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.
Spike steered the fire engine red sports car silently and quickly
through the night. Neither of the detectives spoke as they
each mentally sorted through the last couple hours of their
Both knew they were nowhere. When Linda Cook had given
Spike the names and addresses of all the girls Tara was
with before her disappearance, he was certain that one of them
would have seen or known something.
The only possible was the vague description of a dirty man
that had been at the Wicca meeting watching and speaking to
The campus was small, cozy with a limited number of students
registered. Surly one of the girls had known the man. Had
a name, a vehicle, anything.
They hadn't, and now the investigation was stalled, stuck, and
no further along than when he had first gotten the call.
He felt frustrated, angry and like an idiot.
What was he missing?
There had to be something they had overlooked.
If only he could get one solid clue.
"Hey, aren't we going in the wrong direction? I thought we
were going to talk to the night janitor, Mr......"
Faith flipped through and rechecked her notes.
".......Meeps. Harlin Meeps"
"We will, later, but I think we need help first. Let's be honest,
Faith, we are chasing our tails here and time keeps rolling on.
Xander said they had some information and you and I both
know better than to poo poo what the Circle thinks."
"Yeah, well, I'm sure they know more than we do at this point."
Spike gripped the steering wheel with both hands.
"He didn't say much on the phone, but he did seem certain that
Tara was still alive and he seemed to have a theory as to why,
so maybe that's an angle we can pursue."
Faith looked at her partner in the darkness. His brow was
wrinkled with worry. She knew if he didn't solve this case
quickly and, God forbid, the worst happened, he would never
Gently she placed her hand on his shoulder.
"That's the most important thing, Spike. She's still alive and we
WILL find her."
With no answer, Spike gratefully pulled into the driveway of the
mansion. He parked quickly and headed for the door that opened
the minute his foot hit the step.
Rushing into his arms, Xander needed the reassurance of Spike's solid,
warm arms and the comfort of the detectives familiar scent.
"God, Spike, I'm so glad you're here. Do you know anything?
Did you find anything?"
Sadly, Spike extricated the larger man from his embrace.
"No, Pet, that's why we're here. You said you might have some
ideas. Right now, we need anything you got."
Xander grabbed Spike's hand and pulled him quickly inside,
Faith was close on their heels.
Most of the house was dark and quiet. Off to the right, there was
a small table lamp on that cast a dim glow over the sitting room.
The chandelier in the foyer shone brightly and to the left, the
dining room was still set up with candles and wine.
It was a sight Spike had come to associate with the Circle
and he found it surprisingly reassuring.
Xander explained that the Hiney's had gotten tired and gone up
to one of the guest rooms. Willow paced restlessly throughout the
lower level, traipsing from one room to another, dusting,
straightening, and fussing.
Anything to try and keep her mind occupied.
Xander gathered together all the notes he had from their
readings and he could see that Faith had her's from their interviews.
"O.k., here's what I think we should do."
Spike and Xander stood shoulder to shoulder, their heads down and
only inches apart.
"Andrew actually had the best reading and gave us the most. I'm
not sure where he took off to but Willow wrote it all down. It
is bits and pieces of seemingly unrelated points. I will give
them to you and you see how they fit with what you know."
Spike nodded. He couldn't stop the small smile of love and hope that
slid onto his face. He was so grateful for Xander and his bizarre
little circus of characters he could kiss them all.
Well, maybe not Heinrich.
Come to think of it.......
Spike quickly wrapped his hand around the back of Xander's
head and pulled him into a deep, wet, tongue filled kiss.
Faith waited nearby with her notepad open, ready
to check facts, times, names and make margin notes where their
two investigations intersected.
"Hey, enough of that. We have work to do."
Xander stepped back, grinning like a fool. Spike's love always
gave him a strength and confidence that nothing could shake.
"All right then, here we go. There is a man. Dark, dirty, evil.
He has been watching Tara and he is the one who took her. He was
with her tonight but he has been close to her for some time. Stalking,
following without her knowing. He is not alone. There is a woman
working with him. Tara knows her and trusted her."
Faith and Spike both felt a bolt of new energy surge through them.
This was information they hadn't come across. Spike had a million questions
but he knew he had to wait. If he didn't explode first.
"The man, he approached her and wanted something. Something she
didn't want to give. We are fairly certain it wasn't a social thing.
I mean he didn't want coffee, a date or sex, it wasn't like that. He
wanted her to go with him but she refused and he took her.
The struggle was fast. We think she was unconscious when he
took her away. Andrew got the strongest impressions and here's what
he thinks, there were two cars in the lot. Tara's bug, a small dark colored
sedan. The man drove a truck. He took her away in a pickup truck
with one of those cap thingys on the back. That's where you need to look.
Find a dirty, dark haired man with a woman and a pick up truck."
"Fuck! Xan, that fits perfectly with a lot of what we already know.
A couple people we spoke to have trucks, we can go back and take
another look. Can you tell me if we have already talked to him?"
Xander closed his eyes and lowered his head. After a brief wait,
he shook his head.
"No, you haven't."
Faith jumped in.
"The janitor, Harlin Meeps, should we look there?"
Sadly, Xander came up blank.
"I don't know but if you haven't interviewed him yet, I'd say, do it."
Oh, hey, I nearly forgot, Gunilla made a trance map. We can't make
it out but you can take a copy with you. It may ring a bell."
Anxious to get back out, and now reinvigorated, Spike again kissed
Xander's mouth took the map and he and Faith headed for the door.
At the last second, he stopped.
"Xan, you said you had an idea why she was still alive."
Xander glanced around to make sure they were alone.
"Yeah. I keep getting a strong image of a chasing the blue moon."
The look of confusion on their faces led him to explain.
"A blue moon is the second full moon of the month. It is very rare and
in fact there is only one this year. It is considered to be strong magic.
There is a term, 'chasing a blue moon' that means the time of the
setting. That quick blink of time between the passing of the moon
and the first crack of sunrise. It carries the most power. Whatever he
is going to do to her, he is going to do it then. Unfortunately, that's
tonight. We have about 5 more hours."
Spike locked eyes with his lover. Then, with a quick tip of the
head, he and Faith were back out the door.