The Lost Chapter

Seven Days in Pompeii

Chapter 20

Xena felt the tap on her shoulder, but she just didn't want to acknowledge it. She was much too busy at the moment, much too busy. Her tongue made another slow circle around Gabrielle's nipple while her hands re-acquainted themselves with parts of Gabrielle she had thought she would never be able to touch again.

Running a palm under Gabrielle's leg and across a wonderfully firm buttock, Xena paused for a moment to caress the skin in tribute. Gabrielle shifted her legs to allow better access and Xena sent a quick, silent thank you to the gods for long arms as her fingers slid under and around, able to reach soft wetness. Gabrielle moaned at the touch and Xena could not stop from delicately nipping on the tender nipple still in her mouth.

There was that gods-be-damned annoying tap on the shoulder again.

Xena ignored it, ran her fingers across silky wetness and took another gentle bite. Gabrielle's groan was echoed by a variety of others throughout the chamber. A single finger ran the length of Gabrielle's lips, opening them and revealing the depth of the bard's true desire. Xena lost all breath at what she found waiting for her and let her fingers play in the moisture for a while.

The soft touch on the shoulder became a firm grasp. Xena found herself pulled away from Gabrielle and sitting up in surprise.

Her first thought was to kill whoever had separated them.

Her next thought was to lay back down on Gabrielle.

Xena moved to return to what she was doing, but a hand stopped her. It had to be a hand, Xena thought as she looked down at her shoulder, because it had fingers. She looked up in hazy, drugged confusion at the owner of the hand.

Ceres floated over the couple and smiled down at the warrior indulgently.

"Whoever you are, this had better be good," Xena said, her voice a growl.

"You have an unquenchable fire about you, Xena. No wonder Ares is drawn to you."

Xena squinted up at the golden apparition hovering over them. An impulse to protect Gabrielle came over her, so she shifted her body to place it between the bard and the goddess.

"At ease, warrior," Ceres said, laughing. "I mean you no harm. At least, not tonight. I am very pleased with you, Xena. You have returned my festival to the temple where it belongs. I'm grateful to you for that and I wish to reward you."

The goddess reached a golden hand down and caressed Xena's cheek. Then she slipped her fingertips under Xena's chin and lifted the warrior's face up to look into her eyes. Ceres' touch shot through Xena and went right to her groin, causing her to grunt as if in pain. The sound made Gabrielle rise up from the bed in alarm and hug Xena protectively from behind, trying to pull her away.

"Don't touch her," Gabrielle said in a deep, warning voice.

Ceres laughed out loud. The sound was like an echo bouncing from one wall of the chamber to another until it seemed as if everyone in the room was laughing as well.

"You are a matched set," the goddess commented with an approving smile. "And I thought Aphrodite had promised to keep her fingers away from you both."

"We don't need Aphrodite's touch," Gabrielle stated firmly as she pulled Xena out of Ceres' reach. "Or any god's help."

Ceres scowled. "So you say. Until something bad happens, and then your laments can be heard all the way to Mount Olympus."

Xena opened her mouth to speak, but the goddess raised a glowing finger, stopping her cold. "No, no, no. Best not say something you might regret later, warrior. I'm in a good mood. Don't press your luck."

The raised finger flashed and Xena found herself holding a gift. She studied the item for a moment before raising her eyes to look up at the goddess in surprise.

"A gift for tonight," Ceres said, smiling wickedly. "For tonight only. It will be gone when the sun rises. So take advantage of my good mood."

Xena frowned. She hated gifts from the gods. They were never free; they always came with a price.

"So dour, Xena," Ceres said, admonishing the scowl which was gracing Xena's features. "Don't you trust me?"

"In a word ... no," Xena answered bluntly.

"There are no strings attached," Ceres said with a wink. "I promise you. Use the gift, Xena. I'll be insulted if you don't."

So much for no strings attached, Xena thought as she watched Ceres float away, back toward the watching Sappho and the altar. Xena turned the offering over and over in her hands. She should toss it away, far out of reach, but the very thought of using it was derailing her better judgment. She felt her excitement grow just holding it.

Ceres floated backward to the altar, smiling as she watched Xena fondle the toy in her hands. She chuckled at the warrior's inherent distrust. Her unwillingness would make the experience all the better. Ceres paused by the poet, the lone observer in a room full of couples.

"Stop watching and sing, Sappho," Ceres commanded. "I want this night immortalized in verse."

"Yes, goddess," Sappho replied as she lifted the lyre to her bosom and caressed the strings with practiced fingertips.

Ceres closed her eyes and smiled at the music that came forth.

"Good. That's good. Keep doing that. Yes, just like that," Ceres said as she floated back, growing smaller with each step, until she was poised on the pedestal and once again became a golden statue.

As soon as the goddess was frozen in place, Sappho gave her the finger.

The poet fell back against her pillows and pouted, but continued to play.

Gabrielle shifted onto her knees so she could see over Xena's shoulder.

"What is it?" she asked, eyes round with curiosity.

Xena turned it over in her hands.

"It's a dildo. A sex toy," she explained. Her eyes widened in surprise, when Gabrielle reached around to caress it. The sight of the bard touching the toy was so erotic, Xena could hardly breathe.

"I've never used one before," the bard whispered in Xena's ear, sending a chill straight down her spine. Gabrielle drew her fingertips across the length of the smooth surface. "It feels nice." She stroked it again. "How does it work?"

Xena's eyes could only follow the bard's hand as she petted the toy.

Gabrielle kissed the warrior's ear and chuckled at the silence. "Xena, tell me how it works," she whispered.

"Umm," Xena said, starting to speak but finding her lips surprisingly dry. All the moisture in her body must be going somewhere else, she thought as she slowly licked her lips.

"Xena, tell me," Gabrielle implored.

"You, umm ... this is a double-ended dildo. This side ... the shorter side goes inside of me," the warrior explained as she held up the short phallus that protruded out of the inside of a leather cuplike harness. "I slip this side inside of me and then the straps go around my hips." She pointed to the other side of the cup, from which protruded the longer end of the dildo. "The cup fits around me and holds it in place, so I can use the long phallus on you."

"Like a man?" Gabrielle asked with such innocence in her voice, the warrior's heart nearly burst.

"No," Xena replied softly as she reached behind to caress the bard's hair. "Like a woman making love to a woman using a dildo." She could feel the bard smiling against her ear.

"I want you to use it on me."

Xena shook her head, ignoring the urges of her body. "No, Gabrielle. We've never used one before and it's been a long time since you've been with a man. It might be uncomfortable. I don't want to hurt you."

"You've used one before?"


"Did you like it?"

"Yes, very much."

Gabrielle shifted behind Xena and reached under her arms, taking the dildo out of the warrior's hands.

"Wouldn't you like to use it on me?" Gabrielle asked in a silky voice as she slipped one hand up to caress Xena's breast.

"Mmmm, you know I would," Xena replied, leaning into the touch. Gabrielle continued to play with the breast as she slid the dildo down Xena's stomach until it reached her short, black curls. She played with the toy there for a few moments.

"I trust you, Xena," Gabrielle whispered. The hand that had been playing with a breast dropped down and placed gentle pressure against the inside of Xena's thigh. Xena yielded to the touch, leaning back and spreading her legs. Gabrielle slid her fingers up along the inside of the thigh until she felt wetness.

"You're so wet, Xena," the bard groaned. "I know you want to do this."

Xena could do nothing but moan in response. Any thoughts of protest were halted when Gabrielle spread her lips open and placed the tip of the dildo just inside.

"I want you to do this," Gabrielle demanded and she slid the dildo in.

The sensation was so intense, Xena could hardly breathe. She leaned against the bard, throwing her dark head back when Gabrielle squeezed her nipple and pulled the shaft of the dildo out and in again. Xena arched her hips to meet the thrust, crying out when Gabrielle repeated it. And then did it again. And again.

The bard stopped her thrusts, leaving the toy nestled deep inside Xena. She gave the dildo a slight twist and pinched a nipple simultaneously. Xena nearly cried.

"Now I want you to do that to me," Gabrielle said and she released her hold, moving away from her lover. The loss of contact made Xena whimper and open her eyes. She looked over her shoulder to find Gabrielle shifting into a comfortable position on the sofa.

Xena's breathing was ragged. She knew that she was half a step short of losing control and watched with hooded, dangerous eyes as Gabrielle lay against a pillow and smiled at her reassuringly.

"Xena, do it," Gabrielle whispered.

Xena glanced down at the dildo. One end was inside of her. She could feel herself pulsing around it. The cup was not all the way against her, so she reached down and grabbed the shaft of the phallus nd pushed it the rest of way in. The little twist she gave it to settle it in caused her to growl.

She stood quickly and reached around to bring the straps up over her buttocks and across her hips, attaching them to the top of the leather and securing the device in place. When she was finished, she stood tall and took a second to adjust everything.

The sight of the warrior standing froze Sappho in the middle of a verse. The music stopped and her voice was lost, for standing before her was surely a hermaphrodite, god and goddess together; elemental powers of creation combined into one being.

Sappho's heart leapt into her throat and stayed there as Xena cast eyes dark with passion her way. The warrior's gaze lingered a moment and the poet stopped breathing. Xena looked like a goddess, flowing wild with the power of the River Ocean. Surely, she must feel it. Sappho could have sworn she saw Xena smirk at her in reply.

Xena turned away from the paralyzed Sappho, releasing her from the mesmerizing gaze. Remembering Ceres's command, the poet quickly resumed playing and watched in awe as Xena lowered herself onto the bard. She turned her head to Phaon and Vettii. The pair had stopped moving and were waiting. Sappho looked at the other couples spread out across the room. They, too, were halted as though in wait.

Gabrielle welcomed Xena into her arms. She smiled as Xena leaned down and accepted a sweet and tender kiss. Xena let their tongues play together for a moment before withdrawing. She kissed her way down to Gabrielle's neck and tasted the salty skin, breathing in the airy, fragrant smell of the bard she knew so well.

"I love you, Gabrielle," Xena whispered in her ear. She reached a hand down and gently urged Gabrielle to part her legs. Gabrielle complied.

The same hand found its way to the head of the phallus and guided it in between Gabrielle's lips.

Xena kissed the soft neck again before placing her lips just at her lover's ear. She let her warm breath divert Gabrielle's attention a little, increasing the distraction by gently licking and biting an earlobe. Smiling when she felt a shiver, Xena brought her lips around and captured Gabrielle's for another breath-stealing kiss. She pulled away slowly from the kiss and waited until Gabrielle opened her eyes.

"I love you," Xena whispered again and then pushed the tip of the dildo gently in.

She stopped when she felt Gabrielle tense in reaction. Xena paused where she was and waited for the discomfort to subside.

"Relax," she said softly and kissed Gabrielle again, forcing her to concentrate on her lips. The sweet kiss took the pain away and Xena could feel Gabrielle beginning to respond. She placed her lips against the bard's ear once again to whisper. "Just relax, Gabrielle. It'll be a little uncomfortable at first, but then it'll get better." She looked into Gabrielle's eyes. "Do you trust me?"

Gabrielle caressed her cheek and smiled. "Always."

Xena took the opportunity and leaned all of her weight against the dildo, pushing it the rest of the way into Gabrielle. The bard gasped and Xena watched as her eyes widened in surprise at the sensation of suddenly being filled.

"It's all right," Xena said quickly. "It's me. Just me." She kissed her forehead, cheeks and lips, whispering softly to her, but she could feel Gabrielle's legs stiffening against her hips, trying to close. She let her body relax against Gabrielle, covering her in safety, waiting for her lover's anxiety to fade.

Xena was careful not to move, waiting for the pressure to subside, knowing that it would. She leaned her body into the bard's, using her hands to caress her face, kissing her lips, drawing out her tongue, getting Gabrielle to kiss her, anything to try to distract her.

"It's all right," Xena crooned. "Relax. The pain will pass and then we'll both feel good, together."

"It will?" Gabrielle asked in a small voice, short of breath.

"Yes, I promise. We'll just rest like this a while. See what happens. If you don't like it, I'll stop. I promise. All right?" Xena asked, searching her lover's eyes for permission, wanting to be sure she still had it.

Gabrielle nodded, trying hard not to think about how uncomfortable she felt. "It feels like the first time."

Xena smiled, petting her bard's sweet face. "I know. That's because it's been so long. You're not used to it."

"You mean, it didn't grow back?" Gabrielle said, grinning mischievously.

Xena chuckled and kissed Gabrielle thoroughly. "No, sorry to disappoint you, but you're not a virgin again." She looked at the bard affectionately. "Practice makes perfect, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle found herself giggling, surprised at how quickly she was getting used to having Xena inside of her. "You mean, the more we do it, the better it will feel?"

"Yes," Xena answered, kissing her lips and moving her hips ever so slightly. She smiled at the resulting moan from the bard. "You like that?"

"Yes," Gabrielle answered, suddenly breathless again but for a different reason. She looked up with wonder into Xena's shining eyes.

Xena smiled down at her, feeling the tension ease in Gabrielle's legs. The bard was relaxing, spreading herself wider, so Xena shifted again, taking the cue. The bard's arms went around her neck and she buried her face into Xena's hair.

"Oh, that feels really good, Xena," Gabrielle whispered.

Xena kissed her head and then her cheek, then her mouth, caressing soft lips with her tongue.

She lifted her hips slightly away from Gabrielle, drawing the phallus out just a little before sliding it back in. This time, she felt her own end of the dildo move slightly within her. The sensation sent a jolt to her core.

"Oh, Gabrielle," Xena rasped. She pulled out and pushed in again, wanting to repeat the feeling, smiling when she felt fingers digging into her shoulder blades.

"That's it, Gabrielle," Xena lifted her hips a little further and pushed in a little deeper. "Do whatever you have to do. Bite me. Scratch me. It's OK." She was rewarded with the feel of Gabrielle digging her fingers into her skin and moving her hips on her own. The bard's strong hips pulled the end of Xena's dildo almost halfway out of her and then plunged it in so sharply, it took the warrior's breath away.

Xena braced herself against the couch and pulled out of Gabrielle. She pushed in, meeting the bard's upward thrust with a grunt. Gods, this felt so incredible. Xena's lips found their way to Gabrielle, tasting the bard's excitement grow as their thrusts increased.

The moans of the couples in the room grew as they began to take on their own rhythms, separate from the heart but still connected by the pulsing excitement. Sappho could hear ragged breathing and grunts coming from everyone in the room.

She was surprised at her own arousal and had to look at her hands to make sure she was still playing the lyre and not touching herself. Though her fingertips were still on the strings, Sappho could feel her own climax building as though she were being touched by everyone in the room. She lay back against the pillow. The music halted as she abandoned playing the instrument altogether.

Gabrielle was completely relaxed under Xena now. Pain had mixed with pleasure and she was kissing the warrior wherever she could reach, urging her on, trying to tell her with whispers and groans that she no longer needed to be gentle.

Xena could feel them spiraling upward together with every thrust.

The more Xena pulled away, the farther out her own dildo slid. The harder in she pushed, the more she felt the thrust deep inside herself. It was so exquisite knowing that Gabrielle was feeling exactly the same way. Xena closed her eyes and let their rhythm take over.

Xena's large hand slid along the length of Gabrielle's body, pausing to play with a nipple for a while, pinching and turning the pink flesh in her fingertips until the bard cried out in pleasure. Xena's hand left the breast and slid its way along soft skin, paused at the hip, grasping it to life and push as they slid in and out of each other so deliciously. Gabrielle was rolling her hips now and the motion was rotating the dildo deep within Xena, causing her body to shudder and clutch in reaction.

Xena's hand ran swiftly along a smooth leg to hook just behind the knee. She rubbed her palm up and down across the soft skin under the leg as she thrust. Gabrielle reacted to the sensation by spreading her legs more widely and giving Xena more room. The warrior took the invitation and thrust deeply, pushing the phallus into them both as Gabrielle bit her neck.

Xena threw back her head and groaned. Her cry mixed with all the others that resounded throughout the chamber.

Gabrielle answered with a moan, sinking her nails into the skin of Xena's back. Xena pushed, keeping the phallus deep inside them both and they groaned in unison as Xena moved her hips in round circles, sharing with Gabrielle what she had been feeling. Gabrielle grabbed onto Xena's shoulders and let the sensation wash over her.

Then Xena pulled out all the way and waited, playing with the tip of the dildo at Gabrielle's opening. Gabrielle began to whimper and clutch at Xena's shoulder. She entered Gabrielle, throwing all of her weight into the thrust. Gabrielle met her halfway with a thrust of her own. They cried out together, feeling their urge beginning to rise, feeling the ache build, driving them on.

Xena pulled out again. She removed her hand from under Gabrielle's leg, brought it up, gliding it over her lover's stomach and sliding it down between their bodies. Her thumb found it’s way to the center of Gabrielle’s excitement and she began stroking and rubbing against it as well as thrusting, slow and deep.

The added sensation of Xena's thumb touching her so intimately was too much for Gabrielle. She raked her nails across Xena's back, scratching the skin, drawing blood. The pain seemed to urge the warrior on, for she cried out and began to thrust harder. Gabrielle felt herself rising. Rising and falling with every thrust. She could feel the walls inside of her begin to contract and pulse. Xena pushed in and rubbed her thumb against her at the same time and Gabrielle lost all coherent thought. She could only clutch at Xena's back and lifted her hips up as all sensation tunneled down to one point right between her legs ... and then the world exploded into color and her body convulsed, sending waves of pleasure rolling through her soul. She wrapped her arms more tightly around Xena, pulling her in close, feeling the warrior's own orgasm begin, experiencing the shudders through the connection of the dildo deep inside them both.

Hearing Gabrielle's scream and feeling her lover tremble sent Xena over the edge. Her body contracted and she was no longer able to control it. The spasms flowed over her muscles, causing them to clench and throb. All she could do was hold on to Gabrielle.

For one brief moment, Xena felt her heart stop – stop and melt away, to be held safely in the hands of the woman in her arms. No one had ever reached inside her and touched her so deeply. In that one shuddering moment, the warrior entrusted her heart to Gabrielle, surrendering her soul forever.

Slowly, the calm returned, the intense throbs began to cease. Xena laid against Gabrielle's fully spread legs, breathing heavily and waiting for her strength to return. Her body was still responding with tiny, small jerks to the sudden throbs that clutched at the dildo deep within. She felt Gabrielle twitch and knew that her lover was feeling the same.

Gabrielle was holding onto her, sobbing and stroking her hair. Xena managed to lift her head and soothe her lover.

"Shhhh," Xena whispered, kissing Gabrielle softly, pouring everything she felt, all the tenderness, into that one kiss. "I've got you." She felt small arms pull her closer and understood the need. She was frightened herself by what she was feeling.

Xena snuggled her nose into Gabrielle's hair and let her body rest where it was. Her own tears left salty tracks down her cheeks. She mixed their teardrops together with another gentle kiss.

"I love you, Gabrielle," she said softly, kissing her tenderly and letting go of any lingering fears, "By all the gods, I swear I do."

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