Aphrodite's Gift

by My OSage

Disclaimers! The characters of Xena: Warrior Princess do not belong to me. And I have no control over the shenanigans on Mount Olympus.

Warning! This story contains, explicit, consensual sex between women, sometimes. And it contains romantic involvement between women, always. Because that's the way I like it. If this kind of thing is not to your liking, then go away. It's a big Internet out there.

"Aphrodite! Aphrodite! Where are you?!" Artemis strode purposefully into the Goddess of Love's temple. Her agitation was acute and bordered on dangerous.

"Hey, Amazon Mom." Aphrodite called out from the chaise lounge where she was perfectly displayed. "How's the tribe?"

Artemis was not amused. "You said you'd help me. You said you'd take care of things. And my Chosen One is still so unhappy."

"Chill, my overwrought overseer. I'm working on it. It'll happen……..

I promise."

In truth, Aphrodite was frustrated and somewhat annoyed. She was not at all accustomed to failing in her endeavors. And so far, she had not been able to bring the Queen of the Amazons her heart's desire. At first it had seemed so simple. Both the queen and the warrior princess were nuts about each other. The goddess had thought that they would need only a gentle push to become lovers and soulmates. But the warrior babe had turned out to be the 'can't see the forest for the trees' type when it came to her own lovelife. So here she was, no love affair to show for her efforts, and Artemis beside herself with worry about her precious queen.

"It's breaking my heart to see her this way, Aphrodite." Artemis sighed, her anger fading as she plunked herself down on the nearest loveseat.

"Do something…….please?"

Everyone thought the love goddess had it so easy, thought Aphrodite. They thought that all she had to do was wave her superbly manicured hand and all the love in the world just fell into place. In reality, it took a lot of work …..…scheming, finagling, and manipulation to get people into loving relationships. This thing between Gabrielle and Xena was tarnishing her reputation. And far be it for her to admit it out loud, but she truly liked Artemis and hated seeing her so upset. Aphrodite stood and crossed over to the Amazon's patron.

"Hey, don't go postal on me now." Aphrodite put a soft hand under Artemis's chin and gently lifted her face so their eyes met. "I'll take care of it……….I promised, didn't I?"

That raised a slight smile from Artemis. Aphrodite was one of the few on Mount Olympus she had any real affection for. And she knew that the love goddess could be accused of many things, but lying wasn't one of them. She stood to go.

"It would mean so much to me, Aphrodite. Thank you."

"Yeah, yeah…..go already." Aphrodite dismissed her with a wave. When she had left, Aphrodite sunk down onto the loveseat and groaned. "Now what?"

Xena had been gone only four days. But to Gabrielle, it felt like an eternity. Not that there wasn't plenty to do in the amazon village. She knew that Ephiny worked hard to keep things in order during her absences. Yet there was always so much to attend to whenever she and Xena returned. Now with Xena gone to a distant outpost of the amazon's land to help with hunting problems plaguing the area, Gabrielle was even more at a loss. Ephiny had voiced her concern about Gabrielle's state of mind and urged her to take the day off to relax.

A walk into the amazon forest was truly lovely in the spring. But Gabrielle could not muster the spirit to enjoy it. She couldn't seem to shake the lethargy that had taken hold of her lately. She felt depressed and there was an aching in her heart that she couldn't explain. Sitting down on a fallen log, the bard cupped her chin in her hands, close to tears.

Aphrodite watched her from a distance. She had to admit that this mortal was an exceptional woman. To Artemis, she was the spirit and heart of her beloved amazons. To Ares, she was 'that irritating blonde' that kept Xena out of his reach. But Aphrodite was no stranger to allure and the bard had plenty of that. Small wonder why many of those she met were so enamored of her. It wasn't only the silky, blonde hair with it's red highlights or the gentle, sea green eyes. Not just the lovely lines of her face or the sensual body. It was more the inner glow, the innate charisma that emanated from the queen, that captured one's attention. But she digressed, she was here to try something she had never attempted before. She was going to level with the mortals she was trying to influence. She going to try and talk some sense into them. She knew these were desperate measures, but she was going to try..…ugh,…....honesty.

Gabrielle didn't notice the female form materializing in front of her until it touched her on the shoulder. She looked up and recognized the Goddess of Love immediately. But she could not fathom what in the world she was doing there.

"Aphrodite," she stated flatly.

"In the delicious flesh, sweet cheeks," answered Aphrodite. "You're causing problems, ya know."


"Well," Aphrodite paused, she wanted to choose her words carefully. "I couldn't help but notice that you've really been down in the dumps. And let's face it, when you're unhappy, Artemis is unhappy. And when Artemis is unhappy, no one gets any peace."

"I'm sorry."

Well, this was not going as she had planned, thought Aphrodite. She had wanted to explain how things were and Gabrielle was supposed to get the idea and feel better. What was she doing wrong? 'Honesty, Aphrodite,' she reminded herself, 'honesty.'

"Hey, Queen Bee," Aphrodite sat down next to Gabrielle. "I know what's been bugging you lately."

At that, Gabrielle turned and actually showed a flicker of interest for the first time since the goddess had appeared. "And how would you know that?"

Aphrodite did not take offense at the tone in the bard's voice. Even she could feel the pain underneath the question. "Because, it's my field of expertise….. ……..it's what I do."

Gabrielle continued to look at her with no understanding lighting her eyes.

"It's all about you and the warrior babe." Aphrodite was pleased that the mention of the WP had gotten Gabrielle's full and immediate attention. "You've been smitten with Ms. tall, dark, and gorgeous ever since you first laid eyes on her. And boy, has that love grown big time over the years. Am I right, or what?"

Gabrielle smiled slightly and nodded. "Yes, but you being right obviously doesn't make any difference."

"True," replied Aphrodite. "But by Zeus, I have been trying! Yet all I've managed to do is make it more difficult for you to cope. And every time I get the seed planted in the warrior babe, she uses that warlord focus thing to put a lid on her desires. Major bummer."

"I don't want you to trick her into loving me. I couldn't stand having her that way."

"Hey, don't worry, blondie." Aphrodite reassured her. "That warrior has the hots for you like I've never seen, except for the way she turns you on."

Gabrielle was a little stunned. "You mean to tell me she loves me, that she wants me as much as I want her?"

"You got it, saga seller." 'Hey, this was going well after all,' mused Aphrodite. Maybe she would try this approach more often. "She loves you more than life itself. But there's always that "gotta keep the kid safe' and that 'she deserves so much better than me' monologue happenin' with her. It's really tough getting through all that."

Gabrielle's mind shifted into gear. She knew what Aphrodite had said about her was true. She had fallen for Xena the moment she had looked up from within the filthy arms of that slave trader and saw her standing on the rise above the band of thugs. The stranger had stood there for a brief moment dressed only in a short shift, unarmed, and seemingly defenseless. But even with the sun at her back, Gabrielle could see the intensity flashing in those blue eyes, the power in her stance, the outrage at the injustice of the situation. And before anyone could realize what was happening, she had descended on the hoodlums like the preverbal "harpie in a bad mood". The young girl was completely taken with the lost warlord and had followed her ever since, determined to stay with her. Now Gabrielle was a mature woman with more life experiences than she could have ever imagined. And with each passing day, she had fallen even more in love with the warrior, if that was possible. The bard had thought she lost the warrior on several occasions. And every time it had happened, she'd felt as if her very soul had been ripped out of her. She knew that she never wanted to be without Xena by her side, in her heart, in her arms, in her bed. Could it possibly be that Aphrodite was right? That Xena loved her just as intensely?

Aphrodite let the young woman's thoughts run rampant, connecting the events, the feelings and the realizations. This was actually the easy part. Gabrielle needed no convincing to open herself up to the warrior princess. It was 'Ms. tall, dark, and stubborn' that she expected to be a hard sell. She rose to leave thinking, 'well, I'd better get to it.'

"Gabrielle." She turned the queen to face her with the same gentle hand on her chin that she had used to reassure Artemis. "In this mortal world, the love you share with Xena is extremely rare and precious. It's a complement to me that there are those who think that I'm responsible for it. But the truth is that you are destined to be Xena's soulmate by the Fates themselves. Nothing and no one can change that. You belong together……and you will be together ……..I promise."

With that, Aphrodite's image started to shimmered in the light of the forest and to fade from Gabrielle's vision.

"Aphrodite! Wait!" the bard called out to the departing goddess. "Don't trick or enchant her…..please…….and don't hurt her."

The image was gone, but Gabrielle heard 'I promise' whispered in the wind. The queen felt as if a burden had been lifted from her heart. Her head cleared and for the first time in weeks, she felt a glimmer of hope that her dreams of being joined with Xena might actually come true.

Xena was only a day's ride from the central amazon village where Gabrielle was staying. The hunting problem had been taken care of and the steadfast women in the remote amazonian outpost had been appreciative of her help. She'd enjoyed the challenge of solving their problems and also enjoyed their gratitude. They had held a dinner in her honor and had danced for her to celebrate the hunt. During her stay, she had received several offers of 'companionship' that were undeniably of a sexual nature. But as enjoyable as all that may have been, all she could think of was how much she wanted Gabrielle with her. She missed sharing the adventure with the bard, had missed her company, her insight, her laughter, her sparkling eyes. She missed the tenderness the bard displayed towards her. She felt incomplete.

It was with this train of thought that she stopped to camp for the night. Argo had worked hard in the last few days seeking out the predator of the animals on which the amazons depended. As much as she wanted to return to Gabrielle, she decided not to push Argo further. She set up her camp, hunted, and ate in quick fashion. Being on the road without Gabrielle was lonely and depressing. The warrior could feel herself slipping into a pessimistic mood. Surely this would mean the return of her old nightmares and Gabrielle would not be nearby to soothe her. Xena sat on a log near the fire hoping that the ritual of sharpening her weapons and polishing her armor would keep the despondency at bay. Suddenly she detected another presence near and without any noticeable break in her movements, her body readied itself for confrontation.

'Perfect,' muttered Aphrodite to herself as she watched the warrior's mood darken. She was still mulling over her approach, unaware of the subtle change in Xena's demeanor, when she heard the warrior speak.

"Show yourself." Xena stated bluntly.

"How do you do that?" A stunned Aphrodite materialized. She had heard from Ares that Xena was the only mortal he knew who could detect their presence, but she hadn't believed him…….until now.

"What do you want, Aphrodite?" The warrior's voice was cold and showed no real curiosity.

"Well, believe it or not, Warrior Babe, I've come to help you out."

"And what would I possibly need your help with?" Xena's lack of fondness for all the gods in general was apparent in her tone.

"Geeze, lighten up, gorgeous. I thought you might want to know what's been happening with your main squeeze while you've been out here battling lions, tigers and bears."

At the mention of Gabrielle, whom she was sure Aphrodite was referring to, Xena stood quickly and took a menacing step towards the goddess.

"What about Gabrielle." It was not a question.

Aphrodite could sense the danger emanating from the warrior at what she perceived to be any kind of threat towards the woman she loved. 'Wow,' thought the beautiful guardian of love, 'this is one seriously sexy mortal.' But Aphrodite did not want a confrontation, that was not her mission.

"Hey chill, blue eyes. I said I was here to help. Now sit down……..please?"

The warrior sat back down on the log, but her eyes never left the goddess. While Aphrodite tried to ponder a way to open the warrior's heart, she found herself stalled momentarily by the intensity that radiated from the mortal. She could see why Ares and many others were obsessed with the warrior princess. She understood why almost anyone who met the WP was enthralled by her beauty. (Not that this enchantress ever noticed anyone's attention but the little bard's.) She was magnificent. Jet black hair, smooth, soft skin covering an athletic build. Beautiful features, powerful shoulders and arms, full breasts, a slender waist and hips that flared out to meet long, sexy legs. And those eyes…..those crystal-like, lapis eyes that snapped with intensity. She was a perfect package of sexuality and strength.

Aphrodite shook herself out of taking physical inventory of the lovely woman waiting for her to continue. While she indulged her sexual desire for both sexes, she was mostly known for seducing extremely handsome men. But there had also been stunning women that she'd found irresistible and she remembered those affairs as being very satisfying. And why was she thinking about that now, she wondered? 'Uh oh,' realized the love goddess. She was unintentionally thinking about seducing this beauty. 'No, no, no!' She scolded herself mentally. If she dallied with the Chosen One's toy, Artemis would be furious.

"Ya know, I've been trying for a while now to get you to let yourself go, to open yourself up to love's possibilities. But ooooh no…. not the Queen of Control. You really are a though nut to crack…….."

The love guardian abruptly stopped her tirade. 'Honesty,' Aphrodite reminded herself, 'concentrate on the honesty part.' To Xena she spoke gently. "Why do you choose to ignore the way the little bard feels about you? It makes her so unhappy"

Xena should have expected the Goddess of Love to appear only where matters of the heart were concerned, but somehow she was surprised that the heart in question was hers.

"I know you love her." Aphrodite softly tried again.

"Gabrielle deserves the best," stated Xena, almost out of habit. "And the best certainly isn't some washed up ex-warlord who will spend a lifetime trying to atone for her past."

Aphrodite sighed. 'Not that old line again,' she thought. 'She always uses that to control how she really feels. Why can't she just be honest with herself? Honest with herself….. wait a minute…….' Aphrodite smiled as an idea took form in her mind. She was a god after all……..and it wasn't really enchantment……and for one day, it surely wouldn't hurt her……….

Aphrodite slowly approached the warrior who was still thinking of all the reasons she should not be allowed to love Gabrielle. She was so engrossed in her thoughts, that Xena didn't notice Aphrodite's approach until she was standing directly in front of the sitting warrior. When she did look up into the Goddess of Love's eyes, the charm and allure that was Aphrodite mesmerized her for a moment. The goddess took Xena's hands in hers and gently pulled until the warrior stood looking directly down into her beautiful face. Then she cupped Xena's face in both her hands and spoke to her with a sincerity that the warrior had never before heard from a god.

"Listen to me, Xena," came the tender revelation. "I'm going to give you a gift. From now until this time tomorrow I am removing that amazing control you have over your own emotions. You will remain in control of your actions. But for one day, all the feelings, needs and desires from inside your soul will be reflected into your heart. Perhaps you might think of this gift as very special mirror. Not only will it reflect, without a doubt, how you feel, but how others genuinely feel towards you. What you choose to do with the knowledge of these reflections, I leave up to you."

Then Aphrodite slid her fingers into Xena's hair and pulled her down into a sensuous kiss. The gift was in place.

Xena felt the kiss ignite a fire deep inside her. She reached her arms around the goddess, pulled her close, spread her hands across her back and deepened the kiss. There was a surge of lust that raced between the two women. What Aphrodite had forgotten was that in giving the gift of revealing how others felt towards Xena, she was beginning with herself. It was immediately apparent to the warrior, that the great Goddess of Love wanted her. When Aphrodite realized that her own desires were being reflected, she withdrew from the intensity of the embrace and stood smiling at the splendid mortal.

"Oh no you don't, Warrior Babe." Aphrodite laughed lightly at the warrior. "You don't get to start with me." She was rewarded when Xena had the decency to blush at what the goddess had been feeling towards her.

Aphrodite stepped back slightly, out of Xena's reach. But she left one soft hand on her cheek. "Take a chance with your heart for once, Xena," she said. "The love you and Gabrielle have is as good as it gets. For you and for her. Open yourself up, my lovely warrior…… she loves you so much."

And with that, Aphrodite reached up and quickly kissed Xena again. Then she vanished, leaving her voice in the wind…….. "It's just one day, Xena……learn from it………."

After the goddess had gone, Xena felt an almost palpable lightness penetrate her being. The first feeling reflected in the 'mirror gift' was a need to see Gabrielle. She noticed that she didn't feel as if she had to fight against the feeling. Was this gift real, she wondered? Well, there was only one way to find out. And if Gabrielle's happiness depended on her using this gift, then use it she would. She broke camp, saddled Argo, and was riding towards the amazon village in record time.

Xena reached the amazon village by early afternoon. She had thought about the things Aphrodite had done and said. She had let her feelings about her life filter through her control and make themselves known. It had been an enlightening ride.

As she approached the sentries guarding the borders of Amazonia, she noticed a sensation of pride at the sight of the amazon guards who had devoted themselves so adamantly to their queen. These women were strong, faithful, generous, brave, and loving. That she felt this way about the nation that had so embraced her and Gabrielle, should have surprised her. But she now had an idea of how Aphrodite's gift worked. As she passed the guards, she was a little taken aback as some of the feelings that the amazons had towards her became apparent. There was profound respect, genuine affection, and a few lustful feelings that made Xena smile. She had grown accustomed to the lustful thoughts of others, but the respect and affection were unknown to her before now. She was waved through and she knew that Gabrielle would soon be informed that she was coming.

When she arrived at the village's center, Ephiny was waiting for her. At the sight of her friend, she was filled with warmth. From herself, there was high regard, deep affection, admiration. Ephiny emitted similar feelings of a loving friendship towards the warrior. They had been through difficult times together and Xena realized that quite possibly Ephiny had no idea how much she meant to the warrior.

Ephiny smiled up at the warrior and took Argo's reins as Xena dismounted. The warrior looked different, but Ephiny couldn't quite put her finger on why.

"How did things go at the outpost, Xena?" Ephiny asked.

"Great," replied Xena as she swept Ephiny up into a tremendous bearhug. "I think you're the best, Ephiny, and if there is ever anything I can do for you, just ask."

'Who was this woman who looked so much like Xena, but couldn't possibly be Xena?' thought Ephiny, too stunned to return the embrace.

"Ok," Ephiny said aloud looking down into Xena's smiling face. "Who are you and what have you done with my friend, Xena?"

Xena laughed and released her. "I have a gift," was all she would say to the confused Ephiny. "Will you take Argo for me? I have to see Gabrielle." And she started off towards the queen's hut.

"Sure." Ephiny said to Xena's retreating figure. 'A gift,' thought Ephiny shaking her head, 'whatever that means.'

Gabrielle looked up from the scrolls she had been trying to concentrate on when Xena came through the door, stopped and just stood there looking at her. The queen had no idea of what had transpired between Aphrodite and Xena. The warrior seemed to be going through some sort of thought process, so Gabrielle remained seated and waited for her to speak.

The first emotion to rush through Xena at the first sight of Gabrielle was immeasurable joy….followed closely by relief that she was safe, an intense desire to hold her tight, and overpowering love. She closed her eyes for a moment to let the feelings settle in her heart. Then she focused on the emotions emanating from the bard. There was also joy and relief. But these were followed closely by anxiety and worry. 'She doesn't understand,' thought Xena. 'I need to explain the gift to her.'

"Xena?" Gabrielle could not contain her concern any longer. "Are you all right?"


"Did Aphrodite talk to you?"


"You're not bewitched, or under any enchantment, are you?" Gabrielle stood and Xena could detect a growing panic coming from her. "She didn't hurt you, did she?"

"No, Gabrielle. I'm not enchanted and she didn't hurt me." Overwhelming relief again coming from the bard, followed by perplexity.

"Then what's wrong, Xena?" Gabrielle was confused by the warrior's strange behavior.

"She said that you loved me."

"From the first moment I saw you." Honesty, pride, confidence about this subject radiated from Gabrielle.

"She gave me a gift, Gabrielle."

Again, perplexion, uncertainty from Gabrielle. "What kind of gift?" she asked suspiciously.

Xena stood where she was, even though the need to run to the bard and enfold her in her arms was intensifying with each passing moment. But once she was near Gabrielle, she would never be able to explain anything.

"She took away my ability to ignore my emotions. Until tonight, everything I feel, need, or desire is reflected into my heart. It's like a mirror of emotions, Gabrielle."

Gabrielle's concern grew into alarm. Xena out of control. This was a frightening concept. What could Aphrodite have been thinking?

"Don't worry, I'm in complete control of my actions." The warrior had detected Gabrielle's discomfort that almost bordered on fear. "It's just that I'm completely aware of all my real feelings." Xena dropped her eyes, not wanting to meet Gabrielle's if the bard perceived this as any kind of weakness in the warrior.

"And there's more." Xena said quietly. "The mirror gift also reflects the feelings, needs and desires that others have towards me."

That brought a jump in anxiety from Gabrielle. It was followed by a shy embarrassment as Gabrielle realized that the warrior must be aware then of all the feelings the bard had for her.

And realize, Xena did. She closed her eyes again and absorbed the love, tenderness, the passion that she was receiving from Gabrielle. Aphrodite was right. Gabrielle wanted her, needed her, loved her with more intensity than anyone she had ever known. It was time to show her that the feelings were mutual. She opened her eyes and slowly started towards the bard who now seemed rooted to the spot where she stood.

"You want me."

"With my entire being."

"And you need me."


As Xena slowly approached, Gabrielle was saturated with emotions that seemed to be coming from the warrior. She didn't know if Aphrodite's gift could be shared, but Xena's emotions were clearly being transmitted into the bard's heart. She felt an enormous love washing over her. There was an all-encompassing need for her and a sexual desire for her so powerful in it's intensity, that it brought a blush to her lovely face.

Xena saw the bard color and knew that Gabrielle must be receiving her emotions as well. Aphrodite had not said the gift was transferable. But maybe Gabrielle was so in tuned to her that the bard could feel her emotions without the help of the gift. As Xena drew near the riveted bard, she could feel a shift in both of their emotions. Acceptance came to the forefront, followed by peace, tranquillity, tenderness, and gratitude.

Gabrielle watched her warrior's slow approach. It seemed to her that all of her hopes and dreams were about to come true. Yet she was too overwhelmed to respond to it all. Xena was so beautiful, her nearness so intoxicating, that Gabrielle was completely spellbound. 'Thank you, Aphrodite, thank you so much……' was her last rational thought.

Xena stood directly in front of Gabrielle locking eyes with her. She brought both hands up to cup Gabrielle's face in much the same way that Aphrodite had held her. They seemed to stay that way for an eternity, but in reality, it was mere moments.

"I love you, Gabrielle. You mean more to me than anyone in this world or the next. You are my heart and my soul, and I cannot exist without you by my side. Please stay with me, always. Be the love of my life, join with me …….please."

It was the longest, most heartfelt speech Gabrielle had ever heard the warrior make. 'Snap out of it, bard!' she said to herself, 'say….. something.'

"Yes." Gabrielle almost moaned audibly. 'That's it? That's the best you can do?' She was struggling to put her feelings into words, to assure the warrior that the love between them was mutual, solid and permanent. Forgetting that Xena was already receiving that information.

Xena was satisfied for now that their lives were definitely entwined on the spinning wheels of the Fates. She drew Gabrielle to her and kissed her with a tenderness she had not known until now that she possessed. The kiss was sweet, revealing and long. Gabrielle responded by putting her arms around the warriors neck and pulling their bodies together. Xena let go of the bard's face and dropped her arms down to wind around the bard's back, completing the embrace. They stood there gently kissing, communicating their commitment to one another each time their lips touched. Over and over, softly, unhurriedly, completely enthralled with one another.

The emotions flowed back and forth between the two women like an ocean tide. Gabrielle could feel Xena's hands begin to roam over her back and down her hips. The response was immediate and obvious to the sensitized warrior. Xena broke off the tender kisses and looked at the bard with amusement in her eyes.

"Why, Gabrielle," she teased, as the amazon queen began to blush in her arms. "I never realized that you harbored such amorous and passionate thoughts about me."

Gabrielle knew that the hunger she was beginning to feel towards the warrior was causing a flush to creep up her neck and face. Although a bit embarrassed that Xena could detect these particular emotions so easily, Gabrielle was none the less confident now, almost defiant, in her lust for the warrior. Now she would know Xena intimately, see her in an erotic state, be able to touch her passionately. And she would finally get to feel Xena inside of her, stroking her, feel her mouth on her…….these responses fired across to Xena as quickly as they hit Gabrielle.

The warrior was stunned at the voracious sensations raging through the bard. Gabrielle was almost predatory in her hunger for the warrior, now that she had permission to release her innermost urges. Xena could identify similar demands from her own body as her loins reacted to the assault that Gabrielle began on Xena's mouth. The tenderness was replaced by a yearning to invade, to claim, to possess. Xena quickly granted entrance to the demanding tongue seeking her own. They stood cemented together kissing with a powerful compulsion to become one. It was stimulating, greedy, wanton. They were heading for an explosion of the long denied craving they had for one another.

'Yes!!!' thought Aphrodite as she watched the soon to be lovers in their fervor. She didn't have to stay to know that they were way beyond ordinary friendship now. By morning, their relationship would be irrevocably changed. 'Definitely for the better,' she added to herself. She was pleased to note that the dark haired beauty was too preoccupied with the amazon queen to detect that she was there. A small stab of unexpected regret touched the Goddess of Love as she watched the delicious mortal give her love to the bard. She was a god after all. And it would never do for a god to actually fall in love with a mortal. It would only cause heartbreak for all. But if honesty was the keyword for the day, she had to admit to herself that what she was feeling for the Warrior Princess was as close as she had ever come to considering such a thing. With a flick of her finger, the bolt on the inside of the hut's door slide securely into place. She would make sure that there would be no interruptions until this love was consummated, a done deal. Then she faded back through the hut's wall and disappeared.

Xena stopped kissing Gabrielle while they both caught their breath. The warrior scanned the room quickly. She had felt a momentary sense of loss somewhere in the room. But it was gone before she could identify the source. Looking back at Gabrielle she said, "Let me love you, Gabrielle…….please. I want you so much."

Gabrielle took the warriors hands and backed up towards their bed, pulling Xena along with her. When she reached the edge of the bed, she stopped and started to disarm her warrior. The chakrum, sword, and breast dagger were quickly disposed of. (Well, perhaps she spent a few extra moments removing the breast dagger) The armor that protected the sensuous body from harm in battle was gone quickly as well. She reached around Xena and loosened the ties of her leathers. Gabrielle stopped to let Xena process the feelings running through both women. She was catching on as to how the gift worked and she wanted Xena to absorb every nuance of the pleasure flowing between them.

Xena was overloading on anticipation. As Gabrielle stopped undressing her, she acknowledged all the times that she had loved the bard's body, watched it, wishing she could touch her intimately. All the baths, the sparring, the nights they slept close together for warmth or protection. It all washed over her and she smiled when she realized that Gabrielle must have been surreptitiously doing the same thing to her. The warrior brought her hands up to the ties of Gabrielle's halter. Her fingers opened the brief top that barely covered Gabrielle and exposed her lovely breasts to the warriors eyes. The clothing slipped off the bard's shoulders and fell to the floor.

Gabrielle let Xena remove her top and cup her breasts in warm hands. As her nipples came into contact with the warriors palms, she was unable to mask the desire to feel Xena inside of her. The warrior caught the yearning reflected in Aphrodite's mirror and smiled at the bard's eagerness to be touched so intimately.

The bard's body felt increasingly hot. She felt exposed beyond being topless. It seemed that Xena could feel every sexual idea her body came up with. She wanted to know how she made Xena feel, what she thought when she touched her.

Gabrielle needn't have worried. She stilled Xena's fondling hands long enough to pull the loosened leathers down Xena's body. Her leathers, shift, and breeches all landed in a heap on the floor. Then she pulled Xena's naked body against her and kissed her with renewed fervor. At the contact of their naked breasts, Gabrielle felt an explosion of sexual tension rage directly from the warrior's heart and loins. Xena's need to ravish Gabrielle and be captivated in return was fiercely transmitted into the bard's heart.

Xena's hands slid to the belt that secured Gabrielle's skirt. Without breaking the delicious contact with Gabrielle's lips and tongue, she loosened it and slipped the bard's skirt and breeches also to the floor. She then backed Gabrielle up onto the bed, following and covering the reclining body.

"Take those boots off, you heathen," Gabrielle broke off the kissing and laughed softly at her soon to be lover. Xena smiled, backed off Gabrielle's body, stood beside the bed and quickly removed her boots and bracers. She stood for a moment commanding Gabrielle to appreciate her nudity. She emotionally fired off a longing for Gabrielle to want her. 'I do' came the immediate unspoken reply. Gabrielle ran her eyes over the impressive body that so many desired. Her breath caught at the sight of the soft curly hair between Xena's legs. She wanted to reach out and stroke the fine hair, part it, and feel the satin skin she knew would be underneath. She could almost feel the wet warmth that would soon welcome her.

"Come here, my stunning warrior, and make love to me." whispered Gabrielle.

Xena sat back down on the bed and pulled Gabrielle's right leg towards her. She seemed in no hurry as she slowly untied the laces of Gabrielle's boot. It took the bard a moment to realize why Xena was taking so long to remove her boots. Her hands may have been working the laces loose, but her eyes were fixed on the lovely view between Gabrielle's legs that parting her boot covered legs had provided. Gabrielle blushed anew at the blatant revelation and felt an increase in the wetness that had started at the beginning of this sweet seduction.

Xena had removed the right boot and started on the left. She bent Gabrielle's knee up to begin the slow, sensual unlacing. Her eyes never left the delicious sight of Gabrielle's sexual core dripping with readiness. When she felt Gabrielle realize what she was doing, she shifted her eyes up to the bard's and gave her a predatory smile. As she dropped the left boot on the floor, Xena remained between Gabrielle's legs, willing her to keep them spread.

The bard wanted to spend the rest of the evening and night making love with her warrior (how easy it was to think of her that way now). But right now she desperately wanted Xena to penetrate her depths, to fill her inside, to anchor her emotions with those long, slender fingers. She closed her eyes and projected her desires onto her sensitized warrior.

The need Gabrielle conveyed was almost physical in it's intensity. Xena spread Gabrielle's legs further apart and probed her sexual entrance with searching fingers. Gabrielle was slick and inviting. The warrior held her breath and penetrated her lover with two fingers. No preparation, no subtle seduction, just a raw hunger to feel, possess, and relish the bard's depths. Gabrielle cried out at the invasion, her hips trying to match the pace her warrior set as she stroked, explored, and memorized the hot, silken walls that embraced her fingers tightly. After several long moments of enjoying the intimacy, Xena looked up at her bard for direction. What she saw caused a clenching in her own sexual core.

Gabrielle was watching her with a ravenous expression on her face. When she had finally felt Xena take her, the bard's bodyheat skyrocketed. Never had anything in her life felt as delicious as Xena's fingers pumping inside her depths. She had not expected to climax from this wonderfully exciting exploration. But the more Xena stroked her inside, the closer the impending orgasm got. As Xena looked up from between the bard's legs, she was treated to the sight of Gabrielle reaching an intense orgasm. Her inner walls expanded for several moments, then they suddenly gripped Xena's fingers in satisfying spasms.

'By the gods, she's so beautiful,' thought Xena. When Gabrielle calmed, she gently removed her fingers. She climbed up and covered the bard's body still positioning herself between Gabrielle's legs. 'She may never get to close her legs all night,' Xena thought with a smile.

"I heard that, Xena." Gabrielle teased as the warrior was just about to kiss her. Xena stopped, stunned that Gabrielle had caught her having such horny thoughts.

"Well then, maybe it's a good thing this gift is only good until tonight." Xena responded. "I think I'd rather show you and tell you how much you effect me than have you read my mind."

Gabrielle smiled up at the playfully pouting warrior. "I don't want to close my legs tonight or any other time that you want to lay between them." she whispered just before she pulled Xena down into a feverish kiss.

As they kissed, Gabrielle ran her hands down the warrior's back, over her butt, and back up her sides. She traced her fingers along the tender skin on the outside of Xena's breasts. Over and over the strong back, toned butt and soft breasts were massaged. "May I have you now, my exquisite warrior?"

Xena spasmed inside at the delicate, yet erotic request. Gabrielle could have her morning, noon, night and anytime in between. The bard's hands pulled Xena up off her body and moved her nearer until Xena's breasts were in close proximity to her mouth. She brought the tantalizing nipples to her lips and kissed each of them in turn. Xena had an immediate, sexually excited response. The wetness at her core was flowing, the spasms inside her increased. The warrior held herself above Gabrielle as the teasing, fondling, nibbling, biting, and stroking continued at her breasts. She had never thought of her breasts as particularly sensitive. But everywhere her body was in contact with the voracious bard reacted with hunger and a need to be satisfied.

"Spread you legs for me, Xena." Again came a tender request for something blatantly sexual from Xena. She moved her legs apart and over Gabrielle's waist, now bracing herself on her hands and knees.

Gabrielle was amazed at the exquisite view and the erotic feelings it aroused in her. The mighty and powerful Warrior Princess, braced above her on hands and knees allowing the bard to tease, fondle and kiss her body however she wanted. She continued to alternately suck on the lovely breasts that were suspended over her mouth. But she now ran her hands down Xena's taut abdomen, out over her hips and down the outside of smooth muscular thighs. Her caress caused Xena to moan, close her eyes, and sway her body in response. 'I want more, Xena, much more,' she thought. Xena's eyes snapped open as that feeling was transferred. She focused on the bard below her. 'Then take it, my love, it's all for you,' her heart answered.

Gabrielle rolled the co-operative warrior over onto her back. The warrior had been so patient, and the bard was more than ready to realize the intimate fantasies she'd had about Xena. Loving her, touching her, licking and stroking her to the ultimate release, was what the bard had in mind and she set about her goal with fervor. After turning Xena, she had found herself halfway down Xena's magnificent body, laying between her legs. She kissed the lovely expanse of muscled abdomen, careful to caress each battle scar that she ran across. Working her way lower, she could smell the musk of Xena's arousal and feel the warrior's wetness along her abdomen as she slid further down. The glossy, curly hair that met her was moist and fragrant. She used her fingers to part the hair and to softly kiss the skin she found underneath. She heard Xena gasp at the maneuver, so she continued kissing her more ardently at the sexual site. Her tongue manage to slip out and taste Xena often.

This activity with Xena was making her own wetness flow again. It seemed to Gabrielle that they would be making love for a very long time. 'By the gods,' thought Gabrielle. 'Would they ever be able to do anything else? Would they even want to?'

Xena knew she wanted to do nothing else but love Gabrielle. She was starting to rise to sexual heights of which even she had not dreamed possible. Gabrielle was so exciting to her. She was strong and soft, tender and demanding all at the same time. Xena wanted to please her, ravish her, submit to her, sexually soar with her. Now Gabrielle, she pleaded in her heart, please…….now.

Gabrielle immediately responded to her lover as soon as Xena's appeal for satisfaction hit her heart. She slid her fingers into Xena's opening and entered her forcefully with first two fingers, then three. Xena's breath caught and her hips surged at the sudden, delicious invasion. She almost climaxed then, but Gabrielle distracted her with a renewed stimulation of her sensitive sexual nub. With long, strong, rapid strokes of Gabrielle's tongue, the sensations escalated to a fever pitch. The bard wanted Xena to have a spectacular sexual explosion. She wanted to be the cause of it, to be in the middle of it when it went off, and to cradle Xena in her arms when it had subsided. So her attack was purposeful, her enjoyment for what she was doing to Xena almost as physical as her touch. Xena's essence tasted so good to the bard, the smooth skin where she was rapidly stroking her love, so delectable. And deep inside the warrior, where her fingers were searching for an orgasmic rush, was like nothing she had ever known. It was true that she had never touched a woman's inner depths before. She had touched herself and had had one night of a male member. (forgettable in comparison to say the least) Xena captured not only her heart, but also her imagination. The way her warrior's body responded to her sexually, activated an extensive assortment of ideas on how to love this woman. It was a good thing they would be together for a very long time.

Xena was so close to the peak of her climax. Gabrielle seemed to be everywhere at once. She was at her sensitive nub, deep inside her inner walls, in her heart, in her head, everywhere. When the barrage of future ideas about sexual expression slammed into her heart from Gabrielle's mind, the orgasm she had been expecting seized her body. It overtook all her thinking, and forced her to scream out Gabrielle's name along with assorted gentle and vulgar terms of endearment for the bard. As the wave receded, she wrapped her legs around Gabrielle who was still lying between them looking up at her. The bard's fingers had stopped their probing, but still rested deep within her. Gabrielle's face was absolutely luminous. Xena could have stayed on this bed looking down at this incredible woman for an eternity. The only other pleasure she could think of that would be nearly as enjoyable would be to alter their positions slightly. Xena imagined herself laying as she was now with Gabrielle's hips straddling her shoulders, with her tongue buried deep inside the beautiful bard.

"Animal." Gabrielle smiled up at Xena as the carnal image was transferred to her mind. She had slipped out Xena's depths and had folded her arms across Xena's hips. Her chin was resting on her forearms and the satisfaction in her smile was not lost on the warrior. Xena brought her arms up behind her head and reveled in the beautiful sight of a smiling, naked Gabrielle lying within the embrace of her strong legs.

"Is that really what you want?" Gabrielle asked the warrior. "To touch me that way?"

"Yes, and in every other way possible that I can think of." came the unflinching answer.

That lovely blush colored the bard's sweet face again. She looked into Xena's eyes for a moment, realizing that loving each other in every way possible was a goal for them both. The bard gently extradited herself from the warriors long legs and climbed up her body until her face was even with Xena's. The warrior brought out her hands from behind her head and cupped Gabrielle's face bringing her into a searing kiss. The bard responded by laying her body down onto Xena and forcing her tongue into the warrior's willing mouth. Their tongues danced together, demonstrating for them both the yearning they had lived with for so long. Then the warrior put her hands on the sides of Gabrielle's breast and lifted her further up her body. The bard blushed again at the intimacy of what her warrior wanted her to do. At the same time, it excited her to give so private a performance to the woman she adored.

Xena pushed Gabrielle up until the bard was straddling her above the shoulders. As Gabrielle grabbed onto the headboard, Xena reached up with long arms and fondled the bard's attractive breasts. She squeezed the pliant flesh, rolled the tender nipples between her fingers, pinched and pulled lightly at them. The bard was doing her best to hold still, but being on her knees above Xena allowed her the freedom to move in response to the stimulation of her breasts. She swayed seductively above the warrior, momentarily unaware of the delightful view she was affording her lover below. But Xena did not hesitate to react to the enticing sight. She dropped her hands down to Gabrielle's hips and pulled her down onto her waiting mouth.

Gabrielle snapped to attention at the change of events. One moment she was enjoying the warm, arousing hands of her warrior on her breasts. The next moment her hips were pulled down and hungry lips were exploring between her legs. Any embarrassment she might have felt at the position she was in, was far overshadowed by the incredible pleasure that being displayed this way brought to both women. As Xena's tongue joined her lips in their exploration, Gabrielle realized that it would take a tremendous amount of concentration to maintain her balance. What delicious torture.

Xena was completely absorbed in her task. She found the bard's sex intoxicating. The hair covering it was soft and golden. Underneath was a shaft of nerves eager to be stroked. The velvety lips at the entrance to the bard's depths enticed her like the first time when Gabrielle had desperately sought release from her fingers. This time, Xena wanted to own every part of the bard above her. She tried to convey the feeling to Gabrielle, asking her lover to please allow her to do all that she wanted to do.

The gift was still in place. And although it was beginning to fade, Gabrielle still received the longing from the warrior below her. She would allow her lover to do anything that she desired to bring pleasure to them both. There was no doubt, no reservations. Anything Xena wanted from her, she could have. The message would have been clearly translated by Gabrielle's aroused body, with or without the gift.

Xena lapped at the wetness that continued to flow from the bard. She alternated between her lover's responsive shaft and delectable opening. She used her hands to manipulate Gabrielle hips into different positions and was rewarded with small groans and whimpers from her lover. The warrior shifted Gabrielle's hips more forward than she had before and slid her tongue up and over the bard's tight anal opening. The unexpected stroke made the bard jump. 'Everything, Gabrielle……please?' the warrior silently requested. 'Everything.'

Gabrielle had never felt such a sensation in her life. The ardent tongue that stimulated her anus had caught her completely by surprise. But she heard the emotional request from her warrior and any shock or embarrassment she would have normally felt disappeared. 'Anything, my sweet warrior …..anything you want,' was her unconditional reply.

The licking continued to run the length of Gabrielle's crevice. The warrior would slip her tongue over the bard's clitoris, into her vagina, and occasionally tease her anal opening. Xena could sense the bard was reaching a point where she had taken about as much stimulation as she could stand. She needed the release, the climax that Xena could provide. The warrior had purposely avoided penetrating into the inviting warmth inside Gabrielle that she had enjoyed earlier. She wanted to take her there at the last moment to push the bard over the apex of her impending orgasm. Instead she reached around behind Gabrielle's hips with her left hand and massaged the slippery, puckered anal entrance with the tip of her little finger. Then she concentrated the strokes of her tongue on the shaft in front where the bundle of nerves were about ready to ignite the fire within. Gabrielle's body started to rush towards the climax they both sought. At the exact moment of release, Xena gently probed her fingertip through the wet anal sphincter. Simultaneously Xena brought the waiting fingers of her right hand up and vigorously claimed the bard's other entrance. The bard's body couldn't help but react to Xena as she energetically penetrated the front, delicately fingered the back and continued to lick the nerve endings outside. Gabrielle exploded.

"By the gods!……Xena!" The bard screamed her warrior's name out loud as she felt the joint frontal and rear invasions into her body. The experience were overwhelming. It seemed to her that Xena was everywhere, over every inch of her flesh. How is it possible to feel someone everywhere at once? It was a fleeting thought as her orgasm gripped her and tossed her higher than any climax had ever taken her before. She literally saw stars and melted. It was so good that she thought she was crying, but she couldn't be sure. As the tide started to recede, she felt her body being shifted and turned. She was aware, but she didn't seem to be able to move of her own accord. But she recognized the loving hands that slipped gently out of her depths and the arms that held her close. She knew the body she was cradled against and the soft lips kissing her hair. And she was familiar with the soft voice whispering expressions of love to her.

"Xena." The bard opened her eyes and looked up into diamond blue eyes filled with love for her. She smiled…… "Wow……."

The warrior smiled and shook her head. She could hardly believe what had just transpired between them. She had never loved so much or felt so loved in her whole life. It wasn't only the fantastic lovemaking that they had just shared. It was the way their hearts and souls blended and merged until it seemed as if there was only one whole spirit instead of two separate ones. She pulled Gabrielle tighter against her.

"I love you, Gabrielle. You are the queen of my heart and I will serve you for the rest of my life."

Gabrielle, now fully recovered from their sexual exploits, sat up within Xena's arms and looked at her. She saw the offering of a lifetime of love written all over her warrior's face. Gift or no gift, she would have known that she had Xena's heart as surely as Xena had hers.

"My beautiful warrior." Gabrielle whispered as she brought her hand up to caress Xena's face. "You are the one who has owned me from the first moment I saw you. Everything I am, everything I have or will ever achieve belongs to us both. We cannot be separated now. We share the same heart."

It would be dawn in a few candle marks. The two women settled down to get some sleep, their bodies entwined so intricately it seemed as if they truly were one. Aphrodite's gift had long ago expired. But neither bard nor warrior had been aware of it. The ability to communicate unspoken feelings to each other would be a permanent gift from the Goddess of Love. Not much of a stretch, really, for two hearts so totally in tuned to each other that they beat with the same rhythm. But a gift none the less.

"See?….. What'd I tell ya?…..they'll be just fine." Aphrodite displayed the sleeping women on a large crystal for Artemis to see. "They'll have a long and happy life together. I already checked it out with the Fates." She absolutely beamed at Artemis.

Artemis felt at peace again. Xena would forever love Gabrielle and protect her. Her Chosen One would be happy and safe for a very long time. And as her queen went, so did her beloved amazons.

"Thank you, Aphrodite…..you truly are brilliant at what you do." Artemis smiled and stood to leave. When she got to the door of the temple, she turned back to the beautiful love goddess and sighed. How often had her heart skipped a beat when she encountered Aphrodite? How many times had she scolded herself for even flirting with the idea of an affair with the exquisite blonde? 'Oh well', she thought, 'maybe someday'.….. But for now, she was just very grateful for Aphrodite's matchmaking talents.

"And Aphrodite." Artemis spoke quietly.

The love goddess was still watching her.

"Thank you for letting her go."

Aphrodite stared at her temple door for several moments after Artemis had left. 'She knew'……. the goddess mused. 'How did she know?' Perhaps Aphrodite had underestimated the captivating guardian of the amazons. 'One thing's for sure,' Aphrodite smiled to herself, 'she certainly would know a lot about women.'


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