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A/N: The song lyrics at the beginning of the chapter are from the movie Cry Baby
CHAPTER 1: Taking Charge
Please Mr. Jailer
Won’t you let my man go free
He don’t belong in prison
But is guilty as can be
But the only crime he’s guilty of is
Simply loving me.
“Ms. Summers! Over here!”
Buffy turned to face the middle-age, British man approaching her. He had a warm smile and his hand was extended to shake hers in welcome. She returned the smile, and, struggling with the box she was holding, managed to take the offered hand.
“It is so nice to finally get to meet you. I heard great things about you Ms. Summers. It really is an honor…”
Buffy smiled wider at how flustered the man was getting. “Nice to meet you… uh…?”
“Oh, pardon my rudeness. I’m Rupert Giles. But please call me Giles. That’s what everybody calls me around here. I’m the head of security.”
“Well it’s really nice to meet you Giles. I’m sure we’ll have a good time working together. And please, don’t let my looks fool you. I might look twenty, but I’m actually forty five. I have a good plastic surgeon.” She tried to joke goodheartedly.
Giles laughed. “Do people give you a hard time regarding your age?”
“Well, lets put it this way. A twenty-six year old, five feet two, very petite blonde, doesn’t exactly strike fear in people’s hearts. But you’d be surprised. I actually started working at the L.A. county prison part-time at the age of 17. It was my mother’s idea. She thought working in prison would put the fear of God in her rebellious teenage daughter and keep her out of trouble. I had a bad habit of getting myself into fights and other minor stuff like smoking pot and shoplifting bras.”
Giles chuckled at that. He took the box she was holding and they started walking towards her new office.
“So anyway. I started working there part-time, and it did more than put me back on the right track; it gave me a career. I got my masters degree in criminology and was so passionate by it that I graduated first of my class. So yeah, twenty-six is young for a prison warden, but I’ve been doing this for almost ten years. I guess it counts. Plus--to be quite honest with you Giles--nobody wanted this position.”
“Hum.. Yes. I can’t say that I am surprised to hear this.” Giles said, taking a seat in the big comfy leather chair facing Buffy.
She leaned forward, her forearms resting on her luxurious mahogany desk. She was really curious to find out why such a prestigious position had been left wide open for so long. Not that the answer would make her change her mind about taking the position. She was just a very curious girl. Always had been. “And why is this?”
“Nothing you should worry yourself with. I am sure you will do just fine here Ms. Summers.”
“First, please call me Buffy when we’re not around the prisoners. And don’t worry, you won’t scare me away. I’m just curious as to why exactly nobody wanted to be assigned to Sunnydale. It seems to be a nice, quiet little town.”
“Really, it’s just a string of bad events related to the wardens that worked here at one point or another. One was corrupted, the other one uh… hung himself. And two also, well… they got killed. Not in this office.” He added quickly, not wanting to spook the young woman. “There is always a lot of action in this prison. Bad bloods, if I may say so. But I have a good feeling about you, Buffy. I think you’ll do a great job here. And I will help you the best I can. I’ve been hoping to see things change around here for a long time.”
“They will. I’ll make sure of that.” Buffy smiled.
Giles got up. “I better go back to work. If you need anything at all, you can call me and I’ll be there. When are you starting work?”
“First thing tomorrow morning. I’ll make my little speech after breakfast in the cafeteria.”
“Alright then. I’ll make sure everybody is there.”
She watched as Giles exited her office.
**Well, that will be at least one ally in the place.** she thought sourly, remembering the way the security guards at the main entrance had snickered when she introduced herself earlier.
Making a reputation for herself would be hard. She knew she’d not only have to break in the prisoners, but her employees as well. The next day, and the following weeks, would be crucial. She could show no weakness, or it would be the end. Her plan was to be hard on them at first so they would know who they were dealing with and that she wouldn’t take any bullshit from them, then soften up a bit later on. After ten years working in jail, you have no choice but to understand a few things about psychology.
Buffy gathered a few piles of papers and files that were scattered all over her desk, and settled down on the leather couch by the window. She wanted to look through the files of some of the disruptive convicts that were pointed out to her. She didn't want any surprises and preferred to be well prepared.
After hours of going through page after page of typical prison bad behavior, she decided that she’d better go home, practice what she would say the next day, and try to catch some sleep.
Standing by the big window in her office the next morning, the blonde woman looked down at herself for what felt like the thousandth time in the past hour.
**This is completely wrong** she thought once more while looking at the outfit she had chosen in a moment of pure panic, mere moments before she had to leave the house. She pulled at her light green silk shirt, then straightened it. She did the two first buttons, then undid them again. Flattened an imaginary wrinkle on her dark gray jacket, and finally let out a frustrated sigh. Alright, she could at least admit it to herself: she was nervous. Fidgeting with her clothes was usually a good sign of it.
“Geez girl, get a grip!” she said out loud to herself.
“Am I interrupting something?”
Startled, Buffy turned to face the new comer. “Oh, Giles! Good morning. Please come in. You were only interrupting an insecurity crisis. Nothing important.” She tried to laugh, but it sounded a little fake.
Giles took a look at the beautiful young woman standing by the window. She had done her long blonde hair up in a severe twist and was wearing black framed glasses, but it did nothing to hide her sensuality and natural beauty. She was simply stunning. He briefly wondered why would such a vibrant young woman want to work in a prison.
“You certainly look good for someone who is going to give a speech to convicts Buffy…”
“See! I knew it! It’s too sexy isn’t it? Not enough ‘I’m the boss here; I’m gonna kick your ass if you don’t respect me’. I should have gone for the turtleneck instead of that stupid shirt. If I hadn’t left the house in such a hurry… Or.. or just jeans and some good old solid boots. Stilettos!? What was I thinking? I’ll postpone the…”
“Buffy! Please, stop. That’s not what I meant. What you’re wearing is perfect. Besides, we both know you would get the same reaction no matter what you’re wearing.”
“Yeah. Cheers, laughs and crude remarks. I’m expecting that, don’t worry.”
They were interrupted by the crackling sound of Giles’ two-way radio.
“Excuse me for a moment would you.”
He answered the call.
“Giles here. Over.”
“Giles, we have a problem in the cafeteria. A fight got out of control. We need you here as soon as possible. Over.”
“I’m on my way. Over.”
He turned to Buffy who was waiting for an explanation. “What’s going on?”
“There seems to be a bit of trouble in the cafeteria. I’ll go check on it.”
“I’ll come with you.”
“No… stay here. It’s our job to get in the middle of these fights. I’ll contact you if it gets too out of control, and let you know if anybody was injured.”
“Fine. And bring whoever is responsible for starting that riot straight to my office. I’m sensing my first act of discipline coming on. I’m going to make a big show out of it; set an example.”
Giles nodded and rushed out of the office.
Buffy paced her office for almost an hour waiting for Giles to come back with the troublemakers. She was starting to have a bad feeling about taking this job. Maybe it was doomed. Rule number one: never accept what nobody else wants. But no. She had to be stubborn and take the damn job even if she knew that something was fishy.
**Yep, that’s me alright… always a sucker for a good challenge**
She shook her head; she was getting increasingly bitter and that was not like her. This was supposed to be her dream job. She wasn’t supposed to get discouraged after only a few hours. And besides, even if it had been a bad idea to accept the job, it couldn’t be all bad… something good had to come out of it eventually…
Someone knocked at the door.
Giles walked in. “The situation is under control. Everybody is back in their cells. The guy who started the fight is at the infirmary being treated for his injuries. He isn’t in good shape, but he’ll live.”
“What’s the name?”
“Parker. Parker Abrams.”
“What about the other guy? He wasn’t fighting alone, was he?”
“One of the guards is waiting with him outside. But really, Buffy, it’s a waste of time.”
She went to lean on her desk and crossed her arms protectively over her chest. “And why’s that exactly? I assure you, Giles, that I’m perfectly capable of scaring a con if I want to.”
“I’m sure you can, Buffy, but this one is special. William Rayne. You won’t get anything out of him. He isn’t the easiest bloke to talk to. And any punishment you will throw at him he will actually enjoy. Send him to the hole for a week, he’ll see it as a vacation. Make him reorganize the entire library, he’ll be happy like a little boy on Christmas morning. Everything is fine by him as long as he’s far away from the other guys. I just thought I’d warn you because nobody has successfully punished him since he’s been here.”
“Giles. Just bring him in would you? I think I can manage on my own.” She didn’t mean to snap at him, but she was getting annoyed. One of the touchiest topics for Buffy Summers had always been her competence. She was quite capable of doing her job, and didn’t like people to question it. Even when they were just trying to help.
“All right then. If you… wish to waste your time.” Giles said stiffly before walking out. He came back with another guard and the prisoner who had his hands handcuffed in front of him.
He was a bit shorter than the two men escorting him but he still somehow seemed imposing. Maybe the way he walked, or the way he stood. But Buffy couldn’t see his face--his eyes never left the ground. All she could see was the top of his bleached blonde head.
She motioned for the guards to make him sit in the leather chair, then waited for them to leave the room. When she realized that they intended to stay there, she finally opened her mouth.
“Mr. Rayne and I have to talk… in private please.”
Giles didn’t seem to approve, but he followed the other guard anyway. “We’ll be right outside the door if you need us Ms. Summers.”
“Thank you Giles. But I’m sure it won’t be necessary.”
She waited until he shut the door, then moved from the spot where she was standing to sit on the desk in front of William. He was still looking down. A few strands of bleached hair were falling in front of his face, hiding him further from her. She could see some dried blood in it. But except for that, he seemed fine. So she crossed her arms over her chest and decided to wait in silence for a little while, to see if he’d eventually look up.
His eyes moved slowly. They lingered on the sexy shoes for a while before moving up to admire the long, slim legs covered in tailored gray pants. His curiosity got the best of him and he peeked through the hair that was hiding his eyes.
What he saw was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
What Buffy saw was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
They both remained silent, but this time, it was in shock.
After fighting to regain control of her breathing, and make sure that her voice wouldn’t sound too squeaky, Buffy finally spoke.
“So, William, I…”
“It’s Spike, pet. William died the day he was falsely accused of something he didn’t do.”
Chapter 2: What are bestfriends for?
A/N: I'm having so much fun writing this story, I hope you guys have just as much fun reading it. If you do enjoy it, let me know. What? I'm a very insecure girl... I need reassurance lol