Embracing Justice -chp 7

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.

“Father, I would like to go home now. May I have my keys back now?”

Chapter 7

As Sam, Bobby and Kristine walk back upstairs Kristine stops Bobby half way up. “Bobby, why does Sam look as if she is facing a firing squad?”

“You know something munchkin. I would like to know the answer to that question myself. That and what is this stuff about getting her keys back from the Monsignor? Right now I would give my left nut to figure out what is going on with our favorite hellion.”

“Well, we better keep up or we’ll never find out.” Kristine hurried to catch up with Sam and the Monsignor with Bobby not far behind. Monsignor Gilmore lead them out into the main sanctuary and over to the alcove that held the statue of Saint Jadwiga of Poland. Once there he steps over to the side of the statue and reached behind it, to pull out a set of keys. Turning to Sam the Monsignor handed her the keys with a sad smile on his face.

“Samantha, I have held these keys for a long time now, hoping for the day you would find your way home. I never thought the day would come during my time on this earth or that you would become so beautiful during the time you were gone. The house is no longer isolated as it once was. You will find that there is a real community surrounding that old house now, you’ll have neighbors. Also there is no one there who would remember you from the past. After what happened there no one wanted to live in the neighborhood. They all sold out and moved away.”

“So you’re telling me that it will be perfect to hide out here for a while?”

“No Sam, I am telling you that you can finally go home.” With that the Monsignor walked away, leaving Sam to think about what he had said.

For eleven years now Sam had wanted to go home, but knew, just knew, that it was impossible. When she first saw that her old home was up for sale in the real-estate listings Sam wanted to buy it. She thought that it would have been way too dangerous for her to do this as she didn’t want to run into anyone from her past; that and the memories that owning that house would bring back. Looking over at Kristine and Bobby she motion with her head.

“Come on you two, I want to get out of here before the old man smacks me with something to do for a penance.” Sam started for the backdoor and the rectory parking lot. At no time did she slowdown in fact Bobby and Kristine had to almost run to catch up with her. “Bobby, give me the keys to the SUV. I am driving. Before you ask it is only because I know my way around and we’ll need to get where we’ll holdup without drawing too much attention.”

“Sure Sam, whatever you want.” Bobby was a little unnerved over the way his longtime partner was acting. As he handed over the keys to the SUV. “Sam are you ok?”

“Yah, I’m fine, Bobby. This is just something that I don’t want to do right now, but we need someplace off the grid and this place is perfect. No one in the service knows about this place except for Dorothy, David and me. Don’t worry though partner, we’ll be able to get on line and everything else we’ll need to do. The house was wired for sight, sound, and internet when it was built. Now, let’s get going.” Taking the keys Sam headed for the SUV.

Once they were in the big vehicle Sam started up the engine and headed for a place she had not seen in twelve years. As they wound their way through the streets of Toledo Sam placed places she had been avoiding for the past few weeks. Her old high school, the pizza place that used to deliver to her old home, all of her old hang outs as a child and teenager. Everywhere she looked Sam saw the ghost of her past.

“Um… Sam do you know which way you’re going?” Kristine asked from the backseat.

“Trust me Kristine I know where I’m going. I would know my way home blindfolded and on a moonless night. Just up ahead in about three blocks there will be a Slut Way on the right. After that there will be one of those stupid strip malls with a dojo where I took my first lessons, right next to the ballet dance studio where Madam Lee sail taught my sisters and me on the side, to dance ballet.” Sam began to name off the local land marks for the other two as she passed them on the street. There were a few that really upset her, places that held memories that were too painful for her to bring out into the world.

As they rounded a corner Sam pulled into a local gas station before going any further. Bobby could tell that something was bugging Sam hard. He reached over and placed his hand on her shoulder before saying anything.

“Sam, you going to be ok? Is there something wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong Bobby, just having to stop for a minute to get my head on straight. Besides, we need to make a call before we get to the old home. I am pretty sure there is a payphone on the inside we can use. Wait here and I’ll be right back.” Sam climbed out of the car and went inside.

“Bobby, why is Sam using a payphone instead of her cellphone?” Kristine asked from the backseat where she sat.

“That Kristine is a question I wish you hadn’t asked. If I am right Sam thinks our phones maybe tapped. That’s the reason we turned them off before leaving the church. As for whom she is going in there to call I would say that she is calling our bosses.”

“Ok, I can see her checking in, but why is she being all secret squirrel about everything?”

“Kristine, honey, just like you Sam had a price on her head. I read the file on her from when she was in Wit-Sac. The mob family she helped take down placed a two million dollar bounty on her head. So trust me she knows what she is doing. I have a feeling that she is going in there to let the bosses know where we’ll be laying low.”

Meanwhile inside the gas station……

Sam went straight to the old payphone that she knew was there. Old man Philips had it put in for the local kids to have somewhere to call home from. He refused to let the phone company take it out as this payphone had been a part of the station for as long as it had been on this corner. Every kid for twenty blocks knew where they could come here and call home for free, even the street kids and homeless ones could come in here and use it.

Sam dialed the number for her big sister first, and got through on the first try.

“Marshal Rose.”

“Dorothy, it’s me Sam.”

“Where in the name of all the Hells are you three?! Why did you abandon the hotel?!”

“Dorothy, shut up!” Sam was already tired of being questioned. “Listen up, sis. We got rats in the woodwork. Half the Columbus field office is dirty. I have a feeling that the Toledo office also had rats as well.”

“Sammy, do you have any proof on the Columbus office?”

“You haven’t called me that in a long time, sissy. As for proof I have more than just that. Look I need you to meet me, Bobby, and Kristine at the old house.”

“Sure thing Sammy. By the way how are you getting in? The last I heard the bank took control of your old place ten years ago.”

“Don’t worry about that, just meet me there.”

“Ok, Sam. Do you want me to bring David as well?”

“That might be a good idea, Dorothy. I have a feeling that Dave has a major rat problem.”

“Why do you say that Sam?”

“Because when we woke up this morning we had alphabet flees. Don’t worry we ditched them back at the hotel.”

“Ok, Sammy, we’ll be there at your old place in …… two hours. If you have flees like you say you do, do you want me to bring you some backup?”

“Only if you know them, and trust them, sis. You’ll find out why when you get there. Also this detail got a shit ton more deadly than what you thought. I don’t think you and David knew how much trouble Kristine is really in. Believe me, none of us really did. Look just meet me at the old house, and I’ll explain everything.”

“Fine. See you in a few hours. Goodbye.”

Sam hung up the phone and headed for the coffee counter. Before she left the store she stopped and got herself and the others large cups of coffee. She fixed hers and Bobby’s the way they like them and grabs cream and sugar for Kristine. After she paid for the coffees she head outside to the SUV. She handed the coffees to Bobby before climbing back in the driver’s seat. It only took them another ten minutes to reach the neighborhood where Sam’s childhood home was.

When they reached the main entrance to the neighborhood, they were stopped by a security guard at the gates asking to show some id and who they were there to see. After telling him they were there to look at her old house the guard just gives her a funny look then waved them on through. As Sam pulled through the gates to the entrance of Spring Valley Estates Sam mumbled. “These damned things would have been nice to have twelve years ago.”

“What did you say Sam?” Bobby asked her.

“Nothing Bobby, just nothing. I was only commenting on the gates. They weren’t here twelve years ago. I just hope they close the damned things at night and are not just ornamental.”

“Oh man I have heard about this place.” Kristine was getting excited in the backseat. “This place is one of the richest neighborhoods in all of Ohio. They say that at least twenty seven of the top fifty richest families have homes in here. I saw one of those Life Styles of the Rich and Fabulous shows last year, and they talked all about this place. Man, Sam you didn’t say you had a house in this neighborhood. Are you rich or something?”

“Hate to bust your bubble kiddo, but twelve years ago none of this was here. Those gates we passed through weren’t even on the drawing board when I lived here. Hell, I haven’t seen one street so far that was here back then. Everything you see right now is all new to me. Twelve years ago this place only had the four streets and only five houses in it. Ours was the only one on the whole street.” Sam was telling the both of them the truth. In fact there was nothing that reminded her of her time here.

“What do mean? Are you telling me that your family had this whole area to themselves?” Bobby asked Sam in wonder.

“Yup, that is exactly what I am saying. Seventeen years ago there were four houses in this whole subdivision. The one I lived in, Mr. and Mrs. Klinger’s over on Light House Circular, the Callaghan’s on High Seas Drive, and the model house that was just inside where the gates are now. All these new streets were nothing more than dirt trails back then.”
Sam slowed down as she was talking when she came to the intersection of Edmond Fitzgerald Parkway and White Sails court.

“Um… Sam if the neighborhood is called Spring Valley, why do all of the street names have a nautical theme to them?”

Bobby really wanted to know the answer to this one. Sam started to giggle at Bobby’s question. The fact that the names of the streets didn’t match the sub-divisions name was one of the reasons no one really wanted to buy in here back in the day.

“That is simple, Bobby. Back when they first broke ground here they were going to call the area the Seven Seas Estates. There was only one problem, on the other side of the city there was already a Seven Seas Estates. So to avoid confusing people they merely changed the name for the neighborhood, but didn’t change the name of the streets. I remember when they went to the local elementary school and held a contest to find the names for the streets in here. Some of those names should have never been consider, but they were used. Like the one we’re about to pass.” Sam just pointed out the windshield at the upcoming street sign.

When Bobby and Kristine saw the name on the sign they both started to laugh. Kristine could tell that the name had been the idea of a kinder-gardener. Only a five or six year old would ever think to name a street Bikini Bottom Sound. As they drove along White Sails court looking at the other street names they all had a good laugh at the names that were used. Everything was going fine until they came to the end of the street and found a cul de sac with only one driveway there. On each side of the driveway was a four foot concrete wall with wrought iron fencing on top taking the wall to the height of eight feet. The address on the mailbox said it was the right place, but the house did not fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. Unlike the two and three story Tudor and Victorian homes that were everywhere else, this one looked more like a miniature Fort Knox. The gates across the driveway only reinforced this idea.

“Damn, Sam where in the hell did your folks get the kind of money to build this place? It looks more like a fortress than a house.” Bobby pointed out the most obvious feature of the house next. “Are those gun ports in the walls?”

“Um… Sam is this place safe?” Kristine whimpered from the backseat.

“Kiddo, the only place you would be safer is in your mama’s arms. That house was designed and built by some of the biggest mobsters in the Midwest. Trust me when I say that house is exactly what it appears to be. A fort disguised as a house. Bobby I’m going to need you to get out and open the gate manually. There is an over-ride in the control box on the other side of the fence. Don’t worry; the power is off to the fence, so you won’t get shocked.”

“What?! You mean that wrought iron fencing is electrified? What the hell did your dad do for a living Sam?” Kristine asked in shock from her seat.

“I told you Kristine, when it comes to what you’re going through I understand it better than anyone else.” Sam replied. Bobby just looked at his partner and chuckled as he climbed out of the SUV.

Sam and Kristine watched as the big man walked up to the fence and climbed over the fence. Sam as the gate started to open she saw a stray dog dart out from the side of the yard. When she saw this Sam remembered the side gate entrance. When Sam started to giggle at this Kristine wondered what was so funny.

“Sam what are you giggling about?”

“I forgot about the side gate.” Was all Sam said before Kristine looked at her and started to laugh herself.

“You mean that Bobby didn’t have to climb the fence?” Sam just nodded her head. “That is so mean. You going to tell him about or not?”

“Nope. This is just payback for some of the shit my partner has put me though.” While the two girls were talking Bobby had gotten the gate open enough for Sam to pull through. Sam drove the big SUV straight up to the house leaving Bobby to walk up the long driveway after he finished opening the gate all the way. Once she stopped in front of the house Sam shutdown the engine and turned to Kristine. “OK, kiddo, the same rules apply here as they did at the hotel. Now get your skinny ass out of the seat and help me unload the truck.”

“Ok, Sam. I understand the rules, but if I have to run do I still go to that church?”

“That was good of you to ask that Kristine. The answer is yes, if we tell you to run go back to the church. I’ll give you a few more bolt holes later. Now come on, we have work to do. I want us unloaded before Marshal Rose gets here with our backup.”

Sam and Kristine both got to work on unloading the back end of the big SUV. They had just gotten the luggage out when Bobby walked up to meet them. The look on his face said more than his words. His was pissed. “Damn it Sam. You could have waited for me at the gate. You didn’t have to drive off like that. Do you know how freckling long that driveway is? It has to be at least two hundred feet long.”

“In actuality its two hundred and ninety seven feet long, Bobby.” Sam said with a grin.

“A football field! I just walked up a football field long driveway! Samantha Justice you are an evil woman you know that, just plain evil.”

“Oh quit your bitching Bobby. The exercise did you some good.”

“Exercise did me some good, she says. Just what do you mean by that crack Sam?”

“Well, you are getting a little of the old ‘swivel chair spread’ there partner. I would suggest you lay off the Homers for a while.” The more Sam talked about the impossible widening of Bobby’s waist line the more she got into it. “What I would like to know is how you’re able to still get into your vest with that gut you’ve gotten?”

“I hate to say this Deputy Everbrite, but Sam is right. You do look like you could lose a few pounds.” Even Kristine got into the act.

“ALRIGHT YOU TWO! I will have you know that I weigh in at a perfect two forty five. There is not one once of extra fat on me anywhere!” at Bobby’s outburst both girls started laughing. It was their laughter that got Bobby really going in his fake anger. Looking up at the sky Bobby called out. “What did I ever do to piss you off God? Can you please answer me God?”

Kristine seeing a chance to get in a dig at the big man went for it. “I would say that you’re like a hemorrhoid that he can’t get rid of Bobby.”

Bobby’s head whipped around to look at Kristine. “Not you too, short round?”

“I got to stick up for my big sister don’t I?” Kristine smile sweetly up at Bobby.

“Stick up for Sam. Sam doesn’t need any help here short round, not in the department of harassing me she doesn’t.” the big man growled. “If there is one thing that she doesn’t need help with it’s that. Now come on let’s get this stuff into the house. Sam you want to get the door open?”

The two girls just giggled at the big man. Sam knew that Bobby may be a teddy bear around her and Kristine, but you let anyone threaten her and they would be in for a world of hurt. And with the way he was acting around Kristine, Sam was pretty sure that Bobby was starting to look on her as a kid sister.

Taking a deep breath Sam walked over to the front door of the big house. Taking out her old house keys Sam’s hand started to tremble. The last time she was here in this house was the night her family was murdered. Sam knew she was going to have some feelings about returning here, but she didn’t expect fear to be the most prominent one.

“Hay, Sam, you going to be ok?” Bobby was looking over at her shaking hand and could tell Sam was upset about something.

“Yah, partner, just a case of the jitters is all.”

“Ok, but if this place gets to be too much for you just say so. One word and we’re out of here. We’ll find someplace else to go to ground.” As always Bobby was looking out for his partner. The only difference this time was he had to look out for Sam’s emotional state, along with her physical wellbeing.

“I’ll be fine Bobby. I just have to face something I have been running from for over twelve years now. Come on, we been standing around out here long enough as it is. We stay out here much longer and the neighbors might get nosey.”

Sam opened the door and walked into the main entrance hallway. As she walked in Sam was surprised to see that much of the furniture from when she was a child was still here. Taking a few seconds to herself Sam let her mind wander back to that fate filled night. Walking slowly through the house Sam stopped at the doorway to the living room. Everything was still there, with the exception of the rug where her family was shot. Turning and walking up the stairway to the second floor Sam forgot about Bobby and Kristine.

Rounding the top of the stairway Sam found that the hallway carpet was gone, most likely taken as evidence just as the rug was downstairs. Walking down the hallway Sam stopped at the door to her parent’s room. Looking in she saw that everything in here was gone. Sam wasn’t too surprised over some of the things being gone. They would have been taken as evidence in the investigation of her family’s deaths.

Everywhere she looked Sam she saw her family. Down the hallway was the door to her sisters’ room, their ballet slippers still hanging from the hook on the top of the door. Looking in to their room she found that it was the same as the last night she was in the house. Her sisters’ tights and leotards hanging over the back of their vanity chairs, the school uniforms from Saint Fenwick prep school hung up on the closet door ready for the next day.

Sam backed out of their room and headed down the hallway to the last room in the house. As she entered her old bedroom Sam found it was completely empty. Walking over to her old closet she opened the secrete panel in the rear closet wall. After all this time no one had ever found her stash of Stephany clothes. Everything was still here, her makeup, perfume, shoes, everything she needed to be Stephany from back then. Putting the panel back in place Sam walked out of her old room and headed down stairs to wait for Dorothy, David and their backup to arrive.

When she arrived down stairs Sam found that Bobby and Kristine had gotten everything out of the SUV, including the arms locker. Sorry I wasn’t here to help guys. I just got a little caught up in the past there for a moment or two.”

“Sam, I understand. When my mama was killed I spent a lot of time in her room just trying to hold on to her memory. I can’t begin to imagine what being here is like for you.” Kristine said just before wrapping Sam in a hug. Bobby just smiled at the teenager who had won the hearts of both him and his partner.

Bobby and Sam were two of the biggest hard asses in the Marshal Service, but this little girl had found a weak point in both of their armor. Bobby could already tell that Sam was going to do everything in her power to protect this little girl, and he felt the same way about Kristine.

“Sam you do know that we’re going to have stick around as her guardians, right?” Bobby asked of his longtime partner.

“Why do you say that Bobby?” Kristine asked him.

“Because little one, if they assign anyone else we’re both going to be checking up on them so much that it will blow any cover they give you.” Bobby commented with a smirk.

“Like you’re one to talk there big fella. Kristine stole your heart as much as she has mine.” Sam said with a giggle. “Let’s finish putting everything away and get ready for Dorothy and company to arrive. They should be here in about ninety minutes, and I want this place as secure as we can make it. Kristine, take your bags upstairs to the first room on the left. It was my sisters’ room so you should feel right at home; those two were real ballerinas in every way. Bobby there is a spare room going down the right hand hallway that we had for guests. It’s the most masculine room upstairs sorry there aren’t any others.”

“Where you going to crash Sam?” Bobby asked her as he picked up his bags and headed for the stairs.

“Don’t worry about me, Bobby. This is my home; I have a place to lay my head for now.” What Sam didn’t tell them that it would be on the floor in her old room. She just couldn’t bring herself to sleep in her parents’ room. Reaching down Sam grabbed her bags and head back upstairs to her old room right behind Bobby and Kristine.

It took Sam, Bobby, and Kristine most of the hour they had to get everything squared away and ready for when Dorothy, David, and their backup deputies arrived. When the two unmarked SUV’s showed up out front Sam had gotten the power and water turned on, and had made arrangements with the local cable company to be turned on the next day. They wouldn’t use the phones in the house unless Dorothy or David approved the needed funds for that. The other three would be needed; no matter what happened so there was no need to put in a request for them.

When the meter man for the electric company showed up to turn on the power to the house he was surprised to see that someone was moving into ‘murder house’ as Sam’s old home had become known as. Thinking fast Sam told the man that they had bought the house online sight unseen and that she and Bobby were house flippers. They bought abandoned homes came in renovated them, and then put them up for sale after fixing them up for a profit. It was the same with the water company as well.

It wasn’t a perfect cover story but would work for now. If they had to be here longer than it took to get Kristine to trial, then Sam would have to think up something else. When the two big unmarked SUVs showed up with Dorothy, David, and the two deputies that would be their backup Sam was surprised at who Dorothy had gotten them.

“Damn, sis, when you said you were bringing us backup I didn’t think you could get them on such short notice.” Sam turned to the two deputies she had last seen three years ago while hunting down a known drug runner and murder. “Good to see you guys, how have you been?”

The first one to take Sam’s hand and shack it was Hunter Taugh, the great, great, great grandson of William Taugh. Hunter was all most as big a legend as his great, great, great, grandfather. With well over four hundred arrests after only ten years; Hunter was one of the best. The other man might as well have stepped out of legend as far as Sam was concerned. The fact that he would be her backup or even consider it was a complement that Sam would never have thought to have. US Deputy Marshal Wayne ‘Bat’ Masterson the fourth.

“It’s good to see you again Samantha, how have you been?” asked Hunter. “We understand you and Bobby have got yourselves a real hot one on your hands.”

“You could say that Hunter, and how many times do I have to tell you it is just Sam?”

“And how many times do I have to tell you that you’re too pretty to be called just Sam?” hunter replied with a grin. This was an old argument between the two of them and neither one would ever win. Sam just shook her head and reached over to take Masterson’s hand to shake it. “Nice to have you here Deputy Masterson. I am surprised to see the two of you here in Toledo though.”

“Please call me Bat. I have heard good things about you Deputy Justice. As for me being in Toledo, don’t be surprised. I’ve been a part of this field office for the past three years. Now, tell me about this live grenade you got on your hands.”

“The pleasure is all mine and the name is Sam, Bat. As for the ‘live grenade’ you mentioned I suggest we get you two settled in before we go into that.” Sam told the man in a voice that connived a great deal of worry.

“Sammy, I know that you told me there was more going on here than we thought, but can you at least give me some idea of what is going on?” Dorothy asked her little sister.

“Sis, all I’ll say out here is this. If the LOG party gets their hands on Kristine or the alphabets do what I went through we’ll be a cake walk.”

“Damn it! I was afraid you were going to say that. Just how bad do you think it could get?” David asked of her.

“David, think about having to revisit every election and political appointment for the last twelve years, then throw in Recco charges on top of it. How does that sound?” Sam said with all honesty.

“Shit! Just what the hell did your girl see or find to bring about this can of heat, Samantha?” Hunter wanted to know.

“I told you I would go over everything once we’re inside.” Sam told the man.

As they were walking past the front of the house Hunter and Bat both started to check out the house and where they were. Sam saw Bat point to one of the gun ports and decided to tell them a little about the house just to save them from asking embarrassing questions.

“Yes, gentlemen those are gun ports. They will handle anything we have in our standard load outs including our M4’s. There is one gun port every forty feet with inter locking fields of fire. The walls are fourteen inches thick and made of reinforced concrete with a brick facade. On the inside the outer walls have a two inch thick oak paneling. In short folks this place is a fort disguised as a house. The property is surrounded by an eight foot tall fence, with the wrought iron out front being electrified. To get through the gate once it is closed you have to have the code. That gate can stop anything short of one of our tactical assault trucks.” Masterson just whistled at hearing this, but Taugh put their feelings into words.

“Son of A bitch! Who did this house belong to, Capone?”

“Nope, but the man that lived here use to be one of the big boys in the organization twelve years ago. And all of this did nothing to keep him and his family safe. Two men who were supposed to be family friends killed them in their living room.” Sam snapped at the two of them. “So remember that as you help guard the young lady you’re about to meet.”

“I thought we were here to guard the old CDM of Columbus’s kid?” Hunter said.

“We are.” Dorothy told them both.

“Wait a minute here Marshal. I know for a fact that the CDM has a son not a daughter. What’s going on here?” Masterson didn’t like going into something like this blind.

“Gentlemen, we have a very unique situation on our hands and if you have problems with doing your job protecting this young lady you’ll find yourself on a one way flight to Bismarck, North Dakoda. Am I understood here?” Dorothy told them both.

“Ma’am, I don’t care who, or what they are. I just want to know what I am getting myself into before I get myself killed.” Masterson told Dorothy. “Now, is this young lady really the former CDM’s kid or not?”

“Yes, Bat, Kristine really is the former CDM’s son, John.” Sam stepped in for Dorothy to explain about and defined Kristine if needs be.

“Well, I’ll be damned. So she finally stepped out of the closet did she? I always knew that my nephew was too pretty to be a boy. I hope she is being taken care of?”

“Wait a minute Bat. How do you know about Kristine?” Sam asked the man in shock.

“Sam, the only people who know about my niece is me and my wife. The rest of my family haven’t seen John or William since her mama’s funereal.”

“I thought that Kristine didn’t have any other family, deputy?” Dorothy asked Bat.

“Ma’am there are lots of reasons Bill and me don’t claim each other. The first of which is the fact that I married outside of the church; another is the fact that my wife is of mixed heritage. Trust me when I say that so called brother of mine can rot in hell for all I care. Now where is my niece, Sam?”

“She’ll be joining us in a few minutes Bat. There are a few things that you and the others need to know before that happens though. So why don’t you put your bags and gun locker in the game room over there?” Sam pointed to the door to the game room on the other side of the hallway. She would let them know about the servant’s quarters that would have been used if her mother hadn’t had her way. Her mother hated the idea of anyone else trying to keep house for her and had fired the maids before they ever started.

Sam led Dorothy and David into the living room. Where she had set up her laptop with Kristine’s flash drive. Sam waited for the other two deputies to join them. Once they were all there Sam opened up the flash drive and let Dorothy and David read through what was on it. The two of them only took a quick glance at most of what was there, but what they saw made the two of them sick to their stomachs. When Bat read what Kristine had found the rage on his face was enough to make most people run the other way.

“If that piece of shit brother of mine wasn’t already behind bars, I would break his damned neck. Marshal Rose, I do hope you’re planning at throwing the book at my brother?”

“Deputy Masterson, I can guarantee that your brother will never see the light of day. With what your niece has been able to dig up I’ll be hard pressed to get anything less than fifty to life for his crimes. As for the LOG party this flash drive is a death nail. Sam where or better yet how did Kristine get her hands on this information?”

“Dorothy that is the real sixty four dollar question here. It seems that our young witness did more than just see the death of Wright. She actually found the email discussing it on her father’s PC. Plus a whole lot more as you can tell by what’s on that flash drive.” Sam told the gathered US Marshals.

“But how?! How did she get her hands on this data? There is enough evidence here to tear down the LOG and send the Party Leaders to prison for life plus fifty. Talk to me here Sam. Just what has that niece of mine gotten caught up in?” Bat was damn near in a panic.

“Bat, I can tell you’re upset, but please keep calm while I explain. First off, our little Kristine has become a grade A1 hacker.” Sam was interrupted by a rude comment from Bat.

“Bullshit! I call bullshit on that, Sam. I know for a fact that my brother would never have allowed Kristine the time necessary to learn how to become a hacker of that caliber.”

“Sorry, Bat, but if you were to place money on that statement you would lose. Not only did she find the time to learn how to be a hacker, but someone to teach her to be one of the best there is. It seems that one of the people in her support group is a computer science professor at Ohio State. Kristine, the little scamp, walked home from school every day past that Professor’s office. Kristine has been getting tutoring from her for the past few years now.” Sam started to giggle at the look on Bat’s face as she told him about Kristine’s little side education.

“Do you mean to tell me that Kristine has been Kathrine Koll’s side project?”

“I don’t know who this Kathrine Koll is but I do know that the woman teaching her is named Kathrine.” Sam says with a smile.

“When I get my hands on that woman I am going to wring her fool neck.” Bat growled. At Sam’s and Dorothy’s curious looks Bat explained. “Kathrine Koll is more than just the Head of her Department. She is also the senior computer forensics expert for the NSA, DEA, and a host of other agencies with the exception of the Marshal’s. That woman is a genius, if she has been tutoring Kristine on the side then there is no telling what she taught Kristine.”

“Oh, trust me Bat. Kathrine taught her more than just the normal course offering. Our little Kristine can hack just about any system she feels like. That girl is so good we need to either higher her ass or put her behind bars.” Everyone in the room gave Sam looks of disbelief. “Oh yes Kristine is that good folks. All that evidence was pulled straight off the LOG servers. Bat; there is one thing you need to know before you go digging in that flash drive. There is a file on there that discuss your sister-in-laws death. Kristine found it when she was going through her father’s desktop pc. I don’t know how to say this.” Once again Bat interrupted her.

“They had her murdered didn’t they?” Sam nodded her head yes. “I always knew that ‘accident’ was too prefect. I just couldn’t get the LEO’s to investigate beyond it being a drunk driver accident, and my shit headed brother blocked every attempt I made to look into it.” turning to Dorothy Bats made a request that was outside to the norm. “Marshal, I would like to request a formal investigation into the death of my sister-in-law, Carolyn Ann Masterson.”

“Bat I will take care of it first thing, when I get back to the office. Now, are you going to be able to handle this assignment, knowing what you do now?” Dorothy asked the man.

“Now, that I know exactly what is going on, I’ll be damned if I’ll let you pull me from it. Sam, can you give me the name of that file. Please?”

“Bat I think you need to talk to your niece about that first. There’s something else you should know. Kristine wants revenge on the people who killed her mama, and she is going to get it one way or another. Even if it means getting it at the point of a gun.” When Sam finished Bat, Dorothy, David, and Hunter were all looking at her. Dorothy and David were not shocked at hearing this from Sam as they knew that she understood Kristine better than they did.

Hunter was having problems with putting a gun in a teenager’s hand that was clearly more suited for working behind a computer screen and console. In his mind there was no way this kid could just up and kill someone. It just didn’t make sense in his way of thinking. He knew that computer nerds were no go with firearms, everyone knew this fact.

For US Deputy Marshal Wayne ‘Bat’ Masterson the fourth, the thought of his sweet, kind, gentle, bookish niece holding a gun was almost too much of a stretch. Then he thought back to the woman who was her mother and how Carolyn used to take care of his niece. The love that Carolyn showed Kristine even when she was John. It didn’t take him much to put a gun in that child’s hand.

Before any of them could say much more they heard Bobby and Kristine coming down the hallway. The discussion over the flash drive was tabled for the moment as the two walked into the room. When Bat first saw Kristine his reaction was not what most people would expect. Looking her up and down Bat came to one conclusion and voiced it loud enough for all to hear.

“It’s a God damned good thing I carry a gun.”

To be continued.

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