Twelve - A Freakin' Lemon

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Surprisingly, the next few days passed without incident. Jaimee knew, however, that this little grace period wasn't courtesy of a higher deity. In fact, he was pretty certain that it was because - for the first time in about five months - Ricardo was going to court. The news had come to Jaimee from a very disgruntled face. Ricardo hated going to court, hated to do any work actually, but particularly hated that part too. This case had monopolised his attention completely.

From what Jaimee knew, one of the firm's oldest clients - Denbigh Digital - had come up against a little snag with one of their new products. This 'little' snag had become a festering void pretty quickly after they were slapped with a million pound lawsuit for trademark infringement. Ever since the CEO of the company had barged his way past Jaimee's desk, Ricardo had been neck deep in the case. He hadn't seen his boss at all for four days and it was making him nervous; something that he was trying his best to ignore.

They still hadn't talked about what happened the other night. The night where Ricardo straddled Jaimee, pinned him down and watched him like a cat zeroing on a mouse. The night where Jaimee's mind had gone blank as a slate, his nerves had lit up like fairy lights, and his heart had definitely skipped a beat. Yeah, that night. They hadn't talked about it because he left Ricardo's without a word and ever since then they hadn't had a moment alone.

Jaimee cleared his thoughts with a practiced force of will. He was becoming very good at doing that, especially since his brain insisted on taking him down memory lane at the most inappropriate times. Such as in the middle of lunch, which he was chowing down now. He had taken the time to actually leave the building and head for the bagel shop around the corner. He'd ordered smoked salmon and cream cheese and his fifth coffee of the day before heading back to Santos & Santos. He ate at his desk, one shoe hanging off his foot as he leaned back in his chair. He was starving, tired and just a little bit wound up.

Livvy was driving him crazy with wedding talk. It wasn't just her; his whole family was. All they wanted to discuss lately was dates, dates, dates. And not the fun kind. He hadn't been sleeping very well, and his appetite was so wishy-washy he didn't even know that you could call it that anymore. He was sure it was just nerves and John himself had even said so when his son confided in him. 'Happens to the best of us, Jaimee. Something about chatting away about the benefits of white versus cream makes your heart just run away. You're a man. You have better things to do. But don't tell your mum I said that.'

If Livvy wasn't chasing him for his preferences on balloons, table shapes, or napkins then Anita was bringing mini food stuffs for him to taste. Between the two of them, his own house was his own personal hell. The only place he got any kind of peace now was at work. Which was ironic, considering that it was making him anxious being so close to Ricardo without being able to talk to him.

Jaimee jumped out of his skin when Ricardo's door slammed open and the two paralegals he'd been holed up with all day came scurrying out. They disappeared quickly, seething, without a backwards look. Jaimee planted both feet on the floor and spun in his chair to see Ricardo leaning against the doorway. He was exhausted but also angry - it was flickering in the pull of his shoulders, the tightness of his mouth. His suit was just the littlest bit creased - a fact that Jaimee refrained from pointing out. Now wasn't the time.

"What was that about?"

"Idiots, the whole lot of them. I pay them to just sit around and bring me excuses."

"You're no closer to building a defense?"

Ricardo scoffed. "Defense? I don't do defense, Choudhary. I just need something, anything, to beat those money-hungry dickweeds into the dust." His glare fell onto Jaimee's bagel. "Is that salmon?"

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