Chapter 1: The antique lamp
‘How dare she make me bring this thing home…’
Harvey put down the antique lamp on his coffee table as soon as he came home. His beloved secretary had given him a gift to congratulate him on making senior partner, but it was absolutely hideous. He vaguely remembered Donna rambling about how special the lamp was and how she would have kept it for herself if she hadn’t loved him so much. But really, given the utter ugliness of the lamp, she must have been joking.
‘What am I supposed to do with this? Laugh at its awful pattern whenever I want to feel worse? Couldn’t she have at least polished it before dumping it on me?’
Harvey changed into something more comfortable and fetched a piece of cloth from the kitchen. Then he sat down on the couch and started to rub the brass lamp.
‘Great. It heats up when I rub it. Where on earth did she find this piece of junk?’ Harvey frowned and rubbed it harder out of sheer annoyance.
Much to his surprise, the lamp started to rattle and a beam of blue light slowly came out of its mouth. The light soon morphed into a human figure and Harvey dropped the lamp on the coffee table.
‘So this is what happens when you don’t sleep for 36 hours.’ Harvey blinked his eyes several times, hoping that his hallucinations would stop. He was certain that he hadn’t fallen asleep so it couldn’t be a dream. He was looking at this young guy with dirty blond hair and mesmerizing blue eyes, wearing nothing but a leaf over his groin. The object of his hallucination wasn’t completely out of the lamp; he was only visible above his knees.
“Hello, master. Nice to meet you.” The guy waved his hand and smiled.
Harvey bit his hand to muffle the scream that was threatening to leave his mouth. He had obviously lost his mind.
“Who are you…?” He felt stupid for talking to a person that didn’t exist and a little proud that his imagination had come up with such a cute product.
The guy tilted his head and looked at Harvey. “I’m a genie, what do you think? Didn’t you read stories about us when you were a child?”
Harvey thought about Aladdin. Did he miss the story so much that his subconscious had decided to make him meet a genie? But the guy in front of him looked so real. Damn, he had a vivid imagination.
“I thought genies only existed in fiction.” The more he talked, the most stupid he felt.
“Ah, a common misconception.” The genie nodded and smiled.
Convinced that he wouldn’t get sued by something that he had imagined, Harvey let his eyes travel from the messy hair to the happy trail and all the way down to the toned thighs. ‘That’s quite a big leaf. And, why is my hallucination censoring things?’
Harvey thought about ripping the leaf off the guy, but he wanted to check something else first. So he grabbed the handle of the lamp and turned it around. Unfortunately, the genie turned around as well, leaving Harvey with the same view.
“Hey! What are you trying to do? Take a peep at my ass?” The genie snapped.
Harvey wondered if he had to say sorry to make his hallucinations go away. But did he really want the guy to disappear already? There was nobody around to judge him. He could use a little bit of unusual entertainment before passing out on his bed.
“Are you always this quiet?” The genie asked with a small frown.
“No. I’m an attorney. I talk for a living.”
“Oh, are you any good?”
“I’m the best closer in the city,” Harvey answered smugly.
The genie looked around in amazement. “Judging by this place, it looks like you might be telling the truth. Whoa, dude, is that an elevator?”
“Yes, that’s a glass elevator and don’t you ever call me ‘dude’.”
“Would you prefer ‘master’ then?” The genie lowered his voice.
Harvey thought for a moment. He wasn’t going to develop feelings for a creature that lived in a lamp inside his imagination. “You can call me Harvey.”
“Harvey? That’s your name? What a nice name. It suits you.” The genie smiled and said Harvey’s name a few times. It sounded pleasant in his mouth.
“What’s yours? Do you even have a name?” Harvey figured that it would be easier to call him by something.
The genie made a disapproving face. “Of course I do! My first master named me ‘Michael’. But that was a long time ago and now I prefer ‘Mike’.”
“You had other masters?” Harvey felt an emotion that he wasn’t ready to admit. Why was his subconscious trying to mess with him? Was he getting punished by himself for not sleeping enough?
“Yes, I had two. William and Neal.” Mike smiled fondly at the memories of his two previous masters.
“Last names?” Harvey wanted to see how far his subconscious had taken it.
“Shakespeare and Caffrey.”
Harvey became silent. This was a whole new level of insanity. The game had to end. “Okay, kid. It’s time for me to go to bed and put an end to this. Nice meeting you though.”
He stood up from the couch and pinched the genie’s cheek. His subconscious had put in a lot of effort into the details. He couldn’t feel human skin on his fingertips; he felt a puff of wind instead.
“I suppose I have to go through this again.” Mike let out a sigh.
“I’m not a product of your imagination, Harvey. I’m real.” He put a hand on Harvey’s cheek. “I’m here to make three of your wishes come true.”
Harvey pulled away from the windy hand and laughed.
“Hey, you’re the one who rubbed the lamp and summoned me! If you’re going to waste my time and make fun of me, I might as well go back inside. Perhaps the lamp was wrong and you’re not the right master for me.” Mike wore a disappointed look on his face as he started to slide back into the lamp.
“Wait a second.” Harvey grabbed Mike’s wrist.
“What? You have jokes that you just have to make in my face?” Mike glared.
“Listen. I want to believe you, but I’m an attorney. Do you have any kind of proof that William Shakespeare was actually your…” Harvey didn’t want to use the word ‘master.’
“Proof?” Mike pulled his wrist out of Harvey’s grip and threw his hands in the air. “He wrote 126 sonnets about me! What more do you want?”
Harvey snorted and sat down on the couch again. This was getting better and better. “Are you trying to say that you’re the ‘Fair Youth’ in his sonnets?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying! Hey, he’s the one who gave me this leaf. With today’s technology, you can probably get his print off.” Mike pointed at the leaf that was covering his intimate parts.
Harvey blinked his eyes. He was dying to know what was behind the leaf, but it didn’t feel right to harass the genie whether he was real or not.
‘I shouldn’t have rubbed the lamp. There must’ve been small traces of drug on it and I must’ve inhaled it.’ Harvey came to the logical conclusion and enjoyed a laugh. If his subconscious was presenting him with a cute guy wearing almost nothing, perhaps he had to find a boy toy after getting enough sleep.
“Harvey? Hello…?” Mike waved his hand in front of Harvey’s face. His new master was good-looking and had a nice voice, but it seemed like he was mentally challenged at times.
“Listen,” Harvey started to talk.
“No, you listen this time.” Mike’s tone was stern. “If all those beautiful sonnets aren’t good enough for you, let’s try something else. But please don’t punch me in the face. I won’t get physically hurt, but it will hurt my feelings.”
Harvey opened his mouth to tell him that he didn’t practice violence in his everyday life. But he didn’t manage to get the words out because the genie was kissing him on the mouth.
‘Okay, this has to be great material for psychotherapy. Am I virtually kissing myself here? Exactly how strong were those drugs?’ Harvey closed his eyes and wished that this bizarre experience would end soon.
But the more time went by, the more vivid he felt what was supposed to be the genie’s lips. It felt like wrapping his lips around a warm and sweet breath of air. It wasn’t like any of the kisses that he had shared with a human being, but Harvey found it difficult to say that it wasn’t a real kiss. All of his senses were screaming at him to deepen the kiss and Harvey found himself wrapping an arm around the genie’s waist and pulling him closer.
“Is this enough proof for you?” Mike asked as he tried to catch his breath. He hadn’t kissed anyone in a while and Harvey’s lips felt fantastic.
Harvey nodded. He couldn’t explain it, but he was absolutely certain that the kiss had been real.
‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’ He thought about one of his favorite quotes from ‘Sherlock Holmes’.
“Great! Now that we’ve established that I actually exist, let’s talk about the ground rules.”
“Ground rules for what?” Harvey felt Mike slip out of his fingers. He was no longer holding his waist and he didn’t like it.
“For your three wishes,” Mike answered with a sympathetic face. “Harvey, I don’t usually make suggestions, but perhaps you should wish for a higher level of intelligence.”
“Excuse me?” Harvey growled. This was another proof that he must be dealing with a real genie. There was no way that his subconscious would question his intelligence under any circumstances.
“Sorry, master. I was out of line. I apologize.” Mike didn’t want to upset his master.
“It’s okay. But I thought I told you to call me Harvey.”
“But why? You obviously like it better when I call you master.”
“No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do. And, genies are supposed to please their masters, so I’ll have to keep calling you master. Just live with it.”
Harvey groaned. His genie definitely had personality. “I believe you wanted to talk about some ground rules.”
Harvey wondered if Donna had really given him something that had once belonged to the master of English literature and a criminal mastermind.
“Yes. There is no time limit for your wishes. You can make all three of them at once or you can take a dozen years between them. When you make a wish, please make it very clear and specific so I wouldn’t get it wrong. Your wishes must be somewhat realistic or I wouldn’t be able to make them come true. For example, if you ask me to fly you to Neptune or to give you a third eye, I wouldn’t be able to do it. After you’ve made your three wishes, I will no longer appear even if you rub the lamp.”
Harvey bit his tongue to not offend the genie. What good was it if a genie didn’t have much magical powers? What if he really wanted a third eye on the back of his head just to glare at Louis?
“But I don’t have any wishes, Mike. I’m perfectly satisfied with my life as it is.” Harvey crossed his legs, feeling more comfortable now that he accepted that Mike was somehow real.
Mike laughed. “That’s not possible. Everybody wants something. There must be something you want.”
Harvey thought for a while. He had health, wealth, a job that he loved, awesome gifts from clients, and a handful of people who looked out for him. What more could he ask for?
“What did those other guys want from you?” Harvey still didn’t feel like using the word ‘master’.
“Oh, I can’t talk about that, sorry. Genie-master confidentiality.”
“Is there really such a thing? And, if you haven’t heard because you were stuck inside the lamp, Shakespeare’s dead!”
Harvey immediately regretted announcing the news so cheerfully as he spotted a shadow on Mike’s face. “I’m sorry, Mike. I didn’t mean to…”
“It’s okay. I know he’s gone. I was there when it happened.” Mike smiled sadly.
Harvey found himself reaching out for Mike’s hand and the genie took it without any hesitation.
As Harvey hoped that he wasn’t getting attached to a puff of air, Mike started to talk, “William made all three wishes before he died. His first wish was to be inspired by me. His second one was to give me an eidetic memory.”
Harvey could tell that Mike missed his first employer. “He made a wish for you? Not for himself?”
“Yes, that was incredibly kind of him. I remember whatever I read. It’s very useful and I love it.” Mike smiled brightly and Harvey had to look away so that he wouldn’t get attached.
“What was his third wish? He didn’t set you free?” Harvey frowned. Perhaps the great poet wasn’t too kind after all.
“He made his third wish on his deathbed. He wanted to set me free, but it meant that I would either go back to my own land or become mortal. He wanted me to explore the world and thought that I was too lovely to die early. So he wished that I would fall into the right hands until I met someone I wanted to grow old with and eventually die together.”
‘Okay, so the great poet was kind after all.’ Harvey admitted with a pout.
“Did Neal Caffrey make all three wishes too?” He had to ask.
“No, he got locked up in prison shortly after his second wish,” Mike said in a sad tone.
“Do you want to grow old with him?” Harvey’s voice was sharp. He had seen pictures of the criminal, so he knew what the gorgeous bastard looked like.
Mike blushed and didn’t answer.
Harvey lifted his eyebrow. “Are you not going to answer your master?”
The words brought out an immediate response. “I’m sorry, master. I’m not sure if I want to grow old with him. He was very caring and knowledgeable, and he used to smile like…”
“That’s enough.” Harvey didn’t want to hear about what Mike thought about his former employer. The past was the past and Harvey preferred to look into the future.
A few moments of awkward silence passed as Harvey tried to calm down. He didn’t know why he was feeling such intense emotions.
Mike noticed it and put his free hand on Harvey’s face. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Harvey forced himself to smile a little as he tightened his grip on Mike’s hand. He wished that Mike was human, so he could actually squeeze it.
“Do you sleep or eat? Need a shower? What do you do in there?” Harvey gestured at the lamp with his chin.
“It’s not like I actually live in there. The lamp is like the wardrobe in ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’. I have a nice house on the other side of the lamp. I usually read books and play games with neighbors.”
“Interesting.” That was all Harvey could manage. There was only so much crazy information that he could absorb in one night. “So I don’t need to feed you.”
“No, you don’t need to.” Mike chuckled, but it didn’t last long and Harvey wanted to hear it again.
“Keep laughing.” He knew how ridiculous he sounded, but this whole night was ridiculous anyway.
“Is that a wish?” Mike asked, his hand still in Harvey’s.
“No, it’s not.”
“You liked my laughter.” Mike giggled. “Neal liked it too. He always told me how I should…”
Harvey shut up the pretty creature with a kiss. Apparently, the kid was a little dense. How many times did he have to tell a genie with a perfect memory that he didn’t want to hear about his past?
Harvey pretended that he hadn’t heard the delicious moan that left Mike’s throat and pulled back. “How old are you, Mike?” He hoped that he hadn’t just kissed an underage genie.
Mike chuckled. “I don’t know how old I am, but I’ve been told that I look like a twenty-three year old human.” He chose his words more wisely this time.
Harvey nodded. That seemed about right.
“Twenty-three is way above the age of consent for sex, master,” Mike added with a knowing smile.
Harvey tried not to shudder with pleasure. Mike should really stop calling him ‘master’. “We just met, Mike. I don’t think this is the right subject to talk about.”
“But we kissed, master, twice. And, you’re emitting so much pheromone that I’m starting to feel a little dizzy.”
Harvey had been doing such a great job at keeping his eyes above Mike’s waist, but it was getting harder and harder.
“I think it’s time to go to bed,” he announced and got up from the couch with the lamp in hand.
“Okay. Is there any position you like, master?”
Harvey almost dropped the lamp on the floor. “Mike, quit calling me master.”
“Is that a wish?”
“No, it’s not a wish! And, I mean that it’s time to fall sleep separately,” Harvey emphasized as he headed to the bedroom.
“Oh… Am I not attractive enough for you?” Mike looked a little hurt.
“It’s not that, Mike. You’re very attractive.”
“Then you’re worried that I’m inexperienced? Don’t worry about that. Neal and I…” Mike shut his mouth. He really had to be more careful, but Neal’s name came out automatically because he had been his whole world before Harvey rubbed the lamp tonight.
Harvey didn’t waste his energy yelling at the genie. He rather let out a deep sigh as he walked into the bedroom and put down the lamp on his nightstand. ‘So that felon laid a hand on Mike? Is it even possible to have sex with a genie?’
Harvey gritted his teeth as he asked, “Do you want me to set you free, so you can go see that felon in jail?”
Mike shook his head. “You rubbed the lamp and the lamp thought that you were the right master for me, so no. You’re my master now and whatever happened in the past will stay as a memory.”
Harvey liked the answer. He sat down on the bed and pulled the genie into his arms. Mike was soft, warm and smelled a little like fresh grass. Harvey felt himself relax as a puff of wind tickled the back of his neck.
“Do you have a garden in your house?” Harvey asked as he released the genie.
“Yes. How did you know?” Mike looked surprised.
Harvey laughed and pressed a kiss to the genie’s cheek. “Let’s just say that we both know how to pick up some things from each other.”
Feeling sleepy, Harvey took off his T-shirt and sweatpants.
“Um, I think it’s time for me to go home.” Mike said, looking away.
Harvey nodded. He was too tired to tease a genie with a strip show. “I’ll see you tomorrow?”
“You don’t need to ask me, master. Whenever you want to see me, you just rub the lamp. Good night then.”
“Good night, Mike.”
Harvey watched as Mike turned back into a beam of blue light. “Mike…?”
An ear appeared in the middle of the light.
Harvey chuckled before he spoke in a serious voice, “It was nice meeting you.”
The ear turned into a mouth. “The pleasure was mine, master. Sweet dreams.”
“You too, Mike.”
Harvey fell asleep as soon as Mike completely disappeared into the lamp.
Chapter 2: Harvey's first wish
The next morning, the first thing that Harvey did when he walked into Pearson-Hardman was confronting his secretary. “Good morning, Donna. We need to talk.”
“Good morning, Harvey. Where did you decide to put the…” Donna couldn’t finish her sentence because Harvey had covered her mouth with his hand.
“Shh, don’t talk about it unless we’re in private, okay?”
Donna nodded with wide eyes and Harvey let go of her while rushing her into his office.
“So? Did it work?” Donna looked at her boss with curiosity as she sat on the couch.
“Did what work?” Harvey pulled down the blinds before sitting across her.
“The lamp! Did you rub it? Did you see him?” Donna whispered the last question.
Harvey was shocked. “You know about Mike?”
“Of course I do! I’m the one who gave you that lamp. But I didn’t know that his name was Mike. What a cute name.”
“But how? He said that he had two… employers before and he didn’t mention you.”
Donna snorted. “I know Neal Caffrey’s friend, Dante Haversham. We are in the same book club. He’s the one who gave me the lamp and told me that if I was the rightful owner, I’d get to meet a blue friend. But nothing happened when I rubbed it. So I was going to give it to you on your birthday, but you got promoted first. If you saw Mike, you must be the right person!”
Donna was excited. Her friend had told her that the lamp was one of the greatest treasures in the world and it turned out that none other than her boss was the rightful owner of it.
“What kind of a name is Dante Haversham?” Harvey smelled suspicion. “Let me guess. That friend is a felon too and it’s an alias.”
Donna smiled innocently. “All I know is that Caffrey knew that he was going to stay behind bars for a very long time. He wanted Mo… Dante to give the lamp to someone who could be completely trusted and who would never find himself in jail. Apparently, he was afraid that the lamp might end up getting confiscated by the police or fall into the wrong hands. Oh, and this person also had to be someone that Caffrey doesn’t know, so that he wouldn’t try to track him down and get the lamp back even if he got out of jail. He wanted Mike to have some closure and move on with his life.”
Harvey listened attentively before asking, “So Caffrey doesn’t want the lamp anymore?”
“It seems like it. He doesn’t want Mike to keep waiting for him.”
Harvey let out a small sigh of relief. At least he didn’t have to worry about fighting over the lamp with its previous owners.
“Do you believe that Shakespeare once owned the lamp? That’s what Mike told me.” Harvey didn’t want to doubt Mike’s words, but he had to check.
“Well, from what I know, Caffrey did enjoy stealing the world’s most exquisite treasures and I hear that he adores literature. I’d normally suggest that you put Vanessa on this if you want to find out more, but I don’t think it would be safe. You can’t really trust anyone when it comes to valuable treasure. Besides, she might trigger alerts while digging up information. We don’t want questionable characters trying to hunt you down.”
Harvey was quiet for a moment, sorting out his thoughts. It was one thing to accept Mike’s existence and quite another to accept everything that seemed to be going on around him. He wanted to find out everything about the lamp, but he didn’t feel like even a quick search on the Internet would be safe. He wanted to insure the lamp as well, but leaving a paper trail could be dangerous. He couldn’t do anything that might put Mike or himself in danger. Caffrey was probably able to keep the lamp for as long as he could because he had kept things under the radar. If he wanted to keep Mike safe, he would have to stop asking questions and do the same. Mike told him that he wouldn’t appear unless the rightful owner rubbed the lamp, but Harvey wasn’t born yesterday. He believed that there was an exception to every rule and he couldn’t risk anything happening to Mike.
“What am I going to do?” Harvey asked. He had never had to protect a treasure before. He couldn’t keep the lamp in a safe deposit box because it didn’t feel right. Mike was a creature that moved and talked; he deserved to get out of the lamp every once in a while even though he didn't actually live in it.
“There’s only one thing to do.” Donna rarely got to see her confident boss look so helpless, but she was Donna for a reason. “Keep him safe and enjoy his company.”
“You mean enjoy my three wishes.”
“Well, that’s a good start. Did you already make a wish?”
“No. I told him that I was perfectly happy with my life.”
“Oh, you silly, this is the perfect opportunity to have someone in your life! Ask for a decent husband. I think it’s time for you to start thinking about settling down.”
“But I don’t want a husband.”
Donna smiled warmly. “Harvey, I really think that a romantic relationship would do wonders to your flawed character.”
“What did you just say?” Harvey narrowed his eyes.
Donna laughed at Harvey’s attempt at intimidating her. “You heard what I said. It’s my honest advice. Think about it.”
“You know, Mike’s a smartass just like you. I’m surprised that you didn’t see him when you rubbed the lamp.”
“Perhaps he’s gay.” Donna’s response was simple.
“Yeah, he did seem to be gay.” Harvey had to admit it.
“So do you like him?”
“I only met him last night, Donna.”
“People are known to fall in love at first sight, Harvey.”
“Well, I’m not one of those people then.”
“Are you sure about that?” Donna eyed him suspiciously. “You seem to be awfully worried about him.”
“I’m just worried about one of the finest treasures in the world.”
“I hope you know how cute you are when you’re trying to fool me. So cute.” Donna leaned forward to pinch her boss’ cheek, but Harvey pulled back.
“Don’t touch my face,” he warned her.
“Why? Only Mike gets to touch it?” Donna had only asked on a hunch, but apparently Mike had touched Harvey’s face.
“Wow, Harvey. What else happened last night? Did you let him kiss you too?”
“Donna, I asked you in here to find out more about the lamp, not to let you pry into my personal life.”
“Aww, we’re getting all defensive, aren’t we? And, you were trying to tell me that it wasn’t love at first sight.”
“I resent both your tone and your accusations,” Harvey used his lawyer voice.
“Resent all you want. Just don’t pour it out on the poor souls that will be meeting you at the Four Seasons at two,” Donna reminded him.
“Why would I be meeting anyone at the Four Seasons today?” Harvey didn’t remember having a client meeting.
“Jessica wanted you to find an associate, remember? We talked about this yesterday. Was the kiss so good that you lost a few brain cells on the way?”
Donna laughed at his reaction. She had been waiting for so long to see this day. ‘Of course it would take someone extra special to get him going. He’s not even human!’
She smiled sweetly and headed towards the door. “I’ll have Ray pick us up at half past one. Try not to think too much about Mike and get some work done, okay?”
Harvey felt like throwing a pen at her, but he had a reputation to maintain. ‘What's Mike doing right now anyway? Mowing his lawn? Memorizing book after book? Telling other genies about me?’
Harvey got up from the couch, hoping that time would fly. He couldn’t wait to go home and get to know more about the mysterious creature.
Harvey came home in a bad mood that evening, feeling like he had wasted valuable hours talking to Harvard douche bags. None of the applicants had even come close to impressing him. He had tried to convince Jessica that he would really work better alone, but rules were rules.
‘Let’s check if he’s all right.’ Harvey’s thoughts went straight to Mike as he locked the door behind him after making sure that nobody was lurking around in the hallway.
He had a safe in the bedroom, but he didn’t want to put the lamp in such an obvious spot where everyone would look first. So he had put it inside a pot and hid it in the oven with some other pots.
‘Seriously, why do I have so many glass walls? Who knows if someone’s watching the house?’ Shaking his head at his taste of interior decoration, Harvey pulled down all the blinds and walked into the kitchen. Then he opened the oven and pulled out the pot. Much to his relief, the lamp was still inside.
He opened the lid and looked inside the lamp. There was a small fig leaf in it. ‘Is this the leaf that Mike had on his crotch? But it looks much smaller…’
Harvey had to assume that it was the same leaf but that it somehow got shrunk inside the lamp. It was the only logical conclusion no matter how irrational it sounded. ‘Hmm… So if I take this out, he won’t be wearing anything?’
Harvey’s eyes gleamed with interest, but he didn’t want to play games with a creature that he wasn’t familiar with. He didn’t want Mike to be offended and shrink his private parts or something.
‘Well, if full nudity isn’t an option, I have another idea.’ Harvey took the lamp and headed to his walk-in closet. He took off his jacket and hung it with care before looking for his old suits. When he had worked for the D.A’s office, he had a slightly smaller frame.
‘Hmm, this one should do.’ He picked a charcoal three-piece pinstripe suit and a light grey shirt. Then he chose a bow tie because he thought that it would suit Mike’s lithe physique better than a regular tie.
‘I guess he won’t need any socks or shoes.’ Harvey remembered that he could only see the genie from above his knees.
‘Okay, it’s time to get creative. I can’t believe I’m doing this sober.’ Harvey opened the lid of the lamp and took out the fig leaf. Then he put in the bow tie and closed the lid. He counted to ten and looked inside the lamp. Just as he had expected, the bow tie had become smaller.
‘Good. Now let’s try with bigger ones.’ Harvey pushed in one end of the vest, wondering if it would somehow fit inside the lamp. It wasn’t like he could close the lid and count to ten in the middle of all this pushing.
‘Perhaps I should just hand it over after rubbing the lamp.’ Harvey was about to pull out the vest when he realized that it felt lighter than before.
‘For the record, I’m aware that this is totally insane. Why am I even bothering with his appearance?’ Blaming his respect for decent suits, Harvey bulldozed the vest into the lamp and much to his surprise, it went all the way in.
‘I’m glad that I talked to Donna about Mike. If I get locked up in a mental hospital, she could keep me company.’ Harvey pushed in the rest of the suit the same way and closed the lid.
Then he took a shower and changed into more comfortable clothes, giving Mike enough time to deal with the suit.
‘I hope he doesn’t laugh in my face.’ Harvey rubbed the lamp with his handkerchief and waited for Mike to appear. When the beam of blue light turned into a human form, Harvey had to swallow a gasp. Mike looked terrific in a suit -in his suit- and the bow tie made him look even younger.
“Good evening, master. How do I look? This must be yours. It smells like you.” Mike smiled and turned around to show his master that the suit fit well.
“You look all right, but where’s my vest?” Harvey tried not to stare at the genie’s ass.
Mike faced Harvey again. “Yeah, I meant to talk to you about that. A vest? Really? And, hey, where’s my underwear?”
“Underwear? Really?” Harvey tried to imitate the genie’s voice.
“I should’ve known that you were a pervert. You tried to peep at my ass yesterday.”
“Excuse me? I just didn’t want to share my underwear with you. We only met yesterday, Mike. I didn’t want our relationship to move too fast,” Harvey said with his tongue in his cheek.
“Why the foul mood, master? You had a hard day?” Mike giggled.
Harvey couldn’t believe that out of all the genies, he got such a childish one. “You can say that.”
“What gave you such a hard time?” Mike couldn’t stop himself. He knew that his job was to please his master, but Harvey looked hot when he made a disapproving face.
“And, you’re accusing me of being a pervert?” Harvey picked up the lamp from the floor and moved out to the living room.
“I’m just trying to speak your language!” Mike reached out and ran a hand in Harvey’s hair. “Tell me what bothered you today. I’m a good listener.”
Harvey put the lamp on the coffee table and sat down on the couch. “I suppose I could entertain you with stories of various types of idiots while my dinner gets here.”
Harvey pulled out his phone from his pocket and ordered pasta and a salad while Mike kept playing with his hair. It was very distracting, but he managed to get the job done.
“So tell me about these idiots. Sometimes I like to hear stories about people who aren’t that bright. You know, just to see how the other half lives.”
Harvey laughed and realized that it was his first laugh of the day; other than the sarcastic ones that he had enjoyed during the interviews to not die on the spot. The genie might not have the power to give him a third eye, but he definitely knew how to make him laugh.
By the time Harvey had finished his meal and had made fun of every single one of the applicants, Mike had made a whole glass of Sprite evaporate.
“Can you even taste it? Do you want another one?” Harvey asked as he took a sip of his scotch.
“No thanks, I’m good. And, of course I can taste it! Why else do you think I drank it? To eat away your fridge?”
“Is that any way to talk to your master?” Harvey wasn’t upset at all. He just wanted to see Mike’s reaction.
“Sorry, master. I was just pointing out the obvious.” Mike glared at Harvey who was clearly enjoying his authority.
“You told me yesterday that you didn’t need to eat.” Harvey knew that hunger and thirst were two different issues, but he wanted to be sure.
“I never said that. You asked me if you had to feed me, so I said no. I speak and breathe just like you! Of course I need some kind of nutrition. We have genie potions.”
“Genie potions.” It sounded like a name for a badly mixed cocktail.
“So what are you going to do? Conduct another round of interviews?” Mike asked, refusing to give Harvey another opportunity to make fun of him.
“No way. I’m done facing Harvard clones. I want someone who can think outside the box and who has a useful pair of balls. I want another me.”
“Wow, are you sure you’re not the descendant of Narcissus?”
“Do we have to have a conversation about how you keep talking back to me?” Harvey was amused.
Mike closed his mouth and shook his head. But it didn’t take him long to open his mouth again. “Can I take off the bow tie? I feel stupid.”
“Then why did you wear it in the first place?”
“Because you wanted me to.”
“You didn’t wear the vest.”
“I thought you’d be offended if I disapproved of two of your precious possessions.”
Harvey snorted. Despite walking all over him, Mike was fun to talk to.
‘At least he’s not an idiot.’ It was then that Harvey got a brilliant idea.
‘Damn, I really know how to think outside the box, don’t I?’ Congratulating himself for coming up with such an amazing idea, he grabbed Mike’s arm to get his attention.
“Do you happen to have any interest in studying and practicing law?” Harvey poured himself another glass of scotch.
“You want me to help you with a case? I know everything there is to know about criminal law. Except for the most recent precedents, I guess.”
Harvey didn’t need to ask how he got to learn everything about that particular area of law. Damn Caffrey. “What about corporate law?”
“Well, I’ve read several books on it. But I find mergers extremely boring, so I hope you won’t need my help on those.”
Harvey’s laughter filled the living room. Mike really was another him. “How fast can you read? You told me that you remember everything you read.”
“That’s right. But I have no idea how fast I can read. I suppose I could read over a thousand pages in a few hours?” Mike wasn’t sure of the speed of his reading. He had never had to read in a hurry.
“Would you be interested in being my associate? You can work from here. No need to go to the office and expose yourself to danger.” Harvey knew that Jessica would hate the idea of a telecommuting associate, but he was willing to push it.
“What exactly does an associate have to do?”
“You’ll get paid for proofreading legal documents for a start.”
“But money has no value to me. You can keep it.”
“Then what do you want in return?”
Mike thought about what he had received from his former masters. “What can you give me? I don’t think you're capable of writing sonnets and I don’t see any treasure around here.”
“I thought you were going to say something like ‘It’s all right, master. I don’t need anything.’.”
“Did you just try to imitate me?” Mike crossed his arms. He wasn’t pleased.
“It was a good impersonation. Admit it.”
“Unless that’s your first wish, I’m not admitting anything.”
Harvey wanted to pull Mike close and kiss the insubordination out of him.
“You want to kiss me,” Mike commented nonchalantly.
“What gave it away?” Harvey didn’t bother denying it. It wouldn’t be the first time that they kissed.
“So many things gave it away that I’m having a hard time trying to pick one.”
That was it. Harvey couldn’t stand the smart mouth anymore and kissed the breath out of Mike. It still felt strange even though it was their third kiss.
‘It’s strange yet weirdly hot.’ Mike tasted like Sprite and mint, and Harvey liked the combination. He felt Mike’s windy hands sneak into his hair again. The genie seemed to have developed a thing for his hair.
‘The great thing about having a genie touch your hair is that he doesn’t mess it up.’ Harvey noted as he deepened the kiss. Mike’s moans traveled straight from Harvey’s mouth to his third most important organ and Harvey knew that he would have to end the kiss or there was no going back.
“I think I know what I want from you,” Mike spoke as he tried to catch his breath.
“Tell me then.”
“I want kisses from you.” Mike looked straight into Harvey’s eyes. He wasn't joking.
“I don’t kiss people I work with. Once you start working as my associate, I’m not going to kiss you.”
“Oh yeah? As if anyone could resist me.”
Harvey didn’t appreciate the confidence in Mike's voice.
“What? I’m another you! I think I’m allowed to indulge in a little narcissism.” Mike grinned.
Harvey shook his head and went back to the original subject. “So let me ask you again properly. Are you willing to read everything about corporate law and let me mentor you? Are you willing to be my associate?”
“Only if you agree to pay me with kisses.” Mike was stubborn.
“You’ll have to ask for something else, Mike.”
“If you don’t want to kiss me, you’ll have to use your first wish.”
“Fine. It’s not like I need those wishes for anything else.”
“Fine. So you wish me to be your associate? For how long?”
“For as long as I like.”
“All right. Your wish shall be granted. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can you give me a tour of the house?”
“What? That’s it? You’re not going to chant a spell in Latin or perform some kind of a ritual?”
“Wow, you really don’t know anything about genies, do you? I think you should read up on genies, Harvey. It’s only fair if you’re making me read about corporate law.”
Harvey wanted to point out that he had made an official wish to have Mike as his associate, so it was appropriate to make him read about law, but he had a feeling that Mike would ride him hard no matter what he said.
“Can we start the tour with the kitchen?” Mike asked with his puppy eyes that used to melt the insides of his previous masters.
“Sure… Why not.”
Thankfully, they seemed to be working just as effectively with his new master.
Chapter 3: Harvey's mysterious associate
“Jessica, I found my associate.”
Harvey walked into the managing partner’s office with a satisfied smile on his face. After giving Mike a thorough tour of his condo last night, he had tested Mike’s memory and his knowledge of criminal law and had been impressed with the results. The genie didn’t know much about corporate law, but given the speed that he absorbed information, Harvey felt that it was only a matter of time before he became a useful associate.
“Take a seat, Harvey. I thought you couldn’t find anyone during yesterday’s interview.” Jessica sensed that Harvey was going to say something that she wouldn’t like.
“That’s right. But since I’m so awesome, I found someone somewhere else.” Harvey smoothly crossed his legs in his chair.
“Somewhere else? You know we only hire from Harvard Law.” Jessica gave him a pointed look.
“Don’t worry. He’s graduated from Harvard Law. He just wasn’t at the interview.”
“Where did you find him then?”
“He’s a kid I used to know.”
“Used to know when?”
“Do the details really matter? Can’t you just be glad that I found someone I’m willing to work with?” Harvey gave her one of his charming smiles.
Jessica eyed him suspiciously before relaxing her face. “I suppose I can find out myself once he starts working. I’m looking forward to having a chat with him.”
“You? A chat with a lowly associate? Are you trying to remember what it was like to be at the bottom of the food chain?”
Jessica wore an amused smile. “I hope your associate can keep up with your banter. Otherwise you’ll get bored and come whining to me about how you tend to work better on your own.”
“Me? Whine? Never.” Then Harvey became more serious. “But I’m afraid you’ll have to chat with him over the phone.”
“And, why is that? You’re worried I might scare him with my eyes?”
“Well, your eyes do seem to scare Louis to the point that he’s about to wet his pants, but nope, that’s not it. He has an issue, let’s say.”
“An issue.” Jessica urged him to elaborate with her eyes.
“He’s not comfortable around other people, so it’s very difficult for him to leave the house. He was doing all right at Harvard, but it got very bad recently,” Harvey spoke in a sympathetic voice, fighting off the goose bumps crawling all over his arms.
“How are you going to mentor him then?”
“He’s fine around me. He’s actually staying with me for a while.”
Jessica laughed incredulously. “He’s not comfortable around people, but he’s fine with you? And, Harvey, I thought I taught you not to mix business with pleasure.”
“He’s not my boyfriend if that’s what you’re implying.”
“Really? So you’re letting him stay with you just because you used to know him and because he’s going to be your associate.”
“He was like my baby brother, okay? We were close.” Harvey was glad that he was a fantastic liar.
“Well, whoever you open your house to is your problem. But if you can’t take him to court and show him how it’s done, why would I want to put him on my payroll?”
“Because I can deliver better results. I’d still prefer to work alone, but I could use some help from a genius who can read a thousand pages of legal documents in four hours. I could take more cases and make more money for the firm.”
Jessica looked thoughtful before giving her verdict. “He can be a trainee for a month. And, if I see what I like, he can officially be a part of Pearson-Hardman.”
“I said one month.”
“Two weeks and a half.”
Jessica laughed at how Harvey tried to negotiate almost everything. “Fine, three weeks. But if he becomes a problem, you’re going to get another associate who doesn’t have any issues.”
“He’s not going to cause any problems, Jessica. I assure you.”
“As if your assurance would put my mind at ease.”
“You have serious trust issues. You know that?” Harvey grinned as if he had just found a loophole.
Jessica cursed herself for having a soft spot for him and waved him away. “Get out of here. And, I want you to go home early today and spend the weekend in bed. You look terrible.”
“You mean, a little less handsome than usual.”
“Why are you still here?” Jessica pointed at the door and Harvey gladly left with a victorious smile on his face.
When Harvey came back to his office, Donna followed him inside and pulled down the blinds.
“What is it?” Harvey sat in his chair and motioned for her to sit.
“I have some files for you. Dante handed me the notes Caffrey kept on Mike. He thought they’d be helpful. He also knows this genie specialist and left you some reading material.”
“Funny you mention that. Mike brought up last night how I should read up on genies.”
“Excellent timing then.” Donna smiled. She had often considered her work interesting, but what was happening right now was beyond interesting.
Harvey picked up the file on top and flipped through the pages. ‘Who the heck did so much research on genies? Bobby Singer?’
He noticed how the same name kept popping up on most of the pages. He wondered if the genie savant was a mad professor at some small community college or a lonely alcoholic who lived off the grid. According to Singer’s research, there were evil genies too.
‘Mike? Evil?’ Harvey had to laugh. His genie was a sassy creature, but there was nothing evil about him.
“Oh dear, you’ve fallen hard for him. Grinning like that just thinking about him? In the office? When there’s someone else in the room? Oh, Harvey…” Donna shook her head with a broad smile on her face and jumped to the next subject before her boss got a chance to express his dissatisfaction.
“And, the fake identity you asked about last night. Dante knows a specialist who can create a new person in a week. He wants you to fill out this form, so he can get the specifics right.”
Donna pushed the form towards Harvey and handed him a piece of paper, using her ‘stage voice’. “And, this is his price.”
“This is his price.” Harvey repeated her words as he checked if he had counted the number of zeros correctly.
“I’m afraid so. But Dante swears he’s the best in the whole country.”
“You do know he’s a felon, Donna. He probably lies for a living.”
“I’m aware of that. But when it comes to these kinds of matters, Dante knows what he’s talking about.”
Harvey’s eyes went from his secretary to the note in his hand. It was a good thing that he was a successful lawyer with a lot of savings. Apparently it was very costly to buy a fake life. Whether Mike chose to grow old with him or not, he wanted the genie to be set free while he was his master. Hopefully, Mike would find someone to fall and stay in love with before his time ran out. The truth was that he felt for Mike. He couldn’t imagine a life where he wasn’t in control of his own destiny. Besides, Mike was exceptionally brilliant. It was such a waste of his talent to purely exist for people’s greedy wishes.
‘Let’s consider it the biggest pro bono case of my life.’ Harvey concluded and gave Donna a nod. “Let’s do this. Make the deposit.”
“Excellent! Oh, and you might want a secret compartment behind those records to keep all the documents about Mike. The safe at your place is too obvious. Luckily for you, Dante happens to know a specialist for secret hiding places.”
“Is there any specialist Dante doesn’t know?”
“Don’t be mean, Harvey. You need his help to keep Mike safe. And, just think about how cool it would be! If you pull out the right record, the shelves will part and give you access to a secret cabinet! You’d feel like a superhero! Isn’t that every boy’s dream?”
“I’m not a boy, Donna.”
“But boys will always be boys! And, when do I get to meet him?” Donna’s eyes twinkled with excitement.
“You want to meet him?”
“Of course! I think I’ve earned the right to meet your special someone.”
“He’s not my special someone. He’s my genie.”
“What’s the difference?” Donna looked at her boss with an expression that screamed hope.
“You really want to meet him.”
“Yes, I really want to meet him. What have you been listening to for the last minute?”
Donna’s tone reminded him of Mike. If he introduced them to each other, they would team up against him and he wasn’t sure if he wanted that to happen. ‘Why do I have so many people around that can’t be manipulated when I’m such a great manipulator?’
Harvey sighed. He knew that Donna wouldn’t drop it until he caved in. “Fine. I’ll ask him if he wants to meet you. But if he refuses, you’re going to accept his decision, all right?”
“All right. But I’m sure he’d love to meet me. Who wouldn’t want to?”
Harvey wondered who was more narcissistic between Donna and himself. Mike was convinced that he was the descendant of Narcissus, so he could probably introduce Donna and get him to change his mind.
‘It’s worth considering.’ Harvey thought as he started to work.
Harvey left the office two hours earlier than usual, but he came home around the same time as usual. He had made a stop at Rene’s to fetch catalogues for spring suits and to borrow some measurement tools. He couldn’t bring Mike to Rene’s, so he would have to take the measurements himself. Then he had swung by a camera shop and had bought a digital camera. He needed to take pictures of Mike for his résumé and his fake ID.
When he came home, he went through his usual routine including a shower and dinner in front of the TV. His housekeeper, who came twice a week, had dropped by and had made him a delicious pot of curry, but he couldn’t stop feeling empty. He flipped through the channels and thought about Mike. He had moved the lamp this morning into one of the boxes that held his baseball stuff in case his housekeeper used the pots. He wanted to go to bed early without seeing Mike, but the condo probably felt empty because the smartass wasn’t around.
‘I’m just making sure that he’s okay.’ Convincing himself that there was no way he missed the genie, Harvey got up and came back to the living room with the lamp and a handkerchief. Then he sat on the couch, rubbed the lamp, and waited for Mike.
“Good evening, master. How was your day?” Mike appeared, wearing Harvey’s old suit and a friendly smile.
“Good evening, Mike. It was all right.”
Mike waited a few seconds before making a face. “That’s it? It was all right? You’re not very communicative, are you?”
Harvey found himself smiling a little. Mike was one of a kind. “What do you want to know?”
“Tell me what you did! Who did you talk to? What kind of documents did you deal with? If I’m going to be your associate, I should know what your day is like!”
“Good point.” So Harvey told him all about his meetings with Jessica and Donna.
“So Donna wants to meet me?” Mike asked a little nervously.
“Yeah. But I made it clear that if you’re not comfortable, it’s not going to happen.”
Mike smiled affectionately at his master. At first, he hadn’t been too sure if the lamp had found him the right master. But the more time he spent with Harvey, the more he was convinced that the lamp had made the right decision.
“So she’s the one who rules your life?” Mike grinned.
“I wouldn’t put it that way.” Harvey gave the genie a half-hearted glare.
“How much do you trust her?” Mike fidgeted and Harvey soothed him with a pat on the arm.
“She wouldn’t put you in harm’s way if that’s why you’re asking. She’s the one who gave me the lamp, remember?” Harvey felt Mike lean into his touch and well, it felt good to be needed.
“If you think it’s okay to meet her, I’ll do it.” Mike sounded determined.
“It’s up to you, Mike. There’s no need to see her if you don’t want to.” Harvey moved his hand up the genie’s arm and grasped his shoulder, in hopes of comforting him.
“But she’s like your family, right? I’d love to meet the woman behind Harvey Specter.”
“You’re absolutely sure about this?” Harvey didn’t want to push Mike into something that he didn’t feel like doing.
“You’ll be there the whole time, right?” Mike put his hand on top of Harvey’s which was still on his shoulder.
“Yes, I won’t let you out of my sight.”
Mike looked at him for a moment and nodded. “I’ll meet her.”
“All right. I’ll tell her to come over whenever you’re ready. Let me know, okay?” Harvey was a little proud and happy that Mike trusted him enough to meet someone.
“Okay.” Mike was back to his sassy mood. “I wanted to meet her tomorrow, but you’d just embarrass me. You look awful.”
Harvey laughed and rubbed his chin. If two people (well, one person and one creature) questioned his looks, it would be wise to get some beauty sleep.
“Do you want me to sing you lullabies or read you bedtime stories?” Mike asked as Harvey carried the lamp into the bedroom.
“No. But you could tell me about your day.” Harvey put down the lamp on the nightstand and stripped down to his boxers.
“But I didn’t do anything special today.”
“Most people don’t do something special every day.”
“Except for you.”
“Look who’s catching on!” Harvey chuckled and got under the covers. “Start talking.”
So Mike told him how he had started his day by drinking one of his favorite genie potions ‘Genergy’ and reading the papers. He also told him about the intense chess match that he had played with his neighbor and was about to emphasize how courageous and smart he had been when he realized that Harvey had fallen asleep.
‘Of course he’d shut it out when someone else is being awesome.’ Mike pouted as he looked down at the sleeping beauty. ‘Oh well, his ego is such a big part of his being that I’ll have to learn to live with it.’
Mike leaned forward and brushed Harvey’s hair aside, so he could kiss the handsome forehead. “Good night, master. Sweet dreams.”
After watching the lawyer’s chest rise and fall in a peaceful rhythm, Mike turned into a beam of blue light and disappeared into the lamp.
“Why wouldn’t it zoom in properly? It zooms in too quickly. It’s probably defective.” Harvey was struggling with his new camera on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. He had slept like a baby all night and morning, and had fully recovered from the exhausting week.
“It’s not defective, Harvey. You’re putting too much pressure on the button. You have to handle it with care.” Mike was sitting on the couch with his sole suit on, ready to get his picture taken.
“Nah, I really think they gave me a faulty one. I’m known to have delicate hands.”
Mike didn’t answer, but Harvey heard the snort.
“What was that?” Harvey looked up from the camera.
“Nothing. Can we please take the picture? I’ve been sitting here forever.”
“Ten minutes isn’t even close to forever. Now smile again, will you?”
“Harvey, I’ve been smiling for ten minutes already. My cheeks are starting to hurt.”
“Do you want to look good in the picture or not?”
Mike grumbled, but he soon smiled at the camera.
Harvey took the picture successfully, but much to his dissatisfaction, Mike looked too cute. He was worried that the HR people would find Mike adorable and try to dig up information on him.
“Okay, Mike, that’s not bad, but let’s try to look a bit ugly this time.”
Mike’s eyebrows shot up. “What kind of a request is that? Are you intimidated by my good looks?”
Harvey snorted. “Haven’t you met me? I’m the definition of good looks.”
Mike shook his head in disbelief. “Unbelievable. I know I said that you might be the descendant of Narcissus, but I’d like to change my opinion. You are Narcissus reincarnated!”
“Okay, that’s good. Hold it right there.” Harvey quickly took a picture of a fuming Mike. There was a bit of blue smoke coming out of his ears, but it was nothing that Photoshop couldn’t fix.
Mike’s jaw dropped at the utter ridiculousness of the situation. “As a photographer, aren’t you supposed to encourage your subjects to give you their best?”
“Can you twist one side of your mouth like that again?”
“Fine. Then give me your best smile.”
Mike massaged his cheeks for a few moments before smiling brightly. Harvey only pretended to press the shutter of the camera. As far as he knew, that kind of a smile was what usually caused unnecessary drama.
“You didn’t take the picture.” Mike narrowed his eyes.
“I took the picture. And, aren’t you supposed to trust your master?”
“But you didn’t take it! I didn’t hear the click!”
“I know you weren’t born in this era, so let me explain it to you. These days, cameras don’t make that much of a sound. I suggest you do the same.” Harvey tried to put the camera away, but Mike leaped forward, extending his legs as much as he could, and grabbed the camera.
“Let it go,” Harvey said firmly.
“Not until you take a proper picture of me! I don’t get it. Don’t you want people to know that your associate looks smart enough to handle his job? It seemed like you were big on looks!”
“I told you. I took the picture. Now let it go.”
“But you’re lying! To your own associate!”
Harvey felt stupid fighting over the camera, so he decided to give Mike what he wanted. “All right. Let’s take a couple more then. I should’ve known that kids always love getting their pictures taken.”
“FYI, I’ve lived much longer than you. And, I’m sorry if I look better than you, but there’s not much I can do about it.” Mike fondly patted Harvey’s arm and went back to the couch.
Harvey dismissed Mike’s last comment and focused on taking smiling pictures. After all, it didn’t matter how many pretty pictures he took right now. He was going to choose the ugliest one and glue it to Mike’s résumé once the genie was safely back inside the lamp.
Half an hour later, Harvey was getting along much better with his genie. They were sitting next to each other on the couch, looking at the suits catalogue.
“Oh, I think you should go for this one, Harvey. It would match the color of your eyes so perfectly.”
Harvey ticked the suit in question and moved on to the last page. Mike had been surprisingly helpful, coming up with useful suggestions.
“That’s enough for me. Let’s get some for you now.” Harvey picked up another catalogue from the coffee table.
“Me? Why do I need suits when I’ll be working at home?” Mike sipped at his Sprite through the straw.
Harvey felt a small smile crawl on to his face. Mike had referred to his condo as ‘home’. “Because it will help you picture yourself working in a cubicle next to other associates. You only have one suit and I’d like to believe that you’re capable of wearing decent suits throughout the year like a real lawyer.”
“Fine. You’re the one who’s paying anyway.”
Mike didn’t have a problem with Harvey picking different shirts and suits for him, so it was rather an unwelcome surprise for Harvey when Mike started to show interest in skinny ties.
“No, you’re not getting skinny ties.”
“Because they’re poor taste.”
“They’re not poor taste, Harvey. Just because you wear wider ones doesn’t mean I have to do the same.”
“Skinny ties go against every fiber of my being, Mike. And, didn’t you mention that I was the one who’s paying?”
“But I think I’d look much better with skinny ones. I have a lithe physique!”
“Let me break it down for you. You know who wear skinny ties? Con men. Then what do decent men wear? Wide ties.”
“No buts, Mike. No. Skinny. Ties.”
Unfortunately, Mike had no intention of surrendering. “Then I’m not going to wear a tie. I’ll just wear the suit and shirt.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. The look isn’t complete without a tie.”
Mike snapped, unable to understand Harvey’s obsession with wide ties. “Unless it’s your second wish, I’m getting those skinny ties!”
Harvey thought of giving him a long lecture about respecting wider ties, but they still had so many things to get done. “Fine, you’re getting skinny ties. But for the sake of fashion, you’re going to wear a wider one once a week.”
“Once a week?” Mike pondered about the idea. “I think I can do that.”
“Good boy,” Harvey spoke in a low voice and patted him on the head. He pretended that he hadn’t seen Mike shudder and grabbed the measuring tape.
“Do you know your inseam?” Harvey produced a pen and a notepad to write down the measurements.
“No. It’s probably medium?”
Harvey smiled at the answer. He would have to take measurements for the inseam as well. “Get up and spread your legs.”
“Ooh, are we going to do something dirty?” Mike gave his master a naughty grin and did as he was told.
Harvey looked up from Mike’s crotch. “No. We’re getting you a suit, remember?”
Harvey ignored the suggestive giggles and focused on the insides of Mike’s legs.
“Large?” Mike asked in a confident tone.
“That’s not how it works.” Harvey had to guess how long the pants should be. He could only see above Mike’s knees, but he wanted Mike to keep the pants even when he became human.
‘Hmm, I guess it’s better to have them long. If they’re too long, he can cut them. But if they’re too short, he won’t be able to fix them.’ Harvey wrote down some numbers and moved on to other measurements.
Mike made weird sounds when Harvey wrapped the tape around his waist, but Harvey was determined not to respond. If he was going to hire Mike as his associate (trainee or not), he was going to keep his distance from now on. He didn’t think that he would be able to keep his hands to himself once he crossed the line. Yes, they had kissed a few times, but that was all they had done.
“Are we done?” Mike asked impatiently when Harvey put down the tape on the coffee table.
“Yeah. You need something?”
“Yeah, I need to kiss you.”
Harvey noticed that Mike was serious. There was no playful smile hanging on his lips and he looked a little flushed. “Are you okay?”
“No, I told you I need to kiss you.” Mike looked into Harvey’s eyes. He thought that he was addicted to Neal’s blue eyes, but apparently he was developing a new addiction to Harvey’s brown ones. Mike truly believed that eyes were a window to one’s soul; Harvey might look tough, but his eyes were incredibly kind and warm.
Harvey quickly kissed the genie’s forehead and started to put everything away. He had always put his career first and he wasn’t going to change it because some cute genie climbed out of the lamp and fell for him.
‘It’s all part of the magic.’ Harvey was certain that was why he had been attracted to Mike in such a short time.
“Yes, Mike.” Harvey avoided eye contact as he pulled out the form that Mike was supposed to fill in for his fake identity.
“Can we kiss please? Master?”
Harvey automatically looked up at the word ‘master’ and their stares got tangled in the tense air.
‘Look away, damn it! Look away!’ Harvey heard his inner voice barking at him, but he found himself moving forward and cupping Mike’s face.
‘It’s the magic.’ Harvey felt helpless as he leaned forward and pressed his lips against Mike’s.
But the moment that he felt Mike’s breath on his lips, the helpless feeling was gone. Harvey took charge of the kiss and let himself enjoy the small moans that Mike left in his mouth. He could feel Mike’s windy fingers in his hair and had to let out a moan of his own. He was getting used to the unique feeling that Mike had to offer and he didn’t think that he could forget it, ever.
‘But something feels different today.’ Harvey noticed that the genie didn’t taste like mint. He tasted more like lime.
“You changed your toothpaste.” Harvey pulled back as Mike started to rub himself against him.
“How did you know?” Mike’s cheeks had become rosy and Harvey thought that he looked much healthier.
“You taste different.”
The genie blushed even more. The fact that Harvey could taste the difference in his mouth felt too intimate.
“Here. You know how to write, so you can do this by yourself.” Harvey pushed the form and a pen in front of Mike before leaving the living room.
“Where are you going?” Mike asked, frustration clear in his voice.
“I’m going to take a shower while you fill that out,” Harvey answered without looking back. It was great that he had given Mike a suit. If the genie had still been wearing a leaf, he would have torn it off and would have made a mess on his couch.
Chapter 4: Mike's new nickname
Days went by easily as Harvey and Mike got ready for their con. Mike read all the law books and online material that Harvey gave him while Harvey read Neal Caffrey and Bobby Singer’s notes. He also got updates from Donna on the status of the works of the specialists that Dante knew.
“It’s not a con,” Harvey made it clear one evening.
“But it is! And, there’s no point denying it to me, Harvey. We’re in this together! Oh, don’t you think it’s hilarious that I got to serve two con men as masters?” Mike giggled as he played with his yellow highlighter on Harvey’s couch.
“It’s not a con and it’s most definitely not hilarious.” Harvey gave his genie a pointed look from the other end of the couch and went back reading Caffrey’s notes. He was glad that Caffrey had kept detailed notes about the three years that he had spent with Mike, but he couldn’t help the disappointment that kept resurfacing in his mind. Caffrey was the one who had helped the genie adapt to the new era, not him.
“Hey, since you haven’t made your second wish yet, I think you should ask for a better sense of humor,” the genie suggested sincerely after noticing that Harvey wasn’t laughing at all.
“There’s nothing wrong with my sense of humor, Mike.”
“You know what they say, Harvey. Accepting that you have a problem is the first step of solving the problem.”
Harvey snorted and read a passage from the notes: In the early morning, his eyes bear the color of a kingfisher’s wings. I consider the color of my eyes quite extraordinarily beautiful, but you haven’t seen blue eyes until you’ve seen his.
‘How modest.’ Harvey shook his head. But then, he should have expected the notorious con man to have a gigantic ego to pull off those fancy cons.
Then he wondered what a kingfisher looked like. ‘Don’t those types of birds all look the same?’ He figured that he might as well ask Mike who was pretty much an encyclopedia that knew how to speak.
“Mike, do you know anything about the color of a kingfisher’s wings?”
“You mean from the turquoise family?” Mike looked up from his ninth law book of the day.
“Show-off.” Harvey closed the notebook and put it down on the coffee table with more force than necessary. Why did Caffrey and Mike have to know so much about colors and birds?
“Hey, you’re the one who asked. You’ll just have to accept that I have a wider range of vocabulary than you.” Mike calmly turned the page of his book.
“What’s with you and accepting today?” Harvey raised his eyebrow.
“What’s with you and not accepting?”
“Hey, you like me that way. How many times do I have to remind you that as a genie, it’s my job to please you?”
“You always have to get the last word, don’t you?”
“Just because you’re my master doesn’t mean you always get to win.”
“I wasn’t aware that this was a competition.”
“I thought everything was a competition with you! That’s why you’re so pissed off that Neal got to me first!”
“That’s a lousy accusation that has no grounds, puppy.” Harvey bit his tongue, but it was too late. The chance of his tongue slipping was as low as the chance of seeing Halley’s Comet, but it had happened.
“What did you just call me?”
Mike sounded surprised rather than disgusted, so Harvey decided to go with the truth. Besides, it wasn’t like he could come up with another word that sounded similar to ‘puppy’ in a couple of seconds. “I called you puppy. Is there a problem?”
“Why would you call me that?” Mike was curious.
“I don’t know. You have puppy eyes, I guess.” Harvey shrugged. He hoped that Mike wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. It was an honest mistake. He surely didn’t think that the genie looked adorable like a puppy.
“Hmm, so it has absolutely nothing to do with me looking adorable or the big possessive monster inside you?” Mike grinned. He had obviously recovered from the initial shock.
“There’s no monster inside me, Mike. I’m human inside and out,” Harvey answered with his tongue in cheek while making a mental note to go through the genie expert’s notes to see if some genies could read minds.
“Oh, Harvey, it was a figurative way of speech, but I guess it was too difficult for you. Let me try again. It has nothing to do with me calling you master and making you proud that you own something sweet like me?”
“Mike, you are many things, but sweet isn’t one of them. Who are you kidding?”
“Then does it have something to do with role playing? I call you master, you call me puppy, and I crawl towards you and bark?”
“What? What kind of a person do you think I am?”
“Well, I know what kind of a person you are, but people tend to change in bed. How am I supposed to know what you like when we’ve never been in bed together?”
“You don’t need to know what I like in bed, genius. I’m hiring you for your brain, not for your body.”
“I know that, but what if you can have both? You can’t rape the willing, you know.” Mike winked playfully.
Harvey swallowed a moan and spoke in a stern tone, “I told you I don’t sleep with people I work with.”
“But I don’t work for you yet! A kiss isn’t enough anymore! Not that I get any kisses these days...” Mike didn’t feel any shame at asking for more. It wasn’t his fault that he kept getting gorgeous masters.
Harvey ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. “I can’t imagine this is a typical genie-master conversation, Mike. I won’t call you puppy again, so will you drop it?”
“But I didn’t mind it. I just wanted to know why you liked it.”
“I never said I liked it.”
“But you obviously like it.”
Harvey groaned. “Do me a favor and let’s never speak about this again, okay? I have enough stuff to deal with already.” He tried his best not to picture his soon-to-be associate lying naked on his bed. Cold showers were already a part of his daily routine; he didn’t want to increase the number and end up getting sick.
“Is that a wish?”
“No, it’s not. And, would you stop asking me that? I’ll let you know in a very clear manner if I want to make a wish! Are we clear?”
“Yes, we are. There’s no need to raise your voice though. Perhaps you should ask for better control over your emotions.”
“Would you stop giving out stupid suggestions too?”
“They’re not stupid and hey, was that a wish? You sounded very clear.”
Mike put his hands on his belly and enjoyed a good laugh. Harvey still wasn’t sure what a kingfisher looked like but he had to admit that the smiling eyes of the creature looked quite extraordinary.
A couple of days later, Mike had suddenly become a person who had twenty-three years of life on paper. With the pictures that Harvey had taken, the fake-life specialist had inserted Mike in various pictures with the help of the special software that could recreate a person’s face at all ages. Mike had been in the Boy Scout in elementary school, had lost his parents in a car accident in middle school, and had been on the wrestling team in high school. He had gone to Harvard Law on a full scholarship and had graduated last summer.
He had no family left since his grandmother had passed away last autumn with a severe case of pneumonia and he had just moved to New York City to look for a job. Having been in the same car as his late parents, he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and had recently moved in with his childhood friend and neighbor Harvey Specter because his condition had become much worse in the past few weeks.
“This is a load of crap,” Harvey voiced his opinion even though he had nobody but himself to blame. He was the one who had told Jessica that his new associate had people issues.
“Ah, I’m so sad that my imaginary parents left me in this cruel world with none other than you. Boo hoo hoo…”
Harvey could tell that Mike was quite enjoying his fake past. “You’re supposed to feel sad, Mike. If we’re going to pull this off, you need to remember that.”
“But I don’t know what it feels like to have a family member die on you! The closest I’ve had to a family was William.” Mike thought about his first master William Shakespeare.
Harvey stopped stirring the onion soup and looked at Mike who was sitting on the kitchen counter. “You don’t have a family?”
“No, Harvey. Genies are created, not born. Didn’t it say in all those notes that you’ve been reading? And, did you honestly think that someone as awesome as me could’ve been born? Pfft.” Then Mike grinned. “Hey, did you notice that I just sounded like a narcissistic bastard like you? It’s horrible for my character, but I guess it’s good to understand your master so well.”
“Oh, Donna has no idea what she’s making me go through,” Harvey mumbled to himself as he kept stirring his dinner.
“Speaking of Donna, when do I get to meet her?” Mike asked, feeling that he would be safe as long as Harvey stayed by his side.
“When you’re ready. And, I don’t think you’re ready yet so let’s focus on this soup for now, okay?”
“Okay.” Mike could tell that Harvey didn’t think it was safe to introduce him to another person yet, so he decided not to push it. “Is there anything I can do to help? The soup smells wonderful.” He was supposed to help his master after all.
“Yeah, you can bring out two bowls from the cupboard.”
“Two? Are you expecting company tonight? Ooh, let me guess. You’re horny but you refuse to sleep with me, so you found a boy that looks close enough to me.” Mike gloated at his brilliant deduction, but felt a little bit jealous.
“No, genius. The other bowl is for you. I figured that I’d be generous and let you taste my terrific onion soup.”
“Your terrible onion soup?”
“I can’t believe someone made the mistake of creating you.” Harvey kept his tone light, so that Mike wouldn’t get hurt.
“Did you just say it was a miracle? Yes, I agree it’s quite incredible. See? I did it again. I managed to sound like you.” Mike chuckled.
“Remind me to get you a hearing aid tomorrow, will you?”
“I don’t know, Harvey. If I end up eating your soup, I think you should get me other types of medical assistance.”
Harvey laughed as he poured the warm soup into the bowls. He didn’t know what other people came home to, but he doubted that anyone came home to such a unique creature.
It only took a few more days for Mike to get ready to work as Harvey’s associate. Mike’s fake résumé had been sent to the Pearson-Hardman HR department and Mike had passed his drug test, thanks to Harvey’s doorman who was loyal enough to cooperate without asking any questions. (It was a good thing that Harvey had helped him get a decent divorce attorney.)
The specialist that knew how to build secret compartments had worked on Harvey’s office during the night and now Harvey was proud to say that (not that he could actually talk to anyone about it) he owned a secret cabinet behind the record shelves. Donna suggested that he should get a superhero costume tailored by Rene and hang it above the cabinet to fill the space, but Harvey didn’t want to think about anything that wasn’t related to his genie’s safety. He felt that one small mistake could bring unthinkable consequences and he wanted to do his best to keep Mike safe. Mike seemed to trust him whole-heartedly and he wasn’t going to screw up and betray that trust. Then he got an idea. He knew what he wanted for his second wish.
“Mike, I want to make my second wish.” Harvey nudged the yawning genie when he came home late that night.
“Really? That was fast.” Mike felt more awake, surprised by the turn of events. Harvey had told him that he didn’t have any wishes at first, and yet he had already made one and was asking for another one so soon.
‘But this means he’ll only have one wish left. And, after he makes his last wish, I won’t get to see him again unless he sets me free.’ Mike’s face fell as he took a seat next to Harvey on the bed. He had just started to grow fond of his master.
“Is something wrong, puppy?” Harvey pretended as if his tongue had slipped again, but he had used the term of endearment deliberately, hoping to get the truth out of Mike.
“No, I was just taken aback that you came up with a second wish so soon.”
“And, that bothers you?”
Mike looked even more surprised at Harvey’s question.
“You know what I do for a living, Mike. I read people. I suppose I’m not too bad at reading genies either. I wonder if they give out certificates for such things. It should look great on my résumé, don’t you think?” Harvey tried to lighten the mood.
Mike chuckled and Harvey found himself enjoying the sound. It was quite serene; like the sound of a drop of sunshine tickling the surface of a lake.
‘Gosh, I’m turning into something that I absolutely refuse to be.’ Harvey groaned inwardly and rubbed the side of his face.
“So what’s the wish?” Mike put on a bright face for his master.
“No, I asked you first. Why does it bother you that I’m making my second wish so soon? Are you getting attached to me? Don’t worry. You’re clearly not the first one.”
“Wow, you clearly know how to talk to a guy. Well, I’m happy to inform you that whatever I’ve felt for you up until now has melted faster than a snowman in a boiling furnace.”
“Wow, who knew you were quite the poet? But then, you should’ve learned a few things from Shakespeare,” Harvey joked as he studied the genie’s face.
“Just tell me what your wish is.” Mike didn’t feel comfortable discussing his feelings with Harvey. He hadn’t expected to fall for his master harder and harder with each new day. He had been in love with his previous master too, but it had taken months, and right now he honestly couldn’t remember whether Neal had moles on his face. Harvey’s sizeable moles must have dug themselves into his memory room and kicked out the memory of Neal.
“I want you to be safe, Mike. That’s my wish.” Harvey waited patiently until he got Mike’s attention again. “I know the lamp wouldn’t allow the wrong people to reach you. But there’s always an exception to the rule and given how you had ended up in the hands of a highly wanted criminal, well, you see my point.”
“But Neal wasn’t that type of…” Mike hurried to defend his former master, but Harvey made a gesture with his hand and lips to order him to silence.
Mike closed his mouth for a second before opening it again. “There’s a slight problem with your wish, Harvey.”
“You can’t make it happen?”
“It’s not that. Your wish has already been taken care of.”
“Are you saying that Caffrey made the same wish?” Harvey didn’t know if he felt relief or even more jealousy towards the guy who annoyed him to no end.
“I see. That’s very nice of him.” Harvey had to admit it. The guy might have been too cocky to not ask for eternal freedom, but he must have cared deeply about Mike. He could see it all over his notes and this was just another confirmation of his affection.
“So do you have another wish? Or can I go back to bed?” Mike yawned, feeling tired. He was going to start working for Harvey tomorrow, so he had pushed himself to squeeze one more law book into his day.
“How comfortable is your bed? Is it better than mine?”
“Harvey, I’m really sleepy. Do you mind if we do this whole bed comparing thing in the morning?”
“Answer me, Mike.”
Mike thought about the bed that he was sitting on and the bed that he had back home. “Yours is better. Happy now?”
“Good. Then drop the suit and get under the covers, so I can turn off the lights.”
“What? You want me to sleep here?”
“Well, I need my associate to give me his best and that means he needs a good night’s sleep.” Harvey took off his T-shirt and sweatpants and climbed under the covers in his boxers.
The genie floated over Harvey to see if he was joking. He didn’t know if it was a good idea to sleep in his master’s bed when he was starting to have strong feelings for him.
“Problem, puppy?” Harvey moved the lamp from the floor to the foot of the bed and patted the other side of his bed.
“Uh, don’t you think it’s kind of inappropriate?” Mike scratched the back of his head.
“Don’t worry, Mike. I promise I won’t grope you while you’re passed out. I hope genies don’t drool though.”
“I don’t drool! And, if your hands come anywhere near my ass, I’m going to sue you for sexual harassment in the workplace.”
Harvey laughed. “Thinking like a lawyer already? Good boy.”
Mike swallowed hard at the last words and turned around to get undressed. He knew that Harvey had seen him only wearing a fig leaf around his crotch, but he still felt shy and a little bit hot.
“We should really get you out of the lamp someday,” Harvey noted as Mike joined him, wearing the briefs that Harvey had bought him, and turned off the lights.
Mike went rigid for a moment, fearing that day. He didn’t want to become mortal or go back to his place forever and never see Harvey again. Thankfully, drowsiness overrode all fear and concerns and he was soon yawning profusely.
“Good night, puppy.” Harvey couldn’t stop himself from calling him ‘puppy’ again. The word rolled off his tongue so deliciously. It was getting addictive.
“Good night, master.” Mike sounded relaxed and a little bit happy and that was all Harvey needed to hear to let go of his conscious mind.
The next morning, Harvey had just finished giving instructions to Mike on the phone when Louis rushed into his office, taking advantage of the fact that Donna wasn’t in her area.
“Harvey, I hear you’re working with a new associate.” Louis put his hands on his waist and Harvey wondered if his colleague was trying to look imposing. He just looked extra stupid.
“Well, where is he?”
“I’m afraid that information’s well above your clearance level. You’re only a junior partner.”
“But Harvey, you know that I supervise all the associates on this floor. I need to see him.”
“No, you don’t. You already have enough associates to drive crazy. You don’t need another victim.”
Louis frowned, looking confused. “Why are you being so protective? The rumor says that he’s some kind of a genius. Are you worried that he might become my pony of the year?”
Harvey snorted so hard that he was sure that the whole floor heard him. “I hate to break it to you, Louis, but nobody likes to get picked for your ‘Pony of the year’, especially not my associate.”
“Why not? He hasn’t even met me yet. If he’s such a genius, he’d probably appreciate all the appreciation I’m willing to give him.”
Harvey didn’t bother to respond, so Louis tried to get his attention back by messing with his records.
“Louis, didn’t I tell you not to touch anything in my office?” Louis wasn’t standing close to the right one that gave access to the secret compartment, but Harvey still felt the need to lecture him. It never hurt to be safe.
“I was just appreciating your collection.”
“I don’t care. Stop covering my office with your germs and go back to yours.”
Louis glared at his coworker before he turned around and took a few steps towards the door.
“You know, whoever he is, I feel for your associate. Can you imagine taking orders from yourself all day, five days a week? Talk about horror.”
“At least I don’t give him the pony speech. Talk about trauma.”
Louis grumbled before finally leaving Harvey alone. He had wanted to go for the counterpunch, but Donna was back.
“What did he want?” Donna asked through the intercom. “I think I should get a scarecrow that looks like me for when I leave my spot.”
“He wanted to find out about my new associate,” Harvey answered with a little concern. He hoped that Louis wouldn’t poke his nose too much into Mike’s business.
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep a close eye on him and let you know if there are any alarming signs.”
“Thanks, Donna. I wouldn’t know what to do without you.” Harvey meant every word of it.
“You’re welcome.” Then she looked around to see if the coast was clear and whispered, “Just remember that I’m looking forward to meeting him, Harvey.”
“Duly noted.” Harvey smiled at Donna’s excitement and wondered if Mike was doing all right at his condo alone.
‘It can’t hurt to check on him again. As his boss, I’m obligated to look out for him.’ Harvey justified himself as he picked up his phone once more. It wasn’t like he wanted to hear Mike’s voice or anything.
Chapter 5: Harvey's weak spots
I would warn for molestation, but I suppose that you can't really molest the willing!
Two weeks had passed since Mike had become Harvey’s trainee associate. Mike worked diligently and Harvey found himself using every opportunity to mentor him. Mike absorbed information without much prejudice and had a good sense of logic that would help him put the pieces together in a complex case. Harvey was convinced that Mike would make a great lawyer one day; one that would make him very proud.
Truth be told, Harvey had been a little worried and guilty about making Mike his associate even though genies existed to grant people’s wishes. But much to his relief, Mike seemed to enjoy learning new things and thrive on helping people in need.
“Hey, did you know that Gabby makes some mean apple pies?” Mike asked one evening while he was spread on the couch with a file in his hands.
“How do you know that?” Harvey wanted to ask ‘Why does it matter?’ or ‘How is that related to the case?’, but he didn’t want the bright color in Mike’s eyes to fade.
“She runs a cooking blog! I only drink liquids so I have no interest in pies, but you might want to ask for a pie if you win the case.”
“Excuse me. If I win the case? You mean when. I always win, Mike, always. I never go to trial if I cannot win. That’s the first thing you should know about me as my associate.”
Mike licked his lips for no good reason (as far as Harvey was concerned) and Harvey realized that Mike had been using the word ‘master’ more and more often. He knew that he had to put an end to it, but it felt so damn good. He felt powerless about how fast Mike was finding his psychological weak spots. That was another reason why he refused to cross the line with him. If he let Mike find his physical weak spots as well, he didn’t think that he would ever get over the beautiful creature.
He was planning to set Mike free at some point and he had to face the possibility that Mike might not choose to grow old with him even if he turned into a human being. It might look like he was all over Harvey, but Harvey believed that it was only because Mike didn’t know anyone else other than him. If he got a chance to explore the world on his own, he doubted that he would still be Mike’s number one choice.
During the past two weeks, Harvey would rub the lamp in the morning before going to work and set Mike up in his study. (On the days that Harvey’s housekeeper came by, Mike worked at his own place beyond the lamp.) Mike worked with the laptop that Harvey had bought him, wearing his spring suits and feeling important. The suit was comfortable but Mike thought that it was ridiculous to wear a suit while working in an empty house, so he took it off as soon as Harvey left for work. Harvey called a few times a day to check on his work and give him further instructions, but since they talked on the phone, there was no way that Harvey could tell that he was naked. The trick worked fine until one day Harvey came back for a file.
Mike jumped in his chair at the sound of someone accessing the keypad of the front door. ‘Did Harvey leave something behind? But he never leaves anything behind! Then who is it? It can’t be the housekeeper. She already came by yesterday!’
Mike’s imagination ran free and he came up with all kinds of scenarios in a split second. ‘Oh gosh, what if someone’s pointing a gun to Harvey’s head and forcing him to open the door? Or does the doorman want to steal something valuable? But I thought he was loyal! He’s the one who helped me pass the drug test! He must’ve gotten the password while helping Harvey carry something upstairs. Oh, why couldn’t Harvey be more careful? He should totally wish for more prudence!’
The door opened and Mike could hear a man quickly approach the study.
‘Oh my god, why is he coming straight to this room? Maybe someone found out I’m here!’
Terrified of getting stolen by some nasty thieves, Mike rushed into the lamp and only left his eyes out to see the perpetrator’s face in case he needed to identify him.
“Mike?” Harvey looked at the familiar pair of eyes poking out of the lamp. “What are you doing in there?”
Then his eyes shot down to the floor where his associate’s suit was lying carelessly. “Let me ask you again. What are you doing in there naked?”
Harvey relished the fact that Mike couldn’t say anything smart to his face because there was no mouth outside the lamp.
“I thought you were a thief!” Mike pulled his torso out of the lamp and shivered with delight when his master’s eyes raked over his body.
“Why would you think I was a thief? You think a thief would know the twelve-digit password?”
“You have a twelve-digit password? I thought it was six or something.”
“I changed it when I upgraded the security system last week.”
Mike couldn’t help but give Harvey a wide smile. He thought about how Harvey had wanted to go full force into the state-of-the-art technology to keep him safe. Mike had insisted that since Neal had wished him to be safe, he would be fine without any of the awfully expensive equipment, but Harvey wouldn’t listen to him. So Mike had changed tactics and had talked Harvey into getting simple yet efficient upgrades of the system that he already had in the house. He had told him that having a keypad that recognized the owner’s iris on the front door would only look suspicious and draw unwanted attention. Besides, the housekeeper would need Harvey’s left eye twice a week just to get past the first layer of security.
In the end, Harvey had begrudgingly settled with upgrading the front door keypad and the motion sensor in the living room. He had also installed blinds and curtains on his glass walls and windows so that nobody would get a peep at what was going on inside the house. Harvey’s walls were already bulletproof and he had made it very clear to the doorman that he would never have any visitors except for the housekeeper.
‘Oh, how protective he is over me.’ Mike smiled happily. If he got into trouble, he could simply hide inside the lamp, but it felt nice to have someone who was fiercely protective of him.
“Hey, stop woolgathering, puppy. You never answered my question. Why aren’t you wearing the suit?” Harvey asked as he pulled out the file that he needed from the bookshelf.
“Because…” Mike couldn’t think of a reason that could pass Harvey’s innate lie detector.
“Put it back on, Mike. Wearing the right suit is part of the job. I’ll check on you at random times to see if you’re wearing it.”
“And, how are you going to do that?”
Mike got his answer when Harvey called him on Skype that afternoon.
“I can’t believe you really called on the computer to check if I’m wearing the suit!” The genie gasped as soon as he clicked on the button to answer the call.
“What can I say? I’m a man of my words. Besides, I had another reason to call you.” Harvey flipped through the file on his desk.
“Like what? You couldn’t wait to see my face till you came back home?” Mike grinned knowingly.
“Don’t be ridiculous. You’re a lawyer now. You’re supposed to reach plausible conclusions.”
“Oh, I think this conclusion’s much closer to the truth than the simple lapse of judgment I made this morning.”
“You call that a simple lapse of judgment? The owner of the house and a thief are at the opposite ends of the spectrum, puppy.”
“Woof!” Mike made a barking sound to distract Harvey from the current topic.
“Very funny, Mike. Now pay attention so I can teach you how to file a subpoena. If you learn it quickly, I might even give you a reward.”
“A reward? Do I get a searing kiss that would melt all summers?” Mike had to ask even though he knew that it was the wrong answer. He had tried to get more intimate with his boss a few times, but whenever he did, Harvey had just ordered him to go back inside the lamp.
“Nope. But I’ll take you to court and let you witness my greatness.”
Mike’s jaw dropped and Harvey was worried that the genie might not feel ready to leave the house. Caffrey had written in his notes that he had taken Mike to various places, but maybe it was too early with him.
“That’s awesome! When is this happening? I need to mark it on my calendar!”
Harvey let out a small sigh of relief. “When you can file a subpoena even in your sleep. So are you ready to learn?”
“Yes, I’m ready! Teach me, Sensei!”
Mike paid great attention to Harvey’s explanation and Harvey ended up teaching him how to file all kinds of documents.
The day that Harvey put the lamp in his biggest briefcase and left the house, Mike was standing by inside the lamp, wearing his best suit. He was only going to observe how Harvey worked his magic in the safety of the briefcase, but he still felt nervous about facing the outside world.
“Don’t worry, puppy. As long as you stay inside there, nothing’s going to happen to you.” Harvey reassured him as soon as he got inside the town car and pressed the button to get the partition up.
Mike let his face out of the lamp. “Oh, that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m worried you might get performance anxiety because I’ll be watching your every move.”
Harvey laughed and patted Mike on the head. “I’m glad you have enough peace of mind to make a joke.”
“But it wasn’t a joke!” Mike whispered, worried that Harvey’s driver might hear him.
“You can speak up. This compartment is soundproof.”
“If you say so. You know, even if Ray hears us, you’re the one who’ll sound like a lunatic talking to your briefcase.”
Harvey raised his eyebrow. “Lunatic? We’ll see what you call me after you watch me close the case.”
“Oh, master and sensei are suddenly not good enough for you?”
“Well, I wouldn’t mind if you tried out a few other names.” Harvey couldn’t resist the opportunity.
“Like what?” Mike was interested in finding Harvey’s weak points. He was determined to tear down the wall that was preventing him from getting to know him better.
“I don’t know. Captain, for instance.”
“Captain? As in Captain Hook?”
“No! As in Captain Kirk!”
“Oh right, you’re a Trekkie.”
“Hey, Captain Kirk is the man, okay? I don’t want to hear another word about it. Now get back inside so I can review the case one more time.”
“Aye, aye, Captain.” Mike pulled one of his arms out of the lamp and gave him a salute before leaving Harvey in peace.
Despite Mike’s concern, Harvey didn’t have any problems with the security in the courthouse. He simply told them that he carried the lamp as a lucky charm. Lawyers were known to keep all sorts of charms in their briefcases, so nobody looked twice. Once he got past the security, Harvey walked into the men’s room, locked the door, and rubbed the lamp to bring out Mike’s face.
“Remember, Mike. Whatever happens, you do not make a sound. You don’t even let your mouth or nose out of the lamp. Understood?”
“Understood. I’ll only leave my eyes and ears out.”
Mike stretched out his neck to give Harvey a kiss. For once, Harvey let him, but when Mike tried to deepen the kiss, he pulled back.
“Good luck kisses don’t last that long, Mike.”
“Says your master.” Harvey checked the time on his wristwatch. “It’s time to go. Are you ready to watch and learn? Preventing the opposing counsel from using the restroom is not my best move.”
Mike laughed and went into the lamp so that Harvey could put it back in his briefcase.
Half an hour later, Mike was watching his master with awe and wonder. Harvey had made sure that the briefcase was well covered by his suit jacket, so he felt safe enough. Besides, as far as Mike could tell, everyone was busy checking out Harvey and nobody had eyes left to glance at his briefcase.
Mike realized that practicing law in court was nothing like dealing with the paperwork behind a desk. There were so many variables and yet, Harvey was doing his job brilliantly. There was no doubt in his mind that Harvey Specter was born to be a lawyer. He obviously had the talent, but Mike knew better than anyone how hard the man worked. Well, he knew how hard he worked, but he assumed that before Harvey had an associate, he must have handled most of the legwork on his own.
As he watched Harvey deliver the final blow, Mike couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever be able to look so confident in court. Harvey had revealed his intention many times that he was planning to set him free one day. If that actually happened and if he chose to become a mortal instead of going back to the land of genies, he might get a chance to set foot in the courthouse again.
‘I wonder how proud Harvey would look if I’d ever get to win my first solo case.’ Mike mused as the client shook hands with Harvey, wearing the most grateful look on her face that he had ever seen. Mike knew that the kind of expression on her face was what he and Harvey worked for. Mike prided in being a genie because he got to help people, but this type of help felt different; it felt better than granting people’s wishes.
Then Mike saw Harvey give the young woman a warm smile that might kill the client that they had worked so hard to save. The genie recognized the smile from the morning when he had woken up in his master’s bed. Harvey had brought him a warm cup of tea (and he had chosen the right one! Rooibos. It must have been in Neal’s notes.) with a smile that matched the temperature of the cup. That was the one time that Harvey had let him sleep in his bed and Mike wished that it could become a regular thing.
‘Ah, why do I always fall in love with my masters? Well, it’s not my fault! I’m naturally drawn to them by the power of the lamp! It’s almost like a supernatural matchmaking system!’
Mike’s eyes caught the sight of Harvey leaning down and picking up his jacket and briefcase. He briefly looked inside to check if Mike was fine and Mike couldn’t help but give him a wink. He would have rather flashed his terribly adorable smile, but there was only so much he could do with a pair of eyes and ears.
As Harvey carried him out of the courthouse, Mike thought about why he was falling for Harvey more quickly than for the other masters. His previous masters were insanely attractive as well, but there was something different about Harvey. ‘Well, he’s stupid for a start. Nobody’s resisted me like this!’
If he could be objective, Mike would say that Harvey’s rule about not sleeping with coworkers was very smart. But he was in a position that required Harvey to start sleeping with his closest coworker, so there were no words to express how frustrated he was about Harvey being so zen. ‘Damn it. My ass is too great to go unappreciated like this! Neal used to stare at it all the time, but Harvey covers it with a suit? Unacceptable!’
“What are you glaring about?” Harvey asked as he opened his briefcase inside the town car.
Mike pulled out his torso from the lamp and rested his head on Harvey’s lap. “Nothing. I just thought it would take less time for you to win. I’m thirsty now. You owe me a nice cup of tea.”
“A) I don’t owe you anything. B) Who told you that you could lie down on my lap? You can’t be tired. I’m the one who did all the work in there.”
“You don’t have the heart to push me off your lap so deal with it, Captain.” Mike’s tone might have been ungrateful, but his eyes were those pleading puppy eyes that made Harvey cave in.
“If you leave any visible creases on my pants, you’re never going to hear the end of it. Got it?”
“Oh, Harvey, when will you get it? I might look human, but I’m pretty much a puff of wind! I won’t leave any creases, so you can get off your high horse.”
“Wow, you really need to learn how to speak to your master.” Harvey involuntarily started to pet Mike’s hair. It just looked so soft.
“And, you really need to learn how to have more fun.”
Harvey checked Mike’s face to see if it was one of those shameless advances again, but there wasn’t any sign of lust in the genie’s eyes. “Okay, I’ll bite. What kind of fun are you talking about?”
“I’ll let you know once we’re back home.” Mike yawned and closed his eyes. “Wake me up when we get there, will you?”
“What? If you want to nap, go back inside your lamp.”
But Mike didn’t move and made a snoring sound instead. Harvey realized that it was a lost cause and shook his head. It was impossible to tame this genie of his.
When they finally got home and changed into something more comfortable (Harvey threw Mike a T-shirt and a pair of pants), Mike floated in the air with a highly amused face.
“I suppose this is the part where you tell me to join your fun activity.” Harvey had a feeling that he wasn’t going to like this.
“Oh, look who’s finally getting it! I’m so proud of you.” Mike clapped and went straight to the point. “You remember how I’m supposed to have been on the wrestling team in high school?”
Harvey could see where this was heading. Out of all the sports that he could have chosen for his fake life, why did Mike have to go for wrestling? The last thing that he wanted to do was rolling around with his associate, panting and moaning. “If you’re trying to talk me into wrestling with you, you can save your breath. It’s not going to happen.”
“But Harvey! I’m supposed to know how to wrestle! How can I do that if I’ve never wrestled before?”
“You’re merely a breath of wind, Mike. Even if I agree, it’ll be too easy for me and your ego won’t stand a chance at recovery. But I promise you that if I ever get a kid or a nephew, I’ll let you practice with him, okay?”
“Oh, you’re not getting off that easily.” Amusement gleamed in the genie’s eyes. “I happen to know a way to level the playing field.”
“And, what would that be?” Harvey only asked because he was curious as to what Mike meant; he was most certainly not interested in rolling on the floor with a cute looking breeze.
Mike pointed at the air conditioner on the ceiling. “Let’s turn it on. I could use some support.”
That was when Harvey remembered a passage from Bobby Singer’s notes: They tend to enjoy strong winds. If there’s a fan around, they would most definitely take advantage of it and absorb the wind. Warning: Dealing with a powered-up genie is no laughable matter. It feels like getting sucked into a mini-hurricane. Believe me, I’ve been there.
Before Harvey could talk Mike out of it, Mike had grabbed the remote control and turned on the air conditioner in full blast.
A gust of wind tackled Harvey to the floor and the senior partner soon found himself pinned on the carpet. Harvey tried to move under the grinning genie who was straddling him, but all he could manage was flailing his limbs. The wind was blowing too strong in his face and it felt as if a rock was sitting on him. Just when he was about to order Mike to play fair, Mike flipped him over and pressed his body against his. He could feel Mike grip his shoulders and tried not to enjoy it when the puppy nuzzled the back of his neck.
“This is fun! Wouldn’t you agree, master? I think I chose the right sport! How wise of me!” Mike laughed into Harvey’s ear which sent shivers down his spine, but Harvey decided that it was the cool wind that caused the shivers.
“I thought this was about leveling the playing field, Mike! You’ve clearly got the upper hand here!” He yelled to get his message across.
“What did you say? You want me to use my hand? You got it!” Mike pretended that he couldn’t hear properly in the strong wind and flipped his master again with ease.
“Listen! I’m not some pancake you can flip whenever you want! Turn down the A/C now!” Harvey barked to save whatever was left of his dignity. It felt like getting tossed around by a small hurricane just like the genie expert had noted.
“Don’t be so impatient, Harvey! I’ll stop flipping you now and use my hand like you want!” Mike pressed a short kiss to Harvey’s lips and tickled the front of his pants.
“Mike!!” Harvey was alarmed. Mike’s fingers had never felt so close to being solid and human.
“Yes? You want more?” Mike asked sweetly.
“Cut it out!” Harvey tried to swat Mike’s hand away, but Mike was faster. He gathered Harvey’s wrists and pinned them over his head with his left hand. Harvey willed himself to not get turned on, but of course, his body found the unique situation highly intriguing. Nobody had ever plastered Harvey Specter on the floor and made him stay still so effectively.
“Mike! I said cut it out!” If Mike kept doing what he was doing with his fingers, this was going to get very embarrassing.
“But you like it!”
“I wouldn’t tell you to cut it out if I liked it, would I?!”
“Harvey, why do you keep lying about the things you like? How many times do I have to get it through your thick skull that I’m here to please you?”
“Don’t you dare talk to me… like that!” Harvey was having trouble breathing as Mike took a firm grip on him. A tiny voice inside his head begged him to allow Mike to push his hand inside his pants, but Harvey’s ego crushed it.
“What did you just say? Did you say you liked that?” Mike leaned down and asked in a low voice that gave Harvey goose bumps. Again, he blamed the cool wind. ‘Wait. Why is it pleasantly cool? Why am I not freezing when the A/C is working up a windstorm?’
Mike snorted as he read the question off Harvey’s face. “What? You thought I’d let you freeze to death when I’m trying to get you all hot? In case you forgot, I’m a genie! I have a few magic tricks up my sleeve!”
Harvey wanted to say something back, but Mike twisted his wrist and all that left his mouth was an undignified moan. Now Mike’s lips were exploring the side of Harvey’s neck and Harvey could feel his sanity packing its bags in a hurry. He had to do something fast or he was going to die. He could imagine the headlines of the newspaper: The best corporate lawyer in NYC suffers a horny death by a powered-up gust of wind.
Harvey gritted his teeth to stop himself from moaning so loudly (not that it worked) and glanced around to see where the remote control was. Thankfully, it wasn’t too far away from his left foot.
“Mike…?” Harvey cursed himself for being such a healthy man. He was running out of time.
“Will you take off my shirt for me?”
Mike’s eyes grew wide with surprise, but he nodded eagerly. Then he made the mistake of moving his right hand up to the top of Harvey’s shirt. With the grip on his crotch gone, Harvey gathered enough strength to kick his left foot out wide and banged his heel on the remote control. Without the wind, Mike’s grip on his wrists naturally got loose and Harvey managed to sit up. He couldn’t bring himself to push Mike off his legs, but he was in a much better position.
“Wow, you surely know how to ruin the fun.” Mike crossed his arms and shook his head. “It’s a pity you only get three wishes. You could use so many more to become a more complete person.”
“You’re grounded,” Harvey used the voice that made people tremble in court. He couldn’t come this close to crossing the line again. Mike turned out to be a valuable asset, so he had no intention of starting a messy relationship with him.
Mike wrapped his arms around Harvey’s neck and looked at him as if he had said something stupid. “I’m always grounded, Harvey. You took me to court once.”
“I’m serious, Mike. You need to understand that this can’t happen again.” Harvey tried to find the mental strength to pull Mike’s arms away from him.
Mike looked down at Harvey’s pants and gave him a cheeky grin. “I think someone will disagree. Do you want me to finish what I’ve started?”
“No. I want you to get inside the lamp and stay there until you learn how to obey my orders. When I say cut it out, you cut it out.” Harvey’s tone was firm.
Mike pouted and made a disapproving sound before noticing a red spot on the side of Harvey’s neck. “Oh, hey, look! I made a hickey! First one on you!”
Harvey’s hand flew to the spot that Mike had bitten earlier. Had the genie marked him?
“Oh, how I wish you’d let me make some more.”
Mike’s eyes twinkled dangerously and Harvey pointed at the lamp with his most intimidating face. “Inside. Now.”
“Fine. Have fun with your own hand then.” Mike transformed into a blue light and disappeared into the lamp before Harvey could scold him some more.
Harvey looked at the lamp with a heavy mind. When he had walked out of Jessica’s office with the wonderful news of making senior partner, he had never thought that he would get a genie associate that wanted to give him a hand job.
‘This is all Donna’s fault.’ He blamed the woman who had handed him the lamp. But if he was completely honest, he couldn’t imagine his life without the blond smartass anymore.
Harvey got up from the floor and picked up the remote control, thinking that he would never be able to look at his air conditioner again without getting aroused.
‘And, it’s soon going to be summer.’ Harvey groaned as he headed to the bathroom. Cold showers weren’t just a daily routine anymore; they had become his lifelines.
Chapter 6: The looming danger
For those who don't watch 'White Collar', Dante Haversham is an alias for Mozzie, the guest character in this chapter.
Previously in ‘The world’s finest treasure’…
Mike had become Harvey’s trainee associate so Harvey had taken the lamp to the courthouse to let the genie watch and learn. He had also upgraded his security system in his condo to keep Mike safe, but had kept refusing to get intimate with him. Mike had given his boss an incomplete hand job under the name of wrestling with the help of the air conditioner and had gotten grounded until further notice.
A week had passed since Mike had been grounded for pinning his master to the floor and giving him a hand job. Mike had sulked all weekend in his house, waiting for Harvey to rub the lamp, but it didn’t happen until Monday morning. And, even then, Harvey had only called him so that he would get down to work.
Harvey had looked genuinely upset, so Mike had promised him that he wouldn’t make another move unless Harvey made it explicitly clear that he wanted him to. Mike had no doubt in his mind that Harvey would eventually crumble and give in to his unprecedented attraction (Yes, he was turning into his master.), so there was no need to make his boss feel too uncomfortable.
Today was a Friday, which meant that Mike was supposed to wear a wider tie, aka Harvey’s tie. Given the way that his master was looking at him, he could tell that Harvey had a thing for seeing him in something of his. Mike gave Harvey a small smile as he settled down in the study. Since three weeks of training were almost over, he was going to be an official employee of Pearson-Hardman by next Monday. Even though he hadn’t got the job through the appropriate channels, he enjoyed the legal work and hoped to make a decent career out of it. Harvey seemed to appreciate his work, and he loved to check Facebook and other social networking websites and see that the clients had become happier.
‘William would’ve hated the Internet though. I just know it.’ Mike chuckled as he fired up his laptop. He had never been more grateful for his eidetic memory. Without it, he didn’t think that he would have adapted so smoothly to so many different eras.
“I’m glad you find the annoying process of booting up so amusing,” Harvey commented as he checked himself in the mirror one last time.
“Do you have a date or something? Why are you getting all dolled up?” Mike thought that Harvey looked dashing. He always looked dashing and he knew it. Otherwise why would he have a mirror in the study?
“I’m a guy, Mike. I don’t get dolled up. One would think you would’ve mastered the English language by now, having spoken it for many centuries.”
“You know, your date’s not going to like it if you act like someone has spilled milk on your favorite tie.”
Harvey turned around and gave his associate a suspicious look. “Did you spill milk on my favorite tie?”
“What? No! Why would I do that? Besides, since you apparently don’t know a thing about the English language, I should let you know that I didn’t mean it literally. It’s just an expression!”
Harvey brushed off Mike’s comment and picked up his briefcase. He was ready to go to work… except that he couldn’t stop stealing glances at the genie who looked dashing with his tie around his neck. If he could’ve had things his way, he would have tugged at the tie and kissed his associate ten minutes ago. But he was a man of strong will. He was going to walk out the door and head over to work. He could do this.
“I don’t have a date,” he blurted out as he watched Mike type.
“Hmm?” Mike briefly looked up to let Harvey know that he had his attention.
“I don’t have a date. I have a client meeting,” Harvey clarified. He didn’t want Mike to get the wrong idea even though they weren’t in a relationship.
“Okay. Good luck.” Mike smiled and got back to work. Harvey was acting weird this morning.
“Thanks.” Harvey returned the smile and took a few steps before facing Mike again. “You know the drill, Mike. Don’t let anyone in even if he looks exactly like me. If he doesn’t know the password, he could be a shape shifter for all we know. And, if you notice any suspicious activities in the hallway, you call the doorman so he can contact the police.”
“I got it. Are we really going to do this every morning? You know I have an eidetic memory so I won’t forget what you said. You also know that the con man you hate so passionately has wished me to be safe, which means I will be safe no matter what.” Mike had stopped using Neal’s name since it seemed to irritate Harvey so much.
“And, you know I don’t trust that dubious wish making system. Whoever came up with it knew nothing about law.”
Mike laughed. Harvey was such a lawyer. “Just leave already, will you? I’ll call you if anything remotely suspicious happens, so you can get your cape out and fly here in two seconds.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, puppy. No superhero can cover that much distance in two seconds.”
Mike stopped typing. “Really? That’s the ridiculous part?”
“Of course.” Harvey kept his face straight. “Okay, I’m leaving now. I’ll check on you before lunch.”
Harvey let out a sigh as he realized that it was getting more and more difficult to leave Mike at home. An image of the two of them heading to work together came to his mind but he scared it away. He wasn’t going to let himself dream about something that wasn’t going to happen.
Mike was drinking his lunch potion in Harvey’s study when he ran out of paper clips. He usually needed one potion a day to keep up his strength, but his workload was heavier than his balls, so he had started packing lunch since a few days ago.
‘Hmm, He must have new ones somewhere.’ Mike opened the second drawer since he already knew by memory that they weren’t in the first one. He had never looked in all of the three drawers because Harvey had put almost everything that he needed on the desk and also because he was a genie who had manners.
But now that he had moved on to the third drawer and found it locked, his curiosity was starting to get the better of him. ‘Maybe he keeps porn in here. He’d so be the type to keep it in the study, making the housekeeper think they’re classified client files.’ Mike knew that if something was locked, it meant that nobody was supposed to unlock it without permission. He also knew that Harvey wouldn’t keep paper clips in a locked drawer. ‘I’ll just take a quick peep and lock it again. He doesn’t have to know.’
Picking a simple lock on a desk drawer wasn’t a problem for a genie of his caliber. He didn’t even need to snap his fingers. All he had to do was take a good look at the lock. He usually tried not to use magic and played down his ability because he didn’t want his masters to get greedy and ask him to perform magic whenever they pleased. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t use it every once in a while when the opportunity presented itself.
“Oops!” Mike made a fake sound of surprise and unlocked the drawer with his eyes. Much to his displeasure, there really were some files inside. ‘He’s not much fun, is he? But then, I guess you can’t have everything. It would be unfair to other people if he even understood what fun meant.’
Mike pulled out the file on top and opened it on his lap. There were some newspaper clippings neatly held together with paper clips.
‘At least I got my paper clips.’ He thought before his eyes caught Harvey’s name on the articles. ‘Ah, of course he made Donna collect all the articles that mentioned the great Harvey Specter. His ego must be stroked on a regular basis and what could be better than a salivating praise from the press?’
But then it struck him that something didn’t feel right. If Harvey was so proud of his achievements, why wouldn’t he put up some of the best articles on the wall? Why did he keep them locked inside a drawer? He lived alone and the odds of one of his dates snooping around his study were pretty low.
Mike decided to stop guessing and just read the articles. It should him take about twenty minutes to go through all of them. He glanced at the clock on the monitor and saw that he still had half an hour left until his lunch break was over. ‘Perfect. I’ll even have time to brush my teeth.’
The contents of the articles were quite shocking. Harvey had never mentioned that he had worked in the D.A’s office despite having had a stellar winning record. Mike didn’t have a clue as to why Harvey would hide such an important and brilliant part of his life. ‘Did something happen and he was forced to quit? Did one of the few cases he lost drag him down emotionally? Why did he start working for Pearson-Hardman when he was so good at his job? Just because he owed Jessica? Couldn’t he just pay her back with interest?’
Mike found himself thinking about all sorts of possible explanations until he found an interesting picture in one of the articles.
“Ahahaha…” He burst into laughter as a younger Harvey with blond highlights smiled at him.
‘Oh lord, what’s up with the hair? Why would he do that to himself? Was he going through a self-loathing phase? Gosh, I hope this wasn’t his version of fun. He looks like a virgin hipster!’
The genie read the title of the article once he had managed to come down from the shock: Young lawyer presents daunting ‘Specter’ for defendants. ‘Yep, he does look like a specter in here. What an accurate description…’
Then a fun idea occurred to him. ‘Oh, he’s going to love it. I can’t wait for him to get back home.’
“I’m home, puppy!” Harvey announced cheerfully as he locked the front door behind him. He knew that it should be awkward to call a creature that was much older than him a ‘puppy’, but he had no intention of stopping it any time soon. He enjoyed it too much.
“Hey! You’re home early!” Mike shouted from the study.
“Yeah, the client meeting went well.” Harvey walked into the room and noticed that Mike looked far too amused for his liking. Something was up.
“What is it, Mike? You must’ve done something bad.” Harvey put down his briefcase on a chair next to the desk.
“When did I ever do anything bad? I’m just playing hearts, Harvey. I think I’ve got this one.” Mike tried not to giggle.
Harvey looked over Mike’s shoulder to check if he was really playing hearts. Indeed he was. He moved on to scan the surface of the desk to see if everything was in order. Much to his surprise, it was. Then he looked around until he saw it; an article from his ADA days framed and hanging on the wall.
“You went through my stuff? Very mature, by the way. Aren’t you too old for this kind of a prank?”
“Who says it’s a prank? A great picture like that should see the light! Let’s give your poor housekeeper a shot of endorphin. I think she deserves it. She keeps this place bloody spotless!”
“As it should be. How did you open the drawer anyway?”
Mike shrugged his shoulders innocently. “It wasn’t properly locked so when I tugged at it, it came out pretty easily. I was just looking for some paper clips.”
Harvey didn’t question him any further and walked over to the article.
“Harvey, stop! I put in a lot of thinking to find the perfect spot! I used feng shui and everything!”
“It’s a memory I don’t like to be reminded of. It was inside a locked drawer for a reason,” Harvey explained as he took the frame off the wall.
“Would you mind if I asked why?” Mike’s tone was cautious. He didn’t make a habit of opening old wounds.
“It’s not a good story. You wouldn’t like it.” Harvey put the article back where it belonged and slammed the drawer. Old feelings were coming back.
“Hey, whatever happened, I’m sure it wasn’t your fault. I know you, Harvey. You’re a good man and people rarely change.” Mike reached out and put a gentle hand on Harvey’s arm.
“Mike, an innocent man rotted in jail for years because of me. I don’t think good men cause that kind of a thing.”
“I hate to break it to you, but you’re only human. As far as I know, all humans make mistakes.”
Harvey looked at his associate who was obviously trying to make him feel better. That was when he realized that Mike had loosened the tie around his neck. “I hope you gave my Prada tie the proper respect it deserves. I should’ve set up a hidden camera and seen it for myself.”
“Really, that’s what you want to talk about? Your endless fear of me mistreating your wide ties?”
“Yes. That is infinitely more important than the story about my twisted mentor.”
“Ah, Cameron Dennis.”
“How do you know his name?” Then Harvey nodded. “You read the other articles.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to pry. It’s just that you never mentioned working as an ADA and I wondered why.”
Harvey could tell that the genie was dying to hear the full story. And, if he had learned anything from spending a lot of time with him, the chances of Mike dropping the subject were astronomically low. “You’re going to sit prettily and listen, okay? Do not interrupt me in the middle.”
“You think I’m pretty?” Mike couldn’t help it. It was too tempting.
Harvey rubbed his temples as he closed Mike’s laptop and picked up the lamp from the floor. “What did I just say, Mike?”
“That I’m pretty. Don’t worry, Harvey. I’m not one of those guys who think ‘pretty’ is offensive for a guy.” Mike reassured him with a bright smile.
“Of course you’re not.” Harvey left the room with the lamp and walked into the bedroom.
“Ooh, do I get to watch you change?” Mike asked excitedly.
“No, you don’t. But you get to listen.” Harvey left the lamp on the bed and patted the pouty cheeks.
“I can always crane my neck and peep inside the closet. You know how long my neck can be.”
“You do that and I stop the story right there,” Harvey warned him as he headed into the walk-in closet.
“Fine.” Mike didn’t like the arrangement, but he could catch his master getting undressed some other time. “But just so you know, you can tell me if you got kicked out because of an unacceptable hairdo. I’ll try my best not to laugh.”
“Haha, very funny.”
Harvey started to tell him how the man who had taught him everything had tampered with evidence and how he had refused to testify against his mentor. He also told Mike that Cameron had planned to sell him out and that he had eventually freed the innocent man, thanks to a trick that he had learned from the film ‘Mississippi Burning.’
“So Donna and Jessica saved your career,” Mike summed it up when Harvey emerged from the closet. It hadn’t been easy to follow the storyline because he was too busy straining his ears to listen to Harvey dropping his suit. But fortunately, he was a genius who was capable of multitasking.
“I didn’t need them to fight my battles. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”
“I never said you couldn’t. But everyone can use a helping hand every once in a while. I think I’d really like to meet Donna now. She sounds fantastic.”
Harvey froze in the middle of taking off his watch. Suddenly it didn’t feel right to introduce Mike to Donna. “You’re not ready yet.”
“Uh, I appreciate the concern, Harvey, but I think I’d know best if I’m ready or not.” Mike crossed his arms over his chest to emphasize his point.
Harvey wondered how he could convince Mike that his guts told him it wasn’t the right time. He wished that he had a logical explanation, but it was called ‘gut feeling’ for a reason. ‘Perhaps I’m overreacting. What could possibly go wrong? Mike gave me his words that Caffrey’s wish would protect him from any kind of danger. Besides, Caffrey took him out to a lot of places and nothing seemed to have happened. We’re not even going out. Donna’s coming in. It should be fine.’
So ignoring the slight discomfort in his gut, he found himself asking, “How does tomorrow afternoon sound to you?”
The next day, Donna was pulling out a big bag from the passenger seat with a smile that matched the size of the bag. Truth be told, she hadn’t expected Harvey to let her see Mike so soon. If the unusually low voice on the phone was any indication, he didn’t seem too happy but was going along with it for the genie’s sake. ‘It’s not like I’m going to let Mike fall for me. He’s the master! I wouldn’t do that to him!’
She locked her car and approached her boss’ building, carrying the bag that contained gifts for Mike. She normally didn’t prepare any gifts unless there was something to celebrate, but it couldn’t hurt to get on the good side of a magical creature. It wasn’t like she expected Mike to snap his fingers and fix something for her. She didn’t need that kind of help; she had enough astonishing powers herself. But she believed in karma, and offering a benign genie a couple of presents seemed like a good way to earn some karma points.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Harvey asked once more as the doorman informed him that his secretary was on her way up.
“Jesus, I’m almost willing to say no just to shut you up. I would’ve preferred to shut you up with a kiss, but you’d get all grumpy and growl ‘Inside. Now’.” Mike completed his imitation of Harvey by pointing at the lamp.
“You know what. Now that I think about it, I made a terrible mistake when I made you my associate. You were obviously born to be a comedian.”
“Gosh, Harvey. Do you ever listen to me? I wasn’t born. I was created!”
“That’s not the point.”
“But you still got it wrong. And, here I thought you actually listened to what I said.” Mike clicked his tongue.
“Can you do me a favor and not click your tongue like that? You sound like a senior citizen.”
“Wow, how politically correct of you even when you’re insulting me. No wonder everyone falls for your charms.”
“Aww, I see you two are already bickering like an old married couple.” Donna stepped out of the glass elevator with a smile. She had always wished that her dear boss would find someone special, and it looked like her powers were so great that the wish had been granted even without a lamp.
“Hello, I’m Mike. What a pleasure to meet the one person in the world who can stand Harvey Specter.” The genie bowed before taking Donna’s hand and kissing it.
“In case your previous employer didn’t fill you in, we don’t really greet women like that anymore.” Harvey pointed out as he took the bag from Donna.
“Hey, let the man enjoy the freedom of treating me like a lady,” Donna protested in a light tone and took a good look at Mike. He was truly beautiful.
The genie gulped and grabbed Harvey’s arm. The female human was making him slightly nervous.
“It’s okay. She might look at you with hungry eyes, but she’s not actually going to eat you.” Harvey hoped that his playful tone would offer him some comfort.
“He’s right. I wouldn’t dare touch what’s Harvey’s. Now would you be interested in finding out what I got you?” Donna sat on the couch and pointed at the bag that was now sitting on the coffee table.
“That’s for me?” Mike was clearly interested as he extended his neck and looked inside the bag.
‘Ooh, how flexible. Harvey’s going to appreciate that.’ She enjoyed a girly laugh inside since nobody had to know this side of hers.
Soon, Mike forgot that he had been nervous. He pulled out a fine tea collection, a six thousand pieced jigsaw puzzle of his favorite castle, the Château de Versailles, and a portable fan.
Both Harvey and Mike’s eyes shot up to Donna who gave them a knowing grin, “That was the strongest one I could find.”
Mike glared at Harvey for sharing such intimate details of their failed intimate moment, but Harvey was too busy glaring at Donna to notice. There was only one way that the woman could have known about the connection between Mike and the wind. She must have had access to the secret compartment in his office.
‘I shouldn’t have left my notes in there. But that’s the point of having a secret compartment! It’s supposed to be safe!’ He had started to keep a record of what was going on with the genie in case Mike got a new master after him. He wanted the next person in charge to take good care of the special creature.
Harvey felt the urge to give Donna a long lecture about privacy, but a part of him knew that she wouldn’t have violated his privacy if she hadn’t thought that it was absolutely necessary. ‘So for some reason, she thinks that it’s vital for me to sleep with him. That’s terrific. As if Mike needs any help in bringing me down to my knees.’
Harvey let out a groan and Donna took it as her cue to break the ice. “Would you like to try the tea?”
After hours of laughing and telling Mike about all the silly things that her boss had done, Donna was leaving the building with an even bigger smile on her face. Not that she hadn’t trusted Harvey to find the right one, but it was extremely satisfying to see Mike for herself. He had all the good qualities that one would look for in a man and the only flaw she could find was that he was too desirable. Genie or not, she imagined that Harvey would have a hell of a time keeping him all to himself.
Donna opened the door to her car and was about to get in when she felt like someone was watching her. She looked around to see if someone was actually looking at her, but there were only a few people nearby. Unfortunately, she trusted her sixth sense to a great extent. ‘Oh my god, maybe someone’s following me. Or they figured out that Harvey has the lamp.’
She pulled out her cell phone as soon as she got inside the car and locked the door. But it occurred to her that the thieves might have hacked her phone. So she casually checked if there were any new messages and put the phone back in her purse. She thought about pretending that she had left something upstairs and going back to warn Harvey, but it might look suspicious even with her talented acting. There was only one safe option that she could think of. She needed Mozzie’s help.
Driving towards Mozzie’s weekend hideout, Donna’s mind was flooded with worries. Did someone find out that she had once been in possession of the lamp? Was she in danger? Did she put Harvey in harm’s way for the sake of the treasure? Had she been naive enough to believe Mozzie when he had told her that nobody would get hurt?
Donna rarely doubted herself, but it seemed like a good moment to evaluate her decision. She didn’t think that she would be able to forgive herself if something happened to Harvey. ‘Perhaps I should’ve refused when Mozzie tried to give it to me. But he said it was the world’s finest treasure! Who else would be capable of taking good care of it? Harvey should be perfect for such a unique creature.’
What was done was already done. There was no way to go back to the past and try out a different scenario. Donna knew that she had to focus on retracing her steps so that she would never have this sickening feeling in her stomach again. ‘I made sure the HR team wouldn’t leak any information. I told them that Harvey’s fiercely protective of his entourage and that none of them would want to meet him in court.’
Donna made a right turn as she felt relieved to have dirt on every single one of those employees. Then she made another right turn and looked at the rearview mirror. She had never been happier that Mozzie had taught her how to check if anyone was following her. Whoever had watched her apparently wasn’t following her, which meant that he could still be around Harvey’s place. She had to see Mozzie now.
Mike was working on his puzzle in the middle of the living room when Harvey got a call on his cell phone from a blocked number. He thought about not answering it, but the strange feeling in his gut was back. So he put his index finger against his lips when Mike looked up and answered the phone, “Hello.”
“Good afternoon. Am I speaking with Mr. Harvey Specter?”
“Yes, you are. Who’s asking?” Harvey loosened his grip on the phone. The caller didn’t sound intimidating. He had just wished him a good afternoon.
“This is Dante Haversham, Donna’s friend from the book club.”
Blood drained from Harvey’s face. “Is she okay? She was fine till an hour ago.” He cursed himself for not checking if she had made it safely back home.
“Oh, Donna’s fine. In fact, she’s worried that you may not be fine. That’s the purpose of this non-existing call, Mr. Suit. As far as you and I are concerned, this call has never happened.”
“Understood.” Harvey knew when to trust an expert.
“So the lady told me she felt like she was being watched, right after she came out of your building. Just in case she was right, I’ll keep an eye on your building over the weekend.”
“I thought the lamp was going to be safe no matter what.” Harvey kept Mike in his sight as he gripped the phone again.
“That is true. But unfortunately that doesn’t mean you are going to be safe as well, Mr. Suit.”
“I can take care of myself. I box.”
“I have no doubt in my brilliant mind that you can defend yourself. I’ve read about your life, Mr. Suit. But let me do my job and see if there’s anyone questionable hanging around. You can’t stand in front of your door with your boxing gloves all weekend.”
“Listen, you do whatever you want to do with your weekend, but make sure she’s safe. If anything happens to her, anything, I’m going to hold you responsible and find a way to put you in the cell next to Caffrey’s, okay? Since you’ve read about me, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of my excellent track record.”
A whiny sound came through the phone. “I strongly disapprove of your threats, Mr. Suit. I’m merely trying to help. Now it’s your turn to listen. I’d like to give you some instructions to keep your happy home safe.”
Harvey put the phone on speaker so that Mike would remember all the information. If help was being given, he probably shouldn’t refuse it.
Chapter 7: Danger strikes
Warning: potentially dangerous situations, appearance of guns, injuries of useless extras (nothing explicit)
Previously in ‘The world’s finest treasure’…
Mike had found out that Harvey used to work for the D.A’s office. Harvey had told him what had happened with Cameron and how Donna and Jessica had helped him out. Mike had insisted to meet Donna so Harvey had invited her over even though his guts had told him that it wasn’t the right time. While leaving the building, Donna had felt like someone was watching her and had gone straight to Mozzie (Dante) for help. Mozzie had offered to keep an eye on Harvey’s building over the weekend and had given the lawyers instructions to stay safe.
The weekend had gone by without any alarming incidents, much to Harvey’s relief. He had kept his gun, cell phone, and Mike close to him at all times but nothing had happened. He had expected a call from Dante, but hadn’t heard from him all weekend. Assuming that no news was good news, he decided on Monday morning that it was safe enough to get on with their lives. So he got dressed for work and rubbed the lamp in the study like any other workday.
Harvey immediately grabbed the gun on the desk, only to realize that the loud sound had come from the lamp.
“Bravo, master! Quick as lightning! I feel totally safe with you.” Mike grinned and clapped as Harvey put down the gun with a death glare.
“That wasn’t funny, Mike! You pull that kind of crap again and I’ll keep the lamp locked in a secure place far away. Do you understand?”
Mike nodded and gave his fuming boss an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, Harvey. It won’t happen again. It’s just that you looked so tense all weekend and I felt bad for you. I figured that once something scares you, your adrenaline level will skyrocket and then you’ll come down from the high and finally get to relax.”
Harvey grunted as he breathed out a deep sigh of relief. His heart was still racing. “Just don’t do that again, okay?”
“Okay. I’m sorry.” Mike wrapped his windy arms around Harvey’s neck and Harvey allowed himself to get some comfort. He hadn’t got much rest during the weekend. He had kept telling himself that Donna must have been paranoid since the ‘specialist in all things illegal’ hadn’t reported anything suspicious, but it had still been difficult to sleep.
“Now that you’ve been properly scared, do you think you could take a nap? You can go in a little late, right?” Mike gently whispered in his master’s ear before his tone became more playful. “You hardly look your handsome self. They may not recognize you at work.”
Harvey had to laugh despite the fact that he was still upset about Mike’s prank. “I look that bad, huh?”
“Don’t worry, master. I still love you even when you look like this. I’m such a loyal genie.” Mike pulled back and Harvey tapped the tip of his nose, trying not to attach any importance to the words. Mike was a genie; he was supposed to love his masters.
“You think you can be a good boy and work hard even when I’m passed out in bed?” He was already in his suit and Ray was going to pick him up any moment, but he suddenly felt extremely tired.
“Well, today’s my first day as your official associate! I’ve completed my three weeks of training, remember? So I’ve officially got your back when you’re unable to work.”
“Oh right.” Harvey had been too preoccupied with Mike’s safety that he had completely forgotten about it.
“Ah, your level of intelligence is dropping even further with the lack of sleep.” Mike clicked his tongue.
“You’ll be amazed at how my level of kindness drops with the lack of sleep.” Harvey couldn’t believe that someone had the audacity to tease him about his valuable brain.
“Well, then what are you waiting for? Off you go!” Mike pointed to the door as if Harvey was the puppy.
“I really don’t appreciate that gesture, Mike.” Harvey had meant to sound menacing, but the yawn had ruined it.
Mike giggled while Harvey pulled out his phone to text Ray to come back later. “Hey, I think I’ll sleep better if you come and work next to me. I wouldn’t have to worry about you staying alone on the other side of the condo.”
Mike wanted to remind him once more that he would be fine, but decided to do as he was told. Harvey looked tired enough already. “Okay, boss.” So he grabbed everything that he needed and let Harvey pick up the lamp.
“You could always make a wish for your own safety, you know. That way, we’ll both be safe,” Mike suggested as he held on to his laptop and office supplies.
“I’ll think about it,” Harvey answered just so that they wouldn’t get into an argument. He had two wishes left, but he was planning to wish for Mike’s health and freedom, so there weren’t any wishes left for himself.
“You know, I sing some mean lullabies.” Mike grinned as Harvey put him down on one side of the bed.
“Yes, I know that. Caffrey mentioned ‘the most creative and inspiring rendition of Rock-a-bye Baby’ in his notes,” Harvey replied while he got out of his suit and slipped under the covers.
“I was going to take a request, but it seems like you’ve already made up your mind.” Mike warmed up his voice as he waited for Harvey to close his eyes, but it never happened.
“Harvey, you’re supposed to listen to a lullaby with your eyes closed. I expected you to know that by your age.”
Harvey snorted. “Given how your warm-up is going, let’s just say it’s not easy to close your eyes when you feel like your ears are going to get tortured.”
Mike bit back a fond smile as he turned on his laptop. Harvey must be feeling better already if he was exchanging banter with him. “I’ll make you weep with emotions, Harvey. Your ears are never going to embrace another song after today.”
“The point of singing a lullaby, Mike, is to make the baby stop weeping. I expected you to know that by your age.”
Mike laughed and savored the moment. They hadn’t had a fun conversation all weekend. It looked like things were going back to normal and he could certainly appreciate the ordinary and peaceful everyday life.
Noticing that Harvey had finally closed his eyes, Mike started to sing softly. The tired expression on his master’s face told him that he didn’t need a lullaby to fall asleep, but Mike wanted to help him as much as he could. So he poured his heart and soul into the lullaby with his eyes closed and arms raised to get the proper inspiration.
‘What in the world is this song…?’ Harvey’s eyes flew open to see if this was another prank. It had to be. Nobody could sing this badly. To say that he was off-key would be an understatement. If it weren’t for the lyrics, Harvey wouldn’t have been able to recognize the lullaby at all. The only thing that stopped him from plugging his ears was the sight of Mike singing so eagerly. He looked like a serious opera singer with his hands reaching out to the invisible audience.
‘Creative and inspiring? I guess ‘creative’ could be a word for it, but inspiring? Really? In what twisted way could this inspire someone? Caffrey was either half-deaf or he was so in love with Mike that he went van Gogh on himself and became half-deaf.’ Harvey checked Mike’s face again to see if there really wasn’t a malicious grin somewhere, but he couldn’t see anything other than a determined genie with furrowed brows.
‘So when he said he sang some mean lullabies, he actually meant mean lullabies.’ Then another possibility entered his mind. ‘Perhaps this is good singing for a genie. Maybe they naturally can’t sing.’
He would have teased his associate mercilessly if it wasn’t so bad. Amusement had turned into sympathy the minute he realized that Mike was serious. This wouldn’t do. He was going to teach Mike how to sing. His genie would go down as the best singer in the history of genies.
“Is there a problem?” Mike wondered what was wrong.
“A problem? No. There’s no problem.” Harvey didn’t have the heart to tell him that his singing had scared his soul.
“Still having trouble falling asleep? You want me to sing you another one?”
Harvey became even more awake. “Uh, it’s okay, Mike. I don’t think I’m the type to fall asleep to lullabies. Thanks for trying though.” He added a soft smile.
“Nonsense. Everyone’s the type to fall asleep to lullabies. You might like this one better. It’s my personal favorite.”
The genie was about to slay another British lullaby when Harvey sprang up from the bed and instinctively closed the case. He had no other choice. He couldn’t let his handsome ears bleed again.
Mike was stunned, to say the least. Harvey had just kissed him. “What was that for?”
“To thank you for your efforts,” Harvey mumbled and lay back on the bed. “Wake me up in three hours.”
Mike let out a sound of surprise. “You can’t just drop a bomb like that and go to sleep! I thought we weren’t supposed to kiss each other! Or does that rule only apply to me?”
“I know my kiss must’ve felt like a bomb, Mike, but it wasn’t an actual bomb.” Harvey faced the other side of the room and closed his eyes.
“I’m painfully aware that you don’t know a thing about the English language, but that was just an expression!” Mike threw his arms in the air in frustration, not aware that the corners of Harvey’s lips had turned up. He hadn’t planned to kiss his associate, but he certainly didn’t regret it.
Harvey had ended up working at home yesterday, but he had to go to the office today. He had a client meeting that he couldn’t miss.
And, of course, his associate was making things difficult for him when his job was to make things easy for him.
“I said no, Mike.” His puppy had been begging him to take the lamp with him, claiming that it was only logical for an official associate to see the place that he worked for.
“But you broke the rules yesterday! You have to pay for that! Besides, don’t you think that visiting Pearson-Hardman would help me get into the right mindset of a lawyer? It’s not that different from wearing a suit. It’s part of the job!”
Harvey thought about how he had pretty much kept the genie locked up at his place. Even though it was for his protection, he couldn’t shake off the feeling of guilt. He also didn’t want Mike to compare him to his previous employer who had taken him across borders and had literally showed him the world. “Fine, hotshot. But if we’re going to do this, you have to promise you’ll do exactly as I say.”
“When do I not do that?”
Mike saw Harvey turn around. “Okay, okay, I promise. I’ll do whatever you say.”
“Good. You do not attract people’s attention, all right? The minute you do something silly, you’re going back inside the lamp.”
“Okay, I get it. Can we leave now?”
“No, not yet. You’re not going into my office with that skinny tie of yours.” Harvey took the lamp into the walk-in closet and put it on the floor.
“Choose something you like.” Harvey tried not to enjoy the fact that Mike was going to wear one of his ties when it wasn’t a Friday.
“What if you choose something for me, master?” For a split second, Mike saw the unmistakable excitement in his boss’ eyes. Of course.
“Really? You can’t even choose your own tie now? Do I have to help you with everything?” Harvey stepped forward and took a look at his proud collection.
Mike felt the urge to point out how Harvey’s eyes had lit up at the assignment, but chose not to. His boss had gone through a tough few days, so if he wanted to pick out a tie for his associate, he was going to let him do it his way. He was generous like that.
‘Am I the genie of the year or what?’ He thought smugly as he watched Harvey tilt his head at some of the ties in his hands. Mike had noticed that he tilted his head a lot. It made him look sassy and quite adorable. Mike’s hand moved on its own accord and patted Harvey’s head.
Harvey turned on his heel with a raised eyebrow. “Did you just pat me on the head? You’re the puppy, not me.”
“What if I did? There are no rules about patting you on the head. That wasn’t flirting.” Mike held his head high. He hadn’t done anything wrong even though Harvey’s eyes told him otherwise.
Harvey didn’t say anything and just looked him in the eye. It was getting harder and harder not to break his own rules. Mike often did something unexpected and Harvey absolutely loved those moments. He found mediocre opposing counsels boring mainly because their moves were so predictable. He thrived on challenges and facing opponents that had the guts and ability to throw him off his feet, so he could make full use of his arsenal and get a chance to push his limits. And, it seemed like Mike was that type of creature who could constantly surprise him.
“Are you going to help me put on that tie too?” Mike pointed at the tie in Harvey’s hand without breaking the eye contact.
“Of course. I don’t trust you with my fine ties.” Harvey wrapped the striped tie around Mike’s neck. He chose to ignore how Mike had just licked his lips, making them wet and shiny, and busied himself with the tie. He wasn’t going to break the rules again after only one day. He didn’t even want to think about what Mike would demand if he did.
“There you go,” Harvey announced in a hurry as Mike leaned closer to him. “Now grab your stuff and get inside the lamp. We’re leaving.”
“Okay.” Mike gave him a wistful smile and followed his orders. He could sense that it wouldn’t be long before Harvey broke a whole set of rules.
The trip to the office was quiet as Mike looked outside the windows in silence. Harvey had expected him to chat away like a little bird, but again, Mike had managed to surprise him. The windows were dark and it was raining, so Harvey figured that it was safe to let him watch what the city looked like during rush hour.
“Hey, you’re okay?” Harvey was worried. Mike was never silent.
“Yeah. It’s just amazing.” Mike turned around and gave his boss a big, bright smile.
Harvey smiled back. “What’s so amazing?”
Mike’s smile turned into a playful grin. “Everybody looks so annoyed and unhappy. I think you’re the only one who’s happy to go to work. I guess it really is a special privilege to have a smart genie as your official associate.”
Harvey didn’t bother to deny it. He had painted the image of heading to work with Mike a few times in his mind and it was pleasant to see it come to life. “I think ‘happy’ is too much of a strong word.”
“But you’re grinning so hard that it’s difficult to find another word,” Mike teased. “And, don’t even think about telling me how I haven’t mastered the English language even when I’ve spoken it for centuries.”
Harvey bit his lower lip to prevent another lip-to-lip collision with his associate. He wondered if he would’ve found Mike’s smart mouth less charming, had he not had a profession that dealt with words.
“You know you want to.” Mike sat closer to Harvey and was about to put a hand on his face when he saw Harvey’s eyes grow wide with panic.
“Ray, look out!”
A big, black car crashed into Mike’s side of the car and Harvey realized that his driver couldn’t have heard anything over the partition. Mike instinctively hid inside the lamp while Harvey lowered the partition to check if Ray was all right.
“Boss! Are you all right? I’m sorry! That car came out of nowhere!”
Harvey didn’t have time to answer because someone threw Mike’s side of the door open and reached for the lamp. He punched the guy in the face and tried to take off his ski mask, but the feeling of a metallic object on the back of his head made him freeze. He saw out of the corner of his eyes that his driver was at gun point too. He could hear people screaming and hoped that someone had the good heart to call the police.
Harvey held up his hands and noticed that there were three people involved in this crime. ‘Ah, one wish per person, I see. As if it works like that.’
He resisted the urge to snort since he couldn’t get Mike back if he was dead after taunting the people in charge. He had a gun tucked in the back of his pants, but it was too risky to try to pull it out. It wasn’t just his life on the line but Ray’s as well. So he watched helplessly as the man in front of him picked up the lamp from the floor.
All of a sudden, a loud cry echoed in the car. The man dropped the lamp and held his gloved hand in horror. It looked like he had just suffered a third-degree burn.
Harvey’s eyes dropped to the lamp. The brass handle looked impossibly red. ‘Is that the self-protection mechanism?’
Now he really wanted to snort. ‘Couldn’t they, I don’t know, prevent the car accident or stop the owner of the lamp from being held at gunpoint in the first place?’
He thought about using the distraction to pull out his gun, but was reminded of how Ray was defenseless in the driver’s seat. He had no idea how dangerous these men were, and a silly move from him might get his driver injured or killed.
‘We should’ve never left the house.’ He regretted as the injured man tried to kick the lamp into his bag this time.
Another cry left the man’s mouth as his right foot came in contact with the lamp. His leg had been paralyzed. That gave him an idea to work with. He had always believed that there were 146 ways to get himself out of a situation like this, and he wasn’t the best closer in the city for nothing.
“Look, I’ll give you the manual on how to handle the lamp if you let my driver get to safety. I’m sure you’re all very protective of your limbs.”
“Shut up or I’ll make you,” the man behind him hissed in an Eastern European accent.
“Listen, here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to…”
“NYPD! Put your hands in the air!”
Apparently the police had been very close by. Harvey saw the two men on Ray’s side of the car flee in their car. It seemed like there was only one cop who had come to their rescue and he could only handle the one that had been pointing a gun at him.
“Ray!” Harvey shouted when he noticed that his driver had passed out from the shock.
“Don’t worry. More help is on the way, Mr. Suit,” the cop reassured him as he put handcuffs around the criminal’s wrists.
“Dante Haversham?” Harvey turned around and looked at the cop who gave him a smile and knocked out the criminal with a spray. Then he gasped at the toy gun that was strapped onto the man’s belt.
“You could’ve done more harm than good with that impressive firearm of yours,” he couldn’t keep the accusing tone out of his voice.
“You’re welcome, Mr. Suit. You were about to do something stupid, so I had no choice but to step in.”
“I wasn’t acting stupid. I was trying to negotiate. It was a perfectly rational move.”
But Harvey still extended his hand. He would very much like to shake the hand of the man who had saved his life, not to mention Ray and Mike’s. Mike would argue that he had been completely safe in his lamp, but he didn’t want to hear about it. “Thank you.”
Dante shook the lawyer’s hand. “I’m sorry we didn’t meet under better circumstances, Mr. Suit. And, Donna was right. You’re almost as handsome as Neal.”
Harvey found himself almost as in shock as when he had a gun to his head. “Excuse me? Almost?”
“Excuse me, sir. Are you Mr. Specter?”
The conversation was interrupted by the real NYPD arriving on scene. Harvey made sure that they were real cops and not a bunch of thieves and answered their questions before turning his head to where Dante had been standing. The small man and his toy gun were long gone.
“Donna, nobody steps foot in my office. Not even Jessica,” Harvey ordered as he walked into his office with his briefcase and pulled down the blinds.
“Don’t worry. I got it.” Her voice sounded determined over the intercom.
“And, make sure you keep Louis out of the office even when you’re not in your area. You do whatever it takes. If you have no other choice but to dump his body in the river, then do it. I’ll represent you and keep you out of jail.”
Donna wanted to make a joke, but she knew that it wasn’t the right time. Mozzie had filled her in on what had happened and she was still horrified. “You and Mike will have your privacy. Do you want me to turn off the intercom?”
“Yes, please. Thank you.”
“No problem. I’m glad you’re safe, Harvey.” She was getting a little teary.
“I’ll be more careful next time.” Harvey’s chest tightened at her broken voice. “And, don’t you dare blame yourself for this. I don’t regret having Mike in my life, so this has nothing to do with you. Plus, we’re both safe and sound.”
“Today, yes, you are. But who knows what’s going to happen next time?”
“Harvey, I think you should wish for your own safety. You have two wishes left, right?” She didn’t care if she sounded like begging. She adored Harvey and would be damned to see him go down because of a lamp.
“You want me to burn and paralyze the wrong people who put a hand on me? Poor Louis. He already has such a miserable life.”
Donna laughed and Harvey thought that she sounded much better this way.
“I’m serious, Harvey. I bet Mike would agree with me.”
Harvey jerked his head to his briefcase at the mention of the genie. “Donna, I have to check if he’s all right.”
“Okay, kiss him on the cheek for me.” Donna turned off the intercom before her boss could protest.
Harvey quickly rubbed the lamp at his desk and was greeted with a lapful of genie.
“Oh, Harvey… Thank god you’re okay!” Mike wrapped his hands around his master and dug his forehead into his shoulder.
“Hey, I’m all right. How about you?” Harvey gently lifted Mike’s chin to check if he wasn’t too shocked. Ray had been shaken up pretty badly and had to follow the paramedics to the hospital.
“I’m fine. I was so worried about you.” Mike kissed Harvey’s cheek several times, not caring about the stupid rules. “How about Ray?”
“He passed out, but they said he’s going to be fine. I’ll have to give him the rest of the week off.” Harvey ran a soothing hand up and down his associate’s back.
“Shouldn’t you see a doctor too?” Mike leaned back into the touch and enjoyed the intimacy that Harvey allowed him to share. Associates usually didn’t get to sit on their boss’ laps.
“The paramedics told me I just needed to take it easy. I don’t need a doctor.” Harvey pressed his lips against Mike’s cheek, ignoring the rules as well. These were special circumstances and Donna had asked him to kiss him on her behalf.
“In case something like this happens again, I really think you should make a wish about your safety. You said you’d think about it and this looks like a great time to do that,” Mike advised in a serious tone.
“I just had this same conversation with Donna, Mike. And, since it looks like you’re going to keep pushing it, I’ll let you in on my plan. I’m planning to wish for your health and then to set you free, so there go all my three wishes,” Harvey explained casually because he really didn’t need any wishes for himself.
“But genies don’t even get sick!” Mike wanted to strangle the stupidity out of his master.
“But you will if you choose to become mortal when I set you free.”
Mike froze. “Uh, I don’t think I’m ready to have this talk yet.”
“You’ve been trapped in there for centuries, Mike. You’re as ready as you’ll ever be.”
“It’s easy for you to say. You’re not the one who has to make the biggest decision of your incredibly long life.”
Mike tried to get off his boss’ lap, but Harvey held him close. He knew that the genie could leave his arms if he wanted to, but he wanted to let him know that he was there for him. “Whether you go back to your land or become a human being, getting out of the lamp is the only way for you to be completely safe. You know that. I don’t want you to have to hide at the last minute after experiencing all kinds of accidents. You might be safe physically, but you’ll remember everything that happened until right before you ducked into the lamp.”
Mike grew quiet. Neal had attempted to talk about this subject too, but he had always been able to distract him. Usually a quick wriggle of his hips did the trick, but that was off limits with Harvey.
“You don’t have to decide now. I just want you to start thinking about it. Talk to other genies and gather advice. Or have you already done that? You need to think about what’s best for you and not for your masters.”
The surprise was evident in the blue eyes. “But we exist to serve our masters.”
“I don’t care.” Harvey couldn’t resist kissing the top of Mike’s head. “I want you to be happy, Mike. And, that can only happen once you learn how to think about your own dreams.”
“Dreams? Like winning my first solo case?” Mike frowned. He rarely thought about dreams but when he had served Neal, he had wanted to be a better thief than him. Now that he had a lawyer master, it seemed like his dream had changed accordingly.
“That’s your dream? Winning your first solo case?” Harvey couldn’t decide if he was proud or frustrated. There was a good chance that Mike only chose that dream because he was with a lawyer right now. “You might like something else better. Saving people with your bleeding heart or teaching stupid mortals or…”
“I’ll start thinking about it, okay? Now can you drop the subject and give me a tour of the office?” The genie was clearly uncomfortable with this conversation.
Harvey nodded. He didn’t want to push Mike when they had just gone through a potentially dangerous situation. “Okay then. Let’s start with my balls.”
Mike let out an exaggerated gasp. “Your balls? I thought those were off limits! Have you changed your mind?”
Harvey made a face and picked up the lamp from the desk. “Let’s start with my basketballs.”
“All work and no play makes Harvey a dull boy,” Mike sang and Harvey was painfully reminded of his genie’s singing skills as he headed towards the windows.
‘He’s not going to be a singer, that’s for sure.’ He let Mike sit next to the balls and started to explain how he had acquired every single one of them.
They soon fell into a comfortable rhythm of asking, answering, and sharing a laugh, not aware that someone was watching them from outside the windows through the pouring rain.
Chapter 8: Time is running out
Warning: potentially dangerous situation, appearance of weapons, minor injuries of useless extras (nothing explicit)
Previously in ‘The world’s finest treasure’…
Harvey had kissed Mike to stop him from singing another bad lullaby and Mike had demanded that Harvey took him to Pearson-Hardman for breaking the ‘no flirting’ rules. They were heading to work in the town car when a car had crashed into theirs and three thieves had tried to steal the lamp. But the lamp had burned and paralyzed the thief who had attempted to lay a hand on it and Dante had come to their rescue with his toy gun. Harvey and Mike had managed to relax in Harvey’s office, not aware that someone had been watching them from outside the windows.
“Mike, are you sure you know how to read music? It’s okay even if you don’t. I can teach you,” Harvey asked suspiciously as he adjusted the guitar on his lap. He was trying to teach Mike how to sing, but what his genie had just sung was a song that he had never heard before.
“You’re not a very good teacher. You know that? You’re supposed to believe in your pupil’s ability.” Mike sulked and sat down on the couch. It was no fun trying to sing a song that was meant for five year olds.
“Hey, I do believe in your ability. Otherwise I wouldn’t be trying to change your singing style that’s been there for the past few centuries.” Harvey let out a small sigh. It was truly a daunting task.
“Do I really need to learn how to sing? I’m not in the mood these days.”
“Yeah, I can tell.” Harvey put down the guitar on the coffee table and looked at the genie. Mike hadn’t exactly been his cheerful self since they had run into the thieves while heading to work.
“What’s your favorite song, puppy?” Harvey changed his tactic. Perhaps Mike was the type to learn faster by ear.
“What does it matter? I told you I don’t want to sing.” Mike gave him a pointed look.
“I get that. I just wanted to see if it’s a song I could sing for you.”
Mike showed some interest in the unexpected course of event. He had thought that Harvey was going to force him to sing again.
“Are you going to play it too?” He had always thought that Harvey had a rich, melodious voice and he had found out today that he wasn’t too bad with a guitar either.
“If you want me to.” Harvey shrugged. It had been a while since he had played the guitar. He had been too busy before he met Mike and after that, he had been too worried to bother about an instrument. But it seemed like they could both use a musical touch to stop wondering if danger was nearby.
“Do you know ‘The Sound of Music’?”
“Everyone knows ‘The Sound of Music’.”
“Well, I love all the songs in there, but my favorite is ‘Edelweiss’. The handsome captain who’s been emotionally rigid for years sings that song on his guitar. The children are surprised that he can sing so beautifully and that’s when his eldest daughter joins him and sings along. Ah, it has to be one of the most touching scenes in the film.” Mike sighed happily.
“So you had a crush on the captain, huh?”
“Who didn’t have a crush on the captain? He was insanely handsome and had a very attractive voice! Not unlike you!”
“Good point.” Harvey smiled smugly.
“Eh, normal people would say something like “Wow, I’m flattered, Mike. Thank you.” But I guess I should’ve known better.” Mike shrugged and drank his Sprite.
“Haven’t you learned by now that I hate being normal? Normal means average, Mike. Why would I ever want to be normal?”
“You’re right. I should’ve learned by now that you can’t be normal. So can you sing Edelweiss or not?” Mike would have loved to carry on with their banter on any other day, but he didn’t have the patience today.
“You’re lucky I know that song very well.” Harvey fired up his laptop to look for the music sheet.
“Eh, that just means I chose the perfect song, Harvey. It has nothing to do with your luck.”
Harvey chose not to respond to a sensitive genie and picked up his guitar. He was glad that his father had taught him how to play. Who knew that he would find himself in a spot where he had to soothe a genie with music?
Harvey gave it a few tries before looking at Mike who had just finished his beverage. “Mike, come put your head on my back.”
“Wow, that’s the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard, master. Perhaps we should forget about the whole singing business and work on your pickup lines.”
“That wasn’t a pickup line. It was merely educational. Now put your ear on my back, will you? And, I want your whole body to come here, not just your lengthened ear.”
“How did you know I was going to do that?”
“’Cause you tend to get a little lazy on Saturdays.”
“Again, your flattering words are bringing me to tears. Or are you working the sympathy angle here? Then maybe you have some hope.”
“Do you want to listen to the song or not?” Harvey pretended to put down the guitar and it had the desired effect. He would have liked to say that Mike had come to him as fast as the wind, but Mike was the wind.
Mike had his arms wrapped around his master’s body and his face pressed against his back. Harvey was appropriately warm in the air-conditioned living room and Mike let himself enjoy staying so close to him.
“Now I want you to close your eyes and listen to me, okay? Just relax and listen.”
“Okay.” Mike did as he was told and waited for the song to begin.
“Edelweiss, edelweiss, every morning you greet me…” Harvey started singing softly as he played the guitar. It was a little weird to have his audience plastered all over his back, but as he had told his associate, this experience was supposed to be educational.
As Harvey sang the short song over and over again, Mike found himself humming along the melody that vibrated in his master’s body. It was easier than reading music and making sure that he had the beat right. This was more relaxing and intimate.
Mike slowly drifted off into his thoughts as he hugged Harvey a little tighter. He knew that he hadn’t been the genie of the week, but he had been very disappointed that Harvey wouldn’t take him to the office again or anywhere outside for that matter.
Then a couple of days ago, they had argued about how Mike kept insisting on Harvey wishing for his own safety when Harvey had precisely told him that he was going to use one of his remaining wishes for Mike’s health. Mike hadn’t been this worried about his previous masters’ safety, but then he hadn’t felt this strongly about those other masters.
“Hey, look who’s started to find his voice.”
Harvey’s proud voice brought the genie out of his thoughts. He must have kept humming.
“So are you ready to withdraw your remarks about me not being a good teacher?”
“Only if you’re ready to stop killing the mood.”
Harvey laughed. He couldn’t remember how he had stood the silence at home before Mike had come into his life. These days, the first and last thing that he did each day was rubbing the lamp. It didn’t matter if he had to take a shower or go to the gym and leave Mike alone for a while. He liked to have him at his place as a constant presence.
‘Then perhaps it’s not too bad he’s taking his time to think about the next part of his life. There’s a chance he may not stick with me.’ A sharp pain in his heart made him miss a beat.
“What’s wrong?” Mike asked as he took his head off Harvey’s back.
“Nothing. I think my fingers got bored of this song.”
“Hey, it’s a great classic!”
“I’ll sing you something else. Get back on my back.” Harvey started playing another tune.
“You just love me wrapped around you, don’t you?” Mike asked in a suspicious tone, but gladly resumed his position.
“No, I only gave you permission to wrap yourself around me since you seemed to enjoy it so much.”
Mike butted his master on the back.
“Ouch. You’re puppy, not a bull, Mike.”
“Just sing, will you? You’re far more attractive when you’re not talking.”
Harvey bit his lower lip, regretting having Mike’s ear on his back. Perhaps he shouldn’t have been so greedy and should’ve kept Mike at arm’s length.
Mike smiled at the strong heartbeat that had momentarily deviated from its rhythm. It was the sound of hope. He was finally starting to feel better and of course, his master had to be the driving force behind it. Mike put on a contented smile and focused on Harvey’s voice. As far as he was concerned, this was what he called a perfect Saturday afternoon.
Harvey felt much better the next day since Mike was feeling lively enough to show him his dance moves. The genie was currently occupying the space between the coffee table and the TV, dancing to the original sound track of ‘Mamma Mia’. As the sole audience of the show, Harvey was wearing a winter sweater, bundled up in a blanket. Mike needed a lot of wind for his dance show so they had turned on the air-conditioner in full blast.
There were no words to express how relieved Harvey was to see that Mike’s dancing was far better than his singing. But there was still a little problem. With the air-conditioner on, memories of their ‘wrestling’ kept coming back and it didn’t help that Mike was bending in all directions, wearing a red V-neck sleeveless shirt and white shorts. The shorts hadn’t been that short fifteen minutes ago, but Mike had cut them during the show. It had supposed to be a representation of freedom.
‘Well, he may feel free but I certainly don’t.’ Harvey was relieved that the blanket was doing a good job at covering his excitement. If Mike found out, he would tease him mercilessly or try to ‘wrestle’ with him again. As the ‘Dancing Queen’ came to an end, Harvey clapped in earnest. The show had to go on until he could get rid of the blanket.
“Bravo!” He hoped that he didn’t sound suspiciously enthusiastic.
“Thank you. Thank you, my lovely audience.” Mike bowed and blew him a kiss before gulping down another can of Sprite.
Harvey tried not to focus on Mike’s Adam’s apple. He had to remind himself that his associate was just having a drink.
“Hmm, what else should I show you?” The genie pondered, bringing Harvey’s attention back to his eyes. “What about some cancan?”
Harvey tilted his head. Did he just say cancan? Oh no, that would be too much.
“I thought we agreed on no flirting, Mike,” he used his strictest tone to make sure that cancan wouldn’t happen.
“But it isn’t flirting! It’s a form of art!”
“How is repetitively flashing the inside of a person’s skirt not flirting?”
Mike let out a dramatic sigh. “Isn’t it just cruel I got assigned to a master who doesn’t know a thing about art? When my other masters had such great taste in it? Let me show you how artful cancan can be. Do you own any flare skirts?”
Harvey couldn’t believe that Mike had actually asked him that. “Do I look like I own flare skirts? That’s your people-reading skills? It looks like I found myself such a promising associate.”
“Hey, how should I know if you have secret compartments stashed with skirts? That’s why I’m asking. And, why do I need to read you when I can just ask you?”
“That’s not the point, Mike.”
“You’re right. The point is showing you a proper cancan.”
“No, the point is…” Harvey stopped talking. The air-conditioner had been turned off. “Did you just turn it off?”
“Harvey, why would I turn it off when I have to do an energetic number like cancan? I need all the wind I can get! Seriously, that’s your people-reading skills? Ah, it looks like I found myself such a promising mentor.”
Harvey gave him a half-hearted glare before he noticed that the stereo was off as well. “The power must have gone down. You used too much wind.”
“Oh, now it’s my fault the building lost its power?” Mike bit back without any menace as he sat down next to Harvey. “You can lose the blanket now. You look ridiculous on a hot summer day.”
“And, whose fault is that?”
Mike punched him lightly on the shoulder and looked for a new can of Sprite on the coffee table in vain. “I’m thirsty.”
“Those were the last ones. What about some water?”
“But I want Sprite. It’s more refreshing.”
Harvey didn’t bother to argue. The genie had been drinking that specific beverage in excessive quantity throughout the week. The only reason that Harvey had let him drink as much as he wanted to was because genies didn’t get sick. “All right. I’ll go see how many I can steal.”
Mike’s sweet smile tickled his heart. “You’re welcome. You want to stay here or do you want me to move the lamp?”
“Yes, to the kitchen, please. It’s hot, so I want to sit on the cool dinner table,” Mike answered as he picked up his portable fan. Donna had given him such a useful gift. He would have liked to take a cold shower like a human being, but due to the nature of his body, it was difficult to relax when all those heavy water drops were attacking him.
As requested, Harvey took the lamp to the kitchen and decided to skip the lecture on safety. He was going to a nearby grocery store and Mike knew the drill perfectly well. So he patted him on the cheek and said, “I’ll be right back.”
Harvey found it liberating to step outside the condo and walk down the street. He could use some time away from Mike to clear his head. It was natural for a scare to bring people closer together, but he couldn’t afford to give in to the temptation. He had kept telling Mike and himself that it was because he didn’t sleep with people he worked with, but the truth was that he didn’t want Mike to choose the human path because of him. Like any other relationships, theirs might not work out in the end and if Mike chose to be mortal simply because of him, it would be more than a tragedy.
But now, Harvey was starting to think that perhaps it was time for him to be a little selfish. After all, he had only used one wish for himself, so wasn’t he allowed to make himself a more appealing choice for Mike? Was it such a horrible thing to do? Or was he acting like any other greedy human being that wanted the treasure all to himself?
It was getting exhausting to look at Mike and not being able to touch him when they spent so much time together. He had bought Mike a wide variety of casual clothes, but Mike still liked to wear his and drive him crazy. All the pent-up frustration and energy had him going to the gym more often, and every time Mike turned on the air-conditioner, he couldn’t help but remember how fantastic Mike’s hand had felt on him.
‘He's so doing all that on purpose. A pain in the ass is a major understatement! And, to think I believed all genies were kind and nice like in those stupid cartoons.’ Harvey laughed at his misconception, but who was he kidding? He wouldn’t want his genie any other way. So he marched into the grocery store, ready to confiscate all the Sprites they had.
Meanwhile, Mike was sitting on the glass kitchen table, listening to music on his brand new MP3 player. Harvey had been spoiling him all week, probably trying to make him feel better. He had thought about putting a stop to it, but it had been too sweet to see him come home with a bunch of shopping bags every single night.
‘I almost feel like a con artist who exploits rich, lonely men with sex appeal. The funny thing is, I didn’t even sleep with him! What else is he going to buy me once he gets to experience all the love I can give?’ Mike found a love song on his player and let out a small sigh. If the lyrics made so much sense, it meant that he was very much in love.
While his master had been busy wielding his credit card, he had been busy thinking about Harvey’s plan of setting him free. He knew that the statistics were hugely in favor of genies turning into mortals after falling in love with their masters, and most of them lived happily ever after. But it scared him to no end to think that his days would be numbered once he became mortal.
‘How do humans deal with it? But then, they could die on any given day. Illness and accidents happen all the time!’ Mike shuddered at the memories of the car accident. He had been so worried about Harvey when the bad guys had approached their car.
‘Why does he have to be stubborn like that? Wouldn’t a normal person jump at the chance of being safe for the rest of his life? But right, we established yesterday that he can’t be normal.’ Mike groaned in frustration and realized that he was acting like his master. Groaning was Harvey’s specialty.
‘When is the power coming back anyway?’ The genie turned up his tiny fan and thought about what it would be like to share his life with Harvey. His boss wasn’t a ruthless shark when he was at home. Yes, he was still awfully protective and watchful when it came to his property (in which Mike was happy to include himself), but he cooked and played silly games with him which often had both of them doubled up with laughter.
“Ahahaha…” Just thinking about how they had played ‘Twister’ last week made him laugh all over again. It was obvious that he was easily going to beat Harvey with his windy limbs, but they had both known that it wasn’t about the winner. It was more about resolving some of the sexual tension between them, but Mike wasn’t sure if it had made things better or worse.
That was when he heard the front door open. “Harvey? You’re back early.”
Harvey was climbing up the stairs after having a chat with the doorman who had told him that the power was still out but the electricians were taking a look at it. The doorman had muttered something about excessive use of energy, but Harvey had pretended that he didn’t know anyone in the building who would have used so much energy.
‘Don’t they have a backup generator or something?’ Harvey thought that it was weird, but his arms were getting heavier so he stopped thinking and sped up the stairs.
He had just reached his floor when he heard a desperate voice. “Psst! Hurry up! What are you doing in there? You said you found him! He could come back any moment now!”
“But we can’t afford to spook him! Once he goes inside, he’s not going to come out unless we get his master to rub the lamp. And, we don’t do abductions, remember?”
“All right. Then make a wish already!”
Harvey’s jaw tightened as he stood still, trying not to make a sound. He could only hear two voices, but he couldn’t be sure if there were more intruders inside.
‘God, Mike…’ Concern made his limbs go stiff. He had to think. He could go down a floor and call the police and the doorman, but would Mike be able to hold on until then? It seemed like he hadn’t hidden inside the lamp. Why hadn’t he followed the protocol? What was going on?
‘I’m going in.’ He wasn’t going to leave a helpless creature alone.
He looked around for a possible weapon, but the fire axe was too far away. He berated himself for having left the gun under the cushions of the couch.
“Seriously! Hurry up, James! I have a wish to make too, okay?”
That was his cue. Harvey quickly pulled out one of the Sprite cans and threw it as hard as he could.
The lookout had tried to turn around so the can had ended up hitting the side of his head, but it had still done the trick.
‘One man down. Moving on.’ Pretending that he was on the SWAT team, Harvey pulled out another can and approached the door with caution; he had a hostage to rescue.
“Bob? What’s going on out there?”
Harvey saw two options: he could wait for the other intruder to come to the door and put his boxing skills to use or he could run for his gun and take things from there.
“Bob? Answer me! It’s not funny, man!”
Harvey decided to go with the second option. It hadn’t seemed like the lookout had a weapon on him, but it didn’t mean that the other guy was unarmed as well. He had no idea how much time he would have before a shot was fired his way, but he had to try. So he sprinted towards the couch and pushed his hand under the cushions.
“Is this what you’re looking for?”
Harvey froze at the voice coming from the kitchen. He looked up and saw the man who broke into his house holding his gun. He wasn’t aiming it at anyone and the ammunitions were all over the floor, but it didn’t make him feel any safer; there was something creepy about the man. Over the man’s shoulder, he saw a wide-eyed Mike staring at him. Harvey ordered him with his eyes to go inside the lamp, but the genie shook his head.
“Listen. We don’t want any problems, okay? We’re just going to make our wishes and get out of your house.”
“Step away from him now. I’m not going to repeat myself.” Harvey stood up with an intimidating posture.
But the man didn’t listen and faced the genie again, making Harvey throw another can. The only problem was that the man had ducked, leaving Mike to catch the can. Harvey could hear Mike snort as he put the can on the kitchen table, but he didn’t have time to dwell on it. The man had turned around with a dark look on his face that gave him the chills. The monster was awake. That was when Harvey saw Mike turn on his portable fan and grab a banana.
‘Seriously? A banana? What is he planning to do? Feed him?’ Harvey didn’t think that Mike’s plan was any better than his Sprite attack.
“Get back in the lamp! Now!” Harvey barked as he felt as if everything was happening in slow motion. He saw the man take a few steps towards him while he decided to go for his baseball bat in the bedroom. But then, Mike whistled and got both of their attention.
“Just go inside the…” Harvey saw a sharp blade come out of one end of the banana.
‘Where did he get something like that? From Caffrey?’ But he had better things to worry about. It looked like his genie was going to stab someone.
‘Oh no, he’s going to need years of therapy.’ Harvey found himself running towards the kitchen. There were other ways to subdue an enemy, but Mike was faster than him.
Harvey stood dead in his tracks, shocked at the number of times that Mike had wielded his banana-knife. He had fully expected blood on his floor, but the only red that he could see were the lacy panties the intruder was wearing.
While the man let out a girly cry that matched his underwear, Harvey finished him with a good, old Sprite can to the back of his head.
“That was much better,” Mike commented as he looked down at the unconscious man.
Harvey glared at his disobedient genie before calling the police. He and Mike needed a very long talk.
When Harvey rubbed the lamp after the police had made an arrest and had taken his statements, Mike appeared with a guilty look on his face.
“You knew damn well you had to hide,” Harvey growled as Mike carefully took a seat next to him on the couch.
“I know! But he spotted me before I could! And then, I got worried about you. He didn’t try to touch the lamp. It was like he knew he’d get hurt. If I had hidden, he would’ve threatened you to rub the lamp! So I pretended to listen to his wishes until you got back. Plus, with your horrible throwing skills, you definitely needed some backup so don’t yell at me.”
“Hey, my throwing skills aren’t horrible at all. I knocked out both of them eventually.”
“But you have to admit my trick was wittier and more fun.”
“Let’s just say it was a combined effort, okay? How did you know he was wearing women’s underwear?”
“Because I know who he is.”
Harvey knitted his eyebrows. “You’ve seen him before?”
“No, I recognized his face from one of the files Neal used to keep on other thieves.”
“And, you’re telling me the file said he was into cross-dressing.”
“The file was very thorough! And, many thieves have lucky charms, Harvey, just like lawyers. Speaking of cross-dressing, you never got to see my cancan,” Mike tried to lighten the mood.
Harvey ignored the stupid comment and carried on with his interrogation, “Did he threaten you?”
“No, he was disgustingly polite. I think he was rather fond of me. Too bad I can’t say the same about you.”
“This isn’t funny, Mike. Someone broke in and saw your face. We’re lucky he had a concussion and couldn’t remember where he was.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to get through your thick skull! It wasn’t luck! It was the lamp keeping me safe! You were destined to knock them out and he was destined to forget he had met me! I know you don’t appreciate the indirect measures, but that’s how it’s done.”
“Well, the lamp can shove those measures up its ass.”
“Hey, I never said it was perfect and that’s exactly why I want you to wish for your own safety. How many times do we have to go through this? If we’re both supposed to be safe, I’d feel so much better even if someone came after us! It wouldn’t take me a week to shake off the guilt for having put you in danger!”
“Hey, it’s my wish, so I’m going to do whatever I want. And, if I don’t wish for your health, you’re going to be too terrified to become mortal. That’s what’s stopping you, right? You don’t want to get sick. You’ve seen too many people die with horrible diseases, including your first master.”
Mike winced at the painful truth cutting through him. ‘How does he know? And, how does he know about William’s death? Only a handful of people knew what happened!’
“And, that’s my people-reading skills.” Harvey was able to confirm both of his hunches. “Huh, so Shakespeare actually died of illness. Too bad I can’t set the official record straight.”
Mike moaned and threw his head back against the couch. He had been played.
“You know, they’ll keep coming even if you set me free. It’s not like you can post on thieves.com and let people know the lamp has become useless. Even if you did, nobody will believe you and you’ll still be in danger.” The genie moved his head to his master’s shoulder. He was tired of arguing and needed some comfort.
“I guess I should’ve taken my time before making that first wish then.” Harvey knew that it was pointless to regret it, but he wished that he hadn’t wasted a wish on impulse. It was a careless move when there could have been other ways to get Mike to work as his associate. But then, who would have expected him to want to use his wishes for a genie?
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. You didn’t know you were going to fall in love with me,” Mike said playfully and curled up against his boss.
Harvey grunted and threw an arm around Mike’s shoulders. “How did Caffrey keep you safe? He took you to so many places, but there weren’t many incidents in his notes.” He couldn’t believe that he had put Mike in danger twice in a single week.
“That’s exactly how he did it. We were constantly on the move. We had several hideouts and he knew how to hide. We usually stayed in the busiest parts of the world, which made it easier to disappear even if someone was following us.”
“I see.” Harvey hated himself for thinking that perhaps Caffrey was a better master for Mike.
“Hey, you’re the perfect master for me. Don’t you forget that. And, that’s my people-reading skills.” Mike’s voice had never been so smug all week.
Harvey shook his head. “Look at what you did, Mike. You overdid it and now you ruined it. The third time was the last charm.”
“What are you talking about? It needed a fourth time to complete the cycle. Twice is one set!”
Harvey laughed at how easily they could go from a serious discussion to light banter. He still wasn’t sure if he was the perfect one for Mike but Mike was certainly the perfect one for him.
“So what are we going to do?” Mike nuzzled up against his master and felt Harvey relax a little bit more.
“I think I have an idea.” Harvey gave his genie a promising wink.
Chapter 9: Tough love
Guest stars for the chapter: Neal Caffrey and June from 'White Collar'
Previously in ‘The world’s finest treasure’…
Harvey had taught Mike how to sing by ear with the help of the guitar and Mike had showed him some dance moves in return. Harvey had realized that it was getting harder to be around the genie without touching him while Mike had felt guilty about putting Harvey in harm’s way. A pair of thieves had broken into the condo while Harvey had gone to the grocery store, but the lamp had kept Mike safe and Harvey had knocked out the intruders with Sprite cans. Harvey had got the truth out of Mike that he was terrified of getting sick if he chose to be mortal but luckily, Harvey had got an idea.
“Harvey Specter, you bastard!” Mike yelled as soon as Harvey rubbed him out of his lamp.
“And, here I thought you’d have had enough time to learn your manners,” Harvey said in an amused tone.
“Oh, I know my manners all right. You just don’t deserve them!” Mike shoved an accusing finger right in Harvey’s face. He had expected to spend the weekend with his favorite human being as usual but Harvey hadn’t summoned him until late Sunday afternoon. He had been worried sick that something could have happened to his master, all because he hadn’t listened to him and hadn’t made a wish for his own safety.
“First, you don’t let me in on that idea of yours all week, and now this? You’re the most annoying person I’ve ever met!”
“You clearly haven’t had the displeasure of meeting Louis Litt.” Harvey patted the spot next to him on the couch before opening the giant bottle of Sprite and pouring it in a mug.
“Sprite? Really? You really think I’ll suddenly be in a forgiving mood after drinking some Sprite? Shouldn’t you start with an apology and an explanation? Aren’t you supposed to be the one with the silver tongue here?” Mike was fuming to the point that blue smoke was coming out of his ears.
Harvey couldn’t help but grin at the pouty genie. The weekend had been too quiet without him. “You missed me. We were apart for less than a couple of days.”
“I didn’t miss you. I thought you were dead!”
“Take the drama down a notch, Juliet. See, this is funny because Shakespeare wrote ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and you were once his genie.” Harvey’s grin got wider as Mike’s frown got deeper. It was cute that his genie had been so worried about him.
“Lighten up, Mike. That’s why I called you so late. We’ve been busy all week and I didn’t get enough time to think about your suggestion. I want to make my second wish just like you wanted me to.”
“So you finally pulled your head out of your ass and want to wish for your safety?”
“Yes.” Harvey didn’t appreciate the way the question was worded, but he figured that he could let this one go. He hadn’t meant for Mike to worry so much.
Harvey nudged the mug into his associate’s hands and Mike only noticed then that the black mug read ‘The best associate in the world’.
“You’re damn right I am. An associate like me only comes around every few centuries.” Mike took the mug and hummed happily as the taste of the cold beverage tickled his tongue.
Harvey watched as the genie took his time enjoying his drink. The windy hands, the bright blue eyes, and the sharp banter they shared; he was going to miss them all.
“Wish granted,” Mike said after gulping down his favorite beverage. He felt much better now.
“There’s something else I want to talk to you about,” Harvey’s voice became serious. “I have news about Neal Caffrey.”
Mike’s stomach dropped. This couldn’t be good. Neal was in jail. Did he die in a prison riot? Or did he get injured while protecting a weaker man?
“No need to look so worried. He’s out of jail. He works as a C.I for a FBI agent.” Whether he needed the con man or not, Harvey had wanted to deliver this piece of news to give Mike some closure.
“A C.I? What about his sentence?”
“He wears an ankle monitor at all times and will complete his sentence as a consultant for the FBI.” Harvey tossed the file to Mike so that he wouldn’t think that he had made it all up.
“Wow, this is impressive.” Mike started to read through the file with a smile on his face. He was thrilled that Neal wasn’t wasting his talent in jail and was helping the good guys. It seemed that he and his handler Peter Burke made a pretty good team. Their case-closing rate was off the charts.
Harvey crossed his arms with a disapproving look on his face. He didn’t like how his genie was admiring the con man’s work.
“Ahaha, he caught his own copycat! Neal always loved to meet a fan one way or another.”
‘Great. He’s giggling.’ It pained Harvey to think that Mike would do far more than giggling once he was back with Caffrey. But no matter how hard he had racked his brain, he hadn’t been able to come up with a better solution.
“Harvey?” Mike caught his master looking wistful and oddly sentimental. Something didn’t feel right. “What’s going on?”
“I’m going to take you to Caffrey’s place. The sooner, the better.” Harvey refilled Mike’s mug.
“An extended visit, I hope.”
“What do you mean? Like a sleepover?”
Harvey shook his head. It was time to share the plan. “I’m going to make a wish about your health, Mike. That’s going to be my third wish. And, since you need more time to think about your future, I’ll take you to Caffrey. He’ll take things from there until you’re ready to be set free.”
Mike didn’t like the plan. If Harvey made his last wish, he would no longer be able to summon him out of the lamp. He shouldn’t have told Harvey that Neal had one wish left. He was still greatly fond of Neal, but he wasn’t in love with him anymore. He had moved onto Harvey and he was the one who should keep him company while he figured out what to do with his life.
“I’ll take your silence as a sign that you like the plan.” Harvey hoped that Mike wouldn’t make things any more difficult.
“Does this look like a happy face to you?” Mike pointed at his scowling face.
“Do you have a better suggestion?”
“Yes. Now that we’re both safe, I can stay with you until I figure things out. Then, you can wish for my health and we can go ask for Neal’s help.” Mike downed the mug at one go. It was strange that Harvey hadn’t thought of this simple plan. Perhaps it was time for his summer vacation.
“I’m afraid we can’t do that.” Harvey knew that he had to show tough love.
“Because you’ll take ages to decide if you’re with me.”
“And, you think my decision-making process will speed up if I’m with Neal?” Mike failed to see the logic here.
“Yes. Because you’re going to miss me.”
“But if I choose to go back to my land even after being set free, I won’t get to see you anyway.”
“That’s right. But I was hoping you wouldn’t make that choice.” Harvey looked Mike straight in the eye. He was counting on Mike’s insatiable curiosity and refused to believe that there could be a more interesting individual than himself in the land of genies.
“What if I choose to be human but stay with Neal instead?” Mike wanted to know why Harvey was feeling so confident.
“I’d like to think you would’ve learned to appreciate decent, legal jobs after working as a lawyer.”
“So I’d choose you over him because of your job?”
“Well, there’s my can throwing skills too, of course.”
Mike laughed. But his laughter faded away as he thought about the plan. “I hope I have a say in this plan. You sound like you’re all ready to send me away.”
“That’s just it, Mike. I’ll never be ready. That’s why I said the sooner, the better.” Harvey reached out and caressed the genie’s cheek. How he wished that he could feel solid human skin against his fingertips. It wasn’t like he didn’t appreciate Mike the way he was. But he couldn’t get a firm grasp on him and for someone as possessive as himself, it was pure torture.
Mike leaned into his master’s touch and thought about all the days that he had pondered on the second phase of his life. If he returned to his land, he would probably enjoy living another few hundred years without a single threat. Many genies went into teaching business to share the knowledge and experience that they had gathered for centuries. But he had never been much of a teacher and what would life be without a few unexpected incidents? He wasn’t sure if it was because of his particularly brilliant mind, but he had absolutely no tolerance when it came to boring matters. That was what he had in common with his human masters and that was why he had loved them so much.
Harvey Specter was like an onion. He had layers and layers of charm underneath him and Mike had been thrilled every time he got to see a new aspect of him. At first, he had seen the obvious charm; the handsome face, the suits that looked like a second skin, and the confidence in his attitude. Then he had seen the eye crinkles, the depth in his voice, and the sense of humor. And then, the really good part had come along. Harvey had a ferocious will to protect what he considered his and it brought out emotions that were rather intense. One would think at first that he didn’t even have a heart, but Mike knew that Harvey had a heart that could beat twice as strongly as a regular one. It was perfect really, given how he had a windy heart. Harvey’s heart might as well beat for the both of them.
Would he miss Harvey enough to make a choice fairly quickly even when Neal was around? How could Harvey be so confident about his loyalty and love when he knew that as a genie, he would move on from his previous master and serve his new one? They hadn’t even been allowed to express their feelings for each other because of their working relationship. So what made Harvey think it would be enough for him to choose him?
“What’s the one aspect of human life that’s better than all the others?” Mike rested his head on Harvey’s shoulder. He liked it here. He could hear Harvey’s voice closely and the warmth of his skin travelled easily to his.
“Am I speaking on behalf of humanity here?”
They shared a laugh before Harvey asked back, “Have you ever loved another genie before?”
“Not really.” Genies didn’t have families to begin with; it was difficult to find a decent starting point. Harvey’s gaze told Mike that it was exactly his point.
Mike understood what love was. He had been fortunate to fall in love with his masters and he had had the privilege to watch closely how a great writer like Shakespeare handled the complex concept. He had only experienced a tiny portion of it with Harvey though. All they ever did was hide at his condo, hoping that nobody would look for them. But even though they didn’t work on the masterpieces of English literature or steal the most valuable treasures on Earth, they had their thing. There was no simpler yet more fulfilling way to bond with Harvey than exchanging banter with him. The easiness of their interaction made him feel like they were perfectly compatible for each other.
Besides, if he thought about the one quality that his masters lacked, it made more sense that Harvey was the one for him. Shakespeare lacked the gorgeous looks while Neal could use a better sense of morality. Harvey’s weakness was compassion and that was the only one that he could actually have a positive influence on.
“Hey, no need to torment yourself right now. There’s still time.”
“But you’re going to kick me out soon.”
“I just want you to have a fair perspective, puppy. I’m not trying to force you into a decision here. Quite the opposite. I want you to take some time away from me and think about what you really want.”
“Why can’t you just keep me in the lamp then? And, ask me every once in a while if I’m ready.”
“You’ll never be ready that way. You’ll know I’ll rub the lamp and see you at some point.”
Mike sulked and Harvey tried to find the right words. “Listen. There’s absolutely no reason for you to serve other people, relying your fate on a lamp. Maybe that works for other genies, but you’re special. You have too much talent and free will to rot in there. You don’t need any kind of magic to feel good about yourself. Even if it has nothing to do with me, I think it’s way past time you chose a proper path for your own good.”
Harvey felt like a motivational speaker trying to get a young boy out of the house so that he could explore all corners of the world. “There’s nothing like freedom, Mike. There’s really nothing like it. Just ask Caffrey.”
Mike now understood why Harvey was insisting that he should spend some time with Neal. He wanted him to see just how restrictive one’s life could be without physical freedom. “What are you going to do without me? Get another associate?”
“I’ll be fine on my own. Maybe I’ll get more work done if I don’t have to check on you so often.”
“I hope you said that with love.”
Harvey didn’t say a word and looked at his genie with an expression that Mike had never seen before. He wasn’t ready to see such a vulnerable side of his master. He wanted to remember Harvey as a badass who would have no problem going back to his previous life style. Then Mike realized that he would be very sad if Harvey had no problem at all. Perhaps it wasn’t too cruel to wish that he would suffer a little.
“Are we finally going to have sex then? How much time do we have? A week? A month?” Mike tried to lighten the mood.
“We have a week and we’re not going to have sex. You need incentive to come back to me.”
Mike snorted. “Are you sure that’s the reason why you don’t want to sleep with me?”
“What are you implying?” Harvey’s eyebrow shot up.
“I don’t know, maybe you don’t have much to show me. Even if we don’t factor in the fact that I can morph mine into any size or shape.” Mike giggled.
Harvey tried not to picture it in his mind. He didn’t need another reason to rip off his associate’s suit.
“You’re sure you don’t want to check it out? You know Neal did,” Mike pushed it. He wanted to have a souvenir and what could be better than vivid memories of an amazing night with Harvey?
Harvey gripped Mike’s face and kissed him roughly. He wasn’t going to go any further, but he needed this kiss. There was only so much he could resist. Ever since Donna had handed him the lamp, his life had been filled with uncontrollable issues, mostly related to security and sexual desire. He was a man who was all about control, and he hadn’t lost this much control since he had enjoyed his tenth birthday cake. It was all because of this genie that had completely changed his life. Still, Harvey couldn’t find it in himself to get mad at him.
“Master, please…” Mike panted into Harvey’s ear and Harvey had to bite his lips to keep the growl down his throat.
Mike tugged at Harvey’s T-shirt and sneaked a hand under it. He didn’t waste any time before running his palm down his master’s chest. He could definitely serve a chest like this.
Harvey tried to grab Mike’s wrist, but it kept turning into smoke. “Mike!”
“Can you learn how to enjoy life for a moment?” Mike accused in a pouting tone, pulling his hand back. He didn’t want to get grounded again.
“This has nothing to do with it, but I certainly know how to enjoy life.”
“Oh yeah? When was the last time you enjoyed it then?”
Harvey thought about it. When was it? He had played darts with Mike on Friday night. It was fun even though Mike had made him look bad. Mike had laughed at him until he had tears in his eyes and Harvey had liked how his laughter filled the spacious condo.
Mike frowned. “Why are you grinning like an idiot? Don’t tell me that answering my questions is the best part of your life.”
Harvey pulled his genie into his arms. “You’re right, puppy. I should enjoy my life much more if I think I’m going to miss your insults.”
Mike glared at the lamp next to the couch so that he wouldn’t shed any tears. He was going to miss insulting his master too.
“Let’s make the most of the time we have left.” Harvey was grateful when Mike nodded without putting up a fight. He was doing this for Mike and Mike knew it.
For the next six days, Mike wore Harvey’s tie every morning and Harvey sang him a song on his guitar every evening. Mike didn’t want to forget what Harvey smelled like and Harvey didn’t want Mike to forget what he sounded like.
They engaged in banter more fiercely and insulted each other with passion. Occasionally, one of them would lose it and pull the other one into a maddening kiss. When the kiss was over, they would pour more insults over each other’s head so that they wouldn’t jump into bed together.
Sunday afternoon came coldheartedly quickly. While Harvey was on the phone with Ray, Mike was busy hiding his things in the living room. Harvey had made him pack everything, but Mike wanted to leave a trace. He wanted Harvey to think about him every time he found something that belonged to him. So far he had hidden a dart under a cushion of the couch, an empty Sprite can in the DVD basket, and a piece of the puzzle that Donna had given him under the TV remote control. Now if only he could find a place for his skinny tie…
“Okay, Mike, it’s time. Let me make my last wish.”
Mike was running out of time. Luckily, he had an idea. “All right. Close your eyes and make the wish.”
Harvey raised his eyebrow. “I always had my eyes open when I made a wish.”
Mike made an irritated sound. “It’s different when it’s your last one, okay?”
Harvey gave him a suspicious glance, but closed his eyes. “We’re going to say goodbye at Caffrey’s place, so need for tears right now.” He figured that was the reason why Mike wanted his eyes closed.
“Got it. I wasn’t going to cry, but if you want to cry…”
“Mike.” Harvey held his genie’s hands and took a deep breath. This was it. He wasn’t going to be Mike’s master anymore.
Mike lifted his skinny tie with his mind. It was time for some magic. He engraved a few words in a hurry and shot it up into the air conditioner on the ceiling. It wasn’t the most romantic place to hide a souvenir, but this was the best he could do.
“I want you to be healthy, Mike. I don’t want you to even get a sore throat or a cramp. That’s my third wish.” Harvey opened his eyes and let the genie kiss him one last time.
“Thank you. And, your wish is granted.” Mike smiled as he slowly went inside the lamp.
Harvey stood still as Mike literally slipped through his fingers. He missed him already.
Neal was having a glass of wine on the terrace while looking at a picture of him and Mike. They were tugging at each other’s ear with a goofy smile on their faces.
‘Mike…’ He couldn’t resist caressing the genie’s face with his finger. He missed him so much. He remembered the day that they had taken the picture. He had bought Mike a brand new camera and Mike had insisted that the first picture to be taken should be of them together.
He had destroyed all the other pictures for Mike’s safety, but he couldn’t let go of this one. There wasn’t a single day that went by without him regretting his first wish. He should have wished for his eternal freedom, so he could be with Mike for the rest of his life. But instead, he had wished that he could get his hands on the stolen art that the Nazis had kept. What was the point of having all that art when he had already secured the finest treasure in the world? Mike was priceless, but because of his excessive greed, they hadn’t been able to have a future together.
Neal hid the picture in his suit pants pocket before opening the door. June was standing there with a curious look on her face.
“Neal, there’s a handsome man at the door, asking to meet you. He says he’s a friend of Mike’s.”
“Mike? Mike who?” He had a feeling that he knew which Mike it was but he wanted to be sure.
“This may sound bizarre, but he says he has the lamp.”
Neal stopped breathing. Harvey Specter was here. Against his better judgment, he had found out that Mozzie had handed the lamp to a woman in his book club and that the woman had offered it to her boss. He had done his homework and had read everything on Harvey Specter. He seemed trustworthy on paper, but Neal wasn’t fooled; the man was a lawyer.
‘Why did he come to see me? Is something wrong with the lamp?’ Neal felt his head swirling.
“Neal, is everything all right?” June looked at her dear tenant with concern. “Should I let him up?”
“Yes please.” Neal smiled faintly and watched her go down the stairs. It wouldn’t take long before he found out what this surprise visit was about.
Harvey cautiously walked up the stairs, clutching the handle of his briefcase. He knew all about Neal Caffrey, but he had never actually met the criminal. He didn’t think that the con man would be particularly hostile towards him, but if things went wrong, he was prepared to swing his briefcase and leave the place unharmed.
‘I can’t believe it has come to this.’ He knew that it was no use crying over spilt milk, but he couldn’t stop thinking about his first wish. Back then, he had had no doubt that he wouldn’t need the other two wishes. He had thought that only losers who didn’t know how to work for what they wanted needed help from a genie. He hadn’t expected to care so much about a creature trapped inside a lamp as if he had been a caring person all his life. How foolish and arrogant human beings were. Perhaps that was why they only got three wishes. Perhaps it was about learning a lesson in life.
Harvey tried to clear his head, reminding himself that this was not the time or place to get philosophical. He had to be at his sharpest and get the job done.
“You must be Mr. Specter.”
Harvey looked up as he reached the top of the stairs. The silver skinny tie personally offended him. ‘He looks like an eel.’
Neal didn’t appreciate Harvey’s appearance either. ‘Is it necessary to look down on me like a shark? He’s in my waters!’
“Harvey Specter.” Harvey held out his hand and made sure that he squeezed the slippery hand. So this was Mike’s previous employer.
“Neal Caffrey.” Neal tried not to wince at the force of the handshake. Was this the right man for the lamp? Had Mike served this unpleasant guy for months?
“So, to what do I owe the pleasure of having the city’s best closer at my humble place?” Neal managed to get his hand out of the tight grip and slammed the door, narrowly missing Harvey’s right arm.
Harvey glared at the rude host as he stepped further inside the house. “It’s about Mike.”
“Naturally.” Neal smiled at how annoyed the lawyer looked until he realized that something must be terribly wrong if this man who obviously despised him had come to see him. “Is he all right?”
“Yes. But he could use your help.” Harvey took the seat that Neal offered at the table and looked around the place. There was no way that he could live in a place like this when the FBI didn’t pay him at all. He must have sold some stolen goods or have used that eely charm of his to sweet-talk the woman who had opened the door. Harvey decided that it was the latter. As far as he knew, con men liked to take advantage of other people simply because they could.
“Would you care for a glass of wine?” Neal offered, remembering his manners. He couldn’t drink alone when there was a guest in the house.
Harvey glanced at the bottle of wine suspiciously and heard the criminal laugh.
“It doesn’t contain any suspicious substance, Mr. Specter. Let me prove it to you.” Neal poured a bit of wine into his glass and drank it happily.
Harvey gave the man a nod and let him fill his glass. He could use a drink right now. What had Mike seen in this guy? What had made him speak so fondly about him? Other than a shiny exterior and excellent wine pouring skills, what made him special?
“What does he need my help for? I’m surprised there’s something you couldn’t do for him.” Neal sat across his visitor and enjoyed the irritated look on his face. He must be madly in love with Mike if he showed this much emotion. He could tell that the man didn’t hate him because he was a convicted felon. He hated him because he had been in a romantic relationship with Mike.
“Mike told me you had one wish left. He was hoping you’d use it to set him free,” Harvey went straight to the point. He didn’t want to spend another minute with this man.
“But I’m not his master anymore.” Neal was confused.
“I used all of my three wishes, so I can’t summon him. But you can.” Harvey picked up his glass, hoping that the taste of wine would get rid of the bitterness in his mouth.
Neal was genuinely surprised. “So you’re saying that Mike wants to be free? How did you manage to convince him?”
“You said it yourself. I’m the best closer in the city,” Harvey made sure that he sounded as smug as he possibly could.
Neal regretted not keeping a bottle of wine that contained untraceable poison. Why were lawyers always on their high horses?
“But he’s not ready yet, so you’ll have to babysit him for a while,” Harvey threw in the punch line.
Neal laughed. “That’s a bad idea.” He lifted his left leg to show him the anklet. “I can’t keep him away from threats if I’m tied to this.”
“That’s a risk he’ll have to take. You might as well teach him the value of freedom.”
“So you basically want me to return him to you as a human. Is that right?”
“That would be ideal, but it’s his future. He can decide what to be and whom to be with.”
“So you won’t drag my ass back to jail even if he chooses me?” Neal gave him a bright smile.
Harvey decided to ignore the question and pulled out a bankbook from his briefcase. “It’s the money Mike earned while working as my associate. I’d appreciate it if you safely handed it over to him.”
Neal understood what the man was implying. “You really think I’d steal from my own genie?”
Harvey clenched his teeth. Mike was still his genie until someone else rubbed the lamp.
“Why didn’t you give it to him yourself?” Neal took a look at the numbers in the bankbook. Pearson-Hardman hadn’t been stingy to their newest associate.
“Because I knew he wouldn’t take it. He doesn’t even know I saved it for him.” Harvey remembered how Mike had told him that money didn’t have any value to him so Harvey should use it instead.
Neal saw a familiar expression in the lawyer’s eyes. He knew too well what it felt like to have to let go of one of the most precious things that he had ever had. “Let me see the lamp then.”
Harvey pulled out the lamp and put it on the table. Then he had to watch with horror and contempt as the con man rubbed the lamp with the back of his skinny tie. ‘Of course he has no respect for ties. Even skinny ones don’t deserve that!’
Neal watched with awe as the beam of blue light came out of the lamp. He hadn’t thought that he would ever get another chance to see the magnificent sight.
“Neal!” Mike beamed and threw his arms around Neal’s neck.
“Hey, Mike. I missed your pretty face.” Neal hugged the genie tight and buried his nose in the blond hair.
“Hm-hmm,” Harvey cleared his throat. Five seconds were more than enough to say hello to someone you hadn’t seen in a while.
“Oh, hi, Harvey.” Mike left Neal’s arms and gave Harvey a kiss on the cheek.
Neal felt the urge to cut out the part of the carpet where June’s dog had relieved himself and rub it all over the smug face. But he wasn’t supposed to assault anyone when he wasn’t a free man, so he focused on the cute genie instead. “Hey, no more fig leaves? You wear suits now?”
“Yeah, Harvey bought them for me,” Mike stated proudly. They were high-quality suits.
“Oh, so he was your sugar daddy?” Neal didn’t miss the intense annoyance that crossed the lawyer’s face. This was fun.
“Neal, behave.” Mike didn’t want to upset Harvey when it was time to say goodbye to him.
“I think I should get going.” Harvey left a kiss on Mike’s forehead before picking up his briefcase and standing up.
“I hope I won’t take too long. Can I call you?” Mike asked as he held onto Harvey’s arm.
“Only if there’s an emergency.”
“And, when I’ve made a decision?”
“Yes, you can call me. Be careful, Mike.”
Harvey saw the shadow on Mike’s face as he gently let the genie loosen his grip on his arm. “Hey, puppy, you have to trust me, okay? This is for the best.”
Mike nodded. “I trust you.”
Neal bit his tongue not to burst into laughter. The scary lawyer called Mike puppy?
“Ahaha…” At least he had tried.
With another death glare shot his way, Neal got up to see his visitor out.
“Thanks, but I think I’m big enough to let myself out.” Harvey headed to the door.
“Are you always this snappy?” Neal got to the door first and opened it for him.
“Only to those who can take it.” Harvey held out his hand. He was leaving Mike in this man’s custody. He had nothing to gain by leaving things on a bad note. One handshake wasn’t going to fix anything, but he knew that it would be appreciated.
Neal cautiously shook the shark’s hand. The great lawyer was worried. “He’ll be fine here. Nothing to worry about.”
“I certainly hope so for your own sake.”
Neal laughed and gave Mike a moment to wave at Harvey before closing the door. He had no idea how things were eventually going to play out between Mike and himself. But now that he got a second chance, he wasn’t going to blow it away.
Chapter 10: The master of the heart
Previously in ‘The world’s finest treasure’…
Harvey had sent the genie to Neal after wishing for his own safety and Mike’s health. Since the con man had one wish left, he had hoped that Neal would babysit Mike until he was ready to make a decision about his future and set him free. Mike hadn’t been thrilled about the idea but had trusted Harvey when he said that it was for the best. Afraid that Harvey might forget him easily, Mike had hidden some of his belongings in the living room. Meanwhile, Neal had missed Mike all these months and had seen this opportunity as a chance to win him back.
Mike let out a long yawn and stretched before smiling at the feeling of the soft sheets underneath him. He had just woken up from a nice dream where he and Harvey had gone horseback riding, exchanging quotes from the ‘Brokeback Mountain’. He had no idea if Harvey even knew how to ride a horse, but in his dream, he had looked gorgeous while galloping across the field. He wanted to keep his eyes closed and enjoy the lingering image, but it was time to get up. It was Monday and his boss wouldn’t… ‘Wait a second. This isn’t Harvey’s bed.’
His eyes flew open as he realized that the sunlight was coming through the windows from a different direction.
“Good morning, Gorgeous.”
And, that wasn’t Harvey’s voice.
“Uh, good morning, Neal.” Mike rubbed sleep out of his eyes while he tried to shake off the disappointment. He had momentarily forgotten that he was staying at Neal’s place.
“What? I’m just Neal? I don’t get to be called gorgeous?” Neal asked with a playful smile.
“Nope. It would only feed your already severely inflated ego.” Mike sat up on the bed as he thought of someone else who had a gigantic ego. He wondered what that person was doing right now. Harvey usually enjoyed a slice of toast, two eggs sunny-side up, half a bagel, an apple, a yogurt, a cup of coffee, and a small glass of orange juice for breakfast. When Harvey summoned him early enough, he would sit across the kitchen island and watch his master eat. One morning, he had bluffed that he could tell how his mentor’s day would go just by looking at the shape of his eggs. But Harvey had snorted and told him that the eggs looked exactly the way he had wanted them to be.
‘He’s so silly.’ Mike chuckled as he floated towards the foot of the bed to reach his lamp. He always started his day with a genie potion.
“Thirsty? Why don’t you try something I’ve got you? You’ll like it better than Sprite.” Neal slid off the bed in his half-naked glory and headed towards the terrace.
“Hey, you should know by now how unwise it is to underestimate my love for Sprite.” Mike tried not to look at Neal’s perfectly sculpted upper body. They weren’t together anymore.
“I’ll take my chances.” Neal smiled at Mike’s reaction and walked out to the terrace before coming back with a box of bottled beverages. The minute that Mike had fallen asleep, he had called Mozzie to have the lemon-lime sodas delivered before morning.
“Here. Give it a try. I once told Moz you’re exceptionally fond of Sprite and he found a place where they sold these.” Neal opened a bottle and handed it over.
Mike looked at the bottle suspiciously before taking a sip. “Where are these from? There’s no label. You’re sure Mozzie bought these?”
“They say the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” Neal grabbed a bottle of water so that he wouldn’t be wasting any of Mike’s sodas.
“Somehow I don’t think Einstein was talking about questionable sodas.” Mike made a face but didn’t stop drinking. He trusted Neal and it wasn’t like a genie could get sick.
“Do you like it?” Neal asked with twinkling eyes. Genies didn’t eat food and Mike didn’t particularly like wine, so there was no chance of him dining and wining the genie to win his heart back. As lame as it was, soda was the only way to appeal to his palate.
“I don’t know. I guess it’s not bad.” Mike shrugged.
“Not bad? But you’re almost done already.” Neal pointed at the bottle in Mike’s hand.
Mike’s eyes grew wide. When had he drunk it all? He must have been really thirsty; he had burned a lot of calories in his dream. The more he thought about Harvey, the more he missed him. It hadn’t even been twenty-four hours since he had left Harvey’s place, but he couldn’t stop feeling that everything around him was wrong. He wasn’t supposed to be drinking a beverage that wasn’t approved by the FDA on someone else’s bed. At this time of the day, he was supposed to be choosing his skinny tie and warming up his mouth to one-up his boss at every single opportunity.
Neal took a few steps towards the bed and took Mike’s free hand in his. It pained him to see his genie looking homesick. “Hey, you’re not a prisoner here. You can call him or go see him anytime you like.”
Mike’s face fell. “I can’t. You heard him yesterday. He said I could only call when there’s an emergency.”
“Well, he’s not your master or boss anymore. You don’t have to follow his orders. You know I can get you a secure line.”
“You mean Mozzie can.” Mike let his windy hand slip between Neal’s fingers.
“No, I mean I can. I work for the FBI, remember?” Neal gave him a smug grin.
“Well, how does the FBI feel about tardiness? ‘Cause you’re going to be late.” Mike pointed at the clock on the wall with his chin.
Neal nodded and tapped the box of sodas. “Try not to drink it all before I get back.” He ruffled the genie’s hair and headed towards the door. He wanted to call in sick and enjoy the day with Mike, but it was probably safer for Mike if he stuck to his routine.
“Stop gawking at me and go shower already,” Mike said firmly. “I’ll stay inside the lamp until you get back home.”
“You don’t want to spend the day here? June won’t come in and bother you. You could appraise my new paintings.”
“You mean your new forgeries.” Mike opened a new bottle of soda with magic. He wasn’t in the mood to do it the human way.
“Actually, I haven’t forged any masterpieces in a while. I’ve been too busy painting my muse.”
“You have a muse, huh? And, who might that be?” Mike tried to drown his jealousy in the soda. Neal had had every right to move on after sending him away. If he chose to be human, he was going to stick with Harvey anyway.
“Look for yourself.” Neal picked up the lamp and put it down in front of the paintings in a corner, covered with a white cloth. “I have to run!”
Watching Neal rush out of the room, Mike wondered if his master hadn’t made a move on him all night because of this muse of his. They had chatted in bed until dawn with Neal wearing sweat pants and him wearing the pajamas that Harvey had bought him. ‘Not that I would’ve flirted back, but am I that easily forgettable?’
Mike left the bottle floating in the air and pulled down the cloth, only to find a familiar face on the canvas. ‘Oh, it’s me!’
Feeling an odd sort of relief and contentment, Mike studied the painting. It was an oil painting of him wearing a fig leaf and a smile. Neal had always appreciated his virtually naked form and he had always enjoyed the appreciation. ‘I suppose I should drop the suits and go back to those days.’
There was no more need to fuss with suits and it was his job to please his master, but he was reluctant to wear something other than suits. ‘Urgh, Harvey must be rubbing off on me.’
“What’s keeping you from admiring your own face?” Neal walked in with a towel loosely wrapped around his waist and his body glistening with water. He was glad that he hadn’t skipped any workouts even while he was in jail.
Mike was relieved that he wasn’t holding the soda. He would have dropped it at the breathtaking sight. “That was quick…”
“Haha, I’ve always been quick. You know that. You can’t take too much time in the shower when there’s a price on your head,” Neal reminded him why he had picked up such a habit.
“Oh, right. I forgot. Harvey always takes so long in the shower. I wonder why he needs so much time. Such a neat freak.” Mike turned around as he downed the soda so that he would stop staring at Neal’s chest.
Neal knew that he had to give Mike time to forget about his previous master, but it was difficult to suppress the ugly emotions that surfaced whenever the genie talked about him. And, really, he didn’t want to think about why the lawyer needed so much time in the shower while Mike was waiting outside.
“You can draw or paint if you like. I have blank canvasses.” He was absolutely sure that Mike was going to draw Harvey Specter, but he would have to tolerate it. The more Mike let out, the faster he could move on.
Leaving Mike to take a look at the other paintings, Neal started to get dressed. He always enjoyed working for Peter, but today he had an extra incentive; he would be coming back home to his beautiful genie.
“Mike? A little help with the tie?” Neal asked, hoping to get his loved one closer to him. Unlike last night when he had chatted away like a little bird, Mike had been rather distant this morning. He supposed that Mike had been so talkative because he had been telling him about his life with Specter.
“Didn’t you help Harvey with his ties?” Neal was forced to mention the lawyer when Mike just clicked his fingers to summon his magic instead of coming over.
“Nope. He was the one who helped me.”
Mike’s face didn’t give away much, but Neal could hear how much he missed the lucky man. Unfortunately, he didn’t have time to console him. It would have to wait until evening. “Have a good day, Mike. I’ll call you at lunch.” Putting on his jacket and fedora, he left in a hurry.
The door closed and Mike felt himself relax at the knowledge that he was alone. ‘This is ridiculous. Since when do I feel nervous around him? I trust him completely, so what am I afraid of? That I’ll fall for him again and forget about Harvey? That I’ll realize how none of my feelings are real? Who knows how much is because of the lamp and how much is my own?’
It clearly wasn’t the first time that these questions had come up. The general consensus among genies was that the lamp only acted as a trigger and was unable to generate feelings that hadn’t been there in the first place. But Mike had seen too many genies move on quickly from their supposedly beloved masters that it was difficult to put faith in the prevailing opinion. He thought that it had felt different to be with Harvey, but how could he be sure? A few kisses here and there hadn’t been enough to confirm his gut feeling.
With a sigh, Mike dropped into a chair and glanced at the paintings. Neal had always had an exceptional talent for art, but these paintings were beyond impressive. The gentle brush strokes reminded him of Neal’s caresses and the bright colors showed that Neal was capable of seeing through all the shadows in his mind. He wasn’t just Neal’s muse; he was his love. It was impossible to miss the amount of adoration and affection that were dripping off the paintings. It hurt to know that Neal still loved him this much when all he could think about was Harvey. ‘But who knows how long it’s going to last? A genie’s supposed to love his current master and Neal’s my master now. Who’s to say my love for Harvey’s strong enough to beat the system?’
Feeling gloomy, Mike picked up a blank canvas. If painting was such an effective way to show one’s love, he wanted to express his feelings for Harvey before he became a victim of the lamp and forgot all about him.
As he stood in front of his condo, Harvey realized how dull it was to punch in the security code. He hadn’t noticed how excited it had been to get to the other side of the door. There was nothing waiting for him now; no cheeky counterpunch, no horrible singing, and no embarrassing picture on the wall. His mood only got worse when he opened the door and came face to face with dead silence. He could hear the clock on the wall ticking and the fridge in the kitchen humming. Without the chatty creature dominating his attention, the sounds got on his nerves.
He dropped his briefcase on the couch and headed straight for the fridge. It wouldn’t stop the hum, but he managed to derive some pleasure from kicking it. Then he opened it to take out a bottled water, only to find the highest shelf stacked with Sprite. He had forgotten to tell his housekeeper that it was now unnecessary to hoard that beverage. ‘Damn, who’s going to drink all this? I should put them in the associates’ break room.’
He took out a can and flopped down into the couch. It hadn’t been a difficult day at the office, but he was exhausted. He would like to think that it was because of the amount of work he had to handle by himself, but he knew the real reason. He had had nobody to exchange banter with via internet messenger, nobody to check in on during breaks, and nobody to lecture about personal safety. Even when Donna had engaged him in witty conversation, he had felt alone. It was puzzling to find out that loneliness could bother him so much. He had learned how to ignore it a long time ago and had been enjoying huge success.
‘I can’t even sit properly. Stupid anxiety.’ He switched his position to get more comfortable. It almost felt like there was something under the cushion.
‘Maybe there is.’ He got up to investigate and found one of Mike’s shiny darts.
‘Idiot. How many times did I tell him to pack everything? I even threatened I’ll throw away anything he leaves behind.’ He put the dart on the coffee table and opened the can of Sprite. He wasn’t drinking it because he missed Mike. He was thirsty and there were only so many cans that the associates could consume.
He got up and walked over to the DVD basket. Luckily, he had a panacea; the Star Trek DVD box set, complete with autographs of the main actors. But there again, he found a trace of Mike. An empty Sprite can was sitting prettily on top of his favorite DVD. ‘He really didn’t listen to me, did he? I knew that lazy puppy had packed too quickly.’
Tossing the can into the nearest waste basket, he slid in the DVD and returned to the couch. But when he grabbed the remote control, he had to laugh. He found a piece of puzzle which must have been put under it on purpose. ‘So he wants to keep annoying me even when he’s not around. Oh well, he never liked it when I was at peace.’
Shaking his head but oddly feeling a little better, he started the DVD and turned on the air conditioner. He frowned when something dared to fall on top of his perfectly coiffed hair. It was Mike’s skinny tie.
He groaned as he thought about how much fun Mike and Caffrey would have while chatting about skinny ties. Then he thought about how Mike might have gone back to his fig leaf fashion and threw the tie on the floor. He had kept telling himself that it was the only option for Mike and himself. As much as he loathed admitting it, the con man was much more experienced in hiding against criminals and keeping treasures safe. Besides, Mike needed a reason to decide his fate. He had already lived long enough as a genie.
‘I did the right thing.’ The movie had started, but he couldn’t stop staring at the tie on the floor. Mike had left behind his favorite tie and he didn’t know how to process that information. That was when he spotted a glimpse of brown on the gray tie. It looked like the letter ‘E’. He picked up the tie and found a message engraved on the front: Wait for me.
He squeezed the fabric and let out a dissatisfied sound. ‘I need to teach him about color coordination. Who thinks brown matches gray?’
He got up and walked towards the bedroom. He was only keeping the tie to teach Mike a lesson if he ever came back. If he threw it away, the fake lawyer could argue that there was no proof that he had mismatched the colors. After careful consideration, he chose to keep the piece of evidence around his doorknob.
His heart started racing at the sound of the doorbell. Who could it be? He couldn’t think of anyone who would visit him, especially at this time of the night. Had Mike already made a decision and chosen him? It was an irrational conclusion, but he couldn’t stop hoping for the best. “Who is it?”
The monitor near the door showed the doorman holding a large package. Refusing to be disappointed, Harvey opened the door with a bright face. “You have something for me, Philippe?”
“Yes, Mr. Specter. It’s an urgent package for you.”
Harvey let the doorman leave the package leaning against the wall and wished him goodnight. Then he locked the door and took a look at the package. It was rectangular and had the size of a…
‘Big frame,’ Harvey finished his thought as he ran his fingers along the edge. He tore the wrapping paper and smiled fondly at the dashing man in the painting. It was him. He was pointing a finger with a frown and his mouth was open as if he was lecturing the viewer of the painting.
‘Mike…?’ Harvey looked for a card or a note and found a piece of paper attached to the back of the frame. In Mike’s handwriting, it read: Since you never fired me, I’m still technically your associate. This is me making sure that you have enough ego-inflating material for the week.
‘For the week? Does that mean he’s going to send me something every week?’ Despite knowing that it could be dangerous, Harvey couldn’t resist the smile that crept up to his eyes. He wished that Mike had drawn a self-portrait instead, but it wasn’t the right time to be picky. He was grateful that he had something of Mike’s that was more valuable than a skinny tie.
‘But how good is he? He drew this in one day?’ Harvey took the painting to the living room to examine it more carefully. He had read from the con man’s notes that Mike knew how to paint, but he had never expected him to be this good. Caffrey had been gushing about it in his notes, but after what had happened with Mike’s singing skills, he had deemed the eely man unfit to make a proper assessment of anything that was related to the genie.
Harvey was pleased to see that the masterpiece was exactly like Mike; full of distinctive emotion and wit. The visible emotions were longing, desperation, and plenty of love. Harvey envied how easily the genie could express himself and felt that Mike’s feelings towards him had never been more evident. ‘He didn’t stand a chance against a perfect model, did he? I mean, who doesn’t love me?’
Then he enjoyed a short laugh. If Mike had been there, he would have gone on and on about how he was the descendant of Narcissus. Harvey found it surprising that he seemed to remember a lot of things that Mike had said, when most of them weren’t really worth the effort. ‘Such a silly boy.’
After burning the note for safety measures, Harvey hung the frame in the study. He rarely used the study these days and thought that it could use a touch of the genie, given how he had poured his intelligence and heart in the room.
‘I’ll have to fend off Jessica for a while. I’m not getting another associate just yet.’ He had had no trouble doing his own work before, and he didn’t think that the managing partner would know that he was working alone as long as he kept up with the good results.
It wasn’t that he counted on Mike’s promise to return. He believed that promises were only credible at that very moment. Even if the person fully intended to keep his promise, there were too many variables that could affect the outcome. But it was Mike, and he thought that he deserved a chance to prove him wrong.
‘And, wouldn’t he love to do just that.’ Harvey reminisced about the time when Mike had found a mistake that he had made a dozen years ago and had acted painfully smug all day. He hadn’t told Mike, but he had been extremely proud. Mike had always been eager to learn, and he didn’t think that it was just because he was under the lamp’s influence. He had a feeling that Mike was genuinely interested in law as long as he could use it to help people who were incapable of defending themselves.
‘He might make a fine attorney one day. Or a fine artist.’ Harvey looked at the beautiful painting one last time before going to bed. He felt much better, now that he didn’t feel all that alone anymore.
The next morning, Neal woke up to an empty bed. Mike must have gone inside the lamp sometime during the night. When he had come home from work last evening with flowers and a new tie for Mike, the genie had been putting finishing touches on his watercolor. Just like he had expected, the object of Mike’s worship had been Harvey Specter.
Trying to suppress his jealousy, he had praised Mike’s talent and had offered to send the painting to the lawyer’s place. He couldn’t say that it was a selfless act since all he had wanted was to get the annoying face out of Mike’s sight. He was a firm believer of the expression ‘Out of sight, out of mind’.
Neal got ready for work and had breakfast downstairs with June before coming up to rub the lamp. He could tell that Mike wanted some time alone while getting used to his new surroundings, but he wanted to see him before leaving.
“Hey.” Neal smiled and gave Mike a kiss on the cheek. The genie was wearing the suit that the lawyer had bought him, but it was the tie that he had given him which was around the slender neck.
“Hey. Are you planning to be late for work again? I thought promptness was the key to a successful career.”
Neal’s smile grew bigger as he relished the fact that Mike seemed to be in a better mood. “I’ll leave in ten. By the way, did I snore last night? You left.”
“Oh, you didn’t snore. You just called someone else’s name.” Mike crossed his arms.
“I called someone’s name in my sleep that wasn’t yours? No way.” Neal laughed. It was probably one of Mike’s cute, little pranks.
“I’m not joking, Neal. You called Peter’s name. Is that the same Peter you work for?”
Neal didn’t give an answer and studied Mike’s face. He was an ex-con artist who could easily figure out whether someone was lying or not, and he had spent enough time with Mike to know all his telltale signs. The problem was that he couldn’t see any of them right now.
Was it possible that he had actually called Peter’s name in his sleep? But why would he have done that when he had been dreaming about finding the perfect hat for Mike? If he had enjoyed another dream with Peter in it that had been good enough for him to call his name, shouldn’t he remember it? Was Mike telling the truth or had the shark taught him how to mask his true thoughts? But wouldn’t Mike be appalled if he found out that he was suspecting him? Shouldn’t trusting him be the first step in repairing their relationship?
“I’m sorry you had to hear that. I must’ve dreamt about Peter Pan again. You know how much I hate growing old.” Neal looked closely for any signs of relief that the convenient lie had worked. His gut told him that Mike was messing with him, but the genie didn’t look guilty or relieved at all. He just nodded and started grinning at him.
“Oh, please don’t tell me I’ve got butter on my face. June never tells me.” Whatever the reason was, it was nice to see Mike smiling like that.
“Nope. But we must’ve read different versions of Peter Pan and you got the adult version,” Mike teased.
“I gather I didn’t just call his name then,” Neal decided to play along.
“You went on and on about how you wanted to run your fingers in his hair and find him the perfect hat. Then you said how you would like to make him wear nothing but a hat in your bed. It’s funny though. I always thought Peter Pan already had the perfect hat on his head.”
“Hey, you should know by now how unwise it is to underestimate my expertise in hats,” Neal paraphrased Mike’s words from yesterday morning. He wanted to show him that he paid very close attention to everything he said.
Mike laughed. “Good for Peter then. Maybe you can draw a new version of Peter Pan who’s wearing the perfect hat.”
“I doubt you heard me right, Mike. Those are the things I want to do with you, not with a fictional character.” Neal felt the atmosphere change, but he didn’t regret it. Mike’s little mind game wasn’t going to work. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t have any feelings for either Peter Pan or Peter Burke.
“That’s funny too. See, most people would think I’m a fictional character as well.” Mike had a feeling that Neal saw right through his strategy to plant the idea that he had the hots for his boss. It was perfectly possible, wasn’t it? It happened all the time! His case aside, he had seen so many employees fall for their superiors and end up spreading their legs on their desks.
‘Thank god Donna doesn’t seem to have done that.’ Mike let out a small sigh of relief. If Neal really didn’t have any romantic feelings for his boss, perhaps he could introduce him to Donna. They would make a super sassy couple, but Harvey would kill him as many times as he deemed necessary for letting a felon get close to his precious secretary.
“Done meditating for the morning?” Neal asked with an amused expression. He wondered what was going through Mike’s mind.
“I wasn’t meditating. I was praying for Peter to have the patience to deal with you all day. I bet babysitting wasn’t what he had in mind when he signed up for the FBI.” Mike stuck his tongue out.
“I’ll have you know that Peter greatly enjoys my company, during both business hours and breaks. Now if only my genie could do the same…”
“Well, you didn’t give me any work to do, so I can’t do anything about the business hours. And, for breaks, I think I enjoy Mozzie’s stealthy company much more.” Mike pointed at the building that was visible from the terrace. It would have been nearly impossible to spot the man with human eyes, but genies had better eyesight.
“Mike, the only reason I didn’t ask to pick your brain was because I wanted you to get some rest. You need time to adapt to the changes in your life. Mozzie told me he had to save you and Harvey with a toy gun in the middle of the street.” Neal gave him a sympathetic look. “That would’ve never happened on my watch.”
“Don’t say that! Harvey did his best to keep me safe! He couldn’t have done any better. You should’ve seen how paranoid he was.”
“Apparently he wasn’t paranoid enough.” Neal didn’t want to badmouth Mike’s previous master, but he didn’t like how the genie defended him with such determination. If the lawyer had said bad things about him, would Mike have done the same for him?
“I’m sorry, Neal. I didn’t mean to yell. I know you’re just worried about me. It’s just that I think Harvey did remarkably well at protecting me. He doesn’t really know how to do anything other than terrifying people in court and making fun of a balding colleague of his.” Mike knew that Neal had always looked out for him and he certainly appreciated the effort.
He got to breathe a little more easily when a smile blessed the handsome face. Master or not, he didn’t want to see Neal go to work, looking sad and hurt. He floated closer to the gorgeous man and straightened his tie. “There you go. Now you can put on that perfect hat of yours and go save the world.”
“I’d rather stay here and save you from boredom.” Neal didn’t even try to avoid Mike’s windy punch to the chest. It only tickled and he was glad that Mike seemed to be comfortable enough around him to throw air punches at him.
“Save the world, so I’d be more inclined to become a human being,” Mike whispered and kissed him on the cheek.
“Did you just give me a kiss? I’m honored, Mike.” Neal grinned widely.
“Get out before I have to punch you again. This time, it won’t be in the chest.” Mike shooed his master out of the room and put a hand on his heart. It was beating fast and he didn’t want to know why.