Return to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Fifteen

Love Thy Neighbour

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

"You ride really well" Willow said, realizing that she'd better keep talking if she wantedto stay in her senses.

"Uh huh" Tara replied. lost in the sensation of the feel of Willow's fingers. She couldn't believe that she'd mustered up the courage to put her hand over Willow's. "Maybe nows the time to tell her how I feel " she thought, when she figured that Willow's wasn't in any great rush to move her hand from it's position. She glanced up at the redhead, and as it had for the past ten days her voice caught in her throat when she saw Willow's beauty. "God she's so lovely" she thought, as she watched Willow come to terms with getting soclose to a creature that she seemed to be afraid of. "Ok I'm gonna tell her... and now... before I change my mind..." "Willow?" she said aloud.

"Yes?" Willow asked,looking up to meet Tara's blue eyes. "Her blue, blue, blue eyes" Willow thought...

"Umm... I kinda needed to talk to you about something..." Tara said, not ceasing the movement of her's and Willow's hands over Prancer's mane.

Willow noticed the hesitation in Willow's voice, and was concerned. "What is it Tara?" she asked, her tone worried.

"Well" Tara began slowly, "I've been thinking, and..."

She was cut off by someone calling her name. "Tara"

The pair looked up, startled at being interrupted, and saw Mr. Klein heading their way. "good afternoon ladies" he said, as he approached them. he started at their hands moving in unison over the horses mane for a moment, before he looked back up. After making polite inquiries about their comfort and general conversation for a moment he turned his full attention to Tara.

"Tara this afternoon Mat tried to tame a new wild stallion that we ..."

"Umm I know Mr. Klein... Willow kinda filled me in on that " Tara cut him short.

"Ok... right then... well anyway... I was wondering whether you'd like to try your hand at taming him then."

Willow froze. She thought of Matthew's failed efforts that day, and the idea of Tara on... that... thing... yes, that THING petrified her! She stood there, thinking of how many languages Tara could decline the offer in when she heard Tara reply "Sure... I'd like that Mr. Klein. Tomorrow after I've wrapped up the filming sound ok?"

"Great!" Mr. Klein exclaimed. Now how about I drop you two ladies back to the house?"

"Well I have to hand Prancer in at the stables... but Willow could go with you if she wanted." Tara said.

"No thanks. I'd like to walk back" Willow said, still shocked by Tara's answer.

Mr. Klein nodded his head and walked back to the jeep that he'd parked a little way off. "So you wanna walk back with me? I just have to hand Prancer in at the stables to one of the hands, and then I'm heading back too, so..." Tara let off.

"Sure" Willow responded and watched as Tara walked the horse out of the enclosure and towards the stables. Tara returned a few secondslater, and they slowly began to walk back to the farmhouse.

"So... I don't mean to be interfering or something... but are you crazy???" Willow asked.

"I beg your pardon?" Tara asked, wondering if she'd just heard right.

"You're actually gonna get onto that big horse? That mad untamed horse???" Willow asked, clearly agitated.

"Oh that!" Tara was now laughing. "Relax Willow..."

"What the hell do mean by relax??? I saw what happened to Matthew this afternoon. What of something like that happens to you?" Willow almost screamed now!

Tara stopped andput her hand on Willow's arm. "Look Willow.I've done this before." Her hand travelled lowet and she's grasped Willow's hand. "You just met Prancer... wasn't he tame?" Willow slowly nodded her head."Well" Tara continued, "Prancer used to be wild too. I'm the one that tamed him." Willow raised her eyebrows as the blonde went on. "I've known Mr. Klein a long time, and I've worked on a lot of his horses with him. So don't worry. I know what I'm doing ok?" she finished, asking if Willow understood what she was saying. Willow nodded her head, and slowly smiled. "Good, that's settled then!" Tara said, and they began to walk again.

After a few minutes of silent walking, simply holding hands, the house came into view. When they were a few paces away from the house Willow suddenly asked "But Tara, why are you waiting till tomorrow to try taming the horse? I mean, you still have time this evening right?"

Looking anywhere but at Willow Tara replied " Well... just in case I fall off and get hurt or something... you couldn't have a reporter with a shiner reporting news right?"

Willow stopped in her tracks at that. since her hand was in Willow's, Tara was stopped too. She looked back to see Willow with a worried look on her features all over again. Walking a step back she got closer to Willow and said softly "Hey I told you it'll be ok... just trust me... you trust me... don't you?"

Willow breathed and looked straight at Tara, saying "Yup... I do... completely".

Smiling at one another they began tomove to the house again... hands never breaking contact...

It was now four o'clock the next afternoon. Willow stood in between Mr. Klein and Matthew as Tara walked into the enclosure. A couiple of members of Tara's work crew and most of the stable hands had come to watch the taming, and Willow had the odd feeling of being back at the circus. "Of course, I have never been so scared for the tamers safety at the circus..." she thought, as her eyes followed each and every movement that Tara was making.

Tara walked upto about ten paces away from the horse before crouching down and staring at him. The horse stared right back and that's all the action that happened for the next twenty minutes... Willow was just beginning to think that this wasn't so bad after all when the horse began to move towrads Tara's crouching figure. "Ooook what is happening? Is he gonna eat my Tara? My Tara???" Willow wondered, as the pace of her heart began to speed up again.

Once he got to Tara the horse stopped, simply standing there. A few moments later Tara slowly began to raise her right hand towards the horse, and patted him on the neck. "I'll bet he would've never let Matthew do that." Willow thought with pride! "Is he tame yet?" she whispered, turning to Mr. Klein.

"Not by along way" Mr. Klein whispered back, not turning to look at Willow as he answered.

Willow followed his gaze and saw that Tara was now standing up, still gently stroking the horses mane. "The lucky horse" Tara thought, as she remembered howl ovely Tara's fingers felt. She shook her head clear superfast of all such thoughts for the moment, as Tara began to move towards the fence where a saddle had been placed on the top. Picking the saddle up in one hand, she began to move back towards the horse, and once she got to him began to stroke him again with her free hand.

"She's winning over his trust" Matthew whispered to Willow, and Willow nodded without looking at him.

She watched with held breath as Tara threw the saddle over the horses back, and began to saddle him up, stopping ever few seconds to pat him. When she was sure that he was saddled up alright she began to slowly walk him around the enclosure in circles.

"This is like watching The Horse Whisperer live!" Willow thought, mentally adding "Of course Tara's even nicer to watch then Bob Redford..."

Tara was right oposite Willow's side of the fence now as she made a round with the horse, andd glancing up, she smiled at Willow. Once again Willow was caught unawares by the beauty of the other woman, and found herself smiling goofily long after the blonde had passed her. A couiple of rounds later Tara walked the horse to the centre and stopped. She stood there whispering something into the horses ears. "Great... now I'm jealous of horses" Willow marvelled!

After a few seconds of 'conversation' with the horse Tara walked to it's right side, grasped the saddle, put her leg into stirrup and climbed onto it's back in one graceful movement. Willow's heart was now beating at a pace that was abnormal for a human! The horse stomped at the ground where it was standing. Tara bent low and whispered something into it's ears, all the while delicately patting it's neck. The horse ceased it's movements and visibly calmed down.

Tara began to guide the horse slowly around the enclosure again, the difference this time being that she was actually on it! After trotting around slowly for a while she began to build up on the pace, and within ten minutes she was galloping full speed ahead!

"The horse actually seems to be enjoying himself! Of course Tara riding you must be very enjoyable... Thank God I didn't say that aloud!" Willow thought, going red at her thought!

"Now he's tame!" Mr. Klein exclaimed, finally turning to Willow! "God girl... you've gotta get out of the sun! Look at your color!" he said, mistaking Willow's blush at her thoughts for sunburn!

"No I'm fine really.."Willow started to protest when she was cut off by the horses owner...

"No you're not! You're red as a beetroot! Now we couldn't have a person as famous as you fall ill could we?" he asked. With that he signalled to Matthew to bring the jeep over. Willow took one last longing look at Tara galloping before sighing and sitting down in the jeep.

Continue to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Seventeen

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