Seasonal Passion series, Vol. 2:

Circle in the sand

by maggielassie


Teaser: After making their way back to shore, Xena and Gabrielle decide to spend a peaceful and romantic day on a sunny beach. At some point, both women come to discuss the reasons why they are and remain together as well as the importance of their love for each other, in spite of their past ephemeral attractions to other people.

Genre: Xena Warrior Princess alternative fan-fiction; Xena/Gabrielle femslash.

Disclaimer: I don't own the Xena Warrior Princess characters. Universal/Renaissance does.

Timeline: This story takes place just after the Season Two episode Lost Mariner.

Warning: This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you're older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws.

Author's note: (1) This is not a first time story. I think there are enough first time stories out there. Also, I believe that Xena and Gabrielle can still be intimately passionate with each other after their first time. This story can be somehow seen as a follow-up to Closer than blood bonds. (2) The title of this story partly refers to a song (of the same name) by Belinda Carlisle. No copyright infringement intended.

Many Thanks to: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback; Donar, LucRen, Ninja & RJcreek (from TX) for the pre-release reading & feedback; other people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for their encouragements.

Feedback: wanted at Please feel free to email me your opinion.

Part 2 of Seasonal Passion series

-- SP1: Closer than blood bonds

-- SP2: Circle in the sand

-- SP3: What matters most

-- SP4: Love plans

-- SP5: To you I belong

-- SP6: Sapphic night fever


Some candlemarks had passed since everyone got washed ashore after Cecrops' ship had nearly gotten caught within a fierce whirlpool. Xena and Gabrielle had been glad to find Cecrops alive. After a few hours of just sitting there remembering his beloved Terai, he left. The warrior and her bard figured that he probably was now walking further into land, towards one of the towns, to go find Hidsim's daughter.

The rest of the ship's crew and passengers walked away too, except the two women. All the others were happy to freely roam into the world at last. They had to go explore. They had to get away from that ship's curse that had threatened their lives. Because Gabrielle was still weak and needed time before walking, the two lovers stayed near shore.

Gabrielle sat on the grass, still feeling a bit weak from her now receding seasickness. Xena told her to wait there. The Warrior Princess went to look around the remains from the wrecked ship and managed to find a few useful things in case they both were going to have to stick around any longer, as night was getting near.

From the disarray of goods cast ashore, Xena took a couple of blankets, three water skins, a big loaf of bread and a frying pan. She gathered those things into one of the blankets and rolled it all up in a bundle to carry on her back. Xena then walked back towards Gabrielle and stared down at the bard.

"Are you ready to get up and get going?" The Warrior Princess asked. "We could walk a bit further along the coast and see if we can find somewhere to rest."

"Yeah, Xena… sure," Gabrielle replied, looking up at the brunette, "I think I could try."

Xena reached down and lifted the bard up. She offered her shoulder for Gabrielle to lean on while walking. The blonde woman felt glad as the warrior woman wrapped a strong, warm and helpful arm around her waist. They both started walking away, but they both knew that they would soon have to find a place to sleep as Gabrielle was still a little sick and could not walk well.

"Can we stay near the sea, Xena, while we're walking?" the bard asked her strong and charming female companion.

"The sea? Why, Gabrielle? I thought the sea made you sick?" The Warrior Princess was somewhat amazed.

"Xena, travelling by sea makes me sick…" Gabrielle started smiling while keeping leaning on the warrior's shoulder. "… but hearing the peaceful grandeur of the sea makes me happy. I quite like the idea of us staying near the sea tonight if we have to sleep in this area because of me." She noticed Xena look back at her and smirk in a warm-hearted way while walking, and she continued: "Well, Xena, I hold no grudge against the sea…"

Xena laughed at the surprising, yet sweet, contradiction from the bard. She let Gabrielle carry on with her explanations.

"Xena, I can still appreciate the sense of peace this beautiful expression of nature will give me as I'll lie down to sleep…" Gabrielle paused, smirking back. "… next to you."

Xena briefly leaned down to kiss Gabrielle on the forehead, and they kept walking by the sea waves.

"You're just so full of surprises, my bard." Xena warmly tightened her grip around Gabrielle's waist. "That's one of the reasons why I love you."

"I love you too, my beautiful warrior," replied Gabrielle, leaning closer against Xena as they walked on along the coast.

"You're right, Gabrielle. It's also better to stay near the sea in case I need to catch fish tomorrow morning." Xena kept encircling Gabrielle's waist with her left arm while carrying the bundle of things they would need on her right shoulder. The Warrior Princess urged the bard to keep going as a crimson-hued sky was showing itself on the horizon while the sun was slowly setting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Just before sunset, Xena and Gabrielle were walking near a large cluster of palm trees they could see on the left. No more grass was present in the place they were now moving through; there were just a few bulky rocks randomly scattered on a sandy ground near the edge of the sea. They reached a point where there were less rocks and Xena decided that they stop there, as Gabrielle was getting really tired of walking. The warrior and her bard quickly noticed that they were now on a beach.

Xena asked Gabrielle to stand for a minute while the warrior unwrapped the bundle she had been carrying on her back. The tall woman crouched down and spread one of the blankets on the sand, in front of a rock. She put down the other objects she had taken from the shipwreck onto the side of this makeshift bedroll. Then she stood back up and turned back towards Gabrielle.

"Xena, I'm still not feeling well," the bard said. "I didn't like walking." Gabrielle indeed looked very weak and sounded exhausted.

"Come here." Xena quickly scooped her up, lifted her with her powerful arms and immediately felt bardic hands around her neck while Gabrielle's head went to rest just above her breastplate.

"Hmmm… Xena." Gabrielle loved the wild scent of her warrior woman as well as being lifted and carried to bed by her.

"Here. Rest, my little bard." The Warrior Princess carefully laid her down onto the spread blanket. She removed Gabrielle's boots, chucked them to the side and then covered the bard's body with the other blanket she had brought.

"Are you coming to bed too?" Gabrielle lay on her back, looking up at the woman she loved.

"Yes, I will be, Gabrielle, as soon as I've built us a fire." Xena briefly kissed the blonde woman's lips. She then went to walk towards the forest of palm trees at the back of the beach.

Gabrielle tried to make herself comfortable between the blankets Xena had prepared for her while she waited for her dark-haired lover to come back. The younger woman felt very tired, as she was still a bit ill from the last days' events.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The tall woman came back a few moments later. The sun had set and it was dark. Xena used the moonlight to find her way back. She was carrying a little bundle of wood and some stones, which she put all down on the ground, somewhere in front of the makeshift bedroll.

"I was able to find a few shrubs in the woods at the back. I chopped them with my sword." Xena looked at Gabrielle and saw that the little woman still had her eyes open and had not fallen asleep yet. The Warrior Princess proceeded to make a little fire. "This small amount of wood I've found might not last us long," she continued, "maybe just a couple of hours, but it shouldn't get too cold around here during the night, hopefully. I'll try my best to keep you warm, otherwise."

"I'm sure we'll be okay, Xena." Gabrielle yawned. "Are you coming to bed?"

"Yes, Gabrielle, I'm almost done." Xena finished what she was doing until she saw little kindled flames dance, starting to make crackling noises over the wood. The warrior then quickly went to get ready for bed. She unbuckled her breastplate, removed her gauntlets and arm bands, took off her boots and placed all those things onto the right-hand side of the bedroll with the rest of their belongings. She also put her chakram and her sword in its scabbard down on the ground next to where she was going to sleep.

The Warrior Princess swiftly got herself inside the blankets beside Gabrielle, who was on the left-hand side. Xena always kept her weapons close to her while sleeping in case anyone turned up and tried to attack them during the night.

As soon as Xena was lying next to her, Gabrielle instantly turned towards her, laid an arm onto the warrior's waist and placed her head on top of the dark-haired woman's chest, above the leather-clad breasts. The warrior immediately encircled her strong arms around the bard and gave the younger woman a goodnight kiss.

Gabrielle enjoyed the kiss from her lover. She would have liked to do more with her warrior tonight, but she still felt weak. Xena understood that Gabrielle was still somewhat sick and that her bard just wanted to sleep. The blonde woman closed her eyes, let her mind be cradled by the sound of the sea and fell asleep. The sturdy brunette started drifting as well, joining her little lover into the land of Morpheus.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Two or three candlemarks later, the fire had burned out. Xena suddenly awoke as she felt Gabrielle start to stir in her sleep. The warrior woman thought the girl might be a bit cold. She gave her own half of the blanket to Gabrielle as she quickly folded the covering in two on top of the younger woman to keep her warm. She then held the bard more tightly into her arms. Xena was happy to notice that a moment later Gabrielle seemed to feel the heat the warrior was making for her as the bard now looked quieter in her sleep. She snuggled up to her warrior. Xena hugged her bard close to her heart, and then she went back to sleep.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gabrielle woke up as soon as she felt an intense warmth on her skin. She could also hear the sound of sea waves. She turned around on the blanket she was on and immediately covered her eyes from a bright late morning sun.

'At least there's going to be a nice weather today,' the bard thought. She felt around the bedroll with her other hand and noticed that Xena was not there.

Gabrielle sat up and, once she adjusted her vision to the daylight, she looked around her. She was alone on a beautiful sandy and sunny beach. She had not fully realised last night what a magnificent place it was because it had been too dark and she had not been feeling too good. There were a few rocks scattered unevenly along the beach, leaving large spaces of sand between them. There was mostly sand on the seashore -neat and clean sand, with some of the grains twinkling in the sunlight.

The bard looked at the sea in front of her. Its waves were splendid. Neither too high nor too low, waves were pushing sublime blue shimmering water to beat against the shore, recede and so on -maintaining the sea's natural rhythm. Gabrielle believed she had hardly seen anything as beautiful as the sea in her whole lifetime. Although there were nice waves, the water was not too agitated today, which the bard thought was a good sign. She kept looking around but could not find the warrior woman anywhere in sight.

However, she knew that Xena would not have gone very far away as she could notice that the warrior had left her boots, gauntlets and breastplate by the bedroll. Gabrielle remembered that, the day before, Xena had talked about 'catching fish' so the young woman figured this was probably what the warrior was doing right now. Gabrielle grabbed one of the water skins that were lying by the bedroll. As she had just awakened in the sun, she was very thirsty and needed to drink some of the water that was in it.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Xena came back towards shore a candlemark later. She had been swimming very far in order to be able to catch something for their lunch. She was carrying two fishes in the one hand and a bunch of seaweed in the other. As she reached the edge of the water, she walked towards Gabrielle. The warrior felt slightly exhausted from the hard work of swimming underwater to go and get food. She also needed to eat. She was glad to see that her lover was awake, looking up at her as she approached.

"Feeling better, Gabrielle?" Xena asked as she arrived near Gabrielle.

"Yes, I'm feeling a lot better," Gabrielle replied, smiling. "I think my seasickness has passed now, Xena." Gabrielle looked at what Xena had in her hands. "What did you get us for lunch?"

"Two fresh salmons and some edible seaweed," Xena answered. "We've also got a loaf of bread here," the warrior remarked.

"Seaweed? We're gonna be eating seaweed, Xena?"

"That's right, we are. It's very nutritious, Gabrielle."

"Hmmm… well, if you say so. Let's eat then, Xena. I'm hungry."

The bard got up and the Warrior Princess handed her the food so she could start preparing it. Xena gave her a quick kiss. The taller woman immediately went to the palm tree forest to collect some more wood from shrubs she could get from there.

The warrior walked back towards the place where they had set up camp on the beach a little while later and started building a little fire so they could cook the fish. Because the sun was strong during this midday, the bard quickly went to dampen her skin and the top of her head with seawater.

Gabrielle walked back towards Xena. Once the fire was ready, she started cooking the fish in the frying pan while the warrior woman was cutting the seaweed and some bread with a dagger. Both women sat and proceeded to eat when their lunch was ready. The bard enjoyed her first taste of seaweed.

"Hmmm… delicious!" The younger woman savoured the sea green vegetable.

"I knew you'd like it." Xena fleetingly grinned. "Always better than eating raw squid, I guess?"

"Xena, please don't talk about that now," Gabrielle mildly grumbled. She started eating her fish too. "Xena?" The bard looked at her partner.

"Yes, Gabrielle." The warrior was heartily eating her meal. She was so hungry.

"Can we stay on the beach a little longer? Like until tomorrow?" Gabrielle besought. "I quite like it here. It's so nice and romantic for the both of us. This place is completely stunning!" the bard exclaimed. "It's a gift from the gods, Xena. Please, can't we just both spend a peaceful day appreciating the absolute beauty of this exquisite marine landscape here?"

"Maybe…" Xena hesitated. "Are you sure, Gabrielle?"

"Please?" The blonde woman displayed an attractively pleading look with her sweet little blue-green eyes.

"All right." Xena warmly sighed. "We won't start heading back until tomorrow morning. I'll have to go pick up Argo in town by tomorrow evening though."

"Thank you, Xena," said Gabrielle, beaming, while she was finishing eating the rest of her food.

"It's fine, Gabrielle. I think it's actually a good idea you've got here." The Warrior Princess looked happy. She briefly scanned the area around them before directing her beautiful piercing blue eyes back towards her younger lover. "I have to reluctantly admit that I really love how you often make me stop and think about the beautiful qualities that can be found in natural things." Xena uttered a small chuckle. "I think I actually like the beach too, now that I think about it. And it's a very warm and pleasant day today." The dark-haired woman blushed. She devoured what was left of her lunch.

"Well, when you soften a little bit, you're not so soulless, Xena." Gabrielle smirked. "I love it when you show your emotions. It makes me feel so alive when I notice you being so warm."

Xena said nothing. She just felt mesmerised by the delightful charisma emanating from this little blonde bard who meant so much to her. 'Anything for you, little one,' the warrior thought.

Their lunch over, both women rose and went to wash their hands and faces in the sea. Standing up in the water at knee height, they splashed themselves with a few drops and walked back across the sand, towards their bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Xena?" The young blonde stood on the splayed blanket in front of her lover.

"What is it, Gabrielle?" The Warrior Princess was leaning back against the rock that was behind their bedroll as she shook the sand off from her feet. She was wearing her arm bands, which she had put back on in the morning, but decided not to put her boots, breastplate or gauntlets back on yet. Those items were still lying by the blanket.

"I thought about what Cecrops said yesterday on the ship. . . You know, when he explained how he discovered the love that saved him from his curse partly through observing us and understanding the love you have for me."

Xena just grinned. She stood upright to face her little girlfriend.

"It's amazing, isn't it, Xena? The love we share, and the way it helped redeem someone." Gabrielle smiled radiantly.

"It is." The Warrior Princess then gave her lover an intensely serious look when she said, "I love you, Gabrielle." Xena immediately inclined herself to cover the bard's mouth with her own before the younger woman ever had the chance to reply to her love declaration.

Gabrielle swiftly placed her hands on the back of the warrior's neck and returned the kiss. She parted her sweet little lips, allowing Xena to deepen this precious moment. The taller woman put her strong hands onto the small of Gabrielle's back, feeling the blonde's soft skin with her palms and fingers, and then she moved her tongue inside the shorter woman's mouth. She felt the bard's tongue instantly entwine with hers as the two women were now kissing each other more deeply.

Both lovers continued tasting each other's tongues and lips for a while, before gently ending the moment with a few little tender, warm and wet kisses on each other's mouths.

"Xena, I'll never forget the way you jumped on that ship to join me, without even caring if it was cursed." Gabrielle stared up into the warrior woman's eyes, feeling grateful.

"Cursed or not, Gabrielle, all I cared about was you." Xena stared back at her lover with a pleasant expression on her face. "I would have never let you travel on this cursed ship without me. I'd even go get you in Tartarus if you were there. I just can't lose you, Gabrielle. You matter too much to me."

The bard felt so glad she had fully managed to conquer the warrior's heart. Xena loved her so much that she didn't seem to be able to live without her now. The blonde woman wanted to show her older lover, once again, how much she mattered to her too. The younger woman could not stop thinking about all the times the Warrior Princess had saved her life. She also thought about all the times her taller lover had pleasured her.

While kissing Xena again, Gabrielle reached around and fumbled for the laces that held the warrior's tunic at the back. She pulled them loose. She then brought her hands up to the top of Xena's shoulders, grabbed the straps of the warrior's leathers and gently pulled them down until she slid the top of the garment down and exposed the taller woman's ample breasts to her lustful gaze. She licked her lips at the appetising sight before her and immediately moved her hands to cup Xena's breasts. She so much loved the feel of those two beautiful mounds in her hands.

Xena felt excited at her young lover's sudden bold move. She gasped as soon as she felt Gabrielle's tongue flick around one of her nipples while one of the shorter woman's hands enveloped and rubbed her other breast. The Warrior Princess already knew what her sweet little bard had in mind. She felt a sudden wetness start flowing between her legs at the idea of just letting Gabrielle do what she wanted to do, so long as it genuinely reflected the younger woman's intimate desires.

"Gabrielle, do you really want to do this right now?" She asked, and briefly bit her bottom lip at the thought of her little girlfriend pleasuring her.

"Yes… Hmmm… I do." Gabrielle stopped tasting her lover's nipple for a minute, just to look up into the warrior woman's eyes. "I want to show you, once again, how much I love you, Xena. Please let me."

The bard felt the dark-haired woman surrender to her touch as soon as she resumed her ministrations. Gabrielle suckled onto one of Xena's breasts, then moved her mouth towards the other mound to take it between her lips too. She spent quite a few moments enjoying the taste of Xena's breasts before trying to fully remove her lover's leather garb.

"Xena, please… take off your clothes," Gabrielle requested. "I want to see you."

"All right," Xena replied as she started undressing, "but you take yours off too." She grinned.

"Absolutely." Gabrielle smirked. She moved slightly backwards, to give Xena space. Then she untied the laces of her green top. After that, she started removing her skirt.

Once the two lovers were completely nude, Gabrielle ordered Xena to lie down, which the warrior did. The bard immediately went to cover the warrior's body with her own and fiercely kissed her. While their mouths and tongues mingled, the Warrior Princess tried to move her hands up to grab the younger woman's back, but Gabrielle instantly seized her hands and pinned them down onto the bedroll -just behind Xena's head.

They had already made love many times, the bard recalled as she kept kissing her warrior passionately. During their past lovemaking, Xena had been taking the lead a lot more often. Gabrielle absolutely loved it when Xena was taking control of their intimate moments, but the blonde woman also loved the fact that her experienced partner had been teaching her how to take the lead herself. So she did that sometimes. The bard released her lover's hands from her grasp, knowing the Warrior Princess understood that she wanted to be the one in control right now.

Xena kept her hands behind her head for the moment, succumbing to the sweet sensations her Gabrielle was bringing to the core of her being. She could feel the warmth between her thighs intensify at every one of Gabrielle's audacious moves. The warrior realised that she felt this cute little bard should definitely take over now. She was glad she had been teaching her well, but also she knew this bright and imaginative young girl had been learning her own moves by herself. The warrior Princess had merely given her small hints and tips on how to make love to her.

Gabrielle gave a quick kiss to each of Xena's breasts before moving herself lower down the warrior woman's magnificently muscled body. She kissed her way down to the older woman's belly and briefly licked inside her lover's navel before scooting down to softly kiss each of the brunette's inner thighs. She then kissed the dark hair between her lover's legs and parted Xena's thighs to grant herself better access to her lover's sex.

The warrior spread her legs wider and uttered a moan of pleasure as soon as she felt the tip of the bard's tongue lightly tease her clit. She also felt Gabrielle's fingers spread her sexual lips as the girl's tongue delved deeper into her centre. Xena could not resist. She had to touch her younger lover now. She knew that Gabrielle would not mind too much if she moved her hands a little. The dark-haired woman immediately placed her hands on the blonde's head, driving her closer to her need.

Gabrielle did not mind Xena putting her strong hands on the back of her head while she was doing this. She loved feeling those hands there so long as it remained gentle, as had been agreed upon between them. She felt the warrior gently push her head down as she lowered her mouth further down into Xena's heat and tasted more of her beautiful lover's juices, which soon smeared her tongue, lips, cheeks and chin as she licked her way into the familiar territory.

"Oh… whoa… Gabrielle… oh… this feels so good!" This felt more than pleasant to Xena. This felt amazing. Her little bard she loved so much had become so wonderful at pleasuring her. She admired the fact that Gabrielle had been so eager to acquire such oral skills.

The blonde woman relished in the exotic taste of her warrior as she kept running her tongue all along her dark-haired lover's sensitive folds. She then twirled her tongue around the Warrior Princess' clit before moving downwards to her lover's entrance.

"Uh… Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!" Xena cried out in ecstasy as she felt the bard's tongue moving back and forth inside her. No doubt Gabrielle wanted to show her how much she loved her, which reminded the warrior woman of the intense passion she felt for her younger lover.

After a moment, Gabrielle's tongue came out of Xena's hot and slick cave as the bard drove it to the top of Xena's folds again. Her mouth claimed the warrior's sensitive nub and she sucked on it until her partner reached orgasm.

"Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!" was all the Warrior Princess could scream as she came, her hands stroking the young girl's hair.

The bard licked the remainder of her older lover's wetness. She kissed Xena's sex before bringing herself back up onto the taller woman's body and kissing her, making her taste herself on her lips.

"Xena, your juices taste so good that we could cook with them!" Gabrielle said after they finished kissing. She gazed down into the dark-haired woman's eyes with a satisfied grin on her face. She saw Xena chuckle at her witty remark. She felt happy when the warrior woman hugged her tightly. They both delighted in the feel of each other's bodies, skin against skin as Gabrielle was still lying on top of her beloved friend.

"Thank you, my little bard, for all the wonderful pleasures you're willing to give me," Xena whispered into her ear, while they could both hear the sound of waves crashing against the nearby shore. They rested in each other's arms for a little while, and then the insatiable Warrior Princess murmured something else into her young partner's ear: "Gabrielle, I love it when you're on top sometimes. I want you to take me right now." She caressed the skin on the bard's back as Gabrielle's eyes looked into hers.

"You want me to make love to you, Xena? Now?" Gabrielle smirked. "If so, your wish is my command." The younger woman felt enthralled by the great desire Xena had for her, how she was able to own the warrior's heart to such an incredible extent. She proudly realised that her sublime older lover did not want to be sexually overpowered by anyone else but her in this new, post-warlord life the Warrior Princess was now leading.

"Gabrielle, you've heard me. Take me!" Xena's eyes burned with sexual hunger as she stared up at her gorgeous bard. "I want you to make strong love to me, to thrust deep in me and make me moan. Please, do it."

"All right, Xena." Gabrielle moved to the side of sat up. She suddenly had a wicked idea cross her mind. "I will do it but patience, my warrior! I'd like to do something first." The bard snickered.

"What?" Xena asked, wondering.

"Do you remember the Bacchae lair?" The younger woman wiggled her eyebrows and the brunette understood.

"Oh, Gabrielle!" Xena, still lying on the blanket looked up at her young girlfriend with wide eyes. "I've dreamed many times about you biting me again, maybe not as hard but just as passionately as that time when you were a Bacchae for one night." The Warrior Princess gave her a wild smile. "Oh, yes, you can do that too, Gabrielle, before you take me."

Gabrielle felt deeply aroused. "Come on then," she reached out her hands to the supine warrior woman, "sit up!"

Xena took the storyteller's hands and sat up. She couldn't wait to feel her younger lover taste her neck again.

Gabrielle quickly crawled around to position herself behind Xena. The bard knelt behind the warrior and pushed her dark hair to the side, revealing the skin of the taller woman's neck. The blonde woman brought her body close to the tall woman's back, placing one knee beside each of Xena's thighs. She reached down to spread the folds of her own sex and stuck her wet centre onto the small of her older lover's back. She then reached around with both hands to knead both of the warrior woman's large breasts, flicking her fingertips across the nipples. Finally, Gabrielle moved her mouth to her partner's neck and started tasting the skin with her teeth and tongue.

"Ohhhhh, Gabrielle…" Xena moaned and closed her eyes. The whole feeling was exquisite. Her little companion was fondling her breasts. She was biting her neck with the same ardent passion as during that night in Bacchus' cave. At the same time, the Warrior Princess could feel the bard's breasts and sex pressed against her back.

Gabrielle kept biting and sucking passionately onto Xena's neck as she rubbed herself against the warrior's back. It was a very thrilling experience to her. She caused a pleasant friction to her own sensitive clit by grinding her centre against the warm skin of her older lover's back while she kept massaging the other woman's ample breasts and tasting her flesh.

The warrior covered the younger woman's hands with her own as they were cupping her breasts, and she squirmed in delight at the feel of her little friend's teeth on her neck. "Hmmm… Oh, yes, Gabrielle! I love it when you do this." She urged her on. She knew Gabrielle was being careful not to hurt her too much.

As soon as she felt the warrior's hands onto hers and heard her lover encourage her, the bard pushed her mouth, teeth and tongue a little harder onto Xena's neck while she took one final bite. Her lover's skin was so delicious.

"Gabrielle… hmmm… That was excellent," Xena said as she felt her younger lover tenderly kiss her neck and move back around to face her again. She opened her eyes again.

"You're gonna have one of those hickeys now, my love." Gabrielle pushed Xena back down against the blanket, covered her body with her own and vigorously kissed her. She felt the warrior deeply respond to the kiss as she was now lying on top of the older woman's body. The sound of the waves on the beach felt so romantic to their ears while they ran their tongues into each other's mouths and held each other close.

"I don't care, sweetheart." The Warrior Princess looked deeply into her little bard's eyes, the soaking arousal getting ever more intense between her legs. "I want you to take me now. Come on. Do it! And make me scream, please."

"Alright, Xena." Gabrielle gave her lover a wicked grin and went to straddle the older woman's thigh. She made Xena open her legs wider and instantly used three fingers to enter her. Her thumb found the clitoris amid the adorable textures and fur of the dark-haired woman's sex. The bard steadied herself onto the warrior's strong thigh. She started moving back and forth to create another friction against her own excited nub. As she pushed her fingers more deeply and rhythmically into the warrior woman's centre, she kept rubbing Xena's sensitive sexual node with her thumb.

"Oh!… Ah… oh, yes, Gabrielle!" The warrior kept staring up at her bard while the younger woman kept driving her towards the peak of erotic joy. Gabrielle was the only person who made her feel relaxed enough to just sometimes lie there and enjoy being a woman even more than she already did. "Come on, Gabrielle!" Xena commanded. "Yeah… Oh… That's right… Thrust hard! Make hard love to me. You know your warrior likes it hard." She reached around and grabbed the girl's sweet little butt, trying to drive the bard deeper into her.

"Oh, Xena… You feel so good." Gabrielle loved the feel of Xena's hands grasping at the skin of her buttocks. She loved the warrior's inner walls clenching around her digits as her beloved Warrior Princess' slippery sweetness coated her fingers. It felt so incredibly warm inside of Xena. The bard knew she was still a bit of a sexual apprentice -and the warrior was still the one in charge of most of their lovemaking- but she prided herself on every time she was able to take her older lover skilfully enough, to fill Xena with such a fervour that would make the warrior scream her name in admiration. She was glad her dark-haired lover was so open to her and trusted her enough to let her make love to her like this.

"Yes… Oh… Gabrielle… Ah!" Xena was now near climax. She thought about last year, how Gabrielle had been so virginal and innocent. She felt so incredibly happy her bard had learned how to make love to her so wonderfully. The Warrior Princess did not always want to take the lead in the bedroll. She also needed a lover who could do it to her right, and her Gabrielle could do it just right. She adored this little woman for being able to give her so much.

Mastering the right techniques with her hands and fingers, Gabrielle made Xena come as she kept gazing deeply at the extraordinary beauty of her lover's exquisite features and silvery blue eyes.

"Oh, yes… Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!" the warrior screamed. She gasped for breath, relaxed and quickly gathered the bard into her arms.

"Xena," Gabrielle lay on top of her lover when she whispered into her ear, "I've not come yet. I couldn't rub myself against you hard enough, but it's okay. I don't mind. Don't worry about it." The blonde woman deeply and affectionately kissed her partner before rolling herself over. "I'm glad enough I could pleasure you, darling." She sat on the blanket beside Xena, a little further to the front. She bent her knees up and wrapped her arms around her legs while observing the sea.

"Oh, Gabrielle." Recovered from her orgasm, Xena was able to sense a tad bit of frustration in Gabrielle's posture, though she knew her bard would be too kind to admit it. "Come here!" She sat up, held out her arms to touch the undersides of Gabrielle's shoulders and dragged the bard backwards towards her -placing the younger woman between her legs. Xena was now sitting behind Gabrielle, enveloping her younger lover's waist with her strong arms. They both had their knees bent. At the same time, the warrior woman was leaning her back against the rock behind them.

"Hmmm…" Gabrielle forgot any sort of frustration and groaned in euphoric anticipation as she could feel Xena's hot breath on her skin while the older woman planted small kisses along her shoulder. "Xena… Yes, give me a cuddle!" She leaned back into the warrior, feeling Xena's generous breasts pleasantly point their nipples against her back. She then felt the taller woman caress her long golden hair and gently push it to the side.

"I will give you much more than a cuddle, sweetheart." The Warrior Princess tightened her grip around the bard's waist. She delicately nibbled at the blonde woman's earlobe. "You said you hadn't come yet?"

"No… huh… I haven't…" The younger woman felt a titillating shiver run down her spine at the feel of Xena's warm breath and saliva on her ear. She covered her strong lover's encircling hands with her own.

"What do you want me to do about this, my love?" Xena softly ran her tongue across the skin below Gabrielle's ear. "Perhaps, I could help." The warrior let go of her lover's waist. Her hands cupped the bard's sumptuous breasts and her thumbs played with the sensitised nipples.

"Oh… Yes, Xena!" The younger woman's tone sounded completely enamoured. "Touch me, please." She grasped one of the taller woman's hands and slid it downwards, towards her throbbing centre.

"Hmm… You're wet, my bard… Is this for me?" Xena tenderly stroked the golden curls and pinkish flesh between her younger lover's thighs. She slowly rubbed a finger around the girl's pulsating clit, eliciting another rapturous moan from Gabrielle. "Do you want me to take you? To make you come then?" The warrior licked her lover's earlobe again.

"Uh… Oh… Yes, Xena, please… Do it!" Gabrielle half-closed her eyes to enjoy her older lover's touch while alternatively catching a glimpse of the stunningly glamorous marine view before them. The weather was hot, the sand bright and the superb blue sea, at the edge of the beach, sparkled in the sunlight.

"All right, my love." The warrior was happy to switch back to her dominant role to please her lover. She quickly placed the bard's bent knees above her own and then went on to spread her lover's legs wider by opening her own as extensively as she could. She then pushed two fingers inside Gabrielle. She instantly thrust them back and forth at a rhythm she knew her bard would find pleasurable. She brought her other hand down to play with her little girlfriend's sensitive nub.

"Ah… Uh… Oh… Gods… Xena… Oh… Yes!" The blonde woman held strongly onto Xena as she threw her head back against the Warrior Princess' shoulder. "Harder!"

Xena thrust harder, deeper and more thoroughly into the bard, feeling the spasmodic clenching inside the younger woman's tight juicy centre. It did not take her long to make Gabrielle come as, a moment later, a loud scream of bliss escaped from the blonde woman's throat.

"Xeeeeeeeeeenaaaaa!" She took a deep breath as she fell limply back into her older lover's arms while the dark-haired woman slowly removed her fingers from her sex.

Xena tasted the sweet ambrosia on her fingers as she licked Gabrielle's wetness off from them. The bard turned in the warrior's arms, kissed her deeply for a moment, thanked her and then went to bury herself into the valley of her breasts. The older woman immediately hugged her bard affectionately and kissed the top of the blonde head. She eased both of their bodies downwards until she was flat on the blanket with the bard on top of her.

Gabrielle rested her head quietly near Xena's big breasts while gently running her fingers along those splendid mounds and occasionally kissing them. She wanted to honour the woman who made love to her so amazingly. Her body lay on top of her warrior and her belly pressed against the warmth of Xena's centre. She felt the Warrior Princess caress her back and wrap her strong legs around her waist.

As she enveloped her bard so cosily, Xena watched her little friend drift into an afternoon nap. The gorgeous little blonde looked so cute, cuddly and vulnerable with her head lying between her breasts and her body trapped between her legs. The warrior caressed Gabrielle's long hair, observed as her chest heaved under the little woman's head and cradled the sleepy bard into her protective arms. She could not help but feel ardent love for this girl who adored her so unconditionally and gave her everything she could.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Gabrielle awoke from her short nap, moaning her lover's name. She stirred and started getting herself back up.

"What is it, Gabrielle?"

"The sun is too hot… I need to go cool down in the water."

"Okay. Don't go too far."

Gabrielle got another drink from one of the water skins, offered it to Xena and watched the warrior quench her thirst too. She then stood up and went for a swim in the sea.

The bard, still naked and barefoot, approached the edge of the water. She contemplated the waves hitting the seashore for an instant as they crashed against her legs and immersed her feet in foamy water before receding, and so on.

The waves did not seem too strong. She could still swim. Gabrielle walked further into the sea until the water reached her waist. The salty liquid was warm and agreeable, yet cooling enough for her. She dampened her hair and started swimming forward, a little further, until she heard a sudden loud shout coming from the beach.

"Gabrielle! Please don't go too far!" The bard turned around in the water to see Xena. The Warrior Princess was standing on the beach, still naked and observing her from the distance. 'Ugh. . . Xena is becoming all motherly again. . . She loves me so much that she's so afraid to lose me.' Gabrielle chuckled at this thought, spun back around and resumed her forward breaststrokes into the blue sea.

A few moments went by. As far as she had swum now, her feet could not touch the bottom any longer and the sea was deep. With a few swim strokes, she turned around again to try to see Xena. The warrior woman's presence could no longer be seen from the distance and Gabrielle, getting exhausted, began swimming back towards shore.

Half-way through, she stopped as soon as she could touch the bottom. She still could not see her lover on the beach. She stood in the water, which now reached her at the height of her shoulders, and carefully looked around her. Xena liked to surprise her and Gabrielle knew it.

Suddenly, the bard felt two strong arms move underwater and wrap themselves around her waist. She did not panic because she knew who it was.

As Xena came up from behind, she caught the shorter woman's abdomen. The warrior got her head out of the water, moved closer to Gabrielle's back, wrapped her arms around her younger lover's tummy and began to gently nibble her earlobe.

"I told you not to go too far, my love," Xena mildly chided. "Gabrielle, I nearly lost you in the sea recently. I don't want to risk it again." After licking at the bard's ear, she proceeded to plant passionate kisses along her neck.

"I was not going far, Xena. And you won't lose me." Gabrielle softly moaned as she could feel her warrior's breasts in her back and her mouth on her skin. The strong, protective female arms tightened across her waist. She covered them with hers, until Xena moved her hands up underwater and firmly gripped her breasts.

"Gabrielle, I know you didn't intend to go far…" Xena spoke in her ear. "… but you need to remember how treacherous the sea is. There could always be an undercurrent trying to drag you away from me." Beneath the surface, the Warrior Princess was delicately kneading her younger lover's breasts.

"Don't worry. I'm fine." The bard gently moved the dark-haired woman's hands away and started turning into Xena's arms. Now facing her lover, she repositioned the warrior's hands onto her bosom. "I'm here, Xena." She looked up at the taller woman. "The sea didn't take me away."

Xena leaned and fervently kissed Gabrielle. The blonde's eager mouth and tongue sought her own. They melted in each other's arms as they then embraced one another. After this short cuddle, they swam back towards the beach.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

They both walked back together, hand in hand, towards their bedroll. Having dampened their hair in the sea, they were less vulnerable to the sun's heat now. They sat down together, very close to one another. Xena took the spare blanket they had to cover both their nude and drenched bodies.

"Xena, do you think we should put our clothes back on now? Or do you think it's all right if we stay naked?"

"Don't worry, Gabrielle. I think it's rare when someone stops by this corner of the coast here." The warrior smirked. "Besides, if anyone showed up and tried to bother us, you know I would deal with them, right?"

"Yeah, right." The bard grinned.

There was a moment of silence between them as they relaxed while sitting next to one another, listening to the sea. Then the sun felt too warm on Gabrielle again.

"Xena, can we please move the blanket we're on to the other side of that rock behind us? I want to go lie in the shade 'cause I'm boiling..."

"Sure, my love." Xena kissed Gabrielle's cheek.

They quickly stood up, walked around the rock, moved the blanket to the other side and prepared another makeshift bedroll. Gabrielle lied down in the shade to protect herself from direct sunlight. Xena immediately went to rest beside her on the blanket.

They were still naked and lying down quietly next to each other. The warrior propped herself onto one elbow as she absentmindedly caressed the smooth skin of the supine bard's abdomen.


"Yes, Gabrielle?"

"During the time when we were on our way to Ithaca, I was so scared you would leave me for Ulysses." Gabrielle still somehow felt sad about what had happened that time.

"Gabrielle," Xena felt a little abashed the bard was mentioning this again, "we've talked about this before, haven't we?"

"Yes, but you made me feel like I was not enough for you that time…" The blonde woman gave her older lover a pouty look. "Like you still needed a man in your life or something. . . I'd gotten used to being miserable anyway…"

"Honey, I was only attracted to him, and I cared about him, but I did not love him. It's you I love, Gabrielle. You know it." The dark-haired woman caressed her younger lover's chin. "As for men, Gabrielle, I admit I still feel like I'm attracted to them sometimes. But you know, even if we'd stayed in Ithaca, I believe I would have gotten tired of Ulysses eventually and gone back to you. You taught me how to love and it's you I'll always love in the end."

"But I would have been real mad if you'd left me for Ulysses and we'd have had to be 'only good friends' again." Gabrielle wondered if the Warrior Princess was finally willing to take their relationship seriously.

"Well, we had stopped being together for a while after your wedding and what had happened to Perdicus…" Xena suddenly noticed that Gabrielle looked dismayed. She realised it had probably been a bad idea to refer to the tragedy that had befallen the bard with the loss of her husband. "Oh… I'm sorry I brought that up, Gabrielle."

"No, Xena," Gabrielle objected, "you don't have to feel sorry for that. We can talk about my wedding if you like." The bard gazed at the warrior with a solemn expression on her face. "It does not bother me. Although I felt terrible when I lost Perdicus, I feel a lot better now."

"Did you love Perdicus, Gabrielle?" The warrior really wanted to know.

"Xena," the blonde woman turned to face her lover more closely as they kept lying next to one another, "there are some things I need to tell you about what happened with Perdicus. I feel ready to discuss them now." The steady rhythm of the sea could still be heard from behind the rock.

"Go on." The warrior stared at her younger lover, glad that Gabrielle was finally ready to talk about all this. For so many moons, she had been waiting for this conversation.

"To answer your question, I loved you both, Xena: Perdicus and you, but not in the same way. . . I had been so glad to see him again in Troy. He was a childhood friend, and I'd grown to like him very much in a way. . ." The bard carried on with her explaining. "The first time I'd been engaged to him though, I did not really want to marry him. You'd come into my life, Xena. I'd left my village to join you. You were everything I wanted, Xena. You've always been. But…"

"But?" the warrior asked.

"When it finally happened between us one day, you did not really want me," Gabrielle said, cheerlessly. "You kept saying that you did not deserve me."

"I'm sorry, Gabrielle. I wanted you but…" Xena sighed. She knew what the bard was talking about. She let her lover continue what she had to say.

"I loved you more than anything. I'd even given my virginity to you," The younger woman's tone sounded somewhat morose. "but you kept saying that I should get on with my life and find another lover, one who would 'deserve' me."

"Oh, Gabrielle, I'm so sorry sweetheart." The taller woman moved closer on the blanket and affectionately stroked her little girlfriend's arm. "I've been a fool, but I honestly did not believe you deserved a nasty ex-warlord like me, a woman with a dark past…"

"But that's not all of it, Xena." Gabrielle interrupted. "I did not care about your past. I never have. I've always loved you the way you are… As soon as Perdicus came to see us many moons after Troy and asked me to marry him, I glanced over my shoulder towards you. I was worried. I was thinking about you and I, and the intimacy we had started experiencing together not long after I'd come back from Potidaea last year."

"I remember when you glanced at me over your shoulder. And you also went to talk with him privately that night?" The warrior kept gently running her hand along the silky skin of the younger woman's arm. She was ready to listen attentively to what her young bard had to say.

"That's right. He told me that, while he'd been involved in another war after Troy, he'd killed people. That had made him feel so bad that he'd pointed a dagger to his heart but something had stopped him, he'd said to me."

"What had stopped him?" Xena frowned.

"He said that seeing my face in his mind stopped him. I thus concluded he meant that the thought of being with me again had stopped him from killing himself."

"Really? Did he really say that, Gabrielle?" The Warrior Princess now fully realised that the bard must have felt pressured into marrying Perdicus. It made her feel slightly bitter. But Perdicus was dead now. So, 'Let him rest in peace,' Xena thought.

"Yes." Gabrielle recalled the poignant memories of what had happened. "This is something I'd never told you, Xena. I felt afraid that because the thought of seeing me again had stopped him from killing himself, then he might commit suicide if I refused to marry him. I couldn't stand this. I loved him as a childhood friend, Xena. I really cared about him. He was important in my heart." Sparkling tears started brimming in the blonde woman's eyes.

"Oh, Gabrielle!" the warrior woman said in a compassionate tone as she softly stroked her younger lover's hair and cheek.

"And then the next day you told me not to worry about you… that seeing me happy would make you happy…" Small tears started rolling down Gabrielle's face.

"I just did not believe I deserved you, sweetheart." Xena dried some of the bard's tears with her thumb. "When something started between us last year, I felt very anxious inside," the warrior explained, regret showing in her eyes. "I thought I was unworthy of the love I was getting from such a young, beautiful and innocent woman like you, Gabrielle. I so much loved you that I couldn't resist it every time you said you wanted to sleep with me… but I also really wanted what I believed would be the best for you: that you someday would find someone who would deserve you. That's why I told you that I thought Perdicus was a good man. All I wanted at the time was that you settle down with someone who deserves you. I thought you'd be safer that way."

"That's right, Xena. You wanted me to go, and at the same time I so much loved Perdicus as a childhood companion that I really did not want him to kill himself." The younger woman felt sorrowful. "But it turned out that I wasn't safer when I was away from you, because Callisto came after us and Perdicus died anyway." She sniffed.

"Oh please don't cry, my bard." The warrior held her lover closely for an instant. "You know, at the same time, I was very jealous when you finally chose to marry him. Although I did not believe you could stay with me because of my warlord past and I wanted to be happy for you at your wedding, I was so sad at the idea of losing you. I felt my heart sink in my chest as I watched you go with him."

"I can imagine that, my love," the bard replied, "Sometimes I believe that I should have stayed with you even though you'd wanted me to go… You were my first lover after all. It felt absolutely awful inside to leave you, Xena." She stopped crying. "Anyway… you know, I had to make myself look happy on the day of my wedding. . . I loved Perdicus too in a way, though not as much as I loved you. But I saw how desolate he had become and I just could not let his despair overpower him." She blinked. "I felt happy for him at our wedding. The fact that I was helping him, it made me smile throughout that day. I also thought I had a soft spot for him since I'd seen him in Troy."

"I understand, Gabrielle." Xena could see that her younger lover had somehow been pressured into a wedding. She could not blame her for that. "Can I ask you something personal?" She tenderly rubbed the shorter woman's ear.

"Yes, anything you want, my darling." Gabrielle sighed. "After all, it's been a while all this is over. I feel better now, even though remembering all that happened makes me feel real sad." She tried to cheer up a little. "But I really think I'm ready to tell you everything now, Xena, so go on."

"Did you think about me during your wedding night?"

"All the time, Xena." There was a very sincere tone in the bard's voice. "By the gods, I was so nervous. I'd never slept with a man before that and, to be honest, when it happened with Perdicus I did not really enjoy it."

Xena felt sorry for Gabrielle. She imagined that her beloved companion must have had to put up with some sex she had not truly desired on her wedding night with Perdicus.

"Did you tell him you were not a virgin?"

"Of course not."

"So what did you tell him?"

"I simply told him that I'd never been with a man before and then let him believe what he wanted…"

"Not bad… That way you didn't lie… I just hope he didn't hurt you."

"No, he didn't. But he wasn't an excellent lover either. I guess, at the time, I was curious at the idea of what it would be like to sleep with a man. Still, I couldn't stop thinking about you. He was in no way as good as you in bed, Xena. I kept staring at the ceiling while he and I were doing it. And, to tell you the truth, I faked some moans while he was on top of me. I also faked my happiness the morning after that, to keep him happy." Gabrielle remembered the utter emptiness she had felt on her wedding night, without Xena's presence. Perdicus had been no match, for sure. She sighed. "It's a real shame things had gotten that complicated between you and I last year. I would have rather stayed with you. I would have preferred it if Perdicus hadn't come back and so forcefully asked me to marry him." Sea-green eyes stared into blue ones.

"Gabrielle…" The Warrior Princess placed one arm around the waist of the woman lying next to her. "I'm sorry about what happened."

"Oh, Xena, I'm so glad we got back together." The bard kept lying onto her side, facing Xena, and propped herself on one elbow to gaze more intensely into the warrior's eyes. She placed her other hand on her older lover's shoulder and gently stroked her there. "When you kissed me again, while you were in Autolycus' body, I was so glad. I wanted you back so much." The blonde woman grinned. "I had already nearly lost you once last year after a poisoned arrow had hit you, and I just couldn't bear losing you again. When I brought you back to life with the Ambrosia, I was so happy to finally have you back. I'd wanted you back not only to life. I also wanted you back in my bedroll."

"I know, and I'm glad I went back there too." Xena gave her younger lover the slight half smile that Gabrielle loved so much. "I had been missing that ever since the day you'd gotten married."

"So you still don't believe that you deserve me now after all we've been going through that showed us deeply in our hearts that we're meant to be together?"

"No, sweetheart. Now I'm willing to give it a try." The warrior nodded sheepishly. She wished she had been willing to give their relationship a more serious try from the day it had started, instead of continuing to think that Gabrielle would be safer without her. Callisto could have killed Gabrielle the morning after her wedding, had Xena not come to save her.

"Even though you don't think our relationship is 'the best for me'?"

"Gabrielle, I am seriously willing to make it the best for you. I love you and I want to make you happy in any way I possibly can." The dark-haired woman's hand softly brushed the side of the younger woman's face. "I know I've done terrible things in my life, so terrible that sometimes I sincerely wonder how you can stay with me… but I'm now fully become aware that, although these sorts of feelings are still all new to me, I'm very deeply in love with you…" Xena tenderly kissed Gabrielle's forehead. "… and I'd never felt anything for anyone else before I met you that meant as much as what I feel for you right now. You're such a beautiful little bard." Xena's eyes briefly widened as they wandered down the blonde's naked body before moving back up to look into Gabrielle's gorgeous face. "You are like a real gift from the gods to me. I'm so lucky to have you, whether I deserve you or not. I'm now willing to take the chance, Gabrielle. I've now decided I really want to make it work for the both of us."

"So, please Xena, promise me: no more Ulysses, no one else in your love life apart from me, huh?" The bard raised an eyebrow at the warrior after asking this new question, wanting to know how serious Xena was about making their relationship work.

"Gabrielle, I barely felt anything for Ulysses. Nothing compared to what I feel for you. And no, I promise, there will be no one else from now on."

"Good." The younger woman smirked and quickly kissed her lover's lips. "'Cause I think the love you have for me must be part of your redemption somehow. I've been thinking. . . and I realised that if the Fates made us end up together again after all, that you even had to be brought back to life another time to be with me once again, well I believe us being together can only bring a positive experience to you in your quest to redeem yourself. I don't believe it's any coincidence the Fates sent me on your road, Xena." The bard kept smiling at her lover. "I know you've done terrible things but love can redeem you too, I know it." The two women kissed for a quiet moment, then stared into each other's eyes again.

"You know, Gabrielle, I realised that I simply cannot live without you. Even if Perdicus hadn't died, I'm somehow convinced that I would have at some point come to visit you at your new house while you were married."

"And I think that, if my husband hadn't died and you would have come to visit me like you say, then I would have ended up having you as a secret lover when Perdicus wouldn't have been around." Gabrielle chortled.

"Even though you would have known, in your heart, that it might not be right for Perdicus?" Xena wondered.

"He would have never known so it wouldn't hurt him." The bard shrugged. "Besides, I love you, Xena, and that's all that would matter to me." The young storyteller brushed a strand of dark hair off the side of the taller woman's face and delicately brought it behind her ear. "That's all that matters to me now. I'm so glad you're now willing to make it all alright for both of us."

Xena just kissed the younger woman again, for a long moment. Gabrielle enjoyed the contact of the Warrior Princess' lips and tongue against her own. When the kiss was over, she looked at the beautiful warrior woman lying next to her once again.

"Xena, you know, regarding what happened between us last year… and that 'virginity' thing…"

"Yes, what about it?"

"Well, I'm very glad you were my first, although… I've got to ask you something."

"What, Gabrielle?"

"Well, you know how some religious people we meet on the road are like, especially the Hestians… So what I want to ask is this: If anyone religious that we barely know ever tries to find out about how I lost my virginity, we'll just let them believe I lost it on my wedding night, okay? What happened between us before my marriage is nobody's business but ours, all right?"

"Oh Gabrielle…" The warrior woman stroked the beautiful blonde's hair. "We already know that most people out there define the term 'virgin' only as 'untouched by man' anyway. They don't really care about what women do together… not even amazons." Xena chuckled and showed Gabrielle a slight smile. "So don't worry about the Hestians or anyone else. It's all right by me: We'll tell nosy religious people whatever you like, and that wouldn't even have to be a lie in their own vocabulary if you told them that you lost your virginity while you were married."

"Thank you." Gabrielle sighed in relief and appreciated Xena's relaxed attitude about the subject. She knew how some Greek religious people were like, with their silly attitudes regarding virginity and 'purity.'

Both women quietly rested in the shade behind the rock for a candlemark or so, as the sun reached the zenith. They peacefully listened to the harmonious noise sea waves were making a few feet away from the bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the later candlemarks of the afternoon, when the weather's heat was less intense on the beach, Gabrielle got up and went to sit in the sand. She observed the waves crashing against the shore a few feet ahead. They had become a lot higher than earlier on when she had gone for a swim. She was still nude but did not care. It was still a nice and romantic day she was spending with the warrior in this magnificent deserted area.

Xena was done resting too. She got up from the bedroll and walked around the rock. She found the naked bard sitting alone on the beach. Still not wearing any clothes herself, she started walking towards her lover. Being naked in the sunlight did not bother her. It was a wonderful romantic day she had agreed with Gabrielle to spend on the beach. Tomorrow, they would be back on the road again.

"Gabrielle, what are you doing sitting there?"

Hearing the sound of the Warrior Princess' voice, the blonde happily turned her head to look up at her.

"I was waiting for you to join me here, Xena… Can you bring your chakram, please?"

Xena stopped walking. "Sure. Why?"

"You'll see," Gabrielle said in a cryptic way, smiling.

The dark-haired woman turned back towards the bedroll, went to get her chakram and made her way back towards Gabrielle. She sat down on the sand next to the bard.

"Here, I've got it, sweetheart." She kissed the top of her younger lover's head. "What do you want with it?"

"Can I borrow it?"

"You don't know how to use it."

"I know, but I just want to be able to draw a circle in the sand. Its contours will be more accurate if I use your chakram to do it, Xena, please."

"Okay." The warrior handed her chakram to the bard, which the younger woman took into her delicate hands. "But why do you want to draw a circle in the sand, Gabrielle, anyway?"

"To make a point… You'll see." Gabrielle turned towards Xena and kissed the older woman on the lips. Then she kept grinning at her lover. "First of all, Xena, I'd like to let you know how happy I am we've finally managed to have this conversation about what's happened between us over the past year or so. I'm glad we've finally managed to get all this out of ourselves so we can move on and think about the future… our future together."

"So, no more weddings, Gabrielle?" Xena asked while raising an inquiring eyebrow at the young blonde.

"Xena, darling, please don't look back. Look ahead. I'll never walk away again. And you won't want me to go anymore now, will you?"

"Well, sometimes I still wonder if you'd be safer without me in some ways, but you're also giving me such a great strength of mind and heart every day during our travels together. . . I've decided that I've got to be with you, Gabrielle, no matter what. I'll keep protecting you whenever you need it; and I'll carry on teaching you how to fight whenever you want it."

"That's so great, Xena. So great you're ready to go forward now." The bard kindly patted the warrior woman on the shoulder. She then turned back to the sand in front of them. She shifted to a kneeling position as she ran the palm of her hand across the creamy-coloured granular ground to flatten it. She then put down the chakram onto the sand before her and turned to look at Xena again. "Can I tell you a story? I haven't told you a story for a couple of days."

"Sure." Xena had learned to truly enjoy Gabrielle telling her stories, especially since they'd gone back to being lovers again.

"Once upon a time, there was a dark warrior princess. She was very unhappy about the things she'd done and thought her life only led to darkness and dead ends… until the day she saved a young village girl from being captured for slavery…" The blonde woman felt a bit nervous and blushed at the idea of telling the dark-haired woman about their own love story.

"Gabrielle, I already know our story, thank you. Why don't you tell me another one?"

"No, Xena, wait." The storyteller brought her fingers to the taller woman's lips and gently hushed her. "I'm trying to make a point here. I promise you, it is worth it." She removed her hand from the warrior's mouth and continued: "So… this beautiful Warrior Princess met this young woman. They started travelling around Greece together as good friends, and many moons later they became lovers. And it was a first time for both of them. It was a first time for the younger woman because she had been a virgin before their first night together… but it was also a first time for the dark warrior princess because, although she was very much physically experienced, she'd thought she would be incapable of loving and caring about someone else's pleasure and happiness. However, she surprised her own self with the fact that she could treat a younger and inexperienced lover with respect because she had truly fallen in love with someone else for the first time in her life after she met that young girl. Her younger friend was her first real love." Gabrielle noticed Xena blush buoyantly at hearing the bard telling their own story.

The bard carried on: "Anyway, unfortunately, their relationship broke after a few moons because the warrior could not find enough confidence in herself for them to be together -and for other important reasons as well. After quite a few more moons, the warrior woman died, not long after being hit by a tree trunk during an enemy attack. Her younger friend wanted her back to life so much she felt terribly pained for a couple of days… She felt sad until the moment she resuscitated the woman she loved with a piece of Ambrosia. They went back to being lovers that night. So, therefore, the Warrior Princess did not feel so 'dark' anymore and saw there could also be light in her heart and in her life…"

"You are the light in my life, Gabrielle." Xena simpered and wrapped an arm around her younger lover. "So… are you still going to draw that circle and make the point you wanted to make or what?" Both women looked at the chakram that Gabrielle had placed on the sand in front of her.

"That's right, I'm making my point now, Xena. My point is…" The bard started moving her index finger in the sand around the circular object, tracing its outline. She knew the chakram had already shaped a circle by itself, but she nonetheless proceeded to draw another one around it. "We belong together, Xena. It doesn't matter that difficulties separate us sometimes, our relationship never ends. Our love is endless. It keeps going 'round and 'round… like a circle!" The storyteller finished drawing the circle around the chakram. "I complete you. You make me whole. We fulfil each other. And that intense feeling burning inside us -what makes us both feel as if we were each one half of the same soul- is really all we need. I drew a circle because it has no end…" She turned to face her older lover while they were still sitting on the beach. "… just like our love, it's eternal, no matter what." They both gazed at one another intensely and immediately kissed each other deeply.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Not one word was spoken as they continued to thoroughly kiss each other hungrily. Suddenly, Xena stood up and lifted the bard. Gabrielle swiftly grabbed the chakram before being moved off the ground. She quickly tossed it near their belongings as the taller woman carried her towards where their bedroll was. When the warrior reached the place behind the rock, she put the smaller woman down onto the blanket.

The blonde quickly placed the chakram next to the bedroll -with the rest of their belongings. She then lay down comfortably on her back while looking up at the eagerly lustful look she could see on the warrior's face. She bent her knees and spread her legs, inviting her lover in.

"Gabrielle…" Xena knelt between the supine bard's legs and stared down at her lover with a desirous look on her face.

"Yes, my warrior?"

"So you really think there is 'light' within me, huh?"

"Yes, Xena. You've always treated me right, intimately, I mean."

"But you do know I have a dark side too, don't you?" She grinned wickedly at the smaller woman. That made Gabrielle chuckle.

"Of course I know that, Xena. Why are you asking?"

"I'm just trying to explain to you one of the reasons why I like taking the lead so often during our lovemaking, my little bard. You're so beautiful. I love taking you. And I also love to…" Xena wanted to be playful right now. She wanted to tease the smaller woman before making love to her. She instantly tickled the bard's belly, making the blonde woman laugh and squirm nervously. The warrior sniggered.

"Oh… Uh… No… Er… Please… Stop tickling me, Xena." The younger woman tried to catch her lover's hands to make her quit, but Xena was too fast.

"I love to make your little body squirm to my touch. It's so cute." The Warrior Princess sometimes liked grabbing and lightly pinching the bard's skin while mischievously moving her fingers along the sides of the girl's abdomen. That was what she kept doing now.

Gabrielle could not take any more of this. It was no longer funny. "Xena… Stop… You often see me as a 'little one.' Who's being the big kid now?… Uh… Stop… Xena… It's not funny anymore."

Seeing that her little girlfriend was starting to feel very uncomfortable, Xena instantly stopped tickling her.

"I'm sorry." The warrior leaned down to kiss the bard's mouth. Her body hovered over the smaller woman's as she used her upper arms to support some of her weight. Her hands touched some of Gabrielle's long blond hair, which she loved.

"It's all right. Thanks for stopping." The blonde wanted to tickle Xena too, to get her own back on what the taller woman had just done to her, but she thought it could wait until later. She felt too good when she felt Xena's lips onto hers and responded to the kiss with fervour. At the same time, she wrapped her hands around her older lover's neck and ran delicate fingers through the dark hair. After kissing for a moment, she spoke to the woman who now lay on top of her. "I love you."

"I love you too." Xena enjoyed her body's contact to the silkiness of Gabrielle's skin. That little woman felt so soft to her. "So it really doesn't bother you that I have a dark side and that I prefer being the one in charge of the lovemaking most of the time?" She sensually brushed her lips to her younger lover's.

"No, Xena, it doesn't bother me." Gabrielle smirked. She kept caressing Xena's hair while looking up at her. "You know, I have a wicked streak too… I mean, I know a lot about your past and your reputation in some villages but I don't care at all. I love you just the way you are. You're so stunningly beautiful, and I totally love it when you take the lead in the bedroll. I love feeling all your warrior strength when you make love to me. I love your power. I love it when you take me. I love your dark side, when you can use it in a good way. I love all of you."

"Oh, Gabrielle, do you know what you are saying to me?" The warrior immediately took the bard's mouth again into a searing kiss. She felt so aroused by the things her younger lover had just said to her. She wanted to enjoy the woman she loved and take her ardently. Her tongue easily found entry into Gabrielle's mouth as their lips locked together once again. Their tongues intertwined, moving fast, making the kiss deep and wet as they passionately tasted each other's mouth again and again.

Xena caught Gabrielle's hands into her own and pinned them down onto the blanket beneath them for a short while. She shifted her weight from the bard and returned to a kneeling position between the storyteller's legs. She grabbed the younger woman's bent knees and spread her wide open in front of her -admiring the wonderful blonde beauty before her.

Gabrielle remained on her back. Her arms lay still and flat, near her head. She could still hear the peaceful grandeur of the sea working its waves along the beach as she gazed up at her Xena. Her very experienced lover kept staring down at her libidinously. Gabrielle completely relaxed and kept her legs spread -willing to give herself completely to this delightfully stunning dark-haired goddess. She saw the Warrior Princess give her a naughty smile.

"Gabrielle, you are so absolutely gorgeous and I want to make love to you right now," Xena said huskily. "I want to make you moan and scream my name in bliss."

"Oh, yes Xena. Take me!" The bard briefly bit her lower lip in sweet anticipation. She felt herself getting very warm between the thighs at the thought of the warrior being on top again.

"Yes, I am going to take you, Gabrielle." The carnal tone in the Warrior Princess's voice was so incredibly mesmerising and powerful. "I'm first going to take you with my mouth and with my tongue until you come. And as soon as you catch your breath and you're ready to go again, I'm going to take you again with my breasts, with my sex and with my fingers until you scream my name in intense pleasure. I swear it, my little bard, you're going to enjoy every single moment of your warrior taking you."

Gabrielle moaned in strong excitement as Xena went to lie on top of her again and covered her mouth with vigorous kisses. The words the sexy taller woman had just been telling her seductively thrilled her. She loved it when her lover spoke in such an erotic way to her. This warrior woman clearly was her wildest dreams come true.

The Warrior Princess nibbled on one of the bard's ears before trailing her tongue down towards the pulse point on her younger lover's throat. She then planted a series of small, tender love bites along the blonde's neck, collarbone and shoulder before starting moving her way downwards.

Xena pressed the tip of her tongue onto one of the bard's dark pink nipples and licked around it, before suckling on it. She then moved to the other breast. She licked and sucked its bud in the same fashion, trapping it between her teeth. Gabrielle's nipples completely stiffened under her lover's ministrations. The warrior grabbed the bard's breasts with both hands and energetically kneaded the pliant flesh. She flicked her thumbs across the hard nipples while slightly lifting her head to look at her bard.

"Are you mine, Gabrielle?" she asked in a horny voice.

"Oh… Yes… Xena… I'm yours," the storyteller softly groaned. The feel of Xena's touch on her skin provoked a flame of desire within her. It now fiercely burned inside her body. She enjoyed the sweet, delicious surrender, as she let her older and more experienced lover take complete control of this precious lovemaking. She kept uttering little noises of delight as Xena carried on stimulating her sensitive bosom.

The warrior woman again covered each of the bard's breasts with her mouth, one at a time. She joyfully played with her younger lover's breasts for a moment. She was wrapping her hands around those two lovely mounds as she greedily suckled them, eliciting some more happy moans from the blonde woman who then arched into her touch. Xena descended further on her young friend's body, leaving a path of sultry kisses along the way.

"Oh… Yes… Xena… Please…" Gabrielle moved her hands to delicately run her fingers into her lover's long, slick and dark hair.

The Warrior Princess gently bit at the soft flesh next to the bard's navel, slid her tongue around the crevice and left a moist trail of saliva as she moved further down to reach her goal. The dark-haired woman teased each of the petite blonde's inner thighs with soft little kisses. She paused a brief moment, inhaling the intoxicating scent of her younger lover's arousal before gently kissing the golden patch of hair at the top. Xena draped Gabrielle's legs over her shoulders. She flattened her tongue and slowly licked the outer folds, making her lover gasp.

"Hmmm… You're so wet, Gabrielle. Is this for me?"

"Yes, absolutely…"

The warrior also loved getting a delightful view of the bard's intimate places. She lifted her head, reached around the younger woman's thighs and used her fingers to lightly caress her girlfriend's centre. She spread the outer lips with her thumbs. Xena always felt utterly fascinated by the delicacy of the pinkish textures of her younger lover's sex and the blond curls covering its apex and outward areas. She looked up at Gabrielle.

"Tell me, my bard: this cute little thing you've got between your legs. It's so beautiful. Is it mine?" The warrior licked her own lips in hunger as she kept touching the bard.

"Oh, yes… Totally, Xena! It's yours whenever you want it."

Xena really liked what she had just heard. She instantly buried her face between Gabrielle's legs. She felt absolutely enthralled by her little lover's hot and wet centre. She revelled in the familiar and delicious taste of her bard. She leisurely licked up and down the length of the bard's labia, lapping at the honey-dewed wetness. With the tip of her tongue, she gave slow licks on the area all around the clit.

"Oh… Uh… Xena… Oh, Gods!" Gabrielle rapturously squirmed under her lover's oral activities on her erogenous zones. She wanted more of this. Her hips started bucking towards Xena's mouth. She kept stroking her lover's hair.

The Warrior Princess probed her tongue even more deeply into the bard's sodden folds. She licked her way into every corner, every crevice. She enjoyed taking every part of the sleek textures into her mouth as she hungrily sucked and licked the inner folds for a long moment.

"Oh… Uh… Yes… Ahh… This feels so amazing, Xena…" the blonde woman kept moving her hips. She tried to push down the dark-haired woman's head more strongly onto the area between her thighs, but Xena suddenly lifted her face from her sex. "Please, Xena, don't stop!"

"I won't, my love." Xena looked up at her lover for a minute. Her little friend's moisture was coating every corner of her mouth. "You're just so tasty. I wanna eat you alive."

The warrior needed to change her position to give herself more access to her lover's private parts. She wanted to honour the woman who offered herself to her so willingly and completely. "Come here! You know you love this." She grabbed Gabrielle's thighs, shifted herself to lie onto her back and pulled the sweet little body to her until the bard was on her knees straddling her above the shoulders, each of Gabrielle's leg planted on either side of her head. The warrior took her girlfriend's hips and lowered her down to her eager mouth.

"Oh… Gods!" Gabrielle swiftly grabbed onto the rock in front of her to support herself as she felt the Warrior Princess return to her task. She felt Xena's tongue tease her swollen nub again and continued moaning her lover's name in delight. "Oh… Yes! Xena… This feels great!" Her warrior kept using one of her 'many skills' to stimulate her. This felt fantastic. She moved her hips up and down, closer against the warrior woman's face.

Xena happily lay on her back while fully spreading the bard's centre above her to taste it even more intimately and closely. Her hands reached around to grip her younger lover's firm buttocks. She moaned in delight as she thrust her tongue even deeper into the younger woman's depths, savouring more of the sweet honey-musk that abundantly flowed from the hole. She tried not to lose one drop of her little lover's luscious nectar. She moved a hand back to the front of Gabrielle and fondled the small bud near the top of the blonde woman's sex with a finger, as she continued to drive her tongue in and out of her lover. The taste and scent of her bard felt so overwhelming to her senses.

"Xena… Oh… Yes!…Gods!… Uh…" Gabrielle cried out in ecstasy as she felt the warrior plunge her tongue repeatedly inside her while carrying on playing with her throbbing clit. The storyteller grasped more steadily onto the rock behind their bedroll and could see the sea when she looked somewhere above it. The waves that were building up and smashing against the shore before Gabrielle's eyes now practically matched the wave after wave of increasing pleasure that swept through her body. "Oh… Xena… the things you do to me…" she moaned in delight.

The Warrior Princess knew the bard was going to be approaching climax soon. She glided her tongue upwards, towards her younger lover's sensitive bundle of nerves and drew the nub into her mouth. She heartily sucked on it while caressing it with her tongue.

"Xe… Oh, yes! Xeeeenaaaaaa!" Gabrielle screamed in ecstasy. As she saw a huge wave crash onto the shore, she reached orgasm, erupting onto her lover's face below her; her juices pouring down onto the warrior's nose, cheeks and chin.

Xena carried on licking her little girlfriend's delicious sweetness with enthusiasm, until the bard's last glorious spasms ceased. Gabrielle collapsed onto the rock in front of her. The warrior quickly lifted her with her strong arms. In a few swift movements, Xena dragged the smaller body down until the other woman's body fully lay on top of her.

Gabrielle tried to catch her breath and kissed the brunette, tasting herself onto her mouth. She beamed in euphoria. The Warrior Princess smiled back at her radiantly.

"I love you, Gabrielle." She stroked her younger lover's hair and caressed the smooth skin of her back.

"I love you too."

"I'm not finished with you, my beautiful bard." Xena grinned wickedly. "Tell me when you're ready for more… but please rest for now." She slightly moved the bard down to place her lover's head close to her heart and she tenderly kissed the top of her lover's head.

The bard snuggled up closely into the warrior's embrace. She rested on top of the other woman for a moment, as she just needed to recover from the intense pleasure she had just received for now. She felt comfortably warmed by all the love and tenderness she was getting from her Warrior Princess.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

. . . as soon as you catch your breath and you're ready to go again, I'm going to take you again with my breasts, with my sex and with my fingers until you scream my name in intense pleasure.

After resting for a short while and being absorbed in drifting thoughts about all the lustful things the warrior woman had said to her, Gabrielle started opening her eyes again. She lifted her head and stared deeply into Xena's piercing blue eyes as she felt another heat smouldering between her thighs.

"Xena, I want you to take me again, just like you said you would."

The Warrior Princess just smirked. She quickly flipped the bard onto her back and covered her body with hers. She passionately claimed her mouth with her own. She felt delighted when Gabrielle's lips parted to allow her a better entry. She pushed her tongue into the blonde's mouth until her younger lover's tongue intermingled with hers. After fervently kissing her, Xena whispered something into the storyteller's ears.

"Gabrielle, I'm going to take you again. I'm going to make hard, intense love to you."

"Oh, yes! I can't wait."

"Neither can I."

Xena first moved up Gabrielle's body until her large breasts hung over the bard's face. The storyteller looked up, seized the two beautiful ample mounds and pressed one of them towards her mouth. Then she moved to taste the other one.

The warrior liked offering her breasts to Gabrielle because she knew how much her younger lover loved them. Xena lowered them against the blonde woman's hands and mouth as Gabrielle kept playing with them and voraciously suckling on them, one at a time.

The bard teased each of the hardened nipples and whimpered contentedly as she squeezed the Warrior Princess' breasts into her hands. She felt disappointed when the dark-haired woman moved down her body and the magnificent mounds were out of her reach.

"Hold on, sweetheart, you're going to like this." Xena opened Gabrielle's legs wider and lowered one of her breasts until its tip touched the wet folds of the bard's sex. She squeezed her own breast in her hand and pushed it into her lover's centre, making Gabrielle moan again. She then slid the nipple around her lover's clit, lightly teasing it before thrusting the tip of her breast against it. She heard Gabrielle cry out in joy and she then used her other breast to do the same thing. She took the other mound and stroked the bard's sensitive bundle of nerves with it. Then she moved it down and pressed the nipple against her girlfriend's entrance.

"Uh… Oh… Yes, I love it, Xena, when you make love to me with your breasts."

The warrior woman lifted herself again, spread the bard's glistening lips and went to push her own wet centre against her lover's. Xena now lay on top of Gabrielle, with one arm on the ground to support her own weight and her other hand grabbing one of the blonde woman's hips, as she began rocking against her.

"Oh… Yes! Xena." Gabrielle wrapped her legs around her older lover's waist and clung firmly onto Xena's back as the warrior ardently ground her sex into hers. Their throbbing lips meshed themselves together as both lovers intensely gazed into each other's eyes and kissed. The blonde woman panted and groaned in enjoyment. "Oh… I love it… when you make love to me like this… Xena."

Xena drove her clit more energetically against the bard's for a long while before suddenly turning herself over, pulling Gabrielle with her. She sat up with her back against the rock and made the smaller woman straddle her thigh.

Gabrielle felt surprised by this abrupt shift in position but instantly put her hands on her lover's shoulders. The warrior kissed her and made her place one knee between her thighs so that the bottom of one of the bard's legs now pressed against Xena's centre while the younger woman's other knee rested on the other side of the taller woman's thigh.

"Ohhh… Gabrielle." Xena revelled in the sensation of her girlfriend's leg pushed against her wet folds as she brought her hands up to knead the storyteller's breasts.

"Uh… Yes… Xena." Gabrielle loved it when her lover took possession of her sensitive breasts. She kissed Xena again and then stared into the warrior's silvery blue eyes.

"What do you want, Gabrielle?" The Warrior Princess asked as she kept massaging her younger lover's breasts.

"Ah… Er…" The bard shivered in pleasure as she felt the taller woman move one of her hands towards her centre. Xena's fingers made contact with her velvety folds before lightly touching her clit. "I want you to take me, Xena. I want you to put your fingers deep inside me." The blonde spread her legs wider to encourage her warrior.

"All right." Xena instantly entered Gabrielle with two fingers. She used her thumb to play with the bard's swollen bundle of nerves as she began thrusting back and forth inside her bard. With her free hand, she reached around and grasped the younger woman's soft ass. At the same time, she strongly rubbed herself against the blonde's leg. "Can you feel me inside you?" She gazed intensely into the bard's blue-green eyes.

"Um… Oh… Yes, Xena!… That's it… I love feeling you inside me… Uh… Oh…" Gabrielle continued moaning in absolute rapture as she held strongly onto the dark-haired woman's shoulders. She stared back at Xena, revelling in the superb erotic connection she shared with this sublime warrior woman. The waves were still making some noise on the beach but Gabrielle was no longer aware of them. All her attention had now been drawn to what her lover was making her feel.

"Gabrielle… Oh… You feel so good inside…" The Warrior Princess intensely looked into her little friend's eyes as she kept making sweet love to her bard.

"Xena… Oh… Make it harder, please!"

Xena swiftly added a third finger inside the bard and pushed her digits harder and deeper into Gabrielle's drenched centre. She delighted in the feel of the blonde's inner walls, which kept tightening around her fingers.

"Uh… Gabrielle… You love it when I give you some mighty warrior love like this, huh… don't you, my bard?" Xena smiled at the ecstatic expression she could see on Gabrielle's face as she continued moving inside her at a fast pace.

"Yes… Uh… My warrior… Oh… Yes… I love it… Very much… Ah…"

The dark-haired woman stimulated her lover's sexual node more vigorously with her thumb, making the younger woman cry out her name again. The storyteller's pleasure noises sounded like music to her ears.

"Gabrie-e-e-e-elle!" The warrior woman quickly came, from her clit's contact to the girl's skin. She continued taking her girlfriend towards climax anyway. Gabrielle rocked her hips and moved herself more thoroughly up and down onto the warrior's hand until she reached the peak. She enjoyed every single moment of Xena filling her so wildly. It made her core clench spasmodically several times around her lover's fingers.

"Xeeeenaaaa!" She screamed her lover's name again in utter bliss and fell forward, panting, onto Xena.

They were both gasping for breath, as the Warrior Princess removed her fingers from Gabrielle's comfortable warmth and moved her hand up to smear the bard's mouth with her own wetness.

"So sweet!" Xena murmured, before placing her other hand onto the nape of the smaller woman's neck and pulling her towards her. She eagerly kissed her, tasting Gabrielle's delicious love juices on her mouth. "I love you, Gabrielle," she said, "I love you more than you could ever imagine," and she kept kissing her. The two lovers quickly shifted down onto the bedroll until they lay in each other's arms.

"Oh… I love you too, Xena." Gabrielle purred. "I love it when you make powerful and hard love to me so exquisitely." She felt intensely gratified. Her warrior had just intimately overpowered her so wonderfully. She loved Xena's dark side for a reason. The Warrior Princess' dominant power and ardent sexual passion excited her somehow. At the same time, she also loved the fact that the warrior woman treated her right in the bedroll.

Gabrielle was aware of her lover's bad past but she was glad the taller woman loved her so much that she always gave great importance to her pleasure. The storyteller felt so happy that her own sexual satisfaction mattered so much to Xena.

The older woman could make Gabrielle experience the intensity of her warrior strength during their lovemaking while simultaneously making it safe, by caring so much about how the bard responded to her touch.

If something had felt unpleasant to Gabrielle, Xena would have stopped immediately. The blonde woman was pleased she had opened up such a good side in the warrior. She noticed that she could keep her lover's dark side under control during their intimate moments, turning it into something rather pleasurable and safe.

Feeling Xena gently stroke her long blonde hair and cuddle her, the young bard dozed off into her lover's embrace until it was nearly time for supper.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the evening, both women went for another swim together before supper. They also slowly rolled themselves around on the seashore, while closely hugging, kissing, declaring their devotions and loving the feel of each other's skin, as beating waves softly hit their bodies. They cuddled like this for a little while, until it was time Xena to go catch some more fish and seaweed for their meal. Gabrielle waited for her on the shore.

Once the warrior had caught the food, they walked back towards their belongings. Gabrielle took the blanket, walked around and moved their bedroll back to the front of the rock. She wanted to be able to get a nicer view of the beach while they ate.

Xena walked into the palm tree forest at the back, to gather some more wood from any shrub she could find. She came back and kindled a small fire so Gabrielle could cook.

The Warrior Princess and the bard ate quietly. They observed the sea waves rising and falling in their endless rhythm on the coast. Intermittently, they smiled at one another, the brightness of love sparkling in their eyes. There would now be another couple of candlemarks to go before sunset. As they finished savouring their food, Gabrielle started speaking.

"Thank you, Xena." The blonde woman grinned.

"For what?"

"For this gorgeous, amazingly wonderful and romantic day you were willing to spend with me on the beach."

"It's all right, my love," the warrior charmingly said.

"You know, I'm gonna miss this place. It was so great to spend such an outstanding day together on the beach."

"Yeah, I loved it too, Gabrielle, but we really have to start heading back to town early tomorrow morning."

"It's okay, Xena. I understand that we have to go. I just simply loved the fact that, for one day in our lives, there was only you, me and the beach that existed for us." The bard carried on smiling at her older lover.

"Yeah, it was awesome," the Warrior Princess agreed, smirking.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

At night, they made passionate love again a couple more times. Exhausted and panting, they exchanged more words of love and devotion before they decided they really had to try to get some sleep. They now lay together in the bedroll, still completely nude.

As she was trying to fall asleep, Gabrielle turned onto her side. She almost instantly felt Xena gently spooning her from behind.

"I love you so much, my little bard," Xena affectionately said. She nestled up behind her younger lover, slid an arm around to cup one of the bard's breasts and softly kissed her neck. She entwined her legs with Gabrielle's.

"I love you too, my warrior." Gabrielle slightly turned her head to smile at Xena.

The Warrior Princess gave the bard a quick kiss and was glad to see the younger woman comfortably settle down closer into her embrace. This was a sleeping position they both loved so much. The dark-haired woman lay her head near the blond hair and relished in the glorious smell of her little lover.

The blonde woman could feel Xena's protective arms around her and the warrior's hot breath near her ear. She could also feel the warrior's large breasts softly pressing against her back and her lovely pubic hair touching her butt. This felt all so wonderfully intimate, loving and affectionate to her. Gabrielle fell asleep, feeling all the tenderness her warrior woman was giving her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Half a candlemark later, Xena also entered the land of Morpheus. Later on in her sleep, she started dreaming, a pleasant dream.

The circle that Gabrielle had drawn in the sand appeared on the ground before her eyes. She was standing alone on the sunny beach, wearing her warrior outfit. The pleasant smell of the salty water filled her nostrils. She then looked up into the sky to see a brief eclipse as the sun turned into an ever-burning ring of fire. After the eclipse, she could see her chakram slowly flying towards her in an upright position and flipping around continuously onto itself. She jumped up and caught it in her hand. She looked through the circular object and suddenly saw Gabrielle appear on the other side of it. She placed her weapon back on her waist.

The bard was now on the beach with her, fully dressed and grinning at her. Xena smiled back and walked towards her. She kissed her younger lover and whispered promises of everlasting love into her ear. Then their hands interlocked and they started dancing together on the beach, in a circular motion. The sun was hot, and the sand bright. The waves were very large in the sea, forming almost circular shapes of blue foamy water before breaking into a surf near the edge of the beach. Xena danced faster with Gabrielle on the sand. This circular dance overwhelmed her mind. She laughed happily and the bard started laughing with her. This love they shared was eternal, she knew it, just like circles could spin 'round and 'round… forever.

The Warrior Princess peacefully slept, snuggled up against her sweet little bard. She smiled in her sleep, thanks to this beautiful dream she was having. The younger woman slept quietly and blithely in front of her on the bedroll.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Early in the morning, Xena got up. She woke Gabrielle up with a few gentle kisses. They got dressed and gathered their belongings. Together, they started walking away from the coast. They both knew they would never forget any of the excellent romantic moments they had spent together on the beach the day before.

"You know, Gabrielle. I had a wonderful dream last night," the Warrior Princess said, smiling, as they continued to walk away from that amazing place.

"You wanna tell me about it?"

"Yes, I will tell you all about it. But, first of all, let me tell you how much I'll always love you… forever, sweetheart."

"My love for you is endless too, Xena."

Xena let herself be fully convinced that nothing would ever separate them anymore. What she shared with Gabrielle was stronger than anything -life and death included. They belonged together and were made for each other.

They walked happily together in the sunlight, towards town -towards more adventures.


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