First of all, I wanted to thank everyone who's been following this story, marked it as favourite or left a review (whether that was once or on every chapter) THANK YOU SO MUCH, really means a lot to me. I also want to say thank you for sticking around, this fic was supposed to be finished more than 6 weeks ago but I guess you all know where my inspiration went after the start of this season, so it's been slow. BUT IT IS DONE. YES. This is the LAST CHAPTER (but it's extra long) and I'm actually very emotional about the fact that this came to an end (something that hasn't happened since wrapping up Learn to love again).. so I really really hope you'll enjoy this chapter and I would LOVE to know your thoughts, so shoot me a review. Enjoy and hope to see you at my other fics again. XX - M
CHAPTER 10: CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
"What?" The managing partner mutters in an instant, his eyes closing along with the words. He's trying to wrap his brain around what the other man is telling him.
"I already set a date for an interview," Louis repeats. "With you."
Harvey lets out a sigh, the hand pinching the bridge of his nose now dropping to his side. "I heard you," he answers flatly. "I just… How?"
"You were already in Chicago, I couldn't reach you so I made a decision," Louis explains to Harvey who's slowly starting to digest the news. "I cc'd you on the email," Louis continues now. "Didn't you get it?"
He frowns now, repeating the lawyer's words in his mind. He slowly reaches for the phone from the pocket of his pants, unlocking it to open his mail. Scrolling through the messages he spots it now, the one from the man opposite of him regarding the hiring of a COO. His mouth drops and he swallows thickly. "Louis."
The lawyer presses his lips together at the pleading tone the managing partner uses and he takes in the look on the man's face that comes along with it. "Harvey," Louis starts with a slow shake of his head. "I can't go back on this. At least meet the woman."
His jaw clenches and he stuffs his phone back into the pocket of his suit pants. He really doesn't want to give in, but he also knows he has no other option than to do so. "Ok," he sighs then. "Fine."
Rachel shifts over the light blue couch, reaches for a piece of sushi roll with her chopsticks and brings it to her lips. She hums in appreciation, her eyes closing as she enjoys the food the two of them picked up on their way to the redhead's apartment. "Mmm," she mumbles then, eyeing her friend. "It's too late to change the catering, right?"
Donna laughs and shakes her head as she watches her friend and she reaches for her glass of wine. "I think you know the answer to that," she counters with a bob of her head, now taking a sip from her glass.
"I know. I do," the young lawyer answers with a sigh as she digs in for another piece of sashimi from the plate on the coffee table. She eyes the salmon for a moment before she looks back up at Donna. "Besides got to keep the groom happy."
The redhead laughs at that. "I thought Mike liked sushi?"
"He does," Rachel admits in between bites and she places her chopsticks down on the napkin in order to reach for her glass of wine. "It's just," she pauses pulling her leg up on the couch as she leans against the backrest. "He's like my dad in that. Sometimes I wish he had a more refined palette, I don't know. Like Harvey."
Donna bites her tongue now, not missing the look her friend gives her. "Very subtle, Rach," she whispers, downing the remainder of wine from her glass.
"I don't know what you're talking about."
The redhead raises one perfectly sculptured eyebrow and gives the younger woman a pointed look before leaning forward and refilling both their glasses by emptying the bottle of wine. Her gaze now remaining on the bridal magazines scattered over the table, she just waits for her friend to make the comments she knows are coming.
"Ooh come on," Rachel whines now, taking her refilled glass from the redhead's hand. "You haven't said a thing about it all since Saturday night," she counters, poking Donna's knee with her index finger.
Donna's gaze flickers to her friend for the briefest of moments, her shoulders shrugging once. She moves to sit back on the couch herself. "What do you want me to say?" she counters, still not fully answering the questions she knows the brunette has, but the soft smile on her lips already giving most of her answers away. She's just not used to being the one that has to answer the questions.
Rachel crooks her head, her forehead creases and she shakes her head for a second at the way her friend acts. "I just want to know if you're happy."
She bobs her head up and down, biting her lip to stop herself from smiling but she can't. "I am," she answers truthfully, now bringing her glass back to her lips. She takes another sip ans smiles into her glass. "I really am."
The brunette beams in return, raising her glass in a toast she lets in cling against Donna's. "I'll toast to that," she adds giving her friend a smile. "Donna," she continues after another sip of wine. "What's going to happen at work now?"
Donna's eyes flicker up upon hearing that question, her gaze locking in on the brown eyes of the younger woman. "What do you mean?" she asks unsure.
"Mike told me you might leave the firm."
"Well, I'm not." She shrugs in a beat, now pressing her lips together in a thin line she thinks she never planned on doing that. She twists on her spot, looks ahead to point on the wall in the distance and she swallows once. "But I am leaving Harvey," she clarifies, for the first time pronouncing the words out loud since she mentioned to him that she wanted more. She exhales once more, now turning back to look at Rachel she can't help but notice questions written in her friend's eyes and she continues with her explanation. "I'm going to work in HR."
Rachel takes the time to go over the redhead's words and their meaning. The position very fitting for the woman sitting right next to her, she knows the redhead would excel at it. Knows that Donna excels at everything she does and she also knows it is basically just comes down to giving her the recognition and title for the work Donna has been doing for years already, but she has her friend's best interest at heart and she can't help but ask. "Are you staying for him?"
Donna already shakes her head before Rachel has fully pronounced her question. "No," she whispers looking at her friend again. "He's part of the reason I'm staying, but I'm staying for me. I love it at the firm, you, Mike, Louis and Harvey. You're all family and like I told him I don't want to leave that behind. But instead of being just a secretary I get to do something else, something I'm good at. What I want," she recalls the words she spoke before. "And I get my own office."
Rachel chuckles at the way Donna added that last line, the glistering in the redhead's eyes in that very moment and she smiles brightly now. "I just wanted to make sure," she explains with a raise of her glass again, she brings it to toast with Donna's once more. "Congratulations. I'm really happy for you."
A buzzing sound coming from the dining room table prevents Donna from answering as she quickly leans forward to place her glass back on the small table in front of them. "Sorry," she excuses herself, getting up from the couch she tiptoes her way around it and scoops her phone from table. "It's my mom."
Rachel waves with her hand, motioning for the redhead to answer the call. She turns back on her seat, placing her wineglass on the table. She decides to make herself useful in the meantime and stacks the dirty plates and empty water glasses onto each other. Rounding the couch herself, she smiles at her friend who fakes an eye-roll at whatever it is her mother is telling her. She makes her way to the kitchen now and places the dishes into the sink.
Waiting for the sink to fill with warm water, Rachel uses the moment to observe the small kitchen of her friend. Her gaze automatically landing on the bouquet of flowers at the dresser she had already seen upon arrival. Her lips curl up in a soft smile, fairly certain the arrangement of flowers in question was Harvey's doing. Even though she had no doubts on the matter, Harvey always having been there for her friend, it's still reassuring to see that he's treating her friend the way she deserves.
She shuffles on her spot, reaching around to close the tab and clean the plates. Placing them on the drainer to dry, she reaches for a towel to wipe her hands clean. A post-it note on the fridge now catching her attention, the handwriting it's covered with in particular. It undeniably her boss's and she grins enthusiastically at the written content.
No wedding in Vegas
Lifting the yellow piece of paper from the door, she carries the object back to the living room. Holding it up for the redhead to see as she places herself down on the couch next to her friend again.
Ending the call with her mother, Donna places her phone back on the table and turns around to return her attention to her friend. Her eyes land on the two by two inch paper and more specifically his words in the movement and she bites her tongue now, already feeling the brunette's gaze narrow in on her.
"It's all very new?"
"What? It is…"
Rachel challenges the other woman's statement with an amused but pointed look. Wiggling the post-it note in front of the redhead's face, she now repeats the words written down on it. "No wedding in Vegas! Don.."
The redhead shrugs it off, reaches forward and snatches the piece of paper from her friend's hand. Her gaze automatically lowering to look at the words again when it's in her own hands. "This… It's just a joke."
Rachel shake her head, not buying the way Donna brushes this off but before she can comment the redhead continues.
"This morning," she mumbles now, a soft chuckle escaping her lips and she looks down when she feels a blush creep up her cheeks. "I Uhm… I told him it only really hit me this morning, that we're actually doing this. That we're together now," she explains with a smile. "That it's not what happens -"
"In Vegas, stays in Vegas," Rachel fills in the rest of the sentence.
"Exactly," Donna replies, leaning forward to reach for her glass of wine again she carefully places the post-it note on the surface in front of her. "Anyway," she continues, moving the glass from one hand to the other. "That's when he said that it wouldn't have stayed in Vegas if we'd been there instead of Chicago, but that we might have come back hitched and I told him I don't want to get married in Vegas."
The young lawyer stares at her friend now, her eyes wide and her mouth almost left agape, feeling like Donna doesn't even realise the sincerity of what she just explained to her and what it really means. "Don," Rachel speaks now. "He wants to marry you."
"Who wouldn't," the redhead instinctively fires back, before she can really register Rachel's words and what it is that her friend is trying to tell her. Her mind soon catching up on the conversation, she swallows now falling silent. Her eyes widening herself and she speechlessly stares back at the brunette for a moment. "Oh my god."
Rachel squeals now, clapping her hands in excitement prior to lunging forward to embrace her friend in a big hug. Squealing again, she moves back and her hands land on Donna's shoulders. Shaking her around for a moment as both of them are just lost for words. "I know he hasn't asked you yet," Rachel comments now moving back to her spot on the couch and the words are instantly followed by a look from Donna. "And you haven't said yes and everything…" the brunette brushes that of with a wave of her hand. "But yes I'll be your maid of honour."
Donna laughs softly at the way Rachel is now using her own tactic on her. "Ok let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we. He hasn't proposed," she counters now, trying to reason with the wedding enthusiastic opposite of her. "We literally got together four days ago," she continues rationally. "It's that you were there otherwise you wouldn't even have known we are together yet and most importantly, he used to joke about us being married all the time back in the day."
Rachel crooks her head, holding back a sigh at her friend being the rational one. The over-thinker, the questioner. "Donna," she calls for the redhead's attention now. "Would he joke about it now? With you two being together?"
The redhead slowly shakes her head at those words, there's a difference between casually bringing it up now vs the banter back in the day. The very last time this came up just after Mike joined the firm and that was years ago. Deep down she knows that this isn't that, this is different. This is the conversation they had back in Chicago. The rest of our lives. The whole shebang.
Rachel's lips twitch back into a grin as she watches her friend take it all in, the silence and the emotions rushing over her face enough for her to know that she was right. "He still mentioned it."
He moves through his apartment, rounding the kitchen island he reaches for a glass from one of the cabinets and fills it up with water. Taking a sip, he looks around his apartment. It's his first real night back at the place and it already doesn't feel the way it did before he left the city. His gaze lands on the little cactus at the end of the counter and he remembers the time she brought that over. How she told him his place needed life. At the time he had rolled his eyes at her comment, but deep down he had already known that statement to be true.
Ever since that day and especially the last couple of months he had looked at his apartment and considered it empty. Empty in a way that can't be fixed with furniture and for months he had dreamt of her being here. Of him sharing this with her and he now considers his words of earlier that day a lie. He can't even survive one night without her, but he will if it's what makes her happy.
He finds himself wandering through the open space with his phone in his hand. A text message to her already opened, he looks down at the screen and finally types the only thing on his mind.
Wish you were here. Goodnight, I love you – x
Rachel shifts forward over the couch, letting her feet fall back to the floor again she now searches through the bridal magazines on the table. There really not being any need for her to go through those anymore as most of her wedding is already planned, but it's part of the evenings she set with Donna. Moving another magazine to the left a buzzing sound catches her intention and her gaze instantly lands on the redhead's phone.
She didn't mean to look, but it happened. The screen illuminated and with the notification in clear sight she reads a part of her boss' text. Her lips curling up into a bright smile at the 'I love you' and she feels incredibly happy for her friend. Sliding back on the couch now, she leans against the backrest and turns to look in the direction of the kitchen. "Donna," she calls the redhead. "Leave the wine."
Donna pops her head out of the other room now, a still closed bottle of wine and opener in her hands. She gives the brunette a questioning look, making her way over to the couch.
Rachel turns back to reach for the redhead's phone, holding it up she takes the bottle and opener from Donna's hand. Not saying a word as they now exchange objects, she turns back around and notices the smile tugging on her friend's lips and the glister appearing in her eyes when she checks the message. "I'm going to head home," Rachel tells her. "Looks like you have somewhere else to be too."
Donna lifts her gaze from the screen in her hand back up to her friend. "Rach, you don't have –"
Her sentence interrupted when Rachel steps closer and gives her another hug as a form of saying goodnight. "Go."
Harvey shifts over the mattress to the middle of the bed. The covers feel cold and the headboard is hard against his back. He's not even sure why he's going over the documents in this particular place but he figures it having to do something with his inability to sleep. It's too early to sleep anyway, but every time his focus falls on the empty spot next to him he distracts himself with work. His concentration far from being optimal, he finds himself staring at the ceiling more often than he's willing to admit.
He flips over another page, gaze scanning the paragraphs but the little information he did take away from the file in front of him long forgotten at a knocking sound coming from his living room. His head turns to look to the right, momentarily wondering if the sound was a fabrication of his imagination. Anything to distract him from the task at hand but another knock follows and he smiles now. Dropping the papers on his left he pushes the cover aside and hurries himself out of bed.
Grin spreading wider over his face with every step he nears the door, already knows it can only be her at this hour. Letting out one last breath, he stalls in place and opens the door to her.
She jumps up from leaning against the wall at the first turn of the lock, an irrational wave of nerves rushing over her, her hands fidget with the handle of the overnight bag she brought along. It doesn't take long for the door to open and her view to chance from the white door to his face. Her eyes instantly locking with his.
She rocks back and forth on her spot, whispering the same greeting in return and maybe for the first time ever instead of just marching inside his place she stands there for a moment. Just taking in the man she now gets to call hers, clad in grey sweatpants and a fitting black t-shirt.
"Hey," she mumbles for the second time, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth. Her gaze flickers back up over his frame to meet his eyes, a sly smile now gracing her lips.
He quirks an eyebrow at her reaction, it only matching the playful smirk he flashes her and he thinks he'll have to get used to seeing the redhead look at him like this. So flustered. He steps aside when he realises she's actually waiting for him to do something, opening the door a bit further he speaks then. "I take you're here because of the wedding planning?"
Donna's gaze darts up again.
He notices the slightest hint of confusion in her eyes and he grins at the fact that for once he caught her off guard. He adds to his tease. "You know to check something out? Measure something?"
She catches up on his reference at last and a soft chuckle escapes her as she moves inside of his penthouse apartment. "Well," she muses staying close to him. "I could do some measurements tomorrow morning but that wouldn't have anything to do with wedding planning."
He swallows now, visibly taken off guard by her remark and he only snaps out of his momentary daze when he hears the clicking of her heels on his wooden floor. His gaze landing on the redhead, he watches her make her way through his apartment like all the other times she did before.
When she looks over her shoulder in his direction and winks at him, his body finally comes back into movement. Closing the front door, he now follows his girlfriend through the living room and straight towards his bedroom. He lingers in the door opening, watching her dump her bag on his bed and move to undo her coat.
He takes two big strides to get closer to her, one hand moving to her waist he turns her just a little so she's facing him and he helps her bring the heavy fabric of her trench coat over her shoulders. "Look who can't survive a night without the other now," he teases her taking the coat in his hands as he steps around her. His lips near her ear. "Not that I'm complaining."
She chuckles and shakes her head, eyes closing at the tickling sensation of his warm breath against her neck. "No mister Specter," she declares, turning her head ever so slightly to the right to look at him. "I can survive a night without you," she continues, giving him a devilish smile that shortly turns softer after his fake pout. "I just don't want to."
"Good," he whispers pressing a kiss on her neck behind her ear, stepping aside now he moves her coat to his other arm and speeds towards the lounger to hang it over the backrest. He wanders back to the duvet, leaning over it to assemble the files he'd been reading earlier. He glances to his right, watching her step out of her heels near the cabinet. He sees her bring her hands to the button of her jeans, undoing the fly and he catches himself outright staring when she wiggles herself out of her jeans. Placing the stack of files on the nightstand he rounds the bed and sits down on the foot-end of the bed next to her overnight bag.
Pulling her sweater over her head, she folds the knitted fabric and places it down on the bed. Now briefly looking up at him from under her lashes, she tries to ignore the big brown puppy eyes staring at her, she redirects her focus on her bag. Opening it up, she rummages through the contents. "Shit."
He frowns, hands pressing down on the duvet on either side of his legs. His head tilting to look up at the redhead. "What?"
"I forgot my pyjama's."
He thinks for a moment, wondering if she did and if she did if it was on purpose, his lips twitching up in a smile at the thought. He pushes her bag aside and shifts a little over the bed to sit right in front of her. His hands finding their place on her hips again. "Well, it's not like you have to wear anything."
Her eyes close and a soft laugh escapes her lips. "Says the one in sweatpants and a t-shirt."
"I can take them off."
She snickers at the sparkle in his eyes that came with his statement. Letting her hands slip through his hair, she messes it up and brings her hands to his shoulders. "You should," she replies, pulling on the fabric. Lifting the edge of his shirt, fingers momentarily brushing over his bare chest while he lifts his arms and helps her remove the piece of clothing. "So I can wear it," she pulls it out of his grasp before he gets the chance to toss it aside.
His arms drops in defeat, hands resting on her hips again and he brings her closer. Lips now placing a kiss on her stomach. "Wait a second," he whispers, pressing another kiss against her skin before he gets up, grabbing her bag in the movement and he saunters back to the cabinet. Placing her bag on top of it, he opens the second drawer and he searches through some t-shirts. Fishing out an old Harvard shirt at last and he hands it to her.
She only questions his actions when she starts the unfold the t-shirt he just handed her. It definitely being smaller than any of his regular shirts and her face starts to fall into a frown. A motion that doesn't go unnoticed by him, resulting in him stepping closer to her.
"It's mine," he reassures her, bringing his right index finger to her chin, lifting it so he can look her in the eye because he knows her well enough to realise to which dark thoughts her pretty little mind is able to wander.
"I've known you for over a decade no way you ever fit in this."
He smiles now, bringing his hands back to her waist. "Okay, listen," he tells her. "I got that shirt when I went to Harvard and you know in which circumstances I left home." She hums as he starts to pry the t-shirt he just handed her back. "So that also meant that, yes, for the very first time in my life I had to do my own laundry."
She chuckles once at the look on his face.
"And I ended up with an entire bag of t-shirts about this size." He lifts it now, bringing the fabric back over her head, he helps her put it on.
"Why did you keep it?" she asks as he removes her hair from under the shirt and lets it hang down her shoulders, his hands moving to her sides. He pulls softly on the fabric to make it come down to her hips and he smiles at how perfectly it fits.
"Because my dad got it for me."
Her lips part, a comment lacking she leans forward instead. Lifting herself on her toes, she presses a kiss against his lips. "I love you."
His answer results in a playful push against his chest and he falls back, sitting on the edge of the bed like a few minutes ago. His hands pulling her along with him in the movement as his back now hits the duvet. She giggles and her own hands fall on either side of his head trying to brace her fall. He wraps his arms around her waist holding her close as she falls to the side.
"Ooh." She mutters in surprise when her frame comes down on his bed and in some way this wasn't what she expected at all. Not that her thoughts had ever wandered to the exact feeling of his mattress. If and only if not when, and she's not saying her mind ever did go there, but if it did it, far more interesting things would occupy her mind.
He glances at her in surprise, turning on his side to get a better look at her.
"Your mattress is hard. I didn't… I -"
"It's new," he answers then offering her a smile and when he sees the questions starting to form in her eyes he explains. "Got it a few weeks ago, still needs to be broken in."
Her lips curl up in a smile, she had no way of knowing he did this or that she even wanted this to be done, but this one silly fact made her stomach flutter. "Well," she rolls on her stomach, her body now half draped over his and she lets her hand trace muscles over his torso. "I guess that means we have to stay in your bed a lot."
He runs his hand along her arm, blindly tracing lines between the freckles on her skin. His eyes haven't left her since the moment she crawled under the white sheets of his bed. Reality a million times better than any of his dreams about her, he presses a kiss against her cheek and he can feel her smile before she turns her head to look at him again. Fingers trailing down to reach for her hand, he holds it as he speaks. "I talked to Louis this afternoon."
She hums, tilts her head a little waiting for him to continue.
"About you taking on the HR department and he's on board, there's just one little thing. It really is nothing, that position is yours."
"What?" she whispers.
"When we were in Chicago someone applied for the position of COO," he answers seeing her swallow a little. "Which is kind of remarkable since we didn't make any job offers public yet but the thing is, Louis already agreed to a meeting. But you don't have to worry because I -"
"No," she whispers and he's the one to frown now. "No you're not going to cancel that meeting upfront and give the position to me."
She shakes her head once more and gives him a knowing look. "You're going to go to that meeting. Give the woman an honest chance and if anything... I might work for her."
He looks at her, his lips pressed together in a thin line.
"Or I'll stay with you," she states the other option, her head crooking just a little to look him in the eye.
He lets out a breath. "Donna, that's not what you want," he whispers turning her hand over beneath his. "What about your rule."
She leans forward, giving him a quick kiss on his lips. "We're not the same people we were twelve years ago, Harvey. We could have both and make it work, we could but I do would like to do something else," she reasons. "Or at least give it a shot."
He smiles, pulling her closer and holding her in his arms as he whispers. "You'll get that job."
She pries one eye open at the sound of his alarm echoing through the room, it's so early the sunlight is barely creeping into the room at this hour. She can sense him roll over, seemingly stretch his arm to put an end to the noise now fully waking her up.
He rolls back on his back, his head turning to look to his left when she turns over inside his embrace. "Sorry," he apologises then for the ungodly hour on which his alarm went off. Even earlier than hers the day before.
She grins, snuggles closer to him. Her head resting on his shoulder and she moves her left hand over his chest in a lazy abstract pattern. "Who has an early alarm now?" she whispers pressing a kiss against his skin. "Do you take this long for your hair?"
He rolls his eyes and a guttural sound escapes his lips in the form of a laugh, voice still husky this early in the morning. He brings his arms around her and holds her in his embrace. "Actually," he starts, tilting his head to look at her. "I used to go for a run every Tuesday morning."
"You can go."
He chuckles. "And leave this bed with you? Nope not a chance."
She pushes herself up a little, hand patting against his chest. She slides her hand over his neck to his cheek, just holding his face for a moment while she looks at him. A soft sigh leaving her lips she leans forward and gives him a peck on his lips. "It's okay," she reassures him, bringing her hand back to his chest. She returns to a sitting position, a motion he follows, but he leans into her now.
"We both have our own rituals and things we do. You run, I do yoga," she reasons, her hands now back on his chest and her knee presses against his thigh. "We don't have to give up on that, we just need to learn to combine it. You go run," she orders almost pushing him out of his own bed.
His feet hit the ground and he comes to a stand, instantly turning around he faces her again. "Will you join me then?"
She sniggers now letting herself fall back on his bed and she stretches herself out over the mattress like a starfish. "Nope, this bed is all mine now."
He shakes his head, knee already sliding back over the duvet he uses his hands to crawl back towards her. Leaning back in, his lips brush against hers in a lazy kiss. "Or. We. Could. Do. An. Alternative. Workout," he mumbles in between kisses.
She grins at his plead, but shakes her head. Her hands falling back to his shoulders, she increases the distance between them. "If you hurry up, we can shower together when you come back."
"Ok," he gives in now, leaning forward one last time for another quick kiss, he pushes himself to stand and makes his way to the cabinet, followed by the bathroom. Returning in his running clothes he finds the redhead curled up on his side of the bed, hugging his pillow and her bare leg is wrapped around the sheet. The sight alone nearly enough to stop him from going out at all, but he also knows that she'd deny him that promise of a shower if he were to do so.
Hearing movement coming from the direction of the bathroom, she peers through her lashes of her half opened eyes. His frame coming in sight again, she watches him pull a tshirt over his head and she swallows now, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth. Clenching the pillow that still smells of him to her frame, she almost regrets pushing him to go for a run.
He catches her staring at him, but this time he doesn't comment. He lets her have the moment and focuses on his next task. Lifting his running shoes from the ground he makes his way back to the bed and sits down next to her to put on his shoes.
She can't help but let her hand move over his back as he leans forward, fingers slipping under the fabric of his shirt and over his exposed skin causing him to stiffen under her touch.
Her name is on the tip of his tongue, both a warning and a plead. He ties the last lace, sitting back up he turns his torso to face her. Now using his own hand to pry hers from his skin, he bites his lip to stop himself from smirking but the look on her face is far too amusing. He opts on not kissing her goodbye, sure he'll lose the last bit of restraint he still has if he did and he pushes himself back on his feet. "See you soon."
She catches him wink at her and her stomach flips at the sight of it. A shiver running all the way down her spine and settling into a burning sensation deep in the pit of her stomach. She can merely lift her hand from the duvet, waving him goodbye as he disappears from her sight. The sound of the front door falling shut making her swallow and she chuckles at her own behaviour. Her happiness, her need to be with him. Burrying her face in his pillow, she muffles a groan at the realisation that she has no clue as to how long his runs usually last.
Stretching her body once more, long legs now tangling in the sheets and her hands press against the headboard, she rolls out of his bed mere seconds later. The wooden floor cold against her bare feet, she wiggles her toes and lets out another yawn. Deciding to get some fresh air herself, she opens the door to his balcony and steps outside in just her panties and the shirt he gave her last night.
Eyeing the space she's never set foot inside, she stares at the two chairs and small table and wonders if he ever took the time to enjoy a meal outside with this view. She takes another step towards the railing, hands dropping to the metal bar and she pushes her hands to either side, bringing her body closer to the edge. Staring into the distance she admires the sunrise, the view here a million times better than from her own apartment.
She looks down then, gaze moving over the nearby buildings to the trees and the street down below and that's when she spots him, now only jogging over the sidewalk in a constant pace and she smiles again at the sight of her man. The one she wanted to call hers for such a long time that it still feels incredibly surreal that she now can. Even though all the evidence suggests in that direction, she woke up in his bed, in his arms, dressed in his shirt and she's now looking at him from his balcony.
When he turns the corner and disappears out of her sight here too, she pushes herself back on her feet. Hands tapping against the railing one last time before turning around and tiptoeing back inside the penthouse. She paces through his bedroom, opening up all the curtains in the room and she moves to the living area next. Repeating the task there.
Opening up a door to the balcony to let some fresh air in here too, she finds herself wandering through his apartment. She's been here numerous of times, often to deliver something or pick something up. She's been here with and without him, the latter just in different situations than this morning. Most times she let herself in, did what she needed to do and if she needed to speak to him she'd take place at one of the many seating options. She would pour herself a drink and observe, but she never really looked around.
She rounds the dining room table, hand tracing the edge of the surface and she chuckles at the precise placement of the chairs. The entire area looking like it's only been used a handful of times, she also knows that is most likely to be true. He makes extremely long hours, dines with clients or has take-out at the office. Every once in awhile with pictures their future nights now, them having dinner at either his or her place. Maybe a restaurant or just at the firm, the location not really something that matters as long as it's them.
She skips along a painting now, gaze moving over the frame. She never really understood the piece and if she has her way it would be replaced by a more colourful painting or maybe a picture of them. Moving along she eyes the records near the fireplace, one of his father on top. She carefully lifts it from the stack and turns it over in her hand, opening it up she takes in the pictures printed on the inside. Her hand moving over them, she lingers on the one she knows all too well. The one he now has in his office.
She smiles softly at the memory of his father and removes the record from the cover, putting it on. The room fills with the smooth sounds of a saxophone. Unmistakingly the one and only Gordon Specter, a lump forms in her throat. How she misses this man.
Eyeing the clock now she realises fifteen minutes have passed since he left for his run. She still doesn't have a clue as to how long his usual run lasts, the ungodly hour he got up an indication for that being quite some time. She also knows he'll cut his run short and make his way back to her as soon as possible. Retreating to the kitchen she starts with making coffee. Going through his cabinets she picks out two cups first, her gaze then landing on the can of vanilla and her heart skips another beat. She rummages through the rest of his kitchen, opening one cabinet after the other and finally his fridge in search of food.
His hand slams against the back wall of the elevator, catching his bodyweight before he runs into the object itself. Still out of breath he turns around and hits the button on the bottom right, his shoulders now slumping as he rests against the wall. He cut his run short by half the miles and he increased his regular pace in order to get back as soon as possible. He takes another deep breath, head now tilting up to look at the floor numbers, he counts down as the metal box moves up to his destination. It's only a half a minute later when it arrives at the penthouse and the dinging sound makes him push himself back on his feet.
It's only then that he catches a glimpse of his own reflection in wall of the mirror and he realises that even though he's only been away for half of the duration of his usual run, pushing the speed this much made him one sweaty mess and this will surely counter affect running into to the arms of the woman he loves earlier than planned.
Pulling out his key he exits the elevator and strides the three steps leading to his front door. He brings his hand to the doorknob, a short-lived frown falls on his face as he realises the door is open. He pushes through then, not sure if he forgot to close it himself or if this was her.
"It's open," she calls for him the moment she hears sounds coming from the direction of the front door, her lips curling up at thuds of his footsteps on the floor. She continues her search for cutlery now. "I didn't know if you brought your key."
He gets stopped in his tracks when he spots her then, moving around in his kitchen like she owns the place and maybe she does. She places the two cups of coffee on the kitchen island, now turning around to face him. Her gaze landing on the key in his hand just before he tosses it in the bowl on the counter.
She breaks out in a grin now, her eyes locking with his once more the moment she steps closer. Arms stretched out, she tries to reach for him.
He catches her hands, trying to hold her at a distance just a little. "Don.. I'm all sweaty and sticky," he warns her, voice slow as he's still recovering from his run.
"Nothing I can't handle," she counters, stepping closer and bringing their hands down in the movement. She presses a quick kiss against his lips before she lets go all together and returns to turn off the stove.
His gaze follows her movement and he watches her pick two slices of bread out of the toaster oven, dropping them into the plates. She now reaches for the pan. "You made breakfast?"
"Ooh," she huffs, pointing the wooden spatula in his direction. "Don't sound too surprised, mister."
He laughs at that, the that's not what I meant on the tip of his tongue he asks her what she made instead.
She signals for him to sit down first, an order he follows without much objection. He looks at her, still awaiting her answer to his question.
"Well," she continues now lifting the two plates and placing them on the breakfast bar. "It's not like you actually had that much food here, so it's just some toast with eggs and avocado," she reasons passing the kitchen island to take place on the bar stool next to him, pulling up her leg and reaches for her cup of coffee.
He smiles then, just watching her for a moment while she quietly reaches for yesterday's newspaper and flips through it as if they have done this a million times before and maybe in a way they have. He redirects his gaze to his plate, at last, now finally delving into the breakfast she made him.
"This is nice," he mumbles glancing at her again. He brings his hand up to rest on her leg, resulting in a look from her. She moves along when he brings her leg to rest on his lap. His fingers still tapping against her calve as both of them continue to enjoy their breakfast in silence.
He takes the last sip of his coffee a few minutes later, head tilting and his gaze moves back to land on her. He watches her turn over another page, reading some article in the section he never even bothered opening and he chuckles then, realising that this is something he didn't know about her.
She doesn't look up at the sound, knows that if she does she won't be able to finish her meal. His hand on her leg way to distracting already, she reads the same paragraph for the third time now.
He catches the way her lips tug up into a smile and the way her brows knit together, as if she's trying to focus on something. He does know it's not the article, but rather him being the distraction. How slowly she eats another hint giving that away. He shifts over the bar stool, turning to face her a bit more and he leans forward and steals a bite from her plate.
He bites his tongue, but can't help himself from smiling when she finally redirects her attention to him.
"You're eating too slow," he points out, signalling her plate with a nod of his head.
Quirking an eyebrow, she repeats the painstakingly slow way of taking another bite. "Why?"
"You know why."
She laughs softly because, yes, she does know. Her head falling to the left Donna looks away from his gaze. She lets out a breath then, pushing the plate towards him. It only taking seconds before he finishes her toast and the hand that still rested on her calve now moves up to her knee, gently removing her leg from his lap. She glances at him again now, drawing her bottom lip between her teeth when he slides of the stool and moves closer.
His gaze moves from his laptop in front of him to her cubicle outside his office and back down again, but a frown forms on his face realising the sight he saw wasn't the one he expected to see. His head tilts back up in a beat, eyes roaming her cubicle again. Only confirming the reason for his frown in the first place. Empty.
He stares in the distance for a moment, going over the possible reasons for her absence. It's not uncommon for the redhead to leave her desk and even though he always noticed, he questions it more now. Not because he needs to know where she is, but because he wants to know if she's okay. She told him she wanted more, he practically gave her a new position only for him to later have to inform her she had to wait a little longer.
Pushing his chair back, he walks around his desk and makes his way to the glass door of his office. Gaze already wandering over the hallway of the fiftieth floor, he eventually spots her right outside his office, but just out of view from his original position. Exciting his office he watches her, her arms folded in front of her own chest, hands holding onto her own arms. A somewhat dreamy look on her face as she stares at the empty office next to his.
He steps forward then, silently walking towards her he stalls only a step away from her. He watches her in the reflection, just a way of making sure she noticed his presence. He takes the last step now, hands briefly landing on her hips as he hugs her from behind. "After tomorrow it will be yours," he whispers, placing a kiss on her cheek.
She chuckles once letting her head rest against his chest. She doesn't comment because she already knows he'll deny any concern she might have. Knows he would call of the other meeting right now if it would make her happy.
He holds her close, chastising himself once over for missing the email Louis had sent him when they were upstate. He leans forward, letting his chin rest on her shoulder as both of them now watch at the empty space. He decides he'll get her the perfect present to give her for when this will indeed be her office.
Mike thanks Amy, finally being able to take the file from her hand as she made a game out of it. She tilts her head to the right then, signalling down the hall and he frowns at his secretary for a moment. Not getting what she's hinting at this time, he already got the file. When she nods once more, her eyes giving him this stern warning look not to ask, he finally follows the lead of her gaze.
He smiles then, seeing his two friends in the distance. The way the older man has his arms wrapped around the woman he loves and Mike grins brighter.
Mike looks back at Amy, giving her a questioning look but he doesn't deny her statement.
"What?" Amy fires back. "We all knew it was bound to happen."
Mike laughs at that. "Sounds about right," he agrees. "The only two telling themselves it wouldn't them," he looks back down the hallway. Smiling once more, he waits a few seconds before finally making his way through the passage of the fiftieth floor. He tries not to focus too much on the couple, looking at the file in his hand but he can't help himself when he walks right past them. "Get a room."
Donna's attention snaps back to their surroundings at the sudden appearance of the younger man's voice and she tenses a little in his embrace as his grip on her increases just a tad.
"You're fired," Harvey calls after his former associate.
"No, I'm not," the young lawyer counters in return as he now moves through the doors to the reception and continues his path to the elevators.
Donna finally turns around in Harvey's embrace, letting her hands run up his chest. She focusses on fixing his tie, keeping her gaze from meeting his as she can feel her cheeks are a bit reddened because they just got caught. "What happened to us keeping things low key at work," she whispers, not letting go of him either.
"It was a hug," he counters. "Could have been much worse," he smirks now, but he notices the serious look on her face now that she looks up at him. "I don't want any more rules between us. We'll figure this out."
She swallows and nods in agreement. "Okay," she whispers. "But as potential COO I do have to remind you there's a limit to the amount of PDA tolerable in the workplace."
He fakes a sigh, his grip on her waist dropping ever so slightly. He leans in and places a kiss on her lips regardless. "I don't care. I'm the boss."
"Yeah, here maybe."
He looks up from the papers in his hand to the redhead entering his office. He tosses the files back on his desk, head now tilting as he follows her movement with his gaze. His chair turning in the process when she rounds his desk and sits down on the edge. He can't help but catch the hem of her skirt creep up just a little by the motion and he finds himself being distracted by it. It's when she speaks that he looks up.
"I'm going to have lunch with Rachel," she announces and he briefly glances at the clock on his desk and back to her. She covers his hand with hers. "And you, good luck in the interview."
He crooks his head now, wants to tell her the only person needing luck is the woman Louis stupidly agreed to interview in the first place. His mind was made up already anyway.
"You need to be fair," she tells him then, knowing all too well what he was thinking. "You're going into that meeting with an open mind and not just say no because of me, okay?"
He sighs once, wishing the damn meeting would be over already. Wishing there wasn't a meeting at all, he just wants her to be happy. He also knows that ignoring her advice doesn't result in that. "Okay. I promise."
She squeezes his hand, her head tilting just a little with the movement. She moves her hand up to his bicep now, leaning in to give him a quick kiss before she pushes herself back on her feet. "Good boy."
Mouth still left agape he falls back in his chair and can only watch her walk away, swallowing once when she steps out his office. He shakes his head, trying to clear his mind of the inappropriate images those two words caused. Reluctantly he reaches for the files again, trying to focus on the paragraphs he knows he'll have to read twice to let them actually sink in.
Half an hour has passed when his phone buzzes and he reaches for the object from the side of his desk. A soft chuckle escaping him at the calendar notification on his screen, something she without a doubt arranged.
1.30 PM :: COO Interview - Viola Cesario
The name on his screen catching his attention, he thinks it rings a bell but he can't place it. Shaking it off as a coincidence, he gathers the files needed for the interview and mentally prepares himself for the meeting on his way over to the conference room.
Too busy looking down at the files in hand, the managing-partner nearly bumps into the brunette. He abruptly comes to a halt and finds himself staring at Rachel. "Weren't you having lunch with Donna?"
"Huh," Rachel mumbles now, giving her boss a questioning look. "No."
With a stern look on his face, he watches the young woman shrug her shoulders and signal she should go back to work. As she walks away he wonders about the redhead's words again, if he heard them correctly after all and who else she could be having lunch with.
"Harvey, there you are."
He looks over his shoulder now at the other name partner, mumbles his name with a nod of his head.
"You ready? I set the meeting in conference room C."
"Right," he mutters, following his fellow lawyer as he's reminded of the meeting he doesn't want to have once more and he temporarily forgets his run in with Rachel and what that meant. Temporarily only because the second they set foot in the conference room, he gets stopped in his tracks. The woman standing in the middle of the room, looking outside far too familiar for him not to recognise her.
She may be wearing a dark green suit, a pair of glasses from what he can see from this position and her manes tied up in a bun, her auburn locks have been a focal point for him for over a decade and he'd be able to spot her in a crowd no matter her appearance.
He grins then, realising she's pretending not to notice the two men arrived and he can only wonder if the man beside him already connected the dots, either way, he'll find out soon. For now, he'll play along. He looks down at the file again. "Miss Cesario?"
She bites her tongue to stop herself from smiling, the tone in his voice already giving away he knows. She turns around on her spot, a smile gracing her lips and she walks closer to the table. Her right hand extended she shakes his hand first. "Mr. Specter."
"Donna?" Louis blurts out now, finally recognising his friend, his gaze shifts from her to the managing partner next to him, wondering if the other man knew, but it was him who set the meeting last week. He spots Harvey rather surprised face but doesn't miss the proud grin that follows when the redhead shakes his hand.
"Mr. Litt," she continues as if it's business as usual, now shaking Louis' hand too. She doesn't wait for the two men to greet her, gesture her to sit down or offer her coffee. Instead, she just pulls one of the chairs aside, seats herself and folds her hands over the leather file holder she brought along in front of her.
Harvey chuckles to himself then, this definitely not the meeting he was expecting it to be and he can't help but smile at the fact that even when she's here for a job interview (one she really doesn't have to take) she still runs the show like she owns the place. He looks to Louis then, signalling the chairs and both men quietly sit down. Neither of them knowing exactly how to proceed now as this twist took them off guard.
"So," she chirps sitting a bit straighter, she breaks the silence both men should have broken already.
"Donna," he uses her name now when she is faster than him once more, his gaze locking with hers. He promised her the position but he figures it's about her proving herself. "Why did you go through all this? A fake resume?"
"I heard you have a history of hiring frauds," she counters using the words he once said to her, a playful hint palpable in her voice. She's quick to continue before the pointed look she knows will grace his face shows. "And so is this resume," she continues, holding up the piece of paper describing her alter ego of Viola Cesario. She tears it apart then, letting the pieces of paper fall back onto the conference room table. "And that is exactly why the firm needs someone in the position of COO. To make sure that this." She pauses, pointing at the pieces of paper. "Never happens again."
He nods, understanding exactly what she's referring too and the damage it did to the firm when that secret came out.
"The firm needs someone who knows what we've been through, to protect the image we created but also someone who understands it's about giving people chances and that not everything is what it seems. Someone who understands the people that work here, someone who knows how to resolve possible conflicts between them and who can assess if possible additions will fit in the tight-knit group this firm is."
She gets swept up by her own speech, finally pronouncing the words she'd so carefully put together ever since she sent in the email back in Chicago. Her enthusiasm enticing, she elaborates on why, albeit officially only having been a legal secretary for over a decade, she is more than qualified for the job, will continue to dedicate her time to the firm like she's done for the last thirteen years and she concludes with explaining that she wanted both name partners here to hear her out and not just hand it to her because they know her.
She rolls her chair back then and she gets up. Looking at Louis first, she turns to look at Harvey, nodding at both men as they're still left speechless. "Thank you for your consideration."
After a very brief discussion with Louis, in reality, both men just trying to wrap their brain around what just happened. How the redhead had played them into a meeting and proceeded with blowing them away, only proving what they already knew. She's perfect for the job.
Making his way over from the conference room to his office, he watches her sit in her soon to be old cubicle. Gaze skimming over the suit she's wearing, he swallows. She looks beautiful in anything, but he's always had a thing for her in pants. Stepping closer, he enters her cubicle. Waiting for her to acknowledge his presence, he shuffles in place, finally settling on sitting down on the edge of her desk.
He laughs, his eyes closing in the moment. Expected a witty remark, but it exceeded his expectations. He looks at her again then, crooks his head as she turns around in her chair.
"You were amazing."
He bobs his head to the other side. "Don't.." he mutters now, telling her not to dismiss his compliments. "But you didn't have to do all this, you know that right?"
"Harv." She gets out of her chair and steps closer. "You wanted to cancel the meeting just because you wanted to give the job to me," she reasons again. Her lips pressing into a thin line, she smiles when he doesn't object. "And I don't want people to think I only got it because I happen to be sleeping with the boss."
"You're more than just sleeping with me," he counters in a beat. He catches her look then and reaches for her hand. "Besides everyone knows you're amazing and that you deserve this position."
"So. I got it."
He smiles at the confidence that statement comes with, wants to tell her yes, of course, the position is hers but he decides to have a little fun of his own now. "It's under advisement."
"Ready to go?" His hands tab against the glass plating of the partition.
"Go?" She turns to face him in a beat, her gaze locking with his. She signals the work she's still doing on her computer with her right hand, but she doubts he notices it.
He nods, letting his arms lean on the edge now. "I'm taking you out to dinner."
Donna smiles now. "Well in that case," she pauses, momentarily tearing her gaze away from him. She closes the files she was working on and logs off from her computer. "I am," she says, getting out of her chair and making her way out of the cubicle.
He pushes himself back on his feet, turning on his spot to walk next to her. His hand lingers for the briefest moments in the air behind her back, but he doesn't touch her remembering she wants to keep things as quiet as possible at the firm and she hasn't forgotten the entire run in with Mike earlier this week yet.
She turns to face him when he presses the button of the elevator, a smile gracing her lips. She enters the metal box first when he signals for her to get inside. Her hand brushing over his chest in the movement she stands close to him when she asks. "Where are you taking me?"
He crooks his head, swallowing as he takes in her words. Wonders if she heard the double entendre, but it's her. Everything is on purpose. He doesn't succumb though, flashes her his signature grin instead. "Del Posto."
She looks at their reflection in the door, her head now tilting down she takes in her outfit again. "Maybe I should change first."
"No." His answer comes in a beat and results in a rather amused yet questioning look from the redhead. He eyes her up, fingers enveloping her wrist. He tugs on her hand. "No," he repeats again with a shake of his head. "You look gorgeous."
"Thank you, I do look dashing indeed," she teases him in the same way she heard he had done to her friend. "But," she continues now, index finger poking his chest. "You'd also think I look good without anything on."
"Ooh," he catches her hand, pressing it flat against his chest. He turns to his right, almost backing her against the wall, his free hand settling on her waist. "That is my favourite outfit yes."
She chuckles once, tilting her head to the side because the look in his eyes is too much. "But seriously," he continues now and she can't help but glance at him again. "You look hot in everything you wear, but this suit. I don't know ... It's just.."
"Ooh yeah," he agrees, his tongue sweeping over his bottom lip. "I can't help but wonder if the only thing you're wearing under this," he tugs on her jacket with his right hand, his gaze not so discreetly trailing over her chest to the point where the two sides of her jacket are connected. "Is a bra."
"Who says I'm wearing a bra."
His gaze flickers up to her eyes and instantly back down, her words making him peek again. He's none the wiser to the answer tho. "God woman," he swallows thickly. "You're making it incredibly hard."
She sucks in her breath, hand pushing against his chest to create a little bit more space between them. She wonders how they managed to stay away from each other for twelve years and she also knows that if in the worst case scenario they break apart, she'll have to leave the State maybe even the country, because just a look or the way he uses a tone of voice that's solely for her can make her stomach flutter and she hates that even when she was the one trying to tease him, it always ends with her getting just as bothered in the process. She ends up putting the blame on him.
"Harvey, if you keep talking like that we won't even make it to the restaurant."
He takes a step back, hands leaving her waist. He moves one hand up to his mouth and signals it shut. She quirks an eyebrow now, not having expected this as his answer. She slides out of the elevator the moment the doors open again and he follows her swiftly. "I for sure thought you'd have leapt at the chance to take me home."
"Ooh I will," he counters, reaching for her hand again he pulls her closer. "Later tonight. Right now I just want to show the world how incredibly hot my girlfriend looks."
She chuckles, her shoulder bumping into his. "I might never get used to you calling me that."
"We could also upgrade that title."
She looks at him, a hint of surprise washing over her face. She can't help but think about her conversation with Rachel at the beginning of this week. "Harv -"
"Room mate," he offers now at the look on her face, his voice giving away that what he says now is more a tease than what he actually meant but he promised her to take things slow.
She rolls her eyes now, giving him a playful poke in his side with her elbow.
"I meant it, you know," he tells her then escorting her through the lobby. "The whole shebang."
Her eyes fall shut and the back of her head presses into the mattress and a breathy sigh rolls of her tongue all too willingly. "Geez," she rasps, her hands stretching out over his duvet, fingertips gripping onto the white sheets as her body trembles. "We can't even make it through dessert."
She feels his grin then, right there against her and she moans now. He pulls back the slightest returning to a soft kiss against her skin. "I wouldn't exactly say we skipped dessert," he counters, his lips now on the inside of her thigh, tongue darting out to scoop up a remainder of the white cream.
She chuckles once, head falling to the left her vision locks in onto the red can. "I can't believe you got me to agree to this," she breathes, letting her left foot trail over his spine. She tries to prop herself up just a little to look at him. "Again."
He flashes her that Specter grin, lips pecking at the skin near her hip bone on its path back to where she previously begged him to go. "Well. I'm. An. Excellent. Negotiator."
She rolls her eyes, brings her hand down to his head and slips her fingers through his hair. "Shut up," she warns him and her hand guides him back between her legs, needing him to finish what he started.
"Besides you told me everyone should do this," he speaks instead of doing what she so desperately wants to have done and she tucks on his hair in the process. "At least once a year."
"True," she gives in remembering her younger-self having said this in a post-coital haze where he may or may not had been cuddling her.
"See. I rest my case."
"I hate - Ooh fuck. "
He wakes up at the earliest rays of sunshine piercing through his curtains, cascading a warm glow over her auburn locks. He watches her sleep, lips slightly parted and her breath is warm against his skin. He scoots a bit closer, pressing a kiss against her temple before he rolls himself out of bed and makes his way over to the bathroom.
Hand slipping through his hair he catches a glimpse of his own naked form in the reflection of the mirror first and next to her, tangled in the sheets of his bed. He takes a quick shower. On one hand missing her here with him, on the other hand, aware that he'd probably not make it out of the door if she did.
He gets dressed quickly, just a pair of Khaki pants, a white dress shirt and a dark blue sweater she'd once bought him for Christmas. He makes himself a quick cup of coffee, now scribbling down a message for her on a piece of paper. He downs the last sip from his cup, walking back to his bedroom.
Gaze falling on her again, she's turned around now. Scooted closer to his side of the bed and her ginger manes a perfect contrast against his white sheets. He shouldn't linger and watch, count the freckles on her shoulders and smile at that mark he left at the base of her neck. He leans forward, placing the note on his pillow then before he turns around and sees himself out.
She stirs half an hour later, arm stretching out over the king size duvet. The cold sheets greet her and she realises the spot next to her is empty even before she opens her eyes. She lets out a groan, burying her face in his pillow. She tells herself he may just be in the kitchen or living room, but she'd have like to wake up next to him regardless.
Stretching her body once more she now pulls his pillow closer and her hand comes into contact with a piece of paper. Opening her eyes again, faster this time around, she can't help but feel a wave of panic rush over her and think back to the morning after the other time. He left no note, but that was only one night and now it's already been a week. She doesn't allow her brain to focus on the possible worst case scenarios though, gripping onto the piece of paper she rolls on her back as she reads.
Emergency meeting with McKernon Motors; had to go to the firm and didn't want to wake you. X
She smiles now, cursing herself for thinking the worst even if it was for just a second and she's certain that she'll never ever recover if those thoughts turn out to be true. She also knows she shouldn't let her mind go there, she's the overthinker. The analyser. Rachel told her as much earlier this week and it's something she has to work on. She knows he's in this.
She rolls around again, extending her arms now to drop the piece of paper on the nightstand. She lifts her phone from it, sending him a quick message wishing him luck with the case, she places it back on the small cabinet too and snuggles up to his cold pillow. Her arms wrapping under it, her head pressed against it, she takes in his scent. She loves how he smells.
She decides then to use this morning where she's alone in his, or maybe their apartment depending on how seriously serious he was last night, in her favour. Pushing the sheets away with both her hands and feet, she rises from the large bed and tiptoes her way over to the bathroom to take a long bath.
The water has almost turned cold when her stomach growls, reminding her of the time she spent in the tub. Taking a deep breath, she lets herself sink under water one last time before getting out of it. Wrapping his bathrobe around her bare frame she takes in her reflection in the large bathroom mirror. Her gaze instantly locking on the mark in her neck, she shakes her head and mutters his name, her fingertips now moving over the spot.
She observes the sink now, noticing the way his toiletries are neatly placed on the right end side and how even her side already has a few permanent things. The pink toothbrush he bought when they were picking up groceries the most prominent thing in the room and she can't help but smile at the proud smirk he wore when he showed her he got it for her. She laughs softly now, hand reaching for the comb she brings it up to her hair.
The sound of three firm knocks echoing through the nearly empty penthouse wakes her from her thoughts. "Harvey," she whispers with a smile, quickly placing the comb down. She rushes her way through the apartment, tugging her hair into a messy bun along the way, she's too excited for him to return to even question the knocking on his own door.
"You're back," she already chirps, hand only now falling around the doorknob, she swings the door open in one grand motion but finds herself staring at two very familiar yet blue eyes. "M..Marcus?"
The younger Specter man visibly recoils on his spot, the sight he saw now definitely not the big brother he was expecting but the man's right-hand woman and he's momentarily lost for words.
She's the one to recover first, the only real option she has is to invite him in. Something she does with a mere signal of her hand, she closes the door behind the man she considers a younger brother herself and with two big steps, she walks up to him again. The remaining surprised look on Marcus' face only now remembering her of her current attire, she looks down at her bare legs poking out of Harvey's dark blue bathrobe.
"Let me get changed," she speaks loudly, more to herself than to him. She quickly makes her way back to the bedroom, snatches her phone from the nightstand. She rummages through the drawer he cleaned for her the same day he bought her the toothbrush and she fishes out the pair of jeans, under wear and t-shirt she brought over just-in-case.
She tucks her shirt in her jeans, applies a quick layer of mascara, texts Harvey about Marcus surprise visit and gives herself a reassuring smile, forcing herself to face the music. "Showtime Paulsen," she whispers to herself, sliding the door to the living room back open. The redhead walks over to the kitchen in a straight line, apparently not ready to confront the younger man just yet. "Harvey's at the firm," she announces then with a look over her shoulder. Hands blindly opening the cabinets and reaching for the supplies she needs. "Problem with a client," she adds now with a shrug, figuring it's best to just keep the conversation going. She's got no clue why she's even nervous, she's known the man in front of her almost as long as the man she was dating now. "Do you want coffee?"
He notices she doesn't even await his answer as he observes her pouring two cups, he smiles now at the sight in front of him. The redhead sure at ease in his brother's apartment, he watches her walk back to the living room now. The cup of coffee warm in his hands, it's the way she doesn't just sit down but props her feet up on the couch that already answers his question, but he asks nonetheless. It might have been his brother he came to question, but he's received enough teasing comments from the woman right in front of him over the years to now do the same to her. "So," he starts taking a sip from his coffee. "You and my brother."
She chuckles softly at the way he approaches the subject, but all she can really do is smile almost shyly.
"Finally," Marcus smirks the same grin gracing his face she's seen a million times before on the older brother's face. "Guess my visit isn't for nothing then."
That last statement takes her by surprise and her eyebrows quirk up in a beat. "What?" she mumbles taken off guard, she continues louder. "Why exactly did you stop by?"
He takes another sip from his coffee and shifts in the leather fauteuil. "Katie and the kids are shopping and I figured I'd drop by to tell my big brother to get his head out of ass and make a move."
Donna stares at him with her mouth parted, it takes her a few seconds to bring her face back into a more neutral expression. On one hand amused by the way Marcus describes his brother, on the other hand, surprised he was even aware in the first place.
Marcus notices her silence and takes it as confusion, making him elaborate further. "Mom told me that when he came to Boston two months ago, he actually told her that someone very special to him convinced him to do so," he speaks, using the words Lily had so enthusiastically recited to him and asked him further about. He glances back up at the redhead, now seeing a blush creep up over her cheeks and he assumes she didn't know about this but that it was indeed her who made his brother reach out to their mother again.
"And well there's only one person who could have done that," he continues now, smiling at Donna. "And I know my brother so," he pauses raising his shoulders and dropping them in defeat, not feeling the need to reason further.
Donna smiles at the younger man and whispers a thank you in his direction because even though his original reason for visiting was redundant at the moment, she does appreciate the thought.
Marcus nods, lifting his cup of coffee in a silent toast. He leans back into the chair and looks around the living room, his gaze landing on the cactus in the corner of the coffee table. He signals it then. "You moved in?"
She looks up at Marcus again at his words, follows his gaze when she realizes he's not looking at her but something else, her face glowing when her gaze now lingers on the cactus too. The sight and Marcus' words making her think back to Harvey's comment from the day before. She doesn't confirm nor deny, tells him another truth instead. "We got together a week ago."
Marcus smiles at that, not having expected the time frame to have been this short given the way she moved around the place. He figures it's rooted in the amount of years they've already known each other, how they've always been a team and truthfully he doesn't find it striking. After all, if there's one thing he does know about the secretive history his brother shares with the woman in front of him, is that it's far from traditional. He turns back to look at Donna now, leaning forward he places his empty cup on the coffee table. "Congratulations."
She smiles into her cup of coffee, didn't expect this to be the way for his family to find out about them but in reality, the way the rest of Pearson Specter Litt found out wasn't as expected either. Even them happening was a situation she never imagined but in the end, all of it is insignificant to the fact that they did happen. They finally found each other and that's the only thing that matters.
She glances back up at Marcus, remembering the man told her his wife and kids were in town too and he obviously came to see his brother. "How about you, Katie and the kids come over for dinner?"
"Okay," Marcus accepts, hesitation clear in his voice. "But let me cook."
She bobs her head to the side now, staring at her brother-in-law.
"I know," he adds, remembering a story about shrimps amongst the details his brother might have let slip on a drunken night. He presses his lips together in a thin apologizing smile.
She scoffs once, looking away. "I'm not that bad a cook."
He places his phone back in the pocket of his pants after having sent Rachel a quick message thanking her for her help today. He reaches for the key now, laughter coming from inside the apartment reminding him of the message Donna had sent him earlier that day.
He turns the lock, the amicable chatter this time paired with a smell that reminds him of his own childhood. Chicken Parm. He grins, closes the door behind him and makes his way down to the kitchen, the sight only confirming his expectations as he sees his brother work on the pasta dough the way their father taught them and Donna's dicing the tomatoes.
He demonstratively drops the keys in the ceramic bowl on the counter, a smile now tugging on his lips when the two others turn to face him. He steps closer to the redhead, hands falling to her waist he leans in and brushes his lips against hers in a quick kiss.
"Eew, there could be kids here."
He rolls his eyes at his brother's comment, looks at the redhead in his embrace. Her chuckle music to his ears, he gives her another quick peck before distancing himself from her to greet his brother with a pat on the younger man's back. "I didn't get to do that this morning, so shut up dickhead."
"Loser," Marcus fires back in an instant as he watches his brother gravitate towards the redhead again. "It's good to see you, Harvey."
"You too, Marcus," Harvey admits, the words resulting in a smile on her face and he smiles back at the woman in front of him. His hand now moving over the small of her back to her waist, he hugs her from behind, placing another kiss on her cheek.
Her eyes close and she radiates giving into his gesture, her shoulders relaxing against his chest. She hears him ask if they're indeed making chicken parm and she nods, now holding up a wooden spoon for him to taste the sauce she's working on. She moves her thumb along his lip to wipe away some of the sauce.
Marcus rolls the pasta through the machine, peering to the side for a brief moment. He watches his brother and the redhead, thinking he hasn't seen either of them as happy as they look now. The thought making him smile, he focusses on his task again while he comments. "I'm glad you finally saw what was right in front of you all along, RC."
He sighs at the younger man's statement, but mostly the use of his middle name. "She told you to say this, didn't she? RC3?"
"She didn't and she's right here," Donna objects. Poking Harvey's side with her elbow, his arms hold onto her a little tighter, he kisses her cheek once over, telling her he loves her. She glances at the younger man now, repeating the nicknames both man just used in her head. "RC. As in Knight Rider?"
Marcus smiles. "Yeah well, you know Reggie's middle name of course," he starts eyeing both of them he sees Donna nod. "And mine is Cornelius," he can barely get the name over his lips.
"Corny," Harvey coughs.
Marcus rolls his eyes, his brother's reaction one he has heard a million times before. "Anyway. Neither of us ever really liked the names, I mean it is our grandfather's but…" Donna nods in understanding, not very fond of her own middle name either. "And then one summer we watched the Knight Rider and it had RC in there. It stuck around," he explains but the little history lesson gets interrupted by the sound of the doorbell echoing through the apartment, all three of them look up. "That must be Katie and the kids."
Harvey acknowledges Marcus' words with a nod, hands tapping against the redhead's hips once, he lets go and moves to open the door. He smiles at the three familiar faces, embracing his sister-in-law in a hug first. He walks back with the kids in tow, already listening to their stories about their day in the big city.
Donna turns around to the sink, quickly washing her hands, she wipes them dry with a towel. Her gaze following Harvey with Matt and Emily, she smiles brightly at the sight in front of her. How comfortable the kids are with him and he with them. Placing the towel aside she turns to face Katie, now greeting the younger man's wife and asking her how her day has been.
Hands resting on the countertop, her head tilted to the right she tenderly watches the five Specters in the living area. Katie and the kids spread out over the couch, the two brothers sitting side by side in the two fauteuils. She can barely remember the last time she saw all of them happy together and this time around she gets to be a part of it.
His voice wakes her up from her thoughts and with a quick shake of her head she looks at him again, a smile now spread across her face. "Almost done," she answers him, lifting the bottle of pinot noir again, she pours the last two glasses and strides around the kitchen island to join the rest.
Katie smiles at the redhead coming closer, she then observes the seating and she's about to signal for the kids to make room for their aunt when Donna gestures it's fine with a wave of her hand, stepping closer to the chair Harvey's seated in. She smiles at him, handing over one glass before sitting down on his lap.
He smirks when their eyes lock and he instinctively brings his right arm to rest around her waist. His left hand holding the glass in place on the armrest as she adjusts her sitting position, pulling one leg up. He looks at her again, their eyes doing the talking. He finds himself smiling at her again, barely able to believe how incredibly happy he gets to be now.
He doesn't even speak but she laughs nonetheless. Her body angling towards him, her head leans against his and she brings her free hand to caress his cheek. Tearing her gaze from his, she looks at the two kids playing on the couch now and she can feel by the way his head turns that his gaze followed hers, both of them quietly watch his niece and nephew.
The glasses are nearly empty when the sun sets and the light coming from the kitchen illuminates the room just enough for the casual conversations to keep flowing, it's half an hour later when a yawn form the youngest breaks the conversation.
"We should head back to the hotel," Katie addresses her husband.
Marcus nods in agreement. "We should," he answers, empowering his words by pushing himself out of his chair, he signals for his son to follow his lead. "Donna," he turns to face the redhead as she lifts herself from Harvey's lap. "It was good seeing you again," he hugs her goodbye now, letting the redhead move on to say goodbye to the rest he taps on the older Specter man's shoulder.
Harvey presses his lips into a thin line, now getting up to say goodbye to his sister-in-law. He watches Donna wave at the little girl and he kneels down next to his niece, lifting her in his arms he gets back up. "I'll walk you guys down."
Donna brushes her hand over Matt's head, her gaze returning to Harvey. She watches the sleepy Emily wrap her arms around her uncle's neck as he holds the almost six-year-old in his arms. She steps closer when he turns on his place to look at her, Donna brings her hand to the little girl's back. Caressing it as a form of goodbye, she meets his gaze again in that moment a smile tugging on her lips. "I'll wait here."
He waits for Marcus to open the door to the cab, placing the now sleeping Emily on the back seat of the car while Katie and Matt round the vehicle and get inside from the other side. Moving back, his hand rests on the door as he turns to face his brother again.
"I'm happy for you two, RC."
Harvey beams at that. "I am happy too. Can still barely believe I got this lucky."
Marcus smirks at those words. The redhead has always been by his brother's side, but he has to agree that it's his brother who's the lucky one here. "You know what dad would say, don't you?"
Harvey grins, thinking about their old man and he acknowledges his brother's statement with a bob of his head at last. "I will," he speaks them. "Got it last week."
Surprise taken over Marcus stares at Harvey, momentarily lost for words. "Donna said you two got together last week."
"I know and we did," Harvey admits, "but…"
"She's the one."
"Yes," Harvey smiles. "She is."
He returns to find her sitting on the couch, their two glasses now the only thing left on the coffee table. He stalls for a moment, his pace now slower as he rather looks at her than just continue his path towards the couch.
She smiles back at him, left hand falling down on the leather seating. She pats the couch twice now, a signal for him to come join her.
He gives in at that, taking the last three strides to the object he slides down on the couch next to her. His right-hand automatically finding its place on her thigh, his head tilts to the right to look at her again. "Hey."
"Hey," she whispers in return, both of them sighing softly as it's been a long and busy day. The moment shared in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, he now angles his body towards hers and draws her closer until their lips meet.
"I missed you."
She keeps her eyes closed, forehead still resting against his. Her hand lingers on his cheek. "We spend most of the day together."
He covers her hand with his, bringing it down to his lap he traces her knuckles with his fingers. "I know," he mumbles. "But still –" His sentence cut short when he yawns, right hand covering his mouth. He offers her an apologetic smile.
She merely gets up from the couch, lifting their linked hands in the process. She tugs on his hand and bobs her head to the side. "Let's go to bed."
He pushes himself off the couch following her lead, his free hand falling against her waist he manages to turn her around with one hand, bringing her frame closer to his. He kisses her now.
She automatically answers his slow kiss, lips parting when he tugs on her bottom lip. She breathes against his mouth, stealing another kiss while his hands on her waist pull her shirt out of her jeans and he guides her to the bedroom.
She breaks free from him when they both need to catch their breath. "I meant to go to sleep."
He tiredly shakes his head and lets his hand move over the small of her back to her butt, hands slipping into the back pockets of her jeans, he holds her body flush against his own, pressing her hips against his. "No, you didn't."
She chuckles once but doesn't deny his words, letting him slowly undress her as she does the same for him. Using the time to catch up on the few hours of the day they spent apart. "Did you solve McKernon's problem?'
She looks down at his hands struggling with the button of her jeans and she's not entirely sure his answer stems from him missing her question because he's focussing on getting her out of those jeans or something else. "At the firm," she counters looking back up at him, she unbuttons his shirt.
"Ooh yeah," he answers finally releasing the metal button from the denim. "All done."
She hums, sliding the white fabric over his shoulders he helps her remove the piece of clothing altogether by pulling on his sleeves behind his own back. She takes this as an opportunity to let her hands trail down his chest in an abstract pattern. Reaching his pants at last.
He gulps when she reaches for the fly, pulling it down and her name is on the tip of her tongue.
She smirks, doesn't touch him further but presses her bare stomach against his instead. "Why am I still wearing pants, mister?"
He growls now, the hand on her back holding her closer as his lips find hers in a passionate kiss and three hands work on her jeans, trying to push them down. The denim pooling around her feet, she steps out of her jeans and walks backward, lowers herself on the bed and she crawls up to the middle of the bed.
He watches her attentively, wiggling himself out his own Khaki's before he crawls over the duvet towards the redhead. Right hand brushing over her left leg, he pushes it aside on his way to reach her, only pausing when his body hovers above her. He smiles now and leans in to kiss her again.
She wraps her arms around his neck, fingers slipping through his hair when she lets him deepen their kiss. The kiss turns into a second and a third, it eventually just becoming a long make out session with their arms wrapped around the other and their legs entangled as he rolled onto the mattress next to her, until the kisses become shorter again. A peck here or there, they keep stealing kisses and touches until he's just looking at her and letting his hand draw lazy circles over her ribs.
"I really enjoyed spending time with your family this afternoon."
He smiles, lifting his gaze from her body to her face until their eyes lock again. "I did too," he answers. "But I should have spent more time with them."
She is aware that she has almost been to more important events regarding the kids on his behalf than he has himself, knows that that where he's remark comes from but she only looks him deeper in the eye. Her left hand moving up to his face, she caresses his cheek looking at him with pure adoration. "You were great with Matt and Emily."
The look he gives her now is so intense that she feels her heart starting to beat faster and her stomach flutter at the mere sight of it. The current subject of their conversation to blame for that too and the way his lips tugged up into a smile when she said it. It's also the way his hand now just rests on her side that she knows she got his full attention and even though neither of them speaks the words they feel they find themselves nodding in a silent agreement before he leans in to kiss her.
She studies him on their way to the firm. He's reading what she finds a particularly boring section of the Financial Times, in fact she finds the entire paper boring but she doesn't mind because it are moments like this that she gets to observe him. His hand protectively resting on her knee, she smiles at that. He's been more confident in touching her these days, they had to grow into that. She also knows he takes every opportunity he gets because she won't allow him to do so at work.
She catches him glimpse at her every now and then and with each look his smile gets a little brighter and a bit more smug. She frowns at the latter, wonders what he's thinking about and more precisely why he hasn't said anything about the interview anymore since Friday afternoon. She doesn't want to ask or push for it either, knows he promised her she would get a new position and he reacted okay to her little stunt. She manages to follow him quietly through the lobby, but she gives up when they reach the elevator and she sees that Specter grin again. The one that told her he knew something she didn't.
"What's going on?"
She narrows her gaze on him now, taking one step towards him. "No oh," she counters with a shake of her head. "I can see it on your face. You're up to something."
He grins now.
He reaches for her hand, letting his digits slide between hers. "Okay, I did," he admits realising there's no other way out. "But you'll see soon," he reasons, his words only resulting in a bigger frown from the redhead. He squeezes her hand as reassurance. "You'll see. It's a surprise."
She doesn't get a chance to question his words when the elevator reaches the fiftieth floor and the doors slide open, she's still a little confused though. She isn't the person to get a surprise, she's usually the one doing that for others.
He bobs his head to the right, tugging on her hand to signal her to walk. "Go on," he encourages her now, bringing his hand to the small of her back. She keeps looking at him, questions clear in her eyes, he just smiles as he walks her through the lobby on the fiftieth floor passing his own office. Reaching for her hand once more when he stops next to his own office. The surprise on the tip of his tongue never leaving his lips as he already catches her taking in what he arranged for her.
Her mouth drops in amazement, she has to look at him twice and back at the door before it dawns on her that it really is her own name edged into the glass door, with underneath that an actual title.
Chief Operating Officer
She turns to look at him, her lips still parted. Deep down she knew she would get all this but to see it come true makes her lost for words. He grins now, nodding silently in return, answering her unspoken question. Yes, it's real.
She steps forward then, bringing her hands to cup his face and she kisses him once, not knowing another way to express her gratitude at the moment. Not because he gave her the position, that she deserved and was all her hard work, but for him to believe in her. Give her that chance and for him to do all this.
She lets go of him again, her hand now falling on the glass door. She lets her fingertips trace her name on the door and he smiles watching her take it all in. When she looks up at him once more he signals for her to go in. Something she does without any hesitation as he holds the door open for her.
She looks up, taking in the newly decorated space. A couch on the left, as desk in the middle. Her desk. A small meeting table on the right, the soft tones used to tie it all together.
"Mike made me ask Rachel to help me pick the colours," he comments now. "And they helped me put it together Saturday morning."
She smiles now, realises he didn't have an emergency but was planning all this for her.
"But you can change it all if you want."
She shakes her head, walking along the table, her hand tracing the edge. She notices the engraved stone she had on her desk first, the plant that stood in the corner of her cubicle now in the window sill and her gaze now finds the little ceramic bird. She lifts it up, turning it over in her hand she thinks back to the conversation they had a few weeks ago.
"No it's perfect. Thank you Harvey."
He looks at her tenderly, watching her pull her new desk chair back and the way she sits down. How she takes a deep breath and exhales slowly, letting her hands stretch out over the surface, still taking it all in.
He pushing himself back on his feet from leaning against the door now, taking the five small steps to her desk. He sits down on the chair opposite of her like she has down a million times before when he sat at his desk. He waits for her to look at him again before he speaks.
"You're going to make one hell of a COO, Donna."
- The end.
So that was that. Thank you for sticking around. I really hope you liked it, let me know :) Also I really really enjoyed 7.06 and hope you did too, I think things will turn out better for us soon, but this episode was beautiful and I think really important to what's to come. x