Return to Neverland Chapter Twenty-Six


Author: EasierSaid
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: Please don't sue me Mutant Enemy.
Feedback: Please leave feedback on the Neverland thread on the Kitten Board.
Note: Thoughts in italics.

The girls climbed into the cab and Tara leaned forward to give the driver the address as she fumbled bringing her seat belt across her chest. Willow snapped on her own belt and watched out of the corner of her eye as Tara settled back into the seat, the driver pulling away from the curve and immediately making a u-turn.

Willow ran a damp hand across her jeans and tried to focus. She had so many questions. Who's house were they going to? How did Tara know the host? Had she ever been to a party like this before? Before she could select one to begin with, Tara's phone rang. The blonde frowned slightly and reached into her jacket pocket, the leather rustling as she removed the device and checked the screen, Willow watching her every move curiously.

"Hey Buffy," Tara said after pressing the device to her ear. "Sure, what do you need?" There was a pause as the blonde listened to the request coming through the line, a garbled, muffled version of the petite blonde's voice reaching Willow's ear as she watched Tara wait. "Yeah, I can do that," Tara said, feeling the redhead's eyes on her, wishing she wasn't wasting the time alone with Willow talking to Buffy long-distance. "Tomorrow morning, overnighted. Yeah, of course."

"Overnighted," Willow thought. Wonder what Buffy forgot...

"The blue one. Okay- No, okay the pink one," Tara said, her eyes looking at the back of the cab driver's head, the city rushing past them as the taxi flew down back streets. "Blue. Pink." Tara sighed and rolled her eyes. "Okay Merryweather, let's just pick one." The blonde laughed and Willow smiled slightly in sympathy. "I'm not going to send both, now pick one." Willow arched her eyebrows and Tara looked at her roommate, shaking her head. The blonde mouthed 'crazy' and Willow smiled warmly. "Blue, okay. You're sure?" The blonde paused again, looking at Willow and shaking her head with a smile. "Okay, I'll send it tomorrow. Bye." Tara pressed the end call button and shook her head, putting her phone back into her jacket pocket.

"Buffy?" Willow asked, knowing full well who had called.

Tara nodded, shifting her body slightly to face the redhead. "She didn't bring a heavy coat so-" the blonde was interrupted when Willow's phone rang.

"Sorry," Willow apologized, pulling her phone from her pocket. She frowned when she looked at the screen, and gave Tara an amused look as she answered. Tara quirked an eyebrow, wondering at the look as Willow spoke. "Hey Buffy..." the redhead said, as Tara's brow furrowed and she gave Willow a quizzical look. "Whatcha doin?" The redhead asked perkily. Willow listened for a moment, her face going through a range of contortions as Buffy spoke. After a long minute Willow shook her head a little and replied, "just, riding in a cab with Tara to a party." Tara could hear Buffy's indistinct exclamation and Willow's eyebrows shot up. "O, kay then." She held the phone out toward Tara. "She wants to talk to you."

Tara frowned and took the elaborate mobile phone from the redhead. This thing has a whole keyboard... the blonde thought as she eyed the Treo before placing it to her ear. "Hello?" Tara paused and then sighed in exasperation. "Because you didn't ask what I was doing, just that I send the coat." Tara rolled her eyes again and waited patiently as the petite blonde spoke. "Just a party up in North Beach. Right, the one at-" Tara stopped and listened. Don't... she sighed, wishing the petite blonde wouldn't say what she knew she was about to. "You don't have to thank me Buffy..." Tara said softly, willing herself not to look at Willow's open curious face. I'm not taking her to the party out of pity, or as a favor to you... Tara thought, wondering why Buffy insisted on continuing to thank her for being friendly to Willow. "Okay," Tara said absently as Buffy spoke. "Yup, here's Willow." Tara handed the phone back over to the redhead.

"Thanks," Willow said to Tara, their fingers briefly touching during the transfer. The redhead innocently looked away from the blonde and stretched her peripheral vision to subtly watch her roommate look out the window as she continued her chat with Buffy.

"Hey," Willow said into the phone. "No, seeing the condos tomorrow," the redhead said shrugging. "I guess. No." The redhead paused again, noticing that they were almost to North Beach. Damnit... she thought. I didn't get to ask any of my questions... She stole a quick look at Tara, catching the cab driver looking at her in the rear view mirror before she turned to look out the window and return to the phone conversation. "Did you get my email?" Willow asked. "About the rats and the- yes. I know," the redhead said, smiling. "Whoo and hoo for sleeping in!" The girl shimmied in her seat a little, and Tara couldn't hide an amused half smile as she caught the move out of the corner of her eye.

Willow couldn't help but feel a little disappointed as the car pulled over to the side of the road, dropping them at their destination. Whole car ride wasted. Tara quickly handed some money over the driver before Willow could offer and the redhead began to make her apologies to the petite blonde. "Buffy, I have to go, we're here." Willow opened the door, swinging her legs out of the car. "Uh huh, you too." Willow hung up and exited, Tara just behind her. As the driver pulled away Willow turned and noticed the noise coming from the building behind them. The entrance up the flight of stairs was lit with red lights, the windows of the building framed with red christmas lights. Some people milled in front of the building smoking, and some people could be heard outside from the back of the house. Probably have a deck or something, Willow thought, noticing how steep the street was, the Coit Tower illuminated and anchoring the skyline blocks away.

"Ready?" Tara asked, her stomach in her throat. She was really doing this. Willow and Morgan. She put her hand on her stomach and waited for Willow to turn back to her and reply.

"Sure," Willow answered, reaching out and squeezing Tara's arm once. The blonde couldn't help but smile at the brief touch, and with a head bob, turned and started up the stairs. Willow followed behind her from a respectful distance, watching Tara's form as she took each step. The blonde's jacket was long, so the view wasn't perfect, but Willow's imagination ran wild just the same.

If we were together I'd be walking a helluva lot closer... the redhead thought, wishing she could close the distance between them. Maybe, slip my hands up under her jacket, run my hands over her hips, snake them around her waist and squeeze her tight as we took the stairs together, Willow's eyes went heavy, the dark, red light of the stairwell having an oddly sensual effect on her. Stroke the velvet covering her tummy... giggle, kiss her neck... she reluctantly pulled herself from her daydream as they reached the top of the stairs. Tara turned and smiled to her slightly and Willow blushed a bit, feeling slightly contrite at her where her wandering mind just was. She dropped her eyes and appreciated how the velvet shimmered in the light and thought, I have to touch that shirt...

She nervously followed Tara as she the blonde entered the large apartment. The spacious home was packed, groups of women chatting in groups, a Pete Rock track thumping off every wall, drink and food dotted tables situated throughout the room. The owner of the home obviously had taste. Funky and modern with several elaborate folk art pieces setting off the rich red walls. Willow thought the owner must be an artist, or at least part of the scene. Regular people don't have homes like this. Every visible part of the apartment was accentuated by red accents; red lamp shades, red beads hanging between rooms, red furniture. It was impressive, both the coordination and effect. Add in that everyone in the room was wearing at least one article of red clothing, and... "That's a lot of red..." Willow said quietly to herself.

Adorable... Tara turned and flashed the redhead a lopsided grin. Willow smiled in return and reached up, brushing her hand over Tara's leather-clad arm. Tara took in a deep breath and turned back to the room, praying Willow wouldn't see the slight tremble that ran through her at the touch.

The blonde forced her unfocused eyes to look around the room for familiar faces, and Willow did the same, smiling when she saw Marissa and Michelle next to a table on the other side of the room. They were standing close, giggling, lost in their own world. Willow felt her face transform into the classic 'aww' visage, lower lip pouting, eyebrows pushed together, her forehead crinkled. Marissa and Michelle were so obviously in love. Out. Happy. That could be me and Tara... Willow thought, sighing dreamily. The redhead loved love, had always turned mushy at the sight of happy couples and the sight of the gallery owner and her wife canoodling by the appetizers gave her hope. Hope for what things could be like once she's out. Hope for a happy ending. Hope for her and Tara. She broke out of her thoughts when Tara pulled on her short jacket, leading her toward the pair.

"Hey!" Michelle said as Willow and Tara approached. Marissa arched an eyebrow as the two came to a stop near them, Tara and Marissa standing across from each other next to the table, Willow and Michelle flanking them respectively.

The gallery owner leaned over and whispered in Tara's ear, "you brought Willow?" Tara didn't reply, as Marissa righted herself, the blonde just raising her eyebrows innocently. Tara turned her attention to Michelle and frowned as she took in the woman's outfit. Black boots, black jeans, black jacket... green shirt.

"Michelle, you're not wearing red...?" Tara asked looking up quizzically, confused by the woman's barely contained smile and defiant clothing selection. Marissa rolled her eyes, knowing what was to come and Michelle's face finally cracked into a tooth grin, Tara and Willow both wondering what was so funny.

In one fluid motion, she ripped her jacket open wide and bellowed "BAM!" She held the lapels of her jacket open and jutted her modest chest out to draw attention to her shirt. Adorning her green shirt was a black picture of Che Guevara. "Huh," Michelle prompted, a large, proud smile on her face. "'Red' party... huh, huh!" Everyone stared at her, Willow and Tara sharing a quick look. "Cause he was a communist...." she continued, waiting for the punchline to sink in.

"She thinks she's clever; just nod and say 'very nice Michelle'," Marissa said, absently patting her wife's arm as she sighed.

"I like it," Willow said smiling widely. Tara's heart melted at the child-like enthusiasm, and she smiled at the redhead's profile adoringly. She quickly dropped her eyes to the ground and then back up, clearing her throat, when she caught Marissa's raised eyebrow out of the corner of her eye.

"M-Me too," Tara said, smiling politely. Marissa's going to be watching me all night... she thought slightly annoyed, noticing as Michelle stuck her tongue out at her wife. Not like I didn't bring it on myself... what am I doing... Tara snapped out of her doubting thoughts when she heard Michelle whistle.

"You ladies look hot-cha," the gallery owner's wife said before she paused and gave the roommates another good once over. "Yeah..." she continued in an appraising voice. "You're gonna get hit on all night. Good for you," she said, pointing at Tara. "Not so much for you," she said pointing at Willow. "Not a lot of fellas here," she explained.

"Oh," Willow said, flashing Tara a quick look. "I'm not really here for-" The redhead was interrupted when Michelle snapped her fingers 'a-ha!' and turned and walked away. Marissa frowned and watched as her wife quickly grabbed what looked like name tags and a pen off of a nearby table and returned, jotting something on one. Michelle turned to Willow and pealed back the wax backing on the tag and in one motion slapped the label onto the left back pocket of Willow's jeans, rubbing her hand over the swell to smooth the paper out and make sure it stuck.

Tara's eyes flashed red at the action. Hey! She thought as she gave Michelle a disbelieving, possesory look. A surprised Willow craned her neck to look over her shoulder to try and see what was on her ass, and Tara leaned back to try and see as well.

What the... Willow frowned when she couldn't read the tag and turned to Tara for help, quirking an eyebrow when she saw the blonde's dark? eyes trained on her backside. Tara blushed deep red when she noticed Willow was looking at her, and she snapped her eyes up, mortified at being caught staring. Before Tara could apologize or Willow could ask for assistance, Michelle was gently placing and then smoothing another tag on the redhead's body, this one on Willow's left breast. Michelle stepped back and smiled proudly, eyeing her handiwork and missing the jealous glare directed at her from Tara.

Willow looked down, read the tag and then looked back up, confused. "'Hello, my name is: Straight'?"

Tara frowned at the gallery owner's wife and Michelle's smile grew. "Okay," Marissa began, testily. "Am I the only one here bothered by the fact that you just copped a feel of both Willow's ass and boob?" The gallery owner asked, holding her hand aloft.

Yes! Tara thought as she simultaneously fought the urge to raise her own hand and return her gaze to Willow's shapely behind.

Michelle frowned, not understanding the fuss. "I had to," she said, stepping closer to her wife, hoping a little snuggle would alleviate the frizzy haired woman's obvious annoyance.

"Her ass?" Marissa asked again, taking a step back and out of her wife's attempted nuzzle, bumping her leg into the table. It was obvious she wasn't really mad, but her objections made Michelle sweat a bit all the same.

"Some chicks like the derriere," Michelle explained, hoping to convince the women staring at her with her explanation. "They might miss the one on her chest whilst ogling the ass," Michelle said, nodding to the tag on Willow's chest.

Willow and Tara's faces both shared matching doubtful looks. The redhead looked over at the blonde, who arched an eyebrow. I'm not 'straight'... Willow thought heatedly as she frowned and reached up and pealed the tag off of her chest, folding the sticky paper neatly and looking around her for someplace to stick the trash.

Marissa turned to Michelle, an incredulous look on her face. "That is the stupidest-"

"Hey there Red."

All four heads turned slowly to take in a new form standing to the side, playing the fifth wheel. A spikey haired young woman in tattoos and red leather pants was looking at Willow like she was lunch.

"H-Hey?" Willow replied and Tara set her jaw, her eyes turning steely as she sized up this new addition.

Walk away, the blonde thought possessively as she eyed the new addition, taking a slight step closer to Willow in the process. Willow took a quick glance back at Tara to confirm that the blonde did indeed scoot closer to her, and then returned her look to the woman ogling her.

"Damn," the new woman said, pointedly looking at Willow's mouth and waggling her eyebrows. "If I had known I would have the chance to wear your lips tonight I wouldn't have bothered with the pants." Tara took a deep breath to contain the rage boiling inside and she stepped closer to Willow, her hand moving up and resting on Willow's hip. Marissa looked over to Tara and then back to the new woman, who was obliviously and lasciviously raking her eyes down Willow's form. The new woman suddenly frowned when her gaze reached the redhead's ass. "Shit," she said, and without another word, she turned and walked away.

"Well," Willow said stunned, looking back to the equally stunned other women. "That was-"

"See!" Michelle said to her wife, pointing at the hastily retreating form. "Ass woman."

Tara turned from the retreating form and looked at Willow. I don't want women coming up to her all night... even if nothing's going to happen, it just... "M-Maybe you should leave that on," Tara said to Willow in a low, insistent voice, her hand still gripping the redhead's hip. She nodded her head down to indicate the tag on the redhead's rear and Willow was frozen by the combination of Tara's intense gaze and sultry, protective voice.

Tarahand on my hip. "Okay," Willow said agreeably in a daze. Tarahand on my hip.

"Hey." Willow's attention turned to Michelle as the girl spoke. Tara removed her hand from her hip and Willow willed herself to continue looking at the gallery owner's wife. "Now that you're here and you've seen my 'BAM!' I can get rid of our jackets." The girl pulled off her coat and held her arm out for Willow and Tara's. Willow shrugged off her short jacket quickly, making sure her phone was in her pant's pocket before she handed the jacket to Michelle.

Tara reached up and put her hands on her coat's lapels somewhat nervously, casting a quick look at the now jacket-free redhead at her side. Okay, the blonde thought as she slowly started to pull the jacket off. Suddenly feeling like the shirt was a bad idea...

Touch the shirt... Willow thought, watching out of the corner of her eye as Tara took her time with her jacket removal. It's perfect. Now or never, the redhead thought, darting her eyes around. Don't even look, just take the jacket from her all helpful like and put your hand on her back. Innocent, just helping, Willow thought, her eyes wide, innocent saucers. She tried to play it cool as Tara removed the coat, casually reaching her left hand out to take the now discarded jacket, and bringing her right hand up to rest on Tara's back. Velvet, soft and- The redhead lightly touched Tara's back and then hastily jerked her hand away as if burned by a hot iron.

Skin! Willow thought panicked, her fingers tingling. That was definitely skin! "S-Sorry," Willow stammered, unable to look at Tara as she handed the blonde's leather jacket over to Michelle, trying to figure out how in the world she had managed to get her hand under the blonde's shirt.

"For what," Michelle asked, looking at Willow confused.

"What?" Willow asked perplexed, her hand on fire, her brain unable to figure out the logistics of skin-on-skin contact.

"Nothing," Tara replied to Michelle before turning to Willow. "It's o-okay," the blonde said with a shy, hopeful smile.

"Okay..." Michelle said, not following the exchange but giving Marissa a look just the same. The gallery owner frowned and shook her head slightly and Michelle frowned in response. "I'm going to go drop these in the other room," the woman said before she quickly disappeared.

"Try the mushrooms," Marissa said, nodding to the table to Tara's right. Tara turned and Willow's eyes bugged out. The blonde's top had no back. It was held on with two inexpertly tied bows; one at the base of her neck and the other at the small of her back. The rest was just...

Skin, Willow thought, her mouth suddenly dry. She let her eyes travel over the creamy surface, noticing how the muscles moved as the blonde moved. She tied the bows herself... Willow thought, her heart pitter pattering as she looked at the single loop bows, imagining the blonde in front of her mirror in her bedroom, reaching behind herself to awkwardly tie the loops. She could have asked me, I would have helped, Willow thought, immediately imagining her trembling hands on the bows, her knuckles rubbing the soft skin below as she struggled with the laces. Her mind went back to Tara trying to tie the bows herself as she returned her eyes to the blonde's back, taking in the girl's shoulder blades, her spine... Her breasts pushing out as she strained to complete the loop, Willow internally moaned. Oh god, I'm gonna have dreams...

"Want some?" Tara asked, turning back to Willow and nodding to the table to her side.

"What?" Willow squeaked, her wide eyes snapping to Tara's face.

Tara arched her eyebrows. "Mushroom?"

"No," Willow replied, her eyes still large.

"Okay," Tara said, popping the food in her mouth. Was she staring at me? The blonde thought, trying to focus on Marissa as the woman spoke about the appetizers. Tara was dying to look back at Willow, could feel the girl standing to her left wound tight. She's probably twisting her fingers... Tara thought. She risked a look at the redhead, and sure enough the girl was wringing her hands. Did I do that...? Tara thought with perverse pleasure and pride. Willow glanced over at her and they shared a sweet smile. Is she nervous because of me...? Tara thought hopefully, her heart beating a little faster.

"So have you made any progress for the L.A. show?" Marissa asked, pulling Tara's gaze from the redhead.

"Not really," Tara admitted with a sigh, her mind going back to the afternoon's struggles. "I'm kind of... blocked."

"Blocked huh..." Marissa said. "You want to try and spend some time down at our Post Street space?" She asked as she popped another mushroom in her mouth.

"No, I think I'm good at home," Tara said. Especially, or in spite of, the fact that Willow will be home... the blonde thought ruefully. "I just can't settle on a style."

Willow listened as the conversation next to her turned technical, phrases and names dropping that she didn't understand or recognize. She allowed her gaze to wander and she took in the different faces standing around the space. Most of the women were obviously 'family'. Whether it was just the stereotypical 'gay' look she was picking up on, go-go Willow gaydar, or the fact that they were affectionately holding the woman at their side, Willow couldn't help but smile slightly at the group. Michelle wasn't kidding... There wasn't a man in sight, and it was exciting. To be around so many people like her... If only I had been braver earlier... Willow thought, momentarily saddened and burdened by her closeted status. She ran her hand over her back pocket, feeling the smooth label under her fingertips. "Hello my name is: big fat liar." She glanced at Tara, and her heart swelled, the heaviness of her secret fading momentarily. I can't wait for next weekend... Willow thought, returning her gaze to the party goers, knowing that her 'labeled' status wasn't going to last forever. It can't...

After a moment, Willow's eyes settled on one woman in particular commanding a small crowd across the room. The brunette was the center of attention, people standing around her laughing. Wow, Willow thought as she took in the pretty girl's form, a shapely athletic body covered in distressed brown leather pants and a tight red shirt. I mean, not for me 'wow' cause, Tara, but... she's definitely wow. Pretty. Willow frowned as she got a better look at the girl's face, her long wavy brown hair pushed away from her cheeks by her graceful hand. Too pretty, Willow thought, casting a quick, nervous look at Tara. Beautiful, brunette... Willow swallowed hard, suddenly not liking the idea of this woman being in the same room as Tara, much less the idea of them possibly talking sometime during the evening. If she's artistic in any way, shape or form... Willow felt herself starting to panic. Okay, calm down, she instructed. Nothing's going to happen. Willow cast another quick, nervous look at Tara and then returned her gaze to the pretty brunette. The redhead squinted her eyes, silently cursing the girl to stay far, far away from her blonde.

"Whatcha looking at?" Michelle said to Willow from behind as she moved to rejoin the group.

Marissa and Tara looked at the redhead, who looked back at them wide-eyed, stammering, "the, wall."

"Walls are good," Michelle replied, slipping her arm around Marissa's waist. "You started to talk about the gallery didn't you," she said, nipping at her wife's ear.

"Little bit," Marissa admitted.

"Sorry," Tara said to Willow, who just smiled warmly in response.

"No problem," the redhead replied with a smile and Tara nodded, ducking her head and grinning shyly before looking back up.

I love those blue eyes... Willow thought, leaning in toward the blonde a bit. Tara leaned toward Willow a bit as well, their arms gently brushing together.

So green... Tara internally mused.

Michelle squeezed Marissa around the waist and the gallery owner frowned as she looked over at her wife. Michelle arched an eyebrow and nodded to Willow and Tara. Marissa arched her eyebrows in response and shook her head softly, nodding at Willow, mouthing 'Xander'. Michelle frowned and turned her attention to the woman across from them.

"So who's ready for drinks?" Michelle asked. "I just scoped out the kitchen after dropping off the jackets and it looks like a pretty good time to go load up. Tara?"

"Sure," the blonde nodded, turning to look at the woman.

"Okay," Michelle said, disentangling herself from her wife. "I'll go grab us some. What's your poison?" She asked the blonde.

"Cape Cod," Tara replied.

Michelle looked befuddled. "I don't know what that is."

"Vodka and cranberry juice," Willow replied before Tara could speak. "I'll go with you," the redhead told Michelle, "cause, four drinks, two hands..."

"Uh huh, and did you learn that advanced drink-carrying math at MIT?" Michelle 'asked' with a wink. Willow smiled in return and the two took a step toward the kitchen. "G&T babe?" The woman asked her wife and the gallery owner nodded. Michelle smiled and took a step forward, kissing the frizzy haired woman, and then turned and walked off with Willow. Michelle put her hand on Willow's arm and leaned in to whisper. The redhead turned, eyes wide and apparently said 'I know!'. The two giggled and continued walking, engaging in a lively conversation.

Marissa watched them walk away and then turned to Tara. "You brought Willow?" She asked, her voice dripping in disbelief.

Tara shrugged innocently and bit her lower lip, sneaking another quick look at the redhead, the name tag on her swaying ass reading 'Straight' in large, black letters. The blonde sighed and turned back to Marissa. This is going to be a long night... Tara thought, listening as the gallery owner change the topic back to art.

Michelle and Willow entered the kitchen to find the counter covered in liquor bottles, juice, soda and plastic cups. "Cranberry, cranberry- ah," Michelle said, locating the bottle. "You can make this one." She handed the bottle over to Willow, who stepped forward with a smile, grabbing a bottle of Grey Goose as well. Willow poured in a shots worth of vodka and then poured in a liberal amount of juice. She put the drink down and seeing a cut up lime, popped in a slice. She then poured herself the same drink and waited for Michelle as the girl tried to decide between Bombay and Tanqueray for the gin and tonic.

"Do you know where the bathroom is?" Willow asked. Michelle nodded and pointed to a nearby hallway.

"Just head down that hallway; the door is all done up in red. Hard. To. Miss."

"Okay, be right back," Willow said. She pushed through the crowd milling at the entrance to the kitchen and looked back into the main room. She caught a glimpse of Tara listening to Marissa intently and smiled. As she brought her eyes back around the room she again spotted the pretty brunette from before. Looking at Tara. Willow frowned, checking again to make sure that the trajectory of the brunette's gaze was indeed intended for her roommate. The redhead felt her jealously flare, then quickly subside as the brunette turned back to the people she was speaking with and get lost in conversation. Willow sighed as she watched the brunette for a long moment, the pretty girl not once looking Tara's way. Stupid imagination, the redhead thought as she headed down the hallway.

Tara listened as Marissa spoke of the problem she was having with a series artist who was suddenly hesitant about the L.A. show, despite the numerous meetings and of course, the contract she signed. Willow seemed to be having fun with Michelle when they walked off... Tara thought, her eyes carefully roaming over the party. That was good news. She wouldn't have to feel guilty if she needed to leave the redhead for a little bit. If she ended up in conversation with someone who wasn't Willow. Like, Morgan, Tara thought as the crowd parted and the brunette walked toward her.

Oh my, Tara thought, taking in Morgan's outfit. The leather pants, the high heels, the tight red t-shirt with a print of a dragon snaking between the brunette's breasts. Oh my... Tara repeated. The girl looked nice. Oh come on Tara, she's a knockout. Morgan put her finger to her lips and winked at Tara. The blonde played along as the brunette snuck up behind Marissa. After wagging her eyebrows at Tara she pounced, wrapping her arms around the surprised gallery owner's middle and pretending to assault her neck with kisses.

"Oh Marissa, which closet this year?!?!" Morgan giggled and squeezed the gallery owner tight.

Marissa frowned and playfully bumped her head against the brunette's as she relaxed into the embrace. "You get caught playing kissy face in the closet once and it becomes a 'thing'," she playfully explained to Tara smiling widely. Tara chuckled and nervously returned her gaze to Morgan.

"Hey Tara," the brunette said, smiling at the blonde warmly.

"Hey," Tara replied, swallowing hard and wishing Willow was standing at her side.

Willow re-emerged into the kitchen to find Michelle chatting amiably with a fellow guest. The slim woman excused herself when she saw Willow, and she handed the redhead the two Cape Cods. Willow took the drinks and gingerly weaved through the throng at the door, turning to wait for Michelle. The redhead twisted her neck and frowned when she didn't see the pretty brunette in the place she had last seen her. She turned her head back to where she knew Marissa and Tara to be, but her view was obscured by a large crowd of people. Michelle nudged her and they started to walk toward their girls.

"I swear, why she didn't put the hard stuff out in the main room..." Michelle bitched as they mumbled excuses and threaded through the crowd. When they emerged on the other side, Willow stopped dead in her tracks and Michelle bumped into her. "Sorry," Michelle said, making sure she didn't spill the drinks in her hands.

Willow's couldn't believe it. The pretty girl was leaning against the table, standing in between Tara and Marissa. Standing next to Tara. Too close to Tara, Willow amended, her skin flushing red. "Who's that?" She asked, not look at Michelle for the answer, her voice constricted and strained.

Michelle craned her neck to see who the redhead was referring to as she moved to Willow's side. "That," the happy-go-lucky woman said with a shrug as she continued walking, Willow falling in just behind her. "Is Morgan."

The blood ran from Willow's face and she swore she felt the wind knocked from her chest. Oh god...

Continue to Neverland Chapter Twenty-Eight

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