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Unions In The Night by Wolfsword
"I'm fine... really," said Tara, unconvincingly, flopping down into a chair in the kitchen.
Her three friends looked at one another. "Look, we've been through the last three years of hell together. We can read you like a book, now. So share," ordered Kyle gently.
Tara looked up at the wavy, brown haired young man. "I think I failed."
"What? But I saw you writing for most of the test. I'm sure you didn't."
"Yeah, but I was writing a load of rubbish." The truth was, her mind wasn't on anything to do with the mind. It was on a certain, tall, dark, blue-eyed woman who had suddenly re-appeared in her life. She could think of nothing else lately and Jordan was even invading her dreams.
"You studied hard last night, right?" asked Jake.
"Sort of," said Tara quietly, biting her lip.
"Sort of?" Jake looked at Kyle. "I told you we should have kept an eye on her." He turned back to the small blonde. "So what did you do?"
Tara gave them all a sheepish look. "Thought about Jordan?" The others groaned. "What? I couldn't help it, okay. I can't do anything without it reminding me of her," she admitted.
"Sheesh, one day without her, and you get withdrawal symptoms!" said Jake, slightly exasperated.
"Sorry," said Tara, looking down. "I don't know what's wrong with me."
"I do." The boys stared at Kerri. "Oh, come on, guys. It's not that difficult to work out." She was rewarded with blank looks. "Ugh, she's fallen in love with her, you idiots," she said finally.
"Really?!" Jake looked genuinely shocked. "I mean... I knew she liked her, but.. love?"
"Hey, she is here, you know," said Tara softly.
"Sorry. So, are you?" asked Jake for confirmation.
Tara glanced up to their expectant faces and sighed. "Yeah, I think so."
"Wow," said Kyle. "I didn't think you'd fall this quickly. When did you realise this?"
"I guess I've known it since I saw her in the pub. But it hit home last night." Tara blushed. "I couldn't do anything until I had called her at half-twelve to hear her voice and even then, I wasn't really concentrating on studying."
"You called her at twelve-thirty!?" asked Jake. "Just to hear her voice? Man, this is serious."
"That's half the problem. I don't know whether she is serious. She's so difficult to read, I don't know what she's thinking." Tara sighed. "Last night, I swear I heard another woman's voice with her."
Kerri looked at her friends in worry. "Maybe she was entertaining guests. You don't have to read too much into it."
"Yeah, I wouldn't, but it was what the woman said, that's got me in a state. She said 'Come back to bed, sweetie'. Now how am I supposed to read that?"
"That bitch!" started Kyle. "I said that if she did anything to hurt Tara I'd kill her!"
"Huh?" began Tara, but Kerri spoke.
"Kyle, calm down. We don't know what exactly happened okay. Maybe we've got it mixed up." She looked at Tara. "Why don't you ask her straight out about it?"
"I can't! I mean, it's not like I'm going out with her or anything. What claim do I have, to know who she was with last night?" Tara was close to tears, as the possibility that Jordan loved another, struck her in her heart.
"It's okay, honey." Kerri gathered her friend into a comforting hug. "Alright, how about you ask her over for dinner tonight? That way, you've got us to back you up and we'll get it out of her. We can go out for Chinese or something, hm? And we'll clear everything up." Kerri looked into Tara's sad green eyes.
"Okay, she did ask me to ring her after the exam to meet up."
"Good. Go on then," encouraged Kerri, pointing at the mobile sitting on the table.
Tara bit her lip and took a deep breath, as she picked up the phone. She dialled the number quickly and waited. Jordan picked up after the first ring.
"Yeah?" she said harshly. It sounded like Jordan was walking.
"Er.. Hey Jordan, it's me."
"Oh, Hi Tara." Jordan's voice changed instantly. "Sorry, I'm expecting a call from someone else. I'm on my hands free, couldn't see who was calling," she explained quickly.
"Oh right, do you want me to call back later?"
"No no, it's fine. It's good to hear from you."
"Well, I just wanted to ask if you were free tonight to go out with me and my friends for dinner."
Jordan was quiet as she walked. "Um, that might not be so good."
"Oh." Tara couldn't hide the hurt in her voice.
"But... well, what time were you thinking? You see, I'll only be free after say.. eleven. Is that too late?"
Tara glanced at Kerri, who was listening in on the conversation. The curly-blonde stuck her thumb up in approval. "No, that's fine."
Tara heard a man shouting in the background. "J, let's move it! Stop chatting to your girlfriend! We need to pick up..." The voice was suddenly muffled as it sounded like Jordan covered the mouthpiece.
"Jordan?" said Tara, uncertain of whether Jordan had hung up on her.
"Yeah, I'm still here," said Jordan, breathlessly. She seemed to have started running. "I'll ring you when I'm done, okay? I'm sorry about this, but I have to go."
"I understand. Bye."
Jordan hung up abruptly and Tara put the mobile down on to the table. She glanced at the clock, seeing that it was only quarter past seven. It was going to be a long four hours to wait.
It was eleven-thirty when Jordan finally rang back. As soon as Tara's phone rang, all three friends assembled in the room, waiting to hear Jordan's explanation.
"Hi, Tara. I'm so sorry I'm ringing so late."
"It's okay," Tara lied. In truth, she felt like slapping the woman for putting her in such a state of worry.
"Um... Do you still want me to come over?" Tara heard the hesitancy in her voice.
"If you want to. I'm not forcing you to." She let her frustration show, knowing Jordan would probably not come.
"I do want to," said Jordan quickly. Then she paused, as if she was about to say something else, then changed her mind. "I'm coming over now, okay? I know a Chinese place that opens until late."
Tara heard the phone click as Jordan hung up. She looked up at her audience. "She's coming now."
Her friends nodded. They had all gotten dressed hours ago, as they waited for Jordan and they were all starving. It was one of the reasons why they were quite angry with Jordan. They all sat on the bed to wait for her call that she was downstairs.
The clock beeped midnight as the phone rang. Kerri sat back in Kyle's arms, a very disgusted look on her face. "I'm gonna kill her," she mumbled.
"No you're not. I am," said Jake from the door, his arms folded across his chest.
"Neither of you are going to, she's mine," growled Kyle as his stomach replied him.
"Please don't do anything, guys," pleaded Tara as she picked up the phone. "Hello?"
"Hey, we'll come down to meet you."
"Okay," agreed Jordan.
All of them grabbed their coats and headed downstairs to meet the woman. They walked out of the glass doors and looked around for Jordan. A low voice from the shadows of the wall startled Tara.
"I'm sorry I'm late." They turned to see Jordan emerging from the darkness, half her face in shadow. She blended into it perfectly, since she was dressed all in black, with only the buckle of her belt showing and even that had been dulled so it didn't shine.
"What were you doing?" snapped Kerri, her irritation apparent.
Jordan flicked her eyes to the woman, a hint of danger glinting in her icy eyes. "Business."
Kerri looked at the tall woman's attire. She had on a pair of ripped jeans, and her leather jacket over a simple t-shirt. "Business? Right. It's always 'business' with you." Kerri stared at Jordan, disbelievingly.
"You wanted to eat Chinese?" Jordan turned away from the group and started down the road.
Tara looked appealingly at her friends for mercy. Kerri rolled her eyes in defeat, as Tara turned and ran after the dark woman. The others followed at a slower pace.
"Jordan, slow down." Tara put a hand on her forearm to slow her down a little.
She was shocked when Jordan jerked her arm away as soon as she touched it. "Don't!" she hissed, then continued in a quieter voice. "Don't touch me." Jordan avoided her confused gaze and carried on walking.
"Jordan? What's wrong?" Tara couldn't help but wonder.
"Nothing," snapped the woman.
"Don't give me that," shot back Tara. She knew she was treading a fine line with the dangerous woman, but she wasn't going to let this go.
Jordan turned to look at Tara to make a reply, just as a car drove past. It's headlights lit up Jordan's face and Tara gasped as she saw the state of her face. Jordan quickly looked away, as her face fell into shadow again, shaking her head. "Don't ask, okay?" Tara heard the plea in the voice.
"It's better if you don't know anything." Jordan looked sideways at the smaller woman. "You're safer that way."
Tara sighed. "Stop trying to keep me safe! Everyone does that and it's driving me crazy."
Jordan was silent as they turned a corner on to another main road. "Maybe it's because we care," she said finally.
"Yeah well at least care enough to let me make my own decisions." She regretted the words as soon as they left her mouth.
"This isn't your decision to make," Jordan said softly.
"You're hurt, and you won't tell me why," said Tara, exasperated.
"I'm alive, that's all that matters," replied Jordan. "Look, there's the place." She pointed at one of a string of restaurants along the road.
"You're changing the subject."
"I know," chuckled Jordan quietly as she held the door open for Tara to walk through.
She waited as the other three followed her in, before walking in herself. A young girl, dressed in a typical Chinese dress came towards the group standing in the doorway. She froze as she looked up at Jordan, noticing the red 'W' on her sleeve. Her gaze travelled up to the bruised face and she swallowed hard.
"Table for five. At the back, please." She held the girl's frightened gaze and she nodded dumbly, before making a swift departure. Within one minute, the girl returned and escorted them to a table at the back of the restaurant. The round table was situated in the corner, away from the other guests so they had relative privacy. Tara looked around at the decoration, noting the patterns swirling on the walls. Running the whole way across the middle of the walls, was a mirror and Tara took a moment to check how she looked.
An oriental man came up behind the girl, excusing her from duty. As the four friends took their seats, the man extended a hand to Jordan, who was still standing. "Ms Woods. I hadn't expected you tonight. I do hope you find the place satisfactory." A light sheen of sweat could be seen on his balding head.
Jordan took the offered hand after a short pause and smiled thinly. "Don't worry, Mr. Han. This is strictly for pleasure."
"Oh, I see." He glanced at the four people sitting at the table. "Well, I'll leave you to your guests, Ms. Woods. A waitress will be round shortly to take your orders. Have a good meal, Ma'am."
"Oh, we better," Jordan drawled. He departed as quickly as the girl had, and the others were left wondering why the people in the restaurant were so scared of Jordan.
"Do you have to be so intimidating?" questioned Tara, but Jordan just gave her a look, as she sat down beside her.
Kyle studied Jordan as she picked up a menu.. "What happened to your face?"
"Walked into a door," replied Jordan smoothly, eyeing Kyle opposite her. "What would you guys like to drink? How about some Chinese tea? Or would you prefer some alcohol?"
Everyone agreed that tea was fine and when everyone had chosen their dish, Jordan beckoned the serving girl that had been standing a few metres away, forward. To everyone's amazement, Jordan began talking to the oriental girl in fluent Mandarin swiftly ordering their food, as the girl scribbled furiously on the yellow pad she was writing on. The girl moved away as Jordan turned away from her and faced her guests.
"Where'd you learn to speak Chinese?" asked Jake, sitting to Jordan's right.
"Chinese isn't a language. There's different dialects but the main two are Mandarin and Cantonese," explained Jordan. "Guess you could say it comes with the job application." Jake frowned, but Jordan carried on before he could respond. "So how are you guys. How did your exams go today?"
"Alright I guess," answered Kyle, his eyes flicking briefly to Tara. Jordan saw the look, but didn't say anything.
"I'm sure you'll all do fine." Jordan sat back as a girl brought two pots of tea and poured it into their cups, then set them on the table. She nodded her thanks to the serving girl, who blushed at the dark woman.
"What about you?"
"What about me?" countered Jordan, looking at Kerri sitting in between Kyle and Tara. The small blonde could sense that Jordan was not in the best of moods.
"How was your day?"
Kerri knew that she had to sort the situation out now, or the tension between the group would only increase. "Look, I'm sorry for snapping at you just now. It's just that we've been waiting a long time for you to free yourself."
Jordan sighed. "I know. And I said I was sorry but it couldn't be helped. I don't know what else I can do."
"Okay, let's just forget the whole thing ever happened then."
"Fine with me," replied Jordan, pulling out a packet of Marlboro Lights.
Kyle glanced to his left and saw a bright red sign for no smoking on the wall. "Er, I don't think you can smoke in here," he said, indicating the wall.
"I think I can," replied Jordan, lighting up. "You want one?" The man hesitated for a second before taking one out of the offered packet. Jake and Tara followed suit.
"Those things'll kill you," commented Kerri, waving her hand about to clear the air of smoke.
Kyle chuckled and blew a breath of smoke into his girlfriend's face. Kerri just scowled at him and they all laughed.
"Have you heard Jake's new week resolution?" Kyle asked the girls, who shook their heads. Jordan looked at Jake, who was smiling behind a hand, shaking his head at his friend. "He's promised that he's gonna get laid by seven different men next week."
"Or?" asked Jordan, raising a dark eyebrow.
"Or, he'll take Tara to bed."
Jordan lost her smile and narrowed her eyes. "Now, how would that work?" she drawled. "He'd have a bit of a problem getting it up, wouldn't he? I mean, him being gay and all." Everyone laughed apart from Jake. "Unless of course, Kyle were in the room." The sandy haired man stopped laughing abruptly, as the joke turned on him. "But then, I suppose Kerri would have to be there as well." Jordan was having a hard time keeping a straight face, as Kerri stopped laughing, her face showing a worried expression. Only Tara was left to mock her friends' predicament.
"So where does that leave Tara?" queried Jake, wanting to get his own back.
The question hung in the air, as Jordan pretended to think, rubbing her chin with her hand. "I guess she's got these," she finished, waggling her fingers around. Everyone couldn't help but laugh as Tara turned bright red.
Tara swatted Jordan on her forearm, causing Jordan to grimace painfully. Immediately, Tara was sorry. "Did I hurt you? I didn't think I hit you that hard." She remembered that it was the same arm that she had grabbed on the street when she had tried to slow the woman down.
"No, it wasn't you. I'm alright." Jordan's forced a smile as she took her left arm off the table and out of the way.
"Hm, serves you right for taking the piss out of all of us," said Jake, smiling.
"So what's the likelihood of that situation ever occurring?" asked Jordan, as she leaned back to let the girl serve the dishes.
"Which situation? The one where Jake can't get it up? Or the one where Tara's masturbating?" laughed Kyle.
The girl serving the dishes almost dropped the plate when she heard his words. She said something in Mandarin to Jordan and she replied, laughing. Tara watched the creases around Jordan's eyes as she laughed, listening to the rich sound that warmed her heart. Then the oriental girl said something else, causing Jordan to raise her eyebrows in surprise, then she laughed, shaking her head and replying. The other's looked on bewildered as the girl spoke again, glancing up at Tara. It sounded like a question. Jordan replied, her answer only one word. The girl nodded but winked at the dark woman, trailing a hand over Jordan's strong shoulders as she left. Tara couldn't hide the jealousy in her eyes as she stared at Jordan.
When the girl had gone, Kyle voiced their question. "What did she say?"
Jordan's blue eyes flicked to Tara, before returning to Kyle, smirking slightly. "I don't think you really wanna hear it."
"No, go on," said Jake, leaning forwards.
"She asked what was wrong with my friends. Are they having trouble finding partners? Are they no good in bed? I said no it wasn't that, only they were playing out a fantasy. She replied you can play your fantasies out with me any night. I'm at your service. I said that I'd know where to find her if I ever needed her services." Jordan took a sip of her tea.
"Couldn't you just have told her where to get off?" said Tara, a little too forcefully.
Jordan looked at her, a hint of sadness in her eyes. "I could have. But it would have harmed my reputation," Jordan said in a low voice.
"Your reputation?" asked Jake, not understanding. "I don't..."
"Wait, there was more. What did she say at the end?" asked Kerri, looking suspiciously at Jordan.
"No, she asked you something," persisted Kerri.
"No, she didn't."
"Yes she did. It was something about Tara. Now I wanna know what it is."
Jordan's eyes hardened at the barely concealed order. "Even if I told you, you wouldn't understand."
The dark woman looked at Tara, her eyes full of confusion and she sighed. "She asked if you were mine and I said yes." Jordan scanned Tara's face for any emotion, but she found none.
"What? You said what?" came Jake's stunned voice.
"What do you mean, yours?" said Kyle, accusation punctuating his words.
"Ugh, I told you, you wouldn't understand!" Jordan's eyes flashed.
"Well, explain it to us then," said Tara softly. Everyone turned to stare at Tara, who seemed so calm. Jordan locked gazes with the small blonde and finally looked away to Kyle.
"Look..." Jordan glanced around at the others. "I'm not... who you think I am. I don't have a steady job and I'm not.. what you would call.. a normal citizen." She saw their confused faces centre on her. "You ever heard of the Wolves?" They shook their heads. Suddenly, she had their undivided attention. "Good. You shouldn't have. You ever heard of the Triads in Asia? The Mafia in America?" They nodded. "Well, the Wolves are like them, only underground and smarter. The so called Mafia and The Triads got sloppy and allowed themselves to be caught. Worse, they couldn't control what the captives said and as a result, they became headline news, famous when they should have been unknown. The Wolves, you could say, take care of the UK side of things. Now, say there were more than one gang of people like this in London. Obviously, you would agree that things would get... sticky. People would be killed as a result, for control. Anyone, who is anybody is in a terrible amount of danger. Danger to them, and to the people they are around. In order for these people to be safe, they must be known to be under the protection of someone in the gang. Do you understand me?"
There was silence around the table. Kerri broke it after a while. "So are you trying to tell us, that you're one of these Wolves?"
"Take it how you want," said Jordan, cryptically.
"So that's what your jacket stands for? Wolves?" Kyle said, quietly. "I just assumed it stood for Woods."
"So you mean, we're in danger, every moment that we're around you?" asked Jake.
"You don't know enough to be in danger," Jordan replied, holding his gaze.
"And what about Tara? The least you could have done is told her!"
"Jake, I knew."
"What!" All three of her friends' eyes turned on her.
Tara sighed. "I knew. She told me the first night we spoke properly."
"Oh Christ, you're joking, right?"
"No, I'm sorry Kerri. I didn't think it was my place to tell you."
"Great, so you're out until the early hours of the morning, riding a motorcycle, with... with... a gangster!" said Kerri, not believing her ears.
"Hey, I'm not a gangster."
"Oh yeah? Then what are you then?" Jordan looked away. "Exactly."
"Everyone, just calm down okay?" came Kyle's voice, as he began eating. As if on cue, everyone's stomach rumbled and if the situation had been any different, they would have laughed. As it was, they quickly noticed that the food was getting cold, and they paused in their argument to eat.
Jordan shared a look with the sandy-haired man opposite her, as if he was beginning to understand her actions. Jake was in a sullen mood, having been caught by surprise that they were virtually sharing a meal with a woman who was probably a criminal. Tara glanced at Kerri, who was still seething at the fact that Tara had not told them the truth about what she knew of Jordan Woods. She felt guilty, but she knew that if given a second chance, she would do the exact same thing and protect Jordan from her friends' harsh judgement. To be honest, she didn't feel threatened or hurt by what Jordan had said to the oriental girl. She understood now, that Jordan was only spreading the word that she was not to be harmed and even before the dark woman had explained her words, she had only felt a warm glow in her soul. Actually, her heart had leapt into her throat at the prospect of Jordan proclaiming that she owned her to the world. There was a chance that Jordan returned the love that Tara knew was growing at an alarming rate for the dark woman. She didn't doubt that her friends would forgive her for not telling them about Jordan, but she wondered if it was too much to ask that they accept Jordan into their lives. More importantly, would Jordan accept her into her life? Was there someone else in her life? Tara desperately wanted to find out who Jordan really was, not only the woman she saw when they were alone, but the woman she was when she was in her world. Tara didn't know whether it was because of the drive of knowing whether she would have a part in Jordan's other life, or whether it was just plain curiosity. Maybe it was both.
The small, blonde jumped slightly at Jordan's voice. She had been so deep in thought, she hadn't noticed the conversation pick up again. "Sorry, I was miles away."
"Yeah, I noticed. We were erm, just discussing what we should do. I'll understand if you don't want to see me anymore. I'll disappear from your life, and I promise you, no one will bother you ever again. I realise, it was wrong of me to even think about putting your life at risk. It's up to you." Jordan's face was a mask, and despite her best efforts, Tara couldn't read what Jordan was thinking.
"I don't want that," she said finally. "I don't want you to disappear, not again. Promise me you won't ever do that to me again, Jordan." Tara stared into the blue depths for confirmation.
"I promise, Tara. If you're sure that's what you want," Jordan looked for any sign of doubt, but found none.
"I'm sure," stated Tara.
Kyle ran a hand through his light brown hair as he watched the two women. It was true, opposites did attract. Physically, Tara and Jordan were two women who were as different as you could get. Attractively, Kyle admitted that while Tara had the curves and an alluring sense of beauty, Jordan was striking and possessed an awesome amount of sensuality that oozed from every pore in her body. But underlying their obvious differences, he recognised kindred spirits deep within their souls. They were truly meant to be, he thought wryly.
"Well, if everyone's sure, then I'm sure," he said, trying to break the newly formed ice. Kerri and Jake both gave him a hard look from either side. He shrugged. "It is Tara's choice," he explained.
Kerri looked into his eyes, as they communicated silently. Finally, she relented. "Oh all right." She looked at Jordan, who was waiting for the judgement. "If anything happens to..."
"It won't," said Jordan, confidently.
Everyone turned to look at Jake, who still had a brooding look on his face. "Yeah yeah, do what you want."
"Oh Jake, please give her a chance?" begged Tara. "Jordan was a big part of my life before, and she will be again. I need you guys to get on with each other, for my sanity at least."
Jake glanced at Tara's emerald eyes, knowing he couldn't refuse her. He closed his eyes and took a breath. Then he held out his hand. "Nice to meet you, Jordan Woods."
The dark woman stared at his hand for a second, before she accepted it. As she grasped his hand, she nodded, understanding that it was his way of making a new start.
"Thank you, Jake," said Tara softly.
Immediately, the friction evaporated as Jake grinned. "Just do me one favour. Warn me next time another one of your 'old' friends drop by, okay?" The others couldn't help but smile at his attempt at humour.
"As if you do the same when Chris comes over," laughed Tara. "No, one minute he's there, the next 'poof'. No pun intended, guys."
"She's got a point there, Jake," Kyle agreed.
"Who's Chris?" asked Jordan.
All four friends looked at each other, smiling. "Chris is Jake's light switch boyfriend," answered Kerri.
"Yeah, they keep saying it's a casual relationship. So it's on and off all the time."
Everyone laughed, including Jake. "What can I say? He's good in bed." Jake tried to defend himself. As they laughed, Kyle, Jake and Kerri exchanged glances. "So are you with anyone at the moment?" Jake voiced the question that they had been intending to ask from the beginning.
Jordan looked around at their expectant faces and raised an eyebrow. "No," she replied. She happened to glance at Tara to see her reaction, and caught the look of confusion on her face. "What's wrong?"
"Hm?" Tara looked up at her. "Oh, nothing."
"Did you think I was with someone?"
"No," said Tara quickly. "Well, I thought... It doesn't matter. Forget it."
"No, I won't. What made you think I had a girlfriend?" pressed Jordan.
"Um." Tara briefly thought about lying, but she dismissed the idea as she looked into Jordan's curious eyes. "I heard a woman's voice last night when you hung up. I just assumed..."
She was cut short by Jordan's laughter and they all looked at the dark woman with confusion.
"Yes, I was with a woman last night," Jordan confirmed, still grinning. "But she's not my girlfriend. She's just someone I know, someone I can trust to... " Jordan struggled for the words. "...to take care of my needs, I guess."
"So you sleep with her?" asked Kerri.
"Yes, occasionally. But she sleeps with everybody, everyone knows that," explained Jordan. "If I found someone that I loved with all my heart, I'd never go back to her ever again. She knows that." Jordan looked at Tara. "You must have seen a redhead when you came into the Pool House. I seem to remember she was my partner for the games." Jordan frowned, trying hard to recall.
"Yeah, I saw her," said Tara, finding her voice. She remembered the woman who had been all over the tall woman and hadn't bothered to hide her jealousy as Jordan had left her to talk to Tara.
"That's her. Bella. She's French."
"She has no hold over me and I have no ties to her. So if I was serious about another woman... she wouldn't get in the way," Jordan said clearly, for the second time that night.
"Is that the way you treat all your girlfriends?" Kerri couldn't resist the jibe.
"I usually make it a point not to get emotionally attached to anyone. To me, it's just an exchange of bodily fluids. There's no love made in the sex and sweat with them, so why should it matter how you think I treat them?" Jordan looked squarely at Kerri. "Would it make a difference if I told you they act the same way? It's just how life is in my world. I need something from them, they need something from me. It's a mutual thing."
Tara wondered if she felt better or worse, knowing that Bella was a sleeping partner to Jordan. She believed Jordan about Bella when she said that she wasn't serious, but Tara couldn't help but feel a pang of hurt that someone else was warming Jordan's bed. Either way, the mystery about who the woman was had been cleared up. Suddenly, Jordan's phone went off and she quickly looked at the screen to see who it was.
"Shit," they heard her mumble. She looked up at them. "Excuse me for a minute." She got up from the table and walked towards the door, holding the phone to her ear. "Woods here. What do you want Aidan? I'm in the middle of something so make this quick."
Jordan walked out of earshot, but Tara continued to watch the dark woman. It looked to her like the blue-eyed woman was arguing with the person she was talking to, as she waved her arms around. She ran her hand through her hair and turned around to look at Tara. The torn expression was not hard to read, even from a distance as she spoke heatedly to the caller, then hang up. Tara saw her close her eyes and sigh, starting to walk towards the table. Her heart sank.
"I'm really sorry, Tara, everyone. Something's come up and I gotta go sort it out. I've paid for your meal so you don't have to worry about that." She looked at Kerri, who was not pleased at all. "I'm sorry," she said again. Her face showed her regret as she glanced at Tara. "It's unavoidable. This week's been really hectic and I think it's coming to a point. Maybe next week, all this'll be over and I'll be all yours." She smiled sadly.
Jordan turned and headed towards the doors, nodding to Mr. Han. Through the glass window panes, the group watched as Jordan ran across the street, her long strides eating up the ground. As Tara turned around, she was met with three sets of eyes, all staring at her intently. She rolled her own eyes at them.
"If you're going to tell me not to bother with her, it's too late," she said, before they had a chance to say anything.
"We just wanna make sure you know what you're getting yourself into," came Kerri's soft voice.
"I know, and I love you for it. But some things just aren't rational. I can't explain it. I know she's dangerous and I shouldn't want to be with her." She looked helplessly at her friends. "But I just can't help it. I love her." The last words came out suddenly and she knew she meant every word. "I love her," she said again, more to confirm it to herself than anything else. She could feel the tears welling up behind her eyes, but she had no reason for them.
In an instant, Kerri was at her side, hugging her and telling her it was going to be alright. Over Tara's shoulder, Kerri looked at the guys, communicating with them that they had to support their friend. If Tara had been unsure of her feelings towards Jordan before, she had them figured out now, and there was nothing that they could do to talk her out of it. Somehow, in the past four nights, Jordan Woods had managed to win the heart of their gentle friend. Kerri pondered the possibility that Tara had loved Jordan since they were children, but the idea was too far-fetched for her to comprehend.
The four friends left the restaurant, quickly walking back to their halls, leaving a very thankful manager behind them.