Parting of the Ways Part 4- Dodging Reyna

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Sorry for the length but the "Jaimie's Place" part is important. I tried to keep the number of characters used to a minimum, but at times you need to have others mentioned to work out the context and allow some reality to the situations.

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During the time Jaimie was in her coma and starting her recovery the family kept busy trying to keep their minds off of her plight and avoid overthinking about something that none of them had control over. The ones who knew best how to deal with the issues were Deborah Peterson, Reyna Toro, Kennedy Pena, and Katie Eliza. All of them had undergone their final surgeries to complete their journey to womanhood so they knew best what she was feeling and how to help her

Among the ladies Reyna was the only to not choose when to have hers performed, hers was done due to immediate medical necessity. She still felt like Jaimie felt, but her depression was marked by guilt over the deaths of the men who kidnapped her, were intent on murdering her, and who had caused her to need to undergo her surgery. Still, she understood what Jaimie was feeling as she had gotten her lifelong dream fulfilled even if it was four years earlier than it should have been.

The ladies had another thing in common, they were familiar with the area due to either being from there or having visited before. Kennedy was previously in Los Angeles on business on behalf of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, Katie had been there helping her sister move east, and both Deborah and Reyna lived most of their lives in Los Angeles.

For the duo, it was a bittersweet return. They had little to visit that they hadn't already seen at some point in their lives and they wanted to avoid certain places due to painful memories. Deborah still had relatives in the area, but since the collapse of her family due to the imprisonment of her grandparents and three of her uncles none of the Vega family were talking to one another.

They were going to visit friends who lived and conducted business on behalf of the group with Kennedy acting on behalf of her daughter and Katie acting on behalf of Jaimie Finn and Nichole Smith. They were not pleased to visit Reyna and Deborah's old neighborhood but it had to be done and with the most experience at dealing with organizations and people they were the best people to join them with Valerie Finn and her parents occupied with Jaimie.

Jaimie's Place was in a semi-rundown neighborhood in the City of Alma Perdida. It wasn't gang infested but it was poverty stricken. The people weren't too bad overall, but the few bad apples spoiled the lives of so many giving it a bad reputation.

Reyna was one of those whose life was spoiled by the neighborhood. Her father was killed because of a gang dispute that spilled over into their area and what was supposed to be neutral territory turned into anything but. Her uncle Miguel's notoriety and the media attention that he brought caused a crackdown on the gangs moving their operations away from the neighborhood but still leaving a bitter taste in her and her mother Lupe's mouths.

Deborah suffered even worse. Her family was the worst of the worst and tormented everyone in the neighborhood. Reyna's father and grandmother were the only ones who ever stood up to them, bringing fear and humiliation whenever they dared to insult Lupe and Reyna or harass Mrs. Toro.

The only light among the Vega family was Deborah. She and Reyna shared a special bond that nobody understood thanks to their mutual transgender lives. When Reyna's father Reymundo perished Deborah helped keep her from doing something terrible to herself and kept her spirits up through her later struggles over her gender identity and the start of her transition.

The Vega home was actually the largest home in the neighborhood and was wholly owned by Deborah through her legal wrangling with her grandparents, aunts, and uncles. She didn't obtain it for herself, she retained it solely to help out others like herself who needed a home and place to start over in life. She originally wanted to tear it down but it was just too painful to her to do that.

It was through a suggestion by her lawyers, Jo and Phyllis Kaplan, that she turn it into Jaimie's Place instead of selling it to a developer or someone else. They were keen to help others and needed a place for their clients to lay low until they found somewhere permanent. Deborah couldn't refuse that idea, it was simply too kind and generous and helping others was just what her mother Jaimie Thomas would have wanted her to do.

The twins were meeting Deborah for the first time and what she saw surprised her. Jo was outgoing and casual, wearing a sundress and sandals, while her sister Phyllis appeared to be quiet and calculating in her skirt suit and heels. The two were short and skinny, with neither being more than 110 pounds but both being deadly in the courtroom with each knowing the other's thinking without saying a word.

The Kaplan twins were known to the family before Deborah's case so had a good idea that the family would have wanted her to do which was exactly what they did. With them overseeing the house the family was able to be hands-off and only support it financially. While initially Deborah's fund, the twins asked that Jaimie Finn, Kylie Pena, and Reyna Toro join in with Kennedy and Valerie getting their niece Nichole and even Deborah's sister-in-law Daisy to pitch in from their own trust funds.

It took months to get the proper permits and renovate. The twins hired someone to oversee the home with strict instructions on who would be allowed to stay there and who wasn't. They were aiming for families in need, not just anyone who needed a place to crash. It was to be a safe house, not a hotel.

Jo and Phyllis were an in-demand duo who had a large law firm catering to lower income people as well as higher profile and expensive clients that actually paid most of the bills and gave them their largest profits. This often kept them busy which, in turn, meant they couldn't devote as much time to Jaimie's Place as they wanted to. It was never really an issue as the woman they hired to oversee it never reported any incidents or had any complaints filed against her.

The visit by the Finn Family was a blessing for the duo as it gave them an excuse to devote more time to themselves for the week. They joked with their friends Evelyn and Joseph Johnson that trouble always followed their group but it was a joke made with pride as the trouble was always for those in the wrong against the family. The fact of the matter was without prompting they would have never taken time off for themselves as they were too busy trying to help others and run the firm to slow down.

The twins met the group at their office in downtown LA. Reyna's womanly growth made both smile as the young teen they had helped two and a half years before had blossomed into a lovely young woman who was fast becoming the spitting image of Lupe. Lupe had to stifle a laugh as Reyna gave them an odd look but realized that it was due to her growing up causing her to smile at them noticing.

Deborah formally introduced herself to the twins. Both gave her deep hugs while formally introducing themselves to her. Deborah didn't know what to say so stayed quiet and didn't react to much as they eyed her, knowing they were comparing her to her horrific family while remembering the events of Deborah's life that they had made so many people pay a penalty for ruining her life until she fled east.

Kennedy was greeted warmly by the duo with Reyna not realizing she knew them. Deborah whispered about them helping sort out some issues with her mother's estate during Reyna's recovery getting a nod and leaving it alone. Kennedy just took the hugs in stride, adding a tender "you two really go out of your way to break the identical twin stereotype. You two couldn't look any more different."

Katie was formally introduced by Lupe. The twins were intrigued by her, unsure what to make of Katie but sensing that she was there for a good reason. Lupe happily confessed "she is acting as Jaimie, Nichole, and Daisy's proxy. She's a highly skilled lawyer like Kennedy but specialized in family law."

Katie and Kennedy sat down with the twins to read over the reports about Jaimie's Place and see what was going on just in case Jo and Phyllis had missed something. It wasn't meant to be something against them, they didn't trust anyone especially people left to oversee something so important on their own. Past experiences had shown that they needed to carefully check finances in case someone used the house to hide money from the government or move money around for criminals.

Katie felt there was something going on at the house just from the first look at reports. If it was a normal situation there should have been some kind of occasional police response or social services involvement as those almost always accompanied families in crisis fleeing to places like Jaimie's Place. There was nothing but routine reports about expenditures for basic supplies and utilities and the deductions for the salary of the supervisor, there were no unexpected expenses or repair bills.

Jo and Phyllis watched as they read between the lines and noticed that they were almost always the same reports but just a couple of expenses changed. Something was going on that required them to take a closer look at. The group needed to see for themselves and be ready for anything.

Reyna and Deborah tensed as they said that. It was years in the making but they had to return to the place they called home. Jaimie's Place needed to be inspected by all of them.

The group drove over to Jaimie's place with Deborah leading the way in her rental car. Reyna was sitting beside her with Lupe, Katie, and Kennedy in the back. The ladies were smart, Lupe could have driven but Reyna and Deborah needed to be in the front to steel themselves for the visit which wouldn't happen if they were forced to put on brave faces to appease the others.

Jo sighed as Phyllis drove. She hated that they had been so busy that their pride and joy project fell by the wayside and could be in trouble. They thought their hired supervisor was perfect but even the noblest can be corrupted if the opportunity presented itself.

The supervisor came highly recommended by a client, a man who had known them for years. The woman was great with money and who was agreeable to those who needed comfort. She was perfect.

The cars drove to Alma Perida with Deborah shaking as she saw the sights of her hometown. Reyna shed a tear as she saw the cemetery her father and grandmother were buried in. Deborah clutched her hand in support, it was what she needed most and she had a lot more lost in the city than Deborah had.

The cars finally arrived in the neighborhood with Reyna pointing out the house to Katie and Kennedy. It was fixed up nicely, one of the few two-story houses and the only one with an attic. Deborah pointed out the fire escape, something that stuck out more than anything but fit in alongside the large house.

By contrast, the former Toro home was small. The one-and-a-half story home was tight when the Toros lived there but it was cozy tight not sardine tight. Reyna loved it but compared with her current home it felt too small and uncomfortable for her.

Looking at the house Reyna looked at Lupe who nodded. It looked abandoned, as if nobody lived there since they moved away. Lupe sighed and confessed to Reyna "I couldn't sell it. I tried but nobody would buy it due to the Vegas next door. They told anyone buying it who owned it. I held onto it in case we ever had to move out of Miguel's house so you would at least have a place to go to. I have paid the taxes on it but otherwise, it's been empty ever since we left."

Reyna felt a lot better. Deborah and she went inside to check out the damage but there was surprisingly little done. It was clear that some of the Vegas had been living there but moved out when the family split up, it just needed a few touch-ups and it was all set to move-in.

Reyna moved on to her old bedroom and saw something she forgot about. There was a small panel in the floor that she never told her mother about that she hid her most prized possessions in. Opening it up she found several small stuffed animals, skirts, and blouses.

Lupe smiled at the memories of each. Reyna tried to say something but Lupe countered "I knew about them. I was hoping one day you'd come to me and talk about them. Your grandmother caught you wearing them and bought them for you to find and use. The same goes for the stuffed animals, she knew you wanted them but would never ask."

Deborah looked closer at them and gasped. Reyna held them tight, shedding tears over finding her most prized childhood possessions thought lost in the move. Lupe felt terrible about forgetting to grab them but they were safe and sound, waiting for Reyna's eventual return to the house.

The look on Reyna's face told her mother everything she needed to know, the house was going to get used by Jaimie's Place. The house was too interconnected to sell and it was too personal to her not to retain for someone who needed it. Jo and Phyllis asked if it was what she wanted to do, Reyna nodded with Lupe adding "it wouldn't be right to let it sit or sell it when it could do some good for others."

With that out of the way, the group went next door and inspected the exterior of the house closely with Deborah seeing that the grass was dying and there were clear gouges in the turf that had been there for years, ever since she was a kid. The backyard wasn't too good either as it was all but torn up and dried out. Deborah shook her head, telling them firmly "this is worse than when I lived here. It's like they made it look nice then gave up on it if they did anything at all."

Kennedy asked about the budget for the facility, earning a somber "it has money for exterior work which includes landscaping and painting. It's a guaranteed amount, anything not spent that year is held over and added to the next in case of emergency repairs. I'm sorry about this, it should have been taken care of before."

The group finally rang the doorbell and waited for an answer. Nobody answered. In fact, it looked like there was nobody there at all. Phyllis called the manager's phone number and got a quick excuse of the inhabitants being out for the day but none of them believed it. There should have been someone there to greet them, this was worse than they thought.

They waited for a half hour for someone to come back but there was no response inside nor was there anyone who returned. They were about to call again when two LA County Sheriff's Office cruisers stopped outside and demanded to know who they were and why they were there. Jo and Phyllis smelled something fishy and asked why they were there themselves.

The deputies didn't appreciate being challenged that way but stopped as Kennedy was talking with someone on the phone. The standoff lasted until Kennedy announced "the house's supervisor called the police on us. I informed dispatch that she knew we were coming and had scheduled a visit two days ago so there is no crime going on...yet. You will be notified that this was a nuisance call and to leave. If you continue to harass us the sheriff will personally have you explain why you are harassing the owners of the property as well as the wife, sister, and aunt of fellow officers. He was made aware of us being in the county and if any trouble occurred involving us he was to be told immediately."

The deputies gave them angry looks as their dispatch did as she said they would. Kennedy casually added "her brother-in-law is a state police detective and cousin-in-law a full-time officer, my husband is chief of police in our city, and her cousins are reserve officers. My husband was called regarding my calling your dispatch directly and verified everything so there is no attempt at misleading you."

The deputies left but added that detectives would be by to speak with them regarding the house. Jo and Phyllis realized that something was going on inside and opened up the house with spare keys but they were found to be the wrong ones. The locks had been changed, the supervisor had definitely done something wrong and it was looking like they were going to have a lot of cleanups to do to fix the mess.

They did the only thing they could think of, they kicked the door open. The inside was trashed, but to Deborah, it was just as she remembered it. Reyna added that it was the same as she knew it, only with some more paint peeling on the walls and without TVs blaring in every room.

Jo and Phyllis were sick to their stomachs, their pet project was a disaster. They were going to have to sort through the legal mess for a long time. They were even more upset because the house was not available to those who needed it, leaving women and children in danger for no excuse whatsoever.

Kennedy grinned then called her son Reed and his cousin Miles to get to work checking out the finances of Jaimie's Place. Someone was going to prison for fraud and embezzlement. The twins asked if they could do it, getting a laugh and hearty "given they have full access to the accounts they will show the state where to go to get the stolen money. This is now the fourth time they have done this in the past two years, they are great with accounting and both will be going into this line of work."

Miles and Reed saw right away that there was a fraud going on with the books. They were skilled enough to find the real location of the money based on the bank statements direct from the banks themselves. They had the exact account and how much was removed, it was up to the county to get after the person responsible.

Jo and Phyllis thanked them and called in their friend at the DA's office. He was more than happy to take on the case especially as the two teens had done all of the work for them and legally no less. The money was immediately found in the supervisor's account and the account was frozen.

She had the full amount that had been embezzled sitting in the account. She was making slow deductions from it into a separate account that was shown to be her personal bank account but retained the full amount in it under the guise of it being the action account for Jaimie's Place started on behalf of the house with the blessing of the twins.

The bank was forced to transfer the money back into Jaime's Place's account and demand larceny charges of their own against the supervisor giving the DA enough to arrest her. The DA went further and got the sheriff's office to back off of their investigation into Jo and Phyllis and see that the place was actually being used by the supervisor for illicit means rather than by the twins. The twins were unaware that they were being targeted by the deputies but detectives got them to back off especially as they were investigating private citizens who had done nothing wrong.

With that out of the way, the house was inspected thoroughly by the group. This allowed Deborah to show Kennedy, Katie, and Lupe her grandparents' room, her cousins', aunts, and uncles' rooms, and her basement "room" which was just a mattress and blanket on the floor. Reyna looked it over and smiled as Deborah started to feel better about leaving that place while knowing that this was where her true self was born and nurtured, out of sight and hearing of her family.

Deborah located her old hiding spot and removed the trinkets inside. Little mementos of her childhood such as toys and dolls were removed. They were beyond use but held special memories to her just as the clothes and stuffed animals Reyna clutched held to her.

Reyna hugged her as she noticed one doll. She shed tears as she told Lupe that it was the doll that let her become a girl and gave her the strength to tell her how she felt inside. It was in the best condition and the way Reyna held it the doll was not going anywhere without her. The others gave them some privacy as they hugged, with Reyna smiling at the good memories of her old home.

When the two finally appeared upstairs it was time to make plans for Jaimie's Place. This time a proper supervisor was hired, one who came recommended by an aid group for people in need that Jo and Phyllis frequently assisted. They trusted this group and the group was careful not to get involved in anybody who had shady pasts or who were trying to escape the law.

The new supervisor was a licensed social worker who was let go due to budget constraints and who had two children of her own. She was thankful for the old Toro home being offered as her new residence with the children being grateful to remain in the city and school. She was highly qualified and had stellar recommendations from colleagues making her being let go highly suspicious.

A meeting the next day was scheduled with a new supervisor with only Deborah not attending. The new supervisor listened and agreed with the vision for Jaimie's Place and was more than happy to bring it to life. When asked about certain people they wanted to exclude, the ladies were vehement that only those with serious criminal records be excluded and any transgender mothers who needed help get it from there without bias.

The new supervisor was pleased to hear that. She felt terrible and blurted out "I must inform you that I'm transgender. It's why I was let go by the county. Your job saved my family and will help me keep my children as a big reason for my problems is my ex-wife trying to get sole custody of our children. You have no idea how hard it was to get a job as my degree is all but useless outside of social services."

Lupe just smiled and proudly told her "we know exactly what you mean from firsthand experience dealing with similar issues. You are fully qualified and have a strong reputation according to our sources. You are perfect for the job, regardless of what's in your panties. Helping you retain custody of your kids is just a bonus."

She was about to say otherwise but Reyna confessed "I'm transgender. Mom knows what you went through firsthand from having it happen to her. The reason the house next door is going to be yours to live in is because of people like your former employers making my life terrible and spreading rumors and hatred regarding the house making it impossible to sell. She couldn't find a job after I was kicked out of school so we had to move in with my uncle so she knows how you feel."

The ladies signed a contract with her and left her to handle the move as well as the renovation to Jaimie's Place. They had Dan Lopez check out the contractors who were going to be hired and through his own grapevine found the perfect person for the job and at a low price. It would only take a few weeks but it would be enough to get everything settled and set up allowing Jaime's Place to actually open and finally start helping those in need.

The group left with their heads held high, Jaimie's Place was going to be a great success thanks to finding the best person possible to run it. Jo and Phyllis tried to hand off operations to Deborah and Lupe but they refused, it wasn't their fault that they were lied to and neither could run it from Winnisimmet. The twins were needed by Jaimie's Place, they knew to keep a closer eye on it but also to give the new supervisor distance to work things out on her own and trust her just enough to come to them if there was a problem.

The group rejoined their family at the hotel and all proceeded to go to the evening's baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Miguel had gotten the family a luxury suite for the elder teens and box seats for the tweens and kids with the adults split between the two. John tried to pay for it all but it was actually a perk that Miguel rarely exercised, it didn't cost him a penny as the other players didn't exercise their option of free tickets giving Miguel more than enough seats that were filled rather than empty. And being kids it ensured the camera went to them frequently especially during foul balls.

Reyna was not happy to be going though. She knew that she would be recognized despite her maturing into a blossoming young woman and there was still some members of the Dodgers who hated her because of what she was becoming. She knew there would be trouble just from her being there.

Miguel never knew the full story, only the small bits she had to tell him. The team was intentionally trying to keep him away from her and went so far as to ban her from all team functions and edited his biography to make no mention of her or even Lupe. When she was allowed into the stadium she was under strict guard and treated as a prisoner, kept out of public view and under orders to not say or do anything that would upset the team and reflect badly on her uncle.

She wasn't even allowed to enter via the player's entrance like other families, she had to come in via a service entrance. This was to both keep her away from "normal people" and keep her from the view of the media and fans. She was barred from watching games at the stadium as a guest of Miguel, any time he tried to set aside tickets for her they were never used and he was told that she was unable to attend.

Lupe was threatened with being banned herself if she went to Miguel with how they were treating Reyna. The head of security was sympathetic to her but had to follow the orders of management to prevent Reyna's life from ever getting out to the media. The team had a lot of clout in the region and would not have hesitated to make their lives miserable if they fought back, resorting to having them followed and visited late at night to prove their point that they were not afraid to hurt them to keep their reputations clean.

Miguel had played a season and a half with the Dodgers and never knew about the troubles, he was only told that Lupe was always busy with work or appointments with Reyna to attend games and team functions. That wasn't far from the truth, most of the time she was forced to work long hours and Reyna had several appointments with doctors regarding her transition that couldn't get rescheduled. But the truth was they lied to Miguel, a lie that was kept going until he decided to move on to play for the Red Sox but never fully explained to him just how deep the intentional isolation went.

Reyna was immediately spotted by security as the family got off their bus and split up among those who were sitting in the box seats or heading to the suite. Reyna would have preferred to be down with the kids but the teens wanted her with them no matter what anyone had to say. Reyna was a guest and she had a right to be there regardless of what the bigots had to say.

Her girlfriend, Rachel Sylvester, clung to her side as a show of support and to ensure that she didn't run off at the first sign of trouble. Rachel was willing to fight for her girlfriend even if it brought criticism to her. Reyna belonged there and Rachel was going to ensure Reyna had a great time regardless of others.

The group was stopped outside the suite by security who told them they were being removed from the stadium as unwanted guests. Katie stepped forward and demanded to know why, asking what they had done that was in violation of the stadium rules as they had only just arrived and had the proper clearances to be there. There was hesitation to which Katie grinned and announced "you know darn well that there is no reason to remove us. In fact, I know why you are trying to do so and will inform the proper authorities that you are violating the rights of a minor as well as infuriating both an opposing player as well as upsetting the player's association."

There was hesitation before they were allowed to enter, with Katie being threatened with removal by the police shortly thereafter. Katie just grinned and announced "please do. When you do call them, inform them that they are about to take into custody the nieces and nephews of multiple police officers, a deputy sheriff, and federal agents. Oh and not to mention a fully licensed attorney who has already alerted the sheriff's office that we are in the county but have no problem informing the LAPD as well."

Reyna tried to leave, telling them "they want to get rid of me. They have no idea who any of you are, but they know I am. They don't want anyone to see me or let me tell anyone why they are kicking me out. It's the same as it was before, I'm a freak who will ruin their image of a safe and respectable ballpark. They claim to be LGBT friendly but tried hard to keep me away from my uncle."

Katie knelt down and all but shouted "they are going to get in a lot of trouble. I'm not letting them get away with this, not after knowing what they did to you before. They don't know who they are messing with, I'm not letting my niece get pushed around so a bunch of overpaid, oversexed, and overinflated jerks can look like big shots. Miguel isn't going to stand for it and I doubt the Red Sox will let their little darling get hurt by a bunch of fools. They protect their kids, they will protect you."

Katie called down to the visitor's clubhouse and told Miguel what was going on. Miguel was as furious as expected and sent the team's traveling secretary, Jimmy Collins, as well as their head of security up to the suite to help out. He then told the other players what was going on with them all agreeing to refuse to step foot on the field until Reyna was both apologized to and the group brought down to them to be in a place where they were wanted and cared about.

Miguel took to prisoners and quickly informed the player's association that the Dodgers were purposely keeping family members from team functions who didn't fit their criteria for who should attend. Given Miguel's only family were Reyna and Lupe they were quick to establish the Dodgers were acting against their own claims of inclusiveness. It was worse for the team as they had actually lied to the league when they were interviewed regarding their practices when Miguel was a player there after Miguel blew the lid on those kinds of practices regarding the Yankees two and a half years before.

Jimmy Collins and the Red Sox officials made it up to the suite before the Dodgers returned with the police. Seeing the Red Sox officials there led to a war of words which the police had to stop but gave them a reason to know that this was not a simple trespassing situation as was claimed in their phone call. Once they spoke with Jimmy and the Red Sox security and showed that the team had arranged for the suite in the name of Miguel Toro, the uncle of the person who was being targeted, and every person inside had been identified by him by name there was no reason for them to take action as they were neither trespassing nor were they unwanted guests.

The officers then added "given that we know the truth, we will inform our superiors that you have tried to use us to remove valid attendees who were here legally, with full support of both the team and player who paid for the suite, and who had not done anything to warrant our attention you will be issued with a fine and will be lucky if you aren't sued for harassment. I believe that may be unavoidable though."

One of the Red Sox officials whispered into the ear of one of the officers getting a laugh followed by a swift "over half of the teens in there are related to law enforcement officials, this just made what you did even worse." The Dodgers personnel tried to cry foul but the Red Sox secretary spouted off multiple names, with the officers noting that the man had not entered the suite yet knew the names and which agency they worked for showing that it was no joke and they were serious.

The hassle was noticed by other suites leading to complaints about noise and the police being there. This led to Dodgers executives showing up to smooth things over only to see them demanding Reyna be removed from the stadium yet again. They made a mistake, they used transphobic slurs which only caused the officers to grin as they announced they were going to have to report this breach of peace to the DA's office as it was now a serious violation as they were demanding the removal of someone who had not violated any rules or laws based entirely on their offensive views towards her.

As expected, chaos ensued with more swearing and the officers calling for immediate help. Once more officers arrived several media members followed with the whole scene being captured. The officers were no fools, they laid out exactly what was going on and had the executives get caught on video demanding Reyna's removal with them stating they didn't care if she hadn't done anything nor that she was a guest of the Red Sox, they wanted her gone before she was seen by "normal" people and made the team look like they accepted "people like her." It was exacerbated by their use of multiple homophobic and transphobic slurs, all of which were caught on camera.

Reyna finally had enough and left, followed by the rest of the group. A group of 20 teens and a dozen adults leaving all at once with Reyna at the center of it made for a damning video especially as the Dodgers officials told the police to escort them out and if they resisted, to arrest them. The officers did no such thing, in fact, they told the executives "we are not going to violate their rights for you. We will ensure they are not harassed by your people but we are not arresting them as they have done nothing to warrant being arrested."

Outside Jimmy and the Red Sox officials escorted them right to the clubhouse to watch the game among the Red Sox personnel. The 20 teens had been in their clubhouse in Boston multiple times so it wasn't a big deal to them but it was more for the cameras than anything else. The local reporters asked why they were going inside the clubhouse after being barred for the stadium, sensing a bigger story than just the transphobic hysteria of the Dodgers.

Jimmy just grinned and announced "the Dodgers were out of line in barring this group from viewing the game for the suite we paid for. The Red Sox players have refused to take the field until they knew that these fine people were in a welcoming place, among themselves. They know the group through attending dozens of games and have taken several of them as surrogate nieces and nephews while away from their own families during the season. Once the group was outside the stadium they were under our protection as VIP guests as they were supposed to have been from the start. The Dodgers knew exactly who these people were and tried to use the police to force them out instead of going through official channels to lodge complaints. Those complaints would have been logged and used against them as they had no reason to bar these people. The police were good enough to humor them for the sake of civility but from previous experience, they knew that the team had made a major mistake and were not about to help the Dodgers cover it up."

The reporters who didn't know her asked about Reyna, to which Jimmy sighed and announced "she is the niece of one of our players and had a history with the Dodgers performing similar actions against her. She had been mistreated, ignored, and purposely barred from seeing her uncle during the year and a half that he played for the Dodgers. They threatened her and her mother to keep quiet about this forced exclusion and only after she had been forced to address the issue had it become known to her uncle. This kind of behavior is appalling and the players took a stand to refuse to take the field without the group being among Red Sox officials."

The reporters had their story, one much larger than bigotry by executives. Reyna's story was just the tip of the iceberg, the team was going to have to explain their actions and the investigation was going to lead to a lot of questions that needed to be answered by the team. The team couldn't keep a lid on this, there were too many witnesses as well as a police report that would not be suppressed nor removed from the system making the account there for all to see.

Inside the clubhouse, the team flocked to Reyna and gave her big hugs. She was in tears, apologizing to them for causing them problems. Miguel sat her down while the others gave them privacy, telling her firmly "you didn't do anything wrong. This was all on them and they chose to stand with me against those bastards. We are making a statement, you are family to us. Teams aren't supposed to mess with family, they will have a lot of trouble now with the players. You aren't the only one this happened to, you just happened to be the one they bullied the most and the one who finally uncovered it all."

The team walked out as one, with Reyna being directed to join them while the others waited for her. The Dodgers officials were waiting outside for the Red Sox and were angry that she was there, loudly demanding her removal prompting the team to refuse to take the field in protest. The umpires just grinned and told the executives to leave, they were ejected for delaying the game and for using offensive language.

The Dodgers players refused to step on the field either, once they recognized Reyna several of Miguel's former teammates spread the word that they were trying to get rid of a player's family member. They then told the truth about why she was being removed, prompting several to show their displeasure at her being there but most siding with Reyna including their manager and coaches.

The umpires had the police escort the executives away with the league representative making note of everything that had happened and why with the umpires delaying until they confirmed to be out of the park. In a show of support the umpires hugged Reyna, bringing tears to her eyes and a meek "thanks" from her mouth. It was touching, with the TV crews covering the game giving glowing reports about the whole situation as well as their own commentary about just who was being targeted and why it was wrong in their opinions.

The LA crew had no idea what was happening and tried to act like it was no big deal by claiming it was all a stunt by the Red Sox. The LA reporters though sent word direct to them avoiding the team to which the announcers apologized to Reyna for the misinformation that was given to them by executives who were about to be suspended and/or terminated for their horrendous actions. The veteran play-by-play announcer happily told the viewing audience that the girl who was the center of all of this was a model student, role model for kids, and generous philanthropist who was unfairly victimized by a few people who wanted to make sure the team fits their model of what constituted "normal."

The announcers were not afraid to lodge their complaints about her treatment and offered vicious commentary about the mistreatment of kids by glorified bullies. It was some of the finest announcing, all done in front of a captive audience and made the national news that evening and the following day. Those who opposed Reyna were outed and shunned while those who knew her were quick to tell how great she was as a person.

Back inside the clubhouse, Reyna sat on a couch beside Rachel with her cuddling Reyna for support. It was a tough afternoon but things calmed down with the Dodgers blowing a lead and Miguel earning himself the win in relief. The team entered and gave Reyna hugs and kisses making her blush deeply while her friends and Rachel smiled at her being uncomfortable with the attention.

The press kept away from Reyna and the others, talking with the Red Sox players who had key hits as well as the closer who ensured their win. Miguel was only asked about the tight jam he got himself out of during his two innings of work, no questions about Reyna were asked and the ones who were about to ask were quickly talked over by one of the beat reporters. There was no mention of Reyna at all, when all the questions about the game were asked the players stopped answering and got dressed.

The group was close by but out of sight of the media with the ladies getting a closer look at players than anyone normally would. They quickly turned away when the players were changing, with the guys feeling inadequate compared to them while their girlfriends didn't want to see something nobody except the players' girlfriends and wives should see. To Katie and Lupe it was hilarious, the normally confident ladies became timid and the normally self-assured Thomas Samuels, Donald Bollinger, and Raul Porter became little kids for a moment.

Miguel finally finished with the formalities and met with the group to head to a nice restaurant for a late dinner. The younger kids and tweens were dropped off at the hotel for dinner there allowing the older teens to enjoy the evening with Miguel. Reyna and Lupe were not going back to the hotel that night, instead, they were going with Miguel for an expected talk as well as to calm down Reyna who was still battling anxiety over the encounter earlier.

Dinner was amazing with the teens thanking Miguel, or rather John Finn who actually paid for the meal, for setting it up for them. There was a surprise for them as they arrived though, several Dodgers players were there but Miguel knew all of them and vouched for them as decent people. Reyna had to introduce the other to them, with Rachel beaming with pride as she was introduced as Reyna's girlfriend bringing both shock and a smile to the players as they hadn't thought she would date women due to being transgender, unintentionally falling for the belief that transsexuals dated only men.

Rachel asked for and got permission to stay with Lupe, Miguel, and Reyna that night. It was a first for them as neither girl had tried to spend the night at the other's house without their friends present. Reyna pleaded with her mother and uncle for permission with Lupe agreeing and getting Rachel's father to agree to let her stay as well.

The two rushed to get their things for the night and said their goodbyes to their friends. There wasn't much chance of the girls having sex as Reyna was too worked up and they were too respectful of Miguel to even attempt it. Lupe felt that they were old enough to be trusted as lovers and to have restraint when they were alone, with this night being the first step in the couple sealing their relationship as more than love even if they did not take it a step further sexually yet.

When they arrived at Miguel's LA home Miguel sat the girls down and asked Reyna to tell him everything that had happened to her regarding the Dodgers since he was traded to them. She looked at her mother who wanted to know more as well, she had been around some of the teammates' families' actions but hadn't fully seen the team's actions towards Reyna herself.

Rachel held her hand, massaging it in support then kissing her cheek. She didn't think Reyna would have been fully honest if not for her being there, this proved it. Rachel whispered into her ear "they need to know the truth. They know things happened to you that they didn't see that were more than just the team keeping you away from him. Please, tell them everything. It'll help you cope as well."

Sighing deeply, Reyna admitted "after you were traded a man from the team came to our house and told us that we were not going to be allowed to go to the stadium to see Uncle Miguel play. Mom understood what he meant and didn't react but he gave us a piece of paper saying that we were barred from there. It said it was a restraining order, the team said I was going to cause problems and I didn't belong there and was unwanted. Since I wasn't Uncle Miguel's daughter he couldn't do anything about it. He threatened to have Uncle Miguel fined if I tried to tell him, saying that what I would be doing was endangering the team's reputation. He did it while mom was trying to call a lawyer, telling me that if I told her he would lie and ensure that mom was never allowed to see you again."

She looked at Miguel who was listening intently. Lupe encouraged her to continue so she added "mom was allowed to go to games because they couldn't ban her without you getting angry. She heard a lot of the things that the families said, most of which was told to them by the guys who chased us out today. Mom had to listen to them badmouthing her and me but she never saw the things they were putting online about me and mom. They wanted everyone to think you and mom were actually dating and I was your daughter. It didn't matter than mom was 19 when I was born and you were only 17, they didn't care that you only met her once and that was at her wedding. They just wanted to make mom and me look bad and make others shun us. It worked, nobody wanted anything to do with mom and bad mouthed her every chance they got."

Lupe nodded at that, Reyna continued: "when I was expelled from school the team used that as a reason to keep you away for good. It's why you didn't see us the rest of the season, mom was working hard to get money to buy my uniform for school and all the school supplies for the private school I was put into. She wouldn't let you pay for anything because you would start asking questions that she didn't want to answer. The players' families took this as a way of mocking mom and me and told several of their sons to hurt me when they saw me in school. They were going to hurt me the next week to ensure I was unable to go to their school anymore but before they could I got expelled again. They were too afraid to say or do anything after I was hurt, they knew the boys would hurt them and send them to jail thanks to their dads so they kept quiet but they really did want to hurt me."

Miguel asked if she had any proof of any of that happening to which Lupe said she had the letters from the team as well as a copy of the restraining order they filed. Reyna had the emails that were sent, including the various threatening emails from the team's security that said they were going to have her expelled in retaliation if she ever told anyone about the kids' actions. Miguel read the emails and swore, then hugged Reyna tight while offering soothing words to her.

Rachel led Reyna to her assigned bedroom and put her to sleep, knowing she was running on fumes for the past hour. She gave her a goodnight kiss then tucked her in, ensuring she was changed and fully asleep before she slipped out to sit with Miguel and Lupe in the living room. Neither adult said anything about her action, it was clear that she loved Reyna deeply and what she did was a true act of love and restraint showing they were justified in allowing them to become closer as a couple.

Miguel finally broke the silence and mumbled to Rachel "she's in love with you." Rachel blushed but Lupe added "she really loves you. You two complete one another. She has never been much for affection or showing her true feelings, but she clearly loves you. I am proud to have you as her girlfriend, somehow you two make the perfect couple. You didn't start off right but you two grew to love one another in a way that only your older cousins understand."

Rachel fought for the right words. Lupe hugged her tight and kissed her forehead, adding a soft "you two are mature enough to be left alone together. You aren't like the other girls, we trust you two to not get too out of hand. You can't make one another pregnant but we know your urges will become overpowering soon. You have our blessing if you should feel the need to become intimate. Your parents have agreed with me on this, you have earned our trust and blessings to move forwards."

Rachel hugged her tight, crying into her shoulder over hearing this. Miguel just smiled, it was Lupe the mother at her finest. The two young ladies were great with one another, they have proven it that day.

Rachel went to bed alongside Reyna, kissing her and cuddling with her as she laid down. Lupe smiled at the sight, there was nothing sexual about the embrace and the way Reyna moved into her arms it was exactly what Reyna needed as her tossing and turning sleep turned into a deep slumber. Rachel had helped save Reyna from a restless night simply by being there and letting her sleep in her arms, giving her the needed intimacy that nobody but a lover could give.

The next morning Katie called to talk with the four about what the Dodgers were going to do. Jo and Phyllis were coming by shortly to show them the draft lawsuit that they had set up on Reyna's behalf with the Red Sox and Major League Baseball drafting similar complaints in support of Reyna as well. It was a full pronged attack, the team would have to pay for their systemic abuse of Reyna and their abhorrent actions towards a player's closest family member as well violating her rights by trying to have her arrested without reason.

Lupe told her about what they had done against Reyna and herself in the past and that they had the supporting evidence on hand. Katie grinned then told her that she was going to make a few phone calls to get copies of the correspondence and restraining order from their home. Lupe just grinned as the few family members that remained in Winnisimmet were about to help the others out immensely, with Lupe happily telling Katie that she was going to give her parents big kisses when they returned home.

Miguel got himself ready for that night's game but had plenty of time to attend the meeting between the lawyers. Miguel asked if the Johnsons were going to be involved, getting a solid "no" followed by a somber "they are trying to keep JD, Cat, Ella, and Logan occupied. As much as they'd like to be here they need to be elsewhere keeping the kids occupied. Jaimie is still in her coma, it's taking a toll on John so they have to pick up the slack for him and ensure he doesn't breakdown again."

The ladies arrived with a representative from the player's association and Major League Baseball. Lupe received emails containing scans of the documents as well as the restraining order while Rachel showed copies of the threatening emails to Reyna. The group read over the documents and came to a clear and concise conclusion: the team was in deep trouble and likely to face steep fines and loss of draft picks.

Reyna was asked to explain what happened with the lawyers grilling her every which way but ensuring that what she said was irrefutable and upheld under scrutiny. It was tough but Reyna was consistent and what she said matched what was told to police as well as MLB security officials after the game the previous afternoon. Reyna was in the right and the team was going to have to account for a lot of outrageous behavior that it couldn't explain.

Reyna went back to the hotel with Rachel in tow. She was going to receive word the next morning about the results but it was clear that she had a lot to sue them over. Reyna didn't care about money from her lawsuit, she just wanted others to be protected against what she had experienced especially now that it was out in the open.

Reyna and Rachel sat quietly in the lobby with their friends close by. They were told the news about Jaimie finally awakening but had to wait until she returned east to see her. Rachel decided not to go see her, Reyna needed her and she didn't trust herself not to break down at seeing Jaimie.

Reyna was grateful for that. Rachel was showing her love for her even more than she had ever thought possible. The two hugged, snuggled close, and shared an occasional kiss on the cheek. It was simple cuddling among teens but it was more loving than the others were doing.

Reyna was just glad to be done with the city soon. It was tiring to her. She and Rachel were just going to spend all their time together while the others enjoyed other parts of LA. It was fine with their parents, they were trusted enough to just relax and with Lupe as their caretaker they couldn't do much anyway. The two simply relaxed and enjoyed their next two days before departure.



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