Franky dropped Erica back at her office explaining she had to return the car to Stephanie. She promised to meet her later and Erica gave her the key to the apartment from her key ring.
"Wow! You sure about this?" Franky said with a grin. "I mean it's a big commitment." Erica ignored her. "Wait!" As Erica opened the door. "How will you get in?" She asked suddenly.
"There's a spare key kept at reception, I'll use that," Erica explained.
Franky watched her walk in through the glass doors to her building admiring the shape of her legs and the sway of her hips. She was impressed Erica had managed to walk up to the trailhead without complaining or turning an ankle in the heels she was wearing. She checked the rear view mirror and slid into the traffic. She still had a couple of errands to run before she could meet Erica.
Her first stop was the police station where Boomer had been taken and charged. At the front desk she asked if PC Wilson was on duty. As she waited she checked her messages. Boomer had sent her text asking her to bring home milk. “Are your legs broken?” she wrote back. She smiled thinking what a terrible married couple she and Boomer would make because neither would want to be the wife.
"Hey Franky," PC Wilson greeted her. "You never called." She said reproachfully.
Franky gave her an apologetic look. "Hello," she smiled her attractive, charming smile then looked seriously into her brown eyes. "I should have called."
"Well you're here now," she acknowledged with a forgiving smile. "Why are you here?" She asked curious, and hopeful.
PC Amy Wilson was a cute blonde with dimples and a flirty manner. Franky would have gone there despite the uniform if Erica hadn't reappeared in her life.
"Actually I need a favour," Franky confessed, raising her eyebrows and smiling. "I need the details of this registration." She handed her phone across.
The police officer looked at it then looked at Franky. "I can't give you that," she said. "I'd lose my job."
"What do you want?" Franky asked. These types of negotiations reminded her of prison. People on the outside, just like the inside, always wanted something and once you knew what it was then anything could be obtained.
"A drink, with you, Friday night," the police officer said.
Franky nodded. "Okay," she agreed. "Text me where and when. How long til you can get me the info?"
"I'll bring it Friday night," she said writing Franky's mobile number in her little black book.
Franky then drove out to North Melbourne and pulled up outside some public housing flats. She looked up an address in her phone and walked into one of the buildings and went upstairs to the top floor. Franky looked for number 52. As she approached she saw a man exit the flat and walk along the corridor towards her. He was tall, thin with tattoos on his arms, and his eyes were the eyes of a junkie. Franky had seen enough of them at Wentworth to know the look. She watched him take the stairs and when he had gone she knocked on the door of number 52. A woman in her fifties answered the door. She had dirty blonde hair with dark grey regrowth and her face was harsh and worn.
"Mrs Jenkins?" Franky asked with a frown.
"Who are you?" She asked, peering at Franky as though trying to recognise her.
"Franky Doyle, I'm your daughter's lawyer," she explained. "Can I come in?"
The woman took in Franky's jeans, boots and tattoos and laughed. "You don't look like a lawyer," she scoffed.
Franky pulled out a business card from the back pocket of her jeans and handed it to Boomer's mum. "Ring the number on this card if you don't believe me," she said.
"All right, so Sue has a lawyer," she conceded, "so what?"
"Mrs Jenkins, your daughter is going back to prison unless these charges are dropped, do you really want that?"
"It's not up to me," she sniffed. "She broke Ron's arm just because he asked her to pay her way. Ron's not having it. He told me it was either her or him. I can't be on my own."
Franky frowned. She knew immediately it wasn't going to be any good. There was no way Boomer's mum would try and convince her boyfriend to drop the charges. Boomer placed a lowly third in this relationship triangle.
"Is Ron here?" Franky asked. "Can I speak to him?"
Mrs Jenkins looked unsure. "Wait here," she said and disappeared. Franky could hear voices but not what was being said and after a minute Boomer's mum reappeared. "He's busy," she said. "He can't talk."
"Okay," Franky conceded. "Can you give him that card and tell him to call me?" She asked knowing perfectly well that he wouldn't. As she left she saw another man with junkie eyes pass her on the stairs. She followed him and watched as he entered number 52. She smiled grimly. The trip hadn’t been a complete wash-out.
Franky dropped the car back to Stephanie’s home. Her boss wasn't there so she left the car in the driveway and the keys in the mailbox. She caught public transport back to the city. She hadn’t eaten since she and Boomer had grabbed a sandwich and coffee at lunch. She didn’t want to waste any more time though. Erica would be waiting for her. As it was she didn’t make it to the apartment until almost 10pm.
The lamps were on casting a soft glow across the room. There was no sign of Erica but there was a note to say she had gone to the office and there was Asian takeaway in the fridge. Franky smiled. She must remember to thank Erica properly later. She reheated some Nasi Goreng and ate it hungrily feeling her energy levels lift immediately. She chased it down with a large glass of water then refilled it.
Franky sat on the couch nursing her glass and thought about what she had seen at North Melbourne. Two junkies within five minutes visiting the apartment led Franky to one conclusion. The boyfriend was dealing and that might give her some leverage. She thought how she could use the knowledge to her advantage. Blackmail came to mind. A straight up exchange - her keeping silent for him dropping the charges. She could get him raided by the cops in the hope he had enough gear in the place to go down for dealing but she couldn’t see how that would help Boomer’s case. She felt her eyelids grow heavy and forced them open. She couldn’t fall asleep.
Erica entered the apartment twenty minutes later and found Franky asleep on the couch. She looked so quiet, so adorable with her hair falling across her eyes and a glass of water leaning precariously in her hand. Erica went to rescue the glass but as she did so Franky’s free hand grabbed hold of her wrist in a vice-like grip.
“Franky,” she gasped. She saw Franky’s eyes focus on her and she immediately let go. Erica could see red marks from where her fingers had encircled her wrist.
“Sorry,” she said quickly. “You startled me.” Her expression spoke volumes to Erica who recognised the action as another hangover from prison where Franky would have slept with one eye open.
Erica sat on the couch next to her. “It’s okay,” she said quietly. “I should have realised.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Franky sat forward putting her elbows on her knees and her head in her hands. “It’s a hard habit to break,” she muttered.
Erica put her arm around Franky’s shoulder and leant in. “It will take time,” she said softly, “but it will pass.” Franky didn’t answer. “You’re not going to break me,” she offered after a moment. She said it lightly.
Franky looked up then and Erica’s smile faded under the scrutiny. Franky took her hand and ran her fingers across her wrist where the red was starting to fade already. "I am dangerous," she said in a low voice. "You were right about that."
"I like that about you," Erica confessed. "I don't want safe."
Franky turned sideways crossing one leg in front of her on the couch. She studied Erica's profile. "What do you want then?" She asked eventually.
Erica bit her bottom lip briefly. She looked at Franky and saw she was waiting patiently, curiously. She didn't know how to answer her. She didn't even know what Franky was actually asking her. She didn't really know what she wanted except that right now she wanted Franky.
She reached out and put her hand behind Franky's neck and leant in putting her mouth to Franky's ear. She closed her eyes. In the dark her other senses took over. Franky smelt faintly of vanilla and her own intoxicating scent. Her hair felt soft against her hand.
"You," she breathed into Franky's ear. "I want to pull those boots off and those incredibly tight jeans you're wearing. I want you naked so I can explore every bit of you with my hands and my mouth." She wanted to say more, to tell Franky about those desires buried deep that voiced themselves in her dreams, and see her response. She wanted to flirt with pain and find the line where pain becomes pleasure. She wanted danger and excitement.
Franky felt her own excitement build. Erica could have said anything and Franky would have complied. Just hearing her talk was an aphrodisiac. She kissed Erica. There was an urgency to it, and a forcefulness that hadn't been there since their first kiss. Erica responded wondering if Franky had read her mind anyway.
It was Erica who broke away and took Franky's hand to lead her to the bedroom. But it was Franky who dallied, pulling Erica back against her as they walked, kissing her neck, maneuvering Erica against the wall as they went up the short corridor, holding her there while she kissed her thoroughly. Eventually they did get there.
They managed to peel Erica's jacket off without their mouths breaking contact. Franky's fingers found the buttons on her top and undid them sliding her hands upwards until she cupped Erica's breasts feeling her nipples beneath the thinness of her bra. Erica pulled at Franky's top wanting to feel her bare skin. She pushed her hands upwards forcing Franky to raise her arms so she could pull the top over her head. She undid Franky's jeans and pushed her back onto the bed so she could pull them off her. She took more time then running her hands over Franky's torso amazed again at its softness. She saw small scars where Franky had been injured in the past and the healing process had not been ideal. The worst of these were masked by tattoos. Each of those scars told a story of the abuse in Franky's life and her trials in prison. A particular spot on Franky's abdomen contracted as she ran her fingers lightly over it and she felt Franky pull away slightly.
"What is it?" She asked, watching Franky, afraid she was in pain.
"I'm ticklish there," Franky muttered reaching up to pull Erica on top of her. She kissed Erica then reached down and unzipped Erica's skirt sliding it off her.
Erica couldn't help touching the sensitive spot again just to confirm. She felt Franky try to pull away then she grabbed Erica's hands to stop her.
"Don't do that," she muttered.
Erica straddled Franky. Her hands were restrained by Franky's who reached up bringing Erica's own hands to her bra straps making her peel them off her shoulders freeing Erica's breasts from the confines of her bra. Franky's hands still entwined with Erica's found her breasts and Erica could feel Franky's fingers and her own caressing the buds. It felt strange to be touching herself while Franky also stimulated her, watching her with those green eyes clouded with passion. It felt intensely private and incredibly erotic.
She felt a pressure building between her legs. She guided Franky's hands lower. "I need you to fuck me," she said quickly.
Franky flipped their positions responding to the urgency in Erica's tone. She peeled off Erica's French knickers and then took off her own bra so she could lie against Erica and feel her breasts pushing against her own. Her fingers found Erica was wet and ready and she slid in. She found a rhythm which had Erica moaning. She felt Erica slide her own fingers between her legs and begin to massage her. Franky gasped but didn't slow down. She concentrated on Erica's sounds wondering if they could climax together. Franky was so aroused though even the slightest pressure took her to the brink. "I'm going to come," she gasped. She bit Erica shoulder as she climaxed. Erica felt a sharp pain which registered through the ecstasy and she came quickly relishing the confusion to her senses.
Franky rolled off Erica and let her eyes focus on the ceiling. She couldn't move, didn't ever want to move except maybe to drape her arm across Erica and pull her close. She felt complete. She wanted nothing more than to close her eyes and fall asleep.
"You're incredible," she heard Erica whisper and felt her hand slide into her own.
She woke up suddenly. Erica was asleep beside her. She didn't know what time it was. She didn't know where her phone was to check. She didn't really care either. Erica was on her stomach. Her naked back invited Franky's fingers to explore its contours. She stirred at the light touch and rolled on to her side. She looked lazily at Franky.
"Don't you have to go home?" Franky asked with a teasing smile. She liked waking up beside Erica.
"Mark is away on a business trip," she said. "I don't have to go anywhere, do you?"
Franky had a lot of questions about that statement but she didn't ask them. Franky was an opportunist and there didn't seem to be anything to be gained by a conversation about Mark right now. Instead she just shook her head.
"Then come here," Erica demanded softly and Franky did. "Put your hands above your head," she instructed.
Franky grinned but complied. She felt Erica's mouth on her breast kissing the sensitive area around the nipple before taking the bud in her mouth and teasing it with her tongue. She did this a few times until Franky's nipple felt rock hard. Then she turned her attention to the other one and repeated the process while her hand caressed the first nipple. It was so sensitised it almost hurt to feel Erica's hand run lightly over it. The sensation was so intense Franky gasped. Erica's mouth continued to explore Franky revelling in the smoothness of the skin and its silky softness. Franky held onto the rails of the bed head as her body arched to Erica's touch. She trailed her fingers upward along Franky's thighs. Her intent was obvious as her mouth continued its journey downwards. Franky's mind got ahead of the action and she thought about Erica going down on her. She thought she might climax just thinking about it as she felt those lips and that tongue seeking to pleasure her. "Don't stop," she managed to gasp because she knew she wanted to come again and again against Erica's mouth.
The second time she woke up there was sunlight streaming through the window. All she could see through the window was a cloudless blue sky. She couldn't think where she was for a moment then she remembered. She rolled over and saw Erica was still asleep. The sunlight caught the blonde highlights in her hair. Franky watched her sleep. She was beautiful in Franky's eyes but so different from anyone she'd been with before. Well educated, affluent, intelligent, classy, and super sexy.
Franky smiled. Where had Erica learnt to tongue fuck like that? The polished professional exterior hid an uninhibited experimenter. She had thought she had Erica all figured out but the woman next to her had surprised her. She wanted to know Erica but that wasn't exactly easy. Franky felt she could ask Erica the same question three times and get a different answer each time. One minute she was a closed book and the next she was revealing answers Franky never expected to get.
She had spent over a year at Wentworth trying to make ground with Erica. She had enjoyed it partly because flirting with Erica was enjoyable and partly because it helped to pass the long hours. It had been a game at first. Then something had changed. The connection became important to Franky and she began to rely on it. She had still treated it like a game but underneath she knew it was more than that. It had mattered when Erica left.
The blonde head stirred and blue eyes appeared. They focused on Franky and Erica smiled. "Mm," she stretched her arms above her head, "what time is it?" Franky just shook her head watching the sheet tantalisingly reveal Erica's breast as she moved.
Then Erica leant over the side of the bed and searched for her jacket. Franky watched appreciatively as her naked arse appeared as well. She lay back on her pillow with her phone in hand. Franky wondered if she had enough time to distract Erica before she looked at her phone and reality was let into the room.
It was already too late though. "It's 7.30," she said. She sighed and tossed her phone down. "I've got a 9.30 meeting."
"That's hours away," Franky pointed out with a suggestive smile. Erica lying there naked was hard to resist.
Erica sat up. "I have to go home first," was all she said. Franky watched as Erica collected her clothes and dressed. "I can give you a lift home if you want," she offered.
Erica drove an Audi. It was comfortable and smooth. Franky looked at the interior curiously looking for signs that would give her an insight into Erica. People's cars were a reflection of themselves. It was clean and tidy though. Franky directed Erica to her flat.
"You live in a Thai restaurant," Erica said with a smile.
"Above it," Franky corrected. "I'll show you sometime," she promised.
Erica looked about to say something. Franky waited. "This is complicated," she said at last. Franky wasn't sure she'd like what came next. "I want to spend more time with you but," she shook her head slightly and a frown creased her forehead.
"It's complicated," Franky finished for her. Erica nodded. She took Erica's hand in hers. "I don't think it's complicated. I really like you and I think you like me. We'll work the rest out." She leant in and cupped her free hand to Erica's ear. "And I really really like fucking you."
Erica felt a sudden rush of desire at those words. Franky was gone though.
Franky's apartment felt strangely empty. She looked at the couch where Boomer was usually asleep when Franky left for work in the morning. It looked like no one had occupied it overnight. Maybe Boomer had claimed her bed instead, she thought. There was no sign of Boomer there either and it looked as Franky had left it. Franky checked her phone but the last message from Boomer had been about the milk and had been sent at 6pm the previous evening. It was odd.
She showered and changed into work clothes but there was still no sign of her friend. She rang her but the call went straight to voicemail. She sent a text telling Boomer to call her urgently. If Boomer broke bail Franky would be in serious shit. If something had happened to Boomer because she'd got mad and banged a few heads then Boomer would be in serious shit. Either way it wasn't going to be good.
When she arrived at work Stephanie called her into her office. "Did you get anything from the national park trip?" She asked.
"A name," Franky said as she sat down. "I'm checking it out."
Stephanie nodded. "Anything else?"
"I've been excluded from any meetings with Ruby," Franky offered with a wry smile.
"Why?" Stephanie asked with surprise.
Franky just shrugged. "I'd like to know that too. Ruby is rattled I think."
Stephanie looked annoyed. "Well, we'll see about that." She picked up the phone and dialled. "Erica Davidson, please," she asked. "I'll wait." She drummed her nails against her desk. Franky watched curiously. "Erica? It's Stephanie Wilkinson. Franky tells me she has been excluded from meeting with Ruby again, is that correct?"
"Yes," Erica said briefly. She had been walking out the door to a meeting but took the call because of who it was but really she had no time.
"I want Franky in those discussions, Erica," Stephanie insisted. Franky grinned wondering how Erica would take Stephanie's tone.
"Well, it's the client's request, not mine," Erica explained patiently.
"I really must insist," was Stephanie's response.
Erica took a breath. "My firm has employed you to assist us, Stephanie, not Franky. If Ruby wants her excluded then I will ensure that is what happens."
"Franky will produce better results on this than either you or me," Stephanie said bluntly. "Ruby doesn't want to talk to Franky for a reason. Don't let your client manipulate you on this, Erica." Stephanie saw Franky raise her eyebrows at this. "When are you meeting with Ruby?"
There was a pause as Erica weighed up her options. Lose Stephanie's help on the case or risk losing the Roxtons, neither option was palatable. She sighed. "This afternoon."
"What time?" Stephanie was relentless.
"At three," Erica said reluctantly.
"Franky will be there," she looked across to Franky who nodded. She rang off. "She's not happy," she said to her protégée. "There might be some fall-out. Just use some of that charm you're always using on me. I'm sure it will work on Erica Davidson just as well," Stephanie said with a smile.
Franky smiled back. She was pretty confident she could charm Erica if necessary.
Her mobile rang. She answered it. "Boomer?" She queried. The call disconnected. "Fuck," she muttered. She immediately called back but it went straight through to voicemail. "Boomer, it's Franky, fucking call me back."
"Problem?" Stephanie asked curiously.
"No problem," replied Franky. Big problem, she thought. She was certain she had heard a PA system in the background announcing a departing flight before the call had disconnected, which could only mean Boomer was skipping out.