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Making a Choice

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Vera is sitting on the rocking chair with baby Grace in her arms and singing nursery rhythms until Grace fell asleep. Once Grace is sleeping, Vera still sitting there instead of putting Grace in her cot. Vera was thinking about how much her life had changed since first met Jake at Wentworth 2 years ago when he arrived as Wentworth’s new officer. Promoted to the Governor job, falling in love with Jake, got pregnant, asking Jake to move in together at her house, decorating the whole house to make it more modern looking, adding nursery room for their first child, giving a birth to the most adorable daughter and raising Grace in this house with Jake. It had become a stable and comfortable life as a family of 3 that Vera had always wanted since she was a little girl as she never had a stable family home.

Vera was brought back to the present when she heard Jake calling her name and looked across the room to where Jake is leaning on the door frame. They smiled at each other, “Is she sleeping?” Jake asked and Vera nodded then stood up to put Grace down in her cot. Jake walked toward the cot and stood behind Vera with his arms wrapped around Vera’s stomach, “Ready for bed? As you’ll need good sleep for your first day back at Wentworth tomorrow.” Vera looked down toward to sleeping baby Grace then looked up to Jake and smiled, “Yes, let’s go to bed. Good night Grace.” Jake said goodnight to Grace as well. They both left Grace’s bedroom and went to their bedroom – doing their night routines before got in their sides at the bed. Vera snuggled on Jake’s left side and her head is on Jake’s shoulder with Jake’s left arm wrapped around Vera’s back. “Goodnight and sweet dream Jake.” Vera lifted her head to kiss Jake then snuggled back to the original position. “Goodnight love and don’t worry too much about tomorrow as you’ll be okay.” They fell asleep shortly.

Monday morning - the alarm went off at 6.30am that woke Jake up. Jake stretched his body and yawned then put his arm across the bed, trying to find Vera but the only thing he could feel was cold sheet beside him. Jake sighed and got out of the bed to find his girls – he was hoping to have short morning hugs and kisses with Vera but it’s obvious that Vera had been out of the bed for a while, probably woken up by Grace’s crying. Walked toward Grace’s bedroom but it was empty, so Jake went downstairs and found Grace on her rocking chair and Vera was eating her bowl of cornflake on the dining table – engrossed in the newspaper on the table that Vera didn’t hear Jake coming in the kitchen. Vera jumped and gasped when Jake put his hands on her shoulders and kissed the top of her head. They both said “Good morning” to each other. “Awake for long?” Jake asked.

“Not really, I was already awake for about 15 minutes then Grace woke up and here we are since then. I’ve fed her so she’s happy over there.”
“You should have woken me up so I could get Grace settled down and you could have stayed in the bed longer.”
“It’s ok as I’m already awake anyway. You looked peaceful so I didn’t want to interrupt your sleep.” Jake nodded his head and made himself a bowl of cornflake and cup of coffee then joined Vera at the dining table.
“V, when you’re finished with your breakfast, go and get ready. I’ll take care of Grace until you come back then I’ll go to get ready for work.”
“Yeah okay, thanks.”

Once Vera is done with her breakfast and reading the newspaper, she went upstairs to shower and put on her uniform then came back downstairs about 25 minutes later – Jake was holding sleeping Grace in his arms. “I’m ready so you can go now and please put Grace in her Moses basket before you go upstairs.” Jake went through to the living room to put Grace down in the basket and went upstairs to get ready for the day. Vera was in the kitchen, preparing the lunch boxes for both of them and make sure the milk bottles are all filled for Grace. Once Jake is all ready, he went in the living room and greeted Grace’s nanny – Hilda is an older woman who had been looking after Grace for the last few weeks when Vera and Jake went out on dates or need someone to look after Grace and now, they both are going to work so Hilda is looking after Grace until one of them come home unless they both have same day offs.
“Ready to go?” Vera asked.
“Yep, let me grab the lunch boxed and the key first.” Jake went in the kitchen to pick up the lunch boxes and the car key. Both of them kissed Grace’s head and said goodbye to Hilda and entered the car. Jake drove to Wentworth, Vera was completely silent in the car until they arrived the car park.
“Are you ok? What’s the matter?”
“I’m just worried about leaving Grace for long period of time and facing the new Governor.”
Jake reached over and hold Vera’s hand, “You have nothing to be worried about, Grace will be fine with Hilda and for the Governor, just be yourself as you’ve been there for many years so you’ll be fine.” Vera sighed and moved over to kiss Jake few times then left the car and walked toward the entrance door with Jake beside her. They both signed in and headed straight to the staff room to put their stuff in the lockers. Vera stood there and straightened her blazer to ensure she’s presentable enough when meeting the new Governor in few minutes and gave Jake a kiss before leaving the staff room.

Standing in front of the Governor’s office door and knocked 3 times until she heard a strong voice saying “Come in.” Vera opened the door and stepped in and closed the door then walked over to the middle of the room, in front of the desk. The Governor stood up from her chair behind the desk and walked around to stand in front of Vera.
“Welcome back to Wentworth Vera, I’m looking forward to be working with you as my Deputy as I’ve heard lots of positive stories about you being here before I came.”
“Thank you, Governor. I’m looking forward to working along with you too. Also, thank you for accepting my request to become the Deputy rather than me coming back as the Governor after my maternity leave.”
“Not a problem, Vera. I certainly cannot refuse your request after I’ve heard lots about you during your time as the Governor and as the Deputy before you became the Governor.” They both smiled at each other, and Vera turned to leave the room to start her morning routine check around the prison.

Chapter Text

First day back at Wentworth went smoothly for Vera until her shift finished at 2pm – Vera is working shorter hours for next few months until Grace is older as she doesn’t want to leave Grace for too long. Joan called through the walkie for Vera to come to her office before she can leave so Vera headed to Joan’s office first.

“Hello, how was your first day back?”
“It went well so far as the prisoners were on their best behaviour today.”
“I’m pleased to hear that. Are you in rush to get home or can you stay for few more minutes?”
“Erm… I’m sure that the nanny will be happy to mind Grace for bit longer until I’m home if you need me to stay for a bit longer.”
“Great, I just want you to stay so I could get to know you better and develop the work relationship between us as the Governor and Deputy.”
“Umm… yeah sure.” Vera sat down on one of the chairs in front of Joan’s desk while Joan sat down on her chair behind the desk.
“How is baby Grace and the motherhood for you so far?”
“The pregnancy wasn’t easy for me as I suffered with severe morning sickness for so many months, but I was lucky to have Jake around me as he was such a great help and had so much of patience to deal with me being so ill and my mood swings. After Grace was born, she’s a perfect baby who doesn’t cry all the time – only when she need fed and change the nappy. So, yeah the motherhood is wonderful.”
“Sound amazing to have a precious relationship with your child. I’m pleased for you and Jake. Any problem or if you need to leave work for Grace, just let me know and I’ll sort out around here as I understand that Grace is your number one priority.” Joan smiled to Vera.
“Thank you, I appreciated that as it’s good to have an understanding boss.” They both chatted for next half hour until Vera apologised to Joan that she’ll need to go now as she had left Grace for long enough. They bid each other a farewell and Vera left the prison to drive home – Vera will come back later when Jake’s shift is finished at 6pm.

Once Vera arrived home, Grace was happy to see her mother and to be in her arms again. Grace gave out a cute giggling when Vera peppered kisses all over her face. “Ah, there is my beautiful daughter, and have you been good to Hilda?”
“Yes, she had been so good girl all day with me. Drank all of her bottles and slept without any issue.” Hilda replied to Vera.
“Good, thank you so much for coming to watch Grace today. See you tomorrow?”
“Not a problem. Yes, see you all tomorrow. Have a nice evening.”
“Thanks, you too.”

Vera spent the rest of the afternoon chilling out around the house with Grace and cooked the dinner – switched the oven off so she could go to pick up Jake. Fed Grace with the bottle and put clean pyjamas on her then put her in the car seat with blanket covering her body. Vera drove to Wentworth and waited until Jake came out. While she was waiting, she spotted Joan leaving the prison and got in her car then drove past her – gave Vera a small wave before driving past. In Vera’s head – “Wow, Joan has super long legs and she seems to be in great shape for her age. Wait, why am I thinking about Joan’s body? Stop it, Vera.”

Jake got in the car and kissed Vera, they chatted about their day while Vera drove them back home and had dinner together in the kitchen while Grace is sleeping upstairs in her bedroom. Once the dinner was done and washed then put away in the cupboards, they moved into the living room to watch the telly for couples of hours until their bedtime. They did the night routines before heading in the bed together, Jake kissed Vera which turned into passionate kisses, and he put one of his hand up under Vera’s top to rub her breast and nipple until it turns hard. Jake moved to be on top of Vera, in between her legs and Vera wrapped her arms around Jake’s back. Vera could feel Jake is hard already when he pressed his hips forward, Vera moves her hands down to grab Jake’s ass and pull him down harder. Both of them moaned at the same time when their hips met, and Jake start to grind himself on Vera. Few minutes later, they both are completely naked with Jake is still on the top of Vera and kissing hard before moving down to kiss Vera’s neck and entered Vera. The room was filled with grunts, groans and moans that grew louder as Jake continue pushing his hips up and down at different speeds until Jake collapsed on top of Vera – out of breath and panting heavily. Jake rolled off Vera and fell asleep pretty much straight away that left Vera dissatisfied as their sex life had certainly changed after Grace was born – Vera felt that Jake only care about himself and racing to the orgasm first without any thought for Vera.

In the morning, they did their morning routines and left the house in separate cars because Jake is working double shift today. Vera was bit quiet when she arrived at the Governor’s office and only spoke in short sentences then left the office rather abruptly which Joan had noticed and thought to herself that she’ll find out what’s the matter with her Deputy later.

Joan left her office to do routine check around the prison since she didn’t have much of paperwork to do that morning. She entered the observing office in the dining hall where Vera is standing and watching the prisoners during the breakfast time.

“Hello Miss Bennett, I hope the prisoners are behaving themselves this morning.”
“Yes, they are.”
Joan sighed, “Vera, is there something bothering you? As you’re not being your usual self today.”
Vera wasn’t expecting to be so obvious with her low mood, so she was surprised when Joan asked her, “Err… No, there is nothing wrong with me. Just had rubbish sleep last night.”
“Are you sure? You know you can talk to me about anything – work or personal issue, I’m all ears.” Joan lifted her left hand and stroked up and down on Vera’s right upper arm several times and smiled when Vera looked up to her. The butterflies in Vera’s stomach had increased when she felt Joan’s hand on her arm then looking up at her genuine smile.
Vera smiled back then looked down before her cheeks become more redder as she felt that she’s starting to blush but knew it’s inappropriate time to be blushing in front of her boss and the prisoners who can see them through the glass window. Vera cleared her throat and moved herself away from Joan’s hand.
“I’ll see you later this afternoon in your office before my shift is finished.”
“Okay, see you soon and have a good day.” Joan left the dining hall to resume her routine check around the prison.

Chapter Text

Few weeks later.

Joan and Vera getting to know each other very well and started to talk in deeper conversation. Every time Vera has a sex with Jake, she keeps dreaming that it’s Joan who’s fucking her rather than Jake. Also, every time she’s alone and daydreaming – it’s always about Joan. But Vera keeps telling herself off as she’s not lesbian and have a family to focus on.

On Friday afternoon, they were in Joan’s office doing their usual meeting at the end of their shift and going through everything before their day off for next 2 days to ensure everything are in places for the weekend when they both are absent.

“Guess that’s everything sorted so let go home, I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful weekend with Jake and Grace. Enjoy yourself and see you on Monday morning.”
“Jake is away with his friends for the weekend to Sydney for football match tomorrow, so it’ll just be me and Grace which I’m looking forward to.” Vera smiled and stood up to put her coat on and handbag on her shoulder, Joan did the same and walked together through the prison building – chatted away until they arrived at their cars.
“Have a lovely weekend, Vera.”
“Thanks, have a lovely weekend too. Are you going to do anything this weekend?”
“Not really, just going to have a quiet weekend.”
“Umm… just wondering if you would like to hang out with me and Grace tomorrow afternoon for few hours as it’ll be nice to introduce you to Grace for the first time?”
“Sure! It’ll be lovely to meet your daughter. Text me later with the plans for tomorrow?”
“Great, yeah I’ll text you later. See you tomorrow!” Vera got in her car and drove away to her home and Joan did the same.

On the way home, Joan was thinking – hmm, that’s the first time I’ll be seeing Vera outside of work and meeting her daughter too. Joan can’t help but smiling widely during the thoughts. Once she arrived home, she went shower and changed into casual clothes then cooked herself a dinner and sat down in front of the television in the living room with her dinner on her lap.

About 9.40pm, her phone began to ring, so Joan picked up the phone and was surprised to see that it was Vera who’s calling instead of texting like they’ve agreed at the prison car park.

“Sorry to call you and ask this. Can I stop by at your house in 10-15 minutes? As I’m out for a drive with Grace just now, trying to stop her crying but nothing seems to be working. It’s ok if you don’t want us to stop by and interrupting your…” Joan interrupted before Vera could have finished her sentence.
“Yes, it’s absolutely fine to come here and let see if I can help with Grace.”
“Thank you so much! See you shortly.”
“Bye bye.”

Less than 15 minutes later, Joan heard a car pulling up at her driveway and engine cut off, so Joan went to the front door and opened to greet Vera when she got out of the car.

“Again, I’m so sorry for interrupting your night. I don’t know what’s the matter with Grace as she won’t stop crying for over an hour and I’ve tried everything that usually worked in the past.” Joan walked out of the house and went to the back door where Grace is still crying in her car seat – Joan opened the door and unbuckled the belt then picked up Grace and cradled Grace in her arm. And walked back inside the house while Vera picked up the bag and locked the car then walked in Joan’s house. Vera was amazed that Grace had stopped crying and was in awe with Joan as Joan was singing gently in Russian which seems to settle Grace and making her sleepy in her arms. Joan looked up when she heard the front door shut and smiled at Vera while continuing singing to Grace and pointed to the kitchen which Vera left the living room and went in the kitchen and made herself a cup of tea then sat down on the chair beside the kitchen island table. About 10 minutes later, Joan entered the kitchen with Grace sleeping soundly in her arms.

“Wow, you’re definitely a miracle worker.” Vera chuckled and shook her head in disbelief.
“My singing usually works with cranky children as I’ve always done that with my sister’s children when they all were babies. So, shall I put Grace upstairs in the spare bedroom or on the living room couch?”
“Umm… just put Grace down in the living room so it’ll be easier to take her home later.”
“Sure.” Joan went back in the living room and put Grace down on the couch with pillows around Grace to ensure she doesn’t roll and fall off the couch then put the thick blanket on top of Grace. Joan bend down and kissed Grace’s forehead then went back to the kitchen and sat down on another chair beside Vera.

Vera was holding the mug in front of her with both hands and resting her arms on the island table. Vera stared at the mug and out of blue, her eyes fill up with tears which Joan noticed and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Vera wiped both eyes with her left hand and returned the hand to hold the mug. “Oh, it’s nothing. I’m being emotional for nothing. Ignore me as I’ll be fine.”
“Vera, I can’t just ignore you for being emotional in my house so there must be something that’s bothering you so you can tell me what’s the matter as I’m here for you.” Vera turned her head and looked straight at Joan’s eyes.
“I’m lost and I don’t even recognise myself anymore.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“My feelings and behaviours had changed since Grace was born and the things aren’t the same anymore between Jake and me. I’m trying to fight for the relationship and get it back to where it was before I got pregnant, but I can’t stop thinking about someone else and Jake keep acting like everything are wonderful between us but it’s not. That’re the reasons why our relationship is affecting. I don’t even know what I should do as I don’t want Grace to have to grow up in 2 houses if I decides to end the relationship with Jake. But I really should stop thinking about someone else as it’s not healthy.” Joan sat there and listened to Vera and waited until Vera was finished talking. Joan moved her hand until she reached Vera’s left hand and removed it from holding the mug to hold Vera’s hand in her right hand.
“Listen, I don’t know what’s going on in your house, but I can tell that you’ve been unhappy for last few weeks since you came back to Wentworth. You’ll have to follow your heart, not what your brain are telling you. If you don’t follow your heart, you’ll be miserable until you eventually listened to the heart. So, tell me what your heart had been telling you in last few weeks?”

Instead of replying, Vera turned her body to face Joan and suddenly leaned forward until their lips collided and Vera wrapped her arms behind Joan’s neck. Joan’s body was frozen with shock as she certainly didn’t expect that from Vera but after few seconds of brain freeze, she wrapped her arms around Vera’s waist and pulled Vera to sit on her lap. The kisses turned heavy and full of passionate. Vera moved her hands up and knitted her fingers around in Joan’s thick black hair. Joan pulled back from the kissing and stared at Vera’s dark blue eyes. They both stared at each other and panting heavily then smiled widely at each other.
“Woah, that not what I was expecting as the answer from you, but does that mean I’m the “someone” that you couldn’t stop thinking about?”
“I’m just confused about what I really want as I’m not sure if I’m just looking for attention somewhere else as Jake isn’t matching my needs in last few months or I’m actually attracted to women, especially you.”
Joan was bit hurt hearing that from Vera as she didn’t want to be the person on the side for Vera to turn to when she’s looking for someone to satisfy her needs, but she swallowed her pride and said, “Vera, you’ll need to look deep inside yourself and how you’ll see yourself in next few years. Reflect yourself and make a list of what are your wants and needs. Whether it’ll be coming from Jake, me, or someone else in your life. I will not be waiting on the side for you to come to me when you need something, so you’ll need to decide what’s the best for you. As it’s not fair on Jake, you, me and Grace.” Vera looked down for few seconds then returned to Joan’s eyes,
“I think I do want a new start with you but I’m not sure how that’ll work as I’ve got Jake and Grace to think about.” Vera sighed loudly and pouted.
Joan reached up both of her hands and cupped Vera’s cheeks, “I don’t want you to make a rash decision, just give yourself a time until you’ve thought through everything and make the final decision. I’ll wait for you if you’ll have me but if not, we both can return to professional relationship only.” And kissed Vera’s forehead.
Vera grabbed the back of Joan’s head and kissed her roughly - moved her hands down until they reached the bottom of Joan’s t-shirt and tried to lift the top up, but Joan grabbed her hands to stop it from removing her top, “Vera, no. We can’t do it at the moment as your mind is all over the place.”
“Yeah, you’re right, I’m sorry. I better get Grace home as it’s getting late. Thank you for helping me to settle down Grace.” Vera got off Joan’s lap and went through living room to pick up the bag and Grace then left the house, but Joan was rooted to the chair as she couldn’t believe that Vera had kissed her (well, actually snogged). Joan was brought back to the earth when she heard the front door shut and she realised that Vera had left the house, she got up and ran out of the house and was relieved that Vera is still in her driveway as she was about to close her car door. “Wait, stop there.” Joan ran and stood in front of Vera who was sitting in the car. “I’m sorry that I didn’t say anything when you got up from my lap. I just want you to know that I’m willing to take things further with you but again you’ll need to sort out with your feelings and thoughts.” Joan bend down and kissed Vera on the lips gently then stood up again and closed the car door and went back inside her house. Vera swallowed the lump in her throat and drove away from Joan’s home.

Chapter Text

Next morning, Vera woke up feeling like absolutely shit and picked up her mobile phone off the bedside table. There were 2 messages from Jake and 1 message from Joan – Vera opened Joan’s message first. “Good morning, hope you had a good sleep. Just wondering if we are still meeting today? I completely understand if you rather not to meet today - if this is the case, see you on Monday. Joan” Vera sighed and replied, “Good morning, I wish I had a good sleep but nope. I think it’s better if we don’t meet today as my head is mess today so I’ll need a time to sort out my head today and tomorrow before Jake comes home tomorrow night. See you on Monday.” Vera opened the messages from Jake and replied to him then put her phone down and got out of the bed to check on Grace. When she opened the door of Grace’s bedroom, the room is so quiet as Grace isn’t awake yet and Vera quietly shut the door again and went in the bathroom for quick shower. After the shower, Vera wrapped the towel around her chest and walked through the hall until she reached her bedroom door and entered the room. Vera was standing in the middle of her bedroom with her mind going overdrive as she’s trying to think about what she exactly wants right now with her life and the future for Grace and herself. She got dressed and quickly dried her hair, when she’s about to finish with drying her hair, she heard Grace starting to cry which mean she’s awake and need to be fed. Vera left the bedroom and went over to Grace’s bedroom, picked up Grace out of her cot and went downstairs to the kitchen to prepare the bottle while holding Grace with one arm and leaning on her hip. Once the bottle is ready, Vera fed Grace until she finished the whole bottle – during the feed, Vera was comparing Jake and Joan. Jake gives her stable family home, he’s good father to Grace, she’s used to have Jake around for last 2 years, etc but he’s rubbish at understanding Vera’s feelings and always read the signs wrong. With Joan – she’s getting electric vibes from Joan which excites her, and Vera is looking forward seeing what will happen in the future if she decides to go ahead with Joan, but she didn’t want to spilt up with Jake as it’ll ruin Grace’s growing up as 1 family in the same roof. All day on Saturday and Sunday, Vera kept going over her decision and finally decided. She will tell Joan what she wants from them two at the office tomorrow.

Jake returns to home on Sunday evening, he gave Vera bear hugs and lots of kisses and said he had missed his girls so badly and he is glad to be back to where he belongs. Jake went through what had been happening at the weekend with the boys and telling some funny stories which made Vera laugh so hard. They chatted until it’s their bedtime as they’re working early shift tomorrow.

Monday morning.

Vera arrived at the prison with Jake and done the usual morning routines without going up to the Governor’s office as she isn’t in till later this afternoon. All morning, Vera’s stomach was like a washing machine as she wasn’t sure how she’ll talk to Joan when she arrives. Eventually, Joan arrived at her office at 1pm. When Joan had just sat down, there was a knock at the door, so she said “Come in.” The door opened and Vera stepped in the room and walked over to the middle of the room – Vera was nervous as hell as she wasn’t sure how Joan will react to her decision.

“Good afternoon Vera, how was everything since this morning?”
“Afternoon Governor, again it’s quiet morning and nothing to report back to you so far.”
“That’s good. But what bring you here just now?”
“I just want to apologise for what happened at your house on Friday night as it was inappropriate behaviour from me.”
“Nonsense. You didn’t have to apology to me.”
“Well, I felt like I do have to apology for giving you a wrong message about my feelings for you. As I’m going to keep my distance from you and remain as your Deputy, that’s it. Nothing more will happen between us. I don’t want to destroy Grace’s life by leaving Jake. I’m sorry.” Vera looked down as she couldn’t look at Joan’s eyes.
Joan’s face dropped for spilt second then pulled back into stoic face, “Very well. Thank you for clarifying the situation. If there is nothing else for you to say, please leave the office.” Joan stood up and walked to the kitchenette beside the office and gripped the edge of sink with her head sunk low. Joan heard her office door closed which meant Vera had left the room, Joan’s eyes being to fill with tears and slowly they drop one by one on her cheeks. Joan closed her eyes to stop the tears from flow freely and told herself to “woman up as Vera already have a family so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Vera had chosen to stay with Jake instead of leaving Jake to be with Joan.” Few minutes later, Joan stood up straight and sorted out her face and returned to her desk and buried herself into the huge piles of paperwork as distraction from Vera.

Few hours later, Joan had completed the whole piles of paperwork and looked up at the clock and realised that Vera didn’t came in her office at the end of her shift which meant Vera had just left the building without speaking to her as usual she would have at the end of her shifts. Joan sighed loudly and told herself that they are the Governor and Deputy – that is it, they are not friends anymore.

Four months later.

Vera arrived Wentworth and got told that the Governor isn’t in today, so she’ll need to run the prison today. Vera had noticed that Joan had been absent quite often in last 1-2 months – every time Vera ask Joan if she’s alright or need support with anything, Joan always shut her down and said she’s absolutely fine.

Chapter Text

Two weeks earlier.

Vera had realised that she had made the biggest mistake of her life by staying with Jake as their relationship is over after Vera found out Jake had cheated on her twice. Jake tried his hardest to save the relationship, but Vera won’t change her mind and take Jake back as she couldn’t trust him anymore and told Jake to get out of the house.

Present.

Jake eventually quitted Wentworth as he realised that he cannot save his relationship and seeing Vera around at the prison on regular basis. Vera had noticed that Joan isn’t being herself for last 1-2 months, and she couldn’t get the answer from Joan. But Vera had noticed that Joan is more exhausted with thicker black under the eyes when Joan arrives at work each time.

Vera was walking through the hospital building, heading out to her car, with Grace in the pram as Grace had her 6 months check-up, she spotted Joan leaving the building ahead of her, so she walked faster to catch Joan and shouted, “Joan!”

Joan stopped walking and turned around when she heard her name and was surprised to see Vera and Grace walking toward her.

“Yes, Vera?”
“What are you doing in the hospital, everything alright?”
“Um… yes, I was here for my appointment. I’m going home now so see you tomorrow morning.”
“Are you sure that you’re ok? I can tell that you’re hiding something from me.”
“It’s none of your business about what I’m doing at my own time out of Wentworth.” Joan turned around and started to walk away slowly then got in a taxi. Vera thought to herself that it is odd that Joan got in a taxi rather than her own car.

Once Vera got Grace strapped in the car seat and sat down in the front driver seat, she begins to think about what she should do – go to Joan’s house or leave it till tomorrow. Vera sends a text to Jake and asked him if he can have Grace for few hours ASAP which he replied that he’s more than happy to have Grace – Vera drove to Jake’s new apartment and dropped off Grace then drove to Joan’s house.

Vera knocked on the door and waited for a while, but Joan still haven’t opened the door, so Vera knocked few more times until Joan finally opened the door with very cross expression on her face, “What do you want Vera?”
Vera gulped, “I can’t help it but having the gut feeling that you do need someone to help you for some reason.”
“Absolutely not! Can’t you just go home and leave me alone?”
Before Vera could reply, Joan turned around and ran up the stairs then entered her bathroom and made it to the toilet before she starts vomiting. Vera pushed the front door open as it was still unlocked and walked up the stairs slowly, listening for any movement but can only hear Joan being sick so she followed the sound and found Joan kneeling on the bathroom floor with her head inside the toilet seat. So, Vera approached Joan and start to collect her hair to hold back – away from her face – and rubbed Joan’s back.
Joan spoke weakly, “Please go. I don’t want you to see this.”
“I’m sorry Joan but I’m not going anywhere until you’re feeling better.” Joan didn’t respond as she didn’t have the energy to fight back or throw Vera out of her house.

Joan vomited several more times until it stopped and sat back until her back touched the bathtub. Vera took a face cloth and ran a cold water over the cloth then squeezed the water out and knelt beside Joan, wiping her face with the cloth. Joan sighed and said, “Why are you doing this?”
“You haven’t been yourself for months, turning up at work looking exhausted and the amount of day offs you’ve had recently that had left me worried about you. Then I saw you at the hospital, so I knew there was something wrong with you. Can you please tell me what’s the matter with you?”
Joan rubbed her face and made an eye contact with Vera, “I had chemotherapy treatment today for breast cancer.” The colour drained from Vera’s face and her eyes begin to fill up with tears. Vera couldn’t think of what to say so she turned her body and hugged Joan tightly and Joan wrapped her arms around Vera’s waist. Both of them cried into each other neck and remained in that position for about 10 minutes.

Both women eventually stopped crying, Vera backed away little bit so she can see Joan’s face and asked, “When did you got diagnosed with the cancer?”
“Roughly 3 weeks ago. Began the chemotherapy last week and I’m getting them once a week.”
“Do you know what stage you are?”
“Stage 2.”
“Fuck, I’m so sorry that it’s happening to you.”
“Vera don’t apology.”
“Come on, let get you up and in bed to be more comfortable than this hard floor.” Vera stood up and helped Joan to get up then allowed Joan to get ready and comfortable in her bed before entered her bedroom and sat down on the side of the bed.
“Joan, I’ll be downstairs so call me if you need anything.”
“Thank you, Vera. You can go home if you want as I’ll be ok here.”
“No, no. I rather to be closer to you so I can help in any ways that you need and ensure you’re okay.
“Thanks again.” Joan turned onto her side and pulled up the duvet up to her chin then closed her eyes. Vera left the room and went downstairs.

Chapter Text

Few hours later.

Joan woke up, feeling bit better than few hours ago, she went to the bathroom to do her business then splashed her face with cold water. Once she’s done at the bathroom, she went downstairs to get a glass of water since her mouth is dry and she was surprised to see Vera standing in front of the stoves. “Oh, I didn’t expected that you’re still here.”

Vera turned around and smiled, “Yes, I’m still here as I’ve just finished making a chicken soup for you.”
“Vera, you didn’t have to do that. I was just coming down to get a water then back to bed.”
“Joan, you need to eat something as it’s not good to sleep any longer on empty stomach.”
Joan sighed, “Thank you, I appreciate it.” Then she went to the fridge to pour a water from the jug in the fridge. Vera carried 2 small bowls of chicken soup to the dining table and sat down, waited for Joan to join her at the table before both women start to eat the soup.

Halfway through eating, Vera spoke, “Joan, you’ll need to let the Board know about your illness and take few months off work while you stay home and focus on getting better.”
“Absolutely not! I will not inform the Board about my illness as I will remain working throughout all of this.”
“You’re not well to continue working as you cannot go to work if you’re being sick and fragile.”
“I’m not a fragile!”
“I know you are not a fragile woman but how can you carry on being the Governor while you will be being spending the most of your time in the bathroom?! How can you deal with a riot or fighting if it happened as you're weak to stop these? How can you deal with everyday routines if you’re too busy throwing up your guts?!” Their voices are raising louder and louder.
Joan had frozen as realisation had hit her, “You’re right. I’m sorry that I didn’t think of that.”
“So, you will inform the Board then?”
“Yes.” Joan whispered so quietly.
“Good, I just want you to take a time off to beat the cancer and focus on getting yourself back to normal.” Joan nodded and picked up her phone to send an email to the head of the Board.

When both women had finished their soups, Vera reached out and hold Joan’s hand, “Look, I’m terribly sorry for what I’ve done to you few months ago and I’m sorry that you’re suffering from this disease. I just want you to know that I’m here for you and will do anything for you. I mean it, anything. I know we haven’t been able to continue with our friendship after what I said to you, but it is my biggest regret that I’ve done that to you.”
“Stop, Vera, just stop. Just because I’m having the cancer doesn’t mean you have to feel guilty and start apologising for the past.” Joan stood up and removed her hand from Vera’s hand then picked up the bowls and went to the dishwasher to put the dirty dishes inside. Before Joan can flee the kitchen, Vera walked over and stood in front of Joan, “Can you please listen to me for a minute?” Joan rolled her eyes then nodded her head.

“It wasn’t the easiest decision that I had made at that time, but it was the worst decision that I’ve ever made because I’ve found out that Jake had cheated on me.”
“So, are you trying to be with me as rebound relationship against Jake?” Joan’s tone was getting angry.
“Joan, no! God no. Since I’ve met you, the only person who truly had understood me and had a strong connection was you. I know I’ve lost my chance with you when I made that choice, but I do want another chance with you. If you don’t want to give me another chance, that’s ok but can we be friends again?” Vera grabbed both of Joan’s hands and hold it against her own chest and kissing the top of Joan’s fingers.
“Vera, the decision you made had truly crushed me because I actually thought you will choose me over Jake, but you didn’t. I’m not sure how I can give you another chance.” Joan closed her eyes to prevent the tears from falling then opened it after a while and seeing that Vera’s eyes are red and tears are rolling down her cheeks, Joan’s heart ached at the sight in front of her.
“I understand, Joan.” Vera lowered their hands and let go of Joan’s hands then was about to turn around to pick up her things to leave the house, but Joan grabbed her shoulders and pulled her toward her chest then wrapped her long arms around Vera’s back. Vera lifted her arms and wrapped it around Joan’s back.
“Don’t leave.” Joan whispered.
“I won’t.”

They hugged in the same position for few minutes until Joan pulled back little bit so she could look down to Vera’s eyes. “I do forgive you. Can we start all over again?”
Vera smiled widely, “That’s all I’ve always wanted to hear from you. Of course, let start again.”

Both women stepped backward. “I’m Joan Ferguson. Nice to meet you.” Joan handed out her right hand, waiting for Vera to shake it which Vera did.
“Nice to meet you too. I’m Vera Bennett.”
Both women erupted into giggling fits.

Chapter Text

Vera had been a huge help for Joan since she found out about the breast cancer as Vera had cooked meals, done the housework in Joan’s house, looked after her when she’s unwell, etc. Joan had told Vera many times that she didn’t have to do these for her as she can do it herself when she’s feeling better in between of each round of chemotherapy, but Vera told Joan that she can’t do everything by herself and please allow her to help whenever she can, so Joan given up and accepted Vera’s help.

Few weeks later, Joan had 7 rounds of chemotherapy so far. Today she was meeting with her doctor to find out the result as she had the scan on her breast after the last round of chemotherapy. The doctor told her that she will need to have breast conserving surgery to remove the large tumour which Joan had agreed as she rather to do this than losing one of her breasts by mastectomy. They have agreed on the date for Joan to have the surgery which is in 2 weeks time. Joan got the taxi back home as Vera couldn’t take her to the appointment today as she’s working at the prison.

Joan was on her laptop, ordering gift for Vera to show her appreciation to Vera for her huge support and help with everything for last few weeks, when the doorbell went at her front door, so Joan answered the door – it was Vera and Grace standing there. “Hello girls, come in.” Joan moved back to let both girls in her house, Vera took her shoes off and pushed the pram into the living room. “Do you want anything to drink?”

“Whatever you’re drinking, I’ll have the same.” Joan went in the kitchen to make 2 mugs of tea then brought it through to the living room then sat down beside Vera on the couch, Grace is sitting quietly in the pram and watching both women talking.

“How did it go today?”
“I’m going to have the breast conserving surgery on 17th September to remove the tumour. The doctor said the tumour is shrinking from the chemotherapy so that’s good news as I didn’t want to have the mastectomy.”
“That’s brilliant! I was thinking about you all day and praying that you’ll get good news today. As I don’t want to see you to go through any more chemotherapy. You’re losing lots of weight and exhausted most of the time which wasn’t nice to see you being like that. I’m so happy for you, Joan!” Both women smiled widely at each other. Grace had chosen to interrupt their conversation at this moment by laughing loudly and clapping her tiny hands. Vera stood up and picked up Grace out of the pram then returned to her seat. “Can I hold her?” Joan asked.
“Yes of course, here she is.” Vera passed Grace over to sit on Joan’s laps while Joan was holding her on her sides, under the arms. Joan spoke to Grace, telling her how beautiful she is and other things. Vera was watching them interacting and developing a strong bond, she couldn’t help herself but lean her head on Joan’s shoulder and watching Grace smiling and laughing at everything Joan had said to her. After few moments, Joan stopped talking and turned her head to look down at Vera and somehow, they leaned toward each other at same time and kissed on the lip so gentle. Vera moved her head backward to see Joan’s reaction, but her eyes were still shut and small smile on her face, so Vera leaned forward and kissed Joan few more times. After a while, both women moved backward with huge smiles. “I’m sorry if I shouldn’t do that but I can’t help myself around you.” Vera said timidly.
“Don’t be sorry, I’m glad you’ve done it.”

Joan looked down at Grace and kissed her forehead, “I haven’t forgot about you, beautiful girl.” Vera laughed when Grace laughed at each kiss that Joan gave her.

They all spend quality time together all night until Joan told Vera that she’s super tired so she’s going to bed now. Vera put Grace back in the pram and got herself ready to leave the house, both women were standing at the front door with their arms wrapped around each other backs. “Thank you so much for coming tonight to check on me. I do appreciate for what you’ve done for me in those last few months.”
“No worries, Joan. I’m always happy to take care of you as nobody deserve to fight against this evil disease on their own. I’m glad that you’ve allowed me to help and support you. Grace love coming here every time. I know Grace help you to feel better and she love making you smile which is lovely thing for me to watch you both bonding.”
“Yes, I love having Grace around here. I just wish I didn’t have the cancer so I could have done more things with her, instead of staying here all the time. Thank you for bringing her every time as it always lifts my mood and giving me more positivity to beat this shit.”
“Once you’ve completely recovered, I’m sure Grace will have so much fun every time she’s with you, so she’ll be looking forward to see you every time for sure.”
Joan smiled with a tear running down her cheek, Vera wiped it away with her thumb and stroked Joan’s cheek then kissed Joan several times.

“You’ll be ok soon, Joan. Goodnight”
“Thank you. Good night.” Joan bend down to give Grace a kiss on her forehead and said goodbye to both. Vera and Grace left the house. Joan did her night routines before got in the bed and fell asleep with wonderful dreams.

Chapter Text

Night before the operation, Vera is in the kitchen cooking a light meal for Joan and herself – Grace is with Jake for the night as Vera had offered to give Joan a lift to the hospital early tomorrow morning so she’s staying at Joan’s for the night. Joan walked in the kitchen with a gift in her hand and wrapped her arms around Vera from behind with the gift in the front of Vera, “This is for you.”

Vera took the gift and turned around to face Joan, “What is this for?”
“It’s a gift to say thank you for everything you’ve done for me recently.”
“Oh Joan, you didn’t have to get me anything. But thank you, I do appreciate the thought from you.”
Vera unwrapped the gift and gasped when she saw a photo frame of Grace and herself – Grace was sitting on her lap and they both were laughing together. “I didn’t know that you’ve taken a photo of us. It’s beautiful photograph. Thank you so much!” Vera couldn’t stop smiling while looking at the photo then gave Joan a tight hug for a while.
“I took this one night when you both came over. I wanted you to see what a wonderful close relationship you have with your daughter as you can see from the photo, that what I see every time you both are here with me.”

They had a lovely dinner and spent the rest of the night snuggling up together on the sofa until Joan told Vera that she’s tired so she’s going to bed now and Vera said she’s tired too so they both went upstairs. Joan went in her bedroom to get changed into pyjamas and brushed her teeth before got into her bed. Few minutes later, Vera entered Joan’s room, “Can I join you in the bed tonight? It’s ok if you want to be alone.”
“Yeah sure.” Joan lifted the duvet so Vera could get in.
“Is everything ok?” Joan asked when Vera settled down beside her.
“Yeah, I just want to be close to you, so you know you’re not alone for tomorrow.”
“Thank you for thinking of me.” Joan opened her left arm – motioning Vera to come closer and lean on her side which Vera did move closer until her front are snuggled into Joan’s side, Joan wrapped her left arm around Vera’s back and Vera rest her left arm across Joan’s stomach.

After a while in the silence, Vera lifted her head to check on Joan as Joan haven’t spoken anything for a while – they made eyes contact and gentle smiled at each other. Joan leaned down and kissed Vera, “Goodnight darling, sleep well.”
“Goodnight, Joan, sleep well too and don’t stress too much about tomorrow. Remember I’m here for you.”
“Will try. Thank you again.”
They kissed for the final time before settling down back in original positions until sleep overcame both of them.

Next morning, Joan was nervous as hell. Joan refused to eat anything as her stomach was like the washing machine. Vera could tell that Joan is stressed about the operation, but she knew that Joan would get better after the operation. While Joan was sitting down on the chair in the dining room, Vera came behind her and wrapped her arms around Joan’s neck and whispered in her ear, “Joan, you’ll be ok. Keep thinking the positive thoughts. You need to beat the cancer’s ass. Grace absolutely adores you.” Vera kissed Joan’s cheek and hugged her from behind. Joan was holding back the tears.
“Thank you, Vera. It’s nice knowing that I have 2 people to support me through this journey. I couldn’t do this without you and Grace. If I never told you about the cancer, I would have let this beat me as I didn’t have anything to live for anymore when I thought you’ve chosen Jake over me.” Joan sniffled.
“I’m glad that you’ve told me about the cancer as I don’t know what I’ll do if anything had happened to you.”
Joan moved Vera until she sat down on her laps, they both had tears running down their faces and hugged tightly while crying into each other’s necks. Few minutes later, Joan moved back, they wiped the tears away from their cheeks and Joan leaned forward to kiss Vera several times. “Are you ok?” Vera asked.
“Yeah, I’ll be ok. Thank you for being here for me. I know I can’t stop saying thank you, but I just want you to know I really appreciated everything that you’ve done for me.”
“I couldn’t let you fight this battle alone as I need you to get better so we can spend the rest of our lives together and watch Grace growing up.”
“You want to be with me for the rest of your life?” Joan asked uncertainly.
“Of course, I do! There is no one else I want apart from you.” Joan grinned widely when she heard these coming out from Vera’s mouth. They kissed again, “I want you for the rest of my life too.”

Both women got ready, and Vera drove Joan to the hospital. Vera was trying her best to distract Joan for a while, but she was unsuccessful until they reached the ward at the hospital. The doctor came and explained the procedures for today and left. The nurse came and gave Joan the anaesthesia which made Joan fell asleep in few minutes. Just before the nurse came, Vera told Joan, “I’ll be here when you’re waking up. You can do it. Stay positive. You need to get better soon as Grace and I need you.” Hearing these words had inspired Joan and she knew she could do this and beat the cancer’s ass. They hugged tightly for few minutes in silence until the nurse came.

The last thing Joan heard from Vera before she fell asleep was, “Joan, I love you.”

Chapter Text

Vera couldn’t stay still on the chair in the waiting room as she was anxious to hear if the operation went well or not. About 1 and half hours later, the surgeon came in the waiting room, “Joan Ferguson’s family?”
Vera stood up, “I’m her girlfriend. Is she ok?” Vera knew she shouldn’t say girlfriend, but the surgeon won’t tell her anything if she said friend.
“Yes, she’s ok and resting in the recovery room. The operation went well. I’ve removed the tumour lump and the breast. She will need to stay here overnight or 2 nights until she recovers and well enough to go home.”
Vera sighed relieved, “Thank you so much. Can I see her?”
“She’s still sleeping. You can see her in few hours when she’s waking up. I’ll get the nurse to come and get you when she’s ready for visiting.”
“Okay, I’ll go to get something to eat then will come back to wait until she’s awake.”
“No problem. Any questions or concerns, just ask the nurse.”
“Thank you.”

Vera phoned Jake to see if he can keep Grace for other night which he had accepted then went upstairs to the cafeteria to get herself a late lunch. She went back to the waiting room with takeaway coffee and sat down to watch the news on television until one of the nurses came in the room and informed that Joan is awake and is asking for her. Vera followed the nurse to Joan’s room and entered on her own, “Hello, how are you doing?” Vera asked while walking over to the side of Joan’s bed and held her hand.
“I’m ok but sore down there.” Joan squeezed Vera’s hand and Vera bend down to kiss her forehead.
“I’ll look after you when you’re home.”
“What about Grace and work?”
“I can take Grace with me so she can visit you as well. I’ve already requested annual leave for next 10 days which had been approved so I’ll have more time to look after you with Grace around.”
“Thank you. Water please.” Vera helped Joan to drink the water.
“The doctor said you’ll go home when you’re feeling better – either tomorrow or in 2 days. And the operation went well.”
“I want my own bed than this crap bed.”
“I know but you’re in best place at the moment and it won’t be long until you’ll be in your own bed which will be more comfortable for you.” Joan rolled her eyes.

Two days later, Joan got discharged from the hospital with bag of medicines to help Joan with the pain. Vera drove her home and helped her into her own bed with plenty of pillows behind her to ensure she’s not lying down flat on her back. Few hours later, Vera came back to Joan’s house with Grace in the pram and took her into Joan’s bedroom, “Grace, look who’s back?” Grace spotted Joan sitting up in her bed and broke into huge smile and clapped her hands. When Vera pushed the pram closer to Joan, Grace lifted her hands and made hands movements that she wants Joan to pick her up, so Vera unstrapped her and lifted her out of the pram then sat her down on Joan’s laps, Joan held Grace up by holding her under the arms, “Hello beautiful girl! I’ve missed you so much.”
Grace began to laugh loudly when Joan is talking to her.
“Have you been a good girl? Yes, you have!” Joan kissed Grace everywhere on her face. Vera was watching them from where she’s sitting beside Joan and smiled widely at the sight in front of her. Three of them spend long time together in the bedroom until Grace fell asleep on Joan’s chest so Vera picked her up and put her down in the pram, “Thank you for bringing her. She’s so adorable and she always cheers me up straightaway whenever I see her.”
“No problem. I know she absolutely love coming here as she always so happy when she sees you.”
“Bless her. Are you going home now as it’s her bedtime?”
“Um… I was wondering if we can stay over here tonight? It’s absolutely fine if you say no.”
“Yeah sure. It’ll be lovely.”
“Great, I’ve already packed a bag and it’s in the car, so I’ll go to get it.” Vera admitted sheepishly which made Joan laughed.

Vera set up the travelling cot in Joan’s bedroom as Joan told Vera to stay in her bed tonight then put Grace down in the cot. Both women settled down beside each other in the bed and watched the TV for few hours until Joan became so tired. She asked Vera to bring her medicine so she could take it before going to sleep which Vera did. Joan was out pretty fast from the medicine and Vera fell asleep not long after Joan.

Few hours later, Grace was screaming which Vera woke up and picked her up, she gave Grace a bottle but when it was finished – Grace began to cry again. Vera did everything she could think of to stop her crying, but nothing was working until Joan woke up, “What’s the matter?”.
“Sorry if she woke you up. I don’t know what’s the matter with her as she had been crying for a while now and I’ve tried everything to settle her, but nothing is working.”
“Bring her over to me and I’ll try to stop her crying.” Joan handed out her hands, ready to hold Grace. Vera was unsure as Joan is still recovering from the operation but eventually passed over Grace to Joan. The moment Grace is being put down on Joan’s chest – she had stopped crying straight away. Vera lifted her arms up in “what the fuck” gesture and made face to Joan which made Joan smirked back to Vera. Joan stroked gently Grace’s back in circles and singed quietly until she heard Grace is snoring on her chest. Vera had tried to put Grace back in the cot, but Joan refused and told her to put Grace on her bed in between both women.

Three of them slept peacefully for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

“Come on, Vera. I can do that.” Joan whined.
“No! You’re staying where you are and don’t you dare to try move your ass. Remember it’s the doctor’s order that you need to have plenty of rest. That why I’m here so I can help you with the chores around in the house.”
“Fuck sake.” Joan mumbled to herself when Vera won’t let her to do washing the dishes. Vera rolled her eyes when heard what Joan had said and continue with the dishes.

Few days later, Vera took Joan back to the hospital for her follow-up appointment after the surgery and the dressing got removed. Joan refused to look down at her chest when the dressing got removed as she put her top back on straightaway. The doctor explained to Joan that she’ll still have to do light duties, no heavy lifting, no driving, etc for other 2-3 weeks which made Joan groaned loudly. On the way home, Vera had noticed that Joan is super quiet since they left the doctor’s office, “Joan? Is everything ok?”
Joan nodded and looked out of the window. They remained in silence until they arrived back at Joan’s house, Joan got out of the car and went inside the house fast – leaving Vera behind in the car. When Vera got in the house and searched for Joan but couldn’t find her until she entered Joan’s bedroom and found Joan lying under the duvet, so Vera walked over to Joan’s side and sat down beside her, “Joan, what’s the matter? You’ve been quiet since we left the doctor.”
“I can’t do this.”
“What do you mean?”
Joan lifted the duvet to show her tears-stained cheeks, “I don’t want to see my chest. I can’t do it.”
“Aw, come here.” Vera opened her arms, Joan moved closer and rest her head on Vera’s laps. Vera stroked Joan’s hair gently, “It’s okay. There is no rush to have a look. I can be here with you if you want.”
“Not now. I’m comfortable here at the moment.”
“Okay, just let me know if you want me to be with you when you’re going to have a look.”
“Thank you.” Vera moved up the bed to rest her back at the headboard with Joan’s head still on her laps and she switched on the television to watch while still stroking Joan’s head. Eventually, both women fell asleep for an hour until Joan woke up, she woke up Vera while trying to get out of the bed to go to the bathroom, “You ok?” Vera asked.
“Yeah, I just need to go to the toilet. Be back soon.” Few minutes later, Joan came back to the bed and sat down beside Vera.
“Do you think I should have a look now?”
“If that is what you want then yeah you should but if you don’t want to, take your time.”
“I just feel like I’m not a woman anymore if I look down and see only one breast instead of two.”
“Joan, you are a woman, no matter how many breasts you have. You will always be a woman. Nothing will change that.”
“I know that, but I just can’t help it with how I’m feeling.”
“Joan, look at me.” Vera moved her body so she’s facing Joan and Joan looked at her. Vera leaned forward, held Joan’s cheeks with both hands and pressed her lips at Joan’s lips gently few times. Joan sighed when Vera backed away from her, “That shows that I do love you, no matter how many breasts you have. You still are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met.” Joan nodded and kissed Vera more, “You do love me?”
“Of course, I do. I know I haven’t said this to you before but yeah I do love you.”
“I heard what you said before I went away for the operation.” Vera was surprised at this as she didn’t think Joan would have heard her.
“You did?”
“Yeah, and I love you too.” Vera broke out in massive smile and grabbed Joan’s face to kiss her hard.

Few hours later, they had their dinner and were lying on the sofa together, “Vera, I’m going to change into pyjamas. I’ll be back soon.” Joan kissed Vera before standing up and left the living-room. After a while, Vera realised Joan haven’t come back so she went upstairs to check on Joan and saw that Joan is sitting down on the bed with her pyjamas top in her hands. Joan looked up at Vera when she heard her steps getting closer in the room and sighed when Vera sat down beside her and held her hand. Vera’s thumb began to rub Joan’s hand, “Do you need help?”
Joan swallowed the lump in her throat, “Yes please. I can’t do this on my own.”
“Okay, let me know when you’re ready and I’ll help you to change the top.”

Few minutes later, “Let do this and get over with it.”
“Don’t rush yourself to make this go away.”
“I know but I can’t sit and wait any longer.”
Vera stood up and lifted Joan to stand up as well then put her hands at the bottom of Joan’s top. They made eyes contact while Vera lifted the top slowly and Joan closed her eyes when she felt the top is getting closer and closer to exposing her chest.
“Joan, are you ok?” Vera had stopped her movement just below the chest as she want to check on Joan before she removes the top completely.
“Yes.” Joan swallowed and lifted her arms above her head – motioning Vera to hurry up and remove the top. Eventually, Vera got the top off Joan and Joan heard Vera gasped quietly which made her open her eyes and saw the tear rolling down Vera’s cheek. Vera had to swallow hard when she saw Joan's naked top half of the body for the first time as it's beautiful and perfect. Joan finally looked down at her chest and she burst out crying when she saw the huge scar from the middle of her chest toward to her armpit. She lifted her hand to her mouth to quieten the sobs, but the tears are flowing out fast down her cheeks. Vera wrapped her arms around Joan’s neck and pulled her down to hug her, Joan rested her forehead on Vera’s shoulder. They both cried together for a while and Vera whispered at Joan’s ear, “Joan, my darling. Remember you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Don’t let the scar defines who you are. I love you, Joan Ferguson.”
Joan’s sobs eventually stop and pulled away from Vera, she turned around to look at the full height mirror on the wall and stepped closer to the mirror. While looking at herself at the mirror, she lifted her hand and began to stroke across the scar gently. Vera stood behind Joan and hugged her from behind, “It’s going to be okay. I’ll be here for you and I’m not going anywhere.”
“Thank you, Vera.”

Few minutes later, Joan turned around and asked Vera to pass over her pyjamas top which Vera did, and she put it on. They walked back down to the living-room to continue watching the film on the television, “Vera, thank you for being here for me. I couldn’t do this without your support. I do appreciate everything you’ve done for me. Thank you again.”
“You’re welcome. I meant it when I said I’m not going anywhere. I love you.” Vera said and kissed Joan before snuggled back into Joan’s side.
“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Few days later, Joan is still struggling to accept the change in her body, and she couldn’t stop crying every time she sees her chest – hiding this from Vera as she kept putting a brave face on when Vera is around but breakdowns when Vera is away.

Vera had been standing outside Joan’s front door with Grace for few minutes and she had knocked the door several times, but Joan still won’t answer the door, so she opened the letterbox and shouted Joan’s name several times. Eventually, the door opened, and Joan stood there with bright red marks around her eyes, “Oh, Joan! Are you ok?” Vera spoke concerned and waited to see if Joan will open the door wider to let them inside the house or not as she doesn’t want to put pressure on Joan to invite them in.
Joan remained silent and opened the door wider but didn’t wait at the door for them to enter as she walked away from the door and went in the kitchen. Vera pushed the pram inside the house, lifted Grace out of the pram and walked toward the kitchen with Grace in her arms. When she entered the kitchen and saw Joan is leaning back on the kitchen worktop with a glass of red wine in her hand.
“Joan?”
“I’m sorry that you had to see me in this state as I didn’t expect you to visit today.”
“Well, I came over to check on you because you didn’t respond to my texts or calls for 2 days.”
“Sorry about that. I just want to be left alone.”
“Do you want us to go and leave you alone?”
“No, please don’t leave.” Joan’s eyes are filling up with tears and she turned around as she didn’t want to cry in front of Grace. Joan can hear Vera is walking closer and closer to her, so she wiped the tears from the eyes and exhaled deeply before turning around to face Vera and Grace. Joan’s heart melted straight away when she saw Grace is laughing and clapping toward her, “Aw, Gracie! Come here beautiful girl.” Joan cooed and opened her arms wide until Vera passed over Grace and she hugged Grace tightly.

“I need to bring Grace around more often as it seems like she is the only one to make Joan smile and laughs every time she sees her.” Vera thought to herself before wrapping her arm around Joan’s back and rested her head on Joan’s shoulder while looking down at Grace in Joan’s arms.

As usual, Grace fell asleep in Joan’s arms, so Joan went to put Grace back in the pram and came back to the kitchen where Vera is sitting at the dining table, so Joan sat down in the chair beside Vera.
“Thank you for bringing Grace over as it’s making me feel better.”
“I will bring her with me every time I’m coming over here. As I can tell how quickly Grace can bright up your day.”
“Yeah, I just love seeing her smiling and listening to her laughs. It’s the best sound ever.” Joan looked down at her hands and began to fumble around with her nails until Vera covered her hands with her own and held both hands to stop her from fumbling any further, “I’m sure you are Grace’s favourite person as she never laughs or smile so much with me or Jake, only when she sees you.”
Hearing this had made Joan smile hugely and she looked up at Vera, “She’s my favourite person too. You are my second favourite person.” Joan smiled sheepishly to Vera.
Vera tried her best to look hurt but failed miserably when she saw the smile on Joan’s face, “It’s nice to know that I’ve been dumped to second on your favourite people list by my own daughter.” Vera laughed which made Joan to laugh as well.

Joan shuffled closer to Vera and lifted Vera to straddle on her laps. They held eyes contact, Joan lifted her hand to sweep Vera’s hair away from her shoulder to behind her neck and leaned forward to kiss Vera’s neck then began to suck there. Vera moved her head to the side to allow Joan more room to kiss around, closed her eyes and began to moan when she felt Joan is sucking on the sensitive spot. Vera intertwined her hands behind Joan’s neck and continue to moan louder and louder when she feels Joan’s lips move around her neck. Vera felt Joan’s hands moves up from her hips to the top of her chest and began to unbutton down her shirt until the last button and Joan removed the shirt from Vera’s shoulders. Joan pulled back from Vera’s neck, looked down at Vera’s chest then leaned forward again to kiss gently across Vera’s breasts. Joan pulled down the bra cup, exposing one of the nipples and began to suck on it. Hearing Vera’s breathing getting heavier, and she pulled away again, “Is this ok, Vera?”
Vera opened her eyes, “Yes of course. Why did you stop?”
“Just double checking.”

Vera kissed Joan hard and began to snog each other. Joan took this as a sign to continue. Joan moved her right hand down until it reached the top of Vera’s trousers and unbuttoned it expertly with one hand and continue the journey down until she felt the wetness between Vera’s folds. Vera gasped loudly and her head fell backward when she felt Joan’s fingers moving up and down between the folds, “Oh God, Joan. It feels so good!” Vera began to grind her hips against Joan’s hand. Joan held Vera’s back with her left hand to hold Vera in place as Vera began to arch her back backward and resume the action of kissing/sucking around Vera’s breast. Joan stroked Vera’s clit faster and faster until Vera’s body spasmed and Vera leaned forward and rested her forehead on Joan’s shoulder. Joan had slowed down her fingers but continue to stroke down there gentle until Vera had her second orgasms then Joan removed her hand from Vera’s pant and held Vera in her arms until Vera got her breathing under control again.
“Jesus Christ.” Vera chuckled before lifting her head off Joan’s shoulder and kissed Joan several times.
“I came over here to check on you because I haven’t heard anything from you and was planning to look after you but it’s the opposite as you’re making me feel so good when I’m supposed to be the one to make you feel better.”
“Making you feel good is making me feel better.” Joan smirked toward Vera and Vera rolled her eyes.
“Charming!” Both women laughed until Vera stood up and sorted out her clothes.
“I do want to make you feel good like you’ve just did to me but I’m not sure if you’re ready for it or not?” Vera asked worriedly.
“You’re right, I’m not ready for it yet as I still haven’t accepted my body.” Joan said before standing up.
Vera stepped closer to Joan and hugged her around her waist, “Joan, remember you still are beautiful. I will wait until you’re ready as I’m not going to put pressure on you. I would love to make you feel amazing but I’m more than happy to wait until you are ready.”
“Thank you for being so understanding. I love you, Vera Bennett.”
“I love you too.” They kissed and walked out of the kitchen to relax on the couch in the livingroom.

Chapter Text

Vera had spent lots of time at Joan’s house recently, Grace is around there often as well but sometimes she stay with Jake for few days when he’s on day offs. Both women are slowly getting used to being around each other. Joan had developed a strong relationship with baby Grace – they both are like two peas in a pod. It always melts Vera’s heart whenever she sees Joan and Grace together.

Vera walked in the living-room, to let Joan know that she’s going to have a bath and started to giggle quietly when she saw the disgust look on Joan’s face when Grace had thrown up on her shoulder after burping from the bottle, “I’m sorry, Joan. Pass over Grace so you could go and clean yourself up.”
“Don’t apologise, Vera. It’s normal for babies to throw up anyway.” Joan stood up and passed over Grace to Vera and went to her bedroom to get changed.
Vera rocked Grace to sleep and put her down in the travel cot in the living-room. She walked to the bathroom, stopping at Joan’s bedroom door, and knocked, “Joan? I’m going to have a bath now. Won’t be long.”
“Ok, enjoy the bath!” Joan shouted back from the bedroom.
Vera went in the bathroom, removed the clothes, and entered the bath, sighed happily when her body touch the hot water.

Few minutes later, Vera opened her eyes when she heard the knocks on the door, “Yeah?”
“Can I come in?”
“Uh… yeah sure.”
Joan opened the door slowly to ensure Vera is ok with her coming in. Eventually, the door opened, and Vera saw Joan is walking in with 2 glasses of wine in each hand before handing over the glass to Vera, “Here you go.”
“What’s the occasion?” Vera asked curiously.
“Just thought it’ll be nice to have a wine while you’re in the bath.”
“Thank you, Joan.”
Joan noticed that Vera is sinking further down in the bath to cover the most of her body with the bubbles and realised that Vera might be uncomfortable that she’s naked and Joan is full clothed. Nothing had happened between the women since the day Joan fucked Vera in the kitchen - they had slept together in same bed, but nothing happened more than kissing and hugging. Joan stood up suddenly, “I’m sorry for barging in the bathroom. See you in the living-room soon.” And start to walk out of the bathroom but before she could fully walk past Vera, she felt Vera grabbed her wrist and made her turn around to face her.
“You don’t have to leave. It’s nice to have your company while drinking the wine in the bath.”
“Are you sure? I’m sure you want to have some alone time and peace.”
“Yes, I’m sure. Please stay here or join me in the bath?”
Joan face dropped as she wasn’t sure what she should do next. She knows that Vera had seen her half naked before but to be fully naked with naked Vera close to her in the bath, she swallowed and thought for a minute before nodded then put the wine down on the edge of the bathtub and removed her clothes. Standing there naked and she breathed in deeply before entering the bath, sitting down opposite Vera with her legs bend and close to her chest with her arms wrapping around the knees. Vera thought how beautiful and perfect Joan is while she watched her removing the clothes and entered the bath in front of her, but she was little bit disappointed to see Joan is covering her chest with her legs in a defensive way, so she reached out both hands until they touched Joan’s knees and she stroked there gently, “Joan, you don’t have to be embarrassed about anything around me.”
“I know that, but I’m just not used to this.”
Vera moved backward and opened her legs, “Come here, Joan. Turn around and lie back on my chest.”
Joan lifted her eyebrow before doing what she is being told. Joan’s body tensed when she felt Vera hands stroking gentle from her waist to stomach before resting there so Joan covered Vera’s hands with her own and rested her head back on Vera’s shoulder. Joan released a long exhale when she felt Vera's breasts touching her back for the first time and she relaxed her body as she felt safe in Vera's arms.
“Are you comfortable, Joan?”
“Yeah, it’s nice.”

Few minutes later, Vera asked Joan if she can touch her chest and Joan slowly accepted to let her touch there. Joan held Vera hand and slowly moved her hand up toward her chest but placed on her breast. Vera squeezed the full breast gentle, resting there until Joan moved her hand to the other side of her chest. Vera stroked across the scarring gently and whispered in Joan’s ear, “I still love you. Your scar doesn’t change my feelings for you, please believe me. I love you for who you are, nothing will ever change that.”
“Thank you for saying that. It does make me feel bit better with myself, knowing that you do love me even I’ve lost a breast and a huge scar on my chest.” Joan turned her head and kissed Vera on the lips. Vera continues to stroke the scar gentle while they are lying in the bathtub in silence – enjoying each other presence.
"Vera, I'm sorry that I've been difficult to deal with recently and I know how much you want to reciprocate after the night at the kitchen but I'll appreciate it if you can be patience with me until I'm ready."
"You don't have to apologise, like I said before I'll wait until you're ready. There is no deadline that we have to meet for us to do it. I just want to go with the flow and when the time is right then it'll happen. Don't worry about me as I'm happy to wait."
After a while, both got out of the bath, dressed in pyjamas, and drying their hair before leaving the bedroom. Vera checked on Grace in the living-room while Joan went in the kitchen to prepare a tray of cheeses, crackers, and fruit bowl, filled up the glasses of wines and brought the tray to the living-room and set it down on the coffee table.

“What film do you want to watch, Vera?” Joan asked while picking up the remote and sat down on the couch.
“Whatever good is on the TV.” Vera picked up the tray and sat down beside Joan then placed the tray on her lap. The women spend the rest of the night drinking, eating, and watching Beauty and the Beast on the TV.

Chapter Text

It’s Joan’s first day return to work and she wasn’t sure how the women and staff will react to her being back after several weeks absence without knowing the real reason for her absence. Parked her car at the usual spot, walked in the front entrance door and met a young officer at the reception, “Welcome back, Governor.”
“Good morning. Thank you, see you at the meeting shortly.”
“Yes, Governor.” Joan smiled before walking away toward her office and she haven’t seen any officer or inmate on her way. She was pleased to see her office had been deep cleaned and spotless when she opened her door. Few minutes later, Vera knocked, opened the door, and entered Joan’s office, “Good morning, Governor.” Vera smiled and waited for Joan to get up from her seat and join her for the walk to the staff room for the meeting.
“Good morning, Deputy. How are you?” Joan asked while walking around the desk and began to walk out of the office with Vera walking beside her.
“I’m good thanks. Hope your first day back here goes well.” Both women talked about their weekend as they didn’t meet over the weekend until they entered the staff room. Joan asked the staff how things around here had been when she was gone and received lots of positive feedback about how Vera had run the prison and no complains had been put forward which really pleased Joan. She told them the reason for her absence, and she will stay in her office as much as possible until she had completely recovered. The meeting is over, Joan had received lots of best wishes from the staff and she is grateful to have good team of staff. The rest of the day was busy for Joan, dealing with piles of paperwork, emails, and phone calls. Next few days is pretty much the same routines for Joan.

On Friday night, Joan is glad to be home at last after a full week back at Wentworth. She was eating the Chinese takeaway food in the living room, while watching documentary on the TV and her phone rang so she stopped eating and answered the call, “Hello, Vera.”
“Hi, are you busy at the moment?”
“No, I’m eating my dinner just now. Why, what’s wrong?”
“Oh, never mind. It’s alright. Enjoy your night.”
“Vera. Tell me what’s wrong.”
“Um… I’m just bored and alone as Jake have Grace for the weekend. I just called to see if I can come over but it’s ok as I’m sure you want to be alone tonight.”
“Nonsense, come over whenever you’re ready. I’ll leave the front door unlocked so just come in by yourself.”
“Sure?”
“Yeah. See you soon.”
“Great! See you shortly. Bye!”
“Bye bye.” Joan hung up, put the phone beside her and resume eating her dinner.

Joan shat herself when Vera put her hands on her shoulders, as her couch is positioned in a way which mean she couldn’t see the living room door behind her unless she turns around, “Oh fuck sake! Jesus Christ, Vera!” Joan lifted her hand and held her chest to control her fast heart beating.
“Sorry! Sorry! I thought you would have heard me coming in.”
“No, I didn’t hear you as I was so engrossed in the documentary.” Vera walked around the couch, sat down beside Joan and kissed Joan on the lips.
“I’m sorry that I scared you.”
“It’s okay. It’s my fault for leaving the front door unlocked when I knew it’s already open for you to come in.” Joan chuckled which made Vera smile.
“Enjoyed your dinner?”
“Yeah, I had Chinese takeaway. Did you have anything for your dinner?”
“Good. I had the leftover chicken wraps from yesterday. Oh, before I forget, I brought this bottle for you.” Vera picked up the red wine bottle beside her and passed over to Joan. She examined the bottle before nodded her head, “Thank you, it’s one of my favourite wines.” Joan smiled, kissed Vera before standing up to go into the kitchen to pour the wines for both. Joan came back in the living room, sat down again, and passed over the wine glass to Vera before clinking the glasses together, “Cheers, thank you for coming over tonight.”
“Cheers, thank you for allowing me to come over so we could keep each other company tonight instead of being alone.”

A while later, both women finished the wine bottle, snuggled together on the couch with blanket covering their legs while watching a romantic film. Somehow during the film, Vera felt herself getting turned on by the sexy scenes on the TV and she tried not to be too obvious in front of Joan, but she had failed miserably as Joan had noticed how flustered Vera had become so she asked, “Vera, are you ok?”
Vera avoids eye contact with Joan, “Yeah, it’s pretty warm here.”
“Let remove the blanket then.”
“No, no. It’s okay.” Joan looked down with raised eyebrow which tells Vera that Joan knows she’s lying.
Vera kept her eyes straight at the TV, Joan cupped Vera’s cheek and turned her head toward her before leaning down and gently kissed Vera on the lip. Vera moaned when Joan deepens the kiss and swiped her tongue along Vera’s lips, trying to open Vera’s mouth which she did immediately without any resistance. Vera removed the blanket and moved to straddle Joan’s legs. Immediately, Joan lifted Vera’s top off and kissed her way down Vera’s neck. Vera run her hands through Joan’s hair, groaned quietly when she felt Joan removed her bra and kissing around the nipple before began to suck it hard. Vera pulled Joan’s hair backward and kissed her hard. Joan moved both until Vera’s back hit the couch, began her journey south and kissing every skin as she moves down. Vera moaned louder every time Joan find her sensitive spots and Joan felt the grips that Vera had on her hair become tighter along with her louder moans, so she knows that she’s hitting the right places. When Joan reaches the waistband of Vera’s jeans, she did quick job of removing the jeans and underwear before diving straight in Vera’s hot centre. Joan held Vera’s hips down as she began to move her hips up and down with her back arching. It didn’t take Joan that long to bring Vera to the edge with her tongue before she removed her mouth from the clit which made Vera gave out a loud dissatisfied groan and pulled Joan’s hair back closer to her vagina, Joan tried to resist but she gave in quick when her hair become sore from the pulling so she went back in again and eventually brought Vera over the edge and she screamed the house down. Joan slowed down the pace until Vera stopped screaming then she stopped and climbed back up to lie down beside Vera.

“Holy fuck.” Vera said before chuckles quietly. Joan wrapped her arm around Vera’s waist and kissed Vera’s shoulder. Vera turned her body to the side so she could see Joan better and lifted her hand until it reaches Joan’s flat chest on top of the shirt. Joan reached up and covered Vera’s hand on her chest and gave it a squeeze. They smiled at each other. Vera reached down, pulled Joan’s shirt up and lifted over Joan’s head. Vera kissed the chest, as Joan isn’t wearing a bra, and looked up to see Joan’s reaction but all she can see is Joan smiling down at her. Vera moved them so Joan is lying down on her back, and she placed herself in middle of Joan’s legs. Kissing Joan on the lip gently before moving her way down – kissing/sucking Joan’s neck while her hands moved down to unbutton the jeans and moved one hand down inside Joan’s underwear. She moved her hand very slowly until she felt the top of the fold and stroke one finger downward through the fold, gathering the wetness on her finger before sinking in further. All Vera could hear is Joan’s breathing getting heavier beside her ear and she felt Joan’s hands gripping harder on her hips before releasing and rub the area there softly. Vera lifted her head from Joan’s neck to look at her face but all she can see is Joan is in bliss moment with her eyes closed and small smile on her face which had encouraged Vera to go further by adding another finger. She moved her fingers gentle and slow until Joan asked her to go faster which she obeyed. Vera used her thumb to rub on Joan’s clit like a flash which brought Joan over the edge quick, and Vera felt Joan’s body tense against her and the fingers, Joan moaned quietly. Vera slowed down, removed the fingers, and rested her head on Joan’s shoulder. Joan wrapped her arms around Vera back and they remained there all night as they had fell asleep on the couch.

Chapter Text

Next morning, Joan woke up and smiled when she saw Vera is still lying on top of her – the blanket only covered bottom half of Vera’s naked body which mean Vera must have grabbed the blanket during the night when she slept as she was pretty sure that they fell asleep without the blanket. Few minutes later, Joan softly shook Vera’s shoulder to wake her up as she need to go to the bathroom, but Vera mumbled about being too comfortable and didn’t want to wake up, “Vera, come on. I need the bathroom.” Joan chuckled quietly. Eventually, Vera rolled off her and pulled the blanket up to cover her upper body when Joan moved away from her and put her shirt back on. After the bathroom, Joan went in the kitchen to make 2 mugs of coffee for them and took them into the living room. Joan sat down on the coffee table, in front of Vera, “Good morning, love.”
“Good morning, what time is it?”
“Umm…” Joan turned around to look at the clock and turned back around again, “It’s quarter to nine.”
“Jesus, it feels like 5 o’clock in the morning.” Vera chuckled and lifted her body to lean on her elbow so she could drink the coffee. Joan swallowed hard when Vera lifted her body because the blanket dropped lower and revealed Vera’s breasts.
“Ooo, ah!” Vera sighed loud after her first sip of the coffee. “Please be my wife!”
Joan spluttered out her coffee when Vera said that “Eh? What did you say?”
“Just wished that you’re my wife.” Vera laughed before explained more, “Nobody had brought me coffee that is so heavenly before. If you’re my wife so that mean it’ll be amazing to wake up every day beside you and knowing there will be amazing coffee waiting for me.” Vera winked before resume drinking the coffee.
Joan put her mug down and moved to kneel in front of Vera, “Do you meant what you’ve just said?”
“Well, I… it’s just my wishful thoughts.” Vera looked down at the mug in her hands, but Joan removed the mug, placed it on the floor and held Vera’s hands.
“There is nothing else would make me the happiest woman in the world if you’re actually asking the question.”
Vera looked up at Joan, “Well, Joan Ferguson. Sorry I don’t have the ring at the moment, but will you marry me?”
“Of course, yes!” Huge smiles are plastered on their faces before Joan grabbed Vera’s face and kissed her hard and passionately. Joan stood up and lifted Vera like a bride into her arms and went upstairs into her bedroom. They made love for hours until they both are completely spent.

Vera’s stomach began to rumble when lying on Joan’s side which made Joan to laugh quietly, “Sorry, I’m the bad host as I’ve forgot to provide you with breakfast this morning. So, what would you like for lunch?”
“I’ve ate plenty this morning!” Both women burst out laughing.
“That’s not proper foods!”
“Who cares? Anyway, just make something quick like sandwiches so I can have your sexy arse back in the bed quicker.” Joan rolled her eyes jokingly, got out of the bed, and put on her robe before went downstairs to make sandwiches, bowls of fruits and water bottles.
“Here you go, fiancée.” This made Vera to giggle like little girl as Joan passed over the tray before getting in the bed beside Vera – winced little bit when she sat down on the bed, “Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m just not used to go through that many rounds of lovemaking. My body isn’t what it used to be and I’m old lady now.” Joan chuckled.
“Hey, you’re not that old!”
“Come on, I’m 14 years older than you are so yeah I’m THAT old.”
“Well, you are my sexy old lady.” Joan rolled her eyes. “And you should have stopped earlier if you’re sore or uncomfortable.”
“Pft. How can I stop what we’ve done as it was amazing, and I become powerless when you are touching all the right spots.”
Vera leaned forward and kissed Joan which had effectively ended the conversation. Joan had put the TV on so they could watch the news while eating in silence. Few minutes later, Vera decided to be playful by smear the yoghurt on Joan’s nose and cheek, “Vera! You little devil!”
Joan put her tray on the table beside her bed, turned around and pinned Vera down in the bed with her body on top of her, “Miss Bennett, you better clean my face up or I’ll punish you.”
“Yes, Governor.” Vera giggled and used her tongue to lick the yoghurt off Joan’s face, but she moved her tongue very slow until there is no yoghurt left on her face. Doing this had turned both women on immediately.
“Fuck, as much as I want to continue this with you, but I can’t.” Joan sighed and face palmed Vera’s shoulder. Vera stroked Joan’s naked back.
“It’s okay. We have many years to go for plenty of sex, so we don’t have to do anymore today. We don’t have to do anything, just stay here and hold each other.” Kissed the top of Joan’s head. Joan nodded and settled down on top of Vera.
“When do you want to go to the shop and get the ring?” Vera asked.
“There is no rush to get the ring. We can go whenever we both have the time.”
“Tomorrow?”
“If you want to then yeah, we can.”
“Great. I just want to let everyone know that you’re mine by putting a ring on your finger so nobody will try to steal you away from me.”
Joan laughed softly, “You don't have to worry too much as I don't want anyone else, all I need is you. I love you.”
“I love you too.”

Chapter Text

Both women had bought simple and elegant silver engagement rings for each other and they bought necklaces as well so they could put their rings on the necklace when they’re at work. Vera had invited Joan to her house for lunch as both women are not working that day – both women ordered Italian foods to collect on the way to Vera’s and they’ll eat in the house.

“It’s lovely house.” Joan said when walking in the house toward the kitchen.
“Thank you. I’ve changed everything in this house after my mother died so it’s more homely for me and Grace.”
“You have good taste.” Vera chuckled at this comment and prepared the table for their lunch while Joan took out the boxes from the bag and laid all out on the table.
“What would you like to drink? I have wines, brandy, vodka, water or juices.”
“Umm... White wine would be lovely. Thank you.” Vera poured 2 glasses of wines and set them down beside their plates.
“Is Grace coming back here today?”
“Yeah, Jake should drop her off about dinner time.”
“Hope I can see her today before I go home.”
“Yeah, you can stay here until she’s home. No rush as I’m not kicking you out anytime soon!” Vera laughed which made Joan laugh as well.
Both women enjoyed their lunch and emptied the bottle of wine. Joan stood up, put piles of plates and cutlery in the sink and began to wash them, “Joan, just leave it there. I’ll do it later.”
“It’s alright. I prefer to wash the dishes pretty much straightaway so we can chill out after it’s all done.”
“Okay, thanks.” Vera sat down on the counter beside Joan so she could watch her washing the dishes.
“It’s rude to stare for long time.” Joan looked at Vera and raised her eyebrow.
“No, it’s not rude to stare at beautiful woman standing in front of me and knowing that she’s all mine.” Vera winked.
“Oh, really?” Joan had finished washing the dishes and dried her hands with the towel before walked over to stand in between Vera’s legs.
“Hmm.” Vera wrapped her arms around Joan’s neck and kissed her. Joan deepened the kiss and they fought for dominance with their tongues. Vera wrapped her legs around Joan’s waist to pull her body closer until their bodies touched with no space in between, Joan moved her hands from Vera’s waist to her firm ass and lifted Vera off the counter then walked away from the kitchen to Vera’s bedroom while still kissing Vera hard.

Leaning forward gentle until Vera’s back touched the bed and set her body weight on top of Vera’s body. Moving her lips to Vera’s neck, sucking there quite hard which she knew will leave a mark there for Vera to find later. Vera was getting impatient by grabbing Joan’s blouse and moved it upward which stopped Joan from sucking anymore on her neck as she sat back on her knees so she could remove her blouse and bra before moved forward to kiss Vera again. But before she could move forward again, Vera sat up and removed her own top and bra before lying back again. Both women moaned quietly when their breasts touched each other. “This feels good.” Vera said and stroked Joan’s back.

Joan moved her way down, kissing every space of Vera’s skin until she reached Vera’s nipples. Began to lick and suck on one nipple while her hand is stroking around the other breast. Vera ran her fingers through Joan’s hair and the sounds coming from Vera is getting louder and louder, Joan enjoyed listening to the sounds. Vera removed her hands from Joan’s hair, reached down to unbutton her jeans and pushed the jeans and underwear down her hips but couldn’t move them any further because Joan is in the way. Joan removed her mouth from Vera’s breast, kissed her way down Vera’s stomach and used her hands to push Vera’s trousers/underwear down at the same time as her kissing on Vera’s stomach. Joan removed her trousers and underwear as well before kissing her way back up Vera’s body.

Vera is writhing below Joan as she’s so turned on and need her release very soon, “Joan, I need you now.” She gasped loudly when Joan latched her mouth on Vera’s clit without any warning. Joan moved her tongue at painfully slow speed, up and down over the clit. Vera moved one hand down until it reached Joan’s head and rested there while her other hand is squeezing hard at her own breast, “Fuck. Ohhhh… Yes! Yes!” Vera chanted out various things when Joan is changing the speed down of her tongue down there. Joan entered Vera with 2 fingers and stroked inside hard. Eventually, Vera squeezed her eyes shut, moaned loud and arched her back when Joan had brought her over the edge. It was an intense orgasm for Vera that made her squirt all over Joan’s mouth.

Panting hard, opening her eyes slowly and the first thing she saw was Joan smiling down at her beside her as Joan is leaning her body on her elbow and stroking Vera’s stomach. Vera moved her legs closer and realised the bed is wet below her legs, her face turned into deep red as she realised that she must have squirted which had never happened before.
“Vera, it’s okay. Nothing to be embarrassed about it.”
“I… I’ve never squirted before. Fuck.”
Vera tried to turn away from Joan, but Joan stopped her by cupping her cheek, “Vera, it’s okay. It was hot watching you and it’s making me feel good. So, you have nothing to worry about.” Joan smiled and kissed Vera on the lips.
“Are you sure?” Vera asked when she pulled back from Joan’s lips.
“Of course.”

Vera rolled over to be on top of Joan and moved Joan’s leg over her hip. Both women groaned when their clits met. Vera moved her hips slowly and steady. Vera held Joan’s leg up against her shoulder with one hand and other hand is holding Joan’s hip. Kissing and biting around Joan’s thigh while rocking her hips against Joan. Their moans and groans become louder when they’re nearing to their orgasms. Joan rocked her hips faster which made Vera to rock her hips faster as well. Joan reached up to squeeze Vera’s breast and squeezed her own breast as well. It didn’t take Vera that long to fall over the edge as she was already sensitive which left Vera hunched over Joan’s hip and Joan moved her hips to stroke her clit up and down Vera’s thigh until she fell over her own edge.

Few moments later, Vera lifted her body and moved down until her face is facing Joan’s pussy. She licked several times from Joan’s entrance to the clit. Joan’s eyes rolled backward and she arched her back when Vera stopped licking and began to suck hard on her clit, Oh god. Vera!” Eventually, Joan had her second orgasms which had left her out of breath and her body is feeling so good. Vera crawled up Joan’s body and kissed her. Joan moaned when she tasted herself on Vera’s mouth.

“You’re getting so good at pleasing me.”
“I have a great teacher.” Vera winked.
“I fucking love you.”
“I fucking love you too.”

Vera rested her head and body on top of Joan. They fell asleep for an hour before getting ready for Grace to come home.

Chapter Text

Both women woke up, showered, and got ready just before the doorbell rang so Vera left the bedroom to answer the door. Joan remained behind in the bedroom, and she could hear Jake and Vera talking for few minutes until Jake left the house. So, Joan walked into the living room, “Hello Grace.”
Grace turned her head around from where she’s sitting on the floor with Vera and immediately crawled over to Joan with huge smile on her chubby face. Joan knelt, picked up Grace into her long arms and peppered her face with kisses which made Grace to giggle loud. Once the giggling stopped, Joan gasped when she heard Grace saying, “Jo.”
“Vera! She said my name!”
“Of course, she’ll say your name first before she could say Mum or Mama.” Vera playfully rolled her eyes.
Joan felt bad when Vera said that, “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry! It’s fine with me anyway.” Vera crawled over to them and kissed Joan on her cheek before picking up Grace to get her ready for bath.

After Vera put Grace down for bed, she joined Joan on the couch to watch film together.
“Vera, I don’t know why but I’m feeling really bad about Grace saying my name first instead of you.”
“Stop apologising. It’s obvious that she loves you so much. I’m absolutely fine with it so again please stop apologising or feeling bad about it. I rather Grace to say your name first than Jake or Daddy anyway.” Vera laughed which put a smile on Joan’s face and leaned forward to kiss Joan gently. They fought for few minutes about what to watch on the TV but at the end Vera won and put on romantic film on – Joan absolutely hated watching romantic films, but she’ll accept to watch the film to keep Vera happy.

* Few months later *

Joan had sold her apartment to move in with Vera and Grace after Vera asked her to move in to be a family together. They had set the date for their wedding which will be coming up in 3 weeks.

Joan drove them to work that morning after Hilda arrived to babysit Grace for the day. They kissed for the last time in Joan’s car before leaving the car to enter the building. The prison was quiet all morning until Joan’s walkie went off, “Governor! I’ve got your bitch here with me. If you want to see her alive again, come out from your office.”
Joan recognised the voice immediately – it’s Juice – and logged in her computer to check the CCTV to find where they are and found them standing in their cells block with Vera trying to fight her way out of the taller woman’s arms, but she held on her tightly with shiv against her neck. Juice is standing in front of them, watching the gate for Joan to arrive.

Joan ordered lockdown immediately before leaving her office with walkie in her hand. While walking her way over to Juice’s block, all prisoners and officers are running about like headless chicken and moved out of Joan’s way fast as she walked past them. Joan had grabbed 2 officers to come with her on her way there. It didn’t take Joan that long to arrive the block, “Gambaro! I’m here. What do you want?” Joan shouted as she walked through the gate. The officers waited behind the gate when Joan went inside the block.
“Finally, you’re here.”
“And?”
“You thought you could keep your secret hidden in this prison? Well, you’re fucking wrong!”
“What secret?”
Juice laughed, turned around to face Vera and reached inside her collar to bring the necklace out with the ring, “This?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, Lucy.”
“If I check inside your shirt, I’m sure I’ll find a necklace with ring there as well.”
“No, you won’t find anything there.”
“Are you sure?”
“What’s the purpose of holding Vera as hostage? Just because you want to check our properties?”
“Ahh. Not quite. I just want you to know how it feels to watch your loved one die in front of you.”
“What are you talking about? We never had any problem here since I started, what had brought this on?”
Instead of replying to Joan, Juice turned her head and winked at Vera before signalled to Stella to do something.

Stella moved the shiv against Vera’s neck hard and fast that caused thick blood to pour out of Vera’s neck and Stella threw Vera down on the ground. Just before Stella moved the shiv, Vera made eye contact with Joan and moved her lips to say, “I love you.” Then all she could feel is blood leaving her body and crashed into the ground when Stella threw her.

The officers ran in the block and wrestled Juice and Stella onto the ground before handcuffed them and took them out of the room. While Joan screamed and ran toward Vera. Picking up Vera’s head onto her lap, using her hands to put pressure on Vera’s neck, “Vera!”

“Don’t you fucking dare to leave me!”

“Goddamnit, Vera!” Joan screamed when Vera isn’t responding, and her body is limp in Joan’s hands.

“No! No!” Joan wrestled with the paramedics when they arrived and tried to move Joan away from Vera so they could give Vera the medical care. But she eventually let Vera go when other officer pulled Joan away. The paramedics put Vera on the stretcher and ran out of the room. Joan ran out with them and entered the ambulance with Vera. All the way until they reached the hospital, Joan held Vera’s hand and whispered things in Vera’s ear – hoping that it’ll help Vera to survive this.

The doctors had stopped Joan from entering the surgery room and told her to wait in the waiting room. When Joan sat down and she realised that she’s covered in Vera’s blood, this caused her to break down in the room.

Joan didn’t stop crying until the doctor came in the room, “Vera Bennett’s family?”

Joan stood up from where she had been sitting on the floor at the corner of the room, “I’m her fiancée. Is she okay?”

The doctor gulped.

Chapter Text

The doctor gulped.

“I’ve managed to stop the bleeding from her neck. She’s lucky that the main artery wasn’t cut that deep to kill her. But she had lost huge amount of blood so she’s having the blood transfusion at the moment. Next 24-48 hours is very critical for Vera. Her body need to accept the blood transfusion to replace the blood that she had lost. Otherwise, it’s not looking good for Vera if her body reject the blood transfusion.”
Joan released a deep breath when the doctor had stopped speaking, “Can I see her?”
“Yes, you can once she had been moved into the private room. I’ll get the nurse to come and let you know when you can see Vera.”
“Thank you.”
“Before I go, may I suggest that you go to clean up yourself before see Vera?” Joan nodded and entered the bathroom to wash the blood off her face and hands then came back to sit down on the chair in the waiting room.

About half hour later, the nurse came and took Joan to Vera’s room. When Joan walked in the room, she held back the tears and covered her mouth with one hand, “Oh, my Vera.” Joan whispered to herself while walking over to stand beside Vera and held one of her hands. Joan lifted Vera’s hand and kissed each knuckle while the tears began to roll down her cheeks. “Please wake up. I need you. Grace need you as well.”

After a while, Joan’s personal phone rang in her trousers pocket and she answered when saw it’s Hilda who’s calling, “Hello?”
“Hi, is everything ok? As I thought you or Vera would be home an hour ago?”
“Ah, shit. I’m so sorry that I’ve forgot to call and let you know that Vera is in the hospital at the moment.”
“Oh my god. Is she ok?”
“Um… I’m not too sure. She got shivved at the neck by the prisoner. She’s having blood transfusion just now and in critical condition for next 24-48 hours.”
“Poor soul. I’ll keep Grace until you know further information.”
“Can you contact Jake to collect Grace if you need to go?”
“No worries, I’m happy to have Grace until tomorrow or something.”
“Thank you so much. I’m sure Vera would appreciate it so much.”
“No problem. Please keep me up to date with Vera and take care.”
“Will do. Thank you so much again.”
“Bye.”
“Bye.”
Joan rubbed her forehead as how could she forget about Grace and sat down on the chair beside the bed.

2 hours later, the nurse came in and replaced the blood drip bag as it’s about to be empty and she checked on Vera but no change since the last check.
“Any changes?” Joan asked the nurse.
“Afraid not. It’s still the same as 2 hours ago.”
Joan sighed impatiently, “Come on, Vera.”
“Remember the doctor said it could take up to 48 hours.”
“I know but I just want her to wake up.”
“I’m sorry but it’s up to her body to decide that for her.”

Just after 6pm, Joan’s stomach grumbled, and she realised that she haven’t ate anything since breakfast, but she didn’t want to leave the room in case Vera wakes up. At the end, she left the room to go to the café to get herself something to eat as she begin to feel lightheaded and shaky hands. Her mind went overdrive while eating her dinner as she would love to kill Juice and Stella, but she knew that not what Vera would want her to do. Just as she had finished her dinner, her phone rang again and she answered, “Hello Hilda.”
Instead of hearing the older woman’s voice, 16 months old Grace shouted at the phone, “Jo! Jo!”
“Oh, hello Grace.”
“Hiii!”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah! Where Mummy?”
“She’s busy. Are you ready for bed?”
“Yeah, night night!”
“Goodnight, darling. Sleep well. Love you.”
Joan could hear Grace giving kisses through the phone, so she did the same back to Grace. Putting her phone back in the pocket, Joan sighed and prayed that Vera will wake up soon as Grace need her mother.

Joan walked back to Vera’s room but when she opened the corridor door, all she could see is numbers of nurses and doctors running inside Vera’s room. Joan sped up until she reached Vera’s door but couldn’t enter the room because the nurse is blocking her way and refused to let Joan to walk past her.
“What the hell is going on here?!” Joan asked the nurse.
“Please stay back and let the doctors work on Vera.”
“Work on Vera? What do you mean by that?”
“She’s having cardiac arrest.”
“No. No. That cannot be happening!” Joan pushed her way through past the nurse and stood there dumbfound when she saw Vera is lying with her shirt torn open with defib machine pads on her chest. “Clear!” One of the doctors shouted and other doctor pressed the button and Vera’s body arched when the electricity went through her body.
“One more time!”
“Clear!”

Vera’s heart monitor began to beep very loudly and flashing colour on the screen before fell silence with the screen showing a straight line. The doctors looked at each other and nodded, Joan screamed in slow motion, “Noooo!” and her legs buckled underneath her.
“Try one more time please!” The doctors tried the machine one more time, but the heart monitor show no sign of life coming from Vera, “The time of death is 19:11.” One of the doctors announced. Joan’s world is turned upside down.

Slowly, the room became quiet when the staffs left and left Joan alone with Vera. After a while, Joan stood up from where she had been kneeling and walked over to stand beside Vera on the bed, “My Vera, I’ve failed you. I’m so sorry.” Joan lifted her hand, stroked Vera’s cheek, and leaned forward to kiss Vera on the lips for the last time.

“I’m so sorry.”

Chapter Text

17 years later

Joan grunted with effort to get up from the couch as her doorbell rang and she walked over to answer the front door. Slowly opened the door to look out at the small gap, “Yes, dear?”
“Hello, Joan.”
“Who are you?”
“I’m Grace Bennett.”
Joan gasped and closed the door quickly then rested her forehead on the door.

Grace knocked the door, “Joan?”
Few minutes of silence, Grace knocked again, and this time Joan opened the door again.
“Are you really Grace?”
“Yes.”
“Wow. I never thought I’ll see you ever again as it had been over 17 years since the last time I saw you.” Joan watched Grace begin to smile slowly and she recognised that Grace has her mother’s smile and eyes. “You’re definitely Vera Bennett’s daughter as you have her beautiful eyes and smile.”
Joan stepped aside and opened the door wider, “Please come in.” Grace walked inside and went into the living room.
“Please sit down.” Joan spoke as she came in the living room and sat down on her usual spot at the couch - Grace sat down on the couch opposite Joan.

“What brought you here after all the years?”
“Well, since I turned 18 few months ago, I’ve been asking my dad for more information about my mum, and he gave me the key to the storage where he had put all my mum’s belongings in there. So, I’ve found lots stuff in there and there were lots of photos of you with my mum and me. I asked my dad about you, and he gave me your address. He wasn’t sure if you still live in the same address but luckily, you’re still here so that how I’m here today.”

Joan nodded her head and remained silent for few minutes until she decided to speak, “I’m sorry that I didn’t fight to see you after your mum died as your dad took you away and I didn’t know where you were as all I got was a short letter posted from your dad telling me that he’s moving to other city with you.” Joan got teary eyes and she swallowed hard to avoid crying.

“Joan, it’s ok. I’m not mad with you or anything like that. I just want to know who Joan Ferguson is as I know how much my mum loved you and you’ve made her life the happiest just before she died. As I’ve read through her journals.”
“Oh. I never knew that Vera kept journals.”
“Yeah, I’ve got one here and I’m happy to give it to you so you could read what she had wrote about the last 1 year of her life with you?”
“That would be wonderful, thank you.” Grace handed over the journal from her bag which Joan held on her laps. Joan stroked the front cover with her index finger before opening the first page, a tear slipped out of her eye when she read the first page and loved how pretty Vera’s handwriting was.

“Thank you for giving this to me. I’ll read more later as it’s bringing back lots of memories.” Joan wiped the tear away and gulped before looking up at Grace.
“Not a problem.”
“Grace, please tell me more about yourself.”
“Since my mum died, my dad took me to Christchurch where we are still living there. I went to good school and got all my A levels and I’m in first year at University of Canterbury. I want to become a lawyer.”
“Wow, your mum would be so proud of you. I’m glad you had good childhood. Any lucky fella in your life?”
“Oh, god. No! I’m too busy focusing on my course than thinking about dating.” Grace chuckled.
“Wise decision.” Joan winked.
“Can I ask you about your dad?”
“Yeah, of course. You can ask me anything.”
“I’m just wondering what happened to him when he moved to Christchurch?”
“Um… It was just two of us until I turned 6 years old, he met his wife, Amy. They’re still together at the moment. My dad worked at the oil rig which meant he was away for 3 weeks and came home for 3 weeks, Amy looked after me when he went away. He retired about 2 years ago.”
“I’m glad your dad had settled in New Zealand with his new wife and you. I’m pleased to see you again as I’ve never expected to see you at all.”
“Can I ask what exactly happened to my mum?”
Joan sighed and went through every detail – how they met, her battle with cancer, Vera’s death – stopping several times to wipe the tears away and took deep breathes.
“Thank you for telling me. It’s not your fault. I’m not blaming you for what had happened to my mum.”

Grace stood up and sat down beside Joan. She reached across and rested her hand on Joan’s knee, “I can see why my mum fell in love with you. Thank you for making my mum so happy until her death.”
“I wished it was me instead of your mum so that mean you didn’t have to grow up without your mum.”
“Don’t say that. Like I said, it wasn’t your fault.” Grace hugged Joan for a while as Joan began to cry on Grace’s shoulder.
“Oh, before I forget, I’m sure my mum would love for you to have this as I believe it’s the last photo of you with her.” Grace reached inside her bag, pulled out a photo frame and gave it to Joan. It was a selfie of three of them at the beach with sunset in the background – they all had a massive smile on their faces.
“Thank you so much.” Joan whispered.

“What have you been doing since I left the country?”
“Erm… I quitted Wentworth immediately as I couldn’t continue run the prison with so many memories of Vera around there. I travelled the world. I can’t travel anymore as I’m getting too old, and my body is full of arthritis so I’m just staying here until it’s my time to go.”
“Joan, I know we’ve just met again today but I would like to visit you more and talk you through phone calls regular when I’m back at New Zealand, would you like that?”
“Yes, I would love that.”
They chatted away for the rest of the day. Grace visited Joan every day until she had to go back to New Zealand, few days later. Grace visited Joan every few months and they spoke on the phone at least once a week. Grace introduced Joan to her boyfriend during one of the visits and they’re still going strong.

This continue until Joan passed away in her sleep 5 years later, just after Grace had graduated as a lawyer.