Return to The Game of Love Chapter Thirty-Nine

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!

"Almost done?" Willow asked, quietly entering her room, where Dawn had been cooped up studying for a large part of the day.

"I wish!" the teenager replied. "I mean, I'm really trying Will, but nothings going in!" she said, pointing at her head.

"Don't worry...I'm sure it's not THAT bad" Willow said, standing near the door.

"Oh yeah it is!" Dawn said, letting out a sigh and staring back at her books.

"Well, you keep at it then!" Willow said, sounding quite pleased at the idea of Dawn studying, and the teen in question just turned to glare at her for a second, before looking back at her history text. "I'm gonna shower and get ready for Daddy's dinner guest", and with that the red head left the room.

"Hmm, Daddy's dinner guest...I wonder what she's like? Dad said that she's about my age, so it probably won't be as boring an evening as I first thought!" Willow thought, walking to the bathroom in her bedroom.

Willow and her father had spent the whole afternoon watching the DVD of 'The Pianist' that Ira had picked up on his most recent flight to Bangkok. Ira called the place 'the poor man's Paris', and everytime he went there he shopped as much as a woman would! Willow didn't complain, since a large percentage of the stuff was for her, and she enjoyed the movies that her Dad picked up in Thailand, at a much cheaper cost than what he'd pay in the US.

After watching the film, Willow was thoroughly in need of some laughs, and the two had proceeded to watch the 4 episodes from the first season of 'Sex and the City'.

They stopped for a late lunch, for which Dawn joined them. They discussed the movie they'd just seen, Dawn's History portion...just general things. Willow found herself supressing the urge to tell her father about the handball tournament, because she knew that once she started, she would drone on and on about Tara...the one thing that she was pointedly telling her mind not to dwell on! That whole day Willow had been abruptly starting conversations about anything and everything except the was her way to keep herself from thinking about the other girl!

After lunch they were about to settle down to a game of scrabble, when 3 of Ira's poker buddies showed up unexpectedly, and Willow told him to go ahead and enjoy himself with his friends. The men moved out to the patio, and Willow sat and watched 5 more episodes of the series, when she suddenly remembered that there would also be a guest for dinner.

Switching the TV set off, she went to her father, who was in the midst of a game of poker, and simply said "Dad, it's 6:30!"

Ira looked up and nodded his understanding, and Willow walked to her room to check on Dawn. The teen was still trying to figure the past out, and Willow left her there.

Which brings us back to now!

Willow got under the shower, still wondering about what the girl would be like. "She must be a pretty good player, if she's been beating Dad..." the redhead thought. She'd seen her father play all her life, and knew that he was very good, even now. In his younger days Ira had represented California at the nationmal level...a fact that Willow loved telling people as a child.

"I wonder if she plays tennis as well as Tara plays handball?" Willow thought, as she shampooed her red locks. "Nah...that's not possible. Tara's a Goddess on field...and off it too as a metter of fact....Ooh I have to stop this!" Willow instantly began singing a highly offkey version of Madonna's 'American Life', which for some weird reason was the first song that came to mind.

10 minutes later she'd finished her shower, and was now contemplating what to wear. She didn't want a house dinner for one person to be made into too formal an occassion, but neither did she want it to look like an everyday affair. "Sooo....what to wear, what to wear?" Willow mumbled, as she browsed through her closet.

Finally she settled for a knee length white crochet skirt, and peach halter top. Slipping into a pair of white sandals, Willow headed to the mirror to add a little make up to her face, and another 10 minutes later she checked herself one last time.

"Not bad Rosenberg" she smiled at herself, before leaving the room, and walking downstairs.

"My, that really my little Willow?" her father said with a smile as he looked his daughter up and down. Willow grinned at her father, walking upto him to give him a quick hug.

"You look good too Dad!" she finally said, taking in her Dad's appearance. Ira had showered too, and was now dressed in nice black pants and a khakhi shirt. "And you smell good too!" she added, liking the scent of her Dad's cologne.

"Thanks sweetie. Hmm, it's 7:15...Willow, would you do me a favour and set the table?" Ira asked.

"Sure thing Dad" Willow said, walking to the dining room, and taking out the cutlery. Setting the table for 5, she turned back to the drawer and pulled out the silverware. "Hmm, somethings missing..." she thought, and looked at the table for a second, before she had an idea.

Walking quickly to the living room, she picked up the flower vase on the centre table, and took it back to the kitchen, placing it on the dining table instead. "There!" she grinned, satisfied with the idea. She just rearranged the tulips a little, and stood back to admire her work.

"Done!" she murmered, her low tone nevertheless triumphant. Just then the door bell rang, and Willow glanced at the grandfather clock as she walked to the door. It was chiming the time...7:30.

"She beat Dad at tennis, AND she's punctual! I'm impressed already!" Willow thought, reaching the door.

She pulled it open, and her jaw dropped open, for many different reasons.

"Oh God!" Tara thought, blinking twice. "I really am going mad!"

Blue eyes once again found themselves staring into the green ones that had been haunting her thoughts all day, and Tara thought that she was surely imagining things.

Surely....until she heard the redhead speak... "Tara?!?!?" Willow asked, her jaw finally managing to work, even as her eyes stayed the size of saucers.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Forty-One

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