ride?"

"How is she?" asked Danni frantically.

"Her lungs are pretty congested but we’re optimistic. The bump on her head shouldn’t require any stitches."

"Come on Danni. We’ll follow them," stated Annie.

Danni followed as her sister lead her through the crowd, flashes of light going off as they continued out of the casino. "There she is. She carried me downstairs twenty flights," yelled the elderly woman sitting next to a reporter. Before Danni could respond microphones were in her face as questions were being yelled at her.

"Excuse me, miss is it true you carried this woman downstairs?" asked a male reporter.

"Is the injured woman your friend?" cried out another reporter.

"Is it true you helped everyone out to safety?" yelled a third.

"Has anyone ever told you you look like Xena?" asked another.

Danni shook her head and followed behind as Annie pushed her way through the crowd ignoring the pleas from the reporters.


Danni paced up and down the floor of the waiting room. "What’s taking so long?" she asked as she continued to wear a hole in the carpet.

"Danni they said she’s going to be okay. Try and relax," commented Mattie.

"I should never have left her."

"Danni you had to. That old woman was depending on you," replied Annie. "You were right about Desire’.

"What are you talking about?"

"You told her you believed in her and you were right. She does lead with her heart. Not exactly those words but the same meaning."

"You heard that conversation?"

"Yes I know I shouldn’t be eavesdropping but I was concerned. She’s a fighter. It’s going to take a lot more than a little smoke and a bump on the head to keep her down. She’ll be fine."

"I know. I just want to see her. Do you think every day is going to be like this?"

"Probably," teased Annie. "Look you’re the lead story on the news," she added pointing to the television screen. Harry turned the volume up to listen.

"Xena the warrior princess saves an elderly woman from a burning hotel," started the newscaster as they showed footage of Danni carrying the woman across the floor.

"Oh turn it off," spat Danni grabbing the remote from Harry to mute the box.

"Excuse me, which one of you is Danielle Day?" asked the ER doctor.

"I am," answered Danni walking toward the man in scrubs.

"Desire’ is calling for you. Come this way."

"How is she?" asked Danni.

"Her lungs were very congested but she’s breathing on her own. She has asthma and appears to have had an allergic reaction to the smoke. The wound on her head is small and didn’t require any stitches. We’ll keep her overnight for observation otherwise she is fine."

Harry, Mattie and Annie sighed in relief. "Tell her we’re thinking of her," yelled Mattie as Danni walked down the hall with the doctor.


Desire’ was leaning against a couple of pillows trying to keep her eyes open when Danni walked into the room. "Hey," she said weakly as Danni leaned over and kissed her.

"Hey yourself. You scared the hell out of me," replied Danni.

"What happened? I was trying to get these people to leave their room. I don’t think they spoke English. Then it went black."

"They were also deaf and drunk," answered Danni. "The man hit you over the head with a beer bottle. He thought you were robbing them."

"Oh. So talking really slow and really loud probably didn’t get my point across huh?" asked Desire’ fighting to keep her eyes open.

"Probably not," answered Danni climbing into the bed and snuggling against Desire’. "They gave you something to relax. Close your eyes and sleep now honey."

"I guess I’ll see you in the morning," mumbled Desire’.

"I’m not going anywhere hon. Close your eyes," answered Danni pulling her love tighter.



By noon the following day Desire’ was arguing with the nurse about her release. The doctors wanted to run more tests to make sure she wouldn’t suffer any more repercussions from her injuries.

"I want to see the doctor," hissed Desire’.

"He’ll be here soon Ms. Love," reassured nurse Betty.

"You keep saying that. You’ve been saying that for two hours. Now go get a doctor before you replace me in this hospital bed," threatened Desire’ as Annie and Mattie walked in.

"I see the incident hasn’t improved your bedside manners," quipped Mattie. Desire’ looked at her friends throwing her hands in the air before falling back into the pillows growling.

"I don’t like hospitals. I have places to go and people to do."

"People to do as in plural?" asked Danni.

"You know what I mean," answered Desire’ before coughing deeply trying to dislodge the congestion in her throat.

"Yeah you sound real good cowgirl," interjected Annie.

"Just give me an inhaler and send me home."

"Why don’t we just buy you a pack of cigarettes. That ought to help you with your breathing," remarked Danni. Desire’ looked over at her girlfriend a puzzled look on her face. Danni glared back, her eyebrows furrowed, an angry expression on her face.

"How do you know about that?" asked Desire’.

"I saw the pack of cigarettes in your purse. When were you going to tell me?"

"What were you doing in my purse?" asked Desire’ attempting to change the direction of the conversation.

"Looking for your cell phone. That’s not the point. What are you doing smoking? It’s a bad enough habit to have but to have asthma and smoke, that’s just stupid."

"I haven’t had a cigarette since Friday," defended Desire’. "It’s been over a year if you count Corinth. Besides I never claimed to be smart."

"No wonder you’ve been so bitchy," interjected Annie.

"Hate to disappoint you princess but the bitchy part is just me."

"Jeez you have big ears," replied Annie.

"So does that mean you’ve quit smoking for good?" asked Danni.

"I’m trying," answered Desire’. "You’ll just have to provide me with another oral fixation to replace them," purred Desire’ seductively, a twinkle in her eye.

"You’re something else cowgirl. You can turn anything into sex," Annie said grinning at the small brunette.

"It’s one of my numerous talents," responded Desire’.

"I’m not touching that one," quipped Annie. "Mattie and I are going to Mt. Charleston if you don’t mind. I hear the weather is only in the eighties up there so I booked us a room for the night. You two are welcome to join us if they ever release you."

"Actually I had something else in mind," answered Desire’. "A friend of mine owns a huge secluded house in Summerlin. He’s gone for three weeks every year at this time. I have an open invitation so I thought we would check it out. It has an awesome backyard with a huge pool and Jacuzzi, all the comforts of a five star hotel with lots of privacy," added Desire’ as she picked up the pencil from her tray and started writing on scrap of paper. "Here’s the phone number to get in touch with us," she said handing the piece of paper to Mattie.

Mattie took the paper and hugged Desire’. "I’m so glad to see you’re okay."

"Of course she is. She’s tough," teased Annie before taking her turn to hug the injured woman. "You had me scared. Don’t do that again," she whispered so only Desire’ could hear. Desire’ smiled at her and winked as blonde and brunette walked out of the room.

"Hey take a camera with you," she yelled after them. "In case you see some deer." They smiled and nodded as they walked away.

"Deer in the desert?" asked Danni.

"It’s quite an amazing place we have here," answered Desire’ in between kisses. "Now where the hell is that doctor. I have an amazing place I want to take you."


Danni and Desire’ drove up the secluded street to a massive two story Spanish American home located at the crest of a hill. "There it is," said Desire’ pointing in the direction of the impressive structure.

"How do you know the owner?" asked Danni.

"I did a photo shoot with him. He has lots of endorsements. Look the driveway is clear. That means no one is in the house."

"How can you be sure?"

"He’s in England every year at this time. He has friends that take care of the house. If a car is in the driveway then it means that someone is inside and you had better knock," answered Desire’ as they pulled up the driveway. "Only a couple of people know the security code. He gave it to me and told me anytime he was traveling I was welcome."

"What if you forget the security code?"

"Then we wouldn’t be here," answered Desire’ reaching into the glove compartment and pulling out a piece of paper. "This is all we need. He has an elaborate system, mostly silent alarms. There’s no need to worry. He knows how much I love to skinny dip and this is only the second time I’ve taken him up on his hospitality. Let’s go, I have plans for you," she added opening the car door and grabbing a small bag.

The two women walked up the long drive to the entrance. Desire’ unlocked the door and ran to a small room to the right of the entryway and quickly punched in the numbers to the alarm system. "There, now let’s go swimming," she stated and started running through the house with Danni following behind. She unlocked the sliding glass door and stepped into the large backyard.

A large swimming pool shaped like a figure eight occupied the left side of the yard. A stunning marble fountain was built into the wall at one end of the pool. Rows of rose bushes were located along the far wall inside of a flowerbed. Lawn chairs lined the pool and a Jacuzzi large enough to hold ten people sat to the right surrounded by a cedar gazebo.

Desire’ threw her bag down, started peeling her clothes off and jumped into the pool yelling for Danni to join her. Within moments Danni was swimming toward her in the shallow end. "This feels so great," exclaimed Desire’ as she splashed Danni with water. "I love skinny dipping," she yelled jumping into the arms of her bronzed goddess and wrapping golden brown legs around the slender waist. Danni responded with strong arms around her and a firm grip beneath soft buttocks pressing the small body closer into her own.

"Mmm you feel so good and you look so delicious wet," purred Desire’ wiping the droplets from bronzed cheeks.

"Are you cold or just happy to see me?" asked Danni gazing lustfully at erect pink nipples.

"Definitely not cold," answered Desire’ before claiming Danni’s lips with a fervent kiss. "This feels so right," she added before diving in for another kiss her hands roaming down firm tanned breasts as she hungrily tasted her lover. "No more floods or fires just you and me."

Danni walked through the crystal blue water carrying her treasure over to the steps, setting her down gently and kneeling between Desire’s thighs, kissing and caressing the baby soft skin above the water. Desire’ leaned back moaning as skilled hands fondled her breasts pinching the nipples. Danni’s lips moved gracefully up the muscled stomach, over full breasts until they rested against the hollow of her throat. She leaned her body into Desire’ until her sex brushed against her lover’s causing both woman to gasp as electricity ran through their bodies igniting the smoldering embers of desire within.

Danni slid her hand down the small firm figure slipping her hand between Desire’s legs, long fingers caressing the silky swollen flesh of arousal. "This is the only wetness I care about right now," purred Danni.

Desire’ grabbed Danni’s head pulling her closer and kissing her fervently as the fever inside built. Desire’ wrapped small hands around her lover’s face, staring deeply into pale blue eyes. "Hold on," she whispered pulling herself up from the stairs and out of the water. She came back to the waters edge carrying the small bag while Danni looked on befuddled. Desire’ jumped into the water opening the bag simultaneously. She pulled out a large hollow dildo and leather strap pointing at Danni as she proceeded to wrap it around the tall brunette’s waist. "No more foreplay. I need you inside me now," she whispered.

Danni watched anxiously while the phallus was snapped into place, covering the small woman’s forehead and eyelids with kisses. "You’re mine."

Desire’ leaned forward wrapping her legs around the slim bronzed waist. "Take me," she husked. "Now."

Danni scooped the small woman in her arms guiding the dildo inside with one smooth motion. Desire’ gasped as she was filled inside, leaning into Danni’s shoulders, holding her with both arms. "That’s it, gods yess, that feels so good," she cried.

Both lovers closed their eyes absorbed in the moment never hearing the rustling sound around them, oblivious to any noise outside of the beating of two hearts. A gust of wind came up cooling their heated flesh. "Desire’ I’m yours," husked Danni.

"And I’m yours," gasped Desire’.

Danni opened her eyes looking into the afternoon desert sky, startled at the sight above. "Oh shit," she cried.

"What’s wrong?" asked Desire’ too lazy to open her eyes.

"I think we just lost our privacy," answered Danni. Desire’ looked up in terror at the helicopter hovering high in the sky.

"Shit!" cried Desire’ pulling her body away from the strap on. With skillful hands she unsnapped the leather harness, sliding down the steps with Danni still above her trying desperately to hide underneath the water as the dildo floated to the surface. "Ignore them. Maybe they’ll go away." Desire’ shut her eyes tightly. "Are they leaving?"

Danni glanced up momentarily and shook her head. "It looks like a news helicopter," answered Danni. "Do you think they can see us?"

"I’m not taking any chances. We’ll just stay here until they leave."

"What do you think they want?" asked Danni.

"Maybe an overzealous reporter wants to ask you more questions. You did make the front page of the paper this morning," answered Desire’. "How did they know we were here?"

"Great. I can see the headlines now."

"Yeah. Xena cheats on Gabrielle. Takes damsel in distress as new lover. Film at eleven," chimed Desire’.

"Don’t call me Xena."

"I can’t help it if they think that’s who you are. Maybe they think you’re Lucy Lawless. Wouldn’t that make a wicked headline?"

"Not funny. They’re not moving." Both women froze as they heard a noise outside of the gate leading to the front yard.

"I have a really bad feeling about this," answered Desire’ as both gates on either side of the house swung open and a swarm of men dressed in black barged in, automatic weapons pointed toward the pool." "Shit," cried Desire’ jumping into her lover’s arms in fear.

"Don’t move. The place is surrounded," came a voice from a megaphone. Desire’ and Danni froze in the pool holding onto each other.

"Step out of the water," demanded one of the officers.

"We’re naked," cried Desire’.

"Step out of the water now. No one has to get hurt."

Reluctantly Danni released her partner. "Hands up where we can see them."

Two pairs of hands came out of the water in compliance. "We’re in a pool for Chris sake," yelled Desire’ sarcastically.

"Now is not the time to cop an attitude," Danni whispered nudging the smaller woman backward, keeping her hands raised.

"Look guys there must be some mistake. We’re guests of the owners," stated Desire’ walking out of the pool humiliated.

"Quiet ma’am. We haven’t read you your rights."

Desire’ shook her head as she walked up the steps out of the water. She barely reached the cement when two men grabbed her and forced her face down on the ground, pulling both hands behind her and cuffing her while Danni suffered the same fate.

Both women were hauled up from the ground, their hands secured tightly behind their backs. "Ouch, shit take it easy. What the hell is going on?" yelled Desire’ as they were pushed forward into the house, listening as their rights were being read. "Can we at least have some fucking clothes or is that not one of the rights you’re talking about?" she added.

Once inside men began searching the house then through the clothes thrown across the backyard. After long moments a woman came up to address them. "Someone get their clothes and let them dress. I’m officer Travis." Another officer came up with their clothes. They were allowed to dress before being handcuffed again.

"Is this really necessary?" asked Desire’.

"Are you always so cheerful?" asked officer Travis.

"Only when a bunch of men point guns at me and tackle me to the ground and handcuff me naked," answered Desire’. "What the hell is going on?"

Danni shook her head in frustration. "Desire’ calm down."

"You’ve been read your Miranda rights. Do you waive them right now?"

Desire’ stood defiantly just inches away from the officer. "Only if you tell us what’s going on." The officer glared at her as Danni answered yes in compliance. "Yes," muttered Desire’.

"For now you’re being arrested for breaking and entering."

"We didn’t break in. I used the access code," replied Desire’.

"The access code was changed two weeks ago. The owner assured us he had informed everyone necessary about the change."

"He didn’t tell me," responded Desire’ shaking her head. "Shit. He did call. On Friday. I totally forgot until now."

"How convenient," stated officer Travis.

"It’s been a busy week. I’m old. The memory is the first thing to go," answered Desire’ sarcastically.

"Who are you?"

"My name is Desire’ Love."

"How do you know the owner?"

"He’s an acquaintance. I did a photo shoot with him and we hit it off."

"When was the last time you spoke to him?"

"About six months ago."

"Why are you here?"

"Why do you think? You caught us in a comprising position."

"Answer the question only this time without the sarcasm."

Desire’ looked up at the officer a scowl on her face. "He’s always out of town at this time of year. He told me I have an open invitation."

Another officer came in during the questioning. "We haven’t found anything except for this," he said to officer Travis holding the wet dildo in his hand.

Desire’ fought to contain her stoic appearance suppressing a grin. "Would you like to ask us again what the hell we were doing here?"

Danni stood quietly holding her head down as her face turned a deep shade of crimson.

"Will we find anything in your car?" officer Travis asked Desire’.

"What are you looking for?" asked Desire’.

"We’ll let you know when we find it," answered officer Travis. "We can get a search warrant if need be."

"Go ahead, look in the car. I have nothing to hide," answered Desire’.

Officer Travis motioned to the other officers and continued her interrogation. "This house is under surveillance. " We have strict orders to arrest anyone who enters the establishment using the old access code."

"You’re arresting us?" asked Danni.

"Yes. Until we can check your story out."

"Great. How are you going to do that? The owner is in England," added Desire’.

"We’ll contact him. In the meantime we’ll need to see some identification."

"Just fucking great," mumbled Desire’. "Our stuff was burned in the fire."

"What fire?"

"At the Rio. Don’t you recognize her face from the morning paper?" asked Desire’ motioning at Danni.

"Oh yeah. You do look like Xena."

"No that would be her sister," Desire’ mumbled grinning.

The officer looked at her with a quizzical expression. Two officers came back in shaking their heads. "Nothing out of the ordinary, just a very messy car," replied an officer.

"Thank you for the commentary," replied Desire’.

"We’ll have to take you in until we can sort this out."

"You’re taking us to jail," cried Desire’.

"It’s standard procedure until we can contact the owner and identify you. We’ll need fingerprints for that. If your story checks out we can release you otherwise you’ll be in for the night until bail can be set."

"Great. No wonder I’ve stayed celibate for so long," mumbled Desire’ as her and Danni were escorted out of the house and into waiting police cars.

"Not a word," stated Danni before Desire’ could apologize.


"No need to worry," repeated Danni as they stepped into the waiting cell already occupied by three women.

"Look at the bright side. At least I brought the snap on harness otherwise you would’ve been walking out of the water in full gear," answered Desire’ trying to elicit a smile from the grumbling woman.

"Oh yeah, that’s gonna make me feel better," replied Danni sarcastically rolling her eyes at the crazy brunette.

They were met by cold stares from two of the other convicts. One petite woman sat quietly on her bench dressed in a leather mini skirt, low cut blouse, black stockings and high-heeled shoes. A heavyset woman was dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt. A tall skinny woman wearing a black leather biker jacket with gang tattoos on her hands and acne scars on her face stood against the cell bars staring at the new arrivals.

"This is gonna be fun," Desire’ whispered into Danni’s ears

"It’s not nice to speak behind people’s backs," interjected the heavyset woman.

"Don’t worry if I have something to say to you I’ll make sure you hear it," answered Desire’. Danni reached around the small brunette holding her closer.

"Oh look what we have here two lovebirds. Around here we share," stated the biker.

"I don’t share with anyone," answered Danni.

"And who is going to stop me?" asked the biker walking toward Desire’ and Danni.

"I am," answered Desire’ breaking away from Danni to confront the woman.

"Yeah but who is going to stop me?" asked the heavyset woman.

"I’ll tell you this once. We don’t want any trouble. Back off and I won’t hurt you," answered Desire’ the green-eyed monster ready to attack as Danni moved up behind her.

Both women howled with laughter as the small brunette grew angrier by the minute. "A little thing like you is going to stop us," repeated the heavyset woman. Danni gently placed her hands on Desire’s arms, praying she didn’t lose control. Desire’s eyes grew cold, turning dark with rage as the green-eyed monster sprang into action to protect her. They were frozen in place by menacing dark eyes and backed away in respect.

"So what are you in for?" asked the biker after several uncomfortable moments of silence.

"Breaking and entering," answered Desire’, her eyes never leaving her foes. "And you?"

"Assault with a deadly weapon," answered the heavyset woman.

"Grand theft auto," replied the biker.

Desire’ turned to the young woman sitting quietly on the bench. "What about you?"

"I shouldn’t be here," she answered. "It’s all a misunderstanding. My boyfriend will have me out of here any minute now."

"You mean your pimp," added the biker.

"Yeah. She’s not a hooker. All the good little girls dress like that," chimed in the heavyset woman.

"Leave her alone," defended Desire’. "How do you know she’s lying?"

"What do you care?" asked the biker.

"It doesn’t really matter what I think. Just leave her alone," hissed Desire’. "Come on," she added grabbing Danni’s hand and leading her to the opposite side of the cell.

Several quiet moments went by as Danni and Desire’ held onto each other for comfort. "Hey aren’t you Xena?" asked the biker.

"Yeah you sure look like her," added the heavyset woman. "Isn’t your little bitch gonna be pissed at you for stepping out on her?"

"You guys are just looking for a fight aren’t you?" asked Danni walking in front of Desire’ protectively.

"Oh look the tall one’s wearing the pants now," quipped the biker. "Where’s Gabrielle? You like the little ones don’t you."

Desire’ grabbed Danni by the shoulder and pulled her back. "Since when am I the one in control?" whispered Desire’. Danni responded by pulling her close and kissing her as the two women let out catcalls.

"Get a room," yelled the biker.

Desire’ turned her head to look at the woman, a mischievous look on her face. "We have a room," she purred then pulled Danni closer for another fiery kiss. "Might as well make the best of it," she added whispering into Danni’s ear.

"Well if they’re gonna get some, no reason we shouldn’t," stated the biker walking over to the small woman on the bench. "What do you say sweetie?" she asked reaching to grab the frightened woman.

"Leave me alone," answered the small woman. The heavyset woman joined her friend on the other side of the terrified girl.

"Come on. If you can sell it to men you can give it to us. In return I promise you’ll enjoy it," added the heavyset woman.

Desire’ and Danni broke the embrace watching the three women intensely. Desire’ moved with the swiftness of a leopard standing behind the group as the biker grabbed the small woman against her will and attempted to kiss her. A hand grabbing the back of her shirt stopped her.

Angry she turned around to face Desire’. Danni stood silently behind her. "Get your hand off of me!" yelled the biker.

"As soon as you leave her alone," answered Desire’.

"This is none of your business," spat the heavyset woman.

"As long as I’m in this cell it’s my business," hissed Desire’ pulling the biker up and onto her feet. "When a woman says no she means no."

"You bitch," cried the biker catching Desire’ off guard and landing a punch to her stomach. She followed the right hook with a left to the face that was easily blocked by Desire’ who answered with a front blade kick knocking her down. The heavyset woman swung at her. Desire’ ducked tackling the woman at the knees and sending her over her head onto the ground. She was met by a powerful right hook in the face, compliments of the tall brunette.

The biker lunged forward swinging. Desire’ leaped up out of reach, turning a full rotation in the air and landing a strong roundhouse kick to her head snapping her body backward as two guards made their way into the cell. "You bitch," screamed Desire’ as the rage took over. She ran toward the fallen woman only to be held back by two guards as Danni talked her down.

She was dragged to a cell across the hallway along with Danni and the smaller woman. "That’s not very lady like," stated the guard.

"What do you expect when you put us in with the good, the bad and the ugly," yelled Desire’ in defiance.

"Shut up or we’ll be adding more charges bitch."

Desire’ stared at the guard and hissed before walking to the back of the cell. "And no more talking," added the guard. Desire’ paced along the floor of the cell as Danni looked on trying to give her some space. Moments later another guard walked in with Annie and Mattie.

Well, well, well. Women behind bars. Very nice," stated Annie smugly.

"Introduce yourself Annie," snapped Desire’. "It seems that Xena is really big in prison."

"Thank god you guys are here. Does that mean we’re free to go?" asked Danni ignoring the snide remark from her mate.

"They got in touch with your friend and your finger prints matched up so you should be released soon," answered Mattie.

"So you guys got our message," stated Desire’.

"No we saw you guys on the 11:00pm news. Nice shot of you sis," answered Annie. "Don’t worry they used a black bar to cover your butt. Of course they got a great close up of your toy floating in the water."

Danni covered her face with her hands in embarrassment as Desire’ blushed from head to toe shaking her head. "Is your luck always this good?" asked Mattie.

"Seems like Murphy is following me everywhere I go these days," answered Desire’. "Why did they have a swat team?"

"It seems that while your friend has been on tour some unwanted guests have been using his home for business."

"What kind of business?" asked Danni.

"Drugs. The house has been under surveillance for two women described only as brunette, one tall and one short. When you entered the wrong code drug enforcement was called," answered Annie. "So why were you two beating on those women?"

"Look at them. Do we really need a reason?" quipped Desire’.

"You do if you want to get out of here," responded Mattie. "Please tell us you didn’t throw the first punch."

"She didn’t," interjected Danni. "I’m very proud of her. She kept her cool. You’ll back us up won’t you?" she asked pointing at the small woman still sharing their cell. The woman nodded her answer.

"Good. Now you two behave and we should be home in two or three hours," stated Annie.

"Still love me?" Desire’ asked coyly?"

Danni nodded. "What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger."




Desire’ stumbled into the kitchen rubbing the sleep from her eyes, her target-the coffee pot. "Hey," she mumbled to Mattie who was busy cooking on the stove. "Have you seen Danni?" she asked as she poured herself a cup of coffee with enough Irish creamer to turn the liquid white.

"Have some coffee with your cream," quipped Mattie watching the brunette. "She left with Annie. They said something about the party tonight."

"What party?" asked Desire’.

"They want to throw a bachelor party for Harry."

"Tomorrow’s the wedding. I almost forgot."

"You’ve been a bit preoccupied. How are you feeling?"

"I’m fine. The cut on my head is already itching," answered Desire’ scratching the back of her scalp. "Guess my head is harder than I thought. Now if I could just satisfy this other itch."
"You and Danni still haven’t you know?" asked Mattie.

"Consummated our love. No it’s like some outside spirit is trying to keep us apart."

"You’ve just had a string of bad luck."

"Even my luck isn’t that bad. It’s almost as if my mother is trying to send me a message from the grave. I believe in that stuff you know."

"I still believe the dead can hear our thoughts."

"It goes deeper than that. I have read some articles on reincarnation. One article says that our soul chooses when it wants to be reborn back into the physical realm. Something makes the soul wait. I believe they’re either waiting to see their loved ones one more time or they stay trying to guide us through our lives. I know my dad was watching over me when he sent Blue to me."

"So you’ve already studied reincarnation. Is it something you’ve always been interested in?" asked Mattie.

"I was curious about it after watching one of the episodes. I’ve read a lot about ancient history and different religions because of that show. I just wish dad was here to discuss these things with me. He was very passionate about that kind of stuff."

"Tell me about your father and Blue."
"Let’s just say I felt as though I had lost everything and felt like death would be a welcome option."

Mattie placed her hand over Desire’s free hand, a look of fear and concern on her face. "You have us now. If you ever need to talk about anything please come to me. I don’t ever want you to feel that kind of pain again."

"Thank you. Back then I had no one to talk to except my mother. If I had told her she would have blamed herself."

"Tell me about Blue."

"I saw him running in traffic. He was almost hit by a car and then he ran into a field. I drove my car by the area as he ran further away. I couldn’t decide whether or not to stop and help the dog or just go to physical therapy. When I looked up he was gone. Something caught my eye in the rearview mirror and it was the dog chasing my car. When I stopped he was standing in front of the vehicle. I called him and he ran into my arms. He acted as if he had known me all of his life. It was as if dad just guided Blue to me."

"That’s a beautiful story," answered Mattie.

"You know some people even think that he is the reincarnation of my dad sent to look after me."

"Anything is possible."

"Oh don’t even say that. I’m not exactly modest in front of Blue and to think, ewe."

"Am I missing something?"

"Too much information. I’ve been celibate not dead."

Mattie looked at her deep in thought her eyes widening in embarrassment when she realized what her friend was alluding to. "Oh. That would not be good."

"Tell me about it. Anyway I’ve been thinking about Danni and me. I want to marry her or have a union or whatever the hell society will let us have. I just want to share our happiness with our friends."

"Danni told us."


"When you passed out in the hot tub. I’m happy for both of you."

"Then will you go with me to find a ring?"

"Sure. Do you have a date in mind?"

"Tomorrow if I can swing it."

"That’s kind of sudden."

"Yeah but why wait if I know what’s in my heart? You and Annie are married, well kind of. How does that work anyway? You must be divorced from Harry since he’s already getting married."

"It’s complicated and yes Harry and I are divorced. I’m working on Annie about renewing our vows."

"Why don’t we both pick out rings? It could be like a new start for you two."

"That’s not such a bad idea."

"Harry is getting married at the Little Church of the West. If they say yes we can take the two open slots afterward."

"Wait. How do you know there’s an opening?"

"Last night we each had one phone call. Danni called you and I called the chapel."

"You get arrested and you use your only phone call to call a wedding chapel?"

"Yeah. I knew you guys would come. Besides I’m getting kind of desperate here. I can’t be with Danni until she makes an honest woman out of me. And the word no has never been a strong one in my vocabulary."

"Wait. What makes you think you have to be chaste until after you two get hitched?"

"Isn’t it obvious? My mother’s running interference. She approves of Danni but she has never approved of premarital sex. She was a virgin when she got married."

"You think you’re dead mother is causing all of these problems just to prevent you from having sex?"

"Yes. Do you have a better explanation?"

"Bad luck. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s no reason to jump into a marriage."

"That’s not why I want to marry her. It is why I want to marry her tomorrow. Mattie I have never asked anyone to marry me before. Marriage is a sacred institution for me. My parents were married for forty-six years before dad died. Danni is the one so why wait?" Desire’ paused looking at Mattie hoping she would believe her. "Besides tomorrow would have been their golden anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate their love. They were even married in a small chapel in Las Vegas," she added her head bowed down as tears welled up in her eyes.

"At the Little Church of the West," finished Mattie. Desire’ nodded. "That’s a beautiful idea. Who would have thought you were such a romantic?"

Desire’ smiled. "Do you think I have a chance?"

"I’ll tell you what I think. We’re getting married tomorrow night so we had better get going. We have a couple of weddings to plan."

"Great but that’s not all we have to plan," answered Desire’ a devilish grin on her face.

"What’s brewing in that devious little mind of yours?"

"Can’t let the guys have all the fun. We have to throw a bachelorette party," answered Desire’.

"That could be fun," agreed Mattie.

"Oh yeah. A couple of strippers, a guy for Melinda and the best margaritas in town," answered Desire’ her eyes sparkling with enthusiasm.


"Yeah and then we bust up their little party. I already have a plan for that. I’ll call Maryanne and maybe you could get in contact with Aphrodite."

With a twinkle of light the goddess was standing in the living room. "Did I hear someone is getting married tomorrow?" she asked hugging the smaller women. "Leave the strippers to me and I’ve already scouted out their party and put your plan into motion sweet cheeks."

"Reading my thoughts again?" asked Desire’.

"You got it babe. They’ve been quite entertaining."

"Aphrodite," started Desire’.

"Relax not those thoughts," she replied rolling her eyes. "I’ve been keeping an eye on you guys. Now the bachelor party isn’t going to be far from here. You call your friends and I’ll handle the rest. You guys have rings and dresses to buy. Now get going!" With a twinkle of light she was gone.

"Let’s do it," stated Mattie and Desire’ in unison.


"Danni how many stores do we have to go to?" whined Annie as they walked along the mall.

"As many as it takes," answered Danni.

"Even if we find a ring what makes you thing she’s going to say yes so soon?" asked Annie.

"I just know. Trust me."

"Okay but we have to hurry. We have a party to attend in seven hours and we still have a lot to do."

Annie and Danni walked into the last jewelry store in the mall, never noticing the small blonde and brunette entering the bridal boutique across the hall. Danni began scanning the glass display cases searching for the perfect ring as the salesman walked up. "Can I help you find anything?" he asked.

"I’ll let you know when I find it," she mumbled her eyes never leaving the display of jewelry. Annie walked over scouring the assortment of rings with her sister, her eyes landing on one particular ring.

"That’s it," stated Danni pointing to a set of diamond rings, each with a slender band lined with baguettes and one marquee diamond in the center. The salesman opened the case and pulled out the rings.

"You have good taste. This ring is part of a set of wedding rings."

"They both look like they could be worn by a woman," replied Danni.

"They’re unisex rings. We’re trying to keep up with the changing times," he answered.

Danni picked up the smaller ring to inspect it. "What size is this?" she asked.

"Six and a half," replied the salesman.

"Perfect. See Xe, Annie it was meant to be," replied Danni. "Will you break up the set?"

"I’m afraid not. We could put the second ring on lay away though."

"Danni you said yourself you’re sure about this. Buy the ring and then come back for the mate."

"I guess you’re right," answered Danni.

"Can I see that set?" asked Annie pointing to a set of rings with a simple gold band and round half-carat diamond in the center. "Nice," said Annie holding the ring in the light then trying it on. "Perfect fit."

"Are we feeling romantic sis?" asked Danni.

"Might as well make it a double wedding," answered Annie. "We’ll take the smaller rings now and come back later for the others," Annie explained to the salesman.

Danni and Annie paid for the rings, requesting boxes and quickly leaving with their treasures while the salesman finished his paperwork.

"Now we have a party to plan," stated Annie enthusiastically, her eyes lighting up with a wicked twinkle.


"You really don’t like to shop do you?" asked Mattie as they walked outside of the boutique, dresses in their hands.

"Nope. Something catches my eye and I buy it. End of story. Let’s hope we have the same luck in there," answered Desire’ motioning toward the jewelry store across the way.

The two women entered the store before the salesman could put the sold rings away. Desire’ walked up to him staring into the open jewelry box containing the ring with baguettes and a single marquee diamond. "That’s it," she said pointing at the box. "That’s perfect Mattie, look.

Mattie joined her friend to look at the object in question. "It’s beautiful," she replied.

"I’m afraid this ring is already sold," interrupted the salesman.

"Yeah to me," stated Desire’. "Mattie you know Xe, I mean Annie’s ring size right."

"Miss I would be happy to help you find another ring," interjected the salesman.

"I don’t want another ring. I want that one."

"I’m sure we can find another ring that Danni will love just as much," responded Mattie.

Desire’ sucked in her teeth, a scowl on her face as she looked up at the salesman pouting silently. The salesman looked down at the receipt in his hand reading the purchaser’s name and quickly placed the piece of paper under the cash register.

"Is Danni your boyfriend?" he asked.

"She ain’t no guy. She’s a tall, dark gorgeous woman with incredible blue eyes," cooed Desire’.

"Look maybe there is something I can do for you. If you really want the rings I think I can arrange it," replied the salesman. "I don’t suppose she has a twin?"

"Yes she does. Why do you ask?" asked Mattie.

"I think I saw them in the mall. They cut quite a striking picture you know," he answered as he reached under the cash register and pulled out the newspaper from the day before showing Danni carrying Desire’ down the stairs. "Is this Danni?"

"Yeah that’s her," answered Desire’ staring intently at the photo. "I look like crap," she added.

"What about you miss? You’re not by chance in the market for a ring are you?"

"Yes I am. Does this mall have a store that specializes in party supplies?" asked Mattie suspiciously.

"Yes it does. It’s located in the outer part of the mall," answered the salesman. "Here’s a lovely ring," he added holding up the gold band with a round diamond in the middle.

"It’s beautiful, just the right size with a simple beauty," stated Mattie holding the ring to the light to examine it. "Looks like your lucky day. This is perfect," she replied.

"What next?" asked Desire’ as the salesman wrapped up their purchase.

"Shoes," replied Mattie as Desire’ rolled her eyes in disgust.

"You’re gonna have to hold my hand through this. I hate shopping for shoes."


"Good they’re not home yet," stated Desire’ as she walked through the garage and into her home. "I’ll hide the dresses in the front closet."

"So what next?" asked Mattie.

"Well we really don’t have time to get all romantic so I say we just attack them when they walk through the door and ask them."

"That really isn’t romantic."

"Yeah but just asking them is. We can do it in unison. We’ll kneel. That’s all the time we have for romance."

"I hear the car driving up. Get the rings," replied Mattie. Both women waited just inside the entryway as their girlfriends fumbled with the house keys before opening the door and walking in. The small women watched them, their hands behind their backs, each holding a ring box.

Danni and Annie set down their packages, staring back suspiciously at their mates. "What?" asked Annie defensively, hiding the ring box behind her back.

"We have to ask you something," stated Mattie.

"Okay. Can we come in first?" asked Danni. Mattie and Desire’ nodded trying not to smile as the tall brunettes stepped up to them.

"Wait, we have something to ask you first," interjected Annie.

"It can wait," interrupted Desire’ staring passionately at Danni.

"No it can’t wait," argued Danni.

"Yes it can," growled Desire’.

"No," started Danni.

"Hold on you two," interrupted Mattie. "Let’s be democratic about it. Blondes go first," added Mattie grinning.

"Why?" asked Danni.

"Because blonde comes first in the dictionary."

"She’s not blonde," objected Annie pointing menacingly at Desire’.

"I’m with her," answered the small brunette smugly.

"I should go first. Danni comes first in the alphabet."

"Annie comes first you idiot," interrupted her sister.

"I should go first because you don’t really want to make me mad do you?" growled Desire’.

"She has a point," stated Annie looking around the corner to make sure the door was closed to the front room.

Mattie started laughing as three sets of eyes looked questioningly at her. "Could we act anymore stupid?"

"Okay how’s this? At the count of three we ask our question," interjected Desire’.

"At the count of three or on the count of three cowgirl?"

Desire’ flashed a devilish grin. "At the count of three. One, two, three and then ask the question."

"Yeah right," mumbled Annie nudging her sister, trying to convey a silent message to her.

Mattie looked over at Desire’ and smiled, "It’s agreed. At the count of three. Desire’ count."

Desire’ and Danni stared intensely at each other while Annie and Mattie did the same. "One, two," started Desire’. Each woman kneeled down on one knee, holding a small ring box in their hand. "Will you marry me?" they asked in unison, chuckling as they did so.

"You cheated," interrupted Desire’.

"We know you well cowgirl," replied Annie.

"Does this mean yes?" asked Mattie. Three brunettes nodded their heads and answered yes simultaneously. The smaller women jumped into their partner’s arms as tears ran down their cheeks.

"I would say the connection is very strong," Desire’ whispered into Danni’s ears.

"I would say so," interrupted Aphrodite popping into the room. "This is so fantastic," she yelled taking turns hugging and congratulating everyone in the room. "We are going to have so much fun. I called the chapel. You go on at six-tomorrow night. Sue called your friend Kathy so we have a photographer."

"How long have you had this planned?" asked Annie.

"Desire’ called the chapel last night," answered Mattie.

"That’s how you used your phone call," interjected Danni.

"I have my priorities," teased Desire’.

"Enough chit chat ladies. You two need to try your dresses on," interrupted Aphrodite pointing at the tall brunettes.

"We have dresses?" asked Danni.

"Compliments of your mates," answered the goddess. "It’s getting late. We have details to finalize."

"What about after the ceremony?" asked Mattie.

"We have reservations at the top of the world," answered Aphrodite. "The Stratosphere. I reserved the honeymoon suite for you two," she added referring to Annie and Mattie.

"What about us?" asked Danni.

"I have a surprise for you two at Desire’s home," answered Aphrodite.

"Relax Danni. I promise nothing will go wrong once we’re married," stated Desire’ with confidence. "We’ll have the home and the Jacuzzi to ourselves."
"Now go try on your dresses and get ready for your party. The limo will be here in an hour," interrupted the goddess.

"You got them a limo?" asked Desire’.

"Yes. No drinking and driving. We have one for tomorrow night too. Oh and ladies, no sleeping together before the wedding. Desire’ you can bunk with Mattie and you two should fit in that big king size bed in Desire’s room." Four pouty faces looked at the goddess. "No arguing now go. It’s getting late," demanded the goddess.


The party was a small one. Melinda showed up at seven. Maryanne showed up shortly afterward with tequila and champagne to add to the festivities. Desire’ and Mattie were dressed casually in jeans. Aphrodite wore leather pants and a button down white shirt playing host for the event. Country music played loudly on the stereo.

Desire’ mixed batches of blue margaritas for the girls as everyone chatted in the front room. The doorbell rang at eight.

"Melinda I bet that’s for you," yelled Desire’ from the kitchen. Melinda went to the door and answered it. A gorgeous man wearing a cowboy hat was standing on the porch.

"Well come on in sweetie. You must be mine," said Melinda, grabbing the man by the shirt and pulling him forward. The dancer turned his boom box on and started dancing to the music as Aphrodite and Melinda shouted out catcalls. Maryanne, Mattie and Desire’ stood to the side allowing the others to thoroughly enjoy their entertainment.

"Desire’ what’s this little scheme you’ve cooked up to crash the bachelor party?" asked Mattie watching as the cowboy stripped down to a g-string.

"Can’t tell you yet. I promise after a couple more margaritas you’ll love the plan," answered Desire’. "We have to keep them in line, remind them who really controls the relationship."

"So do we get strippers tonight?" asked Maryanne.

"Nah. We don’t need them do we Mattie?" asked Desire’.

"No. I’d rather do the stripping then watch one," chuckled Mattie.

"Glad you said that," interjected Desire’. "Besides it could be uncomfortable if Melinda knew them."

"Good point. I could use another margarita," replied Mattie.

"I’m gonna get a camera," stated Desire’. "Can goddesses be photographed?"

"I have no idea. We’ve never tried it," answered Mattie.

"I guess we’ll see then," responded Desire’.


Annie hired a DJ for the evening. The gathering was small but the guests appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was nice to see Danni and Harry together again. She could see how much love her sister had for Harry and knew it had been an arduous transition for her. Harry appeared to be relaxed and very happy.

She enjoyed watching as the two danced together laughing and talking as they spun around the small dance floor. Peggy and Sue seemed to get along quite well and she couldn’t help but wonder what kind of mischief her girlfriend and Desire’ were up to. Annie looked around as she felt her skin crawl.

"Ares show yourself." She waited then walked to the entrance and peered outside finding the god of war standing beside her dressed in a casual three-piece suit. "What no flashy entrance?"

"Annie you’ve had enough press already. Besides I’m crushed. You throw a party and don’t even invite me."

"Come on in Ares." Annie pulled the reluctant god into the room. "You weren’t exactly being nice the last time we met."

Ares grinned. "At least I put you back into the body you belong in."

"That’s one good thing that came out of it," agreed Annie. "Let’s go get a drink," she added walking over to the bar.

"Not the liveliest gathering I’ve ever been to. Where is everybody?"

"Hate to break it to you but it’s just us. Just a small gathering to wish Harry well on his last night a single man."

"Where’s the party? Where’s the sinning?"

"Stick around. We do have strippers coming later."

"I could whip up some right now."

"No magic Ares. Now why are you really here?"

"I heard he isn’t the only one getting hitched tomorrow. Is it true?" Annie nodded.

"You know I had to show up and try to talk you out of it."

"I wouldn’t expect it to be otherwise."
"So then don’t marry the blonde. Besides she was a lot cuter without that long dirty blonde hair and head band she wears now."

"You’ll be happy to know she has cut her hair and dyed it back to blonde."

"Oh well you still shouldn’t marry her," stated Ares his eyes scanning the room landing on the tall figure dancing with Harry. "Who is that with Harry?" he asked.

"Oh haven’t I told you? I have a twin sister."

"Hello! Excuse me Annie I think it’s time for me to cut in," answered the god of war, walking toward the couple. "Excuse me Jox, Harry may I cut in?"

Harry frowned at the god then looked at Danni who nodded her head. "Okay but no funny business Ares," answered Harry before walking away.

"Hello Ares," greeted Danni.

"You know who I am," answered the dark god pulling the tall beauty closer to him.

"Of course I do. It’s been a long time," replied Danni.

"Have we met before?" asked Ares. "Because I think I would have remembered you if we’ve met before," added Ares gazing into pale blue eyes.

"Not in this life but we’ve met."

"Are you going to tell me?"

"Let’s just say I was one warrior that was never good at playing second fiddle to my mother," answered Danni staring intently into dark brown eyes.

"Eve," replied Ares startled.

"Very good."

"Well I must say you wear Xena’s form very well."

"Yes but we are two very different people."

"Eve you and Xena were never very different."

"Maybe you’re right. We are both getting married tomorrow."

"You too. You’re not marrying him are you?" he asked pointing at Harry.

"Of course not. Jeez Ares we were raised together. That’s just gross."

"Then who’s the lucky guy?"

"There’s no guy Ares. I found my soul mate."

"Not you too. Why are all the good ones gay?" asked a dejected god of war escorting Danni off the dance floor.

The two walked to the bar to join the others. Annie and Harry were laughing as Harry concluded his story about how he first met Melinda. "Sounds like you two were meant for each other," replied Annie, watching her sister and Ares walk up out of the corner of her eye.

"So Danni are you really going to get married tomorrow?" asked Harry.

"Of course Harry. I wouldn’t kid about something like that," answered Danni.

"It just seems so sudden. You barely met the girl."

"And how long have you known Melinda?"

"Point taken. You still seem like my little sister. I’m just being protective."

"And I appreciate it. Besides tomorrow is a really important day for her."

"Of course it is. She’s getting married," added Annie.

"There’s more to it. Her parents were married on this day, fifty years ago tomorrow at the Little Church of the West."

"Danni you little romantic. She’s a lucky lady to steal your heart," answered Harry. "Come on let’s dance," he added escorting Danni back to the dance floor.

"All this lovey dovey crap is going to make me puke," grumbled Ares.

"If it’s too boring Ares then leave," stated Annie.

"This is a bachelor party. It’s supposed to be about sex and booze."

"Well then drink up. I’m sure you can find a date in the casino. Bring her back," answered Annie.

"You’ve found Gabrielle, Joxer and now Eve. Why can’t you find Destiny for me? She would always keep me company," stated Ares. Annie laughed at the mention of Destiny, pondering whether or not to tell the dark god the bad news or toy with him for a while. She chose the later.

"And just what do you think would happen if she was here?"

"Now that one was a tiger. She never could say no to me even when she was mad. Unlike you, she gave herself to me very freely." Annie rolled her eyes in disgust listening to the war god boast about her friend.

"So how come you two never stayed together?"

"She wasn’t you Xena. But she was a great second. I can still see those green eyes sparkling in the moonlight. What I wouldn’t give to see her again."

"Be careful what you wish for Ares. It might just come true," answered Annie, an evil grin forming on her lips.


"Desire’ I have a special gift to give you from Annie," stated Mattie handing her a small package. "She said you would understand."

Desire’ unwrapped the package. Inside was a jade green vibrator. Desire’ burst into laughter. "Oh my god, it’s my little green machine," she said holding it up for everyone to see. "Mine was stolen in Corinth."

Everyone joined in the laughter. "Someone stole it from you in Corinth?" asked Aphrodite.

"Yeah, I was attacked by some thieves. I pulled it out of my bag thinking it was my dagger and started waving it at them. I have no idea what they may have thought it was."

"Okay ladies I have a surprise for you. It’s time to bring this party into the backyard. Follow me," cried the goddess walking to the backyard while the others followed. Aphrodite opened the door and waved her hand. The back porch was covered with a cedar overhang with misters lining the outside of the house. It led to the Jacuzzi that was now covered with a beautiful gazebo, a small wet bar included. Soft lights lined the structure.

"Aphrodite that’s gorgeous," responded Desire’ hugging the blonde goddess. "Thank you. You guys know what this means don’t you?"

The other women shook their heads. "It’s time to move this party into the hot tub!" she answered as she started taking off her clothes. "Come on. Bring your drinks."

"Well don’t just stand there. You heard the lady," interjected Melinda as she stripped down to nothing.

Moments later the women were inside the warm pulsating water, full margaritas in hand.

"So how come your girlfriends are the bachelors and you’re the bachelorettes?" asked Melinda. "Does that mean Annie and Danni are the butch ones?"

"Hah if I remember correctly, Desire’ was always the butch one," interrupted Maryanne.

"That’s passive butch to you," added Desire’ tipsy from the alcohol.

"That’s right. I was your aggressive femme," chuckled Maryanne.

"You two were lovers?" asked Melinda.

"Sort of. We had a complicated relationship," answered Maryanne.

"Please explain what a passive butch is," interjected Mattie.

"Desire’ was always the shy one," replied Maryanne.

"She was shy?" asked Mattie.

"Oh yes very."

"It was Maryanne who said ‘either you want it or you don’t’ when we first met," stated Desire’. "No hi my name is. Just either you want it or you don’t. I did and the rest is history," finished Desire’ as the others laughed. "She was very aggressive."

"I guess so," interjected Mattie and Aphrodite in unison.

"But she always wore the pants in the relationship," added Maryanne.

"Yeah. Every little dyke in California wore baggy cotton pants and starched cotton shirts. We used to starch the shit out of the collars and wear them standing straight up. That way we could identify other lesbians in straight society. I used to call it the lesbian hard on in my comedy routine."

"You used to be a comedian?" asked Mattie.

"I tried it but I wasn’t very good at it," answered Desire’.

"Nonsense. She’s just modest. She was great," interrupted Maryanne.

"Yeah great. That’s why I’m a photographer," protested Desire’.

"Don’t listen to her. She had this bit she did, sixty-nine reasons why you might be a dyke." The women laughed.

"Sounds funny. Do tell us Desire’," chimed in Aphrodite. "Come on, you’re among friends. Don’t be shy."

"Alright but don’t blame me if you don’t laugh. When everyone was busy trying to find their inner child I decided to find the inner dyke in me." The other four women laughed.

"You might be a dyke if you hear the term diamond and the first thing that comes to mind is a softball field." Everyone laughed except Melinda.

"You might be a dyke if you refer to your dog and cat as the children." Again everyone laughed except Melinda.

"Okay you might be a dyke if long fingernails is a definite sign of celibacy." This time Melinda joined in the laughter.

"You don’t have to be a dyke to understand that one," chuckled Melinda. "I’m sorry can I use that term even though I’m not a dyke?"

"Of course you can. Besides I bet you’ve been with a woman before," answered Maryanne.

"Duh, of course I have," answered Melinda.

"Then we won’t hold Harry against you," teased Maryanne. "Okay tell us more."

"You might be a dyke if the term ‘going down’ isn’t strictly a term used when riding the elevator."

"See I told you she was great," interrupted Maryanne between laughs.

"One more. You might be a dyke when beating around the bush is your description of sexual foreplay." All five women burst into laughter as she finished the punch lunch.

"Come on do one more," begged Maryanne.

"No good comedy is like good sex. You can’t do it all at once. You have to keep em begging for more."

"So how come you stopped doing comedy?" asked Mattie.

She got a bum rap," interrupted Maryanne. Desire’ glared at her friend, dark eyes conveying a silent message. Realizing her mistake Maryanne bowed her head averting her eyes away from the small beauty.

"What kind of bum rap?" asked Melinda innocently.

Desire’ sat in the water quietly as memories of long ago filtered through her mind. Waves of emotion came crashing down around her as she fought the onslaught of tears threatening to invade her face.

"Are you okay?" asked Mattie patting the small brunette on the shoulder as the color drained from Desire’s face.

Desire’ shook her head in an effort to compose herself. "Whoa too much liquor," she answered placing the half-full margarita on the edge of the spa. "That’s all. I guess I’ve become a light weight," she added chuckling. "Enough of my failed career in comedy. Let’s talk about something more interesting."

"Right," agreed Maryanne nervously.

"How about first time stories," continued Desire’. "You know, the first time you were with a woman," she added staring at Maryanne with a devilish glint in her eyes. "You first Maryanne."

"Uh nobody wants to hear about my first time," stammered Maryanne.

"Of course they do," purred Desire’. "If you don’t want to tell it, I’d be happy to for you."

"Oh this sounds juicy," interjected Aphrodite.

Maryanne looked cautiously around as several eyes focused on her. "Okay fine," she said glaring at her friend for several moments.

"Well what are you waiting for?" asked Desire’ grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Let’s just say I was a little naïve," started Maryanne.

Desire’ chuckled "A little?"

"Do you want to tell the story?" asked Maryanne irritation in her voice.

"Oh no. It sounds so cute when you tell it," answered Desire’. "I’ll shut up," she added covering her mouth with her hand.

"That’s a first," mumbled Maryanne. "Anyway as I was saying. My best friend and I were very close in high school. On a dare we kissed then spent the next couple of months making out any chance we could get. One night after a football game, Eileen, that’s her name, spent the night. We made out half the night before Eileen suggested I take my clothes off, which I did. Then she started doing things to me."

Desire’ continued to giggle. "What kind of things?"

"You’re really enjoying this aren’t ya girl?" asked Maryanne as Desire’ nodded. "She started kissing me everywhere. I was going nuts. When she touched my breasts I thought I was gonna explode. Then she continued down my body kissing me. When she got to my stomach I stopped her." Maryanne paused to take a long drink from her margarita.

"Come on Maryanne. Tell us what happened next," interjected Desire’ very impatiently as Maryanne continued to glare at her.

"I looked down at her and with a very weak voice said ‘where ya goin."

Desire’ burst into laughter joined by the other three women and the goddess as Maryanne sunk down slowly in the water, her embarrassment obvious. "It’s a good thing I wasn’t your first," started Desire’ in between giggles. "I would’ve cracked up in the bed."

"Lucky for me Eileen was a much more sensitive lover than you," spat Maryanne.

"Me not sensitive? I remember our first night together. You’ve got that backwards," started Desire’.

"Don’t go there Desire’," interrupted Maryanne.

"Why not? What are you afraid of?" asked Desire’.

"I have nothing to hide," answered Maryanne.

"Good because this is very entertaining ladies. Go on Desire’," interjected Aphrodite as Mattie sat quietly shaking her head.

"We were both naked in bed. She was on top and she says to me, ‘by the way I have a girlfriend."

"It didn’t stop you," interrupted Maryanne.

"I spent thirty bucks on the motel room. You were paid for," Desire’ shot back.

Desire’ and Maryanne stared intensely at each other before breaking out in grins.

"Wench!" they yelled in unison and started laughing.

"Are you two always like this with each other?" asked Mattie.

"Only when we’re together," quipped Desire’.

"We’re like an old married couple. We fight all the time and never have sex," added Maryanne.

"Next subject ladies," interrupted Desire’.

"Let’s play I never," offered Maryanne.

"What’s that?" asked Mattie, a quizzical expression on her face.

"It’s a drinking game," Desire’ chimed in.

"I say something I haven’t done but know that one of you has. Everyone who has done this particular thing has to take a drink," explained Maryanne. Melinda, Mattie and Aphrodite looked at her blankly. "I’ll demonstrate. I’ve never done it on a horse. I know Desire’ has and she has to drink."

"Yeah in front of the whole army and some amazons," added Aphrodite giggling.

Desire’ froze glaring anxiously at the goddess. "Aphrodite!"

"What?" asked the goddess looking at the angry brunette then over at Mattie. "She mentioned Corinth," she added pointing an accusatory finger at Maryanne.

"Who said anything about Corinth?" asked Maryanne defending herself. "I was talking about Nash, oh my you naughty girl Desire’."

"That wasn’t your first time on a horse?" asked Aphrodite her eyes wide open in awe. Desire’ lowered herself in the water speaking with a meek voice. "I don’t think we should play this game."

"Oh no. I want to hear about it," stated Mattie waiting patiently for an explanation. Desire’ looked first at Aphrodite then at Maryanne before resting her eyes on Mattie, a guilty look on her face. "You and the conqueror?" asked Mattie.

Desire’ nodded, the water now above her lips as she continued to slink down. "It was only one Amazon Aphrodite."

"You have better sex in your dreams than I have in real life," interrupted Maryanne laughing.

Mattie glared at Desire’ for several long moments. "Guess I don’t know everything that happened," she stated.

"You should buy her a horse," quipped Desire’ sucking her teeth in an effort to suppress the laughter building inside.

Mattie gave her an evil grin and shoved the small brunette under the water, laughing as Desire’ struggled to come up for air. After a few seconds she released her hand and watched as Desire’ broke the surface, spitting out water as she composed herself.

"That was not nice," Desire’ said wiping water away from her face.

"Who said I was nice? Maybe in another lifetime," answered Mattie.

"Okay no more sex talk, especially about me," replied Desire’. "Besides it’s making me horny. I’m already ripe for the picking."

"Oh come on, you and Danni have been together every night for the last week," interjected Maryanne.

"Not like that we haven’t," answered Desire’.

"You mean you’re getting hitched and you haven’t even fucked her?" asked Maryanne in disbelief.

"Yes. Thank you so very much for your eloquence Maryanne. We keep getting interrupted or arrested. Supernatural forces are keeping us apart but that all changes tomorrow night," answered Desire’.

"Your mother," interrupted Aphrodite.

"What?" asked Desire’.

"Your mother wants you to be a virgin on your wedding night," answered Aphrodite.

"I knew it," exclaimed Desire’. "I told you Mattie."

"You don’t act like a virgin," interjected Melinda giggling.

"What’s a virgin act like?" asked Desire’.

"Not like you," answered Maryanne. "Although she has been celibate for four years so I guess you could call her a born again virgin."

"That’s debatable," added Aphrodite chuckling.

"Don’t start," stated Desire’ nodding her head toward Mattie.

"Oh right. Virgin it is," replied the goddess. "It’s getting late. You guys need to get dressed so we can crash the party. There is one thing I should warn you two about," added Aphrodite pointing at Mattie and Desire’.

"What?" they asked in unison.

"Ares might be there. I couldn’t not tell him about Xena."

"This should be fun. Does he remember me?" asked Desire’.

"You know the god of war?" asked Maryanne.

"Long story. I guess they left that detail out. I met him in Corinth."

"Only he doesn’t remember you. I put a spell on him."

"So. I don’t care if he doesn’t recognize me. At least then he won’t try to hurt me."

He won’t hurt you Desire’," interrupted Mattie. "I promise you Annie and I will make sure of that."

"He remembers Destiny," interjected Aphrodite.


"You don’t remember him from when you were Destiny?"

"I know I slept with him but no I haven’t had any explicit memories of him," answered Desire. "Is there something else I should know?"

"You were his go to gal."

"What does that mean?"

"It means that you had a major thing for him. He’s never forgotten you."

"No wonder I’m so queer in this life," mumbled Desire’. Nervously she looked at the blonde goddess. "I wasn’t in love with him was I?"

"I wouldn’t call it that. But you had deep feelings for him. Personally I think he was safe for you. You knew he would always pine over Xena so you never had to worry about a commitment. Other then her, you’re the only one he ever talked about. Your relationship was about sex. When he does see you he will recognize Destiny and he will recognize you as Desire’ from Corinth."

"Well then it should be an interesting night so let’s go. Are you driving Aphrodite because I don’t think I can drive," asked Desire’.

"Hell no. I ordered us a limo. Now go get dressed. We have a party to crash."


"Well Annie this party is a dud," stated Ares.

"Hey I resemble that remark. I’m having a wonderful time," interjected Harry. "When does the stripper get here?"

"She should be here any minute now," answered Annie. "Relax Ares, you can have her. Hey Danni. Ares was telling me earlier how much he would love to see Destiny again. What do you think about that?"

Danni sauntered over to the god of war and leaned against the bar staring intently into his eyes. "I think if Destiny were here right now she wouldn’t give you the time of day. I’d bet on it."

"What would you like to bet?" asked Ares accepting the challenge.

"I’ll bet you a dance with my wife tomorrow night," answered Danni.

"What makes you think I’d want to dance with your wife?"

"Oh you will. Trust me. She’s Destiny," answered Danni grinning.

"What?" Ares looked over at Annie who just nodded. "I’ll take that bet. But I want to see her before the wedding. There is no way she is going to marry you after she sees me."

"Fine. You can meet Desire’ before the wedding."

"Desire’. Why does that name sound familiar?" asked Ares.

"Don’t you remember Corinth?" asked Annie.

"Of course I do. We had some good times Xena."

"Don’t remind me. You met her in Corinth. She looks exactly like Destiny including those amazing green eyes you loved so much."

"Well Danni. It looks like there will only be two weddings tomorrow," Ares said confidently.

"Look," yelled Harry pointing at the door. "The stripper is here," he added excitedly.

Two women with black Tina Turner wigs wearing masquerade masks were pulling and pushing a huge three-layer cake. "Ares," said Annie patting the war god on the shoulder. "She has a couple of assistants. You might get lucky after all."

The cake was brought to the center of the room. Sensual rhythmic music began to play as the top of the cake was removed revealing three women all wearing masks with long black wigs.

"Did you order three?" asked Annie.

"No. Maybe they’re having a special," answered Danni her eyes riveted on the scantily clad women.

The first woman jumped out wearing a skin tight small jade short sleeve T-shirt that hugged a well defined stomach and large full breasts with a matching lace g-string showing off firm round buttocks and muscular thighs, jade green gloves on her hands. She walked toward Danni. The second woman was taller, wearing red pasties across her nipples and a red bikini bottom. She made her way toward Harry. The last one was petite, wearing an emerald lace bikini showing off killer abs and strong legs. She walked toward Annie.

Their dance was choreographed as they moved to the music. All three women gyrated in unison to the rhythm before moving closer to the bachelors. Ares, Peggy and Sue observed, their mouths dropping as they watched the show.

"Now this is more like it!" cried the god of war.

Each woman rubbed against their bachelor, moving their bodies up and down the length of their victim, caressing their shoulders as they smiled and gasped at their stripper. In unison all three bachelors were pushed into chairs as the strippers climbed on top of them, grinding their hips into their laps, kissing their necks and roaming their hands over their chests. Harry, Danni and Annie responded by wrapping their arms around the half-naked bodies pulling them closer toward them, enjoying every moment of the show.

The strippers took blind folds out and placed them around their captives, giggling as they did. Simultaneously they grabbed their captives hands, pulling them toward their shoulders and guiding them down their chests until Annie, Danni and Harry sat in their chairs with their hands cupping firm breasts as the women ground their hips on top of them. All three were enjoying every touch of the woman on top of them.

"So Harry. This is the last stripper you’ll ever see," Melinda whispered into his ears. Harry stiffened up as she took the blind fold off of his eyes and placed her hand over his mouth in a hushing motion.

"Annie you’re a very lucky woman since I’m going to forgive you tonight," purred Mattie as she took her blind fold off and covered her mouth. Annie’s eyes shot open as she looked into the emerald green eyes of her lover, then over to Harry and back over to Danni who was still oblivious to what was going on.

Desire’ moved Danni’s hands underneath her shirt, prolonging the torture. With one hand she took off her mask then guided Danni’s hands to help remove the T-shirt. "Yeah, that’s nice," Danni said as she felt the soft skin underneath, Desire’s nipples covered only by pasties as she fought to contain her composure. Desire’ seductively removed her gloves as Danni continued to caress the soft full mounds of flesh. Desire’ ran her naked hands over Danni’s shoulders and chest as she continued to rock up and down in her lap.

Finally Desire’ leaned over to untie the blindfold pressing her breasts against Danni’s lips. "You had better think of something fast or your girlfriend is going to kill you," she whispered into Danni’s ears, holding her head firmly into her chest. When Danni looked up she froze, staring into the pale green eyes of her lover as the room burst into laughter.

"Didn’t really think we were going to let you have strippers tonight did you dear?" teased Desire’ as she released her grip on her.

"We are so dead," stated Danni, a weak grin on her face.

"You should be. You guys were enjoying it way to much," added Mattie slapping Annie playfully.

"Come on guys we knew it was you all along," answered Annie.

"Of course we did honey," chimed in Harry hugging and caressing his girlfriend.

Desire’ looked at Danni expecting the same response. Danni looked into her eyes. "I had no idea," she replied.

"Good answer," purred Desire’. "Honesty, I like that," she added grinding her hips into Danni’s lap. The two locked lips while the others looked on. Annie and Harry looked as though a comrade in arms had betrayed them.

"Pumpkin, you’re the only one for me," stated Annie weakly.

"That’s right warrior, you had better grovel. You knew it was me my ass," answered Mattie taking off her wig and smacking Annie with it.

Annie fought back until she had Mattie’s hands held down and kissed her. "Nice outfit. Are you wearing that home tonight?"

"Maybe but you’re still sleeping with Danni." Annie looked at her with her best pouty face. "Rules are rules."

"Harry honey that’s okay if you didn’t know it was me. I want you to have fun," stated Melinda.

"I love you Mel," answered Harry.

"Enough of this love crap," shouted Ares. "Are you going to introduce me Danni?"

Desire’ stood up to face Ares. "Hello Ares. It’s been a while," greeted Desire’.

"Too long," answered Ares, picking the small woman up and giving her a bone-crushing hug. Ares released the small woman and stared at her intensely, looking over every inch of her body. "You look good and you feel good Destiny."

"Thank you," purred Desire’. "You look as good as always. Of course I like you better in the leather. You feel the same, like a big OLE walkin, talkin vibrator."

Ares stood back his eyes bulging with disbelief as he stared at the woman. "It’s you!" he shouted. "The little demon dyke from Corinth. No it can’t be. You’re Destiny. We, I Annie is this some kind of sick joke?" asked the dark god.

"Afraid not bro," interrupted Aphrodite taking off her black wig. "You really need to move on."

Ares growled as he looked at his sister then back over to Desire’. "Desire’ what time is it?"

Desire’ looked at her watch. "It’s midnight," she answered.

"Hah. I won the bet Danni. She just gave me the time of day," he said smugly. "You owe me a dance," he added pointing at Desire’ and with a brilliant light he was gone.

"Danni it’s all in the wording," interjected Annie.

"What was that about?" asked Desire’.

"I’ll tell you later," answered Danni. "Now come here," she demanded, pulling Desire’ back into her lap. Playfully she pulled on the tassels covering her nipples. "I want you so bad," she whispered into Desire’s ear. "Let’s go somewhere more private," she added before claiming Desire’s mouth in a searing kiss, her hands never leaving the soft flesh.

"Danni not tonight," answered Desire’.

"Why not tonight?" cried Danni.

"Remember what Aphrodite said?"

"Screw Aphrodite."

"Hey I heard that," interrupted Aphrodite. "Come on. You can wait one more night. Now let’s get going. You ladies need your beauty sleep."


Both couples stood in the living room saying good night to each other. Desire’ jumped into Danni’s arms kissing her fervently. "You know we really don’t have to listen to the others. What harm could it do to spend the night together?" she whispered into Danni’s ears.

"Oh no," interrupted Annie pulling the little brunette off of her sister. "No need to take a chance on the house catching fire next."

"Like that’s really gonna happen. Come on I didn’t really mean what I said about my mother," defended Desire’. "You don’t really think her spirit is hanging around keeping me chaste until I’m married do you?"

All four women froze when the fireplace ignited. "Okay that was weird but we can share the same bed and just cuddle," stated Desire’ looking into the fire. As she finished the sentence the flames grew higher.

"All right mother this is just dumb. I’m an adult now. Stop trying to control my life," hissed Desire’ stalking around the room. A rustling noise was heard and Desire’ was struck in the back of the head with a framed photo of her mother that flew from the wall. "Owe okay I get the damn picture! No pun intended," cried Desire’. "Come on Mattie let’s go," she said walking away from Danni and toward the guestroom. She turned around when she reached the hallway. "And turn off the damn fireplace will ya mom?"

Moments later the fire was extinguished as all four women went to their sleeping quarters.


"If I find out Aphrodite was behind that little scene I will kill her," growled Desire’ sitting down on the loveseat.

"Either way one more night isn’t going to kill you," interjected Mattie.

"Might not kill me but you on the other hand have to put up with me tonight," teased Desire’.

"A fate worse than death," quipped Mattie.

"Now that’s the attitude. I am not in the mood to sleep."

"Then we’ll talk," offered Mattie sitting next to Desire’ on the loveseat.

"Talking isn’t exactly what I want to be doing right now."

"That’s the best I can do this evening."

"What’s it been like for you? I mean you married Annie when she was in a man’s body. Now she’s a woman. Were you gay or straight before you two met?"

"Desire’ I hate labels. I dated people who were interesting. I’ve always believed in soul mates so when I met Harry it didn’t take long to realize we were meant to be together. Amazingly our lovemaking is the same now as it was before Ares switched their souls back. Only the body parts are different but the passion and the love is the same. The only difference now is we can’t make a baby together."

"That and the marriage won’t be recognized as legal."

"That really bothers you doesn’t it? It’s really just a piece of paper."

"What bothers me is when people want to hurt us just for showing affection in public. That was an amazing feeling in Corinth. Nobody cared that we were two women." Desire’ paused looking at Mattie. "I’m sorry. I shouldn’t bring that up."

"Desire’ stop feeling guilty about that time. It happened but it was in an alternate universe. You two have always had a complex relationship. I’m just glad Aphrodite picked you even if it was by accident."

"What were you doing in Corinth during that time or do you have memories of it?"

"I was busy with our group. It was really kind of exciting. We were always moving trying to stay one step ahead and not get caught. We knew we were being watched but somehow we always managed to escape. I would get this feeling like we had better leave and my instincts were always right."

"You might want to thank Aphrodite next time you see her."

"For what?"

"When I arrived in Corinth the Chronus stone disappeared. Aphrodite couldn’t get involved directly because she feared the other gods would get suspicious. But she kept her eyes on you. She could appear without you seeing her and make suggestions so every time the spies got close it was her job to tell you even though you couldn’t see her."

"So you knew about me when you arrived?"

"Of course. I couldn’t let her kill you. I knew you would be in more danger with Xena then without."

"Because of Ares."

"Yeah, that and my only reference about the conqueror was Armageddon II. In that episode she crucified you. I couldn’t let that happen. Ares was keeping me alive until I led him to you. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure things out. Maybe it was the whack to my head."

"There was a rumor that you died."

"I did."

"What exactly happened?"

"I turned my back on a pissed off conqueror," quipped Desire’.

Mattie scowled at the small brunette beside her, grabbing her by the ear and pulling her head down. "Could you be serious just one time?"

"Owe, let go," squeaked Desire’ before Mattie released her grip. Both brows furrowed as she glared at her friend. "My mother never even used that move with me."

"Well she should have," replied Mattie. "Then maybe you would give a straight answer once in a while."

Desire’ sucked in her tooth and started to reply with a smirk in her eyes before Mattie clapped her hand over her mouth. "Don’t you dare make a straight joke," threatened Mattie. Desire’ slumped back in her seat feeling like a child being scolded by her mother. Both women sat silently glaring at each other before Mattie removed her hand, confident that Desire’ would refrain from sarcasm. "Tell me what happened.

"Didn’t she tell you the story?"

"Yes but I want to hear your version."

"You don’t think she told you the truth," answered Desire’.

"I know she told me the truth but she could only tell me how she felt. I want to know how you felt." Mattie reached over placing her hand over Desire’s. "If you had died we wouldn’t be here today. You would never have awakened."

"I guess I never thought about that," replied Desire’ her face now solemn. "It happened after the banquet. The conqueror decided I must like men so she gave Tallus permission to have me. At least that’s what I thought happened at the time."

"Annie said that she told Tallus only if you said yes."

"She didn’t know he was holding a dagger to my throat when I said yes. He put the knife away and started unzipping his pants. I pulled at my chains with all of my strength and slammed him across the head. I think he pulled his sword. One of the first things they taught me in karate was to fight with my hands tied in front of me so I knocked the sword away I think and started kicking and hitting him until he stopped. Then the conqueror pulled her sword on me."

"Did you really call her a coward?"

"Yeah, I was pissed and running on pure adrenaline."

"What happened next?"

"I challenged her to a fight, no weapons. Then she called me little and really pissed me off. We fought. She underestimated me and I was able to beat her. I turned away from her so she wouldn’t see me crying and she attacked me." Desire’ paused thinking of the events still so fresh in her mind.

"Why were you crying?"

"Fear. I was shaking one minute, the next I felt a dagger in my side. It all happened so fast. I remember her slamming my head into the ground and my body flying in the air then darkness until I woke up and saw Palemon. I was having a hard time breathing and closed my eyes. Then I felt the conqueror’s hand on me and panic gripped me. Next thing I knew I was walking on a stone floor on the way to Charon’s boat and I had a gold piece in my hand. Everything seemed like a dream to begin with so I never really thought about the seriousness of the situation."

"You would have died in your sleep and history would have stayed the same," interjected Mattie.

"Did that much really change I mean besides Xena living a little bit longer?"

"Xena lived a lot longer and yes a lot of things changed for our families."

"Like what?"

"Gabrielle got to know Destiny. After Xena died the first time Gabrielle went to Egypt then on to Greece to defeat Dahak.

"You have memories of the first time Xena died in Japan?"

"It’s complicated. Until last week I only remembered Gabrielle’s life with Xena. We both woke up with vivid memories of you and Corinth but I had very hazy memories of another story. The story was about me going on without Xena. I found out Hope was alive and had a daughter. But I had hazy memories of two very different versions of the same story. Before we met I asked Aphrodite about it. She told me everything."

"What did she tell you?"

"She told me that when Xena died, Gabrielle went to Egypt then back to Greece. There she killed Hope and Destiny. It gave her the strength to defeat Dahak."

"That was before the time travel?" Mattie nodded her head in response. "So what happened the second time?"

"Xena traveled with Gabrielle. When they met Destiny, Gabrielle wanted to kill her and Hope but Xena thought Destiny was worth saving."

"Did you save Destiny? I’ve been having flashbacks but nothing about this first meeting. That first night when I laid my head down on Danni’s lap I dreamed that I was lying in Eve’s arms. She was dressing a wound and telling me she would never leave me."

"That must have been a long time later. Destiny helped us defeat Dahak after he killed Hope. I don’t remember much more but I think we traveled with Destiny and Solon back to the northern Amazon territory."

"I thought Solon died at a very young age."

"Xena’s son died. Destiny had a son and named him Solon."

"Wow I had a son in another life. Was I at least a decent parent?"

"I only have vague memories but I do remember the very first meeting. From that I would say Destiny was a terrific mother. She risked her life to save him."

Desire’ looked away lost in her own thoughts as she listened.

"Desire’ when did you start having memories of Destiny?" asked Mattie interrupting the memories flooding in Desire’s mind.

"I didn’t really until I met you guys. I just wanted to write a fan fiction story. I guess we really didn’t get off on the right foot did we?"

"No I didn’t give Destiny a chance at first. The funny thing is that Xena had this feeling about her. She even felt like she had met Destiny before."

"I don’t know how this time travel stuff works but technically those memories would’ve been after the alternative universe. Didn’t she think Destiny looked a bit like me?"

"That’s what I asked Aphrodite. She told me that our memories were altered. Eve suddenly appeared in Japan. Until last week we had no memories of any of the events."

"It’s so weird. It happened last week but it happened thousands of years ago to you. Maybe it’s better if we don’t remember our past lives. It’s very confusing."

"Yes but there’s a lot to be learned when we do. For some people it’s essential in helping them learn important life lessons."

"I don’t even know where you guys live," stated Desire’.

"We’re moving to San Diego. There’s a university there that teaches about reincarnation. It’s all very scientific and spiritual not like the scam I was running."

"California huh. I have a house down there near my favorite beach."

"Near San Diego?"

"Not really. It’s closer to Orange County, Sunset beach. It’s the most beautiful place in the world during a full moon."

"What’s so special about it?"

"In the summer time when the moon is full at around 3 or 4 in the morning it feels like the center of the universe. The moon is so full and bright that it lights up the beach. The tide is low and the ocean feels like bath water. Sometimes on my birthday when I’m depressed I go there just to swim. It’s a feeling I can’t explain but it always makes me feel like I own the world. I’ll take you guys there someday when Danni and I are visiting."

"When is your birthday?"

"Getting personal aren’t you?"

"Is it a secret?"

"No. July 28. I usually go there in the morning when the moon is full. Birthdays aren’t happy days for me."

"Why is that?"

"They just aren’t. Trust me on this. That’s why I usually end up at my beach."

"Well that’s going to change this year. You two will have to spend it with us."

"Just promise you won’t make a big deal about it."

"I promise," answered Mattie reluctantly, her fingers crossed behind her back.

"So tell me about you? Don’t you have any demons inside or juicy little stories?"

"No. I was raised in San Francisco. My parents were flower children. Everything was always about peace and love so of course I had to rebel against them. They did tons of drugs in the sixties and when I started smoking pot they bought me a bong. That took the fun out of it. Sex wasn’t exciting. They offered to take me to the doctor and put me on the pill when I was fourteen. They loved rock and roll so I pissed them off by getting into classical music, which I hated so we were all miserable. So I started stealing and from there I started conning people until I met Annie. Since then I’ve been involved with charity work trying to give back some of what I have taken."

"How ironic. In this life you’re looking for redemption."

"We all have different lessons to learn in each life. Now I know about guilt."

"At least you seem happy."

"I am thanks to Annie. I’m also very tired. How about you?"

"I guess I could give it a go."

"Good. We have a big day tomorrow. Get some sleep."


Annie put on her nightshirt and jumped onto the bed. "This is comfy," she said as she watched her sister pace the floor. "Got a little pent up energy there sis," she teased.

"What do you think?"

"I think you had better get some sleep so you’ll have energy for the wedding night," answered Annie.

"Don’t worry. I’ll have plenty of energy for tomorrow night," replied Danni.

"I wasn’t worried," mumbled Annie. "Is there something else on your mind?"

"Not really," answered Danni.

"That would be a yes. Are things going too fast for you?"

"Not for me. I just wonder if Desire’ is in love with the idea of being in love or if she is really in love with me."

"Why would you think that?"

"When I saw her on Saturday night I recognized her. You didn’t tell me she was my soul mate but I knew anyway. You told her who I was."

"Only because she asked us about you."

"What do you mean?"

"She’s been having memories of Destiny for a while now only she thought she was creating a story. When she found out those were memories from her past life she asked about Eve."

"What did she say?"

"She thought that Eve was her soul mate and she asked if we had found you. So relax. The connection is just as strong for her as it is for you."

"Thanks for telling me that. So it doesn’t have anything to do with me looking like you?"

"No that’s just a perk," teased Annie. "Trust me if you had been a man or had three boobs she would still have wanted to be with you."

"What’s that supposed to mean?"

"It’s complicated. Just know she loves the person within."

"Do you still love her?"

"Yes I do and I always will. But I’m in love with Mattie and that will never change. After tomorrow night you won’t feel so insecure."

"Maybe you’re right, if I survive that long."

"You got it bad.


Danni walked quietly through the hall careful not to disturb the others. The living room was dark except for the flickering light from the television. Desire’ lay back in the over sized recliner, two large tabby and white cats draped over her feet and stomach. A sleepy black dog laid on the floor raising his head to look at the intruder before stretching out on the carpet and closing his eyes. Danni walked behind the chair listening to the soft sound of her partner’s breathing as a soft sob escaped the small brunette’s mouth. Desire’ wiped the tears from her eyes as she tuned herself into the quiet footsteps behind her.

"Hey sweetie. Having second thoughts already?" whispered Desire’.

"How did you know it was me?" asked Danni as she wrapped her arms around Desire’s neck and planted a soft kiss on a moist cheek.

Desire’ reached her left arm behind Danni to embrace her. "I just knew."

"What are you watching that’s so sad?"

"CMT," answered Desire’.

"You’re crying over music videos?"

"Didn’t Annie warn you I cry a lot?" replied Desire’ sniffling. "You should see me at the movies," she added.

"I’ll take that into consideration," responded Danni. "I don’t suppose there’s room for two on that chair."

Desire’ looked up into sparkling blue eyes and smiled. "There’s always room for you," she answered. Two large cats opened sleepy eyes as Danni made her way onto the chair. Moments later Danni was nestled alongside Desire’, strong arms around her shoulder in a tight embrace.

"Much better," purred Desire’ leaning her head back into Danni’s chest. "So how come you’re not sleeping?"

"Annie snores like a lumberjack," answered Danni chuckling. "How come you’re not sleeping?"

"I don’t do well in close quarters. I figured Mattie would make a much better looking bride without the half dozen or so bruises I might inflict during the night."

"So that’s why such a small women has such a large bed," responded Danni.

"That and because six women can fit on it," teased Desire’. "All at the same time."

Danni looked at Desire’ lying in her arms with a cocky grin on her face. "You are kidding right?" she asked cautiously.

"Don’t worry. Those days are long gone for me. I still have to sleep on a king size bed though."

"That won’t be a problem," replied Danni.

"So then you aren’t having second thoughts?" asked Desire’.

"No I’m not. This feels right."

"Yeah," sighed Desire’ snuggling against the tall dark beauty. Both women sat silently in each other’s embrace for many moments, content to enjoy the intimacy as Danni ran her hand through the dark brown tresses.

"I love your long hair," Danni whispered.

"Lucky for you it grew in Corinth," answered Desire’. "It used to be very short."

"Long or short I love your hair." Danni continued running her fingers through the hair while Desire’ made small purring noises.

"Is that you or the cat?" asked Danni grinning.

"Oh it’s definitely me," husked Desire’ her eyes closed as her head fell back into the strong hand. "Woa," she gasped moving her head forward quickly blinking her eyes as a wave of nausea came over her.

"What’s wrong?" asked Danni startled.

"Sorry. I should’ve warned you. Don’t touch the scar. I faint."

"Point taken," answered Danni pulling the small brunette toward her. "So what’s your natural hair color?"

Desire’ looked up slightly offended by the question. "This is my natural hair color." Desire’ paused and added, "Okay so I dye it to cover a little bit of gray but before the gray showed up my hair was dark brown with black highlights and I only have a few gray hairs," she defended.

"How come your hair is brown in the family photos?"

"I have no idea. Ask god. I used to die it blonde and when I stopped coloring my hair it grew back this color. How about you? Has your hair always been this dark?"

"My hair was a muddy brown. I went to a Halloween party one year as Elvira. People kept complimenting me on the color so I started dying it black."

"Good decision. I love black hair. So tell me about your parents."

"They own a Greek restaurant in Denver. Father is English and mother is Greek. We got mother’s coloring and father’s eyes."

"Do you look more like your mother?" asked Desire’ as Danni nodded her response. "That’s something we have in common. My father was English too. Mom was German. I look like her but I also have my father’s eyes. Of course now people say I look just like my dad. It’s funny how people perceive their kids."

"Do you ever want to have kids?" asked Danni.

"Well actually I’ve been thinking about getting a companion for Blue. Either another dog or a kitten. But if I get a kitten it will have to be tabby and white like the boys and of course if I get another dog it will have to look like Blue. But that will be impossible to find since I have never seen another dog that looks remotely like Blue." Danni sat quietly holding Desire’ watching her with amusement as she rambled on. "Where am I going to find a big black hound dog with a white muzzle with freckles and a beige and black chest and legs? Gotta have my pets color-coded you know," finished Desire’ pausing to look up at Danni’s face.

"Actually I was talking about children," interjected Danni. Desire’ stared at her reflecting on the statement. "You know human children?" added Danni.

"Oops. I guess I’m one of those people who thinks of her pets as the children."

"Well do you?" prodded Danni.

"I think that ship kind of sailed. I’m a bit past my prime if you know what I mean but I will try my damndest to get you pregnant if you want children. You’ve still got a few good child bearing years left in you."

"I have thought about having kids but only if I’m in a committed relationship. I would want my children to have two parents like I did growing up."

"I feel the same way," interjected Desire’ her tone of voice tinged with sadness. "Children deserve a stable home with a supportive family. Speaking of kids what were you like growing up?" Smooth segue girl. I’m proud of you, purred the little voice.

"I was a definite tomboy. I loved sports and music," responded Danni.

"What did you want to be when you grew up?" asked Desire’.

"When I was about ten I wanted to be Sabrina Duncan," answered Danni.

"From Charlie’s Angels?" asked Desire’. Danni nodded her reply. "Now see there’s something else we have in common. When you were dreaming of being her, I was dreaming of doing her," added Desire’ laughing. "When did you give up on that dream?"

"When I was a teenager. I learned to play guitar and wanted to be in a rock band like the Bangles or the Go Go’s."

"What a coincidence," Desire’ said smirking. "As a young adult I wanted to do the Bangles and the Go Go’s."

"I see a pattern developing here."

"Just one of my numerous talents. Did you go to college?" asked Desire’.

"Yes I did. I went on scholarship."

"Let me guess, a basketball scholarship."

"No as a matter of fact it was a softball scholarship."

"Something else we have in common."

"Let me guess," interrupted Danni. "You dreamed of doing the softball team in college."

"No smart aleck but a good guess. I played softball in college for three years."

"Really," replied Danni.

"Really. I did the basketball team. Remember I have a thing for tall chicks," answered Desire’ trying to keep her laughter quiet as Danni shook her head in reply.

"I gather you dated a lot in school," commented Danni.

"Oh yeah. Had to earn my nickname."

"What’s your nickname?"


"Why Tiger?"

"Because I was always on the prowl," purred Desire’ a small grin on her face.

"Come on. Tell me the real reason."

"I’m a tiger in the bed," quipped Desire’. Danni stared back stifling a grin. "Stroke me and I purr," added Desire’ grinning wickedly. Before Desire’ could defend herself Danni’s hands were around her sides tickling her relentlessly. Her resistance was futile in the strong arms of her mate as she giggled and laughed until Danni released her hold. "Paybacks Danni," she stated trying to catch her breath.

"So do I get the real story or do I torture you some more?" asked Danni slyly.

"Okay you win buts it really kind of boring."

"Nothing about you is boring. Tell me the story."

"Did I mention to you that I am a black belt in karate?" Danni shook her head in response. "I am. I earned my belt in high school. I fight like the tiger and the leopard. Only leopard sucks as a nickname so my buddy started calling me tiger and it stayed with me through college. That’s it."

"Courage, tenacity and power," replied Danni.

"I see you know a bit about karate."

"Yes I do. The leopard represents timing, speed, coordination and footwork."

"Okay does this mean you could give me a run for my money in a bout?"

"Yes. My style is that of the dragon and the crane."

"Inner strength, gracefulness, balance, agility and ick patience. I never did well with the patience part. Are you a black belt?" Danni nodded her head.

"We are one and the same yet we are opposites," answered Danni.

"How do you mean?"

"I think our fighting styles are a perfect example of how alike yet different we are. We both love karate yet our styles couldn’t be more opposite. I work in the business end of the music industry and you have all of the artistic skills. We are the same yet opposite."

"Very philosophical. And don’t forget you wanted to be a Bangle and I wanted to do the Bangles."

"Are you ever serious?"

"I try not to be."

"I thought you said you learned karate in jail," asked Danni.

"It’s more like I relearned karate in jail. I quit after I earned the black belt. In fact I gave it up for five years plus I gained a lot of weight and was really slow so it was like starting all over again."

"Tell me about your college years," stated Danni changing the subject.

"They were the best years of my life, that is until the fourth year," answered Desire’ her expression changing from happy to wistful.

"What happened during your senior year?"

"I made the biggest mistake of my life and that’s saying a lot because I’ve made some really big mistakes. I had to wait until after prison to finish my degree."

Danni’s body tensed up a feeling of dread enveloping her. She gruffly pushed Desire’ away and stood up away from the chair.

"Hey did I say something wrong?" asked Desire’.

Danni’s face turned grim as she looked down at the small brunette. "What school did you go to?" she asked, pale blue eyes staring blankly forward.

"I went to UCLA."

"When did you go there?"

"Danni what’s wrong? You’re scaring me."

"Answer me. When did you go there?"

"1981 to 1984," answered Desire’ panicked by the change in the tall brunette’s emotions.

Danni began to pace back and forth across the carpet. She turned around and glared at Desire’ the softness gone from her eyes replaced with fury as she tried unsuccessfully to remain calm. "You were heavier," stated Danni as Desire’ nodded. "Your hair was platinum and you had a Billy Idol haircut right?"

"Yeah I was trying to fit in. Don’t hold a bad haircut against me."

"You’re Tiger Long aren’t you?" asked Danni her eyes clouding with tears.

"Yes," answered Desire’ leaping from the chair toward her distraught girlfriend. She reached her hands forward only to have them batted away from the tall beauty.

"Get away from me." Danni turned away and made a mad dash for the bedroom.

Desire’ stood there for a moment before walking toward the bedroom. Frightened by Danni’s erratic behavior her first instinct was to follow her. Good manners kept her from entering the room and waking up Annie so she stood in the hallway straining to hear Danni’s words inside.

Danni rummaged around in the dark looking for her car keys. Annie heard the noise and sat up staring at her sister. "What are you doing?" she asked shaking the sleep from her eyes.

Danni found the item she was looking for before staring at her twin, anger and sorrow etched in her regal features. "I can’t marry her."

"What!" asked Annie whispering loudly.

"You heard me. I can’t marry her." Danni took a deep breath before continuing. "I gotta get out of here," she added. Danni stormed out of the bedroom before Annie could respond.

Desire’ stood in the hallway blocking her pathway. "Danni what’s wrong?"

"Get out of my way." Desire’ stood her ground trying to figure out the source of Danni’s sudden anger. Strong arms picked her up and threw her against the wall. "I said out of my way!" Danni darted toward the front and left, slamming the door behind her as Desire’ slid to the ground dazed from the impact.

"Are you okay?" asked Annie running from the bedroom to her aide.

"No I’m not okay. What’s with you guys and walls anyway?" hissed Desire’ rubbing the back of her head.

"What’s going on out here?" asked Mattie walking into the front room from the other side of the house. Before receiving an answer she rushed to the small form lying on the floor against the wall. "What happened?" She offered the small brunette assistance.

Desire’ batted both women away. "I’m fine thank you," she answered. "Where did Danni go to college?"

"She went to UCLA," answered Annie.

"When?" asked Desire’.

"She graduated in 1988 I think," replied Annie.

Desire’ shook her head, tears forming in her eyes, a helpless feeling in her gut. "Guess she really doesn’t want to be married to an ex convict," she stated quietly placing her head in her hands to hide the tears forming in her eyes.

Annie and Mattie looked at Desire’ then at each other, confusion in their expressions. Desire’ looked up at her guests, tears running down her face. "I tried to tell her about it a few days ago. She said if I wasn’t a cold-blooded killer she could forgive anything. I’m not a cold blooded killer."

"Annie maybe you should go after your sister," suggested Mattie.

"You’re right. She probably went to Melinda’s house," answered Annie before walking away into the bedroom. "She’s still more comfortable talking to Harry."

"Take my car," interjected Desire’ pointing at the keys on the table.

Mattie watched her partner leave the room then turned her attentions back to Desire’ who was crying quietly on the floor, her hands still covering her face. Mattie knelt down and extended her arms forward. Desire’ hesitated then reached for the blonde wrapping weak arms around her shoulders for support as she continued to cry.

Several minutes later Annie came back into the room. She pointed to the head of dark hair nestled within Mattie’s arms. "Is she going to be okay?"

"She’ll be okay," answered Mattie softly. "Go. Find your sister before this gets out of hand." Annie nodded and walked out of the door.


Mattie sat silently on the floor holding her distraught friend for several minutes before Desire’ lifted her head, exposing moist cheeks, her eyes red from the tears.

"Ready to talk?" asked Mattie.

Desire’ nodded. "I’ve tried so hard to put my mistakes behind me and make up for them but it never seems to be enough."

"How long were you in jail?"

"For three years."

"That’s a long time."

"I got time off for good behavior."

"What did you do?"

"I was convicted of involuntary manslaughter," answered Desire’ looking into the horrified eyes of her guest. "Surprised huh?"

"Yes I guess I am. Can you start from the beginning?"

"I was born on a little farm in the back hills of Tennessee in nineteen sixty," began Desire’ using her thickest redneck accent.

"Desire’," interrupted Mattie. "Please don’t kid about this."

"I’m sorry. Old habits die hard. Today is supposed to be the happiest day of my life. Instead it feels like the darkest day yet."

"Danni is an emotional woman. I’m sure things will work out."

"No they won’t. She knows the story and it disgusts her. I don’t blame her."

"Tell me what happened."

"During my sophomore year we had a new pitcher on the team, a freshman. We clicked instantly and became best friends. She was one of only two straight girls on the team and I loved her. We did everything together. She would go bar hopping with me during the off season, always kidding me about my hopeless love life." Desire’ paused in reflection.

"What was so hopeless about your love life?"

"I never had a problem getting dates but I always seemed to end up with every drug dealer in California."

"What drugs did you do?" asked Mattie.

"I just slept with them. I never touched drugs in college. I waited until after I got out of jail to act stupid."

"So you had an active sex life. That’s not uncommon in college."

"Over active is more like it. The girls on the team thought I was a stud but Lin knew me better. I just picked the wrong women and kept getting my heart broken. Some of the girls even accused me of corrupting Lin."

"Did you ever sleep with her?"

"No. She married after high school. Her husband went to Berkeley. She spent most of her time with me but stayed with him during the summer and on holidays. Until my senior year."

"What happened then?"

"My parents found out I was gay. Mom disowned me and I had nowhere to go for the holidays. Lin invited me over for Thanksgiving but I refused her offer to spend Christmas with her and her husband. She surprised me by coming back on New Years Eve. Jonathon had to work that night so she came back to keep me company."

"Sounds like a wonderful friend."

"She was," answered Desire’ trembling as she spoke. "We went to the Suite in Long Beach for this big blowout party. I was the designated driver. We were going to spend the night at a friend’s house in Seal Beach so we wouldn’t have to drive too far. I had two drinks that night in like five hours and a sip of champagne at midnight. Lin was definitely drunk by the end of the night."

"So you drove home," interrupted Mattie.

"Yeah. I remember getting on the 405 freeway. The very next exit was my turn off but the next thing I know I’m lying on the ground looking up at the twin boobs at San Onofre."

"You blacked out?"

"Yes. To this day I don’t remember anything."

"That’s a long drive to forget."

"I rolled the car. I didn’t have my seatbelt on and was thrown from the crash. Paramedics were lifting me onto a gurney. My neck was in a brace and I remember my head hurting so badly. When I woke up in my hospital room they read the list of injuries which included a fractured skull. They told me that if the impact had been a fraction higher or lower my neck would’ve snapped and I was lucky to be alive. Lin wasn’t so lucky." Desire’ stopped momentarily as tears began to fall involuntarily down her face. "She was crushed to death in the car."

"You loved her very much didn’t you?" asked Mattie as Desire’ nodded. "Come on. Why don’t you sit on the sofa and finish."

Desire’ complied and followed her over to the sofa. "There was nothing lucky about me surviving. I think about that day over and over and I still wish I had died in that crash."

"Hey don’t talk like that. If you had died I never would have found you."

"You know this week has been the best week of my life since the accident. Until now. In just seven days Danni had me believing that maybe I do deserve to have love in my life."

"You do deserve love and you will always have us to remind you of that," replied Mattie. "Did you ever find out what caused the blackout?"

"They found Quaaludes in my blood."

"You said you never did drugs. How did they get in your system?"

"It doesn’t matter. The police had the evidence and witnesses could place me in the company of a dealer at the bar. Linda was my responsibility and I killed her."

"So you didn’t take the drug at the club?"

"Mattie it’s in the past. Every day I have to live with the memory that I killed my best friend. Obviously I took the drug. I just don’t remember every little detail from that night. I barely even remember dancing with Jillian that night. I fucked up. End of story."

"Who’s Jillian?"

"Just one of my many ex lovers," answered Desire’ frustrated at the line of questioning.

"Was she a drug dealer?"

"She dealt cocaine only."

"Maybe she gave you the drug."

"No," defended Desire’. "She knew I didn’t do drugs. She would never have done that to me. Look I did the crime and I paid my time."

"I can’t believe a jury would convict you without more evidence."

"It never went to trial."


"I pleaded out. I killed her Mattie. A beautiful life was snuffed out because of my carelessness. Please just leave it at that."


. A million lights illuminated the Las Vegas skies and not one street lamp worked. Annie drove slowly down the darkened street stopping when she recognized the SUV in front of Melinda’s house. She parked the car and strolled quietly up the walkway as Harry opened the door.

"I saw you pull up," he stated. "Danni’s inside."

"I saw the truck. Do you know what’s going on?" asked Annie as she entered the building.

"I have no idea. She has been crying and hitting things since she got here. I’m just thankful she made it here in one piece in her condition. What happened?"

"I wish I knew. By the time I got out of bed Danni was out the door and Desire’ was lying on the floor," answered Annie.

"Did Danni hit her?"

"Not exactly. She slammed her against the wall."

"Is she okay?" asked Harry, concern in his voice.

"Physically yes. Emotionally she’s a wreck. Mattie is with her."

"Danni is in the back. Maybe she’ll talk now that you’re here."

Danni walked into the room as he finished his sentence. Her eyes were red, her face stained with tears. "Do you care to tell me what happened?" asked Annie.

"She lied. She’s not who she says she is," answered Danni.

"Can you be more specific?"

"Her name isn’t Desire’ Love. I didn’t even know convicts could legally change their name," hissed Danni.

"Fill in the blanks. If that’s not her name what is it and what crime has she committed?" asked Annie impatiently.

"Her name is Darlene Long and she’s a murderer."

"What?" exclaimed Annie.

"Why does that name sound familiar?" asked Harry. "Darlene Long, I know I’ve heard it before." He looked up gazing into the reddened eyes of the sister he grew up with. "Oh my god. No Danni. Are you sure?"

"She admitted it tonight," answered Danni.

"Can someone please explain what’s going on?" demanded Annie.

"Annie I told you we had an older sister right?" asked Danni.

"Yes. Her name was Linda. You said she died in a car accident," replied Annie.

"She was killed in a car accident. Big difference. The driver of the car was high on drugs. She couldn’t even remember driving on the freeway. The driver was Darlene Long, Linda’s college buddy."

"And Desire’ is really Darlene," finished Annie.

"Yes," replied Danni weakly, tears threatening to fall down her face. "I can forgive a lot of things but I don’t know if I can forgive the woman who murdered my sister. I should have killed her in Corinth when I had the chance."

"Danni that’s uncalled for," Annie said distraught at the implication.

"Annie you didn’t know Linda. She was intelligent and beautiful and loving until that witch got hold of her. All she ever talked about was Tiger this and Tiger that. Even John could tell what was going on but he loved Linda so much he let it slide thinking it was just a phase she was going through."

"Slow down Danni," interrupted Annie. "Who’s John and who’s Tiger? What phase are you talking about?"

"Tiger was Darlene’s nickname in school because she was always on the prowl," answered Danni sarcastically. "John was Linda’s husband and he knew they were sleeping together. How could she sleep with a married woman?"

"That just doesn’t sound like her. She said she was an ex convict before I left. How long was she in prison?" asked Annie.

"Not long enough. She only served three years."

"Danni you can’t believe she did this on purpose. I know the laws in California. She must have gotten time off for good behavior. Look I know you’re hurting but she served her time."

"Linda was pregnant at the time of the crash. She must have known because she made a quick deal with the attorney. By the time the autopsy revealed the pregnancy the deal had been made."

Annie stood in the middle of the room staring back at her twin, a solemn expression on her face. "Maybe you should just talk to her Danni."

"Why? For years I’ve dreamed of finding her and confronting her and asking her why. I even tried tracking her down but she seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth after prison. Now I know why. I’ve wanted her dead to pay for Linda’s life."

"Now is your chance to talk to her. It might bring you closure."

"Not now," answered Danni shaking her head vehemently. "Maybe one day but not now."


Annie stormed through the doorway heading directly toward Desire’ as she stood up from the sofa, feral blue eyes glaring at the small brunette. Once she was within striking distance the tall warrior picked Desire’ up by the throat with one hand, lifting her off of the ground until they were face to face just inches away from each other. "Who are you!" she cried.

"Annie don’t! Put her down!" yelled Mattie.

"Back off Mattie. This is between her and me," answered Annie a menacing tone in her voice.

"Put me the fuck down now," hissed Desire’ pale green eyes dark with rage. "Or."

"Or what?" mocked Annie. "You broke her tonight and I want to know who the hell you are now!"

"I’m going to count to three and you had better let me down," threatened the green-eyed monster. "One, two," she started before bringing her arms in front of her. With lightning speed she clasped her hands together and slammed them into the tall brunette’s stomach, the impact causing Annie to lose her grip. Desire’ jumped back two steps her hands forward in a ready position. "You want to settle this with violence. Go ahead."

"Stop you two. This is nuts," interrupted Mattie as she jumped in between the two combatants. "We’re not in ancient Greece ya buffoons."

"I didn’t barge into your house and attack you," hissed Desire’ staring intently at Annie.

"Stop growling both of you. Now she’s right Annie. You owe her an apology," answered Mattie shaking her head in frustration. Annie never flinched a muscle. She turned only her eyes toward Mattie then back at Desire’. "Whatever. At least nod your head."

Annie slowly nodded her head, eyes still fixated on the small brunette across from her. "Answer my question Tiger," she said, her tone menacing.

"Back off princess," spat Desire’ as Mattie threw her hands up in disgust.

"Did you think changing your name would change what you did?" asked Annie still staring across the room at the small brunette.

"Oh that’s rich coming from you. Oops that was Livia, I mean Eve, whatever," answered Desire’.

"You guys are a couple of idiots!" shouted Mattie grabbing her hair by the roots. "Go ahead kill each other. Just don’t expect me to clean up the mess!"

"She’s right you know," interjected Desire’ tilting her head toward the angry blonde while Annie nodded in agreement. "You should listen to her. She really is smarter then you," she added a friendly gleam in her eyes.

"I’m sorry Desire’. Danni is so hurt right now. She told me everything and maybe I over reacted," explained Annie easing up tense muscles.

"Annie she only knows what she heard in school," defended Desire’. "Unless she knew Lin."

"You mean Linda," corrected Annie.

"She was always Lin to me or Mrs. Jonathan Reeves."

"So you knew she was married?" asked Annie.

"Of course. I was her best friend."

"How could you sleep with her?"

"Annie I never slept with her. Sure I loved her and she was gorgeous but that married part was a real turn off. Why would Danni say that?"

"Apparently they were close."

"How close?" asked Desire’ tentatively.

"They were sisters."

Desire’s eyes shot up in horror, pale green eyes filling with tears as she looked at Mattie then Annie. She trembled, as she mouthed the word no. The sound of her voice was gone as she crumbled to the ground and burst into tears, one hand covering her face in shame, the other hugging her breast.


Mattie kneeled next to Desire’, one hand on the devastated woman’s shoulder while Annie looked on, frozen by the scene unfolding before her. Many long uncomfortable moments passed as Desire’ cried uncontrollably, her hands never leaving her face as she hid in shame. She was grateful that her friends had bravely stayed by her side but a part of her prayed silently for the solace of an empty house.

Finally Desire’ gathered the strength to look up and acknowledge her guests. Her face was red and swollen, stained from the onslaught of tears. Silently she stood up and walked slowly toward the bathroom to retrieve a tissue and attend to the mess that was her face. Mattie and Annie stood in the front room, their arms around each other as she walked back in.

She stood in front of them, a tissue in one hand, her expression blank. Her voice quivered as she began to speak slowly, struggling to articulate her speech. "I have always wondered what this would feel like and now I know." She paused looking past her guests before continuing. "I have this song pounding in my head. It goes: When you hit rock bottom there’s only two places to go, straight up or sideways. I’ve been sideways since the day I woke up from that accident so many years ago. Can’t do it anymore. This is rock bottom and I’m ready to go straight up." She paused then added, "Alone."

"What are you going to do?" asked Annie softly.

Desire’s speech was slow and deliberate, pausing between each sentence as if in deep thought. "I’m going to start living. I can’t undo the past. If I could I would change places with Linda in a nana second. I’ve tried death. That didn’t work. So I choose life. I have you to thank for that," she added pointing to Annie. "You two should be with Danni right now. She needs you."

"Are you saying you don’t?" asked Mattie.

"Not as much," Desire’ answered softly, tears still leaking from her eyes. "But I do appreciate you both. You’ve reminded me how wonderful it can be to have a family."

"That will never change," declared Mattie leaning over to hug the small brunette. Desire’ returned the embrace burying her face on a strong shoulder as small sobs escaped her voice. She rubbed her nose along the small blonde’s shoulder, a mischievous gleam in her eyes as she looked up at Annie before breaking the contact.

"Did you just," started Mattie.

"I couldn’t reach my tissue," interrupted Desire’. Mattie’s eyebrows furrowed as she glared back. "Relax I didn’t leak on you. Remember me the queen of levity?"

Her answer came back in the form of a playful slap across the top of her head.

"I’m sure you have a lot of questions before you go. Why don’t we sit down," added Desire’ pointing to the dining room table and walking toward it to sit down. Annie and Mattie followed taking the two seats across from her.

"Who says we’re leaving?" asked Annie, her arms folded in front of her.

Desire’ looked down at her watch. "You’re getting married in about twelve hours. You want to look good at your own wedding don’t you?"

"We’re not getting married today without you there," interjected Mattie

"Please don’t do that to me. I already feel like shit as it is," answered Desire’.

"She’s right cowgirl. It won’t be the same without you," added Annie.

"I’ll be with you guys, right here," replied Desire’ placing her right hand over her heart. "Do it for me."

"I don’t know," replied Annie and Mattie in unison.

"It’s going to take Danni a long time to get over this, if ever," stated Desire’.

"Don’t under estimate her," defended Annie.

"I’m just being practical. Don’t let my mistakes hurt you too," she pleaded.

"Will you answer my questions?" asked Annie.

"Of course. That’s why we’re sitting here."

"Why the name change?" started Annie.

"I was born Desire’ Darlene Love," responded Desire’ articulating the word Darlene. "Do you know what Darlene sounds like with a southern accent?" Mattie and Annie shook their heads. Desire’ began speaking with a thick southern accent reminiscent of Scarlet O’Hara. "It sounds like darlin’. Mother would always say Desire’ darlin come here. Then the women in her Canasta club would start. Desire’ darlin bring me some water. You’re such a darlin Desire’. Then it caught on at school and I was teased mercilessly," she drawled. "When I was older it changed to Dee Dee which was way worse so I begged the kids to call me Darlene. At least darlin sounded better then Desire’ darlin. Finally in high school my friend Stephanie gave me the nickname Tiger. Thank god it stuck."

"Why was your last name Long in college?" asked Mattie.

"Long was my married name."

Annie and Mattie looked at Desire’ with quizzical expressions on their faces. "When did you get married?" asked Annie.

"I was sixteen."

"That’s awfully young to get married," interjected Mattie.

"I’m from the south. We marry young," answered Desire’ in her best southern accent.

"Why so young?" asked Annie. "You had to still be in high school."

"I was a junior. Jackson was a junior in college." Desire’ paused looking at her friends, enjoying the puzzled looks on their faces. "I got knocked up. In those days you had to get married."

"You have a child?" asked Mattie.

Desire’ looked down at the table leaning her forehead against her hand as the memories flooded back. "I lost the baby. The following year my marriage ended. I kept the name in college to piss my mother off."

"I’m so sorry," responded Mattie placing a comforting hand over Desire’s.

"Don’t be," answered Desire’. "I was, would have been a lousy mother. Jackson was a lousy husband. I only slept with him to prove to myself I wasn’t gay and that obviously didn’t work."

"You’ve been through a lot," interjected Annie.

"Yeah and we haven’t even gotten out of the eighties yet," quipped Desire’. "That’s why I don’t talk about myself. Tiger Long was a whole new life for me. All I had to do was get good grades and play softball and I did for three years. I even made All-American. No more screw ups for me. Until January 1, 1984. The day my world ended. After prison I settled in Long Beach and started going by Desire’ again. It was easy to revert back to my maiden name."

"Didn’t you know Linda had two sisters?" asked Mattie.

"Yes I did. She talked about you two all the time. I just didn’t make the connection last Saturday night."

"How could you miss something like that?" asked Annie. "Six foot tall identical twins named Danni and Annie."

"You guys weren’t that tall then. You must have gone through a growth spurt in high school. Linda had a photo of you in her dorm room. Those girls looked a lot different and were only eleven in the picture. They both had light brown hair, black rimmed glasses and braces. Linda was adopted and looks nothing like you two."

"I’m gonna have to ask Danni about looking at the old family photos," mumbled Annie.

"Trust me. You’re swans now. Linda always referred to you guys as Danielle and Anne. Danielle was the jock in the family and Anne was the introverted bookworm. She worried about you," added Desire’ pointing at Annie. "She used to say you couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Kids used to tease you and Danielle always defended you, beating up anyone who bullied you. You really should go to your next high school reunion and screw with your classmates."

"Well if we do we’re bringing our beautiful wives," answered Annie.

"Thanks for the optimism," replied Desire’.

"Danni will come around. Just give her time," interrupted Mattie.

"How long did it take Destiny to forgive Eve?" asked Desire’.

"That’s not a fair comparison. Besides you two had better have learned something in two thousand years," replied Mattie.

"You two should get going. I’ll call Kathy and explain things to her."

"Who’s Kathy?" asked Annie.

"Oh that’s right. It was going to be a surprise. She’s a wedding photographer. My gift to you guys and Harry and Melinda. Surprise."

"You didn’t have to do that," stated Mattie.

"That’s what makes it fun. She’s a great photographer. Make sure Danni catches a bouquet, for me."

"We will," assured Annie. "We’re going to miss you."

"But of course," answered Desire’. "I’ll be with you in spirit. Go pack and I’ll call you a cab."

Reluctantly Annie and Mattie left the room while Desire’ called the cab company. Half an hour later their luggage was packed and sitting in the entryway. Desire’ followed them out to the waiting car helping the driver with the luggage. She placed a large bill in his hand and told him to take them to their destination then walked around to the passenger’s side to hug her friends’ goodbye.

"This isn’t goodbye," whispered Annie.

"I’ll look forward to seeing you again," replied Desire’. "Apologize to Harry and Melinda for my absence."

"We will," answered Mattie.

Desire’ watched as blonde and brunette got into the backseat then closed the car door. Annie rolled down the window and put her arm out grabbing hold of Desire’. "We’ll talk soon," she stated.

Desire’ nodded as her eyes filled with tears. "By the way the cab is paid for."

"Desire’," started Annie.

"I’m only telling you that so he won’t rip you off," interrupted Desire’. "I love you guys," she added then quickly turned away and walked toward her front door smiling as she heard the words reciprocated. Keep walking girl. Don’t look back, cried her little voice. Don’t let them see you break down. Desire’ listened to her conscience. Once she was inside and the door was closed, she let the floodgates open.


After an hour of continuous crying Desire’ composed herself and made her way to the old recliner and plopped down. She grabbed the remote control and turned up the volume on the TV set just in time to listen to Martina McBride.

From the day we met, You made me forget all my fears.

Knew just what to say, and you kissed away all my tears.

I knew this time I had finally found, someone to build my life around, who’d be a lover and a friend.

After all my heart had put me through, I knew it was safe with you, and what we had would never end.

Wrong again.

"Oh yeah. That’s gonna help my mood. Couldn’t be playing Happy Girl could ya?" she cried throwing the remote at the TV. "Shit." She looked around her spotting the cordless phone on the table and picked it up hitting the speed dial. After a couple of rings there was an answer on the other end.

"Hello," came the voice sounding as though the intended target was still sleeping.

"Rise and shine darling, rise and shine," Desire’ yelled into the phone.

"Is that you Des?" asked Maryanne upset from the interruption of her sleep.

"Yah baby," answered Desire’ doing her best Austin Powers impersonation. You are no Austin Powers, cried the little voice.

There was silence on the other end as Desire’ listened to the rustling of sheets. "Why the fuck are you calling me at 7:00am on a Sunday morning?" yelled Maryanne.

"Because you love me," answered Desire’ coyly.

Maryanne jumped out of her bed, grabbing a robe and walked out of the bedroom to allow her lover some peace and quiet. "What happened Des?"

"Remember my friend Linda from college? The one I killed," answered Desire’.

"Of course I do. Spit it out Des."

"It seems I forgot that her maiden name was Day."

"So. What has that got to do with anything?"

"She had younger twin sisters, Danielle and Anne, now known as Danni and Annie."

"Oh my god Des no."

"Yep. The wedding is off and I thought that maybe you might want to come over and drive me home from the casino."

"How did you find out?"

"Last night or I guess this morning Danni and I were talking, getting to know each other. She played softball for UCLA. Next thing I know she’s storming out the door telling me she can’t marry me."

"Start from the beginning Des."

Desire’ told her about the conversation, Danni running out and Annie coming home after talking with her sister. "So I’ll meet you there when you get there," she concluded.

"Alcohol won’t solve anything," scolded Maryanne.

"No but it will help me forget for a few hours," answered Desire’. "If you can’t make it I’ll take a cab. Talk to you later." Desire hung up the phone and walked into the bathroom. She opened the medicine cabinet and took out the familiar prescription bottle, still full from April. She grabbed a hand full of the white pills and shoved them in her pocket then removed two more of the powerful drugs and stared at them for several long moments before tossing them into her mouth and washing them down with a glass of water. "Do your job," she whispered looking at her reflection in the mirror. "Kill the pain."

She stood silently in the bathroom staring into the glass lost in thought until she felt the cool wet nose of the gentle black dog under her arm. She took the proffered paw and stroked him allowing only a single tear to escape her eyes as he licked her own paw affectionately. "Always know when I’m hurting don’t ya boy?" Moments later the reflections of two tabby and white cats caught her eyes as Figaro and Boomer glided over the counter to check on their human. "I should stick to animals. You guys still love me even when I’m the biggest ass in the universe," she said then paused. "Which is often."


Desire’ walked into the dark casino and headed for unfamiliar territory. She had never been a big gambler choosing to sit at the nickel poker machines drinking from her over sized coke, usually leaving when her twenty dollar bill was gone. This morning she walked to the machines on the other side and popped a one hundred-dollar bill in a quarter machine and set her cigarettes on top of the coin slot. The casino was fairly empty with most of its patrons filling the small restaurant, dining on a 99-cent breakfast.

She saw her next door neighbor Rick, one of the change handlers and waved him over. Months before Desire’ had been shocked to find him working in the casino but the sight of his handsome face and infectious smile always made her grin.

"Hey sweetheart. What brings you here so early?" he asked his arms open wide to greet her with a hug.

"Haven’t been to bed. The boys wanted to sleep in so they kicked me out," she quipped careful not to think as she reciprocated the embrace.

"So how have you been? Anymore battles with the asshole neighbor?"

"Nah, he’s been quiet. I’m thinking of moving so if you don’t see my car in the driveway or Blue in the yard, it means I left."

"I’m sorry to hear that. Just don’t sell to anymore assholes, please."

"I won’t. Dylan down the street is interested in buying so you won’t have to worry. He’s a body builder and would be happy to help you kick the asshole’s butt."

"Where are you going?"

"Not sure. I’m thinking of heading back to California. I miss some of my friends."

"You will be missed. Can I get you anything?"

"How about a waitress and a bourbon seven?"

"Since when do you drink?"

"Since I had a really rough night. Don’t worry I took a cab."

"All right but I’ll be watching you."

She watched him as he walked away then sat down and started punching the buttons on the machine. The pain pills had begun to take affect and she sighed enjoying the first feelings of euphoria as they performed their magic. She lit up a cigarette and tipped the waitress when she set the drink in front of her then stirred the drink and took a swig, grimacing at the sour taste of bourbon so early in the morning.

"I never figured you for a smoker," came a low husky voice behind her. Desire’ turned around to see the tall dark figure of the god of war dressed in a pair of form fitting jeans and button down white shirt.

"I’m just a nasty girl with a nasty habit," she replied taking a drag from her cigarette blowing smoke rings as she exhaled. Ares sat in the chair next to her leaning over to look in her eyes. "Good news travels fast. To what do I owe the honor of your company?"

"I heard you had a rough night," he said softly.

"What? Were you listening?" she asked staring into dark brown eyes twinkling with a mischievous expression. "You were," she cried her voice raising as she spoke. "Jeez you don’t come into the bedroom too do you?"

"No. Give me some credit. I was curious about you Des. You really caught me off guard at the party."

"Yeah well it wasn’t intentional," she said looking back at him taking inventory of his body through slightly diluted eyes. "That’s a different look," she added commenting on his dress.

"Just trying to fit in."

"It’s summer. That shirt isn’t you. I can’t see your biceps or your pecs."

"You’re still interested in what’s underneath?"

"You have the body of a god. I’m a dyke. I’m not dead," quipped Desire’.

Ares face lit up from the compliment, a small grin forming on his lips. He picked up the glass smelling the contents. "A little early to be drinking don’t you think?" he asked.

"Not in Vegas. Don’t you have a wedding to attend?"

"Not until much later," he answered.

"So why are you here?"

"I’m worried about you."

"The demon dyke from Corinth?"

"That was a little harsh but you know how I hate to lose and that was one hell of a head butt."

"Tell me about it. Obviously it didn’t knock any sense into me."

"Don’t be so hard on yourself."

"The god of war consoling a mortal. How quaint."

"Are you always this charming in the morning?"

"No I’m usually a bitch," answered Desire’. "Were you expecting warm and fuzzy?"

"Civility would be nice."

"I’m not in the mood for nice. It’s much too over rated."

"Finally something we can agree about."

"Says the god of war painfully attempting to be nice. Rather ironic dontcha think?"

"I think that’s my cue to exit," answered Ares reaching over to take Desire’s hand. "If you need me just call."

"What. So you can continue your pathetic attempts at comforting me?" she spat.

"Hey I’m trying here," he defended.

"Yeah I know. It is kind of cute. But if you mean it I won’t have to call."

"I’ll talk with you soon," he said then kissed the back of her hand.

A jolt of electricity shot through Desire’s body as the contact was made. Damn, she thought. That goddamned god thing hits me every time. Do not let him know. Be cool. "I’ll see you later Ares." Desire’ resumed her play, stamping out the burnt cigarette butt and lighting up another not looking up until she saw the familiar form of Maryanne sitting next to her.

"I didn’t expect you here so soon," stated Desire’.

"I love you too much to leave you hanging. How many drinks have you had?"

"Just this one."

"Your eyes paint a different picture," replied Maryanne staring intently into the soft green eyes of her friend. "Damn you Desire’. Where did you get the pills?"

"Medicine cabinet. No lectures not now," said Desire’ a low growl emanating from her voice as she spoke. Both women sat in silence for a few moments before Desire’ started speaking. "So tell me. How come you, the woman who was going to stay forever single got the great long term relationship and I ended up single?"

"Des give Danni some time."

"Maryanne I’m almost forty fucking years old. I’m running out of time."

"Yes but you still get carded for cigarettes. It’ll happen. I think Danni is the one."

"Woa you have never said that about anyone I’ve ever dated."

"And I was right. Trust me. I’m right this time."

"You had better be right or I might have to kill you."

"You can’t even kill the spiders in your house. You make the cats do it."

"I killed the samurai."

"Did you find some new video game?"

"They didn’t tell you?"

"Did who tell me what?"

"Annie, Mattie and Danni. They told you about Corinth and Japan." Maryanne nodded her response. "You saw the finale right where Eve kills the Samurai?" Again Maryanne nodded. "I killed the samurai not Eve. Only I let him die without honor. I plunged the sword in his back when he kneeled down and started whining. It was an awesome feeling Maryanne."

"You actually killed someone?"

"Yes and I’ve been having memories of Destiny. She’s a part of me. She was a killing machine, the consummate warrior." Desire’ looked at the blonde, soft green eyes now feral.

"You’re scaring me. You’re not going to go on a killing spree now are you?"

Desire’ smiled and laughed. "No. I’m just gonna get an itty bitty sword and spiders beware."

"You are such a dope Desire’."

"A dope you love. I know I’m pathetic. It’s pretty sad to think that I was once an Amazon queen."

"You were kind of small to be an Amazon weren’t you?"

"Not you too."

"I bet you got a lot of that didn’t you?"

"Yeah I just can’t remember if I killed anyone because of it."

"This Destiny was intense wasn’t she?"

Desire’ finished her drink and smiled back at her friend nodding her head. "I don’t know what I was thinking. Soul mates or not love doesn’t happen over night. Why didn’t you stop me?"

"Oh right. Like I was going to piss you off after that dagger whizzed by my head."

"Sorry about that." Desire’ waved her empty glass at the waitress walking by and placed the glass on her tray, motioning for another one.

The rest of the morning dragged by with old friends talking and drinking and playing on the machines. By mid afternoon Desire’ could barely stand and Maryanne dragged her heavily intoxicated friend to the car and drove her home. Once inside Desire’ staggered to her favorite chair and passed out. Confident that she was safe, Maryanne kissed her on the forehead and left the house.


Both weddings went on as planned. All three brides were dazzling in their dresses. Harry looked very handsome in his tuxedo. Annie made sure that Danni caught both bouquets, not wanting to leave anything to chance. After all of the photos were taken the wedding party changed into more casual clothes and joined Danni and their guests at the restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere, enjoying the colorful sunset as the room made a complete rotation within the hour.

After dinner the party was moved into the bar and champagne toasts were made. Harry lifted his glass in the air as he began to speak. "To those who are here with us tonight and to those who are in our hearts I want to thank you for such a memorable evening."

Ares walked in as everyone stood drinking their champagne. He was dressed in an elegant tailored designer suit. Everyone stopped what they were doing, their focus on the dark god. Aphrodite walked up to her brother. "Thought you weren’t coming bro."

"I can change my mind can’t I?" he answered.

"What do you want Ares?" asked Danni.

"Can’t I just come and congratulate the brides and the groom?" he defended.

"Not unless there’s something you want here," answered Danni her eyebrows furrowed, anger emanating from her body.

"That’s where you are wrong Danni. What I want is on the other side of town."

Danni grabbed the dark god by his collar and pulled him away from the group toward the bar. "What the hell are you talking about?" she asked.

"Oh I think you know exactly what I’m talking about," answered Ares. "She’s fair game Danni."

"Don’t you dare go near Desire’," threatened the tall beauty.

"What do you care Danni? You dumped her. Left without even talking to her."

"She’s not into men. Give it up."

"I’m not a man. I’m a god," whispered Ares, a smirk across his face.

"I’ll never understand why Xena didn’t kill you when she had the chance," Danni said angrily.

"I’m here. Get used to it. I’ve already seen Desire’."


"And what?" asked Ares toying with his nemesis.

"How is she?"

"How do you expect her to be after you guys had her believing in that soul mate crap? She’s hurt but she’s a survivor."

"How can you be such a bastard?"

"How can you be such a bitch? She didn’t intentionally kill your sister. It was an accident and if you can’t see that then you had better be prepared to lose her," threatened Ares.

"Her irresponsibility killed Linda and her unborn child! How do I just let that go?"

"That’s your problem to deal with. Keep in mind if it wasn’t for her you wouldn’t have so much money to enjoy the kind of life you do."

"Don’t talk about things you know nothing about."

"I’m a god. It’s easy to research these things. There never was a lawsuit. Desire’ set those accounts up on her own out of remorse. Your family had no problem accepting the gift." Danni looked at Ares, shock and disbelief in her eyes as she shook her head. "What can I gain from lying to you about this? Desire’ put you through college."

"I need time to think about this. For eighteen years I’ve wanted to kill that woman for taking my sister from me."

"Well that’s something you two have in common. If you can’t get over it and move on then you don’t deserve her," answered Ares. "I’m moving in for the kill. Be thankful you have been warned," added the dark god as he left the bar only to be stopped by Annie.

"What the hell are you doing? Why now?"

"Look if your sister doesn’t give up that holier then thou attitude she’s going to lose Desire’. Don’t blame me if she’s that stupid."

"So you threaten to take away the woman she loves?" asked Annie in disbelief.

"It’s not as much fun as war but it will have to do for now."

"What’s in for you?"

"Desire’ even if it’s only temporary. Remember she beat me in Corinth because she seduced me."

"What makes you think Desire’ would even give you a chance? She is not Destiny."

"Well Xena today she didn’t ask me to leave. She may not be Destiny but when it comes to carnal pleasures they are one and the same."

"Don’t do this Ares."

"Danni knows now she’s running out of time. If she waits too long she’ll lose Desire’ forever. Either way I won’t be shedding any tears." Ares released Annie’s grip and walked out of the bar before she could respond.

"So what’s going on?" asked Mattie concern in her voice.

"If I didn’t know better I would say he’s trying to help Danni," answered Annie.

"Ares? What would make you think that?"

"Well if Danni thinks she has competition she might not draw this out too long."

"That sounds logical. Do you think he did that on purpose?"

Annie and Mattie looked at each other deep in thought. "Nah," they replied in unison.


Desire’ woke up from her alcohol induced coma startled by the howling of the large black dog sitting on the lounge chair on the other side of the window. Two large cats jumped off the chair, annoyed by the rude interruption. The throbbing in her head was matched only by the pounding of her heart which appeared to be beating inside her skull.

She jumped out of the chair holding her head tightly with both hands as she staggered to the kitchen to take a bottle of water from the refrigerator. She opened the container drinking half of its contents before setting the water on the counter. "OH shit," she yelled as her brain froze from the icy liquid. After several moments she regained her composure and reached into her pocket for the magic pills. She popped the pills in her mouth and washed it down with more water, careful to drink much slower this time. She then walked to the sliding glass door to let Blue in, scolding him as he jumped up to show his gratitude. "Not now Bucky. Mama is in bitch mode."

"Is this a bad time?" asked the low sultry voice.

Before Desire’ could respond Blue was in front of Ares growling with his teeth bared. Ares stared down at the dog causing him further agitation.

"Bad move Ares. Do not stare at him."

"Call him off."

Blue walked closer to Ares a thick line of fur on his back now standing straight up.

"It doesn’t work that way. He hates men. You’ll just have to make friends with him."

"How do I do that?"

"Kneel down in front of him."

"What? The god of war does not kneel!" Blue’s growl grew louder as the dark god raised his voice.

"Fine. Then he’ll rip you to shreds. If you touch one hair on his head I will find a way to kill you."

"You really are in bitch mode."

"Only until the pain stops. Just kneel down and put your hand out. Let him know you aren’t a threat."

Reluctantly Ares complied. Blue stopped growling to sniff the proffered hand. Convinced Ares wasn’t a threat he licked his hand then jumped on top of him. The god held his ground petting the over grown puppy. "He has Xena eyes," noted Ares scratching the dog’s ears. Blue cocked his head raising first one eyebrow then the next. "He even does that eyebrow thing she does."

"Yep and as you can see he has Xena’s attitude toward you," quipped Desire’.

"Cheap shot," replied Ares. "But you have a point."

"I need to sit down," stated Desire’ stumbling as she walked toward Ares who pulled her into his arms before she could fall. Desire’ closed her eyes and leaned her head forward into the exposed chest of the dark god. "You look so much better in a leather vest," she mumbled as Ares held her tightly in his arms enjoying the intimate contact. "Can you just pop us in the bathroom?"

Seconds later they were standing in front of the toilet in the main restroom. Desire’ pushed Ares out and shut the door behind him then turned to hug the porcelain goddess. After she finished releasing the contents of her stomach she brushed her teeth, splashed water on her face and stumbled out to the front room on shaky legs.

Together they sat down on the sofa. Desire’ leaned into Ares shoulder. "Just give me a moment," she whispered before passing out as the god looked on. An hour later she woke up in the same position against the strong shoulder of Ares. "You’re still here?" she asked as she looked up into beautiful brown eyes.

"I told you I would be here for you," he answered.

"Are you trying to score points with me?" she asked bewildered.

"Is it working?" asked Ares, a twinkle in his eyes.

"Yes. Nice is good." Desire’ paused trying to shake the sleep from her eyes. "You know I’m not Destiny the hot for you warrior babe. I’m Desire’ demon dyke from Corinth."

"I know exactly who you are."

"Okay as long as we’re clear on that," said Desire’ before leaning her head back in it’s resting place.

"You were a hero in Corinth and Japan. I know that now. Pretty impressive for a 21st century gal."

"Thanks I think. Why are you being so nice?"

"Because you think I have great biceps."

"You’re being awfully honest. Are you trying to get in my pants?"

"Not tonight anyway but eventually. Can you accept that?"

"You know if Danni comes back I want to be with her."

"I accept that."

"No god tricks to get me into bed."

"Either you want it or you don’t."

"You sound like Maryanne. That line worked with me."

"It’s not a line just a statement of fact. I take it your head is feeling better."

"Oh yeah. The pain pills have kicked in and I am feeling divine."

"So what are you going to do about Danni?"

"Nice segue. There’s nothing to do. She hates me right now and until she accepts what happened I’m on my own. Besides it’s time for a change."

"What kind of change?"

"Give me your word as a god that you won’t tell anyone."

"I give you my word."

"It’s time for a change in venue. I’m going back to my home in California far away from Danni and Nashville. I’ll give her some time to think about things before I contact her."

"What makes you think Annie and Mattie won’t tell her where you are?"

"Because I’m not going to tell them. She’s not the only one who needs time to think. After today no more pity parties. It’s time I learned to live again and have fun. Maybe some where down the road forgiveness will find me."

"It’s going to take some time to pack up this house."

"I can move pretty fast when I set my mind to it."

"And I’m a god. I can have you packed and ready by tomorrow morning."

"You would do that for me?"

"Would it score more points with you?"

"Big time." Desire’ paused looking at the god of war with an amused expression on her face. "You heard me tell Danni how important honesty is to me."

"Yes I did. The possibility of having sex with you is my motivation to be here comforting you."

"You are a quick study. So let me see if I have this right. If I were to lean over and kiss you very passionately then tell you that’s all for tonight you would accept that." Ares nodded his head in response. "Would you then hold me for the rest of the night and cuddle with me?"

"No. I don’t cuddle."

"Fair enough," answered Desire’ lifting her head from his shoulder. She stood up from the sofa, turned to face the dark god and sat in his lap, wrapping both legs around his waist. She looked into his eyes running her hands gently through the hair on his chest and leaned over to place a soft kiss on his lips. She leaned back momentarily to monitor his expression then without warning grabbed his face and pressed her lips into the dark god’s mouth, forcing his lips open, her tongue ardently searching for his to continue the delicious contact. After several long moments she broke the contact leaning back on the heels of her feet, her eyes never leaving the lustful gaze of the handsome god. She raised both eyebrows smiling as Ares watched her intensely, then leaned forward for seconds.

Afterward she leaned back again. Jeez, she thought. If people find out about this I’m gonna have to start giving back toaster ovens. "That was a rebound kiss. It was very nice but I don’t do rebound sex. Well I promised myself no more rebound sex anyway."

Ares inhaled sharply to catch his breath, the contact reminding him of hot summer nights under the stars in Greece. "And I don’t do cuddling."

"Agreed," answered Desire’ as she climbed off his hard muscular thighs and sat down next to him. "Do you mind sitting for a while?" Ares nodded his head in response. "Tell me. What do you think the odds were that the woman I killed would turn out to be the sister of my soul mate?"

"I would say one in a billion," answered Ares.

"Now I can understand why you never gave up on Xena."


Desire’ spent the following day on the phone talking with her real estate agent and making preparations for the move. All of the utilities had been transferred into the new owner’s name and the final bills were paid. Dylan would assume the current mortgage on the house taking out a second to make up for the rest of the cost. He was ecstatic to be staying in the neighborhood. It helped to soften the blow of losing his dream home.

With a wave of his hand the house was packed and ready to go just as Ares promised. By nightfall two U-Haul trucks sat on the driveway backed up to the garage. Ares would be by any minute to do his magic and empty the contents of the house into the waiting vehicles, using the cloak of darkness as a cover so as not to raise suspicion in the neighborhood. Together they would drive the trucks to California the following day hopefully arriving by sunset.

The cats hid in the farthest corner of the house, panicked by what was coming next. Desire’ was counting on Ares to take pity on them and transport the boys overnight into the empty house in California. She had arranged for Dylan to take care of the furniture and odds and ends that would be left for Opportunity Village to come and haul away after she was gone.

She sat in the dilapidated brown recliner, her eyes searching the house that had been her home for the last three years. She thought about what this place had meant to her. It had been her mother’s last home, her last dream. Her dad passed away on the very day their California home sold and never had the chance to enjoy a few moments of his retirement playing in the casinos. Her mother chose her brother to take her to Nevada, a choice that proved costly in the last years of her life.

Tears rolled down Desire’s face as she remembered her mother’s frantic voice begging her to come home and take care of her. In all she spent seven years taking care of her sick elderly parents. Their pride kept them from excepting her money but not from excepting her help, something that Desire’ came to resent as time went on without her. Her last girlfriend, Julie, stayed with her for three years until her father’s death but the emotional turmoil had taken it’s toll and she left a couple of months later adding to the resentment in Desire’s heart.

As she thought about the tough decisions in her life she realized that all of the hardships were worth the valuable time she was blessed to have spent with her aging parents. Days before her father died he hugged and kissed her for the first time, telling her how much he loved her. The gentle man who had been her hero through out her life told her that she was his hero while they sat together drinking root beer freezes and laughing in his hospital room. It was the last cheerful moment she would have with her dad before he passed away.

For the last twelve months of her mother’s life Desire’ spent night and day with her. Even with the live in help she was reluctant to leave the house for more then a few hours to shoot a concert. Mother looked so small in bed. No one believed she would out live her husband. Long nights were spent reminiscing about good times shared together.

Then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She had lived for twenty years with the horrible disease that crippled her body refusing to give up in spirit only to find out that the tumor would end her life. Desire’ was the one who had to confront her. The next few days were spent on the phone as mother said her good-byes to family and friends. Just as her father had done three years earlier, Frances Love controlled her own destiny, leaving the world knowing that it was her time to go and being loved by her youngest child. Desire’ wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Now she sat in her parent’s chair. It was worn out from years of use and still carried the faint scent of her mother and father. It was the last link she had with the dead. Desire’ reminisced about the couple who shaped her life, tears still flowing down her cheeks from the melancholy of her memories. Moments later she closed her eyes.

The dream was more vivid then any she had ever experienced. Mother was standing in front of a doorway looking as beautiful and healthy as Desire’ could remember from when she was a child. Behind her stood her father looking young and handsome with strong biceps on his thin frame, his hair black as coal, a young man in his prime. Desire’ burst into crocodile tears as a moment of euphoria gripped her. Both parents held her and hugged her professing their love and encouraging her to begin living her life. When she tried to follow them across the threshold they pushed her away turning her around. With her parents now behind her she heard her father’s sweet voice say, "Your life is in front of you now. Don’t look back."

Desire’ woke up in bed startled by the realness of the dream. She was still crying, her face stained with tears. She looked around the bedroom trying to compose herself then jumped on the phone. Anxiously she dialed Maryanne to tell her about the dream. Dream interpretation was a hobby of her friend.

Maryanne listened to her story before telling her what the dream meant. "That’s pretty serious Des. I don’t thing it was a dream but a vision."

"Of course it was a dream. I was sleeping."

"Let me finish. Your parents must be very worried about you, enough for them to visit from the other side. The door and threshold separate the living from the dead. I think if you had crossed that line you would have remained with the dead."

"Is that supposed to be comforting?"

"Hey you asked."

"I know. I’m sorry I snapped at you. It’s the stress."

"It means they are ready to move on and so should you."

"Move on?"

"Possibly to their next lives. They’re confident that you will be okay."

"Oh sure they pick now to move on."

"You’re strong Des and I will always be here for you."

"Thanks." Desire’ hung up the phone feeling a tinge of guilt over excluding her best friend from her plans.

She shook the thought away and wiped the tears from her face knowing that after today she would give up the chair and place her parents where they now belonged in her life, in her loving memories.

"Thinking of your parents," came the familiar smoky voice of Ares.

Startled Desire’ looked up drinking in the muscular form of the dark god dressed in his familiar leathers. "How did you know?"

"It’s a god thing," he answered casually. "They’re right you know. Besides that hideous thing really has to go."

"Do you ever knock?"

"Should I go back?" he asked pointing to the front door.

"No. I just haven’t gotten used to you popping in. Can you do your god thing and take the cats to the house tonight?"

"I don’t do cats," answered Ares giving Desire’ a disgusted look.

"Fine but they’re riding in your truck and I guarantee you they will howl and cry at least until we get to Barstow."

Ares scowled at the small brunette, caressing his goatee as he pondered the information. "All right but you’re coming with me and you hold them."

"Deal," responded Desire’. She walked into the bedroom to retrieve the animals. Both cats took off running. She grabbed the carriers eventually cornering them at the end of the room. One by one she struggled with the big cats trying to stuff them inside their individual carry all.

Ares listened outside of the door as the howling started followed by hissing, angry growls and Desire’s colorful commentary as she cussed at the boys. Thirty minutes later she came out, one green carrier in each arm. Desire’s hair was ruffled. Sweat poured down from her face and an ugly scratch started above her lip running down to the tip of her chin. Gray and white fur covered the black tank top she was wearing. The carriers moved violently from side to side as each cat continued to body slam his cage attempting to break out.

"They don’t travel well," she hissed blowing hair away from her face and licking the blood off of her lip.

"Here let me take those," offered Ares. "Go take care of your lip."

Desire’ handed him the carriers and walked into the bathroom.

"What do you have in here Des, tigers?" he asked feeling the weight of the cages and observing the growls and hisses coming from the creatures as they rattled the metal doors.

"Just really large spoiled cats," she shouted from the bathroom dabbing the blood from her lips with toilet paper. "Great. A thousand medical supplies and they’re all packed," she grumbled looking into the mirror. She walked out of the restroom with a large piece of toilet paper hanging from her mouth and chin, stained with crimson.

Ares laughed as he sat the cats on the ground and moved toward Desire’. "That just won’t do," he said producing medical supplies in his hand. Desire’ sat on the toilet seat patiently while Ares tended to the wound. He leaned in to her face leaving a feather light kiss upon her lips.

Desire’ looked up perplexed at his action, the kiss stinging momentarily.

"Isn’t that a mortal thing?" asked Ares. "Kiss it and make it better." Desire’ nodded smiling and grimacing at the pain the smile caused. "Did it work?"

"It never works," she answered then paused. "But it does make the injured person feel a lot better."

"I could just heal it for you."

"No I want to remember just how pissed off I am at the boys. Now what do we do?"

"You hold onto the cats and I will hold onto you. Just give me the new address."

Within minutes, god, cats and owner were standing in the hallway of a majestic home. "Did we come to the wrong place?" asked Ares taking in the impressive structure.

It was a very capacious two-story home with vaulted ceilings. They were standing under a crystal chandelier. Along the right of the hallway stood three openings to massive rooms. In front of them was a large dining area with a huge kitchen containing custom built in cabinets followed by another room on the opposite side of the kitchen. To their left was a staircase that led to a long hallway located over the front door with another seven rooms.

"Nope this is home. It was a wedding gift for my husband and me. He died before we could move in. A friend of mine rented it for his family that kept growing so I added onto the second story. In twenty years I’ve never actually lived in it."

"Impressive. How come you’ve never lived in it?"

"What do I need with an eight bedroom house? Besides my friend put it to better use with seven children. He moved out last month when the youngest left for college. Come on," she answered motioning for Ares to follow her. They walked to the left through a short hallway leading to another massive empty room. Desire’ walked in followed by Ares and shut the door. "This is the master bedroom," she added as she unlocked the cage doors. Two large cats slinked away to the bathroom not stopping until they were safely in the farthest corner under the cabinets.

"Now I just need a cat box, some food and water and they can stew in the room until we come back."

"Done," said Ares waving his hand. A box filled with litter sat in the corner with two dishes containing food and one filled with water next to the wall.

"Don’t suppose you could get a covered cat box could you?"

"What?" asked Ares an exasperated look on his face.

"A covered cat box. Like at home. They like their privacy."

"I thought you were pissed at them. Let them suffer."

"I can never stay mad at them. They’re my babies."

Ares shook his head and complied leaving a covered box where the first box sat. "One more little thing," said Desire’ coyly.

"What’s wrong now?"

"They only eat dried cat food. It has to be Iams light food for cats. Figaro is watching his weight."

"They’re cats! It’s only one night. They’ll survive," complained Ares.

"Fine. You can clean their box tomorrow."

Frustrated Ares shook his hands realizing that arguing would only be futile. Moments later the bowls were filled with the requested dry food. Desire’ surveyed it making sure it was Iams before smiling at Ares. "Thank you."

"I suppose the cats don’t drink tap water."

"Actually I wasn’t going to ask. I thought that might be too much but if you’re offering they prefer Arrowhead in a shallow crystal vase."

"Unfriggin believable!" exclaimed Ares as a bottle of Arrowhead appeared in his left hand with a crystal vase.

"What a god," cried Desire’ running toward him jumping and throwing her arms and legs around him. Before he could respond she leaned forward and kissed him passionately wincing from the pain of the scratch. "Shall we go?"

With a brilliant light they were gone, back in the Nevada home. The furniture and her belongings were packed on the trucks within minutes. Ares produced a large bed for Desire’ to sleep on for the evening and left her to get some rest.


Danni took her seat against the emergency door stretching her long legs in front of her. She had learned from frequent air travel which row on the airplane always had the most leg room. She fastened her seatbelt and quickly withdrew her journal from her carry on bag. The flight would be a short one. She would land at McCarran airport in less then an hour and she had no idea what she would say to Desire’.

Her head was filled with so many thoughts she thought it would explode upon take off. Once she landed she would have three hours to pick up her rental car, drive to Desire’s, speak to her and get back on a plane. She was determined to put her thoughts down on paper during the flight to save time. She looked at the empty page of the book trying to decide where to start. She was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn’t notice the woman taking the seat next to her.

"I’m proud of you girl," came the sweet voice next to her.

Danni looked over at the occupied seat. "Aphrodite what are you doing here?"

"I’m here to talk to you. I set you guys up remember?" Danni nodded. "I must admit I am surprised, very pleasantly surprised, that you came around so quickly. Maybe my brother’s little plan worked."

"Don’t even talk about that bastard to me," hissed Danni.

"Hey easy on the family relation. Can you honestly say you would be on this plane if he hadn’t taunted you?"

"Possibly," started Danni noticing the disapproving look she was receiving from the goddess. "Okay probably not. Don’t expect me to thank him for going after the woman I love."

"The woman you love," interrupted Aphrodite. "That’s a good start. A few nights ago you wanted her dead."

"I don’t know what I want."

"Obviously you do or you wouldn’t be on this plane. The question is are you ready to love her and have you forgiven her?"

"I’m not sure I’m ready to. I just know I want to see her. I don’t want her to write us off as a hopeless case."

"Well that’s a start."

"Annie thinks that maybe someone slipped the drug in her drink. It would help me if I could prove it."

"Why? Do you think she intentionally killed your sister?"

"No but however unintentional her actions were that night they led to the death of my sister, someone I loved with all of my heart."

"Proving her innocence isn’t going to change anything. Linda will still be dead and you will still mourn her loss as will Desire’. If you want your heart to heal accept her remorse over the incident. Accept that she has paid her debt to society and to your family but most of all accept Desire’s guilt. She has."

"She hasn’t paid her debt to society. She barely served three years."

"The state of California gave her the maximum sentence. What else is eating away at you?"

"Desire’ made a deal with the district attorney. If the case had gone to trial she would have served twice as long."

"I see what you’re getting at. You’re talking about the baby. Linda was pregnant."

"A baby is still a baby at any age."

"Desire’ didn’t know about the baby. If she had she would’ve insisted on the longer sentence you speak of." Aphrodite hesitated for a moment looking at Danni. "You think she knew and cut a quick deal to avoid a longer sentence don’t you?" Danni nodded her response. "You are so wrong babe. Don’t you know she carries guilt on her shoulders like Xena did? If her suffering longer means that much to you then maybe you should just give up right now. She more then paid for the death of that child."

"What do you mean?"

"This is going slower than I thought. I don’t have time to tell you her personal life story. When Desire’ found out about the baby she punished herself. Haven’t you learned vengeance is not the answer?" Aphrodite paused waiting for an answer that never came. "We’ll have to work on that. What do you feel for her now?"

"I feel love but I’ve felt like this before even if it wasn’t quite as intense."

"Go on," encouraged the goddess. "Tell me about it."

"I met this older woman at a bar in Long Beach shortly after I started attending school at UCLA. Her name was Jillian Stiles. She was as beautiful as her name. I thought it was love at first sight. For two months we dated. She took me to fine restaurants, the theatre and we would spend long nights talking and kissing. After two months she finally invited me to spend the night. We made love until the morning. She held me caressing my skin telling me I had better get used to touching because she craved cuddling with the woman she loved and she was looking for a life partner. I was sure she was the one. We spent the next three years together. I loved her with all of my heart even though my friends warned me against her. They said she would grow tired of me eventually and find another woman to take my place and she did. It broke my heart. What if she turns out to be another Jillian?"

"So that’s why you’re still single. You know most people don’t have the luxury of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the person they love is the other half of their soul. You do. So think about her actions this last week. She risked her life in that fire. Think about Corinth. You were there. She risked death so Xena and Gabrielle could be together. She did it because her heart guided her to do the right thing."

"I knew in Corinth she was the one."

"Yes I know about the little cave incident. Even then she didn’t want to leave you."

"You think I’m being selfish."

"No I don’t. I do think that both of you have suffered the same loss for many years because of an accident. Together maybe the two of you can help each other through the pain and finally close this chapter of your lives. Linda would have wanted it that way."

"What if I’m too late?"

"It’s never too late for true love."

"What if Ares has already gotten to her?"

"You mean what if Ares has already seduced her into bed?" corrected the goddess. "Get over it. You left her. He can hold her in his arms and enjoy her body for a short time but you will always own her heart."

"So if I find the two of them together in bed I shouldn’t be jealous and I should forgive her."

"It’s okay to feel jealousy. Just keep your temper in check and don’t forgive her because there’s nothing to forgive. You’re on a break. Desire’ always expects the worst and will act accordingly. In her mind she probably believes she has lost you for good and that my dear is your fault." Aphrodite placed her seat in its upright position as the plane prepared to land. "Good luck. I’ll be rooting for you."


Desire’ stood in the middle of the empty living room. She had made her final calls before the phone would disconnect at noon then spent the rest of the morning saying goodbye to the neighbors before Ares popped up.

The small Toyota was hooked to the back of the larger truck. Ares and Desire’ took their seats in the vehicles and drove down the street turning left on Warm Springs toward Lake Mead Blvd, the road that would take them directly to the I15. Desire’ stopped to look at the field where her and Blue met. She petted the big dog and drove on with Ares behind her. She turned the stereo on, popping a CD into the player to an appropriate song as she drove and sang along to the wistful sound on the stereo.

I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on.

Desire’ drove down the highway her eyes clouded with tears as she continued to sing along with the song, finding comfort in the melancholy sound of the fiddle.

I’ve lived in this place and I know all the faces.
Each one is different but they’re always the same.
They mean no harm but it’s time that I face it.
They’ll never allow me to change.
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don’t belong.
I’m movin’ on.
I’m movin’ on.

At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me.
And I know there’s no guarantees, but I’m not alone.
There comes a time in everyone’s life.
When all you can see are the years passing by.
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone.

The elegant strings of the mandolin solo left goose bumps on her arms as she lost herself in the meaning of the lyrics.

I sold what I could and packed what I couldn’t.
Stopped to fill up on my way out of town.
I’ve loved like I should but lived like
I shouldn’t.
I had to lose everything to find out.
Maybe forgiveness will find me somewhere down this road.
I’m movin’ on.

"If you’re listening god please guide Danni back to me. Help her find forgiveness in her heart." In front of Desire’ was her life and eventually she promised herself, she would find Danni again. Until that day she decided it was time to learn how to be alive. At least that’s what she told herself.

Part II

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