Disclaimer: See Part 1
Authors Note: Hey! We're getting very close to the end now. Only a few more chapters then this series is over. I'm forever grateful to everyone who stood by this story, even when it was put on hold. And I'm thankful for all the messages and emails I've recieved. If you want to email me, my address is jacklavigne13@hotmail .com
Now, onto what we're all been waiting for. The wedding! It's from both the girls POV's. It's Gabrielle's POV in italics, and Xena in normal script.Enjoy!
The past two days seemed to rush by me, while at the same time; it seemed as if the days would never end. I was right when I thought that I wouldn't see Gabrielle until the wedding. She was avoiding me that much was obvious. I would catch glimpses of her, near the practice yard, in the doorway of her hut, in the dining hall. Our eyes would meet for the barest moment and then she would disappear, and I would be left feeling empty. I wanted to talk to her, to be near her and it made my heart ache to know that I would finally see her now, while she joined with another woman.
My chest was thumping in my chest as I nervously fiddled with the roses in my hands, hardly paying attention to my sister as she straightened my dress and fixed my hair. The past few days had been horrible, and I had been overwhelmed with the final touches for the wedding. I had almost cried when I first tried on my wedding dress, my friends mistaking my tears for happiness when I was really in distress. It only got worse when Miranda returned from her hunting trip, and she seemed to have taken the time to think about the way she had been acting. She spent the whole day before the wedding being so loving and affectionate towards me and the guilt was eating me up inside. I lived for the moments when I saw Xena around the village, and our eyes would meet for that perfect moment, until I would turn and walk away, scared of what I would do if I held her gaze. Her beautiful blue eyes were so sad when she looked at me, begging me to end this madness and to run away with her.
I was seated almost at the very back of the room of the dining hall, with Alexandria at my side. The large room had been cleared out; the wooden tables had been replaced by a small dais with an altar at the front of the room, with rows of chairs before it that were full of people. The rest of my family and friends were closer to the altar, and my daughter was waiting to walk down the aisle in the dress that my mother had made for her. My hands were sweaty and I could feel the muscles in my legs twitching, begging for me to run so that I wouldn't have to watch this. I didn't want to be here, to watch as my life fell apart before my eyes but Alexandria's hand gripping my own was keeping me still.
Knowing that I couldn't leave, I changed tactics and started praying to every God that existed. I prayed that I would be knocked unconscious before the ceremony started, or that some warlord would suddenly make himself known on the Amazon's borders, causing the wedding to be postponed. Most of all, I prayed that Gabrielle would change her mind and end my heartache. I didn't care if she decided not to be with me, as long as she wasn't marrying someone else; especially someone that was just so wrong for her.
I was standing in the center of my hut, waiting for the ceremony to start. One of my guards would come and get me when it was time for me to walk down the aisle, and I was dreading it. I didn't want to walk into that beautifully decorated room, full of my family and friends so that I could walk towards a woman that I didn't want to marry. I prayed for a way out of it all. I prayed to the Gods that Miranda would change her mind and decide that she didn't want me after all. I prayed that someone would stand up when we said our vows and object to this disastrous marriage. I prayed for an arrow to the chest to end the pain in my heart that was overwhelming me.
I should have gone to her, I berated myself. I should have just taken Xena's hand and begged her to leave with me. We could have taken Eve and returned to their home in Amphipolis, and I could have spent the rest of my days in Xena's arms, hoping that one day the Amazons could forgive me. I wanted her so desperately, to feel her silky skin underneath the palms of my hands. I wanted to feel her soft lips on mine, taking control over me, mind, body and soul. I wanted to lay naked in her arms and feel her heart beating in sync with mine. I miss that; I miss everything about her.
I had been hoping that she would come to me again after the other night. My body ached to feel her hands on me once again, to feel her lips pressed against mine as she whispered loving words into my ears. I wanted to touch her, to make her feel like she was the only one in the world for me as I knew she was. I wanted to wrap myself around her and never let her go, but she didn't give me the chance. I couldn't blame her. She had offered herself to me and I had rejected her, instead of taking the wonderful gift of loving her body one last time.
I realized as Alexandria squeezed my hand, that the Gods were obviously ignoring me. So deep in my thoughts, I hadn't even noticed the Amazon's near the alter that started to play their instruments, signaling the start of the ceremony. I watched as everyone in the room turned towards the large double doors to my right as they swung open and I reluctantly turned to look as well.
A knock sounded at my door and I watched with tear filled eyes as Lila rushed over to open it, revealing Eponin on the other side. The dark haired warrior looked over my sister's shoulder and nodded towards me, her eyes sympathetic. I returned her nod and made my way to the door, wondering if anyone would notice their Queen running out of the village gates. Eponin would help me, I knew; she didn't really approve of my wedding to Miranda and had always expected to be attending my wedding with Xena. Maybe I could just run away and eventually, Xena would find me, even if it wasn't to be with me. She was just like that, loyal and loving. She would find me.
My daughter entered first and I couldn't help but smile at how beautiful she looked. She was wearing the white sun dress that my mother had made for her and it looked gorgeous on her. Her raven colored hair had been braided with beads and feathers and she was holding a bunch of red roses in her tiny hands as she started to practically skip down the aisle. I was glad that even though I was miserable, my daughter seemed to be enjoying herself immensely. I grinned as Alexandria leant over in her seat, tickling my daughter's ribs as she passed us by, causing Eve to giggle and dance away from her before resuming her journey.
When Eve was almost at the altar where the Amazon priestess waited, another person entered the room and slowly started their way down the aisle. It was one of Miranda's friends that had been asked to stand beside her on her wedding day, but I hardly noticed her as the Queen's consort entered the hall. I had to admit that while I despised the woman, Miranda did look beautiful. Her Amazon leathers were dark brown and had been cleaned and oiled and her armor practically sparkled in the sunlight. Her sword was sheathed at her hip and she had a bow strapped to her back with a quiver of arrows. Her dark hair had been brushed and flowed down her back and even her normally dull blue eyes seemed to shine.
I reluctantly left my hut, with Lila on my right side and Eponin on my left. I watched with a small smile from across the village as Eve entered the dining hall, looking beautiful like her mother. The dress she was wearing had been made by Cyrene and I had almost cried when I first saw her in it. I sighed when my daughter was out of sight and stopped in place when I saw Miranda. She looked stunning, dressed in her Amazon leathers and standing proudly by the door to the dining hut. She would become the official consort to the Queen today and she definitely looked the part.
I watched silently as she straightened her leathers, ignoring the confused looks I was getting from my sister and my escort. I didn't start moving again until Miranda was out of sight and I felt my heart start to beat out of control, knowing that my life was going to end in mere moments.
I watched with narrowed eyes as she walked slowly down the aisle, smiling at her friends and nodding to several other guests. The corner of my mouth curled up into a smile as Miranda stumbled over a non-existent object and I listened as Alexandria covered up her laugh with a soft cough. Miranda shot us both a dirty look over her shoulder, as if we were what caused her to trip and we both stared back at her with wide, innocent eyes until she faced the front of the room once again.
"How graceful," Alexandria whispered softly into my ear and I grinned, squeezing her hand in response.
The next person that entered was Lila, Gabrielle's sister. I hadn't actually spoken to her much even though she and her mother entered the village several days before I did. They had both been busy with preparing the wedding and I had seen them walking around the village, ordering around the Amazons. I had actually been surprised that they had come at all, considering Herodetous had practically disowned Gabrielle when she told her family of her relationship with me. I was admiring Lila's sky blue dress when several people in the room gasped and I turned in my seat to see a Goddess standing before me.
I smiled encouragingly to my sister as she straightened her dress nervously. She looked beautiful in the sky blue fabric that clung to her curves and reminded me of the colour of Xena's eyes. I took a deep breath as Lila turned away from me, and walked happily into the dining hall. I felt a hand rest on my shoulder and I almost burst into tears as I turned to face Eponin who was gazing back at me sadly.
We could run, Eponin joked, though I could see the seriousness in her dark brown eyes. I smiled weakly, covering her hand with my own as I tried to get my breathing under control. My wedding dress felt so tight, as if was cutting off my oxygen and I resisted the urge to rip it to shreds. I peeked around the door and my eyes immediately found the dark hair I was unconsciously searching for. Xena sat towards the back of the room, with Alexandria by her side and the look on her face was breaking my heart.
She didn't want this. She didn't want this and neither did I.
Gabrielle entered the room with a radiant but uncertain smile on her face, holding a bunch of red roses in her gloved hands. She was truly a vision in her wedding dress, though I could see why she hadn't been completely happy with it. It was quite modest, covering her almost completely and not what I had pictured her to be wearing on her wedding day, but she still looked stunning. The dress was made of fine silk, with long sleeves that covered her muscular arms and flowed over the white silk gloves that she wore. Her hair had been slicked back from her face, with braids that were intertwined with feathers and beads. Her tanned skin glowed and her emerald green eyes were bright as they surveyed the room. She looked like a Queen as she started slowly walking down the aisle, and every eye in the room was locked on the beautiful woman.
With every step that she took, my heart broke a little more and when she was half way down the aisle, I was pleading with any God that would listen to strike me down with lightening. I looked down at my lap, tears glistening in my eyes as I listened to Gabrielle's soft footsteps. It wasn't until Alexandria squeezed my hand and the room went completely silent that I looked up.
I felt anything but beautiful as I entered the dining hall, my eyes glancing around the room and making contact with several of my friends. I felt dirty as I stood there in my dress, my fingers gripping the roses in my hands as I tried to smile like I assumed a happy bride would. I got hundreds of smiles in return, and I straightened my shoulders as I started to walk down the aisle towards Miranda was looking down at me in awe.
I couldn't look at her so I let my eyes wander around the room, taking in the decorations. I sighed inwardly, looking down at the roses in my eyes, thinking that they should be daises. I hardly even realized that I had stopped walking as I stared at the flowers, gripping them so tightly that my hands were cramping.
They should be daises, and it should be almost sun set, and I shouldn't be wearing this ugly fucking dress.
And it should be Xena waiting for me at the altar, not Miranda.
Gabrielle had frozen mid step, her hands trembling as she looked up from her hands to the altar only a few steps away. I watched curiously, hoping against hope as the Amazon Queen glanced around the room before her eyes landed on her horrified consort. Everyone seemed to be holding their breath as Gabrielle's shoulders slumped, her hands falling limply to her sides, the roses forgotten.
"I- I'm so sorry, I just... I can't do this," the words were so softly spoken that I barely heard them, but my heart leaped into my throat as I watched Gabrielle turn away from the alter and her consort.
I swear my heart stopped as our eyes met and I wanted to run to her, to take her in my arms and leave this place, but before I knew it, she was running from the room. I watched her as she left, my mouth slightly agape before I turned to Alexandria who was looking back at me with a similar expression.
When I looked up and my eyes finally met Miranda's, I knew that she knew. The look on her face was destroying me but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. I'm so sorry, I just, I can't do this.
I turned away from her, unable to watch as the tears welled up in her eyes. I hardly noticed when the roses slipped from my lifeless fingers as I searched for the one person that I wanted to see. Our eyes met across the room and I almost laughed out loud at the expression on her face. She was completely surprised as she looked up at me, as if she couldn't believe that I wasn't going to marry someone that I didn't love. But at the same time, I could see the love and the happiness shining in her eyes as she held my gaze.
I'm yours,' I said with my eyes before I broke our stare and I noticed the rest of the room staring at me in silence. It was too much. I ran.
The room exploded into chaos but I hardly took any notice of it as I held Alexandria's gaze. The Gods had heard my prayers and Gabrielle hadn't gone through with the wedding, whether because of me or some other reason, I don't know. It didn't matter, I decided. Gabrielle didn't love Miranda, and she didn't want to marry her and that's all I cared about. If there was any chance for us, now was the time for me to grasp it with both hands. I wouldn't run away this time.
It only took a heartbeat and Alexandria and I were both on our feet, bright smiles on both of our faces. I glanced around the room, watching disinterestedly as Miranda threw a small temper tantrum at the altar. I wondered absently what Gabrielle ever saw in the Amazon; she didn't even really look like me.
"Come on," I heard Alexandria whisper into my ear as she pulled from the room. "We have things to do, Warrior Princess."
I could only smile as I followed my red headed friend from the room, having true hope in my heart for the first time since I entered the village. There was still a chance that it could still be me.It's always been you.
To Be Continued
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