Tara fought with the front door; she could hear the phone ringing and struggled to get the key into the lock. "Hang on, hang on, hang on!" she called through the door. As soon as she stepped into her apartment, the phone fell silent. "Oh great." she sighed as she dropped her things on the floor and waited for the machine to do its thing while she fetched a bottle of water.
"Hey Tara, it's Willow." Tara grinned and raced for the phone, lifting the receiver and cutting of the carefully thought out message the redhead was in the middle of delivering. "Hey Willow." she said cheerfully causing the redhead to stumble over her sentence before falling silent.
"Willow?" she asked when her silence continued.
"Erm yeah, sorry. Hi, how are you?" an embarrassed giggle filled Tara's ears and she smiled.
"I'm good thank you. You?" Tara's voice had dropped to a seductive purr and she blushed at her own forwardness.
"I'm good too. So, about the fair?" Willow pushed onwards, shifting from foot to foot as she allowed the sensual tones of the blonde to caress her senses and warm her heart. "I'd love to go with you!!" Her own tone dropped slightly and was laced with innuendo, her fingers absently stroking the handset as she spoke.
Tara grinned and performed what little Emily referred to as, 'The dance of the 'Brave Little Toaster''. "Brilliant!" she exclaimed, making Willow jump slightly on the other end. "So, do you want to meet here or there or where?" she babbled.
"You can come here if you'd like." Tara offered, "Unless you want me to come down and get you, I could borrow a car and pick you up."
"I'll come down to you if that's ok?" Willow said quickly, suddenly wanting to know what the inside of Tara's apartment looked like.
"Cool, I, well, I'm not sure what time but I'll let you know?" Tara told her sheepishly, "Oh and thank you so much for the wonderful flowers, they are beautiful!" Tara crossed the room and ran her fingertips lightly over the plush flowers.
"Erm, Tara." Willow stuttered. She didn't want to tell the other woman that it wasn't her that had left the flowers, but at the same time she felt guilty at accepting praise for a task that she hadn't done. Tara noted the hesitance in the redheads voice and frowned slightly, her heart pounding wildly in her chest. "What is it Willow?" she asked softly.
"About the flowers, I... It wasn't me who left them." she admitted coyly.
"Oh, really?" Tara couldn't help but sound disappointed.
"I mean, I wanted to, but I thought that maybe roses would be a little presumptuous, y'know, given their meanings and all." Willow's mouth ran quicker than her brain but, thankfully, they both had the same point to make.
"No, that's ok Willow, it was wrong of me to assume that it would be you but y'know, its not like there's anybody else that would be leaving......." Tara's sentence stopped abruptly when she realised that there was someone who might have left them.
Lost in her own growing fear, Tara had entirely forgotten that she was on the phone and stared at the handset stupidly. "Yeah? So, I'll call you back in about ten minutes and organise a time, if that's ok?"
"Sure. Is everything ok?" Willow's voice filled with concern.
Tara frowned and contemplated the question for a moment. "Yeah Willow, everything is fine." She knew she sounded far too cheerful but the fear flooding her system wouldn't allow her to be natural, not even with Willow.
"Ok then, I'll wait for your call." Willow said, her tone making it clear that she didn't believe Tara for a moment.
"Yeah, bye then." Tara told her then hung up the phone without waiting for a reply.
Opting for the stairs rather than the elevator, Tara took them two at a time, her heart pounding and an icy trickle of sweat rolling leisurely between her shoulders.
Julie whipped open the front door after the sudden pounding upon it caused her to drop her coffee and burn her leg. "What the fuck?" she snarled as she pulled the door open. "Tara, what's wrong?" she finished when she realised who had been hammering. Tara's eyes were wide, her pupils large and darting up and down the corridor. "It's the flowers!" she burst out causing Julie to frown and open her mouth to question her friend. "They're not from Willow. What if they're from 'Him'?" the rising panic in her voice put Julie on edge and she stood, staring in stunned disbelief. "What if he knows where I live, he could have been right there outside my door and I never even knew!" Tears filled the blonde's hypnotic blue eyes and spilled onto her cheeks.
Julie leapt forward, wrapping her friend in a hug and pulling her inside in the same motion. "It's not him Tare." she said, trying to sound sure and failing dismally. Her mind raced, she had a vague recollection of Tara telling her about 'him' and yet couldn't imagine why she would think he would have followed her home. She had said nothing to indicate he had tried anything but the shaking woman within her embrace was not easily scared and the terror that radiated from her now, shattered any doubts she may have had.
Outside, He stood looking up at the window, a grin spreading his clean shaven face when he saw the large bouquet of roses in the window. "She got them!" he muttered under his breath, before turning to his right and disappearing down the road to his car.
Willow paced the living room. It had been over an hour since Tara had hung up and she was worried. Something had happened during their phone call that had upset the blonde, and Willow hoped that it hadn't been something she'd said. "Surely its not because I didn't send her flowers?" Willow said to her reflection, her sculpted eyebrows almost meeting as she frowned. 'Only one way to find out!' she thought as she grabbed her keys and slung her bag over her back and headed out to Tara's apartment.
Four blocks from the building Willow hoped was the right one, she noticed a dark blue Ford Taurus parked in a car park, had it not been for the music radiating from the vehicle, she would have walked clear past it. The man that sat in the drivers seat looked oddly familiar and it took Willow a second to place him. She stopped almost immediately and stared at the man who returned her gaze with his own icy grey stare.
She's out there
She's out there
He had recognised her as soon as she'd stepped into his line of sight. The long redhead that fell around her shoulders, her lithe form. Yes, this was definitely the bitch he had seen with his Tara the night before. Fury boiled in his blood and he gripped the steering wheel tightly enough to turn his knuckles white.
She's out there somewhere
Willow frowned slightly and glanced quickly up at the building beside the car park. With a soft smile, she quickly ducked inside and beamed at the manager of 'Eleanor Fabrics'. "Good afternoon ma'am." The woman, who Willow guessed was Eleanor, greeted her warmly.
"Hi, I'm with the L.A.P.D, I need your assistance." Willow told her as she rummaged around for some ID.
After studying the shield carefully, the woman smiled warmly. "What is it I can help you with Sergeant?"
Leaning on the counter, Willow told the older woman exactly what it was she would be required to do.
She's out there
She's out there somewhere
In his car, He fumed. He had been angry enough about his Tara seeing someone else but when he had returned to his car, the radio seemed to be adamant that he was to be reminded that the blonde he had watched and studied for so long was with someone. That she was happy with her.
Returning back to the shop, Eleanor handed Willow a slip of paper and smiled. "Is that all?" she asked as the bell on the door jangled and He entered. Looking briefly at the man, Willow retuned her attention to the woman before her. "Oh yes, I need some ribbon!" she said quickly. She had never been so thankful for her quick mind as she was in that second. After picking a colour, Willow paid for the material and mouthed; 'I will come back at closing time!' Nodding politely, Eleanor nodded and thanked Willow for her custom.
Tara returned to her apartment after discussing things with Julie, she felt a little better. Doubling locking the door behind her, she crossed to the window and scanned the street quickly. On finding it empty she ripped the window open and threw the roses, complete with vase onto the sidewalk, screaming demonically as she did so.
On hearing the scream, Willow instinctively looked up to see a vase plummeting towards the ground and roses falling like rain from a third floor window. As she broke into a run, her mind raced faster than both her legs and her heart. 'I was right, something's definitely not good here.' she thought as she pulled open the door and sprinted up the stairs.