"I don't see how she gets away without paying you," Justin says, and Eleanor tries to explain internship to him again. "Sounds like slavery to me," he snorts.
Eleanor did work really hard getting this event together for Mercedes, organizing the charity art auction during the day and the party for the evening, and she's quite proud of her results. "I'm not doing this for money. I'm getting experience and making valuable contacts."
Justin nods at that, knowing the value of contacts.
Celebrity and other VIP guest start trickling to the roof top suite Eleanor rented for this party, and Mercedes is so pleased with her intern she approaches to hand out some well deserved praise.
She stops short when she recognizes Eleanor's date. "Mercedes, this is Justin. My boyfriend," Eleanor introduces them.
Justin hides his surprise well. Eleanor has never mentioned her boss's name, and he never suspected she'd be one of his own clients.
Mercedes doesn't do so well, she frowns at the introduction and says, "My, Eleanor, I didn't think you'd be attracted to the...rougher...sorts."
Then, instead of praising her for her fine work, Mercedes finds some tiny issues to criticize her for instead.
Finally, she leaves the couple alone, unable to contain her outrage and jealousy a moment longer. She offered Justin a fortune to sleep with her, and here he is giving himself away to her dull little intern.
Mercedes regains her composure to attend to her party, reminding herself that unlike Eleanor, who has nothing but what amounts to a service industry lover, she has a rich and powerful husband, and all the celebrity and politician guests at tis party are here to mingle with her.
"You look really nice tonight," Eleanor says, almost shy. Justin always looks good, she thinks, he wears clothes, any kind of clothes, really well. But right now she's imagining him without them, and she blushes at her own thoughts.
When the party is over, they go back to Justin's room. "Being with you has changed everything," she breathes into his ear, "I was sure I'd never be in a relationship. I thought love was just a word people used to cover up their fear of being alone. But I know love, now, and I want...Justin, I want to make love to you."
His hand on her back trembles slightly. "Are you ready for this?" she asks.
He nods, not quite able to speak. He's thought about this, but did not expect it so soon, and is overwhelmed by the surprise.
"You're nervous?" she asks, her voice gentle.
"I am," he whispers.
"It's all right," she reassures him as she slowly undresses him, stopping to kiss the skin she reveals as she disrobes him. Her own dress slides to the ground with one quick movement, and she guides him back to the bed.
All the walls he's built around himself to keep him apart from humanity, above it, untouchable, those walls come down at her command, and Justin is exposed, vulnerable to the world and its pain. When she takes him inside herself, she enters into him as well, filling the dark empty spaces with her love, and she becomes his shield, his protector, stronger than any wall.
"I love you," she murmurs, and whispers his name, and for the first time since he can remember, Justin lets go of the reins, lets this moment happen without his control, and opens himself to love, trusting that she won't let anything hurt him.