Disclaimer: See Prologue
Authors Note: Howdy! I've gotten so many comments and emails from you guys that I decided to update this story a lot faster than I had planned! I just wanted to tell anyone who has read any of my other stories that yes, the start of this story sounds a lot like my story, Mission Complete. I actually wrote that story when I started working out this one. I assure you though, it will be completely different. If you want to send me an email about this story, my email is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com
I've never been much of a drinker. Every now and then I like to go to my mother's inn and have a port, but never enough to dull my razor sharp senses. It's too dangerous for someone like me. There are so many who after all my years of good deeds, still want to remove my head from my shoulders for my past. I can't let that happen, no matter how inviting it sounds lately. I have a daughter that needs me and innocent people to protect. Besides, who else would fix my mother's roof every year before winter?
I rolled onto my back with a groan, my head throbbing and my stomach clenching convulsively as I laid there in my self pity. I regretted the several wineskins I had downed last night after Eve had fallen asleep. It had been almost a moon since I'd received Gabrielle's invitation to her wedding and while I had tried to ignore the pain for as long as possible, last night it crept up on me. One moment I had been tucking my daughter into bed, singing her a lullaby and the next, I was outside my house, stumbling through my garden and cursing the God's. I whimpered softly as I heard my front door open and close. I'd rather die right now than face the visitor in my house.
What the fuck!?
The sound of my bedroom door slamming into the wall sent pain radiating through my skull. Everything hurt at the noise, even my hair hurt. I raised my arms and covered my eyes to shield myself from the bright light pouring through my bedroom window as it was roughly pulled open. I squinted against the light and tried to look up at the intruder that had barged into my bedroom. I thought it might be my mother, checking on me to make sure I hadn't fallen upon my sword. She had also received an invitation from Gabrielle to her wedding and she had actually cried for me when she read it. It had touched my heart deeply.
"Are you kidding me, Xena? Seriously?!"
By the Gods, I know that voice. I would recognise it anywhere. I squinted at the sunlight burning my eyes and looked up at the up at the women standing in front of me. She had her muscular arms crossed over her chest and her midnight blue eyes glared down at me angrily.
"Alexandria?" I whispered, daring not to believe she was there. Maybe I was still a bit drunk and this was all a hallucination. She looked exactly the same since I'd last seen her except for her hair. It was longer, now just reaching her broad shoulders.
"I'm going to kick your ass, Warrior Princess," she growled as she reached down and pulled me from my comfortable bed. She looked down at me, tsking in disgust at my appearance. I must have looked a mess. I certainly felt like one.
"What are you doing here?" I managed to finally mumble after getting over my surprise.
"I came here to see the truth with my own two eyes," Alexandria said as she ran her fingers through my disheveled hair. "I honestly can't believe this. After everything I did, all the pain I put myself through and for what? Nothing. Absolutely nothing."
"Alexandria," I sighed as I looked up at her. Gods, even though she was angry with me, I was still so happy to see her. "What in Hades name are you talking about?"
"Gabrielle, of course!" She cried, throwing her hands up into the air. I winced and averted my eyes as she continued her rant. "I was actually happy when I received that invitation from her. Until I got to the third line! I thought all my hard work had paid off and you two finally worked things out. I thought I was going to be attending your gods be damned wedding. But no! No, she's marrying that stupid look a like instead. Seriously Xena, what the fuck happened after I left?"
I felt the tears welling up in my eyes once more as I looked up at her sadly. I didn't think I had anymore tears left to shed after last night, but I was being proved wrong. Her anger seemed to disappear as she looked down at me, reaching out to gently brush my cheek with her fingers.
"What happened, Xena?" She repeated, much more softly this time.
Through my tears I started to explain everything that happened after Alexandria left the Amazon village. She stayed silent during the story and when it ended, she sat down beside me and rested a comforting hand on the middle of my back, stroking it soothingly.
"I should have stayed," I whispered through my tears as I turned to look into her sympathetic eyes. "I should have stayed. Why did I leave?"
"You were confused, Xe," Alexandria replied with a sigh. "Everything was moving so quickly and you lost control of the situation. You did what any normal person would do. You bolted."
"And now, Gabrielle is getting married," I mumbled miserably.
"Yes, she's getting married. To whom is the question."
"What in Hades name are you talking about?" I asked with a furrowed brow. Alexandria said nothing as she continued to stare out the window with a thoughtful expression on her face. She seemed to be lost in her thoughts and I wondered if she knew that she was still rubbing my back.
"Well," she said after several minutes of silence. "You better start packing. It's only one moon until the Summer Solstice."
"What? No!" I cried, standing up to walk away from my old friend. "Alexandria, I'm not going. I can't watch her marry someone else, it'll break my heart."
"Xena, you owe it to her and to yourself. Before everything, before you were lovers or soulmates, Gabrielle was your bestfriend. As her bestfriend, you need to go to this wedding. And maybe, you need the closure as well. You need to be there to see that it's really over so that you can move on."
"Maybe I don't want to move on," I whispered softly as I looked out the window.
"Then tell her that when we get there," Alexandria said as she stood up from the edge of the bed. She brushed imaginary dust from her leather pants before picking up the bag she'd dropped at the door. "Pack your things. Make sure you have something nice for the wedding. I'll go wake up Evie and get her ready. Meet you on the porch in a candlemark."
I watched her leave my room with a raised eyebrow. She had always been confident, but when did she get so pushy? I sighed as I pulled my saddlebags from the chest at the end of my bed. Better do as she says without making a scene, otherwise she'll probably just tie me to Argo's back. And with the headache I had now, I really didn't want it to come down to that.
"Off to Amazonia we go," I muttered as I threw my clothes into my bag.
To Be Continued
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