Return to The Game of Love Chapter Sixty-Seven

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!

Willow walked slowly down the steps, conscious that three sets of eyes that were fixed on her. 'Don't trip, don't trip, don't trip' she kept repeating to herself, as she slowly glided down the steps in the high heeled shoes that she'd found right below her dress. They were slightly tight, but on the whole the shoes were just right for the dress.

Tara's mind had gone blank of all thought when she'd got her first glimpse of Willow walking down the stairs. Right now she couldn't have put a coherent sentence together if her life depended on it!

In the meanwhile Marie had entered the room to answer the door, and as it turned out, the first guests had arrived. Glancing up, Willow recognized the famous American swimmer who had literally caused a huge splash at the last Olympics by bringing home multiple medals. Donny, followed by Steve, turned his attention from Willow to greet the man that he had befriended at a Hollywood party a year ago, "Michael!" he smiled, walking over to the guest, who introduced Donny to his date for the evening.

Willow continued walking towards Tara, who didn't seem to realize that she was staring. 'Is something wrong with the way I look?' Willow thought, self consciously. Reaching up she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, as she in turn checked Tara out. 'How can someone manage to look cute, beautiful AND hot at the same time???' Willow wondered, as she came to a halt in front of the blonde. "Hi" she said simply.

That simple word seemed to break Tara out of her trance, and the realization that she'd been staring caused a blush to spread over her features. "HI" she replied, shyly looking at the floor before gazing back up to meet Willow's green orbs with her own blues. "You look amazing" she breathed, before she could stop herself.

It was now Willow's turn to blush, but the truth was that she did indeed look lovely. Dressed in a halter dress, that was two separate shades of cream with tiny crystal work on it, and her arms left bare, Willow looked radiant. The fabric was draped across the front, and from experience Tara knew from experience that the material probably met behind Willow's neck at the back. The color of the dress brilliantly contrasted with the redness of Willow's hair, and to Tara's eyes the whole look was mesmerizing.

"You look beautiful too" Willow replied after she recovered from the compliment. The two girls smiled at each other again, both happy with the fact that the other had appreciated them. Donny broke the quiet moment when he came over to introduce his swimmer friend and his date to Willow and Tara. After they'd said polite 'hello's' to one another, Steve stuck his hand out to Willow. "We haven't met, I'm Steve" he smiled. "Willow" the redhead murmured, just as there was another knock on the door.

"And so it begins!" Donny grinned, not waiting for Marie to answer the door this time and doing it himself.

2 hours later the part was in full swing. Susanna had dragged Donny and Tara all over the place introducing them to her guests, most of whom Willow had seen in the past in some form of the media. If they weren't being introduced to her friends, it was Susanna's relatives who 'oohed' and 'aahed' over how much Tara had grown since they'd last seen her. Since Donny lived with his mother he was spared that bit!

As soon as she felt she'd been polite enough Tara would excuse herself and make her way back to Willow's side, apologizing for having to leave every time she made it back. Luckily Steve and some of Donny's other friends had kept Willow company all evening, some even taking her to the dance floor for a dance every so often.

Now as she stood talking to the 4th most powerful man in showbiz ('At least that's what People magazine said' Tara thought), her attention was once again diverted as she watched Steve lead Willow to the dance floor as the pianist her Mom had called to play that even keyed the tune to Chantal Kerviazuk's 'Feels Like Home'. Tara watched as Steve took Willow in his arms and swirled her around the dance floor, saying something every now and then. At one point he said something that made Willow throw her head back and laugh.

Tara watched Willow's neck curve and had the sudden urge to kiss it. Susanna, who had introduced her daughter to the producer a few minutes ago, glanced up at Tara and saw that her daughter's attention was no longer with them. 'Elvis has left the building' she smirked internally, when she realized what, or rather WHO, Tara was staring at. Realizing that there was no point in trying to engage Tara in rational conversation at that moment, she steered her guest away, leaving Tara in her own world.

So lost was she in all things Willow that Tara was oblivious to the fact that she was now standing alone. She watched as Steve slipped his hand lower down Willow's back to loosely grip her waist, and she felt something stir within her. Now Tara was not the jealous type, so she knew that she wasn't envious of her brother's friend. 'So what is it then?' she wondered, as the pianist played the last notes of the song. It was then that she realized that it really wasn't jealousy, but instead it was her wishing that it was HER who's hand was placed on Willow's hip right then. She wanted Willow to be in HER arms, dancing to the romantic tune.

The pianist finished playing the song, and Willow and Steve made their way back to the table that had been reserved for them. Deciding that she needed to be near the redhead, Tara began to make her way in their direction as the pianist struck up another tune, this one faster than the rest. She had only taken about 4 steps when Donny intercepted her, "Dance with me sis?" he asked, holding out his hand to Tara.

As much as she wanted to be near Willow at that moment, Tara didn't want to turn her brother down. Placing her hand in his, she stood, and Donny placed her hand on his arm, as he led her to the dance floor.

Willow had just sat down, and as they had been doing all evening, her eyes immediately sought out Tara. Looking around she saw that she'd just made it to the dance floor with her brother, and watched as the two began to slowly dance. 'Hmm, they're moving slow to a fast song' Willow observed, wondering why they were doing that. Five seconds later she realized that they were just getting the feel of the floor, as the two began to jive perfectly.

It was the first time that Willow was watching Tara dance, and she realized that the object of her affections was a superb dancer. The redhead stared openly at Tara's graceful movements, which even though fast didn't seem in the least bit rushed. Every curve of Tara's body seemed to know exactly when it had to move what way, and Willow was entranced by the woman who she seemed to be falling more and more in love with every second.

For the next three and a half minutes Willow watched wordlessly as Tara and Donny matched each another step for step, twirling and swirling around the dance floor. The other couples on the floor had come off when they realized that they were being over shadowed by two marvelous dancers. As the last keys of the song were played, Donny twirled his sister around one more time before they stood still, and then embraced each other with affection. The rest of the guests broke into appreciative applause as the two pulled apart, and Willow watched as a blush crept over Tara's face.

Smiling softly and thanking everyone who stopped her to tell her what a great dancer she was, Tara made her way over to where Willow was sitting with the rest of Donny's friends. Willow noticed that she was slightly flushed from the activity, and realized that she thought even that was beautiful!

Sitting down next to Willow, Tara smiled at her softly before accepting a glass of champagne from Steve. "Thank you" she murmured, before taking a sip of the drink. Looking up she saw Willow staring at her, and arched an eye brow questioningly. "You were wonderful" Willow stated, her voice sounding awestruck.

Blushing slightly Tara tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear before simply shrugging "6 months of jiving classes!" and grinning.

'Will this woman EVER stop amazing me???' Willow wondered, and somehow she knew that Tara Maclay would never cease to be a cause of wonderment for her.

Continue to The Game of Love Chapter Sixty-Nine

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