Author: Chris Cook
Willow and Tara followed a Palace attendant up a spiral staircase, heading for their room at the top of one of the Palace's many towers. It had been a long afternoon and evening - they had told their story to the other Amazons, who welcomed them both exuberantly, Willow just as warmly as Tara, then they had retired to Tryptin's suite. Tara had gone over the events of the past six days in exhaustive detail, while Willow sat nearby at a writing desk, composing her report to the Zann Esu, to go out on the night's mail boat to Kingsport, and then on a fast ship to Kurast. That done, she joined Tara and added her own observations to Tara's account, including her suspicions regarding the demon Shadai's current whereabouts and potential abilities. On the strength of the trust she saw Tara bestow in the young diplomat - and her own impressions of him - she told him in full of her prior encounter with the demon in Entsteig. He listened attentively, without question or interruption, and they paused only to summon a servant and have a dinner brought up when the afternoon darkened into evening.
And now, at last, Willow felt as if she could relax. She and Tara were safe, with the military might of the capital of Westmarch between them and the creatures that roamed the lands around the monastery. The Order would know everything they could about Shadai as soon as humanly possible, the city's mages would be informed of the danger, and set to work devising countermeasures. The Amazons and their other fellow travellers had come through safely, just as Tara had predicted - aside from the poor man they had seen killed by the Carvers' fire blast, only two other people had been wounded, a guard and one of the Duncraig ambassadors, and both were recovering well. Even their wagon had survived, waiting in the Palace's shelter for them to unload. She and Tara had agreed that that could wait until tomorrow, though.
They reached the landing at the top of the stairs, where the attendant, a young, unfailingly courteous woman, unlocked the solid oak door and gave the key to Tara. She bowed to both of them and disappeared back down the stairs after letting them know that she, or another attendant, would be available at any time, day or night, should they be needed. Willow turned from a quick glance out of the landing's small window, overlooking the off-shoot of the Marien river just north of the Palace, and shared a relieved, anticipatory smile with Tara. She pushed the door open, and Willow followed her through.
"Wow," Tara murmured. Willow took a couple of steps past her, and had to agree. The room occupied practically the whole floor space of the eight-sided tower, and was furnished tastefully, expensively, and above all beautifully. To one side was a large fireplace, clad in black marble with gold decoration, logs of wood stacked beside it in a brass-plated metal rack, and in front of the fireplace a pair of cushioned, comfortable-looking chairs waited. Further along, where the wall turned a corner, a mirror in a painted frame reflected the light of two candles in ornate wall brackets on either side of it. Beneath a wide shuttered window was an old set of wooden drawers, varnished to a rich, dark tone, with little brass handles on each of the drawers. Beneath it a carpet, woven in the eastern style with colourful geometric patterns, covered the smooth stone floor tiles.
To the other side, beyond a bookcase, of which half the shelves were empty, and half filled with leather-bound books on all manner of subjects, was a sturdy round breakfast table and two chairs, the table covered by a dark cloth with gold patterns woven into the edges. Folded white tablecloths, plates and cutlery were stacked neatly in a cabinet against the far wall. There was a door to another room - 'private bathroom?' Willow wondered, 'not bad at all...' - and past the corner of the wall she saw the edge of a writing desk, which reminded her very much of her favourite desk, tucked away in the back of the Zann Esu library, where she had spent many evenings happily studying old books and making notes. A pair of double doors further along, on which the outer shutters had been left open, led out onto a balcony overlooking the expanse of the great city, and beside them, spaced around another eye-pleasing Aranoch carpet, was a set of cushioned chairs, two single and one long lounge, large enough for three people to sit side by side without touching.
The space was lit by a profusion of candles, glowing strong, clean and white, in free-standing candelabras, mounted on the walls, and in a great brass-plated chandelier hanging by a sturdy chain from the ceiling, where the wooden beams supporting the roof had been left open, varnished and painted with elegant patterns of vines and flowers. It was a room clearly designed to impress upon visitors not just the wealth of Duncraig, but also the culture, the civilisation, the recognition of the finer things in life. Planned, no doubt, by people of impeccable taste, fashioned by master craftsmen and kept as clean and presentable as the day it was finished, Willow could not have imagined a more comfortable, inviting place to stay.
All this Willow gathered in a momentary glance around, but it was not what first caught her attention, nor what she returned to gazing at in pleasant surprise. The bed, situated across the room from where she and Tara stood, on top of a soft, luxurious-looking carpet, was dressed with spotless white sheets beneath warm burgundy-coloured blankets, matching the gauzy curtains that were bunched around the carved wood posts supporting its canopy. A collection of pillows occupied the far end, all neatly arranged, and a pair of candles, one on either side, cast a soft, gentle glow, catching the tiny strands of gold thread woven into the cover of the eiderdown folded neatly at the foot of the bed. Its size was something else, though - Willow guessed she would be able to lie flat across it, with her arms stretched above her head, and barely reach both sides, and it was longer than it was wide.
"Wow," Willow echoed Tara, taking it all in. "That's... that's some bed."
"Yeah," Tara agreed, her voice low and deliberately sexy. Willow turned around as she heard Tara close the door, and saw her leaning against it, biting her lip and staring at Willow with half-closed, seductive eyes. Willow felt the corners of her lips turn up, and was powerless to prevent the wide smile that spread over her face.
"And I'm sensing," she said slowly, leaning her staff against the wall and dropping her satchel, "that it's going to get quite a work-out before long?"
"First things first," Tara grinned, standing upright and walking over to Willow, "let's have a look around." She put one arm around Willow's waist, and her other hand stroked her stomach leisurely. "We have all the time we need."
She leaned forward just far enough to brush their lips together, as her fingers moved down below Willow's waist onto the top of her skirt, then she leaned back and grinned devilishly.
"Ah," Willow smiled, "we're back to drive-Willow-insane Tara?"
"Mmm-hmm," Tara murmured, as they walked arm in arm across the room, "well, it's been such a long time since we had a proper moment to ourselves... and," she leaned close to Willow and whispered in her ear, "I've been thinking about this moment a lot, in between the running away from demons... I think it calls for something special. And if that means that this," her hand again snuck around Willow's waist, her fingers trailing a little lower, "this little desire becomes an unbearable, burning need..." she stepped back an shrugged casually.
"Just remember," Willow grinned, trying not to be too distracted by the way her skin tingled whenever Tara touched her in that leisurely, confident way, spoke to her in that seductive purr, or even looked at her with that calm, promising gaze, "I can give as good as I get."
"I know," Tara smiled, raising her eyebrows suggestively.
"Come here you," Willow said, catching Tara around the waist and pulling her into an embrace, "you wouldn't deny me a kiss, though, would you?"
"Never," Tara sighed just before their lips met. At first they were both satisfied at just the contact, pressing their lips together, experiencing the softness and the warmth as their hands flattened on each other's backs, their two bodies held tightly together. Then Tara's mouth opened slightly, allowing the tip of her tongue to graze across Willow's lips. Willow moaned into the kiss as both their mouths opened devouringly wide, and in the space of a second the simple, gentle kiss became heated, desperate and utterly sexual. Their bodies writhed, the hard leathers covering them pressing firmly together, providing its own stimulation in addition to the feel of hands flat against backs, arms tight around each other, thighs pressing together. Their tongues duelled, tasting each other, both venturing forward and deep at the same time, locking their mouths together.
"Mmmaaahh... goddess," Tara breathed as their lips finally parted a fraction, their breathing brushing hot against each other's lips. "I missed kissing you whenever I wanted..."
"Me too," Willow whispered gleefully, "your lips are so... c'mere..." They kissed again, passionately, but some of the immediate, desperate craving had been satisfied, and Willow found herself quite able to relax and enjoy the way Tara's tongue caressed hers, drawing soft sighs and primal moans out of her with intoxicating ease.
"Mmm," Tara purred as their lips parted and they stood still, their foreheads resting lightly against each other. "You know what would be good?"
"What?" Willow asked impishly, any number of ideas bursting into her mind.
"Do you remember what it was like to have a slow, hot bath together?" Tara murmured, tilting her head to whisper in Willow's ear. "No cold streams, no hurrying... just you and me, heat all around us... steam making our skin glisten..."
"I'll start the fire," Willow said quickly, making Tara chuckle at her enthusiasm. They parted a fraction, then turned back to each other and kissed again, this time Willow thoroughly exploring Tara's mouth, as Tara sighed and pressed her hands against the leather wrapped around her body. Reluctantly, Willow leant back.
"Bath," she said, trying to keep her mind from emptying itself of everything besides Tara again.
"Bath," Tara repeated.
"Right," Willow nodded, finally managing to extract herself from the inviting embrace. Tara reached out to stroke Willow's thigh as she turned around, smiling seductively as Willow grinned over her shoulder, then opened the door to the bathroom and vanished inside. Willow managed to get a fire going in record time, finding kindling and matches waiting in the metal rack with the larger logs, while listening to Tara's footsteps in the other room. She turned to find Tara back in the doorway, looking pleased but perplexed.
"What?" Willow asked. "No buckets for the water?" Tara shrugged and gestured for Willow to see for herself. The bathroom was pristine and elegant, with every amenity Willow could imagine, but dominated by a tub large enough to comfortably contain a small horse. It was no common bathtub intended to be dragged out in front of the fire and filled from buckets - it was fixed to the floor, for one thing - but Willow spotted a series of brass taps and knobs on the wall.
"Ah," she said, "running water." She crossed to the tub and twirled one of the handles, producing a rain of cold water from a showerhead at the far end of the bath.
"There's a water tank up above?" Tara wondered, looking at the roof, which was a more modest version of the decorated beams out in the main room.
"No, it's pressurised," Willow explained, "the tank's probably down at the base of the tower, fed from the river." She experimented with the knobs for a moment, and managed to transfer the flow of water from the shower to the tap lower down. "Probably a couple of standing purification spells as well," she noted. "Then they... actually I'm not sure how it's done. Something technical. And voila, running water whenever we want it. Neat, huh?"
"Voila?" Tara asked.
"Southern peninsula," Willow said, "it means... 'there we go,' I guess. Now, do they have a boiler, or... ah! Yes!" she exclaimed, testing the water.
"Hot water," Willow grinned, "gods, I love civilisation." She stood and smiled, as Tara came up behind her and slipped her arms around her waist.
"It'll fill up in a minute," Willow said.
"Um, the plug?" Tara prompted.
"Wha? Oh! Oops," Willow grinned sheepishly, disengaging herself from Tara and putting the plug into the tub's drain, where the water was disappearing as quickly as it arrived.
"Well it's been a while since I was in Kurast," she complained with a smile, "I've got kind of used to the 'put a bucket over the fire and tip the tub out when you're done' school of plumbing." Tara laughed and took her hand, leading her over to a wooden bench up against the wall beside the bath.
"Let's get you ready for your bath, my lady," she said, sitting Willow down and crouching in front of her.
"A likely story," Willow said in a mock-accusing tone, "you just want to get me naked."
"Of course," Tara admitted, gently easing Willow's boots off, "but if that's all I wanted, I could do that with a single word."
"Oh really?" Willow asked, only partly teasing, and undeniably aroused by Tara's behaviour.
"Uh-huh," Tara said simply, setting her boots aside. Her gaze slowly made its way up Willow, following her legs, pausing on her hips and her chest as a playful grin teased Tara's lips, finally reaching her face, where it hit Willow with an almost physical wave of sensuality. Willow's mind filled with fantasies of what that look promised.
"Strip," Tara said, in a quiet, commanding tone.
"Yes ma'am," Willow whispered, her hands already going to the straps of her armour. She and Tara laughed at the same time, then Tara leaned forward and helped her, kissing her shoulder as the straps loosened and fell away.
"Well well," Tara murmured, "I'll have to keep that in mind."
"Yeah?" Willow asked, undoing the ties in the waist of her skirt as Tara's fingers went to work loosening the laces at the sides of her armour. "What, are you going to wait until we're in the middle of a crowded market and whisper that in my ear?" Tara laughed quietly, then leant forward, tickling Willow's earlobe with the tip of her tongue.
"And the chance that I might," she whispered, "be honest, that turns you on a little, doesn't it?"
"No," Willow breathed, "not a little..." She wriggled out of her skirt and let it fall to the floor. "I think," she said in a husky voice, "you can see how turned on I am..."
Tara let her fingers brush briefly against the silky fabric of Willow's underwear as she loosened the leather around her torso.
"Mmm," she purred, "hot and wet... just the way I like you... just like me..."
"It's no surprise," Willow said, doing her best to sound off-hand, and not really succeeding very much, "I mean, everything you do turns me on..."
"Everything?" Tara asked silkily. She slipped a finger into the thin strip of fabric around Willow's hips, pulled it tight, and let it snap back into place, making Willow jump a fraction.
"Oh yeah," Willow sighed, "everything..." Tara brushed her lips against Willow's cheek then kissed her, softly, on the lips. Steadily she loosened the laces on Willow's side, pulling them out of their eyelets so she could slip the armour off her without having to lift it over her head. Willow almost didn't notice it go, but when Tara's hands pressed against her bare sides, she moaned and arched her back, glad to finally be free of the barrier between her body and her lover's touch. One hand went behind Tara's head, holding her as she kissed firmer, sucking on Tara's bottom lip as her tongue teased her.
"Mmm, slowly," Tara murmured, breaking away from Willow's lips to press kisses across her cheek and down her neck. "No hurry..." She hooked her thumbs through the waist of Willow's underwear and, with deliberate slowness, started to pull them down her thighs. Willow lifted herself briefly to assist her.
"Tease," she said, as Tara's fingers pressed into the underside of her thighs on their way down.
"And you love it," Tara replied, getting the garment past Willow's knees and letting it fall the rest of the way on its own. She knelt down and leant forward, between Willow's legs, staring up at her with a sexy grin.
"Yeah, well," Willow murmured, "right now, you could bend me over your knee and spank me and I'd love it." Tara raised an eyebrow.
"Is that so?" she said in a low voice that sent a shiver down Willow's spine, directly into her core.
"Only one way to find out," Willow replied in a whisper, surprised at her boldness. Tara paused deliberately, just long enough for Willow to experience another aroused shudder, then licked her lips.
"Maybe later," she said in a mysterious tone. "We've got a bath to enjoy." She gathered up Willow's clothes and boots, then quickly leant forward again and pressed her lips against Willow's waist, just above the curls of copper between her legs. Willow let out a moan, her head falling back, as she felt Tara's lips open against her skin and her tongue press against her.
"Hop in," Tara said, standing up with her clothes, "I'll put these away and join you in a moment." Willow watched her go, sitting naked on the bench and trying to gather her thoughts and get her breathing under control. Once she was sure her legs would carry her she got to her feet and shut off the flow of water into the bath, which looked full enough, though not so much it would overflow with two people in it.
'Oh that sexy minx,' she thought to herself with a wide grin, idly touching a finger to her sex, 'gods she makes me wet...' She parted her legs slightly, and felt the moist trails where droplets of arousal had run down the inside of her thighs. 'Oh my... dripping wet. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.' It was a minor struggle not to continue touching herself, but she managed, albeit by diverting her wandering hand to her chest, where she absently rubbed her moist fingertip over her nipples one after the other.
She tested the water by daintily dipping a toe in, then gingerly stepped into the tub and stood, with the hot water lapping at her shins just below her knees, letting the steam surround her body. 'Yummy hot,' she thought, 'oooh... did we get the heat just right?' She took in a breath through clenched teeth and let it hiss out again, as her legs absorbed the heat from the water. It was almost enough to make her want to run a little more cold water... but not quite. 'Just right,' she smiled, lowering herself slowly, 'just as much as I can take, spot on. Oh gods that's good...' She crouched and reached out to hold either side of the tub, supporting herself as she let her legs relax a little, easing herself back into the water. The contact when her bottom touched the water made her flinch just a little, then sigh out loud as she relaxed and lowered herself, and the water flowed around her hips and between her legs, warming her already heated sex.
'Feels good,' she thought lazily, as she finally reached the bottom of the tub and began to lean back against the side, 'like being touched... hands coming up my body... just underneath breasts...'
"Tara," she sighed without consciously meaning to, her eyes fluttering closed as the water covered her chest, the heat soaking through her skin and making her nipples feel delightfully hot. 'This is not calming me down at all,' she thought with a smile. Her hands floated between her legs, not touching with any purpose, just resting there comfortably with her thighs pressed on either side. 'I feel sexy all over,' she mused, 'almost like when she touches me... almost...'
She heard footsteps on the tiled floor, and the door close. 'I know that's you, baby,' she thought, 'who else could have sexy footsteps?' The footsteps approached the tub, and Willow sensed Tara crouching down close to her.
"Room for one more?" Tara purred in her ear. Willow remained where she was, and let her lips curve into a wide smile.
"If the one is you, always," she murmured. "Now 'fess up... how long were you standing in the doorway watching me?" She heard Tara's soft laugh.
"Long enough to entertain certain... un-chaste thoughts," she admitted slyly. "Then again, you seemed to be doing okay by yourself... to judge by all that sighing and moaning."
"This is, without a doubt," Willow declared, "the best bath I have ever been in... but you know nothing could ever feel as good as being touched by the woman I love." She opened her eyes and gazed at Tara, who was crouching by the side of the tub smiling at her.
"Well lucky you," she said, "that's exactly what I had in mind... lucky me, too," she finished with a grin, her eyes straying down over Willow's submerged body.
"As it happens, I'm in the market for a little touching - make that a lot," Willow quickly amended. "Prime quality Willow... get her while she's hot."
"I think I'll do that," Tara said, standing up. Willow noticed for the first time that she was wearing a white cotton shift which came down to the middle of her thighs.
"What's this?" she asked idly. "Covering up modestly?"
"There's a bunch of them in the drawers," Tara said, "I thought seeing as I got to have all the undressing fun with you, I'd give you something to take off me in return. Think of it as unwrapping your present," she grinned cheekily. "So... wanna unwrap me?"
Willow stood up slowly, and Tara rose with her, her lips parting as she took in the sight of the dripping wet woman in front of her, her skin flushed pink from the hot water. Willow gently cupped her face in her hands and leant her forward until their lips met in a slow, languorous kiss. Tara leant further forward, her breasts touching Willow's through the cotton, and sighed as Willow's hands trailed down her neck and covered her shoulders, holding her close. When they finally parted, Tara glanced down, first allowing herself a long look at Willow, then at herself, noticing the patches where Willow's touch had soaked through her shift.
"Heh," she chuckled, raising a suggestive eyebrow, "you got me wet."
"Oh I've barely begun to get you wet," Willow promised, letting her fingers trace lines down Tara's arms before taking her hands. "Come on... let's get wet together." Tara smiled widely as she stepped over the edge of the tub and settled her feet into the water, gasping quietly at the heat.
"You like it hot," she murmured.
"You knew that already," Willow replied. She knelt down by Tara's side and supported her as she lowered herself into the water. Tara stretched her legs out and lay back, her head resting on Willow's chest as she in turn leant against the side of the tub, brushing the fingers of one hand lovingly across Tara's cheek, and with the other teasing at the cotton which floated around her, billowing and swaying gently in the water.
"See?" she said. "Now you're all wet... much better."
"Perfect," Tara sighed. "Hmm... what does it take to build a bath like this, do you think?"
"Oh, not much," Willow said idly, her hands smoothing the soaked shift down against Tara's sides, "it's just a matter of water pressure and a boiler for the heat... or a bit of simple fire magic, nothing complicated... I could probably get the hang of it myself, with a bit of practice... you're enamoured of it enough to have one built back home, are you?"
"There's only one thing I'm enamoured of," Tara purred, reaching back lazily to stroke Willow's hips and thighs, "but I could definitely get very used to this."
"I'll see if I can find some books on the mechanisms to take back," Willow promised, reaching for a bar of soap from the several sitting in a dish at the edge of the tub, "now, I think it's high time I ran my hands all over you under the pretence of bathing you." Tara chuckled softly.
"I like that pretence," she murmured, "it's got all sorts of uses..." She stretched her limbs momentarily, then folded her legs underneath herself and sat up, turning to face Willow with her shift clinging to her as she rose out of the water, and quite transparent wherever it touched her skin.
"Wow," Willow whispered, dropping the soap, "that's... you're..."
"Hmm?" Tara smiled, arching her back. 'Okay, let's just concentrate on not drooling,' Willow thought to herself randomly, 'I know it's difficult, what with oh my gods she's hot, and look at her nipples, oh gods, they're poking towards me, I can practically hear them saying "play with us," Okay, this has definitely been a long time of just sitting here staring at her, so say something!'
"Um, the phrase 'so sexy you should be illegal' comes to mind?" Willow ventured. Tara's smile was as wide as it could possibly be.
"Then come here, my partner in crime," she said in a low murmur. Willow knelt in front of her, and Tara remained upright on her knees, bringing her chest just about level with Willow's mouth.
"How sexy?" she murmured, leaning her head down to whisper in Willow's ear as her hands caressed her face.
"Totally sexy," Willow replied.
"You want me?"
"You need me?"
"Like nothing else in the world," Willow sighed. Tara sat back on her heels and leant down, brushing her lips down Willow's neck and further, between her glistening wet breasts.
"I need you," she whispered into Willow's skin, "I need you so much it should be frightening... but it's not... it's perfect. You're perfect... you're a work of art, and loving you is the most beautiful thing I've ever felt."
"I love you too baby," Willow sighed happily, "so much, so deeply..."
"And the things you make me feel," Tara went on, kissing her way slowly across Willow's breasts, her tongue sneaking out to tease each nipple as she neared, "the need, the desire... divine, spiritual elation, and," her voice dropped to a husky murmur, "complete sensual, sexual release..." She rose slowly, kissing Willow's collarbone, her neck, beneath her chin, almost reaching her lips before she paused.
"When I see that same need I feel, in your eyes," she whispered, "it's like a kiss to my soul."
Willow opened her lips in anticipation of Tara's kiss, and sighed when they made contact. Tara took her time, unhurriedly nibbling on Willow's lips, stretching her tongue between them, pressing their mouths together. Willow's hands, meanwhile, we not idle, clutching at Tara's back almost frantically, pulling her solidly down against herself, pressing their bodies together so that not the slightest space remained between them, from their joined lips above to below where Willow's legs wrapped around Tara's and her toes pressed against her calves.
"Ah," Willow gasped when Tara finally released her lips, "ah... oh, wow... heh... Okay, now it's time to unwrap my present."
Tara grinned slyly, then slowly and deliberately licked her lips as she sat back on Willow's legs wrapped around hers, arching her back, and stretched her arms out above her head.
"Would you do the honour?" she asked.
"I am honoured," Willow replied sincerely, as her fingers slipped beneath the hem of the shift, which was plastered to Tara's thighs, and gradually worked their way upwards. "Clingy," she murmured to herself, as the wet fabric stuck to Tara wherever it touched.
"Mmm-hmm," Tara replied, "all over... feels good... ah!" she gasped, as Willow's hands reached chest-level, and she reached inside the front of the shift to cup her breasts.
"Oh yeah," Tara sighed, "that feels better..." She gathered up the hem of the shift from Willow and pulled it over her head, tossing it aside to land with a quiet splat on the bathroom floor. Willow's hands continued to hold her breasts, squeezing gently, each fingertip constantly varying the pressure it applied. Tara smiled, as her sex warmed with each touch, gently extricated herself from Willow's legs, and turned around to lay back against Willow again, this time with nothing between her back and Willow's chest. Willow's hands returned at once to Tara's breasts, reaching around either side of her body to continue her massage.
"Lovely," Tara murmured, letting her head fall back onto Willow's shoulder, "you know... I think your... mmm... fascination with my bosom... oh yes, just like that... might stem from some... ahh... subconscious recognition that... you're truly gifted... at showing your appreciation in... such a stimulating fashion..."
"Or it could just be that you have a fascinating bosom," Willow suggested.
"I like my explanation better," Tara purred, "it accounts... harder, baby... oh goddess yes... it accounts for the fact that you can bring me right to the edge... like that... of climax, just touching me like this."
"Really?" Willow whispered in her ear.
"Absolutely," Tara sighed, "it's only... because I know it'll be worth it... that I can keep myself in check..."
"I promise it'll be worth it," Willow smiled, lightly kissing Tara's ear, "right now, I've only just begun making love to you..."
"Part of me can't believe it gets better," Tara chuckled, "the way this feels... oh goddess!" she gasped as Willow's fingers closed around her nipples and squeezed firmly. "Oh goddess baby, do that again... mmm! Oh, that's it... you are a goddess... that explains it all... you're a goddess of love, that's how you can do this to me just by touching me... my own goddess..."
"And your body is my temple?" Willow grinned.
"Heh," Willow chuckled, one hand vanishing under the water to locate the errant soap, "in that case, I think this temple should be prepared to receive a prolonged... intimate... visit from its devoted goddess."
She began soaping Tara's chest and abdomen, reaching out her free hand blindly to find the soap dish and take another bar. Soon both hands were at work on Tara's body, caressing her and leaving a foamy lather in their wake, as Tara writhed gently against her, sighing and cooing in her ear.
"You like that baby?" she asked, getting an affirmative moan in reply. "Good... you can look forward to this every day, you know. I want to take good care of you, my beautiful goddess... can we both be each other's goddesses?"
"Why not..." Tara sighed whimsically.
"Yay," Willow murmured, "well then, stand up, my goddess, so I can bless you all over. Consider it a ritual... a ceremony of adoration..."
"I adore you," Tara smiled, lithely getting to her knees and rising out of the water. Once she stood upright, she leaned back a fraction, stretching her arms out above her and grasping both hands around the shower head. "All yours," she purred.
Willow stayed low, prowling through the water to Tara's legs, beginning the task of lathering them with soap, in the wake of her lips which pressed kisses constantly to her glowing skin. Slowly she worked her way up Tara, conscientiously bestowing her affections and attention to every inch of her body. When she reached Tara's thighs an excited shudder passed through the body stretched out before her, and then, as her lips and hands touched her mound, her fingers dipping lower to touch between her legs, a sound rose from Tara's through that became a song, slow and rhythmic, the husky, sultry way Tara sang the words sending images of ecstatic coupling through Willow's mind.
As she continued in her worship of Tara's body, Willow caught words and phrases here and there in the song her lover sang for her: 'bless this day,' 'my simple world becomes paradise,' 'in your arms, my goddess, I am whole,' 'all joy fate gives me, I give to you, for I am yours...' She couldn't decipher every word, for the song was in High Amazonian, with many complicated words and phrases Willow had not yet mastered, and Tara sang in a soft, purring voice that often merged the syllables into one long, melodic sigh of pleasure, yet enough reached her ears to discern the song's meaning - and even if it hadn't, she could feel it as surely as if it had been spelled out, in the motions of Tara's body beneath her hands. A song of worship, of praise, of devotion... and ultimately, of fulfilment, of a soul which had found its place in the world.
Soon, as Willow neared the completion of her ministrations, Tara's voice fell to a whisper, and finally was swallowed as Willow's mouth closed over hers. Willow's kiss was gentle and suppliant, as if opening a channel by which Tara's song of praise could pass into herself and be accepted within her. Both women sighed as the kiss ended, and for a moment they stood silent and motionless, embracing, cheek to cheek, their chests pressing together as they breathed.
"Your turn?" Willow finally whispered, finding Tara's hands and letting the bars of soap slip into them.
"Actually," Tara smiled, "I've got a better idea." She took the soap from Willow, but then tightened her hug, pressing her body up against Willow as close as she could, then slowly bending her knees to lower herself, while Willow remained standing.
"Oh... goddess... that's so... ah..." Willow sighed incoherently as Tara's body slid against hers, supple and slippery. Tara pressed her face to Willow's chest as she descended, her cheek sliding down between Willow's breasts and over her stomach, finally resting against her mound as her knees reached the bottom of the tub, her body pressed against Willow's legs, her arms wrapped tightly around her thighs, and her hands firmly gripping the flesh of her bottom.
"See?" she murmured, her breath tickling the hair crowning Willow's sex, "all soapy now... Now, turn around- no, wait! I can't resist..." Before Willow could move she dipped her head down, and reached out her tongue to its full length, pressing it against the soaking folds of Willow's sex.
"Oh! Oh baby, ah, aaah! Mmmm... oh..." Willow breathed as Tara's tongue slid between her lips, gathering moisture, before Tara pulled back and licked her lips hungrily. Willow let her head fall forward to see her lover staring back up at her, grinning unashamedly.
"Just a taste," she purred, "for later."
"Oh goddess baby," Willow sighed, "it's been so long since I felt your tongue in me like that... much more and there won't be a 'later,' I'll come right here..."
"Oh, there'll be a 'later' all right," Tara grinned as she slid elegantly around Willow's legs to embrace them from behind. "It's going to be a long, long time before you come, baby... I'm going to tease you so high..." She slowly started rising up, pressing herself against Willow's back as she went, gyrating slightly to work the soap between them into a lather.
"I'm going to taste you," she purred, her lips against Willow's spine, "lick you... squeeze your nipples between my teeth... nibble on your lips... your clit... I'm going to reach inside you, so deep, my love... touch all your secret places..." Her hands wandered up Willow's front, flattening against her stomach, "gentle caresses... and hard, deep thrusts," she punctuated herself by gripping Willow's breasts firmly, squeezing. Willow moaned and shuddered in her arms, Tara holding her upright, pressing in behind her.
"I'm going to keep you on the edge so long," she whispered in her ear, "so long... you'll forget everything else... you won't remember any sound besides your own moaning... any warmth but my body against you... you'll forget what it's like to touch anything but me... forget what it's like to not have my tongue in your mouth... you'll forget it's even possible to not have me inside you..."
"Oh... please..." Willow groaned, writhing in Tara's firm hold.
"And then," Tara whispered, "then... then I'll take you higher... until you see the clouds below you... and when you can't even remember what you're begging me for," she licked Willow's ear, "then I'll take you over the edge... and we'll fly together."
"Oh gods," Willow babbled, "oh gods, you're so amazing baby, you are a goddess... no human could make me feel this good, it's just not possible..." Tara smiled and kissed her neck, gently lowering them both down into the water, her hands gently stroking all over Willow's body, brushing the soap away. Once they were both lying down, propped up against the edge of the bath, Willow rolled over in Tara's embrace and kissed her, fiercely parting her lips and thrusting her tongue inside, making Tara's mind swirl with delight, her hands joining Tara's, roaming over both their bodies.
"Okay then," she finally gasped, her lips still hot against Tara's, "shall we declare this bath a success and move on?"
"Most definitely," Tara agreed. She quickly brushed a last kiss against Willow's lips, then ducked her head down beneath the water for a moment, rising back up with her wet hair clinging to her neck and shoulders.
"Let's retire to the bedroom," she grinned, "and... see what happens."
"I'm getting some pretty good ideas already about what's going to happen," Willow smiled, before ducking her own head to soak her hair. Tara trailed her fingers over her cheeks as she resurfaced, whispering against her lips: "Keep those ideas in mind... we've got plenty of time... for anything you might dream up."
With a sly smile she rose out of the tub and held out a hand to Willow, helping her to her feet, and both of them crossed to the wooden bench, taking towels from their hooks on the wall. They dried each other thoroughly, enjoying the friction of the towels rubbing over their bodies. Tara leaned back and lifted her legs up onto the end of the bench, over the top of Willow's thighs, and regarded Willow with sultry eyes as she pressed her towel around her legs and rubbed them vigorously.
Willow dried Tara's hair gently, massaging her scalp through the towel, as Tara leaned against her and sighed with pleasure. When her hair was as dry as it could be made, Tara returned the favour, laying a towel over her lap and guiding Willow down to rest her cheek against her thighs as she dried her.
"I'll just be a moment," she whispered, "will you see to the bath and the towels?"
"Love you," Willow replied as Tara stood and walked slowly to the door, swaying her hips deliberately in the certain knowledge that Willow's full attention was on her legs and bottom.
"Love you more," she said, pulling the door to behind her.
Tara knew Willow wouldn't be long, so she quickened her pace once she had left the bathroom. First she saw to the fireplace, stacking a few extra logs on the fire Willow had started to ensure it would burn slowly for a good portion of the night. She moved around the room extinguishing about half of the candles, leaving a warm glow that lent rich shadows and soft highlights, and then busied herself arranging the bedclothes for what she had in mind. Finally, hearing the door open behind her, she reached into the drawer and found the small bottle she had discovered earlier, holding it behind her back as she turned to see Willow posing sexily against the doorframe.
"Ready for me?" Willow murmured. She straightened and swayed into the room, glancing around. "Sexy candlelight," she went on, "warm fire... big, inviting bed... my Tara. Exactly as promised on all those cold nights out in the wilderness... only so much better in reality." She stopped in front of Tara and tilted her head up to kiss her softly on the lips.
"What've you got there?" she asked impishly, nudging the arm Tara was holding behind her back. Tara dutifully produced the bottle, holding it up for Willow to read the label.
"'Honeydew essence'," she read, "that's from Lut Gholein, it's a kind of... massage oil," she finished, a wide grin spreading over her face.
"I found it in the drawers while I was putting our armour away," Tara said, leading Willow to the bed, "there's a whole load of oils and scents... but this one is special." She sat down with Willow next to her, their thighs pressed together.
"We get shipments of honeydew at home," she explained, "and it's used in a very special ritual... well, more of a tradition... When a couple decide it's time, they use this to prepare themselves to make love to each other."
"Prepare how?" Willow asked, cuddling up to Tara's side.
"Each partner takes the oil," Tara said softly, "and rubs it into their lover's body... all over. The oil itself doesn't really do anything, except feel good of course, but the act of touching lets the new lovers feel at ease with each other, so they have no hesitation in touching each other anywhere they want. I didn't have any with me," she added with a sheepish smile, "I didn't know I'd meet the love of my life on this trip... and I know we don't exactly have a problem touching each other," Willow chuckled, her lips pressed against the side of Tara's breast, "but I'd like to do this anyway... because it's traditional... and because the idea of your hands all over me, making me glisten before you take me..."
"Say no more," Willow grinned. "So, who goes first?"
"Lie down," Tara said gently, pulling the tiny stopper out of the bottle, "relax completely..." Willow obediently lay back, lifting her legs onto the expansive bed, as Tara adjusted her position, kneeling beside her. "Roll over," Tara murmured, which she quickly did. Tara smiled down at her, pouring a small amount of oil into her palm before setting the bottle within easy reach on a bedside table.
"I want you to know what a pleasure this is," she said, rubbing her hands together before placing them gently on the soles of Willow's feet, beginning slow circular motions with her palms that left the skin gleaming in their wake. "An absolute joy... to touch you like this. To feel my hands relaxing you. To know that you, Willow, my goddess, give me this complete freedom, to touch you anywhere... love you any way. Just by lying there, accepting my touch, you give me such pleasure..."
Her hands continued up the back of Willow's legs, working the oil into her skin and muscles, kneading her flesh. Her progress along her thighs was slow, luxurious, caressing her with such ease, such gentle intensity, that Willow relaxed beyond the need to writhe from the pleasure, instead simply accepting it into herself. Tara could practically feel the heat radiating off her centre as her fingers strayed between her thighs.
She paused for a moment for more oil, then applied her hands to Willow's bottom, spending a long time massaging the soft flesh there, smiling as she heard small, gentle sounds of pleasure from Willow's throat. She let a finger slip between her cheeks, and her smile widened at Willow's slight intake of breath as her fingertip touched in passing the small entrance there. Instead of flinching away, Willow seemed to relax even more, arching her back slightly, leaving herself even more vulnerable to Tara's caresses. Tara gathered a quantity of oil on her fingertip and ran it firmly along the path between her cheeks, thoroughly enjoying Willow's delighted shiver, before she moved further upwards.
"I could do this all my life," she murmured, working oil into Willow's back, "just touch you, press my fingers into you, give you pleasure... this, and nothing more, and I would be the luckiest woman in the world. To do so much more than this... I'm in heaven." She straddled Willow's back, staying upright so as not to get any oil on her thighs - that was for Willow to see to - and firmly massaged her shoulders and neck, working her way down her arms and finally surrounding each finger individually, gently stroking each one in her palms.
"Turn over now," she said quietly. Willow stretched slightly and rolled in place, with Tara still kneeling over her, staring down with the utmost adoration. She reached again for Willow's hands and began tracing her path backwards, up her arms, over her shoulders, up her neck and around her face, and down onto her chest. She took her time holding Willow's breasts in her palms, gently moving her fingers to cover her with oil, making sure she missed nothing as Willow closed her eyes and let the most utterly blissful sighs well up in her throat and escape through wet, parted lips. She moved further down, leaving Willow's bosom glistening in the firelight, her nipples standing to attention. She made sure to cover Willow's sides, wanting to leave nothing, not even the tiniest part of her, untouched, then ran her hands over her stomach and came to her hips. Shifting herself down to kneel on either side of her legs, Tara pressed her palms firmly into Willow, caressing her in long, slow sweeps that covered her from waist to knees.
Without a word Willow parted her thighs and presented her centre to her lover. Her folds already gleamed with moisture, but Tara nonetheless reached a hand between her legs and covered her, pressing her palm into her exquisite softness. Willow tilted her head back and gave a primal moan as Tara's palm and fingers slowly moved from the lowest point of her sex upwards, through the soft, moist lips, grazing across her clit, rubbing oil into her silky curls last of all. With Willow's heady sighs echoing in her ears, Tara quickly finished covering her legs, finishing again at her feet.
Her work completed she sat back on the edge of the bed, and for a moment simply looked at Willow, feeling her body stir at the sight. Laid out before her, crimson firelight glinting off the curves of her small, firm muscles, glowing, gleaming all over the length of her naked form, Willow seemed transformed. No longer Willow the sorceress, the occasional adventurer, the scholar, she was now, from the top of her scarlet-crowned head to the tips of her toes, Willow the lover. Erotic, sexual, her gaze when she looked at Tara promising delights beyond the fevered imaginings of mortals, her body a paradise of secrets to be discovered, and pleasures to be shared.
"My turn?" Willow asked quietly.
"Uh-huh," Tara sighed, fighting to control the lustful urges that sprang up in her as she watched Willow move, that glorious body lithe, sensual in motion, as she sat up and leaned forward, reaching for the oil for herself. She waved an arm along the length of the bed, and Tara quickly lay down, feeling the heat from Willow's body still in the sheets beneath her, and the traces of moisture where the oil had soaked in. She closed her eyes, and after a moment felt Willow's hands on her feet, copying her own motions.
"This is a good tradition," Willow murmured, working her way over Tara's ankles and up her shins, "just lying here, feeling you touch me everywhere... with no hesitation, no nervousness... oh baby," she whispered, massaging up Tara's calves to her thighs, "oh baby, the things I imagined while you touched me... and then, when you were done... when I was all oiled up, and you looked at me, oh goddess, I swear I almost came... just from the hunger... the way you stared, like you were devouring me with your eyes..." Tara felt her weight shift on the bed, straddling her legs, as her palms moved up over her bottom and hips.
"Do you feel the way I do?" Willow asked quietly. "Are you having the same fantasies... feeling my hands all over you, just like yours were all over me? I felt myself turn to liquid... your hands sunk into me... your whole body pressing against me, through me... sinking into me... filling me, making love to me from inside... becoming one body... one sex... coming, again and again... endlessly..."
"Yessss," Tara hissed, her mind full of Willow's fantasies, feeling herself become a part of Willow, Willow become part of her. Part of her wanted to beg Willow, to plead from the depths of her soul to be taken right now, this very instant... but she held herself in check, willing her hungry sex to lay still, with silent promises of the climax to come, soon. As if sensing her mood Willow's caresses had become faster, more urgent, working the oil into her body, firmly pressing into her muscles, gripping her flesh as her hands moved down Tara's arms.
"Turn over," Willow purred, "let me finish getting that sexy body of yours ready to come..." Tara's breathing was loud and heavy, intakes of breath hissing through clenched teeth, released in deep sighs, as she rolled over beneath Willow and lay there, naked and exposed to her lustful gaze. Willow leant down and began kissing all over her body, gracing every inch of skin with her lips before massaging oil into it. Tara's occasional moans became constant as Willow kissed her way beneath her jaw, down onto her chest, sucking each nipple to attention before enveloping her breasts in her hands, squeezing hard with strong fingers, pressing into her flesh.
Tara groaned and writhed like a wild animal when Willow finally reached her sex, pressing her hands against it one after the other, covering her with oil and heat, and her breath came in gasps as Willow worked down her legs, erasing the last areas of skin that had not yet been touched, laying claim to her body completely. She opened her eyes and looked up as Willow's hands left her feet, and gazed at her lover, kneeling by her side.
"I love you," she whispered.
"I love you," Willow echoed, leaning down, bringing her lips almost close enough to kiss, brushing against Tara's lips as she breathed.
"And now," Tara said, her voice low and deliberate, coming to her as if from a dream, "I am going to make love to you, Willow. I am going to take you, and give myself to you, and we will make love until the night is spent, until our bodies are completely exhausted, and until we have tasted every pleasure we can imagine." She gently reached up, pulled Willow down, and kissed her deeply, swallowing her moan as their tongues met and caressed. The kiss slowly shed its languor, becoming more and more urgent, until Willow finally pulled her lips from Tara's.
"Now take me, you beautiful goddess," she gasped, "take me and make me scream your name." Without a pause Tara's hands were on her arms holding her, and together they rolled over until Willow was pinned beneath her. Her mouth found Willow's again, and this time parted her lips with barely an effort, plunged her tongue inside, demanding and taking everything Willow had to offer. Their bodies thrust against each other, fighting to press as much skin against skin as possible, burning with need. Tara lifted her hips off Willow and planted her knees on either side of her, spreading her thighs wide, as she reached down to cup her sex in one hand, the other twined in her hair, holding her as she kissed her. A guttural moan welled up from Willow and vanished into Tara's mouth as her fingers parted her folds, two fingertips sliding through the slick petals to rest against her entrance.
"Now?" Tara asked, pressing the word against Willow's lips.
"Now," Willow gasped.
"Say please," Tara teased, moving her lips to Willow's ear, so nothing would obstruct her as she gave voice to the climax about to tear through her.
"Uhhnn," Willow moaned as Tara nibbled on her earlobe, "please... oh goddess, pleeease!"
Willow's head turned, she met Tara's eyes, and for a moment both were still, their gazes locked in shared acknowledgement of what was about to occur. Both sensed it, both knew: complete submission, complete acceptance, as deep and profound as if Willow were putting her life in Tara's hands.
"Please," Willow whispered.
Tara stared deeply into her eyes, and her hand thrust, burying two fingers within Willow, delving into her sex, hammering against her sweet spot, in one motion sending her hurtling over the edge into a mind-blowing climax.
"Tara!" Willow shrieked as her body arched off the bed, lifting Tara with her, as her hands clamped around Tara's biceps with crushing strength, as her sex clenched at her fingers, capturing Tara within her, denying her any possibility of escape as a river of hot, liquid arousal coursed through her and out of her, covering Tara's hand. Tara clung to her, her thighs tight around Willow's, riding her, staying astride her as she bucked and thrashed, and just when it seemed she would begin to calm, to return to awareness of anything but the crushing, crashing waves of pleasure, she began to thrust her fingers inside her.
"Oh, oh, uh, uh, uh," Willow grunted as a second climax built within her, giving her barely the moment she needed to flutter open her eyes and meet Tara's intense, lustful stare, before once more all the energy in her body flowed to her core to burst free again. This time Tara couldn't deny herself - her muscles tightened as her own sex pulsed and released its bounty of honey, trickling in trails down the insides of her thighs and onto Willow's.
"Tara," Willow moaned, her eyes opening again as her pleasure achieved a plateau, allowing her a moment to gather her thoughts even as she continued to tense and shudder at the motions of Tara's fingers inside her. "Oh baby, oh wonderful... feel that baby, feel me tighten around you, feel me come for you... it's all for you baby... oh goddess... all yours, all that sweetness flowing out of me, it's yours, every drop... feel that softness clenching around your fingers, that's all yours... deep inside, all yours... I'm yours... I'm yours... I'm... I... I... ah... ah, ah, Tara, yes, yes!"
With the wetness of a third orgasm coating her hand, Tara withdrew from Willow and lay her body down on top of her, covering her. She met her gaze once more and brought her hand up to her lips, very slowly and deliberately sucking the juice from her index finger before offering the other to Willow. Willow's hand closed around her wrist and she sucked in each finger in turn, before licking all over her palm, the back of her hand, right down to her wrist, gathering every drop of her own arousal with every appearance or orgasmic joy.
"Mmmm," Willow enthused, "yummy."
"Lucky you," Tara smiled, "I think there's a lot more where that came from."
"Oh there is," Willow promised, "but right now, it's your turn to come like a wild beast." With that, Willow firmly gripped her hips and urged her up, one hand delving between Tara's legs as soon as she came to kneel over her, thighs resting around her waist.
"Yes," Tara moaned as, in one motion, Willow's fingers parted her lips and thrust into her dripping channel, "oh yes, oh yes, yes, yes..." She alternately arched her back, crushing her sex down onto Willow's hand as she moaned to the bed's canopy above her, and leaned forward, exulting in the sensation of Willow's fingers rising inside her.
"Willow, Willow, Willow!" she howled as she came, the strength failing in her legs, leaving her to thrust down onto Willow, supported by her, trapping her hand as her sex redoubled the flow of moisture emanating from her core. As soon as she had the strength she leaned forward, reaching down to kiss Willow firmly, hoping to somehow pour all her love into her through their joined lips. She lifted herself off Willow's fingers and spread her knees wide, pressing her soaked mound against Willow's thigh and grinding her hips, feeling Willow do the same as her own thigh slipped between her legs.
"I love you," she whispered into the kiss, "I love you, I love you, oh, goddess, oh baby you're so hot, so wet, so soft..." She deepened the kiss for a moment, opening her jaw wide to cover Willow's mouth, then leaned back, an aroused glint in her eyes.
"Stay there," she breathed, leaning back. In one fluid motion she rolled back off her knees to sit between Willow's legs, stretching her own legs up on either side of Willow. One leg she bent back and then slid beneath Willow's left thigh, the other she left resting over the top of Willow's right side.
"This is called 'leas-ti'," she purred, "the body's kiss." She settled back on her side, reached down to grasp Willow's thighs, one in front, one behind, and shifted her hips towards Willow, fitting against her perfectly, pressing her sex against Willow's.
"Oh! Goddess... soft..." Willow breathed in wonder, as she felt the moist warmth cover her, and her own folds pulse in reply. She reached down to hold Tara's thighs, as Tara was doing for her, and began to gyrate her hips as Tara was doing, doubling the sensation washing through her.
"Oh Tara," she gasped, "oh Tara, Tara, goddess, so, so, good, oh, yes, yes!"
"Come, baby," Tara called to her, raising her voice, leaning on her arms to look down the length of her body, to where she and Willow were joined, "come for me, come all over me, let me taste you in my core, oh baby, oh, oh goddess, get ready baby, it's coming, oh goddess, oh, oh, coming, oh, oh, ah!" As her centre once more flowed and burst with warmth, this time accompanied by the delicious sensation of Willow's arousal coursing across her folds, Tara lost all control of her body and sank back onto the sheets, writhing slowly with indescribable pleasure, her eyes closed, her lips searching for her lover's kiss. She was vaguely aware of Willow moving, then her lips were there, kissing her, loving her.
"Willow," she murmured, feeling Willow's mouth depart, and more movement.
"Taste our climax," Willow whispered in her ear, then Tara felt her kneel on either side of her head, Willow's scent, flavoured with her own, filled her lungs, and the gentle softness of her sex descended on her lips. Tara wrapped her arms around Willow's thighs and lapped greedily at her, opening her eyes to stare up, meeting Willow's gaze as she thrust her tongue deeper...
Much, much later... Tara and Willow lay in each other's arms, exhausted in the wake of countless delightful pleasures. Unable to summon the strength even to stir, they lay together, each with a thigh pressed against the other's mound, slick with the evidence of a night's ceaseless passion, and the fresh juice of their most recent climax. They faced each other on the pillows, foreheads resting against each other, each breathing heat across the other's cheeks. In the fireplace the fire had long since gone out, and only a few of the candles around the room still burned at the bottom of their length, the rest having gone out.
"Aaaaahhhh," Willow sighed weakly, "aahh... oh baby... I... oh," she yawned, "I can't move..."
"Me neither," Tara murmured, "don't care..."
"Darn right," Willow muttered, managing to summon just enough strength to tighten her arms around Tara. "I love you..." She opened her eyes to stare into Tara's, then her gaze was caught by something behind her and the glanced up.
"Oh, hey," she said weakly, "look..." Tara managed to turn her head over on the pillow to see the window facing east, where the slits in the shutters were glowing faintly with dawn's light.
"Heh," Tara chuckled, returning her eyes to Willow, "well... I did promise..."
"You did indeed," Willow replied, "you did... indeed... c'mere lover..." Tilting her head slightly she brought her lips to Tara's and kissed her, and where it seemed neither of them had the energy to move, after a moment their embrace tightened, their legs stirred and shifted against each other, and their hips slowly shuddered, pressing forward. Willow's lips became more lively, more insistent, and Tara somehow found the will to press herself into Willow's kiss, no longer merely accepting it, but actively offering herself.
"Mmmm," Willow murmured, "mmm, oh... oh goddess you're a miracle..." In defiance of her exhaustion she gripped Tara tightly, wrapping her body around her, and whispered in her ear: "Make me scream one more time..."
And Tara, to her own amazement, did.