Return to You Make Me Smile Chapter Ten

You Make Me Smile

Author: MissKittys Ball O Yarn
Rating: NC-17
Feedback: Please let me know what you think... cause I love feedback. I hope you enjoy. Please leave feedback on the You Make Me Smile thread on the Kitten Board.
Disclaimer: Joss owns it all. Except my brain... well, probably that too.
Note: Thanks to Starcomed for her wonderful beta work.

Willow brought Tara's hand to her lips, kissing her delicate knuckles with a feather light brush of her mouth against warm skin. Tara smelled like roses, so sweet and delicate that Willow had to consciously keep herself from brushing the tip of her tongue along the skin just under her lips.

She was calmer now, less afraid than she had been earlier. The depth of her feelings for Tara had taken her by surprise, as the scene from that night replayed in her mind for the umpteenth time.

Tara kissed her way along Willow's jaw line and Willow had been helpless to do anything other than press her lips to the place just below the blonde's ear; feeling the soft skin of Tara's neck against her lips and the strong, steady pulse of Tara's heartbeat under her lips was like a drug. Willow wanted more than just kisses, and by the way Tara was pressing into her, she could tell that she, too, wanted something more.

The rest of the building was silent save for the steady ticking of the desk clock across the room. The sun had gone down, and the streetlights buzzed to life outside the large picture window in Willow's office. It seemed they'd been kissing for hours, the leather couch under them, warmed by their bodies, the material of the couch was hot wherever Willow touched it, and so was Tara.

She couldn't remember when it'd started; Tara's lips had dissolved all vital memory functions, but she was faintly certain that it had been sometime after the brochures. She had only the faintest memory of discussion before Tara's lips had been impossibly sweet and soft against her. So there they were, with Tara beneath her, Willow's hand traveled of it's own volition just under the hem of Tara's shirt, grazing the smallest sliver of burning skin with her fingertips. It was then that Willow felt the first tentacles of fear creep into her mind since meeting Tara. Her breath grew labored and something inside her threatened to snap. Willow knew that her fear went beyond mere performance anxiety - something she'd experienced on a regular basis in college - she knew that well, and this went much deeper than that. Perhaps it was because she cared about Tara so much that she didn't want their first time together to be on a couch in her office - it felt too similar to the way it had been with the other women Willow had taken to bed in the past. She didn't want that with Tara - not like that.

They stood on the sidewalk outside Willow's office building, the street oddly silent as they waited for the city bus. Tara had declined Willow's offer to drive her home. Willow was lost momentarily in Tara's gaze, the blonde's eyes sparkling liquid blue under the glow of the street lamp. Willow felt pulled in again as their lips came together, Tara's arms around her shoulders, her own coming up to hold the blonde around the waist. It was getting harder and harder to stop herself from going further...but she knew she wasn't ready for more. Her feelings tonight had proven that to her. Willow ended the kiss slowly, replacing the passionate thrusting of her tongue with small kisses against the corners of Tara's full lips. She was grateful that Tara seemed to understand.

Their foreheads rested together momentarily, until a car passed by on the street, forcing Willow to let go of Tara's waist. She had to put a little more distance between them, so she forced herself to pull back even more, despite the little groan of protest from the blonde in her arms. Tara's hands slid liquidly down the length of Willow's jacket clad arms. Taking her fingers lightly, Tara pressed her mouth once more to Willow‘s lips, but this time it was a chaste kiss. Even so, Willow felt the fire of desire in her stomach flare up once more.

"You could come with me?"

They both knew what that meant.

"I can't," Willow whispered, barely able to speak. "I..." She didn't have the words to explain.

Now it was Tara's turn. She brought Willow's fingers to her lips, kissing them lightly. "You don't have to explain. I understand." And Tara did understand...taking things to the next level could be a scary thing. It was endearing and Tara smiled. It meant a lot to her that Willow cared enough to wait. "I'll see you tomorrow..." Tara whispered against Willow's skin. Willow seemed almost shy, as she nodded, dipping her head to cover the blush Tara could see had crept onto her cheeks.

She could hear the roar of the bus now as it groaned down the street toward them. She wouldn't let Willow drive her home that night, needing the independence of going alone. Willow hadn't argued, and Tara was grateful, it meant that she'd really heard what Tara said earlier. She felt the piece of paper Willow had written her address onto pressing up against her outer thigh just inside her pocket. Tara kissed Willow one last time, pulling away just as the bus stopped against the curb next to them.

Tara spent what was left of that night in her studio, painting, or trying to anyway. With Spencer gone, the house felt eerily empty, and she was finding herself more than just a little distracted. She had half a dozen oils requisitioned for a gallery in San Francisco - due by the end of the week, but Tara couldn't concentrate. Her thoughts kept returning to Willow, and the evening they'd spent together. It had been right that they'd stopped when they did, and even though her heart had wanted her to take Willow to her bed, her head knew it wasn't time for it...yet?

It seemed like it had been forever and a day since she'd even come close to feeling anything like this for another person, and part of her was just a little scared. Spencer had been her sole world for so long, but now she could feel her heart opening, expanding, in order to make room for Willow. All of this was so new to her.

Tara couldn't deny the way her body had responded to Willow's kiss, to her hands on her waist, and the way it had made her body burn for more of the slender girl's touch. For once in her life it had been she that had wanted more and not the other way around, which was so completely out of character. She tried to tell herself that it was because it had been so long since she'd made love with anyone, even when she and Logan were together they had hardly ever - Tara didn't finish the thought...she didn't need to. Tara had been consumed by Willow's kiss, had been consumed by the feel of Willow in her arms, almost to the point where nothing else mattered. She wrapped her arms around her chest, her hands clinging to her upper arms, her body leaning against the shelf at her back. The memory of Willow's hands was almost too much.

Light throbbed through the darkened windows as a car passed by on the street outside Tara's house. The light grew brighter before dimming and the car passed without stopping. Tara sighed. She went across the room to the wall and switched off the overhead light. She would really have to buckle down in the morning and get at least a few paintings finished. She needed the money these paintings would bring in to pay the mechanic for the repairs to her van.

Tara thought about the painting she'd left in her bedroom - the one of the faceless lady in red. Perhaps she would pull that one out tomorrow morning and see if there was anything she could do with it.

Deciding to go to bed, Tara left her studio. Closing the door behind her, she made her way into the kitchen.

Willow stripped off her clothes and opened the glass door leading into the large stone-tiled walk-in shower. She'd spared no expense in the construction of the bathroom and it was her favorite retreat. She loved to take long, hot, steamy showers. She loved night-time showers, when she could gaze out of the skylight at the inky blue darkness. Sometimes she felt like such a big fish in a little pond but the sky reminded her of what a little fish she really was.

There were no stars that night, nor were there ever any stars; the lighted buildings stacked all around her had seen to that. For an instant she thought how nice it would be to live outside of the city, how nice it would be to gaze up at the sky and see stars; see anything other than the polluted puffed clouds of the Los Angeles city sky.

Her thoughts drifted again to Tara; it had only been a few hours, but already she was missing her. Willow wondered if it was normal to miss someone she'd just spent nearly all day with. She processed her emotions, knowing she'd never missed any of the other women she‘d been with. But then again, Tara wasn't like any of the other women Willow had been with - she wasn‘t like any of the other women Willow knew, either. Tara was completely different.

Willow stepped out of the shower wrapping the white fluffy towel around her body, her freshly washed hair, dripping wetly onto her shoulders. Willow examined her covered body in the bathroom mirror. She wasn't a bad looking woman, in fact she figured she was kinda adorable...there was something impish about her features that reminded her of a cute something or other; she couldn't decide what. A fox maybe ‘cos of the red hair and with the smartness...but then again, foxes were always portrayed as the villains in every story, and Willow didn't see herself as a villain.

Her body was much different than that of Tara's full-figured womanly-type body. Willow had none of the curves the blonde possessed. Tara was absolutely beautiful and Willow found herself blushing at the memory of the way they had kissed this evening; the way she had wanted to do much more... She reached up to touch her own lips with slim fingers, she could still feel Tara's lips the way they'd felt hotly pressed against her own...She wanted to call Tara on the phone, but highly doubted the blonde would still be awake at such a late hour, and she didn't want to wake her if she was sleeping.

Willow settled into bed, pulling the bedcovers up under her chin. She knew she wouldn't get very much sleep that night.

Tara watched the numbers light up as they passed floor after floor. Willow had said that she lived on the top floor, but Tara hadn't realized just what that had really meant.

Her stomach did a little flip. She'd been afraid of heights all her years growing up, ever since her brother Donny used to scare her, by saying he was going to hang her by the foot from the balcony of her parents three story farm house when they were children. But in all honesty, Tara had thought she'd gotten over her fear of heights until that very moment; she'd never been in a building with as many floors - not even when she was working corporate business before Spencer was born. Tara straightened her body and forced herself to stop thinking about how high in the air they must be. She was really looking forward to being in Willow's space that night, and didn't want to ruin it with her own childlike fears.

Tara looked down at Spencer, who was standing next to her, his blue coat zipped up to his chin and his red backpack weighing heavily on his small shoulders. He'd been excited all day about coming to Willow's apartment for dinner. "Is it time to go?" he'd asked her at least a hundred times already that day.

They'd left a little early that afternoon, stopping at the flower shop, and then the bakery, where they bought some chocolate éclairs for that evenings dessert. Tara had insisted she be allowed to bring something and Willow hadn't argued once she'd mentioned the words chocolate and éclair in the same sentence. Tara smiled to herself, thinking Willow must have a fondness for the confection. There were so many things she was just beginning to discover about the redhead.

A few floors later, the elevator stopped and the doors slid open to reveal the plush red carpet and beige walls of the hallway. There were beautifully framed paintings lining the outer walls. Tara knew the artist and the price tag attached to his work - they were not of the inexpensive variety. Spencer crouched down a little and then sprang forward, jumping out of the elevator and into the hallway with a muted thump on the cushy carpet. She put her hand on his shoulder as a reminder for him to be on his best behavior.

"What number, Mommy?" Spencer asked, balancing the bouquet of flowers he was carrying in one hand while his other hand dug around in the pocket of his jeans in search of something he'd tucked there earlier.

"207" Tara remembered, because seven was her lucky number.

As they walked down the hallway she was grateful that there were no windows, she didn't think she could take it if she actually saw how high they were off the ground. It didn't seem to bother Spencer at all; he was as happy as ever walking down the hallway towards Willow's apartment. Tara, on the other hand, felt like she was going to be sick right there on the expensive carpet, in front of her son and the paintings of flowers.

In addition to the bouquet of flowers Spencer was carrying, Tara had another gift for Willow - one she knew the redhead would appreciate. The prettily wrapped box was tucked in the satchel slung across her shoulders, and hanging low across her hip.

"Can I knock?" Spencer asked, looking up at Tara for permission.

She nodded, and pushed down another wave of nausea.

Willow answered after only a moment. And Tara felt her breath catch. She'd never seen Willow in a dress before, and the vision was breathtaking. She had to suppress the compulsion to reach out and run her fingers along the front of the redhead's body right there in the hallway. Not to mention that Spencer was paying close attention the their sudden dynamic.

Spencer held the bouquet flowers he'd been holding out to Willow, causing the heated gaze between herself and the redhead to lighten momentarily, as they both turned their attention to Spencer. He'd been so proud of them, and wouldn't relinquish hold of them the whole way over to Willow's. Tara thought it was only right that he be the one to give them to her.

"These are for you!" Spencer said enthusiastically.

Tara tried not to laugh at the way he was practically shoving the bouquet into Willow's face. She reminded herself to give him some instruction on the delicate art of giving a woman flowers - before he turned sixteen and tried that on his first date.

"I brought you something too," Tara said, once they'd gone inside and Spencer had settled in the living room to unpack the toys he‘d brought with him. They were standing side by side in Willow's pristine kitchen, their backs against the stainless steel island, their shoulders touching. Tara pulled a prettily wrapped package from her satchel. She smiled when Willow's fingers brushed against hers as she took the gift.

"You didn't have to..."

"I know. Open it." Tara grinned, as she watched Willow open the gift. She wondered if Willow would remember its significance.

Inside the pretty paper was the mottled brown oven mitt, red chilli peppers printed on the back staring up at Willow. She recognized it instantly and remembered it fondly from their first night together. Willow lifted the mitt from the pretty paper lining as if it was the most precious thing she'd ever received. She lifted her gaze and they made eye contact. The look on Tara's face made Willow giggle. The blonde was trying unsuccessfully to hold back a laugh, covering her mouth with her fingers.

Then they both burst out laughing uncontrollably, and Willow had to lean against the counter to catch her breath. She wanted to pull Tara into a kiss, but she didn't know if that would be the right? thing to do with Spencer just a room away.

"What's so funny, Mommy?" Spencer looked up from the throng of tiny toy cars scattered on the floor around him. He'd been paying them little attention until then.

"Nothing," they both said in unison, still laughing.

Throwing caution to the wind, Willow slid a quick glance toward the living room to see if Spencer was still watching them; satisfied that he wasn't, she pulled Tara into a kiss. Her body felt instantly on fire and she had to pull away and take a step back. Spencer could look up at any moment and she didn't want him to catch them in a compromising position. Tara seemed less concerned, her eyes colored a shade darker with sudden desire.

Continue to You Make Me Smile Chapter Twelve

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