Disclaimer. This story contains violence, as well as love between two adult women.

Disclaimer. Xena Warrior Princess series and its characters are all copyrighted property of MCA/universal.

Disclaimer. This is a classic story which takes place during late season two and is set before The Waking Light Series.

MY ONLY DESIRE IS TO TOUCH YOUR SOUL

There's so much screaming I can hear it in my ears, I can see the blood coating the grass as I smash my boots in to the ground. This is such a beautiful war the poets and bards will be singing about it for seasons to come and they'll be singing my name! I pull my sword up slashing it across the nearest warrior's chest, I listen to him scream as he hits the floor death taking over. I'm a god among men! I have the power of Ares around my neck! His amulet of power makes me so strong that any normal men can not stand up to me! I laugh with joy the king and his son, have not been able to stop me! I have conquered every town and village south of this kingdom and this is my goal.

The kings twenty year old son, is powerless against me and his father is an old worn out boot who will be dead soon all the meat he's been eating is bad for his health, he's getting fat, now he's like an old dog that needs to be put down by my hand. I turn smashing my weapon in to the face of another man shattering his jaw the kingdom of Illyria will be mine! All I need is to get through the field that over looks his castle and I'll be so close his pitiful wall which myself and my whole army will bring crashing down in one swoop! A suddenly feel intense pain as one man's sword comes up slicing across my face I feel the cold blood as it runs down my cheek and brow.

They can't stop me I have the strength of a Minotaur! I bring my boot down smashing it in to the warrior's chest hearing his ribs break with the force. His scream of agony hits the air as he stumbled backwards, I feel myself smile only to feel my smile fade as I hear the sound of metal turning. I look down as the pendent around my neck, I feel my eyes widen in fear as I realize that the pendants outer part which can be turned has been turned. The swords that cut my face has now forcing the outer decorative pattern in to motion, all of a sudden I'm as afraid as a child I know that once the outer part starts to spin that it can't be stopped.

I watch as it turns fully its gem stone glowing red as its bronze heavy decorated outer ring comes to a stop. I feel the strength drain from my body as white light surrounds me. My huge muscles diminish as the light surrounds my body for an instant, my armour sags around my body. I know my super masculine body is gone along with the strength of Ares and that I'm now no more than normal man. I reach for the pendent ignoring the shock of the king's warriors around me. I know it's too late though I see the anger and rage in the general's eyes as he runs towards me. The next moments are agony as his sword enters my body. I hear my ribs break as his swords keeps on pushing in to my body all I can do is scream in pain.

I feel the blade as it comes out of my back and I feel my hand clutch the embedded weapon as I try to take the pain. My sight is dimming and I can feel the blood running down my chest. The battle is still raging around me as I hit the floor on my knees only to feel another weapon as it come down going in to my back. Everything is going in and out of focus and I know that I have failed. I lean forward blood is all over my chest and I can feel it running down my back. I cry out weakly as both weapons are pulled out and I fall on to my back on to the grassy meadow. I can already see the golden and red light in my eyes I don't know were I'm headed if it will be Tartarus or the Elysian fields. It's so cold and the dark knight sky above is vanishing as the red light takes over there are now three shadows surround me though they are blurred to my eyes. I know it's the king's warriors and I can see one raising a weapon above me. I tried Lord Ares I tried so hard, the next moments turn to pure agony as everything turns to black and I draw my final breath.

Illyria Thirty Seasons Later

Gabrielle picked up the pace feeling her heart race even faster as she ran faster thoroughIllyria's well worn streets. She felt the fear hit home as she tried desperately to pick up the pace. She could hear the screams behind her as people tried desperately to get out of the way as the huge hoofed being which thundered through the streets after her. This was so not good no that was an understatement she was having the worst day of her life! Oh yes that's right be the bait Gabrielle, like that was such a great idea. Oh yes Gabrielle it'll be so easy for you to charm this Minotaur he takes a liking to young strong women but not brunettes or those with dark hair! Yes you'll be able to take back the chalice of Midas when he's not looking.

Minotaur's may be as smart as people but like Satyrs their prone to feminine whiles well this was one sure as Tartarus wasn't! She turned hearing the hooves as they smashed the floor even harder she felt her grip tighten around the elaborate gold goblet with its beautiful engravings and diamond and pearl rim. All this trouble for a goblet! She ran faster gripping her staff even tighter as she turned the corner. She was going to kill Xena for this for putting her up to this! That damn stoic woman, yes she wanted more responsibility but this wasn't the kind she was ready for! She turned just in time to see the eight foot tall Minotaur smash through a stall as he came after her his deep voice hitting the air.

"Give me back my goblet little girl!"

Gabrielle turned meeting the Minotaur's dark grey eyes for an instant. "It's not yours Seleukos!" Seleukos roared in anger as he smashed through another stall as he tried to run faster. Damn annoying little girl that was his goblet and he'd found it so he owned it. The human saying was finder's keepers he shook his huge mane of dusty brown fur. He felt his razor sharp teeth grind together as he smashed a passer by out of the way. "Give me back my goblet, or I'm going to eat you!" He snorted feeling the heavy gold ring on his nose. He didn't eat humans he never had and he never would but a good scare normally got the point across only in this instant it hadn't and the small girl was picking up her pace.

She turned in an instant heading down the street which led towards the huge grassy meadow opposite the city. He smashed his hooves harder in to the ground pulling his huge black horns up as he carried on moving after her. "No little girl is going to steal from me and get away with it!" He rose up his huge axe higher as he ran out of the street following her. Gabrielle ran in to the huge meadow she was going to get away! She was going to make it! The next moment turned to pain as she tripped over something. She felt the pain as she slammed in to the ground on her front which caused her to cry out in pain. She turned over but it was already too late and she knew it.

The huge black hoofs smashed in to the ground on ether side off her body sending the bones of what she'd tripped over upwards. They came down clattering all around her. The huge Minotaur's flowing dusty red and white hanging cloth moved sharply as he put a hand on his huge thick black belt with its metal notches. Seleukos eyed the girl as he leaned closer to her snorting which caused her hair to be blown back. "Unless you want to die you'll give me back what's rightfully mine, right now!" Gabrielle swallowed as she looked up oh gods this was not how this was meant to happen. She watched as his grey eyes narrowed she breathed trying to keep her voice steady. "The chalice of Midas doesn't belong to you."

Seleukos grunted in disgust as he raised his hands kneeling down over her. "What does it take to make you humans understand that I found it? It was in a cave and I stumbled across it!" Gabrielle pulled back as his huge nose came close to her face. "I heard you killed and eat someone then took it from them." She swallowed. "That's what I heard…I mean people say all kinds of things…you know how it is." Seleukos roared at her watching as she began to shiver, she was brave but not brave enough. "I don't eat people you stupid child why would I eat people, when I can eat sheep and goats, which I can purchase for three dinars a piece!?" Gabrielle looked in to his face seeing the huge chest and arm muscles under the thick fur ripple. "You just threatened to eat me!"

Seleukos shook his head. "It was a threat little girl I do that to anyone who steals from me. Mark my words I'm not like my fatherAsterion, that bastard spent all his time in that Maze in Crete forcing him self up on to helpless women and then eating them! The only consolation is that my mother escaped his labyrinth!" He breathed out. "She found out that she was pregnant and I was born and she loves me and treats me like a son unlike you people who treat me like a monster!" He moved his hand forward. "You and Xena, Hercules and his runt Iolaus, I mean what is with you people are you always looking for an excuse just to knock me on my ass?!"

"You're giving me a reason to kick your ass Seleukos!"

Seleukos turned sharply watching as the tall dark haired woman came in to view her piecing blue eyes burning in to his. "What reason would that be Xena?" Xena sneered as she felt the rage start to burn as she pulled her sword free from its scabbard. "You're threatening my friend!" Seleukos laughed as he eyed the girl he was kneeling over. He turned back raising his clawed hand. "She's your friend? I thought you didn't have any friends!" He eyed the girl again before looking back. "Yeah right she's your friend everyone knows you're a sapphist!" He shook his head slightly. "Another notch on the belt as they say or in your case the leather clad waist!"

Xena snarled as she stepped forward kicking a rib bone out of the way of all the places this fat stupid monster had to stay, why did it have to be Illyria? She hated Illyria, and she didn't want to be here. Yet here she was once more the only good thing was that once they got this golden wine goblet for King Gregor that they could go back home to her mothers! She eyed the Minotaur in disgust as she moved a step closer. "Get off her Seleukos!" Seleukos didn't think as he pulled him self up turning towards her. "Make me!" Xena didn't think as she ran at him her feeling her feet leave the floor as she front flipped bringing her foot down in to his face hearing his roar of pain.

She landed hard in front of him only to feel the pain as the huge clawed hand slammed in to her shoulder sending her flying backwards, she felt the ground as she slammed in to it back first causing a spike of pain as she came to a stop. She grunted as she front flipped back on to her feet ignoring her stinging shoulder. She had, had enough of this! Seleukos laughed as he turned to face her ignoring his stinging nose. "Oh you're going to have to do way better than that!" Xena didn't think as she pulled the Chakram free, she screamed in anger as she threw it, the weapon flew through the air smashing in to the huge monsters left horn slicing right through it.

Seleukos watched as the Chakram bounced of rock close by coming back to the tall dark haired woman hand. He felt the shock hit home as part of his half his right horn hit the floor near his feet. He looked at it before looking up. "You broke my horn! It took me three years to grow them this long, you bitch!" Xena grinned as she ran back this whole set up had been a complete mess but she could still use the trap she'd set up. Seleukos roared as he ran at her watching as she laughed running away from him. He carried on running only to see her stop. She turned grabbing hold of a chain on the floor which she pulled up what in Tartarus was she doing?

Xena smirked watching as he came closer. "Come and get some!" She pulled the chain with all her might. Seleukos looked up but it was too late as the floor fell away underneath him. The next moment turned to agony as he hit the solid floor of the black pit bellow face first. Everything turned to darkness in one painful instant. Xena breathed in deeply letting go of the chain she moved forward looking in to the deep pit. Thank the gods for these old man traps built some thirty years ago by the kings army. She looked over at the Minotaur who was completely unconscious, a ten foot drop like that was made to injure any man yet it had done no more than knock out this smelly beast.

She watched as Gabrielle ran towards her coming to a stop next to her, she lowered her gaze feeling the burning anger in the pit of her stomach as she put her sword and Chakram away. Gabrielle moved forward looking at the huge Minotaur who was lying still at the bottom of the pit she felt a smile as it spread across her face. "That was brilliant you didn't tell me that there were more traps here." Xena folded her arms breathing in deeply. "You were meant to lead him towards me not in this direction!" Gabrielle stopped still feeling the other woman's eyes burn in to her. She felt the hurt as it hit home she was being scowled again. Scowled like a stupid little child who just got in the way. She lowered her gaze to the floor. "I, I tripped." Xena breathed in deeply. "You asked me for more responsibility yet by the looks of things you're still not ready to handle it! The plan was simple you just had to lead him out of here when he was drunk so I could pull one of these old traps which he'd fall in to."

Gabrielle looked up feeling the anger start to burn. "Well it worked didn't it I mean he fell in one, just not the one you planned!" Xena turned eyeing her. "Why couldn't you just stick to the plan it wasn't hard?!" Gabrielle looked away slightly. "He's an ugly smelly monster and it wasn't fun sitting on his lap in the tavern trying to play hard to get!" Xena stopped still as she raised her hand. "What did you say to him?" Gabrielle shrugged slightly. "That he smelled like wet dog and that his breath stank." Xena put a hand on her face. "So you made him mad and he chased you, gods why can't you for once just stick to my plans letter to letter and do as I say!?"

Gabrielle looked down feeling the hurt as it cut through her heart she looked up slightly. "You never even tell me your plans in full, you always leave things out!" Xena breathed in deeply trying to control the anger the words came out before she could stop them. "Because you're not mature enough to follow them!" Gabrielle looked up fully as the words sliced home she didn't think as she threw the goblet at the other woman watching as she caught it. She could already see the town's warriors coming towards them along with a huge group of people. "I'm going back to the tavern!" Xena moved towards her. "No your not!" she didn't think as she grabbed her arm harshly.

Gabrielle didn't think as she pulled her arm away ignoring the pain from the other woman's grip as she forced it free. She knew she was going to cry and she didn't want to do it in front of the Warrior Princess. She felt her teeth grind together as she spoke holding back the painful tears. "Yes I am, go and greet your admires, that is after all, all your care about." She turned away walking through the field feeling the tears as they started to run down her face. She could see the people running towards Xena none of them even looking at her as they all headed towards the Warrior Princess screaming and cheering. They never looked at her she was just the girl with Xena or the sidekick.

No one even knew her name or ever asked her and Xena hardly ever said her name unless someone asked. She wiped away the tears breathed in deeply trying to steady her self. That was the truth though wasn't it she was doomed to live in Xena's shadow forever. Doomed to mess up her plans and be forever scowled and treated like a child. That wasn't the end of the nightmare though no that was just the start. She couldn't even remember when it had started or how it had happened but some time ago she had fallen in love with this tall beautiful warrior woman. She was so in love with her that it now truly hurt to be near her. She wanted to touch her to feel what her long black hair was like to the touch and her dark bronze skin. It was the light blue eyes they just drew her in mesmerized her they reminded her of sapphire as it was being pieced by sun light. She wanted to kiss her just know what her kiss would be like.

This woman who was so brave so strong and courageous she could watch her all day if she could if she didn't have to look away out of fear of being noticed. She always felt her heart skip a beat as she practiced her sword drill in the early mornings causing her muscles rippled as she moved in what felt like slow motion in her eyes. She'd never felt any real sexual attraction to women before now and now that she was everything felt like it was being turned upside down.

It felt like her emotions were being torn in so many directions. She knew so little about those kinds of relationships other than village gossip back in Potidaea. As a child she'd heard about two men who lived together at the edge of town, but no one ever said anymore than that. Same gender relationships weren't considered wrong in any way but it seemed that very few people ever talked about them. Or maybe the truth was that she was just too afraid to ask any one out of fear of being looked at strangely or laughed at.

It didn't help that on dark nights she had very sexual dreams about the Warrior Princess they'd be kissing each other slowly undressing each other. Then falling back on to a warm bed as the kisses intensified and the need became greater and then just as the point of no return came, she would wake up drenched in sweat and feeling the sexual frustration which burned in to her soul like a hot knife. None of this mattered anyway, all these feelings, all her wanting because Xena would never want her anyway. To day just proved it all the more just like any other day. Xena didn't need her around she just messed things up anyway everything she did was wrong and nothing she ever seemed to say anymore was right on top of that she was pulled around like a scowled child.

She lowered her gaze as she carried on walking through the old battlefield full of human bones. Bones of men who had died thirty seasons ago when a vicious warlord called Theron who had ravaged every village from Apollonia to Illyria, his unstoppable campaign had ended here in this meadow in a violent and brutal battle. A battle in which King Kleito's father had sent out all his men in the hopes of stopping this warlord who they said had, had the power of Ares on his side. Theron's might has failed him though, and he had died here. She felt the pain as her feet hit a set of bone causing her to trip the next moments caused pain as she hit the ground once more on her front.

She breathed in ignoring the pain in her ankle as she got to her knees what else was going to wrong today!? The gods were laughing at her weren't they? They saw her as their personal joke today didn't they? She wiped the last of her tears away only to catch sight of a something gleaming in the sun light. She narrowed her gaze nothing ever gleamed, the swords here were rusted and the last of the armour and leather on most of these bones had decayed to such a point that it was hanging in rags and lying in pieces. She leaned forward seeing what looked like the end of a white gold chain glinting as it hung off a rib bone.

She leaned forward easing it off the old bone watching as it came up from the grass. It was a beautiful white golden chain with a sparkling red round ruby pendent which was surrounded by thick gold which had weaving outer patterns. She stood up ignoring the pain in her ankle and her arm as she carried on walking using her fingers to get rid of the dirt on the beautiful pendent. What an odd thing to find it on this battle field, warriors never wore elaborate pendants. May be who ever owned this had taken it from someone or it had been dropped. She breathed in as she carried on walking trying to ignore her inner pain, as she walked towards the town ignoring the commotion which was going on behind her.

Xena watched as Gabrielle disappeared from sight she felt the pain in her heart which she tried to ignore as she turned hearing the city warrior speak. "Who's that who's leaving." Xena looked down slightly. "My friend." The warrior laughed as he looked at the Minotaur in the pit bellow. "Well your friend isn't here now so how's about you celebrate your great victory with us?" He put his hand on her shoulder. "We have lots of warm mead and ale." Xena pulled away sharply from his grip. "No." She turned eyeing the pit. "I've sent a message to Seleukos's mother, she'll be here by tonight all you have to do is watch him until she gets here. He may be a stupid smelly beast but he loves his human mother and he'll behave and go home with her, he always does."

She moved away ignoring his surprised look. "He won't bother you or your people again." She carried on walking realizing that it was to late Gabrielle had disappeared from sight. She picked up her pace gods she was so stupid! Why had she said what she had to her? The truth was that she didn't know why she said anything anymore it just came out of her lips and cut through the younger woman's heart.

End of part 1

Silvermoonlight