Tara's smile enveloped her face as her mother ran into her open arms before her brother barely managed to stop the car.
"I'm so glad you're here finally, thanksgiving would be poop without you." The blonde squeezed her mother's smaller frame and winked at her older brother who had exited the vehicle and was standing proudly besides his two favourite women.
"Sis." He nodded in greeting only to be pulled into a bear hug.
"What in the English language is poop supposed to mean? This from a writer sweetheart I think your linguistic skills leave something to be desired." The older woman playfully chastised.
"C'mon it's freezing out here lets get out of this cold." Tara urged whilst dragging an over stuffed suitcase from the back seat of the car knowing full well that it was because of Willow that the word 'poop' had even managed to make it past her lips as the redhead said the word right before a pout blossomed on her face.
The apartment was warm because Tara had left the heating on for a while before going to meet her mother outside the building, plonking the suitcase down at the first available opportunity she rubbed her aching fingers and immediately made her way to the kitchen where the coffee machine offered much needed caffeine.
Mrs Maclay observed her surroundings purposefully going into 'mother mode' and inspecting her only daughters living conditions. Satisfied that Tara had probably been up half the night pending her mom's inspection to clean right through her home, the older woman removed her coat and hung it on a peg beside the door.
"Yes please." Mrs Maclay answered when her daughter held up a coffee cup and raised her eyebrow in silent question. "Tell me what you've been up to Tara, I haven't had suitable update on what's been happening. I feel it is my parental right to snoop."
"Mother!" Tara laughed in surprise, she knew that the older woman was silently asking if she was dating anyone because their phone conversations had been cut short by the blonde's apparent busyness.
"Nothing interesting is happening, I've just been writing and visiting Willow"
Mrs Maclay mirrored her daughter's famous facial expression by raising her eyebrow telling Tara to elaborate.
"My friend who was in a car accident a few weeks ago and I'm just keeping her company through her recovery, remember I told you on the phone?"
"What are you a saint? There must be a motive." Her brother chipped in from the couch, which would be his bed for the holidays. Missy had made herself comfortable on his lap whilst he flicked through the channels on the TV.
"Oh c'mon guys what is this the American inquisition? She's just a friend who was in a terrible accident, which I happened to witness, and did I mention she's straight?" 'Much to my disappointment' The blonde said silently really REALLY wishing Willow was gay.
Mrs Maclay sensed her daughter's irritation and decided to leave it at that. For now at least.
"So how is your writing going? Is the second book coming along?"
"Yeah actually it is, I've been writing non stop for a while now, it feels really good, the book should be finished sometime after Christmas and hopefully published by the summer I talked to my publisher about it over the phone she was pretty positive that my second novel would do a lot better." The blonde handed her mother a steaming cup of coffee and placed her own on the kitchen table before taking a seat and both mother, daughter and occasionally son filled each other in on updates of their lives.
Tara lay with Willow's head resting on her chest having been practically ordered to be a human pillow for the redhead as soon as she walked into the room, both woman lay comfortably on the bed as Tara read aloud from a magazine that Willow hadn't yet managed to read which Tara bought for her when she was in hospital and having been too busy at home secretly reading Tara's book the redhead hadn't found the time.
"You know Jennifer Lopez has had more husbands than I have hot dinners." Willow exclaimed with a frown as a particular article on the Latino actress/singer announced her current partner.
"Considering how thin you are I can believe that." The blonde gently poked her friend in the rib to strengthen her point.
"Oh so that's why you keep bringing me those muffins?" She eyed Tara suspiciously not liking the reason behind the treat.
"Are you complaining? Because I'm sure the muffin fairy can give them to some other injured redhead." Tara raised her trademark eyebrow then did a half grin that made Willow's mouth open and shut with no sound.
Suddenly aware that she was staring the redhead looked away self consciously, confused by her reaction to the smile, the quickening of her pulse made her breathing increase to keep with the pace and her cheeks began to burn.
Tara hooked her finger under Willow's chin noticing the obvious discomfort that had suddenly taken over the redhead. Blue orbs gently searching green brought a silence that fell over them, no other noise except one another's breathing could be heard and Tara was sure she could see a touch of confusion in Willow's expressive eyes.
At that moment Mrs Rosenberg quietly knocked on the door and both woman quickly turned away from the intense gaze as the older woman peered her head into the room.
"Tara, I believe this phone call is for you." Mrs Rosenberg seemed oblivious to the uncomfortable atmosphere that permitted the air.
"F-for me?" The blonde asked clearly confused having not heard the phone ring; she extricated herself from underneath Willow as gently as possibly and reached for the receiver beside the bed.
"Hello?" She answered warily not quite sure who would be on the other end.
"Hi sweetie, it's me I was just calling to let you know I was meeting up with Glenda for a late lunch to catch up and Donny's going out with some old friends. We won't be home till late."
"W-What? How did- how did you get this number?" Tara half whispered half shouted at her mother knowing she would have had to go through her phonebook. "Mom you worried me I thought something was wrong!"
"No sweetie nothing's wrong I'm just calling to let you know. How is your friend? Tell her I said hi and to get well soon."
Turning to the redhead Tara repeated her mother's words and smiled at her friend before addressing her mother again.
"She said 'hi' back. I'm going now mom I'll talk to you later, love you, bye." With that the blonde hung up knowing full well her mothers policy with her children was 'you don't tell- I won't ask, but I'll find out anyway' and her soul purpose of calling the Rosenberg's home was to gain a little information.
Tara turned to face questioning eyes that had changed from being confused before the phone call to playfully inquisitive. The blonde raised one eyebrow deciding that if she was going to explain that conversation she was going to have to be given a little incentive, the earlier uncomfortable atmosphere was broken and both women relaxed a little.
"Your mom's in town? I thought she lived out in the sticks? What did she call for? How did she get this number? What are you smiling at?"
"You babble do you know that, Wil?"
"You never seem to say my name properly you know that, Tara?"
"Does that bother you?"
"No I actually quite like it." Willow answered realising for the first time that she genuinely did like the name only the blonde called her.
"So the name Wil will do then will it Wil?"
Both women laughed at Tara's silliness and settled back into a comfortable embrace. Picking up the magazine the blonde began to read aloud as Willow intently listened to the voice that sounded like music to her ears.
Tara walked home not at all paying attention to the concrete beneath her feet, her mind was to busy trying to analyse what had happened to make Willow suddenly change before they were interrupted by Mrs Rosenberg. Something had obviously made the redhead uncomfortable, but Tara couldn't figure out what it was. The confusion in Willow's eyes just made the situation more difficult to understand as her mind tried to come up with an answer that made sense.
Stopping dead in the middle of the sidewalk the blonde shook her head at herself as she had just walked straight past her apartment building. Backtracking she walked through the door and up the stairs where Mrs Brown was busily watering some plants in the hall, nodding her greeting with a warm smile Tara then unlocked her apartment door and walked in.
Tara's mom evaluated her daughters mood when the young woman sauntered in to the room hanging her large coat on a peg besides the door, the blonde then walked to the refrigerator and pulled out a bottle of water, avoiding eye contact with her mother.
"Glenda cancelled, she had to look after her granddaughter." Mrs Maclay explained giving her daughter a playful smile. The real reason she had called the Rosenberg home was to perhaps make acquaintance with Tara's new friend. It was clear this Willow girl had some sort of magnetism that the blonde couldn't quite resist, she wasn't even sure if Tara would resist even if she could.
"Remember the time you called Faith's home in high school that was entirely innocent too wasn't it?" Tara raised her eyebrow knowing that the older woman couldn't explain her way out of that one. Faith had been Tara's high school sweetheart and she remembered her mother persistently hinting for information until she cracked and admitted that yes, they were dating. That was when Mrs Maclay learned of her daughters sexuality and the older woman just smiled and said simply 'that's all I wanted to know.'
"...and what about the time you called Cordelia's when Donny was dating her in 11th grade? I'm 25 mom in 9 years you haven't managed to come up with a better technique?"
"I like consistency and besides at least you and Donny know I'm interested in your lives."
"Well there are other ways to be consistent you know, you could just ask."
"But sweetie, that takes all the fun out of it." The older woman laughed at her daughter's frown. "Besides if I just asked, you and your brother would give me the same avoidance answers, which wouldn't tell me anything. How about we go shopping tomorrow? We need some stuff for thanksgiving." Mrs Maclay said, changing the subject she knew she was going to get any answers out of her daughter just yet and she supposed a 25 year old woman should be allowed to keep her feelings to herself if she wished that to be so, for a short time anyway.