Disclaimer & Notices: See Chapter 1.

The Loudest Silence
by Red Hope

Chapter 3

After the soul mates setup the camp, they went swimming in the blue water. To follow that, Xena suggested they just lay out under the sun. But it wasn’t like either of them needed a tan considering all they did was be outside. However it was nice to relax and stay warm under the sun’s touch. They then dressed into their bare minimal leathers and started dinner before sunset. Once Gabrielle had dinner ready, the sun was kissing the western horizon so they ate dinner in front of the sunset.

Xena finished her last gyro and set her wood plate off to the side. She had her ankles crossed, and she leaned back on her hands behind her.

Gabrielle was seated on the large, thin blanket beside her partner. She was crossed legged, hunched over her plate in her lap, and eating the last morsel of her gyro. She had to admit it was far better than she expected it to turn out. She grabbed her linen napkin after some of the last juices got onto her fingertips.

Xena noticed her friend was done. She took the wood plate and stacked it on hers off to the side. “That was very good, Gabrielle.”

The bard just finished with her napkin and folded it up. She set it on her bare knee. “It was, wasn’t it? I think the tomatoes were just at that ripe period.”

“The curry really made it different,” the warrior mentioned.

“Did you like that?” Gabrielle checked. She’d picked up the curry when her and Xena were last in Chin. She’d decided it would be a new spice for them to try, and she hadn’t had a chance until now.

“I did,” Xena answered, “it was a good idea to buy some.”

The bard smiled at the compliment because it wasn’t often that Xena brought up the meals she made so she appreciated it. “I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

Xena had a soft smile too yet mentioned, “You always make good meals.”

“Except that one meal when we saw Najara again,” Gabrielle mentioned.

The older warrior pondered the statement then it came to her when Joxer mentioned he ‘hated this’ during dinner. Gabrielle agreed she’d made better meals then Xena smartly muttered that she agreed with Gabrielle. “I think Najara was just distracting you that night.”

Gabrielle laughed but quickly grabbed her napkin and threw it at her soul mate. “Thanks,” she deadpanned.

Xena tossed the napkin onto the plates. “Trust me… nothing is worse than Joxer’s soup.”

The bard shook her head over and over at the thought of Joxer’s soup that could stop an army. “I think I’d eat your cooking over his soup any day.” She saw Xena’s glare so she whispered, “Gotcha.” She and Xena went quiet, but the bard was thinking about something.

Xena waited to see what was on Gabrielle’s mind and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. She hadn’t done this in a long time.

“What you think Najara is doing now?”

The Warrior Princess continued to watch the sunset but casually remarked, “She’s probably onto preaching Buddhism.”

Gabrielle laughed and shook her head. “She does seem to play musical religions.”

The dark warrior softly grunted in agreement. “Whatever serves her purpose,” she muttered.

Gabrielle nodded once then she stretched out her legs from their achy position. “I wonder what she’d think to see us still young as ever after twenty-five years.”

Xena had a smug expression. “She really couldn’t keep up with you then, Gabrielle.”

The bard chuckled and patted her lover’s knee. “I’m glad you can.” She tilted her head and went quiet for awhile. She then mentioned, “It was a nice day, Xena.”

“It was.” Xena warmly smiled at her soul mate now then went back to the sunset.

Gabrielle had a lasting smile while she watched the last of the sun’s top sink below the horizon. She slowly lost her smile though when something strange in her shifted. Her eyes fluttered a few times at the old, eerie sensation in the pit of her stomach that made her heart pound. She forced herself to ignore it because it was just impossible.

“Are you alright?” the warrior murmured. She could tell something was out of place.

The bard shook her head and peered up at her friend. “Yes… just a little worn out, I think.” She brushed back her short hair that was dry now.

Xena was concerned but decided not to press it. She straightened up and placed her palm against the bard’s nearest cheek. “How worn out?”

Gabrielle instantly let her eyebrows climb up her brow. She could feel the smoky hunger held in Xena’s sharp blue eyes. She hadn’t seen that look or Xena’s sexy smile in a long time. “N-n-not that… worn out.”

“Good,” Xena huskily purred. She leaned down and captured her lover’s lips for a passionate, heated kiss.

Gabrielle moaned and turned her body towards Xena, but she was stopped quickly. Instead, she found herself pushed onto her back, and her lover was over top of her. She had no time to ask anything because Xena took her lips in a searing kiss again. She then lost her thoughts when Xena’s warm hands started to travel over her bare stomach.

Soon enough, Xena had her leathers off along with Gabrielle’s, and her bare, hot skin melted into Gabrielle’s soft body. For a few beats, she just remained still on top of Gabrielle and remembered how amazing it felt to be this close to Gabrielle.

Gabrielle slowly propped up her left leg, which brushed against Xena’s outer thigh. “I forgot how good this feels.” She combed her fingers through long, midnight tresses. She moaned at the warm kiss against her throat.

Xena had also forgotten how wonderful it felt to be skin against skin with her soul mate. For a moment, she felt like she was making love with Gabrielle for the first time simply because it’d be so long. But she already knew what Gabrielle enjoyed and what drove Gabrielle sexually mad, and Xena grinned at those thoughts. She traveled her lips back up and claimed another kiss.

The lovers spent most of the night remembering each other’s bodies and desires. Eventually they found their way to the bedroll and furs for much needed warmth. They were both exhausted and faded away into each others arms after a beautiful day on the island. And today, Gabrielle had rediscovered her connection with Xena that she thought had been lost.

To be continued.