Tara stepped through the window and out into the balcony outside Willow's room. "I told you that I would get-." She paused, eyes lowering to the blanket her girlfriend sat on. "Where's the rest of my bagel?"
A chunk of Willow's cheek stuck out further than the other. The redhead's lips formed an "O". "You said you weren't that hungry," she swallowed the bread guiltily and searched the blanket for uneaten food, "You can have my apple."
The blonde set her backpack on the ground and took the fruit from Willow's hand. She watched her girlfriend's eyes grow wide and frowned, "What's wrong?"
"Nothing," Willow flashed a tiny smile, trying her best to ignore the large bite that she had taken from the apple. Tara let it go and sunk her teeth into the opposite side. "So," she began, her eyes coming to rest on the light blue bag, "did you find it?"
"Yeah," Tara took two more bites and set the fruit onto her napkin, "but before I show you, you have to swear you won't laugh. I mean it." She tried to put on her stern face, but the attempt was cracked by a lopsided smile.
"I promise I won't laugh," the redhead bit her lip, eager to get her hands on the book that Tara had pulled from her pack. "C'mon, I've been asking to see it all day. Why would I laugh now?"
Tara weighed the truth in Willow's words and inched closer to her girlfriend, settling beside the excited redhead. She placed the notebook on Willow's lap and snuggled closer into the other girl's shoulder.
"Are you sure this is okay?" Willow asked, knowing that every intimate detail that Tara had thought up was possibly written in the book she cradled in her hands.
Positive with her decision, the blonde answered. "Yes, I... I want you to read it." Her mouth lifted into a smile and chastely kissed Willow's cheek before resting her head in the crook between her friend's neck and shoulder.
"Where should I start?" The younger girl asked, "Which part has the juiciest bits? You know, that late night fantasies, that sort of thing." Grinning when Tara lightly pinched her side, Willow opened to a random page. "There isn't a date." She scanned the top of each page.
"Just read it," Tara murmured beside her.
Willow silently read the beginning line and stopped, "Will you read it to me?" She saw Tara's features redden from the corner of her eye, "It wouldn't be the same with me reading it."
The blonde had no problem with allowing her girlfriend to read her journal, but reading it herself, aloud, was a completely different story. Willow turned to face the blushing young woman, "You can pretend that I'm not even here."
"That won't work," Tara said, finding it hard to ignore the warm body beside her. Willow slowly poked her lower lip out while arching red eyebrows at the same time. "Give it here," with a playful roll of her eyes, she accepted the book.
Willow excitedly snuggled downward until her head lay on the older girl's lap. Tara idly began to twist red strands between her fingers and secured the book so that it was near Willow's head but resting on her leg.
The blonde took a deep breath and began.
Willow opened her mouth to speak but was silenced by a finger and a quiet shush from Tara.
My eyes won't stay closed long enough to dream. She's probably asleep now, and I cannot help but wonder what thoughts are going through that mind of hers. We kissed today and it was so soft, magnificent... beautiful.
She smiled down at the younger woman before forcing her eyes back onto the page.
I cannot get over the feeling of her lips over mine, the gentle slide of each caress. My mind replayed the scene over and over all night and now I'm restless. I've squeezed my eyes shut tightly, trying to dream of her, but I keep opening them to the same green and gold flashes dancing across the ceiling.
Tara felt Willow's head tilt back so that she could see her read.
I miss her smell. The way she lingers when I touch her arm or get close enough to inhale the scent floating from her hair. I cannot describe how she makes me feel... not completely. The words are often lost or don't do her nearly enough justice. I don't deserve her.
Willow twisted around and sat up to face her girlfriend as she read. The blonde stopped reading and sought her friend's eyes, "I'm not making sense. I-It's just rambling," she said, embarrassed by the intensity of the other girl's gaze.
"Please, keep going," Willow whispered, spellbound.
Encouraged to go on, Tara blushed and beamed with excitement.
Her smile melts me, turns me into a cliché full of hearts and candies, and long walks on the beach...
The blonde went on until each word robbed the moisture from her throat, and left her dry with emotion.
Tara silently watched as her girlfriend mumbled within her sleep. The redhead has risen early that morning and had spent the better part of their sessions, fighting sleep. When the couple had returned to Tara's room that afternoon, Willow immediately curled up beside the blonde.
Raising the corner of her mouth into a tiny smile, Tara continued to enjoy the way Willow's eyebrows bunched in her sleep and the small twitching of her nose as if she had to sneeze.
I'm going to lose you.
The thought, which Tara had been denying, suddenly pushed toward the surface. Willow's nose creased while the fine lines of her mouth turned downward. The two women lay facing each other, their bodies only inches apart.
The blonde could feel the steady breaths from her girlfriend's thinly parted lips wash over her face. Finally, she felt like she belonged, that she had found something she could call hers... and she would have to let it go.
"What are you thinking of?" The voice accompanied bright eyes as Willow gazed across to her girlfriend.
Lightly blushing from guilt, Tara smiled back, "Did I wake you? You can sleep a while longer, if-." The words were hushed by the gentle placement of the redhead's hand over Tara's hip.
Willow shook her head and reached up to push the blonde's hair over her shoulder, "You never answered my question." Her concern was clear.
"It's almost over," a small dip formed between Tara's brows. She pressed further into her pillow, attempting to dim some of the sadness she knew covered her face.
"You're worried," Willow scooted closer to thread her fingers with those of her girlfriend's. "So am I," she confessed, sighing deeply before going on. "I'm afraid that I'll never see you again and that," she paused, briefly, "that you'll forget me when this is over."
Tara opened her mouth to protest, but was gently silenced. "Let me finish," with a sad smile, Willow continued once the blonde nodded. "You're so new to me, but I feel like I've known you longer," she clutched Tara's hand securely as her eyes darted quickly around her friend's face. In that moment, a simple thought changed her mind. "I don't want to talk about tomorrow or the day after, okay?"
Gazing down at their joined hands, Tara nodded after a moment. She knew that dwelling on the future wouldn't make it any easier when it came.
"I don't want to think right now, I only want to...," Willow's nose tipped forward to brush the point of Tara's. Her hand moved to caress the firm jaw of her girlfriend, "...to feel." Parted lips inched forward.
Tara's thoughts went from 60 to zero in a matter of seconds. Was it possible that tears could taste so sweet? They faintly wet the top edges of their joined lips and silently departed south. If they were from her or Willow, she couldn't tell.
Fear melted between the soft, connecting slopes of their mouths. Willow had moved closer and the surfaces of their clothing touched while their stomachs fluttered with warmth and excitement.
Rediscovering. It was the only word either girl could use to name what they felt.
Fingers spread, Tara's hand moved over the redhead's back as she pulled Willow more into her body. The top layer of her lip bumped the lower flesh of the other girl's before teeth caught the tender skin. Letting go, the blonde set her sights below and dipped to run her lips beneath the edge of Willow's jawbone.
The redhead felt her eye twitch and gasped from the incredible stroke of Tara's mouth wandering around her throat. It felt like a dozen feathers were teasing the sensitive patch of skin and sent a jolt of electricity throughout her entire body.
Ecstasy was broken when Tara pulled her mouth away. Panting, the blonde gazed down, "Should I s-stop?" She had never gone as far before and wasn't sure how Willow felt.
"No... I mean, unless you want to," hesitant, Willow watched for any signs of Tara being uncomfortable. She moved to sit up but was guided back into her previous spot.
Blonde strands framed Tara's face as she wordlessly shook her head. Smiling sweetly, she continued to rediscover.