Finding My Way

See Part One for Disclaimers

Morning came quickly, and all three women woke easily, seemingly-well-rested. Eve asked no questions about Gabrielle and Terrais' sleeping arrangements. She didn't need to, it was written on their faces. The camp was packed up quickly and the trio started off again for the Amazon village. If they kept the pace they set yesterday, they would arrive before nightfall.

Terrais again rode with Gabrielle. It was a peaceful day, with pleasant weather. As noonday approached, so did their first conflict. In front of them, blocking their path were six thugs, dressed in filthy clothing, with swords already drawn. Gabrielle tensed, knowing a battle was about to ensue. She glanced, first, back to Eve. Eve shook her head, indicating that if she didn't have to, she did not want to sway from her path of peace. Gabrielle then turned to Terrais and spoke quietly, "Have you healed enough to take on these guys?"

Terrais flexed her left leg, feeling no pain in her knee. She next checked her right ribs and found they were only slightly tender, "Yeah, I think I'm ready. I was getting rusty, anyway." Terrais placed her hand on her short sword, ready to jump off the horse.

"Well, I'm all for trying diplomacy first, but since they already have their swords drawn, I don't think it will do any good." Gabrielle jumped off the horse, leaving Terrais seated. Terrais wouldn't leave the horse until she needed to.

"Well, look what we have, boys., three lovely women." The first man, apparently the leader, was quite large, well over six feet tall, with a wide girth. He grabbed his crotch, making lewd gestures toward the three women. "Consider your options, wenches, there are two of us for each one of you. Now, drop your weapons and we won't kill you. We'll only have our fun and take your horses. You'll still have your lives." All six men started moving forward.

"You don't really want to do this. We just want to continue on our path." Gabrielle reached down and grabbed her sais. Terrais noticed she didn't carry her swords, instead leaving them both on the side of the horse. Terrais did note the chakram on her side. Terrais pulled her short sword from its sheath and prepared to get off the horse.

The next several moments were a blur. Half the men started toward Gabrielle, while the others approached Eve and Terrais, hoping to gain control of the horses. Terrais knew she needed to act quickly to protect Eve. Terrais flipped from the horse and landed directly behind the three men approaching them. She hoped Gabrielle could handle the others, at least briefly. Quickly, Terrais and Gabrielle had each rendered one thug unconscious. Gabrielle preferred to fight without killing, but realized the leader was too large for this technique. Gabrielle briefly glanced to check that Terrais adequately handling her remaining adversaries, then went back to concentrating on her two.

As the fight continued, the tides turned slightly. Terrais was hit in the right side, over the damaged ribs. She went down on one knee, only to find one of the thugs was about to take her head off with his sword. From somewhere deep within, she lunged forward, knocking the man down. Terrais drew the knife from her right boot and stabbed the man in the chest, mortally wounding him. The last thug still had his sword, and Terrais now had no weapons. She flipped through the air, to the horse that she and Gabrielle had been on. She removed one of Gabrielle's swords and attacked the remaining man with a vengeance. Without question or doubt, Terrais was determined to kill the remaining thug who stood in her path.

Gabrielle killed the second man in her group, which left her only the leader. He was furious at the trouble and loss which had occurred because of these three, slight women, "Damn you! I am going to take you and make you wish you had never been born." The man lunged at Gabrielle. Gabrielle used her speed to get under, and then past him. As he moved past her, she kicked him and he tumbled to the ground.

"You need to look around. There are only two of you left. Two of your men are dead. Do you want to be the third?" Gabrielle stood, winded, but ready to continue.

"You bitch. You are mine." He stood and came after Gabrielle again. One of the men Terrais had knocked out was back up, now, and approaching Eve from behind. Gabrielle could see out of the corner of her eye that Eve was in danger, "Eve!" Gabrielle shouted. Gabrielle then removed the chakram from her side and threw it, striking the man in the back of the head, killing him where he stood. Unfortunately, this gave the leader the chance to knock Gabrielle to the ground. Terrais, at the same moment Gabrielle had thrown the chakram, had cut a gaping hole through the last of her opponents. She sensed that Gabrielle was about to be mortally wounded. Instinctively, Terrais raised her hand and the chakram naturally whirled towards her. She caught it and then threw it with dead aim, striking the leader in the back, and knocking him down. The chakram then dropped to the ground in front of Gabrielle. The man lay unconscious.

Gabrielle stood, picked up the chakram, and stared directly at Terrais, "How did you do that?" She asked, amazed that Terrais had not only caught the chakram, but threw it with precision, rendering the last man ineffective.

Terrais first looked at Gabrielle, and then Eve, shrugging her shoulders. She didn't know how she had done it, it was instinctive, "I have no idea. I just had to do something

Eve had already gotten off of her horse and approached, "Terrais, since when can you flip like that?" Eve looked as surprised as Gabrielle.

"What? I don't know what you're talking about. I was just fighting like I always do." Terrais turned from both of them. She walked toward the horses.

Eve and Gabrielle continued to stare at each other, not knowing what to say. The fighting style they had witnessed was clearly similar to Xena's. The thing with the chakram was a little too much for Gabrielle. She wiped it clean and placed it back on her hip. She walked to the horse, got on and waited patiently for Terrais. Terrais jumped on the back and the three road off, without further comment about the fight.

As the trio rode on, tension built. Gabrielle felt angry and she didn't know why. She hated killing, and being forced to kill the majority of the men who had attacked them did not sit well with her. But there was more, a feeling unlike she had ever had in battle. It was a rage, an irresistible desire to conquer. With Terrais sitting so close, these feelings only intensified. She longed for an escape, but found none.

About an hour after the fight, they came to a creek. All three were ready to bathe and Gabrielle really wanted to wash the blood off of her body. She, however, also wanted to be alone. As she stopped, she turned to address Eve, "I would really like to wash this grunge off of me. If you two would stay here with our supplies and the horses, I won't be long. We'll all take turns." Without waiting for a response, Gabrielle got off her horse and disappeared into the trees.

Terrais was stunned that Gabrielle was being so distant. Was it the killing? She was certain Gabrielle had killed before. This couldn't be new to her. Terrais herself had never been fond of it, but they had little choice. Terrais looked at Eve, who seemed just as perplexed. They both got off their horses and waited for Gabrielle to return.

Gabrielle initially had walked along the creek, but decided to run the rest of the way. She swiftly reached the river. First, she was compelled to shed her clothing. Completely naked, she stepped into the cold water and reveled in its sharp contrast to her steaming body. Unfortunately, the water only cooled her skin, it did nothing for the raging desires within her body. She continued to have visions of conquering, namely Terrais. She wanted to push her down, kiss her savagely, and hold her until she submitted. Gabrielle felt as if she was insane.

Standing in the water, and rinsing the blood from her body, she decided the river wasn't helping. Time was probably the only remedy. Since this had never happened before, she hoped it would soon subside. As Gabrielle exited the water, Ares appeared directly behind her, grabbing her into his savage embrace. Gabrielle gasped, then stopped fighting when she felt the familiar heat emanating from his body, "You don't know the gifts Xena gave you when she relinquished her role as the Warrior Princess. Do you realize what is happening to you?" Ares ran one arm down her bare skin, placing his hand through her fingers.

"No." Gabrielle sounded dejected. She so wanted this rage to leave her. She had never experienced this, she wasn't certain how to deal with it.

"You're suffering from bloodlust." Ares ran his tongue over her ear to punctuate the effect.

"What? Why?" Gabrielle had heard of it, even witnessed it occasionally with Xena, but this had never happened to her.

"Yes, dear Gabrielle. Bloodlust. There's only one way to get rid of it. By conquering or being conquered. Sex, my dear, something you have very little experience with. This rage, desire, these animalistic instincts will not go away until you have release. When was the last time you had release, Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle didn't know how to answer. Did he mean with someone? Or did he mean any kind of sexual release. Gabrielle had vowed years ago, that if she didn't have someone, she would ,at least, find some brief release for herself. She didn't do it very often, but had suppressed her feelings for Xena so much that some kind of physical release was needed from time to time. Gabrielle refused to find it in a stranger. Therefore, self-gratification was not new to her, just not common. "Ares, leave me alone and let me work this out on my own." Gabrielle tried to convince herself, as well as Ares, that she could make it go away.

"No, Gabrielle, I can't do that. I want to help you. You need me now. No one else here can help you. Your pathetic little attempts at self-help will not work. Now, let me help you. I promise you won't regret it." Ares was moving his hands over Gabrielle's naked body, avoiding her breasts and her mound, but little else. Gabrielle could feel his erection at her back. She knew immediately that if she didn't stop this, she would seek release and truly regret it later. Her body, however, was telling her to solve this problem and to solve it now.

Terrais paced around the horses, awaiting Gabrielle's return. It had been too long and Terrais had the feeling that something was wrong. Eve tried to convince her that Gabrielle just needed time, but Terrais felt something else. Suddenly, she realized she felt Ares' presence. She knew then, that Gabrielle was in trouble, "Eve, it's Ares, he has Gabrielle. I have to help. Please stay here." With that, Terrais tore off through the woods, in search of Gabrielle.

Eve stood by the horses. Then, Aphrodite appeared next to her, "Eve, we gotta to talk." Aphrodite was unaccustomed to being this serious, but things weren't working out quite as she had planned. Ares continued to interfere.

"Aphrodite, what do you want?" Eve was skeptical of any Olympian god. She crossed her arms and waited for Aphrodite's explanation.

"Terrais is right, Ares has Gabrielle. She's experiencing bloodlust right now. Since Xena's death, Gabrielle will begin to suffer the ill effects of being a warrior, like she never has before." Aphrodite figured Eve understood what she was talking about.

And she did. While Eve had been leader of the Roman Army, she suffered from bloodlust. Her recourse was always Ares. They'd had sex so many times and in so many fashions, that she recoiled at the thought of Gabrielle in his clutches, "We have to stop them." Eve headed through the woods after the two women.

"No, wait. Terrais can help Gabrielle. That's not the problem. But there's more. Even after Terrais gets Gabrielle away from Ares, the two of them shouldn't come together like this. It can't be a sex kind of thing. If it is, it will dictate the rest of their relationship. There is so much I can't tell you right now, but know this, they can't be together this way." Aphrodite knew that once Terrais freed Gabrielle from Ares, she would want to help Gabrielle through this torment in any way she could.

"Terrais has changed since the attack. Do you know anything about this?" Eve thought something was different, and now she knew something more was going on.

"Yes, I do, but I can't tell you right now. I promise, though, I will come back to you with more information, but right now it's too complicated. We must stop Terrais from doing something that the both of them will regret." Aphrodite looked on through the woods toward where Terrais had gone.

Eve acknowledged Aphrodite and headed off in the direction of Terrais and Gabrielle. Aphrodite concentrated for a moment and then vanished.

Ares continued to move his hands over Gabrielle's naked body, relinquishing none of his control. Gabrielle was weakening, feeling release on the horizon. She needed this, wanted this. Ares was not her first choice, but he was present, attractive and very willing. She leaned into his touch, making her feel warm all over.

"Yes, Gabrielle, that's it. Give me control." Ares grasped Gabrielle's left breast with his huge hand, kneading it until she moaned. Her pink nipple became engorged with blood. Suddenly, through the trees, Terrais flipped, drawing her short sword at the same time. She was shocked the sight. Gabrielle was stark naked, in Ares arms, obviously enjoying his touch. Her head was back, her mouth half-open and her eyes showing signs of arousal.

"What are you doing, Ares?" Terrais was furious. She was supposed to be holding Gabrielle, making her feel this way, not Ares. Gabrielle had never shown an interest in the God of War.

"Terrais. You're just in time. I'm about the give Gabrielle what she needs." Ares slowly moved his other hand down to lightly brush against Gabrielle's pubic hair. Gabrielle gasped at the touch, realizing her release was getting closer.

"Don't do this, Ares. She doesn't want you. You must have her under some kind of spell." Terrais could not believe that Gabrielle would voluntarily be in his arms. She watched Gabrielle's face, which now looked confused.

Gabrielle didn't know what to do. The one she really wanted was standing in front of her, out of her reach. Ares, however, was right behind her, about to give her what she needed, "Terrais, I need release. Please understand." Gabrielle was almost in tears.

"You see, she needs me. I watched you two fight today. It was quite exhilarating. I'm probably as excited as she is. You know, I could drop my pants right here, impale her and she would have immediate release. Can you do that for her?" Ares was taunting Terrais, and she knew it.

Terrais had to think of a way to get Ares' mind off Gabrielle, "Ares, do you really think you're that manly? I mean, you're attractive, but I think Gabrielle has made it quite clear that being "impaled" by you isn't what she really wants." Terrais was trying to stall until she could think of a better plan.

"Really. Well, let me see." Ares ran his fingers into the folds of Gabrielle's sex. With that, Gabrielle moaned loudly, her knees buckling. Ares removed his fingers and showed the glistening fluid that was the remnants of Gabrielle's desire, "You see Terrais, she wants me to take her. And I will." Ares reached around to undo his leather trousers.

"No, wait. Gabrielle, listen to me. You don't want him. He will soil you and destroy you. You need something, but not him. Let me help you. Choose me and I will help you find the release you need. All you have to do is ask." Terrais was placing great faith in Gabrielle's ability to be rational. But Gabrielle was not completely in her right mind, otherwise she wouldn't be standing naked in the middle of the woods.

Gabrielle tried to comprehend what Terrais was saying. She needed to find the strength to stop Ares and his roaming hands. She tried to push one of his arms away, but he was too strong. She needed this touch, she needed something. . . "Terrais, please. . . . Help me." Gabrielle didn't know what else to say or do.

It was all Terrais needed to hear. She whirled around and attacked Ares, carefully, since Gabrielle was between the two of them. Ares had to let go of Gabrielle to stop the onslaught from Terrais. With Gabrielle off to the side, Ares quickly knocked Terrais to the ground. "I have to give you credit. You do have fire. You remind me of Xena. She protected this little girl for all she was worth. What is it about Gabrielle that will drive people to distraction?" He turned, making suggestive eyes toward Gabrielle's naked body, "Well she is attractive. I bet with the right training, she could be fantastic in bed." Ares started to walk back toward Gabrielle, who now was in a ball on the ground.

"No, you will not have her!" Terrais summoned all her strength to battle Ares. He was taken off-guard by her renewed strength and had to draw his sword to defend himself.

Eve arrived at the opening in the trees to witness Gabrielle on the ground, and Ares and Terrais in a heated battle. She knew that ultimately, Ares would defeat Terrais. She knew it was her job to stop this, "Ares, stop what you are doing, right now," Eve shouted with authority. It worked, Ares abruptly stopped, making eye contact with Eve. Terrais also stopped, looking to see what had distracted Ares. Eve stood in front of them, hands on her hips, trying to look authoritative.

Ares was at first startled, then found it all quite humorous. Eve trying to stop the fight, Gabrielle naked and helpless, and Terrais, taking him by surprise, trying to win a battle against the God of War. "Well, I see I'm out numbered."

Eve didn't want to have to deal with Ares. The resentment ran deep with him. "Ares, I don't know what you're trying to prove. It's not like you to directly interfere in people's lives who haven't worshiped you. Are you getting desperate?" Eve knew she was pushing his buttons.

Ares stared at her, and then over at Terrais, "My, you can fight. Where did you learn? I know I didn't train you. And you couldn't have learned those moves from some half-assed Amazon." Ares continued to look at Terrais, dismissing the other two women. "There's something about you. I don't know what it is, but it's very familiar."

Eve went to Gabrielle while Ares' attention was fixed on Terrais. Gabrielle shrugged away from Eve when she reached out to her. Ares looked over at the movement, "Ah, Eve. You should recognize this," pointing at Gabrielle. "You were just like this after your first big battle, killing all those renegade soldiers. Do you remember?" Now it was Ares' turn to torment Eve.

Eve remembered all too well. The battle had been fierce, many of her own soldiers had been killed. But many renegades had died at Eve's hands. She had enjoyed it, and after the battle, her body raged out of control. Ares was there for her. It was the first time that Ares and Eve had come together, and come together, they did.

Ares knew Eve was thinking back to that glorious night, "Yes, Eve. You remember, don't you." Ares turned away from Terrais and walked toward Eve, "I took you in so many ways, you could hardly walk for two days. Do you remember that?" Ares was now standing toe to toe with Eve.

"Ares, don't you think you've toyed with these mortals enough?" Aphrodite had witnessed the last few moments. She also saw Gabrielle, shaking, in a ball, naked on the ground.

"Aphrodite, this is none of your business." Ares knew, now, his chance for a little fun was over. Aphrodite would never allow him to take her favorite little one. Now all he could do was try to save face.

"Ares, you know I won't let you hurt any of these women. Gabrielle didn't call for you. Now go and get your rocks off somewhere else." Aphrodite waived her hand as if to dismiss him.

Ares turned and looked, first at Eve, then Gabrielle and lastly Terrais, "I'll figure out what it is about you that seems familiar. And then, maybe, just maybe, I'll have you both. Wouldn't that be a grand old time?" With that, Ares vanished. Aphrodite looked to Eve, and then, also, vanished.

Terrais threw down her sword and ran to Gabrielle. She couldn't stand to see her like this. But when Terrais reached her side, Gabrielle raised a hand to stop her, "No, don't, Terrais. I can't be touched right now." Terrais couldn't understand. All she wanted to do was comfort and protect her.

Eve understood why Gabrielle couldn't be touched. She also remembered what Aphrodite had said about stopping Terrais from sating Gabrielle's lustful needs, "Terrais, Gabrielle is right. You can't touch her right now. I know you don't understand, but you have to back off." Eve handed Gabrielle her skirt and top. Gabrielle quickly dressed and then stood up, stepping away from Terrais. She couldn't face her.

"I don't understand, Eve. Damn it, she needs help. Ares can't come in and touch her that way, without her permission." Terrais was furious at Eve.

"Terrais, please listen." Gabrielle was regaining her composure, "Eve is right. You need to leave me alone for a while. I have to take care of this . . . myself." Gabrielle looked at Eve for assistance. "I'm going a little further into the woods. I can feel Aphrodite close. Ares won't try this again, not now, anyway. Please understand, Terrais, you can't help me with this, at least not this time. Maybe Eve can help explain, but right now I need to work through this." Gabrielle wasn't convinced that Terrais wouldn't follow her, "Please promise me you will stay right here. Why don't you and Eve take a quick bath. I'll be back by the time you're finished. I promise. And if I'm not, you can come look for me. Okay?" Gabrielle reached out and touched Terrais's shoulder. It was all contact she could risk.

Gabrielle walked away, up stream, and disappeared into the trees. She knew she needed to be far enough away so that neither Eve nor Terrais would hear her. She knew she had to try something to relieve this ache. She couldn't get back on the horse with Terrais that close to her, until she did. She found a clearing, behind some rocks and stretched out in the grass, lying on her back. Gabrielle closed her eyes and immediately the visions came back to her. Taking Terrais, making her her own. She didn't try to stop them this time. She let them come and relaxed into them. She removed her breeches and lifted her skirt. She knew when Ares had touched her, that she was very wet. Still, she was shocked to find exactly how wet she was. She slowly moved her fingers through her outer folds and felt the swelling from earlier. She needed relief and she needed it now. No teasing this time, she went directly to the nub that needed attention. She ran circles around her clit. Her desire rose higher still, until she was breathing rapidly, tensing every muscle. The release would come quickly, but would it be enough? Within a few short minutes, Gabrielle tensed, quietly calling out Terrais' name as she shuttered and came.

After her orgasm, Gabrielle slowed her movements, but quickly realized she needed more. The visions were back. Gabrielle became tense again, wondering if only self-gratification could be enough. She continued to slowly circle her clit, realizing another orgasm was imminent.

True to Gabrielle's assumption, Aphrodite was close by. She was unaccustomed to watching Gabrielle like this, but she feared that Ares would show up again and that this time Gabrielle wouldn't be able to resist. She could tell Gabrielle was struggling with this. Aphrodite knew one orgasm wouldn't be enough. There had been too much built up at this point. Aphrodite decided to take a chance and appeared beside her, "Gabrielle."

Gabrielle startled, not expecting Aphrodite. She suspected she was near, but not this close. She hestitated, but realized she couldn't stop. Regardless of whether or not Aphrodite was there, she had to continue.

"It's okay, Gabrielle. I won't interfere. I'm just here for moral support. You must do this. You can't turn to someone else, not yet. It's not time." Aphrodite began talking in her most sensual voice, hoping that it would help. She watched Gabrielle continue moving her fingers faster against herself. Gabrielle began to breath faster, feeling the impending orgasm. "That's it. Keep going. Even if you have release, you need to keep going until you are completely sated." Aphrodite watched Gabrielle's face as it contorted, preparing for another orgasm.

Gabrielle continued moving her fingers, attempting to ignore that she was being watched. Soon her second orgasm overtook her, rocking her to the core. Such release felt wonderful. She could feel her essence flooding her hand. She couldn't believe the amount of moisture she was feeling. She then tried to abide by Aphrodite's words, and kept moving her fingers. Within seconds she knew a third orgasm was building and would be stronger than the first two. Her breathing continued, ragged and shaky.

Aphrodite saw that Gabrielle needed to let it all out, "Gabrielle, its okay to scream. Let it go. By now Eve has explained to Terrais what you are going through. Let it out, baby. Don't hold any of this in."

Gabrielle took a deep breath as the third orgasm swept through her. She tried to catch her breath, but the fourth orgasm was already coming, there was no stopping it now. As she inhaled, she decided to let out the scream she had been holding, hoping it could give her final release, "TEERRAIIS!"

Aphrodite knew Gabrielle had beaten the beast. Afterwards, she began to slow her movements. Aphrodite +would stay until Gabrielle recovered.

Eve tried to calm Terrais. She knew if Terrais would just listen for a moment, she would understand, "Terrais, please sit down and listen to me."

Terrais didn't like Gabrielle going off alone. Not after what they had just been through. She paced along the river, trying to decide her next plan of action. She only heard half of what Eve was saying. Finally, Terrais stopped and looked at Eve, "What did you say?"

Eve smiled and took Terrais' hand, "Please, stop for a moment and let me explain." Eve pulled Terrais toward the river bank. "Here, sit. Let's clean up while we talk. I want to get this blood off you." Eve felt like a big sister or a mother when Terrais would get like this. Sometimes she was so hard-headed.

The two sat by the river while they washed off the blood from the battle. Eve started to talk, but Terrais interrupted her, "Eve, listen. I'm so worried about Gabrielle. Could you just give me the short version and tell me what in the world is going on?" Terrais had run out of patience.

Eve eyed Terrais. She knew she needed to get this out quickly or Terrais would tear off after Gabrielle. Terrais would be devastated if she found Gabrielle in the middle of pleasing herself. "Ares was describing what is better-known as bloodlust. Some warriors, especially ones that follow Ares or are connected to him in some way, develop it. It's an overwhelming desire to seek sexual release. Release by way of conquering someone or, in some cases, being conquered. Ares was taking advantage of Gabrielle's state. That's what he did to me. He took advantage of my weakness and my desire to be, well, filled. That's what he was trying to do with Gabrielle, but luckily you stopped it."

Terrais sat there stunned at what Eve was saying. She had heard of bloodlust, but had never experienced it or encountered anyone going through it. She sat quietly, waiting for Eve to continue.

Eve could see she was getting through, so she decided to finish the discussion, "Gabrielle thinks she can battle this on her own. She just needs to . . . find release. She'll be back soon. The thing I don't understand is, well I've seen Gabrielle after battle many times, but I've never seen her this way. From the way she's handling it, I don't think she's ever been through this before." Eve finished washing her arms and then stood.

Terrais was trying to comprehend what Eve had just said. Find release? Wait a minute, "You mean, Gabrielle is out there . . . out there, well you know?" Terrais couldn't even speak.

Eve smiled at Terrais, almost laughing at Terrais' inability to form words, "Yes, Gabrielle is trying to find, how shall I put it, self-gratification."

Terrais stood and ran her fingers through her hair. She started breathing fast, envisioning exactly what Gabrielle was doing to try and find release. "Oh, my. Oh,. Oh, my. Well, I see. So Gabrielle is . . . okay. Well, I just didn't think of that." Terrais started pacing all over again.

"It's okay, Terrais. Every woman does it. I just hope it's enough for her." Eve sat down on a nearby rock and chuckled at the way Terrais was handling this new information.

"Every woman does it? Well, I never have. My goodness, I've thought of other things to do, but not that. I wouldn't even know where to begin." Terrais shook her head and continued to pace. She wasn't upset about the idea. In fact, she was intrigued. Actually, she would probably give just about anything to be in a position to watch this.

"You mean, you've . . . never?" Eve couldn't believe it. She knew her friend was just coming into her sexual identity, but this was ridiculous.

"No, I never have. But let's not get sidetracked by my love life." Terrais, all of a sudden, felt very shy and backwards about the subject.

"Okay, okay. But just realize Gabrielle needs to do this. It's okay." Eve continued to smile at how Terrais was acting.

"Eve?" Terrais was becoming very self-conscious concerning this subject, "Why couldn't Gabrielle have asked me to help? I mean, I know I don't know what I'm doing, I have no experience, but I think I could figure it out." Terrais started kicking a rock with her boot.

"Honey, I'm sure you could easily figure out how to help her. But if the two of you join together like that, it needs to be out of love, not lust. Gabrielle would never forgive herself if you two got together like that. Especially your first time." She knew Terrais would want to be included, it just wasn't time yet. "I'm not saying that, somewhere in the future, you won't be the answer. But right now, it's not time for that kind of intimacy."

Suddenly, from the distance of the woods the two heard a very loud scream, "TEERRAIIS!" Distinctly, it was Gabrielle. Terrais looked up and started to run toward the sound. Eve reached out, grabbing her just in time, "Hold on, Terrais." Eve had to hang on for dear life to keep her friend from bolting out of her hands.

"Eve, she's calling for me. Didn't you hear that?" Terrais was terrified.

Eve couldn't help but smile at Terrais' inexperience, "No, listen. That wasn't a cry for help. She was calling out your name in passion. You were who she was thinking of when she found release."

Terrais motionless for a moment, listening to Eve. Then she turned the brightest shade of red that she probably had ever been. She had a vision of Gabrielle, with her hands between her legs, calling out her name. It caused a sudden rush of heat directly to her center. She looked again at Eve for reassurance. When Eve did not appear worried, Terrais stopped trying to get away.

Eve could tell that Terrais was embarrassed. But, at least, Terrais stopped trying to get away. She could also tell that the idea of Gabrielle calling out her name excited Terrais.

Terrais, finally, sat down, waiting for Gabrielle to return. Eve decided to return to the horses. This ordeal seemed to be over. Shortly after Terrais had heard her name echo through the woods, Gabrielle came walking, slowly, through the forest. Gabrielle had a certain glow about her. Terrais guessed that it was because she had satisfied the bloodlust. She had never looked more relaxed. Terrais couldn't get rid of the silly grin that she had on her face. It pleased her to no end that Gabrielle called out her name when she found satisfaction.

Gabrielle saw Terrais sitting on a rock. It made her happy to know that Terrais was there, waiting. She also wondered why Terrais had a smirk on her face that almost looked proud. Had she missed something? "Hey, thanks for waiting, but you didn't have to." Gabrielle dawned the grieves and arm bands that she had left behind.

"No, that's okay. I wanted to walk back with you. I'm glad to see that you feel better." Terrais really didn't know what to say.

Gabrielle felt a little awkward discussing her masturbatory habits with Terrais. Not that Terrais wasn't the center of her fantasy, but, still . . . . "Well, thanks for waiting. And yes, I do feel better." Gabrielle looked down at the ground.

"Can I hold you now?" Terrais needed to have some kind of contact with her.

"Yes, of course. I'm sorry about earlier." Gabrielle reached out and hugged Terrais.

"It's okay, I understand now. Eve was patient with my naivte'." She returned the embrace. When they separated, Terrais kept her hands on Gabrielle's waist. "I'm glad that you're okay. Maybe in the future, if you need help with . . . things, I can be a part of the solution." Terrais smiled, shyly.

"Oh, believe me, you were part of the solution, you just didn't get to be present." Gabrielle giggled, also embarrassed by the discussion.

Terrais, feeling brave after what she had learned and heard, moved in closer to Gabrielle and touched her lips to Gabrielle's ear, "Well, maybe," Terrais spoke in a very soft, seductive tone, "if we get a chance," she then ran her tongue across Gabrielle's ear lobe, making her shiver, "to make love, maybe," Terrais continued to torment Gabrielle by running her hand up Gabrielle's bare back, "you'll fulfill a request I have." Terrais waited for Gabrielle to respond.

Gabrielle was surprised that Terrais was being so forthright. She liked it, but was taken aback. She then realized that Terrais was waiting for a response, "What's your request?" Gabrielle was breathing heavier due to Terrais' insistent tongue against her ear. She had no idea that her ears were so sensitive.

"Maybe," Terrais moved her lower body until the two were making full body contact, "I'll get a chance to hear you call out my name just like you did earlier." Terrais pulled Gabrielle against her, lightly kissing her bare shoulder.

It was Gabrielle's turn to be embarrassed. She knew she had been loud, but she didn't realize that Eve and Terrais had heard her. Well, it was too late now. She had needed the release, and being able to shout who she wanted to be with was the final act she had needed. "I'll see what I can do."

Terrais stepped back, smiled, and took Gabrielle by the hand. They walked silently back to the horses and Eve. Traveling the rest of the day was pleasant. The three women spoke off and on, slightly reserved, but completely without tension. The midday events would set them back a few hours, but they still would arrive on Amazon land by nightfall.

Ares was furious with his sister's interruption. Didn't she know he had to fill this void of grief with some kind of distraction? Why not the woman who had held his love's heart? Damned Aphrodite. Well, he would try another tactic. Ares appeared in the Amazon Queen's hut, waiting for Varia to return. He didn't have to wait long. She was startled to see Ares lying comfortably on her bed, "What are you doing here?" She was disgusted that she had ever tried to follow him. It had brought her nothing but pain.

"Now, is that any way to treat a dear old friend?" Ares was still completely bent out of shape from not finding some kind of release earlier. His tone was anything but that of a friend.

"You're not my friend. Now, what do you want? I'm busy." Varia still, sometimes, did not recognize when she was in over her head. The God of War was not about to be toyed with today.

Ares came off the bed and quickly pinned Varia to the table in the center of the room, "Now, you listen to me, you little bitch. You won't speak to me that way ever again, or I will take your head off. Do you understand me?" Ares held her by the throat, making it very difficult for her to speak.

"Yes, Ares." Varia realized that he was angry and she couldn't push his buttons any further this evening.

"Good." Ares let go of her throat, but did not remove his body from her. "Now, I have an assignment for you and I want you to listen to me very carefully."

"What could you possibly need from me? We haven't re-built our army from the Battle at Helicon." She had no idea why else the God of War would want her.

"That's not what I need. At least not this time. I need for you to take care of a different kind of problem for me." Finally, Ares moved away from her. Varia stayed against the table, uprighting herself. "Your little childhood friend is returning this evening to the camp. You remember Terrais don't you?" Ares started playing with a dagger he had found sitting on the end of the table. Slowly, he cut small circles into the table's top.

Varian's mind was whirling. What in the world would Ares want with Terrais? She hadn't seen her in more than two years. The last she had heard was that Terrais was traveling across Greece and Rome, "Of course I remember her. She's coming back?" Varia was excited on one hand to see her old friend, but afraid of what it had to do with Ares.

"Yes, she is. She's bringing Gabrielle and Eve with her. Eve and Terrais have been traveling together for the last few months." Ares made eye contact with Varia and then continued, "I'll make this brief. Terrais is coming into herself. She's made some new ërevelations.' She's also quite smitten by that little blonde pain in my ass. I don't want that relationship to flourish. I want it stopped right now." Ares slammed the knife into the table.

Varia could tell Ares was very angry. He had always been chaotic and ruthless, but after the rumors of Xena's death, he seemed quite maniacal, "You mean Terrais is attracted to Gabrielle?" Varia had always figured that Terrais would enjoy the company of women, but didn't think that Terrais would ever figure it out.

"Yes, that's exactly what I mean." Ares knew that he shouldn't confide too much of his plan to Varia. She would go along with some of it, but if she knew his complete plan, she would fight him. "Now, as I see it, you and Terrais have something in common. I think, since you were friends for so long, she wouldn't be surprised to find that you . . . desire her, now that she's decided who she is. I want you to flirt with her, distract her from Gabrielle. As soon as Gabrielle realizes how close you two are, she'll back off. She's not over Xena yet, and she doesn't have it in her to fight for someone. I'll take it from there. That's all I need. See, it's simple."

Varia knew there had to be more. Nothing was ever simple with Ares. She didn't understand why he didn't want Terrais and Gabrielle to get to know each other. And she wasn't at all comfortable with leading Terrais on in this manner. They were close, they loved each other. But there had never been an attraction, "Ares, Terrais and I have never felt that way about each other. What makes you think she's interested now?"

Ares stood toe to toe with her again, pressing Varia back against the table, "Because she's desperate to find out what this is all about." Ares ran his hands across Varia's breasts. She shook and tried to get out of his path. He held her in place, "She wants to know and feel. You could always convince her that, with your experience, you could train her, help her learn. That way she can please her little blonde bitch. By then, Gabrielle will think you two are together. And, after you have convinced Terrais of your intentions, Gabrielle will leave and your little village will be all yours again." Ares continued to press his manhood against Varia. He was tired of playing games, "If you don't do this for me, Varia. . ." He grabbed her left breast, twisting the nipple hard, through her top, "I'm going to bend you over this table and take all of my frustrations out on you." He leaned into her ear, whispering, "And that means I will . . ." He ran his hand down between her legs and squeezed, "fuck you until you aren't good for anyone. And I don't mean a pleasure-fucking either, I mean something that you will painfully regret for the rest of your life." Ares knew that Varia never had a physical interest in him. That had been okay before, Xena was still alive, and he could fantasize about her as often as he wanted to.

Varia gasped as Ares continued to manhandle her body, "Alright, Ares. I'll try. But I can't make Terrais interested." She winced as he continued to twist her nipple.

"You'd better try hard. I'll know if you don't." Ares suddenly released her nipple and backed up, "Now, I need one more thing. Find me someone out there who is willing to give me a little pleasure. I'm sure one of your Amazons wouldn't mind satisfying my needs." Ares went back to lounge on Varia's bed.

She couldn't believe his audacity. He had just threatened to rape her and now he wanted her to provide a whore for his pleasure, "Ares, I can't just force one of my sisters to come in here to do your bidding." She paced in front of him. She noticed he had started undoing his trousers, pulling on his manhood. She knew then, she would need to find a willing participant or it would be up to her, "Fine, I'll go see who I can find." Varia turned and exited her hut. Ares leaned back with a smile, continuing to slowly stroke his manhood. Soon, he would have a small amount of release, but the bigger climax would come when he had Gabrielle right where he wanted her.

Continued in Part IV

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