Authors Note: Hey guys! I know it's been forever since I've updated this story, and I'm sorry. I've just worked eight days in a row, and this is my first day off! It's been crazy. I have quite a few days off now so the next chapter should be updated shortly. I've loved the comments and emails I've received, as always, and I hope they continue. If you want to email me, my email is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com
Xena sat down quietly in the dining hall, deep in her thoughts. The Queen and her partner, Alexandria, had been on their 'tour' for over a candlemark now. She was starting to get worried, wondering why they had been gone for so long and what they were talking about. She knew Gabrielle would be on her best behaviour but it was Alexandria she was worried about. The red headed woman was brutally honest, especially when it came to matters of the heart, and she was up to something. She'd been acting strange since they entered the Amazon village and the talk they had before she left, left Xena feeling unsure as to where their relationship was going. It seemed that they both wanted different things.
Or different people, Xena thought with a frown.
She had done what Alexandria had asked of her and thought over their conversation. Was their relationship just a comfortable diversion? Was Alexandria just someone to keep her mind off of Gabrielle? She couldn't deny that she still had feelings for the Amazon queen, but she hated to think of Alexandria like that. She didn't want to think that she was just using her lover to get over someone else.
Goddamn her, Xena thought angrily. Why did she have to put all these thoughts in my mind? Why did we have to come to this god forsaken village? Everything was perfect before I got that letter. I loved Alexandria, she loved me and we were happy. Why am I doubting everything now?
So deep in her musings, she didn't notice when her lover and the blonde bard entered the room. She started when she felt a warm hand rest lightly on her shoulder, before looking up into Alexandria's midnight blue eyes.
"Did I scare you?" Alexandria teased, her eyes twinkling as she sat down besides the warrior.
"Of course not," Xena replied with smile. "I was just thinking."
Alexandria tilted her head as she regarded the dark haired woman before smiling and turning to towards the Queen who sat across from her. "We scared her."
Gabrielle laughed as the red headed woman winked at the warrior. Xena just rolled her eyes with a grin, playing with her food on the plate in front of her.
"You two were gone for a while," Xena said, her voice emotionless. "Have a nice tour?"
"It was brilliant," Alexandria replied with a bright smile as she took a sip of ale that had been placed before her. "I didn't realise we'd been gone for so long. I guess we just lost track of time."
"What did you two talk about?" Xena asked, trying to keep her voice as nochalant as possible.
"Amazon stuff," Gabrielle replied with a shrug.
"And the elements," Alexandria said with a mischevious grin. "You know, fire and air. How fire is strong and passionate but without air, it flickers and dies."
Xena glanced between the two women suspiciously, trying to find the hidden meaning underneath Alexandria's words. "Uh huh."
"Okay," Alexandria grinned, patting Xena on the shoulder as she stood up. "I'm going to get something to eat. You want anything, Gabrielle?"
"Yes, please," Gabrielle replied, smiling at the red head. "A little bit of everything?"
"A lot of everything," Xena muttered under her breath, earning a smack on the back of her head from her lover.
Alexandria nodded at the Amazon queen, giving Xena's shoulder a gentle squeeze before leaving the two women in an awkward silence. Xena continued to play with her food, unsure of what to say to the bard that she hadn't seen in so long. She felt her heart beating furiously in her chest as she glanced up at the blonde, who was still watching her partner as she made her way to the tables of food.
"She's a wonderful woman," Gabrielle said, breaking the silence. "Amazing, actually."
"She is," Xena nodded, turning her head to look at Alexandria. She smiled as she watched the woman talking to a table of Amazons, who all seemed entraced by the red headed woman's beauty. "She truly is."
"You both seem really happy together," Gabrielle said softly, looking down at her mug of cider. "I'm really happy you found someone."
"Are you?" Xena asked abrubtly, causing the blonde to look up at her in shock, her ocean green eyes wide.
"Of course I am, Xena," Gabrielle said quietly. "I'm glad you're happy."
Xena heard the sincerity in the bard's words, but as she searched her emerald orbs, she found sadness lurking in the depths.
"Have you found someone?" Xena asked emotionlessly, her stoic warrior mask firmly in place. "Are you happy?"
Gabrielle laughed softly, gazing around the dining hut until her eyes landed on a dark Amazon warrior, a few tables away. The woman was watching them curiously, her head tilted to the side, a dark eyebrow raised as she returned Gabrielle gaze. "Yes, I have a bedmate."
"A bedmate?" Xena questioned, her brow furrowed. She turned in her seat, following the bard's gaze and found a pair of blue eyes staring back at her. The Amazon was beautiful, long dark hair flowing over broad tanned shoulders. Xena smirked to herself, seeing the startling resemblance between herself an the Amazon, before turning back to Gabrielle. "I see."
Gabrielle raised an eyebrow at the warrior, getting a grin in return before leaning over a swatting Xena's arm. "Oh shush."
Xena laughed, though her heart was pounding in her chest at the bard's brief touch on her arm. They fell into a comfortable silence as they both sipped their drinks, waiting for Alexandria to return. It was Gabrielle's voice broke the silence after a few moments.
"I've missed you," Gabrielle all but whispered, looking at the warrior with a sad smile.
Xena looked up at her ex lover, gazing at the woman thoughtfully before giving a small nod. "I've missed you too, Gabrielle."
Their eyes locked, sky blue gazing into emerald green, their emotions that had been hidden for so long passing through their gaze. Gabrielle leaned across the table, taking Xena's hand and gently squeezing it. She ran her thumb lightly over Xena's tanned skin, amazed at the softness of the woman's hands, despite the amount of strength they possessed. Xena swallowed as her heart started to race, her skin tingling where the bard caressed her. She realised the bard would be able to feel her pulse and hurriedly she pulled her hand away, ignoring the sad look that flashed across Gabrielle's face. At that moment, Alexandria returned, setting the plates on the table with a bright smile that didn't meet her eyes.
"Excuse me," Xena said, her voice cracking as she stood up quickly from the table. "I'm going to go check on Eve."
The dark haired woman strode away from the table, stumbling in her hurry to leave as Alexandria and Gabrielle watching her go. With a soft sigh, Alexandria turned back towards the Queen, plastering a smile on her face. "So, tell me more about this festival."
To be continued in Chapter Seven.
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