Better than Revenge
Summary: Diane Lockhart, sleeping with the enemy? Absurd, but true.
Rating: T, just in case
Warnings: my usual brand of crap.
Disclaimer: The ones you don't know are mine, the ones you do aren't.
NOTE: Originally, this Bethany was taken from the episode, Bad Girlsand I just added 'Carlington' after one of the law firms David Lee pointed out as being present. The names are not mine, but the personality of the character is...I think.
Better than Revenge
"Where did you find that one?"
Diane looked up to find her friend and sometime rival, Bethany Carlington, sliding to the empty seat next to her, eyeing Kurt as he spoke with someone he'd previously worked with. She smiled, turning to the younger blonde with a wicked grin on her face.
"Everyone has been buzzing about the man you arrived with tonight," Bethany went on with a grand gesture towards the crowd of the ballroom, "Have I been misinformed or is he really…" she tilted her head to the side, "You know."
She couldn't help but let out a laugh, "What?"
"You're going to make me say it?" the other woman challenged, raising an eyebrow at her.
Diane nodded, "Go ahead."
"Re-pub-li-can," Bethany enunciated, stressing each syllable with wide eyes.
She laughed, not at all surprised at the woman's behavior. Bethany Carlington, while a vicious bitch in court, was exactly the same as she was outside of it. She pried, she coerced and she manipulated to the best of her abilities and usually got what she wanted with witnesses and her opponents. The fact alone that she was trying that on Diane made the situation all the more amusing.
"Stop laughing and tell me," the woman demanded, her eyes never leaving Kurt, completely unaware that he was being visually molested by a half-drunk divorce lawyer that was not his date. "Is it true? Diane Lockhart—sleeping with the enemy?"
"No one said anything about sleeping," Diane pointed out.
"Of course, I assume with that," Bethany said, licking her lips and raising her eyebrows before turning to Diane, "There isn't much sleeping involved."
"You are drunk," Diane laughed, nudging the woman slightly with her shoulder. "And stop undressing him—you're married."
"Oh, who cares?" she scoffed. "He is one hell of an attractive right wing nut and there is nothing wrong with looking."
"You'll be surprised to know," Diane began, "He is no right wing nut."
She shook her head, "The fact alone that I haven't killed him should be proof enough."
"Then miracles are true?" the woman teased. "So…seriously, are you two fucking or is this another ruse by the great Diane Lockhart?"
"Language, Carlington," Diane said with a smile, "And no, it is not a ruse. We're…friends."
"Friends?" Bethany snorted, "Is that what we're calling it now?"
Diane smiled, "For now."
Bethany turned to Kurt again, "Jesus Christ, Diane…where the hell did you get him? You didn't answer that one and yes, I noticed so, spill—it isn't every day we see a repeat of Carville-Matalin affair."
"I resent that comparison," Diane wrinkled her nose with distaste and her companion laughed.
"Rephrase," she declared, "It isn't every day we see the attractive version of the Carville-Matalin affair."
"The fact alone that those surnames are in the same sentence used to reference me leaves me quite…troubled already," Diane said with a frown.
"Oh, who the hell cares?" Bethany groused, "The man is gorgeous, Diane. I'm not asking if you're marrying him or even turning him, I'm just asking where the hell you got him because he is absolutely delicious!" She stopped, "The fact alone that you, of all the democrats in Chicago, are with him is astounding enough…"
Diane smiled, "He really isn't all that bad…I mean, he has a photo with the barracuda, but—"
"Oh, jesus!" the other woman guffawed. "You're kidding!"
"Not at all," Diane said demurely. "And we differ in…a few things when it comes to opinions, but we don't differ enough to want to kill each other. Conversations with him are quite stimulating."
"I bet," Bethany said suggestively. "Wait. I also heard something that made me choke on a very good pinot noir—he's into guns?"
Diane smiled serenely, "Yes, disturbing, isn't it?"
Bethany's eyes widened, "God, you're serious."
The taller woman hummed with a smile, "Mhm…"
"Do you ever fight?" the woman questioned, the amusement now replaced with wonder. "For some reason, I am getting the most disturbing flashback of War of the Roses—remember that one?"
Diane laughed, "Oh, I hardly think I would end up hanging from the chandelier in a fight! Give me some credit."
"You, yes," Bethany nodded then looked at Kurt, "Him and his guns? Meh…"
"It's a job," Diane shrugged. "He's a ballistics expert."
Bethany's eyes widened then she froze, "Wait…do you hear that?"
Diane frowned, looking around carefully before turning to her friend again, "What?"
"The earth just stopped moving."
Kurt McVeigh barely looked up, his eyes busy scanning the room as he nursed his drink at the bar. Usually, he would have opted for beer, but tonight, he was in the mood for something different and picked bourbon instead. He'd found out his date had an unusual taste for the drink, an interesting choice for a woman like her though something he found he quite liked.
He wasn't much for drinking but there was something strangely alluring about knowing just how she could surprise him like that when he had easily pegged her as a typical wine and champagne type.
"Oh, hey," someone said from beside him and Kurt realized it was Will Gardner. Both of them were, for once, dressed similarly, in a tux and looking every bit the gentlemen they were.
"Hey, Will," he replied, raising his glass slightly before taking a sip.
"I saw you come in earlier," Will said with a small grin, "Diane mentioned she was bringing a plus one."
Kurt nodded, "She said something about hating things like this…"
Both men's eyes drifted to the tall blonde holding court on the other side of the room, dressed in an elegant emerald green gown and surrounded by men and women alike. Each person in the group were held in a rapt attention, smiling and listening attentively as they were regaled with what had to be a good court room anecdote.
With a champagne flute in hand and a graceful swish of one hand followed by a wicked little smile, the crowd immediately roared with laughter as the woman finished her tale, bright eyed and giggling along.
"Yeah, she looks like she's hating every minute of it," Will said with a solemn nod, feigning sympathy and both of them chuckled, knowing that no matter how much the woman claimed to hate parties, she was in her element as she captivated her audience with tales and jokes, charming even the most cynical lawyer in the room with just a line or two.
Hearing her laughter even from across the room, Kurt found himself grinning slightly. He tried to hide it by taking another sip from his drink. Will watched him, leaning sideways onto the bar, his drink in hand.
The lawyer was very much aware that his partner had indeed kept on with her relationship with the ballistic expert and though he would never tell her, he had initially expected their thing to crash and burn. He'd been cynical in the beginning, thinking that her choice to acquaint herself with a man she wouldn't normally give the time of day was just a quirk, a passing fancy. But later, as he'd begun to notice the subtle changes as their relationship continued, Will had seen just how not kidding she was about the whole thing.
His cynicism had then evolved to mild amusement, watching her try and work out a functioning relationship with someone she barely had anything in common with. It wasn't just politics where they differed after all, Will knew that much. They were so different in so many ways, it surprised him that they even managed not to kill each other by the end of each day.
Then later, his views changed yet again as the couple managed to surpass the mental due date he'd set up in mind. Only then he realized really just how serious the woman was with her new beau, seeing how she'd even started leaving work at decent hours, actually having lunch out of the office, taking weekends off and, at one point, even taking a day off to go into the country.
By the time the amusement faded and them being a couple became a normal thing around the office, Will had given up and decided that maybe the couple stood a bigger chance in actually working than he'd initially thought. So, he stood back and decided it was better if he stayed out of it and watched. It was still amusing, but no longer in a way he could mock or joke about.
It was still funny at times, of course, whenever Will tried to imagine Diane with a gun and actually shooting it or even just imagining her meeting his fellow Republicans. God knew Diane cared more for politics than he did and was definitely more vocal about her beliefs than him. Still, Will thought it was a little remarkable how the two managed to work.
At one point, he'd even tried to imagine how they would talk, considering they were on the different sides of the political spectrum. After a few tries in his mind, some ending up with Diane literally kicking Kurt after a comment about Rush Limbaugh and his views, Will gave up. Every time he tried, it turned into a joke and, seeing how the two were serious, he felt slightly bad about it—even if it was funny.
"I'm glad you could make it," Will said, wondering why he even felt compelled to make small talk. His date had decided to go powder her nose, but he'd really initially went to the bar for drinks.
Maybe it was paranoia, he thought. He wouldn't imagine Diane would trash talk him to Kurt, but he was pretty sure there've been days when he'd pissed her off enough to have her blow off some steam to her boyfriend. Not that Kurt ever acted hostile or showed he didn't like him, but it was more gut reaction. Will knew he was very talented when it came pushing Diane's buttons.
And with a guy who looked like he could definitely punch his lights out, Will knew he could very well get in trouble if he tried hard enough.
It wasn't just the whole silent cowboy thing that worried Will, no, though that was intimidating enough. He was pretty sure the place disguised as a farm that was really a big warehouse full of what should be every firearm known to man and god knew what else had something to do with his silent fears too. Simply put, the quiet man had a potential to be incredibly dangerous and Will was smart enough not to even think about riling him up.
"Yeah," the other man replied. "Did she make you wear a tux?"
Will looked down, judging his outfit. He was pretty sure he looked good, dashing even so he shrugged, "Nah. It's…a usual thing with these types of events."
"That's what she said too," Kurt replied with a small grin. "She thought I'd hate it."
He shrugged, "Don't really care…I'd wear whatever the hell she picks as long as she looks the way she does tonight."
"Smooth," Will grinned, "Did you tell her that?"
He laughed, "I never pegged you to be a player."
Kurt turned to him, "I'm not."
"Yeah, you kinda are," he grinned stupidly. "I'd bet you got some serious points for that one."
Kurt grinned slightly, shaking his head, "It's not playing if you mean it."
Will grinned, "Okay, okay…whatever you say…"
"Besides," Kurt raised an eyebrow, "Flattery will get you pretty much anywhere, from what I hear."
And right then, the lawyer knew he'd found himself a new friend so with another laugh, he raised his drink, "To beautiful women."
The older man smirked, "Cheers."
As they clinked their glasses and while Will mentally praised the cowboy's sleek subtle ways, his eyes traveled back to his partner who, this time, was no longer occupied holding court, but was rather in a corner, talking to the last person he expected to see her with that night, "Oh, hell."
Frowning slightly, Kurt's eyes followed to where Will was looking, "What?"
He spotted Diane talking to someone, her empty champagne flute in hand while the man across from her gestured slightly with his. He saw nothing out of the ordinary, seeing as Diane had been steadily circulating most of the night, chatting and schmoozing with everyone in the room and generally charming the hell out of people. He wasn't surprised—practically everyone knew who she was and wanted at least a moment to say 'hi' to her. Whether it was social or professional, it seemed a must.
Somehow, while it shouldn't have because he could honestly care less, it made him feel strangely proud.
It wasn't pride of being with someone powerful or someone people sought out to be seen with no, it was more pride for her and her achievements. He hadn't known her long personally, but he knew she'd spent most of her life working for her career and her goals. In his opinion, she more than deserved the acknowledgment people bestowed upon her as well as the obvious respect they showed because he knew she worked very hard for all of it. He was proud of her, for everything she'd accomplished.
"Know him?" he asked, tilting his head slightly and wondering what Will's problem with the man was if Diane seemed comfortable enough to talk to him.
"You could say that," Will mumbled, his eyes darkening slightly as he glared at the man from across the room over the brim of his glass while he drank.
"That friendly, huh?" Kurt commented.
"Yeah, he's from another firm," Will replied, watching Diane talk to the other man closely. "His name's Malcolm Overby."
At the sound of the name, Kurt found himself turning to Will, "Malcolm Overby?"
"Yeah," Will nodded. "Heard of him?"
Kurt turned back to the man talking to Diane, "You could say that."
"Yeah, well," Will shook his head and downed the rest of his drink. "Guy's a jackass. And his firm's not much better either."
"So, you're practically best friends, huh?" Kurt drawled, not taking his eyes off the couple on the other side of the room.
"Oh, yeah, the best," Will said sarcastically as he too observed the couple not too far away. "He was interested in being our third partner when rumors about Stern leaving started."
"Third partner?" this time, Kurt turned away from what had both their attentions so engrossed and looked at the man next to him with curiosity. "Overby wanted to be a third partner?"
Will nodded, "He came by the firm a couple of times…talked to Diane. I thought she was seriously considering it, but he stopped coming around before I could talk to her about it. Better that way—the guy's a sleazy scum."
Kurt stared at him for a moment, before nodding slowly, "Diane never told me that."
"Really?" Will said, this time he turned to him. "Well, ancient history anyway—I'm just glad she blocked him before I had to play bullshit with the prissy little pissant."
Will grunted, his semi-cheerful mood now blown as he eyed the other lawyer again, still reliving that foul taste he'd had in his mouth at the sight of the overrated, overdressed suit when he'd seen him slithering around the firm the previous months. He'd never told Diane, but Malcolm Overby had been one of the things that made all those few weeks tense between them.
He spotted his date entering the ballroom again and he straightened up, "Well, there's my cue to leave. Good seeing you."
Kurt nodded in goodbye then went back to watching the two people from the other side of the room. It seemed the younger man had misunderstood a few things and though he was almost compelled to, he decided not to mention knowing anything about the whole affair. It was months ago and it wasn't his place to talk about it. Still, though, he made a mental note to talk to Diane.
He wondered if she knew about Will's views, but knowing her as he did, he was sure she did and just didn't bother to straighten him out. He could imagine why she would prefer him to think what he was thinking at the moment, rather than let him find out the truth. A part of Kurt wondered if perhaps even he didn't have the whole story, if somehow the guarded woman had decided to best get him off her case was to give him a little rather than keep the whole story and have him pry.
Kurt finished his drink, letting the bourbon burn its way down his throat, wondering if perhaps they were due to another conversation. Of course, what that really meant was if he was ready to ask her a question that would lead her to just pick a fight with him. He'd found out she liked doing that, picking fights whenever she wanted to avoid something. A common way of distracting someone, but not entirely a failsafe way to maneuver him out of a conversation—something she'd realized early on in their relationship and something that still continued to annoy her about him.
Diane hated that she couldn't use her usual tactics to make him go away although he knew that was also one of the things that kept her from leaving him altogether. Deep, deep down he knew she liked the challenge, liked knowing someone was brave enough and clever enough to scale the walls she'd so steadily built. She was one of those who, despite their denying of it when accused, needed someone to prove their worth to them.
But that was an altogether different story.
Watching them closely without being so obvious about it, he noticed the eagerly smiling man across from her lean in just a little closer towards her and he found himself raising his eyebrow at that, curious as to how she would react. She didn't disappoint him when she moved backwards subtly, in a way that only someone watching her really closely would notice.
It didn't take her long to scan the room and find him with her eyes and all he needed was that one look to know what she was thinking.
He set his glass down on the bar and straightened up, adjusting his left cuff as he made his way across the ballroom, bypassing gowns and other tuxedos, his eyes finding hers once again though this time, never straying. He saw the way the corners of her lips curled up, how she teasingly looked away from him and turned to the man in front of her and he found himself grinning slightly.
She could be so alluring in the most subtle ways when she wanted to and she often did that to him in public just to tease him, knowing he would easily pick up on the signals and know the look she wore was reserved just for him.
A waiter passed him and easily, he grabbed a drink, taking the last few steps towards the couple and sidled up next to her, subtly slipping his arm around her waist. She didn't jump though she pretended to be surprised by his sudden arrival, "There you are."
She pretended to be surprised enough to momentarily ignore the man she'd just been speaking with though Kurt could detect the way he halted in mid-conversation, feel his eyes burn in his direction as he leaned forward without a word, kissing her softly at the corner of her lips.
"Sorry," he said in a slight mumble, as if he wanted only her to hear him, "Got a little held up."
"That's fine," she said with a chuckle a she gladly accepted the glass of champagne he offered her, replacing it with the empty one in her hand. Her eyes locked into his for a minute second before turning away and, this time, making a good show of being embarrassed, placing her fingers against her lips as if to suppress a laugh, "Oh! I'm sorry…"
She moved her hand from her ruby red lips and placed it on his shoulder, "How rude!" she said with a laugh and he was mildly amused at how she even made her cheeks go a little pink under the blush she'd put on, to offer more effect on her feigned embarrassment. "I'm sorry, Malcolm—I'd like you to meet Kurt McVeigh."
"Hi," the other man said with an awkward smile.
Kurt nodded in his direction, standing next to Diane as she continued, "Kurt, this is Malcolm Overby. He's with another law firm in the city…an old friend."
"From college," Malcolm added, extending a hand in his direction and Kurt shook it with his free one while he allowed the other one to stay around Diane's waist.
"Oh?" Kurt said, feigning interest, "Really?"
"Yes," Diane replied, the smile on her face never straying as she answered him. "We caught up recently—we hadn't realized it'd been so long and considering we've been working in the same city for so many years, we were surprised we were only seeing each other now!"
"Yes," Malcolm nodded, chuckling slightly. "Though I can't say I haven't heard about Diane and her many, many victories—for what it's worth, this is her city."
"It sure is," Kurt said with a proud smile, pulling her closer and she willingly leaned into his direction. "She's definitely something."
Diane rolled her eyes, "Enough, please, before my head swells."
They shared a laugh and Malcolm turned to Kurt, "So, are you with another firm?"
"No," Diane shook her head, "He's a ballistics expert. We met while working a case together. He was my…" she turned to Kurt with another dazzling smile, "Expert witness."
"Ah," Malcolm nodded, "Do you know Dillinger? He usually lends his services to our firm."
"Tom, yes," Kurt nodded, "We've met a few times. He just worked the Tribe case."
"That was one of ours," Malcolm nodded.
"Ah," Kurt nodded, "Sorry about that. I heard your client lost."
Malcolm's eyebrow went up slightly, "Uh, yes. An unfortunate one, yes…"
Diane shook her head, raising her glass slightly, "Oh, gentlemen, what are we doing talking about work? Thisis supposed to be a party. Come, celebrate—I think we've had enough of talking shop for the night."
"Absolutely," Kurt grinned slightly as he observed Malcolm shift from one foot to another, looking away and letting his eyes scan the room, seemingly avoiding eye contact with him and Diane.
"Oh, is that Cameron Larrabee?" he said suddenly, raising his head slightly as he looked across the room.
"Cam?" Diane said, surprised as she too turned her head. "Where?"
"I think I just saw him dart away with Palmer," Malcolm said, "Would you two excuse me? I'm positive I owe him a smack upside the head for tonight."
"Oh, play nice," Diane said with a chuckle. "But go ahead. I've left Kurt stranded enough for one night enough already anyway."
Malcolm turned to Kurt with a nod, "It was nice to meet you, Mr. McVeigh. Enjoy the party."
Kurt nodded as he tilted his head in his date's direction, "I think I will."
Malcolm turned to Diane, bowing his head slightly, "Lovely to see you, as always, Diane."
She smiled charmingly, "And you as well, Malcolm."
With one last smile, the other man darted off and Diane let out a small laugh as she raised her glass in Kurt's direction, "Bravo."
"That's it?" he asked with a small grin, "That's the thanks I get for chasing away that—"
She stopped him in mid-sentence, pressing her lips to his lightly before pulling back, "Thank you."
"So that was Overby, huh?" he remarked then added with dripping sarcasm, "The old friend."
She smirked, "The very best."
The acerbic edge to her voice left no room for doubt about her true feelings for the man and Kurt found himself curious once again, wondering if perhaps there really was more to the story than what she'd told him before.
But he was smart enough to know if he was going to question her about it, the party was not the place for it, unless he was ready to risk a public row.
"I saw you from across the room, you know," he said instead, his hand never leaving her waist as they stood close together, "You didn't need the rescuing."
"I didn't," she nodded then took a sip from her drink as her hand slid slowly up his jacket and on to his shoulder.
"Then why was I summoned?" he asked, "Not that I minded."
She shrugged, humming slightly in the back of her throat, "Maybe I just wanted you here."
He grinned, "Really?"
"Mhm," she hummed again as she looked him over, biting the inside of her cheek. "My, my, my…you clean up nice, Mr. McVeigh."
"And you don't look so bad yourself, Miss Lockhart," he grinned.
"Oh, so eloquent," she teased with playful sarcasm. "Careful, I might just drown in your flattery…"
He laughed, leaning in closer until his lips were next to her ear, breathing in the scent of her hair as he whispered, "You look gorgeous."
"Better," she whispered back then looked around them, pulling back a little, waving her empty champagne flute at him, "Careful, we don't want people to think I'm a woman of questionable virtue now…"
Kurt grinned boyishly as he leaned in again, "Questionable? You? Nah, you're a saint."
Her laughter echoed over the party's din.
"You know everyone's talking about you, right?"
Diane looked up to find Will walking towards her with two glasses of champagne in hand. She smiled and took the drink gratefully. She raised her glass and proceeded to have a silent toast with him.
"Is it the dress or perhaps the fact that they all seem to think I've begun to sleep with the enemy?" she said blithely, ending her sentence with a slight hiss.
Will grinned, "I'd answer that, but I think you know already."
"He was available," she shrugged, turning her head sideways to catch her date across the ballroom, talking to an acquaintance of his, blending in well in the sea of lawyers. "And I needed a plus one."
Will nodded, watching her as she watched Kurt, "Sounds logical."
"It is, isn't it?" she said with a small smile, "Bethany's already grilled me."
She nodded, "Wanted to know where she could get herself—and I quote— 'her very own right wing nut'to make her days a little more exciting."
"Well, if anything," Will took a sip from his drink, "Your date certainly made this night a little more exciting. I'm hearing whispers of Carville-Matalin already."
"That's more an insult than a compliment," she retorted with a slight frown. "He is no Carville, by any means and any woman in this room can vouch for that."
"And I think it's worth pointing out that you are definitely no Mary," Will added with a slight grimace. "I've met her."
Diane chuckled, "Thank you, dear."
Will chuckled, "You can be the attractive Chicago counterpart."
Diane smirked, "Sounds interesting."
"You're the political version of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, you know that, right?" Will teased.
"Yes," she nodded, "And I also know people expect us to end up like War of the Roses as well."
She looked at Kurt again, "With his guns and my temper?" She turned to Will with a smile, "Your guess is as good as mine."
Kurt was talking to his friend when he felt another body sidle up next to him and he turned, smiling when he found himself standing in front of an attractive blonde, "Hi."
"Bethany, how nice to see you," Philip Thomas said in a friendly manner. "This is Mr. Kurt McVeigh. He's a ballistics expert, consulted with my firm a few times."
"Yes, I know," Bethany smiled, never quite taking her eyes off the man in front of her and completely ignoring the other lawyer. "I've heard so much about you."
"Uh-oh," Kurt said, grinning a little and tilting the glass of scotch in his hand.
"Oh, all good things, don't you worry," the woman giggled. "I have a case…maybe you'd be interested? My firm has gone through one expert witness after another like there's no tomorrow…maybe you're exactly the one we're looking for."
"Really?" Kurt said, raising an eyebrow. "That's interesting…what firm again?"
"Carlington & Associates," she smiled in the most beguiling manner, "And excuse Mr. Thomas' rudeness. I'm Bethany Carlington," she held her hand out to shake, "Pleasure."
"Nice to meet you," Kurt said, smiling as well as he shook hands with her.
"It's not as if you have any trouble introducing yourself, Bethany," Philip muttered, only to have the blonde shoot him a vicious glare and immediately, he stood straighter, smiling sheepishly before clapping his friend on the back, "I think I'll go for a refill. Kurt?"
"Yeah, sure," Kurt nodded, watching the blonde closely. He ignored the mutter of "careful" from his friend as he passed.
"So, alone at last," Bethany purred, leaning closer towards Kurt. "Where were we?"
"You were thinking I'd be good for your firm," Kurt said, standing just a little straighter and taking a sip from his drink. "Miss Carlington."
Bethany smiled wider, "Yes, of course."
"Are you seeing what I'm seeing?"
Diane smiled serenely, "Oh, yes."
"Aren't you going to go over there?" Will grinned a little as they stood together on the other side of the room, leaning against the bar.
"She's in her fourth drink," Diane said simply, "She's harmless until she gets to six."
"And your date just got her number five," Will tilted his head forward, watching Kurt closely as he grabbed a glass of champagne for Bethany Carlington.
Diane smirked, "He's a big boy, Will. He can take care of himself."
"With Bethany, anything short of a taser won't work," her partner grumbled.
She chuckled, "Poor Will."
"She was already married at the time too," he went on. "She's…something."
"With your experience, I'm surprised she's getting this reaction from you."
"It was scarring."
"I think Bethany's found her right wing nut of choice," Will pointed out again, this time eyebrows raised as he watched the blonde's hand land on the other man's chest. He looked at his partner and this time, his eyebrow made a jump above his hairline as she continued to wear the serene smile on her face. "You're unusually calm."
She took a sip of her drink and continued to smile.
"These parties can be such a bore."
Kurt turned to the blonde again, wondering why she seemed quite intent on getting him into a conversation. They'd exchanged cards already, for future use but it seemed she had more in mind for him. "Don't like it much?"
"Not really," she ruffled the hem of her cocktail dress, short and showing a generous amount of leg and she had quite a pair. "But it's for the children, right?"
"Right," he nodded.
"So…" she hummed, leaning just a little closer, her hand surreptitiously making its way up his collar, trailing lazily above the lapel of his jacket. "Got a date, cowboy?"
Kurt took half a step back, eyebrows rising just a fraction, "Yes. She's somewhere around here."
"Well, she's not here now," Bethany smiled, her eyes dancing merrily as she down her drink in one smooth gulp. "Maybe I can keep you company? We can wait for her together."
"Uh, no, thank you," Kurt said, visibly uncomfortable now. He'd met forward women before, be he was pretty sure he hadn't met one quite like this. "Look, Miss Carlington, I'm—"
"She moves fast."
Diane nodded, "When we were in law school, Bethany was quite known for…getting them off."
It was unfortunate that Will had taken that moment to drink as he found himself choking at the admission. The liquid went the wrong way, burning his throat and proceeding to make his eyes water, driving him straight into a coughing fit. He felt rather than saw her giggle next to him, "Not funny," he gasped, blinking through the tears.
She rubbed his back with one hand absently to sooth him, "I'm sorry."
"You…" he gasped, thumping his own chest as he bent forward a little.
"It was unintentional, I promise," she said, meaning it. "Now, compose yourself. We're just about ready."
"For what?" he wheezed as he tried to recover faster, wiping his eyes with the back of his hand.
"My date is just about ready to jump out of the window," she pushed off the bar. "And I like him just a little too much to let him do that."
Straightening himself and ignoring the residual burning in his throat, Will followed. He had no business in the whole thing but he couldn't deny that he was interested. There was nothing like seeing a good catty moment between Diane and her friend and as long as he stayed out of it, he was sure it was going to be fun.
"What's the plan?" he asked.
"Don't need it," she smiled as they made their way through the sea of gowns and tuxedos. "This one's a gimme."
They both turned to find Diane standing there, Will just a few feet away and if the tall blonde wasn't so intent on playing with the situation, she would have laughed at the look on her date's face. She couldn't blame him though, standing there, drinks in hand with a leggy blonde's arm wrapped around him like that.
If she hadn't known what was happening, she would have found him guilty beyond reasonable doubt right then and there.
She smiled, ignoring him pointedly and focused her attention on her friend, "Bethany."
"Diane," the younger blonde pretended to be surprised and she had to smile at what a good actress she was. "You're here!"
"Of course I am," she smiled, "I see you've met Mr. McVeigh."
"Yes," Bethany smiled pleasantly, her hand finding Kurt's arm easily and looping through it. "We were just having a lovely chat."
"I can see that," Diane said and she watched Kurt squirm a little. She did everything she could not to laugh at that. She knew he could be so quiet, but not that he could be so shy around forward women. She found that quite adorable.
"You've met?" Bethany beamed.
"You could say that," she answered pleasantly.
"Uh," Kurt unhooked himself from the shorter blonde and stepped back, easily sliding next to Diane and tried his best to smile at Bethany, "Miss Carlington, my date."
"Oh, of course," Bethany said, "Well…it was lovely, Mr. McVeigh."
"It…was," he grumbled a little, "Miss Carlington."
Bethany smiled at her friend, "Diane."
"Always lovely, Bethany."
"Miss Carlington?" Kurt said suddenly.
"Yes?" her voice came in a flirtatious lilt and she missed the eye roll from her friend.
"I wouldn't expect your firm to call," he said, "Since basically divorce proceedings end when the other party dies."
She grinned, "I could always end up with a client shooting the spouse."
"Yes, you could," he nodded, "But I don't like guilty clients."
"Then this should be it then," she quirked an eyebrow at him, "Good night."
Diane smiled while Kurt's arm looped around her waist, "Good night, Miss Carlington."
The blonde smiled at them both then turned to walk away, "You too, Will."
Kurt looked behind him to see a stony faced Will Gardner and he gave him a look before turning to his date, "Diane, I didn't—"
She chuckled, "I know."
"I know," she laughed. "Bethany is a friend of mine. Divorce lawyer with a penchant for playing up the slut."
"And she's not?" Will echoed from behind them.
Diane gave him a grin, "Married and flirty, but never cheated."
"Yeah, right," Will grumbled.
"I'm surprised," Kurt mumbled. "She's…something."
Her eyes widened playfully, "Would you prefer her then?"
"No," Kurt said quickly. "Not at all."
"Good to know," she smiled, "Goodbye, Will."
Will grinned a little, "Yes, goodbye and good night to you both."
The other lawyer left, leaving the couple standing off to the side of the party, in the middle of the crowd. But anyone who could see them would easily know they weren't seeing anyone else except each other.
"Now, where were we?" Diane said, her hands trailing their way up his lapels, much of the same way Bethany's did with her hand earlier.
"You're not mad?"
"No," she smiled.
"Did you send her to test me?"
"No," she shook her head slightly as her arm s looped around his neck, pulling him closer, "But she knew who you were…and she's seen us. I knew she was going to try something. She likes to play."
"I like to play too," he said with a serious look on his face, "But I like playing with you."
She kissed him, slowly, "Let's keep it that way, shall we?"
His arms slipped around her waist, pulling her close, "Let's."
That night, Diane checked her phone and found a text message waiting,
"You bitch, he's faithful. You can have him."