Embracing Justice -chp 1

Embracing Justice


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.


This is a work of fiction an any persons in this work are purely fictional.

Chapter 1

For sale four bed room, three baths, and one story range home. 83,000 or best offer. Must sell. Needs work, comes with in ground pool, two car attached garage, separate 40 square foot workshop out building, and quarter acre of land. Bank owned. Located in Spring Valley subdivisions just off the I-75 and I-475 bypass interchange. Close to blue ribbon schools. To see in person contact Shelly Price of Great Lakes Reality. Address: 1125 White Sails court.

To most this real estate posting would not have any real meaning other than that a house was for sale. To U.S. Deputy Marshal Samantha Justice it meant far more. To her it was where it all began, twelve long years ago. The fact that this house was still up for sale did not really surprise her. Not only did the house need repairs, but it had a history as well. A history that kept most people from wanting anything to do with it.

Even now more than a decade after it all started, people still wanted nothing to do with the house and the people that had lived there. Reading further down the real estate listings looking for a place to live Samantha kept coming back to that listing. For her that house had more meaning than any other. After about a half hour she put the paper down and looked around the coffee shop she had spent the last half hour in. It had already become part of her morning ritual to stop here in the morning for coffee before heading into her office on the third floor of the Federal building across the street.

Everywhere she looked she saw members of the Federal Law Enforcement Community. There were at least two members of every alphabet organization. There was two FBI, three ATF, one DOJ, four DEA, and two Homeland Security. Those were just the ones she could tell by the way they were dressed. Who knows how many others there were as this coffee house was really popular among the Law Enforcement community here in Toledo, Ohio. Even the local PD came in here. So yes it was very much a ‘cop joint’.

Then again to most people who didn’t know her Sam looked a lot like your typical teenage college student. One of the reason for this is that at five foot two inches and hundred and five pounds, she wasn’t very intimidating. Another problem she had was the fact she took after her mother and had a youthful appearance thanks to her Macedonia heritage. Light olive toned skin, drake brown eyes, and jet black hair that she usually wore in a pony tail that reached the middle of her back.

Another reason most people only saw a teenager was the fact that she had a very hard time finding clothes that would fit her outside of the young miss department of most stores she could afford. It was a real problem for her. Any formal dress or business suit had to be either custom made or tailored to fit her small frame. Both of which cost a lot of money and the Marshal Service didn’t pay that kind of money. Oh she had had for special occasions such as court hearings and trials, but for the most part she just bought what she could get in the young miss or juniors section of Hell-mart and Wally world.

“Hey Sam! Let’s go the boss wants us ASAP!” called out Bobby Everbrite from the door. Looking up at her longtime friend and partner, Sam couldn’t help, but to smile. The Marshals had paired them up when they reported for their first assignment in Fugitive Recovery. When you first saw them, you saw a real mute and Jeff team. Where Sam was this petite little woman, Bobby was the walking Man Mountain. At will over six foot tall and two hundred plus pounds, Bobby was the total opposite of Sam. However that is where the mute and Jeff stopped.

While most people tried not to piss Bobby off, it was Sam that they needed to worry about. Because as big as Bobby was, he had a calm and peaceful manner. It took something really stupid to piss him off. Sam on the other hand wouldn’t think twice about snapping some creeps head off for looking at her wrong. It was one of the reasons she hadn’t moved up further in the ranks of the Marshals than she had. She had a few complaints filed against her for excessive use of force when arresting a fugitive.

“Keep your shirt on, Bobby. The old man can wait for me to get another cup before saddling us with another scumbag attorney.” At hearing Sam talking to the walking mountain almost every head in the room turned to really look at her. One young man who Sam had tagged as belonging to the FBI turned and stepped in front of her. Looking down at her he had this look on his face as if he was going to say something about her comment. Sam wasn’t disappointed.

“Young lady, that is Marshal Everbrite to you, or didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”

Having danced this dance before Sam reached into her left inside jacket pocket and pulled out her credentials. Flipping them open to show first her badge and then her shield. “That’s Marshal, to you youngster. And by the way, that’s my partner of six years over there, so if I want to call him dumbass or worse I’ve earned the right. Now, get out of my way. I need to get my refill and go see U.S. Supervisory Deputy Marshal David Earp. You know the regional head for the Marshals.”

When the man didn’t move at first Sam thought about punching him in the gut. However that would just cause her more headaches in the long run and she doubted that Bobby would stand for her losing her temper and getting them in trouble again. Thankfully Bobby came to her rescue. “Dale, if you don’t want an unwanted vasectomy the hard way. I’d let my partner pass. She isn’t known for being a ballbuster for nothing.”

The young man smiled down at her and stepped out of the way. Not before trying something he would regret. The smack on the butt was enough to piss Sam off. She grabbed his hand before it got half away back to his side. Preforming a spin under his arm while holding onto his wrist, she pulled his arm with her around and up into the center of his back, pinning it there painfully. A quick kick to the back of his knees and he was kneeling on the floor while she leaned over his shoulder.

“The next time you smack me on the ass I’m going to rip your arm off at the shoulder and stuff it up your ass sideways. Do you understand me, agent?”

“Hay, hay, I understand. Now, can you let my arm go? You don’t have to go all Xenia on me, for Christ sake.”

By this time Bobby had walked over to where we were. He leaned down into Dale’s face. “Yah, she did, because if I handled it, you would already be dead Agent Cartwright. And before you go filing a complaint about excessive force or some other bull shit. I would suggest you remember there are over thirteen Federal Agents and at least as many local PD, that I can call as witness that you started this shit. Now take your OBI (Ohio Bureau of Investigations) ass out of here before our fellow officers get upset.”

Everyone stood aside as the young man got up off the floor holding his arm and walked out of the coffee shop. Sam turned to the young girl behind the counter. “Sorry for the mess.” And tossed her a five dollar tip.

“Don’t worry about it Marshal. Dale Cartwright has been due that for a long time coming.” The young girl said. Sam looked at her name tag and read it.

“No one should have to put up with that kind of treatment by an officer of the law, Michelle. Let me know if he behaves like a dick again and I’ll file sexual harassment charges with his department against him.”

Michelle smiled and handed her, a large to go cup of the House bend. Smiling Sam thanked her for it, gathered up her partner, and headed for the door. As she was leaving she received an ovation from the other officers in the coffee shop. Sam started to blush as she walked out the door. There has been more than one ovation where her temper has gotten her in trouble, but this is the first time it has ever gotten her embarrassed. Once they were outside and half way across the street. Sam asked Bobby very bluntly. “Ok, Lurch, what was up with that standing ovation back there?”

“Dale Cartwright is a known womanizer, and thinks he is God’s gift to women.”

“Why hasn’t anyone said something to the prick?”

“Because his daddy is the State Security, and everybody is afraid of pissing him off.”

“Oh, just great, can this day get any more screwed up?”

“Don’t worry; I’m sure the old man will have something to perk up our day.”

“You know Bobby that we deal with the worse type of human scumbag on the earth right?”

“Hay, sure, I know that most of the people we help protect are drug dealers, murders, thieves, and rapists, but every now and then we get a truly innocent person. Even you have to admit that. Sure I know that the odds are one in one thousand, but there are some truly innocent flocks in the Program.”

Looking up at her partner of six years, Sam really wanted to agree. However he had no knowledge of her past. Hell, nobody in the Service knew of her past except for the Chief Deputy United States Marshal, United States Marshal, and Director of the United States Marshals Service. To everyone else she was the orphan kid of two U.S. servicemen who died in an accident overseas with a bad attitude. She and Bobby had just transferred into the Toledo office just over four weeks ago, after completing six years with the Fugitive Recovery Unit in Walla Walla, Washington. It was their exemplary record that had landed them this new assignment.

One that for most would be the highlight of their career. While it was for Bobby, but for Sam it was nothing like that. As they cross the entrance way of the James M. Ashley & Thomas W.L. Ashley U.S. Courthouse she was taken back to the first time she ever saw the inside of this building. It took her a few seconds to remember that she wasn’t that scared little, skinny teenage kid anymore.

Her partner Bobby had taken in the fact that Sam had stopped at the base of the Federal seal in the floor. “Hey, Sam, are you ok?” when she looked up at him there was this look in her eyes of being far, far, far away. It was almost as if she was miles and years away from here. Nobody really knew anything about where his partner came from or what drove her to be so good at their job. Even after six years, over hundreds of stakeouts and arrests, Robert ‘Bobby’ Everbrite knows almost nothing about the petite enigmatic drake haired hellion that is his partner.

To Bobby she is one of the most beautiful women he has ever met, but knows trying to get into her pants is harder than breaking into Fort Knox. In the seven years he had known her going all the way back to training, she had never had a boyfriend. There were rumors at their old assignment of her being homosexual but he never really got them much credit. When you spend eleven months out of the year tracking down douche bag runners it doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of time for a life partner of any kind. He had lost count of the number of girlfriends he had, had over the last six years. To him Sam’s avoidance of having a love life seemed prudent.

However there were times like now that he really worried about his partner. Ever since they got to Toledo she had been acting a little off. Then there was the fact that she seemed to know where she was going as if on autopilot like a born and raised local. He knew that wasn’t the case he had looked into her service file when they were partnered up. It said she was an orphan of two died servicemen and raised in the U.S. Military Orphanage outside of Fort Meade, Maryland. There weren’t a lot of people willing to take in a teenager, so it must have been hard on her to make friends or family connections. The fact that she had succeeded despite this was a truly amazing thing in his eyes.

He is brought back to the here and now by Sam’s sudden change in demeanor again. “Yah, I’m fine. Come on let’s go see what Davey wants. I hope it’s not some chicken shit babysitting job, for some asshole attorney whose pissed off the local drug lord.” Her very blunt description of their job as personal security officers for high profile Prosecutors made him pull up short and place a hand on her arm. Something was bothering her and he needed to know what it is, before it gets them killed.

“Ok, Sam, just what crawled up your ass and set it on fire?”


“Look I don’t know what has been bugging you for the last four weeks, but ever since we set foot in Toledo you have been acting as if you’re waiting for a ghost to step out of the woodwork. Will you talk to me please?”

Sam looked up at the big man who had been her partner and first real friend in a long, long time. She knew she had to talk to someone or things will just buildup to a point where she is no longer in control and it gets them killed. “Ok, I tell you but not here. Meet me at O’Hara’s on seventeenth ave. when we get done with the boss. That sound good? I promise that I’ll tell you everything then.”

“Alright, sounds good to me, but if David has something for us that has to be taken care of right away then we meet up there at six thirty tonight. Deal?”

“Deal. Now come on, David has to have a reason for wanting us in an hour before everyone else.” Sam led the way to the elevators and hit the call button. When it arrived they stepped inside and she pushes the button for the third floor and their office. As they rode the elevator up to their office Sam thought about the first time she was in this very same elevator. Back then she had been on the run for over three days, staying just one step ahead of the men who were trying to kill her.

She was cold, wet, dirty, hungry, and smelled like she had slept in a dumpster. It was no surprise really as that was where she had been sleeping for those three days. Well behind one, not in one. The fact that it belonged to a Chinese Restaurant didn’t help matters. Shaking her head again to clear those thoughts of long ago, Sam concentrated on the here and now. She had no time for ghosts or regrets.

Stepping off the elevator in to the hallway they were greeted by Sharon Callahan, the receptionist for the U.S. Marshal Service here in Toledo. The fact that she was here meant that there was more going on than they thought. “Go on in Deputies, Inspector Earp is in his office and is expecting you.” That was all Sharon said, she normally has more to say to the only woman in the office that was both smaller than her, and a Deputy Marshal. Sam may have only been with the service for six years, but she was already a legend. While no one knew anything about her beyond what was in her open file area, she was known throughout the Service as a real hard ass, and one hell of an Investigator. Her and Bobby’s record of captures was one that most spent a lifetime building.

The fact that Sharon told them to just head on in to David’s office was not lost on the pair. So heading straight for his office the two wondered up what up. Standing outside the door to their boss’s office were two members of the United States Marshal’s personal bodyguards. These are the best of the best in the Marshal Service. If they were here then the U.S. Marshal was here. Sam looks over to her partner and said.

“I think we might have to put that drink on hold for a later date, Bobby.”

Looking down at her Bobby just chuckled and replied dryly. “You don’t say?”

As they approached the one on the right pushed the door to David’s office. Inside was their immediate supervisor David Earp, his boss Supervisory Deputy Marshal Karen Shaw, the Chief Deputy United States Marshal William J. Masterson, and United States Marshal Dorothy Rose. Looking at not only their boss’s but the top brass for the Marshal’s Sam turned again to her big partner and cracked at smirk saying.

“I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore Toto.”

That simple statement caused everyone in the room to chuckle a little bit. That this petite woman would call the man mountain next to her a little dog name was crazy. Then again this woman had a reputation for putting die hard criminals behind bars by any means necessary. That included everything from breaking arms, legs, and a few other body parts. She had no qualms about mixing it up with those she was sent after. They may have to take a trip to the hospital after they were arrested, but they were alive and in handcuffs.

“Deputies Justice and Everbrite thank you for coming in early today.” Began the United States Marshal by way of greeting. “I don’t think introductions are necessary as all of us here are well known and in your chain of command. So I’ll get right to the point for why you’re here.” Reaching over and hitting a button on David’s desk for the intercom. “Ok bring him in and this time be polite about it Jenkins.”

The side door form David’s office to the floors conference room opens and a teenage girl of about thirteen or fourteen enters just in front of a Deputy that Sam can only guess is Jenkins and one other deputy. There was no sign of a boy or man still in the room. Where was this male the Marshal had asked for? That is when Sam takes a real hard look at the girl. Her clothes didn’t quite fit right, her makeup wasn’t up to what a teenager would wear, her hair had more split ends than a broom, but the real give away was the fact that she was too flat in the chest area for her age.Turning to face the Marshal. “Are you telling me this young lady is a boy?”

“That is exactly what I’m telling you. And that is also why I have had you transferred here to Toledo. Now do you want to know who you’ll be protecting or do you want to spend the next ten years in Fargo, North Dakota?” snapped Masterson.

“William, you will calm down right now or you’ll be the one on their way to Fargo!” snapped the U.S. Marshal. Sam could tell she was pissed about something, and this young person was the reason for it. “You were the one who got him in this mess, now shut the hell up!” Sam watched as the Marshal took a few deep breaths to calm down before continuing. Looking over at me and then the teenager. “I am sorry, Kristine, I know that I should be using your female name and pronouns.”

Kristine gave the Marshal a small smile before answering. “It’s not your fault ma’am. I know the effect my appearance has on people. It is as much my fault as it is anyone else’s. Besides, my father is and always has been a total jackass.”
The Chief Deputy United States Marshal’s hand lashed out striking the girl across the mouth. “Don’t you dare disrespect me you little freak! Thanks to you, I’m about to lose everything I have built for this family! If it was up to me you’d be out there on your own! Not wasting valuable personnel and resources!” as he pulls back his hand to strike the girl again Sam steps in and grabs his arm.

Snarling Sam gets right up in his face. “You lay one more hand on this child and I’ll rip out your fucking heart. Now, sit the fuck down before I do it anyway. Oh, and if you think those two shitheads over there can protect you guess again. I could blow holes in the both of them before they ever clear their holsters.” When she finished she shoved him backwards into one of the chairs in David’s office.

From behind her, she heard Bobby say to the Chief Deputy’s bodyguards. “Boys, if yous know what’s good fer ya’ ya’ll gets yens’ hands a ways froms dems holsters.” It wasn’t often you heard Bobby’s southwestern drawl, but when you did it was usually a real good sign he was pissed off. Looking over her right shoulder Sam sees the CDM’s bodyguards move their hands away from their holsters. Looking over her left shoulder at her partner she sees why. He has his Colt m1911a1 semi-automatic .45 caliber pistol already out. Like her Bobby prefers to use the larger caliber semi-automatic over the standard issue .40 caliber Glock pistols of their fellow Marshals. Sure they were a little heavier than the Glock’s, didn’t have as many rounds in the magazine, but the tradeoff for the bigger caliber and greater stopping power was worth it in their books.

“Bobby, put it away. You don’t need to get in trouble for me. Besides if they had any real balls they wouldn’t be bodyguards for this shithead.” Sam smiled at her partner as he holstered his weapon. Looking over at the Head of the U.S. Marshal’s Sam decides to get to the bottom of why they are there. “Ok, ma’am, do you want to tell us a why the son of the CD is dressed as a girl, b why is the CD so upset about everything and finally c why me and my partner have been pulled out of fugitive recovery for this?”

Marshal Rose looked at her young deputy and had to smile. It was not that long ago she had come to her wanting to join the Service. It had taken her authorization for this young woman to even apply to the Marshals. Dorothy knew it was a risk for this young lady, but the girl wanted to repay all the Marshals had done for her, by serving in that very Service. It was one of the best decisions Dorothy had ever made. To underestimate this young woman would be a fool’s mistake, and if there is one thing everyone knew, Dorothy Rose was nobody’s fool.

“Very well, I’ll get straight to the point then. Young Kristine here was on her way home from a crossover party when she witnessed the shooting of a well-known Congressional Lobbyist. Now normally all we would need to do is have her show up as her male self or John. The problem lies with the fact that Kristen here is the son of the Chief Deputy Marshal. Sorry Kristen about the mixed pronouns. And because the officers who took her statement at the time used her female name instead of her male name of John.”

“Let me guess, the suspects scumbag has a copy of the original officers report from Kristen here. He is using that fact to claim it is a false report, right?” Sam snarled out, her hate for defense lawyers was well known.

“Exactly, deputy that is exactly what the suspect’s lawyer is claiming. Because Kristen here is the CD’s child they are claiming she made a false report to ‘help’ her ‘daddy’ make an arrest and cover up the screw ups made by the deputies that were supposed to be protecting the lobbyist. Deputies that were assigned by her father.”

“Who was the lobbyist and who was the shooter?” asked Bobby.

“The lobbyist is or I should say was Harrison Wright. You know the rightwing fanatical voice for the Law, Order, and God Party. I can see by the looks on your faces you know the man’s name and most likely his views on crime. He’s been vocal enough over the years for you to know them. As for the shooter he is a known trigger man for the Cartels in both South America and Mexico.”

“If you had just told the truth you stupid little shit none of this would be necessary!” Masterson snapped at his child.

“I did tell the truth dad! I gave the officer my name as John William Masterson. How was I supposed to know that he would use my female name in his report when he asked for it?” Kristen was almost in tears by this point in time. Sam could tell the kid has had a rough time of it lately. What she heard next almost made her shoot the two deputies that have been guarding her. “I sure as hell haven’t needed these two goons calling me sissy, fag, and every other name in the book. Not that you have given a shit to do anything about it.”

“You will quit your damnable lying this minute. I have known those men for four years and not once have they ever lied to me. Where you have done nothing but lie to me and your mother. Did you forget it was your mother who found the clothes you’re wearing under your bed?!”

“What do you expect?! I’ve heard your rants about gays, lesbians, and transsexuals if people listened to you they would think we’re the ones who are tearing down the very fabric of America. It’s no wonder you have two of the biggest bigots in the Marshal Service as bodyguards, as any Deputy with an ounce of self-respect and honor doesn’t want anything to do with you.”

“I told you to shut your damn mouth fag!” when Masterson started to get out of his seat to hit his child again Sam stood in front of him.

“If I was you Chief Deputy Masterson I would say good bye to your child and then get the hell out of here.” Sam’s voice was hard and cold. She had, had enough of this man and his attitude. Every deputy knew that he was appointed to his position by the former U.S. Marshal. They all knew that he thought he should have been made the U.S. Marshal over Dorothy Rose. If anything that had made the man the most hated Chief Deputy’s in the last fifty years was the fact he had never spent a day in the field as a regular deputy. The man had made his career as a forensic accountant. The man was a real paper hound he could find anyone’s money or any fugitive just by looking at their paper trail.

“I will not stand for this. Deputy Earp, I want this little dykes badge and gun now.” Masterson demanded of Sam’s boss much to everyone’s surprise. The fact that he had just used a derogatory term about a deputy was enough to open a fifty five gal barrel of worms. This was the twenty first century and tolerance of all was expected.

“That, will not be happening Masterson. You are the one who will be turning in their badge. Now hand it over.” Rose had heard more than enough to piece together what had happened at the crossover party and in the Masterson home. She had been looking for a reason to rid herself of this penny pinching pain in her side for the day she took office, and now she had it in his, own words and actions in this office. “I don’t know how many times I have made my views on intolerance, bigotry, and any other form of hate known to both the public and our service. I have counted more than seven infractions of the policies that have been put in place because of those views.”

“And it’s those same ‘policies’ that are tearing down the Marshal Service. Why you ever allowed this tyranny freak dyke to join the service is beyond me. You should have sent her slag ass packing like all the other Protected that want to join the Marshals.” The look of surprise on Rose’s and Sam’s faces at hearing the Chief Deputy blurt out that secret was not lost on the other in the room, but he wasn’t done showing his stupidity. “If we had a real President then we could remove your chink ass and put a real honest to God White American male in charge. Then we could get rid of all you minority crybabies.” The more Masterson talked, the madder Marshal Rose became, right along with most everyone in the room. He is only stopped by the words of David Earp.

“William Masterson, you are hereby under arrest for the intentional disclosure of a Federal witness protected, violations of the Humanities act of 1981, and the willful endangerment of a minor Federal Witness in your care. Deputy Justice, cuff this man while I arrange for someone to secure him elsewhere.” Sam didn’t have to be told twice as she was way past the point of being pissed.

“Get your hands of me you half breed slag.” Was all Masterson got out before he found himself facing down on the floor being stuffed and cuffed by Sam. For some reason during the scuffle he managed to be rendered unconscious. Standing up Sam looked down at the man who had been such a massive pain in the ass for so many of her and her fellow deputies. It has been directives sent out from this petty bureaucrat’s office that has caused more than one deputy their life. No one really like the man, but had no real way to get rid of him.

Meanwhile David had been on the phone to a few other deputies asking them to come into the office now. When he hung up he looked over at the two former bodyguards for Masterson. “Deputies, you are at a crossroads in your careers. You can follow your former boss and wind up as either unemployed or as in his case behind bars. The other option is to leave here never saying one word of what you have heard here, and be stationed in one of two places. The choice is yours, what will it be?”

Jenkins looked at his partner with some trepidation. “Well, Mike, I don’t know about you, but I would rather spend the next twenty years in Anchorage, Alaska than being unemployed or in jail.”

Deputy Mike Stevens had been with the Marshals since the day he got out of the Marines fifteen years ago. Much like his partner Al Jenkins all he knew was how to be a Marshal. “You can take Anchorage, I’ll take Fairbanks. The fishing is better in that area.”

U.S. Marshal Dorothy Rose had heard more than enough to make up her mind. “Very well, deputies. If that is where you want to go, but I believe that you’ll have to wait for those assignments. Right now I need two seasoned deputies like you to replace Everbrite and Justice in Fugitive Recovery in the Walla Walla, Washington office. Do you find this acceptable?”

“Yes, ma’am!” they both said at the same time.

“Oh, and gentlemen, if you have any of the same ideas about minorities as your former boss, I suggest you leave them here. Because I can tell you both right now, this is your last chance. One more complaint of any type along the lines that Miss. Kirsten has made and you’ll wish I’d sent you to those two assignments. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yes ma’am, out and clear. Come on Al, let’s get out of here while we still have our badges.” Mike told his longtime partner. Both men left the office of the Toledo Supervisory Deputy Marshal and headed home to let their wives know about their transfers. As they were leaving two of the local deputies showed up and collected the former Chief Deputy. Once they had left the office with the man Dorothy sat down across from the teen that was at the center of all this controversy.

“Kirsten, I’m sorry you had to see that, but I was afraid that your father might have been a plant by the L.O.G. Party for a long time now.” Dorothy knew that telling Kristen this was not going to help the teen, but she or he had to know the truth. “His, own actions in this office and with you have worn this out. Unfortunately those actions have placed you in extreme danger.”

“What about Carol? Is she in danger? We might never have gotten along but she is still my step-mother, and I don’t want to see her get hurt just because of what I saw.”

Sam steps in at this point. She and Bobby need to know what the teen had seen and how she wanted to be addressed. “Excuse ma’am, but if I may, I would like to hear what Kristen saw. Also how does Kristen want to be treated as a boy or a girl?”

Kristen looked up at the teenage looking deputy marshal and smiled. In the last four and a half weeks she was the only one who actually asked what she had wanted. “I want to be called Kristen and treated like a girl, ma’am. As for what I saw it’s real simple. I had just left the crossover party at a friend of mines house on the south side of Columbus headed for home.”

“Just a moment Kristen, did you say this happened in Columbus, Ohio?”

“Um… yes ma’am, I thought you knew that?” the young girl was surprised that the deputy didn’t know this.

“Kristen, Deputies Justice and Everbrite have not yet been briefed on your case. So just continue with your story.” David told her.

“Oh… ok then, anyway, I was passing the Wright home when I saw two men pull him out of his house. While, I did like I was taught, and stopped were I could see what was going on but still be hidden from their sight. I watched as the two men forced Mr. Wright on to his knees with his hands behind his back. Since these men weren’t showing any kind of badges I called the local police. The next thing I know while I’m on the phone with the operator, I see them shoot Mr. Wright in the back of the head at point blank range. As I’m telling the police to hurry up and get there one of the men throws a bottle with a lit rug through the window of the house setting it on fire. I knew that Mr. Wright lived in our neighborhood; there are a lot of law enforcement and political flunkies who do. They say my old neighborhood has more Lobbyists in a half mile than anywhere else in the states. Before the local PD can show up the two killers got into a drake blue Chevy four door sedan and took off. As they passed where I was hiding I got their license plate number. By the time the police showed up some of my friend’s from the crossover party had already shown up to see the fire. When they started asking around about who had made the call to them all my friends gave them my girls name instead of my boys name. So even though I tried to correct them they kept calling me Kristen and using that name in the report. When they found out whom my father was they called him right then and there. While we were waiting for him to show up the local PD had found and caught the two men in the sedan. If I had known that identifying those two would get a contract put on my head, I would’ve just told the 911 operator about the shooting and then hung up, and not said a word to the cops.”

“I highly doubt that Kristen.” Sam told her with a smile.

“Oh and why do you say that, Deputy?” Kristen asked with some heat. “If I hadn’t stayed around and told the LOEs what I saw or identified those two men, my secret would still be mine and not out in the open. I won’t have to be hiding from my friends and people who would hurt them just to kill me. Why wouldn’t I want to go back in time and do things differently?”

Sam just smiled at the young girl. She could see so much of herself in this feisty kid. It was almost like looking back over time at her younger sister. The only differences between the two girls were their hair and eye color. Where her younger sister Jessica had hair so black people nicknamed her Sable, Kristen’s hair was a light brown with blond high lights. Jessica also had the family trade mark dark brown eyes, compared to Kristen’s emerald green. Other than Kristen really being a boy on the outside, it was almost like having her kid sister sitting in front of her.

“Kristen, honey, highly doubt that you would do that. You’re way too much of a fighter to run from scumbags, and lowlifes. That man may have been your father, but he was no daddy. Now tell what happened from the time you made you gave your report to the police officers and when you showed up here.” There was something that the girl was hiding and Sam had a good idea of what it was.

“After I identified the two gunmen my father told the CPD that he was taking me into protective custody. He then took me down town to the Federal Courthouse and stuck me with the two deputies that brought me here.” At that very empty report Sam knew that she had been abused by her father or someone else within the last four and a half weeks.

“Kristen, I can’t help you if I don’t know everything. Now what really happened in the last four weeks?”

The young girl looked Sam in the eyes. She could see that this woman really wanted to help her and didn’t hate her for wanting to be her true self. At seeing this true honesty in this woman’s eyes she started to shake at first, but when the female deputy pulled her into a hug the dam burst, and the tears started to fall. At first it was just a trickle, then a down pour, but finally they were out and out sobbing tears of release.

Four long weeks of humiliation had built up inside of her and it had nowhere to go. First it was at the hands of her father on the way home from the police station where she had given her report of the crime. Then there was the discovery of her secret stash by her step-mother and the beating delivered by the man who was supposed to be protecting her. The three weeks in a holding cell at the Columbus Federal Building with nothing but the clothes she had on at the party. The nightly rape sessions by her cellmate. Then having her father tell the two deputies that she was some tranny whore who wasn’t worth the trouble of protection as he had brought it all on himself. It all came pouring out as she cried into the shoulder of the young deputy.

It was little wonder Jenkins and Stevens had the attitude they did toward her. Sam knew how often the perceptions of her fellow deputies had been colored by their superiors. Jenkins and Stevens were most likely told by Masterson a whole lot worse lies about her. It’s very easy to twist the fact in a case to make them fit what you want to show the world. It is even easier to do that to those who don’t know the whole story. Of all the deputies in the US Marshals she knew this to be true more than anyone. As she heard of the abuse heaped on this child her own tears of memory wanted to fall, but they would have to wait until later to fall. Still holding the teenager in her arms she looked over at her big boss, U.S. Marshal Dorothy Rose. “Ma’am, I’ll take the assignment, even if Bobby wants to bow out.”

“Sorry, Sam, but you and that little girl are stuck with me. Besides no one else can put up with you and your PMS.” That very off colored joke by her partner was just the thing to get everyone to relax, and Kristen to calm down. Of course Sam couldn’t let him just get a dig in like that without a comeback of some kind.

“At least people only have to deal with me being a bitch for seven days of the month. What is your excuse for being an asshole year round?”

At Sam’s comeback Kristen started to giggle a little. This was a good sign in Sam’s book as the girl was starting to get herself under control again. Leaning back so she could look into Kristen’s eyes Sam could tell the girl wasn’t totally broken. Oh, sure she had been beaten down but she was getting back up. There was a will of iron in this girl that would not be denied.

It reminded Samantha of a time when in this very same office, very same building, twelve years ago another young teenage trans-girl sat here. She was also on the run from a pack of killers. The only difference between the two was the girl from twelve years ago was the only survivor of her family. Of the five member family that lived at 1125 White Sails Court, only the middle child had survived the massacre. It was this child that would lead the Toledo police and FBI to take down one of the most powerful crime families on the Great Lakes. There was a will of iron in that child as well.

It had been turned into a will of the finest steel by her years in the Witness Protection Program. It was that will that led her to graduate early from high school. It was that will that drove her to get a Master’s Degree in Criminal Law by age 21. It was that same will that made her apply to the one branch of government that she trusted to serve, the U.S. Marshals. She had defied the odds time, and time again. She excelled where others expected her to fail. She never retreated and never surrendered. She would tilt when she should yield.

And now she was back here where it all started twelve years ago. Thinking back to the deputies who at first protected her as a witness, and then taking her in as a younger sibling, when no one would take her in Sam came to a realization. She could do no less than her big ‘sister’ and ‘brother’. Looking over at Dorothy, Sam smiled a crooked smile. One that had not been seen by Dorothy in over twelve years, in fact the last time she had seen that smile was in this very same office. When Dorothy had approved this young deputy’s application she knew she was sending her little ‘sister’ into the fight. All she could say was.

“Ok, sis. What do you need and where do you want to do it?”

----------------------------------- To Be Continued ------------------------------

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