Sword Fights Draw Blood Don't They?
Myka negotiated very little when she spoke to Mrs. Frederic before accepting the job at Wells Corp. The one detail she was firm on was the option of applying – at any time – to become a member of the Board of Directors. In that clause was one stipulation – all she needed to have was the consent of a majority of board members. Myka had done this for a number of reasons - all of them sound financial motives. She didn't expect to execute that clause by her third week on the job.
Myka wasn't sure what Helena would do after leaving the townhouse, but she had a feeling it would not be good. She decided to get a read from the board members and so that is where she had Pete take her first. Convincing them that Helena G. Wells needed immediate legal guidance and that without it, the company would suffer, was easy. They admired their CEO …..and feared her. They gave Myka the position on a silver platter. It was the fastest work the Board had done all year.
Primarily because the CEO was not even consulted.
Myka Bering, who graduated top in her law class, knew one thing – she had better be prepared for what she was about to do. She walked in, closed the door behind her, and faced her boss.
Helena sat behind the dark cherry wood desk and smiled when Myka just walked in.
"Do you always barge into places you're not invited, Ms. Bering?" Helena asked without looking up.
"Helena, I think you and I have gotten off on the wrong foot, and I'd like to rectify that," Myka said calmly.
"Ms. Bering, the extent to which I do not care, cannot be measured," Helena said not looking up from the paperwork she pretended to be interested in. "Now why not muster up some of the well-mannered politeness that you Midwesterners are known for …..and leave."
"Well, I'm sorry you feel that way. I came here to do a job and admittedly, got off to a shaky start. I'm here to see those things through," Myka said walking further into the room. "I'd like to suggest we put our personal feelings aside," Myka added.
It sounded very plausible, but it reminded Helena that she was being asked to forget that someone had rejected her. She picked her head up to look at Myka with a cold gaze.
"Ms. Bering, did you get my message?" Helena asked.
"Eileen tried, but I wanted to hear it from you," Myka said.
Helena pursed her lips. "It was a mistake not to hear that outside, but be that as it may."
"If you have something to say to me, Helena, say it now," Myka said standing just a little taller.
"Alright. I suggested that you come here with your backbone intact, Ms. Bering. It will make landing on your ass easier," her boss smirked.
"I'm here as your chief counsel to go over corporate matters. We can discuss my body parts when we're done," Myka said back quickly. Her dismissive retort unnerved Helena.
"It's too late. You're already in here, and if you've come unprepared Ms. Bering, it will be a mistake you regret, not I," Helena warned.
"What will you do, fire me? Not until I've done what I've set out to do here," Myka shot back.
Helena stood up. Myka pulled back, but not out of the fear as Helena thought – but because she was taken by how beautiful Helena was. The white dress with the front black panel held Helena at her waist. And that black hair flowed with each movement over her shoulders. Even now, when anger filled those dark eyes, they were the most beautiful ones Myka had ever seen. Helena was exquisitely intimidating.
Myka shook her head to refocus. This wasn't about beauty – this was about brains and Myka felt that made it a level playing field. Myka knew the law – and she was good as solving puzzles – and if anyone was a riddle, it was Helena G. Wells.
"This is New York - an at-will state, Ms. Bering. That means I can fire you when I want for cause," Helena said as if instructing the student.
"I know what at-will means, but what exactly would the cause be?" Myka asked playing along.
"It would be failure to discharge your duties. They were simple enough, were they not?" Helena asked.
"I have resolved the two issues that were in my charge as of yesterday," Myka said.
"Bravo, Ms. Bering. A first year law student could have negotiated a copyright contract and a sexual harassment claim, so I'm sure you did a fine job. One the professors at Harvard ….," Helena started.
"I didn't go to Harvard," Myka corrected her.
"Oh, believe me, darling, of that I am certain," Helena shot back.
Myka walked right into that trap and she knew it. Myka nodded her head. OK, so this was going to be personal.
"Why don't you leave whatever brilliant plans you intended to propose with Eileen, and I will look them over at my earliest convenience," Helena said crossing her arms.
"You'll look them over now," Myka said back and felt her stomach twist.
Myka was confident, but she knew fury when she saw it – and it was mounting on the other side of the room.
Helena stared at Myka. Who the hell does she think she is? Helena smiled, deciding this was okay because she wasn't done with Myka Bering yet.
"OK, Ms. Bering. Dazzle me with what a third tier law school education buys these days," Helena said as she resumed her position behind the desk and sat down.
Myka needed the papers that Eileen was making copies of, but didn't dare ask the young woman to come into the viper's nest.
"Allow me," Myka said retreating to the outer office.
The door opened close enough to the one minute mark and upon seeing Myka, Claudia was certain that she had won. She let out a loud "YES" at the thought of winning the office pool. Myka just looked at her – and the small crowd that had gathered outside the waiting area – like people at the court-house, waiting to hear the verdict.
"Eileen?" Myka said extending her hand, but looking at the group. "Not yet," she said to Walter as he rose. He sat back down.
"You're going back in?" Claudia asked, happy to see her friend, but sad to know her chance was fleeting.
"Yes," Myka smiled and went back.
"It's okay. I don't mind brown bagging it for the next twenty-seven years," Claudia said of her loss.
Eileen posted a new email update. "Bering still in."
Myka walked over and placed the first piece of paper down. "Mr. Kenney was refusing to cast a woman in the role of HG Wells until I told him another major network was interested in the pilot. He has agreed to do it your way," Myka said looking directly at her boss.
"He had no other choice," Helena said dismissing the first item by pushing the paper aside without looking at it.
"For twice the amount," Myka added. In playing hardball with the producer, Myka managed to get him to appreciate the value of using the character brand.
Helena was surprised to hear this, and pleased - but she refused to show it.
"Anything else, Ms. Bering? "
"That takes care of my first assignment. As for the second, well I'm going to need your help," Myka said and drew Helena's 'when hell freezes over' look. "You see, I'm your chief counsel …..not your maid," Myka said leaning over the desk, looking down at her boss. "I'm not in the habit of cleaning up other people's messes."
Helena wanted to snap back – with several retorts – but she was still enjoying this –especially since she thought she had Myka right where she wanted her.
"You are my chief counsel. You'll do what I say," Helena said calmly. It was the unwritten slogan of Wells Corp.
"That brings me to my next item," Myka said smiling too much for Helena's comfort.
Myka took the thick stack of papers held together at the top by one of those large clasps and dropped it on Helena's desk.
"What pray tell is this?" Helena asked glancing down at the papers.
"By decree of the Wells Corp Board of Directors, Ms. Myka Bering, Chief Counsel is hereby granted temporary appointment to the Board. Ms. Bering is entitled to all privileges and rights for the duration of her term. By request, Ms. Bering's term is limited to ….," and Helena slowly looked up at Myka and then back at the papers and read; "…forty eight hours."
The sweet easy going lawyer had gone over her boss' head and gotten the damn fools to agree, Helena thought.
"Bold move, Ms. Bering. Now instead of replacing one dime a dozen lawyer, Mrs. Frederic will have to hire several people," Helena threatened. This would be remembered at the annual bonus.
"You can't fire me – for the duration of my Board assignment. That will assure me that you won't stop what I feel must be done," Myka said proud of how clever that move was. She knew it took Helena by surprise by the expression on her face.
"Which brings us to our next item," Myka announced. "Mr. Sykes. He's waiting outside."
Helena couldn't help but allow that surprise to register on her face. "Ms. Bering – going to the Board might be construed as original. Bringing the man who has laid false claims against me, is suicidal."
"He has a video. I saw it," Myka announced and fought like hell to keep those images out of her mind, but to no avail.
Helena moving up the bed with the sleekness of a jaguar was absolutely sensual no matter what team you were on. The image flashed inside Myka's head, but it might as well have appeared in her eyes because Helena caught it. In that microsecond that it took Myka to act like she wasn't thinking about seeing that image, Helena made her move.
Myka might have been winning on the corporate level, but Helena knew a playing field she was an expert on. The tables were about to turn.
"A video?" Helena feigned surprise. She got up from behind her desk, her hand to her mouth in a total act of drama. She pushed her hand through her hair and put her other hand on her hip, all the time coming in closer to Myka just so she could say in the most delicious voice she could;
"You saw it? What was on it?" the Brit inquired.
Myka searched that beautiful face to see if Helena was sincere or just toying with her, but she got stuck in Helena's ebony pools that were holding her in their gaze.
"Do you have it? Can I see it?" Helena asked.
"You want to see it?" Myka asked trying to regain the steadiness in her voice.
"Well, I think if I'm going to be accused of something and the accuser says he has proof, we should look at it, don't you think counselor?" Helena asked staring directly at Myka.
Myka knew that in the moment of letting down her defenses, Helena had pounced quickly. Damn she was good.
"I've seen it, Helena," Myka said clearing her throat and turning just a bit so she didn't inhale the intoxicating perfume Helena wore. It brought back memories of what had happened that morning. When she looked back at her boss, the smirk on her face confirmed she was pleased.
"And after watching it, counselor, do… you….. feel …its incriminating evidence?" Helena asked slowly emphasizing the words she wanted Myka to think about.
The look of innocence on Helena's face was so convincing that for a second Myka forgot whom she was sparring with.
'Don't ever let the client get in your head, Miss Bering,' she heard her professor's voice shout at her. Her favorite teacher, his star pupil often battled over how to handle cases. 'You must be firm, Myka. The client is depending on you to be in charge. If they were good at being in charge, they wouldn't need a lawyer in the first place,' he lectured her repeatedly.
Myka cleared her throat and collected her thoughts. "Helena, he could make a great deal of trouble, not only by sharing the private moment, but because he is a desperate man," Myka said.
"Hmmm," Helena said as if giving it some thought. "You seem to know a great deal about desperate men, Myka, so why don't I just leave him in your hands," Helena said taking off the kid gloves.
Myka couldn't believe Helena would take another shot at Sam. She winced for a second at that remark. Helena wanted to take it back – she saw it hurt, but there was no retreating in battle.
"I have invited Mr. Sykes here today, Helena so that you can tell him to his face, that as much as he wants to have a social relationship with you, he cannot," Myka said, not showing the fatigue she was feeling.
It had been all of twenty minutes, but felt like hours to Myka. She feared Helena was just warming up.
"Isn't this why I have you? To draft notices, give counsel to people who are misguided in their attempts to get at me. Listen to me closely Ms. Bering because this applies to you as well – I- do- not- give- second- chances. If you cannot get it right the first time – you do not deserve to be here," Helena said sitting down in her leather chair - now tired of this tete e tete.
"Helena, you misunderstood me," Myka said leaning over the desk, looking down at her. "He's not here to get a second chance. He's here to give you one."
It took a few seconds for Myka's words to sink in past that stubbornness that was Helena.
"Are you bloody freaking mad?" Helena shouted and slammed her fists on the desk. She jumped up from her seat and leaned across the desk to face her employee.
"Get the bloody hell out of my office and take Mr. Sykes with you," Helena ordered with a clenched jaw.
The next thing Myka did would become legend at Wells Corp simply because the entire staff agreed it was the first time it ever happened.
Myka calmly replied – 'No'.
Had the staff been privy to the morning activities, they would have known it was in actuality, the second time.