RATING: Adult for language and content
DISCLAIMER: The Bee has no rights or claim on any
of the characters or products named in this story and makes
no profit from them.
SUMMARY: This is the third story in the Rosebud/verse.
Tara has been abducted and the police rush to find her.
The other members of the Circle decide that they can do
a better job and begin their own investigation.
Who will find her first and will it be in time?
Praise and thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the amazing banner.
Rushing into the dining room, each member of the circle automatically
took their usual seat around the huge mahogany table. The empty chair
between Andrew and Willow was glaringly obvious.
Heinrich Hiney was the first to speak, although the ever present confidence
was noticeably shaken from his voice.
"Vat has happened, Xander? Da Missus and I ver sitting in da house,
we vatch the Nick at Night. Dat Barney Fife is so......."
Immediately Gunilla swatted her husband's arm..
"Pappa, hush. Tell us what has happened. Xander, please. Where is
Xander looked at Willow and he knew she was in no shape to explain. He
also knew that the Circle was in crisis and as leader he had to take charge
before emotion had the chance to interfere with their psychic flow.
"She's missing. So far that's all we know for sure. Willow found her car
abandoned in the campus parking lot, the driver's door standing open and
her purse dumped out. As near as we can figure, she's been gone almost
an hour. The police have been called and Spike is there."
The others sat silently. Willow's head was on her arms and she wept quietly.
Andrew threw his arm around her shoulders and hoped she didn't see the
matching tears that ran down his cheeks too. Everyone looked at each of
the others as they tried to feel their way through the fear and confusion.
Gunilla held both Heinrich's hands, a rare show of affection few outsiders
Swallowing hard and hoping his voice didn't crack, Xander continued.
"Now, we all know that Spike is the best there is but time is critical and
if we want to find her before anything........well, you know, we have to
work together and try a different path. Our path."
The speech sounded of hope, something they all needed and it helped to
dispel some of the negativity that was closing in on them. Instantly, and
without being told what to do, they all jumped to their feet. They scurried
about collecting candles, matches, clearing off the clutter of newspapers
from the table and preparing the Circle for what it did best.
When they were ready, they reclaimed their own spots, with a small white
candle setting in front of the empty chair. Gunilla had a notepad and pen
at her side and Xander had dimmed the lights.
Willow had run to their rooms and retrieved a turtle shell hair clasp that
Tara wore so often. It had been given to her by her grandmother and
was her most precious possession.
When they were all settled, wordlessly, they clasped hands and waited on
their leader's thoughts.
Taking a deep breath, Xander first placed his hand lovingly on Willow's
arm. What he was about to say was painful but necessary.
"Before we start, we first need to make sure she is.......well, still in our
Even though she was expecting it, Xander's words stabbed Willow like
a dagger through the heart and she dropped her head, sobbing.
Immediately, Heinrich spoke up.
"You must stop dat now! You waste our time and we have work to do."
Willow gasped at his harsh lack of sympathy. Quickly, she hiccuped
and pulled herself together as best as she could. She was so grateful for
the stern fatherly man's strength and knew that even though he had no
psychic abilities, the Circle couldn't function without him.
With a nod, she wiped her nose on her sleeve and handed the hair clip to
Xander. Straightening his back and closing his eyes, Xander wrapped
his fingers tightly around the small item and he took a deep breath, the rest
of the group waited silently.
Within minutes, Xander's eyes popped open and a smile crossed his face.
"O.k. I don't know what happened tonight, but I do know with absolute
certainty that she is NOT in the spirit world. Wherever she is, she's alive."
The Circle let out a collective sigh of relief and took a moment to let the
fear and cloud of tension that blanketed the room, dissipate slightly.
Still, it was to soon for celebration.
Laying the hair clasp on the table in front of Tara's seat, Xander looked
around and collected his thoughts before speaking. He knew the others
needed a moment and when he felt they were ready, he began.
"Each of us is a vital part of this Circle. We have our own strengths and
talents that make up the iron strong links of this chain. Together we are
invincible and I have no doubt that we will find our beloved Tara.
So, here's what I suggest we do. Using a seance type trance, Andrew and
I will focus our psychic ability toward Tara's energy. Willow will be our
base, questioning and leading us if either of us can lock on to her. Gunilla
will try to use her automatic writing if any of the spirit guides send a
message. Heinrich will be her anchor. I know this is extremely stressful
but we need to try to relax and clear our minds. We need to do our best,
Tara, wherever she is, is counting on us."
Nervously, Andrew chuckled.
"Wow, no pressure there."
"O.k. Does anyone need anything before we start?"
No one spoke up so Xander took the lack of response as a green light.
He looked all round the table and each one, in turn, nodded.
Striking a match, Xander lit the small white candle.
Instantly, as though the wick had been soaked in gasoline, the flame
shot up in a burst of light and flame before settling back down to a flicker.
All the members of the group instinctively took this as a very good sign.
Tara's essence was strong, her life force bright.
With renewed confidence and no further instruction needed, each one went
into their own practiced 'quiet space'.
It was a well developed mental spot that allowed them to slip quickly into a
semi-trance state that heightened their senses and focused their abilities.
Willow, the weakest and least developed, usually needed Tara nearby in
order to center and gain impressions. Now, she just tried to use her love
and emotional connection to the blond witch to find her. Quickly, guilt
and frustration made it almost impossible to concentrate.
The harder she tried, the worse it became.
Fear seeped in and her breathing and heart rate became erratic.
Within minutes she conceded defeat.
Heinrich sat beside the love of his life. Joined together as teenagers, he
had not left this woman's side in 37 years. To the outside world, he
appeared to be the strength and the dominance in their marriage, but these
two knew better. He was nothing without her.
In his usual no nonsense demeanor, he accepted the contradiction of her
abilities verses the reality of his scientific world. After all this time
together they, to him, made perfect sense and although he would seldom
admit it, he was in awe of her.
Now, sitting beside her and holding her hand, he waited patiently, praying
that she would reach for the pen and begin to write.
The minutes ticked by and the paper remained blank.
Gunilla continued to pace her breathing. She was gratefully aware of the
strong hand of short stubby fingers that applied just the right amount of
pressure. In all things, psychic or not, Heinrich was her anchor.
Sadly, the trance, the slight shift that allowed her a glimpse into another
dimension, eluded her.
On around the table, Xander was next. He rocked his body
slowly in his chair, his eyes squeezed shut and his head lowered.
He tried to focus on the scene in the parking lot hoping it would
give him the energy impression of Tara's last minutes by her car.
Unfortunately, like a radar screen, he was bombarded with
interference. His connection to Spike was too strong and all
he could pick up was his detectives frustration and fear at the
site. The harder he tried to block it out the more any images
The negative energy in the parking lot was explosive but it was
jumbled and he couldn't separate it out.
Eventually, when the headache threatened to become a migraine,
he rolled his head from side to side, rubbed the back of his neck
and prepared to try again.
"AAAAHHHHH!!!! NO! NO! Get away! STOP!"
Xander's eyes flew open and he jumped from his chair, catching Andrew's
rigid body just as it flew backward, cradling him as the young man spasmed
violently in the throes of the trance.