She was about to exit the car on to the busy Parisian street when she turned towards the woman by her side. Seeing the gentle smile and look of affection shining in the bright blue eyes she knew there was only one option.
"Miranda, I quit." She stated softly surprised by her words. "I will see my two weeks out, but I can't do this anymore."
"What exactly can't you do Ahn-dré-ah?" She saw the editor's eyes turn cold as her gentle smile disappeared.
She swallowed hard and decided to throw caution to the wind and speak from her heart. "I can't be around you. You just said that we all have choices, but that is not true. With the threat of losing my job you pitted me against Emily, you made any other choice impossible."
"That is no explanation," Miranda stated coldly.
She sighed heavily. "I can't be what you want Miranda. I can't be one of those people that will trample on anyone standing in my way. I will not proactively go out of my way to hurt anyone else."
Miranda turned and looked at her frankly. "But don't you see Andréa, you do hurt people."
"Who? Who do I hurt?" She demanded hotly as tears sprang to her eyes.
"Me," Miranda stated. "You hurt me with your kindness and care, and now you will hurt me with your absence."
Her bark of laughter was hard. "Better that than you hurting me, ripping the heart out of me the way you did with Nigel today."
It was Andréa's last day, and she was aware that she had burnt her bridges. Her recommendation, the words 'my biggest disappointment' had been hanging between them since Andréa returned from her interview at the New York Mirror. She had looked furious upon her return to Runway.
She looked out into her outer office and saw Andréa packing the last items from her desk into a box. She shuddered. She knew she would miss the young woman.
"Andréa." She called.
A moment passed before she heard the quiet answer. "Yes, Miranda." As she looked up, she saw Andréa stood in the doorway, notebook and pen poised in hand. The only thing missing was the bright smile that usually graced the young woman's features.
"Close the door and sit." She requested. As the brunette sat before her, having shut the door as requested she took the time to take in the woman in front of her. Nodding her approval as she started to speak. "You have been with Runway for nine months now. I wanted to thank you for the effort you have put into this position. You did advise me in your initial interview that you learned fast and would work hard, and you have. You exceeded my every expectation." She spoke quietly.
"Is there a point to this Miranda?" Andréa asked curiously.
"Stay," She whispered shocked by the pleading tone of voice.
"I can't do that," Andréa told her gently. "After all I've already replaced myself." Andréa offered her a weak smile.
"She will never replace you. There will only ever be one Andréa Sachs." She stated before she spun her chair around and turned her back to the brunette unwilling to watch her walk away. The whispered "That's all." echoed through the office.
She had been gone from Runway almost three months, capturing brief glimpses of Miranda as she occasionally passed the Elias Clarke building. They had studiously ignored each other, and she'd be okay with that. She'd been fine.
Upon reflection she realised she wasn't okay without Miranda, she didn't feel challenged, it was something that was distinctly lacking in her role as a reporter at the New York Newspaper she now worked for. She had taken what she'd learnt at Runway and put her unique twist on it. She was excelling and for her short tenure was being given more responsibility and better stories to cover.
There had been many changes in her life. Doug and Lily were now long gone, having followed Nate while she was in Paris. She had only one person she kept in touch with from Runway, Nigel.
She was meeting him that evening for dinner and drinks. Finishing her most recent article, she read it thoroughly and after making a few adjustments sent it to her editor. She shut down her computer and rushed to the bathroom. Looking at herself she realised her makeup needed touching up, she completed the process efficiently and took in her outfit she grinned. Something's from Runway were now far too ingrained for her to dismiss them, and beautifully fitting clothes had become a necessity.
Within thirty minutes she was pushing her way through a crowded bar towards Nigel's usual booth. She looked around and smiled at the happy chatter of people relaxing after a hectic week. Pushing her way through a particularly loud bunch of accountants her eyes landed on the table where her dinner companion should be. Shock filtered through her eyes as they met the piercing blue of Miranda Priestly.
"Good evening Andréa. I hope you will sit down and join me." Miranda said softly.
She found herself smiling. "I will Miranda, thank you, and later I'm going to find Nigel and kill him." She asserted causing the older woman to smile widely. "I must say it's lovely to see you, Miranda. Now, what do I owe the unexpected pleasure?"
She was amazed to realise they had spent hours talking and laughing as Andréa filled her in on the full three months they had been apart. She had found herself being especially vocal about the incompetence she had encountered at Runway. Her dry wit and sarcasm, now it wasn't aimed at the brunette, seemed to amuse the young woman. She found her usual awkwardness and reticence disappearing under the warm gaze that reminded her of molten chocolate.
As they made their way from the bar, she turned to look at the young woman. "I am happy to see that you haven't changed too much since you have been away from Runway," Miranda stated softly. "I must provide my apologies for crashing what would have been your evening with Nigel; however I cannot regret it too much as I have enjoyed the night tremendously." She looked down shyly. "Would you consider doing this again Andréa? Dinner perhaps?"
"That would be an acceptable way to spend an evening." She smiled at Andréa's teasing tone.
"Tomorrow?" Miranda queried looking down. She looked up after a moment to see Andréa biting her lip. She felt her shoulders sagging and made to turn towards the car. "Never mind, another time maybe."
She felt a warm hand encircle her wrist and stopped. Finding herself spinning around in Andréa's hands she was surprised to see confusion highlighted on the brunette's face. "What was this about Miranda?"
She shrugged elegantly. "I thought we could become friends; I would like to know you better Andréa."
"Friends?" She felt herself nodding at the young woman's question. "I can do that. Dinner tomorrow sounds great, text me the details, you have my number." She was offered one of Andréa's brightest smiles before being handed into her waiting car. "Good night Miranda."
She saw Andréa's small wave and the rolling of eyes as the car pulled into the moving traffic.
They had been meeting for lunch and dinners for months which had expanded to her spending time at the Townhouse with Miranda and the twins and movie nights. Somehow they had not yet captured the attention of the press as their friendship progressed.
She looked up from her desk at the Mirror as her name was called and was greeted by the sparkling blue eyes of Miranda's eldest twin Cassidy.
"Hiya Cass. I've nearly finished up here. Is everything O.K? We don't normally meet like this." She was nervous having never spent time with either of the twins away from their mom.
"Everything's fine. Mom and Caro are out having a girly day." Cassidy rolled her eyes and smirked causing her to chuckle. "I just thought I could spend the afternoon with you and maybe get to know you better." She typed a few words quickly and read her closing paragraph before sending the article off to her editor.
"Sounds good." She smiled widely. "Come on then Cass; we'll go grab some lunch and maybe take a walk in the park." She stood and shrugged on her leather jacket. She grabbed her wallet and held her hand out to the young redhead.
Cassidy took her hand, and as they made their way out, she heard someone call. "Hey Sachs, I see you're on step-mom duty today. When's the wedding?"
She spun around and glared at the offender, seeing it was one of the new cub reporters she hissed. "If you spent as much time focussed on your articles rather than on idle gossip and baseless speculation maybe you wouldn't still be writing obits, Keith."
As she turned back, her eyes landed on Cassidy's blue eyes; they were so like her mother's. The young girl's eyes held amusement and awe. "I bet you learned that tone from mom," Cassidy whispered
"I sure did," Andy confirmed. "Now my little dragon, where do you want to go?"
"The boathouse," Cassidy stated happily. "It's a nice day for ice cream." She grinned at the young redhead and nodded her acceptance.
They walked in companionable silence towards the park, sometimes pointing out random events occurring around them. "So what's this really about Cass?" Andy asked as they walked hand in hand through the park entrance.
Cassidy stopped and looked up at her. "Do you love my mom?" She asked hesitantly.
"Yes, I do Cass." She answered nervously. "But your mom doesn't know, and our friendship is important to me, I will not do anything to jeopardise that." She raised her eyebrow.
"Maybe you should tell her how you feel," Cassidy declared.
"I have nothing to offer her Cass." She stated softly.
"Materially no, but contrary to what most people think mom isn't high maintenance. You somehow make her feel safe and secure, letting her be who she is without fear of judgement." She grinned at the young girl's words. "If she loves you, and Caro and I know she does, then it won't matter what you have to offer as long as she has your heart. Given the opportunity she would cherish it," Cassidy told her softly.
She was having a good day with Caroline, they had been shopping and were in the process of having a pedicure, she was feeling extraordinarily relaxed.
Sensing eyes on her, she turned her head and saw her youngest daughter was staring at her, curiosity in her eyes, "Is there a problem Bobbsey?" She asked. "Do I have lipstick on my teeth?" She rubbed a finger over the front of her teeth as Caroline smiled.
"No Mom, you look perfect." She bit her lip before continuing. "Cass and I have been wondering when you are going to be asking Andy to move in," Caroline asked hesitantly.
"Why would you think Andréa would live with us?" She asked her daughter gently. Caroline rolled her eyes causing her to chuckle. "I see you've perfected the Priestly eye-roll. I did wonder how long that would take you. Cassidy has had it down pat for several years now."
She saw Caroline's smile widen. "The reason I asked about Andy is that you're dating right? She meets you for lunch at least once a week, you go out for dinner and to the movies, and she comes home to eat with us."
"We are not dating Bobbsey, how absurd. Andréa and I are just friends." She stated.
"You do love her though, don't you mom?" Caroline asked hesitantly.
"Well yes, I care for Andréa deeply, but nothing can come of it. The last time I checked, she was straight, as am I."
"You should tell her that you love her," Caroline stated. "Love is love, whether it's between a man and woman, two women, two men or Patricia and the Scotty dog next door," Caroline told her with a small smile. "Anyway, I thought you hated labels."
"I do," Miranda stated before sighing. "I have absolutely nothing to offer her Bobbsey."
"You know her dreams, she shared her favourite movie with you, and you embraced her as you both cried at the end of it." Caroline grinned. "She has shown you the goodness of her heart, and she makes it safe for you to express yourself. Maybe it's time now to show her your heart mom; you are capable of handling your fear with courage, offer her that much with the knowledge your heart will be safe with her; we all know she wouldn't break it," Caroline said gently.
"I will give what you have said some consideration; I will not do anything to spoil this friendship though." She declared.
She had moved from the apartment she had lived in with Nate on the Lower East Side and had settled in a reasonable apartment in Midtown East. She had arranged dinner with Miranda to celebrate her promotion to the junior editor at the Mirror and was rushing around to make sure everything was perfect. She had spent the afternoon deep cleaning and finalising preparations for Miranda's favourite dinner of Coq Au Vin.
She had spent an inordinate amount of time carefully reflecting on what Cassidy had said. She had to admit to herself she adored the older woman. Behind her icy facade, Miranda was warm and generous, she could be cutting and caustic and sarcastic, and it was incredible. She found Miranda captivating in all ways, from her unconscious gestures to the passion she displayed about her career and the twins achievements. She wanted to wrap herself around the editor and never let go.
Realising that she had less than an hour before her guest was due to arrive, she ran to the bathroom and jumped into the shower. Within 15 minutes she entered her bedroom wrapped in a towel, she viewed her choice of outfit for the evening. She had treated herself to some new clothes knowing a pay rise was imminent. She had splurged on some Saint Laurent Leather trousers and a white Balmain drapey V-neck t-shirt, she would pair these with some flat ankle boots.
She had decided this was going to be the night she would bare her soul. It was time to tell Miranda that she loved her. She couldn't deny it anymore, and the flicker of hope that their feelings may be mutual was something she could no longer ignore. Like a beacon of light pulling her through the darkness, she had learned to live on hope.
She was nervous about dinner. As the twins lounged on her bed watching her, she felt ridiculous. She had no idea what to wear this evening which accounted for the pile of clothes scattered across the room.
"Are you nervous mom?" Cassidy asked. "You are never usually this indecisive."
"I will admit I am nervous Bobbsey's. It is an important celebration for Andréa, and I want it to be special." She told them.
"It will be special because you're sharing it with her," Caroline said. "Now knowing Andy, I believe she will like that dress." Caroline pointed to an acid green knee-length Michael Kors sheath.
Miranda looked at the dress in question and nodded once. "I do believe it is an acceptable choice. Thank you, Caroline." Miranda smiled gently at her youngest daughter. "Now scram. Your father will be here shortly."
Cassidy giggled at those words and jumped off the bed. "We love you, mom. Have a good evening with Andy and hug her for us."
She smiled widely at her eldest and nodded once. "I will." She whispered. She looked at the dress again she decided to pair it with some silver Jimmy Choo pumps.
Content with her choices she made her way to the shower and allowed herself the luxury of wallowing under the hot water in an attempt to decide what how she should proceed with the evening.
She wanted to tell the young woman that her feelings ran deeper than friendship, but she was unsure if the feelings could be reciprocal. She had hope, but she couldn't stop the small niggle of doubt that crept from the recesses of her busy mind.
Squaring her shoulders, she switched the water off and wrapped herself in a soft bath sheet. She walked to her vanity and taking in her features pursed her lips. She could see the fine lines around her eyes and that gravity had started to take its toll. She wasn't as toned as she once was and had found she needed to work harder to maintain her physique. She couldn't imagine how Andréa would even contemplate being with her. She felt as frumpy as Stephen claimed she was upon the finalisation of their divorce, his words cutting deep into her psyche. Sighing she started to complete her preparations for the evening.
As she greeted Miranda at the door, she found herself exclaiming her appreciation out loud with a "Wow" followed by a low wolf whistle causing Miranda to chuckle.
She saw Miranda taking her time to glance over her outfit choice before being provided with a broad, genuine smile. "You look stunning Andréa," Miranda told her breathlessly.
She leaned in for the usual air kiss but Miranda turned her head unexpectedly, and she found their noses clashing as her lips brushed against the editors. It was a moment of pure awkwardness that left her mortified.
Finding herself blushing profusely she attempted to compose herself she gestured for the older woman to come in.
With the blush still showing her discomfort, she decided to apologise. "Sorry about that Miranda. I mustn't have been paying attention."
Miranda smirked. "Well I have had worse greetings darling, and it was I that turned my head." She rubbed the bridge of her nose gently as she sat on her very new and comfortable couch. "There was no damage done."
She stepped away from Miranda and picked up a bottle of wine, brandishing it she looked at Miranda and asked. "Wine?" Seeing Miranda's small smile and nod she poured two large glasses and handed one to the editor.
She found herself pacing in her nervousness as she gulped her wine down quickly. Pausing she saw Miranda looking at her, concern evident in her beautiful blue eyes. She rolled her eyes and stalked back to the wine bottle pouring herself a second glass.
"Is everything O.K Andréa. You seem out of sorts." Miranda stated.
"Dutch courage." She mumbled hoping the older woman hadn't heard.
She felt the heat radiating off Miranda as she stepped by her side, the warmth of the older woman's hand encircling her bicep. "Please darling, will you stop pacing, sit down with me and tell me what's wrong. Why do you need Dutch courage?"
She looked at Miranda allowing all of her feelings for the woman show in her eyes. Miranda stepped back with a small exclamation of surprise.
She closed her eyes to shut out the possible sight of Miranda's contempt and the sting of her oncoming tears.
The emotions blazing in those chocolate eyes were her undoing. She was left feeling so much happiness as every doubt she held inside vanished. She couldn't help but laugh joyfully.
She saw Andréa open her eyes and saw her pain and her laughter ended abruptly. "No, my darling Andréa, I am not laughing at you." She stated in her attempt to reassure the beautiful young woman. "Please sit and let me explain."
She took Andréa's hand and led them to the couch. Sitting them down side by side, keeping some distance between them, she twisted slightly and let herself look at the brunette. She saw the young woman's shoulders shaking through her tears.
Scooting closer, she raised Andréa's chin so she could catch her eyes. "My darling I am only going to ask this once, and I need an honest answer." She saw as Andréa closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She continued when she saw the brunette nodding. "Am I mistaken when I say you care for me?"
"No," Andréa whispered. "You are not mistaken." Taking a deep breath, Andréa continued to speak. "You are beautiful Miranda. You take my breath away."
Miranda smiled and ran her thumb across Andréa's lips and then under her eyes. "And if I tell you your feelings are mutual what will you do about it?" She asked the brunette.
Andréa leaned forward and stroked her fingers up her jaw. She felt the soft brushing of lips against her own, and felt herself tremble at the contact; the anticipation was intense. She closed her eyes as their mouths continued to explore.
Her eyes opened at Andréa's next words. "You have my heart Miranda, you can have my body, and I will have yours." She could see the sincerity shining brightly. The expression changed to mischief with Andrea's next words. "But right now I should feed you; you're going to need all your strength," Andréa smirked at her as she found herself gasping at the words.
They ate their dinner in companionable silence. Miranda had gotten up once to refill her wine glass while she had sipped her second glass slowly, no longer feeling the need for Dutch courage. As the older woman stepped behind her, she felt the trailing of soft fingers in her hair and shivered in anticipation of them trailing over other parts of her.
As Miranda sat back down opposite her, she let their eyes meet and saw the look of anticipation matched in the deep blue eyes. She leaned back in her chair, done with eating.
"Miranda, have you eaten enough?" She asked suddenly nervous again.
"Yes," Miranda said gently.
She stood and picked up her plate. She stepped around the table and grabbed Miranda's half-eaten dinner and moved to clear up. As she stood at the sink she felt warm arms wrap themselves around her waist; Miranda rested a soft cheek against her shoulder. She turned within the arms and looked down to see Miranda smiling. "I want to kiss you." She whispered hoarsely.
"By all means, move at a glacial pace, you know how it thrills me," Miranda smirked at her.
She continued where she had left off before dinner, with teasing brushes of her lips against Miranda's. She could feel the older woman trembling in her arms, and without breaking their kiss, she led her towards the couch. As Miranda fell into the soft cushions, she followed hovering over the older woman hesitantly.
She gently licked Miranda's bottom lip requesting access to her tongue. Granting permission, Miranda shook with desire as their tongues entwined. She felt Miranda respond enthusiastically running her fingers through her long chestnut hair and pulling her closer. She could feel the kiss from head to toe as Miranda deepened it and their mouths began to fight for dominance.
She trailed her hands from Miranda's knees up under the hem of her dress, and her warm hands felt a burst of goosebumps erupt on Miranda's thighs. Breaking the kiss, she whispered. "Are you sure about this?"
"Oh God, don't you dare stop." Miranda husked as she moved her hand out of her long hair and caressed her cheek. She ran her hands further upwards letting them come to rest on Miranda's hips, bunching Miranda's dress around her waist she allowed her leather clad leg fall between the toned thighs of the older woman below. The moan that was rent from the woman below her caused her desire to increase, and she moved her hands from Miranda's hips she swept them upwards along the side of her ribs before gently cupping her breasts and rubbing her thumb across the rapidly hardening nipples.
Miranda's heart felt like it would escape from her chest, it was beating so fast. "Your beautiful heart is beating so powerfully." She murmured against Miranda's lips.
"You're exquisite, Andréa," the older woman stated. "I want you to take me to bed."
Andréa had urged her into the bedroom upon her request and standing before her at the side of the bed she looked down and bit her lip nervously. She took the hem of her dress in her hands and pulled it over her head, leaving her in only her Jimmy Choo pumps, a lacy cream La Perla thong and strapless bra. Pulling the brunette into her arms, she initiated a searing kiss. "I want to see you my darling." She whispered.
Andréa broke their kiss and stepped back causing her to whimper at the loss of contact. She stepped out of her pumps and moved forward once again and pulled Andréa's t-shirt from the waistline of her trousers and over her head. She watched as Andréa shook her hair back into place, amazed at the sensuality the young woman displayed with ease as she bent and brushed her lips firmly against hers in another gentle kiss. She couldn't stop herself from moving her hands across Andréa's waist to the front of her trousers to pop the button undone. As she pulled the zip down the leather slipped down Andréa's long legs to bunch at her ankles.
She swept her tongue across Andréa's bottom lip, begging entrance, which was swiftly granted. They stood, tangled around each other, kissing enthusiastically. Their tongues were sliding against each other passionately. Andréa moved and unclipped her bra, pulling it off, she began to tease her breasts.
Andréa was attentive, breaking the kiss she leaned forward she sucked one of the hardened nipples between her lips. Using her hand, she squeezed the other nipple between her fingers as she dragged her teeth over the nub in her mouth. She found herself panting furiously, and moaned as her arousal skyrocketed.
Becoming impatient she turned them both and pushed Andréa down onto the bed. Kneeling in front of the young woman her hands moved down Andréa's legs to her feet. She pulled each boot off and let the leather trousers fall to the ground. Letting her eyes roam she took in the expanse of creamy flesh and the white boy shorts and bra. "Gorgeous." She whispered reverently before leaning forward and unclasping the bra covering Andréa's voluptuous breasts.
She watched intently as Andréa moved her hand slowly down her own body to the elastic of her boy shorts and in one fluid motion raised her hips and slipped the underwear off. As Andréa kicked the boy shorts off, she leaned forward and pulled her panties down before pulling her down, so she was straddling Andréa's thighs.
Miranda could feel her desire rising. She felt her mouth water at the glorious sight of Andréa beneath her. "You are mine Andréa; I am not letting go of you now."
She woke up to find bright blue eyes staring at her. She smiled as Miranda pulled her close, Snuggling into the older woman's arms she reflected on the night before. They had spent hours making love until they had fallen asleep in each other's arms. Miranda stroked her hands through her hair whispering. "Good morning my darling."
She grinned in response. "Hey, beautiful lady." She gasped as Miranda ran her hands through her hair, down her back and to her ass, pulling her closer. Unable to help herself she rolled them both over and slid down Miranda's body, urging Miranda to place her legs over her shoulders. She bent her head and licked Miranda firmly from her opening upwards, swirling her tongue delicately around Miranda's clit. She found herself insatiable for the taste of the woman she loved. Miranda moaned loudly and curled her hands in her hair as she arched into her mouth. She increased the pressure, hardening her tongue she thrust it gently into Miranda, determined to make the older woman explode again.
Miranda moaned loudly when she replaced her tongue with two fingers and concentrated her tongue against her clit again as she moved rhythmically inside her, gentle thrusts hitting just the right spot. She felt Miranda beginning to contract around her fingers in preparation for her orgasm. She increased the speed as she intensified her efforts, pressing on the upper wall having quickly found Miranda's g-spot. She moaned as Miranda orgasmed, calling out her name while she rocked against her mouth and fingers.
Miranda recuperated quickly and rolled her onto her back. The older woman looked thoroughly tousled and generated an aura of peace and beauty that she had never spotted in the woman before.
"If I had known that was the reaction I would achieve upon you waking up I would have woken you up hours ago my darling," Miranda smirked.
"Mm, I couldn't resist." She found herself saying. "What time is it?" She asked.
Miranda smiled. "It's late; the sun has been up for hours." She saw the older woman turn serious. "Darling, I need to know something."
"I will tell you anything." She whispered.
"Could you see yourself loving me?" Miranda asked nervously.
"I already do Miranda," Andréa told her softly.
"What?" She asked disbelieving the words she was hearing.
"I said I already do." Andréa declared again firmly.