Return to Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Nineteen

Love Thy Neighbour

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

"Why???" Buffy asked.

"Well I was just about to when Miss Buffy 'Perfect Timing' Summers called up" Willow said, not able to keep the level of frustration down in her voice.

"Oh I'm so sorry Willow... I wouldn't've called if I had known... I swear... Tell you what! You go to her and bare your soul and then you call me back when you've done the deed and are all couply and stuff! Deal???" Buffy asked, the smile evident in her voice.

Willow couldn't help but grin as she replied "Deal!"

"Ok then, this is me hanging up! Go get her girl!" Buffy said laughing.

"Bye Buff" Willow said, hanging up and making her way to the kitchen, where she found Tara sitting and sipping at a cup of steaming hot coffee. Silently she sat opposite the blonde, where a glass of milk with ice cubes in it had been put.

"Drink that," Tara said. "And drink it in slow, small sips. That's what my Mom makes me drink when I throw up."

"Ok" Willow said, picking up the glass and drinking from it.

"So... did you and Buffy talk about the articles in the paper?" Tara asked, looking at Willow for her reaction.

"Huh? No," Willow said, taken by surprise at Tara's question. "What articles?"

Tara saw the genuine surprise on Willow's features and said "Hold on, I'll show you" she said, rising and moving towards the living room.

Tara came back with the morning papers, and handed them to Willow. Right there on the front page of the first paper there was an article "CELEBRITY WILLOW ROSENBERG VACATIONING WITH MILLIONAIRES KLEINS" and in smaller print "Something brewing between the star and heir to Klein fortune Matthew?" There was an entire write up about a stressed out Willow was there to take a much needed break from the strenuous ways of Hollywood. No where in the article was there a mention of Willow's hurt ankle, the CNM cover on the horse, and worst of all in Willow's eyes, Tara. What added to the redheads indignation was when Matthew was asked to comment on his relationship with her, he said that they were "just good friends, who'd very much like their privacy"!!!

"Good friends??? And privacy for what?" Willow thought, enraged. As if all that wasn't enough there was a picture of Willow and Matthew "enjoying" their picnic lunch. Willow looked up to see Tara watching her closely, her expression unreadable.

"There are similar articles in the other two papers too, if you'd like to see," Tara said, nodding towards the papers.

"Jesus," Willow said, rubbing her temples.

"Tough having your love life splashed all over the papers huh? That's why I didn't become a gossip columnist." Tara said simply, looking back at her cup of coffee while talking.

"Its not my love life Tara. Matthew and I aren't even friends. This article is nothing but a whole lot of bull shit!" Willow said, needing Tara to believe her.

Looking up, Tara stared at Willow for a minute, as if searching for something. Their gazes locked and neither looking away for a moment. Finally Tara whispered "Really?"

"Yes...really Tara... I'm not interested in Matthew Klein... he was nothing but a pompous bore!" Willow stated. "Besides I only had eyes for you..." she thought to herself.

Picking up her glass of milk she gulped the last sips and put her glass in the sink. "SO what do you wanna do now?" she asked, thinking that it was time she started building to what she wanted to say.

"Well I was thinking of going for a swim," Tara replied, smiling that tender smile at Willow.

"Cool! Can I come?" Willow asked, maybe a little too enthusiastically!

"Huh?" Tara asked, smiling wider at the tone of Willow's voice.

"I mean, well my foot is better and stuff, and I wouldn't mind a swim," the red head explained, trying not to sound too eager!

"No way... your foot isn't okay enough to me swimming yet missy... and in case you forgot I should remind you that you were hurling less than 12 hours ago!" Tara said, in a tone that was gentle yet no room for argument. Nothing had prepared her for the look of sadness on Willow's face though, and she found herself quickly adding "But you could come and sit with your feet in the pool if you liked".

"Yeah!" Willow exclaimed, all happy again.

"Ok then," Tara said, grinning at the change in Willow mood. "You go out to the pool and I'll just go up and change".

Willow nodded and made her way out back. Once there, she took off her slippers and put her feet into the lukewarm water of the pool. She looked up, staring at the orange sky as the sun set, taking in the peace around her. A few moments later a sound broke the silence. Willow turned around to see Tara approach the pool in a blue robe, carrying a glass of orange juice.

"Hey" Tara said, as she came closer to Willow. "How's the water?"

"Feels good. You're in for a good swim. What's the juice for?" Willow asked.

"Oh I always sip on something in between laps. Would've poured you a glass to but you just had that milk and I don't want you spending the rest of the evening in the bathroom again!" Tara smiled.

"Ok then ma'am! Enjoy the water!" Willow smiled back. Turning to place her glass on the small poolside table, Tara put it down and began to untie the sash of her robe. Willow watched mesmerized as the robe was taken off to reveal creamy skin covered by a swimsuit of the purest shade of white.

"God," Willow thought, remembering to pick her jaw up off the ground! "So this is what angels look like" she thought, her eyes never leaving Tara's form as the blonde moved her way to the edge of the pool. "My angel."

For the next half hour Willow watched each and ever movement that Tara made. She noticed that Tara was a string swimmer, and also noted the grace with which Tara moved, the way her hair floated around her, the way her cheeks flushed... lets just say that she noted anything and everything that could be connected to Tara!

Tara came out of the water every ten minutes or so to take a sip of the orange juice before diving back in. Each time she looked at Willow the natural actress acted like she was splashing and playing around with her feet in the water!

"Is it just my own wishful thinking or is she stealing looks at me?" Willow wondered, when she looked up again to catch Tara quickly looking away. "Probably just my own wishful thinking..." She sighed to herself.

Finally 30 minutes later Tara emerged from the water, and began to towel herself dry. As if watching the woman she was madly in love with swim wasn't hard enough, Willow now had to endure the torture of watching Tara towel each and every bit of her dry, a job she'd much rather prefer to do herself, at her own sweet time. Willow wasn't even surprised that she was aroused so by this woman anymore. Rising, she sat down in one of the poolside chairs. Seconds later Tara sat down opposite her, her robe back on, much to Willow's sorrow!

"Have a nice swim?" the red head asked, taking in Tara's flushed face.

"Oh yeah! The water was lovely," Tara said.

"They sat there in silence a few minutes, both aware of each other so close and all alone... neither wanting to say something silly in this comfortable silence.

Finally Willow asked "So how was work? The editing go ok?"

"Oh it was cool. The horse is of course the star of it all, and since we didn't interview him much it wasn't too difficult to edit! My voice and stuffs come out nice and clear too so it was pretty much easy stuff," Tara finished.

"You don't feature in it?" Willow asked, puzzled since she was sure that Tara was there on tape.

"Yeah I do... why?" the blonde asked, curious.

"Oh because you said that the horse was the star of the show. With you on it you've gotta be the star, Tara," Willow said, looking at Tara as she said that.

"Nah... the horse is a beauty..." Tara said, looking away from Willow's gaze.

"So are you, Tara," Willow said in a voice so tender that it made Tara look back up at her.

"Yeah, right," Tara said, refusing to believe her ears. "Willow is calling me beautiful?" she wondered, amazed at the sensations that that sent coursing through her.

"Yes you are, Tara... you're beautiful...don't you know that?" Willow asked, her tone still tender. She was delighted to see the bright red blush that spread across Tara's features at her words!

"I-I'm not beautiful. I mean I'm just your normal average looker... you're the beautiful one here," Tara said, unable to meet Willow's look.

"No way Tara, you're the beauty. I realized that the first time I saw you... you're hair... these blue eyes..."Willow rose and made her way over to Tara as she spoke. Getting to her, she reached out a finger to trace the skin of Tara's neck "...this creamy skin..." her hand moved higher, the finger leaving a burning path along its route to Tara's lips "and the most amazing lips I've every seen" Willow finished in almost a whisper as her finger outlined Tara's bottom lip." Lips that I'd very much like to kiss right now" she finished, looking at Tara in the eyes, searching for permission.

"Oh Willow" Tara breathed, and that was all the incentive that Willow needed to bend down and claim Tara's lips. The feeling of kissing Tara was lovelier than Tara had imagined in her wildest dreams. It took a moment for Tara to respond, but she did with a soft moan. What began as a tentative meeting of two pairs of lips turned into something sweeter and more wondrous than either girl had ever experienced. When Willow felt Tara nibble on her bottom lip she felt like she'd died and gone to heaven. As for Tara, she thought she was dreaming when she felt the girl she'd fallen so deeply in love with bring her hands up to play with the skin at the back of her own neck.

Finally the two parted for air... leaving soft pecks along the way to show how they regretted having to breathe! "Wow" Tara said, pulling Willow onto her lap and holding their bodies close. "That was just... wow" she repeated, before kissing Willow's cheeks, her nose, her forehead, her eyes... before kissing her way back to the redheads lips. Willow sighed at the contact, realizing how much she's missed Tara's lips in just those few seconds. Closing her eyes she leaned her head back in ecstasy as the blonde kissed her way lower, stopping at her neck to kiss, nibble and bite on the pulse point, always licking the skin to soothe away any sting that Willow might feel. When they pulled apart again it was Willow's turn to say "Wow". Her hand came up to trace Tara's swelling lips... smiling as the blonde parted her lips to take in the inquisitive finger... suckling on it softly... never once breaking her eye contact with Willow.

Almost breathless with her own desire Willow said "Mind if we take this inside?" Raising her eyebrows to make her intentions clear.

Reading her expression Tara smiled and kissed Willow's finger once more before rising, Willow's legs wrapped around her waist. Tara made her way into the house, moving upstairs to her bedroom. Willow had never seen Tara's room before, and right now all she saw was the king sized bed. Looking Tara in the eyes again she smiled "Perfect" before leaning in to capture the blondes lips in an urgent kiss, conveying everything - lust, passion, want, desire and tenderness at the same time. Tara walked Willow to the bed, collapsing on the petite girl, their lips never losing contact.

Suddenly Willow pulled away a little and looked at Tara. "Tara, I have to tell you something..."

"Yes?" Tara asked, her hand fondling Willow's soft cheek.

"You know how people have crushes and stuff right? And you know how some people have these phases and stuff wjere they try stuff out and all?" she continued.

"Yeah...." Tara said, her tone bearing traces of worry now.

Willow leaned in and planted a kiss on Tara's lips to reassure the blonde before pulling back and going on with her explanation. "Well I just want you to know that this is not me going through a phase, or trying out something new and different, and for me you're not just a crush. I HAD a crush on you Tara. This... this is the real thing for me Tara... I'm in love with you..." Willow turned away, afraid that she was scaring off the blonde with too much too soon. It was just that she had to tell her how she felt. "I love you with all my heart and soul... when I see you it's like..."

Willow would have gone on if a hand hadn't tenderly cupped her cheek and her lips hadn't been silence with the most searing kiss she'd ever shared. After what seemed an eternity and just a few seconds at the same time the two parted, gasping for air.

Tara smiled down at Willow "I love you too, Willow... in all the ways anyone could love someone." Leaning in she gently licked away the tear that had dropped its way out of Willow's eye, before possessing her lips again.

Those were the last coherent words said for quite a while. Willow's last thoughts before being engulfed in the whirlwind that was uniquely Tara were "I have to call Buffy. That can wait for later... right now there's something a lot more important at hand... oooh and mmmm... Oh God!..."


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