They made their way to the car and Tara started in the direction of where she had picked Willow up. Willow gave her directions from the corner and Tara quickly realized where she had picked Willow up was no where near where her house was.
"Willow this is kind of far from where you told me to pick you up."
"I know. I just didn't want you to know exactly where I lived."
"Oh Willow, I don't care. Can't you see that, I like you for you not where you live."
"I think I know that. Oh take a right here." Willow directed.
They came onto a small road with a wrought iron fence along the right side.
"It's the next drive way." Tara didn't see a house or anything because of the fence and shrubs along the road. She slowed down a little to not miss the drive way.
"It's actually not for a while." Willow said and Tara sped up again. Tara really didn't see any houses mostly fences and trees on the other side of the street, she found the drive and pulled in to a huge black iron gate. Willow jumped out and hit something on the keypad and the gate opened. Willow got back in the car and said.
"Just follow the driveway up to the house." The drive was cobble stone and the landscape on the property was impeccable. Once she had turned a corner she could see the house and it was huge, to call it a house was not giving it credit, it was a mansion.
"You can pull up next to the silver car." Willow pointed out to the left of the house. Tara pulled up next to the Silver Mercedes SLK.
"Nice car, your parents?"
"No it's mine." Willow said looking down. "I'll explain inside." Willow quickly said and jumped out of the car. She grabbed Tara's hand and took her up the steps, only dropping her hand to unlock the huge stained glass door and turn off the alarm. Willow quickly ushered her inside. She took Tara quickly past the marble statue in the foyer, up the right side of a double staircase, down a hall with huge windows which looked out onto the back yard, where Tara noticed a fountain, and finally through a door which she assumed to be Willow's room.
Willow plopped down on the bed and watched Tara. Tara looked around the room. It was adorned with typical teenager things, but the room was huge, about the size of her own living room. The room held very little, a corner with a desk and tons of computer equipment, a large king size bed in another corner. A walk in closet and bathroom were held on the other side. Tara looked back at Willow who was sitting on the bed wringing her hands together. Tara wasn't sure why Willow would want to keep something like this a secret. There were so many questions running around Tara's head and she started to get a little angry that Willow never told her.
"So explain." Tara said in her annoyed voice.
Willow took a visible gulp. "Ok, well um my dad is Ira Rosenberg and..." She was cut off by Tara.
"Wait, THE Ira Rosenberg?" Tara didn't know why she hadn't put it together. It was all over the paper Ira had moved his family to their town, then Willow showing up with the same last name, how stupid could she have been not to have put the pieces together.
"So you've heard of him?" Willow said sarcastically. Ira started one of the leading software tech companies in the world. He was named one of the richest people in America 10 years running. Tara could tell her actions were hurting Willow. She wasn't sure why, but Willow's posture was that of a scared dog and Tara knew she didn't like that. Tara walked toward Willow and knelt down and took her hands in her own. She gently lifted Willow's face and saw tears forming in the redhead's eyes.
"Oh Willow, I don't understand." She said softly her anger and annoyance dissipating at the sight of the hurt redhead.
"I just." She paused to reel in her emotions. "I really like you Tara, and I didn't want you to just like me because of my dad. That's how my whole life has been, people just wanting to be my friend because my dad is rich, but it's not real. I thought now I could start fresh and no one would know. People would be my friend because I'm nice and I just wanted that with you so bad. I'm sorry I didn't tell you, I just wanted to have a few weeks where things were normal, be a normal teenager and have a normal relationship. I'm just, I'm sorry."
Tara wrapped Willow in a huge hug. "Oh Willow." She sighed, finally everything made sense, everything fell into place and thinking back on it, Tara would realize this was the exact moment she fell in love with Willow. "I told you, I wouldn't think anything different because of where you live, and I don't. You are still the Willow I met a few weeks ago. You're still the Willow that drives the old Volvo. You're still the Willow I want as my girlfriend."
Willow looked at Tara and truly believed Tara liked her for her. Willow smiled and squeezed Tara's hands in her own. She took a deep breath trying to calm herself down.
"Thanks for understanding."
"So you want to explain why a new Mercedes is sitting out front and you are still driving that old Volvo?"
Willow sighed. "Sophomore year of High School the band made it to state. It was a huge deal, the school had never even come close to qualifying in previous years. That year state was on my birthday November 25th. I was turning 16, we were going to state so it was an exciting time. We were trying to get as many people to come as possible, everyone had all their family there. People were even bringing cousins and step-families to cheer us on. My parents promised they would be there. I was really excited, they had never attended a performance before, and it was the first time I was playing snare. We get out onto the field, it was awesome, we were at this huge stadium where they play football and it was packed. I marched so hard and I really did a good job. The thought of my parents sitting somewhere in the stands made me proud and made me push it that much harder. We placed second in the whole state, so we got to do the closing ceremony with the first and third place bands. It was one of the greatest times of my life. A friend gave me a ride home afterward and I walk up to the house and see the Mercedes sitting in the driveway with a ribbon on it. I was so excited, not only did we place in state, but I get a car on my 16th birthday. I was so excited I ran in the house to thank my parents only to find all the lights off and an empty house. Figuring they just went out after our performance I went into the kitchen and found a note. It said Sorry we couldn't be there for you today, called off on business. Hope you like your gift. Mom and Dad."
Tara watched as emotions played across Willows face. She felt for the young girl. She imagined what it would be like if her parents had missed something so important to her. She couldn't imagine they never had. They were so supportive and were always there for her.
Willow hollowly laughed. "Ever since then, that car reminds me about how much my parents don't care about me."
"Willow, don't say that. I'm sure they do, they probably just don't know how to express it. I can't imagine anyone could not care about you." Tara said trying to make the hurt go away.
"Thanks Tara, but I don't know. They seem to think they can just throw a car under my nose and it will all be water under the bridge, but I'm just not like that. That's when I started refusing my parents money. I went out got a job and a few months later could afford to buy Valerie."
"Yeah that's my car's name. Val the Volvo."
"That's cute." Tara said moving to sit next to Willow on the bed. Willow grabbed her hand and started playing with her fingers while she talked.
"My parents don't get it. They transfer money every month into my account, why they don't realize I don't use that account is beyond me. Actually I doubt it if they are even the ones transferring the money. I have a separate account where my checks go in and I use that money, not their love money."
"Well surely they realize you aren't driving the Mercedes right?"
"Yeah dad just says I have a sweet spot for the classics. They don't get it. They don't ask, they just tell and assume. Not that we talk much anyway."
Tara felt for the redhead, but she wasn't sure what she could do. "So you have this whole place to yourself then?" Tara asked waggling her brows in what she hoped looked like a leer.
"Tara Maclay are you coming on to me?" Willow asked in mock outrage, glad they had moved to a lighter topic.
"Maybe a little." Tara said laughing.
"Would you like a tour?" Willow said standing and offering her hand to Tara.
"Sure." Tara said slipping her hand into Willow's.
Willow took them out into the hall and walked until they could see out the floor to ceiling windows that graced the upstairs hallway.
"Well that's the backyard." Willow said a little lamely. Tara turned and faced the window. It was a spectacular view of the mountains, the sun just starting to set. Willow walked up behind Tara and wrapped her arms around the blond and placed her head on Tara's shoulder. "Do you want to watch the sunset?"
Tara nodded not wanting to break the moment. They watched as the sun slowly set against the high peaks of the mountains. The sky turned from blue to pink to orange in a matter of minutes, before turning completely purple as the sun finally completed it's journey behind the hills.
"That was beautiful." Tara finally said breaking the silence. She turned to Willow and was caught up in dark green eyes. Willow leaned forward and crushed her mouth to Tara's. Willow pulled on the blonds torso so they were smashed together as she brought her tongue into Tara's mouth savoring every bit of the blond. Finally Willow pulled back leaving Tara breathless. "Wow what was that for?"
"Just for being you. Do you have any idea how wonderful you are?" Willow questioned.
Tara blushed and tried to change the subject. "How about that tour now?"
Willow smiled and led the blond down the rest of the hall. Tara got to see everything, the pool, the game room, the library, the den, the sitting room, the reading room, the dining room, the kitchen, her dad's office, her mom's office, the work out room and several guest rooms and bedrooms. They wound up back in the kitchen where Willow was rummaging through the refrigerator for something to eat.
"Luckily mom and dad were just here so the chef stocked up on food." Willow was saying while she pulled various items from the refrigerator. "I told the chef he didn't have to make me food when they weren't here, plus half the time I'm at work anyway so it seemed like a waste to have him come here every night. I can cook myself, albeit badly, thank you very much."
Tara sat at the island and watched Willow work.
"What do your parents do?" Willow asked turning on a burner for the pasta.
"Dad works for Viral Systems, they make..."
"No way Viral Systems, that's awesome."
"So you've heard of them?"
"Totally, they only made my favorite video game of all times DKS2 DKC" Willow enthusiastically said.
"Yeah dad always said that was their best work. I think it helps he's really just a big kid. That's what mom says anyway."
"What does she do?"
"She's a writer. She is working on a novel right now, she also does some journalism when she has writers block or just needs a change of scenery."
"Does she have anything published, what genre does she write. Willow bombarded the blond with questions.
"She has a few books published, mostly horror. Some freaky sci-fi stuff. She's kind of odd."
"Wow your parents sound really cool." Willow said mixing sauce in a bowl.
"They really are, and super supportive of everything. They want to meet you sometime too." Tara threw out.
"Meet me? You told them about us?" Willow asked a little frightened.
"Yeah, is that ok?"
"So they are cool with it?"
"Yeah, they saw you play at the game and mom said you were really talented. I know they will like you."
"Ok, well I do want to meet them, as long as they are cool with me and you dating."
"It'll be fine."
"Ok maybe sometime next week I can stop by after practice." Willow paused before continuing. "That's really cool your parents are cool with you being gay."
"Well I'm not sure. I told them, actually around the same time of the birthday car incident. Mom refused to believe it, she said it was a stage and started to psychoanalyze me, dad didn't say anything. So they know, but I don't know if they approve or still think it's a phase or what. I've never brought a girl home before."
"Really? So I'm the first?" Tara questioned, her heart speeding up at being the only girl Willow could trust to bring home.
"Yep, my first. Girl bringing home that is, not first girl...you know."
"So have you had a lot of girlfriends then?" Tara asked wanting to know about Willow's past relationships.
"Define a lot." Willow said starting to plate up their dinner.
"Well I've only had 3 so anything over that would be a lot."
"What are we counting here? I mean if you count kisses, then I guess a lot, but serious relationships not so much."
"Hum.." Tara contemplated exactly what she wanted to know about Willow. "I guess serious relationships."
"Ok then 3 too."
"Three since Freshman year?"
"Actually three since Sophomore year. This one counts as 4." Willow smiled and Tara did too. "Everyone at my old school knew about my dad, so chicks wanted to date me. I don't mean to sound all conceited, but they were interested in the money part not really the me part." Willow sat the plate of chicken pasta down in front of Tara. Both girls dove in to dinner and had a few bites before Willow continued. "I don't know if I would really call them serious, I mean they went on for a long time, but I think I knew they weren't the real thing. I liked to pretend they would like me if my dad lost all his money, but really I knew they wouldn't."
"So nothing too serious then?"
"Well there was this one girl Sarah. I thought I was in love with her. I met her summer between Junior and Sophomore year, she worked as a life guard at the pool, I worked the front desk of the rec center. She was so nice and sweet, I started hanging around the pool more and more, and we got to talking and eventually started hanging out. She was older than me and out of school, so when school started I would go to her apartment after work or practice and hang out. I spent very little time at home during that period."
"What happened?" Tara could tell this wouldn't end well by the way Willow's face would contort like she was remembering a particularly gruesome movie.
"She wanted to have sex and I wasn't sure I was ready, but I ended up going to her apartment one day after school and we did. I always had these expectations for sex, and I guess it was nice being with her, but I don't know, it just wasn't all that great. I thought that was all there was too it, I mean she was my first so how would I know how good it was supposed to be." Willow paused to take another bite of her pasta. "The next day I was at school and I just really needed to see her, so I ditched class and went to her apartment only to find her in bed with my best friend. My guy best friend."
"Oh Willow that's awful." Tara said setting her fork down in her now empty plate. She brought her hand up to rub Willow's arm. The fact that anyone could cheat on Willow amazed Tara.
"I know, and for some reason it was 10 times worse that she cheated on me with a guy. I don't know why, but it really hurt. I thought she really liked me for me you know, but now that I think about it she just liked sex, no matter who it was with. That was only a year ago, but it seems so long."
"I want you to know, I would never do that to you, or anyone I was with. I think that is just the worst thing in the world." Tara said.
"I know. You want to know something?"
"It's already different with you."
"How do you mean?"
"I mean when I met Sarah I thought I was completely in love with her, but just meeting you has blown that right out of the water. I like you a hundred times more than I ever liked Sarah. And when you kiss me, it's like a million fireworks go off behind my eyes and my blood starts to boil and I feel weak and strong all at the same time. I just never knew it could be that great, just a kiss. It's just different for us." Willow said turning on her stool to face Tara and grab her hands.
"I know. I feel it too Willow. When I get to kiss you, it's like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one, and I get the best present of all, to kiss the most beautiful woman I have ever met."
Willow was finished talking about kissing and leaned in to do the actual thing. She brought her lips to Tara's and it was amazing as always. They sat in the darkening kitchen kissing for an endless amount of time. It was only when Willow realized that it was almost completely dark outside they stopped.
"Do you have to be home soon?"
Tara glanced at the kitchen clock it read 9:14. She turned back to Willow, the girl looked amazing. Her eyes a darker shade of green, her lips swollen from their kissage, the span of freckles that seemed to grace her nose all came together to form the perfect package. Tara couldn't hold back any longer and brought her hand up to cup Willow's cheek as she rubbed her thumb along Willow's face and took in every feature.
"I have until midnight."
Willow's face lit up at the thought of a few more hours with Tara. "Do you want to watch a movie?"
"Sure." Tara said and helped Willow clean up the dishes before they headed to the basement.