Return to Spark to a Flame Chapter Six

Spark to a Flame

Author: Auburn
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters but the story is mine.

Mrs Maclay dragged her daughter by the arm and guided the shopping cart down the desert isle, Tara was protesting that perhaps they should buy dinner before desert because that was the actual order they were eaten, but the older woman driven by an urge to be tempted by chocolate covered treats firmly demanded that the desert isle be their first destination and Tara could only be dragged along helplessly, her mothers appetite for chocolate reminded the blonde of Willow's love of what they both called her 'sugar addiction'. Willow would just argue that, of all the things to be addicted to, sugar was the best.

"Oh chocolate cream slices sound absolutely divine, maybe we should get those, oh wait chocolate muffins with a caramel center those sound divine too... I can't decide..." The older woman gasped in delight at being surrounded by chocolate goodness.

"Get both." Tara said simply as she glared at a passer-by that was staring at her mother's strange behaviour.

"Tara?" A familiar voice spoke behind the blonde's back and she turned to see Mrs Rosenberg smiling warmly at her.

The two women greeted each other politely then Tara tried unsuccessfully to gain her mother's attention.

"Mother will you put that down I'd like you to meet someone!"

Mrs Maclay who had been staring in awe at a particular chocolate covered cake turned and gave her daughter an irritated glare before she noticed an older woman staring at her patiently.

"Mom this is Mrs Rosenberg, Willow's mother."

"OH... oh I'm terribly sorry its very nice to meet you I'm Anna Maclay, but you can call me Anna." Tara's mom held out her hand and they embraced briefly.

"It's very nice to meet you to Anna call me Shelia, your daughter has been a huge part in Willow's recovery, without her my daughter would be climbing the walls with boredom." The redheaded woman smiled gratefully at Tara with genuine appreciation in her eyes.

"Yes Tara has told me so much about your family and she says her and Willow are becoming close friend, perhaps you and I should have coffee sometime? Tara are you going to see Willow today?"

The blonde knew that was her mother's way of inviting herself along and all she could do was nod her answer.

"Then that's settled." Mrs Rosenberg smiled at the possibility of having someone other than her daughter, who was mostly asleep or had her head stuck in that book to talk to and her husband who avoided anything that would put him in the position where he could be coaxed into doing odd jobs around the house. "I'll see you both later I'm sure Willow would love to meet you Anna."

Tara watched the retreating form of Mrs Rosenberg then looked back at her mother's face and shook her head at the older woman's obvious playful gloating.

"You're impossible mom!" Tara exclaimed.

Mrs Maclay handed her coat to her daughter who took it from her and hung it on pegs in the Rosenberg home's closet, having never used it herself she had been surprised when Sheila asked her politely to deposit their outdoor coats in the room provided. Tara did so with her mother's coat, but she took hers with her and immediately made her way to Willow's room half-heartedly telling the two older women where she was going.

She stepped into the room and closed the door behind her then leaned against the wood, letting out an exasperated breath she closed her eyes and let herself relax. Sheila and Anna had run into each other many times in the store and in the end they stayed together discussing everything from hair dye to different types of underwear. Mrs Rosenberg then drove Tara and Anna home to deposit their groceries and then to the Rosenberg home. Tara was exhausted just trying to keep up with them both and she was at least 25 years their junior.

Finally regrouping herself the blonde pushed back off the door and opened her eyes to see Willow looking at her with big, green concerned orbs, smiling softly Tara threw her coat and bag unceremoniously onto the floor whilst kicking off her shoes and climbed onto the bed.

"You won't believe what happened to me." Tara pouted the expression much like Willow's and the redhead gathered Tara up into her arms, an instinctual action she didn't think anything of and ran her hand through soft, blonde hair.

"What could be so bad that it's made you pout? I've never seen a Tara-pout before." Willow was captivated by the blonde's lips as they took on a child-like sulking expression and like when she had been captivated by Tara's half smile, she was totally unnerved by it, but this time she kept herself together.

"My mother is out there with your mother and I'm pretty sure they're talking about menopause."

"My mom and your mom?" Willow chuckled at the very thought. "How did that happen?"

The blonde let out a childish snort and unconsciously snuggled deeper into the embrace. "My mom and I were shopping; your mom was shopping... the rest is history."

"Oh come on, it can't have been that bad?" The redhead chuckled once again, the usual ache in her arm and leg was beginning to surface and Carl was due to arrive any minute which would only make the ache worse.

"I guess when it's thanksgiving you'll see." Tara lifted herself up and propped her head up on her hand; her free arm still wrapped firmly around Willow's midsection.

"What do you mean?" The redhead knitted her brow together in confusion and shifted slightly to get a better view of Tara's face.

"Oh our mothers get on so well that we're coming to thanksgiving." The blonde explained, Shelia had enthusiastically announced that the Maclay's were to spend thanksgiving at the Rosenberg's when she eyed the extremely large selection of chocolate treats, suspiciously enough she had also announced that perhaps the Maclay's should bring desert.

"Well it should be fun..." Willow began, but her bedroom door opened slowly to reveal Carl walking in carefully with a cup almost overflowing with coffee.

"Oh I'm sorry Mrs Rosenberg told me to just walk right in I'll come back in a few minutes." The young man apologised, seeing the two women comfortably embracing on the bed.

"What for? Tara's having a bad day our moms seem to have banded together to become the next banger sisters." Willow explained, seemingly oblivious to the young man's impression.

Tara laughed at the 'banger sisters' reference but the young man only smiled politely, not quite knowing what it meant. Placing the overflowing cup of coffee on a nearby surface he clapped his hands together.

"Right are we ready?"

"I'll come back later ok?" Tara extracted herself from the redhead's warm body where she had felt completely at home and consciously ignored the parts that tingled where Willow's smaller frame had touched her own and although Willow didn't acknowledge her body's reaction to the loss of Tara near her, she felt the same way too.

"No you can stay, talk to me while Carl moves my limbs in ways I'm not sure are necessary." The redhead almost pleaded, she needed the distraction from the ache and she knew for some reason the ache lessened when Tara was there.

Tara did as she was asked unable to do anything but watch as Carl instructed Willow to do isometric exercises, the redhead strained the muscle in her injured leg and arm, having to hold the tension for a few moments until relaxing. The concentration on her face was evident and Tara recognised it from the time she observed her friend at the park, the stern stare in her eyes held a glint of pain and the blonde knew Willow was hurting.

All Tara wanted to do was tell the Carl to stop making Willow do things that hurt, but she knew that was irrational behaviour due to seeing her friend in pain. The blonde wasn't used to seeing this side of the redhead's injuries, she mostly just saw Willow in bed although Tara knew it hurt sometimes she never knew to what extent and the best she could do was hold Willows hand and be as supportive as possible.

The young man's hands seemed to visibly caress the redhead's skin as he rotated her good ankle to work out the stiffness of her joints and mentally Tara was giving him pimples, greasy hair and a gigantic nose out of childish jealousy. The emotion coursed through her like hot liquid and she disliked herself for it.

All three occupants of the room physically jolted when someone's cell phone began to ring, Carl blushed shyly and retrieved a small silver cell from his pocket and while he spoke Willow and Tara glanced at each other amused.

"Uh I'm sorry." He smiled sheepishly when he finished his phone conversation. "That was my mom she slipped on some ice on her way home from bridge club and has to go get her hip checked. I hope you don't mind, but I'll have to cut this session short, you really need to exercise those joints though they felt a little stiffer than usual."

"I'll get Tara to help me." Willow winked at the blonde and assured the young man that he should leave.

He quickly grabbed his coat and explained that he would be back the day after tomorrow then smiled at Willow before exiting the room. Both women sat quietly, Tara glad he was gone so he couldn't touch the redhead anymore and Willow glad that he wasn't manipulating her sore limbs.

Willow's eyes widened in surprise when Tara sat at the end of the bed and gently lifted her foot onto her lap with warm hands, the blonde's eyebrow raised in question, asking if it was ok and although Willow hadn't actually expected Tara to help with her exercises she was pleased that the blonde was readily willing to help.

The redhead nodded her consent and watched as her ankle was held by firm yet gentle hands and the joint was more massaged that exercised. The contrast of Carl's rough hands against Tara's was pleasantly different as the soft skin slid smoothly against her own. Tara held the arch of Willow's foot firmly and used her wrist to control the joint of the redhead's ankle rotating it clockwise then anti-clockwise to work away at the stiffness caused by Willow's inability to be more mobile.

Tara continued this action in a trance, her body reacting to the soft flesh in her hands until she consciously shook herself and began to blush when she realised Willow was looking at her intently. Placing the redhead's foot down gently on the bed Tara smiled sheepishly, sure Willow was aware of her odd behaviour, but in truth the redhead was busy enjoying the delicate way in which her friend touched her.

Realising Tara had stopped; Willow tapped her right knee with her right hand and indicated that it also needed to be exercised.

The blonde slid up the bed and grasped the back of Willow's thigh with her left hand keeping her grip as gentle as possible then held the inside of her calf with her right hand. Holding the redhead's thigh firmly in place Tara then carefully raised Willow's lower leg continuing the motions and varying the speed or pressure every so often, her eyes never looking away from what she was doing.

The way in which Tara touched her made the redheads mind wander to the book she had almost finished reading, the dreams in which the characters dreamt had been so sensual that Willow knew upon reading them she felt a twinge of arousal, she just explained to herself it was the way the scenes were wonderfully written rather than the fact that it was two women being intimate, but right now she couldn't explain the familiar stirrings she recognised as her body reacted to the soft hands caressing her leg.

Her eyes locked with Tara's and the blonde allowed the eye contact for a short while until it became to much for her and she quickly looked away unsure of what to make of the intensity in the redhead's gaze.

Willow debated internally about whether she should inform Tara that her right hip joint needed exercising, but she wasn't sure if she could cope with the blonde's hands upon her in a more daring way. Placing her hand over Tara's that held her under her thigh firmly she stopped the blonde's motion and lowered her leg, intertwining their digits Willow pulled Tara to lay next to her and settled her breathing. Her mind fighting to come up with a suitable explanation as to what was causing her body to tingle and her temperature to rise and as her breathing began to even itself out she felt a gentle pressure against her cheek as Tara kissed her timidly. It took all her strength not to turn her head and meet those soft, supple lips with her own.

Turning as much as she could Willow settled herself against the blonde's chest, her inner turmoil causing her to seek comfort in Tara's embrace. The one thing that caused her confusion was also the one thing that could ease it.

Continue to Spark to a Flame Chapter Eight

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