In Which Mountains of Paperwork and Copious Amounts of Chinese Food Lead to 'Brazen' Attempts at Seduction

Jamie let out a heavy sigh and closed her eyes as she leaned back in her chair and pinched the bridge of her nose. She could feel a headache brewing; it wouldn't be long before the dull ache turned into massive pounding. It had been a rough day. Hell, a rough week, and she wasn't in the mood for more crap, but that didn't seem to stop people from stopping by her office all day just to pile more up on her desk. It was starting to get old, annoying, to say the least.

There was a soft knock on her door, but Jamie didn't bother to open her eyes. She let out another sigh, tried desperately not to sound too pissy when she said, "What is it?" Her words still came out a little harsh. Not that she cared. When whoever was at her door didn't answer, she said, "Look, I'm not in the mood, okay? So, if you have something to say, just--" She cut her words short when she looked up to see Tara standing in the doorway, eyeing her cautiously.

The brunette shifted her weight nervously from one leg to the other. "Um, I take it this is a bad time, so I'll just come back later," she said, as she turned to leave.

"Wait, Tara!" Jamie called out, sitting up in her chair. She waited until the other woman was standing in the doorway facing her again before she said, "It's okay. I didn't mean to sound... bitchy. I'm just tired. Did you need something?"

Tara shook her head. "Not really," she said.

"You must've wanted something. What was it? I promise I'll try not to bite your head off."

Tara smiled a little at that. She was silent for a few moments, then said, "I had just come by to see if--well, to ask if you had eaten dinner yet."

"Dinner? Ha, no. When would I possibly have time?" Jamie replied. She cringed at the way her voice involuntarily seemed to be laced with venom. "I mean, no, I haven't eaten yet."

"Oh. Well, I was just about to leave to grab a bite to eat. Do you wanna come with?" Tara offered. She shifted again, tucked some stray hair behind her ear. The action didn't go unnoticed by Jamie.

"Um, you know what, I'd love to, but... I have all this damn paperwork to get done and I just--I really don't have the time. But thank you for the offer."

Tara's face fell for a fraction of a second before an idea came to her and she said, "Well, we don't have to leave. We could order in and I could help you with the work."

"Uh... I don't know."

"Oh, come on. You can't expect to pull an all-nighter working on files without having a decent meal."

"I have food. I just--well, I guess crackers and a bottle of Fiji might not be considered five-star cuisine, but it'll get the job done, so..."

"Chinese it is, then," Tara said with a smile as she stepped into the room and picked up Jamie's phone.

"What? No, I didn't say--" Jamie began to protest, but Tara shushed her.

Jamie watched helplessly as the brunette dialed a number from memory and rattled off an immense order to some Chinese restaurant.

"I hope you like Kung Pao chicken," Tara said as she hung up the phone. "They have the best."

"I--it's okay, I guess," Jamie said. "You know, you really didn't have to do that. I would have been fine."

"Nonsense," Tara said with a wave of her hand. "Look at all these files."

"I know. It's ridiculous. Most of it's useless, but Eugene wants me to sort through it all, to look for the tiniest detail we may have missed before."

"Well, let's get started." Tara picked up a file from one of the smaller piles scattered about Jamie's desk and flipped it open.

"You don't have to do this either, you know," the blonde assured, but Tara completely ignored her.

Instead, the brunette grabbed up some more files and said, "I think there'll be more working room if we sit on the floor."

It took Jamie a moment to process that and, by the time she had, Tara was already sitting Indian-style on the floor in front of her desk. Slowly, she moved from her chair and sat on the floor across from Tara.

"So, what exactly are we looking for?" asked Tara.

"I don't know. Anything that may prove our client is innocent, or at least something to prove that the plaintiff was lying."

"It's probably more likely your client is full of crap."

Jamie shrugged her shoulders at that. "Eugene just wants something more... solid. More concrete And he wants me to find it. He's been sending people by all day to dump these files on my desk." She ran her hand through her hair and shook her head. "He's trying to kill me."

"Oh, relax. It's not that bad. I'm here to help. Besides, a fresh pair of eyes may catch something new," Tara said. "I mean, not that you've missed anything. I just meant--"

"I know what you meant, Tara."

"Oh. Okay."

"Can we get to work?"

"Sure, yeah."

"Okay, then. You're starting with that pile?"

"Um, yeah."

"I'll continue with this one, then."

Two hours passed quickly. Jamie and Tara still sat on the floor--well, Jamie sat, while Tara stretched out on her stomach with a thick file folder opened in front of her. The empty containers from their Kung Pao chicken lie scattered on the floor around them, and Tara was still nibbling on a fortune cookie when Jamie suddenly let out an excited squeal, causing Tara to nearly choke.

"What? What is it?" the brunette sputtered.

"Oh! Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. Are you all right?" Jamie said.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Did you find something?"

"I think I did. Here, look at this." Jamie slid a piece of paper in front of Tara and pointed to a line she had marked with a highlighter. "See that?" she asked.

Tara nodded. "What is it?" she asked.

"It's a phone call... from Marta Sanchez to Henry Fletcher."

"So, what?"

"So... Marta said she had never seen or heard of Mr. Fletcher before he attacked her and raped her, but she obviously did. She called him."

"Two days before the alleged rape," Tara filled in.

"Exactly!"

"All right, so... what does this prove? That she knew the man? Maybe she dialed the wrong number or something."

"That would be too coincidental. I don't buy it, and I don't think a jury would buy it. I'm not sure, but I think maybe there was an ounce of truth to Mr. Fletcher's story. I mean, he said that he knew Marta from around. He even said they had lunch together once at some neighborhood burger joint where she flirted with him nonstop, but we didn't really believe him."

"So, maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe the flirting turned into something else."

"And Marta is claiming rape. I know it's a bit of a stretch for one phone call. I mean, it only lasted forty-five seconds."

"Forty-five seconds is more than enough time to set up a meeting place for a quick shag," Tara interjected.

Jamie smiled at her. "I think you're right."

"Trust me, I know these things," the brunette said, returning the smile. "So, what do we do now?" she asked.

"I think we should keep going through the phone records, see if Fletcher's number pops up again at all. We can go back a little earlier, just to be sure. That is, if you're up for it. I know it's late. I'm sure you want to go home and get some sleep."

"No, I'm good. I'm great actually."

Jamie nodded. "You know, I didn't think I really wanted you around before, but... I'm glad you stayed."

"I wanted to help. I figured maybe you could use the company as well."

"Yeah. This was kind of fun, actually. We should do it again sometime."

"I hope you mean when there's not mountains of paperwork involved."

Jamie couldn't help laughing at that. "Yeah, no paperwork. Paperwork is a total buzz-kill," she said, still giggling.

Tara maneuvered herself up onto her elbows before sitting up completely. "How about we do dinner?" she asked suddenly.

"What?" Jamie asked as her laughter died out.

"Dinner. You and me."

"Um... I thought that's what we did."

"I mean real food. In a real restaurant. With expensive wine and Italian desserts."

Jamie frowned. "Tara," she began. "Are you--are you asking me on a date?"

"That depends."

"On?"

"Whether or not you'll say yes."

"I--well, I don't know if--I mean, I would love to, but--"

"Then say yes."

"If I do, does that mean you are asking me on a date?"

"Just answer the question."

"What question?"

Jamie hadn't realized it before, but Tara had suddenly gotten closer to her. Or maybe she had gotten closer to Tara. Either way, she was barely a foot away from the other woman now, leaning toward her as if the pull of gravity had shifted and was forcing her to move forward. She took in a shaky breath as she watched the brunette watching her, brown eyes effectively seeing straight through her. She tried to speak, but couldn't, and then Tara's lips were touching hers and she forgot how to think as well.

In a brief moment of clarity, she realized just what was happening. Her hands were already tangled in long, dark hair, tugging the other woman closer to her. The kiss had gone from soft and exploratory to intense and all-consuming, and it was getting harder for Jamie to breathe. She moved her hands down to Tara's shoulders and pushed with what she thought was all her might, but the brunette barely budged. She tried again, a little harder, and was successful. Tara pulled away from her just a little, giving them both room to at least catch their breath.

"What... was that?" Jamie asked after a few moments. She still couldn't bring herself to open her eyes. She didn't want to risk it.

"I'm fairly certain it was a kiss," Tara said, her smile evident in her voice. She placed one finger under Jamie's chin and whispered, "You can open your eyes now."

Slowly, reluctantly, the blonde opened her eyes. "I can't believe you kissed me," she said.

"Was it that bad?" asked Tara, her smile never faltering.

"I--it--no. You just--I wasn't expecting you to do that. At all."

"Really?"

"Mmm."

"I thought my intentions were rather obvious from the beginning."

"Wait. You planned this?"

"Not exactly."

"But you said--"

"I just meant that I wanted to take you to dinner tonight. That's why I asked, but when you said no, I had to think fast, otherwise risk not getting to spend tonight with you at all."

"You wanted to spend tonight with me?"

"Yes."

"Wh--why?"

"Why wouldn't I?"

"I'm bitchy. I mean, I was. I usually am, to you. What would possess you to want to spend more time with me?" Jamie said.

Tara shrugged. "I think you're sweet," she said. When Jamie rolled her eyes, she continued. "And funny and smart and talented and beautiful and--"

"Stop, please," Jamie said.

"Sorry. It's the truth. If I offended you, you can just tell me. No need to draw this out."

"I didn't say you offended me. I never said that. I--I'm just confused, that's all. We're doing this a little bit backwards. Here I am thinking that we don't get along, and here you are kissing me."

"I'm pretty sure you kissed me back."

"What?"

"There was tongue. Your tongue. In my mouth. I think that constitutes as you kissing me back."

Jamie's mouth gaped open. She made a little noise in the back of her throat that sounded like a mix between a scoff and a laugh.

"What are you laughing at?" Tara asked.

"I--there was no tongue. None of mine, anyway. That was all you," Jamie insisted.

Tara shook her head, a brilliant smile lighting up her eyes. "Don't blame that all on me," she said. "I think you were starting to give into my charm."

Jamie scoffed again. "Charm? More like your brazen attempt at seduction," she countered.

"Brazen?"

"Uh, yes."

"Brazen would have been shoving my hand up your skirt. All I did was kiss you," Tara argued. She tried to hold back her smile, but it kept resurfacing.

At that, Jamie let out a guffaw--a full-on, throw-your-head-back kind of laugh that bubbled up from deep inside her. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to laugh," she said between giggles. "I just--it was funny."

"What's funny about it?" Tara asked, quite seriously.

"I don't know. I guess the thought of you sticking your hand up my skirt. It's pretty ridiculous."

"Why's that?"

"Because you could never actually do it."

"I couldn't?"

"No! I mean, it's just ridiculous. I'm not even wearing a skirt."

"So, if you were wearing a skirt, it wouldn't be ridiculous?"

"Well, no, because then it could actually happen."

"Ah, I see."

"What are you thinking?" Jamie asked suddenly.

"Hmm?"

"Just now. You got this look in your eyes. What were you thinking?"

"That I really wished you were wearing a skirt," Tara admitted.

"Oh. Wanna know what I was thinking?"

"Sure."

"I was thinking that I really wanted to kiss you again."

"I thought you said you didn't kiss me back."

"I lied."

With that said, Jamie pushed herself forward, crashing her lips to Tara's once again. She leaned into the other woman, using her hands to support her weight, but when Tara's hand slipped beneath her shirt and caressed her stomach, she lost her balance. Both women tumbled to the side, falling to the floor, and Tara bumped her head on the bottom of the desk.

"Oh, my God! I'm so sorry!" Jamie blurted, scurrying back upright. "Are you okay?"

"Ouch," the brunette muttered as she rolled onto her back, rubbing at the sore spot on the back of her head. "Got a little excited there."

Jamie could feel herself blush. "I'm so sorry."

"No, it's okay. Come here."

"What?"

"Come down here," Tara said.

"Why?"

"I want to kiss you again, silly."

"Are you sure that's safe?"

Tara chuckled softly. "I trust you," she said, grabbing both of Jamie's hands and tugging her down so she could kiss her softly.

"I'm not wearing a skirt," Jamie muttered a moment later as Tara kissed a hot trail down her neck, fingernails tickling at Jamie's ribs.

"That's not a problem," the brunette assured.

And when her fingers slipped past the waistband of Jamie's trousers, the blonde knew it was true.