14 days to go....
"BLAZE?" Vince yelled, his voice echoing around the silent house, indicating that his girlfriend was obviously not at home. Leaning back against the front door, he swore quietly under his breath. Plans had to be made for the bachelorette parties of their best friends and so far, Blaze seemed to have made little effort.
From behind the couch, Cosmic Creepers popped her head out and snarled at him, obviously pissed at being woken up by his yelling.
Blaze tried barrelling in through the front door and found something large and heavy blocking her path. Trying again, she put all her effort into opening the large door and once again the old oak come into heavy contact with the back of Vince's head. "Standing here!" he complained as he opened the door,"Standing right exactly here!!" rubbing his head gingerly, he fixed his girlfriend with a look of pain.
"What idiot stands right behind a door?" she asked him, her sympathy to the plights of stupid men was non-existent and as far as she was concerned, if you stood behind doors, you deserved to get hit. "I was looking for you!" Vince told her, ignoring her comment and still nursing the growing bump on his head.
Blaze just stared at him, "And exactly how long does it take to check behind a door?" She asked, scooping up the bag of groceries she had dropped in trying to enter and heading off into the kitchen, with Vince following like a lost puppy.
As salad stuff and beers were put away, Vince hopped up onto the counter, grabbing an orange as he sat and peeling it slowly. "So, what are we doing for the girls parties?" he asked as he popped a segment of the juicy fruit into his mouth and chewing noisily.
Blaze's face lit up, her eyes dancing with mischief. "They're gonna die!!" she laughed, beginning a makeshift striptease to indicate what she had in mind.
Tara emerged from the shower to discover that she had missed a call. Pressing the 'play' button on the machine, the electronic voice, who she and Willow had named Belinda filled the room. "You have one new message, received today at 1.27pm." Belinda told her, a loud beep and then the start of the message.
"Good Afternoon. This is a message for either Ms Maclay or Ms Rosenberg. My name is ZoŽ, I work for Imperial Cakes and we seem to have a problem with your order. The head chef has just called me to say that he no longer produces the cake you have specified for your wedding. If you would like to call us or drop in a see me, then we can arrange another design. I apologise for the inconvenience. You can call me on 213 262 5473." The disembodied voice of ZoŽ silenced and was replaced by another beep.
"Oh fuck." Tara said, slumping into the chair. It had taken them more than 5 months to decide on a cake and now they had exactly two weeks before the big day and had to go through all that again. Willow was not going to be pleased.
Reluctantly Tara reached for the phone and dialled Willow's office number. The cheerful voice of Amanda reached her ears and Tara grinned, "Hi Amanda," Tara said once she had finished her welcoming speech. "Could you put me through to extension 529 please?"
"I'm sorry, but Ms Rosenberg is in a meeting at the moment, can I take a message?" Amanda was the poster child for efficiency and Tara understood why Willow had employed her. In that sense, they were incredibly alike. "Erm, best not no. Can you tell her that Tara called please, it's important?" Tara heard her scribbling down the message and said she would pass it on, after thanking her, Tara hung up.
"Fuck it again!" she stated to Miss Kitty, who ignored her and continued washing her paws. Playing the message from the cake company once again, Tara jotted down the number and shook her head sadly. "I like that cake!" she complained to ZoŽ.
In her hand, the phone began ringing, making her jump and drop the handset. Giggling at herself, Tara retrieved the handset and pressed the button. "Hello?" she giggled.
"Tara, what's up?" Willow's voice sounded taut and strained, she was clearly having a bad day.
"Hey baby." Tara said softly, knowing that Willow was going to go insane when she heard the news. "The cake company called...."
Willow cut her off mid-sentence, "They better not have screwed it up!" she snapped, immediately kicking herself for taking out her frustrations on the woman she loved.
"Not screwed up as such....." Tara said meekly, "More like, don't do anymore." she ripped the ear piece from her ear and held it at arms length as Willow, bubbled, boiled and finally exploded. When the furious screaming had stopped, Tara moved the receiver closer to her ear. "Ok, deaf now!" she giggled, trying to lighten Willow's mood.
"I'm coming home!" Willow stated simply, "See you in ten minutes."
Rolling her eyes, Tara hurried into the bedroom to get dressed, knowing full well that when Willow returned home, it would only be to collect the paperwork for the cake and then they would be off to Imperial Cakes for a confrontation.
As she slipped into her favourite peasant top and a pair of comfortable black jeans, she brushed her hair quickly and jumped as Willow slammed the front door. Glancing quickly at her watch, Tara noticed it had been less than 5 minutes since she had hung up the phone and knew that Willow was furious. Her footsteps on the stairs to the loft sounded more like a giants than the slender frame of the woman she knew. Emerging from the bedroom, Tara saw Willow stomping down the stairs, a large file with all their wedding plans, contracts and orders in her hand. "Baby?" Tara ventured, crossing to intersect the storming redhead. Catching Willow mid-stride, Tara wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her in tight, her lips seeking Willow's tentatively.
In spite of her fury, Willow could never resist Tara-kissage and found herself lost in the warm full lips of her angel, her anger subsiding a little as Tara's tongue gently teased her bottom lips and dared her to stay mad.
Pulling back, Willow found the warm, ocean eyes of Tara and smiled. "We should get this sorted, we don't have 5 months to pick a new cake!" she told her sadly, her voice tinted with the merest hint of a giggle at the memory of the fiasco they had had trying to decide on the perfect cake.
Slamming the car door almost 4 hours later, Willow sank into the passenger seat of her beloved convertible. Tara joining her in equal exhaustion in the driver's seat.
The meeting with ZoŽ had not gone well. Willow and Tara had ordered the cake almost a year ago and were told that under no circumstances would anything be changed, any problems would be brought to their attention as soon as they arose. On the fax that Willow had insisted on seeing, her eagle eyes noticed it was dated almost 2 weeks after they had initially placed the order.
After many heated words and rejected compromise, Willow had demanded their money back and told ZoŽ, quite clearly, what her business could do with their cakes.
Now they were less than two weeks from getting married and without a cake, or company to bake them one!
Tara started the car and drove off west, figuring the best place to get a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding would be the gay sector of town.
Slamming on the brakes suddenly, she turned to Willow who had turned to her in surprise. "What are you doing?" she asked, her voice revealed her disappointment and tiredness.
"Thomas!" Tara blurted out, realising how wrong it had sounded but being unable to correct it.
Willow just stared at her, the flush in Tara's cheeks and embarrassment etched tightly over her face forced Willow to laugh, "You're doing Thomas?" she asked incredulously. "Who's Thomas?"
Slapping playfully at Willow's arm, Tara grinned. "You are so gonna love me!" she said as she performed a perfect U-turn and headed towards home.
Half an hour later, they pulled up outside the Noxon hotel and Tara grinned. It was here that it had all begun, her new life in LA, meeting Willow, selling her first painting, meeting Vince. This building had witnessed almost every moment of her new life.
Stepping out into the cool night, Tara laughed loudly, the sounds of the Pink Party blared into the night. "It's cheese fest!" she announced to Willow, who looked all but confused. Pulling open Willow's door, she dragged the redhead out of the car and up the steps.
The 'Time Warp' blared from the main bar and both women had the recollection of their dancing to it all those years ago. As Tara approached the front desk, Willow slipped off towards the door of the main bar and found herself staring at the past. The room was decorated almost exactly the same way she remembered and a familiar pink haired DJ was whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Tara arms wrapped around her waist as the blonde snuggled in behind the lithe redhead, her lips finding her soft neck and nipping gently. "We have a cake chef!" she yelled over the din.
Willow spun in her arms, her eyes wide with amazement. "You? What? Who? How?" Willow babbled. Over Tara's shoulder, she could see a man in chefs' whites grinning manically at them.
Pulling Willow into the relevant quiet of the foyer, Tara introduced Thomas, the head chef and best cake maker in all of LA... well according to Tara he was. He had agreed to make their cake, not just any cake, but the cake they had wanted from Imperial Cakes, providing he had a picture he was sure he could do anything. Willow was astounded, her mouth opening and closing in a rapid babble but the words drying up before they had a chance to reach her lips.
"She says thank you!" Tara told him with a giggle. Willow nodded enthusiastically before sweeping the man into her arms and hugging him fiercely. "Yes, thank you, thank you, thank you so very much!"
After buying Thomas a large drink or two, the women left the hotel. It had been a busy day that had left them drained and shattered. As they settled into the car, Willow turned to Tara. "Tomorrow, we call everyone and check that nothing else is going wrong." she said. Tara nodded in agreement, "But first, we go home and sleep!"