Our Family

Part 4

After they awoke from their nap, they finished off the rest of their picnic and then made their way back to town, both feeling much better and more relaxed after their nap. Gabrielle was keeping a constant eye on Xena hoping her relaxed state would continue for a while. The emotion of the day had been a lot for them both to take and she hoped that no further stress would happen upon them before the babies' births. The rode silently both a little lost in their thoughts, but comforted by each other's presence.

When they finally reached Lila's homestead Xena was about ready for sleep again but knew it would be best not to sleep again as it would be harder for her to fall asleep later that night. She smiled over at Gabrielle as she helped her down for the horse and felt herself finally settle as Gabrielle smiled back at her. The emotions of the day had shaken her and although she'd left the water hole feeling relaxed she had still felt unsettled, but that feeling disappeared at the sight of her beloved and she knew it was time she let go of some of the past and looked forward to her life with Gabrielle and their children.

"You're looking a lot better sweetheart" Gabrielle commented smiling at the woman she loved. She could tell Xena was thinking about the babies, her hand was again unconsciously stroking her stomach and Gabrielle was again taken back by the beauty of her warrior princess. She could see the love her soulmate had for their children shining in those crystal blue eyes and she knew she would be eternally grateful to Eli and the God of Love for allowing them to experience this miracle. Seeing Xena like this only made her love her strong warrior even more, she loved the softer sides to Xena and seeing them come out more and more in her love was a joy for her to see.

"I feel better, that nap did me a lot of good, thank you Gabrielle for taking such good care of me, I know we've been through a lot together and there are things we've both done that we aren't proud of but I am going to try my best to let go of my past and look forward to my future with you and our children" Xena told Gabrielle tears shining in her eyes as she spoke the words. She looked into her soulmate's eyes and couldn't stop herself from wanting to kiss her love and show her just how much she meant those words. She took Gabrielle into her arms and kissed her deeply conveying through the kiss the love and commitment she felt for the beautiful bard in her arms. Both of them giggled when one of the baby's chose that moment to kick out quite forcefully and interrupt their kiss.

"Are you two getting cramped in there? Don't worry another moon or so and you won't have to worry about space ever again" Gabrielle spoke to Xena's stomach rubbing it gently to calm the babies down again. She smiled as they continued to kick at her hand and she was a little surprised by the strength of some of their kicks and silently hoped that when it was her turn to bear children they'd take more after her in the strength department.

"I thought I heard you two ride up everything okay?" Lila asked watching her sister still rubbing Xena's stomach. She looked at them both and was relieved by the happiness she saw on their faces.

"Everything's fine Lila, the baby's were just letting us know they don't appreciate being so cramped" Gabrielle explained to Lila smiling again as the babies continued their kicking. Feeling the babies move inside the woman she loved filled her with such wonder, the miracle of their conception and the wonder of new life growing inside her soulmate always taking her breath away as she thought of how lucky they were.

"Feisty like their mother I bet" Lila chuckled as she reached out to place her hand on Xena's stomach and was surprised by the strength of the kicks she felt. No doubt it these children were going to have the strength of their mother. Gods that has to make her uncomfortable they feel like they want to kick their way out of her Lila mused as she felt the strong kicks and looked into the eyes of her sister's soulmate surprised by the tenderness she saw there. This was not the Xena that had destroyed thousands of villages as a warlord nor was it the Xena that fought to save other's from the same warlords she had once consorted with. No this Xena was becoming a mother, a wife, a sister-in-law, part of a family and it was beautiful to watch the transformations occurring in the warrior princess.

"Let's get inside I've got a nice stew cooking, I thought you might be hungry when you returned and I think Xena could do with an early night tonight, with those babies' kicking like that you've got to be feeling uncomfortable" Lila informed them and headed off to go check the stew while Xena and Gabrielle followed slowly neither particularly worried about food or sleep at the moment as they thought of the day they'd had.

They walked into the homestead quietly, Gabrielle thinking of the place they'd just returned from and Xena thinking about the stew Lila had said she'd made. All I seem to do is think about food and sleep these days she thought to herself ruefully. With each passing day the babies grew bigger and made her more uncomfortable. Sleep was something she wanted more of but was often too uncomfortable to do at night, the babies seemed to be their most active then and made it hard for her to find a comfortable position. Not sleeping at night meant she was taking three or four long naps during the day which seemed to make time pass even quicker for her. She knew before long it would be hard for her to walk around and she was not going to relish that time. Fighting while pregnant with these two was not going to be an option and she just hoped that there would be no need for that before the babies were born.

"There you go you two, eat that and then I think a certain warrior princess needs a nap" Lila smiled looking at the two of them, she was aware that Xena wasn't sleeping much at night, had heard her up quite a few times during the night and she knew it was because of the size of the babies. She knew it was a distinct possibility the babies' were going to come early and she had a feeling Xena knew it, she wondered if the warrior had relayed her concerns to Gabrielle and after a moment's consideration realised the warrior probably hadn't, she had a feeling Xena would keep something like this quiet until she was absolutely sure it was going to happen.

"You're right again Lila, this warrior is certainly going to need a nap especially after that stew, we only had a nap a couple of candlemarks ago but I seem to be constantly tired these days" Xena said as she tucked into the stew feeling like she hadn't eaten in days. She picked up the piece of bread Lila had given her to go with her stew and was finished both within minutes. Wordlessly Lila took her bowl and refilled it, having known that one bowl of stew would not be enough to satisfy Xena anymore. It was a little disconcerting watching a woman who at one time she'd worried didn't eat enough eat twice, sometimes three times the amount of food she used to. Thank the Gods I only had to worry about pregnancy once, if I know these two this won't be the last time I get to see a pregnant Xena and Gabrielle will probably have her share of children too Lila smiled thinking of all the nieces and nephews these two were going to give her, carbon copies of their parents most likely. Thinking of tiny Xena and Gabrielle lookalikes made her giggle and both Xena and Gabrielle threw a confused look at her.

"Oh I was just thinking of all the tiny copies of yourselves you two are going to pop out, I mean you got two baby-making machines in your relationship and I wouldn't be surprised if you have at least 9 or 10 by the time you both stop your moon bleeds, especially with the way you two are always doing it, Gabby will probably end up with triplets, this time around and that will be half your family there" Lila laughed seeing the looks of mock outrage on both Xena and Gabrielle's faces.

"We don't "do" it all the time, especially at the moment and if I do end up having triplets I hope someone knows how to knock me out and cut em out of me, cause there ain't no way I'm birthing three babies" Gabrielle laughed knowing Xena would have some pressure point she could press to stop pain or something, but having to push out three babies would be too much in her opinion, it scared her enough already that Xena was going to have to give birth to two. The babies' were already very big and she had a feeling they were going to be in for a long labour with the two of them. Especially if Xena's last labour was any indication, even though it was good that it had taken that long because it had given them time to get out of the underworld and to a bit safer place for Xena to give birth, but it had killed her to see her warrior in so much pain and know that it the pain was necessary for her to bring the baby into the world.

"Well I guess Xena has a little less zeal than you so she will probably end up having the multiple births, you tend to get a little overzealous" Lila teased again pleased to see Gabrielle laugh again at her teasing, she had missed this with her sister, all that time that she'd thought her sister was dead and all the time they'd lost it still seemed unfair that Gabrielle had missed seeing her niece grow up. She had only found out she was pregnant with Sarah after she'd received word that Gabrielle had died from Joxer and she'd been so devastated she'd almost lost the baby, but Sarah had survived and had arrived with so much blonde hair that she'd taken it as a sign that her sister's spirit was definitely with this child, and she'd been right up until she was kidnapped Sarah had been a bright and imaginative child, and had grown into a beautiful and creative woman. She hoped one day that she would be able to witness that again in her daughter.

"Please Lila don't give her anymore ideas, now that she knows I can give birth to twins she will make sure I get the multiples" Xena mock groaned flinching a little when Gabrielle smacked her arm in disgust. She looked up at her wife and saw the twinkle in those green eyes and then saw them widen when she threw an equally devilish grin back at her.

"Xena, no don't you even think of it, Xena!!" Gabrielle squealed as Xena's nimble fingers started tickling her and she couldn't help but break into fits of giggling as those fingers continually found her ticklish spots and tickled her mercilessly.

"Okay I give, I give!!" Gabrielle yelled hoping to end the torture and was surprised by Xena's mouth seeking out hers and was drawn into a passionate kiss that left them both even more breathless. Xena wrapped her arms around her bard drawing her in close while she explored the softness and sweetness of her bard's mouth and when she finally broke the kiss she could clearly see the arousal in Gabrielle's green eyes.

"You wanna take that to the bedroom or am I going to have to vacate this room so you can have some privacy?" Lila smirked wishing she had someone to kiss her like that. The energy radiating from the two of them was almost palpable and it made her yearn for some company of the same kind herself. Maybe when they retire to the bedroom I can go and visit Rowan for a little bit of loving she smiled thinking to herself about the big burly smithy who was slowly capturing her heart. They had been steadily dating and she was beginning to want to tell her sister about the new man in her life but she wanted to be sure she was in love with Rowan before telling her family about him. She was extremely close but something was holding her back and she knew it was probably fear, she'd already lost so much in her life that she was afraid to put her heart on the line again.

"We're going, Xena does need to have that nap" Gabrielle said winking at her sister and helping her lover out of her seat. Then they made their way back to their bedroom kissing the whole way, neither wanting to let the passion building between them go. They spent the next two candlemarks making sweet love to each other and when Xena finally got that nap she was a very, very satisfied woman.

The next seven day went by slowly the days spent staying close to town as they spent time with Sarah and Eve after they'd arrived back in town. Xena smiled as she saw the blossoming relationship between her daughter and Lila's and knew there's was a match like her own with Gabrielle. It was a little hard for her to see her daughter moving on in life and thinking of making a life with someone else, she wasn't really ready to give up her daughter, they'd had so little time together and she hoped that Eve and Sarah would come and spend some time with the Amazon's as they waited for the day she had the babies to arrive.

They had decided to relax for a little while give the Amazon's escorting them a chance to spend some time in town and socialise before they went off on their little honeymoon. They both thought of it as a honeymoon even though Xena was over six moons pregnant with twins and their joining day had been three moons ago. They hadn't had time for the usual honeymoon straight after the ceremony and Xena had been so sick Gabrielle had doubted she would really enjoy a honeymoon. Xena was going to mark out the places she wanted things built, where they would lay the foundation for their home and the other buildings she planned to put on the site, so the Amazon's could begin building their home in time for the babies' births.

So they ended up spending a full two seven days with her sister, Sarah and Eve, Xena seeming reluctant to leave her daughter. Gabrielle sent word regularly to Chilapa knowing her regent would be worried if she didn't and although she sometimes wished her regent would worry less about them she knew that ensuring her safety was one of Chilapa's main duties as regent. They were both completely relaxed and Xena had gotten bigger if were possible, the babies' movements so big they were sometimes noticeable through Xena's skins, their rolls and kicks sometimes so strong they caused Xena to gasp at their strength. She was glad Xena had decided that this seven day they would leave for their honeymoon, she didn't know how much longer Xena would be able to travel on Argo as it was getting harder for her to mount her warhorse as the pregnancy progressed.

"So when will you two be back?" Lila asked happy to see them finally taking the trip they'd travelled to Poetaedia to take. She had been a little worried by Xena's apparent reluctance to take this trip, they'd seemed so excited about it to begin with, but lately something had been bothering the warrior princess and she had been worried that it was something to do with the babies. She knew their increased movements were causing Xena quite a bit of discomfort and she was truly worried the babies' were going to come earlier than a moon early, as Xena had confided in her about her worries about the babies' coming early. She still thought Xena should tell Gabrielle about the big possibility that the babies' would indeed come early, but knew Xena was trying to spare Gabrielle some worry about the babies.

"Well we figure it will take us a couple of days to scout the area and then another couple of days for Xena to decide where to lay the foundation for our home and then another couple of days for our trip back" Gabrielle explained knowing they wouldn't be travelling very fast, sitting on Argo for extended periods of time got uncomfortable for Xena so it was likely she would walk most of the way and that they would be stopping frequently for rest breaks and toilet breaks.

"So over a seven day then?" Lila asked and then received a nod from both Xena and Gabrielle. She looked up as Sarah and Eve walked in and smiled at the two of them. They looked so cute together, very much like her sister and Xena had looked when they'd first told Lila about their relationship, the joy and excitement barely contained on their faces. She was a little surprised to learn that Eve was the more feminine of the couple and had observed that on many occasions when they'd been together. She'd finally gotten the courage up to tell her sister about Rowan and he'd been welcomed into the family and was now as much a part of the family as any of them. Xena and Rowan got on particularly well both of them talented smithy's and she could see it was good for Xena to have someone around who didn't treat her as though she would break. She couldn't remember how many times she'd had to tell one of those Amazon's to back off on their coddling of Xena and she loved the way her new partner had fit into their lives.

"Yup which will give you plenty of time alone with Rowan" Gabrielle winked teasing her sister about her new relationship. She really liked Rowan and how much he took care of her sister, he was a handsome man about an inch shorter than Xena but big and muscly from his work as a smithy, and the tenderness that came from the man when he was around Lila almost made her cry at times. They made a very handsome couple and Gabrielle was glad to see Lila happy at last.

"I can assure you Rowan and I won't be spending all of that time in bed, just most of it" Lila giggled and then laughed harder at the look of outrage on her daughter's face.

"Mum do you have to go into detail so much?" Sarah scowled knowing her mum's penchance for teasing people about sex and she'd already borne the brunt of quite a bit of that teasing. Since she'd met Eve her whole view on sex and love had changed and although she didn't mind her mum's teasing she sometimes wished she wasn't so persistant in it.

"Sarah honey I believe this house has seen more lovemaking in it in the few moons you and Eve have been together and Xena and Gabrielle have been here than it did in the fifty or so years my parents were together, don't you think its a little too late to be worried about me detailing my sex life?" Lila asked with a serious look on her face that broke into a laugh seconds later at the look on her daughter's face. She knew Sarah had no problems about being teased by her mother and that her protesting was her participation in the teasing. Smiling she watched on as Eve slid her hand around Sarah and all protests went out the window from that one touch. It was funny it was like watching a repeat of Xena and Gabrielle sometimes except that Sarah was almost the same height as Eve.

"You were saying?" Lila asked not being able to refrain from teasing her daughter one more time and then decided to change the subject. She looked over at Xena and Gabrielle watching them both watching Sarah and Eve and wasn't sure but thought she saw sadness on Xena's face, and then all of the pieces of the puzzle fit into place, Xena wasn't worried about the babies' coming early, she was worried about letting her daughter go, about her daughter starting a new life with someone else. She could sympathise with Xena, she'd had the same feelings herself and decided that when Xena and Gabrielle got back from their honeymoon she would have a little talk with her sister in law.

"When will you leave? It's still early enough for you to make it there now isn't it?" Lila asked knowing Xena normally liked to get an early start when they travelled places but with her sleeping patterns she often slept in and that meant they were going to have to leave a little later than she normally liked to.

"Yes Gabrielle has just finished packing up all of our stuff, she wouldn't let me do it" Xena mock scowled at Gabrielle and then laughed, she didn't mind Gabrielle coddling her it was all those Amazon's that bothered her, she knew that Gabrielle did it out of love, why the Amazon's did she wasn't sure.

"Well I figured with your centre of gravity being so off you'd probably drop a lot of the stuff and I for one don't like my food bruised" Gabrielle laughed and wrapped an arm around Xena smiling when Xena relaxed into the touch. They had come along way and now they were finally going to create a home, something she hadn't thought they would do. She felt as though her world was finally coming together, she had a beautiful wife, two children on the way and they were building their first home, maybe now they could have some happiness and some peace for a while.

"I still have my excellent reflexes, the ones that can do this" Xena laughed as she tickled Gabrielle in one of her easier spots to reach. She felt really happy at that moment, her worries about Eve fading for a while as she thought about their trip. She wanted it to be special so she pushed aside her worries about Eve and decided to concentrate only on her love for Gabrielle and their children. Who are kicking apart my insides, thank the gods we only have two more moons of this Xena thought as the babies began to kick more enthusiastically. She found it hard not to grimace sometimes when they kicked, their movements catching her by surprise with their strength sometimes.

"Shall we take off then?" Gabrielle said noticing the small grimace on her lover's face and decided it was probably best to get moving and see if the walking or riding would calm the babies, they were often less active if Xena was moving constantly. She wanted to take her time getting to the watering hole and if that meant stopping ten times or more on the way there she'd be happy to, all that mattered was Xena's comfort.

"Sounds good to me, the walking might put these two to sleep" Xena said breathing a sigh of relief as they stopped pushing up against her rib cage, they often made it harder for her to breathe and she didn't like feeling out of breath. There were a lot of things about pregnancy she didn't like, the fact that she moved slower, now had a wonky centre of gravity, the breathlessness, the constant hunger and sleepiness. Although as much as she didn't like all of that she still couldn't help be amazed at the miracle that was taking place inside of her and be thankful for this chance to be able to have another chance at parenting.

They were gone for almost two seven days, taking more time than they had thought making as much of their honeymoon as they possibly could. They spent the first few days travelling to their honeymoon spot, taking countless breaks even though they'd covered the distance before in less than a day. After the first day of travelling Xena's feet had started to swell up a little so they stopped for a full day to rest them and catch up on some sleep. When the swelling had gone down they continued on their journey and both of them had been relieved when they finally made it to their destination.

The next few days were spent making love and just relaxing in the area they would raise their children. They frolicked in the water and were as playful as they could be considering Xena's condition. After their few days of rest they began to map out the foundation of their new home and Xena laid plans for what was going to be a beautiful place to live. It took them just over a day to complete and then they spent another day relaxing before they headed back to Poetaedia. Gabrielle had made Xena take it even easier than she had the last time especially when Xena began to experience some small contractions. She had assured Gabrielle that these were normal and had reminded her that she'd experienced them with Eve. Gabrielle had let the subject drop even though she was concerned that they were happening so soon, with Eve Xena had started experiencing them in her last moon of pregnancy, but Xena was just on seven moons pregnant, with the babies not due for another two moons.

They were welcomed back warmly by Lila and the Amazon's all of them exclaiming that Xena had gotten even bigger since they'd left and by the look on Gabrielle's face Lila had a feeling her sister was aware that Xena would possibly deliver early. She decided she'd have that talk with Xena tomorrow after Gabrielle took Xena to the healer for their moonly appointment that they would have normally had with the Amazon's healer but they were in Poetaedia and probably would be for another few days so it made sense to see the healer there.

"How was your trip?" Lila asked seeing the look of exhaustion on Xena's face and decided to keep her questions brief so she could get some food into them and get Xena off to bed for an early night's sleep. She motioned for them to sit down while they talked and Xena sank into a chair gratefully, the pressure off her legs finally. She felt so large and heavy at the moment and it wasn't a good feeling, neither was the awkwardness she was experiencing, having to remember the rather large stomach she was sporting was becoming a problem as she kept bumping into things having forgotten about it.

"It was great, Xena has all the plans laid out, just wait till you see it Lila, it's going to be beautiful, the question though is if the house will be built before Xena has the babies, since someone has a lot of additions she wants to put in that are going to be time consuming" Gabrielle raising her eyebrow at Xena who looked back at her with a tiny scowl on her face.

"Those additions are going to make our home a hell of a place to live sweetheart, you'll be thanking me for them when you're this heavy with child believe me" Xena said rubbing her stomach absently as she relaxed back into the chair, beginning to feel the day of travelling start to catch up with her. She was almost asleep when Lila mentioned dinner and the sound of dinner awoke her appetite which had her sitting up ready and waiting to eat.

"You stay there and I'll bring it out, don't think I don't see that your feet are swollen you put them up there and just rest for a moment, dinner will be out in a sec" Lila told Xena as she would a child and waited until the feet were resting on a stool before she went to go bring out the meal. She figured Xena had about another moon before these babies' were going to announce their presence and she wanted to make sure she did her part at least to get Xena to rest as much as she could before then. Being pregnant with one baby was hard enough let alone two and with a woman as stubborn as Xena it was going to be all the Amazon's could do to keep her off those feet if they swelled up anymore.

"Yes Mum" Xena deadpanned and then broke into a soft laugh, sometimes she forgot that Lila was at least ten seasons older than her now, the energy was still the same and she still had a youthful exuberance that belied her age. She watched as Lila brought out their food and smiled thinking of how lucky she was to have such good caring people in her life. Maybe I can talk with Lila about my worried about Eve, she'd understand she's a mother too and the same things happening with Sarah Xena thought as she breathed in the smell of the food and all other thoughts when out of her head except the food she was eating.

They had just finished eating when one of the Amazon guards came into the living room requesting to speak to Gabrielle. Xena was instantly aware of the guards attitude and knew that whatever news she brought it wasn't good news. She continued eating her dinner at a much more leisurely pace as worries began to develop in her mind about what the Amazon's could want.

When Gabrielle returned the look on her face said it all and it was all Xena could do not to go over there and take her into her arms, but she was on order's from Lila to stay in her seat and she knew it would take a lot for her to get out of the chair she was sitting in at that point in time. Wordlessly Gabrielle came over to her and sat beside her taking the comfort she needed by wrapping her arms around her lover.

"Sweetheart what is it, what's wrong?" Xena asked unable to bear the silence from her beloved. She could feel Gabrielle softly crying against her shoulder and wondered what in the Gods name had happened to upset her bard so much. Gently she lifted Gabrielle's head until she could see into her eyes and placed a gentle kiss on her soft lips.

"Our village was attacked, a new gang of raider's it seems have taken a liking to the village and they raided it, we fought them and were able to drive them off but they vowed to regroup and come and finish off the village, they- they killed Chilapa and some of the other Amazon's, Xena I have to go back there" Gabrielle said more tears escaping as she thought of her regent the second regent to die under her command and although she knew that Chilapa had died the way she would have wanted to defending her village for her Queen it didn't make it any easier to accept that she was gone.

"Shhhh sweetheart, it's going to be okay, do you have to return tonight?" Xena asked hoping that was not going to be the case there was no way she could travel tonight, and she didn't want Gabrielle travelling without her. She felt tears sting her eyes as she thought of Chilapa and that they would never see her again, the regent's death reminding her of Ephiny's death and of Amarice's and she once again realised how unfair life could be.

"No we're going to set out tomorrow, Xena I want you to stay here with Lila, I'm going to have to head out a war party to go and seek out these raider's before they gather enough men to hit us again, if we can beat them outside of the village then we will be safe again, but there is always going to be the danger that they may attack the village before I leave and I don't want you in any danger, please stay here for me" Gabrielle said tears streaming down her face not believing how her whole world had changed in the space of a candlemark. She didn't want to leave Xena, didn't want to go off and fight this battle but she was the Queen and she needed to lead her people. More tears flowed as she thought of the time she would lose with the babies while they were in their mother's womb and she hoped fervently that their mission wouldn't take too long and she wouldn't miss their babies' births.

"Gabrielle- I-" Xena said but was cut off by Gabrielle shaking her head in defiance, she knew Xena wouldn't be happy with this but it had to be this way, she couldn't bring Xena into danger, she knew if anything happened to Xena or the babies she would never forgive herself and she needed to know that Xena was safe and being well looked after, it would give her enough peace of mind to get through this battle.

"Okay I'll stay here, how long do you think you'll be gone" Xena asked hoping it would only be a seven day at the maximum, she didn't want her love to miss out on the last moon or so of her pregnancy and she couldn't bare to think of being apart from Gabrielle for longer than that. Tears welled again in her eyes and she cursed her hormones for making her so emotional over this, she needed to be strong for Gabrielle and she knew that if she cried Gabrielle would begin focusing on her and on trying to make her feel better.

"We're hoping it will only take a few days to find them, they had horses which isn't good and all of this happened a day ago so they've got a good head start, I won't be any longer than I need to be sweetheart, there is no way I'm missing this" Gabrielle said placing her hand on Xena's stomach to emphasise what she would not be missing. She hoped their connection would be strong enough for her to be able to sense when Xena was going to get close to delivery so that she could leave if she needed to.

"These babies are only coming out if you're there sweetheart, I am not giving birth to these babies if your not there I don't care what I have to do to accomplish that" Xena said fervently placing a kiss on her bards forehead grimacing a little when the babies started reacting to Gabrielle's touch. She smiled as they calmed again and the stroking hand began to work its magic.

"Let's go to bed sweetheart, I think we both need a good sleep, this will all still be here in the morning" Xena said as she yawned, getting sleepier by the second. She felt strong arms help her from her seat and then they slowly walked to their bedroom, their hands joined neither one wanting to let go of the other. Undressing slowly they looked at each other as they did, both needing for their to be no barrier between them as they slept. Xena settled herself into the bed first and then smiled a tearful smile when Gabrielle cuddled up to her. They lay there for a few moments feeling each other's heartbeats and just revelling in their connection for a few moments.

They fell asleep wrapped in each others arms, both hoping fervently that the coming days would go smoothly and that Gabrielle would return to Poetaedia safe and quickly. Their hearts slowly synchronised as did their breathing and it was almost as though they were the one person, two hearts beating in time, neither knowing what the future held but desperately hoping their future would be together.

Continued in Part 5

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