She smells so sweet. The last few years I’ve travelled to some pretty far-off places, each filled with wonderful scents and bursting with every colour imaginable; enough to give a man pause, allowing him to contemplate putting down roots. I’ve seen a lot of things and met a lot of people, but none like my Willow.
Willow Danielle Rosenberg is poetry to me. Her soft, milky skin; her rich, vibrant hair; her marbled blue-green eyes . . . my beautiful girl soars past all of those colours. She explodes with life—with light—and every time I see a sunset over tropical waters, I am reminded of her; all blazing colours, honey orchids and spicy coconut.
Right now, I’m doing a favour for Buffy since everyone seems to be stretched thin with all kinds activities since Sunnydale imploded. She asked me to pick up a new slayer and even though I was supposed to be heading out to San Diego to pick up Devon, how could I refuse when I found out that I’d be going to Istanbul?
And just like she predicted, we could turn a corner here and not be surprised at running into each other.
I have to admit though, I said ok to Buffy’s favour on the off-chance that I could run into my beautiful girl. I know, in reality, the chances of that happening are probably more than a million to one, but still . . . a guy can always hope, right?
And now here we are, staring at each other and all my words are gone. She’s robbed me of thought, of words and of air as I breathe deeply and am immersed in the smell of Willow.
“And here you are,” her voice exactly as I remembered it. Soft and girlish and a little bit breathy and her nose crinkles a bit as she smiles at me.
God, I love that little crinkle.
“Yes, I am. And you. You’re here too.” I can’t help but feel ridiculous, stating the obvious like that, but I’ve already told you, I’m lost for words so I hope you’re not too disappointed in my lack of articulacy.
“What are you doing here . . . I mean not that you’re not supposed to be here or anything be-because you can be anywhere at all if you wanted, including here and . . .”
She’s nervous. She’s so incredibly smart; so much so that everyone around her should be in constant awe, much in the way that I am, but in spite of her intelligence, she’s insecure and she always babbles when her insecurity catches her unaware.
“. . . and you’re supposed to stop me when I do that.” She pouts at me and I’m tempted to kiss her until we’re both senseless.
“I still like it when you do that.”
She smiles then, her whole face lighting up and it’s just for me; she glows just for me and again, temptation is whispering in my ear and turning my stomach upside down.
I mean, you wouldn’t know that I have butterflies in my stomach just by looking at me because hey! I’m Oz.
But Willow throws me. She is the only one, ever, in my life that has ever been able to turn me inside out.
Much like she is doing right at this moment when she pitches herself into my arms, her sinuous form pressed against me as she hugs me tight, her breath tickling across my throat as she buries her face in my neck and I want to laugh hysterically at the sheer joy of her being in my arms again.
Instead, I hug her just as tightly, burying my face in her hair and breathing deeply, unable to stop the grin spreading across my face. She smells like warm raspberries and steamy coconut mixed with a little bit of a spicy floral and a hint of honey and the underlying scent of simply Willow and together it’s rich and sultry—so much so that I can actually taste it and suddenly I’m starving and I’m intoxicated; drunk on the perfume of the girl in my arms.
We stood there, wrapped around each other for minutes . . . days . . . forever possibly because with Will, time is a relative term and when she pulled back, allowing air to move between us, it was too soon.
Looking at me, she smiles and I respond to the question in her eyes.
“I’m here as a favour to Buffy.”
“She sent you to pick up the new slayer?”
“U.S. Consulate? Her father works for the Embassy or something like that?”
“Yeah. A seer in the Coven in Devon alerted us and Giles said he couldn’t get ahold of Buffy so I came out here to pick her up. He would have come himself, but with Anya coming back and then almost getting killed again, he wasn’t too fond of the idea of leaving her alone just yet.”
Her brows draw together. “You don’t seem very surprised about Anya. Did Buffy fill you in on everything that happened in Sunnydale?”
“A little, but that’s not why I’m not surprised. It’s just the people in our group aren’t your typical, garden-variety homo-sapiens. Buffy has died a few times and lived to tell about it, ya' know?”
She smiles at me again, and that little crinkle in her nose mocks me, daring me to kiss it smooth.
“What time is your flight back to the States?”
“Last flight out in a couple of hours,” and suddenly my stomach feels like I just ingested an anvil.
“Mine too!” she says, her eyes wide with excitement and just as suddenly as that anvil appeared, it dissolves into nothingness. “Maybe we could sit together on the plane and catch up?” she asks, her tone hopeful.
I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more, other than the girl herself.
A breeze tickles my nose with the scent of raspberries and Willow and I can’t stop grinning as I tell her, “I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything more.”