This is the sequel to Stirrings Of A Dark Heart. A look at Gabrielle's motivations and desires, and a peek into the warrior-bard's soul. The beginning of the sub-text. 



After a very long three months, I'm proud to be able to say that my literary dry spell is over. I sat down to work on an article I'm supposed to be writing, and this is what popped out. Of course I must admit that my mind wandered quite a bit while trying to get that blasted article written. My eyes strayed to a photo I keep by the computer, and that was the end of said article! So here, by much demand, is the sequel to "Stirrings Of A Dark Heart"


This is for Betty. Beta reader, friend, partner, soul mate, fellow mushball....

I hope that you all melt the way she did.

You are all hereby warned that here there be unrequited love, (maybe), yearnings, (most definitely!) and love making of the same sex persuasion (oooo, yeah!). If this offends or insults anyone, stop reading now!

As we all know Xe and Gab belong to TPTB at Renaissance, Universal, and on and on...I make no profit from this at all, although that IS an awfully nice dream.


Feed the need okay? Without feedback, I won't know if I should keep going or turn the comp off and hang up my writer's hat!





I watch her sharpen her sword in the dying firelight and marvel at her. She has such grace that the movement of her arms is like poetry. She makes it look easy, but I know that it takes skill and finesse. Her many skills are what keep us alive, but she is what keeps me going. It is for her that I walk all those miles, it is for her that I practise my staff drills, it is for her that I tell my stories and write these words. I would die for her. I have. Every time she turns from me with her eyes darkened by some unspoken fear, each time she turns to someone else in lust, each time she leaves me behind while she goes off to battle injustice, I die a little inside. She doesn't suspect how I really feel; at least I don't think she does. She doesn't know the real reason I take her armor off for her at night, or the reason that I want to be the one to stitch up her wounds. I don't think she understands why I follow her with as much faith in her as I do, or why I stay by her side even when that side is soaked in someone else's blood. I don't think she suspects that I love her.


     I long to tell her how deeply I feel for her. I want so much to see those startling blue eyes look at me and fill with love. I want to see her smile softly when she looks at me. I don't want her to turn away whenever some dark emotion clouds her features. I would give almost anything to be the one she turns to when she needs comfort. I've held her sometimes at night when the nightmares haunt her sleep, and although I know she appreciates me I would like to see it after the sun has risen. I would spend the rest of my life following her on foot as long as I could see her face every morning. I would crawl through broken glass to hear her low, soothing voice tell me that she loved me when one of us wasn't dying or seriously wounded. She may never know it, but I would willingly spend the rest of my life silently loving her than risk our friendship and camaraderie. I could not bear to be separate from her now; she is too much a part of me. She has battled and stumbled blood soaked into my heart. She has done amazing things that I would not believe were possible if I were only hearing the stories. But those stories are all true, as true as I know how to make them. I write them so that I may add my part to the legend that is Xena. Where she was once known as the Destroyer of Nations, I want to leave the legacy of the Xena that I know; the kind soul that has braved a line of beating traitors and emerged scarred and bloody but still standing as tall as she could at the end of it, and all for a baby. I want to tell the known world of the woman that has rescued me more times than I care to admit to and saved my life each time. I want every child to know the tale of Xena's fight to save an orphanage from the clutches of a bitter and hurt king. I would tell everyone in the next tavern of how she helped to restring a mighty bow, and restore the rightful ruler to his land, if she would let me. There are tales that do not need re-telling. They are the ones that have already shaped and defined who she is in the eyes of others. Her betrayal of the Amazons so long ago, her association with Alti, her tutelage under Aries...all of these things may have shaped who I fought beside today but they do not begin to hint at the woman who sits across from me tonight.


     I yearn to be able to touch her many scars without seeing her flinch. I would like to be able to cross this camp right now, take her face in my hands and whisper of my love for her. Although she may never know it I dream of making love to her. I would touch her with gentleness and love such as she had never seen before, I am sure no other has ever loved her like I do. I would take each proud breast in hand, let my lips languish over the flesh there and make her believe that every curve is precious to me. I would let my fingertips trail over each rib, each scar and every inch of her body until she knew that she was part of my very soul. I would stroke her eyebrows gently and lovingly until the lines of fear, doubt and worry disappeared.  I want to be able to lay curled up in her embrace, feel her naked flesh against my own and know that she would feel no remorse or shame as we rode on the next day. She would be the only one I would ever let touch me with such passion, love and desire. I would let my voice cry out to the stars as she made my flesh tingle with previously unfelt love. I would lay my very soul bare for her and her alone. I would let her make love to me with her eyes, her fingertips, her lips, that loving soul that I know rests within her. I would stroke her hair until she saw how much of a halo it is on her, I would caress her shoulders with the lightest of touches until her skin rose up to meet me in goose bumps. I would let my lips dance over her belly, kissing ever lower until I felt her hands clutch at my shoulders in anticipation of the pleasures yet to come. My tongue and lips would make slow love to her every nerve ending, until she cried out my name to the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. When I entered her I would be very sure that she understood what a gift she is to me, how much of a treasure she is to my heart and soul. I would gently caress her inner fire, loving the feel of her under my touch, reach for her most intimate thrill and bring her to the precipice of need, wanting and mind-numbing desire. I would hold her close to me while her body told me of it's pleasure. I would murmur my love for her in ears that have heard too many harsh words.  I would stroke those soft lips until they smiled with all the radiance of the sun and moon combined. Then I would run my fingers over her body until she fell asleep in my arms, and never once doubted how I felt about her.


     I know that she and I are destined for great and wonderful things together. I feel it in my bones as I rise sleepless from my blankets when the moon is high.  I know it to be true in the way that we always seem to come together again after being apart for too long, grateful for each other's presence. I know that we have a long journey ahead of us in the way that she turns to me with a thought half-spoken, only to shake her head at the last moment. She has stopped trying to leave me behind these past weeks, so I can't help but wonder if she is beginning to see it too. Perhaps that is why she wants me to ride behind her so often, perhaps that is why she makes sure that I am safe when we battle side by side. Perhaps she feels...Perhaps.



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