The crowd always alerted Andrea to Miranda’s presence. Watching them watch the silver haired beauty descend the stairs Andrea couldn’t help but compare the fawning crowd to gazelle perking up when they sense the presence of the mighty predator, the cheetah. Smiling to herself and letting her eye lashes flutter, Andrea turned her attention to the fastest cat of them all. Idly she wondered if she should go for a degree in Sociology. Her brain began to present titles for her thesis…
Dissonant Designers: Expressions of Individuality and Conformity in Fashion
The Globalization of the Giant Bow
Disaster Preparedness in Haute Couture
A History of Place: A Guide to Honor Recovery for Jacqueline Follet
Priestly’s Rise to Hegemony: Searching for Fashion’s Omega
The last made her smile as she came face to face with the woman herself—the devil in prada. Eyes dancing blue with brown, Andrea pressed her lips together to show she was not having any fun, despite the telling sparkle in her eyes. Miranda huffed slightly as she passed the brunette—the only indication of her joy.
The crowd parted as they walked and then nervously circled them when they stopped. The few, the proud, the foolish approached the queen of fashion air kissing with her and trying to be seen with her, while avoid her claws at the same time. Andrea continued to compose thesis titles for degrees she could get just from proximity and observation. It was hard to maintain such a stoic façade and she considered suggesting an evening as Miranda’s assistant to meditation practitioners who wished to test their focus and control. Andrea flexed her toes inside their rigid confines. It was something she could do without being noticed. She had gotten herself up to fifteen flexes one evening without losing her balance. After the third flex she felt the atmosphere in the room change. Her heart beat faster, her breathing lacked depth, and anticipatory chills raced through her body collecting at the apex of her thighs. It wasn’t an entirely unusual feeling in Miranda’s presence, however the cause this time was not the editrix.
Tapping the tip of her pinky against the pad of her thumb, then the ring finger, then the middle and so on Andrea slowly counted the seconds while the emotional part of her brain ran in circles screaming ‘pull the fire alarm.’
A smoking, black and white figure, clad in a sensual curve hugging red sheath was parting the herd of gazelle with hissed accusations that luckily no one seemed to understand. However they sensed that getting out the way was required and, even with their dim-witted powers of observation, they realized that her path was leading straight toward the devil with no regard to them. Miranda had risen to her full height and Andrea could feel the tension rolling off of her in waves. This was not on the evening’s agenda.
Correction, this was not on the evening’s agenda for now.
As the woman broke into the inner circle between the rest of the attendees and Miranda and Andrea holding court, the brunette knew she had to intervene. Emily’s rules were fine, but the real rule was—assist Miranda in avoiding public confrontations, above all Page 6.
Her fingers barely touching and tingling against Miranda’s bare shoulder, Andrea murmured, “Home, 1 hour.” The words were as gentle as the touch, and just as fleeting as the seconds they were uttered in, then Andrea was past Miranda’s reach and time sped like a whirling dervish into a scene she could only thank Andrea from saving her from.
“Cruella, darling.” Miranda felt her body wanting to follow the brunette as she elongated the other woman’s name into something that was neither sing-song nor purr, but was none-the-less devastatingly effective. “You came.” Andrea wrapped her arms around the woman, taking the red cigarette holder from her and silencing her in one smooth move. Miranda could see Andrea’s head lower and the muscles of her neck flex as she no doubt made contact lip to lip with the new arrival’s cherry red lipstick. The thought of the blended shade on Andrea’s soon to be bruised lips, forced Miranda to bite her lower lip.
She hastily backed into the shadows, where she could call for Roy.
On the way out she shot Alonzo the look of death and he whimpered and ran around to the other side of the car to put some distance between them. Cruella was hell on wheels, but Miranda was the devil herself and he truly feared her. He had no idea what Andrea saw in either of the women, let alone both of them. With a fearful twitch, he considered that perhaps Andrea was more than she seemed as well. His mind gleefully supplied him with the memory of Andrea in a leather outfit one evening when he had delivered her to her apartment after leaving Cruella’s place. Literally slapping himself about the face, Alonzo shoved that thought back to the far recesses of his mind. ‘That way lies madness,’ he told himself.
Miranda passed him by and slipped into her black towncar. Roy smugly nodded at Alonzo as he closed the door. The message was not loud, but it was clear. Alonzo had better take care of the mistresses. It was known among them that Miranda hated going home alone.
*** *** ***
Alonzo didn’t have long to wait. Arm in arm, two women descended the stairs amidst shouted questions and the flashes of cameras. The brunette’s calm classic appearance contrasted beautifully against the firecracker red appearance of her escort with the black and white hair. Neither appeared to notice the press, having eyes only for each other and their get-away car. Alonzo stood at attention, his grip on the door handle tighter than usual. He should not have driven Ms. DeVil tonight, but she was quite insistent. Miranda’s icy exit spelled doom for him, so he could only hope that the joy radiating from the two slipping past him into the car would be enough to save his ass.
“Alonzo, you’ve been a bad boy.” These words would have been teasing had they not been accompanied by two almost hard slaps to his face from the youngest of the three women. Now he knew for a fact that she wasn’t what she seemed. Nodding only, he simply shut the door as she took her seat and then rushed around to the front and pulled out into traffic.
*** *** ***
Hanging her coat in the hall closet, Miranda let her fingers trail down the soft fur of Cruella’s coat. She couldn’t remember when it had taken up residence in the closet, but she could remember when the woman herself had taken up residence in her heart. Decades had gone by since that year in Paris and yet the chemistry between them had sparked fresh the moment they ran into each other in between shows at London’s fashion week. The woman had challenged her on the years of avoidance, bringing Miranda up short on her instinctive behavior that she had never put conscious effort behind.
In the shared hotel bed that night Miranda had trembled next to lithe form of her erstwhile assistant and sometime temptress. Her body wanted both, her heart clung to each without the knowledge of the other, and her stomach roiled at the deception she felt obligated to perpetrate. The rarity of second chances was a fact etched upon the surface of her heart. The distance of an ocean created the false sense of hope within her that if she could make it through the week, she could have her cake and eat it to.
Miranda took in a deep breath. Playing with fire was not the most dangerous of all, oh no, instead she had entered into a game of hearts—knowing that she could lose herself between two aces. Raising her arm again as if to stroke the fur, Miranda tilted her arm on an angle and ran her fingers instead down the soft leather of Andrea’s jacket. Her right hand at the office, Andrea had proven her ability to save Miranda over and over again. Drunken husbands, conniving CEO’s, and even competing fashionistas were diverted, intercepted, or misinformed. Tonight Andrea had saved them all from a Page 6 nightmare, but now Miranda wasn’t sure if the price would be too much.
The next day in London, Miranda had fidgeted to the point of Andrea placing her hand on her knee. Her eyes questioned where her words would never dare. Miranda had gasped at the depth of emotions she saw clearly on the surface, only to subtly shake her head in denial. Her stomach clenched again. Hearing the voice behind her, Miranda sat ramrod straight causing Andrea to pull away from her and turn searching for the cause of her alarm. Her stealth would be for naught it would seem, as Cruella approached them to let the cat out of the bag.
“Cruella, darling.” Andrea stood, came round the chairs, and out into the aisle. Miranda faced forward, her eyes wide with shock and her ears trying to make up for her other senses. She wasn’t sure what she had expected to happen, however the familiar greeting between the two women was certainly not it. She heard the rustle of fabric as they hugged and the smack of what could only be real kisses. The breathless quality in Andrea’s voice, Miranda was all too familiar with in the bedroom, as the younger woman greeted the new arrival. “You came.”
Miranda stood, her blood boiling and words refusing to come. Her lips were pursed and her blue eyes had darkened to the color of murder. To her shock the two women were standing a respectful distance apart and looking expectantly at her. She narrowed her eyes at the picture of long lost friends the two made.
Andrea’s eyes flicked back and forth once, then twice, and a wickedly lopsided smile spread across her face. Pointing between the two older women, Andrea had made as if to make introductions and then gave a totally put on sigh of amusement. “Oh, you two know each other, right? Miranda.” She gestured toward the editor and then to the designer, “Cruella.” Both of them seemed nervous, which apparently put Andrea quite at ease. “You were so nervous.” Andrea leaned into Miranda’s ear to whisper. “Don’t worry.” Pulling back Andrea looked around them, and then leaned closer to the two-toned woman. “Dinner tonight?” When Cruella’s wide eyes looked from hers to Miranda’s and back again, Andrea smiled. Cruella nodded the affirmative. Andrea whispered, “Where?”
In the shared bed that night, Miranda was curled behind Andrea’s long form, her leg touching Cruella’s from between the brunette’s thighs and her arm draped across her body to gently rest along Cruella’s rib cage. Her body had had both, her heart trembled at the wonder of her lovers knowing each other and wanting to share, and her stomach simmered as it took in the Page 6 storm this could become. The rarity of second chances made the solitary possibility of this triangle happening look like a needle in a haystack the size of Central Park. The distance of the ocean between them allowed the raft her false hope to rest easy on the gentle swells of breasts heaving in the night in both passion and somnolence.
Tonight changed everything.
Cruella changed everything.
Miranda closed the closet door and turned on her heel. Ascending the steps quickly, she slipped out of her heels and couture. In her lingerie and silk robe, she wandered the upstairs from room to room—too shaken to settle and too uncertain to decide. She had nearly uttered, ‘Get me out of here,’ even as her body had prepared for greeting her lover in front of everyone. Her nipples had perked to attention in the ballroom, as they did now just thinking about it. Andrea had intervened, but did she need saving after all? Andrea and Cruella would not cause the press splash that Miranda and Cruella would have caused, but did that matter anymore? The splash that the three of them would cause would be off the charts, however, what was holding them back? Miranda knew it was her.
The twins loved the dynamic between the three women, always full of energy and flux. With great passion came great anger and great hilarity and they had thrived on the combination of dragon, devil, and something between.
Leaving the hallway, Miranda proceeded upstairs. She was a woman of decision and action. Stripping down and slipping into a silk negligee that revealed far more than it covered. Checking the bedside clock, Miranda pulled back the covers that had been so studiously tucked in that morning. Climbing into the middle of the bed, she arranged her legs, mussed her hair and checked that her décolletage was suitably displayed. Closing her eyes she reviewed all of the pros on her list. Breathing in deeply, she checked the clock again and smiled her most Machiavellian smile. She may have come home alone, but that didn’t mean she’d stay that way.
The door opened and shut. Whispers were shouted. Heels fired a staccato rhythm of emotion on the floor back and forth and then just when a sheen of impatience broke out on Miranda’s brow, silence fell. The door swung open revealing Andrea’s searching brown eyes shining in the low lighting and the white part of Cruella’s hair sticking out from the woman’s hiding place beyond Andrea’s shoulder. Miranda batted her eyes in a way that she thought she had forgotten years ago. Their eyes caught and the tension radiated between them.
“Is she asleep?” Cruella indignantly queried from behind Andrea, her nails digging into her skin. The sound of Miranda’s laugh drew female emotional rollercoaster out from behind Andrea and into the room. Halting her motion, Cruella drew up a brow in a borrowed mannerism and followed with, “You’re not mad?” Turning to Andrea, Cruella laughed, “She’s not mad!” Andrea smiled and pulled her lover closer to the delightful surprise waiting for them on the bed. Cruella’s insane cackle punctuated the moment perfectly as Andrea turned to undress the amused woman and Miranda crawled forward on the bed to kiss Andrea’s neck.
*** *** ***
The crowd always alerted Andrea to Miranda’s presence. Amused, Andrea would slip into the crowds unnoticed, even though her face appeared regularly in the gossip rags the people read. She thought of herself as one of the smaller big cats slipping between foliage as she stalked her prey. Miranda was still the big cat, her arrival announced by the flexing of muscles, the looks given over shoulders, and the urge to run. The crowd always had tells and behaviors unique to the crowd. In her head, Andrea wrote articles though the sociology thesis still amused her. Cruella was somehow a cross between them and so much more. Most of the time the crowd did not have a chance to announce her arrival, as the woman herself managed to proceed her own entrance to a room. Mercurial in everything there were times she would slip in a side door and sneak up even on the young brunette surprising her with a kiss. The titles her brain presented for her thesis were even more amusing than before.
The Nexus of Incubus and Succubus: The Devil Wears Prada (Case Study of Miranda Priestly)
A History of Love: A Guide to Navigating Polyamory
Dissonant Partners: Expressions of Desire and Passion Under Miranda Priestly
Disaster Preparedness When Page 6 Knocks on Your Door
Priestly’s Rise to Hegemony: Omega Found
The last made her smile as she came face to face with the woman herself—the devil in prada. Eyes alternately dancing blue with brown and then hazel, Andrea pressed her lips together to show she was not having any fun, despite the telling sparkle in her eyes, while Cruella puffed her cigarette as if she wasn’t counting the minutes until they could leave. Miranda huffed slightly as she passed the brunette and sucked her tongue against the roof of her mouth clicking once—the only indication of her joy.