A Legal Trap - Chapter 4

Author retains all rights to this original work of fiction.

Thanks for following along with this story. Rachel...

March 10th 12:06 AM
Try as I might, I just couldn't wash away this day in what turned out to
be a very long hot shower. Nearly twenty-five minutes of pure warmth
delivered by a showerhead with some real water pressure behind it - unlike
the crappy apartment shower I had back in Kent. Too many emotions were
bombarding me and I felt very awake, though I knew my body was spent and
running on fumes. Pretty sure the little I had to drink with Paul wasn't
helping my brain or attitude or my will to be more focused.

From Amber's destructive path to working with Paul and wanting more of -
more of that connected feeling with another human, to pretty much lying to
Janet Larson about our progress, to loving the way the water from the
shower flowed over my breasts... I sighed and felt a pang of depression
for hating that last physical piece of me that kept me anchored in a past life I
wanted gone, to forget it even existed. Boil it all down and the trouble was -
Amber's journey was too much like my own to ignore and it made my heart ache.
I escaped the trap just before starting HRT - but that scab was still pronounced
on my psyche and easily torn off... Often times by my own mind not knowing
when to stop picking at some fault I couldn't compartmentalize or come to terms
with...

Granted she was only just getting started - solo pictures, webcasting, and
videos - churning her sexuality into profit. And there was no shortage of
fetish seekers money to be had for so little effort, but what you gave up was
worth so much more than some quick cash. The need for attention, confirmation,
and validation of who she was becoming - so strong it blinded her - it had blinded
me. Logic was thrown out the window - at least for a seventeen year old. All
told it really spelled disaster and would only get worse - as the Tumblr animated
graphic of her proved. There was a video, but was more, worse?

I had been older than Amber and should have known better, but the
gratification was like a drug. I had to have it and I kept raising the
stakes of what I would give up of myself to get the attention I was lacking in my life.
Somewhere on the net was shit I hoped no one would ever see. Long gone were
my connections to that sewer of being used, being someone's fetish, kink... Why
wasn't I smart enough to at least be paid for it? I got nothing but mental abuse from
trolling those same sewers as Amber was now...

I shook my head - I couldn't go back to that way of existence. I pumped
some lotion into my hands and began to apply it to my freshly shaved legs.
When done, I pulled on a pair of unattractive boyshort panties. I took a
moment while standing in front of the mirror to admire my long legs and
perky nearly B cup breasts. I was pale from lack of sun and wondered if
this body was good enough for... The tiny bump in the panties caught my
attention and everything positive became less impressive in the blink of
an eye. Grrrr! No one will want me like this and I wasn't even sure
anyone would want me if I were whole...

HRT had been a Godsend. It got me off a destructive path and I couldn't
argue loving the results. Fat redistribution had done amazing things for
my mental well being - giving me an ass that was round and bubbly - with
the right amount of jiggle. I turned to inspect my greatest asset and
smiled - it was a plus for sure. I had gone from being 159 pounds, just
over twenty months ago, down to about 122 last I weighed myself. I had
that classic runner's body and put in at least twenty-five miles a week
running around my neighborhood, so I wasn't a poser by any stretch.
Running was a release in so many ways and an escape I craved on days I was
at my lowest.

My facial features had softened during HRT and I had resigned myself to
not needing FFS - which was a good thing, since I didn't have the money
for that anyway. I begged my mom for money for school and ended up using
twenty-three hundred dollars for a tracheal shave procedure last year...
It made passing so much easier, well besides my voice - which annoyed me
all the time, but I was working on that diligently. Voice training was monotonous
and boring. To pay for school it took working two jobs, though I still had credit
card debt that would be tough to squash any time soon.

Why couldn't I just be happy with what I saw right now - right this minute?
I pulled on a loose, stretched out, pair of lycra runners' shorts and a
spaghetti strap blue tank top. I took off the towel my hair was wrapped
in and let the nearly shoulder length locks dangle - shaking my head a few
times to loosen up the tangles I could see, running my fingers through it
to shake them out. I grabbed my brush and did a quick couple comb through
motions... I should change the color, maybe go more blonde - like a dirty
blonde. It would be subtle and a good change for springtime. I did have
that grand advance for taking on this project of finding Amber. I decided
it was a done deal - new hair color when I got home!

I finished the rest of my nightly routines, flipped the nightstand light
off, and enjoyed the coolness of the bed sheets on my skin. I rolled over
and grabbed a pillow to put between my knees - it would have to do in
absence of my body pillow at home. I looked at the clock illuminating
half the room, 12:24 AM and thought about the two alarms I had set on my
phone for 5:30 AM... Augh...

March 10th 1:41 AM
"Can I have my hand back?"

Paul let it go and I walked to the bar alone, which was by the pool now.
Kids were playing and splashing, music was filling in the voids when they
weren't yelling and screaming, the sun was very bright and I felt a
warmth all over. Why didn't I have my sunglasses on? "Can I help you,"
the bartender asked.

I looked at the menu board behind him; there weren't any salads listed.
"Excuse me, Miss..." I turned to see a teenage boy standing next to me.
"Where did you get your bathing suit?"

I tried not to look flustered by his question, fearful of the reason he
was asking. "I got it at Target," I replied. It was a classic one piece
with a courtesy skirt. Not my first choice but for now it would have to
do for obvious reasons. It fit well and I looked down to see if something
was amiss. Nope... I had tanned legs and really loved my painted
toenails and shimmering beaded flip-flops...

"My dad really likes it. Can I take your picture?"

What? "I don't understand..."

"Paul said you were cool with it. Over here..." he was gesturing to a
seat by the bar where a webcam was set up next to a computer. What did
Paul have to do with this kid's dad?

I looked confused but followed him, sitting where he'd patted his hand on
a towel covered beach recliner. "Sit here..." I did as requested,
noticing there was a crowd of men watching. What is this? "So, if you
could just slide the straps off, show us your tits..."

A loud thump made me come very much awake, startlingly so... There were
two more in succession, a pause and three quieter followed. The room was
black and I panicked - where was I? I sat up quickly - what the fuck was
that!? My heart was beating fast, I looked at the clock, 1:41 AM, shit!
I opened the door to the living room area of the suite, it was dark, no
movement. The AC was humming quietly, had it burped or something. No,
someone was at the door. I flipped a light on, squinting while walking to
the door on guard for someone about to jump out at me from behind the
couch or kitchen area. As I got to it, there were two light taps - I
looked through the peephole, it was Paul.

"What Paul?" I was hoarse and sounded tired, annoyed, and leaned my head
against the door, exhaling slowly, trying to wake myself up.

"I found her Elizabeth, I know where she is..."

I had no idea what I looked like and there was no way I would, on purpose,
let anyone see me like this - which I was sure was pathetic. But this was
huge - had Paul really found Amber!? I opened the door, standing behind
it until he made his way in. Paul barely gave me a look, which was both
good, but with a twinge of sadness also. He was obviously excited and had
the TV turned on and his laptop connected by the time I had shut the door
and made my way to the living room area.

"She's in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She got there Friday is my best guess..."

I was looking at an email on the TV screen - courtesy of Paul forgetting
to take his Chrome Cast dongle with him when he was here earlier. The
email contained instructions from someone who signed the email 'Daddy'.
In fact reading it was sickening. 'Daddy wants you here now...' 'Daddy
will get you what you want...' 'You want to please your Daddy...' 'Daddy
will pick you up today...' and it went on like that ad nauseam. "Are you
fucking kidding me..." I whispered.

Paul's eyes didn't stray from the screen. "Yeah, was hell reading this
crap, but I've tracked their correspondence back over four months. He's
been grooming her, which led to him picking her up from school last
Friday - got that in an email somewhere. I don't know where in Santa Fe
she is, but I do have a phone number for 'Daddy'. I've alerted Jacob and
the Carsons, who are working with the police and maybe even the FBI right
now..."

"How did you get into this email account?" We had access to three of
Amber's other email accounts, but they weren't used much. The email
account Paul had on the screen was the one we didn't have a password for,
so this was a huge breakthrough.

Paul looked up from his laptop and was looking at me. "Luck. I went
through the 'Forgot Password' process on this account and she had used one
of the others we had access to as a recovery email address. Went through
the recovery process - changed the password - logged in..."

I was impressed. "Wow, that's awesome..." I felt self-conscious as it
seemed he was measuring me with his gaze still. My tight fitting tank top
was hiked up slightly showing my midriff and accentuated by two tiny nubs
poking at the tightly woven cotton fabric at my chest, on top of two small
mounds. I pulled the shirt down, but it didn't help - except to make the
view of my tits more pronounced. I crossed my arms and gave him a look
that said, 'Enough gawking'.

"I talked to Jacob, we've locked her out of her accounts for Paypal and
Patreon - I changed her passwords. The money is still there, actually she
must have picked up a few more subscribers as there is now just over
twelve-thousand in the combined accounts. New password for her accounts
is 'PEaz4HiRe3988'." Paul enunciated the particulars of the password.

OK, Thanks for that, but I had no idea... Wait, 3988 was the last four
digits of my Social Security Number. "Hey, what the hell?"

"It's 'P' for Paul, 'E' for Elizabeth, we're in 'AZ' and 'hired' to find
Amber, and I tossed your last four SSN in there for good measure. Feel
free to access any of her..."

Had I really just heard him? "No, that's not good measure! That's fucked
up, that's what that is..." I was burning a hole through him with my
stare. I could feel my chest tightening, breathes were coming in shallow
huffs, adrenaline was flowing madly due to possibly finding Amber, and I
was really pissed at Paul! I walked to my room, slamming the door behind
me. Who the fuck did this guy think he was?!

I found my purse and opened the bottle of Xanax, went to the bathroom,
filled a glass of water and downed it quickly. The water tasted funny,
which explains why they gave away complimentary water - but that was in
the refrigerator and I was pissed and not going to give him the
satisfaction of riling me anymore. Was he poking at me on purpose? Did
he have queued on his laptop content from when I was posting my own shit
out there? Had he shared that shit with Jacob? FUCK! FUCK YOU!

I looked in the mirror and cringed - I looked like death. Pale pasty
skin, hair a complete disaster, and I just realized I needed to pee -
which is about the only time this Goddamn worthless appendage ever changed
these days, though only barely.

March 10th 2:03 AM
I had been sitting on my bed contemplating my next move. I wanted to just
collapse on the bed, melt into the covers, and not move or speak to anyone
for twenty-four hours. I knew that wasn't going to happen, so I decided
to try to make myself more presentable. I did a lite version of my usual
makeup application, got my hair semi under control with a little water and
too much hairspray, and changed my clothes. I was basically working up
the courage to confront Paul, when I heard him speaking from the living
room...

"Hey Jacob, no we're up, looking into any other leads we can find..."
There was a very long pause, maybe a minute or more. "Yes, I sent the
passwords to Detective Hanes. I also suspended her Patreon account after
we talked..." A shorter pause. "The full video is there still, but no
one will have access..." Pause "...that's right. We don't want to
tamper with any digital evidence - totally understand. Their system will
show the password change locking her out and the time of account
suspension for viewing by those who have subscribed to her content."

I hadn't heard a phone ringing, so wondered if Paul had called Jacob. I
couldn't take not seeing and being a part of the conversation and opened
the door to the living room. Paul looked up at me and mouthed 'Jacob'. I
nodded back. He put the phone in speaker mode...

"Hey Jacob, you're on speaker phone, Elizabeth is back..."

"Hello Elizabeth, nice job with the breakthrough..."

I looked at Paul confused. "Ah, Thank You Mr. Wentz, but Paul is really
the brains behind this operation..." I shrugged at him. He just stared
blankly at me, nodding slightly in acknowledgement.

"Jacob, that is correct, the account is unchanged - as are her other
accounts except for the password changes I made to keep her out. Oh, and
I'm certain the full video was done after Friday, you can clearly see the
new tattoo in some of it... I have no idea how many views though - the
people at Patreon will know that though. It's likely been grabbed and reposted
on other sites - that's typical..."

"OK... The Santa Fe Police are putting a list together of where she might
get the implants done. They won't be able to make contact with anyone
until doctors' offices open." Jacob said.

I looked at Paul with a concerned look and mouthed 'implants'... He
nodded 'Yes'. I shook my head.

"Are you two coming over now?"

"Yes, be there within the hour Jacob..." Paul looked at me, I nodded
'Yes'.

"OK, good. Things are about to move quickly. I called Landon and he's
informed the Santa Fe office. Gary and Stephanie are getting a flight
worked out right now. That's at least an eight hour drive or a little
over an hour and a half if they can fly. As you can imagine, this time of
night not many choices are available. We can talk more when you get
here."

I blurted out, "Mr. Wentz, you could have them look into a medical flight.
Those operate 24/7 - they could say they are bringing Amber home after the
surgery..." I didn't sound confident about having known about the implants
surgery - which I didn't - or that she had posted the full video the
Tumblr graphic had come from, but I pressed on. "I saw a report on this
kind of service on the news..."

"I'll pass that on Elizabeth, Thank you for that - good idea, no one had
thought of that... See you both shortly"

"OK Jacob, we'll be there..." Paul hung up the phone and began clicking
on his laptop.

I didn't want to revisit our exchange from earlier, so just went with
confirming what I knew. "You found out she was meeting some guy in Santa
Fe for implants?"

He didn't look up. "Yeah, their relationship was a mixed bag of this guy
being kink obsessed and her going along with it. She sent him a lot of
content that we haven't seen posted anywhere. Likely his request she not
share it. Sick bastard... I don't recommend viewing what she has in her
'Sent' folder. He got her hooked on the idea of implants and paying for
them. I hope the procedure hasn't already been performed."

I didn't know the man, her 'Daddy', but I had a pretty good idea of how
fucked up he was. The other thing was this guy was smart - but not smart
enough. While Amber was now of legal age - I was fairly certain a case
could be brought against him for his inappropriate contact with her prior
to turning eighteen. It didn't take a lawyer to know that. "So all
police agencies and the FBI are up to speed?"

He stopped to look at me. "Yes..."

It was obvious we weren't going to get along without coming clean, so I
started, "Look, I don't know what you know about me... You know, like
shit I wouldn't want exposed, but you... You need to stay in your lane."

"My lane?" he said confused.

"Whatever... Like if you want to know who I am, get to know me. I would
kill for friends I could hang with, laugh with, go and do..." I paused
feeling a lump lodging in my throat. "I'm not that person from three
years..." I turned to the kitchen, wiping a tear rolling down my face,
and went to the refrigerator for a bottle of water.

"I think you're a nice woman, Elizabeth. I did not pry for anything but
to know you better. I'm kind of a geek, meeting women has never been easy
for me. You intrigued me - I dug. I apologize, again, if I was
insensitive. My intentions were to never make you feel uncomfortable..."

Paul was still sitting on the couch when I turned back toward him. He
looked like this conversation was painful for him - welcome to a billionth
of my world buddy. I was impressed he identified me as being a woman -
which is a landmine of crazy for some out there when the incorrect
pronoun, gender, identity is used in their presence - I was thankful for
that little win. "I have a lot to protect myself from, Paul. Every day,
nearly every situation, someone or some establishment is trying to knock
me out of the game. I've worked very hard to get where I am... I've
beaten some crazy shit back in my head. I've tried to commit suicide,
which you know well and good is hell for those left behind. I'm just
trying to be a good person Paul..." The lump caught abruptly in my throat
and the tears flowed now freely as my chest heaved shallowly...

I had closed my eyes and sensed movement, he was standing in front of
me and I let my face get buried in his chest. He was holding me steady as my
sobs were heaving now, short body shakes, followed by nearly silent
crying. "You're OK..." he cooed while holding me perfectly. I wanted to
melt away in his arms, to disappear from this Amber crisis... When I had
calmed down enough he held me back slightly, I could only stare at the wet
spots on his shirt I had created. "You're perfect just the way you
are..." That was followed by a kiss to my forehead and another embrace.

I had calmed down a minute or so later and with my face pressed to his
chest I managed, "Thank you, Paul..."

He released his hold on me slowly, looking into my now surly puffy eyes
and shot makeup. "I can go over to the Carsons' without you, give you a
chance to rest up a little."

And as quickly as there was a glimpse of heart, a possible connection, we
were back to the business at hand - back to something more important. I
was sad that that fleeting moment was gone, but I felt lucky to have
gotten it. I reached up to clear my eyes, twice wiping my left eye, while
he held my hips. I looked into his eyes and wondered if I could kiss him.
He cocked his head a touch as if wondering what I was thinking and I felt
his hands leaving my hips... It was probably a pipe dream anyway - the
kiss thought. I tried to smile a little bit, stood a little straighter.
"I'm good, I... How about we meet in the lobby in twenty minutes?" It
would be a miracle if I could make myself presentable in that time, but I
had to move on - he obviously had.

He agreed and within a couple minutes, I was alone... I needed to push
through this, not over-think any of it. Paul was a nice person, a curious
guy, and I was something to be figured out. I don't think he meant me any
harm, but I felt like I had to be on guard every moment. I would try to
be more understanding, not jump to the worst case when he voiced a
discovery about me aloud. I had a feeling we would be discussing this
shit again at some point. I needed to get ready, time was wasting away,
and we needed to get to Amber before something really bad happened to her.

March 10th 4:39 AM
When we arrived at the Carsons', Jacob said we had just missed them,
though we might have passed them on the street - not much traffic in their
neighborhood and we had passed an SVU on our way into their gated
community. Jacob had answered the door, while talking on the phone. He
held up his finger. "Yes, we can be there within the hour..." He paused.
"OK, Thanks buddy..." Another pause. "Yeah, understood..."

He ended the call, checking something on his phone, then slipping it into
a pocket. "That was Landon... Elizabeth, he's the Field Director for the
FBI office here in Phoenix."

I knew that already, but nodded politely...

"We're meeting with him in an hour at the Scottsdale police substation.
Paul, the FBI pinged our suspects phone and are going to work some
interagency thing to assist the police in Santa Fe. Landon says they'll
be able to pinpoint the exact location by the time we get there and an
extraction team is being mobilized as we speak. This could all go off
about the time Stephanie hits the ground there. The medical flight stuff
ended up being the ticket - good job on that Elizabeth."

I tried to smile as best I could. I hadn't done anything meaningful I
thought - I just wanted everything to turn out well in the end. This
really was like something you'd see in an action adventure movie, except
it was real, and people's lives really depended on how this played out. I
looked to Paul, but he just nodded at Jacob.

"Paul, can you drive us?"

"Sure, whenever you're ready..."

"Let's go..."

::: --- :::

I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Bronwen Welsh in proofreading
and giving me insightful advice. She is an accomplished author in her own right
and I appreciate her time more than I can say...



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