Possession: 4. Reasonable Doubt


It was an old, familiar dream; jumbled up images of screeching metal, orange flame, and the hot stench of burning. He was flying through the air, the cold wind stealing the scream from his lips as he headed towards the hard surface of the road below…


He woke with a gasp before he landed, his body jerking like a fish on a line, to find himself safely wrapped up in Harvey’s arms.


“Quiet, Pup,” Harvey murmured, sounding as if he wasn’t completely awake.


The usual post-dream emotions flooded in; the grief, the aching loss, and a deep sense of loneliness.


“Ssh.” Harvey stroked the bite mark on his thigh and the sense of loneliness receded.


He felt warm, relaxed, and safe in Harvey’s arms. He wasn’t alone. After nearly two decades, he’d finally found somewhere he belonged – and someone he belonged to.


“Go back to sleep,” Harvey said.


Mike couldn’t usually sleep after that particular dream. He usually got up and surfed the net until the memory faded. Harvey continued to stroke his thigh, lazily comforting him, and Mike nuzzled in against Harvey’s cheek and closed his eyes. He expected sleep to elude him as it usually did, but woke up three hours later after a deep, restful, sleep.


It was 5.30 – pretty soon it’d be time to get up and go to work. Mike eased himself out of Harvey’s arms and walked quietly into the bathroom. He closed the door behind him, turned on the light, and took a moment to admire the elegant stone tiles and gleaming chrome taps.


He was about to turn towards the toilet when he caught sight of himself in the full-length mirror on the side wall. He was naked, and he looked so completely different to how he was used to seeing himself that the sight fascinated him. The collar around his neck was so soft and snug that he’d forgotten he was even wearing it, but now he saw himself as Harvey must have seen him last night; naked, collared, and submissive.


He moved closer to the mirror, startled by the change. His lips were still swollen from being so comprehensively kissed and from sucking on Harvey’s cock; his hair was dishevelled from where Harvey’s fist had held him down; and his body was covered in marks. Harvey’s marks – the marks of ownership that he’d placed on Mike’s body.


Mike traced his fingers over the red bite mark on his neck and the bigger, deeper one on his thigh. There were still faint smudges around his wrists, although the marks on his ankles had faded almost completely.


“Damn Harvey for being right about the ties,” Mike grumbled, but he grinned at his reflection anyway, and then just stood there, gazing at himself. He was Harvey’s now. Harvey had claimed him with his deep, dark voice, seductive words, strong hands, insistent lips, and the force of his powerful personality.


Mike hadn’t anticipated just how sweet surrender could be. He felt as if he was someone different this morning but couldn’t put his finger precisely on what had changed. He just looked… “Well fucked,” he said, gazing at himself.


His body was loose, sated, and damn sore in places, but well used. It was a good feeling. His eyes were bright, and he felt…happy. It was like waking up after a long nightmare to find it was just a dream after all.


He used the toilet and then returned quietly to the bedroom. There was no movement from the bed, and he didn’t want to wake Harvey, but he couldn’t sleep anymore; he was too wide awake now. He knew Harvey had hung up his clothes somewhere the previous night, and he quietly opened the closet.


He couldn’t find his own clothes without making too much noise, so he grabbed one of Harvey’s shirts and put that on. It was a bit too big, reminding him of that time he’d worn one of Harvey’s suits to work, and how he’d spent most of the day with a hard-on and hadn’t known why; or hadn’t wanted to know.


He tiptoed into the living room, wearing just the over-sized shirt, feeling like a kid playing dress up in his big brother’s clothes.


He sat down on the carpet and studied Harvey’s extensive DVD collection, arranged as neatly as his books and records.


He was still browsing through them half an hour later when the door opened, and Harvey entered the room, wearing a navy blue, silk bathrobe.


“Morning,” Harvey said, glancing down on him. Mike was sitting on the floor dressed in one of Harvey’s own shirts and surrounded by a dozen DVD boxes that he hadn’t bothered to return to the shelf. Harvey winced.


“Morning.” Mike grinned up at him. He figured that if Harvey meant it about this not being a one time deal, then he was going to have to learn that Mike didn’t have the same neatness fetish that he had.


Besides, Mike thought it’d do Harvey good to unravel a bit. He was a bit too used to having everything on his own terms. Even last night had been Harvey having things his own way, and Mike didn’t think he’d once seen a chink in that handsome, composed mask, even when Harvey had been fucking him through the mattress.


That thought made him flush.


“Problem?” Harvey asked, sitting down on the couch.


“No. Just wondering what happens next.” Mike shrugged. “You said you didn’t want a one-night deal, but…”


“I don’t. Stop worrying.” Harvey frowned. “You’re wearing my shirt.”


“Yeah, I couldn’t find mine. Is it a problem?”


“I prefer you naked.” Harvey grinned. “But I like that you’re still wearing my collar.”


“I didn’t want to take it off.” Mike flushed again. “I wasn’t sure that was something I was allowed to do, or if it was something you had to do. I don’t know the rules here, Harvey!”


“The rules?” Harvey looked amused. “We’re not at work, Mike. There aren’t pages of by-laws for you to learn and remember.”


“But how’s it going to be? There are three of us in this relationship – you, me and Pearson Hardman – so how the hell is it going to work?”


“It’s simple. At work, you are obedient, hardworking, and do what I tell you. And at home…it’s exactly the same.” Harvey grinned, looking very pleased with himself.


“I come when I’m called, and I sit, stay, and beg on command?” Mike raised an eyebrow.


“Well, you are the pup, Pup. But no, it’s more than that. It’s not just sex. I do actually like being with you, despite your crappy taste in ties, cheap suits, and lamentable lack of interest in Star Trek.”


“Yeah, you really are a Trekkie, aren’t you?” Mike waved a hand at the boxed sets of the TV shows and movies on Harvey’s shelves.


“Like I said, Captain Kirk is definitely the man.”


“Do you think he was fucking Spock, the way you fucked me last night?”


“What? No! That’s just wrong, Mike!” Harvey sounded genuinely shocked. “Now come here; I want to give you something.”


Mike couldn’t be bothered to get up, so he crawled over to the couch and settled next to Harvey’s knee – something that Harvey seemed to find extremely satisfying.


“This is for you.” Harvey handed him what looked like a hotel room key card. “It works the private elevator.” He jerked his head towards the corner of the living room. “So you can come and go without me being here to let you in. There are times I’ll send you on ahead to get naked and ready for me, so I can fuck you when I get home.”


“You have your own elevator? Seriously?” Mike whistled. “Damn it, Harvey, you don’t need to act James Bond, you’re living in your own James Bond movie here!”


“I worked hard for it.” Harvey shrugged.


“Okay. Thanks.” Mike fingered the card thoughtfully. “Not that I don’t love the idea of lying naked on your bed ready for you to come home and fuck me, but I can’t just be your puppy all the time, Harvey. This’ll never work if that’s all you want.”


“It isn’t. I told you last night, Mike; I want someone intelligent who’ll challenge me. I don’t want anyone predictable or stupid.”


“I’ll leave my stuff lying around your weirdly neat apartment.” Mike glanced around the place. “I think you have some form of OCD, Harvey, because this place is freakishly tidy, and I’m not.”


“I had noticed.” Harvey glanced at the DVD cases strewn all over the floor with a pained expression.


“I’ll drive you nuts.”


“You already do.”


“You think we can seriously make this work?”


Harvey’s reply was to tilt Mike’s head up and kiss him soundly on the mouth.


“Objection, your honour…leading the witness,” Mike muttered feebly when Harvey drew back.


Harvey laughed. “Oh, I think the witness was easily led. Honestly, Mike, I haven’t a clue where this is heading, but I do know last night was damn good – for both of us. As for making it work and your obsession with rules – the only rule I have is that you don’t lie to me. Ever. About anything. Take the fifth if you want, but don’t lie.”


Mike shrugged. “I won’t. I haven’t.”


“Really?” Harvey raised an eyebrow. “Remind me – how did you get that scar on your thigh?”


Mike sat back, feeling winded. “Look, Harvey…”


“You lie, Mike. That’s what you do. You lie for an easy life – you always have. You lied to Jenny about Trevor, and you lied to Trevor about Jenny. You lied every time you went into an exam and sat it for someone else. You’ve lied to me at work to get yourself out of a tight spot, more than once. Now, I don’t give a damn about you lying to other people. I don’t care if you lie to Jessica, or Louis, or anyone else, but you do not, ever, lie to me.”


Mike stared at him. “How did you know?” he asked finally. “About the scar?”


“I read people. It’s what I do. Also…” Harvey waved his hand at the file that was still on the coffee table where Mike had flung it the previous night. “Due diligence, Mike. The police report on the crash is in the file, and I can fill in the gaps myself.”


Mike wrapped his arms around his knees and sat there, staring at the file.


“I was in the back of the car when it crashed,” he said quietly. Harvey leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “I got thrown clear when it collided with that truck, and I landed on a piece of glass. My parents were still inside the car when it went up in flames. One minute we were a family, and the next I was an orphan. My whole life changed in just a few seconds. It took me a long time to wrap my heard around the fact that can happen.”


The sudden loss of the two people in his life he loved and depended upon the most had been a shock he’d never recovered from, no matter how good his grammy had been to him.


“And you had to move house and school to go live with your grandmother. You lost everything in that crash,” Harvey said, with another nod in the direction of the file. “Your parents; your life as you’d known it up until that point; your house; your friends; your school…everywhere you belonged.”


“Yeah.” Mike shrugged. “That’s just the way it was.”


“And you’ve been looking for a new place to belong ever since.”


Mike stared at him.


Harvey reached out and stroked his hair. “I told you – I read people. Hmm, your hair is a mess.”


“Probably from where you had your fist in it last night,” Mike reminded him.


Harvey glanced at his watch and then at Mike. “I think it’s time for that punishment now, don’t you?”


“What?” Mike sat up, his stomach doing an anxious flip but his cock twitching in interest.


“Did you think I’d forget?” Harvey shook his head, making a tutting sound in the back of his throat. “Seriously, Mike? Did you really think I’d forget that?”


“I guess not.” Mike’s voice sounded like a croak to his own ears.


“Come here. You look too damn good not to spank, sitting there, wearing my shirt, with that ridiculous hair and with my collar around your neck. You can’t go around looking like that and not expect me to spank you. I’m only human.”


He reached out and took hold of Mike’s wrist, pulling him firmly, and this time Mike went eagerly, allowing himself to be hauled over Harvey’s silk clad knees.


It felt strange being in this position, but his body thrummed with excited anticipation at the prospect of taking a spanking from Harvey. He felt Harvey slide up the hem of his shirt to expose his bare ass and shivered.


“No underwear? I like you like this.” Harvey stroked Mike’s ass with his hand, and Mike found himself relaxing…only to yelp and jump into the air when Harvey’s hand came down, sharply, on his ass.


“That hurt!” he said accusingly, over his shoulder.


“It’s a punishment. It’s supposed to,” Harvey replied with a roll of his eyes.


“I thought you were going to start easy or something,” Mike grumbled.


“Like I said – punishment. I want your ass red and smarting to remind you who you belong to, and that my work takes priority over Louis’s every time. Also, you should definitely be disabused of the notion that he’s meaner than me. Because he really isn’t.”


There was a grin in Harvey’s voice as he said that, and Mike moaned softly and buried his head in his arms.


“I’m so screwed,” he muttered into the sleeves of Harvey’s blue shirt.


Another of Harvey’s sharp slaps made him yelp again, and then another, and then Harvey was raining down the spanks in quick succession. Mike tried to hold still but it was impossible, and he ended up wriggling and writhing to avoid the onslaught.


There was a pause, and he thought it might be over, but it turned out the pause was just to enable Harvey to pull him closer and hold him more firmly in position. After that, every single spank hit its target, and Mike found himself whimpering and moaning as the pain turned into a deliciously sexy warmth, spreading through the sensitised skin and making his cock harden.


Really, it shouldn’t be this hot being over Harvey’s knees, having his ass spanked hard and fast, but it was. Mike loved the feeling of helplessness. He loved not being able to escape those stinging slaps, of having to take them, feeling his ass turn into what felt like a brightly glowing beacon.


The burning sensation built up and now every single inch of his ass felt sore, and he didn’t think he could take anymore.


“Please…Harvey…” he whimpered.


“Who owns you, Mike?” Harvey asked as he continued spanking, not letting up for a second.


“You do! Harvey…please! Ow…please!” he begged pathetically, but Harvey appeared to have no intention of letting up just yet.


“For the record – pleading doesn’t work,” Harvey told him.


Mike glanced over his shoulder again to find Harvey looking demonically handsome, his eyes dark and intent as he concentrated on spanking him to within an inch of his life.


Mike knew he could say his safe word, but he didn’t want to. He wanted to prove to Harvey that he could take whatever he wanted to hand out, and that he trusted that wouldn’t be more than he could handle.


Mike put his head back on his arms and surrendered completely to the spanking, and that was when the endorphins started flow in, just as they had last night when Harvey had been marking him. It hurt so much, but it felt so good too. He was Harvey’s, and Harvey could spank his ass as hard as he liked. There was a kind of peace in that knowledge, and Mike found himself floating again, serene and content.


The speed of the spanks gradually slowed, and their severity lessened, and finally Harvey stopped spanking him and stroked his fingers languidly over Mike’s hot ass instead. He slipped them between Mike’s buttocks, and Mike gave a little yelp as he felt something cool and wet press against his hole. He realised Harvey must have brought the lube into the room in his bathrobe pocket, and he relaxed, letting Harvey’s fingers in. Harvey didn’t stretch him for long – he didn’t need to after last night.


Then, suddenly, Mike found himself flipped off Harvey’s lap and deposited on his back on the couch. Harvey loomed over him, undoing his bathrobe, and after a brief pause to get a condom in place he slid into Mike’s hole again, pushing in until he was fully inside him.


Mike stared up at him, winded by how fast that had happened, his cock rigid between their bodies. Harvey’s cock felt easier to take than last night, but it burned more because he was still a little sore. Mike liked the sensation – it made it more intense.


This is where you belong now, Mike,” Harvey told him fiercely, thrusting into him again. “You belong here – to me.”


Harvey held him down as he fucked him, kissing him repeatedly. He never took his eyes off Mike, as if willing him to understand where he belonged by sheer force of personality.


Mike gazed up at him, transfixed by the expression in Harvey’s eyes, truly believing that he did belong here. Harvey owned him, and it felt so damn good!


Harvey slid his hand between their bodies and rubbed Mike’s cock in time to his thrusts until Mike came, all too easily, with a moan of pleasure, while Harvey finished off inside him.


Then Harvey took Mike’s head between his hands and forced him to look at him. “Did you get that?” he demanded.


“That I’m yours? Yes. I got it, Harvey,” Mike whispered.


“I’ll fuck you when I want and spank you when I think you need it – or just because I damn well please.”


Mike didn’t have a smart reply; he just knew he was seriously turned on by what Harvey was promising. “Yes…please,” was all he could say.


“Good boy.” Harvey kissed him and then drew back, his cock sliding out of Mike’s hole, leaving it aching both from the use and from the loss. “Playtime’s over, Pup – time to get to work. I’ll shower first.”


He got off the couch, adjusted his bathrobe, and tied it around his waist.


“Harvey – about work…” Mike remembered the bet with Louis and those papers still in his bag. “About Louis…”


“What about him?”


“I was wondering about our meeting with him this morning. I mean, how the hell are you going to win that bet?”


“I’m not. You are,” Harvey said confidently. “It always had to come from you, Mike. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, but Louis was right – you’re not a tie – so only you can say who you belong to. Judging by what you just said, you’re pretty clear on that now.”


“That’s it? I go in there and say you own me, and Louis gives in?”


“Of course. If you believe it, Louis can’t argue with that. A case like this was always going to rest on what you believe, Mike.” Harvey grinned at him and then disappeared into the bedroom.


Mike stared after him, feeling vaguely uneasy. Surely Harvey wouldn’t go to all these lengths just to win a wager, would he? On the other hand, Harvey really did hate losing…


Mike thought about what Louis had offered him – money – appealing to his obvious need for that.


What else was there for Harvey to exploit but his other need, the one he’d always tried so hard to hide; his desire to belong somewhere and to someone? What was it Harvey had said? He read people. Had he read Mike and played him simply in order to win the wager?


Mike was distracted by the apartment‘s phone ringing. He wasn’t sure if he should answer it, as Harvey was still in the shower, but he decided against it and the call flipped onto the answering machine.


“Hey, Harvey, it’s Bertha!” a deep, rich, female voice said. “I thought I’d call early to catch you before you left for the gym – I know how busy your day gets later! But it looks like I missed you already, sugar. Sheesh, all that working out will wear you out, boy!”


Mike wondered who on earth ‘Bertha’ might be. She didn’t sound like someone who would be friends with Harvey.


“Look, I just wanted to let you know we’ve finished the new Patrick Center, thanks to your generous donation. Now, I know you hate any kinda fuss, but you’d sure as hell better come see what we’ve done with your money! So get that skinny white ass of yours over here some time, so I can show you around!” She gave a raucous bellow of laughter and then the message ended.


Mike sat there, pondering what Harvey’s ‘generous donation’ might have been for.


“Probably the Harvey Specter Fund for Self-Promotion,” he muttered, getting up and going over to the bookshelves. He picked up the photo he’d seen the previous night of Harvey with his kid brother.


“Who are you really?” he asked, looking at the photo. “Are you the kind of guy who’d play me like that, fuck me like that, just to win a bet? Are you really that competitive, Harvey? Did you just play me like a fucking violin? If so, what kind of a stupid sap does that make me?”


The kid in the photo stared back at him from those dark, rebellious eyes, looking dangerous, delinquent, and disaffected. He looked like the kind of kid who’d do anything to get what he wanted.






Mike felt a cold fist closing in the pit of his stomach, clenching anxiously, and Harvey’s blue cotton shirt felt suddenly icy against his bare skin.


The door opened, and Harvey walked in, rubbing his wet hair with a towel.


“Go take a shower, or you’ll be late, and trust me, your boss will spank your ass for that,” he said with a smirk.


“Why did you just spank me, Harvey?” Mike asked quietly.


“I told you. Did you forget already?” Harvey picked up his iPad and began downloading the morning papers onto it.


“No…why did you spank me just now? Instead of last night?” Mike asked.


“Hmmm?” Harvey glanced up.


“I was wondering why you didn’t spank me last night. I thought you’d just forgotten…but like you said, you never forget. I think, even if I’d gone over your knee that first time, you wouldn’t have done more than give me a couple of swats because you never intended to spank me last night. It had to be this morning, so I’d go into that meeting with Louis with your handprints all over my ass to remind me who I belong to.”


Harvey put the iPad down. “Is that a problem?”


“You don’t deny it?”


“No.” Harvey shrugged. “That’s precisely why I spanked you this morning instead of last night. I like the idea of you walking around with a freshly spanked ass, Mike. I like the idea of it glowing under your suit, and you feeling me every time you sit down. I want that hot ass to remind you who you belong to for the next few hours.”


“Okay,” Mike said quietly. “I’ll go take a shower.”


He walked into the bedroom, his stomach still churning. Harvey hadn’t denied it, but it just went to show how much of what Harvey did was carefully planned. He’d even brought the lube and condoms into the living room in his bathrobe pocket this morning, knowing he’d fuck Mike on the couch after spanking him.


Then there was that file; due diligence he called it, but he’d used everything he learned to careful and precise effect, both last night and this morning.


Mike removed the collar and left it on the bed. His neck felt bare and empty as he went into the bathroom. He looked at himself in the mirror again, examining his red ass in detail. He could see the outline of handprints, particularly around the edges, and he felt a sense of pride and arousal as he looked at them. And Harvey knew he’d feel that way, damn it!


He took his shower and then he went back into the bedroom, a towel wrapped around his waist, to find Harvey standing there, dressed in a suit and tie, minus his jacket, his hair slickly styled as usual. He was sipping on a glass of orange juice, reading his iPad, but he put them both down when Mike came into the bedroom.


“Lose the towel, Pup,” Harvey ordered. “I want to get a good look at the marks I put on you before they get covered up.”


Mike took off the towel, his cock twitching again as Harvey’s gaze raked over his body approvingly. Harvey seemed to be committing the sight to memory, mapping every single bite mark and handprint on Mike’s body. Finally, he seemed satisfied and nodded at Mike’s suit, which he’d laid out on the bed.


Mike could feel that Harvey’s gaze was still fixed on him as he got dressed, and he grimaced. “You’re watching me get dressed? Seriously?”


“You’re mine. I can watch you get dressed – and it’s not too late to spank your ass some more, either, so watch that smart mouth of yours.”


“I think you kinda like my smart mouth. You sure as hell seemed to like it when it was wrapped around your dick last night.”


“It was at its finest then, yes,” Harvey said musingly.


Mike finished buttoning up his shirt and was about to reach for his tie when Harvey brushed his hand away.


“Uh-uh. See, I like the way my collar looked on you,” Harvey said.


“I can’t exactly wear it to work, Harvey,” Mike pointed out, although he had to admit he was pretty tempted. He loved how it’d felt around his throat.


“I know. But you can wear my tie to work. I bought this one for you.” Harvey held up a steel grey tie, as skinny as Mike usually wore them, except this one was made from an expensive silk fabric that placed it far outside Mike’s usual price range.


“You bought me a skinny tie? Really? The great Harvey Specter actually bought a skinny tie?” Mike teased. “That must have nearly killed you!”


“It seems to be your trademark, and I don’t want to change you, Pup,” Harvey said seriously. “I just want you to be the best you can be – and this is the best damn skinny tie out there.”


He slipped the tie under the collar of Mike’s shirt and fastened it in place with deft, expert movements of his fingers. When he was finished, he smoothed Mike’s collar down, adjusting the tie slightly, and then took a step back to admire his handiwork.


“That tie is your collar today – wear it as such,” he ordered. “It will remind you who you belong to all day. I don’t want you taking it off until I put your other collar on you this evening.” Harvey gestured with his head in the direction of the black leather collar on the bed. “That way, you’ll always be wearing my collar, day and night.”


The tie felt good, filling the empty space around his neck, reminding Mike who he belonged to. He loved how it made him feel – and that made him doubt it. Wasn’t this just another example of Harvey playing him? Knowing exactly what to do to keep him sweet and win the wager?


Harvey took hold of his chin and tilted his head to bestow a little kiss on his mouth. Then he took a step back and was suddenly transformed from the seductive dom of the past several hours into his work persona, the hard to please boss with the giant ego.


“I’ll see you at the office. Don’t be late – I want you to look at a pro bono case Jessica has foisted on me that I have absolutely no interest in,” he said, picking up his jacket and shouldering himself into it. “It’s more your level than mine, Mike.” He grinned and adjusted his jacket in front of the mirror, then smoothed his hair down before disappearing into the living room.


Mike heard his cell phone ringing, and he patted his pockets, wondering where he’d left it. Then he remembered it was in the living room, so he followed Harvey in there and grabbed his bag, emptying the contents out onto the coffee table to locate the phone.


He got to it just in time before it rang off.


“Morning Mike.”


Mike sighed. Louis. Harvey, on his way to the front door, heard the sigh and glanced back at him enquiringly.


“Who is it?” he asked quietly.


Mike placed his hand over the phone. “Nobody. It’s fine. Uh, you go on ahead.”


Harvey’s expression darkened. “You know, I could have sworn we just had a whole conversation about lying.”


“Mike – are you there?” Louis asked down the phone.


“Yeah…I…What do you want, Louis?” Mike said, making a helpless gesture in Harvey’s direction.


Harvey’s jaw tightened, and he crossed his arms over his chest, making it clear he wasn’t going anywhere until the call was done.


“I was just phoning to see if you’d had a chance to consider my offer,”


“It’s early,” Mike batted back, not wanting to get into this right now.


“It’s 7 a.m. and some of us are already at work,” Louis told him.


“Look, Louis, I really don’t want to talk about this right now.”


“Did Harvey counter-offer with more money? Because I told you, Mike, I’ll better any deal he offers you.”


“No! It’s not that…” Mike rubbed his head, wishing Harvey wasn’t looking at him right now. “Look, it’s not going to happen. It’s not about the money. I don’t give a shit about the money.” He hissed that in an undertone, turning away to look out of the window, but there was no way Harvey hadn’t heard it.


“Harvey got to you, didn’t he?” Louis said accusingly. “Listen, Mike, you have to remember that Harvey is the best closer in town. I don’t know what he’s offered you, but he doesn’t mean it. He’s playing you. It’s what he does. He gets inside people’s heads, worms his way into their souls, and corrupts them from the inside out. But you can fight it, Mike. You’re smarter than to get taken in by one of Harvey’s cheap tricks.”


Mike felt himself growing cold. The best closer in town? Yeah, that was Harvey. Was he part of a deal that had just been closed in typical Harvey fashion?


“I expect you’re telling yourself it was just a stupid bet,” Louis continued. “And how far would Harvey go to win a bet? Well, let me tell you that he’d sell his own grandmother to win, Mike. You know that. It doesn’t mean he likes you, or that he’s the best option for you. He’s just using you. You know that, in your heart.”


Mike’s heart thumped anxiously. He turned to look at Harvey…to see Harvey looking down at the crap from his bag that he’d dumped out on the coffee table. And right there, in the middle of it, were those papers Louis had wanted him to sign. And Harvey’s head was on one side, and he was reading them, and his expression was darkening…


“I have to go, Louis,” Mike snapped, closing the phone and ending the call.


“He tried to buy you?” Harvey held up the papers. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me about this, Mike?”


“I don’t know. I was going to, but then we got side-tracked into all the hot sex stuff and…” Mike shrugged.


“Why did you bring them here? Were you going to see if I’d offer you a better deal?” Harvey raised an eyebrow. “Did you think you could play us off against each other to get the best deal, Mike?”


“Why not? It’s what you’d do, isn’t it? Get the best deal for your client,” Mike snapped, angry that Harvey was judging him for something he hadn’t even done.


“If you can be bought so easily, you’ll never amount to being more than just a cheap whore, on sale to the highest bidder,” Harvey told him angrily.


“Oh, come on! Like you didn’t just try and buy me last night, only not with money, but with the way you used that file to get into my head and play me!” Mike retorted. “You’re just as bad as Louis. You were both playing me to win your stupid wager. Did I matter at all, Harvey? Or was I just another pawn for you to use in your insane, competitive, on-going game of ‘winner takes it all’ with Louis? Because you hate losing, and you hate losing to him more than anyone else.”


Harvey was glaring at him. “You really think I’d fuck you to get what I want?”


“Fuck me or fuck me over? Is there much difference? And yeah, I do. You said last night that you don’t get emotionally involved because emotions cloud your judgement. So either you were breaking your own damn rule, or you knew exactly what you were doing last night, and you went about it in the same cold, calculating way you go about everything.”


Harvey’s dark eyes were furious. “That’s what I’ve taught you? That’s what you think of me?”


“I don’t know, Harvey – but you were the one with the goddamn file on me, not the other way around! What the hell do I know about you but what you’ve allowed me to see these past few months, which isn’t much, by the way! The minute I started getting close, you clammed up and pulled away. You didn’t seem to give a damn about me right up until Louis showed an interest. Then I was like the toy you didn’t want anyone else to have, even though you’d lost interest in it yourself.”


“So I did due diligence…”


“Due diligence? Christ, Harvey, you were offering me a fucking relationship – not a business deal! Who the hell does due diligence before having sex with someone?”


“I didn’t do it for that reason! I got the file done months ago!”


“But you left it out for me to see for the first time last night, to show me precisely what you had on me. It was angle, a way to get into my head and get me into your bed!”


“Where you damn well enjoyed being!”


“Because I believed you!”


“Didn’t you do your own due diligence before coming to work for me?” Harvey raised a bemused eyebrow. “Seriously, Mike – you didn’t? Damn it, I swear you really are too green to be allowed to walk around out there unsupervised. You didn’t even look me up on the internet?”


“No, I didn’t – I didn’t even know you’d worked at the DA’s office until Rachel and I Googled you when Cameron showed up. Why would I? You were offering me a job, not a contract to sell my soul.”


“It’s a law firm, Mike. Some would say it’s one and the same thing.” Harvey gave a little smirk.


Mike stared at him. “I can’t believe I actually fucking believed in you. You really are a bastard, Harvey.”


Mike reached up, pulled the new tie from around his neck, and then threw it dismissively onto the coffee table. “Here – go and find some other puppy to play fetch with.” He grabbed his bag, stuffed his belongings untidily into it, and made a run for the door.


“Don’t sign Louis’s papers, Mike,” Harvey said quietly behind him. “You don’t want to be mine, then that’s fine. But don’t make the mistake of being his, either, because you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”


Mike glanced at him over his shoulder. “It’s none of your business, Harvey. I’ll sign if I damn well want. You don’t fucking own me.”


He yanked open the door and slammed it shut again behind him, then stormed furiously down the hallway to the elevator.


He stabbed his finger viciously on the call button, urging it to hurry up, hoping that Harvey wouldn’t come after him and secretly wishing he would, both at the same time.


But the door to Harvey’s apartment remained resolutely shut. The elevator arrived, and Mike threw himself into it. The door closed behind him, and now, finally alone, he stared at himself in the mirror.


Less than an hour ago, he had belonged somewhere, with someone, for the first time in seventeen years, and it had felt so good. Now that was gone, snatched away as quickly as his parents had been snatched away in that car wreck. And, damn it, it hurt all over again.


He banged both his fists into the mirror, violently and repeatedly, until it cracked and a small shard of glass cut into his left hand. That brought him to his senses, and he wrapped his handkerchief around it to stop the bleeding and then stormed out furiously into the parking garage.


His bike was where he’d left it, locked up in the shiny bike stand Harvey had bought for it.


That brought him up short. Harvey had bought him a bike stand. This wasn’t like those seductive things upstairs – the collar, the tie, hell, even the steak dinner. This wasn’t part of the Harvey Specter plan to get into his pants. This was something permanent. It wasn’t something you did to get someone to sleep with you. It was something you did if you intended them to visit a lot, and you wanted to make that easy for them.


He stared at the bike stand uncertainly. Was he just trying to convince himself?


“Why is it so damn hard for you to trust anyone?” he asked.


Harvey might have his suits of armour, but Mike knew he had his own ways of keeping people out. Harvey was right – he lied his way out of things. He lied, and cheated, and skirted around the edges, always playing the odds, trying to find his way to the main chance. And because of that he always thought people were trying to do the same to him.


Supposing Harvey wasn’t? Supposing he hadn’t been playing him last night to win the wager with Louis? Supposing his offer of a relationship had been genuine, because he wanted Mike as much as Mike wanted him? Because they did fit together so well? No ulterior motive.


The problem was what it always had been: just who was Harvey Specter? Was he one of the good guys or the bad guys?


“Due diligence,” Mike said to himself.


Harvey had been surprised he hadn’t done any research on him before coming to work at Pearson Hardman. Well, maybe Harvey was right. Maybe it was time for him to do some due diligence, but where the hell to start?


Mike had no doubt that Harvey would have expunged any unwanted information about himself from surfacing on the internet, so there was no point just Googling his name.


Mike suddenly remembered that phone call. Bertha. The Patrick Center. It wasn’t much to go on, but he got out his cell phone and tapped the information into Google.


“You wanted me to do due diligence, so I will,” Mike said, flicking through the answers that came up. “Now let’s find out who you are really, Harvey Specter.”



End of Part Four


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