Four Aces Investigations, that's the name on the door. I'm one of those Aces, my name is Willow Rosenberg. That name's like a curse to me in this business. So my friends and my enemies if they know what's good for them call me red. That's what my pop used to call me too. He said it wasn't only cause of the hair it was also cause of my temper. He's the one that got me hooked on the P.I business. He's been gone for a couple years now. The only things he left behind after a life time of work and trouble was this agency and me. So I've been more than happy to carry on the family tradition and let me tell you it ain't easy buster. I tell ya skirts get no respect, not before things get ugly anyways. It's a good thing I got my friends and good old Jackie Daniels to keep me sane.
My friends they're the other three Aces on the door. There's Buffy, what a name huh? she's worse off than me. It's the kind of name an upiddy dame in a tea room would have not a P.I. in truth that's probably what she would have become if it wasn't for the fact that life can be more than a little strange.
The road in my experience is never straight, it's always topsy-turvy. She lived up town, the high life, until her old man ran off with the secretary and left her and her mom without a cent. The kid got pulled off her ivory tower and landed in my public school and neighborhood. I couldn't help but taking her under my wing. Those school bullies would have eaten her alive without my protection. Nobody messed with me without walking away with at least a bloody nose. I rescued her when Jimmy the moose was gonna steal her lunch. I hated bullies, they're cowards at heart so I ran him off.After that I couldn't have gotten away from that scrawny squirt of a girl if I had wanted to. She hung around me like Christmas lights on a tree.
We've been friends ever since and she's grown up real nicely too. She can hold her own in a fight and those looks have helped us out of more than one jam. Buffy's the looker with brains type, she opens doors for us in more ways than one.
Xander is the muscle and the go-getter. He's got gophers all over town, he'll get you anything, any time you need it.
Anya is my secretary and Xander's main squeeze. She's got a big mouth and a heart to match, though she tries to hide it.
The last member of our little group is Mr. G, we call him that cause he's an ex-G-MAN. He had some back trouble and they- the feds- dropped him like a hot potato, he's still a tough guy and his government contacts come in handy now and again. Together we've built up a pretty nice reputation in a not so nice line of work.
To think it's all about to go to hell and cause of a dame no less. When pop told me to get myself a nice boy he didn't say it out of prejudice. He said it cause he knew women would bring me nothing but trouble. If I had listened to pop and my gut I wouldn't be in this jam right now.
It was exactly two weeks ago today that everything started. It was a hot summer afternoon, all my friends left for lunch and I stayed cause I wasn't hungry and I had a strange feeling that I couldn't shake. I knew something was about to go down, I just didn't know what. I sat enclosed in the heat of my office and waited, with my piece handy just in case. The ceiling fan wasn't giving me any relief and I wiped the back of my neck for the tenth time in five minutes. Fortunately I had a box of hankies stored in my desk, they always came in handy one way or the other. My pop always used to say 'in this business you gotta be prepared to sweat'. Well nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen next.
Then the doorknob turned slowly and she walked in, a fallen angel, a risen devil everything rolled up into one fine looking package.
I was struck speechless, there was this vision in heels, a navy blue skirt slit on the side down just below the knees, leaving just enough legs for the imagination, a white silk blouse and form fitting I mean Form fitting jacket, what curves... long neck connected to a Greek Goddesses face, complete with full red lips, sky blue eyes and long blonde hair to boot.
For a moment I thought I was hallucinating from the heat. We just stared at each other for what seemed to be centuries. I'm sure it was just a couple of seconds suspended in time. I know how it sounds... I didn't think it was possible either, until that day... until she walked in.
I finally got my voice back and heard myself saying "Hello, may I help you with something?" I could swear I heard a little gasp coming from in between her ruby-red lips.
Now that I think about it she really did look surprised to see me. At the time I thought it was cause of me being a woman P.I, I was used to it and she covered her reaction by saying as much.
"Good afternoon, I'm looking for Frank Rosenberg... I think he's better known as Frankie Red."
"Well sweet heart if you had an appointment you're two years too late and so is he."
"Oh, you mean?"
"Yeah I mean... but I'm... you could say Red junior... now, please take a seat and tell me how I can help you."
She took a seat looking a bit unsettled, now I know the real reason why. Still, I've never wanted to switch places with a chair so badly in my life. I was just hoping she wasn't there looking for paternity rights or something like that. Dad was after all a ladies man. That would have killed me right there where I stood. I don't think I could've seen her as a sister, no way.
"But umh... you're a... well you're ah..."
"What? A... woman? Well what's wrong with that? You seem to be one yourself."
"Yes forgive me I was just surprised, you don't hear about many women being detectives these days."
"Don't worry about it I'm used to taking heat for it. Now I assure you anything my pop could have helped you with I can help you with just as well. I don't work alone either so instead of enlisting the help of one you'd be enlisting the help of many. Now again how may I help you Miss..." She hesitated for a few more seconds.
"Maclay... Tara Maclay."
I hoped she was convinced, I didn't want to part company just yet. I hadn't grown tired of the view. I began to doubt if I ever would. Even her name sounded perfect.
I saw her fidget a little in her chair and caught a glimpse of a little bead of sweat rolling down her temple. She took out a hankie and wiped it away discretely. Boy I wished I could've been that hankie.
Yeah, It was so bad from the start that I wanted to be every object she touched, every object she had ever touched in her life.
"Miss Maclay excuse my manners, this heat is infernal and I haven't even offered you a drink... there's an ice box in the back, what can I get you and do you mind if I pour myself a hard drink?"
Usually I wouldn't ask for permission to drink but this dame oozed up-town class and looked like she never drank anything harder than soda pop in her life. That's why her request surprised me in a nice way.
"Of course I don't mind it's your office and I would like a drink too, what ever you're having will be fine, please."
I came back with two gin and tonics in tow. When I handed her the glass our fingers touched and I swear I felt an electrical current flowing through my body. I even thought she had felt it too, something in the expression of her eyes. Then I thought nah, wishful thinking Red, wishful thinking.
I sat on the edge of the desk and waited for her to explain what she needed a detective for. She took a slow lingering sip of her drink and left the mark of her red lips on the brim of the glass. Damn that lucky glass! I was staring so hard I got caught. She looked up from her drink and I turned away glancing nervously at the clock. Me, nervous over a skirt! Like I hadn't had my share of debutantes.
What was it about this dame? When I turned my head back she was staring in turn and held my gaze tight. Her eyes had turned a different shade of blue, deeper, smokier. There was desire in those eyes I could practically feel it or maybe I was just seeing what my own eyes were reflecting.
My heart was racing so fast I could hear raging like thunder in my ears. My mouth got dry and I could hardly think of anything anymore. All I knew was the look in her eyes.
The room seemed to get hotter. I downed my drink with one gulp and loosened my tie before I choked to death. She parted her lips as if to say something, but nothing came out, just a short gasp her face was a little flushed and she began to rise from her chair.
We locked gazes again and I know this is going to sound insane, but for a moment it was like time froze and split in two. Suddenly I felt dizzy, the room was spinning and I saw these visions of her and me. Only it wasn't us. It was like seeing a picture show, only in color, moving at locomotive speed.
There was Tara and me, but dressed differently, sand dunes and deserts. Tara and me staring at each other, in love, making love, and a dozen other images that I couldn't make any sense of. I had to hold on to the edge of my desk to keep from toppling forward. I wondered if she saw and felt the same things. I couldn't tell, I couldn't focus, everything was blurry. For a second I thought maybe I had eaten some bad tuna, then I remembered that I hadn't had tuna in over a month. Her voice pulled me out of the daze.
"I - I - I think I should go... I didn't even have an appointment and..."
I didn't let her finish the sentence, I didn't even let her finish getting up. Something compelled me to grab hold of her and not let her go. Somehow I knew she had just experienced the same things I had. Her breathing had changed just like mine. Her chest was rising and falling rapidly, a tell tale sign that her heart was hammering in her chest just like mine was. Wild horses galloping everywhere.
"Don't go... you don't have to go... please..." I know I sounded as desperate as I felt.
"You don't understand, I do... I have to..." She sounded scared. She was scared. But for the first time in my life so was I.
I pulled her closer until nothing short of a breath separated our bodies.
"I do understand... stay..." I didn't know exactly what it was that I understood, I just did.
"God help me... yes. I can't wait anymore, I just can't. It's really you." She said in a whisper while closing the distance between our bodies. "You're real. I need to feel that you're real..." She kept saying between desperate caresses to my face. I couldn't understand what she was saying, not with my head, but it's like my heart understood every word and agreed.
And if you make a wise crack about me goin' soft I'll give ya a fat lip. And no I'm not going to tell you what happened next. Just pour me another one so I can remember or start to forget. God that's a good one, how could I ever forget?
I know that if Heaven were a moment this would be it and if hell were a moment this would be it too.
She dropped her drink and attached her hands to the back of my head. I've never been hungrier for a kiss in my life. I was drawn to her like the moon to the tide. I drank from her like a nomad from a fountain in the middle of the desert.
She in turn kissed me back with ferocity and despair. What ever was happening to us was primitive and uncontrollable. The heat became unbearable, skin I needed to feel her skin against mine. Still kissing I began to undress her and she followed my lead. Soon we were clad only in our under wear and I was in awe of the beauty before me. Some part of me thought, just like I remember. It was like I'd known her forever. I cleared the desk with one swift motion and lifted her on top.
I started running my hands over her long, smooth legs from the calves to the thighs. Again pulling her close for a kiss, while caressing up her sides and torso, finally reaching and stopping to give attention to her full and perfect breasts. I circled the nipple with the tip of my finger over the fabric of the silk bra before reaching to the back and releasing my coveted prizes. Once they were free I stuck out my tongue and licked the tips. She arched her back and pulled me closer releasing labored gasps and moans as I suckled and pulled lightly. 'Peaches' oh baby you tasted like peaches and smelled like rain. I could write a song. I could a million songs about you, cause I still remember...
The sound and the smell of her arousal was driving me insane. I was trying to no avail to remain in some semblance of control. I pulled off her panties tearing the smooth material, I made my way down her body kissing and biting softly. I stopped just outside of her entrance and let myself get lost in her scent, then I feasted on the most delicious flesh I've ever tasted. Wild berries and wine. My tongue twirled, lunged and danced over every velvety corner. I feasted with the fervor of a cannibal.
Her juices were flowing freely and I wasn't wasting a drop of her precious essence. Her groans and pleas were growing more urgent and I held back just a little longer I wanted to make her mine, I wanted her no matter what happened next to have something to remember me by forever.
When I thought she was close enough I withdrew and came back up to kiss her I wanted her to taste herself on my lips, she groaned into my mouth and I took my fingers to the inside of her wet center. I was surprised when I found resistance in my path.
I searched her eyes curiously and she said the most amazing words I've ever heard in a soft voice, almost like music, she said... "Please... Willow... it's you... it's always you... I'm yours, take me... please." I didn't know then how it was that she knew my name, at that moment it didn't matter. I loved the way she had said it 'Willow' it had never sounded right until it came from her lips, until it was sung in her voice.
I was overcome with emotion I broke through as gently as I could and stilled my hand waiting for a signal from her that the initial pain had passed some. She had her eyes closed and began to softly rock her hips back and forth I resumed movement and soon we were connected to an ancient rhythm. We were both sweating and our moans got confused in the air. She took a hold of my wrist and stopped my hand just when I had felt her getting close again.
"What is it am I hurting you ?"
"NO, it... I-I... want to feel you too, come here... please..." The way she said "please" seemed to melt me from the inside out. I lay down next to her we were face to face and it was like the whole kooky world had disappeared and it was just us. I knew then that this was the closest to perfection I was ever going to get and I wished I could die right then and there just so I could relive that one moment for all eternity. If this was my entrance ticket to hell I'd gladly pay the admission price... twice.
She kissed me with a passion no one's ever kissed me with before or after and she guided my hand inside her again while she let herself inside of me. I remember biting back a near scream of pleasure when I felt her fingers moving inside my core. I didn't even know I was as close to coming as she was. We moved together, fingers, hands caressing erect nipples and breasts, hips bucking together, flesh to flesh heated and flushed, moans and groans piercing the air thick with our combined scent. I wished again that this could go on forever her voice sang in my ears and brought me even closer to the edge. They say when you're in deep you hear bells, well I heard Angels singing.
"Ohhmmmh, that feels soo good... mmhhm..."
"Oh... God... Tara... you're drivin' me crazy... ohm... baby..."
"I'm... I'm... so close... don't stop... don't ever stop..."
"Sooo close... come on let go... come for me baby..." I said while rubbing the small bundle of nerves I had avoided on purpose until now.
"Ooooh, aaahhhhh... WILLOOOOOW!!!!!"
"Ohhhhmmm... Taaaraaaaa... yessssss!!!!!" We released almost at the same time. I can honestly say it was the best orgasm of my life. Later the after shocks passed and we came back down to planet Earth, she was laying there in my arms looking like Venus and I had a smile hanging from ear to ear, like the cat that had swallowed the best tasting canary in the world and got the cream for dessert to boot. I would've died a happy woman just then
She spoke softly into my chest with a small almost faint voice, without looking at me directly.
"I feel so safe in your arms... will I? Will I be safe?"
I didn't know exactly what she meant but I answered honestly, cause I knew I would do everything to protect this woman in my arms, who ever she was.
"Yes sweetheart I'll keep you safe."
"You promise?" she asked me with watery eyes, big as saucers. I thought then this kid has trouble major league trouble. Still I answered with certainty.
"I promise kid. On my old man's grave."
Well cause of that promise I may get to see the old man sooner than I thought. I can hear his words ringing in my ears like sirens: Stay away from the skirts... Dames are nothin' but trouble... don't go for the high rent broads- those are the worst... they'll drive you to your grave, while they whistle dixie in their in their cocktail gowns... I bet he's waiting for me at the gates with a sermon and an I told you so handy.
Of course if I'm gonna be honest here, I'll have to say that even after everything that's happened I wouldn't trade one moment that I've spent with her. I know, I know, I'm off my rocker right? Love does that to you and I fell for her since moment one, I never had a chance to run. Of all the private eye offices in all the world, she had to walk into mine.
"Mmmmhhh...? what was that Mack ? what did you ask? Oh, why DID she go to see me that day and how DID I end up here waiting to get clipped off ? Well... that's another story... Pour me another drink and that last song, could you ask Sam to play it again?"