Willow suggested at the end of the meal that they'd go for a walk in the wonderful Indian summer night and have ice cream in the park.
Or perhaps on your naked back? She thought to herself.
She nearly said it out loud and realised that the second round of plum wine might have been a bad idea...
They made their way at a leisurely pace to St James's Park, walking closely together shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm and totally oblivious to everything else around them.
"Mmm... I'm full... I might not manage dessert," Willow sighed contentedly.
"Willow, there's always room for pudding, you know that," Tara said sternly.
"I know, but my stomach is full of dumplings that some evil person fed me..."
"I totally agree, it's horrible when people give you nice food," Tara said seriously.
Without thinking, she brought her hand to Willow's stomach.
"Is your poor tummy too full?"
Her land landed on bare skin, since Willow's light top had a tendency to slide up and her trousers rode quite low on her hips. Tara hadn't taken the idea of bare skin into account and stopped dead in her tracks.
When Tara's palm connected with skin, the soprano felt a jolt of passion cursing through her body. She wanted to push Tara up against the marble portico and kiss her until she lost her breath. An intense throbbing started in her lower abdomen.
Tara looked down on her hand on Willow's stomach and tried to will herself into removing it. Instead she moved it slowly, caressing the area just below the belly button.
"Poor Willow-tummy," she said gently, feeling her own arousal growing with every tiny motion. The silky white skin provided almost no friction for her roaming hand.
The moment was interrupted by a noise.
"Excuse me?" A middle aged man tried to look anywhere but to Tara's hand on Willow's stomach.
Embarrassed, Tara removed it as she realised that they were blocking the way for other strollers, standing in the middle of the pavement. Willow's breathing was laboured as they kept walking. Tara's mouth had gone desert dry and her legs seemed to be made from lead. She didn't dare to put her arm through Willow's again, since it was becoming more and more difficult to not just spin her around and kiss her.
They went into a shop on Trafalgar square to get ice cream, talking about music and every day matters to calm them selves down and regain their composure. Both women's bodies still tingled with the sensation of the physical moment that had just passed.
"What kind would you like?" Willow wondered. Tara could have said 'snail flavoured' and Willow would have complied. It was the new focus of her life to please her.
With you, honey? Every possible kind... Tara thought, looking at Willow's exposed stomach again...
"Cherry Garcia," she said decisively.
"Is that your favourite?" Willow wanted to know everything about her, every little detail.
"Yes. Cherry ice cream with a touch of chocolate. It's a win/win situation. Best thing to come from America, that ice cream," she concluded. "Second best thing," she corrected herself quickly and revelled in the warm smile she got in return for the compliment.
They walked down the Pall Mall to St James's park and sat down under a tree next to the lake. Fat grey squirrels were gathering food behind them. In the lake, a pair of swans swam by them disinterestedly.
They sat closely together, half facing each other. Willow had folded one leg under her so that she could get closer.
"Look, it's a weeping willow," Tara said dreamily as she looked up into the branches.
"Actually, I'm fine," Willow joked as her eyes gazed longingly on Tara's lips.
But you could make me feel even better, baby...
"Oups, seems like I've only brought one spoon..."
She could honestly not remember if she had done it on purpose or not. It was however likely that her subconscious had done it for her.
She put the spoon into the ice cream, scooped some up and proceeded to feed it to Tara. The mezzo obediently closed her lips around it. She made a contented sound at the taste. Well, actually the sound of contentment had more to do with having attention lavished on her by Willow in these romantic surroundings.
She smiled and took the spoon from Willow's hand and mirrored the motion.
"You're right. This is a great ice cream..."
Willow wasn't really talking about the ice cream, even though it was good. She was talking about Tara being great and the whole situation being large with the greatness. The ice cream was already starting to melt in the warm August night.
When Willow brought the next spoon to Tara's lips, a few drops of it ended up on Tara's lips. Willow stared at the stray drops. Raising a slightly trembling hand, she softly ran her finger tips along the lush softness of the mezzo's lips and gathered it up.
Tara's eyes widened in surprise as Willow put her fingers in her mouth and licked it off.
The mezzo suddenly felt hot and cold at the same time. She had to turn away from the leafy green of Willow's eyes.
"Spilled some..." the soprano said unsteadily.
She inched a little closer to her on the wooden bench. Her left knee was placed lightly on top of Tara's thigh. Willow tingled with the feel of the mezzo's body heat. Her throbbing body made desperate pleas with her to just ask Tara to come back to her flat and stay the night.
I can't just say that, can I? I'm still not sure how she feels? What if she doesn't...?
She decided that this was the time to start being a little more daring.
She looked into Tara's eyes, forcing her self not to look away despite feeling self conscious, and put the next spoonful of ice cream to the mezzo's lips. Tara was leaning closer and hungrily swallowed the offering. Willow knew she had to touch those lips again. She leant slowly forward and ran her fingertips along their softness. As she put them in her own mouth and tasted the cherries she searched for something that would be the taste of Tara, but that was of course too much to hope for without actually kissing her.
"I seem to keep spilling..."
Tara looked at her with feverishly bright eyes and then slowly licked her lips. Willow looked attentively into Tara's eyes to try to figure out what her reaction would be.
The answer was given more clearly than she had expected. When she moved her hand again, Tara seized her wrist and brought the fingers to her mouth. Willow could hear her own breathing becoming impossibly laboured as Tara opened her mouth and slid her lips down Willow's fingers. They both moaned softly as Tara's tongue ran along the length of the soprano's digits. Willow's brain stopped functioning. All she could do was feel. It was one of the most sensual things she had ever experienced. Tara's mouth and tongue were so impossibly soft and warm. She wanted to beg the mezzo to kiss her, but couldn't bear to risk ruining the moment.
Tara didn't want to let the delicate hand go. She wanted to kiss every inch of her, to run her tongue over her skin again and again. Finally, she did let go.
"Me too... she said hoarsely.
Willow was on fire. She leant over so as to almost kiss Tara's ear.
The mezzo's arm instinctively went around her waist and pulled her closer so that their bodies touched. How would Willow react if she asked her to come back to her hotel room?
"Let's go to my place," Willow breathed in Tara's ear, "and sing. The neighbours are away, and Buffy's with Riley. We won't disturb anyone..."
Willow didn't want to kiss her here. She wanted her tucked away somewhere private, where she was for her eyes only.
Tara tried to make a sound, but her throat was to dry.
She cleared it slowly and deliberately. Willow seemed to interpret this as hesitation and looked at her anxiously.
"Right now?" She managed after getting control of her voice.
"Yes". Willow didn't know where she got this assertiveness from, but she heard it in her own voice none the less.
Tara's answer was equally short.
She took Willows hand and got up. They walked in for them uncustomary silence through the park, holding hands. When the reached the Pall Mall, Willow hailed a taxi. The silence continued during the trip to Willow and Buffy's shared flat. Their fingers were still entwined. Willow's hand was nestled safely between both of Tara's.
Willow's other hand gently stroked the white, soft inside of Tara's arm. Tara leant her head on Willow's shoulder. Willow closed her eyes and let the sensations and scents flow through her like water.
"I'll make some tea. We've been out in the night air for too long. We don't want anything to happen to those wonderful vocal cords of yours, do we?" Willow said tenderly, putting her hand against Tara's cheek and letting it slide slowly down her neck. She had become quite brave in her euphoria. She needed a few minutes to collect her self and get her raging hormones under control after the intensity of what had taken place in the park. She revelled in the feeling of Tara's quick pulse against her fingertips. The mezzo looked up at her, face partly obscured by hair. Willow smoothed the hair back over her shoulder and tangled her fingers in a few shiny strands. Tara took her hand and kissed the palm reverently.
Ok, not doing so much for the "calming down-factor" here...
She reluctantly let go of Tara's hair.
What if she turns me down? Willow thought in a moment of temporary panic as she made her way into the kitchen.
The things we did today you only do with a lover, she reasoned with herself, as she carefully picked out the cherry scented tea and put it in a pot.
She likes cherries. And bitter chocolate. Now I know something else about her...
Willow smiled an introverted smile and stored this information away in her rapidly expanding Tara database which her brain updated on a very regular basis.
Tara was starting to really panic in the living room. What did Willow feel? What did she want? Was there any chance of her having completely the wrong idea here? She accidentally caught a glimpse of herself in mirror on the wall. Her hair was tousled and her cheeks ridiculously flushed from the hot sun.
Was that ice cream on her cheek?
Willow went out into the living room, and found Tara by the grand piano, unnecessarily studying the score of Rosenkavalier. Willow knew she didn't need to. She had thought of nothing but this duet for the last week. She hoped that it had been the same for Tara. Hell, she had thought about nothing but Tara for the last week. She didn't put the tea cup down for her. Instead she extended it holding it with both her hands, to see if she would repeat the motions from earlier in the evening.
Without hesitation, Tara put both her hands on top of Willows and brought her lush lips to the brim of the cup, in an imitation of what had happened at the restaurant, and sipped the hot liquid carefully. She looked up at Willow with heavy lidded eyes when she did it and slowly removed the cup from her lips. She gave Willow the hint of a smile, still cradling the soprano's hands in her own.
Willow already knew that Tara could make her body catch fire just by being in the same room as her, but this look... It was altogether different. It was private and reserved. The kind of look you give a lover in the bedroom before you rip her clothes off, or between kisses. It was a different Tara and the most sensual thing Willow had ever seen. She was sure her face was an open book.
She turned the cup around, so that the slightly moist mark that Tara's lips had left was turned towards her. The other cup stood steaming and forgotten on the table. She looked at Tara as she raised the cup to her own lips, drinking from exactly the same place as she had done. The mezzo looked her deep in the eyes as her thumb caressed Willows knuckles. Then she let go and turned to the piano. She struck the right note to get her bearing and turned to Willow:
"Mir ist die Ehre widerfahren..." To me is fallen the honour of presenting to the highborn bride...
Willow panicked for a moment.
Does she really just want to sing!?
Then Tara took Willows hands in her own. Willow stepped closer to her when it was time for her line.
"Wie himmlischen, nicht irdische..." Like roses of heaven, not on earth...
She looked into Tara's eyes... She started to relax. This was familiar territory in the midst of this heavenly but strange new assault on her senses. Singing was her strength and safety.
It's like a greeting from Heaven, it's already too strong to bear ...
Tara moved as close as to almost embrace her and inhaled her scent....
Where and when have I been so happy?
She encircled Tara's waist and slid into the embrace. Tara's arms came around her shoulders.
Where and when have I been so happy?
Octavian echoed Sophie's words. They held each other through the final phrases of the duet. Willow's voice lacked its usual radiance. She simply found it difficult to breathe being close to Tara like this.
Tara felt stronger than anything she could remember. Willow kissed her cheek. She continued along the finely sculpted cheek bone, placing light kisses on every part of her skin. One of Tara's hands went around the soprano's waist, pulling her even closer. Willow felt Tara's chest heaving agitatedly against her own and continued her kissing along her jawbone. Finally, the need to taste that which smelt so delicious became too strong and she opened her lips and gently let her tongue out to just barely touch the skin. Willow knew that she was crossing a line at that moment.
Tara drew a ragged breath at the touch and turned her head. And then finally... Goosebumps on overheated skin happened, blood racing like waterfalls happened.
Willow couldn't even have begun to describe how Tara's full lips felt against her own. There were no words in her head; just sensations in her body. The mezzo slowly parted her lips and let her taste them. It was the most erotic moment in her life so far. Tara's lips seemed to hold the direct connection to the rest of the soprano's body. And her body raged and burned...
Tara had turned her head and kissed Willow with a slight sense of panic. She still couldn't believe that this was happening. Life wasn't' supposed to work like this. You didn't just get what you wanted the most. She held her breath as their lips met. With senses acutely aware she heard in amazement a soft moan against her lips and felt the beautiful pale body lean heavily into hers. A wave of sensations travelled over her skin.
In a flash, her nervousness was gone and was replaced by a sense of wild elation. The most attractive woman she had ever known was physically aroused by kissing her. By kissing HER... Nothing in this world could be greater. She parted her lips infinitely slowly and sensually and claimed what she now knew would be hers.
I knew they would be like the petals of the rose...
Her heart beast so fast she thought it might burst through her chest as she took Willow's scarlet lips between her own.
Willow feasted voraciously on the soft flesh that had haunted her fantasies. Over and over again she nibbled and tasted the mezzo's warm and yielding lips. But she wanted more. She craved tongue. She softly let her own brush over the other woman's lips. This time it was Tara's turn to moan. She wasted no time in giving her answer. The touch of the mezzo's tongue made Willow wet and trembling with need. Her hazy brain registered that it was different from kissing a man. It was so velvety soft and compliant but strong at the same time. She felt the slight friction of Tara's tongue against her own and the difference in texture when she touched the underside of it. The sensation spread like lightning to other parts of her body. She felt like a starving animal. She wanted to push herself against Tara's body, tear at her clothes, feel her wetness in a joint desperate quest for release. But the overwhelming feeling of adoration made her try to make this most intense of moments last forever.
The voice of Tara's body had been forced to keep quiet for so long. Now it was screaming out at her to get closer, more... She focused the tiny piece of her awareness that wasn't preoccupied with feeling Willow's arms around her, the texture of her lips and the wonderful tongue so lovingly caressing her own, on not touching too much, too soon... Their tongues withdrew slowly only to seek each other out again and again. And the taste...
"You still taste like cherries," Willow whispered hoarsely against Tara's lips between laboured breaths.
"You taste like heaven," Tara whispered back.
Willow deepened the kiss and felt a rollercoaster rush of arousal in her stomach.
The feel of Willow's scarlet, agile tongue and busy lips exited Tara like nothing in the world. The soprano kissed like she sang, with a mixture of passionate abandonment and easy elegance.
As a kisser, Tara was in a league of her own.
Or maybe I'm just head over heals in love and consumed by passion... Willow thought as she deepened the kiss even further. She wanted as much of Tara as close to her as possible.
The moon shone its white light over the roofs of London as time rushed by. Neither woman had any concept of how long they had been kissing for. Time lost its meaning.
What if she's going to want to stop? What if kissing is all she will want? Tara thought wildly.
When the soprano slowly let her lips slide down Tara's tongue and sucked hungrily on it, the mezzo couldn't hold back anymore. One of her hands tangled itself in Willow's hair and the other went under her top and again felt the naked skin on her stomach.
Willow had always been a quiet lover. By no means unenthusiastic, just quiet. She had never felt the need to groan at the top of her lungs all the time. Until today...
Their collective moans resounded through the room as Tara's hands reached the coveted goal of naked skin and red hair covering the nape of a delicate neck. Willow leant slowly forward, relishing the moment before she finally got to kiss the nameless place where Tara's neck met her chin. Trembling, she put her lips to the softest skin she had ever touched. Compared to the texture, her own lips felt rough. As she let the tip of her tongue out to touch it, she knew it was the beginning of an addiction to the ivory beauty of Tara's neck. Slowly and ravenously she made her way down it. Her breathing got increasingly heavy as Tara's hand moved in small sensuous circles closer to the waistband of her trousers. Willow used her body weight to push Tara gently toward the piano stool until the back of her knees met with it. She applied a light pressure to her shoulders and made her sit down. Willow straddled her and groaned at the feeling of Tara's waist and thighs pressed against her own body.
They started kissing again with reddened but tireless lips. Tara took Willow's earlobe in her mouth and suckled it gently. Willow's grinding down on her hips testified to her response. Willow ran her fingers trough Tara's heavy brownish tresses and pulled cautiously. The mezzo leant back against the piano and moaned. Willow leant forward and resumed her exploration of Tara's neck with the diligence of a scientist who has discovered a new continent.
"Mark me?" Tara said between ragged breaths. The sound was almost a chock in the quiet room.
"Why?" Willow managed to get out while kissing Tara's wildly beating pulse point.
"So I can look in the mirror tomorrow and know that I haven't dreamt this..." Tara moaned as Willow pressed into her.
"You won't need a mark for that, baby. You'll know it wasn't from the soprano who will still be attached to your lips and wrapped round your waist by this time tomorrow, if I have anything to do with it," she whispered as they moved slowly against each other.
Her heart ached at her gorgeous new lover's insecurity. Looking into the blue eyes to show the burning desire evident in her own, she reclaimed the mezzo's lips and let go of all self imposed restraints.
Tara ran her hands down Willow's back, making shivers course through the soprano. Willow pushed the mezzo's shirt up and pressed her palms against the bare skin. She closed her eyes so that she could focus all her senses on the miracle of human velvet that was Tara's skin. Her palms felt oversensitive and hot as she moved her trembling hands under her shirt. Her hands sought out the feminine curve of the waist and brushed upwards, touching the under sides of the ivory mounds that she ached to touch. Everything was so soft and made her feel sick with desire. She was trying to take things slow, and not just devour like a predator, but it was becoming impossible. She was usually so good with self restraint, but where had it gone now? The throbbing between her legs made it increasingly difficult to not just push Tara onto the floor and rip her clothes off.
It drove Tara crazy how Willow's delicate hands moved so lightly yet expertly over her skin. Like she just knew... When she ran her hand all along Willow's leg, cupped her backside and pressed her even closer Willow decided that enough was enough. The question had to be asked:
"Come upstairs with me?"
"Do you mean...?" Tara looked questioningly at her with a heaving chest and lips ruby red from kissing.