Tara stood softly brushing and speaking to the light brown horse she had named Pearl. It had been blinded in its left eye and because of that her eye looked white and creamy... like a pearl.
She was a very gentle horse and Tara contemplated briefly that this would make a great starter horse for a new rider. <Like Willow... >
A slow smile spread across the blonde's face as she looked at her watch. It read 9:45 p.m.
"That's just enough time to finishing brushing you down Pearl... and then head upstairs and update the business books... and then... maybe... hopefully..."
She couldn't finish her thoughts; she was just to excited. Plus Doug walked in with the other brown horse, that was much darker than Pearl.
"C'mon Hank... back ya go."
Doug situated the horse in its stall and began brushing him down. He had been helping Tara with the Pegasus Foundation for almost a year and a half now. It started out as just a friendly favor, but soon grew to a full time job. Still, he didn't have the passion that Tara had. He didn't feel called to do this work. As a matter of fact, he wasn't sure what he should be doing with his life.
"Mac... do you ever think about doing something besides this..."
Tara looked over Pearls back and studied her friend for a moment. <What's got into him>
"Well... sure I guess... but I can't imagine actually doing anything but this... I think it's what I'm here for... to help these horses... ya know?"
"Yeah... I'm just thinking out loud..."
Tara finished her last stroke with the brush and placed it back on its shelf. She patted Pearl and gave her a goodnight scratch on the nose before stepping out of the stall and heading upstairs.
"You know Dougie... you don't have to stay and help me... I can find someone else... I mean... don't feel obligated to stay just because we're friends. If something better comes along for you... take it."
Doug finished up Hank's rub down and closed his stall.
"Well... like I said just thinking out loud. I don't have any plans on leaving any time soon... well... other than to go home now."
The blonde nodded her head.
"Well... I've got to stick around and take care of some things upstairs..."
"Ya need help?"
"Nah... get outta here... it's late and I won't be long..."
Doug just smiled at his friend.
"You mean long upstairs... right... cause I just know if a certain red head should be up..."
"Douglas! Go home."
The tall cowboy laughed as he picked up his Carhart jacket and headed out of the barn.
"See ya tomorrow Mac..."
Willow watched as the Jeep pulled out of the drive. It felt like she had been waiting an eternity for a chance to glimpse the blonde again. She saw a light come on in the top part of the barn and figured that Tara would be working late.
<I think I'll just go out and sit on the porch and keep Dusty company for a little while.>
She grabbed a light jacket and headed for the porch leaving her front door open. It felt as if the night air was warmer than the daytime air. She would never understand Ohio weather.
Dusty curled up at her feet, content to have company. About two minutes later the light in the barn went out and Willow heard the unmistakable sound of the barn doors opening and closing. She couldn't help but smile.
Tara glanced out the barn window and saw Willow walking out to the porch swing.
<Business can wait til morning... >
The blonde walked into the full bath of the business office and combed her hair and washed her face. <Ugghh... I look like I've been mud wrestling all day... I smell like horse... oh yeah... very attractive...>
Tara studied herself in the mirror. <But this is who I am... it's what I will look and smell like most every night at the end of the day... well before a good bath...>
She decided she was worthy of being true to herself. She smiled at her reflection and headed downstairs. There was a red head she needed to say goodnight to.
The light of the full moon shown down over the farm as if lighting a path between the two women. Tara walked towards the porch and was greeted by a wagging tail and the most adorable red head she had ever seen.
"Hi... I just wanted to stop in and say... well... hi."
Memories of early that day danced in Willow's head and she swore she could feel her cheek beginning to tingle again.
"Would you like to come and sit for a while... unwind after the big work day?"
"I would love to."
Tara stepped onto the porch and gave Dusty's ears a good scratching then took a seat next to Willow.
"Did you get your computer up and running?"
"No problemo... did you get your horsies taken care of?"
A comfortable silence fell between the two women as they sat swinging in the porch swing. The crickets sang to the night air and the harvest moon bathed the land with its autumn glow.
Both girls laughed at their timing.
"You go first..."
"No you can..."
Willow reached over and gently squeezed Tara's hand.
"Please... you can go first..."
Tara nodded as she laced her fingers through Willow's. The red head didn't make any attempt to pull away. In fact, she scooted closer to the blonde. Tara felt her heart skip at a beat at the feel of Willow's hands.
<So soft... and... cold>
Willow just smiled. Her hands may have felt cold to Tara but there was definitely a powerful heat starting to spread throughout her body as she got closer to the blonde.
"I bet that is not what you were going to say..."
Tara simply nodded.
"Actually... I was just going to tell you thank you for earlier today."
"Your welcome... thank you. Today has been the highlight of my transition to Ohio so far."
Willow felt a warm finger slide over her hand. Tara was tracing her fingers and it was causing butterflies to flutter in the red heads tummy.
"Well... you haven't been here long... I'm sure you'll get into all kinds of excitement."
Willow reached out her other hand and tucked a strand of blonde hair behind Tara's ear. <She's beautiful in the moonlight>
"The only thing that could top today... would be another day spent with you..."
Even in the light of the moon, Willow could see the faint blush spread across Tara's face.
"Willow... you don't even know me... I don't know you..."
"I know... and I don't want to push... I just... I like you... and I'd love to learn everything about you... I mean... I feel like I know you... like I've known you all my life... I know it sounds crazy... but..."
"I feel the same."
Tara nodded and leaned her head over on Willow's shoulder. Both girls content with the moment.
"Let's just take things slow..."
Willow leaned her head over on top of Tara's. Their fingers laced together, they sat quietly for several minutes just smiling into the night, feeling happy and peaceful. Both thinking the same thing... <I could get used to this>
A few minutes passed and the temperature was definitely start to drop.
"I better get going... I would hate for us to freeze to the swing..."
Tara felt the red head laugh and she couldn't hold back a giggle of her own.
"Yeah... I guess that would be a sight to see..."
Both girls stood, never letting go of each other.
"I know it's not far... but let me walk you to your truck..."
The crunch of the gravel beneath their shoes mingled with the chirping crickets. Dusty escorted the two ladies to the truck and waited patiently for them to say goodnight.
Willow stared into Tara's eyes. Even in the moonlight she could tell they looked even more amazing than she had imagined they would earlier.
"Well... this is good night..."
Tara nodded her head but still refused to release Willow's hand. She knew she needed to go... she just didn't want to. But she also didn't want to rush into anything. Something in the deepest reaches of her heart told her that this was it... Willow was the one... and she wanted nothing more than to go inside and curl up next to the red head in front of a roaring fire. <It'll happen Tara... it'll happen... just don't rush it>
"I'll see you in the morning... drive careful..."
Willow wrapped her arms around the blonde in what she only meant to be a quick hug. To her surprise the hug turned into something much more. She felt Tara's arms circle her and the blonde's head rest on her shoulder. Willow ran her fingers through long blonde locks of hair.
Neither one knew who started it, but they found themselves swaying to a beat that only their souls recognized. They held each other and danced under the harvest moon to their moonlit serenade.
Willow felt warm breath against her neck and shivered as Tara whispered in her ear.
"This is what fairy tales are made of..."
Willow tightened her hold on Tara and pressed a tender kiss on her cheek before whispering in Tara's ear.
"And just think... this is just our once upon a time... just wait till the happily ever after..."
As much as she hated to, Tara knew she needed to get going. She pulled away from Willow and then leaned back into her and placed her lips on Willows. It was soft and gentle and held the promise of a very happily ever after.
"Till tomorrow then..."
Tara climbed in her truck and Willow headed back to the porch. Dusty right behind her. She turned and waved goodbye to the blonde who had effortlessly stolen her heart.
"Dusty... there goes my happy ever after..."