Holiday Indulgence – Shavuot (Part 1 of 3)

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A152 ShavuosPart1

“I’m hungry, I’m gonna get something to eat…can I get you anything?” Malka didn’t raised her head from the computer where she was typing furiously, not looking at the woman now standing in front of her. She did take a look at her watch, though, and apparently, among the phone calls, meetings, documents and Bradley, the afternoon managed to arrive without her noticing.

Even though she was used to these strenuous working sessions, at the mention of food her stomach made a clear grumble she decidedly ignored. There was no way she was taking any favors from this blasted woman.

“No, thank you, Miss Dayan.”

“You can call me Hannah, you know.” This managed to make Malka lift her gaze. Hannah had said that with a smile that actually reached her eyes. She had beautiful green eyes that Malka hadn’t noticed before. The color suited her and matched perfectly with her blonde hair.

And it was exactly this realization that made her issue her next statement, voice as cold as ice.

“I’d rather not, dear. That would confuse you with my opinion regarding your presence here, and we wouldn’t want that, would we?”

Hannah just shrugged and exited the office, leaving Malka slightly confused. Beautiful eyes or not, she really didn’t have the time right now to indulge in any kind of extracurricular activities until the delivery. But by then, the unnerving woman would go back to Boston, so there really was nothing to be done. Or so she tried to convince herself.

Whatever Hannah was getting for lunch, she brought it with her fifteen minutes after. It smelled delicious and was filling the office of an irritatingly distracting smell. Or it could be just the hunger speaking, Malka didn’t know. But she was sure it was a deliberate belligerent act bringing the food to the office instead of eating it wherever she bought it. Malka couldn’t help but admire the woman a little; no other person would dare risk bringing out Malka’s wrath over such an insignificant matter like lunch.

Apparently, from what she could gather from her desk without being overly obvious, her lunch was some kind of vegetables mix with grilled chicken on top. No signs of bread, fermented or otherwise forbidden foods.


When her own hunger took the best of the lawyer, she opened a mini-bar and grabbed a slim, unappetizing matzah, which she nibbled without much attention while focusing again on her computer, making her best effort to ignore the penetrating smell still reaching her nostrils.

Hours passed in relative silence until her body told her it was time to go home. The exhaustion told her it was at least nine o’clock, and right now, she wanted nothing more than a cup of wine and a good book.

She was surprised to find Hannah on her way out of her office; she truly had forgotten the other woman’s presence. She was staring intently at the documents in her hands.

“You’re still here,” she said, sounding more caring than she intended.

“Yes, well, there are more than forty folders there; I can’t waste any time in pointless activities such as sleeping. Or having a life. ”

That actually made Malka smile. “Well, good for you. Hard work always pays, especially if you want to be a professional one day,” she said scornfully.

“I happen to be an associate in Johnston Inc., counselor. The second in charge of the whole Taxation Department. And I also happen to be just a few months away from receiving my Master’s Degree, so you may very well call me Magister Hannah henceforth.”

“Hm,” she scoffed. And perhaps it was the exhaustion of the day what made her do it, but against all common sense, she asked. “Do you need a ride, Miss Dayan?”

Hannah’s eyes lit up as she closed the folder she was reading and grabbed her coat. “That would be really amazing, thank you!” she said, following Malka outside.

The hotel where Hannah was staying was barely four blocks away from BF&D, and it took more time for Malka to get there with her car that it would’ve taken for Hannah to get there walking.

“I thought you were staying a bit farther away when I offered the ride,” Malka said, somewhat annoyed.

“Yeah, well, I wanted to see you drive,” she grinned and got out of the car. “Bye!”

They give anyone an MA these days, apparently, she thought, driving away, her mind telling her to be angry with the little brat’s childish behavior, but instead a coy smile crept to her lips. She had some nerve, that Hannah.

Deep breath. Straighten jacket. Motivational speech. Listen to the work groups. And repeat. Morning after morning for the next seven weeks, that’s what she has to do to keep everything in order. And after that, endless phone calls, short meetings with her two partners to keep them up to date, more meetings with the work groups and even more endless document drafting.

“Malka, I’m going to get some lunch,” Hannah said.

“Good for you, dear,” said Malka, slighting the blonde.

“No, no. You’re coming with me.”

“And why, pray tell, would I do that?”

“Because I’ve been here with you for the last week, including my perfectly ruined weekend, and you’ve eaten nothing but a few matzot.”

“It’s called Pesach, Miss Dayan. I believe you are familiar with the festivity?” Had it already been a week? Even though she had a huge calendar with the countdown right in front of her eyes, she really wasn’t paying attention to the passing of the days.

She sighed loudly.

“Stop martyring yourself. it doesn’t become you. Come with me to eat a proper meal.”


Malka was sure she was going to regret this. Being near Hannah was beginning to become somewhat of a guilty pleasure for her; she appreciated the honesty of the woman. It was not very common for people to tell her what they really thought and it was somewhat refreshing to have someone do so.

So she got up and followed the other woman to a restaurant across the street.

“Are you sleeping with Bradley?” The question came out of the blue. Of all the absurd things she’d heard Hannah say, this was, by far, the winner.


“You heard me.”

“I was trying to give you the opportunity to rescind your absurd inquiry, Miss Dayan. I don’t think it’s wise to continue that line of conversation.”

“Fine, don’t tell me,” she said nonchalantly.

“Are you sleeping with him?”

Hannah scoffed and decidedly ignored the question keeping her eyes stuck to the menu. But Malka didn’t miss the faint blush, oh no. Malka’s intuition had played a big part in her professional development, being able to read people the way she did always put her one step ahead.


She knew she shouldn’t be jealous. Bedding Bradley was, like many things Malka did in her life, a simple necessity; a means to an end. It made him happy and it kept her satisfied. It was pragmatic, well performed, and really, she knew Bradley had other partners, probably younger and perkier than she was, so why was the issue bothering her that much?

“Do you do this often, Miss Dayan?”

“Do what?”

“Ask tiresome questions, be obnoxious and insufferable. How do you manage to keep a job?”

“No, I don’t always do this, just when people annoy me. And I manage to keep a job because I’m actually very good at what I do,” Hannah said, raising an eyebrow.

“So I annoy you? Interesting turn of events, Miss Dayan.” Malka was harsh, the playful tone from before left behind. “Let me remind you that you are the unwanted here, no matter how good you are at your work or who you managed to sleep with to get to where you are.” She was angry, she wanted to make Hannah suffer, and when that happened, Malka always aimed for the jugular. But she regretted her words as soon as they left her mouth.

“You know what? If that’s really what you think, don’t worry, I won’t be bothering you with my obnoxious and insufferable behavior anymore,” and just like that, she left Malka by herself on the restaurant.

She took a deep breath, as she usually did when she was conflicted, and left the restaurant, too. Whatever hunger she had accumulated over the past days had now vanished.

She returned to the office after a long walk, surprised to find Hannah at the table. Only this time, she didn’t greet her, didn’t even raise her gaze from the documents she was reading.

Well, that’s great, Malka thought. One less problem to worry about. Although she couldn’t ignore the small voice on the back of her mind telling her that she really managed to fuck it up for good this time.

At some point of the evening, Hannah approached Malka’s desk and all but threw some papers in front of her.

“What is this?”

“My preliminary report. You were right, everything is spotless so far.”

Malka should be satisfied, but the uneasiness she had been feeling for the past hours hadn’t subsided.

“See you tomorrow,” Hannah said, and left Malka alone with her thoughts yet again.

“Here, have one,” Hannah said, startling Malka, who was deeply concentrated on the documents in her hand. She raised her face to find a glowing golden cupcake right in front her face, on top of Hannah’s stretched hand.

“Whatever for?”

Pesach is over.”

She took a look at her watch. Almost 8 o’clock. “I’d rather have a beer.”

“Ah, I knew you’d say that,” she said, stretching her other arm, putting a beer can in front of her.

“Why are you being kind to me?” After I called you a prostitute was left unsaid.

Hannah sighed and sat in front of Malka on the other side of the desk, opening her own beer can and drinking in one big gulp what appeared to be half the can.

“I really don’t know,” she said, after wiping her mouth with her sleeve. Charming. “And I didn’t fuck Bradley, even though he did come at me. Not that I had the time to, anyway, but I wouldn’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because, counselor, I don’t take what’s not mine. Especially not other women’s men.”

Malka scoffed loudly. “Bradley is hardly my man, Miss Dayan.”

“Nevertheless, I wouldn’t do it.”

“I’m sorry,” she said after an uncomfortable pause. “I didn’t mean to imply you were a–”


“Woman of dubious reputation.”

“Listen, why don’t we start again?” Hannah said. “I think you know by now that I’m not out here to get you, or whatever goes through that precocious mind of yours, and we still have to spend a lot of time together. I will be tailing you until I leave,” she said with a warning smirk.

“Ok. Let’s agree to keep out of each other’s way as much as possible.” Malka saw a flicker of something on Hannah’s gaze, but it was soon gone. Disappointment perhaps? Or perhaps she was just imagining things, because Hannah stretched her arm, took Malka’s hand on hers, and shook it as if sealing some kind of business transaction.

“Deal.” And with that, she took her already empty beer can, her half eaten cupcake and returned to the circular table.

Well. Malka was disappointed.

Continued in “Holiday Indulgence – Shavuot (Part 2 of 3)”

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