Mike looked around at his fellow associates. He could not believe how ready they were to turn on each other, why they couldn’t see that this was exactly what Lewis wanted. When he told them that they all needed to stick together there was a general scoffing noise.
“What?” Mike snapped.
“Well it’s all very well for you to say that,” Howard muttered.
“How is this any different for me? We’re all under suspicion,” Mike looked around at them. They were all obviously on the same page as Howard as none of them seemed to share Mike’s surprise.
“What?” he asked again.
“We all know Mike, that if you did anything wrong Harvey Spector would just ride in and rescue you,” Howard explained, looking bitter.
Mike stared at Howard for a moment and then looked around the room to see them all sharing similar expressions.
“Harvey would not cover for me if he found out he was leaking documents to other law firms,” Mike said incredulously.
There was another general disbelieving laugh around the room.
“I think we all know he would Mike,” Howard said, looking Mike straight on and showing more balls than he had in the entire time they had worked together.
“Why on earth would Harvey cover me over something like that? He doesn’t want an associate who would betray the firm.”
Howard smirked “Considering what he does want you for I don’t think it matters what you do to the firm.”
Mike wanted to take this as a compliment to his incredible legal skills but from the looks on everyone faces it was unlikely to be that.
“What…?” Mike began to ask but Howard got there first.
“Look. Everyone knows that the reason Spector hired you had nothing to do with your credentials, not your academic or professional ones anyway.”
Mike opened his mouth but found himself unable to say anything for a moment. The other associates were laughing openly now.
Mike cleared his throat and tried to rescue the situation. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“In the history of Harvey’s time here no one can remember Harvey taking any interest in any insubordinate unless they were young and pretty.”
“Young and pretty girls?” Mike said, uncomfortably aware that his voice was squeaking.
Everyone looked incredulously at Mike.
“Harvey’s never seemed to discern between the two and don’t play coy. Everyone knows that Harvey’s fucking you.”
“What…I…no…” Mike stuttered. “I didn’t, he’s not.”
Howard just looked at him.
“He’s not!” Mike was aware he sounded somewhat like a hysterical Victorian virgin school girl but he couldn’t seem to get his voice under control.
It actually seemed to convince his fellow associates and now they were looking at him like he was an idiot.
“Oh,” Howard replied shortly and then followed with the stinger. “Well he obviously hired you because he wants to fuck you and the way you moon after him it’s clearly just a matter of time.”
“No…I don’t moon, that’s nonsense, I have no intention…”
“Harvey Spector gets what he wants,” one of the other associates replied simply.
Mike took the briefs to Louis simply to get away from them to think. They were probably just winding him up. Harvey had never…well that’s not quite true. He had been about to claim that Harvey had never seemed remotely interested in him but maybe all those times he’d been teasing him hadn’t just been teasing. He had no idea how to feel about that. He told himself that it wasn’t excitement he was feeling as his heart pounded against his chest.
As the day went on and Harvey tried to beat the unbeatable Mike spent more and more time worrying about what the other associates had said. Harvey aside for a moment, Mike couldn’t deal with anything else right now, it bothered him that his colleges thought that he was only where he was because his boss wanted to sleep with him.
Harvey kicked ass as always and yet again showed that he secretly cared. Harvey was obviously in a fantastic mood and for some reason Mike decided now would be a good time to raise his concerns with Harvey.
Harvey looked up, impatient.
“The other associates…”
Harvey made a noise which implied that he didn’t care about the other associates.
“They think that it was my academic qualifications from Harvard that made you hire me.”
“You don’t have any academic qualifications from Harvard,” Harvey reminded him.
“They don’t know that.”
“Is this conversation reaching a point?”
“Why did you hire me?”
Harvey looked at him for a long moment. “Because you were interesting.”
Mike took a deep breath. “The associates think you hired me because I’m pretty.”
Harvey grinned. “It didn’t hurt.”
“Can’t you see that it makes me look…”
“Are you smarter than them?” Harvey interrupted.
“Would you rather they think I hired you because you’re pretty or that they know the truth?”
Mike didn’t answer for a moment. Then Harvey made an impatient noise and Mike as always felt compelled to answer. “I’d rather think it was because I was pretty.”
Harvey smirked. “Take it as a compliment that everyone thinks you’re pretty enough to get a job of this calibre, I’m not known for taking on anything but the best.”
And he raised his hand and gestured for Mike to leave his office. Stunned Mike followed the implied instruction, trying not to look at any of the other associates as he left.