This work is fictitious, and any similarities to any persons, alive or dead, are purely coincidental. Mention is made of persons in public life only for the purposes of realism, and for that reason alone. Certain licence is taken in respect of medical procedures, terms and conditions, and the author does not claim to be the fount of all knowledge. The author accepts the right of the individual to hold his/her (or whatever) own political, religious and social views, and there is no intention to deliberately offend anyone. If you wish to take offence, that is your problem.
This is only a story, and it contains adult material, which includes sex and intimate descriptive details pertaining to genitalia. If this is likely to offend, then don't read it.
Unfortunately no politicians were injured or killed in the writing of this story, and no one else was either.
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The legal stuff.
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School became a different place for me now. I was no longer the anonymous androgynous lump in the background. I had friends, and I was clearly female, outwardly at any rate. I had a boyfriend who was one of the hunkiest guys in the school, and I knew that I looked good.
My schoolwork improved, and my whole outlook changed. I was no longer a taker, but gave of myself to others, and found a whole new chapter of my life began to open up.
The summer was warm, and sunny, and as June was nearly over, my skirts became shorter, and my tops were skimpier. I grew slightly, and was about 5'8" in my bare feet now. My bust was still growing, and I had to change to a C cup. I asked the Head if I could play tennis, as I had not been playing any sports for a while.
So, Jenny and I played quite a bit of tennis, both at school, and on the court at the hotel, as long as the guests didn't want to. We worked in the hotel whenever we could, and I actually enjoyed the life I was now leading. I was fitter and healthier, and a hell of a lot happier. Every now and then I took some money out of my safe deposit box, and put it in a high interest account in the building society. I couldn't bear the thought of money sitting about not doing anything.
The most startling change was that I had friends now. Not strange men in sleazy chat rooms on-line, but real living breathing friends, who seemed to find my company fun, and with whom I enjoyed doing normal things. In fact I had not been on-line for weeks. There was Jenny, my best friend, who was as close to me as a sister. And Caroline, who seemed to want to follow me about. She was a hoot, and I actually enjoyed her company. The other girls in my form, Jane, Alicia and Rachel, all came to my party, and gradually moved into my sort of inner circle.
Then there were the boys. For some strange reason boys wanted to be my friends now, and I flirted outrageously with most of them. Dear Dave, who knew my inner secrets, was always there, never pushy, but always there, helping and supporting. I realised that I was more than just a little fond of him, yet he never made any demands of me. It was that very reason that I was very reluctant to form a close liaison with anyone else, and one day I told him.
He just smiled.
"You never know, one day I may just claim my just reward," he said, and left it at that.
We kissed frequently, and he never took anything further. He knew that while I was where I was, that I did not wish to go any further. I wanted to be a girl for him, and I was not yet at the place I wanted to be. But it was enough, as far as the world was concerned, we were an item, and he told me that I would have to meet his family soon. This terrified me. But events overtake us, his A Levels came and went, and before we could blink, he was a leaver.
It then dawned on me that he was not going to be there next year, and it terrified me. He was my rock, and he was leaving.
I was working hard, doing Art, French and Design for A level, and I found the design the most rewarding. I seemed to have a knack for designing clothes, and chose to specialise in this field for my special assignments. There was a charity clothes show held in the school towards the end of term, and I managed to design several outfits for the show. I now had to find someone to model them.
I asked Jenny.
"Get away. Don't be silly. My bum is way too big," she said.
It wasn't, but no amount of talking persuaded her otherwise. I went around all my friends, and there was a conspiracy against me. They all told me to do it myself.
"Sandi, you are daft. You are the one with the model's figure, so just bite the bullet, girl, do it yourself," said Caroline.
In the end I knew that I would have to do just that.
I took my AS levels, and found them relatively easy. Then I knuckled down and created my works of designer art. I made a stunning long evening dress in black satin, that was really risqué, but at the same time formal enough for a really fancy do. I had a mini dress that doubled as a sort of smock to be worn with a pair of my trousers, a swimming costume that just hid the essentials. The criss-cross design would make interesting sun burn marks on the tummy. My piece de resistance was a semi formal strapless cocktail dress that hugged the figure and was guaranteed to drive men wild. It was in black, and left only just enough to the imagination.
But aside from this, life seemed to grind on.
My father was conspicuous by his absence. I had not heard from him since my birthday in May. I almost forgot about the looming threat of Frankie Holland, except every time I saw the key in my purse I remembered. So, one Saturday morning, I left an ambiguous note for Jenny and slipped out of the Hotel early. I rode to the station in Brighton, and caught the train to London. I spent a lot of time on the trains or tubes, to Heathrow to collect the folder, and then to Stoke Newington.
I waited in the front office for ages, only to be told that Detective Inspector Randall was a Detective Chief Inspector now, and was at Enfield Police Station. They rang his office for me, to be told he was off duty. Feeling frustrated and not a little pissed off, I asked the officer to call him at home and to ask him if he wanted to talk to Johnny Lake's daughter. To his surprise and mine, DCI Randall decided to come all the way in to meet me. I was still sitting in the front office when a tall man in a pair of jeans and a tee shirt came in.
"I'm Jim Randall. You say you are Johnny Lake's daughter?"
I stood up, and looked at him.
"Do you have a warrant card or something?" I asked.
He patted his trouser pockets, and produced a black leather wallet. He opened it and showed me it. There was a silver crest and a card with his photograph.
James Randall, Detective Chief Inspector, it said.
"Can we go somewhere quiet?" I asked.
He smiled and nodded, and led me out of the station to a Ford Mondeo parked across the road. He unlocked it, and opened the passenger door. I got in. He went and got behind the wheel.
He started the car and started to drive away from Stoke Newington.
"Stoke really is a bit of a shitty area, how far have you come?"
"South coast, near Brighton."
"So, how's Johnny?"
"I don't know, I haven't seen Dad for ages, he could be dead for all I know," I said, staring straight ahead.
"He crossed Frankie Holland, whoever he is."
He frowned. He pulled into a pub car park, and looked at his watch. "Have you had lunch?"
I shook my head.
"No, I have been hunting for you."
"Come on, I'll buy you a pub lunch."
We went into the pub, and he bought me a drink and a ploughman's. I showed him the letter I had been sent.
He read it and laughed.
"He hasn't lost his sense of humour. So, what have you got for me?" he asked, returning my letter.
I passed him over the folder. I then told him everything that had happened, even the bit with the truck.
He listened, and frowned, then, when I had finished he opened the folder, and started leafing through the contents.
"Fucking hell!" he said, suddenly. The he looked at me.
"Sorry. Have you looked in this?"
I shook my head. "One thing I learned: never ask questions and no lies will be told. No, it is nothing to do with me, it is probably dirty so I want no part of it."
"You are very like your mother, did you know that?"
"You knew my Mum?"
"Yes, I met her several times. Fuck knows what she saw in your dad, but she was a nice girl. He was always a charmer, your Dad, even though he was a villain."
I looked down. I never knew what to think about my mother.
"She didn't deserve what happened," he said.
"What did happen? I always suspected Dad had something to do with it."
"So did I, but he didn't. I know that for a fact."
I stared at him.
"Your dad was working for me at the time. He was an informant on a nasty armed team who were doing some jewellers in North London. They had already killed one old boy, and left another for dead. Your dad had standards, never into violence, thievery, yes. But he never hurt anyone, unless they threatened anyone he loved," he said, and looked meaningfully at me.
"When news of the accident came though, he was on the verge of solving the case for us. He just carried on, and cracked up after the arrests were made.
"It was an accident, no suspicious circumstances at all. Just a bad gas valve on a hired yacht."
"He never showed me he cracked up," I said.
"He wouldn't, he was old school, was Johnny. He never showed his emotions. Besides, he never stopped loving your mum. He told me, he said, 'If only I stopped, she would still be with me.' But it was too late then."
"If. Bloody if. I have heard it from him so much. If he had been honest, I wouldn't be sitting here now," I said.
I finished my lunch, and he continued to look through the folder.
"Sandi, is it?"
"Yes, it is short for Alexandra."
"This is very valuable. Would you like to see if I can get something from the reward programme for you?"
I shook my head.
"No, if there is any money coming, put it in the widows and orphans fund. Dad would think that was suitably ironic."
"You are a cut off the old block. I can see why he is so proud of you."
"Don't ever link him with me, he may be my father, but I am my own person, and I seek a different destiny than he did," I said, quite heatedly. He smiled and apologised.
"I'm sorry, I can see that. But we can never take away our parents, no matter who or what they were. Look, can I give you a lift?"
"To a station, I need to get back down south."
"You are a brave girl, thanks for doing this."
"I had a choice?"
He smiled and shook his head.
"I suppose not."
I stood up, and he put the folder under his arm.
"Look, what is going to happen now? It is just that I am still afraid that Frankie's men will try to get me again," I asked.
He looked at me for a while, as if trying to assess the danger I was in, and then he took out his mobile phone. I sat down again. He asked me some questions, and then punched a number into his phone. He spoke briefly into it, and then rang off. A few moments later it rang, and he answered it. He spoke in hushed tones for several minutes, looking at me every now and again. Finally, he finished the call.
"That was the DAC, he has approved close protection for you."
"Deputy Assistant Commissioner. You have to realise the level that Frankie Holland plays at. We are talking big time villainy here."
"How big time?"
"We are talking highest level corruption, and beyond."
"Oh. What is close protection, I won't have to be kept in an hotel room for six months, or anything, will I?"
"Don't worry, you just live your life, and we keep an eye on you, we will keep you well clear."
"I am not worried about you, it is my stupid old man. He will try something idiotic and probably fuck up as a result," I said, and he laughed again.
"Come on, I'll give you a lift."
We walked out to his car, I looked about me, it was hard to keep a handle on reality sometimes. It was as if I was living in someone else's twisted dream, and one never knew what was just around the corner.I shook my head, as if to clear my brain, like some form of mental etch-a-sketch, and got into the car.
"So, what do you do?" he asked.
"I'm still at school. I take my A levels next year."
"What do you want to do?"
"Survive," I said, quite honestly. And he laughed.
"Well, you must have some idea?"
"I don't know, there is a lot going on in my life at present. I suppose I would like to do something with clothes design."
"I have no doubt that you will succeed in whatever you attempt. You have that air of determination about you. You have the looks and figure to make a cracking model."
"Yeah," I said, cynically.
He dropped me at the station.
"Sandi, your protection officers will make themselves known to you in the next couple of days. Give me a contact number they can reach you on."
I told him my mobile number.
"Okay. For the most part, you won't see them, just let them know what you are up to, and they will watch your back."
"Don't they sleep?"
"Yes. At least not at the same time."
"Two bodyguards. I don't think I am that important."
"Never under estimate what you have just given me. There are four in a team. Besides it won't be for too long, there is enough here for us to act, and soon. You may see something about it in the news in the not too distant future."
"Oh, well, I'd better go."
"Take care, and if you see your father again, tell him hi from me."
I smiled and shook his hand, then I turned and went to catch my train.
When I got back, I found that my absence was being treated with some degree of mild panic. Jenny had called Dave, and they were scouring the local area for me. As I walked in, having ridden back from the station, I was greeted in a manner not dissimilar to the return of the prodigal son. All they were missing was the fatted calf. I explained to an almost hysterical Jenny that I was taking care of my father's business. She then looked at me in a funny way, and asked me whether I had bumped anyone off.
I was helping restock the bar, the next morning, when my mobile rang.
"Is that Sandi?" a male voice asked.
"My name is Scott Collins, I am a police officer. I am the sergeant responsible for looking after you for the next couple of weeks. Jim Randall asked me to contact you, as I need to meet you and discuss how we are going to do this."
"Do you know the Fairley Hotel, just outside Brighton?"
"Nope, but if you give me directions, then I'll find it."
I gave him directions, and he said he would pop in at lunchtime. I then explained to Jenny's Dad that the matter was in the hands of the police, and he seemed much relieved. I sat down with him and Liz and was completely honest with them, or as far as I could be. I explained that I had to use the name Sandi Hemmings, and that I was now under the protection of the Metropolitan Police Specialist firearms team.
I could see from their expressions that they were uneasy with the situation, so I asked them if they wanted me to leave.
"No dear. You've managed this far, lets stick it out, hopefully, it won't be for too much longer," she said.
"If the police need somewhere to stay, we have the old staff block. They are basic, and we will renovate them soon, but they should do for a while," John suggested.
I was overwhelmed with their support, and hugged them both. I was in the dining room laying up the tables when John came in.
"Sandi, there is a man looking for you," he said.
I must have looked worried, and he smiled.
"He says he is a policeman," he added.
I walked through with him to the bar, and there was a tall man, in his late twenties, dressed in casual jeans and a polo shirt.
"Hi, Sandi?" he asked.
"Yup. Scott Collins. How are you?"
"Better now you are here," I admitted, and he smiled.
John told us to use the office, and we went in, he shut the door.
"Okay, my team is going to be looking after you for a few days. So, I need to know your movements, so we can plan our day."
"Will you need accommodation?" I asked.
I explained John's offer, and Scott smiled.
"That solves one problem. That would be great."
I then explained my daily routine to him. He took copious notes, and asked me about who my friends were, and their vehicle details. I explained that I was using the name Sandi Hemmings, just to give myself extra protection.
He nodded, and didn't ask how I managed to acquire the documentation.
"Our task is simple, to watch your back, and not to show out. I will introduce the team to you, just so you know us. It is important that you never ever show that you know us or have ever seen us before."
"How long are you on this?" I asked.
"Until we get told to leave you alone. The Serious Crime Squad is taking this over, so it must be pretty heavy."
He went over what I had told him, and seemed satisfied that he had everything he needed.
"I am going into hospital in a couple of weeks, I may be there for a few days," I said.
"Oh yes, what is that for?"
"Women's problems," I said, and left it at that. Fortunately, he was as embarrassed as I, and left it there.
He disappeared, and over the next day or so I got to know the other three officers who were to be my guardian angels. Life went on, and I almost forgot about them. There was always a car parked near the school, and although I never saw the officers, I knew they were watching.
I really got into my clothes design, and my teacher helped me finish them off. I had made them to fit me, and now I was committed to model them myself. I was just putting the finishing touches to the last garment, when Dave walked in to the workshop.
"Hi, I don't normally see you in here?" I said.
He had a strange _expression on his face, and my heart sank.
I sat down, and he saw the anguish in my eyes.
"I'm leaving. It is my last day today."
I knew that, so what? I thought.
"And?" I asked, waiting for the, 'I've found someone else.' bit
"I want you to be my partner at the Leaver's Ball on Saturday."
"The fashion show is on Saturday," I said, feeling relieved but frustrated.
"The show finishes at six; the Ball starts at seven thirty."
"How the hell will I get changed in time?" I asked, and he just laughed at me.
"If you are wearing that, you can stay as you are," he said pointing to the long satin dress. "Will you come with me?"
"Don't be silly," I said, and stood up. "You know I will. But are you sure you don't want a..."
He put his hand across my mouth.
"I told you. Never, ever mention that again," he said, and I looked down, ashamed of what I was.
He lifted my chin with his hand, and stared into my eyes, tears of frustration and shame were welling up.
"Sandi, I told you once that you are the girl that I love. I meant it then, and I mean it now. Okay?"
The tears fell, this time from pure joy. I didn't deserve him.
"So, I'll see you Saturday?"
"If I get a chance, I'll pop by the fashion show, as I want to see you strutting your stuff."
"I'd like that," I said.
He smiled, and kissed me. I so wanted him to do more to me, but we both knew that, for the moment, that wasn't an option.
I held his hand.
"I don't deserve you."
"Yeah, I know," he said, and ginned.
"I love you," I said. It was the first time I had uttered those words, and I realised that I meant them.
"Yeah, I know," he repeated.
I put my arms around his neck, and kissed him. He held me close, and I could feel his body hard against me. I felt him becoming aroused, and I wanted him so bad, I ached.
"Not long now," I said.
"I can wait," he said, smiling.
"I fucking can't!" I said, and he laughed.
"You will have to, that's all."
"I know, but I want you," I said.
"I've wanted you since I first saw you, but it doesn't change things."
"I can't have your children," I wailed.
"No problem, we can adopt," he said, so calmly, that I hugged him again.
At that moment the teacher returned, and looked at us.
We grinned sheepishly and he left me alone again.
"You'll miss him," she said.
"Tell me about it," I said, and went back to my hemming.
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