I've been roaming around
Always looking down at all I see
Painted faces, fill the places I can't reach
You know that I could use somebody...
They were going to get caught, Miranda thought as she panted her orgasm through her clenched teeth, back pressed hard against the door of her ground floor office. They were going to get caught and it would be a disaster. The Devil in Prada, the Dragon Lady, the Demon of the Garment District and the Editor in Chief of Runway was going to get caught with her tongue down her second assistant’s throat, with skilled fingers three knuckles deep in her vagina and that maddening thumb rubbing circles over her clit.
Her divorce was bad. It was public and humiliating and she felt like a failure because despite everything, she had once loved that good for nothing scoundrel Greg, who threw her over for a younger model. But with a well written column here, a strategically placed photograph there, and, of course, the continuous rapturous success of Runway, the world moved on and she was once again standing tall.
The protracted custody battle was worse. It was even more public than the divorce. Fuming and hurt over losing that battle and having to pay exorbitant alimony, Greg was speaking to the press at every turn. He was going to have his way and hurt Miranda where it mattered to her most. He was going to take her children and further embarrass her in the court of public opinion. And so, the monikers, the horrible little stories of her tantrums and irascibility, her demanding nature and her disregard for labor laws or any laws when it came to her precious magazine started trickling down in the media. Page Six was having a blast with assigning her a new nickname every other day: The Devil, the Demon, The Ice Queen. You name it, she was called it. She stood tall throughout this storm as well. With her toddlers by her side, she appeared dignified and stoic, if aloof and indeed cold in all photos. Greg’s vindictiveness and dirty tactics ended up biting him though. The court disregarded all his innuendo and gossip and gave Miranda physical custody of her babies, with Greg getting the twins every other weekend and having to pay a formidable amount of child support.
Getting caught having a sordid little affair with a girl 25 years her junior and her direct subordinate was going to be the absolute worst thing that could ever happen to her. It was going to destroy her.
Irv would fire her posthaste since a “moral clause” was written into her otherwise ironclad contract. Greg would challenge the current custody decision arguing that someone who was fired for sexual harassment at the workplace simply could not have physical custody of impressionable 9-year olds. The press would go berserk and paint her as a middle-aged woman seducing a naive ingenue under her supervision. Either way, she would be finished in the world of fashion and publishing, despite the fashion world being tremendously liberal and the publishing industry tending to protect its own. That said, Miranda wasn’t blind to her reputation, her history or who her enemies were. She knew well enough that both worlds would pounce on her, declaring that “the Devil Queen was dead! Long live another Queen!” Anna Wintour would be licking her lips at such a prospect. What a horrible visual that.
Somehow Stephen divorcing her as a result of the revelation of her affair with her second assistant did not make the list of “terrible things that will absolutely happen very soon, because they would definitely get caught fucking”. Theirs was never a true romance, but more of a business merger. God knew, there were few worse things in business mergers than embarrassing alliances on the side made horribly public. She knew Stephen wasn’t faithful to her. His dalliances were acceptable since he kept them in high society and very quiet. Miranda’s large network of discreet informants apprised her of the news of Stephen’s affair with a widowed baroness Von Something-or-Other about a month ago. He was being discreet and rather posh, all things considered. But Miranda’s affair with an underling would rock their carefully staged business arrangement like an earthquake. He would divorce her in an instant and she would get stuck with the humiliating payments of alimony this time around, sponsoring his love for atrocious habits like cigars, golf and horrible rum. Who in their right mind thinks drinking rum is acceptable anywhere but on a tropical island? So gauche.
Miranda knew she had to end this. This… whatever the hell this was that had her pouncing on Andrea the moment she delivered the Book. Whatever the hell this was that had her locking them in the small office on the ground floor and fucking Andrea deaf and blind, three fingers pumping furiously till she clutched and bit her lips to muffle her moan. Whatever the hell this was that had Miranda swiftly kneeling at Andrea’s feet to taste her essence off her still quivering thighs and lips and clit and make Andrea come again, simply because Miranda could. Simply because for some utterly maddening reason, nothing in the world felt like having this girl come for her, around her fingers, in her mouth, fall apart with her name on her plump reddened lips, pouty from all the kissing, biting and sucking Miranda has bestowed on them.
In the past four months, Miranda bestowed a lot and often and so damn hungrily, because she simply could not get enough. She was half crazy with this reckless need. She played it fast and loose and selfishly risked them both for a few moments of dazzling heat of Andrea taking her against the door of the editor’s private bathroom or ticking her hand under Miranda’s skirt in the back of the Mercedes. Her days and her nights were filled with memories of Andrea’s skin, with the sounds she made, with the shy smiles she gave her as she was trying to pick up her panties up off the floor only to discover them ruined, soaked and ripped, because Miranda couldn’t wait. She never could anyway. Not for coffee, not for steak and not for Patrick. So why should she wait to suck on Andrea’s clit when she could smell her arousal the moment their lips touched as she pushed her against the office door. Her own arousal was spiking even higher since Andrea’s wetness meant she was thinking about Miranda on her way to the townhouse, no doubt imagining all the things Miranda would do to her and she would do to Miranda. And my God, did Andrea ever do to Miranda. In fact, she did to Miranda better than anyone, better than Greg and certainly better than Stephen with his clammy hands and sloppy kisses. Miranda always tried to dodge those messy aberrations, pretending to throw her head back in the throes of passion. “Throes of passion”... Turns out she had no idea what that syntagm even meant until Andrea took her at her desk, kneeling before her chair and spreading her legs, pulling her thong to the side and silently proceeding to turn her brain to mush, her body to fire and her world into bedlam. And if that wasn’t passionate enough, Andrea continued by taking her forcefully, from behind, on her knees, in her office after hours.
The Ice Queen, who preferred to be an observer of life and who looked down at the painted faces and bizarre carnal pursuits of the jesters in her court, was finally melting. What seemed repulsive before, was becoming indispensable. What seemed trivial and unnecessary in her relationships with her husbands - an aptly named marital duty - was suddenly an appetite she couldn’t sate. An appetite that would drive her into the abyss. And she was selfishly using her faithful second assistant to quench that appetite, dooming the girl to perdition in the process.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, Miranda,” Andrea’s smile was open and her eyes shone with the quiet gleem of the afterglow. Miranda nodded, unable to speak, certain that if she opened her mouth now, she would just blurt out everything that was weighing so heavily on her mind. Andrea raised her hand and for a second Miranda thought that she had actually read her treacherous thoughts and was reaching out to strike her for her selfishness. Instead the long graceful fingers lingered on her lower lip, wiping the residual moisture before being drawn into Andrea’s kiss swollen mouth. With a sultry look from beneath her lowered lashes and still sucking on her finger, Andrea quietly exited the room.
“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Miranda’s whispered reply came, barely audible even in the complete stillness of the townhouse. She wasn’t sure if she said it or wished it. She wished so much to see Andrea tomorrow and for everything to be as it was tonight. But fear was pulsing strong and heavy in her chest and she knew that tonight was the night when something had to give. Give in, give out or give up, though, she wasn’t entirely certain.
She heard the front door close and exhaled slowly, unaware she was holding her breath. Another clandestine encounter she came out of unscathed. Walking quietly through the dark townhouse she couldn’t calm her racing thoughts. Why tonight of all nights was this fear of discovery plaguing her so fiercely? In the end, Stephen slept through it all, fueled by Ambien and rum. The twins were in bed even earlier. The grip of fear didn’t leave her as she settled into the chair in her office and opened the Book. With her mind in upheaval and her heart rate spiking, Miranda clutched the Book tightly in her hands, the precious object, a tangible representation of everything she stood to lose if their little interludes were to be discovered. If she was still throbbing between her thighs, Miranda chose to ignore that feeling. Tonight, more than on any other night, she felt untethered and reckless, too careless in her actions and it scared her. The lengths she went to be with this girl. The lengths she went to be taken by this girl. It was too much and it was time to stop.
She was selfish in allowing this affair to begin and she was selfish to end it simply because her own fear was choking her, but the consequences of using Andrea for pleasure and being discovered by the world were too dire and the price for their indiscretions was too steep. Miranda sighed and unbidden images of bright brown eyes invaded her mind. Guilt flooded right on the heels of all that brightness. She was selfishly using the girl, just to feel alive among the dead and decayed silk and velvet and glossy photographs of starving models. They all left her cold, encased in ice. Andrea made her feel alive. Andrea warmed her with her smile and scalded her with her passion and Miranda used every second of it to feel unfettered joy, perhaps for the very first time. But feeling alive be damned when she was hyperventilating in her own office at midnight from the choking fear. After four months of living and breathing said sheer unfettered joy, Miranda was ending it.
Decision made, she exited her office, turning off the light.
Miranda supposed it was a fitting comparison, her turning off the light in the office still permeated with the mingled scents of sex, and her turning off the light on her affair with Andrea while walking eerily through the darkness of the townhouse. She knew that what she had to do next would hurt her to some extent, but it would hurt the girl more and both would be plunged into darkness for a while. But it had to be done.
Ironically, she wasn’t thinking about how she would break it to Andrea. The “how” was irrelevant after all, since the result would be equally devastating. While Miranda could chalk her own attraction to the girl up to a latent midlife crisis or to pure indulgence and selfishness, she was old enough and experienced enough to know that there was love in Andrea’s eye when she looked at her, true love and all-consuming trust and adoration. Andrea loved her and Miranda, continuing the pattern of being selfish and self-indulgent, was about to destroy that love and break Andrea’s trust.
They were going to get caught. It would be an unacceptable ending to an otherwise most satisfactory little arrangement. So Miranda braced herself to do what must be done. If her heart ached just a little in the process, she would write it off as penance for acting so out of character.