DISCLAIMER: I have no ownership of Bad Girls or the dialog used at the beginning.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SEQUEL: To Helen's Private Reflection.
The nervousness I felt while walking toward Nikki's cell was almost unbearable. After the day she'd experienced-after the day I'd been bloody responsible for-I didn't quite know how she'd react. I always prided myself in being a professional. My work ethic was impeccable as was my reputation. Today, however, things had definitely changed. No one had seen what took place. In fact, I was quite confident that my job security wasn't in jeopardy. In my heart, however, I knew I had been wrong. Pleasuring myself in my office-on the clock-while thinking about an inmate
not exactly my finest moment.
So, after much thought, I'd made a decision that would affect the both of us. Right before I dialed Simon's extension, I received the news that he was expecting me. I wasn't sure what this entailed, but I walked into his office, knowing that something was about to change.
Talking to Simon always brought out the best (and worst) in me. The hypocritical way he ran Larkhall always got me going, but sometimes I was too pissed to get my point across. On this day, however, the news had leaked about Jim's supposed affair with Shell. I knew he was guilty. I'd suspected it for months. When Jim had the balls to toss Nikki's cell looking for supposed drugs, I knew something was up. She'd said he'd provoked her and she'd always linked Jim to Shell. I had no way to prove it and he always seemed to slide by completely unharmed.
I was livid but knew that when Fenner was involved, I could always count on Simon to side with that Bastard instead of me. The ole boys club had the run of things and never missed a chance to give me a reminder. Today however, was different. I actually forced Simon to suspend Jim. I'll admit that I was nervous when giving the ultimatum of "him or me," but I succeeded in backing the Number 1 in a corner.
My joy didn't last for long. My conscience hit me like a freight train when I realized I was just as guilty as Jim. The fact is, I would never take advantage of an inmate, and my feelings for Nikki were innocent in comparison to Fenner's treatment of Shell Dockley. But at the moment, I was in the same bloody category as Jim Fenner. Before I thought twice, I had given my resignation. That was the easy part. In fact, Simon took my news a little too happily and I had a feeling he'd be celebrating with a pint or two after work. I might need a drink as well for I had to break the news to Nikki. I couldn't take a chance of Sylvia rubbing it in her face. I knew she would if given the chance.
Go on then, stop mucking about, as if my thoughts would propel me faster to the door. My heart had become a stranger, over the past few months and I didn't know what it was playing at. The one thing I was certain was that Nikki Wade was a few feet away and I had no idea how I was going to tell her.
Hands shaking and heart pounding, I walked to her opened cell and peered in. There she was, sitting arms crossed on her bed, staring blankly at the wall. There was no internal argument about how gorgeous she was. In fact, I could've stared for hours.
I made a feeble attempt to knock. As she wordlessly looked over with that pissed off, "you can't touch me," look, I closed and locked the door. What seemed like hours took seconds for me to join her on the bed. As she looked over expecting me to say something, I took a deep breath while trying to find the right words
"Nikki, I want to apologize." I knew it sounded so simple, but it was the only thing that came to mind.
"You told me you were provoked by Fenner. I've reason to believe you, now."
"Oh well bloody marvelous," she indignantly replied. "I'm shipped around the country in a cattle truck while you work out the obvious."
"I said I'm sorry."
She had every right to be cross and in fact I'd expected more. I was a bit surprised that this outward show was the only thing she could muster, but I suspected she was worn out from the day. Her normal guarded demeanor was visibly shedding and I could tell she was beginning to believe me.
It was as if she took a second to take inventory and realized my emotions were about more than just my apology. Her face softened and concern spread throughout her expression.
"So what's brought this on, then? There's got to be more than just your apology. Don't get me wrong, Helen, it means a lot, but what's really going on?"
As usual, she knew me better than I gave her credit for.
"Fenner's just been suspended," I began, "over suspected relationship with an inmate."
Of course that didn't surprise her. Maybe she would've had a shock if it would be been Dominic or god-forbid Silvia, but she took the news in stride. "Not Shell Dockley by any chance "
I couldn't take it any longer. My heart was about to explode and the last thing I wanted was to spend our last few moments talking about Fenner, or Shell, or anything other than us. For so long I had denied my feelings for Nikki and this was my last opportunity to be honest.
"Listen Nikki, about what happened today; I let my emotions cloud my professional judgment. I thought I could fight them, I was stupid."
Stupid didn't begin to describe today's behavior, but admitting to everything would be the topic of some other conversation.
"What are you saying?" She looked directly in my eyes as if to dare me to avoid answering her question. There had been conversations that I had cut short when discussing our relationship. Whether I had been scared, or nervous, or confused, it all didn't matter now. My truth-the truth about how much I loved her-and the truth about my job was about to come out.
"I won't be looking after your case anymore."
"What?" She asked in a perplexed tone. Her case was the farthest thing from her mind and I knew I had confused her. She'd expected me to admit my feelings or discuss her behavior. This was something new.
It took a minute for me to gain the courage to utter the two words I hadn't fully come to accept. Part of me wanted to run back to Simon's office and give a shit excuse about having a bad day, or faltering under stress. Maybe if I begged, pleaded or promised, this nightmare would all go away.
No, Helen, this is the right thing to do. I hated my conscious at this point. Dammit all, why did I have to be so bloody righteous? Yeah, I know it makes me a better person and partially why Nikki loves me so much but this was the hardest thing I'd ever done. I took another quick breath and finally said it.
"I've resigned. "
The shock that registered on her face was almost insufferable, yet she surprisingly maintained control. Rising up from her seated position, she looked directly in my eyes and began to plead.
"Helen, you can't do this to me, this isn't fair. I can't last a day in here without you, you know that. You can't ruin this for me."
Oh Nikki, I'm not so sure I can last another day in here with you. Without completely losing all sense of control, reason and belief
"Listen, I've just suspended Jim Fenner, when I'm guilty of the same offense, in thought if not in deed."
She really couldn't argue with that one. I had taken chances, broken rules and even brought Dominic in on our secret. I knew it wasn't fair, yet it was reality.
"Helen, I'm going to be here till I'm bloody fifty. You won't wait that long for me, will you. Do you know what this is going to do to me? I'll go mad."
"Why do you always question my feelings for you? I said I love you, didn't I?"
Nikki couldn't help herself after that comment.
"No, actually you haven't. You've never said how you really feel. Just that you fancy me, you care for me or that I know how you feel about me. Why can't you just say it, Helen? Say you love me. Admit it just for once."
I trailed off because I knew this was inevitable. There had been many times I had almost admitted my feelings but stopped myself before completely opening up. To admit that I loved her would be to shed any emotional barrier that I had left. She'd succeeded in breaking past everything else. I guess I was hoping to keep what little control I had.
Stop it Helen. Tell her or sod off. It's going to take a while to get this sorted; you might as well be honest. Score another point for the ole conscious.
"So what now?"
She asked in such a challenging way that it broke my thought process. I don't know if she was giving up or attempting reverse psychology. Either way she got my attention.
I wanted her, I needed her and I was risking everything to be here. Everything simultaneously seemed clear and convoluted and all sensibility was gone. This gorgeous woman was sitting inches from me and I had no idea when (or if) I was going to see her again.
"Well, I'm not your jailor anymore "
She looked up with those puppy dog eyes and I threw out every ounce of self-control in half a second. She thought I was rejecting her but in reality I tossed the last bit of emotional protection I had left.
I placed both hands on her face and gently directed her lips toward mine. In the past, she had initiated physical contact, but this was on my terms.
I kissed her, as sweetly and softly as I knew how. That's all I had planned on doing, yet I found myself kissing her more.
Again, our lips met, and her arms pulled me closer. It was in her arms, locked inside Larkhall Prison that I felt the safest and the most loved.
I felt her tongue dance along my lips and I opened my mouth a bit to give her entrance. My arms traveled around her waist and encircled her back to where our bodies were held in a tight passionate embrace.
It was only when I felt her shake that I pulled away and looked into her eyes.
Tears threatened to spill out as she looked up with a mixture of anger and sadness.
"This isn't right, Helen. I've wanted this for months and now, you're finally in my arms, yet halfway out the door. It's almost cruel. You have no idea what you're doing to me."
"Nikki, I'm sorry. I truly am. But this is how it has to be."
"Say you'll visit me. Please, say you'll visit me." She was crying by this point and the vulnerable Nikki Wade was visible for all to see.
She was breaking my heart and I knew I wasn't doing much better for hers. As much as I wanted to visit her, I didn't think it was possible.
"Nikki, it's too difficult. You know Fenner would cause trouble and I'm not sure Simon would approve it."
"Helen, you can't leave me like this. This is shit."
"Shit happens. You, of all people, know that's how things work."
I leaned over and gently caressed her face while planting a kiss one last time on her lips.
"Goodbye, Nikki. I promise I'll stay in touch. This isn't an ending, just a detour. Be a good girl, Ok?"
Return to Bad Girls Fiction
Return to Main Page