DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls is the property of Shed productions, this story depicts a loving/sexual relationship between women...okay, disclaimer done.
Max walked into the infirmary to see Shell sitting up against the pillows reading a Woman’s Weekly. Looking around and seeing no one but the nurse sat at the desk in the far corner, she made her way over to the bed and sat on the edge. She smiled as Shell put the magazine on the side. “Woman’s Weekly? you alright Mich?”
“I’m better now” Michelle Dockley said in a smooth cultured voice that would have surprised anyone who had known her this past couple of months, and smiling at Max‘s use of her “real name“, Max being the only one that Shell let call her that, other people either calling her Michelle or Shelly. “You been to see Nikki yet?”
“Yeah I just got back from seeing her. She’s on the block for attacking you” Max added wryly. “I thought you two were supposed to be sorting out your differences while you were in here?”
“We have ... somewhat. We’ll never be best of friends but I think we have learned to tolerate and even like each other a little now. We’ve had to, being stuck in here with no-one to rely on but ourselves” Shell said pointedly.
“Mich ... please don’t you start as well, I’ve just had all this from Nikki. I told you why I didn’t get you out of here when you came to see me last week.” Max said in a small voice, trying to keep her emotions in check was hard when they were so close to the surface as they were.
Putting her hand over Max’s Shell stayed quiet, not wanting to cause Max any more pain than she was already in. After a while Max got herself under control. “Right ... um ... we need to discuss what’s going to happen now ... ”
Twenty minutes later Max was just getting up to leave when Karen walked in, she looked a little confused as to why Max would be here with Shell Dockley but she schooled her expression and came over to them.
“Max” she said nodding to the tall blonde. Looking over at Dockley, she walked over to stand by her bed. “Michelle how are you feeling?”
Sullenly Shell looked at Max first before answering “Alright Miss Betts, bit sore around the stomach but other than that I can’t complain” Max was amazed. Mich had changed right in front of her eyes from the cultured young woman she knew into the whiney, downtrodden inmate that Karen Betts knew. It was really quite amazing Max thought, looking at the pitiful face Shell was know putting on Max had to cover her laughter with a fake cough, causing both of the other women to turn and look at her.
“Sorry .... sorry must have swallowed the wrong way” she said raising a hand and bowing her head.
Unable to help herself Shell gave a little chuckle and when Karen turned to look at her she put on a maniacal smile. “Yeah well Miss, I am feeling heaps better ... you can’t put me down for long”
“Yes ... well” Karen said turning to look at each of them again. Something was going on here but for the life of her she couldn’t think what. “Right ... um ...Shell are you up for a few questions” She said getting herself together. Seeing her nod Karen indicated to Max. “Do you mind staying on Max?”
“No not at all” Max replied dragging a chair over and getting comfy.
Ten minutes later and Karen was beginning to get frustrated with Shell Dockley. “You didn’t see who it was? how is that possible Shell? You were badly beaten, so badly that the doctors were unsure that you would recover. The beating didn’t just happen in a split second, whoever did this to you, must have been in your cell for quite a bit of time!” getting exasperated Karen snapped “Did you have your eyes closed the whole time?”
“I think that’s enough for now Miss Betts” Max Hart said smoothly from behind her. Karen whirled round, she had forgotten that the other lady was there with her. “Perhaps Miss Dockley will remember more later ... after she has had time to recover a little more” She continued, looking over at Shell who was sitting serenely in the bed.
“Yes” Karen once again looked from one lady to another. “Yes of course. You rest now Shell I’ll be back later” and with that she turned on her heal and stalked out of the ward.
When she got outside the infirmary Karen leaned up against the wall and let out a long breath. `Oh God what had she been doing?’ she thought. “Damn” she said banging her hand against the wall. When Di had first told her that Shell Dockley was in the infirmary her first thought had been that Jim had not been able to control himself and had hit back at her. She had been so relieved when it had emerged that it could have been Nikki Wade and had hoped to God that Shell would confirm that fact. Now it looked like she could neither confirm nor deny that it was Nikki Wade. Then again she hadn't said that it wasn’t Jim either. What was she going to do. If it was Jim there was nothing she could do to help him, and if he did do that then maybe he had done some of the other things that Helen Stewart and others were telling her he was capable of doing. And if that was true then what the Hell had she got herself into.
Getting up Max subtly laid her hand on Mich’s, looking around to make sure no one saw. “I knew you were good Mich, but that was amazing. I had better go, I’ll see you later” and with a quick smile, she left the ward and went after Karen Betts.
She didn’t have far to go. She found Karen outside the door muttering to herself and banging her fist against the wall.
“Karen are you alright?” she asked a bit concerned
“Yeah ... Yes I’m fine”
“Good then maybe you could tell me what the hell you were doing in there?” Max said forcefully pointing towards the infirmary. “You can’t browbeat an inmate into giving a statement and you know it.”
Bowing her head in shame Karen muttered “I know I don’t know what came over me” Suddenly Karen felt defiant “But God damn it, Michelle Dockley is a hardened criminal, four months ago she held a member if my staff hostage. She played with his mind that night and a good officer hasn’t been the same since. Then she escapes and we go through hell here having our procedures ripped apart by you lot at the Home Office. Now she’s back. Back here where she escaped from .... which makes no sense to me at all, Jim hasn’t been the same since he found out she was coming back and now she’s in here. I want answers!!!”
Max watched the fiery woman in front of her as she ranted and raved about the injustices of her job. “Calm down Karen. It will all be over soon” she said, then turned and walked away, leaving a confused and still pent up Karen behind.
Helen slammed her front door behind her so hard that the glass shook and threatened to fall out. Since leaving Nikki and Max on the block she had only stopped long enough to grab her purse and bags from her office and to buy a bottle of Vodka from the local off license down the road from the prison. Dropping her bags on the floor she didn’t even bother getting a glass from the kitchen, she opened the bottle and took a long gulp of the Vodka. Feeling it burn at the back of her throat bought tears to her eyes. Helen let them fall and finally began to cry for what she felt was her betrayal from Nikki. “Why Nikki? Why?” she asked of the room but hearing no reply she took another swig of the liqueur, leant back against the sofa and closed her eyes as the tears continued to fall. Thinking back over what she had seen Helen wondered if there was any way she could have been mistaken, but any way she looked at it she could still see Nikki and Max sat close to each other on the bed, an arm around each other and Max trailing a hand down Nikki’s cheek. In her minds eye she kept repeating the scene over and over in her mind, while drinking the Vodka. In a moment of clarity just before she passed out with an empty bottle of Vodka in her hand and tear stain on her face, she said to the empty room
“Who the fuck is Gracie?”
Helen woke up with a start the next morning still on the couch in her front room. Moaning, she sat into an upright position, while rubbing her neck. Nikki and vodka were a bad combination, Helen thought ruefully. It was time to give one of them up, both of them combined was just too much. First thing first though was to get in the shower so that she could get into work and talk to Nikki, she needed a few answers before anything else.