The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 28th)
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:22 pm
Posts: 4466
Topics: 39
TITLE: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter: A New Beginning

WRITER: Laragh

STORY RATING: PG-13 mostly but with a sprinkling of NC-17 (like this first chapter here :wink)

DISCLAIMER: Willow, Tara and any other characters from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise belong to Joss Whedon, FOX, ME and a whole host of other entities, none of which are me.

SUMMARY: Just when you think your nest is emptied... (sequel to Family Confidential 3)

FEEDBACK: Absolutely!

NOTE: Howdy folks! I'm here with a new fic in this series. I hope you like it! These chapters ran a little shorter than the last, so I'm going to update three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to make up for it. Thanks for reading!



Family Confidential, The Final Quarter

A New Beginning




“Happy Birthday dear Tara (Mom)...happy birthday to you!”


Tara blew out the candles shaped like a ‘5’ and a ‘0’ on her cake and JJ, Kayden, Lily, and Emily clapped.


Willow put her phone down from taking a picture and came over to plant a kiss right on Tara’s lips.


“Alright, alright,” JJ waved his hand, “Are we getting cake or not?”


Willow let no man or child stop her from kissing her wife and lingered for several more seconds before pulling away with an audible ‘mwah’.


Now you get cake,” she grinned at her children and closed her palm around the knife to start cutting up slices.


Tara rose from her seat at the head of the table and walked over to Kayden and JJ, kissing each of their cheeks. She pushed her glasses up her nose as they slipped down slightly.


“You boys are so good to visit your old Mom for her birthday even though you were just here for the holidays.”


“The New York Times let you have the night off?” Willow teased JJ as she handed him a slice of red velvet, “No games being played tonight?”


“There’s always a game on,” JJ chuckled, then reached his arm up to wrap around Tara from the side, “But none more important than my Mom.”


“Kiss ass,” Lily said under her breath and discreetly launched some cream cheese frosting at JJ’s nose.


“Lily, you are a high school senior now,” Willow scolded sternly, “At least a decade old enough to know not to play with your food.”


“Where’s Cleo?” Emily cut in to take the attention off of Lily being confronted.


JJ pouted sadly while his fork rose to his mouth.


“Cleo’s sorry she couldn’t be here. She’s doing all night shifts right now and some of those nocturnal animals can be a handful.”


“Many coyotes in the middle of Manhattan?” Lily grinned sarcastically.


“Ever had a hedgehog stare you down in the dark?” JJ shot back with narrowed eyes.


“Anyway,” Tara moved swiftly on and squeezed JJ’s shoulders, “I understand completely. I hope she knows how proud we all are of her.”


JJ craned his head back so he could look upward.


“She does, maw. She has the card you guys sent hanging in her office with the big family photo we all took last summer in New York.”


“When are you going to marry that girl?” Willow asked, shuffling in her seat, “I had a wife and child at your age.”


“Jeez, I didn’t come home to get grilled,” JJ scoffed, then turned into a helpless little boy again as he looked up at Tara, “Unless you’ll make me grilled cheese?”


“You just had dinner,” Tara frowned.


“Lunch tomorrow before I go home?” JJ asked hopefully, “With your tomato soup?”


“Cleo not cooking for you with all those night shifts?” Kayden asked with a smirk that made his lips tickle his goatee.


“I cook for her, thank you very much,” JJ replied, puffing his chest out, “You’re not the only one with a modern relationship.”


Kayden moped and pushed his cake around his plate for a moment.


“Darren and I split up a couple of days ago,” he admitted, holding his hands up, “Being apart over the holidays showed us we don’t want to be together.”


Tara closed her arms around Kayden’s neck from behind and kissed his cheek from over his shoulder.


“Oh honey, I’m so sorry.”


Kayden leaned back and rubbed Tara’s arms.


“I was going to wait until after your birthday to tell you,” he said sadly, glancing up to meet Tara’s eye, “I know you really liked him.”


Tara pressed another quick kiss to Kayden’s hairline.


“I like who you like.”


“What happened?” Lily smirked, “You don’t like the D any more?”


“Lily,” Willow scolded.


Lily rolled her blue eyes so hard that some mascara flaked off.


“I hear my own name so much more often since Robyn left.”


A ringtone sounded from near Willow and she smiled as she fetched it from her pocket.


“Speak of the devilish daughter!” she exclaimed in delight, “Everyone, Robbie’s calling from Venezuela.”


The boys and the twins scooted their chairs around and Tara retook her seat next to Willow. Willow pressed the answer button and Robyn’s flickering form popped up in a hologram.


Willow waved excitedly.


“Hey, kiddo! How’s the Amazon?”


“Still endangered,” Robyn replied dryly but a smirk was curling up on one side of her lips, “Happy Birthday, Mom!”


“Thank you, Robbie,” Tara called out and clutched Willow’s arm with tears in her eyes. She missed their daughter.


“You’re really an old lady now,” Robyn cackled.


Willow nudged Tara with a wink.


“You’re only as old as the woman you feel.”


“Gross,” came from three younger voices in the room, except Kayden who blushed and looked downward and Emily, who averted her eyes and closed them.


“Got a boyfriend yet?” Lily shouted out to Robyn.


“Or a girlfriend?” Emily added helpfully.


“Or a skillet?” Willow asked with a grin and everyone else, even Tara, groaned at the joke that Willow had made umpteenth times since Robyn had come out as pansexual.


“Kinda busy stopping the destruction of the earth’s lungs,” Robyn whistled with a sigh on the end.


“Oh honey, I hope you’re staying safe,” Tara said, putting her hand against her heart.


“Don’t tie yourself so tightly to a tree that you can’t breathe,” Willow added.


Tara frowned at Willow.


“Your mother’s teasing tone aside, don’t burn yourself out.”


Robyn held her hands up to her surroundings.


“If this forest is going down, I’m going down with it.”


“You’re getting your butt back here in time for your next birthday, I don’t care how scorched it is,” Willow said definitively.


“Willow,” Tara clicked her tongue.


Willow looked back defensively. Robyn’s image flickered again with movement.


“Fam, I gotta go. We’re meeting with some indigenous groups and it’s a bit of a trek.”


“We love you, Robbie,” Tara said, blowing a kiss, “Thank you so much for calling.”


“Bye old lady,” Robyn grinned and flickered into nothingness.


The hologram dropped and the kids scooted back into eating cake. Tara continued to look at the spot Robyn’s image had been in fondly.


“I’m so proud of her,” she said with an indicative smile, “She’s living her dream and changing the world.”


“I still think she could have lived her dream and changed the world after getting a college education,” Willow muttered.


“Yeah, Momma. We all know that,” Lily said in a bored tone, “You’ve said it often enough.”


Willow rolled her eyes in the exact same way Lily had earlier.


“Robyn said you could have her room when she left, you know, not her surliness.”


“Yeah, Lil, go bone that boyfriend of yours or something,” JJ scoffed.


Lily’s head flew up, eyes wild. She threw her spoon at JJ.


“Jerk!”


“Boyfriend?” Tara asked with a raised eyebrow.


“Whoops,” JJ held up his hands as a forked joined the spoon at being aimed at his head, “I didn’t know they didn’t know.”


“Why are you keeping your boyfriend from us?” Willow asked accusingly, “What’s wrong with him?”


“Willow,” Tara chided again.


“Quit saying my name like that!” Willow protested.


“Take your own advice!” Lily added in an escalating tone.


“Home sweet home,” JJ murmured and cut himself some more cake.


A few hours later, Tara returned to hers and Willow’s bedroom after tucking in the boys.


“You do remember that they’re grown men, right?” Willow asked as she stretched her back out while sitting on the bed.


“They both work so hard and live so far away. Can’t I take care of my only sons when they come home to visit especially for my birthday?” Tara asked in a clucking voice as she reached up to her ears to take her earrings off.


“Make ‘em all the grilled cheese you want,” Willow offered graciously, “I just happen to think yours is the pillow that should be fluffed.”


“Feel free,” Tara returned with a sweet smile.


Willow caught Tara’s wrist as she passed. She looked up and felt a swell of love at Tara’s gentle creases around her eyes and the wrinkles borne from smiling. She reached up and brushed her fingertips against Tara’s cheek.


“Is that what you want? To be…fluffed?”


Her hand fell to link her fingers with Tara. She gently flexed their digits together and felt the twinge where arthritis was just starting to set in. The doctor told her those kinds of exercises would help her keep her flexibility and Willow reassured him with an innocent smile that she wasn’t concerned about her finger joints getting regular exercise.


She tugged Tara’s hand again and this time rose off the bed to meet Tara’s lips while swinging her arms around Tara’s neck. She pulled Tara in and they smooched, long and slow.


Willow’s hands settled on the soft overhang of Tara’s skin at her hips and slipped under Tara’s skirt to caress her panty line. She gave a little pull and felt Tara smile against her lips.


“Happy Birthday, beautiful,” Willow whispered softly into the end of a kiss, “Want to see what’s on under this?”


She put Tara’s hand on the tie of her robe and stepped back.


Tara’s fingers danced with anticipation on the belt as she gave a gentle tug and then a more forceful one so the red lace of whatever Willow was wearing popped out in a burst of color. Tara placed her hands under the shoulders on the robe and pushed back so it fell away.


Willow’s chemise was simple but beautiful. Flow-y and red with just enough lace in the right areas to highlight the swell and curve of Willow’s body. It didn’t try to hide any part of her and Tara could already see the skin she wanted to sink her lips into. Her eyes trawled Willow’s body and settled on Willow’s eyes with a crooked smile.


“You know what I like.”


“I like to think so,” Willow smirked.


Tara ran her hands down Willow’s soft silk sides.


“Well, I know how much you like to prove yourself.”


Willow grinned and pulled Tara right onto the bed.


Upstairs, JJ heard a thump and reached over to his nightstand.


“Earbud time, bro.”


“I haven’t forgotten,” Kayden called from his room and deposited his chunky headphones over his ears.


In hers and Emily’s room, Lily shut the door aggressively with an annoyed eye roll.


“That is the reason I haven’t moved into Robyn’s room yet,” she said, though it was a lie, as she swung herself onto her bed and held a cushion to her chest, “She was right next door. Now I know why she sleeps like the dead. Survival. I think it’s great they still bone but a little courtesy.”


She waited for Emily to laugh, but she didn’t. Lily threw the cushion at her.


“Hello, earth to Emily. Sharer of my DNA.”


“I heard you,” Emily said just before feeling the thwack of the cushion smacking her glasses against her face.


“Then why didn’t you say anything?” Lily said mockingly and stood up again to pace, bouncing up on her toes.


Emily eyed her warily.


“Do you want to do your—”


“No, I don’t want to do my relaxation!” Lily snapped.


Emily just frowned.


“Why is it such a big deal that moms know about Emmett?”


Lily fell onto her bed again dramatically.


“My chances of sneaking around become drastically reduced when the ‘rents know that I’m sneaking around,” she sighed heavily, “Obviously you wouldn’t know anything about this. You haven’t even kissed a boy.”


“I’ve kissed a boy,” Emily protested as she petted her kitten, a gift for her 16th birthday.


Lily chuckled.


“Zayde doesn’t count. Or Will and Garrett,” she said as she examined her nails, “Man, I wish they hadn't moved when they had their daughter. They really dropped the cash on our birthday.”


She looked up.


“Neither does the cat, by the way. Cat tongues are not comparable with boy's tongues.”


“She’s a girl,” Emily scowled slightly, “It’s Miss Kitty Fantastico.”


Lily looked at her sister for a long moment.


“I still don't know where you got that name from.”


Emily smiled down at the cat.


“Mom and Momma had a fish in college—”


Suddenly Lily got distracted by a new thought.


“Hey, maybe you can find someone at Emmett's costume party,” she sat up straight with a twinkle of excitement in her eye, “Come as a sexy kitten or something.”


Emily pouted.


Continuing on with little care as to how their friction caused the bed to rattle the house, Willow and Tara rolled over in their bed with another giggle to hit off the walls.


“Do you still like it?” Willow asked of her chemise as she rubbed her silken abdomen against Tara’s bare torso.


Tara felt the lingerie tickle against the cellulite of her belly and thought the only thing better could be the touch of Willow’s skin.


“I like it on…” she said, running her finger down the gentle wrinkles on Willow’s neck and against the entirely smooth spot before it became collarbone, “…almost as much as I’ll like it off.”


She dropped her hands and gave the hem a little tug. Willow sat back on Tara’s lap with her knees bent at an angle that just denied Tara a glimpse beneath.


Tara’s hands crawled up Willow’s creamy thighs. She could still feel the muscles taut underneath, straining against the ripples of skin there. She caught the hem of the skirt and lifted it, sitting up to complete its transfer off of Willow’s body. Tara found her hands winding back into Willow’s hair and kissed her until they were breathless.


“Tara,” Willow moaned, passing a quiver through Tara’s lips.


“Mmm, yes,” Tara answered and pulled Willow’s body flush against hers.


She pressed her thigh between Willow’s legs and gave an answering groan to Willow’s vocalizations of pleasure upon feeling the wetness spill out onto her skin. Her hand cased Willow’s body, finding every delightful budge and sweet dimple until her fingers were dancing through Willow’s course triangle of hair.


Her thigh moved back to allow her hand access and in one quick movement, she had Willow’s hips lifting off the bed. Tara watched her wife’s body shake with pleasure; moving fast up her hips and slowing by the time it got to the gentle tremble in her jaw. She drew her fingers in and out in long, slow strokes, and upon watching her hand retreat again, she got an urge and lifted them to her mouth to taste.


Willow protested the sudden pause in attention with a moan and Tara decided pretty quickly that she hadn’t had enough. Gently, she brought her knees back and positioned herself at an angle that she wouldn’t spend all night regretting. She kissed the insides of Willow’s thighs but Willow bucked up insistently and Tara got the hint.


With the first tip of tongue against her, Willow’s hands twisted in the sheets. Her hips lifted from the bed and sought every bit of contact she could find.


“Tara…” she moaned again, one ankle dragging up the sheet from the corner.


A hand floated above Tara’s head, swiping air. When she felt the first rush low in her belly, her legs clamped together and the hand dropped to clutch Tara’s hair. Her eyes squeezed shut tight as her muscles tightened and tightened and tightened until it finally broke with an arched back and a low rumble from her throat.


Some indeterminate time later that could have been seconds or minutes or even hours as far as Willow as concerned, she felt messy kisses on her ‘jelly belly’. As ever, it spouted a fresh wave of feeling loved and she was able to fold her arms back under her head and enjoy a stretch as Tara tenderly pressed pockets of love up her body.


Finally, Willow felt a moist and plump kiss on her lips and her arms fell lazily down to gather Tara and cup her buttocks.


“How’s your Willow tree doing?” Willow asked, squeezing the appropriate cheek where the tattoo curved around so nicely.


“You tell me,” Tara murmured back and left a kiss on the corner of Willow’s mouth.


Willow chuckled and kissed the top of Tara’s ear.


“Pretty good…”


Tara propped herself up on her elbow and caressed Willow’s belly.


“Only pretty good?”


Her fingertips tapped.


“Well…” Willow continued, a smirk tugging on her lips, “The only thing better could be…”


Somehow finding her legs, she rolled Tara over.


“If I was on top of you.”


Tara settled back against the mattress with a glint in her eye. She threw her hands back helplessly.


“Whatever can I do but accept these torrid circumstances?”


Willow trailed her palm down Tara’s wrist.


“Hmm…”


“What?” Tara asked, her tone lifting curiously.


“Just thinking that these look a little bare…” Willow started to reply in a soft, evocative tone.


She suddenly jumped up and disappeared into the closet. While Tara craned her neck to try and see what Willow was up to, Willow eventually returned with a scarf in one hand and a pair of handcuffs swinging off a finger on the other.


Tara’s eyebrows rose.


“Giving me a treat?”


Willow straddled Tara again and promptly clicked the handcuffs into place on either of her wife’s wrists. She winked.


“It is your birthday.”


Tara started to smirk but then Willow tugged her wrists roughly so she could tie the chain of the handcuffs to the bed using the scarf. Tara’s smirk turned to a sharp intake of breath. Her cheeks flushed and it continued down her body.


Her arms stretched deliciously above her head and she stretched her body out below Willow too.


“Now who’s giving the treat?” Willow grinned as she slid her palms back down Tara’s shoulders to palm her breasts.


Tara’s eyes fluttered closed and she moaned.


Willow kissed into Tara’s neck and slowly moved down, letting her lips replace her hands over Tara’s breasts and pulling the nipples into stiff peaks. Tara’s body strained against her restraints and each gentle thrash just elongated the moans that left her mouth.


When Willow released her breast and continued to kiss downward, Tara’s back arched to push her in the right direction. Her thighs parted as Willow’s nose brushed past her pelvic bone. When she finally got there, Tara’s chin angled toward the ceiling and her pillows were indented with the shape of her head as she cried out in pleasure.


Her hips twisted into Willow’s mouth and she shivered as Willow’s tongue circled her clit and made that empty ache inside her palpate so much more.


She rubbed herself on Willow until she could take her no more and then called her wife back up.


“I want you inside.”


Willow grinned with slightly shiny lips and without breaking eye contact, reached over to the nightstand, opened the drawer, and reached in. Her wrist made two pumping motions and her hand returned with a glossy liquid coating her fingers.


As she reached down, Tara closed her eyes in anticipation and jerked when Willow glided through her and entered her in one fell swoop.


“Mmm,” she moaned and the handcuffs rattled.


When Willow kissed her on a deep upstroke, Tara was sure she experienced heaven for a moment; leaving her body for a split second before slamming right back into it in the throes of ecstasy.


Her hips pumped faster until she was trembling with the need for release. Willow didn’t deny or disappoint and with a rotation of three pads of her fingers, she had Tara calling out her name in an evocative whisper.


When Tara stopped feeling her heartbeat in her ears, she opened her eyes and saw Willow on her side, propped up on her elbow and smirking down at her. Somehow, Tara felt a fresh wave of heat wash over her. She fanned herself with her hand.


“I don't know if I'm having a hot flash or if I'm just hot for you.”


“I’ll take the credit,” Willow continued to smirk.


Tara reached out to touch Willow’s cheek and was promptly reminded of her constraints. Her arms suddenly ached and it wasn’t as pleasant as the ache she’d just been relieved of.


“Are you going to release me?”


“Hmm…” Willow replied, drawing a lazy circle on Tara’s hip, making her shiver, “How much do you want it?”


Tara gave some doe eyes and Willow felt her jelly belly swell inside with emotion as much as it had swelled with desire before.


She reached up and flicked the lock on the handcuffs open, tossing both them and the tied scarf off the edge of the bed. As Tara rolled her wrists, Willow crawled over her again. Tara was quick to replace the strain from the constraints for the strain of movement and reached between Willow’s legs where she was plenty ready for what was to come.


Willow slid onto Tara’s fingers and sat up into a straddle again. She lifted herself up but not quite off and Tara allowed her to set the pace. It was harder to maintain friction at this angle but Tara loved getting to see all of Willow so unabashedly exposed for her and enjoyed every moment of the view.


Willow reached for Tara’s hand as she came, her body rocking forward and back.


Her body gently fell to Tara, attracted like a magnet, and she snuggled into her wife’s side.


“Whose birthday is it again?”


“Oh definitely mine,” Tara smiled easily.


Willow kissed Tara’s shoulder blade.


“What’s it like to be fifty?”


“The same as forty-nine I think,” Tara replied honestly, “What’s it like to be married to a fifty-year-old?”


“Very sexy,” Willow replied a grin.


Tara tilted her chin and Willow leaned down to press a kiss to her lips.


“I think our fifties will be our best yet.”


“Oh yeah?” Tara asked, touching her fingertips to Willow’s cheek.


Willow nodded.


“Yes, ‘cause right now…”


She closed her eyes to enjoy Tara’s caress and sighed softly.


“Life is perfect.”


Famous last words.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 26th)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:00 am 
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Chapter Two




Tara put the second-last cup from the dishwasher in the cabinet just as her tea kettle whistled.


She used the last cup to pour herself a cup of red raspberry tea and dunked the teabag repeatedly to get all of its goodness infused.


She saw a shadow on the floor and looked up. She smiled.


“Hey, Emmy.”


Emily lifted her cheap cat mask from her face and looked at Tara.


“How did you know it was me without my glasses?”


Tara’s lips sloped up on one side.


“Because I’m your mother,” she said, lifting her cup with both hands, “I carried you in my womb. I knew you completely before I even met you.”


She blew on her tea and took a sip.


“I thought you hated wearing contacts.”


Emily held the mask up sheepishly.


“Lily says it looks stupid with glasses.”


“And what do you think?” Tara asked with a softly arched eyebrow.


Emily looked down. Tara pursed her lips at the non-response.


“What’s the occasion for a party tonight?”


“Um…” Emily said, her lips humming, “It’s um… a kid at school’s birthday.”


“I see,” Tara replied evenly, “Would this ‘kid’ happen to be Lily’s boyfriend?”


Emily looked away again.


“Why won’t she let us meet him?” Tara asked, shaking her head.


Emily visibly cringed on the spot. Tara heaved a soft sigh.


“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t ask you to tattle on your sister,” she said, leaving her cup back down in its saucer, “You look very pretty.”


Emily started to smile, then there was the sound of a car beeping outside.


“Emily, c’mon!” Lily’s voice came as she pounded down the stairs in a Minnie Mouse dress and ears.


Tara followed Emily out to the door.


“Stay safe you two,” she said and kissed each of their cheeks, “If you need a ride home—”


“Bye Mom,” Lily cut her off, snatching Emily’s hand and dragging her out the door.


Tara sighed again and closed the door again as the car they’d bundled into moved down the street.


“Good news!” Willow’s voice came from behind.


Tara turned and stood at the end of the stairs Willow was descending. She arrived and Tara waited.


“Well?”


Willow blinked slowly.


“Huh?”


“You said you had good news?” Tara prompted.


“I do!” Willow replied brightly, “I’m married to you.”


She kissed Tara’s cheek, who blushed lightly, even after all of these years.


“But I have other good news,” Willow continued, softly bouncing up on her toes and stretching her back while she was there.


“Willow, for god’s sake,” Tara said in exasperation after another moment.


Willow landed back on her feet with a smile.


“I successfully sleuthed Lily’s boyfriend from the address they gave us for tonight! She tried to throw me off by putting it in the wrong zip, but I’m onto her.”


“Willow,” Tara’s tongue clicked again.


Willow’s bottom lip protruded in a pout.


“I really only like you saying my name that much when there’s a sheet or two rustling beneath us.”


Tara’s eyes flickered closed but she could do nothing to stop the little smile tugging on her lips.


“You know I don’t like you tracking the kids unless it’s an emergency.”


“I didn’t!” Willow replied with an eager smile, “I tracked the boyfriend.”


She paused.


“And his parents.”


Tara gave Willow a stern look, who held a hand up.


“Don’t tell me you’re not dying to know.”


Tara’s eyes flash with guilt.


“Fine. Spill.”


Willow brought Tara into the living room and sat with her on the couch, feet curled under her.


“Get this: he’s an honor student.”


Tara’s eyebrow arched.


“I know!” Willow replied to the unspoken response, “His family are some big shots in business. I don’t get it. Why is she hiding him from us? By all accounts, he’s a really great kid.”


Tara sighed deeply.


“Something tells me the only reason is that it’s more exciting and she loves to torture us.”


“Sounds about right,” Willow rolled her eyes, “Oh well. At least we know she’s not on the back of some motorcycle off getting pregnant.”


“I hope not,” Tara cracked her neck, “She took the condoms I put in their medicine cabinet.”


Willow’s eyes shot toward Tara, wide.


“Seriously, Tara?”


“We spoke about this,” Tara replied a little jadedly.


Willow frowned.


“I still don’t like it.”


Her eyes grew downcast and Tara gently wrapped her arm about her wife and gathered her in under her chin. Willow clung on.


“At least she’s being safe,” she reasoned with a sigh after several moments of Tara’s embrace, “I think I hate it all the more because it reminds me that we’ve raised all our children and we’re about to be empty-nesters. In just a few weeks the girls will find out where we got in—”


“They,” Tara interrupted softly.


Willow’s face scrunched and she looked up at Tara.


“Huh?”


“Where they got in,” Tara said gently, “Not ‘we’.”


“Right,” Willow replied sheepishly, “Can we be twenty years old, sitting under our tree at BC, sharing lame jokes and sweet kisses again please?”


Tara shook her head, some graying hairs falling into her brow.


“No,” she said and squeezed Willow’s thigh, “But we can be fifty years old, snuggled up on our comfy couch, sharing lame jokes and sweet kisses.”


Willow’s lips spread out into a slow grin.


“Sounds perfect.”


She sat up and threw her legs across Tara’s lap.


“What do you call a snake that's exactly 3.14 meters long?”


Tara’s lips sloped up on one side.


“A pi-thon.”


Willow’s eyes shone with awe and love. She leaned in closer.


“Guess there’s only one thing left on our list…”


She pressed their lips together and reveled in the magic.



Emily stayed in the corner of the bustling guesthouse in the back yard of the palatial home of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan and Jennifer McFarland, parents of one Emmett McFarland. The guesthouse alone would fill the square footage of the Rosenberg-Maclay household and their house was no tiny home.


The corner was a safe space for Emily, somewhere that she could feel invisible while all of the popular kids congregated, swapping saliva and stories of their active social lives while loud house music made the walls hum.


Emily didn’t know why she allowed Lily to drag her to these things, but she always did. Wherever Lily went, Emily would follow, often reluctantly. She guessed no one else at this party would rather be curled up with a book and their mother’s hot chocolate while listening to the wind howl outside. You couldn’t even hear the wind over the loud thump of the dance music behind these walls.


She looked out forlornly as water droplets of rain fell onto the outer pane of the nearest window until a sudden burst of laughter from close by disturbed her.


“Hey, Virgi-ly!” one of the guys from the hockey team called, “Nice ears.”


Emily blushed to her toes and while she felt like cursing Lily’s name for making her wear this stupid costume, she was glad it was covering her face at this moment. Before she could avert her gaze a shadow loomed over her.


Emily looked up through the slits she had for eyes under the mask as a kid around her age but whom she didn’t recognize. She was pretty sure he didn’t go to their school. With the trench coat what he was wearing indoors and the cluster of acne on the right-hand side of his face, she was unfortunately sure she would have heard him being taunted before.


But no, she reminded the sole recipient of that attention, or at least it felt so.


The other half of his face was covered with a Phantom Of The Opera mask, concealing him further.


“Hi,” he lifted a large hand to wave and let it fall down by his side.


Emily shrunk into herself.


The boy took it upon himself to sit on the closest ledge to her.


“What’s your name?”


“Virgily,” the other boy coughed into his hands, to smirks from the two girls around him.


Emily’s eyes closed. She had a test on Monday she could be studying for. Not here, surrounded by all of these people whom she hated and was hated back. The whole school wasn’t bad of course, but Emily suffered from just never being quite able to live up to Lily’s image.


She didn’t need to be here to reinforce that.


Or the constant reminder that she was the last person in her grade to lose her virginity.


Trench-coat wiped one hand on his jeans.


“Adam,” he introduced himself with a brief flick of his stubby fingers, which then closed around the body of the brown bottle in his hand, “You uh, want a drink or something? They have fancy root beer.”


“The only type of beer Virgi-ly will ever be brave enough to drink,” jock-face snickered and even the girls hanging out of him rolled their eyes this time.


Adam grinned clumsily.


“You know a joke doesn’t get more funny just because you keep saying it.”


Jock-face became hard-face and he took a step forward.


“What did you say to me?”


Adam stood and Emily clutched her chest as she stood to get herself out of this situation.


“Oh my god, d-don’t fight.”


One of the girls pulled the boy away and the air crackled with the tension in the air.


Emily’s arms crossed over her chest.


“I-I need some air.”


This was why she didn’t want any attention to begin with.


She made a beeline for the back door which led to a palatial yard with its own fountain, pond, and even a little cabana.


Adam followed like a little lost puppy.


It was several hours later when even Lily had had enough of drunk teenagers with no class falling about the place that she was roaming the giant halls to try and find her sister. She’d checked the usual hidey-holes Emily could usually be found it, despite Lily trying often to get her to come out and have some fun. She didn’t understand how they shared the same DNA sometimes.


Finally, out in the cabana, Lily found Emily sprawled across the L-shaped couch with her eyes closed.


“Em,” Lily shook her sister’s shoulder and Emily’s eyes opened glassily.


She took one look at Lily and fell off the seat. She giggled.


Lily’s head reeled back.


“Are you drunk?!” she asked, pulling Emily up to inspect and confirm that she was indeed drunk, “Emily, what the hell?! You know we don’t drink this hard!”


“Didn’t know you had it in you, junior sis,” Emmett called out from behind with a smirk.


“Jerk,” Lily spat back as she looked behind her shoulder, then moved to help her sister up, “Emmy, we gotta sober you up before we go home to moms! They’ll kill you! They’ll kill ME for letting you get this wasted! What were you thinking?!”


Emily never drank when they went out but if she was going to, Lily thought she’d explained the rules pretty well. You have a couple at the start of the night so it has time to metabolize, drink water between each one, and if you spill even a drop on your clothing, find the most highly scented soap you can and blame bean dip for the stain.


Emily didn’t stink of booze but there was a distinct waft of peppermint, which happened to be the flavor of the empty Schnapps bottle Lily spotted rolling around the ground. She picked it up and looked at Emily with an arched eyebrow.


“Why?”


“Tastes like Christmas,” Emily answered with a definitive nod, then her brow crumbled, “’m sorry Lilyyy. Had to…”


Lily heaved a sigh.


“Well well done for making up for an entire high school career’s worth of partying in one night.”


She got her arms under her sister.


“Come on,” she said as she held Emily up and started to guide her inside.


Emmett stood to the side, looking a bit pathetic.


“Make some coffee or something, jeez!” Lily barked and grinned to herself at the way he jumped to attention.


Lily brought Emily up to the bathroom and sat her on the toilet with the lid down. She ran the faucet and got a washcloth, which she wetted and began to wipe Emily’s face and clear her running mascara. God only knows where her cat mask was.


“Where were you all night?”


Emily made some vague motion back toward where they came from.


“Getting drunk alone? Why?” Lily asked with a furrowed brow, “You’re always lecturing me about not drinking.”


Emily mumbled something that Lily couldn’t hear.


“What? Sewerage?”


“COURAGE,” Emily suddenly shouted and started to twist off the toilet lid.


Lily grimaced as she steadied Emily.


“Say, don’t spit,” Lily blew some air out, “Why did you need courage? Was Joey giving you shit again, calling you that stupid name? I told him I’ll pull his balls up through his eye sockets next time. You want me to get Emmett to beat him up?”


A lazy eyebrow wiggled further toward Emily’s hairline. Lily puffed her chest out defensively.


“What? He could punch someone. If he wanted.”


Emily’s eyes sunk, unconvinced.


“He doesn’t even make his own punch, never mind punch somebody else.”


Lily made a mocking motion.


“Oh, look who’s suddenly lucid.”


Emily’s whole body and demeanor suddenly slumped.


“I want to go home,” she said quietly.


Lily tossed the washcloth back into the sink and got her arms under Emily again.


“C’mon.”


She brought her to the kitchen where amongst the sea of trash and empty bottles that a housekeeper would be around in the morning to tidy up, Emmett was holding a mug under an expensive coffee machine, from which dark liquid was pouring.


Lily got Emily situated on a stool, then came to retrieve the mug and thrust it into her sister’s hands.


“Drink that,” she said, then fished in her pocket for a mint when Emily’s face scrunched in distaste upon her first taste of the strong coffee, “Take that.”


Emily sucked obediently while Lily went off to find her little purse and came back with a blue raspberry Laffy Taffy candy.


“Here, eat this. If Momma is doing one of her waiting-in-the-dark performances, she’ll spot the breath mint thing a mile away. Especially since you doubled-down with that atrocious drink. Where did you even find it?”


“My parents throw a lot of holiday parties,” Emmett supplied.


Emily took the sweet and sour candy and closed her eyes as her brain tried to make sense of all of the different flavors.


After a moment she could hear sounds of kissing and was glad she’d closed them. That was the last thing she needed to see right now.


Eventually, she felt a tug on her arm and blindly followed Lily back out into the dark night where a cab paid for by McFarland Enterprises would take them home.


Everyone said Lily only dated Emmett for the money and status of his family, but it wasn’t true. They’d bonded during an unsubbed free music period and discovered a shared love of Halloween. What with Lily being on the piano and Emmett on the double bass, they were usually at completely opposite sides of the choir room when in class but that day no one had been where they were supposed to.


With Halloween approaching, he’d shyly invited her to a Michael Myers marathon playing at the local multiplex and Lily had quickly announced to her family that she wanted no birthday party this year and was making her own plans. She’d tried to arrange a double-date so Emily could come along too and had found a few willing and even eager fellow students but Emily refused to believe they were being sincere and rather than risk humiliation, she stayed home.


Secretly, Emily hadn’t minded at all because Tara had made her all of her favorite treats, and not the ones she usually agreed to just to make Lily happy, but it had still been very weird for them both. They’d never spent a birthday apart before and that evening had curled into the one bed to whisper with each other about how it had been. Fun but weird had been the conclusion.


Fun but weird.


Everyone also thought Emmett was a carbon copy of his father, right down to the instrument he played, and the way he styled his hair. On the outside, this was true, but on the inside, it was anything but. He hated the family business — commercial leasing — and dreaded a future filled with use clauses and property tax.


Lily was trying to convince him to blow it all off and come to New York City with her and Emily. Colombia would definitely take him with his father’s connections but if he really wanted to stick it to him there was always NYU. JJ had connections there. Sure, he wouldn’t be able to start the Fall semester with this late of an application but they’d figure it out. They could all get a place off-campus next year. Maybe he could even become hers and Emily’s agent when they were becoming famous actresses. His father had already primed him to be a salesman. It would be perfect.


She was having her own little daydream of building a mansion in the Hamptons even bigger than the McFarland's and looking on smugly as Emmett gave the finger to his overbearing father whom upon meeting Lily for the first time had said to his son: ‘you can do better than a ginger’. She was so engrossed in this daydream that she didn’t realize they were turning onto their street until the car parked itself outside the house and a robotic voice announced that they had arrived.


Lily let herself out and came around to pull Emily out with her, though Emily did seem a bit steadier on her feet. She just looked sad now.


Lily let them into the dark house and waited for a moment. Sometimes Willow liked to lay in wait but they hadn’t broken curfew so she hoped it wasn’t the case this time.


She let out a breath of relief when there was no movement from anywhere and pushed Emily upstairs as quickly as she could. An inch away from hers and Emily’s bedroom door, she heard Tara’s voice.


“Girls.”


Lily pushed Emily into the room and leaned on the door frame to cover it.


Tara took a step out of hers and Willow’s bedroom. Lily’s eyes widened but thankfully she didn’t come any closer.


“Good night?”


“Uh-huh,” Lily nodded quickly but nonchalantly. This wasn’t her first rodeo.


“I hope Emmett had a nice birthday,” Tara replied softly but with a purposeful look.


“Yeah, he—” Lily started to reply, then pulled a face when she remembered she’d never told them Emmett's name or that it was his birthday, “Goodnight, Mom.”


“Goodnight darlings,” Tara called out and returned to her room.


Lily hurried in to help Emily off the floor, where she’d landed when Lily had pushed her in. Lily got Emily changed into pajamas and tucked her into bed. She took the little koala bear soft toy hugging the post on Emily’s bed and put it in bed with her.


“Go to sleep. And for your own sake, don’t get up in the morning until you can hide your hangover.”


Emily groaned and gingerly held her knees up to her chest.


The alcohol won and she slept in moments.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 28th)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:54 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Posts: 391
Dibs to the first two chapters! :whip

Yay to the return of some smutty interludes! :drool

I liked your subtle hints that we are further advanced in the future now (communicating via holographic images and self driving taxis).
Nice to hear that JJ and Cleo are still happy together. Kayden shoud maybe try dating a boy whose name doesn't start with a D, maybe that will last. :wink

Quote:
“Got a boyfriend yet?” Lily shouted out to Robyn.


“Or a girlfriend?” Emily added helpfully.


“Or a skillet?” Willow asked with a grin and everyone else, even Tara, groaned at the joke that Willow had made umpteenth times since Robyn had come out as pansexual.

:rofl I love Willow's loyalty to a joke, even when all the others don't think it's funny (anymore).

I'm overjoyed that Miss Kitty Fantastico finally found her way into the family! Perfect that she is Emily's cat.

Speaking of Emily and the hints you dropped, especially:
Quote:
Just when you think your nest is emptied...

Quote:
“Life is perfect.”


Famous last words.



Do I suspect correctly that Emily had unprotected sex with this Adam in her drunken state and that she'll get pregnant so Willow and Tara will have to care for their first grandchild and the teenage mom at home? I guess that would mean Emily won't be able to go to college with Lily at New York. As hard as that would be for both of them it would probably be good in the end, especially for Emily's further development, to seperate the "salami twins".


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 28th)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs to the first two chapters! :whip


Yay!

Quote:
Yay to the return of some smutty interludes! :drool


You will be happy to know that I repurposed all of those scenes I got rid of before into this one! No smut lost in this series!

Quote:
I liked your subtle hints that we are further advanced in the future now (communicating via holographic images and self driving taxis).


I don't want to make too big a deal because I don't want it to be inaccurate but definitely moving forward in time!

Quote:
Nice to hear that JJ and Cleo are still happy together. Kayden shoud maybe try dating a boy whose name doesn't start with a D, maybe that will last.


:lol

Quote:
:rofl I love Willow's loyalty to a joke, even when all the others don't think it's funny (anymore).


I love that stubborness and embracing her own dorky humor!!

Quote:
I'm overjoyed that Miss Kitty Fantastico finally found her way into the family! Perfect that she is Emily's cat.


Oh I'm so glad!

Quote:
Speaking of Emily and the hints you dropped, especially:

Do I suspect correctly that Emily had unprotected sex with this Adam in her drunken state and that she'll get pregnant so Willow and Tara will have to care for their first grandchild and the teenage mom at home? I guess that would mean Emily won't be able to go to college with Lily at New York. As hard as that would be for both of them it would probably be good in the end, especially for Emily's further development, to seperate the "salami twins".


All to come, my friend, all to come :)

Thanks so much for the feedback!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 4:12 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Chapter Three




“Mom, what’s for dinner?”


“You know, I think I’ll miss that the most next year,” Tara smiled over a cup of tea as she stood in the kitchen, “Nobody here to pester me for food.”


“What’s for dinner?” Willow’s head popped through the door, which she walked through with a grin, “Just kidding. I know exactly what’s for dinner.”


She came over to Tara and hugged her from the side.


“Poached pear salad followed by seared ahi tuna and finished with warm chocolate soufflé to share.”


Her words spilled out like warm chocolate and her eyes darkened so much they almost looked the same.


“Oh right. It’s your anniversary or whatever,” Lily rolled her eyes as her parents made no effort to disguise their kissing in front of her, “Do we just get to starve?”


Willow pulled her lips away from Tara’s cheek.


“You can order in whatever you want.”


Lily’s eyebrow arched.


“Even chocolate soufflé?”


“If you can find a place to deliver it while maintaining its structural integrity,” Willow grinned sarcastically.


“Where’s your sister?” Tara interrupted the bickering.


Lily shrugged.


“I dunno, the Amazon basin somewhere?”


Tara’s mouth flattened, unamused.


“Where’s Emily?”


“In bed,” Lily replied as she wandered over to the fridge to find a pre-takeout snack.


“Is she still sick?” Willow asked in concern.


“She said she was feeling better earlier,” Tara frowned, “Did something happen at your boyfriend’s birthday party? She’s been down on herself ever since.”


Lily let the fridge door close as she retreated with some salami.


“I heard some jerks were making fun of her.”


“You only heard?” Willow asked sternly, “Why weren’t you there to protect her?”


“I’m not her keeper,” Lily scoffed, “I got Emmett to drop his base case on the guy’s foot.”


“Lily,” Tara chastised.


Lily threw her hands up.


“Damned if I do, damned if I don’t!”


She marched out and Willow looked to Tara with a forced smile.


“At least she actually acknowledged her boyfriend’s name in front of us.,” she said and then sighed, “Do we need to call a doctor for Emily?”


“I’ll go check on her,” Tara pushed away from the island and headed for the stairs.


She went into the twins’ room, which they still shared despite all of the other bedrooms being free these days, out of choice. Robyn had actively encouraged one of them to take her room but neither had, so far.


Emily was curled up in her bed with her back to the room. Tara approached and sat on the corner of the bed.


“Hey koala bear,” she said, putting her hand on Emily’s leg and rubbing it up and down, “Still not feeling well?”


Emily looked over and shook her head. Tara smiled sympathetically.


“Is it cramps?”


“No,” Emily replied softly, then her brow scrunched together for a moment.


Tara didn’t notice as she covered Emily’s forehead with the back of her hand.


“You don’t have a fever.”


Emily’s eyes darted to Tara and away again.


“I-I think I’m just having an off day.”


“It’s been more than a day,” Tara said in concern, “I’m going to cancel our dinner reservation.”


“No, Mom, please don’t. I’d feel so guilty,” Emily rattled off quickly with a shake in her tone, “I-I just need to rest some more. A quiet house would be helpful.”


Emily tensed as she waited for Tara to believe her. After a moment or two, Tara nodded.


“I made you soup earlier. There’s crackers and if you feel up for more, your sister is going to order in later.”


Emily forced a smile.


“Thanks, Mom.”


Tara took Emily’s hand and enveloped it in hers.


“If you feel even a teeny bit worse, you call us, okay?”


Emily nodded quickly.


“I will, Mom. I promise.”


Tara kissed Emily’s head.


“Well I know I can trust you when you say that.”


Emily’s eyes averted and Tara squeezed her hand again.


She returned downstairs, where Willow was waiting by the front door with their jackets over her arm, smiling.


“Have I told you that you look beautiful tonight?”


Tara smiled back as she descended the last few steps.


“Every time you look at me.”


Willow beamed and held Tara’s jacket up to help her into.


“Girls, we’re leaving,” Willow called as she settled the jacket on Tara’s shoulders, “I sent you both money so get whatever you want.”


She looked at Tara pointedly. They tried to mitigate Lily’s obviously more dominant personality by getting Emily to share her opinions but it was hard when Emily would just look at the floor and shied away. Sometimes Willow swore there was some impossible mix up and Emily shared Tara’s genes because the way she hid herself from the world was so like how she remembered Tara in their early days. Even down to the little flick of the eyes back up to check on the state of things while trying not to be noticed.


When they were younger, Emily had been on the path to slowly build herself up into a confident young woman but high school bullies had put that to pasture. Despite both Willow and Tara trying to intervene multiple times with the school principal, Emily begged them to stop as it just made the teasing worse.


It broke both Tara and Willow’s hearts but with only a few months left until graduation, they were all just trying to ride it out.


Sharing a sad smile, they made a silent pact to leave their problems at home and enjoy the night. They walked out into the car that would take them into the city and the wine bar where they had a reservation.


“So…” Willow said as they took a seat in a little alcove that overlooked the water through a huge glass floor-to-ceiling window, “Don’t kill me. But I may have brought you here with an ulterior motive.”


Through the window, the moon bounced off the remaining ice in the lake, dissolving as Winter transitioned toward Spring. The glare caught Tara’s crooked smile right as it lit up her face.


“Always a fantastic start to an anniversary dinner.”


Willow’s face scrunched in a grimace.


“It is our anniversary. Our 30th anniversary,” she said as if realizing it for the first time herself, “Why aren’t we having a big party?”


Tara reached across the table and held both of Willow’s arms.


“It could never live up to the 20th,” she replied with a playful wink, “When I walked into a backyard wedding I had no idea was happening.”


Willow smiled bashfully and Tara used her fingertips to dance down Willow’s wrists until she could take her hands.


“Besides,” she continued sweetly, “You and me is all I want. All I need. Every day.”


She lifted Willow’s hands and kissed each one.


“So tell me why you brought me here.”


Willow shrugged a shoulder nonchalantly.


“It can wait.”


“Probably, but I’m curious,” Tara winked again.


Willow shook her head.


“We’re not talking business tonight.”


Tara laughed and her eyes creased in a mix of amusement and frustration.


“Just tell me.”


Willow paused thoughtfully for a moment and started to round her thumbs around Tara’s thumbs.


“…what do you think of this place?”


“Well we haven’t even gotten bread yet so I’m not sure I can make a judgment,” Tara replied honestly.


Willow smiled; she’d never stopped finding that little earnest smile of Tara’s oh-so-adorable even as it had grown lines over the years. The lines just added character and warmth.


“Not the food,” she clarified and smiled in much the same way back, “The location. The style.”


Tara took a good look around. Apart from the beautiful view outside, the inside was quite beautiful too. Lots of in-built dark wood, low lighting with little branches like the alcove they were in that offered privacy while still being able to appreciate the atmosphere of the whole restaurant.


“It’s gorgeous,” Tara concluded and nodded off to the side, “I love how the bar is built into the wood like a kind of treehouse.”


“Right, isn’t it amazing?” Willow’s eyes suddenly lit up.


Tara’s lips quirked up on one side.


“Spill,” she said, squeezing Willow’s hands invitingly, “What’s up?”


“Well, see…this place has gotten super popular. The food is amazing, apparently, hence me already knowing what I was going to order,” Willow babbled excitedly, “They’ve outgrown the building. Moving further into the city.”


She paused to take a breath and Tara looked at her expectantly.


“And you want to get a table for opening night?”


“No,” Willow replied, sitting on the edge of her seat in anticipation, “I want us to buy it.”


Tara’s head slowly reeled back.


“The restaurant?”


“The building,” Willow clarified, then continued before Tara had a chance to react, “To make another Bibliosmia. Here, in Buffalo. We did it once across the country, we’d kill it having one on our doorstep.”


Tara was careful not to show much reaction on her face.


“I didn’t know you wanted to expand.”


Willow shrugged both shoulders again.


“I was just passing by this place one day and fell in love. I could see it so clearly. The bar is so beautiful and where we are right now could be beanbag nook.”


Tara smiled softly at Willow's enthusiasm.


“Well, they might not be selling the building just because the restaurant is moving. Most restaurants just rent. And commercial rents are extremely high.”


“I know,” Willow nodded quickly, “But it’s a cool idea, right? I know we could recreate what we have in Sunnydale.”


Tara paused unsurely.


“It’s a very different market.”


Willow visibly deflated.


“You think it’s lame.”


“I don’t,” Tara replied quickly and squeezed Willow’s hands in hers, “I just think we need to do our research. We’re about to send the twins to college.”


“Which has been paid for—”


“From the store profits, I know,” Tara nodded quickly and reassuringly, “I’m not saying no. I’m just saying let's do all the math and see if we have the cash flow to make it work.”


Willow slowly smiled.


“I am good at math.”


Tara winked for the third but not the final time that evening.


“You’re good at a lot of things.”


Willow felt that warm feeling bloom in her stomach and rise up to her heart. Tara played with Willow’s fingers.


“Do you need a new project since retiring?”


Willow’s eyes sparkled alluringly.


“You could retire with me and we could spend our days canoodling.”


Tara smiled softly in response.


“My work isn’t done yet.”


Willow just nodded.


“I know. And the world is better for it. If I hadn’t been able to license TARA to the whole FBI network I’d still be working too. But I don’t miss it. It was good work, but I feel like I paid my dues…and now it’s paying us back in spades.”


Her head bobbed once, solemnly.


“That’s shop talk done,” she promised and allowed her foot to rise beneath the table to find Tara’s, “Moving smoothly into anniversary territory…I am honored to have loved you for 10,957 days.”


“Ooh, you are good at math,” Tara crooned with a laugh.


The server arrived to take their order, which Tara trusted Willow with given her apparent expertise.


A couple of hours later they were sharing the chocolate soufflé and making the kind of faces at each other that made other couples out for dinner look away awkwardly.


After paying the check, Willow helped Tara into her jacket and took her hand as they strolled out and along the water to the other side of the pier where the car to take them home was picking them up in a few minutes.


“What a view huh?” Willow smiled at Tara, “I’ve always been grateful that fate or random circumstance had us end up here.”


“Me too,” Tara replied softly, “Though I lean more toward fate. We had to be here, for JJ and for Kayden. To reconnect with Michelle and Rose. Our family wouldn’t be our family anywhere else.”


Willow smile spread and she leaned in to press a kiss to Tara’s cheek.


“You look so beautiful tonight. Thirty years and I still can never quite believe how I manage to keep someone like you.”


“Easy,” Tara replied in a low tone, “You just have to be you.”


Willow’s fingers squeezed Tara’s gently and they walked with their smiles reflecting on the water over to where the car was waiting.


When they got home, just about managing to contain themselves on the PDA front so as not to offend anyone looking in, Tara let them in the door and paused to squeeze Willow’s arm.


“I have a surprise for you,” she said mysteriously with a crooked smile, “Go pour us some wine?”


Willow had been expecting a quick retirement to the bedroom given how Tara’s hands had danced on her thigh and higher during the ride home, but she smiled easily. She hung up her jacket and went off to the kitchen to pop the cork on the bottle of Château Pontet-Canet Pauillac that Ira had gotten them for their anniversary.


Tara left her purse near the door and removed her own jacket before going into the living room.


“Hey Lily-pad,” she greeted Lily, who was stretched out on the couch, reading her phone, “How was your evening?”


Lily swung her body up and smirked secretly as she stretched her hands out in front of her.


“Excellent,” she replied, as she stood in one fluid movement, “Very relaxing.”


Tara crossed her arms lightly on her chest.


“How’s Em?”


“Uh, she went for a walk and then went right back up to bed. She was sleeping when I went up a while ago,” Lily replied, stuffing her hands into her jeans pockets.


Tara nodded evenly.


“It’s late. You should go to bed too.”


Lily slowly smirked.


“You finally showing Momma what we’ve been working on?” she asked and when Tara nodded, grinned further, “I’ll whip out the earplugs.”


“Lily,” Tara said with a disapproving click of her tongue, though didn’t correct Lily and a blush spread across her cheeks.


Lily held her hands up and shrugged as she backed out of the room.


“You can’t raise me to be sex-positive and then get mad when I’m positive about sex.”


Tara frowned unsurely.


“Did I do that?”


“You let Robyn preach at me,” Lily replied, grinning on one side.


“Nobody ‘lets’ Robyn do anything,” Tara sighed, “As you well know.”


Lily winked and disappeared.


Tara shook her head and sat down on the couch. She spotted something sticking out of the corner and plucked it from the sofa. A crumpled condom wrapper rustled between her fingers.


She stared at it for a moment, then quickly stuffed it back down. Nothing would ruin this lovely night for them.


As Lily stepped onto the first stair, she spotted Willow coming out of the kitchen with two full glasses of red wine.


“Goodnight Momma.”


“Night panda bear,” Willow smiled at her daughter, “Is Em okay?”


“Long as you keep the noise down,” Lily called in a sing-song voice before disappearing around the corner upstairs.


Willow frowned unsurely and continued into the living room.


Tara had moved over to sit at the upright piano they’d gotten Lily for her 16th birthday. Tara gestured Willow over.


“Come over here.”


Willow came over and sat as best she could on the little seat Tara was already sitting on.


“Not as comfortable as the couch but I’ll go anywhere you are. Especially when I’m forced to sit close.”


She offered one glass of wine.


“Hold it for me for a second?” Tara requested.


Willow smiled curiously; wondering now what was going on.


“Sure.”


Tara smiled with a hint of nerves.


“I want to show you something.”


Willow’s eyebrows arched.


“Normally you only let me see your ‘surprise’ upstairs.”


Tara’s lips pursed in a restrained smile.


“All to come,” she promised and leaned in to press a kiss to Willow’s lips, “My love.”


Willow pressed her lips together to retain the tingle left behind.


Then Tara completely floored Willow by pressing her fingers over the keys of the piano and having actual legible, recognizable music come out.


Tara began to sing in a quiet, angelic voice.


When the rain
Is blowing in your face
And the whole world
Is on your case
I could offer you
A warm embrace
To make you feel my love



Still in a state of shock, it took Willow a minute to catch up on the song Tara was singing (and playing!) but then she focused on the words and felt her heart quicken.


When the evening shadows
And the stars appear
And there is no one there
To dry your tears
I could hold you
For a million years
To make you feel my love



Tara smiled crookedly in Willow’s direction.


I know you
Haven't made
Your mind up yet
But I would never
Do you wrong
I've known it
From the moment
That we met
No doubt in my mind
Where you belong



She bumped her shoulder playfully against Willow’s.


The storms are raging
On the rolling sea
And on the highway of regret
Though winds of change
Are throwing wild and free
You ain't seen nothing
Like me yet



She hummed softly as her fingers deftly moved across the keys.


I could make you happy
Make your dreams come true



She looked over at Willow evocatively.


Nothing that I wouldn't do


Her eyes bore into Willow’s soul.


Go to the ends of the Earth for you


Her lips barely opened to sing the last line.


To make you feel my love


Her fingers long-pressed the final keys without her gaze breaking once.


To make you feel my love


Tara’s hands fell away shyly and she looked to Willow expectantly.


Willow had a lot to say, like ‘when’ and ‘how’ and ‘wow!’ but all that came out was a desperate lunge towards Tara’s lips.


Tara gratefully accepted the kiss and was quite happy for it to linger. When they popped apart, foreheads and noses together and breath still sharing the same space, Tara spoke breathlessly.


“What did you think?”


Willow’s eyes were full of awe and love and lust and everything because Tara was everything.


“I think we’re going to need to take that wine upstairs.”


Tara winked.



Tara’s hands were white on the steering wheel as she waited for the light to turn green so she could get home.


Willow had called her in the middle of the work-day, screaming, and all Tara had been able to discern was that she needed to get home.


Now.


Finally, she swung into the driveway and was out the door before the car had even fully stopped. She ran up to the house and let herself in.


“Willow?” she called in alarm but could already hear her wife’s steps ricocheting angrily against the floor in their bedroom.


She sped up the stairs, taking them two by two as JJ would when he was a lad though her knees didn’t thank her for it. She finally got to the bedroom where Willow’s face was as red as her hair and the design of the soles of her shoes had practically indented across the hardwood floors.


Tara came over and grabbed Willow’s shoulders at the foot of their bed.


“Willow, what on earth is going on?”


Willow’s eyes were wild and it scared Tara. As Willow’s breath heaved, she suddenly jabbed a finger at Tara.


“This is your fault,” she proclaimed, then threw her hands up and continued irately, “All Miss ‘ Let's Put Condoms In Their Bathroom’! And clearly, you didn’t even show her how to use one properly!”


Tara’s head reeled back; she could count on one hand the time's Willow had addressed her like that in their thirty years. She hadn’t appreciated it any other time either.


“First of all, you watch your damn tone, I am your wife,” she shot back sharply, making Willow smart appropriately, “Second of all, what on earth are you talking about?”


Willow’s hand balled at her side, then she snatched up something on the bedspread that Tara hadn’t noticed before.


“I found THIS in Lily’s bathroom.”


She thrust the object into Tara’s hands. Tara looked down and it took her a minute to recognize it as a pregnancy test. It had been close to two decades since the last time she had held one in her hands like this.


But in the exact moment that her brain registered what she was holding she was also slammed with a series of other realizations all at once.


Emily, refusing to come out of her room for the past week.


Emily, immediately running to throw up when Tara brought her up mac’n’cheese, her favorite food. Her real favorite food, not pizza like she claimed just so as not to differ from Lily.


Emily, wearing the exact same tinge of pale on her cheeks that Tara had worn every day of her pregnancy with them.


These memories hit Tara with such veracity that she stumbled back. The movement seemed to just fuel Willow’s ire.


“Don’t you have anything to say?”


With the plastic now shaking in her hands, Tara slowly looked up with wide, glassy eyes.


“I don’t think it’s Lily.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:37 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Posts: 391
Dibs! :whip
So my suspicion was right, obviously. Poor Emily, I fear the talk she'll have to have with her moms now might be ugly, especially if Willow's temper is running wild. It might be a good thing that Emily probably still doesn't know the identity of the guy she slept with - so Willow can't beat him to death with a shovel.

Quote:
“All Miss ‘ Let's Put Condoms In Their Bathroom’! And clearly, you didn’t even show her how to use one properly!”

Sorry to say it but putting condoms in the bathroom was good and well when it concerned JJ and Kayden, but for their teenager daughters it would have been better to be also brought to the gynecologist to get a prescription for birth control pills once their mothers suspected they might become "sexually active"...

Back to the nice parts of the chapter:
I'm glad that Willow and Tara had a wonderful anniversary before having to face the fact that her youngest daughter got pregnant at the age of 17 (do I have the time right?).

I'm wondering if they will still buy the building and open a "Bibliosmia 2", considering that they'll have to financially support Emily and her child during the next years. On the other hand it might be good for Emily to work at this place at least a few hours a week while she can't attend college.

Quote:
“Do you need a new project since retiring?”


Willow’s eyes sparkled alluringly.


“You could retire with me and we could spend our days canoodling.”


Tara smiled softly in response.


“My work isn’t done yet.”


Willow just nodded.


“I know. And the world is better for it. If I hadn’t been able to license TARA to the whole FBI network I’d still be working too. But I don’t miss it. It was good work, but I feel like I paid my dues…and now it’s paying us back in spades.”

Wow, so Willow has already retired from work at the age of 49?! I didn't see that coming. Even if I had the money to do that I wouldn't consider it, I fear I would be bored without work pretty quick.
In the situation they find themselves in now it is for the best that Willow will be able to help with raising their grandkid "fulltime", of course.

I didn't know the song Tara sang to Willow but after googling the first verse I learned that it's a song from Adele and just listened to it on Youtube. I like it very much. Awesome that Tara learned playing it on the piano just to surprise Willow properly!

Quote:
Tara’s hands fell away shyly and she looked to Willow expectantly.


Willow had a lot to say, like ‘when’ and ‘how’ and ‘wow!’ but all that came out was a desperate lunge towards Tara’s lips.


Tara gratefully accepted the kiss and was quite happy for it to linger. When they popped apart, foreheads and noses together and breath still sharing the same space, Tara spoke breathlessly.


“What did you think?”


Willow’s eyes were full of awe and love and lust and everything because Tara was everything.


“I think we’re going to need to take that wine upstairs.”


Tara winked.

:flower :bigkiss I forgive you that you "cut away" the following love scene this time... :wink
(Allow me to recommend to "seperate" the last sentence from the next scene with a line as usual, by the way).


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:35 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Alright, I'm shook. NOT SWEET INNOCENT EMILY! Why Laragh, WHY?

Ok, now that I have that off my chest, I feel a little better. Not much though, considering it's possible she did not consent to having sex with 'Adam.' Although, I think she was drunk and just did it try and stop the 'virgin' bullying. Now I have to wonder if she'll keep the baby or not. My guess is that she will since she likes being at home with her parents so much.

I have to admit, I'm right there with Wills Redemption on the parental double standard when it comes to being sexually active. It was fine and well with the boys, but now Willow is coming unglued with the girls. Who did she think JJ was having sex with? A GIRL. WHO COULD GET PREGNANT. Lol As a parent, of a girl, I feel like it's different than it is with boys. I don't know why, it just is. Like, you justify it in your mind because the boy can't get pregnant and the girl can. Plus, you really don't want to think, in ANY detail whatsoever, of your daughter having sex. It's weird, and I can't explain it. I never worried about my nephews, but always worried about my daughter and my nieces. We just always tried to be super level headed about it and get her whatever she needed. Which is what I think Willow and especially Tara thought they were doing.

Ok, on to other things. When I read that Tara was turning 50 I actually wondered if they, especially Willow, had retired. I'm not surprised at all. She had a cushy government job since she was what, 25? So, almost 25 solid years with the bureau equals full retirement and pension. Coincidentally, a friend of mine just retired after 30 years with the FBI...for which I was totally jealous.

Willow has lot's of time on her hands, so it makes sense she would want to open a second store. I just hope she knows what she's getting into. Running a business from afar is one thing, but being hands on is quite another. It can take over your entire life in the blink of an eye.

Willow and Tara are still so sweet together, even after all those years. Sure, relationships change, but the love is always there and it's nice to see it flourishing even after all this time and five kids.

One last thing...MISS KITTY, YAY! I was wondering when/if she would make an appearance since Woofy was gone and she did!

-S.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:51 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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SO glad to see another chapter of "our girls" lives. NOT so glad as to the final posting. Sad. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us,...And Emily.
Blessings

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


Woop!

Quote:
So my suspicion was right, obviously. Poor Emily, I fear the talk she'll have to have with her moms now might be ugly, especially if Willow's temper is running wild. It might be a good thing that Emily probably still doesn't know the identity of the guy she slept with - so Willow can't beat him to death with a shovel.


Willow getting arrested would not be helpful, I agree! This is going to be a hard one to accept...

Quote:
Sorry to say it but putting condoms in the bathroom was good and well when it concerned JJ and Kayden, but for their teenager daughters it would have been better to be also brought to the gynecologist to get a prescription for birth control pills once their mothers suspected they might become "sexually active"...


Well that suspicion certainly wasn't there for Emily. This will all be discussed though, don't worry!

Quote:
Back to the nice parts of the chapter:
I'm glad that Willow and Tara had a wonderful anniversary before having to face the fact that her youngest daughter got pregnant at the age of 17 (do I have the time right?).


The twins are 16 right now

Quote:
I'm wondering if they will still buy the building and open a "Bibliosmia 2", considering that they'll have to financially support Emily and her child during the next years. On the other hand it might be good for Emily to work at this place at least a few hours a week while she can't attend college.


All to come, all to come, I promise!

Quote:
Wow, so Willow has already retired from work at the age of 49?! I didn't see that coming. Even if I had the money to do that I wouldn't consider it, I fear I would be bored without work pretty quick.


This will also all be covered. I know it's hard to read a story chapter by chapter like this and the frustrations that go with it, but it will all be addressed :)

Quote:
In the situation they find themselves in now it is for the best that Willow will be able to help with raising their grandkid "fulltime", of course.


If she's willing...

Quote:
I didn't know the song Tara sang to Willow but after googling the first verse I learned that it's a song from Adele and just listened to it on Youtube. I like it very much. Awesome that Tara learned playing it on the piano just to surprise Willow properly!


Yes! It's actually a song by Bob Dylan but the version I imagined Tara singing was absolutely the Adele version so I'm glad that you found that one!

Quote:
:flower :bigkiss I forgive you that you "cut away" the following love scene this time... :wink


There is definitely some smut in this one, especially compared to the last two!

Quote:
(Allow me to recommend to "seperate" the last sentence from the next scene with a line as usual, by the way).


Thank you so much! I had a problem last second with this chapter and lost all the formatting. I missed out the line break when I was adding it back in. Fixed now!

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Finey_McFine

Quote:
Alright, I'm shook. NOT SWEET INNOCENT EMILY! Why Laragh, WHY?


I'm a sadist.

(I just really wanted to tell this story)

Quote:
Ok, now that I have that off my chest, I feel a little better. Not much though, considering it's possible she did not consent to having sex with 'Adam.' Although, I think she was drunk and just did it try and stop the 'virgin' bullying.


Ding, ding. You're exactly right. I have no interest nor expertise in exploring a nonconsensual encounter. It is too delicate and could be triggering.

Quote:
Now I have to wonder if she'll keep the baby or not. My guess is that she will since she likes being at home with her parents so much.


If I told you, there would be no story.

Quote:
I have to admit, I'm right there with Wills Redemption on the parental double standard when it comes to being sexually active. It was fine and well with the boys, but now Willow is coming unglued with the girls. Who did she think JJ was having sex with? A GIRL. WHO COULD GET PREGNANT.


Oh, Willow hated that Tara gave the boys condoms too. She totally wished she could ostrich that whole parental arena. She doesn't want any of them having sex, ever. She wants them to be her little boys and girls forever.

Quote:
Lol As a parent, of a girl, I feel like it's different than it is with boys. I don't know why, it just is. Like, you justify it in your mind because the boy can't get pregnant and the girl can. Plus, you really don't want to think, in ANY detail whatsoever, of your daughter having sex. It's weird, and I can't explain it. I never worried about my nephews, but always worried about my daughter and my nieces. We just always tried to be super level headed about it and get her whatever she needed. Which is what I think Willow and especially Tara thought they were doing.


The thing is as well is that Willow and Tara have never actually had to contend with birth control. It's not top of their minds like it should be/would be if they ever had to take it themselves. Also there are of course the other circumstances ie Emily's health that we already discussed.

Quote:
Ok, on to other things. When I read that Tara was turning 50 I actually wondered if they, especially Willow, had retired. I'm not surprised at all. She had a cushy government job since she was what, 25? So, almost 25 solid years with the bureau equals full retirement and pension. Coincidentally, a friend of mine just retired after 30 years with the FBI...for which I was totally jealous.


Tara could absolutely retire financially but she still really enjoys her job but I think Willow had just had enough. Now, of course, the boredom sets in...

Quote:
Willow has lot's of time on her hands, so it makes sense she would want to open a second store. I just hope she knows what she's getting into. Running a business from afar is one thing, but being hands on is quite another. It can take over your entire life in the blink of an eye.


I agree. I think she's up for the challenge though :)

Quote:
Willow and Tara are still so sweet together, even after all those years. Sure, relationships change, but the love is always there and it's nice to see it flourishing even after all this time and five kids.


You and C are definitely an inspiration in this arena!!

Quote:
One last thing...MISS KITTY, YAY! I was wondering when/if she would make an appearance since Woofy was gone and she did!


I had to! I did her dirty replacing her with a fish in college (although it was the only way to not kill her off and I didn't think Boston College would have too many crossbows lying about...)

Thanks so, so much for your feedback!

MotherD

Quote:
SO glad to see another chapter of "our girls" lives.


I'm glad!

Quote:
NOT so glad as to the final posting. Sad. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us,...And Emily.


I hope it won't make you too sad in the end :)

Quote:
Blessings


And to you, always!

Thanks for commenting!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (August 31st)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 3:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Chapter Four




“What do you mean you don’t think it’s Lily?”


Willow’s words echoed around Tara’s brain but she couldn’t quite bring herself to answer.


“Is it YOU?!” Willow accused and Tara suddenly found her words.


“Of course it's not me and for the sake of our marriage I'm going to pretend you didn't say that.”


She bit her tongue for a half a second before her incredulity got too much.


“I've had a hysterectomy for god sake,” she spat out of the side of her mouth, “AND I'm going through the menopause AND oh yes, I've been completely faithful to you for thirty years.”


Willow had the decency to look guilty.


“Okay, that was stupid. I’m sorry,” she replied sincerely, “But if it's not you and it's not Lily and it’s not ME, then…”


Her mouth clamped closed in surprise.


“No.”


She resumed the pacing she’d been doing when Tara first arrived. After a few seconds of frantic back and forth, she suddenly spun back toward her wife.


“No. No way. How even, Tara? WHEN even? With who? No.”


Her hands waved over each other in front of her definitively.


“There is no way that Emily is pregnant.”


Tara stayed rooted to the spot as Willow started to pace again.


“She's been sick.”


“It's winter!” Willow threw her hands up, “Everyone is sick!”


“None of us are,” Tara whispered quietly, “And I've heard her throwing up in the mornings.”


Willow slowly had the same series of realizations Tara had. She stopped in front of Tara, stricken.


“Tara.”


Willow’s eyes filled with tears and Tara’s quickly matched them. She reached out and held Willow’s face in her hands.


“Ssh darling,” she said in a soft, comforting tone and pulled Willow in to kiss her, ground her; ground them both.


When they parted, her hands naturally followed the curve of Willow’s neck to rub her shoulders.


“You've had a shock.”


Willow took in a few heavy breaths. Her eyes flicked up to Tara.


“Have you had a shock?”


“What?” Tara asked in confusion.


Willow took one step back.


“You don't seem shocked.”


“Of course I'm shocked,” Tara replied defensively.


One of Willow’s hands clutched her stomach.


“You knew.”


“I didn't,” Tara replied emphatically, then added on quietly, “Not officially.”


Willow actually gasped.


“But you suspected!” she pointed that finger accusingly again, “You suspected and you never said anything!”


“I hadn’t even fully processed it until I saw the test,” Tara said, looking down on the bedspread where the offending item was staring up at them again.


Willow let out a bitter laugh.


“I can't believe this.”


She walked over to the other side of the room and smacked her palm against the wall.


Tara wiped her sleeve over her brow and glanced at the time on the alarm clock on Willow’s nightstand.


“The girls are going to be home from school soon,” she said with her heart in her throat, “Maybe you should take a walk. Clear your head.”


“Oh, so you can take care of this all alone too,” Willow sneered with her back to Tara.


“So you can be calm when we speak to Emily,” Tara clarified softly.


Willow spun around, irate.


“Calm? CALM?! OUR HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR IS PREGNANT A FEW MONTHS OUT FROM GRADUATION AND YOU WANT ME TO BE CALM?!”


The first time they’d fought like this, Tara had backed down and cowered.


Thirty years later, that wasn’t about to happen again.


“If you yell at me one more time I will kick you out of this house,” she enunciated clearly and calmly, “And if you even dream of raising your voice at my child I will do the same.”


Willow’s hand balled at her side again.


“I'm her mother too.”


“Start acting like it,” Tara spat back.


Willow’s eyes bulged and then she flounced out of there, down the stairs and out the front door with a bang that reverberated so loudly that the pregnancy test fell off the bed and Miss Kitty Fantastico came out from her hiding spot in the laundry hamper and started to bat it around the place.


Tara sat on the bedspread and held her face in her hands, squeezing the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index finger. When Miss Kitty had gotten all of the enjoyment from the little oblong object she had no idea had caused so much distress, she hopped up and sat in Tara’s lap.


Tara absentmindedly stroked her until she felt the cat’s back rise and ears perk and she knew Emily must be about to come in the door. Miss Kitty had been acting odd lately too, Tara realized. It wasn’t unusual for the cat to cling to Emily but she had been extra purry and hadn’t left her side. She scratched Miss Kitty behind the ears and stood up to follow her down the stairs.


Sure enough, as they got to the bottom, the door opened and Lily and Emily walked through. Lily dropped her purse on the floor and Emily put her backpack away on its dedicated hook.


“Why won’t you come to pick out a dress for prom with me?” Lily asked in an exasperated tone, “You need one too. You can still come even if you don’t have a date.”


“I just don’t want to,” Emily replied quietly and closed her hands over the front of her body to close herself off.


“You’re so lame lately,” Lily all but stamped her foot.


“That’s ableist,” Emily said sadly.


Lily rolled her eyes.


“Who are you, Robyn?”


Emily looked down while Lily spotted Tara and ran over excitedly.


“Mom, I aced my English Lit exam,” she said, poking her tongue out between her teeth just like Willow would, “I wrote about that poem you always read us when we were kids.”


“"'Hope' is the thing with feathers",” Tara supplied softly.


Lily nodded keenly.


“My teacher loved it.”


Tara squeezed Lily's shoulder but she was more than a tad distracted.


“Well done, sweetheart,” she complimented, wondering if her voice sounded as shaken to them as it did to her, “How did you do, Emily?”


“She had to get a resit,” Lily said, apparently not noticing any weirdness in her mother.


Tara frowned.


“Why?”


“Had to go to the nurse again,” Lily nodded quickly.


“Emily can answer for herself,” Tara replied a bit harshly and Lily did look at her strangely this time.


“Everyone is so lame lately,” she rolled her eyes, then looked at Tara hopefully, “Mom, can I drive out to the mall?”


“Sure,” Tara replied, her eyes on Emily.


Lily’s eyes widened with delight.


“Really?”


She hadn’t been allowed out much to drive since the last time.


Tara seemed to recall in time and turned to her one-minute-older daughter.


“If you have another accident, your driving privileges will be revoked for the rest of the year. Just because Nanna Rose bought you the car doesn’t mean we don’t control your access to it. Do you want to be stuck on self-drive?”


“I know,” Lily replied emphatically, “And, no, I don’t! Only lame-os use self-drive.”


Tara arched an eyebrow.


“Watch the attitude.”


Lily bit her lip long enough to get her keys.


Lame,” she whispered under her breath before turning back to wave dramatically, “Bye, family!”


She got out of there before she was denied again.


Emily watched her go and then her eyes fell unsurely toward Tara.


Tara moved forward and put an arm around Emily’s shoulders.


“Let’s go have a chat.”


Emily startled but didn’t have much choice to allow Tara to lead her into the living room.


“Do you need a drink, Emily?” Tara asked before she took a seat beside Emily on the couch.


Emily shook her head.


“I have my water bottle.”


Tara paused and considered her daughter for a moment as she nervously glugged down from her reusable water bottle.


Emily didn’t often glug like that.


She never took, nor asked, for more than she needed.


When Rose got Lily a shiny new red Chevy Malibu for her 16th birthday, Emily had been happy to take Robyn’s electric Skoda Citigo as a hand-me-down and asked Rose to pay Robyn instead so Robyn could fund her year overseas. Having just paid for that Citigo new two years previously, Rose had pursed her lips at the request but did as asked.


For her 16th birthday when Willow and Tara had gotten Lily a piano, all Emily asked for was a cat and a donation to the animal shelter from which she was received. Tara had gotten them both a special necklace with an Opel, their birthstone, set in diamonds to mark the occasion but Emily was always too afraid to wear it lest she break it or lose it or somehow wear it down for someone that wasn’t a Big Occasion but Lily’s swung around her neck most days.


Even when they were little on Halloween, their birthday, she and Lily would pool their candy and she would take one piece of each type and let Lily (and secretly, Willow) have the rest.


Miss Kitty was on Emily’s lap now, which wasn’t surprising. Emily’s fingers rubbed her fur in a steady, calming rhythm.


Tara tried to appear as comfortable as she could in the seat and gently patted Emily’s knee.


“You were sick again, koala bear?” she asked gently, “I think it’s time to take you to the doctor.”


She felt Emily’s legs tense under her. Tara closed her eyes and slowly opened them again.


“Emily,” she said quietly.


Emily’s head slowly turned up to Tara.


She still looked so young, Tara thought. Her glasses were falling down her nose and her hair fell into her eyes. Eyes that shone with innocence and timidness that had blossomed into fear.


It took about three seconds of Emily receiving that gaze for her to know that her mother knew. Her upper teeth bit the back of her lip and she looked away again as her leg began to shake.


“Emily,” Tara repeated, softly and evocatively, “Look at me, koala bear.”


Emily didn’t.


Tara rubbed Emily’s back in even circles. Everything felt surreal; like she was with a client going through this situation and not her own daughter.


She slid her hand into the front pocket of her sweater and closed her palm around the pregnancy test. She brought it out and put it between them silently.


Emily’s eyes flitted over and she felt her world come crashing down.


After several long, tense moments Emily finally looked up. The look in her eyes broke Tara’s heart.


“I’m so sorry, Mom,” she said in a quiet, scared whisper, “I-I didn’t mean…I-I didn’t mean for…”


Tara had so many questions. So many. But Emily got there first.


“Does Momma know?”


Tara had to stop and bring herself back into the moment. Finding herself suddenly unable to speak, she just nodded.


Emily’s eyes filled with tears.


“Does she hate me?”


Tara very quickly found her voice.


“It’s a very big shock for us all. But Momma loves you. And I love you. And nothing could change that. Ever.”


She held Emily’s face in her hands.


“We love you, Emily. Forever and always.”


Emily could only sustain Tara’s gaze for a moment. Things were becoming much too real, much too quickly. She’d only done the test that morning and she’d been in a daze ever since. She’d gotten in trouble in class for not paying attention and Lily had been on her all day for acting weird.


How could this happen to her?


She knew, of course.


There was only one possibility.


And now she was going to be—


She stood up abruptly before the thought could even form.


“I never changed Miss Kitty’s litter box.”


“It can wait, honey,” Tara replied but Emily was already out the door.


“No, I have to do it right now!”


Miss Kitty dashed after Emily and Tara dashed after them both.


“Emily, no,” she called after her daughter but Emily was almost manic in her need to get this task done.


She caught Emily’s arms and clutched her.


“Emily,” she said, her heart pounding in her chest, yet somehow managing to keep her tone soft, “It’s not safe for the baby.”


She released her grip.


“I’ll do it.”


Emily’s mouth clamped closed.


“Oh.”


As Tara made quick work of changing the litter, Emily stared blankly ahead as two words she hadn’t contemplated until now roamed around her mind.


The baby.


Somehow, in all of this, she hadn’t actually considered that there was an actual baby involved, or at least, would be.


Tara was washing her hands when Emily started to fall to her knees.


Mommy.”


Tara was there in a flash, picking up her daughter before she hit the ground. She brought her back to the couch and just held her daughter tucked under her chin as she started to cry.


Tara stroked Emily’s back until she had no tears left, after which she began to whisper.


“Hope is the thing with feathers,” she recited softly, “That perches in the soul.”


She kissed the top of Emily’s head.


“And sings the tune without the words.”


Her eyes closed and under her, Emily’s did the same.


“And never stops at all.”



When Lily texted Tara to ask if she could stay out for dinner with her friends, Tara shot back a quick yes despite normally insisting they all have dinner together.


She got a quick response back that she was so not lame! and closed her eyes again to wrap her arm back around Emily, who had cried herself to sleep. Tara didn’t know what else to do. Their whole family’s life was about to change, one way or the other.


Miss Kitty was curled at Emily’s feet and didn’t move even when the front door opened again.


Tara opened her eyes in time for Willow to wander into the living room, looking a little bit lost.


Their eyes met for a moment before Willow dropped into the armchair, exhausted. Her eyes and cheeks were red and her whole body was slumped forward.


“Have you spoken to her?” she whispered, hollow.


“Not really,” Tara replied with a raw voice, “She knows that we know. I don’t know any details.”


Miss Kitty jumped down and started rubbing against Willow’s leg. Willow picked her up and started absentmindedly petting her.


Emily stirred from the shift in movement in the room and slowly sat up. There was a precious second or two as she rubbed her eyes where she forgot everything that was going on.


Until she saw her parents’ faces.


She immediately grew even paler and Miss Kitty jumped back to attend to her.


The poor cat, Tara thought, unsure of who she needed to comfort most.


Tara didn’t know either.


“Emily,” Willow’s voice was still hollow, “We have a lot to talk about.”


Emily cowered and Tara put an arm around her shoulders for support.


Willow’s eyes flashed with anger.


“How in the hell did this happen?”


This time, the anger was pouring from Tara.


“Don’t speak to her like that.”


“She owes us an explanation,” Willow replied tetchily.


“I-I was stupid,” Emily cut in to stop the arguing.


“Tell us how, sweetheart,” Tara encouraged gently, “Tell us what happened. We love you.”


Emily looked down and squirmed uncomfortably. She took her time to speak, during which time Willow’s leg grew increasingly bouncy.


“I-I went to a party with Lily. It was Emmett’s birthday,” she paused and sniffled, “These j-jerks were making fun of me.”


Her voice quietened.


“They always make fun of me.”


Both Tara and Willow swallowed deeply and avoided each other’s gazes.


“Keep going sweetheart,” Tara said, trying to keep her voice neutral.


Emily looked down at Miss Kitty in her lap and continued to stroke her back; something to focus on.


“T-then this guy came over and distracted them and I just wanted to get out of there so I left and he f-followed.”


Tara tensed and Emily felt it because she quickly looked over.


“No, it wasn’t like that. I-I…” she paused, embarrassed, “I asked him to do it and then there was a bottle of something in an ice bucket and I drank it and I tried to forget about it but now…now…”


She suddenly felt a nausea wave over her and clutched her stomach. She looked down at her hand and shut her eyes tight.


Willow suddenly pushed back and stood up.


“What’s this guy’s name? What did he look like?”


Emily looked up with wide eyes full of fear and her lips twitching with shame.


“I-I can’t remember. H-He was wearing a mask.”


“He got you drunk!” Willow espoused with a fiery toss of her hands upward.


Emily shook her head and Tara squeezed her shoulders.


“Sweetheart, he took advantage of you.”


Emily shook her head even more frantically.


“I-I took advantage of him,” she said with her stomach twisting in knots, “O-or maybe we took advantage of each other. I-I don’t know. But I pushed for it. I-I got drunk after. On my own. On my own. I asked him to leave and he did but he tried to make sure I was okay first. I didn’t see him for the rest of the night.”


Tara tried to look over at Willow but she was mid-pace and directing her gaze angrily at the floor.


“Why, sweetheart?” Tara prompted Emily instead, “Why him when you didn’t know him? Did you really like him?”


“He was nice to me,” Emily played with her sleeve just as Tara had at her age when feeling awkward, “I just wanted them to stop calling me that stupid name.”


“What name?” Tara asked, frowning.


Emily’s jaw set with humiliation.


“Virgi-ly.”


Willow’s eyes bugged upon hearing that.


“Tell me everything you know about this guy. I will track him down. I don't need much. I've spent two decades doing this.”


Emily looked up, alarmed.


“No, Momma.”


Willow’s gaze was steely.


“You’re not in a position to deny me right now.”


Tara frowned deeply but for once, Emily didn’t back down, albeit timidly.


“This is my mistake. I have to deal with it.”


“And how exactly are you going to deal with it?” Willow asked in a harsh tone.


Emily’s eyes darted everywhere with the weight of expectation.


“Let her breathe for a second, Willow,” Tara tried to keep calm amongst all of the angst.


Willow’s eyes flew to Tara.


“She needs to understand the gravity of this.”


“I think she’s well aware,” Tara shot back with eyes growing just as wild.


Emily stood up, making Miss Kitty fly off her lap.


“P-Please stop fighting!”


She burst into fresh tears and ran away, her footsteps pounding on the stairs moments later.


Willow took a step forward to follow her but Tara stood and put her arm out to block her.


“Let her go. She needs time.”


“Time for what?” Willow spat back.


“To process what’s happened,” Tara replied, unable to keep the annoyed tone out of her voice, “So do we. We need to be there for her whatever she decides.”


Willow’s jaw tensed.


“She needs to decide to go back in time and not make this stupid mistake.”


Tara opened her mouth but Willow held up a hand and sped out of there.


“I don’t want to hear it!”


Tara stayed stuck to the spot for several surreal moments before finally sinking back down onto the couch.


Miss Kitty came up and wound around her legs.


It seemed it was Tara’s turn to be comforted.


She needed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 2nd)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 6:20 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip

Ouch! I feared this thing might cause strain between Willow and Tara as well, but that it escalates so fast is worse than I expected. It's understandable that Willow wants to blame the boy. But if he was underage like Emily he obviously did nothing illegal. Irresponsible to have unprotected sex with Emily, but that goes for both of them.
I can also understand that Willow is angry with Emily but it doesn't help anyone when she verbally attacks her. And with her lashing out she makes Tara protective and then Willow gets even more angry because she feels that Tara doesn't see the gravity of the situation and is too indulgent with Emily.

I really hope that Willow can "pull herself together" soon and is willing and able to forgive and lovingly support Emily - especially when she decides to keep the baby like I expect. I would hate it if Willow and Tara had a marriage crisis and the whole family would be shaken because Willow might be unwilling to accept the pregnancy and demand an abortion. Please don't let it come to this, Laragh!


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 2nd)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:11 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
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Ok, before I comment on the latest chapter, a couple things...
Quote:
The thing is as well is that Willow and Tara have never actually had to contend with birth control. It's not top of their minds like it should be/would be if they ever had to take it themselves.
I'm not trying to argue, really, because they're fictional characters, but I have to disagree on this one. To me, this excuse doesn't really hold water. I mean, they never had to contend with or worry about using condoms either, but somehow made sure they ended up in the kid's medicine cabinet. And by "they," I mean Tara, who, I would think, is well versed on the pitfalls of not using birth control. I'm sure in her line of work she is quite familiar with the result of unwanted teen pregnancies. Trust me, I get how hard it is to come to terms with "your baby" becoming sexually active, but kids grow up and they're gonna do it whether you like it or not and the best thing a parent can do for them is communicate openly and teach them to be responsible. Anyway, I just thought, if that's their excuse...lame-o. LOL

Quote:
You and C are definitely an inspiration in this arena!!
Awwww, thank you!! :love :love :love

So, this last chapter was rough and really tugged on the heart strings. I totally get where Emily is coming from and I now see why it HAD to be her. Sweet, innocent and completely naive. The consequesces never crossed her mind because of her innocence. She just didn't want to suffer the bullying anymore. Plus, I'm sure it's not easy living in Lily's shadow.

Willow...reactionary as always and completely out of control, ironically, because she can't control the situation. I see where she's coming from and I get it, but she needs to calm the fuck down. I would have folded as soon as I saw Emily start to cry, lol. But Willow is high strung and likes to have all her organized ducks in a row. I'm guessing she also feels like a failure as a parent. What could I have done differently, etc. like it is somehow her fault. I just hope she gets it together and soon.

Tara, I'm sure, will be the glue that holds everything and everyone together. But just like Emily, I hate to see Willow and Tara fight.

Looking forward to more!
-JMT

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 2nd)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


Woop!

Quote:
Ouch! I feared this thing might cause strain between Willow and Tara as well, but that it escalates so fast is worse than I expected. It's understandable that Willow wants to blame the boy. But if he was underage like Emily he obviously did nothing illegal. Irresponsible to have unprotected sex with Emily, but that goes for both of them.


You're totally right.

Quote:
I can also understand that Willow is angry with Emily but it doesn't help anyone when she verbally attacks her. And with her lashing out she makes Tara protective and then Willow gets even more angry because she feels that Tara doesn't see the gravity of the situation and is too indulgent with Emily.


Yep, it's a real clusterfuck of emotion, huh?

Quote:
I really hope that Willow can "pull herself together" soon and is willing and able to forgive and lovingly support Emily - especially when she decides to keep the baby like I expect. I would hate it if Willow and Tara had a marriage crisis and the whole family would be shaken because Willow might be unwilling to accept the pregnancy and demand an abortion. Please don't let it come to this, Laragh!


I can promise you that whatever it comes to, they will recover. I'm not about to break their marriage up, am I? Hold on for another week or so for me and I'll start to change the tide, I promise.

Thanks for your feedback

Finey_McFine

Quote:
I'm not trying to argue, really, because they're fictional characters, but I have to disagree on this one. To me, this excuse doesn't really hold water. I mean, they never had to contend with or worry about using condoms either, but somehow made sure they ended up in the kid's medicine cabinet.


Right, exactly. They (Tara) mistakenly thought it was enough.

Quote:
And by "they," I mean Tara, who, I would think, is well versed on the pitfalls of not using birth control. I'm sure in her line of work she is quite familiar with the result of unwanted teen pregnancies.


She absolutely is and the response of most social programs is to...give out free condoms!

Quote:
Trust me, I get how hard it is to come to terms with "your baby" becoming sexually active, but kids grow up and they're gonna do it whether you like it or not and the best thing a parent can do for them is communicate openly and teach them to be responsible. Anyway, I just thought, if that's their excuse...lame-o. LOL


I agree 100% and the ball was dropped but that doesn't mean that those intentions weren't there. Tara trusted the girls would come to her if they wanted to go on birth control. Her mistake was not insisting. She thought she was doing enough. She wasn't. Now they're in this situation and there's blame on all sides. But it doesn't really matter, does it? Now they just have to deal with it.

Quote:
Awwww, thank you!! :love :love :love


You really are so lovely :)

Quote:
So, this last chapter was rough and really tugged on the heart strings. I totally get where Emily is coming from and I now see why it HAD to be her. Sweet, innocent and completely naive. The consequesces never crossed her mind because of her innocence. She just didn't want to suffer the bullying anymore. Plus, I'm sure it's not easy living in Lily's shadow.


There's a reason neither Lily nor Robyn came home pregnant and it's not just because of Tara's condoms...for the reasons you outline above.

Quote:
Willow...reactionary as always and completely out of control, ironically, because she can't control the situation. I see where she's coming from and I get it, but she needs to calm the fuck down. I would have folded as soon as I saw Emily start to cry, lol. But Willow is high strung and likes to have all her organized ducks in a row. I'm guessing she also feels like a failure as a parent. What could I have done differently, etc. like it is somehow her fault. I just hope she gets it together and soon.


She'll get it together, I promise.

Quote:
Tara, I'm sure, will be the glue that holds everything and everyone together. But just like Emily, I hate to see Willow and Tara fight.


Don't we all? Not for long!

Thanks for commenting!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 2nd)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:00 am 
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Chapter Five




“What is happening lately?”


Emily dragged her gaze away from the living room window where she’d been looking aimlessly and focused on Lily, looking bored as she held her English textbook in her lap while sitting in a beanbag.


“Huh?”


Lily closed her book and let it slide off. She had an A in English anyway and rarely had ever needed to study for a test. She threw her eyes upward disparagingly.


“We’re supposed to be the hormonal teenagers but they’re the ones at each other’s throats the last few days. They never fight. What’s going on?”


When Emily stopped listening to the pounding of her heart and rushing of her blood, that seemed a constant lately as she processed the situation she’d found herself in, she could hear the creak of floorboards from directly above.


Her parents’ room.


Muffled voices carried out strained tones through the ceiling.


Her heart sank.


They’d been trying to keep it behind closed doors but her parents had been fighting pretty much non-stop since they’d found out about her ‘situation’. It had been so hard for Emily to try and deal with alone with no real friends to turn to and not even Lily, who’d been her other half since the womb, there to talk to.


It still felt like a dream. Other girls got into this situation, not her. A boy had never so much as looked at her before, not that she noticed.


She barely even remembered the night in question except feeling drunk on a sip of schnapps with no food in her stomach and all but attacking the nice boy who had saved her from the teasing. She just kept thinking if only she could make the nickname untrue, it wouldn’t hold any power…


Honestly, she hadn't been sure that the ‘act’ had even occurred until she saw those two lines on the pregnancy test. It was a blur. She felt so guilty.


For letting down her parents.


For the guy she’d used and disposed of.


For the growing life in her stomach that she felt a failure to already. Was it even a growing life? She had no idea what she considered ‘it’ yet. She knew she felt guilt for considering it an ‘it’ though. She didn’t feel capable of a single thought or action that didn’t carry guilt anymore.


“Hel-loo, earth to Emily,” Lily waved her hand in Emily’s face, “Where the hell have you been lately? Is it that stupid stomach flu you’ve got going on? We know it isn’t mono.”


She chuckled as she fell into the couch beside Emily and leaned her head on her sister’s shoulder.


“Oh come on, little sis, I’m just teasing.”


Emily snapped to attention when Lily’s elbow nudged her ribs.


She tried to replay the conversation but only recalled ‘stomach flu’.


Her gaze slowly turned toward Lily. Her mouth opened and nothing but a hoarse breath came out at first, but then there were words.


“It’s not the flu.”


Lily rolled her eyes dramatically.


“Virus, then. Pedantic much? You really are getting more like Robyn. Maybe you should take her room.”


A louder Willow-toned yell came from above and Emily looked up.


Guiltily.


“It’s my fault,” she whispered, “That they’re fighting.”


Lily’s eyes went through a journey to land back on Emily again.


“Okay, what’s up?” she said, throwing her legs underneath her, “I knew something was going on. You kept telling me it was PMS but hello, I’m your twin. I know your cycle. I see when you take pads in the bathroom and you haven’t taken any in weeks!”


She pushed Emily’s shoulder.


“Spill! How’d you piss off the ‘rents? It’s about time you showed some teenage rebellion.”


She grinned as she bounced lightly on the seat, but it suddenly faltered at the sullen look on Emily’s face.


“Wait, are you really sick? Are you going to be okay?!”


She clutched Emily’s arm, who looked down at her sister’s fingers digging into her skin and inhaled a short breath.


“I’m pregnant.”


There was a pause, then Lily started to laugh, the red hair flowing past her shoulders swishing from side to side.


“You haven’t lost your sense of humor, that’s for sure.”


Emily looked up and met Lily’s gaze with her own fraught one.


“I’m serious, Lily,” she whispered in a pained tone.


“Oh yeah,” Lily nodded with mock-seriousness, “Emily, I know you’re not up on such things, but you have to have sex to get pregnant. That whole sperm-on-the-toilet-seat thing is a myth.”


Emily remained silent.


Long enough that Lily’s mouth began to twitch. Her hand fell from Emily’s arm.


“What are you talking about?! You’re not pregnant!”


Great. Now she’d let her sister down too.


“I did the test,” Emily replied, reaching up to make sure her glasses didn’t fall from her face when her gaze was directed toward the floor, “I did a lot of tests.”


When it became clear that Emily wasn’t taking a joke too far, Lily stumbled back off the couch.


“You did a lot of tests?!” she shouted, “Who did you sleep with?!”


“Some guy at a party,” Emily gulped.


“SOME GUY AT A PARTY?!” Lily repeated and clutched her head as she began to walk in circles, “WHY WOULD YOU—OH MY—WHY?!”


Emily’s lower jaw shook with shame.


“They kept calling me that name,” she started to cry, “I didn’t want it to be true anymore so I just…did it.”


Lily spun around, irate.


“Virgi-ly?” her mouth popped each letter, “You got knocked up because some knuckleheads called you a virgin?!”


She threw her hands up.


“You’re not even Virgi-ly now, I am!”


Emily frowned in confusion.


“I-I didn’t do it on purpose,” she said softly.


“Oh, well that’s okay then!” Lily scoffed sarcastically, “So, what? What are you going to do now, have a baby?!”


Emily gulped again.


“I don’t know,” she answered honestly.


“You’re sure indecisive for someone who opened her legs without questioning it!” Lily spat and even she knew it was unfair but neither was this situation, in her eyes, “What about our plans, Emily?!”


She threw her arms up demonstrably.


“We were going to go to New York and break Broadway, we were going to become famous twin actresses! Like The Olsen Twins but cuter and without all the child star baggage!”


“Your plans,” Emily said as quietly as she’d said anything that evening.


“What?” Lily asked with wild eyes and a harsh tone.


Emily looked up and found some strength from somewhere to say something to Lily that she’d always wanted to.


“They were always your plans.”


Lily’s jaw tensed.


“Right and apparently yours is to shoot out a, a kid in high school. I know which path I’d rather be on.”


She suddenly grabbed a cushion and flung it at Emily, though it missed on purpose.


“YOU’VE RUINED EVERYTHING.”


Emily didn’t see her go because the cushion knocked her glasses off of her face, but she did hear the door bang, and then a car skid out of the driveway. Moments late,r there were steps on the stairs and then someone was handing her glasses. She put them on and looked up.


“T-thanks, Mom,” she said, wiping her sleeve over her face to brush any dirt off.


“What’s going on?” Tara replied, holding Emily’s shoulders as she looked out the living room bay window.


Emily swallowed audibly.


“I-I told Lily,” she said, her face scrunched, ready to cry, “S-She was upset. S-She took the car.”


“I’ll go after her,” Willow said and Emily noticed for the first time that she was hanging out in the doorway, or at least she was before she bolted out to follow Lily in her Tesla.


Tara held her chin in her hands and closed her eyes for a brief moment before they opened, troubled, toward Emily.


“We have to talk, koala bear,” she said gently, “We need to get you to see a doctor. You need to be tested. Your mother and I agree on that.”


Emily’s breath caught.


“Could the test be wrong?”


Tara’s brow scrunched.


“For STDs, sweetheart,” she replied tenderly and Emily looked like she’d been slapped, “But we do need to get you in to see an OB/GYN and go through all of your options. With your heart and lung issues, there might be specific circumstances we have to take into account.”


Emily sank into the sofa, though it looked like she stumbled and fell. Tara was quick to gather her into an embrace.


“This must be very overwhelming,” she comforted, kissing the top of her daughter’s head, “I love you, Emily. Nothing will ever change that.”


Emily started to cry.


“They hate me. Lily and Momma. And everyone else will hate me when I tell them. And everyone in school will hate me. Oh and Zayde! Zayde will never look at me the same way again!”


“Emily,” Tara intoned softly but insistently, “Lily and Momma are shocked. But they still love you. I promise you that. So does your grandfather. He will not love you any less when he finds out.”


Emily cried quietly into Tara’s shoulder, who did her best to stroke her daughter’s hair and down her back. She was silent, pensive for a few moments before she started to speak again.


“The night you were born was the scariest night of my life.”


Emily had heard this story plenty but wasn’t in much of a position to cut in and point that out.


“You were too early. Your Momma says you weren’t cooked yet,” Tara continued fondly, “She jokes because it was the scariest night of her life too. I ended up being out for a lot of it but she had to live it the whole way through. They took me to surgery after you were delivered and brought you and your sister up to the special baby unit. I wasn’t allowed to see you for a few days but your Momma was up there every minute I couldn’t be.”


She kissed the top of Emily’s head.


“Never fear, my darling. You are so loved. Nothing can change that.”


A few miles away, the world’s most middle-class car chase ended with two cars pulled up on the grassy curb. Willow got out and locked her car before going up to Lily’s Chevy. She tried to open the passenger door, but it was locked. She knocked once, short but direct.


“Open it.”


The sound of unlocking came and Willow sat in beside Lily. Lily’s hands were in her lap and her gaze was directed down at them. Except for not wearing glasses, Willow could have almost mistaken her for Emily.


Then she looked up and that fire in her eyes was all Lily.


“How could she do this?”


She slammed the heel oh her palm against the wheel and the horn sounded. Nothing moved but a rustle of the leaves that were growing back on the trees on the quiet suburban street.


“How could she be so stupid?”


Willow’s teeth clenched. She’d like to blow the horn too, until it rang loud enough to counteract the buzzing in her head.


“I don’t know.”


They lapsed into silence, both with the same intensely taut set of their jaw and eyes that flashed between fury and fright.


Many minutes passed with neither of them speaking.


Finally, Lily cast her eyes over to Willow furtively.


“I got an audition for Julliard.”


Willow’s eyes bugged and her head flew up.


“What?!” she said, her mouth hanging open, “I begged you to apply, you said you wouldn’t.”


Lily gulped.


“I did. Emmett encouraged me.”


Willow blinked several times, shaking her head.


“Why didn’t you tell us?”


“I just wanted to see if I could,” Lily said, starting to slip into her typical defensive tone, “I can’t actually go.”


Willow frowned.


“Why not?”


Lily’s eyes narrowed and shot sideways at Willow, all but screaming ‘duh’.


“Because Emily wouldn’t get in.”


Emily didn’t sing or play an instrument and though they did drama classes together, Emily always volunteered to help with sets instead of trying out for parts, but Lily wasn’t that worried about them becoming famous actresses together. Once they were out of school and around cool New York people, Emily would come out of her shell and Lily could catch her up. She was sure of it. It was no big deal. They’d be in the same college after all; they could take the same classes and Lily would pull Emily up when she needed it.


Well, she had been sure of it. She had no idea how a baby was going to fit in with Brooklyn house parties and nightclub VIP rooms and being backstage at shows sipping rosé.


“When’s the audition?” Willow disturbed Lily from her thoughts.


Lily needed a moment to re-frame her thoughts.


“In two weeks,” she answered, uncharacteristically quiet.


Willow paused, but only for a moment.


“I’ll take you.”


Lily’s brow furrowed.


“Lily, all of our lives just got turned upside down,” Willow said, holding a hand up helplessly, “I don’t know what the hell is going on. But I’m not letting another daughter throw her life away.”


Lily didn’t even know which other daughter Willow was thinking of at that moment. Willow didn’t either.


Lily’s eyes darted back and forth as she decided what she wanted to do.


“I don’t want to tell anyone. It’ll make me fuck up if I have all of their… expectations,” she paused and waited for Willow to side-eye her for swearing, but she didn’t, “Besides, it’s not exactly the best time right now.”


“Okay,” Willow replied, gnawing on the corner of her lip, “We’ll tell them we’re doing some TARA tune-ups. You helped me last summer when it was rolling out. They'll believe it.”


Lily’s eyebrows rose slowly.


“Seriously? You’d lie to Mom?”


Willow’s jaw tensed.


She hesitated.


But only for a moment.


“It’s important for me,” she said, then frowned, “I mean for you.”


Lily found some wisps of excitement tickling the back of her neck at the thought that she would actually get to go to New York City and audition for Julliard.


“At least someone is looking out for me,” she rolled her eyes, then threw herself across the car at Willow, “You’re the best, Momma.”


Willow found herself clinging on just as hard. She closed her eyes and remembered when the twins were babies and how easy it had all been.


It hadn’t, of course.


They had been in the NICU and then when they finally for home, Tara was in the depths of a mental health crisis, and then caring for three under three hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park either, even with them both at their full health. Lily was a terror until she got intervention for her ADHD and they hadn’t even realized Emily needed glasses because Lily always shouted louder and demanded all of the attention.


It was easy to reminisce, though.


The splashy baths and their alert eyes when Tara would sing Frère Jacques. Dressing them up as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Falling asleep with Tara on their rocking couch with a baby each sleeping soundly on their chests in a milk coma.


An actual tear came to her eye as the imagined the weight of those expectations dashed.


Not if she had anything to do about it.


She busied herself with opening the door to hide her face.


“If I let you drive yourself home do you promise to stop at every stop sign?”


Lily rolled her eyes dramatically.


“You run one stop sign…”


“And tear your bumper clean off on the opposite wall…” Willow finished the sentence with an arched eyebrow.


Lily gave a relenting sigh.


“I promise. I’ll only go 40.”


“The speed limit is 30,” Willow frowned disapprovingly.


Of course, she wasn’t immune to giving the occasional and eco-friendly rev of her car on an empty road but she wasn’t about to tell Lily that.


“Alright, alright,” Lily turned the key to turn the engine on, “No more than 35, tops.”


Willow shot a last stern look across the car before getting out and back into her own. She got out in front so Lily was forced to abide by the speed she chose to set.


In the driveway, Lily slammed the car door and marched past Willow with a look of teenage derision.


“The baby is probably born already with how long it took us to get home,” she muttered and marched on through to the house and right upstairs. Bypassing hers and Emily’s room, she marched into Robyn’s room and slammed the door behind her there too.


Still in the driveway, Willow was stuck on the spot.


The baby?


That made it all too real.


No, no, no, no, no.


It just couldn’t be.


She was still in her forties, dammit.


Even if it was just for another month.


She followed Lily inside and deposited her keys in the bowl but instead of going upstairs, she went into the living room where she could hear Emily and Tara talking.


They both had red eyes and were in a warm embrace.


Tara looked up when Willow walked in and held out her hand, but Willow didn’t take it; instead, sitting on the arm of the chair.


“She didn’t get far,” Willow said of Lily, exhaustion pouring through her voice, “No more awry bumpers.”


What once would have been a joke felt bitter and flat.


Tara nodded quietly and squeezed Emily’s shoulders.


“Emily’s going to go to see Dr. Wells to discuss her options.”


Willow's face conveyed the same message as her tone.


“There’s only one option.”


Tara’s wide eyes flew to her wife.


“Willow!”


“She’s a teenager!” Willow almost hissed.


Tara extracted herself and stood up between Willow and Emily, whose gaze was on the floor again.


“Upstairs.”


Willow’s eyes flashed with anger.


“Do not treat me like the child in this situation.”


“Do not act like one,” Tara returned through gritted teeth.


Willow stared angrily at Tara for a tense second, then pushed off and stomped upstairs.


Tara held her face in her hands for a moment then turned back around.


“Emily, are you okay?”


Emily nodded sadly.


“Yeah, Mom. I’m okay.”


Tara stroked Emily’s back from her standing position.


“Your choice is entirely yours. We love you.”


She kissed the top of Emily’s head.


“I have to go speak to your mother. Will you be okay?”


Emily nodded again and leaned forward with her hands clasped between her knees.


Her head hung forward as her mind swarmed with more of the same as she heard muffled loud voices from above. She felt a stab in her heart with every loud echoing of a pounding foot.


Guilt.


Guilt.


Guilt.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 4th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 8:22 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip
Laragh, that update made my stomach all acidy.
My heart aches for Emily, but then again she did act immensely stupid by choosing to have unprotected sex just because she didn't want to be taunted anymore and she has to face the consquences. Yes she is still way more childlike than Lily and didn't have "the talk" considering safe sex with her mothers but she is a highschool senior and certainly knew about the risks intellectually.

Quote:
“Virgi-ly?” her mouth popped each letter, “You got knocked up because some knuckleheads called you a virgin?!”


She threw her hands up.


“You’re not even Virgi-ly now, I am!”

I honestly don't understand what Lily means here. Did she never have sex with Emmett after all? But then what did they do with the condom whose wrapper Tara found on their anniversary?

Quote:
“We have to talk, koala bear,” she said gently, “We need to get you to see a doctor. You need to be tested. Your mother and I agree on that.”


Emily’s breath caught.


“Could the test be wrong?”


Tara’s brow scrunched.


“For STDs, sweetheart,” she replied tenderly and Emily looked like she’d been slapped, “But we do need to get you in to see an OB/GYN and go through all of your options. With your heart and lung issues, there might be specific circumstances we have to take into account.”

Why on earth didn't they take Emily to Dr. Wells the day after they found out about the pregnancy? They've been fighting for days and had this idea (or agreed on it?) just now, WTF?!

By the way, I knew she has asthma, but nothing about heart problems. Now I'm worrying even more about her!

Quote:
“When’s the audition?” Willow disturbed Lily from her thoughts.


Lily needed a moment to re-frame her thoughts.


“In two weeks,” she answered, uncharacteristically quiet.


Willow paused, but only for a moment.


“I’ll take you.”


Lily’s brow furrowed.


“Lily, all of our lives just got turned upside down,” Willow said, holding a hand up helplessly, “I don’t know what the hell is going on. But I’m not letting another daughter throw her life away.”


Lily didn’t even know which other daughter Willow was thinking of at that moment. Willow didn’t either.


Lily’s eyes darted back and forth as she decided what she wanted to do.


“I don’t want to tell anyone. It’ll make me fuck up if I have all of their… expectations,” she paused and waited for Willow to side-eye her for swearing, but she didn’t, “Besides, it’s not exactly the best time right now.”


“Okay,” Willow replied, gnawing on the corner of her lip, “We’ll tell them we’re doing some TARA tune-ups. You helped me last summer when it was rolling out. They'll believe it.”


Lily’s eyebrows rose slowly.


“Seriously? You’d lie to Mom?”


Willow’s jaw tensed.


She hesitated.


But only for a moment.


“It’s important for me,” she said, then frowned, “I mean for you.”

I don't like this development. Willow's freudian slip at the end indicates that she wants to get Lily into Juilliard not for Lily's sake but her own, to satisfy her own pride or something like that. That feels wrong, I think Willow is better than that - she shouldn't turn into a Sheila for god's sake.

Quote:
“Emily’s going to go to see Dr. Wells to discuss her options.”


Willow's face conveyed the same message as her tone.


“There’s only one option.”


Tara’s wide eyes flew to her wife.


“Willow!”


“She’s a teenager!” Willow almost hissed.


Tara extracted herself and stood up between Willow and Emily, whose gaze was on the floor again.


“Upstairs.”


Willow’s eyes flashed with anger.


“Do not treat me like the child in this situation.”


“Do not act like one,” Tara returned through gritted teeth.


Willow stared angrily at Tara for a tense second, then pushed off and stomped upstairs.


Tara held her face in her hands for a moment then turned back around.


“Emily, are you okay?”

Sorry to say it Laragh, but it bothers me that Willow gets to be the "bad guy" who is unrelenting and has no empathy for Emily and wants to pressure her to have an abortion and only Tara is all protective and understanding and loving. I could fully understand that Willow's temper flared on the day they learned of the news, but I don't like her being hard and harsh against Emily and not seeing her suffering days later! :cry
Even if I imagine that her anger and frustration is fueled by Tara's attitude (constantly defensive of Emily as if she did nothing wrong and rebuking Willow), it still feels wrong that she acts so coldly towards Emily.

Quote:
Hold on for another week or so for me and I'll start to change the tide, I promise.

I fervently hope that doesn't mean Willow will play the role of the cold hearted "papa don't preach"-parent for another 3 or even more chapters! I don't want to see an intervention where the siblings (even Robyn) have to rush home to band together with Tara in "protecting" Emily against Willow or something like that.
I wish that Dr. Wells can help Willow come to terms with the situation when they both take Emily to see her in the next chapter - hopefully Tara won't make the mistake to take Emily there alone to prevent Willow from "making a scene" because that would make the rift between our couple so much worse!


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 4th)
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 1:50 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
After rereading the chapter I'm wondering if there is a sentence or whole paragraph missing in the middle of this passage:
Quote:
The splashy baths and their alert eyes when Tara would sing Frère Jacques. Dressing them up as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Falling asleep with Tara on their rocking couch with a baby each sleeping soundly on their chests in a milk coma.


An actual tear came to her eye as the imagined the weight of those expectations dashed.


- because there are no expectations for the babies mentioned in the first paragraph. Maybe you deleted some text accidentally?


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 4th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:00 am 
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Quote:
Dibs! :whip


Woop!

Quote:
Laragh, that update made my stomach all acidy.


Mine too

Quote:
My heart aches for Emily, but then again she did act immensely stupid by choosing to have unprotected sex just because she didn't want to be taunted anymore and she has to face the consquences. Yes she is still way more childlike than Lily and didn't have "the talk" considering safe sex with her mothers but she is a highschool senior and certainly knew about the risks intellectually.


Everyone who has sex knows the risks. They just don't think about them.

Quote:
I honestly don't understand what Lily means here. Did she never have sex with Emmett after all? But then what did they do with the condom whose wrapper Tara found on their anniversary?


All to come, all to come.

Quote:
Why on earth didn't they take Emily to Dr. Wells the day after they found out about the pregnancy? They've been fighting for days and had this idea (or agreed on it?) just now, WTF?!


It's not that unbelievable to me that it's taken a few days for the shock to wear off enough to be practical.

Quote:
By the way, I knew she has asthma, but nothing about heart problems. Now I'm worrying even more about her!


All I'll say is, I like a good red herring.

Quote:
I don't like this development. Willow's freudian slip at the end indicates that she wants to get Lily into Juilliard not for Lily's sake but her own, to satisfy her own pride or something like that. That feels wrong, I think Willow is better than that - she shouldn't turn into a Sheila for god's sake.


Nor does she want to be. But you have to put a lot of work into not becoming like your mother.

Quote:
Sorry to say it Laragh, but it bothers me that Willow gets to be the "bad guy" who is unrelenting and has no empathy for Emily and wants to pressure her to have an abortion and only Tara is all protective and understanding and loving. I could fully understand that Willow's temper flared on the day they learned of the news, but I don't like her being hard and harsh against Emily and not seeing her suffering days later! :cry


Again, taking time for something to integrate isn't a stretch for me. They have heightened emotions and Willow goes into fight mode while Tara goes into fawn mode

Quote:
Even if I imagine that her anger and frustration is fueled by Tara's attitude (constantly defensive of Emily as if she did nothing wrong and rebuking Willow), it still feels wrong that she acts so coldly towards Emily.


I actually see it as Willow blocking Emily out to save her from Willow's anger - which she's directing at Tara instead.

Quote:
I fervently hope that doesn't mean Willow will play the role of the cold hearted "papa don't preach"-parent for another 3 or even more chapters! I don't want to see an intervention where the siblings (even Robyn) have to rush home to band together with Tara in "protecting" Emily against Willow or something like that.


Willow would never hurt Emily like that. But she does need some space to process her emotions.

Quote:
I wish that Dr. Wells can help Willow come to terms with the situation when they both take Emily to see her in the next chapter - hopefully Tara won't make the mistake to take Emily there alone to prevent Willow from "making a scene" because that would make the rift between our couple so much worse!


Well...I can assure you that that won't happen :)

After rereading the chapter I'm wondering if there is a sentence or whole paragraph missing in the middle of this passage:

The splashy baths and their alert eyes when Tara would sing Frère Jacques. Dressing them up as Thing 1 and Thing 2. Falling asleep with Tara on their rocking couch with a baby each sleeping soundly on their chests in a milk coma.

Quote:
An actual tear came to her eye as the imagined the weight of those expectations dashed.


- because there are no expectations for the babies mentioned in the first paragraph. Maybe you deleted some text accidentally?


The expectations any parent has of their child as little babies when they're so pure and loving and tiny. The expectations that they would produce that kind of happiness and joy and nothing else. It's to show Willow is looking at this all with rose-colored glasses.

Thanks for your feedback

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 4th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:00 am 
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Chapter Six




“Ready, kiddo?”


Things almost felt normal in the house as Willow addressed Lily, just the two of them in the kitchen with the rest of the house in silent darkness.


Normal, except neither of them was usually up at the crack of dawn.


“Ready,” Lily nodded, fixing her backpack over her back, “What time is the—?”


Willow put her finger against her lips and Lily nodded quickly, understanding.


They left the sleeping houses and got into Willow’s car, heading in the direction of the train station.



New York City was less of a stranger to Willow than it had been even a few years ago.


They were up and down when JJ was in college and since he and Cleo had gotten their own place in Tribeca they’d been down for some dinner parties with them and Cleo’s parents. Especially since train technology had come on so much and it was such a quick trip these days. She and Tara had enjoyed a few Broadway shows (as had Lily, but not usually with them) and for a couple of anniversaries they had come down and gone out for a fancy dinner.


They’d all seen Robyn off at JFK, Kayden included before he returned to Boston on the train, and JJ and Cleo had taken Lily and Emily off to see a matinee so Willow and Tara could have some space to themselves to process not seeing their daughter for a year while she went off to a dangerous part of the world.


So New York City had been a place of loss and reunification and letting go and fun and family and now Willow found herself looking out the window of a car at the busy streets wondering if that last one would ever be the same.


She pictured Tara’s face when she’d told her she and Lily would be gone from early until late. Tense from all of their fighting but quiet, trusting.


She looked over at Lily who was nervously tapping out the piano piece she would play later that day against her thighs. Her fingers were dexterous and fluid and she had the kind of rhythm that she certainly didn’t get from Willow.


Tara would be so proud of her.


If she knew.


The car drove itself around the Lincoln Center and pulled up outside the Julliard building. Willow waited for the tick on her phone to say she’d paid before exiting. Lily had been much quicker to jump out and was just staring up at the signage with that famous name.


She’d spent so long denying this was something she truly wanted; that it could even ever be real. Years of emotion she’d only allowed herself to believe in the last number of weeks, all the while keeping it from the one person who had been her go-to for everything.


She and Emily hadn’t even talked since the day Lily had found out about the pregnancy. She’d been staying in Robyn’s room and they’d been taking separate cars to school.


It had been a pretty miserable couple of weeks in the Rosenberg-Maclay household with nobody speaking to each other and everybody walking around, sullen. Pretending what was going on, wasn’t until Emily had her appointment with Dr. Wells to discuss her options.


But today was about Lily.


She was auditioning twice today, once for the music program and once for the drama program.


Lily didn’t even know yet which department she’d prefer. She hadn’t had enough time to contemplate it as a reality. She honestly hadn’t even considered even getting in yet. She loved both music and acting.


She’d applied to Barnard College and Colombia and NYU because Willow had been insistent she try for a BA she’d also applied to the BFA program in the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and also Vassar but that was serious safety school territory because no offense to Poughkeepsie, but Lily definitely did not want to live there. She’d lived in New York State long enough. It was her time to shine in the city. That much she knew for sure.


Or at least she had known before Emily had completely thrown things into disarray. Lily didn’t even know if her sister was going to keep the thing or not yet.


Lily nearly jumped when Willow put a hand on her shoulder.


“Here we go, Lil. You ready?”


Lily nodded quickly.


“Always.”


It was true.


She was always on.



Willow stood in the middle of the plaza at the Lincoln Center and watched the water fountain spout up with perfect synchronicity.


She smiled softly as she looked around. This was certainly the place for Lily. She could almost smell the performance in the air as if it were a hidden layer amongst all of the other components that made up the New York City air system.


To her left was the Opera House, to her right the ballet. Theater, jazz, film. And just around the corner, a four-minute walk through Broadway, was The Julliard School.


Willow would be lying if she said she wouldn’t be damn proud to speak that name and the name of one of her children in the same breath. JJ went to NYU and Kayden went to MIT and yeah, okay, Robyn had bucked the trend by opting to do a gap year in South America but Willow was still hopeful she’d convince her to go to law school when she got back. Robyn would be a great lawyer. And now Julliard for…


Well, for Lily, maybe.


The fountain water disappeared beneath the structure and Willow saw Emily’s whole future go with it. Turning her back before she could see that that water sprung right back up again, just from different spouts, she made the walk toward Broadway.


Lily had quite literally pushed her out the door once she knew where to go for the audition but Willow couldn’t see any harm in hanging around outside to wait and see how her daughter got on.


She would be finished her drama audition right now, probably waiting on the piano one.


Willow tried to kill time, she truly did. She walked around the campus; spied on the dancers rehearsing and the orchestra practicing and even stopped to get a coffee and sit on the grass to enjoy some Spring sunshine. It was a cool campus with the kind of angles and lines on the buildings that would have Kayden salivating.


He probably had checked it out on one of their trips, but there was so much unique architecture in NYC that it was hard to determine which ones he loved and which ones he adored. Had he not fallen just as much with Boston as Willow had when she’d first visited, he probably would live here in the city too.


Finally, Willow had nowhere left to wander. And she could see the sign on the door, printed and taped so plainly that it looked like a caveman drawing in an art gallery in comparison to the surrounding halls.


Two words; inviting Willow in like the steam of a pie on an abandoned windowsill.


Piano auditions.


She crept over and looked around. There were students and other people milling about everywhere but no one was paying her any attention.


And anyway, she reminded herself, she wasn’t doing anything wrong.


She pried open the door so slowly and quietly that her fingers became indented with the angle of the frame but luckily it was a double set of doors and the small space between doors looked soundproof.


The second door opened even more quietly; Willow couldn’t even hear the click of it closing and she was standing right next to it.


The room felt very silent, like one of those anechoic chambers. It was an auditorium room with a small stage set up on the floor with a piano sitting on it off to the side.


Examiners sat in the second row and other auditionees sat peppered around the room. There was a spotlight on the stage but everywhere else was dark.


Willow sat at the top of the tiered seating and tried to spot Lily in the soft, red shadows but couldn’t see her anywhere. Normally that hair stood out anywhere but it was just too dark.


But then she saw her.


That long red hair that Willow had had in high school too except no one had ever called Lily a dork for it. It was long and luscious like Willow had never been able to style it. And Lily would sooner wear a trash bag to school than something Willow had picked out the way Willow had worn what Sheila wanted.


She stood tall in her tailored suit and wore a confident smile. Willow was one of the only people on the planet who could see the nerves underneath.


She announced her name and her piece before taking a seat at the piano and wiggling her fingers a little in preparation.


And then they hit the keys and that anechoic chamber became an orchestra of sound.


Willow closed her eyes and listened.


Lily didn’t play classical music much. She learned it because she had to, but it wasn’t her passion. Still, if she didn’t make Willow believe it was her life’s work at that moment.


Lily had always been more talented at the piano relative to how hard she worked at it. She did work at it but it had always come naturally to her. It had been a key tool in helping her manage her ADHD as she could redirect that energy and emotion into the keys.


It didn’t hurt that Willow and Tara had discovered when Lily was young that she had perfect pitch.


It had been there since she was a tiny baby when Lily would get upset when Willow would try to sing to them and only be soothed when Tara sang again in the correct key.


Curiously, Emily didn’t possess the same gift and had always been much more comfortable in quiet environments with a page and a pencil.


Lily needed to express loudly and Emily needed to express quietly and that hadn’t always been the most synergistic of energies for them to try and combine as twins who felt linked in a way that no one else could ever understand. In different ways, it had made them both lose out.


But now Lily was here, doing this without even her twin’s knowledge.


Or her mother’s.


Willow closed her eyes guiltily but made herself open them again, not wanting to dwell on the thought.


She was doing this for Lily.


She listened as the notes moved from soft and evocative to almost whimsical then right into a tempo so quick it was hard to keep up with her ears, never mind imagine how Lily was doing it with her fingers.


Suddenly the fast and fluid notes of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata were disrupted by the shrill tinny notes of a cellphone ringing. A male voice burst out through the room.


Here's to you, the one that always pulls us through, always do what you gotta do. You're one of a kind. Thank God you're mine.


Willow’s eyes widened in horror.


Tara’s personal ringtone.


Lily’s piece stopped abruptly and the whole room was staring at Willow.


With Michael Bublé still crooning, Willow tried to cup the phone to muffle it and started backing up toward the door.


“So sorry…so, so sorry!”


She flew through both sets of doors and answered the phone, holding it up to her ear in annoyance.


“Not the best time.”


She listened for a moment and her head turned up sharply.


“What?!”


A minute or two later, Lily came flying out of the audition room and marched toward Willow angrily.


“Momma, what the hell?! I told you to go away! You messed up my audition!”


Willow was just hanging up the phone and reached for Lily’s wrist.


“We’re going home.”


“What?” Lily replied, snatching her arm back, “Why? They said I can do it again!”


“I’m sorry Lily but we’re going,” Willow replied urgently, “Now.”


“Why?!” Lily was going red from frustration.


Willow gulped.


“Your sister is in the hospital.”



“Sorry, sorry, whoops mega sorry, sorry!”


Willow clapped her hand over Lily’s eyes to shield her from the horribly intimate medical procedure she witnessed as she pulled the curtain back on all of the treatment areas of the ER trying to find Tara and Emily.


She weaved them around the medical personnel and equipment until finally, they found the right bed.


“Emily,” Willow breathed on an exhale and pushed forward to hug her in the bed, leaving Lily spinning behind her.


She squeezed tight and clung on, almost shaking with relief.


Emily closed her eyes and leaned into the embrace.


“I’m okay, Momma. I’m okay.”


Willow looked up to hide her glassy eyes.


“What happened?”


Tara was standing in the corner, her arms folded over her chest.


“She had an asthma attack from taking Tylenol.”


Willow pulled her head back and looked at Emily.


“Why did you take Tylenol? You know it makes you have a reaction.”


Emily’s eyes closed.


Tara her hand and squeezed it.


“She didn’t know it was Tylenol,” she said quietly and cocked her head in Willow’s direction, “Can I speak to you outside?”


Willow nodded and Tara kissed Emily’s head before clearing the space.


Lily made her way to the other side of Emily’s bed and they shared a long look for a moment before Lily burst into tears.


“Quooh koup, quo uwhok zoweko.”


Emily looked moved and tears filled her eyes too.


“Furo mef.”


They threw their arms around each other.


Willow followed Tara back around the curtain and down the hallway to a quiet corner away from the hustle of the busy ER.


“I haven’t heard them use their twin-speak in years.”


Tara spun around to face Willow and she looked less than impressed.


“Why did it take you so long to get here?”


Willow swallowed. She had to give up the jig now.


“Because I was in New York.”


Tara blinked several times.


“City?” she clarified, her voice lowering an octave, “What…why? I worried you’d been in an accident! It’s been hours! Why didn’t you tell me that’s where you were working?”


Willow felt like a child being scolded, and in public too.


“Because I wasn’t working,” she admitted, biting inside her lip, “I was taking Lily to her Julliard audition.”


Tara paused, sure she’d misheard.


“Excuse me?” she asked, her palm reaching up to cover her heart over her collarbone, “What audition? Julliard? She wouldn’t apply. I had to talk you out of applying on her behalf. I found the application in your sock drawer. Did you actually forge an application?”


“No!” Willow replied defensively, “She did it herself. She didn’t want anyone to know because it was less pressure.”


Tara’s eyes were piercing.


“I am her mother,” she said in a dangerous tone, “And I am your wife. You share these things with me.”


Willow stepped forward angrily.


“Why is it fine for you to keep Emily’s pregnancy a secret but you’re getting on my ass for this?”


“Willow, I did not keep it a secret from you,” Tara threw her hands up as the spoke in hushed tones to hide their fight from the patients being brought to and from the ER through the same hallway.


They both breathed heavily for a moment and Tara’s brow slowly creased.


“You truly believe that I knew, don’t you?”


Willow couldn’t meet Tara’s gaze. Tara’s shoulders slumped.


“I thought after all of these years you would trust that my word is good enough. I guess I was wrong. I was certainly wrong to think that yours is,” she said quietly, “By the way, our daughter felt so ashamed about this pregnancy that she bought abortion pills online and it put her in the hospital.”


Willow’s mouth almost hit the floor.


“You said it was Tylenol.”


“It was. They were fake,” Tara replied and felt the tears coming. It had been a very long day, “God knows what they could have been.”


Willow bristled.


“And I guess that’s my fault too.”


Tara’s eyes narrowed and the lines on her face showed her exhaustion.


“Stop thinking of it as someone's fault, Willow, and maybe we’ll be able to get through this.”


Willow swallowed and looked down.


“Is she going to be okay?”


“She’s safe,” Tara confirmed, “They’re discharging her.”


Willow paused.


“Is…”


“She’s still pregnant if that’s what you’re asking. I’m moving up her appointment with Dr. Wells and if she can’t see her sooner we’ll take her to a different gynecologist. It’s been two weeks, I’m not waiting for another two.”


Willow looked up.


“Does this mean she’s going to—”


“It means she has to know she has our love and support no matter what,” Tara cut her off and felt sorrow that she had to actually explain that to Willow, “I want us to see Dr. Carter.”


“Dr. Carter is a kid’s therapist,” Willow’s brow crinkled. Dr. Varney was their marriage counselor and they hadn't seen her in a while.


“I want us to go as a family,” Tara clarified.


“Oh,” Willow replied. She wanted them to talk about…


“I think you could benefit from talking to someone on your own too,” Tara spoke up and her tone had softened again, “I could ask Erin for a recommendation.”


Willow looked away self-deprecatingly.


“Talking about me a lot lately?”


Tara scowled and pushed herself off the wall.


“I’m not even going to suggest Dr. Varney because I am too mad at you right now to even communicate properly. This is happening Willow and we need to face it however it ends up.”


Willow watched Tara walk away, slowly realizing that her wife was right.


She opened her mouth to call Tara back, but she was already gone.


Well, shit.

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 7th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:09 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

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Dibs! :whip
Arghh that Willow was so stupid to leave her phone on when she entered the audition room! :gnome I really hope she didn't ruin everything for Lily! Maybe she'll be accepted because of her drama audition, or get another audition for the piano when they explain that they had to leave because of a medical emergency of her twin sister?

So sad that Emily took what she believed to be abortion pills! :cry

Quote:
“Sorry, sorry, whoops mega sorry, sorry!”


Willow clapped her hand over Lily’s eyes to shield her from the horribly intimate medical procedure she witnessed as she pulled the curtain back on all of the treatment areas of the ER trying to find Tara and Emily.

Some tiny moment of comic relief here, but it faded immediately when I read the new fight between Willow and Tara. I have to admit that somehow Tara's attitude is getting on my nerve more than Willow's, although I should probably feel the opposite...
Quote:
“You truly believe that I knew, don’t you?”


Willow couldn’t meet Tara’s gaze. Tara’s shoulders slumped.


“I thought after all of these years you would trust that my word is good enough. I guess I was wrong. I was certainly wrong to think that yours is,” she said quietly, “By the way, our daughter felt so ashamed about this pregnancy that she bought abortion pills online and it put her in the hospital.”


Willow’s mouth almost hit the floor.


“You said it was Tylenol.”


“It was. They were fake,” Tara replied and felt the tears coming. It had been a very long day, “God knows what they could have been.”


Willow bristled.


“And I guess that’s my fault too.”


Tara’s eyes narrowed and the lines on her face showed her exhaustion.


“Stop thinking of it as someone's fault, Willow, and maybe we’ll be able to get through this.”

First Tara didn't really say that she didn't knew about the pregnancy before Willow, she said she didn't know "officially" and that and Tara's very calm reaction to the news (plus her telling Willow "you had a shock") of course rose Willow's suspicion that Tara had "inofficial" knowledge (whatever that might mean) she didn't share with her.
And second the way Tara told Willow about Emily buying abortion pills does indicate that she blames Willow for it (even if she herself isn't aware of it).

That in these special circumstances (pregnant teenager!) they still have to wait weeks for an appointment with Dr. Wells sucks.
I hope that the appointment at the kid's therapist will help them to overcome their rift and Willow to accept the pregnancy. And maybe even Tara might realize that her constantly acting like Mama Bear against Willow (don't dare raising your voice against our kid just because she is pregnant after unprotected sex...) wasn't the best way to communicate with her co-parent either.

Quote:
“Quooh koup, quo uwhok zoweko.”


Emily looked moved and tears filled her eyes too.


“Furo mef.”

Could you give us a translation for the twin-speak?


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 7th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:00 am 
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Ms. Moderator Fantastico
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs! :whip


Yay!

Quote:
Arghh that Willow was so stupid to leave her phone on when she entered the audition room! :gnome I really hope she didn't ruin everything for Lily! Maybe she'll be accepted because of her drama audition, or get another audition for the piano when they explain that they had to leave because of a medical emergency of her twin sister?


Things always work out as they're meant to.

Quote:
So sad that Emily took what she believed to be abortion pills! :cry


Extremely.

Quote:
Some tiny moment of comic relief here, but it faded immediately when I read the new fight between Willow and Tara. I have to admit that somehow Tara's attitude is getting on my nerve more than Willow's, although I should probably feel the opposite...


Neither are acting supremely right now!

Quote:
First Tara didn't really say that she didn't knew about the pregnancy before Willow, she said she didn't know "officially" and that and Tara's very calm reaction to the news (plus her telling Willow "you had a shock") of course rose Willow's suspicion that Tara had "inofficial" knowledge (whatever that might mean) she didn't share with her.
And second the way Tara told Willow about Emily buying abortion pills does indicate that she blames Willow for it (even if she herself isn't aware of it).


Right on both counts (though they have been talking, even if it was fighting, so I think Tara has defended herself against this accusation a few times by now)

Quote:
That in these special circumstances (pregnant teenager!) they still have to wait weeks for an appointment with Dr. Wells sucks.


The medical care system is overwhelmed, for sure.

Quote:
I hope that the appointment at the kid's therapist will help them to overcome their rift and Willow to accept the pregnancy. And maybe even Tara might realize that her constantly acting like Mama Bear against Willow (don't dare raising your voice against our kid just because she is pregnant after unprotected sex...) wasn't the best way to communicate with her co-parent either.


Tara has consistently told Willow since JJ was born that yelling is something she's not okay with, so I don't think she needs to justify that. Remember, Tara is already is therapy and working on these issues of hers too.

Quote:
Could you give us a translation for the twin-speak?


I like the idea of the reader deducing it as anything they want it to be, but I imagine it to be something like:

"You stupid idiot, I could have lost you."

"I thought you already got rid of me."

Thanks for your feedback :)



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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 7th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 3:00 am 
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Chapter Seven




Tara waved to the mailman as he left their mail in the mailbox from where she was kneeling in the front garden, tending to her roses.


“Morning, ma’am,” he replied chirpily before continuing, “Have a nice day.”


Tara finished gathering the soil and stood up to take her gardening gloves off. She tucked them into her pocket and gently wiped her hands on the front of her jeans to dry the sweat that had formed there from being encased all morning.


She collected the mail but nothing was exciting. Their gas bill, a coupon leaflet, and a small padded envelope addressed to Emily.


It was usually Lily who had a fondness for online shopping but it wasn’t unusual for Emily to get new pencils or something so Tara didn’t think much of it.


She brought the mail in along with her trowel to wash and left them both on the kitchen counter before washing her hands and leaving her trowel in to soak.


She’d had a long conversation with her Mama this morning as she pruned her roses. It was helpful when she couldn’t visit the grave to have a spot where she felt the connection. She wondered what her mother would have said if she’d come home at sixteen, pregnant. She liked to think her mother would have been kind and understanding and gave her the room to decide how to proceed while still supporting her, the way she was trying with Emily, but it was hard. It was all she and Willow could talk, or rather fight, about.


She didn’t even know what they were actually fighting about anymore. Willow was angry about the situation and Emily jeopardizing her future and lashing out because of it and Tara was frustrated at feeling helpless and lashing out right back. They were using each other as punching bags and it annoyed Tara even more because they knew better techniques to get through their problems. They had the therapy bills to prove it.


Everything was still so surreal.


Emily was supposed to be going off to college in the fall, with Lily. Tara wasn’t as convinced as Lily that Emily wanted to pursue a career in acting, but she also thought college might bring her out of her shell and she would figure out her passion in life there.


It had felt cruel to see Emily blossom in elementary and middle school and start to come out from under Lily’s thumb, only to fall back under it as a force field to protect her from ignorant bullies that spotted that beautifully sweet, shy soul and used it as target practice.


It broke Tara’s heart that Emily had felt compelled to sleep with someone for the first time that she didn’t care about or even know just to stop the taunting. She felt like a failure that none of the ways she’d tried to intervene in the bullying had worked.


And now there was, or could be, a baby.


Her grandchild.


That blew her mind for a moment while she waited for the kettle to boil for tea.


When it whistled she blinked several times and poured it into a mug. She brought her tea to the island to sit and rest her knees after a morning spent kneeling.


She checked her phone to see if there was anything in from Willow, but there wasn’t. That wasn’t unusual; every so often Willow would have to tinker with her voice recognition software to adapt it better to the FBI systems and it could be a delicate and time-consuming task. Since Willow hadn’t set up a company for her software, just licensed it on an exclusive contract with the FBI, it left it to her alone to fix the problems as they came up. Lily was the only of their children that had shown any interest in coding. Well, interest was a strong word, she just liked earning extra cash and Willow had used quite the incentive system with her children to encourage her own nerdy pursuits.


If nothing else, Lily could use it as dexterity training for the piano.


Tara hoped a day away from the house would be good for everybody. She didn’t want to spend another night trying to fall asleep with Willow’s back to her, only to be roused by Emily’s quiet sobbing alone in her bedroom. Tara had spent the last three nights spooning her daughter instead of her wife. No one was speaking to each other except to get in snide remarks, except Emily who just kept apologizing and running off to cry.


Tara wasn’t sure how much more she could take. They were being completely dysfunctional. None of the other family or the other kids even knew what was going on. They needed intervention. Tara was going to suggest so, soon.


Her tea was cold by the time she got out of her thoughts long enough to remember she’d made it. As she stood to refill it, Emily came down with a pale face. Tara hadn’t heard it, but she knew her daughter had been throwing up.


“Oh, koala bear,” she said, softly touching Emily’s forehead and cheek, “Let me get you some water.”


She took a glass down and filled it with cold water. Emily took it and sipped slowly.


“Thank you.”


“Sit, sweetheart,” Tara encouraged her daughter over to a stool, “Some mail came in for you.”


She pushed the padded envelope across the island and turned her back to refresh her tea. With her back turned, she didn’t spot the shake in Emily’s hands as she lifted the envelope up with wide eyes.


By the time she’d come back with an extra cup of cinnamon tea, her nausea avoidance aid during her own pregnancy, Emily had hidden her hands under the counter.


“Drink this, honey. I had it running through my veins when I was pregnant with you and your sister,” Tara tried to coax a smile but didn’t quite manage, “Do you want to go to the park or something today? Get some fresh air?”


Emily shook her head.


“I think I just want to rest.”


Tara smiled amiably.


“I’ll make you mac’n’cheese tonight,” she promised.


Emily gulped.


“T-Thanks, Mom.”


Tara ran her hand over Emily’s hair and kissed her daughter’s forehead.


“You’re so strong, Emily. Never forget that.”


Emily’s eyes closed painfully.


Tara lingered for a second, then popped a final kiss on Emily’s parting and brought her tea into the living room to actually enjoy this time.


She held the cup in both hands and took a moment to contemplate the silence.


It had been so odd as their household slowly dwindled in numbers.


The loss of JJ had been profound; the ‘man of the house’ for the life of the family and both Tara and Willow thought that Woofy’s passing not long after was down to the heartbreak of JJ leaving home. Kayden, of course, had been the other male presence and so when he went off to Boston, and they’d found themselves a house of teenage girls and middle-aged women, there had been a lack of unrequested belching but also a lot less noise.


And Tara missed it.


She’d liked the noise.


Robyn and Lily made plenty, of course, but it wasn’t the same bustle of having the whole family there.


Growing up, Tara loved silence because it meant her father wasn’t home. But her family had shown her what a house filled with love sounded like. She closed her eyes and remembered squeaking sneakers from running inside the house and the sound of game controllers being tossed across rooms and screams of ‘MOM’ when an inevitable scuttle took place.


She found herself wondering what the new baby would call her.


And that’s when she knew she had to get up and keep busy because that was not an okay thought to have at this moment in time.


Thankfully there was always plenty of laundry to do in this house, even when they were just down to four. Lily alone went through enough outfits to make up for the loss of the others.


A while later, as she was carrying a hamper through to the living room to be ironed, Emily appeared on the stairs. Her hand was shaking on the rai. Her chest was heaving.


“M-M-M-M-M-Mom,” she stuttered through labored breath, “I…I…I…don’t…feel…so…good…”


She stumbled on the last step and Tara had to catch her, making her hamper skid across the floor and fall on its side.


“Emmy!”


Tara ended up on her knees with Emily lying across them, clutching her chest. Tara could hear the telltale wheeze she hadn’t heard in quite a while. She helped her sit up to breathe better.


“Emmy, you’re having an asthma attack.”


She grabbed one of the sweaters that had tumbled from the hamper and put it under Emily’s head before rushing into the living room to get an inhaler kept in a drawer in there.


She brought it back and helped Emily inhale the medicine while opening a few of Emily’s top buttons so her chest wasn’t restricted.


It didn’t help.


While cradling Emily’s head, Tara took out her phone and called 911.


“I need an ambulance. My daughter’s having an asthma attack. She’s not responding to her rescue inhaler.”


Her tone was professional and calm even though her heart was beating out of her chest. She gave them their address and started comforting Emily to aid in steading her breathing.


“M-M-Mom,” she gasped, her eyes young and scared.


“You’re gonna be okay, Emmy,” Tara said, somehow managing to keep up that calm tone.


Emily swallowed but it took several attempts to get her breath down.


“I-I-I took pills.”


Tara slowly frowned.


“What pills?”


Emily’s face contorted into a distressed cry.


“A-A-A-bortion…”


Tara’s mouth dropped open and she had to make a concerted effort to draw it closed.


“Oh my god. Where did you get them?”


Emily was shaking everywhere now.


“I-In-Inter…”


Tara felt her own breath become labored.


“We’re going to the hospital right now.”


She helped Emily stand and grabbed her purse to bring them outside. As she was ushering Emily into the backseat, the ambulance pulled up on the curb, silent but with the flashing blue lights.


Tara brought Emily over there instead.


“She’s been asthmatic since childhood. She was premature at 31 weeks. She hasn’t had a non-responsive attack since she was eleven,” she rattled off, then lowered her voice, “She took abortifacients she sourced from the internet. She’s nine weeks pregnant.”


Tara hadn’t even looked at the paramedic before now but she still saw it his eyes.


Judgment.


Fleeting, but there.


But Tara didn’t really care right then and just barreled into the ambulance after Emily and held her hand while the other paramedic drove them to the hospital. Emily was checked over and had a nebulizer put over her. She had tears in her eyes the entire time and couldn’t answer when she was asked questions about the pills or any bleeding. She just shook her head and squeezed Tara’s hand tighter.


The ER was a blur.


Tara had to fill in a form and had quickly called Willow, then stood in the corner while a flurry of doctors and nurses attended to Emily and stabilized her breathing. They fired questions at her about the pills she took and eventually Emily was able to plunge a shaky hand into her pocket and produced a blister pack with one pill punched out. One doctor with a neatly stitched ‘Dr. Georgia’ on her white coat turned it over in her hands, then handed it to a nurse, who left the room with it.


They examined Emily to make sure she wasn’t bleeding and then they all left with a whoosh, leaving the room in silence but for the sound of Tara biting her nails.


There was a long, drawn own moment before Tara pushed herself off the wall and swung herself into the lonesome seat beside Emily.


She took Emily’s hand between both of hers and tried to meet Emily’s eye, but she wouldn’t look back.


“Emily,” Tara breathed, swallowing deeply, “If you wanted an abortion, I would have taken you, you could have done this safely. I’ve told you that.”


Emily’s eyes filled with tears.


“I didn’t want anyone to see me go into the clinic,” she admitted, her whole body shriveling to nothing, “I didn’t want Momma to be even more ashamed of me.”


Tara’s eyes closed painfully.


“Emmy…”


A sob rose in Emily’s throat.


“I just wanted everyone to stop hating me.”


Tara’s forehead dropped to the bed.


By the time Dr. Georgia returned, Emily was staring vacantly ahead and Tara’s eyes were red and raw from trying so hard not to cry.


Dr. Georgia held up the blister pack Emily had given her earlier.


“These are neither mifepristone nor misoprostol. Our pharmacist has identified it as Tylenol. Which is what triggered your asthma attack.”


“Ty-Tylenol?” Tara asked, simultaneously stunned and relieved.


“Ty-Tylenol?” Emily repeated in the exact same tone, “S-So I-I’m still pregnant?”


Her nails clawed the sheet and Tara held onto Emily’s arm. Behind her, Dr. Georgia wheeled over a portable machine.


“We’re going to do an ultrasound to check on the status of your pregnancy.”


Emily gulped.


“O-Oh.”


“It’s okay, koala bear,” Tara comforted, at least able to breathe easier knowing Emily hadn’t ingested something awful, “It won’t hurt.”


At least not physically. Tara felt her heart start to pound again.


Dr. Georgia pushed Emily’s top up and squirted the jelly on.


“It’s a little bit cold,” she warned but Emily had already deduced that for herself and squirmed as a shiver went up through her back.


“Light pressure,” Dr. Georgia advised as she pressed the probe into Emily’s stomach.


Emily appeared to be deeply concentrated on the neckline of her top and Tara’s knuckles were white from clutching the metal sides of the bed.


“Your pregnancy has not aborted,” Dr. Georgia confirmed and glanced over to them with an arched eyebrow, “Do you want to see?”


Emily let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding onto and looked to Tara for help.


“It’s up to you,” Tara said gently.


Emily had to do this, or at least decide this, on her own.


“Okay,” Emily nodded with a gulp and looked back over at the doctor, “Okay.”


Dr. Georgia pressed a button on the machine and there was an upward propulsion of light until a sepia-toned 3D hologram appeared and the curved outline of Emily’s womb appeared with the fetus curled inside.


Both Emily and Tara gasped in the same way; soft and awed.


The image rotated as the doctor moved the probe around.


“Would you like to know the sex?” she asked casually.


Tara’s hand fell against her heart.


“I always forget they can tell so early these days.”


Emily answered immediately, surprised at how strong the conviction was.


“I want to know.”


Dr. Georgia pressed another button and released her grip on the probe as a recorded image stayed in the air for them to look at it. Soon there was the gallop of the heartbeat and Emily was mesmerized.


“It’s a girl. Everything looks well for this stage of development.”


She wiped the jelly from Emily’s stomach.


“You are incredibly lucky,” she continued, her voice turning stern, “I truly have to impress on you how dangerous it is to take medications that you haven’t received from a licensed medical professional. You were extremely lucky this time.”


“I know,” Emily answered quietly, but it was from distraction this time.


Tara too couldn’t stop looking at the image of the tiny blob but she did catch the doctor’s eye and saw the look she was receiving.


Judgment again but Tara didn’t need that gaze, she was feeling enough of it for herself. They probably all thought she got the pills for Emily. She felt as good as having done it for not noticing.


Dr. Georgia took some leaflets from her coat pocket.


“Here is some information on how to pursue a legitimate termination,” she said, her tone softening again, “With your medical history, I cannot reiterate enough how it will need to be undertaken with medical supervision.”


Dr. Georgia turned off the ultrasound machine and Emily had to blink to allow the image to transfer from the air to her mind.


“Thank you, doctor,” Tara answered for her.


Dr. Georgia nodded and this time Tara saw a lot more empathy.


“We’re going to keep her in for observation for a few hours to make sure her lungs have recovered, but you should be able to be discharged tonight if she keeps her stats up.”


“Thanks,” Tara said again and stood respectfully as the doctor left again.


She gathered the leaflets into her bag.


“How are you, sweetheart?”


“I’m fine,” Emily answered on autopilot, then actually looked at Tara, “Good. I think I’m…good.”


Tara nodded quietly.


“Good.”


She checked her watch.


“Now where the hell is your mother?”



Tara closed the front door of the house behind her as all four of them stomped inside.


“Lily,” she called quietly before her daughter disappeared up the stairs. She stood in front of Lily with her arms lightly folded, “How did you do?”


Lily bit the corner of her thumbnail.


“My piano audition got messed up,” she said, glancing up to Tara nervously, “But my drama one went really well. And I think it made me see which one I really want.”


Tara closed her arms around Lily.


“I’m so proud of you,” she said and kissed Lily’s cheek before pulling back, “But we’ll be talking more about this.”


Lily nodded quietly.


“I know,” she said with sorrow in her voice and eyes, “I’m sorry, Mom. Everything happened so fast and everything’s been so…”


Tara nodded too.


“I know,” she sighed and cupped Lily’s cheek for a moment before letting her hand fall away, “Stay with your sister tonight?”


Lily nodded quickly. She’d been going to anyway. She followed Emily upstairs.


In the hall, Willow took a step toward her wife, nervously wringing her hands.


“Tara,” she started but Tara was already picking up the clothes she’d dropped earlier when all of this began.


She threw it into the hamper and pushed passed Willow with a stony look on her face.


“I have laundry to do.”


Lily stood in the doorway of her bedroom. It was actually tidy when she wasn't living in it.


There was a door slam and both her and Emily, sitting on her bed, jumped.


Emily gulped.


“They’re fighting again.”


Lily wandered in and flicked the door not-quite-closed behind her.


“It’s because of me this time.”


She pulled on her ear as she sat on the bed.


“Momma sneaking me off to New York City.”


“Right,” Emily replied quietly, “I-It’s amazing that you got into Julliard.”


“I just did an audition,” Lily replied quickly, waving her hand, “And one went kaput. They said I could redo but honestly? I don’t think I want to. I love playing music but playing it they way they would want me to…I dunno. I just don’t feel it.”


“T-That’s good,” Emily said encouragingly, “That you know that.”


“Yeah, I guess it is,” Lily smiled.


Emily’s fingers tapped against her bedsheets.


“I saw the baby today,” she blurted and her eyes widened.


Lily slowly blinked. She’d kind of forgotten.


“You did?” she asked, “Wow.”


Emily waved her phone about shyly.


“They sent me the images. I kind of want to look again.”


Lily’s ankle twisted on the floor.


“Can I see?”


Emily nodded quickly.


She took out her phone and located the folder. The video opened as a hologram, a continuous sepia loop.


Lily slowly pushed herself off her bed and came to sit with Emily. Her finger tried to penetrate the image but it just flickered.


“That’s kind of wacky. That’s in you right now.”


“I know,” Emily said quietly.


As they both stared, Lily glanced over at Emily.


“What are you going to do?”


“I don’t know yet,” Emily answered honestly, “Mom wants me to see the OB/GYN this week.”


Lily paused and then covered Emily’s hand with her own.


“Whatever happens,” she said, looking at Emily sincerely, “I’ll still be here. I’ll still be your sister.”


Emily turned her gaze and looked at Lily. Lily felt herself welling up.


“I didn’t know you didn’t want to do all the stuff I wanted to do.”


Emily nodded.


“I never told you.”


Lily frowned.


“Why?”


“Why don’t I want to be an actor?” Emily asked uncomfortably.


“No,” Lily shook her head dismissively of that thought, “Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t want to do the same thing as me?”


Her head dropped.


“I thought we told each other everything.”


“Lily, you’re the coolest person I know,” Emily replied sadly, “I always wanted to be just like you. I just didn’t know 'just like you' would mean 'not like me'.”


Lily lifted her head.


“I like you just like you.”


She squeezed Emily’s hand and Emily beamed. They hugged for several moments before going back to look at the hologram.


“Can I ask you something?” Emily asked with a nervous little half-smile.


Lily nodded agreeably so Emily continued.


“What did you mean when you said that I wasn’t Virg-ily, you were? That day you found out that I was…”


Lily looked away and her brow creased. She looked back at Emily with some vulnerability that she tried to hide.


“I meant that I’m still a virgin.”


Emily frowned in confusion.


“You said you slept with Emmett.”


“I never said I’d actually done it. You assumed,” Lily flicked her hair and rolled her eyes, “Everyone assumes.”


She sat back casually on her hands, or at least she tried to appear casual.


“We decided we’re not in any rush. It’s kinda nice actually. We get to sit around and talk, really talk. Not ‘we-should-say-words-between-sticking-our-tongues-down-each-other’s-throat’ talk.”


Emily took a moment to process that.


“What about—”


“Harry?” Lily preempted the name of her ex-boyfriend, “Prince complex. Wanted to be a knight in shining armor. Big name to live up to.”


Emily opened her mouth again.


“And—”


“Kai,” Lily said, making a vomiting motion, “He only rawdogs and I’m not stupid.”


She paused, looked at Emily, and winced.


“Sorry. No offense.”


Emily didn’t take it personally. It was still too weird to think about the conception.


“What about all the condom wrappers in the couch?” she asked finally.


Lily’s eyes flickered back and forth, trying to think that one through.


“Um, what?”


“I’ve picked at least two out of there and brought them to the trash can across the street,” Emily explained, “I-I thought I was covering for you.”


Lily shrugged.


“They’re probably Robyn’s. She screwed everyone all over this house. Boys, girls, in-between. I’m sure some of them needed a condom.”


Emily slowly exhaled. It had been a long day. She looked over at Lily again.


“I-I feel like I don’t know you.”


“Ditto,” Lily returned but her eyes glanced over to her sister with deep sincerity, “But I want to.”


Emily slowly smiled.


Outside the ajar door, Tara smiled softly and put the twins’ hamper of laundry on the floor, opting not to interrupt.


She could see the light on in her bedroom, so she went downstairs and dropped onto the couch, exhausted.


She felt around for the remote but only succeeded in pulling out another condom wrapper.


“Robyn,” she swore under her breath.


She closed her eyes and sighed.


“I have to deep clean more.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 9th)
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:03 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
Dibs again! :whip
Quote:
She felt around for the remote but only succeeded in pulling out another condom wrapper.


“Robyn,” she swore under her breath.


She closed her eyes and sighed.


“I have to deep clean more.”

Yeah Tara, you really should - considering Robyn hasn't lived in the house for months. :laugh I would recommend not to delegate this particular cleaning duty to the "desperate housewife" Willow, either...

Quote:
Lily paused and then covered Emily’s hand with her own.


“Whatever happens,” she said, looking at Emily sincerely, “I’ll still be here. I’ll still be your sister.”


Emily turned her gaze and looked at Lily. Lily felt herself welling up.


“I didn’t know you didn’t want to do all the stuff I wanted to do.”


Emily nodded.


“I never told you.”


Lily frowned.


“Why?”


“Why don’t I want to be an actor?” Emily asked uncomfortably.


“No,” Lily shook her head dismissively of that thought, “Why didn’t you tell me you didn’t want to do the same thing as me?”


Her head dropped.


“I thought we told each other everything.”


“Lily, you’re the coolest person I know,” Emily replied sadly, “I always wanted to be just like you. I just didn’t know 'just like you' would mean 'not like me'.”


Lily lifted her head.


“I like you just like you.”


She squeezed Emily’s hand and Emily beamed. They hugged for several moments before going back to look at the hologram.

I'm very happy that at least the twins mended their rift and that Lily assured Emily that she can be herself and she'll still love her.

Now the next thing really needed in my opinion is some alone time between Willow and Emily without Tara hovering and "snarling" at Willow for every word of criticism. I'm pretty sure Willow wouldn't yell at Emily anymore, especially after the fright she just had with Emily's medical emergency. And I think it would help Emily if she could voice her fear that Willow "hated her" to Willow herself. Then Willow could emphatically tell her that she doesn't hate but love her, they could have a good cry together and Emily could show Willow the hologram of the fetus.

That of the four people who know about the pregnancy Willow is the only one who shouldn't get to see that hologram does feel wrong for me. I'm sure seeing that and hearing the heartbeat will help Willow accepting the pregancy (and the decision I expect from Emily now to keep the baby).


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 9th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:00 am 
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Will's redemption

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Dibs again! :whip


Woop!

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Yeah Tara, you really should - considering Robyn hasn't lived in the house for months. :laugh I would recommend not to delegate this particular cleaning duty to the "desperate housewife" Willow, either...


A quiet clean is on the cards for sure :laugh

I'm very happy that at least the twins mended their rift and that Lily assured Emily that she can be herself and she'll still love her.

Quote:
Now the next thing really needed in my opinion is some alone time between Willow and Emily without Tara hovering and "snarling" at Willow for every word of criticism. I'm pretty sure Willow wouldn't yell at Emily anymore, especially after the fright she just had with Emily's medical emergency. And I think it would help Emily if she could voice her fear that Willow "hated her" to Willow herself. Then Willow could emphatically tell her that she doesn't hate but love her, they could have a good cry together and Emily could show Willow the hologram of the fetus.

That of the four people who know about the pregnancy Willow is the only one who shouldn't get to see that hologram does feel wrong for me. I'm sure seeing that and hearing the heartbeat will help Willow accepting the pregancy (and the decision I expect from Emily now to keep the baby).


I think your assessment of Tara is way harsh but I'm not going to argue it. I know we have different character preferences in this regard. All I can say is, everyone will get there.

Thanks for commenting.



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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 9th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:00 am 
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Chapter Eight




Willow hovered outside the living room door, hesitating to go in.


It was ridiculous really, she thought, scared to go into a room in her own house.


And it was her house; the bank hadn’t owned any part of it in years.


Hers and Tara’s, anyway.


Except very little between them felt enjoined lately.


Willow even recalled one terrible, horrible moment in the midst of all of the arguings where Tara had said ‘she’s our daughter’ of Emily and Willow had almost, almost said ‘no, she’s mine’.


Thank god some sense and reason had made her catch herself before she could utter the untruth that she could never take back. She’d still been mad at all of Tara’s postulating though, so she had said something measured and mature like ‘oh, just shut up’ and marched out of the room.


She didn’t want to march away this time, though.


What she wanted was to go in and lay her head in Tara’s lap and feel those fingers lightly run through her hair but she guessed by how they’d left their last conversation in the hospital, that wasn’t on the cards.


She hoped her peace offering would be enough.


Closing her eyes for a moment to mentally pull up her big girl panties, she pushed through the door. Tara was sitting with her feet curled up on the couch, watching one of her gardening programs, but her attention wasn’t really on it. Her eyes were on the screen but they were clouded; unfocused. Willow could always tell.


She tried to meet Tara’s gaze but Tara just seemed exhausted and afraid of a new fight so her glassy eyes just stayed on the screen and her head didn’t lift from its resting place on her closed fist.


Willow understood but didn’t let it dissuade her.


She sat at the piano and lifted the fallboard before positioning her fingers over the white keys.


She whispered some letters to herself, some keyboard configurations she’d used to memorize what she needed. She had a false start by clanging the key a little too bluntly but it worked in her favor as it made Tara glance over.


Willow hummed to herself to set the tune.


I could make you happy, make your dreams come true,” she sang, off-key but on-emotion as her eyes slowly traveled across the room to meet Tara’s piqued gaze, “There's nothing that I wouldn't do .”


She made sure their eyes well and truly locked as she sang the lyrics with emphasis.


Go to the ends of this Earth for you.


Her eyes made some kind of silent apology or promise or both.


To make you feel my love.”


She swallowed, caught by her own emotion.


To make you feel my love.”


Her fingers fell away from the keys and she looked down sheepishly.


“That’s all Lily would teach me before she gave up and proclaimed me ‘the most tone-deaf person alive’. She doesn’t get her talent from me, that’s for sure.”


There was a pause, then Tara stood. She walked toward the door.


Willow reached out and grasped Tara’s hand desperately.


“Please don't walk away, Tara.”


Tara’s hand fell away from the doorknob.


“I'm just closing the door.”


Willow swallowed.


“Oh.”


But Tara didn’t close the door. Instead, she sank down onto the small piano seat beside Willow; their bodies facing in opposite directions but their faces toward each other.


Something passed between them silently; a vow that this wasn’t going to end in the same way every conversation had up to now.


Without needing to explain, Willow’s eyes filled with tears.


“I can't be happy about this.”


“It's not a this,” Tara replied softly, “It’s a she.”


Willow’s body slumped with anguish.


“I know Emily—wait,” she started but promptly stopped and looked to Tara with widening eyes, “Do you mean…?”


Tara nodded softly. Willow’s eyes filled with fresh tears.


“It's a girl? They know already?”


Tara’s eyelids flickered with memory.


“Remember when we heard those words?”


Willow was silent for a moment then offered a slight, sad smile.


“I remember ruining the surprise with Robyn.”


She stopped and her eyes shut tightly.


“Tara,” she cried softly into her hands.


Tara gently placed her hand on Willow’s knee and rubbed. It was as close a contact as they’d had in a while.


“I know you. I know you'd die for any of our children. Right now you're letting your heart die instead of letting your fear die. But I know that heart. And it's stronger than anything else thrown at it.”


Willow looked up, stricken.


“You think my heart is dying?”


The pain in Willow’s eyes pained Tara. Her eyes creased.


“Willow, you pressured her to have an abortion.”


Willow did a double-take.


“No, I…” she started to protest, then her face grew starkly white, “Oh my god.”


Tara let her hand rise to Willow’s thigh and massaged it softly for a second. Willow kept swiping her eyes with her sleeve.


When Tara couldn’t bear to watch the endless tears streaming down Willow’s cheeks, she pivoted on the seat so she was facing the piano too. Her fingers moved up and down the keys until she found where she needed to be. She began to play in the middle of a song.


And the songbirds are singing like they know the score,” she sang along, looking at Willow intently, “And I love you, I love you, I love you, like never before.


Willow offered a watery smile with her sleeve on the corner of her eye.


“That’s the song Cleo’s Mami sings to her wife every year at their Christmas party.”


Tara nodded and smiled softly.


“She exchanged her expertise for an extra batch of my breadsticks sent overnight.”


“She sure loves those sticks,” Willow chuckled wryly and there was a long pause as she slowly returned Tara’s intent look, “Everything feels so surreal. Like I’m living in a dream.”


Tara nodded again.


“I know. But it’s happening.”


Willow’s jaw shook.


“Is it?”


Creases grew around Tara’s eye, showing the weariness the past few weeks had taken on her.


“She’s still mulling it all over, I think. It’s not a snap decision. She didn’t speak much when she came back for Dr. Wells but I know she got all of the information on the medical decisions. She can proceed or terminate safely as long as she’s monitored regularly. Her asthma is mild and is unlikely to worsen in severity and her blood pressure has been stable for so long that it shouldn’t destabilize as long as she doesn’t overexert herself and hydrates regularly.”


“I should know that,” Willow breathed out self-deprecatingly, “Because I should have been talking to her myself.”


Her head dropped into her hands.


“I still just can’t wrap my mind around it. Emily. Pregnant. She’s our good one.”


“She made a mistake,” Tara replied, putting her hand on the small of Willow’s back.


Willow felt comfortable enough to lean into Tara.


“And she doesn’t even know the father?” she questioned again, her eyes filling with tears, “How are these words coming out of my mouth?”


Tara could finally see Willow’s anger dissolving away and the distress so clearly bubbling underneath.


“Darling,” she comforted and lifted her hand up to massage the back of Willow’s neck.


Willow turned and cried into Tara’s chest. Tara gently stroked Willow’s hair and then lifted her face to kiss her slowly.


From the doorway, Emily spied through the small slit in the ajar door. Bouncing up on her toes, she quietly turned and headed for the front door. When she opened it, Lily was walking up the driveway. Emily quickly stepped out and shut the door behind her.


As Lily approached, she arched an eyebrow when Emily didn’t move.


“Why are you playing security guard?”


“We can’t go in,” Emily replied quickly.


Lily sighed tiredly.


“Why are you being weird? Is this some weird hormonal thing? Let me in, I’m starving.”


Emily shook her head.


“Let’s go to the mall. We can eat there.”


Lily’s eyebrows rose on her face.


“Fenke murulo,” she said sternly, which was the twin-speak equivalent of saying ‘enough already’.


Emily blushed quietly.


“I-I think moms are making up. I just thought we should give them some…space.”


Lily gave an exaggerated eye-roll.


“Oh alright, let’s let the old ladies do the nasty,” she agreed and started to walk back down the driveway again swinging her car keys, “You’re buying me tacos.”


Emily was quick on her heels and got into the passenger seat of Lily’s Chevy. Unlike everyone else in their family, she wasn't too afraid of being in the car with her sister.


“Hey what do you think about naming the baby Liliem?” Lily asked casually as she drove them off the curb.


Emily frowned. For a lot of reasons, mostly stemmed in dismay as to the weight of the implication of the question, but decided to only focus on the most obvious source of confusion.


“Lillian?” she clarified with a furrowed brow.


“No, Lily-em,” Lily enunciated more clearly, with a bright smile, “After us!”


Emily’s eyes widened but she hid them well.


“I-I think maybe the baby will have a different name.”


Lily sighed dramatically.


“Well, what are you going to name it then?”


“Her,” Emily clarified quickly, “A-And I've been thinking about Kelly.”


Lily blew some air out between her lips. She didn’t know anyone with that name.


“Like Kelly…Clarkson? That old country singer?”


Emily frowned.


“More like Grace Kelly,” she suggested if she had to name someone.


“Why not Grace?” Lily held up a hand.


“I read Kelly means ‘bright-headed’,” Emily smiled. She’d actually read the name in a book as a child and always liked it, “I think that’s really beautiful.”


Lily considered it, then nodded.


“I'm in,” she gave unneeded consent, but Emily didn’t tell her that, “Have you told moms yet that you’re keeping her?”


Emily squirmed uncomfortably.


“I haven’t officially decided yet.”


Lily arched an eyebrow.


“…but you’ve named her?”


Emily frowned again. Sometimes this decision seemed so easy and sometimes it felt so hard.


“I haven’t even thought about what it’s going to be like when she gets here. Shouldn’t I have a plan?”


They stopped at a stoplight. Lily looked over at Emily.


“Do you want to be a mother?”


Emily’s hands brushed across her belly.


“I feel like I already am one.”


“There’s your answer,” Lily shrugged like it was just that easy again and Emily wondered again if maybe it was, “Man, this is still so weird.”


Emily slunk down in her seat, hands still covering her belly.


“How do you think I feel?”


Back in the house, Willow turned her body into the kiss and her lips became desperate to return it.


Sensing her urgency and feeling much of it herself, Tara placed her palms flat on Willow’s thighs and squeezed.


“Take me upstairs,” she breathed onto Willow’s lips.


Willow moaned softly into Tara’s mouth and quickly linked their fingers to pull Tara up from the seat.


Their bodies pressed together as they stood and both grabbed at each other, needing the close contact they’d been missing out on while being in a permanent state of argument.


Willow broke off the kiss with a breathless pant and started placing messy kisses into Tara’s neck.


“You heard me,” Tara repeated in a low, evocative tone and Willow had to clench her thighs to stem the throbbing it produced.


Never one not to comply with an order, Willow tugged on Tara’s fingers so they linked and tugged her out of the room and up the stairs. In the doorway of their bedroom, they spun toward each other and kissed like giggling schoolgirls.


Then, without warning, Tara grabbed Willow’s arm, pinned it behind her back, and pushed her wife up against the wall. With Willow’s breath caught in her throat, Tara ran her fingers up her wife’s other arm and placed her hand over Willow’s palm, flat on the wood.


They stared at each other, panting.


Tara’s gaze dropped to Willow’s lips and back to her wife’s eyes. She linked her fingers through Willow’s, dragged her palm down and off the door, and brought their conjoined hands between their legs. She pressed her hips in so Willow could feel the heat radiating from her. She made Willow’s fingers press against the seam of her pants, then let her hand fall away, leaving Willow struggling for a moment to catch her breath.


Willow quickly undid Tara’s pants button and kicked the door closed behind her. She walked Tara over to the bed and pushed her down before climbing over her.


They locked into another intense gaze and Tara rubbed Willow’s cheek for a few moments as she sought out and kissed her wife’s lips. She gave it a few seconds to make sure Willow was distracted by the kiss, she brought her hand down and smacked Willow’s butt cheek, rubbing through the reverberation.


Willow’s body jerked further into Tara’s, with her thigh sliding between her wife’s legs. She moaned into Willow’s mouth and brought her hand back down to slip under Willow’s pants. She caressed Willow’s cheek, nails grasping and indenting her pale, fleshy skin.


She pulled Willow closer and fit her in so that they both had their thighs pressed in against each other. Tara pulled once again so that Willow’s hips shifted and created friction then thrust her own hips forward so they created a rhythm.


It was feeling too good, too quick so Willow sat back and tilted her chin back to catch her breath.


After a moment, when Tara was giving her a patient and amused half-smile, Willow pressed a finger on top of the zipper on Tara’s pants and pushed it down. She caught either side of the fabric and pulled them down and off.


She sighed softly with satisfaction as her palms slid down Tara’s thighs. She leaned her head down and kissed the patches of cellulite that Tara hated but Willow loved all the more. Her mouth cruised dangerously close to Tara’s panties, leaving her close enough to get the intoxicating scent to spur her on, before kissing under Tara’s bellybutton. She pushed Tara’s shirt up with her nose and eventually her hands when she needed it off — and quick.


Tara used the opportunity to grab Willow’s cheeks and pulled her into a smoldering kiss. She made quick work of divesting Willow of her shirt and pants and eagerly palmed Willow’s fleshy hips.


They fell into a tangled mess together on the sheets, taking turns to roll on top of each other and press every inch of their bodies together.


Willow hadn’t been wearing a bra, but Tara’s bra was quick to join the other clothes on the floor and together their panties were removed by way of clutching hands and tugging feet.


Willow made sure Tara’s panties fell from her ankles and kissed her wife’s calf as she passed. Enjoying that little taste of skin, she continued upward until she got to Tara’s rear. Her lips pressed delicate little kisses along the vibrant ink etched into her wife’s skin and followed the flowing willow tree from roots to leaves.


She nibbled it gently and heard Tara giggle, making her smile.


Rolling Tara onto her back again, she kissed along Tara’s hipbone and lower stomach. She loved this; being so close to Tara’s most intimate area. Knowing every bit of her. She could live here, nuzzling in this spot. She wanted to lift herself up and say ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘we’ll figure this out’ but she also didn’t want to break the intense physical pull radiating between them at that moment.


That scent came to her nose again and she couldn’t resist the allure this time and let her tongue slip delicately between Tara’s lips. She was tender and soft with her exploration as the tip of her tongue circled Tara’s clit and turned Tara into a quivering mess.


When Willow could barely stand the ache between her own legs from having the privilege of knowing Tara so intimately, she reached over to the nightstand and into the drawer. She squeezed some lubricant into her hand from the bottle inside and gently brought it over where her tongue had been.


Tara opened her legs invitingly as Willow rubbed her; the simple act letting her know what was on the horizon.


Willow positioned herself above Tara and shared a shy smile with her. Tara placed her palms on Willow’s collarbone with her fingers curled over Willow’s shoulders and smiled the same consenting smile back.


Willow was delicate as she entered Tara. Since going through menopause, she’d been a lot more sensitive in this area and if Willow went too hard, she could have Tara moaning for the wrong reasons. However, if she angled it in just the right way, she could ride that sensitivity all the way to a perfectly sated wife.


Thankfully, Willow knew every inch of Tara inside and out and with a steady rotation of her wrist, Tara was growing from warm and writhing to molten hot and thrusting with abandon. On one such trust, Tara caught her legs around Willow and brought their bodies together.


They shared a second-long panting gaze before Tara’s hand was working its way down Willow’s body to enter her with the same intensity that Willow was giving to her. Willow didn’t have the same problem as Tara and was already gushing and very able to accept the intrusion.


This was where they truly excelled; keeping their arms in perfect, interlocking rhythm while making sure their hips stayed aligned and their fingers kept the pressure that was so desperately needed. It was practiced and assured but every bit as exciting as the very first time.


When Tara felt the first clench deep inside, she brought her other hand down on Willow’s butt. She squeezed and held on as her body shook with orgasm. Willow thrust her hips a few more times until she felt the relief she was seeking and softly sagged into Tara with her forehead on Tara’s shoulder-blade.


She bit very gently in the space between Tara’s collarbone and shoulder; a tender little spot where none of Tara’s tops revealed and so let them bask in the youthful thrill of a hickey without any obvious signs. Having three daughters, two of which were without filter, had quickly put paid to any spontaneity in that department.


Tara’s whole body shivered and Willow felt her wife’s limbs stretch luxuriously. She even felt Tara’s toes curl against her shin and delighted when they popped off and Tara’s whole body sank into the bed with satisfaction.


Willow kissed her way across until she ran out of delicious skin and resigned herself to lazily rolling off Tara and onto her own pillow. Their hands automatically sought each other and their fingers linked softly between them.


Willow glanced over at Tara and wondered if now was the time to say those words she thought earlier, but it was such a nice moment. Instead, she said:


“I wonder where the girls are.”


“I’ve learned not to question silence,” Tara murmured and slowly opened her eyes to look over at Willow and smile, “Just enjoy it.”


Willow smiled a little and nodded but it wasn’t very convincing and moments later, Tara squeezed Willow’s hand between them.


“Not enjoying the silence?”


Willow looked back sheepishly and pointed to her head.


“It's just kinda… noisy up here tonight, you know?”


Tara smiled back sympathetically.


“Yeah.”


She snuggled up to Willow, put her face next to her wife, and threw an arm across Willow's middle.


“Is this better?”


Willow smiled a more real smile.


“Yeah. I think it makes things quieter in here,” she agreed as she lightly stroked Tara’s bare arm, “Wish I’d realized that a few weeks ago.”


The repetitive motion worked to calm her.


“Do you still want us to see Dr. Carter? I have to admit, I’m not feeling too keen if we’re able to talk it out ourselves. It took me a long time to be comfortable with Dr. Varney and I'm worried about making it worse.”


“I think Emily should at least,” Tara agreed with a soft nod, “If you agree.”


“I do,” Willow agreed surely. Everything had been such a fog but this, her and Tara being a team; that was always the break in the cloud she needed; “But is it possible to take a night off?”


“From what exactly?” Tara questioned with a softly arched eyebrow.


Willow held a hand up helplessly.


“All of this? The…knowledge of this happening?”


“No,” Tara replied honestly with a shake of her head, then snuggled in closer, “But it doesn’t mean we can’t try. At least for a couple of hours. But then we have to face it. I hope, together.”


Willow swallowed.


“I want to face it together too. But I’ll take a couple of hours.”


Tara kissed Willow’s shoulder. Willow's eyes closed peacefully.


“It’s working already.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 11th)
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:56 am 
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Dibs!

Quote:
Willow even recalled one terrible, horrible moment in the midst of all of the arguings where Tara had said ‘she’s our daughter’ of Emily and Willow had almost, almost said ‘no, she’s mine’.


Thank god some sense and reason had made her catch herself before she could utter the untruth that she could never take back.

Good thing she didn't say that - although Tara kind of implied the same (Emily being her instead of their daughter) when they first fought after the realization of Emily's pregnancy in chapter 4:
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“And if you even dream of raising your voice at my child I will do the same.”


Quote:
She sat at the piano and lifted the fallboard before positioning her fingers over the white keys.


She whispered some letters to herself, some keyboard configurations she’d used to memorize what she needed. She had a false start by clanging the key a little too bluntly but it worked in her favor as it made Tara glance over.


Willow hummed to herself to set the tune.


“[/i]I could make you happy, make your dreams come true,[/i]” she sang, off-key but on-emotion as her eyes slowly traveled across the room to meet Tara’s piqued gaze, “There's nothing that I wouldn't do .”


She made sure their eyes well and truly locked as she sang the lyrics with emphasis.


“Go to the ends of this Earth for you.”


Her eyes made some kind of silent apology or promise or both.


“To make you feel my love”.


She swallowed, caught by her own emotion.


“To make you feel my love”.


Her fingers fell away from the keys and she looked down sheepishly.

Wow, Willow singing and playing the piano at the same time - if that's no grand gesture of love I don't know what is! :wink

I'm very relieved that they finally talked instead of fighting and made up - verbally and physically (as to the second: :drool ).

Quote:
“Hey what do you think about naming the baby Liliem?” Lily asked casually as she drove them off the curb.


Emily frowned. For a lot of reasons, mostly stemmed in dismay as to the weight of the implication of the question, but decided to only focus on the most obvious source of confusion.


“Lillian?” she clarified with a furrowed brow.


“No, Lily-em,” Lily enunciated more clearly, with a bright smile, “After us!”


Emily’s eyes widened but she hid them well.


“I-I think maybe the baby will have a different name.”

:laugh Good decision to say no to Lily's name suggestion. Apart from other obvious reasons it sounds way too similar to "Liam" and therefore would cause confusion at family parties.

Quote:
“Well, what are you going to name it then?”


“Her,” Emily clarified quickly, “A-And I've been thinking about Kelly.”


Lily blew some air out between her lips. She didn’t know anyone with that name.


“Like Kelly…Clarkson? That old country singer?”


Emily frowned.


“More like Grace Kelly,” she suggested if she had to name someone.


“Why not Grace?” Lily held up a hand.


“I read Kelly means ‘bright-headed’,” Emily smiled. She’d actually read the name in a book as a child and always liked it, “I think that’s really beautiful.”

I agree. I like the name Kelly. I'm surprised that 16 year old Emily knows about Grace Kelly in the year 2035 - she must have a very classical movie taste.

Quote:
“I haven’t even thought about what it’s going to be like when she gets here. Shouldn’t I have a plan?”


They stopped at a stoplight. Lily looked over at Emily.


“Do you want to be a mother?”


Emily’s hands brushed across her belly.


“I feel like I already am one.”


“There’s your answer,” Lily shrugged like it was just that easy again and Emily wondered again if maybe it was

Lily really does show some practical wisdom.

Quote:
“Do you still want us to see Dr. Carter? I have to admit, I’m not feeling too keen if we’re able to talk it out ourselves. It took me a long time to be comfortable with Dr. Varney and I'm worried about making it worse.”


“I think Emily should at least,” Tara agreed with a soft nod, “If you agree.”


“I do,” Willow agreed surely. Everything had been such a fog but this, her and Tara being a team; that was always the break in the cloud she needed; “But is it possible to take a night off?”


“From what exactly?” Tara questioned with a softly arched eyebrow.


Willow held a hand up helplessly.


“All of this? The…knowledge of this happening?”


“No,” Tara replied honestly with a shake of her head, then snuggled in closer, “But it doesn’t mean we can’t try. At least for a couple of hours. But then we have to face it. I hope, together.”


Willow swallowed.


“I want to face it together too. But I’ll take a couple of hours.”


Tara kissed Willow’s shoulder. Willow's eyes closed peacefully.


“It’s working already.”

:flower A very much needed hopeful chapter ending. Now that they are acting as the "mom team" again I trust that they will both be able to accept Emily's decision to keep the baby and support her during the pregnancy and after the birth.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 11th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 am 
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Will's redemption

Quote:
Dibs!


Queen!

Quote:
Good thing she didn't say that - although Tara kind of implied the same (Emily being her instead of their daughter) when they first fought after the realization of Emily's pregnancy in chapter 4:


The reason it's different is that Willow almost referenced Emily as hers meaning in a biological sense - a differentiation she doesn't even believe in and would have been said purely to hurt Tara.

Quote:
Wow, Willow singing and playing the piano at the same time - if that's no grand gesture of love I don't know what is! :wink


Hard agree! She really put the effort in here.

Quote:
I'm very relieved that they finally talked instead of fighting and made up - verbally and physically (as to the second: :drool ).


I would like you to know I repurposed those old scenes I got rid of in the last fic for this one! :D

Quote:
:laugh Good decision to say no to Lily's name suggestion. Apart from other obvious reasons it sounds way too similar to "Liam" and therefore would cause confusion at family parties.


This is very true!

Quote:
I agree. I like the name Kelly. I'm surprised that 16 year old Emily knows about Grace Kelly in the year 2035 - she must have a very classical movie taste.


I think Grace Kelly transcends generations tbh - she's that kind of icon!

Quote:
Lily really does show some practical wisdom.


Lily is highly intelligent.

Quote:
:flower A very much needed hopeful chapter ending. Now that they are acting as the "mom team" again I trust that they will both be able to accept Emily's decision to keep the baby and support her during the pregnancy and after the birth.


They'll do it as a team, that's for sure.

Thanks so much for your feedback!



Update Directly Below

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 11th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:00 am 
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Chapter Nine




Tara blindly typed on her laptop, writing up her court reports for the past week.


Sometimes on days like these, when she had nothing on her plate but to catch up on paperwork, she wished she had taken the big office offered to her when she was promoted to the position she was in. The cubicles were loud and a little cramped and way too close to the staff kitchen where some delightful person had just microwaved some fish.


But no, she wanted to be approachable and a team player.


Her office would have a view of the city…


As she daydreamed for a moment, she was brought back to reality when her phone rang from a foot away from her. She reached for it automatically.


“Hello, Tara Rosenberg-Maclay speaking.”


She smiled as she heard the voice on the other end.


“Oh, hi honey.”


She started to sit back, relaxed, then remembered where she was, and stayed professionally upright.


“Oh,” she continued as she listened to Willow speak, “Can’t you swing back by the house to pick it up? I’m working.”


She paused and rolled her eyes.


“Yes, I’m just doing paperwork but it’s still work.”


She checked her watch and frowned.


“I can take my lunch but I really don’t see how I can get it to you any quicker.”


She listened for another moment and held up a hand as if Willow was physically there in front of her.


“Okay, okay. Stop panicking. I’ll go home and bring your laptop to you if it’s so important. Okay. Bye.”


She hung up the phone and blew out air through her nostrils. She blinked for a moment, then shut down her laptop and packed it away in her purse. By the time she finished this request for Willow she’d have less than an hour on the clock and she could do her paperwork from home.


She went up to the office of her second in command.


“Hey, Al. I’m heading out for the rest of the day. On my cell, if I’m needed.”


Alice looked up from her laptop and looked down her nose through her glasses.


“Going off for some afternoon nookie again?”


Tara blushed, despite herself.


“One time twenty-five years ago and you’ll never let me forget it.”


“You’re so seldom naughty,” Alice grinned, “It’s delicious.”


“I am your superior, don’t forget,” Tara arched an eyebrow.


Alice smiled comfortably at the remark.


“Then why do I have a nicer office?”


Tara shook her head with the start of a smile tugging at her lips.


“I’m leaving,” she said in a singsong voice.


“Be safe,” Alice sang back.


Tara shrugged her purse over her shoulder and turned to leave, weaving through the cubicles. In the elevator, she took in a soft breath as she doors close, as she always did. Or, at least, had since the night she gave birth to the twins.


She picked up her step when the doors opened again as Willow had been very insistent that Tara get home quickly to bring Willow’s laptop back to her. Her wife had garbled something about needing to stay to work on a decryption but needing a specific key on her laptop. It was all gobbledygook to Tara.


She hadn’t even thought Willow was working today. Jesse only called her in when they were in dire need, though Willow had been floating the idea of going back for some semi-regular consultancy. She would have thought Willow would tell her if she’d actually decided to do it.


She thought, even though Willow was still struggling with the pregnancy, that she and her wife had been able to come together to communicate more.


They’d certainly been coming together; more than they had in months.


It made her smile but that quickly faltered when as she approached her car and realized the extent of this disruption to her day.


It would take her whole lunch break to do the round trip for the laptop. She’d either have to eat in the car or eat at her desk and she hated eating at her desk because she encouraged her staff to take their breaks. Their work was hard and she’d reduced burnout by 23% since she’d taken over, a statistic she was proud of. Then she remembered she'd brought her laptop with her so at least her 'desk' could be the kitchen counter at home.


Not ideal, but still better than going back to the office.


Willow was lucky that Tara loved her.


At least if she finished her work off at home she could do it with her feet up.


There had to be some perks of being the boss.


She listened to the radio as the car drove itself home and went through some emails on her phone. Self-driving cars had certainly allowed increased productivity. Sometimes Tara liked to do a meditation.


She thought about doing one now so she wouldn’t wring her wife’s neck when she dropped off the laptop. The more she thought about it, the angrier she got. Willow wasn’t even a permanent worker in the FBI anymore. Tara ran her whole office. Her work was important too.


This was only amplified when she got a message telling her the laptop was in the bedroom. No ‘thanks’ or ‘please’ or ‘I’ll worship you later’.


The car parked up and Tara got out and let herself into the house. The girls wouldn’t be home from school for a few hours. She was tempted to go and make lunch and make Willow wait for her laptop, but she wasn’t that petty.


She headed upstairs, grumbling under her breath, and pushed open the door to their bedroom. Willow’s laptop case was in there.


Covering the front of Willow’s naked body as she lay on her side with one leg over the other and her head resting on her upturned palm.


Tara’s purse dropped from her hand.


Willow grinned cockily.


“You want to come byte?”


Tara floated over as if she’d risen into the air. Willow plucked the handle of her case up with two fingers, lifted it, and let it fall behind her.


The laptop was, of course, not inside.


“Come a little closer and I’ll show you my finger commands.”


Almost hypnotically, Tara climbed onto the bed and over Willow. Her eyes dropped to Willow’s lips and back up to her eyes. Her hips pressed themselves against Willow.


“I’m going to… ram your hard-drive.”


Willow’s eyes clouded over.


“Oh, that is so fucking hot.”


“Did I get it right?” Tara asked, her face lighting up.


“So right,” Willow moaned and grabbed Tara by the cheeks to pull her into a kiss.


She pushed Tara’s sweater back over her shoulders and slid her hands around Tara’s hips. Willow’s body felt so exquisitely nude against Tara’s clothes but when the first ride of Tara’s shirt had their stomachs touch, Willow suddenly felt on fire with the desire for skin on skin.


With a single finger, she caught the first metal button of Tara’s shirt and dragged it down so each one popped. Tara whipped her arms back and pulled the shirt off and Willow sat up with her so they didn’t have to break the kiss. Willow’s hand cupped Tara’s breast through her bra and pulled the nipple free. Her mouth dropped to take it in her mouth and Tara’s back arched into it.


“Mmm, Willow.”


She reached behind to unsnap her bra and Willow was quick to reward her with duel attention.


While her mouth lavished attention on Tara, Willow’s hands pawed at Tara’s leather skirt. She found the zip on the side and tugged it down with enough force that the skirt came with it. She felt Tara’s knees lift to let it fall and in one fell movement, she turned Tara onto her back to toss the skirt over her shoulder. Her hands flew to Tara’s tights and she began to tug them down.


She tugged so hard that Tara’s whole body scooted down the bed but the tights barely moved. Willow puffed out a breath of air.


“Why did you wear your no-access tights?”


“They’re warm,” Tara replied and continued with Willow gave her a look, “I didn’t know you were going to trick me into a lunchtime shag.”


Willow shook her head.


“You’re watching too many British baking shows.”


Tara frowned.


“I don’t know what you think they ice those cakes with but that word doesn’t come up often.”


Willow gestured in frustration.


“Can you please get those things off so I can eat your pussy?”


Tara hesitated for a painful second, then started to smirk.


“You did say please.”


She disappeared into the bathroom for a moment because truly, getting out of those tights was not a sexy sight and returned to Willow in just her panties.


Willow was lying back on the bed. Her thighs twitched with excitement. She curled her finger in Tara’s direction and motioned her forward.


Tara climbed into Willow’s lap and gently brought their lips together. She lifted Willow’s chin with her fingers and deepened the kiss while their breasts pressed together and thighs slid off each other.


Willow wrapped her arms around Tara’s back and slowly rose onto her knees so she could tip Tara back against the bed. She broke the kiss to press her lips down Tara’s body, which slowly shifted up until her head was hanging off of the bed and Willow had room to situate herself between Tara’s legs.


She bent Tara’s knees out either side and opened her up so she had a good view of what she was to feast on. She never got sick of this sight, no matter how often or when or how Tara changed; this open, unobstructed view was a feast for the eyes as well as a feast for the mouth. And speaking of, that allure was hitting more and more of her senses…


She dropped her head to Tara’s thighs and kissed the wetness that had gathered there. Her tongue tingled as she got the first taste and the scent filled her to her core. Her nails dug lightly into Tara’s fleshy thighs and her tongue extended to lick Tara the whole way up.


She felt Tara’s shiver reverberate on her tongue.


She worked Tara with gentle but consistent flicks and licks and bathed Tara’s clit with attention until the hand that was woven in her hair pulled so hard that it hurt just so.


She slid one hand up Tara’s thigh and let her fingers glide, wetting them. She felt around for a moment, then raised her head.


“Baby, do you think you’re good without the lube? You’re really wet.”


Tara’s hips just bucked insistently.


Willow took the hint.


Gently, she slid two fingers inside, and when she felt plenty of slickness to embrace her, she started to thrust in and out.


Tara’s hands immediately bunched in the sheets, which was the only traction she had to stay on the bed. Her hips repeatedly thrust up, seeking as much of Willow as she could find.


Willow delivered with each long-learned stroke of her fingers that knew Tara so intimately. She knew how to pull the orgasm from Tara just the way she liked it; slow, slow, slow, then fast, fast, fast.


Sometimes if Willow was feeling particularly teasy she’d alternate and bring Tara almost there before starting the cycle again.


Without bedtime exhaustion or the frenzy of a stolen moment, Willow deemed this to be one of those times.


She had Tara writhing with curling toes and her head banging against the bed in minutes.


When Tara’s cries were just on the verge of painful, Willow sat up so Tara’s legs could wrap around her waist, leaned forward to hold one of Tara’s breasts, and pumped as hard as she could.


“Uhhh…uhhh….MMMM!”


Willow looked down and watched Tara’s flesh flood with the evidence of her climax before flushing a beautifully, pulsating pink color. Her own brow was damp from the exertion and she felt heavy between her legs like a weight had been attached and was pulling her down, but there was nothing more satisfying than seeing her wife sated like that.


Tara was back on the bed after the last movements, albeit upside down, so Willow just went and laid next to her. Gazing at Tara’s flushed face made up for not having any pillows.


She reached out and wiped the hair from Tara’s brow. Tara’s eyes opened lazily and she reached for Willow’s hand, caressing her palm and fingers.


“That was…”


Willow arched a cocky eyebrow. Tara blushed and pushed at Willow’s face.


“Wipe that smile off your face.”


“Or what?” Willow asked in a tone that matched the smirk.


Tara turned her head away, then back again.


“Or I’ll do this.”


She placed her palm on Willow’s cheek and turned her in for a kiss. She slowly rolled her sluggish body on top of Willow and moved her thigh between Willow’s legs.


Willow’s hands immediately went to Tara’s buttocks and pulled her closer again and again and again. Her eyelids fluttered with pleasure with each little glide against the bump in her flesh. It would be so easy to just rock for a few more seconds and…


Then Tara moved away. Willow expressed her dissatisfaction with a groan.


“Come here,” Tara said softly.


Willow opened her eyes and blinked twice before sitting up, being guided by Tara’s voice.


Tara twisted around and gently pushed Willow back onto the pillows. She got over her and pressed their torsos flush together.


Willow’s breath immediately quickened as Tara’s face came intimately close and tenderly kissed her lips. Willow tried to deepen it but Tara held back, giving only soft kisses until Willow could barely breathe between each one.


Tara’s palm splayed out on Willow’s outer thigh and slowly dragged down to her knee and then up on the other side. She pulled Willow’s thigh over her hip and let her fingertips dance where Willow was absolutely overflowing.


She jerked her body so their nipples brushed and when Willow took a huge influx of air in response, Tara entered her. Willow bit down so hard on her lip she drew blood.


Tara didn’t let that stop her from giving Willow her next breathless kiss.


Willow felt so consumed and safe and deliciously tight like her body would die if it let go of Tara for even one second. Her second leg went around Tara and she gently rocked, afraid Tara would take away any part of her if she went too fast.


She accepted every kiss until she forgot about what they were even doing and just knew Tara. It felt like what she imagined heaven to be; just them, their selves locked in a permanent state of bliss.


She didn’t care if she came or not, because this was so wonderfully intimate and close and the kind of connection that had been missing as they had been dealing with the Emily situation, but still welcomed it when Tara seemed to know just the moment to increase the friction and offer a sweaty, screaming end to what had been something close to a religious experience.


Tara didn’t roll off right away after Willow clenched around her, instead just pressing kisses to Willow’s shoulderblade until they naturally fell into an embrace curled into each other.


They both looked out the window near their bed at the birds on the electrical lines.


After a long while, Willow suddenly chuckled.


“How much did you hate me when I first called you?”


She glanced over at Tara and grinned.


“It was the text that got you, wasn’t it?” she asked and the look on Tara’s face was all the answer she needed, “I knew it would.”


Tara shook her head into the pillow.


“Why were you trying to piss me off?”


Willow opened her mouth to make a joke and closed it again. She looked over at Tara fully.


“Because we’ve been fighting for weeks and I thought if you could feel that anger and convert it into sexy energy that we might clear the tension a little bit.”


Tara slowly nodded.


“Do you still feel the tension between us?”


“Do you?” Willow deflected.


Tara pursed her lips.


“I think we’re processing this in different ways. And I think that’s causing some conflict even though we’ve stopped blaming and lashing out at each other.”


Willow chewed on the corner of her lip.


“How do we fix it?”


She wasn’t used to feeling out of sync with Tara.


Tara reached up and placed her palm over Willow’s heart.


“Keep making love. Stay connected. Try to communicate without anger. Understand how each other is feeling.”


Willow looked at Tara full of adoration and love.


“Who needs therapy when I have you?”


Tara lifted her palm to Willow’s cheek and kissed her again.


“I still think therapy would be good. But you are my wife. You will always be my wife. And no matter what is thrown our way, we will figure it out. I love you. Okay?”


Willow nodded.


“I know. And I love you too. I hope you know that.”


“I do,” Tara confirmed, “And we love Emily. Even if we don’t love the choices she makes.”


Willow swallowed.


“Still struggling with that part.”


“It is a struggle,” Tara acknowledged, “But we’ve gotten through struggles before. We have to trust that we’ve raised a good kid.”


“We have,” Willow said, her voice hollow, “Emphasis on ‘kid’.”


Tara rubbed Willow’s arm and had not much to say.


They looked out the window again for a while.


“Hey, where’s your car?” Tara asked curiously after a few minutes, “It wasn’t in the driveway.”


Willow smiled smugly.


“Parked it across the street so you wouldn’t know I was here.”


Tara lifted her head onto her upturned palm.


“You are very dedicated to a bit.”


“I knew the pay-off would be worth it,” Willow cocked an eyebrow.


Tara rolled her eyes playfully.


“Alice was making fun of me when I told her I was leaving that I was going home for some afternoon delight.”


“Fire her,” Willow proclaimed with a joking grin, “How long do you have?”


Tara shrugged one shoulder easily.


“I told her I’d be gone for the afternoon.”


Willow scooted closer.


“Well in that case…” she murmured.


Tara’s brow creased skeptically.


“You can’t possibly be up for another round.”


“No, I was going to ask you to drop my laptop into the office,” Willow replied innocently.


Tara grabbed a pillow and hit Willow with it.


“Hey!” Willow objected, or tried to through a giggle, before jumping off the bed to run away.


“Get back here!” Tara called after her, then started to follow, “If the girls come home and we’re running around the house naked we’ll never see the end of the therapy bills!”


Tara caught Willow in the hallway and Willow wrapped her arms around Tara’s waist.


She smiled softly as if they weren’t both standing there stark naked.


“For old time’s sake…” she tugged Tara’s waist closer to hers, “A go on the washing machine? It does all of the work…”


Not for the first time, Tara found herself being convinced by that sweet, sweet smile.


“Okay, but we better put it on a quick wash.”

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 14th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:34 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs

Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:01 am
Posts: 391
:whip Dibs! :whip
Wow, I didn't expect such a "steamy" update! :drool

Quote:
She headed upstairs, grumbling under her breath, and pushed open the door to their bedroom. Willow’s laptop case was in there.


Covering the front of Willow’s naked body as she lay on her side with one leg over the other and her head resting on her upturned palm.


Tara’s purse dropped from her hand.


Willow grinned cockily.


“You want to come byte?”


Tara floated over as if she’d risen into the air. Willow plucked the handle of her case up with two fingers, lifted it, and let it fall behind her.


The laptop was, of course, not inside.


“Come a little closer and I’ll show you my finger commands.”


Almost hypnotically, Tara climbed onto the bed and over Willow. Her eyes dropped to Willow’s lips and back up to her eyes. Her hips pressed themselves against Willow.


“I’m going to… ram your hard-drive.”


Willow’s eyes clouded over.


“Oh, that is so fucking hot.”


“Did I get it right?” Tara asked, her face lighting up.


“So right,” Willow moaned and grabbed Tara by the cheeks to pull her into a kiss.

:laugh Equal parts sexy and funny!

Quote:
“Do you still feel the tension between us?”


“Do you?” Willow deflected.


Tara pursed her lips.


“I think we’re processing this in different ways. And I think that’s causing some conflict even though we’ve stopped blaming and lashing out at each other.”


Willow chewed on the corner of her lip.


“How do we fix it?”


She wasn’t used to feeling out of sync with Tara.


Tara reached up and placed her palm over Willow’s heart.


“Keep making love. Stay connected. Try to communicate without anger. Understand how each other is feeling.”


Willow looked at Tara full of adoration and love.


“Who needs therapy when I have you?”


Tara lifted her palm to Willow’s cheek and kissed her again.


“I still think therapy would be good. But you are my wife. You will always be my wife. And no matter what is thrown our way, we will figure it out. I love you. Okay?”


Willow nodded.


“I know. And I love you too. I hope you know that.”

I like that their increased physical intimacy doesn't just dissolve the disagreement they had regarding the pregnancy. I'm wondering if they know about Emily's decision to give birth to and raise the baby already? I guess it could help Willow to know that so she could research the options Emily might still have for her education, college programs for young (single) parents or something like that.

Quote:
“Get back here!” Tara called after her, then started to follow, “If the girls come home and we’re running around the house naked we’ll never see the end of the therapy bills!”


Tara caught Willow in the hallway and Willow wrapped her arms around Tara’s waist.


She smiled softly as if they weren’t both standing there stark naked.


“For old time’s sake…” she tugged Tara’s waist closer to hers, “A go on the washing machine? It does all of the work…”


Not for the first time, Tara found herself being convinced by that sweet, sweet smile.


“Okay, but we better put it on a quick wash.”

:rofl

I'm a bit unclear about the timeline, but shouldn't Willow's 50th birthday be just a few days away? I'd expect that at least JJ (maybe Cleo too) and Kayden are planning to visit for a celebration. I'm wondering if Emily is going to tell them about her pregnancy and if she'll tell Robyn via holographic phone or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 14th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:31 pm 
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20. Not one Much for the Timber
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:32 pm
Posts: 3194
Topics: 15
Location: H-Town, Texas
So, I'm chapters behind so here's the catch-up...

Quote:
A few miles away, the world’s most middle-class car chase ended with two cars pulled up on the grassy curb.
This made me LOL so hard.

While I'm happy for Lily and her auditions at Julliard, I still feel like Willow should have told Tara. I know they weren't really communicating, but she still should have told her and asked her to keep it on the DL. Maybe I'm just paranoid but NYC from Buffalo is a long trip to take with no one knowing where you are. From the time Tara called Willow, until she and Lily actually showed up at the hospital, must have felt like FOREVER to Tara. I don't blame her at all for her reaction when they finally arrived.

Ok, moving on. It's a shame it took something tragic to get the twins speaking again, but sometimes that vicious slap of reality, and possible death, is what it takes to make people realize what they mean to each other. Honestly, I can't believe Lily was that dense as to just figure out they're so different, lol.

The Robyn revelation as being the slut puppy...LOL. So funny that Tara is STILL finding empty condom packages in the couch cushions. Every parent's worst nightmare, but hey...at least she used protection!

I think now that Willow and Tara are reconnecting, the "situation" will improve...for everyone. It's the only way they will ALL be able to move forward. Teen pregnancy isn't the end unless that person has no support. No matter what Emily decides, she will most definitely have the support of her parents. It'll be a rough start but I think in the end, she'll really grow as a person and claim her individuality.

Until next time...
-JMT

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 Post subject: Re: Family Confidential - The Final Quarter (September 14th)
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:23 pm 
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3. Flaming O
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Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:32 pm
Posts: 75
YES,....YES,...OH YES!
Wait,....the ladies already have that covered!! Willow “You want to come byte?” “Come a little closer and I’ll show you my finger commands.”
Nerds can SO be sexy!

Excellent and just what I needed.

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