DISCLAIMER: Bad Girls and its characters are the property of Shed Productions. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written for the sole purpose of Ivanova's advent callender, and therefore belongs to her. It has been very kindly betaed by Jen, whom I really couldn't do without.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
My Family, and Other Animals
'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the wing,
The cons and the screws were ripe for a fling.
"Oi, Babs," Yvonne called in a stage whisper. On her way to begin her work in the officers' room, Barbara turned back to face her friend. "Have a scout round," Yvonne told her. "The screws will have all sorts in there with it being Christmas Eve. Most of all, keep your eyes peeled for alcohol."
"Who's coming to this party?" Barbara asked her, wondering just what sort of trouble they could end up in for it.
"You, Monica, the Julies, Nikki, and if they're in a good mood, Helen and Karen."
"Yvonne Atkins, you're actually inviting two screws to a party?" Barbara asked in surprise.
"Well, if Nikki goes without her Christmas kiss, she'll be a pain in the arse for the next month, and I think our lovely Miss Betts could do with a laugh."
"You're probably right," Barbara agreed. "After the fiasco with Fenner and everything. So, who's passing the word around?"
"Nikki's going to ask Helen, and I'll see if I can grab our commandant when she does her rounds."
"Yes, I bet you will," Said Barbara with a smirk, thinking how lucky Yvonne was to have discovered her liking for her own sex. She, Barbara, would never do that. Like Monica, she was straight, middle-aged, and set in her ways. But if this party was the success they were planning it to be, it might not be a bad Christmas after all.
A little while later whilst Barbara was cleaning the officers' room, she took the opportunity when only Helen was present, to talk to her.
"Has Nikki invited you to our little get together yet?"
"Yes, she has," Helen replied with a smile, keeping an eye on the door in case Di or Sylvia should come back. "Sounds like it could be a laugh. Who else is coming?"
"Monica, Yvonne, The Julies, and Yvonne's going to ask Miss Betts."
"A party might do her good," Helen concurred, thinking that after having recently been raped by Fenner, and only just managing to get him suspended, a night in with the girls was just what Karen needed.
"Everyone's trying to bring something," Barbara told her. "Though it'll be precious little with personal spends being what they are."
"Well, just make sure it's legal, for god's sake," Helen warned. "And I'm sure either me or Karen can slip to the off licence later on." As soon as Helen had left the office, Barbara quickly walked over to the servery where the Julies were preparing lunch. She had yet again salvaged some cannabis yesterday, thinking that it might spice things up a bit. There wouldn't be many cigarettes for those who smoked, because personal spends had gone on writing to loved ones. Barbara wouldn't partake herself, but she knew it had been a surprise for the others. Catching Julie Saunders' eye, she handed her the little packet of dope, under the disguise of asking for more teabags for the office.
"Helen said nothing illegal for tonight," She told Julie. "So you won't be able to consume this in the usual way."
"Oh, that's all right," Julie Saunders said with a smile. "I'll bake us a cake and put it in that. Miss Betts won't know what's hit her."
"Are you sure she won't know?" Barbara asked, not wanting the party to be a disaster.
"No, at least, not till it's started to have an effect, and by that time she'll be too happy to give a toss anyway." Returning to the office, Barbara began to stealthily examine the loot that the officers had brought in for the Christmas Eve tea breaks. When Fenner had been suspended two weeks before, he'd been removed in such a hurry, that he hadn't even taken his jacket. It still hung on the back of the chair he'd always sat in, almost as if to mock Karen every time she held an officers' meeting in here. Swiftly searching the pockets, Barbara found a half litre of whisky in one, and an unopened packet of cigarettes in the other. Hiding them in the deep pockets of her overall, she moved to the food cupboard in the corner above the fridge. The trouble was, everything in there looked pretty much ear marked for some point during the day. Closing the door in resigned acceptance, Barbara's eye was caught by the freezer compartment at the top of the fridge that nobody ever used. Digging her way through the encrusted ice, she found to her delight that there were four redundant ice trays in there. Shoving them down the front of her overall, she prayed that Sylvia wouldn't try and do an impromptu strip search.
When she yet again appeared in the servery, Julie J took one look at her and laughed.
"Jesus, Babs, what happened to you?"
"Quick," Barbara told her, removing the ice trays. "Fill these up and put them in the freezer."
"Not much good if we ain't got any drink to go with it."
"Ah, but look what I found," She said in delight, quickly showing Julie the bottle of scotch.
"Blimey, Babs, where'd you find that?" Julie S asked in amazement.
"Fenner's jacket. I'll leave it with Nikki and Yvonne for now. Oh, and I found some cigarettes for you too."
"You're a genius, Babs," Julie S said in clear admiration.
"Yeah, bloody genius," Put in Julie J.
As Barbara walked across the association area to the cell, she saw Karen walk up the stairs onto the 3s. A couple of months ago, Yvonne had got into a fight with Maxi Purvis and Al McKenzie, and had been moved back down onto basic for it. Barbara had been moved up onto Enhanced to make room for her, which now meant that Yvonne and Nikki were sharing a cell. When she put her head round the door, they were both leaning over the little table in between the two narrow beds, clearly writing something.
"You found anything for us, Babs?" Yvonne asked, looking up immediately Barbara appeared.
"Scotch and cigarettes from Fenner's jacket," She said, proudly holding up her find. "And a load of ice trays that are being filled as we speak. I can't bear whisky without ice."
"I couldn't give a toss, as long as it'll get me pissed in this place," Yvonne said matter-of-factly.
"Well, you want to entertain your wing governor in style, don't you?" Barbara asked her teasingly, making a faint blush rise to Yvonne's cheeks. Ever since Yvonne had discovered the delights of the female body, she had been dead set on hooking their utterly enchanting wing governor.
"Babs is right, Yvonne," Nikki told her. "Tonight's your night."
"Babs is always right," Babs said with a knowing smile. "Especially as I heard Monica placing a little order for mistletoe this morning."
"You're joking," Nikki said, beginning to laugh.
"Not in the least. Quite how she's going to get it here is beyond me, but I'm sure we'll find out."
"Jesus! This is going to be a riot," Yvonne said, joining in the laughter.
"Yeah, as long as it isn't an actual riot," Nikki said seriously. "Helen only just managed to forgive me for the last one."
"Oh, yes, I was talking to Helen," Barbara remembered. "And I happened to mention our distinct lack of anything you might expect to find at a party, so she said that either she or Karen would visit the off licence this afternoon."
"Which reminds me," Said Yvonne, getting to her feet. "I'd better actually ask her."
"I saw her heading up onto the 3s a few minutes ago," Barbara told her. "So she's probably up there now."
"If you've finished making Bodybag's tea," Nikki said. "You can stay and help me come up with some more forfeits."
"Forfeits for what?" Barbara asked suspiciously.
"Truth or dare, the best party game there is."
Karen stood up on the 3s, looking down on the comings and goings of her wing. This was where she really wanted to be over the next few days. Ross wasn't coming home for Christmas, and there was nobody else she wanted to spend any length of time with. She'd once heard the Julies say that in here was all the family some people had. What had happened with Fenner had knocked her for six, and she knew that being alone for a large amount of time just wouldn't be good for her. She felt cut adrift from what she used to know, with absolutely nothing to keep her on the emotional straight and narrow.
"Do you fancy coming to a party tonight?" She hadn't heard Yvonne approach her, and now she whirled round in shock.
"Jesus, Yvonne, don't do that!" She said, feeling ridiculous at getting such a fright.
"Hey, calm down," Yvonne said, laying a reassuring hand on Karen's shoulder. Ever since the discovery that Yvonne wasn't Virginia's killer, she and Karen had developed a friendly compromise. But there had been something different in Yvonne of late, something Karen never would have expected to see in her. She could feel the attraction between them, but she had never done anything about it. She was no Helen Stewart. Then had come the day when Fenner had torn all her self-esteem apart. Ever since she'd ditched him after the Virginia O'Kane fiasco, he'd been persistently trying to get her back, but she'd always refused. Finally, three weeks ago, he had cornered her in her office, refusing to take no for an answer, and had quite literally taken her under protest on her office floor. Thankfully, Grayling had believed her, and Fenner had been suspended forthwith. But where did that leave her now?
"You all right?" Yvonne asked in concern, seeing that Karen was clearly somewhere else.
"Not really. I'm dreading Christmas, and then I remember that at least I can go home at the end of today."
"One woman's freedom is another one's jail," Yvonne said succinctly. "Besides, being on your own right now probably isn't such a good idea."
"You said something about a party when you startled me. What was it?"
"I wondered if you fancied coming to one. Me and some of the girls are planning one later on tonight, preferably after lock up."
"How the hell are you going to have a party after lock up?"
"Well, you're not the only screw we're asking."
"Don't tell me, Nikki's eager to get in a Christmas kiss while she can."
"Yeah, something like that. So, will you come?"
"Yes, why not," She said, a slight smile turning up the corners of her mouth.
"I think it might do you good to try and forget, just for a while," Yvonne said gently, desperately wanting to give Karen a hug, but knowing it wouldn't be welcome.
"Let's hope so."
At around five that afternoon, Karen walked into the office to see Helen putting away a load of files. Helen's job as head of the lifers' unit, meant that she spent a lot of time doing too much of her own admin.
"Have Di and Sylvia gone home?" Karen asked, picking up the report book to initial the entries for the last shift.
"Yes, thank god. If I hear either of them going on about what a bloody shame it is, for Fenner to be under police and professional investigation over Christmas, I'll swing for them."
"I hear you're coming to this party," Karen said, wanting to change the subject.
"Yeah, should be good."
"You do know that we've been given a privilege as the only screws to be invited," Karen said with a smile.
"That's because they know we know how to have fun," Helen told her.
"You might," Karen laughed. "What with your extra-curricular interests, but I don't know about me."
"How long have you known about me and Nikki?" Helen asked in shock.
"Oh, longer than you might imagine," Karen said with a smile.
"But you never said anything. Let's face it, it's not as if it's exactly permitted, now is it."
"Helen, every time the pair of you exchange a smile across the wing, it's blatantly obvious how happy you are. Why would I want to spoil that?" Helen didn't know what to say. She and Karen had argued so much whilst Karen was living with Fenner, but even then, Karen hadn't said a word about Nikki, when she would have been perfectly well within her rights to do so.
"Thank you," Helen said sincerely. "That means a lot. I know everything might seem pretty bleak right now, but you never know what might happen." Karen gave her a shaky smile.
"In the bleak mid winter, eh? Yeah, I suppose you could be right."
"Listen, I told Barbara that either you or I would try and go to the off licence. Personal spends won't have given them much in the way of things to celebrate with."
"And it's not as if we can turn up empty handed, is it." Karen dug a twenty-pound note out of her purse and handed it over. "If you'll go to the off licence before it shuts, I'll sort out all this," She said, gesturing to the files. "And make sure you get plenty of cigarettes. This lot smoke even more than I do."
At eight thirty that evening, when everyone had been safely locked up, Helen went out to her car to fetch the bags from the off licence. She and Karen were the only two on duty until the night staff arrived at midnight, which would give them plenty of time to get everyone back in their cells. Helen went to let the Julies out and to take the wine and cigarettes to Yvonne and Nikki's cell, and Karen went up onto the 3s to fetch Barbara and Monica. They both smiled to see her, but didn't say a word, lest they give the game away to those on either side. When they entered the cell on the ground floor, Karen was amazed to see that it had been decorated with colourful paper streamers, as well as a bunch of mistletoe above each bed.
"Where on earth did you get that?" Karen asked with a broad grin.
"Monica's got a very useful little mate in the works department," Yvonne told her.
"Yeah, but at least he doesn't ask you for a hand job, every time you want something brought in," Julie J said enviously.
"Sounds like you've got him wrapped round your little finger, Monica," Helen said, from where she sat in the curve of Nikki's arm.
"I'm teaching him to read," Monica told them, looking very pleased with herself. As Karen sat down on the end of Yvonne's bed, she began to feel that if she was about to break every rule in the book, she might as well do it properly.
"Scotch or red wine?" Yvonne offered, picking up a glass.
"If that's Fenner's scotch, I'll stick to red wine," Karen said, immediately recognising the bottle.
"I wish he knew what his scotch was being used for," Nikki said, trying to put Karen at her ease.
"He'd have a fit," Karen told her, a smile beginning to break through and to lighten up her face.
About an hour later, when they'd all begun to relax, and the cell was filled with the fog from six smokers, Julie S decided that now was the time for the piece de resistance.
"Miss," She said, looking straight at Karen.
"Julie, will you please drop the miss," Karen insisted with a smile. "I'm hardly behaving like a wing governor, and neither is Helen," She added, glancing over at said prison officer who was taking clear advantage of the bunch of mistletoe, that was permanently suspended over Nikki's head.
"Are you taking my name in vain?" Helen asked, looking up from where her head rested on Nikki's shoulder.
"Not in the slightest," Karen told her with a smile.
"Thing is," Julie put in, "there's something we need to get from the servery. So, can we borrow your keys?"
"I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb," Karen said philosophically, digging her keys out of her pocket. "But no making casts of them while you're away."
"We wouldn't, Miss," Julie said with an air of innocence that didn't fool any of them.
"Yeah, right," Yvonne put in, thinking that it was nice to see Karen so relaxed for a change. Yvonne herself was sat underneath a bunch of mistletoe, as it was hung above her pillow. The truth or dare game she and Nikki had been devising earlier, was simply a fallback, a possible alternative if the mistletoe didn't have its desired effect. Karen looked beautiful tonight, an understated, subconscious kind of beautiful, but gorgeous nonetheless. When the Julies returned, Julie J handed Karen's keys back to her, and Julie S put the cake down on the table, and stood back to let everyone see.
"So, that's what the incredible smell was this afternoon," Said Karen in realisation.
"Yeah, thought we'd cook up something special," Julie S said with a wink at Nikki that made her smirk. The cake was clearly a chocolate sponge, with chocolate butter icing oozing invitingly out of the sides, and with different coloured icing over the top. Taking one of the prison issue plastic knives, Julie proudly cut into it, offering the first slice to Karen.
"With the first bite of any type of Christmas cake, no matter how different it might be, you have to make a wish," She told Karen earnestly, with all the assuredness of a piece of superstition built on year's of belief. Taking her at her word, Karen bit into the slice of glorious-looking cake, and made a wish. I hope I never have to set eyes on Fenner again, she thought, her teeth sinking deliciously into the soft, light sponge. Everyone watched her, all but Helen knowing just what was in that cake. As Karen savoured the different textures and tastes, she became aware of something, a flavour that she hadn't expected. When she realised what she was tasting, a broad grin spread over her face.
"Full marks for the extra ingredient, Julies," She said, after finishing her mouthful, and taking in the others' watchful gaze.
"Oh, that wasn't us, it was Babs," Julie S said innocently.
"What extra ingredient?" Helen asked suspiciously.
"Cannabis," Karen told her. "I do hope you're ready to get a little stoned."
"I said nothing illegal," Helen said in half disgust, half laughter.
"Well, we couldn't let it go to waste," Barbara told her.
"I've never had dope in a cake before," Helen said, as Julie J began handing out slices to the rest of them.
"Aha, so you have smoked it before," Nikki clarified.
"Once, with Thomas," Helen said with an apologetic smile.
"Well, at least now you can't say that I was the only one to lead you astray."
When the cake had been eaten, and they were all, including Monica and Barbara, feeling pleasantly drunk, Yvonne thought that now might be the right time to put her plan into action. As Karen leant over her to stub her cigarette out in the ashtray that was on the table, Yvonne caught her hand before she could lean back again.
"Look up," She said softly, gesturing to the mistletoe above their heads. Karen didn't need to look upwards, she knew what was there, and she knew exactly why Yvonne had put it there.
"You've been wanting to get me in this position all evening, haven't you," Karen said knowingly, her face very close to Yvonne's.
"And would it bother you if I had?" Yvonne asked, tucking a strand of hair behind Karen's ear.
"I wouldn't have accepted your invitation if it had bothered me," Karen said, telling Yvonne that she'd been aware of what she was up to for some time now. Karen could still hear the soft music that was playing on Yvonne's little stereo, but her ears had tuned out all the other voices in the room. All she was really aware of was how close they were, how simple it would be to follow what appeared to be her instinct, to kiss Yvonne. When their lips met, time stood still. It might not have been a first for Yvonne, but it certainly was for Karen. They were peripherally aware of the Julies, Barbara and Monica, carrying on a conversation about the joys and sorrows of having either children or stepchildren, and Yvonne soon became aware of the soft gazes of Helen and Nikki from the bed opposite.
"I think we've got an audience," She said, gently detaching her lips from Karen's. When Karen met Helen's eyes, she saw only kindness and pleasure in them, no laughter, no scorn, just a soft sort of empathy. They were sprawled over Nikki's bed, Helen lying in the crook of Nikki's left arm, and Karen could swear that Nikki's left hand was moving on Helen's breast.
"You look like Helen did," Nikki told Karen. "The first time I kissed her."
"Except that I then walked out and banged you up," Helen said with a fond smile.
"I hope you ain't going to do that?" Yvonne asked her with a soft smile.
"Not on your life," Karen replied, feeling as shell-shocked as she looked. She might have suspected that this would happen, but the reality of it had taken her by storm. As she and Yvonne reclined on the bed, Karen reflected that never had she felt so relaxed, so safe, and this in the company of six prisoners. She liked the feeling of Yvonne's arm round her, of the feather-light kisses Yvonne was tracing over her face, to eventually end up back where they'd started. She wasn't sure how they ended up lying along Yvonne's bed, but it felt perfect.
"You're beautiful," Yvonne told her between kisses.
"Now I know you're stoned," Karen said with a low laugh.
"Do you have any idea how long I've wanted to do this?"
"I've been aware of it for a while," Karen told her. "But I didn't pursue it, because I haven't got Helen's guts."
"Don't talk crap," Helen said fondly.
"Don't worry," Nikki added for her. "Helen needed a push in the right direction to start with as well."
"I think that might be our cue to depart," Monica said, glancing over at the two entwined couples.
"Happy Christmas, girls," Yvonne said as they quietly left, shutting the door behind them.
When the other four women had gone, their attention returned to each other, Helen and Nikki beginning to take up their pursuit of pleasure with the ease of long familiarity. But Yvonne didn't want to rush Karen. Yes, she might want to make love to her more than anything else in the world right now, but because this was Karen's first time, and all the more because of the recent events with Fenner, any initiative had to come from Karen. Her efforts to restrain her natural impulses hadn't gone unnoticed however. Karen was immensely grateful for Yvonne's patience, but it occurred to her that tonight might just be the night to try something new, to take a step towards recovering from everything that had happened. When Karen gently took Yvonne's hand in hers and led it to her breast, Yvonne raised an eyebrow at her.
"Are you sure?" She asked, not wanting Karen to do this just because she felt she had to.
"This seems to be the night for first times," Karen told her, suddenly realising that she wanted to know everything about this avenue of pleasure. As Yvonne's hand moved on her, she thought that never had any man been so gentle with her.
"I like a woman who's not backward in coming forward," Yvonne said with a smile, when Karen began mimicking Yvonne's movements on one of her own breasts. It felt a little odd to touch another woman like this, in a way far more intimate than touching a man ever did. When their hands began to undo buttons, carefully pushing clothes aside, Karen glanced over at Helen and Nikki, to see that they were already mostly unclothed, and that Nikki was delicately suckling on one of Helen's nipples. Her gasp of wide-eyed amazement drew Yvonne's eyes to the two women on the bed opposite. Opening her eyes in blissful contentment, Helen looked up into Karen's, giving her a smile of sincere encouragement. Casting Karen's blouse and bra aside, Yvonne kissed her way down until she was giving Karen the same treatment as Nikki was giving Helen. When Karen let out a moan of sheer delight, Helen couldn't help but laugh, thinking how nice it was to hear Karen getting so much pleasure from something. Karen gently pushed Yvonne's open blouse off her shoulders, and then watched as Yvonne swiftly removed her bra. Pulling Yvonne back to lie beside her, Karen delicately traced the curve of Yvonne's breast, grazing her fingertip over Yvonne's nipple.
"I want to see all of you," Yvonne said carefully, fixing Karen with her penetrating gaze. In the moment of Karen's slight hesitation, Nikki said,
"If you can't trust this particular Atkins, you can't trust anyone."
"I know that," Karen said seriously. As she reached for the button of Yvonne's trousers, she led Yvonne's hand to the zip of her skirt, saying better than any words that this was perfectly okay with her. When they lay naked side by side, Yvonne's exclamation brought both Helen's and Nikki's eyes on them.
"Jesus!" Yvonne said in admiration. "Have you been hiding a body like that all this time?"
"You've definitely had too much to drink," Karen said with a laugh.
"Well, if she has, so have we all," commented Helen, giving Karen the critical once over. "You're stunning." As Yvonne began kissing her way down Karen's body, Karen resolved to simply let herself enjoy every moment of tonight. It might never happen again, but right now, that didn't matter. When Yvonne's tongue dipped into the soft, silky place between Karen's legs, Karen had to put a hand over her own mouth to stifle a cry of ecstasy.
"God, who on earth taught you to do that?" She asked, her breathing quickening considerably.
"That would be telling," Nikki said between kisses, her hand taking Helen to the same heights as Karen.
"You did?" Karen asked in shock.
"I might have given her a little crash course," Nikki said smugly.
"And you knew about this?" Karen asked Helen, utterly unable to believe that Helen would be okay with this.
"There isn't anything I don't know about Nikki," Helen drawled seductively, Nikki's skilful, wandering hand making her own breath come in short, sharp gasps. When Yvonne inched three fingers inside her, and Karen realised that she was fast approaching her first orgasm with another woman, she reached out a hand. Helen seemed to know that Karen needed this little bit of extra reassurance, so she held on to Karen as their orgasms approached. As she soared over her peak, Karen squeezed Helen's hand, grateful for the support she could feel emanating from all three women. She wasn't expecting the rush of feelings that swept over her, making her feel a combination of extreme closeness to Yvonne, and a sudden release from her previous captivity. She hadn't had sex with anyone since Fenner had raped her, and she certainly hadn't had the inclination to attempt to achieve an orgasm. But now, here, in this cell, with Helen and Nikki on the bed opposite, she had been set free of her torment. They cared for her these women, Yvonne, Helen, and Nikki, they cared for her more than anyone had ever done in her life.
When they realised that a flood of tears was streaming down Karen's face, Helen and Nikki swiftly untangled themselves, watching as Yvonne cradled Karen against her, trying to soothe away the enormous surge of emotion that had accompanied her release.
"I'm sorry," Karen said, her body shuddering with slightly suppressed sobs.
"I didn't know I was that bad," Yvonne said, affectionately kissing her shoulder.
"You weren't," Karen hurriedly tried to reassure her. "You were wonderful. I just feel, I don't know, free." As Nikki reached to light Karen a cigarette and to pass her the box of tissues, Helen sat down on the bed on the other side of Karen, also putting her arms round her. It didn't seem to matter that they were all stark naked, their shared experience having removed all need for assumed propriety.
"What do you feel free from?" Helen asked her softly, though thinking that she knew the answer.
"Fenner," Karen told them, though not wanting to ruin their evening with a mention of his name.
"I know," Helen replied, taking a tissue and gently wiping away Karen's tears. "Nikki set me free after Fenner did what he did to me. I think you needed this." As Karen pulled herself into a sitting position, leaning against the thin pillow, Nikki handed her a cigarette and the ashtray.
"I don't know what to say," She said, after taking a long and grateful drag.
"You don't need to say anything, sweetheart," Yvonne said fondly, softly running a hand along Karen's thigh. "This is the best Christmas Eve either me or Nikki's ever had in here. I mean that, and if this has in any way helped you to forget Fenner for a while, then that's all to the good."
Just before midnight, when Karen and Helen walked out to their cars, they both found their thoughts remaining back in that double cell on G wing. They both of them suspected that Nikki and Yvonne would spend the rest of the night in each other's arms, but neither of them would have dreamt of begrudging this. It was Christmas, and no one, except perhaps Fenner, should ever be alone at Christmas. As Karen reached to unlock her car, Helen caught her hand.
"I wouldn't have missed tonight for the world," She said, looking deep into Karen's eyes, the combined glow of the moon and the streetlamp, casting an ethereal gleam on the frost.
"No, me neither," Karen told her, taking in a long, satisfied breath of the icy air. It surprised neither of them when their lips met, it seeming to be a part of some unfinished business. "Thank you for tonight," Karen said into her hair, holding Helen to her for these last few precious moments.
"Hey, come on, what are friends for?" Helen replied, feeling real warmth to be held in the taller woman's arms. But as Karen drove away some minutes later, it occurred to her that these weren't just her friends, they felt like family to her. It was true what the Julies always said, in here was all the family some of them had, and tonight of all nights, Karen had made the discovery that this didn't just apply to the inmates. Yvonne, Helen, and Nikki, they had given her back the most precious thing in the world to her tonight, they had given her back her freedom and confidence. If this didn't make them more special to her than family, she didn't know what did.
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