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.
Every inch of Tara's body ached. Her arms had passed the sharp,
prickly, pins and needles point and now just felt like numb dead weight.
Her back and hip bones seemed to be poking through her skin and
her legs were starting to cramp up, threatening to seize into charley
She had no idea how long she had been lying there but it
seemed like days.
The worst, however, the one body part that was making itself
increasingly hard to ignore, was her bladder.
She now greatly regretted that last cup of herbal green tea.
The man had not been back in for a long time and she was beginning
to wonder if they had just run off and left her.
She really hoped that was the case.
She knew the police, especially Spike, and her friends would be
looking for her. She was positive Spike would find her.
He was the best detective in the world. Well, in her world anyway.
She just hoped she wouldn't be found in a wet bed.
Trying one more time to find some relief, Tara arched her back up
and off the bed, flexing her shoulder blades, when a sound caught her
Dropping back, she held still with her head turned slightly, listening.
Footsteps! She could hear wood stairs creaking and low voices
coming closer. Over the last few hours of being alone, Tara's fear
had eased as her physical discomfort increased.
Now, she was barely aware of her cramping, pulled muscles as she
realized her hopes for rescue were dashed. At least for now. But this
time would be different. During her alone time, she had gotten herself
centered. She had found some sense of peace.
After all, what were they threatening her with? Pain? Torture? Death?
Tara was a strong believer in fate and if that was what her fate was
to be, so be it. She certainly did not relish the pain and suffering part
but what they did not understand was that death was not something
Through her spirit guides, she had, just briefly, glimpsed it's beauty
and serenity. She knew with a certainty that the afterlife was a very
real place and that she would be welcomed there with the loving open
arms of the ones that had gone before her.
Her only regrets would be leaving her friends. The Circle had been
the most important thing in her life. The love and understanding of the
people who were her earthly family, completed her.
With them, she had found brothers, parents, a home and the love of
her life, Willow.
Tara had been trying not to think of Willow. It caused the tears
to flow and right now, she had to be strong.
"Well, still awake? I'll bet you're hungry or maybe have to pee
The sound of the woman's voice snapped Tara's attention and
she knew. Instead of fear, it was a recognization that brought
Tara felt the weight of the bed depress beside her.
"Yep. It's me."
"I don't understand. Why...?"
Rita sighed as though her wayward child had just stolen another cookie.
"Why do they always ask the same fucking questions?"
Tara jerked in surprise when the man's voice, so near her, answered.
"Because they are all stupid bitches. You promised this one was different
and here we are. Same old, same old."
Rita lovingly ran her hand across Tara's forehead, brushing her soft
blond bangs off her face.
"This one is different. This is the one, I'm sure."
"That's what you said the last four fucking times!"
The man's shouts didn't seem to upset her in the least as Rita continued
to pet and coo as Tara fought her need to respond to the repulsion she felt.
"Look, Richard, you stupid dick weed, why don't you go downstairs and
fix yourself a sandwich. Tara and I need to have a little talk. I think it's
time she understood what this great honor is that she has been chosen
Tara heard the sound of a foot hitting something solid, probably the wall,
before the male voice stomped out, shouting behind him.
"You better be right! We're nearly out of fuckin' time, Rita!"
When the receding foot falls had faded, Rita sighed. The fact that her
hand had never stopped caressing Tara's hair and face brought
Tara no comfort. The energy she felt through Rita's fingers felt wrong.
Contaminated and foul. The tenderness in the touch was a lie.
"So, tell me, what do you need?"
Tara wondered if so simple a question could be a trick.
"I nnnneed to use the bbbathroom."
Her voice was small and barely above a whisper.
Rita's hand immediately retreated, breaking all contact with the
"A piss. Something so simple, so human. Really, when you think
about it what we all need in life can be whittled down to very simple
requests. Little things we can do for each other to make life better.
Don't you agree?"
Tara had a funny feeling that this question was much more than it appeared
on the surface. More than a casual conversational comment.
Apparently that was the right answer as she could hear the joy reflected
in Rita's voice.
"See! I knew you would want to help us. Now, you probably wondering
why you are still wearing a blindfold since you obviously have figured out
who we are."
It seemed as though she was waiting for a response, so Tara answered.
Hoping to have it removed.
"Huh? Oh, yeah, soon. Now as I was saying, before I was so rudely
interrupted. We all need something and each of us has something that
others need. Take Richard and I for instance. A couple years ago
we were just floundering. Floating on a sea of corruption. Broke
and unemployed, we were both working the streets, fucking and
sucking for a buck. Not that we particularly minded, but there just
had to be more to life than that. Don't you think?"
This time Tara held her opinion to herself. She had a feeling that nothing
she would say would be well received. Rita didn't seem to notice the
silence as she continued.
"So anyway, one day Rick is taking it up the ass when his john
says to him, "I can take you away from all this." Naturally we figured
it was an old perv wanting to be his sugar daddy but, no. He said
he was part of a group. People who understood about life and death.
Now we figure it was one of those holy rollers that come down to
the back alleys to buy a fuck then offer to save your soul. They
were always the best customers cause they had lots of money from
the basket they pass in church. Anyway, he offered us drugs and a
place to sleep so we decided to check it out."
Tara had all but forgotten her bladder situation and was hanging on
every word, certain she was not going to like the path this was
"Well, imagine our surprise when we were taken to a really nice apartment
building right in the best part of town. Gave us a place to sleep, clean
clothes, hot food. Anything we asked for. That first night they had
a small party, like maybe 30 to 40 people. Rich, nice, important people.
Money folk, you know, so I figured they just wanted serviced but shit,
no problem. You know what? They didn't. They just welcomed us.
Treated us with respect. Said they wanted us to join them"
Tara could hear the wistful sadness in her voice as she went on.
"Well, as you can just expect. Nothing good ever lasts."