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Hopeless Springs

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Ellie Lagden strutted her way through the three sets of prison gates smirking. Today was the day she was set free and would finally screw over Roy for what he had done. She was not only getting back at him for making her do HIS time in prison but for the beatings he had given her over the years and most of all for the pain and fear that he on his own had managed to install into their daughters heart. As she walked through the last set of gates she looked back over her shoulder. The last four years in prison hadn't been all that bad. She had meant a lot of people and had a special connection with three of the girls inside. Hannah Temple who had served 5 years for GBH after stabbing her abusive husband in the gut, Shoo Coggan who served 4 years for theft and breaching her ASBO and Josie Porritt who had served a 4 year sentence for burning down the church that had attempted to beat the gay out of her. Once Roy had told her about a selling some stolen gems for 3 million pound Ellie and the girls had come up with a cunning plan.

Walking towards the silver car that had parked outside she saw her smug husband climbing out and standing by the door. Ellie smiled sultrily up at him. 'That's it Ellie. Make him think you are still madly in love with the complete bastard.' If there was one thing Ellie Lagden knew she was good at it was catching a man’s eye. "Thanks babe. I owe you big time." He said going to take her bag from her. Ellie kept a firm grip on her bag. "Yeah. You do." She said walking away and carrying her own bags and putting them into the boot of the car. Roy opened the front passenger door for her to get into but Ellie ignored it and climbed into the back. "Mum. Oh my god it is so good to have you back." She heard her daughter speak from the other side of the back of the car. She leant over and took her baby in her arms. "I have missed you so much honey you have grown up so much." One thing she resented Roy for more than the beatings and the time is the fact that he had made her miss the last four years of her daughters life. Alexis was only 10 years old when Ellie had been caught and never really understood what had happened to her mum. As she got older she began to see her fathers true colours and on her 12th birthday he had beat her for the first time. The next day she went and visited her mum in prison alone and told her all about what had happened and just how much she wanted to hurt him for what he had done to their family. These secret visits without Roy present continued and she had been apart of the planning for the big steal as they called it. As soon as their greeting was over and Roy had started the car and drove to the destination in silence. Both Ellie and Alexis knew their parts to play and that the other girls would already be their and waiting.

Shoo squeezed her cleaning uniform over her purple dress and buttoned it up. "Right shoo all you have to do is text Hannah when Ellie has the case and goes to the bathroom and stall Roy for a minute by cleaning outside the ladies loos." She told herself for the millionth time that morning before taking a deep breath, running her hands over her uniform and pushing her trolley out. Once she had made her way onto the balcony she was supposed to be cleaning she set to work acting.

"How do I look." Josie asked turning around in her police uniform. Hannah nodded and smiled. "Like a male copper. Me?" She said. Hannah was a nervous woman but it had not always been that way. After putting up with her husband beating her for 3 years she had lost all of her self confidence and after she had snapped and stabbed him it got even worse. The only thing that had kept her going inside was Ellie and the girls. They gave her a sense of love and family. Josie smiled. "Like a chief police woman. The look suits you." She said smiling knowing that she would need a confidence boost to get through this hist. "Right I have my badge. You got the handcuffs?" She asked Josie who nodded. "Right. Just a waiting game now then."

Roy and Ellie were walking up the stairs towards their meeting place. "You've got all this covered haven't you Roy" Ellie asked. Truly worried that their plan might end before it had even started. " I mean this involves our daughter as well this time." She said pointing Alexis who was standing behind them making them look like the normal family. Ellie had given Alexis instructions to follow behind them at all times. "Trust me," Roy said smirking with a giggle in his voice. Ellie nodded and spoke as she carried on walking. "I did the last time." They both walked of towards the stairs with their daughter following obediently in tow. Once walking up a few steps Roy took hold of Ellie's hand and his and entwined their fingers. Ellie looked down at their hands. 'What is the scum-bag playing at she thought.' Roy broke the silence "You're trembling babes. Prison break your balls or what?" He asked quiet enough so that Alexis didn't hear. Ellie snatched her hand away from his in frustration and retorted. "Promise me this is the last time you'll put me through this Roy. For all our sakes." she said glancing behind at Alexis. "I told you if there had been a way of doing this without you two then..." Ellie stopped him in his tracks. "Well no more. Promise." She said sternly. "OK. OK I promise. This is the big one. For all time yeah. Then it's sun, sea, fun for Alexis and you and me going at it like bunnies." His words brought a smile to her face. Oh how wrong he was. Sh plastered a massive fake smile on her face and spoke again. "I guess I am lucky my guy still loves me." They both turned and carried on walking. Roy still smiling and Ellie looking angry. They reached their destination and waited. Ellie glanced up at Shoo and winked at her to reassure her it was all going fine before doing the same and mouthing 'calm' at a nervous looking Alexis. Both women knew what Roy would do if he found out or if their cover was blown and were keen for that not to happen. They all turned at the sound of footsteps and saw the other couple walk towards them. "Gail! You look fantastic!" She exclaimed sounding as happy as possible. "So do you Ellie." She said as the women embraced traditionally. "And little Alexis. You look so grown up." Alexis smiled and nodded her thanks. "Alright mate hows it going." He said as he shook the other man's hand and they planted the suitcases. Ellie looked at Gail. "Shall me go freshen up?" She asked and Gail gave her a look. They picked up the other suitcase and turned for the toilet. Ellie mouthed 2 minutes at her daughter before they were out of sight. Alexis stood and smiled at the two men and saw a cleaning lady pull a phone out and text. Putting two and two together she realised that was Shoo.

In the toilets the women were carefully checking their gems and money to make sure that they were all legit. Ellie took her time knowing that Gail wouldn't come out until she did and that she had to buy Hannah and Josie as much time as possible. She looked at her watch. Two minutes had passed Alexis would now have left to 'come and look for them'. She hoped she could make it to the other bathroom and meeting point unscathed. Another minute and she took a deep breath and was ready. She opened the door and waited for Gail. She gave the cue line for Hannah and Josie. "Tell the boys we're both happy yeah?" She asked Gail who nodded and they turned to leave when Hannah walked in with Josie in tow. "Chief inspector Harriet Walsh. You're under arrest." Ellie gasped. "What!" Holding a shocked expression on her face. Hannah continued her police chief role. "It's best all round if you come quietly." She said taking the case off her and placing it down on the floor before putting Ellie in handcuffs. "We'll take you for questioning first. You wait here." She said toward Gail who had already been handcuffed by Josie. The three women left with both cases in hand. They walked down the corridor together until Josie reached the room where Roy would be set up and placed the case under the table.

Shoo had quickly moved into her position outside the ladies and was dutifully mopping the floor. She looked up and saw Roy approach. Taking a deep breath she prepared for the confrontation. He stopped in front of her and sighed. "What's this." Shoo looked up and spoke to him. "It's the ladies mate. Excuse us." He pushed her aside and moved her trolley. "OH mate." Shoo said catching his attention just long enough for Hannah to reappear. "Mr. Roy Lagden. You're under arrest for conspiracy to smuggle stolen gems." Josie had moved and handcuffed him. "You what?!" They marched Roy down to the room and closed the door behind them. Josie removed the handcuffs silently. "You are making one big mistake sweetheart." Hannah practically growled in response "Shut it. We will be back to question you shortly and don't even think about escaping their is a guard outside this room." Roy sighed and the women moved towards the door. "And your wife has been arrested to. We are still looking for your daughter if you care." And with that they shut the door and made it downstairs just in time as the real police men made their way towards the room he was held in.

Ellie had made it into the toilet and saw her daughter pacing up and down. Her head snapped up and she grinned when her mother walked in. "Oh mum. I was getting worried about you. Did we do it?" She looked at her mothers face in a questioning manner. "Yeah Lexie. We are free finally free." Both of them ran into each others arms and hugged each other giggling and dancing around. They pulled apart when they heard the door open. Hannah and Josie walked in smiling. "We did it Ells. He is being arrested now." Josie said smiling. Ellie pulled them into a hug. "Well done girls." She said placing a kiss to each of their heads. "Right down to business but first girls, This is my daughter Alexis." she smiled shyly and waved at them. "Oh wow Ellie she looks so much like you." Hannah said. Out of the three girls she had always been the one who had wanted a family. She had been pregnant many times in the past but her husband had always beat her killing the babies. It was true though Alexis had honey blonde curly hair, not quite as extreme as her mothers. Her eyes had the same piercing green colour and she had inherited the impressive cleavage her mother had. "Right lets get changed and wait for Shoo." They each walked into a stall and set about getting changed. Shoo walked in 2 minutes later and spoke. "We've done it." The 4 stall doors opened at the same time. Josie walked out wearing her trainers, dark combat shorts and tight red vest top with black straps. Hannah was wearing an orange dress with a tight top and loose skirt as well as a red cardigan and nude kitten heeled court shoes. Ellie was wearing a dress filled with blues and greens and yellows which hugged her curves and showed of her cleavage brilliantly with blue wedged sandals. Shoo was wearing a very tight, very short purple denim dress and brown leggings and black strappy shoes and Alexis was wearing short v neck dress which showed of my assets and a pair of flowery converse trainers. "We have 3 million pounds." She exclaimed again as she dumped her cleaning outfit in the bin. "Right then ladies. Barbados it is then." They all smiled and walked out of the building. Money and suitcases in tow.

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Half an hour we were walking up to the baggage carousel waiting for fat Mandy to give them there fake passports. Even Alexis had been forced to get a fake one to keep her mothers and her identity safely under wraps. Ellie stopped and looked around impatiently. "Where is fat Mandy. I knew we shouldn't have used her." she said under breath. Alexis glanced over at the carousel and caught her mother's attention. " Umm I think I may have found her." She said pointing over to the carousel. All 5 girls looked over and saw fat Mandy laying dead on the carousel with their passport on her stomach. "I Knew we should have used someone else. I am going to flaming kill 'er" Shoo said quietly. Josie looked over at her. "Shoo. she's already dead mate." Ellie sighed and rolled her eyes. "We need out of here and fast. Lets just catch the first plane to where we don't need a passport. She redirected the girls to the departures lounge and looked at the board. Spotting a flight that was due to take of any minute she smiled. "Bingo."

"Scotland. Seriously Ellie this is hardly bloody Barbados you said we would be..." Ellie sighed. "Yes I know what I said Shoo but circumstances changed. Lets just lie low here for a while, get some new passports and leave. We will get their girls I promise you." The others sighed and started walking. "It's freezing here. We need to get some warmer clothes and fast." Hannah said being the ever sensible one in the group. "You're right Hans. Come on girls lets get kitted out for rambling!"

An hour later and the walked out of the shop 100 pounds lighter and wearing jeans, hiking boots, jumpers, gloves, scarves and coats. Their wheelie suitcases had been replaced with hiking bags which now sat on their backs. "Right then. No we are less hypothermic lets get ourselves a car and find some place to stay the night. They set of walking and had soon managed to hotwire a car and Ellie had been driving them down the tiny, winding country lanes. They soon reached a junction. "Hope Springs. Now if we are not meant to go their and be damned." she said smiling at the girls. After more winding they soon reached a village and carried on driving through. At the top of the village there was the Hope Springs hotel and bar. Ellie pulled the car up into the car park and stopped it. "This place is a dump Ellie." Shoo said. "Look I know it is not exactly what we had planned but this place is in the middle of nowhere and as you said it's a dump. No one is willingly going to come here. It is perfect. " They all sighed and shrugged getting out of car and getting their bags. They all looked at the hotel and sighed. "Just remember Barbados girls and 3 million pounds." Hans said as her, Josie and Shoo walked inside. Ellie stood looking and sighed loudly. "I have let them down and you down Lexie and after all they have done and what you have been through." She put her head in her hands and sighed. Alexis walked over and hugged her mother tightly. "Mum you have not let them down. They understand and might even like it here. And you have not in any way let me down. I am just over the moon to have my mother back and to be away from that prick of a man who calls himself my father. I have not felt this safe in 4 years mum and that's all down to you. You have made me happy again." Ellie looked at her daughter with tears in her eyes. 'When did my baby grow up' she thought to herself as she saw a young woman stood in front of her. Not the child she had seen 4 years ago. She released her daughter from the hug and took her hand. "You're right baby. Lets go and get comfy!" The pair walked into the hotel hand in hand. Ellie was so glad to have her daughter back that she didn't care about being in the middle of Scotland in a crappy hotel.