She can feel the camera following their progress out into the hallway. It's only been a year but already she has developed a kind of sixth sense for them. They get into the elevator and she stares at the floor. She can feel him looking down at her--she doesn't remember developing that sense.
Maybe she's always had it.
When she feels him look away, she takes the opportunity to look up at him. No one's ever had a crush on her as far as she knows. Roy, maybe, but that was so long ago it doesn't feel like it even counts. And even though it's over, now, and he's totally over it, it still makes her feel butterflies. It still makes her curious. It makes her look at him in a different way.
He turns his head to look at her again as the doors close and as their eyes meet, it's like he's suddenly turned magnetic. She doesn't look away; instead, her hands reach for him like they're not even her own, and pull his face to hers. She doesn't know what she's doing, she's not even really thinking, her body is just acting on instinct. She's up on her tiptoes, meeting him halfway, pressing her lips to his, but his sharp intake of breath makes her step back quickly. "Sorry," she mumbles, facing front again. eyes back on the floor. God.
He stumbles forward a bit when she steps back, but catches himself quickly. "No, it's ok," his eyes are wide, startled. He opens his mouth to say something, then closes it. A beat. "Just...why?"
"I just...wanted to...know," she says softly, miserably. God, she's so stupid. What was she thinking? This is so embarrassing.
His eyes are burning into her temple and she takes a deep breath and turns to look at him. His eyes are so green and so full of--what? Confusion. Hurt. Anger.
The elevator dings softly as it passes the second floor and this seems to stir something in him. He reaches out quickly and punches the emergency stop button. She starts a bit as the elevator halts between floors and panic seeps into her rapidly racing thoughts. Is he going to make her explain herself? She cannot have this conversation. Not now. Not in this tiny space. Not with Jim.
She turns to look at him, already shaking her head, but before she can say anything he is dropping his messenger bag to the floor, taking her face in his hands, and crushing his lips to hers.
This time, she's the one gasping as their lips meet. He kisses her soundly, his lips determined, deliberate, masterful. She feels her back hit the wall behind her and she cannot help but react. Her own bag clatters to the floor as her fingers travel up his (surprisingly solid) chest, raise to his shoulders, and finally dive into his hair. His tongue slowly traces the outline of her lower lip and she lets out a moan that would completely embarrass her if she weren't so focused on pulling him even closer. She tentatively bites at his lower lip and the groan this elicits from him goes right through her. She can feel the entire length of his body pressed up against hers, and it's like the whole world is tilting. And then--
"Hello? Everybody ok in there?"
The voice crackles through a speaker by the emergency button and they both jump. Well, Pam jumps. Jim straightens, backs away the slightest bit, and rests his forehead against the wall behind her, his chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath. His body is still trapping hers aainst the wall, and she's not sure what to do. She's never seen him like this. Her hands drop to his chest again and she can feel his heart racing.
"Hello?" The voice calls again. "Is anybody in there?"
"Jim," Pam says so softly it's almost just a hum.
"Yeah." Jim says quietly, closing his eyes and taking one last deep breath before straightening completely and smoothing his tie. "Yeah," he says again, more loudly, "We're here. We're ok. Just--" and he pushes the button again to allow the elevator to move.
She's still against the wall, staring at him, her mouth open slightly. She's not confident that she could stand on her own without support, her knees are so weak.
Jim stoops to pick up his bag and then grasps hers in his big, strong hand. How is it she's never noticed his hands before? He clears his throat, hands it to her. His eyes flicker to hers before darting away.
The elevator settles to the ground floor as she breaks their silence. "Jim?"
He takes a deep breath as the doors slide open, stares down at the ground. His eyes flicker to hers again, and the pain and defiance in them is almost unbearable. "I guess," he says slowly, his voice is ragged, quiet. "Now you know."
He waits a beat, almost like he's waiting for his words to sink in. His eyes are cast downward, his face tired and miserable. Finally, he strides out into the lobby and walks quickly away.
She watches him go, stunned. Because, she supposes, he's right: now she does know. But what does she know?
That Jim Halpert knows how to kiss her better than anybody ever has. That maybe his crush from three years ago is not totally in the past. That maybe she also--
"Babe? You ok?"
Roy's voice cuts into her thoughts. She jumps. "Yeah," she says in a voice that sounds far away even to her. She pushes off the wall to stop the doors from sliding closed and sees her fiancé standing in the lobby doorway.
His forehead wrinkles as she looks at him. "You feelin' ok, Pammy? You look a little flushed. Halpert mentioned you might not be feeling well."
"Oh, that was--he--I'm just--" she's so flustered. No one has ever kissed her like that. She can feel how red her face must be and she feels unsteady on her feet. "I guess I'm just feeling a little feverish," she manages.
"Yeah, that's what Halpert said. Let's get you home."
They walk to his truck and don't speak on the ride home. Pam leans her forehead on the cool glass of the window, closes her eyes. She can still feel his lips on hers, can still hear his groan. She opens her eyes and stares at the road passing beneath them. When she gets home she gets in bed and falls asleep almost immediately. The next morning, when their eyes meet, he offers her a gentle smile. "Hey."
"Hey," she says vaguely, and watches him walk over to his desk.
There's still so much she doesn't know.
Takes place at the end of The Secret.
Author's Chapter Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter End Notes:
I hope you liked it! I'm toying with adding a second chapter from Jim's point of view. Let me know what you think!