Return to The Game of Love Chapter Sixty-Three

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!

"Hi. I'm almost there" Willow said into her cell phone, as the cab she was traveling in took the last turn to Tara's home.

Glancing down at her watch Tara noticed that it was 10:10 am. 'Nice' she thought, impressed at the redhead's punctuality. 'Just another thing that's great about her' her mind said, as she spoke aloud into her own phone "Hey Will. How've you come?"

"Cab" Willow said, before she understood why Tara was asking. "Want me to keep it waiting while you come down?"

Tara smiled at how quickly Willow understood her. 'It's a sign of how well you vibe' Tara could hear a voice say in her head, and for some reason the voice sounded a lot like Cordelia's! Shaking her head slightly, Tara spoke "Yeah, thanks, that'd be great. I'll be down in two minutes. Bye Will" she said, cutting the call, and walking back into her bedroom to pick up her small suitcase. Carrying it in her right hand, she glanced around the room to make sure that she hadn't forgotten anything. Satisfied that she had everything she needed she walked into the living room, giving that room a once over as well.

Outside Willow had gotten out of the cab, and has been waiting beneath Tara's window for barely ten seconds when she saw Tara emerge from the building, only carrying a small suitcase apart from the bag she usually carried around her shoulder. The redhead couldn't help but smile when she saw the blonde, and her grin only widened when she noticed Tara smiling back at her. "Hey" the blonde said when she got within 5 steps of Willow.

"Hi" Willow breathed back, glancing at Tara's tiny suitcase "That's all your luggage?" she asked.

Tara nodded, before adding as a way of explanation "I have a room at Mom's house, with a closet full of clothes."

Willow nodded in understanding, and stated more than asked "All set then?" When Tara nodded again, Willow reached for the suitcase "Lemme get that".

Tara handed over the bag to the redhead, and as the suitcase switched hands, their fingers slightly brushed. Willow swooned at the feeling, and collected her thoughts before she dropped the bag, while Tara moved to sit down in the waiting cab, the word 'Soft' playing in her head.

Willow deposited Tara's bag in the truck of the cab, before pulling the top down, and making her way to the backseat of the waiting cab. The minute her door closed, the cab driver was on his way.

Tara looked over at Willow and smiled "We're on our way".

An hour later the plane carrying Tara and Willow had just taken off. The two were seated across each other, with a table in between them. A few seconds later the captain's voice could be heard through the cabin "Ok girls, you can take your belts off now". Doing just that, the girls smiled at each other again. Just then a female cabin attendant walked in and stood beside them, asking "Would you like something to drink?"

Tara looked at Willow with a question in her eyes. "A coffee?" Willow asked, and Tara nodded her way before looking up at the attendant "Two coffee's please?"

"Sure" the other girl said, before disappearing again.

The blonde and the redhead looked at each other again, both aware that they were spending some alone time with someone they were mega crushing on! The drive to the airport had been comfortable, both girls making small talk about their friends and other easy subjects. When they'd gotten to the airport someone from Tara's mothers staff had been waiting for them, and led them through al the necessary procedures before they'd all gotten into a car and driven up to a small white and blue plane, which Willow guessed belonged to Tara's mother. As soon as they stepped out of the car a jovial looking man who seemed to be in his mid 40's greeted them. Tara hugged him, and then introduced him to Willow as Steve, the captain of their flight. After that they loaded their luggage, and sat in the plane till Steve had been giving a clearance, and now here they were, waiting for their coffee!

"So" Willow started, "how long is this flight?"

Tara thought for a second, before saying "Not long. 40, 45 minutes, tops"

"You must go to LA pretty often to see you family huh?" Willow asked.

"Yeah... at least once every three or four months. When you have your mother's plane at your disposal it's kinda hard to give her reasons for not being able to make it!" Tara rolled her eyes, and Willow giggled, before Tara added seriously "And well, I like seeing them. It's always nice to do silly family stuff" Willow nodded, as a horrific look came across her face. "Oh God..." she muttered, prompting Willow to ask her what the matter was.

"Every now and then Mom decides that she should throw a party in honour of the family being together, and I'm just hoping that this isn't one of those times!" Taking a deep breath Tara continued, "I mean the whole idea's sweet you know, her wanting to show me and Donny off, but I swear, sometimes I think I'm gonna scream if one more of our relatives or her friends tells me how tall I've gotten... or something silly like that!"

Willow couldn't help but laugh aloud at Tara's rant. "I'm sure it can't be all that bad" she smiled, prompting Tara to say "Believe me, it is!"

They sat in silence for the next few seconds, both lost in their own thoughts, before Tara broke the silence "You know, Mom insisted that Donny and I learn to play an instrument when we were kids. I picked the piano, and Donny picked the guitar" she glanced at Willow, who was nodding her head and putting in little "hmm's" and "uh huh's" every now and then. "Anyway," Tara continued "we both took to the instruments, and of course Mom had to tell everyone about that, so now whenever she has a little do, Donny and me are forced to play or something, and as much as both of us hate playing in public, we do it just to get away from the 'You've gotten so big!!!' talk! That's how bad it can get" she ended, looking absolutely mortified.

Without thinking Willow reached over on the table and took Tara's hand, in a show of support "Hey, she's got her heart in the right place... who wouldn't wanna show off a kid like you?!"

Tara's heart had stopped beating when Willow had reached for her hand, and it took all of her will power to keep breathing. 'Willow's holding my hand... Willow's holding my hand... Willow's holding my hand...' her brain screamed, and she watched as Willow glanced down at their hands.

'Holy shit!!!!' the redhead's mind registered what she was doing. 'I'm holding her hand!!!!! It feels so good to be doing this... but I can't keep doing it or she'll freak out... right? Of course she will you idiot... now you need to pull your hand back, and make it seem like it was a nice friendly gesture... be cool Rosenberg.' Composing herself, Willow looked up straight into Tara's eyes, and simultaneously squeezed the blonde's hand before pulling hers back, saying "And I'm sure you're brilliant on the piano anyway". 'Bad hand' she thought, looking back down and glaring at her hand as it came back towards her 'running off on your own!!!'

Tara didn't hear the last part of Willow's sentence, she was too busy missing the feel of the redheads hand on hers. 'She said that I was worth being shown off' her mind registered, 'AND she held my hand! Ok, now is when I wish I'd brought Anya and Cordelia along so they could tell if that was a sign or not... Damn, why can't I tell if that was a sign that she likes me or not??? It could have just been a friendly gesture... right???'

"Coffee!" the flight attendant said brightly, and both girls were broken from their thoughts as she placed a cup each before both girls, before telling them to buzz for her if she needed anything.

Again both girls found themselves smiling at each other slightly as they sipped their coffee.

The rest of the flight went by in more small talk, Tara telling Willow about the times that she'd met Michelle Branch, Willow telling Tara about how she'd seen more places outside the United States than within it because of her parents' job, and the likes. By the times the girls knew it, Steve was announcing that they were preparing to land, so both girls should buckle up again.

Thirty minutes later Willow had been formally introduced to James, whom she'd only seen once on the first day of the handball tournament, and the girls were on their way to Tara's mothers' house. James had smiled in delight when Willow had thanked him for bringing her the sandwich that day, and Tara was once again reminded of how considerate the redhead was. Throughout the drive Tara had pointed out places to the redhead, who had nodded along.

Finally the girls pulled into a lane, which housed a board at the beginning that stated in bold letters 'Beverly Hills'. Tara continued to point out houses of people who's names she knew Willow would recognize, until she got to a large gate. As they passed through it, Tara summed up "And this is where Susanna White, my mother, lives", the note of pride obvious in her voice.

Willow smiled at the way Tara said that. When she'd heard Tara talk to her mother on the phone, she'd always noticed the affection in the blonde's voice. Now she was looking forward to seeing the affection for herself. The drive upto the house was quite long, and along the way Tara again showed her the guesthouses, and a singe floor house, where she said her brother Donny lived. Finally they stopped in front of a house that could only be described as a mansion, complete with the large fountain right in front of it.

Looking up Willow took in the three floored white house, and then followed Tara to the front door, which the blonde opened with a key she'd taken out of her pocket. "What about the bags?" Willow asked, and Tara said "Let James handle those... trust me, you'll hurt his feelings if you don't!" she grinned, and Willow nodded, smiling back.

A second later they'd walked into the house, and Tara took a deep breath before yelling out "I'm home!!!!"

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Sixty-Five

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