Can the love of another really help a person overcome the need for revenge or is the old saying true about digging two graves?
Dedicated to the men and women of the US Marshal Service.
Edited by my husband Paul, Honeysuckle, and djkuffman.
“Ok, sis. What do you need and where do you want to do it?”
The fact that the woman who was the U.S. Marshal had just called Samantha ‘sis’, was not lost on all those in the room. Everyone in the service knew that she did not have a sister, especially one as young as Sam. Looking up at her superior Sam just shook her head.
“Ma’am, we are not in a private setting. Don’t you think that was a little informal?” there was a smile in her voice as she pointed out the obvious.
“Deputy Justice, if I want to call you drip stick I can. Remember I was the deputy that hauled your skinny backside around for the better part of six years. You forget I know where all the bodies are buried.” The fact that Dorothy was joking around with one of the youngest deputy’s in all of the service floored Bobby. Here he was seeing what would be some good natured kidding, that would go on between him and his siblings, happening between his partner and the U.S. Marshal. Things like this did not happen in the real world, he had to be dreaming.
“Dorothy, if you keep this up, I’ll never get out of here with Kristine.” Sam turned to Bobby and asked him sweetly. “Bobby can you run out to reception and ask Sharon if she has her gym gear with her today?”
“Sure, I can do that, but why?” the look of confusion on Bobby’s face said more than words.
Sighing Sam looked up at him before explaining. “Dollars to doughnuts Kristen here hasn’t had a good shower or bath in the last two to three days. Am I right, Kristine?” The young girl looked at me and just nodded her head yes too afraid to trust her voice not to crack. “I would give her mine, but it is out in the car. Now, will you just go and do as I asked?”
“Sure Sam, no need to bust my chops ok? Just because I don’t understand some of the things you girls do, is no reason to be an ass about things. Jeesh you’d thought I asked you to drop your shorts and piss on a dead cat or something?” he was still grumbling as head walked out the door to go ask if Sharon did have her gym gear. Kristen just started to giggle at their little by play.
Looking at Sam, Dorothy saw that there was a slight smile on her mouth. “So, Samantha, tell me do you two always bust on each other like that?”
“Marshall Rose, you wouldn’t believe how bad those two get. I have actually had some of my other male deputies come in here and complain about and I quote them here. ‘The ball busting pint size Hellion from Washington’. When these two get going no one is safe, but then again in the past two weeks they have been a real morale booster round here.” David told her.
“Hay. When you spend twenty four seven on stakeouts in the middle of BFE looking for an escapee, you really find out a lot about your partner. You both know how it gets. The smell of each other’s sweat, the constant stress, the endless takeout boxes, and all those things you really get to know where the lines are.” Sam said in their defense.
Both of her superiors just laughed at her very effective defense. Even young Kristine could tell that this was something common for the marshals. She could tell that Sam really respected her big partner, even though the man mountain scared her a little. Kristine, though, was amazed that this petite woman next to her was a deputy marshal. She would never have pegged her as anything more than a college student. She could see how this would be good for surveillance, the deputy would fade into the back ground easily. However she really wanted to know what was in her future.
“Excuse ma’am, but what’s going to happen to me now?”
Dorothy smiled down at the youngster. She reminded her way too much of what Sam would look like at that age. “For starters, once deputy Everbrite returns from seeing the receptionist, hopefully you be able to take a shower in the basement gym. Don’t worry deputy Justice here will make sure no one bothers you. After you get cleaned up they will escort you to a safe house not too far from here where you will stay until time for the trial. After that you’ll enter the Witness Protection Program. Do you understand so far?”
“You, mean that I get to spend the next few months locked up in another cell. Why didn’t you just leave me in Columbus if you’re going to do that? At least there I only had to please Franke. Who knows what my new cell mate will want?” at hearing this Sam almost snapped, but could understand why the girl felt that way.
“No, Kristine that is not what we mean. Protective Custody is nothing like the way you were treated in Columbus. You should never have been placed in a cell with a criminal or even a cell at all. What your father did was way outside of the norm, and should never have happened. In fact you and I, along with my partner, will be spending the next few days at a hotel run by a retired deputy. While I arrange for a slightly more permanent place to stay.” Looking over at her supervisor. “Inspector Earp, is old man Pierce still running that Business Suites Inn out by the airport?”
“Yup, he sure is, and he’s as cantankerous as he used to be, more so now days. I’ll give him a phone call and let him know you’re on your way. Do you want a one bedroom or two?”
David didn’t need to ask if Sam wanted a roadside facing room or not. He knew she would have insisted on that regardless. If there was one thing he and just about all of her superiors knew about this deputy she didn’t take chances. Of all the deputies under his control only she and Bobby carried 1911’s, along with a Smith & Wesson 45 automatic in a holdout holster at her ankle. Those were just their primary weapons that didn’t include the arsenal in the trunk of their SUV. If anyone want to hurt this kid they would be in a world of hurt themselves. Everyone in the Marshal Service knew that Thunder and Lighting didn’t play around.
“Make it a two bedroom. This way Kristen and I can bunk down in one room and Bobby can have the other, but still be close by for backup. Can I hit the petty cash some we can get Kristen some decent clothes and shoes?” Sam said.
“Sure, and while you’re at it, take her to the salon and get her hair taken care of along with her nails. I’ll send Sharon out in a few days to get her what she needs for court dates.” David was acting like he had done this before, then again he had. Fifteen years ago he was one of two deputies put in charge of protecting another young girl and her family from a gang of outlaw bikers. “Just do me a favor and don’t bankrupt the department’s budget?”
Even Kristine got the joke as Dorothy, and Sam laughed at David trying to put on the look of an accountant. He failed epically. Then again David Earp could no more look like an accountant than an SUV could pass for a mini-copper. The man took after his famous ancestor Wyatt Earp, what with his six foot two frame, lean build, and ice blue eyes. There was a knock preceding its opening and Bobby’s return. In his hands was a pink and purple gym bag with the Seal of the US Marshals on the side. Anyone looking at could tell it was a custom made bag, just because of the colors. It was definitely Sharon’s gym bag, as no regular deputy would carry something so girly. Then again Sharon was the biggest girly-girl in the whole office.
“Samantha Justice, you owe me big time for this.” Bobby growled at Sam. “I have never received more hazing in all my life, not even when holding my mother and sisters purses while they tried on clothes as a teenager.” Sam could only look sheepishly at the big man.
“Would it help if I said I was sorry?”
“It would be a start.”
“Will I didn’t tell you that you had to bring it here. Only to find out if she had it with her.”
“NOW! She tells me!” Bobby said dramatically while looking at the ceiling. “Sharon, said to tell you that her work out clothes are all petite small. She said there was a pair of runners’ leggings, a stretch top, socks, and a packet of panties in size four petite misses. Oh, and her cross trainers are a size six and a half. Whatever all that means?”
“It means, you big goof ball, that most of what is in that bag will fit Kristine here.” Sam told her partner. Kristine just sat there giggling the entire time Sam and Bobby were doing their little act of picking on each other. The senior marshals were chuckling as well at the two deputy’s antics. Dorothy could see why some of the other deputies would come to David on his behalf with the way these two acted like this around them. “I doubt that the shoes will fit though. Kristine what’s your shoe size honey?”
“Um… well… ahm…” when the girl started to hesitate Sam placed a hand on her shoulder. She calmed down and looked into the young deputy’s eyes. Kristine could see that Sam wouldn’t let anyone make fun of her for what she was about to say. Still in a quiet voice she said “My sizes are all in the petite range and my shoes is a five. So yah, the clothes in the gym bag will fit but not the shoes, they’re too big.”
“Damn, short round, the only person I know that is as small as that is Samantha here.” The young girl’s head snapped around to look at the big man ready to tell him to go to hell, but stop when she saw the sappy look on his face. She couldn’t help it as she started to giggle at the big man. “That’s better, I hate seeing pretty girls all mopey. I have to put up with enough of that from my demented partner there. Believe me when I say she is demented, I swear to the good Lord above, Samantha is crazier than a shithouse rat.”
“You know, Mike there is a reason you can’t get a girlfriend. Even Kristine here can see what it is.” The smile on Sam’s face was enough to get Kristine to start giggling before she even finished. “If I didn’t remind you to take a shower every day, you’d stink up the room.”
“Sam, one of these days, POW to the moon, I swear I’ll do it.” The fact that Bobby was one of the gentlest of men was most often over looked when people first met him. All they ever saw was his massive size. At six’ six” two hundred and fifty pounds, he was a true mountain of a man. It was because of this that more than anything else Mike had problems finding a girlfriend, well that and his job. “Come on let’s get her down to the gym, so she can get cleaned up.”
“Yeah, that sounds good. Except for one thing, I am not going to leave her alone in the gym showers or let you stand inside while she takes a shower. So how are we going to do this?” Sam’s concerns were real ones as she knew that this young girl’s life was in her hands now.
“Sam, we’re in a building with over seven hundred federal agents in it. Between the FBI, HLS, the Marshals, and the DOJ no body in the right minds are going to make a try at her here.” When David pointed this out to Sam she had to admit she was being overly cautious. “Don’t worry, I know that Witness Protection is a new gig for you and Mike, but you’ll do just fine. Now, take her down to the gym and let her get cleaned up.”
“Ok, fine, you’re right. Come on Kristine let’s get you that shower.” Looking over at Bobby. “My spare trainers are in my gym bag in the trunk. Why don’t you go grab them while Kristen gets her shower and changed?”
“Sure, I’ll meet the two of you outside the women’s locker room.”
“I can’t go in there.” Kristine blurted out. “I mean what if someone finds out that I’m not a girl? All this will be for nothing and it’ll just get worse. I know it will.” Kristine was almost in hysterics when she finally stopped talking.
“Kristine, do you trust me?” Sam asked her. When the girl nodded her head Sam smiled. “Good, because I can tell you that no one will find out about you. Now, do you want to get cleaned up?” again Kristine nodded her head. “Then just walk besides me, and hold your head high. If anyone asks you what you’re doing here tell them it’s none of their damn business then point to me. I’ll handle everything else.”
“Ok, but if someone attacks me I’m fighting back. I don’t care if they are a federal cop or something like that.” Kristine told her in as feisty a manner as possible.
“Good girl.” Was all Sam said to her. “Boss, send me the details for our hotel to my phone.”
“Consider it done, Sam. I’ll have accounting put together an emergency funds packet for her and the two of you. Kristine, I know that you’re having a hard time right now trusting people, but please believe me when I said you couldn’t be in better or more understanding hands right now. If you should have any questions, any at all, just ask Deputy Justice or Everbrite.” David told the frightened teenager.
“Yes sir.” Was her only response. All four of the adults could tell that she really didn’t trust anyone right now. Not after what had happened to her in Columbus. Sam took her hand and led her from the room and out to the lobby area to the elevators. The whole time Kristine kept looking around the mostly empty office area as if waiting for someone to point at her and start laughing at the ‘boy in a dress’. What she didn’t realize was that her actions made her look more like a scared little girl than anything else. Her slight frame, long hair, just added to the picture of an abused teenage girl.
When the elevator arrived Sam, Bobby, and Kristine all got in. Bobby punched the buttons for the lobby floor, and first floor basement. Kristine, just looked over at Sam. “We’re dropping Bobby off at the lobby so he can go get you a pair of shoes out of our SUV. They may be a little loose but will fit better than Sharon’s.”
“Um… do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Sure, go ahead, honey. You were told that if you have any questions just ask.” Sam told her.
“Back in the Section Chiefs office the Marshal acted as if she knew you personally. She even called you sis. Where did you meet her?”
This was something that Sam really didn’t want to answer as it was too close to her past, but she knew that Kristine needed an answer. “That is a hard one to answer Kristine, but I’ll try to give you one. About twelve years ago there was a teenager in much the same boat as you are. Back then Marshal Rose was a young and upcoming Deputy. She had already made Inspector and in charge of this very field office.” The elevator stopped on lobby floor at that point. Much to Sam’s delight, as she didn’t want Mike to know this part of the story. “Mike, we’ll see you down stairs.”
“Sure thing, Sam.” Bobby was disappointed to having to get off the elevator as he really wanted to know what that teen for Toledo from twelve years ago had to do with Sam meeting the Marshal, but knew that he needed to get Sam’s shoes out of the SUV. When the doors closed Sam continued her story.
“Any way Marshal Rose was appointed to be the protection detail for that teenager. Her and her young partner, David Earp. The current section Chief for the Toledo office. Any way that young man had witnessed the deaths of his family at the hands of a hired killer. That man worked for the Gaetano crime family. The same crime family that young boy’s father worked for as a money launderer. When one of the deposits came up short the Gaetano’s put a contract out on the whole family. That young man barely escaped with his life out of his bedrooms window. For the next three days hid in every back alley way, abandoned warehouse, condemned structure, and storm drain he could find. When the police finally found him he was scared half out of his mind and didn’t trust anyone.”
“Excuse me, Deputy Justice, but what does that have to do with you and the Marshal? I mean you’re talking about some boy from twelve years ago.” Kristine was really confused about this story. Before Sam could continue the elevator stopped and the doors opened to the basement area. Sam stepped out and Kristine followed her down a hallway to a glass wall with a door in it. The sign on the door read ‘US Deputy Marshal James J Williams’ Sam ran her hand over the name before pushing the door open. The action was not lost on Kristen. “I take it that you knew the deputy this gym is named after?”
As Sam led Kristine towards the ladies locker room. “He was one of the deputies that were assigned to protect the young man I was telling you about. He gave his life for that boy. He and two others died doing their jobs to protect him.” Sam had become very withdrawn as she talked about the men who had saved her life all those years ago. After making sure that they had the locker room to themselves she turned to Kristine. “Ok, young lady, time for you to get cleaned up. Don’t worry I’ll be right out here while you get your shower.”
“Thank you, for all you’re doing for me, deputy.” Kristine started to take off the ill-fitting clothes. The fact that they were not something she would normally wear when she went out as herself was beside the point, she still folded them as if they were. Sam could tell that whatever had happened to this girl she wasn’t going to let it rule her life. “Are you going to finish your story about meeting the Marshal?”
“Sure honey, I think that it might give you some idea of how far we’ll go to help our protected.” Sam sat down on the bench that ran along the wall of where the lockers they were using.
“Where was I?”
“The boy had just been found by the local cops.” Kristine had paused in her undressing to answer her. Looking at the deputy Kristine could see a faraway look in her eyes.
“Oh right, anyway, it took the police about two hours to figure out who he was. When they found out he had witnessed the deaths of his family and could identify their killer they called in to the Marshals. What no one realized was that not only did he witness the murders but also had evidence that would tear down the Gaetano crime syndicate. The boy wanted revenge for what they had done to his family. Every Prosecuting Attorney on the Great Lakes wanted to get their hands on that evidence. Needless to say this caused a massive fight between the alphabets and the locals DA’s on who would use the evidence and take down the Gaetano’s. Word had leaked out and the Gaetano’s found out there was a survivor, and they put out a second contract on the boy.”
Kristine had stepped in to the showers by now, and was washing up. She could hear the sadness in Sam’s voice it was as if she was reliving everything that boy went through. The more she thought about what was said and not said in the Section Chief’s office and what Sam was telling her now. The more confused she became. There was no way this woman could be that teenage boy from so long ago, could she?
“When the Marshals were asked to provide protection for the boy Deputies Dorothy Rose, David Earp, James Williams, Thomas Gates, and William Hickok were assigned to be his protectors. During the next few months those five deputies went everywhere with the boy. It was Deputy Rose that found out how and why the boy had survived the attack on his family. You see he had been out of the house earlier and was sneaking back in to the house when he heard the gun shots that killed his family.”
Kristine called out from the shower. “Where had he been?”
“He was downtown at a gay night club called the ‘Turnabout’. It’s still there, I went by it just the other day.” There was a note of fondness as Sam talked about the Turnabout, Kristine could hear it in her voice, just as she heard the sadness from earlier. “It’s a place for transgender to meet up and have a good time. Some call it a drag bar, but it really isn’t. Anyway, once Dorothy figured out why the boy was sneaking back into the house and where he had been she knew they had a problem. You see this young man was really a girl on the inside. She knew that even though they could hide the child there was no one who would take in a transgender teen.”
For Kristine it was as if the sun shone down on her at that very moment in time. She was that teenage boy from so long ago. “You were the boy weren’t you? Is that what the Marshal meant by you knowing what kind of shit I was going through?”
“I can see that you’re as smart as you’re pretty. Yes, I was that young man from so long ago. So yes I know what is like to be born into the wrong body. Trust me, I know exactly what you’re going through. So now you know the story of how I first met the current US Marshal.” Sam really didn’t want to go into any more of her past just then. Besides this was not the place she wanted to have this conversation. “Now, I have a question for you.”
Kristine took the hint to change the subject. “Sure, go ahead and ask it whatever it is. Oh, can you hand me a towel, please? I’m done in here.”
Sam grabbed a towel from the shelves. Then handed it to Kristine as she was stepping out of the shower stall. Sam could see that the teen was in good shape physically, that was until Kristine bent over to dry her legs off. The crisscrossing bruises on her back was all the evidence Sam needed to know she had been beaten with a belt. They were relatively old, as if they were received about four week ago. Sam’s hatred for her father grew at the sight. However she needed to know if he was the one that did it.
“Kristine, did your father do that to you?”
“Yes, that bastard did this to me the night I witnessed the murder. He was pissed that I was at the crossover party and had let my perversion be seen.” The hurt in the young girl’s voice and eyes at the betrayal of her father was evident. “I hope the pig rots in hell.”
“Here you go Kristine. Don’t worry they’re brand new, right out of the package.” Sam has already opened the package of panties that were in Sharon’s gym bag. As Kristine was pulling them up her legs Sam noticed something about the girl. “Where are you getting your hormones Kristine?” The girl stop what she was doing and looked up at Sam. There was real fear in her eyes. “Look, Kristine you need to be honest with me here. You got them off the black-market net didn’t you?”
“Ok, next question how long have you been on them?”
“Almost six months now.” By this time the girl had head down in shame and fear. She was afraid of what the deputy was going do now that she knew about the illegal hormones.
“It’s alright, honey. I just need to know, so I can get you the help you need. I know what is like remember, but messing around with hormones without a doctor’s supervision is dangerous.”
“Ok. I won’t do it again, but how are you going to help me out now? I really don’t want a boy’s puberty. And there is no way my father is going to give consent for me to start on them now.”
“You let me worry about that, ok? Now, when did you last take your hormones and where are they now?”
“Three days ago, but they were just birth control pills that Franke had smuggled in for me at the Columbus jail.” This was a something that Samantha had already guessed at, along with how she paid for them.
“Go on and finish getting dressed, honey.” Kristine was more than willing to comply with Sam’s suggestion. When the girl saw the running tights she got a slight frown on her face and Sam knew why. “Here, let me show you how to tuck up so you don’t show a bulge in the tights.” Stepping around behind her Sam showed the young girl how tuck her boy parts out of the way so that she looked like a real girl. “My, Trans sister showed this trick when I was a little older than you are now.”
“Thank you, deputy. You know I’m still having a hard time with the idea that you were ever like me.” Sam stepped back out of the way as Kristine pulled on the running tights. She next put on a sports bra that was in the gym bag followed quickly by the long sleeve top. As she was putting on the socks there was a knock on the locker room door.
“I’ll be right back that should be Bobby with my trainers. As for be ever being like you, well let’s just say, if you had black hair you could be my twin at that age.” Sam walked over to the door and opened it to find mike there with shoes in hand. “Thanks Bobby, we’ll be out in a few minutes.”
“Take your time Sam. The boss has shut down the gym until we’re done here.” Bobby told her.
“Ok, we won’t be long.” With that she closed the door and headed back over to Kristine. “So tell me Kristen. When did you first realize you were meant to be a girl? I was around six or seven. How about you, about the same time?”
“Um… not really. I think that I first started to realize I wanted to be a girl just after my mama died. I was five at the time. I remember how beautiful and graceful she was. I really take after her when it comes to my looks. I’ve seen pictures of her at my age, and with the exception of hair color I’m her spitting image.”
“So, you’re not a big fan of the blond leggy super model cube I take it?”
“God no! Mama was a ballerina before she met my father. She was really good to. She had danced with the Cincinnati Ballet Company for seven years before marrying that man. I wish I could get my hands on that old scrapbook. There was a scrapbook with all these pictures of her from her professional dance days, it even had few playbills with her on the front, saying she was the star of the show.” There was real sadness in Kristine’s voice as she talked about the woman who gave birth to and raised her for five years.
“What happen to her, Kristine?”
“Drunk driver on I-75 lost control and slid into her car forcing it off the road and into a retaining barrier. She died on impact.”
“I so sorry to hear that. So when your dad remarried you weren’t too thrilled about it I take it?”
“Oh, Carol is alright for right wing conservative follower of the Law, Order, and God party. She was the one who got my dad in with them. What I don’t understand is why they hate LBGT’s so much?”
“Kristine, if I had an answer for that question I would run for Pope. Trust me I have been dealing with the rightwing nut jobs for as along I can remember. Hell, the whole country has. Well are you about ready to get out of here?”
Kristine had just finished tying the laces on her barrowed trainers and stood up. “Sure I just wish I had one of my hair ties. I look a little unfinished with it hanging down like this.” Sam just reached into her jacket pocket and pull out a blue scrunch and handed it to her. Quickly pulling her hair up into a pony tail Kristine used it to hold in place. With her hair up like that and dressed the way she was, she looked like one of the local college girls out for a run. It was a prefect disguise. Sam had already bagged up the whorish outfit she had been dressed in. It would go into the nearest dumpster on their way to the hotel.
When they stepped out of the locker room Kristine was surprised to find the gym area empty and the blinds drawn over the windows facing the hallway. Before she could ask Bobby looked at Sam. “We might have a problem, Sam.”
“Remember our friend from the coffee shop?”
“Yah, what did he do?”
“Let’s just say that he went and raised a stink about you manhandling him with David.”
“So? He was being an ass.”
“David called down to let me know that Kristen here is not to be seen upstairs. However you have to go back up there and make a statement.”
“That isn’t going to happen. We’ve a witness to protect and that shithead can deal with IA.”
“I figured that much and told David that would be your answer. His exact words were and I quote ‘Good. You were never here now disappear.’”
“Ok, that doesn’t sound like David. What’s going on? Why doesn’t he want us back in his office?”
“It seems that Cartwright, went and called daddy. He in turn called the Department of Justice Head, who in turn called IA, and now the whole thing has everyone pissed off because you taught his little boy some manners. Now, if you’re not here they can’t formally investigate your actions. IA can only go off the statements of the witnesses from the coffee shop who saw what happened.” When Bobby told Sam this she started to giggle, then laugh at out loud at the way things were going. And seeing as how she and Bobby were on assignment protecting a key witness to a murder trial. While it is not their fault IA can’t find her.
“Um… Deputy Justice, are you alright?” Kristine knew that having Internal Affairs investigating an office was serious business. Almost every officer she had ever heard of feared an investigation by IA. The fact that Deputy Justice was laughing was a sure sign the young woman had cracked up.
“Oh, yes, Kristine I am just fine.” Seeing the worried look on the young girl’s face Sam and Bobby both reassured her. “Believe me when I say that having Internal Affairs investigating this incident is the best thing in the world right now.”
“Why is that?”
“Because, the man we’re talking about is about to have the world fall on his head and his daddy the States Secretary can’t protect him. In fact by going to his daddy he brought it all on himself.” Bobby told her with a smile a mile wide.
“Then why are the blinds drawn? And why are you so happy to see a fellow police officer get into trouble? I thought you guys all stuck up for each other? You know that ‘great blue wall’ and all that.” Kristine was truly at a loss to understand.
“Come on we explain on the way to the SUV.” Sam smiled at her and led the way out the gym. Instead of going to the elevators they came down in she turned in the direction of the stairwell. This one had an exit onto the street at the back of the building and into the parking garage. “The police officer that has caused the problem is a known womanizer and outright pig, from what I have been told. He sees himself as God’s gift to women and doesn’t take kindly to being told no.”
“Yeah, he’s a real dipshit want-to-be Casanova. This morning he thought it would be funny to smack Sam here on the ass, and then call her of all things Xenia when she showed her displeasure over his actions.” Bobby put in helpfully.
“Wait a minute. He smacks her on the backside and then gets upset because she didn’t like it?” Kristine asked in shock. Sam could tell right then that in some ways she was extremely naive. “How can he get upset when he was the one who started it? I mean how bad can it be if he got smacked across the face for smacking a woman on the butt. It’s not like she tried to break his arm or something.” When both deputies started to laugh at what she said Kristine realized that just might be what happened. “Um… Deputy Justice, you really didn’t break his arm did you?”
“No, honey I didn’t, I just twisted around to his back and told him if ever laid a hand on me again I would rip off his arm and shove it up ass on fire is all. “ Sam told her.
“She even tipped the girl behind the counter a five spot. Just like in that seen in Star Wars at the cantina.” Bobby told her.
“Um… Deputy Everbrite what are you talking about?”
Both deputies stopped dead in their tracks and looked at Kristine with utter shock and amazement. Here was a child who did know what Star Wars was. It couldn’t be true. Not in this day and age. For someone of her generation to have not seen one of the all-time greatest science fiction films was unheard of.
“Kristine, do you mean to tell me that you have never seen the Star Wars movies?” Mike asked gently.
“Well yes, I really don’t like classical films. Is it like one of those old black and white movies from like 1930 or something?”
Bobby looked at Sam. Sam looked back at Bobby. In the past six years they have seen a lot of horrible things. They have been in gunfights with gangbangers more times than they care to count. Seen the burned bodies of informants. Mutilated victims of serial killers. Young kid’s turnout as prostitutes strung out on drugs. The beaten and battered wives and kids of meth head escapees. All manner of child abuse and neglect. For six years they have chased and captured every type of criminal you can think of all across the states. None of that had prepared them for what they had just heard or were about to hear.
“So you’re telling us you know nothing about Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea, Han Solo, or Chewbacca?”
“Who are they?” Kristen asked.
“Ever heard of R2D2 or C3PO?” asked Sam. Kristine just shook her head no. “What about the Force?”
“Oh sure my father used always talk about how it was being torn down by the minorities.”
Sam looked up at her partner. “Bobby, we have a real problem on our hands here.”
“You can say that again. If she doesn’t know anything about Star Wars she ain’t never going to fit in with regular teenagers. Hell even the girls now days know Star Wars.” Looking down at Kristine he asked. “So Kristine what kind of movies do you like?”
“Well, to be truthful, I haven’t seen one or watched anything on TV that isn’t an educational program in years, well not since Carol moved in.” She said. At the stunned looks on the deputies’ faces she could see that this was not normal. “What can I say, if it isn’t on the approved watching list of the LOG, it is considered perversion and therefore to blame for the ‘Down fall of the Great Republic’.”
“If your parents are so against the more liberal media like movies and TV, how did you meet your friends at the turn around party?” Sam asked her.
“I met then through my shrink.” Kristine said with some pride at fooling her parents.
“Kristine, you don’t need to give us any details but why were you seeing a psychiatrist?” Bobby asked her.
“Can I tell you in the car? It’ll take a while to tell that story.”
“Sure thing kiddo, besides if we stand around here much longer we might get arrested for prostitution.” Mike said with a smile. “Lord knows what some LEO would think of you two ladies trying to pick up a good looking hunk like me.”
Both girls just laughed at him and continued on to the SUV. It wasn’t parked much further into the garage. Neither, Sam nor Bobby liked the big car/truck as it stood out too much for their liking. They preferred more non-descript vehicles as they made surveillance easier by blending into the back ground. Sedans and economy cars were perfect for this, but lacked the power needed for pursuit or escape that they would need now. So since the Marshal Service wouldn’t pay for a sports car they got the SUV instead. Even then they didn’t go with a standard service issue Chevys, they went with one of the new modified Ford Escapes©. It was just right for their needs, as it didn’t stand out like the BB (Big Black) Chevy’s, but had plenty of room in the cargo area for their gun locker and go bags. Once everyone was in and settled Bobby fired the big V8 engine up and pulled out heading for the long term hotel they would be using for the next few weeks, if not months.
Sam turned and looked at Kristen expectantly. Once Kristine was aware that she wasn’t going to be able to delay any longer she continued her story. “About, two years after Carol moved in I started to get really depressed. I never connected with her. Then there were all these desires, no this need to be myself as a girl. I was really missing my mama at the time to. Anyway, I was just so tired of everything and wanted to join my mama. I took a whole bottle of sleeping pills and drank half a bottle of my father’s gin. Carol found me in time to call 911 and get me some help. When I woke up the next day in the hospital they had the staff shrink talk to me. After I told her why I want to die she told my parents, but she left out the part about wanting to be a girl knowing my parents views on LGBT. The therapist she recommended was a specialist in transgender youth. The turnaround party was really a support meeting for her TG teens. She has one of these parties once a month for us. We rotate from house to house; the only one not used was mine.”
“So tell me how you kept your dressing a secret from your parents.” Bobby asked her.
Giggling Kristine just told the truth. “Those two wouldn’t see a bull elephant walking through the house unless it was dressed as a US Senator. If it didn’t conform to the LOG beliefs, they weren’t interested. All I had to do was get dressed in my room and wait for them to get lost in their gin and tonic, then walk out the front door. Hell, he was half drunk when he showed up at the police station to take me into ‘protective custody’. He waited until we got home to take the belt to me. The fucking hypocrite. Those two drink more than half a bottle of gin a night.”
“While, you’re out from under them now. We’ll get you the help you need to be the girl you really are and with your depression. Don’t worry, one of the things we do is make sure our witnesses are healthy and ready to face the world.” Sam had turned back around to look out the windshield. “Trust me on this. We won’t just leave you hanging. I should know.”
“So the Witness Protection Program really helped you to become a girl?” Kristine asked out loud. Bobby damned near ran over the mini-copper in front of them at hearing this. Looking over at Sam he could see by the look on her face what Kristine had just said was true.
“You mean to tell me that after all this time, on all those stkeouts, chases and overnight pit stops, you were the one leaving the seat up in the bathrooms?”
--------------------------------------------To be Continued------------------------------------
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