Pam slams the phone back into the cradle. The thud echoes through the office and all eyes are on her.
Her steely gaze is only focused in one direction. Jim swallows roughly and tries not to wilt under her glare.
This isn’t good.
To say things have been strained between them since his return from Stamford is the understatement of the century. It aches to look at her. It aches to think about her. It all just aches.
This isn’t an opportunity to dwell though. Not when Pam is pushing back her chair and striding for the break room.
Her unspoken message is clear. Jim needs to follow her, or she’ll yell at him here, out in the bullpen, in front of all their colleagues.
When she puts it like that, what else is there to do but to follow her?
She’s standing over the sink. Her back to him, it heaves as she sucks in a deep breath. The door latches behind him with a soft click.
She rounds on him.
Her eyes haven’t lost any of their fierceness. He doesn’t like this. He doesn’t like this at all.
“What did you say to my father?” She hisses and suddenly he’s in a cartoon because he can swear that he can see the steam billowing from her ears.
He flinches. Oh. That.
Pam is having one of those days. You know, those days.
The kind of day where her alarm doesn’t go off and she’s running behind before the day has even really started.
The kind of day where her toaster is somehow inexplicably running hotter than it was the day before and her breakfast resembles a chunk of coal.
The kind of day where she doesn’t notice the splatter of toothpaste on her sweater until after she gets to work and Michael cracks a joke about it.
But, most of all it’s the kind of day where her father calls and tells her he’s having second thoughts about his marriage and wants to have lunch with her to discuss things.
And, because it’s one of those days, she’s in the bathroom, in the one stall that’s run out of toilet paper when her dad arrives.
And, of course, because it’s one of those days, Jim decides to go and talk to her dad whilst she’s distracted with cursing the toilet paper gods.
The kicker, that makes this day the most one of those days ever is that after her lunch with her father, he calls her to tell her that something Jim has said has helped him decide that he’s leaving her mother.
Jim still hasn’t spoken. He’s gulping like a goldfish out of water. It makes her angrier.
“What the hell did you say?” She demands.
“Spit it out Jim,” and his name is a curse on her lips.
That does it for him it seems, and he’s mad at her. She watches it flicker through his gaze. “Nothing,” he answers carefully. She can see the effort he’s making to keep his tone even.
She’s not so restrained. “Bullshit.”
He purses his lips and steadfastly avoids her eyes.
“What the fuck, Jim. He just called my mom and said he was going to look for an apartment.”
His eyes bulge. “What?”
“You heard me,” she seethes. “What? You don’t love me anymore so you want to ruin love for everyone else.”
She’s knows it’s crazy. She knows that’s not Jim. But, her dad isn’t throwing his life away over nothing.
He said something.
Jim recoils like he’s been physically slapped. You don’t love me anymore. The pain is instantaneous. It flares to life. It adds fuel to the turmoil of emotions already swilling within him. She’s got it all wrong.
He opens his mouth and gone is his calm facade. “I told him how I feel about you. I told him how I feel when you walk into a room. I told him that… you’re everything,” the words are kind, but his tone is laced with fury. He bellows.
She gapes at him. Her face pales.
“I, uh, I didn’t tell him I was talking about you,” he deflates.
Still she gapes.
“I guess he’s never felt that with your mom, even at their best.”
Her jaw continues to drop.
“I’m sorry, Pam.”
“How?” she clears her throat. “How you feel about me?”
He looks at his feet and shrugs his shoulders. “How much I love you.”
“Love,” he nods. “Still.”
It’s her silence that finally has him lifting his gaze from the floor.
She’s deflated, the anger has slipped away.
“Me too,” she whispers.
“What?” he demands. “Don’t, Pam,” he begs. “Not if you don’t mean it.”
There’s a beat too long that passes and oh god, he’s misinterpreted this too.
But, then there’s a hint of something else that flashes through her and maybe it’s determination because she’s squaring her gaze and leaning forward and oh…
All coherent thoughts leave him as her lips, warm and insistent press against his.
It’s rougher than the last time. Their kiss on casino night had been soft, fleeting. She’d tasted like last chances and inevitable farewells.
This time, there’s a whole lot of mad and a whole lot less gentle. She nips at his bottom lip insistently and he opens his mouth to her. Her tongue darts in and tangles with his. He grunts as her teeth clash with his and decides that if her tongue is down his throat she’s probably not going to mind if he wrenches her closer to him.
His arms are so long and lanky that when he wraps himself around her and tugs her close, his hands stretch all the way around her body and settle against the edges of her breasts.
She shivers and moans this delicious little sound into his mouth that sets him on fire. The desire that he’s been trying to smother for months breaks into an open flame.
He lets his fingers caress the curve of flesh beneath them and elicits another moan. It’s more than he can bear.
His legs shuffle forward, seeking a solid surface to press her up against. She huffs in protest as her body connects with the hard wood of the supply closest door.
He leans into her again, his lips hungrily moving over hers. She stumbles backwards, the door swinging inwards, he manages to stabilize them before they fall. The door swings closed and they’re plunged into darkness.
The blackness is unexpected and they part momentarily, panting and wide eyed.
“Ji -” she croaks, pausing mid thought as his arms wrap further still around her and one of his hands brushes over one of her nipples. She gasps and then she’s lilting forwards and crashing her mouth into his once again.
After the initial twangs of unbridled teenage lust had flared and fizzled in her relationship with Roy, passion took a backseat and comfort and easy familiarity had grabbed the reins. She can’t remember ever feeling this with Roy.
One kiss from Jim last Spring and something had been sparked deep within her. His return from Stamford had her trying to cover the embers in dirt so that they would eventually cool and cease to be.
But this, this? Her insides roar like a forest fire. This thing for Jim can’t be stopped. It can’t be put out.
It has her thrusting her hips forward in a manner completely inappropriate for the office, supply closest or not.
Jim’s hand drifts from her chest to clutch roughly at her hips. He tugs her forward and groans in a raw, strangled way that has her hitching her skirt a few inches north and stepping between his legs so she can straddle one of his thighs.
The friction is almost enough to have her seeing stars. She thinks that maybe her eyes roll back in her head, but it’s too dark and she can’t not look at Jim so she’s probably imagining things.
Jim settles one of his arms around her entire back and drags her closer still. Her hips buck over his leg and all thoughts of should she be doing this in the middle of the workday exit the building.
His other arm moves purposefully between them. He fumbles with her top button, wrenching his lips to her cheek for a moment so he can mumble, “is this okay?”
“Yes,” she begs. “Jim.” He hears everything she’s asking for without any need for her to say more.
She lets her own hands, shaking but sure, drift to her blouse. She unclamps the remaining buttons. His hand responds, keen and eager, his fingertips scalding the skin over her ribs as they hit skin-on-skin for the first time.
She shudders and then his hand is dipping under her bra and clutching her breast. He must feel the erratic beating of her heart screaming more more more as it thuds in her chest.
Her skirt bunches around her stomach as she begins to drive her hips more forcefully into his leg. He groans, low and guttural, and she kisses him deeper to try and drown out the sound. His hand trails down her stomach before he pulls away and she whines keenly at the loss. But then, his hand is on her thigh. He slowly, painstakingly creeps his fingers under her skirt and then he’s there.
His fingers graze across her sensible cotton underwear, the thin layer of fabric the only barrier between them and her aching center. She feels the moment he registers how wet she is, the cotton soaked through, because he growls and his lips shift from moving languidly over hers to a renewed fierceness. His tongue is everywhere, somehow pressing into every part of her mouth and then it’s on her neck and she’s gasping for air. He brands breathy open mouthed kisses on her chest and then his tongue is hot and heavy on her nipple.
She gasps his name like a prayer.
Under her skirt, his fingers start to move. He pushes the cotton aside and then he’s in her, with long and careful strokes.
“Pam,” he chants, muffled against her chest. “You feel so good.”
She hums in response and rocks her hips into his hand. His thumb presses steady and insistent on her clit as his fingers curl within her.
“More,” she pleads. “Don’t stop.”
His thumb paints a careful circle, the pace and pressure increasing as she bucks against him.
A few more strokes and she stills, her head dropping to his shoulder as she starts to shudder around him. He pumps his fingers a few more times as her walls tremble around him.
“Oh,” she sighs. “Oh.”
He’s imagined this. He’s imagined this for years. His fantasies as he strokes himself have mostly revolved around this. Pam, willing and pliant beneath him, or against him, or around him.
He’s never done her justice. He’s never come close to picturing this.
He can barely see her in the dark closest, but he can feel the heat of the blush settling over her chest. He can hear the strangled moans spilling from her. He can feel the warmth overflowing around his fingers. It’s infinitely better than all his fantasies. He wants more.
It seems he’s not the only one. Pam’s hands have slipped from around his back to the waistband of his pants. She tugs insistently. He gently pulls his fingers from inside her and leans back ever so slightly to try and meet her gaze. There’s enough light for him to make out her nod.
And it’s all the invitation he needs. He unzips his pants and she shoves them down over his hips. They pool around his ankles.
Her hands settle on the apex of his hips. Her touch is light, teasing. He shivers as they trail over his skin.
And then her hand is on him. She runs her fingers over the length of him before she fists around him and pumps agonizingly slowly. It’s careful and very deliberate. He’s already hard, but hardens further still under her touch.
He’s not going to last long. He just wants, oh… she’s trying to tug him between her legs, but their position is awkward and he’s too tall.
He groans, part frustration, part pure arousal.
She nudges him gently so that they’re no longer braced against the door. Stumbling back, he settles clumsily over a filing cabinet. She pushes his shoulders, and tries to maneuver them so that he sits against it. He has a better idea and spins them, lifting her gently so that she sits on the cabinet and he stands between her legs.
She grasps his hips and pulls him closer. There’s no resistance from him.
Her hand returns to its ministrations. Her legs widen and she encourages him further forwards. That’s all it takes and he presses himself against her. Her hands slip from him, as she brands her fingertips into his hips. He jerks forward, thrusting sloppily against her, not quite finding purchase. He pushes against her thigh, slipping in between their bodies as he thrusts. His shaft presses insistently against her clit as he slides over her.
One of her hands moved purposefully between them, she gathers him in her hand and guides him to her entrance.
He’s been trying for so long now to turn it off, the love he has for her, the lust too. He’d tried dating Karen, asking her out on their return to Scranton. She’d been willing and keen. After drinks, she’d initiated a kiss that he’d responded hesitantly to. She’d invited him into her room after their third date. She’d tugged his shirt from his body and joked gently about how shy he seemed to be. She’d guided his hands on her body and writhed beneath him. He had left the encounter feeling more than a little confused. There was a sense that he had been disloyal to Pam. That he was cheating on the idea of her. But it was stupid, because Pam didn’t want him, so he had tried to give himself to Karen.
It hadn’t worked. He couldn’t get past it. He couldn’t sleep with Karen and then close his eyes to thoughts of Pam. It wasn’t fair.
Karen had started dropping hints that she wanted a sign of commitment. She mentioned that she wanted to be exclusive in a few conversations, and he wasn’t being exclusive was he? Not when he still held a torch for Pam.
Desire was an open flame and Jim had been trying to smother it. But this, this couldn’t be put out.
That’s why he’d called it off with Karen. That’s why he’d bared his heart to Pam’s father in what should have been a friendly conversation about the weather.
That’s why he was standing here now, positioned between her legs, throbbing and eager. He plunged forwards, sinking into her center, inch by careful inch.
Her walls clenched tightly around him. She gasps and he stills. “Is this okay?” he murmurs.
“Yes,” she breathes against his cheek. Her hands grip his ass and tug him closer, encouraging him on.
He starts to rock his hips, gently at first, but she eggs him on until he strikes up a frantic rhythm.
He drops a hand between them and rubs an unsteady hand over her clit again and again.
He feels the first trembles as he pushes her towards the edge. His hand circles her, quickening to match the pace of his hips. She whimpers as he presses her over the edge and it’s that sound that undoes him. He spills into her before he even thinks it through.
Pam nuzzles his collar bone as she comes down. He’s an idiot.
She seems to know what he’s trying to find the words to say. “I’m on the pill,” she assures him.
He kisses her again, because he can.
She stills against him and it seems they’re finally communicating, because he hears the nervousness seeping into her tone as she manages to release a single syllable, “Ka -”
He cuts her off with a sure, “I broke up with her. A week ago.”
“Good. That’s good,” she sighs and he feels the relief rolling off her in waves.
“It’s only you, Pam. It’s always been you.”
“I should’ve asked before,” she gestures between them. He’s still twitching inside of her. He thinks maybe he should move back, but she doesn’t seem any keener than he is to step back and separate. Her walls are still quaking gently around him.
Something bangs heavy on the other side of the door and they freeze, remembering where they are.
“I saw Pam going into the bathroom,” Dwight’s voice booms, echoing around the break room and slipping under the door to bounce around in the supply closet with them.
He cringes. He shuffles a little to the left so that he’s blocking Pam from view if the door swings open.
Their eyes lock in panic as they hear Michael grumble a response.
“I think she’ll be back soon,” Dwight shouts. “Pam knows the regulations around employee break times.”
He panics. Dwight or Michael is going to burst in on them any second. He starts to frantically fasten the buttons of Pam’s blouse.
He feels her chest rise and fall beneath them and realizes that she’s silently chuckling.
“What’s funny,” he hisses.
“Dwight is trying to cover for us,” she chokes out around her soft giggles.
He stares at her blankly, despite knowing full well she can barely see him. “Why on earth would he do that?”
She bites down on the back of her fist to smother the sounds of her laughter. Tears pool at the edges of her eyes. “Dwight and I are kind of friends,” she shrugs. “He’s been kind to me lately.”
He gapes at her. “I’m never leaving you alone in Scranton again.”
“Oh, cut him some slack,” she grins. “He’s covering for you too. Do you want Michael to walk in here?”
He shudders at the thought. His movement, coupled with her laughter is enough to start stirring thoughts of round two. She must feel him harden, because she leans in to murmur, “later,” and he doesn’t think the smile will ever fall off his face even if Michael opens the door and catches them.
She nudges him back carefully and whispers, “there are paper towels on the shelf back there.” He shuffles over to grab for them in the blackness. They clean themselves up, straighten their clothes and listen carefully. After a full minute of silence, Pam brushes a gentle, yet searing kiss over his lips and grasps the door handle.
She tugs it open carefully, and peeks out. “Oh,” and he catches her cheeks flare brightly with blush in the light that now spills through the cracked door. “Dwight,” she nods in greeting and opens the door more fully.
Of course Dwight is sitting at one of the tables staring at the door. Why wouldn’t he be. No kindness can go unacknowledged it seems.
Jim clears his throat. “We were just, umm, going over a new sales technique,” he lies through his teeth and they all know it.
Dwight levels him with a look that says exactly that. “Pamela. Jim. You both owe the company fifteen minutes. I expect you will stay late this afternoon to recoup the time.”
“You can’t tell me what -” Jim starts to reply, but Pam cuts him off with a simple.
He softens ever so slightly, and states, “you’re welcome. Michael needs you to run an errand.”
She nods and gives Jim one last lingering look. He shuffles back to his desk and prays the moistened patch over the pocket on his pants is unnoticeable.
She sneaks glances at the back of his neck for the remainder of the day. She imagines running her fingers through the fine hairs at its nape. She decides that she will, later tonight.
As the work day draws to a close, she lingers long enough at her desk to appease Dwight.
Jim matches her, waiting her out.
At 5.15pm on the dot, she makes a show of turning her computer off and tucking in her desk chair. Jim gets the message, meeting her at the coat rack.
He holds her coat out to her, brushing her hair back over her shoulders as he straightens her collar. She shivers in anticipation.
In the elevator, she twines her fingers with his. His face breaks into a wide grin.
She likes this, seeing his happiness in the bright light of the elevator. She wants to see him next time. She wants to leave the lights on.
She tells him this, and he turns on her in the elevator, kissing her a little desperately and leaving her under no misapprehension that he’s willing to oblige her with anything she wants.
He offers to drive her home. But she worries her bottom lip between her teeth and counter offers to show him the way. She figures leaving one of their cars in the lot overnight is only asking for rumors to swirl.
They stop to pick up pizza and sit too closely on her sofa to eat it. Her leg drapes over one of his and he runs greasy fingers in erratic patterns over her thigh.
“I’m going to change into something more comfortable,” she murmurs after they’ve eaten. She shoots him a look over her shoulder that he’d be a fool to interpret as anything other than come hither and he follows her into her room.
Anticipation pools low in her gut. He helps her strip the clothes from her body and she returns the favor.
This time, they watch each other. As he sinks into her once again, he mentally saves the image of her like this, splayed out beneath him, with her hair surrounding her head on the pillow, a glorious auburn halo. Her eyes clouded with lust, her lips swollen with his kisses.
He didn’t know he could love her more than he already did, but he’s quickly discovering that he was wrong. His heart swells to love her even more.
As they settle into sleep, his arms wrapped around her, she mumbles, “this day wasn’t so bad after all.”
He grins into her hair. “Goodnight Pam,” he breathes as she hums a response.
She wakes in the middle of the night, twisted in her sheets and tangled up in him. She feels him stir as she turns over to face him.
“Pam,” he murmurs.
“Go back to sleep,” she sighs. She’s unsettled. What a day. She just… “I’m worried about my parents,” she whispers into the darkness.
Jim is more awake than she realizes. He tugs her into his chest. “I know. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault,” she pauses. “I’m sorry for lashing out at you today.”
“Don’t be,” he mirrors. “I’m uh, kind of glad it got us talking.”
“Talking?” she snickers.
“Yes, talking,” he grins, but then his hand swipes over her nipple and she lets her body answer for her as she runs her fingers down his body to grip him.
It doesn’t take much convincing for him to settle over her once again.
“It’ll be okay, Pam,” he murmurs as he moves in her. For the first time in a long time, she believes him.
“I think we’ll be okay,” she hums and it’s the truth.
The fire within her burns constant and steady. It’ll take work to keep it fuelled, but it will be easier to gather the wood with two pairs of hands. They won’t let it go out.