A Journey Of Love & Life

Part 18

When they both awoke it was almost time for the celebration to begin, so they changed into some more comfortable clothing and rebound their hands. They had no idea what kind of traditions the Amazon's had for celebrations such as this one but had a feeling there would be a few traditional things they would have to do. Gabrielle looked at her wife happy to see she looked well rested and radiant, her cheeks rosy and her eyes a very clear blue.

"You look beautiful sweetheart, I love that colour on you" Gabrielle told Xena, and smiled as she saw Xena blush at the compliment and then she was pulled towards Xena and found Xena lips coming down to join hers. Sighing she gave herself up to the kiss and pressed herself closer to Xena, she wanted more than anything to forget about the party and just spend the rest of the night making love to her wife but knew they should attend it, seeing as it was being held in their honour.

"That, was wow- I never know how to describe how your kisses make me feel"Xena smiled looking at her beautiful wife, their love shining in her beautiful green eyes. She knew that she would remember this day for the rest of her life, but she also knew that more than that, she would remember the way her love's eyes had shone with tears when they had been pronounced joined.

"Shall we?" Gabrielle asked taking their joined hands and leading them out of their hut and winked at the two Guards that were to escort them to the celebration. She had never felt happier in her life and knew that when she saw all the people she loved she would feel even happier, to be able to share the love she felt for her soulmate with these people made her feel even more connected to Xena. They walked the short distance to the entrance of the hall where the celebration was being held and both awaited the announcement of their arrival, smiling at each other so lost in each other they almost didn't hear their names being called.

"Arise Amazon's as Queen Gabrielle and her Consort Xena enter the celebration" Atermis called out happy to see all of her Amazon's practically leap to their feet and a great cheer go up as the two lover's entered the hall. She watched as Xena quietly took in the room and grew a little concerned when tears started to form in Xena's eyes and then remembered a few guests they had brought to the celebration as a surprise for Xena and Gabrielle.

"Gabrielle look who's here" Xena whispered looking over at the sight of some of their dearest friends, Joxer, Hercules and Ialous, Minya and Hower and of course Meg. She looked at Joxer first knowing of his love for Gabrielle and wasn't sure what she'd see in his eyes, she knew how hard this day must be for him and was grateful to see love shining out of his eyes for both of them. She went up to him first and embraced him, hugging him with all of the love she felt for him, as much as he annoyed her sometimes, she truly respected him and the fact that he tried so hard to help people.

"Thank you for coming, I know how hard this must be for you" She whispered in his ear and then brought him in front of her so she could really see if he was okay with this, knowing Gabrielle didn't know of his love for her, she wished she could go somewhere alone with him and talk to him, to make sure the happiness in his eyes she could see wasn't just an act. I'll talk to him tomorrow, I want him to know how much I care for him, and try and help him realise that his love for Gabrielle will pass and he will find his soulmate, just like I did Xena thought and tried to convey that thought through her eyes and saw him nod and knew he understood.

"You look beautiful Xena, when I heard you were pregnant and that you and Gabrielle were going to be joined I couldn't not come, I've missed hanging with you guys, I know you're going to be a wonderful mother" Joxer said simply as he accepted a hug from Gabrielle, struggling to compose himself, he couldn't, wouldn't allow his despair to ruin Gabrielle and Xena's day. He looked at his two friends and saw how happy they were, he was truly astounded by how beautiful Xena looked and how peaceful she seemed, he had never expected to see her with child and was surprised by how much it seemed to soften her and how well she seemed to be taking the pregnancy.

"Thank you Joxer, as one of our dearest friends our day wouldn't have been complete without your presence" Gabrielle said seeing something in Joxer's eyes that she didn't recognise and wondered what was going through her friends mind. She wondered if she should talk to Xena about it and grew even more confused by the look of understanding in Xena's eyes as she looked at Joxer. Unfortunately she didn't have time to dwell on the thought as Hercules came up and engulfed her into a huge hug.

"I'm so happy for you guys, I'm glad you both finally found love" Hercules said looking at Xena with a tinge of regret in his eyes but knew that he was over the crush he'd had on the warrior princess even if he still thought they would have made a good match. As he looked at the happiness that shone through both Gabrielle and Xena he knew that there would never be a chance for him, not in this life or any other, he could clearly see the soul bond between these two. He smiled as Xena drew him into a hug and almost gasped as he felt the baby kick at him.

"Feisty little fella" Hercules remarked laughing as Xena playfully swatted him. He looked at her and thought of how pregnancy seemed to be agreeing with her, her face was softer, she had a glow about her and she seemed happier, calmer and he knew that this pregnancy was going to affect big changes in Xena.

"Feisty little girl" Xena corrected, stating her belief that the baby was a girl firmly. She wasn't sure why she was so sure, but she could feel a connection to this baby, a connection stronger than she had felt towards Solon and although that made her feel slightly guilty she relished the connection she had with her child. She wondered what people would think if they knew she often spent hours in quiet contemplation in her quarters, just feeling the baby move and savouring their connection.

"A girl huh, what makes you so sure, that kick was quite a big one, and it looks like the baby is going to be quite big, I'd be betting on a boy" Hercules said laughing again as Xena frowned at him and crossed her arms which in turned dragged Gabrielle closer to her as they were joined by their hands still.

"Hercules, haven't you ever heard of mother's intuition" Gabrielle interjected seeing that Xena's look was bordering on annoyance and knew that if she didn't do something to soothe the situation Herc's joking around could land him a large dose of the warrior princess. She looked at him imploring him to give up the kidding trying to convey that Xena was not up for teasing at the moment and breathed a sigh of relief when he shrugged his shoulders.

"Okay I'll give you that, now where's that beautiful mother of yours" Hercules asked and then dashed off to find her before he bore the brunt of Xena's temper, mentally kicking himself for not remembering how sensitive pregnant women could be while he looked for Cyrene.

"Well I tell you I'm not stupid enough to argue with a mother's intuition, especially one as beautiful as you Xena, how are you?" Ialous asked looking happily at the couple, he had always thought they would get together, they'd been through so much and to see them happy made his heart extremely glad. As much as he had once hated Xena he now respected her and wished her every happiness in this life and every other life she would live, he knew that no matter what Gabrielle would be a part of her life in some way in each and every one of her lives.

"Thank you Ialous, we're doing fine thanks for asking" Xena replied smiling at the shorter man as he looked tentatively at her and knew he wanted to feel the baby move, smiling she grabbed his hand and placed it on her stomach smiling when he was rewarded with a few big kicks, strong enough to make her grimace a little. She kept smiling though not wanting anyone to assume she was in pain or anything, the kicking didn't hurt it just made her feel uncomfortable sometimes and she knew that the Amazon music was beginning to have an effect on the baby as she continued kicking strongly almost in time with the music.

"That is amazing, she is so strong, just like her mother hey?" Ialous asked and saw the pride in Xena's eyes as he made the comment and smiled as he continued to feel the baby kick against his hand, she was really going to town in there and he had a feeling it was because of the music, looking at Xena he could tell she was getting uncomfortable even though she was still smiling and he silently nodded at Gabrielle hoping she would recognise the discomfort Xena was beginning to experience.

"Come on sweetheart how about we take our seats, I bet Atermis has something up her sleeve for us" Gabrielle said leading them both to their seats, she had forgotten how much the baby seemed to like the Amazon music and how much her kicking made Xena feel uncomfortable sometimes. Xena gratefully took Gabrielle's hand and allowed herself to be led to their seats, she was hoping the baby would start to calm down some once she was sitting or she was going to be in for a very long night.

When they had gotten to their seats Gabrielle placed her hand on Xena's bump trying to soothe the baby so that her mother would be less uncomfortable and smiled when she could feel the soft stroking of her hand over Xena's stomach begin to soothe the baby's movements until she could barely feel them and sighed knowing that for the moment their child was resting and her love would be comfortable again.

"Thank you, how did you know?" Xena asked curiously hoping it was because of some bond Gabrielle felt towards the baby but as she saw the sheepish look on Gabrielle's face she knew it wasn't, and she vowed to try and help Gabrielle connect with their baby more as she got further in her pregnancy. It was still hard to believe that in just over two moons they would be welcoming their child into the world, she knew that there was a chance that there would be trouble as the time grew closer for her to give birth but knew that no matter what Gabrielle would be with her and would deliver their child. She had so much faith in their union and their combined ability to get through what was coming it almost scared her but she she knew they needed to have complete faith in each other for them to be able to get through this.

"Ialous, he must have seen you grimace when she kicked really hard and kind of gave me a look, and then I saw you rubbing your stomach and I knew she was making you uncomfortable" Gabrielle said knowing that Xena harboured hope that she would form the kind of connection to this baby that Xena seemed to have. She did feel she had a connection to the child growing inside of the woman she loved but knew it was nowhere near as strong as the one Xena shared with the child. She often awoke to see Xena softly stroking her belly, humming a lullaby or speaking softly to their child, and often tried her hardest to seem still asleep so she could observe her love bonding with their child, it often brought tears to her eyes as she thought of Solon and how much she wished Xena had been able to share that with him.

"She was, I think she really liked the Amazon music, lucky me" Xena grinned not really minding that the baby liked the music, but the baby's movements were getting more and more pronounced as time went on and as that happened it was making her more uncomfortable as the pressure of the baby's movements on her bladder and other body parts increased. She closed her eyes briefly enjoying the soft stroking of Gabrielle's hand her senses picking up that the baby was now much more relaxed and probably sleepy which made her smile, because she knew she'd now be able to enjoy the rest of the celebrations without too much discomfort.

"She seems calmer now" Gabrielle said enjoying being able to have an effect on their child, she knew the baby reacted to her touch differently than others, she seemed to be able to calm her when others couldn't and there were times she would jump at her touch and it made her smile to know that their child recognised her touch and seemed to react to it favourably.

"Mmmmm she definitely is, I think she might be falling asleep, I definitely know who will be putting her to bed the most, she definitely seems to calm at your touch sweetheart" Xena said smiling at her love almost losing herself in those beautiful green eyes swimming with unshed tears. She leaned over and kissed the woman she loved, bringing one hand to her love's face to caress her soft skin, revelling in the beauty of her wife.

"I love you" Gabrielle said looking straight into the crystal blue eyes she wanted to be looking into for the rest of her life and kissed Xena before she could respond not needing the words only the feelings and sensations that their love brought to them. They heard someone cough and looked up sheepishly after having gotten lost in the kiss they were sharing.

"If you two are finished kissing we have a few traditions to go through, Gabrielle and Xena will you join us in the middle of the hall" Aphrodite asked almost laughing at the sheepish look on the two lover's faces. She loved teasing them and knew that this night would be the first of many wonderful nights the two would share. She had been watching them as they came to sit down and had smiled at the attentiveness of Gabrielle to her pregnant warrior, she had never seen either of them look more beautiful or more in love than that moment and she knew that for as long as she remained on this earth she would do her best to protect them both from harm. She looked over at Eli and saw him nod his head towards her and acknowledged his silent request.

"Firstly in honour of your joining you have been bound by your hands, your hands must stay joined for the entire night and till noon tomorrow to ensure the strength and longevity of your union, we have a few more traditions to put in place, some Greek and some Amazon" Aphrodite explained to the two lovers seeing acceptance in both of their eyes. She took the two plates that sat on the table beside her and handed one each to the women.

"These plates symbolise your past, everything you were before you met and fell in love with each other, the breaking of these plates recognises that you are no longer alone and that the past no longer matters, it is your future together that you need to look forward to" Aphrodite explained again, really liking this tradition and knew it was a perfect one for them both, they both had pasts they wished they could forget and she hoped that this tradition would remind them to keep striving forward together and try to release themselves from their pasts.

Gabrielle and Xena looked at each other both acknowledging the true reason they suspected Aphrodite had chosen this tradition and then in unison brought their plates high into the air, and smiling at each other let them fall crashing to the ground. As the plates broke into a few million pieces they took the chance to kiss each other and affirm their love and their continued life together.

"And now for an Amazon tradition, this is a personal favourite of mine" Atermis smiled as she watched the two of them and knew this one would be perfect for them. She knew they'd both guess the reason she chose this tradition and she hoped it would have its desired effect. She wanted nothing more than for her Chosen to be blessed with a large family and a happy life with her Consort.

"This tradition involves you both feeding each other a fruit that is considered to be a sign of fertility and happiness, but you can only feed it to each other with your mouths, no hands are allowed" Atermis laughed as she looked at their faces and the rest of the crowd joined in. Gabrielle and Xena looked each other and began to laugh too and knew they would happily partake in this tradition, as both of them looked at each other mischievously and dove for the fruit, Gabrielle only just getting there first picking up a piece of it with her mouth and bringing her mouth to Xena's passing the fruit to her love while kissing her passionately almost forgetting they had more fruit to eat. They broke apart almost gasping for air before Xena dove for the next piece and then began to kiss her bard with the same amount of passion as Gabrielle had kissed her, the passion slowly spirally out of control with each of them taking the fruit and using it as an excuse to keep kissing, their wandering hands stoking the fires of their passion as they continued oblivious of everyone around them. Only after the last piece of fruit was consumed did they realise how far they'd taken things and both of them reined in their passion quickly looking around them sheepishly.

"Well if you liked that tradition you are definitely going to like this one" Aphrodite just managed to get out never having seen as much passion as she had just witnessed and it left her with a desire to find the nearest available man and give him some good loving. She looked at the two lover's and saw that they were back in control again and let out a sigh of relief, she was worried everyone in that room would end up spontaneously combusting if they had continued.

"This tradition involves the two painting each other with a special substance that is once again supposed to increase fertility and the longevity of your union, you must cover as much skin as possible without revealing each of your assets to us all" Aphrodite told them seeing a little bit of annoyance cross Gabrielle's face, and then realised how modest Gabrielle still was and that this one would be a little more difficult for her. She looked over questioningly at Xena and was surprised when Xena winked at her and took Gabrielle's hand and led her to the table where the paint was waiting for them.

"It will be okay baby, we won't be revealing any skin you don't want revealed, Aphrodite said we weren't to show our assets to everyone so that just means your face, arms, legs and your stomach, you show that much skin to everyone all the time in that little outfit you wear" Xena whispered to Gabrielle as she spread some of the paint onto her hands and then started to trace Gabrielle's face with it and smiled as Gabrielle's eyes closed at the first contact of her hand on her face. She continued spreading the paint over Gabrielle's face, down her neck to her arms, keeping up a light pressure so that it was like a massage for Gabrielle knowing that would keep her relaxed. She continued her massage until all of Gabrielle's skin was covered and smiled when Gabrielle hazily opened her eyes after she stopped stroking her skin. Seeing the cloudy green of Gabrielle's eyes she bent down to kiss the woman she loved and watched transfixed as they turned a yellowy amber with desire.

"Your turn" Gabrielle whispered seductively as she covered her hands with the paint and began to return the favour Xena had bestowed on her and by the time she was finished Xena was putty in her hands and struggling to stay upright. She knew they would definitely be leaving the celebration early now, as both of them were already in a high state of arousal and hoped there wouldn't be too many more traditions. She reached up and placed a very passionate kiss on Xena's waiting lips, a kiss that promised that tonight would be one of the most passionate nights of their life and both of them shivered at the sensations they could feel building in each other.

"We both knew how passionate you two were, so we only decided on three traditions, I figured considering the last two traditions that anymore would just cause you two to spontaneously combust" Aphrodite whispered to the two of them and smiled at the sigh of relief that went through them both.

"That ends the traditional part of this ceremony, now onto the food and the music, we have some Amazon dancer's who are going to dance for you and then there is the traditional first dance to be shared by the two joined souls, so lets get this party started" Aphrodite announced to everyone and lead Gabrielle and Xena back to their table, smiling at the look of the two of them, the colour of the paint was a peachy orange colour and they both looked extremely silly in it, but she knew they'd enjoyed the traditions, a lot more than she realised they would.

Gabrielle and Xena sat feeding each other as they watched the dancers, each of them oblivious to anyone else. They were constantly kissing and had sat as close to each other as they possibly could so they could continue to feed each other and kiss both aware that they were probably shocking some of the people at the celebration but neither had the will or the inclination to stop kissing and it was all they could do to not jump up and run off to their quarters so they could begin their night of consummating their love.

"If you two are finished devouring each other and the food, it's time for your first dance" Aphrodite told them laughing at the sheepish look once again displayed on their faces and for the life of her couldn't blame them, they had been totally wrapped up in each other and that was exactly how she wanted them to be, at least for a while. She knew of the events that were coming and that her father would try to stop this baby's birth and she only hoped that the two of them would be able to have at least a moon or two of complete happiness before that happened. She had a few tricks up her sleeve and was determined to go and talk to a certain Goddess to see if she would help them in their plight to protect Xena and her baby from Zeus.

She watched happily as Xena lead her wife to the floor set out for their dance and slowly pulled her close so that they were basically moulded together and then began to move her around the floor to the music, there was a sensual beat to the music and they swayed together completely in sync with each other neither of them missing a step. Xena took the opportunity to kiss Gabrielle again as they danced and felt Gabrielle press her body even closer and knew they needed to get away from the ceremony soon or they were both going to overload. She gasped as she felt Gabrielle bring a leg in between hers and press against her centre and almost lost it. She looked into the eyes of her love and could see the smoky passion in her eyes and couldn't believe what her love was about to do, as she was taken into another passionate kiss Gabrielle kept grinding her leg into Xena's centre and moaned as Gabrielle grasped her backside as they continued around the floor, her fight to keep her composure slipping further and further with each press of that leg onto her centre, she groaned as Gabrielle's mouth found purchase on her neck and she began to suck hard on the place she knew would drive Xena crazy, before she could stop herself she fell over the edge of the precipice she was trying so hard not to fall from and climaxed in her love's arms and her Gabrielle moan as she did.

"God sweetheart, we need to get out of here" Xena gasped still trying to catch her breathe after the strong climax. She was still a little shocked that Gabrielle had basically made love to her in front of all of these people, even though most of them would not have realised what they'd been doing, she knew Aphrodite would have been aware for sure and as she looked up at the Goddess of Love she knew that Aphrodite was aware of their actions and was relieved to see her smiling at them.

"I know, I need to have you right now, I'm sorry Xena I couldn't control myself, I needed to give you that" Gabrielle said unsure of how to explain her need, after Xena had kissed her she'd been overtaken by the need to make love to her warrior right there and then, and had been unable to control the urge.

"It's okay baby I was a little shocked but I'm definitely not complaining, shall we get out of here then?" Xena asked taking a chance to kiss Gabrielle again, stoking the fire of their passion so that Gabrielle would be more than ready for her when she got them back to their quarter's she fully intended to have Gabrielle screaming her name in pleasure as many times as she could that night.

"Oh yeah lead the way baby" Gabrielle said a little dazed by the kiss they'd just shared and smiled as Xena announced that they were going to retire to their quarter's and quickly grabbed her hand leading them back to their quarter's as quickly as a six and a half moons pregnant woman could. She stopped just outside their quarter's to take Gabrielle into her arms again kissing her with all the passion she felt for her at the moment and moaned when Gabrielle responded just as passionately. She could feel a fire coming out of both of them and knew it would be a long time before it would be extinguished so she continued kissing Gabrielle slowly leading her to their quarter's not breaking contact with her bards sweet lips.

They collapsed together on the bed and Xena quickly took advantage of her position and placed herself on top of Gabrielle, bringing her head down to taste those lips again, her hands wandering over her bards body feeling the soft skin of her bard and sighed knowing this was how she wanted to spend the rest of her life, loving this beautiful woman. She moved her mouth down to Gabrielle's neck, nipping at the tender flesh while her hands busied themselves with the task of undressing her lover. Once she finally had Gabrielle naked she gasped at the sight of her bard, the fire in her eyes, her flushed skin, her beautiful body never failing to make Xena gasp at the sight of all of the soft skin she knew she'd be able to taste. She took Gabrielle into another kiss and made her look into her eyes.

"I'm going to love you all night and every night I can for the rest of our lives, I want to still be making love to you when we are old and gray and our children have their own children, I love you Gabrielle and tonight you're mine" Xena growled as she continued on her path staking her claim as she took Gabrielle to the point of ecstasy over and over again until they both fell asleep exhausted and totally satiated by their love making. Before she fully lost consciousness of her surroundings Xena pulled Gabrielle to her and wrapped her arms around her as well as she could not wanting to relinquish her hold on her bard, her unconscious mind needing the reassurance that Gabrielle was hers and always would be.

Continued in Part 19

Return to the Academy