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Six Months

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Diane shifted from foot to foot, her hands shoved deep into the pockets of her long coat as she took a few steadying breaths. It had taken all the courage she had to make it this far and she wasn’t about to back down. Licking her lips, she squared her shoulders before moving a manicured finger to press the buzzer in front of her.  

The ringing sound startled her slightly, her frightful demeanour a testament to just how uncomfortable the situation made her. She hated apologies. 

She gulped as she heard footfalls behind the dark oak door. This was it. The door swung open, the light from within the house splashing out onto her face.

“Hello.” she whispered nervously, her voice trembling in the most unnatural way. She forced a smile and took another steadying breath as her gaze met deep, hazel eyes. 

Will stared back at his partner, his hand still tightly clasped on the door handle, his mouth hanging open in shock. It had been three days since their argument in her office. Three days of silence, anger and unease. 

Diane tried another sheepish grin, shrugging her shoulders in a timid move that Will had never seen from her before. She looked frightened, her body small and shivering in the cool Chicago breeze. Nothing like the Diane Lockhart he knew. 

“Hi.” he finally fumbled out, his eyes glued to her face, his expression confused and almost… grateful. Diane swallowed hard, her breath smoking out in the cold as she shifted on her feet. 

“Hello.” she repeated softly, her eyes suddenly welling with tears. Will’s face softened at that, his heart an aching throb in his chest. He was just about to open his mouth with a few reassuring words, when, suddenly, there was a loud bang from behind him.

“William! Where’s the food? Pay the man and bring me my Chinese!” Someone screeched out from inside the house and both partners jumped; both releasing shaky and relieved sighs. 

Will’s eyes slid closed as Aubrey squawked again, demanding he would hurry up. With a shake of his head, he took a deep breath. He was going to kill his sisters.  

When his hazel eyes finally slipped open, he saw nothing but indecision reflecting painfully back at him, Diane’s face a picture of worry and unease. Another awkward moment passed between them and Diane made a move to leave, stepping back.

Will’s hand jumped out, grabbing her wrist before she had the chance to turn, his head shaking the negative. 

“Will!” his sister’s voice rang out again, closer this time, the sound of heavy footfalls following it into his foyer. 

“Diane?” Aubrey asked excitedly, a large, toothy grin plastered across her face as she stepped toward the partners. Will let his eyes shut again, taking a deep breath to calm himself. “Oh, my God!” she continued. 

Will opened his eyes at that, his body tensing and his fingers around Diane’s hand tightening.

“Aubrey” he ground out. “Go away!” he told her firmly, his gaze locked steadily with Diane’s. 

“What?” His sister scoffed.

“Go away!” he repeated without turning back, a smirk tugging on his lips. Diane’s blue eyes widened comically at his loud bellow, her jaw dropping in surprise. From behind him, he could hear his sister grumbling, probably rolling her eyes as she stormed off. God, he needed a break from them. 

“You wanna go for a walk?” he asked once they were alone and Diane let out a small, trembling laugh. 

“Yes.” she agreed with a genuinely happy smile, her nerves easing slightly. 

Will grinned back at her, dipping his head in a self-conscious nod. He turned to the coat rack on his left, grabbed a jacket and shrugged into it, closing the door behind him as he moved to leave the house. His hand naturally fell on the small of Diane’s back, helping her down the stairs, and leading her into the night.

The evening was chilly, the cool air swirling around them as they walked in silence toward the park around the corner. He knew why she'd come, although, to be honest, he’d thought that he would be the one to call a truce. Diane didn’t give up that easily. They could go weeks at a time without reconciling, had done it in the past, but he supposed this was different.

Apologizing was difficult for her, maybe even more so than it was for him. She was a proud woman who was almost never wrong, and so admitting defeat had always made her feel less than that. Will knew this better than anyone, and perhaps because of it, he was more understanding. Besides, it wasn’t like they hadn't both made mistakes and said things they shouldn’t have said. 

“It’s a nice night.” he offered up thoughtfully, his head tilted up to look at the stars, his hands buried deep in the pockets of his jeans as they strolled into the park. Diane hummed, not saying anything, her eyes locked on her pointed heels as she placed one foot in front of the other. 

Will glanced to his side, taking in his partner. She looked exhausted like she hadn’t been sleeping and he wondered if it was his fault. Was he the reason she looked so tired, so drained? His mind immediately answered for him, making his gut twist. Of course it was his fault. He’d gotten their firm into trouble and she was paying for it. 

“I’m sorry.” Diane suddenly blurted out, stopping mid-step and turning toward him. Will looked back at her, his eyes wide with amazement and just a hint of admiration. Diane worried her bottom lip between her teeth, her face a picture of anxiety as she awaited his reply.

“When did you realize you were wrong?” he asked finally, a small grin hanging from his lips. His voice was calm and joyous in his hope to lighten the heavy tension that had settled over them. Diane let out a giggle, covering her face with her hands.

“Ahh!” she groaned, shaking her head with a grin as she moved to sit on a nearby bench. “About ten minutes after I slapped you.” she admitted with a shrug and Will joined her on the bench, his thigh pressing into hers.

Will chuckled lowly, shaking his head.

“Well” he began, turning toward her, his hazel eyes a mixture of amusement and regret. “You got me beat.” he finished with a shrug of his own. Diane frowned curiously at that, her head cocking to the side. “I realized mid-argument how it must have looked to you.”

The pair both dissolved into a laugh, both relieved and happy that the burden of fighting each other was lifted. There was a long moment of silence as their chuckles came to an end and they simply stared at each other.  

“Diane” he finally said, his gaze and tone deadly serious. “I’m not trying to take the firm from you. You have to believe that. After everything you’ve done for me, for our business - I would never.”

Diane smiled happily, sniffling slightly, the tears from before back again. 

“I know it looked bad, but it was just a stupid decision, not a move against you.” His voice was low and earnest, his eyes sorrowful and kind. 

“I’m sorry I hit you,” she replied in a watery whisper, her expression softened by big apologetic eyes.

“Yeah.” Will laughed, rubbing his jaw slightly. “I’m not going to lie, that hurt. Tyson’s got nothing on you!”

Diane laughed again, leaning toward him and letting her arms loop around his shoulders. Will sunk into the hug, holding her tightly.

“I’m sorry.” she repeated into his neck as he held her close, the words now falling from her lips freely, easily. 

“Me too.” he responded as they broke apart. Diane nodded solemnly, reaching over to squeeze his hand in a loving gesture. 

The partners sat in silence for a long while, neither of them willing to break the comfortable quiet that had settled over them. It felt good, relaxing in the company of an old friend, calming in a way that they had both missed. It had only been a month and it already felt as if they’d lost their rhythm. After everything with Bond, they’d finally mended their relationship and now, he wasn’t there to continue the healing. 

“So” Will began tentatively after an even longer pause. Diane startled slightly as he broke the silence and flashed her a glum smile. “Kurt told me about the other night.” he offered up and Diane’s eyes widened in fear.

“He did what?” Diane hissed out in a shriek, panic surging through her body. 

“Don’t be angry.” Will tried to calm her. “He just thought I should know.”

Diane gulped hard, pushing the bile in her throat down as she tried to keep on holding his gaze impassively. Her heart rate skyrocketed, her palms suddenly sweating as her mind raced over to that evening. Kurt walking her home, his body tight against hers, his tongue dipping into her mouth, his large hand cupping a breast – God!

“Will” she began pragmatically, her attempt at a calm, casual tone coming off as defensive and abrupt.  “It wasn’t what it sounds like.”, she explained nervously. She could feel her cheeks heating even in the crisp air, her mind racing as she tried to piece together an explanation. “We’d, Kurt and I, we’d been drinking and, I wasn’t thinking…” 

Diane fumbled, desperately trying to clarify the situation. How could Kurt? She knew he and Will were close, but to tell him about their kiss... it was wrong! She felt almost... betrayed. She'd thought they had an understanding, a silent agreement to never talk about it again, especially after her accusation a few days back.

"Diane, stop." Will cut her off with a shake of his head. "It’s okay."

Diane’s mouth snapped shut as she looked at him, her blue eyes wide with surprise.

Will flashed another comforting smile, his hand reaching over to squeeze hers lovingly. Diane pressed her lips together tightly, swallowing visibly and making Will chuckle a little. 

"Look" he started, misinterpreting her reaction. “Don’t be mad at Kurt, his heart was in the right place.” 

Diane fumed. She didn’t give a damn whether or not Kurt’s heart was in the right place. Telling Will about their little…tryst, was wrong. 

“He didn’t mean to cause trouble. He just thought I should know.” Diane could hear her heart thundering in her ears, her blood suddenly cold as ice in her veins. God, how embarrassing. It was one thing to kiss her partner; it was another thing entirely for others to know about it – especially Will. “And he was right.”

Diane’s eyes widened even further, anxiety washing over her. She was surprised he was so calm. She knew if the situation was reversed, she wouldn’t have been nearly as composed if he’d kissed her replacement. Then again, the situation would never be reversed and the thought made her slightly bitter. Will ducked his gaze slightly, staring intently at their intertwined fingers.

“I never really gave you a chance to be angry.” he began hesitantly and Diane frowned, her heart still pounding. ”It all happened so fast, Alicia, the Grand Jury, the suspension, you defending me.” he continued to explain in a soft voice. Diane gulped in relief, realizing he may not be talking about that kiss after all. His voice was low and timid, a small whisper that had her squirming; she wasn’t used to such vulnerability from him. Such raw and pure honesty.  

“It occurs to me” he carried on, looking into her blue eyes with hesitant hazel orbs. “That I never said I was sorry.” Diane licked her lips, breathing out a grateful sigh. Will shot her a weak grin, clearly finding this as difficult as she’d found her apology to be a few minutes ago 

“Diane,” he said, both of his hands now gripping hers tightly, her gaze locked with hers intensely. “I am sorry. I’m so, so sorry.”

Her mouth fell open at that, flabbergasted by his confession. Yes, she deserved an apology, she deserved a hell of a lot more than that but to actually hear the words coming out of his mouth, she was awestruck.

“I did something awful, Diane, not just with the money, but with Alicia, too. You warned me and I just- I let you down.” he continued compassionately, his voice soft and steady and comforting in a way she’d missed over the month in which he’d been away. “I was wrong and you should be angry about that. You should be disappointed. Lord knows I’d be.”

Diane stared at her partner, her eyes welling up again despite her best efforts. She hadn’t realized how badly she’d needed to hear those words. He was right, she’d been so busy with keeping the firm afloat that she hadn’t properly grieved their situation. Will ducked his head to the side, avoiding her watery gaze as he pressed his lips tightly together. 

It was hard to admit his failings and, even more so, his professional failings. But the truth was, he was sorry; he knew they were only in this mess because of him. Because he’d been careless and selfish, because he’d been following his heart instead of his head. So, while it was difficult to apologize, he knew it was the right thing to do. She deserved at least that much.

Diane sat quietly, only the faint sounds of the city around them making any noise at all. She contemplated his apology, the courage she knew it took for him to vocalize it, the small catch in his throat that gave away his nerves and the honesty shining through his usually so cocky grin. She still couldn’t believe he’d actually apologized, she’d never thought she would see the day. She also didn’t quite know how to reply, didn’t want to say that it was okay, because it wasn’t and they both knew that. She’d accept regret, take his ‘sorry’ and mend the bitter part of her heart, but it still didn't change the fact that they were in this mess because of him. 

Will waited silently for an absolution that never came. Both partners were unsure of where to go next. He hadn’t needed a response, but he realized, as his speech came to an end, that he wanted one – if only to assuage his own guilt. He’d forgiven her a few minutes ago, but they both knew that was an entirely different ball game, a misunderstanding whereas this was nothing of the sort.

Diane smiled as kindly as she could manage, the discomfort settling over them. She accepted the apology, appreciated it even, but it did nothing to change the situation. She knew in her heart it was going to take a lot more than pretty words to ease her anger. It was part of the reason she’d imploded on him and Kurt, her seething fury had simply overtaken her, blinded her. As much as she loved Will, would fight for him and protect him, there was still a huge part of her that was furious and unforgiving.  

Finally, after an excruciatingly long minute, she cleared her throat.  

“Did Kurt also tell you about Daniels?” she asked softly, changing the topic and Will nodded.

“Yeah.” 

It was Diane’s turn to nod, her smile slowly curling up on her lips.

“I guess you two really are close, huh?” she prompted, shrugging meekly and trying to back away from the sudden awkwardness, fearing she’d either implode again and end up letting loose the anger he so richly deserved, or that somehow the details of her kiss with Kurt may slip out. 

“I guess.” Will replied with a curious look, his brow furrowing slightly as he cocked his head in her direction. “Are you” he started, hesitating. “Were you going to tell me about Robert?”

His voice was low and steady as he posed his question and Diane blushed, her face a picture of defensiveness. 

“It wasn’t important.” she offered offhandedly, looking away again.  

“It is.” he retorted

“Will” she began, squaring her shoulders and taking a deep breath as she met his eyes. “It’s not, it doesn’t matter-“ Diane tucked a loose curl behind her ear, shrugging in defeat. “We don’t need him.”

“He isn’t going to be the last one.” he replied morbidly. “We’re going to lose more clients.”

“I know.” she said just as morosely. “Your suspension is no secret, Will.” Her partner blanched slightly at her candour, his shame palpable. “But we’re gonna be fine. If clients leave, then they leave, and if they do, they’re not the sort of clients we want anyway.”

Will chuckled humorously, rolling his eyes with a heavy sigh.

“Diane” he huffed exasperatedly. “How did I get so damn lucky?” he questioned, meeting her blue eyes with his hazel, his expression sincere and honest. Diane let out a silent laugh, reaching over to squeeze his hand again.

“It’s only five more months, Will.” she told him with a shrug. “Just five more months.” Will smiled and Diane matched it with a grin of her own, trying to mask her unease. Five more months indeed. Five more months with Kurt McVeigh, five more months of hot, sweaty dreams and awkward glances. God, it seemed impossible. 

“Thank you.” he replied, putting their conversation to bed with a hug as he pulled her into him. Diane wrapped her arms around him, revelling in the comfort he provided. After a beat, the pair pulled apart, both smiling.

“So tell me something.” he said. Diane rolled her eyes in amusement. 

“What do you wanna know?” 

“How is the Collins case going?” he prompted and Diane shook her head with a smirk. Of course, he wanted to talk business. She knew he missed the law. Hell, if the roles were reversed, she’d be going mad without it, but at the same time, there were strict rules to his suspension.

“Will” she breathed out in a heavy sigh, her eyes defeated. “You know I can’t tell you.” 

Her partner nodded in acceptance, mimicking her mournful expression.

“I know.” he shrugged sadly, looking out at the park. Diane took a deep breath, letting her eyes slide shut as cool wind wafted over the partners.

“We fly out on Wednesday.” she offered up softly and Will’s eyes snapped back to her abruptly. Diane shrugged again, a coy smile tugging at her lips. “That’s all I can tell you.”

Will laughed lowly. “Thank you.”

“Apparently” Diane carried on in an annoyed tone. “McVeigh and I are the only litigators in the firm who have valid licenses to practice in New York.”

“How’s that going by the way?” Will asked offhandedly, cocking his head to the side with a deep frown.

“Well, I’ve ordered a whole bunch of associates to prepare for the New York Bar. We can’t have this happening again.” she continued with a heavy roll of her eyes, her irritation palpable. Will shook his head in a chuckle.

“No, I mean with Kurt.” he clarified and Diane blanched. “How are things between the two of you?”

“Between the two of us?” Diane repeated, her heart suddenly racing again – the way it always did when Kurt McVeigh was involved. She had it so bad for that man. Granted, they hadn’t spoken since she had accused him of trying to seduce her as a joke. And still, she couldn’t help her attraction. 

Her wet dreams had only gotten more intense, so bad now that she was avoiding sleep as much as possible. There was nothing worse than dreaming about your very sexy, very off-limits partner so vividly.

“Yeah” Will continued casually. “I wasn’t exactly the only one you accused of mutiny.” he joked and Diane felt her body relax.  

“Oh” she gasped, laughing slightly at her own silliness. “That.” Will nodded as she blushed some more, ducking her head down to her lap. “Well” she mumbled. “I haven’t exactly spoken to him.” 

Will’s eyes widened comically.

“Diane” he said, his voice dripping with disbelief. Diane rolled her eyes at his disappointed expression.

“I know, I know!” she cut him off, knowing exactly what was coming. “I need to apologize.”

“You do.”

Diane huffed, not liking his tone. It wasn’t as if she didn’t know she owed McVeigh an apology. In fact, given the way she’d acted in her office, she probably owed him more than that. With a glum smile, she met Will’s expectant expression.

“I’ll apologize.” she told him. “I promise.”

“Thank you.” he replied kindly, making Diane shake her head.

“Besides” she started. “I can’t lose another partner.” Her joke made Will scoff and nudge her with his shoulder.  

“All right.” he laughed, standing up from the bench and offering her his hand. “Come on, let’s go back to mine. My sisters have, no doubt, ordered too much Chinese and we’re gonna need help finishing it. Plus, they’ve been harassing me about having you over.”

Diane giggled, placing her hand into his and letting him pull her to her feet. 

“Well, in that case, we can’t disappoint them,” she told him, leaning into his side as they walked back to his apartment. Safe in the knowledge that for now, they were all right. 

  

-0-0-0-

   

Diane sighed in relief as she rounded the corner to Kurt’s office and found it vacant. She was on her way to apologize, well, possibly.

She’d already attempted to apologize twice this morning, only making it to the end of the hall before she had chickened out and turned back. Third time's a charm, she told herself as she strode toward her partner’s office, her fists clenched nervously as she repeated the speech she’d prepared over and over again in her head.

She’d played out every possible scenario thousands of times, what she’d say if he ignored her, what would happen if he yelled, how she’d cope if he accepted her sorrow impassively – everything, and yet it still felt like she wasn’t prepared. She felt like she had on her first day as a lawyer; scared, anxious, inexperienced and alone. She hated apologies..

Her eyes fell to the empty room in front of her, her body screaming for her to take it as a sign and slink back to her office, but her mind was determined to see this through. She had to apologize. So far, they still hadn’t spoken since that fateful day, and although she was quite positive they could continue on like this-both too stubborn to admit defeat-their pending case in New York demanded they interact.  

Walking cautiously into his office, she was immediately engulfed by its masculine scent. The room was medium sized but still smelt deliciously of him; a rich combination of old books, gunpowder, and his musky cologne. Biting into her bottom lip, she tried to push the smell aside, not liking the way her body reacted to it. Her nipples were already hard beneath her clothes, her heart already racing just at the prospect of talking to him again. Those dreams were really starting to affect her.

Diane strolled around the room, dragging her delicate fingers along his law journals and inspecting their titles. It was more of a turn on than she cared to admit, his intellect. The idea of him reading all of those books, learning from them. She’d always loved an academic.

After a few more minutes of snooping, she slowly lowered herself into Kurt’s office chair. Her eyes moved to dance across his desk, neat piles of documents with his manly scrawl were scattered about the wooden material, mixed in with expensive silvery pens, and, surprisingly to her, his glasses.

Her manicured fingers traced over the rim of his spectacles, her lips curving into a smile as she thought of him wearing them. Working hard, hunched over his desk, his brow furrowed as he squinted through his glasses; in Court, objecting to a Judge with the spectacles perched on his nose; him lying in bed, reading the latest political bio, something republican, naturally. Probably Sarah Palin.

Diane shook her head, smirking as she thought of him using those glasses to read about that awful woman, her amusement quickly turning into a blush as she then imagined herself in bed beside him... and then on top of him. Or under him. Oh, God. 

She bit her bottom lip, letting her eyes fall shut as she tried to suppress her desire. Even after everything that had happened, she still wasn’t able to shake off her lust for this cowboy. Her dreams were haunting her. Every night, her mind twisted her feelings for him into hot, vivid sex. In all sorts of positions. And in every place imaginable.

She blinked herself back into reality, her fingers quickly retreating to her lap. She needed to focus. She was here for a reason. Will was right; she did owe him an apology, a bigger one than even he was aware of.

Accusing him of trying to steal her firm had been bad enough, but accusing him of trying to seduce her, the thought of it made her cringe. She should have known, Kurt was a good, decent man, and he’d never screw her... at least not for a laugh. She should have given him the benefit of the doubt.  

Ironically, Will was supposed to be the hot-headed one.

Rolling her eyes, she glanced around the room, darting from the books on his shelves to the framed document proclaiming him a lawyer. It all felt so fitting, all so perfectly him; modest, yet proud.

“Diane?” His voice caught her by surprise, making her jump up from her seat. Her hand shot out to the side, knocking over a small cylinder filled with stationery. The pair froze, looking at each other wordlessly. Kurt slowly dropped his leather folder on his desk and shrugged off his jacket, never breaking their eye contact.

“Hello.” Diane forced a smile, her heart racing as she met his green eyes with a gulp.

“Hi.” he responded in his usual gruff tone, his arms falling limply to his sides as they continued to stare at each other. 

“Hi.” she repeated softer this time, her cheeks flushing as she noted the scattering of pens and pencils on the carpeted floor. With a quick, apologetic look, she dropped to her knees, trying to gather the mess and shove it back into the container. 

“Diane, what are you doing?” Kurt questioned in a tired voice, hunching down to help her. Diane flashed him another smile, awkwardly acting as if they hadn’t spent the last few days completely avoiding each other. Shoving the stationery back into its place, she stood abruptly, tucking her hair behind her ears nervously as she waited for him to do the same.

“What are you doing here?” he asked once more, his voice low and controlled, the same sexy drawl that it always was. Diane tried another smile, failing miserably as she met his concerned gaze.

“I, uh” she started, glancing down to her pointed shoes, unable to formulate words. So much for the speech she’d prepared. “I, um, I needed to speak with you.”

“Okay?” he prompted blandly, casually leaning his hands on the back of one of his visitor’s chairs. Diane let her eyes slide shut for a moment as she gathered courage; she needed to get this out. They had to move passed this.

She folded her arms, gulping awkwardly. Her gaze drifted to his, those deep, green eyes staring back into her soul and making her skin prickle. God, he was so gorgeous. She had always enjoyed a man with facial hair and that, coupled with his husky voice, toned physique, and mysterious demeanour, well, she was hooked. 

Kurt frowned as she fumbled over her words, his eyes drawing across her blushing cheeks down to the lip she was currently worrying between her teeth.

“Look” she finally managed, dropping her hands to her sides. “I said a lot of things in my office the other day.”  

Kurt nodded, his eyes still thinned curiously.  

“I recall.” he offered simply, no malice or judgment in his voice, just honesty and openness. Diane cringed, feeling her heart ache. He really was a good man and she’d demonized him for no valid reason. 

Part of her wanted to blame him for all of this. If he hadn’t crawled under her skin, she wouldn’t have imploded the way she had. If she’d been getting enough sleep and not been dreaming of his large, rough hands and sinful mouth, she may have taken the time to hear Will and him out, instead of jumping to conclusions as she’d done. Alas, hindsight was twenty-twenty, and now all she could do was apologize and try to move on.

“Right and I, okay.” she stuttered. “I just wanted to say, to say that I shouldn’t have said that. I, uh, I overreacted, and I take back everything...that I said.” she finished lamely, tripping over her words again and almost pulling a smirk from her partner as he listened to her. 

“Was that an apology?” he squinted in confirmation, only partly messing with her. Truth be told he was a little smug. What she’d said had been wrong and cruel and, while he could understand where she was coming from, her accusations had still stung and it was only fitting that she would feel bad about them. However, if he was being honest, he wasn’t nearly as mad at her as he should have been. There was just something about her; he couldn’t stay angry and he couldn’t stay away.  

He wanted her, now more than ever. 

“Yes.” she replied defensively, wringing her fingers together in a nervous gesture. Kurt smirked, sensing this was as close to 'I’m sorry' as he was going to get. 

With a small nod, he moved around his office, coming to stand in front of her. Diane gulped as she watched his eyes dip to her lips hungrily before bouncing back up to her hesitant, blue orbs.

“Hmm” he hummed pensively, the low rumble making her stomach twist in the most delicious way. What was he doing? Why was he standing so close? Suddenly the room was too warm, the skin on the back of her neck dampening as she waited for him to continue. “So, you take everything back?”

Diane frowned at that, backing away from him slightly, moving closer to the wall.

“Yes. Absolutely, I wasn’t thinking-“ she began to explain as he followed her.

“Even the part about you dreaming of me?” he cut her off in a gruff drawl.

“I uh- what?” she gasped, her face and neck flushing in a deeper red. Her breath drifted into pants, her confusion melting into attraction as he moved closer. His eyes were dark, predatory and sinful as they met hers, his tongue daring to sneak out and lick his lips. 

“You told me you dream about me.” he reminded her and Diane swallowed in embarrassment. Up until now, she’d completely blocked that out of her memory, not wanting to recall how she’d basically admitted she thought, even though it was only unconsciously, about them screwing. “Are you taking that back too, Diane?” he whispered, his smirk smug and sexy.

“I, uh,” she gulped out. “I’m not, yes. Yes, I am.” Her voice was small and timid, her eyes wide as he moved even closer. Her mind raced with his words, her thoughts traitorously slipping back to the multiple dreams she’d had, him touching her, stroking her; him fucking her.

“Hmm” he mused lowly. “Pity.” 

“What?” Diane’s eyes widened, her breathing laboured as his hands found their way to her waist. His fingers slid over her lower abdomen in much the same way they’d done that night against her front door, his touch burning through her clothing and setting her skin on fire.

“I just said it’s a pity.” he repeated slowly, his eyes seductive and dark as he shoved her back, pushing her body into the wall behind her. Diane gasped, her hands lying limply to her sides as he pressed his hips into hers, trapping her against the cool concrete.

Kurt flashed her a dangerous smile, his body towering over hers in the most sinister and sexy way. Her heart was beating fast, her eyes fighting to stay open as his heat and smell were engulfing her. God, she wanted him.

“Why?” she eventually forced out, her tone breathy as he stepped even closer, her blue eyes wide with surprise and just a hint of desire. Kurt chuckled deep in his throat, his chest vibrating against her. Diane whimpered as he dipped his head, her eyes closing as she anticipated his lips on hers. “God” she sighed as his nose brushed against her jaw, his breath hot on her pale skin. 

Kurt dragged his lips along the line of her throat, slowly moving up to her ear.

“I dream about you too, Diane.” he whispered gruffly into her ear, ruffling a few of her blonde curls and setting her skin alight with desire.

Diane’s eyes fluttered as she took a deep breath, her chest brushing against his in the most delightful way as she inhaled. There was a moment of pure silence as they stood in his office, enjoying the closeness. Kurt continued to nuzzle the soft skin on her neck, his lips ghosting along her throat, whispering words she couldn’t hear. She could smell his cologne; that woody, masculine musk that intoxicated her even more than his sexy words.

They wanted this and, God, she needed this! She let out a small whimper as Kurt turned his head, his lips now openly pressing against soft skin beneath her ear, the whisper of his moustache sending a chill down her spine. Oh Lord, she couldn’t breathe, she was hot and cold all over, her nipples pricked against the lace beneath her blouse and her body thrummed with need. Squeezing her thighs together tightly, she tried to regain her focus. She’d come here to put the past behind them, to focus on moving forward and running the firm. They couldn’t; they shouldn’t. 

“Kurt” she finally managed to say in a timid voice, her small hand rising to his chest and breaking the spell between them. Kurt slowly backed away, the heat from his body leaving her and making her shiver.

With a careful gulp, she blinked her blue eyes open, trying to compose herself as she met his dark smirking gaze. The tension between them still hung in the air, the hustle and bustle of the office still a white noise as they simply stared at each other. 

“No.” she started, her voice catching slightly. “We can’t.” 

Kurt pressed his lips together in an accepting hum, his thumbs still pressing small circles into her hips.

“Okay.” he conceded, but Diane could tell by the look in his eyes he wasn’t taking her seriously. He was merely playing the game they’d been playing since the day he had walked into her life. This silly cat and mouse game of sexual tension. 

“It’s not smart. Sex is what got my firm into this mess and if I, if we-“ She shut her eyes, shaking her head sadly, hoping that, if she couldn’t see him this would be easier. “It just won’t end well. I’ve already lost one partner, and I can’t lose another.”

Kurt stepped back, his hands leaving her as he backed away, nodding more seriously.

“And what if I could guarantee you wouldn’t lose me?” he asked, his expression gravely solemn but his eyes still lusty with desire.

“You can’t.” she whispered, her eyes big and sincere as they locked on his. Kurt shook his head, a rugged grin curling beneath his moustache. 

“I could never leave you, Diane.” he replied lowly, honestly. His sexy confession made her gasp, her body leaning into his unconsciously.

“You don’t even know me.” she tried, her voice catching in her throat. She couldn’t. They couldn’t. They barely knew each other. Aside from their kiss and the obvious attraction, they had nothing in common. She was a liberal and he a conservative, she a Democrat and he a Republican. Not to mention they were partners. She couldn’t. Will would never forgive her. She’d never forgive herself.

“I know enough to know that a woman like you could ruin me.” he replied in a low voice that had Diane shivering. Lord, but the things he said and the way he said them; she was wet.

Diane shut her eyes, swallowing the lump in her throat patiently as she gathered her courage. She knew now that she’d have to hurt him to ensure that they would put an end to this. It was the only way; logic didn’t seem to work for him. 

“Perhaps” she offered up, meeting his intense gaze again bravely. “But a woman like me could never be with a man like you.”  

Kurt smirked, her biting reply cutting deep into his gruff exterior, tearing into him with fiery diction and a sharp tongue. He breathed out heavily, composing himself fast but not quick enough hide the flash of pain that shot through his earnest, green eyes. 

“Because I’m a Republican?” he asked simply and Diane could see how she’d angered him in the distant look in his green, green eyes.

“And my partner.” she added.

“And I like Sarah Palin…”

“That too.” she conceded with a crooked smirk, her attempt to lighten the mood falling flat.

“And because I’m not good enough for someone like you?” he pushed, his eyes locked on hers fiercely.  

Diane felt her heart clench. This was it, the moment she’d been waiting for. This was how she ended this. 

“Yes.” she replied softly, boldly, her heart racing as she stood up straight. She knew her response would end their conversation, and more than that, their flirtation. 

“Okay then.” he replied, backing away even further, his face a mask of feigned impassivity. “I suppose I won’t waste any more of your time then.”, he added softly, his eyes losing that spark that usually drove her wild. 

Diane choked down a whimper, curling her hand into a fist to avoid to reach out and comfort him. She wanted nothing more than to wipe the passive look from his face, to pull him close and kiss him until they would both feel better.

“Thank you.” she said numbly, digging her nails into her palm as she held his gaze steadily. 

God, but this hurt. If anything, he’d gotten it the wrong way around. She wasn’t good enough for him. He was loyal and good and kind and she didn’t deserve someone like him.

Kurt took a bigger step back, moving out of her personal space completely and squaring his shoulders professionally.

“Is there anything else Miss Lockhart?” he asked meanly and Diane almost let out a whimper, her heart aching at his use of her last name.

With a deep breath, she stood up straighter, meeting his gaze with the very same professionalism she’d been so desperate for a few seconds ago.

“We have a strat meeting in half an hour to go over the details of the Collins case in New York. I’d like to have everything prepared before we fly out tomorrow night.” she said calmly, not meeting his gaze and wanting nothing more than to flee his office.

“As you wish.” he responded gruffly, turning his back to her.

Diane nodded, her lips trembling as she moved around him. Her legs felt weak, her body heavy as she strode toward the door. Just as she reached the threshold, she turned back to look at him. Kurt hadn’t moved, his back still facing her, his eyes locked on the ground, defeated.

“I’m sorry, Kurt.” she offered up sadly, honestly, before turning and leaving without looking back. She had to move on, be professional. They both did. 

Kurt sighed, letting his eyes slide shut.

“Yeah, me too.” he replied to the emptiness of his office.

  

 -0-0-0-

  

TBC