Author: TazRaven (Sara)
2: 11 am
Tara slept peacefully, warm in a cocoon of sheets. She turned over onto her left side, reaching her hand across the bed, instinctually searching for the heat of another person, but encountered nothing but air. The disappointment broke through her dreams and a questioning mumble escaped her lips.
Her eyes opened slowly, lazily, unfocused in the dark. The white blur of the covers, illuminated by the moonlight streaming in through the window, was the first image she registered. Her eyes closed again.
A thought wormed its way into her hazed mind and brought her closer to consciousness. The sheets were right, but there was something missing. No, not something.
The realization was enough to wake her. Her eyelids fluttered, then opened, the softly lit room immediately coming into focus.
"Will?" Tara mumbled, awake, but still not enough to speak properly. She rolled her tongue around, wrinkling her nose in disgust at the bad taste in her mouth, and tried again.
No answer. She stretched out her arm until it reached the edge of the mattress. The bed was cold, devoid of the warmth that should have accompanied Willow's recent presence. Propping herself onto her left elbow, Tara sat up and took stock of the bedroom.
A quick look around told her that Willow wasn't there. There was no light shining under the closed bathroom door, so probably not there either. Her brain finally kicked in, combining all of the evidence to come to the logical conclusion that Willow must not be in the room.
Kitchen, Tara thought. The thought was accompanied by a noise from downstairs. A cupboard door closing maybe, or something thudding on the counter. Probably getting a drink.
Tara thought of just laying her head back on the pillow and falling into a welcoming dream, but she was awake now, at least for the time being. Awake enough to think about the events of the past two days.
The best two days in a while. Tara rolled her eyes at the thought. Oh, be honest with yourself, Tara. They've probably been the best two days of your life.
"Maybe," she whispered to the room. "Doesn't mean everything's perfect."
Pretty close, though. Pretty close. Tara smiled to herself, reminiscing on the pretty close to perfect days she'd had with Will. There'd been kisses, so many kisses. The first one on the porch, then in the hallway, sneaking them in the living room, blowing them across the table when Judith wasn't looking, upstairs in their room, lying on the bed. Kisses that trailed from lips to cheeks to forehead and nose, butterfly kisses on the neck and collarbone, pecks and a sloppy wet one from Will right on Tara's ear.
And then the touching. They hadn't gone very far, just enough to tease, letting small touches linger, caressing forearms and shoulders, a hand on a hip, on the small of the back, and lower, until Tara had swatted Will on the shoulder.
Another sound came from downstairs, the clink of a glass being set on a table.
But Tara had stopped things. When Willow's hand had travelled farther down than she liked, when her kisses had become more passionate that Tara could cope with, she'd stopped her.
But why? Tara asked herself the question, but couldn't answer it. I love her. I know I do. Tara shook her head, the brunette tresses curtaining her face as she directed her gaze to the sheets.
This voice was soft and hesitant and strong at the same time. "Afraid," Tara whispered, "But not of her. Never of her."
No, not her. Of what will happen, when this little experiment is over.
She loved Willow, with all of her heart, but not with all of her mind. She needed time, to consider her life, and who she was introducing into it. But Tara knew, even if she never figured out why she loved Willow, or how, she knew she did. There was no denying it. She'd wanted to before, but now...
Now, it was enough. It was enough, she realized, to just love her. The semantics were details, pointless and trivial. It was enough, and she would show Willow that.
A noise echoed in the empty hall, this one the groan of the bottom step.
Tara sat up fully, edged to the side of the bed, and swung her legs over. It's enough. Running her hands through her bed-head hair, Tara felt her heart jump in anticipation of seeing Willow.
The doorknob turned and the door creaked open. The moonlight that continued to illuminate the room lent its beams to Willow. Tara felt her smile widen as she took in the image of her, her night gown loose and flowing, accentuating the hips and breasts of the woman she had grown to love. Her hair was tied up, but the color of it still took Tara's breath away, the auburn strands glowing in the light.
"What took you so-"
"Run," Willow whispered, so softly Tara wasn't sure she'd heard correctly.
Tara blinked and looked at Willow closely, wondering why she didn't see it immediately. Her face, normally so expressive and beautiful, was tight. With fear.
"Run," Willow whispered again.
So Tara did. Or at least, she tried. As Tara inched back onto the bed to sprint for the bathroom, another voice spoke.
"Try it, Ms. Maclay, and I'll blow her brains out all over this fuckin' bed."
That was enough to stop Tara in her tracks completely. She waited on the bed as Willow was nudged into the room, closely followed by a man Tara recognized. He was one of Malone's men, the one whose head she'd used as a way to break a vase. There was a gun in his right hand, currently pointed at Willow. I just had to hit him with the damn vase.
"Sit down," he growled to Willow, pushing her onto the bed beside Tara. "You two girls," he spat the word, "have got a fuckin' thing comin' to you." He paused, taking a moment to look at the pistol in his hand, pointing it toward the ceiling.
"Mr. Malone said I'm supposed to bring you two in, so you all can have a nice little chat about what you saw." He redirected the gun, once again pointing it at Willow's head. "You know what I say to that?" Cocking the firearm, he smiled gruesomely. "I say, dead girls don't talk."
Tara saw his finger slide over the trigger and felt Willow's hand slide over her own, just before the sound of a shotgun being cocked came from the doorway.
"Easy there, fella." Tara inwardly cheered as she heard Judith's voice. For a minute there...
Moonlight spilled onto Judith as she stepped into the room. Her soft white nightgown was a stark contrast to the deadly weapon she held in her hand. Judith turned her face to Tara, her lips forming a thin smile. "You know you're not allowed to kill them yet."