Annabeth didn't remember when it had happened. She had already forgotten the first time – when her heart skipped a beat because of the way he said her name. She didn't quite understand her own reaction, because everybody at the office called her Annabeth. Still, he had his own unique way to make her feel special and cared for. Maybe that was the unsettling factor: that Doug truly cared for her. Not in a way a colleague worries for another, but in a way a man minds a woman. Nevertheless, she considered Doug her best opponent in the court room.
A smile slowly spread on Annabeth's face, when she remembered their very first meeting. She was a nervous young attorney and Doug hadn't helped the matter at all. He had teased that her name was way too soft a name for such a tough young lady. He had insisted on calling her Annabeth from then on, although in the court room it was always the respectful "Mrs. Chase". Earlier it had driven her up the wall until she had understood it was Doug's particular way to show appreciation. These days, she was expecting nothing less than "Annabeth" from him.
Annabeth had been many times extremely angry and frustrated with Doug, but she had learned to accept it as a part of their roles as natural enemies in the court room. The one time he had returned the sentiment was surprisingly outside of the court room when she had doubted herself. He had in fact yelled at her because she had been too wrapped in her own doubts and fears. He had practically spouted out her name, which was way more effective than a simple plea would have ever been. Only Doug had known how to say "Annabeth" right.