For chainofclover's Quick and Dirty DWP Comment Fic Free-for-All at the LJ DWP page.
Prompt by pantone462
Rules. So many rules. Rules on how to conduct business. Rules on how to swim among the sharks. Rules on how to be the shark. Rules on who to be seen with, and when to be seen, how to walk and talk and smile and laugh—not a real laugh, just enough to let others know that you appreciate them,
respect them, are listening to them. Just enough to let them feel important during the few moments granted to them, just until they slither away from your sight and your mind is turned to other sycophants.
You are used to the game—you had created the rules many years ago. They may not be written down, no one may be able to look them up and memorize them, yet these unwritten rules are the most important ones, and if not learned quickly, there will be consequences.
You have a set of rules outside the workplace, too. They consist of what a romantic partner may and may not do—behavior you will accept and actions you will not tolerate. You set high standards, so high that most cannot hope to fulfill them. You cannot honestly say that these rules have served you well; in fact, you are alone because of them. However, they had served to protect you from a broken heart, and in the end that was more important to you than yielding your control or allowing others to break the rules.
At least that was so until Andrea.
Andrea—with the silky, chocolate hair and innocent, wide eyes. Andrea who railed against the rules she could not hope to know or understand when she first had appeared at Runway, but who had adapted admirably. Andrea—who had learned the rules and broken every single one without regret.
She had walked away without a backward glance. She had won your respect. And your admiration. Such courage to forge her own path, to make her own rules, even with the threat of professional annihilation hanging over her. She must have known, though, that you would never hurt her for displaying such courage, for making her choice regardless of what others wanted and needed. Regardless of what you wanted and needed.
It had made you laugh when you'd seen her for the first time after Paris. Laugh and roll your eyes. What would you do with that girl? The nerve. It was impressive.
Not as impressive as the letter you had received a week later. A formal apology for leaving so abruptly. An invitation to dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast. No innuendo. Just an open door. An opportunity.
It broke all the rules. But by then you had broken some, too, hadn't you? You had let her walk away without running her out of the publishing industry. You had even provided her with a positive reference. You had rationalized your choices by reminding yourself that you had made the rules, and you had the right to break them.
So you broke another rule. Several more rules. You had agreed to lunch.
Listening to her talk, you'd found more reasons to admire her courage. Andrea had told a story of slow seduction. The headiness of learning a new industry, the feeling of importance while utilizing your name to complete her tasks, the joyfulness of getting it right and navigating successfully the longer she'd stayed at the magazine. She hadn't realized how she had changed. She had admitted how right you had been—she had made the choice to get ahead. Her perception had adjusted, as had her wardrobe. And after she had left, she had found herself unable and unwilling to revert back to who she
had once been.
She had broken her own self-imposed rules. She had changed, leaving friends and family behind. And what was done could not be undone. New rules had to be created.
You had listened. You had accepted her apology, unnecessary as it had been. Hadn't you told her that you saw much of yourself in her? Wasn't it still true?
And so you had extended an invitation for lunch, not wanting to part until you had secured another meeting. You had broken another rule, mixing business with pleasure. She was of no professional use to you, wouldn't be for years. Andrea was different, though, and the invisible lines were erased.
You might as well throw out the rule book at this point. You've never met anyone like her. You cannot apply your rules to her simply because she will not allow it. She said she was an observer—watching and learning what she needed to know, what was important for her existence.
"I know you," she whispered, her lips sliding down your neck as you arched helplessly. Another rule broken.
"What do you know?" you gasped as you pulled her shirttails from her skirt.
"I know you don't like surprises. You like to know about everything occurring in your life, at work and at home." Andrea mouthed your chin, licking the underside as your fingers found her skirt zipper and pulled, slowly. "I know this has been hard for you, spending time with me, not being able to control what is between us."
Your objection was swallowed by insistent lips, and you groaned your submission.
"I know you have placed great trust in me, and I promise not to take it for granted," she continued gently as she unbuttoned your blouse. "I know that I love you, Miranda."
Evidently rules were highly overrated. You couldn't care less about them now. Andrea had always impressed you with her willingness to create the rules without care for how they conflicted with established ones. That's how she'd gotten the job. That's how she'd kept the job. And that's how
she'd won your heart.
"Rules are made to be broken," you muttered as your hands removed her skirt, her blouse, her undergarments. "If you had attended law school, you would know that," you teased, gasping as her fingers explored you, thrusting your hips forward to feel more.
"Mmm. But if I had attended law school, I wouldn't have met you," she countered, moaning loudly when you began sucking behind her ear.
"Even then you broke the rules," you murmured into her ear.
"Yup, I'm a rule breaker. I make my own rules," she chuckled, her body undulating over yours.
"Hmm. Yes. Come here," you agreed, ending the discussion.
Rules. So many rules. And none of them applied to your Andrea. They never would. She relied on her instincts, lived in the moment, acted subjectively. You wouldn't have it any other way.
As the rapture overtook you and your body expressed its pleasure through wave after wave of bliss, you laughed, a real laugh, and you appreciated Andrea, appreciated her beauty and intelligence, her strength and her determination. Listening to her hoarse voice, rising higher and higher in ecstasy, you couldn't resist breaking one more rule.
"I love you, too," you said softly. It didn't matter that she had broken all of your rules, or that you had willingly broken so many of them yourself. Your heart was not. No, that was safe.