Tara huffed and puffed her way up the stairs towards her apartment waving at Mrs Brown before picking the keys out of her pocket and placing them in the lock. She didn't get any further before the door swung open and Mrs Maclay greeted her daughter with a wide smile.
"What're you so happy about?" The blonde questioned cautiously, such a smile usually meant her mother knew something she shouldn't or was up to something she shouldn't be.
"Nothing I'm just happy to see you."
"Um hm." Tara retorted sceptically.
"So how are things with Willow?" The older woman tried to think of a tactful way to broach the subject, but her inner nosiness had been going wild since her daughter had confessed to the kiss she had shared with her friend, so the tact went out the window.
Tara threw down her bag then shrugged off her coat and hung it on the rack by the door, a ginger and white furball caught her attention and a smile beamed on her face.
"Missy!" She cooed picking up her beloved cat who was fussy with the blondes attention and rubbing her face against Tara's.
"Sweetie? Willow?... how are things with Willow?"
"Oh she's good, her casts were taken off and everything, she starts physiotherapy in a few days, but today she's gone Christmas shopping with her mom so here I am... I'm all yours until three thirty."
The older woman frowned at not quite getting the information she wanted.
"I meant personally how are things... I'm guessing they're well since you haven't been home in almost a week."
"Oh they're good." Tara said nonchalantly although she was laughing at her mother on the inside, but the older woman's frown deepened so the blonde gave in. "Ok ok they're great! Willow and I are taking things slowly."
"Slow as in...?"
"So Willow and yourself are an Item?"
"Yes, but a slow item... very very slow."
"Oh sweetheart I'm happy for you Willow seems like a lovely girl." The older woman wrapped her daughter up in a celebratory hug and kissed her temple, truly happy that Tara had gotten what she wanted. Just by observing her daughter she could tell how smitten she was with the redhead.
Missy meowed at being squashed between the two women and Tara laughed at her favourite feline. "You've gotten grumpy in my absence Missy I'm sorry." She then looked at mother and indicated that the apology was for her to for not being around so much. The older woman just waved her hand and brushed it off as nonsense.
"So I have you to myself for the whole day?"
"Until three thirty."
"Why three thirty?"
"Because I scheduled in some writing time, with everything been so busy just lately I'm a little off track."
Nodding her head in understanding the older woman looked at the clock on the far wall in the kitchen then decided her plan of action would be "Breakfast, then to that little market on the corner of south avenue."
"Oh I haven't been there in years that sounds like fun." The blonde beamed at the idea. "Just let me change and freshen up I won't be long."
Mrs Maclay parked the car in the nearest parking space possible to south avenue market without actually having to pay. That concluded that both women would have to walk at least two blocks until they came to the busy place full of life and character. The market had been there since Tara and Donny had been children and the blonde still had memories of the family outings and atmosphere that emanated from this particular place.
The smell of hot dogs and burgers mixed in with the cold damp air assaulted their senses as they came closer to their destination. The familiar noises and sights triggered a feeling of nostalgia in Mrs Maclay as she turned to study her daughter who seemed to be taking in everything around her with a sad yet not unpleasant remembrance of earlier days.
Looping her arm in Tara's, Mrs Maclay smiled at her daughter in acknowledgement then lead the way deeper into the market.
People shouted trying to advertise their products and young children held fast on to their mom or dad's hand. Adults talked and laughed with one another as they scanned different stalls and the ground crackled as shoes repeatedly hit the gravel filled roads. The whole place seemed alive and it's atmosphere wrapped itself around Tara, causing a warm sensation to fill her chest. The sensation made her smile as her thoughts drifted to Willow. Since she met the redhead that warm sensation never seemed to leave and neither did her smile.
Willow watched as her mom scanned the display in front of the window of a cosmetics store, her eyes tracing the neat display as she searched for one thing in particular and when she found it she pressed her finger against the cool glass and tapped on it a few times.
Nodding at her daughter she scurried behind the redhead and grabbed the handles of her wheelchair then wheeled her into the store.
Willow just sat and allowed the older woman to take her wherever she liked, she had since admitted to herself that the last time she had been this content with her mother was never... she couldn't remember spending so much time with her mom and enjoying it, but today she was. The older woman was smiling, beaming in fact and enthusiastic and energetic, she was full of life and love and Willow had never known her be so... so easy to get along with.
"Are you ok Sweetheart? Is this to much? Do you need to take a rest?" Mrs Rosenberg broke through her daughters pensive thoughts and searched the younger woman's face for signs of tiredness. "Perhaps we should have waited a little longer before we took such an excursion I..."
"Mom I'm ok." Willow chuckled to herself. Was that how she sounded when she started to babble? "I'm actually having fun, but maybe when you've got everything you need we could look for a present for Tara?"
"Oh sure Honey." The older woman relaxed and took the handles of Willow's chair again wheeled her out of the shop having gotten what she wanted. Even though the Rosenberg's were Jewish Willow always felt it necessary to take part in Christmas, She enjoyed shopping for gifts to give other people and it always stirred her childish excitement..
"Do you have anything specific in mind that you'd like to get her?"
"It has to be something... something special." The redhead decided with a nod.
Tara stood shivering against the cold as she looked at one particular stall that interested her, Candles littered a long wooden table covered in cloth and each one was more unique than the last. One candle stood out with the words 'mom' written on it in a light lilac colour that stood out against it's cream back ground and a poem was written underneath. The blonde read the poem and decided straight away that she wanted the candle as a present. Grabbing the man's attention who was sitting behind the table on a fold out chair she smiled sweetly at him and handed over her money, receiving her change in time to hide the object from her mothers eyes.
"What did ya get?" Mrs Maclay asked trying to peek into the brown paper bag her daughter was holding tightly to her chest.
"Nothing, don't be nosey." Tara retorted playfully swatting away her mother's hand.
"That's ok. I just won't tell you what's in my bag either." The older woman said with a twinkle in her eye.
Tara just smiled and raised her eyebrows knowing her mother was trying to coax her to show all, but Mrs Maclay laughed and looped her arm into Tara's when she realised she wasn't going to win.
"So have you found anything for Willow?"
"Not yet, but I'm looking, It's hard to shop for a Jewish Christmas present y'know? Plus there are so many things I think she would like I just want to get them all, but I don't think that's appropriate, or at least not yet. I think I'll get her two things... maybe three... I mean three isn't over doing it, but four might be... what?" The blonde stopped talking at her mothers loud laugh.
"Since when did you become a babbler?" Mrs Maclay said through chuckles.
Tara's face reddened as she blushed. "Probably since I started dating a babbler."
"Willow babbles?" The older woman asked in surprise.
"What you don't believe me?... you'll see!!"
Tara walked into Willow's room to the sight of her girlfriend sleeping. The redhead's laptop rested on her thighs and her delicate fingers were still on the keys as if Willow had just dropped off without warning. Her angelic face was partially hidden by her hair and Tara carefully placed the bags in her hands on the floor to brush the hair back and see her girlfriend's beautiful face more fully. She studied the smooth milky skin and the light crinkle that was etched between Willow's brow as if she was dreaming. If she was Tara wondered what about. What she dreaming of her? Them together? Her own dreams usually consisted of Willow's playful laughter and mischievous face, those mornings she woke content and satiated knowing that even in sleep Willow was with her.
Unable to resist Tara leant forward and placed a gently kiss on Willow's soft lips and felt the redhead stir beneath her. Pulling back she watched as her girlfriend woke. She loved this part, when Willow was confused and fuzzy from sleep, she loved to watch the recognition work it's way into her mind and then the bright angelic smile spread across her face.
"That's how I should be woken up everyday." The redhead beamed as she stretched her thin frame.
Tara stood and lifted the laptop from Willow's legs and placed it on the cabinet beside the bed then shook off her coat throwing it on the floor.
"I'll try my best." She promised whilst getting into a comfortable position next to her girlfriend. "Did you have a good day?"
Willow eyed the bags on the floor and her curiosity was piqued, she lifted her head from the pillow to get a better look but was frustrated when she still couldn't see anything.
"Do you really think I'd bring your presents into this room?" Tara raised her eyebrow already knowing the answer. "They're my mom's, every year she raids my entire apartment looking for her presents so I thought it would be best if I hid them here."
Willow pouted in defeat "That's not playing fair it took my mom at least 6 years to figure out I always knew what she'd got me through strategic snooping."
"Well you're impatient with everything else I didn't think Jewish Christmas would be any different."
The redhead giggled at the term 'Jewish Christmas' and turned to face her girlfriend.
"I forgot to light my candles this year, I mean I didn't forget I was just busy what with all the new things going on and the recovering and, well, everything... I'm going to start doing it tonight and then every night until the party."
"Yeah usually on the last night of Hanukkah we have a huge party to celebrate with friends, family and some of my dad's business associates, but this year we couldn't because I wasn't well enough so we put it back a few weeks. Now the party will be the night before Christmas eve."
"Sounds like fun!" Tara beamed. "So... um... are you busy tomorrow?"
The redhead eyed her girlfriend suspiciously then shook her head. "Why'd you ask?"
"I can't stay over tonight I have some work to do, but I want to take you somewhere tomorrow morning around eight."
"Eight are you kidding me I'll still be blowing Zzz's?!"
Tara giggled at her girlfriend's wide eyes, "No you won't you'll be awake."
The two women turned their heads towards the door as Mrs Maclay's voice drifted through the wood instructing the blonde to get ready to leave. Sighing Tara lifted herself up on her arms and made to move off the bed, but Willow's hand on her wrist stopped her.
"Don't I get a kiss before you leave?"
Smiling devilishly Tara shifted so her hands were either side of Willow's head then used her knee to nudge the redhead's legs apart and place her body between them. She held her mouth close to Willow's, looking into her eyes and seeing the want within them. Tara let her breath massage her girlfriend's lips for a moment measuring how long it took until she lost her patience. She smiled as Willow captured her lips then groaned as the redhead's tongue thrust into her mouth with unexpected force and slid her own along the length of her girlfriends feeling it's warm, silky texture.
Tara pulled back at the feeling of skin against skin and realised Willow had successfully managed to tug her shirt above her stomach and was sliding her hands upward. The redhead stopped her hands when their lips parted and scanned Tara's eyes for a reaction. Realising her girlfriend wasn't offended, just surprised, she allowed her hands to continue sliding against Tara's skin. Enjoying the softness and bathing in the knowledge that her actions were affecting her girlfriend. Willow was encouraged, she had never explored Tara this way before, she had only been briefly explored and she savoured every bit of the blonde that she touched.
Their lips met again, more softly, more gently. Their kisses were more like caresses as their bodies reacted to one another. Willow cupped Tara's breasts in her hands, carefully aware of the pull in her left arm that was still healing, she cautiously explored and massaged, feeling her girlfriends nipples through the fabric of her bra. She was overwhelmed by the reaction she received from just simply touching Tara, and felt a sense of pride as the blonde's hips slowly rotated against her, knowing that she could make her girlfriend feel how she felt when they were together.
Tara broke the kiss and teasingly slid her lips along the redhead's jaw, kissing her way to the pulse point she knew was there, waiting for her attention, begging to be taken into her mouth and sucked and as her lips wrapped round that sensitive spot, Willow sighed happily. She felt drunk and weak, yet every nerve stood on end as her body tensed and begged for more.
Her mind was fuzzy, but slowly reality trickled back as Tara untangled herself from her girlfriend's loving grasp, their breaths came quickly and deeply, their skin burned and bodies yearned, but Tara gathered herself and pushed up onto her knees. It was too easy to get lost in the moment and however good it felt for Willow to be touching her, she knew it was important for them to just touch and caress for the time being until Willow was undoubtedly ready for more and she felt comfortable with what would pass between them.
Grasping her girlfriend's hands Tara placed light kisses on Willow's knuckles, paying extra care on the redhead's left hand she then leaned down and gently kissed the redhead's lips.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" Tara whispered huskily and smiled lovingly at the nod she received. She almost choked on the intensity that was gripping her chest and she fought back three words that she desperately wanted to say at this moment as her girlfriend laid adorably flustered and speechless, but she kept it in and instead managed. "Night Wil."
Willow watched as Tara left the room and closed the door behind her, she felt the overwhelming urge to go after her, make her stay, hold her until she fell asleep. Yet she didn't know why. That look in Tara's eyes had caught her off guard, she had seen a glimpse of intensity in them before, but never had it been so unguarded... or so raw. It had never been shown to her as it had been just then, in all it's glory and Willow felt strangely at ease. Happy in fact.
She didn't want to run or hide. She didn't want to plan a strategy of avoidance or pretend it didn't happen. Willow wanted to embrace it, she wanted to see it again.