Return to The Game of Love Chapter Eight

The Game of Love

Author: Shai
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Unfortunately neither Tara nor Willow are mine. Neither's anyone else in this fic for that matter!

As soon as everyone had served themselves and settled down, Tara picked up her lap top and made her way to the small dining table, putting the machine down, and beginning to read what she's typed out so far. The other girls made conversation amongst themselves, some occassionally getting up to help themselves to a drink from the fridge.about 15 minutes into the meal Tara's cell phone began to ring. Taking it out of her pocket she looked at the number, and then tossed the phone to Anya, who caught it with the grace of a goalkeeper.

"It's Zak." Tara stated. "Answer the phone and say that I'm sleeping because of a headache or something."

Anya answered the phone,"Hello? Oh hi Zak, it's Anya. Yeah I'm good...No Tara's sleeping...she's got a headache...yeah...yeah she's playing tomorrow....did you guys win? Oh that's great...yeah ok, I'll see you tomorrow then...yeah I'll tell her...bye".

Anya looked up at Tara. "He said to tell you he'd called. Zak's a sweet guy Tara...why don't you just TELL him that you're not interested????"

"I've TRIED!!!!" Tara exclaimed. "He just doesn't seem to get it. I know Zak's a sweet guy Anya...he's even a good friend...he's just gotta stop hounding me!".

Anya offered no arguement to that, and Tara went back to reading her work, typing every now and then.

By the time dinner was done it was 8:30, and everyone helped in the clearing up. By 9 half the girls were yawning, having woken up early that day. Tara and Cordelia got busy putting out the spare matresses, and pulling out some sleeping bags and blankets.

Willow looked around the bedrrom, and noticed no closets. She asked Tara "Hey where do yo store this stuff???"

"I have a walk in closet through the bathroom" Tara replied, smiling at the question.

"Oh" was all Willow said.

Tara then turned her attention to the rest of the girls. "Ok listen, 4 people will easily fit onto the bed, I've got the spare matresses settled, so thats place for another 5 people, and there are 4 sleeping bags. There's 13 of us here, so that makes...." she counted in her head..." room for exactly 13 people, and if anyone wants they can feel free to sleep on the couch too. Now everyone just work out where they want to sleep."

It was decided that Samantha, Cameron, Jessica, Nicole and Whitney would take the matresses in the living room, Sophie, Sharon,Buffy and Willow would take the sleeping bags, Tina would take the couch, and Anya, Cordelia and Tara would take the bed.

Eeryone took turns to go wash up in the bathroom. When it was Willow's turn she walked in and eld her breath. She's heard of people having nice bathrooms, but this one deserved an award. It was HUGE, just a little smaller than the actual bedroom. Done entirely in baby pink, one corner had steps that rose to a tub that sank into the ground. Another corner had a glass enclosure that held the shower. Taking a closer look, Willow realised she didn't know what half the knobs in there were for. On the opposite side of the tub was the sink, next to which on a glass shelf stoof a small music system. finally between the shower and the door was the comode. There were shelves around the bathroom that held big candles waiting to be lit. "You could live in here!" Willow thought.

She finished washing up and headed back out, to find that most of the girls had fallen asleep. Cordelia and Anya were curled up on the bed, with the latter snoring rather loudly! Willow slid into her sleeping bag next to Buffy and lay down. She couldn't sleep though. Moments later she sniffed. "Is that smoke I smell?" she wondered. The smell became stronger, and looking up she figured the smell was coming from the balcony, who's door was open.

Rising from her matress, she made her way to the door, and looked out to see Tara sitting here, smoking.

"Hey" Willow said, as she made her way out.

Tara looked up "Hey. Couldn't sleep?"

"No. See I didn't have to play a tiring game today!" Willow smiled.

"Aah, of course" Tara said, returning the smile. She offered Willow the packet of Lights. "You smoke?" she asked.

"No" Willow said, declining the offer. Willow watched as Tara reached down and picked up a bottle of beer from the ground, taking a sip. "You want one?"

"That sounds like a better idea" Willow said. She watched as Tara disappeared into the house, returning moments later with a pint of beer. She opened it up and handed it to Willow, who accepted it with a thanks.

For a few moments the girls sipped on their beers in silence, with Tara taking the occassional puff from her cigarette.

"You been smoking long?" Willow asked.

"Since the start of my 18th year...not too long really." Tara replied.

Willow nodded her head, and then as an after thought added "You know, its not that much fun kissing a smoker."

Tara just smiled, before taking another drag of her cigarette. "Well", she said, exhaling, "I don't see myself kissing anyone anytime soon, so it's ok".

Just then Tara's phone rang. She took the small instrument out of her pocket, and answered. "Hello? What? When? Ok, I'll be right there. No, don't do a thing.Don't worry. Yeah gimme 5 minutes. Bye." with that she hung up.

Willow had noticed the distressed tone in her voice as she spoke, and was concerned. "Tara, what happened?"

"I'm sorry Willow, but I really have to go. Don't wake the other girls...I should be back in a while" with that she began to head inside the house.

Willow followed her, "Tara, its almost 10 o'clock. You have a match tomorrow, and really should rest.Is everything ok?"

Tara stopped a moment and looked at Willow, before saying "See, I teach this bunch of underpriviledged kids, and theres been a fire in their neighbourhood, originating in one of the kids' houses, and burning up a couple of other homes. He just called me, and sounds really scared. I'm going there to see whats happened. " explanation through, she began to walk towards the door.

Willow chased her, and touching her arm said "I'm coming with you."

Tara turned, and regarded Willow for a second before saying "Alright."

Willow ran and slipped into a pair of sneakers, before walking out the door with Tara.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Ten

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