The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:58 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey

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Quote:
While I was being honest with myself, I might as well admit that I liked her; I was dizzy for this dame. I liked her perfume and her courage. I liked her honesty and her flirty little dresses that drove me absolutely and irrationally wild. But above all of that, I liked having her around. She calmed my temper and anchored me, and I knew I could use more of that in my life.


Now that Willow has admitted the depth of her feelings for Tara to herself (although she doesn't dare to call it love yet), I hope she will fight to "keep Tara" after the job is done and the case closed.
It wouldn't be realistic to hope they could proclaim their relationship in public, but maybe Tara could use a "private bodyguard" on her staff... :wink

Quote:
I lifted the satin sheet off my hip and slid down beside her, her back to my front. With one finger I pulled a few stray curls of her hair off of her neck and around to her back. She sighed contentedly and I brought my lips to her bare shoulder as I wrapped an arm around her waist.

“Goodnight, Tara,” I breathed against her skin before kissing her shoulder softly and laying my head on the satin-covered pillow beside hers. Within minutes, the scent of roses and the radio playing “Stardust” lulled me to sleep.

Awww! :flower

Quote:
My detective duties sorely needed my attention, but I knew that she, and last night’s events, would be on my mind all day. For some unfathomable reason, I wanted her to think of me, too. I drew out two smokes from my pack and laid them on the nightstand for her. Even if she didn’t think of me, my thoughts of her luscious lips wrapped around my Lucky Strike would be enough to keep me … motivated.


Another emotional moment which proves that under the hard shell of the P.I. Willow hides a good heart capable of great tenderness and love.

I think Buffy has realized that already and knows that this relationship will be good for Tara so unlike Xander she accepts it.

Quote:
I could only assume this was Donald, as I softly planted a kiss on Tara’s golden crown. I felt her stiffen under my lips and I pulled away, searching her face for any sign of trouble. She looked … uncomfortable, perhaps even annoyed?


It surprised me that Willow made such an open display of affection in front of Donald. Obviously she assumed Donald knows that his elder sister is gay? Since he didn't act totally shocked this assumption might be true, but if not the situation would have been extremely awkward for Tara!

Quote:
Once she pulled the cup away from her lips, I put my finger under her chin and tilted her face up, forcing her to look me in the eye.

“I’ll be seeing you, Tara. Sooner rather than later,” I promised with a murmur. I winked at her and I didn’t give her a chance to reply. I simply turned on my heel, stopped to take an apple from the fruit bowl and left, shouting over my shoulder, “I still need to talk with you Donald.”


Smooth exit! :laugh


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:25 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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I will continue my tradition of feedbacking in both forums. I really liked this episode, but like a few others, I would have thought that Willow would have been more discrete in the morning, especially in front of Donnie.
Thanks for writing.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:34 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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wickedaddiction

Dibbidy Dib Dibs!

:bigwave

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Noooooooooooo not the morning after brush off! Anything but that! GAH


It's the worst thing ever, right?!



Quote:
:applause Now there's an exit. I'm glad Willow's not letting Tara off the hook so easily. Looking forward to Tara's POV.


After that brush off, Willow definitely needed to leave on a high note (if not slightly seductive). lol.




Will's redemption

Quote:
Now that Willow has admitted the depth of her feelings for Tara to herself (although she doesn't dare to call it love yet), I hope she will fight to "keep Tara" after the job is done and the case closed. It wouldn't be realistic to hope they could proclaim their relationship in public, but maybe Tara could use a "private bodyguard" on her staff... :wink


I like where your heads at with the private bodyguard ... emphasis on private. Willow has no intentions on leaving, not after finally admitting to herself how much Tara actually means to her.

Quote:
Another emotional moment which proves that under the hard shell of the P.I. Willow hides a good heart capable of great tenderness and love.


she puts up a good front to keep people at arms length, but under it all she's really just a big softy.

Quote:
I think Buffy has realized that already and knows that this relationship will be good for Tara so unlike Xander she accepts it.


Buffy is very intuitive. And after working for the Maclay's for so long, she can tell when Tara's truly happy vs. putting on a front.

Quote:
It surprised me that Willow made such an open display of affection in front of Donald. Obviously she assumed Donald knows that his elder sister is gay? Since he didn't act totally shocked this assumption might be true, but if not the situation would have been extremely awkward for Tara!


That was a major oversight on my part now that you mention it. I think I'm gonna have to go back in and fix that section a bit. Willow's obviously smitten but she knows better than to openly show public displays of affection. Back to the drawing board for me ... :kgeek

Quote:
Smooth exit! :laugh


The smoothest. Willow's one cool cat.



taranwillow4ever

Quote:
I will continue my tradition of feedbacking in both forums. I really liked this episode, but like a few others, I would have thought that Willow would have been more discrete in the morning, especially in front of Donnie.
Thanks for writing.
[/quote]

I appreciate all your feedback; always look forward to it after every chapter. Now that you and Will's Redemption pointed it out, I realized I made a huge mistake. I'm gonna have to tweak that paragraph a bit to make it more realistic.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:44 pm 
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Quote:
“Are you looking for something, Miss. Rosenberg?” I heard Buffy ask from behind me. I was too busy thinking about Tara to notice that she had entered the room.

I ran my hand through my hair and grinned at her. “My cufflinks,” I admitted.

“And you think they might be on the floor?”


Quote:
“Maybe the nightstand would be a safer place for these,” she hinted as she dropped the one she found in my hand.


Buffy's so cheeky. I love it.

Quote:
With her back to me, I purposely walked closer to Tara than was necessary, my hand discreetly rising to brush my fingers over her forearm which was concealed by the table. I felt her stiffen under my touch and I pulled away, searching her face for any sign of trouble as I side-shuffled a few inches away toward the nearest vacant chair. She looked … uncomfortable, perhaps even annoyed?


So after reading this chapter, I noticed in the reviews that this section of the story had been edited. Although I do like what you originally wrote (I mean, who doesn't like a romantic gesture, especially when its coming from Willow) I think this update plays out better. Willow's still showing affection towards Tara but in a more subdued, stealthy way as to not rouse suspicion from Donald or anyone else who might be watching. Can't wait to read Tara's stance on the morning after awkward breakfast meeting between Willow and her brother.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:13 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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*WILLOW* wrote:


Quote:
Buffy's so cheeky. I love it.


She always was good with those one-liners.

Quote:
So after reading this chapter, I noticed in the reviews that this section of the story had been edited. Although I do like what you originally wrote (I mean, who doesn't like a romantic gesture, especially when its coming from Willow) I think this update plays out better. Willow's still showing affection towards Tara but in a more subdued, stealthy way as to not rouse suspicion from Donald or anyone else who might be watching. Can't wait to read Tara's stance on the morning after awkward breakfast meeting between Willow and her brother.
[/quote]

You are absolutely right, as was everyone else, what I had originally wrote was a little too much PDA for a couple of that era. But this way, Willow is still showing affection through her actions, even if they are a bit muted. Thanks for reading/reviewing and I hope you enjoy the next chapter.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/19/19
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 9:53 am 
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CHAPTER 13/18

TPOV

The February sunlight filtered through the light gauzy window drapes and subsequently, my eyelids. I attempted to flip to the other side of my bed and pull the covers over my head, only to find a barrier in my way. A very large, very androgynous barrier. My eyes flew open when the events of last night came rushing back to my no longer sleepy mind.

Willow. Willow Rosenberg. The woman I hired to investigate my father’s death … is in my bed.

She stayed, which was lovely and surreal all rolled into one. I blinked, wondering if I had imagined everything that happened. Everything we had done. Slowly, she shifted and snuggled down lower into the covers, her bare leg pressing up against mine, and I knew, without a doubt, that this was very real.

I could hear the distant sounds of china clinking and the voices of people preparing breakfast downstairs. Closer still, I heard a noise by the door and then someone subtly clearing their throat. Gasping, I sat up, grasping the sheet to my chest and looked over. Out of my peripheral vision, I could see my hair puffed out and doing crazy things on top of my head in the mirror that sat on top of my vanity. In the reflection, I could also see Willow behind me barely covered by the sheet and sleeping soundly. There, in the doorway, stood by baby brother.

His eyes took in the scene before him and looking bemused he mouthed, “Sorry?” to me. Yet he continued to stand there, looking anything but sorry.

Eyes flashing, I pushed a piece of hair behind my ear that had fallen in my face. I hissed in a low voice, “What are you doing?”

In a low voice, although not quite as venomous as my own, he asked, “I think the better question, dear sister, is what did you do? Or, rather who?”

Falling back onto the pillow, I rolled my eyes toward the headboard. Picking my head up slightly, I shooed him away with my hand, holding up a finger indicating I’d be downstairs in a moment. He closed the door silently behind him and I crept out of the bed. Willow rolled toward my vacant spot, snuggling her face into the pillow. I quickly grabbed light slacks and one of my father’s sweaters from my dresser and got dressed in the bathroom. The sweater still held the scent of his cologne; I had taken it from the study after he passed. Rolling up the sleeves, I brushed my hair so that I was presentable. Exiting the bathroom, I saw that Willow was still deep in slumber so I quietly padded out the door.

I found Donald sitting at the table in the dining room, newspaper in hand, a mystified expression on his face. “Well, well, well Tara-Rose. Look what the cat dragged in.”

Despite myself, I smiled at him. “Well, well, well Donald,” I mimicked back to him, resting my hands on the high backed chair. “I could say the same about you. How is it that we live in the same house yet I’ve barely seen you in the past week?”

“I believe it was Longfellow who said something about ‘ships that pass in the night.’ Although it looks like you were doing more than just sailing last night.”

I groaned. “Donald, please tell me you weren’t in the house last night.” He grinned and shook his head, confirming that he was not, and for that, I was grateful.

“Is there any way we can pretend you didn’t see that little scene up there?” I asked as I walked over to turn on the radio, looking for a bit of background noise. Perhaps listening to music would effectively end the conversation. The Andrew Sisters were singing in three part harmony, “Give Me Some Skin, My Friend” and Donald’s grin only got wider.

“You got some skin last night.” His tone was teasing but I could detect an undertone of malice.

I circled back around the table toward my regular spot and when I neared him, I playfully smacked his arm. I muttered, “So juvenile,” under my breath but loud enough for him to hear.

“Tara-Rose, come on. We all need to blow off a little steam every now and then. I, of all people, know this.”

“That’s wonderful, Donald. I don’t really want to hear about your transgressions. Ever again, in my entire life.” Not looking at him, I lied. “It was nothing. Nothing. I had a little too much Champaign last night. So please, let’s stop talking about … it. Now.” If I had been raised differently, I would have flopped into the chair that he held out for me. Instead, I sat on the edge.

“That’s good to hear.” He said in a huff as he gave me a pointed look, skepticism evident in his expressive features. “I’d hate to think that my darling sister has been corrupted by a dyke.”

I said nothing in response, just held his gaze as I tried to convey with my eyes and set jaw that I wasn’t consumed by improper thoughts. That what happened last night wasn’t the single greatest thing to ever happen to me. That I hadn’t been completely ravished by a beautiful woman in my own bed and loved every second of it. I narrowed my eyes and tried to project all of this and so much more without saying a word.

“But tell me, has that woman been earning the money you are paying her to find out about father’s death?” his tone implied that I was paying her for other services. He was lucky he carried the prestigious honor of being my brother or I might have considered kicking him in the family jewels. If I were being honest, no one was safe from the possibility. Somehow, I managed to narrow my eyes even further, watching as he held up one hand in surrender. “Okay, I’ll let you slide on the Private Detective currently snoozing away in your bed, for the moment.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes thereafter, avoiding eye contact until Liam brought out the breakfast he had just prepared with the assistance of Declan who had returned from visiting his family the night prior. “Miss Tara-Rose? Should we set a place for … Miss Rosenberg?” Donald looked at me with raised eyebrows over the open paper, shaking it out and snapping it, folding it into quarters.

Sighing, I started cutting up the fresh fruit salad that was placed before me. How should I play this? I wish I had stayed in my room or woken Willow before coming downstairs. Declan still stood by the kitchen door, looking at me, expectantly.

“No Declan, I don’t think that will be necessary. Thank you.” He nodded his head once before heading back into the kitchen.

Donald’s blue eyes met mine and once again I remembered his question regarding Daddy’s death. We all shared the same eye color, but Donald and my father’s eyes were the same almond shape. They crinkled in the corners almost identically and softened in the same way when they were concerned about me. In fact, Donald resembled Daddy in more than just his eyes. His build, his stature, the bass in his voice, they all reflected Daddy. Although I had no memory of her, the portraits and the photographs of her placed reverently throughout the house confirmed that I was, indeed, my mother’s daughter, in looks if not in personality. My mannerisms were more like my father’s, but looking into Donald’s eyes was yet another silent reminder that our father was no longer with us.

“Tara-Rose? Did Detective Rosenberg find anything that would lead her to believe something happened with James’ death?” his eyes probed mine and he leaned toward me, resting his hand on top of mine.

“So far, she hasn’t offered anything concrete. We went to the Gala last night and chatted with William Pratt and some of the other … people in attendance to see if there was anything else we could find.”

Donald’s mood shifted and he was perturbed. “Why would you bring her there to talk to those people? Tara-Rose, I don’t like it, none of this. I don’t like her putting you in harm’s way. It’s not appropriate. This whole situation you and she have going on is highly inappropriate.”

Defensively, I opened my mouth to rebut Donald’s accusations of what he believed to be Willow’s ill-conceived plan. After all, I would have attended the Gala regardless. However, before I was able to get the first word out, Willow appeared in the dining room, wearing the same tuxedo she wore last night, although a bit more wrinkled, and looking not at all phased by that fact. I watched out of the corner of my eye as she walked toward me, her hair slightly hanging over her eyes as she positioned herself by my chair, her silky fingertips brushing over my bare forearm resting on my lap; arising goosebumps instantly. I automatically stiffened, not sure what to do in the situation. Donald had already made it pretty clear he was not comfortable with Willow’s orientation or the fact that we had spent the night together.

I was also worried about Willow’s intentions. What if she didn’t see this the same way that I did? Perhaps she considered it a onetime thing, not to be repeated. I still wanted to work with her on a professional level but I didn’t want her to know the way she affected me, the effect she had on my heart. I also didn’t want Donald to know any of this. I was supposed to be a wholesome American woman. A devoted Christian. My father had been a religious man, deterring us from temptation and sinful ways; it would have devastated him to know his only daughter was consumed with corrupted thoughts of being intimate with another woman

“Donald, I’d like to introduce you to Miss. Rosenberg,” I introduced my brother to my lover, wringing my hands nervously under the table as I tried my best to remain professional. What is wrong with me?

The two chatted for a few moments while I tuned them out. I needed something to do with my hands, something to busy myself so that I didn’t have to meet her eyes. I decided to serve myself some more fruit salad, even though I already had plenty on my plate. The table held quite a spread, far too much food for just Donald and I, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking Willow to join us for the meal.

“Shall I have Alexander drive you home, Miss. Rosenberg?” I knew it was a cold and detached question but I needed time to work everything over in my head. If she didn’t want me, I didn’t want her to be under the assumption that last night meant anything more to me than it did to her. I truly hoped that wasn’t the case but I didn’t know and I couldn’t ask, given the situation.

Her voice told me that she’d pass on the ride, but I could understand the subtext. She didn’t want to be with Alexander, the morning after our tryst. [i[Understandable[/i]. Alexander would question the detective as to why she was leaving in the morning, rather than last night. I couldn’t blame Willow for not wanting to deal with that sort of scrutiny first thing in the morning.

Buffy appeared by my side with the coffee carafe, pouring me a large cup. I immediately took it into my hands, ignoring the heat coming off the cup and slightly burned my palms.

“Suit yourself. Buffy, would you please get Detective Rosenberg’s coat and call her a cab?” I shrugged, trying to appear careless and fancy free. I took a big gulp of my coffee, not thinking of the consequences my action would cause. It seared my tongue and throat as the bitter liquid rushed down. That was a mistake.

Was last night a mistake as well?

Wincing, I looked down at the table to allow Willow time to show herself to the door. I was surprised to feel a finger graze underneath my chin. She tilted my head up and looked me dead in the eye. I nearly threw myself into her arms. Donald be damn. But instead I sat there, unmoving.

“I’ll be seeing you, Tara. Sooner rather than later,” her eyes shone and she winked at me before walking toward the front foyer. I casted a sideways glance to Donald to gauge his reaction; his eyebrows where drawn down in displeasure. On her way, she grabbed an apple from the fruit bowl and bit into it. I sat there, momentarily stunned as I listened to the sound of her voice calling out to my brother mingled with the echo of her footsteps on the hardwood floor.

“I have to say, Sis, that sure doesn’t look like ‘nothing’ to me.” Donald whistled and leaned back in his chair, propping his feet out in front of him. I wanted to slap the patronizing smirk off of his face.

I made a face but didn’t answer him.

“I don’t want you to see her anymore.” He deadpanned a few moments later as he removed his feet from the table, sitting upright and proper in his seat. “As the man of this house, I’m forbidding you.”

We sat in silence the remainder of breakfast, I mulling over in my head, while he read the paper. After excusing myself, I returned to my room. My unmade bed with two indentations on the pillows was yet another stark reminder of what had happened between Willow and myself. I walked to my vanity, intent on picking up the cosmetics that had tumbled to the floor the night before. A knowing smile swept across my face as I thought about how she had propped me up, ravishing my body with her mouth. I found the bottles had all been neatly lined in front of the mirror. Probably Buffy. She was so good to me.

I heard her footsteps approaching and heard her moving outside of my room. She knocked softly and when I acknowledged her, she peeked her head in.

“Miss. Tara-Rose? Are you ready for me to make up your bed?”

“No, Buffy. Not yet, thank you.” I wasn’t ready for the reminder to disappear just yet. Although from her parting words, Willow was planning on seeing me quite soon. I would not mind that at all but Donald had made it apparent she was no longer welcomed into our home.

My eyes teared up as I sat on the side of the bed where she slept. Looking at my nightstand, I saw that she had left two cigarettes resting where the pack had been. Wiping away the tear from my eye, I couldn’t help but smile at the random thoughtfulness. Most men would have plucked a flower from the vase in the hallway, perhaps left a note with it resting on the pillow, but not Willow. It had already been established that Willow was nothing like the men I’d come across. She was so much more. I took one of the cigarettes and put it between my lips, finding the book of matches I had in the drawer of the stand.

With a few short sentences this morning and two cigarettes on my nightstand, her character was firmly established in my mind. Willow Rosenberg was one of the good guys. A genuinely good and caring person had been in my bed. Leaning back on the bed where her body had laid just a short time ago, I smoked my cigarette and smiled. Donald be damned, I would see her again.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/26/19
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 6:54 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Dibs!

On my phone, but once I get to my laptop I’ll actually write a review.


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/26/19
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:29 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Dibs!

Quote:
“Tara-Rose, come on. We all need to blow off a little steam every now and then. I, of all people, know this.”

“That’s wonderful, Donald. I don’t really want to hear about your transgressions. Ever again, in my entire life.


I got the impression here that Donald is a closeted homo himself …

Quote:
“That’s good to hear.” He said in a huff as he gave me a pointed look, skepticism evident in his expressive features. “I’d hate to think that my darling sister has been corrupted by a dyke.”


… and maybe a little sour at the idea that his old sister is so freely flaunting her true sexuality when he himself can't.

Quote:
I was also worried about Willow’s intentions. What if she didn’t see this the same way that I did? Perhaps she considered it a onetime thing, not to be repeated. I still wanted to work with her on a professional level but I didn’t want her to know the way she affected me, the effect she had on my heart. I also didn’t want Donald to know any of this.


I hope they both come to their senses and talk about what happened instead of assuming that it was just a one time thing


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/26/19
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:55 am 
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excellent! you have really given this story a sense of mystery and passion. Donald's ribbing of Tara at first was very realistic of a brother/sister relationship and amusing but then it took a drastic turn and he had to go a become a jerk. :angry

Quote:
“That’s good to hear.” He said in a huff as he gave me a pointed look, skepticism evident in his expressive features. “I’d hate to think that my darling sister has been corrupted by a dyke.”



Eh, way to leave us hanging! So many questions running through my mind. What's gonna happen next? Is Tara gonna sneak out to be with Willow? Is Willow gonna break in to see Tara? Are they gonna get caught?Is someone gonna finally get kicked in the family jewels?! More, more, more! Fantastic story!

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/26/19
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:34 am 
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wickedaddiction wrote:
Dibs!


Yay dibs! :banana

Quote:
I got the impression here that Donald is a closeted homo himself …


The real reason for his 'full and manly beard' … he needed something to hide behind.

Quote:
… and maybe a little sour at the idea that his old sister is so freely flaunting her true sexuality when he himself can't.


He may be a little grouchy about that. it was somewhat easier for women back then to get away with being gay as it wasn't uncommon to see them walking down the streets linked arms or holding hands or sitting close next to each other since most would assume they relied on one another for strength and support during the time of war .. whereas if a man was to do that, he would instantly be outted. Plus, you have the whole Christina upbringing where you'll be dammed to hell for your sins *eye roll*

Quote:
I hope they both come to their senses and talk about what happened instead of assuming that it was just a one time thing


They may have to do a bit of self reflecting first but they'll definitely come to their senses soon enough.



*WILLOW* wrote:
excellent! you have really given this story a sense of mystery and passion. Donald's ribbing of Tara at first was very realistic of a brother/sister relationship and amusing but then it took a drastic turn and he had to go a become a jerk. :angry


Donald does love Tara and wants what's best for her … or at least what he thinks is best for her. He may be coming across as a jerk but he's still just a dumb moody teen trying to fill his father's shoes.


Quote:
Eh, way to leave us hanging! So many questions running through my mind. What's gonna happen next? Is Tara gonna sneak out to be with Willow? Is Willow gonna break in to see Tara? Are they gonna get caught?Is someone gonna finally get kicked in the family jewels?! More, more, more! Fantastic story!


Sorry, sorry, please don't hate me! lol. I hope the next chapter answers some of your questions ... but as to if someone gets kicked in the family jewels ( :laugh :laugh :laugh) I am afraid not. Thanks for reading and reviewing!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 10/26/19
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:57 am 
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CHAPTER 14

WPOV

When I got home, I stripped off that damn penguin suit as fast as fucking possible and got right into a hot shower. Tara’s perfume lingered on my skin, and I almost kicked myself when I realized I’d be washing the scent of her off of me. What I was anxious to wash off was all that Brylcreem shit. While I scrubbed my head with shampoo, I thought of Tara’s change of attitude this morning. I couldn’t help but think she regretted what we had done, that she wasn’t interested in me like the way I was with her. Closing my eyes as I stepped under the stream of water, I pushed away my thoughts of Tara-Rose and forced myself to buck up and start doing my job. I turned my attention to the amount of information I had gathered over the week, which, in all honesty, was pathetic. The few leads I did have were vague and not fitting together.

It hadn’t taken me long to track down Russell Snyder on the docks; or all that hard to squeeze him for information. The weasel of a man admitted rather quickly to the hostile encounter he had with Mr. Maclay and to following through with his vail threat that one of Madam’s girls overheard. Off of my perplexed look, he followed up his statement with a cocky grin as he hitched a greasy thumb over his shoulder, pointing at several large wouldn’t crates, claiming he took his revenge out by urinating on Mr. Maclay’s product. Although repulsive, it was clear speaking with him that Russell Snyder was no evil mastermind and no way involved in Mr. Maclay’s death. As for Liam, he was keeping his nose out of trouble; the three strike rule normally did for those previously convicted of felonies. That left me with the blueprints for the hotel I had found on Mr. Maclay’s work desk. They now were making sense; it had been the business deal Rob alluded to. That left me with Richard Wilkins whose whereabouts were currently unknown; his receptionist, a dark haired beauty, having informed me the day prior that he hopped a train to Arizona early Tuesday morning. He was the only loose end I had to go off, but I had a sinking feeling in my gut that it wouldn’t pan out. I knew Tara-Rose felt strongly that something had happened, so I would keep chipping away until I found the piece I was missing.

The only concrete information I did have to work with at the moment was a threatening letter I found in a dead guy’s desk, a nulled contract, and a whole lot of people that were shocked that the dead guy was dead. Slim pickin’s.

The staff at the mansion all said they had been treated well by Mr. Maclay, and that he was well respected by everyone from the once hired hand, Liam to the chauffer Alexander. Not one of them did I suspect of lying to me, and I was damn good at reading people. His employees at the Le Beau offices were no different, having gone on and on about what a generous and kind man he had been. How he treated everyone as an equal and how they are truly saddened by his passing. The vast majority of them even asked if I could please pass along their condolences to his children, and to be sure and tell Miss. Maclay that they were all behind her as the new CEO. I had nodded yes and promised, but had grown pissed that I wasn’t getting anything I could use.

Yesterday, before the Gala, I had gone to the country club and talked to his tennis and golf buddies, who were all very helpful and obliging. His golf cronies kept insisting they were shocked at the news that a heart attack was to blame. He was in excellent health, never missed a round of eighteen holes. Mr. Maclay always insisted on carrying his own clubs, leaving his caddy to rake bunkers, repair divots and forecaddie his drives and blind shots. He tipped the same regardless, so even the caddies spoke well of him.

With Mr. Wilkins gone in the wind and the contract for the hotel long voided, I only had one clue left to investigate that would hopefully tie back to the killer … the threatening letter I had found in Mr. Maclay’s desk. It didn’t make sense to me why it was intended for Mr. Maclay. He had enough resources to come up with cash at a moment’s notice, no matter how large the sum. Why would he let a situation get out of control enough to warrant getting a warning in the first place? Besides, William’s uncouth offer to Tara-Rose to bump off the killer indicated that at least he didn’t know why James Maclay was dead, or who was responsible; however, when it came to mobster’s, you had to take their word with a grain of salt. Then again, William Pratt wasn’t the only mob boss in the Big City.

So where did the letter come from? It had to belong to someone else. Someone who needed help and had come to Mr. Maclay perhaps? Someone who was refused that help? Possibly a disgruntled Mr. Wilkin’s after Mr. Maclay denied his investment opportunity. That was the only logical conclusion I could come up with at this point. Besides, that would at least give me a motive, which was something I really fucking needed at this point in the case.

I was getting desperate for answers. If something didn’t pan out soon, I was going to have to call my God Father and interview him about his connection to the Maclay family. About what the doctor appointment had been about. And if he found any abnormalities during the exam that he may have left out of Mr. Maclay’s medical file.

I pushed the thought away as I finished washing up and turned off the water, the warm droplets rolling off of me and onto the white porcelain of the footed tub. I pulled a thick black towel off the nearby rack and quickly patted myself dry before stepping out of the tub and wrapping it around my waist.

After I brushed my teeth, I went in search of my smokes and lit one as I dressed in my grey flannel suit. I had to go out, to the place where I did my best thinking. Once I was dressed, I put my Colt in the holster under my suit jacket and shrugged into my black wool overcoat. I swiped my hat, smokes and flask off the desk and headed to the dive that ironically had the best Chinese food in town, Hwang.

Hwang himself greeted me like an old friend, or his best customer, when I walked in his tiny, greasy, green wallpapered restaurant. I moved to my usual table by the kitchen and sat down. “Ahhh … Miss. Rosenberg, sesame chicken today?” Hwang guessed when he came to take my order and pour me a cup of coffee. Not that he needed to guess or take my order, I always had the same thing, twice a week. Coming here had become sort of a routine bordering on tradition over the last five years.

“And a side of hot and sour soup, Hwang, thanks,” I added before he scurried into the kitchen.

The radio was playing “If I Didn’t Care” as I pulled out my flask and took a swig, then reached for my smokes. I slowly pulled one from the pack and brought it to my lips while I imagined Tara smoking the cigarettes I left for her. I envisioned her ruby red lips pulling gently as she inhaled, and parting softly as she exhaled. I hoped her bullshit this morning was just an act for Donald’s sake. I realized with surprise that I’d be more than a little disappointed if last night had ruined whatever it was we had between us, and that really fucking scared me. It was too late to head for shore now, I was in too deep, and if I didn’t keep paddling towards her, something told me I’d drown.

Getting fucking soft, Rosenberg, knew all along you’d never make it out of this case in one piece.

Sometimes I wished I could tell myself to shut the hell up. I was grateful when Hwang brought my meal and I didn’t have to think anymore. At least the food and my hunger took my mind of Tara … for the time being. Again I forced my attention back to the case. Unfortunately, after wolfing down my serving of the best sesame chicken in New York, smoking a half pack of Lucky’s, and wasting an hour scrutinizing every possibility of the Maclay case from every possible angle, I still wasn’t any closer to the answer.

You’re losing your touch, Rosenberg. Time to make that damn phone call.

I tried to procrastinate a little longer and played with the fortune cookie Hwang had brought out with my food. I never ate them; I hated the taste of the cookie, vanilla with a hint of stale cardboard. Breaking open the cookies shell, I pulled out the little piece of paper and squinted to read the tiny red writing.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Lau Tzu”

Fuck.

I hung my head in defeat as I scooted my chair away from the table and stood dejectedly. I pursed my lips and glanced over at the payphone, which, of course, no one was fucking using.

Damn my shitty luck.

My feet dragged as I trudged over to the phone hanging on the wall by the ladies bathroom. I plucked the receiver off the hook and positioned it between my ear and my shoulder. Plunging my right hand into the pocket of my coat, I searched for the nickel I knew I’d dropped in there yesterday after buying smokes. My hand didn’t feel the cold metal of the nickel however. Instead, it felt the crumple of paper.

I pulled two small slips of paper from my pocket and examined them carefully. As I read the receipts I held in my hands, my mouth went dry and my eyes widened in shock. I grabbed the receiver off my shoulder and thrust it back down on the hook. I turned and strode back to my table, carelessly tossing some bills down from my wallet to cover my food, and then sprinted towards the door.

“See ya in a few days, Hwang, thanks!” I shouted as I opened the door and ran out to the sidewalk, knocking over an old woman loaded down with groceries. “Sorry ma’am,” I apologized and tipped my hat before running to the curb of the street. Of course it took me forever to hail a goddamn taxi. I had to resort to pulling out a five spot and waving it around before an Irish bloke finally pulled over for me. I jumped in his cab and blurted the address from one of the receipts.

“And step on it,” I ordered firmly.

“Aye,” he nodded, and stomped on the gas, weaving his way through the traffic as best he could.

I turned to stone in the back of the cold cab as I concentrated on the meaning of this turn of events. Obviously the coat I had on was not mine, but it looked just like mine. There had to have been a mix up with the coat check at the Gala, I realized. I must have been so caught up in Tara-Rose that I didn’t notice last night. I looked down at the black coat buttons and examined them; they were smooth and rounded along the edge. The buttons on my coat had a pattern stamped into the plastic all the way around, like a dime.

I had no idea whose property the coat, and the receipts I’d found inside the pockets, belonged to. What I did know is the receipts showed the purchase of two items, one for Foxglove seeds, and the other for a mortar and pestle, on the same date a little over two weeks ago. Items that would be innocent enough on their own if they hadn’t been purchased on the same day. I knew the likelihood that any of this was connected to the Maclay case was next to nothing, but it was suspicious in and of itself and worthy of further investigation. If I could find out who had made the purchases, then at least I’d find out whose coat I was wearing, and at the very least, get my coat back.

The cab pulled up in front of the Ace Hardware store on Broadway, and I threw more money at the cabbie. “Wait here, I won’t be long,” I said and got out.

The hardware store was brightly lit and I quickly scanned the sales floor above the rows stocked shelves for a clerk. To my left, standing behind the counter, I saw a young woman with strawberry blonde curls and delicate freckles dappling her cheeks.

Perfect.

I smoothed my expression as I strode towards her and tipped my hat. “Pardon me, Miss, but I don’t suppose you could help me, could you?” I purred as I leaned an elbow on the counter top and pushed my hat up with one finger, flashing her my best crooked smile.

“Cer…certainly,” she stuttered and blinked.

I’m certain you can as well.

I pulled the receipts from my pocket, picking out the one with the Ace Hardware name printed on the top. “I’m trying to find the owner of this,” I said as I pushed the first receipt toward her; she picked it up and began examining it.

“You see, it seems he is also the owner of this coat. This morning, I discovered that there must have been a mix up at the Children’s Hospital Gala I attended last night, and this gentleman must have my coat. I don’t suppose you were the person to help him with this purchase?”

“I sure did,” she offered eagerly. “He came in about 3 weeks ago, and wanted to buy these here Foxglove seeds. I thought he was crazy! Who plants flowers in January?” she said and rolled her eyes. “We didn’t have ‘em in stock, we don’t carry any garden seed in January. But I told him we could order some in for him from the Burpee’s catalog.”

“Do you happen to remember what he looked like, Alice?” I murmured as I caught sight of her name tag reflecting the hideous ceiling lights.

“Oh sure, he was a real looker, very dreamy. He had curly dusty blonde hair, high cheekbones and these gorgeous blue eyes,” she confessed and I gulped on the last word. “Maybe a foot taller than you.”

Holy shit, dusty blonde curls and blue eyes …?

“Do you remember anything else,” I inquired, my tension mounting, “an identifying characteristics maybe?

“He had a cut on his left eyebrow,” Alice said as she tapped her own eyebrow, “Nasty gash, probably going to scar.”

“Ever see him before?” I asked, her description of the culprit formulating in my mind.

“No … never,” she admitted, “I’d remember him too.”

“Any idea where he might live?” I asked, hoping she’d say something to prove my suspicion was unfounded.

She flushed, “No, I don’t. Sorry,” she said regretfully.

“Well thanks anyway, sweetheart,” I said and gently pinched her cheek before turning and walking back out to the cab.

As instructed, the cab was still there waiting for me. I ran to it and got in, ordering him to get me to Tara-Rose’s house as fast as fucking possible. As I took out my gun and made sure it was loaded and ready, I realized that if anything happened to her before I could get there, I would be the one the coppers would be looking to pin a murder on, and I’d be guilty as goddamn sin.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:31 am 
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How am I gettin Dibs on this story days after it's been updated!!! Seriously, peeps, show some love. This fic is too good not to leave feedback on.

Quote:
It hadn’t taken me long to track down Russell Snyder on the docks; or all that hard to squeeze him for information. The weasel of a man admitted rather quickly to the hostile encounter he had with Mr. Maclay and to following through with his vail threat that one of Madam’s girls overheard. Off of my perplexed look, he followed up his statement with a cocky grin as he hitched a greasy thumb over his shoulder, pointing at several large wouldn’t crates, claiming he took his revenge out by urinating on Mr. Maclay’s product. Although repulsive, it was clear speaking with him that Russell Snyder was no evil mastermind and no way involved in Mr. Maclay’s death.


That's so gross. Snyder really is a weasel and a coward.


Quote:
“Oh sure, he was a real looker, very dreamy. He had curly dusty blonde hair, high cheekbones and these gorgeous blue eyes,” she confessed and I gulped on the last word. “Maybe a foot taller than you.”

Holy shit, dusty blonde curls and blue eyes …?

“Do you remember anything else,” I inquired, my tension mounting, “an identifying characteristics maybe?

“He had a cut on his left eyebrow,” Alice said as she tapped her own eyebrow, “Nasty gash, probably going to scar.”


So it is Spike!!! While reading this chapter, I seriously thought the murderer was Wilkins, what with him skipping town shortly after Mr. Maclay's death/the hiring of Willow and the whole falling out over the failed business.

Quote:
That left me with Richard Wilkins whose whereabouts were currently unknown; his receptionist, a dark haired beauty, having informed me the day prior that he hopped a train to Arizona early Tuesday morning.


...and on a unrelated note, is the dark haired beauty Faith?

Great chapter. Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:10 am 
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Ohoh, the plot thickens!
Unlike Wickedaddiction I think the description of the mysterious customer doesn't fit to Spike, but Donny, considering this description in chapter 12:
Quote:
I stepped into the room, eyeing the young man with honey blonde curls, a youthful, barely there beard and dark blue eyes: I could only assume this was Donald.

and that you mentioned Donny having a gash on his face a few chapters back.
So now Willow rushes to the Maclay house to save Tara from her brother, believing he is the killer? The purchase of Foxglove seeds (= digitalis) truly is highly suspicious because we know from many crime stories that digitalis causes heart failure... But Donny wasn't at the gala, so how did Willow end up with his coat? I can't imagine Buffy accidentally handing Willow the wrong coat this morning…
Also for Tara's sake I really hope that Donny is innocent and either bought the seeds for some other reason or wasn't the buyer at all, because it would break her heart if her brother murdered her father!


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:26 am 
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I just went back to chapter 5 to check the "gash-thing" and realized that I remembered it wrong and that you mentioned a bruise which Donald clearly didn't have before his fathers death. You didn't really describe "your" Spike but if I recall correctly he did have a scar over one eye in the show. So maybe the description does fit to him...


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:19 pm 
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I've gotten so accustomed to there being an update every Saturday that I'm bummed none was posted this weekend. :( Hopefully there will be a new chapter this Saturday :pray can't wait to read what happens next.

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:32 am 
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wickedaddiction wrote:
How am I gettin Dibs on this story days after it's been updated!!! Seriously, peeps, show some love. This fic is too good not to leave feedback on.


congrats on Dibs :eatme thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
That's so gross. Snyder really is a weasel and a coward.


He's a repugnant little man with no backbone.


Quote:
So it is Spike!!! While reading this chapter, I seriously thought the murderer was Wilkins, what with him skipping town shortly after Mr. Maclay's death/the hiring of Willow and the whole falling out over the failed business.


I can neither confirm nor deny that statement. lol. Guess you'll have to keep reading to find out.

Quote:
...and on a unrelated note, is the dark haired beauty Faith?


It most definitely is... had to sneak her into the story somehow.

Quote:
Great chapter. Keep up the good work.


thank you. Hope you enjoy the next chapter.


Will's redemption wrote:
Ohoh, the plot thickens! Unlike Wickedaddiction I think the description of the mysterious customer doesn't fit to Spike, but Donny, considering this description in chapter 12


*Que ominous music* The true murder will be reveled in the next chapter!

Quote:
So now Willow rushes to the Maclay house to save Tara from her brother, believing he is the killer? The purchase of Foxglove seeds (= digitalis) truly is highly suspicious because we know from many crime stories that digitalis causes heart failure... But Donny wasn't at the gala, so how did Willow end up with his coat? I can't imagine Buffy accidentally handing Willow the wrong coat this morning… Also for Tara's sake I really hope that Donny is innocent and either bought the seeds for some other reason or wasn't the buyer at all, because it would break her heart if her brother murdered her father!


Willow has a good inkling on whom she believes killed Mr. Maclay. It's now a race against the clock for Willow to find Tara and apprehend the murderer.

Quote:
I just went back to chapter 5 to check the "gash-thing" and realized that I remembered it wrong and that you mentioned a bruise which Donald clearly didn't have before his fathers death. You didn't really describe "your" Spike but if I recall correctly he did have a scar over one eye in the show. So maybe the description does fit to him...


I'm basing this Spike's appearance off of his early years (boxer rebellion era) as a vampire. Dirty blonde hair, glasses and so forth.

*WILLOW* wrote:
I've gotten so accustomed to there being an update every Saturday that I'm bummed none was posted this weekend. :( Hopefully there will be a new chapter this Saturday :pray can't wait to read what happens next.



I'm really sorry I didn't post last week, unfortunately a minor emergency came up which took me away from my home/laptop for a few days. Hopefully this chapter makes up for it though!

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/02/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:55 am 
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CHAPTER 15
Rated R
WARNING: Trigger warning. Mentioning's of attempted assault/rape.



TPOV

That morning, I felt the need to loaf in my bed. Returning to bed and being lazy wasn’t a luxury I often allowed myself but it was a nice diversion. Besides, it smelled like her: Bourbon, Lucky Strikes, and Brylcreem with a touch of Old Spice. Her smell lingered on my pillow and in the sheets long after she was gone. I wanted to think only of her, spend the day daydreaming of Willow Rosenberg: her wicked grin and bedroom eyes.

Eventually, I knew that I needed to get some work done. After a quick shower, I dressed in lounging clothes. Even though I didn’t plan on leaving the house, I never knew who might stop by. I knew who I hoped would stop by. I chided myself: Work, Tara-Rose. Think about work! I was scheduled to return to the Le Beau offices bright and early Monday morning and I needed to get back into the work mindset.

Pulling out a notepad and pencil, I outlined a few new campaign ideas that had been floating around in my head. Some were things that Daddy and I had discussed before his passing, and others were new ideas I thought we should explore. As the new head of Le Beau Cosmetics, I knew that my every move would be watched, my every decision critiqued. I wanted to come across as strong, confident, and fair, just as my father had been.

The room was too quiet, so I snapped on the radio only to hear “Green Eyes.” It was the song we had danced to at the Gala. Instead of making me think of her less, I only thought of her more. Was I a fool to want her? Could I get along without her? Could we have a life together? I was afraid to answer those questions.

Snap out of it, Tara-Rose!

Attempting to focus, I turned my attention back to the notes I had scribbled on the paper in front of me. Realizing I didn’t have the latest information about the newest line of nail polish in my room, I slipped my feet into my slippers and walked down the hall to my father’s study.

The door was partially closed. Odd. Daddy had usually kept it closed for privacy reasons, and more so now, it was kept closed out of respect for the recently deceased; but it appeared as though someone might be in there. Slowly swinging the door open and not sure of what I would find, I was surprised to see my brother. He was on his knees in front of the bottom desk drawer, surrounded by papers and rifling through the meticulous files our father had kept.

“Donald?” He startled at the sound of my voice, looking up from his place near the desk to where I stood in the entrance of the room, eyes wide. “Donald,” I repeated. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was seeing. He had a wild look in his eyes, somewhat crazed. “What are you doing?”

“I’m looking for ….something, Tara.” He seemed hesitant to tell me any more information.

Quickly, pieces started falling into place and the room spun around me while I stood there, rooted to one spot. Once more, in the same study where I had completely and truly accepted the fact that my father was dead, I realized who was responsible for his death.

Moving toward the window, I sat down on the settee so that my legs wouldn’t give out from underneath me. I had to keep it together. I hope to God I’m mistaken.

“That note … it wasn’t for Daddy.” I said quietly, sadly aware that I wasn’t asking a question but stating a fact. Wrapping my arms around my torso, I continued, “You won’t find it here. Willow has it.”

“Tara-Rose…“ Donald started over to me, putting his arm out as though he was going to wrap them around my shoulders.

I put my hand out to rebuff him. “No. Don’t touch me. Sit down over there and answer me. The note,” I said, trying to keep the slightly hysterical rise from my voice, “it wasn’t for him. It was for you.” I needed to hear him say it.

Donald didn’t answer. Instead he rested his hands on his forehead and blew out a long breath. He stood like that for a while, rubbing the base of his palms against his closed eyes. “It wasn’t supposed to go down like this, Tara.” He finally said.

I was afraid to know what he meant, but I had to asked, I needed to know. “What do you mean?”

“It was only supposed to make him sick,” he said as he lowered his arms, his hands coming to rest at his sides. “It wasn’t supposed to kill him.”

“Why would you do that Donald?”

He leaned over the desk and picked up a rock paperweight that he had painted and made for our father when he was in elementary school.

“You know, I made this for James when I was in fourth grade. It was a Christmas project. I was so proud that he used it but I always asked why he didn’t take it into the office. He said that it was better for the home study.” He placed the paperweight back down on the desk as he looked at me. “I was always better at home. He took you out, paraded you around. He would have given you the world if you asked.”

“This can’t be about jealousy, Donald.”

Jealously?” he spat the word out at me as though it personally offended him. “It’s not about jealously.”

“Then what is it about, Donald?” I nearly begged him, “Please help me because I can’t possibly understand your rationale and Lord knows; I’m really trying to here.”

“This is about our father not helping his family, his son.” He growled out.

It didn’t make sense. This conversation, his animosity toward our father; none of it made sense. “I am not sure what you are insinuating.
Daddy would have helped either of us, if we needed it.” He shook his head vehemently, repeating the word no as I spoke.

Daddy didn’t help me when I needed it.” He moved next to me and sat on the settee. I shifted slightly so that I wasn’t sitting so close to him.

“I got in a bit over my head with a gambling debt-“

I arched an eyebrow. “If I recall, and I’m certain I know more about this than you think I do, you often get in ‘a bit over your head’ when it comes to gambling.”

Donald looked at me, emotions warring on his face. Both sadness and anger were evident in his expression. “Well, our father wouldn’t assist me this time around. I guess he didn’t tell you that; did he, dear sister?” He took a deep breath and his eyes met mine. Once again, I was reminded of our father and the thought now sickened me. “And Tara-Rose? It was big; I’m talking a lot of money. The people involved weren’t taking no for an answer. I was desperate. I had nowhere else to turn and I brought the note to James.”

I willed my eyes not to squeeze shut. Not to force the angry tears out that I was holding in. Those tears would show a sign of weakness, which I couldn’t afford at the moment. Thankfully, my voice did not betray me. “And what did he say?”

“He told me that he’d see what he could do. Dismissed me like I was one of the help.”

My heart hurt within my chest and my lungs felt like they couldn’t get enough air. Drawing in a sharp breath, I said, “Donald, I don’t believe it. Daddy didn’t treat the staff like ‘the help,’ he treated them like family. I’m sure if you-“

“I don’t know when this is going to get through your thick skull, Tara-Rose, but our father wasn’t the martyr you make him out to be. He wasn’t perfect; far from it, actually. He was flawed and sometimes I think I was the only one able to see those flaws.”

I needed to get away from him. I stood and went to the drink cart, pouring some sort of alcohol with a shaking hand. I couldn’t even pay attention to what it was. I just needed the distance between us. Donald continued with his rant. “I was always second best to you, even though I was his son! The one who would carry on the Maclay name. Carry on our legacy! He couldn’t get past the fact that Mother passed away after birthing me. So instead, he turned to you for his source of comfort. You were his reason for being. He decided to raise you to run the family business, and he put all his hopes and dreams into your future, not mine.”

“He wasn’t going to give me the money. He made that quite clear when we last spoke about the issue. So to save myself … to save my life … I ended up taking his.”

His face twisted into a pained mask that I had never seen before on my baby brother, until this day. “I should have guessed that he had altered the will so that everything would be left to you. A dirty, vile whore! The final blow to me and it shouldn’t have surprised me in the slightest.”

“How much, Donald?” My voice was low.

I couldn’t look at him. My blood burned through my body and roared in my ears. I was surprised I could hear his low answer of “nineteen.”
I closed my eyes, the inside of my eyelids were a vivid red.

“Nineteen hundred?”

“Nineteen thousand.”

My eyes snapped open instantly. I was still seeing red. “Donald. Nineteen thousand dollars???” I took a deep breath in an attempt to calm myself. It did not work. “For the love of all that is holy! How could you do this?” The money. Our father. All of it.

He stood from the chair with such force that it shoved backward into the wall. I took a step away from him. He was standing in front of me in an instant, grabbing my shoulders and shaking me, “He wasn’t supposed to die. Just get sick. Sick enough where he needed my help for once.”

This wasn’t my brother standing before me. This was some enraged man who was obviously not thinking clearly, not thinking at all. I couldn’t think of the right words and I was completely torn with what to do. My brain frantically tried to sort things out. I considered just giving him the money, letting him pay his debt and flee. The other part of my brain was screaming to call the police and turn him in. He’d be in jail, but I knew the people he owed and they could probably get to him, even in jail. Either way, I would lose my brother.

If I were being honest with myself, he was already lost.

“Please. Please let go of me,” I pleaded as my voice wavered in fear.

“What, you think I’m going to kill you too?” his brows furrowed together as he looked at me, his teeth clenched tight showing off the muscles in his jaw, a wild look in his eyes. He continued to stare down at me until his face slowly started to soften, my fear finally registering with him. “I could never hurt you Tara. But these guys I owe, they’re not messing around. They’ll knock me off if I don’t come up with some cabbage fast.”

He let go of my arm and took a few steps back, the back of his legs bumping into our father’s desk. Perching on the edge of the desk, he looked skyward as he chewed on the bottom of his lip. “I’m going to need that money, Tara.”

“He’s not wrong,” said a gruff voice from the door.

Jumping in shock, not having heard anyone approach, I stared wide eyed at William Pratt and the several cronies lingering in the hallway behind him. The chopper squad standing behind him meant business, there weapons visible in the waistband of their slacks. I counted at least three hatchetmen, one of which was the sleaze ball from the Gala, Parker Abrams.

“What do you want?” I asked, my eyes consistently shifting between William and my brother.

“I think you know what I want, doll.” William snarled out as he strode further into the room, his black overcoat billowing behind him like an ominous cloud. Nodding his head, he signaled to his goons to enter the room; two circling around Donald as Mr. Abrams walked up to me. “Little Donny here owes me quite a bit of money and I’m here to collect.”

“I … I don’t have it,” he stuttered as the goons grabbed a hold of him, securely gripping an arm each. “I need more time.”

Clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth, William shook his head in disappointment. “Now, I’ve been more than accommodating with you welshing on your debt. You asked for more time and I let you off with a warning. But I guess that’s in part my fault; I should have had my men break your knees instead of blackening your eye to get the point across.”

My head snapped towards my brother, taking in the now yellowish purple bruise still remaining around his eye. I should have known better. I shook my head in disappointment, my eyes watering with tears as my heart broke all over again. Donald had gotten himself in deep with a loan shark and the outcome wasn’t looking good.

“Let my sister go,” Donald begged, his eyes filled with fright. “I’ll get you your money!”

“Now, you owe me nineteen thousand dollars, plus interest.” Remarked William as he walked toward my brother, his right hand reaching inside his jacket. Brandishing a pistol, he placed the barrel to Donald’s forehead. “Now, I’m not much for negotiations but I think we could work something out to eliminate that interest.”

Before I knew it, Mr. Abrams was standing behind me. I didn’t have a chance to step away before his arms were wrapped firmly around my torso. My body instantly tensed as I felt his hot breath hit the back of my neck.

“It seems that Mr. Abram has taken quite the interest in your sister,” chuckled William as he turned his head to the side; his smile growing wider as he watched tears cascade from my eyes.

He watched; amusement evident in his eyes as Mr. Abram pulled me closer to his body. With one hand wrapped around my waist, he let the other trail down my neck, his fingers gliding down to my exposed sternum before tracing over my breast. He was set to have his way with me; it was implied by his caresses and William’s words.

“Please don’t do this,” Donald begged, tears streaming down his own cheeks, mingling with the snot pouring out of his nose. “Please! Kill me. Just kill me. But please, let her go.”

“Oh, we’ll let her go,” William stated as he pressed the barrel harder against Donald’s forehead. “She’s about to inherit your debt.” He cocked back the hammer on his gun, “but first, you’re going to watch what your stupidity has cost your sister.”

The feeling of Abram’s hands on my body sent trembles of fear throughout my body. I tried to talk but I felt like my vocal cords were being restricted. It felt as if every nerve ending in my body was screaming, begging for my brain to formulate a plan of escape. It was fruitless; my legs were anchored to the ground, my brain too panicked to think past what was about to happen.

I wasn’t sure how we ended up behind the divan; I’m not sure if I walked willingly or he had dragged me. It wasn’t until I felt a firm presser on my back did I snap back to reality. I began to struggle in his grasp, thrashing my arms to try and dislodge myself as I screamed for help. I only stopped yelling when a fist connected with my jaw, shockwaves of pain radiating throughout my head; leaving me seeing stars.

I was too dazed to fight back, my head reeling as my eyes fought to stay open. There was pressure once again on my back, the hand pressed firm against my shoulder blade as he pushed me forward, bending me slightly at the waist to rest against the back of the settee. One strong, callused hand pinned my wrist to the fabric of the settee as the other roughly pushed up my skirt. I quietly begged to be let go as tears poured down my cheek at an exponentially faster pace.

As tears blurred my vision and Donald loudly beseeched with William to let me go, I noticed through the open door Liam rushing down the hallway toward us. As he skidded to a stop, his hands gripping either side of the doorframe, I called out to him, pleading with him for help. He looked troubled as he looked from me to William; the gun still trained on my brother.

“Ah Liam, old friend!” William called out as he noticed the torpedo standing in the doorway. “You’re just in time, we’re about to have a little fun with Miss. Maclay here. Care to join us? Take a little spin after Abrams; prove to us you haven’t been castrated.”

“Please Liam, help me.” My voice was strained, hitching as I felt Abrams’ hand glide higher up my thigh. My lips trembled as he stood there motionless, his eyebrows twitching in contemplation. It felt like a lifetime had passed before he finally moved, his feet slowly shuffling backwards into the hall before he turned and briskly walked away. “Liam!”

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:24 pm 
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1. Blessed Wannabe

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Dibs? Been gone for a bit ,but oh geez this update. Really hoping Willow gets there in time.I have a few choice words for both Donnie and Liam. As well as a few body bags for William and his goons. The wait for next update is gonna kill me. Also wheres the rest of the staff?


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:25 am 
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7. Teeny Tinkerbell Light

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OMG. Seriously you leave us hanging. I know that you are not going to let Tara get assaulted, Please don't. Please have Willow get there in time!
Great cliffhanger.
Looking forward to reading more
TW4E

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:58 pm 
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4. Extra Flamey

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Oh no, poor Tara!
I fervently hope Liam brisly walked away to get his gun out of his room or the kitchen or whatever hiding place he keeps it in (he certainly wouldn't stand a chance fighting Spike and his hunchmen with bare hands) and also that Willow arrives in the next 30 seconds so she and Liam can join forces and gun-power to shoot the bad guys and save Tara in time.
I'm sad that my suspicion was right and Donny did kill his father. It's only very small solace for Tara that he didn't intend to kill him but just planned to make him sick. I'm not sure what he wanted to achieve by that, did he hope his father would give him power of attorney during his sickness? Seems highly unlikely to me considering that James treated Tara as his right hand.
I'm also wondering why Donny didn't ask Tara for financial help or help in persuading their father to pay his debt once again before resorting to the drastic measure of poisoning their father.

With this cliffhanger the wait until next saturday is really hard!


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:35 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Holy mother of all cliffhangers! You can't stop there, you just can't!!!! I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to know what's gonna happen next. I'm so nervous and sad for Tara right now ... and oddly enough, Donny as well. I sure hope Liam ran off to call the police or Willow and didn't leave out of cowardliness. The next three days can not go by fast enough. Looking forward to your next update.


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:23 am 
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Quote:
Oh, we’ll let her go,” William stated as he pressed the barrel harder against Donald’s forehead. “She’s about to inherit your debt.” He cocked back the hammer on his gun, “but first, you’re going to watch what your stupidity has cost your sister.”


:angry :angry :angry I don’t know who I’m angrier at, Donald for being so naïve Or William for being so cruel. I’m on the bandwagon with everyone else, I hope Willow shows up in time before anything seriously bad happens to Tara.

Can’t wait for today’s update!

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 5:24 am 
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3. Flaming O
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Quote:
Oh, we’ll let her go,” William stated as he pressed the barrel harder against Donald’s forehead. “She’s about to inherit your debt.” He cocked back the hammer on his gun, “but first, you’re going to watch what your stupidity has cost your sister.”


:angry :angry :angry I don’t know who I’m angrier at, Donald for being so naïve Or William for being so cruel. I’m on the bandwagon with everyone else, I hope Willow shows up in time before anything seriously bad happens to Tara.

Can’t wait for today’s update!

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:32 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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Dragon wrote:
Dibs? Been gone for a bit ,but oh geez this update. Really hoping Willow gets there in time


Congrats on Dibs! Don't worry, Willow's gonna save the day.

Quote:
I have a few choice words for both Donnie and Liam. As well as a few body bags for William and his goons


I think both Liam and Donnie deserve those choice words and then some. You're body bags are definitely going to come in handy for this next chapter, well, at least one.

Quote:
The wait for next update is gonna kill me


I hope the wait wasn't too unbearable.

Quote:
Also wheres the rest of the staff?


Its a big house with minimal staff, so they are dispersed throughout carrying out their tasks.



taranwillow4ever wrote:
OMG. Seriously you leave us hanging


I know, I know, it was mean of me to stop right there. But hopefully the next chapter makes up it.

Quote:
I know that you are not going to let Tara get assaulted, Please don't. Please have Willow get there in time!


I would never let anything terrible like that happen to either Tara or Willow

Quote:
Great cliffhanger. Looking forward to reading more. TW4E


Thank you! Hope you enjoy the next chapter.


Will's redemption wrote:
Oh no, poor Tara!
I fervently hope Liam brisly walked away to get his gun out of his room or the kitchen or whatever hiding place he keeps it in (he certainly wouldn't stand a chance fighting Spike and his hunchmen with bare hands) and also that Willow arrives in the next 30 seconds so she and Liam can join forces and gun-power to shoot the bad guys and save Tara in time.


Willow's going to arrive just in the nick-of-time to save Tara. As for Liam, well, he has his reasons for running away.

Quote:
I'm sad that my suspicion was right and Donny did kill his father. It's only very small solace for Tara that he didn't intend to kill him but just planned to make him sick. I'm not sure what he wanted to achieve by that, did he hope his father would give him power of attorney during his sickness? Seems highly unlikely to me considering that James treated Tara as his right hand.


Donny and his father definitely had their issues, but he loved his father and truly didn't mean to kill him. Donny was hoping with his father being sick, he could prove he was responsible by caring for Mr. Maclay/the business in his absence therefore be on his father's good side wherein he would feel obligated to pay off his debt ... but being a naive teen, his plan backfired.

Quote:
I'm also wondering why Donny didn't ask Tara for financial help or help in persuading their father to pay his debt once again before resorting to the drastic measure of poisoning their father.


Pride. Donny didn't want to ask his sister for help, especially since she was already considered the 'golden child' and be looked upon as the black sheep of the family even further.

Quote:
With this cliffhanger the wait until next saturday is really hard!


I hope the wait wasn't too strenoius.


wickedaddiction wrote:
Holy mother of all cliffhangers! You can't stop there, you just can't!!!! I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to know what's gonna happen next. I'm so nervous and sad for Tara right now ... and oddly enough, Donny as well. I sure hope Liam ran off to call the police or Willow and didn't leave out of cowardliness. The next three days can not go by fast enough. Looking forward to your next update.


I'm sorry, but I needed to throw in at least one cliffhanger in this fic. Both Donny and Tara are in a terrible situation but luckily Willow is on her way. Hope you enjoy the next chapter!


*WILLOW* wrote:
Quote:
:angry :angry :angry I don’t know who I’m angrier at, Donald for being so naïve Or William for being so cruel. I’m on the bandwagon with everyone else, I hope Willow shows up in time before anything seriously bad happens to Tara. Can’t wait for today’s update!


Its completely fare to be mad at both of them, but, I think William takes the cake for thoroughly enjoying tormenting the siblings and threatening them both with bodily harm. Next update to be posted shortly. Enjoy!

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Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/16/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:54 am 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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CHAPTER 16
WPOV

It was the longest fucking taxi ride of my life. The cabbie deftly wove his way through the busy midday, downtown traffic as I sat fidgeting and helpless in the backseat. I kept my fists clenched in my lap while my foot impatiently pressed on an imaginary gas pedal on the floor. All the while, my mind raced with the implications of everything I had learned in the last half hour. Obviously the coat mix up hadn’t happened at the Gala. Buffy must have given me Donald’s coat this morning by mistake.

Donald. Donald, who had conveniently skipped out on our arrangements to meet with one excuse after another on why he couldn’t make it. Donald who had a black eye from a supposed bar fight. Donald, who had told his sister Thursday morning, that he had broken several of his fingers playing rugby after school the previous evening. And most damning, Donald; who was left out of his father’s will and wouldn’t be inheriting a single nickel from the estate. My guess was that note belonged to him. He must have needed cash and gone to Mr. Maclay for help, who then refused him. It was the motive I had suspected earlier today, but certainly not from Mr. Maclay’s own flesh and blood.

I knew the who, and I was pretty firm on the why, now for the how. I was aware of the potentially lethal properties of the toxic Foxglove flower. When I was a teenager, my mother, Sheila, had a little black poodle named Stella. She got into mom’s flower garden once and ate some of the Foxglove roots she’d dug up. That was the last time Stella got in the garden. That was the last time Stella got into anything. Mom had the foxglove taken out the very same day. The incident made me curious so I studied up on it. If any part of the plant was infused in alcohol in the proper way, it could kill by inducing cardiac arrest.

Tare’s going to be devastated.

My brow wrinkled in pain. How was I going to tell her that her brother, whom I knew was her closest and only remaining relative, was her father’s murderer? My heart broke for her and I knew that this would be the hardest fucking day on the job I’d ever be forced to suffer through.

An eternity later, the cab pulled into the driveway of the Maclay estate, and I tossed a bill over the seat at the cabbie for the fare. I had the door to the cab open before he came to a stop and jumped out, running to the front door. I didn’t bother with the bell. I flung the red front door open and saw Liam rushing down the stairs, sprinting by me through the open door. I was about to question him but the sound of Tara’s distressed voice screaming for him stilled my words; my head shooting upwards to where the sound came from.

I turned and bolted swiftly up the stairs taking the steps two at a time, torn between staying calm for Tara’s sake, or beating the crap out of Donald for the pain he was about to cause her when she learned the truth. Of course the latter wasn’t a realistic option… only a desirable one. As I approached the halfway point, I heard the sliding of a chair across the wooden floor. Then the sound of a raised male voice.

I came to the second story landing. The door to the office was open, and through it I saw a man roughly pinning Tara to the settee as his hand snaked up her skirt. His face was tense with urgency as he hunched his body over hers; his left hand gripping Tara-Rose’s shoulder tightly. The look on her face told me all I needed to know. Removing the colt from my holster, I aimed it at the man holding Tara; recognizing him as the slime-ball from the Gala.

“Reach for the sky!” I hollered from the doorway as I trained my gun on him, his movements freezing instantly. He looked at me shocked before releasing his grip from Tara, stepping back with his hands slightly raised. “Don’t move a muscle,” I warned as I turned my head to the right, shifting my gaze briefly from Tara-Rose’s attacker to William Pratt who was standing impishly with a gun pressed to Donald’s head.

“This isn’t your business, Miss. Rosenberg,” called out William tersely.

“Being on her payroll makes it my fucking business, Mr. Pratt,” I growled, my gun still trained on his lackey. I was prepared to blow his head off if he so much as moved a finger.

“Suit yourself,” William said, chuckling darkly. “It’s your funeral.”

He didn’t have to say a word. His two crones instantly let go of Donald and reached for their weapons. I was heavily out gunned but I wasn’t going to waver. I would gladly give up my life for this woman. I knew I could get off one shot, maybe two if I was lucky, but I’d be damned if Abrams made it out of here alive.

I contemplated my options. The first shot would be for Abram and if I was fast enough, I’d pivot to take out Pratt. I didn’t like my odds but I knew this standoff wouldn’t last forever, eventually bullets would start to fly. I gulped down the lump that formed at the back of my throat as my eye’s sought out Tara’s. I gave her a slight smile, the edges of my lips barely moving as I tried to convey through my eyes that everything would be okay.

“Enough stalling, Detective,” William said as he rotated, his gun arm swinging to aim at the detective standing cattycorner to him. “Say goodbye to your girlfriend, Tara-Rose.”

It felt like everything was taking place in slow motion as I watched him pull back on the trigger. I braced myself for the bullets impact as I squeezed the trigger of my revolver. As searing pain shot through my body, a fast spreading burn radiating throughout my arm into my chest, I watched as Abrams crumpled to the floor.

I was about to swivel, prepared to fill William full of lead, when I noticed two figures standing guard at the entrance of the study, weapons held firmly in their hands.

“Drop it!” Riley shouted as he pointed his military regulated pistol on the remaining thugs. “Or you’ll come to a sticky end.” Behind him, Liam stood with a tommy gun trained on the loan shark, prepared to pepper him and his cohorts with lead.

William scrunched his nose up in anger, his teeth clenched together as he stared down the two newcomers. He snarled his disappointment, less than pleased with his former colleague and groundskeeper. I watched in stoned silence as various emotions played across the deceitful man’s face before he slowly tossed his weapon to the floor; his goon’s quickly following suit.

My eyes flew to Tara, who was a trembling mixture of shocked anger and broken-hearted disappointment. Holstering my gun, I briskly walked to her, pulling her to me just as she started to lose it.

“It’s okay, baby doll. I’m here and I won’t let you go,” I cooed softly, kissing her forehead as her body shook with retching sobs, tears flowing briskly from her eyes. I felt her hand reach for my arm, lightly tracing the seeping wound. Her body trembled even harder against mine as she reached into my pocket and pull out my handkerchief, quickly pressing it to my bicep where I’d been clipped.

I could hear people coming up the stairs; alerted by the sounds of shouting and gunfire. Buffy and Declan appeared at the doorway and their expressions turned to confusion at the sight of Liam and Riley holding several men at gunpoint; another man sprawled out deceased on the floor.

“Buffy, would you please call the police? I requested softly. Buffy nodded and quickly departed from the room with purpose. Declan moved toward the shylock and his henchmen; collecting their discarded weapons.

Between the remainder of the staff, I watched as they managed to get the three thugs up against the wall, their arms and legs spread to prevent any funny business. I told them sternly to place Donald up against the wall with the others as well. I felt the cloth of my suit growing damp with Tara’s tears, but she hadn’t made a peep yet. I pulled her closer to me, trying to press some of my strength into her. She just clutched me around my waist, and dabbed at my wound in fucking heartbreaking silence.

“Tara, I’m so sorry,” Donald began softly from where he stood, his head hanging low.

“Donald, don’t do this right now,” she finally spoke through hitched sobs and pulled away from me to look at him. “I’m going to need a little time,” she whispered as her eyes welled up with even more tears. “Willow, can you talk to the police please? If they need to talk to me, I’ll be in my room,” she said.

“Of course Tare,” I replied. She gave me a relieved, albeit weak, smile and squared her shoulders for a brief second before she strode from the room. So damn brave.

The coppers showed up not long after. I informed them of what had transpired, indicating that Miss Tara-Rose and Mr. Donald were held hostage by William Pratt and his hoodlums. Through gritted teeth, I explained how and why the deceased man met his maker. The four were quickly cuffed and Donald, when questioned, was cooperative and explained how he was in severe debt and had prepared the foxglove seed and brandy cocktail for dear old dad. Within ten minutes, they had a full confession. I handed over the receipts to the cops and took off Donald’s coat; I had still been wearing the most damning piece of evidence, since I’d rushed in here with such urgency.

Once Donald and the others were in-route to jail and the cops had cleared out of the house, I went to Tara’s room. I expected to find her sprawled out on her bed, face down in the satin covered pillows, crying her little heart out. I should have known better.

She stood in front of her bedroom windows, gazing blankly out at the front lawn. “Tare, you alright?” I asked lamely, knowing that of course she wasn’t anywhere close to being alright, but what else could I have said?

She kept her back to me, kept her gaze fixed on the grey February sky. “I’m all alone now,” she whispered in a flat, emotionless, monotone voice that scared the hell out of me.

“You’re not alone. I promised you, I won’t let go,” I soothed and moved toward her. I placed my right hand on her shoulder and started to draw her to me.

She flinched at my touch, her face contorting in fear as my hand glided over her shoulder blade. Shrugging away my hand she slipped away from my touch and went to the doorway of the bedroom. My eyebrows crinkled together at her.

“I suppose you would like your payment now, Willow?” she said and crossed the room to her vanity. I followed her and tried really fucking hard not to let her see how much her words and actions stung me.

Just pick up the pieces of your heart and get the hell out Rosenberg. You always knew this is how it would end.

“Now or later. It doesn’t matter,” I said quietly and followed her to the desk where she pulled out Mr. Maclay’s check register. She’d already paid me half my fee earlier this week. I watched her shaking hand scribble out a check for another quarter of my fee.

“I’ll get you the rest in a few days, if that is agreeable?” she said more to herself than to me before continuing, “and the press is going to be hounding me when the news about Donald breaks. It might be better for me to stay out of the public eye for a little while,” she said and looked at me blankly.

I examined her expression carefully. I knew her exquisite face well, and it dawned on me that her cold and distant manner was because she was in complete shock. She had just gone through something very traumatic; that being touched right now was unsettling. It certainly was understandable, after what she had just endured. I wanted to comfort her, I wanted to hold her and let her ruin my blood stained suit even further as she cried all over it. I wanted her. But she needed time.

If she said she needed time, then I would wait. I brought my hand to her face, cupping her cheek while I whispered in her other ear. “Sure, I’ll see you in a few days, doll,” and kissed her forehead before taking the check from her hand and leaving the room.

Buffy caught me at the door with my coat. I took it from her and she helped me shrug into it, my wounded arm to numb to bend properly. “Promise me, Buffy, that you’ll keep an eye on Tara? That you’ll let me know if she needs anything?” I requested anxiously.

“Of course, Miss Rosenberg, I’ll call you first thing,” she agreed solemnly.

“Thanks,” I smiled gratefully, “and it’s just Willow, Buffy, none of that Miss. Bullshit. I work for these people just like you do,” I said and winked at her. She cracked a weak smile and offered to call me a cab. Soon enough, I was in the cab and pulling away from the Maclay estate. My chest grew heavy at the thought of going home to my cold, dingy apartment without knowing for sure if Tara was okay. Not knowing if I’d see her again. Not knowing when I’d see her blue eyes light up or smell her roses again.

You’re in for a few long fucking days, Rosenberg.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/23/2019
PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:03 am 
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4. Extra Flamey

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Posts: 227
Dibs! :whip
I'm relieved that I was right in my belief that Liam didn't run out of cowardice but to get his gun. To also bring Riley with his own gun as reinforcement was a great idea.

Quote:
I was heavily out gunned but I wasn’t going to waver. I would gladly give up my life for this woman.

:flower Great proof of Willow's love, as her determination to shoot Parker to make sure he wouldn't rape Tara even if Willow herself was killed. I'm glad that Spike is a bad shooter apparently and that Liam's and Riley's intervention ended the shooting without further (physical) harm for our beloved couple.

Quote:
Holstering my gun, I briskly walked to her, pulling her to me just as she started to lose it.

“It’s okay, baby doll. I’m here and I won’t let you go,” I cooed softly, kissing her forehead as her body shook with retching sobs, tears flowing briskly from her eyes.


Awww, another glimpse of the tenderness Willow normally hides under her rough professional shell.

Tara's sudden need to distance herself from Willow made me sad. I'm wondering if she took Willow's remark to Spike before the shooting
Quote:
“Being on her payroll makes it my fucking business, Mr. Pratt,”

the wrong way and therefore only talks about Willow's payment afterwards.
I'm glad that after the initial feeling of hurt Willow understands Tara's needs and gives her time but also makes clear that she will come when she sends for her, again with such tenderness:
Quote:
I brought my hand to her face, cupping her cheek while I whispered in her other ear. “Sure, I’ll see you in a few days, doll,” and kissed her forehead


Quote:
“Promise me, Buffy, that you’ll keep an eye on Tara? That you’ll let me know if she needs anything?” I requested anxiously.

“Of course, Miss Rosenberg, I’ll call you first thing,” she agreed solemnly.

“Thanks,” I smiled gratefully, “and it’s just Willow, Buffy, none of that Miss. Bullshit. I work for these people just like you do,” I said and winked at her.


I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/23/2019
PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:42 am 
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2. Floating Rose
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Quote:
I would gladly give up my life for this woman. I knew I could get off one shot, maybe two if I was lucky, but I’d be damned if Abrams made it out of here alive.

I contemplated my options. The first shot would be for Abram and if I was fast enough, I’d pivot to take out Pratt. I didn’t like my odds but I knew this standoff wouldn’t last forever, eventually bullets would start to fly. I gulped down the lump that formed at the back of my throat as my eye’s sought out Tara’s. I gave her a slight smile, the edges of my lips barely moving as I tried to convey through my eyes that everything would be okay.


I loved this part so much. Willow's love knows no bounds. The fact that she was willing to die trying to protect Tara all the while trying to reassure her nothing bad would happen proves just that.



Quote:
I wanted to comfort her, I wanted to hold her and let her ruin my blood stained suit even further as she cried all over it. I wanted her. But she needed time.


omg my heart hurts


Since this is the kittenboard, I know that they're gonna end up together but please please please don't make them (or us!) wait so long for them to find their way back to each other. :pray Can't wait for next saturday.


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/23/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:54 am 
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I feel so bad for Tara. I hope she comes to her senses and realizes she has Willow and doesnt take forever to go see her. Looking forward to todays update :D

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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/23/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:05 pm 
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Will's redemption wrote:
Dibs! :whip


woohoo!

Quote:
I'm relieved that I was right in my belief that Liam didn't run out of cowardice but to get his gun. To also bring Riley with his own gun as reinforcement was a great idea.


Liam has definitely turned a new leaf in life and is now airing on the side of good.

Quote:
Awww, another glimpse of the tenderness Willow normally hides under her rough professional shell.


Tara has slowly but surely brought down the walls surrounding Willow's heart.

Quote:
Tara's sudden need to distance herself from Willow made me sad. I'm wondering if she took Willow's remark to Spike before the shooting the wrong way and therefore only talks about Willow's payment afterwards. I'm glad that after the initial feeling of hurt Willow understands Tara's needs and gives her time but also makes clear that she will come when she sends for her, again with such tenderness


She just needs some time. She went through something very tramatic and being touched, even by someone she cares for deeply is triggering which Willow completely understands that's why she's willing to give Tara as much time as she needs.

Quote:
I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship...


It really is the beginning of something wonderful. Willow has been on her own for years and is in need of a best friend, someone other than an informant that she can talk to and rely on, and that's Buffy.



wickedaddiction wrote:
Quote:
I loved this part so much. Willow's love knows no bounds. The fact that she was willing to die trying to protect Tara all the while trying to reassure her nothing bad would happen proves just that.[.quote]

true love knows no bounds. Willow would gladly give up her life to protect the woman she loves without a second thought.



Quote:
omg my heart hurts. Since this is the kittenboard, I know that they're gonna end up together but please please please don't make them (or us!) wait so long for them to find their way back to each other. :pray Can't wait for next saturday.


Mine does too. But they are destined to be together so that pain will go away quickly. Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy the next chapter!

*WILLOW* wrote:
I feel so bad for Tara. I hope she comes to her senses and realizes she has Willow and doesnt take forever to go see her. Looking forward to todays update :D


A lot of horribleness just fell upon Tara within the last 24 hours, she needs some time to process it all. She obviously cares for Willow deeply and vise versa so they definitely won't stay apart from each other for too long. Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the next chapter.

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Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


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 Post subject: Re: Honeysuckle Rose - Update 11/23/2019
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:24 pm 
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6. Sassy Eggs
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CHAPTER 17

TPOV

Twenty days.

It had been exactly Twenty days since everything had occurred at the estate.

Twenty days since my attempted rapist was killed.

Twenty days since William was arrested.

Twenty days since my brother had gone to jail for the murder of our father.

Twenty days since I settled my brother’s debt with the mob.

Twenty days since I’d last seen Willow Rosenberg.

In the past twenty days, I had often questioned myself and my decision to hire Willow in the first place. I questioned whether the outcome would have played out differently. I questioned whether I would have been better off not knowing about my brother’s plights. Instead of losing one member of my family, I had lost both.

Was knowing what had happened worth it? It was, but sometimes I had a hard time convincing myself.

The Chrysler Imperial smoothly glided down the road with the windows rolled down, headed toward Harlem. Toward Willow. A warm breeze danced through the car, the smell of the exhaust from other cars wafted through. Unseasonably warm March days were rare in New York. However, Mother Nature graced us and people were taking full advantage of the beautiful weather. Laughter and happy shrieks from children on a nearby playground made me smile when we had stopped at a corner. The outside noise mingled with Fats Wallers rendition of “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” which played softly on the radio. Music was a welcome change from the constant news reports regarding my family and Le Beau. I sighed and took in everything. The warmer weather made me feel warmer inside as well. Almost as though I was thawing. It was a welcome change.

The newspapers and radio were flooded with the events regarding my father’s death and Donald’s involvement. Willow had been hailed a hero for taking on the notorious mobster William Pratt and saving my life. From what I could tell, she wasn’t commenting to anyone regarding the case. With the negative press, the positive came as well. Le Beau sales hit an all-time high and we had been diligently working to push the newest ad campaign, “A Matter of Face.” Work was keeping me busy and offered me a pleasant distraction from thinking about my family mess. Not from her, though.

During this time, Alexander was able to contact William’s boss Blue Lue Boyle through some mutual acquaintances and together we met him at Fuerst Bros Restaurant. I took Alexander up on his offer to join me during that meeting. The purpose was to give Mr. Boyle the money that Donald owed William. I was fairly certain that it wasn’t Mr. Boyle who was looking for the money; if it were, he would have come collecting long before it could escalate to the degree it had. I asked him to make sure Donald’s name was clear. He seemed to know a little more than he let on though, because he acted like he understood that it was a matter of life and death for Donald. He assured me that he wouldn’t have Donald ‘welshing’ on a bet and no one would be coming for him in prison. While Alexander went to get the car, Mr. Boyle pinched my cheek and then my backside and told me to consider it done.

I’d gone to visit Donald soon after the police took him away from the estate and he had apologized once again to me. We met at the county jail and we sat together, in a cold room with hard chairs. He said he had never intended on hurting me the way that he did; that he hadn’t been thinking clearly. I had told him that what hurt more than anything was that he felt there was no other option, no other way to deal with things than the way he did. I wished he had come and talked to me two months ago. We’d all be in quite a different position. His hands were joined together with the handcuffs yet when he reached out for mine, I could not deny him. Holding my hands in his, he begged for my forgiveness. Daddy had always told me it was important to forgive and forget. That’s where he and I disagreed. I forgave Donald. I could not forget. I would not forget.

My thoughts shifted back to Willow as I took my compact out of my purse and looked at my face in the mirror, opting to leave the powder puff in its place. I had left Le Beau a bit early so I could make it to the bank to get the rest of her payment. With all of the media surrounding Daddy’s death, Donald’s arrest and William’s involvement, I figured it was best to solely focus on work directly after everything had happened. I had requested Declan to place a call to Willow earlier this morning, telling her that I would be by today with the remainder of her money but she hadn’t answered the phone. I was hoping that I would catch her. After all that happened at the estate, I knew I had been standoffish and cold to her the last time I saw her. Looking back at that day, I behaved appalling towards her. I never had the chance to apologize. Or to thank her for saving mine and Donald’s life. We had left on a bad note and it was eating me alive.

I wondered if she would be happy to see me. I wondered if the spark would still be there. I wondered if she’d want what I wanted. I wonder if she wants me the way that I want her.

As he had done nearly three weeks ago, Alexander pulled the car to a stop in front of Willow’s building. He moved to get out of the car, unbuckling his seatbelt. I looked at the rear view mirror that was on a stand, close to his head and saw him watching me. “Don’t bother, Alexander. I’m fine and it’s not necessary.” He looked slightly concerned but didn’t move from his spot in the front seat. Making a last minute decision, I continued, “Please feel free to head home. I’ll call if I need you or I’ll get a cab.” He didn’t turn in his seat but I could tell he was mulling it over, running his hand over the back of his neck as he often did while he thought.

He acquiesced, “I’ll watch from here to make sure you get in safely. Don’t hesitate to call if you need me.”

“Thank you, Alexander. For everything.” He had been my rock throughout the past few weeks. He, like the rest of the staff had taken care of me, lending an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry upon. Not coddling, as it wasn’t in my nature to be babied, they would provide gentle reminders to eat more than a bite of toast; or sitting with me, not letting me wallow in my own self-pity. While I had been orphaned, I wasn’t truly alone.

I was hoping that there was one more person willing to take me on, even after I had treated her so poorly twenty days ago.

I quickly hurried up the steps, running my hand along the railing as I did. From my vantage point on the steps, I could see the window to her apartment was open wide and I heard the radio announcer babbling away, more than likely about my family. Not wasting any time, I hurried into Willow’s building, anxious to see her. I was there under the pretense of delivering the rest of her payment for her detective services, but I truly hoped this meeting would bring so much more.

Standing at her door, I hesitated slightly before announcing my arrival. My hands flitted to my hair and they smoothed it, patting at the barrel rolls I had painstakingly pinned in my hair that morning. I wanted to make sure everything was just so, despite her telling me that she liked my natural appearance. I had put on the single strand of white pearls that Daddy had given me for my sixteenth birthday and I gently ran a finger over them, thinking once more of my dear father. Taking a deep breath, I firmly knocked on the door.

“Door’s open,” I heard her grumble on the other side.

Showtime, Tara-Rose.

I had thought the same thing when we first met at the diner. Only I was quite aware that this wasn’t a show. I was ready to put my feelings on the line and could only pray that I wouldn’t get hurt once more. I wasn’t used to feeling this vulnerable and I had already been hurt enough the last month.

I swung the door open slowly, my hand wrapped around the edge of the door. My eyes found her easily in the small room, sitting at her desk and glaring at the radio. I couldn’t help but wonder what the radio had done to offend her. Her arm stopped mid-reach toward the Victrola as though she was about to turn it off before I had interrupted. Her eyes met mine. I was surprised to see the raw emotion they held, for in the past, she had always been so quick to keep up the wall between us. Quickly, they raked over my body and her outstretched hand retreated from the radio and raked through her unkempt hair. She had a paper open in front of her on the desk and I could see a copy of my face in black and white, peering up at her from the pages. The heavy bags under her eyes gave away the fact that she hadn’t slept in a few days. An unlit cigarette rested behind her ear and there was an overflowing ashtray that rested next to the newspaper. The place was a bit of a mess. She was a bit of a mess.

Despite that, she looked beautiful to me.

“Tare,” she breathed out. With that one word, I knew. Tare. She wants me as much as I want her. If she didn’t she surely would have used Tara-Rose or Miss Maclay.

“Hello, Willow,” I purred in greeting, unable to contain the smile that flitted across my lips. I remembered her comment at the Gala regarding my coat and moved to take off the swing coat that covered my wrap dress. Her eyes widened slightly and then narrowed; her jaw clenching. The woman is a detective for Pete’s sake; of course she knows exactly what I’m doing.

After depositing my coat on the screen over Donald’s tuxedo, I stood in front of the door. I ran my hand along the wood of the door and quickly turned the lock behind my back. I shivered slightly, although it was not at all cold in her apartment. In fact, her gaze was hot and burning. I’m fairly certain I was returning a similar look.

“We never really got a chance to talk after the night of the Gala,” I moved in front of her desk and rested my hands on top of it, leaning toward where she was sitting, giving her an unobstructed view down the front of my dress. I couldn’t help but notice her eyes roam down toward the v-neck of my dress, briefly eyeing my cleavage before slowly trekking back up to my face.

“No, we didn’t. You seemed a bit preoccupied the following morning; and then there was…” she trailed off, looking uncertain and not at all like herself. Her hand moved back and forth between us, “everything else. I thought you wanted to be left alone.”

“I appreciate the sentiment but I’ve been alone for too long. I’m done pussyfooting-“ The uncertain look was gone as I saw her smirk at my word choice. Moving to her side of the desk, I lightly slapped her arm, letting my hand rest on it, not wanting to stop touching her. “Ugh, one track mind, much!” I exclaimed, rolling my eyes. I amended my statement, “I’m done tiptoeing around this. I know the case is over, but I’m not ready to give you up. I was hoping that maybe…”

She leaned back on the rolling chair and pulled at the hand that had been on her arm and caught my waist with the other, pulling me so I sat sideways on her lap. She brought her mouth close to my ear, her warm breath sweeping around it, and answered with the words I was longing to hear her say once more, “I’ve already told you Tare, I’m not letting you go.”

I let out the air I didn’t realize I was holding and beamed at her. She continued to hold me on her lap, surrounding me with her arms. It felt like home.

“How’s everything at the estate? Have they been taking care of you? Given you everything that you need?”

“Not everything…” I let the thought linger.

Looking at her desk, I saw the check I had written her three weeks prior, propped up under the lamp. Not moving from her lap, my free hand reached out and plucked it from the desk. It was then that I saw another check had been stacked behind it, which fluttered to the floor. It was the payment I had written to her months ago when she first took my case.

“You didn’t cash them?” I asked, trying to sound stern yet failing as I leaned my head against her shoulder.

“No and I probably won’t.” She brought her hand to my hair and stroked it. My nose moved closer to her neck and I breathed in her scent.

I pressed the issue. “You should cash them. Deposit the payments. Something. I brought the rest with me, cash this time.”

“Keep it,” she said softly, her fingers gliding through strands of my hair.

“No, I don’t think I can do that, Willow. You figured it out, solved the case. Even though it wasn’t something I wanted to hear, it was something that I needed to hear.”

The hand that was stroking my hair moved down my arm and around my side. She held me tighter. I no longer wanted to talk about the money or the case.

“I missed you, Willow,” I whispered, effectively changing the subject and getting to the true reason why I was there with her. I knew it was blunt but I was done being coy. Done playing the games. I needed her to know.

“It was getting harder to stay away,” she admitted as she brushed her nose against my throat.

I started to say something but her lips caught mine and I forgot about talking, pressing my lips to hers. She pulled back just slightly and I felt her lips smiling against mine.

She wants me.

And I needed to have her.

Now.

_________________
Alyson, oh, Alyson why don´t you join my band? So you could play the flute like this one time in band camp.
I Am Forever / How I Met My Lover / Street Fighters / Paid To Get Excited / Pick My Partner / A Special Christmas of Sorts


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