Louis and I spent all after talking about what needed to happen next. We had even called Jessica to seek her advice as a former managing partner. We'd headed back to the office separately and as we were making our way down the hall we heard what appeared to be a screaming match coming from Robert's office. As we got closer to the door I saw Robert, Harvey, Samantha and Alex all yelling. It was hard to tell who was yelling at who, or if any of them really knew who they were yelling at or what was being said. I turned to look at Louis and he nodded his head in agreement of what I was fixing to do. I walked into Robert's office, followed by Louis.
"STOP! This ends right now!"
They all turned to look at me. They all looked suitably embarrassed.
"Well, now that I have your attention, Louis and I have something to say."
"What is it Donna?" asked Harvey.
"Everybody sit down. The four of you are acting like children. Robert, you and Harvey agreed to let Samantha and Alex fight this battle between the two of them and yet you have spent all your time fighting this battle for them. Pulling strings behind each other's backs and tipping the scales. I might not have my name on the wall, but I damn sure invested a great deal of money into this firm and I have a seat at the table. If they can't earn their name on the wall themselves then they don't deserve to have their name up there at all. This isn't a playground. Alex and Samantha are fighting for their name on the wall and the two of you are fighting over managing partner yet again. Louis and I spent the after discussing the current and recent events at the firm and reached out to Jessica to get her advice as well about what should happen next. Louis and I have reached a decision. You don't have to like it, but you do have to live with it because until all of you can get it together and realize that all of this in fighting is going to lead to the destruction of this firm, none of you are in the right frame of mind to manage anything. Harvey, the three of us have been at this firm for over a decade. This firm is our family, our legacy. It's taken too many hits over the years and I don't know if it can survive another one. Louis and I aren't not going to allow our home to be taken away from us because the four of you want to prove you are better than each other. So, effective immediately I will be taking over as managing partner. This is not up for negotiation. For the time being neither Samantha or Alex will have their name on the wall. It's late and it's been a long day. I'm going home, and so should all of you. I will meet with you all separately tomorrow. For now, I am going to go home, pop two Tylenol to get rid of this headache that the four of you have given me and get a good night's sleep." I picked my purse up off the table turned around and walked out, knowing that I left all of them in shock. I heard Louis follow me out. We got on the elevator and headed out together. As the elevator door shut I could hear Harvey calling my name, but I didn't stop. I wasn't in the mood to fight tonight.
I went straight home and changed into my yoga pants and a tank top. I'd eaten dinner with Louis before going back to the firm so I wasn't hungry, but I did fix a glass of wine, which was problem ill-advised given the headache that I had and the two Tylenol I'd just popped but what the hell. I'd just been about to settle down on the couch when I heard the knock on my door. I knew who it was. Not just from the sound of the knock but because part of me knew he wouldn't leave it alone. I walked to the door but didn't open it.
"Harvey, go home. I'm not in the mood."
"I don't want to fight Donna, I just want to talk." I was shocked by the unexpected calmness and sincerity in his voice. I reluctantly opened the door.
"What is it Harvey?"
"You were right."
"You were right. You and Louis. You are the best person to manage the firm right now. You have always been the glue that held us all together. I told Louis the night that you became COO that if you left the firm would collapse within 15 minutes. It was the truth then and it's the truth now. Robert and I have been playing tug of war since the night we agreed to merge. Samantha and Alex are trying to battle it out too. Robert and I should have let them do that on their own merits instead of trying to one up each other again. Louis has been focused on Sheila and trying to have a baby. You are the only one who has been focused on the firm and truly had it best interest in mind. You were right. It's our legacy. Louis, yours, and mine. None of the rest of them have been through what we've been through. We can't afford to take another hit, especially from within the firm."
"Thank you, Harvey. That really means a lot to me. Are you saying that you will support me with Robert tomorrow?"
"Yes Donna. You absolutely have my support. And you already know you have Louis'."
"You're welcome. You know I've been thinking about Louis. I don't necessarily agree with the way that he has pushed the firm to the side recently, but I also get where he's coming from. He wants a family, he's always wanted a family, to be a dad. When I went to Boston to help Marcus I spent some time with the kids and as messed up as that situation was it was a reminder that my life is kind of empty, you know. The firm is my life, and it shouldn't be. It should be a part of my life. I go to work and I stay later than I should, later than I have to, just to avoid coming home to an cold and empty condo. I want more than that Donna. And here's a shocking truth, I want that with you. When I was playing with Marcus' kids I thought about what it would be like to play with my own kids and when I thought about it all I could see was little strawberry blonde kids running around with me and you at the park. I'm tired Donna, I'm tired of running away. If I'm going to run, I want it to be with you, not from you. You said you aren't a liar, but the truth is that you are, but so am I. We both lied that night in the lobby. You lied when you said you didn't feel anything, and I lied when I said I didn't want more. Please tell me I'm not too late."
"How do you know I lied?"
"Because I couldn't have felt what I felt if you didn't feel it too. And because I know you. Just like you know me."
"You're right, I lied."
"I love you Donna Paulsen. I've loved you for as long as I can remember. Probably since well before the other time. But there was always something getting in the way. Rules and fear. And before you ask, I know exactly how I love you. I'm head over heels, completely and totally, irreversibly in love with you."
"I love you too Harvey, with all of my heart. I always have, and I always will." He pulled me into his arms and kissed me so fully and so deeply that it made my knees weak and left me breathless.
"I'm going to leave and you are going to go to bed and get a good night's sleep and I will see you at the office in the morning."
"I'm not staying. We've wait over a decade, we can wait one more night. We are going to do this right. You have a big day at work tomorrow and you need to be fully rested. But tomorrow night, come hell or high water, I am going to meet you in your office at 7:00 and we are going to leave the office together and Ray will pick us up and I am going to take you to dinner and maybe, just maybe we will end up at your place for dessert. Perhaps strawberries and whipped cream." He winked and I laughed, knowing full well that I was blushing.
"Did you just ask me out on a date Mr. Specter?"
"I believe I did Ms. Paulsen."
"Well then, I accept your invitation."
Harvey opened the door and then pulled me in for a hug and when he leaned back he kissed my forehead. "I love you Donna. Sweet Dreams."
"I love you too. I'll see you in the morning." I watched him turn the corner before closing the door. I leaned back against it holding my fingers to my lips. "Damn right I felt something. I felt everything."
I've often heard the saying "What a difference a day makes" but my life just completely changed in less than an hour.