"Sit Vera. I've a tray prepared for you.", Joan raised her fork to take another bite of fish filet and red potatoes with Red's homemade cocktail sauce before glancing at Vera over a sip of sparkling Pellegrino water with a squeeze of organic lime juice.
Vera stared as if a child astonished.
"Galina has prepared our meals and personally delivered. Rest assured, they are not tainted."
Famished, Vera did as she was told and chowed down hungrily.
"Seconds can be arranged if you'd like. I'm concerned your not eating enough." Joan intently watched Vera shovel in food.
"Mmm it's okay, Governor.", Vera chewed out, eyes rolling back, a palate content. "This is delicious!"
"That it is. Galina is quite the culinary master. A trustworthy one at that.", drawled out Joan, adding, "Care for a drink?"
"Is that an affirmative?"
"Yes, Governor, please."
Lips upturned into a half smile, Joan poured Vera a cup of Red Kool-Aid and returned to finishing off her meal at her desk.
"This is soo good!", Vera grabbed at her cup, taking a long swig. "This is really sweet!"
"It's an American staple, quite affordable on the budget. I'd have spiked it, have we not a long day ahead."
Vera pondered this thought a little too long before spewing, "That bloody shrink is at it again! Trying to drive a wedge between us honestly how did she get a degree and i refuse-"
"Calm, my dear, eat and enjoy your meal. Westfall is upset that her beloved Francesca is shagging one of the newcomers."
Vera's mouth formed an "O" reminiscent of a cereal.
"Yes, Nicky seems to have an attraction for Doyle. Galina will keep it in check. Westfall is trying to hurt others, as she herself is hurt."
"Oh great, so Bridget will likely hit the bottle again."
"No doubt, Vera."
"Umm.. Can i have a bottled water?"
"Of course, you just need to ask." Joan procured a sliver of lime.
A shared smile, two pairs of eyes, contrasted glimmering in collusive unison exchanged unspoken words.
Galina "Red" Reznikov dropped her bifocals down and peered at Kim Chang. A look mixed of a recipe of curiosity and sympathy or so it appears simmered on her face.
"That girl is no good, Kim. She is a loose woman."
Kim glowered towards the pantry. "I caught her and Westfall, the shrink, at it in solitary."
"What? How do you mean?"
"Serving trays, both were locked in a cell, in bed together. So i made sure they were wearing their food."
"Francesca-Franky cannot stay with one woman. You will find better. Never let anyone get in the way of your best interests, Kim."
Kim sullenly thanked Red.
"Nicky, get your ass out here!", Red demanded sternly.
Suzanne and Boomer barged in, a ruckus through the kitchen doors. Cheese staining their shirts.
"Both of you! Go clean off! No mess in my kitchen or those who work in it!
Suzanne grinned a teethy smile, while Boomer swallowed the remainder of cheese.
"Suzanne, i want you and Boomer to unload the food. Nicky will help."
"Red can we-"
"Cheese comes after work is done."
"Kim, we are going to make sticky rice.", stated Red conspiratorially.
Kim smiled, eyes lighting up gleefully for the first in a long time, "How did you know-"
"Let's just say my Nicky found it out.", Red smirked.
"With sugar and a peanut?!"
"That as dessert, yes?"
Kim flashed her teeth genuinely.
Bridget Westfall dug into the nether regions of her desk for her hidden pint of 40% proof relief. Hand groping, she snatched the half full bottle of Hennessey and uncapped it, taking a long swig.
Screwing the cap on, she chucked the bottle into the drawer on her right.
Eyes red from crying, eye whites tracing red as if cracks in scorched earth, she put her head in her hands, letting out a long sigh, holding the position., thinking she would have to hit the bottle-o after work again.
The Governor crept in sighting a pissed Westfall.
Seating herself in front of Bridget's desk.
"Are you here to fire me?"
"Ha. No. I'm here to give the psychologist advise."
Bridget could only stare, unwilling to even try and attempt to control her red eyes from rolling in her inebriated state.
"Francesca Doyle seems to have a problem with monogamy.", pausing for affect, the Governor continued, "Your the shrink. Don't you wonder why Doyle sees fit to shag every new inmate that catches her eye."
Westfall snuffled and reached for a tissue.
"Suck it up Westfall. Show her that her low self esteem is causing her insecurities to be more obvious, which is an unbecoming weakness. Get to the bottom of Doyle's issues. Save us both from more problems."
With that, the Governor got up, turning to leave. Before closing the door she added, "A mint might do you good. Never took you for a woman to drink Henny."
Bridget stared, recognition in her pissed eyes like kindling about to ignite. Opening her mouth-
"You've the degree. I shouldn't have to explain this to you. Emotions lead to mistakes. Leave my deputy be. You are hurting, so you are trying to hurt others."
"I'm-I'm s-sorry, Governor.", a meak Westfall replied, blowing her nose.
"Stop with creating divisions. My prison is to flow as smoothly as possible."
Joan closed the door gently behind her, the telltale click clack of her heels counting away like the grandfather clock of time. That lost and that of what is to come.
Governor Ferguson squinted in dismay at the screen of a computer before her. Lips curled in distaste.
Grabbing the radio, "Sierra 1 to Sierra 2, my office. Now."
"Yes, Governor.", her deputy asserted.
Smaller heels click clacking a rhythmic copycat miniature cover song of her mentor's, Vera rapped on the Governor's door trying her hardest to retain prim and proper military straight posture.
Vera closed the door behind her with a quiet heel pivot to attention.
Joan grabbed Vera, to her surprise, pulling her onto her lap, practically forcing her face to observe the screen.
"Get a good look. You know who that is, don't you.?"
Vera gasped audibly.
"Yes, you realize what this means."
Joan tried to prevent herself from chuckling. "Vera, no need to get over excited."
"She's leader of th-e gang at those housing p-projects!"
"Well, Vera, I'd have taken you to be a bit more worldly than that."
Vera gripped the desk, her butt bones digging into Joan's thighs as she stared, doe in the headlights, enraptured at the screen.
"How? How did they.."
"She ran Waterloo for many years. Over a decade really. Fair to civilians, brutal to enemies. Suicide towers?" Joan paused, "Vera?"
"Huge shoot out, evidently she had some .50 caliber machine gun gimpys hidden on the upper floors. Law Enforcement was stupid enough to provoke her. She did warn civilians to get low, however she killed at least 25 police officers in the process and triple that count in gang members have died. A detective snagged her, as high as a kite before she jumped to her death."
"Shit!", Vera panted.
"Vera, breathe. Remember how i told you? In, out.. slowly."
Joan held a slow to relax panting Vera until her breathing regulated again.
Shaking her head, "Vera, you need to outgrow these..attacks."
Wide eyed and tired Vera gazed up.
"It's not that i don't enjoy holding you, it's to prepare you for what is to come. Ma-Ma Madeline Madrigal will tear you to pieces if you give her a chance. She's in for life, with nothing to lose. This makes her a threat and an HVT."
"Yes and, as a high value target, i can't allow her or others to be endangered. Which is why I'm sticking my best on her."
"Bea Smith. She is 'Queen' here, afterall, a title she's earned herself."
"What bout Franky?"
Joan snorted, "That petulant child would be thrashed in a heartbeat by Ma-Ma. Which is why Smith is the best choice."
Vera released a gulp of air she was witholding and let her head fall back against Joan's strong shoulders.
Nuzzling into her neck, Vera wrapped her left arm around Joan's shoulder.
Joan sighed, yet not that of exasperation. Turning off the monitor and killing the lights by remote, she returned Vera's embrace. Planting a kiss atop Vera's head, she whispered, "I refuse to let anything happen to you."
Vera looked up at Joan, giving her a kiss on the mouth tenderly, "Stay with me?"
"Yes, Vera. There's much to discuss."
"So your thinking that Queen Bea will get on best with Ma-ma? Even couple up?"
"If all goes according to plan, yes. Smith has remained monogamous to her partner's, which cannot be said for Doyle."
"So you think that will suffice? What about that Allie girl?"
"There is never enough to suffice these types. They want more. Allie is of no issue, a mere tool. If Smith and Madrigal control the general population with our blessing, it's a bird in the hand."
"Two in the bush!", Vera exhibited the look of a child who quessed correctly in front of her class.
Joan appeared smug, "Exactly right, my dear."
"Provided Madrigal is the machine they make her out to be, I'm sure she's open to business arrangements."
"Bea is anti-drugs."
"Yes, if they don't hit it off, then we opt for plan B or C. Until then perhaps this will be to our advantage."
Shuddering visibly, Vera pulled in closer to Joan.
"Vera.. You need to be on guard at all times when she is to arrive. No doubt she will try and harm an officer to try and pull rank upon arrival." Looking at her smaller Deputy, "I Do Not want that victim to be You. Understood?"
Vera nodded her accord. "I will be as firm as i can."
Joan tipped Vera's chin upwards towards her gently until their eyes met. "Good." Joan kissed Vera back with passion.
Rumbling, grumbling Vera's body spoke for itself.
"That's it. I'm having Galina bring us food. You need to eat." Joan caressed her hands around the circumference of Vera's abdomin, gently rubbing.
Vera murmurred agreement against Joan's ear, that of which she sucked on with her bottom lip.
"Vera! You need to eat. We can..continue this debriefing later." Joan kissed Vera squarely on the lipsand faced her forwards.
Sighing in want, Vera got up haphazardly, plopping into the chair facing Joan's desk.
Eyes met, the dark; the light. Two pairs of lips upturned in acquiescence.
"Sierra 1 to kitchen control."
"Yes, Governor? Need food to go, Yes?", Red answered a radio.
"Galina, between us, who's on duty?"
"Haha, that blonde one, who else."
"That explains it. Would you be able to personally see to two trays of delectible edibles to my office?"
"Yes, Governor, any requests?"
"Arrival soon, Governor, Ma'am."
Joan clicked off the radio, and could only stare at Vera as if she were to devour her, watching Vera lick her lips.
"Kim, you ready, yes?", Red encouraged.
Kim Chang grinned.
"Okay, this seems good, yes?"
Kim nodded, a spoon laid down, enjoying a bite. "Mmm this is killer!"
Red chuckled, "Let's hope many like, yes?"
Grabbing up the two trays, Galina "Red", left Kim to enjoy her portion. Ready for delivery she tossed a towell over her one arm, two trays in an apparent balancing act on the other, a model best of perfection in waitressing any prison had ever seen before.
A light knock on the Governor's door.
"Dinner is prepared. Would you like chopsticks?"
Eyebrow raised, "Red, you've outdone yourself! What do you need?"
"I can make Sushi with Chang provided some fresh ingredients.."
"Consider it done."
"Thank you, Governor."
Red turned and exited the office.
Vera looked stunned.
"Ready to eat, my dear?"
"I can help you with the chopsticks if need be.", chuckled Joan.
"I think i can manage, thanks.", Vera retorted with a seductive eye.
Joan's eyes glimmered with joy as she watched Vera begin to eat, before she ate her own first bite.
"Smith, the Governor wants to see you.", Officer Jackson relayed the message.
"No, not this time. Just told was urgent.", Jackson replied.
Rolling her eyes in annoyance, Queen Bea followed him out towards the Governor's office.
Heavy knocking upon the battered sturdy door bleated.
"Enter!", Joan shouted.
"Smith here to see-"
"Ma'am!", Jackson closed the door behind Bea Smith.
Vera looked confused..
"Sit Vera. Confidante. Got it. Good."
"Smith, have a seat."
Queen Bea took the other seat facing Joan's desk, taking into account respect and the unsure feeling something was wanted of her.
Joan stared down Smith unblinking, "What I'm about to tell you is to stay in strict confidence. Do you understand?"
"Yes, Ma-am; Governor."
"Yes, Governor, it will not leave this office."
"Good.", The Governor studies the queen of many worker bees a hard long moment.
Bea knows the procedure and stares back, asserting her dominance as is expected.
"You've heard of Ma-Ma i take it?", Joan inquired.
"The ruler of Waterloo!? She's infamous. Your kidding me.", Queen Bea laughed in astonishment.
"No joking, Smith. She just got pinched for taking out a bunch of police who i assume decided to raid her.. Unprepared."
"Fuck!", Bea shockingly spat out..
"Smith, your the best I've got and you know it. When she gets here, i want you to take her under your wing so to speak. Granted, your aware of who we are dealing with."
"What the fuck! You know she's dangerous-"
"She did always warn civilians to stay inside. Her own men got killed. Not women and children. I will give her that."
"She's been fair."
Smith looked at Deputy Bennett, who smiled back encouraging.
"Ok..", trailed Smith, "What's the catch."
"You, along with Madrigal run my prison as far as inmate population is concerned."
"So you think Ma-Ma is going to do whatever i say without a fight? As if she won't try for topdog status?"
"Bea, that's not guaranteed, however it could be a shared duty. If you get her into your loving graces.."
"'Loving Graces!'", mimicking a snort ensued, "How the hell do you know Madrigal even likes women?!"
"Ha. In time here, especially lifers, she will.", assured The Governor.
Smith sneered unbelievably, "You want me to make a bloody date!?"
"Yes. And it will be well worth the chess move, rest assured."
Bea laughed in disgust.
Vera started, "You want good-"
"Vera...", warned the Governor.
"No. Let her finish.", challenged Bea.
Joan sighed, face a plaster mask, devoid, an emotionless pome.
Vera continued, "Some really good meals can be arranged." Pushing aside her tray with chopsticks.
"What the fuck? Chopsticks? This was made here!"
Joan picked up, "Yes it was. Reap the benefits or suffer the consequences."
"Shit, Can i order Unagi rolls!?", Smith grinned.
"Of course.", Joan's lip cocked into the closest resemblance of a smile, "This is only beneficial in these circumstances, understood? Never to leave this room."
"Yes, of course Governor. How am i sure you won't sell Ma-Ma the same shit when she gets here?"
"Oh, i will. Trust in that. You've already proven yourself worthy. Let me know what you need. I've procured a defensive weapon for you in case; Deputy Bennett as my witness."
Smith, eyebrows raised, questioning, accepted the shiv. "How do i know your not setting me up?"
"Smith, you know what Madrigal is capable of, do you not?"
"Of course i do!"
"Then you realize i want my prison running smoothly with less problems. You've been in charge thus far, have you not. You ControL that Steampress."
"I get it. I'll do what i can."
"Keep quiet about this. Obviously the women will get wind of Ma-Ma's arrival, when the time comes. You'll be the one to sway their.." Joan upturned an eyebrow, "How shall we say it...hearts and minds."
"Understood, Governor.", Smith answered, "Can i go now?"
"Yes. One last thing. I understand it's likely you will warn the closest to you. Stay alert and try not to judge Ma-Ma until we see for ourselves. You remember what that's like, do you not?"
Tapping a yellow pencil, the Governor added, "Never right to judge a book by it's cover. She DiD warn her civilians to keep the Women and Children safE."
Smith spit out a laugh of absurdity. "What are you getting out of this!?"
"Order rather than chaos, with hope.", Joan's lips thinned into an arrogant mint.
"You better come through with my Sushi."
"No worries, Smith, you'll be eating in here."
"Am I DonE?"
"You may be excused."
Vera chittered, "You'll love the Sushi!"
Bea gave her a look as if she sprouted green wings, "Good to know." Smith smiled tightly, opening the door to leave.
After the door closed, an uncertain Vera, "Are we sure she's on board?.."
"Vera, she's no choice in a sense. If Madrigal is a complete psychopath I've armed Smith to protect herself. If 'Ma-Ma' is more rational, then they've both potential."
"You don't think Ma-Ma will go for a kill first thing?"
"Possibly, Vera. It will be an officer as opposed to an inmate. Christ, she's already killed over 25 law enforcement, what's another to her?"
Vera shook visibly.
Vera returned to Joan's side.
Pulling her deputy onto her lap, "Vera, you will need all of your training and more. Not just physically, psychologically as well."
"I will help you to ensure these qualities develop within you as soon as possible."
"Mmm-" Deputy Bennett straddled The Governor, a leg hanging over each arm of Joan's chair.
"Rewards will be worth the wait, Vera.", snapping the waistband of Vera's skirt. "This Is SeriouS. Failure to obey can result in death."
Moon eyed Vera lustfully lowered her eyelids, in love...
"I promised not to let anything else happen to you, Vera. Now buck up. Let's get you training!" Joan ran her fingers slowly up the lengths of Vera's legs simultaneously, one hand on each of her Deputy's thighs, working up under her flanking skirt.
Queen Bea sauntered back fashion model stride yet maintaining the pride of a lioness, back into laundry.
"Hey Queen Bea, everything okay?", Liz exhibited sincere concern, a spoonful of curiousity tossed into her recipe of a inquiry.
"Nothing i can't handle.", Bea smiled reassuringly at Liz. "Business crap as usual."
Liz knew better than to press for details. "As you say, Bea."
"Hey, Liz. What do you think about a ranking system in here?"
Liz looked bewildered, "Huh? How do you-?"
"Patches.", offered Queen Bea. "I'm going to request that we be allowed to have patches sewn on our tops. It will easily show where anyone here stands problemwise."
"Geez, Bea, that's a great idea! Where?-"
"Just came to mind is all.", winked Bea.
Red stood, hands on hips glaring.
Suzanne and Boomer sat unaware appearing to tease eachother with cheese.
"Close eyes", chanted Suzanne aka Crazy Eyes.
Boomer squinched her eyes closed, mouth agape, in await for a square of golden orange cheese.
"Cheeseman is comingggg", Suzanne dived in with the cheese kiss.
Boomer captured the kiss and a chunk of cheese, squealing in delight.
"Hmmph! S.O.S.", glowered Red.
"Sorry we took a lil break, Red, but i promise we are gonna go back to work hard, real hard, like..work horses.!"
"Draft horses! Them big ones!", Boomer mouthed around the cheese, nodding enthusiastically.
"This is why you girls are S.O.S.."
"Wha?", Boomer's eyebrows upside downed in sadness.
"Sue of Sue." Red explained. "Suzanne of Sue yada yada."
Boomer and Suzanne shared a look of confusion.
"Back to work!", towell snapped from an out reaching arm, Red did not bother hiding her amusement, a half smile on her face.
"It makes me happy to see my girls happy, yet work is to be done, so then everyone is happy."
"Food makes em' happy, yeah.", Boomer stated.
"Redddd pleasee the cheese-"
"Work first. Then cheese. You know the drill, Suzanne.", eyebrow raised in preventing more attempts at defiance.
"I love ya Red!"
"Love ya too, Red! We never had such best food as this mmm."
"Happy happy tummy yummy", sing song Sue & Sue caroled.
"You want the cheese, you do the work. NickY!!! Get your ass here!", bellowed out the Master chef.
"What's up, Red?", muffled shout of mouth from the pantry.
Nicky appeared next to Red. "All good, Red?"
"It is hard to tell if you've been messing around or your hair is unruly, a mess. Stay away from Franky, she's trouble. The shrink is in love with her."
"Ohhhh.", Nicky nodded, comprehending. "So no offense to my hair, then?"
"No offense to the hair.", jested Red, without failure to add, "speak of the devil-where-"
"She's shucking corn in there.", Nicky motioned towards the pantry.
Red walked off to make sure she would find a working dressed, corn shucking husks off Franky. As opposed to a half dressed or undressed one.
"Sue&Sue! My two favourite gals! I see the cheeseman's at it again! Oohh!
Busting out into a trio of tone deaf parody of Brittany Speared, "Oops i did it again.." Complete with half assed dance moves.
Officer Linda Smiles hollared, "Keep it down!"
"That's not what i heard you do in the sack.", Red snarkily quipped, while wiping a knife.
Linda just stared, struck dumb that someone talked to her in such a manner. Rolling her eyes she sneered, hand clenching a clipped cigarette. "I'm going to finish this cigarette."
"Have a good suck on ye fag.", Nicky joked in an exaggerated accent indistinguishable.
Linda upturned her scrunched up nose in disgust, walking away to finish off the remnants of her butt.
"Hey, can i get some of your butt?", Nicky pleaded.
"Can i get a drag?", Nicky looked exasperated, "Your going out on the dock, right? I gotta grab a box off that."
Linda gave her a hard look before smirking, "C'mon then."
Red watched in observation, not realizing her positioning of the knife over a potato and stance looked like a snake honing in, zoned to strike.
"Why so tense, Red?", Franky appeared with a bin of shucked corn on the cob.
"Francesca! You got all this done?", to her surprise.
"It's Franky. Yes, i did and i wasn't bloody shagging your daughter in the closet like you thought.", Franky made big eyes at Red as an 'i told you so gesture.'
"Ha.", Red countered, setting the knife down and helping Franky lift the bin.
"Ok, Franky, you think the women enjoy corn on cob, yes?", Red shared a triumphant look with Franky.
"It's what's for dinner!", Franky stuck out her tongue and winked jokingly.
"Yes, go get your Adobo.", Red threw her hands up. Then we finish these potatoes.
"I'm going to try something.", Franky declared.
Red's eyebrows raised as she watched as Franky cut a spiral shape of the potato peel, then the potato itself layer by layer.
"Hmm home fries, yes. Credit for creativity." Red slung a jar of honey mustard towards Franky, whose mouth opened in happiness.
"How?- wait let me not ask. I love you, Red!"
"Not so soon. First we cook."
"We'll cook alright! This is awesome!"
To Red's shock, Franky grabbed her and planted a kiss on her cheek.
Amused, Red chided those around back to work. "Franky, you will have more chance for various 'art of cooking' arrangements. As long as you do not Disrespect the fooD."
Franky beamed, hooting in cheer.
Moving closer, "I'm offering you motherly advice. If you truly love a woman, then all you need is ThaT woman."
"Oh fuck! Did Gidge hear or-" Franky caught herself and bit down on her lip. "I'm gonna owe her one bigtime."
"Your lucky she give you chances. I've diced a dick for cheating."
"Seriously Red!?", Franky's eyebrows hit the ceiling.
"Haha, nah, they blamed Lorena Bobbittt. Ever heard of her?"
"Sounds like a made up name. Glad I'm not a man.", Franky responded.
"Do not act like a male pig then. One woman at a time." Red wagged a potato at her.
Franky blew air out, eyes turned upwards.