Return to The Price of Vengeance Chapter Three

The Price of Vengeance

Author: Trom DeGrey
Rating: R to NC-17
Distribution: Ask first please.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters - they're owned by Mutant Enemy and Joss Whedon - and I'm not making any money off of them. I'd be a lot happier if neither of those statements were true.

Tara looked at herself in the mirror. "This has got to be one of my shittier ideas," she said. Willow had barely reacted when she had asked her about the whole rubber dress thing. It made Tara nervous, but she couldn't back out now.

She also had absolutely nothing to wear.

She'd decided on dark make-up; something she rarely wore in the first place. The tanker boots, black leather pants and fitted burgundy silk shirt would just have to do. She rolled her eyes at her reflection and grabbed her keys. Time to pick up the good detective.

Willow frowned darkly at the outfit laid out on her bed. She had hoped never to have to see any of this again. She dropped her silk robe to the floor and started powdering every reachable inch of her body.

The doorbell rang.

Willow groaned. "Why is she early?" she demanded of the heavens. She pulled her robe back on and went down the hallway to the front door. Throwing it open, she mumbled, "I'm not ready," and took off back up the hall without giving Tara so much as a backwards glance.

Tara watched Willow scamper up the hall and out of sight. She couldn't keep the lecherous grin off her face. Those legs are even better looking bare than in jeans. She closed the door behind her, wondering why she smelled baby powder so strong.

Tara meandered up the hallway and then down two steps into the biggest apartment she'd ever seen in her life. She knew her mouth was hanging open, but no matter how hard she tried, Tara just couldn't shut it. Hardwood floors ran as far as she could see. A professional looking kitchen sat to her right. There was a large open area with exercise equipment to her left and a sunken living room sprawled out directly in front of her. Two eight foot sienna leather couches lined each side of the living room and a large plasma screen TV sat at one end. The far wall was floor to ceiling windows that showcased a cement balcony with a spectacular view of the city. Past the kitchen there was another hallway and Tara spotted one door directly off the living room. If the sounds coming from behind that door were any indication, that was the master bedroom.

Tara snapped her mouth shut and put her hands on her hips. Her temper began to boil. I knew it! I just knew it! she railed internally. She began to pace. God dammit! Nobody's honest anymore! Tara continued to pace for several long minutes, her temper growing exponentially.

Finally, Willow walked out of the bedroom. "What are you wearing?" she demanded.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" Tara snarled.

Willow jerked back as if slapped. "Excuse me?" she said.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" Tara raged. "This place? Your $90,000 car? Who's paying you and for what?"

Willow felt what little patience she had left go up in flames. It was bad enough she had to squeeze herself into this ridiculous outfit, but the DA had also screwed up and lost a case on one of her busts this morning. Now this woman she barely knew had the audacity to accuse her of accepting bribes in her own damned living room. Willow descended on Tara, towering over her thanks to black platform thigh-high boots.

"How dare you!" she thundered. "How dare you think I'm anything but an honest cop! If I didn't want to bust this ring so bad, I'd throw you out on your ass right now!"

"Then explain it to me!" Tara challenged.

"Rosenberg Realty?" Willow snapped. "Or how about Rosenberg, Heft and Jones?"

Tara felt her jaw drop again. "You're one of those Rosenbergs?" she gasped.

Willow sighed heavily. As fast as it had hit her, she felt her anger ebb away, leaving her shaky and fatigued. "I'm the only Rosenberg left," she said. She took a deep breath. "My parents found religion ten years ago and went traipsing off to Africa as missionaries. They promptly got themselves killed in a civil war. A friend runs the real estate. There isn't a Rosenberg at the law firm anymore, but Paul and Cathy left the name up in deference to my mother."

Tara looked into sad green eyes and felt like a total ass. "I'm sorry Willow," she whispered, not knowing what else to say.

Willow studied Tara for a moment and saw real remorse. Maybe Lt. Giles has her pegged after all, she thought. "Yeah, well" she said, "I guess it's an easy jump to make." Desperate to change the subject and get this night over with, Willow stepped back and looked at Tara again. "Now, what are you wearing?" she asked.

Tara looked down at herself and grinned. "I said I knew it was an S&M club, I didn't say I'd ever been there," she said. Her eyes bulged as Willow's appearance finally registered. The platform boots met fishnets at mid-thigh. The fishnets disappeared into black pvc short shorts that led to a matching bustier which laced up the front. Willow's hair was pulled back in a severe bun and her face was heavily made up with dark make-up.

Tara slapped a hand over her mouth. "Holy shit," she squeaked. Willow only frowned, thumping her booted toe on the floor.

"That outfit will not do," she said evenly. She turned and stalked off toward the bedroom. "Take your shirt off," she called over her shoulder.

"Yes, Mistress," Tara said before bursting out laughing.

Willow walked back out carrying a red rubber tank top. She stood in front of the hysterically laughing Tara for a moment before losing patience again. "Helloooo," she said, snapping her fingers in front of Tara's face. "This is not comfortable and I'd like to get this over with."

Tara couldn't seem to make herself stop laughing though. Willow sighed and grabbed Tara by the front of her pants. "C'mon, you goof. We need to make some changes," she said, dragging her toward her bedroom.

Tara stopped laughing abruptly when she stepped into the cavern of Willow's bedroom. She was fairly certain she could fit the entire ground floor of her house in here. She felt a mischievous grin move across her face as she took in the mammoth four-poster bed.

"Get your mind out of the gutter, Maclay," Willow said with a smirk.

Tara cocked an eyebrow and chuckled. "Just wondering how many detectives fit into a bed that size."

"Just one," Willow said, refusing to take the bait. She waved the tank top in front of Tara's face. "Put this on. Let me see what else I've got."

Tara shrugged out of her shirt as she watched Willow move over to three boxes sitting next to a walk-in closet. The cop turned mistress muttered to herself as she rummaged through one of the boxes and Tara struggled to swallow another fit of giggles when she heard chains rattle. She had managed to get her shirt off but not the other one on by the time Willow turned around again.

"Here, put these on your wrists," Willow said, but stopped short at the sight of Tara in leather pants and her bra. Tara had a hand over her mouth, trying not to laugh. The burgundy bra highlighted her porcelain skin and full breasts. Willow bit her lip at the sight of Tara's small round belly.

She snapped herself back to business. "Would you put that on please?" she said, pointing to the tank top. "This outfit really isn't comfortable. And take your bra off first," Willow said. "Trust me," she said with a knowing frown.

Tara sobered, knowing she'd have probably killed herself already if she had to wear those boots. She reached back to unclasp her bra. Tara snorted when Willow's eyes bulged and she spun around. "I can't believe you're dressed like that and worried about my modesty," she said. Willow only sighed. Tara struggled to get the top on. "Ow, ow, ow, ow, OW!" she grumbled. "Jesus, I'd like for my nipples to stay attached."

Willow started laughing at Tara's predicament. "I'm sorry. I should have powdered you up first," she said.

"Okay," Tara sighed, "what else you got?"

Willow turned and took a good look. "Much better," she said. "Put these on your wrists," she said, handing Tara fur lined leather cuffs. "And put this one around your neck," she said, handing her the matching collar.

"Why do I have to be the bottom?" Tara whined.

Willow looked down at herself and then cocked an eyebrow at Tara. "Oh, right," Tara said.

"Come over here and sit at the vanity when you're done," Willow said.

Tara managed to shackle herself up and sat down in the chair Willow had gestured to. Willow began brushing Tara's hair back away from her face, pulling the blonde tresses back into a bun similar to hers. "If we're going in there together, we should look complementary to each other," she explained.

Tara watched Willow work in the mirror, trying to reconcile the uptight detective with the woman she was seeing now. It just didn't add up.

"Fuck!" Tara exclaimed.

"I don't know you that well," Willow said absently.

Tara's eyebrows shot to her hairline. "I meant I just figured it out," she said wryly.

"Ah," Willow said, still intent on Tara's hair.

"You were the undercover Vice cop that busted up the prostitution ring running out of The Kink, weren't you," she said. Willow paused long enough to make eye contact in the mirror and smile. "You had me scared there for a little bit," Tara said with a chuckle.

Willow arched an eyebrow, suddenly looking every bit the dominatrix. "I'm well aware of what my reputation is," she said. "Uptight, by-the-book, anal. You never know, Maclay. I might be more than you can handle. Now turn around."

Tara idly wondered if her face was going to end up in a permanent expression of surprise. The good detective was turning out to be a handful in all the right ways. So, she wants to play 'Mommy Make Me Mind', huh? This should be fun, she thought devilishly. Let the games begin.

"So what can I handle?" she whispered.

Willow did a double take before frowning at Tara. "Are you always this charming?" she drawled, going back to rummaging through her make-up.

Tara made a show of taking a long slow tour of Willow's pvc and fishnet encased body before saying, "Only when I'm this close to rubber and redhead."

Willow squirmed under the scrutiny, but fought to hide it. She's screwing with you, she told herself. Just be the professional in this.

"You are a real redhead, aren't you?"

Willow felt the heat flood her face and she warred with herself over whether or not to slap that crooked grin off Tara's face or kiss it off. "Like you'll ever know," she ground out, taking Tara's chin in her hand. "Close your eyes."

Tara did as she was told, but not without a parting shot. "You never know, Rosenberg. I might be more charming than you can handle."

Willow rolled her eyes at basically having her own words used against her, but decided to keep any further comments to herself. She set about further darkening and expanding Tara's eye make-up, thankful to be temporarily out from under the scrutiny of those sparkling, wicked blue eyes. She did her damndest to focus on the task at hand and not on the classically beautiful face tilted up toward her or the soft skin under her hands.

How in the world can you be this gorgeous and this much of a pain in the ass all at the same time? she wondered. It's just not fair.

After a few moments, she said, "I want to put a different color on your lips." Willow was horrified by the husky tone in her voice and dropped her eyes as Tara opened hers. She handed Tara a tissue and tried to calm her nerves as Tara wiped away her lipstick.

So much for playing closeted sex kitten, Willow thought caustically. You spend fifteen minutes with her and get within arms reach of the woman and all your confidence goes to hell.

She thinned her own lips into a grim line, determined not to let herself get any further rattled. As Willow began to brush the red color onto Tara's lips, however, the thought came to her unbidden.

God, I bet those are soft.

She sighed. Some professional, she growled internally.

A few more brush strokes and Willow stepped back to eye her work critically. "That'll do," she whispered. Tara gave her a sultry smile; the dark make-up giving her bedroom eyes an even sleepier appearance. Willow swallowed hard. "Let's get this over with," she mumbled.

Tara watched, bemused, as Willow threw a few more items into a black gym bag and then pulled on a leather duster. The woman was obviously agitated. "Everything okay, Willow?" Tara asked with unnatural cheeriness.

"C'mon," Willow grumbled, stalking from the room. Tara chuckled.

"Yes, Mistress."

Continue to The Price of Vengeance Chapter Five

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