Author: Chris Cook
Tara saw a shadow streak across her valley, cast far ahead of its owner by the setting sun. She looked up as Willow glided overhead, waved as she saw the dragon's head tilt downwards, then watched as she swept her wings forward, gathering the air before her and slipping out of the sky, landing easily by the shore of the lake. Tara waited as she walked towards her - footsteps making the ground tremble softly - and took a few paces to meet her as she folded into her human-sized form.
"What are you doing out here?" Willow asked, glancing around the small gully, with its stream leading into the lake. The tower was some distance away, casting its slim shadow along the valley.
"You brought me here once," Tara replied. "Remember?"
"Of course," Willow nodded, her voice quiet.
"I-I thought- That is, I wanted to talk," Tara said. "With you," she added. "Well, obviously."
"Yeah," Willow joined her in chuckling, sharing her nervousness.
"Um, is Adam...?" Tara asked after an awkward pause.
"I sent a fairy from town," Willow said quickly. "The sheriff is keeping him locked up until my people arrive for him. It should only be a day or two - they're pretty strict about anyone trying to harm a dragon without adhering to the traditions. You know, proper challenge, that kind of thing."
"Good," Tara nodded. "Willow, I..." She trailed off, then abruptly laughed. "I had this all planned, what I was going to say. I promised myself I'd go through with it."
"Go through with what?" Willow wondered. "What's... You're not, leaving? Are you?" Her face twisted in dismay. "Not with Riley?!?"
"God no!" Tara exclaimed, the giggles taking firm hold of her at the thought. "No, never in a million years. No."
"Then...?" Willow asked.
"I wanted to... that is," Tara hesitated again. "Oh, forget the speech. Willow, I..." She took Willow by the shoulders, staring into her eyes, and lost her voice. When it returned, it was soft, and straight from the heart. "I love you."
Willow blinked, once, twice, then said: "...wuh?"
"I. Love. You," Tara repeated, hitting each word clearly. "I have since, oh god, it feels like forever, and I have no idea if you feel anything like- That is, I'm sure we're friends, and I think, I hope, you feel more, but I'm not sure, but I am sure that the years I've spent here with you have been the best time of my life, and..." she paused to take a breath, "...and I can't go on like that without breathing like you can, apparently."
"Um... it's for flying at altitude," Willow said, bemusedly. "Lung capacity, you know..."
"That explains it," Tara smiled, her gaze fixed on Willow.
"You just... said you love me, right?" Willow asked.
"I did," Tara replied.
"I..." Willow began, then faltered. Tara frowned as Willow looked away from her, her expression distressed. "Even though...?"
"Willow?" she asked.
"I'm not human," Willow said in a tiny voice. Tara shook her head, and took Willow's shoulders, giving the dragon no choice but to meet her gaze.
"I don't care at all what you're not," she said firmly. "You are the woman I love, and I have for the longest time, and when I realised what was happening today, I thought how stupid I've been not to say so all this time..."
"I..." Willow whispered. "I guess... that makes two of us?"
"Two of us?" Tara echoed.
"Because, all the times I've wanted to tell you, and didn't because I was worried that... You know what, that forgetting the speech thing you did was great, so I'm going to do it too, and I love you. As well. Also. And... can we sit down?"
"Yes," Tara laughed softly, guiding Willow to a smooth rock and sitting beside her, holding her hands. They gazed at each other for a long while, mutually shell-shocked, confused, and gloriously hopeful.
"This is real?" Willow said at last.
"It's real for me," Tara nodded. "If it is for you too, then I guess it's as real as real can be."
"It is," Willow grinned suddenly. "Real, me too, I mean, and... yeah. There's no... I mean, you're a princess, and I'm a dragon-"
"Don't care," Tara said quickly. "I love you and I want you just as you are."
"I, uh," Willow smiled bashfully, "I meant, with you being a princess, and expected to marry some hero, rather than- not that I'm saying marry right now!" she suddenly interrupted herself. "Because hello, moving way too fast, and... not that I wouldn't, but... you know... you know?" Tara shook her head, more in amusement, and leaned forward to gather Willow in her arms and hold her.
"I checked," she whispered. "You meet all the qualifications."
"You crossed the desert, the swamp, the forest, and the mountains to get here. I remember you saying so."
"Well true," Willow admitted. "I flew over them, though..."
"There's nothing in the rules about how you cross," Tara said lightly. "And you've defeated any number of enemies in personal combat in order to save me from them. And we've known each other so long, and shared so much, which is more than any so-called hero could say."
"You saved me too," Willow pointed out. Tara nodded, and let go of Willow, only to sit very close to her, holding her hands. She stared down at them, gently stroking her fingers over them, tracing the patterns in the fine scales covering them.
"You... really, don't mind?" Willow asked, with a little shrug.
"That you're a dragon?" Tara asked. She shook her head, then brought one of Willow's palms to her face, closing her eyes as Willow moved the last fraction of an inch, touching her cheek. Her lips opened in a tiny sigh, and she tilted her head just enough to be able to kiss the edge of Willow's palm.
"I love you," she whispered. "Everything about you. I love that you're a dragon." She opened her eyes and gave Willow a look, without taking her hand from her face. "You don't mind that I'm not a dragon?"
"You're my idea of perfect," Willow replied at once. "I've... you're so soft, and... from the first time I held your hand, I couldn't imagine anything else. A-and I imagined... heh... um, awkward revelation, I'm not sure I'd have started that sentence if I'd thought it through..."
"What?" Tara asked.
"Well... you know the, uh, the part of the library in the tower, with the... um, hidden behind those big atlases, and-" Tara blushed.
"Oh yes," she said, ducking slightly and grinning. "I've read those a lot. I, uh... my turn to be bashful," she chuckled. "I'd read them, and think... of you."
"Me too," Willow nodded, shy and smiling. "I read 'To Touch Her' over and over, when I first found it. I'd... that was the first time I, you know... read what a human was like... all over..." Tara's eyes widened, then she laughed softly.
"I guess I had an advantage," she said. "You're so open with yourself, I... I never had to try to imagine what you looked like."
"You... looked?" Willow asked. "I don't mean... I don't mind. I... I uh, I hoped sometimes you would, you know? It felt good."
"I tried not to be too obvious," Tara nodded. "I didn't want you to feel uncomfortable, and it's natural to you, I didn't want you to feel you couldn't..." Her voice trailed off, and she let go of Willow's hands, looking down at herself.
"What?" Willow asked.
"Fair's fair," Tara said abruptly, taking a quick, deep breath as if steeling herself. She reached to her shoulders and swiftly pulled the shoulders of her dress untied. Willow gasped, still as a statue, as Tara reached behind herself to pull the laces from her back, and let the dress fall around her waist.
"Would you?" she asked, lifting her leg up to Willow. Wordlessly the dragon took hold of the hem of her dress and pulled it down, as Tara lifted her hips from the smooth rock, and her eyes followed the bundle of fabric down her legs to the ground.
"Well," Tara said, her voice unsteady, but quietly elated. "Now we're even."
Willow's gaze was still on Tara's feet, resting just beside her. She looked up her legs, very slowly, over her thighs where Tara's hands rested, up her body, her gaze sliding as smoothly as the last rays of sunlight casting their warm glow over Tara's form.
"I..." she said. "I... That... that book wasn't even close," she murmured. Tara chuckled - Willow's breath caught in her throat as Tara's breasts shuddered.
"I-I liked 'In Between'," Tara said, finding her voice with only a little effort.
"Yes," Willow nodded.
"'She touched me,'" Tara quoted from memory, "'and I knew then what it was to be the mortal form given life by god.'"
"'And when she entered me, I knew what it was to be a god,'" Willow completed the line. She looked up, into Tara's eyes.
"I-I don't know what to do," she admitted. Tara smiled.
"Well, we're here," she said, glancing around the secluded gully. "Would you... sing to me?"
Willow blinked in surprise.
"Please," Tara nodded. "When you did, that time, I was so... I can't think of words for it." She chuckled. "Of course, there weren't words, maybe that's why. I wanted to ask you again but, it felt... I felt like I'd have been asking for something more than I deserved, unless I told you why I really wanted to experience it again. You know?"
"I know," Willow smiled. "Alright... well, uh... let's..." She trailed off, the nodded to herself, and took a deep, slow breath. "Is it alright if I... look at you...?"
"For inspiration?" Tara grinned, and Willow shared her grin and nodded. "I'd like that," Tara said softly.
The two sat very close together, cross-legged on the smooth stone, with their knees almost touching. On an impulse Tara reached out both hands, and Willow took them and held them as she relaxed into the almost-trance where her feelings became scents that the gentle breeze carried over Tara, who inhaled slowly and filled her lungs with Willow's love for her.
"Ahhh," she whispered, exhaling. Feeling emboldened by Willow's gaze on her, she in turn gave herself free rein to stare at Willow, drinking in the sight of her in a way she had never truly allowed herself before. She absorbed every inch of her face - her deeply liquid eyes, lidded and shameless, moving slowly from side to side, up and down, all over Tara in turn. Her fine features, the soft angles of her face accentuated by the patterns of scales covering her skin, so thin and delicate as to be almost smooth around her eyes and lips, spreading in symmetrical spiral patterns across her cheeks, over her chin and down her neck. Standing out in sharp contrast, her flight scales, spreading from her brows out and back over her ears and curving up away from her scalp - like a crown, and behind it the ridges of scales that covered the top of her head and spread down the back of her neck, closed and rigid when she was tense, now fanning out and moving with her heartbeat as she relaxed.
Her poetry was thick in the air, and Tara let her awareness of it wander, not seeking specific meanings but simply letting them come to her as they would. There were clear scents, like morning dew on a fresh lawn or water from a mountain lake so still and pristine it seemed like glass, transparent right to its bed. Warm scents like sunlight, flowers spreading their petals, butterflies opening their wings and basking lazily. Luxurious nectar that took Tara to a place where she and Willow lay naked together, surrounded by nature, free of care for who might see. Flavours and spices that quickened her heart, and the tempo of the poem seemed to creep up as Tara's breathing came faster. If she hadn't known, from their discussion prior to the one previous occasion they had shared such an experience, that Willow's pheromones weren't able to affect her the way they would a dragon, she would have sworn she was becoming physically drugged by them. As it was, by her feelings alone, Tara imagined herself intoxicated, and surrendered without hesitation.
She let herself stare. Willow's slender form, light for flight - Tara knew she could, with some effort, lift Willow with both hands on her waist - yet strong, firmly muscled beneath the appearance of sleekness. The layered solid scale plates on her shoulders and back becoming again finer as they reached down to her chest, and around her sides, perfectly smooth across her breasts, firm and high, without nipples, or any variation in colour. And down her stomach, flat and smooth, spreading to thicker scales on either side, encompassing her hips, but fading to long, thin patterns between her thighs, a prominent mound, but again featureless, and Tara had often wondered what secrets were beneath those fine scales.
Willow was drawing her in - as Tara quickened the pace of her breathing so Willow's song hastened, the suggested pleasures in her scent coming faster and faster atop one another. Tara's lips parted as she leaned forward, her eyes travelling from Willow's firm thighs up her body to her face, and as her mouth opened and she drew so close to Willow she began to taste her song. Her eyes traced the fine scales around Willow's eyes, found the seam where they made way for the bold flight scales on her brows, and the tiny vents there, dark and secretive, where her scent was emerging. Willow's breath wafted on her chest, she hadn't realised she had moved so very close - in her mind she imagined kissing her, but her body draw her to the alluring, exotic perfume in the air, and as she felt Willow's hands touch her waist, half steadying her half urging her closer, she craned her neck and pressed her lips lightly to Willow's scaled eyebrows, kissing one and then the other as the flavour of her poetry exploded in her mouth.
"Uh... ohhh-hhh," she gasped, suddenly gripped by a need for Willow, stronger than anything she had imagined. Her whole body felt tense, tight, as if the need inside her was drawing her muscles and skin tight around her, and only by filling herself with Willow would she ever breathe again. Willow's fingertips dug into her soft hips, gripping her hard, painless but urging her most strongly, leaving no doubt what she wanted. She gave a little needful sound from the back of her throat as Tara nodded once, quickly, then closed her eyes as Tara's lips touched her scent pores once more, and this time began to steadily suckle on her love.
"Mmmm... uhhhh, ohhmmm..." Willow sighed, moaned, arched her back, pressed herself to Tara as if trying to become one with her. She slipped slightly on the smooth stone, caught her weight, felt Tara ease her sideways, and with a little awkwardness, but no inclination to care whatsoever, they lowered themselves to the soft grass. Tara's lips never left Willow, merely moved from side to side, neglecting nothing, accepting every scent and taste Willow gave to her.
"Uh-hhh-ohhh!" the dragon gasped, tightening, shocked at how quickly she was reaching a peak. Her hands crushed into the grass, fingers digging into the soil, as if she needed to anchor herself to the earth to keep from flying away. Her legs wrapped around Tara's bare waist, tightly, pushing her mound firm against Tara's stomach. Tara pressed on, swimming in Willow, feeling not just smoothness on her skin but slickness, moisture, something unknown to her.
"Ohh gods," Willow gasped, realising, "I'm opening... Tara... you're opening me..."
Tara drew back, glanced down between their bodies, but the fading light wasn't enough for her to see a thing. She felt instead, against her stomach, Willow's mound, smooth and scaled, but now split by a seam, and a yielding softness within. Willow sought out her lips, licked them, kissed Tara deeply, then thrust herself once more against her body, becoming limp and trembling, submitting gladly as Tara kissed her in return, explored her, tasted her and in turn spread her own scent from her lips and tongue back to Willow, letting her sample herself.
"Tara," Willow whispered quickly as their lips parted, "Tara please... I... I need..."
"Yes," Tara whispered back, kissing from her lips down her jawline to murmur in her ear, "yes Willow, anything..."
"I-inside," Willow breathed, her voice so soft Tara barely caught it. She heard something, an undercurrent - nervous, perhaps quietly fearful - and in a flash she understood what it meant, for a being like Willow, coated in armour, to be open, vulnerable, suddenly vulnerable in a way a human never could be.
"You're sure?" she whispered, hoping Willow could hear in her voice how she would never hurt her.
"Y... yes," Willow panted. "I... Gently?"
Tara pressed a kiss to the side of her neck, enjoying the texture of scales beneath her lips.
"My love," she breathed. She felt something spread inside Willow, a relaxation of a tension that had been building.
"I want you there," Willow whispered, without any hesitation.
Tara moved down Willow's body, kissing and tasting as she went, sampling all the scale-patterns she had so long stared at, surreptitiously, and imagined. At last between Willow's thighs, she settled and breathed in Willow's inner scent - very much like that of the heated poetry she had spoken, but somehow more raw, primal. By the faint glimmers of fading sunset and rising moonlight she saw Willow had indeed opened, a seam formed from the scales covering her mound had parted and revealed soft, swollen flesh within. Tara could barely wait, and so she forced herself to linger, perversely prolonging the moment, teasing herself as well as Willow. She could hear her lover's heavy breathing, whispered devotions, the sighs and whimpers as she felt Tara's breath on her.
How rarely does this part of her feel? she wondered in the back of her mind. Hidden away beneath Willow's natural armour, her inner body was fresh and virgin - there was little light to see, but Tara believed she sensed even the minute pressure of her slow exhalations reflected in slight movements of Willow's pure flesh. She wondered if she dared touch her there, but Willow's murmured entreaties gave her courage.
As gently as the moonlight touched her skin, Tara let her head lean forward, her hair spilling over Willow's thighs, and her tongue felt the smooth ridges of scales on either side of the divide, and then... then softness, billowing like a cloud, yielding as a breeze, delicate and fragile as a rainbow painted on the sky. Willow made a sound of joy that seemed to well up from deeper inside her than anything else, her body seizing control of her vocal chords and making itself heard. Tara drew her tongue slowly up, tasting Willow's essence, kin to her scent but at the same time unlike anything she had ever experienced - powerful and soothing at once, like hottest spice wrapped in cool water.
Three more licks was all it took. The first had Willow breathless, her feet planted wide, hips thrust up off the ground. The second made her tremble like a reflection in the surface of a wind-blown lake, and Tara could absolutely taste her body coiling, ready to release. The third opened her fully, her slit yawning, her tender flesh swelling, distending to reveal a muscled opening, from which Tara drank pure Willow, and that taste defied words.
Tara breathed heavily, gasping. Willow was beneath her - her mound closed, her body limp, stirring only slightly as she breathed, utterly sated yet unable to quite be still, as if simply Tara's presence made her move, writhe, to express her pleasure.
"Willow," Tara murmured, sliding up her length. She felt Willow's scales slightly rougher than usual, recognised the signs of exertion - like sweating, her scales were flexing to allow a little air to weave between them, cooling her. Tara found herself stroking Willow's crown scales, like running her fingers through her lover's hair.
"Tara," Willow whispered, opening her eyes. She hesitated, on the verge of speaking, then Tara shook her head, feeling her lips quirk into the half-grin she knew pleased Willow - though only now realising just how much - and she kissed her, giving her her own perfect flavour.
"Th-that was... oh, gods..." the dragon breathed. "I mean... I had no idea... it would feel that good."
"Good," Tara sighed. "I was hoping... it's not like there's any books in the library about how to please a dragon, so I wasn't sure-"
"You ought to write one," Willow chuckled softly. "Gods, I feel too small to feel this good."
"You can always get bigger," Tara grinned. "It's not like you don't have the option."
"You... wouldn't mind?" Willow asked.
"I love you, Willow," Tara said, her voice light, but impressing its meaning on Willow just the same. "To tell the truth, it's never been more one form than the other. When we fly, and... and just when you're full-sized, you're so... I want to say magnificent, but that's hardly good enough."
"But you... I mean, if I'm all big and-"
"I can wait," Tara smiled. "In fact, no - I'm not waiting, I'm with you, and there's nothing more I want."
"Alright," Willow nodded, and Tara knew by her voice how loved she felt at that moment. "Mind you, later on-"
"Absolutely," Tara smirked. Willow rolled over onto her hands and knees, leaned across to give Tara a lingering kiss, then half-straightened and arched her back, baring herself to the night. Tara sat back on her haunches as Willow grew, smiling a devoted smile as her lover stretched into the sky, towering over her.
"Beautiful," she said to herself, as Willow reached her full height. The dragon breathed in the night air, then curled down, bringing her face level with Tara, her chin brushing against the grass.
"You know, I see the world differently like this," she said, her voice deep and resonant, filled with feelings Tara realised she had never quite suppressed. "You fill my world - both of them."
Tara nodded and took a step forward, pressing herself to Willow's elongated face, resting her head contentedly against her.
"You are my world," she whispered. Willow murmured wordlessly, and brought a wing down by her side, as she did when allowing Tara to mount her for riding, and Tara gladly let herself be lifted atop Willow, who curled herself tightly in the gully, feeling the reassuring texture of the stone against her back. Tara lay flat against her, straddling her neck, her warm, naked body feeling every pulse of her lover's giant heart. She was already slipping into a sated, contented sleep when Willow gently laid her wing over herself, covering Tara with the thin edge of it like a blanket to keep her warm against the night, and soon woman and dragon slumbered together, flying as one in their dreams.
...and they lived happily ever after.