Authors Note: The continuation of this story has been long coming. I want to apologize to my readers in the lack of updates over the past months. My life has gotten very busy recently and I've hardly touched my computer at all, let alone found a quiet minute to write. Anyway, this chapter will give you a little bit of what you've all been waiting for and know now, that the excitement will be large in the next few chapters.

Sorry this one is so short, I promise to make it up to you. Enjoy.

To Mend A Wild Heart

Chapter Twenty Two

"You should go and enjoy it while you can. The Gods only know how the Empire will fair after tomorrow."

"I'm not going without you; I've already told you that. So just shut up and let me help you with all of this paperwork."

I was sitting in my study, leaning back in my chair with my booted feet resting on the sturdy wooden table. Gabrielle sat across from me, refusing to enjoy the last day of the festival. I had too much work to do with the Romans getting closer with every moment that passed and there were a lot of things I had to take care of, just in case the battle didn't go in my favor. Documents I had to sign, new laws that I wanted to install and even an heir for my throne.

"Gabrielle," I sighed in exasperation, running my fingers through my already disheveled hair. "You're just going to distract me up here. Go and have some fun."

"No," she replied stubbornly, green eyes flashing. "My Amazons are all busy getting ready for the Romans and I won't participate in the festival if they can't. And I don't want to be there without you."

"Fine," I finally conceded. "But I don't have anything for you to do, unless you learn to copy my signature."

"Already have."

I raised an eyebrow at the blonde, my lip quirking as she stared back at me innocently. It was as convincing as Ares when he told me he didn't care about me anymore. Though, he always ends up in my bed chamber every few moons, only for me to reject him again. "Right."

I handed over one of the many stacks of parchment that littered my desk and we worked in comfortable silence for a while. Candlemarks passed and the sun was starting its descent from the sky by the time I signed my name on the last piece of parchment. I dropped the quill, stretching my fingers with a grimace as the bones cracked and muscles cramped from long use. I looked up to find Gabrielle with a similar expression on her face, a small smile edging onto her lips as her eyes lifted and caught mine, stopping my breath in my chest.

I regained my quickly crumbling composure and smiled back before pushing away from the table and leaning back in my seat. I could hear the sounds of the festival through the open window and I briefly considered taking Gabrielle and enjoying the festivities.

The thoughts vanished from my mind when Gabrielle stood from her chair and moved around the desk towards me. She seated herself on the edge of the table, regarding me quietly in silence for a few moments before raising her hands and brushing my cheek with her fingertips.

There were no words as she bent her head and her lips met mine with gentle passion. I felt my arms lift of their own accord and my fingers grasp her hips as her hands carefully cradled my face. Heat flooded through me, warm tendrils curling in my belly as her tongue slipped between my lips and caressed my own, and all of a sudden, the newly signed documents were swept onto the floor and Gabrielle's back was pressed against wood as I held my body overs hers.

"Wow," the blonde's eyes twinkled as she looked up at me.

"Sorry," I grinned sheepishly, the quick movement having been made without a thought. I held my body suspended over hers until I felt her hands gently pulling me down on top of her. Our bodies fit together perfectly, exactly as I had remembered and I smiled against the skin of the Amazon's neck as I felt her sigh in contentment.

Her hands moved up my back, sending pleasant shivers down my spine as she started to slowly unbutton the blood red silk shirt I was wearing. I nipped her neck before pressing my lips against hers, my blood starting to pump faster as moons of repressed passion started to spill out from the tightly locked box in my abdomen. I felt Gabrielle’s body respond underneath me, her hands more urgent as she pushed the fabric off my shoulders and ran knowing fingers over my skin.

“Gods, I’ve missed you,” Gabrielle breathed as I trailed kisses along her jawline. I groaned in agreement, feeling her fingers dig into my shoulders as I nipped her ear. “Missed you. Missed this.”

I recaptured her lips, my heart pounding as her fingers tugged at the lacing of my trousers, which she pushed over my hips. I kicked them off, my own hands wandering over her revealing Amazon outfit. I traced the muscles of her abdomen, my fingertips caressing ever dip and curve of her body as she reached behind her back to undo her top. The laces came free easily and I took the view of her breasts in greedily before leaning down and planting kisses over the soft flesh.

The blonde moaned her approval, her strong fingers wrapping themselves in my hair as I took a rose colored nipple into my mouth and sucked it between my teeth. I felt her hips jerk against her stomach as I bit down gently, her hands pressing me harder against her. My right hand kneaded her other breast as I sucked harder on the pebbled flesh, until Gabrielle was grinding against me insistently.

“Gods,” the Amazon’s breathless whimpers almost threw me over the edge as I glanced up at her and almost felt my heart stop beating in my chest. Exactly as I remembered her looking during every one of our lovemaking sessions. Her hair was slightly damp with sweat, falling into her smoky green eyes. A light flush darkened her already tanned features as a light sheen of sweat covered the bridge of her nose, with the last rays of sunlight pouring through the window, making her skin glow radiantly.

She’s a goddess, I thought to myself, catching her gaze and noticing something I hadn’t ever seen before; love, burning brightly in her forest green eyes, as she looked back at me. Or maybe I just hadn’t looked hard enough, I thought with a smile before leaning up and capturing her lips in a gentle kiss.

“Love you,” I mumbled against her lips, feeling her body freeze in shock for a moment before relaxing against me once again.

“I love you too,” she smiled before kissing me again, her hands resuming their wandering over my body. I sank into the feeling of warmth that spread through me at her words as her hand slid between our bodies and touched my most intimate place.

“Gods,” I gasped as she lightly ran her fingers over my clit, sending a spark of lightening through my entire body. Gabrielle pressed kisses along my jaw and down my neck as she ran her fingers through the wetness between my now trembling thighs, coating her fingertips with it before dragging them back up to my clit. She gently teased the throbbing nub and I moaned in frustration as she moved her fingers away once more, only to gasp as she lightly touched my opening.

“Do you want me, love?” She whispered into my ear, the endearment rolling easily off her tongue as she tugged on the sensitive skin with her teeth, causing my entire body to shudder.

I opened my mouth to answer her, my hips grinding against her hand, begging her to go inside. I felt the tip of her finger enter me.

And my entire body froze.

“Xena?” Gabrielle whispered, confusion tingeing her tone as all my muscles went rigid. “What’s wrong?”

“Shh,” I whispered back, straining my ears to listen for the sound that had set all my instincts off. There was silence for several moments, until I heard what I’d been waiting for.

A scream, far off.

Then another and another.

I pulled back and looked down into Gabrielle’s wide green eyes before lifting my head and looking out the window that showed quite a view of the festival. And even from the distance, I could see people starting to run in fear as they were chased down by men.

The only problem was, they weren’t Roman. They were mine.

To be continued in Chapter Twenty-Three.


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