Nigel sat quietly in his office, remembering Miranda's surprising actions. The night seemed perfectly normal, until his work sanctuary was invaded by a personal drama that caused the resignation of a dedicated employee and the loss of one of the most important patrons. As Miranda cried, declaring her feelings for Andy to the astonished manager, he tried to understand the detaild of this intriguing story involving a supposed bet and the following rumor caused by a certain dancer. As soon as he understood that Miranda was not directly responsible for Andy's broken heart, he felt a genuine wish to help the couple, but even his best efforts to manage the situation and formulate a plan of action were ignored by the determined woman.
"Nigel? Do as I say and bring me the contract immediately."
"You can't be serious, Miranda!"
"Don't waste my precious time! I'm a woman of decisions. You know that once I make up my mind I rarely reconsider my positions."
"What is that supposed to mean? Will you give up your place on the board, because of a fling?"
"I can assure you Nigel, this is not a fling. I'm pathetically and irrevocably in love for the first time in my life and the object of my affections despises me. How do you think I´m going to feel every time I cross that front door and see her?"
Nigel was speechless as Miranda paced frantically around the office. "In a certain way, my life was so much easier before I met Andrea. I never opened myself to these sort of feelings, because somehow I always knew that once I fell in love there would be no return and I would be vulnerable."
Nigel opened his mouth and closed it again, thinking about a way to convince her. Miranda´s eyes were distant and she smiled sadly. "A good friend once told me that occasionally, ignorance could be a blessing and I believe I finally understood his words. I had no idea that love could be like this, that I would be defeated by my own feelings for a woman half my age! This is ridiculous and at right this moment I have no parameters to base my decisions, so, don't you dare question my actions, bring me the papers immediately!"
He flinched under her commanding tone, but insisted. "Miranda, we'll solve this problem; you must give me some time to discover what happened and I swear to you that I´ll do everything in my power to ensure that this terrible misunderstanding…"
She interrupted his words with a vehement nod. "I don't believe you understand, Nigel. She made it clear that she repudiate my behavior; that she doesn't want to be with someone like me. I tried to explain, but she had already formed opinion about my character. I could see in her eyes the inner conflict – the battle between her feelings for me and her beliefs."
"Miranda, I´m sorry, but I have to insist, because I´m sure that when she knows the whole truth, she´s going to regret this. You must understand that Andy is a wounded girl completely alone in the world and that she´s been under a lot of pressure lately. That lovely young woman stopped believing that happiness is even possible, that something good could actually happen to her. Don´t you see? She believes that you were using her, because that´s exactly what she expects from life! You must prove her wrong! "
The woman closed her eyes as a single tear escaped her eyelashes. "This is so frustrating Nigel… I don't know what to do with my emotions and knowing she feels the same, just make it even worse. You should have seen her face when we broke up. She was so sad and disappointed, but what should I say? That I'm not a manipulative person? That I don't treat people as objects? That would be a lie! I never did anything to her, but she judges me, based on my decisions and past choices regarding other people. She believes I will hurt her by being who I am and that´s nothing you or I can do about it."
Miranda extended her hand without looking directly at his eyes. After a long pause Nigel stood, opening one of the cabinets. Coming around the desk , he gave her the black folder containing her contract and waited in silence.
She took the document, looking for the last page. Nigel widened his eyes in shock, when she graciously signed the last clause, ending her contract with Dark Secrets. Her teeth were clenched, but the pens' movements denoted resolution.
"Miranda, are you sure about this? Maybe you should think more about it, before you make a permanent decision."
She didn't answer as she stood up, her face sad and defeated as she left. "There´s nothing for me here anymore, but I wish you luck in the business."
Even after an hour of deep reflection the whole story was still obscure. He was perplexed by Miranda's last actions and determined to gather information that could clarify the situation. Apparently, a lamentable misunderstanding was the source of the problem, aggravated by Andy's insecurities and Miranda's bad record. Nevertheless, those facts alone shouldn't be enough to cause such damage and he guessed the last piece of the puzzle would be revealed by one of the girls. He would speak with all of them and he wouldn't rest until he found the one responsible for this mess. A soft knock on the door took him out of his meanderings. Looking at the door, he gave a predatory smile to his first and main suspect.
"Emily, come in, please. We need to talk."
Andy left the subway, she walked quickly on the empty streets. It was past two in the morning, but she wouldn´t wait until morning to voice the apologies she felt Miranda deserved. When she left Nigel´s office, she hadn´t thought twice, grabbing her belongs and running to Miranda´s townhouse, while her mind found no words to describe the relief she felt knowing that Emily created a situation to make her believe that the editor was only using her. She knew she would be very angry later and probably want to confront the redhead as soon as the situation with Miranda was settled - assuming that she would be able to fix things between them.
She wouldn´t be surprised if it was Miranda´s turn to reject her feelings. She had been judged without the benefit of the doubt and Andy was deeply ashamed of her own behavior. She had enough time to analyze her reactions while Nigel forced Emily to explain the entire situation, even the smallest details, to an astonished Andy. In addition, Andy´s doubts completely vanished when Nigel told her Miranda gave up her contract with Dark Secrets.
After Emily left the office, her good friend and manager sat beside her, took both of her hands and made her realize that Miranda's´ actions concerning the other girls never were sustained by the lack of character, but simply in her prerogatives as a patron. The bets, that were in Andy´s eyes overran indicator of a selfish personality, were always made in open ground, with the consent of the dancers involved in the games. Despite his passionate defense of Miranda´s actions, he never once patronized the editor or underestimated her difficult personality. In fact, he emphasized that Andy would face an incredible challenging relationship, for so many reasons, but never for lack of love. As she walked toward Miranda´s townhouse, she realized that she never been scared by the older woman´s public persona, or her difficult temper, or even the twins. Her personal apprehensiveness was always based on her fear of rejection, on the perspective of not having her feelings returned.
The second part of her exchange with Nigel was arduous, considering she had to deal with her "inner monsters". In a very delicate but firm way, her friend led her to confront her embarrassing insecurities about life and recognize the depth of her feelings for Miranda. She cried a lot, confessing that from the very first moment she had felt unworthy, which made her easily believe in Emily´s scheme. Andy felt deeply touched by Nigel´s actions, after all, he had investigated the situation in person, when he could choose not to get involved. When asked about it, he only told her that Andy and Miranda were good friends that deserved to be happy together, confessing that for some reason his romantic soul believed they were right for each other.
As she mentally reviewed a way to explain to the older woman why she had felt so insecure about their relationship, she turned the last corner and approached the house, her heart beating faster from the physical effort and anxiety. Andy would have to admit to the other woman that her lack of experience in relationships and her prejudices about the Dark Secrets patrons led her to conclude that she would be an object in Miranda´s hands. After Emily´s revelations, she reflected that Miranda´s actions in the last weeks should have been enough to convince her of Miranda´s intentions, after all, Miranda had offered Andy her life, her house, and her children, while could only mean that she truly cared.
In front of the townhouse, she mentally organized her simple speech: she would admit her mistake, apologize and accept the consequences of her actions, fighting for Miranda as the other woman had fought for her. Raising her head, she approached Miranda´s front door and knocked, hoping Miranda would answer it and praying for her luck.
The house was empty and silent without the girls, but Miranda was restless. She knew he should try to get some sleep, but Andy´s face as she said "I don't trust you…" wouldn´t leave her mind. The words stung, because Miranda always has been the object of everyone's mistrust - her employees, her former husbands even her close friends and family. For some blissful days she believed to have found a real chance of connection and love, but her hopes had been buried.
Now, pacing in her lonely house, she doubted her heart would be able to forget the young woman, but she would act like she always did when she felt lost - she would work even harder to forget the pain. She turned off the lights on the first floor heading for the stairs, but a soft knock at the front door and the unmistakable shape of a woman through the glass caught her attention. Opening the door, she found a clearly anxious Andrea standing on the other side.
"Andrea, what a surprise. I thought you made it clear you wish to never see me again."
Andy lifted her head and smiled sadly. "I´d would like to talk to you. Sorry about the hour, but it´s important, may I come in?"
Miranda´s face was unreadable as she took a step back. Andy crossed the threshold following the silent woman upstairs, to her study. Her rigid posture and the immaculate manners put a painful distance between them, increasing Andy´s concern about her chances to fix the situation. Entering the study, Miranda pointed to a couch, inviting the young woman to sit, but not following her. "Make yourself comfortable Andrea, would you like something to drink?"
"No, thank you. Could you please sit here, by my side?"
Andy patted the couch beside her and Miranda´s eyes turned inquisitive, her voice cold. "Andrea, it´s late and I´m tired. I believe we told each other everything we needed to a couple of hours ago. If you came to continue our discussion, I´ll have to refuse the offer, I have had enough of your false accusations for a night."
Andy pursed her lips, holding the tears that threatened to fall. "I certainly deserve this treatment, for the way I acted, but could you please sit down for a minute? I have a few things to tell you and I want to look straight into your eyes while I do it. After I finish, if you ask me to leave, I will and never bother you again."
The older woman tilted her head as if considering the situation, but after a brief moment of hesitation, sat on the couch. Andy hated the fact that she was directly responsible for the distant look in Miranda´s eyes. Taking a deep breath, the young woman tried to put her feelings into words.
"You know Miranda… never, even in my wildest dreams did I believe that something like this… like what we have… could ever happen to me. I'm so in love and my heart is so full for you that I'm afraid every time I awake, I´ll discover that I just have been dreaming, because this feeling… " She made a gesture with her hands, pointing to the space between them. "What we have, is too wonderful to be true."
She smiled between tears. "My life had been so difficult lately, that sometimes I forget that good things can happen, that maybe, one day, happiness could be mine. I lost everyone I loved and left my secure and predictable life behind to come to New York. This wonderful city can be very intimidating for a simple girl like me, especially if this same girl finds a job in a place where nobody acts without a purpose. My father´s words came to my mind every single time I crossed Dark Secrets doors, warning me about all the dangers I would face and the ways I would get hurt by people like you."
Andy closed her eyes and inhaled deep. "I had all those beliefs and prejudices screaming at me that I shouldn´t trust you, because you would hurt me the first chance no matter what, so when the story about a supposed bet came to me, told by a concerned and trusted friend, all I could think about were ways to protect myself, so I acted the way I did and I hurt you. Maybe it´s too late and you´ll tell me to leave you alone, but… there´s no other way to say that I was wrong and I´m truly sorry."
Miranda stood, needing to put some space between them, as her mind processed Andy´s words. Relief and hope took place in her heart again, as she contemplated the possibility of having a second chance with the younger woman, but the need to safeguard her own feelings and to understand Andy´s actions before she opened herself again, prevailed.
"You know Andrea, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of always being judged. People judge me for the way I do my work, for my temper, for my choices, for the way I raised my children, for my failed marriages, but no one knows what it cost me to be where I am, to be who I am!"
Miranda turned to face the young woman, with blue eyes full of tears. "You… I thought what we had was different, but it isn't, I realized you're like everyone else, always expecting the worse from me. That's the reason I keep everyone at arm's length, to avoid the pain of being judged and abandoned. Do you even realize how difficult it is for me to trust you? You do believe that I could take advantage of you, but you should consider that I always have the same fear. I´m always asking myself what people want from me when they approach, what kind of advantage they are seeking."
Andy nodded and stood, approaching the older woman with tears in her eyes. "I understand that perfectly and I´m sorry for the way I acted. I let my insecurities overwhelm my feelings. I should have believed your words and trusted you with my heart and I'm so sorry I haven´t. Do you think you would be able to forgive me, sweetheart?"
The older woman looked at Andy´s soft eyes and came closer, touching her face in a light caress. The young woman released a relieved breath and closed her eyes, savoring the soft feeling of fingertips tracing the lines of her face and lips. She opened her eyes again, finding Miranda´s blue orbs looking tenderly at her and she couldn´t contain her desire anymore. She took Miranda's lips with her own, kissing her fiercely, as a strangled cry left her throat followed by tears. The older woman moaned, deepening the kiss, while her arms held Andy's waist as the young woman´s body was shaken by heavy sobs.
Miranda tightened the hold on the body in her arms, inhaling the sweet scent, as the young woman cried, hiding her face in Miranda's neck. Andy's words, whispered in her ear, were like a balm to her hurt soul. "I'm so sorry Miranda, could you please forgive me, my love?"
Miranda caressed the young woman's face, as her own tears fell. "Oh darling, I was so scared that you wouldn't believe me, that I wouldn't be able to convince you. I don't know what I was going to do if you decided we were over…"
Andy hugged her again, kissing Miranda's neck. "God! I'm so embarrassed about the way I acted. I wouldn't be surprised if you were the one to break up with me this time. "
Miranda laughed sadly. "Don't worry darling, I'm very aware of my past and my temper and I know that my actions toward other people work against me. I was hurt by your assumptions, but not exactly surprised."
Andy looked intently at her, as Miranda continued. "I'm not exactly a good person Andrea. I have crashed and hurt more souls than I can count, especially in my work, but I'm faithful as a lioness when it comes to protecting the ones I love. If you let me love you, I'll never hurt you on purpose darling, you can trust me."
Andy hugged her again, sighing in contentment. "I believe you my love, I really do. But you didn´t answer me. Do you forgive me?"
Miranda tightened her arms, whispering. "That´s nothing to forgive, neither of us was responsible for that mess. Let´s put this behind us, shall we?"
They stood in each other's arms for a few minutes before Miranda broke the silence. She took a step back, holding Andy´s hands. "Andrea, stay with me tonight? I don't want to spend the night alone in this empty house. We don´t need to…"
Miranda cleaned her throat embarrassed. "We don´t need to do anything, I just want to hold you, while we sleep…"
Andy blinked her eyes, amazed at Miranda's soft tone. She finally smiled and her heart was sure about the answer. Grabbing Miranda around the neck with a swift motion she whispered. "Are you kidding me? That´s no way I´ll have you beside me during the whole night and lose our precious time by just holding you. Come here gorgeous, I missed you so damn much!"
Miranda was delighted with the turn of events. She couldn't believe that only a few minutes ago she was feeling lonely and miserable, certain that she would never touch her sweet Andrea again. She was thinking of ways to reward Nigel's friendship, when Andy´s lips found her own in a heated kiss, assaulting her body and mind with a flood of sensations. She revealed in Andrea´s touch allowing the young woman to claim her body, in a rare display of love and trust. Miranda was not used to abdicating the control over any situations or to let her body respond without restrains to the touch of a lover. Andy's hands roamed all over her body as rational thoughts left Miranda's mind - the intoxicating kisses awakening a myriad of responses never before experienced by the older woman.
The young woman broke the kiss, breathing hard. "The girls… are they home?"
Miranda took Andy's head in her hands again, tangling her fingers in the silk strands. Between frantic kisses, she murmured. "The girls… are with their father… we´re alone…"
The knowledge that the house was empty released Andy´s last restrains and her hands found their way beneath Miranda´s blouse. She caressed the smooth skin of Miranda´s shoulders before her hands traced a heated path over the other woman´s back, finding Miranda´s soft ass. Bringing their bodies flush together, Andy deepened the kiss, hungrily. Releasing a low moan, Miranda kissed the elegant jaw and neck offered to her, until she felt the young woman´s body melting under her ministrations.
"God Miranda, you´re driving me crazy! I can´t wait anymore, please take me to bed baby, hurry!"
The older woman took Andy´s hands, pulling her out of her study, in the direction of the bedroom. "Don´t worry, the sentiment is mutual darling. Come with me."
Once behind closed doors, the couple found each other´s mouths again, in a deep kiss. Miranda´s hands trembled as she took Andy´s cotton top and pulled it up, over the young woman´s head, smiling tenderly as a soft pink tone colored her soon to be lover´s face. She helped the young woman out of her skirt, her eyes memorizing Andy´s soft curves and flawless skin. Sliding her arms around her soon to be lover´s waist, Miranda closed her eyes as their warm bodies came flush together. "You´re beautiful darling and you feel so good in my arms…"
Andy smiled between kisses, feeling confident seeing nothing but love in the other woman´s eyes. "You know, it´s hard to believe that you would find me beautiful. I´m not one of Runway models or Dark Secrets dancers..."
The older woman halted her caresses for a moment, taking Andy´s head between her hands, until their eyes were perfectly locked. "No, you are not and they could never be perfect and beautiful to me as you are now. I love you Andrea Sachs, I´ve been looking for you my entire life and now that I found you I don´t intend to let you go."
Miranda held Andy´s head carefully and kissed her again slowly, tracing the soft and wet lips with her tongue, to show to the young woman how cherished and loved she was. "Help me off with my clothes darling, I can´t wait to feel your body against mine."
Trembling hands took off the remaining clothes and Miranda kneeled on the bed, pulling Andy toward her. Miranda thought that for a woman of her age, it should be at least embarrassing to be so nervous before such a young lover, but couldn´t care less about her previous experiences. Their love was new for both of them and they would learn together how to be a lover to one another.
Andy approached tentatively, kneeling in front of her magnificent lover, that seemed so lost about what to do. Andy recognized the hesitation in the other woman´s eyes, because she felt the same. Extending her arms, she entwined their fingers and nuzzled Miranda´s jaw and neck, feeling the delicious heat coming from Miranda´s soft breasts. "I need you Miranda, kiss me, please."
Miranda didn´t need to think twice to accept the sweet invitation. Her lips found Andy´s full ones again and the crush of their bodies dropped them onto the soft sheets. Miranda rolled them over, as Andy reached blindly for her, wrapping her arms and legs around her lover, that was now so absorbed in kissing and sucking Andy´s full breasts. Miranda used her fingers and lips to bring her already aroused lover to the limit, caressing, sucking and nibbling.
"Please what, Andrea?"
Andy felt as if her body was breaking apart as Miranda´s fingers found the so desired destination. "Yes, baby, right there, don´t stop."
Watching Andrea´s flushed face, Miranda offered her a mischievous smile. "I wouldn´t stop even if a FBI team breaks through that door right now."
Miranda´s lips replaced her fingers on Andrea´s hot center. The young woman´s hips jumped at the contact. "Oh, God! I´m coming baby!"
"Yes! Come to me, my love!"
Andy shivered and moaned loudly, as her hips bucked against Miranda´s hot mouth. Miranda waited until the last waves of pleasure subsided and moved up, holding the young woman and kissing the soft skin at her hairline, tasting the sweetness of Andy´s skin. The young woman was breathless and she kissed Miranda with passion, as her hands roamed hungrily over Miranda´s skin.
"I love you, I´m crazy about you Miranda, tell me, what do you need?"
"Your fingers darling, deep inside me, I´m so close, I won´t last."
Andy grabbed her trembling partner firmly, pushing two fingers inside her. Miranda closed her eyes, not able to hold any longer. "You´re going to make me come…" Her body exploded in sensations as she trembled violently, surrounded by her lover.
They stayed entwined for a long moment, caressing each other´s body. Andy kissed Miranda´s forehead one last time, marveled when she realized the older woman had already fallen asleep, exhausted, with a sweet smile on her lips.
Miranda woke slowly, feeling a languid warmth all over her body, deliciously enveloped in Andy's arms. She was lying on her side with half of her body above a smooth expanse of sinful skin. Smiling, she nuzzled Andy's neck, inhaling the comforting sweet scent that was becoming so familiar and necessary. The first light of dawn shining through the curtains were illuminating her lover's innocent and unguarded features, causing in Miranda a protective reaction. Remembering the last two days, her heart ached thinking about the pain caused by their near separation. The young woman lying in her arms was so beautiful and vulnerable in her sleep, that Miranda found herself making a silent vow to honor and protect that gift.
Andy moved in her sleep and sighed contently, bringing Miranda's body even closer. Miranda relaxed even more and held her head in her right hand, watching Andrea's features closely, while her fingertips caressed the young woman's face and neck. When her fingers traced the rich lips, a light kiss was placed on her digit and the beautiful doe-eyes found her blue ones. A beautiful smile sent an uncontrollable shiver all over Miranda's body and she couldn't control the arousal in her belly. They had made love the entire night, sleeping briefly between the heated lovemaking sessions. Their bodies seemed to be gravitating toward each other constantly and Miranda lost count of the many times she came. It was incredible that even so, she felt aroused, needing her lover again.
"Sorry to wake you, my love. It`s still early in the morning, go back to sleep."
Andy stretched languidly and Miranda´s eyes roamed over her breasts. "Hmm, I don´t think so… sleep would be such a waste, when I have you naked in a bed…"
The young woman´s soft lips found Miranda´s in an intimate kiss, their bodies now used to each other´s touch. Miranda gave a laugh full of joy.
"Really? So come here young lady and don´t make me wait anymore…"
Andy gave her a bright smile, practically jumping over Miranda´s form, but the older woman rolled them over, holding Andy´s hands above her head.
"I remember that last night a very mean girl made me come over and over again… hmm, you´re so hot, darling."
Andy raised an eyebrow faking innocence, but tilted her head to give Miranda better access. "Well, I believe that another very mean girl just loved to be ravished merciless. Tell me, am I wrong to assume that you really enjoyed yourself very much last night, Miranda?"
Still holding Andy´s hands, Miranda kissed her neck, covering the younger woman´s shoulder with soft love bites. "Who told you I´m complaining? I loved every single touch and you´re welcome to repeat it any time. I´m just informing you that I plan to do the same to you, now that I have you, so helpless…"
Andy closed her eyes revelling in the warm sensation of Miranda´s lips on her breast. "Darling?"
Miranda stopped her ministrations and looked up, to hear from her very flushed partner a sweet command. "Shut up and take me."