Holiday Indulgence – Shavuot (Part 2 of 3)

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A152 ShavuosPart2

Malka was feeling uncomfortable. Something was wrong but she wasn’t sure what it was. The Board meeting that morning went smoothly, and the Monday meeting didn’t raise any particular alarms in her mind.

So what was wrong? She was more snappish than usual, which was something, and on top of it all, she was having major crowd control issues.

Her people were getting impatient and she knew it. Most of them were working twelve hours a day, and most of them don’t live remotely nearby. She tried to make the situation easier for everyone, but fancy food was not nearly enough and people were getting on their nerves.

And then there was the Hannah issue, which she didn’t dare to address, even in a hypothetical fashion.

She was so worried with the general situation she almost missed it. That huge mistake in the balance sheet that someone was going to have to pay with their job. She must have been breathing fire out of her nose because Hannah had a worried face when she approached her. Malka was so not in the mood for condescending conversations.

“Malka, what is wrong?”

“Nothing, dear,” she said with the most unaffected voice she could muster.

“Come on, talk to me.”

“Whatever about?” she asks, starting to get truly annoyed.

“Something’s wrong, I know it. I know you.”

“Really? Shall we do a sleepover tonight and braid each other’s hair, then?” she said. “You’ve known me for five whole minutes, dear, don’t let a grope in the grass and a few kisses confuse you. I know you have a need to be as obnoxious as possible at all times, but if it’s all the same to you, I’d like you to leave me alone.”

She knew she was being unnecessarily harsh again, but it had to be done. She was not to be pitied; she was not to be cuddled. Not now.

“I think it’s pretty clear you don’t know me at all,” Malka continued when she heard no answer from the other woman. Trying to ignore that nag in her stomach and avoiding Hannah’s doe eyes, she paged Bradley and prompted him to her office.

“Bradley, dear,” she said when he opened the door, “remember when I hired you?”

“Yes,” he answered with trepidation.

“You told me, those many moons ago, that you actually knew how to count,” Malka continued, her voice as cold as ice, her glare murderous. “Now, are you completely illiterate, or did you simply forgot the numbers in the past week?” Her voice was barely above a whisper, but the anger in her eyes compensated the lack of volume. She was angry and someone’s head was going to roll.

Bradley opened his eyes wide, glancing between Hannah and Malka, waiting for someone to explain what was going on. He seemed hurt, afraid; Malka has never spoken to him like that. Sure, she was harsh and abrasive, but never to this level, and never with him.

“What, pray tell, is this?” she said, handing him the balance sheet.

“The document you asked for?”

“Really. Tell me, then, what is wrong with it?”

“I do– I don’t –”

“Malka, stop torturing the kid and tell him what the hell is wrong already,” Hannah interjected, shaving the document from Bradley’s trembling hands. “Oh, dear,” she said, immediately finding what Malka was aiming for Bradley to find.

“I– I thought you–” Bradley interjected.

“No, dear, you see? That’s the problem,” she scoffed.“I don’t pay you to think, I pay you to do what I tell you to do, exactly the way I say. Now tell me, did you send this document already?”

“No, I never send anything without your approval,” he managed to say without stammering.

“Wonderful. Now get me whoever is responsible this of chart. No, you know what? Inform them not to bother coming to work tomorrow. That would be all,” she said after a pause, dismissing Bradley when he didn’t move from his spot.

“So nothing wrong, huh?” Hannah said, as soon as Bradley was gone, glancing at the document again. “How did we miss that?” she said to herself. “What do we do?”

Malka took a deep breath before talking.

“Miss Dayan, is your limited vocabulary preventing you from understanding what I say? I wish to be left alone; I need to fix the mistake that idiot made before the whole assignment goes to hell.”

“I can help you fix it,” Hannah said, not moving from where she was standing. “I am an accountant, you are not.”

“I don’t need your help,” Malka said standing up, one hand on her waist, the other one running through her hair in desperation. “Just get out of here.”

“You don’t scare me, Malka, so you can stop insulting me. What am I supposed to be afraid of, more insults?”

“Whatever you are afraid of is none of my business,” Malka said, pacing around the office. This was getting really bad; she was starting to hyperventilate and she couldn’t think straight.

“Look, either we fix this or this whole project gets fucked up. And I’m guessing your partnership will follow suit,” Hannah said, firmly. “Malka, breathe.”

Hannah was invading Malka’s personal space, grabbing her by the shoulders, as she was so fond of doing lately. Malka wouldn’t relent to the childish antics of the other woman. She could not be distracted, she needed to fix the problem, fix it nownownow before everything… and the trail of her desperate thoughts was interrupted by a passionate, wet kiss.

It wasn’t long before the kiss had way passed any point of decency, but Malka couldn’t be bothered to care. She felt all her will abandoning her body, filling her instead with the sensation of Hannah’s hands rummaging through her skin.

When Hannah came up for air, she disentangled from Malka, leaving her with her mouth slightly open, hair and clothes completely disheveled.

“Now let’s fix this mess,” Hannah said, bringing Malka back to reality once again. “Come on, we still have a few days until we need to send this balance sheet. But first, go and apologize to Bradley.”

“I will do no such thing!”

But as soon as Hannah was out of sight, she took her phone and texted Bradley a short I’m sorry. Texting was something she got a hold of just a few days before, and she was damn proud about it.

The adrenaline rush Hannah had given Malka was gone and she was all business again. The culprits of the accounting mess were summoned and they were having a very hard time explaining why the budget was showing estimated losses of over twenty-five million dollars. Losses that weren’t there before.

It took Hannah a good part of the week to find the mistakes and fix them, and for once, Malka was genuinely glad she had the auditor with her, because her own knowledge of accounting wouldn’t have been enough to salvage the situation.

All the while, Malka was either hovering over her or fidgeting around.

“I’m on the verge of killing you if you don’t do something with yourself other than be a pain in the ass, Malka,” Hannah finally snapped. It was already Friday afternoon and, according to her calculations, the document would be ready that evening. “Go and annoy someone else, I beg you.”

“Fine,” Malka replied not sounding happy at all, and left Hannah alone in the office, deciding to take a walk.

She was so grateful for the woman, she couldn’t get angry at her, and it wasn’t long until she decided to do something nice for her. Making up her mind, she went to a grocery store and bought what she needed.

When she returned, more than two hours after, Hannah was waiting for her with a big smile in her face.

“It’s done,” she greeted with a deep kiss. “I fixed the balance sheet, you can breath again.” Malka responded gladly to the kiss, dropping the grocery bags on the floor.

“Come with me tonight,” she muttered against Hannah’s mouth. “I’ll cook.”


She cooked cheese ravioli with tomato and artichoke sauce –the only thing she had managed to not burn to ashes when her mother tried to teach her to cook–, served with white wine.

And then, slightly intoxicated by the wine, but mostly by the heavily charged atmosphere, they found their way to the couch where Hannah straddled Malka, pinning her against the cushions. Hannah kissed and sucked her pulse point, leaving a trail of wet kisses on her way down, driving her near to madness. She kissed along her jawline and neck, her hands finding their way underneath Malka’s clothes.

Hannah’s hand made contact with warm flesh beneath Malka’s bra, making her squirm and elicit a low, rumbling moan. And suddenly, all movement came to a halt.

“Hannah?” Malka issued, the name sounding strange to her ears.

Hannah raised her head to face Malka, her breath ragged and uneven, pupils completely dilated. It took her a few seconds to catch her breath again and talk.

“I should go.”


“Oh, god, this is so wrong. I have a date tomorrow?”

“What?” Malka repeated, her voice higher than before.

“Yeah, erm. Remember my brother’s friends? They ones I told you about a few weeks ago?”

“The Shabbat dinner, yes.”

“Well… they decided to set me up with someone, and, honestly, I couldn’t refuse, I swear, I tried to tell them no, but then my brother called, and I can’t say no to my brother, and, oh my god, this is so fucked up and I’m so, very sorry, Malka, please, believe me, I wasn’t expecting any of this to happen,” Hannah blabbered, her eyes widening like a deer caught in the headlights.

“Really?” Malka said completely unimpressed, stoic mask back in place. “A shidduch? Are we living in 1900 Russia and I didn’t notice?”

“It’s still a very common practice,” she defended herself.

“Fine. Whatever. Please close the door on your way out,” she said disentangling from underneath Hannah, practically throwing her to the floor. She walked to the bathroom and locked herself in.

“Fine? That’s all you’re going to say?” Hannah asked following Malka’s footsteps. “Malka, don’t do this,” she begged.

After issuing no answer, Malka heard a loud sigh followed by the sound of the closing door of her apartment. She sat on her bathroom for nearly an hour, kicking herself for being so goddamned gullible and naïve.

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

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