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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
Chapter 7
The next morning Colonel Rayne walked into her Headquarters with both Sais and knives sticking out of her boots, a Katana hanging on her left hip and a pensive scowl on her face. She or rather they had a headache already and they had been up less than an hour… and they were late. Cara was worried about her wife and Gabrielle was worried about Xena.  

‘Neither one of them needs to know!’ Cara said for what seemed like the umpteenth time.  

‘Are you kidding? Do you really think that they don’t already know? Anise did not strike me as a stupid woman.’ Gabrielle countered.

‘She’s not stupid, but she can’t read minds either.’ Cara sounded defensive.
‘She didn’t have to read minds. You were a little… shall we say distracted last night? I could see that she noticed that something was wrong and that was before she asked you if you were mad at her! God’s Cara, could you have been more obvious?’ Gabrielle chastised and Cara grumbled. 

It was then that Gabrielle / Cara heard the sound of a sword being freed of its scabbard and before either could think their body reacted and Gabrielle’s Sais were in their hands and they were crouched in a defensive posture. They automatically began to
concentrate on the sounds behind the sounds. But this was unnecessary. Xena stepped into the center of the foyer. She was dressed in combat pants, top and boots. Her sword was in her hand, a smile played on her lips and her eyes glinted in pleasure.  

“Are you ready for your morning workout, Colonel?” She said playfully while she swung her sword in her hand.

Gabrielle smiled. She saw the guards looking at Xena wearily. They had their weapons on target and were waiting for a word from her. “Stand down boys and girls. Form a ring and stay out of the way.” The Amazons in the crowd found a way to intersperse their number with everyone else. They turned their long guns horizontally to the ground and effectively formed a ring in which the two could fight. “Bring it on Sergeant Blake.” Gabrielle said as she advanced on Xena.

They both let out a scream and charged. Gabrielle met Xena’s downward stroke with both Sais and pushed her back. Then she spun on one foot and tried to bring the butt of her Sais across Xena’s exposed cheek, only Xena’s cheek was not there when Gabrielle’s arm extended. Xena had seen the move and had made a pivot of her own that took her away from the blow. The two recovered from their respective moves and dropped into low stances to circle one another.

“Are you sure you want to fight with those?” Xena asked.

Gabrielle was momentarily taken aback by the comment. She glanced at the Sais in her hands. “What’s wrong with them?”

“Nothing, except that they hurt like Tartarus when you get hit with ‘em.” Xena rubbed her jaw as if Gabrielle had made contact.

Gabrielle considered the comment carefully. “But my Katana will slice your sword in half.” She was wishing at that moment that Xena had taken the ceremonial Katana from the vault.

“Naw, not this sword baby. Hit me with your best shot!” She made a show of stepping back a couple of steps to give Gabrielle the room to sheath her Sais and draw her Katana.

Without taking her eyes off of Xena, Gabrielle slid her Sais home and slid the Katana free of its scabbard. She drew the Katana up over her head and raised her left hand to the grip. “Bring it on Warrior Princess.” Her comment brought no more confusion than their entire exhibition.

As it had been the evening before the swords clashed and sparks flew. Xena and Gabrielle swung deadly blows at each other and easily blocked and countered every move. Xena punched Gabrielle in the face and Gabrielle landed a kick to Xena’s abdomen. They both backed up and smiled. This was their idea of fun… well one of their ideas of fun.

Suddenly they both charged again and a furious exchange of flashing steel ensued. Then the swords came together over their heads. Xena twisted her wrist which caused Gabrielle’s sword to slide free, forcing her to pass Xena and momentarily present Xena with her back. Xena swatted Gabrielle on the ass with the flat of her blade and laughed. The crowd took a quick intake of breath.
Gabrielle got a look on her face of self-disgust and shook her head. She turned to look at Xena. Xena was grinning. She spread her hands wide and shrugged her shoulders. Gabrielle brought her Katana back up in front of her in a two handed grip. Xena copied her stance and they began to circle again.  
Gabrielle was more cautious this time. She struck and moved, struck and moved. Xena played along. After several testing moves Gabrielle struck again and in the midst of several near miss blows that were barely deflected by Xena, Gabrielle managed to sweep Xena’s feet from underneath her. The crowd roared in pleasure while Xena hit the ground on her back. 
Gabrielle pressed her advantage and struck at Xena while she was still on her back. Xena parried her blows and spun away and in the same move came to one knee before Gabrielle could land a strike. Xena stopped the blow that had been headed for her face and shoved up and back on Gabrielle’s blade. This forced Gabrielle to decide if she should stumble backwards and place herself at a disadvantage or leap over Xena and roll to her feet. She chose the latter of the two options.   
As she leapt over Xena she felt a sharp pain lance across her abdomen. But she finished the roll and spun on the palm of her hand to face Xena while she was coming up on one knee. She had her Katana in her left hand. With her right hand she felt the place that had felt the pain and came away with a trickle of blood. Again Xena stood back and spread her hands and shrugged her shoulders. The crowd had gone mute. Gabrielle smiled and stood up. 
“I didn’t like this shirt anyway.” She said as she raised the Katana and gripped it with both hands. 
“That’s probably a good thing because you look horrible in it. It’s too… Butch.” Her smile was devilish. 
Gabrielle looked down at her shirt and tie. Then she looked back at Xena and held up a single finger. She used her sword to cut the buttons from her shirt while her other hand loosened the tie. Then she sheathed the sword and removed the shirt and tie discarding them on the floor. She was down to her t-shirt. She looked up at Xena and said, “Better?” 
Xena crossed the foyer to stand before Gabrielle. She sheathed her sword and pulled one of Gabrielle’s boot knives and commenced to cut away at the t-shirt. Gabrielle just held her hands out to the side and let Xena trim her shirt. Xena cut away the sleeves and the collar and then cut the entire bottom off of the shirt. Then she made a few short cuts that trimmed the edges and she was done. Gabrielle’s arms were exposed from the collar bone down and her neck and chest were showing through a low cut scooped neckline and her entire midriff was showing.  
Once again Gabrielle looked down at her shirt. She placed her hands on her hips and smiled and nodded her head. “Sweet, it’s comfortable, it’s easy to move in and it comes with the ever popular scruff look.”  
“Glad you like it…” Xena began but was cut off by another voice in the crowd. 
“I know I like it. It kind of makes my nipples hard. It makes my cock hard too but you can’t really notice that because hey hello, Asian here.” Major Baldridge held up one of his pinkies and wiggled it. “But if you look really close you can see my nipples.” He gave a toothy grin at a Private as he walked past and rubbed his chest suggestively. He confidently strode up to Gabrielle and Xena and looked down at the Colonel in her abbreviated shirt and got a look of pseudo shock on his face. “Look your nipples are hard too! You must really like it.” Then he turned to Xena. “Have you grown a cock like overnight or are you just practicing to be a fashion designer?” His voice had developed a definite lisp quality. He had raised his hand and cocked his wrist and placed the other hand on his hip and cocked it as well. It is an extremely feminine stance. To top it off he batted his eyes at her. 
Xena’s face was caught between outrage, shock and laughter. Gabrielle had no such dilemma she broke into full belly laughter. Somehow she managed to say, “Good morning Dan.” before she broke down fully.But Dan wasn’t quite done yet. He was still addressing Xena when he said, “You know with a cock that size it just makes me want to hump ya?” then he grabbed her belt on the back and on the front and began to dry hump the air just shy of her leg.  
Gabrielle fell to the floor in gales of laughter. She was joined by the majority of the audience. Xena looked at Dan as if he has lost the last bit of sense that the Gods had ever given him and tried to pull away. Dan meanwhile looked up at her like a half starved pup looking for a handout. Xena finally managed to disengage with Dan and he turned hurt eyes upon her and said, “Why you have to do me this way baby?” 
Finally Xena lost the battle and broke down in laughter as well. While Dan stood between her and Gabrielle with his hands out in supplication saying, “What?” and smiling like the Cheshire cat. Many minutes later they all stumble into Cara’s office and closed the door. Gabrielle took off the Katana and laid it on her desk and then threw herself into her chair. Xena dropped her sword onto the coffee table and sprawled on one of the couches. Dan plopped into one of the chairs.  
“Dan sometimes I think that you are completely insane.” Cara said after they are settled.  
“You know sometimes I think the same thing but then I find my helmet and I put it on and I just beat my head against a window and yell BUTTER and I know that everything is fine.” Dan managed to say with a straight face. Xena’s eyebrow went up.  
Cara chuckled softly. “Seriously Dan, have you found out anything yet?” Cara asked while pouring herself a Diet Pepsi at the bar. She silently asked Xena and Dan if they want anything and they both wave her off.  
“Well, I found out that I haven’t found her yet. I took that sketch that you gave me and searched every database on the planet. But that doesn’t mean a damn thing. She could have a different face. So when I was done I went back and started looking for people that fit your profile… and still I got nothing. But again that really doesn’t mean anything. This is a big planet and I haven’t even begun to search Luna or Earth.” He put his boot on the coffee table. “Honestly I think that the best way to smoke her out is to have her come to you.” 
Both Xena and Gabrielle turned to look at him. They ran the scenario around in their minds. Then they looked at each other and in their unspoken language they came to a conclusion.