Return to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Eight

Love Thy Neighbour

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: All the characters belong to Joss, that lucky man!

"I thought you were single?" Willow asked, trying to make her question sound carefree and light, even though she was dying to know whom Tara had just spoken to.

"I am," Tara said, surprised at the question, and even more so at the forced note that was so obvious in Willow's voice. Suddenly it dawned upon her "oh my God! You didn't think that I was talking to my lover did you??? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard! That was Martina. She just called to see if I'd gotten back alright Willow."

She stopped, and as an afterthought added "And the date that we've made is to play a game of tennis when she gets better." Tara didn't know why, but she felt like she just had to convince Willow that she and Martina were just friends.

All of a sudden Willow felt stupider than she'd ever felt in her entire life! "Oh... I guess I just got the wrong idea... I mean, you seemed really comfortable with whoever you were talking to, what with all the "honey" and "sweetie" talk, and..." she trailed off, not knowing what more to say without sounding even stupider!

"I am comfortable with Martina, Willow. We've been friends for so long that it's natural for us to be comfortable with each other. And the "honey" and "sweetie" and "darling" stuff is just part of our normal conversations. " She stopped, not knowing what else to say.

Suddenly Willow broke the awkward silence "God! Imagine the scandal that would cause! I can see the headlines already. 'Martina Hingis In Love - With Another Woman!'" she finished, grinning.

Tara laughed at the thought, and Willow breathed again, thankful that she'd been able to make amends her idiotic mistake. They both sat back in their chairs, not talking again, but this time the silence was comfortable.

After a little while Tara rose "I'm making dinner. You going to stay here?"

"Are you going to let me help you out in the kitchen?" Willow asked.

When Tara shook her head in negation, Willow said " Well then, since I don't think your going to let me win an argument, I guess I'll just stay put here for some time."

Tara smiled and walked inside the house, leaving Willow alone with her thoughts. "I just got jealous! Me, Willow Rosenberg, arguably one of the world's most envied women, got jealous!!! And why did I get jealous? Because I thought that a woman was seeing someone else! A WOMAN! A woman with eyes the most sparkling shade of blue, hair that smells better than a dozen freshly bloomed flowers, fingers that feel like heaven on my skin, a voice as musical as notes played on a piano, lips the most beautiful shade of pink... Oh God... I soooo have a crush on Tara," Willow finally admitted to herself.

"Now what do I do? Do I tell her? But what if she doesn't like me that way? Just because she likes women doesn't mean that she falls for each and every damsel in distress that comes her way. On the other hand, if she does like me, how will I know? Will she tell me? Oh God, oh God, oh God..."

Again Willow was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn't realize that Tara was standing right next to her, calling her inside for dinner.

Tara laid a hand on Willow's shoulder and suddenly all of Willow's senses came crashing down to earth and centred on the feeling of warmth starting at her shoulder and running all through her body at Tara's touch.

"Dinners served Ma'am" Tara said in a low voice, her voice bearing traces of the smile that lit her face. Thankfully Willow's power of speech decided to return at that time, and she said in what was barely a whisper, "Coming."

Tara realized that her hand was still on Willow's shoulder, and with great reluctance she lifted it from it's resting place and turned to walk back into the house. Without taking her eyes off Tara's retreating figure Willow rose, and without thinking she put her right foot down. Pain shooting through her leg immediately, she cried out and began to lose her balance. Hearing her cry out, Tara spun around to see Willow falling sideways into the pool.

Without even stopping to think, Tara quickly moved ahead and dived right in after her. She went in headfirst and seconds later resurfaced, holding onto a spluttering, gasping and completely dazed Willow. For a minute the world spun around Willow, and she wasn't able to grasp the situation.

Then it all became clear... she was being taken out of the pool, towards the house... and now she felt safe again...

Safe because she was being carried in Tara's arms... safe...

Continue to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Ten

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