First, I must ask forgiveness for the length of time between parts of this story. When one's life changes, it can turn a person more topsy-turvy then even she realizes. But Birdie is essential to my good mental health, and I believe that both of us are doing much better. It has been a long journey… just like “Gone”… but we are finding our ways.
To review for those (or all) who have forgotten, Birdie left Amphipolis to follow Rachelle to her home tribe in Abdera when that tribe needed Rach to be queen. True to her nature, Birdie just left to follow, despite the fact that she knew it was wrong to worry her family, and even Zephyr didn't approve.
Xena, Ephiny, Pony and others followed Birdie. Gabrielle remained in Amphipolis to be “in charge” and also because she is with child.
Birdie was bitten by a deadly Ochia snake, very close to her destination. Zephyr ran for Rach, and she managed to treat the worst effects of the bite in time. Xena arrived later and has assisted in Birdie's recovery.
So this begins… with Birdie's convalescence and healing.
Thanks always to VX, who reads it “raw”. And many thanks to Trace the Tyrant, my patient beta reader, for always making me better
Part 10 of The Birdie Series
I am Robin of the Warrior and the Bard….
For the past several days, Caleb had been focused on rubbing and wrapping venison. Cookie had a special recipe of herbs that were applied before the slabs went into the smoking pit. After the smoking process, he rubbed the meat again before wrapping it in clean leaves which were coated in special oil. Caleb was glad to learn the process; he knew that it would be handy information if he was ever out on patrol with the militia. Caleb smiled to himself. His Lady Cyrene likely already knew the process, but it couldn't hurt to present the method.
“Poor fella,” he stroked the nose of the “chow horse”. “You carry the burden of our eatin'; the better we eat, the harder your job.” He held a small apple flat handed and enjoyed the caress of the velvet lips consuming the treat. “Cook is doing a final walk about for gear, and then your load will be complete.” The blonde boy was feeding a similar treat to the second chow horse when he felt the fine hairs on his neck rise. A hand like ironwood clapped his shoulder; Caleb turned cautiously to meet the gaze of Rankor.
“Da,” Caleb nearly swallowed his tongue.
“Did'unt mean ta scare ya.”
“Ya did'unt,” Caleb steadied his voice quickly, “Only startl'd me a mite.” Be bold. Be a man. “Looks like the guys ‘ad a good hunt.”
“Yah, we'uz lucky fer once,” His father watched him straighten and level the load on the chow horse. His hands must not sweat. Wipe them on the britches.
Another heavy clap to the shoulder. Caleb interpreted the gesture as affection, in his Da's own manner.
“Well, yer doin' good, boy. Pr'haps next time we'll take ye on the hunt. Are ya a fair shot?”
“Fair,” the boy tightened a strap one more hole. He had to remain busy; he did not want to look into his father's eyes and think the man, Father. No commitment.
“Whal,” his father turned to strut away thumbs in suspenders, “ justcheckin'.”
Caleb put his face in the horse's saddle blanket to regain composure. “Bye, Da.” He whispered.
Cookie appeared at his side. “'E didn' ‘urt cha, did ‘e, lad?”
“Nah,” Caleb straightened, “Worse dan dat; ‘e tried talkin'.”
Sweat dripped from the end of my nose as I rested my hands on my knees panting. I was up to nearly a half candle mark running time, but that was far from the 100% readiness that Baba Xe, the Conqueror required. Half candle mark was not nearly good enough. Swishing through the sea oats, I found the water skin I had stashed earlier. I surveyed the area as the nourishing water ran through me. This morning run was something I would miss, the soft lapping of the waves, the shore birds scattering at my approach, the crabs diving for their holes. Zephyr would miss chasing the birds. She would never kill a bird in my presence, but I could not deny her the exercise and joy of chasing them.
“You have a visitor, Little Mistress,” I welcomed my fox's voice in my brain. She had been too quiet lately.
Gazing down Gaia's peaceful beach, I witnessed a tall ant sized runner. The figure grew quickly, so it could only be Baba Xe. I quit snogging the water, in case she needed a drink.
Baba Xe was over forty season's round; no one was privileged to her exact age except perhaps Mama. But she ran like a young colt. A wild, strong, dangerous, gorgeous colt. I felt like a badger in comparison, but Mama had always assured me that badgers had their dangers.
“Hey,” she slowed her gait. “How is the Birdie run?”
“Not yet what it should be, Baba,” I offered my water skin and she took a swig.
“Here,” she returned it, “You drink the rest. So how bad is ‘not what it should be'?”
I covered a scuttling sand crab with my toe; he escaped; Baba's foot produced a landslide for him.
“Half a candle mark,” I didn't look up. Strong fingers went beneath my chin.
“That's not bad, Little Bird,” our eyes met. “You were bitten by an ochia after all; you could have die…..” The word made her cough.
“The milita must run nearly two candle marks,” I protested both trying to change the subject and relishing in the first time I had heard my ‘pet name' in a while.
Baba's fingertips smacked the top of my head lightly, “You are not militia, and you have been very sick. Patience, Birdie. Hear me?”
“Yes, M'Lady,” she had not released my eyes.
“When you can go three-quarter candle mark, we will leave.”
Oh those mixed emotions… I was anxious to return to Amphipolis, yet the thought of leaving Rach was a spear in my side. Three spears, actually.
“So no holding out on me,” Baba was reading my thoughts.
“I wouldn't do that, Baba. My ‘lovesickness' has brought enough trouble.”
My warrior parent cupped the back of my head with her ironwood hand; I leaned into the low key embrace. Baba's hands were so strong and capable, I always felt comforted, even if she was going to use a hand on the place opposite my head. Or lately, the place my head had been stuck.
“Grown up abit, have you?”
“More than a bit,” I answered looking at her again, “less than a lot, or at least I am afraid to say.”
“I will take whatever amount you have gained, Birdie,” the finger went beneath my chin to encourage eye contact. Actually, she forced eye contact.
“Look at me, Birdie,” I obeyed, though it was difficult.
“I am going to say this one last time, and we can only hope that you have learned enough from this venture.”
“Yes, M'Lady,” I whispered.
“Your mother and I cannot STOP you from this little, ‘habit' you have of going off willy nilly over just about whatever situation sends you spiraling.”
She paused and I nodded, lowering my gaze, but it was retrieved quickly by the hand.
“Short of chaining you in your bedroom; which I have considered, but your mother disapproves,” she smiled to herself, “ the bottom line is that you are old enough to make most of your own decisions, whether we approve or not.”
“So…… I can only hope that the consequences of this latest impulse have convinced you that perhaps a person should think, and then think some more, about her actions very carefully. And frankly, Birdie……”
Seems like I should have been old enough to keep the tears back, but it wasn't working at all.
She sighed. I looked up at her. For the first time in my life, I saw the tears in her sapphire eyes and beheld the woman I worshipped, the Conqueror, as only a person. A remarkable person, nonetheless, truly only a human being, no more or less than I or my friends.
“Frankly, Birdie, if going missing for days and days, nearly freezing to death,” (how did she know about that? I had not told her) and coming close to death from snake bite doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will.”
I …. Don't…. Know….. I tried to remember if I had ever heard those words from Baba before. If so, it was rare. The Conqueror must know.
Her thumb came across my cheek to wipe away the tears. Then her hand fell to the back of my neck.
“Baba,” my voice wouldn't work.
“Shhhhh…. No, Little Bird, you needn't say anything; I know that you are sorry; I know that….”
Great, I was close to blubbering now. She began walking, steering me back to camp.
“It's ok, kiddo,” she was using that low soothing voice which worked for everyone who knew her, and especially horses.
“Go on now; wash your face,” she sent me into the hut with a light smack. “We will talk again.”
I did manage to compose myself a little, “Thanks, Baba,” was about it.
“Just keep thinking, Little Bird. I like to see that.”
The bed was too damn big for one person. Gabrielle had opened the ceiling slats which revealed a clear night's stars. The bard lay awake knowing the moon would come into view soon.
“Mama lonely?” the twinkly voice spoke inside. The bard placed her hand on the small belly bump and stroked it gently.
“Yes, Singer.” She fought tears. The acute sensitivity of her unborn child was still startling, if not alarming at times. “I miss your Baba and your big sister. But I am very glad that I have you.”
Gabrielle began to relax into her pillows; the sky was becoming brighter. “Sister—yes, little one. A baby like you but bigger and older.”
Gabrielle was smiling now, “Yes, like Seeen-ger.”
When the baby laughed, it tickled inside, and the bard laughed out loud.
“Mama, Baba all right.”
Now there were tears in the emerald orbs to accompany a gentle pat, “Thank you, Honey. You have helped Mama, but now you must sleep.”
“Night, Baby.” Gabrielle closed her eyes and offered gratitude to Artemis for this gift.
Moonbeams were shining through the ceiling now, illuminating the empty space in her bed.
“Hello, My Love,” she whispered and settled into the space that did not seem so empty now.
“Be Well, My Love.”
Caleb was confused by the general lack of “moving on” regarding his father's band of bad guys, but he asked no questions. Cookie had said, “Boys been ridin' while; sometimes Rankor takes a rest.”
At the present rate, however, they would eat all the meat they had acquired recently.
“'Appens,” said Cook, “We'll likely be movin' when we're outa ale.”
Ale…. Some folks based their lives around the stuff. As Cyrene's part time helper, he knew the
“Regulars” of the inn. Though he would never give up his knowledge, especially in present company, Caleb had gained a fair idea of how to make ales. He never imbibed himself, and when he considered all the people he most admired in Amphipolis—well, they were light drinkers.
Lady Cyrene made the best ale in Greece, but very rarely drank beyond the initial taste of a batch.
The Conqueror and Lady Gabrielle only drank on special occasions, as did his ranking officers in the militia.
As for his Da, ale so affected Rankor's disposition, that Caleb had taken to helping Cookie wash the “vittleware” in the river which was a quarter candle mark's walk. They loaded the chow horse, and the chore could usually last until the drunks were out. He had begun the precaution, when he accidently crossed in front of his father and had been awarded a black eye.
Caleb noted the flames in the tired blue eyes which focused Cookie's wrinkled face. Cain had treated the boy with cold compresses from the river, and also packets of tea.
“S'nothin', Cook,” he had tried to wave it off and not draw any attention to either of them.
“A' don' know which vexes me more, Boy.”
“Really Cookie, I am fine. Your tea is better to sip as we do sometimes; I know that it's precious stuff.”
“That cursed Rankor. I don' know if it vexes me more that ‘e ‘it you, or that ‘e was so drunk ‘e didn't even know ‘e ‘it ya.”
Caleb gripped the shaky hands in his own and kept the cook's eyes, “Don't want ‘im ta know, Right? Best he don't find out.”
“Aye, Lad,” the old man squeezed his hands, “Yer right, Caleb; better to just keep movin.”
The day approached; I could feel it and it made my stomach knot like ancient cypress. But even though I dreaded departure, I worked hard at regaining my warrior status. It was the least that I could do.
My feeling was verified when I met Baba Xe once again on the beach. We stopped to breathe together a moment.
“You seem much better, Birdie. You are gaining ground.”
“I am, Baba.” My soft boot scuffed at a sand crab who immediately burrowed.
“How do you feel about that?”
I raised my eyes to make sure that it was MY BABA XE who had posed the question; the “how do you feel?” questions were far more Mama G's territory.
But it was the Conqueror who awaited my response. I took a long swig on the water skin.
The warrior's hand cupped the back of my head, “Mixed emotions I am sure, Little Bird.”
I could only nod; the words were too loaded with tears of all kinds to speak aloud.
“I understand, kiddo,” her words were gentle, “but realize that you HURT, because you love, and you are loved. Yes it is painful to the heart, but you wouldn't trade the heartache, would you?”
“No, Baba, I wouldn't,” my voice squeaked a little; She gave me an affirmative pat.
“Good girl,” we took a few more strides; she had something else to tell me. “Birdie, you must find the warrior inside and gird your emotions for travel and possibly battle.”
“Battle?” This was new information for me.
“Rankor rides to meet us on our way home. He has taken Caleb from Amphipolis, and I will challenge the warlord for his return.”
“Why Caleb?” I liked the fellow very much but did not make the connection.
“It seems that Rankor is Caleb's father.”
“Whoa! Minotaur S---… uh, I never made the connection, Baba Xe!”
She began swinging her arms, ready to run again. “Father or not, Caleb is OURS now.”
I started jogging; we both needed physical release.
“I agree fully, Baba. Caleb is OURS, and I will be honored to fight for him.”
A flash of the perfect smile and brightness in her blues. “I appreciate that, Birdie. Hopefully, any fighting will be between Rankor and ME ONLY.”
“Well, you will have backing,” this threat removed some of the melancholy of leaving Rachelle. I was a warrior, and warriors have duties.
Her hand swiped across my hair,” I know that, Bird, but it is always nice to hear. Especially from my own Birdie girl who is as good as anyone else in a fight.”
My cheeks warmed; I don't know why it always embarrassed me when my Baba praised me, I suppose it was because I felt that my skills would never come close to hers.
“One more thing,” she slowed to a pace, reaching into a hidden pocket. “This is for you. Well, not for YOU, but for you to use as you wish.”
She handed me a framed gold coin on a silver linked chain. Close study revealed my own Baba's profile, with the lettering “The Conqueror”. The reverse of the coin was her chakram.
“This is beautiful, Baba,” I was in awe; I had no idea such coins existed.
“There aren't many of them,” Now Baba was a little blushed about the ears. “Just a few prototypes; they were never put into circulation. I met your mother, and the Conqueror changed. She had no need of her own coins.”
“Wow,” I murmured, “Thank you Baba.”
“You are welcome, Little Bird. When the time comes, you will know what to do with it.”
Her arm fell about my shoulders as we entered the beach camp. I reflected that my Baba Xe was treating me differently now, even though I had committed a grievous error. She was treating me like I was grown up, not an equal, but no longer a kid. And I felt that I had come to know my Conqueror parent better in the past few seven days, than I ever had before…. It was a good thing.
Gabrielle and Cyrene were the last “men” standing at their second staff class. Gabrielle smiled at the dark headed young man sprawled in front of her. She extended a hand which the kid took gladly.
“I am learning,” he wiped sweat from his eyes, “Staff fighting takes more finesse than just brute strength, doesn't it?”
“Umm, Yeah,” the bard grinned at him again, “But you are doing much better Jacob, really…”
Jacob came to his feet, “My Lady, are you certain of that or are you just practicing your legendary kindness?”
Points for the kid. The Queen cocked her head, “Perhaps somewhat,” she punched his muscular arm good naturedly. “But I would not tell you that you are improving if you weren't.”
Jacob clicked his heels together and executed an exaggerated bow. “Thank you, My Lady. Till next class then…”
Gabrielle inclined her head, “Till then. Practice.”
A jaunty grin flashed back at her, “Yes, M'Lady.”
An arm locked with hers, “He seems like a nice boy,” Cyrene commented.
“Well, he has very good manners and knows when to use them at least. That is better than many,” Gabrielle watched the “boys” leave. “Did anyone ‘fell' you, today Mother C?”
Deep chuckle, “Not even close, Lovey.” They walked toward the inn entrance to the fortress.
The bard stopped and turned the little woman to face her, “I truly had no idea you were so handy with a staff. You are awesome, Mother C.”
“Well, Dearie it IS in the blood, you know,”
“HA! Is it ever. You have loosed your secret, Mother C.”
The innkeeper took her “daughter” firmly by the arm and continued their movement.
“Well?” Gabrielle was fairly indignant now. A light pat on her butt cooled her quickly and the Arms were interlocked again.
“I have many skills, Dear.”
The rest of their walk was silent. Cyrene's eyes glowed wickedly with secret delight.
I stopped and gazed down the beach at what had become known as “Phyl's Rock”. Rach had told me the story of how many days Vic had sat on the stone looking out to sea-wishing that Poseidon would take her too.
I hoped that Rach wasn't feeling that same way, though I had entertained some of those feelings myself. My wish was to be strong. The new Birdie was stronger , but I sought a person who could always topple my strength.
“Hey,” she said without distracting her gaze.
“Hey,” I began to search the climb; the stone stood thirteen or fourteen hands high.
“The back.” My instructions.
Every hand and foot hold was perfectly placed, as if the God of the Sea had made it so.
I offered my water skin.
“Thanks, mine was becoming too warm,” she gulped three times. She still hadn't looked at me.
We sat in silence listening to the soothing rhythm of the waves. Needed to make an effort.
“A clam for your thoughts?” I extended the shell- a lame offer.
“I believe that my thoughts are free to you...”
Bird, Bird, Bird…. You are addressing a Queen now. Though she has been the love of your life for quite some time; grow up, Bird.
The markings on the rock held my study. The waves washed on.
“You will be leaving soon.” A fact.
“Yes,” stay focused on the rock; ignore the dampness in my eyes.
“How do you feel about that?”
Oh, Artemis. Help me be strong.
“How long will you be here? Is it forever?”
“No, but it will be awhile, Birdie.” The sea kept her gaze.
Remain calm. I am this girl's consort; be worthy. “Ok. ‘Awhile'?” So far, so good.
“Six moons- long enough to train Tosh to be my regent. Auntie Pony and Ephiny are returning to help with the training after--- after they see you and the Conqueror home safely.”
Not a big surprise there. We'll need them if Rankor rides in. Zephyr's nose settled on my knee.
Finally Rach moved her gaze from the sea to level at me. “I need something from you, Birdie” The sage colors of her eyes were as resolute as granite.
“Look at me.”
I complied, though it was not easy. Deep breath.
“Please don't come here. Please, no matter how much you miss me and I miss you; please don't do anything idiotic. I MUST concentrate on my role here; I am still responsible for this tribe, and I cannot fulfill that duty if I am worried constantly about you.”
Eyes went down again. “Ok.”
“No, Birdie; you LOOK AT ME AND PROMISE.” She grabbed my bangs and hauled my eyes to hers.
Swallow. She's waiting; make it good, Bird; make it real.
I pulled back my shoulders and gripped her forearm. “My Lady Queen, I swear, on my honor as an Amazon and as your consort, that no matter how much I miss you, and I WILL miss you every breath -that I will hold true to this promise and not be an idiot.”
Her hand fell to cup my cheek. “Do you need a threat of some kind? I am a Queen now and I can really hurt you.”
Chuckled, bet she could, too. My hand joined hers, and we drew our heads together. “I need no more threats, Rach. I have finally learned my lesson. And if I am to be your Consort, I need to and I will grow up enough to be an asset to you and not a hindrance.”
Both hands took my head firmly but gently. “Birdie, you know that one of the things I love about you is your wild and brave heart. Remember when you rescued me from the Romans? You have gifts, Bird. That was some kind of ride out of that valley.”
“It was,” I agreed. “But mostly that was Hades and a little help from friends in high places. I recalled Marcus and Bartholomew coming to help speed my horse. Someday I would tell her.
“But the part I call on now is the BRAVE.” Now she had tears. My tough little Queen.
I scooted over beside her and pulled her close. “You must be brave too, Rach. But you have never lacked in that trait.” I had to smile to myself, “Remember how we couldn't stand each other at first?”
“I think it was ‘you couldn't stand me' to be accurate.”
“And that was wrong of me; I just didn't know you yet.” I pulled her closer, “My Baba Xe thought that Mama G was a pretty big pain when they first met. They sort of grew into and inside each other.”
“It is difficult to imagine that your parents would ever be anything but deeply in love.”
“Rach,” I snickered, “remember the skunk story?”
Now my little queen giggled a melodic run that I dearly loved to hear.
“And that river ride threw us together in a hurry. I would have been in trouble if you hadn't been there to stitch me up.”
“I would have done something crazy or stupid at the appearance of Zon and the ‘hairy guys' had you not been there to stand in front of me with your ‘forbidden' sword.”
I sighed, “Got in some trouble for that stunt.”
Zephyr's eyes followed our conversation as if we were tossing a ball back and forth.
“Birdie, your ‘stunts' are well meaning and from the heart.” But she smacked the back of my head lightly, “But you need to think a little bit longer before you attempt some of them.”
“Yeah. I will.” This had been the Minotaur's Mother of all stunts. I would be incredibly glad to see my mother and rather glad to have our reckoning over with as well.
“Rach. I promise. I will be a worthy Consort; I want to be the greatest consort you could have picked.”
“Oh Birdie. You are,” we fell into an embrace, “I just don't ever want to see you so near death again. It was as if part of my soul was dying.” She sniffed into my shoulder. You are the only one for me; I DO love you so. “
When I could contain my voice my heart led me to words: “My mother tells a story pretty often. It claims that we are created with only half of a soul. We spend our lives searching for the other half; we search for our ‘Soul Mates'.” Swallow, “I guess that you and I are fortunate to find each other so soon.”
“We are,” she agreed, “But that also gives us a lifetime to keep each other safe. Birdie,” her voice faltered again. “How will I know that you are safe? Six moons is so long.” Her vulnerability encouraged my strength. She needed me.
“We'll know,” I assured her stroking the heavy wheat locks from her eyes.
“You shall both know,” my foxes thoughts intervened and we both attended to her. “ I am being given new instructions about communication regarding both of you, as you speak.”
“What will happen?” Rachelle moved her hand to Zephyr's head again.
“All my new orders are not completely clear, Little Queen,” It was such a blessing now that both of us could hear Zephyr, “but I will be the connection.”
Rach left my arms and pulled Zephyr into her lap. Zephyr did not suffer such affection from many and quite rarely from me. She was an independent fox- a god fox.
“Thank you, Zephyr,” she whispered. “That is such a comfort.”
I closed my eyes and thanked Artemis.
“Best I can figger,” Cook squinted into the sun, “Yer Da wants to meet the Conqueror this side of Philippi. The land is better suited fer fightin' and the Conqueror's party is likely ta be more travel weary. Ther's a distance and a mountain afore they come this side.”
Caleb's eyes dropped, “By the bolts of Zeus, Cookie, I wish w' all my heart they wouldn't fight.”
The faded blue eyes dampened, “Ay Laddie, ya know I wish the same.” His dry rough hand found the boy's shoulder. “Ya can take or leave m' thinking on this, but I suspects yer Da is trying to prove his love fer ya... In his own way.”
“Yer right, Cook. Tha's difficult ta believe.”
“Ay, sum folks have da strange ways, I know,” agreement from the elder, “But I'v known yer Da a long time, and tha's my hunch.”
“How long have you known my Da? “ the boy realized he had never asked the question.
The old man chuckled softly, “Tha' my boy is a longer tale than we ha' time fer now,” he squinted again. “I think I'm making out or hearing or feelin' the boys are comin' back from the hunt.”
“He sent a few into Philippi, didn' he?” Caleb was picking up the expressions of his oldest friend.
“Ay, he did that. They are bringing back fres ‘arbs and such will put you and me ta work. Finish yer biscuit thar, Lad. They'll be bringin' ale with ‘em too.”
Ephiny arrived on the dusky beach just as Xena yelled in her Conqueror's “Battle Orders to the troops” voice, which was most definitely not an “inside” voice.
“Hey Love birdies! Getcher butts back to camp before the sand bugs eat you alive!”
The Amazon's dark eyes could see two small figures scramble down from Phyl's Rock.
“Guess they heard you.” She gave the Conqueror, her friend, a wry smile.
“They've been out there for candle marks. It's time.” Keen blue eyes watch the girls descend carefully, and then four hands joined to catch their furry companion.
Ephiny watched quietly. “I feel for them- this separation- it will seem like an eternity to them, Xe.”
“I know that too well,” the warrior admitted. “We've been gone what—almost three seven days round now?”
She kicked sand, “The hole that forms in me when I am away from Gabrielle feels like a bottomless well.”
Amazon hand clapped the rock hard shoulder, “Won't be too long now, my friend. We will pack all day tomorrow and depart the following morning.”
Dark hair curtained eyes, and a sand crab suffered a gentle nudge from a conquering toe.
“We'll be dealing with a heavy load of Birdie heartache then, “ She sighed her sympathy.
Ephiny aimed a gentle kick from the unfortunate crab, “It's part of life, Xe, she has to learn to manage it.”
“Yes,” firmness in the answer, “Thus far she has fairly low marks in that category.”
The Amazon warrior turned away, “I have faith in her,” she remarked, “I think this little caper is the swan song for Birdie's bouts of poor judgment. And besides, now,” she paused, “She answers to two Queens.”
The Conqueror laughed then, “By the gods, Eph, if that doesn't do it, I am out of ideas.”
Ephiny was moving back to the camp, “Gechyer butt back to camp soon, Friend. The sand bugs'll carry you away.”
The warrior snorted. Ah Amazons, Queens, old friends. Nothing to be done about it. She sighed and scanned the skies until she found the two stars which were sparkling emerald green.
My Dearest Love, My Queen, My Life,
My soul seeks yours in a cave so vast,
It smothers light. My lonely heart turns
At phantom echoes. I burn to feel
Your heartbeat in the breast I caress.
I ache without your gentleness,
Your strength, your love which gives
Me strength. My Gabrielle, My Soul
Mate, all of this weary warlord
Belongs to You. I return soon.
Xena the Conqueror.
(To be continued.)
comments to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to one and all for your forbearance this year with me and Birdie. She is returning inside very strongly now, so both of us will be better for that
Are grateful for your patience.
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