Disclaimer: Again, I do not own this. Belongs to Stephen King and so on and so forth.

Author's Note: Thanks to the people who have read this! Sorry it took so long to update. I started college this fall and I have had so much to do. Anyway, I hope this update pleases everyone and I hope to get more reviews! I also know that the new character who is going to be thrown into the mix is from another fandom. I thought that it fit so well that I just had to put him in here. It will all work out and everyone will see what I'm getting at before too long .

Four.

A week went by and every time I found myself clocking in on E Block, there Percy Wetmore was harassing every fiber of my being out of me. Now, I am one of those women who try to be independent. I try to not cause a fuss or lean on a man too much because I do not want to be considered weak. I treated the situation with Percy the same way. I could handle it for the most part, mainly during the times that I was a bigger ass than he. I didn't like acting that way or treating people as such lowly things, but desperate times call for desperate measures, so to speak. I try not to cause fusses, like I said. But I do enjoy causing a scene every now and again.

At first, I didn't want the other boys to think that I was showing my true colours—that I was an ungrateful brat just like Percy. However, as the week wore thin (as did everybody's nerves) I think the other boys began to enjoy the fact that Percy got a taste of his own medicine every time he dished out something that he could not take the next time that it came back around to him. Percy went out of his way to mess with everyone; I went out of my way to mess with Percy. I couldn't say that I hated the man because I did not believe in harboring such drastic and dark feelings towards another person, but I did have a strong dislike for him. I had a feeling that the young man was an acquired taste that nobody had a slight or even peculiar fondness for.

"Pierce, why is it that you only take lunch with Howell and no one else?" the little twerp brought up Monday morning after Paul had stepped out to go see the warden about the execution of Arlen Bitterbuck that was scheduled for the evening. Harry was running late that morning and Dean was in the rest room at that moment, leaving Percy alone with Brutus and I.

I was sitting behind the desk that Bill occupied during the later or night shifts and Brutus was walking the Mile, making sure that the prisoners were doing fine, that they were as comfortable as they were allowed to be.

"For protection," I answered shortly after he finished his question.

"Protection," he stated dully. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

"Well, it means exactly what it is supposed to mean, Percy. If I'm having lunch one day and you just happen to walk by, I can say whatever I please and you won't do a thing because Brutal is there."

"I don't understand why you are so dim witted as to believe that I am scared of the man," Percy's arrogant eyes added to the conceitedness of his words and it made me want to tackle him to the ground and beat some sense into him.

I did, though, get satisfaction when Brutus crept up behind him and inquired quietly, "Oh, really?"

Percy jumped out of the first layer of his skin, "Ya'll best watch ya'selves. Before I get every last one of you fired. You think you can pick on me, conspire against me, just because I'm the new boy."

I beat him to his next sentence, "Please, for the love of everyone in this room, do not mention the big people you know. Every time you open your mouth and repeat the same things about them, they sound so much smaller to me. Do they to you, Brutal?"

He leaned in to the desk, "Oh, yeah, they do. Smaller. Much like a," he searched for the perfect word to use in the correct and proper context. His surly countenance broke into a gratuitous smile when he came back, "Small like a mouse."

That day, like so many of the others went by so slowly. The only thing that set that day apart from the usual uneventful others was that someone was going to die before the night was over with. It was something I did not relish. It was something that I was not looking forward to.

There was a practice execution earlier in the afternoon. I remember sitting on an empty crate to act as an audience member because, as a secretary, I had no real purpose to take part in the 'ceremony,' I guess one could say. The boys went over a memorized script as Toot was acting a fool as prisoner. Percy had shut himself up in what Brutal called the Electrician's Box.

I thought that was clever.

But now was the real execution and I found myself in the front row because nobody else wanted to be there. I was dressed a bit nicer than usual because I was acting as a jury member of the prisoner's peers. What I remember the most from that night is that Arlen Bitterbuck was not dead after they flipped the switch the first time. They had to do it a second time. I didn't sleep so soundly that night.

There was a new prisoner in Bitterbuck's cell by the time I arrived the next morning. His name was Andrew Dufrense and he had been transferred to Block E of Louisiana's Cold Mountain Penitentiary from Maine's Shawshank State Prison.

Paul led me to the back office where the other officers were so we could discuss the new prisoner before Percy decided to show up for the day.

"So, have at it," Paul said.

"He's a banker who's in for murdering his wife and her lover," Dean said, looking over the file on the man. "Was sent here because the guards there found a small pickax in his cell during a random cell search. He claimed the miniature ax was for shaping rocks until they moved a poster of Rita Hayworth and found that he was trying to dig his way out through a wall. He'd only been there a couple of months so he hadn't made much progress. He fought and killed a guard as they struggled to get him moved from their prison to the police truck. Say he's lost his mind ever since he started doing time. He's been given the Death Sentence for killing three people."

"Why didn't they send him to another New England prison?" Paul asked, brow furrowed at the absurdity of such a long move.

"The warden up there is an old friend of Hal's," Brutus answered. "Said he owed the man a favor. Also, Dufrense was down here once on business and had a hit and run. Didn't hurt or kill anyone, except for a car. Apparently, we've had a warrant for his arrest for some time."

"He seems a nice enough fella," Harry brought up. "Tall as Brutus, maybe even a few inches taller, but as awkward as a teenager. Said less than Coffey did when he was first brought in."

"Well, since you all seem to know so much about him, Eleanor and I will go have a look-see."

We walked the Mile alone and when we got to Bitterbuck's old cell, we found a dark haired man sitting on the edge of the cot with his head down and hands laced upon his lap."

"Andrew Dufrense?" Paul asked quietly and the man looked up, "We gonna have any trouble from you?"

Dufrense shook his head, his intense blue eyes wide with fear. He looked from Paul to me. He looked perplexed—I just assumed he'd never seen a woman working in a prison before.

"That's good to know, Mr. Dufrense. You ought to know that you have a fine first name there. It's what my wife and I named our own son. We ended up calling him Andy as he got older."

"That's what I go by, sir," Dufrense spoke up, but quieted quickly and looked back at his hands in his lap as soon as he had opened his mouth.

"We'll do well to remember that," I said and he looked back up at me. I gave what I thought was an encouraging smile. He just stared blankly at me with those harsh, yet hurt, blue eyes.