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Horse Camp

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“Why not Momma?” Eight year old Mandy Sachs-Priestly gave her mother a pleading look. “I am sure she will say yes.”

Andy rolled her eyes as she thought to herself, I am sure she will say yes too. Which is why we wont be asking her. “Honey Miranda and I have all the children we need.”

“You think that, but maybe she doesn’t think that. Maybe she would want a baby.” Andy took a deep breath. As Mandy said, “Please can’t we just ask Randa?”

Mother and daughter were so involved in their conversation that they didn't hear it’s subject walking up behind them. “Ask Randa what my darling? You know you can ask me any thing.” Mandy gave her mother a smug smile as she turned to mother number two.

Shit, shit, shit, Andy wanted to jump across the table and put her hand over her daughter’s mouth. She knew Miranda would not make any unilateral decisions on a subject like this. After the golf cart fiasco she had really toned down her indulgent side. Of course an evening in the emergency room while Mandy got a cast on her arm was a good motivator. It’s just that when she does say no it upsets Miranda more then Mandy. Miranda will pout twice as long because she hates to be the bad guy.

“Randa, remember when I wanted a bunny and couldn't have one?”

Damn she’s good, thought Andrea, what an opening.

Miranda sat down on the picnic bench next to her daughter and kissed her on the forehead, “Yes Dear Heart I do.”

“You promised that you and Mom would talk about a baby sister. Did you?”

Miranda’s eyes widened and she looked over at her partner. “I..I..yes we did.”

“Then how come we don't have one?”

“Well, we are still talking about it. We haven't quite come to a decision.”

“Miranda,” Andy said in exasperation. “We agreed no baby sister. Remember we talked about it and agreed.”

“Right, that’s right, I am sorry Miranda no, you cannot have a baby sister.” She looked over at her partner proud that she had once again said the “n” word.

“Okay,” Mandy said. Miranda clearly felt relieved that this wasn't going to be a big deal. But Andy knew better. “Randa?”

“Yes, Dear Heart?”

“Did you talk about a baby brother? If I cant have a sister a brother might be good.”

“Well, no, we didn't talk about a baby brother. I suppose we could talk about that.”

Andy frowned at Miranda and was grinding her teeth. “Mandy, honey, why are you suddenly bringing this up again?”

Mandy sighed, “This summer is gong to stink.”

Miranda put her arm around her and asked, “Why?”

“Caroline and Cassidy are going to that stupid Roman art thing in Italy.” She glared at Miranda for allowing the girls to go away for the summer rather then come home from college. “Rene is going to be at summer camp for the whole month of july.”

“Would you like to go to summer camp?" Miranda asked. "It would be a lot easer then talking your mom in to a baby brother.” Andrea glared and her daughter smiled.

“I cant go to camp Randa, who would take care of Versace?” She said craftily.

The two Miranda’s looked in to each other’s eyes. They did that whenever they were plotting. It was almost like they learned the twin connection from Caroline and Cassidy. Miranda suddenly snapped her fingers. Andy and Mandy both jumped. “Miranda go and get your copy of Horse Illustrated. I think I remember seeing something that just might help.”

“Okay Randa,” Mandy jumped up and ran in to the house.

“Miranda”

‘Yes Andrea”

“Just so we are clear honey, Versace cannot have a baby brother either.”

“How droll,” Miranda said while rolling her eyes. “Honestly Andrea she has a point. There aren't really any other kids right near by. It will be a lonely summer for her.” She cocked her head and asked, “Would you allow her to go to camp?” Andrea nodded in the affirmative as Mandy came running back to them with her magazine. Miranda took it and quickly flipped through it. “Take a look.” She handed the Magazine to Mandy.

Mandy read over the page Miranda had given her. “Wow a riding camp where you can bring your own horse. That is so cool! Can I go?”

Andy smiled at her daughters enthusiasm. “Miranda and I will have to look it over and decide.” She was reading over Mandy’s shoulder, “Vermont is a very pretty place but not exactly next town over.” It did, however, turn out to be the perfect place.

***

“You did what!” Emily Charlton practically yelled in to the phone. “You are letting her send Mandy to summer camp, for two weeks!”

“Give me a break Em. You know two Miranda’s trump one Andrea.”

“Even though you ditched you phone before even a year had gone by you must remember how crazy she gets when her kids are away. Having Mandy there when the girls went off to Brown was probably the only thing that saved us.” Emily took a deep calming breath. “And now you are telling me you are sending her little Mini-Me away for two weeks! Half the effing staff will quit.”

“I know it’ll be tough Em. I figured I should tell you so you could warn anyone who needs to be prepared.”

“There is no preparing for this!”

***
“Miranda, what are you doing? This is not our exit.”

“We need to turn around.”

“Why?” Andy and Miranda we driving back home from Vermont where they had left Mandy and Versace at camp.

“I think we left too soon. What if she thinks we are dumping her for two weeks and don't care?”

“Honey, we stayed an hour longer then any other parents. She was so ready for us to go she put you in the car and fastened your seatbelt for you. She knows we love her.” Miranda gave Andrea a dirty look as she turned off her blinker and passed the exit.

After an half hour Miranda was digging through her purse while driving. “What do you need Sweet Hart?”

“My phone.”

“Why?”

“We should call and make sure she is safe. Who knows what they do once the parents are gone.” Andy took the purse out of Miranda’s reach.

“Darling it has only been an hour.” Knowing this was coming was different then experiencing it. Andy worked very hard to keep her voice even. “If she needs us she will call.”

“You think so, but what if they take her phone?”

Andrea closed her eyes, “Then she will use the spare one that you hid in the lining of her carry all.” Miranda blushed unaware that Andy knew about that. She gritted her teeth and kept driving. She didn't speak again until Connecticut.

***
“Miranda come back to bed,” Andy was exasperated. “It is 2am and I am sure she is asleep.”

“Maybe I should call the councilor and have her check.”

“Miranda she was asleep at ten when you checked. She was asleep at eleven when you checked. I am sure she’s asleep now.” Miranda put on her best Runway glare, and continued pacing. “Honey,” Andy said, “if you are going to keep me up why not make it worth my while?” She sat up and began to unbutton her night shirt. “ Come on baby,” she said in her best come hither voice.

Miranda feigned disinterest and said, “You know I don't like to be called that.” but she moved toward the bed just the same.

“Liar,” Andy said with a growl, as she pulled her shirt all the way off. Two hours latter they were sated and asleep.

***
“Hello Emily,” Andy said having checked her caller id before she picked up.

“I hate you!”

“Emily you haven't worked directly under her for three years. How could this be your problem?”

“That is a fact her Royal Highness has sadly forgotten. I have been to Hermes, Calvin Klien and Starbucks, twice!”

“Oh shit Em, what are the Emilys doing?”

“Oh they are having a brilliant day.” Emily said in her most sarcastic voice. “Assistant two is packing for a trip to Vermont. It seems she wants someone near by incase Mandy needs immediate attention.”

“Oh my flipping word.” Andy was shaking her head.

“Emily one has to go to all her meetings with her so she can stand outside with her cell phone in case she calls.” Normally Miranda turns off her phone during meetings. Emily began to sound almost desperate. “Andy it is only eleven o’clock! When she wants to see an accessories spread and it isn't ready she will not take this in to account.”

“Okay, Okay I’m coming. What are her plans for lunch and the rest of the day?”

“No lunch date and working in the office for the rest of the day. Andy, take. her. home!”

***
Andy stared at the bedroom ceiling. After a couple of hours of strenuous love making Miranda was finally asleep. It was day five and Andy wasn't sure this nightly form of relaxing her partner was a perk or punishment. Mandy had called twice, both times she begged Miranda to stop waking up her councilors to check on her. They were getting grumpy due to lack of sleep.”

***
“Miranda for Gods sake, sit down and eat your breakfast!” Their hotel was an hour away from camp and Miranda was ready to go and get her girl. “We can’t arrive until ten. It is only seven!”

Miranda pouted as she sat back down and began to slowly nibble on her food. “I suppose we could go in to that quaint little town and look at the shops.”

**
“Miranda,” Andy sighed in exasperation. “Put that down. Three welcome home presents is three more then she needs, and we can go now.”

Andy watched all of the tension disappear from Miranda’s body as soon as she saw Mandy running over to great them. Her demeanor was completely opposite of the desperate mother that Andy was expecting to see. No one would have know this calm woman had been a mess for two solid weeks. “Hello darling, it is good to see you. Are you ready to go? Did you thank your councilors?” Miranda pulled out a handful of envelopes from her purse. “Here are some thank you notes from me why don't you go pass them out.” Mandy nodded and ran off.

Andy looked at her partner and cocked her eyebrow in question. “Andrea, contrary to popular belief I am not completely oblivious to my demanding nature. It is a small token of appreciation for their exceptional care of our daughter.”

“Mmm,” said Andy “and that will make it much more relaxing for you next year when they know what putting up with you is worth.” Miranda rolled her eyes in acknowledgment. “How much?”

Miranda held her head up imperiously and answered, “$500.00”

***
The ride home was pleasant. They had brought a driver this time so the three could talk. If Mandy noticed that Miranda was continually reaching out to pet her hair she ignored it. “It was really fun Randa. They have a one month program as well. Can I go to that next year?”

Miranda smiled and clearly was going to answer in the affirmative. Andy jumped in before Miranda could respond. “No sweetheart, I have decided that a baby brother would be really nice.”