Carmine enlightened me about my father's death. He swore to me it had been an accident and I believed him. Thank God for small mercies. He said if there had been even a small measure of proof that Mickey had had something to do with it, war or no war he would've taken Malone out himself.
At least that was one less burden on my mind. I called up my crew and told them to take an early night; we would meet up and share information in the morning. I was tired and sore. All I really wanted to do was go home and soak in the tub for a week.
Buffy took Tara home and waited for me to arrive before taking off in a happy mood, cause according to her that 'dream boat' of an officer had finally asked her out on a date.
I smiled at her enthusiasm and because the smells coming from the kitchen reminded me that my own 'dream boat' was somewhere near. All was not well, but the thought of seeing Tara and holding her in my arms was enough to brighten my dark day. I knew there were other things I should be thinking of doing at the moment, but I was weary and just wanted to pretend for awhile that everything was or could be alright.
I stepped into the kitchen and leaned against the frame. Tara was busily chopping up some vegetables and singing along with the radio. So along with everything else she can also sing like an angel I thought in wonderment. "Hi honey I'm home," I said with a touch of mirth to my voice.
She turned around quickly and a bright smile brightened her features. As soon as the smile appeared it disappeared as she took in my battered features and she made her way to me in a hurry. "What happened to your face?" she asked furrowing her brow and examining my cheek.
I shrugged my shoulders and captured her hands. "It's nothing I got jumped by some weirdoes outside the university. I'll tell ya about it later. It's not so bad."
"It's swelling," she stated heading for the fridge. "Here put this on your face."
I obeyed and put the slab of meat over my eye. My face was serious but inside I was beaming at the attention that she was giving me.
She frowned. "Quit the scowling looks, it's for your own good. I'll get you an aspirin later and some salt water compresses."
I tried to protest and she silenced me with a quick hand gesture. "No arguments please. Let me take care of you." Her eyes fell to the ground and her voice trembled slightly. "After all it is my fault that you keep getting hurt."
I put the steak down and held her by the shoulders. "Hey now kid... that's not entirely true I could've said no to this whole wacky case you know."
Some tears were free falling down her cheeks. "Why did you say yes?"
I looked deeply into her twin pools of blue. "Don't you know by now?"
She shook her head from side to side. "You Tara. It's all about you." I said before kissing her tears away, one by one.
Dinner was forgotten, as we got lost in each other once again. The salt from her tears and the sweetness of her mouth made for a bittersweet kind of kiss. She held on to me tightly almost desperately. I could understand that feeling perfectly. I couldn't help but wonder if it would always be like this with us, not knowing whether we would lose each other from one moment to the next, loving each other on what seemed to be borrowed time. Time can be a friend or a trained killer after all; I hoped it could befriend us, at least for a while.
Willow kissed Tara eagerly as Tara's arms pulled her closer, as close as two bodies could get without actually merging. Willow began to suck on Tara's full bottom lip as she ran her hands up under Tara's silk blouse. She parted Tara's lips with her tongue and began to explore the warmth of her lover's succulent mouth. Tara moaned her approval and her hands moved between them to cup Willow's breasts. The blonde savored the sensation of the redhead's small, pert globes pushing into her palms.
Red's hands also felt their way up Tara's body until they came to the swell of the blonde's firm full breasts. She fondled the bountiful flesh and shut her eyes tight reveling in the heat coursing through her body. Her tongue engaged in a sensual slow dance with Tara's. She sucked in a breath between kisses as she felt her lover capture her nipples between her fingers, making them ache with an impossible need. Willow plunged her tongue deeper into her lover's mouth as the blonde rolled her erect nipples between her fingers. The redhead pushed her body into the blonde and mimicked her action taking by Tara's nipples between her fingers and twisting them ever so slightly.
Tara pushed Willow away from her slightly and began to tug on her shirt. "I want to see you." She said in a low, smoky tone. "I want to touch you so badly." She practically purred.
"Then touch me." Willow answered in an equally sensual tone. The blonde smiled before firmly placing her hands on Willow and tearing her shirt open, sending buttons flying all over the kitchen floor.
As Tara kissed Willow's breasts, the detective teased the blonde's nipples with the palms of her hands and the tips of her fingers.They pulled apart for a few seconds so Tara could finish removing Willow's torn shirt and Willow could pull Tara's blouse over her head. They leaned in again to share another deep and passionate kiss, running their hands wherever they could.
Both women were breathing heavily as they parted from the ardent kiss. Willow stared at her lover's semi-exposed chest and licked her lips, focusing her sight on the full and delectable breasts heaving against the lacy material of the blonde's bra.
Tara leaned back on the counter and brought her hands behind her back unclasping the button of her brassiere. She wiggled out of the straps and released her breasts, never taking her eyes off Willow's green gaze. Red took her time drinking in the sight before her; she could hardly contain her excitement. Tara had been bold, yet she blushed under her lover's lustful gaze. Willow pulled off her own bra as she continued to roam her eyes up and down the blonde's curvaceous body.
Willow leaned in and reclaimed Tara's lips. The kiss deepened, like their growing passion. Willow felt Tara's body writhing within their intimate embrace. Willow's excitement grew as their breasts caressed each other and hardened nipples dueled against hardened nipples. They rubbed their bodies together in a way that was making them both weak at the knees. "I want you," Willow gasped out, barely breaking away from their kiss. "Then take me," Tara retorted in a murmur that made Willow's toes curl inside her shoes.
With Tara still leaning back on the kitchen counter, the redhead began to kiss her face and then worked her way down to her jaw and neck. The blonde sighed as she tilted her head back, offering more of her neck up to Willow's eager mouth. Tara clutched at the counter until her knuckles turned white when Willow's tongue found her nipple and circled it before capturing the tip in her mouth and sucking it hard.
Tara wrapped one of her legs around Willow's waist and began grinding her mound against the redhead. Willow moaned as she felt Tara's wetness even through the remaining barriers of clothing that still separated them. The redhead pulled back just long enough to unzip and discard Tara's long, loose skirt. When she returned to her lover's body they kissed again and the redhead felt Tara's hands skillfully undoing her pants, Willow kicked off her shoes and stepped out of her pants. Clad now only in their under wear Tara once again wrapped one of her legs around Willow's body and they slid against each other at a torrid rhythm.
Tara's hands roamed up and down Willow's back as they rocked against each other. Willow dipped her head down and reclaimed Tara's nipple suckling it and biting it while she used one hand to hold her lover steady. The heat between their bodies was becoming a palpable entity. They both groaned and grunted and pleaded wordlessly for more. Willow's clit was hard and pulsating in tune with Tara's wild movements against her. Tara's body was humming and she felt every one of Willow's caresses like a magnetic wave that traveled straight to her center.
Willow could feel the heat rising from Tara's skin as her fingers worked their way down her body. Red's mouth drank in the blonde's heaving bosom, kissing and suckling every inch of skin. She kept paying special attention to the rosy and erect nipples that hardened so deliciously in her mouth.
Tara thrust herself harder against Willow's body and the redhead could feel the blonde's wetness painting her own skin even though they were both still wearing panties. Red kissed the blonde with a fevered need and tugged at the waistline of her lover's soaked garment, effectively tearing the material and tossing it on the floor. She marveled at the wonderful scent of arousal permeating the air and she whispered heavily. "Oh God baby, you're so wet."
Tara quivered "It's all you Willow. Feel what you do to me," she moaned out in response.
Willow shivered in delight and ran her fingers slowly over Tara's skin. She bit her lower lip in anticipation as she traced swirly patterns around the blonde's navel. Tara's stomach muscles quivered and she whimpered eagerly waiting for Willow's digits to arrive at where she needed them the most. Red placed her palm flat on Tara's mound and enjoyed the tickling sensation of the blonde's well-trimmed curls on her skin; she rubbed her hand in a slow circular motion and willed herself to take it slow. She cupped her lover's sex and moaned in appreciation when she felt the copious amount of wetness that greeted her.
She extended her fingers and teased the blondes opening by barely touching her with the tips. The blonde's head rolled back and her whole body trembled from a need so acute it almost hurt. Finally Red indulged Tara and herself, she entered her lover with two fingers and swam in and out of her at a steady and building pace. Tara wrapped her fingers in Willow's fiery strands and rode the detective's hand with wild abandon. "Yesssss..." the blonde hissed as Red entered and exited her core.
Willow held her lover's body tightly with her free hand and groaned with delight at the power surging through out every pore in her body from loving Tara. She could feel the blonde's walls tightening and contracting around her digits giving the redhead an unimaginable amount of pleasure. Her own center was aching from need and she nearly screamed when she felt Tara's hand snaking under her panties and going straight for her center. They rocked against each other more frantically than before. "Oh, Fuuuck!" Willow gasped. "Yesss!" Tara said again, also nearly screaming.
Tara cried out as Willow began to dip her fingers deeper inside of her. Tara was now begging her for release as her hips thrust frantically. Willow took her lover harder and faster as her own desire dripped from her center onto Tara's talented fingers. Their thighs began to quiver in unison as their thumbs pressed down on each other's clits, never ceasing the thrusting motions.
Tara's body tumbled over the edge, taking Willow with her they arched back and then fell into each other breathing heavily and still riding the waves of their mutual climax. They held on to each other taking calming breaths. Willow pulled away to look at the beauty before her she smiled and kissed her lover briefly and sweetly. Their forehead's touched and they smiled at each other with mischief still fresh in their eyes.
"Well that was..." Willow started.
"Yeah it was." Tara said blushing slightly. "But..." she hesitated.
"But, what?" Willow asked a bit worried.
"I want more." Tara answered matter of factly, bringing the fingers that had used to pleasure Willow up to her mouth and sucking them dry while looking at Willow through sultry blue eyes.
The tough detective was suddenly at a loss for words and she managed an "Oh..." before grinning and leading Tara to the bedroom.
The next few days progressed without many more incidents and not many more clues to go forward in the case. Danny had seemed to drop off the face of the earth, Donnie had limited his activities to nightclubbing and thankfully I hadn't got shot at or jumped on again.
We chased our tails in the day and headed home scratching our heads at night. I was frustrated, but one thing made everything else all right, Tara Maclay. I had something I thought I would never have, a reason to want to go home early. Every night I found Tara either preparing or serving supper, we would talk, laugh and make love for hours on end. It was domestic bliss like I had never known it. I used to think that sort of life style would never fit someone like me, heck I was the girl that won Olympic gold medals in the 'running away from commitment' marathons. Now it seemed that my 'running' days were over. I would never so much as sprint if it meant I could live by Tara's side. Still we had a lot of hurdles to go over before we even had that conversation. I suspected that there were a lot of things we still hadn't talked about. I put my own mind to rest thinking that we would in due time. For the moment I indulged myself, I wallowed in the pleasure of the present.
Yet, everything was so quiet; I was more worried than ever. I suspected the silence was the prelude to a storm. I wasn't wrong.
One night I got home really early and found Tara talking on the phone, she hadn't heard me come in. I had some flowers hidden behind my back to surprise her, only I was the one that ended up being surprised when I caught a piece of the conversation.
She spoke in hushed tones. "Donnie how can I tell you what I don't know?. No I haven't had the chance, I'm never left alone here. Buffy is in the bathroom, she'll be out soon." There was a pause as her bother gave her instructions, I supposed. O.k., I know... won't that be dangerous though? Yes, I'll put it in her coffee tomorrow night. Where should we meet?" Just then the toilet was released upstairs and she hung up the phone in a hurry.
I had lump in my throat the size of a boulder and I backed away slowly, before she could see or hear me. Luckily Buffy came down from the second floor and offered a distraction. She chatted away with Tara and I ducked out of sight as they entered the kitchen. I went to the door opened and closed it loudly to make them believe that I had just arrived. I put on my game face and greeted both women with a smile. I knew I couldn't act differently if I wanted to find out what was really going on.
Buffy was the first to greet me. "Hey boss lady. Another early night?"
I half grumbled an answer and Buffy patted my arm sympathetically. "Hey cheer up. We'll catch a break soon. We always do..." she was about to continue when Tara made her entrance. I had to fight back the urge to confront her on the spot. I waited instead, handing her the flowers casually, hoping against hope that she would tell me what was happening on her own. That moment never came. She stared lovingly at the flowers, gracing me with a smile that broke my heart into a million, little jagged pieces.
"Hey there." She said lightly kissing my cheek. My body tensed at the contact. I didn't know if she had noticed it or not. Maybe it was my imagination, but I had the feeling that she was tense also.
I answered "Hello," and forced a smile. "So anything new?" I asked staring intently at Tara.
"Buffy was just bending my ear about her dates with officer Riley," she said a bit too cheerfully, purposefully avoiding my eyes.
"Is that so?" I asked loosening my tie, fearing that I would choke at any given moment.
Since Buffy was oblivious to the situation, she offered her story. To tell the truth I was thankful for the idle conversation. It gave me a chance to calm myself and plan my moves.
The blonde told her tale of dating hit and miss moments. "So then he went on and on about this great nation this and freedom that, blah! He's built like a brick house and he's a super-duper nice guy, but I swear sometimes I have more fun donating blood. I don't know what's wrong with me. I thought for sure after that loser, biker-bum that this guy would be a nice change, but no, no sparks. Just once I wish things would happen like in those cheap novels, a glance across a crowed room and 'boom' electricity and heat flying all around...."
Buffy missed the looks that passed between Tara and Willow as she said that last sentence. Tara's eyes sparkled from the memory of their first meeting while Willow's eyes crackled from a more recent memory and she excused herself, needing a retreat. "I'm going to freshen up before dinner. Buffy are you staying?"
The blonde shook her head. "Nah, I'll leave you girls alone. I think I have to talk to Finn, it just isn't working out."
Red nodded tersely and retreated to the upstairs restroom. She stared for long moments at her own reflection as if expecting it to talk to her and offer some answers or a helpful suggestion about what to do next. She rubbed her suddenly tired looking green eyes and willed herself not to cry, her emotions were running raw and rampant and she knew she had to calm herself before taking any course of action. At this point there was only one alternative open to her, play the game. She splashed water on her face and took calming breaths before coming down. She would wait and see, follow Tara's lead to the very end whatever that meant and wherever that took her.
The detective entered the kitchen as usual and casually retrieved a soda pop from the icebox, following the routine they had more or less fallen into in the past week. Tara fidgeted and fussed around the kitchen, unusually quiet, Willow duly noted.
The blonde opened and closed several cabinets before stating a bit too loudly. "Oh darn! We're out of flour... I guess, I-I have to buy some." She started to quickly undo her apron and seemed eager to get out the door.
Red decided to test the waters she stopped Tara by the arm. "Hey there's no need for you to bother, whatever you're using it for just don't make it."
Tara pulled away from her grasp gently and hastily explained. "Oh, no I absolutely need it. I'm making pie and I already cut up the fruit, it will spoil. It's no bother the corner store is still open I'll be back in jiffy..."
Willow smiled. "I could ask Timmy from next door to go get it for you, he loves the chance to run errands and make a dime."
Tara looked worried and she fidgeted even more. "N-no that's o.k., I'd rather go..."
Red nearly laughed. Tara was a terrible liar, at this particular moment anyhow and even if she hadn't caught that phone conversation the redhead mused that she would have still figured out that something 'fishy' was going on. The detective decided to give the blonde some wiggling room and relented. After all, having Tara go out was going to serve a purpose. "Alright, just be careful..." she said watching the blonde hurrying out.
Red went to the window to see which direction Tara had taken and quickly glided down the fire escape, a short cut of sorts that would put her hot on Tara's heels. Just as was to be expected the blonde never entered the corner store, she strode at quickening pace and turned into an alley about three blocks down. Willow was careful not to give her presence away and hid in a grotto, well covered by shadows. Her position was perfect, she was close enough to hear every word being said without being seen by unwanted eyes, even if someone else entered the ally she would be hard to spot. She waited quietly, nearly holding her breath, her heart pounding almost painfully in her chest and thumping in her ears. 'Was this really happening?' she thought. Was Tara really there, also hidden in the darkness, standing ready to betray her?
Red's answer came all too quickly.