Author: terra21
Feedback: Please. Leave feedback on the Elemental thread on the Kitten Board.
Spoilers: None
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Willow, Tara, and BtVS are the property of Joss Wheadon and Mutant Enemy. I borrowed them to help fulfill my own plot.
Note 1: The Pyramid of the Sun is an actual place in Teotihuacon, Mexico. Some of the history I've included about the pyramids and Mayan Indians is true, while I have adapted other parts for the basis of this story. These are some of the websites I used during my research:
Note 2: I really enjoyed this writers-workshop-type-project. It was mucho fun collaborating with these authors. They are truly a talented group and I am honored for them to let lil' ol' inexperienced me participate in Elemental. Also, thank you very much to Mary and Car for the mistake finding, I mean betaing -That goes for the authors who beta'd as well. Thank you again to Mary for all the brain stimulation, uh, yeah. Finally, I'd like to thank the Academy...oops, nevermind, that's another dream.
Note 3: Thanks Chris aka Artemis for the fabulous graphics.

Relatively speaking, in the grand scheme of life, every day is the same. The sun comes up and the sun goes down. It is constant and inevitable.

The loud beeping of an alarm disturbed Tara from her deep slumber. As she slapped a hand on the irritating clock she cracked her eyelids open to find a little redhead lying halfway atop her. She turned her head slightly, placing her nose in Willow's red locks and took a slow deep breath. A tender kiss along her wife's hairline grew into a warm smile. Tara thought to herself, "This is the way I want to wake up every day for the rest of my life."

Some would call theirs the easy life; yet to others it might seem boring or mundane. After many years spent fighting evil on the hellmouth, Tara welcomed the calm stability of their life together in their beachfront home.

Gently prying herself from Willow's embrace, Tara slid out of their comfy king size bed, but not before planting another kiss on her lover's forehead and tucking the girl back in. It was Saturday morning and Willow would sleep, if undisturbed, until at least 9 a.m.

Tara shuffled down the dark hallway to the kitchen and flipped on the incandescent range light to begin her daily ritual of making coffee. The low gurgle of the coffee maker in the early morning hours was like music to her ears. She stood at the granite counter in the open-air kitchen facing the wall of glass that gave way to extraordinary panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Marveling at the beauty of the sky evolving before her, Tara silently recited her daily prayer to the goddesses for blessing her with this life and this new day.

After the hellmouth imploded, the lovers finished their studies at UCLA. As expected, Willow took a job with a software company in Los Angeles under the condition that she would work from a virtual office. Tara pursued an artistic career. Several showcased exhibitions led to commissioned works throughout college, and recently she was asked to provide a collection, topic of her choice, for a gallery in Santa Monica.

Their home sat upon the craggy cliffs overlooking the beaches of the California coast on a peninsula that jutted southward out into a bay. It provided spectacular views of the sun at both dawn and dusk. This stirring landscape was the inspiration for the series that Tara had chosen to paint, "Sunrises and Sunsets." It was the perfect place. It took little effort for Tara to shift her easel from east to west on the covered deck.

The sun had not yet broken the horizon, but deep orange hues indicated its imminent arrival. Tara padded barefoot to the glass door, stepped onto the deck, and placed a new canvas onto her easel. She readied her paint by squeezing dollops of different colors onto her pallet. Shifting her gaze back to the sky, she immersed herself for several moments in the sunrise surfacing before her. She soaked in every detail, forming a picture in her mind. Her breathing increased, this could be the day, the day she produced a masterpiece.

Painting was Tara's passion; it excited her. The thoughts and visions were liberating, transporting her into another world, a world all of her own. Creativity flowed through her with powerful intensity on certain days, and today felt like one of those days. She embraced what she hoped would be the end to a recent creative block.

She watched engrossed as the Sun emerged from what seemed like the depths of the ocean. It was time. She grabbed a hair tie and pulled her blonde tresses up loosely before taking a paint brush from one of the cans on the table. Looking at the horizon then back to her pallet several times, she finally chose a color and dipped the bristles into it. The artist took the brush to the canvas and calculatingly applied several broad strokes.

Willow watched from the doorway as her wife transitioned into deep artistic concentration. She loved to watch Tara work. Something about the focus in her lover's deep blue eyes made Willow shiver to the core. She sighed heavily in relief knowing that Tara's imagination must have been stirred this morning. Willow knew her wife had been having a hard time with painting recently. Tara hadn't said much about it, but Willow knew that the artist was blocked. She had watched Tara take canvas after canvas to the dumpster over the past month, "They just aren't good enough," Tara explained.

Willow propped a bare shoulder against the doorframe and brought her cup of coffee to her lips. She blew steadily over the rim to cool the contents then sipped off the top. She too studied the sunrise for a bit but quickly lost interest, opting to stare at her lover instead. She was captivated by the sunlight that danced off Tara's blonde hair as the cool morning breeze came in off the water to gently whip the locks. She watched as the tones of the sunrise changed in her lover's flawless face. Dropping her eyes lower, Willow noticed that Tara had not even changed clothes; she had gone straight to her studio in her boxers and white tank top. "All the sexier," Willow thought as she made note of the way Tara sat Indian style in the chair. If it weren't for the fact that Tara was so caught up in painting Willow would have gone to her wife then and ravished her on their deck in the early morning light.

Willow held her breath when the brush strokes stopped and Tara sat back in her chair to study the sky. She saw the wavering in Tara's deep blue eyes. Oh please baby, stay focused. She wanted to help Tara, but if it wasn't a series of 1's and 0's or a computer language she had no advice to offer. She suddenly realized she needed to divert Tara's attention immediately. She strode to the coffee pot and poured a cup of the hot beverage. When she arrived back at the doorway the sun had finally lifted free of the horizon, and Tara had put her paintbrush away.

Willow couldn't let this go on any longer. She had an idea.

Tara crooked her head to the doorway when she heard Willow come out onto the deck. She flashed a defeated half grin as Willow bent down and gave her a kiss, followed by a cup of coffee.

"Good morning."

"Good morning to you," Tara replied before sipping her drink, "ummm, thank you baby."

Willow smiled lovingly and pulled up a lounge chair. "You're welcome." She took Tara's hand and held it lightly on the armrest of her chair. She wasn't going to pry or talk about painting. Silence fell between them as they looked back to the sunrise. They sat for several minutes like that, sipping coffee and taking in the dawning of a new day.

"Baby?" Willow broke the silence.

Tara rolled her head against the back of her chair towards her lover, "Yes?" The bright morning sunlight made her face glow.

Willow took a sharp breath, amazed at how her lover's beauty was still able to stun her. "I was thinking about a road trip today. Are you up for it?"

"Where to?" Tara's brow furrowed.

Willow perked one eyebrow, "It's a surprise."

"I dunno, Will, I need to paint," Tara sighed.

That's exactly why we need to go. "Don't worry, we'll be back in plenty of time," Willow assured her. She knew the artist would worry about painting the sunset all day long if she weren't distracted.

"Well." Tara saw Willow's bottom lip start to protrude, "Oh, ok." Willow's green eyes sparkled when Tara agreed.

A little over and hour later Willow threw a backpack into the back of her SUV with one hand and held a cell phone to her ear with the other synching up plans for the road trip. She had filled the bag with a change of clothes for both of them without telling Tara. Willow closed the hatch and covered the phone's mouthpiece as Tara trotted down the steps with a small bag slung over her shoulder, "Make sure you have your passport," Willow called to her.

Tara paused and lifted her dark sunglasses. "Are you serious?"


Tara put her hands on her hips. "I thought we'd be back before sunset?"

Willow replied to the party on the other end of the phone, "Thanks," then slapped the phone shut. She shot a playful look back up the steps at her lover. "We will."

Tara raised her eyebrows in disbelief, but still returned to the house for her passport.

"Sunset tomorrow," Willow mumbled under her breath as she settled behind the steering wheel.

"I thought this was a road trip?" Tara asked as Willow pulled into the airport.

"That's just an expression." Willow commented as she wheeled into short term parking and gave her love a please-forgive-me look.

She shuffled Tara to the ticket counter hastily, trying to avoid any other questions. "I have two tickets reserved," she said while handing over her ID to the woman behind the counter. She kept glancing over at her lover and smiling mischievously throughout the ticket counter interaction. Tara would answer Willow's impish grins with a perturbed squint.

"Passports?" The clerk asked as she pecked at the keyboard. Willow and Tara produced their passports as directed. The woman asked a series of questions about their baggage and then handed over their tickets and boarding passes along with their passports, "Enjoy your trip."

Willow took the tickets and passports, then grabbed her wife by the hand and headed towards the departure gate.

"Where are we going?" Tara finally asked.

A high-pitched male voice came over the intercom, "Flight 23 to Mexico City, now boarding at Gate 7."

"That's us," Willow replied.

"We're not gonna be back by sunset, are we?"

Willow shook her head.

After stuffing their bags into the overhead compartments, Willow withdrew a few folded pieces of paper from her back pocket and handed them to Tara. She sat down beside her lover and watched closely as Tara began to read.

"I thought it could be a source of inspiration or enlightenment," Willow said. "Plus, learning about the ancient Indians and their sacred knowledge, bonus!"

Tara looked in disbelief at her wife, "You're taking me to the Pyramid of the Sun?"


Tara almost leapt out of her seat to hug Willow. "Baby, this is so sweet!"

Willow's chest puffed out. "I know that you've been having trouble with painting, and that you'd never say anything about it because you're just that way about your painting. Not that you're all secretive and want to keep me out of the part of your life, but more like that it's something that you'd deal with on your own and not bother me with it. Which by the way it totally wouldn't bother me, you could never bother me. What I'm really trying to say is that maybe a day away will do you some good and going to a sacred place could possibly stir your imagination. And maybe you could even absorb some of the energy from the temples. See look," Willow pointed to one of the papers. "It says here that the Toltec Indians are believed to have had direct communication with the gods of the sun, moon and stars."

Tara scanned Willow's face with her deep blue eyes as she listened to her lover ramble.

Willow paused. "What?"

Tara leaned over and kissed Willow softly on the lips. "I love you."

A small giggle bubbled from Willow as she ducked her head in excitement mixed with a twinge of embarrassment. "I love you too."

"Please stay with the group at all times," the dark-complexioned tour guide said as he recited a seemingly well-worn speech at the base of a huge pyramid. "This is the last tour of the day and if one of you gets lost you'll be locked up until Monday because this place is closed on Sundays." A low rumble of laughter rolled across the group. He continued, "If your flashlight battery begins to die, there will be guides at the front and the rear of the group with extra ones: myself and Ana." He nodded then pointed to a younger girl with long flowing dark hair dressed in the traditional tour guide garb of khaki shorts and a golf shirt.

"Cute," Willow blurted.

"Really?" Tara asked skeptically, with a raised brow.

"In a teenage-y, jailbait kinda way." The redhead backpedaled.

"Any other questions before we begin?" The tour guide scanned the group quickly, "Ok, follow me."

Willow moved forward hastily to join the other tourists as the guide returned to his bland monologue, "We will begin our tour by climbing the steps to the peak of the Pyramid of the Sun. Later we will enter one of the excavated tunnels bored into the center of the structure. From the Sun Pyramid we will journey over to the Pyramid of the Moon to conclude our tour. I hope you all wore your walking shoes." Another reverberation of laughter emitted from the group.

The twenty-five or so tourists trudged the steps carrying backpacks and water bottles. Most listened intently as the guide recalled the history of the Mayan civilization and the construction of the Pyramids by the Toltec people. "The Mayan Indians are most renowned for developing the calendars we use today. They also developed a writing system and mapped the stars in the heavens. They were a highly advanced culture for that time. They mastered weaving, pottery, farming, and mathematics. This city, Teotihuacon, was the center of learning and culture for over a thousand years before its demise."

Reaching the summit, Willow and Tara turned in circles observing the amazing views of the mountains and jungle surrounding the ancient city. The number of buildings and pyramids in the city was clearer now than it had been when they stood on the ground. It was obvious from the order that the city had been planned carefully.

"It's so...magical," Tara murmured.

Ana, took over the narration: "There are close to 600 pyramids and edifices in this complex, which was referred to as 'The City of the Gods' by the Mayan Indians. Impressively, all of the structures are aligned with certain stars and exact points in that mountain range." She pointed across the landscape. "The Toltec people were advanced in the area of astronomy as well."

Part of the group snapped pictures of scenery while others gazed at the beauty of the land. Willow and Tara held hands near the edge of the monument, letting the wind blow against them in silence. The mid-afternoon sun warmed their faces as they tilted them towards the heavens.

"Now let's move on to the tunnel," Ana directed. She continued her historical account of the pyramids. "You may find it interesting that The Pyramid of the Sun was built over a system of caves, most of which have not been explored or excavated yet. We will now venture into one of those caves, so please ready your flashlights. You may not need them in the tunnel, but once we get into the main chamber you will." The group moved back down the steps to the second level and filed into a doorway of sorts.

Willow stepped into the cave and immediately felt the temperature drop at least 15 degrees. The cool air was moist and musty smelling. Looking around, she gauged the height of the opening to be about 10 ft and the diameter about 6 ft. There was a single strand of lights running along the top of the cave that illuminating the area enough to render flashlights unnecessary. The guide spoke softly and warned the rest of the group to keep noise at a minimum because of echoing, until they reached the inner cavity.

Tara tottered on the uneven floor along with the others until she felt a hand slip into hers and pull back gently. She looked at Willow only to see the girl motioning towards the wall. Squinting, Tara focused on the pictures etched into the stone. The rest of the group filtered around and moved past them as the girls remained behind inspecting their discovery.

"Wow, I've never seen hieroglyphs in person, just in the texts at the magic shop," Willow admitted.

Tara responded in a whisper, "Me either. They're beautiful."

Willow raked her fingers across the graphics, "I remember this from researching. The symbols represent syllables in the Mayan language."

Tara touched the wall. "Do you know what it says?"

"I'm not sure," Willow replied. "On, tra," she spoke aloud as she tried to understand the pictures.

Tara continued to run her fingers along the carvings as Willow tried to decipher the code. "Look, it's a handprint," She pressed her hand into the indention.

"On, tray," Willow sounded out the syllables, "Ontra...Ontray... Entre! Entre!" she exclaimed.

No sooner did the Spanish word 'Entre' leave Willow's mouth than the cave wall gave way under the pressure of Tara's hand. Stone grated against stone as part of the wall and floor spun around slinging the lovers into a chamber on the opposite side. Dazed and confused the girls sat on the floor scanning the room they had 'found.'

Beams of light cut through the darkness, each focused on a different hieroglyph embedded into the walls around the room. The only other light was a single glowing ball hovering in the center of the room. Willow and Tara rose together, gravitating towards the radiating sphere. The lovers walked steadily, guided by some unseen force, until they reached the outer edge of the shimmering globe. They stood motionless as the orb's warm glow slowly expanded to envelop them, drawing them into its weightless core. Neither felt they were in danger; however, they were uncomfortable with the surreal nature of the situation.

Tara felt like she was in a dream. Her surroundings were sometimes clear and at other times dull to her senses. She found herself questioning time and if she were still on her own plane.

Willow was the first to make contact; she took Tara's hands into her own. "I've got you." She wanted to make sure this was real and touching Tara always made her feel grounded.

"I know," Tara replied with a smile. She looked down at her feet, which were no longer touching the floor, and then to her wife. "We're floating."

Willow nodded; her emerald green eyes sparkled, reflecting the radiance of the sphere. Her breathing increased, as did Tara's. Both girls felt the need to touch one another more intimately, yet were unable to do so. The same unseen force that pulled them into the orb now held them apart. The only body parts that touched were their joined hands, yet even those were unmoving.

At that moment, all of the shafts of light in the room extinguished save one; it was illuminating one of the ancient pictures on the wall. The orb shifted slowly until the girls faced the primitive writings. Someone or something wanted the lover's attention on the half moon that was imprinted into the stone. Tara continued to hold Willow's hand tightly while suspended in the shimmering bubble.

The edges of the moon began to gleam and light shot out from the cracks as the glyph morphed into a moving scene. Willow and Tara gasped in unison at what they saw when the vision became clear. Indisputably, it was them. In another life? On another plane? In a demon world? The visualization was so life-like; the moon shone down on them on a winter night. They were in the snowy mountains and it was blistering cold, but they were in love, new love. The feelings of first falling in love with each other inundated their beings and infused them with desire. Their bodies heated quickly and sweat began to bead on their skin. As they wrestled with their desires the image of the moon faded quickly.

The first beam extinguished then another ray lit a second glyph, one of blazing flames springing from the grate of an iron stove. Glimpses of the red, roaring fire were seen through the legs of their alter-selves as they danced an unfamiliar dance. The girls were dressed in seafaring uniforms. Willow extended a sword defending blow after blow from Tara's blade as they playfully cantered about a nautically adorned room.

Not only were Willow and Tara experiencing these events emotionally, they were physically feeling the affects as they floated in the glowing orb. Just as Tara had shivered in the cold moonlight, Willow had grinned mischievously while swinging her sword. They were channeling their own beings in these visions.

The next illustration came to life out of a picture of a flowing waterfall. A dark sexual aura suddenly loomed around them. Willow knew that she was viewing her evil incarnation. She recognized the feeling of immorality as it crackled off her fingertips. Sweat dotted Tara's forehead when she saw Willow with her back arched off of a cot in the throes of ecstasy. Tara was standing over Willow in some god-forsaken dungeon, watching her lover writhe with desire. Willow's mouth was as dry as that of her animated self. Ironically the water that could quench her thirst was what robbed her of it in the first place.

Tara tried to grasp what was happening. She wondered why she and Willow were being shown these scenes. Were they some kind of omen? Were they pictures from the past or future? Were the goddesses trying to tell them something? Contentment filled her when it dawned on her that the elements of nature had trapped the two of them together in other times and places. It was if they were meant to be together no matter when or where. Tara's heart swelled at the thought of the love she and Willow shared, spanning time, places, and possibly even dimensions.

Anxious and increasingly aroused, the two girls were shown an image of a wooden cage. This time, Tara was horrified at the sight of Willow, dirty and scared. Her lover was skittish and weak; she looked as if she hadn't eaten in days. Hot tears streamed down Tara's face as she thought about her baby being in pain. Then she saw herself kneeling at the entrance of Willow's confine. Her hand extended towards her lover; she was there to help.

I love you.

Tara didn't hear those words, she felt them being conveyed into her mind from the woman floating beside her. Even though they were held in place and couldn't embrace, she smiled knowing that Willow could still reach her. Willow would always find a way to her.

Flecks of gold sparkled in a drawing of wings in the subsequent hieroglyph. The air rushed from Willow's lungs when she saw a radiant Tara hovering above her own thin body lying in a bed. Golden wings gently stroked the air to keep the angelic form afloat. Willow watched as her winged lover kissed the forehead of the alter-Willow's sleeping figure. A lump formed in her throat when she thought about how much she loved this 'angel' from the heavens.

The room went dark again for a moment before another beam illuminated the last hieroglyph in the series. Soil filtered through the nimble fingers of a woman. A wider picture gave way to headstones in a graveyard. Tara heard her heart begin to pound in her ears when she read the stone that Willow stood before. This time it was Willow's eyes shedding hot tears. At that moment Willow gave thanks to the gods and goddesses that the lover at her side was here and in her life, the life that was real.

As the last glyph disappeared, Willow and Tara found that they were finally free to move and reached to embrace one other. The only light left emitting in the room was the glowing orb that contained the two hovering lovers.

Their emotions overwhelmed them; they needed one another...desperately. Their hands were all over each other's bodies. Their lips met, but kisses were not enough. They began to make love--passionate, raw, and weightless--as if it were a statement to the goddesses of the elements to show them that they were thankful to be together in this life. Declarations of 'I love you' were whispered over and over between kisses and nips. Willow moved to strip Tara of her starched white button down. Heavy lidded blue eyes met with Willow's emerald green ones. If ever there was a time that Willow thought Tara couldn't be more beautiful, she was wrong. Here in this temple, in this shimmering orb, Tara was at her most stunning. Willow felt she should be worshipping her radiant lover. Unbuttoning and peeling the shirt back from Tara's chest, Willow kissed gently down her neck and across her pale shoulders.

Tara shivered at the soft caresses her lover delivered, and began to undress Willow as well. She unbuckled Willow's belt and eased her hands under the waistband and around to cup her lover's cheeks. Her eyes rolled back into her head when Willow's lips touched her nipple. Tara abandoned the task of removing Willow's shorts to bury her fingers in the redhead's fiery locks; a loud unbridled moan erupted from deep within her, "Ohhhhhh, Willow."

Willow searched for Tara's skirt hem and slowly dragged it up her lover's milky white legs. Tara shuddered as Willow's nails dug into her with raw desire. Because of their weightlessness the girls were able to wind their exposed limbs around one another's. Searching for friction, Willow wrapped a leg around Tara's thigh and began to grind. Their hands continued to pull and grope, removing the obstructive clothing. Willow thought that the temperature must have jumped 30 degrees in the room.

The ceiling above the women slowly started to shift. A single slab of stone grated and began to slide open, revealing a passageway that lead to the top of the pyramid. As the massive stone gradually moved, the sun above beamed down onto the lovers in the sphere while they made love. Willow and Tara remained oblivious to the stone's movement, as they were too lost in one another.

Finally, stripping themselves free of clothing they molded their unencumbered bodies together. Hot and sweaty, they moved their naked bodies in rhythm, seeking climax from the growing eruption inside. Willow left Tara's breasts and began the journey down her lover's body. She placed her hands on either side of Tara's waist and moved the girl effortlessly higher and higher. She trailed kisses across her wife's abdomen and then dropped her face to Tara's mound and inhaled deeply. The smell of her lover's arousal provoked Willow to press her lips into her curls and place a gentle kiss. Enjoying Willow's touches thoroughly, Tara sought a deeper connection by throwing her legs over Willow's shoulders. Willow paused momentarily, drinking in the sight that was Tara's glistening folds while she maneuvered into place. The river that ran between her lover's thighs made Willow's mouth water in anticipation of Tara's familiar feminine taste. Unable to wait any longer, Willow licked her lips and descended upon Tara's center. The sweet taste of Tara's juices passed Willow's lips and danced on her tongue as she sucked her lover into her mouth, relishing every drop. Tara moaned loudly and leaned back, displaying her bare breasts to the heavens.

Minutes, hours, or even days could have passed but the lovers would have never noticed. They were a sight to behold, hovering, loving, in the orb that was now illuminated even more by the sun above. Tara's back arched, her blonde hair flowed out, Willow's fiery red head was buried between her thighs; it was a beautiful expression of unrestrained love making. As if in tune with the lovers' culminating rapture, the glowing sphere began to rise up through the passageway. Conversely, the sun was sinking.

As the early morning sun broke over the mountains on a serene Sunday morning in Teotihuacon, Mexico, its first rays struck the Pyramid of the Sun. Atop the vast structure sat a stone altar commonly used in ancient times for rituals to praise the goddess of the sun. On this particular morning, two bodies lay upon the altar entwined and spent from a long night of love making.

The bright beams from the sun penetrated Willow's eyelids as she lay with her head on Tara's shoulder. She let her eyes barely open. As her senses adjusted to environment, squinted emerald green eyes grew wide in shock. She looked down at her and Tara's naked bodies then around the peak of the pyramid and further out to the ground far below. "What the frilly heck?" Realizing their predicament and not sure if it was a dream, she shook her lover, "Tara wake up, we're naked, on top of a pyramid in Mexico."

"It's ok baby, go back to sleep. I'll take care of that frog in a little bit." Tara mumbled.

"Tara! Wake up! You are naked and outside!"

Tara's blue eyes flew open. The cool morning air along with Willow's shouts finally broke through her sleepy state. She shot straight up on the stone altar and gaped, "Oh my goddess!"

"Yeah, me too. Did what I think happened, really happen, or was it a dream?"

Tara shook her head, "I don't know. Where are my clothes?"

Willow searched around and found her backpack placed at the base of the altar. She leaned over and snatched the bag up, pulling out the clothes she found in it. She and Tara scrambled to their feet and grabbed the clothes to cover themselves. Willow froze when she saw an unfamiliar mark on Tara's lower back. "Baby, I think that what I think happened, did happen."

Tara yanked her pants on and turned to her lover, "Do you think we had sex in a glowing ball of sunshine like I do?"

"Yes," Willow affirmed with a smirk. "Do I have a tattoo on my back?" She asked turning her back to Tara while continuing to pull a shirt over her head, stopping the garment on her shoulders as Tara inspected her. A sunburst-like tattoo was emblazoned on Willow's lower back and matched Tara's exactly.

Tara touched the mark gently with her fingers, "Oh my, Willow, this is the mark of the Sun Goddess. I think we've been blessed."

Willow stood at the sliding glass door of their beach house wrapped in a terrycloth robe watching Tara paint. As soon as they pulled into the drive, the artist had raced to her studio and readied her painting materials for the Sunday sunset. Willow had smiled broadly and let her be. After unloading their sparse luggage and showering, Willow came back to find a stunning work produced by her lover. Tara was placing the final touches on what was a truly inspired piece of art.

Intense emotions coursed through Willow as she watched Tara paint. The trip to Mexico had proven to be a blessing, literally. After being shown the paths that their lives could have taken, she was thankful for the one she was living. Not that being with Tara in any time or dimension would be bad, she was just grateful to have her here and now. She moved onto the balcony/studio to stand behind Tara. She gazed at the sunset and then back to Tara's painting. It wasn't a replica; it was a mixture of the sunset and the roaring emotions of the artist. It was magnificent.

"What do you think?" Tara spoke without turning to her lover.

"It's brilliant." Willow said breathlessly.

Tara smiled shyly and dipped her head to one side, "Thank you."

Willow slowly positioned herself in front of Tara, straddling her wife's legs while sitting down in her lap. Tara stared deep into her lover's green eyes silently affirming the weekend's events before drawing Willow in for a long deep kiss. When they broke Tara tenderly whispered "I love you," into her lover's mouth.

Willow spoke softly as she caressed Tara's face with her eyes, "I will love you for as long as the sun continues to rise in the morning and set in the evening. I will be your constant."

of the Elemental series

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