A/N: First One-Shot, I've always wanted to give em a try... just never thought I had the discipline to, but I'll let you be the judge.

Two Months

Her Present

Two months. Two long months and no sign of him, I'd given up all hope of ever seeing him again. I didn't think he'd take my words literally and drop off the radar. But after informing his uncle of a wish for a long break, he was gone. I had called his phone incessantly, only to be met with the same,

"This is Vincent, you know the deal." BEEP. I say all of this at the risk of sounding like a clingy ex-girlfriend. Of which I am not. Far from it actually. I'd repeatedly told him I hated him, no -honestly- I did. He was the thorn in my ass- er, side.

Who ever said absence makes the heart grow fonder, was wrong. Absence made you damn well obsessive.

I had grown accustomed to finding him lounging on my office couch every morning, I'd chase him out. But he'd grin and say that I had a few 'gentlemen callers' who he had to inform that I was 'unavailable'. It infuriated me to no end. Yet now, each time I walked into my office- I expected to see him there. He never was. Every day for the past two months, I'd let myself think that he'd be there to annoy me -despite telling the press otherwise- and each day another crack in my heart would chip off. I'd dreamed of the last look he'd given me so many times that I almost gave up sleeping.

I hated him, hadn't I? Surely I did. Surely the fluttering in the pit of my stomach, whenever he did something infuriatingly stupid to gain my attention, was hatred. Coupled with annoyance and utter- I mean.. I refused to be one of his model groupies! I was above it all.

I can't believe that after all of his stupid flirting, and bullshit… the annoyance he caused and all the decent guys he'd chased away by pretending to be more than my business partner, I'd actually MISS the ass. It didn't help that the models continued to ask about him, as if I knew the answers. All I knew was that he'd taken a long holiday, I couldn't help but feel guilty over the fact that the last time I spoke to him- I'd told him never to touch me again. I couldn't shake the feeling that perhaps I was the reason he finally took the holiday and disappeared.

God, why did I suddenly care? Oh, right- you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Had I even had it? Have him? I highly doubted it, really- and yet somewhere inside the bitch I was, was a voice telling me that I had him in more ways then I cared to admit.

I grumbled to myself angrily as I stuck my key into my office door. The press had hounded me for weeks after his disappearance, and they still lurked around my office. "Ms Marx, there's been a sighting of Mr Crawley around the office-" My heart leapt for a second, only to deflate as I shook the folly away from my forethoughts. It was probably a ploy to try and get me to admit that we'd had illicit affairs, even though none of us had been married. (or been together)

The reporter continued, "-is it true he's been hiding out in the building?"

"Mr Crawley has been on an extended business trip for his uncle and the agency," I gave my usual comment, my voice revealing neither the dejection or melancholy which had settled over me since realising how much Vincent had brought to my life. And how much I'd seriously screwed it up.

"When will he be returning? Does he plan on taking over the business? Will you continue to work together when he returns?" The questions shot out at me in rapid-fire succession as I slipped into my office, slamming my door closed and locking it. "Ms Marx!" Leaning my back against the door a whoosh of air released itself as I felt for the light switch.

"Extended business trip huh?" My eyes widened, however I couldn't see a thing due to the darkness of the room. Maybe I really was losing my mind, because I could have sworn I had heard Vincent's voice a second ago.

Two Months Earlier

Vincent Leigh Crawley II

I hated her. I hated her so much that she drove me insane in ways no other woman could even attempt. Even at twenty three she had that uncanny ability to appear as if she'd seen it all, and perhaps she had, but how could someone so young possess the eyes and haughtiness of a wizened old crone and yet, still be the sexiest woman in the room? Yes, even in a room with some of the most gorgeous women in the country, Carina was by far the most beautiful.

Her dark hair was not in it's usual severe bun, but rather let loose around her, falling in waves down her back. There was a slight scar on the side of her face that almost resembled a flicker of a flame. She wore it like a badge, something of her past that she once let slip one drunken night I drove her home.

"-I've never let a man touch me ever since… don't you get it Crawley?" She slurred as she fumbled for her apartment keys, I supported her as she did so. My arms gently holding her waist, I'd never seen the prim Carina let go and drink so much before.

"Not every man wants to have… what did you say? Sovereignty, over you." I murmured against her hair, revelling in the fact that I was so close to her and she wasn't pushing me away.

"You don't understand because the women that throw themselves at you want to be owned." She finally found the keys and got her door open, pushing me away she stood on the other side of her door, her dark eyes regarding me hazily but with conviction.

"I don't heel very well." She growled, before slamming the door in my face.

Her fair skin tone complimented the dark suit she chose to wear, and I'm certain that the heels on her sensible black shoes would be rather tall due to her insecurity about her height. She didn't think anyone knew about that, but I did. I knew a lot of things about her. It came with being around her every working day for the past two years. I fought the urge to lick my lips as she leaned back in her seat, a smooth leg crossing over the other.

My eyes were glued to her, like lambs to slaughter. She didn't know how much it cost to even speak to her sometimes, she made you question yourself. The only 'up' I had on her was the ability to make the opposite sex melt, but she proved to be immune even to my charm. Her dark brown eyes flickered in my direction and I offered her my most charming smirk -yes my smirks were indeed said to be charming- she merely sneered back in response, her proud nose lifting ever so slightly in the air before turning her attention back to the speaker.

"Wait a second Mona," her throaty voice cut through the redhead's campaign for less food, more makeup. "I know you girls have been wanting to try the new cosmetics range from Gucci." The model nodded her blue eyes trying its best to hold on to Carina's, which was pretty darn hard considering each time she looked at you, you felt as though she were looking through you.

"However we are currently with a rival company, it's not a matter of expenses. We are most definitely financially capable of supplying the makeup for you, however we signed the deal with L'Oreal three months ago. The contract is binding, and withdrawing now would not only insult the company but leave us legally liable should they file a lawsuit." Mona opened her mouth to contradict her, on any other occasion I would have loved to throw in some chocolate sauce and watch them wrestle, however somehow I doubt it would work very well to insult my business partner (yeah right, my babysitter more like) and besides although physically Mona's height would have worked to her advantage, intellectually Carina could reduce Mona to tears… literally.

"Carina's right. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, especially when all you want is to enhance those already beautiful lips," Mona smiled, a slow suggestive smile that said she was thinking very naughty things about me, "but L'Oreal would sue us for what we're worth and this agency isn't prepared to take such a hard blow." I grinned at Carina who rolled her eyes the only woman who dared do so.

I loathed her. I hated Carina Spectre-Marx with so much passion…

that I was deeply in love with her. But how much could my ego take before my own expenses ran dry? It was a white elephant affair, she was a rare valuable entity that I'd give my eye-tooth for… but was the upkeep worth it at the expense of my pride? The meeting dismissed most of the models left for their usual Friday night of fun. "Come on Vince, we had so much fun last week!" One of the blondes pouted, I grinned causing her to smile.

"I can't, I have a shit-load of paper work I have to get through." It was bullshit, I never do paper work. That was Carina's forte, I just didn't feel like going out with them. I must be going gay or something.

After a few more pouts and seductive (but unsuccessful) attempts to get me to go, they left. It was late and the only people milling around were now the cleaners, however I had the stinking suspicion one person would still be in her office at 11pm on a Friday night. I made a quick pit stop at my own office (which had the important stuff like a mini bar) before I continued on down the hall (armed with alcohol). Without knocking I waltzed into Carina's office.



Carina Spectre-Marx

"You work for too hard for your own good Rina." a deep voice announced from my office door. Vincent stood in the doorway, a September Morning cocktail in his hand, my favourite drink.

"My name is Carina, I would appreciate it if you closed my door on your way out-" I paused, "-leave the drink on my table." His deep chuckle resounded in my head as he -as per usual- disregarded my wishes and let himself into my home- er office.

"All work and no play-" I finally stopped typing and looked up, unwillingly meeting his unusual violet stare.

"Makes me very good at what I do. What do you want Crawley?" I asked, trying to keep my voice polite.

"You, dear Rina." He purred, and I outwardly wrinkled my brow in disapproval. Inwardly a piece of me fluttered and I resented his stupid ability to make women swoon, yes that's the right word. Swoon.

"I have no time for your stupid little games, go fetch one of the models from downstairs I doubt they'd mind very much." My voice was deliberately clipped, as I said this. It was a weekly ritual, this spar of innuendo and wit. He would waltz into my office and try to charm me out of my pants and I would shoot him down at every turn. A little part of me revelled in his company, though I usually beat this side of me down with a bat.

"Rina, Rina, Rina. Those models don't have what we have." He placed the drink on my desk before me,

"What's that? Mutual hate?" I asked, noting that his chestnut coloured hair was recently cut and styled. I made a remark about his hair looking scruffy yesterday, I didn't think he'd take my words literally.

"No, this… sexual tension." I raised a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at him. Sexual tension?

"That tension, Crawley, is purely your imagination. I had my office repainted, the fumes are getting to your head." I replied with a smirk, and he grinned. My heart skipped a beat. Damn it!

"Sure Rina," he took a seat on my desk, as I stood up and walked over to my printer.

"I asked you to leave my office," I stood in front of him, proofreading my documents.

"And I asked you out on a date yesterday, but obviously we don't all get what we want." He countered, I frowned, he had been joking. I knew it, he knew it… why bring it up? I walked forward, if he wanted a little hardball... then so be it.

"Vincent?" I asked innocently, he looked surprise, whether it was from my sudden mood change or the fact that I was standing dangerously close to him I wasn't sure.

"You called me Vincent." Oh, that's why.

"That's your name isn't it?" I asked irritably. He stood up, and I was glad for the extra bit of height my heels offered.

"Sure thing hon, but you've never used it before." He murmured, his voice low and inviting. I hated that he thought he could get whatever he wanted through sex appeal.

"Well, Vincent Crawley, would you stop telling the men who call me that I'm married?" Whenever I thought I was ready to return to the world of dating, he'd intercept all my calls (since I'm always here) and deter them from asking me out. I hadn't been bloody laid in nearly six months, and not because I lacked the assets.

Thanks to Vincent, I could never secure a proper date.

"Actually, I told the last one you were gay." He grinned, I rolled my eyes. That's it, moving closer I stood nose to nose with him, his breath mingled with my own and with each word I said my lips came threateningly close to touching his. Perhaps if I tried using his own medicine against him he'd leave me alone. "Get out of my office Crawley." I uttered threateningly as I tried to remain detached and oblivious to the heat his body radiated.

His grin was palpable as he leaned closer to whisper into my ear, "You know, you're irrefutably sexy when you try to look intimidating." My heart leapt into my throat, not letting it show, I trailed a finger up the underside of his arm. Quite aware of my affect on him, his face came within a hairbreadth inch of mine before I moved past him to grab my drink thankful for the distraction. As I took a sip he played with my hair, which I'd taken to letting down more frequently,

"Rina we've been dancing around each other for the past year. Something's got to give." His voice was a deep burr that reverberated in my mind, maybe if I let- no. I've worked too hard to get to the top, a relationship with someone who barely understood the word would break me. I steeled myself against him.

"No, you've been trying to get me into bed with you for the past year, and really Crawley, it has to stop." I stood my ground, my heart beating in my throat. "I'm sick of saying this.. But I'll say it as often as it takes for your stupid head to wrap around the concept." His hands had slid up my arms and taken hold just above my elbows. My chest constricted, but I spat my words out contemptuously.

"I don't want anything to do with you. You're my business partner, nothing more. Sometimes I feel as though I'm your babysitter with how you act." He stared unflinchingly into my eyes, one of the few people who could do so. "If I had my way, I'd be running the agenc-" My words crashed into my brain as his lips crashed into mine. I froze, but as his arms wrapped around my waist, moving up to pull me in. A single hairline crack in my resolve saw my hands running through his hair, in the way I'd wanted to the night I got drunk and spilled my last relationship's details to him, however I'd restrained myself then. Why wasn't I stopping myself now?

I wasn't sure, but perhaps the way his tongue sensually toiled with mine -which pilfered a slight sigh from me- had something to do with it. He must have seen it as an invitation to slide his arms down my back and rest them on my hips. What the hell was wrong with me! This is your boss's nephew! My boss's nephew who really knew- he'd moved his mouth from mine to my neck and I gasped as his lips discovered a particular soft spot. It was the thought that he would be doing the very same thing to the next girl tomorrow, that made me push myself away.

Leaving a resounding slap on his clean shaven cheek.

"Rina," he breathed his voice awed but breathless and for the billionth time my resolve almost slipped, he raised a hand to touch my face but I slapped it away,

"Shut up Vincent, I-" my voice cracked, my mind applauded my performance. Telling me to keep the exterior impenetrable, "I'm sick of covering for you, I'm sick of working with you. I'm just sick of you." I finished, I've said this last sentence many times before, but never have I said it with such finality.

"Don't you ever, ever touch me again." I rasped, the cruelty of my words coupling with the brutality of my voice. I should have been elated, I should have finally felt triumphant. However if this is what I should have felt, then why did I feel as if I was making a huge mistake? My own question remained unanswered as he gently pushed himself away from the desk, and me away from him in the process. I felt the same prickly sensation I always felt when he looked at me, but I kept my gaze straight ahead not looking back at him.

For once he did as I asked and shut the door behind himself, as he walked out of my office, and out of my life.

Two months Later

His Present

Two months, two long months of trying to forget her. Of trying to bury, deny and rid myself of these stupid feelings. But no matter where I went, no matter how many times I attempted to distract myself with a pair of long legs and sultry lips- I would make the mistake of closing my eyes, and there she'd be. In all her haughty glory, dark eyes glaring right through me.

What good was a getaway when I couldn't get -the fuck- away?

I tried, I did… I attempted to envision the anger on her face whenever she saw me. The hatred she disclosed at any given time- just for me. Maybe my soul was a masochistic.

Because no matter how many times I tried to hook up with some exotic fling, my body would refuse to respond. Even now, as I lay in her office (having used the spare key I -secretly- cut, to get in) trying to understand it… I couldn't. Above it all was the inability to let it go, that held me back.. after all hadn't she practically screamed that she didn't want me? She made it painfully clear, but for some inane reason… here I was, lying on her office couch -a patient in wait of his doctor.

She seemed to bring with her a charge of electricity that sent me buzzing with something akin to anticipation. I'd missed the abuse. Two -abuse free- months. It was hell.

"I'm losing my mind." She whispered to herself, Vincent grinned. She'd heard him after all, bracing himself, he sat up.

"Turn the light on will you? Or would you prefer it in the dark?" He was met with an almost uncomfortable silence, before the light was finally flicked on- he squinted, allowing his pupils to adjust to the sudden change.

"Vincent-" and there she stood. The one woman who drove him more mad than the Manson family. He frowned, when did she lose the air of haughtiness? Her eyes (which had dark circles beneath them, that weren't there before he left) regarded him with a trepidation that was just as new as the expression on her face. Her bottom lip almost seemed to tremble. What had happened to his Amazon warrior? There was something… overriding all of the new difference. Something- he'd never would have pinned until she spoke, she walked forward, as if afraid he was an apparition.

"Is- you're not- Is it really you?" Her voice sounded fragile, different to the one she used on the reporters. She sounded, vulnerable. I nodded, unsure of what to make of it all.

Should I tell her that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't forget her? I mentally shook my head, tt was far too Mr Darcy for me.

I went for something more 'Vincent-like'. "Nope, this is my ghost report-" I began, the sentence was perhaps not the best -nor the worst- thing I could have said. However before I could finish my sentence, my head was snapped to the side. My cheek stung whilst my head rang from the slap she was far too fond of administering. I flexed my jaw, not even two months could soften the blow of her slaps.

"Ow-" I began, however my exclamation was cut short as she grabbed a fistful of my hair and I was roughly made to face her. I barely drew in a hiss of pain, before her soft lips violently met mine.

To dream or not to dream, that is the question- but the weight of her body on mine as she sat on my stomach whilst she violently kissed me- was definitely no dream.

Two months? They were reduced to nothing as she ripped her face away from mine to study me,

"You haven't shaved." I should have guessed that the first thing out of her mouth would be a critique, I had... yesterday. So maybe the stubble was- I opened my mouth to reply but was shushed, as she pressed her lips against mine urgently.

I could get used to this. And all it took was what, two months? Two torturous months away... thinking she wanted nothing to do with me. Two whole months of loneliness, because everytime I was prepositioned: I would see Carina's brown eyes in my mind and the answer would always be no. Two months- however it seemed I wasn't the only one with two months on my mind.

"Two months, you bastard. No word- for two months-" And all of a sudden she was in tears, my strong willed Amazon who's fury could reduce two club bouncers to puppies, "I hate you so much." She gasped, I gathered her into my arms -euphoria encasing me- she was crying, over me. Yeah I know, pathetic me... but she hated me!

"Not as much as I hate you." I replied, trying to regain my breath as the taste of her lingered. I held her close, before she moved back to look at me once more.

I should have expected another resounding slap, but the shock was still as powerful as the sting it entailed. I stared at her breathessly, "What was that for?!"

She had the nerve to smirk, two months of shit for her. Two months- to try and free myself of her grasp. After all, she didn't want me... she'd hated me -as much as I hated her. And two months was what had made her see just how much she hated me. God, I loathed the affect she had on me, even after two months away. As my cheek continued to protest the abuse, I wasn't at all surprised by her answer.

"Two months."

A/N: Wow, my first one-shot. It's sort of fluffy too. See what exams do to you? I started State last semester during exams. This time, I wrote up a one-shot!

Typos... yeah you know they're a plague.

I owneth not: Gucci, L'Oreal... and any other recognisable organisations/brands/ etc etc.

My first one-shot... I can't get over the fact that I did a one-shot. It sucked didn't it? Did it make sense? Was it too choppy? Did I chop it like sushi? Was the ending too abrupt? People, I have no experiences with one-shots... but you won't learn until you try it.

Reviews would indeed be immensely appreciated.

P.S: A Classic Case will be updated soon... stuff staying away during exams... the more I do that... the more I want to write. So I figure- if I write more... I'll want to study more! Tell me what you think of my plan... (yeah yeah reverse psychology is an old trick) and of my one-shot.