No sooner had the gang crashed into Buffy's home, then Willow had passed out, her already limp body ignoring all orders from her brain and falling from the supportive grasps of Buffy and Tara.
Both women were out of breath, the slight woman's body was almost dead weight as they'd half carried her back to the house. Panic and abject terror was written in bold print over Tara's face, highlighted further by Willow's collapse. Stepping into the fray, Xander scooped the delicate redhead into his arms and carried her upstairs, unzipping her boots after laying her, carefully on her bed. "I'm sorry, Willow." He told her in a hushed whisper.
Downstairs, Buffy had fixed Tara a glass of water and was trying to calm the shaking woman. "She'll be ok, Tara." She said softly, "She's strong, she'll bounce right back." Buffy tried to sound confident of her words but she was no more certain of what she was saying than Tara was.
"I think we should leave in the morning." Tara told her, her eyes darting around the room almost as if she were searching for an escape route. "I appreciate your hospitality and all, but it's obvious that Willow is far from alright!" her voice emerged a little more clipped than she had intended but she was growing rapidly more frustrated and angry, mainly at herself for making Willow take this trip.
"Tara." Xander emerged in the doorway, "Willow'll be fine, she just needs sleep and things will look better to her in the morning." He said, his good gestured words and lop sided smile showed that he genuinely believed what he was saying but Tara remained unconvinced. "Willow wants to leave." She stated simply, "If she feels the same way in the morning, then we will be leaving." As soon as the words had left her mouth, she instantly wanted to take them back, the ungratefulness that held them suspended in midair turned her stomach and made her want to rip them from the silent abyss and ram them back down her throat. "I'm s-sorry." Tara whispered, "But you guys can come up and stay with us in L.A!" she offered.
Buffy smiled and leant forward, taking Tara's hand within her own. "I understand if you have to go." She told her, "Besides, we can come up and crash the wedding!" Everyone smiled, even Tara managed a weak smile as she realised that her words had not been taking in a negative way.
Upstairs, Willow slept, her dreams filled with ducks, and the occasional savage dog hanging on the periphery of the summer scene in her mind.
Tara stuck her head around the door, careful not to allow too much of the light from the hallway to fill the room and wake the seemingly peaceful slumber Willow had fallen into. On seeing that she was sound asleep, Tara crossed the room on tip toe, kissing the cool forehead and taking a few minutes to sit back and ensure that Willow was, indeed sleeping nightmare free, although how she would do, Tara had no clue. The sounds she had heard that evening had frozen her to the bone, her blood seemed to have formed ice crystals in it and she felt the shiver running the length of her spine despite the warm evening. Once she was sure that Willow's dreams, if she were actually having any, were peaceful, she slipped silently into the hall and back downstairs.
"She ok?" Buffy asked as Tara returned to the living room and sat heavily on the couch. Tara nodded, "She seems to be sleeping for now." She replied, the relief tingeing her voice the only clue as to how truly worried she really was.
"It was probably just a dog." Xander said suddenly. Buffy stared at him, the howling they had heard that night was clearly from a supernatural source but she understood why he'd said what he had. "We've only ever had 2 werewolves before." He added, his tone softening further. Buffy nodded, "That's true." She told Tara, who looked at each of them in turn before shaking her head. "Dogs howl in LA all the time." She told them, "Willow never freaks out like that about it." Xander hung his head, he knew as well as the others that what they had heard was a werewolf and was surprised at how hard it was to convince Tara.
Joyce Summers had been easier to convince, with all of the strange and peculiar things she had seen with her own eyes, she had refused to believe, preferring instead to either repress or make up a more valid excuse. Even when she herself had been on the receiving end of a vampire bite, she had willingly believed that she had simply fainted and impaled herself on a barbeque fork, despite not even owning such a thing.
"Is it? I mean, could it be Oz?" Tara asked, her voice shaking as she formed the mans name. Buffy and Xander looked at each other questioningly, neither one knowing the best answer. Not wanting to lie, or tell her the complete truth about what had happened to Oz since Willow had left town, Buffy just shrugged, "I don't know." She said simply, "I just don't know."
For the longest time, no one spoke, each person sat in the depth of their own thoughts and fears. When the silence was eventually broken, it was by Tara "I think I should go to bed." She told the others, even though she didn't feel the least bit tired, well, not physically anyway. The nights events had tested her emotional abilities almost to their limits and all she wanted to do was curl up next to Willow and try and forget what had happened.
Neither Buffy nor Xander offered any argument, instead smiling sadly as they said their goodnights. She climbed the stairs silently and, after a quick visit to the bathroom, gently pushed open the bedroom door, being careful not to rouse Willow who still seemed to be sleeping peacefully. Peeling out of her clothes, she welcomed the warn breeze on her skin as she passed the open window to crawl into bed. Willow murmured in her sleep as Tara snuggled in close behind her, before rolling over entirely to meet the smoky blue eyes of her lover. "Hey." Willow said, her cheeks were flushed and she dropped her gaze, clearly embarrassed by her reaction to the night's events. "Hey back." Tara said, her fingers guiding Willows face back up to her own, "How ya feeling?"
Willow took a moment to consider the question, tossing it about like a fresh summer salad before serving. "Embarrassed, tired, and, well..." The words just flowed from the startled redhead before her tongue had had a moment to process the thoughts in her mind. Tara looked at her with concern, her fingers tenderly caressing her soft cheek and giving Willow the confidence to continue. "Terrified."
Tara smiled weakly, her fingers still tracing across the soft cheekbone of her world. No words would form in her mind, she knew that nothing she would say could make it any better for Willow, instead she opted for the thing she knew best. Reaching forward she kissed the slightly pale lips before her, pouring everything she had emotionally into the embrace and kiss.
As they pulled back, Willow was slightly breathless, in the arms of her lover she had momentarily forgotten her fear and felt safe and warm, returned once again to the place she belonged.
"I'll keep you safe." Tara whispered softly, her breath tickling Willows ears and sending a shiver of arousal through her. As she tucked a stray lock of honey blonde hair back behind Tara's ear, Willow knew she had been blessed with the greatest love known to mankind. Her fingers traced the beautiful features of her lovers face, her thumbs following the contours of her cheek bones, over her eyebrows and around her jaw line. Willows eyes swam with tears, not from her fear, which had been all but forgotten in the face of such beauty but with a love that was threatening to burst from her every pore at any given moment. Tara mirrored the actions of the woman she loved, taking a minor detour to wipe away the tears that had spilt from the sparkling emerald eyes.
Without warning, Willow leant in and kissed Tara with an urgency and passion that had fizzled out slightly after their first couple of years. Surprised, but not entirely unpleased with the movement, Tara moaned deep in her throat, her lips vibrating against Willow's as she did so and drawing a moan from her as a result. Something overtook Willow, maybe it was a way of her over compensating for her embarrassment and the shame she felt in the way she'd reacted. Willow pushed Tara back, balancing herself on top of the woman she loved but never breaking the contact. Her hands traced softly down the soft flank of the blonde, her fingers taking an extra moment to caress her full and wonderful breast before pinched and stroking her nipple into a hard and sensitive peak.
Tara's own hands explored the velvety smooth expanse of Willow's back, one hand coming to rest over her taut right cheek of her ass, the other lightly brushing the nape of Willows neck and arousing the redhead no end.
In a perfectly synchronised yet unspoken movement, Willows hand slide further down, coming to rest just behind Tara's knee in time to guide and pull the limb up into an arch next to her. Willow's own leg slide between Tara's, pushing her well formed thigh hard into the warm and wet haven she knew so well. Pulling back from the kiss, Tara gasped as Willow contracted and released the muscle in her thigh, pressing into her clit as she did so. Willow smiled devilishly, her hand squeezing the firm ass cheek of her lover as she nipped the bottom lip that quivered before her. "Willow?" Tara panted, the burning between her legs made her head spin for more contact and she had a fleeting second when she tried to work out how it was that Willow could always turn her on so effortlessly, the thought lasted no more than 3 seconds as Willows finger gently brushed her outer lips and drew a deep moan from the blonde. "Yeah?" Willow had purred before enveloping the moan in another soft kiss. Tara's brain refused to work, she couldn't remember having said anything but it was clear from Willow's expression that she must've started a trail of thought.
Willow seemed oblivious to Tara's mental breakdown and continued her delightful torture. Her hands had returned to the full breast that was heaving under her touch, fingers seeming to be everywhere at once, working the nipple into an almost painfully aroused state.
Her thigh pressed into the neatly trimmed curls and Tara grabbed fiercely at Willows hair, pulling her head back and biting the delicate flesh at her pulse point causing Willow to moan and press her thigh harder into her rapidly soaking centre.
Guided by Tara's firm hand, Willow kissed across the jaw line of her lover, down her neck and pausing momentarily in the shallow hollow of her throat, her cue to continue coming when Tara pushed her roughly down. Without further hesitation, Willows hot mouth found the erect nub of the blonde and licked slowly around it, teasing Tara into a writhing mass under her. On her thigh Tara felt the smooth and perfect outer lips of her lover swell and moisten the soft skin and this only increased her own wetness further. Tara moaned and arched her back, hoping to gain more contact with the skilled tongue that was exploring her full breast, occasionally flicking over the erect nub, each pass causing her to moan deep in her throat.
Willow's own heart rate increased fuelling her passion and she took the nipple before her into her mouth, rolling it under her tongue and nipping firmly. "Oh god, Willow!" Tara's voice was shallow and came to her in low gasps, causing Willow to bite harder, pulling back slightly and almost popping the gland back into her body. "You want me?" Willow questioned, her voice dominant and demanding. Tara could only moan, the power and control emitting from the redhead drove her wild with desire. Willow pulled back from her wonderful assault on Tara's nipple and fixed her with an emerald stare. "I said, "you want me?!" her voice more demanding and forceful than Tara had heard in a long while.
"I always want you." She gasped in return, Willows fingers scratching up the inside of her thigh as she replied. "You need me?!" Willow growled, her eyes blazing brightly with desire. Tara nodded, her voice totally lost in the face of abject passion and love before her.
Willow adopted a predatory grin that Tara hadn't seen in what seemed like forever, she shifted slightly under Willow and wrapped her hands through the rich red hair as Willows fingers slipped between her now soaked lips. "Oh god Willow." She purred, the pressure building within her threatening to explode from her very soul at any given second.
As Willows fingers slide expertly into Tara, both women gasped at the powerful spark that passed between them. Tara tilted her hips back, allowing the full length of Willows slender fingers to work her into a fury as she lost herself in the bottomless pits of endless green before her.
In the quiet night, Oz wandered slowly back down Revello Drive, the darkness of the wolf within him forcing him to return to the torture of Willow. Less than two blocks from the Summers' house, his heightened hearing picked up the soft moans of a woman in the heat of a passionate encounter, instinctively he flared his nostrils and caught the aroma of a woman, although the scent was familiar he couldn't name the source.
Stalking around the back of the Summers' home, he froze as moans and groans punctuated the warm summer night. His increased sense of smell had told him that Willow was aroused, no, practically orgasmic and buzzing with a passion he had never known with her.
Try as he might, he couldn't suppress the growl of hatred emerging from his throat.
His more rational, human self tried desperately to control the wolf within but living on the Hellmouth and his transformation to a creature of the night had only increased his fury and pain.
Oz the man had no desire to hurt Willow, yeah, he had been mightily pissed off when she had told him she was leaving and he had been devastated and angry, it had been the werewolf within that had fed from that anger, dragging itself into the forefront and attacking Willow on that fateful day.
The wolf knew only savagery and the hunt, it knew nothing of compassion and forgiveness. The Hellmouth only served to increase the discontentment and pain he'd felt and over the years it had consumed both Oz the Man, and Oz the Beast, leaving nothing but darkness and despair in the place that Willow had once occupied in his life and his heart.
From his point on the bench in the back yard, he could hear everything more than clearly. The low murmurs and moans of love, the soft sound of bodies moving against fresh, crisp sheets and the gentle but moist sounds of kissing and well.... He tore his mind from the mental picture that was threatening to completely transform him there and then. It wouldn't do to lose total control in the back yard of the Slayer, he had already received more than one beating at her hands and he didn't fancy another one.
A change in the pitch of Willows lover made the hair on his arms and neck stand up and sent shivers racing through every fibre of his being.
As Tara stifled the scream that accompanied her climax by biting softly into Willow's shoulder, Oz snarled viciously up at the window, his senses overpowered by the smells and sounds of their love making. Amongst all the scents that filled his nostrils, one very slight aroma drifted through and made Oz grin. In the mixture of sweat and sex, the faintest smell of blood. Willow's blood.