Return to The Artifact Chapter Eighteen

The Artifact

Author: sabina
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and its characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The Tomb Raider videogame is the property of Eidos Interactive and Core Design. This fic is not meant to infringe any copyrights.

Tara felt her mouth go dry. She thanked whatever deity was listening for the fact that she'd been lying down when she heard Willow's question - she was certain her legs wouldn't have been able to hold her up. The raw need in her girlfriend's voice made her go weak in the knees as it awakened a deep, wet throbbing between her legs that couldn't be denied. A moment before this she'd managed to reign in her desires and pull away, but she wasn't sure if she was strong enough to do it again.

Make love to you? God, what I wouldn't give to forget about everything and make love to you. But those damned skeletons...

Summoning every ounce of willpower she possessed Tara turned her head away from the pleading green orbs below her. She faced the metal door in front of her as she tried to voice her thoughts. Her stutter highlighted her nervousness.

"I... I... I'd love t-to make love to you. But wh-what about the ske-skeletons?"

Willow sighed. For an instant she'd forgotten all about traps and skeletons and Tara was her only focus. Tara's touch. Tara's hands all over her body, bringing it back to life.

Skeletons. Shit. But that was a different room. Maybe no skeletons will pop up this time. Okay, who am I kidding? There's no way I'd willingly put Tara in the path of one of those bags of bones. If only there was a way for us to be warned... if we could get a 'heads up' when there was going to be an attack. Ohh, wait a minute. Wait just a minute...

The redhead reached up and cupped her girlfriend's face, tenderly stroking Tara's cheeks with her thumbs while she guided the blonde's eyes towards her own. Dark blue met dark green and the air between them came alive with electricity, but neither one of them noticed as they stared at each other.

For a moment all that could be heard was the sound of them breathing in quick gasps, the air forcefully pulled into their lungs as they both fought to stay still and not give in to the temptation of engaging in a deep kiss. After a long moment Willow averted her eyes from the blue pools above her, took a few calming breaths and then spoke, her voice slightly hoarse.

"Well, I've been thinking. The only real threat from the skeletons is being caught by surprise, right? Because once we're focused on them they aren't too hard to defeat." At Tara's nod the redhead continued. "So if we could rig something to warn us when one of those things is about to strike they'd pretty much be a non-issue, right?"

"Right," the blonde answered, a hint of hope tingeing her tone.

"Well, I was thinking that maybe we could set a kind of alarm to warn us if something comes into the hallway. I have a net bed - a sort of hammock thing - that I always bring with me. It sure beats sleeping on the floor and it's better for my neck and back. I get a lot less stiff by morning. The only problem is that I need something to tie the bed to, trees or conveniently-placed columns. You know, stuff that doesn't generally tend to appear that often in old temples. Um, anyway we could attach it to the walls, basically blocking the way into the corridor. Of course it wouldn't be much of a barrier for the skeletons, but we could hang a couple of light tools... or maybe house keys... oh, and I have an extra watch that we could also use... "

Tara interrupted the redhead's babble when something Willow said raised a question.

"Um, Willow? Tell me something, honey. If you usually sleep on the net bed in rooms with trees in them why haven't you used it before now? We've already been in rooms with trees... "

Willow blushed as she answered with a sheepish tone.

"Ah, well, you see. It's true that there were trees, but um... to tell you the truth, sleeping on the net bed didn't even cross my mind. It's not like some bed of rope could ever compete with sleeping in your arms... "

Tara felt her heart soar as her face flushed red to match Willow's. The redhead's heartfelt honesty and love never failed to amaze her.

I must have done something really, really right in some past life to deserve you, Willow Rosenberg. Please let this alarm of yours work...

Their gazes met lovingly and they melted into each other until Tara broke the silence, eager to know more about Willow's idea.

"So, how would this alarm of yours work?"

Willow was almost startled to hear Tara's voice, since she'd been lost basking in the blonde's tender blue gaze. She rapidly recovered in time to answer her girlfriend's question. "Oh... right. We could hang those things from the netting and they'd make a ton of noise when they hit the floor, alerting us if something enters the corridor or springs up from the floor. Now, I'm just not sure how we can get the net up. Oh, I know! We could use duct tape. I always bring some with me; among other things it comes in handy to patch holes in my backpack and clothes. Not that I go around with lots of holes in my things... it's just... I mean when I'm on a quest and there aren't any clothes stores and I don't have time to mend things properly... but it's not as if I'm all that talented with a needle and thread anyway... and I don't usually use adhesive tape on clothes... I mean I'm not weird or anything... "

Tara unsuccessfully tried to stifle a chuckle. The wide-eyed expression on Willow's face as she babbled on and tried to dig herself out of her imaginary hole was priceless.

Willow... sometimes you're just too cute for words. And beautiful. And smart. And sexy. And I probably should stop that train of thought before it's too late.

The blonde finally took pity on her girlfriend and decided to interrupt her without teasing.

"It's ok, honey. I know what you mean." She gave a reassuring smile before continuing. "And I really like your idea. I have a couple of things we could also use: my house keys, maybe my lock pick. We can probably use the tape to attach the stuff to the net, but uh... I don't think there's any way the tape will be able to hold the net up. I know the net won't be very heavy but tape doesn't stick very well to stone."

"I can't believe I hadn't even thought about that, but you're right of course. So what do you think we could use?"

"Hmm... "

They both fell silent for several seconds until Willow's eyes lit up and she spoke excitedly.

"Tara, did you bring any of those thingies that climbers use to secure their safety rope to stone walls? I can't remember what they're called."

"You mean anchors?" The blonde asked as she began to smile.

"Exactly. Did you happen to bring any?"

"Of course I did. What kind of tomb raider do you think I am?" She sent a mock glare toward her girlfriend before adding the answer to what she knew would be her girlfriend's next question. "I think the anchors should be perfect for holding the net up. I have a hammer with me so it probably won't be hard to force the anchors between the bricks. Besides, it's not like they'll have to hold a lot of weight."

"Great. So what do you think?" the redhead asked.

It took only one look at the hopeful green oceans below her for Tara to lose herself and feel her heart begin to pound faster in her chest. Her mouth went dry and she knew there was only one answer she could give.

"I think it'll work."

"You mean...?" the redhead asked breathlessly as her heart began to beat just a little faster. She had a hard time believing her ears and needed one last confirmation that it was indeed true; that their wait was about to end and they were going to make love.

Tara smiled sensing the redhead's eagerness and nodded as she gave her answer.

"I mean."

For a couple of seconds neither one of them said a word, lost in each other's gaze. Promises of love flowed from one heart to another with each heartbeat.

Then Willow craned her neck a little and kissed Tara. What began as a simple peck on the lips turned into a passionate kiss as Tara responded and flicked her tongue against her girlfriend's lips, begging entrance that was quickly granted. They melted into each other for a long moment before pulling away flushed and panting, the ever present fire between them soaring to life once again. Tara reluctantly broke the kiss.

"Mmm. Maybe we should start working."

Please say you agree. I can't take this anymore. I want this trap in place and I want you in place, too - in my arms.

Willow heard the pleading tone in her girlfriend's voice and her control quickly returned. She took a couple of deep breaths and then replied in an even voice.

"Yes, we should."

The faster we have this ready the faster I can be where I want to be... in her arms.

Tara's next question caught Willow off guard.

"Do you know how to use an anchor?"

"Yeah. I tried doing some climbing and I used them a couple of times. Why?"

"Well, I was thinking maybe you could set up the net while I take care of the sleeping arrangements for the night... for our night."

I want to make your first time as special as possible. I want to be the one to make our bed tonight, even if I don't have rose petals to scatter around...

Willow had opened her mouth to ask Tara to help her with the net, but stopped short and didn't make a sound as she heard the last part of her girlfriend's sentence.

Mmm... our night. Gods, why aren't the sleeping arrangements and alarm set up already? No sense in complaining; we'll be together sooner if we divide the tasks.

"Okay. And when I'm finished you can come take a look to see if I've done a good enough job." She leaned again to place a soft kiss on Tara's lips, this time making sure it stayed chaste so as not to tease them too much.

"It's a deal."

"All right then. Now I'll just need the anchors and the other things, please," Willow replied while she moved from under her girlfriend's warm body and stood up. It was only when she got up that she remembered she was clad only on her still soaked bra and panties and for a second she froze and blushed, feeling a little self conscious.

Get a grip Rosenberg. It's not like Tara hasn't seen you like this before... Hello! She was the one who undressed you, remember? Besides you're hoping to get very, very naked with her soon...

The last thought made Willow's lips curve in a mischievous smile and she calmed down and walked to her backpack that was lying on the floor. She opened it and searched for the net bed and for the metal objects she planned to attach to it.

As Willow moved away from her Tara couldn't help but follow her girlfriend with her eyes, drinking in the sight of the redhead's well toned body and the sexy, graceful way in which she moved.

How did I ever get this lucky? I wonder if she knows what she does to me by walking around in her bra and panties. She has the most gorgeous body...

After Willow retrieved the objects she'd need from her bag she turned toward Tara to ask her for her things, but as she looked at her girlfriend the words died in her throat and she had to swallow a couple of times before she could find her voice. Tara had yet to move and was still lying down where Willow had left her. She was looking at the redhead's body with such raw and open hunger in her gaze that it was sufficient to make anyone lightheaded.

"Uhm, Tara, baby?" The redhead squeaked and a blush spread over her face, triggered by the sound and the way the blonde was still looking at her.

"Y-yeah?" The blonde stuttered a little when she realized - from Willow's voice and blushing face - that she'd been caught staring.

Willow couldn't keep from smiling at her girlfriend's deer-caught-in-the-headlights look and the endearing stutter. It felt good to know that she wasn't the only one beginning to feel a little nervous.

"I need your things."

"Oh... of course."

Tara quickly stood up, reached her bag and without having to search much found what she was looking for. She handed the items to Willow and kept her eyes away from the gorgeous body just a step away, knowing she could so easily be mesmerized by the sight and completely forget what it was she was supposed to be doing.

Willow accepted the objects and turned away, equally careful not to catch more than a glimpse of her love's body for fear of getting distracted.

"Thank you, baby."

There will be time to get a lot more than a glimpse... really soon. But right now I have to concentrate and set this thing up so there's no way we'll be caught off guard by some stupid skeleton. Oh boy, it's been quite some time since I used these anchor things. Where do I stick them? Oh yeah, Tara said they'd go in easily between the bricks. Shouldn't be too hard since I have the hammer. Nah, this wall doesn't stand a chance.

Willow focused on affixing the various objects to the net at different heights, and subsequently forced a few anchors between bricks on each side of the wall. She then secured the net to the anchors, making sure it was spread taut and that it blocked the way into the corridor. She eyed her work carefully until she was confident that nothing could come into the corridor without disrupting the net.

In the meantime Tara had picked their sleeping bags up from the floor and carried them to a space near the door, as far from the entrance of the hallway as possible. Her bag was the drier of the two so she laid it down, spread it out, and placed Willow's to the side, leaving it to dry for the moment.

Well, I'm hoping we won't need the extra blanket anytime soon. Hopefully we're a long time from going to sleep.

The last thought evoked a mischievous smile from the blonde and she couldn't prevent it from spreading over her face as an answering shiver of desire shot down her spine.

When she was satisfied with the sleeping bags she returned to the backpacks and carried them to their makeshift bed, carefully placing them in such a way that they would function as pillows. She stopped for a moment to observe her work as she thought about what to do next.

Hmm, I think I have that thin sheet with me. It's small but I could lay it over the sleeping bag. I'm hoping things will get hot, sweaty and messy, and afterwards we'll be more comfortable if we can sleep in a fresh sleeping bag instead of a damp, sweaty one.

Tara smiled wickedly as she thought of what was to come before she walked to her backpack and searched for the small sheet she knew was there. It didn't take long to find it and lay it down over the sleeping bag. Satisfied that their bed was ready Tara turned around and went in search of their scattered clothes.

When she picked up Willow's shorts she noticed a small, soaked cloth protruding from one of the pockets. The other compartment was fastened shut and appeared to have an object inside.

That must be the pyramid. I completely forgot to ask her if she'd found it. Good thing she did... I'm not about to let her go into that damned tunnel again anytime soon!

Tara picked up the remaining clothes and arranged them next to Willow's sleeping bag so they could dry.

She took one last look at their sleeping arrangements to be sure she'd done everything possible to make them comfortable, and then she turned to walk toward Willow.

Happy with her work, Willow was about to call out to Tara when her girlfriend joined her. The blonde contemplated embracing Willow from behind and leaving a kiss on her neck but decided against it, not wanting to distract the redhead - or herself for that matter - from a task that might prove to be vitally important. The alarm had to be perfectly set for them to be safe. So she decided instead on announcing her arrival verbally and leaving the caresses for later.

"Hi honey. How are things going here?"

The redhead smiled and answered her cheerfully.

"I'm done. I was just about to call out for you. And you?"

"Oh, I'm already done."

"Great. Do you want to double check the anchor placement and the rest of the trap? If you do... I could, uhm, go lie down on the bed and... wait for you." Willow paused for a second before adding innocently, "I don't want to distract you while you're working."

The low tone of Willow's voice made Tara swallow hard before answering.


So much for not being distracted. How can I not be distracted with an almost naked sexy redhead lying down, waiting for me? Ok, I can do this. Just a couple more minutes of focus, that's all I'm asking.

With a deep breath Tara concentrated on the net alarm while Willow made her way to the improvised bed. The blonde closely eyed the placement of the anchors and decided that they would hold unless something disturbed them. She thought Willow had done a terrific job.

So far so good. It wouldn't do to start making love and be disturbed by our own contraption falling apart for no good reason. That would certainly ruin the mood.

The blonde carefully checked the items that Willow had attached to the net and saw that they were perfectly placed... the alarm was ready. Tara turned around and as she took her first long look at her almost naked girlfriend lying down on their sleeping bag, she felt herself grow nervous and had to swallow the lump that formed in her throat before being able to speak.

"I think the trap will work perfectly, honey."

She's so beautiful. Oh God, can I really do this? What if I'm not good enough? What if I let her down? What if she suddenly realizes she doesn't want me? Or that she isn't aroused by me? Okay... okay, calm down. Breathe in, breathe out. I can do this. Willow is attracted to me. She's shown me that much and... I love her and she loves me.

And with that last thought Tara began to walk to her girlfriend.

"That's... good." The redhead answered throatily as she was also beginning to feel nervous. It was one thing to let passion consume you and just give in to your body's demands, but to plan it in advance and stick to that plan was a very different thing and Willow couldn't help but feel a little trepidation along with desire as she lay there on the sleeping bag. She nearly forgot to breathe as she watched Tara approach and it made her lightheaded to know that she was about to make love to her girlfriend for the first time.

This is it, we're finally going to make love. No more stretching our self control until it feels like it'll break. No more spending days and nights frustrated, in need of a relief that we can't have. This is it. So why am I so nervous? I wonder if it will hurt? Hmm, from the little taste that I've already had I'm sure Tara will be a wonderful lover. What about me? Do I know what to do? Will I be able to please her? Oh God...

Tara rapidly reached the sheet draped over the sleeping bag, kneeled at Willow's feet, and ran her eyes over Willow's body - her perfectly shaped legs, her damp white panties, her smooth and muscular belly, the rise of her small and perky breasts enclosed in a white sports bra, her creamy neck, her beautiful face, every part of the redhead's body calling out to Tara and making her blood begin to boil in her veins. She simply wanted to devour the woman in front of her.

But then she locked her gaze with Willow's and the mix of nervousness and desire she saw there instantly slowed her down.

"Are you nervous?" she asked softly.

"A little, I'm sorry." Willow answered with a thin voice as Tara's slow perusal of her body had made her mouth go dry. She was actually surprised that her voice had worked at all.

"That's okay, I'm nervous too," the blonde said as she slowly crawled up to where Willow was and laid down next her.

Feeling better after hearing Tara's admission, Willow turned on her side and faced the woman who had constantly been in her dreams - waking and sleeping - since they'd met. She lifted her left hand and tenderly cupped Tara's right cheek while she lazily stroked it with her thumb.

Tara was becoming increasingly distracted by Willow's touch, but she fought the sensation one last time because she had something she wanted to say before she was unable to do so.

"Willow, sweetie?"

The redhead stopped the movement of her thumb and locked eyes with the blonde, giving her girlfriend her undivided attention.


"I love you. We'll go only as fast and as far as you want."

Seeing nothing but love in Tara's gaze Willow felt herself relax and her worries dissolve into nothingness.

"I love you too, baby."

She leaned her head forward and softly captured the blonde's mouth, their lips slowly meshed together for a second before they both opened their mouths and deepened the kiss, their tongues rising to meet each other. The kiss that had begun slow and warm was now heating up to a passionate inferno that burned away any remaining doubts they might have had.

Needing to feel closer Willow snaked one of her arms around Tara's waist for leverage and pushed her own body forward until there wasn't a molecule of air between their bodies. Their breasts touched each other and brought their nipples to life, their legs immediately tangled together in an effort to get even closer. Just then Tara's brain sprang into action and reminded her that they should go slow.

Hold on, Tara... this is her first time, remember? And it's my first time with her.

The blonde brought her hands up, cupped Willow's face, and pulled away from their kiss breathing in gasps while she tried to calm herself and reign in her desires. As soon as the redhead sensed their broken contact she tried to lean forward and recapture Tara's luscious mouth, but was unable to move due to the blonde's hands still tenderly but firmly holding her face in place. She made a disgruntled noise and opened her eyes, hoping to figure out why the kiss had ended. She was met by darkened sapphires that were slightly glazed over with heat and obvious desire. She opened her mouth to ask the reason for the interruption but Tara spoke before she could form the words.

"Slow down, honey. I want to go slow. I'm going to savor you until you don't think you can possibly wait anymore, and then I'm going to make you wait a little longer... and then I'm going to give you everything at once and watch you explode with pleasure in my arms."

Tara's words and low tone stoked Willow's desire and she felt a shiver of excitement go down her spine as wetness slipped the lips of her sex and joined the water in her panties.

"Slow sounds good... " Willow choked out after a moment.

Her voice spurred Tara into action. She gently let go of her girlfriend's face and put her hands on Willow's shoulders, guiding her onto her back. Then she straddled Willow's legs with her knees, hovering above her girlfriend's torso by putting her weight on her stretched arms as they faced each other.

The intimacy of the position wasn't lost on Tara and she felt herself grow wetter. Her nipples hardened further and her body temperature began to rise as she contemplated how open she was to Willow, even with the cloth barrier. It would be so easy to ask Willow to bring her leg up and push it against her center, and Tara was sure that she would come hard after a few strokes of her love's hard muscle on the source of her heat.

Her reverie was broken when she felt Willow's arms wrap around her neck and pull her down to bring their bodies into contact. She didn't resist the pressure and let herself be pulled down. A moan escaped her lips as she heard an answering sound from Willow when their hardened nipples touched through two layers of clothes.

Tara rested her head on Willow's shoulder for a moment, giving them both time to adjust to the feeling of their bodies pressed together.

Willow's hands - still resting on Tara's back - began to move in different directions. One slid down to caress the small of the blonde's back, and the other traveled up to free blonde tresses from a tight ponytail. As silky hair cascaded freely over Tara's shoulders, Willow's hand continued its journey up to skillfully massage Tara's scalp. That earned a deep moan from the blonde as her body responded to Willow's caress and her temperature rose a little more.

"Mmmm... your hands feel so good."

Willow smiled and brought her other hand up to join the first in the massage. A moment later Tara, unable to keep still anymore, lifted her head and without warning covered the redhead's mouth in a deep kiss. Her lips fell open to let her tongue slip out and seek the awaiting warmth of Willow's mouth. Willow greeted the invading tongue by closing her lips and sucking greedily on the probing muscle, which earned her another low moan from her girlfriend. Both of her hands slid down Tara's neck and back caressing her soft, hot skin in circles.

After a moment Tara breathlessly pulled away from their kiss. Willow's ministrations were making her mad with desire and if they continued the kiss she wasn't sure if she'd be able to maintain her control. And she wanted to be in control this time.

Calm down. I have to calm down. I want to make this right for Willow. Okay, Miss Rosenberg, it's time to make you lose your mind.

Resolved not to be distracted again, Tara focused on Willow completely and she easily saw the telltale signs of the woman's arousal. Her breath was labored, her skin was flushed and beginning to shine with perspiration, and her engorged nipples were easily seen straining against the confinement of her bra. Tara lifted her right hand, extended her finger and began tracing the redhead's features with a touch so feather-light that it almost didn't contact the skin.

"You're so beautiful Willow... the arch of your eyebrows, the bridge of your nose, the ruby softness of your lips, the perfect shape of your ears... " Tara described each attribute while her finger followed the path her voice dictated.

Willow moved under her touch, trying to get more contact with her girlfriend's hand as the soft, loving caresses awakened her nerve endings, making them alive and raw. Her body begged for a firmer touch.

Tara could see the effect her touch was having as the redhead blushed and began squirming under her finger. Satisfied that it was time to move on, Tara bent her head and began kissing Willow's neck, moving up from her collarbone to her ear, sometimes sucking lightly on the skin or bringing her tongue out to take small tastes of the porcelain skin below her. She did this until she reached Willow's earlobe, where she latched her mouth around it and sucked hungrily, eliciting a prolonged moan from the redhead.

"Mmmmm... Tara."

When Willow felt Tara suck on her earlobe she finally let out the deep moan that had been threatening to erupt since her girlfriend had begun kissing her neck. Tara's mouth and tongue sent jolts of desire that went directly between her legs, and the small nub of flesh there began to swell and throb, demanding attention.

As she heard Willow moan the blonde switched sides and began to lavish attention to the other side of the redhead's neck, giving it the same treatment she'd given to the first, hoping to draw more sounds from Willow. She wasn't disappointed as her ministrations elicited another series of throaty moans.

After a long moment Tara was satisfied that she'd loved Willow's neck enough and she slowly shifted her weight to the left side to allow herself better access to the redhead's body. She unhurriedly slid both of her hands down to Willow's shoulders where they began to push the thin bra straps down until she could see the beginning of the swell of Willow's breasts. She then dropped her head down to the newly-revealed creamy flesh and kissed every inch of skin available. Willow moaned at the contact and brought her hands up to cup Tara's face in an attempt to push her toward her hardened nipples.

"Tara please!" Willow whimpered after a long moment of unsuccessfully trying to guide her girlfriend's mouth to nipples that were almost painfully erect with anticipation. Her body was on fire and she needed more. She wanted to bare herself to her girlfriend, shed the bra that was constricting her, and have Tara kiss and suckle her breasts and nipples. She felt as if she might die of frustration if the touch she craved didn't come soon.

The blonde lifted her head and found that Willow's eyes had turned into the darkest green she'd ever seen. They were burning with want and need so powerful that Tara felt an answering shiver go down her spine as her own arousal mounted.

That look is for me... all for me...

Answering Willow's plea, the blonde lifted one hand and used it to push the bra down to bare the redhead's right breast. She cupped it with her hand in one fluid motion, eliciting a low breathy moan from Willow that sent a wave of desire to Tara's own core. Suddenly unable to curb her own desires, the blonde interrupted her caress and used both hands to get rid of the bra that prevented her from seeing her girlfriend's breasts in all their glory.

Willow's groan of displeasure over being deprived of Tara's touch turned into a moan of sheer arousal when they locked eyes. Willow saw the raw hunger reflected in Tara's oceans of blue as she removed the redhead's bra. Enraptured by the steamy look, Willow felt an undeniable need to see her girlfriend's breasts, so she lifted both her hands to Tara's back and without bothering with the straps, opened the clasp, pushed the bra down Tara's arms, and freed the garment of its stunning bounty. At the sight of Tara's generous cleavage and luscious dark pink engorged nipples Willow felt her mouth water and she knew instantly that she was indeed a breast girl. Reverently she lifted her hands and cupped both breasts, trying to take in the feel and weight of the soft but firm flesh. Getting bolder, she squeezed each nipple between her thumb and forefinger which earned a guttural moan from Tara.

"Ohhh Willow... Mmmm... "

Tara was surprised but very pleased to feel Willow's hands reach for the clasp of her bra, and she'd been more than happy to give her girlfriend time to adjust to the sight while she simultaneously drank in the sight of the redhead's bare breasts. She felt with every fiber of her being that Willow's erect pink nipples were all but begging to be kissed and sucked into her mouth. She was lost in her fantasy of running her tongue all over the dark raised flesh when she felt Willow's hands on her breasts in turn. The sensation was unlike anything she'd ever felt. Willow touched her with a combination of so much love, undisguised hunger, and need that her body couldn't help but respond with equal want. She felt her own clit swell and begin to twist and throb, demanding attention. Willow pinched Tara's nipples and the blonde felt a jolt of arousal and a river of wetness flow from her center, soaking her panties as another low moan escaped her.

Reminding herself once again that she wanted to make this night all about Willow and that her own satisfaction would have to wait, Tara slid her body down Willow's until her mouth was at nipple level, making the redhead's hands drop from her breasts and Willow moan in protest. As her only answer, Tara dropped her mouth to the redhead's right nipple and began to kiss it softly, her tongue lazily stroking the taut flesh. She brought her hand up to cup the other silky breast and rubbed the nipple with her palm, eliciting a long moan from Willow.

"Ohhh... Tara..."

Willow reached up with her hands and held the blonde's head to her breast while she arched her back, trying to push her nipples further into her girlfriend's touch.

Deciding to take her girlfriend's not-so-subtle hint, Tara took Willow's nipple fully into her mouth and sucked with abandon while her fingers busied themselves stimulating the other breast's nipple. The move earned a very pleased groan, and Tara felt Willow's hips begin to gyrate against her. She brought her right thigh up to press against the redhead's soaked panties, giving her girlfriend the pressure she craved.

"Oh God... Tara... that feels so good."

Willow was in heaven. To have Tara suck on her breast while she pressed herself against her thigh was bringing her pleasure like she'd never felt before; Tara's touch was pure ecstasy against her breast and throbbing clit. After a moment Willow brought her thigh up to press against the blonde's heat, her skin immediately getting wet with Tara's juices as they escaped her panties.

As Tara felt Willow press her thigh against her center, waves of pleasure toured her body and she moaned incoherently. She sucked even harder on Willow's breast while she too began to unconsciously rock against the redhead's thigh in search of relief for the building tension. Their sweaty bodies easily slid in rhythm.

After a while Tara changed breasts and began giving Willow's left breast the same treatment she'd given the right, eliciting moans and shallow breathing from the redhead. As she sucked harder and harder she felt Willow speed up her rocking motions. The friction was divine and Willow was getting closer to climax. Tara realized that if she wanted to go as slowly as possible - to really draw out the experience for her girlfriend - she'd have to pull away now.

She regretfully let go of Willow's breast, pulled her leg away from her center, moved away from Willow's thigh, and kneeled next to her girlfriend. Willow almost sobbed from frustration over feeling her girlfriend's thigh move out of reach just as she could feel the pleasure mounting, almost ready to break in waves.

"No... don't stop, please," she pleaded, opening her unfocused eyes and trying to gauge why her girlfriend had stopped.

Tara leaned forward and moved her hand up to tenderly stroke Willow's cheek while she left a soft kiss on her lips.

"Patience my love. Just a little while longer, I promise. Right now I want to see you... all of you, okay?" the blonde asked in a throaty, sensual tone.

Willow could only nod her approval as her voice refused to cooperate. The dark pools of blue in front of her burned into her soul.

Tara lifted both hands to caress Willow's cheeks and then slowly her hands headed south, stopping only to pay respect to the small, firm breasts by pinching the nipples and lightly rolling them between a thumb and forefinger. They then continued their journey down over a firm belly until they reached their goal and grasped Willow's underwear. The blonde stopped for a second and looked into her girlfriend's eyes, searching for any sign that she wished to stop. When she saw none she slowly - achingly slowly - began to pull Willow's white panties down, making sure her hands were touching her girlfriend's skin all the way, but careful not to look at what was being uncovered until she'd completely freed the redhead from her underwear.

To Willow it felt as if Tara was taking forever to undress her. Tara's hands burned her skin, made her muscles twitch under her touch, and took her to new heights of arousal. Willow needed to take a few deep breaths in an attempt to calm down - her blazing arousal and her pounding heart confused her, and she couldn't decide if she wanted Tara to speed up and finally give her release or keep teasing her for hours.

When she'd finished undressing Willow, Tara finally lifted her eyes and feasted on the vision before her. Willow's legs had fallen naturally open and Tara drank in the sight of the sexiest pair of calves, the most adorable duo of knees, and the smoothest, most inviting pair of thighs she'd ever seen. Finally she directed her gaze to Willow's center, and she felt as if all the air had been forcefully pulled out of her lungs. She'd seen Willow naked once before when she was taking a bath but it hadn't prepared her for the effect that seeing the woman naked, open and wanting would have on her. She hadn't thought it possible, but she felt herself becoming even more aroused as she gazed at her girlfriend's sex. Willow's red curls glistened with wetness. Her labia were puffy and gave way for a dark pink, swollen, twisting bundle of nerves to peek from between them. Right below it was her opening, dripping with her juices. "Beautiful" was the only word that came to the blonde's mind.

As Tara sat motionless, intensely gazing at the redhead's center, Willow could feel a new wave of heat hit her body while drops of wetness began to trickle down her thighs. She couldn't wait any longer to feel her girlfriend's touch.


The blonde was brought out of her reverie by her girlfriend's raspy, desire filled voice.

"Sorry, honey. I was just... you're so... " She regrouped and tried again. "Willow, you are so beautiful. And so, so sexy," she added in a deep voice.

Willow blushed at her girlfriend's compliment, and she was suddenly overwhelmed with the need to see what Tara looked like completely naked. She extended her hand and asked her to come closer.

"Tara, come here, please."

The blonde rapidly complied with the redhead's request and laid herself on top of the other girl's body, moaning when she felt their heated, slick bodies touch once again. As soon as they were close enough Willow lifted her head and gave her girlfriend an open mouthed kiss, her tongue teasing the blonde's lips until Tara lifted her own tongue to stroke Willow's. Willow closed her lips on Tara's tongue and sucked it into her mouth.

It was Willow who pulled away this time to gaze into the blue orbs in front of her. She ran her hands down Tara's back until they were touching her underwear.

"Tara, I want you naked against me."

The blonde simply nodded and let her hands join Willow's in pushing her panties down as far as they could. She rolled to her side and pushed them all the way down before rolling back into place atop Willow.

As their naked bodies touched each other fully for the first time both girls released a deep moan of appreciation and began unconsciously sliding against each other, trying to get release for the tension. Tara kissed Willow deeply as she stopped her rocking motions, brought her hand down and began lazily stroking Willow's inner thigh where wetness had slid from the redhead's sex. As she did this she guided her girlfriend's legs apart.

The redhead broke their kiss to release a small cry. Tara's touch so close to her sex took her arousal to even greater heights.

"Oh Tara... "

The blonde began to move her fingers closer and closer to Willow's center, but at such a slow pace that to the almost feverish redhead it seemed as if she hadn't move them at all. Inch by inch Tara made her way to the outer layers of Willow's sex.

By the time Tara reached Willow's labia and began sliding her fingers up and down the swollen lips, the redhead was moaning continuously. Her legs had fallen open as far as they would go and her hips were gyrating of their own volition, trying to find friction for her clit that twitched unrelentingly, mercilessly.

Sensing that her girlfriend wouldn't hold on much longer, but not forgetting that this was Willow's first time, Tara put two fingers at Willow's opening and found her more than ready. The warm juices made a shallow entry easy, but Tara stopped when she found resistance in her path, and she tested the barrier that blocked her way by carefully probing at it.

As she felt the delicious sensation of Tara beginning to make her way inside of her, Willow let out a rather loud cry and tried to push against the invading fingers, wanting to feel them fill her, but the blonde easily evaded her movement.

"Tara... please," she breathlessly pleaded.

Deciding it was time, Tara bent down and sucked an erect nipple into her mouth as she pressed Willow's twitching clit with her thumb and plunged into her entrance with two outstretched fingers, breaking through the hymen in one smooth motion.

Willow gasped as the sharp pain of being penetrated for the first time surpassed the pleasure for a moment. At the redhead's sharp intake of breath, Tara lifted her head from Willow's nipple and stilled her hand. She waited for her girlfriend's pain to subside, and gave her body time to adapt to being filled so completely. At that moment, Tara was overwhelmed with the idea that she was inside her girlfriend; the inner walls felt deliciously tight, soft, wet and hot around her fingers.

After a moment Willow opened her eyes, locking dark green with dark blue, wordlessly asking the blonde to continue as her hips once again began to move against the invading fingers. Tara quickly complied and allowed her fingers to slowly retreat from the inviting warmth, only to bring them back a couple of seconds later as her outstretched thumb stroked Willow's clit, bringing forth a long, deep moan from Willow's throat.

Tara dropped her head to her girlfriend's neck, where she kissed and licked her way to a perfect earlobe. Her fingers kept thrusting against Willow's inner core and her thumb stroked the redhead's clit at an increasing pace, matching Willow's movements and continued moans. Feeling Willow getting close to climax, she moved her moist lips to the redhead's delicate left ear and whispered throatily,

"Come for me, Willow."

And that was enough. Almost immediately the blonde felt the muscles around her fingers contract and pulsate as Willow went over the edge and cried out Tara's name.

As she heard her girlfriend's voice Willow felt herself fall over the cliff. Her eyes closed tightly as she threw her head back and arched her back. Tara's name danced on her lips as she began to drown in waves of bliss. Pleasure assaulted her senses as the blonde kept thrusting her fingers deep inside of her, against her pulsing walls, letting her ride out her climax and prolong her pleasure as long as possible.

After a moment Tara felt Willow's body go limp under her touch and she lifted her head from her girlfriend's neck to gaze adoringly at a spent but satisfied expression. She brought her eyes down in a slow perusal of her girlfriend's body and carefully removed her hand from its resting place still deep inside Willow.

When Tara spotted the small amounts of blood that covered her fingers, trickled down Willow's inner thighs, and marked the old sheet, she panicked for a second. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest at the thought that she might have hurt Willow. But she reminded herself that a little blood was to be expected under the circumstances.

Calm down... it's normal. Breathe. She's not hurt. I should help her... I can use that wet cloth I found in Willow's shorts.

Feeling a little calmer, the blonde disentangled herself from her girlfriend. That earned a disgruntled groan from Willow, who was still too spent to open her eyes or ask where Tara was going.

"Shhh honey... I'll be right back," Tara said softly and gave the redhead a tender kiss on the lips. It went far in soothing Willow's displeasure.

True to her word Tara took only a few seconds to retrieve the wet cloth and sit down next to her. Bringing the cloth to Willow's thighs she was happy to see that there was no more blood flowing from between her legs. Tenderly she wiped the blood from Willow's body and then cleaned her own fingers on the cloth, leaving as the only remaining evidence of blood the red stain on her old sheet. Tara threw the cloth to the side, laid down next to Willow, and carefully pulled her into her arms.

Willow sighed contently and snuggled closer as she found herself securely wrapped in her girlfriend's arms. She rested her head against Tara's neck while the blonde tenderly caressed her back. She felt totally spent but completely sated and happy as she'd never been before in her life.

Wow. I'd said it would be perfect but I never imagined it would be that perfect. God... Okay, so it hurt a bit and I'll probably be a little sore tomorrow, but it was amazing. So amazing. I've never felt pleasure that intense in my life. Heck, who am I kidding? I had no idea it was even humanly possible to feel that much pleasure.

After a couple of minutes spent just holding Willow, Tara decided to break the silence. She was beginning to feel a little nervous again and needed to be reassured.

"H-honey, are you okay?" She asked softly, her stammering betraying her, emphasizing her returned insecurity.

Hearing and feeling Tara's anxiety, Willow opened her eyes and locked onto the sapphire ones she loved so much. She slowly leaned her head forward and placed a loving kiss on Tara's lips before answering. Words, for once, escaped the redhead.


Tara felt a grin begin to form on her lips as her heart soared with happiness.

"You can say that again," the blonde answered happily.

Continue to The Artifact Chapter Twenty

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