Charged stares are exchanged, right before they charge towards each other and meet in a loud and urgent clash of lips. Hands roam and caress wherever they fall; built-up tension (sexual and otherwise) has made them this way and desperately needs release.
Despite the promise of those fleeting moments, nothing had come of them. Just as suddenly, Finn had torn himself away, leaving her staring after his retreating, hassled figure. Never had a corridor – their frequent battleground – felt so empty. To the extent that Liz had wished she was back in that Range Rover, London burning all around them, but with him at her side. It was frightening that had only been a few hours before.
That had shaken her, although not as much as his resignation the following morning. It hadn’t even gone through her but Inglis. For a man who had often welcomed confrontation like a vampire does blood, this was a sure sign that he was fleeing. The Commissioner, after several pained discussions, had reluctantly accepted Finn’s resignation and soon Finn’s cluttered office was a thing of the past, a mere memory held in the minds of the Comms Department.
Liz had stayed on, though funnily enough, she didn’t for long. Maybe a year at most. Not because she was ousted or anything like that, but of her own choice.
Somehow she’d also managed to stay on in Britain, despite Brexit, rising populism and general wankiness. Going from one PR post to another, wading into oceans of bullshit and bureaucracy and tearing down (or at least trying to tear down) the system from the inside. Their paths don’t cross, although she does hear on the grapevine that he’s returned to journalism. She doubts they’ll ever cross each other again.
Therefore, it’s obviously a shock to see him this morning of all mornings, so many years down the line.
Liz had come into work, fully expecting to meet a journalist friend of her current client who apparently knew more about the latter’s PR woes than he did. She hadn’t caught the man’s name – courtesy of a shitty Skype connection – but had agreed to the meeting regardless.
Her assistant’s drawl through a casual sip of coffee had changed that.
‘Liz, there’s a Mr Kirkwood waiting in your office.’
Kirkwood. Kirkwood. A common enough name, she reasons as her feet propel her body forward, even as her brain sluggishly recalls that she could have double-checked to see if she’d heard that right, or better yet, asked for his first name.
She doesn’t realise that she’s already opened her door when she sees him.
Tall, scowling, arms folded. Jesus, and she’d never thought she’d say this, but he’s a sight for sore eyes.
His own eyes peer through a pair of thick frames. Fifteen years have given and taken a few things, it seems, including his dark hair. God knows what he thinks of her.
Silence swells between them. Then:
He lazily gestures towards a chair, offering her a seat in her own fucking office. And already, she can feel the blood rising in her cheeks.