Tara woke up around 9 the next morning and lazily made her way downstairs. Her mother was working in her office as Tara approached and knocked on the opened door.
"Hi Honey, come in."
"I'm not interrupting anything am I?" Tara asked her mother.
"No, no just checking out the latest blog postings on the authors site. What's up?"
"Well I just wanted to say sorry about last night, we just fell asleep and neither one of us realized we had until you called."
"It's fine. I was just worried, but I trust you to make good decisions so it's ok."
"So did you guys have a good time?"
Tara smiled remembering the wonderful time she had with the redhead. "Yeah we did. You'll never guess who her parents are."
"Really who?" He father asked walking over and kissing his wife.
"Ira Rosenberg is her father."
"No kidding, guess her house is pretty nice then." Her dad said.
"Yeah, it's...well it's amazing, but she is so sweet she doesn't want anyone to know. Her parents even bought her a Mercedes, but she refuses to drive it and instead bought herself this old Volvo that breaks down all the time."
"That seems very humble." Her mother said.
"I guess all the kids at her old school only liked her because of her dad, so she kind of wanted to start fresh here where no one knew. I don't know why I didn't put it together sooner I mean they have the same last name, and remember Dad you said he was moving here."
"Yeah I do remember telling you that."
"I really like her she is so down to earth and real. None of my friends are like her it makes me want to be a better person just being around her."
"Well she does sound really great." Her mother chimed in seeing the look of adoration on her daughters face.
"She might come by this week for dinner, is that ok?"
"That would be fine, I am curious to meet this girl who has captured your heart." Her dad said.
"Dad." Tara blushed. "Just don't bring up her family ok?"
"Our lips are sealed, well when it comes to her family." Her dad smirked.
"So do you two have any plans today?"
"No, she has to work, and Buffy is supposed to call and the four of us are going to try to get together. With school starting and me hanging out with Willow, we haven't had much best friend time." Tara said, although she actually didn't really want to hang out with them she felt like she should, at least for the squad.
Tara didn't have to wait long for Buffy to give her a call. They all decided to meet up for lunch at the mall. Tara drove to the mall, past Buffy's house and idly wondered why they never car pooled. They all had cars, was there really a need to drive all 4 of them to the mall when Tara passed Buffy's house and could make a quick jaunt to pick up Anya.
Tara walked up to the food court and found Cordelia and Anya sitting at a table next to Panda Express.
"Hey Tare." They both greeted at the same time and laughed.
Tara sat down as the three girls waited for Buffy.
"Well that's Buff, always late." Tara said, a little peeved at having to wait, she was hungry and starting to get antsy to eat.
"Yeah probably trying to get her dad to give her money."
"Oh she did get her allowance finally."
"Don't tell me she mowed the grass and we missed it." Tara laughed at the image in her mind.
"No, her dad gave in. Actually I think it was her step mom who sealed the deal." Anya informed.
"I thought they didn't get along?" Cordelia said pulling out her compact from her purse.
"They don't, but Sandra got sick of Buffy hanging around the house all mopey, so she convinced Buffy's dad to give her the money."
"That's some great parenting there." Tara sarcastically mused looking around for Buffy.
"Ugh, I'll be right back." Cordelia said getting up from the table. "This stupid mascara I bought sucks, remind me to pick up a new brand today ok."
"Sure." Anya said.
"Hey guys, sorry I'm late, had to get a lecture from the parents." Buffy said walking up to the table.
"You still got money though right?" Anya asked.
Buffy smiled. "Yep I did, just put on some patented Buff charm and the dollars come rolling in." Buffy paused. "Not with out a lecture of course. Where's Cordy?"
"Mascara emergency." Tara said pointing to the bathroom. "Thank god you are here, I'm starving." Tara playfully shoulder jabbed Buffy.
Cordelia came back to the table smiling a coy smile and made eye contact with Tara. Tara cocked her head to the side in question before asking. "Everything ok?"
"Yeah, well as good as it can be with this mascara, hey never buy lady white brand it totally sucks."
The other three girls nodded and all made a move to get lunch from various vendors. Cordelia grabbed Tara's arm as she was making a break for Sooper Salad.
"Hey I saw Willow in the bathroom."
Tara's ears perked up and her heart started racing at the sound of the redhead's name.
"And?" Tara prompted.
"And she said hi, and asked how I was doing and stuff. She's really nice for a band nerd."
"She's really not a nerd and I know she's nice." Tara smiled and thought of how her friends would feel if they really knew how much money Willow had. She had promised to keep it a secret and vowed to never break that.
"Are you going to ask her to homecoming?"
"Um...I don't know, why?"
"I just don't think you should, I mean you have to play a little hard to get you know, let her come to you."
"Oh, ok." Tara said finding the whole conversation a little odd and feeling the pangs of hunger wanted to get it over with.
The four girls made their way back to the table with lunch and started chatting. Tara felt good, it had been a while since they had all gotten together, and even though the conversation was a little on the superficial side, Tara missed her friends.
"So Dave asked me to homecoming." Anya said out of the blue.
"So aren't you going with Brett?" Buffy asked.
"No Brett and I are so over. I mean we dated for two months, that's long enough. Plus being a senior now, I can't be hanging around Juniors."
"So what did you say?" Tara asked.
"I said I would think about it, but I'm leaning toward yes, but I want to keep the playing field open in case something better comes along." Anya said taking a spoonful of soup.
"Better as in whom?" Cordelia said.
"Better as in Jake, but I don't know he is still into Sasha I have no idea why. I mean she is the captain of the Soccer team so that's cool and all, but I think she might be a dyke. No offence Tara." Anya replied
"None taken, and I can almost guarantee she isn't gay."
"How do you know?" Buffy said with a mouth full of sandwich.
"Hello, if she was she would be interested in me, since she isn't its pretty likely she isn't gay." Tara internally cringed when the words came out of her mouth. God how can Willow like a stuck up person like me. "Plus I don't get the gay vibe from her." Tara added at the end.
"Hum, I really don't think you have much in the way of gaydar." Cordelia said.
"Why not?" Tara asked offended.
"Well did you know Willow was gay?"
"Well no, but the cute girls never are so you can't blame me for not knowing."
"Speaking of that are you going to ask her to homecoming?" Anya asked.
"I don't know, I really haven't thought of it yet."
"Well you should before someone else does." Buffy remarked.
"I don't really think she would go with someone else." Tara confidently said.
"Really! Are you guys an item?" Buffy said bouncing in her seat.
"Yep, she's kind of my girlfriend." Tara admitted.
"That's so cool Tare, when did this happen." Cordelia said.
"Friday actually after I talked with you Buffy. I met up with her and we kissed and then decided we wanted to date." Tara frowned remembering her and Buffy's conversation and then blushed at actually admitting to kissing Willow.
"So how was it, the kiss?" Anya asked.
"It was amazing, I've never felt like that kissing anyone else. It was like we were exchanging our souls and it was so beautiful and perfect..." Tara trailed off with a dreamy look in her eye.
"Well just be careful." Anya warned. "I mean we think it's totally cool for you to date anyone, but the school might look down on a cheerleader dating a band geek."
"I wish you guys would stop calling her that. She's not a geek, she is really smart and talented and when is that a bad thing?"
"Hey Tare, it's ok we're sorry. It's just you know how the school works, crossing lines like that just isn't something people do, you might get hurt. Not everyone is as open minded as we are." Cordelia said placing a hand on Tara's arm.
"Well thanks for your concern, but I'll be just fine. And don't worry about the team, I'll keep a low profile." Tara said dejectedly.
"I'm so ready to grab those jeans, if they are still there, we should go now just to make sure." Buffy said bouncing in her seat.
The other girls rolled their eyes and grabbed their trash before getting up from the table.