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?
Huge thanks to Purpledodah for the amazing banner.
All members of the circle had, by mutual agreement, decided they
needed a break. The tension level of the room had reached a point
where none of them could focus.
They needed to clear their minds and stretch their bodies
if they were to be able to find a point of psychic concentration.
Gunilla and Heinrich went outside to sit on the porch swing.
Heinrich lit his pipe and slowly puffed, blowing long, slow, smoke
rings that circled and drifted over their heads before gradually
disappearing off into the night.
"What do you tink, Pappa?"
Heinrich patted his gruff, beloved wife's knee affectionately.
"I don't know, Momma. Da world it is a terrible place. Full of evil
men dat do tings dat make our hearts hurt. Our Tara, she is one of
the good people. She should be above the ugliness of this life, but
unfortunately it is not like dat. She is like da small little rabbit dat walks
among da wolves. God's angels should be watching over her but
sometimes da angels they fall asleep."
Gunilla listened and knew what her husband said was right. As hard
as her exterior was, Gunilla understood that she was nothing without
the man at her side. With him, she could be vulnerable.
"We never had the children of our own. These young people
are like our son's and daughters. They are our family, Poppa.
Someone has broken our family. Will we find her, Poppa?"
Heinrich put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.
There was no more conversation as they continued to swing back and
forth in the cool evening air.
Xander and Willow fussed around the kitchen. Xander had located a
bottle of wine and Willow rounded up several glasses. It would help to
relax the Circle and bring an element of normalcy to their meeting.
"Xan, do you think, I mean, men do things, bad things, to women."
Xander felt as though he should have been insulted. Not all men
were like that. He was not. Spike was not. But this was not the
time for an argument over his virtue or intentions. Willow needed
reassurance. She needed to talk, to put voice to her worst fears.
"Remember when we first met her?"
Xander smiled at the memory.
"Yeah, it was at that psychic meeting. All those fakes and wannabes.
Tara stood out like a shining star. You could tell she was the real thing
just by looking at her."
"I think I fell in love with her right there and then."
"I think I did too."
Quickly, all humor slid off her face and Willow sat down at the
"You know, most of us don't know ourselves at all especially when
we are growing up. I didn't want to like women. I wanted to be
normal. My Mom was always harping at me to get married and
give her a litter of grandbabies. So I tried. I dated. I.....you
know, but it wasn't me. I hated when they touched me. It
made me sick when they pushed parts of themselves inside me.
Willow shuddered, her pixy nose scrunched up in disgust.
"......it was horrible. So, I kinda knew, but when Tara came along,
well that was it for me. No doubts and not regrets. I guess the
reason I'm telling you all this is because Tara wasn't like that. She
told me that she always knew. It was who she was and it was o.k.
with her. Do you understand, Xander?"
Xander looked into Willow's face, not sure exactly what her
"Maybe you better spell it out for me. Blank psychic message
Willow reached over and placed one of her hands over top his, a single
tear running down her cheek.
"What I'm saying is that Tara has NEVER been with a man. Physically,
she is still a virgin. If he.......if he does THAT to her......."
Xander squeezed Willow's fingers tightly.
"Willow, listen to me. Tara is beyond that. She is the most spiritual
of all of us. Her heart and her connection to the next world are what
sets her apart. There is nothing anyone can do to the shell that is her
body that could change her. Don't let her quiet way fool you. She
is one of the strongest women I know. Now, we ARE going to find her
and she is still going to be our Tara. We can't let doubt or fear make us
weak. She is counting on us."
Xander's little pep talk was just what Willow needed. She wiped her
nose on the back of her hand and jumped to her feet.
"You're right and we are wasting time. Come on, lets get everyone
back together and try again. I'll take the glasses and you........hey,
Willow stood by the breakfast bar and looked down into the trash can.
She reached in and took out a very stiff, sparkly, crusty dish towel.
"Well, that's odd. Do you know what's all over my granny's dish towel?
And how the heck did it get in the trash can?"
Xander cringed as he removed it from her hand and dropped it to the floor.
"Oh, um, I think Spike spilled something and cleaned it up. I'll kick his
ass later. Come on, I got the wine, let's get the others and get back
Returning to the dinning room, Andrew was already there, talking
on the phone. Both Willow and Xander knew who he was talking to.
Jake the jock. Andrew's sometimes squeeze. Willow just rolled
her eyes as they heard his end of the conversation.
"No I won't be over this evening.........Yes. Yes. Of course with
the Circle. Look, Jake, we have been over this. The Circle
needs me............no, that's not true. Of course Xander is here
but........NO I DON'T. Anyway, SPIKE needs my help.
SPIKE is on an investigation and he is counting on me. SPIKE
will want me here........fine, if that's the way you feel."
Andrew scowled as he snapped his cell phone shut. Immediately,
he turned to face the other two.
"He is such a tard. Did Spike call? Is he coming home?"
Xander just shook his head. He was used to the boy's
constant crush and attention but this sudden interest in Spike was
new. Xander was a bit.......jealous?
Luckily, before he had time for self examination, the Hiney's
returned and everyone wandered to their designated seat.
Willow poured the wine and all eyes turned to Xander, waiting for
their next move.
"Well, when we first heard the news and got together, we were all
upset, frantic and too scattered to be able to do what we do best.
The negative energy swamped us and broke our concentration but
we cannot let it overwhelm. Tara's thoughts are on us and we have
to come through for her. So, now we have taken a break, a rest
and collected ourselves. I think what we need to do is focus on
finding her physical location. We are letting our signals get bogged
down in the who, what, and why. If you really think about it, that stuff
isn't our concern. That is for Spike and the law to deal with.
All we want is to get Tara back."
He looked around the Circle and knew by the nods and smiles that
everyone agreed fully.
Immediately, he got up and turned down the lights. Willow lit the
candles and Gunilla poured the wine, even Andrew was given a
They then held hands, lowered their heads and used the joined
positive energy of their love to seek out one of their own.