Red sat very still and closed her eyes; she could almost imagine how everything had happened.
Mr. Bogarty's pawnshop:
Frankie: "Hey Mr. B, so what's happening?"
Bogarty: "I got a message for you from Johnny. He didn't think that your phone line was safe or your mailbox either. He also wanted me to check something out for him with my contact in the State Department."
Frankie: "Jeez... what's he gotten himself into now?"
Bogarty: "I don't know the whole story, but I do know he's way over his head. He asked me to find information about a certain jewel and the story behind it is amazing. Besides that he dropped me a couple names to check out and whatever is going on you better tell him to drop it. Get this, the names he gave me came back positive for 'mole' status."
Bogarty: "Not just any spies, Kraut spies, big in the Gestapo ranks."
Frankie: "Why in hell?"
Bogarty: "I don't know, he didn't say much more than I needed to know, but you better find out before he gets himself killed."
Frankie: "What's the message?"
Bogarty: "He sent this letter with some names and this key. He said to think back to the days of the tree house and that you would figure out what to do next. He also said that you should expect a call from a girl named Faith that she would finish clueing you in."
Frankie did receive that call and suddenly everything was clear like crystal. Unfortunately it was too late. There was nothing that could be done for Sarah Maclay or Johnny Rosengberg and soon after Frankie 'Red' would follow them to the land of no return.
Willow figured that the strange reference to the childhood games was significant. She recalled several of her father's tales and one in particular that the two brothers were always reminiscing about. They loved playing games like 'spies' or 'detectives' and many of their allowances had been spent on buying tools of the trade like magnifying glasses or invisible ink. Johnny was suspicious of the phone line so he sent seemingly blank postcards to his bother in hopes that he would figure it out, the places depicted were also significant, they marked important locations and the numbers with the key, they were the most important part of it all.
Faith had filled in the blanks. Upon her return from Europe she had found her Aunt in a weakened health condition and the desperate woman had reached out to her for help. She had told her about her Father in law's abuses and her suspicions of foul play regarding both her business affairs and her failing health. Faith had eagerly tried to help her aunt she hired an out of town detective to help them investigate the stern and sometimes mysterious grandfather.
The detective had had a rough time finding information on the man given that he was a foreigner, but he was determined to put a stop to any foul play that could be afoot. The detective had taken an instant liking to the gentle and beautiful Sarah Maclay and he was damned if he was going let any one hurt her. Sarah had also taken a liking to him and soon they had fallen in love. That was in part one of the reasons that Sarah had to not inform her daughter Tara of everything that was happening. The older Maclay needed to be certain that her husband and her father in law were in deed involved in a dirty plot against her and she also needed to be free from her failing marriage before explaining to Tara about her feelings for Johnny. Her daughter and her family were the most important thing in the world and she needed to do everything in her power to keep them safe.
They made one mistake, they underestimated the grandfather's capacity for evil.
As soon as he sensed that Sarah was on to him he sped up his plans. Sarah's health quickly deteriorated. Johnny worked overtime and finally found what he was looking for, he now had proof that the grandfather was a seriously bad man that needed to be put away for a long time. He brought the proof to Sarah and she knew that she had to act quickly but the news were not all good, the results from the lab had shown that it was too late for her.
Johnny had cried for the first time in his life and he had made a promise to his only love that he would somehow bring that wretched, old man to justice and he would make sure that Tara got was rightfully hers. Johnny knew that the grandfather had found out about him and had been following him for weeks. It was a matter of time before the old man made a move against him. The detective moved as fast he could, Sarah made the necessary arrangements and Johnny carried out her wishes the best way he could. He played it safe and tricky, fully aware that he was being watched. Faith knew of the arrangements made just in case.
Whatever happened they weren't going to get away with stealing Sarah's life and Tara's rightful legacy. It would have turned out perfectly, but fate had other plans. Sarah's death came more quickly than expected. Johnny had carried out only part of the plan before getting shot. It was now up to Faith and Frankie, but Frankie had met the maker before ever speaking to Faith and clearing things up. As for Faith, she had laid low after Frankie's death but Donnie had managed to find her. They argued and he had pushed off a second story balcony the girl had hit her head and had fallen into a coma.
Sarah, Johnny and Frankie had taken a secret to their graves a secret that the Maclays were willing to kill for and now Willow had it nearly all figured out. The key to it was literally in her hands.
Willow walked out of her apartment building with a small smile sketched across her lips.
She breathed in the cool night air and said to herself "Looks like it's going to be a good night after all." As soon as the phrase left her lips she felt a loud thumping sound and a sharp pain that ran through her body starting from her skull. "Or maybe not... " she groggily muttered before losing consciousness.
When Red awoke her head ached like crazy and it her lids felt heavy as bricks. She struggled to open her eyes and as soon as she did the pain multiplied. It certainly didn't help that someone seemed to be slapping her hard across the cheek and yelling into her face.
"Wake up! Come on now, torture is no fun if you're not awake to feel it." A loud female voice stated.
Red blinked and fought to stay conscious. Somewhere in the murky waters of her mind the woman's voice rang out like a familiar echo. "Alright quit the slapping I'm awake already." The detective managed to croak out.
The blonde woman laughed and clapped her hands with a look of utter glee upon her face. "Oh goody... now we play."
Red tried moving but failed. She became aware that she was tied tightly to a chair. “Just great." The detective wearily thought as she struggled against her bonds.
The blonde woman shook her head. "Tsk-tsk, now none of that. Those ropes are nice and snug and they're staying on until I say so."
Red squinted her eyes. "Hey wait a minute... I know that voice, you're the robed weirdo that jumped outside the University."
"Very good detective. Since you're such a good detective and you are so clever maybe now you could tell me where 'The eye of the Raven' is, tell me now pretty please?" The blonde said in a sing-song voice that made her sound crazier than the first time.
"I thought you wanted me to stay away from it." Red curtly answered the obviously disturbed woman.
"Oh no, that was just a little game I played. You see... I know you, I know your type, the strong, silent, rebel looking for a cause types. The more you get told 'no' and 'don't' the more you say 'yes' and 'do' I just wanted to peak your interest further, sort of speed things along."
Now Willow's head really did hurt. "Then why the conking me in the head just now?"
The blonde shrugged her shoulders and played with her curly locks. "I'm bored and time is running out. Plus my associate doesn't like these games and he ordered me to cut to the chase today, so here we are."
"Yes here ve are." Said a male voice with a strong foreign accent.
Red looked at the new comer with a weary expression. She knew what was coming and wasn't particularly looking forward to it.
“Vell, answer the ladies question, if you please." He said with a toothy grin.
Willow rolled her eyes and stared at the man with a defiant gaze. "I don't know and even if I did I wouldn't tell you. Who the hell are you people anyhow?"
The man ignored Willow's stare and seemed amused by the detective's cool demeanor. In his mind he knew that he had the upper hand and that she would break eventually. He was actually looking forward to seeing how much the feisty redheaded American could resist under pressure. He had brought some new 'toys' that he was just dying to try out and this was looking like the perfect opportunity to do so. He had to stop himself from giggling like a gleeful little boy before answering the detective in an almost bored tone. "Now, now detective do not play dumb wit me. You surely know who I am by now. Nonetheless, allow me to introduce myself properly. Just because I'm going to torture and kill you doesn't mean I have no manners. I am Captain Otto Strauss and zis is Fraulein Glory Klausbarben. Now, vere is the stone?"
He detective was unfazed by the German's words. She knew this was all part of the game. She needed to buy herself some time. Bad guys loved to yap about their evil schemes, she had to get them talking while she figured a way out of the jam she was in. "You know you're right. I do know who you are, what I can't figure is why you want this jewel so damn much. It's one stone with a cockamamie story behind it. Don't you Krauts have enough by now from all the looting and pillaging you've done all over Europe?" Red asked not bothering to conceal the contempt she felt for her present captors.
Captain Strauss smiled lazily again, with a gleam in his eyes. The redhead would've preferred that he slapped her like she had anticipated, since that particular gleam seemed to hold a promise of a high price to pay for her comment. "I'll humor you just this once and answer your question detective, but after…well after, you will answer to me." He said evenly and in spite of all her bravery a cold shiver ran up the detective's spine.
Willow Rosenberg kept her face impassive even though she was well aware of the danger that she was in. She knew that the more fear she showed these two people the more they would enjoy their little games at her expense. She had to keep her wits about her or it would surely mean a world of unwanted pain.
The German straightened his rigid stance even more as if he were about to salute a superior officer and went on to disclose with no small amount of pleasure the intensions behind his actions. "This stone happens to very special detective. The story behind it is not... how did you put it? Cockamamie? You see mein Fuhrer is quite interested in history and mythology and he firmly believes that behind every legend there is truth. Can you imagine the power that the Reich could have if mein Fuhrer was to gain possession of the 'Eye of the Raven'? It is said that whoever has it may have the power to see and know everything that happens anywhere in the world."
Red let out a guffaw of disbelief that earned her a dirty look both from the Captain and Fraulein Klausbarben. "Please... I think your dear Fuhrer is out his fucking head. A couple of bricks shorts of a full load if you ask me."
This time the slap did come hard and fast from the blonde female officer who yelled into the redhead's face, "Shut up! Do not insult our Fuhrer!" She said taking a handful of the detective's locks and pulling them back with force." Who do you think you are? I'm going to make you pay for your words American bitch."
"That's enough Glory we'll have time to play soon enough." The German said tugging on the blonde's arm coaxing her to release the detective. "Now Miss Rosenberg... you recently made a trip and I've had news that you were quite busy. What did little Miss Faith tell you?"
Red was fuming now; she hated having her hair pulled. She tugged on her ropes trying to break free or at least loosen her bonds, while thinking of the ways she could kick the blonde's bony ass once she got loose. "She's not awake. Your doctors nearly killed her. So this has all been a big waste of your time and mine."
The German eyed her carefully. "You're lying." He said decisively.
"Yes she's lying, may I have her now please?" The blonde asked wiggling in anticipation.
"Why don't you let me have a crack at her first." Donald Maclay said from the warehouse entrance, grinning like cat.
When the detective saw the man standing at doorway looking smug, a cool calm settled over her body just because she knew in her gut that somehow she was going to get out of the tight spot that she was in and she was going to her five minutes alone with Donald Maclay. The redhead let out a light laugh. "Is this your secret weapon Otto? Now I'm really not telling any of you a damn thing."
Donald Maclay grinned even wider. "Well if you don't care about your pain or your life, maybe you'll care about hers, bring her in Mickey." He said, as a pudgy, greasy looking man forcefully dragged in a gagged and blindfolded blonde woman.