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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
Party Preparations 

When Gabrielle awoke the next morning, Xena was getting ready to slip out the window. She carefully crawled back onto the bed after dressing and was gently waking Gabrielle.   

 “Sorry honey but the GEV won’t accept my voice print. Can you shut off the window alarm?”   

Gabrielle mumbled for a moment. “GEV, deactivate the window alarm and reset it when she has safely left and do it quietly please. Leave no record of the event.”   

The window clicked lightly and the tiny red light near its base turned green. “Thank you sweetie.” Xena whispered in Gabrielle’s ear. 

Gabrielle groaned and Xena opened the window and started out. “Xena” The sleepy voice stopped her halfway out the window. 

“Yes” She said almost as a grunt. Her not so muscular body was straining over the ledge that was cutting into her waist. 

“I won’t forget the promise that you made last night.” She said as she scratched her nose and repositioned her head. 

Xena smiled. “Me neither, in fact I’m looking forward to it. I’ll see you later Gabrielle.” She waited for the half nod and grunt that would be her only response and then slid from the window. “If you want it shut GEV you’re gonna have to shut it yourself ‘cuz I can’t reach it.” The window slid silently shut and she heard the tiny click that told her that it had been armed again. With the knowledge that her love was secure she headed for home. “This is kind of fun sneaking around like this.” She said as she strolled through the park that was the center of the Amazon compound.

She saw Amazons patrolling. They would identify her and then make sure that she got to her destination safely. They would never speak of ever seeing her unless some security matter arose that would necessitate the breach of confidence. Lovers snuck around all the time in the compound. This was nothing new to the Amazons. Occasionally the Amazons would herd people away from each other so that their secret would not be compromised. It was an unspoken but equitable arrangement.

Xena reached home as the sun was beginning to peek over the mountain. She found her mother, Harmony awake drinking a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. There was no getting past her so Xena poured a cup for herself added a healthy portion of cream and sugar and sat down.

“You’ve broken up with Bailey and he wouldn’t be allowed in the compound after dark. So I must assume that you have either found another lover or you and your friends are up to something.” Harmony said conversationally. She was accustomed to speaking to her children in this manner. They seldom kept anything from her for long.

Xena loved this woman that was her mother in this time. She loved her as much as she loved her first mother. It was an odd feeling and at first she felt that perhaps she was betraying Cyrene. But it was not so. Just as she was not betraying Marcus by loving Gabrielle she was not betraying Cyrene by loving Harmony. No matter how much you gave there was always more love to give. Gabrielle had taught her that. “My friends and I are up to something and I don’t really have a new lover I have an old one.”

“Alright can you be any more cryptic or do you want me to guess?” Harmony asked.

“Well, maybe I should tell you who it is that you gave birth to… mother.” Xena told her everything and to her credit Harmony only nodded and waited to ask a question when Xena was done.

“So… Cadence grounded Queen Gabrielle?” She didn’t wait for an answer she just started laughing and found it hard to stop. Xena joined her in laughter and they both fell from their chairs as each of them imagined the looks on both Cadences’ face when she found out and Peace’s face when she found out and then they laughed uproariously when Xena recounted the look on Peace’s face when Gabrielle popped her in the forehead with her staff. The comments flew back and forth between them for a good long while. How they didn’t wake Unity or Mable they had no idea. The part that they both found funniest is how Gabrielle had pouted.

“Oh you have no idea. At this age Gabrielle can pout with the best of them.” Xena said while wiping tears from her face.

“So you two are teenagers. But you’re also adults with literally thousands of years of knowledge and experience… how are you going to reconcile the emotions and the hormones and the knowledge… and just everything?” Harmony asked when they had both regained their chairs and had a fresh cup of coffee.

“Well that’s going to be the fun part. We just realized who we were when we woke up yesterday. Obviously Gabrielle is going to have the hardest part. She’s living with some really obnoxious sisters and a mother who isn’t exactly the crème of the crop. She’s always been the emotional one and as a teenager she was really emotional.” Xena took a sip of her coffee. It wasn’t her favorite drink but for now it would do.

“You both are going to have to get into shape and change a few things that you have been doing… or not doing.” She was referring to their overall lack of interest in weapons.

“Yeah we figured that out first thing. I have a few ideas that I want to run past Nadia and the crew… speaking of them… what are your impressions?” She had known the girls all her life but she was just a child herself. She wanted an adult opinion.

“They’re good friends Xena. You couldn’t ask for better. You girls, the six of you have always been loyal and steadfast with one another. Have you told them who you are yet?” She asked belatedly.

“Yeah, we felt it was alright.” Xena was still certain that it was alright.

“Good, it will be fine. They will keep any secret that you give them.” She took a sip of coffee. “Don’t be so trusting of their boyfriends or girlfriends. Nadia changes every couple of months and Rachael isn’t much better. Ediva’s boyfriend is a good kid and they’ve been together forever so you could probably trust him but Lacey’s boyfriend is new. I haven’t got an opinion on him yet.” She thought for a moment and then almost as an afterthought she asked the question that she probably should have asked first. “You are planning on talking to the matriarchs aren’t you?”  She had just thought of it and was kicking herself for the delay.

“Yeah, we’re going to talk to Dura, Faith and Solace at the party today. We’re not sure what we’re doing here yet so we don’t want to make too many waves… yet. I’m sure that we’ll get to the Sisters before too much time has passed.”

“If you want my opinion… you’re here to get into shape and to figure out what you did wrong so you don’t make the same mistake as last time. It sounds like Alti was really powerful and she can only grow stronger. So you two need to step up your game or you’ll never win.” She wasn’t being critical she was just speaking the truth.

“We kind of figured most of that, but we need to get the full story and take some time to talk and make some decisions, which is why I’m going to ask for your help.” She finished off her coffee and refused another cup. Harmony bid her to continue. “Gabrielle and I need to be alone tonight. I kind of promised her and believe me you never want to go back on a promise to that one… not that I want to anyway. But Cadence has grounded her for the weekend.”

“Don’t worry about that we can fix that little problem. Why don’t we just plan on Gabrielle spending the night here… you don’t actually have to stay here but I’ll be happy to cover for you.”

“So do you have a suggestion on where we should actually stay?” There was a bit of suspicion in her voice.

“Oh I have an idea or two. Come home straight away after school. You will need to make a phone call and prepare a few things to your liking. Then we can all go to the party together.” There was a sneaky bone or two in Harmony’s body too.

Xena smiled, ‘this might just work out’ she thought wryly.