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.
“It has to be the hormones. They make them crazy.”
One hour and two pizzas later Kristine is fighting to keep her eyes open. Sam looks over at Bobby. “Hey big guy, you want to carry the munchkin to bed for us?”
Bobby looks at the half asleep teenager and smiles. “Looks like you were right. Less than a half hour and she’s three quarters out of it. Sure I got her, but when I come back we are going to have that talk.”
“Sure thing partner. Whatever you want.” Sam smiles as the big man picks up Kristine as if she weighed next to nothing. If Sam didn’t know that Bobby had three loving younger sisters and one younger brother she would be afraid of him. His massive size was a lot to just overlook. She had seen him scare the crap out whole rooms just by walking in. The fact that underneath his gruff exterior was the heart of a big teddy bear wasn’t a well-known fact.
Sam found herself thinking back to Bobby’s last girlfriend. The woman was an idiot for leaving him. If she had half a brain she would have stuck it out for another month. Bobby was getting ready to buy the ‘ring’. Bobby had already found out her ring size and knew what she would have wanted. Sam had even gone with Bobby to help pick it out. If there is one thing Sam would say about her partner it was that Bobby was generous to a fault.
Sam looked over as Bobby walked back into the main room. She noticed that he had a very concerned look on his face. Before she could ask him what was wrong he held up his hand. “Give me a minute Sam, please?”
“Hey, sure no rush partner. Just let me know when you’re ready to talk.” Sam could tell that something happened between him and Kristine while he was carrying her to bed. She watched as Bobby walked over to the mini-bar and pulled out one of the Jim Beam® bottles and downed it. Whatever had happened must have really hit him hard for him to need a drink like that. In all the years she has known Bobby there was only one other time Bobby did something like that. It was right after they arrested a serial rapist/murder pedophile that preyed on young prepubescent boys.
That had been a rough one for both of them. They had chased the nun sub across seven states and three time zones. When they finally caught the man he was wanted in all seven states on numerous charges and multiple counts of rape and murder. It took all of Sam’s restraint to keep from blowing a hole in the scum head and crotch. She was more than happy enough to lie on the official reports about how he got two broken legs. That time it was Sam covering for Bobby. If their bosses ever found out that she found Bobby in the process of trying to twist the man’s legs off they would both lose their badges.
“Sam, I want you to do me a favor.” Bobby asked once he was ready to talk again.
“Sure, Bobby, what do you need me to do?”
“Don’t ever leave me alone with that little girl’s father.” The dead quiet tone of Bobby’s voice and the way he was holding himself let Sam know he was pissed off. His next words let her know just how much. “Anyone who would hurt someone that innocent needs to have their balls ripped off by a hawg.”
For the third time that day Sam heard Bobby’s Deep South western drawl. If anything this was a greater indicator of the man’s anger toward the former CDM for Ohio. Sam learned a long time ago to listen for when Bobby’s accent came out. It was usually a good sign that someone was about to get hurt, and hurt bad. “Bobby are you in control sweetheart? You’re not going to run off and do something stupid are you?” Sam was really worried for her Friend.
“No I ain’t, Samantha. If’n I’s ha’ tat piece of shi’ ins’ fron’ o’ me rights’ now. I’d bees up on murdars’ charges.” Bobby stops and takes a few very deep breaths to try and calm himself down. When that doesn’t work he reaches back into the mini-bar and grabs another whiskey. After downing that second one Bobby starts to regain control of his anger.
“Sam, she was shaking in my arms as I carried her in there to bed. Oh she was asleep, but she knew that someone big was carrying her. The poor girl whimpered when I laid her on the bed. Sam, I want the head of the son-of-bitch who raped her, and that worthless fuck of a father.”
“Bobby, you really need to get a hold of your anger, here pal. You go running off to get some kind of revenge for that girl you’ll do more harm than good. Besides we up hold the law. We don’t take the law into our own hands. Now, before you go thinking I’ve gone soft just remember who you’re talking to. That asshole who raped her in jail, that so called father and whore of a mother, every last rotten piece of shit in the LOG, all of them will face the judge and jury. However for that to happen I need you to get your head in the game.”
Sighing Bobby looks over at Sam and then nods his head. “Sure, Sam, I hear ya’. We do this the right way. We take that flash drive of hers and ram it down the LOGs and CDMs collective throats. As for the jailhouse rapist I think I know someone in the Franklin County Jail system. As a matter of fact so do you.” at Sam’s blank look Bobby chuckles. “Are you telling me you forgot about our favorite scumbag ex-bicker gang member, Antwan Bates? The former President of the Iron Breeze outlaw MC and currently doing a 20 to 60 stretch.”
“Wait, little Tony, is doing time at FCJ?” Sam snaps out.
“He sure is. You know for a six foot elven, two hundred seventy five pound, piece of shit, meth dealing bicker he really ani’t that bad of a guy. At least when it comes to kids. Wonder what he would do if he accidently found out about our boy Frankie?” Bobby mused aloud. Sam had to give it to her partner on this one. Little Tony would turn Frankie boy’s ass into a parking lot, if not just kill him to be done with it. “Now, that I am calmed down, I do believe Samantha Elisabeth Justice, you were going to tell about why you hate this town.”
“Have a seat Bobby, and I’ll tell you the story of corruption, revenge, and redemption. How five of the finest Deputies of the US Marshals first protected then saved a fifteen year old transgender youth bent on revenge at all costs.” Sam waited for Bobby to take a seat on the other side of the room. Sam reached over and picked up her coke off the table and sat back in the couch.
“A little over twelve years there was a family that lived here in Toledo. The father of that family, while not a law a biding man, was still a loyal and honest man. The problem was he worked for a certain crime family. The DiFronzo Organization to be exact.” Bobby interrupted her when he heard this.
“Wait a minute weren’t they taken down by a kid coming forward after they killed the kid’s family?” this was a case that all law enforcement officers knew. Sam smiled at her partner and nodded her head yes. “Wasn’t that kid killed on the courthouse steps or some such?”
“Not quite, Bobby.” Sam said reaching down to pull her sweat shirt up. Once the back was level with her shoulders Sam turned around. Bobby let out a low whistle at seeing the full size of the scars on Sam’s back. He had gotten glimpses of it in the past, but he had never truly seen its size in all their time as partners. “The slug passed through my chest and exited out my back. I spent the next two weeks at the University of Cincinnati Hospital under the name of Ann Rice.”
“Wait that was you? I have always heard the kid died on the operating table.” Bobby told Sam in all honesty.
“Oh, Joseph a.k.a. ‘Joey’ Edwin Capizeo did die on that table twelve years ago, but Samantha Elisabeth Justice was born there as well.” Sam watched as this fact registered with Bobby before saying anything more. “There was a lot in that case that was never put into the official reports. The first of which was the fact that Marko Accardo, and Carmine DiFronzo were not killed by the mob but by a fifteen year old kid that night in a fit of anger over the deaths of his family. Bobby I shot and killed those two men with my father’s 357 magnum. I went after the entire DiFronzo crime family for what they did to my family. Those weren’t the only bodies on my hands. I also killed five other members of the DiFronzo organization. No one knows what I just told you. Not even the five deputies who were assigned to my protective detail.”
“What a minute here, just wait a minute. Sam, do you realize that you just confessed to killing a total of seven people? Do you realize that they could throw your ass under the prison for that as a serial murderer? What the hell were you thinking back then?” Bobby couldn’t believe what Sam was telling him. The first two she could claim as self-defense but the other five could get her the chair. He needed to know the rest of this story badly. “Alright, never mind that for now, but right now I need you to finish.”
“Sure Bobby, I figure you deserve to know whose secret you’re going to be guarding or revealing.” Sam closed her eyes, and for the second time this day let her mind travel back to twelve years ago. “It was around one thirty in the morning when I got home that night. I had slipped out earlier to go to the Turnaround Club downtown. I came home to find my father Marko dead from a bullet to the back of the head. Next to him was my mother draped over my two sisters, Lisa and Jessica both were in their nightgowns. All three shot dead in the same manner as papa. I heard the two men sent to kill us ran sacking the house. I knew who they were by the sounds of their voices. They had even had dinner with my family in the past. I knew my family’s killers as friends one was Marko ‘two fingers’ Accardo and the other was Carmine ‘Lefty’ DiFronzo.”
Once again Sam could feel her father’s gun in her hand. She can still smell the cordite of the burned gun powder, feel of the recoil, and sound of the shots that killed the two men. Her father may have been a member of the local mob, but there was no reason for those men to kill her mother and sisters. Her memories took her and the fear she felt at that time in her life started to come back. She has never told anyone about what she did then or the promise she made, as Joseph Capizeo, over the dead bodies of her family. That is until now.
“I made a promise Bobby to get revenge for my family. I made that promise over the dead bodies of my family. I swore I would either kill DiFronzo or tear down his organization. I left my father’s 357 with the bodies of my family. That night I packed some clothes into a backpack along with some money my folks had around the house and all the bullets I could find for my papa’s unregistered Gluck 40 caliber automatic. I didn’t want to get caught with his 357 as it would be traced back to the two dead mobsters in my family’s house. I used every contact I knew on the streets from papa’s work. No one would help me get my revenge. There were more than a few willing to turn me over to the Organization for the bounty on my head though. I found that out after someone I thought was a friend tried to do just that on the second day I had been on the run. I killed him and one of his partners that day. The local cops thought it was a drug deal gone bad, as that so called friend was a local dealer. Two million dollars, that’s what the local mob boss put on my head. Just because I killed his son after he killed my family.”
Sam’s words were filled with bitterness and harsh as ground glass. Sam had to stop for a few minutes or her memories would overwhelm her. She needed to remain in control or she would never get through this. She knew she was placing her career and freedom in Bobby’s hands, but she needed to do this. She was willing to tell him the edited version of her story earlier today. However the situation has changed. She needed to tell Bobby everything so he could help her with keeping Kristine from going down a path she barely escaped herself.
“It took me two and a half days of dodging every two bit thug, crack-head, drug addict, and three more bodies before I finally went to the cops. The last three were all low level members of the DiFronzo organization looking to collect on the bounty and move up. From what I understand, as far as the locals are concerned, they were either random muggings gone badly or someone looking to make a move on DiFronzo’s territory. Back then the locals weren’t too upset over the deaths of a current part of the criminal element. From what I learned later they were only upset over my family’s deaths because of my mama and sisters.” Sam just sat there shaking her head at the attitudes of the police back then.
“As much as I wanted revenge for the deaths of my family I realized that I couldn’t get close enough to kill DiFronzo himself. It took me two and a half days of hiding in back allies, and abandoned warehouses, to figure out that I was in over my head. It was the last run in with one of DiFronzo’s thugs that drove that point home for me. If I had been one second slower or he two seconds faster I wouldn’t be here and he would be two million dollars richer. That night I threw my father’s gun off the Luna Pier, and worked my way down to the Federal Court House and the US Marshals office. That was three days after DiFronzo had my family murdered.” By this time Sam was shaking from the memories of that time. Looking over at Bobby she could tell he was thinking over what she just told him.
“The moment I walked into the Marshals office downtown I knew I had made the right choice. At first I didn’t know what was going to happen, but the moment I told a certain deputy who I was and what I had everything changed. It seems that the FBI and a few other members of the alphabets wanted to talk to me. God damn it, if it hadn’t been for Dorothy I don’t know what I would have done. The worst of the bunch was the Federal Prosecuting DA with the Justice Department. There were days that I wished I had kept my father’s gun, just so I could have shot that fucker. I came out of his office on more than one occasion in tears of frustration. I would go over and over something I had told him the day before not changing anything, and the bastard would still question everything six, seven, even eight different times.”
The more Sam talked about that time the more she wished she could just forget about it all. However she couldn’t, something deep inside of her was pushing her to get it all out. For too long she had kept this all buried deep down never letting anyone get too close to finding out her secret. She had kept it even from the only man she has trusted in over ten years. He was here now and it was time to get it off her chest. If Bobby decided to turn her into IA then so be it, at least he’ll know what Kristen is going, and about to go through. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll become the ‘big brother’ that Kristine will need. Just like Dorothy had become a ‘big sister’ to her back then.
“Dorothy must have held me as I cried almost every day when I had to deal with that man. If it hadn’t been for her I would most likely have killed myself after I finally handed over the keys to my father’s safety deposit box at the local 5th/3rd bank and the location and combo for his safe in the house. Even between everything in the box, safe, and what I had already told the DA the man still wanted more.” Sam sighed at this point; she was shaking with the strain of telling Bobby about this time in her life. “This entire time I had kept my girl self under wraps. No matter how bad I wanted or needed too I didn’t let her out. I just couldn’t do it. It wasn’t like I was trying to keep her in the closet, it was just that I was never alone to be able to. When they told me that I would be going into the WP Program I just knew that I would spend the rest of my life as Joseph. That night when we got back to the safe house I tried to kill myself. I figured if I had to spend the rest of my life as a boy I would rather be with my family.”
“What did you do Sam?” Bobby asked her quietly. Bobby could tell this was tearing at her soul and didn’t want to tell him. His respect for her high as it already was went up another notch.
“They had me seeing a court appointed shrink who had prescribed me Valium to keep me calm and my emotions under control. The deputies kept them under lock and key. Not that it did them any good. I had learned how to pick locks when I was seven. I waited until late that night when only one of them would be on duty and the rest would be asleep. I took about twenty of them and tried to overdose while everyone else was sleeping. Where I screwed up was not making sure that Dorothy wasn’t the one due to be on duty that night. She had a habit of checking on me while I slept. When she didn’t see me in my bed she checked the bathroom and found me. She forced me to throw everything up and then dragged my ass to the nearest hospital.”
“Sam, I have to know is this Dorothy you keep talking about Dorothy Rose our current US Marshal and boss?”
“She is one in the same Bobby. Twelve years ago she and David Earp were assigned to be part of my protection detail. There were three other deputies on that duty because of who was trying to kill me. James Williams, Thomas Gates, and William Hickok were all members of my protection detail. One of the reasons for this was that not only was the evidence I turned over going to take down the DiFronzo family, but the Gaetano, Capulet, and Montague families as well. What I didn’t know was that my father was the accountant for the entire Great Lakes Organization. I think if I had known what I was getting myself into I would have just kept running, Bobby.”
“So what happened after you got to the hospital?” Bobby asked her. He was truly amazed at the strength of this petite woman had even back then. If he had been going through what she had he would have killed himself long before this point.
“When I woke up two days later I found myself strapped to a hospital bed and facing a very disappointed deputy marshal Dorothy Rose. As bad as she is now Bobby doesn’t hold a candle to what she was like back then. Dorothy, just sat there with this look on her face made me wish I had succeeded. Dorothy, didn’t say a word to me for the next day no matter unless she had to. When the hospital shrink came in to interview me I fed him a line of bullshit for why I tried to commit suicide. Dorothy, was there the entire time, she only stepped out the door to my room. When the hospital finally released me the next day, Dorothy waited until we got back to the hotel to ask me what my real reason was for trying suicide. That woman never bought the bullshit I had sold to the shrink.” Sam started to giggle as she thought about how Dorothy confronted her over her attempted suicide.
“Ok, partner what’s so funny?”
“I was just remembering how Dorothy laid into me over my stupidity. ‘Just what the fuck were you thinking you stupid ass whop? You go through all that hell just to let the fuckers win by offing yourself? Have you lost your god damned mind? Pull your head out of your ass and talk to one of us. That’s what we’re here for, you ignorant shit!’ I swear the more she yelled at me the madder I got. Before I know what I was doing I smacked her a good one. Then screamed at the top of my lungs ‘You have no fucking idea what I am going through. At least you’re not stuck with a body you fucking hate.’ I don’t know who was more shocked her or me.”
“I can just see it now. Here is Dorothy Rose all filled with righteous zeal and you pissed off at the fucking world. God I would have paid good money to see that. So that’s how Dorothy found out about you being, what did you call it, transgrinder?” Bobby said chuckling.
“That’s transgendered you big lummox, but yeah that was how Dorothy found out about me. We spent the next three hours locked in my room at the safe house just talking. I told her about my sneaking out to the Turnaround club, and how it saved my life that night. I told her how I first started to dress in private, the first time I went out dressed as a girl and how scared I was, I told her everything. Told her how I would make drops for my dad and never getting caught.”
“How did you do that? I mean I hate to say this Sam but if I saw a five foot nothing teenage boy making a delivery to a known mob guy I would be making a note of it.” Bobby really wanted to know how she did it.
“You and I both know that nobody pays attention to a petite teenage girl. Especially the flat chested, straight as a board, no hips tomboys. They just aren’t considered as a possible threat or reliable resource. I would just walk right by whatever surveillance crew who was working the drop point. Hell one time I even delivered a drop right in front of David and Dorothy.” She giggled.
Bobby just sat there for a minute then busted out laughing. Sam was right on all counts no one would give her a second look as a teenage girl like she described. It was the perfect cover. Then he realized that her family had known about her dressing, but he had to know for sure. “So your family knew about you?”
“Yep, sure did. To tell you the truth it was my mama’s idea to disguise me as a girl for when I did the money drops. The first time I did it I was scared half out of my mind. Not just because I was carrying twenty thousand in cash, but I was going outside for the first time as a girl and my papa knew about me. As much as I tried to hide my dressing from my family mama had found out somehow. Anyway, after that night Dorothy would do little things to try and make my time until the trial as easy as possible. First it was a nightgown and pair of panties. Then some gender neutral clothes like girls’ slacks and sweater. She even got me some leggings and pullover sweat shirt with the UC Bearcats logo on them. Bobby, I have to tell you that Dorothy saved my life in one more ways than one. She actually understood where I was coming from. After a while the other deputies started to ask questions, especially David, who was the in charge of the detail.”
“Wait a minute, you mean to tell me that Dorothy Rose used to be under David Earp?” Bobby asked in total surprise.
“Yup, she sure was. Back then she had a problem with her temper.”
“Sounds like someone else I know.” Commented Bobby only to have her stick her tongue out at him.
“As I was saying David, James, Tom, and Bill started to ask some very uncomfortable question. Thankfully Dorothy sat them down and explained what was going on. After that day they all quit treating me like another snot nosed trouble maker and more like a kid sister. They even started to call me by my girl name Stephaney around the safe house. Those five deputies became like a second family to me. Everything was going great, until four days before the trial. Someone from the Justice Department leaked the location of the safe house. James Williams, and Thomas Gates both died in the shootout at the safe house. The Great Lakes Organization sent seven men to kill me and all the deputies that night. After that we were in a different hotel or motel until the end of the trial.” Sam sat forward in her seat dropping her feet on the floor. She placed her hands between her knees and looked down at them.
“I watched as those two good men gave their lives protecting me. I made a promise that one day I would make it up to them both. I almost didn’t get the chance as on the last day I was needed in the courtroom I was shot in the right side of my chest by a high powered rifle. It almost killed me, not that it would have any effect on the trial by then. The DA for the Justice Department had so much evidence against the Great Lakes mob, that along with my testimony they were all going down for a very long time. Me being shot was just a revenge thing. A lesson to anyone else who would snitch or turn States Evidence.”
“So that is why everyone believes that Joseph Capizeo died that day. Marshal Rose and David Earp let everyone think you died on that operating table. Why didn’t you go on using the Stephaney name after? I mean here you were with a clean slate and you could have pick up that name for the rest of your life.” This had been bugging Bobby ever sense she first mention the name Stephaney.
“Bobby what is the first rule of Wit-Sac?”
“All formerly known names and allies are wiped clean. This way nobody has a starting point for finding a high profile witness.” Bobby was blushing as he realized that Sam had used the name of Stephaney whenever she went out. It was a rookie mistake on his part for not realizing it.
“You know something Bobby there are nights when I can still feel that slug burning its way through my chest. If I hadn’t listened to Dorothy I would probably be dead right now. They say our vests will stop hand gun rounds and most rifle rounds. I can testify that they don’t stop seven point six two millimeter, full metal, jacketed, armor piercing rounds. That fucker went through the Kevlar cover, trauma plate, my chest, and out my back to stop in the back of my vest. The vest may not have stopped the bullet, but it slowed it down enough to keep it from killing me outright. Bill Hickok covered me while I lay on the ground and took the next two rounds that were meant for me. He died on the way to the trauma center in the ambulance behind mine. Bobby, it took three deputies dying and me almost dying to understand that I had a second chance at life.” Sam sat back and pulled her legs up so she could wrap her arms around them and rested her head on her knees. For the first time in a long time Sam could talk about that fait fateful day. And it was taking all of her strength to keep from shaking or having an emotional breakdown.
“David told me that I actually did die on the table once, but as you can see they brought me back. Personally I have always maintained that heaven didn’t want me and hell was afraid I would take over so they sent me back. When I woke up this time I was surprised that I was not only, not handcuffed to the bed, but to even be alive. After my last trip to a hospital I figured I wasn't going to be leaving the next one I was in, and in a way Joseph Capizeo didn’t leave the hospital and neither did Stephaney. As far as the world was concerned they died in the operating room.”
Bobby whistled at hearing this and shook his head. “Damn, Sam you either have more lives than a cat or you have more luck than any fair god would allow.”
“Brother you have no idea of just how lucky I was that day. When the docs told me that if the bullet had been just one millimeter to the left I would be dead, I damned near shit myself. As I said I spent the next two weeks at the University of Cincinnati Hospital under the name of Ann Rice. I spent that time with Dorothy and David working up the background for who I would become. It was kind of fun really.” Sam got a sad smile on her face as she thought about that time in her life.
“They let me pick out my new name, who my family was, where I came from, the whole nine yards. I wanted to do something to honor the men who died protecting but seeing as how I was getting my dream of being a girl I a few problems coming up with a name. That is until Dorothy handed me the files on Bill, Jimmy, Tom, and their families. I spent the next four days poring over those men’s files. I wanted, no I had to know everything I could about them. I figured that I owed them more than I could ever repay and I wanted a name to remind me of that debt every day.”
It was as if a whole new person was taking the place of his partner, but not for Bobby. This was a side of Sam that he would never have expected to see in a thousand life times. He had always known that she was a private person and she had her reasons. The fact that she was once in the Witness Protection Program was not one he would have expected. Over the past six years Bobby had heard her whimpering in her sleep from the nightmares. He always knew that there was something driving her to be the best, but he never suspected it was this.
“To honor Tom I took the name of his baby sister Samantha who is a children’s doctor in Los Angeles. I got the name Elisabeth from James’ file. His mother and grandmother were named Elisabeth so I felt that I could honor him by using their name for my middle name. That was the best I could do for them.” Sam’s voice had taken on a melancholy tone to it. Bobby could hear a note of fondness there as well.
“I was having problems finding a way to honor William Hickok. I didn’t know it at the time but he was an orphan with no siblings or family to speak of. That is until I read Bill’s entrance essay for entering the Marshal service. It was because of that essay that I took the last name of Justice. As that was why he joined the service. He wanted to find justice for all those kids who were orphaned or lost parents to the senseless of violent crimes. He was a real crusader for justice. The more I read about William Hickok the more I wanted to be like him, Tom, and James. That’s the reason why I push myself so hard Bobby. No matter what I do I can’t ever dishonor those men.” When Sam finished she got up off the couch and stretched.
After a few seconds she walked over to her purse and pulled out her pack of Winston® cigarettes she kept for times when she needed something to take her mind off things. Taking one out she lit up and took a deep drag off it. Sam looked out the room’s window in the dark night to watch a plain pass overhead heading to the airport just down the road. Being out here by the airport had a lot of advantages as far as security goes. Wide open fields of view, more than two exits on to main roads, it had a back way out if needed, in short it was the prefect short term safe house.
“Tell me something Sam. I know a little bit about Wit-Sac and what they’ll do to keep their Witnesses safe and healthy. How did they justify your transition? Who did they get to be your guardian? And lastly what kind of cover story did you use to explain your living with them? I assume they assigned you a deputy with Wit-Sac to be your handler, right?” Bobby was more than a little curious about his partners past and let his excitement show. Besides now that he had a chance to ask her about it he was going to learn as much as he could. He may not ever say it to her, but he fell in love with Samantha Justice five years ago. He would never take advantage of their partnership to push for a sexual or more relationship with her.
Sam had to laugh at her partner. Of all the things she thought he would want to know about her that wasn’t it. She thought he would want to know more about her killing those seven men, or how she hid from the mob for those three days. Maybe even where and who helped her to hide? No, he wanted to know about her time in the Program and how it helped become the woman she is today.
“Ok, calm down there big guy. The Wit-Sac program justified my transition as a medical necessity. Dorothy filled out all the paperwork for extended medical care under a psychological care and hormonal imbalance. Believe me when I say it is all just a matter of wording in the paper work. Why with the right wording I could get us a Lambo or Lotus to use for a cover or surveillance.”
“Are you kidding me?” Bobby asked her with a look of disbelief on his face. “If you can do that, then why the fuck are we driving that POS SUV out there?”
“Budget cuts.” Sam tells him with a smile. That was fast becoming the catch phrase for the entire Service. “As for who they got to be my guardian, well they assigned the deputy who was my handler to be my guardian. One Dorothy Rose, Inspector for the Toledo Office at the time. The reason for this was simple. It was easier to explain why two women living together as sisters, than a brother and sister. Too many people look at something like that as an older man with an underage girl for a mistress or worse. Besides that Dorothy was able to help me with my transition. Does that answer your questions?”
Bobby could tell that Sam was truly smiling again over her memories. He watched as she put out her cigarette and then lit another one. For some strange reason this simple act always stirred something deep inside of him. More than once he found himself having to make adjustments down stairs to prevent an embarrassing situation. When you add in the fact that for him she was the perfect example of femininity, he often found himself thinking non-brotherly thoughts.
“So tell me how you got yourself into the Marshals. I mean don’t they keep track of everyone in the Program?”
“That my good friend was easier that you would believe. After I graduated high school at the tender age 17, I completed my transition and had my final surgery. I applied to and attended University of Cincinnati after high school. I graduated four years later at 21 with Master’s Degree in Criminal Law. That’s what made joining the US Marshalls after college easy for me.” Sam had a whimsical look on her face as she thought about when Dorothy found. She always giggled when she thought about that day.
“It did take a little arm twisting, whining, and outright begging on my part to my big sister to get her to sign off on my application though. I thought Dorothy was going to blow her top when she found out; man was she pissed at me. I can still hear her yelling at me for going behind her back to join the Service. She was pissed and hurt because I had officially left the Protection Program. Before you ask the only way I was able to join the Service was by officially leaving the Wit-Sec program. Not that it mattered I was going to be a Deputy if it was the last thing I ever did.” Bobby could see the pride and determination that has become her trademarks shining threw at her accomplishments.
“I felt I owed it to Dorothy, David, Jim, Bill, and Tom. At least that was the way it started out for me, but then I got assigned to cold case I felt like I had let them down. Then I met you on that cold case and it all changed. Yeah, I know I had solved a few others before then, but they were all just numbered, faceless files until then. You come walking into my office with a fifteen year cold case file for the murder of a ten year old boy in Texas that I realized I was actually making a difference. When we finally arrested that man I truly felt like a Deputy US Marshal. After that day I realized what Jim, Bill, and Tom had given their lives for. So there you go Bobby the sad story and secret I have been hiding from you for the past six years. What are you going to do? The way I see it you have three options.”
“What do you mean Sam?”
“Option number one, you turn me over to IA for confessing to the murder of five as to now unsolved cases and turning Kristine over to someone else for protection. Option number two, wait until this assignment is over and we have passed off Kristine to her full time handler, and then turn me into IA. Or option number three, to forget or keep my secret, and continue to be my partner or request a new one. I’ll step out for a while and let you think it over.” Sam slipped her shoulder holster on underneath her sweatshirt, grabbed her keys and wallet putting them into a fanny pack heading for the door.
“Sam, before you go, answer me this one question.”
“Sure Bobby, what do you want to know?”
“Those men you killed back then. Do they have records?”
“Every last one of them, Bobby. You can look them up in the database or by the case files covering their deaths. I’ll write them down for you.” Sam picked up a pad and pen, and began writing down the names for the men along with case file numbers. After handing the list to Bobby she headed for the door. “You can use my laptop the files are already on them. They’re in my documents folder under the name Remember.” With that said Sam stepped out the door and headed out for a walk in the night air.
Bobby watched as she walked out the door and closed it behind her. there was something about the way she carried herself that told him she had really left her fate to him to decide her future. He saw her light up another cigarette through window of the hotel room. It was her third in the last hour. The fact that Sam was damn near chain smoking told Bobby she was worried about what he was going to do. Something he didn’t even know yet. Reaching over and opening her laptop he found it was password protected and he didn’t know her password. That is until he remembered what she said earlier about the first time she felt like a real deputy. A few quick taps of the keys and he was in. Case number 4137b the very first time they had worked together. No one would ever figure out her password unless they really knew Sam.
After a few clicks of the mouse pad Bobby found the file Sam told him about. He wasn’t surprised to find that it too was password protected. Setting back and thinking about his partner Bobby figured out her password after a few moments. Everything she did was to honor the lives and memory of those three men. The password was so simple that no one would think to use it but Sam. After typing in Honor the fallen the file opened up. There were fifteen sub-files under the main file. Each one had a different name and case file number beside it, with the exception of five that all had the name of Capizeo.
The first seven all had the same case number. The next two also had the same case number. Beside each of them was an indicator saying solved. The rest all had a separate name and case number with an unsolved indicator beside them. Bobby opened all six of them. The first five were all involving the deaths of some real douchebags. They had records for everything from drug dealing to outright murder and rape. People who that the world was better off without. It was the last file that changed Bobby’s mind. It was for the death of one William Hickok, US Deputy Marshal. It was a cold case in more ways than one, so cold in fact that it was frozen solid in a glacier. Bobby could tell that Sam was still looking for the man who killed her friend and almost her all those years ago.
It took Bobby the better part of two hours to read through everything in those files. The more he read the more he realized he would do everything to protect Sam’s secret. Sure she had killed seven men over the three day period she had been on the run, but each and every one of them could be justified as self-defense. Hell he would have done the same thing if he had been in her position. He had made up his mind after seeing the last file. He looked up as the room door opened. He had his hand on his pistol as the door opened. He didn’t move his hand away until he saw it was Sam returning. He waited for her to say something first.
“So, Bobby, have you made up your mind on what you’re going to do yet?”
“The way I see it Samantha Elisabeth Justice I only have one option here.”
“And that is Robert Michael Everbrite?”
“I hope you like being a big sister to the munchkin in there, because if I have my way, you will be getting assigned as her handler.”
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