The dungeon was dark and dank. Chains were hanging from the walls and bars sectioned off an area for a few holding cells. The floor was cold and crawling with spiders. The only light in the room came from torches that were lit with a low flame.
A deep laugh overtook the room. "With you as my prisoner, I will be able to take over Litefaray," the dark king declared as he stared into a cell, "No one can stop me now. You, my dear, are doomed."
Annabelle sat with her arms around her legs in the corner of a cell. She did not have the same inquisitiveness that she had back in the public library. Instead, a chill ran down her spine; she was overwhelmed with fear and sadness. A single tear fell down her cheek, causing the dark king to laugh victoriously.
Tara and Willow continued their journey to the dark king’s palace. Tara wondered if they were close to the castle yet.
"I guess we’ll find out if we keep walking," Willow answered, "How’s your leg?"
Tara breathed in as she said, "It hurts less, but can I lean on you a little for support?"
"Of course," Willow replied as she slid her right arm around Tara’s back. "Better?"
Tara wrapped her left arm around Willow’s waist. "Oh yes," she answered. "Do you have any ideas on how to defeat the dark king and save Annabelle?"
"Well, we have to destroy the crystal orb thingy. We just have to find it," Willow stated.
"I hope we can just throw it on the floor or against the wall."
"Me too," Willow continued, "Do you think that the king and queen will throw a party when we bring Annabelle home?"
Tara’s face lit up. "Like my 20th birthday party?"
"Yeah!" Willow exclaimed, "But with better food and different music."
"As long as we can dance..." Tara hinted.
Willow looked at Tara and remembered their dance at the party. That evening, Tara had told her that she made her feel special. "Maybe we can float again too," Willow suggested as she held Tara closer.
Tara smiled at Willow and stopped walking. "Did I tell you that that was my best birthday?"
"Yeah, but it doesn’t hurt to hear you tell me again," Willow replied as she looked adoringly at her girlfriend.
Tara wrapped her other arm around Willow’s waist as she turned her body to face Willow. She grinned and said, "I think I know what else you don’t mind hearing over and over Willow...."
"And what’s that?" Willow asked as she wrapped her left arm around Tara.
"That I love you," Tara asserted.
Willow blushed. "I love you too Tara," she responded as she tilted her head slightly. Willow closed her eyes as Tara leaned her head down toward her. Their lips met as if for the first time and they kissed passionately. Both witches felt warm and tingly all over.
As they reluctantly pulled away from each other so they could breathe, Tara whispered, "Wow."
"Goddess Tara, you sure know how to make me weak in the knees, and I’m not even the one who’s injured," Willow added.
It was Tara’s turn to blush as she drew Willow’s body close to hers. Each rested her head on the other’s shoulder and savored the moment. Tara inhaled the scent of Willow’s hair. It was so familiar and intoxicating; she felt completely at ease.
A minute later, Willow broke the silence. "We should go. We have a little girl to rescue."
Willow slowly lowered her left arm, sending chills down Tara’s back. In response, Tara lightly traced a line down Willow’s back leaving goose bumps behind. They both exhaled as they turned side by side and continued walking, still holding on to each other tightly.
When they reached a clearing, the pair stopped walking and looked down. A large castle was below them.
"Do you think that’s it? It looks so ordinary..." Tara wondered.
"Well, there’s only one way to find out," Willow affirmed before they started to walk down towards the castle.
As they got closer, Tara suggested that they try to find some kind of back entrance. They crept quietly behind some bushes until Willow spotted a small wooden door. She pointed to it and Tara nodded in acknowledgement.
Willow took Tara’s hand and led her forward. She tried to open the door with her free hand, but it was locked. Being resourceful, Willow picked up a small stick off of the ground and chanted, "In the name of the goddess and for all things good, unlock this door with this piece of wood."
Willow then slid the stick between the door and the frame and pushed down. The door clicked open easily, giving Willow another reason to smile at Tara. She opened the door slowly and they both peered inside -- there was a dimly lit set of stairs leading down to darkness. Tara and Willow both took a deep breath and walked down the stairs, closing the door behind them.
Back to Chapter 6 :: On to Chapter 8