Tara wiped the back of her hand across her forehead not realising she had just smudged paint onto herself, the blonde then stepped back and inspected her work. The light shade of beige on the walls added a soft glow to the once dark and sullen atmosphere of Willow's living room and Tara smiled to herself, the small changes she had made to the redhead's once neglected house made a big difference and would inevitably allow the process of making this a happy home easier.
She picked up a half full bottle of water from a cloth covered table and took a sip, the cool liquid feeling nice against her heated throat.
"So, is Willow moving in next week or the week after?" Donny broke the silence in the room and sat heavily in an arm chair, huffing as he did so. His clothes were stained with paint and his face was dusty.
"Next week. She wants to celebrate New Year here and she wants to try and 'regain her independence' although with everyone checking in on her every five minutes that's going to be a hard thing for her to do." Tara smirked and allowed her fingers to play with a familiar object that sat eloquently around her neck.
"She'll unplug the phone." Mrs. Rosenberg stated as she walked into the room. Two bags filled her arms and Donny stood to help her with them. "At least if you call she'll answer."
Tara smiled at Willow's mother knowing that would probably be true.
"I went grocery shopping." The older woman informed. "Just the basics, but if my daughter asks tell her you did it so she won't think I'm interfering." Mrs. Rosenberg rolled her eyes then took in the changes that had been made to the once neglected house, "I can't believe just how different this place looks, how much more is there to do?" She asked and eyed the living room appreciatively, one coat of paint made a world of difference to this once dreary room.
"Not much." Tara beamed. "Just the bedroom, but I thought it would be nice if Willow and I could do that together. She'll probably want to make a few changes to the rest of the house once she's well enough, but at least she doesn't have to do too much as soon as she moves in."
"Of course." Sheila agreed with her daughter's thoughtful girlfriend. "Well, it looks like you have everything under control so I'm going to get ready for dinner with Rosemary. I owe your mother a huge favour for coming with me, but don't tell her I said that."
Tara chuckled at the older woman and playfully made a motion of locking her mouth shut.
Willow sat comfortably on the large couch in the Rosenberg living room, her injured leg spread across the length of the cushions and her mind focusing intently on the screen of her laptop.
Tara watched for a moment, having been let in by Ira she was surprised when the man informed her of Willow's whereabouts. Usually the redhead was in her room doing her work alone.
Willow's hand came up to tame a stray strand of hair that fell in front of her eyes, she managed to tuck it halfway behind her ear before her hand was intercepted by soft fingers on her own.
"Hey." Tara smiled softly at her girlfriend's wide green eyes and finished what the redhead had started, tucking the stray strand of hair behind her delicate ear, she ran her fingers along Willow's jaw line before dropping her hand.
"You startled me." Willow admitted whilst moving her laptop to one side for the blonde to sit beside her.
Gently lifting the redhead's leg, Tara sat then rested it on her lap.
"Sorry." She apologised. "You're always in a world of you're own when you're working. It's hard not to."
"It gets busy in here." Willow admitted and tapped her finger against her temple. "Can you smell that? Is that you?" She leaned closer to her girlfriend and sniffed. "It is, what have you been doing?"
"It all depends on what you can smell." Tara blinked her eyes innocently and received a playful swat from her girlfriend.
"Paint, I can smell paint, and...oooo, and chocolate are there muffins in here? did you bring muffins?" Willow turned in her seat to try and find her favourite treat. Spotting the bag which was out of her reach she turned back and gave her girlfriend a pitiful pout.
"What's it worth?" Tara smirked.
"A really huge kiss?" The redhead tried to bargain knowing that her mischievous girlfriend had put them out of her reach on purpose.
"This huge." Willow smiled as she held her hands a reasonable distance apart.
"Ok." The blonde caved and reached for the brown paper bag then held it towards her girlfriend, but as Willow went to grab it Tara pulled it away.
"So close." The redhead chuckled. "Kiss now then sugary goodness?"
"Of course." Tara's smirk was smothered by Willow's lips as she playfully peppered her girlfriend's mouth with kisses. "You...are...so...not...fair!" She declared between pecks and reduced the blonde to a giggling mess.
"Ok here, here take them!" Tara gave in thrusting the bag towards Willow whose lips were about to attack her neck. "You win." She said laughing breathlessly and straightened her crinkled clothes.
"Payback is a really big... oh would you look at the size of these." Willow's eyes widened like a child's as she ripped a piece off the muffin and thrust it into her mouth. "Mmmoh mmmy mmmod."
"Yummy?" Tara cocked her eyebrow.
"Mmefinitely!" Willow declared as she swallowed. "So why the paint smell? Why haven't I seen you all day? There should be some sort of law that states any lengthy period of time without Tara smoochies is a no no!"
The blonde took her girlfriend's free hand with her own and gently ran her thumb along the soft skin while she spoke. "Donny and I have been painting your house, I haven't done anything major. I just thought it would be nice if you moved in next week with it at least half way liveable."
"Of course." Willow squeezed Tara's hand gratefully. "In that case maybe I can forgive not seeing you all day." She tugged on the hand and pulled the blonde to her and when their lips met she sank into the cushions taking Tara with her.
Tara's kisses were chaste until Willow poked out her tongue to gain entrance into her girlfriend's mouth. The blonde didn't hesitate and slowly parted her lips for Willow to explore, the gentle thrusts of her tongue brushed against soft, moist lips teasing Tara until the blonde brought her tongue to meet her mischievous girlfriend's.
Willow felt something cold slide against the soft skin of her neck and smiled internally, but when Tara pulled her lips away and looked at Willow oddly she realised her smile hadn't been so internal.
"You're wearing my necklace." Willow explained shyly and lifted her hand to take the silver piece of jewellery between her fingers, its amber coloured stone shimmering as light hit it's surface it brough a smile at the memory of Christmas day which was only two days ago.
"You think I would take it off? It is the best Jewish-Christmas present ever and the first thing you have given me." Tara beamed and took a light kiss from her girlfriend's lips trying to convey her appreciation. "I really.... really.... love it." She said between kisses and felt Willow's proud smile against her mouth.
"I'll make a note to buy you things more often if this is the response I get." Willow's smile beamed across her face.
Both women startled slightly as the front door slammed shut, the huffing and puffing of two exhausted mothers made them look at each other knowingly. Extricating themselves from one another, Tara handed her girlfriend her crutches and they made their way to the kitchen.
"Never again, Sheila. Never... Ever... Again. The next time Rosemary invites you to lunch tell her you are sick, tell her your kitchen flooded, for goodness sake tell her your arm fell off if you have to."
"I take it you didn't have a good time then?" Tara asked, amusement clear on her face as she helped Willow sit on a chair.
"Understatement of the year. That woman could bleed information out of a stone." Anna answered her daughter, her face began to flush with all her ranting.
"I warned you before you accepted my offer," Sheila stated "I told you she would be relentless with her questions, but you were having none of it."
"You warned me, yes.... but you should have shaken me and said no, for my own mental health, if nothing else."
"Well, we won't see her now until next Christmas." The older woman slumped into a chair next to Willow. Mother and daughter looked at each other and smiled knowing what the other was thinking. "Next Christmas we're going away." They said in unison.
Willow sat comfortably on her bed, her laptop pushed to one side as she watched Tara move about the room graciously removing her outer layer of clothing to adjust fully to the high temperature inside the house. She placed the discarded coat and sweater on a chair in the corner making sure her bag was next to it and took out her pen and writing pad in the hopes of getting some writing done whilst Willow worked on her laptop, having had very little chance over the holiday period to write so much as a sentence. She placed the pen in her mouth and the pad under her arm so she could use both hands to carry two cups of coffee towards the nightstand and within reach of her girlfriend, but when she turned Tara was greeted with two scornful eyebrows making her hurry towards the stand and discard of the cups so she could remove the pen from her mouth.
"What?" She asked, confused.
"You're chewing on my Jewish Christmas present if I had known your need for oral stimulation was so bad I would have bought you some gum." Willow chided and picked up the pen that had been in Tara's mouth, it's light blue colouring matched her girlfriend's eyes perfectly.
"I do that with all my pens." Tara admitted. "Anyhow this one is from you and shall therefore be more suckable than the rest." She added playfully and appreciated the chuckle it received.
Taking the pen from Willow's fingers, Tara then settled herself next to her girlfriend and began writing, the progress was slow as her flow was interrupted every few minutes by a sigh or a nudge from the obviously bored redhead next to her. Tara chose to ignore it for a moment catching the enormous pout on her girlfriends lips every so often out of the corner of her eye and hid her laughter, knowing full well that Willow wanted her attention. A final sigh made her relent and she raised an eyebrow at the sighing woman next to her.
"I feel like I haven't seen you all day, I mentioned that right? Because I really do and I don't like it. You're my Tara. Mine. That means I see you whenever I want." Willow pouted more, putting every ounce of energy into her trademark grouchy face.
"You saw me when you woke up this morning I was laying next to you, remember?" Tara's eyebrow quirked in a playfully sarcastic fashion and she tried to suppress a smile as her girlfriend's lip jutted further out. Turning on the bed she sat facing Willow and took a smaller hand in hers. "I turned to you and said 'good morning' and then you said it back, I could have sworn it was you."
"It was, it was me. You say good morning to other women?" Willow feigned jealousy.
"No, just one woman although she is more than a handful." Tara teased then kissed her girlfriend lightly on the lips. "Don't you have work to do? You were tapping on that thing mercilessly when I walked in." She said nodding towards the discarded laptop.
Willow shook her head, "I'm all worked out for today, and everything is on schedule. The woman I left in charge, Anya, she's coping with things really well, although honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about that." She frowned a little threatened by her employee's ability at managing things without her.
"No matter how well they're managing I'm sure they all miss you like crazy." Tara reassured and threw her pen and pad onto the floor, an idea forming in her head as she sat and carefully straddled her girlfriend's prostrated form. Willow's eyebrows raised in surprise, her hands coming to rest on Tara's thighs either side of her body as she found herself beneath a very beautiful and very mischievous looking Tara.
"Well, if you're not working and I can't work because you're not working then maybe we should do something? You feel very tense, don't you think?" Tara said in a playful manner.
"Tense? Uh, I'm not tense?" Willow shook her head to punctuate her words then recognised the rising eyebrow directed at her and immediately understood. "Actually, as is just so happens, I'm very much with the tense, I'm tensed up. Un-tense me."
Tara chuckled at Willow's sudden enthusiasm for being tense and removed herself from the bed, stopping to ask, "Oil or lotion?"
"Lotion." Willow decided. "That way it'll go into my skin, not onto it and won't make a mess."
Tara stood for a moment, her eyes a little cloudy then blushed as she caught her girlfriend's questioning gaze.
"I had oily Willow imagery, I must be punished."
"Ok." Willow agreed wholeheartedly.