DISCLAIMER: Quite simple: I do not own them.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The timeline for this story is mid season 3.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Angels In Chains Again
By Tashe Dangerous Eyes
The area designated as the prison's laundry room was one of the most isolated and hot in the entire building even though it was spacious, making it quite an uncomfortable place to work in. Each wall functioned as a work station: along one of the longer walls were a series of industrial size washing machines, and at the opposite side were their counterparts the dryers. While operating, together they formed a disjointed orchestra of pure noise. Each of the two remaining walls had a massive table attached to it, very wide and almost as long as the wall itself. One was used to sort the dirty laundry, and the other for folding and preparing the clean laundry for restacking and redistribution. Behind the wall with all the dryers there was a corridor, and at the end of it the door that led to the basement.
Kris Munroe was loading one of the washing machines as slow as she could, giving herself time to be left alone so she could go and have a look at the basement and finally discover what secrets were being hidden there. The other inmate that was working with her was supposed to leave soon with the clean laundry; she just needed to bind her time correctly. Sure enough, a couple of minutes later the other woman grabbed one of the big carts that were used to carry the loads of laundry, dirty or clean, and made for the exit door. "Hey Lewis, I'm gonna go and distribute these clean sheets. Don't forget to pick up the wet towels in the showers."
"Sure, I'll be up in a few minutes." Kris responded as nonchalant as she could.
The moment the other woman was out the door Kris threw the last of the dirty clothes into the washing machine and hit the start switch. She practically ran to the corridor trying to make the most of the time she had, but the sound of steps and voices coming from outside the room towards her halted her step. She looked around her frantically, trying to find a place to hide, not wanting to be seen and be made to leave. She considered hiding behind the washers, but they were so close to the wall that she didn't fit, even with her small frame. Kris saw it was the same situation with the dryers. The voices were getting closer and more than act she reacted, jumping inside one of the carts and putting the dirty bed sheets and towels on top of her with only a second to spare before the Warden and Cain came into the room. She was grateful the carts were made of hard plastic mounted on a metal frame and could easily support her weight.
"Are you sure of what you've seen?" The Warden's nervousness was evident in his voice.
"Believe me, Warden, there's no way to be mistaken about something like that. It was a horrible scene. Those men " Cain trailed off still a little shaken up, unwilling to describe the macabre scenario she had seen.
"And nobody else knows? You came directly to me?"
"Yes, you and I are the only ones who know about it." Cain assured him. They were having the conversation in the middle of the laundry room, taking advantage of the apparent privacy.
"All right, let's go find out what the hell these women are doing down there, and to see if this mess can still be fixed." The echo of their steps told Kris they were going to the basement. She was more than intrigued by what she had heard and followed them, wanting to find out what was going on and hopefully without being caught in the act.
There were a couple of flights of stairs behind the door to the basement with a landing in the middle from where one flight of stairs descended in the opposite direction of the first. A brick wall made each journey down and up a private one. Kris made her way down silently, listening for any sign of trouble. She reached the landing and saw that it was impossible for her to get to the bottom of the stairs without being seen. Fortunately for her the outer brick wall of the stairs had what seemed like small barred windows. She couldn't imagine what their function was or had been at some point, she only knew that at that moment they were permitting her to look into the room, and what she saw left her flabbergasted.
The prison's basement had been turned into a lab, and for what she could see it was a drug lab, and a massive one at that. There were only a few women working at the different areas, all inmates that she could easily recognize. The Warden and Cain were talking to a woman who looked to be the one in charge of the whole thing. Kris couldn't hear what they were talking about, but by their angry gestures she could tell there was a problem. She took her eyes off of the trio to look at the lab again, still not believing her eyes and figured that the drug that was used to kill the two prisoners she saw at the briefing was probably coming from inside the prison, made by the prisoners with the Warden's permission. Something caught her attention and she looked back to where the Warden was and panicked when she saw that he and Cain were coming back to take the stairs.
Kris took off up the stairs as fast as she could, managing to do so in complete silence. She could hear their steps right behind her, but she kept moving swiftly and with precision. The Warden and Cain came through the door, walked the width of the laundry room and exited through the other door without encountering anything suspicious in their way. Only when their steps sounded far enough Kris risked a peek from under the dirty laundry inside the cart. She held her sigh of relief for less smelly surroundings, but she felt very relieved indeed.
It was becoming increasingly difficult for Sabrina to hold her tears in. She felt heartbroken and so alone, but more than anything she felt dirty; drenched in a staining shame she thought she would never be able to wash away. She realized that no mattered how much she had resisted she still ended up making a deal with the devil; a necessary thing for the sake of the case, she kept telling herself. But, have I forsaken my love with Kelly? What will she think of me? The problem with making deals with the devil is that you can't trust him to keep his word. Sabrina felt like she had made the biggest mistake of her life and she felt cornered, with no way to run. She thought of Kelly and what she meant to her; she remembered her words of love that still resonated in her heart. Sabrina thought of Kelly's beautiful face, her eyes looking at her with such love and devotion, and she felt even more ashamed and lost; like she was failing Kelly somehow.
Her tears finally found freedom by sheer quantity and Sabrina stepped under the shower head completely, hiding her tears among the water drops. Her sobs were next, intending to find their way out of her aching chest, but Sabrina held them in with all her might, even though she wanted to scream at the top of her lungs.
The few inmates who were in the showers with her started to leave gradually, leaving her alone to fade away as if her or her pain were none existent. In the end there were only her and her regret.
It took her a while to get a grip over her emotions; too many sighs to control her breathing, and even more courage to forgive herself. Even though Sabrina knew the decision she had made, however difficult, was necessary, she also knew why it was hitting her so hard now when before it would have been just part of the game; another lie, another role to play. Now it was important and meaningful because now she belonged to another. Although Kelly didn't know it yet Sabrina felt hers, wanted to be hers completely, body and soul. Having to play Becker's game made her feel like she was betraying the love she was given, and it pained her to have to continue with the farce. But she also had a responsibility and she wasn't going to let all of their effort to be in vain. She would deal with Becker and hopefully Kelly would understand and forgive her.
Sabrina finished getting dressed, gathered her things and started for the shower room door when Kris almost ran her over with the laundry cart. "Bree!" Kris exclaimed, surprised at finding her there.
"Shh!" Sabrina admonished Kris for using her real name.
"I mean, please don't hurt me. It was an accident." Sabrina rolled her eyes and pulled Kris further inside the room.
"Kris, we have to talk and fast, before somebody comes in here." Sabrina whispered and Kris nodded her agreement. "What have you found out?"
"Well, Kelly worked her magic with Janet Eastwood and found out that the majority of the prison guards, short of a riot, don't intervene with the prisoners at all. It seems that Renee, the woman who stopped the fight this morning, has been given some sort of control over the inmates by a guard called Becker. Janet also told Kelly that she knows Sandy was murdered because she knew too much and talked about it with her lawyer. Of course, we have yet to prove that. Kelly thinks that Sandy's death happened either due to the guards' indifference or someone in a high position around here ordered her dead, most likely a combination of the two." Kris related also in a whisper. Sabrina felt a pang of jealousy hit her at Kris' first words but overcame it quickly as her brain took in the information Kris was giving her.
"That's a good theory, and Becker is definitely a dirty guard, in more ways than one." Sabrina closed her eyes momentarily, irked by the memory of Becker's lips and hands on her.
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing." Sabrina lied. "Did Janet say what was it Sandy knew?"
"No, not more than what I told you, she is still somewhat reluctant to talk about her, but you know what she did tell Kelly? Remember Charlie saying that Sandy and Janet were very close?" Sabrina nodded remembering. "Well, they were more than close, they were lovers." Sadness was all Sabrina could feel for the woman. Losing someone you are in love with was something terrible to experience. It made her think of Kelly and how being apart from her for only a couple of days was almost unbearable to her, so she knew of at least a fraction of the pain the other woman was going through, because in Kelly's and her case their separation was temporary, but for Janet it was going to be forever. "Kelly is going to continue working with Janet to see what else she can learn from her. How about you?"
"This afternoon I was able to look through Becker's drawers and I found a folder full of prisoner's headshots, and among them were the two women who disappeared."
"What are the headshots for?"
"I don't know exactly, but the women had their hair and makeup done, and I have a bad feeling about it if experience has taught me something."
"I think I know what you are referring to. Jill told me all about that case when you three had to go to jail. How did you manage to get inside Becker's office? I hear she is the number two around here." Sabrina turned her head towards the door to make sure they were still alone before answering and Kris noticed something on her neck, but she wasn't sure of what it was.
"I was assigned to clean the main offices and the corridors around them. Tomorrow I'll look into the Warden's office. I don't know if he is involved in any of this but I can't let the chance pass me by."
"Oh no, he is involved big time." Sabrina's inquiring look prompted her to continue. "I just came from the basement because Janet told Kelly that the basement is so off limits they wouldn't even let repair men go down there. Bree, there's a drug lab that occupies practically the whole basement. The Warden was just down there with another guard, Cain, and apparently there is something going on that they don't like at all. They were having an argument with the woman in charge who is an inmate. Everybody working in that lab is an inmate."
"The women who died from the overdose, the drug was coming from here?" Sabrina opened her eyes incredulous. "Charlie said the drug that killed them couldn't be identified, so they are making something new."
"My thoughts exactly." Once again Sabrina looked to the door for any sign of intruders, exposing her neck to Kris.
"Sabrina, what is that?" Sabrina returned her gaze to Kris sharply, not comprehending what she was referring to.
"What is what?"
"This on your neck." Reaching out, Kris touched the purple-bluish spot making Sabrina jerk away at the contact. "Bree, you are hurt." Sabrina examined her own neck, not having noticed the painful spot before. "Who did that to you?" Lowering her head Sabrina decided not to lie, tired of all the secrecy.
"It was Becker." At the mention of the name Kris became aghast, remembering the rumors she had heard earlier in the laundry room.
"Please, don't tell me it's you. There's a rumor going around," Kris started to explain to a confused Sabrina. " about this Becker woman. They say that from time to time she fixates on an inmate and works her up in whatever way necessary until she makes her do whatever she wants. And more often than not what she wants is-"
" sex." Sabrina finished for her. "I know." Kris became angry when she saw that indeed Sabrina was Becker's new target.
"And she did this to you? How? What happened?"
"Last night when I arrived she made it very clear that she liked me, hardly using any words at all." Kris made a face at this. She had been thinking about Sabrina going through the whole bathing and sanitizing ordeal all alone, and now, knowing she was subjected to sexual harassment made her want to gouge the guard's eyes out. "When I showed my lack of interest she became violent, and she promised that one day I will be begging for her ministrations."
"I'm sorry, Bree." Sabrina shook her head to dismiss Kris' sympathy.
"Listen, Kris, she is coming after me with persistence. She arranged for me to clean the offices because she wants to keep me close. She threatened me with things that for sure will interfere with this investigation; probably even blow all of our covers, so I had to make a deal with her." Kris saw by Sabrina's face that it was not easy for her to make that decision, let alone tell her about it, but she feared for what the deal could cost her. She deposited an understanding hand on Sabrina's shoulder.
"What kind of deal?"
Sabrina lowered her eyes, unable to look at Kris. "I'll go along with what she wants because she is letting me set the pace." Sabrina looked up again. "I need you to understand, this way I can control what happens. We only have to solve this case as soon as possible. I had to do it, Kris." Sabrina's words sounded desperate, feeling the need to justify her actions. Kris placed her fingers under Sabrina's chin, much like she had done with Kelly the night before and spoke to her with utmost sincerity.
"I understand, Bree, I'm not judging you. I probably would've done the same in your position." Inside her, Kris silently prayed she never had to find out if that was true.
"Please, don't say anything to Kelly. She hates me enough already." Sabrina sighed audibly, resigned to the fact.
"Are you crazy?"
"You don't understand, Kris."
"No, you don't understand, Bree. I know, I know everything that happened between you two and she is very far from hating you. She loves you."
"She told you?" Sabrina didn't expect Kris to be so acquainted with such intimate details of her and Kelly's relationship.
"She was crying and there were things I knew already it's a long story. The point is she loves you. She is going crazy not knowing how you feel though, but you can change that."
"Timing hasn't exactly been on my side lately."
"I know." Kris said feeling a little guilty still. "This wasn't exactly the best time to get arrested either." Sabrina chuckled slightly at Kris' jest. "She feels like she is going to be lonely for the rest of her life, unless you come around." This time Kris spoke in all seriousness, trying to represent her absent friend whose heart was enduring a forceful wait; waiting to be loved and completed, or simply broken forever.
"Oh Kris, I don't have to come around. I've never been facing anywhere else but towards her, because I love her too. More than you can imagine." Kris almost melted with the words and wished Kelly was there to hear them herself. "Don't tell her this; don't tell her any of this. I want to be the one to tell her how I feel. Just do me a favor, convince her to wait for me."
"Honey, I already did that." Kris smiled from ear to ear.
"How did you know?"
"I'm Kris Munroe, Private Investigator." Kris jested again and Sabrina couldn't help but laugh.
"Thank you, Kris." Sabrina hugged her quickly. "Aside from everything, how is she doing?"
"She was scared to death for you this morning, so was I for that matter. I had to hold her back a couple of times; she just wanted to be there by your side. Are you sure you are okay?"
"Yeah." Kris didn't notice, but her words made Sabrina feel really happy, just knowing Kelly wanted to be there for her was enough to lift her spirit.
"Bree, that reminds me Rita and her two accomplices were keeping a close eye on you during dinner, and I think they're planning something against you. You need to watch your back." Kris warned Sabrina, visibly worried about the wellbeing of her colleague and friend.
"I will. Thanks again, Kris. I better go now before our luck runs out." She said pointing out the fact that they hadn't been interrupted once. "But tell Kelly that I'm really looking forward to talking with her, and don't tell her about Becker. Please."
"I promise." With one last nod to her partner Sabrina exited the shower room.
Kris, now alone with her thoughts allowed herself a moment of pure anguish. From the moment they had been given their assignments she knew that Sabrina's was the most difficult and dangerous. To make matters worse, the timing of the case was interfering with her personal life, making it impossible for her and Kelly to resolve arguably the most important issue of their lives, and to top it all up Sabrina now had to deal with a woman with no scruples who just wanted to take advantage of her. Kris' only consolation was that Sabrina was confident about her ability to handle the situation, and she trusted that.
Kris picked up the wet towels she was there to retrieve and went back to the laundry room, really looking forward to seeing the day end so she could go back to her cell. Remembering Sabrina's declaration of love for Kelly she smiled, hurrying up, wanting to give Kelly her message and bring her a little of happiness in the middle of the dismal days the three of them were living.
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