Joan took a step back and looked questionably at the site before her. Vera was cleaning her kitchen, while not immaculate but still up to her standards somewhat. Before the riot and before today’s debacle she would of expected nothing less. Vera loved to please her. Lately, due to Fletcher there was a dissent in their respective roles. Joan could not fathom why Vera, who she had been a little with holding to was now in the privacy of her home and doing something of use.
“Vera, what exactly do you think you are doing,” Joan asked suspiciously.
Vera’s attempt to covertly hide the tears in her eyes and the fallen few to her cheeks was proven to be a fail as Joan stared what felt like a hole into her. With Joan back to her contemptuous glares she felt it best to leave.
“I’m just going to gather up the rest of the glass and I will be on my way, Governor. I can show myself out,” she sniffled.
Joan could not allow her to leave without debriefing her on the earlier events in her home. Not as trusting of Vera as she once was, she felt it best to ply her with alcohol to gauge what her deputy was planning with the newfound knowledge she obtained this evening. Vera was putty in her hands when alcohol was imbibed. Early intentions were to spend the evening with her deputy so this plan should go awry. A drink felt like a good idea for Joan as well.
“Vera, why don’t we sit and relax with a glass of wine or two? Unless of course you prefer something stronger, maybe vodka?”
Vera was conflicted. She wanted so badly to stay but knew her own mental health could suffer from their close quarters. Surely one drink couldn’t hurt. She needed something to take the edge off. So she silently nodded her head without verbalizing her drink preference.
Joan leisurely walked to the freezer and pulled out two shot glasses and grabbed the vodka.
“Would you like to sit at the table or do you prefer the living room, Vera?”
“Is the living room okay?” Truthfully Vera had seen way too much in this kitchen tonight.
“Follow me,” and Vera did just that. Joan sat on one end of the couch and Vera took it upon herself to sit at other end. Joan poured two shots and motioned for Vera to take her glass. Vera picked it up and knocked it back rather quickly. She was a little nervous being in Joan’s home. Joan swiftly drank hers as well. Without saying a word Joan left the room. Vera thought it to be fitting behavior for everything that occurred tonight. Joan entered with a bottle of Shiraz and two wine glasses. She silently poured two glasses and handed one two Vera. The two sat in some what comfortable silence for a few minutes. Joan was the first to speak.
“Vera why did you come by so early? Earlier today your reaction looked as if it would be torturous to be in my presence outside of work.” She continued to sip her wine while looking at her deputy.
Vera audibly gulped and finished the entire glass before even attempting to answer. Joan noticed this and poured another shot of vodka for herself and Vera. She took hers and left Vera’s on the table. Not to her surprised, Vera followed suit.
“I came because I wanted to check on you. As for your office it took me by complete surprise. You haven’t wanted to have a drink with me in months. You have....just have, uhm well, you completely, oh it doesn’t matter,” Vera said nervously while silently lifting her hand for permission to pour another glass of wine. Joan nodded in approval.
“Why doesn’t it matter? It was clearly important when you gave in to the invitation. You certainly didn’t willing accept it. Is their somewhere else you wish to be? Perhaps, someone else you’d rather be with?
“No, Joan. I don’t have anywhere to be.” Vera furrowed her brows at the comment. Where the hell would she be if not here, an empty home. Alone.
The two women sat in silence and had another glass of wine. Joan decided she would let Vera off the hook momentarily. She would be answering that question before leaving her home tonight. Vera’s face was becoming flushed. She remembered she had not eaten today. Perhaps that’s why the alcohol has gone straight to her head.
In a moment of pluckiness she decided to speak first.
“Joan why did you invite me for dinner? I know you said you sensed something going on, but what?”
There’s that militant edge she loved. It’s what attracted her to her deputy to begin with. Joan hadn’t anticipated on the evening going this way, but she would take the bait. She would let Vera feel in control for the moment. It served a purpose. Besides she had nothing to lose.
With this question that is. Vera was loosening her tie and unbuttoning her uniform shirt indicating a level of comfort.
“Mrs. Bennett are you implying that you can not detect the cracks in our once strong foundation? A good deputy would be mindful and notice the subtly yet riffs that have occurred,” she said blatantly.
A tipsy and irate Vera began, “a good deputy huh. Well I am a good deputy and even more. It’s not my fault you did not notice it. Perhaps if you weren’t infatuated with a certain inmate we wouldn’t be in this situation!”
Joan’s face turned an alarming shade of red. She snatched the middle buttons of Vera’s clothing so forcefully that the small woman was now occupying her side of the couch. Vera shuddered in what she believed to be fear until Joan angrily whispered in her ear. Her brain did not compute the words. However her tactile senses strongly picked up on the hot breath and scrumptious lips tickling at her ear causing her body to feel something foreign to it. Vera Bennett was a puddle of a mess and hot as lava. She ached to be closer to this woman. She reached for Joan’s forearms to draw her in closer but was stopped by two forceful hands. Merely breaths apart Joan’s breaths were ragged and labored.
“How do you know about Jianna? Answer me now. Who told you this?” she shouted.
Vera now aroused and terrified struggled for words. Moments of stammering and deeps breaths escalated before Joan forced her to look at her.
“What do you know about Jianna? You will not lie to me!”
“Joan I don’t know what you are talking about. Is that your pet name for Anderson or something? I’m not lying to you Vera sniffled. It’s just not easy telling your boss that you are jealous. It..it may be easy for some but it’s hard for me. I never felt this way before...and..and well you did this to me. At least I think you did.” Joan loosening her grip and arches her brow to continue. “I thought I mattered to you. You use to look at me like you wanted to be more than a mentor. I’m probably just some love struck fool. Not that I’m a fool, but my actions are indicative of an ignorant person. It’s clear that you don’t want me. I know you want Doreen. I’m sorry it caused a problem with us, but I’m only human Joan for god’s sake.” Vera erupted into tears looking into Joan’s eyes.
Joan saw nothing but truthfulness in her eyes. She realized she had lost a little control at the mere mention of that name. Joan rebooted as if she were a computer and switched gears. She had bigger sharks to slay. What was her deputy getting at? Noah Webster failed in comparison to her, yet she couldn’t understand what her deputy was trying to voice. She thought she knew. She was 95% sure her deputy was jealous at the thought of her with another woman, but wasn’t her deputy straight? Joan could count on one hand the amount of times she was drunk, and this one goes to the top.
“Vera are you jealous?”
“Please don’t ridicule me, Joan. I hope you will extend the same courtesy to me as I did you earlier. I didn’t judge or mock you. Even if you don’t think so, I deserve the same. I never meant for you to know. In the beginning I did. That was before I realized that... no that’s not true either. Vera composed herself... A....a few weeks after the riot I thought that you were to screwed up to care for anyone but now I know you just couldn’t care for me. It’s good Joan. I’m glad. Well glad for you that you care about someone. I’m sorry she doesn’t realize how wonderful you are,” Vera lowered her head silently.
Joan gently grabbed her deputies face and whispered,
“There is nothing going on with Anderson. She is a prisoner who requires constant monitoring. She is incarcerated with miscreants some of whom have committed murder outside and inside the prison. Don’t you think an innocent child should be looked after? What are your thoughts on the subject, Mrs. Bennett.”
“Well yes I guess. But.. but. Why should I care. Yes, a child shouldn’t be harmed but I feel the need to punish the mother who was cruel to you. I would of welcomed everything you offered to her. Maybe I shouldn’t be in corrections,” Vera states while taking off her shoes and walking aimlessly around Joan’s living room.
Joan watched as Vera placed her hands on her hips, exposing the silk blue bra that Joan rendered possible with snatching the blouse open earlier. One to hardly ever succumb to sweets, she realized Vera was so delicious she undoubtedly was fattening. Lost in thought at seeing her deputy and secret desire she almost missed her next words.
“Too bad I wasn’t the object of your desire. This night would have ended differently,” Vera scoffed.
Joan stood behind Vera and raised her hands to gently rub her breast. She nuzzled into her neck and whispered, “Don’t ever think I haven’t thought about you this way. I’ve more than thought about it, in fact it’s all I think about.”