In a bar the other side of London, Helen Stewart sat captivated by the evening news.
"Today, judges in the court of appeal heard the evidence presented to give grounds for an appeal against Nicola Wade. Wade was sentenced to life imprisonment, after killing the police officer allegedly trying to sexually assault her partner. The three appeal judges, today decided to impose a reduced sentence and conviction, which was downgraded from murder, to manslaughter, resulting in the 25 year (minimum) tariff, being revoked and replaced with an additional three years to be served before an appeal will be reconsidered.
Helen sat, numb and uncomprehending, not even noticing the wine spilling onto her pristine white shirt. Nikki had lost the appeal. This was all her fault.
"Shit." She whispered dully.
She was broken out of her bitter self-recrimination by her mobile ringing. Unenthusiastically, she answered it.
"Helen, its Claire,"
Helen noticed she sounded upset.
"Claire, where are you?"
Claire interrupted before she could continue her questions.
"Listen, I'm So, So, sorry, it all went wrong, and I don't know why…"
Claire trailed off, sounding desperate.
"Claire…" Helen began,
Claire!" Finally shouting over her friends comments, she managed to make herself understood.
"Listen, I'm in a cocktail bar, just near the court of appeal. Why don't you come and pick me up, we'll go back to mine, and we can talk. To be honest, there are lots of things you should probably no now, anyway."
"Ok, hang on…what the…"
"We'll talk when we're at mine; trust me, it's better that way."
Helen wanted to make sure they were somewhere they were not likely to be overheard, before opening the can of worms that would undoubtedly result, from the numerous conversations they were going to end up having throughout the rest of the evening.
At lark hall Prison, Nikki Wade sat deciletly on her bunk, contemplating the next three years behind bars and without Helen Stewart in it. She was back in the cell on the three's, she'd left it this morning for what she hoped would be the last time, but apparently that wasn't meant to be.
'So much for winning my appeal.' She thought dully.
Then an image of Helen just after they'd made love, the night she escaped, the night that ruined everything, popped unbidden into her head.
She could remember everything… what it felt like to hold her . . . she tried franticly to quash that thought , she'd lose control of her emotions completely, if she carried on thinking about that . . .
What it felt like when Helen kissed her . . . bloody hell . . .
What it felt like when she came around her finger's . . .
"Jesus, fucking, Christ!" she turned her back to the door, and whepped.
Outside the door, Fenner, who, coincidently, was just passing on his way to the office, grinned to himself. Deciding that the opportunity to make Wade feel worse than she already did couldn't be missed, he casually opened the cell door.
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Missing your girlfriend already, Wade?" he taunted, knowing full well he was bound to get a reaction out of her, by bringing Helen into it, whether they were over or not.
Nikki swung around and off the bunk so fast, that before Fenner realised it, she was standing directly in front of him. In a raw and emotion filled speech, she let out all her anger, which she reflected much later on was about all he was useful for anyway.
"You really are a first class bastard, Fenner. You've got no idea how to interact with a woman apart from chatting her up, or touching things you ought not to, you're a lyre, untrustworthy, and a complete and utter wanker. Now, why don't you do me a favour and piss off back to the office and leave me in piece. You got what you wanted anyway, I'm back in this shit hole for the next three years, Helen's left, by the way how did you manage that anyway? I know you had something to do with it, and when I find out exactly what you did, I'll be sure to tell you even more things about yourself I'm sure you won't like! Now bugger off!" she now realised, she was shouting, and quite loudly, in fact. So, she turned, and was just about to resume her place on the bunk, when she added, seemingly as an afterthought, "You even think of going within 10 feet of Helen, and I'll make sure you're not able to reproduce, ever, again. And I'll make sure all of the necessary parts of your anatomy are removed, without anaesthetic."
Having got what he wanted, a reaction out of the bitch, and, though he would never admit it, feeling slightly threatened by what Wade said she would do to him, he walked out of the cell, and deciding that she didn't need association anyway, locked the door behind him, went to the office, and took a large gulp from the bottle of scotch hidden in his locker.
The sudden and unexpected voice of the man she hated more than any other, appearing when Nikki was so vulnrerbull making her feel anger and fear such as she hadn't felt since Helens assault, meant that she spent the rest of the afternoon and well into the night, furiously chained smoking, and trying to put the millions of thoughts and feelings accumulating in her brain into some sort of order. And then trying to hide them all behind the mask she knew she must ware to survive the next three years, because she knew exactly what would happen to both her and Helen if their relationship were to be discovered, regardless of the fact that it had ended. It was at that point, that she truly realised exactly what Helen had sacrificed to be with her, and that Helen had been far more lenient with her than she perhaps should have been, and that Helen had far more to lose by being with her, than Nikki did, and that by trying to affirm Helen's commitment to the relationship, she had pushed away the best thing to happen to her in a long time.
Walking over to the door, she found it locked; She realised that she couldn't go out for association even if she'd wanted too, realising that Fenner had had the last word by locking her in, which strangely didn't anger her all that much, she resumed her posission on the bed, facing the wall, and finally let the tears flow, in a torrent of misery and regret.