Later that day, Willow was working on another project when the phone rang. Ashlen had already left for the day so Willow ran out to her desk her answer it.
"Hello, Butterfly Affect." Willow said as she picked up the receiver.
"Willow?" Tara said.
"Oh hi Tara. So what did Mike think of the new prints?"
"Yeah he did. He said that it was ok for you to print them out." Tara said as she got a smile on his face.
"Thank god." Willow said as she let out a little laugh.
"Was that a laugh I heard?" Tara asked.
"Why yes it was. I think that it was more of a laugh of relief that I didn't have to do this damn thing over again."
"Yeah well I am glad too that he liked it cause if he hadn't, I probably would have lost my job due to the nasty words that I would have had for him."
"Well I wouldn't want you to lose your job because of me."
"It wouldn't of been because of you. Mike has done a lot of things lately that have really gotten on my nerves and I think that what he did to you was just the last straw."
"That makes me feel a little better that it's not just me that he does that to."
"Yeah trust me, it isn't just you. He treats everyone like that. Even me." Tara said as she got a sad look on her face and the tone in her voice changed. "Well, I should let you get back to work. I just wanted to give you a call and let you know what Mike said. Give me a call when you get everything done and I can come pick it up."
"I sure will. You have a good night Tara and don't let that asshole bother you ok?"
"Ok. I will try not to. Have a good night too Willow." Tara said as she hung up the phone.
As Tara hung up the phone, she realized that this could get really bad. She saw something in Willow that she had never seen before. For the first time in her life, she felt as if someone understood her and got her. But she just met her. How can Willow already know that much about her?
"I have to respect what Willow wants and not let this go any farther." Tara said as she pulled in her driveway and turned off the car. "But she is just so different from anyone that I have ever met." Tara said as she opened the car door.
"Aunt Tara!" A little girl about 6 years old with blond pigtails in her hair said as she came running towards Tara with her arms spread open.
"Kirsten!" Tara said as she scooped the girl up in her arms and gave her a hug. "What are you doing her? Where is your mom?"
"Mom is inside. She needed to come get that painting that she ordered so that she can bring it to grandma's house tonight." The little girl said as she gave Tara a kiss.
"Well let's go inside and see if she found it." Tara said as she carried the little girl inside the house. "Taylor!" Tara yelled out as she and Kirsten walked in the front door.
"Up here Tara." Taylor yelled from upstairs in the office. "I am trying to find that picture that I ordered from you for mom. Do you know where it's at?"
"It's down here in the living room." Tara said as she put Kirsten down on the couch and walked over to the corner of the room where there was a pile of boxes with her name on the sides.
"Geez, what else did you order for crying out loud?" Taylor said as she came down the stairs and saw Tara looking through the boxes.
"I have some Christmas presents as well as a few things for work." Tara said as she opened the last box. "Here it is!"
"Great." Taylor said as she took the picture from Tara. "So..." She said as she tried to look around Tara and take a peak into the rest of the boxes. "Anything in there for me?"
"None of your business," Tara said as she stepped in front of Taylor, crossed her arms on her chest and stared at her. "Nosey rosey!" Tara said as she just stared to shake her head and looked over at Kirsten.
"Mom, you don't want to spoil the surprise do you?"
"I guess not." Taylor said as she looked over at Kirsten and smiled at her. "So are you ready to go baby? We need to get over to grandma's by 7." She said as she looked down at her watch. "And it's almost that time now. Let's go."
"Ok mommy." Kirsten jumped off the couch and ran over to Tara to give her a kiss and hug goodbye. "Bye Aunt Tara."
"Bye pumpkin. Tell grandma that I said hi."
"Ok!" Kirsten said as she ran out the front door.
"So are we still on for dinner tomorrow?" Taylor said as she gave Tara a hug goodbye.
"Yeah. I'll meet you there at 5."
"Sounds good. See ya!" Taylor said as she walked out to the car and took off.
The next morning, Tara had to go into the office for a few hours before she met Taylor for dinner. As she got into her office, her direct extension rang.
"Tara Maclay." Tara said as she picked up the receiver.
"Tara, it's Willow. I just wanted to let you know that I got everything done."
"Oh wow. That was fast."
"Yeah I just started working on it and couldn't stop."
"Workaholic are we?" Tara asked as she started to laugh.
"No just sometimes I get in moods where I want to get everything done and I can't stop until it's done."
"That's good, I guess." Tara laughed. "I am actually going to be around your office later so I can pick everything up. If you will still be there."
"I am actually at home right now but I live just down the street from my office if you want to come pick it up here?" Willow said as she got a huge smile on her face.
"I can do that if it's alright with you or I can just wait until Monday morning and pick them up then."
"No it's fine. You can come here. I live at 1334 Roswell Lane."
"Great. 4:00 ok?" Tara asked.
"Then I will see you then." Willow asked as she hung up the phone.
Tara just stood there with the phone in her hand. She couldn't believe that she was going to be going over Willow's house. Finally, Tara snapped out of her daze and hung up the phone. Tara sat down at her desk and did a little bit of work before she headed back home. Tara stopped at the mailbox so that she could grab the mail before she headed in to take a shower. Once inside the house, she started to thumb through the mail and saw a letter from her mom. She opened it as she threw her briefcase on the table by the door and made her way upstairs.
"My mom is so cool." Tara said to herself as she finished reading the letter.
The letter was about Christmas. Her mom wanted to let her know that they would be having dinner on Christmas Eve at around 6 and then afterwards they were going to let everyone open up one gift before they headed off to Midnight Mass. Then they would open the rest of the presents once everyone got there Christmas morning followed by dinner or lunch however you want to look at it.
This was Tara's favorite time of the year. She loved to be able to first of all see her family since she doesn't get a chance to see them very often. Her family, well her mom and brother, live in Iowa while Tara is in California. Tara moved her about 7 years ago after she graduated from high school. She was offered a job from a huge advertising firm her and jumped at the chance to get out of the small town and move to the big city of San Francisco. After a year of living there, she got transferred to their firm here in Sunnydale. She also loves this time of year cause she likes to buy presents for her friends and family.
Once Tara was out of the shower, it was now time to figure out what she was going to wear. Not only was she going to have dinner with Taylor, but she was also going over to Willow's house. After going through every thing in her closet, she decided to wear her black pants and a nice purple v-neck top that she loved. She didn't want to wear anything to reveling cause she didn't want Willow to think that she was trying to look nice for her. Even though that was exactly was she was trying to do.
Tara got dressed and then headed over to Willow's. She made her way her street and she started to get nervous as she got closer to Willow's. "Maclay, relax. You are just going over to get the project. You are trying to make a friend...that's it." Tara said to herself as she pulled up to Willow's house. "Ok, there it is." Tara said as she pulled into the driveway.
'Breathe.' Tara thought to herself as she got out of the car and made her way up the sidewalk to the front door. She rang the doorbell and then began fixing her shirt. The door open and there stood the most amazing woman that Tara had ever seen. Tara's jaw dropped when she saw Willow. She was in a simply pair of jeans and a tank top but looked beautiful.
"Tara." Willow said as she opened the door and motioned for her to come in.
"Hi!" Was all that Tara could say as she stepped into the house, brushing against Willow's hand with hers.
Just with that simply touch, Tara could feel a shock of electricity flow all the way through her body. There was something about this woman that made Tara's heart beat faster and slower at the same time. But she knew that she couldn't go there. She had to keep this a business relationship. But why? Couldn't they become friends?
"Can I get you something to drink? Water? Pop? Coffee?" Willow said as she and Tara walked into the living room.
"No I am fine, thanks!" Tara said as she continued to stare at Willow, taking in every inch of her body.
"Thanks for coming and getting everything. You sure saved me a trip."
"No trouble at all. I was in the neighborhood anyway to have dinner with a friend of mine."
"Oh I am sorry. Then I shouldn't keep you. Let me just go get the stuff so that you won't be late." Willow said as she walked into the den and grabbed a box.
"It's ok. I don't have to meet her until 5 so I have some time." Tara said in an attempt to let Willow know that she didn't want to leave right away. Tara never wanted to leave that house ever again. There was a part of her that felt at home there. Willow, with the box in her hands, smiled at Tara.
'Does that mean that she understands that I don't want to leave? Does that mean that she doesn't want me to leave?' Tara thought to herself.
Willow put the box by the front door so that Tara could grab it when she was ready to leave.
"So what all did Mike have to say about the changes I made to the prints?" Willow asked trying to break the tension that she could feel building around them.
"Well he just said that he really liked it. It was exactly what he was looking for."
Willow just started to laugh.
"What's so funny?" Tara asked.
"I only made about 3 changes to it so it's just funny that he would say that it was exactly what he wanted." Willow said as she sat down on the couch.
"That's a man for you." Tara said as she sat down next to Willow.
"That's why I don't get involved with them." Willow said very quietly, hoping that Tara wouldn't hear her... but she did.
'So she does like girls. I knew it.' Tara thought to herself as she just smiled at Willow.
They just sat there and talked for about 30 minutes before Tara realized what time it was. "Oh shit. I better get going. Taylor will kill me if I am late." Tara said as she got up from the couch.
"I hope not!" Willow said as she covered her mouth realizing that she had said it out loud and Tara heard her. But Tara didn't respond to it. She just gave Willow her half smile and headed toward the front door.
"Thanks again for getting this done so quickly. I will give you a call on Monday and let you know if there is anything else that we need for the ad campaign."
"Sounds good. Have a great dinner and night. Talk to you on Monday." Willow said as she walked to the front door and opened it for Tara.