hi, everyone. WOW, EVERYONE THANK YOU so much for all the follows and reviews. Made my day, love reading them. Shannon, I'm sorry for the cliffhanger. I know I promised I wouldn't do it, but I couldn't help it... Hope this makes up for it, also I'd say warning for language (not anything more than the show would do).. but is it just language? Hehe.. that's all I'm going to say.

Enjoy. Hope you like it and as always would love to read your thoughts. x - M


Glued to his seat, his chest tightens with every step she walks away from him. His gaze fixed on her retreating form, he finds himself momentarily in shock. When his mouth finally opens and her name rolls off his tongue, it's so soft he can barely hear it himself. Let alone the redhead who already disappeared out of his peripheral vision.

His blurred vision fades away now, the surrounding tables coming in his view again and he catches more than a few heads turned into his direction. All with quizzical looks on their faces. He quickly turns to look at his own table again, gaze dropping to her abandoned seat and the dollar bills on the table.

"Shit," he mutters, his mind now trying to catch up on what happened and where exactly this night went wrong.

Ask her out for dinner. Check. Okay, he used their work anniversary as a buffer to do so but he had genuinely wanted to go to dinner with her and the chance of her saying no wasn't as big this way. It was an excuse, but it had been thirteen years of living by her rule and ever since that one moment weeks ago, he'd been rather distracted.

Show up at her door with flowers. Check.

And he had just been about to tell her -

"Shit," he repeats to himself interrupting his own thoughts. "Shit."

.

She pushes the door shut behind her, letting her body lean against it. Her head tilts backward until it hits the wooden object with a low thud, her eyelids now closings as well. She sighs, her hand falling on her head. Chastising herself for her behaviour today and in specific during their dinner.

They were actually having a good time given the circumstances but she had to break it doing the one thing she promised herself she wouldn't do anymore. Mention her feelings, bring anything up. She had done her part and although she wasn't expecting anything from him or had made that move to change his mind. Wake him up so to speak. The ball was in his court.

Yet, she told him she loved him. Again.

"Dammit Paulsen."

She kicks off her four-inch heels now, leaving her Jimmy Choos in the hallway she pushes herself back on her feet and makes her way through the hall to her living room. Her purse landing on the cabinet on her right. She crosses the room in three big strides, coming to a halt in front of her dining room table. Her hands landing on the backrest of the chair for support, she lets her head hang low.

It felt so real.

She was happy. She was happy for two-and-a-half hours because she was with him. They were together, they were talking and it felt good. But they're not together. He's not hers.

She kissed him and they fought, they fought some more. They kept their distance and after everything, him showing up with a bouquet of flowers, a brush of hands and a smile is apparently enough for her to listen to her heart instead of her mind. To live her dream.

Yet, nothing has changed.

He's still with Paula.

.

He presses the button of the elevator once, twice. Letting out a groan when the display at the top of the wall shows no indication of movement, he presses once more but his feet already direct him to the stairs. Two steps at a time he climbs the stairway to the second floor, he finds himself simultaneously trying to catch his breath and pace up and down the landing in front of her door. The three brass numbers staring him in the face.

206

A reminder of every single time he's been here, for one purpose or another her apartment a collection of some of the most significant moments in the now thirteen years behind them.

He stalls, the soles of his black leather shoes scraping over the floor. He turns on his spot, giving himself some last words of encouragement. His hand falls against the oak door then, once. One knock. It's soft, the only thing really telling him he took this step the feeling of the wood against his knuckles.

He knocks again. Twice this time, louder.

Donna freezes on the spot now, fingers folding over the back of her chair. She recognises those knocks from a mile away, there's only one person that can be at her door right now. Simultaneously the one person she can't face right now and the only person she wants to see. Harvey.

Without much thought she pushes herself on her feet, legs carrying her the familiar fifteen steps to the entrance. They've never felt this heavy and her chest tightens when she reaches the door, the object separating him from her and she wishes this was the only thing that held that function.

He can hear the soft sound of her bare feet padding over the wooden floor. "Donna..." he pronounces her name in the tone he only has for her, his hand resting against the door. His head leaning against it, he closes his eyes. "I know you're there."

She swallows, curses him. Herself, the entire situation they're in. Her hand rests against the door now, just above the lock. It takes everything in her not to turn it. "Why are you here, Harvey?"

"You left," he answers, he swallows now. Wishes she'd just open the door, that they could at least do this face to face. "Please, Donna. Just open the door. We need to –"

"Talk?!" She cuts him off, pulling the door open with a force she didn't know she possessed and she stares at him now. Right in the eye, his silence giving her the chance to regain control of the situation. "We have nothing left to talk about." A flat laugh escapes her, she doesn't feel like laughing, but it's the only thing that prevents the tears from rolling down her cheeks.

He tries to find his balance at the sudden lack of a barrier between them and his head shoots up in a beat. His gaze searching for hers and he doesn't understand how she thinks they have nothing to talk about.

She swallows, the silence deafening and she has to redirect her gaze. Can't find it in herself to look at him, her gaze drops and the paper bag in his hand comes into her vision now. "What's that?" she near barks the inquiry, her hand signalling the bag.

He looks down, following her motion. Briefly forgetting he's even holding something, the brand of the restaurant printed on the brown paper waking him up from his thoughts again. "Your vanilla licorice panna cotta and a tartufo bianco espresso because you also always eat half of my dessert," he recites the two desserts from memory, slowly glancing back up at her. He now brings his other hand with the plastic back in view. "And if I didn't remember that correctly, I also got Chunky Monkey."

She draws in a breath, jaw tightening in the moment as she goes over her options but she ends up giving in with a mere shake of her head and taking a step aside. Her right hand opening the door even further to let him in. She isn't entirely sure as to why, but she can't fight it anymore. Can't fight him anymore and most importantly she can't fight her own feelings anymore.

Letting out another sigh she closes the door behind him, hand resting on the door for one last moment before she follows him to her living room. Coming to a halt in under the entry, she leans against the wall with her shoulder and watches him for a moment.

He looks as lost as she feels. Standing there, near her dining room table. Paper bag in one hand, plastic in the other. Visibly fighting an internal battle as to where to place his belongings. He lets out a breath, deciding to go with his instinct. He chooses the table over her kitchen and takes the last three steps forward, now slowly placing both bags on the surface as he's trying to find his words to truly explain his presence. He turns around slowly, recoiling when he finds her closer than he expected her to be.

"Why are you here, Harvey?" she asks again.

"You left."

She sighs, slowly shakes her head when his answer is the same as before. Can't pretend that it doesn't disappoint her anymore. "Yes, we established that already," she answers with a shrug, before taking a step back. Needing to increase the distance between them.

"No," he counters, hand automatically reaching for her. His fingers slide over her wrist and he thinks he can feel her heartbeat quicken but maybe it's his own. He doesn't let go, looks up at her now, his gaze searching for hers he speaks when she doesn't look at him. "I meant you left before –"

"Before what?" she cuts him off. The tension becoming too much with his hand is still holding onto her wrist. She swallows, her gaze now fixated on his thumb pressing against her skin. His touch sending shivers down her spine, like it had done earlier that evening. Four weeks ago and every other time they really touched before that.

"Before…" He pauses, clearing his throat as he tries to find the right words. Aware he should have started the night with this and he knows he'll only have this one moment to say what he has to. He knows she'll have comments and questions that will no doubt throw him off his game. It's now or never. "Before the most important part."

She looks back up at him in that moment, her hazel eyes meeting his dark brown ones and in them, she sees so much and at the same time nothing. She always prided herself on knowing people, reading them. For years she could read him like a book but ever since she admitted to herself that she didn't fully know the extent of her own feelings she isn't sure of anything anymore.

"And what would -"

He expected a remark, witty comeback and maybe deep down even a question to leave her lips, his answer faster this time. Happening before whichever of the three she'd pick is even fully pronounced. He chooses the same strategy she used on him a few weeks ago, hoping it would answer everything in one go and words were never really his thing anyway.

He takes one more step in her direction, lifts his left-hand to her face and closes the distance between them by covering her lips with his own.

The kiss is soft, gentle, maybe even hesitating at first and even if his hand had been burning her skin seconds prior to it all, it still takes her by surprise. A soft gasp escaping her lips at first but when his thumb brushes over her cheek and her eyes close any remainder of sense and restraint she still had left within her fades away in a heartbeat and boy was hers fast.

She finds herself instinctively kiss back, it's what he did on his turn weeks ago and it had left her wanting for more.

It's when his right hand detangles from her wrist and finds a spot on her waist, pulling her body closer to his and the way his tongue darts out against her lip that makes her bring her hands to his chest. At first to steady herself and when her senses kick back in, to part them.

Deep down she knows he would never have done that if the circumstances were still the same as weeks ago, she knows his morals. His view on life and the issues he has with it, it's why she instantly apologised. That kiss never a question for more, to shake things up but for her to clear her mind, to know for sure. The thing is, that it may have helped her define her feelings but she really doesn't know if the circumstances have changed as well and she decides in that very moment that she's done assuming.

"Harvey," she breathes his name against his lips, her eyes still closed and she can feel his head lean against hers. Both prolonging a moment that has to end. "We can't," she whispers now, swallowing to hold back a tear. "You're with…" Her, she adds in her mind.

"No," he answers her, opening his eyes this time around. Hand moving down her neck, a strand of her red hair slipping between his fingers. "No, I'm not," he adds, moving his head back the slightest to have a better look at the redhead still in his grasp. "It ended a couple of weeks ago."

She stares at him now, confusion washing over her even though deep down she knew this must at least have been the case. Her lips are still parted, a hint of scotch palpable on her tongue even though they never really deepened the kiss, it's her heart that's still frantically beating and everything combined that makes her mind mull over questions she can't answer.

Questions she's drawing the wrong conclusions to because she doesn't know and she doesn't like to be uncertain. It makes her uneasy, snappy. She breaks herself free from his embrace and the first comment to leave her lips just seconds after he told her things were over is riddled with anger and accusations.

"Harvey. I swear to God if she ended things and you're just here because you feel lonely and -"

"What? No," he cuts her off, his head slowly shaking he doesn't understand how she tied everything that happened between together to that. "No," he answers firmer now. "It ended because it never even should have started."

She just looks at him now, lost for words. His words clear, yet confusing as ever. She can only agree that that thing, she doesn't even want to call it a relationship is something that never should have happened. She shakes her head at her own thoughts, as stupid as it may be, maybe it did need to happen. It's what made her realise her own feelings in the first place. "Then why now?"

He swallows, gets what's she's really asking. She isn't referring to the other time, the thirteen years behind them. The time he told her he loved her or the time that she left, nor her kissing him. But the time between 'it ended a couple of weeks ago' and now. "You kissed me."

She opens her mouth to speak, but can't. Words dying on the tip of her tongue but she doesn't know what to say anyway.

"You kissed me," he repeats now trying to catch his own breath, his hand running through his hair. "You kissed me and you left, while I.."

"I know and I'm sorry."

"Don't," he stops her, hand briefly lifting in the air. "Don't be sorry."

"Don't be sorry?" she repeats, her voice cracking as she takes a small step forward. "Harvey for all I know that's why your relationship ended and it wasn't my intention -"

"I don't want you to be sorry," he interferes, his voice piercing through the room. Low but loud, it even shocks himself and he briefly looks down before he finds the courage to look back up at her. "Because I am sorry."

Her eyes widen in surprise, she finds herself staring at him and her voice is barely above a whisper when she speaks. "What?"

"I'm sorry I lashed out at you after you kissed me," he continues now, hand gripping on the backrest of a chair next to him. Anything to hold him in his place. "You kissed me while I was with…" He swallows in her name, the thought alone bringing back all the guilt he's ever felt. "While I was with my therapist."

"Paula," she nearly inaudibly corrects him, it takes almost everything in her to even pronounce the woman's name.

He shakes his head at that, looks down in shame. Knows she's right, that is the woman's name but he can't use it. Not anymore, not after he learned the truth; after he realised what happened. "Therapist," he mutters once more for emphasis, maybe more for himself than for her but it's such a mess and he has to get this right.

"You kissed me," he starts again, repeating it once more because he has learned that vocalising things makes it easier for him to accept what happened. "You left, with a cryptic explanation and I got confused, Donna. So confused that it made me angry; you put me in that position and I lashed out because it was easier than admitting that I kissed I you back. Easier than focussing on my feelings; the guilt that ate me up inside."

She swallows thickly, her own emotions a roller coaster ride and looking at him is a free fall. She bites her lower lip, holds her breath and keeps her comments to herself, as much as she feels the need to comfort him she can't. Knows that if she might, he'll never be able to pronounce the words that he's so desperately trying to find.

"The guilt I felt wasn't because I was with someone else, Donna." He takes another deep breath. "But because I didn't mind it happened, didn't want it to stop," he admits now. "I couldn't sleep, couldn't think. Not about anything else but you... It didn't end because you kissed me, it ended because I've been in love with you this entire time."

Her mouth drops slowly at those words, deep down she had known. Her old self would have known, but in this very moment, it manages to surprise her. It are words she longed to hear years ago, words she realised just over a month ago she still wanted to hear but now that they're here it's confusing.

"But you… You… You were with her." Her words aren't an accusation, a mere factual statement caused by the way this entire situation had her shaken to her core and made her go through some deep soul searching on her own.

"I know," he answers, letting his left-hand run over his face. Regret and shame the two things constantly plaguing his mind when he allows himself to look back at the last few months. "God," he sighs now, desperation palpable in his tone. "God Donna," he tries again, pinching the bridge of his nose. "It's so messed up and I don't even know why I did that. I mean I do…"

He shakes his head, struggling to find the words. To remember the explanations he's gotten these last couple of weeks. "Or I think I do." He sounds unsure and he wishes he wasn't because the woman in front of him is the surest thing in his life and she deserves so much more than he can offer but he can't stop trying even if he wanted to.

"When it ended, she told me she misinterpreted my feelings towards you. I couldn't say I didn't have feelings for you but I also didn't understand why I had done this, why I'd gotten myself into that …" he doesn't pronounce the word relationship. Can't, not anymore, not now he knows it was all based on a lie.

"I even went to talk to Louis' freaking therapist," he tells her then and a nervous chuckle escapes him when he hears the words out loud, never in a million years did he imagine to ever have to say that. It's what Paula had suggested before she walked out of his life, to talk to someone who wasn't her. Someone who could actually help him.

He had ignored that advice for two days straight, couldn't stand the idea of more therapy. Didn't trust that anymore but those forty-eight hours had come with sleepless nights. The hours he did sleep spend dreaming about the woman in front of him and all the hours awake had him mulling over how the hell he ended up in this situation, only adding to the constant confusion he had felt.

He caved on the third morning, found himself in the other name partner's office to ask for advice. He nods now as he goes over the scenario in his mind again, bobbing his head up and down to show it's true. Talked to the man two times a week for two consecutive weeks already. His 'morning meetings' now the furthest from what that excuse once meant, besides Louis (whom he'd sworn to secrecy) no one knew of this new meaning of 'morning meeting'.

He wasn't ready for people to know, for Donna to know.

"He's… He's trying to explain to me what happened, why I did what I did. It's called transferring or something," he pauses, thinks over the couple of sessions he had with the older man to make sure he mentioned the right term. "It's some scary shit. He's trying to help me figure out why it happened and I think… No, I know, it basically all comes down to you. You, Donna. In an extremely twisted and screwed up way, everything I did was because of you."

"Harvey," she whispers now taking another step towards him.

"When you said you wanted more," he continues while he still can before she says something else or gets too close, he has to do this. "I think… I think that's when I got terrified that that wouldn't include me and I got myself some sort of backup, just so I wouldn't have to feel the pain of your more not being me."

She gulps, draws her bottom lip between her teeth and looks down. Remembers how quickly she told him she wanted a new position, how quickly she defined her more and how long it actually took for her to realise it wasn't just a promotion that she wanted.

She remembers how distant he was at the time, how he pushed her away. She guesses now that it was all part of what he's trying to explain. That in order to protect himself he told himself she had no meaning to him at all. She is certain now, something she's known deep down for a while, that the exact opposite is true.

"Dr. Lip… Stick… Schitz or what's his name... He said that this can happen when a... uhm.. when a therapist has similar attributes to a person in the patient's personal life," he pauses, briefly glancing up at the redhead. He notices her mouth starting to part and a hint of confusion maybe even annoyance washing over her face. "Not that anyone is really similar to you," he adds quickly, realising that was probably the last thing she wanted to hear. "Cause you're you," he continues the corners of his mouth tugging up in a small smile. "And you're real and scary… Point is that that wasn't real but my feelings for you are."

She crooks her head, a soft smile gracing her lips. Speechless, she's both in awe at the way he's opening up to her and amazed that after everything this is happening. She can only look at the man in front of her, her colleague, her best friend. The love of her life.

"This news fucked me up so much, Donna…" he shakes his head, struggles to look at her now. "You kissing me was everything but I kept telling myself it was wrong and then I learned what I had done was actually because of how I feel about you." He swallows, feels his throat drying up and he stares at his feet for a moment. "I should have told you before but I didn't know how. Cause what kind of person mixes people up like this?"

She swallows, watches him intently and she notices he's fighting the tears welling in his eyes now. The sight making her tear up herself. Cautiously, she takes the last step towards him, bringing her hand to his face.

He stills at her touch, feels his jaw clench at the warmth radiating from her hand when her thumb moves over his cheek and his back straightens while simultaneously a current runs down his spine. He slowly tilts his head, following the lead of her hand. His gaze gradually moves over her face, briefly resting on her quivering bottom lip when she whispers a greeting until his eyes meet hers at last.

Seeing in them the one look he had come to fear wouldn't be there anymore when he told her the truth. It's then that he breaks down.

"What…" He swallows once, her gaze too much but he can't bring himself to look away. Not anymore. "What kind of person can't see that the love of his life has been sitting in front of -"

She doesn't let him finish his sentence this time around, answers him in the same way he did earlier that evening. Lifting herself on her toes, she closes the distance between them. Her lips brush against his and when she feels his lips part beneath hers and his hand settles back on her waist, she doesn't pull away. The kiss is slow, steady and takes away any doubt either might have still had.

His head leans against hers when she pulls away, his eyes still closed he drinks her in. Cherishing the moment, the warmth and taste of her lips on his. The way her fingertips brush over his cheek like she had done weeks ago.

She smiles softly now, slowly opening her eyes when she comes back to the ground. Her left hand coming to a rest on his chest, she looks up at the man that's still holding onto her. Much like earlier this night, yet so different. So much better. She runs her thumb over his cheek down to the corner of his mouth, letting it linger there for a moment. "You're a good man, Harvey."

He smiles at that, still can't believe that after everything he's holding her here in his arms. That the woman of his dreams is kissing him and can somehow still find the exact words he needed to hear in a moment that only leaves him speechless.

"And I love you."

He beams now, peering into her hazel eyes. Seeing in them total admiration and he thinks his words from earlier aren't close to the truth, cause yes kissing her is amazing but it's the way she looks at him, holds him and the words she just spoke that are truly everything. He catches himself looking down again, staring at her slightly parted lips and the sight is so distracting that he can barely believe she told him that. "Can you say it again," he whispers then, has to be sure. "Please."

Her lips tug up into a brighter smile, she feels her heart skip another beat and her own gaze drops from his eyes to his lips. Her thumb slowly running over his trembling bottom lip, she doesn't mind his request. Will gladly tell him again. "I love you."

A relieved sigh escapes him, his heart skipping a beat when he hears those three words again and with it, he loses any ability to speak in return. He decides then to answer in the only different way he knows how to, the hand on her waist moving to the small of her back as he pulls her closer. Her body pressed flush against his when he kisses her again.

His free hand moves to her face, fingers threading through her ginger manes like hers slip through the hair on the back of his neck. Her fingertips pressing against his skull when he captures her bottom lip between her own, softly tugging on it and following it up by a quick peck to sooth. The moan that escapes her makes his stomach flutter and he deepens the kiss. Tongue brushing against her lips, she slowly gives him access answering her own burning desire to taste more of him.

They break apart not long after that, only to catch their breath. A low groan leaves his lips when she lets go of his lip and a chuckle escapes her upon hearing that. He swallows, thinks he's never heard something so sexy as that one singular sound just now. "God woman." He inhales again, letting his hand trail down her neck only to hook under her chin and he angles her face towards his in order to capture her lips once more. "I love you," he tells her before doing just so.

She gasps, knees turning weak at the entire experience. Only they can go from fighting to emotional confessions to not being able to stop touching each other. She instantly holds onto his shoulders to prevent herself from falling, his hand on her waist moving down to her hip, firmly holding her in place as if he read her mind and she thinks he might. The motion also making his need for her clear, she responds by moving her hands down over his chest. Undoing the one button that tied his armor together and she slips her hands under the heavy fabric. Moving her hands back up to his shoulders to push the jacket of his frame.

He only releases his grip on her to help her remove the piece of clothing. His hands soon finding her waist, he turns her around in one swift motion. Guiding her back to his chest, he moves his right hand up to her neck. Bringing her hair to one side, his lips soon covering the newly exposed skin. "You're beautiful," he whispers in between kisses, he feels her melt against his chest and that reaction alone makes him wish he'd told her every single time he thought so. His hands now map out the back of her dress, trailing along the straps brushing past her freckled skin in search of the zipper. "This is tortuous, you know that."

"What?" she muses.

"You," he murmurs, kissing the crook of her neck again. Fingers falling around the small metal item and he slowly pulls it down. "In this dress. That green," he explains, right-hand slipping under the fabric and ghosting over the porcelain skin of her back. He pulls the strap over her left shoulder with his other hand until the dress is nothing more than a pool of fabric on the floor. "Should be illegal."

She laughs loudly, torso twisting ever so slightly as she looks over her shoulder in his direction. Her right hand moving up to reach for his tie, she leans in for a quick kiss and turns around fully then. Her body flush against his before he even gets the chance to take her in. "Ooh," she answers now, hands deftly undoing the knot. "You mean like you wearing my favourite suit."

"I don't know what you're talking about," he counters with a grin, watches her bite her lip as she pulls the silk fabric aside and lets her hands run down over his vest. The comment gets him a soft push in return and he takes a step back, his hand on the small of her back making her follow.

"You're wearing too many clothes," she reasons, undoing the buttons of his vest and her hands slide to his side just below his ribcage. She takes another step forward, making him move again. "It's not fair."

"You did always like a three-piece suit."

She grins at his answer, knows for certain that the outfit in question wasn't a coincidence. They have that in common. She wets her lips, eyes roaming back over his torso to his face as she unbuttons his dress shirt and pushes it off his shoulders too. Her gaze rests on his lips for a moment before her flickering up to lock with his. She sees a sparkle in his eyes then and she smiles. "I think I like you more without it."

His eyes widen in surprise, after everything she still manages to take him off guard and he can't help but think that he wouldn't have it any other way. He draws her closer, fingers pressing in the dimples on her back, his mouth moving over the delicate skin of her neck over jaw to her earlobe. His voice low and hoarse when he whispers, "That can be arranged."

She laughs, her eyes closing and her breath hitches when he kisses that spot he repeatedly claimed his during the other time. She feels him grin against her skin in return and she wraps her arms around his neck, lifting herself on her toes to bring her lips to his. "Take me to bed, Specter."

"Gladly," he smirks. His right-hand trails further down her back and over her black lace covered butt to her thigh. Bringing it up to his waist, she gets what he's trying to do and she pushes herself towards him, wrapping her other leg around him. Her hands holding onto his shoulders while he carries her towards her bedroom.

The need to undress each other is becoming too much to reach that destination though and he has to place her back down on the ground to let her pull his undershirt over his head. The moment they're apart already too long, his hands hungrily searching for her.

She chuckles, tosses his shirt somewhere on the floor. Mumbles 'shoes,' and her hands roam his bare chest while he kicks off his shoes and socks. Tracing his muscles down until she reaches his suit pants, she hears him hiss and she looks up at him. One eyebrow raised to challenge him, the look he gives her enough for her to know that she's killing him.

She reaches for his belt, looks back down when she struggles opening it. Drawing her bottom lip between her teeth she concentrates on her task at hand and he swallows looking at her. Lips ghosting over the skin of her neck, his breathing getting heavier when she pulls down the zipper of his pants.

"Don…"

His comment only results in more teasing, pushing his suit pants down her fingers now trail along the edge of his boxers. From his back the front and at last down over arousal. "What?" She teases him.

A low growl echoes through the room and his hands on her hips sneak around her frame to pull her closer, showing her and making her feel exactly what the current problem is. He takes a step forward and another, lifting her up one more time for the last couple of steps. Harvey's knee slides over her mattress and he leans forward to place her down on the duvet. Her hands rest on his shoulders, loosely this time and she finds herself smiling up at him. Her hand moving up to caress his face.

Her loving touches make him calm down, take a moment to look at her too while he hovers above her. His gaze roams her face, from her swollen lips to her darkened eyes. He brings his hand to her face, brushing her auburn strands out of the way. Thumb caressing her cheek, he can barely believe this is happening. How they went from being so distant to this, he knows she feels the same about him but he asks again. "You sure?"

She nods, brings her hand to his jaw and guides his lips back to hers. The kiss this time starting out slow and passionate but when his lips part and her tongue slides over his, it ignites the spark from minutes ago, setting the thirteen yearlong slow burning desire between them on fire.

His hands move over her waist, maps out the outline of her bra till he reaches the clasp behind her back. Blindly undoing it, his lips disconnect from hers to concentrate on removing the piece of clothing. He leans back a little, lips moving over her shoulder. Teeth tugging on the strap to pull it aside, his right-hand trails back over her ribs, now following the line of her breast, he slips his hand under the black lace item. Thumb flicking over her nipple.

"Harv…" The rest of his name covered by a moan, her eyes falling shut at the sensation. It's just his hand, hot on her skin, but she's falling apart already. Making love to your soulmate after thirteen years has that effect.

The sound that escapes her sends a rush of blood straight down, he growls, lets the strap of her bra slip from his teeth when he reaches her elbow. Glances back up at her with hungry eyes, he grins at the urgency with which she pulls her own bra aside and the view it reveals distracts him enough to barely even notice how she brings up her left foot to his hip and starts pushing his boxer briefs down.

"Wow," he mutters against her skin, both a reaction to him catching up with her actions as well as the view. He lifts himself on his elbow and leans towards her, lips leaving wet kisses over her chest on his way to her lips. "Impatient much."

"Very much," she agrees on his lips, not having it in her to tell him otherwise. She pushes her hips up to his, stroking his still trapped erection. The hiss that follows makes her bring her other leg up now, pulling the fabric around his thighs even lower. "Get used to it," she comments, yanking the briefs down, she feels him hard against her thigh.

He grins, leans back in to steal a kiss. He briefly lifts one leg followed by the other to help her discard his last piece of clothing. He uses the opportunity to sneak his hand down between them again, moving over her stomach to her panties. "I'm not that flexible," he tells her now referring to the way her legs wrap around his, her toes trailing up and down his calf. "So I'm going to have to use my hands..." He pauses, sucking the skin near her collarbone between his teeth. "To get you out of this," he adds, tongue darting out to soothe the spot and his index-finger traces the edge of her black panties.

"If I remember correctly." Her eyes close and her back arches, biting back a moan when his hand moves down her legs. "You can… Ooh… Do more with your hands than… Oh God," she whimpers when his thumb presses the lace against her heat.

He stills his movement, feeling how wet she already is for him. The notion sending a warm rush down his body, turning him on even more. "No need to be formal, Harvey is enough," he teases her, placing a kiss on her chin.

She shakes her head, brings her hand to his head. Fingers slipping through his hair, she pulls softly to make him look back up at her. "Harvey," she uses his name now, her tone demanding but the look on her face just filled with love. "Less talking, more action," she orders with a flick of her hand and she brings her lips to his in a long kiss.

He obeys at that statement, pulling her panties down her hips. His other hand mapping out her body, drawing invisible lines between the freckles he never forgot as he moves lower. Lips copying the path his hand sketches out, he nips at the side of her breast, drags his tongue down from there to her belly button. Much like the other time, different direction now. He kisses her skin, nips at her hip. Feels her squirm underneath him, her body lifting from the bed every now and then to accommodate the hand that's removing the black lace.

He tosses her panties to the side, kicks it away when the fabric lands on his own foot and he turns to look at the redhead again. Takes the shortest of seconds to look at the woman he's head over heels in love with, lying there completely naked and ready in front of him. He tilts his head to the left, kisses the inside of her thigh and every single moan that leaves her lips sounds exactly like it did all those years ago. Right-hand ghosting over her left leg, hooking around her knee. He draws abstract patterns on her thigh when she lets it fall to the side, opening herself up to him.

She draws her lip between her teeth, holds back the whimpers. Her body craving his touch, her back arches when his hand hovers above her centre, the warmth radiating from his hand almost more torturous than the lack of skin to skin contact. She draws a hand down her own body to his hair, gripping onto it for the umpteenth time this night, his hair thoroughly messed up already but she likes this look the best on him.

He presses himself up with one last kiss just above where she so desperately wants to be touched, her hand in his hair slipping down to his face. He climbs back up towards her, leaving a kiss on her body every now and then, lips falling over her breast he sucks on the delicate skin.

"Harvey please," she begs, finger raking down his side, counting his ribs. She brings her leg up to his hip, urging him towards her.

He lets go of her boob with one last kiss, now looking up at her again. Notices her eyes nearly shut, the way her lips are slightly parted and if he hadn't already gotten the message feeling her hand close in on him would do it. Her grasp gentle, warm, the slow strokes torturous. "Fuck, Donna," he stutters, pressing his lips against the corner of her mouth, he speaks in between pecks. "Let. Me. Grab. A. Condom."

She crooks her head to the side, capturing his lips with her own. "I.. Good," she forgets her words because his body is warm against hers. His touch eliciting goosebumps all over her body and his mouth against hers could make her forget how to breathe. "On the pill," she manages to get out, letting him settle between her legs.

His breath hitches in the back of his throat, he peers up to look at her. His colleague, best friend, and love of his life. His everything. Eyes locking with hers, he waits one moment just to be sure. It's when she nods that he brings his right-hand to her hip and over her thigh. Slightly lifting her leg as he enters her in one slow thrust.

Her back curves and her head tilts back against the duvet. Eyes pressed shut, her mouth falling open as a loud moan escapes her. His head falls in the crook of her neck, her name rolling all too easily of his tongue and it takes him a moment to catch his breath. Mouth left agape he moves back, but she moves her leg to hold him inside of her.

He looks up at her, hand caressing her cheek. "You okay?" He watches her smile softly, nod, and the look in her eyes is all he needed to know. He leans back in to kiss her making her fingers lusciously scrape over his back, her nails dig into his skin and his left-hand holds onto her thigh when he thrusts inside her again.

"Ooh, H… Harvey." She bites on her lower lip, lets her hands roam over his chest to his neck as she pushes her body towards him. Her hips meeting every thrust she gives, she sneaks her hand to the back of his head. Holding onto his hair once more as her lips leave a trail of wet kisses over his shoulder.

He can feel her lips move up to his face, soft kisses being placed on the corner of his mouth, his cheek, and temple. She's tracing his features with her lips, her nose now brushing over his. She moans again and he pulls back the slightest to look at her while their bodies continue to mold together.

"God, Don…"

She smiles when his eyes lock with hers. He leans back in to kiss her as he misses the warmth of her lips against his and he moves his left-hand to her head, fingers slipping through her hair like had done in his dreams. But reality is so much better it almost makes him forget how to breathe.

His right-hand slides over her arm to her hand, his digits slipping between hers and his name escapes her lips in that one way that takes him back thirteen years and has haunted his nights since. She watches his eyes fall shut, the way his bottom lip trembles. Another soft moan escaping her lips at the sight.

His breathing becomes heavier by the second, the pressure inside of him rises now that he can feel her starting to lose herself. One hand trails down her body once more, paying attention to every single spot he remembers made her moan. The thumb rubbing slow circles encouraging her on, his tongue making the same slow circular movements against the base of her neck.

"Ha.. Fuck… Har…vey"

She drops her head against his shoulder, lips parted. Her teeth press softly against his skin in the same way her nails leave moon shaped dents behind. Feeling her ride out her orgasm makes him lose control as well, thrusting a few times more before he spills inside of her. His arms give in and his body drapes over hers, keeping himself buried in her heat for just a moment longer.

"I love you," he whispers then.

She swallows, her heart melting in this moment. She wraps her arms around him as he keeps her close, both trying to catch their breath. They lay in each other's embrace in silence for a moment, his ear pressed against her chest. He listens to her heartbeat, hearing it slow down again.

She focuses on the pattern of his breath, hearing it return to normal in the course of a few minutes. She moves her hand over his face, pushing his hair aside.

"I love you," he breathes again, now crooking his head to look up at her. He stills when he spots her watery eyes and his lips part, momentarily taken off guard by her reaction. He rolls off her, brings his hand to her face, thumb moving over her cheek. "Are you okay?"

She smiles, head leaning into his touch and she nods twice. Her eyes still locked on his. "Yes," she whispers, turning towards him. She gives him a quick kiss. "More than okay," she explains. "I'm just happy … and… a bit… a bit overwhelmed," she admits and he smiles at her, brings his left-hand to cover the one on her stomach. Letting his fingers move over her knuckles, while his other hand twists a strand of hair around his finger.

"I was afraid we'd never get here."

He swallows, feels his chest tighten at her admission and all he can do is pull her closer. Bring her head to his chest, he continues to hold her in his arms. One hand drawing soothing patterns down her back, he presses a kiss to the top of her head. "I'm sorry," he whispers then. "That it took me this long… For everything."

She shifts a little, turning her head to look at him. "No, don't do that," she whispers now, bringing her hand to his face. She caresses his cheek. "Don't blame yourself," she tells him then. "I had my rule. I was never clear to you either."

He covers her hand on his cheek with his own, turning it around, he threads their fingers together. "Don't," he whispers now, and she smiles at him. Knows he's telling her what she just told him. To not blame herself either. "We're here," he tells her.

Her lips curl up into a soft smile. "We're here," she repeats his words, placing her head back on his chest. She snuggles a little closer to him as he wraps his arms around her a little tighter and he presses another kiss to the top of her head.

She chuckles a few minutes later, her nose pressing against his skin and her hand stills the caressing movements. He frowns at that, brings the hand that ran up and down her arm to her face. He hooks his index finger under her chin, making her look up at him. "What?"

"Nothing," she shakes her head, bringing her lips to his for a sweet kiss. "I just… I can barely believe that we actually -"

"Made love?"

She snickers involuntarily, his words the truth but it's the furthest thing she expected to have left his lips. "Wow." She taps her hand against his chest. "Never pictured those words to be part of your vocabulary."

He grins, covers her hand again to stop her from poking his chest. "Paulsen special," he gloats, looking at her again. Suddenly curious as to what she was going to say. "What did you have in mind then."

She bites her lip, looks away for a moment and tries to come up an unlikely answer. "Done the dirty," she tells him now.

He laughs, his head falling back into a pillow. "We're not old enough to call it that," he counters turning on his side to look at her again.

"Get it on," she answers with a grin.

He smirks, remembers the late nights at the D.A.'s office where he, more than once, had put on that record to tease her, win her over. He brings his hand to her waist, pulling her closer and he subconsciously wets his lips again now thinking about the first half of her statement. "If you give me a minute, I can remind you of -"

She kisses him before he can finish his sentence. "This is perfect," she whispers on his lips. Her hand moving to his neck she holds him close as she brings her head back to his chest, kissing his Adam's apple.

"Or," he whispers, turning his head ever so slightly to glance at her. He rolls her around, his body now half draped above hers. She gives him a quizzical look, the sparkle in his eye giving away he's onto something. He leans in, steals a kiss. "Wait here," he tells her, rolling off her again.

She props herself up on her elbow, head slowly crooking as he moves to the edge of the bed and gets out. She swallows, drawing her lip between her teeth when he bends down to reach for something. She tilts her head to the other side when a further explanation lacks, but she watches him pull his boxer briefs up just before he steps out of her room.

She frowns now, pulling the sheet up over her chest to cover herself a bit more. She knows he told her to wait there, but curiosity gets the better of her and she moves down to the side of the bed herself. Wrapping the white sheets around her body she steps into the hallway and tiptoes over to her living room.

She stalls then, standing in the opening as her gaze finds him. His back turned towards her, she spots the two forks in his right hand and notices how he's trying to open the two boxes with desserts.

He flicks his thumb under the cardboard lid, opening the second box to reveal the panna cotta she always chose. He senses her then, can feel her gaze moving over his body. He bites his tongue, holding back a smile and he turns to look over his shoulder. Catches her biting her lip and can't help but flash his signature grin now, knowing he has that effect on her. "I thought you were going to stay in bed?"

She shakes her head, rocks back and forth on her spot for a second before she pulls the sheet closer to her frame. She pads forward, stopping right behind him. She brings her hand to his back, wraps it around him. Her lips connecting with his shoulder. "Yeah but I missed you," she whispers now letting her head lean against his frame. "What are you doing?"

He lifts his arm, turns a bit to the left and wraps his arm around her. He flashes her a smile now and glances back at the two desserts on the dining room table in front of them. "I…" he starts, thinking over his sentence. He realises how weird it sounds, but says it anyway. "I was going to bring you dessert in bed."

She looks up at him, her gaze narrowing in just a little bit. "Ooh," she sighs now. "I'm not really a food in the bedroom kind of girl."

Her comment takes him off guard and it takes a second before him to realise she's just messing with him. "I know for fact that isn't true," he counters with a grin. "But as good as that was. I don't think this," he pauses, signalling the two boxes with the forks in his hands. "Works as well as whipped cream."

She nods, lifts a box from the table and reaches for his free hand. Softly pulling on it, she bobs her head to the side to signal him to follow her. He drops the forks in the other box, lifts it and follows her willingly. Letting her hand slip from his when she rounds the blue couch, she brings it to his chest and pushes him down to sit. Dropping down next to him, positions like the last time they sat on her couch, but this time they're both barely dressed.

He pulls her closer, his hand automatically reaching for her left leg to drape it over his lap. He watches her lean forward, how she steals one of the forks from the box in his hand, before digging into the dessert he bought for her. Ignoring his own tartufo, he observes her taking a big bite. The way her lips close around the silver cutlery, how her eyes close in appreciation.

He smiles, ready to turn his focus to the box in his grip, but when a soft moan escapes her lips his brain short circuits and his body responds to that sound. He gulps, appetite lost or rather changed as he watches her again.

"Mmmm," she mumbles, fork tapping against the box. "This is divine," she announces, taking another quick bite. She opens her eyes now, finds him watching her. She crooks her head studies him for a moment and figures it's her comment. She always says that, every single year. She digs her fork back into the white substance, now holding it up in front of his face for him to taste.

He leans forward, takes the bite she offers him. His hand moving up and down over her calf, he hums in appreciation for her, but he doesn't care for either dessert anymore. He watches her steal a bite from his tartufo now, this resulting in yet again the same reaction he witnessed every year. He thinks it's so much better now though, at home. With her in his arms, being able to touch her and kiss her as he pleases.

Fingers drawing patterns over her leg, his hand slips under the white sheet every now and then to move over her thigh, he lets her enjoy the sweets. Only placing the boxes on the coffee table when he notices the pauses between each bite become longer and longer, and her humming is now mostly caused by his touch instead of the food. "Come here," he whispers now, fingers pressing into her leg, his left hand reaching for her waist.

She smiles, licks her lips and follows his lead. Sitting down on his lap, she brings her hands to his chest. Letting them slide up and down, to finally cross behind his head and lean forward to kiss him. "How about that reminder."

.

She stirs, her eyes still closed a yawn escapes her lips. She rolls around, her body aching in all the right places and she stretches her legs. Expecting to find him, her hand now maps out the empty spot next to her. She pries one eye open, takes in the sight and her heart skips a beat. The warmth of the mattress and the fact that she's naked the only reminder of last night being real.

"I didn't leave."

His voice echoes through the room, her head turns in his direction she can't help but let out a breath she didn't know she was holding. She pulls on the sheet and moves to a sitting position.

"Hey," he whispers now, presses his lips together in a thin smile. He pushes himself to his feet then, steadying the two cups of coffee he has in his hand as he closes the door behind him with his elbow. He strides through the room to her side of the bed, hands her a cup before he sits down next to her.

"Hey," she answers in return, looking down at the cup of coffee he handed her. She takes a small sip, the hot liquid fully waking her up. She smiles now, glancing back up at him. "I could get used to this."

He grins and takes her cup from her hand, placing both aside on her nightstand. He leans towards her, hand sliding through her auburn locks as he guides her closer to him until his lips brush against hers. "Morning."

She repeats his greeting, gives him another peck on his lips. Now bringing her arms around his neck, she pulls him towards her until they both fall down the mattress. His back resting on the duvet, her body draped half over his, he wraps his arm around her. Both of them stealing kisses every now and then.

He falls silent now, his hand resting on her frame and he just looks at her. "Was that really our last dinner?" he asks now, question pronounced before he fully registers it himself.

She pushes herself up a little to look him in the eye. Her mouth slowly parts and an answers should follow but she's left speechless.

"Cause it's also our anniversary now," he adds noticing the confused look on her face. His added comment makes her break out into a smile and he nudges her arm. "Well?"

"You seem sure we'll make it to a year," she teases him now, but only because she knows she is it for him, just like he is it for her.

He holds her a little tighter, covers her hand on his chest with his own. The look on his face growing more serious before he speaks. "I'm sure we'll make it another thirteen years and more."

"Sounds perfect," she whispers in between kisses. Her hand falling against his chest when he tries to deepen the kiss, she creates a little bit more distance between them. "We should get going."

He shakes his head.

"We have a firm to run."

He shakes his head once more. "No, I took care of that," he tells her now. "We can stay in bed the entire morning."

She looks at him in surprise, the man a true workaholic. Had only had two sick days in all the years she's worked for him and even though she expected a statement of this nature, she didn't count in the 'I took care of that.'

"How?" she whispers now. "What did you do?"

He smiles proudly, glad he could surprise her with not just a cup of coffee but this too. "I texted Louis. Told him I had a meeting this morning and that you called me to tell me you weren't feeling well," he explains, his hand reaching for hers. " I mean, I figured you'd want to keep -"

"Oh God," she mutters at once, sitting up straight in her bed. She stares at him for a moment, wondering if he's serious. "You… " she starts. "When was that?"

He frowns, can't entirely place her chance in behaviour. "I don't know," he answers now, searching for a clock. "Maybe thirty minutes ago," he reasons. "Why?"

"What time is it?" She rolls around, crawls over the bed in search for her phone, anything to check the time.

His frown grows firmer. "Donna what's -" he swallows in the rest of his sentence when he hears the lock of her front door turn. His panicked gaze meets hers now, eyes only growing wider when that sound is followed by a voice they both recognise.

"Donna. It's me," Louis announces loudly, closing the door behind him.

Harvey stares at the redhead now, can't believe the situation he's gotten them into and she merely crooks her head. Giving him a knowing look. "How am I supposed to -"

She presses her index finger against his lips, pressing her own lips shut to signal he needs to shut up.

"Harvey told me you weren't feeling well," Louis announces now, turning around at the door again. "I brought you a prunie and some bread."

Donna's hands now move to Harvey's chest. Starting to push him out of her bed, while she rushes through her room to get a robe. Silently rushing her arms through the sleeves, she wraps the material around her bare frame. Eyes signalling for the lawyer to hide, she throws a pillow in his direction while she rushes to her door and she silently thanks him for having pushed that shut.

Glancing at Harvey one last time, her index finger now pressed against her own lips as a warning. He tries to hold his laugh, mouths an apology in her direction. She checks her outfit and quickly opens her door, holding onto the frame for support as she puts on her poker face. "Louis?" she asks, eyes barely opened. She fakes a cough and brushes her messy hair out of her face.

Louis turns around at the sound of her voice, recoiling the slightest at the sight. He's never seen the woman in front of him so sick before. "Donna, oh god," he states now stepping forward. "Are you okay? Do you have a fever? You're glowing," he speaks, stretching his arm out.

She jumps back, avoiding Louis' reach at all costs. Pushing the door further open in her movement, she can Harvey's near curse coming from the other side of the door. She fake a cough again. "Don't," she speaks now, holding her hand in the air to keep the older lawyer at a distance. "Think it's the flu, Louis."

He studies, her jumpiness surprising him and his gaze drops to an object that just came into his sight, remains fixated on it for a moment.

She can't help but notice the change in expression on Louis's face and she finds herself following his line of vision. Her own gaze now resting on the dress shirt she singlehandedly brought back to her bedroom after they went for round two on her couch. The embroidered initials on the cuff in plain sight.

"Isn't that …" Louis can't even pronounce the name, his gaze flickering up to meet Donna's and her face says it all. "Oh God," Louis mutters now, handing over the paper bag with breakfast and prunie, he backs away and turns around, striding back towards the door.

"I need a day."

Harvey steps forward now, his hand sliding over her waist as he simultaneously curses himself for the entire situation he created as well as trying to hold his laugh. "I'm sorry," he whispers when the sound of her front door falling shut echoes through the apartment.

She shakes her head, turns around in his embrace. A 'no you're not' on the tip of her tongue, she doesn't pronounce it when the look on his face makes her laugh and he laughs along with her. She closes her eyes, lets her head rest against his chest.

He laughs once more, tries to catch his breath and looks down. Pressing a kiss on top of her head. "We should take a day too," he suggests now.

She grins, lets her hands move over his sides as she creates a little bit more distance between them. She tilts her head backward and looks up at him. "I'd love to, but you do realise that would leave the firm without anyone in charge."

He sighs, realises he, all by his own doing, created an abrupt ending to their first morning as a couple. As well as giving away the fact that they're together to the one person who would probably spill that news to everyone else in record time.

He finally found the courage to tell her how he feels and act on those feelings, they have finally gotten together. But this morning a clear example of how he really isn't an expert at all this and has a lot to learn, things he wishes he could do better the first time around.

It's when she taps her fingers against his ribs, waking him from his thoughts again and tells him to go to work together, that he realises these little mistakes don't matter because they love each other.

She'll guide him, he'll learn. He's certain, one day roles will be reversed and he'll be the one guiding her through the next step of their lives.

Either way, together they will make it.

Always have and always will.

He smiles then, cups her face and gives her a quick kiss.

"Yes, boss."

- The end

so that was that.. a very very long second part that hopefully made up for the pain part one might have caused. I hope you liked it, let me know.

ooh and as for why on earth Louis would have a key to Donna's place.. I just imagined that in a pre-Mike era... Donna and Rachel took one vacation together and she needed someone to take care of her plants, and that obviously wasn't Harvey (although the cactus is alive and blooming) at the time so she asked Louis (big mistake.. because he never gave it back..blablabla).