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.
"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"
Spike stomped and fumed around the nearly empty parking lot.
The line officers had, one by one, been called away on other incidents,
made their apologies and left in their cruisers, needed elsewhere
more than here.
Forensics had checked the car for prints and recovered a few that
every one knew would turn out to be the victims. Clearly she
had been grabbed before she got to the safety of her vehicle.
Because of that, they refused to tow the spotlessly clean, little blue
VW to the police impound lot. A simple missing person case did
not warrant the expense of a full bust down search.
Spike was furious but his threats achieved nothing. The only
concession reached was that they bagged and tagged the contents
of her spilled purse to be examined back at the lab later.
Much to everyone's relief, there were no traces of blood or
bodily fluids inside the car or on any of her possessions.
When the collection was done and there was no further reason
for sticking around, the forensic guys packed up their cameras,
their briefcases, their notebooks and sealed containers, and with
quick efficiency, they slipped off into the darkness.
When nothing new happened and there was obviously no death or
dismemberment to observe, the by standers also went on their way.
Wandering back to their dorm rooms, their parties or just in search
of a piece of ass for the night.
This was, after all, the college experience that their parents were
paying the big bucks for.
Spike walked slowly around the VW wishing he could interrogate it.
As the only witness, the car had seen everything. If only it could
talk but, Spike decided, apparently only Herbie the fucking Love
Bug had that talent.
Faith hopped up on the hood of her Kia and watched her partner circle
the '69 Bug. She could just feel the wheels spin in his brain as his
blue eyes sparked and darted around trying to take in everything at once.
Finally, she decided it was time to dip into the machinery in his head and
see what was being churned out.
"O.k., so what do we do first? Did......"
Whatever Faith was going to ask was interrupted by Spike's cell phone
both ringing and vibrating in his side pocket. Absently, he pulled it out,
checked the caller ID, and winced. Without answering he tossed it to
Faith who frowned in question and flipped it open.
"St. John here."
"Faith? Where the fuck is he?"
"Oh, um, hi, Giles. We are on the scene of a...."
"Yes, I know exactly where you are and my question is why? Is there
some evidence that this is a homicide?"
"No, but Giles the victim is........"
"Faith! I don't care who the fuck the victim is. You and Spike head
up the homicide division, not MP. I have other detectives who do that.
Speaking of which, Taylor just called me. Please tell me Spike didn't
actually hit him. In front of other officers. In public. At a fucking
"Come on Giles, you know Spike better than that. Anyway, I'm here
and I can honestly say I never saw him lay a hand on Taylor.
Look, the reason..."
Before she could finish, Spike grabbed the phone. This was wasting
time and he was not going to stand around bull shitting when one of
his friends lives was in danger.
"Giles. Listen, it's Tara that's gone missing and it looks like there was
a fair amount of violence involved. Now we can talk about Taylor later,
right now I need for you to officially put us on this case so we can
The annoyed tone immediately disappeared from the Chief's voice and
the fatherly concern that replaced it touched Spike's heart.
"Tara? Tara's missing? Fine, you and Faith are in charge. I'll deal
with Taylor. Just keep me informed. I'll expect a preliminary on my
desk in the morning."
Spike snapped the phone shut and Faith knew he had won, of course it
wouldn't have made a difference, she knew they would be on the case
with or without Giles permission.
"Great, so what do you have?"
Faith knew this was the best way to begin. Spike could start for the
beginning and in bringing her up to speed, it also gave him the chance
to run though and mentally organize what he knew.
Spike took a moment to collect himself. He crossed his arms and
leaned back against the car in question as he fiddled with the keys that
had been found still in the ignition.
"Approximately 5:40 pm, Red called and told us Tara was missing. She
found her car abandoned just like it is. That puts the time of disappearance
at around 5:30 which would fit. According to a witness who was
with Tara, their Wicca meeting ended at 5:20. All the regulars left at
that time but, and here's the interesting thing, Miss Cook, a witness, said
that there was a stranger at tonight's meeting. She said he was a young
man. Dark hair, dirty clothes, average build, and she noticed he
had very bad teeth. She said he seemed almost obsessed with Tara.
Stared at her through the entire meeting, but never approached her.
Miss Cook then said as she was leaving, she thought she saw Tara
speak to him. She didn't hear what they said, she doesn't recall ever
seeing him on campus and that's all she knows. Oh, she did give me the
names of all the other regulars in the Wicca, so we will need to talk
to each of them. It isn't much, but it's something."
Faith slid down till her feet hit the blacktop. Walking around she
glanced up and noted that the bulb in the security light had been shot
out. Probably a BB gun or air pistol. Quiet enough not to be reported
but more than effective. Much too high for a rock.
"Tara always parks under a security light. If this one was already out
she would have driven on down to the next one. That means it wasn't
put out till after she went inside. Whoever did this had it planned
Spike nodded. It made him sick to his stomach to think he and
Xander were home indulging in sex and steak at the very moment she
had needed them most. Rubbing his hands over the top of her beloved
car, he fought back the tears of frustration. He knew the statistics.
When a female was abducted, the odds were that she was killed
within the first four hours. Usually after being raped. That time
would soon be up.
Faith could see what was happening and knew this would do no one,
especially Tara, any good.
"Spike! Stop it. Tara doesn't need you sniveling and pouting, she
needs you figuring all this out and looking for her. Time, Spike.
We are fighting time."
Spinning around, his eyes flashed with fury. It was an emotion much
more comfortable to him than fear and sadness.
"You're right. I can act like a right ponce later. Whoever did this
will pay. So, here it is. I'm going to take her car home and check in
with Xander to see if he has heard anything. Then I will pick up my
own car and meet you down at the station. Can you start the
Faith beamed with renewed confidence. This was the Spike she
knew and loved. Next to Kennedy, of course.
"You got it! See you there in...what? About an hour?"
Faith checked her watch.
He jumped into the driver's seat with a grunt. The steering wheel
was poking him in the stomach and his knees were nearly up his
nose. Reaching down, he pulled the handle and scooted the seat as
far back as it would go. It only served to remind him how small and
helpless Tara was.
Spike fired it up, threw the car into first and putt putted down the
street towards home.