It was supposed to have been a simple job, in and out and back with Dad and Sam in under a day. They’d come out to California to investigate a large number of occurrences. There were hauntings, possessions and all the smaller stuff that could be taken care of in a day or so. They seemed to be centered around a town called Sunnydale and spreading out from there. They’d checked out Sunnydale (on a not so sunny day) but hadn’t been able to find anything out of the ordinary. If you called a dozen cemeteries and even more churches ordinary. But Dad had said move on, so they did, settling in a town just a bit north. Sam was enrolled in the local high school and off they went hunting.
Dad had picked out this job for Dean while he and Sam handled a report of a possessed house. Dean got to have the Impala which made the job seem even better. He didn’t like leaving Sam behind, but his brother was not being a total douche for once, even if he kept making noises about visiting the Stanford campus. Dean was sent out on a simple poltergeist removal. Some guy had heard about another removal they’d done a few towns down and called.
Now poltergeists, they usually were energy created by a teenager, mostly girls, acting out. What this guy, Stan (or was it Steve?) had forgot to mention was that he didn’t have any teenagers, male or female, living with him. Turned out his wife, now ex, had moved out with their fourteen-year-old daughter about three months ago. Dean guessed, from Stan/Steve’s story, that the divorce had been very nasty and that more than likely the kid had been in the middle of it all. Lots of negative energy to be had.
So it wasn’t going to be simple. When Dean had started to do his thing, the poltergeist had lashed out. It had knocked Stan/Steve out cold. Dean, who’d been upstairs, had heard the crash. Just as he was getting to the top of the stairs to call out to Stan/Steve, the thing had pushed him down. He’d tumbled head over ass, cracking a few ribs in the process. Concussion was a distinct possibility because Dean was dizzy when he got to his feet. The damn thing wasn’t satisfied with that. It tossed pieces of furniture into the walls, raining plaster and paint down on Dean. But he finished the ritual, placing his hands over his ears as the poltergeist screamed its way to wherever nasty things went when banished. Dean breathed a sigh of relief before going to check on Stan/Steve. He was still alive, but anything beyond that Dean couldn’t tell. He pulled out his cell, called an ambulance for Stan/Steve and dragged himself to the Impala. Sometimes when an ambulance was called, the cops came too and Dean didn’t have the energy to try and explain all the damage to the house. He was aching everywhere. He managed to get his baby started and steered away from the house. Every turn of the wheel caused sparks of pain to run through his arms and into his chest. He could barely move but Dean knew he needed to get back to the hotel. There he could dose himself up with something and wait out the worst of it for a few days.
Stan/Steve had lived out in the middle of nowhere, easy enough to do in this part of California. The hotel was easily miles away. Dean drove on, trying to get past the pain. Hunters didn’t give in to pain. A sharp turn made him suck in a breath which in turn made his ribs radiate with steely spikes of anguish. As he continued to drive he realized that he might not even make it to the hotel. Just past the turn was a house, small but cozy looking. Fuck laying low, Dean needed help. He pulled into the short drive, pulling right up to the house. He hoped whoever was living there could help him out. He tried the door but another rush of pain hit him and he slumped against the wheel. Dean cursed the poltergeist before passing out.
Tara Maclay was restless. She’d lived all of her life in a small town, oppressed by her father. Ever since her mother’s death it had been worse. She dared not speak, dared not move a hair out of line. She was cursed, so said her father. Tara refused to believe that her mother had been a demon and that she was doomed to become one on her twenty-first birthday. It didn’t help that her brother Donny was just as bad, questioning her even raising the plants that she did.
Their mother had simply been a healer, raising herbs, offering mixes and tinctures to the locals. But Tara knew there was more to it than that. When Tara had first manifested her powers, her mother had sent her to visit Aunt Maureen. It was there Tara flourished and learned about magic. It was Maureen’s house she was living in now. She’d run away the day she turned sixteen and never looked back. She’d finished school, applied for college, practiced small spells and inherited the house when Maureen died.
She’d turned the house into a haven for herself. She kept up both the herb and vegetable gardens. She’d planted flowers for herself, so she could practice her mother’s art. She’d sewn her own curtains, polished up several pieces of old furniture that had been hiding in the attic and stocked the kitchen so she wouldn’t have to venture into town for weeks at a time. It wasn’t that she didn’t like people, it was just that she liked her privacy more. Here she could be just Tara, not that strange Maclay girl.
Now she was just waiting-classes at UC Sunnydale weren’t starting for four more months. She brushed up on her spells, not that she’d be breaking those out on campus, kept up the gardens, read a lot, but nothing completely kept away the need to leave. Ever since Maureen had died Tara felt like she was living on borrowed time. She expected her father and Donny to burst through the door at any moment and drag her back home to face her fate. They didn’t know where Maureen had lived but that didn’t stop Tara from worrying.
When she heard the car pull into the drive she thought today was the day. She steeled herself for a fight. Maureen had taught her a few defensive spells but Tara wasn’t sure she was strong enough mentally to hold them back. When no one came in, Tara moved slowly to the window. Instead of a pick-up truck there was a long, sleek, black car. The driver was slumped over the wheel. Tara was slightly surprised he hadn’t set off the horn.
“Well, he’s going to need your help,” she said to herself.
She moved quickly out of the house and to the car. Whoever he was, he was very handsome despite the bruises and scrapes across his face. She opened the door slowly. He stayed where he was. Tara moved him back against the seat and he emitted a low groan. She felt gently around his chest and his arms. He was messed up pretty badly. She hooked his arm over her shoulder and gently began to wrestle him out.
Years of working on a farm had given her plenty of hidden strength but this stranger was still a handful for Tara. He was certainly taller that she was. She half dragged, half carried him into the house, laying him on the couch. She could move him to the guest bedroom later. She went back out to the car looking for any kind of identification. The glove box revealed several different kinds from multiple states with varying names. The stranger was probably trouble but Tara had always had a soft spot for bad boys and girls.
She went back into the house, pocketing the car keys for later. She gathered her medicine kit with its herbal components and more traditional pharmaceuticals. She filled the largest bowl she had with warm water and grabbed a few washcloths. Whatever had caused this man to get hurt had also left him covered in dust and bits of plaster. With her supplies all ready, she set to undressing him. The boots came first, followed by the jeans. He had a nice ass. She was still a living breathing woman; she couldn’t turn off all her feelings.
Next came the leather jacket. She breathed in the scent of leather, dust and the man. Then the button- up shirt and the undershirt. He was long, lean and muscular. He stayed in shape. Very good shape. Tara shook her head, dipping a cloth in the warm water and beginning her task. She started with his face. Under the blood and dust were a scattering of freckles and ridiculously long lashes. He was a very pretty man. Focus, she thought, even as she ran her cloth across his chest. Down his long arms and to the large hands, one of them callused from wielding a gun. He made noised of pain as she moved down his arms, he was probably bruised, maybe a fall or possibly he’d been hit, and she had no way of knowing. He’d be in pain for quite a while.
He groaned when she probed his ribs. Cracked, but not broken. Moving him hadn’t helped and she’d have to do it once more before she’d allow him to rest. He was muttering something, a name. Tara wondered if Sam was a girlfriend or even a boyfriend. She finished washing him. Most of the scrapes got a topical antiseptic, the bruising she couldn’t do much for except give him pain relief, the same with the ribs. Rest would be his biggest help. She managed to get some willow bark tea into him before she dragged him further into the house and into the spare bedroom. She laid him on the bed, covering him up.
“I’ve done all I can; I hope you heal fast,” she said to him. Tara sighed; all there was left to do was wait.
Every single part of him ached, Dean thought. He was coming slowly awake and with each small movement a new muscle screamed out in protest. But he wasn’t in the Impala anymore that much was clear. It smelled of flowers and there was softness all around him. He dared to open an eye. He was in a bed, a very nice-smelling bed. Whoever was in the house must have brought him in. They’d undressed him as well, he noted with a very small lifting of the covers. At least they’d left him with his skivvies. He didn’t want to think about some old man looking at his junk.
He tried to roll over to get out of the bed. His ribs weren’t having any of that. “Fuck!” He closed his eyes and curled up in pain.
“You shouldn’t be moving yet,” said a light, very feminine voice.
“Yeah, I got that,” he said. He breathed in and out a few times, willing the worst of the pain away. Once he felt like he wasn’t going to lose the contents of his stomach over the nice clean sheets, Dean took a look at his savior.
She was a blonde, with dark roots showing. She was looking down, trying to avoid his gaze but he caught her blue eyes for a very quick moment. She had curves to rival his favorite stretches of road and Dean wouldn’t mind taking a little test drive. She wasn’t the kind of girl he’d normally hook up with. No, he thought, not a girl. She was a woman, the kind you’d settle down and raise a family with. Another look and she was staring right at him. Pretty face, a shy smile that made it look softer.
“I’ve got something for the pain,” she said.
He’d missed the tray she was holding. “Uh, thanks.”
“So how are you feeling, Mr. Osborne? Or is it Sambora? Or one of the others?” She set the tray on the table by the bed, mixing something in a cup.
Shit. Fuck. She’d found his stash. “Look, it’s not what you think….”
“I understand needing to hide. You’re not in any shape to cause harm. What’s your real name?”
“Dean. Dean Winchester. Yours?”
She ducked her head a little. “Tara Maclay. Pleased to meet you Dean. Now drink all of this.” She held the cup to his lips, using her other hand to lift his head up.
He grimaced at the slightly bitter taste but swallowed it. “What is it?”
“Willow bark tea, it’s better for you. If you prefer I think I might have some aspirin in the bathroom.”
“No, no,” he said. He tried to shift a little, tried to sit up. He got more pain.
“You’re a stubborn one,” Tara said. “You’ve got fractured ribs, Dean. You need to keep as still as possible.”
“Why not just wrap me up, bottle up some of that tea and send me on my way.”
She sighed. “You don’t wrap ribs up,” she said as she helped him. She leaned down, wrapping an arm behind him. He caught a whiff of roses from her and felt a stirring that had him thinking of hunting to stop it. She kept talking as she tucked a pillow behind him before letting him lean back on his own. “Wrapping ribs was the old way, you’ve got to let them move to help them heal. That’s going to take a few days.”
“Tara,” he began. “Look, I’m glad you found me and that you didn’t kill me, but I gotta go….”
“You’re safe here, Dean. No one will find you.” He believed her for some reason. “I have some soup that’s ready.”
“I could eat,” he said. She nodded and left the room. Dean sat there thinking that it had been a very long time since someone had taken care of him. He could afford a few days. A quick call to Dad to let him know the poltergeist was taken care of, get Sam to check on Stan/Steve and then he could relax.
She’d gotten through that without embarrassing herself too badly, Tara thought. Even though her heart had been pounding every single second she hadn’t stuttered, hadn’t spilled the tea on Dean. Dean, it was a very strong name. She stirred the soup, and then searched the cabinet for a bowl. Having him in her house for the next few days was going to be a test to her strength of will.
She wasn’t a stranger to sexuality. Willie Ray had stolen a kiss in fourth grade. She’d been behind the bleachers with Robert Jones, but she’d not let him go too far, fearing what her father would say. She’d even dated a couple of girls since coming here. But Dean, he made her want to do some of the things she’d read about in her mama’s romance books. She’d have to meditate tonight, gather strength from around her.
When she walked into the bedroom, he flashed a grin that made her knees weak for just a moment. She didn’t let it show, not too much. “It’s tomato and I made you a sandwich, just ham with a bit of mustard.”
“That’s fine, darling,” he said. He tried to reach for the bowl but groaned.
“I could feed you, if you don’t mind.”
“I’m too hungry to care,” he said.
She sat on the edge of the bed and spooned the soup in carefully. She helped him lift his arm enough so he could eat the sandwich by himself. The way he was looking at her made Tara’s heart flip. He was a stranger. He’d be on his way in a few days. She dared not use magic to speed up the process but she was sorely tempted so Dean would be gone, leaving her by herself again. Yes, she missed having company and with the restless feelings she’d been having she really wanted some. But there was always the chance that having a visitor, especially a stranger, might lead her family to her.
“You live here by yourself?” he asked.
“Yes, I own the house; it was my aunt Maureen’s.”
“No other family?”
“No,” she lied. “Who’s Sam? You were saying that name when I first brought you in.”
“My brother,” Dean said. “He’s with my dad a few towns away. I was out here on business.”
“Older or younger?”
“Younger, sixteen, thinking about going to college.”
“That’s wonderful; I’m going to UC Sunnydale in the fall.”
Dean gave her a look. “You’re only eighteen?”
“I’ll be nineteen in October.” She gave him the last of the soup and stood. If he was worried about her age that wasn’t a good sign. He might be trying to place if he knew her. She couldn’t have that, she was going to be staying here until she could move out to the dorms. “I’ll let you rest now.” Maybe she’d chance doing some magic while he was sleeping.
He tried to call after her, but Tara was already gone. It really didn’t matter how old she was, Dean was barely twenty himself. He was just curious and maybe a little bored. It had been too long since he’d had a decent conversation that didn’t revolve around hunting. He was also a little worried about Sam. Leaving him alone with dad for so long was not something Dean wanted to think about for too long.
Instead he focused on Tara. She was a whole lot of mystery. She was lying about her family, but he figured he was doing some lying of his own; she was entitled to her secrets. The soup hadn’t been any of the canned kind, but homemade, the bread was too. She baked, she knew about fixing people up, what else did she have hiding under that shy exterior? Sam was usually the puzzle solver but Dean found himself wanting to draw Tara out, find out who she really was. As he found himself drifting off to sleep, Dean told himself he shouldn’t pry. He’d be leaving soon enough; he wanted to get back to Sam and dad.
The next morning was pretty quiet. Tara brought Dean his meals, helped him to the bathroom, chatted with him about inane subjects but she scurried off when he tried to get too personal. On the bright side she’d brought him his cell so he was able to call Sam. Stan/Steve had made it but was unable, or unwilling, to tell the police anything so Dean was in the clear for that. Dean resisted the urge to ask Sammy to do any digging on Tara. It just didn’t feel right. He was feeling well enough by the afternoon to ask if he could get a shower.
“I don’t know,” Tara had said.
“Please,” he’d half-whined, fluttering his lashes at her dramatically. That had elicited a giggle, which made him grin and she’d blushed.
“Fine, but the minute you feel any dizziness or lightheadedness you step out and sit on that toilet. I’ll not have all my hard work go to waste.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he’d said solemnly. But there must have been something in his face because Tara had tried to suppress another giggle, without success. That made Dean grin wide, trying to chuckle himself which led to small groans of pain as his ribs decided they didn’t like that.
Tara had led him to the bathroom. She tried to look away every time they did this, as if she was embarrassed to see him mostly naked. It didn’t make sense to Dean because she’d been the one to undress him in the first place, but it also added to the mystery that was Tara. She left him with a towel and a promise to shout if he needed help.
“I promise,” he’d said. “Scout’s honor.”
“I don’t think you were ever a scout,” she said. “I’ll go make some lunch.”
Dean shook his head. Tara could half flirt with him, blushed at the thought of him nude, but still radiated a confidence and air of superiority when it came to his health. It’d take a man a lifetime to figure out a woman like that. He started up the shower and stepped under the hot spray. He just stood there until his legs started to feel like jelly. He grabbed the towel and wrapped it around his waist. It was big and soft, feeling a million times better than any hotel or motel towel ever would.
“I found some clothes that Aunt Maureen had hiding in her closet…oh!”
Dean’s head whipped up to see Tara standing in the half-open doorway. She was holding a pair of sweat pants and a battered looking t-shirt. He hadn’t heard her knock, because she always knocked. She was covering her mouth in surprise, but her eyes wandered. They took in his body, still covered in water droplets, like she was really seeing him for the first time. It was a hungry look, Dean knew those all too well. Then she realized she was staring and blushed, her eyes dropping to the floor.
“Sorry, I thought you’d still be in the shower, I was going to leave these on the sink. Just let me know when you’re dressed and we’ll get you back to bed.”
Dean just stared at the door for a moment. What was it going to take to get her to open up? He dressed slowly, having the hardest time with the shirt. It still killed him to bend or lift his arms too high, but he managed it with a minimum of pain. He hobbled to the door and opened it. Tara was there in an instant, she’d been waiting.
“Can we skip the bed?” he asked. “It’s boring. I’d kind of like to see more of the house.”
Tara frowned but he was giving her the sad look that usually won chicks over. “Kitchen, but only for lunch.”
“Great!” Dean smiled. Tara seemed to be resisting but he could see a small smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
The kitchen was open and inviting. He could smell flowers, bread, yesterday’s soup and much more. A wide window brought in the sunlight which spilled into the room. The table looked old, possibly handmade, but in great condition. Tara helped him into a chair and then turned to the stove.
“I hope you like meatloaf. And there’s pie for later.”
“I love pie,” Dean said. “Nice place you’ve got here.”
She turned, bringing the pan to the table. “Thank you, I’ve tried to make it my own, but a lot of the furniture belonged to my aunt.”
“Still, it’s nice. I’m glad I pulled into your driveway. Not often I get home cooked meals.”
“You said you were out here on business. Do you work for your dad?”
“Sort of,” Dean said. The meatloaf was mouthwatering, he groaned a little. “Compliments to the chef.”
“It’s a family recipe.”
“From your aunt?”
“My mom,” she said softly.
Dean looked away from his food for a moment. Tara was concentrating too much on her food. Damn.
“I lost my mom when I was only four. Sam doesn’t remember her at all,” he offered.
“I was seven. She was beautiful. She taught me to garden.”
“So you grew those flowers yourself?” he nodded to the arrangement in the vase on the counter.
She smiled, making him feel better about bringing up a painful memory. He spent the rest of the meal listening to her talk about flowers and herbs, their uses in medicine and other things that went in one ear and out the other. He was just happy that Tara was talking to him about something instead of running away from him.
She hadn’t realized she’d been talking for so long until she asked Dean a question and he didn’t answer. She looked over and he was asleep beside his empty plate. He must have been tired to ignore the pain in his ribs long enough to get that way. The mention of her mother had been momentarily painful, but when he shared his own pain and then steered the conversation to happier memories, Tara fell a little bit in love with him.
Her head told her it was foolish to fall for someone she barely knew, someone who would be gone in a few days anyway, but her heart didn’t care. It might just be worth the heartache if he made her feel as happy and excited as she had been talking about her garden. She gently pulled him out of the chair and steered him back to the bedroom. Maybe at dinner she could get him to talk about his mom, or his dad and brother.
She spent the rest of the afternoon pulling weeds and gathering some of the mature plants. She sat in the kitchen preparing something that she would give to him when he left. A reminder of her, of a home cooked meal and someone who cared. She made fried chicken for dinner, the pie with some store bought ice cream for dessert.
“That smells delicious.”
She turned from the stove, Dean standing in the doorway, obviously winded. “You stubborn fool, you could have hurt yourself,” she chided, going over to help him to the table.
“We Winchesters aren’t too big on doing what we’re told.”
“Well, Dean Winchester, you’re going to listen to me or you’ll end up in worse shape.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said, a little abashed.
She snorted. “At least you were taught good manners.” She sat the plate in front of him. He would need all the energy he could to get better. Plus she was planning on helping his body along just a little; she didn’t like seeing him in pain. She’d draw on some of his energy to power the spell.
“Great chicken, wish Dad and Sam were here to have some too.”
“What do you do you and your dad?”
“We help people,” he said after a minute. He didn’t want to talk about it, she could tell. Maybe she’d try a different subject.
“That’s a nice car you have. I’m glad you were aware enough to park it, I’d hate to think of anything bad happening to it.”
Dean grinned. “Sixty-seven Chevy Impala. It’s really my Dad’s car, but I treat her like mine.”
“I can tell,” Tara said. “Maybe tomorrow I’ll help you outside to look at it.”
“Her,” Dean corrected. “Sorry. That car has been through a lot with us.”
“Tell me,” she said.
He told her about all of the places they’d been, all around the country. He talked about sleeping in the back seat, fighting with Sam over who got to sit where about learning to drive in it and teaching Sam how to drive. There were vague references to the family ‘business’ but Tara didn’t push. She had told him everyone had secrets, she wasn’t going to make him spill his. He was letting her keep her own after all.
Tara let him talk until he started getting tired. He was almost falling asleep in the remnants of the pie. She made him lean on her as they went back to the spare room. She helped him into bed, brushing a stray lock of hair off of his forehead. As she brought the blanket up over him, he took her hand.
“Thank you,” he said.
“For what?” she asked, but he didn’t answer. He was sleeping, his aura calm, but still showing signs of his physical wounds. She’d come back later tonight and help out with some of that. She didn’t want him to be in a lot of pain when he went out to see his car.
The next day Dean was feeling better, he could move his arms almost all they way over his head, he could bend more and it didn’t hurt to breathe deeply. The bruises on his arms and legs had gone from violent purple and black to that sickly yellow that meant they were healing. Bruises that deep should have taken weeks to change color, not a couple of days. He suspected that Tara might know what was going on, but he wasn’t going to upset the progress they’d made yesterday.
After breakfast she helped him out to the porch. The Impala was in perfect condition, not a scratch on her, just as he’d left her. But that didn’t mean there might not be something wrong with her. Tara produced the keys. Dean wanted to go down the steps and start her up, but Tara looked sternly at him, so he let her do it. The engine roared to life and he breathed a sigh of relief.
She let him sit out on the porch for the rest of the morning. He soaked up the sun, relaxing and enjoying the fresh air. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d stopped to appreciate the outdoors. It made him kind of sad that hunting seemed to be more of a night time activity. Tara brought out sandwiched at lunch, sitting with him and chatting about some of the flower in the front garden.
The afternoon was spent in some light exercise, Tara overseeing. She watched him stretch, probing his ribs every now and then. When she was satisfied that he wasn’t going to do himself any damage she left him to his own devices. Dean helped her with the dishes, and then offered to help her in the back garden.
“You’re not that healed yet,” she’d said.
“I’m good at digging,” he said.
She laughed, a full throated sound that had desire spiking through him. “Sadly, planting season for most of what I grow has long passed. Right now it’s weeding and harvesting.“
He settled for sitting on the back step, watching her. She wore a hat to protect her face, gloves for her hands. She got dirt on her face, but she was still one of the most beautiful women Dean had ever known. He excused himself, saying he needed to use the bathroom. He just needed to be away from her for a few minutes. It had been too long since his last one-night stand, but Tara deserved so much more than that. He went back to tell her he was taking a nap, he wanted to be rested for tonight. He was going to find out what she might have to do with his accelerated healing.
Dinner was a subdued affair; they both knew that he would be leaving soon. When he went to bed he did his best to fake sleep, planning on snooping. The house got quiet and he heard Tara go into her room. He’d wait twenty minutes then he’d see if he could find what he was looking for. At the fifteen minute mark he heard Tara’s door squeak open and cursed under his breath. Maybe she was just going to the bathroom. No such luck, she was heading towards him, shit.
Dean kept his breathing steady, his body as still as he could. Tara slipped into his room and just stood at the end of his bed. He dared a quick peek. Damn, she was beautiful. She held her hands out in front of her and began to say something. It was Latin but Dean understood only one out of every three words. The room began to feel warmer, something buzzing in the air. Then his body began to tingle. He almost sat up then but realized that the pain in his ribs was not as bad. He spared a glance for one of the bruises. The coloring was changing, fading. Whatever she was doing was making him better. All of a sudden she stopped.
“Dean?” she whispered.
How in the hell did she know? Did he dare answer her?
“I know you’re awake. I’ll go, you can leave tomorrow.” And with that he heard her leave.
“Fuck! Tara, wait!” he said, sitting up. There wasn’t any pain. He bolted out of the bed after her. She’d retreated to her room. The door was closed; he tried the handle, locked. He debated bashing it in, but brute force didn’t seem like the right answer. He knocked on the door. “Tara? Tara, look, I’m sorry. I fucked up. I….I’m an idiot. I just wanted to get to know you. The life I lead—it’s not easy. I don’t often find people I can talk to that aren’t involved in what I do. I’m kind of guessing that what you were doing there, it’s magic. My job—it involves the supernatural. So now we have something in common and we could talk some more. Can you forgive an idiotic guy for wanting to get to know a pretty girl?”
Dean waited, resting his head against the door. This was why he generally preferred shallow girls. It led to less heartache, no attachments. Tara was probably going to ignore him. He’d go back to bed, sleep like shit and leave in the morning, lesson learned. He banged his head against the door once, ready to leave when it opened up and he nearly fell forward.
“You could give yourself a headache that way,” Tara said, peering around the slim opening.
“But you could always cure me,” he smirked.
She smiled, blushing a little. “Do you really think I’m pretty?”
“Tara, you’re fucking gorgeous. Anyone who’s told you otherwise is a damned liar.”
She hesitated for a moment before reaching for his hand, opening the door a little more and pulling him into her room. He nudged the door closed with his foot. They stood there looking at each other before Tara came in closer, lifting up and pressing a kiss to his lips. Dean groaned and picked her up, kissing her more fully. He carried her over to the large bed. As he laid her down, Dean decided the heartache was worth it sometimes.
“Are you sure?” he asked her.
“Yes, but, I’ve…I’ve never….”
“I’d be your first?” She nodded. Dean felt a rush of pride and honor. “I’ll take care of you, Tara, like you took care of me.” He lay down beside her, kissing her again. “My wallet’s in my room, do you have anything?”
“I’m safe,” was all she said. “Dean…please, I want this.”
God, she was beautiful. He kissed her again and again, his hands traveling lightly over her body. She responded to him quickly. She shyly started to touch him, he let her. She lingered over his muscles, his scars. If things were different he’d tell her how he got each one of them. Her hands moved down, cupping his growing erection, palming him through his briefs. Dean sucked in a breath.
“Keep that up and this will be over soon,” he said.
She removed her hand, leaning down to kiss him again. He touched her again, moving over all of her curves. Tara covered his hands with hers and together they removed her nightgown. Dean switched from hands to using his mouth. Over her neck, shoulders, taking his time at her breasts. Tara writhed under his tongue and teeth, whimpering. She said his name as he moved down, tasting her. She was close. He shucked his briefs before bringing her to orgasm. Before she came down completely he covered her body with his. There wasn’t any way this wouldn’t hurt for her but the least he could do was make it quick.
Dean took her, swallowing her gasp of pain with a kiss. He started to move slowly, building the pleasure again. He nibbled at her neck, whispering her name. “Tara, you’re beautiful. Let me show you.” She moved with him, making him want to go faster. He wanted to make this last, make it good for her.
“Dean,” she groaned. “Dean, please.”
He was going to give the lady what she wanted. He rolled them over, letting her find her own way to more pleasure. She experimented: fast, slow, teasing him as she moved. Dean arched up into her making her groan, her fingers digging into his arms. His hands moved to her hips, helping her move over him. Tara closed her eyes, her breathing coming in little pants. Faster and faster they moved together until she was tumbling again, taking him with her. He slowed her collapse onto his chest, rolling them over. She kissed him, running her hand over his cheek. After a few minutes he started to get out of bed.
“Stay,” she said.
Dean gave in and lay back down.
The other side of the bed was already empty when Tara woke up. She wasn’t surprised. She got up, grabbed her robe and padded out to the living room. Dean was there, putting on a leather jacket. Desire spiked in her. He turned, his eyes sad.
“I didn’t wake you up, did I?”
“No,” she assured him. “You were going to leave without saying goodbye.” It wasn’t a question.
“Tara,” he said.
She crossed the room quickly stopping him with a kiss. He held her close, kissing her with barely restrained passion before breaking away.
“You know I can’t, Tara.”
“It doesn’t mean I have to like it.”
He looked down at her, his face showed conflict. “You said you were going to college.”
“Maybe I’ll swing by, stop for a visit when I’m in California next time.”
“That would be nice.” She took his hand, putting something in it. He opened his hand to look at the small metallic disc. “It’s a charm, to keep you safe. Be safe, Dean.”
He kissed her again leaving her dazed when he stopped. She stood there in a haze as he stalked out the door. She moved to the window, watching as he pulled away. She watched until she could no longer see the car. Tara let the curtain slip back into place as she went to make some tea. Maybe she’d find a way out to Sunnydale sooner. She didn’t think she could be around the memory of Dean Winchester for another four months.