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Teresa M Shafer - For books that kindle thought and ignite the imagination!
You’re so Cute! 

Gabrielle approached the group of five girls. She named them all in her mind as she walked. There was Nadia, granddaughter of Faith, Ediva another one of Faith’s, Rachael who came from Debora’s line, Lacey who came from Alexandra’s line and of course there was Zaria. Absently she thought it was odd that none of her close friends were descendants of Hope’s. It was probably of no consequence it was just odd. She greeted them as she always did and as a group they turned to walk to school. 

 “So are you ready for your birthday present tomorrow night Gal? Ediva asked. Her tone indicated that she was referring to something other than the usual wrapped gift. 

 Gabrielle didn’t quite catch the reference and it showed. “Oh come one Gal you can’t have forgotten that Lance wants to give you something special for your birthday.” Lacey chided and the others all laughed… all but Zaria who only smiled nervously. 

 Gabrielle didn’t miss the look and it confirmed to her that Xena knew exactly who she was and was trying to figure out if Gabrielle was on the same page. “How could I forget that?” She said with some disgust.

“You can’t still be feeling apprehensive about it? I thought you said that you guys worked it out.” Nadia chimed in and the others agreed and then waited anxiously for her to answer… including Zaria.

Now was as good a time as ever to see if her beloved was really awake or not. “Honestly girls I’m not really interested in Lance or anything he wants to give to me.” They all took a quick intake of breath as all teenage girls would… so dramatic. Gabrielle saw the warm smile that was growing on Zaria’s face. “In fact my heart belongs to someone else and my body goes where my heart goes. It’s kind of a package deal.” She was looking Zaria in the eyes and the other girls had not failed to notice. It was not unusual for this to happen between the families but the girls had had no advance warning and were a bit shocked at their friends.

Zaria however was relieved. “Good morning. You look good. How’re you feeling?”

It was her Xena and Gabrielle was thrilled… like a teenager would be, but she contained it for the sake of whoever may be looking. “Good morning.” Wow she could barely contain the desire to kiss her. “I’m good, really good.” She took a moment to realize that she really was good. All of the trauma that she had endured had been relegated to the archives of her mind. “Growing up… again seems to have allowed my mind to push it back into the back. It’s like when we were crucified. I remember it and if I think about it I remember the pain and everything but it’s not a waking nightmare anymore.” Xena nodded while their friend’s jaws hit the ground and then one by one so did their knees.

Xena was quick to act and Gabrielle was only a heartbeat behind to get the girls to their feet. They fervently hoped that no-one had noticed or if they did they hoped that they could dismiss it as a silly game.

“No, for heaven’s sake get up. We don’t want anyone to know that we’re here. Do we?” Gabrielle looked to Xena for confirmation.

“No we don’t… at least not until we can decide what it is that we want to do and how we want to do it.” Xena confirmed. “It is good to see you again though dear. It’s good to see that light in your eyes again. I thought for a while there that I’d lost it.”

Gabrielle blushed. “It was not lost Xena I just needed time to process everything.” The girls were staring and probably bursting with questions. But Gabrielle had a few more things to say to her soul mate before she was ready to address their friends. “You look great! You’re so young… and your so cute!”

Xena had been smiling but at the last comment she scowled at Gabrielle... which of course made Gabrielle break into laughter.  “Yeah well you look like the little girl I met in Potidaea.” It was lame and Xena knew it when it came out.

Gabrielle barked another laugh. “Yeah well you fell in love with that little girl.” She turned away and continued walking. “At least now I’m not dating an older woman and you’re not robbing the cradle.” She said sarcastically and got popped in the back of the head for her jibe. “Hey” She protested and then laughed. Their friends were still stunned and had not started walking when she had. “Come on girls. We have a lot to talk about.”

The girls caught up with them and Gabrielle linked arms with Nadia and Xena. It was an effective way to hide.

“If I may ma’am, why do you want to hide the fact that you’re here?” Nadia braved the question for them all.

“First off Nadia… all of you don’t call us ma’am. We’re still just Galatia and Zaria alright? We don’t want to be known yet… for several reasons but the biggest is that we’re not sure why we’re here. Right?” Gabrielle looked at Xena.

“Right, Alti is still trapped as far as we know in the Castle. Michael told me that Luce was kind of pissed off at her for getting trapped in the first place so he wasn’t going to help her get out. Secondly I don’t think that we’re here to stop or start a battle right off. I think that there’s a less obvious reason for our presence. But until we figure it out we don’t want anyone but you guys to know that we’re here. So can you keep a secret?” The looks on their friend’s faces told them both that she had just asked a very silly question. These girls may be teenagers but they had been bred and raised to take the secrets of their families to their graves if necessary. 

“Of course we can keep a secret Xena or rather Zaria. You should know that without asking. What do you want us to do?” Rachael sounded just like her grandmother.

“Right now just treat us like you always have. We’re Zaria and Galatia and that’s how you talk to us.” The girls stayed quiet. “So here’s something that everyone likes to talk about. Galatia is breaking up with Lance today.” That broke the spell and they all started talking at once.

They understood it… of course they did how, could Gabrielle be with Lance when her heart belonged to Xena but Zaria had a boyfriend too and what was she going to do? Xena stayed quiet about Zaria’s boyfriend and Gabrielle gave her an evil look. Xena laughed and got punched in the arm for her trouble.

“What, maybe I’d like to keep him. He’s kinda cute.” Xena chided and got punched again. “Alright dear alright… I got to tell you though your punch is kinda weak.”

That made them both stop for a moment and think. Xena was no stronger than Gabrielle. Her supernatural strength was based apparently on her own level of fitness which was really low at the moment. She couldn’t remember a time when she was this weak… even as a child in Amphipolis she was stronger than this.

“Hey Gab… Galatia are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Xena asked her partner.

“Yeah, I think that I am actually.” Gabrielle answered. “We’re in no shape to fight anyone right now.”

“No we’re not… we have the skill but not the strength or the stamina.” Xena agreed.

“Do you think that’s why we’re here?” Could it be that simple?

“Could be, could be.” It was a distinct possibility.

The girls continued to chatter as teenage girls do all the way to school. The statue on the front lawn showed Margo and Cara side by side both with swords drawn facing an enemy. The enemy never made it into bronze. But Cara and Margo never looked fiercer.

Galatia was admiring the statue when she was suddenly grabbed from behind, spun around and put into a lip lock by Lance. He was a horrible kisser but he was earnest in his attempt. She did not kiss him back and had to wipe half her face clean after she had managed to push his face away.

“Lance, get off of me!” She knew the moves but as Xena had said she didn’t have the strength to even subdue a teenage boy.

“What’s the matter Gal?” He was pawing at her ass and anything else his hands could reach. He was worse than Xena. “I know you like it.”

Galatia had no idea how she could have ever enjoyed his slobbery kisses. He seemed to think that his tongue had to be as stiff as… something else and penetrate to her stomach in order for her to have some sort of pleasure. Disgusting… that was the only word that came to mind. She managed to get him at arm’s length. 
“Lance we need to talk.”

Her friends started to back away and give them room while some of their significant others met up with them. Zaria was having her own problems with Bailey who was quite a bit bigger than Lance and a bit more insistent.

Galatia managed to break up with Lance without too much more trouble and Zaria managed it as well with Bailey. Bailey however was not in the mood to be pushed aside and had she not been a member of the Blazer family she might have had more trouble on her hands than she could presently handle. But the families were protected like Royalty and a sharp look from one of the ever present Amazon Guardians sent him on his way.

“I don’t think that I’ve ever been happier to see an Amazon before.” Zaria commented. She turned to their friends and said, “Stick with the plan girls and we’ll see you later.” She then headed off to class as did they all.