Kitten in the Rain
Diego knew that it wasn't wise to leave kittens outside in the rain. Kittens, however, with their unbridled sense of curiousity, did not seem to mind the bad weather too much, and Diego was not surprised that evening to find his own kitten coming into the office with her clothes completely soaked, damp suit making her smell very much like a wet cat.
Mia Fey sneezed twice as she set down some folders on her desk. Then she went to hang up her suit jacket, grumbling under her breath about having to go to the dry cleaner's now. Diego stood up at his desk, poured another cup of coffee, and went to put his arm around his colleague. Normally, she would have shrugged him away with a laugh, but today her eyes just look fatigued and tired. Silently, she thanked Diego for the cup, pressing the palms of her hands into the sides as though to gather warmth.
"It's wet out, Kitten," Diego said, as he took a sip of his own coffee. "Did the investigation really go on for so long?"
She must have been out for hours, he mused, as her eyes drooped and she placed the cup warily on the edge of Diego's desk. "I did what I had to do, Mr Armando," she murmured.
"Well of course," Diego said with a grin. "This is your first case, isn't it? It can't hurt to be completely prepared."
She took a sip of her coffee then, and Diego noticed the subtle twitch of her mouth as she tasted his latest blend's rich bitterness. "This is just what I needed. Otherwise, I would very likely fall asleep on top of my case files, and that wouldn't do very well, would it? I have to do my best tomorrow. I must."
"I told you this morning, Kitten. You're certainly a brave one for taking on a man on death row as your first client."
"To tell the truth, I don't feel too brave now," Mia sighed, and Diego rubbed her arm comfortingly, a finger tracing the crook of her elbow.
"Don't worry," he soothed, "Mr Grossberg will be by your side tomorrow and he'll be able to help you out in anyway you can. I might come along too, if I'm not busy."
"That's right…" Mia started, as she drank some more of her coffee. "You're not doing any cases this week. Why are you still at the office? It's late. I'd have expected you to be home."
Diego loosened her grip on her then, sliding his arm away and recoiling with a mock-hurt look on his face. "You wound me, Kitten. Are you trying to get rid of me? Would you rather be alone?" He played with the tassels on his scarf, ever looking the part of the rebuffed schoolboy.
She shook her head forcefully, and grabbed onto his wrist. "I'm glad someone was here to give me a cup of coffee…"
"So I'm only good for coffee now?"
"And the warmth," she continued, slipping her arms underneath Diego's jacket and around his waist. He noticed the little bumps of raised skin running up her arms and over her shoulders, and how the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end. It was only natural she was cold. She wasn't wearing her jacket, just her flimsy undershirt, and she had been standing around in the rain all day.
Diego had not expected the embrace at all, and the warmth of his kitten pressed against him, the head against his chest ipurring/i, almost tempted him to say something that it was much too soon to say.
Instead, he slipped out of her grasp. Did she just pout at him, or was it his imagination? One would almost think the kitten had stayed out in the rain all day just so it could be lavished with some extra affection.
"Miss Fey…Mia," he said, and she blinked at him. When was the last time he had used her first name? "You should go home now. Get some rest so you can focus on the trial tomorrow. I'll do the rest of the paperwork." She nodded, and moved towards the coat stand to retrieve her coat, but Diego shook his head. "Don't wear that. It smells too much like wet kitten. Here, take this." Before he knew what he was doing, he shrugged out of the warm jacket he was wearing and handed it to her.
"Diego, are you sure?"
He liked how she didn't bother with his surname anymore. He smiled, and Mia took that as a sign of further encouragement, taking the jacket from his grasp and poking her arms through the well-worn sleeves. "I'll be sure to return it tomorrow. I have some spare suit jackets at home."
But her words were lost on him, as he couldn't stop himself from staring at her neck. Even though the jacket surely provided added warmth, the little hairs were still standing upright, and the more he stared the more he was tempted to press his lips there and let them linger for more than a moment.
Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, he made another decision. He unwrapped the beige scarf he always wore around his neck in these cold winter months and without a second thought placed one end on each of Mia's shoulders.
She didn't ask this time if he was sure, because he knew that she could tell, just by looking at him, that he was as sure as he could ever be.
"I'll guess I'll be going then. Thanks for everything, Mr Armando. I hope the paperwork doesn't keep you here all night. Even though you never did tell me why you were here in the first place…" She smiled to herself, as though she already knew the answer. She crossed the room and then she was gone.
Diego sat down at Mia's desk with another cup of coffee, and opened the first folder of the pile she had placed when she had first entered the room. And with no-one but himself and his special blend #27 as his witness, he murmured, "I'm here because I care too damn much about you, Mia Fey."
He knew that this was the truth, and it was too stupid to deny it any longer when he came along to her trial the next morning anyway. He wasn't the type of man who usually went chasing after stray kittens, but it seemed that there was a certain mischievous kitten that he could not stay away from. iHis/i kitten.
His kitten, who this morning, was still wearing his scarf.