"Jesus fucking Christ!" muttered Willow as her house phone rang in her bedroom. She grunted a hello as she picked up the phone and heard Officer Harris's voice.
"Officer Harris, why am I not surprised to hear from you?" questioned Willow, slightly out of it from the recent state of sleep.
"Hey Will, we need you down here on Main Beach," Xander answered.
Xander only referred to Willow by Will or Willow outside of the workplace, when the two talked one on one. Also, this was a big indicator to Willow that he was scared.
"Xander, what's wrong?" asked Willow, now completely concerned for her best friend, if not only friend on the island.
"There's been another attack," he stated simply. Willow's eyes grew big and she threw on the closest items that resembled clothes and drove quickly to Main Beach.
Practically jumping out of the truck, Willow rushed over to see a frenzy of people, crime scene tape and an ambulance. It the mix, she spotted Xander.
"Officer Harris," she called. The young man looked up, grief stricken all over his face. She moved over right beside him and said, "What the hell happened?" In a much lower voice, Willow whispered to Xander, "Come on Xander, pull it together, it's alright."
Xander nodded and motioned for her to follow him. They walked briskly on the beach for a while before encountering a young female with hazel hair.
"Chief Rosenberg, this is Dawn Summers, a witness to what happened tonight," introduced Xander. Willow eyed the girl. Taking in her appearance and the small behavior she could, she deduced that the young woman was in shock.
Dawn clung to the med intern as if he were oxygen. She shook slightly, but from shock or cold, Willow didn't know. Her eyes, as Willow guessed, were swollen from crying. Dawn looked like, for lack of a better word, shit.
"What exactly did she witness?" Willow questioned, fearing she already knew the answer.
Xander nodded his head toward a lump of mass laying on the sand a couple of feet from the two cops. "That," he simply said.
Willow inched closer, not from fear or smell, but by instinct.
A young woman's body lay shredded, resembling the remains of the other two victims. Her right arm was completely gone, as was her right leg, but the sight that most caught Willow off guard was the missing chunk of flesh in the woman's right side. The face was so damaged that the only way you could tell which side was up right was the fact that the head was still half connected to the body.
Willow thought out loud, "The shark attacked from the right side, straight shot, so it was surfaced - well as much as it could be surfaced-when it attacked," concluded Willow.
"That isn't the only victim," butted in Xander, "there was another boy, Ms. Summers boyfriend. His leg was extracted by the attacker and they rushed him to the hospital. He'll be fine though."
"Alright well, we need to, unfortunately, preserve this girl's body for Ms. Maclay to examine it. She should be out here tomorrow sometime. Until then, we need to get the kids' stories. Just to confirm the inevitable. With their statements, we can issue for a warrant to close the beaches," she concluded.
"Finn won't like that," state Xander, almost to himself.
"This isn't Finn's job," responded Willow, almost to herself. She sighed as she walked with Xander to the station to do the paper work on the case.
Back at the station, Willow and Xander filled out all the required documents and aimlessly talked about their "plans" for the weekend. Willow didn't have much to talk about. She only had a few minor complaints; and of course, the 4th of July celebration to prepare. It was only June 24, but Finn had her on the assignment at the end of May. The redhead had to set up security and make sure everything ran smoothly for Mayor Finn.
"So who's this Maclay you mentioned?" Xander asked, interrupting Willow's thoughts.
Without looking up from her paperwork, Willow answered him, "The marine biologist that Steinhart Aquarium is sending over."
"Yeah, but I know you pretty well, and you love that computer. In fact, you love the computer so much, that you do background checks on almost everyone before you meet them," Xander noted. Willow's looked up from her work and smiled guiltily at him.
"Alright, so I did a background check, but it hardly said anything. She went to UCLA and majored in marine biology. She worked as a dolphin trainer for Sea World during her college summers to pay for school. Then, fresh out of college, she continued working at Sea World in the shark department until Steinhart recruited her," Willow revealed.
Xander smiled, knowing that Willow always researched help for the force. Xander didn't know why though. He used to think she was just paranoid, but after learning more about Willow, he knew she wasn't paranoid. But what other reason could there be? The brown haired man finally decided it really didn't matter.
Willow finally set down her pen and sighed. "Bring her in."
Xander stood and composed himself. He stuck his head out the door and called for Dawn, who slowly walked into the office.
"Why don't you give us some time Officer Harris," Willow stated.
With Xander's nod, she glanced at the young woman who kept her eyes on the floor. Willow frowned in sadness.
"Dawn, right? I'm Chief Rosenberg, but you can call me Willow, alright?" The young girl looked up and nodded once at Willow and the red head continued. "Ok, so as hard as I'm sure it might be to recall this incident, could you please explain to me what happened out there?" inquired Willow.
The brunette gazed out the window to the ocean shore. Just as Willow began to repeat the question, the girl spoke.
"We were swimming. It was a spur of the moment thing. We had a couple of drinks, thought it would be fun to skinny dip for an hour or so. Carlos, my boyfriend, was joking around with attacking my leg and stuff. He scared the shit out of me and Kit. When I felt something bump my leg again, I figured it was, um, Carlos...again..."her eyes watered up, but she breathed in deep and continued, "I told him to stop messing around and he looked at me like I was crazy...then he was pulled under." She paused a moment. "He resurfaced once and then was yanked under again, but me and Kit were heading for shore. Then, he came up again and I reached for him. We began swimming in. Kit was in front of us. All of a sudden, that thing hit in from the side. Drove her out of the way. I almost stopped, but Carlos told me to keep going. And I did. Didn't even turn back once to see if I could help her. Of course I saved Carlos, but in Kit's time of need, I just let her go. The one person who was with me time and time again..." she began crying uncontrollably. She shook violently and Willow moved around her desk to comfort her. Dawn balled for fifteen minutes, constantly blaming herself, before controlling herself.
"So, you are positive it was a shark then?" questioned Willow, not really needing to. With Dawn's nod, Willow squatted on her knees in front of the girl.
"Then I need you to fill out this complaint form. It's the only way that Mayor Finn will allow is to close the beaches. Carlos will need to do the same. Your statement could prevent further attacks on swimmers," Willow tried to emphasize her statement as much as possible. She knew far too well how much effort Finn would put into fighting Willow on this. With these statements, there was no way he could argue and win.
Dawn nodded numbly and filled out the necessary questions and lines, jumping through every hoop Willow placed in front of her. Willow felt the girl was distant, basically going through the motions. Her heart went out to the girl.
When everything was done, Willow told the girl to go home and sleep as best she could. With the girl gone, Xander began to walk back into Willow's office, but she shooed him away.
"Go home. Get rest. Be back early tomorrow," she commanded.
"I assume you're going to stay here all night and there's nothing I can do about it," he stated, not so much as a question but more of an observation.
"Your intuitive side scares me sometimes Harris. I'll see you tomorrow," she said, returning to her desk and opening up the first of a pile of books she had picked up from the local library.
Willow flipped through the pages, looking at pictures and facts. Statistics and attack maps.
But they just all faded into the same damn thing.