Finnigan sat stoically on a chair in his dressing room. He knew his large closet had every color and cut of pants and button up shirts on the market. He had an entire rack of ties and another of shoes that he never bought himself. He had people for that.
He looked around the impressive room completely, totally and utterly unimpressed. His clothes were always washed, pressed and hung perfectly thanks to the maid service. He could dump everything he owned on the floor in here this morning, and it all would be hung back up by the time he returned home no questions asked.
He had a pair of black pants laid across his bare legs, and he studied the straight, crisp line ironed into them with indifference, just another predictably boring detail of his life.
He dressed with less energy than normal, feeling drained for no real reason. He was perfectly healthy. Had plenty of restful sleep in his large, comfortable bed. He ate well and exercised daily. No, physically he was fine.
Mentally he was exhausted. He was tired of the monotony of his life. Wake each day, get to his office each morning, spend the day in court defending his clients, spend the evening studying and preparing for more court proceedings, return to his empty home, devoid of life, but full of things.
He couldn’t hardly complain. He was the one that had buried himself in law school, worked his way into a partnership at the law firm, and took pleasure on his terms. Each relationship was shallow and skin deep. He never wanted to know more; he didn’t have time to give his heart to anyone. And now here he found himself, older than he was before, and not getting any younger. He had worked to attain everything he had ever wanted; fast cars, exclusive parties and a beautiful penthouse, but he still felt empty and devoid of the greatest thing of all, the one thing money couldn’t by, and that was true love.
He firmly believed that if love was meant for him, that it would happen without interference. If he was meant to be with a single human being for the rest of his long life, then he would know it the second they met. He was sure of it for reasons he couldn’t explain, but despite it all he was still single. Maybe love wasn’t meant for him? Maybe he had done something so deplorable that he would never be good enough for anyone else? Maybe, just maybe, he would spend the rest of his days returning to this empty apartment, devoid of emotion or feeling or love. He would always be lonely.
He made his way to the bathroom, each step an effort, and the lights shone so brightly and beautifully that it just highlighted all the space that wasn’t used. He imagined if he had a partner that his bathroom would be covered in perfume bottles and curling irons and all those things that make females so incredible in form and mystery. He imagined a trail of her clothes from one room to the other and the other closet of the master suite holding more than his old college memorabilia. He imagined all the fights they would have, that all his married friends seemed to complain about but that he would give half his bank account to in a heartbeat to experience if it meant he had found someone who loved him, someone who understood his quirks and could see through his walls.
He pulled himself together and drug himself to the office and through an entire morning of repetitive, predictable meetings. He filled his briefcase and headed across the street to the court house for his pre-trial meeting. He had his items checked with security at the entrance, mumbled some greeting to the guards he had seen every day for years, proceeded up the intricately designed stairs and made his way to the conference room completely by muscle memory, his brain just processing the never ending boredom that had recently consumed his thoughts.
He entered the conference room fifteen minutes early, hoping to be completely prepared to meet the new attorney from his office’s competition, Alex Larmi. He hadn’t heard of him before, and he wished he had taken the time to look into Alex’s history to see what his style in the courtroom would be. He didn’t like to be surprised, but he was seasoned enough to face whatever was thrown at him.
He set his briefcase down on the table and when he finally brought his eyes up, he was shocked to see that someone had beat him to this room. And not just anyone, but the most stunningly beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her tight business suit did nothing to hide her glorious curves, and her face was such a splendor he couldn’t breathe. Never before had anyone struck him this way before. She had one hand on the table and the other on her hip, portraying an attitude that she was not to be messed with.
He decided to break the ice and reached his hand out, “I’m Finnigan Walsh, defending Mr. Johnson. I’m not sure we’ve met before?”
She let his arm hang a good three seconds before she removed her hand off her hip and took it, her eyes searing him, trying to intimidate him but instead enthralling them with their depth and beauty.
“Alex Larmi, attorney for Mr. Nelson,” she spoke icily, somehow still managing to ignite a fire in his heart that had been out for so very long. He felt the heat run from his hand up his arm; if just touching her sent this much electricity through his veins, he couldn’t imagine the excitement that would come from holding her or kissing her…
“Nice to meet you, Ms. Larmi” he finally spoke out, glad that years of throwing himself into the fire had made him untouchable in the court room, and currently helping him get through an introduction he knew with every ounce of his being would be more than just that.
She coolly laid out the terms her client was demanding, none of which were even close to terms his client would accept. As they parted ways, he goaded her by saying, “May the best man win.”
The daggers she gave him would have scared off any other human in this world, but his heart was made of steel, and he knew that he had met his match. It excited him.
She headed towards the door. When she reached the frame, she turned on her heel and spat out, “The best woman WILL win, if not today in mediation, then in the future in the courtroom. Good luck to you, sir, you’re going to need it.”
And with that she was out. He couldn’t help but stare out the door for a moment, a giddy smile glued to his face for the first time in ages.
Alex had a big personality, and it seemed to get her noticed wherever she went. When she started her career, her coworkers jokingly called her a China Doll, trying to bring her down on their way up, intimidating her into giving them the bigger cases. She hated it, and she worked longer and harder than the rest in order to beat them, time and time again, and win for her clients. By the time she had left, they had instead called her the China Wall because nothing got past her.
She was proud of that reputation, but sometimes she felt as though she had built wall around her heart as well. She had stayed away from office relationships, and she so rarely got out in her little free time that a chance for a real relationship was nonexistent. It wasn’t that she didn’t want love, it was more like she didn’t have time for it.
She had promised herself with this move to a larger office in a busier city that she would make more time for herself. She would leave more of the small stuff to her team and find a social life, somewhere, somehow.
She crossed town in her BMW, thankful for the comfort before stepping into the cold courtroom to face the notorious Finnigan Walsh. He was well known even three cities over for his brazen courtroom tactics and bold, brash moves. It had served him well; he only took these risks when it was in his favor, and he had won more times than she could count.
She had respected him and was excited to meet him for the first time today. She showed up early, hoping to get a head on him, hoping to get his attention flat out so he didn’t try anything too brazen with her, but he had barely noticed her. He had walked into the conference room, lazily put his things on the long, wooden table, and leisurely looked up as if he hadn’t a care in the world. He seemed surprised to see her, and he took his time making formal introductions. She was used to being noticed, and she was used to being a formidable opponent that was feared. She was not used to being so invisible.
It only fired her up, making her want to work extra hard to catch his eye, to catch his attention and prove that she was great in more ways than one. She was so much more than a ferocious attorney; she was a ferocious woman with needs, and one look at the infamous Finnigan Walsh made her want him to see it, too. When he played her so coolly, she let him hang for a second, forcing his attention.
One shake of his hand, though, and she was mush. On the inside, only, as she had well fortified walls that would never let anyone else see her melt. One shake of his hand and she wanted his hands on more of her body. She wanted Finnigan to wrap her in his sexy arms and stroke her with his sexy hands and cover her with his sexy torso and kiss her with those sexy lips. She let her stomach do a flip, but she made sure her outward appearance showed none of it.
He made some sort of comment about winning the case, and she let him know he had competition. She wasn’t going to back down, for her clients of course, but also not for herself. She’d love to go more than a few rounds with him outside the court room, and if she played her cards right, there would be no order….