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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
Troubling thoughts   

Xena and Gabrielle were lying in bed covered in sweat. Xena was spooned up against Gabrielle’s back and she was tracing the dragon with her fingertips while occasionally laying gentle kisses on her wife’s neckline. The dragon always seemed to return. It had been gone throughout their entire lives on Mars but when they had arrived in heaven once again the dragon had appeared.   

 “Gods Xena but your fingers have lightning in them.” Gabrielle cooed and stretched her neck in pleasure.   

“Mmmm huh, I think that it’s your skin that has the electricity.” She mumbled between kisses.   

Gabrielle turned to face Xena. So Xena’s fingers found something else to touch. Gabrielle smiled at the sensation and tipped her head back so Xena could kiss her. It was a long and lingering kiss, the kind that is full of passion and hunger. When finally their lips parted Xena traced her tongue down Gabrielle’s jaw line to her throat and pulled her slim muscular body close with a strong hand. Gabrielle responded by digging her fingers into Xena’s hair and moaning in pleasure.   

Slowly Gabrielle pulled Xena over on top of her which released her other hand from beneath them.

Her newly free hand traced Xena’s spine from her ass to the middle of her back. A thin white strip of silk that was tied securely to her wrist trailed across Xena’s ribs causing the Warrior Princess to flinch.
“Does that tickle, sweetie?” Gabrielle teased.
Xena rose off of her beloved and looked down on her and smiled mischievously. She pulled the hand that Gabrielle had entwined in her hair loose and kissed her fingers sensuously. A white strip of silk dangled from this wrist as well. Corresponding strips of white silk dangle from the bedposts, clearly they were severed with something very sharp.
Xena leaned back on her elbow and held Gabrielle’s hand out for inspection. A distinctive red ring ran around her wrist giving evidence of how strongly she had pulled on the binds.
“This is going to bruise.” Xena said just before pulling the injured wrist to her mouth and kissing it wetly.
“A few bruises are sometimes worth it.” Gabrielle smiled wickedly. She let Xena kiss her wrist for a moment and then with her fingers she turned Xena’s face towards hers.
Xena could see that something other than love making was brewing on her wife’s mind. She waited for Gabrielle to find the words to speak. While she waited she continued to nuzzle Gabrielle’s hand and visually appreciated the glorious body that lay beneath her.

Gabrielle sighed, she knew that Xena had seen that she had something on her mind and she knew that Xena would wait for her to spit it out. She however, was distracted because she couldn’t help but admire the beautiful woman that leaned over her. This is her woman, her partner, her wife, her soul mate and by God she was magnificent!
Xena noticed the frank appraisal that Gabrielle was giving her, how could she not when Gabrielle’s face split into a huge smile and her eyes lit up with a loving glow that could melt a glacier? “What?” Her voice was still thick with desire.
Gabrielle was momentarily at a loss, the perfection before her had spoken, she had asked a question and Gabrielle had nothing to say. Gabrielle finally said the only thing that could possibly be said at this moment. “I love you Xena, God how I love you!” Then she pulled the beauty to her and kissed her passionately.
It took some time for Gabrielle’s hunger to be sated… at least momentarily but eventually Xena did come up for some much needed air. “Wow, I love you too dear.” It was inadequate but she didn’t know what else to say. Gabrielle was looking at her with smoldering eyes and for a moment Xena wondered if whatever it was that had been on her lover’s mind before had been driven from it. But this was not the case; Gabrielle was clearly struggling with something. “Just say it Gab. If you don’t get it out now you’ll be like this all afternoon and that would definitely put a damper on… other things.” She finished with a smile and a single raised eyebrow.

Gabrielle giggled and turned a bit pink. “You’re right. But I have to admit that I did miss this.” She still took a moment to look away from her soul mate so that she could collect those wayward thoughts without more distraction.
“Me too.” After having given that two word response Xena waited patiently. It was a virtue that she had by necessity had to learn. Gabrielle was a good teacher. To speed Gabrielle’s mind on its path she forewent anymore touching and just stayed were she was, perfectly still except for the rise and fall of her chest and the blinking of her eyes.
After several minutes passed Gabrielle turned her attention back to her lover’s face and had to smile. “You really have learned patience dear.”
Xena shrugged minutely. “Necessity, besides it’s not like we have anywhere that we need to be or anything that we must do.” She looked around their bedroom and glanced out the patio doors that stood open to offer a view of the beautiful land in which they live. Her gaze lingered on the landscape and when she turned back to Gabrielle she saw that her beloved had followed her gaze.
“I guess that’s what’s on my mind.” Gabrielle said while still gazing out the open doors. Her tone was just shy of melancholy and her fingers fidgeted in Xena’s hair; a sure sign that she was truly troubled.
“What, that we are at peace? Is that what’s bothering you?” Xena was bewildered.
Gabrielle turned to look into Xena’s eyes. “Stupid heh? But yes, that’s what’s bothering me.”
“I don’t get it Gabrielle. We spend countless lives and literally thousands of years earning this reward and now you don’t want it?” Xena was completely confused.
“It’s not that I don’t want it. I know that we’ve earned it, I was there remember?” She looked deeply into Xena’s eyes trying to find understanding in them. Failing that she continued. “It’s just that… there’s no children to raise, no Empire to get involved with, there’s no conflict, nobody to save, no bad guys to bring to justice, no journeys or adventures to experience or write about… there’s nothing to do!”
Xena cocked her head to the side and looked at Gabrielle as if she has just sprouted horns from the sides of her head. “Are you insane? Having nothing to do is the point Gabrielle. We’ve done what was required of us. 
We’ve fought the bad guys for centuries! We’ve put that evil bitch Alti into a permanent grave and earned the right to live in peace, with each other forever. Isn’t that what you always wanted… for us to settle down?”
Gabrielle was shaking her head as if by doing so she can shake the unrest that has invaded her mind. “I know, I know, I know… and yes that is what I always wanted! But somehow it just seems so… anticlimactic.”
Xena rolled her eyes and threw her head back and then rolled off of Gabrielle.  They lay next to each other for several heartbeats. Xena’s face was animated; she was clearly having an internal conversation with herself trying to work through what Gabrielle had said.
Gabrielle pulled the satin sheet up to ward off the chill that the sudden loss of Xena’s body heat had produced. She closed her eyes and sighed in exasperation. She knew that she had just said the wrong thing. But she couldn’t help it. This had been bothering her for quite some time and it had to come out.
“You know Gabrielle…” Xena began but Gabrielle had started to say something at the same time.
“Xena I’m sorry…” She stopped as well when she heard Xena speaking at the same time.
Having been in this situation probably hundreds if not thousands of times they both prop themselves up on an elbow to face one another. Xena was confused and it was written all over her face. Gabrielle was repentant and that was clearly evident as well.
Gabrielle reached up and touched Xena’s face. Xena’s eyes closed and she sighed with joy and leaned into her wife’s hand. Gabrielle smiled and knew in her heart that regardless of what her mind was thinking she wouldn’t trade what she had now for anything.
“Xena, I wouldn’t give this up for anything. I love you and I love that we are finally together and that we’re unmolested by all those that wanted to pull us apart. I wouldn’t trade this for anything.” She had been caressing her beloved’s face and did not stop when she ceased speaking.
Xena did not open her eyes while Gabrielle spoke. She breathed in deeply and let it out and leaned her head back a little so Gabrielle’s fingers could caress her throat. A deep purr emanated from her lips. Slowly she lowered her chin and opened her eyes. She reached up and took Gabrielle’s hand in her own and lightly kissed Gabrielle’s palm then placed that palm on her cheek and held it there. “Then what are you saying Gabrielle?” Xena purred.
Gabrielle looked down at the sheets between them. “I don’t know. It’s just… I guess after fighting for so long, through so many lives and so many centuries… I guess I’m just not used to… peace and quiet and nothing to do. You know? At least on Mars once the children were grown we had other things to do, people to visit, Empires to interrupt… stuff to do.” When she looked up she saw mischief in her wife’s eyes and she cocked her head to the side and got a mischievous grin of her own.   
Xena was in a mood and when she heard Gabrielle’s words she knew exactly what would drive those thoughts from her lover’s mind. “Well now, if that’s your only problem… I think that I have a cure for it.” She took the white ribbon in her teeth and she growled deep in her chest. Gabrielle giggled. “And if you want… later I’ll pretend to be Callisto and we can wrassle!” She said playfully before lip locking Gabrielle and pressing her back to the sheets.