Xena dreamt again that night. But this time, she was the participant. A slick wet mouth started at her feet, licking her toes before continuing it’s path up her body. It laved the crease behind her knees, and gently bit the outside curve of her hip. Her bellybutton was teased unmercifully, before the loving torture abruptly moved to her wrists, working methodically along the tender skin on the inside.
Xena sighed and reached to grab the head of the marauding mouth, but encountered nothing more than empty air. Unexpectedly, the lips were at her nipple, and all thought for the reality fled instantly. She felt transformed into a creature of sensation, wanting only for the pleasure to continue endlessly. Her legs were parted and the rogue mouth was instantly transported to the mound nestled between her thighs.
Xena’s hands balled into fists as her back arched high, totally absorbed in the ripples overcoming her body. She gasped, thrashing wildly in a shattering cataclysm that seemed to be the beginning and end of all that she was or would ever be.
“Xena! Xena, wake up! NOW!” Gabrielle had her friend by the shoulders and was shaking her, trying to draw her back from the depths of her subconcious. But nothing she did seemed to rouse her. It’s almost as if something put her in a trance, Gabrielle thought as she sat back on her haunches.
The early morning light slipped between the branches of the trees, announcing the arrival of a new day. It’s golden beams caressed Xena’s face, then without warning, she sat bolt upright, gasping for breath like a woman drowning. Her eyes were wild and her mouth worked, but no sound came out.
Gabrielle was concerned and grasped Xena’s arm. “Are you all right? Xena...” Gabrielle nudged her when she didn’t get a response. “Are you OK? Speak to me, please.”
Xena finally seemed to be more aware of her surroundings, and turned to Gabrielle.
“We’re in big trouble,” she whispered, hoarsely.
Gabrielle frowned. “What do you mean?”
Xena shuddered. “I couldn’t wake up. I knew you were there, and I struggled, but it was no use. I thought it was a dream,” she tried to explain, taking Gabrielle’s hands into hers. “I’d never felt anything like that before. It was incredible! But when I struggled, something held me back. So much more powerful... I thought that was it. The chanting was so loud! And then I couldn’t breathe, and the pain...” Xena put her head into her hands and tried to swallow the sobs. It didn’t work.
Then Gabrielle was there, holding her in her arms. I never cry. I NEVER cry, she told herself over and over again. But the stress and the worry compounded with her ordeal to make Xena break down for the first time in ages.
It didn’t last long. Gabrielle stroked her hair back, Xena pulling out of Gabrielle’s arms; but not before bestowing a grateful smile. Gabrielle let her go. She could count on one hand how many times Xena has broken down like that, and knew not to make an issue of it. Besides, she was pretty sure she knew what happened.
“If he has so much power, why did he let you go?” Gabrielle didn’t realized she’d said her thought aloud until Xena answered.
“It was the light. When I felt it’s heat on my face, it just disappeared. I don’t think it can do this evil in the light of day.”
Gabrielle nodded, filing the knowledge away for later use. Right now, she was more concerned about Xena. “We can stay here for awhile. Give yourself a chance to recuperate.”
“No. He didn’t hurt me physically. I’ll be all right.” Gabrielle said nothing, but she knew, exactly, how wrong her friend was.
The man gazed at them as they walked ever closer to his location. So near. Not much longer.
He folded his arms across his chest and arrogantly surmised that the path to his doorway needed a challenge. Can’t have them thinking I’m too anxious for their arrival, he chuckled, walking away from the view to prepare a small surprise for Xena and Gabrielle.