Dionysus Rising

by Missy Good


“This.”  Eponin had her hands on her hips as she stood on one side of the river, looking over at the other side. “Is the biggest freaking festival of Dionysus I have ever freaking seen.”

“It’s big.” Solari agreed, folding her arms over her chest.  “But you know, we’re due a party.” She nudged her friend in the ribs. “And you better enjoy it, since you’re gonna be losing sleep and doing diapers before the next one.”

Eponin gave her a slit eyed look.  “Having a kid ain’t that bad.”

“That’s not what Aailene said.”

“Don’t remember her nibs with dark circles under those eyes.” Pony said. “Or big X’s either.”

“She could probably do diapers with that chakram from across the room.” Solari grinned. “Dori probably played ring toss with it.”

They both turned back to look down at the space across the river, now literally bathed in festive decorations, the huge dancing square already set up, and rows and rows of traveling vendor’s wagons set up in all directions around it.

They could hear the sound of musicians tuning up, and from the far side of the square, smoke rose lazily over the fall tinged trees marking the site of the cookpit already in work.

Men were moving across the bridge, rolling casks of wine and barrels of ale ahead of them, and everyone was in a state of obvious and high good humor, calls and whistles rising up in the air and carrying to where the two Amazons were watching.

“Gonna be fun.”  Solari said, after a long silence. “Got like a dozen people tying the knot, not even considering the ones up by us.”

“Gab’s gonna be busy.”

Solari chuckled. “She’s got no one to blame but herself.” She straightened a little. “Here she comes.”  She pointed, as a familiar figure emerged from the wagons and broke into a jog, heading for the bridge.

Dressed in a rough woven tunic and leggings, her  pale hair bouncing a little as she ran,  Gabrielle attracted the attention of pretty much everyone who was busy about the business of making the party. She returned waves as she came up the slope, heading towards where Solari and Pony were waiting.

“Hey your Maj.” Pony greeted her as she slowed to a halt. “Everything going good over there?”

“As good as random party assembly ever does.” Gabrielle grinned at them.  “It’s going to be fun though. I think I got that troupe all set up to put on their show.”

“Put on their show?” Solari grinned back. “I heard they were putting on YOUR show.”

Their queen blushed slightly.  “Yeah.” She agreed. “I’ve got my fingers crossed. The story’s got a few twists to it.” She admitted. “And it’s kinda mushy.”

“Really?” Solari said. “From you? Never would have figured.”

Gabrielle grinned. “It’s appropriate to the festival.” She retorted.  “Were you really expecting it to be the Trojan War?”

Pony chuckled. “Nah, we figured.” Pony said. “Where’s the champ?”

“Hunting.”  Their queen supplied promptly. “She took a squad of the guys and went out after a buck. She promised mom venison for her special Festival of Dionysus stew.” The bard lowered her voice, and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.

“Special?”  Solari eyed her.

“It’s supposed to encourage romance.” Gabrielle said. “Or so she says.”

“If she ate it before she had her kids that’d explain a lot.”  Pony said.  “Think I’ll stick to the ale.”

“I think that’s probably more effective than the stew.”  The bard remarked.  “How’s the preparations going on up by us?”

Solari cleared her throat. “They got most of the decorations up in the village, figure you can do all the honors up there before we come down here.” She paused. “And if they run out of party we’ve got some stuff stored up too.” She winked.

Gabrielle put her hands on her slim hips and chuckled. “This festival’s fun, but I’ve got to tell you I’m glad this one only comes once a year. “ She admitted. “All this love in the air can get you tired, you know?”

Both Amazons looked at her with the drollest of expressions.

“Hey, you guys are the ones with the fur lined shackles.”  Their queen gave them a look right back, shaking a finger at them. “The raciest thing Xe and I’ve got is a featherbed.” She stated. “Which I intend to fall into after all this is over.”

“Uh huh.” Solari said. “Regular homebodies, you guys are.”

“Right. See you guys later.” Gabrielle’s pale green eyes twinkled, and she ducked past them and headed up the path towards the inn. 

“All this love in the air can get you tired.” Solari rolled her eyes. “C’mon,  Pon. Let’s go down and see what they got in those wagons before the rest of the herd comes down.”

“Should be called the Festival of Gabrielle if you ask me.” Pony nevertheless hitched her leather skirt up and followed as Solari made her way down the slope towards the river.  ‘Surprised she hasn’t found you a match yet.”

“Lalalalalaa.”  Solari hummed loudly.  “Don’t give her any ideas. The last two she matched were the nutball twins.”


“Hey there, Gabrielle.”  Two men were passing the inn porch, with baskets of wildflowers in their arms. “Good festival!”

Gabrielle lifted her hand in a wave as she entered the inn.  The inside was decorated, a trifle more sedately than the lower town but still distinct,  the last of the summer flowers carefully saved and pressed, and wrapped in strings around every surface.

It gave the inside a rich, heady scent and so did the mulled wine gently steaming in the pot near the fire, full of fruit and bark and drawing Gabrielle over. “Boy that smells good.”

“Doesn’t it?” Eustace turned as she entered, from her stirring.  “Let me get you some, Gabrielle.”  She ladled a portion into a wooden mug and handed it over.  “Perfect for the festival, don’t you think? Makes you all warm and feeling good all over.”

Gabrielle took a sip, identifying cinnamon and cloves, and the rich taste of peaches and pears in it.  “It’s good.” She agreed “Nice for all the joining ceremonies in here too.” She reviewed the inn, whose tables had been moved back near the walls to clear the center.

“Ah, there you are.” Cyrene entered.  “Aaron just left to pick up the stack of parchment for later.” She perched herself next to Gabrielle.  “Ready to hitch all those young kids?”

Gabrielle smiled.  “I remember when it was my turn in front of that fire.” She said. “How amazing that moment was, you know?”

“I know.” Cyrene smiled back at her. “Xe’s homecoming, really.”

“It was.” The bard sipped her drink. “But I’m sorta glad we didn’t do it on this particular holiday.” She eyed her mother in law. “I invited Jess.  He told me in no uncertain terms there was no way he’d come anywhere near here.”

Cyrene chuckled. “Yes, indeed. Love is in the air.” She agreed. “I’ve got heart shaped cookies,  oyster stew, bread baked in the shape of Aprhodite…  you  know, I’m glad I’m too old to have more kids, Gabrielle.”


The innkeeper eyed her. “You planning any more?” 

“I didn’t plan the last one, really.”  Gabrielle smiled, nevertheless. “Xe and I have talked about it, you  know?  But asking for another one like her.. that’s kinda tempting fate.”

“There’s truth in that.” Cyrene admitted. “She is a special little girl.”


“Speaking of.” Gabrielle turned as the door opened from the kitchen and a pile of kids ran in, with Dori leading them. “Hey Dor!” She opened her arms and grinned as her daughter raced over to her. “What’s up, kiddo?”

“Mama!!!” Dori danced around her and climbed up on the bench. “Mama, d’ja know we’re going to camp!”

Gabrielle put her cup down and put her arms around her daughter. “Yes, I knew that  honey. You’re going to have a lot of fun with your friends tonight, right?  In the tent up on the meadow?”

“Yes!” Dori beamed at her. “You come too!”

The other kids clamored at her knees. “Yes! Yes!! Come tell stories!”

Cyrene chuckled. “Not tonight, you little bandits.  Gabrielle has a lot of hard work to do.” She said. “C’mon back in the kitchen. I think I have some cookies for you all.” She said. “And give me a hand with the big pot. Will you ‘Stace? I’m counting on venison stew tonight.” 

“Cookies!” The little herd pattered for the door, following the innkeeper’s apron clad form, and Eustace’s bulk.

Gabrielle chuckled. “I’m sure you’re going to have fun, Dor.” She told her daughter, who had remained on the bench next to her. “You can have stories any time, right? Because you live with us and you’re mine.”

“Yes.” Dori agreed. “Mama tells good stories.  You have fun too?” She looked up at her mother in question. “You go with Boo?”

“Boo and I are going to have a great time.” Gabrielle informed her. “We’re going to help some of our friends have a party, and we’ll all have a good time, but we’ll be doing grown up things.”

Dori frowned . ”What’s grow up?”

Gabrielle gave her a kiss on the head. “Something you don’t have to worry about for a while, honey.” She said. “Go with your friends and have a lot of fun, okay?”

“Okay.” Dori hopped off the bench and ran for the door, turning as she reached it. “Mama you have fun too, right?” She asked again, a little pucker forming between the disheveled dark bangs.

“Sweetie we will, I promise.”  Her mother said. “Boo and I always have fun, don’t we?”

Dori grinned and pushed her way through the door, letting it swing closed behind her.

Gabrielle hitched herself back up onto the trestle table and picked up her cup again, enjoying the moment of quiet as she watched the sun pour through the windows.  “We’ll have fun having a nice quiet night at home, in front of the fire.” 

She considered the idea contentedly, thinking of the little bowl of treats, and the peach nectar that was waiting for them later as she enjoyed this little period of peace.

It lasted all of another minute though, before she heard cheers outside, and felt a familiar presence.  With a smile, she got up and went to the window, leaning on it and peering outside.  A group on horseback were approaching through the trees,  led by a tall, dark haired figure riding relaxed and easy in the saddle, longbow hitched over one shoulder. 

Two pairs of the horses had travelling poles strapped between them, and hanging from them were two large deer, freshly killed.

“Hey mom.” Gabrielle called over her shoulder. “Your venison’s here.” She looked back outside. “And I think we’ll be having it for a couple of days.”

“What was that, cutie??” Cyrene came out into the outer room and went to the window.  “Apollo’s breastplate. What does she think I’m cooking for, all of Athens?”

“She’d never waste a hunt for that.”

“I better clean off the worktable.” Cyrene shook her head and bustled back into the kitchen.

The little group was moving closer to the inn, surrounded by townsfolk and a few of her Amazons, admiring the catch.  

“Nice hunt, Xena!”  One of the men called out. “Look at those racks!”

Xena lifted her hand in acknowledgement,  leading the way up to the steps where she kicked loose of her stirrups and slid down, ignoring the door as she hopped up onto the porch and detoured to the window instead. 

Gabrielle offered her the cup in silence, watching indulgently as Xena tipped her head and took a sip of the wine, waggling her dark eyebrows and licking her lips.  “Nice job.” She complimented her partner, pointing at the deer.

“Just make sure you swipe a few steaks for us.”  Xena winked.

“Not a pot of the stew?”  Gabrielle teased. “I hear it’s got quite a kick.”

“So does my horse. I don’t intend on eating her.” 

Cyrene returned.. “Ah.” She patted Xena on the arm as she went over to inspect the dressed quarry.  “This way, boys.” She indicated the back outside door to the inn kitchen. “Pot’s a waiting.  By the time we finish the joining’s tonight that’s going to be a stew to remember.”

“Feed the town a week.”  Johan commented, coming up onto the porch wiping his hands down. “Rack’ll make some nice knife hilts, too.”  He said. “Didn’t know we had any this big near here.”

“We don’t.” Xena said. “I had to go all the way back down past the valley.  We’ve been riding all night.”  She rolled her head around, loosening the muscles in her neck and ending up meeting Gabrielle’s amused eyes. “But  a promise is a promise.”

Gabrielle leaned over and let her head rest against her partner’s somewhat sweaty, horse smelling shoulder. “A promise is a promise.” She repeated. “You always keep yours.”

“Mm.” Xena pushed away from the wall. “I’m going to go dive in the spring.” She advised Gabrielle. “See ya later?”

“See ya later.”  Gabrielle agreed, watching the tall figure hop over the porch railing and capture the reins of the patiently waiting Iolaus before starting towards the barn.

“Okay, Gabrielle, I got all the parchments.” 

She turned to see Arron, her assistant reeve with a stack in his arms.  “C’mon in, lets go over everything.”

He pushed the door open and put the sheets down.  “Boy, it’s a lot of work, huh?” He exhaled. “I can’t believe all the stuff you’re doing for this festival.”  He pushed his curly brown hair back off his forehead. “How can you enjoy it?”

Gabrielle smiled. “Let’s just say, for me it’s paying it forward.” She pointed to the hearth. “Get a cup and let’s make sure they got all the glyphs crossed.”

“Lot of people getting hitched.”

“Yup, and we have to make sure we do it right.”


The moon rose up over the trees, shining down benignly as the last blare of music faded, the last snap of the fire sent sparks up into the darkness, painting a lazy silver stripe on the river and the bridge as the last of the revelers walked slowly back across.

“Now that was a party.”  Ephiny let her hand rest on her belly as she strolled along at Gabrielle’s side. “Liked your show, too.”

“Mm.” Gabrielle pulled her cloak around her a bit more, as the cool breeze came up off the river. “Yeah, that worked out pretty good. I think everyone enjoyed it.”

“Everyone enjoyed everything, as well they should after all you put into it.” Ephiny said. “I heard everyone saying that now, their favorite festival is Dionysus.”

“Good.” Gabrielle chuckled softly. “I’m glad to hear it. Glad everyone had a good time.”

They walked along in silence for a bit. “You really did put a lot into this.” Ephiny said, after a few minutes. “Mind me asking why?”

Gabrielle glanced at her. “Does there have to be a reason? “

Ephiny studied her, then shrugged.

Gabrielle chuckled softly again.   “Well, I guess I just think the festival is something everyone should get something out of.   It’s harvest time, it’s a good time to sow love and happiness, to get us through the winter.”

“Uh huh.”

“It’s nice to see people happy and having a good time.”  The bard went on, more slowly.  “So much of our lives is filled with war and sadness, it’s right to celebrate when we can, you know?”

“Uh huh.”

They walked through the upper town, past the inn still full of revelers, the hearthlight inside outlining two figures in the window in fervent embrace.

“Not many times when we can all just let it loose and be happy.” Ephiny said, as they climbed up the sloping path at the back of Amphipolis.  “But you know what?” She said, as they paused on the small level spot that curved off on one hand into Amazon village, and on the other, continued up to the high plateau that held Gabrielle’s home.

“What?”  Gabrielle asked, folding her arms.

Ephiny glanced past her, and smiled. “I think you just want to give everyone a taste of what its like to be you.” She winked at her friend, and gave her a shove. “G’wan. I know she’s waiting for you.”

The moon filtered through the dense trees and briefly outlined Gabrielle’s body, catching glints as she she broke into an unapologetic grin and reached out to give Ephiny a hug.  “Busted.” She admitted, releasing her. “Go get some rest.”

“I won’t bother giving you the same advice.”  Her regent said, eyes twinkling.  “May we all benefit by you kicking Dionysus’s ass.”

“Oh no. It’s our time to just chill out and relax.” Gabrielle disagreed.  “Xe was two days hunting, and I’m bushed.  I’ve got some cake and a cup of pear nectar waiting for me, and a warm spot by the fire.”

“On Dionysus’ night?”  Ephiny looked profoundly disbelieving.

“You bet.”

“Uh huh.” Her regent gave her a droll look. “Whatever you say, your Majesty.” Then Ephiny lifted her hand in good bye, and headed off into the village.  

Gabrielle watched her go until she disappeared. “Night, Eph!” She called after her, hearing a chuckle come back and echo softly.

Then she turned and looked up the path, watching the shadows on the slope shift and move and resolve into Xena’s tall form,  lightly clad and ethereally sexy, a smile already evident on her face.  “Well well. Look what I found.”  She drawled.  “Wandering around on such a wild night.”

Gabrielle put her hands on her hips and waited,  the breeze coming down the slope and stirring her thick, pale hair.  “Party’s finally over. You ready to call it a night, Boo?”

“Mm…” Xena came forward, walking through moon beams that colored her in silver and shadow until she came up next to Gabrielle, twirling a creamy pale rose in her fingers, pausing to look her partner up and down and grin.  “I dunno about that, mama.”

“Hmm..” Gabrielle answered, in a soft husky tone, savoring the teasing affection in the words and the eyes that watched her almost colorless in the moonlight.  

“How about you come and celebrate the festival of Dionysus with me.”  Xena handed over the rose, reaching up to smooth the hair out of Gabrielle’s eyes when she took it, her expression easing from amusement to gentle seriousness “Oh, love of my life?”

Gabrielle’s eyes closed for a moment, and she stood, simply living the fullness of the heart those words triggered in her.  She drew in a breath full of night jasmine, earth, and her partner, and all the hard work and effort of the day fell away from her. “Gladly.”

Xena took her free hand and clasped it, and they walked up the path together in quiet content.

“Good party.” Gabrielle said, after a minute.  “I think everyone had a good time.”

“I think you did a bang up job making everyone forget it’s the anniversary of our first public kiss.”  Her partner retorted drolly.  “They would have had a lot more fun teasing you otherwise.”

Gabrielle laughed softly. “Oh, Xe. No one remembers that.”


“No I mean.. no one remembers it was the festival night.  We were too caught up in everything.”

“Ahh.”  Xena squeezed her hand gently. “Well I remember it..”

A sweet smile appeared on Gabrielle’s face, and she swung their clasped hands a little. “Yeah, I do too.” She admitted quietly. “It was one of the turning points of my life.”

“It’s one of the anchors of mine.” Xena answered, in a contemplative tone.  “It’s when I first started thinking I could maybe move past my past, a little.”

“We became us.”  The bard smiled.

“To everyone’s everlasting eye rolling. Sure.”  Xena chuckled. “Since they all knew we were long before we did.”

“Yeah, I remember Ephiny’s face when she realized. She was all like, whoa, wait.  You weren’t?” Her partner recalled.  “No way.”

Xena sighed, shaking her head. “Two biggest idiots this side of Rome.”

Gabrielle put her arm around Xena’s waist and leaned against her.  “But we got over it.”

“We did.”

“Y’now I think Ephiny was right.”  Gabrielle said, after a minute. “I think I really would like to give everyone a piece of what this feels like.”

“Well that’s just too damn bad.” Xena stated firmly. “They can’t have any bit of it, unless they want to fight me for it.”


‘Yes, Gabrielle?”


“Sorry kiddo.”  Xena put her arm around Gabrielle’s shoulders. “I’m selfish and you’re mine.” 

“You aren’t selfish.” 

“Oh, Gabrielle, please.”

Gabrielle laughed softly. “But I am without a doubt yours.”

“Without a doubt.”  Xena assented. “And there’s no question in my mind who I belong to these days.”

It made them both turn a little serious, as they climbed up the path.  “I hope all those people I joined tonight, down in the town, and in the village, know a moment just like this.” Gabrielle said, as they reached the top of the track and transitioned to the flatter approach to their home.

“Uh huh.”

They reached the cabin but as they did Xena gently tugged her past it.   “No featherbed for us yet.”

“Haven’t we done enough walking?”  Gabrielle said, after a moment, watching the soft light of the moon shift on her skin as her companion smiled. “It’s been a crazy long day.”

“Just a little more.”

Gabrielle’s nape hairs prickled, and she felt her breathing pick up a little.  “We going up on the ridge?”


“Any particular reason?”


They walked in silence up a smaller track, passing between thick trees and long grass until they came up onto the ridge, where there was a long, moonlit vista of the river valley in front of them, and to one side, casting a shadow towards them, an old apple tree.

“Hello, old friend.” Xena reached up as they slowed to a halt beside it, giving the trunk a pat.

Gabrielle savored the thrill that chased itself up her spine as she saw the draping garlands of flowers around the trunk.  “So…” She touched one of the blooms, breathing in the sweet scent.  “We going to climb up there again?”

“Can you think of a better way to celebrate this festival?”  Xena leaned against the tree, eyes silver gray in the moonlight.  She held out one hand. “Hm?”

“No, actually, I can’t.”

They climbed up the tree, the bark smooth and reflective, rasping lightly against her fingertips as Gabrielle left the ground behind and moved up towards the stars, coming past the last leaves to the irregularily round bowl of interlaced branches at the top.

A deep, rich perfume enfolded her, as she put her hands into the bowl and found it full of petals, silky smooth and cool against her fingertips. “Oh.” She grinned. “Nice.”

“No bruises this time.” Xena squirmed onto her back and relaxed, the light robe she had on hiking up and exposing one long thigh.  “I hijacked one of the wagons heading downriver and bough him out of flowers. He thought I was nuts.”

She patted the surface next to her. “C’mon, mama.”

 Gabrielle climbed in, surprised to find not only the petals, but some soft surface under them. “Oo.” She wriggled into a comfortable spot.  “This feels nice.”

“Uh huh. I figured you were due some pampering after all your busting ass today.”  Xena folded her hands on her stomach, and kicked her feet out a little.

“Aw. Thanks hon.”  Gabrielle looked fondly at her.  “And your venison made the stew. It was great.”

“You ate some?”

“Of course. So did you.”

Xena chuckled.

Gabrielle lay down on her back and looked up at the stars, studying them with faintly doubtful eyes as she let her body relax.  Then she jumped a little when something hit her on the midriff, looking down to find an apple now balanced there.

She felt goosebumps rise around it, and she cradled her fingers over the smooth, fragrant surface, a bit of night dew from it cool on her skin.

Xena settled back down into the softness with her, shoulder to shoulder. “Been waiting all day for this.”  She admitted, letting her head rest against the edge of the bole.  “Whole time I was hunting for those deer I was thinking about getting to the end of that party and getting you up here.”

Frank and honest, and entirely soul and ego satisfying.  Gabrielle thought about all those couples she’d helped celebrate and smiled.  

“Just us.” Xena concluded, with a contented sigh.

Gabrielle ran her fingers through the petals, then lifted her hand and scattered a few over her partner’s chest.  “Know something?”

Xena smiled.  “I’m about to.” She waited as Gabrielle shifted closer, the stars crowning her as she leaned over and they kissed.

Gabrielle then went nose to nose with her.  “I love you.”   

The pale eyes twinkled back at her, and Xena lifted the apple up, holding it between her hands and twisting it in half.  She held up one half invitingly, the darkness of the seeds standing out in sharp relief against the creamy pale flesh. 

“So you want us to try this?”  Gabrielle whispered. “Really, Xe?”

Xena studied her face, then after a brief pause, she nodded slightly.

Would it work? Could it work?   Gabrielle took a bite of the apple, experiencing again that cold, bright burst of juice as she chewed her way through it, feeling the hardness of the seed against her tongue.  She separated it, swallowing the rest of the mouthful.

Did she care?  Or was it enough that Xena wanted it to work?   Gabrielle looked down into those eyes, seeing the twinkle in them, and the steadfastness that enticed her forward, leaning down and meeting Xena’s lips as she felt a powerful heat ignite in her.

She was aware of the breeze across her suddenly bare shoulder blades, and the scent of the leaves, and the petals, and the hint of leather and musk from the body under her.  She drew in a breath and then paused, feeling around with her tongue inside her mouth. “Oh bear poop.”

Xena started silently laughing.  “What happened?”

Gabrielle sighed. “Swallowed it. Give me another bite.”

“You can go blind from that I hear.” Xena teased her.

“Xena.” Gabrielle curled up on her side and sprawled half across her partner’s body.  “This is weird enough for me don’t make it worse.”  She gave her a lovingly exasperated look. “And I feel like those creepy stars are watching us.”

Xena looked past her shoulder up at the sky. “Creepy?”

“Yeah. I never really forgave them for that whole thing on Mount Olympus.” 


“Kinda silly I guess.” Gabrielle leaned closer to the apple half, still clasped in Xena’s fingers.  “Anyway.”

“Wait.” Xena reached up and touched her cheek, waiting for Gabrielle to look up and meet her eyes. “I don’t think it’s silly, sweetheart.” She felt the skin move as a smile appeared.  “But don’t sell Mount Olympus short. I think us being there is why I want to try this.”

Gabrielle studied the planed, moonlit face, absorbing the serious expression looking back at her. “You mean because I was there.” She said. “Because we know for sure you didn’t need to be.”

Xena nodded.

Hm.  Gabrielle looked past her, eyes going unfocused for a long moment. “But I think it would have only really mattered when I was there, Xe.” She finally said, looking back at her partner’s face. “Like when we.. remember? After you came back from Elysia?”

“I remember.” Xena’s eyes twinkled gravely.

“I mean.. “ Gabrielle felt a blush warm her skin. “That was pretty special.”

“It was.”

“So if I was going to do something like that, it would be like then.”  Gabrielle finished, quietly.  “I’ll give you as many of these seeds as you want, Xe, but honestly, I don’t think I could just make it happen.”

“I think you can.” 


Xena held out the apple half invitingly again. “Try.” She said. “Look. The worst thing that could happen is that we have great sex.”

Gabrielle started laughing, as the whole ridiculousness of the situation occurred to her.  She dismissed the stars and her misgivings, inclining her head and taking a bite of the apple.  This time she savored the cool crispness, and as she separated the seeds with her tongue, she felt Xena’s hands slide up her sides.

And then the night turned intense.  Gabrielle felt a rolling sense of excitement prickle her skin and she went with it, leaning forward and meeting Xena’s waiting lips,  first a chill then a flush of heat coming over her.

She thought she’d passed the seed to Xena, but then they were tumbling over into the flower petals, sending a scattering of them through the leaves as the delicate scent rose around them and they were pressing together skin to skin.

She thought she heard the wind move through the leaves, and felt a tickle on her outer thigh as  Xena’s fingertips brushed against her skin as she rolled halfway onto her side.

The foliage outlined Xena’s head, and past it, she saw the stars again peering down at them, and as she slid belly to belly with her partner, she saw one of them move, shooting off towards the horizon in a streak of silver against black.

She tossed a wish after it, then slid her knee between Xena’s and let the passion take her,  forgetting about everything even that she was high above the ground trying to use an apple seed to give her soulmate a baby.

Crazy really, but it didn’t matter.

Life mattered.  Their life together mattered   Gabrielle sent a silent thank you to Dionysus as she felt the pressure build in her.  Having someone who believed in you mattered.

“Love you.”

That whisper in the ear mattered.  She took a deep breath in and let it out, feeling her soul lift and take flight, drenching her in joy as her body pressed against Xena’s and she felt arms wrap around her as they tumbled together.

So maybe it was her favorite festival now too.    Gabrielle felt another seed in her mouth and she worked it onto the tip of her tongue, leaning forward until their lips brushed and then made a warm, steady contact.

She felt the shape of the seed  and then Xena’s teeth gently closed over her lower lip and captured it, biting down slightly before she released her, and drew the seed back, licking her lips and Gabrielle’s as well, with a softly knowing chuckle.

Life rocked



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