After a much longer sleep than either of them anticipated they headed downstairs to get some dinner, and begin planning their trip to Poetaedia and then the Amazons. They felt very close to each other at that moment, and neither of them could stop touching the other, they spent the whole night connected in some way not wanting to let the other go.
"So I think we should take things slowly, no sense in overdoing things, and riding Argo is out missy Cyrene told Xena laughing at the scowl on Xena's face, knowing her daughter was as stubborn as herself when it came to things like that, but she also knew that her daughter had no intentions of putting the baby in danger and would forgo riding Argo.
"I know you're right mum, I've got to think of the baby, so we'll walk and at a fairly slow pace, I think it will probably take about two days or so to reach Poetaedia, depending on when we camp and on the weather of course Xena told them smiling at the indulgent look on Gabrielle's face that told her that she'd been caught out, even walking slowly they would probably make in a day or so, but she was feeling so relaxed she wanted to be able to really draw out this trip, she wasn't feeling too sure that they would get a warm reception from Gabrielle's parents, especially when they realized her condition.
"That sounds about right to me, then we stay with my parents for 3 or 4 days and then we take the mountain pass to the Amazons, and that including your naps should take less than a week Gabrielle told them, she couldn't resist teasing Xena about her new sleeping pattern, and wanted to make sure she packed a nice comfy bed roll for her to sleep on, with the added weight Xena was putting on because of the baby, she was starting to get back aches and Gabrielle wanted to make sure she was comfortable when she slept.
"Okay so I like to take a nap in the afternoon, you both keep telling me sleep is good for the baby Xena laughed feeling good about the coming trip, and couldn't wait to see the look on Chilapa's face when she told them an Amazon princess was on its way. She didn't want to tell Gabrielle but she had a strong feeling the baby was a girl, she was carrying differently to when she was pregnant with Solan, it was just a feeling but she trusted her instincts because usually they were right on the dinar.
"Daughter, neither of us is saying you shouldn't nap in the afternoon, it's just unusual to see you taking such good care of yourself, neither of us has had to remind you to eat or sleep, it's very unexpected dear, especially considering how you are when you are sick Cyrene explained feeling proud of her daughter, the woman she knew when Xena had first returned home after giving up her army was nowhere near the woman she was now.
"Well if we are going to head out early in the morning we should get to bed, I can't believe I'm still tired after the nap I had this afternoon, but I know creating a child is a big job for the body, sometimes I feel like this isn't my body anymore Xena said smiling as she felt the baby beginning its nightly ritual of stretching before a big sleep. She looked over at Gabrielle and brought Gabrielle's hand to her stomach, helping her feel their baby move inside her, both of them smiling as the movements became more pronounced. Xena looked up at Gabrielle and couldn't stop herself from wanting to take her in her arms and kiss her senseless, so she did just that and both of them were blown away by the intensity of the kiss. Eventually they had to break the kiss to breathe and one look at the desire showing in Gabrielle's emerald green eyes told Xena everything she needed to know.
"Ah mum, we are going to head to bed now, we'll see you in the morning Xena got out before Gabrielle grabbed her hand and she was dragged up stairs. Before they could reach their room Gabrielle pressed her against the wall and was kissing her like her life depended on it. Gabrielle's hands were everywhere, and her body was beginning a slow burn to a raging fire. She could feel through their connection that Gabrielle was enjoying this as much as her and all thoughts of where they were went completely out of her head. She returned Gabrielle's kisses with passion and soon both of them forgot where they were. Finally they had to break a part as breathing was beginning to become a problem and they both realized they still hadn't made it to their room. They raced into their room neither of them able to contain the passion that was building between them and Xena realized that Gabrielle seemed to be more aggressive than she was used to.
"Xena, you are so beautiful, I have never been more attracted to you as I am now, God I want you so much Gabrielle told Xena as she took her into another passionate kiss feeling more than seeing Xena's arousal. She moved her hands over Xena's body slowly stripping her of the tunic she was wearing until her love was naked before her. She smiled at the pronounced bump that showed Xena was pregnant with her child and bent to kiss Xena's bump. Then she came up and kissed Xena again feeling an indescribable need to be in control. She let her hands wander down to Xena's breasts and heard the sharp intake of breath as her fingers closed around one of Xena's nipples. She felt Xena press against her and knew this wouldn't be a slow climax, Xena was beyond aroused that she could sense and she decided to let go and do what she had always wanted to do with Xena. She took her forcefully loving Xena until she thought they would both explode. She closed her eyes and let her body and heart lead the way and soon both of them were riding a crest so high they saw stars. Finally as they came back down to earth she heard Xena's deep sigh and knew that soon her love would be asleep.
"I love you Gabrielle, you are my life Xena mumbled as she felt sleep taking over her and knew it wouldn't be long till she couldn't stop herself from falling asleep. She heard Gabrielle's answer and smiled knowing all would be okay as long as they loved each other they could get through anything.
The trip to Poetaedia only took the two days that Xena had predicted, even though she napped every one of those days they still made good time and were soon approaching the outskirts of Poetaedia. Xena couldn't help the memories of this place coming up and felt the sting of tears in her eyes as she remembered the last time she was here. One of the worst times in her life, she had almost had to face losing Gabrielle. She wiped the tears from her eyes and looked over at the woman she loved and knew that no matter what she wouldn't go through that again.
"It's been a long time since we've been here the last time I was here I almost lost the person I loved the most in the world and then I got her back Xena said to her love forgetting where they were and kissing Gabrielle briefly letting her know that she loved her and she would always be there for her. She found it funny that in one action she could say more than she ever could in words.
"I know, and I don't want that to ever happen again, I don't care what Mother and Father think of us, if they don't accept it I'm not going to give you up for them I love you Xena Gabrielle told Xena sensing her love needed to hear those words, Xena had been sleeping restlessly for the last couple of days and she had a feeling it was something to do with their visit to her parents and what they were going to reveal.
They walked up to her parents cottage and were greeted enthusiastically by Lila and Hecuba, at least Gabrielle was. Cyrene introduced herself to them and then looked over the women who were to become a part of her family. Lila was a beautiful girl, bubbly and bright like her sister and would make a great wife one day to who ever she chose. She could see a lot of Gabrielle in Lila and was happy to see Lila take the time to greet Xena just as enthusiastically and saw her eyes widen when she hugged Xena. She knew then that Lila knew about Xena being pregnant and wondered if she would say anything. She heard Lila tell Xena how happy she was to see her and made no mention of the pregnancy and breathed a sigh of relief.
"It's so nice to meet you both, how about we all go inside and we can catch up on what each other has been doing? Cyrene asked seeing the weariness in Xena's eyes that she tried to hide and knew Xena needed to sit down and have a rest. Although they'd taken things pretty easy on the journey here, she knew Xena hadn't been sleeping well and was probably more tired than she was letting on.
"Of course you are always welcome in my home, my Husband is inside, Herodotus isn't very fond of Xena, so you will have to excuse his rudeness, he is a good man but is blinded by his traditionalist views Hecuba told Cyrene pulling her aside to let her know that she wasn't worried about how Gabrielle lived her life so long as she was safe but the biggest obstacle would be Herodotus, he was a stubborn man and was not going to take too well to the news she was sure she was going to hear from her daughter. It was plain to see how close Xena and Gabrielle were, it had been plain to see the last time they had seen them, she smiled as Xena reached for Gabrielle's hand and knew her daughter would be well taken care of by the Warrior Princess.
"Well we should really get inside, Xena needs to rest its been a long journey Cyrene told Hecuba wondering how such an accepting woman could be married to a man like Herodotus. She hoped he wouldn't make too much trouble, stress was the last thing Xena needed right now.
"Yes I suppose we should, is Xena alright, she looks a little pale there is something different about her Hecuba asked looking over at Xena and taking in her appearance, she was surprised to see her out of her leathers and looking so normal. She didn't look half as threatening without her leathers and looked more like any village girl. There was still the striking beauty and those crystal blue eyes that were scanning the area alert and always on guard. Xena wasn't the person she would have chosen for her child, but she would not stand in the way of true love and she could see that the love Xena and Gabrielle shared was the truest kind of love. It was evident in the way they stood together, the closeness of them and the glances they stole at each other.
"Yeah she is fine, just a little tired from the trip I guess Cyrene said as they walked inside and was happy to see a nice homely looking place in front of her. She had watched Hecuba and knew that the other woman was aware of their daughter's feelings for each other and she didn't seem too worried about it. It was Herodotus that was going to be the real problem Cyrene surmised.
"Herodotus, Gabrielle is here Hecuba called out hoping her husband would at least be civil to them, he was very verbal in his dislike of Xena and she knew that he would not be happy about this latest development but she was not going to let his traditionalist views make them lose their oldest daughter.
"I see you brought the Warrior Princess with you and who is this? Herodotus sneered not happy to see her daughter was still with the warrior princess, he looked at them and could feel nothing but dislike for the woman who had taken his daughter away and had stopped him from being able to have a child to boast about with the other fathers of the villages.
"My name is Cyrene and I am Xena's mother, I will not allow you to be disrespectful to my daughter, she takes good care of your daughter and has risked her life on many occasions to save Gabrielle's now, both Gabrielle and Xena are tired I suggest you let them get some rest there will be time for this later Cyrene growled her instincts telling her this man was a force to be reckoned with, the question to ask was Hecuba strong enough to stand up against her husband for her daughter's happiness?
"Fine with me, but they will not be staying long we are not a very wealthy family and we don't have the dinars to be entertaining guests for a long period of time, the bedrooms that way you know where it is Gabrielle Herodotus said trying to control his anger over this woman who dared to tell him what to say in his own house. Now he knew where Xena got her attitude and as much as he knew Xena could hurt him very badly a part of him knew she would never dare to, he knew of Gabrielle's love for the warrior princess anyone with eyes could see it but he was never going to approve of it. If making life difficult for Xena kept her away from Poetaedia then so be it, his daughter would soon realize that Xena was not the person for her and come home and marry a nice man that he could be proud to tell his friends about.
"Thank you for your hospitality Herodotus, we will only be here a few days, we are on our way to Amazon country, Gabrielle has some official Amazon business to attend to Xena told him delighting in the discomfort she knew Herodotus felt about Gabrielle being the Amazon queen and a very powerful and independent woman. They walked down the hall to Gabrielle's old room and they had only just got inside when Gabrielle had her pressed up against the wall and was kissing her passionately. As tired as she was her body couldn't help but respond to her bard's passion.
"Thanks for that sweetheart, it was good to see that smug smile wiped off his face, this is going to be hard isn't it? Gabrielle asked looking at her love taking in the tiredness displaying on Xena's face and the slight arousal in those ice blue eyes.
"It will be hard, more hard on Herodotus than on us, we have each other and will love each other no matter what he says, but he is going to have to face that not only are you never going to marry a nice simple man, but the Gods approve of our union and he can't argue with that Xena said as she yawned unable to stop herself from feeling the tiredness that was slowly creeping up on her. She took Gabrielle into her arms loving the feel of her arms surrounding Gabrielle's body. The baby chose that moment to kick pretty hard and they both laughed as it kicked against Gabrielle. One look from Gabrielle told Xena that a nap was in order and they climbed into bed together, holding onto each other not caring if they were found like this while they slept. Sleep came easily for both of them surprisingly and they dreamt again of their child and their upcoming joining
Continued in Part 13
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