Please read the Disclaimer in Part One!
Warning: This story is rated NC-17. Do not read it if you are under 17 years of age, or if the idea of two women in love turns you off. This story contains fairly explicit sexual content, as well as at least one obscenity (in part 3).
Gabrielle lay uneasily in her rented bed, staring at the ceiling while she waited for Xena to return from the bathhouse. She knew that when the warrior princess got to their room, she would probably make another advance, and Gabrielle was not very sanguine about her ability to rebuff her friend. Especially after the latest episode....she could still almost feel Xena's hot mouth on her breast, and her entire groin throbbed with desire at the memory. Biting her lips, Gabrielle laced her fingers together and forced herself to lie still.
Suddenly, in the corridor outside she heard footsteps, followed by a swift whooshing sound, a grunt, and a "thunk." The door opened and Xena entered, holding her armor in one hand. A towel was wrapped around her, barely managing to cover the essentials. She dropped the armor carelessly on the floor and advanced toward Gabrielle's bed. "Now-"
"Xena, what was that?" Gabrielle asked, sitting up in alarm.
"What?" Xena looked behind her. In the hall right outside their door, both women could see a large man lying unconscious on the floor.
Gabrielle jumped out of bed and went to the man. "Xena, did you hit him?"
Xena frowned. "I don't know."
"What do you mean, you don't know?" Gabrielle shook the man by the shoulders. "Hey, wake up." Groaning, he swam back to consciousness. "Xena, you put the pinch on him and I'll ask him what he was doing out here."
"Do I have to?" Xena pouted. "Can't we just pick up where we left off?"
"Uhhh...arr!" the man exclaimed as he focused on Gabrielle. "There she is!" He sat up swiftly and grabbed the bard's arm. "You're mine now, girl!"
"Who sent you?" Gabrielle demanded as the man fumbled for the knife at his belt.
Xena's patience finally broke. "Gabrielle, come on!" She stepped forward and effortlessly pulled the younger woman's arm from the bandit's grasp. As she tugged her friend back into the room, her foot flashed out behind her and pulled the man's feet out from under him. He fell backward, landing on his ass with a second thump, and was still.
"Now," Xena rasped, pushing the door shut, "which bed shall we start with, my sweet?"
"Um..." Fighting against the tide of passion, Gabrielle removed the warrior's hands from her waist and pointed. "That one's mine...and that one's yours. We better....ohhhh....Xena, we better get some sleep...."
"Who needs sleep?" Xena asked as she steered Gabrielle toward the bed indicated as hers. But the instant her dark head hit the pillow, she fell fast asleep, snoring softly.
Gabrielle let out a sound that was half sigh of relief, half moan of anguish. Quickly pulling back, she climbed into the other bed and pressed her thighs together in a vain attempt to quell the throbbing ache.
The next day dawned bright and clear, and Gabrielle was up before Xena, to her vast relief. Eschewing breakfast, she made immediately for the stables and was saddling Argo for the day's travel when another dirty man dropped from the rafters and tried to grab her.
Alarmed, Gabrielle seized her staff and swung it at him, but the man was quick and grabbed the staff. With startling strength he pulled it from her grasp and threw it aside. Adrenaline pumped through the young bard's body as she kicked out at the attacker. He ducked her kicks and grabbed her, forcing her arms behind her and reaching for a length of rope to tie them.
"Gabrielle," said Xena as she entered the stables, "you don't know how desolate I am when I awake and find you gone, my love." Pushing the attacker aside, she pulled Gabrielle to her feet and gazed mournfully into wide hazel eyes. "Now, why did you leave me like that?"
"Xena," Gabrielle panted, "we need to know who sent that man."
"The one you just beat up!" Gabrielle cried in exasperation, pointing to the attacker, who was now fleeing across the fields.
"Oh...." Xena watched him go with some surprise. "Where did he come from?"
"That's what I'd like to know," Gabrielle replied. Xena turned back to her, the passion once more smouldering in her eyes.
"You haven't answered my question," she murmured, pressing Gabrielle back against Argo. "Why did you leave me all alone in that cold, empty bed?" Her lips found the side of Gabrielle's throat and the little bard gasped. The horse snorted and stomped a hoof.
"Because...because we need to keep moving!" Gabrielle managed, turning to finish cinching the saddle. "Come on Xena...we have to be on the other side of the mountains by new moon, remember?"
"If you say so, my love," Xena replied, looking disappointed. But she seized the reins and set off on the path.
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