(originally posted under the name Whosays)

The young blonde woman sat, seemingly relaxed, at a table near the corner of the tavern. She followed the progress of her leather-clad companion across the crowded floor, then closed her eyes and waited.

Xena strolled slowly from one end of the bar to the other, eying the assortment of men lined up before her, looking very much as if she were inspecting her troops. The objects of her scrutiny responded in ways as varied as the men themselves, some glancing nervously anywhere but at this woman who could only be the Warrior Princess, some gazing, open-mouthed, into the pools of azure blue paralyzing their brains, if not their bodies, others hoping against hope that the Princess was in the mood to play conquering warlord tonight.

Midway through her inspection, Xena paused before a good looking young man. Her lips pursed thoughtfully, Xena's eyes raked over his face, then dropped to his chest, down his legs and back up again. Suddenly, she shoved her fingers into his mouth and pried open his lips to peer at his teeth. She released his face and grabbed his shoulder, twirling him around for further review. "You're not bad," she said finally.

The recipient of her praise recovered enough to seize the opportunity of a lifetime, and reached out his hands to her waist. "As a matter of fact, I'm pretty good," he said.

"Get your paws off me!" she barked, swiping his hands away, then grabbed his shirt and pulled him toward the corner. As they drew near, Xena pointed at the attractive young woman seated alone at the table. "You're for her."

Hmm. His eyes roved over the tiny, scrumptious form. This one seemed even better, actually--a little less intimidating. Looked good to him.

He dug into his shirt and pulled out some coins, tendering them to the woman's procurer. "OK. Ten dinars."

Blue eyes darkened, and the warrior yanked his face to within an inch of her own.

"All right! Fifteen!" He scrambled for another coin.

"She is not a cheap whore!" Xena hissed. "You'll bed her for nothing!"

"I--" He blinked at her. "Huh?"

But Xena had turned her attention elsewhere. "Gabrielle, let's go." She jerked her head toward the stairs, watching the smaller woman rise and walk in that direction.

The confused soldier, who was beginning to think that someone was playing a very cruel trick on him, followed behind her, his eyes alternating between the young woman's firm rear and his fellow tavern patrons. As they neared the stairway, he paused, waiting, but still there was no roar, no laughter from his friends at a joke well played . . . . A shove from behind encouraged him to pick up the pace, and he stumbled up the first couple of stairs.

The trio entered the small room, and the Warrior Princess slammed the door behind them. He twisted his head around to look at her, and stopped short at the expression on her face. She wasn't too happy about something, that was for sure.

Xena strode across the floor and dropped into a chair beside the bed. She crossed her legs, a dark boot swinging back and forth as the blonde woman began to unlace her top. The soldier pulled at his own shirt, then glanced nervously at their observer. "Uh, are you--"

"I'm staying," Xena interrupted. "I'm here to make sure you don't do anything ," her lip curled, "inappropriate." She unsheathed her sword and laid it on the table, one hand resting on the hilt.

He froze in place, his libido fading along with his bravado, and in a swift motion the soldier turned and fled.

Gabrielle sighed and flopped down on the bed. "Xena," she said, "if you don't want to do this, just say so."

Xena sat beside her. "Why do you say that? Of course I want to. I want a child as much as you do."

Gabrielle gently laid her hand over the warrior's. "Then you'll have to deal with the fact that I'm going to have to . . . you know."

"Hey, I am dealing with it. I don't know what that guy's problem was."

The bard rolled her eyes. "Uh huh."

* * * * *

Gabrielle finished unlacing her top and reached for the tie on her skirt. Her new suitor, another tall brunette, was already barechested, his tongue hanging out as he tugged eagerly at his belt, his eyes glued to the young woman's emerging skin. Gradually, he became aware of the dark-haired woman beside the bed. "You gonna sit there?" he asked.

"I'm here to--"

"Watch!" Gabrielle broke in. "She likes to watch. Don't you, Xena?" She directed a meaningful glare at the other woman.

Xena's nostrils flared. "Yeah," she growled. "I love it."

The young man's pants hit the floor, and he stepped out of them. "Well, three's company, I figure," he chuckled, then suddenly, to Gabrielle's horror, he crossed over to the seated warrior and pulled down his undershorts. "Wanna get us started?"

Gabrielle reached out a hand, but it was too late. The naked man emerged from their room in a blur, landing with a thud against the wall. His trousers were propelled into his face soon after, followed by his balled-up shirt, and then the door slammed shut again.

Gabrielle sighed and flopped down on the bed. "OK, we really need to work on this plan."

* * * * *

Gabrielle raised the sheet invitingly and her eager admirer slid underneath, scooting on top of her with a lustful chuckle. He lowered his face for a kiss, but before his lips reached their destination, his head was yanked back by a hand pulling hard on his shoulder-length hair.

"No kissing."

He had almost forgotten about the stern presence sitting beside the bed. No kissing. OK . . . . He reached a hand under the sheet, and the bard's eyes widened.

The sheet was whisked off the bed, and Xena grabbed his hand from its resting place on Gabrielle's breast. "I thought so," she snapped. "No fondling."

"Uh . . . OK . . . ."

Gabrielle touched the flustered man's face to get his attention. "You can still . . . you know." She lightly poked a finger against his hip.

He looked down at her, momentarily forgetting what he was doing, and then the import of her words sank in. Oh, yeah. He slid his hands down the smooth flesh of her thighs, and with a groan positioned himself comfortably between them. Soon, so soon, he would have this luscious young thing . . . so beautiful, so delicious . . . . He growled, losing himself in the moment, and hungrily lowered his lips to the girl's breast.

The warrior's palm whacked the back of his head, and he looked up at her, slightly dazed. "No--" she seemed unable to find the words -- "any of that."

The young man's gaze shifted away from Xena and down between his legs. Gabrielle's eyes followed his line of sight, and she sighed. A moment later, the deflated man scrambled from the room, and Gabrielle took Xena's hand between hers. "Xena, we need to let them . . . um . . . enjoy themselves a little. You know, keep their enthusiasm up." She studied Xena's face. "OK?"

* * * * *

The young man climbed eagerly into bed with the blonde beauty.

"Xena, were you going to guard the door while we--" Gabrielle hesitated. "For a while?"

The warrior ground her teeth as she stared at the couple huddled together beneath the sheet. Finally, Xena got to her feet and trudged reluctantly toward the door. "Yeah," she said. "I forgot." Her eyes narrowed at one half of the bundle on the bed. "I'll be right outside."

"OK." The bard smiled lovingly at her. "I'll see you in a little while."

The impatient young man barely registered the sound of the door closing, his teeth nibbling at the bard's neck.

"Don't make a mark," Gabrielle gasped.

"I'm gonna make my mark, all right," he uttered. His hands slid down and grasped her breasts, and Gabrielle closed her eyes, opening them abruptly again at the loud moan that emitted from his throat.

"Shhh," she warned.

"Oh, wench," he said, "you feel too good to keep quiet."

"No, I mean it. Really. Shhh," Gabrielle urged. "Here," she invited, moving her thighs further apart. "Why don't you go ahead and--"

"Mmm. In a minute." He nuzzled her collarbone. "Good things come to those who wait."

"Not if you don't keep quiet," she said. "I really think you should go ahead and do it right now." A thought occurred to her. "Um . . . I am so hot for you . . .," she whispered. "I want you inside me," she moaned, warming to this new form of storytelling. "I can't wait another second . . . ."

He raised his head. "Oh, yeah . . . louder, baby . . . I want to hear you . . . ."

"Sorry, that's as loud as I get," she replied. "Gotta rest my voice -- I'm a bard." Gabrielle nodded encouragingly as his hand slid down her thigh, then grimaced as his moaning resumed at even higher levels. "Come on. I really think now would be a good time to--"

She brightened as he reached down between his legs -- Finally! she thought, and then -- No! -- he groaned noisily in anticipation . . . . Gabrielle shook her head, resigned to the inevitable.

A moment later, she looked down at the unconscious form on the floor. "I'm sorry, Gabrielle," Xena said, avoiding her lover's gaze. "I just couldn't take it any more."

Gabrielle smiled. "I know." She watched as Xena heaved the oblivious suitor through the doorway, then spoke softly. "I have another idea, Xena . . . ."

Xena looked over to see a blonde eyebrow arched suggestively. Gabrielle slowly lifted the sheet, and Xena's eyes lit up as she pounced on the young bard. "Mmmm. Now this I think I can handle . . . ."

Gabrielle eyed her sternly. "All right, but no kissing."

"No kissing?"


"You mean, none of this . . .?"

"Mmmm . . . . Well, OK, but no fondling."

"Darn. Nothing like this, huh?"

"Uhhhh . . . ."



"Is there anything else I'm not allowed to do?"

"Mm hmm . . . lots of things -- ohhhh, yeah, that's one of them . . . ."

"Well, I don't want to overstep my boundaries. I think we'd better go over each one of them carefully."

"Sounds like a plan . . . ."



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