“Maybe it’s not about determination or love or how hard you can fight.Lisa Schroeder
Maybe it’s just bout fate and what is meant to be.”
San Myshuno Near Bagley & Buckley Law Firm
Liam dreaded the conversation he was about to have and the weather matched his mood, it had gone from a sunny afternoon to foggy and rainy in just hours.
Girls had come and gone in the relatively short time since he had graduated college and started working at the law firm, but somehow Lana was different. She was classier than any of those girls had been, she was a solid coworker, smart and diligent, he enjoyed working on cases with her, and overall she had turned out to be someone he liked spending time with. He would hate for her to dislike him now, and he hated having to hurt her.
When she arrived at the meeting location he decided it would be best to get straight to the point. Dancing around it would only prolong the torture. After the brief greeting, he told her right away.
“You know the old man wanted to see me about something earlier, right? It was to tell me that he knows about us and put the proverbial gun to my chest. Either we stop instantly, or we both get the axe. Unless one of us finds a job elsewhere, which we both know won’t happen.”
“Right. You’re too close to the top and they pay for my law school. Well, crap! Wonder how he found out. Goes to show you, no matter how kookie he may come across as, never underestimate him, he is very sharp and perceptive.”
“Who knows? He didn’t elaborate and I didn’t care to ask. I have to say, you are taking this a lot better than I thought you would.”
“Liam, we both knew going in that it was risky and we both knew this wasn’t gonna last. I am not a fool and very realistic, I never saw this turn into a real relationship, for many reasons. I guess that’s it then. I will say that I am going to really miss it. Kinda sad, but expected, although I never figured it would be the old Bagley himself finding us out. Yikes! To tell you the truth, I am glad it wasn’t me who got the talking to about it, I think I would have died on the spot! That must have been awkward.”
“You have no idea! I’d rather get butt-raped with a toilet brush than do that again!” Liam agreed, while thinking about Bagley’s other topic, which he was not gonna mention to Lana.
“Okay, well, I better get home then. If after that reprimand he or someone else were to see us together outside of work, we would have just shot ourselves in the foot, so from now on, you are my superior and that’s it. I’d give you a kiss goodbye or a hug, but think that would be playing the odds, so I am just gonna wish you a nice evening. Keep that chin up, Mr. Cameron. I am sure if we give him no more reasons to draw his attention, he will eventually just forget about it.”
“Ok. Thanks Lana. For this and for … well .. everything.” Liam said, realizing how flat that sounded as soon as he heard it out loud.
She exhaled, nodded, it was visible that she would have preferred it otherwise too, but she turned her head to him and smiled, waved slightly, then left.
“Well, this was definitely the easiest and also the weirdest break-up I ever had. Was this even a break-up, since we weren’t a couple? Maybe it’s really better this way. Too confusing, all of it.” Liam mumbled to himself as he started walking towards the parking garage.
San Myshuno Senator Suites Apartments
When he got home, Vivien was playing on the grand piano, but stopped as soon as she heard him walking in.
“You don’t have to stop. That sounded very nice. Don’t think I heard that before.” Liam told her quickly.
“You haven’t. It’s a new piece I have been working on, it’s called “San Myshuno Rain”. Well, now that you’re home, let’s have that talk. Been on pins and needles all day.”
“Whoa, can I get a minute, please? I already had two rough talks today, I need a drink before I can even think anything coherent again.” Liam deflected. He had his fill on complicated talks and wasn’t looking for more.
“Okay … actually, can I get a drink too. Extra-strong?”
Liam shot her a worried side-glance, then exhaled and walked to the bar in his living room, Vivien followed wordlessly, watched him prepare the drinks.
“Rough day at work?” she asked.
“You have no idea.” Liam told her as he handed her the beverage.
“Can you share or is it classified?”
“Nothing classified there. My boss, the managing partner, the big kahuna, called me into his office today to rip me a new one about Lana and you. Please hold the ‘told-ya-sos’ about the affair. I know, I know, my own damn fault. I just got through sending Lana out to the pastures. Luckily she was very classy about it.”
“Oh? About me? What did he say about me?”
“He called your bluff, knows you are not some Miss Mortenson, he knew we attended the Starlight Accolades together and he heard the rumors. I accidentally let slip that you are staying with me, which he really didn’t like much, he gave me the spiel about needing to stay out of the rumor mill, so it won’t reflect badly on his law firm or I get canned immediately.”
“What? Why? How is this any of his business? What does whom you date affect whether you are a good attorney or not? I mean, I get the no co-workers thing, but what’s it to him whether we date or not?! That’s idiotic!”
“For starters, a publicly perceived good concept of ethics is part of what makes or breaks a law firm. You know the rumors about you, thanks to Malik, people rather not have their lawyer mixed up in alleged dubious sex practices. And I know, I know. Unfortunately, I cannot change this.”
“Okay. So … what does that mean for us then? Are you gonna send me out to pasture too now? Or am I going straight to the glue factory?”
“No, of course not, but we need to be careful and I think I cannot go to more events with you. We also may have to get you a hotel room, just in case or maybe have you stay with your grandparents in Windenburg. Just to not poke the bear, since he’s already aggravated now.”
“Wait – what?! You are kicking me out because of work? You cannot be serious!”
“I am not kicking you out. I am just saying we need to make different arrangements until this blows over. I hate this too, but I have worked too hard, if I get axed now, I have to start over from the bottom somewhere else. I don’t know if I have that in me again.”
“Oh – don’t worry about that! I see where I rank. I’ll be on my way back home tomorrow morning. As a matter of fact, I am gonna book my flight right now!”
Vivien turned on her heels and ran off, making Liam frown as he followed her.
“Vivien wait … please! It’s not meant the way you took it! VIVIEN!”
When he got up the stairs he heard the door to the guest room slam shut and heard the key in the lock turn.
“Vivien, open the door! I am sorry, I am tired and I didn’t mean it the way it might have come out! Vivien, please, come on now!” Liam knocked on the door.
“Go fuck yourself, Liam! To think I was gonna tell you tonight that … argh! Just go work some more or something!”
“Tell me what?”
“Nothing! I am busy. Get lost!”
“It’s my home! Vivien open that door.”
“Don’t make me bust down that goddamn door! Open now!” Liam banged on the door harder.
“Bite me! And if you break the door, I WILL go to a hotel and it will have been the last time I ever set foot in this place!”
Liam frowned. This was turning out terribly.
“Okay … but please, can we talk face to face before you book?”
“Too late. Leaving at 10 AM tomorrow. I already had that in the works … just in case.”
“Viv, what the …?! I have to work then. I cannot take you to the airport … And nobody wants you to leave! I don’t want you to leave!”
“I have not needed your help so far getting to or from airports, no need to worry about it now. I can manage. Just go work from home already. You know you want to.”
“Vivien, please don’t do this. Please …”
After a moment she unlocked the door and let him in, he entered quickly, mostly to make sure she wouldn’t change her mind again and lock him out.
“You’re all packed already?! How the hell did you do that so fast?!”
“I didn’t. I was already packed. Just in case that talk … just never mind. I just thought it would be good to be prepared. Never mind this.”
“Please don’t leave.” he pleaded.
“I have to. I already booked and sent dad a text. He’s picking me up. Too late now, sorry. I purposely did that so I wouldn’t go weak as soon as you do what you are doing now. The puppy eyes and all. It’s almost working, but I can’t and I won’t.”
“What about that talk though? Looks like we are running out of time to discuss.”
“It’s nothing. Forget about it. It doesn’t really matter anymore.”
“Vivien, you flew clear across the country to talk to me about whatever this is. Clearly, it is important. And I want to know. Just say it.”
“I came mostly to clear the air between us. I think that we did that. We’re friends again. That was the most important thing. The rest was probably a bad idea to begin with.”
“Vivien, come on … how can I make this right?”
“No, you know what, Liam? I make you a deal. If you want to know badly enough, you come out to Del Sol Valley and see me for a change. And if you do, we’ll have that talk.”
“Vivien, you KNOW I cannot just take vacations whenever I feel like it. Especially not now, when I am already on the old Bagley’s radar. I already am so far ahead of my competition, had a huge promotion, that’s unheard of for a junior attorney like me, and all because I worked my tail off.”
“Well, there you have it then. Decided. Just let it go. I am doing the same.”
“Viv, please, don’t do that. Don’t punish me for trying to make something of myself, just like you are doing. We both chose demanding careers which affect our personal lives. Don’t punish me for that.”
“I am not. I am setting you free to follow your dreams while I’ll follow mine. Maybe I am liberating us both. I have wasted too much time with something that has no roots. I need to get back home and get serious about my career again. Let’s just leave it at that.”