Mike Ross, Pearson-Hardman associate and puppy in training shifted the pile of folders in his hands as he reached into his pants pocket for the instrument emitting the angry vibrations and occasional beep. He juggled his cell until he was able to view the screen. He looked anxiously at the picture and name on the surface.
“I’m early,” he whined to himself, “really early.” He touched the answer tab. The voice on the other end gave him no opportunity to do anything but listen.
“I left my portfolio in the office…pick it up on your way to the conference room.” A “thanks” came just before the screen noted end of call.
Ignoring his reflections in the spotless glass walls and the other associates attempts to chit-chat, Mike focused his attention on the domain of the guardian of his boss’ inter-sanctum. It hadn’t taken him long to learn that one wrong move with Harvey’s assistant Donna and he’d be toasted, grounded, bagged and buried deep in the nearest landfill with no one aware of his passing. He paused long enough to pay obedience and hold out his hand for the portfolio.
Entering the conference room he moved to the chair next to where Harvey Specter, his mentor in training, stood waiting for the potential client’s to join them. His sense of relief at being on “Pearson-Hardman time” almost caused him to pump his fist in the air. Instead he took Harvey’s slight smile as a step toward “getting it.” Quickly he separated the folders, stacking them as he readied himself to provide the information Harvey might need as he fielded, the client’s questions.
During a pause Harvey pushed a note in his direction. Reading it he opened Harvey’s portfolio, quickly searched for the requested documents and pushed them over to Harvey. He started to close the folio, but a pale rose tinted dinner napkin with Harvey’s neat print caught his attention. What interested him even more was the name written along an edge. Jessica P. He kept an eye on Harvey and on the tri-folded distraction, suffering a bout of nervous curiosity.
His growing awareness of how his mentor operated told him that within another five minutes or so all the questions would have answers and the business part of the meeting was over. He kept his eyes on Harvey as he smoozed and charmed their new clients. He politely dodged Harvey’s signal to join in, by waving the signed contracts and pointing at the portfolio. At Harvey’s shrug he took the opportunity to satisfy his curiosity and pulled the napkin into view. As discreetly as he could he unfolded the 4 x 8 square.
White Coffee Cup…sometimes I daydream of being the rim of that cup
Mike snorted. He couldn’t help looking at the coffee cup Harvey was holding, it didn’t match the café set-up in the middle of the conference table so maybe, it was “the cup” from the set usually in Jessica Pearson’s office. He couldn’t stop the grin on his lips as he thought that Harvey had taken the cup, as a token.
…this napkin will self-destruct as soon as I reach the closes toilet…I need her…the lettering on her office door should read Her Highness of Cunning-Calculating-Crafty-Clever-Candid…glass offices…no opportunity for quickies in this place…she doesn’t think I see her…she doesn’t think I know her as well as she thinks she knows me…maybe…her tenacious friendship…that bull about all the senior partners required to have an associate…her way of pulling my strings to make me care…is it working?...that I can’t reach in and pull from her mind how she feels about me…beyond the facade of senior partner…mentee…right-hand…what does she feel when she looks at Harvey/me…her effort to rewrite my code of “me first”…it’s distracting…that we function…like that old saying, “a well-oiled machine”…dick hardening physique, mind quicker and sharper than 90% of the brain power fueling this firm…including me…full lips…sometimes it hurts to look at the smile formed by those lips and know that their touch is denied me…long brown fingers…steel backbone…strength… softness…beauty…fascinating combination…Irises tinted dark chocolate…in the glances between us…no words are needed for the lesson shared…the sixty percent of the time when she plays me...the forty percent that I let her...the challenge in her look…that speaks of recognition…Starbucks and dignity…when she withholds herself from me…after work celebrations…her lips on a martinis glass…the smell of her perfume mix with the aroma of the whiskey on the rim of a glass…her appreciation of my drive…her forgiveness…her need to train me…she doesn’t scare…deep dimples…soft skin…her x-ray vision and on target bullshit detector…she loves afternoon baseball
Mike glanced around the room, no Harvey, but he could feel his glance. He swiveled the chair beneath him slowly to find Harvey staring at him through the glass wall. He felt his face heat with embarrassment at the possibility of being caught snooping but he quickly told himself that Harvey can’t read minds and he’s not Superman so no x-ray vision. At his mentor’s signal to join him, he layered the napkin between the signed contracts and put everything inside the portfolio. Gathering up the pile of papers and folders he joined Harvey in the hallway. As they walked he continued to dissect the list and concluded that his boss might have a crush on his boss. The idea pleased him. What pleased him even more was the thought that Harvey could be in process of being the sustenance for the associate rumor mill gave him hope.