Author's note. I know I've said it before, but this story will be done soon. There are just a few more parts. Right now writing this story is like pulling teeth. But I'm determined to see it finished.
Jarod looked up from his computer when he heard a knock on his door. He stood and opened it, not surprised to see Willow standing outside.
"Willow. Come on in." Jarod motioned the red-haired witch into the hotel room.
Willow entered and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Nothing's gone wrong, has it?" Jarod asked, concerned.
Willow shook her head. "I'm actually not sure. Apparently Robert's sister is in town. She and a couple of guys stopped by the Magic Box looking for him. Do you know anything about her?"
Jarod sighed. He knew that'd they'd be showing up eventually, he just wished it could have happened later. "That'd be Miss Parker. The two men with her were most likely Sydney and Broots."
Willow looked up at him. Jarod had told her about the people chasing after him. "You have to go. If they're here to take you back to the Centre, you have to go."
"No. I'm not going anywhere. As long as they don't catch me before our plans go into effect, it won't matter."
"Jarod, I don't want you to take that risk."
"The risk is worth it. You're revenge on Lyle is going to end up helping us both." Jarod sat down next to Willow. "I can handle this. I'm not going to leave you to deal with that monster by yourself." Jarod reached out and brushed some hair off of
They were both silent as Jarod's hand touched Willow's skin. There was a stillness as they sat, just looking at each other. Suddenly Jarod realized what he was doing, and pulled his hand away. Willow looked at the floor, her face turning red.
"I'm sorry," Jarod began.
"No, don't be." Willow interrupted.
There was an awkward pause and Jarod cleared his throat. "So, you've been looking through your spell books, right?"
Willow nodded. "Yeah. I actually brought them with me. I thought you could help with the research. I know you don't know much about magic. But, hey, you're a genius."
Jarod smiled. "I'll do what I can." He took the book Willow was holding out and moved to a chair by the rooms table.
"Just mark anything that looks relevant," Willow instructed. "I can go through later and figure out if it's actually something we can do or not."
With that, the two began to study. For a long while there was silence. They only sound that could be heard was the turning of pages. Jarod broke the silence.
"Willow, I can't tell you how sorry I am that you got dragged into all of this."
Willow looked at him, surprised, "Jarod, it's not your fault."
"I know that. But still..." Jarod trailed off.
Willow stood and walked over to where Jarod was seated. She put a hand on his shoulder. "Jarod, these people have ruined a lot of lives, including your own. You help everyone, not matter how hard you try. You've done so much good Jarod. You should be proud of that.""
Jarod looked at her, reading the concern that was so evident on her face. From what he could tell, she was a lot like him. It didn't matter how many lives were saved, it would never be enough. He was no more willing to stop his fight than she was to stop defending Sunnydale. He wondered briefly if she knew how brave she was. He doubted it. She and all of her friends, they fought because it was right. A lot of people would have just walked away.
"I can't stop fighting, Willow. It doesn't matter if it's the wrong doing of the Centre, or of someone else. This is my mission. The plans I came up with when the Centre had me....I didn't know that they'd be used in the way they were. But that doesn't matter. The fact is that people are died because of things that I thought up. Nothing I can do can ever make up for that."
Jarod noticed that tears were forming in Willow's eyes. He stood, and reached out, brushing the tears from her face. Willow stepped closer to him, pressing her body against his. She tilted her head up, and Jarod leaned down. Their lips brushed against each other, gently. Then Willow wrapped her arms around Jarod's neck, pulling him further towards her, deepening the kiss. Jarod responded in kind.
Willow began to walk backward toward the bed, pulling Jarod with her.
As they broke the kiss for breath, Jarod studied her. "Are you sure about this?"
Willow ran her hands though Jarod's hair. "I'm sure," she breathed, before pulling him into another kiss. Wrapped in each other's arms, the pair collapsed onto the bed.