The vaguely familiar small voice was insistent and slightly alarmed. I blinked and focused. I was sitting on a closed toilet. A muffled splash of water drew my attention to a tub full of soap bubbles, red hair, and freckles.
Oh shit! Just what I was afraid of, and I couldn't see a way out of it either. Ginger had that secret smile on her face again and a twinkle in her eyes. I knew I shouldn't give in, but I did. I took off my shirt and kneeled down next to the tub. She handed me a soft wash cloth and the soap. I soaped the wash cloth and began. I started with her arms, making sure I didn't miss anything. I did her fingers and hands and forearms and elbows and upper arms and shoulders, each in turn. Then I lifted her leg and washed each as thoroughly. I stopped short of her crotch, though, and just washed up to the top of her thighs. She watched but didn't speak.
Next, I pulled her forward so I could get to her back. The marks were fading since she had started to take her hot baths. They were only light red streaks now. I washed from her neck down to her hips and stopped.
"That's enough, Ginger. You can do the rest yourself."
There was a flash of disappointment and then anger as she set her jaw and then surprised me again.
"No! You didn't finish! You're supposed to wash all of me just like you did Cheryl! I want the same treatment you gave her. You'll do it if you meant what you said. Now, I'm not getting out of here until you finish my bath."
She was standing in the tub now, holding the wash cloth out to me with soap bubbles and water cascading down off her lovely body. I could see both anger and sadness in her eyes. A strange combination but both very evident. This young lady had made up her mind and was going to get what she wanted. If I wanted her to be any help with the rescue of the other girls, and also if I wanted her to be happy, I had to give in.
I took the wash cloth as she turned around to present me with the sight of her tight little ass. The marks there had faded as well. It was a nice ass, and I felt the reaction to it in my pants. I started at her arm pit and washed down her side to her hip then around to her cheek. Then I did the other side. Next came the crack between her cheeks. I slid the cloth down through it slowly and made sure she was clean. She jumped a little as I ran over her rosebud. Then she turned around.
The first thing I noticed was her pert little titties. They were small. Less than an A cup. No need for a bra at all. But her nipples were prominent and erect. The rosy little nubs contrasted with the whiteness of her skin and drew my attention. I tried not to think about what I was doing. I started to wash her chest, but she stopped me.
"The wash cloth feels kind of rough. Cheryl said you used your hand so it didn't hurt. Please?"
There was no way I could refuse at that point, but you can be sure I was going to have a talk with Cheryl about her giving away our secrets. As I continued without the cloth I wondered just how much Cheryl had told Ginger about our relationship. This could mean big trouble if it wasn't handled just right.
I tried to be quick as I ran my soapy hands over her breasts. I wanted to spend more time but didn't dare. As I moved down off them to her tummy she grabbed my hands and moved them back up to her titties.
"I don't think you got them clean yet. The nipples are really dirty and need attention."
The condition of those nipples and the look in her eyes made it clear she wanted more than a quick wash. I gave in and began to really caress her breasts. I rolled the nipples between my fingers and pinched them a little. She moaned and tilted her head back in pleasure. I spent a few minutes rubbing and rolling and pinching and then moved down. I made sure not to miss anything. I ran my hands over her tummy and dipped a finger into her navel. I was hesitating when she pushed my hands down further.
She stood with her legs spread slightly, which gave me access to her pussy. I could see it clearly since all she had were a few wispy red hairs that hid nothing. The lips were puffy and spread slightly, allowing her inner lips and clit to show just a little. I held my hand flat and slid it down over her mound and between her legs. I reached all the way back to her ass hole and probed it lightly, then slid forward again. I cleaned along the edges of her pussy between the labia and her thighs then back up over the whole mound again. I could feel her pushing against my hand as if trying for more contact. I rinsed the soap off my hand to prevent burning her tender tissues and then slid my finger into the slit. I ran between the outer and inner lips and up over her clitoral hood. She moaned again and pushed harder against my hand.
It was clear what she wanted, and there was no reason to pretend any more. I placed one hand behind her waist to hold her and then slipped a finger into the slit again. This time I slid it up and down from the entrance to her tunnel to her clit. When I toucher her clit she jumped and moaned again. I rubbed it lightly and then moved down again. I kept this up for several minutes and then pushed a finger into her vagina as I rubbed her clit with my thumb. I wanted this over with before I got too involved, so I went right for the G-spot. With one finger rotating over that spot and my thumb circling her clit it wasn't long before she came.
Her hands dropped to my shoulders for support, and she groaned as her body stiffened. I kept up my ministrations and soon had her rotating her hips all around as she went through a very nice orgasm. It lasted a few moments, and then she relaxed. I just managed to catch her before she fell into the tub. I held her close and waited for her to recover a bit. When she seemed in control I rinsed her off with the shower nozzle and lifted her out of the tub. I dried her off with a big towel and then picked her up and carried her out to her bed.
Another surprise. Cheryl must have been watching because she was leaving and closing the door as I put Ginger down on the bed. She was still a little groggy from her orgasm but held on, forcing me to sit down on the edge of the bed. Her arms were around my neck, and she pulled me down for a kiss. This was no little kid's kiss. This was a deep passionate kiss like a lover. I thought I was through but she had other ideas.
"I want more, Sam. I want you to kiss my hurts to make them better, and then I want you to rub cream on me like you did for Cheryl."
I was past resisting at that point. I rolled her over and started kissing all the red marks on her back and bottom. After a few minutes of that she rolled over and pulled my head down to her chest. I went to work on her titties. I kissed and licked my way around them and slowly zeroed in on her nipples. They were still erect, and I had no trouble getting them in my mouth for a good sucking. Her moans were getting louder now, and her hand held my head close against her chest. I pulled back and started to kiss my way down her tummy. With only a short stop at her belly button I was soon kissing her puffy pussy lips.
I kissed and licked and sucked all over her pussy until she had another orgasm. This one was even bigger than the first. As she slowly recovered she pointed to some skin cream on the bedside table. I poured some in my hand and then rubbed my palms together to get it warm. Then, starting at her shoulders, I gave her a body massage that relaxed her almost to the point of sleep. Her eyes were drooping when I finished.
"There you are, Ginger. All done. Is that what you wanted?"
"Yes, thank you, Sam. Cheryl told me you would be gentle and make me feel good. She told me it didn't have to hurt like what those other men did to me. She was right, and I'm so glad you helped me see that."
She pulled me down for a little kiss and then closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep. I left her there and headed out to talk to Cheryl. She was on the couch watching tv. I sat down next to her and tried to get my thoughts together. I didn't want to hurt her but I needed to get some things answered.
"Cheryl, we need to talk."
"Yes, I know. It's about what I told Ginger, isn't it?"
"You told her things we were supposed to keep secret. I could be in big trouble if anyone finds out about us and what we do. How much did you tell her?"
She looked worried and maybe a little scared. It took her a while to get up the courage to answer and when she did her voice was like a little girl who had been caught doing wrong. It was tiny and soft, and she looked at the floor as she spoke.
"At first I just told her about what happened to me so she would feel she could trust me to understand. Then she started asking questions about you. I tried to tell her about who you are and what you've done. I mean your work and things. But then she said she could see I loved you. She asked me if you made me do the things George had made her do. When I said no, she said she didn't believe me. She said that if I wanted her to trust us we had to trust her and tell her the truth. So I did. I told her all about what we did from the beginning and how we love each other now like grown adults. I told her that you showed me that sex with love can be wonderful and was not painful and dirty. I told her we made love and it was the best thing I ever did."
"Oh my God. How could you do this? You may have ruined all we have together. They could take you away from me and put me in jail. Nobody would want to help us. They would never understand."
I had spoken softly, not in anger. I was just stunned by what she had done. I looked at her and saw tears running down her cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Sam. I trust her and felt like I had to tell her. She was feeling so bad and wanted to feel the love I feel from you. I thought if I told her the truth she'd understand and keep our secret. I told her you would take care of her and not let anyone hurt her ever again. Did I really do a bad thing, Sam?"
I pulled her into a hug. I could feel the tears still running down her cheeks onto my chest. I could understand what she did but I still wasn't sure it was the right thing.
"Maybe not, sweetheart. If she keeps her promise not to tell we'll be okay. You know she tricked me into doing things I shouldn't have done to her. I hope it doesn't turn out to hurt her. I don't think she's ready for that kind of thing. But you did what you thought was right to help her. Now all we can do is wait and see if you were right."
We sat there just holding each other, watching the tv. We didn't really see anything. We were too deep in thought. I finally noticed the time. It was eleven o'clock and time to get ready for the next phase of the rescue. I sent Cheryl in to wake up Ginger and get dressed in some dark clothes. She kissed me and hugged me tight.
She whispered in my ear, "I love you, Sam," and left to do as I asked.
I put a few things I might need into a small gym bag I had used to bring my personal items from home. I was hoping I wouldn't need most of what I packed but wanted to be ready just in case. If things went well all I'd need would be the wine, a bug for the phone, and gloves. I put my black top on again and was ready. A few minutes later the girls came out all ready to go. It was just eleven thirty when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find both Mike and Amber standing there also dressed in black.
Mike spoke as they walked in. "Before you say anything, Sam, I'm going with the van. I want to be a part of this, and that's all there is to it. Period. End of discussion."
"Okay, Mike. Have you heard from the watchers lately?"
"I just spoke to them, and there's nothing unusual going on. The van is outside ready to go with Griffin and Carlson waiting. We're all ready if you are."
"What about the surveillance team? Did you add more men?"
"Yes. I sent four more men, one at a time, to join those already there. When things go down they'll be ready to rush over to help out if needed. Amber and I both have the full com units on, so we'll be in constant touch with both you and the backup team. All you need to do is say so and we'll come running."
"Okay. I guess we're ready then. You two take the girls in the van and head out about five minutes after me. I'll take the other car I used earlier. I'll park around back, just like before, and you park about a block away. Then when I give the word you drive up to the house and stop out front. Have Ginger step out of the van so she can be seen and stand by. As soon as the girls are in the van, take off for Mother's place. I'll finish up inside and then follow you. If it looks like you're being followed try to lose them, and if you can't then come back here and hunker down. I don't want anyone knowing about Mother's involvement."
They agreed that should cover everything, and I headed out. I arrived at the street behind the target house four minutes before midnight. I checked with the team and was told they had seen George send out the last customer and lock up. The lights were out in the front of the house but on in the rooms upstairs. They had heard a couple of the girls in the kitchen earlier and now could hear George and Maureen talking about the take for the night. It was all being recorded. I told then I was getting into position in the back yard and would wait for them to tell me when it was safe to go in.
I slipped through the yard and gate and took up a position in the shadows behind the house. I checked in and told them I was ready. They told me it was clear out front and then switched the feed over to the voices being picked up by the bug I'd planted in the kitchen.
I listened to George and Maureen talking about the day's take and some of the customers. I heard them clink glasses as they toasted their successful operation. They talked some more and Maureen poured them each another glass of wine. After a while the voices started sounding slurred and were lower in tone. Soon there was a thud and George asking Maureen what was wrong. Then it got quiet. I asked them to turn up the volume. They did, and I heard snoring. It was time to go. I told them I was heading in and to keep listening, just in case. They assured me they were ready.
I entered the same way I had earlier. When I got to the kitchen I found Maureen on the floor and George at the table with his head down. They were both sleeping soundly. I checked their pulses and breathing to be sure they were okay. I moved Maureen back up in her chair so it would look like she had just fallen asleep. So far everything was going according to plan.
My next move was to get the girls ready to leave. I went upstairs to the room Ginger had marked as Mary's. There were no lights on. I opened the door and played the light from my flashlight around the room. There was a young girl, maybe fifteen or so, sleeping on the bed. She was wearing a nightgown and was on top of the covers. She was a lovely looking girl and seemed so innocent as she slept. I approached and sat down on the edge of the bed. I turned off the flashlight and then reached out and touched her shoulder lightly.
"Mary. Wake up, Mary."
She stirred and slowly woke up. I felt her tense as she realized I was there. She scooted away from me to the other side of the bed.
"Wh... who are y... you? Wh... what do you want?"
"Don't be afraid, Mary. I'm a friend of Ginger's. I'm here to help you get away like she did if you want to."
"Where's Ginger? Is she okay?"
"Yes, she's fine. In just a few minutes she'll be outside waiting for you and the others to come out and get away from here. Would you like that?"
I reached over and turned on the bedside lamp so she could see me.
"I don't know. Where would we go? Who would take care of us?"
"You'd go to a big house with a very nice lady to take care of you. She'll give you a place to stay until we can get things fixed for you."
"Will we have to earn our keep?"
I knew what she meant and answered quickly. "No! You will be taken care of. There will be no more of the things that happened to you here. She might ask you to help around the house a little, but you won't be forced to do anything."
"But I'm afraid. George will come and find us and bring us back and then he'll beat us."
"Look at me, Mary. I promise you George and his gang will never catch you or hurt you ever again. Now, I need you to decide if you want to get away from here."
I could see she was still frightened and tears were rolling down her cheeks as she replied.
"Yes, sir. I want to get out of here very much. What about the other girls?"
"You can all come away now if you want to. Are you ready to help now?"
"Okay, then. I want you to go wake up the other girls. Tell them to get ready to leave. Then I want you all to meet me in the living room. Don't worry about bringing anything with you. If you have something that is special to you, like a favorite doll or something you keep to remember someone, it's okay to bring that with you. Now get going."
She watched me as I got up and headed out the door. As I left I saw her scamper off the bed and knew she was doing as I asked. I went back down stairs to George and Maureen's room. I did a quick search and found an old safe on the floor of the closet. It was closed, and I didn't bother to try opening it. I didn't want to leave any signs of being there. I also found a notebook in the bedside table. I glanced at it and realized it was a gold mine. It listed two groups of individuals with phone numbers for each. The first list was his partners in crime. The second was labeled "customers". I recognized a lot of the names in both lists. I took it with me to the living room.
I had been giving a running account of my activities as I went along. I knew it was being recorded to help with any report we needed to make later. I had not heard any comments from the team.
"After the girls leave I want someone with a camera to come over here and copy a notebook I'll leave on the coffee table. When they're finished it should be returned to the drawer in the bedside table."
It only took a moment to bug the phone. When it was done I told them I was testing it. I dialed the time and heard "the time is twelve thirty three am" and hung up. I heard confirmation in my earpiece. Everything seemed set. I went back to the kitchen and picked up the bottle of wine they had been drinking. It was about one quarter full. I put it in my bag and replaced it with the one I'd picked up earlier after I emptied it almost completely in the sink. I looked around a little more while I waited for the girls. It wasn't long before Mary came down with four other girls. They looked to be between eight and twelve years old. They all looked very frightened. They each held a little plastic bag that I guessed must contain personal items.
"It's alright, girls. You're going to be safe and away from this place. Nobody is going to hurt you. If you want to get away all you'll have to do is walk out the door and get in the van Ginger will be standing next to. But you have to go on your own. You are not being forced. If any of you don't want to go it's okay, you can stay here. I think you'll like the lady whose house you're going to. We call her Mother and she's very nice. Now, does everyone want to go?"
They all nodded their heads and a couple said yes in little voices.
"Mary, will you do something for me?"
"If I can."
"Can you get a piece of paper and write a short note saying you're running away to be with Ginger and you're never coming back?"
She left to do that while I gave instructions to my team.
"We'll be ready in a few minutes. I'll leave first and then the girls will come out. After we're gone I want this place searched carefully. Video tape everything. If you find more papers that look important copy them. If you find weapons, inventory them and list any numbers. Make it fast but be careful, and above all don't leave any trace you were here."
Mary returned and handed me the note. It was just what I'd asked for.
"Thank you, Mary. Okay, girls, it's almost time to go. I'm going to leave the back way. I want you to watch out the front window. In just a couple of minutes a van will pull up out front. Ginger will get out so you know it's okay to come out. I want you all to hurry out to the van and get in. As soon as you're in, the van will leave and take you to your new home. Leave the front door unlocked when you leave. Okay?"
They all nodded but still looked scared.
"Mary, I want you to be in charge. Can you see that everyone does what she should?"
Her shoulders seemed to pull back a little and she stood a little taller as she nodded. I said good bye and told them I'd see them soon. I quickly left by the back door after leaving the note next to George. I drove around to the front where I could watch what happened.
"Okay, Mike. Move up and pick up the girls."
The van pulled up just a moment later, and Ginger got out. She stood there looking very nervous and watched the front door. In no time it swung open and the five girls trooped out and ran to the van. Ginger gave Mary a big hug, and then they all got in and the van drove off. I gave them a little head start, and after I was sure we were alone I followed.
I called Mother as I drove. Jennie answered.
"Hi, Jennie. It's Sam. We have five girls and should be there in just about fifteen minutes. They're still pretty scared, so I think some hot chocolate and then bed would be the best thing for them tonight."
"Okay. We're ready."
Next I called the team on my cell phone. The com units were not meant for distance. They reported having entered and started the search and copying. I told them I wanted to be called at this number if anything happened, and, when it was over, whether it went according to plan. I was assured they would call as soon as they were finished.
I called Mike on his cell and told him I was going to pass him and then park up ahead to see if anyone was following. He agreed to keep his speed down and let me pass. I passed him and speeded up a little to get ahead. When I had a couple of blocks on him I parked and waited. He went by, and I watched for other cars. There were none, so I again pulled out and followed him. I let him know it was clear, and we proceeded to Mother's.
As soon as we parked out front Mother came out the door and went to the van. The door opened and the girls all got out, followed by Amber and the other two guards. They headed into the house while I spoke to Mike for a minute. He said the others would stay the night, but he was going to take the van back to the office and then go home and get some rest. I thanked him and said good night.
When I got inside I found all the adults except Mother in the living room drinking coffee. There was another cup waiting for me next to one of the big chairs. Mother was in the kitchen with the girls, and I could hear them talking. We sat for a few minutes, just relaxing after the stress of a mission. I asked Amber how she thought the girls were handling things.
"Having Cheryl and Ginger with us was exactly the right thing, Sam. By the time we got here they were all gabbing away just like any normal group of young girls. I think they'll be okay after a nights sleep."
"That's great news. I was worried they would still be too scared. After the girls finish their hot chocolate I'll take you, Ginger, and Cheryl back to the safe house. You can pick up your car there and go get some rest. In the morning I want you and Jennie to start interviewing the girls. I want you to video tape their stories so we have it for evidence. I also want pictures of any abuse that shows. Call Doctor Jack to come over and examine them, too. When you interview them be sure to ask why they left the house and if they were forced in any way. I want it clear they left of their own free will."
"Understood. I'll get here early and get things set up so we're ready when they get up and have breakfast."
I turned to Jennie. "No sleep for you tonight. I want you three to keep watch all night. Take turns doing an outside patrol too. Jennie, your lead on this part of the case. If it happens in this house, it's your responsibility and you make the decisions."
They all nodded, and Jennie said "Yes, sir."
I looked around as if I was searching for someone. I saw Amber smile as she figured what was coming next. She jumped in before I could speak.
"He doesn't answer to 'Sir,' Jennie. He'll give you a hard time about that not being his name, so you may just as well get used to calling him 'Sam' just like the rest of us."
Everyone smiled as Jennie blushed a little.
"Okay. I'll try to remember that."
After a bit Mother came out with all the girls. They were smiling, so I guessed the hot chocolate had worked it's magic. She said they were all ready for bed. I told her I would be back the next day. Cheryl and Ginger were ready to leave, and I was about to get up when Mary came over and kissed me on the cheek.
"Thank you, Sam."
"You are most welcome, dear."
The next thing I knew all the girls were lined up, and one-by-one they each kissed my cheek and said, "Thank you." When they had all finished they left the room, and I sat there for a minute stunned. All the others just grinned at my embarrassment. I couldn't think of anything more to say except good night, and the four of us left. Jennie closed and locked the door behind us. As we left I noticed a car with two men in it sitting across the street. The driver lowered his window and gave me the thumbs-up sign. They were ours and would be watching all night in addition to those inside. Amber assured me that Jennie knew they were there and would keep in touch with them.
When we arrived at the safe house, Amber didn't come in. She said good night and went right to her car and drove off. I took the girls into the house and was met by the duty guard. He told me everything was secure and they had not seen anyone showing any interest in the house. He said good night and left to resume his post watching the house.
Once we were inside the girls just stood there, looking a little worried and waiting for me to tell them what to do. I think they expected a lecture, but I was in no mood to give one.
"We need to have a talk, but not tonight. You girls did very well tonight and helped those other girls a lot. I'm proud of you both. Now, let's turn in. We need some sleep. We have a lot to do tomorrow."
They each gave me a kiss good night and went to bed. I needed to make a couple of calls before I could get any sleep. The first was to the team. I was told they were just leaving the house, and everything was as it should be. They had left no sign of their being there. They had it all on video and would send it to the office with their reports in the morning. They said that both subjects were still sleeping when they left. They said the extra men would stay there for the night just in case. I thanked them for a good job and said good night.
The next call was going to be the hardest. I had to call Beth. She had given me her private number, so I called that one. It took a few rings before she mumbled and answer.
"Cantrell. This better be important."
"Hi, Beth. It's Sam."
"What the hell are you doing calling me in the middle of the night?"
"Sorry, but you need to know about some developments in the case."
"Why do I think I'm not going to like this?"
"Because you know me?"
"Right. Okay. Go ahead and lay it on me. I want to get back to sleep sometime tonight."
I gave her a complete report with one exception. She asked the question I expected.
"Where are the girls now?"
"Where they are safe and will not be disturbed for a while."
"Saaaam. Damn it, I need to know."
"No, you don't. You still haven't started the case, and until you do I'm running it. You can charge me with hindering or what ever you want later on, but for now I'm doing it my way. There was no way you could get those girls out without tipping off the bad guys. Now you need to get ready for the bust. In less than twenty-four hours I expect to have all the evidence you need to bring these bastards down. You let me know when you're ready to move, and I'll turn it all over to you. Until then I'm doing it my way."
"Okay, Sam. I'll get things moving a little faster in the morning. Then we can set up a briefing for my people and you can present what ever you have. Now let me get back to sleep."
I said good night and hung up. I was beat and more than ready for bed. I checked all the doors and windows and turned off the lights. I picked up the phone and told them I was turning in and went to my room. I was not prepared for what met me there. I should have been, but I wasn't.