The files were arranged in color-coded filing folders in the organized mess that covered Donna’s desk. On a typical day it would be cleaner but this was re-sorting day and Donna was busy multitasking, which inevitably resulted in scattered materials and far too many opened windows and tabs on the desktop computer.
“Donna, I need—“
Donna held up a bright blue folder before Harvey could reach her or even finish his sentence.
“Great. Also, did you have time—“
She pointed to the stack of papers at the edge of the desk.
“No I idea what I would do without you.”
“Mmhhmmm.” She finally looked up and grinned at him. “Come on, admit it. I’m the best secretary in the world.”
Harvey smirked. “Well, it’s only right that the best lawyer have the best secretary isn’t it?”
Donna picked up a green folder and flicked it playfully at him. Then she finally realized what was off and catching her eye. “You’re dressed up.” She tilted her head to the side.
“What are you talking about? I always come to work like this. Suit, tie…what?”
“That is your business dinner suit. The one you wore to your last meeting with Jessica. So what are you doing that warrants that suit?”
“You tell me, you’re my personal day planner.”
Donna huffed and sat back in the rotating chair with her arms crossed. “If it’s not on my calendar it’s not work related. Do you have a date, Harvey? Oh you do.” She held up one hand to stifle protest. “I see it now. It’s in the hair. All…combed back like that.”
“I don’t have a date. But I do have court in…one hour. So I better go.”
She gave him a little wave and spent the next few minutes wondering what was going on.
The answer to Donna’s mystery waltzed in about midday, right before Donna was to take her lunch and two-three hours before Harvey typically returned from court. The girl looked around Harvey’s age, maybe a couple of years younger. She had thick wavy brown hair which framed her pretty face. She was dressed in a business outfit – prim skirt and blouse – such as what one of the female lawyers in the office might wear. A little like what Donna was wearing but with less oomph, or so Donna wanted to think.
“Is Harvey Specter in?” the young woman asked.
Donna blinked up at her. “No, he’s in court.”
“Do you know when he may be back?”
“In a couple of hours, unless there’s a hold up. Do you have an appointment?” Something told Donna she did not.
“No, I’m...he told me he didn’t have a very full day and I could come by. Stupid Harvey. Could have told me he had morning court.”
“It’s an ADA thing. They all have morning court.” Donna wiggled her eyebrows at the other woman, shut down the computer and gathered her things. “I’m about to take my lunch break. If you want to wait for him—“
“Do you know where I could get some good coffee, actually? I was on a morning flight, could use some caffeine.”
The commanding note in the woman’s voice bothered Donna a little, but she was used to the lawyers, especially ones who didn’t know her, acting superior and the girl did look tired even under all the foundation and mascara. “Yes. I do. But it’s not the office coffee room, that’s for sure.”
“So you’re Harvey’s secretary?”
“I prefer the term ‘personal assistant.’”
“Mmm.” Dana – they had finally gotten to introductions while ordering their coffee at Donna’s favorite little corner den – hummed, taking a small sip from her cup and watching Donna with keen eyes. “The coffee here is good.”
“Yea. So how did you meet Harvey?”
“We went to Harvard together. I was number one in our class. He says it’s because I was married to the library but don’t believe him, he just hates loosing.”
Donna laughed mildly. She had only known Harvey for a year, but that was something she had learned about her boss within a week. Harvey Specter could not stand loosing. “So you were friends?”
Dana’s expression got slightly odd, a little girlish, a little shuttered. It was a strange combination and Donna felt her senses perk up. “Of a sort. We have a friendly and…passionate rivalry. Always had.”
“Ah.” Donna felt a slight jolt in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t that she had feelings for Harvey – this was something she told herself over and over again while winning a staring match against herself in the mirror – but Dana’s somewhat smug implication unsettled her. Donna had never met any women Harvey may be dating and she sort of liked it that way. Harvey liked her for her banter and her efficiency and their partnership. She hated being faced with the fact that she could be outdone in his eyes by a woman simply because she had bed access and Donna did not. Not that she was interested in said bed access, off course. But that was part of the point anyway. “I haven’t seen you around before,” Donna offered for lack of anything to say.
“I’ve been working out of Boston. We haven’t crossed much for work with Harvey…or in our personal lives now that I think about it. But that might change.” Dana smiled brightly.
“I’ve accepted a new job in New York. Hopefully we will see more of each other. It’s at a British firm; I actually have my sights on London but this will do for now. That’s what I came in to tell him, actually… So tell me, is working with Harvey unbearable? I imagine it must be unless he’s changed, which I doubt.”
The switch of subject was abrupt but Donna accepted it. She actually wasn’t sure if she wanted to talk to Dana about Harvey, so she soon switched the subject to London and Dana’s new job. They talked about British humor and British tv shows. Dana talked about traveling while in university and all the things she had loved about London.
When they finally got back to the office, Donna was left with a feeling of someone who had just survived a subtle attack on their pride even though Dana came off as perfectly nice and polite and interesting to talk to.
Maybe it was damned Harvey making things difficult again. Without even being there. The nerve of that man. Either way, Donna was certain she would see Dana Scott again and she wasn’t certain if that was a good thing or a bad one.