Return to The Game of Love Chapter Twenty-Four

The Game of Love

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Unfortunately neither Tara nor Willow are mine. Neither's anyone else in this fic for that matter!

It was after dinner, and Tara was standing in her balcony alone, smoking. Inside the house the girls were settled all over her room, watching 50 First Dates on DVD. Tara heard sounds of laughter, Anya's snort being the loudest. The blonde couldn't help but smile at the sound.

Taking a drag she looked up at the stars. She continued to smoke, watching the smoke as it drifted towards the sky. Moments later she felt a tap on her shoulder, and saw that Emily had come to join her. "You mind?" she asked, and Tara shook her head, offering Emily the open pack.

Taking one cigarette, Emily lit it with the light that Tara offered, and took a deep drag. "Aah" she said, releasing her breath.

They sat in silence for a few moments, before Tara said with the sould of a smile in her voice "You really don't have a life do you? Coming to our matches every day!"

Emily grinned as she said "Hey, it's called coming out to support your friends!" When Tara rolled her eyes Emily added," Ok ok! Maybe there's this one guy in the Columbus guy's team that I've been dying to get my eyes on, but that isn't the real reason!!!"

Tara let out a laugh, shaking her head at her friend. "Loyalties my ass!!!" she said, putting the cigarette butt to her lips.

"What about you?" Emily asked.

"What about me?" Tara questioned.

"Your love life dummy! How is it?" Emily asked again.

"Oh I could sum it up in one word - Non-Existent" Tara grinned.

"And your happy about that?" Emily asked, looking at her like she was crazy.

"Should I be mouring?" Tara asked back, grinning.

"Nah you shouldn't be mourning, but well, the grin kinda blew me away!" Emily laughed.

"I'm just not interested right now" Tara said, smiling slightly. "And I'm happy the way I know? It's just not a necessity for me..."

Emily nodded her head, before saying "So Zak's finally stopped hounding you huh?" Looking at Tara's grin, Emily smiled back, saying "Remember him from school? Always walking around like he was picking out which girl to have hanging from his arm that day!"

Tara noded her head "Zak's not a bad guy. I guess the popularity would affect anyone."

"And hey can't understand why you're not falling all over him! You think he remembers you from school?" EMily wondered.

"I doubt it. I mean I started playing handball late, and lotsa of people don't remember me from the first year" Tara said.

"Rubbish!" Emily dismissed Tara's statement. "Everyone remembers you from the start of your handball life! You were like THE find of the millenium!"

Tara blushed, and said "Well then, I just wasn't pretty enough to be noticed by Zak I guess".

"Yeah, that's probably it" Emily said thinking. "Remember you in school?!"

Tara grinned, and said "Yeah I have pictures around here somewhere!" The two girls kept smiling, thinking of those days.

Tara lit up another cigarette, and Emily took one too. Hearing sounds of laughter again, Emily peaked in to see the girls all giggling at some silly Sandler antic. Popping her head back out, she asked Tara "Hey where's Willow?"

Tara blew out some smoke, and replied "She had to be with her parents tonight, so she couldn't make it".

"Hmm..." Emily said, taking a drag, and blowing out rings. "I like that girl" she said, observing the circles go up in the air and disappear.

"Yeah?" Tara questioned, trying not to sound too interested.

"Yeah...I get a great vibe from her. Don't you?" Emily turned her attention back to Tara.

"Yeah" Tara said, with a slight sigh following her statement. "She is a very nice girl, that's for sure".

"I'd like to get to know her better..." Emily was saying, and Tara looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "What does she mean she wants to get to know her better????"

"...and Buffy for that matter". Tara let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding. "They both seem really nice...maybe we could ask them to come hang with us sometime, and see how it goes?" Emily concluded.

"Sure" Tara said. She, Emily, Anya and Cordelia usually hung out together.

"So big game tomorrow..." Emily said, but got no response out of Tara. The blonde was now lost in thoughts of Willow. "Yeah I'd like to get to know her better...she seems so sweet...and oh she can be so cute..."

"Tara?" Emily asked.

"...I wonder if she's having a good time with her folks? Did she even think about us all here...did she think about me? Ok why would she think about me, and why would I WANT her to think about me???...This is crazy..."

"Tara!!!" Emily repeated louder this time.

"Wha...? Huh?" Tara said, looking at EMily with a lost look.

"Where'd I lose ya?" Emily asked.

"Just thinking about work" Tara said, lying through her teeth. Emily seemed to buy that exlanation, and again began to talk about the game the next day. "Faith's on top of her game from what I hear" she began, and Tara gave the right answers, but the truth be told her head was full of thoughts of a red head.

An hour later everyone was in bed, some fast asleep, but Tara was lying awake on her side, looking at the empty space beside her.

"Tomorrow..." she thought. "I'll see her tomorrow..."

Tara closed her eyes, willing sleep to claim her so that the morning would come faster.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Twenty-Six

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