Author: Rei and Chris
Tara rubbed the towel through her wet hair furiously, quickly drying it. She knocked lightly before storming into Faith's room.
"Do you have any-"
Faith quickly hung up the phone.
Tara cocked her head. "What was that about? I didn't hear the phone ring."
"It didn't, it was nothing, what did you need?"
Blue eyes narrowed in suspicion. "A hair tie."
Faith pulled one out of her bedside table and tossed it to Tara. "That's it?"
They stared at each other intensely for a moment before Tara turned and left, closing the door behind her.
Faith looked at the door for a moment before picking up the phone with a trembling hand. She pushed a speeddial button.
"Sorry, Angel, T walked in."
'Did she hear anything?'
"No, I don't think she heard."
Faith uncrumpled her piece of paper, reading from it the locations she had spotted Willow.
Outside the door Tara had her ear pressed tenderly against the door.
She pulled back, threw her towel on the ground, and went to her room.
Tara yelled back to Faith, "I'm going to pick up cat food." She scratched Miss Kitty's chin.
"Yeah, later T."
Tara closed the door behind her as she left the apartment.
Tara approached her light blue Volvo in the parking lot of PetCo. With a heavy bag of catfood, several catnip toys, and quite a few bags of treats, Tara struggled to get her keys out of her pocket.
She felt a hand on her shoulder and she jumped.
"Oh, Ms. Rosenberg."
Willow smiled, her hand moved to her face to swiftly remove her expensive sunglasses. Tara found her eyes to be the eighth wonder of the world, so full of power and emotion, even if Willow was squinting to keep the sun out of her eyes. "Just call me Willow." She reached out and took the bag of food.
Tara smiled. She reached in her pocket and pulled out her keys.
The trunk popped open and Willow held the bag until Tara could take it and fill the space of the trunk with it.
"You... shop at PetCo?"
"You drive a Volvo?"
They smiled at each other.
Willow looked across the street. She pointed in the distance. "I go to the coffee shop."
"Would it be rude to ask how you afforded a Volvo on a cleaner's salary?"
Tara smirked, "It's pretty complicated."
"Let me guess..." Willow looked deeply in Tara's eyes, "you're a burglar."
A scoff escaped Tara's lips.
Tara could see a smile in Willow's dancing eyes. "I'm just messing with you."
The blonde's lips curled upwards. "Did you want a ride?"
"I was going to call my driver, but he's sassy, complains," she smiled, "he'll love you forever."
Tara opened the passenger side door. Willow smiled and took her seat. "Gotta love chivalry."
When Tara was in place, the duo zoomed off.
The girls often exchanged shy glances and witty banter at stop signs and red lights on the way to the mansion like building Willow resided in.
The Rosenberg estates consisted of a towering black building, much in the style of a spooky movie, as well as a few acres of lush green surrounding area. The entire thing was encased by a tall spiked security fence made of very strong cast iron rods.
Willow smiled and leaned across Tara's body to push the call button.
Tara stammered, finding Willow's desirable breasts pressed against her cheek, "I-I-I can g-get that if you want."
"I got it." Willow dwelled a moment longer than needed before she pulled back.
There was a scratching noise from a speaker and a bouncy male voice came to the ears of the girls. "Rosenberg Estates."
"Xander, it's Will, open the gate for me?"
"Yeah, sure, what're you driving around for? You were supposed to call me!"
"I got a ride from a girl that works for me."
"I LOVE HER!"
The gate creaked open menacingly. Willow nudged Tara lightly. "Go ahead, it won't kill you." Tara smiled and drove on, stopping at the facade of the house.
"Thanks for the ride, might I interest you in a drink? Some champagne maybe?"
Tara nodded and got out of the Volvo, walking alongside Willow's long strides to the door.
The door opened before they could reach for the knob frightening Tara.
Willow laughed and put her hand on Tara's shoulder. "Don't worry, it's just Giles."
The Englishman glanced at Tara, a serious look on his face before moving back to Willow. "Willow, I have some bad and urgent news. Perhaps I should speak to you alone."
The redhead crinkled her brow and shook her head. "You can say it here."
"Well, it seems the two people that've been following you have been identified. Unfortunately, Buffy could only find one name for you, Angel. She says he's been around for a while. She said 'he' so I'm assuming this is the man. She said she'd keep looking for the brunette woman."
Tara's eyes opened quickly. "Sorry Ms. Rosenberg, I have to go. I forgot I have a meeting."
"A cleaning meeting?"
"I didn't schedule one."
"Rosey did. Very sorry, see you at work tomorrow." Tara turned tail and ran back to her car, jumped in, and furiously peeled out of the estate.
Giles cleared his throat. "Well she's an odd one isn't she?"
"Yeah," a slow smile spread across the redhead's face, "she is."
Tara pounded harshly at the door to Angel's apartment. Still no answer, she was getting impatient. With a quick motion Tara kicked the door in.
He wasn't home. It was dusk, quite possible he was hunting.
Tara sifted through various items: prayer beads, Moby Dick, a glass of blood.
She touched her finger to the liquid.
"Still warm, he just left."
She went to his phone, she'd call his cell, she needed to talk to him.
As she reached for the receiver Tara noticed a stack of yellow paper, a pen nearby. Written on it was the address to Rosenberg Enterprises, as well as Willow's office number, this was followed by various locations including the address to Rosenberg Estate, and Quik Caffine, the shop across from PetCo.
Tara's forehead wrinkled with curiosity.
Blue eyes darted from the phone to the paper before she turned and walked out the broken entrance.
Tara walked up the stairs to she and Faith's apartment, but through the paper thin walls, loud voices caught her ears. It was Angel and Faith.
"I've already helped you find her, I'm not going to pull the trigger, I feel bad enough about this as it is."
"Com'on Faithy, just one murder, no big deal."
"No way soul-boy, nuh uh. Not my style. I shoot for the good guys now."
Tara moved slowly around the corner until the two were in sight, they stood outside the door to the apartment.
Angel scoffed, "Your best friend and room mate is a burglar, you enjoy her spoils." A cold finger reached out and slipped behind Faith's F diamond necklace.
He tugged slightly before letting go.
"Think about it. You have until the ball. It's a lot of money Faith."
Tara scaled the wall and pressed herself against the two sides of the hallway, holding herself against the ceiling.
She watched as Angel billowed out below her.
Tara waited until she heard Faith shut the door and Angel was gone before dropping to the floor with the grace of a cat.
She pulled out her key, inwardly fuming, and pretended nothing happened
That was it then... she had until the night of the ball to find a way to save Willow.