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 Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:55 pm


April came but it did not come alone, it finally brought spring with it. Everywhere Jackson looked larger and more colorful than it had done over the winter months with flowers blooming everywhere. Jackson had actually had to hire a real gardener, or at least ask Victoria (very nicely) to arrange for one when it became obvious that his expansive lawn would shoot up every kind of flower and bush if not neatly tended too. Living in a bigger house than he was used to was an adventure every day but one the man didn't feel too bad about taking now that their funding was secure.

Indeed the research on Jameson had turned up nothing unusual, a republican congressman who had pushed a few uncontroversial bills over his twenty eight year career in politics, he would know Michael from the sheer years he had been in the game. The man had not mentioned Michael though, but then again he and Jackson had not had the chance to sit down and chat, most of their communication done through lawyers. The one appointment that he'd been able to arrange with the generous donor Jackson had to bail out on due to an emergency flight to Washington for a last minute vote. There seemed to be a lot more of those lately now that the filthy democrats were in charge.

Victoria had risen as a true hero in these negotiations, drafting up paperwork, clarifying conditions and taking all meetings with the man who was ready to fork over ten million in exchange for very little. Th deal had been signed within the week of it being offered and the next Monday, a two and a half million had been wired over to the Blake camp with the promise of another to and a half million forty five days later. Not only had Jackson gotten the cake he'd promised himself he'd treat the girls to but he'd also splurged on a giant bouquet for the lawyer who had made it happen. The card that came with the flowers declared her the MVP, to which everyone had agreed an applauded.

It had been business as usual since then, and part of their business obligation was being fulfilled right now, on a Saturday evening as Jackson prepared for the fundraiser they would be attending. While Jackson had reassured Victoria that he would bring Sasha to such events in future, the truth was that the redhead was still at school preparing for her exams. And Jackson needed a date right now, so as always, Victoria had filled in the slots. The event was a classic black tie that should take more than a few hours plus Jackson wasn't required to speak, merely attend and mingle.

Victoria would know what charity it was for so Jackson needn't worry, no, the most interesting thing to come out of today's event would be that Jackson would finally meet their benefactor face to face. He had only done a cursory google search of the man and left the rest to Victoria - not finding anything of note, Another old white man with lots of money, not exactly a needle in a haystack situation within the GOP.

Dressed in his tux, the man emerged from his room. Victoria had seen the wisdom of coming over since Saturday morning to get dressed in the guest room to save them time picking her up from his old apartment and the witch had disappeared to get dressed hours before he had trudged up after a round on the old treadmill. He didn't have much to do, tux, gel in hair, perfume, socks and shoes and he was basically done. Maximum time spent, thirty five minutes.

"Princess,' the man called out, exiting his room and heading towards the long stairway leading down to the living area. "We gotta reach before midnight kay?" Chuckling at his own joke, the man flopped down on the sofa, wondering whether to reach for his console and how much trouble he would be in if Victoria descended the stairs mid game.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:06 pm


After finalising all of the contracts on Jackson's behalf, and running a number of meetings with either Mr Jameson or his legal team, the first two and a half million had come in to their account and the office had breathed a sigh of relief. It didn't mean the work was finished, oh no, that was only just starting, but it meant that everyone's salary was going to be paid at the end of the month, and Victoria didn't feel like she was being the burden to them all. Zoe had been the one who had pointed such things out to Victoria a week after the deal had been finalised, and Victoria had shrugged it off. It was work.

Zoe was not so easily swayed as she pulled Victoria closer, her hands moving very slowly to Victoria's shoulders where they sat for a moment. "Breathe out," Zoe had told her in that moment, and as Victoria did, her shoulders gently relaxed, down away from their hunched position and down to where they usually rested. A slight knot had presented itself in the right shoulder that had made Victoria wince slightly. Zoe had been right, Victoria realised in that moment, work had taken over when home life had grown too much, and it had been a long, long time since she'd stopped and thought about herself. The woman before her had opened her eyes to that much as they moved to the sofa, Zoe's hands had moved to gently work away the knot as Victoria relayed the story of what had happened, in full, not leaving out any details because for the longest of times, Victoria hadn't realised how much she'd been harming her own mental wellbeing by pretending everything with Jake hadn't happened...

She needed to talk to Jake.

But Zoe had made such thoughts disappear when Victoria had finally admitted to resolving the matter in the office. The kiss of congratulations they'd shared in that moment had caused the two of them to sit back, uncertainty tainting both of their features because they'd just unexpectedly crossed a line. There had been no denying they were close, but had either of them thought this would be possible? Victoria hadn't, perhaps due to work, perhaps for other reasons, after the first kiss, though, and a hesitant second, the rest of the conversation had been forgotten.

With this new found relationship, Victoria's mood had turned upwards, her productivity had hit new heights, and the witch was on cloud nine in America. She hadn't called Jake yet, but she kept promising herself she would. Right now, though, the office needed her more, and perhaps the summer would be a better time to head home for a couple of weeks? Yes, Victoria had settled on that when Jackson had denoted she would be needed for a fundraiser that week. Rolling her eyes playfully at Jackson's question, Victoria had agreed, telling Jackson that he know owed her even more than before seeing as she would have to buy another dress for the occasion.

The shopping trip had been fun, even if Zoe was put out by the idea she wouldn't get to see Victoria in it outside of the changing room. The younger witch had grown a perfect shade of red at the comment, but told Zoe not to be so silly, there could always be reason to wear it out again -- a subtle hint at dinner for the two of them.

This evening, though, Victoria's date was one Jackson Blake. The man had allowed her to change at his house, and Victoria had commandeered the spare bedroom for the monumental task of getting ready for the evening. She'd been holed away for a couple of hours now after taking a shower, applying a subtle hint of makeup to her features, putting gentle waves through her hair that complemented her dress beautifully. The five inch heels that were a necessity around Jackson had been brought out once more, and as Victoria secured them in place, she muttered softly to herself that Jackson really did owe her for this.

After pulling on the simple dress she'd settled on, and then adorning herself with a simple set of silver earrings, a silver necklace, and a silver bracelet, Victoria sprayed herself with her usual perfume before checking herself in the mirror. Perfect, the witch thought to herself as she did a small twirl, catching herself grinning in the mirror and sobering slightly.

Jackson's call came a moment later, and Victoria let out a soft laugh as she picked up the matching clutch she'd bought with the dress and pushed her phone inside. "I'm ready!" Victoria called down after him, moving to the stairs and taking them very slowly so that she didn't topple from her new height of five foot five. "You just always invite me to fancy dos which take time!" Victoria explained playfully, entering the lounge to find Jackson sat on the sofa.

"No time to be sitting down!" The witch added in a soft chastise, returning the favour she'd been served only a few moments ago. "You look great, by the way!" Victoria added as a genuine compliment, smiling at how much better Jackson always looked when he was dressed to the nines. not that he didn't look smart in his suits, but the tuxedos he donned for such events... well, Victoria could see why the women loved him so much.

"Shall we?"

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:28 pm

Jackson was convinced his legal counsel was in possession of some form of dark magic because it was obvious every time they attended a formal event. Whenever Victoria appeared, fully dressed and ready to dazzle, she was always somehow elated from her normal child height to something that could actually pass as a grown up. How she did it, the young politician wasn't sure but he knew no wands were involved. This also suggested the witch knew some forms of wandless magic he was unaware of.

Of course, the Princess would never be as tall as some of the womenfolk that attended these socials, but she made up for it by being ten times more useful than they would ever be on a senator's arm.

"Princess," he greeted with a mock bow, jumping of the sofa and crinkling his jacket slightly in the process. They were driving tonight, Jackson having chosen not to be ferried by a limo service despite their donor's generosity. "Your monstrous, gas guzzling, environmentally disastrous chariot awaits."

They left together in his SUV, Jackson automatically reaching over to get the Goblin's door for her before climbing in himself. He was in a good mood. They finally had enough money for him to sleep at night, next month he was going over across the pond to see his fiance and had also given Victoria time off to do whatever it is she did. The guilt of years ago was thinning at the news that Miss Azalea was not only alive but actively corresponding with the pink clad witch beside him, though Jackson had never asked any specifics of what Victoria and Miss Azalea talked out. He was in no mood to here how Jake Newbury had changed and was now the perfect boyfriend.

"So, what's the deal with Jameson?" he asked casually as they weaved their way into traffic. So far, only a handful of people on the Blake team had interacted with the man, and of those handful, he trusted Victoria's judgement the most. "You've met him a few times, what kind of vibes does he give off?"

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:06 pm

The mock bow brought a soft laugh from Victoria's lips. Honestly, the man before her was so silly at times. But, that was one of the many reasons Victoria enjoyed Jackson's company, he didn't have to be serious all of the time, and after working with a number of stiff upper lipped clients back in the UK, working for Jackson was a welcome break from it all. Not, of course, that she would ever admit that to the wizard, no, she didn't want him to think she was too comfortable.

"Your monstrous, gas guzzling, environmentally disastrous chariot awaits."

"Just don't let the voters know I've allowed such things." Victoria replied playfully. It would not entice the 'greener' voters to look at Jackson if they knew. "And, please for Merlin's sake, don't drive too fast?" She asked, though it was unlikely Jackson would listen to that request, he always seemed to like making her feel uncomfortable when they travelled. But the SUV was better than the motorbike, so Victoria would take the small respite she was being given.

After climbing in to the vehicle and making sure her dress was clear of the door before Jackson closed it again, Victoria thanked him softly, pushing her hair back away from her face as she waited for him to get in. They had to look perfect, as they always did when they attended these events, and tonight, they would be sharing drinks with people highly influential to Jackson's future. Not that this bothered Victoria, of course, there had not yet been an event like this that she had not managed to work in Jackson's favour, and tonight would not be any different.

"So, what's the deal with Jameson?"

Victoria's eyes moved briefly from the road across to Jackson -- she always focused on the road, trying to foresee problems the driver might not in an attempt to keep them all safe, really, a bad passenger in motor vehicles. There was a small pause, and Jackson explained his question a little further and Victoria considered for a moment. What was Jameson like? That was a very good question, indeed.

"He's a nice man," Victoria supplied, because you were never going to get a 'bad' view from her on any person. "Polite, well spoken, he comes from old money, so far as I can tell. Well, research proved as much, but he likes to talk about the things he's bought with it, as well." She explained, and from that you could tell even though the witch had said it in her usual soft tones that she did not find this to be a positive attribute. "He seems to be much more comfortable in female company from what I've seen so far, so I've used that to my advantage in some of the meetings. But, he's harmless, so don't worry about that." She added, before Jackson could get uptight about it.

"Jameson likes the NRA, too, so don't bad mouth them in front of him." Victoria added, hoping this would sum up their donor enough. "Oh, and... I hope you don't mind. I told him that you and I have an ongoing bet on who can stay t-total for the longest. I didn't tell him the truth, obviously, but he was talking about drinking toast after toast tonight, so I thought... Well, he won't be trying that." The witch explained, a little sheepishly. They didn't talk about Jackson's sobriety often, and even now Victoria wasn't sure how comfortable he was talking to her about it. But she'd done her best to ensure the temptation wasn't pushed in Jackson's face. "You're winning, though!" The witch added with a small laugh to take any edge that might present itself on her comments.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:28 pm

Jackson listened carefully, only keeping one eye on the road not only because he knew the way to their venue by heart but because the current amount of traffic they were threading through made it hard to go anywhere but in a solitary, packed direction downtown. Never a fan of slow driving, the raven haired male tried to focus on Victoria's assessment of their new partner instead of on the snail's pace they were currently zooming along on.

"I feel like I've heard the name before," Jackson murmured absentmindedly once Victoria was done. The observation that he was better suited to dealing with women was a note Jackson kept tucked away for later use. No stranger to those kind of men, he nonetheless was in a business where these things were a necessary evil. And Victoria herself had claimed he was harmless so it only seemed fitting he let her continue to deal with him. After all, the money pouring in from the alliance more than made up for any idiosyncrasies the congressman might have.

"Old money, kinda like your folks," he teased, knowing full well he was risking a jab on the arm. The Newburies weren't old money, they were just one generation in. Though better to be new money and No Money, which was how Jackson always described his own financial background.

The two continued to talk as the vehicle they were encased in crawled along, tossing around theories (series ones from Victoria and the more lighthearted ones from himself). It wasn't really meant for any kind of conclusive results, merely a way to pass the time. Besides, any questions Jackson may have of the man he had yet to be meet could be answered today face to face.

Pulling into the private parking of he hotel their fundraiser was situated in, Jackson cut the engine, taking a moment to put his game face on. The kid's mention of his condition had gone responded but not unnoticed. For the first time ever, a female partner had actually not just bothered remembering his complicated relationship with alcohol but had also gone out of her way to make arrangements excusing the behavior that resulted from it.

He truly was fortunate to have the little Goblin on his team.

Reaching out in the dark, Jackson softly squeezed her hand. "Thanks kiddo," he managed, not looking at her but hoping the gratitude would come across. The moment ended as soon as it had begun, Jackson throwing open his door and stepping out, a charming smile on his face. Walking over to Victoria's side, the politician repeated the motion, helping her down to her dark magic-y adult height.

And together, the two made their way to the grand ballroom where the night's festivities were to be held.

"You'll have to introduce me," he murmur rd in her ear as they stopped at the entrance, smiling genially to the media elite gathered there. The sight of Jackson and Victoria together no longer interested the papers simply because of how stable it was. Wherever Jackson Blake was, his legal counsel could be found right by his side. They were no fun for gossip columnist who proffered inconsistent dates instead of steady colleagues and happily married couples.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:50 pm

Victoria rolled her eyes at Jackson's quip of her family being 'old' money. They were definitely not, and really, when you weighed Jake's wealth up in the world, he was never going to fit in to those kind of circles. Rich, the oldest Newbury sibling might be, but he was not rich enough to join the social elites of the world. Resisting jabbing Jackson this once, Victoria let that one go without comment, it would be unfair to hold Jackson's views against him.

The rest of the journey had been uneventful, truthfully. Only as they parked up and Victoria finished her explanation of the arrangement she'd made for them both did she realise that she'd been holding her breathe as she waited for Jackson's reaction. His hand on hers, the soft thanks, were her cue to breathe out again, and the witch did, allowing herself a small smile because Jackson hadn't minded that she'd made adjustments for the possibility of alcohol being around her friend.

Thankful for that much, the witch allowed herself to be led by the senator, holding gently on to his arm as they walked to the venue together. Nothing more than friendly, the newspapers hardly gave them a second glance other than the normal photo for a story of little and less information tomorrow. Victoria was quite glad the papers had given over on them, truthfully, she didn't wish for Sasha to think terribly of her when she was only helping Jackson out. After that, Jackson had leaned in to ask her to introduce them, and Victoria had given a small, discrete nod to show she'd heard him.

"Christians United." Victoria whispered back just shortly after they'd entered, sending a warm smile to others already there before she turned her attention back to Jackson, hoping he would remember the organisation enough to know not to say or do anything that would hurt their work. He would pick up on the religion, so Victoria simply added one more thing. "Keep all talk off of current LGBT issues, tonight is not the night for that." She explained, thanking Merlin that she had not told Jackson about Zoe just yet. This was going to be tough enough without Jackson giving her glances if the topic came up.

"Ah, here we are," the witch continued, finding the man of the evening for them to talk to. "Mr Jameson!" Victoria greeted the man, letting go of Jackson and moving to the man's side to receive the kiss to each cheek that was customary from Mr Jameson the last few meetings. His hand that usually rested on her waist in such meetings misjudged itself slightly, put Victoria paid it no mind, turning from the man's embrace. "Might I have the pleasure of introducing Jackson Blake to you this evening, and Jackson, this is Mr Jameson. My apologies for not securing a meeting prior to this, Mr Jameson, Jackson likes to keep busy with his work, he's been snowed under with meetings this past week, but I hope that we'll be able to get everyone together more often going forwards." Victoria explained, taking the brunt of the blame for Jackson's lack of appearance in meetings for her boss so that he wouldn't look bad to his sponsor.

The men, Victoria was sure, could take it from here, and she fell back to allow them their talk.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:31 pm

They entered the shindig without much preamble, greeting casual colleagues and associates, picking up drinks (both of them opting for clear sprite to keep up the clever pretense the kid had come up with) and conversing quietly. As soon as Victoria mentioned the organization behind the fundraiser, Jackson nodded.

The warning about LGBT issues wasn't necessary but the witch beside him was nothing if not thorough. Christians United opposed gay marriage, worked to delegitimatize black churches, campaigned aggressively in the pro life field and supported conversion therapy. As a moderate republican, Jackson had no problem either backing CU's views or condemning them, depending on which would go over best with his constituents.

They moved through the crowd at a leisurely pace, until finally Victoria pointed out the back of a silver haired man in a generic black suit, identifying him as their benefactor. Smile in place, Jackson accompanied her to meet the illustrious Mr. Jameson, only for ehr expression to turn stony the moment the older congressman turned to greet them.

The witch was saying something, but Jackson couldn't hear her over the blood rushing into his ears. Only the sheer shock of the moment kept his face from morphing into a nasty sneer s the congressman greeted them politely.

"Ah not to worry darling," he elderly man spoke, his voice smooth and his eyes putting into mind the melody from a snake charmer's flute. "Just between us, I prefer meeting you over Senator Blake here anyway." From a great distance, he heard Victoria laugh politely at what was meant to be a joke. Jackson himself was still in his half frozen state, unable to speak.

Until the congressman addressed him directly.

"Judith says hello, Jackson.'

The young wizard snapped out of it, determined not to be caught unaware more than he already had.

"I'm sorry, who?'

"Oh, my apologies," their donor spoke silkily, one silver eyebrow raised in either inquisition or amusement. "Of course, you're a senator now, you can't Bremen everyone. Judy Bloomberg, Michael's daughter."

When Jackson still did not confer recognition, Wyatt added the final blow. "My wonderful fiance. We're thinking a June wedding."

Judith and this slime ball were actually doing it.

They were getting married.

Jackson needed a drink, and sprite would not cut it.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:47 pm

Victoria had, as always, laughed along with Wyatt Jameson's jokes. He was a harmless older man, Victoria knew that much, laughing at his jokes that had died out nearly a decade ago was the least she could do to allow him to save face with the rest of the group. However, as their donor moved on to directly address Jackson, the witch's eyes moved to Jackson with a small inflection of curiosity when they spoke of Judith.

It was vastly clear a moment later, and much, much too late Victoria put in to place the whole. Stupid. Reason for their donation being so generous.

Merlin's beard! Merlin, Merlin, Merlin!

"June?" Victoria questioned, stepping in to help Jackson who had seemingly forgotten how to talk in that moment, whilst trying to push away the inner mantra of how she'd messed up royally in that moment. "How wonderful, summer weddings are always so beautiful, though I must admit I prefer a winter wedding myself, especially if you can get lucky with a dusting of snow on the day." The witch explained, taking Mr Jameson's attention off of Jackson with relative ease.

"Did you see the news, Mr Jameson? Of Jackson's recent engagement? I'm sure you did, of course. Sasha, Jackson's fiance, is so very beautiful herself. Jackson is very lucky! Though, I'm sure Judith is just as beautiful too, I'm sure I saw a picture of the two of you together at a charity gala..." A lie, but these people were always at some charity event they pretended to care about. "But, come along, the two of you mustn't try to make me jealous of your beautiful fiances and their dream weddings to two handsome men.

"What is the order of events tonight, Mr Jameson? I, unfortunately, forgot to print Jackson and I a copy of tonight's itinerary." Victoria lied once more, knowing it was safely tucked in her clutch bag. If saving face for Jackson meant a small white lie, though, Victoria would offer it up gladly, and it wouldn't hurt to get Mr Jameson's view on the itinerary, either, so they could work more efficiently around the subject.

Glancing across at Jackson as Mr Jameson reached for his own booklet, the witch gave him a small apologetic look, before giving him a look that said he could do this.

That she believed in him, as she always had.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Sat Oct 13, 2018 5:58 pm

Once again, Jackson heard her in the periphery, trying to save the situation the only way she knew how. She must have remembered Judith too despite the fact that the politician had only mentioned his ex once - on a cold November night in a chilly balcony. Midterms seemed so far away now. They had come all this way...

And it was still useless.

Anger, cold and relentlessness, washed through Jackson where he stood. That absolute bitch! Had she planned this to fuck with his head? Had she intentionally targeted Victoria thinking the kid wouldn't know Jackson's history? If the soon to be Mrs. Jameson had, then her plan had worked. They were now indebted to the man who was sick enough to marry his lifelong friend's only daughter.

"Oh yes, Judy Bloomberg, we were at university together," Jackson finally managed after his lawyer had taken over the conversation for the most part. Looking over a document that was clearly read and reread three times before being safely tucked into ehr purse, Victoria made quite the convincing forgetful female - something that worked in their favor right now.

"I heard she was dating a senior, I just thought it was a senior at Milwaukee U, eh Wyatt?" A forced cheeky wink complimented the slight joke to which their donor responded with a tight smile, his eyes clearly not impressed with this brand of humor.

Just then, Victoria pitched in with her comment of the two handsome men making her jealous and the mood was alleviated. Soon enough the trio was joined by another and then the opening speeches began.

Throughout the address, Jackson remained in his seat, adopting a stony position as Victoria fielded most of the waves, greetings and comments their way. And it was only when dinner began that he stood up. "Need the men's room,' he murmured, making a getaway for the restrooms he knew were tucked away on the other side o the drinks table. He had seen Jameson approaching and decided Victoria could deal with him for now.

He had to think. He had to work out if they could give the money back and find a new donor, or if he could keep the money and still punch the man behind it in his fucking smug face. Or.. or if they just had to be adults about it because ten million dollars was ten million dollars.

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PostSubject: Re: Now let me hold your hand (Victoria)    Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:49 pm

Victoria had to cringe internally at Jackson's joke to the older male in the group, wishing beyond the world that she could have jabbed him in the side for that. Didn't the raven haired male know how much rested upon Wyatt Jameson remaining happy with funding them? Couldn't the personal grudge be let go? And for Merlin's sake, Jackson was engaged to another woman now, did he really have to hold something so trivial over their donor?

Instead, Victoria did what she'd learned she did best, she turned the conversation away from dangerous waters, and the two men seemed to grow less tense. Or, maybe just Wyatt, Jackson's body was much too tense as they excused themselves to get ready for the speeches. The duo sat without a word, but where Jackson seemed to forget his ability to socialise, Victoria blossomed in to the greetings, small conversation, and took note of what was being said by the speakers in case it became useful at a later point. Not, Victoria reflected, that she agreed with very much being said.

Jackson's only comment was to denote he was going to the toilet shortly after the speeches were done, and Victoria nodded to show she'd heard. Despite herself, the witch watched him cross the room, her eyes making sure he made it past the drinks table without mishap. She would not be cowed by him going in to the men's room if his hands reached for a drink on their way past...

Her worry was not necessary, though, and as Jackson disappeared from view, the younger witch was caught by Mr Jameson once more. Pushing the smile back on to her features, Victoria lifted her glass as she made to stand from the table. The older politician motioned for her not to stand for him, and instead took up Jackson's seat for himself.

"So, what did you think to the speeches?"

Wyatt's opening question was to be expected, and Victoria fielded it with an answer that left her own views in the background. It didn't matter what she really thought to this group, that opinion would not get Jackson the money he needed. But that didn't mean she had to pretend to like the things that had been said. The witch had been all too happy to deal with Wyatt's questions, though, but she had been thrown slightly when upon starting her explanation, Mr Jameson had pulled his chair a little closer to hers, pushing in to her personal space despite not being provided with an invitation, or the hint of the space needing to be reduced.

Still, Victoria knew better than to pull away, Wyatt Jameson was a man who enjoyed having his ego inflated, and moving away would not serve to help them in that moment. Wyatt simply moved on from her answer to give his view of the speeches, suggesting the speakers not to be the best he'd heard, but their message being 'right'. Victoria agreed with his thoughts, not daring to point out how flawed each and every point the speaker, and the politician had made on various subjects. Now, she knew, was not the right time.

The conversation turned to another field of politics, Victoria kept her replies short, but polite, not wishing to put Jackson's party in any risk by saying the wrong things. Of course, she knew Jackson's agenda forwards, backwards, sideways and upside down, but the witch would never, ever, go forth with the idea that she could change any of it. No, the less she said, the less she could damage the chances of the younger politician, it was as they were discussing one of the more local political stances that Wyatt Jameson's hand moved to her leg beneath the clothed table. Hidden from everyone's view, the only ones who knew what had just happened were the two parties involved, and it took all of Victoria's willpower not to recoil from the touch of the man beside her.

"Tell me, how did Jackson come to have such a beautiful woman in his party? My lawyers say you're very good at what you do, and you're so young, so beautiful, what drew you to him?" Wyatt's question might have sounded friendly, full of compliments, but enquiring on something as simple as how she'd joined Jackson's team, but Victoria, despite her naivety in this field normally, knew to trust her instincts. To know that the cold shiver that had just run from the base of her spine to the top of her neck and in to a painful knot at the back of her skull should not, ever be ignored.

And yet, she made no move to distance herself of the man.

Jackson's future relies on me right now...

"I ummm..." The witch fumbled with her words for a moment, trying not to look flustered despite the fact Mr Jameson had more than managed to achieve that state of mind. "Well, I came back to America last year. I completed my degree in the UK, and... umm... well, I thought I would come back Stateside, I missed it whilst I was away. And, Jackson and I went to school together, so I looked him up on my return, and, well, he needed someone to run his legal team, so I took it on board." Victoria explained, not meeting Mr Jameson's eyes because she knew they would betray her.

"Have you two..?"

"No!" Victoria squeaked, shocked at the question, even if the papers had asked such things a hundre times.

"Good, good..." Mr Jameson replied in that moment, his tone still much too normal, much too calm. As if nothing was happening as he gave her thigh the softest of squeezes beneath the cloth.

Colour had drained from Victoria's face, but even though she knew exactly how to get herself out of this situation, the witch couldn't move.

"W-what about Judy, Mr Jameson? H-how did you meet Judy?" Victoria asked, trying to remind the man that he was engaged. That he should not be doing exactly what he was in that moment. That she was not comfortable with an engaged man flirting with her. But he seemed undeterred by her tactics.

"Politics. Her father and I go way back." He offered shortly, making no move to distance himself from her. Victoria offered a small, stiff smile in that moment, before her eyes caught sight of a welcome distraction.

"Oh, look, Jackson is back." The witch said, and Wyatt's hand moved away as she finished the sentence, turning to see that Victoria was telling the truth. Getting to his feet, Wyatt Jameson sent a smile to Jackson, before he moved off to liaise with the other politicians gathered. Victoria quickly reached for her glass of orange juice, ignoring the tremor in her hand as she took a large mouthful, and slowly swallowed it in small gulps.

"Everything alright?" Victoria asked brightly of her boss as he sat down, checking him over to ensure he hadn't done anything he shouldn't have whilst he was away. The smile on her lips would not betray what had just happened, either.

Jackson Blake could not know, or their funding would be cut.

Victoria knew the real agenda now.

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