Return to The Game of Love Chapter Forty-Three

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!

Tara instinctively reached up and ran her hand over her right cheek. "Why's Willow smiling at me?" she wondered, bringing her hand down and looking confused when she saw that it was clean. "There MUST be something on my face...." She thought, feeling insecure.

Willow continued to look at her, with that smile on her face. "She looks so sweet looking around the house like a little kid..." the redhead was thinking. "Does this, this woman, even know how adorable she is???..."

"Willow?" Tara asked, deciding that she needed to know what was sooo funny.

Willow continued to stare at her with the cute expression, and as much as Tara wanted to just stare back and smile herself, she needed to know what the smile was for even more. "Willow?" she repeated, louder this time.

That seemed to get the smaller woman's attention, and she quickly blinked, losing the smile. "Wh...what?" she asked, her eyes going wide. She knew she'd been staring, and had been caught, and right now, she felt like a deer in headlights... a redheaded deer in headlights to be more specific!

Now it was Tara's turn to smile at, Willow looked so scared! "What's so funny?"

"What?" Willow asked, genuinely confused at the blondes question. "Maybe she didn't notice me staring...." She thought hopefully.

"Well, you've been staring at me and smiling for about a whole minute now, so I was just wondering what was so funny..." Tara said gently, her smile widening slightly.

"So much for wishful thinking..." Willow thought, her mind now racing for a convincing lie to tell Tara.

Tara meanwhile was trying to keep her plan in action... "Don't stare at her lips... look at her eyes...ooh nice...ok ok look at her...nose... aww it's so cute... ahhh! This is no good....ok her lips are moving... she must be saying something... listen Tara!!!" and with that she tuned back into the conversation, as Willow was saying "Umm...I was....oh yeah, I was thinking of this joke I'd heard today, and I guess I got a little lost in my own world, you know, thinking about it, and yeah, that's why I was smiling...!!!" Willow said, with a pleased note in her voice. "Save Rosenberg!" she thought, mentally patting herself on the back.

Tara felt a little disappointed at the answer, but chided herself "What else did you expect Maclay??? She wouldn't have been smiling at something you did...", but what she said aloud was "Really? Tell me the joke!"

Willow groaned "Yeah, real good one Rosenberg!" she thought, before searching her memory for a decent joke. A few seconds later she nodded her head and started... " once this really worried mother gives her daughter a six pack of condoms before a hot date..."

"You girls enjoying yourselves?" a voice asked, and both Willow and Tara jumped at the sound. Looking up they saw Ira walk in, smiling. "I just came to say that I'm going to sleep. Gonna be up serving people later, so I better get some rest. Tara, thanks so much for coming. I'm gonna play at my hotel, and come back and beat you!"

Tara simply smirked "Yeah Ira, I'll be waiting!" She shook the hand that he was offering, before Ira turned to Willow, "Good night sweetie. I'll see you when I get back alright? If you need anything at all, just call me, either on my cell or at the hotel. I'll put the number up on the fridge door, next to Moms".

"Alright Dad" Willow said, rising to give her father a hug and a kiss. "You have a good flight. I love you."

Tara watched them embrace each other, and heard Ira say "I love you too baby. Good night." Giving Tara a small wave again, he left."

Willow sat back down, and saw an unreadable expression on Tara's face. Tara slowly looked up to see Willow staring at her. "You guys are close huh?" Tara asked, a wry smile gracing her features. Willow nodded her head. "That's nice" Tara said, her tone genuine.

They sat there in silence for a few minutes, before Tara suddenly said "I haven't seen my father for 6 years..."

Willow looked up. That was kind of shocking. Looking at Tara she saw a pained look in her eyes, and instinctively moved over to the larger sofa to sit next to her.

"Why am I telling her this???" Tara wondered, hurting from what she'd just said aloud.

She felt a hand slowly reach out and hold her own, and somehow knew that it was ok. Taking a deep breath she turned and looked at the green eyes staring at her own with concern.

It took all of Willow's control not to reach out and pull the very obviously vulnerable girl into an embrace...

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Forty-Five

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