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.
With renewed determination and a slightly elevated confidence,
Andrew followed Xander's instruction to clean everything off the
table and turn up the lights.
Willow had disappeared upstairs to awaken the Hineys. The Circle
had to have all available members in order to be at optimum strength.
Xander rushed into Spike's study, the small room off the back of the
kitchen, and rooted around till he found what he needed. With the
rolled up paper tucked under his arm, Xander grabbed a dinner plate
from the dish drainer and ran back to where the others now waited,
a look of anticipation on their faces.
Gunilla and Heinrich looked slightly bleary eyed from their aborted nap.
Xander looked at them sympathetically. Their advanced age may have
cut short their stamina but not their loyalties or determination. In their
hearts, the Hineys were still in their prime.
"Sorry to have wakened you but this couldn't wait."
Heinrich waved his hand dismissively.
"Don't be silly. Ve are old and can sleep when ve are dead.
Now ve find our Tara. Ve knew when your were ready you
vould do dis. Ve Will follow you, my Boy, to da ends of da earth."
Xander was stunned and overwhelmed by the tone of simply
accepted confidence in Heinrich's voice. Looking around, the
others all nodded and smiled their agreement.
Swallowing around the lump in his throat, Xander went into
action. He quickly spread out the detailed city map in the center
of the table where everyone could easily see it.
"All right. Here is the area of the campus where Tara was last seen."
Xander drew an 'X' over the spot.
"Now, we all believe that she wasn't taken far and....."
The rest of Xander's explanation temporarily slipped from his mind
as his attention focused on Andrew. Staring intently at the map,
the boy, himself was unaware that he had been steadily humming
a tune for some time. It was the same melody that annoying had been
looping through Xander's brain too.
"Andrew, what is that? That song?"
Andrew looked up and shook his head.
"I don't know but it has been running nonstop since the trance. It
sounds kinda familiar, but I don't know it."
Together they looked into each other's eyes and, in unison, hum/sang
"La la ta da da dum dum da da da da."
"We know dat one. Remember, Pappa?"
Heinrich thought for a moment and then chuckled.
"Yes, yes, that is Hotel California. Mama and I, in da 60's, ve vent to
da big concert. Ve smoke da cannabis. Good times Mama, good
The three younger members of the group stood slack jawed at the
disturbing mental picture of the Heinrichs, in their twenties, dressed
as hippies, singing, dancing and smoking a shared joint.
Willow felt a shudder run through her.
Andrew found the whole thing somehow reasonable. From what he
had read in history class, Heinrich and Gunilla actually fit the free sex,
change the world through peace and drugs mentality very well.
In fact, her advice and lectures on love were exactly why he was still
very much "Da anal virgin" Jake was not the one. He was a bump
and grind buddy, a blow job pal and a date on Saturday night, but he
was not the love of Andrew's life.
He was not the Spike to Andrew's Xander.
And Andrew knew that was worth waiting for.
With a wrinkled brow Willow asked,
"You think she's being held in a hotel? You think she's been kidnapped
by the Eagles?"
Xander shook his head.
"No, it isn't anything that literal. I think it's just another piece in a million
piece puzzle that seemed to take no shape or form. It's one of those
things that we make note of and when it comes together it will verify
the other evidence."
The others agreed and Willow jotted it down. Everyone then returned
their attention to the map on the table.
Xander laid the plate upside down on the map, with the campus
directly in the center, and he drew a large circle around it.
"We all agreed that we don't think he took her far. Her energy still felt
strong and it seems to remain in the general area. This circle covers
approximately a five mile diameter around the point where she was
taken. As the psychic readers, Andrew and I are going to try to narrow
it down a bit further. I guess the only thing to do then is to hit the streets.
We cruise the area where we get the strongest impressions and use
Gunilla's map to try and locate the place where she is being kept. I
also think it will help if Willow uses her connection to Tara to feel for
her essence. I know it's all a long shot, but we can't just sit here any longer."
Gunilla was the first to speak up.
"None of us want to wait anymore. We trust you. You will lead us to her.
We do it!"
The others quickly added their endorsement and Xander felt buoyed
by their solid alliance. Shoving the platter to the side, he and Andrew
held hands. As an after thought, Andrew reached into his pocket and
pulled out the valued shell hair clip. Xander nodded his approval and
they each placed a hand low, less than two inches over the circled
area of the map.
Andrew's hand clutched the hair clip and, like a diving rod, slowly passed
over the area of the map within the circle drawn Xander's fingertips
lightly held physical contact with the boy's knuckles and he closed his
eyes, sharing the strength of the psychic energy.
The action was very much as though the two men were using the triangle
marker of a Ouija board, seeking the answers to heart felt question.
Starting in a perimeter that reached the entire circumference of the circle,
Andrew's hand moved round and round, his slight body rocking back and
forth as he did and quickly closing in on a smaller and smaller space.
Eventually, he stood, his hand and body no longer moving, his fist suspended
in an area over the northeast quadrant of the suspected section of town.
Xander closed his eyes and allowed himself to float along on the languid wave
of warmth that emanated form the small area of the map. It was a feeling of
life, it was a feeling of love combined with sadness and loneliness.
Andrew lifted his face first.
"That's it. She's there."
Quickly Xander drew a tighter ring around the area. It was still a several
block section of the city but it was a starting point. It was a solid destination.
It was where Tara was waiting for them.
"That's it! Let's go!"
Xander quickly folded the map with the street side out. Willow grabbed
all their notes and Gunilla held tightly to the copy of the map she had drawn
and given to Spike. Heinrich gulped the last of the wine and scooped up his
"I drive. Ve take da Lincoln."
All five remaining members of the Circle ran for the front door, down
the walk way and, looking like a Chinese fire drill, piled into the long
black shiny car.
Andrew, who had jumped in the back seat, let out a whoop and a holler.
"WOW! A real stake out! Can we get donuts just like real cops?"
Gunilla turned to reprimand him but paused.
"A bearclaw and a pecan delight would be good. What do you
Xander just rolled his eyes.