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.
The two detectives were back in the Corvette and careening
down the street. They had a list of names and addresses and,
although it wasn't much, it was a place to start.
Every patrol car in the city had a name and description of the
missing victim. Spike had been able to circumvent the required
24 hour waiting period on a missing person in the same way he
had snatched the case away from Taylor.
He used the signs of violent intervention as proof that this was not a
simple MP. It was, at the very least, a kidnapping and probable assault.
Common terms he used every day but now they cut him like a knife.
Kidnap, assault, what else had they done to her? Spike couldn't allow
himself to think of it.
He had to remain as impersonal as possible to be effective.
"Turn here. I've checked the addresses against where we are now and
logged them in order of distance. We can take them one at a time
and cover the most ground in the least amount of time. Also, I have
prepared a short list of preliminary questions. This is going to be a rapid
fire hit and run opperation unless one of them stands out like a red flag,
then we zero in. What do you think?"
Faith looked to her partner.
Spike grinned and shook his head.
"I think when Kennedy gets sick of your scrawny white arse, I may just
marry you myself."
"And have Xander wring my neck? I don't think so. Besides, he'd use
that twilight zone bull shit and know what was up before your dick even
had the chance to get hard."
"Yeah, my boy has a jealous streak to him."
"And you love it. I've seen you.....oh, hey, turn in there. This is the
Quickly, Spike pulled into the driveway of the small, four unit apartment
building. He shut off the car and turned to his partner for the clue in.
Faith flipped the page on her notpad and began to read.
"Remember, all we have is the names and addresses. Your witness,
Miss Cook, didn't give us the particulars so we are going into these
cold. We are going to assess them as quickly as possible and if either
if us has an alarm bell go off we give the other the nod. Right?"
"Right. You go through your questions and I'll have a look around.
In and out and on to the next. Let's go."
With no further discussion and a total understanding between them
the two detectives exited their car and walked up to the front.
Apartment 1A was on the lower level, left hand side. It was
clean, neat and totally void of any landscaping.
The name plate said: J. Hart.
Spike rang the bell.
Cautiously, the door cracked open and a pair of dark eyes peeked
around the inside door chain. Spike often wondered if these single
women had any idea how pointless those locks were.
Immediately he and Faith showed their badges.
"Miss Hart? Jeannie Hart? I'm detective Pratt and this is my
Partner, Miss St. John. I wonder if we could have a few minutes
of your time?"
The look of guilt swept across her face with such stunning force
that Spike nearly shoved the door open, snapping the cheap chain
and charging into the small apartment.
"Oh, um,..." Jeannie glanced back over her shoulder.
Faith was the first to suspect the problem. As a reformed ex-smoker
her nose was as sensitive as a bloodhound.
"Look, Jeannie, we don't give a shit if you are dippin' a doobie or not.
We are here because of a missing person. Tara McClay. Do you
Instantly the door flew open to reveal another young girl frantically
fanning the smoky air and Jeannie stood aside to allow the law to enter.
"Forget it Dory. They aren't narcs. They said Tara is missing."
The redhead rushed to her friend's side.
"Tara? Can't be. We were just with her at the meeting a few hours
ago. Are you sure? Oh, God, I hope nothing happened to her."
Faith checked her name list.
"Dory? Are you Dora Minton? Is your address Copper Road?"
The redhead nodded.
"Yes and no. That's my parents house. I stay here with Jeannie.
So give. What's the what?"
Faith was delighted. This cut one stop off their list and moved things
along much quicker. She motioned for the girls to sit while Spike
subtly moved around the room.
"When did you last see Tara?"
"Around 5:30 when the meeting ended."
"There were 8 of you at the meeting?"
Dora shook her head at her friends reply.
"No, remember, Connie wasn't there. Seemed odd, too. She
never misses but she missed tonight."
Dora nodded then rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, we kinda snicker behind her back. Connie is less interested
in Wicca than she is in Tara. She's straight but has a bit of a muff crush.
You know, lesbian chic."
Faith made a note. 'Lesbian chic?'
"So then there was just the seven of you tonight?"
Jeannie frowned and a shudder of disgust rippled through her.
"No, there was a stranger. You know that since the college has to
let us meet due to religeous stuff, we have to allow anyone to sit in
whenever they want. Every now and then someone wanders in.
In fact that's how Rita Washborn joined us. Sat in a couple times
and said she wanted to join. She's been with us for two months now."
Spike immediately returned to where the girls sat.
"Tell us about the stranger."
Dora's forehead wrinkled in concentration.
"Well, he sat in the back of the room so I couldn't say how tall
he was. Dark hair, dirty clothes, quiet. No one spoke to him
or really paid any attention. Tara was leading the group, like she
always did and he watched her like a hawk. Shit! Do you think
he did something to her?"
Faith looked up at her partner.
"That's exactly what we want to find out. When the meeting was over
did you see him approach Tara?"
Jeannie shook her head causing her thick dark hair to fluff from side to side.
"No, it was late and to be honest, I was hungry enough to eat the flies off
a cow pie. We were the first ones out and we headed back here for
Faith checked her questions ignoring the girls munchies.
"When you girls left can you remember what other vehicles were in the parking
A look of confusion passed between them and Dora finally answered, counting
on her friend to correct her if she was wrong.
"Well, there was mine, of course, Patty and Stella live on campus so they ride
their bikes. You know, ecolologically correct. Um, Linda's scooter was there.
Oh, Rita's car was facing Tara's bug and there was a truck."
Dora beamed with pride at being able to recall so many details and Jeannie
patted her arm her head bobbing up and down in total agreement.
"Well, we appreciate your time."
Faith rose and stood next to her partner. She pulled a business card out of her
pocket and handed it to the girls.
"If you think of anything else or if you see this man again around the campus,
please call us. Anytime of the day or night. Don't speak to him just call, o.k?"
The girls stood, their heads close together as they studied the card.
Finally, Jeannie looked up sadly.
"Please find her. We all love Tara. Not in a gay way, but, you know."
"No lesbian chic?"
The two girls laughed.