"Willow?" Tara's voice came from under a pillow.
"Mmm?" I answered turning from closed shutters I was standing at.
"Why are you up? What's wrong?" She asked sitting up, the covers falling from her body in a graceful motion leaving her beautifully naked form, shinning.
"I keep wondering where he is." I stated sadly.
"Chris?" Tara asked sleepily.
"No. My father, he said he had a greater purpose and I have a feeling that he's going to do something not good."
Tara seemed more awake very quickly. "Do you think he'll find you?"
"I don't think so," I replied shaking my head, "but I don't want to find that out the hard way."
"What do you want to do then?" Tara asked her eyes boring into mine.
"I want to find him, but I don't even know where to start." I said running my hands through my hair sighing. "He could be anywhere and with my luck he's probably already planning his next killing spree."
Tara stretched her stiff limbs and brought her one shoulder down in a tiny painful motion, hissing quietly.
"Does it still really hurt?" I asked walking over to the bed and touching her chin.
"Only sometimes," she whispered turning so that I could look at it.
The sight was still as mortifying as the first. The blackness around the hole seemed to spread up her shoulder like veins. You could still see her muscles, burnt and re-growing but slower than even a human. The scar from the silver bullet would heal but never fully, there would always be that reminder of what had come to us.
"I wish I could make it a little better." I pouted. "We've tried everything. I can't heal you like you can me with magic." I was ashamed of this, knowing that I couldn't take away the markings like Tara had done for me.
"Willow, you heal my heart. Every time the pain gets too much you are here for me and soothe my aching, alright?" Tara was quick to reassure me as she wrapped me in a tiny hug. I relaxed in her grip and we both leaned back on the bed holding each other tight.
"Where would I be without you my love?" I asked and I snuggled into her chest.
"The same place I would be, hell." Tara whispered and that was how we fell asleep. Together we found peace in the arms of our inner creatures.
That week flew by as we continued to make tiny improvements on the village. Ayuba stayed away from the village, in the trees. Occasionally I would look towards her and see her rubbing her face against the bark and scratching her back roughly on it. Tara would snort with laughter but I would watch with a strange curiosity.
"I wonder why she does that." I asked one night while Tara and I sat at the edge of the brush watching.
"Because she's a cat," Tara responded, stretching her legs.
"I don't think that's the real reason." I shook my head watching her more closely.
"Sweetie what else would she be doing?" Tara asked looking at her, "I can smell her scent from here, she reeks of feline."
"Tara, that's it! She's leaving her scent on the trees for Chris to find us!" I jumped up and ran towards Ayuba. I made it there within a few seconds, slow enough that Ayuba had time to stop rubbing and look at me.
"Is Chris close?" I asked a bit breathy.
"The Pride Master is not far." She purred.
"I'm already here."
"Chris!" I cried excitedly rushing into his arms and hugging him tightly.
"Willow," he smiled embracing me then standing up straighter and extending his hand to my love that had appeared quickly. Bowing he held her hand, Tara did the same and they exchanged what seemed to be mutual acceptance of the other. The greeting wasn't quite as touchy as mine had been but at least they weren't trying to kill each other.
He turned his attention back to me and gave me a grave look. "I have much to tell you."
"I'm not going to like what you have to say am I?" I asked shaking my head.
"Well it depends on which way you take it." He bowed his head and looked at his feet. "Much of it we must discuss in privet, for it has a great deal to do with your father."
"Her father?" Tara breathed. She looked at me searching my eyes for a reaction. I avoided her gaze and focused my attention back on Chris.
"He's on the move Willow, picking up where William left off, it seems there is more to that plan than was to be expected." Chris shifted from foot to foot in an awkward dance of uneasiness. Ayuba came up behind him and brushed her face on his back. He stiffened then relaxed and a deep rolling purr came from his throat and he relaxed under her reassuring caress. Her arms came around his waist and held him tight. He moved his hands to cup hers and they held each other for a long moment. The tension seemed to leek out of the air and the two swayed together in a loving tangle.
Finally his eyes reopened and he looked at us, his irises gone slit and his breathing a bit labored.
"Come show me the village and what has been happening while I was gone." Chris said calmly.
"Very well, Ayuba are you to join us?" Tara asked rather kindly.
"I think I will, if my master permits." Her sultry voice responded from behind Chris' body.
"Of course my dear," He said instantly. We all turned and made it quietly to the tiny lights of our home. Worry snaking though my body and the tiny hope I had seeking a better place to regain some back.