DISCLAIMER: Xena Warrior Princess and its characters are the property of Renaissance Pictures and MCA. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: (1) Obviously, it is not a first time story. I'm more interested in exploring the evolution of Xena and Gabrielle's intimate relationship as it must be taking place beyond the screen, in this Seasonal Passion series. (2) This is a seasonal X/G femslash series, which means there is one romantic and erotic X/G femslash story per XWP season –this is the very last instalment for this series however. The previous five are available on this website. Some parts of this series are remotely connected to others. (3) The poem My Soulmate was originally written by the lesbian poet Brigitte Stolwijk. I used it in this story with permission from the author. Everything here was written by me except this poem. (4) The Amazons' names in this story were particularly inspired from an interesting Whoosh article (see whoosh.org/issue12/ruffel3.html ) on brave Amazons who existed in antiquity –including Alkaia's name (pronounced Al-ka-yah by me personally), which means 'mighty one.'
WARNINGS: (1) This story contains sexually explicit erotic moments between two consenting adult women, and also relates other same-sex female couples' love activities. If this offends you, please refrain from reading. If you are under 18 years of age, please do not read this and come back later when you're older and you can read it. If lesbian romantic/sexual relationships are illegal in your country or state, please advocate a change in laws. (2) This story includes some mild references to gay male sexuality too. If this is not your bag, be careful of how you might handle parts of this story. (3) This story contains some violence. Please take this story with a pinch of salt. Some evil misogynistic and racist guys are getting roughly handled but, no –no, not all men are like them. (4) This story includes alcohol references, and references to drunkenness, as well as some mild slang.
MANY THANKS TO: Norsebard for the proofreading and feedback, Silvermoonlight for making fanfic covers of my stories; some people in the Xenaverse and lesbian culture for inspiring me; Donar (from TX) and Marcia (a.k.a. Amphodia) for the wonderful encouragements and support they express for my writing. Thanks also to all the women who read my Seasonal Passion series. Thank you so much, Brigitte Stolwijk, for writing a poem especially for this story.
TIMELINE: This story takes place just after the Season Six episode Heart of Darkness, but before Who's Gurkhan.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To maggielassie[at]gmail.com

Seasonal Passion
Vol. 6: Sapphic night fever

By maggielassie


Part 2

Xena and Gabrielle left the dance floor. They went to get themselves another drink and some more party food. Carrying their meals and mugfuls of wine with them, they walked to the other side of the party hall and decided to sit together at one of the party tables. Andromeda came to see them. She put two scrolls and a couple of quills down on their table.

"What are these for?" Gabrielle questioned.

"You didn't pick up your blank parchments from the scroll table like Doris had asked you. Here I'm bringing them to you. Please both prepare yourself for your performance onstage tonight. I know you'll both do well." The Amazon Second-In-Command left the couple alone after saying this.

Sitting beside one another, Gabrielle and Xena looked at each other, smiling. After they finished their meals, they kept sipping at their wine as they took the scrolls that lay on the table and started writing. The battling bard wrote a poem about their relationship while the Warrior Princess simply wrote some important memories she had about their love. They both enjoyed their writing and the romantic, passionate feelings and recollection it brought to their minds. The two women were not looking at each other's scrolls, however, since what one was going to read or say onstage was supposed to be a surprise to the other.

Toxaris did not mean to feel this way but she was profoundly drunk as she still stood just outside Sapphic Night Fever's entrance three candlemarks before midnight. She had feigned her soberness pretty well when Alkaia had asked her to replace her on the guarding job. She was very good at faking it, but the alcohol was still seriously ramming inside her head like a padded hammer striking repeatedly against a vibrant gong. She had taken way too many drinks in a crazy binge earlier on, during the first two candlemarks of the party down there. Daylight remained out here for now. The Amazon archer tried to steady herself a little, trying to preserve an austere expression on her face in case of potential late visitors. She hoped Alkaia and Bremusa would be back soon, especially since they had said they would return much earlier. They were late, and Toxaris did not like this. She could not leave the door unattended however. It would be too risky.

Behind a large green bush a few yards away from where Toxaris was standing, Pyrrhos, Timon and Kleon were hiding and carefully peeping at what they had recognised as Sapphic Night Fever's entrance door. They had noticed the blonde Amazon guard standing there, spear in hand, but they were not fearful at all. Their plan would work.

Pyrrhos had had his beard shaved, his eyebrows trimmed and his nails polished. Some feminine makeup had been applied onto his face and womanly perfume poured on his neck. He was wearing a long dark blue dress made of cotton that neatly enveloped his overweight body. He was also wearing a slick brown shoulder-length wig that cleverly covered the sides of his brow ridges, making him look much more like a woman. The other men were very cleverly disguised in a similar fashion, faking female appearances, with their brow ridges equally covered with hanging hair.

Timon's moustache had been shaved off. He had not needed to wear a wig as he already had long blond hair, which had been brushed and styled in a feminine way. He displayed colourful makeup on his complexion, and had donned a purple shirt top and a long black leather skirt. As for Kleon, he was also made-up, adorned in a light brown suede dress with long sleeves, and wore a long, slightly wavy wig of red hair. All three men were wearing knee-high boots to cover their masculine lower legs. They all wore scarves around their necks to skilfully conceal their Adam's apples as well as pairs of big cushiony pouches filled with fine hay within their ladies' top undergarments to fake breasts under their clothes. Timon and Kleon at least were young attractive men and seemed convincing to pass as sturdy though not necessarily unappealing 'ladies,' while Pyrrhos merely looked more like an older, fat and ugly 'woman.'

The three men all realised they had to change their voices a little to make things work, and had been happy to have had some helpful voice training by some townswomen back in Nicopolis during late afternoon –the very same townswomen stylists, makeup artists and hairdressers whom the men had paid for their whole feminine makeover. The thugs had all watched themselves closely in mirrors and had been satisfied with the results. They found themselves convincing enough to infiltrate the Sapphic Night Fever party. Each of them held a handbag with a small crossbow inside. They all hid poisoned darts that they were planning to shoot Xena and Gabrielle with. Pyrrhos had heard from a legend about a very remote time, while he had still been a child, that a clever woman named Callisto had shot Xena in a similar fashion, and it had almost worked.

While they had spent a good portion of the afternoon in Nicopolis, just before the feminine makeover but after having gotten two extra invitation parchments made for them, the three men had come upon Pyrrhos' ex-army with a new leader, Erasmos, whom Pyrrhos had challenged in a sword fight to the death. The ex-leader had won, and the army had agreed to serve him the next day –after they had buried Erasmos that evening. Pyrrhos had told them about his murderous plans and the men were more than happy to join and help him tomorrow.

Pyrrhos was disappointed he could not get those men under his control right now, but he understood that the burial of a dead leader was an unavoidable, compulsory policy for an army. With the help of Kleon and Timon, he would surreptitiously kill Xena and Gabrielle tonight, and tomorrow he would rule his army to combat against the Amazons and steal the warrior women's bodies away from them. All this sounded like an awfully big plan but the bandits had to stick to it if they wanted to get the chance to reach their goal. Now hiding near the party entrance, the three men observed the Amazon by the door as they were engaged in a quiet, whispering conversation about their own plans.

"Sometimes I wonder why we couldn't have decided to just simply wait until they show up outside that party door and get them then," Timon complained. "Did we really have to disguise ourselves as women?"

"We have to infiltrate that Sapphic party, Timon," Pyrrhos replied, "and I did not have a better idea than this for doing so. If we waited 'til they come out that could take until tomorrow… Besides, Xena and Gabrielle are more likely to be distracted as warriors and therefore easier to shoot if they're busy having fun."

"If we manage to kill them," Kleon asked the elder man, "are you sure your army will still be willing to come back for you and help us steal their bodies tomorrow?"

"Don't sweat, Kleon," Pyrrhos asserted confidently. "Now that I've killed their new leader, men from my ex-army are more than willing to come back to join me again. Plus they like the idea of helping me steal the bodies of the Warrior Princess and the battling bard from the Amazons."

"We'd better start going in now," Timon suggested. "The party most likely started earlier, and they're probably already in there."

"All right," Pyrrhos agreed. "Now come with me. I'm finding it really exciting doing something so forbidden." He sneered and moved himself away from the green bush. The other two men following him. Covertly camouflaged with feminine appearances, they approached the Amazon guard at the entrance. They held out to her three invitation scrolls, of which two were fake though looking like authentic ones.

Drunk as a skunk as she was standing by the door, Toxaris greeted what she vaguely discerned as three women approaching. The women looked a bit strange but the Amazon archer thought this might just be due to the effects that the alcohol was having on her senses. The visitors had their invitation scrolls anyway. They were probably just being innocent village women late to the party. She let them in. Her head kept throbbing hard from the booze binge that had intoxicated her.

A few moments later, Alkaia and Bremusa got back from the woods, towards the entrance to Sapphic Night Fever. The Amazon general took her security job back from Toxaris. "I'm so sorry things took so long. Bremusa and I got our boots caught into a puddle of mud when we were in the woods. We had to go get them washed at the nearest lake." Alkaia was not lying. While she and her lover had been having a quickie, they had been so absorbed into each other that they had not noticed when inadvertently stepping into some nasty, muddy soil that had not had time to dry after the last rainfall. It had been near the tree they had been at.

"I see…" Toxaris did not want to say too much. She was too drunk but still concealed it well.

"Was there anyone trying to cause you trouble while we were away?" Bremusa questioned –she and her girlfriend remaining completely unaware of their blonde Amazon friend's inebriety.

"Nah…" the Amazon archer negated. She walked away from the couple and went to sit down and relax on a patch of close-by grass. Dusk would be coming soon now, in another candlemark or so.

Alkaia and Bremusa stayed together by the door, the Amazon general's arms wrapped around her shorter lover's waist. The slightly younger woman was resting her back against her taller partner's frame.

The disguised men hurried down the stairs to get into the party. In there, they looked around while trying not to make themselves noticed too much. There was so much noise coming from some weird female musicians, and the room was absolutely filled with women. Many female guests and Amazons looked so obviously liquored up with wine. The bandits hoped that the females down here would be too distracted by both Sapphic Night Fever's atmosphere and their alcohol intoxication to try to notice that they were not real women.

Timon saw Xena and Gabrielle sitting together at a table, holding each other's hands and looking into each other's eyes in an enamoured manner. "Look there," he mentioned cautiously in a circumspect manner to the other men. "They're at that table over there." The other two bandits glanced at the legendary Sapphic couple.

"We can't try to have them now," Pyrrhos retorted, his male voice being covered from the female attendees by the music. "We'll have to wait until there's a moment when they turn their backs or something, when they really can't see us in the crowd…"

"Agreed…" Kleon confirmed.

"There are so many women at this party that they will not think of coming near us or recognise us anyway," Timon remarked.

It felt utterly evilly thrilling to these men to have managed to clandestinely invade a woman-only party like this. They hated Xena and Gabrielle. They were misogynists who believed that there should not be women like them without men, not even for one single event or one single night. Especially Pyrrhos, he considered women's roles to solely belong in the kitchen or in the bedroom serving their husbands sexually. He hated Amazons and Sapphic women because those were untamed, free women. Seeing those bitches down here moving, gyrating and contorting themselves on the dance floor in outrageously Sapphic erotic positions was a complete abomination in his eyes. He saw that as an utter crime against male rule. At the same time, he found that bizarrely exciting, but still it was abominable to him. That's why he had had this brilliant idea to deceive the women down here, to get himself and his younger thugs inside the place as underhandedly as penetrating an unconscious woman in her sleep, so that then he would be able to stealthily kill the most challenging women of all: the Warrior Princess and her faithful battling bard. His evil thoughts were that cruel.

The two younger men did not necessarily share all of Pyrrhos' old-fashioned opinions about women and the kitchen. They nevertheless did find it beautiful to watch women performing erotic acts onto other women, and thus they deemed it acceptable that, as men, they should be entitled to access Sapphic women's private spaces. Moreover, all three men believed that, if women were to have too many women-only events that Amazons organised, females together might then potentially attempt to start a revolution against the overall general social power that men had as supreme rulers –and these thugs, just as any other men like them, were not going to let that happen. How dared those Sapphic harlots enjoy themselves sexually and, especially, emotionally without men? In the bandits' eyes this was clearly a 'wrong' that they had to put right, by making the women accept them into their circles, trust them –until the moment when they would be shooting Xena and Gabrielle with poisoned darts. They all agreed that, if they had to disguise themselves as women to achieve all this, then so be it.

Holding Eve's hand, Zoe unhurriedly headed towards the punch table to get herself and the warrior's daughter another mug of wine. They got there, and as they were sharing their drinks standing together, the combat Amazon spoke: "I'm so glad that I managed to take you for a dance, that I got you to do at least a few bold moves and that you enjoyed it." While holding her drink, Zoe tenderly brushed off the strands of hair that hung by the side of Eve's face with her free hand.

The redhead smiled humbly. "It was interesting and enjoyable, yes."

Zoe looked intently into the other woman's face with an expression that suggested she was being intensely charmed by her. "Eve, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in a long time," she stated sincerely, "you know that?"

Eve blushed tensely. "Thank you," she barely managed to reply. She was at a loss for words. She was undeniably strongly attracted to Zoe too. The Amazon was, after all, a very beautiful woman of Asian origins with a wonderfully shaped body. Eve was being completely emotionally possessed by the sight of her beauty, and she was also very much curious about what Sapphic sexuality would feel like. The warrior's daughter thought that, maybe, she just had to let herself go. On the other hand, she could not feel comfortable with her own memories of how she had profoundly hurt, tortured and wounded an Amazon tribe for the glory of Ares –women like Zoe. She could not resist the combat Amazon's enticing charms however. Eve concluded that she had to dispel the dark thoughts of her evil past for tonight if she wanted to really enjoy herself with the Amazon.

Zoe suddenly leaned forward to kiss Eve on the lips. It was a passionate, gentle kiss which the redhead did not resist. The two women ended up embracing each other and kissing more deeply…

Phoebe and Doris were totally under the wine's intoxicating influences when they approached three new women who had just arrived at the party a few moments ago. The two Amazon lancers wanted to greet them. What they did not know is that those 'women' were not real females, but they were being too drunk to notice anything particular in the semi-dark party hall, only lit by torches on the walls.

"Hello, sisters. Welcome to Sapphic Night Fever!" Doris said.

"I'm Phoebe and she's my girlfriend Doris. What are your names?"

Pyrrhos carefully kept a feminine composure in his woman-like attire. "Hah… I am 'Pyrrha,'" he stated in a higher-pitched voice, like an elder female, "and this is my daughter 'Klea,'" he pointed towards Kleon, "and her lover 'Timona,'" then introducing Timon. The two young 'women' smiled warmly at the Amazons. So did 'Pyrrha.'

Doris and Phoebe chuckled briefly. They thought that Pyrrha was an interestingly funny woman in her manners, or maybe that was just the alcohol. "Sorry," Phoebe sought an excuse for their suppressed laughter. They had handed so many invitation scrolls today that they could not remember all the invited women's faces. It did not bother them that Pyrrha was ugly and fat, as there were quite a few overweight women at the party, some with long-term partners. Women came in all shapes and forms after all. Timona and Klea looked like a special, unique couple in their own rights –or maybe it was just the booze overdose ringing through the spear-women's heads that made them consider some particular women differently. They shrugged. Nothing out of the ordinary, as far as they were concerned. "Pleased to meet you," Doris added.

"Pleased to meet you too," Timon replied. "Same here," Kleon said. Both men were equally imitating female voices, like Pyrrhos, but they were faking younger ones. The men tried desperately to appear friendly and inoffensive in their feminine clothes and demeanour.

"And what about you, Pyrrha? Didn't you have a lover to take to Sapphic Night Fever?" Phoebe inquired.

"Oh… Huh… My lover?" Pyrrhos added, continuing to speak like the 'Pyrrha' he was imagining being. "Oh, I had a dear beloved female partner until recently," Pyrrhos lied in a sad tone, "but she just passed away two moons ago."

"I'm sorry," Phoebe apologised, wiping the smile off her face.

"We hope the three of you will be having fun here." Doris nodded, partially focused and under the influence. Onstage, the music carried on playing as people were either talking or dancing.

The Sapphic village couple Theodora and Lysandra, who had been onstage earlier on walked nearer to where Phoebe, Doris and the disguised bandits were standing. These women had had quite a few mugfuls of wine already too. The two spear-women turned to them. "Hi! We really enjoyed your performance earlier on. Keep up the good work!" Doris exclaimed happily.

"Thank you very much," Lysandra said, and she and her lover got introduced to the three strange 'women' the two Amazons were talking to. After some time, Phoebe and Doris had to leave this particular conversation group because they had other things to attend to. Both Amazon lancers had to distribute a whole bunch of scrolls around the party hall –little parchments which would serve as ballots for all Amazons and their guests to vote for the 'Best Couple of the Night' who would win the first prize, as well as for other couples who would win secondary prizes.

Theodora began talking to the disguised men without guessing they were not women. "So tell me, Timona and Klea, what brings you to Sapphic Night Fever? Are you going to be celebrating the love you share tonight?" She and her lover felt that the weird women they were talking to were being overly dressed for a party like Sapphic Night Fever. Almost everyone down here wore short, sometimes scanty, clothes.

Pyrrhos sniggered at the woman's words when he suddenly imagined the two young men who had accompanied him frolicking together on the dance floor like a couple of pederasts with an odd taste for girly clothing and makeup. Kleon suppressed a nervous chuckle. The thought of moving his body close to the other young man while dancing in feminine attire made his stomach churn in disgust. He and the other, older, man in drag remained silent, not knowing what to say.

Timon simpered as he decided to reply to Theodora with a female-like higher-pitched voice: "Yes, I think so… Later on, after a few drinks…" He was undeniably abashed deep down, but he knew he had to act his part in order to try his best to pass as a woman. The three cross-dressers now could not wait until they would get the opportunity to shoot Gabrielle and Xena with poison darts and rush out of this party, although the success in invading a Sapphic women-only event still made them feel stiff under their dresses –which, thankfully enough, were made of material loosened enough under their waist to hide their bulges. They would miss that delicious infiltration without any doubt. Furthermore, the women they had been speaking to down here seemed to believe they were real women. The bandits were very delighted too that they had been able to fool those women in such a skilful way, so far.

The music had stopped a little moment ago. Onstage, Andromeda called out for Xena and Gabrielle to come onto the platform and give out their romantic performance about their love relationship, exactly two candlemarks before midnight. Everyone turned their gaze towards where the Warrior Princess and the battling bard were sitting.

"Come on!" Doris encouraged them loudly in front of the crowd around them. "It's time for you to go up there and celebrate your love!" Hundreds of female admirers were also yelling joyfully in support of the two legendary warrior women lovers.

At their table, Gabrielle and Xena blushed a little, but were more than happy to satisfy the enthusiasts. They had had some time to sober up a little since their last mugful of wine. They grinned, stood up and began walking towards the stage, scrolls in hand. The throng of Amazons and lay women made enough space for them to stroll into a small path in the direction of the platform, amongst a sea of people.

As soon as they had seen the Warrior Princess and the battling bard getting up and turning their backs on their way towards the stage, the three cross-dressed men had agreed that it was time to act now or never. They did not want to lose that opportunity for a nice shot. They had rushed to the very back of the room, near where the stairs to the way out were. The other attendees before them were being way too distracted by the legendary Sapphic couple they were watching to be able to notice what was happening at the back. There was also a lot of commotion in the party hall generated by the overall excitement of the Amazons and their guests for the two famous women.

"Let's try to get them from the stairs when they'll be climbing up on the platform, quick! That will be a perfect angle. We'll be able to shoot above the crowd." Pyrrhos instructed to the two young men following his every move. The curtain covering the way out had been clung to a hook on the side of the cave wall, to allow party women to go out easily any time they wanted to get some fresh air outside, and thus the lower part of the stairs now directly faced the stage on the other side of the room, though from a very large distance. It was still within shooting range however, but they did not have much time –and they would quickly be climbing their way out once the job would be done. The bandits were now standing on the steps at the bottom of the stairs, having gotten their crossbows loaded with poisoned darts out of their handbags and observing carefully as Xena and Gabrielle were about to go upstage after making their way through the crowd. The leader told the others he would be the one attempting the first shot, aiming at the taller warrior woman.

Xena was the first to walk up the small steps to the stage. She felt incredibly overjoyed by the fabulously warm sisterly reverence in the room; it was amazing she and her partner could be admired so much. She smiled at Andromache and Andromeda, waiting for them onstage –but still something was not quite right. She quickly detected the barely audible, rasping sound of a small object piercing through the air with her strong, heightened sense of hearing. She remembered an enemy had tried to get her that way a long time ago, which made her even more alert now. She swiftly, brilliantly and instinctively reached back to catch in her hand the poisoned dart that was just about to stab her through the shoulder. This happened in a split-second. She instantly turned around and remotely, fleetingly saw three persons' shapes at the back of the room holding crossbows. "Gabrieeeellle! Get down!" she screamed.

Gabrielle immediately jumped backwards from the steps she had started to ascend. She nearly fell backwards in her haste to do what her warrior lover was telling her, but she got her arms swiftly gripped by Doris and Phoebe, catching her on each side in front of the crowd. On the small stairs, the Warrior Princess bent down to avoid the second poisoned dart sent by another attacker, which then crashed onto the back wall. As for the next projectile, its not so skilled shooter missed the warrior woman miserably, and it hit the huge dark red 'Sapphic Night Fever' tapestry with silver Greek letters at the back instead. "Get them!!!" Xena shouted, pointing towards the three people at the back of the party hall. She rushed down towards Andromeda's table to retrieve her armour and weapons, which she had left there while enjoying the party.

"Damn!!!" Timon cursed as he had missed his shot, right after that warrior bitch had been clever enough to avoid Pyrrhos' and Kleon's attempts.

As the three crossed-dressed men saw a bunch of Amazons get themselves out of the crowd to go after them, Pyrrhos ordered that the three of them immediately took off. It had been much more difficult than they had initially thought and they would try this another time. The priority now was to get their asses out of here. The disguised bandits rapidly rushed up the stairs towards the way out.

Sunset was drawing near when the Amazon general and her girlfriend standing outside totally unexpectedly heard some male voices as they witnessed three men, wearing feminine clothes and holding unloaded crossbows, coming up the stairs towards them. What were those intruders doing down there? This was a women-only party, for Sappho's sake! Alkaia very cleverly grabbed the first infiltrator coming out the door by the shoulder: the fat man wearing a ridiculous dress. She pulled him with great force and pushed him against the wall outside in such a rough manner that his brown wig fell off from his head. His weapon dropped to the ground too. "Don't move, you bastard! How on earth did you get in there?!" Alkaia hollered. She held out a strong arm against his neck and her other hand threatened his chubby belly with the sharp end of her spear, stilling him against the wall behind him. He muffled a whimper in his throat, scared of the impressive woman. This clearly was not the same Amazon Pyrrhos had seen standing outside the entrance earlier on. She tied him up using a rope she had left lying nearby.

Bremusa powerfully kicked at the other two men coming out, in every direction. Her taller lover swiftly joined her in the action. What was advantageous to the two women was that the crossed-dressers wore long skirts that made it awkward for them to battle them properly. And Alkaia was such a fast fighter that she disarmed them from their empty crossbows in no time. Her slightly younger partner pulled Kleon's wig off from his skull and could plainly see a man in drag, just like the others. "You think you can fool us like this?" Bremusa asked disgusted, slapping him across the face. The two women kept fighting him and Timon off with their strong legs and arms, which swiftly brought them both down to the ground in a few sweeping movements. The young men whined in pain as they collapsed.

Both Amazon lovers tied them up as well. They noticed that many other Amazon women had been coming up from the party, and had been watching them fight. Alkaia and Bremusa then dragged all three men they had just defeated by their clothes and bound them to the nearest notice posts in the village, not too far away from the door to Sapphic Night Fever. They also gagged them with pieces of cloth. They turned back and faced the other women who had just come up out here. They probably were after the men too. Bremusa and Alkaia watched as Xena, dressed back in her armour, Gabrielle, Andromeda and an angry Andromache came outside, after the other women –along with a few village female guests following them.

"What has been happening here?" the Amazon Queen questioned her most faithful Amazon general in a furious voice while walking towards her and her companion. "How did those men manage to get past you? I thought you were much more intelligent than this, Alkaia, that you would be able to distinguish men from women regardless of what they're wearing."

Alkaia kept her poise. She was not guilty. "I was not at the door when they got in, my queen. Toxaris was." The crowd of women outside the Main House all looked around in Toxaris' direction.

The archer-woman was still sitting on the grass, drunk, staring back at Andromache. "We— well, my queen… I'm sorry, I did not recognise they weren't women 'cause they were so cleverly disguised and… huh… I wasn't feeling too good…" She rubbed her forehead with her palm, the alcohol intoxication still hurting.

"Were you drunk, Toxaris?!!" the Queen blurted out. She shook her head, finding this whole situation utterly disgraceful to the Amazon Nation. "You are dismissed, Toxaris." Her tone was bitter. "You are no longer an Amazon, You can leave us now." She turned back towards her most trusted Amazon general, the ire in her royal soul as burning hot as furiously boiling water. "Where in the name of deceased Artemis were you when those men got in the door?!! Where did you go???!!! There is not a chance in Tartarus they'd have got in with you standing outside instead of that silly Toxaris!"

Alkaia breathed deeply, intensely anxious and challenged. "I… Bre…" She could barely manage to utter words under the formidable gaze of fury coming from her queen, but since everyone up here was waiting for her response, she finally managed it, sighing: "I'm truly sorry, my queen. Bremusa and I, it's our two-year anniversary of when we met… We needed a little moment in the woods for some privacy together while letting the door be watched by Toxaris. Toxaris is usually a good fighter, and we did not know she was drunk…" She carried on speaking, in a humble way: "We were planning to get back here quickly but I… we… got our feet caught into some mud which we had to get washed off at the nearest river…"

"And when we eventually managed to come back here," Bremusa continued –defending her lover with all the strength in her heart, "we never thought there had been any infiltrators as we still did not know Toxaris was drunk. She was pretty good at hiding it, the mean one. Oh, please, my queen, understand…" the young Amazon implored, "… it was all my fault. I was the one who strayed Alkaia from her duty. I shouldn't have… but please don't forget that we still managed to catch those men as soon as they came out."

Andromache was still mad. "You both will get heavily punished for this!" she menaced. Even Andromeda was shocked by her partner's anger.

"No, they won't!" Xena raised her voice at the Amazon Queen, who immediately turned to face her.

"What, Xena?!" Andromache's eyes widened at the warrior woman's audacity. Nobody had ever talked back to her like this. Close-by, a group of Amazons lit torches outside the Main House, as night was falling.

The Warrior Princess sighed courageously and shook her head. She then insisted with a somewhat lower but still very confident voice: "I said they won't." Next to her, Gabrielle admired her for that. Without having communicated their feelings about their viewpoint on this, they already knew they shared the same thoughts. The two soulmates both understood how much Alkaia and Bremusa had needed each other so badly and could not wait on an evening like this, a date that signified the two-year anniversary of when they had met. To both lovers, it was the Amazon Queen's mistake to assign Alkaia, an Amazon General, as a security guard during such an important occasion for celebration. If she had really preferred the Amazon general to be her door guard for Sapphic Night Fever, then why not simply organising it another evening when that would not have been such a precious anniversary for Alkaia and Bremusa's relationship?

"It was not really Alkaia or Bremusa's fault, Queen Andromache," Gabrielle remarked, wanting fairness. "What would you say if you were being required to work outside the door of a cheerful party place while it's the date of an important anniversary for the celebration of your relationship with Andromeda? Please try to calm down and understand them, my queen." Staring at her, the Amazon Queen said nothing, completely dumbfounded and unsmiling.

Xena talked to the Queen again: "Look, Queen Andromache… Alkaia and Bremusa are very loyal and skilled fighters in your tribe. They don't need to get punished at all. They did manage to catch the bad guys on their way out. Imagine how those men who tried to shoot Gabrielle and I with poisoned darts would have succeeded in escaping if the two strong Amazon partners had not stood right out here a few moments ago," she explained all this in her usual charming, convincing tone –which made Andromache ponder things for a few instants.

The Amazon Queen looked back towards the general and her shorter lover. She also briefly observed the bound and gagged men, squirming in their restraints. "You two did fight them well," she admitted to the Amazons who had caught them.

"We did, my queen," Alkaia confirmed, with eyes that warmly begged for mercy.

Queen Andromache sighed and relaxed, her Andromeda by her side lightly caressing her forearms and encouraging her to understand the situation. "All right. I'll let you two off for the time being. I admit I perhaps should have organised Sapphic Night Fever on a better date. You two probably desperately needed each other. It's good you've made up for it and managed to catch those intruders though." She gazed at the crowd around her and addressed them: "All right, everyone. Go back down into the party! We mustn't let such an unfortunate invading malevolence spoil our fun for tonight. Andromeda, Xena, Gabrielle, Alkaia, Bremusa and I will all join you in a few moments, right after taking good care of those evil men up here." She winked and smirked, and watched most of the Amazons and their guests as they walked back down into Sapphic Night Fever below.

Pyrrhos stared intently at the Warrior Princess in front of him. He was afraid after getting caught. So were Timon and Kleon, but none of them could talk –gagged and shaking in their bindings. Xena held her whip, which she had fetched from the saddlebags near Argo in the local stables a few moments ago, and almost taunted them with it.

"Hey boys, we met earlier on today, didn't we?" she called out provocatively. "Want me to take off the gags?" She sneered as the men nodded in a pleading way. Those bandits were so grotesque in their sweat-soaked agony at being bound and gagged while wearing feminine dresses, fake breasts and makeup. She bent down quickly and removed the older man's gag only. "I'll only let your leader speak for now."

Pyrrhos caught his breath. "We agree that we have failed. Now please release us, Xena." His voice was faint from nearly being choked.

The Warrior Princess shook her head. "Not so fast… I want to know the names of the men attempting to murder me and my soulmate his evening. What are they? Now tell me before I put the pinch on you again!" she commanded in a solemn tone. Next to her, Gabrielle, Alkaia, Bremusa, Andromache and Andromeda watched her handle this attentively.

"I'm Pyrrhos, Xena," he said urgently, wanting to avoid any further blow to his neck, "and the young men with me are Timon and Kleon."

"All right, Pyrrhos." The warrior woman snickered. "What makes you think you can come down here, infiltrate a women-only space in some stupid disguise and think you can kill me and my soulmate, huh?!" She cracked the whip she held once, just to frighten him. It worked, as she gleefully noticed the distress on his face.

"Xena," Gabrielle addressed her lover, "maybe we all should just leave them up here, bound and gagged, and go back down to enjoy ourselves at the party? What they did is absolutely unspeakable, I agree. They intruded a sisterly space where they were obviously not welcome, just to try to kill us."

"Leaving them up here is a great idea, Gabrielle," the Warrior Princess approved. "We'll just do that in an instant…" She looked back towards the bandits while motioning a finger towards the Amazon Queen and her Second-In-Command. "See, guys, this Amazon Queen here is named Andromache which literally means 'man-fighter,' and her Second-In-Command's name is Andromeda which means 'man-ruler.' Please be delighted to be introduced," she mocked in a half-serious way.

"That's right," Andromeda said in a grave tone. "That's exactly what our names mean…" She chuckled. "… but don't worry, boys, we don't hate men," the secondary Amazon ruler denied. "Some women in our tribe still do need men for mating seasons sometimes…" she brought up as proof.

"We only want to scare men like you away just by the sounds of our names," Andromache added sarcastically.

"All we ask is a little respect of our women-only spaces and events and no attempted murder," Andromeda continued, remaining respectful to members of the opposite sex in general.

"That's absolutely it," Xena validated to the thugs. "Defending women-only places and events does not make these Amazons or any supportive women raging man-haters, not at all."

Gabrielle got more involved into the conversation: "Absolutely not. The issue here is that the Amazon Nation should have the right to create private separate spaces for women whenever needed."

"Exactly!" the Warrior Princess confirmed her battling bard's words while keeping her eyes on the thugs.

"But I guess this important notion felt too big for your small cruel brains, hey guys?!" Alkaia made fun of them in a rhetorical manner that made her lover Bremusa laugh. Somewhere at the back, the party could be heard restarting from down below.

Pyrrhos could not take the insult. All these women disgusted him, and the last one who had spoken did even more because of her non-whiteness. These women menacing him and his comrades said they did not hate men, he thought, but he himself hated women with the heat of a thousand suns for sure. The awful bitches always wanted to have the last word instead of being compliant as they should be. He had to retort something back to the Amazon general, impulsively, in order to preserve his inflated ego, even in such a dire situation he was in. "Oh, you shut up, savage woman!" he yelled at Alkaia. "Go back to Africa!"

The undeniably discriminatory remark made Alkaia's blood boil like lava. She immediately walked past Xena and swiftly bent down to hit the older man across the face with a strong backhand, which made him understand his mistake in a flashing burst of pain all over his cheek. "I was born in Greece, you worthless racist maggot!!!" the Amazon general bellowed at him, enraged. Bremusa also rushed to him and gave him a kick in the abdomen, which made him agonise rightfully. Her taller lover then gagged Pyrrhos again, to stifle his cries.

Gabrielle's jaw dropped in shock at what Pyrrhos had just said. "Sweet Aphrodite!" she spoke to him. "How can you be so low?!"

"Yes, how dare you?!" Xena added, disgusted at the leader's prejudiced opinions. She gave her whip to Alkaia who was just next to her. "Here, take good care of him. We all know that not all men are like him and his buddies but as far as I'm concerned this sort of thing he said and what they all did don't fly with me, if you know what I mean. Make them pay for all this dearly."

"Yes, that's right," Andromache urged Alkaia on, "do him right!" Her respect for her most faithful general shone brightly through her smile now. She did not even conceive how she could have been so angry at her a few moments ago. "Andromeda and I are going back down into the party. Please join us soon, after you're finished with the punishment for the intruders and attempted murderers." She and her blonde partner instantly turned away and went to vanish downstairs, underneath the Main House.

As Alkaia faced the men with Bremusa by her side, she held the whip they decided they would take turn in using on the men. She heard the Warrior Princess say something: "Hey Alkaia…" The Amazon general glanced over her shoulder. So did her girlfriend. They turned towards the Warrior Princess and her battling bard.

Xena spoke with a smirk on her face: "Those bad boys probably gave themselves a hard-on at their success in infiltrating a Sapphic event like this one. Now we'll see if the whiplashes can get them equally excited." She chortled and winked, joking wickedly.

Alkaia laughed. "Hey, by the way, Xena…"


"Thank you so much to you and Gabrielle for defending my partner and I earlier on to Andromache." The Amazon general was grateful. So was her lover, who said something similar as well in agreement.

"No problem," the tall warrior with long dark hair replied with a happy expression.

""You're welcome," the sweet little sturdy short-haired blonde added with an amiable smile.

Bremusa and Alkaia grinned in a friendly way at Xena and Gabrielle. They turned back in the direction of the tied up bandits. The Amazon general whispered something about the warrior couple to her lover: "Awesome white sisters, huh?!" she remarked with a grin.

"Yep. They really are," Bremusa agreed, delighted.

Alkaia was the one to strike the first blow of Xena's whip. She carried on beating their bodies with enthusiasm for a little while, eliciting muffled laments of suffering from the bandits. She then handed the weapon to her slightly younger partner. Bremusa lashed energetically at the thugs, making the bastards pay fairly for their evil deeds. All the while, the battling bard and her Warrior Princess happily watched the Amazons' legitimate revenge with reverence as the whiplashes hit the three men repeatedly, making them justly suffer the ordeal from the retribution they deserved. Alkaia and Bremusa carried on taking turns at flogging them, damaging their clothes, bruising and tearing at their skin violently with the leather whip –which they spun alternately from right to left while thrashing it at each of the three thugs before them. The Amazons aimed harshly at the men's faces, chests, legs and so on –making them sweat, cry, bleed and writhe even more in pain under their restraint. The disguised bandits agonisingly underwent the appropriate punishment for hating women, disrespectfully infiltrating their private spaces, attempting to kill two wonderful female fighters and yelling distastefully racist outrage at an Amazon general of African descent.

Xena, Gabrielle, Alkaia and Bremusa went right down into the noisy, cheerful and lively Sapphic Night Fever –leaving the door locked behind them. They had left Pyrrhos and his thugs tied up, half-conscious, painfully hurt and unable to cry for help outside –tied to the village notice posts, as well as gagged. The four women hoped that now, since it was now dark outside, all villagers were asleep and no one would try to free those men –as Xena still had a few more things to deal with them later on.

For now however it was time for the Warrior Princess and the battling bard to climb onstage to celebrate their love to the crowd, as they should already have done earlier on. Women encouraged them and, within moments, the two lovers were on the platform –praised by Andromeda and Andromache. The audience cheered them noisily, including Alkaia, Bremusa, Doris and Phoebe amongst other Sapphic couples who were similarly wrapping their arms around each other while anticipating the performance. In the throng, Eve watched her mothers onstage while the adorably attractive Zoe cuddled her in a semi-embrace.

Xena wanted to go first but she asked Gabrielle to quickly change clothes just for the performance, as the bard had agreed. The Warrior Princess was going to tell things she remembered about their love and she really wanted the young blonde to wear that green top with criss-crossed laces at the front, the rust brown skirt and the long wig for the occasion. Gabrielle still accepted, wanting to please her lover. She went to borrow the costume that lay on a display table, and then rapidly went backstage to change clothes and put the long blonde wig on. She returned to the stage after a short while.

Women in the audience clapped happily at Gabrielle's costume. Just like old times in the romantic legendary scrolls and drawings made from them, they thought. The Warrior Princess was seated on a chair that had been placed at the centre of the platform. Her bard lovingly sat in her lap, encircling her arms around her soulmate's neck and wondering what she was about to say in her speech performance. Xena rested a tender hand around Gabrielle's waist. With her free hand, she held the scroll onto which she had written something earlier but, as she was about to read it to the crowd, she felt profoundly embarrassed by something. "Just please give us just a minute," the warrior requested to the women in the audience. She talked to her bard in a low voice: "Honey, I wanted to write something about my memories of you and our love so I let my thoughts roam freely in my head while I was writing this, and therefore I ended up writing something that's a little erotic at times. Are you mad at me?"

"Huh…" The little Amazon was surprised, as she looked her lover straight in the eyes, slightly flustered.

"If this is not what you want I would respect that and skip those parts, don't worry."

Gabrielle reflected briefly on what Xena was saying. "But I thought you were very private about this stuff, warrior?"

"Yeah, I am," Xena murmured back, "but there are only Sapphic women in the room here, most of them admirers, and I would not go too excessively into details anyway. So what do you think?"

The bard, now looking long-haired again, relaxed. "Xena, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. I love you with all my heart, and I am absolutely not ashamed of anything that happened between us in the bedroll over the years. You're such a wonderful lover, and it thrills me that some women I trust get to know this –as I have always enjoyed all the love you've given me, including erotic love. And I'll also have a surprise for you with the poem I wrote, you'll see."

"You're an excellent lover too, my bard. I love you too, so intensely it hurts," the Warrior Princess affirmed sincerely. She and her lover kissed, and the audience hailed them lively. The women watching were bedazzled by the legendary couple for making such a romantic contact in front of them. They all acclaimed them, and praised them by loudly repeating their names.

The two lovers gently broke the kiss and looked back at the women in their audience who were waiting impatiently for Xena to start talking. "All right, everyone," the warrior woman began addressing them loudly enough and joyfully while occasionally reading her notes on the scroll she had written, "let me tell you about my undying, powerful love for Gabrielle. It started a long, long time ago…" The blonde woman stared at her intently. She was completely mesmerised by her taller partner's words, and realised for the umpteenth time how much she loved and desired the Warrior Princess as she kept listening. She knew she could not, would not want to, live without her.

"If I was to tell you everything about my love for Gabrielle, we would all be old and grey by the time I finish talking, considering the magnitude of my love for her," Xena continued, chuckling. "So I'll just stick to the most important details to my heart. You already know how we met from my bard's narration in her scrolls," she stated confidently. "I initially did not want to believe I deserved such a wonderful and beautiful creature. She was so altruistic, devoted and loyal to everyone kind enough to her –and I believed I was just an unworthy, guilty and miserable ex-warlord having done so many horrible things to others…"

Gabrielle shook her head in friendly disagreement. "Ooohhh…" everyone in the audience complained simultaneously.

Xena carried on in a warm tone: "… but she kept saying to me that I was not really evil, that there was a really good side in me. I was totally amazed by how much she had faith in me, and trusted me unconditionally despite my past evil deeds. I fell in love with her completely, even though at the beginning I did not believe I was the right lover for her. But she became so deeply attracted to me, desired me with all her love that I eventually gave in to her one day. She was actually a virgin for me, you know? Such a precious gift she'd given me, as an experienced woman."

The women listening to the warrior's story cheered in admiration. "Woohoo!" This was all so incredibly romantic to them that sort of detail about their legendary couple. Onto Xena's lap, a Gabrielle dressed in her most popular bardic outfit blushed wildly, though she was not bashful at all about having given her virginity to the Warrior Princess. She was actually very proud of it, and let her partner continue talking.

"Let me tell you how much I surprised my own ex-warlord self when I started making love to her. I was being so gentle, only getting more fiercely impassioned when she really desired it," Xena made her beloved companion's face flush even more as she uttered these words. "Nevertheless," the warrior woman resumed seriously, "I still did not believe I was the right person for her, and I would wait until someone else came along while keeping making love with her because I simply could not, would not ever resist her. She was so irresistible even though I knew it was not the wisest thing to do continuing to sleep with her despite not being convinced I was the one. So I told her many times I did not deserve her. One day, I let her go to marry Perdicus, her childhood friend, because she was having so much pity for him, felt intensely pressured into marrying him, and I also thought she would be much safer without me. I was wrong," she recalled. "As you all know from her scrolls, Callisto came, killed her husband and tried to murder her too. Gabrielle and I were back together later on in the same year, and this time I was willing to give our relationship more of a serious chance, to open up more of myself to her, as I loved her so much." She nodded and smiled, feeling the nostalgia of the memory of her and her Gabrielle getting back together.

"Aaaaahaaaaa!" Women in the audience were so happy, and wanted to hear more. So did the bard. She felt delighted at her lover's account of their love relationship's beginning.

The Warrior Princess decided to abridge the story, sticking to its main details since she did not want to spend the whole night onstage. "Anyway, our mutual passion was brilliantly ardent and our lovemaking was always intensified by our burning love for one another." Her tone was very emotional and fervid. "For instance, Gabrielle, my dear soulmate, loved making love in small spaces behind waterfalls or in secret caves. As a lovely long-haired beauty, she always sensually opened herself to my touches like a purring little kitten waiting for her warrior lioness." Xena dropped her scroll, already knowing her notes by heart, and hugged the waist of the bard who was sitting in her lap more dearly.

"Woo-hoo, woo-hoo-hoo!" some prying women in the audience shouted. "More details, please!" They found the warrior's story as heated as the inside of a volcano ready for eruption.

"Hey, calm down, women back there!" Xena warned good-naturedly.

"Go for it, Xena," Gabrielle whispered unexpectedly into her ear. "This is exciting to do something new like this, telling something so hot and loving for a Sapphic audience, and I am not afraid. I trust you with all my heart."

The dark-haired woman grinned at what her lover was telling her. She spoke to the audience: "Okay, okay. Gabrielle consents to this, and I am not ashamed of anything I've done with her so I will continue with a little bit more details, just a tiny little bit."

"Yeeeeeaaaaah!!!" the women watching and listening cheered.

Xena breathed deeply and beamed at her recollection. "So basically, countless times during our lovemaking sessions, I travelled onto her body with my tongue and my fingers as she opened herself to me like a rare, precious and splendid little flower. I'll say no more on this for now, way too private…" Her lover blushed again, keeping a steady, warm hold around her neck and feeling her heart melt completely for the warrior woman who would do anything for her. There were only female attendees at this party anyway, and she felt no shame about her lover sharing a few secrets with the Amazons and other Sapphic women.

Many women in the audience thought they were about to swoon, having learned so many intimate details about their most admired Sapphic couple. They cheered and cheered anew.

The Warrior Princess felt like having just crossed a boundary here but carried on her story anyhow: "So anyway, I loved her so much, would do anything for her. There was a short, intense rift between us at one point but it never destroyed her love. Our love was so strong that no one or nothing could possibly destroy it, not even Ares the relentless God of War. We both went through so many adventures, ordeals, challenges and misfortunes that put our love to the test, but nothing could come between us, not ever, not even death. Gabrielle has changed my life forever. She taught me to believe in myself, to keep my dark side at bay and show more of my good side. I love her so much also because she changed me, and made me a much better person, a better warrior who fights for the greater good. I taught her to become a warrior too, made her the wonderful fighter that she is now. We shared so much together." Xena turned her gaze to Gabrielle's eyes. "Gabrielle, my beloved soulmate, I love you with all my heart, my passion, my devotion. You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to be with you forever and ever. Together we shared so many blissful nights, so many happy, funny moments, so many comforting times, so many kisses. You are the best kisser that I have ever known. I love to kiss your sweet, sweet lips, so tender… so soft…" The warrior slowly caressed the side of her bard's face with the back of her knuckles and kissed her intensely. The audience clapped and cheered, applauding what they understood as Xena's concluding words.

"Your turn, Gabrielle," the dark-haired woman said after reluctantly breaking the sweet contact with the blonde's mouth. Gabrielle got up from Xena's lap, went to retrieve her own parchment that lay close-by and got ready to speak to the audience. Her lover stood up from her chair, watching the smaller woman looking oh, so sweet in her 'Younger Gabrielle' outfit.

"All right. I am ready for my turn now," the bard said, still feeling warm, delicious shivers roaming down her spine from the erotic details her Xena had shared with the audience a few moments ago. Gabrielle was utterly elated by the love she and the Warrior princess shared and profoundly proud of her relationship with her. She preserved a serene expression. "I wrote a poem," she declared, holding her scroll, "about my love for Xena, and I will share it now. It is called 'My Soulmate.'" Loud enough for all women present to hear, she enthusiastically read her poem to the audience with a tinge of nervousness and slightly reddened cheeks on her face:

My Soulmate

Many years ago, when I was a much younger woman

You saved me from Draco and his filthy men

The moment that I looked into your eyes

The world stopped spinning, my knees went weak

We became one, my green eyes drowned into your blue eyes

That moment, for once in my life, I lost the ability to speak

Forever and ever, you are a part of me like I'm a part of you

You taught me everything that you know: how to live, love and fight

And of course…. How to be loved……. And to make love……..in one night

Even though at first you did not want me, I'd finally managed to convince you

The first time that we made love, the softness of your skin, your breasts, your desire

Waves of passion taking over….my legs went numb and I felt the movements of your thighs

Against me……time after time……until I lost control……I sighed

Your lips, your tongue, your touch, the words you had whispered in my ear

"I love you, let yourself go, let us become one. Don't panic, do not fear

I will be gentle………..I will make love to you, with you….. more than once"

I shivered….. the pleasure in my thighs…the waves of passion…. almost too much

Not once……..or twice…….. so many times…… night after night……..

I can't control it, my lover……. I want you.. this so bad….. I can't fight

This feeling…….I want you……your pleasure, passion……taking me higher

Since that night, when we became one, there was more

We've been through a lot, you and I … life has so much in store

So many adventures, some pain, sadness and mistrust

There was a rift between us, a deep one; we forgot our trust,

Why we fell in love, deeply in love, the bond between us –but we survived

Since then, the connection we have is stronger, every day with you, I feel that I'm alive

Through heaven and hell, crucifixions, death, fire and ice, we were revived

We found each other back because our souls are connected and our feelings for each other thrive

Forever; no one is capable of breaking our bond, the deep love we have, despite

The attempts he made, Ares the God of War, but even he couldn't break it, neither my mother or father

You know why? Because you are my everything, you are my other half, my reason to live, to fight

You own my heart, my soul; I will always love you forever and ever

You make me happy so you are the one, no question, no doubt, it's no secret

Not anymore; we've managed to overcome our troubled past, in spite of all our regret

Fighting to live, fighting for our love; trust me you really have to admit

That I loved you from the very first moment, even though I was initially not fully sure of it

I know, marrying Perdicus years back meant to leave my first lover and experience an escape from reality, a lie

The truth was……is: I can't live without you……not then, not now, not anymore or I'd cry

Xena, my love, you are my everything…. my soulmate

Our love is far more than just a fling……… it's fate

I'm so glad to call you my other half, My lover

I'll love you forever

As the audience applauded again, Xena and Gabrielle gazed into each other's eyes onstage. Xena was in absolute admiration for her bardic lover. "This was absolutely beautiful, sweetheart," she said to her. She loved the poem, and it was indeed a surprise for her that the blonde woman had included some erotic details in it too. Her bard was so full of surprises. The poem had been totally, grandiosely magnificent. "Thank you for the surprise, Gabrielle. Thanks so much for writing this for me." She beamed, and hugged her.

The Warrior Princess' heart pounded in her chest as vigorously as hurricane winds agitating a blue sea. Her love for her Gabrielle was even larger than the world itself. The smaller woman spoke near her ear: "I told you I wasn't ashamed of anything we've ever done together in the bedroll. It was great erotic and romantic art to share privately with our Sapphic sisters here." The blonde bard could not help but feeling an equally powerful, never-ending love for her Xena –a love even more captivating than ten thousand new exciting adventures. The warrior enjoyed what her younger lover had just been saying, and both lovers got ready to leave the stage while the women watching them kept cheering and clapping, fully delighted by the performances. Gabrielle returned backstage to take her wig off and change back into her more favoured red velvet clothes.

Meanwhile during the same night, somewhere just outside Delphos, Virgil and Nikon lay naked together under the stars, just having had further sexual relations together on top of a small pile of hay at the farm near the younger man's grandfather's house. Both men were covered by a blanket and contentedly gratified in the aftershocks of their second intensely masculine encounter.

"Sorry, Virgil, I couldn't get us to go inside as my grandpa doesn't know yet that I like men." Nikon lay his head onto Virgil's chest while Joxer's son stroke his hair slowly but firmly.

"It's okay. I understand, Nikon. You don't have to justify yourself to me."

The young farmer stared at the handsome man's face while keeping his head on his torso. "Are you still thinking about her?"

"Yes, if you must know," Virgil replied with a solemn tone while carrying on petting his one-night boyfriend. "Gabrielle may be Sapphic, being with Xena, but I'm having the conviction that I could turn her straight somehow. I heard that she had at least married a guy before. I just like her so much."

"I doubt you could ever make her like you back," Nikon objected, "not if she is really deeply in love with her Warrior Princess, as rumours go…"

"I know…" Joxer's son admitted with melancholy. "She's just the impossible love in my life, I guess…"

The young farmer sighed, so much wanting Virgil to fall for him instead. "I wonder how you can waste your time trying to understand women. They can't even fully understand our needs and we can't even understand theirs. That's why there are so many Sapphic women in Greece, because they can at least understand their own needs together. We're way too sexual for them, and they're way too sentimental. I went with a woman once. I know what it's like."

Joxer's son looked back at Nikon, still lying on his chest. "I suppose you're right," he stated sadly, but he still preferred women.

The young man wanted to challenge his current sexual partner's infatuation for the battling bard: "Now you tell me if men cannot please you better…" Virgil's eyes widened in surprise and he smiled carnally as Nikon began moving himself down on his body…

It was half a candlemark before midnight when Alkaia, Bremusa, Xena and Gabrielle went upstairs to check on the bound and gagged bandits outside –whom, to the four women's satisfaction, were still out there. The party's music had restarted below after the Amazon general and her lover had given a stage performance too –following the Warrior Princess and the battling bard's. Holding torches, the four women came nearer to the wounded, whiplashed men who had woken up from their semi-conscious state by now. In their gags and bindings, they were gazing right back at the female fighters approaching them, worried at the fact that the women were carrying a few weapons with them.

Xena gave her torch to Gabrielle for a moment. The warrior then crouched down before Pyrrhos and placed her hands upon the cloth on his face. "I'll need to talk to you," she said in an austere manner, "but please do not dare screaming when I undo this, or I'll slit your throat with my chakram." She took the gag from his mouth and was glad to see he did not make a move or a sound. He probably was still in pain from the torture inflicted on him earlier on. All three men's feminine costumes were torn to shreds after the payoff, showing bloodied wounds and bruises on their skin. Behind the warrior, the other three women observed and listened –themselves ready to speak too anytime.

"If you want us to release you and your thugs within minutes," the Warrior Princess kept speaking to the leader, "without me putting the pinch on you or us hurting you any further, you will have to tell me something."

"What, Xena?" Pyrrhos inquired quietly, hating this warrior woman and her comrades even more after what had happened to him, as well as to Timon and Kleon who were still gagged, sitting next to him. The three cross-dressed men's makeup had partially been smudging their faces, from sweat and agony.

"Suppose you had managed to kill me and Gabrielle, how exactly were you planning to get our bodies after the double murder?" Xena already suspected that those three men were certainly not acting alone. They obviously had some outside help somewhere, something to enable Pyrrhos to steal her body and her soulmate's sometime after the crime.

The older man's body language indicated that he really did not want to say anything but the Warrior Princess silently threatened him so distressingly with the positioning of her fingers towards his throat. He refused to relive the effects of the pinch and reluctantly spilled the beans: "I hooked back up with my former army today in Nicopolis, and killed their leader. My army was going to come here tomorrow and fight the Amazons to steal your bodies before the funerals."

Xena smirked at the extraordinary nature of this whole plan: first the thugs had disguised themselves as women to infiltrate a Sapphic party and attempt to quickly and surreptitiously shoot her and her bard with poisoned darts, and now on top of all that those bad guys were to send an army tomorrow to steal their bodies. "I am completely dumbfounded by your ideas, Pyrrhos. This is an extremely unusual plan for bandits and warlords like you." She shook her head in utter amazement. "Plus, you have committed another offence in the process of attempting murder as I pointed to you earlier: invading a women-only Sapphic event. That's also a totally lousy thing to do." She relaxed a little, trying to make him understand: "Look, as I said earlier, I and the others here really don't hate men –but the party down there is a Sapphic, women-only event! Dressed in ladies' clothes or not, men are not welcome there. Sapphic Night Fever is not a silly beauty pageant or something. It's a private Sapphic event organised by Amazon women and strictly for only other women to attend."

"Yes, this is simple," Gabrielle added in a forceful tone. "Us Amazons and our sisterhood of Sapphic women should be entitled to our own private events when we desire them."

"Especially within a world in which men in general hold most of the social power," Alkaia remarked astutely.

"Sweet deceased Artemis, darling! We should all start a revolution to overthrow that!" Bremusa asserted confidently, winking at her taller partner.

"Tell me about it," the Amazon general replied to her lover. She turned around and quickly went to retrieve two of the men's crossbows that were still lying on the grass nearby. She remembered the warrior woman had told her that she would need them.

"Who do you think you are to come down there and try to kill us?" Xena asked Pyrrhos with an irate voice.

"Look, I had to infiltrate that party as it was my best chance for shooting you and your bard, while you'd be distracted by the crowd. Too bad it didn't work," the older man answered the Warrior Princess in a dispirited manner.

"Shut up!" Xena began to remove their bindings and gags with the other women's help. "Now is your chance to get away, but don't you make any silly moves or we'll burn you with our torches," the warrior woman threatened. She noticed they were way too weakened by the whiplashes they had received to be capable of engaging in a fight. Xena bent down and searched through one of the handbags that the thugs had brought and was able to find more ammunition they had had with them –another three poisoned darts which she took in her hand as she stood back up.

"For Sappho's sake!" Alkaia suddenly hollered angrily at the three men. "If it had been me standing by the door when you came in earlier, there is no way you would have gone past security. I can distinguish men from women even from a mile away, you bastards! No matter what the clothes…"

"Now walk away!" Xena yelled at the bandits. In their tattered feminine clothes and still feeling painful from their whip ordeal, Pyrrhos, Kleon and Timon started walking away from the women who had been torturing them here in Rubicon.

"Move faster, bastards!" Xena grabbed a mug of wine that Bremusa had held in her hand for her. Taking her torch back from Gabrielle, she held the flame right in front of her own mouth. The Warrior Princess took a sip and blew alcohol onto that flame, towards the three men who were now a little further away from her. The raging fire she produced made the thugs walk away a little bit faster from the village. Pieces of their clothes caught fire and they really wished they would have been able to run away like a bunch of antelopes escaping predators –but their movements were being too slow after the rough flogging they had sustained.

After blowing a flame to scare them, Xena handed her torch to Bremusa and took a crossbow that Alkaia gave to her, which she loaded rapidly with one dart while giving another dart to Gabrielle. The battling bard loaded the other crossbow that the Amazon general had fetched for her. Xena turned back towards the men, who were only a little further ahead: "Hey, by the way, boys?" Her tone was so confidently intimidating that it caused Pyrrhos and his two comrades to turn back towards her to check what she was up to. "I lied when I said I was going to let you get away." The tall woman with azure blue eyes and long dark hair sneered and pointed the crossbow in the direction of the men who had attempted to kill her and her soulmate today. Her lover did the same, wanting to help Xena in her task. Gabrielle had become much less lenient towards bad guys over her sidekick years spent by the warrior's side.

Everything happened too fast for the three wounded bandits and they were too slow to get away from Rubicon before Xena and Gabrielle had effected their revenge upon them. Those men were ruthless attackers who had tried to spoil the party and take their lives away from them. The Warrior Princess and the battling bard shot them mercilessly with the poisoned darts they had. Xena first shot Pyrrhos. The poisoned dart she aimed at him rushed through the air and pierced the back of his neck. He reached back and removed it but knew that the poison was already travelling through his veins. Gabrielle shot Timon in the leg, and her older partner reloaded her crossbow with the last dart to shoot Kleon in the back. The young men removed the darts from their bodies, and joined Pyrrhos as the three of them continued to wander away from Rubicon despite having been shot with deadly poison. Nonetheless, the four women standing not far from the entrance to Sapphic Night Fever knew those three thugs would die before reaching Nicopolis. The lethal substance was already working its way through their systems. It would cause their deaths soon enough and they would probably collapse somewhere nearby.

Gabrielle dropped her crossbow and walked towards Xena, who was still loosely holding hers. "I agreed with your plan, my love," the battling bard spoke wistfully, looking her lover in the eye. "I know you needed my help, but was it really necessary to kill them?"

"Yes, Gabrielle." The Warrior Princess made no bones about this. "Otherwise they could reach Nicopolis again and tell Pyrrhos' army to come here and attack us in revenge for the punishment that was rightfully inflicted upon them. You don't want any of the Amazons or the other female party guests down there to be in danger, do you?"

"No, I guess not," Gabrielle admitted. She now understood perfectly that those particular bad guys had had to be dealt with, for safety reasons.

Xena let go of the crossbow she had been holding. It fell on the ground. The warrior gazed back towards the other two Amazon women. Her younger lover did too. "Great job, Xena!" Bremusa stated, smiling. "Yep, you got them. I bet they'll fall soon," Alkaia added firmly, "and die." The four women went back down into the party and locked the door behind them.

Back on the dance floor at Sapphic Night Fever, Gabrielle and Xena had drunk some more wine and were now dancing together again, noticing the music was not the same kind as earlier on. It was more like Greek Amazon sounds now, with much more rapid rhythms. Musicians onstage played beats and beats of feverish, energetic harmonies and melodies that made women at the party perform many quicker movements with their whole bodies. The Warrior Princess slowed her moves just to question the battling bard: "Gabrielle, do you have any idea of where Eve is? Not seen her for a while…"

The two soulmates became almost motionless in the middle of the dance floor. "Oh, don't worry," the short-haired blonde woman replied, "She's probably having fun somewhere down here with that beautiful Amazon, Zoe."

Xena relaxed and grinned. "I guess she must be exploring her Sapphic side just like we'd encouraged her to, huh?"

"Yeah… like mother, like daughter." Gabrielle chuckled. She and her taller lover resumed dancing –very closely in each other's arms, sensually caressing each other's skin. The younger woman suddenly urged the warrior into following her into making particular movements –swinging, swaying, curving, hopping and contorting oneself in a prancing manner that was very much one of the many Amazon ways of dancing. A brightly lively, bouncing mood was permeating the whole atmosphere of Sapphic Night Fever at that very moment.

The dance became delightfully delirious between them. Xena ended up carrying Gabrielle in various intricate positions right in the middle of the dance floor and, at one point, the battling bard even jumped over her partner's head with all the supple functions of her body. They were being entertained by their own activity and somersaults when, suddenly, they both became still as the musicians stopped playing onstage. It was midnight.

"Your attention, please, everyone!" Queen Andromache requested aloud from her vantage point at the top of the platform. "My beloved Second-In-Command has got something to announce."

Andromeda stepped forward on the stage, holding a voting results scroll in her hand. She glanced at it while looking at her audience. She had to raise her voice so that everyone could hear her through the huge cave that was used as a party hall: "All right, everyone here, we've had Doris and Phoebe busy counting all the ballots at a table over the past hour, and now we have the results of all your votes. Thanks for casting them. We have winners now for Sapphic Night Fever!!!" All the women watching her were now attentive and impatient to hear the rest. "The two women who got voted as the 'Best Couple of the Night' are truly amazing and we all admire them here. Sisters, please congratulate… Xena and Gabrielle!" She motioned her hand towards where they were standing and everyone in the room clapped and cheered at them. The two warrior lovers gazed at each other and smiled.

"They have won our first prize!" Andromeda declared. "They will have the honour of spending the night alone together in the secret private room we've prepared for them at the back of this party."

"Alkaia, please escort them to it," Andromache ordered her most loyal Amazon general who was near the platform.

Alkaia immediately went to lead the Warrior Princess and her battling bard, who followed her while blushing at the applauding and praising crowd, to a small but thickly built wooden door that was somewhere on the very back wall by the side of the stage. She unlocked the entrance and looked at the couple as they got in. "Have fun in there." She winked. Bremusa, having gotten next to her own lover, giggled at the thought of the wonderful time they would probably be spending in there. Xena and Gabrielle would now be in perfect privacy, shielded from the prying eyes of everyone else at the party.

The Amazon general gave the warrior women a key to lock themselves in before she shut the door. She and her girlfriend went back to the front row of people near the stage. Soon the next winning couples were announced: Alkaia and Bremusa, who won some Sapphic diamond jewellery, and Theodora and Lysandra, who won scrolls of Sappho's poems. The Amazon general and her slightly younger partner were absolutely delighted to have at least won the second prize for the very short poem performance they had given onstage earlier, right after the warrior woman and the bard had been on the platform. The music resumed, slower this time, bringing Sapphic Night Fever back into a gloriously romantic cadence.

Within a darker, quieter corner of the party, hidden between two cave rocks, Zoe and Eve were standing together, facing each other while holding each other very close. "Relax…" the beautiful woman with exquisite Asian features said. The warrior's daughter felt very responsive to the combat Amazon's pleasurable touches, caresses and kisses. The other woman had pushed Eve's green shawl away from her chest and was currently smelling, tasting the skin above her tight and short dark pink top garment. "Hmmm…" The redhead threw her head back in excitement at what Zoe was doing to her and provoking in her. These were such interesting, completely new sensations she felt. Eve determined in her mind that she should just continue to let herself go, and get to know what sleeping with a woman would feel like at least once in her lifetime. The Sapphic Amazon music in the background also energised her. She had interestingly heard her mothers onstage not so long ago, talking enthusiastically about the undying love between them and the erotic moments they had shared. Hearing all that had stirred up a great deal of curiosity within Eve. Sapphic lovemaking intrigued her beyond limits. She had to find out more.

Doris, Phoebe, Lysandra and Theodora were having a conversation together, over the music, near the party tables while holding drinks in their hands. They still found it unbelievable that they had been so absorbed in their alcohol influence and the party atmosphere earlier on in the evening that they had failed to recognise that the three so-called 'women' they had been speaking to at one point had in fact been men. The four women were still drunk but they could realise how bad it was they had not been able to tell.

"Men at the party, in dresses! That was terrible!" Theodora exclaimed, shaking her head and rubbing her temple at her recalling of when she had spoken to the cross-dressers.

"I feel really stupid," Doris said "As one of the organisers I was not even capable of staying sober and attempting more closely to discern faces better."

"It wasn't your fault." Phoebe lightly patted her partner's shoulder. "I wasn't even able to tell myself. They were being very cleverly disguised, and the semi-darkness of the party room was also to blame."

"Well," Lysandra grimaced, "the fact those bad men were here to assassinate Xena and Gabrielle was even creepier."

Doris sighed in disapproval. She smiled again and tried to change the subject: "Anyway, it's good that many men in the environs who'd heard of our Sapphic Night Fever event were so respectful of our 'all female' rule for guests, and our party is women-only again now that the thugs in drag are gone. Let's talk about something else… Well-done, Lysandra and Theodora for winning the third prize, by the way."

"Oh yeah…" Radiance came back to Theodora's cheeks. "I'm sure we will both enjoy these poem scrolls…"

"Yes, we will. Xena and Gabrielle's performances were absolutely stunning by the way," Lysandra brought up cheerfully, "I'm really not surprised they won the votes, on top of them already being famous. The only thing I was totally surprised about was how open they were about sharing erotic details that hadn't even been in Gabrielle's scrolls."

"Yeah, I was deeply surprised too," Theodora added.

"Yes," Phoebe agreed, "this felt incredible, but still I believe they did it because this is a Sapphic women-only party down here and they felt like opening up their hearts and sharing a few secrets with us." She beamed and winked.

"I agree," Doris said.

Half a candlemark after midnight, Xena and Gabrielle were bathing next to each other within the small hot spring inside the comfortable back room, rubbing soap onto their own skin. It was a beautiful place they were in. Like a small recess within the larger cave space, the room was big enough and magnificent, lit by numerous candles placed on little wooden tables and carpeted with a colourful thick tapestry all over the floor –onto which they had dropped their clothes, armour, weapons and boots somewhere. There was a king size bed in the middle of the agreeable space the two lovers were in, secluded from the other party-goers' activities. A mound of elevated little grey rocks covered the sides of the hot spring they were bathing in on the left side of the room.

The water the Warrior Princess and her battling bard found themselves in was pleasant and warm, generating a cosy bubbling around their nude bodies. The steam rose with heavenly flowery scents of lavender, lilac and roses coming from the various bath oils that had been poured into the hot spring prior to their ablutions. Shutting their eyes, they moaned softly –relaxing after having soaped themselves, getting closer together in the hot spring and snuggling against one another. Sapphic Night Fever's music still played in the adjacent party hall. Its slower, quieter rhythms felt undeniably soothing to their ears.

"Hmmm…" Gabrielle kissed Xena's neck and rested on her shoulder. "Such a great party, huh?" She lightly ran her hand onto a large breast.

"Yes…" The long-haired woman replied, pensive as she rubbed her fingertips up and down her younger lover's spine underwater. Her other hand was on the blonde's upper arm. "It was. Definitely better than any party with Lucifer while under the Darkness' influence."

"Yeah, totally, Xena. We even had an even better, closer dance here," Gabrielle remarked, comparing it with the already sexy dance they had had in front of Lucifer and others before being unfortunately interrupted by Virgil.

"That's true."

The battling bard ceased touching her lover's bosom and touched her stomach instead. She lifted her head from her shoulder and met her gaze. "Xena, it was an absolutely amazing party, minus the disguised men infiltrating and trying to kill us of course."

"Well, they must be dead by now. We took care of them right, and some time after Alkaia and Bremusa had already done a wonderful job at whipping them in punishment with one of my own weapons." Xena smirked.

"Alkaia and Bremusa are totally amazing sisters by the way!" Gabrielle declared.

"They really are, Gabrielle. I really like them too. So glad we met them."

"And when we won this prize, this room, it really felt like heaven, Xena…" the short-haired woman affirmed to the Warrior Princess while looking at her with lovable bedroom eyes. "I want to make love to you in here for sure."

"I want to make love to you too." Xena hugged the smaller but sturdy body of her loyal and devoted Gabrielle closer to her in the warm water enveloping them. They kissed deeply and impatiently while touching the side of each other's faces.

After a few moments of tender relaxation together, along with the usual back rub sessions they gave each other in the water, the two women climbed out of the hot spring and grabbed some towels that had been left nearby for them. They helped dry one another and kissed again. After that, they both rushed towards the bed. Xena was the first one to lay her back on it, and Gabrielle immediately jumped on top of her –covering her body with her own. They kissed once more. The bed's mattress was profoundly comfortable and its sheets and pillow-cases were made of a navy blue silk material feeling so soft to contact with the skin.

Xena noticed that some fruits had been left in a bowl on a bedside table by their dear Amazon sisters for her and her girlfriend to eat, mostly grapes. She reached out and grabbed a small cluster of them. She placed them in her mouth and crushed them between her teeth. She then slightly lifted the torso of the younger woman above her, cupped her hanging breasts with two firm hands and brought them one by one to her hungry lips and tongue while squeezing them with her fingers at the same time. The grape juice in her mouth combined wonderfully with the taste of her sidekick's skin and nipples.

"Oh… Xena…" Gabrielle arched her chest forward to bring her lover's mouth and hands closer.

After the Warrior Princess had finished savouring each the blonde's nipples, her head fell right back onto the bed. She opened her legs, making room for the battling bard's hips to adjust themselves against her groin. The short-haired blonde hovered above her older lover, her arms upright and her fists planted in the bed on either side of Xena. The dark-haired woman gently stroked her soulmate's back with both hands. Their mutual gaze into each other's eyes was truly intense, electrifying to both their souls. The bright enough candlelight in the room would make it easy to see everything they would be doing together this very night.

"Gabrielle, you're so gorgeous, lovely and mind-blowing in bed. I've also always thoroughly enjoyed pleasing you too, tasting you, touching you," Xena voiced huskily. "I've never loved anyone as much as I love you. You're the best thing I've ever had. I'll always be with you, always."

A big smile of utter happiness shone on Gabrielle's face in approval. Her sea-green eyes stared intently down into the azure blue ones of her soulmate beneath her. She felt as though she and the warrior woman were already one, and would become one again and again. After a short instant of motionless silence, the short-haired woman felt a burning warmth underneath her. She moved her hips slightly, reached down a hand to her partner's nether lips and parted them delicately, delighted with the hot wetness she touched there. Gabrielle also used two fingers to open her own private area, which she then stuck into Xena's heat beneath her. The sweet junction of their centres together felt as emotionally and physically fulfilling to both lovers as bathing in a sea of endless pleasures. The battling bard now had both her hands flattened onto the silky sheet on each side of her warrior love. She moved herself back and forth on top of the Warrior Princess, creating a friction of heightening passion.

"You're the one I've always loved, Xena… oh…" Gabrielle uttered while preserving control of her tribadic movements, "the one I've always loved sharing intimacy with… hmm… yeah… You're so beautiful… Ha… You're my whole life, Xena." She moved her face down to briefly kiss Xena's lips.

"Oh… haahaaah… Yes, Gabrielle… ha…" The enthralling music in the background were driving them mad with desire as they were both still feeling the delicious wine they had drunk at the party having worked its glorious way inside their minds.

"I've never met anyone as wonderful as you, my love… oh… uh… I want to be with you forever and ever…" Gabrielle swayed her heated flesh more energetically onto Xena's and they both came almost simultaneously within a few moments, their clits throbbing against one another as the battling bard collapsed her weight upon the Warrior Princess's body. The brunette hugged the blonde close to her heart while they both panted heavily, blissfully gratified –but this would surely not be the last orgasm for the night. They would be wanting more shortly.

After a brief period of rest, Xena's thoughts got fixated in one of her favourite new fantasies. "Gabrielle, go put your red velvet outfit back on…" she requested in a lustful tone while caressing the small of her soulmate's back, "I want us to make love again soon with you wearing it while me being naked. You know how much I love the way your new clothes feel against my skin."

"Sure, anything you want, Warrior Princess." Gabrielle smirked, reluctantly moved away from Xena and rose from the bed. She was nude but had still kept her silver arm band on while undressing for the bath a little earlier. It encircled her upper arm and kind of made her look extremely sexy. Gabrielle went to put her red skirt and top back on, but omitted any underwear on purpose of course. She then climbed back on top of the warrior. "So you really love my new style too, huh?"

The feel of velvet clothing and beloved warm bardic skin pressing onto her naked body shot a greatly powerful sensation within Xena, like a lightning bolt thundering her libido into reawakening. She was to have the woman she loved in her red outfit tonight, for sure. "Yeah, I do." She reached up to touch strands of hair from the blonde's head above her. "I like your short hair too. I got used to it by now. I especially love the way it has already grown back a little." The Warrior Princess loved her Gabrielle just the same with any kind of hairstyle, even though she still loved remembering the previously long blonde hair the bard used to have. She found her just as desirable with the hair length she currently had though.

"Maybe I'll grow it long again one day. You never know…" the battling bard smiled, resting her forearms on the bed and keeping her body lovingly positioned on top of her soulmate's.

"Whichever way you'll have it, I will continue to love you, sweetheart." Xena reached down for Gabrielle's precious abs with both hands and rubbed them, loving the feel of the silky, taut skin against her fingers.

"I love you too."

The two lovers kissed deeply and fiercely, mixing their saliva and circling their tongues around each other in their mouths, their lips stuck firmly against one another. They moaned passionately, making the oral union even more heated. Following the hungry kiss' end, they both made eye contact again. Then Xena moved her hands down to the back of Gabrielle's thighs and pulled the blonde's hips towards her belly. The battling bard's velvet-covered body turned her on too much. She had to have her woman right here, right now.

"Hmmm…" Gabrielle suddenly moved her upper body to an upright position and was excitedly thrilled by the unexpected but yet very familiar move. She poured a few drops of erotic fluid onto Xena's strong tummy in response, as she straddled it.

"I want you, Gabrielle. I will have you now, my sweet and hot battling bard! I need to feel your taste in my mouth as soon as possible," she stated fervidly, keeping firm hands on the back of the battling bard's thighs.

"Anytime you want, my love." Hearing Xena's ardently and pleasantly brazen words made Gabrielle's mind go wild with excitement beyond limits. The intense feeling deliriously combined with both the delectable wine's ongoing effects and the sound of the background music from Sapphic Night Fever next door, which had climbed a few degrees more rhythmic by now. Her soulmate felt exactly the same way. Winning the privacy of this special couple's private room was a first-class prize indeed.

Xena brought her head forward to kiss Gabrielle's cleavage, just above the velvet top. She then pulled her battling bard even more forward above her until she made oral contact with her tummy. She tongued the short-haired woman's dearly worshipped abdominal muscles one side at a time while happily letting her hands wander onto the velvet-covered butt at the back. She dragged her further forward, carrying the back of her hips and managing to get her legs moved above her shoulders.

The battling bard placed her hands against the rocky back wall behind the bed while maintaining her upper body upright as she straddled the Warrior Princess, her knees planted on either side of her head. "Yes, Xena…" She closed her eyes and cravingly anticipated what was to come next.

Xena gleefully grinned at the alluring sight that now came directly into her upward field of vision. She had to see more of it. Putting her fingers onto the sides of Gabrielle's thighs just below the bottom hem of her red skirt, she pushed the garment up towards the sides of her hips, also uncovering most of her rear in the action. The Warrior Princess could not cease gazing up at the battling bard's blonde vulva. Its shape, consisting of warm, soft folds and gorgeous inner lips, constantly fascinated her. Its intoxicating scent had always enticed her. Her partner emitted dreamy sounds somewhere above her and a small trickle of ambrosial juices suddenly plummeted onto her face, which whet Xena's appetite even more and made her unable to wait longer. She strongly grabbed Gabrielle's hips and descended her centre right onto her frantically avid mouth.

"Xena…" The short-haired woman began groaning in vehement rapture at her dark-haired soulmate's lingual contact with her clit accompanied with alternate suctions of it. "Oh… ha… yeah… more, please… I love feeling your mouth, your tongue on me like this… haaahh… hmmm…" Gabrielle slowly bucked her hips towards Xena's face, back and forth, while she carried on enjoying another moment of her warrior orally gratifying her –keeping her hands steady onto the back wall. She enjoyed her older lover's firm hands resting onto each side of her butt at the same time.

The vigorous licks from the Warrior Princess's tongue went inside every fold, every corner of the battling bard's centre, licking the beloved flesh all over and eliciting additional moans of pleasure from the short-haired blonde. Xena revelled in the heady scent that diffused itself all the way around the area underneath Gabrielle's skirt. The red velvet garment still hung a little higher above Xena's nose and intensified the heat of the bardic fragrance. The older woman savoured the honey-musked taste that drove her crazy with love and threatened to wreak havoc on her senses. She felt her own sex throb in joy as she got her tongue inside her lover's tunnel and swallowed all the essence that happened to flow in her mouth. Xena then made her tongue travel leisurely again into her younger partner's centre while she kept grabbing her shapely backside and fumbling the hem of her skirt with her fingertips. The warrior woman thought that if she drowned in the area her mouth and nose were stuck into right now she would at least die happy, feeding herself her favourite meal. Xena loved Gabrielle so much that she wanted to remind her how much.

"Haah… Xena… Aaahh… Yes! Oh…" Sapphic Night Fever's music added more tempo to the activities that mustered blissful exhilaration within Gabrielle –each beat matching each caress from Xena's tongue on her labia, each ministration of her mouth onto her sex and each vibration made within her nether lips by her lover's moans against them.

The Warrior Princess' lips caught the battling bard's aching nub again. She licked around the bundle of nerves in unhurried circles, eventually sucking it anew and running the tip of her tongue onto it. She made the short-haired blonde reach the summit of her enjoyment within moments.

"Ah… Ha… Xeeenaaa!!!" Gabrielle gripped onto the rocky back wall as she experienced an orgasm that was as earth-shattering as an earthquake.

Xena licked her soulmate dry, kissed her blonde centre dearly and helped Gabrielle move herself back down on top of her. As the short-haired woman now laid her head onto her taller partner's upper chest, she used her fingertips to play with her large breasts while the warrior woman tenderly ran a hand through her hair.

"So you like me devouring you like this, Gabrielle?" Xena questioned with a low, contented voice.

"Hmmm… Loved it, Xena," Gabrielle answered calmly. "I love you."

"I love you too, sweetheart. You already know I love you so much that I'd do anything for you, huh?"

"I know."

The two soulmates rested for a while, delighting in the now more peaceful sounds the musicians were making nearby. "I want to do that to you again, right now, my strong battling bard, my beloved little Amazon Queen!" Xena asserted joyfully. "I love you so, so much and it makes me feel so wet each time I do this to you."

"Huh?!" Gabrielle lifted her head, looking into her taller lover's eyes. "And I had another idea in mind. I wanted to make love to you right now, to taste you again… because I love you too. Tasting you and taking you turns me on so, so much."

"I see… We've got different desires at the same time you and I…" a smirk showed across Xena's lips. "… so this means we have to arrange things a little, our own way."

The battling bard decided to arrange things herself. "Oh, please, let me…" she requested, being so experienced these days. She went to straddle Xena's face again, except that when she placed her centre above it this time she laid her whole weight along the Warrior Princess' body in a reversed position compared to the last one. Gabrielle instantly spread the older woman's thighs further and moved her blonde head down to kiss the beloved dark curls covering the hot folds she wanted to dive into. She wrapped her arms around her taller lover's legs as she relished the wild taste of her centre with her tongue.

Xena reached up, seized Gabrielle's hips again and lowered her down to her mouth again. Noticing the red skirt was still being rolled up to the top of her rear, she touched its velvet again with one hand and softly squeezed her younger partner's uncovered scrumptious butt with the other. "Hmmm…" was all both lovers could say while tasting each other at the same time as the party music coming from next door carried on filling their ears with glorious rhythms evoking absolute elation within their souls.

The battling bard licked and sucked Xena's sensitive nub while the Warrior Princess simultaneously worked on pleasuring her swollen bud with her mouth and tongue. The feel of her older partner touching and lightly pinching her backside felt pleasant to Gabrielle too. The younger woman's tongue went on to trace Xena's entrance. She then took it with two fingers while returning her mouth to her clit.

"Oh… Gabri… hmmm… eeellle… hmmm…" Xena's body reacted with total compliance to the delightful invasion coming from the smaller but strong woman on top of her. The warrior keenly licked Gabrielle's sex more deeply in response, loving every single drop of her sweet essence as she trailed her tongue through every crevice before taking her little nub in her mouth again. She also enjoyed the feel of Gabrielle's velvet-covered bust pressed against her belly.

The battling bard came rapidly, feeling her soulmate below her licking away at her passion, blowing warm breath onto her blonde centre and kissing it tenderly. Meanwhile, Gabrielle sped up her fingers' movements deep inside of Xena while she kept sucking her clit eagerly until she brought her over the edge. After that, Gabrielle sucked her digits dry, warmed the warrior's centre with her hot breath and kissed it equally lovingly. The blonde then lifted herself, pulled her skirt back down to her thighs and turned back around on the bed to lie next to the Warrior Princess. They kissed amorously, mingling their tastes and declaring to each other their undying love and devotion for one another again and again, as they continuously heard Sapphic Night Fever still making satisfying musical noises next door. The two lovers appreciated the intense comfort provided by the silky bed beneath them as they rested for a short while.

Gabrielle almost fell asleep when Xena asked her something: "Can I have you now please?" The rhythms in the adjacent party hall picked up a little pace, back into an erotic cadence. "You know, Gabrielle… I already wanted to take you right there in the middle of the dance floor earlier on," the audacious warrior said huskily.

The battling bard lifted her head and went to climb on top of her Warrior Princess. She straddled her hips, her sturdy body still dressed with two pieces of clothes while her lover was still deliciously naked. "Oh, really?" Gabrielle asked Xena, manipulating her large breasts with both hands. She occasionally kissed them and licked their nipples while the older woman moaned in joy and stroked her shoulders. "I know that, Xena… hmmm…" The blonde woman's tone was affectionate. She stared into her soulmate's eyes again. She was far from being shocked by the comments she had just heard from her warrior partner.

Xena caressed Gabrielle's short hair as her younger lover lay on top of her, worshipping her breasts. "You know I respect you too much for doing something like that though. It was only a fantasy, that's all… but I want you to know that I really enjoyed sharing our romantic and erotic feelings for each other onstage tonight. It was so wonderful."

"I agree, warrior. I enjoyed that too." The blonde woman kissed her dark-haired partner beneath her. She then felt her beloved warrior's hand reaching beneath her body, getting under her red velvet skirt and rubbing her already excited nub.

"So…" Xena looked at her short-haired bard with lustful eyes. "Can I take you now? You're so wet and I want to go inside you. Please…"

"Yeeeaaaah…" Gabrielle lifted her velvet skirt a little more and willingly gave in to her burning desire for the Warrior Princess to take charge this time. Placing her upper leg against her soulmate's sex and applying warm pressure into it, she straddled her older lover's thigh as the warrior continued to fondle her amply aroused bundle of nerves.

"Yes, Gabrielle…" Xena rejoiced in feeling the short-haired woman's thigh pushing against her vulva. She reached further under Gabrielle's skirt and, with three long fingers, she inserted herself rapidly inside the battling bard, increasingly gaining speed within her.

"Oh, yes… Xena…" Gabrielle totally enjoyed the incredibly full and straightforward invasion into her drenched core. Her downward gaze profoundly kept intersecting itself with her brilliantly skilled warrior lover's beneath her as she raised her upper body and placed her hands onto Xena's breasts. Gabrielle loved the deepening of the intensity this whole position created between them, and she maintained her balance while she made some rapturous moves on top of her soulmate. She did not want to break eye contact with Xena for one second, deeply experiencing the exquisite emotional connection the lovemaking brought to them both. The contemplation of the unyielding, resolute love they shared for one another, the powerful Amazon music in the background and the delightful mental effects of their earlier wine consumption all intermixed together inside their heads right at that moment. It all made things clearly feel like they both were having their own private Sapphic party right there in the back room they were in. "Ha… oh… yes… Xena…" The battling bard rocked her leg faster onto her partner's sex.

"Oh… Yeah… Gabrielle…" Xena cried out rapturously, intently revering the strong moves of her younger sidekick's athletic body above her. She delighted so much in watching this little Amazon dressed in red velvet making delicious movements on top of her. The short-haired blonde woman's undeniable sexiness evoked such a great deal of desire within her. "I really wanted to have you just like this, in your red velvet outfit… hmmm…" She touched Gabrielle's velvety top garment with her free hand while she carried on making love to her little Amazon deeply. After an instant, her fingertips travelled down to one gorgeous abdominal muscle on the side of her younger lover's well-built tummy. "You still do like your warrior taking charge sometimes, like in the good old days, don't you, huh?" Using the hand she was penetrating her with, she moved her skilled thumb up to stimulate the blonde's clit while maintaining her three digits deeply inside her. She wanted to make her confirm what she had just inquired.

"Yeah… sometimes… especially when I'm on top like this… Ha…" Gabrielle managed to say while continuing enjoying the thrusts. She moved her hips more closely onto the pleasuring fingers, wanting them totally and completely inside her. The short-haired woman then briefly moved herself down to kiss Xena's mouth, and enjoying every moment of the warrior combining such powerfully penetrative lovemaking with massaging of her hard nub with her thumb. The battling bard captured her Warrior Princess' lips beneath her again, kissing her more deeply this time, while keeping squeezing her large breasts.

After undergoing a crescendo of euphoric satisfaction that corresponded perfectly to the amazing instrumental build-up that Sapphic Night Fever's musicians were performing in the adjacent party hall, both lovers finally brought their climax to fruition. "Xeeenaaa!!!" Gabrielle was the first to come, reaching down with one hand to slowly remove the warrior's digits from her centre as her tremors subsided down below –but she was still making leg movements to and fro to pleasure Xena. The warrior woman briefly stuffed her own ambrosia-coated fingers in her mouth to suck them clean, just before she screamed Gabrielle's name and reached her desired peak –orgasming from the friction of the blonde's thigh against her clit.

The battling bard collapsed on top of the Warrior Princess. "I love you for this. You own my heart, Xena…" she moaned happily. Breathing deeply, Gabrielle entwined her fingers leisurely with her taller girlfriend's long dark hair, which she loved so much, as her head lay down near the older woman's ample breasts. She would soon run the tip of her touch across the nipples and think about wanting to kiss those two lovely mounds time and time again in the near future.

"Gabrielle, I love you so much. You are my beautiful and strong little Amazon," Xena said softly while letting her fingertips roam across the skin of her younger partner's lower back and enjoying the feel of her clothes stuck to her nakedness. "I love having you just like this sometimes. It feels so good… I can see how you still like me to take the lead now and again."

"I do still like you taking over sometimes, yeah… Feels especially good when I straddle you at the same time." Gabrielle carried on resting onto Xena. They felt the expected but agreeable feverish state resulting from both the party they had attended and their own private after-party still dancing inside their minds.

"Hmmm… so sweet to make love to you as you shake yourself on top of me like this, my sturdy little Amazon bard!" Xena complimented Gabrielle. "You are the best lover I've ever had, and I'm in complete admiration for you. I've never loved anyone else the way I love you, and never will." The Warrior Princess slightly lifted her head and kissed the top of the battling bard's hair as the younger woman lay on her chest. "So you really enjoyed this party, didn't you?"

Gabrielle lifted her face to meet Xena's eyes. "I did, didn't you?!" Her tone was friendly and glad. She already knew her lover's reply.

"Of course I did." The warrior woman smiled. "This was the best Sapphic party in years, and winning the 'back room' prize was the climax of it!"

The younger woman lightly chuckled. "Yeah, literally…" She quickly undressed to be able to lie naked with her lover and dropped her velvet clothes by the side of the bed.

"Indeed." Xena went to rapidly blow out many of the candles to make the room darker. She then climbed straight back onto the bed, next to Gabrielle.

Hearing Sapphic Night Fever's now quieter music still playing in the background, the two soulmates kissed each other goodnight in a tender way, pulled the navy blue silk bed sheets to cover their bodies and snuggled closer together. Feeling their eternally deep connection to one another and their undying love, they drifted off to sleep while simultaneously thinking about all the romantic times of comfort and erotic moments of pleasure they had experienced together. It was a unique and intense sensation of love that led them both together into gloriously wonderful dreams about their relationship, their superb union that brought so much happiness to their lives despite any obstacle that happened to cross their path.

Later inside the party hall, three candlemarks after midnight, the music had finally stopped altogether, Sapphic Night Fever was over, and almost every woman there had passed out after enjoying the utterly beatific ambiance combined with the delicious wine that had been served. The Amazons had laid out a supply of bedrolls all across the dance floor at the end of the party. Many Sapphic women were now sleeping together in the peaceful silence of the huge cave. Doris was resting with her beloved Phoebe. Lysandra and Theodora were equally resting together. Queen Andromache and her Second-In-Command Andromeda had found themselves a bed backstage.

As for Alkaia and Bremusa, they had made love together again under blankets on a very special luxurious Egyptian-styled couch that was situated close to the door that led into the private back room where they had left Xena and Gabrielle earlier on. The door was locked, but the Amazon general had still been instructed by her queen to prevent any crazed Sapphic admirers of the legendary Greek couple from trying to peep on them. Alkaia could still share a blissful two-year anniversary with her lover on this comfortable couch that was situated in a quiet corner too, behind some Sappho exhibition stands on the one side. The two Amazons had been careful to keep an eye on the private door all the time, even when sharing intimate moments under the blanket together. No one would dare cause trouble to Alkaia anyway when she was nearby. She was not regarded as a strong and intelligent Amazon general for nothing. She always knew how to keep the peace among female party-goers, as well as maintaining security for the Amazons overall. Bremusa relaxed happily onto the Amazon general's strong frame while they were now both immersed in a serene slumber.

Within a quieter, more remote corner of the cave much further away, Eve was still awake while Zoe, nestled near her, was fast asleep. They were both in the nude, lying on a bedroll that the combat Amazon had fetched for them both. The warrior's daughter had been trying to fall asleep right after their lovemaking session, but had not succeeded. Eve thought she should have been able to drift off, especially considering that she had been thoroughly enjoying it. She barely knew Zoe, had only met her a few candlemarks ago, but already she had opened her up to a whole rich new world of sensations. The beautiful Amazon had shown her new interesting things, and Eve had been more than willing to learn how to please her in return. The novelty of the touches, scents and tastes that the young redhead had been experiencing with her beloved combat Amazon had felt so warm, gratifying and delectable to her senses. The satisfying sexual encounter that Eve had just pleasurably acquainted herself with had seemed so much more different than when she had been with Ares, as the God of War tended to be viciously rough in bed. Eve had definitely found sleeping with Zoe to be a much better, much more affectionate sort of lovemaking.

Yet she could not sleep. Following the aftershocks of her erotic moments with the other woman, her mind had been wandering back towards the cruel, unspeakable crimes she had committed against the Amazon tribe that Varia had been in. She could not drive the remembrance of her despicable, murderous actions against other women away from her head. Eve sighed as a deep feeling of sadness struck her. What she had done to members of the Amazon Nation, the way she had harmed them meant that she could not possibly ever stay with Zoe after this. The combat Amazon would eventually find out what she had done from other Amazons telling her, and then she would break her heart –or maybe even kill her. She would have preferred it so much more if it had been a plain lay woman seducing her at the party rather than an Amazon, but no one else could be as charming as Zoe to her. Eve was not into 'one night' romances though she was deeply infatuated with this beautiful, superb other woman who had been so good to her in the bedroll –but she had to reluctantly come to terms with the fact that she could not conceivably have a relationship with that woman. Eve did not manage to get to sleep until another candlemark or so.

Very early in the morning, Virgil had packed his rucksack as he was about to leave Delphos and his 'one time' fling with Nikon. Joxer's son had had to get up not long after dawn regardless of not having slept much –since he had to a long walk to make if he wanted to be able to reach the forest closest to Potadeia and meet with Gabrielle, Xena and Eve there in early afternoon. Just as he was walking away from the gates of the farm he had spent the night at, his young one-night male sexual partner was waiting for him before the road, wanting to say goodbye.

"You could have stayed asleep, Nikon," Virgil said, grinning mildly. "I did not want to wake you up."

"But I really wanted to say goodbye…" The young man looked downcast at the thought of the handsome man of his dreams leaving him. "I will never forget you, Virgil, you know that?"

Joxer's son felt a little bit of a guilty conscience at leaving this other young man after they had had such marvellous sex together, but he had made things clear the day before that all this was only a 'one time' thing. He sighed. "I know.… Goodbye Nikon." He gave him a last kiss on the mouth, and began strolling away.

"Goodbye, Virgil. I'll miss you, gorgeous man," Nikon said, refusing to cry but wanting to. He watched him leave on the road, and hoped he would meet another beautiful man like him someday.

Alkaia had gotten the old widow who owned the Main House in Rubicon led to safety as soon as she had heard that Pyrrhos' would-be army would be here by noon. It had been in the early candlemarks of the morning that the Amazon general had heard from the Amazon spy she had cleverly sent to Nicopolis overnight to see what that army would be up to if Pyrrhos would not show up again. Apparently, the army men Pyrrhos had been supposed to rule again from this day on had realised that their warlord had not come back to them, that he had disappeared somehow. Since Pyrrhos had had the chance to tell them the day before that he was going to Rubicon, the men from his would-be army had thus surmised that he, Timon and Kleon had never come back from that particular village. The Amazon spy had heard that the army had decided that they would come visit Rubicon by noon, just to investigate on what might have happened to their prospective leader. As for the three men's bodies, some Amazons from Andromache's tribe had found them lying somewhere on the ground in the nearby woods very early in the morning. The three men were dead from the poison, and soon Pyrrhos' army would find them there and would want someone to pay for having killed them –but would find no one in sight to interrogate, as everyone from the party would be gone.

Just one candlemark ago, Alkaia had gone to knock on the back room door downstairs to wake Xena and Gabrielle up, and get them to get ready to move. It was now three candlemarks before noon. The party guests had been asked by Andromache to leave. Bremusa, Doris and Phoebe had kindly explained to them that an army would soon be searching the environs and encouraged them to return to their homes early in the daylight –so they could be safe and avoid being attacked while being innocent. Sapphic Night Fever was officially over, and the immense cave that had served as a party hall had to be evacuated as soon as possible. The Amazons would come back and clean up later, after the army would have come and gone. The emergency now was everyone to get away from Rubicon so that Pyrrhos' would-be army would find no one from the party left here when they arrived.

After such a great Sapphic party, Andromache, Andromeda, Alkaia, Bremusa, Doris, Phoebe, Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Zoe agreed that it was much easier to simply leave Rubicon and let whole army of men find Pyrrhos and his thugs' dead bodies with no one to interrogate about the deaths. This was certainly not chickening out. This was more about getting that army to carry their dead leader away without finding anyone supposedly 'guilty' here to talk to or attack. There were now solely the Amazons, the Warrior Princess, the battling bard and the warrior's daughter left, standing on the lawn in various groups just outside the way out of the cave they had exited a few moments ago. There was splendid morning sunlight out there.

"So they're going to find Pyrrhos dead?" Xena asked.

"I guess so." Alkaia nodded.

"Well, at least instead of stealing my body and Gabrielle's like they wanted to, they're going to find their own dead bastard's corpse for them to take home instead." Xena chuckled. "This is going to feel quite ironic to them."

"Stupid woman-hating racist bastard he was, that Pyrrhos! He definitely deserved to die." Bremusa remarked. "Infiltrating a woman-only party to try to kill two women and then later on cruelly slurring at my partner, that's utterly insane." She shook her head in disapproval.

"Xena, why does that army have to care so much that Pyrrhos disappeared?" Gabrielle questioned. "Is it because he was their leader before?"

The warrior woman turned to the battling bard. "Yeah, I think so, Gabrielle…" She shrugged.

Andromache came closer with Andromeda by her side. "We'd better get going soon, Alkaia," the Amazon Queen said. "That army could be here even earlier, in no time."

"Yes, my queen," the Amazon general replied. She looked back at Xena and Gabrielle. "Where are you going now, sisters?" she asked, smiling.

"Today Xena, Eve and I are going to Potadeia, to meet my family after many, many years without seeing them," Gabrielle responded.

"I hope you'll have a good time there," Andromeda wished. "We're now all going in a completely opposite direction."

"We're heading back north," Alkaia disclosed. "So I guess this is it…" she added, feeling displeased and bitter at the fact that she, her lover and the rest of her tribe would soon be having to part from the Warrior princess and the battling bard.

"Yeah, we will miss you, Gabrielle and Xena," Bremusa admitted in a sad tone, though keeping a warm expression on her face. "You are such wonderful women and a stunning couple, and we were so glad to have met you for real."

"And I was very glad to meet the mighty Alkaia and her beloved astute partner Bremusa," Xena stated warmly. "Never underestimate your intelligence and strength, women! You both are wonderful too –a great couple working together as a team. Keep it up."

"Yes, exactly," Gabrielle agreed. "Don't worry about the mistake you made yesterday. Everyone makes them. You made up for it perfectly when you caught the infiltrators right on the spot as they were coming out the door."

"That's right," Andromache said, looking at Alkaia and Bremusa. She now fully accepted that it was not their fault, they were not the guilty ones and that she would seriously think twice before getting so angry at her most loyal Amazon general next time.

"We will miss you all." Gabrielle interlocked her wrist with Alkaia's in an Amazon way of encouraging one another to remain strong. She did the same thing with Bremusa, Doris, Phoebe, Andromache, Andromeda and other Amazons who wanted to say goodbye.

Xena gazed into the eyes of the Amazon general standing before her, a woman just as tall as she was. "Take care, Alkaia. Good luck with everything, General." The Warrior Princess nodded, a facial gesture which got reciprocated by Alkaia.

"Thanks, Xena."

Xena called Eve who was standing close-by –trying to say goodbye to Zoe. "I'm afraid we've got to go, sweetheart. Please join us when you can," she requested.

"Just a few minutes, mom," the warrior's daughter shouted to her mother. Turning back towards Zoe, Eve tried to explain: "Look, I'm sure I could love you, but I just can't be with you, I'm sorry," she declared sadly.

"Why?" the combat Amazon was heartbroken at seeing this beautiful woman getting away from her after they had just made love together last night.

"Because… I can't be with you. I'm going in another direction now and I've got my own reasons." Eve was completely unhappy to have to leave the other woman like this.

"But… Oh, Eve, will I see you again someday?" Zoe begged.

The young redhead shook her head slowly. "I don't know… Maybe… But I will always remember you anyway. You were my first female lover and I will never forget that." She smiled at the Amazon.

"I will never forget you either." A tear flowed down Zoe's cheek. Eve kissed her again, one last time, deeply and passionately. Then they hugged, said goodbye, separated and the warrior's daughter walked back towards her mothers.

"Let's go," Xena said to her lover and her daughter. She and Gabrielle both hugged Alkaia and Bremusa very tightly before they left. The Amazon general and her lover felt like the great new friendship they had with the legendary women was vanishing from their lives as they said goodbye.

"We'll see you again someday, right?" Bremusa hoped.

"I'm sure we will," the short-haired blonde woman in red velvet beamed with confidence, "as soon as we cross paths again, and Xena and I usually do cross paths with the Amazon Nation often."

Xena winked at the beautiful Amazon couple that had been maintaining security for their room last night. The Warrior Princess, the battling bard and their daughter waved one last time at all the women from Andromache's tribe before leaving. They had gone to get Argo II back from the local stable along with their belongings, and the tall woman with long dark hair was leading her mare by the bridle as they walked away from Rubicon. The Amazon tribe would be leaving the village only a few short moments afterwards, long before Pyrrhos' would-be army would come to find their dead leader.

Three or four candlemarks later, Xena, Gabrielle, Eve and Argo II were strolling along a path within the forest that was closest to Potadeia. Virgil was waiting for them somewhere by the side of the small road in the middle of the woods.

"Hey, ladies!" he greeted, staring at Gabrielle and holding his backpack.

"Hi, Virgil." the battling bard replied. The Warrior Princess and Eve said hi too.

Virgil walked next to the women and the horse as they continued to cross the woods. "So, what have you been up to?"

"We should ask you first, Virgil." Xena smirked. "You managed to show that young villager the road… and more, huh?" She and her younger lover laughed, thinking that Joxer's son had been giving himself a good time.

The man was a bit embarrassed at the women's cheekiness. "I did, huh…" He sighed. "But I'll say no more for now, sorry. Nikon was able to find Delphos all right though, thanks to me."

"Good." Gabrielle nodded.

"What about you ladies? Been up to anything special while on the road?" Virgil was curious.

"Oh, we went to a Sapphic party organised by the Amazons," the blonde woman answered.

"Yeah, Sapphic Night Fever," Xena added, "it was great." She grinned, leading Argo by the bridle.

"Sapphic Night Fever?" Joxer's son already guessed that party had probably been for Sapphic women to go to.

"Yeah, that was the name," Gabrielle confirmed. "It was awesome!" She paused. "But it was a strictly women-only party. Only us women were invited, so you probably wouldn't have been able to come anyway."

"Huh? Nothing I really missed then…" he stated.

"But still a bunch of evil thugs tried to infiltrate it and kill us," the short-haired woman told him. "They were dressed in women's clothing."

Virgil raised an eyebrow. "Really? Did you still manage to have a good time there though?"

"Yes." The Warrior Princess chortled. "We got two amazing Amazons to get them sorted right, and then we went back to the party. We also went to kill the thugs later on, and went back into the party again."

"Cool," Joxer's son said.

"Would you respect women-only events organised by the Amazons, Virgil, as a man?" Gabrielle asked, just wondering. She found the subject of sex-segregated places interesting, and her admirable Amazon Nation kept lots of them for instance.

The man pondered a moment at what the woman he liked was saying. "Um… Of course I would, because there are men-only events too in Greece, Gabrielle." He giggled. "I've actually even been myself to a men-only event in Athens once."

"Let me guess…" Xena chortled, surmising what he was talking about even though women were not allowed to attend the events he was talking about. She was not born yesterday. "You've been to one of the places where men are all over each other and have orgies together?"

"Well, yeah, once or twice." Virgil sneered at her remark. He knew she was teasing him for not coming out, so that's what he did. "I swing both ways after all. I'm a Greek man and most of us swing both ways. We live in a country that is renowned around the world for openness to male homosexuality nowadays after all."

"That's completely acceptable, Virgil, of course," the warrior woman asserted. "I'm with Gabrielle myself, and she's of my sex. I was just teasing you, that's all. I just think you could have told us earlier."

"I know." He winked. "I still prefer women though, just to let you know."

"But that's so good that you would be respectful of a women-only event, Virgil." Gabrielle smiled at him. "We appreciate it."

Virgil was totally happy that Gabrielle was noticing him for once. "No problem, Gabrielle." He gazed at her with infatuation in his eyes, just like his father. "I understand that women can really need their privacy too sometimes. Men and women don't always have to be together all the time, I agree. Sometimes members of one sex just need a bit of space for themselves, that's true."

"Thank you." The short-haired blonde was grateful of his words.

The three women, the man and the mare carried on moving forward into the forest –closer to Potadeia. Eve had remained silent during this whole conversation and later talks as well because she was still thinking about Zoe, still sad that she had had to leave the gorgeous combat Amazon.

As they all got closer to Potadeia, just as they were near the end of the forest, Gabrielle requested to speak to Xena privately before they go into the village. The Warrior Princess and the battling bard found themselves a little corner in the woods, among trees, to be able to talk to each other in private. Eve and Virgil respected that, waiting with the horse back there on the main path.

"What is it, Gabrielle?" the dark-haired woman stared at her girlfriend resting her back against a tree. The blonde woman seemed pensive. "Are you nervous about something?" Xena questioned.

Gabrielle's eyes turned to her soulmate. "It's just that… twenty-five years, Xena! I haven't seen them for such a long time…" She looked massively anxious now. "What if my parents died, caught a disease or something happened to them? How would I deal with that? I mean your own mother had already passed away when we went to Amphipolis, Xena."

The Warrior Princess moved herself closer to the battling bard and took her into her arms for a firm, comforting hug. The short-haired woman embraced her too, closing her eyes. Xena pressed Gabrielle's head tighter onto her chest as she tenderly ran her fingers through the short blonde hair. "Shhh… Don't worry… Everything will be all right, everything. I bet Lila and your parents cannot wait to see you after such a long time." She tried to comfort her gently, wanting desperately for her soulmate to look happy again.

Gabrielle lifted her head to meet her lover's gaze on her. "You really think things will be okay?"

"Yes, Gabrielle. And whatever happens, you know you won't have to worry about anything. I'll always be there to support you." Xena lightly brushed her younger lover's earlobe with her fingertips, looking down into her eyes with the deepest, most sincere love in the whole wide world. Hardly anyone else on earth could ever love another as much as they both did love each other, and this was true. "Everything will be all right, Gabrielle," the warrior woman repeated. She leaned forward and kissed the shorter woman.

The oral contact was emotional, deep and thorough –eyes closed, mouths pressed hard against one another, tongues intertwined and hearts beating very fast. The women's mutual adoration of this moment felt like absolute paradise. They unwillingly had to break the kiss after a moment, but at least Gabrielle felt more relaxed now.

The battling bard grinned at her older partner, still hugging her, even though still feeling a tad apprehensive. "You're right, Xena. And we've already gone through so many things together you and I. We will certainly go through more at one point."

Xena kissed Gabrielle lovingly on the forehead. Then she met her eyes again. "I'll always be with you, Gabrielle, always."

"I know. I'll always be with you too." They swiftly kissed again. The Warrior Princess and her lover went back on the road with Eve, Virgil and Argo II, towards Potadeia where the same afternoon Gabrielle would be meeting her sister Lila again after a long, long time.

The End

Return to Xena and Gabrielle Fiction

Return to Main Page