Gabrielle stood looking out at the ocean. It had been just over a month since she'd agreed to go with Ares. A mere month since her life had changed. She missed Xena, and the baby, and she even missed Joxer. But she knew she'd done what she had to do. She couldn't stand by and watch Ares destroy Xena's child.
But as the hours drifted into days then into weeks, Gabrielle had to wonder if Ares even meant to go through with his threat. Somehow she doubted it. In the time she'd been with him, he'd been nothing but a gentleman. He still managed to get on her nerves sometimes, but he'd never tried to hurt her or force her into something she didn't want.
When she'd agreed to leave with Ares, she had thought she was doing something brave. She was sacrificing her own life for that of an innocent child. But, now she had to wonder if she hadn't done the selfish thing. Standing alone, she could admit the truth to herself. She was attracted to Ares and a part of her wanted to be with him, but she would never have betrayed Xena to go with Ares. Then, when Ares threatened the baby, it was her chance to protect Xena and be with Ares. Not that she was going to let him know that, not yet at least.
After all, he had threatened her, and she didn't like threats. She did wonder what Xena thought when she found the note. Gabrielle had been careful to word the note in a way so Xena would understand not to come after her. Leaving with Ares had been her choice, regardless of the tactics he'd used. The last thing she wanted was Xena attacking Ares.
Gabrielle's heart skipped a beat as she heard Ares voice and felt him standing just behind her. But, she refused to let him know how much he affected her.
"Don't call me that, Ares. What do you want, anyway?"
"Just checking to make sure you weren't entertaining any thoughts about leaving."
"And where would I go? Besides, I gave you my word. As long as you keep yours, I'll keep mine."
Gabrielle felt Ares move closer, and felt a shudder when he wrapped his muscular arms around her waist, pulling her back against him. Gabrielle closed her eyes, as his fingers caressed her stomach.
"Oh, Gabrielle, still trying to play the martyr. Do you think I don't realize what you feel for me? That I haven't noticed the looks? You want me as badly as I want you. When are you going to stop denying us both?" Ares asked seductively.
Gabrielle tried to pull out of his embrace, but Ares held tightly. A part of her wanted nothing more then to give in to him, allow them both what they wanted. But her mind kept telling her that it was wrong. Being with Ares was to betray everything she believed in......betray everyone she cared about. Tears rolled down her cheeks as her mind waged war with her heart.
Finally, she pulled free of Ares and ran. She needed to put space between them, needed time to sort through her conflicting emotions. Gabrielle stopped momentarily and turned to see Ares still standing where she'd been, watching her with knowing eyes. Fighting the impulse to run into his arms, Gabrielle rushed in the opposite direction.
When she was too tired to run anymore, Gabrielle stopped and leaned against some boulders. Tears ran down her face as she sobbed.
"What am I going to do?" Gabrielle yelled to the skies.