Xena's feelings for Gabrielle are getting out of control. Should she risk their friendship and come clean or just continue to be tortured by her lust?
DISCLAIMERS: These characters are not mine. If they were mine . . . well, that's a whole ‘nother story.
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She could clearly hear them sneaking up on the campsite. Poor fools, they really were trying to be silent. Sounded like three, maybe four. Gabrielle was still in a deep sleep, snoring softly. Doesn't she look adorable? , thought the smitten warrior.
“Focus Xena,” she whispered to herself. The battle was almost upon her. Xena actually lived for moments like this; no pre-fight jitters for her.
The first ruffian was almost within range. He took one more step and the warrior shot up from her prone position like a bat out of Hades. The look on the man's face would have been comical if he wasn't about to be dead. Xena had grabbed her sword (always nearby while sleeping) on her way up from the ground. By the time her enemy started his own downstroke, she had already split his stomach open.
Xena's war cry finally woke the bard, who immediately reached for her staff, just in time to see two other men rush at Xena. “They're ignoring me!,” thought Gabrielle. Well, she'd show them she was no lightweight in a fight! She hurried to the warrior's side, ready for action.
“Nice of you to join us this morning.”
It never ceased to amaze Gabrielle how Xena could try to be funny when her life was in jeopardy.
“Oh look, the little one wants to play,” sneered one of the thugs.
“Oh, he's mine,” the blond informed her companion.
She proceeded to give the man an intricate – if brief -- lesson in the use of a staff when wielded by an expert. He was unconscious in record time.
Xena, meanwhile, had also made quick work of her opponent, parrying his paltry thrusts until an opening presented itself. The warrior ran him through, looked over at the admirable job her partner had done, and remarked, “Now, wasn't that worth waking up for?”
Old acquaintances of yours?” Gabrielle inquired.
“Nope, just your run of the mill bandits I guess. Hey, are you insinuating that I attract trouble?”
The bard just grinned and started packing up. Xena stole a quick look at Gabrielle as she bent over to pick up her bedroll. If the petite blond only knew the fantasies she aroused.
“Xena, behave yourself!”-- The warrior had to give herself more and more of these little rebukes each passing day. Gabrielle had become such a beautiful, strong, self-assured woman – a far cry from the chatty, often exasperating young girl she had met three years ago.
Her intense feelings for the bard had snuck up on Xena. Had she always been in love with this woman?
“Well, that's an intriguing smile; dinar for your thoughts?” the bard inquired.
“Uh oh,” Xena thought, “busted!”
“Oh nothing,” she improvised, “just thinking of how we first met, in Poteidaia; you know, since we're on our way there.” Gods, sometimes Gabrielle made her feel like a nervous schoolgirl.
“Okaaay. Not sure I buy that, but we've gotta get going so you're off the hook,” Gabrielle said amiably.
They traveled in silence for several hours until Xena observed a lake where they could get their midday meal.
“How does she do that?” the bard wondered, as Xena emerged from the lake with a good sized fish wrapped around her hand. Then Gabrielle noticed the blood.
“Xena, your thigh is bleeding!”
Oh yeah, something bit me in the water. It's nothing.”
“How do you know it's nothing? It could be poisonous!,” the bard exclaimed in horror. “I should do that thing you taught me.”
“You mean, suck out the poison?,” Xena replied breathlessly.
“Come here, give me your leg. Better to be safe, right?”
Before the tall champion knew what was happening, Gabrielle was sucking on Xena's upper thigh.
… to be continued in Part 2
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