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Amazon Girls Gone Wild Amazon Girls Gone Wild

The steady beat of drums filled the clearing that housed the Amazon Camp. Mixed with the melodious chanting of voices, the hypnotic sound filled the trees. Erinye stood on a raised dais flanked by Gabrielle and Melosa. Both women wore the ornately decorated Mask of Queen—carved birdlike faces embellished with colorful paint and feathers. The three of them looked out on the large gathering of Amazons who rhythmically twirled and spun to the beat of the drums.

Jacinda and Ezzy stood a ways back from the warriors and watched the scene with fascination. Erinye was being formally welcomed back to the tribe. The two friends looked at each other wondering how long the Immortal Amazon would stay this time. She had two very important reasons to return to Edan.

As the drumbeats came faster and louder, the scene took on a surreal look with smoke from numerous campfires lazily drifting toward the sky. Ezzy started to feel strange, lightheaded. Glancing at Jacinda’s too-bright eyes, she could tell her friend was feeling the same. Suddenly the realization hit her.

Turning slowly to Jacinda she remarked in a thick voice, “This place smells like an Aerosmith concert.”

Jacinda giggled and replied, “I’d forgotten about this particular ritual.”

Ezzy blinked slowly and said, “You mean their burning pot in those campfires?”

Jacinda giggled again. “Not exactly. It’s not the marijuana plant, but it’s the same principle.”

A grin broke out across Ezzy’s face. “Cool.”

The drumbeats were now so overpowering it felt like they were coming from inside their heads. They built to a deafening crescendo and suddenly stopped. Likewise the dancers ceased their writhing and fell to their knees. Queen Melosa’s voice rang out in the crisp evening air.

“Sisters and friends of the Amazon Nation. Tonight we celebrate the return of one of our own. In the name of Artemis, the great moon goddess, and patroness of the Amazon tribes, we welcome back Erinye.”

Loud cheers went up from the crowd, as Gabrielle motioned to Ephiny who stood to her right. Ephiny nodded and handed Gabrielle a mask similar to the one the Queens wore. Gabrielle held it aloft for all to see.

“Erinye,” she began, “When you left us you relinquished your Mask of Sisterhood. I’m honored to return it to its rightful owner.”

Then Gabrielle handed the mask to Erinye, who solemnly placed it over her head and face. Again the cheers went up and as if on cue, the drums commenced and the women danced.

In all the commotion, Ezzy was startled when Erinye was suddenly at her side. Her colorful mask was pushed back on her head to reveal her grinning face. Grabbing the other woman’s hands, she shouted above the din, “Dance with us!”

Ezzy tried to beg off with a shake of her head, but Erinye was undaunted and pulled her towards what looked like a precursor of the modern-day mosh pit. Ezzy turned to Jacinda for help, but her friend just waved to her and called, “Have fun! I’m going to get some fresh air!”

Stumbling only slightly, Jacinda made her way to edge of the clearing where the smoke had dissipated. Leaning against a huge tree, she took a couple of deep breaths and rubbed her hands over her face.

In her near dream-state she looked wonderingly up at the full moon and tried to picture Adam and the kids. Their faces were a little blurry but she could still make them out. She felt a pang of loneliness and blinked her eyes to dispel the image.

When she re-opened her eyes it was to see a bright flash of light followed by the appearance of the god of war. Even in the midst of her yearning for her husband, she couldn’t help but shiver at the man’s dark beauty.

“Jacinda,” he said, shaking his head in mock sympathy, “’Amazon girls gone wild’ a little too much to handle?”

“No, I just...needed some air is all,” she said a little more breathlessly than she intended. It should have been cooler this far from the campfires but she could definitely still feel the heat.

Ares studied her as he rubbed a knuckle across his beard. “So tell me what a happily married woman with two children is doing this far from her family?”

“How did you know that?” she asked sharply, moving away from the tree...and him.

“I am a god,” he smirked.

“Oh, yeah,” she replied softly. Then she challenged, “So what brings the mighty god of war to a ladies night out?”

“In Artemis’ absence it’s her brother’s duty to watch over her flock,” he said solemnly.

Not believing the sincerity in his voice, Jacinda raised an eyebrow in reply.

“Or,” he amended, closing the distance between them, “perhaps I just came to see you.”

Not realizing until it was too late that he’d skillfully backed her up against the tree, she pressed a shaky hand against his chest to halt his advance. The skin beneath her hand was warm and roughened with thick dark hair.

“Why?” she stammered, trying to clear her head of the smoke’s effects.

“Even the god of war knows something about love, though I’d never admit that to my sister Aphrodite,” he grinned, seeming to enjoy the effect his proximity had on her.

“Sounds more like lust to me,” Jacinda managed to find her voice.

“Now you sound like Xena,” he sneered as he lowered his face to hers. “And that so turns me on!”

Before she could react, his lips were on hers--hard and demanding at first, then gentling. The feel of his beard against her skin tickled; it was an unfamiliar sensation but not totally unpleasant. Deep down she knew it was wrong and she should stop him, but her mind and body both were still lethargic and all she could do was lean into the kiss.

A hiss of air broke the kiss and Ares looked down to see the steel point of a blade aimed at his nether regions. They both looked up to see Xena standing there with a snarl on her lips.

“I know you’re immortal Ares,” she warned, “but I don’t think it’ll grow back. Do you want to take that chance?”

Ares immediately backed up, his hands raised in surrender. Laughing nervously, he said, “Now let’s not get carried away here. That could be a decision you come to regret one day.”

“I’ll risk it,” she growled. “Not get away from her.”

“I’m going!” he replied, as he walked backwards not taking his eyes off the warrior princess.

Gabrielle appeared at Xena’s side and saw the distraught look on Jacinda’s face. “What happened here?”

Face red with embarrassment, Jacinda bolted back into the trees toward the camp.

Shrugging helplessly, Gabrielle said, “I’ll go after her.”

Once the Amazon Queen had followed Jacinda into the forest, Xena sheathed her sword and glared at the war god.

“I think it’s time you told me why you’re really here,” she said. “You wouldn’t be here unless there was something in it for you.”

“My dear Xena,” Ares tsked. “Why must you always suspect the worst of me?”

“Cut the crap, Ares,” she demanded. “What do you want?”

“Besides what I’ve always wanted? For you to rule at my side as my Warrior Queen?” he asked. “To give me an heir that would be the greatest warrior the world has ever seen?”

“Yeah, besides that,” she replied lightly as she studied her nails.

Ares let out a low deep laugh and said, “You never cease to amaze me, Xena. That’s what I’ve always loved about you. Your fierce independence, your willpower, your unrelenting passion for the greater good.”

“And here I thought you just loved me for my body,” she smiled demurely.

“Well there is that,” he replied, pinning her with a wolfish grin. “But know this, Xena. If you won’t give me what I want, then I’ll just have to find someone else who will.”

When his dark eyes followed the trail Gabrielle had taken minutes earlier, Xena laughed. “Gabrielle doesn’t like you any more than I do.”

“I wasn’t talking about Gabrielle,” he said smoothly. Xena face took on the countenance of a thundercloud. Instantly the sword was back in her hand, pointed at the war god’s chest. “You leave Jacinda out of this. She’s not for you.”

“I think that’s for her to decide,” Ares said smugly as he crossed his arms over his broad chest.

“In that case, your dealing aces so far,” she replied sarcastically. “Sending her into the woods crying is a real great start at romance!”

“She’ll come around,” he said confidently. “You saw her. She was enjoying that kiss until you interrupted.”

“Just another reason to avoid secondhand smoke,” Xena smirked. “She wasn’t thinking clearly.”

Xena smiled when she saw she hit a sore spot with the prideful deity.

His annoyance growing, he simply said, “All I need is a little more time.”

The smile vanished from Xena’s face as she warned, “Go near her again and you’ll wish you’d gone to Tartarus instead of Edan.”

“Is that jealousy I hear, Xena?” Ares taunted. “I didn’t know you cared.”

Before she could reply, the war god disappeared in a flash of light. Growling deep in her throat, Xena took off to find Gabrielle and Jacinda.

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