As I approached Mr Grey's chambers, I tried to pull myself together. But it was no use.
I shouldn’t even have been here. My GDL course-mate, who writes a blog for Lawyer2B, was ill with a fever, and I said I’d step in to help out with her latest piece – an interview with Christopher Grey QC, one of the country’s most famous barristers. Why was I so nervous?
Entering Gray's Inn Chambers, I was struck by the beautiful furnishings of the interior, the wallpaper’s Laura Ashley pattern blazing a mark on my soul that immediately etched into a permanent scar as the view from the far window caught my gaze. “What gardens!” I sighed to myself.
Then I spotted the watercolours – a series of glorious depictions of Gray’s Inn gardens through the seasons.
“The winter scene is my favourite,” said a husky baritone that came from behind me. Startled, I spun around.
In front of me was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen. Tall, yet perfectly proportioned, with tousled copper hair, the man's tanned frame was wrapped in an exquisite Savile Row suit. His eyes were like deep pools of cappuccino, swirling in a sea of sugary, creamy ocean. Lost in their mahogany vortexes, I suddenly noticed that this mysterious creature had extended one of his long hands towards me.
“Christopher Grey, head of Gray’s Inn Chambers.”
Quivering with an excitement I had never previously experienced in 22 years of happy, if mundane, existence, I tripped over the gorgeous Persian rug beneath me and landed inches away from Mr Grey’s wonderfully clean and perfectly fitting leather shoes. Holy crap!
“It is normal that I have this effect on you. But be careful, for I, like the devil, am dangerous,” said Mr Grey said as he helped me to my feet, his tender hands resting fleetingly, but in a way I often recall after sunset on autumn evenings, on my hips.
“Let us proceed to my office where we shall conduct this interview,” he continued, pulling me sternly by the hand.
After I had taken my notebook out, Mr Grey – who looked so young, surely not a day over 30 – began talking immediately. "I do not believe in luck, Anastasia. The reason I am head of Gray's Inn Chambers and a top QC is down to my excellence and hard work."
He looked up fleetingly, his long eyelashes quivering in the air like nightingales migrating south for winter, before resuming his fascinating tale:
"I began this journey four years ago. It is hard to believe I know, but I only completed my pupillage in 2009. A listing as a 'rising star' in Chambers & Partners propelled my career greatly. Marked out as 'one to watch' soon after by the Legal500, I attained silk the following year, before my colleagues voted me head of chambers – a great honour. And all before the age of 28. However, tell me about yourself."
Holy crap. I hadn't expected this. I was meant to be doing the interview, not him. But something about the authoritative tone of his words forced me to respond.
"I'm a GDL student, hoping to gain a pupillage, a training contract, anything...." I drifted off. God, I must sound so directionless to him.
I looked up to find Mr Grey staring at me for what seemed an age, his visage like a window to some distant, enticing realm. "How about you come and do a mini-pupillage with me?" he asked.
My inner goddess gasped.