Return to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Forty-One

Latter Days/Lonely Nights

Author: Willownut
Disclaimer: Blah, blah, blah. Many characters are Joss Whedon's. Yada, yada, yada. No harm intended with the use of these revered characters. Peas and carrots, peas and carrots.

(Day 09 - Friday, November 16, 1984)

"Mmmmm" Willow's head fell back in surrender. She struggled to keep her eyes open and her breathing steady. She tried to control her body's movements but she was losing that battle. As soon as she relaxed under her caress, Tara pulled away. As if some force compelled her, Willow rose up to make contact with the elusive touch.

Tara watched in joyous rapture the rise and fall of Willow's chest as she moved her hands across her skin. She was overcome with need. She leaned into her, feeling the contours of her body as she relaxed into position straddling her hips and moving slowly against her. She felt like she was on fire. Beads of sweat had just started glistening on her brow as she labored for breath in the heat of the moment.

The freckled skin seemed to call to her, begging to be tasted. She looked deeply into the sea green eyes and finding no resistance moved closer to her. She let Willow feel her breath against her lips and moved her mouth just out of reach. The pressure was building, the need, the hunger to satiate, but Tara was committed to this rate of gentle affection. She nuzzled against her cheek and gently touched Willow's face with her lips as she moved closer against her. She felt the electricity rising between them where their faces met. She pulled away again to watch the host of emotions playing on Willow's face, and then she went to her again.

Tara took a deep breath catching the scent of her hair. She licked her lips and sucked on her tongue as she moved toward the inviting flesh of her neck. Her tongue trembled as she reached out with it to taste her. With just the tip, like a finger, Tara touched her; she softly left a wet trail of passion as she traversed the silky region. Willow rolled her head away giving Tara freedom to explore. The invitation further ignited the fire welling deep within her.

Tara moved down, still barely touching Willow's neck with the warm wet muscle. She paused along her clavicle feeling the contours of the bones and muscles then before moving lower. She kissed her, and then used her lips to feel the softness as she continued on her journey. She was breathing hard with anticipation as she moved lower still. She quickly determined that this was the most amazing thing she had ever done. She reached out as far as she could with her tongue hoping to feel the darken circle of flesh hidden under the white cotton.

She felt warmth surge through her body as she anticipated feeling Willow this intimately with her mouth. She lost the ability to control her eyelids as she gave herself.


No, not now! Tara opened her eyes. Willow was staring at her expectantly. They were still sitting quietly in the lounge. "Oh, I'm sorry; I got a little lost there for a moment." Tara was embarrassed, but she felt okay about it. Huh, that's new.

"Where did you go?" Willow was concerned.

Tara felt her breath hitch and she wondered if she had been breathing heavily while Willow stared at her. "I was, oh nothing." She said quietly mostly to herself.

"Tara please, what is it?" Willow was clearly concerned.

Tara looked around, "No, I can't." Not here, this is wrong.

Tara's behavior was so out of character, Willow started to panic. "Tara, the rule, what is it? You can tell me."

I'd love to show you! "No, I really can't right now." Tara was trying not to panic. Willow could push this, and she really needed to cool down and possibly dry off. Am I sweating?

Willow reached up with the back of her hand to feel Tara's forehead. "Tara you're hot, and I think maybe clammy."

The concern on Willow's face was too much. Tara reached up and grabbed Willow's makeshift thermometer. She pulled it down and gently kissed Willow's fingers. "I'm fine; I just got distracted for a minute."

Willow looked around quickly, "Oh, yeah, sorry, we need to get back to work or go to bed don't we; it's late." She looked toward the clock and realized it was late. "Gosh, where does the time go?" She was clearly disappointed. "We should get going." Willow started to move her legs, but they had stiffened with inactivity.

Tara tried to follow suit, but quickly realized she was a little immobile and weak in the knees as well. "We look like a couple of old ladies." Tara laughed quietly.

"Yeah," Willow stretched her arms out over her head and arched her back trying to get the blood flowing again. "I think my foot's asleep."

"Ha, I think my butt's asleep," Tara retorted another laugh threatened to escape which she stifled. The sound was more of a snort.

Willow looked at Tara and started to giggle. "You said butt." When she repeated butt, she giggled again a little louder.

"I've said butt before," Tara defended her word choice.

"No, I don't think so, not to me." Tara was just so cute. Willow gently bit her bottom lip. She felt the pressure and teased herself with her tongue which sent a tingle through her. She bit down trying to kill the sensations she was feeling.

Tara watched Willow chewing on her lip. "Please don't do that."

"What?" Willow looked confused.

Tara wasn't sure how to explain what Willow had done, so she showed her. She ran her tongue along her lower lip and gently bit it. She closed her eyes, shook her head a little, and looked back at Willow. "That."

Willow's jaw hung open. She realized there was no wetness in her mouth at all. She closed her mouth and sucked on her tongue. "Uh, okay," Willow cleared her throat which had also gone completely dry, "I'll try." She was still attempting to replenish the moisture in her mouth. "Sorry." Willow let her apology sit between them for a moment.

"Tara?" Willow's voice sounded anxious.

"Yeah," Tara noted Willow's tone and was a bit apprehensive as well.

"What are we gonna do?" Willow asked earnestly.

Tara looked down; she had no imaginary lint to play with. She let her hair fall over her face. She really had no idea how to answer Willow's question. She closed her eyes and she suddenly felt very tired.

Willow wondered what Tara was thinking about and why she'd become so quiet. There was obviously something troubling her.

"Do you want me to leave you alone?" Willow knew it was risky asking the question, but she didn't want to be a burden to Tara if she needed to have some time to herself.

After a prolonged silence Tara finally admitted. "I don't know if I can do this."

Willow quickly tried to decipher the statement. Images came to mind of her and Tara together, of them studying and reading, and looking in her eyes. Her mind was full of mission related activities and throwing vegetables and singing. Willow was afraid of what Tara was thinking and if she really felt that she couldn't do...whatever it was...what did that mean? Furthermore, she had no idea how to best respond to Tara's apparent anguish.

"Tara, I really don't know what to say." She felt a pain welling deep within her. "Whatever it is, we can get through this." Willow dipped her head down to look into Tara's eyes to see if they held any clue to her current mood. She thought she saw wetness on Tara's cheek. Once the tear was discovered, Willow's eyes filled with moisture. She fought back the urge to sniff, that would just make it worse for both of them. She struggled not to panic.

Tara shook her head; she wanted to explain to Willow her current mindset. She didn't want Willow thinking it had anything to do with her; Tara felt it was her own weakness that had lead her to this moment.

When Tara finally felt ready to speak, she looked up. She saw that Willow had been quietly falling apart. Tara saw the stream of wetness that was still on her cheek and the glistening signs of distress in the normally sparkling green eyes.

"Willow?" Tara was tentative.

"Uh huh," for a second time that night, Willow failed to register much animation on her face with her reply.

Tara held steadfast and didn't react. She wanted to make sure Willow was ok to work through what they needed to. And she hoped the extra time would give Willow a moment to compose herself.

"I don't know if I can keep this up." Tara wasn't sure how to much she should explain. Maybe Willow will understand.

Willow waited to speak until she was fairly certain her voice would not crack. "Keep what up?"

Figures. "This isn't easy." Tara began. Willow was nodding. She's not helping at all. Tara took a deep breath and looked about the floor to ensure they were alone: They were not. A stray sister had wandered down the hall. "Midnight tinkler at ten o'clock," Tara nodded toward the hallway.

The comment was enough to earn her a resounding laugh from the redhead. You are absolutely perfect for me. "Butt and ‘tinkler' in one night, that's more than I could have hoped for. It's so...cheeky..." Willow beamed with joy inside. She had gone from utter confusion and fear to joy in the space of two minutes. This is some ride.

Tara tried to keep a straight face, "Cheeky?" She raised her eyebrows, "Actually, the butt is cheeky." The comment earned her a sweet smile from Willow.

After a few more moments, Willow decided to restart their conversation but she wanted to have some fun, there should be no crying. "Tara, what are we gonna do?"

"I honestly have no idea." Tara admitted. "This is all so new. It's different. I don't feel like I have any control over my thoughts. That's bad, right?"

"Buzz... What is an irrelevant value judgment? I'll take: "dual meanings" for four hundred, Alex." Willow tried to sound lighthearted.

Tara laughed when she realized the Jeopardy reference.

Willow did her best Alex Trebek impression: "A Greeting or Tara Issue."

Tara just looked at Willow blankly.

"Buzz....,What's new?" Willow phrased the question more like a salutation than an examination.

Tara furrowed her brow, "Oh... what is new is a greeting or perplexing Tara issue." She chuckled at Willow's quick wit.

Willow continued, "dual meanings" for six hundred, Alex." She then waited a moment.

Tara jumped in with her Alex Trebek voice, "Willow's touch or Tara issue."

It was Willow's turn to look puzzled.

"Buzz...Tingle-y Cheeks." Tara said with a straight face.

Willow started to giggle again, "You said butt."

Tara continued, "Can I have "avoiding difficult conversations for eight hundred," Alex?" Tara waited for Willow to pick an avoidance answer.

The answer is: "Captain Distraction uses this cultural medium," Willow offered.

"What doesn't Willow use?" Tara pulled in her lips.

"I'm sorry, the correct answer is: what are TV shows?" Willow quipped. I'll take hypocorisms for two hundred."

"Huh?" Tara's mouth fell slightly open as she tried to rummage through her mind for the possible meaning of the word.

"Nicknames or terms of endearment," Willow explained

"Oh, Okay." Tara thought a moment, "This pet name doesn't directly reference trees."

"Who is Barkley." Willow looked hopeful. Tara smiled as she recalled their earlier connections with Big Bird and his furry red haired pal, Barkley. "I'll take more difficult issues for six hundred, Alex."

"Oh, the daily double," Tara laughed, "How much are you willing to risk?"

Willow considered the opportunity Tara had just presented. She was torn, Tara had clearly seemed upset just a few minutes before and the idea of putting her in an uncomfortable situation made her uneasy. Willow lowered her voice to barely more than a whisper, "I don't want to jeopardize losing you."

Tara thought back to the images she had conjured in her mind earlier. "It's probably easier to keep making Monopoly and playing Jeopardy then to deal with this, huh?" She looked around again,

"You know what, let's go."

Willow raised her eyebrows, "Go go, or just go?" After she said it she wasn't even sure what she'd meant by it. "I mean, go somewhere, go to bed, leave go, leave here go, or go and do something go?" The last thought made her lick her lips subconsciously.

Tara watched Willow trying to work out her statement and she was amused. "How do you do that?"

"Do what?"

Tara looked down at her feet. "Make me think so hard about what I really want when I'm trying not to."

"Oh I'm sorry, I don't mean to." Willow seemed a little troubled by Tara's implication.

"No, I mean, I was trying to be vague, trying not to be clear, I think." Tara scratched her nose and looked directly at Willow, "Trying not to let you see."

"What don't you want me to see?" Willow hoped they were finally going to clear the air.

Tara reached out and gentle clutched Willow's hand. She stood up and with a simple movement invited Willow to walk with her. They slowly walked around the lounge coffee table and Tara led them down the hall. She paused at the door to look at Willow; she opened the door to the empty room and with a slumberous expression led Willow inside.

Once inside, Tara continued to hold Willow's hand as she reached back and closed the door behind them. Willow was puzzled when instead of releasing her hand, grabbing a chair or turning to kiss her, Tara looked again deeply into Willow's eyes. Her eyes betrayed her need and Willow had no idea what to do with the intensity reflected back at her.

Tara made a step toward the beds and another. Willow stood still for a moment feeling the gentle strain as their arms stretched apart. Another step and she knew she'd have to make a choice. She had no way of telling what Tara really wanted, so she took a tentative step toward her and then, another as Tara continued to move away.

When she reached the bed, Tara sat down waiting for Willow to make the final few steps. When Willow stood next to the bed in front of Tara, Tara finally released her grasp. She surprised Willow when she stood up and moved forward to embrace her. She closed her eyes and felt the redhead against her. She took a step toward the bed with Willow between them, which essentially left Willow off balance.

Tara gripped Willow tighter and guided them both into a comfortable position; Willow lay beneath her just as she had been earlier in her fantasy. That realization overwhelmed Tara and she caught her breath. She felt as though she should be true to the imagery she'd created earlier. Willow seemed compliant or at least accepting of her advances.

As she sat leaning over her, Tara wondered what had possessed her. "I think it's you." Tara began.

"What?" Willow was still wondering what they were doing there, and now Tara was speaking.

Tara hadn't really considered what it was she wanted from their trip to the room, but at least they were alone.

She reached out her left hand with her index finger. With a delicate touch, she slowly started to draw a line from just under Willow's chin, straight down her neck. Willow wasn't sure if she should close her eyes or keep staring at Tara. Tara seemed lost for a moment, in the feel of her skin. It was like an elixir. When she reached the boundary of Willow's garments, Tara traced along the lacey edge with her index finger. She alternated feeling the softness with her finger tips and then slowly turning them over to feel with the other side. She played with the material boundary that was keeping her at bay.

Tara closed her eyes and continued to feel the silky yet forbidden skin and soft cotton reminder of their rules. Gently and slowly she traced from one shoulder, down across the rounded neckline and back up the other side feeling every nuance. She finally reopened her eyes and continued her quest; this time she let her eyes convey her desires.

Willow saw the hunger and love reflected back at her. She tried to blink, but her eyes wouldn't stay open. She was trying not to relax into the sensation, but Tara was just so persistent with her touch. She wanted to stay lost in the feeling, but she knew there would be consequences if she didn't do something quickly. Tara had seemed so unsure of what she wanted. Willow knew she was struggling with her feelings - reconciling her faith and her needs. Yet there were moments, like this one that Tara seemed one hundred percent ready to throw it all away for her. Although the thought was intoxicating, it wasn't practical. They both had to be sure of what they wanted. Without really discussing all of the implications that taking their relationship to a more intimate level would mean, how could either be sure it was what the other really wanted?

With her eyes still closed, Willow continued her internal dialog struggling to stay in control of her emotions. She felt the corner of her top being pulled to the side a little and then a soft breath on her skin where Tara's touch had been only moments before. She inhaled deeply and tried not to hold her breath. It escaped with a shutter. She felt lips, soft, warm lips, just barely grazing her body and she struggled not to lose herself entirely. When the touch turned wet, Willow's heart pounded as if it would thump right out of her chest. It was just too much. She let her head fall back on the pillow. She willed her eyelids open just as Tara glanced up at her.

When their eyes met, Tara looked deeply into Willow as if she had penetrated her soul. Willow understood in an instant that this was a pivotal moment for both of them. Willow reached up and touched Tara's top where her mark lay hidden underneath Tara's own cloth coverings. With a deep and sudden intact of breath, Willow nodded. She reached up with her own hand and pulled her clothes aside giving Tara the freedom to reciprocate their secret token.

Willow had never understood why people marked each other. It had always seemed so primal and unsightly and even possibly a little painful. At the moment though, it seemed the most natural thing in the world. Letting Tara touch her, kiss her and need her, it was the most wonderful feeling. She waited for Tara.

Tara was watching Willow. Clearly she was giving Tara the freedom she had wanted. And as she looked down at the alabaster freckled skin she made a decision. Instead of following through with her earlier fantasy, Tara fought back the desire to taste the inviting skin. Instead, she moved up to Willow, placed her palm over Willow's hand that lay still clutching at her top, and felt the rise and fall of her chest She lean down and gently but reverently kissed Willow softly on the lips. She pulled back a little, sucked on her tongue before leaning down again this time with her face nuzzled into Willow's cheek. Willow barely heard the words Tara whispered. "For me, it's not forty-two... It's you."

Continue to Latter Days/Lonely Nights Chapter Forty-Three

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