Return to What's Your Tale, Nightingale? Chapter Thirty-Three

What's Your Tale, Nightingale?

Author: Alcy
Rating: R
Disclaimer: The characters of Willow and Tara, Buffy and Giles all belong to TPTB, I'm just playing for a while.

Giles' glasses were dirty. He was just sure of it. This was even though he had cleaned them only a few moments ago. He began polishing them absently, the small cloth going around and around on the lenses in much the same manner that his mind was milling what happened to Tara. He had visited the young woman in hospital, amazed to see the strength with which she dealt with her terrible injuries.

Giles replaced his glasses and glanced up at the old grandfather clock to see it was almost ten... Tara should have been at work an hour and a half earlier. He had his suspicions as to where she was...all involving a certain red head. However, no matter her feelings for Willow... Tara would never show up late for her shift at work without calling.

As soon as the tiny door bell jingled. Giles looked up sharply to see the door slowly open to reveal a small figure bundled in a heavy coat, hat pulled down almost over her eyes. Giles sighed and went to take Tara's coat for her.

"You're awfully late Tara," Giles said pulling out his pocket-watch, trying to keep the hint of mild rebuke out of his voice, "It's almost ten, not at all like you... is something the matter?"

"I'm terribly sorry Mr Giles, it won't happen again..." Tara's voice trailed off into a whisper, she tugged her hat off as Giles moved to help her from her coat.

The Englishman saw the stark red rims of her eyes as she shrugged out of the garment. He gently drew it from her arms and hung it on the coat rack. Tara did not pause to look at him, she immediately moved to the pile of new books on the front counter that were waiting to be catalogued and shelved. Giles could only look on helplessly as she moved like an automaton. It became too much for him to watch and he moved to intercept her.

"Tara, slow down," Giles crossed to put his gentle hand on the shoulder of the agitated young woman.

Almost immediately following the contact Tara burst into tears, her composure slipping completely as her shoulders sagged and she buried her face in her hands. Giles quickly moved to enfold her into his arms, hands moving around to stroke her back as it heaved with sobs. He murmured somewhat awkward but no less sincere words of comfort.

"There, there... Tara," he whispered, not pressing her for her explanation but he just knew that whatever it was, it would involve the young red head she loved dearly.

"Oh G-Giles," Tara choked for a few moments before blurting out, "W-Willowleftme..."

Giles blinked in surprised as he held Tara at arms length, her head remaining bowed, hands cupped over her face, the tears continuing to pour down her cheeks.

"Willow... left... you?" he said each word slowly and clearly, as though he did not quite believe them... which in truth he did not.

Tara, as though she just realised what she had said, shook her head weakly, "I mean, she wouldn't l-l-leave with me... a-asked h-h-her... oh god... W-W-Willow..." Tara's shoulders slumped, her hands covering her face.

Giles could not make heads nor tails of what Tara was saying into her hands, he had never seen her so broken and it scared him. He continued to hold Tara until her sobs gradually subsided, thanking his lucky stars that it was a very quiet morning in the store.

"I think you should have a seat and explain to me what's happened... in coherent English," Giles suggested softly.

He helped her to a sofa at the back of the store and knelt at her feet as she sat down, gently taking her hands in both his own. Tara was bravely trying to bring herself under control. Giles handed her a handkerchief from his pocket which she accepted gratefully. After noisily blowing her nose she opened her mouth to speak in a soft, shaky voice as though even the slightest prompting would send her into tears once more.

"Willow's mother walked in on us when we were," Tara paused and swallowed... um... together... h-h-her parents know... about us..."

"Oh Tara..." Giles whispered, "I'm so sorry that they found out that way..."

Tara shook her head to interrupt him, "I only wish that were it... I couldn't care less that they know... in some way, I felt it was a relief," she choked out a mirthless laugh, "But apparently Willow cares a great deal... I asked her to leave them behind and come with me, Giles, I needed her to come with me... and she said she had to stay... she let me go alone Giles, and I don't understand why... does she not love me enough?" Tara asked in a plaintive whisper.

"Tara, I don't know the answer to that question... but I suspect that Willow at least wanted to try and reason with her parents one last time... ," Giles shook his head to stop himself from putting words in Willow's mouth," but far be it from me to try and explain her actions... only she can do that."

Tara squared her shoulders and shook her head stubbornly, "I don't want to listen to anything she has to say to me..."

Giles just looked at the young woman with one eyebrow slightly raised, the lie was evident before she even spoke it. Tara could not hold Giles' level gaze for long before her body shook with another sob,

"I need her Giles... what if she never comes for me?"

"Oh Joe, please hurry," Willow whispered as she sat on the front seat of her parent's car next to the young chauffeur.

Her suitcase was on the floor in front of her. She had refused Joe's help to put it in the trunk for fear of losing her nerve. With it sitting right in front of her she could keep the reality of what she was doing in her mind... she wanted to be with Tara. In doing so she had left everything she knew behind, her parents, the wealth to which she had been born. The part that scared her the most was the fact that it scared her at all. All those things should mean nothing to her when compared to Tara. She was all that mattered.

"We're almost there Miss Rosenberg," Joe replied in a reassuring voice.

"Call me Willow please Joe," Willow was glad he had broken the silence, "...are you going to get in trouble over this? I mean if my parents find out they'll fire you won't they?" Willow turned to look at him.

Joe smiled, "I don't care, it's not like I would continue working for your parents after what they've done to you. Besides, my uncle owns a delivery business and he's been after me to come work for him for ages. Doesn't pay as good of course but you'd be the first to tell me money isn't everything."

Willow tried to smile but only came up with an odd grimace. They sat in silence for the remainder of the drive. Willow reaching down to hold the handle of her suitcase with a white knuckled grip.

Joe drew the car to a halt outside the book store and he gave Willow one last smile. The red head replied with a tight-lipped one of her own, although it never reached her eyes. She then turned her gaze to the front door of the store... looking for all the world as though it were a huge mouth that was going to swallow her whole. She drew in a shaky breath as her hand went to the handle. However, even as her fingers tightened around it she could not summon the strength to open the door. She pressed her forehead against the window in exasperation.

Despite the chilly winter weather, Willow felt hot and flushed as though she were about to throw up. The door seemingly opened of it's own accord and Willow fell forward into Joe's arms. The chauffeur helped her out of the car and to her feet, taking the suitcase in one of his strong arms. Willow stood in the middle of the pavement, a strong gust of wind chilling her burning face.

"Joe, I think I'm going to throw up," Willow whispered.

Joe pressed the suitcase into her hand and patted her shoulder, "No you won't Willow... go get your girl."

Willow smiled weakly, "What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to take this car back... and tell your parents I'm resigning from their employment, with a big smile on my face as I do it," Joe grinned a little, he reached out and lifted Willow's chin up with two gentle fingers, "I'll be seeing you around doll."

"Thank you for everything Joe," Willow turned to face the store once more, drawing in the deepest of breaths she marched towards that door as though nothing would ever get in her way.

The door opened as though it were a hurricane blowing it inwards and both Tara and Giles looked up from the back of the store to see a very red-faced red-head standing just inside the threshold. There was a small suitcase in her hand, her red hair was plastered to her face. For a few moments, all anyone in the room could do was stare at the others as though they were afraid to make a sound for fear of breaking something.

Giles was the first to make a move, taking off his glasses and scrubbing furiously before realising that he really ought to leave the two of them to talk. However, just as he went to walk out back he realised that this was his store and he still had a business to carry on. He stopped and turned to Tara who nodded imperceptibly. She marched out back without so much as a glance at Willow.

"I'll take that for you," Giles said as he strolled to take the suitcase from Willow's hands, "I think there's someone who needs to talk to you."

"Is she so very mad at me Giles?" Willow asked quietly, relinquishing her hold on the suitcase with some reluctance.

"It's not my place Willow... go and talk to her... and be honest."

Willow felt as though she were walking into the lions den, she entered the storeroom with a heavy heart. There was barely enough room in amongst all the shelves of books for the two of them. Tara was leaning awkwardly against the far wall, as far away as she could possibly get from Willow but it still felt as though they were standing on one another's toes.

Both stood in the silence as though neither wanted to be the first to break it. Tara could not bring herself to look at Willow... but all Willow could do was stare at Tara. The silence between them soon became claustrophobic and Willow felt nauseated again. She had to speak or she would throw up over both their shoes.

"Tara... baby, please say something," Willow whispered, it sounded deafening in the close confines of the storeroom.

"What do you want me to say Willow?" Tara asked in an unreadable voice, still not meeting Willow's eyes.

"I-I... don't know, I just want us to talk about... what happened."

Tara looked up sharply and Willow would have taken a step backwards had her back not been pressed up against the door, her voice was almost cold, "What happened was that you abandoned me Willow... after all the times we've said we love each other, after everything we've shared..." Tara's voice lowered to a whisper, "The times we've made love..."

"And I do love you... I just wish you could understand..." Willow opened her mouth to say something further but nothing came out, she choked back tears.

There was nothing Tara hated more than seeing her beloved Willow cry and yet she wasn't ready to forgive her... however much she wanted to. She was hurting... and it hurt like hell.

"I-I don't understand," Tara whispered, "It would have meant everything to me Willow..."Tara paused and drew in a shaky breath, "I-it would have meant everything to me but you let me walk out of there alone, you have no idea how that... f-felt..."

"Tara... baby, I'm so very sorry," Willow whispered, hesitantly she took a step forward. One arm stretched out as she made to pull Tara into her embrace and hold her close. She could only open her mouth in shock as Tara twisted to one side and avoided her gesture of comfort.

"Tara?" Willow whispered.

"I can't trust you Willow... you let me down when I needed you the most... how can I ever trust you again?"

"Tara, I had to stay, I had to try... and I-I was scared."

"Scared to be with me?" Tara whispered.

"No!" Willow replied quickly before pausing to draw in a breath, "And yes, I was leaving so much behind... and I was scared to leave everything I've ever known. Tara... I never told you but I've been terrified of leaving everything behind, I'm too dependant on the world I've been brought up in... I love you more than anything and yet for some reason I couldn't let go. I wanted to, but I just couldn't."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Tara asked in a small voice.

"I didn't want to scare you, didn't want to burden you with my problems..."

"Willow, we're in a relationship," Tara raised her voice slightly, "Your problems are our problems!"

"I know that now! I need you Tara... please don't tell me I walked out of my life for nothing," Willow could barely retain Tara's gaze for fear of what she would see there. She did not want those beautiful eyes to harden and shut her out for the first time since they had known one another.

Tara closed her eyes, turning her head slightly so that her cheek was pressed against the cool wall. There were times when she saw Willow as the absolute centre of her universe. She was the most beautiful woman Tara had ever seen, her smile... her laugh, everything about her seemed to be perfect. Yes, everything else in her life revolved around Willow... and yet at all times she was just a girl. An eighteen year old girl raised to a life of privilege and ease.

Tara held her breath and in the silence she could almost hear Willow's heart pounding.

There would be other times like this... other times she would be hurt by the one she loved... and there would be times when she would hurt Willow... of that much Tara could be certain. There was only one thing of which she could be even more certain... and that was that she loved Willow more than all of that. More than the pain, the ignorance or hate and more than what she was facing at that very moment. It had simply been a decision... one which very well could have been right...

She opened her eyes and turned to face her lover. Willow was a very pale shade of white, looking for all the world as though her knees were about to buckle beneath her.

I love you more than is reasonable Willow Rosenberg...

"You didn't walk out of your life," Tara replied quietly.

"But I did..." Willow began to protest, she had to prove the sincerity of her actions.

Tara shook her head and continued, "You walked into your life."

Willow's mouth froze in a gape and as soon as she realised what Tara had said, she started blubbering senselessly.

"You're... forgiving... me?" Willow asked, the words barely comprehensible through her sobs.

"Will, calm down!" Tara enfolded the sobbing red head into her arms and stroked her back.

"Can't!" Willow spluttered, "So happy."

Tara pressed her cheek to Willow's, rubbing their skin surfaces together fiercely. Her breath fell hot and fast on her girlfriend's cheek.

"I know Willow baby," Tara whispered, cradling Willow against her, "I know."

Tara watched Willow as the red head struggle to remove stains that had obviously well and truly made themselves at home on the floor of their new apartment. Willow sighed in exasperation and sat back on her haunches, looking up at Tara who was giving the same attention to the cupboards, although in a much more successful manner. Tara started to giggle when she saw the state Willow was in, there was more soap suds and water down her front than on the floor. She climbed down from the stool on which she was standing and sat on it, her chin in her hands as she watched her girlfriend throw up her hands in exasperation.

"I am an absolute whiz when it comes to algebra but get me with a scrubbing brush in my hand and monkeys could probably do a better job," Willow threw the brush into her bucket and ended up being sprayed in the face with dirty water.

She grimaced as Tara giggled a little more. Willow looked around at the tiny two bedroom apartment they had found for themselves with Giles' help. It was still in Greenwich, close to the store... but altogether in a different class of its own. The building was owned by a very nice old Polish man who spoke little English. He did his best to maintain what was a very old building with no elevator and very unreliable plumbing, not to mention one lone heater that barely functioned. However, best of all was the fact that they could afford the rent... even after they had politely turned down Giles' offer of money to help out.

"The floor's clean enough already Will... why don't you take a break," Tara suggested, her own arms feeling particularly heavy after spending the entire day trying to make the apartment habitable.

Willow dried her chilled fingers on the front of her apron and looked across to Tara with a weary smile on her face, "I just want everything to be perfect... it's our home."

Tara smiled as she threw her own towel into the bucket, splashing Willow for a second time. The red head pouted indignantly but it disappeared almost instantly as Tara rose to come and kneel in front of her. Her cold hands were gathered up into Tara's... which for some strange reason always seemed to be warm, even now after she had been scrubbing for the past few hours.

"It's already perfect... because you're in it," Tara claimed Willow's lips for the briefest second.

"You're just trying to make me feel better about my lack of scrubbing skills," Willow protested, although she was soon silenced by Tara's lips.

Their kiss was fierce and passionate, Tara ignoring Willow's wet apron as she drew the red head to her chest. It was a kiss made all the more sweet by a day's hard work in an apartment which they shared... together.

There was an abrupt knock on the door and both girls pulled back slowly, each savouring the last taste of the other on their lips. Willow licked hers and smiled softly, her green eyes lit with the promise of something to come later. Tara felt her cheeks warm with a pleasant glow.

"It's probably just Giles," Willow sighed as she rose on aching legs, her knees protesting as they were straightened for the first time in quite a while, "I think he seems to think we'll burn the place down or something if he leaves us alone for more than a day."

"Willow," Tara cautioned in a low voice, "He's been exceptionally good to us... I don't know what we would have done without him."

Willow's face broke into an embarrassed grin, "I know, I know..."

"And you were certainly glad to see him yesterday when you got your arm stuck trying to clean out behind the refrigerator," Tara chuckled mercilessly.

"Okay, I get your point," Willow opened the door slowly at first and then flung it wide open when she saw who was standing there, "Faith!"

Willow held the door open wide to let the brunette in, she was laden down with a huge box of stuff beneath one arm and a suitcase in the other, managing both with surprising ease.

Faith dumped her load on the floor and looked around at Willow and Tara's apartment. She walked to the small window which overlooked the street down below, its panes spotlessly clean from the scrubbing they had been given the day before.

"Not bad at all girls," Faith nodded as though her approval was all that mattered.

"Well, it's taken a lot of elbow grease... you should've seen it a few days ago... Willow refused to touch any surface for fear of the unidentified substances that were encrusted everywhere," Tara smirked and Willow had a decidedly sheepish look on her face.

"Can I get you anything, tea, coffee?" Willow asked to prove that she could at least do that much.

"I'd love you forever if you made me a really strong coffee," Faith sighed as she sunk into an overstuffed antique armchair that looked as though it were on its last legs.

Willow lit the stove, managing not to burn her finger in the process and then set a kettle of water on to boil. She joined Tara on the only other armchair they possessed, practically having to sit in the blonde's lap... neither minded of course.

"So how is everyone?" Tara asked eagerly, "Anya, Abby... we've missed you guys."

"Well, while you girls have been cloistered away down here a lot of hit has gone on... and it's all because of you two."

"It is?" Willow asked in a shocked voice, "What on earth could we have done."

Both Tara and Faith looked at the red head with patient expressions on their faces. Willow finally realised and felt somewhat foolish.

"I take it my parents failed in their attempts to keep it all a secret?" Willow asked quietly.

"Miserably... and I don't know how they thought it would remain a secret! Everyone who's anyone knows you're a lesbian Will... I'm really sorry."

Willow didn't know whether to feel sorry for her parents or not. They would most certainly be ostracised from all good company... denied that which they wanted more than anything, more than their daughter.

Willow felt Tara's arm tighten around her waist, "It's alright Faith... I never want to move in those sort of circles again, so they can think what they want of me, I don't care."

"There's more... Abby and Anya's parents withdrew them from school and so did mine, said I'll be disinherited if I remained friends with you guys," Faith stated matter-of-factly.

"God," Tara whispered, her thoughts immediately shifting to their friends and the abrupt, unfair cessation to their studies.

"What good do their parents think that would do!" Willow's voice rose slightly in anger at the way her best friends had been treated, would it ever stop? "Are we like poison or something?"

Faith shrugged, "I moved out of home before my parents could kick me out," Both Willow and Tara stared in shock at the brunette who seemed to be treating the whole thing as though it were a big adventure, "What?" she asked, "It's not like I care and I've got myself an honest to goodness real job."

"But where are you living?" Tara asked concernedly even as she eyed the suitcase with some suspicion.

Faith looked around at their small apartment, "Well... here!" She grinned broadly.

"Um... sure, the second bedroom is more of a closet but you're welcome to it," Willow said honestly, although she guiltily wondered if she would come to regret her answer.

"And we could do with the extra help in paying the rent," Tara added as she drew Willow to her side, always thinking of the practical aspects.

"Rent? I'm not going to pay rent!" Faith protested, and then laughed, "Just kidding... of course I'll help out."

No matter how she shifted beneath the covers of their creaky old bed, Willow could not manage to warm herself up. She settled for rolling herself into the tightest ball she possibly could, hugging her legs against her chest with her arms. Tara was still bustling, trying to have everything in perfect order before she came to bed to join Willow.

"Come to bed baby," Willow pleaded, longing for the feel of Tara's arms around her.

"Are you cold?" Tara asked Willow gently as she folded the last of her clothes away in the chest of drawers.

"No," Willow replied in a most unconvincing tone before she changed her mind, "Yes."

"You're a terrible liar Will, it's one of your best traits," Tara threw back the covers and snuggled in behind Willow in the narrow bed.

Tara gently wrapped her arms around the red head from behind and pressed her cheek against Willow's. The red heads skin was like ice. Tara trapped her slender fingers in her own and rubbed them gently.

"Is that better?" she asked in a whisper.

"A little... yeah," Willow replied, nuzzling Tara's cheek.

"What would make you warmer?" Tara asked, an unmistakable hint in her voice that made Willow smile.

Willow pursed her lips together as though she were thinking hard about this, "I think taking all my clothes off would make me very warm indeed."

Tara feigned a frown, "I don't see how that would make you warmer Will, I think perhaps I ought to find more clothes for you to wear."

"No!" Willow protested vehemently, "Look, I'll start..."

Awkwardly moving beneath the blankets, Willow began stripping layers of clothing off as fast as she possibly could. Although she was somewhat hindered by Tara who was working in complete opposition, foiling Willow's every movement until she gave up in complete exasperation. Tara giggled as she found Willow's hands and held them tightly against her.

"I believe you Will... but let me do it," she grinned in the weak light filtering through the thin curtains.

Tara inched Willow's flannel pyjamas up over her smooth stomach, as she did she laid tiny kisses on each new patch of skin she exposed. She nuzzled the expanse of skin tenderly, breathing in Willow's scent. One by one she undid each of the buttons that held the fabric together. As each one fell apart it revealed more of Willow's creamy torso... until the last one and she peeled the pyjamas away from her breasts. Slowly Tara leaned down to kiss the hard nub atop each mound, her tongue lingering in circular movements for just a moment... enough though to wrench a small cry from Willow's throat.

"See... it's more fun when I do it," Tara smirked as she sat astride Willow, keeping the red head pinned down while she removed her own pyjama top.

"I'll concede that much," Willow beamed as Tara uncovered her breasts above her.

A few minutes later, every item that remotely resembled clothing had well and truly been relegated to the floor and Tara was able to run her hands over every inch of Willow's bare skin. As she did she left a trail of warmth in her wake, the cold fleeing beneath her gentle touch.

Willow's hands were above her head, clutching at the pillow behind her while Tara's hands drive her crazy. The blonde stroked her stomach, moving down over her hips and to her thighs where she moved up and down the lithe limbs. Just as Willow was about to give in and plead with Tara to touch her where she needed her most, Tara's head lowered and captured her breasts once again. This time she lingered lovingly, trying to take in as much as she possibly could of the sweet mounds. Her mouth moved over them, leaving a warm trail of saliva in her wake. She concentrated on Willow's rosy nipples, lips biting gently, causing a sharp intake of breath from the woman beneath her.

Even as she set Willow on fire with the ministration of her breasts, Tara's hand moved slowly down her body, over the flatness of her stomach and to the beginning of the downy curls. Willow's weight shifted slightly beneath Tara, her legs falling apart to allow Tara better access to her already damp centre. Willow's breath caught as Tara spread her folds, finger gently probing. Willow gasped even louder as Tara found the centre of her pleasure, the small nub which she now stimulated in small, firm circles. With each gasp from Willow's throat Tara felt her own heart swell with love. She brought Willow closer and closer to the release she wanted to give her with each stroke. Her movements became faster, Willow's hips rocking instinctively in time with them.

Tara pulled back so she could stare into Willow's eyes, the emerald orbs slightly glazed. She swept her sweat soaked hair back from her eyes, as she did Willow smiled and brought her hands up behind Tara's neck. Her shaking hands ran through Tara's silky tresses until the blonde thrust two of her fingers deep into her moist passage. Willow stifled her cries as she dug her nails sharply into Tara's back.

"Just let yourself go Will," Tara whispered into Willow's neck as she continued to move against Willow's sweaty body, the palm of her hand continuing to move against.

"Faith... will... hear," Willow whispered, longing to give into the passion she felt coursing throughout her body yet afraid to let it be heard by anyone else.

"I love you Will... I want you to say it for me, just for me," Tara whispered, continuing to thrust her fingers as deeply into Willow as she could.

Willow threw her head back into the pillow behind her, thrusting her hips up to meet each of Tara's thrusts.

"I love you Tara..." Willow hissed between clenched teeth, a small, drawn out moan escaping as well.

"Louder... I want you to say it louder while I fuck you, let me know how I make you feel," Tara's voice was soft, sultry in her ear, driving Willow just as wild as her fingers were.

"Oh god, Tara I love you!" Willow almost shouted as she rode Tara's fingers to an explosive orgasm, her own thrusts tiring as she gave into the waves of pleasure flowing through her body.

Tara left her fingers buried deep within Willow but her free hand rested gently on the red head's sweaty forehead. Willow opened her eyes to meet Tara's own, looking up through the haze.

"Do you love me fucking you?" Tara whispered, smoothing Willow's hair back from her forehead over and over again, every word sounding so sensual and entirely innocent.

"Yes," Willow replied, her hips moving lazily against Tara's, "But what's with the dirty talk?"

"You don't like it?" Tara asked worriedly, her composure faltering a little

Willow grinned, her cheeks feeling as though they were on fire, "I do like it... it's as though there's a whole different side to you... one that's in control and incredibly sexy... I feel vulnerable and yet so loved at the same time... if that makes any sense..."

"It makes perfect sense," Tara whispered, slowly withdrawing her fingers from Willow's warmth and bringing them up to her mouth. Her tongue flicked out and licked her fingers sensually, "And I think I like being in control."

Willow's throat went even drier if that was possible. She claimed Tara's lips, tasting herself there for a few moments before snuggling down into her girlfriend's arms. Tara was only too obliging to wrap Willow up close, arms tightening around her.

"You shouldn't have to look after me for the rest of your life," Willow whispered, the tone in her voice changing noticeably.

"Way to kill the mood Willow sweetie," Tara said lightly as she stroked the bare flesh of Willow's upper arm tenderly, "But if you want to talk, I'm obviously not going anywhere... why do you think that I'd be looking after you?"

"I can't even scrub a floor... how am I supposed to help you? You can't do everything around here."

"Well I'm certainly not going to do all the chores," Tara replied with a hearty chuckle, "You'll learn... and so with Faith for that matter."

"Stop making fun of me in my pain," Willow sniffed indignantly, Tara for once could not tell whether she was being serious or not.

Tara drew her arms away from Willow and propped herself up so she could look down at the red head. She wore an expression that would brook no nonsense.

"Willow Rosenberg, are you feeling sorry for yourself?" Tara asked in a stern voice.

"No," Willow replied, her lips threatening to form into a pout.

"You are to!" Tara cried, immediately throwing her leg over the squirming red head and pinning her down.

She placed one hand on either side of Willow's head, staring straight down at her.

"I am not going to spend the rest of my life with you feeling sorry for yourself at every moment of it... you are an amazing woman... and there's nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it... I love you Willow."

She bent down and pressed her lips tenderly against Willow's forehead, when she pulled back the green eyes were shining with unshed tears. Tara lowered her arms until she was lying along Willow's length, their flesh pressed tightly together, their arms entwined, fingers stroking sweaty flesh. Willow was shaking slightly as Tara stroked her.

"Are you scared Will?" Tara asked softly in her ear.

"I want to say no..." Willow began uncertainly.


"I don't know, I'm not as brave as you Tara," Willow admitted softly.

Tara propped herself up on one elbow so that she could stare into Willow's eyes as she spoke, "Where do you think that strength comes from?" she asked quietly, ever so gently placing her hand over Willow's heart, "I take inspiration from you Willow."

"But you shouldn't..."

"Don't speak Willow... just feel," Tara gathered Willow up into her arms, their sweaty bodies meshing together tightly.

Willow rolled Tara over, pressing her weight down on the blonde and using her thigh to lever Tara's apart.

"So who's the naughty one now?" Tara's breath caught as Willow's thigh moved against her centre.

"It's still you," Willow replied as one of her hands went to Tara's breast, "It's always going to be you... it's not going to stop me from trying though."

Tara's giggles quickly became moans as Willow's mouth followed her hands, claiming her breast hungrily. Willow lost herself in her girlfriend's beautiful body and the throaty moans that came from her throat. Here she was safe and warm, no matter what was going on anywhere else in the world.

Suddenly, there was a very loud and insistent banging on the wall to the left, so insistent that it shook the dust from the cracks in the wall and caused Willow to spring away from Tara.

"Keep it down in there you two!" Faith yelled in a very pissed off voice, "If I'm not getting any then you guys bloody well can't either!"

Continue to What's Your Tale, Nightingale? Chapter Thirty-Five

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