Author: Selena Taiki
"Did you enjoy your day Tara?" Giles asked after dinner.
"She was gone for hours, I think she met some hottie," Anya said in a loud whisper. "I looked all over town for her; I was very concerned."
Blushing, Tara decided it was safe to ignore Anya's comment and answered Gile's question as best she could without mentioning Willow. "I w-was watching c-clouds, you know, s-seeing shapes in them? I, um, w-wanted to think."
"Yes, well, that's quite understandable; you've had an eventful week. In fact, it might be a good idea if we all turn in early tonight."
"Sounds like a plan," Xander said, not so subtly looking at Anya.
"M-mister Giles?" Tara asked hesitantly as they stood.
"I j-just, um, I wanted to thank y-you. F-for everything."
Giles looked up, his blue eyes misting suspiciously behind his glasses. "It's been my honor Tara."
"W-well, goodnight," Tara said. As she walked back to her room her thoughts immediately returned to Willow's smile, the way her eyes got wide as she babbled, the little hand gestures she used when she talked....
With a start, Tara realized that she had already reached her room and had been sitting on her bed staring off into space. Willow. Tara thought wistfully. "This is getting ridiculous," she murmured aloud, giving her head a small shake. She'd been in a daze ever since Willow left; even when she was conversing with other people, her attention kept drifting back to the girl. It was like she had a crush on Willow... Which is ridiculous. Tara, she told herself sternly. Willow was a girl and Tara had hoped that she had only lo- liked -liked Princess Rose because of the Tradition. That it didn't mean anything; it was just the magic trying to force her to become a Cinderella. But Willow wasn't Princesses Rose, or a prince, she was just Willow. Beautiful, perfect Willow. So this, what she was feeling now, couldn't be the Tradition. Is this me? Tara questioned. I've never been interested in any boys, but do I really like girls like that? Oddly enough the idea didn't particularly bother her. She had years to realize that she lo- liked Princess Rose. Tara had only assumed that it was a fluke due to the magic after learning about the Tradition, so being attracted to other women was really nothing new to her. Beside, it's Willow, Her mind supplied dreamily. But how am I going to tell Mister Giles? That's assuming she even likes me, which she doesn't, couldn't, right? In the end it probably wouldn't matter, Tara reminded herself, Godparents rarely took lovers, it was too dangerous. After all there were only five traditional paths for the lover of a godparent, and four of them ended tragically; often for the godparent's kingdoms as well as for the couple.
Feeling suddenly depressed by the loss of something she would never have anyway, Tara snagged the leather bound book on Fairies from her nightstand and lay down on her side, squirming under the blankets. With the sheets comfortingly pulled up to her nose Tara opened the back of the book and thumbed through the index, determined not to think about Willow.
"Re'me, Regulas, Salamander, Satyr," Tara murmured aloud as she scanned down the column. Her eyes followed the doted line over to the page number and she quickly flipped to that section. Halfway down the page an ornate 'S' wound around the illustration of a man with equine legs. "Satyr," Tara read. "Often confused with Fawns. Unlike their gentler kin, Satyrs are a roguish but faint-hearted folk; subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly. They have a playful, lusty, some what rude nature and love to play pranks on humans. They enjoy music, dancing, and wine, and can be extremely sexually promiscuous. Conversely they can also be helpful domestic sprites much like the brownies. Satyrs have been known to clean houses and such in exchange for some type of bribe and are incredibly protective of children.
"Physically Satyrs have a goat's hooves, legs, and horns and a human's upper body and face. There is a lesser known sub species of Satyrs that have the ears and front two legs of a horse (not these are not to be confused with centaurs as they are bi-pedal)."
Catching herself yawning on the last word, Tara decided that Giles had been right and it was time to call it a night. She made it through her nighttime rituals and slipped into sleep without once thinking of Willow. Her subconscious, however, had apparently decided to cheat.
In the wonderful way of dreams Tara did not question why the sand and water were purple, she merely admired how pretty the deep royal purple waves looked as they crashed onto the amethyst sand. She grinned and wiggled her toes, enjoying the sensuous feel of the sand around her feet and soothing water rushing over her toes.
"Hey Tara!" a voice called from behind her, making her heart jump and a delighted look appear on her face.
"Willow," Tara said, turning to look at the girl approaching her, stopping just short of the water.
"Come here," Willow implored, pouting. She held out her hand to Tara.
Captivated by Willows full, protruding lower lip, Tara waded out of the breakers and slid her hand into Willow's, intertwining their fingers.
Willow rubbed small circles on the back of Tara's hand with her thumb causing Tara to tremble. "I can't believe it's you," she whispered, using their joined hands to tug Tara closer. "It's been driving me crazy trying to figure out who I've been dreaming about. I made a color coded chart of all the women I knew and everything. you know, before. I even questioned Lord Andrew about dreams."
Tara giggled. "It's been driving me crazy too," she replied not bothering to wonder who Lord Andrew was or what before Willow was talking about. She leaning closer as she spoke so their breath mingled. The move would have been uncharacteristically bold of her, but given that this was a dream, her own personal fantasy, there was no reason to hold back or doubt herself.
"Umhumm," Willow said. Her eyes seemed to bore into Tara's, before she glanced down at Tara's slightly open mouth, tracing the curve of her pale lips with her gaze. Willow's free hand rose to grip Tara's waist and she move the final fraction of the distance between them, to brush their lips lightly together. The feeling was electric and Tara groaned, bring her own hand up to tangle it in Willow's hair. Seeking to press their lips more firmly together, Tara grasped Willow's shoulder lightly and tugged her forward....
"DAYLIGHT! GET UP!" a rooster screamed right outside Tara's window.
Tara gasped, lurching upright, the covers pooling around her waist. Panting, she looked bewilderedly around the room, her skin flushed, cheeks rosy, and blue eyes dark with desire. Slow awareness of where she was emerged on Tara's face. "Ever after it!" Tara moaned. "I am going to stew that r-rooster!"
Elsewhere: In her makeshift hut Willow jolted out of sleep, her unbound hair falling in her face, red roots showing under the black dye. "Trice damn that mule-fathered cock, I was just getting to the good part! Not that all the little bits weren't good..." she grumbled heatedly. "What's a rooster doing in the middle of an enchanted forest anyway?"