Return to Parting Gifts Chapter Two

Parting Gifts

Author: Irene73
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: There should be one I suppose. Characters belonging to BtVS are the sole property of 20th Century Fox, Joss Whedon, and ME...all rights reserved...whatever!
Note: Thoughts italicized during the Angel and Buffy portion of this update.

The soft glow of the florescent light fixtures inside the local pancake restaurant illuminated the architecture and décor. They created a warm atmosphere, welcoming guests and providing a sense of comfort reminiscent of home. That was a far contrast to the hubbub of controlled frantic activity as servers swerved and maneuvered their way around the bussing establishment; taking orders, seating guests and bringing food and drinks to its patrons. Loud clamoring of silverware against dishes, cups, and glasses resonated throughout, as busboys cleared empty tables.

"How many?" asked, a cheerful, squat, and plump hostess

"Just two, thank you," Angel responded, smiling at the brunette.

"Okay, right this way please." The hostess picked-up two menus from the wall-mount near the counter and led Buffy and Angel to a secluded corner booth near a large window. "Your waitress will be right with you. Enjoy."

"Thanks," they answered in unison.

Buffy slid across the vinyl upholstery adjusting her skirt. She took off her sweater and turned her head towards the window, enjoying the warmth of the suns rays as they filtered through and caressed her skin. The mid-morning sunlight shimmered gold on her blond hair. "This is a nice spot," she said, a tranquil sigh escaping her lips.

Angel took off his jacket and watched as Buffy began fiddling with the upturned coffee cup and utensils. "You want to call her don't you?" he asked, leaning back against his seat.

"I'm her best friend, Angel," she pointed out. "I'm just concerned about her."

"Concerned?" challenged Angel quirking his eyebrow.

"Curious," Buffy admitted, slumping back against her seat, "I really want to know what happened last night. You know how she was last week...'I have to take drastic measures soon Buffy or I'll miss my chance with Tara'. I kept telling her to just ask her out, but you know Willow…did you know that she even made a list of the pros and cons in asking Tara out?" she stated with a wave of her hand.

"She did?" he queried, the shaking of his shoulders betraying his mirth.

Buffy launched into a rant that promised to be quite drawn out. "Yes! Angel, honestly I've never seen her jonesing this much over a girl. At first her excuse for not asking Tara out was, she's probably straight Buffy. So when I found out about Tara's preference for the girl-on-girl action, I thought Willow would finally stop spazzing and ask her out, right? But no, she had to go and mention something about company policy and dating in the work place that could possibly create a conflict of interest...blah blah blah." She rolled her eyes in mild annoyance but continued, "Anyways, Thursday night, Willow finally relented and told me she was going to take the plunge and ask her out. She also mentioned that she was going to give Tara a gift, something very special, but wouldn't say what. Hence my curiosity." Buffy paused a moment and her tone became more calm, "This morning when I called, there was no answer. All I got was the stupid machine. I know its Saturday, but she's usually up by 9:00," she concluded, shrugging.

"Did you try her cell phone?"

"No," she answered widening her eyes, "But that's not a bad idea. Thanks honey."

Angel frowned as he watched Buffy reach for her purse. "You're going to call her now? Why not wait until later? She might still be asleep or out somewhere, busy. That's probably why you didn't get an answer."

"Angel it's 10:30 am, if she is up, she's not doing anything too terribly important. She might be out getting coffee and playing with her laptop. It won't take me long. I'll be right back." Buffy scooted near the edge of her seat as a tall, lanky brunette approached their table.

"Good morning, I'm Elise. I'll be your waitress this morning. May I get you something to drink or are you ready to order?"

Smiling brightly, "Yes…I mean, good morning Elise. Yes, we're ready to order."

Angel threw his girlfriend a sharp glance, and blinked twice. "No we're not. I haven't had a chance to decide what I want," he emphasized by holding up the menu.

"Angel, how many times have we been here before? And how many times have you ordered the same thing?" Looking up at the waitress, "He'll have the Rooty-Tooty with extra strawberries and whipped cream, eggs over-easy and I'll have your big steak omelet with wheat toast."

Elise diverted her attention between her two customers in amusement. Cute couple, but does she have to be so snippy? She thought as she wrote down their orders. "Anything to drink?"

"One large orange juice and two coffees." She answered, smiling sunnily as she stood up, "I'll be right back. I'm just going to make this quick phone call and then I'm all yours." She turned and waved at Angel while heading towards the ladies restroom.

"I'll be back with your drinks sir," the waitress stated, retrieving their menus and heading back to the kitchen with their orders.

"Thanks." Angel called out, watching her disappear behind a door.

Willow, she's a big girl he thought. Whatever she's up too I'm sure she can take care of her self. Can't Buffy wait until we get home tomorrow? He shrugged knowing it was hopeless to think that. When Buffy made plans to do something, nothing stood in her way. Her mission: gossip. Her target: Willow.

Buffy and Willow, along with Xander, had been joined at the hip since their ankle biting days of adolescence. Nope, it was a losing battle when it came to those three. In all honesty, Angel was happy that Buffy had such dear friends. They were a family bound together in caring and closeness. He smiled, knowing how lucky he was to have been included, with open arms, into their little clan. "Yep, damn lucky," he whispered, leaning forward and placing his elbows on the table. His chin rested comfortably on top of his interlocked fingers. Tilting his head slightly to his left, Angel enjoyed the warmth of the sun on his face as he looked out the window, catching a few leaves swaying in the light breeze.

" you have reached the voicemail of Willow Rosenberg, that's me! Please feel free to leave me your name, number, a brief message, and the time you the sound of the beep...and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Although, you don't have to leave all the information I've just mentioned...maybe just your name...ooh, or maybe-"


Buffy, bewilderedly amused, shook her head from side to side peering into the mouthpiece. She transferred the phone to her other ear, listening and waiting for the 'beep'. Clearing her throat she began, "Willow this is Buffy. Where are you? I left a message on our answering machine didn't answer! Well, duh. Call me as soon as you get this message. I want to know what happened last night. Oh, by the way, Angel and I will be coming home tomorrow around four or five in the evening. Yeah I know, I could wait until tomorrow to get all the juicy details, but I don't wanna. Call me. Oh, and one more thing..." She paused for a moment, her tone, a gentle mirth; "...we so need to talk about your voice-mail message. Bye!"

She pressed the 'end call' button on the keypad and placed her phone back in her purse. With that, Buffy pushed herself off the sink and with a spring to her step, she walked out of the ladies restroom.

"Any luck getting a hold of her?" asked Angel, taking a sip of his coffee.

Buffy shook her head, slowly sucking in a lungful of air. She held it for a moment before exhaling, letting out a disappointed sigh. She watched Angel place his cup back on the small ceramic saucer with a tink. "No such," she huffed, tossing her purse on the seat. Sitting down, she surveyed the contents of the table noticing that their drinks had been served. Their food was still unaccounted for. "I'm hungry."

"Here..." said Angel, sliding a glass of orange juice over to Buffy, "...drink this first. Our orders should be coming up soon."

"But I'm hungry now-"

"Buffy," he gently warned, enjoying his girlfriends good-natured and playful mood.

"Was that too whiny? I was going for 'cute as puppies'. I guess it didn't work," she said, tossing him a grin.

Looking up, Buffy found Angel's smiling gaze. His soulful eyes dropped fleetingly to her mouth, warm and caressing, their fingers twining together under the table. They shared a brief kiss. "Mmm, just a little sugar and I'm all yours," she murmured. "That was nice."

"Yes, it was," he responded.

Absorbed in each other's thoughts, Angel and Buffy were startled when the sound of someone clearing their throat broke into their intimate moment. They looked up to see Elise balancing their orders on each arm. They were unfazed by their public display of affection and settled back against the seats.

A few moments later, Elise finished setting the plates on the table, "Will there be anything else?"

"No, thank you," replied Angel.

"My food," squeaked Buffy. "I'm so hungry." With a grand gesture, Buffy seized her utensils and began indulging to the point of sating. "Go ahead Angel, dig in," she encouraged, swallowing greedily. "This is so good."

Somewhere between Buffy's first bite of her steak omelet and Angel's second cup of coffee, Angel's curiosity piqued. His thoughts had turned back to Willow. Seeing Angel's inquisitive expression, Buffy tenderly placed her hand on his forearm and squeezed. "What's up?" she asked.

"Thinking about Willow," he finally said, acknowledging her after a few seconds of silence.

"What about her?"

"Well, I was just curious," he replied.

"Curious, about what?" she asked, folding her arms across her stomach, "I'm full. Too much tasty goodness."

"You shouldn't have eaten so fast," he stated with an 'I-told-you-so' look. Continuing, "How did she get you to find out that Tara was gay?"

"She didn't get me to do anything. I found out on my own," said Buffy simply, rubbing her belly. "I mean she wanted to know...really wanted to know..." A low rumbling followed by a sound closely resembling a truckers horn, escaped Buffy's lips,"...excuse me."

"Here, drink some water. Want a Tums?"

"Thank you... and yes please."

Angel reached into his leather jacket pocket and pulled out a roll of antacids. He ripped open the foil package, pulling out the chalky tablet and handed it over to Buffy, "Here."

"Thank you, honey." Buffy's tone was grateful in its sincerity.

Angel nodded. "So, Willow sweet-talked you into taking this job to...detective around for her?"

Angel is a man of few words, best described by some as being a bit broody. He is not a person noted for specializing in humor. Though, he does try on occasion to be zany. Unfortunately this is not one of those occasions. Still, Buffy loved him and accepted the entire Angel package, sans comedic talent. She glanced over at Angel taking note of his straight-faced expression, no doubt noticing her joviality.

"Funnyman doesn't really suit you Angel," she stated matter-of-factly. "And answering your question; Willow knew how much I wanted to get away from the Burger Palace, so when she heard that a position for a secretary was opening, she called me, and faster than you can say 'would you like fries with that' I was filling out an application. It wasn't until some time later that I had figured out that my best friend was enamored with my boss," she said popping the Tums in her mouth. "Yuck."

"I'm still not clear has to how you two found out about Tara." Angel again queried, taking another sip of his coffee.

Chewing on the chalky tablet and then swallowing, she replied, "Oh! By accident. Water, I need water." Reaching up for her glass of water, she took a big gulp. The medicine-y taste of the tablet now washed down, she continued," I had asked Willow why she hadn't taken Tara out on date yet, to which she replied that she didn't go around assuming that all women were gay. She said it was inappropriate of her to assume that Tara was, especially since they worked for the same company. I had never thought about that you know? How difficult it might be? So I asked her if there was any way of finding out without offending Tara. We never really figured it out. Eventually we just forgot about it...that is...until the roses showed up."

"The roses?"

"Oh, yes, the roses," Buffy nodded, laying emphasis on the later word. "See, one day, when I was coming back from lunch, there was a man standing by my desk holding a bouquet of roses in one hand and a clipboard in the other. I figured he was the delivery guy."

Angel's brows rose in amusement. "Good guess."

"Huh? Whatever. Anywho, he told me the roses were for Tara and since she was at her meeting, I signed for them. Angel, those were twelve long stemmed roses! Placed in the middle of the bouquet was a card that had a sorry looking heart drawn on it with Tara's name handwritten in the middle. That just screams 'baby I love you this much'!" she stated with excitement, her arms outstretched. "So, of course my curiosity got the better of me," she concluded.

"So you looked at the card?" he questioned, expressing disbelief.

"No, but I wanted to. Nope, I took the flowers and placed them on her desk. I figured I could find out from Tara herself by asking all the right questions without her knowing I was being stealthy."

Angel fixed her with a pointed look. "Your actions are not normal actions."

"Yes they are," she mumbled around her straw, taking another sip of water. "When Tara came out of her meeting, she went straight into her office. She came out a few minutes later, roses in hand. I was expecting to see her, I don't know, happy? Instead she asked me to take the roses to the receptionist desk."

"Why there?" he asked.

"She didn't want them, so instead of throwing them away, she figured that they would brighten up the reception area. When I took the flowers from her I made a comment about how some men think they can just fix everything with candy and roses. She smiled and said that it wasn't just men who behave that way. I guess she caught my fugly-dork expression because the next thing she told me was that the roses were from her ex - Lauren. Whatever happened must have been pretty serious because she asked me to screen all of her calls," added Buffy, slurping the last remnants of her water.

"She didn't want to hear for her?"

"Nope. As a matter of fact, this Lauren person did call that day, a total of five times. By the fifth call, Tara finally relented and agreed to speak with her. I'm guessing that Tara must have been pretty resolute with her because after that I didn't hear anymore about her." Buffy speculated.

"What about Willow?"

"I told her what happened later on that evening. A chorus of yes...yes...yes...rang throughout the apartment during her geek, 'glee club', moment. Although, at one point, I could have sworn that if Willow had found out who this Lauren was, she would have actually thought about flaying her."

Angel paused a moment, pondering on that last statement for a second before regarding Buffy with a hint of doubt. "That doesn't sound like Willow. She would never do anything like that." Angel signaled for the waitress. "Ready to go?"

"Yep. A good walk is what I need to digest my insatiability for all things food. Park?" she chirped, bouncing merrily off from the booth.

"Park it is..."

Willow...she looks so adorable wearing my light blue night shirt. Not a bad choice on my part considering I was apprehensive lending it to her to begin with...Winnie the Pooh?

She looks so sexy bending over the fridge, searching for the eggs. I noticed the swell of her hips through the thin cotton material, as the hem of the shirt rose up, exposing the backs of her pale-freckled thighs. My hand involuntarily reached out, wanting to touch her exposed flesh. But I didn't.

Can a flower grow without soil? Can an eagle soar without wings? Could I possibly live without her in my life? No. The vague realization of last night caused the small bronchial tubes in my lungs to constrict, preventing me from breathing for a second or two. Is it too soon to believe that I am now addicted to her sun and the light that radiates from her heart? I suppose anything is possible.

I ask myself to stop thinking like that, but I can't. It's like asking my heart to stop beating.

I made a promise to myself after my last failed attempt at love. Was it love? Once upon a time I believed it to be so, but now I'm not so sure. Lauren was the first girl who ever really noticed me. Not that there was much to notice. My brilliant plan of blending into society without anyone becoming aware of my existence, failed. The more I tried to go unnoticed, the more I was. Lauren talked to me, she laughed at my silly jokes; she asked me out. That was it. Most importantly she was there when my mother's health was slowly deteriorating. Three years of fighting cancer and my mother was steadily losing the battle.

As my relationship with Lauren progressed, I moved in with her. Then, things started to change. After the loss of my mother, Lauren became...needy and selfish. Everything was about her. When her parents found out that she was in a relationship with a woman, they freaked. Up until then, they were her source of financial means; monthly allowance, college. With a heavy course load, she was only able to work part-time, not enough to pay for her studies. So, I put my dreams on hold and began my tenure at the firm.

For two years I helped Lauren pay her way through school. All I wanted in return was a girlfriend who would come home in the evening and spend time with me, tell me she loved me like she used to. I hated eating dinner alone. It was always one excuse after another. I've got lab, I have study group or Mr. Palmer needs me to work late. Lies, all lies. The weekends were worse. Forget about making plans. Didn't I know she was tired and needed to rest? Yet her friends from her 'study group' would call, and little miss energizer bunny wasn't so tired after all.

Then came the day I decided to go home early. I was ill...very ill. Stepping into our apartment, I hadn't noticed the place was a complete mess. When I did, I felt like crying. It looked as if my cupboards and refrigerator had been vandalized by teenagers. The living room was littered with potato chip bags and beer cans. I don't drink beer, but I knew who did.

I was irate and sick. My head was pounding, my nose was runny, my body ached, and all I wanted to do was take a nice warm bath and sleep. I dragged my feet into our room set on giving Lauren a piece of my throbbing mind and that's when I saw it...her betrayal.

How could she? After everything I had done for her. My heart thudded painfully, this nightmare vivid as it replayed over and over in my mind. Lame explanations revealed her desperation. The other woman seemed shocked as well. Who is that Lauren? Is what I heard her yelling. The woman left quickly, hastily picking up her scattered clothes.

The emotion, the passion, and the intimacy she had once shown me, were quickly snatched away by this infidelity. She promised to always be there, and to love me no matter what. She moved on to another and everything we had was lost.

The time had come to think about me. For once in my life I was going to be selfish and do the things I had always wanted to do, including changing my career. Being an office manager wasn't bad. It paid well, but that's not where my heart was.

Painting and drawing; the freedom to express myself through pencil illustrations, colors, sketches and pictures I see in my mind was what I longed to do. The pay wouldn't be as great, but that didn't matter. I had a passion and I wanted to fulfill it.

It was around this time that Willow began working at the firm. I can remember how nervous she had been when Snyder had taken her around the office introducing her to the entire staff.

"Ooops," I heard Willow exclaim, pulling me back to the present. I half turned to look at her smiling sheepishly. "I almost dropped the eggs." With cat-like reflexes she just managed to secure the carton of eggs in her hands, while closing the refrigerator door with her foot. "Where should I put these Tara?"

"Here, let me clear some space." I moved to the center of the cook-top island and slid the cutting board closer to the edge. Willow placed the eggs on the counter and resumed slicing the fruit.

Walking back to the countertop, next to the stove, my memories picked up where I had left off. Absently stirring the batter, I remembered moving out of the apartment shortly after finding out about Lauren's infidelity.

It was a small place, but enough room for me. The rent was reasonable. It allowed me to save up enough money for a down payment on a home and to continue helping my father with his finances. He wasn't the same man after mom passed away. He was broken. Donny, my brother, left shortly after the funeral services. That didn't help either. My father grew dependent on having him around the farm, helping with the more strenuous labor. He was also an extra source of income. I wonder where he is?

It took almost a year of living thriftily, and going through escrow hell, for me to finally be able to call myself a homeowner. It felt wonderful.

I eventually forgave Lauren because I still wanted to be her friend. I knew I didn't want to go back to her. She tried; flowers, phone calls, showing up at my apartment, my home. Truth is, I was a bit relieved. It wasn't her unfaithfulness that had hurt the most. It was the violation of our friendship. Couldn't she have just told me that our relationship wasn't working out? Couldn't have I done the same thing?

Things have a funny way of working out. It wasn't long after I had moved into my new home that a friend of mine, Giles, contacted me about illustrating a children's book. An up and coming author, signed to his publishing company, had just finished her first book. We collaborated after work and during the weekends. It only took me several months to finish the drawings. Jenny Calender, the author, was elated with the outcome. When Giles saw the finished book, he offered me a position at his publishing house. My decision was instantaneous. I was overcome with humility and joy. I accepted his offer and took the position at Moppet Books Inc. My new job was in their art department, illustrating children books for various authors with a schedule flexible enough to allow me the free time I need to paint.

"Tara?" Willow's gentle voice brought me back from my musings.

I turned, my head following the sound of her voice. "Yes, Willow."

" okay? I called for you at least three times." She looked worried, standing there twiddling her fingers. She was concerned about me!

"I'm fine, just concentrating on this batter. I think it needs a little extra something. What is it that you wanted?" My eyes widened almost comically as they swept her petite figure.

"Where do you keep your bowls? I'm running out of cutting space," said Willow, reaching for the cutting board, overflowing with slices of bananas and strawberries. She held it up precariously with both hands.

"Willow, be careful," I stated in mock admonishment. "Let me get it for you." The bowls are stored in the bottom cupboards. I had to bend over to retrieve them. When I did, I heard a slight gasp. I smiled, knowing that I was clad only in my dark green button-up shirt with the first four buttons unfastened. I looked down and noticed that my ample...girls...were slightly exposed.

"OKAY," Willow somehow managed to reply. I could see her eyes speculating on whether or not I wore anything beneath the flimsy cotton.

"Here you go," I said casually. "Will this be big enough?"

"They sure are...I mean...yes its fine. Really fine. As a matter of fact it's finey, Mcfine, fine...with the fine-ness...please stop me when I do that." Her face was completely red, a stark contrast to her pale skin tone. She looked radiant, especially donning that pitiful pout.

"Not a chance, Rosenberg." I muttered moving back to my previous task.

So here I am, standing in front of my stove preparing breakfast for our first date. How easy would it be to tell her how I feel? How can I be sure that-that I won't make a fool out of myself, again? That after all this time, especially in the past two weeks, the word love had somehow managed to creep its way back into my vocabulary. Have I been looking for her all my life? Is she the one that's lived in my dreams for years? I love you...why am I unable and unwilling to commit to such a phrase? Because its way too soon.

My feelings for Lauren were never as strong as they are for Willow. I'll set the mood. There's nothing wrong with taking our time. I need to be sure.

Again, my thoughts were brought back to the present when I heard Willow swearing. "Shit. Well that one's going in the trash. Tara, I dropped a piece of fruity goodness. Sorry." If I didn't know any better, I would have sworn that Willow was reading my thoughts. Every time I start to feel insecure or I begin to doubt myself she's there, somehow managing to make me smile.

"That's okay, Willow." I said, glancing at her sideways watching her throw the offending piece of banana in the trash. I never really noticed how animated she is. At work we pretty much kept to ourselves, did our jobs. Being the computer whiz at the firm, she was hardly ever around enough for me to truly appreciate her bubbly personality.

The light, cool breeze of the morning air on my face was a blessing. I shivered slightly, as it tickled my goose bumped skin. I looked down at the mixture in the bowl. It needed something. Hmm? I need a little smidgen of vanilla, "Willow?"

She looked up from behind the counter smiling, bobbing from side to side, a jovial glint in her verdant eyes. "Yes, Tara."

"Could you be a sweetie and pass me that vanilla bean? The one right next to the carton of eggs."

"This one?" she asked, holding it up triumphantly, between her forefinger and thumb.

"That's the one. Thank you." I said when she walked over and handed me the thin pod.

Honestly, I've never seen anyone get so excited. Does she always wriggle like that? Gotta say though, I adore the way the tip of her tongue peeks out between her teeth. Too cute. If I'm not careful, I might just fall in love. Would that be such a bad thing?

Wonderful things are happening here. That worries me a little. I know it shouldn't but I can't help wondering if everything is happening too soon.

I have to stop doing this to myself. I will accept the fact that life can be good. I will be positive.

Last night we couldn't hide from each other. I looked into her eyes and I saw in them what I could not hide. There was something between us. It wasn't just lust or a physical need. The passionate look she gave me bore into my soul. Did she feel it too?

Yesterday I found the warmth that she gave me. My hands caressed her skin; so soft and velvety with the hint of sweat. I needed my lips, my mouth on her, probing gently on her sex. An image of that want, she offered me, sent a strong electrical current between my legs. The way her firm and reddened nubbin pulsed between my lips as I tenderly lavished it with kisses, made me stiffen with want. I left my signature there, next to her flower. What possessed me to do that, I don't know. But somehow, marking her made her mine.

The faint light of the moon cast a soft glow on our heated bodies. Her hips moved against my mouth, her hands quietly holding my head to her body, while I stimulated her swollen clit. My nails dug into her thighs, feeling her body writhe in pleasure, sending chills down my spine.

She was near. Her moans were becoming louder, chanting her desire.

My right hand moved to the apex of her thighs. Little by little I inserted two fingers into her dripping channel. I twisted and probed gently, until my knuckles touched her opening. Lovingly, I began thrusting my fingers, in and and out. I wrapped my lips around her clit, securing it tightly, relishing in her flavor. My tongue never ceased its caresses, as my fingers sped up. Soon I felt her muscles constrict around mine.

She buried my face deeper into her womanhood; I took a deep breath anticipating what was coming next. I quickly removed my fingers and my mouth from there previous positions. I had to do this quick, not one second could be lost.

Placing my hands underneath her knees, I spread her legs open wide. Opening my mouth as much as I could, I inserted my tongue into her. Willow's need was evident as it flowed down my chin. I quickened my pace and within seconds the change in her taste assaulted my senses.

I lost all my control...does she think any less off me? Oh, my god! I hope she doesn't. I hope she doesn't see me as some cheap slut-bomb that brings women to her home on a whim. She has to know I'm not like that. We'll talk and I'll let her know how much last night meant to me. After all, isn't that what she did? Her honesty surprised me. I was expecting to wake up empty and alone. Then, I felt her warmth as she burrowed deeper into my embrace. She likes to snuggle. When I felt her become rigid, I tightened my hold to reassure her that I was still right there. I figured that's what she needed.

Two years, two weeks and one Friday night was all it took for this to happen. Well, Willow showing up in my office moved things right along, faster than I had anticipated. Should I let her know that I was planning on asking her out that night?

"What's so funny?" Oops, she caught me. I busied myself slicing the vanilla bean down the middle, cutting it in half. I removed the small beans by scraping them off the inner lining of the pod with the edge of the paring knife and shook them into the mixing bowl with the pancake batter. I could feel her behind me. Such comfort. Could it always be this way? I felt her hot breath on the back of my ear as she snaked her hands and arms around my mid-section. A small kiss and a firm squeeze were all that my mind and body registered. Breakfast, must continue making breakfast. Need to eat.

What now? Here's the reality of my life I've come to detest; these careless whispers of insecurity and doubt in my head clouding my smile.

So here's what I'm going to do. I will continue stirring this batter until it's ready for the skillet. Willow will go on cutting the bananas and strawberries in perfect symmetrical shapes? Have I mentioned how adorable she is? And we will get through our first date with many more too come. Who says that along the way we can't have a little fun. Maybe a nice hot shower when we're done? Sounds heavenly to me.

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