Embracing Justice -chp 6

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.

“I hope you like being a big sister to the munchkin in there, because if I have my way, you will be getting assigned as her handler.”

Chapter 6

Bobby woke to the sounds of the rooms shower running. As he sat up he realized that he had fallen asleep in one of the room’s two chairs. He thought back to the discussion he had with Sam last night. After all the hell she had gone through as a teenager, she was still able to turn her life around. He had always respected Sam as a deputy and a partner but that respect rose to new heights after reading the files on her laptop, and hearing her story.

If anyone had told him six years ago he would be partnered with a five foot two, pint sized terminator, former transsexual, like Samantha Justice he would have laughed in their faces. Then again, he had never seen Sam as anything but a fiery tempered, beautiful woman. The first time he had ever worked with her showed him just how much of herself she put into every assignments. He had heard of her work in cold cases, and how she was actually making arrests on cases that were decades old. That was the reason he had gone to her when hunting Edmond Fitzgerald. If it hadn’t been for a cold case that tied Edmond to a runner case he was working they would never have met.

As much as he wanted to go back to sleep in one of the beds he knew that he had to get his act together and get ready for the day. He heard the shower shut off, so got up and went over the en-suite kitchenette. It took him a few minutes to find the coffee and get the pot setup. If there is one thing he knew for a fact about his partner it was this. Samantha Justice was not a morning person and was as social as a grizzly bear with a stick up its ass until she had her first cup of coffee. There was no way he was going to subject Kristine to a non-caffeinated Sam. The poor girl had been through enough hell already without having to face that.

Once the coffee was going Bobby stepped over to the room’s window to take a quick look outside. Looking around he found nothing out of the ordinary or out of place. Their SUV was still in front of the door in its assigned parking space. There were no unusual cars or other vehicles sitting in the parking lot. No suspicious persons hanging around the hotel. In short everything looked good to go. But Bobby couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. He decided to wait for Sam to finish dressing before making a quick walk around the hotel.

Just as Bobby turned back around Sam walked out of the bedroom dressed in a black turtle neck leotard and tights. “Damn girl, are you trying to give me a hard on this morning?” it may have sounded like a joke, but for Bobby the sight of Sam dressed like that was having an effect on him. It was bad enough that he had to pee, but when he added in the sight of Sam right now he was about to have a rather embarrassing problem.

“Sorry Bobby, but I always dress this way for my morning yoga routine.” Sam said with some embarrassment of her own. “I forgot that you have never seen me doing my morning workout and didn’t think anything about it.”

‘That’s ok, Sam. Is the munchkin up yet?”

“Nope, I figure she’ll sleep for another hour or so. I don’t think she got much sleep over the last few weeks. Why? What’s up?”

“Nothing I just need to use the bathroom, and then I think I’ll take a walk around the hotel is all.” Bobby lied as he didn’t want to get Sam or Kristine unnecessarily upset over a gut feeling. It didn’t work, as Sam saw right through his lie.

“You got one of your gut feelings don’t you?” Bobby nodded his head yes. “How strong is it, Bobby?”

“It’s just one of those something aint right feelings. I really can say more than that Sam, but you might want to pull on some pants and a blouse. Then get Kristine up and dressed as well. I just can’t put my finger on it, but something is out of place.”

“Go ahead and take care of your business Bobby, and then go for your walk. By the time you get back I’ll have Kristine ready to bug out if you say so.” Sam had learned a long time ago to trust her partners gut feelings. Those gut feelings had led to some of their biggest arrests and saved them from more than one deadly situation. “Oh, is that coffee I smell?”

“Yah, I put it on while you were getting dressed. I know how you are until you get your coffee fix, and I didn’t want to subject the munchkin to you without your caffeine just yet.” Bobby tosses back over his shoulder. Bobby closed the door to the restroom before Sam gets a chance to make a comeback.

Sam just shakes her head at her partner’s goofy attitude and heads for the coffee pot and her first of the day. She still couldn’t believe what he had said just after she came out of the bedroom and just before he went into the bathroom. Sure this was the first time Bobby had ever seen her in her yoga gear, but the fact that he jokingly told her that he found her attractive was beyond her. Then again Sam had met two of Bobby’s ex-girlfriends. As Sam thought about Bobby’s string of girlfriends, she realized there was one thing they all had in common. Like her they were all petite and had light olive toned skin, dark brown eyes, and jet black hair.

Sam thoughts were brought back to the here and now when she heard the toilet flushing. Sam quickly pours two cups of coffee and fixed one the way she like it and the other for Bobby. When Bobby walks back into the front room of their suite Sam hands him his coffee. “Here, Bobby and before you ever comment on my caffeine addiction I suggest you clean up your own backyard, bub. You’re just as bad as me first thing in the morning.”

“Samantha, I hate to tell you this, but the only people who can put up with you before you have your morning coffee are me and Death. Now, I am going to make at least three trips around the hotel to check things out. If I am not back in one hour you know what to do. If I get back before then, I’ll let you know if we have to bug out or not.”

“I know Bobby, I know. Now, get a move on because as much as I hate to say this I have a feeling that some of our fellow deputies may not be on the up and up within the Columbus field office. I know that this place was safe for last night, but something is telling me we might have more than one bad seed in the Toledo office as well.”

“Do you have any ideas on who?”

“I don’t Bobby, but I think their names just might be on that flash drive. Now, before you head out remember to take more than just your jacket, that lake wind out there will be cutting this morning.” Sam tells him as she tosses him, his bulletproof vest. Bobby took the hint and put his vest on before his jacket. They may not stop armor piercing rounds, but they will stop everything else.

Once Bobby was out the door Sam went in to wake up Kristine only to find her already setting up in bed. “Good morning sunshine.” Sam received a very typical teenage reply as she sat down on the bed beside her. The glare that Kristine gave her was one of ‘I will kill you in your sleep’. “Oh wow, someone who is worse than me in the morning. Bobby is just going to love this.”

“Sam, have you ever been brought up on charges for excessive use of force, police brutality, or illegal interrogation techniques charges?” Kristine growled out at Sam causing her to giggle.

“I will have you know I am now and always will be a by the book officer of the law. I have not now or even been proven guilty of any of those charges. Besides it’s not my fault that the suspects I have arrested or interrogated dislike music by Olivia Newton John or the sounds track to Mama Mia.”

“Oh My God! You truly are a sadistic and sadomasochistic woman.” Kristine cried out with a faint look of shock and fear on her face just before she burst out laughing. “You know those must be some very interesting interviews. I can just hear the IA investigator who was assigned to those cases.”

“Oh trust me Kristine those poor bastards have no idea of what they are letting themselves in for. I spend more time giggling over some of the complaints that have been leveled against me than anything else. I still can’t believe some of these guys actually tell IA that a five foot two inches tall, one hundred and five pound, woman gave them a beat down. Can you imagine the hazing they get in the joint?”

“You have to be kidding me? You mean to tell me that you have actually done a beat down on someone? That is so cool! What’s it like to chase down a wanted criminal?” Kristine was showing a real interest for police work. “Can you tell me about some of the cases you and Bobby have solved? Oh, oh, how many times have you gone undercover?”

“Easy there kiddo, we’ll have plenty of time to get to know each other. Right now though I need you to get cleaned up, and dressed. We might have to be leaving here shortly.” Sam got up off the bed and head back into the front room.

“Um Sam are we in danger?” there was real fear in Kristine’s voice.

“Just do as I asked you, Kristine. Oh and I would suggest you wear the new tights and one of the leotards we got you yesterday under a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt. The temp is going to be colder today than yesterday. The weather man is saying we won’t get above fifty today and the wind chill is going to be in the low forties. I’ll have something ready for you to eat when you come out.”

“Can you please have more coffee ready too?” Kristine whined.

“Sure thing kiddo, now get a move on.” with that Sam left her to take care of getting ready for the day. As much as she didn’t want to say anything to Kristine she also knew she had to wait for Bobby to get back from his walk around before saying anything else. Not that it mattered, as the more she thought about this whole miss with the LOG, the former CDM, and the Columbus field office, the more she realized they needed to change safe houses.

The problem was that every deputy in Wit-Sac department in both the Toledo and Columbus field offices knew where they all are. They needed a safe house that nobody knew about one that would be off the list and off the grid. However it had to be someplace that she knew as well. Some place that had access to the net that no one in the Wit-Sac department knew about. It also had to have clear fields of fire just in case but would not stand out. Someplace quiet and out of the way, but still with access to the major roadways and interstates. It also had to be available for a long term stay with a sizeable community for them to hide in but one that would not be overly suspicious or curious about them.

Sam had heard the shower going while she pondered their situation. When it turned off she knew that Kristine would be out shortly and she had promised Kristine something to eat and coffee. Heading into the kitchenette Sam check to see what they had to eat. She found a couple of breakfast burritos in the freezer and took those out. She popped them into the microwave and started a new pot of coffee. As the burritos were heating up she sat down with her laptop and pulled up the local real-estate listings for rentals.

As she scrolls through the listings she rejects more than ninety percent of them. So far she had found three possible rental properties that fit their requirements. Of the three, two of them are on the outer edges of Toledo and one in the downtown area. None of them really fit everything she is looking for but they’ll do in a pinch. Her search is interrupted by Kristine’s arrival in the living room area.

“Hey, kiddo, you’re looking awfully cute. However can I make a suggestion?” when Kristen nods her head yes Sam giggles a little. “If I was you I would tuck up a little better than you are. That is unless you plan on trying to seduce Bobby when he comes back.”

The young girl blushed and stepped back into the bedroom. A few minutes later she stepped back out redressed and looking far more like a young girl than before. Before she could say anything the microwave time went off letting them both know that Kristine’s breakfast burritos were ready. Sam looked up Kristine and smiled. “Sorry, it’s not much, but they will fill you up.”

“That’s ok Sam, anything will be better than a cold dry bologna sandwich, juice box, and a bag of chips.” Kristine headed over to the kitchenette and grabbed her breakfast burritos and a cup of coffee. Walking back into the living room area she sat down next to Sam. Looking over at Sam’s laptop Kristine saw what Sam was searching. “You know you’re doing that the hard way?”

“Oh really, little Miss IT tech? And just how would you go about doing a search of rental properties in the area, smart ass?”

Giggling Kristine reached over and slid Sam’s laptop in front of herself. Sam watched as she first cleared the browser then opened up a new search engine. After doing a split screen she then began entering several new parameters. Then she went into the real estate data base in the original engine. Within a few seconds she had narrowed down the candidates from several hundreds to just fifty three. Then Kristine entered a few more commands and narrowed the search down even further to twenty seven.

“You know that we hang smart asses in the Marshals right?” Sam quipped.

“Ah, don’t be like that Sam. It’s not your fault that you’re computer illiterate.” The smile on Kristine’s face said that she was proud of what she just showed Sam. Then she decided to really show off and hacked the real estate data base and added in the properties that were for sale under rent-to-own by the banks. When she was done Kristine sat back smiling at the new list of eighteen houses. “If you think this is good, you should see what I can do with a real computer.”

“How in the name of hell? Wait never mind I don’t want to know. Knowing you it is probably illegal anyway. What I want to know is who taught you how to do all this with computers?” Sam asked her.

“One of the girls in my support group is a Professor at Ohio State. Kathrine is a real genius when it comes to Computer Networks and Programing. She showed me how to do ninety percent of what I can do with a computer.” Kristine started to giggle. “I used to have to walk past her building and office on my way home from school. She taught me how to be a real hacker.”

Sam looked at this young girl and realized just how good Kristine was. As good as she was Kristine could either be working for the government or wanted by it. if she could do the things she did with Sam’s service issued laptop, Sam was afraid to see what Kristine could do with one that was more up to date or custom built. “Um, Kristine tell me something, just how good with computers are you?”

“Let’s just say that I can give the NSA, FBI, and DHS enough reason to hire me or place me on their watch lists, right now.” Sam could tell that Kristine wasn’t bragging only stating the truth. “I’ll be honest with you I didn’t really need my father’s passwords to get into the LOG server. They just made it easier and saved me some time. Once I saw what was on my father’s pc in that blind partition I knew I had to do something. That was why I went into the LOG server like I did. Sam I just want to get back at those people for all of the pain they have caused me and so many other people. I want to see that organization torn apart and the responsible people put in jail or dead. I don’t care how it gets done or by who, just that it happens.”

“Ok, kiddo. I understand where you’re coming from, and you will get your vengeance. I promise you’ll get it, but it’ll be done the legal way, and without a gun in your hand. Now let’s take a look at what you have found for us.” With that Sam and Kristine spent the next fifteen minutes looking over the listings for property Kristine’s search had found. The first three were rejected straightaway as they were in areas that Sam knew had a high crime rate. The three of them would standout like snowmen in a coal field. The next two were put on the possible list. They were not perfect but would do if need be. The next five were also rejected as they were too far out for backup to reach in time if they had a problem.

Bobby came back from his walk around the hotel before they could finish going through the list. Sam could tell by the look on her partners face that something was wrong. Bobby’s next words only confirmed her suspicions. “I was right Sam. We have company.”

“How many and where Bobby?”

“Four in total. One in the lobby, one out by the road, and the last two in a van on the backside of the hotel parking lot. From what I could tell they all belong to Homeland. The stupid asses stand out like roses in a cow pasture.”

“What’s the play, Bobby? Do we bug out or sit tight and call for the cavalry?”

Bobby took a few minutes to think about what they should do. Sam was also doing the same thing, but for different reason. Sam knew that if Homeland was looking for Kristine then the FBI and the NAS was also not far behind. The fact that Homeland was already involved told her that someone with the LOG was putting pressure on DHS to secure Kristine or arrest her. This was not good, not good at all. This also told her that someone within the Toledo and Columbus field offices was dirty.

“Bobby, you know what this means don’t you?” when Bobby looked at Sam he had a look of confusion on his face. “We have a rat in either the Toledo or Columbus offices. This hotel has been a service secret for over fifteen years. Only someone in Wit-Sac would know about this place.”

“Shit! I was hoping you weren’t going to say that. Alright we bug out. Kristine honey go put all your new clothes into the luggage we picked up for you yesterday.” Kristine got up and went to do as she had been told. She remembered the first rule that Sam had given her and wasn’t about to argue. “Sam, we’re going to need someplace off the grid to go to ground. You have any possibilities yet?”

“Me and Kristine were just going over a list as you came in, but I think I’ll just save the list for now. We need to get ready to leave and figure out how we’re going to lose the clowns. We’ll need a distraction of some sort.” As Sam was talking to Bobby she was already saving the list of possibles and shutting down her laptop.

“I think I have that covered, Sam. If you can slip out there is a pay phone over at that gas station across the street. A nine one one call will bring the local LEOs running if they are told someone heard screaming coming from the van. It’ll blow their cover and draw the other two in as they’ll have to do something or let their surveillance team swing. With them distracted by their team getting roasted by the LEOs I load up Kristine and head out. We meet up at the BK down the street. How does that sound?” Bobby had put some thought into his hastily conceived plan.

“Sounds good to me. In fact I know just the place we can lay low until we get ahold of Dorothy and Dave. I only have one change to the plan. Instead of you picking me up at the BK I’ll meet up with you there.” Sam had a mischievous smile on her face. If there was one thing she loved more than busting a runner it was making fools of the Department of Homeland Security and the rest of the alphabets.

“I don’t know Sam. Are you sure you want to play it this way?” Bobby was worried over this change in his plan. For starters he didn’t know where this place was, and secondly Sam would be on her own.

Meanwhile Sam was pulling on her shoulder holster and sidearm. She had already placed her credentials in her back pocket along with her wallet. “Don’t worry, Bobby. I may hate this town, but I know where every blot whole, back alley way, side street, and abandoned warehouse is in it. Dorothy knew what she was doing by bringing us up here. Now, just get Kristine to St. Jadwiga of Poland Catholic Church on twenty Third Street. When you get there just let Kristine handle the introductions, she knows the code to give to get you help.”

“Alright, Sam we’ll play it your way, but can you tell why the padres at that church are going to help us?”

Sam giggled as she was putting on her jacket and answered in a voice filled with mirth. “It is a sisterhood thing, you just wouldn’t understand.” Sam stopped before she opened the door and looked out the room’s window to make sure the coast was clear. Once she was sure it was safe to slip out she turned to Bobby. “I’ll see you and the munchkin in about two hours, two and a half at the most. Take care of her Bobby, and don’t slow down for three blocks when you leave here. It’ll only take those jackasses over at Homeland twenty minutes at most to get a new team in place, so don’t screw around.”

Before Bobby could tell her to watch out for herself Sam had slipped out the door and was gone. Bobby looked over and saw that Sam had left her purse behind. This told him that Sam was going to be moving fast and furious. Bobby didn’t waste any time and packed up their gear and got everything ready to go. Kristine helped with the packing. Once the Homeland team was gone it would only take them two trips to get everything into the SUV. Once they were ready Bobby and Kristine sat back and waited for the fun to begin. Five minutes after they were ready they both heard the sound of sirens pulling into the parking lot.

Bobby thought that Sam could not have timed their diversion any better. Within ten minutes the local police had swarmed the van outback and the two other members of the Homeland surveillance team. It took the cops the better part of thirty minutes to get everything sorted out. While this was going on Bobby and Kristine had loaded up the SUV and were already leaving the parking lot. By the time the surveillance team realized they were gone Bobby and Kristine were already halfway downtown headed for St. Jadwiga of Poland Catholic Church.

They passed Sam on the side of the road. She was walking as if she didn’t have a care in the world. To Bobby it looked as if she had a little hop in her step. Then again Bobby knew about Sam’s need to screw with the alphabets at times. On more than one occasion it had gotten Sam in trouble with the higher ups, but as far as Bobby was concerned he couldn’t care less. It wasn’t long before Sam was out of sight and Bobby had to concentrate on driving. Thankfully Kristine was able to give him directions off of his cellphone to St. Jadwiga of Poland. It took them almost three hours to get there thanks to a detour and getting lost not once but three times. If they had a tail they were better than anyone Bobby had ever met.
When they got to the church Bobby pulled around to a back alley as Kristine had directed. There they found an iron gate in the back wall of the church yard. As Bobby shut down the SUV Kristine was already climbing out. “Hey, munchkin wait for me.” Bobby called out.

“Yes sir.” Kristine called back from over by the gate. Once Bobby was out of the SUV and had joined her at the gate she opened it and headed for the backdoor. Bobby was hot on her heels. As he walked through the yard Bobby noticed that unless you were on the roof tops of the surrounding buildings you couldn’t see into the church yard. Bobby began to wonder how Sam knew about this place. It was the perfect hidey hole for someone on the run; this was a Catholic Church it would be protected by the Vatican.

If law enforcement tried to just walk in here they would catch holy hell literally. Bobby watched as Kristine walked up to the backdoor and knocked. Kristine remembered what Sam told her to do if or when she came here. Kristine followed the instructions to the letter. Kristine knocked four times then waited ten minutes and knocked four times again. No sooner than she had knocked the last time than the door opened to reveal a middle aged priest. He said nothing to them just waved them inside. Once the door was closed the man turned to Kristine and smiled. “Welcome little sister to the Lords house. Your big sister is waiting for you in the usual place.”

“Um… excuse me father but this is my first time here. I don’t know the usual place.” Kristine told the man honestly.

“Just follow the hallway in that direction until you come to the stairs. When you get there take the ones heading down where you will find a door to the right at the bottom. That is where you will find your big sister.” Looking up at Bobby the priest smiled. “And deputy, that is where you’ll find your wayward partner, and I must say that she hasn’t changed one bit in over twelve years. That girl may be a Deputy US Marshal now, but she is still a hell raiser. A fact that I highly doubt will ever change. If there is one thing I know about Stephany is this. That girl was set in her ways before she left her mama’s womb.”

“Excuse me padre’, but will our truck be safe in that alleyway and may I know your name so I know who to in clued in my prayers?” Bobby asked of the man.

“For starters deputy that truck of yours out there is safer in that alleyway than in the federal motor-pool and my name is Father Robert. Now I suggest you get a move on. Your partner is walking the walls waiting for you. I never thought I’d see the day when that girl would worry about someone else again like this.” The priest turned and walked away.

Bobby looked down at Kristine and waved for her to lead the way. When they reached the bottom of the stairs they found the door Father Robert told them about. When they walked inside Bobby found himself on the receiving end of a five foot two inch hug missile. Sam stepped back then grabbed Kristine in her own hug. After hugging Kristine Sam looked up at Bobby.

“Where the hell have you two been? Don’t you know how to use your phone you over grown lummox?” before Sam could get a good head of steam up over them not calling her Kristine held up Sam’s purse.

“We would have if you had taken your phone and purse with you Samantha.” Bobby scolded her. “It’s kind of hard to reach someone who doesn’t have their phone on them.”

“Sorry about that. I guess it’s my fault for not grabbing my phone out of it before I left. Forgive me?” Sam may have apologized but she didn’t sound like she was apologetic. In fact she sounded more than a little mischievous. “So tell me what took you so long to get here, and do you think you were followed?”

Shaking his head Bobby looked over at Kristine who was doing her best not to laugh at Sam’s attitude. There was no help for it, even Father Robert had said that Sam hadn’t changed in the twelve years she has been gone. If a priest said there was no hope of Sam changing then there really wasn’t a thing he could do to change the matter. Looking up at the ceiling Bobby said a little prayer.

“Bobby, I know we’re in a church and all, but I doubt that the man upstairs is going to answer your prayer. He gave up on me a long time ago. Like I said last night Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell is afraid I’ll take over. Now, tell me why it took you so long to get here.” Sam said with a smile.

Bobby looked down at his partner, and just chuckled. “We made one mistake in our little schedule. We didn’t take into account the fact that there is construction on half of the roads between here and the hotel. We had to take at least two different detours. If the munchkin here had been giving me directions off my phone we would still be lost. Christ, no wonder the Marshal wanted someone who knew the area for this detail. Anyone not from around here would lose their fucking mind just trying to tail someone.”

“Um… Bobby you know I’m not real big on religion, but please watch your language while we’re here?” Sam really didn’t give a damn about the type of language Bobby used, but she had notice Kristine performing The Sign of the Cross when Bobby fired off in his usual manner. Bobby looked Sam for a second before following her eyes to where they were looking.

“Sorry about that, Kristine. I’ll watch my language while we’re here.” Bobby was really embarrassed about his cussing in front of her in a church like that. Bobby like Sam wasn’t a follower of any one set religion, but he always tried to be respectful of those who did. The only ones Bobby had problems with were people who used religion as an excuse to spread hate and violence. For them Bobby had no tolerance for and absolutely no patience.

When Kristine looked up at him she gave him a smile. “Bobby you don’t have to apologize to me for being yourself. I maybe a sinner in the eyes of closed minded bigots but the good Lord forgives me for wanting to be the girl I should have born, so then he’ll forgive you you’re cussing.”

Sam has to fight to keep from busting out in a full on, gut busting, laugh. Even Bobby was having a hard time trying not to laugh at Kristine’s reply. It was the perfect comeback to use in this of all places. So Bobby did the only thing he could do. Looking up at the ceiling with his arms spread wide Bobby called out. “Why me God? Are my sins so great that you have saddled me with not one but two such crosses to bear? What have I done to offend you oh Lord?” His antics had both girls laughing by the time he was done. When the Monsignor stepped into the room this was how he found them, all laughing. He walked over to Sam with a smile of his own.

“It is good to hear you laughing again once more child. I thought for sure that you would never laugh again the last time I saw you. I take it that you are in need of your old haunts for a while?”

“Monsignor I am truly sorry for bringing this into your church. We will not be here long. Once I have my laptop out our SUV, I should be able to find us an acceptable safe house. Then we be out of your hair and no one will be the wiser.” The way Sam was acting around the Monsignor made Bobby look at her long and hard. Then he remembered that Sam was of Italian decent and most likely was raised in the Catholic Church. No wonder she knew about this church, she might have attended here when she was younger. The Monsignor’s next words confirmed this.

“When was your last confession, child?”

“Monsignor, I really don’t have time for this.”

“Your partner can use your laptop and find your safe house. We have time for you to go to confession. It is either that or you can find somewhere else to hide.” The Monsignor was playing hard ball with Sam and she knew it. Sam also knew that there was no place that was open at this time of day where they wouldn’t attract attention.

“Bobby, go get my laptop. I’ll talk to you in about one maybe two hours.” Sam gave in to the Monsignor’s demands and headed for the door to go upstairs. She stopped half away and looked at Kristine. “Well, are you coming or what? Don’t worry they have two confessionals here. So there is almost no waiting and before you say one word, if I have to do this so do you. Now get a move on.”

Kristine took the none too subtle hint and joined Sam as they followed the Monsignor out of the room and up the stairs. For Bobby he could not believe what he just saw. Samantha Justice, hard ass supreme, a woman he has seen face down murderers, rapists, drug lords, gang bangers of all types, and a hundred other types of scumbags, cowed by a man of the cloth. If he told his fellow deputies down at the field office of this, they would laugh him out of the room or call for a psyche eval. Bobby put Sam behavior out his mind for now and went back out to their SUV for Sam’s laptop. As he was walking toward the gate he was stopped by a different priest than Father Robert. “Hello deputy, if you would be so kind as to bring your car around to the far end of the driveway you can park it in the rectory’s parking lot.”

“Um… sure father so long as it’s ok with your boss. We don’t want to cause you folks any problems.” Bobby really didn’t want to park inside a closed in area, but it might be the best way to hide their SUV.

“Deputy it is perfectly alright. This is by the Monsignor’s orders.” The priest then walked off to the far end of the courtyard wall, were Bobby saw a sliding steel door. Bobby once again took the better part of valor and went to get the SUV. A few minutes later he was backing the big vehicle into an empty spot behind the rectory. Before heading back inside Bobby made sure the gun locker in the back of the SUV was locked down tight. Bobby found that it was secure as always, but also something they had missed in their hurry to leave the hotel.
The priest that had let Bobby in came up beside him looking at the tracking device Bobby had just found. “Let me have that please. We don’t like unexpected guests.” Bobby looked at the priest and handed over the tracker. “Thank you, don’t worry my son. We have dealt with similar unwanted technology before.” Bobby followed as the priest walked back outside the church walls. He watch as once they were on the other side of the wall the priest went to one of the swear drains. The priest then pulled a plastic drink bottle out of the trash and put the tracker inside of it. Once he had done that the priest bent down and dropped the bottle into the sewer. “That should give your friends a nice little merry chase through the city. That’s drain empties into the main line at the end of the block. From there it will wind its way around the rest of downtown till it hits the main viaduct where it’ll empty into the lake about seven miles from here.”

Bobby looked at the priest for a minute then cracked up laughing. “Padre, that there’s ab so lutely crazy. I won’t have thoughts a man of the cloth would know about doing something like that.”

“My son, we here at St. Jadwiga of Poland have long been a safe haven for those trying to escape unwanted attention. There are more of those things in Lake Erie than I will comment on. However I will say this much, your own partner has one of those out there somewhere herself. Now I suggest we get you back inside before someone sees you.” The priest led Bobby back inside the church. As they were walking through the nave of the church Bobby noticed that they were the only ones around, but there was some whispering coming from one of the confessionals.

The priest noticed where Bobby was looking. “Do not worry my son. They are perfectly safe here. From the outside world that is, however your partner is having to face her sins after a long, long time. I doubt that the Monsignor Gilmore is going to let her off lightly. He never did tolerate her shenanigans when she was younger, and now that is has to have been at least twelve years since her last confession and who knows how many missed Sabbaths. Oy vay I don’t even want to contemplate what he’ll have her doing for penance.”

“Excuse me, padre’ but I highly doubt that your boss can make Sam do anything she don’t want to do. I’ve known Samantha Justice for the better part of six years now. That little woman is hell on heels and she holds herself to a standard I wish the rest of our deputies did. Trust me she does her own penance her own way and no priest is going to change that.” Bobby told the priest with total conviction.

“That maybe so deputy, but you have yet to see Samantha deal with Monsignor Gilmore. Now, why don’t we head back down stairs and I’ll give the password for the church’s Wi-Fi.” As they went down stairs they met Kristine halfway down. “Child, are you alright?”

“Oh yes, Father I am just fine. I was just looking for Bobby. I thought I would help him with finding a new safe house. From what little I heard when I went past the other confessional I think Sam maybe in there for a little while longer.” Kristine giggled.

“Munchkin, if what the good padre’ here was telling me is true. Sam is going to be in there for more than a little while. I may not be a religious person per say, but I do know something about the catholic faith from my time in the army. Now, let’s go over this list you and Sam came up with. You did save it, didn’t you?”

Kristine gave Bobby a dirty look that said more than words. Thankfully the priest that had been showing him around came to his rescue. “Peace, child, peace. Remember the words of our savior. ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.’ But in this case, ‘Gods of Binary please forgive this poor idiot for he knows not of what he speaks.’”

Kristine couldn’t keep herself fron giggling at the priest’s comments about Bobby’s questioning her about if she saved the safe house search. After taking Sam’s laptop from him she sat down and reopened the search she had started back at the hotel. It took her a few seconds to find it. Once Kristine had it open she and Bobby got to work on eliminating the possibilities. They were down to ten in total when Sam walked into the room. Both Bobby and Kristine had lost track of the time and hadn’t realized they had been hard at work for next to an hour. Sam looked at the two of them before asking what they had found.

“Well, got the list down to ten bank owned R-T-O’s. Care to take a look?” Bobby told her with some concern for his partner in his voice. Sam had the look of someone would had gone fifteen rounds with a heavy weight prize fighter.

“Don’t worry about Bobby. I’m fine, it just takes a lot out of person trying to remember and go over twelve years of sins. Before you ask, yes that is how many years it has been since my last confession.” She walked around to stand behind the two of them and looked down at the ten houses they had narrowed the search to. As she looked over the list she was surprised to see one in particular. This was the one, she just know it. It had everything she wanted plus a few other nice features. For starters it had an eight foot wall around three quarters property with a four foot fence across the front with an electric gate. The best part of the deal though was who the owner really was. It wasn’t Bank Owned as the listing stated. The bank was only holding it in trust for the real owners. Owners that Sam knew, and trusted. Turning to look over at the Monsignor who had joined them.

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

To be continued

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