The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword
There was dead silence in the room and Myka was certain the only noise was the pounding in her chest. Helena's dead stare had not changed, and for a moment Myka thought she may never blink. She could tell Helena's breathing was shallow as she took in short breaths. If flames suddenly shot out of Helena's mouth – Myka wouldn't have been surprised. She had never seen anyone this angry in her life.
The only reason Helena was silent was because she was having conflicting feelings. On one hand, this is what she asked for – for Myka to come in with a backbone. On the other hand, this was the second time Myka Bering put her in an unusual situation. In-the-same-day. And both times – they involved Myka saying no.
Helena didn't know whether to admire her – or thrash her.
Finally, the tension that was palpable was cut when Helena spoke. "OK, Ms. Bering, since technically you are still on your first chance, I'll play along. Bring Walter in, but remember this," Helena said as she resumed her position of authority behind the desk. "… what happens here is on your head."
Myka didn't orchestrate this meeting without giving thought to what it would be like for Walter Sykes. No matter how she presented it to him, he just wanted another chance with Helena.
'What draws moths to flames?" Myka asked her mother once. "Don't they know they're going to get burned?" "They must think it's worth the price," her mother answered. That's what Myka thought about Walter. She had explained to him that meeting Helena face to face might be very hard – but he would be sure to get his answer. He jumped at the chance and thanked Myka for doing this. Helena was right – this was on her head.
Twenty three minutes after Myka had gone in, she reappeared in the doorway. There was almost as much tension outside as the crowd now had grown to a sizable amount. Both groans and soft shouts of yes were heard as those who knew their times had passed meant they lost the pool and yet, others were still in it. Pete was actually biting his nails now because he was one of the few who had put his money on the new comer.
"Mr. Sykes?" Myka called him and the new office pool was born.
Immediately people started typing into their smart phones the time that Walter would be thrown out of Helena's office. The entire time was five minutes. Most people picked the time in less than thirty seconds.
"Could someone please tell me what's going on?" Artie asked when he saw the crowd.
You would think the office manager's appearance would have made people scatter, but the stakes were too high now with two simultaneous pools. Pete grabbed Artie and explained it to him. The scowl on his face made Pete think this wasn't a good idea.
"Can I still get in on the first one?" he asked. They told him that one was closed, but he could participate in the Walter pool. He quickly grabbed money from his wallet and told Eileen to put him down for 'five minutes'.
"Walter," Helena said in the friendliest tone Myka had heard her use. "So good of you to indulge our new chief counsel."
Walter all but melted at the sight of his lover. He has spent hours staring at her features and each time, fell more in love with her. He had a good job at Wells Corp as their Director of Compliance. He worked there for a year before Helena even said hello to him. He had admired her from afar because for the most part, Helena didn't want to deal with anyone who reminded her there were rules to follow. She asked him to lunch and asked all kinds of questions about what his department actually did. Then she asked him to accompany her to charity functions. He couldn't believe she was asking him! Then she asked him to the Penthouse for a drink and Walter entered a world of the hottest sex he had ever had. Helena had a reputation for being a bit cold at times, but mostly because she was British. Any preconceived notion that Walter may have had was melted away as Helena came at him like a woman who hadn't had sex in years. Except – she was masterful. There wasn't an inch of him that she didn't devour in some fashion and Walter didn't know he could feel the way he did. No one – and Walter was experienced – had ever made him feel that way. He was hooked.
Walter made a classic mistake – he mistook Helena's captivating love making and attention as caring. So when she summarily dismissed him after he suggested they go away together, he was crushed. Then he was cut out – he couldn't get to Helena and it drove him crazy. So he threatened the suit - hoping to get his chance. Myka Bering brought him what he couldn't get himself.
"Helena," he said and Myka thought he might just genuflect.
"Please, sit down," Helena said calmly. "Now Walter, Ms. Bering tells me that you filed this frivolous suit and that you have proof that might compel me to act wisely."
"Helena, the video isn't necessary now. I just wanted to talk to you," Walter said.
"With my lawyer present?" Helena asked pointing out the setting.
"She thinks it's best," Walter said and Helena smiled to think Myka had coordinated this.
"Well, I've been less than impressed so far, but let's give it a try," Helena said taking another shot.
"I want to hear if straight from you, Helena, if we don't have a chance. I want to tell you that I will do whatever it takes to deserve that chance. Don't throw away what we have, Helena," Walter implored her.
"Walter, I thought I made myself clear, but perhaps I was ambiguous at the time. I mean, the sex was incredible, was it not?" Helena asked as she ran her hand down his arm to his hand across the desk.
Suddenly, everyone became aware of Myka's presence, including Myka. Walter swallowed hard at Helena's touch and demure look. Myka couldn't believe she hadn't seen this coming – Helena wasn't going to be nice and explain that she and Walter had no future! She was going to chew him up and spit him out all over Myka who delivered him right to her door!
As fast as Helena drew him into her, she pulled away. "Walter? Ms. Bering tells me you have a video. I'd like to see it," Helena said.
"Oh, well ….," Walter said looking at Myka. "Really?"
"Oh yes, Walter. I have to know what I am ….. up against. You see, you've brought grave charges against me. Ones that my counsel here has taken very seriously. So I know she would think it incumbent on me to take this matter earnestly ….and see the evidence," Helena said smiling.
"But it doesn't matter now. If you and I can just figure out a way to make this work, I will drop all my charges. It was just to get your attention," Walter admitted.
"Oh I know, Walter. And now you have it. Show me the video!" Helena said in a tone that reminded Myka who she was dealing with.
Walter took out his IPhone nervously. He had watched it so many times, that he knew exactly where it was.
Except now it was gone.
Myka looked as Walter scrambled to find the evidence. He wasn't worried about not having it to use against Helena. He was frantic because it was a reminder of what he and Helena shared.
Myka watched the smile grow across Helena's face as she sat there knowingly. That expression told Myka that Helena already knew he wouldn't find it.
"It's not there, Walter. I had it removed from your phone… by a member of my staff," Helena said.
"That's impossible," Walter said as he kept looking. "The only person I have met with was Ms. Bering," he concluded and now he and Myka saw the look of victory on Helena's face.
Then he turned to Myka and her stomach turned to think she had somehow been a party to that. Anger grew inside her as she thought about how Helena had played her – all day long yesterday.
Finally, Helena rose from her chair – triumph written all over her face.
"Walter, I am sorry that our liaison did not end the way you wanted it to, but it has ended. It is not because we are incompatible; it is because I am interested in someone else. Amazing that I can control an entire corporation the way I do, and still not be able to control what the heart wants," Helena said sincerely to a stunned Walter …..and Myka.
How the hell did she get that video?
Helena walked around the desk and took Walter's hand. "Mon Cherie, I will always remember our time together. Let's not ruin the memory by extending our stay," Helena said in what sounded like a sincere tone. She reached down and kissed his hand.
SHE KISSED HIS HAND! - Flashed across Myka's brain that was still solving the video puzzle.
"I'm sorry, Helena," Walter said accepting that this really was the end.
"Thank you, Walter for allowing me the opportunity – the chance," she said for Myka's benefit. " ….to explain this to you," Helena said and smiled at him. "Now you can settle up what you think is best for you to do with Ms. Bering. She is after all, Wells Corp's finest lawyer. I'm sure she'll think of something brilliant," Helena said as she indicated Walter should leave …and take Myka with him.
Walter hugged Helena and started to walk out. Helena watched as Myka followed after him. She caught the surprised look on Myka's face when she admitted she had taken the video and that Myka was the only suspect.
The door opened and Walter walked out first. It was just five minutes, and Artie was one of the winners. He saw Walter's expression and didn't feel so happy about winning.
"He is still alive at least," Pete, the ever optimist said to Artie.
Helena walked over to her window that overlooked the busy streets of Time Square. For someone who had just won two, not one, battles, she didn't feel victorious at all. In fact, for the first time that Helena would admit it, she felt empty. Where was the satisfaction in conquering in love and business?
Helena had confronted a woman who was – in some ways – the closest thing to an equal that she could remember. Myka had pushed her on several issues – and had told her no – and still Helena came out on top. Why then, did she feel this gnawing discomfort in her chest?
This was new territory for Helena – to oppose someone, beat them, but then still want to be with them. She had played her hand beautifully and yet, she wanted to apologize to Myka.
Helena wasn't sure how long she stared out that window, but she truly expected to see Myka standing there, but instead her office was empty. She looked down and something caught her eye.
There on her desk lay the pen that had been given to Myka as a gift - in pieces.