Senator Richard Boyce took his wife and son to their summer home in upstate New York for a week's vacation away from the pressures of Washington, D.C. The popular 32 year-old Senator was serving the second year of his first term, a seat he had won in an unprecedented landslide. His beautiful wife Tina had given birth to Richard, Jr. two years earlier, and became a very popular hostess among the social scene in the capital.
Their troubles began when the two year-old daughter of Liza Giddings died the week before the Boyce's vacation. Liza was a member of a female radical back-to-nature group known only as "Them." These women were for the most part lesbians with a gripe against society.
The date was April 12, 1965.
On that day, the Boyce family arrived at their estate while the members of Them were trying to console Liza Giddings who was still grieving over the loss of her child. The baby had died of pneumonia after having caught a cold in the ramshackle old unheated house.
Something drastic would have to be done, the other members of Them decided. It wasn't often one of them got pregnant, and a child in the group was always welcome - provided it was a female. The seven members of Them soon were piling into their Chevy station wagon and driving out into the country.
At the Boyce estate, Richard was working in his office, his wife and son were in the yard playing on the swings. The solitary security agent assigned to the Senator was sitting on the front porch, watching Tina, his walkie-talkie squawking at his feet.
The agent noticed the station wagon driving past the house, noting the number of occupants inside. He did not see the car stop out of slight down the street. The women leaped from the car and sprang into action. Liza had seen the child playing on the swings, and realized she had to have it. She and another girl headed for Tina and the baby while the other five made their way toward the house.
At the sight of the women approaching the house, the security man got to his feet, grabbing the walkie talkie and removed the holster guard from his pistol. He had not as yet seen the two women sprinting toward Tina and little Richard.
He told the five women coming toward him to stop and identify themselves. They did not. He brought the walkie-talkie to his mouth and was about to report to his local office when he finally saw Liza snatching Richard, Jr. away from Tina who was being held back by another woman.
Dropping the walkie-talkie, the agent went for the gun on his hip, but before he managed to unholster it, his neck exploded in a geyser of blood. He died instantly.
At the sound of the gunshot, Richard leaped to his feet and ran to the window. He saw his wife being shoved to the ground by a woman, but did not see his son or the policeman he knew should be out there. In a rage, he reached for the desk drawer where he kept a pistol and found it locked. The key he knew was on his dresser upstairs.
He ran out of the den and heard the front door open and a number of people entering. All of the voices he heard were female. He froze momentarily, not sure of what to do. Then he heard the sound of his son screaming in the distance and he threw himself down the stairs, yelling at the top of his lungs like a madman.
The sight of the Senator running down the steps caused the woman with the gun to panic and she fired twice, hitting him once in the shoulder, shattering his collarbone. His right arm hanging useless from his shoulder, Richard still managed to wrestle the woman to the ground. Another of the women grabbed him, while two fled from the house.
Fighting as if possessed, Richard freed himself and got to his feet.
"Where's my son?" he screamed at them. Backing toward the door, the members of Them still in the house began to yell for help. Richard advanced on them, his chest and arm covered in sticky blood.
Liza appeared in the door, Richard, Jr., cradled in one arm, sniffing uncontrollably. In her other hand was the security guard's service revolver.
At the sight of the baby, Richard exploded and hurled himself at the woman. She calmly raised the gun and a simple squeeze of the trigger ended the Senator's fight. He fell backward and stopped moving.
Richard, Jr., had stopped sniffling when he saw his father fall. His eyes were round saucers and his mouth was wide open. Liza dropped the gun and followed the others back to the station wagon. They sped off, u-turning in the street and heading back down the street past the house again.
Richard Boyce, Sr., however, was still very much alive. He struggled to his feet and staggered out the door in time to see the car speeding away. Richard saw the officer laying in a pool of blood in the pathway leading to the door. Tina was laying motionless not far from the swing set.
Bleeding profusely, fighting to retain consciousness, Richard made his way to has wife and knelt down beside her. He heard sirens in the distance and talked soothingly to the prone body of Tina. He knew his son had been taken from him. He prayed that has wife had not been taken as well.
"I'll be straight with you, Mr. Cole. I've one through a dozen private detectives in the last twenty years and none of the have given me the kind of satisfaction I paid them for."
Richard Boyce got up from his desk and walked around in front, sitting on the corner facing David,
"I've gotten leads but no solid evidence, Mr. Cole. You came highly recommended. I've checked your references. You're a good man. You'll help me."
"Just what is it you expect me to do for you, Senator?"
"I want you to find my son."
David Cole looked at the former Senator and saw the seriousness of the statement etched like stone into that solid, still handsome face.
"He's been gone twenty years, Senator. The police have closed the case, saying the skeleton found in the grave under the Them house fit the general description of your son.
"I don't believe that. One of the detectives I had hired was on to something. In 1975 Them was ousted from that house in Butler. Most of the members went to jail after the siege. But he had heard of one who had left the group a few years before, taking a child with her. I have reason to believe that child was my son."
David sat and stared at Boyce. The man continues to believe his son was alive, after twenty-two years. The Them members who had attacked him and killed has wife were tried and sent to prison after the lengthy siege of the barricaded house in 1975. None of the group knew anything about a kidnapped boy. Under the house, which had burned to the ground during the battle the police found bones belonging to both adults and infants, some of them belonging to a 2 year-old that had been placed there approximately twenty years earlier. The fire and the length of time since the interment made positive identification impossible, but the evidence was strongly in favor of the bones belonging to the son of Senator Boyce. The case was closed.
Senator Boyce continued to search for his son. the only real piece of evidence he had was obtained from a Them member found by herself and forcibly made to talk by one of the Senator's hired P.I.'s. She had told of a group member who had disgraced the other members by leaving and taking her child with her. The woman who had said this later denied it but the way she had said 'child' and not 'girl' or 'daughter' was the clue Senator Boyce was clinging to. No men were allowed in the group under any circumstance. If a member of Them got pregnant, and the child was a boy, it's skull was crushed and they buried it under the house.
Richard was unable to ever locate the woman who had left the group, and detective after detective also failed to turn up the elusive former Them member. David Cole was the latest in the long string of investigators brought in by the former Senator.
"I'm counting on you, Cole. I'm paying you good money to find my son. Don't let me down."
"I'll try my best, sir, but to be honest, I don't think there's too much hope."
"He's alive, Cole. I'm certain of it. And I want him found. I don't have anything else in the world any more. I just want my son back." The Senator stood up, straightened his jacket and walked out of the room, leaving David Cole very alone.
Back in his own office, David Cole was putting a file folder together on the Boyce case when the phone rang
"Hi," a sultry voice returned throatily, "Is Dawn there?"
"Jonelle? Is that you?" David said excitedly. "Where've you been hiding yourself?"
"David, I really need to see Dawn. Tonight. At the usual place."
"I landed a case today, Jo - a big one!"
"When was the last time Dawn went out?" The voice on the phone was driving David wild. He had to see her.
"A long time. Too long." His heart was pounding.
"I thought so. Get her together for me? Please?"
"Okay, Jo. Sure."
"Great," Jonelle said. "I've missed her."
"Me, too. Listen, Jo, about this case - "
"Tell me later. Bye." The phone went dead.
David put the file in his briefcase and left the office. He walked up the flight of stairs to his apartment, his heart thudding wildly in his chest.
He headed straight for the bathroom, shedding articles of clothing as he did. "Thank you, Jonelle," he said out loud as he turned on the shower. "It has been far too long since Dawn's been out."
He stepped into the steaming shower, and soaped his trim, athletic body. Years of Tae Kwon Do had formed his body from a dumpy 10 pounds into a firm 155 on has 5 foot 7 frame, as well as instilling in him a confidence he had never known.
He shaved his legs, arms and chest, shampooed and conditioned his hair and stepped from the shower and into a fluffy towel.
At the sink, he closely shaved his face, splashing a woman's cologne over the smooth skin afterward. He studied his eyebrows and deftly plucked them into an arch that wasn't overtly noticeable.
Clad in his towel, he left the bathroom and unlocked a trunk in his bedroom closet. He removed article after article of clothing, tossing them onto the neatly made bed. From beneath the clothing still in the trunk, he found boxes and a fishing tackle box. The tackle box he placed on his dresser and he chose one of the shoe boxes and put that on the floor.
He slipped a pair of panties up his legs and nestled them into place, willing himself to not be excited. Next came a pair of sheer black pantyhose, followed by black padded bra. Into the cups of the bra he placed foam rubber falsies.
Sitting on a stool in front of the large mirror over the dresser, he opened the tackle box to reveal an assortment of cosmetics. He deftly applied each selection of make-up and soon had transformed his face into that of a pretty young girl. He took care to not overdo his make-up, as that can cause unwanted attention. He took pride in achieving a natural, fresh look that was undeniably feminine.
He slid the black and white striped dress over his head and adjusted it into place. A black patent leather belt went around his waist, cinching it. A dozen circle bracelets in silver were slipped over a wrist and a silver wristwatch on the other. Large silver hoop earrings were clipped to has ears and a dainty silver chain clasped behind his neck. He stepped into low-heeled black patent pumps.
The last step was the long flowing blonde wig, still on the wigform in the trunk. He took it and lovingly brushed it before placing it on his head over his own brown hair.
He admired himself in the mirror before polishing his nails a bright red. He then organized his necessities into his patent leather purse - wallet, money, keys, make-up. He sprayed an expensive perfume onto his wrists and behind his ears and knew that he was ready.
Dawn was ready to go.
He slipped into the stairwell and made his way out of the building. Outside, he breathed deeply and began to walk across the street to his parked car. Inside the car, he began to think back on the first time he had met Jonelle.
It had been five years earlier, and he had been a scared 22 year-old, out on his first trip to New York City. He had spent hours getting dressed up in has hotel room before summoning enough courage to leave. He was sure nothing could go wrong - he kept telling himself he looked fine - just like any other girl on the street.
Unfortunately he knew little about what it took to be a woman. Has clothes were ill-fitting and somewhat out of date. His make-up was too heavy and over-done for daytime wear. He could not walk in high heels and he had no idea how to carry himself as a woman. And he had no confidence whatsoever.
The walk from the hotel started out all right; he thought he was passing well. But a few blocks from the building, has ankles bean to ache. Now he was teetering on the four-inch heels. Kids began to follow him, talking and giggling among themselves. They began to taunt the young transvestite, running up in front of him, laughing and pointing. Other people began to look at him and smile. Some didn't find it funny to see a boy in a dress and told him so. One guy walking past him jostled him hard and said, "Excuse me, sir."
David was a wreck. He kept on walking, not knowing what else to do. He was sweating profusely, and has make-up began to run. realizing he was too far from the hotel, he ducked into a beauty parlor.
Jonelle was the manager and recognized immediately what the problem was. She escorted the trembling boy into a back room and closed the door. The crowds outside soon dispersed.
David thanked her and explained himself - he was a transvestite and just wanted to walk around. He thought he looked fine, but obviously something was wrong.
Jonelle went to work on him. She washed his face clean, and re-applied has make-up, explaining their use thoroughly. Then she re-set his wig on his head, styling it attractively. She pointed out the flaws in his clothes and shoes and made him look out into the street at what the women he saw were wearing.
She dressed him in a skirt and blouse from the Sportswear boutique in the front of the salon and coached him in feminine mannerisms. She then agreed to ride a cab with him back to his hotel.
She saw him to the elevator, where the grateful boy kissed her on the cheek and thanked her. She then invited him out to dinner later that evening, and he accepted.
She brought him another dress to wear and helped him with his evening make-up. They had dinner in the hotel's restaurant and David pulled it off beautifully. He realized then that Jonelle was getting as big a kick out of his impersonation as he was.
She took him shopping the next day, but not dressed. She helped him choose clothes that would flatter him and made him buy shoes that were a little more comfortable and practical. David invited has new found friend back to his room, but she declined. He was disappointed in that, but marveled at his luck in having met her.
Over the next five years, David had begun karate lessons, took a criminal justice course, got his private investigators license and moved permanently to New York. He continued to meet periodically with Jonelle, always as Dawn. They would go to the movies, or a show, or just shopping, but it was always the time of his life.
It had been about a year since he had last heard from her. He had not gone out as Dawn since then, although he had dressed in his room. It just wasn't the same without Jonelle with him.
Dawn drove up in front o a fancy French restaurant and stepped from the car as a valet attendant held the door. She watched as the boy drove her car way and smiled at the doorman who held the front door open for her. Inside, she gave her name and was escorted to a booth where she saw Jonelle seated with a man.
To Be Continued...
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