Disclaimer : Characters and situations all belong to someone who is Not Me. I don't make a dime from these writings.
Warnings : Sex and love between womenFeedback : Constructive criticism and feedback, both welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2011 Geonn Cannon
This is the story she never told:
Gabrielle wasn't always confident with her decision to follow Xena. In the early days she occasionally worried that she had made a huge mistake. An arranged marriage was easy, sure, but there was something to be said for easy. Easy could be fun and comfortable. Easy could be safe. With Xena, she was traipsing through the countryside, sleeping on the ground, sometimes scrounging for food at the bottom of her pack. Her next meal was not a given. Still, it was better than being a slave, and she would have ended up a slave in one way or another if she'd never met Xena.
She remembered the moment that she decided her choice was correct. Xena had left her alone at their campsite and gone off to look for berries, to hunt, and to bathe in a lake they had seen from the high road. Gabrielle had a bit of bread she'd saved from the last tavern they passed, and she ate it with some reheated stew. When she was finished with her meal, she became concerned and moved through the woods to find Xena.
Gabrielle didn't know why she took the precautions she did. Perhaps she was playacting, trying to show Xena she had what it took to be a true warrior. So she looked for spots of green among the twigs and dry leaves so that her approach wouldn't make a sound. She didn't call out, preferring to scan the woods for signs of movement between the trees. The first sign of Xena that she found was her armor, hanging from a tree branch. Her sword and chakram lay on the ground on top of her skirt.
Gabrielle knelt and touched the material of Xena's leather. It was still warm from her body heat. She stayed crouched and moved to the big lakeside oak, its trunk angled out and over the water. Gabrielle felt the rough bark against her palms as she craned her neck to look around the side of the tree, and her eyes widened as she saw her new traveling companion.
Xena was standing near enough to shore that the water was only up to her hips. It lapped against the curve of her rear end and, when she turned, Gabrielle saw the patch of dark hair between her legs. She covered her mouth to keep from gasping eyes wide. She blushed deeply. She'd seen naked women before, but this felt different. She pressed her red cheek against the tree and, despite what her brain was screaming, stared.
Xena bent forward, her hands cupped to gather the water. She brought it up and over her arms, washing one and then the other. She ran her palm along her chest and water dripped down along the curve of her breast. Even though they were separated by quite a distance, Gabrielle felt like she could see every drop of water as it ran down her breast. It beaded on her nipple, which stood up fat and erect thanks to the cold water.
Gabrielle hardly realized when one of her hands moved between her legs, lifted her skirt, and pressed against the material of her underwear. She bit her bottom lip as Xena continued to spread water across her skin, her face more relaxed than Gabrielle could remember ever seeing it. Once she finished with her arms, she focused on her breasts and Gabrielle brought her free hand up to bite the side of her index finger. She didn't want to cry out and alert Xena to her presence even as she knew she should stop watching.
Xena cupped her breasts with both hands and her eyes closed. She rolled the nipples between thumb and forefinger and tugged them gently. Gabrielle used two fingers on herself as she watched Xena's back arch. Xena lowered one arm and brushed her fingers through her dark hair. Gabrielle matched her movements, which made it easier to imagine it was Xena touching her.
Oh! That was a surprising thought. Naked, with a woman, stroking one another in such a--
Gabrielle squeaked. She squeezed her eyes shut and moved her hand faster. When she opened her eyes, Xena was gone. She sucked in a breath and scanned the rippling water for signs of where she had gone. Her heart pounded and she was sure Xena was about to walk up behind her, arch an eyebrow in that way she did, and say, "And just what do you think you're doing?"
"O-oh..." She wanted that. Her heart was pounding at the thought of it, of Xena seeing her like this. It would only be fair. Of course, to truly even the odds, Gabrielle knew she had to be naked. She wrapped her arm around the tree, using it for support as she looked at the suddenly empty lake.
And then Xena emerged. Slowly, her head tilted back so that her hair hung down behind her as the water cascaded down. She smoothed her hands over her head and turned toward the shore. For a second, Gabrielle was sure Xena had locked eyes with her. She pulled back and hid behind the tree, still moving her hand between her legs until she came.
After that, she ran. She didn't care about being loud or getting found out. Xena knew she was there, had seen her. Gabrielle resisted the urge to cry, thinking about Xena's rage at being spied on. She got back to their camp and stretched out facedown on the blanket, rested her head on crossed arms, and sobbed as quietly as she could.
A few minutes later, she heard Xena making her leisure way through the underbrush. She wiped her face and sat up. This is it. This is where she tells me she'll leave me at the next town we pass and I can make my way back to Potidaea on my own. Xena knelt next to the fire and stoked the flamed with a stick. She didn't look mad; she looked... relaxed. Her hair was still wet and Gabrielle reluctantly noted the beads of rainwater on Xena's cleavage. She swallowed.
"Did you save me any bread? I found some berries that would make a lovely jam."
Xena looked at her. "Are you all right?"
Gabrielle nodded and dug in her pack for the remaining biscuits. She handed them to Xena, and their fingers brushed as she handed them over. She watched as Xena mashed the berries into a paste and spread them over the bread. She smiled, propping her chin on her fists. Xena wasn't a warrior. She was a woman, a hunter, a goddess, a chef. She was whatever she wanted or needed to be at that specific time. That was what Gabrielle wanted. That was what she strove to be.
It was in that moment Gabrielle decided she would travel with Xena as long as she was wanted.
Xena handed Gabrielle a jam-covered biscuit. "You're staring at me again."
"Sorry. I was just--" Gabrielle's hand froze halfway to her lips. "A-again?"
Xena arched an eyebrow and smiled.
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