There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

From The Flophouse

This little piece of poison is what has been preventing me from continuing work on Old Lessons, (which has been re-named Reasons Of The Heart.) I remember reading another piece of Fan-Fic somewhere on the 'Verse that had a comment in it's disclaimer about there "not being enough Xena with a strap-on stories out there", so here is my contribution to this bulging (snicker) category. Hopefully you have already read my disclaimer. There will be no standing (except for our bard) on this carnival ride, please use your seat belts and keep arms and legs inside the vehicle until it comes to a complete stop. Keep in mind the nearest exit may be behind (snicker) you. Thank you and enjoy your stay.
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January 1999

Gabrielle walked into the tavern like she owned it. Her back erect, with infallible confidence and her poise as graceful and sensual as if she were the daughter of the goddess Aphrodite herself. There, near the end of the long bar, leaned her warrior. Looking lethal even in leisure, the sight of Xena making casual conversation with the barkeep brought a familiar tingle to her belly. She stopped to watch the smile that fell so easily across the dark, angled features of her friend. She took in the sight of her all in one breath. The ebony hair that drifted over her neck and spilled carelessly down her armor-plated back and over her sword scabbard. The long arms that rested on the bar's edge, the brown, summer skin belying the true depth of strength tensed just beneath the surface. The graceful hands that held a mug of port as the sure fingers gestured with her conversation. The legs that stretched to the ends of the earth from beneath her battle skirt and thighs as wide and solid as any cypress tree.

Gabrielle released the breath she had been holding. She felt herself smiling uncontrollably at the power of the woman that, if all went as planned tonight, would be bestowed upon a very willing recipient. Gabrielle thought back to their earlier conversation here at the tavern. They had been sharing their lunch, picking from the other's plate freely while trying to dry out from the summer storm they had been caught in. Xena had suggested getting a room for the night due to the weather and Gabrielle had agreed quite quickly. This brought a knowing and teasing smile from the Warrior Princess. She made an off-handed comment about how being horizontal in a soft bed can really hit the spot. They had locked eyes and a silent promise was exchanged that the night would being seeing far more than sleep. Finishing their meals, they had made a date to go about their various chores and then meet back at the tavern for dinner. They both wanted a bath to rinse away the road and, although they met gazes at the tempting thought, they once again silently agreed to leave the fun for later. Xena went off to check Argo and then to the town's smithy for repairs on their gear. Gabrielle turned towards the markets to re-stock their supplies and do a little shopping on the side. Now, standing here staring at her partner, Gabrielle shivered in anticipation and had to make a conscious effort to close the distance between them.

Xena felt the hairs on her neck perk up when she caught sight of the beautiful woman striding towards her. She couldn't have prevented the blinding smile from erupting across her face any more than she could have prevented the rains from falling. The bard returned the smile with equal brilliance as she leaned next to her on the wood bar.

"Sorry I'm a little late," she offered. "But the lines at the market were insane."

"Yeah, I noticed." Xena watched as the bard finished off her mug of port and smirked at the curl the bitter liquid brought to the bard's upper lip.

"How do you drink this stuff?"

"It's an acquired taste," Xena smiled at her, then waved to the bar keep. "We'll have another port for me and..." She paused in her order to look at Gabrielle in question.

"Wine, please."

"And a wine for the lady."

"Why thank you, warrior." Gabrielle turned to give the room another look. "So what did you do this soggy afternoon?"

"Shopped," Xena answered. At the un-believing look she received from Gabrielle she chuckled. "I did."

"Uh huh," Gabrielle grunted as she turned back to the room. "Xena, you and shopping are like me and Joxer. It ain't happening. You don't shop, you buy. There's a difference."

Xena, continuing to lean against the bar, snickered quietly at the comment about Joxer. "I bought you something," She said knowing that would get her bard's attention.

Gabrielle looked at her, a smile sprouting on her lips. "You did?"

Xena nodded without looking in her direction. She let Gabrielle wait for a minute then met her eyes with a grin.

"What is it?"

"Just something I came across while shopping. Something you told me you wanted not too long ago." Xena looked up at the barkeep as he returned with their drinks and took a long draw from the mug. A poke in her side almost made her choke and she smiled into her mug.

"Xena? What is it?" Gabrielle had moved closer until she was pressed up against the warrior's side. Another poke and Xena reluctantly set her mug down.

"Come on, Xena. You know you can't tell me something like that and not expect to get nagged about it," Gabrielle teased.

"You want to see it?"

"Yeah, I want to see it." Gabrielle answered in a raised voice. She glanced around the room quickly to see if anyone had heard her, then leaned in closer to Xena with another lingering poke. "Come on, where is it?"

"Are you sure?"

"Xena?" Gabrielle threatened another poke in exasperation.

"Alright," Xena laughed. "Here, give me your hand." She reached down and took the bards fingers.

"What for?" Gabrielle pulled away slightly.

"You want to see it, don't you?" Xena grinned at her.

"Well, yeah, but..."

"Give me your hand," They continued to grin at each other. "Come on, trust me." Gabrielle put her smaller hand into the warrior's and waited. Xena glanced around the room then back at the bard. She dropped their hands down as she reached around Gabrielle with her right foot and hooked an empty stool. Pulling it closer, she propped the same foot up on it, effectively trapping the bard between her leg and the bar. She then smiled at the blonde brows that had furrowed in confusion. Xena pressed the bard's hand against the inside of her thigh and began to push it higher.

Gabrielle pursed her lips. "Xena," she glanced down at the warrior's thigh. "That, I have seen before."

Xena only smiled harder and pushed the hand higher. Halting the ascent just beneath the battle skirt, she turned to look at the room once more and when satisfied that no-one was watching them, she continued the forward progress.

Gabrielle watched their hands disappear and was delighting in the feel of Xena's skin when her hand encountered an obstacle. She raised her eyes to Xena's and stopped their hands. "Now, I know that wasn't there the last time I was."

Xena grinned and watched the bard's face as she explored.

Gabrielle felt along the phallus with her fingers. She felt it's length and the two leather strings that Xena had used to tie it to her thigh. It felt warm from the heat of Xena's body and Gabrielle couldn't resist stroking it, pulling against the ties and causing Xena's body to shift. She smiled up at Xena. "I don't remember asking for something like this, not that I don't like it."

"Well, you didn't in so many words. It was just something that you said during one rather..." Xena paused to search for the right word. "enthusiastic session one night."

Gabrielle smirked at her as she tried to remember what she might have said. On occasion she could be quite vocal and there was really no way of remembering all the words she had groaned out since they had become intimate.

"What was it I said exactly?" She asked as she continued to stroke the phallus.

"You'll remember it eventually, trust me."

Gabrielle studied her warrior's face for any hint of revelation. When she decided that Xena wasn't going to tell her, she switched hands on the phallus-bound thigh and took a drink of her wine. She pushed aside the battle skirt far enough to get a good look at the toy and smiled in appreciation. "Xena it's beautiful." It was a marble-like white in color with a slenderness that increased from tip to shaft. The tip itself had a small carved head that was designed to provide as little trauma as possible to the recipient, yet promised satisfaction as well. It was perfect in every way and Gabrielle couldn't take her eyes from it.

"I thought so, too. Never seen one like that before."

"Where did you find it?" Gabrielle continued her examination.

"It's strange really. There was this old tent near the gate of the town. I don't remember seeing it when we came in, but there it was. This old crone said she had something for me so I went in. She showed me this. At first glance it looks like solid marble," Gabrielle nodded her head in agreement and then looked up at Xena. "But it's a light as a feather. Softer than you think it would be, too."

"How much was it?" Gabrielle relaxed her stroking and just let her hand rest on Xena's leg.

"A couple of dinars," Xena said quickly and hurried on to avoid the next question of "how much is a couple?". "I was thinking about you when I walked past her tent and, I don't really remember all that she said about it but, she did say it had been a gift from Aphrodite to an Achaean queen a long time ago. She didn't say how she came to possess it."

"Strange," Gabrielle commented. She reached for her wine and after a healthy swallow, she tugged at the ties around Xena's thigh. Xena looked over at her. "You did buy the accessories, didn't you?"

Xena grinned. "That's another thing. I asked her about that and she said it wouldn't be needed. I didn't want to argue with her about it so I just bought it and left." She felt the tug on her leg and smiled. "Don't worry Gabrielle. I stopped at the tannery on the way back and bought something. Just in case." She smiled at Gabrielle's approving nod.

They drank from their cups quietly for a minute, until Xena felt Gabrielle's fingers explore a little higher than where the phallus was attached. A probing finger slipped beneath the edge of her breeches and tested the waters. Xena looked over and found Gabrielle smiling contentedly.

"Just checking," She offered. Xena smiled.

"You like it then, I take it."

"Mmmm, very much." Gabrielle watched the relief reflected on Xena's face and wondered at it.

They had been lovers for awhile now and that had been a graduation of emotions for them both. Rising from the occasional touches to being comfortable sleeping together. Then finding themselves tangled around each other in the mornings led them to just put their arms around each other before they slept. As they continued to bathe together, they found it was just as easy to bathe each other and they soon found a logic in sleeping naked with each other. Lingering touches turned to friendly good night kisses and those spilled over into the daylight. Kissing became as comfortable as touching and soon those were lingering as well. At some point they forgot to separate on one of those kisses and it wasn't uncommon for them to find that they had kissed all night. During one of their many baths, Gabrielle figured sitting on Xena's lap gave her better access to her back. Then, just because their lips were convenient, kisses were traded and Xena forgot that Gabrielle's lips weren't on her neck or breasts. From there it was pretty much a way of life for them. They didn't really make love all that often, both were content with the kisses and touches, but when they did wind themselves up tight enough, it was always a wild ride.

Gabrielle was still amazed at how much Xena tried to please her. She didn't do anything without a questioning look or touch and was timid when Gabrielle asked something of her. Xena was a gentle and attentive lover, even when she was rough. Gabrielle smiled at the thought of how many times the big, bad warrior had asked if she was hurting her or scaring her. She had discovered long ago that she was one of the lucky few, if not the only one, to see that side of the Warrior Princess.

"Hey you?" Xena asked, drawing Gabrielle out of her thoughts. Gabrielle blushed slightly. "What were you thinking about?" She asked although she could tell by the look on her friend's face.

Gabrielle smiled. "You," she admitted freely.

"I'll just bet," Xena grinned.

"I was thinking about what it was that I said that prompted you to purchase this little slice of Elysia."

"Well, you just keep thinking. I'm sure that it will come to you."

Gabrielle smirked at the unintended pun. "Still, I think I might have the advantage here." She said.

Xena raised an eyebrow at her. "Yeah? And how's that, bard?"

"Well, when my father wouldn't tell my mother where he had been all night, she would always hold out on him 'til he gave in."

"And you think you can hold out? On me?" Xena raised both eyebrows. "I don't think so."

Gabrielle grinned. "Well, maybe not. But my mother always said there's more than one way to skin a cat."

Xena considered the bard for a moment. It was entirely possible the little bard could extract any information she wanted from the warrior. This made Xena a little nervous for a minute, then she considered who held the cards this night and knew she had the upper hand. "Well, if you play nice tonight, you just might find yourself screaming out those words that inspired me so." Xena gave her a seductive smile and watched as she swallowed slowly.

Gabrielle was beginning to rethink her plan to tease Xena into submission. And it wasn't so important to know that she couldn't wait. There were far more interesting games to play this night. She rubbed her hand across Xena's thigh and smiled to herself. Oh, yes, far more interesting things awaited a cooperative bard.

"Come on," Xena stood up straight dislodging Gabrielle's hand. "Let's go sit down and have some dinner. I'm hungry."

Gabrielle nodded her assent. "You just said the magic word."

They found a table near the back and had just relaxed into the chairs when the barmaid came to take their order. They each ordered something different so they could share, another simple act that had fallen into habit for them, and then nursed their drinks in silence. Gabrielle slipped her left hand onto the warrior's thigh and fondled the phallus once more. This brought a snicker from Xena.

"And you thought you could hold out," she stated. She felt the grip on her knee tighten in answer as the barmaid brought them fresh drinks, soups and biscuits.

They ate their chowders in relative silence if only to fend off their hunger until the main course arrived.


"So," Gabrielle began as she pushed her bowl away and leaned back to savour the last of the butter biscuits. "Where to from here?" She soaked a piece of bread in a bowl of olive oil and sucked the juices from her fingers.

Xena watched as the bard's finger disappeared into her mouth. "I thought we could go North," She shifted slightly on the bench. "Stop off in Delphi and get some supplies then head towards Macedonia." She watched as the bard placed another piece of the dripping bread between her lips followed by her thumb. Xena shifted again. Moving her legs closer together, she squeezed the phallus tightly against her groin and shifted again to allow it a more patent contact with her center.

Gabrielle wasn't unaware of the warrior's fidgiting. She knew Xena was watching her every move. Licking the oil from her fingers she caught Xena's eyes and grinned.

"You're not trying to start without me are you?" She placed her hand on the clenched thighs and slipped her fingers between them. Xena smiled at her.

"Then stop teasing me, bard. You're making it hard for me to eat let alone concentrate." Xena took a cleansing swallow of her port as she felt the bard's fingers slide up the length of the imprisoned toy. The questing finger tips barely brushed her skin but left a mass of goose flesh in their wake.

"That's funny. You've never had that problem before." Gabrielle let her fingers find the center of the saturated breeches and extended a finger along it's length. She watched the flush that crept along the warrior's exposed chest and neck and smiled.

Xena shot her a warning glare when the hand positioned itself for a long visit between her legs, but Gabrielle continued to stroke without hurry or without a thought towards discretion. Not that Xena minded the public display. An audience only made her work harder and faster. Her concern was for Gabrielle and the look that would surely cross her face when she found herself face down on the table with a highly aroused warrior princess pumping furiously into her backside.

Xena felt her legs separate slightly as the gentle caressing continued. She began to wonder where their dinners were in the hopes that it would turn the bard's attention, but the look she found in Gabrielle's eyes told her she was dinner and she was about to be devoured. An image formed in which the warrior saw herself just throw the bard over her shoulder and race to their room until it was interrupted as those determined fingers slipped into her breeches and made contact with heated flesh. Xena seized the bard's wrist in a vicelike grip and halted her progress.

"Do you want raped?" Xena growled out.

Gabrielle raised her eyebrows at the implication and continued to smile. Xena pushed her hand away and leaned in closer to her. "Play nice, Gabrielle."

"I thought I was," Gabrielle said as the barmaid returned with their meals. Xena ordered more drinks and shifted over on the bench. Gabrielle smiled at her.

"And as for your comment," Gabrielle waited until the barmaid left to finish. "You can't rape the willing, you know."

Xena looked at her partner in amusement. Shaking her head she began to eat. "Well, we all have our little fantasies now, don't we?"

"Mmmm, that we do." Gabrielle placed her hand on the bench between them and laughed when Xena flinched.

"Gabrielle, if you don't behave I'm going to spank you."

"Really?" Gabrielle smiled. "Now, would that be before or after the raping? Just so I know when to expect it."

All Xena could do was look at her friend in exasperation. Gabrielle simply grinned and began to eat.


Entering their room following their meal, Gabrielle went to the hearth and began to build up a small fire to heat some water for tea and then lit some candles for extra light. The evening was waning and what little light was left barely lit the room through the single window that was provided. After Xena had removed most of her armour, she descended into a chair and propped her booted feet up onto the table beside it causing the uneven legs to tip back and sighed audibly. This gained Gabrielle's attention as she busied about the small room.

"What are you doing?"

"Digesting." Xena offered. She heard the soft foot falls as they approached and opened her eyes when she felt the bard's hands on her shoulders. Gabrielle swung a leg over and straddled her lap. Xena smiled at her and reached for her waist.

"Does this mean that you no longer have an appetite?" Gabrielle scooted closer to Xena and squeezed the warrior's waist with her thighs.

"I always have an appetite for bard," Xena moved her hands up the bard's sides. Gabrielle smiled, enjoying the feel of the warrior beneath her. Resting her elbows on armored shoulders, she pressed their foreheads together and watched as Xena's fingers blazed a path across her abdomen and up the sides of her breasts. "Of course that all depends on the season, too."

"Oh, and how's that?" Gabrielle flinched when the soft finger tips drew across her neck and collarbone. She smiled and closed her eyes when the goose bumps followed.

Xena smiled down at the sensitive flesh. "Well, bards taste different during the winter and summer." Xena slipped her fingers just inside Gabrielle's top and stroked the skin with the backs of her fingers.

"Really?" Gabrielle opened her eyes to watch when Xena began to untuck the ties to her halter.

"Mmm hmmm," Xena tugged at the leather ties gently, her gaze locked onto the swell of Gabrielle's breasts. "Winter bard has a definite spice to it that warms the palate on a cold evening. But, personally," Xena pulled one end of the ties until the knot came free and she smiled to herself. "I prefer summer bard. They have a better flavor. The sun and heat all makes for a nice, satisfying dish."

Gabrielle smiled and leaned back to look at her friend. The ties slipped from Xena's fingers and she stared helplessly at her empty hands. Scowling slightly she dropped her hands into Gabrielle's lap and began to absently stroke up and down the tops of her thighs.

"And just where have you had bard before that you are such an expert?" Gabrielle leaned back a little farther to increase the contact of the leather against her center.

Xena shifted her caress to the outside of the strong thighs and pushed the skirt covering her goal higher with every stroke. "Just you, Gabrielle," Xena smiled up at her friend. "It's interesting how your tastes change over the seasons." Xena leaned in closer to Gabrielle's chest just to get a taste of the skin peeking out over a leather barrier. Gabrielle stood as Xena's lips made contact and she looked up at the bard in question. "What'd I do?"

Gabrielle smiled. "My tastes change? Xena, we've only been lovers for a little more than a year and your telling me I taste different with the seasons." Gabrielle started to swing her leg back over but Xena's grip held her in place. Gabrielle put her hands on her hips and looked down at her warrior.

"Where do ya think you're going?" Xena continued her caress on the backs of Gabrielle's thighs. "I thought you were hungry?" Xena smiled and wagged her eyebrows a few times. Gabrielle just smirked at her.

Slipping her fingers into the seat of Gabrielle's breeches to take two handfuls of warm, firm flesh, Xena couldn't stop the growl that emerged when her palms made contact. Massaging the muscles deeply, she drifted her fingers down the valley between and smiled up at Gabrielle at the wetness she found there. Lingering in the pool for a moment, she reluctantly moved her hands over hips to the front where her thumbs brushed over soft, wet hair. Pressing into the bone, she worked her way south, smoothing over damp curls and swelling flesh.

Gabrielle felt her body relax into the warrior's caress and watched as her hips began to rock with the increasing pressure. She could feel the wetness between her legs growing with each pass of the questing thumbs. Xena slipped the tips of her thumbs past the outer lips, dipping into the moist recess and stroked back and forth along each side. A soft moan brought her gaze up to the lean abdomen just inches from her hungry mouth. Sliding her hand underneath the bard inside her breeches, she stretched her thumb and index finger along the damp cleft and began to stroke the protruding bud. She moved her other hand around to cup a hard cheek just beginning to flex in response. Placing her feet on the floor, she pulled Gabrielle closer to her face, causing wide thighs to separate further. She leaned forward slightly, placing her lips against the skin of her friend's stomach and then brushing her cheek across the soft, fine hair. She dropped light kisses all across before lingering over a perfect navel. Extending the tip of her tongue, she made the briefest of contact before leaning back to look up into her friend's face.

Gabrielle smiled down at her, her eyes half-closed and face flushed. Xena smirked, letting her gaze drift over the bard's form. Never letting up on the task at her hands, she suddenly had the urge to see what felt so good in those palms. With a squeeze to Gabrielle's bottom, she pushed her hand up until it escaped the waist band of the breeches, then hooking the material with her fingers, she began to ease them down. Her right hand paused momentarily in it's labor to assist by grabbing the crotch of the material and expedite the unveiling. Re-planting her hand between heated thighs, she mentally frowned at the clothing that continued to hinder her full access.

A few options ticked off in her mind, but she was reluctant to move the bard or herself from their comfortable positions. She smoothed her free hand over Gabrielle's backside a few times before settling on an alternative. Bringing her hand out from under the soft, leather skirt, she worked the ties to the leather belt. Soon it slipped to the floor and was followed closely by a skirt.

Xena leaned back to admire the view of the beautiful woman standing naked from the waist down with her breech cloth stretched across the middle of her thighs. She smiled in tribute. Moving her now idle hand across the bard's exposed body, she ventured a brief visit to a covered breast before reaching into her own cleavage to acquire the small dirk her breasts held securely. She heard Gabrielle inhale quickly when the flat of the blade touched the skin of her inner thigh. A quick turn of the wrist and the offending material tumbled to Xena's lap where it then slid down Gabrielle's leg to join the other discarded items at their feet. The small knife was tossed to the side as well, it's usefulness expired.

Xena reached for Gabrielle's hip again and brought the woman in closer to her face. Adjusting her stance, the bard braced her hands on the back of the chair behind Xena's shoulders. She closed her eyes as the strong hand once again made a delirious path across her lower body, over stomach and back, then down her thigh to tickle the soft skin behind her knee. She opened her eyes to Xena's lustful gaze and frank admiration. They smiled at each other, comfortable in their roles at the moment. Xena let her eyes wander back down to the golden curls that had swallowed her fingers and began to slide the knuckle of her finger along the length of the valley, her other fingers brushing the under side of the bard's bottom with each pass. Her thumb reluctantly disengaged from the engorged pebble to make lazy circles around the woman's entrance. Continuing to rub her other hand up and down Gabrielle's thigh, she leaned her lips in to taste the stomach that was so enticingly close. She kissed and sucked at the flesh, her teeth nipping and tongue teasing, until she worked her way down to a damp hair line. Closing her eyes, she let go a low growl at the perfume that assailed her nose.

Gabrielle could feel her legs begin to shake. The expectation of Xena's mouth hovering so near her sex caused the muscles in her lower abdomen to tremble. She felt the flush roll across her chest when Xena's hot breath cooled her wet skin. She moaned, rocking her hips a little closer to the parted lips before her, but Xena drew her head back slightly. Gabrielle groaned in frustration. She saw the small smile that turned up the corners of those parted lips and it made her rock forward farther. When Xena leaned back in, just shy of touching, Gabrielle slipped her left hand onto the back of the dark head and pressed it closer.

Xena let her forehead fall to Gabrielle's belly at the feel of the fingers combing through her hair and massaging her neck. This was one of her most cherished tasks. The space of time before she brought her mouth to her friend's center was almost spiritual to her. She loved the anticipation. Inhaling deeply, she drew in the intoxicating essence of the woman. This was when she tried to remember the flavor of her the last time they had joined. She would ponder the memory until it was resurrected on her tongue and only then would she dip in to savor the two flavors at the back of her throat. Gabrielle's groans brought her attention to the present and she opened her eyes to watch her hand work between Gabrielle's thighs. Closing her eyes again at the insistent pressure on the back of her neck, she pressed her lips to those of the bard's and pushed her tongue slowly inside.

Both women groaned audibly, Gabrielle closed her eyes and let her head drop to her chest in willing surrender. Xena opened her mouth and began to feast, content in her own surrender. Pushing folds of velvet flesh aside with the tip of her tongue, she bathed Gabrielle intimately leaving no corner uninspected. Once she settled on the pulsing bud, she circled a finger slowly around the bard's entrance and pushed the tip just inside. The bard was hot and wet and Xena didn't think twice before adding a second finger and pushing them deep. Moaning her contentment, the warrior flexed her jaws to take the bard deep within her mouth, her tongue never relinquishing it's hold. Gabrielle's hips thrust up against the warrior's face seeking urgent release, her breath coming fast and uneven. Xena pumped her fingers in and out a few times before replacing them with her thumb. Extending her hand back again, she drew her fingers over a smooth bottom before resting her fingers in the warmth of the valley. Her fingers, already slick with moisture, glided effortlessly along the crease of Gabrielle's backside.

Caressing a puckered opening with her fingertip, Xena spared a glance up at her friend's face for an answer to her inquiring finger. When no apparent discomfort was observed, Xena slowly pushed inside. The soft flesh gave way gradually to her gentle and persistent pressure. Gabrielle's groans were coming faster. Her hips, unable to find a rhythm, simply lurched and bucked at the invasion of all points south. As Xena pinched the fleshy wall separating her fingers, she worked her wrist and tongue in tandem to accommodate the bard's wild dance. It wasn't long before Gabrielle leaned her head back and released a stagnant breath as her orgasm overtook her.


The table's uneven legs were forced to tip back and forth within the patent grip the bard had on it's nearest edge. Legs trembling and head spinning, Gabrielle reached for Xena to keep from collapsing. Her powerful thighs worked in tandem with her death-grip on the table and handful of warrior, to keep her from teetering over.

From beneath Gabrielle's heaving body, Xena held on for dear life. Long past the need for breathing, her euphoric state was heightened by the lack of air and she felt quite close to passing out from the pull of it all. Her body tingled with a fraction of the bard's orgasm and while not complete, was just as satisfying. Long before she felt Gabrielle's body lurch for a last time, she felt the tiny quivers multiplying on the tip of her tongue and braced herself to catch those hips as they flew beneath her kisses.

Xena's deep throaty moans vibrating against her center was the push that sent the bard into convulsions. It worked every-time. Always would. Gabrielle never thought Xena actually understood how much the sound of her voice, full with emotion, desire, or sleep, could make her feel. Advising the warrior on the extent of her vocal stimulation once earned her a very personal performance of 'Glede Ma Glede', one of Xena's favorite songs growing up in Amphipolis. Gabrielle had never been able to keep a straight face whenever she heard it after that night, and sometimes Xena would hum a few bars in stressful or pregnant moments that would send her into hysterics.

A sated grin crawled over the bard's lips and hung there like honey from a comb. The rush had spread to a rolling wave of chills over her chest and neck as heat rose up from her face and buttocks. Her hips were slowing and she felt Xena's tongue making tender licks around ground zero. A few mischievious flicks brought a quick jerk of hips from the bard. Her hand twisting tighter in a mass of ebony told the warrior she had had enough.

Xena flexed her hands and reluctantly brought them out from their haven. With a soft bathing from her tongue and gentle massage to thighs and hips, Xena coaxed the trembling poet onto her lap and into her arms. The room was still but for laboring breaths and not so silent sighs of contentment. The groan of Xena's leather battle dress as it was squeezed between recovering flesh brought a hum of happiness from it's owner.

Gabrielle smiled and lifted her head with some difficulty from the warrior's shoulder. She nuzzled the hair on the bent head at her throat and started a light massage on the neck and upper back knowing knots would be found from holding a desperate position for so long. As she combed her fingers through the damp tresses, Gabrielle listened to her mate's breathing, enjoying the feel of the hot breath blowing against her breast.

After a time, when the recovery reached a certain point of lucidity, Xena lifted her face and gazed at the greenest green she had ever seen. A smile formed upon her swollen lips and Gabrielle was helpless to the magic. They grinned at each other like kids for a few moments before testing the vocal chords for functionality.

"Hey," Xena husked out. Feeling the bard quake, she pulled her closer for warmth.

"Hey, yourself." The blonde leaned in close and kissed the puffy lips softly in slow succession before pulling back to take in the whole view. Xena's eyes were closed behind heavy lids and her lips were slightly parted in her breathing. Damp strands of hair clung to her forehead and moisture could still be found on her chin and flushed cheeks.

She waited patiently for Xena to open her eyes knowing the thrill it always gave her to guess what shade of blue they would be. Xena's eyes could slip shades from ice blue to sky blue in a heartbeat and Gabrielle knew from past experience that the depth of blue about to be witnessed was a shade few had seen and fewer could provoke.

She was never truly prepared when Xena opened her eyes. It always took her breath away. Caught in the blue web, Gabrielle stared openly. Xena smiled knowingly and finally leaned in to kiss away the trance.

"Mmmm," Gabrielle rested her forehead against the warrior's. "Thank you."

"You're very welcome. It was my pleasure."

"Hmmm," Gabrielle said into a smile. "Not all of it."

Xena returned the lazy smile with kisses until her lap mate pulled away to stretch out cramped muscles. The frown that formed at the loss of the lips was quickly replaced at the sight of the amazon torso leaning back over her knees to touch her head to the floor between booted feet.

"Bree," Was all Xena could manage to say.

Gabrielle grinned and with little squeals of release, stretched her arms above her head. Flexing her abdomen, she returned to an upright position curious to see the look on her friend's face following her display. What she found was a look of such unabashed desire and appreciation, she immediately felt sorry for teasing the poor, neglected warrior.

"Sorry," she spoke quietly with an apologetic smirk.

It took a few seconds for the glaze to pass from the warrior's eyes, at which time she raised a disbelieving brow. "No, you're not."

Gabrielle raised her own brow in challenge. Xena pressed on, somehow managing to look more tortured by the moment.

"If you were truly sorry, you wouldn't have done that in the first place."

Gabrielle searched her companions face for any sign of real distress and when finding none, she forced eye contact and smiled. "You want me to do it again?"

"Gods, yes...I mean no..." Xena realized she had been snared and capitulated. "Please?"

Gabrielle barked out a laugh and moved to stand. Xena wrapped her arms around the slim waist briefly before releasing her to the room. Holding onto a free hand, Xena watched as Gabrielle began to pick up her littered clothes. She shrugged her shoulders at the ripped breeches that were dangled in the air for her to feel guilty about. Refusing to do so, Xena just smiled. Rolling her eyes, Gabrielle tugged at the hand in hers.

"Feel like joining me in the bath?"

Xena's eyes grew smoky as she considered the offer. "Mmmm, tempting," She finally admitted. "But, no. You go ahead and do yer soakin', bard. I'll hop in when your done."

Gabrielle waited for another few seconds to see if the mighty warrior would change her mind. Their eyes smiled at each other in suprise. Xena's suprise at the temptation to play 'Who's sitting on the soap?' and Gabrielle's at her refusual to participate.

Nodding in understanding, she turned and walked slowly to the bathing room, not releasing Xena's hand until the last moment.

Xena listened to her partner as she moved about the rooms. When she heard the water begin to run, she closed her eyes leaned her head back and en-visioned the beautiful body that was in her grasp just a moment before, slipping beneath the silky waters. She imagined her own journey under the water to reach a submerged center and the feel of the water flooding her mouth as she opened against wetter flesh.

Xena realized she had been holding her breath and drew in a lung-full to ease the burn. Squeezing her thighs together, she brought her hands to her face and rubbed her cheeks vigorously. She was half a heart beat from stripping down and vaulting into the bathtub when she was reminded of her earlier purchase as it pressed against her thighs.

Grinning like a maniac, Xena pushed herself to her feet and started to hum a familiar song as she busied about the small room shifting their gear and making a comfortable spot in front of the hearth.

By the time the bard emerged steaming from the bath, Xena had located more candles and lit them all over the room. She had gone down to get food and drink from the kitchen and placed them next to the nest she had built with pillows and blankets.

The exchange of tea for the bath was made in it's doorway and they loitered there briefly while the bard showed her appreciation for Xena's arranged seduction. Releasing Gabrielle's lips, the warrior slipped past her and made her way to the water. The bard watched as Xena stripped casually and lowered herself in. Dropping her head back, the warrior closed her eyes and relaxed in comfort.


Reclining on pillows in a thin silk shift, Gabrielle nibbled on cheese and slices of fruit while scribbling in her journal. Xena dropped down beside her in a similar shift, with a towel drapped over her head as she rubbed her wet hair. Gabrielle watched as she reached out for a slice of melon only to have it disappear beneath the towel.

"Mmmm." Xena chewed and rubbed with vigor and emerged from the towel smiling, her hair tousled about and eyes twinkling.

Gabrielle had to grin at her. She was such a kid sometimes. The way she rubbed her eyes when she got sleepy reminded the bard of a two year old wanting to stay awake, but unable to keep her eyes open.

"Feel better?" Gabrielle asked.

"Much," The warrior replied with a satisfied smirk. Reaching for more fruit, she leaned back and watched her bard scratch some more in her journal.

To Be Continued......

Hah! I love being a tease! Actually, I sort of ran out of time before I could finish it. The movers were packing up my house and were casting very curious glances at me as I typed away madly. I managed to up load it before they pulled the plug on me to say the least (or is that the most?). I have three months to finish this story and get back to 'Old Lessons', at which point I should have a hefty-hefty cinch sack of an update. Hey, I know it sucks but it can't be helped. If it's any consolation to you, I will be without the internet and the Xenaverse for those three grueling months. Just punishment for a naughty bard, I know. So spank me. I'll thank you later. This will keep your juices cooking while I am away...exactly how is that lovely phallus attached to Xena's lovelier thigh going to work without know...accessories? Hmmm, think on that, but don't over exert yourself. Be Back Soon. 'Til then, don't do anything that I would.


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