"Damn it," Willow said to herself as she made her way out of the visiting area toward the wardens office, "I had her. It might've been only for a minute, but I had her."
"Hey, how did it go Ms. Rosenberg? With Tara?" Buffy asked.
"Oh, um,Willow please, no Ms. Rosenberg," Willow corrected the warden.
"Good, cause I think I'll be seeing a lot of you for a while right? So me Buffy, you Willow. Deal?" she said.
"Deal," Willow answered as they shook on it. "I think I blew it, I think I hit her too hard all at once with my theory. She told me to fuck off basically, in no uncertain terms."
"And you feel special that she told you that because...? Did you even look at her file?" Buffy joked.
"No, no I know. She does it to everyone. It's just... I dont know."
"You don't know...?" Buffy said urging her to continue.
"Buffy, it's all an act. That is not who she is," Willow said shaking her head.
"Gee ya think?" answered Buffy, giving Willow a sideways smile as they walked to the cafeteria.
"Why, though, why is she doing this? I don't understand. Why does she feel that she has to act that way?" Willow asked. "You said you had some theory on this. I think I'd like to know what it is."
"I think a lot of things Willow. I think, no, I know, she didn't kill anyone." Buffy said. "I don't know what, or who she's protecting, but I can tell you who she's not protecting." Buffy stopped, turned around and faced Willow. "Her brother."
"You see, that's where I can't agree with you Buffy. Everything I'm reading here, in the case file, in the court transcripts, in her disciplinary files, they all tell me that he did this and she taking the fall for him."
"Well hang on now, don't get me wrong. I agree that she's taking blame for him as far as the killing goes, but I don't think she's doing it to protect him. I think there's something else to it. Someone else I should say." Buffy paused for a minute. "I'm not saying that I just figured this out in my head all by myself. You're making your calls on the information available to you. That's where I have an advantage. I have information you don't."
"What information Buffy? What do you have?" Willow asked.
"Not here," Buffy said. She then reached into her pocket and handed Willow a piece of paper. "This is my home phone number. I'm off at 7:00 tonight. Call me there any time after that and we'll talk."
Then they heard a voice say, "Giving her your home number B? Should I be jealous?" Faith asked as she walked up behind Buffy, wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her close.
"This is Faith. She's the guard supervisor on the row and general pain in the ass." Buffy smiled as she covered the hands that were holding her from behind. "And Faith, you know we can't do this here so keep those hands to yourself for now, okay?"
Faith then let go of Buffy and said, "Well, you're the boss"
"So, you two...?" Willow gestured pointing first to one then the other.
"Well, damn, nothing gets by you does it Red?" Faith joked.
"No, you got to get up pretty early to pull one over on me!" Willow joked.
"Would you please just stop Faith," Buffy said laughing.
"This is Willow Rosenberg, Tara's new lawyer," Buffy explained.
"Oh hey, are you here with the blond lady down in the cafeteria?" Faith asked
"Anya yes, she's one of my colleagues. Why?" Willow asked.
"Well you better go and get, her cause she's up there conducting interviews and giving your number out to some of the female trustees,"Faith answered.
"No, please tell me you're joking?" Willow said.
"Wish I could, but it's on up there," Faith laughed
"God, Buffy can we please...?" Willow said
Buffy laughed and said, "Come on."
Tara sat in her cell crying silently. God she hated this. Waiting. Waiting for it to just stop. She was even more angry at herself for what happened with Willow. It was way to close this time. She'd almost let her guard down then. It felt to her almost as though she were powerless over how she felt with the redhead. 'What the hell was that all about?' she thought to herself.
From the moment she walk into the room she felt something powerful. Something almost undeniable. She knew almost instinctively that if she raised her head, if she looked into her eyes even for a second, she'd break.
She couldn't do it She couldn't fight the need to look at, to look into this woman. And look she did.
She thought about the meeting now, here in her cell. She knew also that her attempt at chasing her off, telling her she wanted no part of her and to never come back wouldn't work. She knew Willow would be back. That she would continue to come back no matter what she would say or do and she was totally and utterly overcome with it. How determined and compassionate this woman was. How incredibly kind and selfless her actions were. She had come to this place, this horrible, frightening den of despair to help a woman she had ever meet, who she must have known didn't want her help, free of charge.
She had forgotten the rules. "Don't let yourself feel Tara," she reminded herself now. "Don't do it."
It was too late. She felt. She felt more for Willow then she had ever felt for any woman she had ever meet. How was this possible, she wondered. How could anyone feel this strongly about anyone they had known for less then an hour?
She wanted Willow . She wanted this woman so badly it hurt. She didn't want her in the way she tried to make Willow think she wanted her. She didn't want to fuck this woman in all the ways she had told her on the phone. She wanted to posses her. She wanted to hold her, to touch every part of her inside and out, she wanted to love her and she wanted Willow to love her just as desperately. To protect her and keep her safe. This is such a cruel irony. To love her was the one thing she could do to ensure that Willow would not be safe. Loving Willow would, without question, be signing Willow's death warrant.
"...and Tina seemed very intresting, and she is almost done there. She likes redheads too, so cool for you, but she was just a little too large with the butch for your liking," Anya went on. "Then we come to Lily. Now this one, this just might be the one Willow. Willow, are you listning to me?"
"Never," Willow answered.
"Come on Willow. Why are you so boring? Don't you think its possible that you could meet someone in an unconventional setting? It's not beyond all possible reason that you could meet the woman of your dreams at a prison is it?"
Willow smiled, turn to Anya and said, "Stranger things have happened." Then she opened her car door, slid into her seat, and leaned over and opened the door for her.
She was standing behind her now.
She could feel the warmth of her body as she drew closer. Her breathing came faster now, anticipating the other woman's arrival. She felt soft fingers slide up her arms and down again, one arm snaked around her waist, her hand lay flat across her stomach and pulled her body into her own. She could feel the other woman's breasts pressing into her back, the stiffened nipples, causing a sensation that she knew no one had ever felt before . Every touch, every breath was a creation that belonged only to them and could never be shared.
It was theirs and theirs alone.
She felt the hand on her stomach begin to move now,slowly, circling and then downward, drawing nearer but never touching. She felt she would die if she were to touch her now, and she knew that she would if she didn't, her need so strong it was close to pain. She slid her own hand down now covering the one that was to be her salvation, her action a silent plea. She guided her now, pressing her down into her wetness, showing her now how she wanted to be touched, her own hand teaching the other the other how she wanted to be loved, moving them both in a circular motion at the spot that would set her free.
"Oh yes," she cried out on a shuddering breath, "I need you there, right there, just like that."
She was shaking now , unable to control the movements of her own body , her guiding hand slipping slowly away, delighted to learn that her love was a quick study.
"Oh God...I love you like that, baby, so beautiful," her lover whispered in her ear from behind.
"Uggh...God please, oh please."
Tears were stinging her eyes now and she had to press her hands into the wall to stay upright, her head to the side, cheek pressed to the wall. She lifted her leg at her lovers behest and felt the evidence of her lover's own arousal as she pressed her harder against the wall, grinding her hips against her backside.
"Will it be worth it, will this be worth the pain it will cause you when I'm gone?" She panted into her ear as she was now thrusting herself for all she was worth against her trying to draw out release for them both.
She poised her fingers at her opening and said, "Please, let me take you now, let me be inside you, let me save you as you've tried to save me. Just once, just this once before I go..."
"No," she answered, "I can't let you go..."
beep, beep, beep
Willow jolted awake. She sat up in bed panting, sweating, tears in her eyes.
"Oh God. Okay and just where the hell did that come from?" She looked at the clock. 7:35.
She got out of bed, walked to her bathroom and turned the tap. She let it run for a moment to allow it to warm up a bit. Her hand atop either side of the sink she looked up into the mirror,closed her eyes and shook her head. "I don't think I can do this," she said to herself. "I can't do this. I can't fall in love with her." She let out a long breath. "Not if she wont let me save her."
"Buffy, hey it's me, Willow."
"Hi.Willow, listen where are you now?" Buffy asked.
"I'm in Kingwood," she said, "I live here."
"Oh good. That's not too far. I'm in Roman Forest. Do you know where that is?"
"Yeah sure, it's about five miles from here," Willow answered.
"Okay, do you have a VCR?" Buffy asked.
"Well because a lot of people don't anymore."
Willow chuckled, "No, I mean why do I need one?"
"There's something I need to show you. Can I come there?"
"Yeah sure. No problem. I'm at 8334 Gladbeck, just past Kingwood drive and right before Morepark," Willow told her.
"Great. I'm on my way."
Buffy arrived about ten minutes later carrying a small cardboard box. Willow opened the door and she came inside and sat down.
"So you want a drink? I have beer, wine, sodas, but no coffee right now. I burned the last pot by accident this morning," Willow told her.
"How do you burn coffee?" she asked.
"Trust me Buffy, there's nothing I can't burn. I've burned salads. It's that bad."
"Okay then, beer please, thanks."
"So what are we watching?"
"Something that could get me in big trouble if anyone found out. Surveillance tapes from the row."
Willow looked at Buffy curiously. "Of who?"
"Tara and her brother. They're from some of his visits. There's something in here that I think could help her."
Buffy put the first tape in and hit the play button. There was no sound on the tapes, just video.
"Now watch what happens here. Watch this interaction. See he comes in right? There's Tara right there. He goes over sit down and Tara just stares at him. Right? Now watch her lips. Right there. See?" Buffy paused the tape. "Now there's a lady I know who comes to the prison to lead AA meetings for the hearing impaired. I asked her to look at this for me and tell me what she thinks she says there.S he told me it looks like 'Show me'."
"Show me?" Willow asked shaking her head back and forth.
"Yes, show me. Now look at Tara's face here. It's obviously not an I'm-so-glad-you're-here look, right? It's more like burn-in-hell. Now watch Donnie here. He reaches into his shirt pocket and takes something out. Now he shows it to Tara, and look at her face."
Willow watched the tape and saw Tara look at what was in Donnie's hand. Lo and behold, a smile. A toothy smile.
Then she lifted her hand to her mouth and covered it. Her hand reached out toward the glass as if she wanted to touch whatever it was Donnie showed her. Then she teared up. Donnie left. Tara cried.
Willow looked at Buffy, eyes wide.
"Now wait, there's more here," Buffy says.
Donnie gots up and left. Buffy fastforwarded the tape to a shot of Donnie walking over to one of the guards and shaking his hand. Donnie left. The guard slipped something into his pocket.
"What the?" Willow said "Was that money?"
"I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty damn sure it was," Buffy said. "I have six more of these here in this box. All the visits identical to the other. Only I have one tape here that I really want you to see. On this tape you can clearly see what he shows her. It's a picture of a little girl. Now," Buffy says, "I went back through these tapes cause if this is what I think it is then that picture is going to be different everytime, if you get my meaning."
"And?" Willow said
"Same little girl, different picture everytime, every month."
"Oh my God," Willow said, "do you think... could it be...?"
"Her child," Buffy said, her voice cracking.
"He has her. That son of a bitch," Willow said.
"And this is why Tara behaves the way she does. She knows he has people inside and if she ever even thinks about asking for help, or doesn't act like the heartless monster bitch blowing her cover, he finds out."
"I don't believe this. I don't believe it. All the evidence we could want and not a stitch we can use." Willow leaned down, elbows on legs, head in hands shaking it back and forth.
She looked up at Buffy and said, "I need to talk too her Buffy. Face to face, no cameras, no guards. Can you do it?"
"I already set it up. Tomorrow, 1:15 am. Meet me at the main tower at the entrance. Okay?"
"Thank you Buffy."