Disclaimers – See Part 1
The next morning at breakfast everyone thought that Addy was Karen's girlfriend.
“So you finally got here! Your other half look kind of lost yesterday, but look at her now….all smiles.”
“Hey Karen, why don't you introduce your friend?”
“Everyone, this is Addy.”
Karen came close to Addy and said “Addy, fyi, you being here with me….well, everyone thinks you and I are a couple.”
Addy opened her big brown eyes. “In that case, we better act like one, right?”
Karen didn't know what to make of things anymore. “Who are you and what have you done with Addy?”
“Is this a complaint?”
“NO! It's just that a lot has happen too quickly.” Karen was curious as to how Addy was going to act her part.
Karen couldn't believe how relaxed Addy looked. They had their breakfast and went to their morning activities. They participated in everything. Addy seemed to fit right in. She looked so comfortable it was really unbelievable. After dinner, when they had some time to themselves they stepped outside to the pool deck. It was already getting dark.
“You never cease to amaze me.”
Addy smiled. “Why?”
“I can't believe how well you've played your part today. You are incredible.”
Addy took her hand and came closer. “Maybe the part suits me. I'm comfortable with you, Ker. I don't have to pretend around you. I'm just being me.”
Karen kissed her gently on the cheek. Her heart was pumping fast again. She's going to kill me!
Addy placed her hands around Karen's face. “Ker, I'll tell you what I know. The rest I need to figure out. Yesterday when you left my office, I never felt so lonely in my life. I'm here because I don't know what I would do without you. I want you in my life. I need you in my life, and I'm not going to let you go! That much I know. I have to figure out stuff, I have no idea how I'm going to do this! I just hope that you help me out, maybe Melanie also. I don't know. I'm walking unchartered territory being led by my heart only. It's scary.”
Her faces were as very close. Karen could feel Addy's breath on her face. Their foreheads touched. Karen kissed her again and caressed her face.
“Addy, I'm behind you 100%. You got me for whatever and for however long. This is too important for me also. You are unchartered territory for me also. You make me nervous. Look at me, I'm shaking!” Karen put out her trembling hand so she could see it. Addy took it in hers and kissed it.
“I know.” Addy kissed her. “You make my heart beat in a way it scares me. What a pair, we are!” Addy was hesitating. “Ker, I'm going to need time to figure things out, I hope…..”
Karen interrupted. “Addy, I'm not going anywhere. Take all the time you need. I have all I need right here, right now. There's no rush for anything. So far, nothing has been rushed and look how things have turned out! I like it like this. I like it when things fall into place on their own time, when things happen naturally, whatever is going to happen between us will work its way if it's meant to be for good. That's how I see it and I know that's the way you feel it and want it too. The one good thing about all these is that we know each other too well. We almost know what the other one is thinking.”
Addy grinned. “Almost, huh?” Karen smiled.
Addy put her hands through Karen's hair and pulled it back. She studied the beautiful face in her hands.
“Yeah, I know too well what you are thinking! Addy came closer and kissed her on the lips. Karen's lips parted as she closed her eyes. Her knees felt weak.
Addy felt it in her groin. Oh boy! She kissed her again, this time the kiss was deep, sweet and long. Karen took advantage of every opportunity initiated by Addy. Karen pulled her closer and wrapped her arms around her. Addy caressed Karen's back as she allowed Karen to continue to explore her mouth. Both enjoying their closeness, neither believing what was happening.
Karen pulled away and gently and slowly traced Addy's face with her fingers. Addy closed her eyes. “No one has ever done that!” “I want to be the first of many things to you. I want you to tell me things no one's ever done.”
Addy opened her eyes. “Ker, don't scare me!”
Karen smiled, as she continued to gently trace Addy's face with her fingers. “Addy, I promise you that you will love anything we do together. I would never do anything you didn't want. I want to make you happy. I plan to live just for that!” Karen kissed her nose.
“And you talk about me never ceasing to amaze you! You have no idea what you do to me.”
“Tell me. I want to know.”
Addy blushed. Karen smile and hugged her.
Later that evening the results of all the compatibility tests would be handed out to the participants. The whole point was to discover the degree of compatibility with the other person. They had been told that sometimes results of incompatibility had not proven accurate in actual life and vice versa. The company who had come up with the testing also provided follow ups, especially regarding extreme results. When Karen and Addy got their report, they were rated 100% compatible. Neither one was surprised.
They knew each other well and they expected a very positive result. The one person who was surprised was Melanie's psychology friend who was in charge of the testing and was an expert in its administration and follow up. “We've never had a 100% compatibility score.” He asked for permission to follow up on their relationship.
“Sure. Why not?”
When they came out of the meeting, both women looked at each other. They laughed. Neither was surprised with the results. In fact, they would have been surprised if they had gotten a different result.
“So, does this mean we are a good match?” Addy asked.
“Are you surprised?”
“Not at all, you?”
When they left on Monday morning everything was peachy. The three hour drive to the airport gave them an opportunity to talk more. Having professed their love did not mean green light for a relationship. They both knew that there were many things at play that needed to work themselves out. In truth, Karen was so happy with the turn of events that she had already decided that she would let Addy come to terms with whatever she needed to come to terms and to let her set the pace in their relationship whatever that was going to be. They had talked about being careful at the office and not to show too much coziness.
Every time they saw each other in meetings or hallway they had to avoid each other's eyes so as not to give any signals to anyone. They would talk on the phone all the time about the do and don'ts.
Upon returning, they were face with the firm being in turmoil. Mr. Yamamoto was the president of a big automotive corporation in Japan . He was in the US seeking a legal firm to represent his company's interests in the US .
His company's account was huge. It meant thousands of dollars if not millions to any firm that would be retained to represent them. Every legal firm in the US wanted the account and were making their pitch in whatever way they could. Mr. Yamamoto was coming to Washington DC to mingle with some of the local firms and to check them out. A big party was planed for the event.
All the partners at Sparrow & Finch were jockeying for positions. All except Karen and Addy. Karen was not interested because attracting clients was not her thing. Her job and specialty was to deal with the intricacies of clients finances and not actually in attracting them. She simply settled to do what she did best. Karen was a financial whiz and when it came to financial stuff everything and everyone came to her. So, she didn't have to go looking out for anyone or anything.
Addy, was not one to get all wrapped up in a prestigious account. She thought that if things were to happen they would happen and there was no point in killing yourself over things you had no control. So, considering the fierce competition, she thought she was out of her league and was not even going to try to go for it.
“What?!” Dan, one of her junior associates said in astonishment. “I can't believe we are seating this one out. Addy do you realize that if we were to get this account, it would make you the most powerful attorney in the firm? You could force them to make you a partner. I mean this account plus the other one we handle would put you in a position to rule!” Dan was funny and seemed very bothered by not going for this opportunity. He was a very ambitious fellow. This opinion was shared by Anne and others in the team.
Karen sat at this staff meeting because some of the cases handled by Addy had some financial issues and because Karen's team simply dealt with everyone's finances. Karen watched in amusement at the interaction of the group. “People, simmer down! My mind is made up. We are not going for this one.” Everyone left disappointed, including Karen who was just nodding and smiling as she was leaving. Addy merely raised her eye brows at her, as if saying, ‘don't go there.' “Dan, Anne, could you stay for a minute? I'd like to talk to you about some research I need done. Everyone left, as the duo remained with their respective disappointed look.
“I require the utmost confidentiality in this matter.” She said with a most serious look that immediately caught their attention. “You two are the only ones privy to this request. If confidence is broken, I will make sure that the guilty party gets fired. Are we clear on the conditions of this matter?” The two young associates were mesmerized and a bit setback by the intriguing and threatening comments. They nodded in agreement.
“You are already recruited since you are here, although you can walk out right now. Yeah right, and commit professional suicide? “Here is the deal. One, I do not want this research done here. Do it from home, the Library of Congress, your parent's house, I don't care where, but not here. I do not want your research account or any other firm access password use to obtain this information. You are to operate as independent private investigators on this matter. Is that clear?” They were in awe but nodded in the affirmative. “Two, no comments to anyone about this assignment. I will find a way to justify your hours. Is this all very clear?” They nodded in the affirmative.
“What's the assignment, Addy? You are killing me here!” Anne said almost afraid to ask.
“Find everything you can about Sakiro Yamamoto.”
“YES!” Dan screamed as he jumped up knocking the chair down. Anne was grinning from ear to ear. Addy couldn't help chuckle.
“This may be for nothing because I'm not going to fight it out, but if luck would have it and Yamamoto happened to stop by to see me, I want to know everything there is to know about this man. Not just about his business practices, etc., what I want to know most about him is about he himself as a person. Now go and have some fun!”
A few days later Dan and Anne were ready to report back. These two young attorneys were awesome, they were fun, go getters and they delivered well. They fed Addy all sorts of information that she even wondered how they were able to get it.
“Good job, guys, but remember what I said.”
“Let the dice roll!” Dan spoke.
“Well said, young man.”
The party for Yamamoto was on Saturday night. All the partners were waiting for Yamamoto and as soon as he came in they all assailed him one by one. Mr. Yamamoto seemed expressionless. Addy had seen him occasionally across the room, but had not made the slightest attempt to go see him.
Everyone had come with their spouses, so Luke was there talking to some of the people he knew. He would come occasionally to firm events that required spousal presence. It was a political thing for Addy. He came mostly for the food and drinks because they were always good. He knew that being there was not a social thing, but rather a work thing for her, so he just casually mingled, ate and drank.
Addy looked ravishing. She was wearing a green cocktail dress that accentuated every one of her curves in a very classy way. Her light make up and jewelry, in contrast with her skin tone and the brown color of her hair and eyes, made her look radiant. Karen was having the hardest time not staring at her and following her around the room with her eyes. She looked fabulous. To worsen the situation, Karen looked ravishing herself. She was wearing a black cocktail dress that brought out the color of her eyes and hair. She looked like a diamond displayed on a black velvet cloth, absolutely exquisite. Addy was nervous from just looking at her.
Neither of them attempted to come near each other, the looks were more than enough to let them know that they were the only other person that mattered in that room. Karen never lost track of Addy. The woman was like a magnet!
Karen saw Addy exit to the terrace and followed from a distance. She also saw Mr. Yamamoto follow Addy outside. He was not keeping distance. He was following with purpose. Son of a gun! The bastard is where he is because he can pick out the best when he sees it! Karen did not follow but remained vigilant, just in case, as no one had seen what had just happened.
The terrace was enormous and was leveled and landscaped in a way that provided privacy to anyone wanting to get away and hide. Addy was actually out there because she needed to breath. The stress building up inside her by seeing Karen and not being able to be with her was really too much.
Addy was startled when she heard a voice. “Ms. Marcos?” Addy turned around a bit startled only to find Mr. Yamamoto himself. “My apologies, I did not mean to startle you.” “Oh, it's all right. I needed to get some fresh air, the night is so clear and the view from here is very nice.” “Yes, I agree. Ms. Marcos, I leave for Japan tomorrow. I have met with many attorneys here who have presented me with many reasons why I should let them handle my company's account here in the US . I have been surprised, though, that I have not heard from you. Is there a reason or am I to assume that you are not interested in my company's account?”
“Mr. Yamamoto, I'm a very sincere person, so please, pardon me if I speak my mind. I, like any lawyer in this town, would be more than honor to represent your firm. However, I would not dare to assume that you have come to accomplish your task in this country if you had not done your research.” She signaled for him to seat next to her.
“I do not think that a man arrives at your position without doing his homework.” Mr. Yamamoto smiled slightly. “I'm sure that you know what you are looking for and exactly the type of person and firm you would like to represent your company. I do not think that approaching you with elaborate, boring presentations would make a difference to you. I think that you know what you want and that is exactly what you will get. A brief conversation with the representatives or person on a firm whom you have already prescreened would be more than enough to ascertain if you would like to deal with that person and its firm or not.” She shook her head. “I do not have a presentation for you. If you would like to trust me and my firm with your company's account, I would be more than happy to be responsive to all your concerns and questions. However, I will not take your time nor mine on a pitch.” Mr. Yamamoto smiled.
Addy had been adorably charming making her brief statement. Mr. Yamamoto looked very serious. He got up to leave. “Ms. Marcos, I have chosen you. You have integrity and ‘do not beat around the bush' as they say here in America . I like when people speak their heart and when they are good at what they do. Will you accept my offer?” Addy got up and bowed in the Japanese custom to show respect. “It will be my privilege.”
Yamamoto smiled. “I can clearly see, Ms. Marcos, that it is not just I who has done homework.” Addy smiled. Smart! He caught me! I did not come here to see presentations. I came here looking for a person who cares enough to do her homework about the people who make the company, and not just the company.” Addy smiled slightly. “My legal team will be contacting you on Monday. It has been my pleasure talking to you.” He said no more. He got up bowed his head and left.
Karen saw Yamamoto leave. He walked by, straight for the door, only stopping to say goodbye to a couple of people who stopped him. Everyone was puzzled at his sudden departure.
Addy remained on the terrace mischievously smiling. There was so much pleasure in taking a moment to privately celebrate this victory. Dan would definitely jump out the window on Monday. She could just see him. He and Anne had done a great job researching the man. They would get a big bonus for this! Addy could hardly believe it herself. She was almost in tears of joy when she sensed Karen approach. “Addy, are you okay?”
Addy turned around. “I swear to God, Karen Larsen, I don't believe half the things that have happened to me in this life, nor why I deserve what I have, but I thank God everyday for all the good he's brought to me.”
“What's this about?” “We just got the Yamamoto account.”
“What?!! But I thought you weren't going for it!” Karen couldn't believe it. She chuckled, as Addy smiled.
“Why am I not surprised?! You do what no one can do! Incredible!”
“I wasn't It came to me! And….how's this for credible?” She pulled Karen to her and kissed her right on the lips. Karen raised her eyebrows while enjoying the awesome kiss.
“Get your financial team ready, honeybunch. You are coming to Japan with me to tackle this one. We are in this together, remember?”
“ Japan ? Oh my God, Addy!”
“I love you, Ker, and by the way….I think you look absolutely fabulous in that dress! You have got to be the sexiest woman I've ever seen…I had to get out of that room because I couldn't keep my eyes of you. I was afraid to give myself away.”
Karen chuckled. “Oh my God, you are coming on to me! I can't believe this! I've heard it all now!”
Addy came close to her. Her face was only an inch away from Karen's. “Got a problem with that?” Karen was astonished at this boldness. She chuckled.
“No, not at all. I love it! As a matter of fact, I was thinking of leaving soon because I was afraid to give myself away too, I kept following you around that's why I knew you were out here.”
Addy came close and ran a finger sensually along the side of her neck. “So, do you want to escape?”
“What?! Have you lost your mind? What about Luke? And aren't you going to tell anyone the news?”
“Oooh!.. That sexy English accent! I love it! No, I'm not going to tell anyone the news yet. They'll find out come the time, and nope, I have not lost my heart, but not my head! I'll tell Luke that I need to go to the office regarding this new account, and that he can go home. If he doesn't like it, well, he'll have something else to bitch about!” She kissed Karen.
“Addy…..! You leave me baffled sometimes. Where are we meeting?”
At about 7:30 pm they met at the office. “Addy what are we doing here?” “Covering our tracks. Let's go, we are having dinner and then we are going to a gay bar somewhere to dance.”
“Are you out of your mind?” Karen said in surprise. She couldn't believe Addy's tone or demeanor.
Addy loved it when some phrases brought out that English\Scottish accent. “Uumm, that accent again? I love it!” She placed her hands underneath Karen's jawbone and held her head in place then she kissed her on the lips.
Karen froze in awe. “You are going to kill me! Let's go to my place.”
“Karen….I said dance not sex!”
Karen chuckled. “I know, come on! I promise to slow dance with you!”
They picked up some Chinese food on the way to Karen's apartment. Karen played some soft jazz and they dance. They also cuddle on the sofa and kissed. The hands did a bit of roaming after all there were so many curves laid out!
Karen knew that Addy was coming around, but that the things were not yet ripe, so for now the teasing and the sensual touches was more than enough. As they listened to Sade's ‘Not ordinary love,' while cuddling on the sofa, Karen whispered in Addy's ear. “Addy, if we never get past this, I wan you to know that this is enough for me. Just to hold you like this and to feel you so close to me and to kiss you. I am totally happy right now.”
Addy looked at her and with that look that Karen liked so much. “Ker, you are a very sexy woman. That Scottish accent and those green eyes ought to get you more than a cuddle! Keep the faith!” Karen chuckled, feeling the pang in her groin.
“You know that song ‘What I like about you?' One of the things I like most about you is that you don't keep anything to yourself. No matter if what you say works against you. On the other hand, maybe you speak your heart with me because you know that nothing is going to work against you with me.”
Addy smiled. “Have I ever not done my research well when I get into something?”
Karen chuckled. “Are you getting in to me?”
Addy grimaced. “Smart-ass! Do you really think I'm going to incriminate myself further?”
Addy looked into those gorgeous green eyes and placed little kisses on her upper lip first, then the lower lip. Karen's mouth was open allowing the kissing and enjoying every bit of it. Karen reclined her head on the sofa and allowed Addy her exploration. She knew that Addy needed time to become familiar with the territory. Although, in true honesty, Addy appeared to be very comfortable and much aware of the territory! The kissing when on to other parts of her face, and neck. “It seems so easy to ….” She stopped.
“What, me? Are you saying I'm easy?!” Karen smiled.
Addy smiled too. “I was going to say that it feels easy to loose myself to you…but you are being rather easy, you know?”
Karen grinned from ear to ear. “I'm a slut when it comes to you! You can do whatever you want to me.” Karen said with a mischievous look on her face. She knew who she was dealing with!
Addy raised her eyebrows suggestively and smiled. “I know.”
Karen pulled her closer. She took control of the kissing. She had promised herself to keep her hands off and let Addy do the touching, but she couldn't resist this woman. She was too much, and she loved every bit of her.
Karen kissed her softly, then passionately. Karen was loosing control. There were too many feelings held back by both women. Karen pushed her down on the sofa bringing her hands to her buttocks, grabbing and massaging them over the dress. Karen attempted to place her hands under, but couldn't because the dress was tight it did not allow much movement. She stopped when she realized that things were getting a bit out of control. “Dammed dress, why do we wear them?!”
Addy had to laugh. “Saved by the dress? Ms. Larsen I think you are getting too frisky with me tonight.” She got up from the sofa and composed herself. “I'd better go.”
“I'm not going to let you go out alone looking like that….” She pointed to Addy's body with her finger. “I wonder if the dress had the same effect on Yamamoto?” She had a smirk on her face.
“You are being ridiculous. I can go on my own. There's no need for you to come. You are also in a dress and looking very sexy yourself. You don't look very intimidating to ‘would be' attackers, you know?!”
Karen grinned. “Cute. I'll change into a ‘butch' outfit.”
Addy rolled her eyes. “Whatever!”
Karen came out of the bedroom wearing blue jeans, a sleeveless, crew neck black top and boat shoes.
“Is that your butch outfit?”
Karen chuckled. “Yeah! Do I look tough?”
Addy raise her eyebrows suggestively. “….and sexy. I like it.”
Karen grabbed her by her waist and pulled her in. “You do, huh?”
Both women were grinning. They kissed.
Karen was walking behind Addy as they were leaving the apartment. She kept looking at Addy's rear. “About this dress, I think you should bring it to Japan , I have this fantasy…..”
Addy turned and gave her the menacing look. Then she smiled and raised her eyebrow as only Addy knew how to do, so sexy. “I will.” She kept walking, knowing exactly what Karen was looking at. Karen savored the moment.
On Monday, Addy walked in her office around 10 am. Five of the partners were waiting for her in the reception area outside her office. Karen was also in the vicinity just waiting to see the reaction. Dan and Anne were talking to her. Stevenson was the first to speak. “Is it true?” “We'll have to wait and see. Yamamoto said his legal team would call today. As soon as I get the call I will confirm.” A “Yeeeesss!” was heard in the stillness of the office, also a “Ssssshhhh!” Addy smiled knowing it was Dan and Anne. The partners dispersed. Addy looked down the hall and saw the pair with Karen. “You two in here, now!” Karen smiled.
The new associates were skipping their way to Addy's office. This is how it happened, you must know since you enabled the happening. They were so pumped, they didn't even know how to react. “I'm asking for new restructuring and laying out terms. I assume that you guys want to work for me, correct?”
“You bet!” Dan said.
Anne followed. “No need to ask, Addy.”
“Alright, for better or worse!” It was definitely for better. Addy was demanding and tough, but she was a hoot and she treated people like royalty. Her bonuses and rewards were the best. She believed that if you treated people with respect and rewarded them handsomely they would work more willingly and would give their best. Her bonuses were not only monetary, but often she would book weekends for her staff, or tickets to the theater, or major events. Working for Adriana Marcos was a privilege.
At 10:30 the phone rang. Addy took the call. “Julie, clear my schedule this afternoon, Yamamoto's legal team is arriving at 2 pm. Put a call to Jason to have the paperwork ready. Put out an e-mail to the partners, the Yamamoto account is ours and it's on my tab. Call a partners' meeting for this week, everyone is to clear their schedules to attend.”
Julie was thrilled. They ruled! “Oh my God! This is amazing!”
Addy dialed Karen's extension. “Ker, can I come over?”
“Sure.” Two minutes later Addy was in her office.
“Ker, we got it, they are going to be here at 2 pm. I need you there with me 100% all the way.”
“You've got me, baby, you know that!”
“Good, I'm freaked out. By the way, I'm following your advise, I'm requesting new terms. Think about whatever you ever wanted here. I will ask for whatever terms you come up with, you are the brains of the operation, I'm just the handler! This is our moment. Let's make it work for us.”As Addy left, Karen smiled. ‘ Us!' such a small word, so much meaning!
To be continued in Part 12
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