Chapter Twenty One
Kate tried her best to be her usual self as behind her bright green eyes her brain was analysing everything Joan did and said. She found it to be completely exhausting. She didn’t mean to be doing it but a seed had been planted with Joan’s own words when she had said ‘there’s something wrong with me’, and now it had been watered by the words of the psychologist and she was looking for evidence to discount what the woman had been inferring. Surely it wasn’t as bad as the psychologist made it out to be; Kate thought that surely she was a better judge of character than that. But still, something ticked deep inside her brain and made her question everything she was seeing and hearing.
Joan was attentive to her needs and held Kate close through the nights, she relaxed into their embrace and felt her own heartbeat fall into sync with Joan’s as they fell asleep in each other’s arms. Kate felt safe there entwined in the arms of Joan even with the mental struggle of what parts of Joan were real and what parts were just for show. Her heart was waging war with her brain as she second guessed every word and action of the woman she loved so dearly.
They discussed work and Kate didn’t feel like anything was wrong, it was just sometimes a look would cross Joan’s face, or her comment about a situation would be completely unexpected, and sometimes it was a reaction that was slightly off kilter. Kate had always known there was an emotional void, a disturbance in the line, but she wasn’t seeing anything that could be construed as psychopathic. The word echoed in her brain like a taboo, like a voodoo curse that she was just waiting to see appear like magic.
She silently evaluated her lovers’ reactions for weeks and nothing stood out as extraordinary. Joan was just Joan, sometimes emotionally inept, sometimes callous or insensitive, and occasionally self centred, but not psychopathic. Not as far as Kate could tell at least.
They had just finished a meal, Joan was clearing the table and Kate was stacking the dishwasher when Joan’s phone chirped an odd ringtone from the hallway table. Joan’s body language immediately changed, she went rigid as though snap frozen. It took her a moment to recover and she moved quickly to answer.
“Speak. What, now? Ludicrous. This is utterly shameful of them.” Her voice was harsh and cold as she snapped at the person on the other end.
Kate tried her best to look as though she was listening to the music playing in the background, but she couldn’t help but overhear the very short outbursts from the side of the conversation that was happening in the same room as her. She wondered what had happened now; the drama of prison life never seemed to end. Or perhaps it was just Joan; maybe she brought all these things on herself because of the way she was.
Joan’s face was white when she hung up the phone. Her knuckles were clenched so tight around the device Kate thought it might shatter in her hand. For a few seconds she stood stock still beside the hallway table, breathing heavily and trying to keep a grip of herself as pure rage coursed through her body.
“Joan,” Kate called across the room in hopes of breaking her lover from her angry reverie. “Is everything okay?”
The movements were controlled; every step a gargantuan effort to remain composed as Joan walked to the opposite side of the bench to where Kate was standing and placed her phone down gently on the bench top. A vein throbbed in her neck right near the collar line of the silky black top and a facial tick hitched the muscles around her left eye without any understanding of time.
Kate was instantly afraid simply by the look of pure anger on Joan’s face. The first thing that entered her mind was that Joan had found out about her meeting with the psychologist. Kate swallowed hard and tried her best not to look guilty as Joan’s black eyes burned holes into her own. “What’s wrong?” her words came out in a tight whisper.
“The board are in an emergency meeting right now.” Joan’s words carried a tone of deadly venom as they cut through the air low and sharp. She held eye contact with Kate simply to prevent herself from flying off the handle, Kate was her grounding and she needed her right now, but she also needed to vent the frustrations out that had suddenly built up inside her. There was a fury just begging to be let loose, people needed to pay for this and she wanted to exact vengeance.
“A meeting? About what?”
“What do you mean love?” Kate figured playing dumb was the best option right now as she placed the tea towel down on the bench top and leant forward with her forearms on the cold stone bench between them, giving Joan her complete attention.
Joan’s hands were pressed against the granite bench top so hard her veins were popping in her hands and wrists, matching the one in her neck. “A prisoner has reported me to the ombudsman for allegations of mental and physical abuse.”
Kate’s mouth dropped open and she covered it with her hands, she instantly felt sick and she wondered if the allegations were true. Her concern was genuine but she also felt a sinking sense of dread. Her first instinct was to pull back and complete the conversation from a safer distance, but she knew Joan would instantly read the move as one of belief in the allegation, and so Kate held her ground close to her lover. “What does this mean?”
“There will be a preliminary hearing to collect information regarding the allegations. I will then have the opportunity to defend myself against them at the formal hearing.”
“When will this happen?”
“Soon probably, within the next few days. I will have to prepare myself and there may be some late nights. Unfortunately allegations like these leave a lingering scent behind them, even when they are proven false. I’ll be fighting an uphill battle for a long time when this is over.” Joan knew that even when this blew over she would be constantly scrutinized and it would be even harder for her to control the women and her staff.
Something suddenly clicked in Kate’s head and she wondered if she would get the truthful answer if she asked the question correctly, knowing that Joan was possibly slightly susceptible right now after the blow of information just received. It would have to be short, and play into Joan’s ego, it would have to come from a position of love, devotion and complete acceptance of who Joan was. “Which prisoner is doing this to you?” She hoped she was wrong as her voice whispered through the air in a way that made her sound like she was she was shocked to her core.
Joan’s body language changed, her eyes lost their intensity and she let go of the bench top as something flicked inside her head and everything suddenly seemed to loosen. “None you know about.” She forced a smile that didn’t reach her eyes and Kate saw through the disguise instantly, she had gotten good at picking it now. “Never mind, they won’t have anything concrete enough to call evidence because there was no such abuse and this will all be over soon enough.”
Diversionary tactics, Kate saw the signs and knew she was being lied to. She watched Joan walk over to the open bi-fold doors and stand on the square deck as she took a few deep breaths of night time air. She was calming herself, cleansing the emotional trauma she had just felt and was reinstating her reigns of control. The moonlight sparkled off the gray strands in her black hair as she stretched her arms out to the sides and allowed the tension to ease from her body. He knew Kate would walk right out the door and never see her again if she knew the truth, so she forced herself to reach calmness again.
Kate made a mental note to do some digging regarding this hearing and see what she could find, she was sure the psychologist would give her almost any information she was after. Figuring it was best right now to leave Joan to calm herself Kate returned to the stacking of the dishwasher.
A second later she felt strong hands around her waist pulling her backwards and before she knew it Joan had pinned her to the floor and was ravishing her neck.
They made wild love right there on the kitchen floor. Joan was detached in the beginning, merely going through the motions to regain control of the situation, it was how she knew she could subdue Kate and pull her off the scent of what had just been aired.
Kate moaned with every rolling orgasm, despite the fact she knew Joan was trying desperately to make her forget what had just happened. The dig of nails, the scrape of teeth on skin, the anger in the intimacy made Kate’s heart thump even harder in her chest as a tiny hint of fear chased the pleasure coursing through her veins.
Joan gave in and let loose, taking her anger out on the younger woman beneath her on the wooden floor boards. She stopped holding back and made sure Kate felt every ounce of the rage she was feeling, she was seeking vengeance and she decided to take out her frustrations on the woman she loved. Kate wanted her to be more emotionally open, well here it was. Raw and real. Joan savaged her lover with everything she had until they were both spent.
Naked and sweaty they both caught their breath lying on the floor in each other’s arms as the down lights shone bright white light into their eyes.
“You’re angry,” Kate panted as she felt the after effects of Joan’s rage as the raw scrapes on her skin started to sting with the drop in her dopamine levels. She turned her head on the floor and looked at her lover’s profile, the sweat making her skin sparkle a dewy cream in the light bouncing off the kitchen walls and cupboards.
“You’re damn right I am.” Joan’s voice was her normal low tone once more; it had lost the venom now that she had physically exerted the emotion. “If I had a strap on I’d fuck you til you bleed.”
Kate’s head spun and her stomach flipped; if Joan had have been looking at her she knew instantly that her eyes would have betrayed the shock of what she’d just heard. Never had she heard something so vulgar from Joan’s mouth. It was a turn on and a red flag all at once. “Are you going to put those black leather gloves on and spank me too?”
It was Joan’s turn to spin and flip. A sly smile turned up the corner of her lips and she moved her head to look at Kate, they were only a few inches apart on the floor, their hair tangled together as they sprawled out to cool down. Kate’s bright green eyes sparkled with excitement that must have been reflected in her own eyes at that moment. “Only if you call me daddy.”
“What if I call you Governor, and I let you do anything you want to me.”
Both women found each other within a second, and the exhaustion that they were both feeling only a moment before was suddenly replaced with a new found desperation of lust.
It was in that moment Joan knew she was ridiculously in love; and that it was completely reciprocated.