Tara pulled in the drive at a quarter till 12:00. She hoped that Willow wouldn't mind if she came a few minutes early. Truth be told, she had been ready to leave over an hour ago but she knew that would definitely be to soon to arrive. She looked in her rear view mirror one last time and stepped out of her Chevy 4x4.
Willow stood in her bedroom scrutinizing her reflection. She had all but gushed about the blonde to Buffy last night on the phone. She just had to talk to someone. Buffy had insisted that she wear her rust colored jeans and green top. She said it brought out her eyes and the way her hair shined.
"Okay... Rosenberg... don't spaz out."
She ran her hands down her sides one last time as she heard Tara's truck pull up outside.
"It's just lunch... she needs to talk with me about something. I hope she's not leaving..."
Before Willow kicked into a high gear babble-a-thon, she heard Tara knock on the door. One final look and she was ready.
Tara waited patiently for the door to open. She scratched Dusty's ears and was about to say something to him when she heard the door handle.
"Hi." <Oh wow... she is gorgeous>
"Hey... come on in." <Breathe... Willow... breathe... don't spaz... don't spaz.>
The blonde walked through the front door. She had been in this house more times than she could count. It looked the same, give or take a few things. She tried to keep her eyes focused on her surroundings and not the gorgeous redhead in front of her. But that proved impossible.
"I hope you don't mind that I came a little early." <I just couldn't wait to see you again>
"Not at all... it's nice to have company actually." <Especially your company... mmmm and she smells so nice... like... vanilla>
"Please... make yourself comfy... you want something to drink?"
Tara nodded her head and quickly tucked a blonde lock behind her ear as she took a seat on the sofa. She watched Willow walk to the kitchen. <Nice>
"I've got... iced tea... coke... water... ?"
"Tea is fine."
"Two teas coming up."
Willow returned with their drinks and sat down.
"So... how's Frankie?"
"Oh... he's gonna be okay. He's a little congested but nothing that can't be taken care of."
Tara sipped her tea hoping that she would be able to swallow without choking in front Willow. It seemed whenever she got nervous she always did that and she was extremely nervous at the moment.
Willow sat close but not to close. Whenever she looked into the blue eyes across from her it felt as if she had known Tara her entire life but the truth was they didn't know each other well enough to be any closer than what they were.
"So... you said yesterday you needed to talk with me..."
Tara just smiled momentarily lost in the beauty sitting next to her. There was something about the way that Willow kept twisting the bracelet on her wrist that told Tara she wasn't the only nervous girl in the room.
Willow sensed seriousness in the blonde's tone and settled further into the couch. She wanted to give Tara her complete attention. <Like she didn't have it the moment you saw her>
"I don't know what all you are aware of about the farm..."
"Well... I know that it is making money... it's beautiful... it boards abused and neglected horsies..." That earned a shy smile from the blonde. "and I met you here."
Willow spoke the last part so softly she wasn't sure if she had said it out loud or not. But Tara heard her loud and clear. The sweet blush that crept over her face confirmed to Willow that she indeed had voiced her thought.
"I'm sorry... it's just..."
"No. You don't have to apologize... believe me I understand."
Both girls smiled sharing an unspoken acknowledgment of mutual attraction. Tara began to inform Willow of all the ways that the farm was making money. From boarding horses, to renting out pasture to its annual Oktoberfest, there seem to be a lot of activity that went on around the farm. And as long as that activity meant that Tara Maclay would be around that was all right with Willow.
They talked for a while longer laughing and joking and falling into a very comfortable rhythm of conversation. Willow told Tara all about her friends back on the West Coast and about her bad birthday-pony experience.
"I promise... I will get you out on one of theses horses some day and you will have a blast."
Willow smiled at the blonde's enthusiasm.
The two continued talking and Tara told Willow all about growing up in Ohio and the Native American history that surrounded the area.
"Actually the county we live in is home to Chillicothe: Ohio's first capitol."
Willow could only nod and smile. <She is amazing... and she is here... in my house... talking with me... > Willow let out a soft sigh. <Can this day get any better>
Just then Tara reached out and grabbed Willow's arm. She was so caught up in the story she was telling that she didn't even realize what she had done.
<Oh yeah... getting better>
"Maybe we can go to Tecumseh... it's an outdoor drama... kinda thing..."
For a moment the blonde was struck by her forwardness to reach out and touch Willow. But she had to admit her skin felt warm and soft under her fingers... in an attempt to get control of herself, she slowly released her hold on Willow's arm, blushing ever so cutely at the red head.
"I mean... if you like history... you would probably have a good time... <Oh my God... did I just ask her out>
Willow nodded her head.
"I love history... and getting to know some background on my new surroundings would be great..."
<Did she just ask me out... did I just say yes... pull it together... don't spaz... >
Willow had to do something quick. She felt herself drowning in the blue of Tara's eyes and knew she might do or say something totally spazmatic if she didn't snap out of her Tara induced haze.
"So... tell me more about this festival."
"Only on one condition Willow Rosenberg."
Willow raised a questioning eyebrow. <Name it and it's done>
Tara leaned over closer to Willow and the red head felt her breath catch. <Don't look down... don't look down... focus on eyes... eyes... .too late... >
It was just a glimpse, but a glimpse was all she needed. She felt herself starting to sweat and she could have sworn she heard the ice rattling in her glass from her shaking hands.
"Feed me... I'm starving..."
Willow let out a breath she didn't even realize she was holding and gave a weak smile to the giggling blonde.
<Torture... pure torture... and I'm loving it.>
The two of them made their way to the kitchen and Tara insisted on helping Willow prepare lunch. To anyone who may have looked in on them they would have appeared to be doing some mundane routine they had done together for years. They moved in perfect sync.
But to Willow and Tara it was all they could do to hold on to anything: their nerves having taken over control of their bodies. But there was no way either of them would admit it.
After a few stolen glances, deliberate "accidental" touching of the hands and uncontrollable laughter, they sat down and began to eat.
"Mmmmm... this is good..."
The red head nodded in agreement as she took a bite of her chicken salad sandwich. She picked up a paper towel, wiped her mouth and put on her resolve face.
"Okay... now tell me more about this festival..."