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Violence: Of course there is violence in this, its Xena Warrior Princess. *L To sum it up, there is sum gun shooting, weapon slinging, lightning bolts, flying daggers, deaths, and some blood.

CopyRight: Xena, Gabrielle, Melinda Pappas, Janice Covington, Argo, Valasca, and the Amazons all are owned by Universal/MCA and Renaissance Pictures, not mine, I wish though. But, the story line is all mine Mwahaha as well as the character Vanessa, so don’t "borrow" them.

Sex/Subtext: Yeah there is defiantly both of those. There is love between two women which if offends you, then don’t read this story. But for now on in my stories, there is no female sex! Sorry guys! Otherwise enjoy yourself.

If anybody has comments about my story please let me know

~*The Return*~

Written by: Red Hope

Section One Section Two Section Three Section Four


Section Two

~*Part 5*~

Slowly and groggily the archeologist woke up to the early morning, from yet another dream. Janice couldn't but wonder if they were real, considering the fact that Poteidaia has been concluded to be burned down, leaving nothing. The blond slowly eased her way out of Mel's arms without incident; she then slowly made her way to the flap of the tent. In wonderment, Janice looked out, only to find a silent camp with the workers still sleeping and waiting to hear their next orders. The small woman sighed, unhappy at the fact she had to now explain to the local workers why they were going to be packing up earlier then expected. Now Janice was debating on whether she and Mel should stick around to observe the finishing's of Poteidaia being unearthed. Stopping her thinking, the blond slightly heard movement behind her, realizing her lover was up now. Spinning around on her heels, Janice caught Melinda trying to sneak up behind her.

"Uh huh" Mel looked sheepishly at her soulmate and slightly blushed. Janice then strutted over to the Aristocrat, and kissed her on the cheek.

"Good morning honey" After purring her words, Mel was still trying to come out of her sleep state, and did so once the smaller woman wrapped her arms around Mel's waist. Grinning down at her soulmate, Mel couldn't help but return her kiss but to Janice's forehead. "Hhhmmm, Mel we need to decide whether to stay here and help finishing in the dig or whether to go ahead on our own to find the Amazon Nation. Personally I think we should leave and start right away on finding the Amazon Nation. What you think love?" Melinda took a deep breath releasing it slowly as she debate what to do; she had to agree with Janice, there was no real use for them here. The raven-haired women then looked down into emerald eyes and replied to her lover.

"I agree, I don't think there is anything left her of importance. With the evidence about Poteidaia being burned just suggests that there is really no artifacts to be found within or any other evidence" Janice smiled brightly and nodded in agreement, liking the way Mel backed up her decision with facts. "But who should we leave in charge of the site. Vanessa? I mean she is second in control, and she has an uncanny way of handling the men and the site" Janice distrusted her, she didn't know why she did, but knew she couldn't be trust no matter how much she looked it. Frowning Janice considered the idea, she knew Mel wanted her to take control of the dig and more then likely it would take a lot of Janice's efforts to stop her. Even if she did, whom would that leave to take care of the expedition? The archeologist then gave up, and decided Mel was right. Looking up at the tall women with her frown still covering her face Janice retorted to the southerner.

"Yeah I guess that’s our best bet is to leave Vanessa in charge...I just hope it’s the right decision" Janice finished the last part of her statement with a whisper hoping Mel didn't catch it, but knew fully she did. Mel scolded her with her eyes then with her own words.

"Janice, I know you don't like her much, but that’s all we have left. Things here will be fine hun, don't worry" Janice lightly nodded without looking into Mel's eyes. During the early morning Mel and Janice had breakfast first thing, after hearing the blonde's stomach grumble about the lack of food. After talking to Vanessa and the workers about their duties, Janice and Mel now were seated peacefully in their tent going over the directions in the scroll.

"I'm sure of it Janice" For what it seemed like the hundredth time, Mel repeated the same phrase. Janice look skeptical at the scroll, debating whether to ask the taller woman again and decided it was best left alone.

"Okay let me see what we have" The taller women handed over her notepad with the detailed direction of how to reach the Amazon Nation from Amphipolis. Janice carefully studied the directions her lover wrote down from translating the scroll. Smiling as she returned the notepad to her lover, she finally answered Melinda's unasked question.

"Looks great, I think we are set Mel to head out of here. What you think? Ready for some more thrilling exploring and adventure?" Janice finished her last words with a teasing tone to try and lighten the mood. Her attempt worked beautifully.

"Oh I'm more then ready for some excitement after these past weeks of just digging dirt" The archeologist lightly glared at Mel, knowing she was teasing her back by saying she was only digging up dirt instead of history.

"Wonderful, because I'm ready to get out of here. Why don't you get our stuff, and I'm going to go make sure things are clear with Vanessa on what to do" Melinda nodded and turned towards their cot to see their bags resting peacefully on top, then she turned back to a staring Janice.

"I reckon you better go talk to Vanessa hun instead of gloating over me" Janice shook her head out of the trance and smiled at Mel. Lifting herself up off her knee beside Mel, the short woman headed out of the tent in pursuit of Vanessa catching the sun high in the sky.


The northerner figured her second in control was at the dig site where she should be. Finally making her way to the site where her ancestor's hometown was being uncovered, Janice looked about the site. Standing at the edge she scanned the dig site looking for Vanessa, then she felt it the shiver with goosebumps. 'Well gee guess who that might be!' Janice spun around to greet Vanessa with a smile.

"Hi Vanessa, Mel and I are about ready to set off here soon and I wanted to double check everything with you" Vanessa nodded and Doctor Covington began her questions and requests once more.


Mel finally removed herself from the chair and placed the notepad down on the desk. Walking over to the cot, Mel grabbed a hold of two of the four bags. Walking briskly out of the tent, Mel spotted the truck with tools in the back along with her lover's prized Indian bike. The aristocrat was rather happy to be leaving, now it would be just her and Janice together for a couple of days before reaching the desolate Amazon Nation. Opening up the truck from the driver's side she tossed the two bags inside behind the seats. Mel then returned to repeat the same process and throw in the other two bags. After scanning their tent, Mel was satisfied she and Janice had packed everything and she quickly retrieved the scroll and notepad from the desk. Walking back out to the truck, Mel noticed Janice and Vanessa walking from the dig site towards her and the truck. Mel saw Janice with her head down listening to Vanessa as she spoke, occasional her lover nodded in agreement with something Vanessa said. By now, the blue eye woman was on the passenger side of the truck watching her lover arrive in front of her. As she neared Janice looked up with a smile flashing at her lover. She leaned up against the truck and continued to watch her lover talk to Vanessa and nodded in agreement with something's and correcting others. Finally reaching the truck, Janice stood to the right of Mel but slightly in front of her in a protective way.

"Sounds great Vanessa, let us know if anything comes up. More then likely Mel and I will be calling the museum soon to tell them what the news is. If you can yourself, report to them once a week as to your progress and I'm sure they'll let us know what is happening" At the end of her orders, the archeologist held out her hand, and Vanessa briskly shook it. The touch was nerve racking to the blond, this time she had a more intense shiver that last for a few minutes. Mel followed Janice's example and also shook Vanessa's hand.

"Thank you very much for taking care of everything Vanessa. You've done an excellent job for your first time" Vanessa smiled at the raven-haired women.

"No problem, the site is in capable hands, don't worry about a thing" Janice nodded and then walked over to the driver's side of the truck and hopped in. Mel did the same, as Janice started the truck quickly. Melinda thanked Vanessa for the hundredth time and waved bye to her. As the truck made it's way out of the camp leaving a small cloud of dust behind. Vanessa watched them leave, as they slowly disappeared out of site, a grin formed across her face with evil filling her eyes.

"Good luck to you two, I know you'll need all of it in the world to survive this one" As she finished those words, Vanessa laughed loudly, which rang through the site much like the one that did over a hundreds of years ago.


Mel had placed her head against Janice's should during the duration of the ride north and managed to fall asleep despite the bouncing of the truck. The blond had decided to drive a little slower for her lover's benefit, and now she only used her left arm to drive not to disturb Mel with moving her right shoulder. The archeologist drove north for hours on end, wanting for some reason to escape the dig site and the memories and dreams. Once the day reached dusk, Janice decided it was time for them to pull over and set up a camp for the night. Watching the passing area, Janice started to decide where would be best. Finally, spotting her perfect area for the camp she pulled off the dirt road and slowed the beat up truck and then parked it fairly far away from the road. She then turned of the truck and look at her lover sleeping on her shoulder and lightly smiled at the site.

"Mel?" Not getting any immediate response from the belle, she began to lightly shake her by the shoulders. "Hun wake up, we're going to make camp. I need your help" Mel's eyes finally fluttered open and she sat up right and rubbed the back of her neck trying to get the stiffness out. Janice then reached over and began to massage her neck trying to ease her stiffness. Mel then let her head fall forward, exposing more of the back of her neck as Janice continued to massage her neck.

"Where are we Janice? And oh thanks for letting me use your shoulder for a pillow" Janice continued to focus on Mel's neck and almost forgot that Mel had asked her a question. She then looked up at her lover then finally replied.

"I'm not totally sure, but we travel about six hours north...." Janice then turned her head to the meter in the dashboard to see how many miles they had traveled. "...and it looks like we traveled about 300 miles, maybe a little less, but we did make good time. I'll check out the map tomorrow morning to see how much further we need to go before we reach Amphipolis" Mel lightly nodded and then brought her head back up to look out the window to see what her new surroundings were. Most of the land was now green and lush and a few trees here and there and a very small lake to her right. The archeologist then stopped her massage on Mel's neck and quickly took a look at their surroundings as well, now she noticed that the sun was going to be setting with in a half an hour or so. "Come on Mel, we better get moven, the sun will be setting here soon" She reached behind her seat grabbing two bags then removed the keys. Janice then stumbled out of the driver's side of the truck after not being up on her legs for a few hours. Melinda then made her way out of the truck once Janice did. Both soulmates then made their way to the back of the truck to remove two bedrolls they would need for the night. Janice was the one to hop up on the truck then hand Mel their stuff, after doing so she took a quick peep at her bike to make sure it was still good condition. Thankfully Janice's Indian bike was fine, she was happy with herself that she remembered to place a cover over the bike for protection.

After making her way out of the truck, Janice went to help her lover out with getting the camp organized. By sunset Janice and Mel had the camp set up and a fire blazing strong with spare wood for the night. The archeologist was enjoying immensely the night with being outdoors and having her lover next her, in which case Mel seemed to be enjoying this too. For once they were both alone in the middle of no where and no need to worry about interruptions or being to loud. The taller woman also took those facts in to consideration; slowly she made her way over to where the blond was sitting by the fire. Once she sat down she took the other woman's hand in her owns making Janice smile, and for a few long minutes neither said anything and just stared into the fire being memorized by it. The archeologist then decided to ask Mel a question that had been racking her mind for a few days, but never had the chance to ask after being to busy.

"Mel?" For a second the blond thought she didn't hear her name, then Mel shook her head lightly and looked at her with powerful sky blue eyes that were twinkling from the fire making Janice melt into them.

"Yes Janice?" Janice then brought her mind back to herself from Mel's eyes going back to her topic on her mind.

"How have you been feeling ever since those guys back in the medical tent?" The aristocrat then lowered her eyes to consider her answer, she hadn't really expect Janice to ask her this, but non-the less she could see the look of worry in Janice's expression.

"I feel better about it I reckon, I mean it still hurts to think about it. I'm just really glad you showed up hun, god knows what else they would have done" Janice didn't reply to her response and just thought about the incident for a few minutes. 'How in the world though did those guys knew when she would be coming, and to which tent at that? It doesn't make sense, the only thing I can think of is that somebody was watching her then told them where she was headed to' After considering that thought, Janice decided that was more then likely the case. 'Great, now all I have to figure out is who sent them, assuming its true. And why the hell Mel? And not me? Geez one question leads to another...I just hope I can figure out who and why' After not getting a response from her soulmate, Mel knew that she was in deep thought. Looking over at Janice, her suspicions were right, she could see the look of deep thinking and confusion written on her face.

"Love, what you thinking about?" Bringing herself back to the camp mentally, she looked at Mel with a small frown.

"I was just thinking about those two guys hun. I mean I find it really weird, that they knew when and where you were going to be. Defiantly since all the workers are suppose to go home after working on the dig site. I don't know, makes me think we were being watched and that they were doing what they did more then just for fun" The raven-haired southerner considered this idea for a few seconds.

"You might be right Janice, but wouldn't that mean that somebody had to be leading the two guys" Janice nodded and then went on with her suspicions to Mel.

"That’s what I keep thinking. But what I don't get is why they would do something like that; there was nothing at that dig site any way. Boy if I do find out, their going to regret that mistake big time" Mel smiled at the way her lover was beginning to protect her once again.

"Well there is nothing much either of us can do right now. So don't worry too much about it hun" Janice nodded with an agreeing look.

"I suppose so, I'm sure we'll find out more later" Then turning her eyes to Melinda, Janice noticed in the southerner's eyes a hint of passion flaring in them.

"Probably, but I reckon we should find out more about something else right now" Releasing her intertwined hand, Mel brought her hand up and pulled Janice into a searing kiss, while using her other arm to pull Janice in. Finally breaking, both women were breathless for a few moments. The archeologist grinned wickedly at Mel, who still had a hold on her.

"I defiantly have to agree with you on that one Mel" By now Mel's eyes were glossed over in passion and desire. She then leaned in for another breath taking kiss, as they kissed, Mel started to push the smaller woman back, both ended up laying on the bed rolls that Mel had placed earlier. The taller woman had made sure that she didn't crush her lover any when they landed on the bedrolls. The aristocrat then brought her head down to Janice's exposed neck and began to softly kiss her. As she did this, Melinda began to unbutton her lover's light brown shirt then tossing it off to the side.


The blond slowly began to shift out of her dream. Taking in her surroundings, Janice started to recall all the recent advents. Like always, the archeologist didn't open her eyes immediately instead she enjoyed Mel's body against her own and the feel of protection. 'This is scary if I like the feeling of being protected. Janice Covington you are getting quite soft these days. Oh well I just love Mel's feel and warmth.' She then grinned to herself and turned with in Mel's arms. The taller woman felt the movement and opens her eyes to see emerald green eyes staring lovingly back at her.

"Hi" Mel cracked a smile across her face and tightened her arms around Janice and pulled her in closer.

"Hi to you too. How did you sleep Janice?" The blond smiled back and leaned in to kiss Mel lightly on the neck.

"I slept" one kiss on the neck "quite well" a second "hun." third kiss "How did you" a fourth kiss "sleep?" after the fifth butterfly kiss, Janice snuggled her head into Mel's neck. 'Boy I'm getting soft!' Mel didn't respond right away, first she was trying to slow down her breathing and take control of her emotions.

"Um just great. But hun?" Looking up into clear sky blue eyes, Janice smiled and looked at her innocently.

"Yes Mel?" Just then Janice saw the dark haird beauty's eyes become consumed with passion.

"If you don't stop doing what you just did, we aren’t going to get that far up yonder. I'm going to end up taking you right here and right now, and you are not making it easy just being naked " The shorter woman lightly laughed and shook her head, then she look back up at Mel grinning at her.

"Okay Mel, well I'll just get up then" Before the aristocrat could say or do anything, the strawberry-blond was up out of the bedrolls strutting around the camp in the nude. Mel sighed, and tried hard not to leap up and grab her lover, but she couldn't help but keep her eyes on Janice as she moved through the camp. The archeologist kept her grin hidden as best as she could and finally made her way to where her cloths now lied. Slowly she began to dress making sure that Mel could see her ever move. The raven-haired woman laid on the bedroll staring in "awe" at Janice as she dressed before her. After finally clothing herself, Janice made her way to the truck to check on it while Mel got out of her daze and got dressed as well. Once convinced that nothing was wrong with the truck or the bike, the archeologist came back to the camp to see what Mel was up too. As Janice started heading back, she felt a light shiver course down her back with goosebumps. Slightly worried she jogged back to the camp to make sure nothing was wrong. To her delight, Mel had the fire going once more and was preparing breakfast. The blond grinned and came up behind Melinda, wrapping her arms around her waist and pulling her in tightly.

"What you cooking hun?" The taller woman smiled and turned within Janice's embrace to face her.

"Nothing really special, some grits and oatmeal. We do have to get going soon right?" The archeologist slightly frowned and nodded her response. "How much further do you think we have to go before we reach Amphipolis?" The smaller woman didn't reply right away instead she leaned the side of her head against Mel's chest.

"Hhhmmm I'd say maybe two hours to three we should reach Amphipolis, if I remember correctly. While we have breakfast, I'll look at the map we used from earlier" The aristocrat nodded in agreement, then realized she needed to check their breakfast. Noticing that her lover had turned her attention back to their breakfast Janice released Mel. Then she received a 'thank you' look from the clear sky blue eyes. Melinda then leaned down by the skillet, and removed it from the fire. The archeologist on the other hand had left for a brief second to return with two bowls and spoons.

"So how is that bike of yours? I reckon its fine" Janice looked up to Mel while she continued to pour the oatmeal and grits together in the same bowl for the blond.

"Uh yeah pretty much, that cover is helping quite a bit" Mel grinned lightly and then grabbed her own bowl and started only pouring in grits in hers.

"Can't keep stop worrying about that bike huh?" Janice moved over to the log by the fire and looked up at Melinda, grinning.

"Guess not, expensive as it is. Can't blame me eh?" Mel smiled warmly at Janice then sat down next to her on the log.

"I reckon I can't, I would too, if I was into motorcycles" Janice raised an eyebrow at her friend. "I mean bike" The archeologist grinned then placed her spoon in the bowl of grits and oatmeal, reaching behind she pulled out her map from her back pocket. Unfolding it, Janice began to look over the map as well as the instructions she wrote on the side of the map to get to the Amazon Nation. Melinda continued to eat her grits, enjoying them even though they were a bit bland but was better then nothing. She took a deep breath breathing in the air, smelling the fire and the faint sent of her grits all intertwined. The aristocrat then looked up at the clear sky, no clouds and a light breeze, not a bad day at all. Lowering her head once more she finished up her grits within three more spoon fulls. Placing the bowl with spoon on the ground, Mel looked to her partner. She noticed that Janice was in deep thought by her posture and the fact she wasn't eating. When she wasn't eating something wasn't right, this made Mel worry a little.
"Is everything all right?" The small blond didn't respond right away, she continued to study the map then she looked up at Mel.

"Is everything all right?" The small blond didn't respond right away, she continued to study the map then she looked up at Mel.

"There are mountains" Melinda raised an eyebrow at this and moved closer to Janice to look at the map on Janice's left leg. The tall woman studied the map as Janice took a few spoon fulls of her cold grits and oatmeal. Janice still remember they day when she first mixed her grits and oatmeal, Mel had made the most obscene face about it, couldn't believe it. The archeologist couldn't understand what was wrong with it, tasted good to her, that thought made Janice grin inwardly, the memory. Bringing herself back, she looked at Mel, watching her study the map. Janice could see her lover was trying to figure things out, her eyes moving up and down the map, as well as her eyebrows being furrowed.

"My Lord, there are mountains, good size ones too" Janice nodded after taking her last spoon full of grits and oatmeal, she then place the bowl and spoon down by her right foot. Looking back at the map, Janice pointed to where they are.

"That’s where we are now, and this is where we need to get to by Gabrielle's scroll" Janice moved her hand tracing the path her and Mel need to follow to make it to the dead Amazon Nation. Where they are located now was on the southeastern part of Greece and need to travel north, to Amphipolis. Then from there going east into a small mountain range where the Amazon Nation once stood. The southern belle nodded in understanding and then looked back up at Janice, expressionless face.

"So how long you think this will take honey?" Janice looked back down at the map and considered the distance they cover yesterday in the amount of time with they needed to do. Looking back up, she met clear blue eyes, warming her all over.

"My guess is we will make Amphipolis by mid-day, then be at that mountain range near sunset" Mel nodded then reached down for her bowl placing it on her lap.

"So I guess there is no way to get that truck of ours over those mountains?" The archeologist shook her head in a "No" response.

"Not unless you want to go all the way around, which will add hmmm about a day at the least. We can hike it easily; I have all our stuff we need to hike over them. I don't think they are that bad of mountains, I'm sure there is some path or another going through them" The blond continued to gaze into her soulmate's intense eyes, seeing the announce in them. The smaller woman reached over and grabbed her partner's hand squeezing it tightly. "Hey hun it won't be that bad, promise" Mel smiled lightly at the concern woman and squeezed back.

"It's not the hiking part, it’s the part about getting over those mountains and not finding anything. That idea is what's getting to me, I reckon" Janice lightly grinned at her partner and watched as the southerner mirrored it back.

"Don't worry we'll find something or another, I know it" Mel nodded and rose up from the log, grabbing Janice's bowl as she did.

"We better get ready to get out of here love if we want to make it there by sunset" The small blond nodded and rose from the log as well, but quickly slipped an arm around Mel's waist. Leaning in the archeologist captured the taller woman's lips, tasting the grits on them. The belle herself could taste the mix of the grits and oatmeal on her lover's lips, didn't taste to bad after all, or was it because Janice made it that way? Melinda didn't care by now and deepened the kiss, exploring Janice's mouth tasting more of the grits and oatmeal. Finally the smaller woman broke the kiss, needing to breathe. She dropped her head against her lover's chest and grinning to herself.

"How do you manage to do that to me? Make me tingle all over, can't ever get enough of it" Melinda rested her chin on top of Janice's head, feeling the warmth of their connection.

"I don't know, but I love it but not as much as I love you" Janice grinned wildly at this and wrapped her other arm around Melinda. "You know Doctor Covington, your suppose to be the strong one here if I am not mistaken" The smaller blond lightly laughed and moved her head to look up at Melinda, with her chin resting on Mel's chest.

"Ssshhh don't tell anybody, can't ruin my reputation now" The southern belle regarded her with a smile and lightly chuckled at her.

"Come on honey, really better get moving before it gets any later" After finishing her words, Mel lowered her head kissing Janice's forehead. The archeologist unwrapped her arms, and turned back to the log grabbing her map off it. She then turned around to see a grinning Mel, Janice raised one eyebrow at her.

"What?" The taller woman's grin became larger as she gazed sweetly at her soulmate. "Your grinning about me being..." Janice snorted lightly and grinned up at her dark haired partner. "Just don't tell anybody" Mel's grin turned into a pleasant smile.

"I won't, I just think its cute" Janice rolled her eyes but still grinning and turned to their bedrolls and heading towards them. Melinda gazed down at her dishes in her hands and headed off to clean them. Janice on the other hand had quickly rolled up their beds and placed them in a pile where her and Mel's bags were. Taking the bucket by the fire full of water, the blond doused the fire, putting it out quickly. By then her soulmate had returned from the lake with two clean bowls and spoons, placing them in their bags. Both women each picked up a bag and a bed roll and head towards the beat up brown truck. Once reaching the back of the truck, Janice took Mel's bedroll and handed her bag to the aristocrat. The taller woman took the second bag willingly and then made her way to the passenger side, hopping in. The archeologist quickly hopped up into the back of the truck, placing the bedrolls down. She then ambled out of the truck and walked up to the drivers side, climbing in. Janice reached behind her head pulling her hair up, but letting some hang loose, like always. The smaller woman then reaches for her hat on the dashboard putting it on. The archeologist next reached into her leather jacket, looking for a cigar, and then she realizes something, mentally kicking herself in the butt.

"You know Mel, I really miss my cigars" A pair of blue eyes looked over to her, meeting emerald eyes. The taller woman slow began to grin at her partner.

"Yes I know you do honey, but we haven't seen a place that sells them for over a month now" Janice light grumbled then cursed under her breath in Greek, which Mel just caught.

"We better find one soon" Mel continued to grin at her soulmate then turned her head back towards the front of the window. Now she heard the clear sounds of the engine starting, roaring and spitting out a black puff of smoke behind them. The blond turned her body to the right as best as she could, looking out the back window, she backed the truck up. Now they faced the small dirt road running north, putting the truck into forward gear, it roared onto the dirt road. The small woman leaned back into her seat, resting her right hand on her lap. She stared ahead, watching as the road passed by them, a small cloud of dust following behind them. Melinda looked over at her soulmate, she then reached over with her left hand, grasping Janice's hand. The aristocrat thought for a moment that the other woman would pull away, not wanting the affection. But she didn't, instead the blond intertwined their fingers, squeezing tight for a brief moment. Looking over, sea green eyes met with sky blue ones, Mel smiled to her

The sun was high in the sky, casting shadows every where. No breeze, only a lightly cloudy day with the smell of nature in the air. It wasn't hot nor that cold, just perfect, how anybody would like it. The warrior sat back straight in the saddle, one hand grasping the reins while the other hand was wrapped around her soulmate's arms. Xena had to grin to herself, her bard was quite worn out from today's activities, and now was leaning against her, asleep. The tall woman could feel the slow rise and fall of breaths against her back as the bard slept. Xena kept her one arm tightly around the bard's, keeping her from falling. Gabrielle is never going to live this down. The warrior felt some chuckle's rising up but held them back not wanting to wake the blond. Ever since the warrior had known the smaller woman, she'd never slept while riding horseback and always whining how much she hated heights. Xena shook her head lightly and turned her thoughts back to the road ahead, things seemed peaceful now. She is relieved about that; Xena had enough surprise for now. She still was angered about Valasca and her burning of Poteidia, it was going to take some time for Gabrielle to accept that. The warrior feared the worst about that, about Gabrielle never being able accept the loses and it would drive her back, close her up. In reaction, the ex-warlord shiver at the thought of seeing her bard withdraw from her, losing her light. Feeling that shiver, the bard stirred slowly leaning back into the saddle. She released one arm from Xena's waist and ran her fingers through her hair. Finally realizing where she was, her eyes widened.

"I just did not fall asleep on this horse?" The warrior grinned yet again and held herself back from laughing.

"I'm afraid so my bard" Gabrielle whined then dropped her forehead against Xena's back.

"I can't believe I did that" Xena squeezed Gabrielle's hand she was grasping in response.

"Hmm and for a candle mark love" The small woman rose her head and leaned back into the saddle once more and lightened on her death grip around Xena's waist.

"I can't believe you let me get away with...pretty much hugging you for a candle mark. By the gods I'm sorry Xena" The taller woman frowned a little, but understood what the bard meant by that.

"Its okay Gabrielle, you were tired. You hardly slept last night" The bard nodded, remember exactly as to why she slept badly last night, making her slump down in the saddle. Xena easily noticed this and started to feel the bard's grip around her waist lighten with ever passing hoof beat. She quickly pulled Argo to a halt, half turning in the saddle Xena caught a sadden face, with emerald eyes about to go red with tears. Reaching, the warrior grasped either side of the bard, lifting her out of the saddle. Lifting the woman through mid-air, Xena placed her soulmate in front of her sidesaddle, legs hang off the side. Gabrielle for her part was in another world, and didn't notice it happening till she felt a presence next to her instead of in front. Looking up, the blond's eyes met blue eyes staring down at her in concern, she could also feel Xena's arm wrapped behind her back, holding her. Gabrielle weakly smiled up at her warrior, then wrapped both of her arms around the warriors waist, snuggling into her. The bard stayed in deep thought as she lay in the crook of Xena's arm as they rode on. Neither said anything, the warrior was beyond concern, Gabrielle is was to silent more then Xena liked. The taller woman kept her gaze ahead of them watching as the mountains began to appear before them. She guessed that it would be around a candle mark till they made it to the mountains. As they rode on, for a better part of the ride towards the mountains, the bard was crying long and hard in the warrior's arms. Xena knew that their wasn't much she could do to help her bard, just let her work things through on her own. Soon Gabrielle would probably sit down and want to talk to Xena about things, she just had to be patient. Gabrielle herself all could think about was her family and the senseless act of the destruction of her hometown. She hated Valasca for it, there was such a rage in the bard that yearned to kill Valasca. Now the bard only seemed to be filled with anger, sadness and rage. No light. The small woman continued to wonder if she would ever make it through this, but then something sparked in her. The one thing she knew that would save her, bring back the light from with in, her love. Her love for Xena and the love Xena provided to her. Right now that would be the only thing the despondent bard could hang on to and trust Xena to help her. Through all the suffering the bard had ever experience; Perdicas's death, and Xena's death, the only thing that kept her going was her love for Xena.

Finally opening her red eyes, the bard looked ahead to see the Amazonian mountains right before them. Her partner looked down at her with a small smile forming on her face. Gabrielle automatically tighten her hold on the warrior, need the reassurance. Xena leaned down and lightly kissed the bard on the top of her forehead.

"We are going to have to start walking" The smaller woman looked up and nodded to the stoic woman, she then slide down off the war-horse with Xena's help. The warrior pulled her feet out of the stir-ups and hopped off Argo beside the smaller woman. Gabrielle ambled over to the saddlebags and retrieved her staff, walking up to the waiting warrior with the reins in hand. Both women walked in silence as they began their trek through the mountains in the direction of the Amazon Nation. Xena looked ahead and gazed at a few snowcapped mountains to the side then straight ahead of herself to the narrow path twisting through the mountain range. She took a glimpse at her partner, to see her eyeing her footing and gripping her staff with white knuckles. The taller woman noticed that Gabrielle's eyes were still red, her face worn and her eyes not containing any happiness. Xena tried to figure away out to break their silence, quite sick of it, surprising the warrior. She then moved a little closer to the bard and lightly bumped into her, the bard quickly looked up at the grinning warrior. She then raised an eyebrow at the taller woman.

"Hey..." Was all the bard could managed out of her lips to her warrior.

"How you feeling?" The Amazon Queen stopped looking at Xena and turned her attention back to the path she was on.

"Like crap" The stoic woman simple nodded and came closer to the bard once more, wrapping a secure arm around the smaller woman's waist. The bard did the same, envelope her arm around the warrior's tall frame.

"So you hungry at all?" Gabrielle looked up into blue eyes, just grinning.

"Yeah all that thinking and crying can work an appetite up" The ex-warlord laughed lightly then and reached into her pouch hooked to her left side. Pulling out a beautiful red apple, shining, she handed it to her soulmate. The other woman took it gratefully and hugger Xena before looking back to the steep narrow path. To the bard, it felt good to be wrapped up in Xena, protected, something she needed more then anything. The smaller woman took a few bites from the apple, then turned to her warrior, hold it up for her. Xena kindly took a few bites from the apple, smiling down at emerald eyes.

"Well we'll make it to the borders in about a candle mark" The bard finish her chewing on the apple bit before responding.

"Hmmm I think my stomach can wait out till then" Xena grinned then looked down at the bard, tweaking her little nose.

"You my bard, I can't figure out with your stomach's appetite. One of the known world's mysteries" Gabrielle's eyes widen as she threw the apple's remains off to the side.

"You are calling my stomach a mystery, Miss Warrior Princess of Mysteries. You have more mysteries to you then I can count" The taller woman grinned down at the other woman, delightful to see her smiling some and joking.

"Really? I have that many mysteries to myself?" Gabrielle rolled her eyes and then slapped Xena on the stomach lightly.

"Yes you do. I remember when I first started to get to know you, I wanted to figure out all your mysteries and secrets. Hmmm I think I have about only ten percent of you figured out. Ever time I thought I had you all figured out, wham you'd come up with something totally new, throwing me off course" The warrior lightly grunted at that and continued to look at their footpath, smiling.

"Ten percent eh? Why don't I believe that?" Gabrielle broke her gaze from the rocks on the ground looking up at the warrior, grinning.

"Well maybe a little more...twenty percent" Xena rolled her eyes and lengthen her strides to make it up this steeper part of the footpath. Both woman had been wrapped in the other's arms since the beginning, neither could bring themselves to break the contact, especially Gabrielle.

"Hmmm, I think its more like...ninety nine percent" The bard's mouth hung open at that statement.

"Ha I think not. I can never figure you out these days" Xena lightly shook her head and tightened her hold around the bard's waist.

"Then tell me why you can understand ever movement, line, muscle twitch, expression, and eye contact I do? You always know what I am up to, I use to get away with things better before we became lovers" The bard began to furiously blush, a deep crimson red. She was thanking whatever god, that she was out her in the middle of no where alone.

"Yeah well...I guess I learned a few things" Xena looked down at the bard, a twinkle in the warrior's eyes.

"A few huh?" The tall woman grunted and glanced back to the path. The bard then looked straight ahead as well.

"Yeah well I think you know me about...a hundred ten percent. The first year we traveled together I could be sneaky. Then just these past couple of years, since we have become...passionate lovers. I can't get away with one blinken thing. You keep an eye on me like hawk and know how I work. So don't you go telling me that I know you well Warrior Princess, you got nothing on me" Now it was Xena's turn to transfer a crimson red, reaching all the way up to the roots of her hair. The bard looked up at her and grinned widely at her.


The bard stopped in her tracks, turning towards the warrior, gazing up into those sky blue eyes with an alluring erotic smile. Then she whispered up to her in an arousing husky tone.

"And I mean passionate seductive sexy deep lovers too" Now the normally stoic woman went another two shades crimson. Xena felt more then hot and she slowly released the bard, and walking in a daze back to Argo. She quietly grabbed the waterskin while keeping one arm against the mare's side, feeling the weakness in her knees. She ambled back to her bard, still red with embarrassment, while holding the waterskin. The warrior took a big gulp from the waterskin, then handed to the bard who took it with a devilish grin. After the blond took her sip, Xena retrieved the skin and placed it back on the saddlebag. She gazed at her partner, who was grinning at her with a seductive grin, eyes filled with desire. Xena raked her fingers through her jet-black hair, gulping.

"Umm" Is the only words the warrior comes up with and then the bard finally breaks her stare and falls into a spell of giggles. She fell into Xena, giggling and clenching her stomach against the pain.

"You...should your...self" The tall woman wrapped her arms around the bard while she continued to giggled. The bard tried to get her words out between the laughter.

"I'm taking it was pretty funny huh?" Gabrielle nodded and broke into and another fit of giggles as she ran the images through her head again. Finally feeling control over herself, Gabrielle stood up straight, looking back up at the warrior, who was still a bit red but smirking. They both then began to start off on their trek again.

"Pay backs sure are a bitch" Gabrielle laughed some at her soulmate's words and then smiled, feeling the goodness out of smiling and laughing. The warrior reached over then grasped Gabrielle's hand, interweaving their fingers. Soulmates.

Janice stiffened a yawn, tired from all the endless driving she had done today, first heading north then now east. Straight ahead of her she saw the mountains which are the markings of the Amazon Nation. The sun was just behind them in another western mountain range, but getting ready to set with in an hour or so. The small woman figured they make it to the Amazonian Mountains way before then. They needed to, considering the headlights of the rusty truck are broken and wouldn't do much good. She then glanced to her right, to spot a tall form slowly nodding off to sleep, that made her grin. Janice could see that the aristocrat was trying not to fall asleep, but she couldn't help it. The small blond reached over with her right hand and grasped the taller woman. Melinda was startled, but then looked over at her partner to see her concentrating on her driving.

"How much long till we make it there love?" The archeologist released her hand from Mel's and rubbed her temples from the days thinking.

"Um I'd say about fifteen more minutes" Mel smiled sweetly and gazed out the window, at the mountains. She was excited to be heading to the Amazon Nation. She could only hope that Xena and Gabrielle's remains lied there. Where else could they be? Melinda just hoped and prayed that the remains were located there, more then likely they would be. The aristocrat then looked from the side window the front window; the trucked slowed, going another five hundred feet, then cutting off. Janice reached down putting the old truck's brakes on then reaching for her bag and Mel's as well. The tall woman looked to her, smiling, Janice smiled back and grabbed the keys, hopping out. Melinda herself slowly staggered out of the truck, straightening her back as she hit the ground. Both women walked up towards the front of the truck, both looking up. The taller woman pushed her glass back up on the bridge of her nose, Janice dropping the two bags to the ground.

"My lord!" Janice looked at Mel then back at the mountains that faced them.

"Jesus H Christ, there better be a god damn path through those big ass things" Blue eyes turned to face the gruff woman, frowning.

"Janice Covington!" Janice turned her head to her soulmate, slightly grinning.

"Sorry love, didn't mean that. Its just those are some fuuu...ntastic mountains" The taller woman placed her hands on her khaki pant hips and raised a dark eyebrow at her partner. "What? I didn't say the word....frigen or at least the bad version" Mel didn't change her composure, still lightly glowering at her companion. The small blond turned complete towards her lover, closing in the distance between. She then wrapped her arms around her soulmate's waist pulling them in closer, Mel not changing her posture one bit.

"You have to admit sweetheart, that I haven't been cussing that much lately...or drinking" Mel released her hands from her hips and wrapped them around Janice's waist, tightly. The tall woman leaned down, nose to nose with the other woman. Her frown forming into a sexy smile.

"No you haven't and I'm really proud of you Janice" The archeologist smiled back up into the pale sky blue eyes.

"Thanks, that means a lot. Been trying real hard...just for you" Mel lightly blushed, feeling the love. She liberated one hand and brought it up to the back of Janice's fedora. Grabbing the brim, Mel pulled the hat off throwing to the ground, soon afterward placing her hand behind Janice's head. Then she leaned in, capturing the blond's lips with a deep passionate kiss, both tongue's intertwining. The kiss continued on for several moments, sending waves through both women, heating them. Melinda was the one to break the kiss first, since she was the one going in frenzy over the intensity. The blond held on to her lover as she shook off the desire that almost over took her body and mind.

"I've gotcha Mel" The tall woman pulled her hand off her forehead, smiling down at her partner, lightly smiling.

"I'm okay. My lord, sometimes I forget just how intense one kiss can be between us" A devilish grin formed on the small woman's face. She then released her soulmate and gathered up her two bags and throwing her hat back on from the ground. Slowly walking closer to the mountain range with Mel beside her. Janice looked around at her surroundings, spotting a small stream coming from the mountains. Some brush surrounded it in a "U" shape, making a nice safe haven. Both woman ambled over to the spot walking in the center, Janice then dropped her bags and smiled up at the belle.

"Look good for you?" Mel gazed around at the spot, nodding in authorization.

"Looks fine to me hun" Janice nodded as well, then gazed at the mountains once more, seeing that the sun was a little above the mountain ridges.

"Mel, can you go in the back of the truck and get our bedrolls while I get use some fired wood" The southerner didn't respond, and head towards the truck instead. Janice turned her head away from her soulmate, the truck, and road, heading into the woods. Once Mel returned she laid out their bedrolls then unpacked their cooking supplies with food. After doing so, Janice reappeared from the woods, arms full of wood and twigs. Throwing to the ground, the archeologist and translator both began to make a fire. Within a few minutes they had a roaring fire starting, crackling and burning, with the sent of burning wood in the air. Standing up, the small woman gazed at the sun once more in the western mountains, at the tip of the mountaintops was where the sun lay. Turning her eyes to the taller form, Janice smiled sweetly at her soulmate.

"So you up to watching that sunset before starting dinner?" Mel grinned and padded over to her archeologist.

"Only if your stomach can last that long" Janice rolled her eyes at Mel then started to migrate out of their camp, Mel following right behind her. The small blond walked closer to the opening of the eastern mountains, which led to the Amazon Nation and found a small footpath between two massive mountains.

"Well looks like we are some what lucky hun, there is a footpath through the mountains. Kinda small but it'll work" Melinda stood beside her archeologist looking down the path, nodding in agreement. Then blue eyes ignored the path and looked around for a comfortable spot to sit, find one the southerner padded over to it. Green eyes looked over to the tall belle, dressed in khaki pants, light blue shirt, with boots and haired pulled up, glasses on. Janice grinned over to her soulmate lying down on the ground with her back against an olive tree, looking towards the mountains to the west and sunset. Sky blue eyes regarded Janice with a smile, Mel had to grin at her soulmate. She never changes, pun intended, Janice still wore her khaki pants, light brown shirt, leather jacket on and high boots. Her revolver to her right with her bullwhip to her side and hair up the way she always like it cover by her hat. To the belle her partner looked beautiful as always no matter what she wore. Janice slowly walked over to Mel, grinning to her then she stripped off her jacket, gun and whip placing beside Mel. The aristocrat opened her arms and Janice compiled, sitting into Mel. She then closed her arms tightly around Janice's waist, feeling the blond snuggle into her. For Mel this was very rare, to have her lover submit to something her lover would consider weak. The southerner knew that her partner was gruff, tough and hated being a mushball. But once in awhile Janice would let go of all that and just soak in their love, connection. Mel released one arm from Janice and removed her black glasses placing them beside Janice's stuff close by them. After placing her arm back around Janice's waist, the blond removed her hat placing it in her lap then lean against Mel.

"I can't believe I'm going to tell you this, but sometimes I just love this" The translator grinned to herself after hearing that submission and tightened her arms.

"I know what you mean love" Janice sighed and gazed up at the sun, seeing it begin to sink behind the mountains. Rays of light came streaming through the openings between the westward mountains sending different a ray of colors through the sky. Was pretty intense Janice thought, her mind began to slowly try and describe the beauty before her. The small woman always had this natural wonder for describing things, and she always had a yearning to writing things down to be able to capture the moment. The bard in her. That's what Janice labeled it as, she hated that half of herself, the half of her that was the irritating blond bard descendant, Gabrielle. But she could deny the fact she always had the urges to create stories in her head, just the utmost vivid pictures. It always amazed the small woman how clear it came to her, and the enjoyment she got from describing things. She had always wondered why she saw so much beauty in this disgusting world, until she found out whom she was related to, that answered everything. Janice sighed and looked down from the sunset at her hands, Mel watching from behind in intent. The aristocrat squeezed Janice some and the blond placed her hands on top of Mel's, weaving their fingers together. She then rested her head against Mel's shoulder once more, gazing up at the intense colorful sunset.

"You know Janice, this reminds me of Xena and Ga..." The blond abruptly jumped out of Mel's arms turning to her with anger stricken eyes. Her right hand gripping her hat with white knuckles.

"I am not Gabrielle nor are we Xena and Gabrielle" Janice turned her back on the sitting female and padded of in front of her into the woods. Mel dropped her head and frowned while running her hands through her dark hair bangs.

"Stupid Melinda Pappas, you know she hates being related to them" The tall woman dropped her head against the tree and sighed, mentally kicking herself in the butt for what she said. She then looked in the direction Janice had stomped off to and rose up off the ground. Melinda picked up her glass from the ground placing them back on. Then she reached for Janice's jacket, gun, and whip heading off to the direction Janice had headed off to. After taking a good amount of paces in the woods, Mel could her the roar of a small waterfall, closer to the mountains. Coming around a bend, she spotted the waterfall and her soulmate, leaning against a tree, staring across to the waterfall. The tall woman slowly walked up to Janice, no expression on her face. Janice had heard her awhile back ago coming in her direction, but decided not to acknowledge her till she came closer. Once the black haired woman come right up beside Janice, the blond turned to her with a serious face.

"Sorry about that Mel, didn't mean to snap at you like that" Mel shook her head and held up her free hand then lowering it once more.

"No its my fault Janice, I shouldn't have mentioned them when it comes to you and I" Now it was the archeologist's turn to kick herself in the butt mentally. 'What the hell is my problem? We are getting in to a fight over Xena and Gabrielle. I've just gotta accept the fact I'm related to that little bitch bard' The small woman reached down and grasped Mel's hand

"Us Mel, Us" A pause. "I need to really not lose my temper like that and recognize that I am Gabrielle's decedent whether I like it or not" Mel nodded some, but the sadness still evident on her face, making Janice's heart ache. "One of these days I'll accept who I am related to Mel. I am stuck as it, I am getting use to it don't worry" The belle nodded again then began to hand Janice her stuff.

"Here you left these back there" Janice smiled a little and took her jacket putting it on then putting her weapons back in their places.

"Thanks Mel, for bringing my stuff and for...putting up with me" The tall woman grunted a little and both woman turned towards the waterfall.

"Putting up with you is hardly the statement I am afraid" Janice rolled her eyes as she gazed at the waterfall.

"Well you ain't so easy to look after either Mel" Melinda turned to her partner, hands on hips and raising an eyebrow at Janice.

"I beg your pardon Dr. Covington" Janice turned away from the waterfall to face her lover, grinning wildly.

"Oh come on Mel, you do happen to get us into a lot of trouble and I am always saving you and I" The aristocrat stood up straight her hands still on her hips looking harshly at Janice, trying to intimidate her lover.

"Well doctor I'm afraid you are quite wrong, I never got into any trouble until I met you. So you are the one that is bring on all this trouble" The small woman rubbed her neck a little then dropping her arm back down to her side.

"Hmmm maybe, but I never had so many problems since you stepped into my tent about a year ago" Mel dropped her arms and wrapped them around the gruff woman's waist pulling her in. Blue eyes gazed down into stoic green eyes, seeing a sly grin covering the small woman's face.

"So are you complaining Janice Covington?" Janice's grin turned more seductive as she gazed up at her soulmate feeling their connection and the warmth, enjoying it.

"Oh no, I enjoy it way to much. I'd take you and the trouble any day" Mel rolled her blue eyes then leaned in, kissing Janice erotically. Janice opened her mouth letting the taller woman explore her mouth. The raven-haired woman's legs went weak, as their kiss became deeper. Finally the taller woman broke the kiss needing to take control over her emotions. Both woman looked away for a second taking a deep breath, but still wrapped up in each other's embrace. Turning back to each other, and smiling to the other. "We have to really stop doing that" Mel light laughed and continued to smile.

"Oh it's not really that bad of a thing I reckon" Janice smiled and released one of her hands, grasping one of Mel's hands from her own waist. The archeologist intertwined their hands smiling to the other, both pair of eyes warm with love.

"It just tells you how crazy we are for each other love" Melinda squeezed the smaller woman's hand and turned towards where their camp laid. They both strutted over in the direction of the campsite, hand in hand. Making their way into the camp, they both noticed their fire was still burning. The archeologist released Mel's hand and walked over to the fire, throwing a few large pieces of wood in. The taller woman headed over to their packs and dug through them, retrieving her cooking supplies and plates. As the belle stood up straight and turned to the fire, she gazed at the form staring into the fire, standing. The small woman had her hands on her hips and Mel was viewing her from the woman's side. Janice's strawberry-blond hair glowed with the fire while her face glistened with every flicker of the fire. Her whip stood half way out from the inside of the leather jacket, which was reflecting the yellow of the fire as it wavered across her worn jacket. Mel memorized the site of her soulmate, she didn't want to move, she could just stand there and stare at Janice forever, and it was one of the most beautiful site to her. Finally after a few minutes of only hearing the crackle of the fire and a few wolf howls, Mel moved to the fire and her partner.

"Do you realize how gorgeous you look infront of that fire?" Janice looked away from the fire to Mel, across from her. Melinda wasn't sure, but she thought her lover was blushing over the compliment. Or was it just the fire? Now it became more evident, Janice's face was red and not yellow. 'Nope that is my soulmate blushing. She looks so cute too. I better not tell her that' Mel lightly chuckled to herself at seeing the archeologist flushing. Then Janice's face turned into a scowl, trying to keep Mel from laughing at her redness. But it failed miserably, only making Mel laugh more. Janice shook her head a little and then ambled over to the log near the fire, sitting quietly on it. Mel took the some of the dry meat and vegetables out from the sealed bag and throwing them into a medium sized black pot. She then picked up a decent size bowl and heading over to the river. Janice watched her go then she stood, padding over to where Mel left the cooking hook with stand. Carrying it to the fire, the archeologist set it up over the fire, so Mel could boil and make the stew. Rising up, the small woman caught the tall figure coming from the river. Mel strolled over to Janice and leaned into the fire, hooking the bowl full of water over the fire, letting it boil. Straightening back up she turned back to Janice smiling at her. They both strutted over to the piece of timber together, sitting next to each other. The southerner wrapped one arm around Janice's waist and laid her head on top of the blond's shoulder. Janice grinned inwardly then rested her own head against Mel's head. Neither said anything, just relaxing in the other's warmth and presence. Janice would never admit to Mel, that she loved the protection feeling she gained from Mel's tall presences or strong arms. But she couldn't help but love it and well pretty much crave it inwardly. She sighed in contentment, she lifted her head and to her right at her lover, her blue eyes were closed. The fire's glow made Mel's own face luminescence with perfection along all her angular plains on her face. Carefully, Janice reached over removing the taller woman's glass, placing them on her lap. Janice's heart almost seemed to stop, she couldn't get over the beauty of her soulmate, the way her face curved and perfect lips at the right hue. Slowly, intense sapphire eyes opened, the firelight twinkled in her eyes as they turned towards emerald eyes, which were reflecting the fire as well.

"Hey" Janice grinned down at her partner and responded.

"Hey yourself there sexy" The taller woman rolled her eyes then grinned back at the archeologist.

"My glasses?" To add to that, Mel held out her hand and smaller hand placed the black glasses in them. "Thanks You" Mel slowly rose from Janice's side, freed her arm from the blond's waist. She then put her glasses back on then walked over to the fire. "So was I really that interesting?" The small woman grinned across to her friend, eyes twinkle, but not because of the fire Mel quickly realized.

"Oh yeah, beyond interesting" Now it was Mel who began to blush before the fire, only making Janice grin devilishly. Melinda coughed a little then cleared her voice.

"Well I suppose so, of course the same always goes for you honey" Janice lightly grunted and lowered her eyes to the grassed covered ground.

"Uh huh, a gruff tough guy dressed girl like me eh?" Mel looked from the bowl over the fire to her lover.

"Janice Covington, you give yourself no credit do you?" Mel paused to let a frown shape her lips. "I think you are beyond gorgeous. And if anybody thinks different then they haven't seen all of Janice Covington" Janice lightly laughed at the end remark of her southerner's.

"I'd say not. Few people have seen all of me" Mel scowled the blond then lifted the bowl over the fire and by the pot containing vegetables and dry meat.

"You know what I mean Janice" The tall woman then knelt a little and poured the boiling water into the pot. She then lifted the pot and latched it over the fire, letting it cook for a few minutes. The belle then walked back over to the packs and bent down rummaging through her bag. Finding her target, the woman stood up holding the item behind her back. "Janice, close your eyes, please" Janice raised an eyebrow at the other woman, but did as she was asked. Seeing the verdant eyes closed, the tall woman walked over to her. Bending down infront of the petite woman, Mel began to grin. "Okay open up your hands" Janice sighed and opened her palms on her lap.

"Mel you know how I hate surprises" Mel continued to grin and said in a low voice to Janice.

"Oh trust me you'll want this one hun" The deep voice sent a shiver down Janice's back then she felt the article placed in her hand from a pair of warmer larger hands. Slowly the sea green eyes opened and looked down at the item, a large smiled formed on the small woman's face. Contained in the woman's hands was small box of Janice's favorite cigars, Cuban cigars. Mel looked up into those pair of eyes she adored so much, seeing them twinkle with happiness and warmth.

"I'll be damned. How did you manage to stash these things?" Melinda lightly shrugged her shoulders and smiled up at Janice.

"Hmmm was hard, put managed to" Janice smiled even more brightly and reached for Mel, hugging her tightly whom hugged her in equal effort.

"Thank you so much Mel. When and where did you manage to get these?" The tall woman released the other woman and stood up and sat beside her soulmate.

"I got them before we left Charleston. I knew we wouldn't find any here in Greece. So brought them for back up once you ran out" Janice cautiously opened the box and gazed inside at the contents. As soon as the lid was lift, an extreme sent of the cigars overwhelmed Janice, making her sigh in pleasure. She couldn’t believe how much she missed that sent and looking closer Janice noticed a pack of matches within. Janice was so tempted to have one right there and now, but decided she should wait till after her dinner. Turquoise eyes the entire time had watched in contentment at seeing her soulmate's happiness. Frugally, Janice closed the lid then ran her hand over the seal on the top of the lid, Cuba seal.

"I can wait till after dinner...I think" Mel chuckled a little and smiled at her soulmate. "Thanks again Mel, that was a great surprise. Really been missing these things" The dark haired woman reached over and clasped her hand over the other woman's. Blue eyes stared into green ones, both losing into the other's beauty and power. Each woman's face glowed from the fire making them so radiant that the other thought they were in heaven, didn't want to be any where else. Janice reached up and with a feather touch, caressed the other woman's cheek. Mel sighed and leaned more into the other woman's touch, closing her eyes for a brief moment then opened them slowly again. The emerald intense eyes gazed into the warm blue ones that twinkled and flickered with the fire. The southerner then grasped Janice's hand lightly and brought the other woman's hands to her lips, kissing them tenderly. Now the green eyes closed in pleasure and opened once more idly looking into desire filled eyes. The tall woman then placed their hands on her lap and leaned in, obtaining the other woman's lips. Janice brought her free hand up and placed it around the back of Mel's neck, forcing the kiss deeper. As tongue's searched the other's mouth, they began to explore the other's lower torso. Finally they broke the kiss and Janice grasped Mel's hand and leaned her forehead against the other woman's.
"Mel, the dinner" Mel lightly laughed and tried to catch her breath then stood up as Janice released her hands.

"Mel, the dinner" Mel lightly laughed and tried to catch her breath then stood up as Janice released her hands.


~*Part 6*~

The small form looked up from her platter of food and gazed around at her surroundings, she smiled briefly. Then turning to her right she caught site of her tall soulmate, who was leaning back in her chair, arms crossed resting on her stomach. Her face was expressionless, it was easy to tell that the dark haired woman was just relaxing and listening to the conversation at the table. Gabrielle dropped her arm from the chair and reached next to her, to her soulmate. Xena caught this in the corner of her eye, and she slowly dropped her right hand. Mid-way the two hands clasped together, Xena acting like nothing happened while Gabrielle smiled at the warrior quickly. Then turning her eyes around at the table, at the other Amazons. To her right was the regeant, Ephiny, who sat tall in her seat, shoulder length curl blond hair hanging down. Ephiny laughed while clutching her stomach as she looked at Solari across the table. Epinion sitting next to Solari was just grinning as Solari told her joke to everybody at the table. Around the table there were countless other Amazons, ones Gabrielle recognized others she didn't Most of them she did, they have been in the Nation for long as the bard could remember. Once she brought her thoughts back to the dinner at hand, everybody was silent at her end of the table. Then Epinion looked to the strawberry-blond, faintly smiling, Gabrielle caught her eyes and smiled back.

"So my Queen, what exactly happened to Poteidaia? I mean if you prefer not to talk about it, it is quite fine. Was just curious as to how Valasca destroyed it" Gabrielle dropped her head for a brief moment and felt a squeeze at her hand. Keeping her head down the bard turned her sites to the other woman, Xena lightly smiled to her. The bard then rose her head back up, facing Epinion with serious eyes, in Epinion's eyes Gabrielle could see a ping of regret in them.

"Its all right Epinion, its better I speak of it then brush it off" She paused and let the silence soak in for a second as everybody's ears and attention were on her. "Once Xena and I arrived there, everything was scorched, nothing was left. Maybe a few burned bodies and burnt wood" Gabrielle took a deep breath at the memory and felt Xena intertwine their fingers, making the bard smiling inwardly. 'Gods I love her, my savior' "Once we started heading here, we um...bumped into Valasca kinda. Xena and I fought her and when we thought she had us, somebody popped up to help" Gabrielle began to faintly grin, intriguing everybody.

"Who was that Gabrielle?" The bard looked back to Epinion at her question, but smiling now.

"Well Artemis showed up and stopped Valasca. She then took Valasca's god hood away, but she is still immortal, and now is currently living in a cavern" Epinion grinned at the Amazon Queen and nodded in happiness.

"That is defiantly good, hope she stays there for once" Epinion smiled then Ephiny turned to look at Gabrielle from her food.

"How the hell did Valasca even get out of the lava pit?" The bard frowned some and placed her free arm up on the table.

"Ares let her out, but made a pack with her" The curly blond raised an eyebrow at that in question. "She had agreed with Ares to kill me and in Ares' hope for Xena to return to his side" Ephiny nodded as well and then slightly grinned.

"I bet he'll get centaur poop from Artemis, her queen trying to be killed won't make her happy one bit" Gabrielle lightly chuckled and began to grin once more.

"Oh defiantly, her two chosen and her Queen" Ephiny's eyes widen at the statement and lightly shook her head.

"Two chosen? You mean Xena and you are both Artemis' chosen" The smaller woman lightly nodded in answer and tighten her grip on Xena's hand for a fleeting moment. "Wow that’s great Gabrielle and Xena. Congratulations to you two" Gabrielle smiled sweetly at Ephiny and caught all the gazes in the room, between "awe" and shock.

"Thanks Eph" Now the silence masked the room once more, uncomfortable. Then Epinion began to speak, almost more out of thought, she had the look of deep thought.

"Sure is hard losing the ones you love" The bard's gaze turned to the weapon's master seated across from her. Gabrielle's expression went sad and she nodded a little. "Well everybody has to go sometime, even the ones we love" A shot of pain swept through the bard, making her heart ache with immense pain. She brought her free hand off the table and up to her forehead, she quickly rose from the chair, releasing Xena's hand. Epinion quickly realized what she had just said and was about to say a word of apology to her Queen, but it was to late. Gabrielle gave the Amazon a harsh look and power walked out of the dinning hall, head hanging low. Once the woman left the room, Epinion stared in shock, her mouth slightly hanging open. Then a tall form rose from the chair next to where the bard had sat and leaned over the table, staring directly at the weapon's master. Epinion looked up at the dark person, cold dark eyes borrowed into her's. The Amazon slightly shivered and could feel her hairs on end, standing up straight. Xena needed no words to express her anger, it was more then evident in her posture and eyes. The warrior continued to stare at Epinion with cold eyes, filled with anger, her hands gripping the table in control. Finally Epinion dropped her gaze to the table and Xena straightened up, turning on her heels. The tall leather-clad form walked out the dinning hall with large strides in pursuit of her soulmate. Once Xena made it out the doorway, she heard the sounds of somebody crying, her bard. Her heart skipped a beat; she could feel what Gabrielle was feeling in her gut. Looking to her right, the warrior spotted the bard, down on the ground sitting. Her arms wrapped around her legs, which were up against her chest, she was in a ball hugging herself while rocking. Xena quickly hurried over to Gabrielle and the bard rose up, wrapping her arms tightly around the other woman. The small woman buried her face in between the warrior's breasts, crying the pain she felt. Xena wrapped her arms snug around the bard, enclosing the bard, as she cried. The both rocked back and forth as Xena rested her head ontop of Gabrielle's as the young woman weeped. The warrior's heart ached with pain at seeing her lover like this, she wish she could just wave her hand and make everything better. But she knew she couldn't so she did the second best thing and that was to comfort her. Finally the bard rose her head up, looking up into somewhat still cold blue eyes. The tall woman's eyes warmed for the bard, Gabrielle's herself were extremely red and sadden.

"Xena, can we get out here? Go for a walk or something?" Xena smiled slightly at the smaller woman and raised her hand, cupping the bard's chin in her hand.

"Yeah, come on, I know a perfect place to head to" The bard released the taller woman, but wrapping on arm around the tall form's waist. Xena leisurely placed an arm around the bard's shoulders, protecting her. They both headed out of the village and into the forest surrounding the Amazon town. The night was cool, with a soft breeze ruffling the green leaves ever so slightly. The sky was clear, the stars twinkling brightly with a full moon lighting the night. In the night air, there was strong smell of oak tree and olive trees as well a tint of figs. The tall leather-clad woman walked with a strong gate, her chakram shimmering in the night from the moon along with her bronze armor. Her blue eyes took on a darker color as well as sparkled. The small form that was secured tightly in the warrior's arm was walking with a strong gate as well. She carried her strawberry-blond head high, her eyes still a tint of red, but flickering as well. The young woman's hair was being brushed back by the small breeze as the moon's light brought out her dark tan generating her beauty. Slowly they walked deeper and deeper into the woods, enjoying their surroundings, letting nature overwhelm them with its beauty. Taking a few more paces, they came to a large lake, the moon lying right above the mountains in front of them. The moon's rays cascading over the lake making it shimmer and glisten with pure beauty, taking the bard's breath away. Xena and Gabrielle gradually walked down to the lake's edge, staring in awe at the lake and the reflection. Xena looked down at the bard's face, to see nothing but an amazement expression and wide eyes, Xena grinned. The small woman felt those intoxicating blue eyes on her, looking to them she smiled at her soulmate, who mirrored it back.
"This is really beautiful Xena, thanks for bring me here" The searching blue eyes continued to watch warmly at the bard.

"This is really beautiful Xena, thanks for bring me here" The searching blue eyes continued to watch warmly at the bard.

"I wouldn't share it with anybody else but you, my bard" Gabrielle grinned, then hugged the warrior with a tight squeeze. After hugging the young woman, the ex-warlord looked around the bank and found what she was searching for. Grabbing the bard's hand, she led herself and the bard to a large rock by the bank. Releasing the small hand, Xena unclipped her sword placing it close by the rock. Then she sat down, back against the rock, legs spread as the bard sat down, snuggling into her. Strong protective arms enclosed the bard around her waist, warming her stomach, making her feel secure and safe. Gabrielle placed her head against the warrior's shoulder and continued to stare at the scene before her. She could feel her connection with Xena as she nestled in closer, she was only surrounded by warmth and safety, by the gods how she loved this. Xena also kept watching the lake, moon, stars, and mountains before her, then she felt a small soft hand being placed on top of hers. The warrior clasped her hand with the other one, weaving their hands together. "You feeling better now?" Gabrielle nodded to this question and raised her head from the shoulder.

"Yeah I guess so, I shouldn't have over reacted to Epinion's statement" Xena frowned some to that remark.

"No you have right to, Epinion should have kept her mouth shut" The Amazon Queen lightly giggled at Xena's words. "What is so funny?" To emphasize her question, Xena squeezed the bard harder.

"Its just the fact you said Epinion should have kept her mouth shut, kinda sounds funny" The warrior grinned and shook her head a little. "Well it does" Gabrielle then brought her arm down, resting it on Xena's left leg, caressing the warrior's leg lightly. Xena closed her eyes for a brief moment enjoying the warmth she was surrounded in, something she only dreamed about before. "I still can not believe though what happened to Poteidaia Xena. I am never going to be able to accept it" Idly deep blue eyes opened again, Xena pulled the bard in more all the way against her chest. The warrior knew the bard wanted to talk about things, making knots turn in the tall woman's stomach. She knew she wasn't very good at talking to people about their emotions, but she would do anything for her soulmate.

"Yeah I know, it's not an easy thing to accept. What you been thinking about since it happened?" The bard didn't respond right away, she thought about that, hatred filled eyes looked down at the sand.

"Just wish I could have stopped it, like I should have been there. And I just want to kill Valasca for it, for killing my whole family. Part of me really wants to coil up inside myself so I won't get hurt any more. Just to many things have happened to me these past years Xena" Xena leaned forward some, resting her chin on the other woman's shoulder.

"That’s how I was after I lost Lyceus, just didn't want to be hurt any more, couldn't handle it" Xena sighed some, feeling some of that pain return. "But you can't let that take you over, let it destroy who you are. Just have to hang on to the things or people you love to help make things better" The younger woman faintly smiled and squeezed Xena's hand tightly.

"Yeah that’s what I've been doing, hanging onto love, hanging onto you" Gabrielle didn't speak for a few heartbeats then took a deep breath letting her sadden eyes fill with unshed tears. The bard tried hard to hold them back and to keep a straight voice. "I hope I can make it though. Things feel dark and hopeless, but I don't feel that as much when I think of you, look at you, talk to you. You bring so much hope and love to my life Xena. By the gods, where would I be without you?" The warrior smiled some as she lifted her chin off the bard's left shoulder.

"Well you'd probably be at home, safe and sound, while I would probably be dead without you" Gabrielle shook her head some and laid back into Xena once more.

"I doubt it Xena, you’re a warrior" The older woman took a deep breath as she leaned back against the huge rock, feeling its coolness on her back.

"Maybe, but I really truly doubt it. You're my light, my savior" The bard grunted some and slightly grinned.

"You are my more then one way" Xena chuckled lightly and felt the warm hand on her leg tighten its grip for a few moments then loosen.

"Yeah I still have yet to figure out how you attract so much trouble my bard. Trouble follows you like your shadow" Gabrielle grinned and lightly patted Xena's leg.

"I guess you'll never get over or admit to the fact you are really the one attracting trouble" Xena laughed deeply at that, and squeezed the bard for a few seconds.

"Love, I think you are the one having the denial issue here" Gabrielle slightly turned in Xena's arms and raised an eyebrow at the warrior. The bard could feel their competitive streaks kicking in, a challenge

"Don't get me started in this big debt" The taller woman grinned devilishly at the other woman. She then leaned in and kissed Gabrielle passionately, feeling the bard respond with equal force. The bard then broke the kiss feeling the need for air, she then scowled the warrior with a look. "Now you made me forget what we were talking about" The warrior smirked and released one hand from the bard's back and began to stroke Gabrielle's left cheek. The bard leaned into Xena's hand, feeling the softness and gentleness of the warrior's, that always surprised the bard. A warrior that could be hard and stoic, could also be soft, gentle, and loving. Xena smiled warmly as the bard closed her eyes and let Xena's touch overwhelm her. Gradually the warrior leaned in and captured the bard's lips, this kiss more gentle expressing her love more then before. Leisurely they broke their kiss, but didn't bring their heads back as much. Slowly both pair of eyes opened a pair of intense sapphire ones with a glow to them from the moon. The other pair, emerald eyes, twinkling with the stars that cover the sky above. Both sets of eyes searched the other pair, seeing the love held within them as well as reassurance of things to come. Xena casually leaned back again on the rock, looking lovingly to the pair of green eyes gazing at her. Xena took a deep breath and looked directly into those intense green eyes, closing off the world around her for one rare moment. Then taking another deep breath, Xena sat straight up reaching for Gabrielle's hand, she intertwined their hands. Xena closed her eyes and began to sing in an elegant voice to her soulmate.

Stop your crying,
It will be all right.
Just take my hand hold it tight
I will protect you from all around you
I will be here, don't you cry.

For one so small, you seem so strong
My arms will hold you keep you safe and warm
This bond between us can't be broken
I will be here don't you cry

Because you will be in my heart
Yes you'll be in my heart,
For this day on and forever more
You'll be in my heart
No matter what they say
You'll be here in my heart

Why can't they understand they way we feel?
They just don't trust what they can't explain
I know we're different,
But deep inside us
We're not that different at all

And you'll be in my heart
Yes you'll be in my heart
From this day on now and forever more

Don't listen to them
Because what do they know?
We need each other to have, to hold
They'll see in time
I know
When destiny calls you, you must be strong
I might not be with you
But you've got to hold on

They'll see in time
I know
Seweden together

Because you'll be in my heart
Believe me you'll be in my heart
I'll be there from this day on now and forever more

You'll be in my heart
You'll be here in my heart
No matter what they say
I'll be with you
You'll be here in my heart
I'll be with you
I'll be there for you always
Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder
Just look over your shoulder
I'll be there always

Xena opened her eyes once more, looking into green ones, which contain an intense amount of love and were somewhat red. The warrior noticed that the bard was crying some, her grip on the warrior's hand was strong. The taller woman leaned forward and placed a butterfly kiss on the bard's forehead. Gabrielle released her hold on Xena and leaned into the warrior, hugging her tightly. The warrior wrapped her arms around the Amazon Queen holding her tightly.

"How about we stay here tonight?" Gabrielle smiled at the words that were whispered into her ear.

"Yeah, can we?" Xena grinned at that the bard as she leaned back looking at the leather-clad woman.

"Hell why not? Hmmm Eph will be going crazy tomorrow morning wondering where you are" The small woman grinned some at the darker form.

"Yeah well she knows I'm safe with the best warrior in the world" The warrior rolled her eyes some and pulled Gabrielle in, letting her snuggle in comfortably. Xena held her tightly as the bard let the day's events catch up to her.

"Sleep well my bard" Gabrielle grinned and rested cozily in Xena's arms and on her body.

"You too love. Thank you for the song means so much to me. Got make sure I get you to write it down for me" Xena grinned and brushed some of the bard's hair back.

"I will love, get some sleep. Been a long day" Gabrielle nodded some and then let a deep sleep over take her as she slowly closed her eyes. Xena smiled and then rested her head up against the rock. 'I am going to be feeling this tomorrow, but its more then worth all the aches and sore spots' Now slowly blue eyes closed, putting the warrior into a light sleep, her sense still considerable awake protecting and watching over them.

The moon still glistened high in the sky along with the stars that twinkled. A dark figure watched the pair below, hiding high in the trees. The figure begins to lightly grin, eyes sparkle from the moon's glow. They then quickly leap from one tree to the other, making their way to an old rusty brown truck at the end of this long road. The form drops to the ground, hardly making a stir, and then they slowly amble over to the truck. Carefully and with ease, the figure lifts the hood up of the truck and leaves the hood up. Then they remove a dagger from the side of their belt, an old dagger that still shined as if new. Reaching in the body begins to cut wires then destroying a few hoses to add on. Next the form places their dagger back on the their belt and puts the hood back down. Backing up to a tree, the form grins wickedly and holds a laugh back. Doing a high back flip, the person lands on a tree branch once more. They then disappear into the early dawn within the trees, leaving two figures in a camp stranded.


Slowly a tall figure awakens, feeling her surroundings around her, she feels a warm small figure wrapped in her arm, she grins, their small arms wrapped around her. Taking a deep breath she breaths in the sent of the world around her; trees, grass, water, the remains of a fire, and mostly her soulmate's cigar sent. Now her grin turns into a smile remember the night before. Then she begins to listen to her surroundings; the waterfall in the distance, the birds chirping to welcome another day, and beside her the small form's breathing the slow rise and fall. She begins to open her eyes, they focus on the canopy above her, but still blurry as always. The tall woman raked her free hand through her black bangs and looked to her left, to her soulmate. The blond's face was happy, a small smile crossing her lips, making the other woman grin. Her bronze face was buried into the tall woman's side, her head resting on top of the strong arm. The tall woman loved this, when her soulmate for one instant in her day would look so innocent and at ease with the world around her. She would never tell the smaller woman of this, she knew that her soulmate would just brush it off and laugh. Reaching over the dark-haired female brush some of the small blond's bangs to ones side. Slowly, green eyes flutter open gazing into sky blue ones, a smile formed on the blond's lips. Releasing her arm on top of the tall woman's waist she began to caress the soft cheeks of the dark-haired woman.

"How did you sleep Mel?" The southerner didn't speak right away and enjoyed the touch of the archeologist. Then she slowly whispered to her soulmate.

"I slept well. How about you hun?" Janice smiled then leaned up and kissed the lanky woman with a light touch.

"I slept well myself. How about breakfast? My stomach is calling....don't even say a word" Mel laughed and then rolled her eyes.

"No comments need be spoken about your stomach I reckon" Afterwards Janice's stomach decided to agree with Janice making Mel laugh more. The archeologist tried to mask her face with the meanest look, but only made her soulmate laugh more.

For an hour, the two women readied themselves for their trek through the mountains to the Amazon Nation. After having breakfast, they both cleaned up the camp and trotted over to their worn truck. Throwing the two bags to the ground, the blond opened the driver's door and pulled out the other two bags. Janice then sat on the ground with the four bags infront of her, and then a tall figure sat down beside her. The small woman pulled all the belongs from he bag, sorting them into piles; food with cooking supplies, navigational supplies, spare cloths, and then anything dealing with archeology, most important; cigars, and last ammo. Splitting the supplies of each area into what they need to take with them through the mountains and what they could leave behind, she looked to Mel.

"Look good to you Mel?" The blue eyes stared at the seven long sticks of dynamite that lay in the pile of things to go with them.

"So explain to me why we need to take the dynamite? I mean I can understand the bullets for your gun, but explosives" Janice sighed and picked up the dynamite, tossing it up and down in the air some, nerving Mel.

"Incase we need to blow something up. Mel this stuff is always useful you should know that. Remember we stopped Ares that way?" The translator nodded slightly and held her breath till her soulmate placed the explosives back down on the ground, calming her.

"Well we didn't use the dynamite, you did love. I didn't want too, I still do not like the stuff" Janice looked at her soulmate, grinning at her with a small twinkle in her eyes.

"Don't worry Mel, watch us um me end up using it" The tall woman shook her head some and grinned to her best friend.

"Well you would know better what we need to take Janice. So are we set?" The blond nodded in response and packed the supplies up into two bags. Handing their bags for their trek to Mel, Janice took the others and threw them into the truck. The small blond slammed the truck door and locked it up and turned back to her partner. Taking a pack, both woman headed back into the camp, Janice quickly tied a bed roll to each pack and threw water over the fire, snuffing it out. Taking a deep breath, the archeologist could smell the adventure and thrill in the air then she began to walk towards the mountain trail, exhilarated. A tall silent figure walked beside her, smiling feeling the thrill herself, living for it ever since she met her soulmate.

~*~*~*~*~ *~

Both women walked silently together for a couple of hours, going up and down the path and through jagged areas. Janice looked over at her soulmate, who had a serious expression on and watched her footing. Looking back to the path ahead, Janice then reached over, clasping her translator's hand. Mel looked over to the small form, smiling and not expecting her lover to do that. The archeologist felt those sky eyes on her, turning towards them she grinned under her hat. Then they both looked back to the trail through the mountains.

"So what you think Mel?" The translator reached up with her free hand, pushing her black glass back up on her nose more.

"I think...that I can not wait to get there" Janice grinned, knowing that feeling.

"Hmmm me too, want to see Xena's remains" Mel nodded not making any comment to that. The tall woman also wanted to see Gabrielle's remains, but knew her partner didn't care much about them. Mel wanted to see the one woman that had captured the Warrior Princess's heart and could make the warrior do her wishes with ease. See the one woman that was protected by the greatest and most feared fighter in all of Greece. See the woman that never feared the strongest woman in the world and loved, accepted, and protected the warrior back. Melinda didn't just have a great appreciation for Xena but also for her bard, for sticking out the years with Xena when others wouldn't. The bard that forever changed the warrior, making the warrior into a hero the world needed so much. The Amazon Queen that broke through the warrior's walls and brought out the stoic woman's love, something so few could do. Melinda just wished her lover would realize that, maybe some day she will.

"Janice, I still have yet to understand how you wear all of that" The blond looked from her footing to the tall woman beside her.

"Wear what exactly?" Mel kept her eyes ahead of herself, grinning some.

"Wear your gun, hat, whip, and that heavy leather jacket" Janice shrugged some and looked back ahead of herself.

"I just got use to it, I love them" Mel grinned even more and laugh deeply at that. Janice looked at her briefly with a raised eyebrow.

"I kinda thought that by the way you wear the same thing almost all the time" Janice slightly frowned as she power walked up the steep part of the path.

"Well you know how I am about changing out cloths, kinda wasteful. But if you want me to..." Before Janice could finish her words, Mel cut her off.

"No I don't want you changing your style just for me. I love the way you dress, its you. If you changed it then you wouldn't be the same person I fell in-love with" Janice smiled and felt warmth cover her, she defiantly didn't want to stop wearing her gruff cloths.

"Thanks Mel, don’t you change either...pun intended" The belle rolled her eyes and then looked to her lover, smiling at her.

"I reckon I wont hun" Janice grinned and turn her attention back to the path. The women walked along the path, around turns, up small hills, down and down steep areas, and past small lakes and streams. Neither woman knew though of the watching eyes and following forms. They darted in and out of small unseen areas above, behind, and across from the two soulmates. The figures watched and followed with intent as the two pair made their way through the mountains. The forms could feel the two women's intensity of love, which scared them. The forms watch them curiously reminding them of a story they learned along time ago from their mother, who learned it from theirs, from generation to generation. A story of two women that had the strongest love in the world that could be felt generating from them taking your breath away. Could it be these two women passing though the mountains are the ones from the stories? They would have to wait and watch, let destiny and fate unfold before them, unfold for them all.

~*To Be Continued in Section Three*~

Last minute DisClaimer: The song "You'll be in my Heart" is copyright of Phil Collins from Disney's Tarzan of 1999, it belongs to them.

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