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
"Has he asked for a lawyer?"
Spike and Faith stood on the back side of the two way
mirror and watched as their suspect sat fidgeting in the
small windowless interrogation room.
Daniel Osborn stood with them, knowing how much
restraint both detectives were showing in not charging in there
and beating the information out of him.
"Nope. Matter of fact, he keeps asking for you. Says he
can explain everything. Says you made a big mistake.
Says he is innocent as a baby's butt. Course something
tells me his interest in a baby's butt would be far from innocent."
Faith crinkled up her nose and crossed her arms.
"Did you run him? Does he have a record? Any wants
or warrants? What about priors?"
When the rookie officer brought him in, Oz personally
did the booking process to make sure nothing would be missed.
No mistakes that could cost them position in a trial or errors
that could affect the arresting charges.
Reaching behind him, he picked up a manilla folder off a small
metal table and flipped it open.
"He has no active wants or warrants and only two prior arrests
with conviction. He had a shop lifting in 1999. Seems he took
several adult video's from Film Fantasy, an adult place on the
South side of town. He was picked up again in 2001.
That time there was a complaint of him going into a laundromat
and exposing himself to a couple college girls. Said they positively
I.D'd him from a penis photo line up."
Oz snorted at the thought.
Spike continued to watch Meeps nervously bite his fingernails
and look all around the bare walls of the room. He expected the
man, at any minute, to leap up and begin beating his head against
the wall in desperation.
"So how did he get a job at the college with two sex offenses
Oz shook his head.
"Nope. The first one was a simple shop lifting. His lawyer had
all mention of the items stolen stricken from the case as irrelevant.
That made it a misdemeanor. Meeps made restitution and the case
was dropped. Because he had no previous felony record, same
lawyer got the indecent exposure plea bargained down to a
disorderly charge. He got 10 days in the county jail and a $500.00
Faith huffed in disgust. She should have been surprised, but the fact
was, that was the way the justice system of America worked.
It always left her more disgusted with the lawyers who got these
creeps off than the pervs themselves.
She looked at the man in the room and as much as she wanted to hate
him, the emotion just wasn't there. She knew she would never be
filling out an application to join the elite Circle, but her female
intuition was telling her that this was not their man. She was
pretty sure he had not taken Tara. He was just your average, run of
the mill ass hole.
"Come on. Let's get this over with."
Faith grabbed the file from Oz's hand and walked out the door, Spike
close behind. He knew she was unconvinced but she hadn't seen the
inside of Meeps room like he had. Faith had doubts. Spike did not.
Spike took the chair at the end of the small rectangular table and sat
down. Faith dropped the folder with a pronounced "whap" as it
landed and she sat directly across from the man waiting to be questioned.
Spike folded his fingers and placed his hands in front of him.
"So, tell me, Harlin, how come you aren't screaming for your lawyer?
Didn't he get you off scott free on the last two arrests?"
It was the perfect opening. It was the one thing Meeps wanted to
talk about the most.
"No. No, see that's exactly why I didn't call him. I don't need no
lawyer cause I'm innocent. Yeah, I took them skin flicks but I made
it right. I paid for 'em."
"And the little laundromat incident? Just dropping trou so you could wash
Faith snorted a laugh at Spike's assessment of Meep's flashing but Meeps
didn't see the humor. As always he was the misunderstood victim.
"No. Them girls wanted to see it. They was flirting with me. I was
just going in there to get a soda out of the machine and they was
crotch watchin' me. You know, letting me see their eyes scope out
my package. Coupla cock teases they was. Wantin' to see my stuff
then when I show it to them they get all "Ewww" and call the cops.
I was set up I tell you."
Spike just shook his head. It was a waste of time to try to point out
logic to an illogical mind. Instead, he opened the folder that Faith
had dropped and pulled out a handful of photos, fanning them out
in front of Meeps shocked face.
"What about these? Did these girls all pose knowing you were
hiding in the bushes like a snake with a camera and a long distance lens.
Were they teasing you by using the ladies room at the college?
Did they want their privacy violated?"
Meeps pouted and physically closed in on himself with his arms
wrapped tightly around his stomach.
"Ain't no law against takin' pictures. You said yourself, it's a
public place. College campus. Anybody can go there and all
day you see lot's of people walking around takin' pictures.
You can't arrest a guy for that."
Spike left all the pictures where Meeps could see them although
in his heart, he knew Meeps was right and any first year lawyer
would easily get those charges dropped.
"What about the panties? You're a pretty big guy. You wearing
ladies panties? And let's be honest. Most of them was covered in
an amazing amount of spunk. You're a very busy fellow. Got lots
of, shall we say, liquid assets?"
Meeps was not the least bit embarrassed.
"So what? Them's mine. I bought 'em and I jerk off with 'em.
Prove I didn't. Prove them's stolen. You can't cause they ain't."
Faith also knew this interview was rapidly going down hill and any
hand hold they hoped for was quickly slipping out of their grasp.
Besides, all of this was just crap. It wasn't why they were there and
it was time to turn up the heat.
Grabbing up a close up shot of Tara's face, Faith shook it just an
inch from Meeps nose.
"What about This, Meeps? What about Tara McClay? You can
talk all you want about fucking with lacy underwear wrapped around
your dick or the popularity of on campus photography, but you
know why you are here. Where the fuck is Tara?"
Harlin Meeps knew immediately that this woman was not one to
play with. Leaning forward, he threw his hands out innocently.
"I don't know. I swear, I don't know. Look, I liked Miss McClay.
She wasn't like the others. She never teased me. She always
treated me with respect and sometimes she let me walk her to her car.
She was alive and well when I saw her leave. If somebody done
killed her you should talk to that guy that was with her."
Faith quickly shot back.
"Who said anyone killed her? We never said she was dead. That's
a hell of a conclusion to leap to. What do you think Spike? You
think our friend here is trying to confess something?"
When her partner didn't answer, Faith turned and found Spike studying
one of Harlin's pictures. After a ten second pause, Spike swiped all
the photos off the table and jumped to his feet.
"Come on, Faith. We need to go. Now."
In a flash the two detectives were gone and Harlin Meeps sat
at the table alone.
"Hey, what about me?"