Return to Speak Easy Chapter Eight

Speak Easy

Author: TazRaven (Sara)
Rating: PG-13 for language
Feedback: Yes, please, I love it. Please leave feedback on the Speak Easy thread on the Kitten Board.
Distribution: The Kitten Board, Through the Looking Glass, anyone else just ask.
Disclaimers: I do not own Willow or Tara, but you all know that.

12:15 am

Tara trembled. She blinked as tears fell from her eyes and down her face, the hot liquid a stark contrast to the cold night. In just a few short hours, her life had gone from manageable and mostly happy to chaotic and beyond dangerous. She cursed herself for going out the back door, and filling not only her life, but Will's with more trouble than they could deal with. Now Will was gone, taken by the men she had been trying so desperately to avoid, and she felt like a coward, sneaking out the fire escape as soon as she heard things go badly. Who would have ever guessed that by trying to leave early all hell would break lose. A few more tears escaped. She took a shuddered breath and shivered, her breaths coming out in clouds. The urge to give up was so strong; it felt like a weight crushing her more with every second she stood there.

But that was the problem. She was just standing there. Will was in a car headed God knows where, and she was just standing there. The realization hit her like a ton of bricks, and in the next second she was running, sprinting toward the police station. Her best chance of helping Will and herself came with getting to the precinct as soon as possible. She ran until her legs ached and her lungs burned, until the breaths she took felt like daggers to her chest.

The distance must have been miles, but upon finally seeing the steps leading up to the building, Tara pushed herself even harder. She ran up the steps and threw open the door, collapsing on the floor as soon as she entered. Her dress was damp and torn, her hair was knotted and disheveled, and her feet were bare, the high heels now in her hand having proven to be too much trouble to run in. Her chest felt like it was on fire as she pulled in oxygen, her throat sore from harshly breathing. Even so, with what felt like a dying gasp, Tara yelled for an officer.

Her request was answered as a dark-haired man helped her up from the floor and into a chair. He left and returned a few moments later with a glass of water. Tara gratefully accepted the drink and took a large sip, only to cough most of it back up. She tried again, this time taking a smaller sip to ensure the liquid would go down.

"Ma'am, are you alright?"

Tara nodded. "I'm fine, but I need help." Her voice came out hoarse, and every word burned her throat, but she knew she didn't have the time to recuperate. "My friend, he's been kidnapped. He's been taken and-" Tara stopped as she began to cough.

"Alright, I'm going to need you to tell me exactly what happened. Do you think you can do that?"

"Of course I can!" Tara yelled, forcing another cough from her chest. She wasn't going to be treated like a helpless woman just because her throat was hurting. "Just tell me who to talk to about Mr. Malone."

His eyes grew wide. "Malone? You mean the Mr. Malone?"

Tara rolled her eyes. "Yes, the Mr. Malone. Are you going to help me, or just sit there?"

The officer gave her a surprised look before nodding and springing from his chair. Tara took the moment to breathe deeply and try and control her temper. It wouldn't do to delay police action just because she was frustrated. Her anger under control, she finished the rest of her water and waited for another policeman, taking the another moment to slip her shoes back on.

A man about six feet high with dirty blonde hair, dressed identically to the other officers in the room in a blue police uniform, showed up a few minutes later. He spoke with a deep voice as he asked for her to follow him. Tara stood up immediately.

He began speaking as he led her through the building, not turning around to talk. "I'm Officer Flannigan. Officer Hazlett said you needed to talk to someone about Mr. Malone?"

"Yes," Tara said, sighing with relief that she finally found someone to talk to, but still anxious beyond belief. "I need to tell you what's going on, and you need to help my friend!"

Officer Flannigan stopped immediately and turned around, placing his hands on her shoulders. "You need to calm down, alright? I'm gonna help you, I just need you to calm down."

Tara nodded and took another deep breath. He took his hands off her shoulders, turned around, and continued walking. "Where are we going?" Tara asked.

"A holding room. Just a quiet place where we can talk."

She nodded again. The pressure that she'd been feeling all night was starting to dissipate. Malone was going to be brought to justice, and Will was going to be just fine. Officer Flannigan stopped in front of a large wooden door and opened it to reveal a sterile-looking room. The walls were white and bare, and a single wooden table stood in the center with four wooden chairs surrounding it. He motioned for Tara to sit down, before taking a seat across from her and removing a notepad and pen from his belt.

"Ok, can you tell me what happened?"

Tara proceeded to tell Officer Flannigan the events of the past few hours, not omitting details, but just covering the bare minimum so as to be able to help Will faster. When she finished, the officer quickly looked over his notes before excusing himself to make a phone call. Tara laid her head down on the table and thought about everything she'd been through. Never would she have expected for all of what had happened to be a part of her life. Her breathing slowed and her eyes closed as her body succumbed to exhaustion.

She awoke to the sound of the door creaking open. Rubbing her eyes, Tara opened her mouth to apologize for sleeping, only to have the words die in her throat. There, in the doorway, stood the two men she'd seen assisting Malone. The same ones who'd taken Will. They smiled at her obvious recognition as she realized that the officer she'd entrusted her safety to had betrayed her. The larger man pulled a gun from the inside of his jacket, waving in her direction, silently telling her to get up.

Knowing that there was no way to avoid the situation she was in, Tara complied. She walked toward the two men, and didn't struggle as they each grabbed onto her arms. As they left the room, she saw Officer Flannigan smile at her, and in that moment she didn't care what happened to her. She ripped her arms away from their vice-like holds, just enough to slap him across the face. His expression turned to blind rage as he lunged for Tara, only to be stopped by the larger of the two henchmen.

"You don't get to hurt this one Flannigan," he explained in a gruff voice. "She's Malone's."

The threatening words stopped the officer from moving forward any further, but the rage was still evident on his face. As Tara was once again taken between the two men, Officer Flannigan leaned toward her, as if he was going to kiss her. "You bitch," he sneered. Tara could smell booze on his breath. "I hope Malone cuts off that pretty little hand of yours."

And with that, Tara was hustled out of the precinct and thrown into the same car Will had been driven away in. She just hoped that she'd see Will one more time before they were both killed.

Continue to Speak Easy Chapter Ten

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