Donna Meets Lily
"Why?" Donna asked.
"Because when I made things right with my mom, she asked me, 'Why now?'," Harvey started to explain as he made his way over to where Donna stood in the middle of his office. "I told her someone very special to me said that it was time I did. I just thought maybe my mom would like to meet the very special someone that coerced me into making up with her." Harvey smiled widely as he stated this. He used the word "coerced" on purpose to gain a reaction out of Donna.
"Coerced? I convinced and coaxed. I never coerced," Donna stated emphatically waving her forefinger back and forth simultaneously shaking her head.
"Well, however, you got me to do it. I think my mom should meet that very special person," Harvey said stepping toward Donna and taking her hand briefly.
As he walked away from her, Donna's eyes followed his back. Ever since Jessica's departure and the night they held hands, brief touches had become a part of their behavior. It was not anything dramatic like a kiss or an embrace but just brief squeezes on the shoulder or a brief hand holding moment like just now. Donna was unsure of this new show of affection between them. Did it mean anything for them? Was it just a natural show of affection they had for one another?
She could still intuit that Harvey's state was still a bit fragile. Jessica leaving and his relationship with his mother reconciled yet still shaky but then again so was she. Coming away from her breakup with Mitchell which could have led to a different personal life. However, she made the decision to return fully to her familiar place as the glue who kept this particular disparate family operating in one cohesive unit.
Harvey felt Donna walk up behind her and turned. Seeing her expression he said, "However, if you don't want to go to dinner, you don't have to..."
Donna jumped in and responded, "I didn't say I didn't want to. I was just curious as to why you wanted me to go."
Harvey really looked at Donna and just knew there was something on her mind.
"What is it? Donna? Is it because you were close to my father, too?"
"Well, I did talk to him almost every day and we had the occasional meal together when he visited here."
"You're the one that said I should forgive her. Don't you think you should forgive her, too?"
Donna grimaced and said," You know, Harvey, that's not why I hesitate."
"So, don't, and just come," Harvey pled with large soft brown eyes. "Please. I really want you to be there."
Donna raised her head and looked into Harvey's eyes and asked, "What time is dinner?"
Harvey's whole face lit up with his wide smile then while squeezing Donna's hand he bent and kissed her cheek.
Harvey had Ray retrieve Donna from her apartment the next night.
"Hi Ray," Donna greeted the chauffeur as he held the door open for her.
"Hi Donna," Ray said as he noted the fancy dress she wore. "Special night?"
Ray wondered what was happening between his boss and his assistant.
"Didn't Harvey tell you?" Donna asked standing on the curb before she entered the backseat as Ray held open the door for her.
"No, he just said and I quote 'pick Donna up at her apartment at 7:00 pm sharp'. Not my place to ask him."
"Well, it's no secret," Donna said looking furtively side to side as if being assured no one near was listening. "Harvey wants me to meet his mother and apparently his stepfather."
Ray's eyebrows arched almost painfully with his surprised expression. Even he knew that Harvey's mother had always been a sore subject with Harvey and one never to be broached. Also when a guy wants a woman to meet his mother, there is usually more familiar ulterior motive.
There she said it. What it really meant she could only imagine. She and Harvey were not an official couple just two long time good friends who happened to have had an exhilarating one night stand a million years ago. Donna's mind briefly touched on Scottie and wondered if she knew as much of Harvey's mother as she, Donna, did. Logically Scottie must have known Gordon, Donna thought. However, stemming from a conversation Donna herself had with Harvey's younger brother, Marcus, he and Gordon may have met and known Scottie and liked little of what they knew. I knew Gordon had mentioned to Donna on the sly that he could not understand the attraction Harvey had for her except for her loveliness and perhaps competitive brain.
Gordon on the other hand always complimented herself and loved when Donna accompanied Harvey to dinner with them. Gordon knew his son and he knew why Harvey loved Donna so much. However, Gordon could never know about the complications which beset their relationship and set it to the level it was now 13 years later.
After smirking at one another, Ray waited for Donna to situate herself in the backseat and then he closed the door and returned to the driver's seat of the Black Lexus Town Car.
Harvey met Donna at the reception desk of the Old Homestead Restaurant. Donna was not Rachel in that she was not a "foodie", so food and ambiance did not matter to Donna as much as good food, good wine, and the company that surrounded her.
Harvey smiled as he saw Ray hand her out of the car. Her beauty always took his breath away. Many more times than he wanted to admit. She was wearing one of the dresses he knew she had bought with this credit card. It was a light blue off one shoulder and just the right length to show off her long legs and black four-inch heeled pumps.
Occasionally he and Donna were thrown into the "invited guest plus one" situation at the last moment without the time to finding anyone else. So each knew that the other could be counted on for that purpose. At the end of the occasion anyone who would meet them and see how easy and knowledgeable they were of each other would think they were truly more than just a boss and his secretary or just two good platonic friends. Contrarily those occasions would end with each going to their respective apartments and beds alone despite the somewhat longing on Donna's part. Harvey was always good at covering his desire and always observed her rule of not sleeping with the men with whom she worked. However, Donna had always been the "ying" to her "yang" or vice versa.
For some reason, Harvey always associated Donna with his own biological family although she was an integral part of his firm family. Well, she had always been a part of him stemming from their time at the D.A's office. As Harvey watched her come to him, his mind suddenly wandered back to the dream he had of them just last week after Jessica's quick departure. It was a wonderful dream but ended when Donna said she would no longer work for him as they had slept together again. She had assured him she was not leaving him just not working for him which led Harvey to wake up in a cold sweat. Harvey asked himself: Was there a difference between not working for him and leaving him?
"Come here much?" Donna asked. She smiled as she watched Harvey jump at her words.
"You, ok?" Donna asked seeing how lost in thought he had been. She lay a hand on his arm which leaned on the reception desk.
"Of course. My mind was just wandering..." Harvey admitted quietly.
"Just wandering which hostess you wanted to take home with you later, I'm sure," Donna said and winked at him.
"Are you finished?" Harvey snarled back. "You ready to meet my mom?"
"Of course, show me the way," Donna said allowing Harvey to take her hand in his.
Lily, Harvey's mom, sat at the small round table set for four. Sitting across from Lily was her husband, Bobby. As she looked up in the direction where her son had gone to retrieve his other dinner guest, she saw him returning with a striking redhead holding his hand. This beautiful woman could have walked out of a Botticelli painting. Her red hair was swept to one side and maintained there by a large sparkling barrette resembling feathers. Slim build with beautiful figure Lily noted and realized just why Harvey had called her very special to him. Lily was sure there had to be more than just the physical attraction between although that was the primary item one noticed when they were together.
"Mom, Bobby, I would like you to meet Donna Paulsen. Donna, my mother, Lily and my stepfather, Bobby," Harvey said as he made the introductions and held the chair out for Donna.
Once Donna was settled, Harvey returned to his seat across from Donna. He smoothed down his tie and unbuttoned his jacket as he did so. Harvey was dressed in his dark navy blue suit which Donna instinctively knew he would wear as this was the one suit he reserved for a formally casual dinner meeting.
"What's good here, Harvey?" Bobby asked.
"Well, I know it's probably nothing compared to Marcus' place, but I guarantee you that you will not regret your meal."
Donna interjected, "Try the trout. It is spectacular."
Bobby looked back at Donna and then at Harvey who smiled a little smile loving that Donna had impressed his stepfather.
"How did you know I was a trout man?"
"I just know people. That's all," Donna said humbling her "I'm Donna and I'm Awesome" speech.
Harvey said, "Donna's right. She's always right." This last bit he said staring straight and gratefully into her eyes.
This look was not lost on Lily. She may have been out of Harvey's life for quite some time, but he was still her son and mother's instinct is not one to ignore. He's in love with her only he doesn't know it. She's in love with him, too, only she knows it but there seems to be a barrier between them.
After the food had been ordered and the server had served their drinks, Lily began to courteously interrogate Donna.
"So how do you and my son know each other?"
"It's complicated but to simplify it we work together. I'm his assistant. We've been together for 13 years between the D.A.'s office and the firm."
"Well, we had a short time where you didn't work for me," Harvey interjected.
"Ok, we had a short six months where I was working for the other managing partner," Donna explained.
"What happened?" Lily asked knowing now why Donna had said their relationship was complicated.
"It's a long story, mom, no need to go into it," Harvey said giving his mother a short smile which underneath said it's none of your business.
Lily eyed her son and then his "assistant". As Lily had grown older and more mature, she became a more intuitive woman so she could spot lovers when she saw them. The electricity between Harvey and Donna was palpable. Harvey and Donna also bantered but yet shied away from direct eye contact and admitting the real crux of a matter with each other while in others' company and being reticent to say anything too deep about what their actual relationship was to each other. Harvey had called her "very special" to him. Lily knew not to press too hard because her newfound relationship with her son was still on a fragile foundation. She was surprised and pleased that Harvey had this beautiful woman to be there for him and guide him and support him in a way that was invaluable.
Lily was also happy to have had her husband, Bobby, accompany her to the trip to NY to see Harvey. To actually include Bobby in the invitation knowing the past and also knowing that Harvey's own father, Gordon, had accepted the relationship years ago allowed Harvey apparently to accept him also as part of the family. Well, maybe not total acceptance yet, but Lily could see at least Harvey was making an effort.
While Bobby and Harvey were having a conversation about cars, Lily turned once again to Donna and began questioning her again.
"Donna, did you know Gordon, Harvey's father?"
Donna swallowed her drink as she placed the wineglass in front of her before she answered.
"Yes, I did. We spoke on the phone a lot and when he came into town, Harvey, Gordon and I would go to dinner at least once during his visit. I, unfortunately, was the one who had had to break the news of Gordon's death to Harvey."
"So I assume you know Harvey's brother as well," Lily asked.
"Yes, but not quite as well. I have only met Marcus maybe twice in the entire time I've known Harvey. Marcus was the one who called to tell Harvey their father had passed," Donna said haltingly.
"Well, then, I guess you know the Specters pretty well," Lily said looking at Donna trying to ascertain if she were being judged.
"Pretty well. Yes." Donna said.
Donna then laid her hand on top of Lily's arm as it laid on the table next to her.
"I'm very glad I was able to meet you and your husband tonight. Thank you."
Lily smiled and said, 'No thank you, Donna, for taking good care of my boy all these years. It's apparent how much he loves and relies on you."