Tara was busy reading and shaking her head at the ticket Officer had just given her. She was about to speak up in protest, or perhaps tell Officer exactly what she thought of her, when she heard a sound that made her nearly jump out through the roof..
"ORWOW ORWOWRO ORWORWO!"
Tara had never had the opportunity to actually hear a Basset Hound and it was a shock to her eardrums.
"Officer, is there something wrong with your dog?" Tara asked concerned.
"Did you not hear that noise he just made?"
"Oh, I see. You think that's funny or something? Insulting my dog?"
"You know, God, no wonder he makes those noises. He's been forced to live with you."
Willow just stared at Tara.
Tara stared back at Officer.
Willow stared harder.
Tara upped the ante.
Willow saw her bet and raised her twenty.
Tara went all in.
They were in the deciding round of an optical bitch slap contest.
Officer curled a lip.
Tara folded. She wasn't sure whether or not she could be ticketed for insulting a police dog, and she wasn't taking any chances. Defeated, Tara opened the car door and went around to grab her gear. She picked up the backpack and when she did she discovered that Millo had just marked it as his own.
"Oh, come on. Officer, your dog, if that is in fact what it is, just pissed all over my pack."
"Ooh Millo? Did you do that? Yeah? Well that's a good boy." Willow looked up at Tara, the slightest hint of a smile on her lips.
"ORWOW ORWOWRO ORWORWO!"
"This is just, let's just go. We have to find this kid."
Tara had just finished wiping her pack down and she pulled it up on her shoulders and they made their way down to their map area. Willow was leading the way.Tara stayed a good six or seven steps behind. She wasn't sure anymore who pissed her of more at this point - Officer or Rin Tin Fucking Tin. Tara was hoping that they or one of the other teams would find the boy by the end of today. Mainly because she was concerned for him, but also because she knew if they didn't she could be stuck here for up to five days with Officer.
As they were making their way down Tara had been staring at Officer. It started as staring in an everything-about-you-pisses-me-off way. Now, though, she had found that her eyes had developed a mind of their own and they seemed to think that all the answers to all things must be in Officer's ass. That or maybe the stitching in her pockets were done in a pattern like one of those Magic Eye pictures. The ones that if you stare at it long enough, a picture jumps out at you?
Actually it wouldn't supriser her if something suddenly jumped out of Officer's ass. Whatever had crawled up there would have to come out eventually right? To breathe, or eat, or more than likely go in search of more pleasant surroundings.
Oh no, no, no, Tara said to herself, don't even. She had made up her mind and she was going to pull her eyes off of all part of Officer's body. Right now... I mean it... Okay, on the count of three... One, two, three. It wasn't working. She had to think quickly and come up with a new plan.
She had one.
It was risky, but she was desperate.
"Would you mind if I walked Lillo for a while?"
"Millo and why?"
"Because he's just so damn cute," Tara said, nodding her head.
"Actually, that's a good idea. I want to start flagging right about here."
Tara took hold of Millo's reins. She wasn't expecting the dog to be moving so powerfully and she almost went over.
"Do you have any pets?"
"What? Did you just... are you actually trying to be civil?" Tara was confused by Officer's behavior right now.
"No, just trying to pass the time."
"Yeah, I have two horses," Tara answered.
"Figures," Willow answered.
"Figures? What figures?"
"That you would have horses."
"You don't like horses?"
"No. They're just nasty, little, biting things."
Tara laughed, "No, Officer, horses don't bite."
"Yes they do. Look." Willow rolled up her sleeve and showed Tara a scar on her arm. "Well let me rephrase that. The don't bite most people. But I think it's very possible that a horse would want to bite you. Frankly, I'm pretty sure any living creature would want to bite you."
Willow stopped walking. Tara turned around and Officer was staring at her with a smile on her face.
"Are you flirting with me?"
"What? Are you insane?" Tara yelled.
"No, actually. I'm not," Willow answered. "I just usually figure when someone is staring at my ass that there's a possibility they may be flirting with me."
"I was not staring at your ass."
"No? Okay. Even if you were it wouldn't work," Willow said.
"What wouldn't work?"
"I won't tear up that ticket. Not to mention you are nowhere near my type."
"Really. And just how many batteries does your type take?"
Willow turned her head sideways. She didn't want Tara to see her laughing. She might take that as a sign that she liked her. And she definitely didn't like her.
Something was wrong with Willow Rosenberg. It's not like she was in denial of that fact. She was a bitch. Plain and simple. Most of the time it didn't bother her. She didn't like people as much as people didn't like her. She wasn't always this way. She used to have friends, chatted with co-workers, and yes, she had been in love. She had been so very, very much in love. This is why she was the way she was now. She had vowed to herself that she would never go through that pain again. It just wasn't worth it. She had learned, or at least she had come to believe, that love made you vunerable. It opened up doors in a person that she felt were better left closed. It had taken some time but she had managed to right the situation. She had been successful in closing those doors again. She had closed them, locked them and boarded them up with 2-by-4s and nine inch nails.
She was over her now. She knew that. She had even begun to question whether or not she was ever as in love as she thought she was. She would still see her on occasion. It's a small town. It was inevitable that she would.
It couldn't have been more then a year ago that she had approached Willow and asked to talk with her. Willow had declined at first, but then decided that she would like Susan to know just how very over her she was. She agreed.
She had come to Willow's home, their former home and asked if she could come inside. Willow decided that it would be better if they just spoke outside. She had beat around the bush with Willow, talking about work, her parents, the weather. Willow stopped her finally and looked at her and demanded that she get to the point. Reconciliation was the topic. Willow remembered laughing. She remembered it because it was the first time she had done it in five years. She then turned around went back inside of her home and shut the door. It had been the best night of Willow Rosenberg's life. She had gotten even in her mind. She had the last laugh. She had won.
In reality Willow knew that she didn't win a damn thing. It was unnatural for someone to desire to be left alone whenever possible. It was far from the norm to not want somebody to love and have that somebody love you back, not to feel the desire to make love and be made love to. Have someone to come home to, someone to do little special things for you, just because.
As they were continuing their walk down to the last eighth mile of the search area, Willow thought that Tara would probably be amazed that she had actually nailed her type.
You see, her type at this point in her life did have batteries. Two to be exact. Not to mention four changeable heads and three speed settings. Even that,she felt, would soon be over. She had neglected it so badly that if she were to come home and find that it had made its way out of her drawer, packed itself up in its convenient, ideal for travel, brown leather case, switched itself on to setting three, and vibrated its way across town till it found someone who would appreciate it, she wouldn't tbe surprised.
The truth of it was, Willow may well have reached her target goal. She felt nothing.
They had been walking for a good four and a half hours now in silence. It bothered Willow. It wasn't the silence that was bothering her. What was bothering Willow was the fact that she noticed the silence. She was even tempted to break it. She found herself wanting to talk to Tara. She wanted to ask her questions and listen to the answers.
There was something else, too. Something that chilled her to the bone. She had been a touch disappointed when Tara made it clear she was not flirting with her. She was in trouble now and she needed to nip this in the bud.
"I think we should split here. I'll take this first eighth mile and you take that one there and we'll meet up here in about," Willow stopped and looked at her watch, "forty-five minutes."
Without waiting for an answer Willow started to walk off in the opposite direction of Tara.
"Oh and I'm going to be on frequency 6691. If you find anything, just radio me and I'll do the same." Tara took note of the fact that she had just said all.of that and never once looked in her direction.
"No problem. Oh and I think we'll be out of light here by that time so I think we should start to think about calling in to camp," Tara answered.
Willow laughed. "I don't go to camp. I just prefer to stay close to my area. Use that extra time see if Millo picks anything up. I'll radio in and get what our next radius will be and I'll meet you there tomorrow."
Camps were actually spots where if, at the end the day, the missing parties were not found, you would be rounded up by vehicle and taken to a central location. There would usually be hot meals, talking, and then sleep. The next morning you would be dropped back off at your next radius and begin the ground sweep again. Your next area block will always be with in a quarter mile of where your last one ended. She actually agreed with Officer on this point. She never really saw the point of them either. At least not this early in. She could possibly understand there importance if they where very deep in but this early on, they seemed a waste of time.
"Well good. Then I'll meet you here in forty five and we'll find a spot to set camp," Tara said.
Willow stopped walking and said without turning around, "Actually, if you don't mind, I'd prefer to be by myself. So I think I'll just meet you in the morning. So you go ahead finish your last eighth and call transport."
"Well actually," Tara said back in a mocking tone, "I don't need you to tell me what and what not to do. If I want to call to camp, I'll do it because I want to not because you told me to. We're supposed to be working together here, and to be honest, I think you're a real asshole. I have put up with your shit all day, and I'm done. So you either change your attitude or I just might have to get really shitty with you. Do you understand me? Officer?" Tara yelled.
Willow never spoke. She just walked in the opposite direction.
It had been about thirty five minutes since they had parted ways. Tara was starting to get concerned due to the fact that no one had found Joss. She knew that every day they didn't find him, the deeper into the woods he would go. The danger in that being that the wildlife there was not accustomed to human company. The animals that you would see in the popular camp spots were used to humans. Most of them liked them. They brought them yummy food and trash to dig through. But the others?
Tara had begun to make her way back to where she was supposed to have meet Officer in their original plan. She didn't expect to see her there but Tara was in no mood to go to camp either. She had picked up her radio and she turned in to the transport frequency, and she was talking to Rodger Tyler. They had become good friends in the last three months and he had taken to calling her Cutie. He was in no way making passes at her, it was just a friendly little term of endearment. It was just something he did. He knew she was gay. They all did for that matter. She had in turn started to call him Sweetie.
"Hey there Cutie"
"How ya doing up there?"
"Well there's about seven of us up here right now. Are you calling for transport?"
"No, I think I'm going to pitch it up here tonight. I want to get an early start in the morning. I really just want to get our radius points for tomorrow."
"Alright let's see. Rosenberg-Maclay. East L 126 through West L 218. You camping up there with her tonight?"
"No, not at all. I don't expect to see her till tomorrow."
"Well alright then Cutie. I'll talk to ya tomorrow."
Willow was on her way back to where she thought Tara might be. She was going to talk to her. Apologize for her behavior. She heard Tara talking to someone she called 'Sweetie' and he called her 'Cutie'. She turned around and headed in the other direction. She was trying to ignore what she had just felt when she heard Tara on the radio. She was glad actually, she didn't really want to talk to that women in the first place.
She certainly didn't have to explain herself to her. She can just sit there and talk to "sweetie!" Pppffft. Whatever.
Willow had just finished pitching her tent and was getting ready to lay her sleeping bag out. She got out of her tent and headed for her pack that was leaning against a tree next to the stream. She loved the way the stream sounded. She made her way toward it and was planning to sit and listen for a while.
She sat down and leaned back against the tree and closed her eyes for a minute. She was finally finding a moment here to herself and she felt as though she desperately needed to clear her mind.
She was thinking about tomorrow's search. She was not getting a good feeling about this search. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but for some reason she felt that they were in the wrong area. She had hoped that Millo would have picked something up before they had gotten to the water. It would be difficult for him to get a good scent now for a least three more miles. The weather tonight was not to bad but she knew that tomorrow it was going to get colder. It would continue to get colder every night from now on.
Her thoughts were interrupted when she heard the sound of footsteps coming from behind her.
"Officer, did you eat?"
"Umm yeah I did. Thanks."
"So I'm thinking that we can get up and started by 5:30 tommarow. Do you agree with that?"
"Yes, that's a good time. I'll wake you if I'm up first and you can do the same for me if you do."
"Alright, goodnight Officer."
"Willow. My name is Willow."
"Willow, that's um... that's beautiful. You should use it more often."
Willow heard Tara start to walk away and she called to her. "Tara, wait."
Willow got up from where she was sitting and looked at her dead in the eye. Something was happening to Willow at this point. Her breathing was changing and her heart was beginning to pick up in rhythm.
"Say it again. Please."
"Say what again?"
Willow was out of her mind. She had never in her life needed to hear her name like she did now. She took a step closer to Tara.
"My name. Say my name again. Please." Her voice was shaking and her words were coming out in whispers.
"Willow," Tara answered.
Whatever had gotten into Officer it was obviously contagious.
"Willow," she said it again.
Two steps closer.
One more step.
She was standing in front of Tara now. She was helpless against it. She had to have this woman. She needed this woman. She reached out and touched her face with the tips of her fingers. They lightly caressed her cheek, and then slowly sliped back behind her ear. She slowly worked them into Tara's hair and cupped the back of her head.
"Can I kiss you?" Willow asked breathlessly. Tara looked into Willow's eyes and bent her head down till her lips were pressed against Willow's. The kiss started slow. A few light kisses and then Tara opened her mouth and Willow's tongue made its way in. She let out a small whimper and pulled Willow in closer to her.
The pace was building and the pressure on the back of Willow's head increased. Tara grabbed Willow and pushed her up against the tree forcing a thigh between her legs. Willow moaned a long, drawn-out sound as she put a hand down and pulled the leg up to where she needed it. She began to rock against it, sliding herself up, then sliding back down. She reached down and undid the button on Tara's jeans and pulled the zipper down. The kiss was out of control now as tongues and teeth clashed. She grabbed Tara and reversed their positions. She pulled Tara's pants and underwear down to the knees and worked her hand up between Tara's legs.
"Unngg. Yes, Oh God."
"Say it again," Willow panted in her ear.
"Willow," Tara said on shaky breath.
Just as she spoke the name, Willow pressed two fingers against Tara's clit and began to move them in rapid, smal;, circular motions. Willow's breathing was coming out in gasps and Tara's head fell forward on Willow's shoulder as she began to move herself in a counter motion of Willow's fingers.
"Say it again."
"Willow," she panted into her ear. Willow's eyes fell shut, her mouth hung open as she let out a harsh, shuddering breath. She increased the speed of her motions and pressed down a bit more firmly.
"Again," Willow rasped out.
Then Willow thrust two fingers deep inside of Tara. Tara let out a scream and her teeth clamped lightly down on Willow's shoulder. Willow reached down and began frantically removing her own pants and underwear. She then removed Tara's completly and threw them to the ground.
"Willow," Tara whispered directly into Willow's ear as she tugged on its lobe with her teeth. Willow found one of Tara's hands and brought it down to her own center. Tara took over and moved her fingers in to the damp curls till she found Willow's entrance and thrust two fingers deep inside her.
"Oh Fuck, yes," Willow said between gritted teeth, as she thrust her fingers up into Tara again. Tara then slowly slid her way downward, being sure to keep Willow's fingers inside and hers inside Willow. She then leaned back till she was lying flat on the ground. Willow reached down and pulled Tara's hand away from her and opened Tara's legs wider. Willow remained on her knees and lifted one leg over her shoulder and then the other. She moved her mouth down into Tara's center and began to kiss her there gently. Her tongue ran up over her clit and it rested there pressing firmly against it as she pushed her fingers back inside of Tara. She stilled the fingers and raised her head to look into Tara's eyes.
"Again," she demanded.
"Willow," Tara said, barely able to speak.
Willow pushed her fingers further into Tara and began to massage Tara's center with long, deep thrusts, curling them upward as she slowly pulled them outward. Tara spread her legs even wider and Willow's thrusting became more frantic. Tara's eyes shut tight and her head thrashed from side to side. She bent her knees and placed her feet flat on the ground as she began to thrust upwards against the fingers inside her.
"Oh, Oh, God, Willow, aghh, aghh, ohh yes, yes I'm, Willow... aghh... aghh... Willow... Officer-"
Willow's eyes flew open and she looked up to see Tara standing in front of her.
Willow was shaking now. She felt ashamed of herself , as though she had been caught doing something wrong. She had to look down. She cleared her throat.
"What?" she answered in a voice barely audible.
"I think you fell asleep. It's getting cold. You might want to go into your tent."
Tara then turned and walked away.
Willow raised her head against the tree, closed her eyes and felt what she knew was a tear run down her cheek.