First a plea from the author...

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While I'm not exactly a new writer, I'm not wicked experienced either. I welcome general feedback. What you like, what you didn't like. Just shoot me an email at Chase.N.Bottom@Gmail.Com (please include the story in the subject line.) If it is about grammar, syntax or spelling... I DO NOT CARE. I write when I cannot sleep. Expect errors and remember the source.

A link to my other stories here on Nifty can be found at (http://sites.google.com/view/chasenadir/home/my-worlds) If you are interested in my general ramblings, my diary/blog is here: (http://nadirthelowestpoint.blogspot.com)

Thank y'all for being kind,

Chase



Frozen and Chosen - Part II

By Chase Nadir

The story takes up one year later, the morning after a lake cruise with his folks.

We drove back to our small home on Geddes Avenue in the Windy Harbor. When we got home I realized what was missing from his normal attire. In all the time I had known Nate, I've never seen him to be more than two steps away from his cell phone. I saw it resting on his charge cradle.

Nate kissed me and told me he would start on lunch. It was a normally unspoken thing, he did the cooking I did the cleanup. The last time I tried to cook something for him that required more than sandwich fixings, the smoke alarms went off. I am the luckiest girl in the world. I have a gorgeous boyfriend who can bench-press a house, who cooks.

I would love to say that our life together was all sunbeams and lollipops, but it has been a hard year. The good press that I enjoyed on my coming out party was short-lived, like many things, college was on hold. I had the grades, scores and the money. Unfortunately I had the baggage too, taking legal action on your high school is not exactly good for a college resume.

On the upside my acting career was taking off. Delilah has been an outstanding agent. There was no shortages of job opportunities between the Chicago and Milwaukee theaters. When it came to my modeling I was something exotic, which is always a good thing. D even got me booked for Fashion Week in New York City. I still performed at Delilah's twice a month, with limits. Nate forbad me from garnishing.

True to form Nate grabbed his phone from the charging cradle, and reviewed his messages. He got a concerned look on his face, and quickly called his chief. No sooner had the chief connected with him; Nate shot a panicked look in my direction. "Are they sure sir?" Then he stepped outside.

He had a very long face when he came back in the cabin. I knew that face; it was his cop notification face. His I am Officer Taylor and I have some bad news for you face. "Sweetie, I need you to sit down. Does your mother know anyone in Gretna, Louisiana?"

"I know her people come from Jefferson Parish, Gretna is the parish capital. I remember a very long time ago meeting someone she called my aunt, But I don't remember her name. I know she was born a LaSalle. I get the feeling her family turned their backs on her, because of me. What's going on?"

"Baby, there is a Jane Doe with amnesia in the hospital who looks sort of like her. She was beaten very badly and has extensive bruising and swelling on her face, neck, and body..." He paused, struggling how to tell me the rest. "She is comatose, and on life support.

The investigating officer was wondering if you had photos or video they could compare. They were at a loss until one of their officers remembered the bio piece from the school swim suit press conference last year..."

I stopped listening to or answering questions from Nate. I went to the bedroom and began repacking, put together a few outfits and got ready for the road. I called Delilah and brought her up to speed on the situation. She told me she would clear my calendar, and to take the time I needed.

Nate realized there was no stopping me. He called the chief and told him I was headed down. He took a week off to go with me. I was going to the place of my Mama's birth, a place that was alien to me. A place where I'm not sure I would be welcome. I did a quick search of airfares, looked at Nate and told him, "We could drive down there in a day. It would be faster and cheaper than flying and renting a car."

While he was packing, I gathered the photos he requested in silence. I used my cell phone to make digital copies and emailed them to the chief. I also found her bank deposit from when she setup her checking account. They required a thumbprint and there was a fairly good copy of it. I took a photo and sent it along as well. Just in case it was not good enough, or degraded during digital transfer, I packed everything up in a manila envelope and put it in my luggage. Chief replied back he had forwarded all of them on and I would be in his thoughts.


Google Maps said the trip would take us fourteen hours, Nate made it in eleven. Aside from a few sketchy memories, the only things I could remember about Gretna was that it was the original home of Zatarain's, and had a line or two written about it in 'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac.

It was one in the morning when we checked into the Marriott Downtown. We decided to stay down the road from the hospital in New Orleans. Nate checked in with the police chief over in Gretna. He told us we would not be able to see the patient until the morning. He told Nate something else, but I could tell it was unpleasant by the way his form twisted.

My theory was confirmed when Nate embraced me. He always hugged me before giving me bad news. "The woman in the hospital was beaten badly, her face is swollen a positive ID is not one hundred percent sure. But the thumb print you sent matched, it's your mom." I fell asleep in his arms crying on his chest.

The morning came too quickly. Nate tried to get me to eat something. I took a bite of a beignet and drank my coffee. Chief Mattis came to collect us at our hotel room. I didn't want to push my luck. I wore a pair of jeans, flats, and a loose sweatshirt. "Miss LaSalle, you didn't have to dress down. You are very welcome in the quarter. You might just say 'YOUR KIND' are something of a local fixture. New Orleans is a city of color and diversity."

He thanked me for the thumbprint and said, "Miss LaSalle, while you were on your way down, we had a third party come forward as well and he too identified your Mama. He is also covering her medical treatment, and offering to cover your stay. We tried to get a hold of your people. Unfortunately LaSalle is kind of a common name around here. Katrina did hell on a lot of our records."

We drove to the University Med Center in silence. I couldn't recognize her face, when I saw her arm I knew. She had a little crescent moon burn scar on her elbow. She got it protecting me from a hot grill. I began sobbing clutching her hands begging her to wake up. Her doctor and an orderly had to help Nate pull me away. The doctor explained to me she was in an induced coma and she needed to rest.

The Chief informed me that Zeke was not a suspect. He was found dead in Mississippi a week before Mama's attack. Nate and I brought the Chief up to speed on Zeke's amateur pharmaceutical distribution endeavors in Illinois and how he, or one of his people, apparently lost a shipment. I remembered Brent's suspicious fast disappearance from Cabin Circle. The Chief said he would coordinate with Nate's chief to see if they could find a last name.

The police chief continued, "Your Mama was found in a back alley in my city. The local District Attorney is taking a personal interest in the case. In fact it was he who identified her." I heard the door open to the room, but I was focused on the Chief's words. "Here he is now this is District Attorney Don..." As the chief was making the introduction, I turned to greet the district attorney. Before the Chief got the name out of his mouth, his words were in interrupted by my hand slapping the face of Mama's benefactor.

Nate held me tight as the platinum haired, ice blue-eyed, district attorney responded with a quick, "What the hell was that for?"

The Chief quickly spoke to the DA attempting to defuse the situation, "Sir, this is Miss LaSalle, the victim's daughter." It was clear to me the chief had more information than I thought he did.

Nate held me looking into my eyes. "Sweetheart, why did you do that?"

"Nate, I would like to introduce you to my father, Donavan Charles Rivalen."

"Yes young lady, I am your daddy, and you are nowhere near big enough that I can't turn you over my knee. What in the world brought that tantrum on?"

"You abandoned me twice. Once when Mama was carrying me, then when I was left alone. You threatened to sue me if I claimed you as my father publicly." He attempted to feign surprise, so I pulled out my tablet and showed him the exchange on my messenger app.

"God dammit!" He muttered. "Young lady, this is as much a surprise to me as it is to you. I didn't write that, I have a feeling it was either my wife or step son. We just went through a rough patch last year after the miscarriage. God in heaven, I am so sorry baby girl." The poor man slumped down in the chair. He told me he didn't even see my message. "You must have thought I was a monster. I earned that slap hun."

He went on to explain how he searched for my mother for years and was unable to find her. "God I can't handle another surprise today. Your Mama told me you were gonna be a boy. I never thought I'd have a girl ever. I don't even know your name."

For more than a year, I was hating the man. Now I felt so damn sorry for him. I brought him up to speed on the fact that Mama didn't lie to him. "Sir, she assumed I was a boy just like the doctors and the hospital did. When the truth came out I felt the need to correct the mistake. There's very little about me that is a boy. I shortened my first name down to Trista and took Mama's maiden name; I thought you didn't want me."

"You had to go through all of that by yourself... Oh Trista honey, I am so sorry." The eyes that mirrored mine filled with tears. "If I had only known... God if I had only known."

He brushed my cheek and continued, "You're not as unusual as you think you are. You had a great uncle who had the same condition though..." He gestured towards my breasts, "...not as pronounced. Back in the day they dismissed him as a dandy. He looked very effeminate and there were scandalous rumors about a predilection to wearing women's clothes, and entertaining men. He was a good man and he defended this city."

He took a deep breath, "Trista, honey I have more bad news. Your Mama's people lived in the lower ninth ward and Lakeview neighborhoods. Your Mama lost most of her family. Only about five or six second and third cousins made it. They left and didn't come back."

I formally introduced my dad to my fiancÚ. Nate bless his heart, began stammering. My father replied, "Son you thought I was an absentee father, and I guess I was. I don't hold it against you for asking for her hand without my permission, but you have it. We need another man of the law in this family."

I camped out at the hospital. I only went back to the hotel to sleep when Nate demanded it. Four days in Nate asked if he should stay or go. He was still fairly new on the Windy Harbor PD, and the chief was under pressure from two new members of city council to cut positions. I found it odd that those two council members went to Pastor Haskell's Church Zino Bonten. The religious zealot's knives were out, and sharpened for the kill. "You need to head back." Dad arranged a flight and drove us to the airport.


That night I fell asleep in Mama's room. I woke up to find Doctor Janice Rivalen looking down at me. We developed an uneasy truce for daddy's sake. "Your Papa is in court. He tried to get you at the hotel but there was no answer. I just saw my last patient and chose to check here. Honey, did you stay here all night?"

"Yes Ma'am."

"Trista, I told you to call me Janice. While you were sleeping you were moaning and holding your left side. Are you okay sugar?"

"I am sorry Miss Janice; I wasn't trying to worry daddy or you. I felt the pain coming on last night. I just needed to be near Mama." The doctor walked in to check Mama's vitals. "I have a semi functioning ovary. Every couple months or so, it throws an egg. Without tubes it erupts into the surrounding tissue until the body can reabsorb it. It hurts ma'am, it hurts a lot.

I know I am not the first. Some say the myth of Greek god Hermaphrodites was created to explain away one of my kind. I used to think it was a curse, now I know better. It is just who I am. I have to accept that I am a freak, a one of."

The doctor looked up from Mama's chart and said, "Trista, you're wrong, you're not alone. You are not even overly rare. Moreover; you, young lady are no freak. The actual number is one out of every two thousand children. The first photos of an intersexed person appeared in a medical journal in 1860."

Mama's doctor rested his hand on my shoulder and continued, "You aren't too different from my sister. I'll get you an ibuprofen and a heat pack for the pain."

The doc returned with a couple pills in a Dixie cup, some water, and a hot pack. "Miss LaSalle, I need you here for a discussion with your Mama's treatment team tomorrow. Is nine in the morning okay?" When I said yes sir he left. Mama had been in the coma for almost three weeks. I knew what the topic of discussion would be.

Janice saw the tears forming and held me tight. When I calmed down, she and I talked for a while until dad arrived. When Janice asked if I would stay at the house, I thought dad was going to fall over. I couldn't say no, I knew I needed people around me.

Dad had court in the afternoon, but he dropped Janice and me at the hotel to check out. We gathered my things and Janice navigated me to their home.

We pulled into a gated community and onto Colony Road. The home was what I expected a successful attorney and doctor would have. A two story brick and stucco home with a wide porch. Janice asked, "Ready to meet your brothers, honey?" The far bay of the cavernous garage opened and I was told to drive in. The three boys stood by the door.

Janice introduced me to the boys as their sister Trista. First up were the twins Jayden and Kayden (Jay and Kay). The boys were only ten and almost as tall as I was. There was no way to miss the other family traits. "You guys are going to be tall like your daddy."

Kay replied, "Our dad Miss Trista, our dad." The two boys made a four way gesture, and then hugged me from each side. Janice's son Hayden unloaded the trunk setting my bags on the ground.

My car was a hit with my brothers... It hit me, I went from Mama and I, to just me. Now I have a fiancÚ, a father, a step mom, two half-brothers, and a step brother, and I got mom back. I remembered mom... Reality sucks.

"Hayden, Trista and I need to have a word with you in your father's office. Jay and Kay take your sister's things up to the guest suite." Hay, Jay, and Kay said yes ma'am and started their assigned tasks. Hayden's head dropped like a man condemned. I could tell that he was older than me but I also saw when Mama spoke he listened.

The boy's names ran through my head and I asked what happened to 'I'. Her face got sad as she replied, "Isabella and Lydia were still-born." I begged her forgiveness. "Sweetheart, there is nothing to forgive, you didn't know. Now let's go ruin a young man's evening. We will take the long way so I can show you around."

We entered through the front door. I was practically hyperventilating as we arrived in the cavernous entry hall. "You okay honey?"

"Ma'am your entryway is bigger than the cabin I rented in high school."

She reminded me, "Call me Janice honey. It's just a house sweetie." She pulled a remote out of the console table for the garage and the front gate. Kayden zipped around us promising to put it in my car. Janice also gave me a key to the house. She led me through the dining room into the great room. The open kitchen was gleaming and looked showroom new. When Janice saw the look on my face she stated, "It looks like you could whip up a thing or two in this kitchen."

I laughed, "No Miss Janice, I have been known to burn ramen. Looks like you are the only cook in the family."

There was giggling behind us. Jay and Kay were snickering. "Oh yes Miss Trista, Mama does mean takeout..."

"Boys don't you have homework to do? Projects that need to be done before you go back to school next week?" The two little ones belted out yes ma'am in unison then zipped off up the grand staircase. "I hate to say it Trista, your Papa's the cook in the family."

"So is my Nate. I triggered the smoke detector last time I tried to make popcorn. He won't let me anywhere near HIS kitchen unless I'm making a sandwich."

She led me across the living area, "You made a good choice then. We are coming up on Don's office, and the way to the guest wing. First to my eldest..." I could tell she was pissed and I kind of had a reason why. She took a deep breath to gather herself as if she was about to perform a delayed task.

We enter the office. "Hayden, what do you know about messages sent from your father's social media account?"

"Mama, this dude ain't no girl, and damn sure ain't no kin to us. I was just trying to scare him off. Hell Mah, his name is Tristan..." The boy had given his mother enough rope and now she was ready to string him up.

"Do you remember when Papa Don was courting me?" Hayden nodded. "He was so happy when he met you."

"Do you remember why?"

"Yes ma'am, but..." She held up a finger and he stopped speaking.

"As I recall your Papa Don thought the universe was trying to make up for the loss of his first child. Do you remember when he said how hard he searched for his first love and their baby?" He nodded and echoed another yes ma'am.

"Now young man I'm going to tell you a little bit of biology, because apparently you haven't picked that up in college yet. Genetically, biologically, and physically your step sister is bi-gendered. She has been through hell, and you CHOSE to drag her through it again. You owe her a tremendous apology. She's had to carve out an identity that she's comfortable with."

"Yes ma'am, I'm sorry Mama." Janice's eyebrow arched and his attention shifted. "Miss Trista I am sorry. I shouldn't have logged on as my daddy... OUR father. I was afraid you would mess things up more. I was an ass." He tried to just shake my hand.

His mother reminded him, "We hug in this family." Hayden had a look of absolute shock as we broke contact. I think he realized they (my b-cups) were all me. Then his mother told him to head up to his room until Papa came home.

Janice turned to me and informed me that she was the doctor on duty in the ED when my mother came in. "I got to see her shortly after the incident. The swelling hadn't set in yet. You favor her greatly. Well... except for the hair and the eyes, those are all Don."

Janice reached into the bottom drawer of Papa's desk and pulled out a large file folder. It was filled with scraps of paper, and photos that show the long cold trail of how Papa tried to find us. He never thought of searching for his name. The private investigators reported that most of Mother's family was lost during Katrina. The ones that survived were distant and had no ideas what became of us. How odd, I knew my Mama had family. Now I knew they were gone, I had a wave of sorrow as if the last just happened.

"Don accepted my boy as his son no questions asked. The two of us wanted a baby girl for so long. I can't be your Mama, but I do want to be your stepmother. If you can't accept me as that, then please accept me as your friend."

I hugged her and replied back like her sons, "Yes ma'am." She grimaced but realized my mama raised me right.

I was happy when we arrived at the guest suite. Crap it was bigger than the hotel room. I was drooling over the oversized tub. After sleeping in Mama's room I was a little ripe. Miss Janice helped me settle in, unpack and get comfortable in the space. Then she left me alone.


At dinner the topic of conversation was light. I guess you could say it was introduction to the family. It was Jay who asked the question that took my breath away, "Is Trista going to meet Mimi and Papaw this weekend?"

Dad smiled and said, "I guess if she's going to be here this weekend she is." I didn't even think of the possibility of grandparents being alive.

It was Janice who picked up on my mini panic attack. She rested her hand on my knee under the table and replied, "Sweetie we can ask Mimi and Papaw to reschedule. We understand an instant big family is a little overwhelming. The family gathers in the quarter at the big house several times a year, and well it's that time. You do have a lot of family hun. They are all going to want to meet you babe."

"Let me get this straight this isn't the big house? Wow! I was just getting used to having a dad. How big is the family?"

Dad replied, "It'll just be Mama and dad and us at the house along with my baby sister her husband and their four kids. My older brother Jack and his husband will be there. Usually the rest of my brothers and sisters book hotel rooms and commute for the barbecue. They tend to like their privacy."

"The rest! Ummmm..." Dad could see the concern on my face and the question behind my eyes.

"There are seven of us kids with an average of four kids each. Jack and Pete are trying to adopt. For the record you're one of the older grandkids. They do know about you, and they're all looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you into the family."

After dinner we gathered in the family room and watched some Disney movie the boys wanted to see. My cell phone rang, it was Nate. He told me he jumped back in rotation but had a three day weekend. He asked if I wanted him to come down. I answered yes too quick.

"What's wrong babe? That was a little too fast."

I told him how the doctors wanted to talk to me tomorrow and I knew it was about discontinuing life support. "I'm not ready to say goodbye to Mama. Now tonight I find my family has grown by exponential numbers. I'm going to be meeting the grandparents my aunts and uncles a slew of nephews and nieces that I don't have any idea how I fit in. I'll ask Papa if you can stay with us."

Papa had overheard me and stepped out onto the verandah. He asked for the phone. "Nate you are going to part of this family. You are always welcome down here. You and Trista can have the third master."

Papa kissed my head and handed the phone back to me with a smile. Nate asked the question, "Are all of your family telepathic?"

"I don't know I haven't met them all. I guess we'll be doing that together. If you want to fly down." We agreed that he would fly down after shift and drive my car back home if he wanted. I told him I could take public transportation around here, and I pretty much got it down. I would fly back home.


Dad sat in on the meeting the next morning with the doctors and me. They did want to talk about removing life support. I told them I would be agreeable to a point. I would not agree to the removal of the feeding tube. If her body was going to keep fighting to be alive, I was not going to deprive it of the food it needed to continue that fight.

As next of kin I had to sign a lot of papers. Dad advised me what they all meant. The ventilator was switched off and the tube was removed. If she breathed on her own it would not be hampered. It seemed like forever, but eventually we heard the hiss as her lungs took in air. Mama was fighting.

Some of the student doctors were using phrases like probable vegetative state. Another argument was made for removing the feeding tube. I snapped, "I almost killed my mother once today! I'm not going to do it again." Dad stepped in letting them know the decision had been made. "We should see what happens."

I stayed with Mama for a couple of hours. I looked at pop and said I needed to go out, I needed to walk. He offered to walk with me. I knew he was missing time at work and told him I'd be fine.

I left the hospital and just walked. It seemed like I walked for hours. I also had the feeling I was being followed. Every so often out of the corner of my eye I saw a tall white guy with a pockmarked face in store window reflections.

I ended up walking by the Navy Yard and that's when I heard, "Holy crap little Pan! What have you done to yourself?" The voice made me stop in my tracks.

I turned to find my young Petty Officer Jason Dupree had been promoted to Chief Petty Officer. I was torn between emotions. My first instinct was to haul off and hit him for leaving us. I figured I'd done that once this trip already, I wasn't about to repeat a mistake. I chose the wiser course and threw my arms around him. "God I've missed you Jason! It's been weird."

He pulled back and looked down my body. "So I see."

"I see you got promoted. The anchors and khakis look very good on you." I brought him up to speed on what had happened in my life. He hugged me as if I was his baby girl in need of comfort. I told him I knew it was my mother who chose not to pursue the relationship. I also told him she regretted it.

"Don't be too hard on her, she thought staying in Windy Harbor was best for you, and two year tour on Adak would be too long. She was right; it would have taken you away from your escape, the theater." He gently rested his hand on my shoulder.

"How'd you get here?" I asked

He told me when he got promoted a billet opened for a Chief Petty Officer at the shipyards. "It was not a difficult choice freeze my ass off on Adak, or come to Louisiana. Not a hard decision."

We found a coffee shop, sat down and caught up. I told him I shortened my first name down to Trista and I kept a Peter Pan and southern theme for my middle name. I chose Belle after Tinkerbell. When I told him of Mama's condition and what I had to do. He hugged me and offered to drive me back to the hospital. I happily accepted. I didn't realize my shoe choice this morning was going to be so ill-advised.

As we drove off, I saw the man with the pockmarked face again. Big city coincidence I thought. We drove back to the hospital. I told him about Zeke, and the troubles that I had. We got out of the elevator and almost walked right into dad. I thought to myself this was awkward.

I told dad about the man I thought was following me. He agreed it was probably a coincidence. He was more interested in the sailor I picked up. I was very happy to introduce him to Jason. I've heard of people becoming fast friends, but I've never seen two guys become instant friends.


Every day for the rest of the week I had company at Mama's bedside. When I would get tired, Jason would sit up and talk with her. He helped the nurses and me with her range of motion exercises. When I ran out of words to say, I opened up my mouth and sang. Mama was a huge fan of Nina Simone and we had been singing 'Little Liza Jane' together since I was little. What I didn't know was one of the interns actually recorded the session at her bedside.

Friday we moved into the big house in the quarter. That night we picked up Nate at the airport. We turned a few heads on the concourse with our greeting. I do think that daddy blushed.

We collected Nate's bag and Dad received the phone call his parents had arrived at the house. "How much do they know about me? Should I keep anything back?"

Pop hugged me and said, "They love you sight unseen, they know everything there is to know baby girl."

I learned something that night I come from a family of huggers. Everyone hugged on me. They loved the "damn Yankee" I was bringing into the family. I had to remind them I was born in Illinois.

"True little girl, but conceived of here in the delta!" Father replied.

Nate surprised all of us announcing he was a Georgia Boy, "I was born just outside of Climax."

"Hells Bells son that's damn near Alabama!" Grandpa replied.

It turned out I wasn't the only actress in the family either. Grandma performed on many stages in New Orleans. It was apparently quite a scandal.

It was the twins who surprised everyone and got things going. They found the video of their new sister singing to her mother on YouTube. "Damn smart phones." Dad replied, "I'll have to talk to the hospital staff about their privacy procedures."

I didn't see what the big deal was. There was enough video of me out there singing various songs. The boys found most of them. The little shits even found my performance of Peter Pan singing "Never, Never, Land" Mama recorded and shared.

Grandma asked if I would sing for the family. I told her I didn't have any accompaniment with me. To my surprise we have a pianist in the family Uncle Jack accompanied me on "Do you know what it means to Miss New Orleans." Grandma replied it was very nice for someone who was raised among the heathen, her take on Northerners.

Uncle Jack and his husband Pete offered to take me out with Nate. He said there was a good bar in town where I would be more than welcome. A place called The Corner Pocket. To say the least it was rowdy. There were boys dancing on the bar in their skivvies. I kind of liked it.

I teased Nate asking if he would prefer one of them instead of me. He pulled me close and held me tight. "I would not trade you for fifty of those boys."

I replied in phaux shock, "So you would trade me?"

It was open mic night Jack talked me into singing while he played 'Foot of Canal Street.' Halfway into the song I saw him again, just for a moment, the man with the pockmarked face. When Jack and I finished, I tried to point him out to my companions he was gone disappeared into the crowd. I begged to be taken back to the house. Once was a chance meeting, twice may be a coincidence, a third time in such a big city... I was frightened.

When we got home Father was waiting up. I told him about the man with the acne scars. He told me that the man was nothing to be afraid of. It was as if a light went on in my head and I suddenly realized, "Father, am I being set up as bait?"

"Not bait sweetheart, Detective Haygood is there to protect you. Still you weren't supposed to see him. Look at things the way I'm seeing them. Your Mama has been savagely beaten. Add to that two men who were close to her are now dead. There is no way I am going to sit back and let my baby girl go unprotected. I just got you back in my life and I am not going to lose you. So I pulled in a few favors. I should have told you."

I told him, "I'm an actress I can ignore what needs to be ignored to make the scene work out, but I still have to know it's there."

I asked, "Nate, how much do you think Zeke was moving? If one of his people lost an entire shipment, how much would a supplier be out? That's the only thing I can think that this is about. I doubt it was over the ninety-six hundred dollars I spent on his behalf." Father was surprised at my sudden revelation about Zeke's "parting gifts" to me.

When I explained why he smiled saying, "You do have your Mama's temper. Sweetie you spent almost ten thousand dollars of a drug pushers money. Honey, I've seen people kill folks over far less. I've seen people die over pocket change."

A sudden wave of realization struck me; I may have caused all of this. "If I got Mama hurt, if I got those men killed, how do I live with that?" Tears began to flow; father and Nate both hugged me.

Papa spoke first, "Sweetie this isn't your fault. These are bad men they do bad things just because. You were the victim and you got a little revenge. There is not a jury in the world that would ever convict you of this."

Then Nate added, "Honey, the odds are this is about the lost shipment. After all, that's when they ran off. The way he acted it was as if $10,000 was chump change, the odds are that shipment was huge. Besides if it was about the ninety six hundred, you would have been the first victim..."

Papa pulled out a handkerchief and wiped my eyes, "...But it's a good idea from this point on little girl, not to take money from drug dealers. Leave that to us professionals."

With that we called it a night. All of us went back up to our rooms. Nate collapsed on the bed in my room. The antique cast-iron squeaked and protested under his muscular frame. I heard giggles from the brothers down the hall. We realized sex was out of the question at least in that room.

The next morning I discovered how love finds a way. Nate had gone for his morning run with Dad and Uncle Jack. I slowly got out of bed to begin my morning routine. First I did my exercises to keep fit and healthy. It takes longer to start the day as a girl, but I loved the process. It was like I shed a cocoon turning into an exotic creation each day.

I had just climbed into the shower when I saw Nate enter the bathroom. His hair and body was dripping with sweat after his daily run. He undressed and came toward me saying that he didn't expect to see me up. I couldn't speak as I watched his thick long cock swinging as he approached me. A lot can be said without uttering a word.

He pulled open the shower curtain and stepped in the stall. I knelt as he closed the curtain, taking his shaft into my mouth, sucking greedily. I knew he wanted it as much as I. Nate leaned against the wall, his legs spread apart as I began licking his shaft. He put his hands on my head to guide me as his hips started to piston into my hungry mouth. He came with a grunt sending a delicious ribbon of sperm into my throat as my little clitty oozed and spasmed.

Nate pulled me up, holding me for a kiss. I was startled when Nate placed his hand firmly on one of my buttocks and massaged my ass with a finger. He was still hungry. Mornings with Nate were hit and miss. I could usually count on one really good load in my mouth or ass. Today was different; it was as if he stored up cum from our absence.

He turned me around and leaned me against the corner of the shower. I loved being handled by him. Nate spread my ass apart with his strong hands and I felt a wet finger probe my opening. Soon, Nate had two or three fat fingers fucking my pink asshole. It felt so good.

"Fuck me Nate. Plug my hole with that big cock of yours!" Nate must have been really worked up because he didn't pause. He just shoved his meat up my ass using the shower gel for lube. Oh boy did it hurt, but I loved it. His initial thrust sent his cock halfway up my ass. With his thrusts getting stronger and deeper I felt like such a little bitch impaled on his meat. I whimpered begging for more. Nate squeezed my hips and pounded my ass.

"Honey I'm cumming, yeah I'm gonna cum." and with that Nate sent a flood of his warm swimmers up my ass, as streams of my impotent juice hit the floor. He pulled my back into his chest and held me tightly. "I have missed you so much baby."


The rest of the weekend went on without incident. Sunday night I started sketching hands with black widow spiders and webs. I showed it to papa and told him of the videos. When I described the video contents and he said he did not need to see it. He kissed my forehead as if I was his little wounded princess.

He said he would pass on the description of the spider web and black widow to see if any of the gang and narcotics people on the police department recognized it.

Tuesday Mama woke up. Oh was she ever surprised to see what I look like now. I told her that's what she gets for missing parent-teacher night. She was overjoyed to see Jason looking down at her. She was absolutely astonished that daddy was hugging on me. There was a dark cloud; she didn't remember any of her attack. That upset the police officers, but doctor said it was understandable.

I asked father the painful question, "Do you think he's still in the New Orleans area?"

"Yeah baby I think it is probably so."

Jason came back in Mama's room with a cup of ice chips and looked down at my doodles. "Wow babe that's cool. When did you run into the redbacks?" Jason gave me a cheesy grin and asked, "If you met those guys, do I have to kick someone's ass?"

Daddy asked if he knew where the markings came from. "Yeah they work the other side of the harbor. They are a specialty offload team. They normally take care of a few of the Asian ships that came up through the canal. They are mostly Aussies and Kiwis. The load crew call themselves the "Redbacks" after their version of the black widow spider. Most have that tat on their shoulder-blade, or on their neck. But I've seen a few who have it tattooed between the webbing of the thumb and index finger. They normally hang out down at the Chances Are Bar. That is when they're not off-loading."

I grabbed daddy's arm, "Dad he's already killed two other men, and he's hurt Mama. What is the likelihood that he's just going to leave her alone?"

He said, "Sorry baby, it's not likely until the bastard finds what he is looking for."

"Use me as a target, as bait. Dad, leak information to the press that the investigation hit a dead end. That the daughter of the victim knows more but is not cooperating." Mama, Daddy and Nate objected to it in very loud terms. I told them I was an actress and I could handle it. More than that I knew Mama needed protecting.

"Daddy put me in out there, give me some sides and I will follow your lead to the letter. You tell me to go somewhere I will go there. I'm not letting this man get another chance to touch Mama or me on his own terms."

Detective Haygood chuckled, "Damn counselor, she is your kid. This could work."

"Chuck, would you risk your Charlotte?" The detective fell silent.

"Daddy our window of opportunity is narrow. You can't protect me when I go home. When I am there Nate can't be with me 24 hours a day. This is our best chance, am I wrong detective Haygood?"

"No Miss Trista. You are not, but your father is right there is a lot of risk. You are just a civilian; we don't put civilians at risk."

I rested my hand against Nate's chest and then I turned back to the room, "I would remind you all, I am at risk already. I would much rather meet an enemy on my own terms then on his, even if it means I must enter the lion's den. I'm asking you to help me protect my family, all of whom are now at risk."

Dad grumbled and he and detective Haygood left the room for a half hour. When he returned he was all business. "Nate, I talked it over with your Chief. You are on detached service until this is resolved, or Trista goes back North. I told him there is a credible risk for Trista. He agrees with me that she should be protected at all times. You armed?" He knew the answer was yes. We had to wait for his gun to be returned to him in baggage pickup.

Nate simply nodded. "Good, the local police chief is a very good friend of mine. Your badge is just as valid as every other one in town. She does not get out of your eyesight, not even for a second. I am sorry again Trista, I'm going to ask you to stay at the house or here at the hospital. I can't risk having you wandering around the city."

I told him I would. He told me hospital security was keeping an eye on my Mama, and he made arrangements with Jason's CO, for him to stay there with her as much as possible. "I was able to clear Jason as a suspect in the battery on your mother. He had watch the night of her attack. There was security camera footage on him for his entire shift. Except for ten minutes when he went to the head. Not enough time to get all the way across town, and across the river."

I couldn't imagine Jason ever hurting mother. But I was grateful someone was thinking of all possible threats.

The conversation ended. I was told a plan would be devised. We returned to the house in the gated community. Armed guards were left at the hospital to protect mother.


Dad and Nate went off for a run. I liked that they got on so well. I decided to get ready for Nate's return. I looked in the mirror. The lacy blue baby doll nightie and matching G-string contrasted well with my light skin. The six inch blue suede stilettos finished off the outfit. Mama Janice was nice enough to take me shopping.

My long white hair cascaded over my shoulders and down my bare back. My soft make up was perfect, and my long ice blue gelled nails had just been done. Nate should be pleased with what was waiting for him. My tiny dick began to stiffen at the thought of him taking me.

I donned my robe and sat waiting on the screened balcony off of our little sitting room. I must have dosed off because when I awoke Nate was standing next to me in all of his naked glory. He looked me over from top to tail saying, "Now you're a sight for my hungry eyes. A true vision of beauty."

He bent down taking me into his arms, kissing me deeply as he effortlessly carried me back into our bedroom. Our tongues melted together in passion.

As he sat on the bed, he squeezed my bottom firmly, not to the point of pain just to let me know he missed me too. I couldn't wait to have that penile pendulum of perfect pleasure he carried between his legs deep inside me. What I knew was I had to earn it.

I slowly slid from his lap seductively gliding to my knees, allowing my robe to slip from my shoulders into a pool on the floor. I placed my hands on his thighs and ran them slowly up and down the toned muscled flesh. I wrapped my fingers around his shaft, careful not to scrape or poke him with my nails.

I ran my tongue up and down his shaft, then around the head of his cock. These were all of the things I knew he liked. I got greedy, engulfing his rod too fast, I almost gagged as the thick round head of his cock hit the back of my throat. I began to suck his cock hungrily, I just focused on pleasing him. He was my defending knight, and I his dutiful princess.

He pulled back my hair to watch me work his magnificent tool. I looked up his frame adoringly while suckling on his manhood. I was doing exactly what he wanted me to do. As my saliva covered his cock and balls. I deep throated his cock.

I was disappointed as Nate withdrew his shaft from between my lips. As it pulled away I made a pouty face, "Put the lip away sweetie, I want to play." He pulled me to my feet. My heart skipped a beat as he reached for his handcuffs. To me they are playthings. The first time we tried roleplay, we found my flexibility extended to my hands. Like Billy The Kid, I can slide my hands out of handcuffs.

Nate pulled my arms behind me and I felt the steel ratchet around my wrists. After I had been "bound," he bent me over the edge of the bed with my ass in the air and my face pushed into the sheets. He kicked my legs apart and knelt behind me. His massive hands gently parted my ass cheeks. I felt his hot, wet tongue begin to move up and down my ass crack and around and across my tight hole, which began to drive me wild. I felt his tongue enter my hole as he fully rimmed me and tongue fucked me. He sucked and bit my ass cheeks as he continued to eat out my ass.

I could hear Nate pull out the small bottle of lube from the night table. He began to lube my asshole and finger me. I could feel he had at least two fingers in me and was massaging my p-spot. He tugged my g string down to my ankles and stood behind me.

He slapped his cock against my ass and said, "You want my cock babe?"

"Yes please stud daddy, give me your cock," I begged. "Give it to me please! Breed in me!"

"Good girl," he said. "You just had to ask."

Still bound by the wrists and bent over the bed, I felt Nate push his cock to the entrance of my hole, then press in me. The head of his cock popped inside and I jumped. The pain was sharp but faded quickly. He slowly buried that meaty cock of his all the way in me. I loved feeling each inch until his body pressed against my ass and thighs.

Nate began to thrust, slowly at first, then more intensely. It felt as if his cock was buried in every hollow of my body. I was having a little difficulty breathing. His breaths became heavier and heavier and I knew he was close to dumping his seed.

Suddenly Nate buried his cock balls deep in my ass and filled me with his hot cum. I slid my hands from the cuffs and returned them. We showered together and slept deeply.


The next morning father kissed my cheek and whispered, "Next time honey, please close the doors to the verandah. I got a call last night and was down in my office bellow you two. Sound caries on the bayou." Both Nate and I blushed. Nate began apologizing. Daddy waived a hand, "Y'all are young, and I remember what that was like."

After breakfast Dad took us to the DEA office. The call he received a late last night that involved me. The DEA agent in charge apologized for putting my family in peril. They seized a carnival wagon loaded with heroin. The fentanyl laced heroin was destined for distribution throughout the Midwest.

The agents made it look as if the wagon was hijacked. They took a risk and threw a shadow of guilt upon Zeke and his lackeys. Then the agency lost control of the operation when Zeke and his underlings ran rather than turn State's evidence. Each link in the chain dissolved. The agency had no way of reconnecting the drugs with those who sent them.

Agent Dumont said, "Trista, we believe that the organization has ties here in New Orleans. We closed an access route from Port Everglades in Florida. We think that's where Zeke entered the picture. This was to be his first major shipment and a step up in the organization. We estimate the fentanyl laced heroin had a street value of over a hundred million dollars."

Suddenly I understood why the money I spent was chump change to Zeke. He had far bigger problems than my spending spree. The agent continued, "We realized we had to brief your father when we discovered a description of you has made the rounds. Our informants tell us the organization wants to get their hands on you. We need your help."

My father objected but I reminded him, "Dad, we already had this conversation. We are getting a bigger surveillance team and far more information, surely father that increases my safety. Knowing how much these men just lost, you know they are not going to stop coming after me or Mama, they think we know more then we know. It's a weakness we may play upon.

How soon before they figure out, I have other family who can be exploited? These guys are not going to care about the fact I really do not know anything about them or the drugs. The only thing they're going to care about is stopping the risk to themselves."

The agents told me how the trailer had been stripped of the drugs and dummy packages had been put in their place. With the trailer now reassembled they hoped to lure the heads of the organization to a warehouse meet. When they arrive to retrieve their merchandise, the trap would be sprung. Then agents would take them into custody.

Nate put his hand on my shoulder and said, "Sweetie there are so many things that can go wrong."

I smiled back and replied, "There's risk in life Nate. I also know the old saying; Life doesn't follow a script."

I was to move back into a motel of sorts. NOPD had a safe house in the Garden District with an Airbnb account fully backstopped. The reason it was fully backstopped was it was actually an Airbnb inn. Reservations were canceled to accommodate the operation. The other "residents" were slowly moved in and consisted of a mix of young federal agents and NOPD officers.

One thing the feds are really good at is collecting shit and lying. The DEA managed to take possession of a warehouse on Rousseau Street. Within 24 hours they had the carnival wagon moved from Waukegan, IL to that warehouse. The agent in charge said its backstop would stand up to even detail forensic scrutiny. My father and Nate were not as easily impressed.

There was a script laid out. A bogus report was leaked to the media about a witness withholding evidence In order to protect her mother. The cover story that was leaked was that I was a witness who refused to cooperate. It was also leaked that the Attorney General was going to be seeking an indictment for withholding evidence.

For two weeks I hid inside the gated community, played board games with my little brothers, and rehearsed with Nate and the agents. The only times I left the safe confines of my father's home was when we were training in the warehouse. I was shown how to dive into the safe locations places where I was less likely to get shot. They also showed me how to get into the safe room that was directly under the carnival wagon.

The first step towards any acting job is to do research. Wardrobe is critical for any role. A good costume takes time to research to plan, to elicit the appropriate emotional response from the audience. Sweet and innocent won't pass with this crowd. It's a fine line between sexy and streetwalker. When I hit the bar, I looked the part.

I would love to be able to say that all eyes in the room followed me but that would be not entirely the truth. Still I could tell there were a few whose eyes were routed on me. It didn't take long for me to figure out I was in the right place. I became a point of increasing interest over the next five evenings. Then we hit pay dirt.


On the sixth night a man walked up behind me reached around for a beer on the bar. I noticed the redback spider tattoo in the web of his right hand. When he spoke with that singsong easy Creole accent I knew it was him.

"Y'all ain't from around here, mon cherie... A beautiful thing like you I would have noticed." He cood.

I replied, "I believe you are very much mistaken sir. We have met, and I'm not just giving lip service... Well not this time." I realized I was laying the innuendo a little too thick. But, I remembered this asshole from the tape. Subtly wasn't in this man's vocabulary.

He motioned to the bartender to send another round. Using the training Delilah gave me, out of the corner of my eye I saw the bartender "doctor" my next soda. The bartender tried to take my current drink I maintained possession of the clean one.

I loudly addressed my benefactor, "My Mama taught me to NEVER take a drink from a stranger..." then I whispered into my targets ear, "...the rule applied double if they drugged and raped you." I leaned back and said with phaux Southern indignation, "Why SIR!!! I don't even know your name." The exchange caused a few jarhead and sailor heads to turn within this very Navy friendly bar.

What my target didn't know was quite a few of those sailors and jarheads were Jason's friends and coworkers and a few NCIS agents mixed in.

The bartender swiftly took possession of the new beverage and dumped it in the sink quickly washed the glass of any residual evidence. "So you don't remember my name? Then again you weren't exactly in the best state of mind. Very rude of Zeke. But I would be up for a rematch. Just call me Glenn."

I rested my hand daintily on his and caressed the outline of the spider web tattoo. "Well Glenn, I believe we may have some unfinished business. Through no fault of my own, I find myself in possession of something that was lost in the port of Waukegan. I have no desire to keep it, I have no use for it."

He whispered menacingly in my ear, "You're playing a dangerous game boy." His hand grabbed low on my waist and I felt a pinch.

I turned, "Yes, I am playing your dangerous game. One that I was not asked to be part of. One that I do not understand the pieces on the board. So I'm trying very hard to understand my place. I am just looking for a way out with my skin still intact and my family alive. Glenn, can you help me find my way off this board?"

He put his index finger and thumb on either side of my collarbone and squeezed hard eliciting a pain reflex. He growled in my ear, "You little fucker, all I want is my property!"

"And I just want to stay alive Glenn. So we both have something we need out of this arrangement. Right now your property is safely secured in a warehouse I inherited from my auntie. After Katrina she became sole owner. It's still in one of my great grandparents names. If you kill me, good luck finding it.

On the other hand, we could go to my hotel. I give you the key card you leave me. Then you call my cell phone and I will give you the address that my unmarked key card fits."

Glenn whispered in my ear, "Sounds like a fair exchange. This whole fucking thing has never been about you. I just want what's mine." With that he helped me off the bar stool and then slowly walked to the door and out onto the street. "So Tristan where are you parked?"

I replied, "I took a cab. By the way, I go by Trista these days."

He laughed, "Looks like I'm your designated driver. I'm this way." We walked up the cobblestone sidewalk. My acrylic heels tapping with each stride. He encouraged me to walk quicker.

I pointed down to the heels, "They do limit how fast I can walk. You should take comfort that means I can't run from you." His hand held my waist as he guided me down the street. I knew there were eyes on me, I just wish I had seen them.

He was starting to turn towards his pickup when a man stepped partially out of the shadows, "Glenn, it's good to see you again, you're late." And another man approached from the rear. "Goodbye Glenn, you've disappointed me for the last time."

I felt an impact, as the man I called Glenn, fell against me. He collapsed to the ground with a knife in his back. I felt a gloved hand reach across my face. Something soft covered my mouth and nose. A few moments of struggle later and I was unconscious.

I woke on the floor in the back of some form of sedan. I was curled up in a fetal position in the foot well behind the driver. My wrists were handcuffed. It took very little time to realize I was completely naked. The driver barked, "Our tail is clear boss."

There was a man looking down on me from the passenger side of the vehicle. The man's face look distorted and twisted and I realized he was looking down upon me from behind a balaclava. "Welcome back to the land of the living Ms. LaSalle. I believe you have something that belongs to me..."

His accent was odd, not British but something very much like it. He continued, "Glenn knew I was a patient man, and learned what happens when my patience runs out. Ms. LaSalle, I hope you do not press my patience too far as well. I believe you know what I want."

Fear flashed across my face. "No worries, you're a believably pretty sort of Sheila but, I'm not about to smash your back out." I didn't know what he just said but it sounded violent. I tried to make myself smaller, curling into a tighter form. He sensed my fear and sighed then laughed braking it down for me, "Don't worry. Even though you look like a pretty girl, I am not about to fuck you. I am no Gyno, but I can see your boy parts."

He held up a golden semitransparent bag. Nate showed me one once, it was a faraday bag for RF signal isolation. My tech gadgets were visible inside it and I recognized my clutch as well. Inside that bag, the locators were dead. Unless they had physical eyes on me, NOPD wouldn't know where I was.

"We're terribly sorry about your current appearance. I'm sure you realize our need for caution. Glenn put two trackers in your clothes as he grabbed you at the bar. I will deal with his mates at a time of MY choosing. I don't want our time interrupted. It was faster and easier to cut them away and dump them rather than risk missing a third. Shall we talk about the location of my property?"

I stammered, "It is hard to trust a guy wearing a mask. H-how do I know you won't just kill me when I give you the wagon?"

"I am wearing the mask so I DON'T have to hurt you. Mate, all I want is my property. I want to make my house right again. Zeke chose his associates poorly. Brent, Glenn, and their mates used Zeke to steal from me. I had to put a stop to it. I'm truly sorry lad that you and your mum got in the way. But this is a difficult business."

I replied, "Well sir, getting you back your property might be a little difficult without a stitch of clothes on my back. The key to my family's warehouse is in my room down in the Garden District. If you attempt to enter without using that key card, or try to gain entry through any of the windows, alarms will go off. Then the NOPD will be alerted via automated cell phone data. If the cell phone link is interrupted, a caretaker alarm is generated and NOPD is dispatched. As you can see I have protected your food wagon...

...Sir, this is a lot of attention for a carnival funnel cake wagon. I don't know and I don't care what you have in it, I just want my mom and I left alone."

"Then Ms. LaSalle we have something each other needs." He had the driver pull off to a gas station. I was presented an oversized t-shirt to wear into my room. The man in the mask ordered me to put my hands forward. After I promised not to try to remove his mask or attack him. He removed the handcuffs. I quickly put on the shirt they provided, it covered everything, barely. He gave me a new pair of cheap flip flops.

We arrived at my inn. He warned me, "Straight in straight out, talk to no one. Don't try to get anyone's attention. We will be watching you. Just like we're watching her." He held up his cell phone it had video footage of my mother's hospital room streaming. I couldn't tell whether it was the room camera, or someone was in the room with her.

I nodded and I quickly walked to my room. I saw the back-up tracker on the desk. I knew I would be searched again I left it. I spoke to the air, hoping that things were ready at the warehouse, and I didn't know whether we would head straight there or they would stake out the place. "I have no other choice they're watching my mother in the hospital."

I picked up the key to the warehouse and returned to the car. I gave the masked man the key to 232 Rousseau Street. He quickly reapplied the handcuffs in front of me. The car looped the block twice. The men in the front seats were using an RF scanner to make sure the building was quiet. "Just cell phone security boss. The building is clear." The boss used an app to call in to pick up vehicle.

A large box truck arrived on scene and backed up to the loading bay doors. The masked man held my chin in his hand and squeezed firmly, "Almost over love, your life is almost your own again." He gently but firmly pulled me from the vehicle and helped me to my feet. From his perspective this must have been chivalry.

I shuffled in the loose shower shoes trying to maintain my footing. The masked man's large hand was pressed in the middle of my back. We arrived at the keypad and I entered the security code. The lights came on inside my captor flinched. I quickly told him, "They're program to do that. I don't like walking into a dark building." He chuckled and waved the proximity card in front of the sensor. The bolt retracted and the door was pushed open.

I knew this warehouse blindfolded. We all thought I had trained enough with the tactical team. No plan ever goes as predicted. The men let out a low whistle looking at the carnival wagon. The bay door was opened, and then the box truck's door rolled up. As soon as it did, I saw something which made the pit of my stomach fall on the ground.

A bound young man was wearing the hood upon his head. The t-shirt he was wearing was one that I knew. The bound boy was my step brother Hayden. "You see love, we do know who you are. We decided to have additional insurance. Okay mates take it off."

In one swift move the hood came off my brother's head. He blinked his eyes three times until he saw me standing before him "Trista!" The masked man repositioned my arms and handcuffs behind me. He put Hayden and I back to back, and zip-tied my cuffs to his. A package was placed between our legs and we were told to avoid it at all cost.

"Alright kids, that thing between your legs is a firebomb. If this is a trap and it springs shut, this beauty ignites in five minutes. Then your old man explains to both your mother's why their babies died. I'm also pushing a dead man switch. If the signal is broken, the bomb ignites. If however we get where we need to go, and our merchandise has been unmolested you will hear a click as the bomb disarms. If my associate in the area sees a tactical team sweep into this building to disarm the device, he will detonate it."

The wagon was quickly moved onto the box truck. The doors were secured and the bay door roll down. We were alone. I played a hunch that the zip tie that connected Hayden and I was done through the chains of the handcuffs I slid one wrist through quickly grabbing the loose cuff chain. I then eased my wrist from its mate.

Hayden tried to be noble and tell me to leave and save myself. I have said on many occasions that no woman's attire is ever complete without jewelry. Its odd how rarely men pay attention to women's earrings. I told him to shut up as I removed my earring and slid it quickly against the concrete to sharpen an edge. I was able to cut the tie. "Dad I really hope you're getting this. Our plan has turned to shit but we're free we're heading for the tunnel! I have Hayden, take them." We open the door and were greeted by my Nate. He was about to storm the room to save us. He escorted us across the street the underground passageway once used by smugglers.

True to his word as soon as he saw all the blue lights surrounding his vehicles the masked man released the dead man switch. A half second later the warehouse was engulfed in a fireball.


Back at the house Hayden explained how he was grabbed earlier in the day on his way to class up in Baton Rouge. He said how glad he was that his sister was a superhero. All of the brothers took turns hugging on me.

I looked down at my hands and said! "Damn! I chipped my nails!" Mama Janice offered to take me out for a spa day while the men did their debrief.

Daddy turned to Nate, "Nathan your chief of police and I just had a long talk. It seems he's been ordered to delete two positions. He believes if one officer steps down those cuts may be limited to one. Have you ever considered a career in Southern law enforcement? Detective Haygood is retiring in a couple years, and I could always use a good investigator to fill his position.

Trista's Mimi pretty much has our baby girl in the Theater Program at UNO. What can I say, our name still opens doors. All we need from the two of you is a yes to make things happen. Trista, Janis and I want to pay for your education. Not only are you my blood, you saved our boy. If you kids aren't comfortable staying here, you can caretake the family house down in the quarter."

I thought it odd that they were praising me for saving their boy. Forgetting it was the trauma and drama of my life that put him in jeopardy, but family forgives. We promised to think about it.

When we got to our room I called Delilah, she said, "No problem sweetheart you're a talent I can book anywhere." Nate called the chief who confirmed there were enough votes to cut the budget. The only reason why Matt Charles job was in jeopardy was so that they could get Nate without violating the tenure portion of the union contract. The zealots won this battle.

I begged his forgiveness for destroying two of his careers. "Sweetie the only reason why I was in Illinois was for Mom and Dad and they're moving down to Florida so there's no reason for me to stay there. My life is with you babe. We could start here fresh. Hell we may start here better off. I am going to be in debriefings for a few days. Let's just sleep on it a couple days."


It's been five years, I am still learning my way around. Nathan made international news with the breakup of the cartel. Every press briefing papa praised his work. During the final press briefing he announced, "Thanks to the cuts in the police department in Windy Harbor, We are inheriting this world class officer."

Nate said he really regretted HAVING to leave Windy Harbor but he had to provide for his family. That new story was repeated so often in Northeast Illinois there was a recall election. The two city council members who called for the budget and manpower cuts were recalled and lost their positions.

Mama and Jason got married. I have two more half-sisters and a half-brother. Nate and I are pregnant, VERY pregnant. Mom (Janice) is carrying our son, and Mama is carrying our twin girls. I was on hormones for a month and super ovulated, that hurt.

These days, I am mostly arm candy for Nate. I regret nothing! We have become a hot political property, and our star is in ascendance. I still do some cabaret work. Delilah and Tim got married and opened a club theater down in the quarter.