Tara tried to suppress it but she just couldn't, a small giggle bubbled from her throat. It was by far the most wonderful sight she had ever seen... well, not the fact that the poor girl had fallen in the fountain... but the fact she was here! Water dripped down from the cutest nose in the world, her hair was plastered to her face... her white shirt clung to her curves and her nipples stood out clearly... Tara quickly looked back to her face. Willow-breasts! Look away... must look away... her eyes, look at her eyes, she's so gorgeous... Without thinking, Tara reached out and gently smoothed a strand of wet hair from Willow's eyes. As soon as she did however, she quickly drew her hand back as though she had just put it in the fire.
"S-sorry, you just h-had..." Tara bit her lip, she felt the tips of her fingers tingling from just that tiny contact, "You j-just had h-hair..."
At the sound of the gentle giggle coming from the blonde Willow couldn't help but forget she was soaked, embarrassed and had ruined her camera. It was by far the most beautiful sound she had ever heard. She forgot absolutely everything she had ever known moments later when the most unexpected thing happened. Willow saw it all in slow motion... the hand reaching... the briefest touch on her face. Willow had to fight the urge to lean into it... and then in a flash it was gone.
"You don't need to apologise," Willow said a little too quickly in reply to Tara's awkward stutter, "I should be thanking you for rescuing me."
Tara helped Willow to her feet, growing slightly bolder, "Y-yes... since you were going to drown if I didn't fish you out!"
Willow looked down at the water lapping just above her knees, "Well, I'm not a very good swimmer."
Tara giggled again and at that moment Willow decided that it would be her mission to make the blonde laugh as often as she could. So I guess that means you've found a new friend... am I kidding myself! I am not letting this girl get away from me for a third time! Willow glanced around at the crowded tourist spot and back to the cute blonde standing in front of her.
"I really think we should get out of here," Willow said earnestly, her aunt's place was so far away though...
Tara drew in a deep breath, should I really do this?, "The hotel I'm staying at... it's not so far, the street car goes right past, we could dry your clothes... "
Willow nodded nonchalantly and tried not to let her delight show on her face, "Yeah, that would be fine I guess, sounds smart."
Willow attracted many amused stares as she stood on the street car, a steadily growing pool of water at her feet. Her relief was apparent when she and Tara jumped off in front of Tara's hotel. Squelching her way through the lobby, Willow didn't even feel foolish for one moment. It was only when they entered Tara's room a few minutes later that her embarrassment returned tenfold. Willow stood awkwardly just over the threshold.
"You should get out of those wet things before you catch a cold," Tara said out of concern, oh no... how bad does that sound!, "Umm, the bathroom is right through there... t-there's a robe you can put on and we can dry your clothes on the balcony. T-there's a light breeze so t-they shouldn't take long..."
Willow nodded her thanks and when the bathroom door closed shut behind her, Tara fell backwards on the bed in horror. She clutched her head in her hands. My god Maclay! Could you be anymore insipid and tactless... and so damn stupid? You've got a gorgeous girl currently undressing herself in your bathroom and she's going to come out here and you'll have to talk to her... oh my god, oh my god... The words kept repeating themselves over and over in her head until she worked herself up into such a state she feared she was going to be a babbling idiot. Maybe I should just run away... but this is my hotel room... maybe I should ask her to leave... uh, but she's naked! Calm... composed... Tara sat up and smoothed her sweaty palms on her skirt, making sure her hair was still securely in place after flopping on to the bed.
The bathroom door opened and Willow emerged a little sheepishly. A towel was wound around her wet hair, her body wrapped in a bulky bath robe. Tara couldn't help but stare a little, ducking her head, staring again... ducking her head... Willow crossed to the open doors on the balcony and strung up her wet clothes one by one. Finished, she turned to Tara with an awkward smile.
"Kinda funny huh?" she said, crossing the floor she sat on a small chair a few meters away from Tara, "Meeting like this... why didn't you tell me you were going to be in Paris... wait, how could you, I mean, I didn't even tell you I was going to be in Paris... and it's not something you just burst out saying right off the cuff."
Willow stopped, babbling again... but so far Tara hadn't told her to shut up so that was encouraging at least.
"F-fate I guess," Tara whispered.
"Huh?" Willow couldn't hear her.
"Fate, fate that we found each other... I mean it wasn't once, it was three times."
"Yeah, maybe it's trying to tell us something," Willow flashed a charming grin and shrugged casually.
Tara couldn't hold it back, she felt an all too unwanted and very hot blush spreading across her face like wildfire. Trying to keep her movements semi-natural in an effort to avoid Willow's gaze, she jumped up to walk across to the small kitchen.
"D-do you want a drink of something... I-I should make you a hot tea or something," Tara bustled in the kitchen, doing absolutely nothing of any relevance and yet she had to keep her back to Willow.
"Water will be fine, I'm not cold at all," Willow obviously hadn't noticed the blush and Tara sighed when she continued chatting away happily.
"So what are you doing in Paris? I've been staying with my aunt, she married a French guy and moved to Paris, he died, left her here but I guess she never wanted to move back to New York... after seeing how gorgeous this place is, I'm not so sure I want to either. Don't you just love it here? What's been your favourite sight so far?" Willow hadn't slowed down or taken a breath once.
"Um," Tara was unsure exactly which question she was supposed to answer first. Willow listened politely as Tara explained about Mr Giles and the series of university lectures she was assisting with. Then she couldn't help but gush enthusiastically about the city she had grown to love even in such a short time.
"Notre Dame without a doubt, I went this morning and didn't want to leave. I was just so entranced by the windows," Tara reflected with a wistful smile on her face, she felt composed enough to take Willow her glass of water, "The light shining through them danced, as though it were coming alive."
Willow took a sip of water before setting the glass down. She lent her head in one of her hands, content just to sit and watch the expression on Tara's face. It was so innocent.
The two girls sat and talked about everything they could think of as they waited for Willow's clothes to dry, and not just about their brief experiences in Paris. Willow spoke about her family and her home. Tara noted the young redhead talked without a trace of superiority in her tone... she didn't think she was any better than the next person. So down to earth and refreshing... charming, witty... Tara was entranced.
Tara spoke mostly about the bookstore and how much she admired Mr Giles. She barely mentioned her family in passing. Willow thought she saw the briefest flicker of pain cross the blonde's beautiful features but it was gone as quickly as it appeared. She wondered about it but decided it was much too early in their acquaintance to question her about it.
"So... y-you haven't met any young m-m-men yet?" Tara asked, trying to sound casual.
"No! My cousins are dull and boring and their friends are complete cads," Willow groaned exaggeratedly and put her head in her hands as though she were greatly tormented by this fact.
Willow sat up and lent back in her chair, laughing at her own foolishness. Her movements had caused the robe to gape ever so slightly, revealing a partial view of a pale breast. When Willow leaned back, the robe closed again but it was enough for Tara to feel a hot flush somewhere other than her face. Torture didn't even begin to describe it.
Willow tilted her head to one side and studied Tara as though she were measuring her up. Tara couldn't resist a smile creeping over her face,
"I was just wondering, I know you probably want to hang out with French people rather than someone from New York... but, how about us meeting up sometime?" Willow crossed to the window to feel her clothes, "Pretty dry... I guess I should get going. I have been annoying you for long enough."
Annoying? Tara thought that was the last thing that the redhead was, Amusing... charming... I haven't had this much fun for... well, ever.
Willow gathered up her clothes, a little reluctantly Tara thought, and returned to the bathroom, she continued the conversation from the other side of the door, "So, how about it? Tomorrow?"
"Um, I'm working all day tomorrow but I'm... f-free F-Friday," Tara replied, a huge effort to force those words out, "After 10am. Mr Giles and I are organising slides first thing."
"Where shall we meet up?" Willow asked, tugging on her somewhat damp clothing with a mock grimace.
"Well, I'll be at the museum... front steps just after 10?"
"Great, I haven't seen the museum yet! They have mummies right?"
"Among other things," Tara smiled.
Willow opened the bathroom door and emerged fully dressed once more, "Till Friday then?"
She's all ready to leave Tara thought with a pang, but quickly brightened, You're going to see her again! No more chance meetings, we have a time, a place... a date...
"Friday," Tara nodded happily.
"See you then... and Tara... thanks so much for saving me from my watery grave!" Willow winked and walked out, leaving a decided warmth in the air behind her.
Tara tumbled backwards on her bed once again, only this time her sigh was happy. She smiled broadly, looking for all the word like a cat with cream on her whiskers.