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The Diary of Miranda Priestly

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September 30

I refuse to write “Dear Diary” or something equally ridiculous. I have never before kept a journal, unless you count my countless “From the Editor” columns in Runway over the years. I suppose that is a diary of sorts. I am still not certain that pouring your soul onto paper, or in this case, into a Word document, does anybody any good whatsoever. Still, I am at a loss as to how to proceed. My good friend Oprah swears by this habit of journaling, so I thought I might give it a try. Needless to say, another good friend, Bill Gates, assured me he personally would write the algorithm that will secure my password for it. This cannot end up in the wrong hands. I can only imagine how thrilled Murdock and his cohorts would be to publish something like this.

I have now stared at what I wrote for the last ten minutes and my mind is blank. No, that is not true. It is not blank, but the same sentence is pounding between my temples over and over, and it is keeping me from functioning normally.

She left me. There. In print. I said it. She left me. I cannot understand why, in the middle of what looks like it is going to be a horrible, public divorce, all I can think of is Andrea Sachs' departure from my life. And to be brutally honest, it was seeing her across the street today that tipped the scale and made me look into this damn journaling habit. So far I don't feel relieved. I haven't purged a thing. I stare at the sentence “She left me” and all I feel is nauseous. So ridiculous.

I should simply just save this for future reference if I ever decide to look twice at a girl half my age and with her head in the clouds. I should focus on my girls and solidifying my position at Runway. I should not give Andrea's betrayal any more thought. Most of all, I shouldn't think about what that quirky little wave she gave me today meant. So I gave her a raving recommendation to ensure she at least has a job. No need for her to beam so happily at me when all it did was render me in need of another antacid.

Journaling is highly overrated.

M.

###########

October 15

All right. I confess. Not writing in my journal might not be the best course of action. My mind whirls at the most inopportune times and Oprah says if I write down my “doubts and fears” they won't get in the way when I'm verbally flogging Irv or any of my subordinates.

Since I came home from Paris, it has been one thing after another. Stephen clearly thinks I owe him money. The girls are regressing and cling to me like they did when they were four and I had to work. Dalton says they are acting out in school. When I asked Caroline about it, she said Cassidy has vowed to give anybody who says anything derogatory about her mother “a piece of her mind.” Caroline, the born mediator, of course gets in trouble for defending her twin. The headmaster understands, but I also feel she is not impressed. I refuse to defend myself to her, but a new donation to their renovation of the schoolyard went a long way.

I overheard Emily and Serena talking about Andrea today. I am always amazed that they think I don’t hear them when they're a mere ten feet away. Nigel came in as well and apparently they are all in touch with her.

"She loves her new job," Serena said. I was of course pleased that the girl had secured work and writing was always what she wanted in the first place. Emily added that she wished she could understand why Andrea still wasn't content. Nigel said he had guessed why, but he didn't elaborate.

Not content? She chose to quit. Andrea was the one who chose to leave. Does she have second thoughts? Surely she didn't like being an assistant better than she likes working at The Mirror? What can she possibly be discontent about? Perhaps she misses her friends here.

I miss the peace of mind I had. I miss…not missing her.

This is ridiculous.

M.

###########

October 19

I have had a headache for two days straight. I have tried everything: medication, more coffee (I'm going to have to employ a third assistant at this rate, just for the Starbucks runs), and massages. Nothing helps.

I just checked my email and I am…confused. Perhaps shocked is a better word. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw an email from (at). Clearly her personal account. I copied the content to put here, but deleted it from the company mail instantly.

Miranda,

I have wanted to write to you so many times, but to be truthful, I've chickened out each time. I promised myself that I wouldn't do that now, though. As I know you hate people not getting to the point, here goes:

I am so sorry for the unprofessional manner I ended my employment at Runway. I should have given proper notice and most of all, I should have been truthful about my reasons. I'm sure you were less than impressed and yet you were kind enough to give me the type of recommendation that helped me land the job at The Mirror.

Now that was the easy part. I can safely say it's hard to type right now, since my hands are shaking so badly. Never would've guessed that you could have that effect on me when you're not even here. I have trembled around you many times, for various reasons, but not like this.

Whoops. I'm digressing. Sorry.

I miss you. I realize that it's presumptuous to write that to you, since I was merely your assistant and hardly a personal friend, but it doesn't make it any less true. And no, I'm not drunk or on any drugs. I miss not seeing you every day. I miss that horrible ring signal on the cell phone, as you don't call me anymore. I miss bringing you The Book and sometimes being asked to sit down for some last minute instructions in your den. I'm sure you don't remember that late Friday when you actually offered me a glass of red wine. We sat together on the loveseat. (How can that word make me blush like a schoolgirl?) You discussed a layout issue with me and actually seemed interested in my take on it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I lived on that moment for weeks.

And then I screwed it up. I mean, I love working at The Mirror and I'm learning tons of…whoops again, nearly wrote st**f. Things! I just wish I had the courage to tell you all this face to face, but, and this is the truth, I need that little bit of ridiculous hope, you know? If I had told you this in person, you'd shoot me down and I would know for a fact that you are truly disappointed in me and don't care even a little bit.

You once said you lived on hope. You can't blame a lowly former assistant for clinging to a shred of it, can you?

Please take care of yourself, Miranda. I know they treat you badly in the gossip columns, but they don't know you. Not the Miranda I was fortunate enough to glimpse. Stay safe and thank you if you read all the way through this email.

Andrea

I sit here and have not only read it through to the end, I've done so several times. I never dreamed this girl would be so audacious as to write me a personal—deeply personal—email like this. She takes a big risk after all. Catch me on the wrong day, I could easily blacklist her in all the major publications in New York. And yet, I think she knows I wouldn't. How could I? I know what those deep brown eyes look like when tears pool and run down her cheeks. The way she bites her lower lip, chews it, really, when she's upset or nervous. And the way she tugs at her fingers, yanks at them, and fidgets until I'm ready to leap across my desk and make her stop.

I'm going to have to sleep on this. I can't answer her of course. I mean, how would that look? And what would I say? Pat her on the head and go, "There, there, no harm done, go off and live a happy life"? Ridiculous.

I wonder if I'll be able to sleep.

M.

###########

October 23

I can't believe I did it. I have finally lost all control over my faculties. Paparazzi paranoia, the girls' problems at school, the staff’s perpetual incompetence…it's all clearly taken a toll. Once I hit "send" I regretted it. I even looked to see if there was a way of stopping an email from reaching the recipient. I mean, I know how emailing works. It's instantaneous. So, all it took was for my brain to take leave of absence for a mere second or two, and I have now written—and sent—a response to Andrea Sachs. Here is the only existing copy on this machine.

Andrea,

It is no exaggeration that your email took me by surprise. Though I appreciate your impulse to apologize for your deplorable conduct in Paris, I still fail to see what pouring your heart out like that in an email will accomplish. That said, I confess I read it all, more than once.

I never knew you appreciated the talks in the late evening. I would have expected you to hurry back to your impatient boyfriend and be relieved to do so. Now you tell me that you relished those moments when we carried on a simple conversation as adults? I am surprised.

You say you miss me? You left, for whatever reason, and then you decide to write me and tell me you miss me. That doesn't make sense. We have yet to find a second assistant of your caliber, so in that sense I miss you too.

Here I paused and read over what I'd written and I just could not leave it at that. Andrea was so honest and, yes, brave, in her email. She actually deserved some honesty in return, I thought. And it wasn't like I was going to send it for real, right?

I apologize;that is only part of the truth. I do miss seeing you every day also. I don't have anyone else in my employ who smiles like you do. I don't have anyone else who is so genuinely kind and without pretense. So, yes, you left a void, Andrea. And I still don't know why. I know you were upset about Nigel, but as I'm aware of your continued friendship with him, Emily, and Serena, I'm sure you know that I've compensated him in a way with which he was most happy. So that can't be the whole truth.

I'm confused by your email, but know that I accept your apology. Would you dare to tell me in person your true reason for leaving like you did if I promise to behave and not shoot you down?

M.

I haven't been this apprehensive in…years. What is she thinking, reading this? Will she consider me a pathetic old woman, or see it just as another move by the Dragon Lady? I'm just going to push this out of my mind and keep going, as I always do.

What else is there?

M.

###########

October 25

She wrote me back. A very short email, but it set everything in motion for today. Here is the only existing copy of the email that came yesterday.

Miranda!

I'm staring at my laptop and I can hardly breathe. I know you deserve to know, but I can't risk writing it in an email because you never know who might intercept it. I would never want to embarrass you in any way, shape, or form.

Can you come to my apartment after work? I have all my evenings free the upcoming four days and then I'm back on the evening shift at work. Just text me so I know when to expect you—if you want to.

If not, we’ll have to figure something else out.

Andrea

212-555-4276

I couldn't wait. I texted her later that evening and told her I'd stop by today, after work. She texted back, "I'll have the coffee ready," which for some reason took my breath away.

Andrea lives in a beyond modest apartment building. I told Roy to park somewhere safe where he could get something to eat while he waited. Then I made my way over to the front door and pressed the chipped button next to her last name. I wasn't sure what she said as the speaker was clearly broken as well, but the door buzzed open and I walked up the three flights of stairs. Do I have to mention that the elevator didn't work either?

Andrea stood in the doorway and waited for me. Dressed in Prada slacks from two seasons ago and an off-the-rack black turtleneck, she looked beautiful. She was flustered and tugging at her fingers, but motioned for me to go inside. The small studio apartment was spotless and smelled of citrus, no doubt from her having scrubbed it the very same day. I stood in the living room, my coat still on, and felt very out of place.

"May I take your coat?" Andrea whispered the words and I nodded, feeling oddly shy too. How utterly ridiculous that I would feel shy all of a sudden, for the first time in thirty-some years.

Andrea hung my coat and invited me to sit down on the worn couch, which turned out to be extremely comfortable as old couches often are. She hurried into what passed as a kitchen and came back with a pot of coffee, skim milk, and small cucumber sandwiches.

"I figured you might be…um…peckish?"

Her pink cheeks, cautious glance, and slightly shaky hands…they all were so much Andrea, I found myself smiling. This seemed to drain her legs of all strength and she sat down on the couch next to me with a thud. I think she meant to sit in the armchair to the left, but now she was right next to me. Looking beautiful. Smelling divine. I'm sure I wasn’t smiling anymore, but I'm very sure I stared.

She poured the coffee and added just the right amount of skim milk. Handing the mug to me, she seemed to wait with bated breath for my verdict. I sipped the coffee and oh, it was perfect. How she could recreate my favorite Starbucks drink like that I'll never know, but she did. She looked ridiculously happy about it.

"Good, huh?" Andrea poured some for herself and I noticed she took hers black, with sugar. Sugar. Shocking.

"It's sufficient," I responded, aiming for haughty, but sounding annoyingly out of breath. "Now. I'm here. You had something to explain."

"Yeah, that." She actually squirmed where she sat and put her mug back on the coffee table. "It's kind of hard when you look at me like that."

"And how do I look at you, pray tell?" I was afraid of the answer.

"Like a mix between the Dragon Lady and someone who is about to bolt at any given moment."

I gripped that blessed coffee mug so hard, I feared I might shatter it. "You have some nerve, tossing that designation in my face."

She paled. "No. I don't see that as a bad thing. You being the Dragon Lady…it's who you are. I mean at work. Your work persona. Don't you see? It's…a method. A part you play so well it's like it's your second skin." She made a face, a crinkling of her nose that rendered her close to adorable. "I didn't explain that very well, but I didn't mean it in a bad way."

"Then by all means go on with that important explanation of yours."

Andrea took a deep breath and spoke slowly, as if choosing her words so carefully it nearly stalled her speech. "I told myself I left because of the whole mess with Irv, Nigel, Jacqueline Follet, and Christian Thompson. I sort of did, at least on the surface. When I hurried back to the hotel and packed my things, I didn't fly home right away. I got a room at a youth hostel and stayed in Paris for two more weeks. I had very little money, but I got by on McDonalds, croissants, and coffee. I walked around the city, saw the sights that were for free, and tried to figure out why I was so messed up. So confused. I already regretted the way I left; I know how much of a nuisance that was for you with planning, etcetera, and you really didn't need the aggravation after…you know, Stephen and the divorce and all that." She wiped at the corners of her eyes and I just kept staring at her while sipping my coffee. "What I hadn't counted on was the searing pain of missing you. It hit already on day two after my leaving. It dawned on me what I'd given up. I had left a job that I did well, but didn't really see as my future, that was true. I had also left…you. Not the Dragon Lady, but you. The person you had let me see when you talked about the seating arrangement. No makeup, no couture, no jewelry, just Miranda, the woman. When it hit me that I would never see you again, I had a minor meltdown."

I was at a loss for words. That rarely, if ever, happens, but now all I could do was stare at this woman, this very young woman who looked at me with eyes filled with pain and a certain wisdom.

"I let you in and then you left." I was shocked. Was that really my voice? That throaty, pain-filled voice that hurt when it forced the words past the vocal cords?

"And I've regretted it ever since." Andrea shifted, and only then did I realize she'd moved closer, so close in fact, her knees were whispering past my thighs. I refused to move back. Show no fear. I live by that every day.

"So you still haven't explained why. You've described the emotional outcome, but not the reason." I was rather pleased with how detached I managed to sound, but her wounded eyes, those golden brown wells of pain, made it an empty triumph.

"I…I left because it hurt to stay. It hurt to be there and never ever stand a ghost of chance to be the one who truly cares for you. Who soothes you. Who holds you when you need to be held."

There was no more oxygen in Andrea's sorry excuse for an apartment. No, there was simply no oxygen in Manhattan whatsoever. I had to gasp at least three times before I could breathe.

"I wanted to do more for you. I was ready to do anything," Andrea said quietly.

I had never seen anyone look at me like that before. Andrea's pain was obvious, her wound opened up again and clearly hemorrhaging into her soul. I couldn't let her bleed out. There was simply no way.

"Stop." I know I spoke curtly, in my Dragon Lady voice, but the way I saw it, I needed to get through to her by using the voice she would listen to. "Listen to me."

"Y-yes." She sobbed once, but then her tears were only silent.

"I have missed you too." That was not what I meant to say, or at least, not the way I meant to say it. I could tell by her widening eyes that I had shocked her. "It was such blow when you left right after I let you in. I have never shared any personal issues with an assistant before, and as soon as I did with you, you ceased to be an assistant."

"But then you told me to merely do my job," she whispered and slumped back against the backrest. She looked exhausted and, no wonder, it was getting late.

"Yes. You weren't the only one with apprehension. I had acted out of character and I felt more vulnerable than I was comfortable with. I had to backtrack."

"I know you had so much to consider, Stephen, Irv's scheming, the ramifications of it all…" Andrea looked up at me. "Lousy timing for it all."

"Indeed."

"I hated to see you in pain, so sad and alone." Andrea didn't seem to notice that she had placed her hand on my knee. "I wanted to hug you, but knew that was one of the most golden of rules, a huge no-no. Do not touch the Dragon Lady."

I looked down at the slender hand on my knee. My skirt had ridden up and her hand warmed me through my stocking. I slowly placed my hand on top of hers, quietly approving her touch.

"So now you know. I left because it hurt to not ever stand a chance to be close to you. I couldn't stay away anyway, so I wrote you an email. That's the bottom line, really." Andrea moved her thumb in little circles on the inside of my knee.

"Very well." I meant to say more. I meant to say I should call Roy and be going, but then I looked at her where she was semi-reclined, her eyes hooded and her lips barely parted. I knew I was in trouble when I slid my fingertips up along the inside of her arms. She inhaled sharply, but didn't let go of my knee.

"Miranda." She licked her lower lip. "What are we doing?"

"You tell me. You initiated physical contact. I have no clue about your intentions." I let my index finger play at the crease of her arm. "I'm merely following your example."

"Oh, God. Does that mean you'll ‘follow my example’ no matter what I do?"

I was going to huff, "Of course not, silly girl," but somehow that turned into "Yes."

Andrea has away of suddenly becoming graceful and quick when you least expect it. Normally she is a little clumsy in a charming way, but now she sat up and pushed my jacket down my arms and then pulled me down to recline with her. I had completely forgotten I was not about to allow anyone else to take the initiative, not even in bed. Especially not in bed. Andrea had no way of knowing this, obviously, and she slid one arm around my neck and one around my waist.

"Beautiful." She hummed and pressed her lips to my neck, just below my ear. I swear my heartbeat thundered loud enough to disturb her neighbors behind those paper-thin walls. I had to steady myself somehow, but I'm not sure why I thought burying my hands in her hair would achieve that. Instead I found myself scratching her scalp lightly, caressing really, and thus releasing more of that fabulous scent that was all her. Fruity, sweet, and something musky. Andrea's personal pheromones, no doubt. Carefully constructed by the deities to bring the Dragon Lady to her knees.

I lost my will to object, to explain, to do anything else but tip her head back so I could kiss her. When our lips touched the very first time, all I could do was wonder why I hadn't kissed this young woman a long time ago. The next thought was more of a question. How could I have survived and gone through my days without at least once a day drinking for the well that is her lips? It was insanity. I was not a woman who let any chance pass me by if I could help it. I went after what I wanted and made sure I got it, and then some. Now, I was trembling under Andrea's lips, wordlessly begging her not to let go, not to stop kissing me, not to remove her arms from around me.

She did none of those things. Andrea seemed as taken as I was by the raging emotions, the full-body response, and I swear, had I ever before heard the delicious noises she makes when she's kissing, I would've demanded to be the only recipient from then on. I tried to imagine what she would sound like when she had an orgasm, but the mere thought sent so much moisture flooding my La Perla lace thong, I feared it would seep through my skirt.

Needing to assert myself, to find myself and be proactive, I managed to pull Andrea on top of me so that she straddled me on her deplorable, wonderful couch. She shifted willingly and I unbuttoned her slacks and managed to help her wiggle out of them. She tossed them over on the chair, rounding back on me with fire in her eyes.

"What are we doing, Miranda?" she whispered, her voice husky and trembling. "What…oh my God…" Her head fell back as I slid my hands up under the turtleneck and caressed her stomach, her hips, and around to her back before moving forward again and cupping her breasts through the flimsy lace bra. Squeezing the soft globes turned out to be the official destruction of my thong. I was now wet halfway down my thighs, and the friction between my legs was non-existent.

Clearly Andrea would not be guided without adding her own desires to the mix. Her hands were now busy unbuttoning my silk shirt. She pushed it back, half down my arms, and rather than being stuck and unable to touch her like I wanted, no craved, I shrugged out of it and tossed it…somewhere. Then I must have shocked the living daylights out of her. I leaned toward my purse and pulled out my cell phone. Texting Roy (there was no way I could have spoken to him without him wondering), I told him to go home for the evening. Throwing the phone back in to my bag, I looked at the turtleneck, pursing my lips.

"What? What's wrong?" Andrea asked, sounding panicky.

"Off."

She tore off her turtleneck so fast, I thought I heard a seam rip. I didn't care. I was staring at a black lace bra, probably off-the-rack, but oh so stunning against her pale skin. Her dark nipples, erect and clearly protruding, could be easily spotted. My mouth watered. I swallowed. Then she moved her hands to the front clasp and I had to speak. "No."

She froze, her eyes dark and huge.

"Let me. Please." I could tell she shuddered, but she lowered her hands and smiled with trembling lips, looking shy and aroused in equal measure. I deftly removed her bra with sure hands. Her breasts were perfect. Not only did they suit her body, but they filled my hands just so. I broke a sweat along my spine when her nipples prodded my palms. When she moaned and leaned into my touch, I pinched her lightly, rolled the hard peaks, turning them even harder.

"Miranda," she whispered and arched as she threw her head back. This revealed another irresistible feature, the soft expanse of smooth skin from her chin down to her chest. All I had to do was lean forward just a little and there it was, under my tongue. When I licked along her neck the first time, she shivered and sobbed my name again. I bit a tendon on the side of her neck and she gasped out loud. I bent my head and took a nipple between my lips, sucking it all the way into my mouth. She screamed, a short, cropped sound she muted herself by slapping both hands over her mouth.

I licked, tasted, and chewed her nipples until she was a whimpering mess. Only then did I relent and cupped her cheeks. "You do realize that I have to make you mine now, don't you?" I thought I sounded like my normal self, but her response was much too different for that to be true. Her eyes grew huge and she smiled so tenderly.

"Yes, Miranda," she said and stood for a few moments, pushing her panties off in one movement. She climbed back to straddle me again, only to change her mind and kneel before me while pushing my knees apart. I lost my breath. Again.

"Good choice," she said, pushing up my skirt. "I really admire how you look in your pencil skirts, but this…works better right now.”

"I will be sure to tell Vivienne next time I see her." I tried my best to remain sarcastic, but her bright smile told me I only sounded weak and perhaps even nervous. I was. I can't remember such a case of nerves since I went into the delivery room twelve years ago.

"Do you trust me, Miranda?" Andrea asked softly.

"Yes," I answered before I had time to edit my thoughts, much less my words. I did. I just didn't want her to know that for reasons I wasn't quite sure of myself.

"Lift up."

I did. Writing this now, I can hardly believe that I simply complied, but I raised my hips, and, oh God, I even helped her yank the drenched thong off and bunch my 900 dollar Vivienne Westwood skirt up around my hips. It sounds ridiculous, but one of my thoughts was actually about not ruining the skirt completely, as her couch was already beyond scruffy looking.

Andrea parted my legs and began pressing long, open-mouth kisses to my thighs. I had never seen my legs as erogenous zones, but I was starting to suspect that with this young woman, my entire body was an erogenous zone. The insides of my thighs were actually quivering, much like those of the women in Victorian bodice rippers.

"Tell me," Andrea said and nipped at my sensitive skin, "what you like. I want this to be good for you too."

"Are you telling me you don't know what you're doing?" I asked huskily. "How reassuring.”

"Aw, come on, Miranda. You always share with a new lover your likes and dislikes. That has nothing to do with the fact that I'm new to having a female lover. It has to do with me wanting to take care of you…which I admit is second nature to me, although not this intimately of course." Her broad, beaming smile made my own mouth curl at the corners against my will.

"That would have been a bit too much to put that in your contract with Elias-Clarke, don't you think?" I smirked.

"Yeah, I suppose." Andrea blew her bangs out of her eyes, letting her hands keep up the caressing as she tilted her head thoughtfully. "Wonder how you would've phrased it. 'On Mondays, even dates, cunnilingus is requested, unless the run-through takes too long, then a quick hand job in the restroom will suffice.'"

I could feel my eyes bulge. "Andrea!" I admit I was equal parts scandalized and thrilled with her naughty sense of humor.

"I know, I know. I'm ridiculous. So, gorgeous, what do you like…or not like?"

I hate blushing. I want to make that absolutely clear. I have trained myself not to blush in most situations, but damn it, this situation was new. My cheeks warmed and I know I pursed my lips out of habit. "I…um…I like…" When I even started to sound like Andrea as I chose among the words available without sounding like a total idiot, I was ready to push her off and leave out of sheer frustration. Of course, her hands, her warm, gentle, loving hands, kept me effectively her prisoner. "Soft touching," I managed. "No harsh penetration. I like feeling…filled, but not, you know, hard."

"I will never hurt you." Andrea stopped moving and leaned in to kiss me. "I would never ever want to do anything you weren't comfortable with. I don't like super-rough either. I don't mind passion and love bites, but I draw the limit when it comes to pain. I think there's a difference between pleasure-pain and pain-pain. You see?"

"Yes." I actually did. I too could enjoy passionate and eager touching, although I couldn't for the life of me remember when, or if, I had ever been touched like that by someone.

"Miranda, spread your legs for me, all right?" Andrea moved in closer and helped me by pushing gently.

I felt reassured enough to dare pull my legs up and place my feet on the couch. This put me on a display in a way I would have been deemed humiliating only yesterday. Today, apparently, with this wondrous woman, I was ready to break any old habit and change my ways.

"Wow…" Andrea seemed oblivious to the adolescent word passing her lips as she leaned in and licked along my entire sex.

I whimpered, I know I did, but it took me a while to recognize the keening sound as emanating from me, when she began exploring me with her tongue. She kept going, using different rhythms and patterns, and I knew I was done for. I was going to surrender to Andrea Sachs and I was going to do it without a second of regret. I burned, she was scalding me with that agile tongue of hers, and she was not about to let me escape. She pushed her hands up and cupped my breasts, massaging them. I wanted to really feel her hands there, so I managed to push my bra down around my waist. I didn't have enough patience to take it off.

"Mm," she hummed against me, and rolled my nipples between her fingers. That, together with the assault of her mouth, was all it took.

I pride myself on being in charge, in control, calling the shots, and never allowing myself to be caught off guard. Andrea challenged me on all counts. She sucked my clitoris into her mouth, flattened her tongue against me, and tugged gently at my nipples at the same time. I cried out shortly and bucked into her mouth. "Andrea, Andrea…" Her name was a benediction and I just had to pray to something…or someone.

Andrea let go and looked up at me. I looked back and my lips were trembling, making it hard to say anything more. She smiled tenderly and then climbed up to straddle me again. Her eyes held an amber fire that I found I could get used to seeing, as I somehow sensed it was there for only me to see.

"Your hand, Miranda. I need you to do what you said you would."

"W-what?" I whispered.

"Make me yours. Go…go inside. Please?"

I groaned at her words, and I found I admired her openness. She merely told me what she wanted, and needed, and I was ready to do it. More than ready. I pushed my hand between her spread legs and cupped her swollen, wet folds. She was so hot and wet it had coated her thighs all the way to her knees. To know it was because of how she felt about me. I ran my fingertips back and forth, over and over.

"Miranda," she whimpered, rolling her hips as she sought penetration. "Oh, please, please, please…"

"Since you ask so nicely." I positioned two fingers and pushed them inside her. She was even hotter there. I could tell two wasn't enough and, pulling them out, added a third. She shuddered and began a low wordless murmur as she moved against my hand. I could feel my own moisture begin to seep again, which was mind-blowing. Never had I been able to go again so fast after an orgasm. And especially after an orgasm that left me feeling my head might spin right off.

"Your hand too." I knew I sounded gruff as I ordered instead of asking, but it seemed to ignite her further. She hugged me around the neck with her free arm as she used her hand on the other to enter me without preamble. It had to be with three fingers, because it burned a little bit, but only enough to make me groan and shift restlessly.

Soon we found a rhythm that worked, her in, me out, her out, me back in. I pressed the heel of my hand onto her clitoris and she mimicked the caress. I hoped she would come first so I didn't seem like I had no self-restraint.

"Oh, God, Miranda. You're…you're amazing. I'm so, so close. So close." Andrea kissed me and that's when I lost it again. My stomach clenched, my thighs trapped her hand, and I cried out her name again. Several times.

Then my fingers were being squeezed in rhythmic, tight waves, and Andrea sobbed against my neck.

"Miranda. Oh, Miranda, you…I can't believe. Oh, God. Miranda." She cried fat tears against me and I carefully pulled my fingers free so I could hold her tight.

"Why are you crying? Did I hurt you?" I didn't really think so, but I wanted to make sure.

"No. Just the opposite." She slowly calmed and shifted off my lap without letting go. Soon we were snuggled together on the couch, my skirt finally off with the rest of my clothes. She had pulled a cheap fleece blanket around us, and I held her as she fidgeted.

"Why don't you just say what is on your mind, darling?" I asked and felt her go rigid. "What?"

"You. Um. You s-said darling."

Huh. So I did. And without editing again. "Yes?"

"I don't want you to go. I don't mean to sound clingy, and I know that you might have stu—uh, things waiting for you to deal with, but I would hate for you to go."

I gave it some thought. About two seconds’ worth and then I knew how simple it was, at least for now. "Very well. I have to go home and deal with The Book."

She slumped against me, and nodded quietly, not saying a word. I realized that not even Andrea could read my mind that well. "Why don't you pack an overnight bag and spend the weekend with me? We have a lot to talk about, and frankly, I want to have you again, soon. Just not in on this couch. I would prefer my bed."

Her smile had grown exponentially as I spoke. "Yeah? I can join you at the townhouse?"

"Yes. The girls will be home in two days, but until then, I'm all yours." I stopped speaking, my jaw losing cohesion at the joint.

"Oh, Miranda. You don't have to keep vigil over every word. I promise I won't dissect what you say or don't say. You want me to come with you, that's good enough for me to start with."

"To start with?" I asked suspiciously.

"Yes, I may have follow-up questions on Sunday before I go home." She blinked innocently.

"Hm. Why do I have this strong feeling I'm not going to have much say in this relationship?"

Andrea tossed her head back and laughed, a thoroughly happy sound that made me smile. This made her laugh some more and I found it had been a long time since I heard someone laughing out of sheer happiness. I chuckled and held her close. There was no rush. We'd be home soon enough.

October 28, Evening

I had this email from Andrea waiting for me when I got to work. As per usual, this is the only copy on my computer.

Darling Miranda,

I find I have problems sleeping without you. We just hung up the phone and not even our heated exchange of mutual pleasure over the cell phone is enough to relax me. I keep staring up at the ceiling and smiling like a fool. Yes, I know, I know, you already think I'm a fool. Nothing new under the sun and all that.

We talked about so much during our magical weekend, and though I really guessed that we'd have some stu—uh, things in common, I was stunned at how much! Old movies, check. Ice cream, check (and shockaroo!). Dogs, check. Books, check. Music, check. Well, you don't like all the genres I adore, but still. Cars, check. Each other, check, check, check!

I just wanted to tell you that there something else I really like that you like more than anything else in this world—your girls. I think they are amazingly talented, and have just enough of rascals in them to be endearing. I love how Caroline looks like you when she talks and how Cassidy sounds like you.

I know we're going to have to be super careful while the divorce is negotiated. I only have to think of how stressed that mess has made you to remember how much I stand to gain from being patient. Something tells me that I will have to remind you to be though. Put it on your calendar. Can you imagine? "Emily, this is Andy. Can you put a daily dose of patience on Miranda's schedule?" She'd totally freak out.

You realize that Nigel, Emily, and Serena might figure things out before everybody else, right? I'm fine with that, because they adore you, and they are good friends to have. As for the rest of the world, including my parents and my other friends, they can wait until we are ready to share. I don't mind that you might need even longer than we figured this weekend. I'd rather have you safely with me than rush things and lose you. I couldn't bear losing you again, whether it was my own fault or not.

See you on Friday. You weren't kidding about the pizzas were you? I like the Hawaiian style ones.

I love you, Miranda.

Andrea

I stared at the screen, reading, rereading, and then touching the surface to follow every syllable with my fingertips. Yes, we had expressed our feelings to the fullest during our weekend. I had, of course, procrastinated until it was time for Andrea to leave before the girls came home, but just as she was about to go out the door, giving me that brilliant smile of hers, I stopped her, closed the door again and kissed her. She merely looked at me, caressed one of my eyebrows with her thumb, and murmured, "Gorgeous."

"I love you, Andrea." I watched her carefully as I'd once again fired my inner editor.

Her eyes big and with tears forming at the inner corners, she still smiled. "And you know I love you too." She pressed her lips against my lips, then my cheek, and walked down the stairs to the waiting cab I had insisted she take when she refused to have Roy come on a Sunday.

Now I'm going to go to bed. The girls are asleep and I'm very tired. But as exhausted as I am, once I'm in bed, I know I'll call Andrea.

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END